|Season 2, Episode 8|
Beware the Ryder is the twenty-first episode of the series, Mutant Drake.
In the woods, traveling along, the sky is cloudy with sun rays breaching through, pushing through the tree leaves towards the ground. Some patches of sky are seen, it's a light blue but the clouds make it seem darker than it really is. There are various trees along the side of the road, or whatever is left of it as it appears very beaten up and worn out as the grass seemed to have grown over parts of it.
The van is then seen driving into view, along the uneven ground, through the forest as it passes the tall trees. The van then drives into a clearing and down a small grassy slope towards a facility in the short distance. Inside the van, John is seen driving, looking out of the main window, carefully, with Drake in the passenger seat.
Drake, looking outside at the trees: Where are we?
John: Black Hills Forest. Aka the next location for our science facility search.
Drake: There are a lot of trees here.
John: Yeah, that's why it's called a Forest. It's means trees or something.
Drake, turning to John: I thought we dropped the search. The Mutants we're looking for don't use the facilities anymore.
John: I know but those seem to be the ones close to a town or city of some kind. This one is kinda isolated, the nearby town is pretty much abandoned and there's no sight seeing when most of the things out here are trying to kill you.
Drake looks at John then turns back to the window. The scene then cuts to the exterior of the van now parking outside of the facility. The front doors of the van then open and both Drake and John emerge from within, moving towards the back of the van. While John's attention seems set forwards, Drake looks around, on guard, as he approaches the back. As soon as the two reach the back, the back doors of the van open and Kate steps out, her red satchel hung low over her shoulder.
Kate: Bit bumpy, wasn't it?
John: Sorry, did you want to drive?
Kate: Ugh. No way. I needed the bench nap. A month in and who knew it would be so much work sitting in a van all day? Well, aside from the occasional chasing after Mutants thing.
John: You'd think that'd be the tiring part.
Drake looks at the facility at the side of the van. There's thick mold growing at the walls at the side with the rusted windows and a real abandoned vibe to the entire place.
Drake: Looks like no one's been here for a while.
John: Still, a look around can't hurt.
Drake turns to the van with a look of hesitation.
John, noticing this: Hey, we'll find something, alright?
Drake nods then steps into the back of the van.
Drake: I'm going to get the suit. I'll see you inside.
Drake closes the van doors behind him. Kate and John turn away from the van and look at the forest around them.
Kate: I'm so used to fields, now there's so many trees.
John: Yeah, totally. I used to go camping with my family before the incident and everything, y'know? Just us in the woods by a campfire.
Kate: I went camping too. Nothing too big, just a small place outside of the city. I learned to make knots and stuff like that. But it's been a long time, I barely remember it.
John: You've never been too far from the city before?
Kate: Not really. Why, you have?
John: A road trip. Just one but I remember it so clearly.
Kate: Where to?
John: Mt. Rushmore, funny as it is.
Kate: Cool! I only heard stories about it.
John: Well we should be able to see it from here. (walks around while looking around) Somewhere.
John stops and turns his head.
John, pointing: Look, see?
Kate rushes over to John and looks in his direction. Mt. Rushmore is then seen in the far distance. Vines, large enough to be seen from this distance, appear entangled around its lower portion.
Kate: Would be great if we could go down there. Maybe touch it with our own bare hands.
John: You want to touch George Washington's face with your bare hands?
Kate: No, I mean- like the mountain part, you big goof.
John: I mean I'd probably pick his nose but-
Kate laughs while John tries to say something but his own smile and chuckles interrupts him.
John: What? I'm being honest.
Kate: Alright then, Mr. Mountaineer.
John: But yeah, It'd be great to go with you.
Kate looks at John.
John, noticing this: To the mountain part, I mean. 'Cause um- exploring and stuff. Y'know I heard there was a secret tunnel leading inside from some uh- research and- (looks down nervously)
John, looking up at Kate: Uh- Yeah?
Kate: What are you trying to say?
John looks at Kate, his mouth open but he seems frozen in place. The van doors are then heard opening again, snapping John out of his state to look at the van. Drake is seen stepping out in his Vigilante suit.
Drake, looking over to them: I'm ready. Let's go.
John: Yeah, sure, man. Be right there.
Drake turns and approaches the facility. John looks down again while Kate turns from Drake to John.
John, looking up at Kate again: Looks like it's time to look around.
John smiles momentarily then turns and approaches the facility as well. Kate stands there, by herself, looking at John as he leaves. The scene then cuts to the inside of the facility which is dark, the only lighting coming from the sunlight from outside. The entire room appears similar to that of a lobby with a counter towards the right wall, a worn out-looking white couch. The floor tiles are light blue and white with disassociated papers and such scattered across. Some debris is seen along the sides of the wall, like pieces of the ceiling fell onto the floor. Drake is seen looking around, walking forwards as he approaches the counter. John then enters the facility, his tablet in hand. Drake looks over the counter, seeing a black desk chair knocked over and more papers.
John, approaching Drake: Find anything?
Drake: No... Just papers. Nothing important.
John: Well, papers could be important. Let me have a look.
John moves around the counter and kneels down, putting his tablet on top of the counter, itself. He then looks through some of the papers on the floor. Kate is seen, now in the facility as well, walking through the lobby. She looks at Drake and John by the counter then turns his head, looking at the back of the lobby. There's a small statue resembling some sort of logo in the center of the lobby and two double doors in the far back. Kate squints slightly and approaches forwards. The scene then cuts to the inside of a dark room. Light then forces itself in as the double doors open inwards. Kate then enters the room and looks around. Kate walks down the white hallway but starts to slow down as she notices something on the walls. The view then shows three marks dragging across the wall. Kate continues forwards looking at them until they stop at the corner. Kate then looks up and continues around the corner into a room. She then stops in the doorway and looks outwards, a scared expression across her face. The scene cuts over back to the counter where Drake and John look at the papers on the counter. Kate's scream then breaks the silence, drawing in the attention of both Drake and John.
Drake then runs forwards to the back of the counter. John grabs his tablet and runs off after Drake. The scene then show Drake pushing through the double door and rushes down the hallway, John following behind him. They both then reach the room and look inside and see Kate standing, now further into the room, just looking outwards and slightly downwards. John now looks a little surprised and looks in the same direction.
John: Oh gosh...
The view then shows a body laying against a wall, lifeless.
Drake is seen looking at the body, still remaining against the wall and as lifeless as before. He is kneeling down, inspecting it thoroughly as a blue light flashes over the body. The view zooms out slightly, showing the light projecting from John's tablet. It then subsides and John lowers his tablet to see the screen better.
John: Just scanned the body. He's not in any of the MCA or Central News databases.
Drake: It looks fresh.
John: Yeah, I don't need a tablet to tell me that.
Drake: What can you say about the body?
John squats down and looks at it more properly.
John: It's pretty obvious he was attacked. I'd say a Mutant did this though. His neck is tilted in an unnatural position so I have to assume his spine is broken especially with his hunched over form. Plus you've got these-
John reaches forwards and pulls down the victim's collar showing some scratch marks moving from the neck across the body, even tearing through the shirt itself.
Kate: Are those scratch marks?
John: Gotta be. I've seen people come with knife marks, it's never that precise.
Kate: There were scratch marks in the hallway. I saw them on my way in here.
Drake: So what does this mean?
John: Well, (gets up) I'm guessing he was chased, slashed and thrown into the wall. The force must have broke his spine and he died of a cervical fracture. Whatever did this must be big and strong.
Kate: Is it still here?
Drake: Maybe not. Mutants usually leave the area after killing something unless they're protecting something.
John: Like that sea monster Mutant.
Drake: But still, we shouldn't take any chances.
Kate looks over at the body then looks away, turning to leave the room.
Drake, noticing: Kate? Where are you going?
Kate: I just- need some air.
Kate leaves the room, turning the corner.
Drake: I should go with her.
John, looking over to Drake: Yeah- um... I guess you should.
Drake, turning to John: You'll be fine?
John, patting his side: Armed and ready.
Drake nods and turns to leave the room. John then looks down slowly and sighs to himself.
John, to himself: Still working on the ready part...
John looks at his tablet and swipes across the screen, accessing the data. The scene then cuts to the outside of the facility. Kate is seen, leaning against the van, breathing heavily. Drake then exits the facility and looks at Kate, approaching her, steadily.
Drake: Hey, are you alright?
Kate, looking over to Drake: Yeah, it's just- um, seeing that body reminded me of how things could get out here. Not just in the van with you guys but with the news business in general. Before we met, there were people being attacked by Mutants. Bodies being taken away and someone had to report it. I mean, MCA tried to keep it on the down low but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.
Drake: I won't let anything happen you, Kate.
Kate, smiling: Yeah, I know. That makes me feel better about it, Drake.
The scene the cuts over the woods where the facility is seen at a close distance. A figure is seen approaching forwards and then stopping. He kneels down and removes a camera from his side, getting into position to take a photo. However, he grunts and gets up. The figure then moves closer forwards, passing by a couple of trees and readies his camera again. He grunts again, sounding frustrated and moves even more forwards, carefully. The figure then enters the clearing, still remaining close to the woods. He then readies his camera again. Through the camera's perspective, Drake and Kate can be seen talking by the van. The figure then pushes down on the snap button and flash erupts from the camera as it takes the shot. The scene cuts back to the van with Kate looking at Drake, still in conversation.
Kate: It's just something I'm not used to completely. But thanks for hearing me out about it.
A flare of light can be seen by the woods behind Kate which catches Drake's attention as he turns his head from Kate to the trees. He then sees the figure, a person wearing black holding a camera over his face, taking multiple shots. Through the camera's perspective, Drake is seen looking directly at the lens. The camera is then seen lowering from the figure's face, revealing his blue eyes and sharp eyebrows. Back at the van, Drake continues looking the figure, stepping slowly forwards. Kate then turns to Drake, looking confused.
Kate: Drake? What is it?
Drake: We're being watched.
The figure then lowers his camera completely and backs up into the woods. Drake then runs forwards towards the figure, leaving Kate behind by the van. When entering the woods, Drake continues running through, passing the tall trees as he chases after the figure who is far ahead of him. The figure then vanishes as he turns, passing some trees blocking Drake's sight of him. Drake then forms his ax-form and chops down the trees as he continues running forwards. Drake then makes it into another clearing, where a waterfall is seen. Drake looks around the clearing but there is no sign of the figure. He then looks around once more then turns back and returns through the woods. Drake is then seen from another angle, walking back through the woods. The view then zooms out to show the figure standing on a higher structure, watching down at Drake, his back to the view. The scene then cuts over to a city with devastated buildings and overgrown streets. It appears very abandoned.
The news van is seen driving into the city. Inside of the van, Kate is seen driving, appearing rather mundane. In the back of the van, John is seated by the computer station, reviewing articles, while Drake is standing behind him, looking over his shoulder at the screen. An article comes up on the screen, showing a blurred image of a grey humanoid figure with the title "More Dead by Mysterious Mutant".
John: See? Told you. This is it. According to this article I found on the Central News' database, there's a Mutant migrating across the country. Apparently, all it does is just- kill people.
Drake: That doesn't make any sense.
John: Why? I mean not all Mutants can be like you and just knock people out.
Drake: That's not what I meant. Even if it is a Class-2, they have a thing or uh- a way they do things.
John: Like a certain behavior?
Drake: Yeah, I guess so. (breaking the word in) Behavior. Behavior.
John: Yeah, well, lately Class-2's haven't been acting like themselves lately.
Drake: You think this is Annabelle's father?
John: I don't know what this is but we definitely stumbled upon something quite interesting.
Drake: So why aren't we at the facility looking for more things to work off of?
John: Because there isn't anything left to work on. I analyzed most of the useful stuff but it seems like someone beat us to it. Whatever that facility was carrying, it's gone in the wind.
Drake: What about the body? Does he have something to do with it?
John: Beats me but I found this on him.
John pulls out a black card from his jacket pocket and hands it over to Drake who takes it into his hand. He looks down at the card which reads "R-Corp" on it.
Drake, looking at the card: R-Corp?
John: Apparently, he works there. It's a business corporation that deals with various technologies, owned by a Mr. Anton Reeves.
Drake's eyes widen slightly.
Drake: Nothing. Just- sounds familiar, is all?
John: Uh huh... Well, his company is stationed in Philadelphia so that might be why. What bothers me is that since the company is based in Philly, why is he all the way in Dakota?
Drake: I'm not sure. Maybe the files say something.
John: I checked. It's got nothing on it about this type of thing, no files on the company, the guy, the facility, just nothing.
Drake: Can't be.
John: I don't know what to tell you, Drake.
John gets up from his seat, pats Drake on the shoulder and moves to the front of the van. Drake is left behind, looking outwards in thought. The scene then cuts to the outside of the van which is seen pulling up the side of the street. The engine then dies out as Kate steps out of the van, making his way over to the back of the van. She opens the back doors and Drake comes out, standing next to her. John, with his tablet in hands, sits in the doorway, letting his legs reach the ground.
Drake: Where are we?
Kate: I don't know. I saw some stragglers up ahead. I figured whoever was watching us might be somewhere where there's a lot of activity.
Drake: Unless he's somewhere else.
John: No way. Rapid City is the closest place from the facility. If he needs to get supplies or any kind, this is his best bet.
Kate: What if he doesn't need any supplies?
John: We do. And he knows it. Whoever this guy is.
Drake: We should get whatever leads we have on this guy. If he's connected to this Mutant or that facility or even those Mutants that took Owens, we have to find him.
John: So who's it going to be this time?
Drake: What are you talking about?
John: Well sometimes you take Kate with you to use her investigative know-how while I stay here and do some technical stuff or whatever. Other times, you'll take me for more tactical things and who knows what Kate does.
Kate: That's not true. I work a lot since I'm trying to be a reporter, John. Besides, it doesn't happen all the time.
John: Yeah, I guess you're right.
Drake, seemingly ignoring John's comment: Like I said before, we need to find this guy. I'll have a look around, check some of the buildings. Kate, maybe you could ask around; you know how to get answers out of people.
Kate: Sure. If Central News taught me anything, it's how to interview people for answers.
Drake: John, do you think you can find anything else on what we found at the facility?
John: Yeah, I'll check more articles and cross-check any technology I have on file, see if it matches what was at the facility.
Drake nods. He and Kate then move along, while John continues sitting there, checking his tablet. After a short moment, John looks up from his tablet as if realizing something.
John: Wait a minute...
The scene then cuts over to Drake and Kate walking down the street, approaching some stragglers at a gas station. One of them looks up from his cart; he's wearing a thick brown jacket, a ripped up shirt and worn out jeans. His eyes are brown and his hair is brown, styled long and messy. He also has a beard.
Straggler, noticing them approaching: Hey, keep back, alright? I don't have anything.
Kate: Relax, we're just looking for someone.
Straggler: I haven't seen anyone around here. Not too many people come through here anymore.
Drake: What about you?
Straggler: I just need supplies. We all do. Except-
Straggler: I don't know. There was this one guy. He was looking for someone as well.
Kate: What did he look like?
Straggler: I didn't see him. I just heard word from the other stragglers. About some guy asking around for the Vigilante. A nut case, obviously.
Kate: Do you know where we could find him?
Straggler: Beats me. But he did leave something around. I don't think it means anything but I managed to get my hands on it. You can have it if you want.
Kate nods as the straggler removes a card from his jacket and hands it over to Kate. She takes the card, which reads "R-Corp" on it. Drake's eyes widen as he looks at the card in her hands.
Straggler: Wish I could be more help.
Kate: No, you helped plenty. Thank you.
The straggler nods and moves along with his cart. Kate turns to Drake, still looking down at the card.
Kate: R-Corp is a company based in Philadelphia, like Murphy Industries. Owned by Anton Reeves.
Drake: John found a card like that on the guy in the facility.
Kate: He must be out here looking for him or something. That still doesn't help us to finding the guy watching us.
Drake: We should get back to the van. Follow up on what John has.
Kate: Yeah, that's probably a good idea.
Drake leads Kate away from the gas station, back the way they came. The scene then cuts over to the van, the back doors then open and Drake hops inside, while John steps out and looks over at Kate.
Kate: Hey, did you find out anything?
John: Not much. Some of the technology at the facility seems to be manufactured from R-Corp which would make sense because-
Kate: The guy works there. (sighs) I just feel like we're missing something here.
John: Or maybe the guy is some creep, the dead body was just a Mutant attack and the R-Corp guy was checking on some stuff.
Kate: Seems to simple to me, John.
John: Yeah, sometimes I wish it was that simple. (turning to the inside of the van) What do you think, Drake?
There is no response.
John looks inside of the van and Drake is no longer inside of it.
Kate, looking inside: Where did he go?
John, getting inside of the van: I don't know. (looking around) The suit's gone.
Kate looks at John, looking concerned. The scene then cuts back to the gas station where the straggler from before is seen putting a can into his cart. He then pushes his cart towards the corner of the station where he sees a can on the floor. He reaches for it but his hand is stepped on by a black boot.
The straggler looks up and sees Drake in his Vigilante suit, looking down at him. Drake then releases his footing on the man's hand but grabs his other arm, pinning him against the gas station pole sign.
Straggler: Oh gosh, you're real! You're actually real.
Drake: Where is Anton Reeves?
Straggler: I don't know what you're talking about, man.
Drake: I know you spoke with two people earlier. Told them about the R-Corp card. I also know you didn't tell them everything you know.
Straggler: Okay. Okay! Please, just don't hurt me. Secrets are set in Rapid City, man.
Drake, pressing harder: Where is he?
Straggler: He just came up to me and gave me the card, man! He said he'll be waiting at the museum. He gave me supplies and food and- and-
Drake: Where is it?
Straggler: It's not far from here. A few streets back.
Drake releases his grasp on the man who holds his arm with his other hand.
Straggler: He doesn't seem like the type of man to mess around with.
Drake: I can take care of myself.
Drake then turns around and walks off with the man watching him leave from the pole. The scene then transitions over to a building. The sky appears darker, with more clouds coming in. A soft thunder echos through them as a soft wind rustles across the grass in front of the building.
Inside the museum, the atmosphere is dark and cold. Displays are seen with artifacts and other objects within them. By the entrance, there is a counter and a couple of benches with broken glass along the floor tiles. The sunlight from outside softly enters the building through glass wall. Drake steps on some of the glass as he enters through the already broken glass doorway, it crunching under his boot. He looks around, the light reflecting off his goggles. He then enters slowly, his hands ready. The entire building remains silent with the only sound being Drake's footsteps and the soft sound of thunder outside.
Drake, looking around: Reeves?
There isn't any response. Drake stops in one room of the museum. He turns around and sees a bear standing over him. Slightly startled, he grips his fists and prepares for an attack but the bear remains still. Drake then settles down and examines the bear. It's lifeless and stuffed. Drake looks up at the bear then turns back, continuing to look around. He passes a plague, partly blocked off by another display, reading "The Navajo continued believing in the skin-walkers also known as the Yen-". As he moves further, a light is seen projected downwards from a ceiling light. However, it is flickering on and off unsteadily. A sound of thunder is heard again. John turns around as the light goes off. He turns back, a figure now standing in the dark.
As the figure steps forwards, the light flickers on, dimly projecting light onto the figure. The figure is wearing a black leather jacket over a grey shirt with blue jeans and black boots. He has blue eyes and long, black hair.
Figure: You don't know me. But I know you.
Drake: Who are you?
Figure: They call me Ryder. But that's the important. What is important is why you're traveling across the country, Vigilante. You're supposed to be New York, minding your own business.
Drake: You're the one who's been watching me, aren't you?
Ryder: I am.
Ryder: I needed to keep an eye on you. You're connected to a dangerous man. Anton Reeves.
Drake: I don't know what you're talking about.
Ryder: The flash drive. (soft chuckle) You think I don't know what you did, Drake?
Drake: How did you know?
Ryder: It's my job to know. To find out things. To make sure you people like you pay for what you did.
Drake: I didn't do anything to you.
Ryder: Oh you did. By working with him. And now you're going to pay, just like that other guy did.
He launches at Drake, throwing a punch, but Drake blocks the strike with his arm. Ryder then strikes Drake at his side with his other fist, pushing him back slightly. Drake looks up and is met with a roundhouse kick by Ryder who sticks the landing afterwards. Drake then turns back, bearing his teeth.
Drake, launching at Ryder: RAH!
Drake strikes Ryder across the face, as he stumbles backwards. Drake strikes again but Ryder seems to recover from it and punches Drake in the head. Ryder then tackles Drake, throwing him back into the other room. There's a tipi on display along with several other Native American pieces. Drake tries to get up but Ryder continuously strikes him across the face. Drake then kicks Ryder off of him and flips up on his feet. Ryder is then slammed against a display, cracking the glass as his body slides to the floor. He looks up slowly and sees Drake approaching him.
Drake: You killed that man at the facility?
Ryder: (cough) Yeah. I had some help though. Along with all those other R-Corp crooks.
Drake: That Mutant. The one killing people across the country.
Ryder: Yeah, that's the one. I don't know why you're against it? They're getting what they deserve.
Drake: They deserve justice.
Ryder: Justice? (chuckle) No. They deserve vengeance.
Drake: Where's the Mutant now?
Ryder: You actually want to see it? Fine. I'll show you...
Ryder smirks until his head jerks sideways. His whole body then starts to shake violently but with restraint. His muscles then start to grow as his veins seem to become more exposed and unusually big as it starts to climb up his arm and down his back. He then falls onto his knees, his back growing into a small hunch. He then yells out and his face starts to change. His eyes burrowed, his nose becoming flatter, his ears becoming sharper and his hair growing longer into a mane of some kind. His yell becomes more and more distorted as he changes. He then stands as the transformation finishes with a wolf-like creature wearing a black and grey outfit standing in Ryder's place. Drake steps back, looking shocked. The Mutant then launches forwards, striking Drake. Drake is then thrown across the room and crashes into the tipi. The Mutant then approaches, his hind legs stretching forwards as he walks in a stalking manner. The tipi is then sliced apart as Drake emerges with his ax-forms readied. The Mutant then growls at Drake as he stands across from him. Drake then jumps from the display and onto the floor. He then looks up from the floor and at the Mutant. The Mutant then roars out and runs at Drake. Drake then dodges his attack and strikes at the Mutant with one of his axes which doesn't seem to affect him too much. The Mutant then stomps his foot down, pushing Drake back. Drake then runs forwards and slashes at the Mutant, chopping at his arms. The Mutant then steps back, in pain. Drake then stops and breaths heavily. The Mutant then looks up, his wounds healing at an incredibly fast rate. The Mutant then launches forwards once more. Drake uses his elasticity and wraps his ax-arms around the Mutant. He then struggles to throw him upwards and slams him into some of the displays. Drake attempts to reel his arms in but the Mutant grabs them and yanks Drake forwards, punching him as he gets closer. Drake then falls on the floor. He attempts to get up but the Mutant steps on his chest and strikes at him repetitively until Drake's goggles actually crack and slip off his face. The Mutant then strikes Drake once more before howling. Meanwhile, by the entrance of the museum, Kate is seen looking around as the howl is heard close by. She looks up and approaches. She is then seen entering a room and sees the Mutant standing over Drake.
The Mutant then turns and sees Kate standing behind him at a close distance. He then turns back to Drake, grabs him and throws Drake across the room, into more displays. Drake's body then crashes against the floor. Drake appears weak and struggles to even look up as Kate's shrieks are heard. Through Drake's perspective, which is very blurred, the Mutant is seen approaching Kate and grabbing him before she can run away.
Drake, softly: Kate...
Drake's eyes then close and the scene becomes dark. It then transitions into a flashback scene where Drake is seen laying face up on a sofa while a shuffling noise is heard.
It goes on for a short moment until the sound of something breaking is heard followed by an indistinct exclaim from Drake's Mother. Drake leans up from the sofa and looks at an open doorway. His heads are also bandaged up. His feet touch the floor as he gets up from the sofa and approaches the doorway. Drake's Mother is seen stuffing packed food into a backpack.
Young Drake, standing in the doorway: Mom? What's going on?
Drake's Mother stops and looks up at Drake.
Drake's Mother: You should be resting, baby.
Young Drake: I'm not tired right now. Why are you packing food in that bag?
Drake's Mother: Because we can't stay here much longer, Drake. We have to find some help, get somewhere safe.
Young Drake: But it's safe here, isn't it, Mom? It's home.
Drake's Mother: (sighs) I wish it was. I just- I just want to be sure, that's all. Why don't you get a bag and pack your things. Only things you need, Drake; clothes, band-aids, anything important.
Drake nods and moves back into the living room. He opens up a door, leading into a closet and removes a green duffel bag.
Voice, muffled: Hello?
Drake stops and turns to the door.
Voice, muffled: Anyone?
Young Drake, quietly to himself: Dad?
Drake turns back to the doorway and runs across the room, into the kitchen.
Young Drake: Mom, there's a-
Drake's Mother puts her finger to her lips and turns to the kitchen window. She pulls the drapes to the side and sees a man walking down the street. He has a backpack on a blue trench coat, over a unbuttoned shirt and a brown sweater, with dark pants and brown combat boots.
Man, voice muffled from the walls: Hello? Please, is anyone out there?
Young Drake, quietly: Is it Dad?
Drake's Mother looks down for a second then turns back to the window.
Drake's Mother: No. But we haven't seen any survivors on our way here. We should let him inside.
Young Drake: But he's a stranger. We don't know him.
Drake's Mother: Sometimes you have to trust people, Drake. It's better to help others than to keep looking out for yourself.
Drake continues looking up at his mother as the man in the window continues walking down the street. The scene then fades off back to current time with John is seen at the computer station in the van. The back doors then swing open, causing John to turn his head, in alert. Drake is then seen entering the van, uneasily.
John: Drake, are you alright? What happened?
Drake: I was attacked. The person watching us took Kate.
John: One guy did all that?
Drake: He's not just a guy, John. He's also a Mutant.
The scene skips ahead with John tending to Drake's wounds.
John: So he just transformed into a Mutant? Is that even possible?
Drake: Gorshin was able to do it.
John: Yeah, after experimenting on himself for years.
Drake: Maybe he went through the same thing.
John: I highly doubt it. Most scientists tend to either be inside by themselves or outside being a Mutant. And not the special kind.
Drake: It doesn't matter. What matters is finding Kate.
John: Of course. I would have run any leads through an algorithm but we don't have any leads. However, I did find various scratch marks heading out of town.
Drake: He wants us to find him.
John: Why wouldn't he?
Drake: You didn't see him, John. It was as if he wasn't even a person anymore. Just some animal.
John: Animal? (holds his chin thoughtfully)
Drake: Yeah, why?
John: I might have an idea where he went.
The scene then shows the outside of the van as it starts up and drives forwards. The scene then cuts over to a forest by canyon-like slopes and waterfalls.
The scene then transitions over to a small cave. Inside, it's dark with only light from the outside coming in through the cave mouth. Stalactites are seen hanging downwards as the view pans towards the right, further into the cave. At the end, Kate is seen seated against the cave wall within the light of a fire. The view then zooms out, showing a small fire on a few twigs and leaves. Ryder is seen standing over the fire, looking down at Kate.
Kate: Y'know he'll find me. He always does.
Ryder: I'm betting on it.
Ryder turns around from the fire and looks at the cave's mouth.
Kate: Why did you even take me if you wanted the Vigilante?
Ryder: Call it instinct or whatever you want to call it. It doesn't even deserve a name. By taking you, he's not thinking clearly, gives me the chance to give him what he deserves, for working with R-Corp.
Kate, confused: What do you mean, working with R-Corp?
Ryder turns to look at Kate.
Ryder: You gonna keep asking questions all night?
Kate: It's sorta my job.
Ryder: What? Being a journalist?
Ryder: Isn't that the same thing?
Kate: Why exactly do you have issues with R-Corp? They're not the most reliable company but-
Ryder: It's the company. It's the man behind the company. Anton Reeves. (turning away) He took something away from me and he'll pay for it, everyone connected to him.
Kate: Who was it?
Ryder turns back to Kate, clenching his fists.
Ryder: What are you talking about?
Kate: I've seen anger like yours before. It anger when you lose someone. I've seen it before...
Ryder continues staring down at Kate until he releases his grasp and exhales. He then sits by the fire, across from Kate.
Ryder: Smart and pretty. I can see why he travels with you.
Kate looks away from a second before turning back to look at Ryder.
Ryder: (sighs) Okay. You got me. But Anton didn't just take someone from my life. He took two people. My parents. I was just a kid and we got mixed up in some pretty bad stuff. They were killed by men one night. It was brutal, it was intended to be no survivors but I did survive, somehow. As time went by, I've been tracking down the men who got away with it one by one and I found out they were all connected to Reeves. He called the attack and killed my parents. Now I'm going to kill him and everyone he knows.
Ryder gets up and turns away from Kate.
Kate: But it doesn't have to be this way. We can help you.
Ryder, turning back to face Kate: No one can help me. I'm too far gone.
Drake, unseen: Let her go, Ryder.
Ryder turns around and sees Drake entering the cave. His goggles still cracked.
Ryder: Thought you'd never show up.
Drake: I said let her go. This is between you and me.
Ryder: I agree.
Ryder reaches down and grabs Kate by the arm. He pulls her up onto her feet and holds her.
Ryder, to Kate: Why don't you be a good little hostage and run along? It's time for the big boys to settle this.
Ryder shoves Kate forwards. She runs over to Drake's side.
Drake, turning to Kate: Get out of here.
Kate: Wait, you don't understand. He's-
Drake then activates his blade-form and charges for Ryder.
Ryder: Finally. Time to settle this, Vigilante.
Ryder then crouches down and holds his head as he starts to transform. His muscles increase and the veins become more exposed, his hair grows longer and his face becomes wolf-like and his clothes wrap around him into a more tactical outfit. The Mutant, now taking Ryder's place, then leaps forwards and strikes at Drake but Drake blocks his his blade. Drake slashes the Mutant's arm and stabs him in his side. The Mutant yells out in pain, kneeling down with the blade still in his side.
Drake: I've got you now.
The Mutant then looks up, snarls and then grabs Drake with both hands and throws him up into the cave's ceiling. Drake's back slams against some of the stalactites as he body drops down the cave floor. The Mutant then strikes Drake which sends his body flying across the cave and out of the cave mouth. Drake then tumbles down the slope and into the forest.
Kate, looking down at Drake: Drake!
The Mutant then launches himself out of the cave mouth, past Kate and lands through the trees, also entering the forest below. Kate then looks determined and comes down the slope, herself. In the forest, Drake is seen getting up from the ground. His blade-form deactivating. He then holds his head, his hood now down. Some rustling noises are then heard coming from the trees and bushes. Drake looks around, readying himself. He walks forwards, moving further into the forest as the rustling seems to stop. The area around is silent with only Drake and the trees. The rustling noise then returns, coming from some bushes behind Drake. He turns around and looks at the bushes, approaching them carefully. The Mutant then leaps from the bushes and tackles Drake, slashing at his armor. Drake strikes the Mutant in the side repeatively but the Mutant remains resistant. The Mutant then leans upwards for a moment as if he slam down on Drake. Drake, using this time, raises his arms up and activates his form which has various ports open up on his arms. He then projects a frequency from the ports which throws the Mutant off of him and through the trees, knocking some over on the way. Drake then gets up and holds his chest, with a piece of the armor falling off, onto the ground. Drake, dismissing this, continues forwards through the forest. The view moving downwards to focus on the piece of armor. The scene then cuts to another part of the forest where Drake is seen firing another frequency blast at Ryder's Mutant form who evades the blast that explodes a tree. The Mutant drops from a tree and grabs a log. He then throws it at Drake who crosses his arms into an X-Shape, revealing the ports on the back of his arms. The scales on his back then break apart and fly over to the front of the arms, blocking the log but still pushing Drake back, abit. Drake then lowers his arms, the scales sticking to the ports. The Mutant then runs towards Drake, slashes at him with its claws but Drake blocks using the scales on his arms. He then releases another frequency blast, throwing Ryder away from him and onto the ground. Drake then concentrates a frequency beam onto the Mutant who covers its ears in pain. Drake holds his arms to keep it steady as he continues firing the frequency at him. The Mutant continues tossing and turning until it just stops. Drake then ends the frequency and lowers his arms, dropping to his knees. Both Drake and the Mutant are heard breathing heavily. Drake then manages to get up as the Mutant starts to transform back into Ryder. Kate then rushes in as Drake approaches Ryder.
Kate: Drake, wait.
Drake looks up at Kate as Ryder stirs awake slowly.
Kate: He only did the things he did because of Anton Reeves.
Drake: I know, Kate. He has something against him.
Kate: Yeah, Reeves killed his parents and now he's on some sort of path to stop him for good.
Drake: Then it's a good thing I stopped him first.
Kate: Are you even listening to me?
Drake: Kate, it doesn't matter what happened. What matters if he killed someone and he'll do it again. This is the type of person you don't let go.
Kate: Look, I get it. I don't support it as well. But you're always talking about justice, Drake. So ask yourself, who is going to give Ryder, his parents and everyone else Reeves' messed with the justice they deserve?
Drake continues looking at Kate then looks down at Ryder who is already trying to get up.
Ryder stops and turns to Drake. Drake helps Ryder up who looks at him, uneasy-like.
Drake: I don't trust you. But I trust her. She says we can help each other.
Drake: You know about Reeves, what his men are doing here, what's he after. We'll help you find him and stop him.
Ryder: I didn't hear the part where we kill him.
Drake: No killing.
Ryder: Then no deal.
Drake: I know how it feels to want to end someone's life. I faced a man who took everything from me but I didn't end him.
Ryder: Then you're weaker than I thought you were.
Drake: No. I'm stronger than you'll ever be.
Ryder: You want to lock him up? I tried. This man has deeper pockets than anyone I've ever known. He'll pay off anyone and get anything just to keep him out of prison. And then there are the ones you can't lock up. The monsters like us. People with powers popping up all over the country, robbing towns and hurting people. Why not kill them all?
Drake: Maybe you're right. If Reeves is like you say, and you won't stop until he's dead, then maybe you should do it.
Ryder: No. It doesn't work that way. You're the Vigilante. You may break legs and arms but you don't kill. Letting me to do will be on you and you won't let that happen. If you do, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Killing is crossing a line. Once you pass it, you never go back.
Drake: You can.
Ryder: Why are you helping me? I thought you don't trust me. That I'm just another murderer, a criminal.
Drake: I don't trust you. But that doesn't make you a criminal. If you were a criminal, you wouldn't try to do good for your family. The Mutants that I faced fought for themselves but not of all of them. Sometimes it's better help others than to look out for yourself. Question is, will you help us?
Ryder looks deeply at Drake then exhales.
Ryder: Fine. We'll do it... together. Reeves has business here in Wyoming. I tried questioning the people at the facility but things- got out of my control. They were moving machinary, equipment- junk like that.
Ryder moves a small device from his jacket.
Ryder: Something like this.
Drake takes the device and examines it.
Kate: If it was at the facility, John could probably track it back to Reeves.
Drake: Let's do it then.
The scene then cuts over to a mountainous hill surrounded by trees and land. It's already night with the stars coming out in the sky and the clouds clearing up.
At the top of the tower, there are various men grouped up together on one side, standing by a helicopter, while another group of men are seen approaching on the other side. Anton Reeves is seen standing by the men with the helicopter. A person in a military uniform is seen approaching him, with soldiers.
Anton Reeves: General Irons. What a pleasure.
General Irons: Cut the nonsense, Reeves. I didn't come all the way out here just to chit chat.
Anton Reeves: Straight to business then. Good, my type of guy.
General Irons: You do have the technology, don't you?
Anton Reeves: General, please. I'm always prepared. Your men on the other hand-
General Irons: What's that supposed to mean?
Anton Reeves: Well I heard you needed this technology to help one of your men out of recovery. I heard the Vigilante took good care of him.
General Irons: Where did you hear that?
Anton shrugs. The general then looks at him sternly and exhales.
General Irons: I'll be sure to make sure you hear as little as possible next time we do business.
Anton Reeves: Oh I'm sure. (smirks)
General Irons: Are we gonna do this or what?
Anton turns to the men behind him and nods. They remove a crate from the helicopter and reel it across the mountain top towards the General and his soldiers. Anton then raises his hand and the men stop reeling the crate. He walks over to it, followed by the General, and opens it, showing off various types of technology including small containers, metallic platings and the rest being indistinct.
Anton Reeves: Just your standard power cells, armor plating, enhanced targeting systems. With all this, your special problems won't be a problem anymore.
General Irons: Did you get the extra stuff I asked for also?
Anton Reeves: It was last minute, General. But I did get it for you. I thought you were in an offensive position, why ask for a cooling stabilizer and a-
General Irons: It's on a need to know basis, Reeves.
Anton Reeves: As your supplier, I feel as if I need to know.
General Irons: Maybe you shouldn't be our supplier anymore.
Anton Reeves: It's your call, General. I'm sure Murphy wouldn't be too keen on sharing his resources with you.
General Irons: You think you're so smart... (scoffs) Give him the weapons and pack up the tech, boys.
Some of the soldiers by the General's side move forwards, taking the crate and reeling it over to their side of the tower while the rest move another crate over to Reeves and his men.
Anton Reeves: Pleasure doing business with you, General.
General Irons: Since you're so noisy in my business, might I ask what you need weapons for? I mean, you are a business man, right?
Anton Reeves: True. I am a man of business but that business is in danger for likes I'm sure you're familiar with. And it needs protecting.
One of the soldiers is seen looking around the area when a crumbling noise is heard. The soldier looks down the side of the mountain and looks surprised.
Soldier: Sir, we've got company!
The soldier arms himself and prepares to fire but his foot is grabbed and he falls on the ground. He is then dragged off the side of the butte. The rest of the soldiers turn and ready themselves with her guns while Reeves' men back up slowly. Both the General and Reeves look at the side of the butte, with no sign of the soldier or anyone else. Yelling is then heard a short moment later which draws in the attention of everyone there. It is then seen that the soldiers are being thrown and hit around by two figures. One of the soldiers is knocked to the ground, dropping his gun which has its light activated. The light shines on the figures, showing them to be both the Vigilante and Ryder's Mutant Form, standing over the defeated soldiers.
General: It's the Vigilante and a Mutant!
Anton Reeves: I know that Mutant...
Drake: It's over, Reeves.
Anton Reeves: Over? I'm trying to help you, Vigilante. This is bigger than what you think.
Drake: I won't let you trick you again.
Anton Reeves: You listened to him? He's a murderer, a criminal! If you work with him, you're no better than the rest of the Mutant freaks.
Drake: The only thing that matters is bringing you to justice and ending this deal.
General Irons: Not unless we end you first.
The General whips out a pistol from his side and shoots are both Drake and Ryder. Ryder blocks the oncoming fire by crossing his arms over his face while Drake evades, hiding behind some rocks for cover.
Anton Reeves, turning to his men: Get the weapons on the copter!
Man: Yes, sir.
The men rush over to the crate and reel it into the helicopter. The General's gun then runs out of bullets and looks at the gun, surprised. Ryder's arms then heal from the scraps caused by the bullets and throws his arms out, roaring out at the General. He then leaps up and slams on top of him. Ryder growls then looks upwards as the sound of an engine is heard starting up. The helicopter blades are then seen rotating around as Reeves gets on board.
Reeves, on the helicopter, turning back to Ryder: Better luck next time.
The helicopter then starts to take off. Ryder then leaps up and grabs the bottom of the helicopter, clinging to it as it flies away. Drake looks up at the helicopter.
Ryder is then seen ripping out pieces of the helicopter with his mouth and claw, while still managing to cling to the bottom of it. Inside, the controls are seen blinking. The pilot looks down concerned.
Pilot: Sir, we won't make it much longer with that thing out there.
Reeves: Just focus on getting us out of here. (turning back) I'll handle this.
Reeves discards a small metallic device from his jacket with antennas and leans out the side of the helicopter. They aren't too high or far away from the top of Devils Tower. Ryder can be seen partly, hanging to the bottom of the copter. Reeves then activates the device by pressing his thumb against the central button which releases a high pitched frequency from the antennas. Ryder then shakes his head around, appearing to be affected by the frequency, and, shortly, lets go of the copter, falling down towards the top of the butte.
Reeves, grimly: So long, Mutant.
The scene then cuts to the surface of the tower with the General shooting at Drake with a reloaded gun. Drake blocks the bullets with his scale-form already activated. As the General continues shooting, he approaches Drake closer. Ryder then crashes along the surface of the butte, the impact creating a dust cloud all around. When the dust clears, Ryder is seen in Human form and emerges from a small indent, holding his head. Drake gets up slightly from the ground, his hood now lowered exposing his hair. A click sound is heard and Drake looks up, the barrel of the gun pointing right at him.
General Irons: I don't know why this took so long. All I needed to do was shoot you myself.
Ryder then sucker punches the General across the face, knocking him to the ground and knocking the gun out of his hands.
Ryder helps Drake up.
Ryder: Least I could do.
The General groans, drawing in both Drake and Ryder's attention.
Ryder: Reeves got away. What's your involvement with him? Talk!
General Irons: I ain't telling you kids anything. You have no idea what you're getting yourselves into.
Ryder: You better start giving us one before I throw you off the side of this rock.
General Irons: Alright, fine. Here's an idea: Run.
The General removes a detonator from his pocket and holds it in front of him.
General Irons: I knew this deal would go south when I heard Reeves' men were being killed off by some Mutant. So I planted explosives all over the mine shafts. Don't bother trying to reason with me, I already got what I wanted.
The General then presses the button and runs towards the crate. Meanwhile, somewhere in Devils tower, an explosive is seen beeping until it activates and explodes, causing the entire area to collapse in on itself. The structure then shakes, knocking both Drake and Ryder back. The General pushes the crate off the side of the butte and jumps off himself, just as an explosion comes into view.
Drake: We have to get out here.
Ryder: But he's getting away!
Drake: You won't be able to do justice by your family if you're dead yourself.
Ryder looks at Drake grimly then closes his eyes and sighs. He then opens them and nods.
Drake: Let's get out of here.
Drake and Ryder then run across the surface of the tower which is crumbling apart as more and more explosions go off. They then jump off the side as an explosion takes down the top surface and the entire structure crumbles down. Drake then spreads his arms out and creates a frequency around both him and Ryder as they fall off of the side of the butte. Drake's scales then form around the entire frequency, engulfing them in a spherical barrier. The barrier then crashes on the ground, breaking apart. Drake and Ryder are then seen lying on the ground, leaning up and getting up shortly afterwards. Drake's port-form then deactivates, making his arms and legs regular again.
Ryder: They both got away.
Drake: But the explosion-
Ryder: He planned the whole thing straight from the get-go. He was also probably was wearing a parachute and has a transport waiting for him at the bottom.
Drake: So that means-
Ryder: He's alive and he got what he needed.
Drake: What if you had the chance? To make sure he wasn't alive.
Ryder: Then I'd probably take it. I know what you said, Drake, but you can't change what happened to me. What it turned me into.
Drake: No, I can't. That's something you have to do.
Ryder: ...I'll think about it. In the mean time, I need to backtrack; get some new leads. Ryder is working some kind of angle and the sooner I find it, the sooner he can pay for what he did to me.
Drake: I guess I have to thank you. If you didn't show me how involved Reeves is, he would have had me completely.
Ryder: Well, that's what happens when take things from strangers. Speaking of that, the thumb drive-
Drake: You want it?
Ryder: More like need it. If Ryder gave you an index of files, it could probably help me find him quicker. But I know you're on a mission. That girl of yours doesn't just take answers, y'know. If this Owens is all you have then keep the drive and use it to find him. Be better than I ever could, Drake.
Drake looks at Ryder for a moment before Ryder turns and walks off. The scene then cuts over to the news van on a hill with the remaining of Devils Tower seen in the distance. The back doors then swing open as Drake, enters the van. Both Kate and John are seen sitting on the bench, turning to the doors as Drake enters.
Kate: What happened to Ryder?
Drake, taking off his goggles: He left. He needed to do some things for himself.
John: Well, I'm quite relieved actually. That guy kinda freaked me out.
Kate: Really? I thought it was kinda cute.
Drake and John both turn and look at Kate with a worrisome expression.
John: Point is, it's over.
Drake: No, it isn't. Reeves is still out there and this other person too, General Irons.
Kate: I haven't heard of him.
Drake: They got away too.
John: We still have new leads, Drake. It's not the end of the world, well- technically it is but-
Drake: I get the idea.
Kate: It is, however, the end of the year. This is the part where we make resolutions.
Kate: It's a tradition where we try to make a change for the better. But keep it to yourself or it won't come true.
Kate takes John's tablet and looks at the screen. On the screen, the time is seen being 11:59 48.
Kate: Alright, here we go. 10, 9, 8-
While Kate continues counting down, John removes a flare from a small bag. He pulls the cap off, which lights the flare up.
John: Hey, Drake. You think you can throw this up?
Drake nods and takes the flare in his hand.
Kate: 5, 4-
Drake goes outside the van and throws the flare up into the sky.
Kate: 1! Happy New Years!
The flare then explodes into the sky, creating a small firework-like effect. Drake is seen looking up at the effect from outside the van.
Inside the van, both Kate and John are seen looking through the front window of the van.
Kate: John, that looks great... But you did waste a perfectly good flare.
John: Hey, as long you're happy, it's worth it.
Kate glances at John who continues to look straight at the explosion in the distance. She then smiles and turns back to the window to watch, as well. The scene then shows the van on the hill as the flare's sparks start to fade into the dark sky of the night.
- Drake and the others meet Ryder
- Drake learns about Reeves' having a secret agenda
- Drake and the others celebrate the new year
- Devils Tower is partially destroyed
- Ryder damages Drake's suit
- Both Reeves and Irons get away with their merchandise
- Ryder (First Appearance)
- Stragglers (First Appearance)
- R-Corp Employees (First Appearance; One Deceased)
- Anton Reeves
- General Irons
- Ryder (Temporarily)
- Acidic Thorns (x2)
- Stone Slicer (x1)
- Sonar Scales (x2)
- When the Straggler says, "Secrets are set in Rapid City", it was a reference to the Ben 10 episode, Secrets, during which Ben faces off against Vilgax in Rapid City.
- Ryder makes his first appearance; a character created by Bat24.
- During production, this episode was labeled as "the crossover episode" by Bat24 as an indication of his character crossing over into the show.
- Anton Reeves' company is revealed to be R-Corp in this episode.