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Child Abuse

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Season 1, Episode 3
Air date 2/26/18
Written by Bat
Directed by Brandon
Episode Guide
Shape of You

Lost and not Found is the third episode of the series, Ryder.


The scene starts at outside of the Ryders Investigations apartment complex. It’s currently night.

Ryder Investigations
December 15, 22:48 EDT

A figure enters the view, approaching the building. Inside the complex, the lobby appears empty as a shadow enters from the now opening door. Steps are taken as feet as seen entering the building and approaching the stairs. The stairwell then shown, the shadow gaining height as the figure it belongs to progresses up the stairs. On a certain floor in particular, several doors leading to different apartments can be seen, with the final door at the end of the hallway having a sign on the door reading “Ryder Investigations”. The figure takes their first steps down the hall. Inside, Ryder can be seen seated at his desk. He has his feet up on the desk as he examines a skull that he is currently holding. Creaks from the hall are then heard, catching Ryder’s attention. Ryder takes his feet from the desk and looks towards the door. The figure can be seen approaching from behind the blurred glass. Ryder sets the skull down and slowly gets up from his chair. The figure now arrives at the door and stands there for a moment. Ryder watches the door carefully. The knob then starts to turn. Ryder readies himself. Then the door opens and a woman, looking to be in her mid-thirties walks in. She’s wearing a beige coat over a navy blue dress. Her hair is brown and her eyes are blue. Ryder then loosens up with a short sigh of relief.

Ryder: Hello, welcome to Ryder Investigations.

Woman: You should really lock your doors…

Ryder: Yeah, I’ve been giving it some thought actually. What can I do for you?

Woman: Hi, I see you have an investigator business.

Ryder: Hello, um- yeah we do.

Woman: Look, I need your help. Something has happened to my daughter. Please sir… help me find her.

Title Sequence

Ryder looks away, and glances back at her thoughtfully.

Ryder: Can you tell me more about your daughter?

Woman: She was only eight when she was taken. She’s a good girl! She goes to school, she likes drawing in her spare time. And despite everything she’s been through, she doesn’t complain or have tantrums like the other kids at her school. I’m just- I’m worried I’ll never see her again.

Ryder: How long ago was it since she was taken?

Woman: It’s been five months.

Ryder: Five months, huh? Have you gone to the police?

Woman: Of course, I did! They looked around but what do you think happened? They take a look around Manhattan and call it a day after a few weeks. Please, I need someone with your type of expertise to help bring her home again. I can’t stand another day without her. Ryder sighs as he looks at her.

Ryder: You do realize that as a private investigator, in order to solve a case, I’ll need to examine several pieces of evidence and use up a good sum of resources and information sources in order to even try to find the first clue towards finding her. Missing persons cases aren’t always easy. If I take this case- I need you to know that there might not be a happy ending.

Woman: And if you don’t, there never will be. At least there’s a chance to see my baby girl again with you.

Ryder: Fair enough… Alright, Miss-

Woman: Jones. Madison Jones.

Ryder: Alright, Miss Jones, I’ll accept the case. (gives a humble smirk)

The scene cuts over to another apartment building in the city.

Kelly’s Apartment
December 16, 08:24 EDT

Kelly, voice over: So then what happened?

Ryder, now seen seated on a chair in Kelly’s sitting room, looks outwards while Kelly shuffles around her home in a hurry.

Ryder: I said yes. Yes, I’ll take the case.

Kelly: Hey, that’s a good thing to do, Ryder.

Ryder: Despite the chance of me not finding her. It happened before, Kelly. Having someone come to me for help, pay me to find someone they lost and nothing comes up. No one… comes up.

Kelly stops and looks over at Ryder, as she puts on her brown leather jacket.

Kelly: Look, you can’t think that way. When you’re out there, you have to do your best and expect the best from it. Otherwise, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. It’s like my dad always told me: You can succeed, if you don’t try.

Ryder, looks at her: You don’t talk about your dad a lot.

Kelly: Yeah, well, don’t expect it a lot.

She hurries over and grabs her keys from her key basket. Ryder now paying attention, notices something about Kelly.

Ryder: What’s the rush?

Kelly: I’m late for a meeting.

Ryder: I thought you were on sick leave.

Kelly: I am, I’m meeting my friend, Chloe at the court.

Ryder: Kinda hard to believe we have courts these days.

Kelly: This is a city- we might not need one out there (points) but there’s gotta be some order in here.

Ryder: Well, when you put it like that…

He notices her rushing again.

Ryder: Look, I still need to go over the rest of the case with you.

Kelly: I know I said I’ll help you out but I’ve got other responsibilities, man. We can go over it later. Do you think you can handle it until I’m done?

Ryder: Yeah, I guess so. Maybe I can call in my informant.

Kelly stops and looks at him.

Kelly: What? Why?

Ryder: Well, he’s worked with me before plus his database could help pinpoint a location or some more evidence we might need to find one. In fact, maybe he can work with the two of us on this case.

Kelly: I think that’s a terrible idea, Ryder.

Ryder: Why?

Kelly: I’m not sure this informant of yours is even legal. I’m a police officer, I am obligated to my duties and to the law. Plus, I don’t want to be the one to drag your friend there and then be the bad guy everytime you look at me.

Ryder: I don’t think that’s even physically possible. Well, aside from that last time with the Maxill guy but- (clears throat) Point is, you’re great and he’s good at what he does. Trust me, this will work.

Kelly: (sighs) You sure?

Ryder: 90 percent sure.

Kelly: That’s reassuring. Alright, alright. I’ll give him a chance. Now can I go to my meeting?

Ryder: Yes, you’re excused. (laughs)

Kelly: I’ll see you later. There’s a coffee shop nearby, I’ll text you the address.

Kelly then leaves the apartment, leaving Ryder by himself. He then sighs as he looks around. He then reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone. After punching in a number, he puts the phone to his face.

Ryder: Yo Raggy, we gotta talk.

Raggy, over the phone: I already don’t like the sound of this.

The scene then cuts over to a court in the city. Several citizens can be seen walking past it with a couple of cars driving by.

New York State Supreme Court
December 16, 09:14 EDT

The scene transitions to Jessica walking through a wide hallway, as she enters an office. While an African American woman with long black hair is shown talking on her phone with someone. She is wearing a purple dress, purple shoes that are in style.

Chloe: Listen sir, right now I’m very limited on what I can help you with. Can you leave your contact information with me?

Chloe looks at her phone, when a dial tone is heard.

Chloe: Hello? Sir? Uh- that’s the second one this week.

Kelly: Having problems?

Chloe looks up from her phone and sees Kelly standing before her, with her arms crossed and a smug smirk on her face.

Chloe: Kelly, you’re here!

Kelly: Hey girl!

Chloe: How was your day?

Kelly: It was the same old, police stuff. I work with my old friend... Ryder.

Chloe: Ooooh, a friend.

Kelly laughs

Kelly: Shut up.

Chloe laughs too as both of them exit the office and walk into the hallway. A woman, looking to be her in late 50’s, is seen crying loudly, while a man, around the same age, begins comforting her as they both walk past Kelly and Chloe.

Kelly: What happened?

Chloe: Her son was sent to prison for life. That was their only child. I had the honor of trying to defend him but it’s hard for the people of the court to see past what’s presented and acknowledge what’s being explained. It was a simple wrong place, wrong time thing. Guy was found all slashed up, the kid had no prior arrests but didn’t get along well with others and had several reports of aggressive behavior at the learning facilities. They just put two and two together and called it a day.

Kelly: That’s rough.

Chloe: Yeah. I suppose they came back for some good news. There’s not a lot of that in this world anymore… So, what’d you want to talk about?

Kelly: There’s this case that me and my friend Ryder are working together on. So, a woman came to us about her daughter.

Chloe: What about her?

Kelly: Her daughter has been missing for five months.

Chloe: What did you say that her name was again?

Kelly: The little girl is named Krysten Jones. She’s about seven or eight years old.

Chloe: Wait… Krysten Jones? I have files from her parents separation.

Kelly: Wow, how convenient.

Chloe: What can I say? I get around as a lawyer. I might have to search for them for a bit but bare with me.

Kelly: Come on, Chloe, you know me. I’ve had to bear with you for the past couple of years.

Kelly and Chloe walk through the hall, approaching an office when a man steps out from the open doorway. He turns and is slightly startled upon seeing the two of them before him.

Man: Oh, uh- hi. (chuckles nervously)

The man is wearing a light yellow jacket over a black casual shirt. He’s also wearing jeans and white shoes. The man has hazel eyes and brown hair as well as a tall, broad figure.

Man: Sorry, I was just wrapping up. I hope you don’t mind.

Chloe: No, it’s completely fine, David.

David: Okay good. Thanks again for everything you’ve done for me. I can’t express how grateful I am.

Chloe, smiling: I appreciate it.

David smiles as well then his gaze shifts over to Kelly who stands there, looking a little out of place. Chloe turns her head to meet his gaze and notices.

Chloe: Oh! Kelly, this is David. David-

David: Allen. David Allen. (chuckles)

He reaches in for a handshake which Kelly pilotely accepts.

Kelly: Uh- pleasure to meet you, David Allen.

David: Yes, well- same to you, Miss-

Kelly: Kelly. Jessica Kelly.

The two of them share a laugh.

David: Sorry, I guess I’m just a little giddy- uh nervous. I’m not really an open kind of guy.

Kelly: Well, don’t let this conversation stop you. You seem pretty good at it so far.

David: Thanks. Heh, well I don’t want to talk up any of your time. Maybe, we can have another conversation some other time, Jessica Kelly.

Kelly: (scoffs) Yeah, I think I’d like that.

David: Chloe, again- thank you. I’ll see you next weekend, yes?

Chloe: Of course. Take care, David.

David smiles proudly and walks away. Kelly looks at him leave before turning back to Kelly.

Kelly: Who was that?

Chloe: A client and nothing more.

Kelly: Oh really?

Chloe: Don’t “Oh really” me, girl. I saw those looks you gave him.

Kelly, blushing: Wha- me? No! No, no, no. I- I can’t, at least I don’t think I can after, well- you know.

Chloe sighs then looks around at the practically empty hall. She then places her hand on Kelly’s shoulder and guides her inside of her office. Chloe’s office is pretty basic. There’s a wooden desk, some bookshelves, a green rug and two chairs before the desk. Chloe closes the door behind them and walks ahead, approaching her desk.

Chloe: Look, you probably don’t want to hear this but that guy was an asshole and wasn’t any good for you.

Kelly: How can you say that? He was my partner, Chloe.

Chloe: On the force but not in your life. I’m just being real with you. Even if you had a thing for him, maybe it’s time to let go and start exploring other options.

Kelly: You know I don’t explore. I’m a by-the-book kind of gal.

Chloe: Then follow the protocol on dating guys already. You can’t just date everyone who's a cop.

Kelly: (sigh) If I say I’ll think about it, will you shut up about me dating people?

Chloe: Maybe..

Kelly: That’s not good enough, Chloe.

Chloe: Well neither is a “I’ll think about it”.

Kelly: Alright, I’ll go date some guys if that’ll make you happy.

Chloe: You being happy is what makes me happy. Anyways, here’s what I have on the details for Krysten Jones. I handled the custody case a while back.

Kelly: Custody case? You mean-

Chloe: Yeah, her parents split up about six months ago.

Kelly: A month before she went missing.

Chloe hands Kelly a folder filled with files. She accepts it.

Chloe: This is everything on public record. Obviously I can’t get into it anymore than I already did because of the client privileges.

Kelly: I understand. Thanks for helping a friend out.

Chloe: Just be sure to hook me up with a coffee when we actually decide to hang out instead of meet up to exchange info.

Kelly: I swear that’s what I planned on doing in the first place. Buy a cup right now?

Chloe: I’ve actually got a case to prepare for but maybe next time. Oh and if you ever want David’s contact information, I could try and arrange that as well.

Kelly: Chloe!

Chloe: What, I’m serious.

Kelly, smiling but clearly embarrassed: Gosh, I can’t believe you.

Chloe laughs as Kelly leaves her office. The scene cuts over to a coffee shop in the city.

Java Express
December 16, 11:31 EDT

Inside, there are several wooden chairs and tables with a small counter and a color scheme that can really be described as lively; with its varying colors of lime green and sky blue. Ryder looks around the establishment, squinting slightly with a mixed expression between confusion and dismay. Raggy, seated across from him, sips on his cup of coffee, paying attention to nothing else.

Raggy, finishing his sip: Ah! Now that is a good cup of coffee.

Raggy looks over at Ryder and sees him looking around.

Raggy: Man, would you just chill out? Or did you already have a few cups before I got here?

Ryder: I’m not on edge, Rags. Just- wondering what’s taking so long.

Raggy: I think I know what this is about. You’re worried this whole working together shtick isn’t gonna work. Look, I’m no stranger to people who follow protocols. Besides, the way you described her, she seems nice.

Ryder, looks over Raggy: Are you sure that’s not tea? Because you’re being way too cool about this.

Raggy: Why wouldn’t I be?

Ryder: You’re not exactly a legal source.

Raggy: Yet I’m still reliable.

Ryder: I’m worried that you’ll say something wrong and she’ll end up arresting you. That’s the last thing I need right now.

Raggy: I assure you I won’t get arrested. This is going to work, Ryder. And we’re going to get that kid back.

Ryder: ...Let’s hope so.

A bell is then heard, catching Ryder’s attention as his eyes shift over to the door. Kelly is then seen entering, looking around.

Ryder: Alright, she’s here. Act natural.

Raggy: Seriously?

Ryder: Yeah, who am I kidding, eh?

Raggy is about to say something but Ryder stands up from his chair and waves down Kelly. She notices him and waves before walking on over.

Kelly: Hey, sorry I’m late- I had to run to the precinct to grab some files on similar cold cases. Maybe there’s something there that can help.

Raggy: A bit old fashioned but if it helps, it’ll be worth the paper cut.

Kelly: Oh gosh, I’m sorry. Where are my manners? I’m Jessica- Jessica Kelly. But everyone seems to just call me Kelly for some reason.

Ryder: It suits you, Jess.

Raggy gets up and shakes her hand.

Raggy: People call me Raggy. I guess you can say it suits me too.

Kelly: Well, since you’ve brought it up-

Ryder: Coffee? (holds out a cup)

Kelly turns her head and looks down at Ryder.

Kelly: Huh? Oh- thanks.

She takes it in her hands and looks out.

Kelly: What was I saying again?

Ryder: The files.

Kelly: Oh right- Yeah, so I thought these might help with the case.

Raggy looks confused at Ryder who just gives a soft smirk before returning his attention to Kelly.

Kelly: What do you think?

Ryder looks over the case files.

Ryder: It’s a start but we’re gonna need more to go off on.

Kelly: Right, what else did she tell you about what happened?

Ryder: Nothing much. The girl was supposed to be at school at the time when she was supposedly taken and, because of the custody issues, the father was supposed to be the one picking her up.

Raggy: Let me guess, he didn’t show.

Ryder: (nods) Looks like we’ve got our first lead.

The scene cuts over to a small house surrounded by a fence. The yard does not appear to be well-taken care of. There’s also a white pick-up truck in the driveway.

December 16, 12:47 EDT

The three of them step into the view, looking out at the home in the short distance.

Ryder: This the place?

Kelly: Yup. Home belongs to a Mr. Henry Jones, age 47- listed as retired.

Ryder: Sounds like the father.

Raggy, checking his mobile device: He also lives by himself at the moment, he claims he’s retired but he actually quit his job a few months back. Scratch that- his several different jobs at various shipping companies.

Kelly: You’re going through his personal files?

Raggy: How else am I going to get anything useful on this guy?

Kelly gives him a look but Ryder intervenes before tension stirs between them.

Ryder: Let’s just start with asking the guy some questions, alright?

Raggy: Yeah… sure.

Kelly gives Raggy a look as both he and Ryder walk ahead and approach the front door. Kelly approaches from behind. Ryder knocks on the front door. A short moment passes before the curtains rustle. Ryder glances over at Kelly who crosses her arms, an unsure expression on her face. Ryder reads it but, before he can come up with a response, the door opens. Catching his attention, Ryder turns to face the man, now standing in the doorway.

Man: Who the hell are you?

Ryder: Name’s Ryder. I’m a private investigator from the city. You mind if I ask you some questions?

Man: Is this about the girl?

Ryder: Are you Henry Jones?

Man: Yeah… that’s me. Look, I already told the police everything about what happened. I have nothing left to tell them.

Ryder: Good, because we’re not the police. Well, she is but she’s here because she’s assisting me with the investigation.

Henry Jones: (sigh) Alright so I was supposed to pick up the girl from school but something came up at work. I’m not exactly a stable man, job-wise that is.

Raggy: Really?

Henry Jones: Anyways, I don’t know what I can do to help but if the police didn’t find anything then I’m not sure what you can.

Ryder: You’d be surprised. Are you sure there isn’t anything else you want to tell us?

Henry Jones: Well, since you asked. If you really want to chase after someone, it could be my in-laws.

Ryder, confused: Your ex-wife’s parents?

Henry Jones: Yeah, that’s what in-laws means, doesn’t it?

Ryder: Don’t try being smart with me, it never works. (break) Why would you think they’re involved in this? There’s no evidence to indict that they are.

Henry Jones: I bet there’s no evidence to indict that they didn’t do it. Mabel Schultz and her husband have tried their hand at taking my kid from me and my wife for years. That kind of harassment and torment is what drew us apart. I had nothing but that girl and now- (sigh)

Ryder looks him over.

Ryder: We’ll uh- look into it. Thanks for the information.

Henry Jones: Just do what you have to do.

Henry steps back into his home, shutting the door behind him. Ryder turns to Raggy then Kelly as he approaches her.

Kelly: So, now what?

Ryder: I think it’s safe to say that our next lead is over at the in-laws’ house.

Kelly: What, just because he said so?

Ryder: Look, we don’t exactly have a lot of evidence to go off of. A girl vanishes. No witnesses, nothing left behind. If we have just a single lead, then we have to follow it.

Kelly: So what happens when we get to the end?

Raggy: We hope that girl is there, safe and sound.

Kelly looks at Raggy then looks down towards the ground.

The scene cuts over to another home, later in the day. The house is much bigger than Henry’s, with a white picket fence surrounding the yard. There’s a newly painted mailbox, long driveway complete with a garage, and a well kept garden and lawn. The police cruiser pulls up in front of the home before the engine cuts off.

The Schultz Residence
December 16, 14:27 EDT

Inside the cruiser, Kelly is seen seated in the driver’s seat, looking out from her window at the home, while Ryder is seated in the passenger seat, looking out from the same window.

Kelly: This is it.

Ryder: ...Alright, let’s go.

Ryder prepares to get out of the car when Kelly turns her head, looking at the dashboard.

Kelly: Ryder.

Ryder stops where he is and turns to look back at Kelly, who is still looking ahead of her.

Ryder: ...Yeah?

Kelly: I- I just don’t know if I can get used to something like this.

Ryder: What? We’re just searching for some evidence, Kelly. That can’t be too different from what you do as a cop.

Kelly: No, I guess not but- I don’t know. It doesn’t feel the same, you know? Maybe that’s just me but what if these people didn’t take her?

Ryder: I know it looks like they might just be some decent people but they might not be. This world isn’t how it used to be, Kelly. Not like we remember it. And that- changes people. So yeah, maybe this is a waste of time, maybe we don’t find anything with these people but- what if we do? What if they’re involved?

Kelly remains silent for a moment as she thinks to herself. Ryder lets out a sigh as he looks away for a few seconds before turning back to Kelly.

Ryder: Look, it’s just a few questions and maybe a look around and that’s it. Hopefully we’ll get some new leads. Anything to help us find this girl, right?

Kelly: Yeah… Yes, of course.

Ryder: Good. Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.

Kelly smiles slightly as Ryder gives her a reassuring hand on her shoulder. Raggy clears his throat from the back of the cruiser.

Raggy: You guys done yet? I can pretend I’m not here if that’s what you’d prefer.

Kelly: Wait, what?

Ryder: Come on, man…

Raggy: Kidding! Kidding! (sigh) Hey, how come I have to sit back here instead of him? Is it because I’m-

Kelly: A guy I just met? Yes.

Raggy: Point taken.

Kelly: Besides, I trust Ryder. You- not so much.

Kelly gets out of the car, leaving Raggy and Ryder in the cruiser together.

Raggy, turning to Ryder: I don’t think she likes me.

Ryder: Let’s just go…

Ryder also gets out of the cruiser. The scene cuts to the front of the home with Kelly knocking on the door this time. They wait there for a brief moment before the door opens. An elderly woman stands in the open doorway.

Elderly Woman: Yes, can I help you?

Kelly: Are you Mrs. Schultz?

Elderly Woman: Yes and who, may I ask, is asking?

Kelly: I’m Officer Jessica Kelly, this is my associate and close friend, Ryder. He’s an investigator from the city looking into a missing persons case.

Mabel Schultz: Oh my- how terrible. But what do I have to do with any of this?

Ryder: Ma’am, the missing person that we are looking into is your granddaughter, Krysten Jones.

Mabel Schultz: Oh… but I thought that case was closed several months ago?

Kelly: It was but this is currently a- well-

Ryder: We’re looking into it again. You mind if we ask you some questions?

Mabel Schultz, unsure: O- Of course. I’ve got nothing to hide.

Ryder: Good. When was the last time you saw your daughter and her kid?

Mabel Schultz: Madison? Why, I- I haven’t spoken to her in such a long time. Not since the child went missing, I believe. As for the girl herself, well, seeing her was… difficult.

Kelly: Difficult? Why do you say that?

Mabel Schultz: They wouldn’t allow her to be seen. We tried to visit, me and my husband, but every time we did, they would hide her from us. We just wanted to make sure she was okay, is all. Oh… then we see went missing, it’s as if we were to blame. Always us but never them.

Ryder: Them?

Mrs. Schultz looks around before looking back at Ryder and Kelly.

Mabel Schultz: My daughter and her husband. I’ve been a parent so I know there are just some things you shouldn’t do when it comes to raising a kid.

Ryder: What are you trying to say, Mrs. Schultz? You think your own daughter is responsible for her kid getting taken?

Mabel Schultz: Don’t be ridiculous. I’m just saying- do we know she was taken?

Kelly: You think she ran away?

Mabel Schultz: Happens all the time. Heck, some poor kids even make it past the barriers they’ve set up. Does anyone really expect anyone to survive out there?

Ryder: We have to consider that she’s still in the city, now is there anything else you can tell us?

Mabel Schultz: No, now I’ve think I’ve had enough of your questions.

Kelly: Yes, we understand, Mrs. Schultz. Thank you for-

Raggy: What about your husband?

Mabel Schultz: Excuse me?

Raggy: You mentioned your husband earlier, besides I’m pretty sure he was the one that attempted to file for your granddaughter to be transferred to your custody several times.

Mabel Schultz: How do you know about that?

Raggy: Information is something of a speciality of mine.

Mabel Schultz: I don’t know what you expect to get out of us but don’t think you’ll get it anytime soon. Now, if you don’t mind, it’s getting late. You should probably go back to the city or wherever it is you came from.

She backs into her home and slams the door in front of them.

Ryder: That could’ve gone better.

Kelly, to Raggy: Did you just threaten her?!

Raggy: What? No, I subtly told her some information that might get her to reveal something important. It’s a classic technique in this line of business.

Kelly: Oh Really? Because from my point of view, it looked like blackmail.

Ryder: Can we just focus on the current situation?

Kelly: (sigh) Well, it doesn’t seem like we’re getting anywhere. They clearly think Madison and Henry are responsible, maybe we should return there.

Raggy: I think we got all we need. She’s clearly hiding something especially with the facts out in the open like that. I say we keep digging. They’re bound to crack and give us something to work with.

Kelly: They’re an elderly couple, Raggy.

Raggy: And you’re a cop. You need to start thinking like one.

Kelly: Excuse me?

Raggy: You’re supposed to be trained to deal with dangerous situations. To see everyone as a suspect and a possible threat. To assume the worst in people and prepare to deal with them when the time comes. Sometimes the people that seem the most trustworthy don’t turn out to be. Trust me, I know from experience…

Kelly: Don’t doubt my ability as a police officer, okay. I’ve done good work for this city.

Raggy: I’m sure you have.

Kelly: Hey, if you have something to say-

Raggy: What do you have to say to me?

Kelly: Oh, please… I don’t know why you’re even here.

Raggy: Obviously, I’m helping with this case for Ryder.

Kelly: Well, I don’t know why he chose you to help in the first place! You’re inconsiderate and you don’t follow a code, why would anyone want to work with you?!

Ryder: Jess! We don’t have time for that right now.

Raggy: Oh, yes we do.

Ryder: Rag, man just please let it go.

Raggy: You may be Ryder’s friend and all, but I’ve been working with Ryder a hell of a lot longer than you ever have. So, next time check your information first before you start some bullcrap argument with me.

Kelly: Ryder, tell him that’s not true. You know what we’ve been through together.

Raggy: That’s nothing compared to what we’ve done. Tell her, man.

Ryder: I-I need… I need some air.

Ryder storms off, leaving the two in front of the Schultz residence.

Raggy: Ryder, wait!

Raggy turns and looks at Kelly, glaring at her. He sighs and then shakes his head. The scene cuts to Ryder, finding himself in an open area with a view of the city in the distance. He begins to sigh and paces back in forth and stops.

Ryder sits down on the curb. He puts hands on his head, looking at the night sky as he sighs. The scene then starts to fade into a flashback as one of the nearby houses transitions to a very similar looking home however on a different street. A teenage Ryder can be seen approach the home, holding the strap of his backpack in one hand and adjusting his music player in the other.

Ryder’s Home
Nine Years Ago

Ryder steps up the door, the lights from inside emit a soft glow from the windows, lighting the porch slightly. Ryder reaches for the door knob but stops as he hears a muffled yelling coming from inside the home. He then closes his eyes and leans his head against the door, itself, before letting out a long sigh. After a brief moment, he opens his eyes and grabs the door knob. The scene continues from inside the house now, showing the front door opening as the sound of two people arguing loudly with each other is now clear and not so distant. Ryder enters the home and closes the door behind him. Again, he stops and takes another sigh after being immersed in the loud voices more clearly. Afterwards, he forces himself forwards as he progresses deeper into the home. As he passes the stairs and living room, he enters the kitchen, which has a black and white checkered floor, pink walls and standard looking appliances. There’s also a man, graying short black hair and a woman, and a woman with short black hair with specks of gray.. They’re also arguing with each other, with their voices becoming as loud and clear as they can be.

Man: I’m telling you, it was important!

Woman: How important can it be?

Man: You already know this, why do we have to keep having this same talk?

Woman: Because I don’t think you understand just what you’re getting yourself into.

Man: What I do- it’s just not something you can wrap your head around. It’s complicated.

Woman: Well, is it complicated or important?

Man: It’s both!

The two of them then subside from their argument, as if to take a break or something. The man turns and notices Ryder grabbing an apple from the fruit basket in the middle of the table.

Man: Hi, son. Uh- didn’t hear you come in.

Ryder: Hey.

Ryder’s Father: Look, about the game. I just couldn’t make it tonight. I mean, between work and everything here, I just-

Ryder: I get it, okay, I get it. You’re always working and Mom hates what I want to do with my life.

Ryder’s Mother: Now, hang on one second, young man. Don’t come into this house and think you can make us feel sorry for you just because you want to throw your life away!

Ryder: This is just something I want to do, Mom!

Ryder’s Mother: So you want to throw your life away. You see, this is what we have to deal with!

Ryder: That’s not- You’re not listening to me. GAH!

Ryder takes his fruit with him as he storms out of the kitchen.

Ryder’s Mother: Ryder! RYDER! Ry- ugh!

She sighs in frustration as she pinches the bridge of her nose. She then lowers her arm and turns to her husband, who leans against the kitchen counter with his head lowered. The scene cuts to a bedroom. There’s a bed with messy sheets, several sports posters and pin-ups hung on the walls, a dresser with a couple of small toys on them and a red/orange/brown colored rug. Ryder enters the room, throwing his school bag into a corner. He takes the apple he took from the kitchen and takes a bite into it before dropping down onto his bed. He sighs then looks down at the apple in his hand. A tear then lands on the open bite area. Ryder, after noticing the tear, becomes surprised. He then touches his face and sees more tears now on his fingers. In what appears to be a panic, he throws the apple against the wall. The apple drops down against the floor, rolling across it until it rests against the rug. It’s juice spilling into the rug, being soaked by it, as the apple lies there with a dent against its side. Ryder is now seen on the bed, his head buried in his legs as the sound of muffled cries are heard.

Ryder: W-Why don’t you guys just stop fighting? Just for once! (sobs) ...just for once.

The view then pans to the left as it fades back to the present with Ryder seated on the ground, holding his legs as he looks out at the city in the distance. He sighs to himself, alone in the night. The scene returns to Kelly and Raggy, walking down the street.

Kelly: I honestly can’t believe you.

Raggy: What is there not to believe?

Kelly: How about everything? You think elderly people are your enemy, you have no problem going through any piece of information and using it as a weapon, and you wear Ryder like a badge of honor, like you don’t have anything else to you but this investigation stuff. I mean what is your deal? Seriously!

Raggy: ...You really what to know?

Kelly just gives him a long look.

Raggy: Ryder- he’s not just someone who comes to me for some intel, alright? He’s my friend, we go way back.

Kelly: Okay…

Raggy: I was in a pretty bad place before we met but he helped me out, showed me how to help people. But then things got harder for, well, both of us, I guess. I always see everyone as my enemy, I always saw everything as a weapon. I guess that started getting into my work at one point. But it’s not like you’re perfect just because I have flaws. You think the law is golden, that there’s nothing questionable about it, that protocol can help you in everything you do even outside of work and even when you are on the job, you’re too worried about being a good person that you don’t do the right things.

Kelly: Alright, so I do have my flaws. I never said I was perfect, okay? My dad was a cop but you probably already knew that, didn’t you?

Raggy: What can I say? I do my research on problems before getting too into them.

Kelly: Yeah, well, what you didn’t know was that he told me everything there is to know- not about the law, but about justice, about doing the right thing. So I thought joining law enforcement can make me a good person just like him, help people out who can’t help themselves. And I’ll admit I’m not the best cop in the city, in fact, I should probably sucking up my own personal problems and going out facing the city’s biggest problems head on like a true hero. But here I am, helping my old friend because he asked me. I might not be perfect but at least I know that being here, helping him, is the right thing to do.

Raggy: I guess it is…

Kelly: (sigh) What are we doing? Fighting each other? We’re his friends, we should be helping him, not fighting over him.

Raggy: It does sound kinda stupid now that you mention it. Ugh, I really let this get to my head.

Kelly: Hey, we let this get to our heads. We’re both in the wrong here, I’ll admit that, but now it’s time to get in the right and be by his side. He called us both to help him with this investigation so let’s do that, let’s save this girl.

Raggy: Hell yeah.

The two then shake hands. The scene cuts back to Ryder who remains seated by the ground. He continues looking out at the city when some rustling from the bushes catches his attention as he slowly turns his head to look. He then sees Kelly emerging from the bushes.

Ryder: (sighs) Kelly, look, I just- (turns back to the skyline) I just need some time to myself right now, I can’t choose any sides.

Kelly: Hey, it’s okay.

Raggy, emerging from the bushes as well: You won’t have to.

Ryder turns around completely, looking at the two of them.

Ryder: You two- You’re-

Kelly: We decided to put aside our differences.

Raggy: At least, just for this case.

Kelly: We know how much it means to you and how important it is that we find this little girl.

Raggy: So you’re gonna need both sources and both our help for this one.

Ryder: You did this for me?

Kelly: Of course, we’re your friends. Doesn’t matter if we don’t like each other or have our differences.

Raggy: The only thing that matters is being by your side, especially when you need it the most, man.

Ryder: Well uh- thanks. I appreciate it, you guys. Really. I mean I was just thinking that maybe this was probably a terrible idea but, y’know, I guess it wasn’t after all and yeah-

Kelly: You’re not too great at saying thank you.

Ryder gives her a look.

Raggy: So what’s the plan?

Ryder: We put our sources together and figure something out. So, what do we have so far?

Raggy: The grandparents were interested in taking custody over the daughter.

Kelly: But why?

Ryder: She mentioned something about the parents. Maybe she wasn’t being treated right?

Raggy checks his mobile device.

Raggy: Looks like her health records are pretty clean, she frequently visited a medical care facility outside of the city.

Kelly: So that rules out any possible abuse in the household.

Raggy: Wait a second. That medical facility, it’s out of this world expensive and covers plenty of different types of treatments. Radiation scans, muscle treatment, treatment for diseases I haven’t even heard of.

Kelly: Why would she need that much medical attention if her health record is clean?

Ryder: I don’t know but I assume that’s what Mrs. Schultz meant about the family keeping something from them about the girl. Finding out what it is might just lead us towards finding her.

Kelly: You really think so?

Ryder: It’s like you said, Kelly, I can’t afford to think of anything else. Raggy?

Kelly smiles slightly in acknowledgement as Raggy responds to Ryder’s request.

Raggy: I’m already trying to breach through their firewalls. Data encryption like this is going to take some time.

Ryder: Alright, let’s regroup tomorrow and maybe then we’ll finally have something to close this case.

The scene transitions to Ryder Investigations where Ryder is seen laying against his couch, drinking from a cup. Kelly can be seen laying her back against the side of the couch as she sits on the floor, sipping from her cup.

Kelly: Anything yet?

Ryder: Nothing. (sigh) How long does it take to crack data anyhow?

Kelly: The boys back at the station take hours- sometimes even days.

Ryder: Not really helping, Kelly. (sips)

Kelly gives him a sharp glance before turning slowly to her cup and taking a long and loud sip. Just then there’s a ring. Ryder shuffles off from the couch, dropping to the floor to Kelly’s surprise. The coffee from the cup splashes onto the rug, being soaked into its fabrics. Ryder notices but focuses on getting up from the floor and moving to the desk where a black -with red paint worn off- rotary telephone is seen ringing.

Ryder, answering the phone: Yeah? ...Alright, sure. We’ll meet up there, thanks for the heads up.

Ryder hangs up the phone and turns to Kelly who is still leaning against the couch on the floor, sipping her coffee.

Kelly, after her sip: Who was it?

Ryder: Raggy. He says the data pulled through.

Kelly: And? What’d he find out?

Ryder: Krysten didn’t have a medical disorder that needed to be treated, she was purposely misdiagnosed by her doctors. That’s why her medical record didn’t have any dirt on it.

Kelly: But why would the doctors do that? Did it have something to do with her parents?

Ryder: It had almost everything to do with her parents. They paid the doctors to do it in order to hide the fact that she apparently has certain genetic enhancements.

Kelly: You mean she’s-

Ryder: Yeah. She’s a Mutant.

Kelly: So were the treatments supposed to get rid of her powers?

Ryder: I don’t know. Raggy didn’t tell me that much. He said he’ll let us know the rest at the coffee shop.

Kelly: More coffee? I’m sure there’s a line somewhere when it comes to back to back cups.

Ryder: We’re investigators, we push past lines. Especially if it involves coffee. Besides, I need a new one anyways. Come on.

Ryder grabs his coat which was laying on the arm of the couch and puts it on as she heads out of the office. Kelly sighs before taking another sip from her cup. The scene then cuts over to the coffee shop once again.

Java Express
December 17, 10:37 EDT

Inside the shop, Raggy is seen seated, examining his mobile device when the sound of the door opening catches his attention. He looks up and sees both Ryder and Kelly enter the establishment. Ryder, almost immediately, notices him and starts making his way over. Kelly, noticing Ryder first then Raggy, follows behind.

Ryder, taking a seat across from Raggy: So, what do you have? We need to know more about her abilities.

Raggy: That’s just the thing. She doesn’t have any abilities.

Kelly: But I thought you said she was a Mutant. Don’t all Mutants have abilities?

Raggy glances over at Ryder who notices before looking away to Kelly.

Ryder: I’ve been around and picked up a few things while doing this job and sometimes there are just some mutations that aren’t well- normal. There’s a good chance that she might have a power that can’t be used externally.

Raggy: You’re not too far off actually. She’s capable of generating a significant amount of power, like an energy or something. The file wasn’t too clear about it but apparently it’s so not only powerful but incredibly valuable.

Kelly: Valuable? What makes you say that?

Ryder: She doesn’t shit gold, does she?

Raggy: What? No- but this power inside her is a scientific wonder. There are enhanced nutrients and proteins and elements I haven’t even heard of. If this got out, they’d Area 51 the shit out of her.

Kelly: Hm… Is it possible that someone else knew about this or that the file leaked onto the web? Something like that could definitely make her a target for kidnapping.

Raggy: Impossible. I mean sure the file could be hacked and exploited but the chances of someone hacking a little girl’s medical records are at an all-time low and I didn’t notice any activity on the file since it was logged.

Ryder: Which means the only people that know about this are her family.

Raggy: What about the Schultz’s?

Kelly: Krysten’s parents were keeping this from them, they had no idea she was a Mutant.

Ryder: That only leaves one other person.

Kelly: Henry Jones…

Ryder: Raggy, you think you can search up anything on Mr. Jones that might prove me right?

Raggy: I’ll give it a gander.

Kelly: You really think he would do something to his own kid?

Ryder: Think about it, Kelly. Madison came to me to help find her child after the police found nothing. When we went to talk to Henry, he shifted the focus over the in-laws and, now we know, they weren’t even involved with the kid.

Raggy: I think I found something. Lemme know what you think.

Ryder, looking over: What is it?

Raggy: Bills. Not only did Henry have to cover the costs for the medical facility but the divorce pretty much took most of his assets, not to mention child care. He also had other financial problems to deal with even before they knew about her abilities; tabs at bars, overdue loans, gambling at underground clubs. Henry Jones is in serious debt.

Kelly: It all checks out.

Ryder steps up from the table, obviously upset.

Ryder: Come on.

Kelly, getting up: Where are we going?

Ryder: We’re going to ask Henry a few more fucking questions.

Ryder steps forwards, adjusting his coat collar, as he steps in front of the view, blocking it. The scene then transitions from the darkness to Henry’s home in the Bronx, it is later in the day.

Henry Jones’ Home
December 17, 13:22 EDT

The police cruiser pulls up to the home, parking across the street this time. Ryder and Kelly step out of the cruiser and approach the home. The scene skips to Ryder knocking on the front door, hard slams as opposed to casual knocks.

Henry Jones, from behind the door, muffled: I’m coming! I’m coming!

Ryder continues slamming his fist against the door; it nearly looks like he’s punching it. A few seconds pass and the door finally swings open with Henry standing in the doorway.

Henry Jones: What are you two doing here? I thought I said I didn’t have anything else to tell you.

Ryder: You sure about that, Henry? I’m not the kind to mess around with.

Henry Jones: You have no right to speak to me that way. You don’t need anything else from me!

Ryder: Really? Then why don’t you just come clean and tell what really happened to your daughter then?

Henry Jones: ...I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Kelly: You really want us to come back with a warrant? Maybe even take you down to the station right now?

Henry Jones: Oh yeah, and what? You won’t find anything in the house and I won’t say anything downtown. So why don’t you both do yourself a favor and save yourself some time and fuck off already!

Kelly: Sir, I’m warning you. I’m-

Ryder: Screw this.

Ryder grabs the man and slams him against the wall. He yells out in surprise and fear, with a slight sense of pain with Ryder twisting his arm against his back now. He holds it down, gritting at his teeth. Kelly takes a step back, obviously taken by surprise by Ryder’s actions.

Kelly: Ryder, what are you-

Ryder: I’ve got this, Kelly! (to Henry) Now she’s a cop, she’s trying to help you out here. Me? I’m a private investigator, I’ve dealt with worse things than you can possibly imagine. I’ve seen things that’ll keep you up at night, I’ve done things that’ll make you piss yourself thoroughly, and went through hell and back just to solve most of my cases. So you really want to take a chance with me? Especially with what I know against you? Is that something you really want to do right now?!

Kelly: Ryder!

Ryder persists with the man now breaking under all the pressure.

Henry Jones: Okay! Okay! I sold her, is that what you want to hear?!

Ryder then lets him go after throwing him off of the wall. Henry holds his arm, he looks beat and exhausted.

Ryder: Start talking.

Henry Jones: I assume you know about her condition.

Kelly: We do.

Henry Jones: Yeah… I figured.

Ryder: I said: Start. Talking.

Henry sighs in a tone of defeat as he looks down.

Henry Jones: I was a mess really, I had hoped that raising Krysten would bring some light into our lives but after we discovered her mutation, well, things just got worse from there. Madison suggested treatments and such, so that she can have a normal life but the costs were always too high. I had enough payments to deal with already. So we fought about her, constantly, she was always the source of all my pain… So, of course, Mabel and Marcus had to stick their noses in our business. They figured it was an unsafe environment for her and tried to claim custody of her. Between all that fuss, I guess Madison couldn’t take it anymore.

Kelly: So you two divorced over Krysten.

Henry Jones: (nods) I still had the right to see her, in fact, I still had the responsibilities of taking care of her, taking her to school, paying for child care with money I didn’t have. She saw me as a loser. A guy who can’t even take care of his own kid. I needed the money desperately so when I asked around for treatments and such for her, I came across a group.

Ryder: What group?

Henry Jones: Like hell if I know. They said they were interested in what she was capable of, that they’d compensate me.

Kelly: So you just sold her? She was your daughter!

Henry Jones: You don’t understand. I needed that money.

Ryder: What? For yourself?

Henry Jones: For Madison! Money was the problem, but now that I had it I thought maybe she’d take me back. There’s still time, all I have to do is wait until she takes me back.

Kelly: I’m sure all she wants right now is to get her daughter back. No amount of money is going to justify what you did, Mr. Jones, but you can still do the right thing and tell us where these people took her.

Henry Jones: ...There was this one guy, big person. He said something about a steel mill not to far away from here is where they were going to conduct their business. I think they were trying to recruit me or something, I even have their contact information and all that in case I needed to do another deal. You can have it, I just- (coming to a realization) Oh man, what did I do?

He then starts crying, holding his face as tears push past his hands. Kelly looks up from the man at Ryder who gives her a cold stare before his expression warms up slightly and his eyes move away from her. Kelly then looks back down at Henry and removes a pair of cuffs from her back pocket. She places them on him without any acknowledgement from him, as it would seem.

Kelly: Henry Jones, you’re under arrest for aiding and abetting to the kidnapping for Krysten Jones.

Ryder pulls out his phone and punches in a number. He puts the phone to the side of his face when a voice comes on.

Raggy, over the phone: Yo, did you catch the guy?

Ryder: Yeah. Look, where’s the nearest steel mill? Something abandoned or owned under a false name.

Raggy, over the phone: Alright, I’m not even going to ask.

The sound of typing is heard of the phone.

Raggy, over the phone: Hey, yeah, there’s one not too far away from you. I’ll send you the address.

Kelly: I’ve got to call this in. What is it?

Ryder: I know where Krysten is.

Kelly: Maybe we should wait for back-up.

Ryder: There’s no time to wait, Kelly. I’ll meet you at the steel mill!

Ryder runs off, leaving Kelly with Henry. She sighs to herself as she watches Ryder continue to run off down the street. The scene then cuts over to a steel mill; it looks mostly abandoned, however there are signs of activity as of late given the smoke emitting from the facility.

Bronx Steel Mill
December 17, 15:57 EDT

Ryder is then seen watching the facility from a distance on top of a steep slope. He notices some gunmen posted outside.

Ryder: Armed men… this must be the place. (grunt) Well, I’ve done it before- I can do it again. At any rate, I have to. There has to be a chance that girl is in there somewhere. She has to be. Otherwise...

A pounding pulse noise is then heard as Ryder grabs the side of his head, wincing. He turns back to where he was looking, his eyes now glowing slightly with a white glare as his iris’ shrink. He then regains control as his eyes shift back to normal. He then sighs, regaining focus on the steel mill in the short distance.

Ryder, determined: Otherwise, things might just get messy.

Ryder heads down the slope he was on and approaches the steel mill, carefully. The scene cuts to the entrance where the two armed gunmen are patrolling the area. Ryder sneaks inside discreetly while the gunmen look in opposite directions. Once inside, Ryder makes his way further into the steel mill, watching carefully in all directions. The walls are metallic and rusty with several columns built to support the place. There are some steel grate stairs leading up to platforms supported by a rusty railing. The platform are either short and over a certain area or expand across a good portion of the place, above all the work areas. There are also vats with steaming liquid metal boiling within, just hanging above via some more overhead machinery. Ryder then makes it to the more open spaced area of the facility. His eyes widen upon seeing something that catches him off guard. There are children chained to some old machinery with newer and more advanced technology being operated on them. Some of the children appear Human-enough while others are more unique and more visibly Mutant. There’s only one gunman operating these machines, most of them seem to be able to run automatically. The machines, themselves, appear to be draining elements from the bodies of the children; blood and what looks like concentrated nutrients run up tubes that are connected to the newer technology. The machines then sort out the fluids, as if blending them together with another element. The final result is then dumped into a tank, close to where a few trucks are parked. Ryder, shaking off the initial shock, then takes cover as the gunman moves from one child to another, securing the machines. Ryder watches from his cover and sees Krysten, shackled with the others, being drained from the machine. She looks much more pale and skinnier than from her picture.

Ryder, to himself, quietly: Krysten! She’s basically drained. What the hell are these guys doing to her?

He watches the gunman more carefully.

Ryder, to himself, quietly: I’ve got to do something.

The gunman is then seen moving from one child and approaches Krysten, who sits there with tubes attached to her back and arms. There’s a bowl of mashed up meat before her, completely untouched. The gunman notices this and grabs her from the neck. She whimpers in response.

Gunman: What is this? I thought I said I wanted that bowl emptied. The boss says we need more protein out of you so eat up!

Krysten: I- I can’t. I don’t want to.

Gunman: Just because we need you alive doesn’t mean I can’t make you eat this. Or maybe you’d prefer another injection.

Krysten: Please… (tears start roll down her cheeks) No…

Gunman: That’s what I thought.

He throws her over to the bowl. She watches it, tremblingly slightly, as she lays on her hands.

Gunman: Eat up… or prepare to get beat up, little girl.

A ‘thud’ noise is then heard as the gunman drops to his knees and falls over, his head landing on the meat bowl, causing its contents to knock over onto his face. Krysten turns her head and sees Ryder standing there, a wrench in his hands. He then slowly squats down before her. Scared, the girl budges back, leaning against the old machinery she’s shackled to.

Ryder: Hey, it’s okay. I’m going to get you out of here.

Krysten: ...Who are you?

Ryder: My name is Ryder. I’m- well, I was hired to find you by your mother.

Krysten: M-Mom?

Ryder: Yes, that’s right.

His eyes shift over to the tubes coming out of her back and arms as fluids seem to flow out of her body and get sucked into the machinery slowly. Krysten catches his glances.

Krysten: They took me and brought me here. Said I was special and had things they needed inside of me. That’s what the tubes are for, to get the special things out. But it hurts all the time and they scare us when we don’t do what they say.

Ryder: Do you know who these people are? What the things they want are going to be used for?

Krysten: I- I don’t really know. They’re bad people but it’s like they work for someone else. Someone bigger than them. They called the stuff they make the serum but I don’t know what they- (cough)

Ryder then comes to realize that she’s unwell, as his eyes shift from invested to alerted. He then goes and holds her from the shoulders gently.

Ryder: Don’t worry about it, we’ll deal with that later. Right now, let’s get you and the others out of here.

Ryder takes the wrench and slams it against a specific part of the chains, causing it to shatter in that spot. He then disconnects the tubing from her back and arms, seeing needles at the ends of them with the fluids they were collected dripping out from the point. Ryder tosses the tubes aside and looks Krysten over. There are small holes where the tubes had been and she appears weak but the disconnected had not caused any other possible consequences to her. Ryder then grabs the wrench from the floor and moves over to the next workstation. The next child is more Mutant in appearance than Krysten. He has blue/green fins at the side and top of his head, as well as his arms, with piercing teal eyes and gills on his neck. Aside from his Mutant features, the boy also appears drained, his ribs visible from the outside and his only clothes are unkept and ragged. He too, has tubes connected to his back and arms and is also shackled to the rusty machinery. The boy is alerted by Ryder’s presence and starts to back away from him but Krysten goes over to him and holds his hand.

Krysten: It’s okay, Jerome. He’s not one of the bad men. He’s here to help us.

Ryder listens to her words. That last part seemed to affect him in some way, as if it made him think about something. Whatever it was, it had quickly past as he regains focus of the current situation. The boy looks between Krysten and Ryder then decides to calm down and trust the two of them.

Jerome: Okay…

Ryder nods and lets the boy loose from his shackles and tubes, the same way he did to Krysten.

Jerome: How are we going to get out of here, mister? There are more bad men out there.

Ryder: We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Right now, we need to get you kids free of these machines before-

Voice, booming: YOU!

Ryder and the two kids look up and see a large man with a rounded belly. He has thick and short arms and legs as well as a small, bald head. There are tattoos covering his body from head to toe and he also has a black beard. The man is wearing a leotard bodysuit; it essentially looks like a pair of shorts with straps over his shoulders, leaving his torso, abdomen, arms and legs exposed. He looks at them from the platform above with a grimacing expression with contorts into one of boiling anger.

Man: I know you, boy…

Ryder’s shocked expression quickly shifts to one of repressed anger.

Ryder: Malin…

Malin: I thought I had crushed you long time ago, boy.

Ryder: That’s just what they wanted you to think.

Malin: I crushed you before I can do it again. Malin has gotten stronger since we last fought.

Krysten: Y-You know him?

Ryder looks at her with the same expression he had when talking with Malin, one with held back rage. He then saw her scared and helpless look and calmed down slightly.

Ryder: Yeah… We’ve met before. (soft grunt) (looks up at Malin) What are you doing here, Malin?

Malin: I not supposed to tell you. I supposed to destroy you.

Ryder: You can try after you tell me.

Malin: I need not try. I know I will.

Ryder: Then why not tell me anyways. Dead men can’t talk, Malin.

Malin: Forget it. I no fool, boy. When I destroy you this time, I will finish serum making here then job is done. I will have life Malin always wanted. I get business with writers guild to make stories about girl searching for place in world after losing her boyfriend to a dark, slender figure from her future.

Ryder: Wow. I have no words for that.

Malin: Malin is unexpected but not follow dreams because I like smashing things good. Once you gone, no more things to smash.

Ryder: So all of this is just another job, isn’t it? You never finished… Well, I’m going to finish it for you, you big ol’ brute.

Malin: You are weak, just like before.

Ryder: Say that to my face, tubby!

Malin: Tubby? Nobody calls Malin tubby! GRAAAHHH!

He jumps down from the platform and lands before the three of them; a gust of wind and dust pushes past them from the impact. The children become terrified and tremble ridiculously before the figure before them. Ryder stands his ground and watches as the large man slowly gets up from his squat or kneel. Ryder is slightly surprised but still manages to turn to Krysten.

Ryder: Help the other kids out and get somewhere safe. I’ll keep him distracted. Help should be here soon.

Krysten: But what about you?

Ryder, turning back to Malin: I have a score to settle.

The dust then clears and Malin appears before them, fully standing. His firm and stone cold expression soon changes into one of pure anger. His fat hands curl up into hard fists. Ryder readies himself. Then, in the spur of the moment, Malin swings his arm out at Ryder and tries to slam him downwards but Ryder quickly dodges the attack. Malin, however, doesn’t slow down and goes for another swing at Ryder who just barely misses it. He stumbles back on his feet this time. Once he manages to catch himself, he turns to see a fist flying right towards him. Ryder then soars back and crashes against a steel column before dropping down onto the floor a foot or two below him. He looks up from the floor, seeing Malin approach him slowly, cracking his knuckles. Ryder then pushes up from the ground using his hands but coughs up some blood which drips from his lower lip. He looks back at Malin who is closer this time around.

Malin: I said before, you weak like last time, boy. You not defeat Malin. Now I destroy you.

Ryder: Go ahead, you fat piece of shit.

Malin: You fight with words. I like that. It shows you not handle Malin’s fighting power. It shows you easy to crush. I take my time with you, boy. Then once serum done, I do same thing to kids.

Ryder: What?

Malin: Yes… Well, you die now.

Malin tightens his fists and charges right for Ryder. Ryder’s eyes then pierce with red. With his mouth open, his teeth can then be seen sharpening, becoming more pointed and fang-like. His head then starts to morph into a wolf-like shape while the rest of his body takes on a similar wolf-like fashion. His outfit begins to morph into a white and grey bodysuit and his legs become hind-legs which help him pounce up from the ground towards Malin. With the transformation finalizing, Ryder’s hands become paws with long claws extended out. His yells then translate into roars which echo through the steel mill. The wolf-like creature then takes Ryder’s place in mid-air as it continues launching towards Malin. Just as it is ready to slice at him, Malin extends his arms out, as if concentrating on something, and, in response, his skin hardens into a steel-like material. Ryder’s claws only scratch the surface of Malin, lessening the value of the attack completely. The Mutant then looks up at the steel-skinned man. It slashes at him for several more attacks which give the same result. The Mutant gives the large metallic man around look and then a growl before Malin smacks him away with a chuckle. The creature slides across the steel mill floor before tumbling into some crates. It stands on all fours and growls at Malin from the newly put distance. Malin’s steel skin then returns back to normal as he laughs, placing his hands on his belly.

Malin: There is no way to defeat Malin. I too strong for you, boy-beast. And after taking serum, Malin is more strong now. Get to smash hard more now.

The creature keeps snarling at him in a low tone, watching carefully. His ears then twitch up as a faint noise is heard. The focus on the ear increases as well as the sound, as if it is being honed in on. The faint noise becomes more clear, now heard as chains rattling against each other. The Mutant looks up and notices chains connected to a pulley system, holding up the vat. They’re dangling close to a platform overhead. The Mutant turns its attention back to Malin who continues approaching. The creature growls once more and dashes forwards, preparing for another attack. The Mutant slashes at Malin, who steels up once again. The slashes from his claws sparking up against the skin. Malin tries to grab him but the creature climbs up his torso, its nails scratching against his skin as he moves upwards, evading Malin’s grasp. It then flips up onto a platform above him. Malin turns around, looking up at the Mutant.

Malin: You not hurt Marlin. I am too strong for you.

He pounds his fist against his chest, a metallic clanging noise is heard. The Mutant growls in a low tone at him then looks over at the chains across from him. The Mutant takes a step back and pounces ahead, taking an intense leap forward. However, his leap is interrupted when he is jerked back. The Mutant slams against the floor and lifts its head up, looking up and seeing Malin, holding his tail.

Malin: Now I break you.

The Mutant tries to strike Malin but he lifts the creature up by the tail and swings him around repetitively. The children are then seen, helping free the rest of the abducted kids using the same method Ryder used earlier. Krysten turns her attention from helping Jerome with one child and sees Malin swing the wolf-like creature around. She frowns softly. As Malin continues spinning the Mutant around, it finally manages to pull itself upwards enough to slash at its own tail, shredding it off and throwing Ryder away from swirling grasp of Malin. The Mutant then clings onto a platform and climbs onto it. It looks back and sees that its tail is slowly regrowing back. The creature then turns its head, seeing Malin still swinging the piece of tail around as if the Mutant were still attached to it. It then turns its head to the left, noticing the dangling chains close by. The Mutant’s eyes then squint slightly. Malin is then seen, chuckling as he swings around the tail. He then slams it down.

Malin: Now you get squish, boy-beast! (notices that only his tail is in his hand) Huh? Where did boy-beast go?! MALIN SMASH BOY-BEAST!

The Mutant slashes the chains, breaking them apart with his claws. It then flips off from the platform, landing directly underneath where the vat is hanging from. The Mutant then lets out a loud howl, catching Malin’s attention.

Malin: You bad dog! Malin crush you!

The Mutant growls but its ear flick up again. The sound of the chains reeling can be heard clearly. The Mutant then backs up slowly as Malin approaches.

Malin, dropping his steel form, surprised: What? Run away? No, no, NO! Boy-beast no go un-when Malin say so! RAAHH!

Malin then run towards the creature. The chains are then seen finally unwrapping around the pulley. The shift in machinery then releases a loud groaning noise as the vat loosens from the pulley. It then slips lose from one of the holders, pouring its boiling contents out. Malin continues yelling as he charges for the Mutant. The boiling metal then slashes on top of him, melting him. His battle cry becomes a cry of pain as his skin bubbles up and peels off. It does not last for long as the excess liquid metal turns his tissue and bones into liquid. Malin’s screams then fade into a sizzling whisper until nothing is left but a puddle soon to be covered by the remaining boiling liquid covering it. The wolf-like Mutant breaths heavily as it watches from where it was. His gaze then shifts when his ears spring up once again. The sound he hears is a soft breath, like a gasp or a whimper. The Mutant now sees Krysten watching from where she was, horrified. The Mutant’s breaths tone down as it lowers its head, as if in shame, before stalking away. The girl continues looking out, watching as the creature leaves the area. The scene then transitions from Krysten looking outwards in the steel mill to her looking outwards, outside of the steel mill. A glove holding a small light shines over her eyes, she doesn’t really react to the light. It is then shown that she’s being inspected by a medical officer, standing next to a cop.

Medical Officer: She, along with the other kids, need some serious medical attention. We’ll call for another ambulance to pick up the rest of them.

The officer nods and turns to the girl.

Officer: And is there anything else that you can recall?

Krysten looks away. The officer scratches his head, as if unsure about the situation. Kelly then approaches and puts her hand on the officer’s shoulder.

Kelly: Let me try.

Officer: She’s all yours.

The officer moves to the side, allowing Kelly to approach Krysten before kneeling down next to her.

Kelly: Hey, it’s okay. We’re here to help you.

Krysten turns her head and glances over at Kelly. She gives a warm smile to the little girl.

Krysten: Hi…

Kelly: Hello. You must be Krysten.

Krysten: Do you know Ryder?

Kelly: ...Yeah. Yes, I do. I was helping him look for you.

Krysten: Is my mom here? I don’t want to see my dad.

Kelly: Don’t worry, you won’t see him. We found out what he did to you.

Krysten looks down, as her eyes begin to water slightly. Kelly takes notice to this and applies her hand on her shoulder softly. She looks up at Kelly.

Kelly: It’s going to be okay. You’re safe now. No one else is going to hurt you. We’ll let your mom know that you’re fine and she’ll pick you up once we’re done here.

Krysten: Okay…

Kelly: So, Ryder saved you, huh?

Krysten: He was kinda scary but I think he was nice, on the inside. He just didn’t know how to put it on the outside for us. He still helped us get out but- he didn’t save us.

Kelly’s smile fades slowly as she looks at Krysten.

Kelly: Then who saved you?

Krysten: I don’t know. He was big, and dark- like a shadow. He had these claws and growls, like a wolf thing. He was scarier…

Kelly looks frozen as she takes in these words. She then looks down slowly at her arms; the scars from her attack are still healing.

Medical Officer: Alright, we should be able to move her now. Is that okay, Jess?

Kelly: Uh- yeah. Yeah, that’s fine. (to Krysten) I hope you get better, you’ll see your mom soon.

Krysten gives a weak smile as she’s lead away by the Medical Officer. Kelly looks outwards and delivers a sigh before getting up from the ground. She then turns her head and sees Ryder, sitting on a slope. The scene cuts over to the slope, where Ryder sits, watching the area as it seems. Kelly then enters the view, coming up the slope. She approaches Ryder slowly, which catches his attention.

Kelly: That was pretty brave, what you did for those kids. And also pretty stupid, I heard you got attacked. You could’ve waited for reinforcements, like protocol says.

Ryder: It was the right thing to do, Kelly. Besides, if I waited any longer, some of those kids might not have survived especially Krysten.

Kelly: What’s on your mind?

Ryder: Tons of stuff.

Kelly: Such as?

Ryder turns and looks at her.

Ryder: Such as, working with you and Raggy. You guys are my- (clears throat) sources and I appreciate what you do for me but I realize now that you’re both on conflicting sides and putting you together was the wrong thing to do.

Kelly: Well, if you didn’t, we might not have realized Mr. Schultz sold his daughter to a bunch of drug dealers.

Ryder: No. I guess we wouldn’t have.

Kelly: So what now?

Ryder: That’s it. Case is closed. We found her.

Kelly: Then why does it feel like there’s still more to it?

Ryder: Maybe there is.

Kelly: I was mostly referring to you.

Ryder: (sigh) I keep thinking about these disappearing cases, the ones I couldn’t solve before. Emily Hart, she was a former pilot. Linda McCabe, she was an actress who disappeared trying to solve a case of her own. And then there’s Daniel Barnes, a father and husband who disappeared three years back. Cases like these, there’s not always a happy ending, Jess.

Kelly: Well, there is for this one. Maybe you just need to rely on your friends more than your sources. If we keep this up, maybe there’s still some hope for those people.

Ryder: Yeah… maybe there is.

The two of them look out from over the slope, and take in the view.


After the credits, the Ryder Investigations apartment complex is seen, with a light on in one of the top levels.

Ryder Investigations
December 17, 21:14 EDT

Inside the office, Ryder is seen attaching something to something else in front of him. He then steps back from the view when finished and leans against the back of his desk, arms crossed.

Ryder: Just as I suspected.

Raggy enters the view, standing before the front of the desk.

Raggy: This could mean anything, Ryder.

Ryder: Bulshit. The signs have been pointing towards it. There’s nobody else it could be. The drugs that Max was smuggling at the warehouse, the serum that Malin was making at the steel mill. They’re connected somehow which means the two of them being back in the city can’t be a coincidence.

Raggy: So I guess that means only one thing now.

Ryder: Yeah…

The view then shows the board that Ryder was working on, showing several pictures, reports, notes and such pinned, taped and strung to the board with interweaving patterns.

Ryder: The Cabal is back in the city.

Raggy: Listen, Ryder. I know what these guys did to you, I know what they took from you. You don’t have to explain anything to me but these cases can’t be your way into looking into them, you hear me?

Ryder just stares at the board without responding or, so much as, flinching.

Raggy: We’ll find them and end them but these cases have to be treated differently from that. These are real people, not cabal members that we’re dealing with. Ryder!

Ryder: Yeah. I heard you.

Raggy: (sigh) Sorry, man. It’s just- I thought we got rid of these bastards a long time ago.

Ryder: Same here. Just when I thought I had to deal with only one man, now there’s six of them to worry about. (takes a breath) I don’t know, Raggy.

Raggy: About what?

Ryder: I don’t know if I can treat these cases the same as I have been knowing the Cabal is involved in the city again. If doing these cases can lead me to them, then maybe I have to change things up. I need to know what they’re planning and I need to know where they are.

Raggy: Even I can’t help you there. But that doesn’t mean going back to your old ways. Kelly is involved now, maybe she can-

Ryder: She can’t know, Raggy. She can’t know about that side of me, nobody can. The best way to do this is to solve the cases and kill the cabal. How I’ll approach it… I’ll figure it out. But whatever they are planning is going to end. One way… or another.

Noteworthy Events

Major Events

  • Ryder realizes that The Cabal are back in the city
  • Ryder kills the second member of the Cabal

Minor Events

  • Kelly and Raggy meet for the first time
  • Kelly is introduced to David


  • Ryder
  • Jessica Kelly
  • Raggy
  • Chloe Williams (First Appearance)
  • Dr. David Allen (First Appearance)
  • Madison Jones (First Appearance)
  • Henry Jones (First Appearance)
  • Krysten Jones (First Appearance)
  • Mabel Schultz (First Appearance)
  • Abducted Children (First Appearance)
    • Jerome (First Appearance)
  • Citizens


  • The Cabal
    • Malin (First Appearance) (Deceased)
  • Gunmen



  • Originally, Kelly and Raggy weren’t going to meet in this episode but it was brought up during the planning session for the episode and became a vital part to the plot.
  • Marcus Schultz, Mabel’s husband, was originally meant to make an appearance in the episode while Jerome wasn’t planned on being in the episode at all.
  • The investigation at the Schultz Residence was going to last longer than it did, extending to a search on the property that would have upset Kelly even further.
  • The episode was originally going to end with Ryder confessing to Kelly that he can’t believe someone would do what happened to their own daughter and relate it to how he felt about his parents. However, it was changed to how he felt about the missing persons cases.
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