|WARNING: PROFANITY FOLLOWS|
|The following content contains profanity that may not be suitable for readers of all ages. Please proceed with caution.|
|Season 1, Episode 13|
The Monster Within
Return of the Ryder is the 13th episode of the series, Ryder.
The episode starts in a dark alleyway with Ryder kneeling down on the ground with Solomon standing across from him. There’s a limo behind him with Reeves standing at its side. The view is looking down from above and into the alleyway.
Ryder: You! It was you!
His pain-filled voice echoes through the alleyway. He then looks up fiercely, bearing his teeth with tears in his eyes. His face soon changes so that it no longer resembles the face of a man but rather a wolf-like creature. He stands in his wolf creature form before Solomon, rage emanating from his body. Solomon grunts and throws off his shirt, revealing a harness with serums built into it.
Solomon: I’ve beaten you before. But now, it’s time I put you down. Just like I did your father!
Solomon presses down, activating the harness. The serums are then injected into his body, pumping the fluids into his veins and empowering him. Solomon’s muscles enhance as his body drops down. He looks ahead, already sweating with a determined look in his eye.
Solomon: You know what I’m fighting for. I can’t lose now!
Solomon runs ahead and readies a strike but the wolf form bashes ahead, slashing against Solomon’s stomach. The wounds easily heal and Solomon slams down against the wolf creature’s back, cracking it. He then grabs the wolf creature and slams it against the ground once. He lifts the creature again for another slam but the wolf creature bites his hand, tearing it open.
Solomon uses his other arm and punch the wolf creature at its side, but the creature is persistent and tears through his hand- gnawing off three fingers. Solomon punches the creature off with his injured hand.
Solomon: I can’t stop! I didn’t stop before I never will!
Solomon bashes the wolf creature, knocking it back. He charges ahead but the wolf creature leaps forward, stabbing its claws into Solomon’s torso and using its strength to flip him over, slamming him into the ground instead. He then lands on Solomon, only to get yanked now by the tail. When the wolf creature turns to inspect, Solomon jabs him in the head. Solomon then leans up and wraps his arms around the wolf creature, squeezing hard and crushing it. Solomon: I want you to beg like your father did. I want you to scream like your mother did. I want you to die like they both did, like you were supposed to that night!
The wolf creature’s eyes then start to bleed with rage as a red glow consumes them. An unnatural foam leaks from the creature’s mouth as it growls intensively. He then uses its strength to plunge its claws into the muscles of Solomon and pull them off of it. It then kicks back, knocking him to the ground. The creature then turns violently and extends its claws even further out, jumping ahead and slashes at Solomon’s face constantly and consistently. The slashes don’t stop there. The creature slices at Solomon’s arms, his legs, his torso, his stomach. At the rate the wolf creature is attacking, the serum can not heal Solomon’s wounds. Eventually, Solomon’s struggle weakens to a pathetic shutter as his body was practically carved by the wolf creature. He stands there, blood dripping from its sharpened claws and it breathes in heavily. A smoke billowing from its nostrils and a piercing red glare in its eyes. A voice is then heard, echoing in the back of the creature’s mind; it sounds dark and heavy with a diabolic tone and gravel.
Voice: He is dead. The man who has taken the life of your mother and father. His associates and those related to actual killing have also been dealt with. Vengeance has fallen upon you. There is a pause as the wolf creature’s breathing slows down.
Voice: And now, our deal is over.
The wolf creature grabs its head and yells out with a ghastly howl as its veins burn red and black. A red glare appears from within, getting brighter and brighter until it consumes the creature entirely. The howl and yelling are heard as the same instance until both trail off into the white void that has appeared. With the flare fades, Ryder can be seen laying on the ground of the alleyway; clothes torn, hair rustled, and scars on his face and hands. He slowly awakens as a red glare flickers before him.
He looks up, seeing some sort of red entity appearing like a red light with a energy trail following behind and black particles flowing from its core. The entity moves past Ryder, taking possession of the fresh corpse behind him as blood flows from the body of the now deceased Solomon. However, soon after merging with this entity, the body begins to repair itself- turning the gutted wounds into scrapes while the slashes to the face become scars. The body, itself, actually begins to transform itself- taking the shape and form of Solomon and turning it into something else. Fur grows from the hair of the body and claws spike out from the hands of the corpse. Its eyes then flare open with a red energy bringing the body back to life in a sense. Before Ryder, the wolf creature stands strong.
Ryder, moving away from the creature: No. You’re apart of me! You can’t get out!
The Beast: Our deal is done, Ryder… Our hunger continues… You have no need for vengeance so you have no rage in you. We feed on the rage and we are hungry!
The Beast turns to Reeves who gets into the limo and drives himself away. The Beast howls out and leaps ahead, clinging to the side of the building and making it to the rooftop. Thunder is heard echoing through the sky and the view pans down on Ryder, alone in the alleyway, breathing heavily in a puddle of blood. The view continues upwards, leaving the alleyway and showing an overhead of the city.
Ryder, narrating: My name… is Ryder. I used to be a drifter. But then I found purpose again. I found something to push towards. And that power inside of me. The rage I used… finally had a direction to go after so long. But that direction is gone now. And that rage… that power inside of me… that left too. I thought my life was broken before but it’s now that I truly feels the pits of despair I fell into all those years ago. So that’s why I’m here...
The scene returns to street level where Ryder can be seen staggering his way out of an alleyway. The more steps he takes, the more bloody footprints he leaves behind on the concrete before it starts to fade from his soles. The steps he takes are uneasy and weak, just like the look in his eyes; like a furnace without a fire. And yet he continues pressing on through the night, breathing in a jagged manner, until he collapses on the sidewalk. The drop is slow as he gaze looks ahead, emptier and empiter with each millisecond spent descending. It’s when his head hits the concrete when everything goes dark. And from the darkness, the view fades back to the scene, now showing Ryder’s collapsed body laying on the sidewalk with the thunder losing its earlier momentum; as if dying out before the night’s end.
The scene continues with a view of the city. Several buildings sit in the view; one of which being the apartment building housing Ryder Investigations. It is still evening, with clouds practically obscuring the sky.
Inside the apartment, the hallway appears desolate as the view slowly approaches the door at the end of the hall; the door belonging to Ryder Investigations. A soft crying can be heard. Inside the office, itself, Kelly can be seen sitting on the couch, her face in her hands as her body shakes ever so slightly. Her muffled sobs continue on. At a point, she even seem to cough from all her crying. It’s at that time when she pulls away and rubs the tears off of her face. Her face is wet and she looks as though she’s going to break down again as she brings her hands back to cover her face. However, footsteps are heard approaching quickly as Kelly turns to the office door. She uses her sleeve to wipe her face more as a figure appears by the door.
Kelly, under her breath: Ryder?
The doorknob turns as the door is flung open, with Raggy stepping inside in a hurry. Although, he stops in the doorway upon seeing Kelly before him.
Raggy: K-Kelly. I wasn’t expecting to see you here.
Kelly: Ye-yeah… I can say the same, honestly. (sniffle)
Raggy, approaching her: Are you alright?
Kelly: No. Not really. (breaths) Did you know?
He takes a seat next to her. His expression changes from a soft curiosity to a more friendly gesture.
Raggy: I’m an informant. It’s my job to know things. (chuckle)
Kelly: I’m serious, Raggy. Did you know? ...About Ryder?
Raggy’s smile slowly drops to a more serious expression.
Raggy: Know what exactly about him? He’s not exactly an open person.
Kelly: That he’s a Mutant. That he can just- transform into this murderous wolf creature. That he’s been killing people and leaving bodies behind. That he- he lied to me? Did you know?
Raggy: ...I think you already know the answer to that.
Kelly: (sigh) I know. I just- I just wanted to think that I was the only one. That maybe I wouldn’t be forced to think about it. Forced to do something about it.
Raggy: If it means anything, I didn’t exactly give him much of a choice. And I’m guessing you didn’t either.
Kelly: I found out during a patrol. I guess we both didn’t expect myself to be there at that abandoned warehouse… And I couldn’t just keep that to myself. I- I had to confront him.
Raggy: Hey, I’m not saying you did anything wrong but- just because you discovered some side to him that he kept from you, doesn’t mean you can dismiss him entirely. He’s still the same person you’ve been with for the past while now.
Kelly: Is he? The person I was with didn’t kill people.
Raggy: And he technically still hasn’t.
Kelly turns forcefully to Raggy.
Kelly: I said I’m serious, Raggy!
Raggy: Hey, I’m serious too. The only one who’s been killing people is that wolf form of his. And as much as he takes credit for those killings, he’ll never admit to doing them himself. In fact, from what I’ve seen, he treats the thing as a separate entity altogether. As if they’re two different people.
Kelly: Yeah, he said something similar to me too when he was explaining why he did what he did. That this rage possesses him and he lets it have control. I tried to stop him but he went out anyways.
Raggy: Out to stop Reeves, probably.
Kelly: Reeves? As in… Anton Reeves, the CEO of R-Corp?
Raggy: Those two have some unresolved history.
Kelly: Involving his parents’ accident, right? I pieced together that much, at least…
She coughs and lowers her head. Raggy places his arm over her and holds her shoulder. Some soft tears roll down her face as she flinches slightly from his touch but soon comes to accept the comforting hold.
Raggy: How are you holding up?
Kelly: I don’t know what to do, Raggy. And it’s… really eating me up inside. The right thing would be to- to turn him in but, he’s still my friend, I know that- deep down. I can’t just turn my back on him. And… if what you’re saying is right then… he can still be saved, right?
Raggy: I want to believe that, Kelly. (chuckle) I want to believe that so much… But that Mutation- that’s apart of him. Probably forever. If he can control it and keep it at bay, then maybe he can finally have the chance to move on from all of this chaos surrounding him. But if he can’t...
Kelly: It might just continue… I see.
Raggy: We’re his friends, Kelly. The friends of a lonely man in a lonely world filled with pain and suffering for him. We have to be there for him, no matter what, to keep him from suffering that pain. But, at the same time, we have to keep him from hurting himself too. I can’t tell you how to live your life or do your job or even what to think about all this. All I can tell you is how I feel about all this.
Kelly: Thank you. It’s not much but… it helps. It really does.
Raggy: ...I’m glad.
Raggy gets up from the couch and moves over the Ryder’s desk.
Kelly: I can’t make my choice now. If his fate is on the side of a coin then I have to wait for that coin to drop. And no matter what side of the coin it lands on, I’ll be there to give him the support he needs… (looks over to Raggy) as a friend.
Raggy turns back at her and offers a generous smile.
Raggy: I’m sure he’ll appreciate it… wherever he is now.
Raggy turns back to the desk, looking at the state Ryder had left it in. His glance he goes to the window where he looks out at the city through the cracks in the blinds. Elsewhere, Ryder can be seen laying on a bed without his jacket and shoes. The view slowly descends upon him as his eyes creak open heavily. He raises his eyes, through blurred vision and groans slightly as he moves. His vision then uneasily comes back to him, as he sees the bedroom that he is in. The room is decorated in an old homely manner with a few decorative pieces that give the place an ancestral atmosphere and nature tone.
Ryder: What? Where-
Before he can finish his thought, he rolls off the side of the bed and crashes down to the floor.
Footsteps are then heard approaching as Ryder struggles to push up from the floor. As he lifts his head up, he sees a pair of feet before him. His glance then moves upwards as he sees an elderly man looking down at him with a disapproving look.
Elderly Man: So you’re the one who held the legendary power. Hmph. Kinda pathetic if you ask me.
Ryder, slurred: Who the hell are you?! And where am I?
Elderly Man: You’re at my place. Don’t worry, you weren’t drunk or anything- I just found you passed out on the sidewalk and took you in.
The elderly man helps him up to his feet.
Elderly Man: Why? Why not?
Ryder: Do you want your list in alphabetical order? And which one because I have one for why you shouldn’t take me in specifically and one for why you shouldn’t take anyone in generally.
Elderly Man: Quit being a smartass for at least five seconds and hear me out.
Ryder: Look, I appreciate you looking after me or whatever but I have something to do. So if you can just let me go, I’ll be leaving.
The man looks at Ryder and then lets go of him.
Elderly Man: Alright then. Be like that. Let’s see how far it gets you.
He takes a step or two back and crosses his arms. Ryder scoffs and takes a step, however, the moment his foot hits the ground, a rush of senses surround him and he loses his bearing, tumbling down to the floor again.
Ryder, hitting the floor: GAH!
Elderly Man, looking down at him: Still wanna leave on your own?
Ryder: What’s happening to me? What did you do?
Elderly Man: I didn’t do anything. All I did was take you in. You were like this when I found you. How else do you explain you sleeping on the pavement outside?
Ryder sighs and continues laying on the ground as a hand appears by him. His glance moves over from the floorboards to the hand. He reaches his hand out and takes the man’s hand as he helps him up from the floor again.
Elderly Man: Now are you finally ready to talk?
Ryder: It would seem… that I don’t exactly have much of a choice in the matter.
Elderly Man: Glad to see your common sense wasn’t damaged on the fall.
The elderly man helps Ryder over to another room, the sitting room- where the aesthetic remains more natural, however feeling less homey and more- like an office… or even a museum with all the decor. There are bookshelves with leather-bound books and stands with displays of jars. Some containing herbs and spices while others contain less natural items like animal body parts. Ryder takes a glance around the place while he is moved over to a wooden table. The elderly man helps him into the seat; to which he plops down uneasily.
Ryder, unenthusiastically: Gee Thanks…
Elderly Man: No problem at all. Now, can I get you something to drink? Eat, maybe?
Ryder: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow your roll, old timer. Just who are you? And how do you know about me? Don’t think I missed that slip about my power. You obviously know something. So spill it.
Elderly Man: Heh. Guess you’re more clever they I gave you credit for. Fine. You want answers? I’ll give you answers. But you might have to expand your reality a bit if you really want to hear them.
Ryder cocks an eyebrow.
Ryder: Stop talking in riddles and just tell me what’s going on.
Elderly Man: I am a man who knows things. Things about a world unseen. You can call me Wickham. I don’t know you personally; as unfortunate as that might seem. But I do know of the Beast that lurked within you all these years… at least, until recently when he had escaped that is.
Ryder: You know about it? How? What even is it?!
Wickham: That’s the complicated part.
Ryder: I don’t care how complicated it is.
Wickham: I suppose you don’t. But there is a delicate balance to these sort of things. They must be explained carefully especially to someone like you. Someone who has held that power in for so long.
Ryder: (sigh) Alright. I’m listening…
Wickham: Good. Then, let’s begin.
He takes a seat across from Ryder at the table.
Wickham: Long ago, before the spark of this recent age of Mutant-Kind, there were many individuals with powers; the Natural Born as they would prefer to be called.
Ryder: Yeah, I’ve ran into some guys with powers like that. Bit of a pain in the ass, if you ask me.
Wickham: Well, that’s not where the story ends.
This seems to have piqued Ryder’s interest.
Wickham: Even their natural abilities were artificially given to them through extraterrestrial origins. No, to understand what I’m about to tell you, we must go back further beyond that point. To years ago, when Humanity was just starting to become civilized, the world was plagued with beings of unknown origin with powers that defied reality as was known. Yes, creatures had existed before Mutants and they could only have been known as Monsters.
Ryder: Monsters? (scoffs) Really? You expect me to believe that?
Wickham: We live in a world where Mutants and aliens invade the city time and time again. And mythical beings is where you draw the line?
Ryder: It’s just- a bit more of a reality expansion than I first considered.
Wickham: Well, get used to it because they’re much more to this story of mine.
Ryder: Oh joy…
Wickham: Yes, monsters are real. On the surface, they seem no different from the monstrous beings that ramage the world in this day and age. But in some cases, deep down, there’s something special about them. They possess a spirit from another realm. A realm which grants them power beyond their wildest imaginations; allowing them to do more the average monster or- in your case- Mutant. They have the power to vanquish evil, see the unseen, transform to and fro their monster forms. They were the ultimate beings that ever roamed the Earth… that is until monster hunters grew into existence.
Ryder: Of course, there were monster hunters. Otherwise the story wouldn’t make sense, now would it? We’d have monsters roaming around to this day!
Wickham: You still don’t believe me then.
Ryder: You have to admit, your story sounds outlandish. I mean, even if that were true, what does that have to do with me? I’m just a private investigator who happened to get into an accident when I was younger and woke up with the realization that I’m a Mutant now. That’s it.
Wickham: It’s more than that. And you know it. Quit lying to yourself and accept the truth that I’m handing you. This is what you’ve been lead to. You were on your way to this truth since getting your power from that spirit.
Ryder: That spirit? You mean- the Beast? The wolf creature I turned into… that was… a spirit?
Wickham: Yes. Probably the worst one of them all. Clear your mind, boy. Remember that time. That time when you first gained your powers.
Ryder: I can’t. I won’t! Look, this is just superstitious nonsense.
Ryder: Expand my reality? My reality was just fine before you showed up. H-How can I even trust you?
Ryder: How can you expect me to believe a word you say when none of it holds up?! Huh? Answer me that!
Wickham: Your father knew!
Ryder remains silent.
Ryder: ...Wh-What did you say?
Wickham: Your father knew of this world, Ryder. He kept it from you and your mother to keep you safe.
Ryder: ...You know my father?
Wickham: Yes, I knew him. Not quite as well as I want to believe but I knew him, nonetheless.
Wickham: How else? Through my work.
Ryder: Your work… you- you learn about monsters, right? So, does that mean my father was involved in them too?
Wickham: And now you believe. Yes?
Ryder: What choice do I have?
Wickham: Exactly. This life doesn’t give us the choice to ignore these concepts. We have to face them head-on. You can’t keep running away from your past, it connects you to a future you’re destined to play apart in.
Ryder: I just want to know about my father. Then… maybe I’ll hear you out. But right now, I’m- not really sure what to believe in.
Wickham lets out a soft sigh before standing up; the wooden chair creaking from the withdrawn pressure. Wickham walks slowly past Ryder and stops just behind his chair. He places his hand on his shoulder whilst glancing back at him slightly.
Wickham: I’ll prepare some tea. It just might help you clear your mind.
Wickham removes his hand from Ryder’s shoulder as he enters the kitchen. Ryder holds his position, looking off at the side where Wickham once was before turning his head back to the table, looking down- almost emptied. The scene returns to Ryder Investigations, where Kelly remains on the couch in a thinking manner while Raggy reviews some files on Ryder’s desk.
Kelly stands from the couch, catching the attention of Raggy as he glances up.
Raggy: Going somewhere?
Kelly: Yeah… I can’t stay here and wait for him to come back. I already know he’s not going to.
Raggy: You don’t know that.
Kelly: It’s like you said, Raggy- he’s on a mission. He’s doing his thing and I have to do mine. I have to be an officer of the law before I can be his friend. I said I was going to be there to support him but now isn’t the time for that.
Raggy: So what are you going to do now?
Kelly: ...What’s this business with the Cabal that you two were getting into?
Kelly joins Raggy at the table as he starts to explain.
Raggy: That’s what I was just looking into, actually. If there’s a correlation between the Cabal and Reeves then it’s more than possible that he’s the one masterminding their operations in the city while he was in prison.
Kelly: Do you have proof? I can’t exactly act without direct evidence.
Raggy: No, just a hunch at the moment.
Kelly: So I won’t be able to move on Reeves then. If we can even find him, that is.
Raggy: What do you mean?
Kelly: He just got free on a technicality, right? So he’ll probably be heading out of the city where he’ll be someone else’s problem. New York won’t be able to touch Anton Reeves until he steps back on our turf. But, by then, things might change in his favor. I don’t know how it’ll go down exactly but I know the type.
Raggy: Then that lies with our friend then.
Kelly, looking off to the side: ...I guess so. (turning back to Ryder) What about the Cabal itself? We might not have anything on Reeves but we could still be able to stop the Cabal’s operations from advancing any further.
Raggy: Well, last time I spoke with Ryder, we were talking about possible locations for where the Cabal are going to move out their products.
Kelly: You mean-
Raggy: Yeah, drugs. Capable of mutating individuals.
Kelly: I’ve seen that before… so that was the Cabal too then.
Raggy: We can’t just hit one mark though. It could turn out to be a dud and alert the other points that we’re onto them.
Kelly: And then they’ll move out and we’ll lose them.
Raggy: Exactly. Even if we hit one point and catch them there, they can still get away.
Kelly: And it wouldn’t be enough. The other points would be making their escape while we’re stalled with just one point.
Raggy: That’s also true. (sigh) That’s why I’m reviewing files about the locations, to know for sure what I’m getting myself into.
Kelly: Just how many points are there?
Raggy: Four. They seemed to be strategically placed but I can’t seem to work out the route.
Kelly: Do you have a diagram?
Raggy: Yeah. Gimme a sec.
Raggy goes off to the side where the filing cabinets are and reaches behind them. He then retrieves a rolled up map and brings it over to the desk where he unrolls it before Kelly.
Kelly: A map?
Raggy: Yeah, we use it sometimes to determine locations in the city. Now I memorized the locations.
Raggy grabs a marker from the desk and uncaps it before circling four certain areas on the map.
Raggy: There. All four points.
Kelly, looking over the maps: You do realize that’s a permanent marker, right?
Raggy: Oh- er-
Kelly: Nevermind, that. I think I see something interesting here. The points may seem strategically placed but not for the same reasons you thought. Look these two are parallel with each other which mean, their route might actually wind up being the same one. And nobody would think to check the same route twice.
Raggy: Huh, yeah, you’re right. That’s a possibility.
Kelly: Also these other two. I’ve patrolled our those areas. It’s mostly cleared out of any people around the night. My guess is because of the facility zones. So they’re definitely going to sneaking away when there’s no one around unlike the first route where they’ll be blending in with traffic.
Raggy: That’s smart… You really know your stuff.
Kelly: Well, I have to be if I wanna be the best in the force. (looking down) It’s what my father would’ve wanted for me.
Raggy nods and turns back to the map.
Raggy: So that’s the locations analyzed but I still can’t handle this. There’s too many points to cover.
Kelly: What are you talking about? The four points cover three routes. Between you and me, we’ve got this.
Raggy: So you’re helping too?
Kelly: I don’t want to be involved with whatever Ryder is going through but I want- I need to do this. The city is in turmoil and the police have no idea how to deal with this. If I go in and handle this, then I can make a mark on this city. I can help those who need it. That’s the type of person I want to be. And I can’t do that sitting here on the sidelines. So yes, I’m going in. Working together is the only way we’ll get through this night.
Raggy: Still. There’s one route left unmanned. We’ll need a three hand.
Kelly: And I have one.
Raggy: You do?
Kelly: I hope so. I’ll keep you notified.
Kelly moves towards the door.
Raggy: You know, you may be an officer but you’re really pulling through as a private investigator.
Kelly stops at the door.
Kelly: ...I appreciate that.
Kelly leaves the office, with Raggy remaining inside. She pulls out her cell phone and dials up a number. After a short ring, she puts the phone to her ear.
Kelly: Hey, do you have a minute? We need to talk about something.
The scene cuts back to the sitting room where Wickham returns with two cups of tea in hand. He places them both on the table and slides one over to Ryder. Ryder weakly raises his arm and takes hold of the cup.
Ryder: Ugh… this is worse than a hangover.
Wickham: That’s the effect of the spirit leaving your body. It extracted a lot of stamina and feeling from your body.
Ryder: You keep saying spirit but that doesn’t exactly have any place in scientific terms. Like Mutants and aliens, I can understand. That’s just biological mutations and other life in the galaxy but- spirits…
Wickham: Not everything needs a scientific reasoning. Just like how people do things without reason sometimes. You should know since you were a- what was it? A private investigator?
Ryder: Heh, yeah. I guess you’re right, old timer.
Wickham: Don’t call me old timer, Ryder.
Ryder: Wait, I thought you didn’t know me personally. So how come you know my name?
Wickham: Like I said before, I knew your father so, by extension, I know a little about you as well. Plus I looked through your wallet for some last minute details.
Ryder: So you know me formally… not personally. Clever…
Wickham: Heh, yes.
Ryder: Well, that explains how you came to know me. But what about how you knew my father?
Wickham looks up from his tea at Ryder. His eyes glance down at the table.
Wickham: Are you sure you want to know?
Ryder is silent for a short moment before his fist clenches around the arm of the cup of tea.
Ryder: For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this rage consuming me- telling me to fight on for my parents. But if there’s some mystery behind their deaths then I need to know. I have to uncover that mystery. No matter the cost. That’s my job as a private eye, after all.
Wickham: (nods) Alright then. I’ll tell you. But drink that tea. You wouldn’t want it to get cold now.
Ryder sighs and carefully lifts the cup to his mouth where he takes a sip. He turns his head away strongly with a slightly disgusted expression on his face. A soft chuckle escapes Wickham’s mouth while he gathers himself. He looks down in a more serious manner.
Wickham: I knew your father through my occupation.
Ryder: Yeah, you said that before. You gather information, right?
Wickham: That’s part of it but it’s something more than that, as well.
Wickham: Your father and I were both apart of a long-standing tradition passed down through generation to generation. It was our duty to study the creatures that plagued the Earth and deal with them as we see fit. We were monster hunters in our own respective ways.
Ryder: What? My father was… a monster hunter?
Ryder: But that doesn’t make any sense.
Wickham: I told you this before, Ryder. You have to expand your reality to accept this truth as your own.
Ryder: I know. I know… This is still pretty new to me.
Wickham: I don’t blame you. This is exactly why Jeffrey kept this from you. To keep you from this world. But, if anything, he should have prepared you for it. That’s what I kept telling him.
Ryder: It sounds like you two were close.
Wickham: We were… at one point. But he pushed me away to focus on his own investigations. He felt like finishing it would mean getting to be with his family. But he’s not around anymore so… I can assume his work is what got him killed.
Ryder: It was the accident that killed him.
Wickham: Was it?
Ryder: Yes. I should know, I was there… Look, I don’t like thinking about it. Let alone talking about it.
Wickham: I can understand what you’ve been through. But it’s important for you to understand where you come from. Accepting the truth means you’re closer to becoming who you’re meant to be.
Ryder: All this talk about destiny, it’s not going to do anything for me, man. Look at me, who do you think I can be aside from that monster?
Wickham: A monster hunter. Like your father was.
Ryder: I don’t anything about that. In fact, I don’t know anything about what my father was working on. He was always busy.
Wickham: He was, wasn’t he?
Ryder: No, that’s- that’s not what I’m trying to say. I loved him. I loved both of them.
Wickham: I’m not doubting that. But there’s more to it, Ryder.
Ryder, standing up: There isn’t!
Ryder stops and looks down at himself. He’s able to stand on both his legs. He moves but holds the table to keep himself steady.
Wickham, looking down: That tea works wonders, doesn’t it? It’s a special remedy I whipped up for restoring one’s physical self.
Ryder: So that was the problem then.
Wickham: That was part of the problem, Ryder. The spirit used you as a vessel. It basically kept you alive. But without it, your body has to function on it’s own. Completely. Your soul is empty, boy. You need to restore it in order to restore yourself.
Ryder: As long as I can move on my own, that’s good enough for me. Reeves is still out there and- knowing him- he’s probably planning on making a move for both the Cabal and himself. Which means there isn’t much time until he makes him comfortable enough to make that move. I’m not going to waste that time sitting here and talking about my past.
Wickham: You’re powerless now, Ryder. That’s what I’m trying to explain to you. That Mutant side of yours- that came from the spirit. Each spirit attaches itself to a creature and passes down that creature form to its next vessel. You had the form of the wolf. It has a few names in history. The wolf man, the werewolf… the skinwalker.
Ryder: Skinwalker? I’ve heard that before somewhere.
Wickham: It’s a term used by the Navajo people… my people. The term is used for a mythical creature that disguises themselves as dangerous animals. A wicked shapeshifter. This one… isn’t exactly a wolf all the time but I believe that is the form this spirit in particular had chosen. The form of the Yenaldooshi.
Ryder: So that spirit contains that power of the wolf creature…
Wickham: I know what you’re thinking. But you can’t reclaim that power. It doesn’t belong to you anymore.
Ryder: I’ve had that power for years! It’s mine. No doubt about it.
Wickham: You don’t understand, Ryder. That power- belongs to the spirit. If you want that power, you need the spirit to accept you again. But it can’t consume a broken soul.
Ryder: I’ve always had a broken soul, Wickham. Broken from loss, broken from pain… This- This isn’t anything different. I need that power to stop Reeves before he leaves the city. This is the only way… Thanks for the advice but I’ve got it from here.
Ryder then turns and leaves the room. Wickham looks down at the table as the sound of the door opening then closing is heard. Elsewhere, outside of a run-down looking bar, Detective Lee can be seen leaning- back against the wall as he takes a puff from one of his cigarettes.
Smoke blows from his mouth as he leans his head back, lowering his free hand into his coat pocket. A moment passes in the cool evening as Akira’s looks off to the left. He sighs and turns ahead again. He takes another puff from the cigarette and leans up from the wall.
Detective Lee: You know… it’s rude to sneak up on people.
Kelly soon makes herself known by stepping from the alleyway behind the bar. She approaches Akira softly while he continues looking ahead. When she stops besides him, he turns to look at her.
Detective Lee: I thought you were out on patrol. What happened? Missed me?
Kelly: Not exactly.
Detective Lee: Oh yeah? Well, there goes my ego.
Kelly: I need your help with something actually.
Detective Lee: I don’t know… I feel like we’ve helped each other enough. Besides, it’s New Years Eve. I don’t want to keep my wife waiting.
Kelly: Even if this has to do with investigation?
Detective Lee stops, his eyes looking over at her. He then turns to her, tossing the cigarette to the street.
Detective Lee: Alright, let’s talk.
Kelly: Those outbreaks all over the city, the ones caused by the Mutant serum.
Detective Lee: The ones distributed by the Cabal, right? You finally got something on them from that info you got from the facility?
Kelly: Yes… and from other sources as well.
Detective Lee: I think we can skip those details. As far as police investigations go, the information that we obtained in the official report lead to the discovery of this new information.
Kelly: R-Right. Of course.
Detective Lee: So. You finally got a location?
Kelly: About that… I’ve got four actually.
Detective Lee: (cough) Four?!
Detective Lee: Kelly, we can’t tackle four points instantly. Even if we had the Commissioner lend us the full-on might of the police force-
Kelly: They’ll see us coming a mile away and escape before we can even catch them. I know. I’ve thought this over. And I think I have a plan that we can execute in order to not only investigate all four points… but capture the Cabal and stop the outbreaks from continuing all throughout the city!
Detective Lee: ...I don’t know. Sounds like a risk to me. And a big one at that.
Kelly: I know it’s a risk, Akira. But this city is being thrown into turmoil without anyone even knowing about it! Lives are being thrown away and ruined because of these people and it’s our duty as officers of the law to bring order to this city by getting these guys.
Detective Lee: Something must’ve happened to you between the last time we talked and now because hearing you just now… there’s a fire in your words and spirit in your eyes. Before, you were seeking the truth to help people but now… you’re fighting for something, maybe even someone. Or maybe even both. Either way, I’ll stand by you- whatever call you make. You may just be a temporary patrol officer but, in my eyes, you’ve got the makings of being one of the best officers on the force. And you’ve earned my respect for it.
Kelly: ...Thank you, Akira.
Detective Lee: Alright, alright. Let’s not get all sentimental on me. Let’s see if we can end this Cabal group before midnight. I’ve still got a wife to get back to.
Kelly: Alright, here’s the plan.
The view shows Kelly conversing with Akira by the side of the bar before panning off to the side of the street. The scene then transitions to a different street entirely before the view pans to a sidewalk where Ryder can be seen running up. He stops then looks around, panting for breath. He wipes his forehead and looks ahead at the sound of a distinct roaring. He then gains a look of determination as he pushes on. In an alleyway somewhere, a bearded man holding a purse can be seen standing by a woman laying against the wall on the ground. They’re both looking up at some kind of creature whose shadows grows over them as it approaches closer. The man holding the purse backs away, breathing rapidly with widened eyes.
Crook: W-What the hell are you?! What do you want from me?! Get her! Kill her! Not me!
The crook continues backing away from the Beast in Solomon’s possessed and wolf-like body. It drools from the mouth with piercing red eyes among its grotesque features.
The Beast: We hunger! We feel the rage coursing through us! We smell your guilt… your crimes… your sins. You are ripe for the slaughter and now… (growls) We will feast!
The Beast launches ahead, grabbing onto the criminal before him. The man yells out, screaming actually as the Beast uses its claws to tear through his flesh like paper. Muscles are unweaved like fabric and blood splatters across the alley as the creature keeps hacking him apart. Ryder steps into the alleway and stops, looking ahead surprised at the carnage before him. The Beast lowers its head and chomps down on the skull of its prey, sinking its teeth into its head before tearing it off from the body and swallowing it whole. It lowers its head once more and chomps down on the remaining parts of the body, chomping down on the fresh corpse’s bones. The woman looks ahead, petrified and shaking. Ryder steps carefully into the alleyway, looking ahead at the Beast. His gaze moves from it to the woman. Just then, the chomping stops and the Beasts breathing becomes more heavier as its shoulders rise and drop. The creature then turns its head to the woman, with some intestines hanging from its mouth. It finishes consuming the man and turns entirely to the woman, staring at her with its piercing eyes. The woman starts to crawl away from the creature as it steps closer to her with a low growling under its breath.
The Beast: We smell you…
Woman: Please- Please-
The Beast: (sniffing the air in one heave) You smell of sin. Your body has touched others… when it should only belong to your chosen mate.
Woman: No. Please-
The Beast: You have committed crimes and now… your body will touch one other before being torn to pieces!
The Beast pounces on her and sinks its teeth into her neck. Ryder steps ahead, raising a hand out.
The Beast then bites down hard, tearing her neck straight from her body. The Beast then drops the body from its mouth as blood spills out across the ground, reaching Ryder’s boots. The view moves up to show him looking down at the blood then looking up, with his face contorted.
Ryder: You murdered her! She was an innocent person! You kill criminals, you kill people who have wronged others!
The Beast: Our rage has no limits. Our hunger knows no bounds. Our power is no longer yours to command. Besides… she was not innocent. She has committed crimes.
Ryder: She had an affair. Okay, I get it. But she didn’t have to die for it!
The Beast: You don’t understand still. We don’t follow your laws. We don’t follow your morality. We follow our hunger… and we consume those who have wronged others.
Ryder: No… There has to be a line somewhere. You can’t just kill anyone…
The Beast: But those lines can be expanded. Sins can be… exaggerated… And our menu can be… enlarged. For every criminal, for every cheater, for every liar. Even if they have committed crimes once, their scent can not hide their sins. And we will find them and we will kill them all… Not for justice. But for pleasure.
Ryder: You sick son of a bitch.
The Beast: We can feel your rage building. You want our power.
Ryder: I do. And I will take it. Whatever it takes.
Ryder dashes ahead towards the Beast. It lowers its head, letting out a low whimper which soon escalates into a full on roar as it slashes its arm out, knocking Ryder back. His back collides with a dumpster and he spins onto the ground; the air knocked out of his lungs.
The Beast: Do you see now, Ryder? (growl) You are weak. You are broken. You can not claim our power again. You don’t have the will to wield it anymore. You have no need for it.
Ryder: No… You’re wrong. I need it... to stop him. I have to. After everything he did to me! I need that power! So just give it to me already! JUST GIVE IT BACK!
The Beast hesitates before turning its back to Ryder.
The Beast: You are not ready. And you will never be.
The Beast then leaps, higher than ever and lands on the rooftops, dashing away from the view as Ryder lays there in that alleyway, blooding pouring slowly from his body. Thunder strikes softly in the distance as he lays there, sobbing as the view ascends above him. The sobbing continues on and the view gets further from the scene until the sobbing quietly stops and the view begins to dim. Just as the scene starts to fade to darkness, a figure rushes over to Ryder- kneeling down by his body.
Faint Voice: Ryder. Ryder! Stay with me, son!
The voice then trails off and the scene is black. A moment passes before the darkness transitions to Wickham’s bedroom. On the bed, itself, Ryder lays there- without his jacket and without his shoes. His clothes are torn up and there are patches and bandages on his body. Even with that on him, the indications of his wounds can still be seen with peeled flesh and darkened skin exposed through the gaps. There are also scratches, scraps and bruises on his body and face in addition to a large scratch wound across his eye. Underneath Ryder are some packs of ice. He remains in the bed until he slowly begins to stir awake. As he starts to move in the foreground, the background becomes more focused in which Wickham can be seen seated in a wooden chair across from the bed. He looks over at Ryder with focused and slightly concerned eyes.
Wickham: I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Your injuries are pretty bad and you no longer have a healing factor to rely on.
Ryder stops and lets out a short sigh before turning his head gently to see Wickham. Wickham shakes his head and sighs as he leans forward in his chair.
Wickham: I told you that you were not ready to take on the Beast. But you insisted and now… her we are.
Ryder: How did you find me?
Wickham: I’m a monster hunter, remember? I knew you were after it so I just hunted the monster and found you instead.
Ryder: It didn’t kill me.
Wickham: No, it didn’t. Probably out of pity.
Wickham: You were its former host. Killing you this early would probably be too easy. Most animals hunt wounded prey to get an easy meal but others, they hunt strong creatures. They accept the challenge and conquer their victories. The Beast is like that. He wouldn’t try to conquer you until you are fit… however, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t back away when cornered.
Ryder lays there in silence. Wickham looks over at him then turns to the side.
Wickham: Did you want him to end you?
Ryder: ...Wouldn’t it just makes things easier?
Wickham: I don’t know. I don’t want to believe that.
Ryder: You just don’t know, Wickham. You don’t know what I’ve been through. The things I’ve done. The things I’ve seen… and the things I’ve lost. There’s nothing left for me anymore. I can’t stop avenge my family and I have nothing to look forward to. So what is the point anymore? Am I just here to suffer while I lose the world I know again?
Wickham: ...Even when you have nothing left, there is always something to gain. I may just very well be the last monster hunter to exist. I lost my family, my friends… and sometimes I think to myself, was it worth it? But then you arrived and I thought- yes. It was. You have the makings of greatness in you, Ryder. You just need to the realize your potential.
Ryder: My potential? What potential? I can’t even move. He tore through me like paper and I couldn’t stop him from killing someone… someone who didn’t deserve it. It was never like this.
Wickham: That’s because you had control over the spirit.
Ryder: But I let go of that control. I let it loose on criminals.
Wickham: Exactly. You had a focus in mind. Even if it was unconscious, you still held onto some control and redirected your inner anger and rage into something… constructive. Well, for the most part anyways. But its new body, the person who it has possessed, has no control. His rage is relentless. The Beast may be using excuses like crimes and sins to excuse his actions but sooner or later he will abandon them and give it to nothing but instinct. His rage will devour and destroy this city before anything else and it will spread across the world until there is no one left to quench its undying rage.
Ryder: You have to stop it. You’re a monster hunter, right?
Wickham: I can’t. A spirit like that is too powerful to defeat on my own. Only you have the power to stop it, here and now.
Ryder: Didn’t you hear me? I can’t do anything! I don’t have power anymore. Back then I had the ability to confront those who could help me reach my goal- of ending this nightmare. But now I don’t have the strength to do that, let alone move. Do you know what it’s like to feel powerless?!
Wickham: The power you so desperately want is not out there! It’s in here.
He holds his hand over his heart. Ryder looks ahead, staggered. Wickham gets up from his chair and walks over to Ryder.
Wickham: The only thing stopping you is your past. You have to face it and heal your own spirit before you claim another.
Ryder: ...I don’t know if I can. For all these years, I’ve been moving on. Chasing my hatred to the ends of the Earth.
Wickham: No, not moving on. Moving away. You claim you were avenging your parents but you really giving into your inner rage. I’m sorry, Ryder, but this- this is the only one to repair yourself… your true inner self. You can’t keep running from your past. You need to confront it. You need to remember that accident. Every detail. Only then, will you really have the power to move on.
Ryder: ...Okay. I’ll try.
Wickham: There’s no need to try. I already know you can do it.
Ryder: But why? Why are you putting so in me? We don’t even know each other.
Wickham: No. I suppose we don’t. But I believe there’s hope for you yet. There’s good in you, a side that cares for others. That’s hidden passion beneath your words and eyes… is the same passion your father had. He believed in the good in the world and fought to protect it. And it’s that same passion that I only hope you can discover within yourself.
Ryder: T-Thank you.
Wickham nods and moves to the dresser, where a selection of jars can be seen. He opens some and removes some powder from each of them, mixing them together in his hand. He then claps his hands together and the dust from the powder spreads over the bed. Ryder then starts to looks woosy before his eyes slowly close. As soon as that happens, the scene is plunged into darkness with Ryder seen drifting through it gently. Wickham’s voice echoes through the void around him.
Wickham’s Voice: Do you remember, Ryder? That day?
Ryder: I do.
Wickham: What happened?
Ryder: There- There was an incident. That’s what he said. We had to leave for a business emergency. He looks worried. He wanted us to leave the house and the town in order to get away. To get closer to one another. And I fought with them about it. I pushed them away, I regret that now… because now I can’t-
Ryder has trouble continuing his sentence.
Wickham: It’s alright. Just tell me, what happened after that.
Ryder: Well, that’s when… it happened. The accident. Except it wasn’t really an accident. The sky shook with thunder and it was almost like he knew what was coming. That world was about to change forever. But before that could even happen, a truck appeared and chased after us. It then pulled up to our side and fired at our tires. Dad couldn’t even control the car anymore so we just… flipped over. And that’s it.
Wickham: Look deeper, Ryder. There’s more to the memory than you know.
Ryder: It was… just the accident.
Wickham: Your trauma is blocking you from seeing the truth. Clear your mind and explore your past.
Ryder’s face scrunches slightly as if he is concentrated on something. More voices are heard echoing through the void around him though at a much fainter tone. As the view comes closer to Ryder’s face, the voices become all the more clearer.
The sound of a vehicle crashing is then heard when the view finally settles on only Ryder’s face. His eyes then open when the sound of groaning is heard. He looks around, surprised. Promptly, he appears at the end of the bridge in a dim rendition of reality. He looks ahead, frozen in place. His shake trembles slightly in the foreground as the crash of a car becomes clear in the background on the bridge. A younger version of Ryder can be seen crawling out from the back of the car. He lays against the street, bruised and scraped with blood on his clothes. After that brief moment, he turns to the car, starting to become a little distressed.
Ryder (Flashback): M-Mom? Dad?!
Ryder shuffles over to the passenger door and pulls on the door. He struggles at first but soon the door comes loose, with his mother’s body dropping down before him. Ryder crawls back away from her as she looks ahead with lifeless eyes. The younger Ryder’s breathing becomes rapid as he continues scooting back, distraught. However, two hands land on his shoulders. Ryder turns around quickly only to see his father holding him. There’s a gnash on his head and a blood streak on his forehead.
Jeffrey: Easy, Ryder… Easy…
Ryder: Dad, Mom- she’s- she-
Jeffrey: I know, son. I know. (cough) Listen, you need to get out of here.
Ryder: What? No. I can’t leave you two behind!
Jeffrey: Ryder, please- there are people coming here to finish off this attack. I can not let you get involved in this. I can’t let them get you next. (to himself) This is all my fault. I should have known this would happen.
Ryder: That what would happen.
Jeffrey: Listen, Ryder. I don’t have much time. There are so many secrets that I know about, so many mysteries that need to be answered out there… and so many things that you need to know about. My business, my life, my secret. But what you need to know the most is that I love you and so… so did your mother. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you before and I’m sorry that you have to go through with this now. But you are Ryder, you are my son and I know that you are strong enough to make it through this world. I know you can survive. I only wish that I had more time to tell you the things I should have.
Ryder: You still can, dad. We can get away together.
Jeffrey: No. That crash got me better than they expected. I can’t feel my legs. Ugh… I had to crawl out of the car- (catches his breath) just to get here. You’re on your own now, son.
Ryder: No… please, dad. You’re the only one I have left.
Jeffrey: That’s not true, Ryder. We’ll always be there for you. You just have to look in your heart and believe. A memory is temporary but the feeling of us being there for you… that is what’s real. Don’t let go of that feeling, Ryder. And don’t let go of your heart.
Thunder rocks the sky again as the sky starts to change.
Jeffrey: It’s upon us… the new world. Urk!
The sound of people approaching can then be heard.
Jeffrey: They’re coming. Ryder, you need to go now.
Ryder: I-I’m not ready to say goodbye.
Jeffrey: Please… just go! Go!
Ryder stumbles onto his feet and uneasily runs off away from the car, not looking back. Jeffrey leans against the car as Solomon steps out, weilding a gun. He looks ahead at Ryder running for his life and turns to look back at the Cabal members besides him.
Malin: One look like he get away!
Justin Blood: I like the ones that run away… heh heh they make the chase all the more, blood-curdling. (laughs)
Delilah Klaus: No fair. You tore the last couple of targets apart before I even got a slash in.
Max Kane steps ahead and whips out a rifle.
Max Kane: I’ve got him in my crosshairs. I can take the shot right now and end this. No survivors, just like the Boss wanted.
Solomon: No. Let him go. Our main priority is already here.
Solomon looks down at Jeffrey who stiffles out a breath.
Solomon: You’ve angered a very important person, Jeffrey.
Jeffrey: Well, I tend to piss off a lot of people in my line of work.
Solomon: Becoming a private investigator was like asking for a death wish. Luckily, we’re here to see to that. Your wife is no more and your son will be dealt with soon enough. Whether we kill him or not depends on just how I feel.
Jeffrey: If you think this is the end… you and Reeves are wrong.
Solomon: We know that you’re the only one who possesses the information and because of your secretive lifestyle, not even your son knows what Reeves has planned. If anyone has lost here… it’s you. Kane?
Kane pulls his rifle back and whips out a pistol instead, drawing it onto Jeffrey.
Jeffrey: Don’t you want to know what I know?
Solomon looks down at Jeffrey and turns to Kane. Kane sighs then nods, lowering his weapon.
Jeffrey: The sky is trembling and the air feels thicker than usual. You’ve noticed it too, haven’t you? The shaking, the thunder- it’s all connected to something. Something else. Something that will change the course of history as we know it. This new age that Reeves has planned… it will never work. And your situation. It’s too late. It’s only a matter of time before there’s nothing you can do for her.
Solomon is silent for a moment as he turns away from Jeffrey. He then whips back to him, holding a gun and fires. The shot echoes throughout the area. Ryder stops in his place, the shot still echoing in his ears as his pupils shrink in surprise. He looks back, seeing his father in the far distance slump over against the side of the crashed car. Ryder soon drops down to his knees and holds his head. His grip tightens and his mouths opens as if he is screaming… however, no sound comes out. Just Ryder on his knees silently yelling in nothing but pain. The scene then draws darker around him as he leans down, holding his head tightly in frustration.
Voice: I can feel your rage.
Ryder lets go of his head and looks around, surprised. His also appears to be talking inside of his own mind as his mouth doesn’t move when speaking to this disembodied voice.
Ryder (Flashback): W-Who’s there?!
Voice: I am your other self. Your spirit of vengeance.
Ryder (Flashback): I don’t understand. How are you talking to me right now?
Voice: Squinch the rage building inside you and take it out on those who have done you wrong. I offer you my power and together we will make them all pay with their blood. Isn’t that what you want, isn’t that what you feel deep within your veins?
Ryder (Flashback): I- I do. I want it more than anything.
Voice: Then open your heart to me. Let me give you my power. And together we will form into the ultimate creature to ever walk this new world.
Ryder (Flashback): My heart…
Voice: Don’t get emotional on me. Use that rage… feel that rage… let it flow through you.
Ryder (Flashback): But-
Voice: You want to avenge them, don’t you?
Ryder (Flashback): I do.
You: Then tell me you want my power and it shall be yours.
Ryder looks ahead with a look of determination in his young eyes.
Ryder (Flashback): I want it.
Voice: (laughs quietly) Then take it and let the Beast let loose on those who shall oppose us!
Ryder clenches the side of his head is pain as the scene around him grows red with flames and energy.
Ryder (Flashback) RAAGHHH!!!
He drops down to his knees again and hunches over, with his back starting to morph and bones cracking due to the transformation he is undergoing. His hands start to grow claws at the end of their fingertips. He then throws his head back and his screams turn into deadly roars. The scene then starts to fade away as the present day Ryder watches from the distance as everything had unfolded.
Ryder: What have I done?
Wickham’s Voice: You see now, don’t you? The spirit had lied to you, preyed on your rage ever since that day. You were its host. But that doesn’t mean it has to end in bloodshed and sadness.
Ryder: Then what do I do?!
Wickham’s Voice: It depends, Ryder. What do you want?
That last question lingers in the void around Ryder. He stands there, actually taking the words into consideration.
Ryder: What… do I want?
As Ryder thinks, a translucent hand appears on his shoulder. Ryder looks surprised for a moment then turns back. He sees his parents looking at him in a translucent, space-like essence state with his father placing his hand on his shoulder. Ryder looks at him then soon, looks down. He then looks back up at them and smiles softly.
Ryder: I think I know now. Thank you… for being here for me.
Ryder then awakes on the bed, rising up and sitting up straight. He appears to have been sweating. He looks down at his hands and turns to his side, seeing Wickham standing there, watching him.
Wickham: Now you are ready.
Ryder gives a solid nod to Wickham. The scene then cuts over to a moment later with Ryder in fresh clothes stepping into the sitting room where Wickham appears to be preparing some equipment.
Wickham: This is some old gear I used to use when I was monster hunting in my prime. Take good care of it and it will take great care of you.
Ryder is then handed some sort of old utility belt fashioned with a holster. He looks it for a moment before placing it on and adjusting the straps.
Ryder: Any reason why I would need this or am I trying to make a fashion statement here?
Wickham: Right now, you’re just a frail as any average Human since you have gotten your spiritual powers stripped from you but that doesn’t mean you are powerless. With your soul repaired and heart mended, you now have the will required to recapture that demonic spirit again. In your control, it’ll no longer pose as a danger… well, as much of a danger really. But you’re going to need more than just willpower to face a creature like that. You’ll need weapons.
Ryder: I don’t suppose you just happen to have a magic gun lying around then.
Wickham: Better than that. (holds up a container of powder) This powder will repel any spiritual forces which should weaken its host body. You’ll also need some protection in case he tries to slice you up like earlier.
He hands the powder container to Ryder who examines it while Wickham searches for another item on the table. He then shows Ryder a broken-up gauntlet like armor.
Wickham: This is an arm guard. It’s not exactly armor for your whole body but it should be good enough to block close ranged attacks up close. At least, for a good while, that is.
Ryder: You’re filling me up with even more and more confidence. So just powder and an arm guard then. Oh and not to mention the will power within my heart.
Wickham: You can be a smart ass all you want but you’re still going to need an actual weapon to deal some serious damage. Which is why I want to have this.
Wickham turns back to the table and takes a small case in his hands. He turns to Ryder and holds up the case over to his hands.
Ryder: What’s inside?
Wickham: A weapon I’ve used for many years to carve through enemies, slice up demons and hack my way out of more problems than I can anticipate.
He opens the case and inside rests a knife with a fine and polished blade with a sturdy and slightly rusted handle with red intents.
Wickham: I call it: The Atman Carver.
Ryder: It’s a knife...
Wickham: What? You don’t know how to use it?
Ryder: Heh, I know how to use a knife.
Wickham: Then you should have no problem with it then.
Ryder: It’s just that- this guy is huge compared to me. I can’t take him on like this.
Wickham: I don’t expect you to understand what it means to be a monster hunter. And this isn’t something you have to do. You can always walk away from all this.
Wickham: Just think about it for a second, will you? You have no supernatural abilities within you. Right now, you are free to live your life like a regular person. I can just as easily take that equipment and hunt the Beast myself.
Ryder: But the Beast isn’t my only problem. And besides, what life will I return to?
Wickham: Your career as a private investigator. Or is there something else to want to return to?
Ryder: My friend, Kelly. And I suppose my other friend, Raggy. They’ve been there for me this whole time. I can’t just stop here and let them down. I’ll go after the Beast for me and then I’ll go after Reeves for them.
Wickham: Then what are you waiting for?
Ryder looks surprised at first by Wickham’s comment but then looks inspired from it. He walks places the gear into his holster and belt pockets. He then makes his way over to the coat hanger and takes his leather jacket from it. He throws out an arm and places the jacket on. He then straightens the lapels and looks ahead, with monster hunting gear suited underneath.
Wickham: You remind me of your father. If he could see you now, he’d be proud.
Ryder: I know. And now I’m going to do him proud by taking on the Beast, myself!
Ryder then heads out the door, triggering another transition as the scene finds its way over to a vantage point, looking down on a cleared out facility area.
A truck can be seen being loaded up with crates. One of the crates is open showing several vials of serum drugs stacked on top of on another before being closed off by one of Reeves’ thugs.
Thug: Alright, let’s get this shit loaded up already. We’ve got a deadline to meet.
The other thug nods his head and helps lifting the crate over to the truck. Elsewhere, Raggy watches the truck being loaded up from a distance as he hides behind some barrels. He then whips out his phone and places it by his ear.
Raggy: Yo, you getting this?
Kelly, over the phone: Yeah. Looks like they’re preparing to make their move.
Raggy: You should have enough time to get yourself situated. Are you in place?
Kelly, over the phone: I am.
Raggy: And your back up?
Kelly, over the phone: It’ll be there.
Raggy: Come on, Kelly, we need that side covered- otherwise they’re going to get away. You even said to leave the major one with your guys.
Kelly, over the phone: Come on, don’t worry about it. Just keep the focus on the thugs there.
A distinct roaring is then heard followed by some crashing. Raggy jumps in shock then turns, peeking from his cover. The Beast can then be seen breaking through fences and leaping ahead at the truck. The thugs pull out their weapons and fire at the creature who peers down at them with its piercing red eyes from the top of the truck. The bullets impact with its skin but the wounds heal at incredible speeds. The Beast then launches ahead and slashes through the thugs, chomping into their bodies and tearing them apart forcefully. Lots of screams and gunfire are then heard.
Kelly, over the phone: What’s going on?!
Raggy: It’s- uh- it’s hard to explain.
Kelly, over the phone: Are you alright? Should we stop?
Raggy: No. Don’t! You just might have less time than I expected. This outpost was attacked and news might be reaching your side soon so be on your guard.
Kelly, over the phone: I can be over there to help if you need it-
Raggy: That’s alright. I didn’t come unprepared. You just make sure you have your side handled and make sure your backup shows up too!
Kelly, over the phone: They’ll be there. And thanks… good luck, Raggy.
Raggy hangs up, puts his phone away then turns to peek from his cover again. He then draws out a pistol and holds it steady. He takes a breath then moves out from his cover, aiming the weapon ahead. However, the Beast throws some crates over in that direction. Raggy tries to move out of the way only for the crates to crash into him, knocking him down and the gun out of his hands. The Beast then sniffs the air and turns to Raggy, who can be seen struggling to reach for the gun with the crates weighing down on his lower half.
Raggy: Grh! Son of a-
A shadow then starts to appear over Raggy. He stops then turns his head, looking up and seeing the Beast lurking over him, peering down and seeing through him.
The Beast: We smell your sin. The deaths on your conscious. We can clear those sins for you. We can end your suffering. We can end you… and we will.
The Beast raises its claws to sky and Raggy closes his eyes, waiting for the impact. As the Beast brings its arm down, a powder hits its back, causing the Beast to falter over.
The Beast: URH!
The Beast then lets out a low growl and turns behind it to see Ryder standing there, geared up.
Ryder: You want to face someone’s guilt? I’m right here!
The Beast: Grr… You returned to face your death.
Ryder: No. I returned to claim what’s mine.
The Beast: This power belongs to us!
Ryder: Oh, I know. But I’m done asking for permission. I’m taking control and taking your power for my own, whether you like it or not. Not because I need it to squinch some grudge… I want the power to do right by people and honor the legacy of my family!
The Beast: Then take it. If you dare survive…
The Beast slowly approaches Ryder and Ryder slowly approaches the Beast. The two come near one another; their speed increasing gradually until their walks turn into runs then their runs turn to sprints. The Beast then pounces ahead, claws at the ready- coming down onto Ryder, who throws up his arm, anticipating the attack. The claws clash against the arm guard, pushing Ryder back ever so slightly. The Beast comes back at him with another claw attack then another and even adjusts its fighting style with a side attack. Ryder blocks the second attack then swings his arm to counter the third but is slashed at his side by the fourth. The Beast then comes in for a full swing which Ryder barely manages to block as his lifts his arm to defend. The force of the strike knocks him back into the ground by some knocked over crates. He groans to himself as he lifts himself up from the ground. Although, before he can fully get up, the Beast charges at him once again. Ryder, noticing this, pushes away from the approaching creature. He then turns his head and notices the knocked over crates with serum vials spilling out. He then takes one in his hand and tosses at the creature. The vial cracks upon impact and spills serum into the creature’s red eyes. Ryder then rolls out of the way as the creature plows into the truck behind where he once was. The Beasts wipes the liquid using the fur from its arm and turns both ways, searching for its prey. Ryder then runs up from behind and leaps onto a fallen crate, kicking off from it and dashing through the air. He then pulls out the Atman Carver from one of his holster pockets as he drops down onto the Beast’s back. The creature whips around and jerks back and forth- attempting to get Ryder off of it but, nevertheless, Ryder persevered. He stabs the knife into the neck of the creature and hangs on for dear life as it turns forcefully in pain. With his grip on the knife, he reaches with his other hand for more of the powder and drops the rest of its content onto the Beast’s head. The creature roars out in pain and continues attempting to shake Ryder off until it collides with a metal structure apart of the facility building. Ryder then wedges the knife slightly and drops down before the creature, using his weight to drag the knife downwards against its flesh. The knife, indeed, starts to carve through the Beast’s skin as Ryder drops down. Ryder then extends his feet out against the creature’s chest to stop his descent. Now, there is a long, diagonal slash leading from its neck to a little under its chest. Ryder loosens his arm guard slightly and uses its edge to burrow a sort of hold for him to grab and suspend him in that position. He then removes the knife now that he is stable and readies to wield it once more. Just as he raises his arm to deliver the final blow, the Beast weakly reaches for Ryder.
The Beast: No… You can’t win…. We are free now… Both of us…. If you do this… You will never know freedom again.
Ryder: Yeah. I’ve been trapped for what feels like my entire life. Trapped by feelings, pain, torment and suffering… but not by you, spirit, but by myself. But I’m done being caged like an animal. But you… you’re the one who won’t know the taste of freedom anymore.
The Beast: No. NO! NO!!!
The Beast uses its last ounce of energy to raise and grab Ryder but Ryder already has plunged the knife deep into the Beast’s heart. The stab then releases a tower of energy which shoots out from the creature’s chest and into the sky. Ryder is caught up in the blast as the energy continues shooting upwards with a forceful blast of red and black colors. The blast itself can be seen from a distance within the city during the night. Through the waves of energy, a ghastly howl can be heard before both the sound and the light die out and the night resumes. The place where the Beast had been is now occupied by the corpse of Solomon, which seems to have returned to normal albeit a more decomposed and burnt out state. Across from the body, however, lays Ryder which smoke coming off of his slightly sizzled leather jacket. Ryder, soon, stirs awake as his eyes open. He then gets up from the ground and holds his head before looking around the area.
Ryder: Did- Did it work?
Spirit, speaking within Ryder’s mind: So… you let me into your heart again.
Ryder: You’re the spirit, aren’t you? Hmph. I did.
Spirit: Then I should let my power course through you and run rampant on this world once more!
Ryder: No. I’m the one in control now. I won’t let you use me like you did before.
Spirit: But there’s still one more, isn’t there? This Anton Reeves. You desire his death. I can feel it within you. So give in to your desires and let me take control once more, Ryder.
Ryder: I won’t let you have control! This is my body… my life. And my mission.
Ryder’s chest then glows slightly as he hunches over in slight pain.
Ryder: Ngh! What-
Spirit: No! NO! NOOO-
The spirit’s screams soon fade off as the burning light within Ryder diminishes. Ryder feels his chest with his hand as he stands up straight. He then clutches his fist and smiles softly.
Ryder, to himself: I have the control… I have the power to do what’s right.
He then turns and sees Raggy underneath the crates, in a state that makes him appear unwell. Ryder’s eyes widen as he rushes over to Raggy, he pushes the crates off and pulls Raggy out from underneath there.
Raggy, groaning: Ryder? Is that you?
Ryder: Yeah, man, I’m here.
Raggy: I thought that thing… was you.
Ryder: It was, man. But not anymore. It’s a bit a long story. What are you even doing here?
Raggy: Working with Kelly to stop the Cabal from distributing the Mutation serum.
Raggy: Yeah… She knows about- well- everything now.
Ryder: That’s alright. It wasn’t right for me to keep things from her or you, for that matter.
Raggy: Eh, I’m used to it. (cough)
Ryder: You should get on out of here. You’ve helped out enough.
Raggy: Hell no, man. I’m not done fighting.
Ryder: Neither am I. But this place is cleared out and Kelly might need some help on her end.
Raggy: (sigh) Right. I should head on over. But what about you? I mean- I’m not going to pretend I understood what I may or may not have saw but… well, that didn’t look natural.
Ryder: More like supernatural.
Ryder: I’ll explain later. Just make sure she’s alright, will you? I’m counting on you, as a friend.
Ryder places his hand on Raggy’s shoulder. Raggy nods.
Raggy: Yeah, Ryder, you can count on me. But what about you?
Ryder: I still have someone else to take care of.
Raggy: Right. Well, good luck with that. I’ll be wishing you luck.
The two then shake and embrace before pushing off from one another. Raggy turns around and picks up his gun from the ground before leaving the area. Ryder’s smile then turns into a more determined expression. He then turns back around and starts to leave through the other end of the area when more of Reeves’ thugs exit from the facility, with guns, crowbars and bats at their disposal.
Ryder: Aw shit...
Thug: You did this, huh? Well, you’re about to learn why you shouldn’t mess with us.
Ryder: Look, it’s over, alright? Just put your weapons down and give up. Before I really have to hurt you...
The goons laugh among themselves but the laughter soon turn into frustrated grunts.
Thug: You think we’re scared of you?! Is that it?
Another Thug: You’re just one man. All on your own.
Thug: That’s right. Now prepare say goodnight, you piece of-
Just as the thug raises his gun to fire at Ryder, a ball of fire flies down and crashes before them. The impact is enough to knock the gun out from the man’s hand and cause him to step back. The thugs then mutter in surprise while, even Ryder stands back. He looks up at the facility rooftop and sees a figure moving through the darkness. The figure jumps from the roof of the building and fires crystal-like projectiles which stab into the armor that the thugs are wearing, pinning them to the side of the building- while others knock weapons from some of their hands. The figure then, almost as if they are gliding through the air, redirects straight towards them and while roll through the air, kicks the central thug in the head, knocking him back. The hooded figure then turns around and strikes another thug approaching from behind and spin kicks the guy coming from the right side. When the remaining thugs come in for a full on attack, the hooded figure throws out their hands and forms them into large, muscular rock-like substances. The figure then slams their hands against the ground and releases a wave of heat from them that knocks the thugs down to the ground. Once they appear to be knocked out for the count, the figure stands up straight and reforms their hands back to normal. Ryder stands across from the hooded figure, surprised.
Ryder: Wait… I recognize those powers anywhere. You’re-
The hooded figure turns around, showing that he is- in fact- the Vigilante. He takes off his hood, revealing his spiky, black hair and lifts the goggles on to his forehead as Ryder approaches.
Drake: It’s been a while, Ryder.
Ryder: I didn’t expect to see you here.
Drake: It’s my city. I heard a Mutant was causing problems, killing innocent people and something revolving around Anton Reeves. And that reminded me of you.
Ryder: It wasn’t me. I mean, I’m involved but-
Drake: It’s okay. I saw everything. I was watching this place for a while now. I guess… I’m the one who wasn’t expecting to see you here.
Ryder: Was that supposed to be a joke or something?
Drake: I don’t joke.
Ryder: Right. So you’re not curious about the whole channeling power thing?
Drake: I only want to know what you’re up to and what this has to do with Reeves.
Ryder: He’s making a serum, something that can turn regular people into a people with the abilities of Mutants by rewriting their DNA or something like that. There are trucks leaving the city as we speak but don’t worry- my friends are taking care of that. Reeves himself is planning on leaving the city as well and once he does-
Drake: We’ll lose track of him again.
Ryder: Exactly. And I don’t plan on losing him. There’s too much at stake here.
Drake: Well, there are more of his men coming from inside. And the ones here might get up sooner than you think. Can you control that power of yours yet?
Ryder: I think so.
Drake: Then go. Stop Reeves and I’ll cover you.
Ryder: You want to work together?
Drake: Last time we fought, I put my trust in you, remember? And a lot has changed since then… I also got some friends to help me with something.
Ryder: I guess we can both change for better.
The sound of more thugs approaching can be heard.
Drake: That’s them.
Drake places his goggles back on and raises his hood once more.
Drake: Well, you ready?
Ryder: Oh yeah.
More of Reeves’ men then burst from the facility, armed to the teeth, and surround both Drake and Ryder. The two look at each other before turning their attention to the thugs around them. Ryder closes his eyes and after a brief moment, opens them fiercely as they glow bright yellow. His transformation occurs slowly as his hair starts growing out and his hands turn into claws. Drake’s however occurs much quicker as he shifts his hands into his Crystal Claws form. The two then leap ahead and slash at the thugs ahead of them. Ryder strikes down one thug then swings his arm back, striking another in the head with his elbow. One thug fires his gun at Drake who deflects the bullet with his claws and charges ahead, ramming into him and knocking him back into the rest of the ground. Drake then turns to Ryder.
Ryder nods then turns and runs towards the side of the facility building. He then jumps up and his claws grip into the side of the building. One of thugs turns his gun and aims at Ryder as he starts to scale the side of the building using his claws but Drake strikes him down and turns back to face the remainder of Reeves’ men. Ryder continues scaling the building but nearly loses his grip when his legs start to transform as well. He then presses against the building with his legs and continues climbing upwards until he reaches the roof. By then his transformation starts to spread from his arms to his chest and his legs are still forming. He then dashes across the rooftop like a man but soon pounces ahead like a wolf before leaping off with that build up. He soars across the sky and crashes down onto the rooftop of the adjacent building, rolling to his feet which are now like the Beast. As he continues transforming, he continues moving ahead- moving further through the city. Elsewhere, Kelly can be seen at a different facility where the thugs are making their moves. She turns to her radio and appears to be reporting the situation when one of the thugs catches her off guard. He grabs her arm and yells out to the others. Two more thugs rush over from the truck, armed with guns. Kelly looks surprised but closes her eyes. She then manages to pull the thug down and knocks him to the side of the building. She then looks down at her hand, surprised and turns to the two thugs aiming at her. She raises her hands but shots ring past her, startling her a bit. The shots hit the two thugs in their arms, rendering them defenseless. Kelly then turns behind her and sees Raggy coming in. He then nods at her and she nods back. At the other facilities, the trucks are already loaded and driving off. As the two trucks converge onto the same route, they pull into an underground tunnel. However, at the end of the tunnel, a police roadblock is set up ahead. The truck drivers then look behind them and see some police cruisers drive in and block the other side of the tunnel as well. The officers then approach and surround the trucks; their guns at the ready. Akira stands before the roadblock, hands in his coat pocket with a smirk growing on his face. Further into the city, Ryder stops onto a rooftop and looks around the area. However, he soon finds himself left in a bit of a daze with his senses becoming overwhelmed. Ryder then attempts to settle down and closes his eyes to focus.
Wickham, voice over: When your powers return to you, you’ll get a rush of the senses. They’ll be more enhanced than what you were used to. Because of that, you will have to re-learn how to use them, not as a man, but as the Beast you become.
Ryder’s eyes open, gaining a piercing yellow creature appearance to them. He looks around, seeing far away details and peering through the darkness of the night around him.
Wickham, voice over: Sight.
Ryder’s sight then locks onto what appears to be an abandoned limousine in an alleyway. He then squints with a low growl and pounces ahead. He leaps from rooftop to rooftop in a wolf-like manner before dropping down into the alleyway by the limo. He approaches with caution by soon sees that there is no one inside. He then lifts his head up slightly and sniffs the air around the vehicle.
Wickham, voice over: Smell.
He approaches the vehicle closer and smells the back seat. His head then perks up, sniffing the air once more. He then lowers his head and dashes forward on all fours in a specific direction. He leaps onto a dumpster and kicks off, scaling up the side of another building and using the fire escape and push himself onto a rooftop. He leaps across to the next one and perches against the edge. His ears then perk up and twitch slightly.
Wickham, voice over: Hearing.
A wave of sounds come to Ryder’s ears including, but not limited to, a car horn honking, people shouting, a truck failing to start, a cat meowing, someone coughing and then some men talking with one another. He focuses on those men in specific and the other sounds start to become muffled out with the men speaking becoming the center of focus.
Man’s Voice: Where do you need us to take you, Mr. Reeves?
Reeves’ Voice: The airstrip.
Man’s Voice: Sir? There isn’t an airstrip in the city.
Reeves’ Voice: It’s a private area owned by R-Corp which functions as an airstrip. Lot 24.
Man’s Voice: Got it, Boss.
Ryder then looks up ahead and snarls before taking off from the edge of the rooftop. As he drops through the air, he extends his arms out and the impact is softened with his paws.
Wickham, voice over: And Touch.
He then uses some agile movements to land on the edge of a lower rooftop and run across it with increasing speeds. He then leaps from that rooftop and hunches over, in full on wolf form before the full moon behind him; he looks cleaner and better suited than the previous Beast forms. He then drops down out of the view, on his way towards the warehouse district. As he drops, the sound of thunder rings out through the sky once more. At a specific lot, a black van can be seen pulling up to the warehouse. The warehouse doors then open slowly as Reeves exits the vehicle with his men. As the door open wider, a helicopter can be seen within being treated by more of Reeves’ men. Reeves opens his purple coat and approaches the copter with his men.
Reeves: Get the copter ready. We need to leave this city as soon as we can. I have other business that needs attending to.
Both Men: Yes, sir!
They rush ahead into the warehouse while Reeves approaching in a casual walking distance. As he approaches the warehouse, a figure drops down behind him, impacting with the ground. The sound causes Reeves to stop in place and look ahead, a deep sigh leaving him. Thunder strikes again. Reeves turns around and sees the Beast peering over at him from across the air strip.
Anton Reeves: Well, well- it would seem I won’t be making my escape unnoticed. So who am I referring to this time around? Some brain-less rage monster or the annoying and persistent investigator, Ryder?
The Beast growls to himself.
Ryder: We are the same now.
Anton Reeves: So you can talk... Well, isn’t that a chance of pace? So tell me, what do you plan on doing now that you killed the entirety of the Cabal? Kill me?!
Ryder: You have crimes to answer to.
Anton Reeves: I answer to no one. The law is made to fit around people like myself. People with power and influence. I mean, did you notice how I’m no longer in a prison cell and about to get into a luxurious helicopter? That’s the work on power and influence.
Ryder: It’s the work on manipulation. You were freed on a technicality.
Anton Reeves: Oh same difference! Those vigilantes couldn’t stop me so how do you hope to? My men will put you down before you even reach me. This is superior technology, not some shabby gang weaponry. All I have to do is leave this city and I’m gone in the wind. Not even you with your investigative skills will be able to find out what I’ll be up to. It’s hopeless.
Ryder: No… There’s still a chance, right here, right now. As long as I fight with all my heart, I will be able to stop you… once and for all.
Anton Reeves: Enough of this. Put the mutt down already.
Reeves’ Men: Yes, sir!
Reeves’ Men step ahead, aiming their guns and firing at Ryder who swiftly leaps into the air. The men look up just as he crashes down onto them, slamming their heads against the pavement- rendering them unconscious. Reeves steps back as more men exit from the warehouse, firing down at Ryder. Ryder gets hit by a few shots but his quick healing takes place as he dodges the incoming shots. He then rolls out of the way and takes a barrel, chucking it at them. He manages to knock out two of his men while the rest move out of the way for cover. Ryder uses his opportunity to move in closer while Reeves takes cover.
Anton Reeves: Hurry up with that helicopter already!
R-Corp Employee: We’re doing our best, sir!
Another Employee: Almost ready, sir!
Anton Reeves: Imbeciles! We don’t have time for this.
As Ryder fights with the remainder of Reeves’ men up close, the helicopter is delivered out of the warehouse using some kind of hover technology with the R-Corp symbol marked on the side. The pilot is already firing up the copter as the blades on top start spinning. The sound carries over to Ryder’s ears which perk up. He turns his head from a fallen guard and sees the helicopter about to take off. Ryder gets up and approaches the helicopter while Reeves climbs on board. He hangs onto the side and waves off at Ryder. Ryder’s eyes flare up and he takes a step forward. He leans with intent and releases a devastating howl mixed in with a yell.
The howl then amplifies into actual sound waves and bombards the helicopter. The sudden and unexpected movement shakes the copter and causes Reeves to drop from the copter and onto the pavement. The copter wasn’t too high up so the drop may have been only somewhere between fifteen and twenty feet.
Helicopter Pilot: Sir!
Reeves slowly lifts up from the ground and holds his back. He groans in slight pain and winces from moving. Thunder strikes once more through the dark sky. Reeves then turns his head and sees Ryder breathing heavily across from him on the air strip. Rain then starts to pour as Reeves makes it to his feet. The two then look at each other from across the way while the helicopter flies around them, overhead.
Anton Reeves: You want me? Is that it?!
Ryder remains silent through the rain as it pours down hard on the two of them.
Anton Reeves: Well, I won’t make it easy. There’s only one way we’re getting through this night, Ryder.
Reeves reaches off to his side and retrieves a specialized looking handgun.
Anton Reeves: Don’t think I haven’t killed before. Now that I see that you’re thinking clearly, I’m gonna assume you don’t even have any experience under your belt outside of that Mutant form of yours. Unlike myself. After all, I was the one who placed that hit on your parents, right?
Ryder starts to growl under his breath as he steps towards Reeves. Reeves approaches as well, preparing his gun for firing.
Anton Reeves: You know you should be working with me, not against me. After all, it was you who somewhat inspired my phase of drugs that should have been distributed around the city by now. Or, at least, would have been. But that’s alright- there’s always the next phase. All I have to do is get on the copter.
Ryder: Which is why you aren’t going anywhere.
Anton Reeves: Yeah? Well, we’ll just see then, shall we?
Reeves takes his gun and fires at Ryder who moves out of the way.
Anton Reeves: You can’t get close to me, Ryder. These bullets are specialized to kill Mutants as well as Humans. You might have that regenerative process you go through but these bullets release an enzyme that fights against it. It’s hopeless to try and fight me.
Ryder: I won’t let you win!
Anton Reeves: You’re already too late. Y’know, while I escape-
He talks as he backs away towards the landing helicopter behind him.
Anton Reeves: Maybe I’ll send my men into the city and hunt down those friends of yours. The people responsible for stopping my drug run. Then maybe I use some of my power and influence to make sure they never see their fortune from their careers. Not just them, but their loved ones as well. Everyone that you had gotten your sorry self involved with will soon know exactly what your parents have gone through. All that struggle for nothing but pain and sorrow.
Ryder charges ahead for Reeves who merely chuckles. He fires at Ryder, hitting him square in the chest and knocking him back. Ryder gets up and is dropped down to his knee as the bullet starts to activate and weaken Ryder.
Anton Reeves: Nothing but a weakling that needs to be put out of its misery.
Reeves aims the gun once more at Ryder’s lowered head but, soon enough, Ryder’s head rises up as he peers directly at him. Reeves lowers his weapon for a moment, surprised.
Anton Reeves: No…
Ryder then stands and approaches Reeves. Reeves fires once more but, despite getting shot again, Ryder continues. Reeves fire again and again but the bullets, while working and weakening Ryder, do nothing to him. Ryder pushes through the pain and finally manages to grab Reeves arm, twisting it back so that the next shot fires into the pavement. He then turns his arm, causing Reeves to yell out in pain as he drops the weapon onto the ground. He then growls and tosses Reeves off to the side. Ryder then uses his claws to pull out the bullets from his arms and chest, dropping them against the pavement. Reeves struggles to get up and turns to the gun. He then crawls over to it while Ryder is picking out the bullets and manages to grab it again. He turns to Ryder, aiming the gun but Ryder smacks it from his hands. He then grabs onto Reeves and pulls him in close. Lightning then flashes behind him, showing that Ryder had returned to Human form already. He strikes Reeves down across the face. The force knocks him back to the ground. Reeves spits up blood and touches his face. Ryder grabs him again to bring him to his feet but Reeves knocks loose and strikes back. The two then engage in a fist fight through the rain on the air strip. However, Ryder strikes him in his shoulder, which stunts Reeves for a moment. Enough of a moment for Ryder is straight on tackle him to the pavement and strike him across the face once more. Then again, and again… and once more. He then stops for a moment to breath as he pants there, before Reeves who takes the time to breath as well.
Anton Reeves: How does it feel then? Good to get your revenge?
Ryder: Shut up…
Anton Reeves: To get your hands dirty?
Ryder: SHUT UP!
Ryder grabs Reeves once more and holds him up. Ryder’s eyes then pierce through the darkness with a faint of red and yellow. He stops, holding his arm up.
Anton Reeves: What’s the matter? Scared? You’ve killed before, haven’t you?
Ryder is silent.
Anton Reeves: Or maybe it’s that you don’t believe you’ve killed anyone. That it was the other you that had done those violent things and not the Human side of you.
Ryder: Be quiet.
Anton Reeves: Well then, I guess you know what’s going to happen now then. I mean, we both know how this has to end, Ryder. Either you kill me and stop this right here and now or I get away and continue on, out of your hands. Of course, that’ll also mean committing yourself to be either the monster who killed a man or the monster who let me escape. Either way, I win and you lose. What’s it going to be, Ryder?
Ryder hesitates for a moment as he still raises his hand for the final strike. Ryder struggles to maintain his fist and his arm shutters in place.
Ryder: I can’t- I can’t let you win.
Anton Reeves: Like I said… I’ve already won.
Ryder: I- I can’t… I can’t…
Ryder’s momentum then collapses before him as his fist unravels and his arm falters to the ground.
Ryder: I can’t kill you.
Anton Reeves: ...And that’s why- you lose.
The pilot then approaches with caution and pulls Reeves out from there, carrying him over to the helicopter. Ryder continues kneeling there on the air strip and looking down at the ground, defeated. The helicopter soon takes off with Reeves through the window, back at the air strip.
Pilot: Where to, sir?
Anton Reeves: Away from here. Make sure we’re untraceable then make for the off-site facility.
Pilot: Yes, sir.
Reeves continues looking ahead, leaning back in the comfort of his helicopter. Meanwhile, back at the air strip, Ryder continues looking down, leaning forward on the ground, his tears melting in with the rain on his face. He continues leaning there, sobbing. He then hits the ground in frustration and weeps in the night. The scene then transitions to the next day where the city can be seen in the morning. The sky is bright with a soft orange and dull clouds almost frozen in the sky. The buildings remain sturdy and systematic as the civilians continue on with their regular routines. The Ryder Investigations office is then seen with the sunlight breaching in through the closed blinds. The desk remains unmanned with the laptop, coffee cup, files and map laying on it by the vintage phone.
Ryder, narrating: So that’s my story. I know, it’s not a real exciting one compared to some others but it is what it is. I don’t know what happened to Raggy but he made good on his promise. The Cabal’s lackies were taken care of by whatever plan my friends had come up with and he made sure Kelly made it out of there safe. Although, I’m pretty sure she could have taken care of herself without any problem.
The scene cuts over to the police precinct where Kelly is congratulated by several officers. Even the Commissioner claps from his doorway. Kelly smiles among her co-workers and is even comforted by Detective Lee.
Ryder, narrating: Kelly was praised by the police department for her actions against the Cabal. With such a cunning plan to defeat such a hidden and massive crime ring in the city, she was promoted to an active police officer doing more than just patrols. She’s getting a chance to really follow in her father’s footsteps.
The moment Kelly is left alone, however, her smile turns to a frown as she looks off to the side, thinking. The scene then cuts to a prison where Ryder can be seen approaching the entrance.
Ryder, narrating: And as for me? Well, I couldn’t deal with the thought of killing another man. At least, with my bare hands. I know lives were lost because of me… I just need the time to figure out whether it was the right thing to do or not. Besides, it’s about time I made up the things I’ve done, even if it wasn’t me in control… I’m still an accessory to a serial killing. And I know that Kelly would never look at me the same way again.
Ryder can be seen talking with the people at the counter at the prison. Soon enough, the scene cuts to Ryder being taken in, cuffed and escorted further and further into the prison by two guards.
Ryder, narrating: So that’s why I’m turning myself in. Directly. I don’t want to know right away about where I am. I don’t want her to worry… I don’t her to feel sorry for me… I don’t her to look down on me. This is her day, after all.
The sound of bars slamming are then heard before the scene cuts once more to Ryder sitting in his cell, in a white prison uniform. He looks out ahead, looking defeated but with purpose at the same instance.
Ryder, narrating: Maybe I am just a monster. I don’t know. But I know I’m more than just a man. And I know that when my sentence is carried out… I will find the real monster and bring him to justice. Because that’s what I’m fighting for. Not to avenge the fallen… but to honor them and their names. I am the Beast… but I’m also Ryder.
Ryder starts to chuckle with a smirk on his face before the scene cuts over to Ryder Investigations again, clear of any life.
Ryder, narrating: ...and this is how my story ends.
The view continues to move through the room, from the desk to the door in a slow and stable manner. As the view resumes going past the doorway, Raggy can be seen looking in before closing the door. He takes the office keys and locks the door then turns to walk away, leaving the office behind. The view then settles in the hallway, looking back at the door with the name, Ryder Investigations on its glass.
Ryder, narrating: Well, I thought that’s how the story ended. But sometimes… there winds up being a whole new chapter to go through.
A door is then opened, bringing in a strong light from the outside into the dark room. A figure then appears in the doorway and walks into the dark room, with the door soon closing behind them. The sound of their footsteps echoes through the chamber until the figure can be seen approaching a table with a light shining down onto it. At the table, Ryder can be seen cuffed to it, looking up at the figure standing by said table. The figure then takes a seat and Ryder’s eyes follow them as they descend down into the chair.
Ryder: I’m surprised. I thought we were done with our little partnership.
Figure: Oh we are. But, you know what they say about opportunity knocking.
Ryder: Opportunity doesn’t knock. It presents itself when you beat down the door.
Figure: Exactly that. I’m going to need you to get yourself together and seize this chance. That is… if you want to make the best out of this opportunity, that is.
Ryder: You know why I’m here. You know what I am. And you know what I’ve done.
Figure: I know a lot of things. Things that you may have only just started to realize.
Ryder: ...What are you saying?
Figure: I’m saying I think you finally understand just what you are and what you’re capable of. And that’s what I need. You see, there’s more to this world than meets the eye, Ryder. And we’re going to need people like you to help us against such things.
Ryder: So you’re saying the FBI wants to recruit me? Sorry, Agent Anderson, but that doesn’t really sound like my sort of job.
Millie looks at Ryder and smiles softly.
Agent Anderson: You still don’t get it, do you? And here I thought you were clever.
Agent Anderson: I don’t just work for the FBI. That… was merely just a cover. My real occupation is a side government project that deals with threats unlike the ones we usually deal with. To which I am referring to Mutants, of course.
Ryder: So threats aside from Mutants. Like aliens?
Agent Anderson: No. That’s… an entirely different division. We specialize in creatures, like Mutants, with powers unlike your own. Abilities that can bestowed onto a person or grant a person power unlike anything we’ve seen before. I’m going to be frank with you, Ryder. We fight monsters.
Ryder: ...Monsters. I don’t believe this.
Agent Anderson: That’s the thing, Ryder. You do. There’s no sense is covering the truth. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know that you’ve figured it out.
Ryder: Okay, so I know that monsters exist. But what does that have to do with me?
Agent Anderson: We need a weapon capable of dealing with monster threats should they come. And you just so happen to be that weapon. That is… if you agree to work with us. You can stay here and count the days, wishing for a chance to make things right by those you have failed. Or… you can take this chance that I’m offering you now and make the most out of the power you were given. (leans back in her chair) It’s your choice, Ryder.
The two sit in silence for a moment as Ryder’s eyes shift in thought. The view then shows Millie as Ryder seems to settle.
Ryder: I’ve made my choice.
Agent Anderson: ...Well? What’s it going to be?
Ryder then chuckles to himself and looks up at Anderson, and the view, with a smirk on his face with a glow to his eyes.
Ryder: Let’s do it.
- Ryder regains the power of the Beast’s spirit
- Ryder has learned to move on from the death of his parents
- Ryder discovers new abilities and senses with full control over his wolf form
- Ryder turns himself in to the authorities to set things right
- The Cabal are successfully stopped from releasing genetic-altering drugs within and outside of the city
- Reeves manages to get away and continue with his master plan
- Kelly’s reputation and status within the police department had increased
- Raggy takes over Ryder Investigations
- Ryder is offered a chance at redemption
- Jessica Kelly
- Wickham (First Appearance)
- Detective Lee
- Jeffrey (Flashback) (Deceased)
- Kelli (Flashback) (Deceased)
- Drake (First Appearance) (Cameo)
- Millie Anderson (Cameo)
- Police Commissioner
- The title is a somewhat reference to the Mark Morrison song, Return of the Mack.
- The Niijima Dive Bar was a reference to Sae Niijima from Persona 5.
- Soto Industries is a reference towards Alex Soto, a director and producer on Ben 10.
- Wickham was planned on being called Awan and Dakota originally but the name was finally settled with just Wickham.
- The helicopter at the end was originally going to be a private jet but the helicopter felt more appropriate for the setting and story.
- Kelly was supposed to be there when Ryder was sent off to prison but that was changed in the final version to emphasize how much Ryder’s secret had affected their relationship.
- This episode, and a little bit of the previous episode as well, reveals the existence of monsters within the Mutant Drake Universe.