|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 10|
|Written by|| Bat|
|Directed by|| Bat|
War Stories is the 10th episode of the series, Ryder.
The episode begins with outside the city, with the MCA barriers surrounding the place. A dark green and slightly dirtied jeep can be seen approaching the gate at the base of one of the barriers.
The jeep continues to approach the gate at a reasonable speed. At the booth, two MCA Officers are chatting among themselves. The one in the booth turns and nods slightly, causing the other one- who is slightly standing outside of the booth- to turn and grunt at the oncoming vehicle. He grips his weapon and moves ahead, meeting the vehicle by the driver side window as it comes to a halt. The window remains open so the MCA Officer knocks on it a couple of times. The windows appear to be tinted black, making it difficult to see who’s inside before it rolls down shortly afterwards. The driver, a masculine figure in a ragged jacket, has both hands on the wheel and looks straight ahead; his face obscured by the MCA Officer standing across from him.
MCA Officer: License and registration?
The driver grunts to himself before reaching into the glove box. After a brief moment, the man hands the MCA Officer what appears to be his license and registration. The Officer reviews the information bestowed upon him and hands it back to the driver before reaching for a small tablet settled in an attachment on his suit’s belt. He then checks the tablet and uses its pen to jot down a few things, presumingly information about the man before him.
MCA Officer, as he does this: Early morning, ain’t it?
The driver grunts under his breath once more, his hands on uneasy on the wheel as he turns slightly to the Officer- face still slightly obscured.
Man: Sure is…
MCA Officer: According to your information, you’re not a citizen of the city. Were you planning on a temporary or permanent excursion?
Man: Heh. Back in my hay day, I’m pretty sure they used to say “Business or Pleasure?”, y’know?
The man looks up at the MCA Officer, who looks at him grimly and nearly impatiently. The smile soon fades from the man’s face as he looks ahead again.
Man: Temporary. I’ve got some business in the city that needs to be taken care of.
MCA Officer: I see. Well, try to make it as quick as possible. We don’t want any trouble from any outsiders. If you’ve got any questions and concerned, you call up the city or whichever MCA Outpost you come across.
Man: I’ll keep that in mind.
MCA Officer: Alright, move along.
The man nods to himself before rolling up his window. The MCA Officer in the both raises the gate and the jeep drives along, entering the city at last. The scene shows the cityscape from the perspective of the bridge, as it pans from the right to left side with the sun rising along the orange sky. The jeep is seen once more, driving on the streets of the city with the figure seen inside, driving calmly, his grip- however- hard on the steering wheel. The scene cuts ahead to the jeep already parked at the side of the street. The man in the jacket approaches an apartment with another man, slightly older in a dark coat leaning against the door, smoking a cigarette. He looks up, blowing out a puff of smoke and sees the man in the jacket approaching; the smoke obscuring his face.
Man: You the landlord?
Other Man, lowering his hand, still holding the cigarette: I am.
Man: I need a room.
Apartment Landlord: Sorry, but you can’t just show up and expect a room.
The man grunts to himself and reaches under his jacket. The Landlord steps back and the man raises his other arm with a halting gesture directed to the landlord. The Landlord settles as the man continues searching under his jacket. He soon pulls out a small brown bag and hands it to the landlord. He takes the bag into his hands and looks through it, soon pulling out stacks of money banded together into small groups. He looks up at the man surprised, who stands before him in a calm demeanor yet an expecting tone.
Apartment Landlord: (nods) Y-yeah. I think I’ve got something for you.
The scene cuts ahead once more, now with the view inside of an empty apartment room. The door creaks open with the man walking through- the view only showing his chin downwards. The apartment, itself, looks old and worn down and it’s obvious that the room before the man had been stripped away of anything valuable. In fact, there’s low-quality wooden furniture consisting of a couple of chairs and a small table. Besides that, the entire room looks in dire needs of refurbishing. He looks around, a slight grunt escaping his breath before a sigh of relief follows afterwards. The man, carrying a duffel bag in hand, makes his way over to the table and drops his bag down on it before getting to work. He zips the duffel bag open and pulls the sides apart- getting a better look inside. Inside the bag are an assortment of weapons, which is takes out individually- setting them on the table. The manner, in which he does, is in an organized and careful style. In the next instance, he’s reaching into an envelope and pulling out a photograph before tacking it against the wall. He continues doing this with several others- soon creating a web or pattern with interconnected strings and such. He then takes a seat in the cheap, yet sturdy wooden chair by the small table and lets out a long sigh. His gaze, though unseen, looks ahead at the web he had just formed on the wall. He takes a knife into his grasps and twirls it around in his fingers before he starts to polish it.
Man, to himself: After so many sacrifices… after so many lost years devoted to finding you… now is my chance, to give you the fate that you deserve.
The man, almost instantly, stops polishing the knife to throw it ahead with remarkable speed as it pierces through the wall and stabs a photograph of Raggy, who happens to be at the center of the web on the wall; right in the center.
The scene continues off in somebody's room. Zooming into the man’s room, it seems to be very small with a TV, a remote, a closet and drawers.
All of a sudden an alarm clock goes off. A hand reaches out to turn off the buzzer. The man is revealed to be Raggy as he sits up and begins to rub his face. He lets out a sigh through his fingers as the slide off from his face and land his lap.
Raggy: Another day… alright, time to get up then.
He then gets up from his low and flat mattress. The scene cuts ahead, showing him in a dainty, poorly lit bathroom- splashing water on his face and, soon enough, brushing his teeth. The scene cuts again, to him preparing a bowl of several ingredients consisting of chopped fruits, cinnamon and a protein powder. He soon dumps the bowl into a mixer and blends the ingredients together. Once the blending is done, Raggy pours himself a breakfast shake that he soon chugs down.
He walks into an equipment room, revealing a treadmill, power bikes, and an assortment of weights. Raggy gets his earplugs turning on his favorite song while working out on the bench press.
Sometime later, he is show working out on the salmon ladder. He continuously pulls himself up and down several times. Raggy jumping backwards with the ladder, pushing himself up once more. He repeats this motion a few more times before, he jumps down exiting the training room.
Raggy: That never gets old.
The scene cuts to Raggy walking to the basement of his lair, getting into the elevator. He sighs and checks his phone to keep an eye on the time. The elevator door opens as he walks out into a hidden room located underneath the basement. Raggy moves over to his computer, when all of a sudden a red signal starts to flash which indicates that he has received a message.
Raggy’s eyes widen when he sees a notification to video chat by someone he once knew. He begins to wonder if he should answer the call.
Raggy: Fuck it…
He presses a few buttons and answers the video call. Sees a woman with short brown hair, blue eyes and dressed in a black suit.
Lena: Raggy… Good to see you, considering- well, the circumstances.
He looks down, and looks back at the screen.
Raggy: It’s nice to see you too. How have you been?
Lena: Good, fine… Look, Raggy. This- this isn’t a social call. One of our hideouts have been hit.
He looks a bit confused, he strokes his chin thinking about the situation.
Raggy: By who? When did this happen?
Lena: Just recently. It’s an unknown assailant, one that hasn’t been on our records. But he knows us… he knew exactly what to come for.
Raggy: Let me guess, you need my expertise to catch the perp?
He folds his arms looking a bit annoyed. He gives her a stern look, and then stops glaring at her.
Raggy: Why tell me then?
Lena: Look, I’m going to do this now. We’re not married anymore, Raggy. Besides, I have a job to do.
Raggy: All I want to know is what do I have to do with this guy?
Lena: I don’t know but he’s coming for you. The things that he stole from us? That was old squad gear including weapons used to take down Day 1 Mutants. He’s armed and extremely dangerous. This isn’t a call to arms, Raggy. This is a warning. I don’t know what you’ve been doing since we last spoke but whatever it is, you need to stop and get out… before this guy gets to you. And I know the problems we had between us were partially my fault, but I still… care for you, Raggy. So, please, just- just get out of the city. This is the best I can do for you.
She reaches off to the side and ends the transmission, leaving the screen before Raggy filled with static.
Raggy sits there, trying to interpret the message. He walks over to his gun collection, thinking about taking action.
Raggy: Why can’t life just be simple?
Raggy walks over to his computer. He types in the different coordinates, as we zoom into the screen analyzing the data. ping up different coordinates that can track anyone depending on the distance. However, he notices that something looks out of the ordinary. He starts to notice that the tracker is moving closer to him.
Raggy: Come on, come on… please work your magic.
He then quickly realizes that the tracking device has been tampered with, tracking Raggy’s hideout instead.
Raggy: Looks like it’s time to go to work.
Raggy walks over to a secret door compartment. He types in some kind of military code password, that blinks green opening the door. We see a ton of ammo such as guns, knives, grenades, kevlar armor. Raggy picks up a specialty handgun and closes the case. Raggy repeats the motion and closes the secret door.
Raggy: If they want war, I’ll bring it straight to them.
He exits his hideout opening a door which shines the faint light of sunrise into the sky.. Raggy aims his weapon, walking around carefully not wanting to make any sudden movements. He looks around him a few times, thinking that the device may have been broken or it was maybe a false alarm. Raggy turns around to head back to the base
Raggy, to himself: I must be trippin', it wouldn’t make sense for anyone to be after me this early. They’re probably long gone by now.
On his way back, Raggy steps on some pieces of broken glass. The crushing sound underneath his boot brings his attention to the ground. Though the pieces are tiny, they are also many and help to form some sort of fractured reflection of Raggy looking back at himself; but also, the shipment behind him with a dark figure aiming a weapon of some kind at him. Raggy’s eye squints as his pace slows down. His eye then slowly moves to its corner and his hand draws back towards his holster. The slow movement then halts to a frozen moment with both figures reading their weapons as the view circles around, getting a good look at the moment that is about to unfold. Once it returns to its point of origin, the view settles and the halted pace returns to a normalized one with Raggy turning around quickly, guns drawn firing at the figure. The figure fires back while also rolling on its back to avoid the incoming shots. Raggy takes this opportunity to run for cover behind the shipment, firing at the figure -who has already risen up- on his way there. The figure starts shooting at Raggy, who is trapped by the rapid gunfire. Raggy begins to notice that the gunman's shooting skills are far beyond his.
Raggy: Shit just got real… Think Raggy think, you’ve been in these situations before.
Unknown figure: Come on out… I know you’re trapped in.
All of a sudden, we hear a train in the far distance. Raggy then looks over seeing the moving train. He waits for a bit before he throws a rock as it makes it loud clanking sound. The gunman turns around and starts shooting his rounds again as Raggy runs over to the train making sure he has enough distance. Before he could be seen, Raggy jumps on the moving train as the gunman fires rounds at him but he realizes that it is too late to pursue him now.
Gunman: Ah, I will find you…. And when I do, I swear my vengeance and will take your life.
The scene cuts over to an abandoned looking warehouse close to the harbor. The sky is still warming up to the afternoon with its soft yet dull blue colors and light clouds.
Inside the warehouse, a small table can be seen underneath a single, activated hanging light from the ceiling; it is apart of series of lights within the warehouse but only a small couple of sections are properly lit. At the table, the remaining members of the Cabal stand and sit among each other- already in mid-discussion.
Cabal Leader: This delay won’t set us back. We already have what we need. Nothing has changed.
Delilah Klaus, leaning against the edge of the table: Nothing has changed? We’re working out of a warehouse, have you lost your head?
Cabal Leader: Remember who you’re speaking to, Delilah.
Delilah Klaus: ...Of course. I apologize, boss.
Herman Sullivan, seated: It’s not square one but we’re not exactly in the same box anymore.
Cabal Leader: I see your meaning. There is still the threat to our organization and overall goals. Despite everything we’ve been through. Despite everything we’ve done… he still finds a way to come after us.
Delilah Klaus: That damn Ryder! (under her breath) I’ll end him myself.
Cabal Leader: There’ll come a time for that, Delilah. But we can’t afford to lose any more members of the Cabal. Not this close to the endgame. I want as many of us left to witness the fruits of our labor.
Voice: Sounds like quite the predicament.
The Cabal Leader, calmly yet sternly, turns his head upwards, seeing the figure in dark armor standing on the metallic catwalk. The other two members look up, more surprised and caught off guard. Klaus readies her knives while Herman takes a step back, after nearly stumbling out of his seat.
Cabal Leader: And who might you be?
The armored figure walks the catwalk, looking down at them- specifically the leader.
Armored Figure: Who I am has no meaning. I am the embodiment of those left behind. I have fallen and now I rise to great opportunity. (stops) An opportunity that I welcome to you and your… (pausing to find the word) team here.
Delilah Klaus: What makes you think we need your help? And what the hell kind of monologue bullshit was that anyhow?!
The Cabal Leader raises his hand towards Klaus. She looks stunned at it and keeps her silence.
Cabal Leader: What kind of opportunity?
Armored Figure: Curiouser and curiouser, I see. Very good... I overheard your discussion. It seems you and I have a rival of our own to face. One that we’re both having difficulties with. An enemy of two becomes one less when the two divides by itself.
Cabal Leader: The two referring to us, Hm? You wish to join us then.
Armored Figure: I know little of your world here in the city but I’ve seen enough to know what types of people you are. Your ambitions are high but your minds… they are the ones that are simple despite the complex thoughts that rest within. One who strives for advancement, another who strives for the hunt in war and the leader who is just as faceless as I. Simple yet effective… but still simple. Simple enough to know that you are the filth of this city. No. I don’t wish to join you. I have fought hard for a place in a world better than one of drug trafficking and scheming.
Cabal Leader: And yet… you need us.
Armored Figure: Perhaps I’m not as faceless as I thought… Yes, my enemy is stronger and more cunning than I could have imagined. I don’t know his whereabouts but I will… soon enough. And when that moment comes, I want nothing to stand between myself and him. I will need assistance in keeping him from escaping or trying anymore tricks again.
Delilah Klaus: Well we don’t work for free especially not for assholes like you.
Armored Figure: I can’t offer what you already have. It’s as you say. You only need to ensure one thing before your final operation; the elimination of your rival. An enemy of two becomes one less when the two divides by itself. By working together, we turn our two enemies into one. So-
The armored figure leaps from the edge of the catwalk and grabs onto pole, sliding down before kicking off, performing a back flip mid-air and dropping down across from them.
Armored Figure, rising up and standing straight: I offer my rank to your team. Let us eliminate your rival together so that you may help me to defeat my own.
The armored figure kneels before the Cabal Leader. Klaus and Sullivan look unsettled as their glances shift from the figure to their leader, who appears unfazed by what has transpired.
Cabal Leader: Rise. This is no time to lower yourself. After all, you’re our asset now. I only have one question in mind for you. Are you capable to eliminating our rival as you so claim?
The armored figure slowly raises his head and looks up at the Cabal Leader from his kneeling position.
Armored Figure: I can.
The scene cuts over to a part of the city, one with a couple of buildings- one of which being the apartment that houses Ryder Investigations. It’s sometime during the afternoon, judging by the dull but light sky and the sun phasing its light through the denseness of the air just above the skyline.
Inside the office, Ryder can be seen sitting by his desk, drinking from the mug that Kelly had gotten him as a gift. He looks at his laptop, intensely, with the occasional glance at the vintage phone sitting on the desk. For the remaining moment, his glaze is focused only on the screen- with him breathing out a long, slightly frustrated sigh afterwards. Soon enough, the sound of paper sliding across the floor is heard, catching his attention as his head perks up from the laptop screen. He leans to the left slightly, his perspective looking past the laptop screen and seeing- what appears to be a letter- before the door of the his office. His eyes trail off for a moment in thought before they focus on the letter again. He soon gets up from his desk and looks over at the door’s window; in it, a humanoid shadow shrinking away. Ryder hurries over to the door, looking through the window in the door. He sighs, almost in a disappointed manner before looking down. His shoe is next to the letter. He kneels down and picks up the letter, reading it with one knee up. His eyes move back and forth across the paper, soon widening as he finishes reading. His arm lowers as his head slowly rises up towards the ceiling. He glances back at the letter and his eyes shift back and forth quickly. He then gets up, letter still in hand, and fetches his leather jacket- resting on the edge of the couch. He turns to the door and extends his hand out. However, it stops before the doorknob. A short breath escapes from him as he stands there for a moment. A chime then rings out and he, snapping out of his funk, glances downwards. Ryder reaches into his pocket and retrieves his phone. He turns the phone screen on and it appears he has an unread text message from Kelly. Her photo is her smiling in her green shirt while her text reads, “What’s up?”. He looks at it for a few seconds before looking up at the doorknob again. He texts back, his glare lingering on the screen. He looks up and view focuses on the screen, specifically his reply to her; “Investigating a lead. Call you back later.” The door can then be heard opening as the phone is seen returned to Ryder’s pocket. The scene cuts over to the apartment building (the exact one from earlier) with Ryder exiting a taxi cab and looking up at it.
Taxi Driver: This the place?
Ryder takes a couple of seconds to look over the building before re-examining the note.
Ryder: Yeah, I believe so. Thanks again for the ride.
Ryder reaches into his leather jacket and pulls out a few dollar bills, handing them over to the taxi driver through his somewhat reeled down window. The driver soon reels his winter back up and drives off, leaving Ryder standing at the edge of the street, looking up at the apartment building across from him. He turns his head, seeing the truck from earlier as well. He grunts and turns ahead, soon crossing the street with both hands in his jacket pocket. In the next instance, Ryder can be seen knocking with his fist against the door. A moment later, the door opens and the landlord slowly shifts into the doorway
Landlord: What? What do you want?
He reaches down for a cigarette from the container he’s holding.
Ryder: I got a letter, saying there’s someone here to see me.
Landlord: A letter? (chuckles) People still send those?
Ryder: Apparently. (sigh) Look, are you gonna let me look around for them or should I just come back later and make your day so difficult that you’ll need to smoke the whole pack?
Landlord: (sigh) I was gonna have you that a look around anyways. I don’t want trouble. Just watch yourself. You might not want to find this guy you’re looking for.
Ryder: Oh? And why’s that?
Landlord: Well, he sends letters. He sounds like a prick to me.
Ryder: Gee, thanks for the tip, asshat.
Landlord: Eh, nevermind. You might like him after all. You know the saying, keep people like yourself close or something like that. (cough)
The landlord lets Ryder inside as they talk, closing the door behind them. Ryder adjusts his jacket and looks around the dainty lobby.
Landlord: There was this new guy, an odd fellow. He rented a room upstairs, the only room available actually.
Ryder: Just one guy? ...What’d he look like?
Landlord: I don’t know. Big guy, had a bag with him- a real heavy looking one. All I know is he had money and that’s what I need to keep this place going, you see.
Ryder: Yeah, I get it. We’re all trying to stay afloat in this city, right?
Landlord: Amen, to that. (grunts) You take a look around as much as you want, just try not to bother the people who actually live here.
Ryder gives a nod to the landlord and takes a look around. His attention soon fixates on the stairs as he heads up them. The scene soon cuts to the upper floor, where Ryder is walking onto the floor from the staircase. He looks around at the doors from left to right but stops mid-way, his gaze focused on what’s ahead of him. Before him is a slightly open door at the end of the hall. Ryder glances back at the stairs and looks ahead once more; the door remaining the same. He then walks- carefully- ahead, passing by the few doors by his side. The floorboards creak softly with almost every step he takes. Ryder leans to the side and peers in through the crack, seeing a barely furnished room but no sign of any individuals. He then pushes the door open and walks inside- there’s nobody there, but most things are as the man had left it before; the pictures are formed as a web on the wall, the knife is still stuck against the wall and, rather than weapons, there are documents scattered onto the table. Ryder checks the hallway once more as he moves closer to the table. He then turns back to the table and waves his hands over the documents, examining them. What first appeared like a quick glance soon becomes an intense read as Ryder leans in, closer to the table to get a better view of the papers before him.
Ryder, reading: These are files, reports… hell, even articles about Cabal member sightings? And just general incidents occurring in New York all the back to- no, even dating past the invasion....
He looks away from the documents and takes a look at the web of photos that the man had propped against the wall. There are a few photographs grouped together about the same topic on the web- with threads connecting them to other photographs; as if the topics of interest were apart of some sort of conspiracy theory. One group focuses on rampaging Mutants, another group focuses on military hideouts, while another focuses on locations in New York. There are quite a few more groups but they remain out of view. Ryder continues to examine the web of photographs- looking more concerned and interested as he views more of the web before him. Soon enough, her glance moves away from the web and over to the small table and chair. He walks around the chair, examining it with his eyes. He squats down and rubs his finger carefully across the floorboard by the chair. He lifts his finger up and looks at the tip- now seeing what appears to be sawdust. He checks the end of one of the chair’s back legs- which appears to have been dulled slightly.
Ryder: Someone was sitting here… rocking here actually. It’s a cheap chair, I’m surprised it didn’t cave in on ‘em. So they just sat here… in this barren room after setting up all this shit ? Doing what staring at the wa-
Ryder looks ahead and stops himself when he sees something before him. He slowly rises from the floor, his gaze still ahead of him. The view now shifts over to the wall across from the table, chair and now Ryder; where the man’s knife has lodged itself into the wall and the photograph posted on it. He walks over to it and views the photograph of Raggy with the knife- practically splitting it in the middle.
Ryder, stunned: Raggy… what the hell have you gotten yourself into, man?
Ryder removes the knife and a spark flashes outwards from the wall, catching him by surprise. A buzzing sound is then heard loudly as an electric surge phases from the doorway. Ryder turns quickly to the door from the small hole in the wall and notices the door slamming shut. Ryder is about to rush to the door when a faint beeping sound stops him. He freezes then turns to the wall once more. With the knife in hand, he stabs a wider hole in the wall and looks inside- now seeing a series of C-4 armed and wired within the walls. Ryder pushes away from the wall, startled and turns to the door. He rushes over and tries opening the door- but it remains locked. His eyes shift to the side of the door, where he now notices some sort of electronic locking system- it looks incredibly make-shift.
Ryder: Damn! I could try tampering with it.
He readies the knife that he had taken before and prepares to stab the wall but, he hesitates and thinks.
Ryder: But it could be connected to the same wiring as the bombs… Alright, new plan.
Ryder looks around but the room remains barren with very few items in it.
Ryder: Nothing I can use to force the door open.
His eyes focus on the small window. He races over to the window- the faint beeping within the walls seemingly more intense than before. Ryder fidgets with the window as he tries getting it open but- there appears to be more evidence of manipulating which seems to fixate the window into place. He, after clearly noticing this, slams his hand against the side of the window with a rough grunt.
Ryder: Damn it!
His head shifts back to the hole in the wall, where the beeping continues to seemingly intensify. He lets out another grunt and covers his head- ducking down slightly. He then seems to struggle as his body shakes and the small hairs on the back of his hands grow- spreading across his arms as his clothes merge into a black and white outfit of some sorts. He then lowers his arms from his newly transformed head as he howls outwards, now fully transformed into his Mutant wolf form. The wolf creature turns around, watching the window before it and takes a few steps back. It then pounces ahead, running on all fours across the apartment room. As it does so, its ears perk up, picking up the sound of the beeping; it sounds incredibly fast paced and extremely intense. Inside of the wall of the room, the timer for the rigged up bomb is counting down by merely seconds now; starting from “00:00:07”. When it counts down to “00:00:00”, the C4 detonates, causing a chain explosion throughout the insides of the room; soon spreading beyond such and covering the entire room in explosive flames. The window bursts as the flames and smoke push out into the city. However, through the smoke, the wolf creature scales up the side of the apartment- only slightly charred. As the wolf creature reaches the roof to the building, the view zooms away. As it does, the rest of the apartment building suffers the effects of the detonation as the flames continue spread downwards- very rapidly- with a couple more explosions heard from the gaining distance. When the view settles on a distinct rooftop, a figure in dark body armor can be seen laying against the rooftop, belly down, wielding a rifle. Through the rifle’s scope, it watches as the wolf creature examines its wounds then sniffs the area.
Figure, voice masked: So that’s what you’re capable of… well, this shouldn’t be too difficult to deal with. After all, a Mutant is a Mutant.
The figure then moves the rifle out of the way, showing their helmet and grim eyes.
Figure: No matter what piece of scum they use as a cover.
The scene then cuts over to the streets where a few regular people are passing through. Ryder appears to be among the people there, holding his side. He looks around before reaching into his pocket; soon retrieving his phone. He dials up a number and holds the phone to the side of his head.
Kelly’s Voice, over the phone: This is Jessica Kelly, I’m not able to reach the phone right now but leave me a message and I’ll get right back to you.
Ryder: Shit!Look, Kelly- I might have run into a lead with one of the cases and I need some help looking into it so call me when you can. I’m heading back to the office right now so I’ll see you when you get-
Before he could finish his sentence, a shot rings out- with a bullet piercing through the phone in his hand. Ryder instinctively drops the phone and turns his head. There is now panic in the streets as people run for cover or just to get away. Ryder continues looking around, his glance moving from trash cans and newspaper stands to hot dog carts and parked cars. He walks ahead, carefully. He glances down quickly, catching a glimpse of his shattered cell phone. He then looks back up, looking again for something; presumingly someone. As he continues moving ahead, the armored man drops down, crashing onto the roof of a car behind Ryder, who tenses up once hearing the crash. Ryder turns and, with widened eyes, ducks behind the car next to him as the armored assailant fires rounds from a minigun he has been holding. The bullet fly through the air at incredible speeds, piercing the car and even breaking apart bits of the sidewalk. Ryder remains by the cover as it is shielding him from most of the spread. Soon the armored figure’s minigun runs out of ammunition, Ryder lets out a breath- his eyes racing. He then bolts from behind the car and runs out into the street. The armored figure, reaches past his coat and pulls out a pistol from his holster. As he aims, a blade flies out at Ryder; stabbing into his ankle.
Ryder, falling down onto the street: GARGH!
Ryder looks down at his ankle and holds his foot, seeing a knife sticking out from its side. Klaus steps out from a nearby alleyway, knives in hands, as more people run away from the enduring battle. Ryder shutters as his grip strengthens. His head raises and his pupils shrink as he bears his teeth. He looks as if he’s about to transform when his hearing improves; picking up the cries of the people running. He turns and sees them off at the side, while others watch and even record the incident on their phones. Ryder then starts to collect himself and shakes off his intense anger. He tries to stand, wincing in pain as he puts pressure on his foot. He removes the knife, yelling out again and dropping one knee to the street. He then looks out as Klaus approaches him in a slow walking pace while the armored figure steps off from the car, cautiously.
Armored Figure: Careful. He’s still dangerous.
Delilah Klaus, turning to the asset: I’ve fought him before. I know what he’s capable of.
Ryder takes this opportunity to carefully conceal the knife in his hand behind his back.
Ryder: Klaus. I’d say it’s nice to see you again but I think that would just piss me off more. I guess that’s the price I gotta pay since it would definitely make you even more pissed off.
Delilah Klaus: Still as sharp tongued as ever, Ryder. You killed a lot of us, y’know.
Ryder: Yeah, I’ve been keeping track. Mind dropping dead right now. Would save us both the time.
Delilah Klaus: If you think that’s going to bother me then you don’t seem to know me as well as you think. Those other members… they were just rotten pieces of shit. I should be thanking you really. Now I don’t have to deal with them. Unfortunately, the mission comes before anything else. And we can’t have you wandering around and messing things up for us.
Ryder: So you ambushed me. That’s actually smart. I guess that’s the disadvantage of killing all the brawns, you get stuck with the ones that think before they try and kill you.
Delilah Klaus: Talk all you want. It won’t stop the inevitable. You’re surrounded and outmatched. And especially since we all know you wouldn’t sacrifice what little reputation you have as a private eye by transforming in out in the open like this.
Ryder looks over at the armored figure who seems to be studying Ryder. He looks back at Klaus, who is clearly boasting.
Ryder: You’re underestimating me, Klaus. Just because I’m Human doesn’t mean I’m powerless.
Delilah Klaus: Oh I think it does. The incident created Mutants as a form of a next phase in our lives. We’re meant to evolve into a higher form, a better form. A form designed to kill and hunt.
Ryder: Surprised you of all the Cabal members didn’t take that Mutant drug then. What’s the matter? Afraid of really getting your hands dirty?
Delilah Klaus: In time. I want to perfect it after all. It’s not that I don’t trust my people but I don’t trust their ability to deliver to me the perfect form. After all, if I am to evolve into a Mutant, I want to be the best one around.
Armored Figure: Enough of this. You need him dead so just end him already before I do it for you.
Delilah Klaus: Get off my back. You might have our leader’s trust but don’t think you can just-
While the two are arguing, Ryder slides the knife out into the open and rushes up to Klaus. He rams the knife into her side and he leans uneasily against her. She gasps out in pain, letting out a yell as Ryder bears his teeth- pushing through his own pain. He then pushes him ahead and into the armored figure as he moves out of the area as quickly he can. The armored figure, actually taken aback, grabs Delilah and holds her carefully.
Armored Figure, checking her wound: Are you alright? How much pain are you in?
Delilah Klaus: (grunts in pain) Nevermind me! Get him!
She pushes off against him and holds her side, the knife still inside her- holding in much of the bleeding. The armored figure takes note of this and nods. Once he turns away from Klaus, her reaches over to his side, drawing the pistol once again and fires at the fleeing Ryder. Ryder winds up tripping over his own dragging foot and stumbles ahead as the bullets fire close to him. He turns back, looking at the armored figure who fires once more. A shot actually hitting true to its target as Ryder is knocked back into a store front window, crashing through it. The armored figure places his pistol away and approaches the store front with only one glance back at his supposed teammate. She meets his glance and grunts with a mix of frustration and pain as she draws out his knives. The scene cuts over to the two of them approaching the store front window and entering the closed looking shop. The store appears to sell clothing but is currently closed at the moment as all the lights of all off; with the only source of light being the daylight from outside. The two continue inside searching around.
Armored Figure: He can’t have gone far.
Delilah Klaus, looking down: Ngh! He hasn’t. Look.
The armored figure looks down and sees a faint trail of blood leading further into the store.
Delilah Klaus: You know what this means then. He’s no longer out in the open…
Armored Figure: I can handle it.
The armored figure reaches behind him and retrieves a large energy rifle, from the looks of it. He cocks the weapon and it starts to build up a charge. The two looks around in a near silence until the sound of something metallic knocking over is heard from one side of the store. The armored figure raises his weapon over in that direction- into the darkness of one of the store’s corners. Through the darkness, piercing white eyes start to appear as a low growl is heard.
Armored Figure: Damn...
The armored figure takes a shot but the wolf creature launches from the shadows, grabbing onto the armored figure and throwing him, still in mid-air, off to the side. The wolf creature skeeds across the floor and lets out a sort-of short howl. Klaus throws some knives at the wolf creature, who merely slaps them away and charges at her. However, a shot from the side impacts with the wolf creature, knocking it off guard and down to its knees. The wolf creature whimpers out and turns its head to the armored figure getting up, with his energy rifle sizzling from its end.
Armored Figure: I have weapons capable to taking down much more capable Mutants. You have nowhere to hide and nowhere to run. And once I’m down with you, then my rival gets to meet his end as well.
The armored figure raises the weapon to the wolf creature’s head and prepares to take another shot when a bullet hits the energy rifle. The shot doesn’t knock the weapon out of the armored figure’s hands but it does appear to damage it. The armored figure turns and sees Raggy emerge from another side of the store, raising his own gun. He fires at the two who make their escape, leaving the wolf creature behind. Through its perspective, a blurred Raggy makes his way over to the creature before its vision fades. After a moment in the darkness, the scene transitions over to a rooftop in the city. At first, Ryder is still out cold but he slowly starts to open his eyes. When he fully awakens, Ryder tries to stand up but fails wincing in pain.
Raggy: I wouldn’t do that if I were you.
Ryder stops, eyes slightly widening as he looks ahead, seeing Raggy stepping out from the stair entrance with a medical kit in hand. He walks over to him, his expression looking strained.
Ryder: (Scoffs) I gotta be honest, I wasn’t expecting this.
Raggy, kneeling down next to him: Yeah, you and me both. Now hold still.
He searches through the medical kit and extracts a small bottle from within. He takes the cork off and pours the contents of the bottle onto Ryder’s ankle. He yells out in pain and throws his head back. Raggy then takes a rag and covers the wound, putting pressure onto it.
Ryder, through the pain: A little warning next time?
Raggy: Your healing should kick in but something tells me that blast from that weapon he had weakened your systems. So you won’t be at your A-Game but at least it’s something.
Ryder: Speaking on the matter, who the hell was that guy?
Raggy: I don’t know. A mercenary, maybe? He hit a federal outpost holding some old gear used to kill Mutants back when the Incident occured. Then he came after me. I don’t know who the fuck he is but god damn he’s good at what he does.
Ryder: Apparently not.
Raggy looks at him questionably.
Ryder: We’re still kicking, aren’t we?
Raggy: Heh. And here I thought you were the pessimistic one.
Ryder: I guess all that time with Kelly really paid off…
There’s soon a silence between them as Raggy continues treating his minor injuries.
Ryder: Look, about what happened back at Raider City-
Raggy: Let’s uh- let’s not go there, Ryder.
Ryder: Like there’s anything else to talk about.
Raggy: I mean- I don’t know. There’s plenty of things to talk about, Ryder. You can ask me how I’ve been doing or what I’ve been up.
Ryder: Cut the bullshit, Rags. Look, if you don’t want me in your business, you could’ve just left me to die back there but you didn’t so here we are.
Raggy: (Scoffs) And it’s always about you, huh?
Ryder: The hell is that supposed to mean?
Raggy: I left because of you. You and interrogation bullshit! We’ve known each other for a long while, man. We helped each other through thick and then. And when you wanted me to help you track down the people that killed your family, I was more than happy to lend you my hand.
Ryder: A-And what? All that just changed because I wanted to know the things you wouldn’t tell me? You’re an information seeker. How is this any different?
Raggy: It’s different because it’s us, Ryder! Not some random assholes online and thugs running the city. This is us! I trusted you and you turned your back on me the moment you saw someone from your past again! That’s no good, man. After all we’ve been through? You gonna do me like that?!
Ryder: (sigh) Alright. I- I get it.
Raggy: Do you? Do you really? Just because you’re a private investigator doesn’t give you the excuse- no, the right- to get up in my business when I still don’t know a goddamn thing about you!
Ryder: I GET IT! I fucked up! I get it.
The two of them take a moment to catch their breaths.
Ryder: I got over my head, man… I let the past control me when I should’ve been focusing on the things in front of me. I realized that when you left and when uh- I almost lost Kelly.
This seems to catch Raggy’s attention.
Raggy: ...What happened?
Ryder: She was confronted with her past too. So she went against the system and wanted vengeance. That- that’s not the life I want for her. She deserves better. And so do you. This path that I take. It leads to pain and suffering. I should have realized that the people I take with me down that path only feel the same as everyone else.
Ryder puts his hands on his face and lets them slide down as he lets out a long sigh.
Ryder: I know I broke your trust in me. I know I let you down as a friend. And I know I wasn’t there for you. But you were there for me, every step of the way. And now we’re in a place where the two of us can’t fight these guys alone. So if it means at least working together again, I’ll let you know my past. I trust you now. Just like I always should’ve done…
Ryder looks down as he continues leaning his back against the roof platform. Raggy looks at him for a moment before reaching out and placing his hand on Ryder’s shoulder. Ryder looks up at his shoulder then over at Raggy.
Raggy: I didn’t ask before. So I won’t ask now. I just wanted you to realize how much of a dumbass you were being.
Ryder: (Scoffs) I guess my self esteem is a little in the clouds.
Raggy: Just a little.
They share a laugh. However, the moment seems to die down pretty quickly when Raggy’s expression shifts into a more serious and conflicted one.
Raggy: But maybe it’s time I went into detail about the things I’ve been keeping away from you.
Ryder: Look, I won’t pry, man. I realized that now.
Raggy: I know you did but this- this is something I need to get off my chest. I’ve been holding this burden for years. In fact, it’s the reason I am who I am now. An information dealer working on the streets rather than the man I used to be.
Ryder: You were a soldier, right? I could tell that much.
Raggy: Yeah. I was. But I wasn’t just any soldier. I was apart of a first response team. A team of highly trained soldiers with only one mission… one goal. To end the apocalypse.
Ryder: First respons- You’re talking about that day, aren’t you? You- You were there?
Raggy: Yeah… I was there. We were all there. The biggest Mutant spurge on the first day of the Incident.
The view moves past Raggy’s face as the background darkens- transitioning into a flashback scene. The scenery now consists of fallen structures and devastated buildings. Flames reach upward from ground level which is covered with debris, broken up street and flipped over vehicles. The sky is dark with the smoke and embers of the several fires, making it difficult to tell if it is day or night. Distorted roars and screeches are heard echoing through the sky and the view focuses on the ground level more clearly.
The scene changes to a group of soldiers in military esque vehicles heading towards the city to hunt down the Mutants. One of the soldiers looks very familiar, and it is revealed to be Raggy who is in charge of his squad as he leads them ahead.
Raggy: Alright stay in formation and don’t break loose. We’ve been through hell and back and I’m not about to lose anyone else tonight.
Fellow Soldier: I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Raggy: You’re only saying that because you’re my partner, Bryan.
Bryan: Normally I would agree but these aren’t normal situations. People turning into creatures from your nightmares. A whole city decimated within a day. And there are loads more of these things, man.
Raggy: We just gotta keep pushing forward. The government said they have the situation under control. Now I have my faith in them so I’m going to need your faith in me. All of you. We’re a team and we don’t back down. No matter what comes at us.
Bryan: I said before, main man. I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I’m not saying that because I’m your partner. I’m saying that because I’m your brother.
Bryan places his hand on Raggy’s shoulder and smiles. Raggy acknowledges this with a grin and nods afterwards. The two are then caught off guard as the building behind them explodes. A large, monstrous looking Mutant arises from the side, letting out a bellowing roar. It moves away from the team as some smaller and sleeker Mutants exit from the newly made hole. Some look like mutated snake creatures, staying close to the ground, while others look like mutated Coyotes, scaling the sides of the walls and moving quickly at the team. The team of soldiers fire at the incoming Mutants, easily getting the ones on the ground but getting picked off by the ones pouncing off from the walls.
Raggy: What the hell?
Raggy and the other soldiers begin to open fire on the smaller mutants which seems to be working until, a massive Black Widow spider arrives suddenly, killing various members. The spider starts vomiting acid from its side, which burns people alive. Raggy and Bryan look distraught at their fallen comrades’ faces. Bryan turns to Raggy, and gives him a serious look wanting the Mutant to pay for what it did.
Bryan: I want you to stay here, and take cover… okay?!
Raggy: Bryan, what the hell are you thinking?
Bryan takes out his pistol, and runs out of cover and starts shooting at the giant spider. Its thick armor shields the spider from the gunfire. He starts yelling and shooting it again, this time getting its attention. The arthropod screeches at him, and picks him up preparing to devour him. Raggy rushes over, and starts firing multiple rounds at it.
Raggy: DIE YOU SON OF A BITCH! Let him go, right now!!!
Raggy continues to shoot at him, until his bullets run out. As Raggy goes to find another weapon, he sees the MCA helicopters who arrive with a missle. Raggy then tries to get their attention by warning them not to engage yet, but the agent still fires the missile at the target as it hits the Mutant Spider and Bryan. Raggy is thrown back by the explosion, and hits his head. Later, when he comes to he is seen sitting in a hospital bed and is told by the hospital staff that Bryan was presumably killed during the explosion, which devastates Raggy. The scene then fades back to the present day with Raggy still looking down, only less devastated and more grim.
Raggy: So that’s what happened. That’s the shame that I run away from to this day.
Ryder: I… I had no idea. And here I thought I was the only one with a burden to carry.
Raggy: We both walk this path, Ryder. Whether we want to or not. So we might as well walk it together.
Ryder: But that’s not just it, is it? You wanted me to change.
Raggy: And you have.
Ryder: Have I? When we find these guys, they’re going down just like everyone else I’ve faced. Like I said, this path leads to nowhere but pain and suffering.
Raggy: Well, then maybe I’m the one who’s changed. If this is how things are then that’s that. I can’t change the world. Hell, I can’t even the save the city like all those vigilantes nowadays… but at least I might be able to save you.
Ryder: You might just be wasting your time.
Raggy: No, talking about it is wasting time. The more we sit around on our ass, the further away they’re getting.
Ryder: No. They want both of us. They’re not going away, not too far anyways. Do you think you can track them?
Raggy, scratching the back of his neck: Ugh, no. Not without having at least some basis for their whereabouts. Hacking isn’t exactly some kind of magic, y’know.
Ryder: Well, if you need a basis, I’ve got you covered. I’m not just a pretty face after all.
Raggy: And it looks like you found that self-esteem after all. So where do we get started?
Ryder: Let’s try cross-examining possible locations they may hide at. I doubt they would return to their leader empty handed so quickly but I doubt they would remain in this part of the city. (scratches his chin) We’re gonna have to get to work.
Raggy: I’ve got my stuff. Should we head back to the Ryder Investigations?
Ryder: Not unless you feel like getting ambushed again. They got us with our pants down twice now. I don’t want to give them the chance. This time… we’re coming to them.
The view then goes through a series of scenes showing Raggy and Ryder working together, collecting information online and using navigation software to isolate locations within the area. They soon come to a realization where one of Raggy’s devices pinpoints a specific location.
Ryder: Alright, looks like we’ve got them.
Raggy: Looks like they’re holding up at some kind of abandoned facility, a hospital, I think. (looking up at Ryder) You know this is probably a trap, right? There’s no way we’d be able to find them this quickly.
Ryder: I know.
Raggy: And that you’re still recovering from that blast he hit you with.
Ryder: I know that too… but look, we don’t exactly have too many options right now. You ready for this?
Ryder nods and looks off into the city. The view follows his gaze looking out into the city before fading off to an abandoned looking hospital close to the water. It is now later into the day, close to the evening now actually.
The view now focuses on the entrance as both the armored asset and Klaus exit from the building.
Armored Figure: This better be worth it. My time isn’t to be wasted on meaningful tasks.
Delilah Klaus: You don’t have to trust my word but believe me when I say this is definitely worth it.
She raises up to her face a test tube with a cork securing the green contents within. She smiles, seeming content with herself. The armored figure stops as he looks ahead. Klaus walks a step further until she stops as well, looking at the armored figure.
Delilah Klaus: Now what?
Armored Figure: They’re here.
Klaus turns and looks ahead, seeing Ryder and Raggy standing besides each other across the courtyard from Klaus and the armored figure.
Ryder: This ends here, Klaus!
Delilah Klaus: Perhaps. But the only one meeting their end here is you. This is a victory for the Cabal. You’ve only delayed the inevitable.
Armored Figure: So you finally showed yourself, Raggy.
Raggy: You know me and we have something to settle. So let’s settle this. Here and now.
Armored Figure: There’s nothing to settle here. Just one simple thing.
Raggy: And what’s that?
Armored Figure: Your head severed from your body. I am the embodiment of your victims and you are the embodiment of ultimate failure. You will meet your fate this night and by then the truth will be revealed to all.
Delilah Klaus, loading the serum into an advanced looking syringe: Enough talk already. Here we are, facing off against each other. I’ll be sure to do what my colleagues have failed to do time and time again.
She stabs her arm with the syringe and injects the serum into her arm. She grunts, biting down on her lip in the progress. Her veins enlarge ever so slightly, changing color slightly. She looks up ahead with piercing yellow eyes and draws her blades out.
Delilah Klaus: Killing you and your friend will be the greatest pleasure I’ve ever received.
Klaus runs forwards, with a newly gained heightened speed. Ryder bears his teeth and runs ahead, transforming into his wolf creature form who soon pouches forward, charging for her. Raggy runs ahead, firing his guns at the armored figure who easily dodges the incoming fire. He takes the chances he gets to fire back at Raggy, who does he best to avoid the shots. Klaus and the wolf creature then clash with her jabbing the knives at the creature’s sides- only for it to slash her away, causing her to tumble across the ground. She looks up from the ground, blood on her face coming from the freshly made scars.
Delilah Klaus: You bastard... Look what you did to me!
The wolf creature snarls as it circles around her. Klaus reaches for the syringe once again, with more serum left within. She looks at it for a moment then jabs the thing into her arm, pumping more of the experimental fluid into her. After a brief few seconds, she flinches violently and falls to the ground. Her skin soon turning to fur and a tail growing out from her leggings. She looks up, breathing hastily with her hands in front of her. However, now they are more like paws with claws extending from each finger. She places her paw-like hands on her face and feels around. Her face has become more cat-like though with a humanoid shape like usual.
Delilah Klaus: No… (sobs) No…
She turns to Ryder, a rage moving through her eyes.
Delilah Klaus: You did this to me. You forced this imperfection upon me!
The wolf creature stops, its snarling become more fierce and threatening. Klaus instinctively rises to her feet with a new-found agility and positions herself in a threatening, feline manner.
Delilah Klaus: This hunt is finally really beginning, my prey. And I will be the one to finally end it as well!
Klaus pounces ahead at the wolf creature as it does the same. However, Klaus is able to leap higher up into the air, jumping up onto the creature’s back and tearing it up with her claws. The wolf creature lets out a painful howl as it attempts to reach for her before crashing down into the courtyard’s grounds. Klaus raises her claws into the air for another strike down the wolf creature but it whips her back with its tail. Klaus turns around only to be grabbed from behind and slammed into the pavement. The armored figure continues firing shots at Raggy, who is hiding behind cover. He stops and raises his guns when he soon becomes distracted by the fight going on between the now Mutated Klaus and the wolf creature. Raggy peeks out from behind his cover and shoots at the armored figure, catching him off guard. In fact, one of the bullets lands a shot on the armored figure; specifically, on his helmet, causing it to break. The armored figure grabs his helmet as Raggy comes out of cover, raising both guns in his hands at the figure.
Raggy: It’s over now. You make a move and you’ll end up with a bullet in your-
The armored figure starts to remove his damaged helmet. Raggy holds his breath as the identity of the man is soon revealed to him. The armored figure tosses his helmet to the ground as he stands before Raggy.
The armored figure’s face is scarred and slightly disfigured, with burn marks riding down his right side down to his neck. But it’s still intact enough to distinguish that the man standing before Raggy was his brother, Bryan.
Bryan: So. Now you know. I told you that the truth would be known to all. I was just expecting to be after I put a bullet into you. I should have known that fate would have other plans.
Raggy: But… I saw you die, back in the combat zone.
Bryan: No, Raggy. I survived. I survived no thanks to you.
Raggy: I tried to save you!
Bryan: Try? There is no try, Raggy. I was your brother! And you abandoned me, just like you abandoned everyone else. You left us there to die because you were weak. But look at me. I survived because I was strong. I’m not doing this for my sake. I know that blood connects us. But my brotherhood was among all of those men. Not just you.
Raggy: They were my men too.
Bryan: They stopped being your men when you left them to die.
Raggy: I DIDN’T LEAVE THEM! I fought like all of you! You think I wanted to survive?! Every time I close my eyes, I see their faces. I’m not living. I’m running. I’m running away from my shame… from my failure. I couldn’t save them… I couldn’t save you.
Raggy lowers his head, defeated. He is clearly overwhelmed emotionally. Bryan stands there for a moment, watching his brother before him.
Bryan: So accept your fate, brother. Accept it by my hand. The fate of death. So you can amend for your sins and set your abandonment right.
Raggy shutters as he raises his head up slowly to meet Bryan's gaze.
Raggy: No, Bryan. No…
Bryan doesn’t respond but simply watches Raggy rises up, standing up as straight as he could be.
Raggy: If I let you kill me, then I really would be failing you. But you’re alive, you survived so that I can set things right.
Bryan: You can set things right by dying.
Raggy: (shakes his head) No. I’m a soldier. I can’t keep running from that. From my past. From you. I’ll die. But not today. I’ll die on the battlefield, saving the ones close to me and avenging the ones that I have failed to save. And then, and only then, will I be reunited with our fallen teammates. And then, that day, I can only hope they’ll forgive me.
Bryan yells out and tosses away his guns.
Bryan: NO! No, no, no. You are dying today, brother! This is the right way to avenge them. I know, I just- I know it… This is what my mind turned to when I survived. When I trained night and day. When I researched you and your connections. I saw a pitiful man meant to met his doom. And that doom… that doom is me.
Bryan reaches into his arsenal belt and draws out a combat knife. He examines it before him and positions himself into a ready stance.
Bryan: I assume you have your own.
Raggy nods and draws out his own combat knife.
Raggy: Please. Just stop and think this through. We don’t have to do this.
Bryan: Yes, Raggy. Yes we do. We were both raised as men of war, trained to deal with whatever the battlefield throws at us. But this- this is a war we must settle to the death. The only resolve is when the other perishes. You know this.
Raggy: I do.
Bryan: Then ready your blade so we can dance. And let the better man win.
Raggy, readying his knife: Let the better man win.
The two then charge for each other and engage in combat. The two striking at each other with the knife while the other blocks and even evades the incoming slashes and jabs. Back with the wolf creature, it starts to gain the upper hand against Klaus, as she struggles to match with its fierce and maddening movements.
Delilah Klaus, barely defending herself: Asset, I need you! I can’t handle him alone!
Bryan pushes off against from Raggy. He glares back at her, seeing her preoccupied with the wolf creature.
Bryan: Fend for yourself, creature.
Delilah Klaus: N-No! This wasn’t part of the deal.
Bryan: You got your rival and I’ve got mine. There is no deal. Only amends to be made.
The wolf creature then stabs its own claws into Klaus’ stomach and tosses her aside. She tumbles against the courtyard pavement. The wolf creature turns from the fallen Klaus to the armored figure facing off against Raggy. It lifts its head up high and lets out a low growl, as it prepares to move ahead. Raggy looks over, seeing the wolf creature watching their conflict. He stops and simply looks at the creature. Its growl then quiets down as its head slightly lowers. Raggy simply nods and, in response, the wolf creature moves away; simply circling the courtyard, watching from the distance. Raggy returns his attention back to Bryan.
Bryan: You called off your dog. I can’t tell if you’re being brave or stupid.
Raggy: A coward runs away. Right now, I’m standing and fighting for what’s right.
Bryan: You don’t know what right means.
Raggy: We’ll see.
Raggy runs forwards, charging for Bryan, who side-steps him. He then swipe-kicks Raggy, catching him off balance. Raggy drops to one knee and turns to get up, only to get hit in the face with Bryan's knee, knocking him to the pavement. Raggy weakly attempts to get up only for Bryan to wrap around his arm around his neck, starting to choke him out.
Bryan: And now the time has come for you to face judgement. You won’t fall as a soldier this day, but as a failure. Just goes to show you really don’t know anything.
Raggy: Erk! I know something, Bryan. I know you.
Bryan: Like that’s supposed to mean something? What’ll knowing me do for you? Are you going to say that you know me, that I’m not a killer, that I wouldn’t do this.
Raggy: No. We’ve both killed before because we’ve believed in the mission. I under- (having trouble talking) stand… but what you fail to realize is that we’re both soldiers and I know… (stops as he tries to breath) know that the gear’s structural integrity can be compromised with a specific jam from a combat knife.
A clicking sound is then heard as Bryan's eyes widen. The view then shows Raggy using the knife in his hand to shimmer into a slit on Bryan's armor. Bryan turns to the slit but Raggy uses this opportunity to slam his head back into his face, catching him off guard. Raggy then yanks Bryan's grasp loose and punches him in the face. Bryan gets up to a kneeling position as his armor starts to loosen and fall off. He attempts to hold it together but doing so while defending himself from Raggy’s punches and jabs becomes more and more difficult as Raggy forces through his defenses. Soon enough, Raggy is delivering blow to blow on Bryan's head until he uppercuts him in the chin and his body drops down to the ground. Raggy stops and breaths in heavily, shaking off the feeling on his hands as blood drips down from his knuckles. Raggy then kneels down and picks up the combat knife from the ground. He stands back up and walks over to Bryan. Bryan breaths hastily as he slowly opens his eyes again. He then appears to recover as footsteps are heard approaching on the pavement. Bryan gets up as quickly as he can muster only for Raggy to swiftly rush ahead and grab Bryan's head, essentially headlocking him while also placing the knife against his throat.
Raggy: Don’t move!
Bryan: So this is what fate has brought me. I wanted to make amends. But I suppose, this is it. This is how I make my amends. Not to the fallen but to the one who survived. All this time I was blaming you but I realize now that I too survived that attack. I suppose that’s makes me just as guilty.
Raggy: I don’t blame you for their deaths. I blame myself for them and for the path you’ve chosen. I should have been there for you, each step of the way.
Bryan: ...We can’t change the past, brother. We can only move forward. It’s time for us to make our amends. Set me free of the past and get the judgement that you need to pass on yourself.
Raggy struggles as he places the knife closer to his brother’s throat. It presses against the skin, cutting it ever so slightly as a little blood drips down his burnt and scarred skin. Raggy then pulls the knife away, leaving behind only a minor scrap. He breathes in heavily and tosses the knife away.
Raggy: I can’t. It’s… it’s too much for me. You’re still my brother, Bryan. No matter what happened between us.
Bryan: Heh… Raggy.
He leans forward, now sitting up and takes a good look at his brother.
Bryan: Then you really are a coward.
Before Bryan can take another breath, a blade pierces his throat from behind; with the tip protruding from the front. Raggy gasps out in surprise as he drops down, holding his brother in his arms.
Raggy: NO! N-No…
He holds Bryan in his hands and looks over, seeing Klaus lifting up from the ground, as she bleeds out. Her hand reached out as if she had just thrown something.
Delilah Klaus: Nobody… betrays me. Ever. This victory may not have been for the Cabal but I alway get my ki-
As she finishes her sentence, she is forcefully and almost violently lifted from the ground with claws penetrating his skin. She lets out a scream as the wolf creature, digging his claws deep into her, starts to tear away with force until her body is shredded in half. The wolf creature shakes its hands free of the corpses’ halves as they drop down to the pavement, blood leaving the body and moving into the puddle that was previously beneath her earlier. Raggy continues holding his brother and crying as he wraps his arms around him more. A moment passes before Ryder, now in Human form, joins him- placing a hand on his shoulder. Later on, at Raggy’s hideaway, Raggy can be seen sitting in a chair, looking outwards.
Ryder, leaning against the wall: I’m sorry for everything that happened. You shouldn’t have gone through something like that. You’re a good man.
Raggy: No. I’m a coward. He said it himself. I’ve been running from my problems all this time. Hell, if I had been honest with you from the start, we probably wouldn’t have been manipulated by your friend back in Raider City.
Ryder: Hey, if anyone’s to blame for that, it’s me. I pushed you away because I was running to my past. Any signs of it.
Raggy: We both let the past control us. But I think I’m done running away. I want to fight. I want to do what’s right.
Ryder: So… where does that leave us?
Raggy: You helped me face my past. I can’t thank you enough. So I would say that we at least understand each other again. Oh and you did apologize for being a dick so there’s that.
Ryder: Here we go.
Raggy: But seriously, you really helped me out back there. If you’ll have me, I would like to join Ryder Investigations again.
Ryder: What about your information gathering thing? Don’t you have other clients?
Raggy: I do but I’ll sort it out. What’s important is saving this city.
Ryder: You want to save the city, go find that new Vigilante team. I’m not in that business.
Raggy: No, Ryder. We’re the only ones who can. The Cabal has operations have dig deep, they’ve been planning this for a while and they have a main goal that they’re so close to reaching. We don’t know what it is and how dangerous that can be but whatever it is, we have to stop them.
Ryder: There’s also the drugs they have that can give people Mutant abilities. If that hits the streets, they’ll be chaos.
Raggy: Exactly. We may not be in the saving the city business, but they brought into our turf. I say we take down them and do what’s right, don’t you?
Ryder: So we save the city, by solving the case.
Ryder: Alright. Not like I was going to just turn away from them when we’re this close to stopping them.
Raggy: (laughs) Ryder, you son of a bitch.
Ryder and Raggy then shake strongly, smiling at each other.
Ryder: We’ll take down the Cabal. And this time, we’ll do it together.
After the credits, the inside of a facility can be seen. The sound of footsteps walking down the facility’s hallway can be heard as a figure is seen entering a room. They approach a table in the dark room, with the only light source coming from a desk lamp; it sheds light on the desk surface which is covered with organized piles of tapes and folders. The figure takes a seat at the desk and goes through the papers and folders. Soon enough, they come across a specific folder labeled, Suspect 009. They open the folder and inside are several classified documents, small artifacts in small plastic bags and photographs of Ryder at several different locations. The figure is then shown to be Millie Anderson.
Millie Anderson: Who are you, Ryder? We’ll find out soon enough.
- Ryder and Raggy settle their differences and work together again
- Ryder’s cell phone was shattered
- Raggy has moved past his guilt and taken a more assertive path
- Raggy now plans on working more at Ryder Investigations than with his information shtick
- Lena (First Appearance)
- MCA Officers
- Apartment Landlord (First Appearance)
- Taxi Driver
- Millie Anderson
- Bryan (Deceased) (First Appearance)
- The Cabal
- Delilah Klaus (Deceased)
- Herman Sullivan
- Raggy and Ryder’s handshake at the end of the episode was a reference to the epic handshake between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers' characters in the movie, Predator.
- This is the first episode of the series without the inclusion of Kelly.
- Klaus’ transformation was meant to have more exploration within this episode.
- Lena was planned on having a prominent role in the episode; possibly even being the villain herself. However, this was changed as it would've possibly overshadowed Bryan's role in this episode.
- This was, by far, the most delayed an episode has been; mostly due to scheduling issues.