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Ryker - A Tale of Two (Chapter 1 - A Tale of Two)

 
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Chapter 1 - A Tale of Two


Intro Song

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"War does not determine who is right, Only who is left."
- Bertrand Russell

 

Mosul, Iraq. - 5 Years Before LifeNet Interference
Name: Lieutenant Nathan Ryker
Unit: 2-3 MAR USMC
Unit Identification Code: M94430
 
"Hang in there, Hendricks!" Ryker kicked open a rotten wooden door to what appeared to be an abandoned household. His handgun was raised in his right hand while Hendricks had his right arm hooked around Ryker's left shoulder. Quickly rushing over towards the wooden table, he sets Hendricks down, sliding his handgun into it's holster before reaching over to tear off the wounded soldier's tactical vest. There was a large gunshot wound in his right side which Ryker wasted no time in placing his hands on to apply pressure, attempting to stop the bleeding.

"Ryker...It's okay..." Hendricks said as his right hand came up to grab Ryker's left forearm, his thumb brushing along the man's skin before gently dropping his hand, leaving a bloody hand print on Ryker's uniform. The man's eyes began to dwell upwards, rolling into the back of his head before he finally let out a soft final breathe.

"Hendricks! Stay with me!" Ryker kept his hands on Hendricks's wound as he stared into the man's eyes. He was in denial but he knew there was no point in attempting to save him, he was already gone. Nathan's jaw somewhat dropped. He retracted his hands, bringing his right hand up around Hendricks's collar, fetching his dog tags before yanking them off. He held them in his hand for a moment, staring at them.


Hendricks
R. D. O Neg
USMC M
M94430
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"I'd seen death from afar before, killing the enemy through the scope of a rifle is one thing but it's a whole different story when you have to watch someone die in your arms, literally."

 

Flagstaff, Arizona - 8 Months Before LifeNet Interference


Ryker's right hand shook uncontrollably in shock as it hovered over the doorknob to his house. He closed his eyes and it felt like all his time serving was literally being relived in seconds, death, destruction, change, gunshots. All of it was just flashing through his mind before his eyes opened up again. He was wearing a white t-shirt and his standard uniform pants with his black leather combat boots, his pants were tucked into. A duffle bag over his left shoulder with all his things in it. He finally made a move and turned the doorknob to open the door, pushing it open. He took four steps inside and dropped his duffle bag to the floor, looking around.

He saw his wedding portrait of him and his wife. They both wore white smiles and seemed rather happy together, even he gave a meek smile at the sight of her in the picture but an even bigger smile was awaiting her in person. He looked around some more before his eyes fell to the side bench at the front door where the shoes were left. There was a pair of unfamiliar shoes there, men's sneakers. His heart dropped, his fists clenched and he made his way over to their bedroom.

"Miranda!?" There was no answer when he called for her as he practically broke into a jog, kicking the bedroom door open. There she was in bed, with another man. The amount of anger and rage that went through him as he walked over, yanked the bed sheets off to reveal both their naked bodies. The man in the bed slipping on his boxers as he made an attempt to flee but Nathan grabbed him by the throat and pinned him up against the wall.

"Nathan stop!" Miranda came up from behind him and started slamming her fists into his back. Ryker finally bashed the man's head against the wall he was pinned to before letting him drop, the man started coughing uncontrollably as he held his throat. Now Ryker was about to unleash on Miranda as he shoved her back.

"How long have you been doing this to me!? Is it because I was gone for so long!? Why not file for a divorce!?" With each question came a stronger shove backwards, Miranda couldn't answer but she was in tears and her face was beat red. Then came the final shove before she slipped, banging the back of her head on the corner of the bed and she fell to the ground unresponsive. Ryker's own face was red, a vein piercing across the left side of his neck as he stared down at Miranda. His heart dropped when he noticed she wasn't moving and merely dropped to his right knee.

"Miranda?" He asked, he seemed somewhat concerned and alarmed as his hands grabbed her shoulders to lift her up into his arms. The man behind him seemed somewhat startled and shocked, he was very quietly trying to make his way out but Ryker's right hand slipped to it's holster and he drew his handgun pointing it towards the man's center mass.

"GET THE FUCK BACK AGAINST THAT WALL, I'M NOT DONE WITH YOU." He said trying to fight back the tears as his hand came over to Miranda's cheek, brushing it softly with his thumb before moving stray strands of hair out of her face. She was dead, there was no breathing that could be heard and her pulse was null. Ryker laid her back down before gently before standing up with the gun in his hand, walking over to the man who sat against the wall patiently but in reality was absolutely scared senseless. Ryker pointed towards the man's face and didn't even second think pulling the trigger where the bullet pierced through his eye, painting the wall behind him in red.

Nathan put the safety on and dropped the handgun on the floor, making his way back over to Miranda as he dropped to both knees this time, holding her in his arms. He was in shock but eventually the reality of it all kicked in and he began to cry and cry. He pressed his forehead against hers and his chest began to cave as he heaved heavily, attempting to regain his composure but he couldn't. Police sirens could be heard rolling in the distance and since the front door was never closed two sets of footsteps could be heard walking in.

"Flagstaff PD! Anyone here!?" An officer rang out with her voice before making her way into the bedroom, her gun already drawn as she aimed it at Ryker who slowly set Miranda back down and placed his hands on his head.

"I killed them both..." he said with some moderate tears running down his eyes. Without hesitation, the officer quickly placed both hands behind his back and pinned him to the floor, putting handcuffs on him, his face turned to the side as his sheer gaze stared into Miranda's cold life-less one. He was pulled back up and brought over towards the cop cruiser outside, being placed in the back.

"We've got a double homicide at 1137 Juniper Garden Crescent, any available units respond.." The officer spoke on her radio and got plenty of different chatter back but at this point Nathan's hearing was blurred as he just thought about what had just happened. Everything felt slow motion but when he thought of all that had just transpired, he knew it happened much faster than he pictured.

 

Arizona Criminal Court of Justice - 7 Months Before LifeNet Interference


"Mister Ryker, in accounts to the first degree murder of Devin Walsh, how do you plead?" The judge asked in front of the courtroom as Nathan stood up with handcuffs around his wrists.

"Guilty, Your Honor." He said staring into the judge's eyes. The man merely nodded and looked down at his papers before speaking again.

"And in accounts of second degree murder of your wife Miranda Ryker, how do you plead?" The judge asked letting his glasses slide down the bridge of his nose as his pen waddled and bounced in hand.

"Guilty, Your Honor." Nathan spoke again before sitting back down, staring at his feet.

"Right then, for the murder of Devin Walsh, this court hereby sentences you to 25 years with no good behavior or request to parole. For the murder of your wife, Miranda Ryker. This court hereby sentences you to an additional 25 years limited to an 8 year serving time before parole. If you understand these terms, you..."

The Judges voice faded out as Nathan stared down at his wrists. Taking a slow deep breathe before nodding in acknowledgement. Even if he wasn't truly listening, he knew what he had done wouldn't go unpunished and since he had already pleaded guilty to both homicides, he didn't have much choice.

Arizona State Prison Florence - Start of LifeNet Interference


Ryker was startled as he awoke the prison sirens going off, banging his head on the ceiling as he woke up, climbing out of his bunk bed alongside his roommate Julian. The lights in the cell block were off and the only source of light was from the siren's large red lights. Nathan made his way slowly over to the celldoor and placed his hands on the bars, hesitantly leaning his head forward to look around as he appeared extremely confused to what was going on. A guard finally approached his cell and knocked on the door. "Nathan Ryker, you have a visitor."

Nathan seemed flabbergasted at the mention of a visitor as a number of people came to mind that could be here to see him. His Family? A journalist? An old friend from when he served? He was soon to find his answer as he was let out of his cell and directed to follow the guard down the cell block and towards the main visiting center. It had to be sometime between 2 or 3 in the morning which was irregular for visitors and visitation hours wouldn't even be available. When he turned the final corner to enter the phone booth, he took a seat and picked up the phone, for a moment afraid to even look up before he finally made his decision and what greeted by a man he had never seen before in his life.

"Hello Nathan. My name is Desmond and I'm a representative for a very valued company known as LifeNet, I'm sure you've seen us on the news at some point in time." he offered Ryker a small smile before pursing his lips into a thin line and licking them as he continued his monologue. "Look, I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I'd like to offer you an alternative, being a valued cause in our current research. In fact, it could greatly benefit you for your future and for the future of our generation."

More Music


Present Day


Ryker grunted softly as he climbed over a large steep hill, when he finally got to the top, it was just pure desert. He sighed softly and stared into the distance as he looked over to his dog Vimmy who stood next to him, his right hand lowering to pet the dog on the head gently. Vimmy was wearing what appeared to be a ballistic K-9 Harness with some small side pouches, clearly it could carry some weight. He smiled a bit as he overlooked the ridge, staring out into the distance, it was the city. Quite a bit had changed since the start, including the buildings which were now mostly covered in vines.

"Vimmy! Get back here!" He said with a heavily panting tone as he sprinted to catch up to her.

As they made their way inside the demolished city, there was something about the place that seemed all too eery. There was utter silence. While they continued to walk, he heard Vimmy barking. She quickly ran off and of course, Ryker being so attached to his canine companion, he ran after her. He sprinted four streets down before watching Vimmy bolt off into an alley where he quickly followed himself yet again only to come to a halt. Vimmy was growling as she got into an attack pose and her teeth began to show, Ryker drew his .308 Hunting Rifle, there were four men dressed in khaki colored garbs. They almost looked like homeless people from back in the day as they all turned around in sync, pointing their assault rifles at both Nathan and Vimmy.

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Comments

Joe Spivey's picture

Yay! So begins a meaty saga to go with my morning coffee. Can't wait. :D

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.



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