This is a preview of #30 of Endangered and is titled City of Brotherly Love. It is part 6 of Volume 3 and will be released at some fken point idk.
Ryker faces a dilemma that is bound to leave its mark, as the lives of both him and his employees are explored. Meanwhile, the different zones scattered around Philadelphia are introduced with their own problems, each revolving around Ryker's reign.
City of Brotherly Love (Preview)Edit
Sometimes Ryker forgets that his son is just….well, a kid.
His son has seen things no child of that age should have to witness. Hell, even before the zombie uprising he saw shit. His mother’s death, Ryker’s anger, the sight of gunmen….and, of course, infected running through the street. It’s not a life Ryker would put upon any child. Even worse is how Ryker isn’t the best single father.
It’s hard raising a child, especially as a single parent. Add in his occupation and emotional state….Ryker could have been a much better father. He was absent, sometimes cold and lacked understanding of raising a child. Still, no matter how bad Ryker may have been, he did love his son. He loved his son with all his heart, willing to go to the ends of the earth for him. When this is all over, and his city is rebuilt from this anarchic wasteland, Ryker will raise his son right.
It’s hard to believe his plans for a new tomorrow are finally coming true. Ryker admits that he never thought he’d see the day. After years of preparing and waiting his moment to save humanity is finally here.
Ryker can still remember the nights of sorrow back in his days of arrogance. All the blood he spilt for...no reason whatsoever. All he wanted was pointless power. He thought power would make him feel complete, instead it only made him feel more empty. It wasn’t until he met him that Ryker got a clear perspective on life. Humanity is to dangerous to live with freedom and Ryker, with the guidance of his master, will save humanity from itself.
Ryker, stepping off his own podium for a moment, looks to the couch behind him. There his boy sits. Like his father, Kyle is a silent boy, minding his own business. He sits cross legged, flipping through one of Ryker’s old books without a sense of passion. Every other page he pauses to groan and look out of the window. A look at the boy and one would think he was a prisoner--not a far fetched term considering the over protectiveness of his father. “Are you lonely?” There weren’t any other kids in the zone. Just big, scary, armed men. Video games are available but even children can have enough of them.
“I know this is no place for a child. I promise we’ll find a new home soon.”
“I like it here. Just--not much to do.”
“Growing up me and my siblings didn’t have much. Our mother was picky with money. So we were left to our own resources. Wanna know are favorite?” At his nod Ryker points to his head. “The mind is a beautiful thing. We had a game where we would be given a sibling and we would need to make them a future.”
“Make them a future?”
“Like a story. We would write a future for them. We’d make this story and tell it out loud to each other.”
“Was their a prize?”
“Than why play?”
“Sometimes it’s not the prize that matters, son.” Ryker joins his son on the couch. Memories flood through him, giving the old man a nostalgic smile. It feels centuries ago. “I remember this one time me and my sister played. She predicted that I would have a family. A beautiful wife, a model. I would have had two sons and two daughters, each distinct from the other. I was--I was gonna be a farmer. Start my own business.” It sounded nice. There are times where he wishes life could have ended up different for him, but a man should not dwell on the past--only the future.
“What happened to your siblings?”
A fair question from a fair minded boy. Ryker wishes he could give a proper response. “I--I don’t know.”
There was a silence after that. Ryker thought back to his siblings. He lost touch with them. He knows that his one brother actually did become a farmer out in rural Pennsylvania. The one he kept most in touch with was his sister. A stay at home mother, the young Ryker lived out in San Francisco, happy of the life she received. She often invited Ryker out for holidays. He always turned her down--to busy on preparing for the future.
“You lived a rough life.” Ryker puts an arm around his boy. “I know it hasn’t been easy and--I know I haven’t always been there. I need you to know that we are family, and no matter what may come, we need to look out for each other. Above all else, I am your father--and you my son.” Ryker nearly forgot how perfect a child’s hug could be. He felt as if all his struggles were gone, even if it was just for a moment.
“Why are am I here?” Gabriel leans against the cold wall, arms crossed and face smug as usual. He stares down Isaiah, who gives no answer until he makes sure their darkly lit hallway is clear of people. Isaiah, usually a quiet rough man, making contact with him about wanting to meet was…..well, interesting. He’s definitely got Gabriel’s curiosity.
“I needed to speak with you.”
“No shit. We couldn’t have done this upstairs?”
“Is that right?”
“I wanna talk about Ryker.”
“Oh?” Gabriel smirks like the cocky bastard he is. “This should be fun.”
“What do you think of him?” Isaiah and Ryker may have a nonexistent relationship but that isn’t the case for Gabriel. Ryker was a father like figure to Gabriel, haven taken in Gabriel when the man had nowhere else to go. Isaiah knew this well, although it is hard to sense what Gabriel’s true feelings are. The man never lets anyone inside his head. Isaiah knew up front that talking to him about this subject may be pointless but he had to try.
“Hell kind of question is that?”
“Do you think he’s--losing it?”
“I think you’re losing your nerve. You think you can just corner a man and--what--ask if he’s a traitor?”
“I asked no such thing.”
“Not directly, maybe.” Gabriel never dropped the casual appearance. He was loose, smirking, glued to Isaiah. “I don’t think our leader is losing it. I suggest you think the same.”
“Look around us, Parker. The man has swastika's hanging around the base.”
“Does he? Oh, didn’t seem to notice.” Gabriel shrugs before adding “or care.” Isaiah wished to continue but it became clear that Gabriel wasn’t going to listen. Isaiah’s words simply flew right out of his ears. “Look, Isaiah….I suggest you keep these qualms to yourself.”
“And why’s that?”
“People talk. Don’t want the wrong man hearing about this, do we?” Rumor has it that Ryker does have spies who roam around for him. Who knows--maybe I’m one of them.” Isaiah remained still, glaring into his devious eyes. He liked to think that Gabriel wasn’t a snake, but he can’t be too sure. The man’s an enigma.
Isaiah’s doubts fade when Gabriel pats him on the shoulder with a chuckle. “Your secret is safe with me, big boy.” Gabriel departed Isaiah with a wink. Before disappearing completely Gabriel had one last thing to shout. “Listen to my advice, Isaiah. I’m as smart as I am handsome.”
Cocky bastard. Isaiah watched him disappear back into the crowd of mindless followers. He’ll get what is coming to him one day. In due time Isaiah made his way back into the crowd of sheep. A lot of them really were mindless bastards. It boggles his mind how anyone was willing to follow this nazi? Ryker is clearly unstable, blinded by his impossible ambition that he shuns anything else. He’s charismatic and puts up a good front, Isaiah will give him that. The more you watch, however, the more one can see through his hypocritical bullshit.
There are some who do see through it. Alexandra LaFontaine, having known Ryker for years, has expressed her concern with Ryker. Glad to know Isaiah wasn’t alone in this concern, at least. Some others see it, as well. Not Fitzpatrick, though. No, Fitzpatrick is a loyal hound to his master. Nyssa…...his wife probably sees it. He should ask her--but they don’t even talk anymore.
It’s not his fault. Since the day they wed Isaiah has wanted to settle down, start a family and get to know his wife more. She disagreed, barely ever giving Isaiah private or tender moments. Can he be really blamed for getting tired of waiting? He can’t even remember the last time he shared intimacy with his own wife. Tragedy of his life is how everyone--and he means everyone--used him. Even the most patient souls hit their breaking point.