Weird Weird West: The Mutilators
A Short Story
The Fisch house was finely built. It could hardly be called a cabin, even though it was made from logs, for it was laid out like a house, boasted two stories, and had a shingled roof. Sweet smelling pines spotted the hills behind it. The ranch's yard formed a square, with the house, the barn, and a couple of corrals the corners. As for the land, it consisted of one thousand acres that supported about four hundred head of cattle, and stretched across half a dozen mountain pastures and meadows. It was as close to heaven as any man was like to find.
The ranch belonged to Joe Fisch, whom I served with in the war. He had moved to Utah, staked his claim, and then sent for his beautiful wife. It had long been his dream to own a place such as this, and now, he did. But trouble had befallen him.
It was with some guilt that I only now visited him, for while I had often meant to, I had never made the time. Now, it was at the urgent request of Laura Fisch, his wife, that I rode to investigate their situation. She had written me of a great mystery, one that had left her husband badly burned and half-mad. In her letter, she communicated the simultaneous disappearance of their foreman, Dan Orgill, and only implied further weirdness as it related to Joe.
As I rode up the trail to the house, I paused the bay to admire the wooden arch that marked the entrance. At the top of the arch was nailed a plank of wood, and into it was burned Joe's brand. The Rocking F. He had once showed it to me in the quiet moments after Chickamauga, it was just a charcoal drawing then, scribbled on the back of a letter from Laura. That brand is the reason he survived. Dreams are the things that keep a man alive.
I tied the bay up outside. The beautiful house towering above me, and the whole place, eerily silent for a working ranch.
“Kurt Ryker?” Laura called from the door.
“The one!” I shouted. She rushed to meet me, her dress swishing loudly, and I put out my hand, took hers gently, bowed as a gentleman should, and then gave her a kiss on the back of it.
“Mr. Ryker, you are too kind, will you please come in,” Laura said. “Joe talked often of your times together.”
“I only wish the circumstances were better,” I replied.
I saw why Joe had fallen for her. She had sandy blonde hair, and a womanly figure. She complimented the plain blue dress, and not the other way around. But it was not her looks that I first noticed, rather her dignity, for she held herself with an air of grace and capability.
I followed her over the threshold and into the house. A man I did not recognize sat at the kitchen table. He was either Mexican or Apache. Maybe both, I couldn’t tell. Either way he had a mean look about him. His manner was easy, but he held his body in constant tension, like a great cat. He seemed a man always ready to move and move quickly. His eyes flashed with equal discrimination. They shone like black obsidian and were set above a conqueror's nose.
“Kurt, this is Red Diego, he has been running the place since we lost Dan and…” Laura paused, looking at the floor. Looking for the right words.
“Where is Joe?” I asked.
"Come," Red said, pushing himself up from the table. He stuck out his hand and said, "I will take you to him.”
Red’s grip was firm, and his eyes honest, but I had not yet decided if I liked him. We were similar men, that much was clear, of the kind that either became friends or enemies. Men like us didn’t have acquaintances.
Red led me to the barn, where he unlatched the double doors. He waved me inside. When I entered the old barn, I waited a second just inside the doors, and let my eyes adjust to its gloom.
On the walls and stalls, everywhere, were painted white orbs. And there at the far end of the barn, crouched Joe, painting yet another of the white circles. Some had a single white streak coming from them. Others looked like stars, or suns. They were of every size, painted wherever they could best fit.
I stepped forwards, before glancing at Red, and he met my gaze stoically, then nodded to reassure me. I approached Joe slowly, as he did not turn upon our entrance. Laying a hand on his shoulder, I felt him shudder. He whipped around in fright. Two eyes, once blue, had gone gray as slate, and in them was not the faintest hint of recognition for his oldest friend. He cowered beneath my touch, quaking in fear. He was pink faced, as if the skin had peeled and grown back. His eyes darted as if seeking a means of escape and I backed away.
Returning to Red, I asked, “how long has he been like this?”
“For a month now, he came wandering back on foot. His horse had returned ahead of him. Wouldn’t say a word. He had some sort of sunburn over all his body, even under his clothes.”
"Is that what happened to his face?" I asked.
For a few more moments, we stood in the dusky gloom and watched Joe paint. He paid us no mind, content to slather the white paint on the back wall. He was lost to himself. The brush moved back and forth in furious circles. Red nudged me and we slipped out of the barn.
“I must check on the cattle. We will talk more tonight," Red said, and turned to leave.
“When did the painting start?” I asked.
“As soon as he got back,” Red replied, not bothering to turn around. “Go to the house. Laura has more to show you.”
Laura showed me to Joe's study. A tidy little room, with a desk, and two shelves of books. A mulie hung on the wall, a nice-looking buck, with a rack as wide as my shoulders.
She took a pocket watch from one of the desk's drawers and handed it to me. I turned it over and over in my hand. The face was not cracked, neither was there any outward sign of damage, yet the hands were frozen in place. I fiddled with the knob, but the hands still didn’t move. It was as if its mechanisms were welded together, frozen up. No matter what I did, the hands remained stuck at three hours and one minute.
“Watches stop working,” I said, more for my benefit than hers.
She drew a compass from the drawer and set it on the desk in front of me. I inspected it carefully. This too had no outward signs of damage. Unlike the watch, the arrow spun slowly, passed North and then continued, around and around, in a slow spin, never stopping, never holding true. I set it down, and said, “that is odd.”
“There's one more thing,” Laura said, “perhaps, the strangest, at least to me.” She left Joe’s small study and returned moments later with a Bible. “Every night Joe flips it open to Ezekiel, chapter one. He reads it repeatedly. Sometimes he even falls asleep on top of it,” she said.
I took the Bible from Laura and examined the passage. It was the story of Ezekiel and his heavenly vision. I reread the passage several times, but I noticed verses 15 and 16 to be heavily smudged, as if someone had placed a finger there repeatedly. The verses read:
15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
I reread those words again but could not make sense of them. I reread verse four:
4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
I stared at the ceiling then, my head sent to wander in search of the hidden meaning.
“Well, what do you think?” Laura asked.
Brightness and fire. Wheels. I thought of the sunburn Joe had returned with, and the white orbs he painted in the barn. He was trying to tell us something. No, he was trying to remember. Something had disturbed him deeply, that much was clear.
“Do you know where Joe went that night?” I asked.
“He went to Trap canyon to shoot wolves with Dan, they stayed out there all night.”
“Trap canyon?” I asked.
“A little box canyon where they sometimes hold cattle or horses. There’s only one way in or out.”
The door to the house flew open.
“Ryker, come with me?” Red shouted from the other room.
We rushed to meet him, and I asked, "what is it?" but he merely glanced at Laura, and I took his meaning.
Outside, my horse was already saddled. Red ran to the barn and returned carrying two kerosene lamps.
“It will be dark by the time we make it back there," he said.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“They got to the cattle. You'll see."
I scanned his face for any sign of fear, but I found none. He was a brick wall, a stoic. I appreciated that. I hardened my own face, that I might not betray my stomach knotting itself.
As we rode, the sun fell quickly, and soon the land blazed with orange and pinks, while the sky took on a deep purple, the color of royalty, and the world opened before us as a dream. Sunsets in the west are often like that, seeming often the edge of heaven, and at other times, the edge of hell.
“You aren’t Mexican,” I said flatly, tired of the silence.
“I am Apache,” Red Diego replied. He spoke in perfect, unbroken English.
“Why pretend?” I asked.
“I am a man of many peoples,” Red said. “Just as I walk noiselessly, so do I live.”
“A man of many people’s is usually a man without any,” I replied.
Red smiled, the first I had seen him do so. He pulled a bronze cross from beneath his shirt, its middle rubied, and the style Spanish, old Spanish. He wore it on a chain about his neck.
“My father gave me this, but it was not his, it came from his mother, and her mother before that, and so on. How far back I do not know. They say I carry the blood of Cortez himself.”
“Why did you leave?” I asked.
“That is a longer story,” Red said. “And your people, do they not accept you?” he asked, pointing at my hat, the one I wore to start fights with Northerners. It marked me as Confederate cavalry.
“About half of ‘em,” I said wryly.
It was dark by this time, and we had ridden just shy of two hours. The pines towered above us, as if night’s sentries, malevolent giants chanting into the wind. Red slid out of the saddle and struck a match on his boot. Its tiny flame chased away the inky blackness.
When he had the two lanterns lit, he handed me one, and then put a single finger to his pursed lips. We tied our horses off on the mountain trail, and I followed Red through a gap in the pines. We walked quietly, as if thieves or raiders on a night stalk. The way up was steep in places, and I picked my steps carefully, thankful for the lantern light.
We creeped through another piny gap until we reached a mountain meadow, the grass cut short, as cattle had grazed here repeatedly.
I saw the bodies before Red pointed.
Ten dead cows, no more than fifty feet off, all laid out on their sides, head to butt, in a perfect circle. Their backs forming the inner circle for they were all positioned such that their cloven hooves pointed outward. The hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention, and a chill swept through my body.
I bent to inspect the nearest cow. Its eyes were missing, as well as a perfectly round bit of flesh around the socket. The empty voids in its skull seemed to stare back at me, and my blood curdled.
Another cow had been relieved of its entire spine, and another had been freed of its tail, only a bloodless stump, surgically severed, was left behind.
As I knelt among the dead bodies, the foul odor of rotting flesh penetrated the bandana balled in my hand and held over my mouth. Each one had a part missing. And for what reason, not at all clear.
But something was off, something gave these corpses an uncanny feel. I had struggled with the nagging sensation ever since we walked up. And then it came to me. The scene, while gruesome, and weird, was not bloody.
Upon realizing this, I swung my light wide and rushed from cow to cow, checking beside them and under, but still, I didn't find a single drop of blood.
Red whistled softly and waved me over.
He crouched over a bull, placed at the top of the circle if one had oriented the scene by cardinal direction. It was missing its sex organs, the testes and penis, completely gone, removed with the same expert precision that had taken the other cows’ parts. We checked the cows then, and they too had been relieved of their reproductive tissue, although it had been much harder to tell upon first inspection.
When I had seen enough, and felt I could glean no more, we left. We rode without conversation for the first hour, for the weight of what we had seen pressed our minds, and made speech impossible. It was Red that broke the silence.
“Do you see those,” he said, pointing at the sky.
We both pulled up on our horses and I followed his hand towards a group of stars.
“The seven maidens,” he continued.
“The Pleiades,” I said.
“The Apache believe they are the home to evil spirits. Other tribes believe that is where we come from. Star children."
“And what do you believe?” I asked.
“I believe they can be killed,” Red said, his jaw set firm.
“Do you know how?” I asked.
“I have the old knowledge,” Red said grinning. “You would follow me into battle, Kurt Ryker?”
“If the plan was good,” I said.
“Then we fight as Apache's,” Red said.
When we arrived back at the ranch it was late. We put the horses up and found that Joe had already left his painting for the night. Before I left, while my horse crunched steadily on his oats, I stared at the white orbs he had painted. This adventure was already far outside my zone of comfort. Far stranger than I had expected. I was used to exploring caves, creeping about old tombs, and had on occasion even stumbled upon a fabled monster. But they had all had a certain rational explanation, a terrestrial explanation.
What I now chased, came from the stars, or at least that is what Red Diego thought. And I trusted the man, he spoke true, and he had a fighting manner about him. He seemed to know the deep lore of these lands, the magic, and the curses. He knew the story of before, the pre-history.
The Indians knew the stories of these lands, the ones not recorded on paper. I had thus far found that stories and myths, legend, and deep lore, all have their basis in truth, if one could but discern the language. Oft times the more fantastical the story, the more probable it became. Since the war, I’d found it hard to trust most of what was written, for it oft comes ready made by the victor and the despot. The blackest acts buried beneath noble sounding lies and florid prose. If Cain had owned a newspaper, we would no doubt be on the look out for the mark of Abel.
I walked to the horse, and Red departed to the bunk house. I stood in the shadows of the porch, smoking in silence, when the bunk house door opened. I watched Red exit, holding a blanket, and then make his way out to a small grassy place beneath a cottonwood.
He laid the blanket on the ground and went to sleep. He may have had the blood of Cortez, but he was full Apache.
When I walked inside the house, I found Joe asleep at his desk. Passed out over his Bible. I crept up the stairs with the utmost care so as not to wake the house.
In my bed, I stared at the ceiling. The terror was thus far consigned to our imagination, for outside of Joe, nobody had seen anything but it's effects. What horror had caused a dependable man to lose his mind wholesale? What had so expertly stolen the cattle’s flesh without spilling a drop of blood? And what within me drove me towards these preternatural terrors?
This was a thing I could not answer, for imagination had always loomed large within me, and the quest for knowledge - knowledge that few other people had - was always an obsession of mine. I was driven to discover what things the earth hid, what mysteries she refused to yield. I hoarded arcane knowledge the way most men hoard gold, and even though my captured treasures were enough to make me rich, I would never have the will to part with them.
The small guest room was dark, for only a bit of moonlight leaked through the blue linen curtains. I had just started to drift off, when a scorching white light torched the inside of my eyes. I tried to open them, but it was too bright. The whole bed began to shake, and with it the house. The washbasin rattled in its cabinet, and the glass in the windows began to sing. I sat board straight in my bed, eyes clamped shut, hand outstretched, and flailed helplessly against the merciless light. And then, as suddenly as it had come, the light was gone.
I woke up covered in a thick lather. All was quiet in my little room, it was still dark, and nothing was out of place. I gasped in relief, thankful that the blinding terror had been nothing more than a nightmare.
But then I saw it.
The clock on the wall read 3:01, the same time Joe’s watch had stopped. I stared at it, waiting for the second hand to move. But it didn't.
This sent my mind spiraling, and in either delusion or desperation, I believed myself to now be in a waking dream, one where I was lucid, and trapped. Trapped in the folds of my own mind.
I pinched my nose shut and tried to breathe, as one should do in a lucid dream, but I could not. So, I was awake after all? Then from the yard below me, I heard a great commotion.
"It's Dan Orgill," one of the cowpokes shouted.
A man lay curled in the fetal position, deposited in the center of the yard. His hair hoary white, limbs long and gnarled.
Around him, gathered five of the cowboys from the bunk house. I ran outside, gun in hand, shirtless, disoriented, but now convinced I was awake.
Laura had beat me there, and I watched helplessly, as she screamed in horror and fainted like a kid goat. One of the cowboys caught her, and I passed him as he carried her back into the house. His own face ghostly white.
“We just found him like this,” one of the hands said. A lanky fellow, whom I had not yet met. He sported a thick handlebar mustache and a scar down his left cheek.
“It’s the devil’s work,” a different cowboy chided.
The last two men took off for the barn.
We watched in silence as they rode off. I didn’t begrudge them, for cowboys didn’t spook easy, and when they did, it was usually for good reason. Working men are a practical sort, believing that enemies not readily found at the end of a six-gun or rifle, are enemies that shouldn’t be found at all.
I crouched over Dan, his hair was white as the driven snow, his face wrinkled with old age, and his body withered. The skin hung from his bones, making him look as if a skeleton draped in sackcloth, but there was no sign of foul play. I felt for a pulse, but there was none. The skin was cold and clammy.
“Is he dead?” Handlebar asked, hat in hand, and nervously running his other through thick wavy hair.
“Yeah,” I said. “I take it he wasn’t this old a month ago?”
“He aged 50 years in nigh a month,” the dipper exclaimed, and then he too stumbled off towards the barn.
“Mister, I don’t know what you are planning to do, but I would advise you get out of here. I hope you don’t take it personal us leaving, but after this, and what happened to Joe…”
“Where should I tell Laura to send your checks?” I asked.
“Tell her not to worry none, we’ll make do,” Handlebar said, and with that, he ran off to join his friend.
Up until this point, I had not seen Red. I ran to the tree he had slept beneath, and found his rumpled blanket, but no sign of him.
“You worried about me,” Red said from behind, and I turned, shocked to see him. He stood ten paces away, soaking wet.
“Where were you?” I asked.
“I went to get a drink of water. When they came, I threw myself into the trough,” Red replied. He handed me a piece of wood, carved in the shape of goggles, each with a tiny slit cut into wooden “lenses.”
“What are these?” I asked.
“Protect your eyes,” Red said. I turned them over in my hand and slipped the rawhide strap over my head. I could but barely see anything out of the thin slits.
“Will it work?” I asked.
“It did work, I saw it. A giant silver wheel. They came down from the center, out of the light.” Red said.
“They?” I asked.
“Terrible looking. Like frogs or lizards,” Red said.
We had buried Dan Orgill the next day. It was just me, Red, and Laura that laid him to rest. Joe couldn't be pried from the barn, and due to his condition, we doubted he’d care.
Afterwards Red drew me aside and told me his plan. So, the next day, we herded a small group of cattle to a place high in the mountains, away from the ranch. The meadow sat atop a towering rock formation, a tabletop pasture. There was one main way up and down, much like the trap canyon.
The land, on either side of the meadow, fell away quickly and straight down. Centuries of erosion forming a natural terrace on either side.
With the cattle settled, we led the pack mule down to the creek and unloaded the sacks of red dirt we had gathered the day before. The red dirt has at times been used to make red ochre, and it contained an unusual amount of oxidized iron. In other words, it was rusty dirt.
We took the dirt and mixed it with water from the creek in tin buckets, until we had ourselves a thick, red slurry with which we covered our whole bodies.
“Will this work,” I asked.
“We have fought them before, kept them from our sacred places. This is how we did it."
“Did they ever fight back?” I asked.
“Never, they always fled before us,” Red replied.
I peeled off my clothes and slathered myself in the red mud. It was cold from the creek water, and I was glad that it was still summer, for even a month or so later and this would have been quite miserable. Now, both covered in red clay, we looked like quite the barbars.
The cattle were our bait, and we planned to kill the sky creatures. A softer sort may wonder why we bothered, but we were not men that stood by and watched what was ours be taken. Everything in the natural world, man, or beast, will take what it wants from a man, until he teaches it the cost of doing so.
Those living back east in their posh houses may tell themselves different, that the civilized man has risen above such base equations, but they are deluded. It is the same in that world as it was here, the weapons looked different, no doubt, whether that be a deceiving smile, a piece of well-timed gossip leaked to the papers, or even knowledge of the law. Everywhere the strong lorded over the weak, and to deny that, was to be either fool or liar.
Out here, we fought with six gun or spear, and the law was the rope. I reckoned the rules of nature were the same anywhere, and if true here, then the mutilators would understand them. They would understand the language of force.
So, we made war.
When night fell, we laid in wait behind a rocky outcropping in the center of the meadow. The cattle bedded no more than ten feet off. We laid flat on our backs, behind a tangle of boulders, covered from head to toe in the red mud. In my hands, were both of my Griswold revolvers, and at my hip was my saber. Red had armed himself with a rifle, and on his hip was a long knife with a bone handle.
Upon our eyes were the crudely fashioned sun goggles. The Inuit used them when crossing the ice and snow up North. But the Apache used them in the white sands of the desert, or when crossing the burning salt flats down in Mexico.
I kept mine on my forehead, as trying to look through them sent my temples to pounding.
The night was nearly over, and I had taken to dozing, when the sky broke open in a thousand beams of bright, white light. Startled, I tried to shield my face, and winced at the light.
“Ryker, the shades,” Red whispered.
I lowered the crude glasses, and found I could open my eyes quite easily, and even see quite clearly now. That such a crude invention worked so well left me astonished.
We both crouched behind the boulders, and above us a massive ring, the color of steel, descended downwards, but when the moonlight caught it just right, it glinted green. How something so large, and obviously heavy could just float there, strained my imagination, and set my brain to panic. The ship, for I don’t know what else to call it, was circular, and made up of several rings rotating opposite of each other, as if wheels inside of wheels.
The bright lights flicked off, and for a moment I thought it had disappeared, but no, the ship was still there. It floated no more than fifty feet off the ground, the cattle paralyzed beneath it.
I started to take my goggles off, but Red gripped my arm, and shook his head.
“They use the light to defend themselves. When we attack, they will turn it back on,” he whispered.
From the center of the rings, shot a single beam of blue light.
“You say the word,” I whispered back.
Three beings floated down that column of light as if they rode upon an invisible feather. When they reached the ground, the blue light disappeared.
Even from this distance, which was no more than 100 paces, I could see they were heinous looking creatures. Half my height, with big black eyes the size of teacups. Their skin was a steel gray and seemed the rubbery texture of a frog’s. Their heads grossly elongated, limbs twisted and gnarled. They held little black boxes between long knobby fingers. They slowly worked their way through the cattle, waving the boxes over the paralyzed animals.
Red raised his rifle, and I took off at a crouch to try for a flank. When I had just reached my new position, I heard the bark of his rifle, and then all hell broke loose.
As soon as he fired, the ship's blinding lights flicked back on. The blue light shot earthward, and I watched as two of the creatures ran towards the little beam. I guessed by the fact that there was not a third creature that Red's first shot had been true.
I flicked the Griswold and fired. To my surprise, his flesh reacted like any other animal’s, and his shoulder exploded in a gory mangle of flesh and blood, torn apart by the forceful thwap of the lead ball. The only difference was the blood, for it was a bright green, and seemed to glow wherever it had splattered.
I leveled the other Griswold and fired, but the last creature had already made it into the blue light. The creature inside the light remained totally fine despite my aim being true. I followed up again, and I again caused no damage.
It was then that terrible wave of sound hit my body. A high-pitched whine that tore through my flesh and hurt my ears so badly that I was sure they were set to bleed.
I fell to my knees, dropped the Griswolds, and clapped my hands over my ears. The pressure so intense that it rattled my bones. I writhed on the ground, humbled by the display of power. Crippled by the sheer force of it. In my agony, I glimpsed Red, who was similarly incapacitated.
Two more beams of blue light shot down from the saucer to retrieve the dead creature and the one I had wounded. As I writhed beneath wave after torturous sonic wave, I watched the saucer steal back our prize, for I had desperately wanted to inspect them up close. Dissect them, as they had our cattle.
As the wounded one floated upwards, he cowered on his invisible feather and clutched at his disfigured shoulder. He looked at me with large black eyes in which the void of whole galaxies might've hung, and at any other time they would have terrified me. But now, with droplets of its own green blood, and scorched flesh, floating freely about it, the tiny gray demon looked pathetic and defeated.
No - in those baleful black eyes, I found not horror, but fear. For tonight, the demon had met its own monsters. Terrestrial savages, apish creatures of crude but advancing intelligence, naked and covered in red clay. Homo Sapiens. Who bent steel to his will, and tamed fire through dark alchemy, who sent molten lead hurling through space with deadly accuracy.
Red painted apes ruled these lands. Apes that crushed whoever happened upon their territory.
And then as quickly as they had come, the ship was gone. It disappeared in a single blinding flash. Swallowed whole by the sky itself. I stumbled slowly to my feet, no longer oppressed by the ship’s sonic waves.
The green blood of our foes glowed bright on the pasture rocks. I pocketed one as a trophy.
Joe Fisch upon hearing our tale, again found his voice, and after that, began the slow process of regaining his sanity. The best I could figure, he had never allowed himself to truly believe what he had seen, and so had plunged himself into the deepest black pit of neurosis. When we relayed to him that the beings had been frightened off, and that they were indeed killable, it proved to be a most needed balm for his broken mind. He kept me aware of goings on at the ranch after that, through letter and telegram. Most of the hands had gladly returned.
The aging of Dan Orgill remained a mystery, although privately, I wondered if our concept of time was something science owed another look. I felt there was a connection between the stopped clocks and his rapid aging, thematic at the least, if not wholly scientific, but what it was, I could not postulate.
I also wondered why, if the sky creatures were in possession of such great weapons, had they only used them defensively, and in the end, had let us live, even though we had killed and maimed two of theirs. Why when they had us dead to rights, did they not finish the job? I did not know the answer, and perhaps that mystery, more than the others, rattled me the most.
As for Red Diego, he was now my partner. Having proved himself capable and clever, I invited him to come with me back to San Francisco. We have since taken to calling the sky creatures the mutilators, as it is a much more sinister name. I for one was glad for a friend, and glad I no longer had to clamber through caves alone.
Thank you for taking the time to read. I sincerely hope it was as much fun to read, as it was to write. There will be more of Kurt Ryker and Red Diego to come. If you enjoyed, please like, share, and subscribe. If you have any ideas for future monsters or mysteries, drop a comment below, because you never know, Kurt Ryker may just decide to investigate.
Best dang thing I've read in months! No, let me rephrase: I want to see Kurt Ryker and Red Diego on the big screen! I heard the narrator's voice as I read your story. I know exactly what he sounds like. He sounds a bit like a younger brother to the narrator in 'The Big Lebowski' opening scene.
Your language is complex and catapults us readers directly into this world. Love it!
Subscribed right away, and will share on all my various social media. I hope you get a lot of readers. And I definitely want to see what Ryker and Red Diego are up to next!
Oh, I saw your link on the STSC Discord and clicked it.