The Universe of ‘Beacon 23’ is a scary place filled with strange phenomena. It’s very realistic of what our species can expect once we become a spacefaring species, but none of the dangers we might face even come close to the danger of coming across another alien but aggressive species. This is what happened to our protagonist of ‘Beacon 23’, whose contact with the so-called Ryph changed his entire life. Now, let’s see who they are and why they are in such a horrible conflict with humans.
Editor’s Note: This post contains massive spoilers for the upcoming show ‘Beacon 23’ and the source material, read at your own risk.
Ryph are mentioned quite a lot in the story, but not for a positive reason
One of the first things we find out about our protagonist, Digger, is that he is a former war veteran who got seriously injured in action and asked to be transferred to Beacon 23. Leaving the battlefield behind, he thought he could escape the war, but if anything, it made things worse since he was plagued with PTSD and wasn’t dealing with things in a healthy way.
The war that Digger is constantly referring to is called the “Void War,” and it’s humans versus Ryph, another spacefaring and sentient species that has pretty much the same capacity for violence against humans.
Ryph are extremely strong but highly intelligent
The description of Ryph doesn’t go into great detail. We know that they are bipedal and that their skin is more similar to the skin of sharks than humans. We know that they have a set of eyes that lie on the side of their heads and that their faces are split with vertical rows of sharp teeth. They also have claws and muscles that were described as “steel.”
Ryph come from the planet called Yata, and the place wasn’t described in much detail as well, but we do know that their habitats are organized in Hives where the young are brought up. It was never stated directly, but it has been implied that Ryph has the capacity to communicate telepathically, being able to broadcast messages and images to the human mind directly when skin-to-skin contact is made.
The biggest and worst representatives of the Ryph species are Ryph Lords. They are the most difficult to kill and are almost never captured alive. The writer also implied that the Ryph are organized into a monarchy as he made several references to “Ryph Prince.”
What did the Ryph do to Digger?
The war left a pretty big mark on the Digger, and one incident scarred him more than the other, both physically and mentally. Digger was part of the Bravo company that was stationed on Yata during one of the biggest attacks in the war.
Digger’s platoon managed to push through until they reached one of the biggest hives on Yata, and Digger was supposed to activate a nuclear bomb and destroy the entire Hive. For some reason, he hesitated and failed to destroy the Hive. One of the Ryph Lords caught him and gutted him until his insides were almost spilling from inside him. Following this incident, the Ryph started to pull back, mysteriously ending the attack. However, most of Digger’s crew perished in the push. He was the only one who survived with long-lasting consequences and plenty of scars to show for it.
It was only later that Digger explained that he failed to destroy the Hive because he refused to detonate it. At that moment, all he could think about was the fact that the Hive was home to millions of Ryph children who did nothing wrong and were completely innocent.
This is also why Ryph Lord didn’t kill him and why Ryph started to pull back. This was also the first event that signaled the end of the war, but Digger would find out about it much later in the story.
Who started the war between Ryph and humans?
Naturally, due to propaganda and various other influences, Digger assumed that humans were victims and Ryph were the bloodthirsty alien invaders. It was only later, when his old friend and flame Scarlett visited him that he found out the real truth, and it’s connected to a book. Scarlett mentioned one book that was extremely popular with the human army called “Salaman’s Battle.” It described the conflict between humans and Ryph from a human perspective and featured a war hero that every soldier could look up to.
But as it turns out, the book wasn’t real. It was written by T.W. Rudolf, who studied Ryph for quite some time and learned all about their culture, including about their novels. The book “Salaman’s Battle” was nothing more than a directly translated Ryph book about war with humans; only the sides are switched, and the book is presented as being from a human perspective while it was Ryph’s perspective all this time.
Digger started realizing that humanity is as much of a monster as Ryph are to humans and that the war is nothing more than a lucrative business that thrives or fear. Ever since humanity learned how to travel through space, they were afraid that they would get invaded by some aggressive alien species; as it turns out, Ryph was like that as well.
The main cause of the war was fear, for lack of a more specific event. There were a few incidents that were totally uncalled for, but it mostly was both sides stuck in a cycle of revenge. No one knows why the war continued for so long other than that it was good business and that there was too much blood on both sides to just drop everything.
But this is pretty much it; the war was vaguely described in the book because it wasn’t about the war in any case; it was about the road that Digger had to take to end it. We don’t know to what extent the Ryph will be featured in the series as well as the “Void War,” but I hope that the showrunners will give justice to that aspect of the story because it’s by far the most interesting one.
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