As a child growing up in sprawling Southern California, Ryder was exposed to the vagaries of life among the myriad nameless, faceless denizens of a modern megacity. Like many inhabitants of the rapidly degenerating planet Earth, Ryder grew up in relative poverty. Though his parents lacked the resources to provide him with an escape route from the crumbling society on Earth, his aptitude for mathematics and a talent for pattern recognition offered a faint glimmer of hope.
Like many of the Earth's poor, salvation could be had by enlisting in the military, and Ryder's gifts proved to be coveted assets. Consequently, he became a Signal Specialist and began training in the ways of codebreaking and cryptography. Unsurprisingly, these skills were worth quite a bit to the Military, which found itself in a constant battle to defend Earth's titanic megacorporations from environmental terrorists bent on hindering any effort to harvest what little was left of Earth's once great bounty.