Ryan was among the few ships who were lucky or unlucky enough not be destroyed by the Nietzscheans in their coup against the Commonwealth. His Captain, who was a Nietzschean and a "great man" to him and the crew, turned on those in his charge. After disabling Ryan, effectively trapping him in his own body, he killed the rest of the crew through asphyxiation. This had a profound inpact on the Artificial Intelligence, who up until then, like many AIs, had always felt strong and sure of himself; being forced to watch helplessly as his crew were killed severely affected his confidence as a soldier of the High Guard and partially traumatized him.
After being dumped in the Tatarus system with over 50 other P.O.W.s, Ryan was made the focus of the Nietzscheans' experiments to control the ships. The Nietzscheans had originally tried to control the ships by force but the angered Artificial Intelligences would always reassert themselves and take vengeance for their murdered crews. For ten years, the Nietzscheans dissected Ryan, trying to find a method of subduing or destroying the Artificial Intelligences. While unsuccessful the experience only worsened his failing mood rendering him slightly apathetic, sadistic and disturbed has he told Dylan he remembered enjoying watching Nietzschean pilots being dropped in to the star of the Tatarus. Their deaths he told Dylan "Were always fun to watch".
Halfway into the 300 year incarceration, the prisoners managed to create a single slip stream drive and place in the Clarion's Call, so he could fetch help for the prisoners. While his initial escape was a success, he remained trapped in the slip stream for a century, wandering, before he finally got out again. The time in the slip stream gave him a chance to think about what he had seen, and he decided he just didn't want to fight anymore. Seeing that there was no one who could help the others and that he was essentially alon,e he began to drift until he was found by the Nightsiders.