Shrike (named Grike in North American editions) is a Stalker and a main character in the Mortal Engines series and minor recurring character in the Fever Crumb series.
Early in the Mortal Engines quartet, Shrike is shown to be a ruthless killing machine, harming several Aviatrices and killing three pirates when his hunt for Hester Shaw takes him to Airhaven and across the Great Hunting Ground. However, in Infernal Devices, when Oenone Zero re-resurrects him, he finds that he cannot hurt humans, because of his consicence. He can still, however, destroy stalkers.
Despite being a killing machine, Shrike doesn't like to harm children, because he himself once had children before he became a stalker. He is shown to help children, such as when Hester Shaw was left half dead he adopts her. Another example is when a mayor wants him to kill the children of someone else. Instead of killing the children, he kills the mayor. The traveller Chung-Mai Spofforth interview him in 923TE when writing her book In Search Of The Stalkers. He said that he remembered several occasions when he had spared or protected children for reasons that he could not explain. He doesn't know why he is so fond of children until the very last book, where he remembers his past life.
Another goal of his is that he wants to make Hester Shaw into a stalker. He keeps this goal right up to the end of the story, when he sees that she had been clutching hard to Tom even in death. So instead he lays them both to rest in a valley.
Kit Solent, as she was known previously, was a archaeologist who requested Fever to help him open a high tech door under London. He was a widower with two children named Ruan and Fern. He is kind and helpful. When Fever is being chased by Bagman Creech in the marshes because she is a suspected Scriven, he shoots and kills Bagman with his handgun. In the ensuing riots, Kit is shot but he manages to help Fever back to the Godshawk's Head where the two of them escape in a Hot Air Balloon. Kit's wound proves to be fatal and he dies while they are in flight. When the hot air balloon lands the Nomads take his body off to be processed into a Stalker.
The Nomad WarsEdit
After Kit Solent died, he was made into a stalker of the Lazarus Brigade. He was re-named Shrike, as all the stalkers in the Lazarus brigade are named after birds. It is unknown how he became known as Grike, which can be the name of a hill in Lake District, England or a feature in Limestone pavements. Shortly after he became a stalker, he killed two of his fellow stalkers. Shrike fought in all of the major battles of the Northern War including the battle of Three Dry Ships and the long going battle of Hill 60. During this time his masters in The Movement begun turning London into the very first Traction City. As London had to struggle against rival powers for fuel and raw materials in order to build Tractionist London, many Nomad enemies attacked the Movement. At some point, however, he re-developed a form of self-awareness, so he left his masters' army and set out into the world. During the Nomad Wars he was a mercenary for both sides. At the very end of the Nomad Wars he led a legion of stalkers against the newly made traction city of London by the command of the Nomads. However London triumphed and crushed the stalkers. Shrike escaped from being crushed by tractionist London.
The Tractionist EraEdit
During the tractionist era, Shrike was an executioner on Paris. He was much feared by the criminals, who still thought him as a sort of dark god long afterwards. Shrike then became an assassin for the Mayor of Kutsoi. But when the mayor ordered him to murder the young children of a political opponent, Shrike refused to obey and killed the mayor instead. Shrike then fled into the out-country, where he became a vicious and much-feared bounty-hunter. Eventually, the stalker came across a scarred young girl called Hester Shaw, whom he adopted. They lived together on the Scavenger-Platform of Strole for several years, before he and Hester left. They were seperated when Hester set off for London...
At some point, Shrike began serving under the Lord Mayor of London, Magnus Crome. He was sent on missions to hunt down and kill people. Also, the Engineers studied how he was built so they could manufacture their own stalkers. When Tom and Hester fell overboard, the engineers were worried that they might have survived and possess knowledge of MEDUSA so they sent Shrike to kill Tom and Hester.
Shrike was flown to Airhaven, where he found the two in a café. However he received opposition from Anna Fang and Yasmina Rashid who would not allow him to hurt Tom and Hester. Shrike then got involved in a fight, wounding or killing several aviators before continuing to chase his targets by airship. When Tom and Hester jump out of their Hot Air Balloon as a diversion, Shrike pretends to fall for it so they could get a head start. He later states that he did this because of pride for Hester escaping him, which is quite the feat.
However he soon returns, only to get run over by a traction town. A second town later comes through chasing the first one, running him over a second time. However, despite being damaged, he wasn't killed, and continues his hunt. He follows the pirate suburb of Tunbridge Wheels until he finds it sunken in the sea of Khazak. He then follows the scent of the Hester to the island.
On the island, he finds Mungo, Janny Mags and Mr. Ames who are about to kill Tom and Hester. He kills the three pirates before confronting Hester. He tells Hester that he is going to kill her and Tom, but after she was dead that he would take her body back to London and have her turned into a stalker. She accepts that, but asks that Tom is not killed, and that Shrike tells his masters back in London that he fell over a cliff or drowned in the sea.
Shrike accepts, but just before he was going to kill Hester Tom stabs Shrike with a sword. Shrike falls back into the mud and for a brief moment he remembers who he was before he died. His last word is "HESTER." The Anti-Tractionists and the people at Airhaven praise Tom Natsworthy for saving them from a stalker that was going to kill them all. However Tom felt like a murderer, not a hero.
Shrike was brought back to life by the Green Storm eighteen years later. Oenone Zero reprograms him. She tells the Stalker Fang that he can be her bodyguard, or just hang about for her entertainment. Later when Oenone is praying at the Christian Chapel for the downfall of the Stalker Fang, Shrike over hears her. He thinks about telling the others of her possible betrayal, but doesn't do so in the end. When the Green Storm move to attack Brighton, Shrike goes along as well as Fangs bodyguard. During the heat of the battle, Oenone activates his recent programming to destroy the Stalker Fang. Being stronger than his previous self, he attacks and seemingly destroys the Stalker Fang as well as several other stalkers. He also then discovers that he is incapable of killing humans, as he remembers all of the humans that he has killed in the past. He disappears into the bushes when General Naga arrives on Cloud 9. He later meets Hester again there as the floating platform crashes, and prepares to enter the dangerous world of the desert. Hester and Shrike then travel the desert as bounty hunters. When they stop at Cutler's Gulp for fuel they rescue Theo Ngoni and escape Cutler's Gulp in a sand-ship. When a group of sand-ships attack Shrike and Hester's, Shrike attempts to fight the soldiers, but remembers that he can't. After the sand-ship is destroyed, Shrike, Hester, and Theo go to Airhaven to rescue Oenone Zero, now known as Lady Naga. When Lady Naga escapes, Hester gets injured, and Shrike takes her to a Green Storm command base so her wounds can be treated. Shrike also accompanies Tom and Hester to Erdene Tezh in the Jenny Haniver. During the journey, Shrike realizes that Tom's heart is weak and that he will not live much longer. The Jenny Haniver then crashes after being attacked by Stalker-birds, and during the fall, Shrike falls out of the gondola shouting, "HESTER!" He lands on the ground about ten miles away from Erdene Tezh, and survives. He begins to head there, sniffing for Hester's scent. However, he arrives at Erdene Tezh too late, and finds Tom, Hester, and the Stalker Fang dead. But when Shrike is about to pick up Hester's body, intending to have her resurrected into a stalker by Oenone, he sees that she was holding Tom's hand very tightly before she killed herself, and he sadly realizes that this is the right end for her. So he picks up Hester and Tom's bodies, still holding each others' hands. As he carries them, he again remembers who he was, and that he had children, and when they were sleepy, he'd carry them to bed. Shrike then cuts off Tom and Hester's clothes and lies their bodies down by an oak tree. Shrike then goes to sit by a cave, and shuts down all of his systems except for his mind and eyes. He watches Tom and Hester's bodies decay over the years, and finally turns on his systems a hundred years later.
The World after the Traction EraEdit
Shrike awakes, seeing that Tom and Hester's bodies have completely decayed, and sees a young boy and a girl standing in front of him. He says "HELLO", his voice even rustier. He sees that the people there had hung flowers around his neck for luck each year, them thinking that he was an old statue. The children take Shrike to a town hall, and he sees that the walls were made of Traction Cities' tracks, and watchtowers were made of wheels. He expects that there are no machines in this world, but he sees that airships are still in use, powered by magnetic levitation. Shrike realizes that the Traction Era is over, because when he asks the townsfolk if there are any moving cities in the world, they say that moving cities only exist in fairy tales. They ask Shrike what he is for, and he states that he is a Remembering Machine. He then tells the townsfolk that he remembers the age of the Traction Cities, London and Arkangel, Thaddeus Valentine and Anna Fang, and Hester and Tom. Then Shrike begins to tell the people his story, starting with the first line of Mortal Engines, revealing that he is the narrator of the series.