|“||What matters, Zombie? I was always pretty good at figuring that out ... what mattered was I still had me.||”|
–Marika, to Ben, as they're preparing to attack Reznik.
Marika Kimura, better known as Ringer, is a supporting character in The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, and a main character in The Infinite Sea and The Last Star. She is a survivor of the 'waves' and a soldier of Camp Haven.
As a transfer from her own squad, she helped pull Squad 53's placement up from tenth to seventh within two weeks of her arrival there. She develops a loose respect for Ben Parish that eventually evolves into him being one of the few people that she truly trusts. When it was discovered that Camp Haven was really a base for the Others to turn children into soldiers for the 5th Wave, she went AWOL with the rest of her squad.
However, Ringer ended up being captured by Vosch and his soldiers and was put through a special process that turned her into a Silencer giving her enhanced human abilities and skills. She fell into an intimate relationship with a Camp Haven recruit called Razor before he helped her escape. Ringer and Cassie Sullivan shared an adversarial type of relationship almost from the exact moment they meet until just before Cassie dies. Ringer ends up having a daughter with Razor as the father and names her in Cassie's honor.
She ends up living on a farm with Ben Parish alongside Sam Sullivan, Megan and Evan Walker (for a time).
She goes by the alias 'Ringer' though her name was originally Marika Kimura. She had a brother and a sister; along with her parents, both of them died during an unspecified Wave. It is later revealed that she lived with her alcoholic father, who was a painter, and her mother left her when she was three. Her father helped pass on his love of chess as well as life lessons relating to the game. It was also later revealed that she was three quarters Asian and a quarter Apache.
When the waves hit, she was made to find alcohol for her father whose condition was worsening from withdrawal. She left him and searched houses for some and when she finally found some and returned, he had died to her shock and sorrow.
Ringer was first seen as an unnamed recruit observing Private Zombie's humiliating struggle to complete a hundred knuckle push-ups whilst Major Reznik prevented him from doing just that. She is later mentioned when Ben and Poundcake are at P&D clearing away dead bodies of the infested: Ben asks Poundcake if "[he] knew the name of the girl over at Squad 19's table," to which Poundcake responds the negative.
After Tank "goes Dorothy" and is pulled aside (later found as one of the dead bodies in P&D), Ringer is sent in as his replacement in Squad 53. She immediately says that she loves chess and Flintstone jokingly invites her over for a game of strip poker to where she strikes him at the neck to everyone's surprise and Teacup's awe.
She and Ben strike up an uneasy rapport, with Ringer believing that Ben is unfit to be squad leader as he's a terrible shot and Ringer used to be the leader of her old squad before she got transferred. Afterwards, Ben agrees to give up his position as squad leader if they graduate as one of the first four squads, and Ringer ends up giving him marksmanship lessons.
Later on, after Squad 53 does indeed graduate as one of the top four squads (they were in fact the winning squad), Ringer, along with the rest of Squad 53, is sent on a mission to exterminate all the Teds in a certain area there that were amassing supplies and weapons for a counter attack. Ringer was the first one to let shots loose when they found Infesteds in the distance. This is the point where Ringer confirms her suspicions (she mentioned she had been playing "blind man's bluff" before) that Commander Vosch and the whole of Camp Haven were actually the Teds themselves. After convincing Ben of her theory and getting him to dig out her tracker (she removed his as well), they confronted Reznik, who had been shooting at them while the squad was attempting to kill the "Teds" they saw through their eyepiece, who were later revealed to be ordinary human beings without a tracker implant. Ringer ended up shooting him and found on him a small device that was apparently connected to the implanted trackers and would have killed them with the touch of a button.
They showed the device and shared what they learned with the rest of the Squad. Flintstone didn't believe them and as a result, took the device and without meaning to, killed himself with it to their horror. When Ben decides to go back for Nugget, Ringer disapproves but he goes anyway, telling the squad that if he isn't back in forty-eight hours, he wasn't coming back. Ringer informs him that if he isn't back after forty-eight hours, she would go looking for him herself. He then asks her to shoot him in order to sell the story to Vosch.
When Camp Haven begins to crumble Ringer leads the squad to steal one of the humvees and they use it to go and rescue their two last squad members. After Ben liberates Nugget as well as Cassie with the long-range help of Evan Walker, she ends up hauling Nugget and Cassie into their car, and when they reach a safe area in the forest, is talking to Ben before he leaves her to discuss things with Cassie.
Ringer and Cassie spent some time in talking, mostly arguing, on the topic of Evan Walker and the story that he told her of the Others. When they reached the hotel that Evan had told Cassie to retreat to after their siege of Camp Haven Ringer had dubbed it the Walker Hotel in his honor, though a bit as a joke. When the weather was starting to get cold they knew that they couldn't stay at the hotel for too long. When they learned of the system of caves nearby, Ringer went to scout them to see if there was any people there and if they were safe.
Ringer went through the woods and then ran into a soldier from Camp Haven who was dead. Ringer took out his tracker to put in her mouth to help deceive any other soldier's detection scopes so she wouldn't be shot immediately by them because they thought she was a 'Ted'. She then sensed she was being followed and let out a shot, thinking it was a silencer, but found to her horror that it was Teacup. She had been shot and learned that she had left the hotel to follow after her. Ringer and Teacup were soon spotted by more troops and soon a chopper started to descend. Ringer looked to Teacup and actually considered shooting her and then herself to try not to let themselves be taken prisoner and be forced to give up the rest of the squad. However, Ringer thought against it.
The next thing Ringer knew, she was brought to a new base and was in new clothes. Ringer had been plugged into Wonderland and was feeling a little disoriented. She was being held in a room and then was soon visited by Vosch. He called her by her original name, Marika, and she stubbornly told him that her name was Ringer. She immediately asked if Teacup was still alive but Vosch simply gave her a cryptic answer as he didn't know which answer that Ringer would believe. She wondered why she was still being kept alive but guessed it had to do with the fact that Vosch had lost the trail of the rest of the squad as they must've cleared out of the Walker Hotel. He said that he had a gift for Ringer and gave her a box which was revealed to have a chess set inside. Ringer didn't want to play but Vosch showed that he had a killswitch on him which she guessed belonged to Teacup. They then played but saw that he knew how she played, most likely from Wonderland, and was a move away from Checkmate. Ringer saw no choice and flipped the board and made a break for it when Vosch pushed the button. She tried to escape but was cornered by camp personnel. She managed to take down one of the young soldiers and get his gun and was thinking of shooting herself to protect her squad but Vosch revealed that he still had the killswitch which meant that he could've been bluffing. Ringer weighed the risk and found it too great to risk Teacup's life.
She was then plugged back into Wonderland and put through a simulation. There she was tormented by Vosch showing her the prehistoric past as well as her own past with her father. He then further tortured her by showing her a feed of a young child of Camp Haven being taken by some survivors into a barn and then moments later, the place exploded due to an explosive chip that was in the child throat that reacted to high levels of CO2. Eventually, she found herself in a room being watched over by the soldier she had attacked before. His name was Razor and he seemed to believe that she was a Dorothy. Ringer was then taken off to be operated on and injected with microscopic machines in a procedure called The 12th System, being the first human to receive the enhancement that was not pre-placed for the invasion. Vosch then explained the process in a way that made Ringer realize that they were going to make her just like him and the other Silencers.
During the process, she was cared for by Razor who brought her her three meals a day. She began to teach Razor how to play chess and he in turn taught her how to play a game he called 'chaseball'. Over time they even began to talk about their lives before the waves and of their families. After a while Vosch visited her again to receive the progress report on how Ringer was adapting to the 12th System. He asked what Ringer was trying to stay alive for since she knew that they couldn't be beaten and she said that she just wanted to stay alive to kill him. The doctor claimed Ringer was adjusting better than expected and so he then ordered that Ringer be taken off the meds to the doctor's shock.
She was starting to feel some adverse effects to the process and was feeling lousy without the medication to quell the symptoms. Her worsening condition was starting to draw sympathy from Razor and they then made plans to help her escape. Ringer started to feel stronger due to the nanobots and she found herself healing faster. She beat down a soldier and one of the doctors before moving off to try and leave the base. She entered a room and was shocked to find Teacup there, alive and well. They were both surprised to find that the other was still alive and Ringer told her that they were leaving. They managed to get to the surface to a chopper where Razor was waiting with a pilot. He was reluctant to take them but both Razor and Ringer threatened him and forced him to take them into the air.
The chopper flew them off but they eventually detected F-15's on the radar, heading right for them. Ringer told Razor to take one of the parachutes and jump with Teacup while she stayed behind to divert their attention. Razor asked her how to find her and she simply told him to just head for the 'fire'. Before Razor went to jump he went over and gave Ringer a kiss. He then pulled the chute open and went out with Teacup. Ringer then saw that their pilot had bailed when she was distracted and steered the chopper to keep moving ahead as much as possible. She angled it to fly over a frozen lake and then jumped as the F-15's blew it out of the sky. She didn't use a chute and hoped that her enhancements would make it possible to survive, as well as hope that the lake's frozen surface wasn't too thick. She hit the lake feet first and saw that it was thin like she hoped and swam for shore as the chopper crashed into the distance.
Razor soon found her and when she asked where Teacup was he told her that he left her in a barn he found a few miles out. Razor asked Ringer where they would head and Ringer simply said Ohio so she could get back to the rest of her friends and wouldn't be deterred when Razor reminded them of how far Ohio was from where they were. They went to this barn but Ringer felt that something was off. She entered to find that it was filled with a few rotting bodies and a few old supplies but no Teacup. It was then that she discovered that Razor had set her up. The escape was orchestrated by Vosch to further test Ringer and her new enhancements. Teacup was also back with them to force Ringer to cooperate. When Ringer asked him why, Razor replied that he had no choice. He didn't want to believe that he and the other recruits had been had because that would mean that they truly had no hope left. Ringer seemed to understand and left herself in his care until Vosch sent a transport to pick them up.
She watched as Razor cleared the bodies away and burned them. The two of them comforted each other through their joint despair and then went on to kiss and then have sex. Soon enough, a chopper arrived to pick them up and the two were brought back to the base where they had 'escaped' from. She was brought to Vosch who seemed to be happy with the progress that Ringer made. Ringer then realized that Vosch wanted to enhance her so that she would serve as easy access back to Squad 53 in hopes of getting to Evan Walker. She realized that Evan was becoming a threat to Vosch and the other Silencers as he was acting in a way that the Others couldn't have predicted.
Vosch had Teacup brought in front of her to try to force Ringer to agree to his proposal. Ringer was then surprised, as was everyone else, when Razor went and shot Teacup and killed her. With that he had just destroyed Vosch's only means of leverage against her. Razor was then shot too and Ringer went to jump out a window to escape from Vosch and his men.
Ringer is described as having an intense and reserved personality. Her demeanor is outright calm and she is very tactical and calculating, as in the first book, she succeeds in revealing Camp Haven's conspiracy to Ben, removing their track devices (in the back of their heads) without losing herself. She doesn't smile most of the time, which is why Ben repeatedly tries to coax one out of her, often to no avail. She eventually develops a strong loyalty toward Ben and the rest of the squad, as shown when she tells Ben she would go back for him, if he didn't come back from his intrusion back into Camp Haven to save Nugget.
Ringer is generally quick to follow orders, yet she still sits back and assesses the situation at hand; she has no problem challenging orders, which is shown when Ben is reluctant to confront Reznik because he didn't light up green on their eyepieces. Ringer eventually is able to convince him otherwise, after she has Ben remove the tracking device from her neck, which shows that the eyepiece only picks up human beings who don't have an implant, not necessarily Teds themselves.
Due to her introverted nature, she is not skillful in getting along with people: in The Fifth Wave, her first time with Ben's squad is awkward; in the beginning of The Infinite Sea, Ringer tries to get along with the others but this is misinterpreted by Cassie as arrogance. This may be because she tends to be rather blunt. In The Last Star it is also revealed by Ben (Zombie) that Ringer is not a particularly good liar, as he could see through her lie about who Constance really was, very easily.
Ringer also has a chess-like mindset, which is what probably led her to discover Camp Haven's conspiracy and the truth of the tracking device and the eyepiece (in The Fifth Wave), hence her quote about predicting moves in chess to Ben in the said scene.
Ringer was an excellent marksman, as shown when she was able to deliver a clean and accurate shot to Reznik's hand, even when the light was fading and there was a snowstorm raging. It was partially due to her efforts that Squad 53 was pulled out of its position in tenth place, where they had remained for some time, to eventually first.
Ringer also seems to have an innate gift for deductive reasoning, as shown when she was the first to realize that Commander Vosch and Camp Haven may not have been what they claimed to be. Later she convinced Ben of this theory as well, and they in turn informed the whole squad. This skill is also shown constantly in The Infinite Sea, in which she constantly makes allusions to chess, strategy, and what she calls "the Risk."
After she is captured by Vosch, she is put through a process where she is injected with nanobots which have accelerated her healing process and strengthened her body and thought process. Ringer's back had been broken but she was able to heal from it and resume walking normally again under the 12 System. She also has enhanced sight, smell and hearing. Because of this, she has by all counts become a Silencer.
- "The 5th Wave" - "Dark eyes, dark hair, skin so fair it seems to be glowing in the early morning light."
- "The Infinite Sea" - "jet-black hair, glossy, and perfectly, annoyingly straight, and 3/4 Japanese and 1/4 Apache."
- Ringer is noted to be quite tall, probably around 5'7" or so.
- Ringer enjoys playing chess.
- Ringer is confirmed by Rick Yancey, author of The 5th Wave, to play a much larger role in The Infinite Sea.
- She is also slated to be a narrator in The Infinite Sea, the second book of the series.
- Ringer ends up as a narrator in The Last Star.
- It was mentioned in "The 5th Wave" that Ringer used to be from Squad 19. However, later on in the book, Ben mentions that two weeks after Ringer joined Squad 53, they had "edged by Squad 19 to take seventh place", yet Ringer's old squad (Squad 19) apparently still ranked second.
- In the film, Ringer is portrayed by a white actress. Her appearance is that of a gothic girl rather than 3/4 Japanese, 1/4 Apache, as said in the book.
- Ironically, Ringer's actress Maika Monroe has a phobia of knives.