Sentinel: Office Work ®

“We will have to send in the S.W.A.T. team.” The Chicago Police Chief says looking on at a large Mitchell office building. “I say we have about ten minutes before he starts killing hostages.” Flashing red and blue lights reflect brightly through the lightly falling rain on the dozens of cop cars.

“Yeah, but he said he would start killing hostages if he saw any cops too.” A young policeman reasons with the superior officer. The police chief shakes his head and looks at the young officer.

“Negotiations aren’t working either, since the perps cut communications. I really don’t see any other option.” He turns and looks back at the dark and quiet office building. “All we can do is send them in and pray.”

Meanwhile, on one of the middle floors of the office building, one of the criminals is getting impatient. “We stopped talking to those pigs over an hour ago! Why haven’t they given us that armored car?” A big man bellows in a booming voice. Papers rustle under his feet as he walks around the dimly-lit, messy room. Four men armed with automatic rifles stand in the room around the hostages. He is wearing a white tank top, jeans and military boots. The desks from the office are stacked against the exterior window to block the group from police snipers. A thin man with oiled-back hair in a trench coat is looking through a gap in the tables at the movement of the officers below.

“They aren’t bringing us the armored car Malcolm. That was never the escape plan.” He turns back and looks at his three hostages that are gagged and tied around a pillar in the middle of the room. Their frantic look of desperation makes him chuckle as he looks over to the large man. “You haven’t noticed a couple of our guys are missing yet? The basement to this building has a secret tunnel that connects to an underground railcar as an escape for Dr. Mitchell. When he built this office, he made that escape because he knew people like you and me would be after his fortune. That’s why we had to off him even after he had transferred all of that money into our accounts. That way he couldn’t warn anyone that we would use the escape.”

“You’re a genius, Steven.” Malcolm admires.

“They’ll be sending in the S.W.A.T. team soon, and I haven’t heard back from the guys that are hacking the door to the escape.” The headman points his automatic weapon to the only door into the room they are in. “So keep your guns pointed at that door in case they try to come in.” He points at one of his henchmen. “You, stand over here by the hostages so you can blast them if someone comes in that door. The elevator shaft should be sealed off.” The hackers that are now in the basement locked control to the elevator car, and positioned the car just beneath the floor that the men with the hostages are on to block entry. The hackers won’t be able to be in contact with their leader because radio and phone communications are being monitored by police in the area. Steven strategically moves between cracks in the tables as he peers through to not be in one place too long so a sniper doesn’t have time to spot him and sight him in. Three of the robbers kneel down behind a desk they knocked over in front of the door for cover and keep watch while one stands by the hostages. The men are unaware, however, of what lurks in the vent just above their heads.

“What’s the news from the police radio Wyatt?” Sentinel is lying in the vent looking on at the situation and planning his rescue attempt. Wyatt’s voice comes through on his radio. Wyatt’s years as a hacker have given him the expertise needed to shield their radio transmission from police monitoring.

“You’ll have to do something quick. They’re sending in the S.W.A.T. team. They’ll kill those hostages at the first sight of the cops.” Sentinel glances ahead and notices that the duct work is just over the man guarding the hostages head. A quiet sizzle goes unheard by the men beneath as Sentinel uses a small lazer from his utility belt to cut away the metal around the vent he is looking through. As he finishes cutting the vent, he pulls it into the duct work and lays it behind him.

“Are we going to kill one of these hostages or what, Steven?” The man guarding the hostages says as he turns toward their leader. The man turning away allows Sentinel to throw a small circular communication device from his belt unto the pillar that the hostages are tied to.

“Tell them to lay down when I cut their rope Wyatt.”

“Gotcha.” As Wyatt begins to communicate with the hostages through the device, Sentinel crawls down to the piping over the guard’s head. Steven turns back to his minion.

“Give them a couple more minutes to try and get in touch with me. If they don’t, we kill them all.” He responds to his accomplice’s question. The guard looks back at the hostages with a smug look. During this time, Sentinel has stuck a string to the top of the duct above the guard’s head with a gadget attached at the other end to both sides of the tubing. Once finished he crawls back to the open hole. The demeanor of the hostages seems to have calmed a little as they know that someone is there to help them, but they are alert to know when to do as they are told.

“Ready, Wyatt?” Sentinel says as he pulls a small capsule from one side of his belt and a throwing star from the other.

“Get it!” Sentinel pushes a button at the side of his visor causing it to turn on infrared vision. He throws the capsule and the throwing star from one hand, and as the two objects are in flight, Wyatt hits a button on his keyboard causing the two objects Sentinel had strung up in the duct work to shoot lasers in a vertical circle. The lasers cut the piping causing it fall on the criminal’s head at the same time as the two other gadgets hit. The capsule hits the pillar just above the captives causing smoke to pour out into the room and the throwing star hits the rope holding the hostages to the pillar. The crash of the tubing and the grunt of the smashed man cause the others in the room to look back at him.

“Hey!” Malcolm yells. As he stands and begins running toward the pinned guard, Sentinel lands a kick on his face. As the bulky criminal falls to his back from the blow, Sentinel lands in a crouched position next to the men guarding the door. He sweeps the first criminal’s feet with a kick and jumps into an uppercut on the second one’s chin. The sound of rapid gunfire causes him to look over his shoulder. Steven is firing blindly in the direction of the hostages since by now the smoke is so thick in the room that he can’t see anything.

“If we’re going down, so are these desk jockeys!”

“Boss, I’m down here!” The pinned man yells.

“Collateral damage!” Steven yells as he fires the rest of his clip into the smoke. Wyatt’s voice comes through Sentinel’s headset.

“The police will be coming now that they have heard that gunfire, you’ll have to move quickly!” The room is eerily silent as Steven watches for signs of life. He hears a quiet click and a sliding sound. Seconds later he sees a claw attached to a cable come through the smoke, grab his gun, and pull it from his hands. It begins to dawn on him that this is no ordinary S.W.A.T. raid. “Who are you?”

“I am an ever-vigilant guardian of peace and justice. A defender of the defenseless and a keeper of this city.” Steven is beginning to get visibly nervous as Sentinel watches him through his infrared visor. “I am an ever-watching, Sentinel.” As his last word rings out he reaches through the smoke and lands a punch on Steven’s face, knocking him out cold.

“You have another heat signature behind you.” Wyatt says over Sentinel’s headset. He spins around to see a large red blob advancing toward him. “Smoke’s clearing, get out of infrared.” Sentinel quickly reaches up and clicks the infrared off from the side of his visor. Before the infrared clears he is hit on the side of the head by a gigantic fist that knocks him across the room and into a fax machine. “Looks like your old buddy Malcolm isn’t as easy to knock out.” Wyatt’s joke isn’t amusing to the battered hero.

“Mind helping me find a way to take this guy down?” The brute is walking slowly toward him.

“I’m looking man, I’m looking.” Wyatt responds. The pinned robber sees that Malcolm is still standing and yells,

“Hey man, help me out of here.” Malcolm’s stride doesn’t change, and as he passes he unleashes a swift kick into the man’s face, knocking him unconscious.

“Whew! If he does that to his teammate, imagine what he’ll do to you Archer.” Wyatt jokes.

“Just watch for a weakness.” Sentinel says. He stands in a sprint toward his opponent, leaps toward him, and wraps his arm around his throat as he passes tries to pull him to the ground. Sentinel comes to an abrupt halt as Malcolm is unmoved by his attempt. The giant grabs him from his shoulder and launches him into a one of the tables lining the window, narrowly missing impaling him on a leg. He falls to his feet.

“Well we can rule that out of his weaknesses.” Wyatt jokes. Sentinel quickly raises his arm and blasts his tazer at Malcolm. The behemoth moves surprisingly fast for his size, catches the wires before the barbs can reach him, and jerks them out of Sentinel’s gadget. Sentinel realizes that Malcolm is too close to reload the tazer, so he raises his other arm and blasts him with the gadget on top of his arm with a shot of pepper spray in the face.

“Argh!” The monster booms as he stumbles back for a moment. Sentinel dashes toward him and jumps with a spin in an attempt to land a kick on his cheek. The loud slap heard is not from the kick landing on Malcolm’s cheek but from the connection made with his hand. Malcolm catches the kick and in one motion, launches Sentinel into the elevator door. The door smashes open and Sentinel falls inside the elevator shaft and out of sight. Malcolm pauses for a moment to see if Sentinel will come charging back through the opening. When he doesn’t Malcolm lets out a short chuckle. The room is silent save the thud of Malcolm’s boots on the office floor as he walks across the room toward the elevator.

The door to the room bursts open and the Chicago S.W.A.T. team charge into the room before Malcolm can make it to the elevator. “Get on the floor, on the floor!” One of the officers shouts at him. As Malcolm starts to run toward the elevator he is hit with a tazer, tenses up, and falls to the floor. Two officers run over to the hostages to find that they are all unharmed and lead them out of the room. The rest of the S.W.A.T. team rushes from robber to robber and checks for pulses.

“Looks like they are all alive, sir.” Another officer announces.

“Good. Bag ‘em and tag ‘em boys.” The commanding officer says as he walks over to Malcolm, the only conscience member. “Any more of you hooligans I need to know about?” As he finishes his sentence the two hackers that were downstairs are thrown on the floor at his feet from the elevator door. The leading officer quickly looks down the shaft, but there isn’t anyone inside. “There is someone else in here, find him!” He shouts. Before any of the policemen can make it down the shaft though, Sentinel is already in the hidden tunnel car.

“Thanks for that hack on the elevator, Wyatt.” Sentinel says as he gets into the car.

“Not a problem bud. See you at base.” The door to the car snaps as it closes over Sentinel’s head. He starts up the egg-shaped track car and takes off down the track.

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