“Who gave you authorization to set up this surveillance, Officer Reed?” shouted the captain, slamming the file on the table and scattering papers everywhere.
Archer Reed met the captain’s stern gaze. “I’ve told you, don’t call me officer.”
“You’re mine, Reed! I’ll call you what I want. Now tell me why you set up unauthorized surveillance in this warehouse.”
“I had a hunch. And it was right, by the way. Look at the videos. They’re going around the north side of town, kidnapping homeless people to sell into slavery.”
“I see that. But now, thanks to you, we can’t move on that location. That video was taken without a court warrant.”
Archer flicked his toothpick away and leaned forward, putting his full weight on the table. “We won’t need a court when I’m done with these punks.”
The Captain’s eyes narrowed. “If you go, we’ll come after you and that badge you’re wearing.”
Archer stared at him, reading the sincerity in the statement and weighing his options. Finally he stood up and walked to the door.
“Stop him,” the Captain called out. The two policemen by the door slid in front of him.
“Have I done something wrong, Captain?” Archer asked, his gaze remaining on the door. “Your rulebook says I have to have done something wrong for you to detain me.”
The Captain’s face flushed while he waved the officers to step aside. As Archer stepped through the door with a smug grin, the captain stated evenly, “We’ll be there to take you in when you do.”
“You sure you want to do this, Archer?” The vigilante’s assistant, Wyatt, asked. “I was getting used to not running from the cops. And it was kinda nice having a paycheck coming in.”
Archer slid on his full-face Kevlar helmet that matched his armor as he sat on his running motorcycle. “Just go get on the comms, Wyatt,” he responded looking ahead. “And cut our radio communications with headquarters.”
Archer saw Wyatt look down dejectedly at his plump belly in his mirror as he took off out of the garage. “Looks like it’s back to Ramen and Cheetos for us, ol’ buddy,” he heard his assistant say in his earpiece.
The thin, red bandanna tied around Sentinel’s helmet whipped behind him as he quickly traversed Chicago’s busy streets. In the short time it took him to get to the warehouse, he went over his plan to keep his mind off of his building rage. The conversation with the Captain only added fuel to those fires. With his destination in sight, his tires screeched as he came to a stop.
I’ll have to get in quick or they’ll scatter like the rats that they are. A quick scan of the streetlight-lit parking lot revealed his entryway.
“Are your eyes up and running?” he called to Wyatt, who sat reclined back at the house working remotely. The small cameras on the front and back of Sentinel’s helmet whirred as the assistant brought them into focus.
“Yeah, I can see ya.”
His tire squealed into the night as the bike peeled out and launched Sentinel toward his objective. He leaned forward on the handlebars as he ran up the back of a semi and ramped into the air. Jumping onto the seat, he kicked the bike ahead of him sending it crashing into the large window on the front of the warehouse. His motorcycle slid into the back wall, throwing sparks, as he landed in a roll and came up running.
The poor, stunned felons had no time to react before The Sentinel was upon them. With a leap he planted a kick on the nearest thug. Unleashing his collapsible staff, he struck the next punk in the face before the first one even hit the ground.
“You’ve got two comin’ up behind ya. The one on your left has a semi-auto,” Wyatt called out in Archer’s headset.
Sentinel used the momentum of his spinning body to send the cable whizzing from the bottom of his forearm’s armor after the armed man. As the magnetic claw grabbed the gun with a clank, The Sentinel jerked it free. Before the vagrant could react, Sentinel brought his other arm around and aimed it at him. There was a loud pop and two tazer probes stuck into the thug, sending him to the floor.
In a frenzy, the last thug made a break for the door, but not quick enough. The Sentinel grabbed the back of the man’s head and smashed it into a nearby pillar.
The hero glanced around the room to ensure he had taken them all down. He flicked open a device on the back of his forearm and looked over the blueprints to the warehouse again. The victims should be right here.
A loud clang echoed when Sentinel broke the lock and opened a door. His heart sank as a group of people stared at him cowering in fear, battered from being taken hostage. “It’s okay. You’re free now,” he assured them. “Just stay put and the police will be here to help you any minute.”
Sentinel checked out his bike and swore under his breath.
“Regretting that showboat entry now, aren’t ya?” Wyatt taunts.
“It was a police-issue anyway. I’m sure they had tracking on it.”
“Not to sound too negative here, but if the cops weren’t going to be able to put these guys away before, what do you expect them to do now?”
“They just couldn’t use the footage in court because a member of their unit obtained it illegally. I’m not CPD anymore.”
“So that bit about not needing the court…” Wyatt let the statement trail off.
Archer grinned beneath his helmet. Then flashing lights caught his attention. He turned to see silhouettes rushing to the doors in front of the blue and red lights.
“Archer, it’s time for you to leave,” Wyatt called out, but The Sentinel was already in stride.