Tag Archives: Chicago

Sentinel: The Offer ®

Rain beats down on a small two-bedroom house in the suburb town of Oak Park, Illinois. The revving engine of Archer Reed’s motorcycle can be heard as it approaches the house. The garage door begins to open as he quickly rounds the corner onto his street, and barely slows his pace to pull onto the driveway. His expensive weather-proof tire chirps as he quickly comes to a stop in his garage. Water patters on the cold concrete as he pulls his helmet off to reveal his buzzed dark hair. He turns the motor off and steps off of the street bike. As the overhead garage door closes, the door to the house opens with Wyatt Ison, in his shorts and cartoon character t-shirt, standing in the doorway.

“You really need to get something with a roof. You’re gonna ruin your clothes like that.” He says as he shovels a scoop of ice cream into his mouth straight from the carton. Archer sets his helmet on his bike and begins removing his leather gloves.

“It’s not in the budget.”  Archer drops the backpack that carries his Sentinel Armor and throws his black leather bomber jacket over his helmet on the bike. Wyatt has to step back out of the way as he walks through the door.

“Budget,” Wyatt scoffs, “What budget? There is nothing coming in, and you blew all of the settlement money when you bought all of this Sentinel stuff.” Archer drops the backpack that carries his Sentinel Armor and throws his black leather bomber jacket over his helmet on the bike. Wyatt has to step back out of the way as he walks through the door.

“I’ll figure it out.” Archer says dismissingly as he walks into Wyatt’s bedroom. Wyatt closes the garage door, sets his ice cream on the counter, and begins walking toward his bedroom.

“You’d better figure it out quick, Archer. All of this surveillance equipment uses a lot of electricity, and our next bill was due a week ago.” As he walks around the corner into his bedroom, Archer turns back to him from looking at the surveillance equipment.

“I know our situation, Wyatt. When I say I’ll figure it out, then I’ll figure it out. We may have to both take part-time jobs, but we will make it work. Chicago needs Sentinel, so throwing in the towel is not an option. We might be able to trim down some of the electric by eliminating a few gadgets. Regardless, we can not stop,”  his sentence trails off when he notices Wyatt studying one of the screens behind him.

“Uh, Archer. Who is that at the front door?” Archer spins around to see a S.W.A.T. Team about to use a battering ram to bust down the door. He quickly turns back to Wyatt.

“You go out the back; I’ll go out the front and draw them off of you. Meet me at the downtown warehouse.” As he finishes his last word the door busts open and police pour into the house. Archer grabs a smoke capsule from a shelf in the room and launches it around the corner and into the living room with the S.W.A.T. Team. He looks back to see Wyatt climbing through a window to the back of the house before darting into the living room. The smoke is so thick in that he can’t see anything so he continues to run hoping to not run into anything. Before he can make it to the garage door though, pain suddenly rushes from his hip and he hears a loud bang.

“Bean bag deployed.” An officer yells. As Archer falls to the ground and doubles over in pain he begins to wonder how they saw him. Was it a lucky shot? He looks up to see a hand reaching through the smoke. As the smoke wisps around the figure, he can see that it is an officer wearing infrared goggles.

“Got him, got him!” The officer shouts. Two more officers rush over and quickly put their weight on Archer to keep him from getting up while another policeman cuffs him. As he is stood up to be led out, he feels as if time has slowed down. He looks over to see police pulling his gadgets from the shelves and others going into Wyatt’s room. He is led out the front door and sees Wyatt being sat down into a police cruiser. He looks back into the garage to see police pulling his armor from his backpack in the garage. ‘How can it be over so soon?’ The thought resonates as he is sat down into a cruiser. He leans back against the seat and as the door shuts, he can’t help but feel that the door is shutting on Sentinel as well.

Later that day, he finds himself sitting at a table, with his arms cuffed behind his back, in a small interrogation room. The room has nothing but the table, a light hanging from the ceiling, and a mirror on the wall in front of him. After what feels like an eternity of waiting, a detective walks into the room carrying his Sentinel Helmet. He sits the helmet on the table and leans forward onto his hands.

“You mind telling me what this is?” The detective has a stern look on his face.

“I still haven’t been told what charges I have been arrested on, officer.”

“We’ll get to that soon enough. You tell me why I found this helmet at your house.” Archer turns his head away from the officer casually.

“I’d like to have my lawyer present.” The detective turns around, looks at the mirror, and points to a corner in the room.

“Kill the camera.” There is a quiet electronic sound as a small red light goes off in the dark corner. He turns back to Archer and says, “It would be in your best interest to just answer my questions. This helmet has been linked to many assaults, weapon charges, and traffic violations. And guess who’s house we just found it in.” Archer stares back at him silently. “Officers are still bringing in weapons from your home and the charges are just piling up.” Archer leans in over the table.

“All the more reason to have my lawyer present.”

“Alright.” The officer turns back and motions to the mirror before walking over to the wall and leaning against it. Shortly after the door opens again and police chief walks in carrying a file. He pulls up a chair and sits down staring across the table at Archer. After a short pause, he lifts up the file and reads it.

“Archer Reed, aka The Sentinel.” He looks over the top of the file at the prisoner as he opens it. Then he looks at the first piece of paper in it. “Assault, illegal weapons, assault with illegal weapons, fleeing the scene of a crime, excessive speeding, running a red light, and the list goes on.” He sits the first paper down and picks up the second sheet. “Master of Ninjitsu, trained under the guidance of Master Ro in Oshima, received the highest accolade in Hapkido, Tazer certification, OC aerosol certification, and handcuff certification among other things.” He sits the paper down and looks back up at Archer. “Now we have a unique situation here.” He leans forward and folds his hands on the file.

“It’s against the law for you to hold me here and deny me a lawyer.”

“Son, I know the law. We are going to offer you an opportunity to, start over. You see, the way you handled Steven Parrie’s group in that office building (see Sentinel: Office Work) and got out before my boys could get up there. We could use a man with your, abilities. And, we can’t have you running around like some vigilante superhero unsupervised anyway.” He sees that Archer is getting noticeably thoughtful. “We also happened to notice that you have gotten behind on some bills. Superhero work doesn’t pay much these days, huh? And keeping all those gadgets going keeps that electric bill high.” Archer looks a little shocked when he looks up at the chief.

“Have you been looking at my bank account?” Archer stands quickly causing his chair to slam to the ground. “How many laws are you going to break, chief?” The detective quickly reaches for his sidearm, but the superior officer puts his hand out to calm him.

“Now settle down. No one’s been in your bank account. It just so happens that a friend of mine works for the electric company and they noticed you have been late with your past few bills. Now this puts the ball in my court, but, you are being offered a sweet deal as well. Past criminal transgressions, gone, plus you get paid, quite handsomely I might add, to keep doing what you are doing. And as a bonus, your friend gets off the hook. What else could you ask for?”

The detective sits the chair back up and pushes Archer down into it. The prisoner looks up at the policeman with disgust for a second then looks down in contemplation. ‘I don’t want to work for the government. I just don’t have any options though. Even if I do my time and come back out, they have all of my gear. I can’t afford to buy all of that stuff again. The paycheck would be nice too.’ The police chief’s impatience gets the best of him.

“Well, are you going to be a free man and provide justice for this city, or rot in jail?” Archer pauses for a moment, looks up at his helmet on the table, then to the police chief.

“Where do I sign?”

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.

Sentinel: Trouble Sevenfold ®

“All units in the area of Robberson and Daniel respond. The alarm has been tripped at the Citizen’s Bank.” The police scanner cries out on a busy summer night. “Repeat, the Citizen’s bank alarm at Robberson and Daniel has been tripped.” The almost still night air in the city carries the sound of vehicles moving and people walking on the otherwise normal Chicago night.

“I’m gonna make these scumbags wish they’d chose another night.” A shadowy figure leaps from a rooftop into an alleyway. “Just gotta be the first one there.” The man dashes down the dark corridor, throws aside some metal garbage cans that clang loudly in the narrow space, and jumps onto a street bike that was hidden behind them. He starts the motorcycle and takes off in seconds. The city streets will be too busy on a weekend night, so he takes to the alleyways to speed up his travel. As he blazes through the dark back streets and between buildings, he burns with anticipation. Will there be twenty, thirty robbers? Will they be armed? Did they use an armored vehicle to bust into the bank? All of these thoughts race through his head as he darts around cars and people between alleys. His focus on his task is so great that he barely notices as people jump when he flies past. Hardly a glimpse is caught of him as he drives like a robot programmed to perform a specific operation. Skillfully he weaves through the people and cars.

As he arrives at the bank, he steps off of his bike and into the glow given by a streetlight. His suit is made of gray Kevlar and covers his entire body. The Kevlar is separated to reveal blue netting underneath in strategic places to allow movement. He wears a gray Kevlar helmet with a black visor across the eyes, three small slits on each cheek for breathing, and a thin red bandanna tied above the visor. His black utility belt is equipped with all types of gadgets along with the black circular instruments on top and bottom of his forearms. The slight breeze blows the long ends of the bandanna tied around his head as he looks on at an otherwise untouched bank. As he notices a light on in the back room, his police scanner goes off again, “All units be advised, the alarm at the Citizen’s Bank was set off by an employee. Repeat, false alarm at Citizen’s Bank.” The vigilante stands in front of the bank; his helmet hides the look of disgust on his face. He abruptly leans back against his bike resting on its kickstand. The motorcycle shines in the dim street light. It’s a bright blue sportster with black wheels and the dash has a touchscreen with several gauges and readily available gadgets.

“This dispatcher really needs to learn how to dispatch.” He says sharply, “She acts like the world’s coming to an end before she even knows what’s going on. I got my hopes up thinking I might get some action tonight.”

“I wouldn’t rule that out just yet Archer.” A voice comes through the headset in the hero’s helmet. “Take a look behind you.” He spins around to see a woman surrounded by angry looking men across the street. Without a word he dashes across the street toward the altercation.

“Thank you Wyatt.” A man sitting in a remote building behind a computer says mockingly through his headset. “You’re welcome Archer.” He is watching three computer screens and assisting the vigilante with a live video feed from cameras placed on the front and back of the hero’s helmet. The screen to the left shows the camera in the front of the helmet, the screen to the right shows the camera view from the back of the helmet, and the middle is showing old reruns of cartoons. Wyatt’s desk has an open bag of potato chips and a two liter bottle of soda. He has a heavy set physique, short brown hair, and his goatee is blended into his unshaven cheeks. He wears a shirt from a sci-fi movie, orange basketball shorts, and thin framed glasses.

Meanwhile, back on the street, the vigilante is nearing the dispute. As he approaches, he hears one of the thugs taunting the young lady. “Ha ha ha, look at her guys! She’s sad we smashed her phone! Not so tough without your phone or your keychain mace now are ya?” Soon after he finishes the sentence there is a loud pop and the sound of electricity. The punk squeals, tenses up, and falls to the ground smacking his face on the sidewalk. Behind him stands the armored hero. His fist is extended and wires are coming from the gadget on top of his arm.

“You tazed him bro!” One of the men exclaims as he looks at his fallen comrade in horror. The vigilante pushes a button on the gadget and the cartridge with the wires disengages. The leather from his belt shuffles as he grabs another cartridge from a pouch on his belt and inserts it into the hole where the old cartridge was. He points his arm back at the group of men, readying to use the arm-mounted tazer again.

“Leave her alone.” He warns. The once-incapacitated man stands back up with a hearty laugh.

“And who’re you s’posed to be? Superbug?” He laughs as he taunts. The hero stands motionless with his arm pointed at him.

“My name is Sentinel. Leave her alone.” His voice is getting sterner as if he is giving his last warning. There is silence for a moment as the thug contemplates his next move.

“Sentinel huh?” He chuckles and spits some blood from his mouth, “I don’t guess you plan on taking all seven of us on do you? We’re going to,” his words are cut short as he is shot again by the probes from Sentinel’s tazer. As the bruiser hits the ground, Sentinel unloads his empty cartridge and begins loading another. The group of vagrants charge while he is reloading, thinking they will have the upper hand. Just before they get to Sentinel, his cartridge clicks in place and he leaps over the first thugs head.

He mounts the thug’s shoulders and pushes off into a drop kick in the next man’s face. As Sentinel falls to the ground, he pulls a palm-sized cylinder from a loop on the side of his utility belt, and leaps forward. He plants his fist into another bruiser’s face and spins around him. There is a slide and a click as he spins the cylinder with a twist of his wrist to extend both sides into a staff. The next opponent is on the ground before he knows it as Sentinel kneels down and swipes his legs with his staff. Sentinel jumps from his knelt position, spins in the air, and lands his foot into once-mounted thug’s face.

“Ugh!” The man’s cry echoes down the alleyways as he spins and falls to the pavement. There is almost no sound as Sentinel lands on his toes in a crouching position. He jumps forward and presses one of the two standing criminals against a nearby wall with his staff.

“Gotta gun behind you.” His remotely-watching friend, Wyatt, says as he looks at the monitor of the rear-view camera. In one motion Sentinel spins, pushes a button at the bottom of his glove, and throws a cable with a grappling claw at the end toward the gunman with his open hand. Before the man can aim his shot, the claw grasps the firearm and Sentinel yanks it from the attacker. He whips his arm back, then forth and smacks the gunman in the face with his own gun. Sentinel releases the button in his glove and retracts the gun into his hand. By now the man Sentinel has pinned up against the wall is no longer dazed and is trying to get loose. While he struggles, Sentinel kicks the magazine out of the gun, releases his staff long enough slide the top of the gun back to kick out the last shell in the chamber, and smacks the thug with the gun.

As the thug slides down the wall, Sentinel turns to looks over six unconscious men victorious. He looks back over his shoulder to see that the victim has left as he had hoped. One thug squirms to his feet as he tries to get away. Sentinel throws his cable making it wrap around the fleeing man’s legs and pulls his feet out from under him. The man falls to his face on the concrete sidewalk and looks over his shoulder at the approaching Sentinel.

“I’m pressin’ charges.” He frantically exclaims, “You assaulted me!” Sentinel kneels down over the frightened man and points to the camera on his forehead.

“That’s what this is for. I have video of you assaulting that woman. I was just defending her.” Sentinel puts his foot on the back of the downed perpetrator’s head and cuffs him to a nearby pole. As he ties the rest of them up with zip ties, he piles them next to one of the buildings. He rests his foot on the pile of baddies and radios Wyatt. “Put a call in to nine one one. I’m sure someone else already has, but tell them they have a package waiting for them at Robberson and Daniel.”

“Copy.” Wyatt says through his headset. Sentinel walks over and gets on his bike. He looks back over at his achievement, takes a sigh of relief, and takes off.