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?”