The Lone Sentinel: Introduction & Prologue

INTRODUCTION:

It’s been forty five years since the Apocalypse Wars, when the four largest interstellar nations went to brutal and bloody war. Named for its scale and brutality, the Apocalypse Wars was a conflict marred with the most singularly cruel combat known to the galaxy’s history. In the decades following, the various nations of the galaxy wanted to create a future where never again would a war of such magnitude be allowed to begin. And thus, the Vizaran League was founded. Named after the planet where the Apocalypse Wars first broke out, the Vizaran League is a transnational organization dedicated to ensuring that the galaxy will not see violence as it did during those horrid twenty years of bloodshed. To ensure the protection of this carefully maintained, and ultimately fragile peace, a new breed of soldier was required.

the Sentinels. Sentinels are the elite of the elite, handpicked by the secretive Sentinel High Command from each of the various participating nation’s standing militaries, given further intense physical training that pushes the limits of even the strongest soldiers. Sentinels are given the most cutting edge equipment and experimental dynamic warfare technology. But it is not experience or training or equipment that gives them their edge, it’s their team. A Sentinel never works alone, and where one Sentinel may just be a highly trained, well equipped soldier, a Sentinel with their entire team is a force unmatched in ferocity and deadliness. They are the bulwark against the coming dark, they are the greatest defenders of this fragile alliance between alien nations. And those that wish to see this egalitarian coalition collapse are legion. 

From the Warriors of Mankind, a militant anti-alien terrorist organization classified officially as a Homosapien Supremacist Group, to the highly technologically advanced feudal Kitri dynasties, who believe themselves to be the divine right rulers of the galaxy, the enemies of the Vizaran League flank them on all sides. And yet, far away, on the eastern fringe of the galaxy, an ancient evil looms, fit to spread its shadow across all, and reclaim its ancient empire with boundless hate. 

PROLOGUE:

It was supposed to be a simple mission. Sentinel Shadowteam Feliformia, one of hundreds of Shadowteams, Sentinel teams that focus on stealth and perform missions Sentinel High Command doesn’t want the rest of society to know about, were being sent to discreetly dispose of a large underground corporate weapons distributor and manufacturer. The five Sentinels tracked down the operation to a base inside a deep canyon surrounded by dense, thick jungle. The plan was basically routine. Infiltrate the base, eliminate key leadership figures, destroy their merchandise, and then let the illegal operation crumble on its own. 

A group of seven guards wearing blue BDUs with tactical vests, carrying assault railguns and wearing one hole balaclavas patrolled the forests around the base. One of the seven stopped in his tracks and waved to the other soldiers.

“Oi, I gotta take a piss real quick, I’ll catch up.” he brutishly yelled out before walking away to a nearby body of water. He set his rifle down flat on the floor, unzipped his pants and began to urinate into the pond. A figure wearing a skintight tactical jumpsuit with a grassy, jungle camouflage pattern stepped out of the tall grass behind the soldier and slowly walked toward him from behind in a crouched position. The figure grabbed the soldier’s head from behind and snapped his neck, paralyzing him, throwing the soldier down on the ground he was left twitching and writhing slightly. The figure, a man with pale skin and short, black hair with a thin beard, stood over the corpse. His skin tight jumpsuit shifted color to drab green to match the ambient tone of the area around him as he crouched down and pressed a button on the side of his head. This button activated his Silent Communicator, a device implanted into a user’s brain that allows them to neurally transmit thoughts and feelings to other people wirelessly across long distances, enabling instantaneous, non-verbal communication and an amazing tactical advantage. 

“Jackal, in position.” The message was sent to the minds of the other members of Shadowteam Feliformia through their connected Silent Communicators.

“Hyena, in position.”

“Fox, in position.”

“Mongoose, in position.”

“Lynx here. As per the usual, I will be providing intel. Everyone here knows their roles, let’s get this done quick and we’ll be back in base before tea time.” Jackal chuckled to himself as he began stripping the dead soldier of his uniform. With Lynx, every time was tea time. Jackal donned the dead soldier’s uniform atop his suit and picked up the dead soldier’s rifle, pulling back the cocking handle to check the chamber to see if it was loaded. It was. He took out the magazine to feel its weight. Heavy. He checked the safety. On. One of the oldest designs on the market, the SD-62 Assault Railgun. In service for just under eighty years, this proven design is cheap and reliable. Thirty rounds in its curved magazine, more than enough chances to hit something. Simple enough for a child to use and in some places in the galaxy, they do. He caught up with the patrol and used his disguise to get inside the base undetected. It was a bustling military operation. Hundreds of soldiers wearing the same blue uniform carrying the same SD-62. The majority of the workforce was dedicated to transporting military grade equipment, their merchandise, into a secure storage facility. Jackal takes note of the place the equipment is being taken out of, carried out in wheelbarrows. He walks over to the entrance to that same building only to be stopped by two guards standing in front of the door.

“You got a reason to be here, pal?” one of the two guards said. Jackal looks into the guard’s eye before responding.

“Yup. The schedule got pushed back. I got reassigned to transport duty.” Jackal said, crossing his arms.

“I didn’t hear anything about a schedule change.” the guard said inquisitively.  

“Why would you? We’re just working class goons to the guys upstairs. We’re on a need-to-know basis with that stuff. You don’t need to know about schedule changes to stand in front of a door and look menacing.” Jackal responded, emphasizing a hint of annoyance on his voice.

“Do you have any evidence of this reassignment, at least? A letter or something?” the guard asked.

“Evidence? A letter? Are you kidding me? We’re supposed to ship these guns off in a few days and you think the boss has time for a letter? No. Now, I’m going to have to go up there and tell the boss that two schmucks are the reason his shipment’s going to be late. Not my fault, I wasn’t even let in!” Jackal yelled out.

“Okay, okay! Just go inside, sheesh.” the guard spoke in a timid tone. Jackal moved past the two guards and into the building. The other guard looked to the man beside him.

“You sure that was the best idea?” the other guard asked.

“Shut up, Miller. If he’s really trying to sneak in, whatever he wants inside can’t lead to anything worse happening than having to deal with the scene he was about to cause.” the guard said in response. The other guard simply shrugged. Inside, Jackal grabbed a wheelbarrow and stacked guns inside of it. He began to walk out with the wheelbarrow with the rest of the workers towards the storage facility. Upon reaching the facility he dumped the storage in the designated drop-off pile and turned to the person guarding the building.

“Hey, mind if I go out back and smoke one?” Jackal asked. 

“Hm? Oh, yeah sure. Just don’t leave a mess back there.” the guard responded. Jackal quickly walked to the backside of the building. He waited a bit to make sure nobody followed him, before kneeling down and sticking three bricks of explosives to the wall. After waiting several more seconds he stepped out from behind the building and lowered his head as he walked away. Jackal began moving through the camp unnoticed by standing in large crowds, and using his silent communicator he gave a signal to the rest of his team. Soon his stolen radio began to buzz.

“We’re under attack!” the soldiers on the other side of the radio bellowed out through a haze of static and white noise. 

“Unidentified targets at our location, I repeat, unidentified tar-” the radio cuts out. A smile crept upon Jackal’s face as alarms went up and soldiers began rushing out of the camp. As soldiers flooded out, Jackal went to the building the commander was working from, a small concrete fortress about one story in height. A small guard force blocked the main entrance. Jackal knew he wouldn’t be able to brute force his way in. Instead, he snuck around to the side of the building, and flicked on one of the functions of his TASRAC Suit. The fingertips of his suit’s gloves began to faintly glow and as he placed his hands against the wall they stuck. He began to climb the side of the wall to gain access to the roof. As he stood over the opening to the ventilation shaft, he doffed his disguise in order to allow for greater flexibility and range of motion. Jackal carefully removed the ventilation cover and crawled into the vast vent system. His TASRAC Suit responded to the nearby environment and changed to a steely grey texture and color to match the environment around it. He crawled through the ventilation system for several minutes before seeing a balding man in a two piece suit sitting in a barricaded office room below him. Jackal immediately recognized him as the commander, his target.

He punched the vent cover off and dropped down into the office. He dropped between two guards who were keeping watch over the commander and immediately jabbed his elbow into the guard on his left before using that elbow jab as the windup to punch the guard to his right in the side with one swift motion. Jackal then turned to the guard on his right and with a quick series of three jabs followed by a knee to the gut and then a flip onto the ground, the first guard was incapicated long before the other guard had a chance to react. Jackal then turned on a dime as the last guard tried to jam the barrel of the gun into his stomach. Jackal grabbed the barrel of the gun with his hand in order to gain control of it, swinging it to the side to take the guard off their balance before delivering a disorientating open-palmed strike to further disrupt their opponent’s defense, before taking the rifle from the staggering guard. Jackal then swiftly striked the guard with the butt of the rifle to similarly incapacitate him.

“On four hundred counts of money laundering, twelve hundred counts of illegal gun ownership, and seven counts of conspiracy to commit murder, you are under-” He turned around only as he was speaking, to find that the commander wasn’t in sight. Quickly the commander peaked out from under his desk, now carrying a shotgun. Swiftly Jackal ran to the other side of the room as the commander shot shells of buckshot at the Sentinel. As he ran, Jackal quickly threw out a flashbang toward the commander. Jackal shielded his eyes for the coming blast. With a loud flash and a blinding white light, the commander was blinded long enough for Jackal to run up, take the gun from him and pin him to the ground.

“-Arrest. You’re under arrest.” Jackal said through heavy breathing. He would then get on his Silent Communicator and contact his allies.

“Lynx, I have the target, how long until evac arrives?”

“Evac has an ETA of seven minutes. Hyena, Mongoose, pull out. Fox, cover Jackal’s retreat to the evac site.” Lynx says in response.

“With pleasure.” Fox says over the Silent Communicator. Jackal then handcuffed the commander’s arms behind his back and slung him up over his shoulder, before jumping out the nearby window into the now much more empty base, running through it as fast as he could. As Jackal ran through the camp, Fox’s sniper rifle covered his retreat and with a CRACK like lightning any enemies who stepped into Fox’s Line of Sight were quickly taken care of, her ever-watchful gaze having kept Jackal protected. The commander, began to laugh as he was carried out of the camp.

“I don’t know what’s funnier, Sentinel, the idea that you think you’re good enough to get me out of here alive or the idea that you thought my boss would be dumb enough to just let you!” The commander said. Jackal merely stayed quiet, pushing the button on the detonator of the explosive charges to destroy the guns in a fiery inferno, as if to prove a point. After a while more of running, the two arrived at the evac site, in the middle of a clearing in the forest. Jackal shot a flare up into the air to signal for the dropship and set Roger down on the grassy floor. 

“Hyena and Mongoose have pulled back, they’re in the clear, Fox, you get out of there.” Lynx said over the Silent Communicator. As he did so, a VTOL dropship, one that utilized anti-grav engines to be able to take off and fly with an immense amount of maneuverability, hovered down and landed onto the ground next to Jackal. Jackal grabbed Roger and almost threw him into the transport before getting in himself. The VTOL began to lift off  and Jackal sat in one of the seats while looking out the open side door. He briefly saw the glint of a sniper scope before the thunderous BOOM of a rifle as a bullet flew into the cockpit and vanquished the pilot. The VTOL began spinning out of control as it plummeted toward the ground and crashed into the nearby forest, being torn apart as it barreled through the trees. All went black.

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