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Annual #1

 

 

The Sentinel

Issue #1,


Apollyon City Chapter 1: "It Begins"
By Christopher Barr


The Bat keeps a watchful eye over Gotham City. He has to. After all, when
people hear "Gotham" they think "Batman." He's the one who strikes fear into
the hearts of criminals and who sent the majority of Arkham's prisoners to
their cell. Of course Batman can't be everywhere at once. That's where the
Bat-family comes in. Huntress, Robin, Azrael. Even Nightwing from time to
time. They do their share of crime fighting too, but just like the
Bat....they can't be everywhere.
_____________________________________________________________________


The 1st National Gotham Bank: 2:15 AM
It used to be that banks could have one guard and a safe and that would
be enough to prevent a robbery. That's before the super villains showed up
using powers far above the normal man to gain money and power. Nowadays there
were state-of-the-art motion sensors installed, heat sensors, wall to wall
laser beams and about 25 different types of safeguards to reach the vault to
make sure no super powered being could enter the bank. But sometimes when u
are using protection against a rat, an ant can slip right by. In this case
the ant's name was Vinny Lattrino who had entered the vault using precision
timing down to the second. No step he took was unpracticed. No breath he took
wasn't timed to the millisecond. The man was a genius. He even hit a bank on
the outskirts of the city hoping the Bat wouldn't be patrolling this area.
Too bad for him, the Bat and his family aren't the only costumes in town.

Vinny lurked to the back door carrying exactly 85 pounds of $100 bills.
One of his lackeys waited for him at the door holding the door at a 72 degree
angle and keeping a bubble gum wrapper over a motion detector. Vinny was
almost to the door when a green bar appeared near his ankles. The articulate
thief fell to the floor, sending the money in his arms flying towards his
unsuspecting accomplice.

The minute Vinny hit the floor alarms began to sound and doors began to
lock shut. Vinny was sealed inside the bank, but his lackey had the money
now. He made a bolt for the car and was dropping money all over the place in
the process. Freedom was a lot more important than the money right now, but
this thief was greedy. He hopped into his '94 station wagon. An odd car for
a crook, but I guess they'll take what they can get. The thief starts driving
off not even realizing I'm around. Good. I like to play with my food.

The cops can handle Vinny, but this one's all mine. The man is making his
getaway at 90 miles an hour ignoring all stop signs and street lights. The
first thing I do is create nails in front of the station wagon to pop its
wheels. This sends him swerving into a fire hydrant and then rolling into an
alley. I hope he was wearing a seat belt.

The would be thief crawled our of the window frame through shattered
glass, leaving a trail of blood behind him. Now comes the best part about
being a super hero. The dramatic entrance which always makes the criminals
drop their jaws. I timed it good this time. The crook is dazed and confused.
He probably won't even put up a fight at this point. I think I'll use the
flaming entrance...

I lower myself down to the ground covering my cape and hands in green
flame. Better to show some power as u approach. Gets them a little more
scared. "You have 5 seconds to put your hands behind your head and stand
against the wall. Failure to do so will result in injury."

Failure? Result? What am I saying? I sound like Robocop for crying out
loud. Oh well. It's not like this guy will care.

"&*#$ you, @$$&*~# !!" The bloody robber spat out at me as he reached
into his shirt and pulled out a 9 millimeter pistol. "Eat led you Bat
wannabe!" He cursed as he pulled the trigger.

I instinctively erected a shield out of thin air which I assumes just
comes natural to you after having a few thousand guns pointed at you in your
day. I let the man take in what was happening for a second and then dropped
the shield to replace it with green flame engulfing my hands and green energy
sizzling in my eyes. "I gave you a warning, young man. You may think that
Batman is the only dark knight in this town, but now you'll see that SENTINEL
is not a name to be taken lightly!"

He must not understand the 'young man' comment I made. Oh well, he
doesn't need to know that I'm really a 60-some year-old man who looks in his
30's for me to bring him in.

Before another shot could be fired at me I sent a single emerald flair of
mystic energy at the man's gun. I felt the energy leave as if it was an extra
arm, and as I envisioned a metal plug, I felt the image coarse through my
body and through the air into the energy I released. Sure enough the energy
transformed into a metal cork, doing its job to render the gun useless.

He bolted for the other side of the alley attempting to make a last ditch
attempt. One of the hardest parts about my power is having to choose what
sort of weapon do use. I could create a brick wall in front of him, wrap his
feet up in a Sent-a-rang, or simply fly over and pick him up. For some reason
though I was feeling "old school" and went for the simple, 'rope around the
feet' routine. It wasn't as dramatic, but the fun was over without the man
having a gun.

The captured criminal fell to the pavement hard, not even reacting with
enough speed to block his fall with his hands. His already bloody body now
gained a broken nose and missing teeth. It finally seemed like the
persistent delinquent had given up, so I created a cocoon around his entire
body, except his head. I hovered him in the air and flew him over to a street
lamp outside the alley where I hung the man upside down. "Now just hang out
until the authorities come around," I said enforcingly. "And if I do happen
to catch you or Vinny up to no good again, you had better wish The Bat is the
one who brings you in."

With that I turned around from him and jettisoned into the air leaving my
night job to the boys in blue who would take care of the rest. Now it was
time to return to my wife, Molly, who would sure to be up waiting to see if I
came home. How the sweet woman could deal with all that pressure at her
age---no....at our age. That kind of talk is the thing that Molly hates.
Always thinking of how she is in her sixties when I was de-aged is the thing
that bugs her the most. She shouldn't worry about it though. Nothing could
make me leave her. Nothing.

_____________________________________________________________________

The Scott's Apartment: 3:01 AM.
One of the benefits of owning your own television company is the fact
that you make quite a good income and can afford a good apartment in Gotham.
You wouldn't believe the taxes and bills there are here. You have to pay for
all the things villains break and then are insurance bills on villains,
supervillains, tornadoes, water damage and even earthquake insurance. Like
there would possibly be an earthquake in Gotham? Who would even think of
having us pay for that?

Another good thing about living in this apartment was living on the 24th
floor. Nobody even sees you fly onto your balcony looking out upon the
greater Gotham area. I slowly descended onto the stone balcony and took the
time it takes to walk to the door to change out of my "working clothes".
Simply by thinking about it, my costume began to "burn" away as a green flame
quickly glided over my body, turning what was a tight costume, cape and mask
into a short sleeved shirt and boxers.

When I reached the door I gently turned the knob trying not to make a
sound that could possibly wake Molly up only to have the knob turn a little
until halting in its place. Locked. No big deal though. There may not be a
key hole on the outside of the balcony door, but getting inside wasn't a
challenge when you could create anything you could think of. With ease, I
guided a flame between the almost nonexistent hole between the door and the
floor. On, the other side of the door, the flame took the figure of a hand,
and unlocked the balcony door. Smiling, I gently pushed open the door and
entered my home.

Even though I suspected Molly would still be up, I tried not to make any
noise that would wake her under the circumstance that she had drifted off. No
light was left on waiting for my arrival so I began to assume she had drifted
off. I could have easily created a flame to help me navigate around the
darkened family room and kitchen to the bedroom, but I had lived in that
house for years. I could have walked around that house blind and I guess I
did.

Upon coming closer to the bedroom I heard the faint sound of an
infomercial talking about just how youthful their cream could make you look.
Just what Molly needed to hear about. But fortunately for me she was fast
asleep in the bed. I tiptoed over to the bed and lifted the covers up just
enough to get me under and leave Molly's side motionless. I wrapped my arm
around her gentle body for a while to make her aware I was home, even
subconsciously and felt her body relax just a little bit knowing I was home.
Comforted by that I gently stroked her cheek before I fell asleep. Her cheek
seemed oddly wet, but maybe it was just my imagination. Without another
thought I drifted asleep.

_____________________________________________________________________
Somewhere: Sometime
A figure sat on a throne of fire, the smoke covering up his body. The
scent of burning flesh filled the air. Leather wings flapped on the sides of
the figure and a slight chuckle could be heard over the roaring flames. Then
the figure spoke as two blood-red eyes pierced the smoke, "It begins...".

_____________________________________________________________________

The Scott's Apartment: 8:15 AM
I woke up to the smell of bacon and the sound of egg's frying. I opened
my eyes to find that where my wife had lied before I fell asleep was now
vacant. That always bothered me for some reason. Maybe it was the fact that I
didn't realize things were going on around me as I slept. Standing up, I
raised my hands up towards the ceiling, stretching out my tight muscles.
Walking out into the main room I see Molly standing in a green robe in front
of the stove. Her silver hair laid gently on her shoulders.

Approaching silently from behind her, I wrapped both my hands around her
waste
and pulled her closer to me. She tensed up for only a second, until she
could tell it was my touch and leaned back into me. "I was wondering when you
were planning on getting up," she said.

"I was out late last night," I replied, speaking softly into her ear.
"What time is it anyway? I should be making the morning news."

I walked over to the small television on the counter and turned it on.
The picture wasn't great, but it wasn't meant to be the soul source of
entertainment in a house. The TV was naturally on GBC, my broadcasting
company. And Gotham In The Morning was just beginning their headlines for the
news.

"--This mornings top story, Batman, Gotham's dark vigilant, stopped a
major drug smuggling operation at Gotham Harbor last night, recovering
$400,000 in heroin and cocaine. Police found the smugglers tied to the dock,
who when being read their rights, were partially cationic and could not stop
telling the police to get them away from the bat."

"And today marks the beginning of Metropolis' new neighbor, Apollyon
City. Who's opening festivities will inclu--" click.

I had quickly turned off the TV from the other side of the kitchen, by
creating a stick that reached across the room and pressed the power button.
"It figures," I said angrily. "Only Alan Scott, The Sentinel, could be
ignored by his own station. You know, Molly, sometimes I wonder if what I do
here is appreciated at all or if I'm just lost in the crowd of costumed
vigilantes that roam the city."

"Honey, don't ever say that again," Molly said trying to ease my anger.
"You do a lot for this city and to be mad that someone else gets more
publicity shouldn't change the fact that you do good things."

"I know that, Molly. But I've been at this for decades and it seems that
even my youth isn't going to make me one of the great's again."

"What are you talking about? You are one of the great's. You're on the
Justice Society. You're a legend among super-heroes."

"Exactly. I'm a legend. Which means I was one of the greats, but nowadays
I'm just another old man trying to retain his youth and do the things done by
mostly 20 year-olds. Face it, Molly. No matter how young I look, I'm still an
old man."

Molly walked up to me and placed her arms around me. "Never think you
aren't important, Alan. A lot of people have benefited for what you do, and
without you there is no way I would be alive. If nothing else, you're my
hero."

I met Molly's gazing blue eyes and knew what she was saying was
right. I'd saved countless lives over the years and I rescued Molly out of
hell itself. But this is different. I've dedicated my entire life to these
people and this city. And now it's like they don't even remember me. If I
can't even get respect in my city, where can I get it?

I wasn't going to back down this time. Molly wanted me to calm down,
but I wasn't going to give into it this time. It was time for me to stand up
for myself, damnit. I spun around, breaking Molly's hold on me and began
walking towards the door as I reformulated the molecules in my boxers to
become an entire suit.

"I'm sorry, Molly," I said as I opened the door. "But I was given my
youth back for a reason and I'm sure as hell it wasn't for me to be Batman's
clean up hitter. I'll be back tonight." And with that I said good-bye to my
home.

_____________________________________________________________________

GBC Headquarters. 9:05 AM
If I had known what was awaiting me when the elevator door opened to
the executive level of GBC headquarters I'd have certainly not left home. The
second the metal doors began to slide back to the side I found myself amiss
complete chaos.

"Share's dropped 30 points in last 2 days--"

"Sponsors backing out left and right--"

"Wayne Corp. is requesting a termination of their commercial deal--"

The masses swarmed around me asking questions that I couldn't even
begin to answer. The polls had never given any indication we were behind
other stations. Why would there be a sudden drop?

I shoved my way through the inquisitive crowd and reached my office
door. "All questions will be answered later when someone organizes what the
hell they're saying! Now if you'll excuse me," I shouted as I entered my
office, locking the door behind me.

"I take it you're heard about our sudden slip," said a little man
sitting in my chair. The man was Robert McNamara, a man in his early 30's who
was the stations top advisor on public affairs.

"Yeah, Bob. I've heard," I muttered, still in shock of the whole matter.
"How did this happen?"

"Well, I can honestly say I'm not sure. I thought we were doing fine.
There was never a hint that we were doing poorly until this morning. The way
it looks now we're barely getting more viewers than PBS. There is practically
no way we can gain our previous position..we're on the verge of extinction."

I walked over to one of the chairs facing my desk and sat down. I closed
my eyes and leaned my head back hoping that I would possibly reopen my eyes
to find myself still in bed. No such luck. "What should I do?"

"My advise is get out while you still have some left. I'm sorry this came
up like it did. How one day you are on top and the next minute nobody is
watching is beyond me, but it happened. Now it's just a matter of salvaging
what you can."

"So this is it for me, huh? My broadcasting days are over?"

"Not necessarily. Maybe you've heard, but Metropolis has just
received a neighbor town called Apollyon. The place doesn't have a real local
news channel. Maybe this is a sign saying Apollyon is a way to greener
pastures. What do you think?"

I starred blankly into space for a few seconds after that. Was this
the best idea? Leave Gotham? The place where I spent the most of my life? The
city I've sworn to protect? But maybe this is also the best chance to make a
name for myself. To not only have a top television station, but also my very
own city right next to Superman! "You know what, Bob? I think you may be onto
something. Lets get to work on transferring our funds and getting a station
up in Apollyon Cit--"

At that moment a blonde haired woman came barging into the room.
"Sorry to interrupt, Mr. Scott, but I think you may want to hear about this.
A bunch of guys wearing all types of armor and stuff are using Grant Street
as a shooting gallery. They are right by your house".

"Thank you very much for that warning, Miss," I said gratefully as I
stood up from my seat. "If you'd excuse me for a sec, Bob, I have to use the
bathroom before we get to work."

Bob began writing up the paperwork for the transfer while I was away
and had probably been working on it a good five minutes before noticing I was
still in the bathroom. He told me later that he knocked on the door hard, but
I didn't answer. I could hardly respond though, since I was already 5 miles
away soaring through the Gotham sky toward Grant Street. This was my last
fight in Gotham and I wasn't about to miss it. Gotham would probably soon
forget about any contribution I made to the city, but that didn't matter. I
was heading to my new home now. A place where I wouldn't be second behind a
flying rodent. The Bat can have Gotham, but Apollyon is all mine..and I have
a feeling things are gonna' go my way...
____________________________________________________________________

Author's Note: Hello and welcome to the first issue of Sentinel. This
issue may not have been action packed, but I assure you that once this series
gets going you will definitely be enjoying the adventures of the original
Green Lantern. Long time fans of Alan Scott may not like some of the turns I
have made with this series, such as moving him out of Gotham and giving
Metropolis a neighboring city (Which doesn't mean they are connected, they
are a good 50 miles apart). But not everything will last that long.

Alan Scott is a golden aged hero who has regained his youth and that
makes him different from other golden age heroes. In the normal DCU nobody
ever played up Alan's restored youth and that maybe he would use his new
found youth to do different things with his life. I'm trying to take Alan out
of obscurity as a Golden Age hero and give him his own place and hopefully
make him a modern day hero. Just as JSA is making a whole team new again, I
will be focusing on making Alan Scott new again too. Thank you and enjoy!

Next Issue: Alan starts his new life in Apollyon City just in time to face
the monstrosity known as Beelzebub!

Questions or comments? Contact me at Chrisserb@aol.com

Author's other note: This story was sort of rushed near the end and I
apologize. This past month has been a real pain for me; computer problems and
my father's heart attack, so writing had to be pushed back. 

The DC Universe of characters, which includes 90% of all the ones written about on this site, their images and logos are all legally copyrighted to DC Comics and it's parent company of Time/Warner. We make absolutely no claim that they belong to us. We're just a bunch of fans with over active imaginations and a love of writing.