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The Sentinel
"Warrior Child"

"How did we end up pulling the night shift anyway?"Twenty
nine year old anthropologist Blair Sandburg muttered as
Ellison parked his blue pickup next to an all night coffee
"You're a consultant to the police
department,remember?"Detective Jim Ellison replied with a
smile,"You can go home any time you want."
The dark haired man glared at his friend,"Very funny,but you
still didn't answer my question?"
"Apparently Simon owed a favor to the night Captain. Weinser
wanted a vacation so he called the favor in,hence how we got
night duty."Jim explained as he rounded the front of the
truck and headed into the coffee house.
"How much time do we have?"Blair asked as he headed for the
Jim glanced at his watch almost four thirty,"We've got time,
shift doesn't start till five."
Blair nodded before turning his attention to the clerk
behind the counter,"I'll have a large vanilla mocha
Ellison grinned at the selection,"We'll be pulling you from
the ceiling by two."
Blair returned the smile,"That's the whole point. You
wouldn't believe how many finals this thing got me through."
"If you say so."Jim replied.

"EVERYBODY ON THE FLOOR!"A young male voice shouted from the
doorway gaining everyone's attention,"WHAT ARE YOU STARING

Jim glanced next to him and saw his friend already had his
hands raised high above his head. Jim did the same wondering
how on earth he hadn't heard the robbers before they entered
the store.
"Let's calm down."Jim said softly to the first gunman who
was a twenty something male with shoulder length blond hair.
The young man whirled on him,"DID I SAY YOU COULD SPEAK?!
"Jim did you.....?"Blair whispered his gaze never leaving
the guns.
Ellison shook his head,"No never head anything. I want you
to keep your head down,I have a feeling this might turn
"Don't have to tell me twice."Blair muttered to himself.
Though he had learned alot about police work and himself in
the three years he had 'rode along' with the Cascade police
department being held at gunpoint was something he could
never get used to.

Seeing the second gunman was distracted by intimidating the
clerk Jim approached the leader,"Look no one has to get hurt
here today."
The young man glared at the Sentinel,"What are you a shrink
or something?!"
Jim shook his head,knowing that telling him that he was a
cop would turn this situation very ugly very
fast,"No."Ellison replied simply,"I'm just a concerned
citizen who doesn't want to see any bloodshed here today."
The blond man whirled the gun on him eyes blazing,"If you
stop yapping and let us go on our way nobody will be hurt!"
Then the young woman behind the counter did the worst
possible thing she could do.
She paniaced.

Jim winced as his heightened senses magnified her scream to
the force of of a jet engine taking off.
But the clerk had provided a momentary distraction. One Jim
decided he should take a chance on.
In three steps Jim had the gunman's right wrist in a vice

The second gunman seeing his friend was in trouble and
knowing they had stayed in the store way too long for a safe
getaway sought out the nearest hostage.
Unfortunately the nearest hostage was a twenty nine year old

With his full attention on Jim's struggle with the lead
gunman Blair didn't notice that the second robber had moved
toward him.
Didn't notice until it was too late that there was a gun by
his right ear.
"Let's move quickly and quietly out the back door and you
won't get hurt."The red haired man hissed as he tightened
his grip around Blair's neck,"Make a move to play hero or
try to signal anybody and you're dead.Understand?"
Struggling not to let his fear show Blair nodded and he felt
the barrel of the gun thrust into the small of his back.
"Get moving."The robber ordered shoving Blair forward a few
Not having a choice Blair spared a last glance at Jim
Sandburg exited the coffee house through the back entrance.

Half an hour later Captain Simon Banks arrived at the
ROCKGARDEN coffee house not surprised to see his chief
detective in the midst of a robbery.
"Can't you go anywhere without trouble following?"Simon
joked as he came to stand next to Ellison by the door of the
coffee shop.
Jim barely smiled at Banks's attempt at humor,"One gunman's
dead the other escaped during the confusion. No civilians
were injured."
Simon nodded,"That's some good news at least. Where's your
Ellison blinked in surprise. When he hadn't been able to
find Blair inside the coffee shop he had assumed Blair had
made it outside and called Simon.
"He's not outside?"Jim asked with concern.
Banks shook his head,"I didn't see him."
"Damn."Jim swore softly,"When I didn't see him in here I had
assumed he had made it out and called you."
Simon shook his head,"No,it was a woman who called in the

Jim stretched his senses searching the surrounding blocks
but it was like trying to scratch an empty pen on a piece of
blank paper. 
His senses were blocked and he couldn’t figure out why.
The one person who could figure it out was the one person
who needed those senses to work more than ever.

With a frustrated sigh Jim pulled Banks over to the side,”My
senses are blocked,Simon. I never heard the robbers untill
they were inside.”
Simon’s frown deepened,”This couldn’t have happened at a
worse time,Jim.”
Ellison whirled on him,”Don’t you think I know that?! Last
time this happened it was a smell that set it off maybe
that’s what happened this time. I need a list of all the
kinds of coffee this place serves maybe something will
Simon nodded,”I’ll get Rafe on it. In the meantime I want
you down at the station working with a police artist. You’re
a best chance for us to get a description of the second

Jim Ellison stared at his commanding officer as if he had
just grown two heads,”Forget it,Simon. There’s no way I’m
wasting time at the station while Sandburg’s missing!”
“You’re our only witness,Jim.”

Jim gestured to the shell shocked group of twenty or so
customers scattered around the police cars,”Any one of them
can give you a description.”
Banks sighed,”Okay,let me rephrase that. You’re our best
witness. Never mind your Sentinel abilities, but your police
training allows you to remember details these people can’t.
Jim, they’ve already said the dead gunman had four different
hair colors!”

Jim blocked out his friend’s voice as he took a few steps
forward. He was hoping that whatever had blocked his senses
in the coffee house wouldn’t affect him here.

All he heard was the usual blar of car horns and brakes
All he saw was the office buildings that circled the block,
nothing beyond.
Damn, this was not the time for this to happen again.
The one time Sandburg needed Jim’s senses the most they were
This was an irony Jim didn’t want to dwell on long.

Ellison turned and started toward his blue pickup,”I’ll call
it in,Simon.”
Before Banks could even think of protesting the detective
was gone in a squeal of tires.

Simon sighed as he fumbled for the bottle of aspirin in his
coat pocket. This was going to be a very long night.
“Captain, we ID the dead gunman.”Forensic’s officer Casey
Wells reported as she came up behind him.
Banks nodded absently as he fought with the child proof
lid,”Fine, just have the report on my desk.”
The red haired woman shook her head,”You’re not going to
like it.”

Banks sighed giving up on the aspirin bottle all together as
he turned to face her,”Okay, I’ll bite, why am I not going
to like it?”
Casey sighed as she watched her team wheel the body out,”The
robber is Police commissioner Tilson’s eldest son, Robert.”

“Damn.”Banks said softly as he watched the corenor’s unit
load the body into the van.
He knew he should have never accepted this night shift. But
he figured it was only one night, what could happen?
After all his years on the force he should have known

To be continued.........

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