Central Park, New York, One Year Later

Among the many people gathered in Central Park for Fernando Laves speech, nobody thought twice about a blond man in his late twenties wearing casual clothes and seemingly listening to the speech. However, he was watching his surroundings and his sensors were constantly searching for the power signature of the mutant terrorist known as Black Pearl. The mutant had so far made two attempts to kill Fernando Laves and Martin Coleman had been posted in the park to prove to the terrorist that third time wasn’t the charm.

He only vaguely listened to the speech but one part caught his attention.

“…We must learn to live together. All of us… black or white, Catholic or Jewish, religious or atheist, human or mutant, we must live together!”

A nice philosophy, he thought with a grin, but without people like me it wouldn’t be possible.

Suddenly he was pushed away from his philosophical thoughts as the mutant tracker started showing some results. Black Pearl and two other unknown mutants was two kilometers meters north and were heading towards the podium quickly.

Even quicker, Martin turned around and started running towards the approaching enemy, hoping to encounter them outside the park where there were less civilians. But while he was still surrounded by a lot of people his sensors detected energy blasts and moments later he saw it himself. The black bolts of energy, which had given Black Pearl her name, flew trough the air and struck the ground next to a group of people. No one was hurt in the resulting explosion but the terrified mass of people started running around everywhere and the panic spread like wildfire.

According to security protocols I shouldn’t engage multiple mutants openly without backup, he thought, I guess I have to find some other wa…

His thoughts were interrupted when two energy bolts fired from short distance hit him directly. Luckily his energy-shattering field worked perfectly and neutralized the bolts. The attack also gave away the exact location of the enemy and saved him the time a more precise scanning would have taken. Under some trees he saw Black Pearl in her usual black robe and she was accompanied by two men with similar robes. Pearl looked directly at him through the masses and pointed at him before she shouted.

“There’s the sentinel! Take him!”

Before she even had finished the sentience he had activated combat mode and fired several plasma blasts at the three bad guys. He sometimes hated when the automatic systems took over but at times like this he was very grateful. No normal human could have disabled two mutants in that time. And Pearl’s two friends were indeed very disabled; one lay still on the ground and the other lay on his back, screaming. But Black Pearl herself had easily resisted his attack thanks to her force-field which seemed to absorb energy.

“Mutant subject Black Pearl” He stated with the mechanical voice he got when the program controlled him “You have no chance of defeating this unit. Surrender or lethal force will be used.”

During his little speech, Black Pearl had fired several bolts at him all with the same effect, nothing. She continued to fire them as he slowly walked closer to her and didn’t try to escape before it was too late. When Martin was only two steps away she turned around and his programming responded imminently with a kick to her neck. She fell and was unconscious before she even hit the ground. Martin activated his radio-link with a thought and started speaking.

“White dove here.” He almost felt ashamed about the codename and was glad that it was only for this mission.

“Dove nest here.”

“Mission accomplished, three aggressors captured.”

“Excellent, return to base.”

“Copy that, white dove is flyyying away” He said sarcastically and broke the transmission.

A couple of hours later he walked through the entrance of their temporary headquarters and was greeted by one of the secretaries, a rather pretty young woman who had developed some interest in Martin and didn’t seem to care whether the feelings were mutual or not.

“Hi Marty! What’s new?”

“The usual. Stopping the bad guys and saving the day.”

“Lucky you, all I do all day is to sit in my office writing reports on all the glorious things this department is doing.”

“Too bad… but now I’ve got to see Mr. Blackberry.”

He nodded goodbye and walked quickly towards the door of his commander. After a fast knocking ritual he went in. The gray-haired man behind the desk looked up and smiled appreciative at him.

“Great job today, Martin.”

Martin just nodded his head as an answer and expected his boss to continue and was confused when that seemed to be all.

“That’s all? No new objective?

“Not right now. You can have a few days off.”

Those words would had made him glad back when he was a police officer but now it almost made him suspicious. He had been on mission after mission the last few months and never had more than a day to relax. He walked out of Blackberry’s office and a couple of minutes later out of the facility. He took up his phone thinking of calling for a cab but got a better idea and dialed the number of Daniel Geltman. After a few seconds Martin’s old partner answered.

“Geltman.”

“Hi, it’s Martin.”

“Nice hearin’ from you, how’s life at the murder-machine facility?” Ever since Martin told Daniel about he was about to do, Daniel seemed to enjoy making up new jokes about it.

“I’ve just got a few days off, wanna go get a beer or something?”

“Sounds great, see you at Musslers in twenty minutes?”

“Perfect. Bye.”

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