Project Sentinel is the ultimate evolution of a long-standing American tradition of dealing with unconventional issues in a more ‘unique’ manner. The unit itself has a long and decorated lineage that spans such outfits as Goldstein's 3045th Composite Unit (the famed Iron Demons), Task Force Eagle's Direct Action, and its immediate predecessor, Project Talon. Because of its rich history and lineage and its own nature, much of Project Sentinel is shrouded in a mix of fact and fantastic myth. This, of course, is intentional; the sensitive activities of Project Sentinel tend to be on a need to know basis, and such disinformation campaigns work nicely with the SDI's desire to keep the nature of the Project obscure.
Project Sentinel's origins can be traced back to its immediate predecessor and the events that surrounded it. Project Talon was the official name for a top-secret project initiated by the then United States SDI sometime in the early 1980's. Drawing from the experiences learned from Direct Action, Task Force Eagle's special operations division, General Jason Goldstein planed to revive the concept and create a unit of elite soldiers consisting of metahumans and gifted baselines. Given carte blanche, said unit would be given the best weapons, training, and equipment available in order to deal with various crises and unconventional threats that sprung up from time to time. Said threats tended to range from Soviet agents, such as the Red Legionnaire (III), to supernatural monstrosities, to metahuman madmen with their own delusions of grandeur. However, the principal threat had always been the Soviet Union and its communist empire, whose destruction the Baron-President Ronald von Reagan dreamed of. Unfortunately, this is was what ultimately doomed Project Sentinel and crippled the SDI.
While GEN Goldstein had always been the main unifying force and head of the USSDI, and, indeed, shared a similar distaste for the Soviet Union, von Reagan never fully trusted him. Several reasons have been suggested for this, including political differences (Goldstein, in the grand tradition of his family, being a Progressive Democrat), a wariness of Goldstein's independent nature, and a concern that he would grow too influential, but whatever the case, the Baron-President made several efforts, particularly in his later years, to dilute the General's influence. Von Reagan sycophants, with their full devotion to the Reagan Revolution, flooded the SDI and influenced its actions and programs (including the ethically troublesome Project Invictus), while Presidential orders would force Goldstein to deploy his assets to deal with questionable situations with extreme violence, namely the Los Angeles Oil Field Fires. Project Talon was not immune to this, as the unit, led by Major Christopher 'Minuteman' Ramsey, the end result of Project Invictus, Project Talon would participate in various, questionable operations that ranged from the unethical to the downright illegal. Still, they did their job well, and in the final years of the Cold War they made sure that America's interests came up on top. Ultimately, though, the activities of Project Talon and the questionable nature of the SDI's activities would catch up with both units, and would set in motion the chain of events that would lead to the violent end of Project Talon
During the Truth and Reconciliation Hearings carried out by the Senate during the administration of George H.W. Bush, many of the excesses and illegal activities of the SDI and Project Talon would be revealed. Testifying before Congress on the issue of the rampant corruption within the SDI, Goldstein would highlight many of the extreme measures and legally questionable activities his civilian superiors would force him to carry out. Coupled with evidence of corruption within the ranks of the SDI, Goldstein, after being cleared of any wrongdoing and connections to rogue elements of the SDI (thanks in no small part to the vouching by his confidant and ally, Chief of Staff and General Colin Powell), would spearhead the ruthless purge of all crooked elements and hardcore von Reagan supporters during the infamous May Massacre. The end result would be the retaking of 'his' organization and a series of reforms that would prevent any future government from using SDI assets for their own political purposes.
Not everyone was happy with the shift in the SDI's priorities, though. Ramsey in particular would be enraged at what he perceived as the weakening of America by communist sympathizers and the corruption of the true, conservative ideals that von Reagan set forth. Such an outburst was not an isolated incident for Ramsey. While Project Invictus granted him incredible abilities, the nature of the conditioning (namely, creating the 'perfect, patriotic American' who would never question his nation or his orders) turned him into a highly amoral, uninhibited killer whose excessive tactics would threaten the integrity of Project Talon's operations. His erratic behavior ultimately made him a grave liability to national security, and when it became clear to Ramsey that he was to be contained he finally snapped. Deluding himself into thinking that he was the last hope for America, Ramsey struck first, killing three of his own teammates and waging a one-man war on the U.S. Government that only ended when Goldstein, taking up the mantle of U.S. Supersoldier 01 one last time, personally put an end to Ramsey's blood soaked rampage.
That was the final blow for Project Talon. With two-thirds of its roster dead and its commander turning treasonous, President Bush would order Goldstein to shut down Project Talon. Furthermore, opposition from Congress would prevent the General from ever reviving the unit again, the stigma of Ramsey's treachery and Talon's operations dooming any attempt at revival. On a more personal level, Goldstein would be disheartened by the betrayal of his protégé and would fear that he would never have the opportunity to find a true successor. And then Goldstein met Captain Marco Torres.
Taking him under his wing, Goldstein would teach Torres everything he knew before commissioning him as a special operator of the NASDI. As Paladin, Torres would be at the vanguard of the SDI's efforts to fight the explosion of metahuman activity that had erupted, but, in the first few months of his new career, he found it increasingly difficult to hold the tide by himself. Goldstein concurred, as many special operators were simply overwhelmed due to a lack of effective coordination. Sensing that the time was right, Goldstein would successfully petition for the creation of a new team of special operators, one that would nominally work independently, but could pool their abilities together for dealing with more aggressive threats. Dubbing the new unit Project Sentinel, Goldstein would place Torres as its field commander, and would quickly scour the American and Canadian armed forces for new recruits. Ultimately, five more would be added, and, when combined with their support personnel, would form the SDI's newest tool in its perpetual fight to keep North America safe.
Project Sentinel is a well-oiled military machine, with each component working tirelessly to support the rest and a clear chain of command to keep the Project's activities coordinated. At the head of Project Talon is General Goldstein, who, in addition to holding the position of CINCNASDI, is the nominal commander of Project Talon. In practice, however, he delegates much of the day-to-day responsibility to his lieutenant, Brigadier General Samuel Kelland, Royal Canadian Army, who acts as the commander of the entirety of Project Talon. Kelland's command staff oversees the planning and coordinating of the Project's special operators, as well as the permanent detachment of Omega Troopers assigned to Project Talon for its own use. The Omega Troopers themselves are under command of Lieutenant Colonel Martin Freeman.
Logistically speaking, Project Talon is supported by a small army of technicians, scientists, and soldiers who build and maintain the weapons, equipment, vehicles, and facilities used by the Project. Equipment can vary wildly; everything from magic-enhanced M16A4 riles to heavily armed orbital spaceplanes have been handled and appropriated by Project Talon's support personnel for its operations. The current base of operations for the team, command staff, and the Omega Trooper detachment is 'the Citadel', a stronghold dedicated to overseeing the operations of Project Talon. In addition, the SDI has appropriated several discreet safehouses whose exterior disguises can range from urban penthouses to industrial hazard zones. Naturally, all special operators of Project Talon have access to American and Canadian military bases for re-supply and resting purposes.
The current roster for Project Sentinel consists of six operators, each one normally working independently, but capable of pooling their abilities to tackle larger threats and missions. They include:
Paladin - Commander: CAPT Marco Torres, U.S. Army. Army Ranger and former black operator for Task Force Ghost, Torres is viewed as the perfect soldier, a feat accomplished through his skill and training, not to mention the sage advice and guidance received by his mentor, General Jason Goldstein. Searching for a commander for Project Sentinel, Goldstein would look to the accomplished Captain, who would be taken under the General’s wing and given the opportunity to forma and lead his new team. Having no metahuman abilities, Torres instead, like his spiritual predecessor, U.S. Supersoldier, makes use of one of the most advanced suits of powered armor created by the SDI, granting him superhuman strength, durability, reaction times, and an obscene amount of firepower, to name a few characteristics. When combined with his own skills and abilities, Paladin can unleash devastating amounts of punishment and go toe to toe with some of the heaviest hitters out there. Like his mentor, Torres also tends to indulge in witty banter and scathing sarcasm against his opponents, albeit at the right moment to distract his enemies. Is currently the team leader for Project Talon's operators. A word of caution: do NOT refer to Torres as 'Supersoldier Jr.' if you value your life.
Warlock – Spell-Caster/Support: LTJG Darren McTaggart, USN. A Navy SEAL, McTaggart is part of a long line of mages that have fought for the United States. His family first providing their esoteric services to Washington during the American Revolutionary War (forming a crucial part of the famed ‘Washington’s Warlocks’), each generation of the McTaggart family has since aided their adoptive homeland in its time of need. Darren is no different, having been trained by his father in the art of the metaphysical to continue his family’s duty. Graduating from the United States Naval Academy in the top five percent of his class, McTaggart would successfully join the Navy SEALS, who would further train him and augment his abilities to become a combat mage for his SEAL team. He now provides magical support to Project Sentinel, crushing its foes with lethal applications of magical energy and manipulating probability (often to hilariously unintentional effects). Tends to use relatively light, magically enhanced firearms, such as the M16A4, to compliment his powers, as well as powered armor embedded with runestones to provide massive physical and metaphysical protection. Frequently transmutes Bradley’s cowboy hat into, among other things, a snake, banana cream pie, and water balloon.
Transporter - Assault/Reconnaissance: CAPT Alexander Bradley, U.S. Army. Originally a baseline soldier with no metahuman powers, a raid by operatives of Paul von Austerlitz on a convoy being protected by Bradley and his men would change his life forever. In the ensuing firefight, the convoy's cargo, a Class Alpha artifact, was set off, bathing Bradley in exotic radiation and granting him the ability to generate wormholes for transportation (hence his codename) and manipulate space-time itself. His childhood dream of being a superhero realized, Bradley would gladly accept the offer to be a part of Project Sentinel. A stereotypical Texan, Bradley is proud, headstrong, and a complete loudmouth who relishes in intentionally bad puns and banter the entire time, as well as providing general raconteur. Like the cowboy of old, however, he is extremely chivalrous and kind and acts as the soul of Project Talon. Wears a standard armored muscle suit for strength augmentation and durability, although his weapons tend to be very light. The offensive use of his powers tends to focus on hurling out shards of frozen space-time, although he can also use his teleportation abilities to strike from anywhere. Often known for telling stories at the most inopportune time.
Puppeteer – Support: Jessica Bergeron, CSIS. An operative of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Bergeron was one of the key ‘trash men’ (or trash woman in her case) in dealing with rogue metahumans, supernatural threats, and other extranormal entities that threatened the security of Canada. A psychic with the ability to form constructs of psychic energy, as well as a potent telepath on her own right, Jessica provided the much needed muscle to deal with major threats of all types. Eventually, the persuasion of General Goldstein would be enough to convince Bergeron to transfer to the SDI, where she would provide a wide range of support capabilities for the Project. Capable of ranging in size and purpose from tiny scout constructs to hulking 9-foot giants that fire out beams of pure psychic energy, Bergeron’s psychic constructs are highly effective combatants. Alternatively, Bergeron can also use her abilities to instead animate certain objects, such as suits of powered armor or corpses (the latter used purely for psychological effect). As a telepath, Jessica can also use her clairvoyance and precognition to plan out the Project’s course of action during an operation.
Valkyrie – Shock Trooper: 2LT Samantha White, USAF. The daughter of an Air Force Lieutenant General, White had always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps and flying her own fighter. Graduating in the top five percent of her class, White would show considerable skill in piloting her F-22. Her aviation career would be shattered, however, when a horrifying refueling accident would result in much of body being mangled by a massive explosion. Miraculously, she would somehow survive but would be permanently crippled. At the same time, DARPA, experimenting with more robust cybernetic conversions for use by the military, would offer White the opportunity to become “better, stronger, faster” through their conversion process. White would agree, and her shattered body would be converted into an indestructible one of cybernetics and synthetic materials. Serving with the USAF's 7th Special Operations Squadron, White would be recruited into Project Sentinel after her success in dispatching a hostile metahuman raiding party. In addition to her massively increased strength, speed, durability, reaction time, and regenerative abilities, Valkyrie, as she named herself (using her old codename, like McTaggart), also has access to a suit of integrated battle armor that can further augment her raw power. Her ability to absorb massive amounts of damage and use of heavy weaponry, such as heavy plasma cannons and the dreaded M1 repeater, makes her suited to her role.
Longshot - Marksmen/Infiltrator: SRG Robert “Robbie” Sidhu, RCA. Often referred to as 'Murphy's Law incarnate' Sidhu was born with a rather unconventional ability: a bona fide character shield in the form of superhuman luck. His father being an antique gun collector who would take his son frequently to the shooting ranges, Sidhu would come to realize the full extent of his gift after making downright impossible shots with any weapon, among other events. Eventually enlisting in the Royal Canadian Army, his experiences there would lead to Joint Task Force 2 to confirm the nature of his abilities, as well as to recruit him as a special operator. Trained as a marksmen, Sidhu would get the chance to use his superhuman luck and sharp shooting skills to full use, oftentimes making the enemy's guns jam or their explosives detonate prematurely before picking them off one by one. As an operator for Project Talon, Sidhu provides long-range precision fire with superhuman accuracy and reaction times. His character shields, as his powers became known as after a remark from Bradley, can also cause bullets to consistently miss him, enemy bombs to fail, or, in the most extreme cases if Sidhu concentrates, cause the powers of selected metahumans to either shut down or violently backfire. His preferred weapons focus on long-range hitting power, such as a M6 position rifle or M107 Barrett. Should particularly stubborn and powerful hostiles be encountered, though, then Robbie make use of the monster Barrett M109 25mm anti-material rifle, which, thanks to his powered armor, he can handle easily to eliminate light armor, heavy powered armored infantry, or particularly nasty metahumans. His powers have resulted in Robbie being banned from virtually every casino on the planet.