Disclaimer: I don't own Magnificent 7, Sentinel or their respective characters. I'm not making any profit.

Takes place in the Sentinel School universe and is approximately a year prior to The Substitute. This 'verse is closed.

The Beginning – Sentinel Style:

Vin perched in the rafters of the warehouse, rifle at the ready as he watched his skip enter the warehouse, followed by a man in a tailored, bright red jacket. He'd been staking the warehouse out for several days in anticipation for just such an event. The mountain lion that had been his companion since adolescence crouched next to him, head resting on its paws. It only appeared when he was hunting or in danger and he'd learnt to trust its warnings. They had saved his life on many occasions, especially during his time in the Rangers.

He'd been off and on reservations for most of his childhood and early adolescence and he was grateful to the family he'd found there for many reasons, chief among them that he'd grown up knowing what he was, and what would happen to him. He knew that there were those who weren't so lucky and went insane from the sensory overload. He'd learnt enough to be able to control his senses as long as he kept them to just above normal levels. Years of experience had resulted in him being able to push one or two senses higher for short periods of time, but he was left with sensory spikes and headaches for hours and sometimes days afterwards.

The mountain lion rose from its position and leapt to the various crates and boxes that were piled beneath them. Vin extended his hearing as much as he dared trying to find what it sensed and wasn't too surprised to hear the shuffle of feet belonging to a small group of people as they entered the warehouse. Vin readied his rifle, knowing that, in moments, the situation was going to come to a head.

The warehouse was stormed and the skip immediately dived behind the merchandise. Vin kept an eye on the action, but his attention was taken up a jackal, skulking through the shadows, following in the wake of a man dressed entirely in black. The jackal paused and looked up at him, yipping in greeting. Vin touched his fingers to the brim of his old cavalry hat in return, shocked by the familiarity he felt. Something eased within him and Vin realised, as his mountain lion came to stand at the jackal's side, that this man was his Guide.

As the firefight continued Vin became aware of the fact that the man in black clearly was not in touch enough with his nature to see his spirit guide. He exhaled deeply, knowing that he'd have his work cut out for him. Though he was sure it would be worth it in the end.

He watched as the skip made his way through the maze of boxes and crates, coming out across the room and aiming at one of the men who'd stormed the warehouse. Vin immediately shifted his rifle to a better position and squeezed the trigger once. The skip cried out, clutching at his shoulder as the gun skittered across the floor. The skip was under guard almost instantly and the black man was surrounded by his teammates as they checked that he was alright.

"Shot came from up there," a tall, moustached man said, pointing to where Vin was crouched. Vin stood, making himself visible. With slow deliberate movements he slung his rifle across his shoulders and made his way to the ground much as the mountain lion had.

"Nice shot," the black man said as Vin passed him, "thanks for the save."

"Wasn't any trouble," he replied, looking over the other man quickly to make sure that there were in fact no wounds. Once satisfied, he continued on to the man who was clearly their leader.

Blue eyes met green and there was a spark of familiarity between them. From the corner of his eye Vin could see his mountain lion and the jackal sitting side by side, leaning every so slightly against each other.

"Collar's mine."

The warehouse was immediately infused with tension as the five men waited to see how their leader would react.

"Alright," the blond man agreed and the tension immediately leeched out to be replaced by shock.

"Name's Vin Tanner," he said.

"Chris Larabee," the other man told him, eyes still boring into Vin. "Could use a man like you on my team."

"Got nothing better to do," Vin replied with a shrug and that was that.