SENTINELS - ENGINES OF EVIL: Page 5 of 9

Last Updated: 
9th May 2014


Prime Sentinels / Operation: Zero Tolerance

Creator: Bastion
Appearances: Cable (1st series) #40, Excalibur (1st series) #122-123, Excalibur (3rd series) #3, Generation X #20, 23, 27-31, Uncanny X-Men #337, 343, 346, Wolverine (2nd series) #115-118, X-Factor (1st series) #123, 128, X-Force (1st series) #67-70, X-Man #22, X-Men (2nd series) #57, 65-69, X-Men Annual 2000, X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #16, 27
Prime Sentinels: employed nanomorphic molecular tissue to shift between normal human and Sentinel hunter modes, gaining enhanced strength, reflexes, durability, expansive force fields, regenerative powers capable of sustaining both organic and technological components, multiple scanning modes (thermal, x-ray, bio-kinetic, sonic, sub-visual, mutagenic signatures), plasma blasts, laser light beams, annihilation beam, bio-blasts keyed to the specific genetic structure of a given target, electronic cloaking measures, and boot rockets for flight
Omega Prime Sentinels: genetically encoded with Sentinel Prime technology, granting superhuman strength, reflexes, and durability, telescopic and x-ray vision, proximity sensors, bio-scanning and monitoring, individual bio-tagging and locating, an internal CPU with satellite modem access, vast data storage and collating capacity, long-range interactive holograms, target identification and acquisition locks, nannites capable of bio-mechanical regeneration and threat adaptation changes, self-propelled flight, extendible finger-knives and armor-piercing darts, and a large array of retractable devices in their shoulders, wrists, abs, thighs, and shins, including searchlights, volt-casters, lasers, plasma knives, and rail guns

Following the Onslaught crisis, the U.S. Government found itself confronted with two problems; anti-mutant hysteria was at an all time high and the Sentinels that had taken years of planning and developing had proven ineffectual, with a single mutant entity being able to turn the giant robots into a weapon against the very humans they were supposed to protect. In these dire times, governmental officials were only too happy to be presented with a solution to their dilemma - Operation: Zero Tolerance.

A few weeks prior, the enigmatic man named Bastion had made his presence known to the anti-mutant presidential candidate Graydon Creed, who arranged for him to be placed in charge of a division of government technicians given the task of constructing a new Master Mold unit. Under Bastion's watch, this program under soon evolved into Operation: Zero Tolerance, a project dedicated to becoming an international organization, under whose umbrella the nations of the world would consolidate and pool their resources and efforts, eliminating their current programs of studying, containing – and even eliminating – mutants.

With Earth's mightiest heroes having apparently perished during the battle against Onslaught, the U.S. government acted quite rashly, giving Bastion green light to launch his operation on American soil, despite the fact that his past was literally a blank slate. Even those who had doubted the man before, such as Senator Robert Kelly, came to agree that the mysterious man named Bastion and his Operation: Zero Tolerance were not only the best chance they had to get the so called mutant menace under control; right then, he was also their only chance. [Uncanny X-Men #333-334, 337, X-Men (2nd series) #57]

With good reason, Bastion never explained the means with which he wanted to deal with the mutant problem. While Senator Kelly and Henry Peter Gyrich, appointed spokesperson for Operation: Zero Tolerance, always had insisted on the humane treatment of mutant prisoners, Bastion showed no such concerns. Quite on the contrary, he would not even refrain from abusing hundreds of baseline humans, making them serve in his organization as so called Prime Sentinels. Together with his chief scientist, Harper, Bastion designed this new breed of Sentinels by grafting Sentinel technology onto human bodies, turning them into mutant-hunting cyborgs. Unlike the giant robots churned out by a Master Mold unit and used as a blunt instrument against mutants, Prime Sentinels utilized the innate mental capacity and originality of humans from whom they were constructed, combining all of the benefits of Sentinel technology with the cunning of a human being.
Some people apparently being more compatible with the process, they would transform into so called Omega Prime units, much more powerful than the average Prime Sentinel. Whereas the first humans to be turned into Prime Sentinels had been volunteers, no doubt recruited from the ranks of the Friends of Humanity and other narrow-minded people sympathetic to Bastion's cause, he needed to have an entire army of Prime Sentinels at his disposal. As such, he opened up several facilities all over the world where people would be transformed into Prime Sentinels against their will. Still at an early stage of his plans, Bastion didn't want to risk exposure, keeping each of these places under cover. His first facility was located in poverty stricken and over-populated area of Calcutta, India. There, with tens of thousands of people living per square mile, it was thought that few would question when some of the city’s poorest simply disappeared. [X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #27, Excalibur (1st series) #123]

A second factory producing Prime Sentinels was a remote clinic hidden in the deserts of New Mexico, where one Doctor Prospero had specialized in the miraculous treatment of severely handicapped poor. For those who were unable to seek help elsewhere, he provided the miracles of new lives, replacing bones with steel and plastic, kidney shunt implantation and free dialysis, steel plates for head wounds, reconstructive dental work and socket joint replacement. He even promised the possibility of allowing the blind to once again see. [Wolverine (2nd series) #116]

A temple near Monkey River Town, Belize, contained a third facility of Bastion. Numerous people from all over the world received all-expenses-paid vacations to the Caribbean resort, not suspecting that during the won charter trip they would be turned into cyborgs, only to be sent back home as Bastion's sleeper agents activating their activation. [X-Men Annual 2000]

Parallel to the construction of his army, Bastion also ran some other facilities, either for doing research on mutants or to detain and interrogate prisoners such as the powerless Professor Xavier and former X-Man, Jubilation Lee. Accessing some of her memories, Bastion learned the location of the X-Men's headquarters as well as the amount of its defensive systems. Carefully planning his next moves, Bastion sent in his troops when the X-Men were away on a mission in Hong Kong. While downloading the files on all mutants that Xavier knew of, Bastion ordered the full launch of Operation Zero Tolerance. Upon their return to American airspace, the X-Men were easily subdued by a battalion of Prime Sentinels, and many of their friends and allies found themselves on the run as well. X-Force and the Mutant Liberation Front found themselves lured into a trap, while other Prime Sentinels hunted Jubilee's teammates from Generation X through the streets of Los Angeles. In New York, the odd grouping of Iceman, Cecilia Reyes, Marrow and Sabra tried to get to the bottom of Bastion's secrets, but they too found themselves facing a growing number of Sentinels.

The Prime Sentinels utilizing the innate mental capacity of the humans from whom they were constructed surely made them rather efficient, but it also proved to be a liability in some cases. With so many Prime Sentinels at his disposal, Bastion could no longer oversee the actions of each single unit. Some of them maintained enough will-power to oppose their programming, some plotting behind Bastion's back to follow their own secret agenda with Operation: Zero Tolerance, and others feeling compassionate with the mutants they were supposed to hunt down and even helping them to escape. Still, these were but a small number, and before long all those Prime Sentinels betraying Bastion's order were dealt with. Hopelessly outnumbered by Bastion's troops, America's mutants knew it was only a matter of time; either they'd die fighting for their freedom, or they would await their execution after surrendering.

Salvation came in the form of two who had opposed mutants at every turn. Once realizing the full scope of Bastion's operation, Senator Kelly and Henry Peter Gyrich understood that they were trading one threat for an even bigger one. They were able to convince the White House of their view and, once Bastion's clearance to operate on American soil was revoked, S.H.I.E.L.D. was charged with shutting down Operation Zero Tolerance for good. Surprisingly, Bastion surrendered and let himself be arrested after ordering the Prime Sentinels to stand down. [Operation: Zero Tolerance crossover] Apparently, most of the still active cyborgs were taken into custody as well, with S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to find a way to revert them back to their true selves and to safely remove the Sentinel technology from their bodies.

While searching for the missing Professor Xavier, the members of Excalibur happened upon a still operational OZT research facility in Peru. Sealed off behind a protective dome of telekinetic energy, the team could only enter the base by Shadowcat's phasing power. Inside, they found the remains of many Prime Sentinels with only five units still functioning. They explained that, while still detained, one of the captive mutants they had been studying on was responsible for the energy field trapping them inside the base. Engaging this mutant, Excalibur found themselves fighting the Mimic, who not only copied their powers but also wielded the original X-Men's abilities. Somewhat mad and deranged from the long weeks since his imprisonment, eventually Excalibur got through to the former X-Man and he opened the force-field. A group of mutants having fought on their behalf, the five Prime Sentinels were ashamed and felt sorry for their earlier actions. They were let go by Excalibur, so that they could start over or pick up what was left of their old lives. [Excalibur (1st series) #122-123]

Months later, the villainous Stryfe discovered a means of activating latent Prime Sentinels. Sending e-mails to some of these dormant Sentinels, Stryfe triggered their activation and ordered them to hunt down Lady Deathstrike for him. Apparently, some of her cyborg technology was identical to the Sentinel implants and, with the codes encrypted in her systems, Stryfe could have accessed the programming of all remaining

Prime Sentinels world wide. Fortunately, Deathstrike evaded capture long enough to contact the X-Men, and together they tracked down Stryfe to the temple in Belize. Fighting their way through numerous Prime Sentinels, they shut down Stryfe's computers and eventually altered the source codes of the Prime Sentinels, so that they would revert back to normal and could not be activated again. [X-Men Annual 2000]

It remains to be seen if this was truly the last of the Prime Sentinels. While Bastion has escaped from custody and has resumed his feud with mutantkind, he seems to have no interest in reactivating his troops. That might mean that indeed their activation sequences are now blocked. On the other hand, a skilled hacker might find a way to bypass them, initializing the transformation by some other means. Additionally, there's the possibility of Sentinel parts being extracted from one of the countless dormant sleeper agents for the technology to be reverse-engineered and further modified.


Known Prime Sentinels
Listed below are all those Prime Sentinels that had a special function with Operation: Zero Tolerance, or at least some name and backstory were mentioned for them. However, there were hundreds more Prime Sentinels, most of which were either deactivated or destroyed. Still, there must also be an equally high number of inactive sleeper agents, who are totally unaware of the technology within their bodies.

Agents Boyd and Mathers
All Prime Sentinel appearances: Uncanny X-Men #346, X-Men (2nd series) #67

Status: unrevealed

Notes:
- Boyd and Mathers were undercover as Secret Service agents. For at least several weeks they served as bodyguards for Henry Peter Gyrich, who was unaware of their true nature.
- After their cover was blown, they coerced Detective Charlotte Jones into assisting them in capturing Iceman and Cecilia Reyes.

Arwell
All Prime Sentinel appearances: Wolverine (2nd series) #117

Status: unrevealed

Notes:
- Arwell was one of many patients of the Prospero cinic. He was advanced enough in his Sentinel systems to fully transform into a Prime Sentinel when the X-Men made their way to the camp of the patients. Arwell and some other Prime Sentinels were subdued by the X-Men who hoped that there was some means of restoring their humanity

Daria
All Prime Sentinel appearances: Generation X #20, 23, 27-29, X-Man #22, Wolverine (2nd series) #115, Generation X #30-31

Status: destroyed

Notes:
- Daria appeared to be a teenaged girl. She served as Bastian’s assistant and helped him gather intelligence on various mutants including the X-Men.
- Daria’s Sentinel systems were activated when Jubilee attacked her. Prior to this, she was unaware of her true nature.
- Overwhelmed with compassion for Jubilee and her own sense of being a “freak” after the manifestation of her Sentinel abilities, Daria helped Jubilee to escape from Bastion's stronghold. With a group of Prime Sentinels hot on their trail, Daria self-destructed, making it seem as if both she and Jubilee had died.

Felipe
All Prime Sentinel appearances: Wolverine (2nd series) #117

Status: unrevealed

Notes:
- Felipe was one of many patients of the Prospero clinic. He was advanced enough in his Sentinel systems to fully transform into a Prime Sentinel when the X-Men made their way to the camp of the patients. Felipe and some other Prime Sentinels were subdued by the X-Men who hoped that there was some means of restoring their humanity

Fremont, Delilah
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Men Annual 2000

Status: destroyed

Notes:
- Delilah Fremont was a judge from Los Angeles.
- She was turned into one of many sleeper Prime Sentinels during a vacation to Belize. Delilah and three others eventually received an e-mail from “Bastion,” actually sent by Stryfe, that triggered their transformation, and they were given the task to hunt down Lady Deathstrike.
- Fremont was decapitated by Psylocke's psychic katana.

Gryaznova, Ekaterina
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Force (1st series) #67-70

Status: killed in an explosion [X-Force (1st series) #82]

Notes:
- Originally, Gryaznova worked for rogue branch of the CIA that was doing research on cybernetically-controlled combat droids codenamed Jericho. She was cyber-linked to the Jericho droid when Domino disabled it with an EMP device. This put Gryaznova in a coma, from which she recovered by being turned into a Prime Sentinel. Carrying a grudge, Gryaznova kept Domino's capture secret from Bastion, as she wanted to torture her herself.
- To punish Gryaznova for betraying him, Bastion reprogrammed the nanotechnology in her body, transforming her into a monstrous abomination.

Gwynn, Lance C.
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Men (2nd series) #66

Status: unrevealed

Notes:
- Gwynn was one of three Prime Sentinels sent to neutralize Dr. Cecilia Reyes. He entered the emergency room where she was working at disguised as a fatally wounded patient. The unnamed pair of Prime Sentinels accompanying him were disguised as EMTs.

Harper
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Factor (1st series) #123, 128, Uncanny X-Men #337, X-Men (2nd Series) #57, Uncanny X-Men #343, Cable (1st series) #40, Wolverine (2nd series) #116-117

Status: unrevealed

Notes:
- It is unclear whether Harper was truly a Prime Sentinel but his shape-shifting and other superhuman abilities, coupled with his involvement in O:ZT, suggest that he was.
- Harper first appeared as an envoy between Bastian and Graydon Creed, and he was one of Bastian’s chief aides in his creation and administration of Operation: Zero Tolerance.
- Under the alias of Doctor Prospero, Harper was shown as commander of O:ZT personnel as well as the scientist behind the creation of Prime Sentinels in at least one location.

Helmut
All Prime Sentinel appearances: Wolverine (2nd series) #117

Status: destroyed

Notes:
- Helmut was one of many patients of the Prospero clinic. He was advanced enough in his Sentinel systems to fully transform into a Prime Sentinel when the X-Men made their way to the camp of the patients. As he began to use other inmates of the camp as human shields while fighting the X-Men, Wolverine and Cyclops saw no other way but to terminate him.

Lao, Mei-Ling
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Men Annual 2000

Status: destroyed

Notes:
- Mei-Ling Lao was a housekeeper from Shanghai.
- She was turned into one of many sleeper Prime Sentinels during a vacation to Belize. Mei-Ling and three others eventually received an e-mail from “Bastion,” actually sent by Stryfe, that triggered their transformation, and they were given the task to hunt down Lady Deathstrike.
- Lao was incinerated by Thunderbird III.

Mahoney, Ginny
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #16

Status: destroyed

Notes:
- Ginny was the valedictorian of her graduating class and was recruited specifically to infiltrate the Xavier Institute, home of the Generation X team.
- Ginny was identified as Unit #1031.
- Bastion destroyed Ginny when she failed to complete her assignment due to emotional and moral conflicts with her Sentinel programming.

Mbende, Samuel
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Men Annual 2000

Status: destroyed

Notes:
- Samuel Mbende was from Nairobi, Kenya.
- Mbende was turned into one of many sleeper Prime Sentinels during a vacation to Belize. He and three others eventually received an email from “Bastion,” actually sent by Stryfe, that triggered their transformation, and they were given the task to hunt down Lady Deathstrike.
- Severely damaged while fighting the X-Men, Mbende went into self-destruct mode, hoping to kill some of his opponents.

Mustang
All Prime Sentinel appearances: Wolverine (2nd series) #116-118

Status: unrevealed

Notes:
- Mustang was a Navy airman who flew stunt planes after his tour of duty. He was severely injured in a plane crash that cost him his sight and injured his legs and kidneys.
- Seeking treatment from Dr. Prospero, Mustang lived in a desert encampment near the clinic. Like many other residents of this makeshift community, he was secretly turned into a Prime Sentinel for Operation: Zero Tolerance.
- After his transformation into a Prime Sentinel, Mustang battled the X-Men to a standstill. However, he was able to overcome his programming after being temporarily blinded by a flash of Jubilee’s pyrotechnics and he helped the X-Men after his personality reasserted itself.
- Mustang left with SHIELD in the hopes that they would be able to restore his humanity or at least to erase the Sentinel directives from his cyborg body.

Quail, Angie
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Men (2nd series) #67

Status: destroyed

Notes:
- Angie Quail ambushed Iceman and Cecilia Reyes in Warren Worthington’s loft in SoHo. She claimed to be a friend of Warren’s and the former roommate of his old flame, Candy Southern. Quail was shot by NYPD Detective Charlotte Jones, who came to rescue Iceman and Cecilia.

Shaara, Sanjit
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #27

Status: destroyed

Notes:
- Sanjit was a journalist investigating the disappearance of the poor in his hometown of Calcutta. The trail led him to a Prime Sentinel conversion facility run by Bastion, where he was captured and turned into a Prime Sentinel as well.
- Sanjit was referred to as Unit Three.
- When his brother Neal turned out to be a mutant, Sanjit resisted his programming to save him from Bastion’s forces only to be destroyed by the other Sentinels.

Shapandar, Karima
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #27, Excalibur (3rd series) #3

Status: free of Sentinel programming

Notes:
- Karima was a police detective assigned to protect Neal Shaara as he sought the whereabouts of his missing brother, Sanjit. They ended up captured by Bastion and were forced to undergo the Prime Sentinel metamorphosis, during which Neal was revealed to be a mutant. Afterwards, Karima resisted her transformation long enough for Neal to run far away from her.
- Karima was later acquired by Genoshan militants but rescued before they could turn her against Genosha’s mutant populace. She was freed from her Sentinel programming by Charles Xavier and Magneto. For a while, she even joined the X-Men.

Tiebold, Jürgen
All Prime Sentinel appearances: X-Men Annual 2000

Status: destroyed

Notes:
- Jürgen Tiebold was a club kid from Berlin.
- He was turned into one of many sleeper Prime Sentinels during a vacation to Belize. Jürgen and three others eventually received an email from “Bastion,” actually sent by Stryfe, that triggered their transformation, and they were given the task to hunt down Lady Deathstrike.
- Severely damaged while fighting the X-Men, Tiebold went into self-destruct mode, hoping to kill some of his opponents.