Gender: Male

Kit: Normal

Location: Khazan City


Alignment: Hero

Team: The Angels of Mercy


Strength: standard (rank 1)

Agility: standard (rank 1)

Mind: superior (rank 2)

Body: superior (rank 2)

Spirit: (rank )

Charisma: (rank )


Fame Points: 75

Personal Wins: 0

Personal Losses: 1

Team Wins: 0

Team Losses: 0

Tourney Wins: 0

Tourney Losses: 0


Status: Active

Jason Redfield

The nine-year-old boy sat at the bottom of the stairs, listening to the voice of the police officer speaking to his father.

"...sorry for your loss," the officer finished.

Jason's father, Scott, said nothing. Although the boy could not see actually see his face, he knew exactly what it looked like, the image locked in the child’s mind. An absolutely stoic expression to anyone who didn't know the man: unblinking eyes, tightly-clenched mouth. But under that layer -- in the eyes, was a feeling of... despair. Loss.


In fact, Jason might have thought the feelings he was envisioning at that moment were his own.


The Redfields exited the cemetery. Rain was pouring down in torrents as they exited the wrought-iron gate. Jason's older brother kept his head hung low, eyes on the ground as he led the youngest, Ian, towards the car. His father walked stalked ahead, unfaltering. His back was ramrod straight, as were his feet. His head was locked directly forward in a thousand-yard stare as he marched, hands clenched into fists.

Jason approached his father as they exited. "Dad," he said, quietly.

The man turned to look at him, saying nothing.

"I still want you to teach me," Jason pressed.

"The answer is still no. Don't mention this again," Scott warned, before he turned and continued walking.

"You were a soldier. I know you can teach me. Or do you want what happened to Mom to happen again?" Jason spoke with authority beyond his years.

His statuesque father visibly flinched at the mention of his wife. His head rotated slowly to look at his son. Or rather, past him. At the grave that held his the woman he loved. His jaw was clenched as he stared at the site for what seemed like hours.

"If I do this... if you agree to this, Jason... this is serious," he spoke slowly, painfully.

The adolescent returned his father's unblinking gaze, steely gray eyes shimmering but determined. "I know."


The next seven years were a sharp departure from Jason's previous life. His father gave him his wish -- the wish to be trained. To be trained as a soldier -- a living, breathing, human weapon.

Scott rarely pulled any punches -- the physical portion of the training alone was rigorous, to say the least. A multi-mile hike with a heavy pack over rough terrain, sprints, obstacle courses, push-ups, pull-ups, crunches -- they served to condition the boy's body and mind, to prepare him for the real challenges of training and of life, as his father explained it.

But a strong body was useless without skills. Firearms handling and marksmanship under stress, hand-to-hand combat, wilderness survival, all of these subjects and more became common fare to the boy. But it wasn't all physical -- the mental component, his father explained, was equally crucial. Jason learned the value of intuition and the ability to think quickly on his feet. He studied military history and tactics intensively, from Alexander the Great to the Desert Storm.

He continued to attend school; his father would have it no other way. Despite being invested in his training, he continued to study and perform well in his classes. His social life suffered, on the other hand, deteriorated. Jason rarely enjoyed the good company of a childhood friend once the training started. While the other children played baseball or football, he shredded paper targets on the range. He grew detached even from his own two brothers. Part of him yearned to change that, to be normal.

But that part of him was lost in the noise… lost in the training. Somehow, he understood the importance of his undertaking, like a vague idea slowly -- over the course of many years -- taking root in his mind. The training called to him like a drug, like an addiction. His mother's death had to mean something. He would make sure of it, even if he didn't fully comprehend why he needed to.


The 17-year old entered his father's study without a word. The former soldier sitting at his desk turned to examine the paper his teenage son had just placed in front of him.

Scott said nothing as he stared at the United States Marine Corps recruitment papers.

Finally, he broke the silence. "No."

Jason frowned. This wasn't the answer he had been expecting. "Dad, I’m going to graduate school first. I’ll be able to ship out after--"

His father shook his head. "No, no, no."

"But, everything you taught me..." Jace started.

The man sprang from his chair, whirling around to face his son completely. "To protect yourself! To keep you from ending up like your mother, Jason! Not to go off on some crusade and get yourself killed!"

He planted his finger forcefully on the stack of forms. "I will not sign this." His voice was even. Determined.

Jason was silent as the two stared at one another for what seemed like forever.

"You're a coward," the boy said suddenly.


"You're selfish. You don't want to lose someone else the same way you lost Mom. You trained me these last few years and now that I know what I want do with my life, now that I can do some good in the world, you turn me down. All because of you."

That's when the real shouting began. It went on for several minutes, reaching every corner of the house. Finally, there was another uneasy silence. Several moments later, Jason left, signed papers in hand and a duffel bag over his shoulder.

Scott stood in the doorway of his study, watching his son walk out of the house. A single tear rolled down his face as Jason opened the front door, turning briefly to look over his shoulder. Then he walked out, slamming the door shut.


Redfield walked along the tree line in the secluded compound inside Fort Bragg, silently reflecting. The surrounding area of the base was relatively quiet, occasionally punctuated by staccato bursts of gunfire from the training site far in the distance. The past several years had brought many things into his life, both good and bad. The training his father had passed on to him had come in handy, and was supplemented by that of the Corps and the Army soon after. He had been with the military for well over a decade since leaving home.

At times in Iraq and Afghanistan, he felt like he truly was making a difference, like he had found his niche. But he could never shake the feeling that he was missing something, the enlightenment that would give purpose to his mother's death, the training, the challenges -- all of it. Instead, he felt as if even more challenges were thrown his way, more questions. For every good, fulfilling moment he experienced overseas, there were just as many filled with pain, suffering, and death.

He felt as if he was standing in an empty room, with writing on the wall behind him. He was staring into a mirror, reading the scrambled message backwards. He desperately wanted to believe that his time in the military had allowed him to decipher that message... but the hardest person to fool is yourself.

"Sergeant?" a voice called out from behind him.

Jason, in uniform, turned to face the Colonel that stood in the clearing several yards away. He immediately switched his stance, coming to attention and saluting the officer.

"At ease," the Colonel said.

Jason relaxed slightly, lowering his hand.

"You have a visitor in my office," the officer spoke with barely-veiled hesitance.

Vaguely intrigued, Jace followed the man wordlessly to the office, where opened the door to show Jason in. Upon entering, he spotted a man sitting in a simple wooden chair at the far corner of the room. He was probably in his 40s, dressed in a nondescript suit, with receding brown hair and a set of business-like glasses.

Redfield entered, the Colonel shutting the door behind him before leaving.

"Please sit down," the man spoke up, indicating a chair in front of the center of the room.

Bordering on perplexed, Jason did as he was told.

The man nodded with satisfaction, opening a manila folder. He began reading without looking up at the Soldier.

"Sergeant First Class Jason Lucas Redfield. Born in Atlanta, Georgia. Graduated as the valedictorian of your high school class and enlisted shortly thereafter with the United States Marine Corps at the age of seventeen. Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. This all correct?"

Jason nodded. "It is, sir."

"In that case..." the man closed the folder, leaning forward to shake Jason's hand. “My name is Alexander Gates. In case you haven't guessed, I'm a representative of the Central Intelligence Agency."

Redfield shook the man's hand and nodded again. "Can I help you in some way, Mr. Gates?"

The Officer smiled. "I think so, Sergeant. This is no social call -- I'm here to see if you would be interested in a job offer. I read your file. Senior NCO in the Marines and the Army. Several years of service in the Marine unit and reconnaissance battalion, not to mention your work with Force Recon and the Maritime Special Purpose Force. You were recruited into Delta at a remarkably young age. Scout Sniper certification. You graduated at the top of your class in Ranger School, as well as at least a half-dozen other specialty courses. Multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well. You’re proficient in at least four different languages. Your list of commendations, badges, and qualifications is simply extraordinary."

He once again opened the folder, eying a line of text. He spoke without lifting his eyes from the page.

“And I see you earned the Silver Star with that business during Operation Phantom Fury,” Alexander added.

Jason’s mind left the room, traveling backwards several years. Images flashed before his eyes. Charred corpses left in the wake of a suicide bombing. Children kneeling and crying beside the eviscerated bodies of their parents. Redfield’s comrades bloody and screaming. Bullets slamming into the wall on either side of him as his men looked to him for orders. He wanted to tell them how helpless he felt, how lost. But he couldn’t shirk the duty -- not now, not ever. He would keep going until he was a ravaged corpse on the ground or the job was done. Or until the war and the responsibility that came with it crushed him under its heel.

“Sergeant?” Alexander’s voice cut through his trance.

“I’m sorry, what was that?” the Soldier responded quickly, snapping back to the present.

The man from the CIA regarded him, not frowning at the loss in attention. Rather, he simply kept a cool, calculating gaze on Jace for several moments before continuing as if it had never happened. “I asked if I was correct in assuming that was the incident which earned you the title ‘Hero of Fallujah’.”

"Yes, sir," Jason replied quietly.

"In any case, you are definitely SOG material," Gates said with measured enthusiasm, shutting the folder. “The Special Activities Division will be glad to have you.”

Redfield said nothing, raising an eyebrow. He was somewhat surprised, although he should have seen this coming long ago.

"Now, we can discuss the specifics later. But if I've piqued your interest..."

The man fished a piece of paper from his briefcase, handing it to Jace. Two lines of text caught the former Marine's eye instantly:



“I think this could be the beginning of a very beneficial partnership, Sergeant.”


Jason entered his apartment, tossing the duffel bag onto the couch and absentmindedly flipping on the TV. This was his "detox" time after a mission, a time to reflect. It was a ritual for him, one that probably kept him sane over the last several years.

Except this night was different. The screams still rang in his mind, no matter how he tried to distract himself. The eyes of the innocents as the bullets and shrapnel tore into them. The argument with Gates over his orders... what they wanted him and his men to do in that village. All of it still hung freshly in his mind -- taunting him, torturing him.

He stood there, gripping the counter until his knuckles turned white, staring at the far wall of the kitchen. In that moment, he became aware of the voice of the news anchor on TV.

"...Yet another miraculous rescue today in Khazan City. The Sentinels of Liberty and Justice have once again intervened when a group of armed men..."

At that moment, a seed was planted in Jason's mind. Or maybe it had been there all along, waiting to be nourished. Regardless, in that moment, it flourished. Was it possible that all along he'd been reading the writing on the wall in the wrong way? Was he simply looking in all the wrong places?

He fished his dog tags out from his shirt, examining them for several minutes. These two, small metal tabs had come to represent him for his entire adult life. They were his identity. His soul.

With a yell, he hurled the tags across the room at the opposite wall, sending them to the ground with a rattle.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

It always had been one of his mother's favorite quotes... and now it rang true through his mind, bringing with it a sense of clarity he had never felt before. Suddenly, the writing was deciphered. Jason knew that his destiny wasn't to be a Marine, a Soldier, an Operator, or a spy. Though he would never call himself such, fate had decreed that he take the role of a hero.

No, not a hero... not even a vigilante. A vanguard. A vanguard against injustice, against transgression... A vanguard against evil.


Jason's mother caressed him, her hand moving gently across his face. When she spoke, her voice was soft but ultimately reassuring. "You're a good person, Jace. I know you’ll be an incredible man one day. I'm so proud of you... don't ever change..."

"I won't, Mom."


The door to the office of Alexander Gates swung open with a crash. Redfield entered, anger having filled his metallic gray eyes as he approached his superior's desk.

"Damn it, Gates! What the hell was that?!” Jason exclaimed to the man sitting in front of him, calm and collected, a patient expression on his face.

The older man examined Redfield in that same cool, calculating manner he always did. He leaned back in his leather chair, removing the black-framed glasses from his face and setting them on the desk. “What are you talking about, Jason?”

“You know damn well what I’m talking about. Do you have any idea how many people I just watched die?” Redfield’s tone was sharp, his steely gray eyes shimmering.

"They knew the risks," the Officer spoke evenly.

"I'm not talking about the troops. I'm talking about the dozens of people that you just made us accomplices in massacring. What about them?"

"Indeed, what about them? We had to send a message to the rebels, so we did. Besides, it's not like you actually pulled the trigger on any of them, Jason."

Redfield clenched his teeth. "You're right. I just loaded the gun and pointed it in the right direction."

"It's all for the greater good. You know that better than anyone, Jason," Gates replied with growing exasperation.

"Is it?” Jace paused, shaking his head as he glanced down at the floor. “When you recruited me, I thought you'd actually give me what I was looking for. I wanted to make a difference, to do some real good in the world. And if you actually knew me as well as you think you do, you know that I don't compromise what I believe in for the 'greater good'.”

"Jason..." Gates drew the name out slowly with that reasonable tone of his, hands open to either side placatingly.

The former Marine shook his head, cutting Gates off. "No. As far as I'm concerned, you're worse than those rebels. At least they don't try to justify their murders by hiding behind self-righteousness." With that, Jason turned on his heel, moving toward the exit.

"You walk out that door, Redfield, you'd do well not to bother coming back," Alexander leaned forward in his chair, unblinking. He spoke slowly, with a threatening undertone underlining every syllable. "If you leave, I’ll send out the burn notice. You’ll be crucified, ruined, your career made into a cautionary tale for the next batch of trainees. You think your circumstances are bad now? Try playing the hero when every member of every bureaucracy will go so far out of their way to avoid you, you might as well be radioactive.”

“Besides,” Gates said calmly, leaning back in the chair once again, “you resigning won't bring back those people, Jason. You know what we did out there today was the logical thing. I have faith that soon, you’ll come to terms with that as well as the fact that sacrifices must be made."

Jason had paused at the doorway. Now he turned to look over his shoulder. "Maybe you're right. Maybe it was the logical choice..."

Alexander nodded with satisfaction, no doubt pleased that an asset might just be preserved.

Redfield’s eyes narrowed. "But it sure as hell wasn't the right one. I'll see you in hell, Gates."

With that, he left the office -- and a way of life -- forever.


Jason took one last look at his apartment before shutting and locking its door for the last time. The sound of tumblers falling into place represented more than leaving home, they represented the closing of a chapter in his life. Today he left for Khazan and the new life it promised to bring. The life that would hopefully allow him some measure of atonement and redemption for his actions. He would never be able to truly forgive himself for what he had been a part of as Gates' lackey. His hands would never be clean.

But that wouldn't keep him from scrubbing hard in the meantime.

There was no doubting that what awaited him in Khazan would be a new experience, even for him. It was probably a safe bet that fighting super-villains required a different approach than fighting insurgents. But he had to put his training to use somehow. Working for the government had gotten him here in the first place. What other options were there? A safe, cushy job behind a desk never had and never would be something he could get used to. Besides, now that he was officially “burned”, no scrupulous employer would touch him. He could join a private military company like so many others, but he had seen the way some operated... he wasn't out to bring more evil into the world. There was already enough as it was.

No... he would become the Vanguard. That was his duty and his calling now. After being exposed to so much darkness in his time and having been the cause of some of it himself, he would finally be able to shed some light for once. For the first time in weeks, Jason felt something truly amazing.




     Piercing Weapon: superior (rank 2)

  • Ranged Attack
  • Multi-Attack


Jason was no stranger to guns, even before his mother’s death. Ever since he was four years old, his parents had made a point to take him and his brother to the range often. Ian had been too young at the time and Robert didn't care much either way. Jason, on the other hand, always had a knack for weapons.

He always remembered his father handing him the small, .22 caliber rifle for the first time, helping him hold the stock properly against his shoulder. The feel of the walnut stock in his hands and his father's gentle touch, his mother watching from a few feet away with a smile on her face had always been one of his fondest memories.


"This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than the enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit."

"My rifle is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other."

"Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life."

"So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!"

Jason and his fellow Marine recruits chanted the cadence in unison, M16A2 rifles held firmly in their hands. Unlike some of the others, Redfield took the Rifleman's Creed to heart.

"Recruits, field-strip your rifles!" the drill instructor called out. Redfield and the others complied immediately. He dropped to the ground, disassembling the weapon with practiced efficiency. He finished well before any of the other recruits, going to attention without a word. The instructor in front of him approached. "What's your name, son?"

"Redfield, sir!"

"On my mark, you will reassemble that weapon. Understand?" the man said, an eyebrow raised as he fished a stopwatch from his breast pocket.

"Sir, yes, sir!"

"Go," the drill sergeant said, clicking the stopwatch.

Once again, Jason went to work like a machine, placing each component back into its place within seconds. Having laid the rifle flat, he once again backed away and went to attention. The instructor stopped the timer, examined the rifle briefly and raised his eyebrows with the slightest of approving nods.


"I know it's not much, but I did the best I could with what I could get my hands," Daniel's tone was apologetic.

Daniel Henderson was in the business of aiding those that he saw as heroes. Jason Redfield was one such person. Daniel, in addition to being connected to the Angels of Mercy, worked for a variety of defense contractors and private security firms. This allowed him access to much of the equipment Vanguard needed. It had been an uneasy partnership given Jason's caution and apprehensiveness, but it was ultimately beneficial.

Redfield shook his head. "I can work with this. Thanks."

With interest, Jason examined the crates in front of him. They were practically filled to the brim with various firearms, ammunition, knives and tactical equipment. One was dedicated to handguns, all of which seemed to be in good condition. All were accompanied by multiple boxes of jacketed hollow-point ammunition.

Redfield paused, removing a modified, select-fire AR-15 from its case. It was fitted a mix of tan and black-colored components. Various accessories were mounted on the weapon: an adjustable stock, flip-up iron sights, holographic sight, a foregrip that doubled as a bipod, an LED tactical light and laser sight, and, finally, a flash-suppressing muzzle brake. Multiple 30-round polymer magazines, several of which were clipped together, accompanied it. A smile on his face, he placed the weapon back inside its container.

"Oh yeah, I can definitely work with this..."



     Marksman: superior (rank 2)


"How far's the target?" Jason asked, sliding in behind the telescopic sight of the Remington 700.

"You don't need me to tell you that," his father replied. He was standing several feet away, arms crossed.

The fifteen-year old boy frowned, examining the distant paper target through the scope. He knew the range well as well as the distances of various landmarks. After a moment, he spoke out, his voice raising an octave in surprise. "That's over a thousand yards!"

"One thousand and twelve," Scott replied calmly. "You can do this, Jason. Remember what I taught you."

Jace nodded, taking a deep breath. He sighted in on the paper, and went silent for an entire minute. The only noise on the range was that of the harsh wind whipping past, another factor to complicate the already-difficult shot.

Wind, bullet drop, drift, elevation... all of these factors and more raced through Jason's mind as he slowed his breathing. He began to apply pressure to the trigger, going for an even pull...

The rifle spat out the .308 caliber round with a thunderous crack, the muzzle blast sending dirt spraying to either side. The bullet traveled for roughly two seconds before reaching its destination.

Jason's father was already looking down the spotting scope in front of him. Slowly, he rotated his head to look at his son. A smile appeared on his face, followed by a nod.

The teenager grinned, working the bolt to eject the spent cartridge.

"Nice shot. Now let me see you do it again."


The words of his father filled his mind as Jason took aim, looking down the sights of the M16A2.

"Squeeze the trigger, don't pull. Remember: speed is fine, accuracy is final..."

He squeezed the trigger, the rifle kicking lightly in his hands as it sent the bullet downrange.

Marine marksmanship qualification. Unlike a few of the other recruits, Redfield was not nervous. The lessons of his father and of his instructors had honed his skills well.

Several minutes later, Jason and his drill sergeant stood next to Redifeld’s bullet-riddled target. The latter counted the holes, tallying up Jace's score on a clipboard.

"I'll be damned, Private. We may just make a killer out of you yet," the instructor spoke with a sincerely impressed tone as he tallied up Redfield's score. "Looks like you qualified as an Expert. 350 points -- perfect score."


The woman's screams echoed loudly throughout the warehouse as the masked man grabbed her by the throat.

"Sorry, looks like your luck's run out, darlin'. Your husband ain't paying up. And you're a liability," the man said before pulling a pistol from his waistband.

His comrades surrounded him, weapons in hand, as they looked on blankly. The leader placed the barrel to the victim's forehead, his trigger finger tightening.

He didn't get any further before a hole appeared in the side of his head, blowing blood, skull fragments, and brain matter out the other side. Instantly the body went limp, falling to the ground in a heap.

His comrades panicked, aiming and firing their weapons wildly only to be cut down by relentlessly accurate and deadly gunfire from the darkness. The warehouse became a symphony of echoing gunshots and a light show of muzzle flashes filling the night.

The last of the kidnappers scrambled behind the chair the hostage was tied to, holding a shaky gun to her forehead as he huddled behind her. His wide eyes scanned the shadows for any sign of the attacker to no avail. "I'll kill her! Come out into the light or I swear to God I''ll--"

He was cut off as another thunder-like crack rang out, his body going limp and dropping to the concrete with a thud.

The entire firefight had ended in less than sixteen seconds. Had the woman not been blindfolded, she would have seen a man -- clad in ballistic protection and tactical gear -- emerge from the darkness, smoking rifle in hand.


Rapid Dominance

     Reaction Speed: standard (rank 1)


"Far left!"

"Near right!"

"Far right!"

"Near center!"

With each command that Scott yelled, his son would respond with a double-tap to the human-shaped target in the distance.

"Near left!"

Jason's aim snapped to the designated target with the speed of a snake strike, two bullets in the target in less than a second and a half. The boy dropped the magazine out of the pistol, fetched another from his belt, jammed it into the weapon, and chambered a round just as quickly.


"Hey, I got money riding on this one, Red," one of Jason's squad mates called out from amongst the crowd. "Don't let me down now."

It was an impromptu between Redfield's squad and their "rivals". Each unit picked their quickest shooter for a head-to-head competition.

"Alright," the sergeant announced. "The two of you will step up to the firing line, in front of the rifle. On my go, you'll grab the rifle, load, and fire all of the rounds into your target. Semi-auto only. When you go dry, load in another mag. Whoever gets their second mag in and a round chambered the quickest gets bragging rights," the NCO finished with a smirk. "May the best Marine win."

The Marines cheered, pushing Jason and his opponent toward the firing line. Redfield approached his designated M16, two loaded magazines sitting beside it.

"Shooters ready! 3, 2, 1, go!"

Redfield snatched the weapon from the table with his left hand, his right bringing the magazine towards the mag well at the same time. The magazine found its mark, and he chambered a round. He sighted in on his target quickly, his trigger-finger going to work. To a casual observer, it sounded like full-auto, rather than semi-automatic fire.

Jason counted the last round and went to reload. His left hand was already guiding the second magazine toward the weapon before the first even fell free of the rifle.

After chambering a round. Jace called out, "Done!"

His squad mates let out a furious howl of applause as he set the rifle down. Turning to look at his obviously disappointed competitor, Jason saw that the competition had been a close thing. His adversary was fast, but not fast enough.


"It's alright, I'm here to help," Jason said quietly as he approached the bound woman, reaching to untie her from the chair.

The blindfold fell away, and she looked upon her masked rescuer. Speechless, she looked over his shoulder, spotting another armed thug emerging from a side room. Before she could even think to warn the hero, he pivoted on his foot, drawing the Glock and firing two shots in the space of a less than a second. The criminal fell over with a nary a yell of pain.

Satisfied, Redfield nodded to himself before holstering the weapon. He could hear sirens in the distance -- his work here was done.


Shaping The Battlefield

     Tactician: standard (rank 1)


Scott crept through the woods, careful not to crunch leaves under his boot. He held the weapon tightly in his hands, hunting for his target before it found him. The experience was uncomfortably similar to his time in Vietnam. But the gun in his hand was no M16, and he wasn't hunting the Vietcong. Instead, he clutched a BB gun, and the target was his teenage son. The two had embarked on an unorthodox camping trip and training exercise.

Each would begin at different points in the thick, hundred-acre forest that bordered the property. Then, they would track one another, with whoever scored the "kill shot" on the other first emerging victorious.

The "exercise" had been going on for over twelve hours. Scott hadn't found a single trace of Jason until just recently. A set of tracks in the mud, likely made by his son's boots, had given him the clue he needed. Following them for several minutes, they led him to an incline in the distance. Hiding amongst the trees, Scott removed a pair of binoculars and examined the top of the incline.

He saw a vaguely human form, clutching what looked to be a BB rifle, lying atop the hill. It was a good position, with plenty of visibility of the surrounding area. Nonetheless, it was a somewhat sloppy move. Scott took the long way around, through the thick cluster of trees surrounding the hill so as to climb up and approach from the rear. The path was all but hidden from view and would give him an easy route to ambush Jason. Fifteen minutes later, having ascended to the top of the hill, Scott crept forward, toward the form of Jason lying prone on the ground. He could see the telltale jacket and boots, the ones his son always wore.

He brought the BB gun up, aiming, trying to minimize the sound of BBs rattling inside the gun. The lever had already been cocked. Scott pulled the trigger, a crack resounding as the BB struck his target. There was no movement, no yell of pain.

In an even voice, he announced, "Bang. You're--"

He felt the sharp pain of the pellet striking him in the side and heard the pop of another B.B. gun going off from thirty yards to his right. A lone tree stood. Squinting, he saw Jason leap out of the thick branches, pellet rifle in hand. He only wore cargo pants, a T-shirt, and socks. A smile was on his face as he opened his mouth to speak.



Redfield's mind worked rapidly as he scoped out the situation. The mocked-up town and surrounding tree line was filled with the sounds of blanks being fired and soldiers shouting.

He was at Ranger School, one of the most rigorous and respected combat leadership courses in the entire U.S. military, if not the world. Aware that the instructors were watching his every move, evaluating him, he made a decision.

"Barnes! Take your fireteam; take position in the house to the left and hit their flank with suppressing fire. Adams, your guys are on point. Draw their fire but stay in cover. Everyone else, stay on my ass! We're hitting their right and pushing for the target building! Let’s move!”

The team moved, executing their assigned actions to a tee. The OPFOR had been heavily entrenched, but they were slowly whittled down, overwhelmed by the three-pronged assault.

Within minutes, Jason's unit had taken the simulated town, with no casualties throughout the entire platoon. The Marine spared a look at one of his instructors, who looked up from his clipboard and gave him a nod.

Mission accomplished.


Vanguard looked over the situation from his vantage point atop the roof. Khazan City police officers were pinned down by the masked gunmen following a botched heist. The cops were outgunned, forced to take cover behind their cruisers and fire only for short periods before the incoming bullets sent them back into hiding.

Jason picked up the fallen police radio, raising it to his mouth. “This is Vanguard. I need you officers to do exactly as I say. I'll get you out of this in one piece. In..." Redfield paused, "fifteen seconds, I need you to empty your magazines in their direction. Suppress those gunmen. I'll take care of the rest."

After a pause, the radio crackled to life. "Who is thi--" Jason dropped the device, moving into position. The dumbfounded officers did as they were told, albeit at twenty seconds.

Good enough.

The gunmen ducked behind their cover as the intense wall of fire came their way. They never even noticed the figure moving up behind them. As the criminals went to return fire, a voice spoke up from behind them. "Hey!"

The first was pistol-whipped in the head and acting as a human shield before he ever managed to turn around. His comrades went to fire at the vigilante, only to be cut down by 9mm rounds.

The officers heard the sudden burst of gunfire, followed by silence. By the time they moved in with backup, only bullet-ridden corpses and an unconscious gunman remained, shell casings littering the ground.


Pain is Temporary

     Iron Will: standard (rank 1)


"Keep moving, Jace. Faster. Faster," his father's insistent voice rang in his ears from what seemed like mere inches away. The man never seemed to get breathless, even during the hike they were on right now. Jason had been moving at a constant jog for two miles, a forty-pound pack strapped to him. He was near the end of his hike-- the hilltop "finish line" was in sight. The terrain was steep, to say the least. His chest burned, his legs ached, and his breathing was rapid.

"C'mon, you can do this! Get moving!" Scott yelled, and Jason complied, a second wind giving him a burst of speed. As he rushed ahead, his foot suddenly dropped, caught in a pothole hidden amongst a pile of leaves. He fell flat on the ground, his sprained ankle flaring up and throbbing with pain. He sat up carefully, examining the foot with a grimace. His father approached, looking down at him.

"Are you okay?" he asked, concern filling his voice.

Jason nodded, with determination evident in his gray eyes. He stood, grunting with the effort. Turning away from his father, he began to hobble, slowly at first, but gradually picking up speed. His ankle throbbed in protest with every step, but he ignored it. All that mattered was the top of the hill.


The day was sheer hell for the recruits, and it was no different for Redfield. It was undoubtedly the most difficult day of Marine Corps training yet: he and his fellow Marines had jogged with full rucksacks for several kilometers over rough terrain with temperatures in excess of ninety degrees. They had been pepper-sprayed and forced to spar with one another as well as the instructors in hand-to-hand combat while the chemical burned at their eyes and throat, making something as simple as breathing an excruciating task. The fact that they were being pounded with training batons didn't help the matter.

But like the others, Jason endured. Just as he had in the years after his mother was killed. It was like his drill instructors said: "Pain is weakness leaving the body."

And as far as Redfield was concerned, weakness -- like pain -- was only temporary.


Jason took the punch, being sent cleanly off of his feet and to the pavement. He grunted with the impact, sure that his ribs were cracked at the very least. The superhumanly strong villain stood several feet away, cracking his knuckles. An arrogant smile was plastered on his face. As far as he was concerned, the fight was his. The smile was replaced by a look of incredulity as the vigilante stood, slowly, an arm resting on his torso. Finally, he drew his hand back, revealing a knife. He charged.

The villain swung, a haymaker that would have shattered Vanguard's skull. Redfield saw the punch coming, ducking under it to send all of his momentum into his opponent's body, stabbing with the knife once, twice, three times, more. Blood sprayed as the villain staggered backwards, clutching at the cluster of bleeding holes in his chest before falling to the ground.

Jason cleaned the blood from his blade, sheathing the weapon before turning to stagger away.



     Armor: standard (rank 1)


"So this is it?" Jason asked, examining the armor laid out in front of him. It looked like standard ballistic protection: a vest, helmet, shoulder pads, and more. Daniel had been ranting on about it for days: the miracles of carbon nanotube armor. Supposedly lighter and more flexible than Kevlar, but with four times the strength.

"Yep," Henderson replied simply. "Feast your eyes on Aegis."

Jason picked up the vest, getting a feel for it before strapping it on.

"It's so light," Redfield remarked, twisting and stretching.

"Yeah, it's only in the experimental stage right now, so protection isn't quite what we expect for the later versions. But we've got the lightness and flexibility down pat," Henderson spoke with pride.

"Speaking of which, what exactly can it stop?" Jason asked.

A wicked grin appeared on Daniel's face. "Why don't you see for yourself?"


For the fifteenth time, the pistol bucked in Jason's hands as he fired a round into the vest, which had been placed on a block of clay. Holstering the weapon, he and Daniel strolled over to examine the vest.

Removing the garment from its post, Daniel turned the vest over and laid it on the ground. Not a single round had penetrated. Looking at the clay, Redfield saw that the dents from the blunt force of the bullets were quite small. An idea formed in his mind as he turned the vest back over, drawing a knife from his belt and stabbing downward into the armor. Once again, the same result. The tip simply stopped upon meeting the fibers.

Jason nodded with satisfaction. "Not bad. Not bad at all."


One Mind, Any Weapon

     Martial Arts: standard (rank 1)


Jason pivoted at the hip, driving off his back foot to put more force into the fist that he sent slamming into the punching bag. The bag shook, swaying back and forth. He followed up with several more punches, mixing in several elbow strikes in a barrage of blows.

"Remember, it's not all about punching. Especially when your target's fighting back," Scott admonished him, indicating his raised fists. "You have to be ready to grapple and go to the ground. Use anything that will give you the advantage. Don't be afraid to strike him in the groin, the throat, or the eyes. When your life is on the line, there's no such thing as rules, honor, or a 'fair fight'..."


"Okay, Redfield, you're up," the Marine Corps martial arts instructor nodded to Jason.

As Jason stepped onto the mat, another instructor, a black belt around his waist, approached. Jason knew that in his civilian life, his opponent was a professional kickboxer -- a fact that became painfully obvious for most of his Marine sparring partners. Both were wearing protective gear -- it was to be a full-contact match.

Jace walked forward, fists raised. His adversary approached, sending out several punches that Redfield identified as feints, easily batting them away. Then, without warning, he rushed Jason, sending out a barrage of full-power strikes. The recruit took a nasty hit to the face, his head snapping back before he put his guard up, successfully warding off the remainder of the blows.

His opponent, evidently hoping to catch him off-guard, initiated a round kick, pivoting and sending his foot at the side of Jason's head with almost blinding speed. Redfield reacted on instinct, catching the foot under one arm and hoisting it upwards, putting his adversary off-balance. With his other hand, he sent a vicious palm strike into the man's torso while simultaneously sweeping his remaining foot out from under him.

The instructor fell to the ground in a heap, the Marines on the sidelines letting out whooping calls of inspiration for the recruit. Jace dropped his weight on top of the man, going into a full mount. Before he could take further action, he saw his adversary pull something from his belt. The foam training knife flew towards his neck, and Redfield reacted once again -- grabbing the hand holding the blade at the wrist and wrenching it away. Taking hold of the arm in his own, he dropped backwards onto the ground, wrapping his legs around the man's bicep.

The instructor attempted to wrench out of the hold to no avail. The other trainees were nearly hysterical, hollering and jeering. Jason pulled on the arm, applying some leverage, not to mention a bit of pain.

"Tap or snap, sir!" he called out.

Finally, the man submitted, tapping Jace on the leg twice. The trainee stood, helping the instructor to his feet as the other Marines rushed forward to congratulate him.


The thief ran, sound of police sirens seeming to bear down on him. He still clutched the bloody knife in his hand as he sprinted down the sidewalk, ducking into an alleyway. The flashing lights and sound of a car motor announced the police cruiser rolling towards his hiding place. He huddled behind a Dumpster, praying, his fists tightening around the knife in his hand. A brilliant light illuminated the alleyway as the cruiser rolled slowly by.

Then, just as quickly as it had come, it was gone. Letting out the breath he'd been holding onto, he slowly crept out, back onto the sidewalk.

"Nice try," a voice rang out from the darkness behind him. He turned to see a man -- well over six feet tall with an athletic, muscular build -- dressed in tactical gear. A balaclava masked his face, and a pair of tinted goggles hid his eyes. He held a Glock, which was pointed squarely at the man's chest.

"Get the hell away from me!" the criminal yelled his voice cracking as he raised the knife in shaky hands.

Vanguard raised one hand, "Hey, relax. I need you to make a real smart play here. Put the knife down and turn yourself in. Trust me, it's preferable to the alternative."

"I didn't mean to stab the guy... I don't even have the money," the thief stuttered in protest.

"Whether you have the cash or not, you stabbed a man. He might not pull through. I'm not gonna let you walk away. Now put the blade down," Jason's voice was firm, despite being muffled by the balaclava.

The man, sweating profusely, shook his head several times, looking to the sky. Finally, he replied, "You put the gun down first."

Redfield shrugged. "All right. Here," the former Marine slowly and deliberately placed the Glock on the sidewalk, taking a step away from it.

That's when the criminal made his move -- he didn't surrender, he didn't dive for the gun, he didn't even make a run for it. Instead, he let out a bestial yell and charged Jason, knife in hand. He moved with the speed known only to the truly desperate. But Redfield moved quicker. Years of training in Marine Corps and Army martial arts, Krav Maga, and grappling had seen to that.

Vanguard caught the man's wrist, jerking it violently to one side. Bones fractured as the thief fell to his knees. Surprisingly, the mugger still had the presence of mind to reach for the Glock with his free hand. Jason, still holding the thief’s other hand, stepped forward thrust the tip of his knee into the man’s gut, forcing the air from his lungs. Before the man could even register the pain of the strike, an elbow landed squarely across the side of his cranium. His head recoiled brutally to one side, slamming against the asphalt as he was rendered unconscious.

The thief awoke to find the vigilante gone -- replaced by red and blue lights -- his hands and feet zip-tied together as the police moved in.