Which is no longer Sleeping Beauty.
Once upon a time, in the great city of Cascade, there lived a Captain of Major Crimes, Simon Banks, and his best detective, Jack Pendergrast. They longed desperately for a Sentinel, so much that their emotions cannot be expressed, for Cascade was the most dangerous city in America, and they needed a Sentinel's assistance urgently.
At last, a Sentinel transferred into their department. There was a very fine celebration involving a terrific crime wave which the new Sentinel easily put down, and he acquired a wonderful new trait from each nutty criminal he arrested, as was the custom for those days. By this means the Sentinel had all the perfections imaginable.
From David Lash the Sentinel acquired a taste for strange and unseemly dress; from Dan Freeman he acquired the habit of slamming people into walls; from Veronica Sarris he learned the joys of dropping his gun; from Laura a lifelong love of lady criminals, and there were many other wonderful gifts as well, such as the ability to clench his jaws without breaking any teeth, and shooting deadly lasers from his icy blue eyes. All the cops, or at least those who were his friends, were much delighted.
Alas, the Sentinel's father was much displeased, having wanted him to become a businessman like himself, and take over the company when he retired. Thus William Ellison came, and declared that the Sentinel would develop the abnormal desire to become perfect-ly normal (impossible though the task might seem), and repress his abilities to such an extent that he would lose all control of them and zone himself to death. This terrible gift made the whole company tremble, and everybody fell a-crying.
At this very instant a visiting Neo-Hippie Witch, Naomi Sandburg came out from behind the hangings, and spoke these words aloud:
"Assure yourselves, Captain Banks and Detective Pendergrast, that your Sentinel shall not die of this disaster. It is true, I have no power to undo entirely what William has done. The Sentinel shall indeed zone uncontrollably; but, instead of dying, he shall only fall into a profound zone, which shall last a hundred years, or until he tastes of that which he loves most, whichever comes first."
(Be brave! It isn't slash!)
Captain Banks, wishing to avert the misfortune, caused immediately proclamation to be made, whereby everybody was forbidden, on pain of being hollered at by him and made to drink his flavored coffees (indeed a fate worse than death), to suggest in any way that the Sentinel's abilities were anything out of the ordinary, or so much as even to mention their existence. Nevertheless, a few years later, while he was out investigating a troublesome case with a visiting Inspector from Australia, he chanced upon a tiny, tiny clue, and said, as was his wont:
"Do you see that?"
Naturally, Inspector Connor, who had heard nothing of the Captain's threats (since who could have told her without the Sentinel finding out about it?), responded:
The Sentinel then took a closer look, finally realizing the flyspeck of a clue was invisible to NORMAL eyes, and immediately zoned.
The horrified Inspector cried out for help, having no idea what to do. People came in from every department in the Cascade PD in great numbers; they threw water upon the Sentinel's face, ripped open his shirt, smacked his face and gave him smelling salts; but nothing would bring him out of the zone.
And now the Captain, who came up at the noise, bethought himself of William's curse, and, judging very well that this must necessarily come to pass, since it already had, caused the Sentinel to be carried into the hospital, and put on a drip (for though the Neo-Hippie Witch had made no mention of it, nobody who knew her failed to doubt that she had actually considered the problem of keeping the Sentinel alive for the necessary hundred years).
All thought then of Naomi's condition, that the Sentinel must taste of that which he most loved before he would awake, or zone a hundred years, whichever came first, and began to argue over what the Sentinel most loved. "Break-room coffee!" declared one. "Wonderburgers!" insisted another. "Kevlar vests!" cried a third, but since she was the one who had ripped open his shirt they paid her no heed.
Many were the chefs, doctors and alternative practitioners who came to attempt to rouse him. They brought all manner of mild and pleasant things, edible or otherwise, for him to taste, but all to no account. Finally, in exasperation, Captain Banks chased them out of the ward, and they adjourned to his office to consider other possible interpretations of Naomi's words, such as the "that" being a "whom." "Criminally-inclined redheads?" suggested the Captain of the Bomb Squad next door.
It was agreed that this was a very real possibility, but where could they find a criminally-inclined redhead who would be willing to attempt to wake the Sentinel? Nevertheless, the proclamation was made, and more criminally-inclined redheads turned up than might reasonably expected. They looked, however, at the icy blue stare (intimidating even if blank), strange dress, clenched jaw and other assorted attributes, and hastily excused themselves.
Finally, after a long while, came a strange little Neo-Hippie Witch-Doctor Punk, who took one look and was utterly delighted to have found a real Sentinel, zoned, not even noticing the alarming traits that had frightened off all the others (for he had several of his own), and declared:
"I know just the way to bring him out!"
But the others were doubtful of his ability in that respect, for he was hardly a criminally-inclined red-head, and declined to let him try. Undeterred, he stole a doctor's white coat and bounced in unhindered.
He came up to the bed cheerfully, and -
popped a peppercorn into the zoned Sentinel's mouth.
Everyone was horrified. Just as Captain Banks was drawing in his breath to holler the Neo-Hippie Flower Child out, the Sentinel sat up with an undignified screech:
"AAARRRGGGHHH!!! I'VE BEEN POISONED!!!"
and grabbed for the pitcher of water by his bed.
"But- but Naomi said-" sputtered the astonished Captain, at a loss for words.
"Piffle," said Blair Sandburg, for that was the Neo-Hippie Witch-Doctor Punk's name. "What does she know about Sentinels?"
And with that, Blair settled down happily to study the Sentinel to his heart's content, and they were moderately happy together (with the odd flare-up) to the end of their days.