I, Ghostseeker, had expected this to go a lot worse than it did. Shaun did a pretty damn good job at avoiding a fight though. I give him snaps! While this is not a log full of action packed whirl-wind adventure, I feel like this is an example of a side of the fight we rarely see, the emotions behind why people do what they do, behind why they fight. Overall, a nice scene with some tense emotions, and a bit of internal dialogue. Imprint spam has been edited out, and it has been slightly formatted for easier reading. Otherwise, it is as the scene was.
Posted with permission from Shaun.
You have received an e-mail recently in regards to convincing an old Templar by the name of Stephen Kraft to return to the fight. This has not been the first time people have asked him to return, but he always says he is burnt out, and refuses to come out of retirement. He was in the past one of the best combatants who used to live in this town. After the sun has set, it is cool but not freezing, and your contact awaits your response.
Shaun silently walks down the street, and stops at one of the houses, and texts on his phone,
Understood, I am at Stephens last known residence he looks at the house, and takes a deep breath.
Shaun thinks; 'Hopefully I can convince him.'
Shaun steps up to the door, and knocks on his door, three times, "Stephen Kraft, I'm Shaun Tyler of Temple steel, can we talk?" From the house to the left, some old rock music comes playing, as well as a male's voice singing along with it. You can tell he could use some singing lessons, but he seems to be enjoying himself. As you knock on the door, the singing, and then the music itself (Old Time Rock and Roll) stops playing. You hear some shuffling from inside, and a man opens the door, looking like he hasn't shaved in a few days, and like he could likely use a hair cut. "This is Kraft. What do you want?" he asks gruffly, looking the man up and down. The smell of alcohol wafts off of him, as well.
Shaun folds his hands in front of him, "Hello, I am Shaun Tyler, I work with Temple Steel." he puts emphasis on Temple, "May I come in? I would like to talk to you about a possible employment."
If you look over the man, with your perceptive skills, you may notice a bulge in his left pocket. It may look suspiciously like a pistol.
The gruff looking man snorts, looking at the man in jeans and sneakers, eyeing him, his bandaged arm and his gym bag. He looks about to say something, likely snarky, but then opens the door further, to allow the man in. "Very well" the man grumbles, moving aside.
Shaun smiles, and does look at the mans pocket, but he doesn't seem overly concerned, on the surface, he quietly moves into the house with the man, following along quietly, as well as shutting the door behind him.
Shaun thinks; 'He still has a weapon, and appears drunk, I must proceed with caution. '
Shaun thinks; 'If he gets voilent, do not kill.'
The first thing you'll notice about the house is that is smells strongly of beer and that there are beer cans littering the floors. Kraft takes a seat on the Lazyboy and peers at Shaun as he opens another beer. "So, what did Temple send you for this time, this... 'employment' thing." The man sneers towards you, watching you like a cat might watch a bird.
"The Temple has asked me if I could see if you wanted to rejoin our ranks. I am currently the Haven Strike force leader, and I've heard some impressive things about you. We could use you Mister Kraft." Shaun says informatively, though his glance occasionally looks over the beer cans.
"Temple just don't listen, do they" Stephen grumbles grumpily taking a long slurp from his beer can, indeed slurping it. "They just don't give up, you are not the first they sent to try to get me to rejoin. I already told them" As he walks his voice starts to rise in volume, "That I am retired and I just am not coming out." The man pokes a finger in your direction as he says, "I am retired and retired means just that. Retired. I'm burnt out man." the gruff, drunk man gripes at you.
Shaun calmly puts a hand on the man, attempting get his hands off him, "I'm aware of what Retired means, and I understand that this life can burn people out, but the Temple knows you still have it in you, we would very much like to have you back in our ranks." he says calmly.
Stat Report:Shaun he is as strong as a professional athlete.(2) Stat Report:Shaun he has only rudimentary unarmed grappling skills.
Stephen brushes your hand off of him and grumbles, "What use does the Temple have for a burnt out ol' vet such as myself, what with all you youngins running about?" While definitely an older man (he looks to be what your father might be aged, if he is/was in his early 20s when you were born), and while definitely a drunk, the man seems to still have considerable strength left to him, though not any more than a normal human can manage. "No, I won't go back. Not after that last battle... I failed them, son. Just don't have it anymore."
"Failed them?" Shaun asks, with a slight disapointment in his voice as he watches his hand get brushed off, "The Temple doesn't think you've failed us, else they wouldn't send people like us to try to get you out of retirement." he counters.
"Look Stephen, let's just sit and talk." Shaun suggests.
Stephen is silent for the longest of times, the clock on the wall filling said silence with a tick tock tick tock tick tock noise. "If I had taken that shot right before she changed, those men would be alive still today likely. I had my rifle sights on her, but I ignored my training. I did not expect what was to happen next." the man rambles at you drunkenly, still seeming to protest the mere idea of returning. "My reflexes aren't like they used to be, son. I was too slow, men counted on me and, they are dead because of it." Even through bleary eyes, you can tell that this man holds a lot of the guilt to himself. "I never was a leader boy, and I'm slow. What use even would I be to the fight against those damned monsters?"
"I totally understand, I've been in a similar situation." Shaun says in an attempt to relate, "But you cannot blame yourself for following your instincts, we've all been in situations like that. Last week before I was promoted, I was slow to respond to a code black, and people got hurt, someone even almost died." he laments, "You cannot blame yourself Stephen, if you do, the monsters win. There is strength in numbers, slow or not, you are useful."
Shaun thinks; 'Is this going to be me in twenty years?'
"So useful in fact that the Temple sent a Branch commander to talk to you." Shaun adds.
"Back in the thick" Stephen grumbles, drunkenly, "in Nam, I was one of the best snipers. That slowness could not be tolerated." the man mumbles before breathing out with frustration. "You won't take no for an answer will you? You're more stubborn than the others." he says, almost in an accusatory tone, finishing off his beer. "What do you got in mind if I agree to return" the man says after another moment, peering at the younger guy, still watching him like a cat does a bird.
"I was going to see if you could serve as a tactician, and a battle advisor mainly, and maybe assist in combat ops." Shaun answers, looking right back at Stephen, his eye's, his emotions clearly concealed.
Stephen studies the other guy closely, "Perhaps smarter than the others who came too." the man concedes after a few moments, "Must be getting desperate if you're looking at the retired folks. I haven't been involved in any of the creepy supernatural stuff since between that ol' gate got closed and then it reopened. I gave up hope kid." The drunk man goes silent for a few moments before he says, "But, I just might be convinced. why myself though and not McKerney? That man had a track record longer than I could have ever hoped for me."
"Mckerney, lacks the skills required if I remember correctly. If I learned the basics in a couple months, and our current commander is an occult specialist, he can help you learn if you need a refresher" Shaun replies easily, "This fight is not hopeless, by my understanding we are doing very well, and we will need the best of the best if we wan't to try and close the gate for good." he concludes with:"If I, a man who knew nothing, and couldn't fight could rise to leadership, in two months no less, you can be very useful, in half that time."
Shaun says, with a slight, masculine, midwest accent, 'More useful to us than you already are that is.'
Shaun thinks; 'It's sort of like looking in a time mirror...'
Shaun thinks; 'Will I be a drunk arguing with myself when I am his age? With Desari gone? Probably... Sigh.'
Silence follows your words for a bit, Stephen watching you for a few moments. His eyes then go to the pictures hanging on the walls, looking at them with bleary eyes. "You're right. I still have fight in me yet, if I give up now, I'll have failed them." the man motions to the paintings. "Fang kidnapped my wife and daughter, killed my wife, draining her dry, and forced my daughter into some sort of blood prostitution thing. She died years ago due to some sort of nasty infections the fangs gave her."
"I'm sorry for your loss." Shaun says sincerely, "But that's all the more reason to rejoin the fight, you can get revenge on the fangs that did this. I will gladly help you."
"They're all ash by now, boy. Fucking ash, I made sure of it myself. It's not enough..." Stephen replies to Shaun, agitation creeping in his voice for a few moments. "You're right kid. I'll return. Make sure no more of these fuckers do this anymore."
Shaun nods,"Understood, and thank you. You've made the world a safer place." he reaches into his jacket, and pulls out a small paper, and a pen, "You just need to sign here at the bottom to make it official."
Shaun also takes his watch out, and slips it on, "Why was this off.." her mutters, still holding the paper and pen in the other hand.
Shaun wears a red faced wrist watch.
After his own words, Stephen rises and reaches over to pat you on the shoulder. Being drunk still, his hand is heavier than a sober one might be, the motion the same though. "Tell them I'll be by the base in the morning, after I sleep this beer off." the man says, still sounding rather gruff. As he's offered the paper, and pen he looks over it, signing the paper, doing surprisingly well for a drunk man. After returning the paper to you, he'll then show you to the door, and for the first time in the entire conversation, he gives you a bit of smile.
As you wear your watch, and if you look to the other man, you'll notice that he's got no red aura, indicating he's protected by the Understanding still.
Shaun smiles back at Stephen, "Understood, and you sleep well mister Kraft." tucking the paper into his jacket, now standing in the doorway, "And I will inform the commander."
You have convinced Kraft to return to the fight, and he's signed back on, good job! True to the man's word, which is what he's likely known by, he'll show in the morning. Thank you for playing in my first encounter as well!