|Ernst 'Mule' Templeton|
|Prerequisite||Justin Teng||Orlenz' Moretti|
Ernst 'Mule' Templeton is a specialist contact.
Every unit needs its mule, someone to shoulder the big guns, the field suppliers, the LMGs, the rocket launchers and grenade launchers. At 68 Ernst Templeton more than fulfils this role on behalf of Shadow Strike. He’s a solid soldier. Wears big boots, good for kicking in doors. Shoots a mean sniper rifle. His fists are the size of watermelons -- perfect for busting ribs and snapping necks. Stands to reason that he packs a mean right cross, too. This one time, he actually knocked out a pack llama for refusing to carry his gear up some oxygen-starved mountain in Peru. He insisted they leave the obstinate son of bitch there, and carried the whole load by himself.
"Let the pumas have him," he told the squad, "I’m hungry, and we’ve got two clicks still to do."
They laughed the incident off as a family dispute. Didn’t stop laughing till they were at the top.
"Fuck it," Templeton thinks. They can laugh at the big man all they want. They’d be lost without him and they know it. He’s the ballast that holds their whole operation on course. The immovable object.
Doesn’t matter where you go in the merc trade, sit still long enough and bad habits are sure to form. When they do, they take hold, fast. Rip a crew apart piecemeal. Templeton is resolved never to let that happen to Shadow Strike. Especially not here in the vapid, crime-ridden streets of San Paro, where the worst traits of human existence- celebrity, greed, vanity- are flaunted as if they are virtues. It’s easy to fixate on how you look in this San Paro, the car you drive, the tunes you play. The media message plays havoc with the principles of discipline. The bottom line is this, though: enforcement is all about the group play. Doesn’t matter how cool you look when you go out there, do it without a team to back you up and you are fucked. Everyone needs back-up. Hell, the G-Kings figured that out a long time ago. Templeton watches the city and doubts it will ever change. He’s not sure if he wants it to. More likely it’s Shadow Strike that will change. The influence of corporate money runs through it like weeds through cement. Only a matter of time before the cracks begin to show. He voices his fears to Grissom and LaRocha. Grissom sees it, too. La Rocha doesn’t. He’s too busy playing poster-boy. Too distracted by rock and roll and pussy. Handsome he might be, but handsome will probably end up getting him killed. La Rocha's a target now, a face worth putting to a message; and that works both ways. It’s only a matter of time before he appears on some news report as part of a new message: your poster-boy is dead; the criminals are winning. Long live the G-Kings.
Templeton wonders how to solve this problem. Maybe a broken nose will bring LaRocha back in line. Remind him of the focus they once shared. Easy to forget they are in a war. A mission that never stops. Forget the money and the fame; it’s the squad that keeps you breathing. Everything else is irrelevant. These days Danko has the ‘Mule’ stabled down on the Waterfront, operating out of Baylan Shipping and Storage. From here, Templeton controls the supply of everything: ammo, vehicles, you name it. The whole shebang passes through his hands and his hands alone. One of these days, LaRocha’s gonna wonder why his patrol car looks crappier than everyone else’s, and when he comes to find out, he and Templeton are gonna have themselves a little chat.