Russell "Rusty" Knuckols - Background
The one thing that most strongly influences Rusty's life and personality is his trust in a Higher Power. He
has an absolute trust in the existance of God, and his earned place in Heaven as a Knight Templar of the Catholic
Church. This complete faith leads to a willingness to risk ALL in dedication to his mission against alien intrusion
in the affairs of men and the proliferation of magic and psychic powers among the human race. He is essentially
fearless, and no matter how intense and stressful a situation he remains completely calm.
Further, Rusty believes in Religious Law ONLY. He may enforce ROP law as part of his job...he may use it as a means to an end...he enforces it with a certain relish when it agrees with Religious Law...but ROP law is the law of man...and that is all. If he must break ROP law in order to achieve a goal in his quest, he does so without a second thought. In many ways Rusty feels that as long as he is defending the Church and the purity of the human race, he may do whatever is neccesary in order to accomplish his mission.
Rusty keeps his own counsel, and is not very generous with emotive speech or information...thus he sees somewhat quiet and mysterious to those that are around him for any amount of time. He is often seen as dark and moody, and has quite a temper...which instead of causing huge explosions of emotion...simmers beneath the surface and drives his determination even more.
Rusty is currently a Knight in the Knights Templar. He has been in the Knights for only a few years, but has done fairly well. He is seen by his fellow Knights as a little too driven, a little too serious about his job. The word "fanatic" is often used in reference to him behind his back...and not in the POSITIVE sense of the word. He also has a reputation for being a little too hard on those that break the law, especially if hurting a woman or child is involved. Due to the recent injury of his partner (see history below) Rusty is partnerless. Knight Champion Francois Duparte arranged for Rusty to be assigned as a liason between the Knights Templar and the KBI. Susan Buvier has arranged for Rusty to be placed with Squad 12, an arrangement that has been approved by Jean Qualls.
WHERE HE LIVES
Rusty prefers to live among the more down-trodden and economically disadvantaged, and has an large old-fashioned apartment (by 2503 standards) in an older building. This apartment in on the edge of Liberty Wastes that fringes on Holy Oak, and is therfore in a fairly run-down and dangerous area. He has the apartment booby-trapped with low-yield (but all the same deadly) explosives...and is always very aware of his surroundings when travelling to and from his apartment. He spends time with the children of his immediate neighborhood, and attempts to steer them to the right path. He has been able to arrange numerous scholarships to the Catholic Schools of Holy Oak for the more promising children in his neighborhood.
Rusty was born Russell Michael Knuckols to a working-class family in the Stonecross Neighborhood. His dad worked
a menial job in heavy industry, and spent a lot of time drinking heavily in a neighborhood corner bar. Rusty was
an only child, and often cried himself to sleep...alone in his room...to the sound of his father smacking his mother
around at the smallest provocation. Rusty's grandfather (Mother's side) was a Knight Templar, and would often take
Rusty away from his chaotic home life, and take him to church. All efforts on the part of the grandfather to help
Rusty's Mother or straighten-out Rusty's Father failed. Rusty grew very close to his grandfather and became very
wrapped-up in the teachings of the church. When Rusty was 14 he heard his father striking his mother again...so
he went downstairs...determined to stop his mother's pain. He found them in the kitchen...his mother on the floor
bleeding...glazed eyes, and his father was still kicking her and cursing. Rusty calmly walked to the counter, picked
up a knife, and killed his father.
Rusty's mother survived, but a large portion of her brain was damaged in the severe beating she received. Though 25th Century medical science was able to heal her, even replacing the lost brain tissues and functions...the memories, the love, the experiences that made Rusty's Mother his Mother, were all wiped clean. Brain tissues can be regrown, but the information stored on them, once lost are forever lost. Rusty's mother would go on to marry again, and start a second family...but Rusty never went back to living with her.
The death of Rusty's father was declared justifiable homicide, and Rusty was allowed to go live with his grandfather in the Holy Oak neighborhood. Rusty's studies of Religious Law and History deepened and intensified, and he became determined to become a Knight Templar like his grandfather. Rusty ran with a group of Catholic boys, and "boys will be boys," they occasionally got in trouble for pulling pranks and minor vandelisms. Though on the outside Rusty appeared to be a highly intelligent and well-adjusted Catholic teenager, occasionally a certain darkness would be evident to those that knew him. Though he never talked about it, he was still haunted by his early childhood.
When Rusty was 19 he came home from his studies at the local Templar Academy, and there were two Knights Templar waiting for him on the front porch of his grandfather's home. The highest ranked of the two was Francois Duparte. Once inside the home, they two Knights sat Rusty down and Duparte sat across from him. "Russell, I only know how to say this one way...Your grandfather was killed today in the line of duty. He fell valiantly in a gun-fight with gangers. He stumbled onto a robbery in progress at a store over in Hannibal Crest. He took both of the gangers with him...a 16 and a 17 year old. These particular gangers are suspected of pulling several robberies where every witness was shot assassination-style in the head. So, well...perhaps you can gain some peace knowing that your grandfather saved the Shop-owner, his wife, and three customers...."
Rusty nodded...said nothing...stood up, and opened the front door. He stood there until both Knights left, both of them expressing their sorrow as they went. It was later that Rusty learned the gangers were Psi-chos...a gang who used their mind-walking powers to promote crime and mayhem. Rusty re-dedicated himself to his studies...and was determined to make his grandfather proud. Throughout his childhood Rusty had cried when his father was abusing his mother. He sobbed endlessly after he had killed his father, and when he found out his mother remember nothing about him. But when his grandfather died he had not cried a tear. His grandfather had taught him well, and prepared him for the loss. "Rusty...we all die. The important thing is how we die. Me...I'm going to die at work...saving lives...defending the Faith...doing what's right. Yeah, I see that look in your eye Rusty...you don't believe me. You can't imagine me gone. I've earned my place in Heaven Rusty...I'm not afraid...promise me you won't mourn me when I go...."
Rusty rarely dated, and when he did, it rarely worked out. He had seen only the negative side of relationships, and had no real basis in his mind for building his own healthy relationships. He has never really dated anyone longer than a few months at a time.
Rusty became a Templar at the age of 24. He was immediately the hardest working person in his work-group, and over the next few years his knowledge of Religious Law increased incredibly. Rusty is somewhat weak when it comes to how to build his cases to do well in court, and often has to turn to supervisors for help in this task. But all of them praise him for his dedication, for his arrest statistics always make his supervisors look good. They actually cover for Rusty quite a bit on the Excessive-Use-of-Force complaints that are always being filed against him. Rusty doesn't pull any punches.
Recently, Rusty's partner was hurt in a confrontation with gangers that Rusty believes were Psi-chos. Despite all of Rusty's efforts to find information on Psi-chos, they have remained fairly elusive, and this was his first real confrontation with gangers that seemed to be tied to the group. Rusty's partner suffered broken arms, legs, ribs, and a fractureed skull at the hands of a ganger that Rusty feels was telekinetic....
Rusty continued his investigations for a week on his own, until Francois Duparte called him into his office. "Rusty...you have done yourself proud, and having known your grandfather very well, I know he is looking down here...proud as can be of you. I feel that an opportunity has come up that we cannot pass up. The KBI has been investigating the involvement of certain OSS factions with alien intelligence here on Terra-Sol. I am assigning you as a liason to the Squad that is working this investigation the hardest...Squad 12. I want to you use EVERY resource at your disposal...I want you to approach your investigations with the the KBI with the same dedication that you approach your Templar investigation...I want you...no I expect you to kick some ass, Rusty."
Duparte poured a glass of wine for Rusty, and one for himself. "Rusty, let us pray and toast to your success. May your efforts protect the weak and the pure...may the truth be revealed...may you come back to us healthy and whole...In the name of the Father, the Sone, and the Holy Ghost. Go forth, Russell, in the name of the Lord...."
PEOPLE HE KNOWS
Knight Champion Francois Duparte - A commander in the Knights Templar, and man who told Rusty his grandfather
was dead, and the man who assigned Rusty as a liason with the KBI...to squad 12.
Sgt. Michael Perne - Rusty's latest supervisor. Perne is "old-school" and has allowed Rusty free-reign to use whatever force he finds neccesary to do his job. Perne is fairly upset to be losing Rusty to this KBI-Partnership.
Knight Francis Becker - Rusty's partner...a very intelligent agent, very political. He is in the Medical Center at the New Vatican, slowly recovering from his encounter with a telekinetic Psi-cho ganger.
Sgt. David Knuckols - Rusty's grandfather (Mother's side)...and a legendary Knights Templar. He took Rusty under his wing and eventually into his house after the death of Rusty's Father. He died in the line of duty, after interupting a store robbery by Psi-cho gangers.
Mrs. Daphne Minkins - Rusty's abused mother...Maiden name Knuckols...once married and beaten by Rusty's Father...now is remarried with 3 younger kids, and living in a large home on the shore of Cedar Pine Lake. Rusty occasionally visits with his mother...but there is a sense of discomfort between them...guilt...regrets...etc.
Mr. Eli Davis - Rusty's abusive father...Rusty took back his Mother's maiden name after the death of his father. Rusty stabbing his father to death was determined to be justifiable homicide.
Special Agent Jean Qualls and Teamleader Susie Buvier - Rusty's new supervisors at the KBI.
Officer Kevin McGinness - One of Rusty's childhood pals...he is now a police officer with the Metro P.D.
Father Patrick Wiley - One of Rusty's childhood pals...he is now a priest at the New Vatican.
Terry Kelly - One of Rusty's childhood pals...he is an alcoholic, and unemployed. He sometimes commits petty burglaries and thefts to support his drug habit. Rusty has tried to help him...but Terry keeps turning back to the drugs.
GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)