When telling a story using the present tense, should events at a specific time in the past be recounted in the past perfect or in the past tense?
For example: I know to write
Jack entered the room and sat down. The fight had drained him, and he needed to rest., but is
Jack enters the room and sits down. The fight drained him, and he needs to rest.or
Jack enters the room and sits down. The fight had drained him, and he needs to rest.correct, and why?
(To me, the latter seems obviously correct, but someone recently insisted to be that the former is correct, and I could not defend or explain my position, so I'm asking here.)
Please note that I'm asking according to traditional (prescriptive) grammar.