Well, it’s time for another untold story ladies and gentlemen and this one has to do with my dynamic duo, Vick Johansson and Danny Scott. To sum each up in a sentence, Vick is this uber depressed alcoholic with homicidal tendencies and lots of grudges. Danny is the talktive, eternal optimist, hopeless romantic, who tags along with Vick as they both are on the run from Section 31 (scary cats).
But exactly where did these two come from? Both were and still are rather unique characters in my rather large stable of characters. There hasn’t really been other characters like them; the two are largely codependent on one another. You take one away from the other and things generally don’t go well.
Well, Vick and Danny surprisingly share some of the same origins as Hank Harrison and some of the Pearl crew; they’re from an email based RPG that sadly never got off the ground. There was literally one post from just about everybody involved and then it died. At the time, Vick and Danny were named differently…in fact, they were pretty much different characters entirely; Vick was named Tommy while Danny was named Dan. Here’s the only post I ever wrote in that RPG, over two years ago:
“Oh hell!” The sparks from the console rained on Dan and he threw his arms up to protect himself. “Tommy, we’ve lost helm!”
His partner in crime punched his fist into the console and grimaced in pain. “Damn it!”
Tommy stood up and headed for the escape pod.
Dan stood as well, but got in way. “We’re not leaving!”
“Why not?! She’s gonna crash and burn.”
Dan shook his head. “Come on, we got to try and save her!”
“You try, I’ll run. I’m not wasting time on a broken ship!”
The ship lurched violently and both the men were thrown against the nearby bulkhead. The ship began to spin out of control as Dan watched the stars whirl around them.
He tried to move but the gravity was failing and he was pinned down.
“Damn you and you’re sentimentalism!” Tommy tried to reach for his gun but failed. The gravity was too strong.
“I like my ship!”
The console beeped. Dan smiled desperately. “The ship’s found another vessel!”
“Good, we can take out two for the price of one!” Tommy tried his hardest to pull away but couldn’t.
Dan didn’t even try. Whoever was nearby, it was up to them to save Dan and Tommy.
And that was it. I was the set up post for the entire thing; my dynamic duo of Tommy and Dan were going to get rescued by a Starfleet vessel, their past as former S31 agents would be brought up, they would get captured, and things would go from there. Unfortunately, it never got that far, but Tommy and Dan had been created.
As you can see through some of the interactions, Tommy and Dan had a weird, if not fun, dynamic which I found hard to forget about. I mean, they were just created for an RPG but since it was dead, they had no where to go. I felt bad for them, so I wanted to really use them for something; by this point we’re in late 2009, early 2010. I had just completed the second book of the Star Trek Chronicles series and was in need of a bit of a break…I wanted to write other characters; I wanted to explore other things.
I was a bit burned out on the Pearl crew. I mean, you can write the same characters so often it just kinda grates on you after awhile and this was where I was at. So, I decided to turn my attention to the question of Tommy and Dan but I really didn’t have a place to start.
And then a challenge on Ad Astra caught my attention. It was the Academy Hi-Jinks Challenge and I was looking to actually use Hank initially for the challenge, but it went no where. Luckily, it was extended and I got a chance to start development from scratch; so I decided to take my Tommy character and rename him Vick (because that seemed so much cooler) and explore exactly how he became a Section 31 agent.
That exploration turned into the story One Damned Prank which won that challenge in a close vote and seemed to really make an impression on people. That’s when the rest of the details began falling into place for Vick; I knew I had a character that seemed to be interesting to people (always a good thing) and I wanted to make his story a rather sad and tragic one (very much matching the vibe of the story he premiered in). So, all that being said, I was going to take Vick down a dark and twisty path that offered little hope of redemption; I was going to put this guy through hell and back.
You see, Vick would run a lot of ops for S31, but his first one was written about in Gusts and Gales. It was there were Vick would sell off the first piece of his soul and from that point on the slide began. Vick would engage in more depravity and feel even less about it. He was becoming a cold and ruthless weapon, exactly what S31 wanted; but they misjudged just how dead he was inside when they sent him on a two year undercover mission.
On that mission, Vick was supposed to get close to a very powerful Orion Syndicate family; he married into it and slowly worked his way up the food chain. The problem was, he was given orders to kill them, all of them…including his wife. Here’s an excerpt;
It was later that night when Vick was standing inside the house, his wife in his arms. He had married her two years ago to get into the Syndicate…to go deep undercover. He had never imagined…never guessed the feelings she would unlock in him. And now…those very same feelings he had treasured for these last two years were his greatest weakness. “You have to promise me, T’alyn-promise to keep your end of the bargain.”
She looked up to him, her eyes full of confusion. “I don’t understand any of this…not at all. You have to get me away from here, but I can’t be with you…you have to place me in the care of others, but you don’t who they are or where they’ll take me. Worst of all, you expect me to do this while my family is left behind…and while I leave you behind.” She pulled herself from her arms and stood angrily. “This isn’t right!”
Vick stood quickly, his hands reaching out for her arms, gripping them tightly. He pulled her in close, his face full of conviction and anger. “Don’t fight me on this! You will die if you stay here, do you understand?! You. Will. Die. Isn’t that clear to you? I…I have to get you away, and I can’t know where you’re going…I don’t know even if the people I have coming are trustworthy…but I have no choice. You have to go…and you have to leave me behind. You can’t attempt to find me…you wouldn’t anyway.”
“So what should I do?! Sit and wait for you?! Grow old looking to the sky, wondering when you’ll arrive?!” Tears streamed down her face and she ripped herself away. “I refuse! Do you hear me, I refuse!” She began to walk towards the door, her movement fast and angry.
Vick was left with no choice. He brought a small phaser out and fired it, stunning her to the ground. She collapsed into a pile.
He bent down, picking her up, cradling her form for a moment. He kissed her lightly on the lips and pulled away. “I’ll find you…I swear.” He placed a small holographic chip into her pocket, where she was sure to notice it. That would explain everything…his life, his job…why they were married. He hoped, as much as he ever hoped in his entire life, that she would understand some of it…any of it. He knew though, that the reality was she’d probably hate him for as long as she lived. Maybe he should just let her live the lie…maybe it would be better to keep her blissfully unaware.
But then, love…love had no boundaries, no secrets…if he really loved her, he would have to tell her the truth.
After considering these things, he carefully made sure the chip was secure in her pocket, and then stood. He tapped the combadge for the signal, and then attached it to her shirt. In a glimmer of blue light she vanished.
In those seconds, what was left of his heart went with her.
Vick would carry out his orders, killing the family, but instead of a painless death as S31 promised with the transporter scramblers he was given, the family instead died a very painful death and Vick would have those memories with him for the rest of his life. This is where he began to plan his escape from S31…to get away from them, to find his wife, to redeem himself for all the sins he had committed.
But before I could do any of that, I needed to figure out the other half of the dynamic duo. Dan was going to act as the anchor that kept Vick in this world, I knew that, but as to how Dan was going to do that…what Dan was like…I didn’t know. First thing that had to change was the name though…Dan did not enthuse me so I decided to give it a more friendly flare and changed it to Danny.
But as to why he got his last name Scott, well, that’s due to one person alone, SLWalker. You see, SLWalker had written a lot of great Scotty stories; she really fleshed out the life of that character in a way that will likely never be matched in my mind, it’s just that good. Those stories and more can be found here.
Anyways, Danny ended up with the last name Scott simply because of my adoration for the way SLWalker wrote Scotty. Now, it’s never stated in canon that Scotty ever had any kids or any flings that resulted in kids (I somehow doubt he ever did) and I never make that connection between Danny and Scotty. The extended Scott family carried on Scotty’s legacy and were always looking for the next Scotty. Fast forward a few generations later, and we arrive at Danny who was slated to be the next great engineer from the Scott family.
Except, Danny really didn’t want that. He’d been pushed into it as a kid and he was hugely resentful of it by the time he was approaching his pre-teen years. That resentment and the family discourse in general is covered in Traditions. It’s here that a few things about Danny are revealed; firstly, he doesn’t want to be the next Scotty and secondly, that his mother is physically abusive towards him. This would play a huge part in Danny’s development as a person as hope would be something he eternally held onto for his mother and his family in general; hope that his mother would change for the better, hope that his family wouldn’t force him to go into Starfleet, hope that things didn’t have to go down the path they were seemingly destined to.
Sadly, Danny’s hopes never came true. He ended up at the academy, flunked out after two years, and was recruited by Section 31 to work with them. Danny, who had no future as it was, joined up with them because he thought as least there he could make a difference. He was a disappointment to his family and he felt like he failed them…he wanted to lessen that feeling, hence why S31’s offer to work for them was so quickly accepted.
Danny, being the friendly, talktive, somewhat annoying, blabber mouth that he was was quite intelligent; he was charming, cocky, and not S31 material really…which is exactly why he was made an S31 agent. No one would ever suspect him. Vick and Danny would work a few ops together but when Vick made his escape attempt Danny joined up with him. It was completely unplanned, spur of the moment, but Danny liked Vick; he was his friend and Danny is fiercely loyal to friends. So, he helped Vick escape (much to Vick’s dislike) and the two from that point on were together. They would remain so for many years.
The dynamics between them, their own story, and how they were further explored I’ll get into next time. As always, any and all comments are welcome and thanks for reading.