Out of Character Information player name:
Merryplayer livejournal: halflingmerryplaying here: samianscar
, lumenreleganduswhere did you find us? eisdamme
my muse!are you 16 years of age or older?:
In Character Information character name:
Dr. Daniel TrepkosFandom: The X-FilesTimeline:
Appeared in S02E09 "Firewalker". Comes to Scorched after end of it. (All blockquotes from "Firewalker", written by Chris Carter and Howard Gordon.)character's age:
35powers: (non-canon, added for Scorched)
Fireproof. Invulnerable to burning, blasting, scalding; acid, lasers, explosions; magical, natural and manmade. Could walk unscathed through magma, radiation, Abyssal surges and Fiendfyre. In the fight against the new lifeform, he exposed himself to extreme levels of heat and gases, with no intention of long-term survival. The Mist turned that into inoculation. On the down side: can no longer feel heat.(Note: Is not invulnerable to shooting, stabbing, falling, hunger, thirst, papercuts, kick me signs, or any other kind of physical harm.)
Brilliant, resourceful, extremely fit
, and apparently without threshold when necessity dictates action.
skills: Vulcanologist and roboticist. Multilingual, eidetic memory.
equipment: bandages on his head and hands, the undershirt on his back, and a flare gun.
Daniel Trepkos: " 'Scientific data'…? We're talking about revisiting the very origin of the earth, peering into the fire where it all began: a human endeavor more important even than man's exploration of space."canon history:
Professor at a university where he was grad student Jessie O'Neil's thesis advisor. He was already a leader in his field, a confirmed genius, considered a visionary, if a bit (appropriate to his field of study) volatile. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It never interfered with his work—it may have been part of what fueled it. (In all aspects, inextricably, an unconventional brain.)
In 1993, Dr. Trepkos was selected as leader of the volcanic research project on Mount Avalon in Oregon, using the mobile robot "Firewalker", Trepkos's brainchild, to explore previously unreachable depths of the volcano. He recommended that Jessie come along as intern.
Two accounts exist of 11th through 14th of November, 1994, the final three days of the project: Trepkos's and everyone else's.
Jessie O'Neil: "After the first descent, Daniel changed. He became withdrawn, paranoid, he locked himself in the lab for three days and wouldn't let any of us in."
Dana Scully: "Do you think the descent somehow triggered his breakdown?"
JO: "Well that's what I thought and then I found out that he stopped taking his pills."
DS: "Lithium carbonate."
JO: "Yeah, he said that they were polluting his brain. …And he said I was polluting his body. I'm scared—I don't want to die here."
DS: "What are you so afraid of, Jessie?"
JO: "Daniel. The only reason I even came here was because of him… He promised me that this would be an adventure… that it would change my life…"
Adam Pierce, a scientist at the California Institute of Technology, left the project after reportedly "nearly coming to blows" with Trepkos over his increasingly irrational behavior. Pierce continues monitoring Firewalker's broadcasts, where at last he sees footage of the dead body of the chief seismologist, Phil Erickson, inside a volcanic cave. Pierce brings in FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully to return with him to Mount Avalon and find the team. On entering the base, Mulder is greeted by nearly having his head taken off with a fire axe. "Who did you think I was that you thought you had to protect yourself?" The answer: "Trepkos." They are all frightened and vilify him. They say he went insane and murdered Erickson.
Firewalker brought back up a hitherto unknown, silicon-based organism. It reproduces in parasitic spores which incubate in a host then explode out of the host's body, fatally. Anyone exposed at the moment of explosion is infected, but the spores are only viable in the first few seconds after they hit air.
Erickson was the first to test Firewalker's samples and became patient zero.
Mulder: "What about Erickson? If he was infected—"
Trepkos: "I was too immersed in the work to notice. Been alone in the lab for three days when I heard their screams. They were all gathered around him. By the time I realized what was happening, they were already changing. The spore grew in each of them until it became them. It's a parasite, lives to find a host..."
Trepkos, alone uninfected, realized they could never leave Mount Avalon without risking a larger outbreak. Erickson was already dead when Trepkos threw his body down the volcanic shaft. He was hoping to contain the organism, but as he saw what was happening to the rest of his team, not just to their bodies but their personalities, he knew the others were also as good as dead. All that was left was the parasite—which he had to kill.
He destroyed all his work and equipment, disabled Firewalker and its relays, cutting them off so no one could call for help. Then he fled to the caves he knew better than anyone except Jason Ludwig the robotics engineer, who'd helped map them for Firewalker's excursions. He hid, gathered weapons, watched and waited. When Pierce returned, leading Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, Trepkos finds Pierce in the woods checking the remaining project field instruments. Trepkos throws a rope around Pierce's throat, mutters in his ear, "No one can leave", and breaks his neck.
Mulder, studying the surviving fragments of Trepkos's notes, alone believes Trepkos's findings about a new life form. One recording Trepkos made particularly resonates with Mulder:
Trepkos v/o: "Samples 7, 12 and 22 also contain trace evidence of the organism. The possibility of this new—or perhaps unfathomably old life form has left me sleepless, wondering if I haven't lost all perspective. If my intense desire to find the truth hasn't finally eclipsed the truth itself. …Our meddling intellect misshapes the beauteous forms of things. We murder to dissect. My mind is a tangled knot I can no longer untie. Daily I fight the urge to sever it completely, to stop this descent—"
Mulder goes to look for him, guided by Ludwig. On entering the steam caves, Trepkos—who has become terribly wild-looking, covered in bandages and ash—shoots Ludwig with a flare gun. He makes no move to harm Mulder. As Trepkos approaches Ludwig's body with a torch, Mulder says, "He's already dead! How many times do you have to kill him?" Trepkos answers, "It's not him I'm trying to kill." He burns the body.
In the ensuing conversations in the caves, some but not all of the reports of the man are verified. Trepkos, while clearly shellshocked, is lucid. The borderline madness-genius poetic streak Mulder heard in his recordings is still there—if now being used as a blockade:
DT: "Firewalker brought up an elephant. The truth is an elephant described by three blind men. First man touches the tail and says it's a rope. Second man feels the rough leg, says it's a tree. Third man feels the trunk, says it's a snake."
FM: "What do you say?"
DT: "I say the earth holds some truths best left buried."
Trepkos is unnaturally calm, detached to the point of dissociation, and seems nonviolent, until he points a gun when Mulder tries to leave. Mulder tells him that Jessie is still alive, at the base with Scully. Jessie's name is the first thing that momentarily breaks the wildness and despair on Trepkos's face, but he instantly dismisses her, and Scully, as beyond saving.
Then he lets Mulder lead him back out of the cave anyway, to try.
They arrive back at base to find that the infected Jessie had tried to trap and infect Scully. Scully had managed to outwit her, and the parasite had released its spores in the sample analysis isolation chamber. So doing it killed Jessie—the final carrier.
Mulder and Scully call for a rescue team, but Mulder lies and says they are the only survivors, knowing Trepkos will never return with them. Trepkos, kneeling at the window of the isolation chamber, looks at Jessie's body and whispers, "I told her it would change her life."
Daniel Trepkos and Jessie O'Neil are the only members of the Firewalker team unaccounted for. Both are presumed dead. The last seen of them, he is carrying her body into the steam caves.personality:
Numbers don't lie. Data must be followed. Logic is unforgiving. Nature is uncaring. If all data points to the unavoidable conclusion: that thousands will die if even one carrier is allowed to reach them, then that one carrier cannot be allowed to reach them. Even if it means taking a human life. Killing a co-worker. A friend. A...
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. (Yes, yes: Vulcan, blast you.) If there is a true
clear unignorable "greater good", arrived at through exhaustive objectivity not fear not agenda nor bias, it must
be served, even if the unimaginable and unendurable must be performed to achieve it. When the damage is already irreversible and the real sacrifice is only of your own sense of righteousness, sanity and life.
Fox Mulder: "That's no mean claim."
Adam Pierce: "Daniel always had a flair for self-dramatization."
Dana Scully: "I'd always heard that he was brilliant."
AP: "'Brilliant' doesn't go quite far enough. Daniel occupies that rare place among scientists where dreams, ambition and great luck converge."
FM: "You think his luck just ran out." […]
AP: "Daniel and I… I always played Salieri to his Mozart. I was never quite on his plane of intellect. This time I found him slipping into madness."
Even if the action taken to achieve the greater good casts the agent out. Even if it makes a man who—whether seemingly incapable of getting along with the human race on an individual social basis, loves
and reveres and exists to serve human life; —even if it makes him a murderer.
Jason Ludwig: "He ran hot and cold, you know? Sometimes he wouldn't talk to us for days, and then, boom, you couldn't get him to shut up. Don't get me wrong, okay? No one revered the man more than me. I mean, he was a prophet, an oracle. He saw things… I mean, he saw things that you and me, we only dream about and then forget when we wake up."
I never claimed certainty… the cornerstone of the scientific mind is not
knowing. Never knowing. Any discovery, for as long as it manages to stand up to eternal testing and retesting, in anticipation of the eventuality when it may not
stand up, is merely the stepping stone to the next thing we do not know. Yet to be disproven so radically, at such a cost…
An amateurish mistake: surprised to be disproven on something other
than the thesis at hand, being actively tested. From the supposedly conquered and claimed ground of past battles, heedlessly trod to get to the new front line, the dead rise from behind; having been unjustly, foolishly, fatally dismissed. No territory is beyond challenge.
I never feared being proven wrong, yet I never imagined that…
…in being proven wrong, I
would not be the one to pay the price for it.
And I would be caught so unaware that it was coming.why do you feel this character would be appropriate to the setting?
Daniel Trepkos: "That's not why you're here. You still believe you can petition heaven to get some penetrating answer. If you found that answer, what would you do with it?"
DT: "In a single moment, everything that science held sacred suddenly turned on its head."
A brilliant scientist, whose entire basis for his illustrious career and intense, fanatical life has been that he achieved a superior understanding of, thus mastered a superior facility with, the way existence works. Firewalker cracked that down the center. Anatole shatters it.
Anatole will make him believe that Firewalker was only the beginning of a deeper breakdown; and he really has gone mad. How far back goes the delusion? Might Jessie still be alive? Might he not
have committed two murders? If these, then might it be, after all this time, a whole life of working feverishly to understand reality,
working against a rebellious brain, might he not after all prefer
In the meantime, he'll tackle this problem the way he's tackled all others: chip away without preconception and start with what he knows. He'll study Anatole's geography and geology; he may set up a centralized lab to gather/employ all the free-floating scientists and roboticists among the Scorched and train Anatoleans; and perhaps work—on his own and/or with such co-workers—on designing a mobile robot that can survive and investigate in unprecedented densities of the Mist. To all these ends, and just out of interest, he'd likely buddy up with the tunnelmen.
Madness or unknown laws, he'll wait and see where the evidence takes him.
Writing Samples Network Post Sample:
See firstThird Person Sample:
Her head rested on his chest the way it had in the best moments in life—
It doesn't matter. Who you are. Scientist. Artist. Politician. Teacher. Explorer. We profess to thrill at higher goals, but there's nothing so tangible, so heightened, so verifying of life
as the simple, the base, built-in, unevolved, instinctive; what we can't anticipate or control, seek or obtain, but what merely happens to use: the touch from the right other person.
He wanted to break off the stem that had burst from her throat. It was harmless now but it didn't belong in her. It had invaded, manipulated, and killed her, so slowly. It had turned her into a monster.
He didn't have that excuse.
He carried her farther on. He didn't notice as his arms began to ache then sear, as his steps grew less steady, as his throat and lungs began to burn. He noticed belatedly, when he sank without meaning to against a wall and let her fall lifelessly (which she was; and so was he, to hold her) to the floor, her head still in his lap.
It is possible to keep walking until you can't anymore. It's not a decision you make. It just happens.
He put her head back on his knee, and put his own head back against the wall of the cave. It burned, everything burned, especially his eyes, but he kept them open, watching the patterns it made: the steam, the ash, the particles that danced, the molecules that drifted alone until they found each other— pure accident, all accident, no deliberation, no agency, no intent;
the parasite had also been an accident… there are no willful enemies in nature…You can no longer claim any knowledge of nature.
He hadn't the strength to lean over and kiss her. His fingers reached for her face, but recoiled in case they should find the alien instead. He managed to reach far enough to grasp her fallen hand.
The steam would suffocate before it cooked but he didn't really notice. He certainly didn't care.This is what I worked for. Worked so hard for so many years. Against so many obstacles and adversaries. ...Which they weren't... there are no adversaries... who was I fighting but myself...
He knew he was hallucinating, to think her hand closed around his, but he went with it willingly.
Choking to death can't be missed or imagined away.
Yet it felt like the hand that closed around his pulled on him—through the walls of the cave, through the molecules of the air, through a strange turn
, into cooler air, blanketing Mist…* * *
He awoke choking with hands full of ash and his back against the Door. And so terribly cold.Anything else?
The balance/cost of his Mist-given power—the inability to feel heat, while still able to feel other sensations—he will interpret rationally as a symptom of neural damage or a psychotic break. Simultaneously it will lead him to such irrationality as: if he finds anything that makes him feel warmth (perhaps Shirley's healing magic, or one of the mystical destructive forces that won't harm him but might create sensation) he could become addicted.
Why, one might ask, looking at him in that blackened undershirt, is a bookbound brainiac, with often sedentary work (when it doesn't involve mountain climbing), in such great physical shape? The body houses the mind. Thought processes are stimulated by activity. And depression can be staved off with exercise-produced endorphins. He worked out fanatically to keep his ideas flowing and his brain chemistry on a high. Because once you crash, it's not that it's harder to climb back up; it's that you lose access to the motivation to try.
Beyond crossover user icons, Daniel Trepkos is not Josh Lyman. If he ever calms down/sanes up enough, there may be some supplementing.