What is Backstory Friday? Every Friday there will be a new article showcasing the backstory of characters past and present. Characters range from various settings, systems, players, and writing styles. The whole point is to share our creative works, and potentially the creative works of our listeners. Perhaps one of these characters will inspire other Players or Gamemasters, but primarily they are for entertainment. Enjoy.
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Johnny Dawes
Kendall Dawes raised his son to be responsible, friendly, and loyal. Johnny managed to duck the first one somehow, but they say that two out of three ain’t bad. From a young age, Johnny had always had something of a rebellious streak in him; Kendall wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and join the police force, maybe even someday moving into a command position. Johnny’s uncle Randle, however, saw the way that the young boy inspected the gadgets and various pieces of technology that populated Vault 47, and he always suspected that Kendall would probably be disappointed.

Randle taught Johnny what he knew of machinery – and since he was somewhat of a religious man himself, what he knew of God. The two went hand in hand in the old fireman’s eyes. “People see the spark of the divine in art, in music and poetry, but so many are blind to the inspiration of God in a circuit board.” Johnny saw it, though.

But circuits and machinery weren’t the only thing that caught the precocious boy’s attention, and it could even be argued that they were overtaken in his adolescence by a far more biological interest: girls. Johnny was a heartbreaker from the start, sneaking kisses from one girl in the reactor stairwell before running off to flirt with another in the diner. His flashy smile and devil-may-care attitude made him Vault 47’s dreamy “bad boy” that all the girls chased, claiming that they’d tame him while never admitting that was the last thing they wanted. The one catch that always eluded him was Tera, arguably the prettiest girl in the vault. Oh sure he charmed her well enough, but her twin brother Jean-Luc always seemed to show up at just the wrong moment and spoil things.

While Johnny got the attention of the girls with charming grins and sly winks, he made friends with the other boys in a handful of ways. A friend of his father’s, “Aunt” Rebecca, took to showing him card tricks at a young age. After he learned to do them himself, he asked her to teach him to play games with the cards instead of just doing tricks with them. Johnny used his natural charm in combination with his learned card-sharking to make friends and bucks both. He made sure never to take a kid for everything they were worth, though – and anyone that had an especially bad run of luck, he’d make sure to let them tag along with him the next time he went out hunting for girls and try to set things right.

Like everyone else, Johnny took the G.O.A.T. at 16. The test was easy enough to decipher, so it was no difficult task to answer the questions in such a way as to get the outcome he wanted. His natural rebellious state, combined with old-fashioned American teenage contrariness, pushed him far away from the police force that his father had so wanted for him. Instead he aimed lower – much lower. The Amateur Radio Technician union would suit him just fine, he decided. With only a minor amount of answer-padding, the G.O.A.T. agreed.

As uncle Randle had predicted from the start, Kendall was disappointed. While he wasn’t about to tell his son what to do with his life, he had hoped that Johnny would grow out of that damned rebellious streak before now, but he’d underestimated the boy’s independent spirit. It wouldn’t be the last time that mistake was made. Two short years later, Johnny joined the ART union.

It was only a handful of years after he graduated that Vault 47 finally opened, and the inhabitants began to push out into the wasteland that lay beyond. With such a major event there was a great deal of confusion. New jobs were created as the Vault’s population set up a small trading post in the wastes. This reduced the crowding in the Vault, and made it far less problematic to get a certain girl away from her shadow of a twin brother.

Tera was as much the repressed little hellcat in bed that he’d always thought she’d be. He knew beforehand that she wasn’t a virgin; Dennis Parks had bragged about getting in her pants after the two had dated for more than a year, but Johnny held firm to the belief that no girl was worth that much effort. Tera didn’t quite change his mind, but she did manage to make him question that stance – at least until the next day when she insinuated to him that they were dating now.

The same societal changes that had helped Johnny nail the one prize that had always evaded him now made it easier for him to avoid her as well. He hoped that eventually she would get the hint and just stop chasing him, but the girl seemed determined to pin him down, literally and figuratively. Johnny objected to the latter, and indulged her in the former on more than one occasion.

Johnny knew that another expedition to Vault 45 was being planned, but he largely ignored it. He was perfectly happy within the Vault; pretty girls, clean food, plenty of water, security, and lots of gadgets and machinery to mess with. Then he heard a rumor that Tera was pregnant. The same rumor said that he was the father.

He volunteered for the Vault 45 expedition the same day.

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