|Vash the Stampede|
|Played by Dani|
Vash is a surgeon with a gun: skilled, precise, and potentially deadly. He knows the exact points on a human body that can sustain a gunshot without risking serious trauma or death, and uses his accurate aim to hit these points when necessary. Even when intoxicated or under extreme stress, Vash’s aim does not suffer. Accordingly, he can recognize the paths of bullets as they are fired and dodge them.
His relationship with guns extends further than just that of a weapon of choice. Because he is not human, but rather a synthetic life-form, various parts of Vash’s body can become or are already a weapon. His left arm is mechanized; the hand will detach from the wrist to reveal a concealed gun, which he can then fire with the false hand. The customized Colt .45 he wields also can, theoretically at any time, fuse with his right arm to create an “Angel Arm”, a biomechanical weapon capable of generating an extraordinarily large explosion. However, this tremendous power can only be activated by Vash or by someone who could control him telepathically, such as his brother, against his will. In Pandora, the Angel Arm cannot draw upon enough plant energy (as Vash is the only source) to create explosions; his .45 is simply a gun.
Other than gun-related abilities, Vash has a very fluid and wide range of motion, able to jump and dodge obstacles at a moment’s notice. He is not skilled in any particular martial art but could hold his own in fist fights through careful maneuvering and defense; this goes hand in hand with his pacifist tendencies. He is capable of telepathy, and can communicate with others who are capable of it as well. Being a plant, he can communicate with other plants (see history for meaning of the term plant), but no such beings exist in Pandora - therefore, this gift is unusable.
Being of a different species, Vash continually studies humans to learn more and more about what drives their will to live. His role model, a human named Rem, provided him with his pacifist attitude and empathy toward people, despite their flaws. Instead of critiquing the human race, he actively immerses himself in their lives; he delights in their joy and shares in their sorrow, understands their mistakes and tries to forgive their misdeeds. The greatest lessons he learns about compassion and togetherness are learned from interacting with others everyday, and Vash finds his life is bettered simply by living among them. Despite the incredible amount of pain, anguish, and heartbreak Vash has endured, he remains an optimist above anything else because he believes in people, as well as the great things they are capable of.
In his world, he has a reputation as “the Humanoid Typhoon” because he supposedly creates destruction wherever he appears, but this is in no way a point of boasting or bragging for him. Vash has lived his whole life with peaceful intentions, and the combination of his capability as a plant, his brother’s maniacal intervention, and the numerous people with designs to kill him have made this nearly impossible. To mask the ache of living with his troubled past, Vash wears the persona of a goof-ball, of the peaceful, joyful person he desperately wants to be. He makes crazy faces and noises, and acts in overdramatic and flamboyant ways to keep his personal demons at bay. He drinks to socialize and forget. To many women, Vash appears oafish in his continual pursuit of beautiful girls. Of course, this is not an entirely false facade; he is definitely attracted to women, but these advances are often over-exaggerated to put them at ease in his presence. Chasing girls, drinking booze, and scarfing down donuts are just a few of the ways Vash copes with and disguises his pain. A friend of his once said, “the way you smiled was so empty it hurt to watch”.
Sometimes this zany persona prevents him from being taken seriously. As explained above, this is intentional for the most part. However, Vash genuinely is extraordinarily wise due to his age and experience, and often helps others deal with their troubles, whether through advice or the careful handling of a delicate situation. If necessary, he would shove himself into a dangerous scenario and pretend to be none the wiser in accordance with his persona as a fool. He truly wants to help people, but the death, destruction, and devastation attached to his name tend to interfere with his good intentions. Every instance of pain and anguish Vash witnesses chips away at his resolve and determination; to counter this, he finds small reasons to truly smile and believe in humanity once more. When he cannot find answers of his own, he turns to his memories of Rem for comfort and salvation, but this reliance on one person’s philosophy leaves Vash with a rather naive and idealized way of thinking.
What Vash wants, more than anything in life, is to live a peaceful existence as a normal person, even though he is anything but.
Vash’s typical ensemble includes a long, crimson trenchcoat with a high collar, assorted straps, and black buttons. It has slits on both sides from the waist down, which allow for ease in running, jumping, and climbing. His right sleeve is simply part of the trenchcoat, but his right sleeve is secured by a series of black straps and buckles. Underneath his coat, he wears form fitting dark pants and knee-high combat boots with retractable knives in the toes and circular metal plates at the knees. His top is black and sleeveless, and is also tight to his body.
Physically, Vash is fairly attractive. He has pale peach colored skin, and his eyes are a bright, grassy green; underneath his left eye is a small, dark brown mole. His face is long and thin, and has an angular nose to match with a slight hook at the tip. Occasionally he will wear a pair of light amber-colored glasses, although they are not prescription or used specifically for use in bright sun. Vash has somewhat long, corn husk-colored hair that he traditionally wears in tall and neat spikes. When it is not gelled up, it falls past his eyes in a bushy mess. Typically he keeps clean-shaven, but his grooming habits reflect the place he is in emotionally; the more disheveled he appears physically, the more emotionally distraught he is. In his left ear he wears a single silver hoop.
Vash is tall and lanky with sprawling limbs, his height clocking in around 6’0”. Though overall quite muscular, his chest and torso are a patchwork of deep scars and metal plates, the visible evidence of all of the fights he has participated in. Due to his advanced age and species, Vash has lived through many dangerous situations, most of which would have killed a mortal man. He even has the capability to heal and regenerate his body, but chooses not to repair superficial scars.
Vash was not born, but created long after the Earth had been polluted and excavated of resources to the point of humanity’s extinction. In desperate need of a new home, the last humans developed the SEEDS project, a spaceship that would carry cryogenically frozen humans to a new, inhabitable planet. The plant ship, or ship carrying the source of power, was piloted by a small crew; Vash, and his “brother” Knives, were synthetically created on board and allowed to live among them. Although designed to appear humanoid, they are technically categorized as plants - creatures who are capable of generating immense amounts of power. His nor his brother’s presence sat well with the whole crew; while some of them found them fascinating, others found their intelligence and origination unsettling. However, one crew member cared deeply for both of them: Rem Saverem.
It was from his idyllic days spent with mentor Rem that Vash gained his attitude as an optimist and pacifist. She instilled in him a tremendous amount of respect for all life - for plants, animals, humans, and even for his own life. For about two years, Vash grew and learned about aspects of humans from Rem, empathizing with their pioneering spirit and determination to live. His brother, Knives, did not find a similar fascination with humans. When he learned about humans - particularly about their destructive history on Earth - he began to develop a superiority complex toward them. He found them to be flawed creatures who threatened to spread like a virus across the universe if allowed to continue Project SEEDS.
After an disturbing incident aboard the spaceship, Knives took advantage of the instability between the remaining members of the crew to enact his plan to end the progress of humanity. In a carefully calculated series of strikes, Knives pit members of the crew against each other, murdered the rest, and programmed the human-populated ships on a crash course toward the planet they had planned to progenate.
Under these false pretenses, he convinced Rem and Vash to board an escape pod, sparing Rem’s life from his plan due to Vash’s fondness of her. At the last moment, Rem decided to turn back and attempt to save the human ships, sending Vash and Knives along in the pod.. As they entered the atmosphere safely, Vash could do nothing but watch the ships, including the one with Rem still onboard, disintegrate.
As Knives explained his plan to an anguished Vash and relished in its success, some of the ships carrying humans began to correct themselves and land. Rem had saved the part of the fleet and the future of the human race. This fact did not comfort young Vash, who blamed his brother for her death and for attempting to take the lives of others. During their first few nights on the new planet, eventually dubbed Gunsmoke, he contemplated killing Knives in an act of revenge, but simply could not bring himself to violate Rem’s teachings. Instead, he and Knives traveled the planet for fifteen years or so, observing the actions of humans who had begun to construct new lives for themselves. They both retained their convictions regarding humans, which created a definite rift between them as their respective convictions grew stronger. They clashed morally for years, but, neither of them wanted to separate from the other; Knives because he believed they were superior to humans and should stay together, and Vash because he loved his brother, despite his sadistic personality.
After stumbling upon a piece of the plant ship they had boarded nearly two decades ago, Knives left Vash for a year to work on a mysterious project, the output of which was a set of twin guns. This is when Vash received his customized .45 - one half of the set, meant to serve as a weapon to destroy the human race. Unwilling to massacre anyone, Vash shot his brother (an unbelievable act of betrayal in Knives’ eyes) in the midst of a heated confrontation and ran off with both weapons. From then on, he traveled alone, passing through town after town and immersing himself in human culture. During his adventures, he made good friends, met decent men, and chased plenty of beautiful women; this went on for nearly 80 years. However, it seemed that no matter where Vash went, destruction tended to follow closely.
Whilst living on a ship, Vash discovered a set of records belonging to the original humans of Project SEEDS and found that a distant relative of Rem had survived the journey; he resolved to find this man and tell him about Rem, and the wonderful person she had been. Unbeknownst to him, Knives had been tracking his movements, found the man first, and murdered him just to spite Vash, just moments before Vash could speak with him. This incident culminated in the destruction of July City, after Knives triggered Vash’s Angel Arm during their first confrontation in decades. So it came to pass: the first disaster attributed to “Vash the Stampede" which resulted in a $$60,000,000,000 reward on his head.
Thirty years passed, during which Vash endured the torment of his responsibility for the annihilation of an entire city, as well as countless acts of attempts on his life to claim the billion double-dollar bounty. His name was also used by gangs and thugs as a method to intimidate clueless townspeople; whenever possible, Vash would intervene to prevent any violence from actually occurring. It was from following these wild and vastly incorrect rumors of Vash’s location and appearance that Meryl Strife and Milly Thompson, members of the Bernardelli Insurance Society, ran into Vash and began documenting his travels. By observing the situations he got into, they started to see that Vash was often the victim of circumstance, a goofy, peaceful man whose legend caused more trouble than his own actions.
During this time, Vash was sought out by various, skilled weapon experts - members of a group called the Gung-Ho Guns, led by the sadistic Legato Bluesummers. Each member’s mission was simple: kill Vash. After facing the second Gung-Ho Gun, he made it clear to Meryl and Milly that they could not longer follow him, as he was becoming more and more dangerous to be around. His mind was made up: he would find Legato before Legato could stalk him further, and set off to do so. However, before he could do so, thin, black cords emerged from the ground and dragged him under - marking the last of Vash the Stampede to be seen on Gunsmoke, for now.