- "Custer is beneficial to everyone. He unites both the red and white man. Anyways, he's grown on me."
- ―Silent Dan on General Custer
|Date of birth:||2224|
|Date of death:||NA|
|Occupation:||Colonel in Custer's American Army, head of the Restored United States of America|
Colonel Silent Dan is an officer in Custer's American Army and a close confidant of General Custer. A former Dakota warrior who was known to be the strong silent type, Silent Dan was with Custer from the beginning and has served him loyally since, for the greater good.
- "I am Dan. Pleased to meet you."
- ―A young more talkative Dan greeting a caravaner
Silent Dan, originally named just Dan, was born in the Black Hills sometime in 2224 to Dakota parents. His parents, already quite old at that point, were overjoyed to have another child in their old age and treasured Dan greatly. Dan had a relatively comfortable upbringing, learning how to hunt, to gather, and even to heal. Dan's older brother Bleeding Tooth was his closest friend and the person that he most commonly hunted with, beginning at the young age of eight. Dan's mother taught him to read and heal when he was not hunting while his father taught him "the ways of life", in other words how to carry oneself.
This had a significant effect on Dan's later life, as his father told him that actions were worth more than words, and that to be a successful man, one must not reveal his intentions to his enemy and to be careful and to be quiet are the best virtues one may have. Dan took this advice to heart unlike most of his siblings. By his teenage years, Dan had already earned the reputation of being the "strong and silent type" and good hunter. This reputation earned several "girlfriends" by the time Dan was seventeen. This did not include the beautiful and intelligent Mary Grass-Snake, who Silent Dan considered a manipulator and a heartbreak.
- "We can't live like this. We only survive and barely at that."
- ―Silent Dan on the elder's plan
At his seventeenth birthday in 2241, Dan came into his own and became a full member of the Dakota tribe and the tribe's war party. His time in the war band solidied his image as a large silent figure. His few words of wisdom made Dan respected as a boy wise beyond his years. He was also know to be just as skilled with a gun as with a hatchet. The other members of the war band gave him the name Silent Dan, and the name stuck.
Silent Dan's first few actions in the war band were just outright raiding, attacking caravans moving through the Black Hills. This was relatively easy, as few were well defended, and none yielded many casualties, bar one or two caravans from the Gun Packers in Deadwood that cost a few men. This only continued to give Silent Dan a good image of war, as something to win glory in.
This image was wiped away when the Skintaker Pack came into the Black Hills in 2243. The Badlanders were too large and well-equipped to be faced directly, and Dan's tribe had to flee south away from their advance. Silent Dan and the rest of the war band kept up the rear, repelling Skintaker attacks at a great cost. The Skintakers eventually lost interest in the Indians and turned west. This event earned Silent Dan much combat experience but it also gave him a new perspective on war: it was a bloody, inglorious but necessary affair.
Settling down near Deadwood, the tribe resorted to raiding caravans to stay afloat. Eventually, the caravan traffic began to dry up because of this and the Great Raider Wars. The tribal elder, desperate for options, decided to take action. They needed a man in Deadwood, and they would get one. Silent Dan was ignorant of this plan at the time but would become involved very soon.
The first two attempts were busts. The elder tried to convince robbed or weak-minded wastelanders that they "the white man's hero reborn and destined to take back the country". They would then be directed to Deadwood which they would presumably take over and give the Dakota full access to. Many of the tribe's warriors including Silent Dan thought the plan was rather stupid, using underhanded tactics instead of just taking the town, but agreed to got along with the plan because the elder commanded it. The first man they tried the plan out on did not believe them and simply left. The second man did believe them but was shot soon after he arrived in Deadwood.
Silent Dan grew restless as the tribe remained outside Deadwood, hunting and gathering while relying on the elder's idiotic plan for hope. What's the point in following the word of that crazy old man. Why don't we make our own plan, a good plan?
What Silent Dan did not know was that the plan would come to frution, and he would have a pivotal role in it.
For the Good of the Tribe
- ―Silent Dan's words upon seeing Mako's corpse
The day that changed Silent Dan's life came in 2241, when his tribe found a naked man on a sled outside Deadwood. Oh no, a third one. The man was cursing at them, asking to die, but the elder told them to take him in and heal him. Silent Dan rolled his eyes at this, expecting the process to play out the same as the first two times. Instead of staying to watch the elder fail again, Silent Dan went with the rest of the tribe's war band to raid.
Upon his return to the Black Hills two weeks later, Silent Dan and the rest of the war band were surprised to find the man still there. The man, who called himself George Armstrong Custer II, seemed more competent than the two previous men and was actually planning before going into Deadwood and attempting to take it over, economically then militarily.
However, Silent Dan was still not convinced that Custer could actually accomplish his goal and had decided not to get involved with him. That is, until the tribe's elder called him and gave a special request: to accompany Custer to Deadwood and help him in any way possible. Silent Dan did not understand why he had been chosen when someone older or more capable was not chosen instead. The elder told him that he was a capable fighter but more importantly he was still young and could adapt well to the hostile environment of Deadwood, unlike his older counterparts. Silent Dan accepted this responsibility with gritted teeth. Saying goodbye to his parents, Bleeding Tooth, and rest of his siblings, Silent Dan joined Custer and his little expedition and went into Deadwood for the first time. Between Custer and Mary Grass-Snake (who was also part of the expedition), Silent Dan felt that this would be a long stay.
Deadwood was different than anywhere Silent Dan had been before, a thriving den of sin in the Black Hills. His job of protecting Custer was relatively easy in such a civilized place. However, he could feel the unease the town felt toward him and his fellow Indians, no doubt to their reputation as raiders, savages, and drunks. He did his best to ignore them. The four members of the expedition were housed in the house of a sympathetic Indian, rent-free.
In the first few months in Deadwood, Silent Dan was surprised to find that Custer and Mary Grass-Snake combined made a formidable team financially, with Custer's loans creating a caravan, the Deadwood Express, in 2242 and Grass-Snake's managing (and connections) keeping it afloat. All Silent Dan had to do was follow Custer around and make sure he didn't get shot, which no one wanted to do anyways. He was relieved at the lack of action and took time to try to relax and enjoy Deadwood.
During this time, Silent Dan got to know Custer's other guard, Mako. This was because he regarded Custer as an weak minded oaf, Grass-Snake as, figuratively, a snake, and the townspeople as narrowed minded bigots. Mako was a Dakota warrior, only a year younger than Dan and a distant cousin. After three weeks or so of getting to know each other, the two became good friends. While Silent Dan was more interested in hunting and other physical activities, Mako was more interested in the pre-War world and books, things Dan did not understand at the time but could respect. When the two had time off from protecting Custer, they either practiced shooting (Dan's preferred activity) or looked around Deadwood for pre-War baubles (Mako's preferred activities). They stayed away from the saloons and their vices (women, alcohol, etc.).
By 2243, Custer was going around town making connections, pacts, and alliances with factions and people all around Deadwood, and Silent Dan was forced to follow him around, protecting him. Dan saw his first action in almost two years in the winter of 2243 when he and Mako took down a mugger who foolishly tried to shake down Custer on Deadwood's streets as he was returning from a meeting with the Gun Packers. Custer was very grateful for this and after that treated Silent Dan and Mako much better.
As Custer's power in town increased and his trading company took off, Silent Dan and Mako became more alert, fearing actual assassination attempts. These never materialized, with the closest time being Custer's ill fated duel with Natalie Owens, which they could not have prevented due to Custer's stubbornness. After Custer's injury in the duel, he was bedridden due to infection, and Silent Dan was forced to stay cooped up in a stuffy house. He and Mako watched while Grass-Snake nursed Custer and sowed her plans throughout Deadwood.
While Custer was confined to his room in early 2245, Silent Dan took the time to read a few books given to him by Mako. They did not interest him in the slightest. However, when Mako found an old set of cards, Silent Dan jumped on that and played back and forth for a month. Silent Dan lost a lot of money in that time, but it was all in good fun. Also, when on break for the day, Silent Dan would follow Mako on his daily trips to the brothel to spend his earnings. Dan did not trust whorehouses but had nothing against his friend going if he wanted to. He mostly followed for Mako's own protection though, as the brothel's owner hated Indians, and he didn't Mako to end up dead in a gutter one day. It seemed that in reality, Silent Dan was more concerned about Mako's safety than Custer's, which Mary Grass-Snake often commented on to Silent Dan's displeasure.
On the night of February 4, 2245, Mary Grass-Snake left Custer's bedside to meet with Julian Porkle to talk in the Gem Saloon. Before leaving, she told Silent Dan and Mako to watch over Custer carefully and contact the physician if his infection got worse. With their earnings from the caravan, it would have been relatively easy for Custer to pay for a physician to live with them, but Grass-Snake did not trust a Deadwood local to be alone with Custer.
Silent Dan and Mako accepted these commands half-heartedly and watched over Custer as they usually did. By morning, they were both exhausted and Grass-Snake had not returned. Custer woke and was confused to not see Mary Grass-Snake at his bedside as usual. Yelling for Silent Dan and Mako, Custer, in his addled state, stated that he suspected the "corpulent pustule" Porkle had taken Grass-Snake captive. Custer then declared that he was going to the Gem Saloon to confront Porkle.
Dan knew that this stupid and rash decision might get them killed and pulled Mako aside for a moment to ask him if they should tell Custer "the prophecy" was a ruse then and there to save their necks. Mako refused, saying that they needed to carry out the tribe's plan out, as it was their responsibility.
With this, Silent Dan was convinced to follow Custer to what he saw as the bitter end. Custer, Silent Dan, and Mako walked straight from Custer's bed to the Gem Saloon to confront Porkle. Something is about to go down. Mako and Silent Dan occasionally had to support Custer so that he did not fall down, as he was so ill.
When they arrived at the Gem Saloon, Custer loudly announced his presence and called "that swine-bellied pig" to come out and face him. Silent Dan considered this both extremely stupid while at the same time extremely brave. Mako seemed to agree. This man is not afraid to die. The situation got tenuous very quickly when Porkle did not show, and the saloon guards approached Custer, Silent Dan, and Mako, asking them to disarm or leave. When the they were ignored, one of the saloon guards tried to wrestle Silent Dan's pistol out of his hand. In response, Custer reacted uncharacteristically fast and shot the guard. After that, all hell broke lose in the Gem Saloon, and Silent Dan lost track of both Custer and Mako. He was stuck on the other side of the saloon from them ducked behind a table and often popped up to take shots at unwary saloon guards, many of which fell true. Some may have been bystanders but at that moment, Silent Dan did not care. He cared about Custer, Mako, and his survival utmost. Silent Dan saved Custer numerous times throughout the fight through covering fire and picking off the man's assailants and remained unscathed to the end.
By the time Custer shot Porkle, Silent Dan had made his way back into the open, as most of the guards were dead, injured, or fleeing. Porkle's declaration that he had killed Mary Grass-Snake and eaten her heart bewildered Dan more than enraged him, as the absurdity of it boggled him. When Custer shot Porkle, the fight was finally over. After that, Custer leaned himself on a table, cursing about Mary Grass-Snake and his arm.
Making his way through the wreckage of the Gem Saloon, Silent Dan looked for Mako, who he had lost track of while watching Custer shoot Porkle. He was horrified to find Mako sprawled on the ground behind a table. He was dead with a bullet to the brain. Custer, you complete asshat. You killed Grass-Snake, now Mako. Happy now? However, looking at Mako's corpse, his words came to mind: We need to carry out the plan, it is our responsibility. Remembering this made Silent Dan sad but also stopped him from divulging the plan to Custer. He was mad, but the plan was working and now, Custer practically had control over all of Deadwood. Mako would be honored later.
With all of that in mind, Silent Dan helped Custer up from the table and supported him as they hobbled out of the Gem Saloon, covered in blood, sweat, and victory. They were greeted outside by an array of cheers and hisses, with one very notable cheer coming from none other than Mary Grass-Snake. No way in hell. It turned she had slipped out when the shootout started, and Porkle had been lying. Silent Dan suspected that this might have been brought on by chems or something, as Porkle seemed quite sincere if bizarre at the time.
The period after the gunfight at the Gem Saloon was an exciting but sad one for Silent Dan. On one hand, he had to cremate Mako's remains and watch out for Custer's declining health while warding off potential assassins. On the other hand, Mary Grass-Snake was still alive, more Dakota were coming into town to help, and power over the town and its militia was within Custer's grasp (and the Dakota's by extension). That would all be for naught if Custer died in bed of an infection.
As Custer still tried to manage his takeover of Deadwood from his bed, the infection in his right arm worsened. Silent Dan asked him to try to slow down, but he was rejected by both Custer and an indignant Mary Grass-Snake. Custer's condition only worsened.
Things grew to a head when Custer had an episode and Mary Grass-Snake decided to stop letting him try to control everything, and for six days, no one entered his room besides her, Silent Dan and another bodyguard, and a gaggle of physicians, doctors, and assorted quacks. Things changed on the fourth day, when a mysterious women, rumored to be a tinkerer, came into Deadwood and was allowed to visit Custer. She and Grass-Snake were the only ones allowed in the room for the next two days, with Silent Dan doing little besides standing outside and occasionally playing cards. On the second day though, the screaming began and bloody bandages began coming out of the room at an alarming rate. This continued on for about a week, with the tinkerer leaving on the sixth day.
Custer emerged from his room a changed man. Upon striding out of his room, Silent Dan was the first person Custer greeted, heartily shaking his hand and thanking him for his invaluable assistance. Silent Dam was a bit in shock at Custer's new mechanical arm that was shaking his hand but was also thankful for Custer's thanks and told him it was "no problem, really." This is where Custer marks the beginning of two's friendship, though Silent Dan remembers it mostly for Custer's cold strong handshake.
After recovering, Custer finalized his takeover of Deadwood, taking over the Deadwood Militia and dealing with the Gun Packers. Silent Dan was with Custer when he did both these things and approved of them as shows of strength, unaware of any signs of nuance (the Gun Packers putting loopholes into the deal).
Only a few days after this, in the summer of 2245, the Motorhead Gang attacked Deadwood, hoping to loot the town in what they saw as a period of instability. Custer was forced to lead the Deadwood Militia and his Indian allies into battle on the outskirts of Deadwood, and Silent Dan fought alongside them. Taking down three Motorheads in battle, Silent Dan earned the respect of the members of the Deadwood Militia and a carton of cigarettes too in celebration of their victory.
Custer came out of the battle shaken and worried about the town's future as well as his own. He knew that another Motorhead attack might exhaust his disparate allies and militia, and that to survive and expand, he needed a real army. Silent Dan would help him with this. Using taxes and money from the caravan, Custer and Mary Grass-Snake bought new military supplies to augment their forces. The next step was combining the Deadwood Militia and Custer's Dakota allies into a new, powerful army. The young Silent Dan was a pivotal factor in helping with this, having connections with both sides. Dan was still a bit sad at Mako's death but saw to work past it to help forge a better future for himself and his people.
Silent Dan made the Indians and militiamen more comfortable around each other. This was difficult due to years of hostility and mistrust between the two groups, as the Indians had always raided Deadwood's caravans and the Deadwood Militia had destroyed more than one Indian tribe in the name of "security". The two had only fought against the Motorheads because the raiders were a mutual enemy.
In Deadwood, the two groups were forced to room together, eat together, and train together. By getting the two groups to actually get to know and understand each other, Silent Dan helped bring down boundaries and set the foundations for Custer's American Army. Custer had not forgotten about Dan's assistance and made him an officer for his contributions. Silent Dan worked to stay in Custer's favor as the General and his army grew. Custer and the higher ups in the Deadwood Militia were the ones overseeing the training while Silent Dan was the one that brought the group together. As a result, Dan remained immensely popularity among the soldiers, even though he was made the relatively low rank of lieutenant when Custer's American Army was founded.
Great Raider Wars
- "Rally, rally, rally behind the blue and red!"
- ―Silent Dan urging his men to rally behind Custer's flag in the Battle of Cheyenne's Crossing
As Custer's American Army emerged in the winter of 2245, other groups and factions, mostly raiders, took notice of this growing army and were alarmed. The raiders were already fighting to destroy any "civilized" opposition to them and could have never guessed that such a large number of Indians would join "a white man's army". This led to a great amount of violence between the local raiders of the area and Custer's American Army.
Silent Dan led troops for the first time rooting out raiders in the Black Hills. Along with the rest of Custer's American Army, Silent Dan assisted in killing off the raiders. In late 2245 and early 2246, Silent Dan brutalized tens of raiders and was on the campaign for most of that time with little rest. He showed the raiders no quarter or mercy, as he expected none in return.
By the summer of 2246, only three large gangs were left roaming the Black Hills: the Leathers, the Motorhead Gang, and the Mount Rushmore Neo-Patriots. The rest had been killed or driven off due to Custer and Dan's efforts. The largest of the surviving bands, the Motorhead Gang, would be Custer's next target.
In the spring and summer of 2246, Lieutenant Silent Dan kept campaigning through the Black Hills and beyond stamping out as many Motorheads as he could along with the occasional Leathers raider. The Motorhead Gang proved resilient and fought back, yielding many casualties and killing many of Dan's friends and comrades, most notably his older brother Bleeding Tooth in a battle north of Deadwood. Silent Dan briefly returned home to his parents to mourn in June but returned soon afterwards, now carrying a personal hatred for the Motorheads.
In the winter of 2246, Lieutenant Dan led his soldiers in the Battle of Cheyenne's Crossing alongside the rest of Custer's American Army, smashing the Motorhead Gang in South Dakota once and for all. This sated his need for revenge and let him move on, which Custer approved of as he was beginning to worry about Dan. Because of this, Custer decided to assign Silent Dan to overseeing Custer's American Army in Deadwood while Custer cleared out any remaining raiders in the area.
For the rest of the Great Raider Wars, Silent Dan was forced to stay back in Deadwood, protecting the town from raider reprisals while keeping Mary Grass-Snake, the Dakota, and the townspeople away from each others' throats. It was a tiresome and thankless task, but someone had to do it. Silent Dan's ability to stand up to his Dakota brethren and Mary Grass-Snake gained a lot of popularity with Deadwood's townspeople, who in turn trusted Custer as well.
Things got difficult around the Battle of Mount Rushmore in 2248. Silent Dan wanted to accompany Custer to fight at Mount Rushmore, but Custer rejected his request. Dan suspected Grass-Snake was responsible for this and fumed, taking out his rage on raider captives. This was kept quiet, but it weighed on him later in life for his rash choices. After the Battle of Mount Rushmore, General Custer returned to Deadwood with a defeated army. Things looked worse than they had been since Custer had taken over, with Lieutenant Dan in the middle of it trying to keep things together. That was what he did until Custer regained his strength and attacked Mount Rushmore a second time, winning that time.
After the Battle of Mount Rushmore, Custer set to work building his fortress Fort Rushmore and further securing the area from the raiders still fighting to the north. Meanwhile, Silent Dan was still left in Deadwood making sure Custer's allies did not kill each other. By that time, Dan was much more experienced at doing his job and was finally able to focus a little on his own pursuits, his own dreams.
This included trying to settle down with a woman finally. Silent Dan saw how Custer and his woman were doing and was confident he could do better. He was right and wrong, to a degree. Silent Dan was able to get three partners between 2248 and 2254 and two children came from these relationships. However, none of them stayed and the only things they left him were the children, Bleeding Tooth and Marissa. After a few difficult times, Silent Dan was able to adapt to becoming a father and being the military leader of Deadwood. Custer was a big help, providing Dan with a midwife and tutor for his children.
Meanwhile, while Silent Dan stood on the sidelines, the conflict between Custer and Grass-Snake raged. Dan avoided taking sides, not wanting to antagonize either person. All Dan could do was try to comfort Custer, which he was wasn't very good at, being a Dakota warrior by birth not a therapist.
This period was rife with emotions and dramatic flair but was relatively peaceful, as the Great Raider Wars had mostly moved north. Mostly. As it turned out, remnants of various raider gangs had been stewing west of Deadwood waiting for an opportune moment to strike. This moment came oddly in 2254 when the Badlanders of the Skintaker Pack arrived, with the raiders managing to strike up a temporary alliance with the Badlanders to jointly take down Custer.
This culminated in a massive attack on Deadwood. Silent Dan, alerted by Dakota scouts, told Custer of the danger approaching and along with the rest of Custer's American Army fortified the town. However, he made sure Bleeding Tooth, Marissa, and the rest of his family were with his tribe in the Black Hills before the battle began.
When the hammer fell on Deadwood, it fell hard. The Skintakers attacked the town's barricade and brought it down with dynamite, rushing through the gap. Silent Dan, alongside General Custer, fought the Skintakers and their raider allies with a ferocity that shocked others in Custer's American Army. However, ferocity alone was not enough to push back the attackers, and the town's defenders were pushed back. Many soldiers and Dakota were killed in the process.
Silent Dan and his command were pushed back to the Sad Bullet Factory where they were assisted by Gun Packers in repelling a raider assault. After that, Silent Dan finally decided to go on the offensive, attacking Skintakers and raiders. Along with the rest of Custer's American Army, Silent Dan helped take back Deadwood and win the battle.
Silent Dan witnessed tens of raiders getting captured and sent to warehouses, but this did not concern him. He needed to find Custer, who he had lost track of in the battle. So much for protecting him, huh?
Asking around, Silent Dan found that after the battle Custer had made the announcement concerning raiders and had just left. This worried Dan, as he feared a lone Skintaker or raider left over from the battle might end all of him and his tribe's plans there and then.
The search for General Custer took an entire day. Silent Dan and his soldiers finally found Custer in a ruined house, curled up beside the defiled corpse of Mary Grass-Snake. The things the Skintakers did to her made Silent Dan's stomach churn. Silent Dan had never particularly liked Grass-Snake and felt it might be better to leave Custer there, but he knew what he had to do. Custer had to wake up and face the world. For that, Custer was eternally grateful to him.
After the battle, Silent Dan temporarily took control over Deadwood as Custer was recovering. His family returned to Deadwood. Houses were rebuilt, messengers were sent, bodies were buried. In the next week, Custer took back control. The Great Raider Wars had drawn to a close.
Policing and Reassessing
- "A pleasant existence."
- ―Silent Dan describing his time in the Black Hills
With the Great Raider Wars at a close in 2254, Silent Dan was able adapt to peacetime relatively fast. Earning the rank of colonel after the Battle of Deadwood, Dan was put in charge of overseeing security in the Black Hills, boring but peaceful work. He did not see Custer for the next two years, mainly just fighting off the occasional raider band, pacifiying the local Dakota, and raising his children. It was a boring but calm time.
Silent Dan briefly returned south in 2256 to celebrate the finishing of Fort Rushmore and the creation of the Restored United States of America. However, Dan did not initially join the celebrations but instead stood on the ramparts of Fort Rushmore staring at the stars, considering the consequences of his past actions. After some more thought, Silent Dan returned down from the ramparts to find a drunk and woozy Custer, who called out Dan as "my bestest friend". Embarrassed at Custer's appearance and disposition, Dan took him on his shoulder, shook his head, and returned Custer to his quarters followed by a gaggle of women.
After 2256, Silent Dan did not see Custer again until 2267. They stayed in contact through some letters and radio but mostly drifted apart. While Custer's plans in Rapid City unraveled, Silent Dan stood as the solemn sentinel of the RUSA's northern border repulsing numerous raider attacks from the likes of the Sons of Bismarck and the Wilson Gang. This gained Dan great respect from the people of the area but not from the rest of Custer's American Army. Even though as a colonel he was high ranking, Silent Dan's remote location caused his job to become nigh thankless and in a decade, his name was forgotten by most in Deadwood and Rapid City. Silent Dan did not mind that, as he preferred obscurity to the possible danger of the limelight to him and his children. While Custer lost purpose in the 2260s, Silent Dan regained his: protecting the RUSA, the Black Hills, and his kids.
Silent Dan returned south in 2265 for a meeting with Dakota chiefs and in 2267 for Custer's wedding. Dan was happy for Custer getting over Grass-Snake but feared that the marriage might not work out because of the age difference. After the marriage. Silent Dan stayed in the Black Hills continuing to hold the RUSA's frontier. This continued on for another decade.
In 2276, the super mutants Khrud'z Killerz came rampaging through the Badlands Territory, burning their way through the Black Hills and hurting the Dakota especially bad. Silent Dan and his soldiers were able to kill a few super mutants but were unable to stop King Khrud from moving west. This left many Dakota doubtful of his ability to protect them. Silent Dan worried about this but refused to think about it, focusing on rebuilding. Soon enough though, Custer would need him for other purposes...
Time in Rapid City
- "This city is like an open sewer. Full of shit and rats, both deadly naturally."
- ―Silent Dan voices his views on Rapid City
In 2276, Custer's American Army's base of operations in Rapid City, Camp Rapid, was a cesspool of corruption. Raiders regularly bribed the garrison for weapons and supplies and sometimes even allowed to enter the camp. Ever since the peace treaty with the Dakota Regulators and the ANA, Rapid City had not been Custer's focus. General Custer had not taken notice of the corruption. However, when he came on a surprise inspection in 2276, Custer was taken aback by the condition of Camp Rapid.
Upon returning to Deadwood, General Custer ordered the garrsion in Camp Rapid to be transferred to Fort Rushmore and replaced. By who, was the question. Custer needed someone he could trust, someone reliable... Silent Dan came to mind.
In the process of healing the Black Hills from the damage the super mutants had wrought, Dan was caught off guard by the message to come south but followed Custer's command, telling himself it would be for the best. Upon arriving in Deadwood, Custer embraced Dan as a friend and thanked him for his cooperation. After that, the General outlined his plans for Rapid City: he wanted to establish a base to police caravan traffic in the center of the city, as raiders were beginning to not accept his tribute anymore. Also, Custer wanted Dan to clamp down on corruption and prevent any "fratenizing" with raiders. Put in charge of over one hundred soldiers of Custer's American Army, Colonel Dan took up residence in Camp Rapid and went to work.
Firstly, Dan had all his officers stand at attention in front of him in his quarters as he outlined his expectations of them and punishments for insubordination. This word was funneled down the troops and worked for some but not others. Silent Dan made quick examples of those who disobeyed him, with hangings most commonly. Any raiders around Camp Rapid earned the same punishment if they did not meet a bullet first.
Oddly enough though, Dan was not hated for being seen as overly harsh, since his policies seemed to work just fine and everyone loved his family. In the early months of 2276, Dan got to know many of his soldiers in Camp Rapid, telling them stories of the Black Hills and long-forgotten wars.
In the summer, Silent Dan fufilled Custer's goal in Rapid City, establishing an outpost in the abandoned Vault 52. He garrisoned some of his troops there to defend the position from raider and mutant attacks. Sadly for him though, the outpost was wiped out later that year by raiders. This was a big loss for Dan, and he remained determined to discover who the group that attacked the outpost was. He wanted to put to rest the lives lost and his perceived mistake.
This quickly turned into a war with all the raider groups in Rapid City, as Dan attacked all raiders regardless of affiliation. This war was not that severe though because although the RUSA was outnumbered, they were of superior quality compared to the raiders. For every soldier that died, three raiders were killed.
As the war in Rapid City raged, Silent Dan's search slowly drew Custer's personal attention and he became curious as well but for different reasons. In early 2279, Silent Dan figured out the Rockers had been involved and began attacking them predominantly. At the same time, Custer theorized that the ANA had attacked Vault 52, not raiders. Custer told Silent Dan of his suspicions and Silent Dan in turn told him what he knew: that the Rockers had been involved. Custer worked off of this while Silent Dan continued to battle in Rapid City. When Custer's suspicions were confirmed in 2280, Silent Dan was one of the first to learn of it.
The Generals War
- "I fight for many things besides Custer and this country. The future being the foremost."
- ―Silent Dan explaining his reasons to fight
After hearing the news and Custer's declaration of war, Silent Dan moved fast. Marching his soldiers out of Camp Rapid, Silent Dan's soldiers fired the first shots of the Generals' War against a nearby ANA outpost. With superior numbers and the element of surprise, the RUSA soldiers crushed their enemy underneath their feet quickly. By the time General Custer arrived in Rapid City, the ANA had lost their positions outside Rapid Valley. This made Silent Dan very proud.
In the next few days, the rest of Custer's American Army streamed into Rapid City and besieged the ANA's stronghold there, Rapid Valley. Silent Dan's forces were absorbed into the larger body of the army. The siege began and was very severe for about a week, with various attacks on the town's walls and raider attacks on the besiegers' camp. Silent Dan stayed in the rear with General Custer and the new Colonel Vandada commanding as it was seen as "unprofessional" for him to fight with his soldiers. He sat back and watched the fight unfold before him.
Things changed soon though. Word came of the ANA Army of the North coming south to attack Deadwood in retaliation against the attack in Rapid City. General Custer decided to leave Silent Dan to take Rapid Valley and rush to confront the ANA in the north. Dan protested but was ignored and left with his paltry forces to carry on the siege.
This did last for long, as raiders, Dakota Regulators, and mutants constantly attacked the besiegers' camp, and logistics were a nightmare. In the winter of 2280, a combined force of ANA reinforcements and raiders broke through Silent Dan's lines and relieved Rapid Valley. Tired of what he saw as a useless fight, Dan make the decision to end the siege and recoup his losses in Camp Rapid.
Many of the other officers in Custer's American Army blamed Silent Dan for the siege's failure. General Custer did not blame him though, as he considered Dan a good friend. Stationed in Camp Rapid, Dan decided to stall any offensives in Rapid City until the battles in Borderlands were over and reinforcements could come in. They arrived in 2282 along with General Custer, and Custer was the one leading the offensives, not Dan. However, Silent Dan still took part in the fighting, commanding his troops and fighting in battles near Coolidge, Peril, and Vault 52. Silent Dan became especially famous for his clashes with the Superiority, whose offensive capabilities he stifled considerably. That still did not earn him the respect of many in Custer's American Army, though he was still liked by many in the Black Hills and other parts of the RUSA. Currently, he is in Camp Rapid assisting in the war effort in Rapid City. His children are there as well, with Marissa being a soldier and Bleeding Tooth being a scavenger.
Silent Dan is not ashamed of his decisions and is sure that what he did was the right thing. He resents Custer for his naïvety and for being scapegoated for losing the siege of Rapid Valley but does not openly announce his resentment. Silent Dan is very proud of his role in the creation of the RUSA and Custer's American Army but has not forgotten his people, the Dakota. He is loyal to a fault and would be willing to die for his cause if it was not for his children.
Silent Dan is a patient, dignified man who prefers to be careful to being bold. He is well known for playing the long game. Dan is a tough nut and loyal to a fault to his tribe and General Custer, who he has gotten a liking for over the years. Dan is kind to his soldiers and children but brutal towards his enemies such as raiders and ANA soldiers. Although he is not particularly intelligent in the academic way, he has a large variety of common sense and good decision-making.
Dan's position on women is the same as his position on fish: easy to catch, hard to keep. This has led to a series of short affairs that have produced two children. Silent Dan is happy as long as he can keep his children.
Known for being a "strong and silent type", Silent Dan was tall and strong. When he joined Custer's American Army, Silent Dan shaved his hair off to show his dedication. It grew back later. His skin is a light reddish-brown due to his Indian heritage.
Silent Dan wears a blue RUSA colonel uniform, along with a hat. He used to wear Indian traditional attire but does not do so commonly anymore, only for special occasions.
Silent Dan does not often carry weapons anymore, but he did use a laser rifle and a Chinese assault rifle when he fought in Custer's American Army. Now, he carries a custom made officer's sword and some medicine for his health.
- "His name was Claude. That's not important though. He is Custer now, as he should be, and I'm here to help him and my people in any way possible."
- ―Silent Dan speaking in private about Custer's origins
- "Why'm I called Silent Dan? ..."
- ―Silent Dan when asked about his name
- "He's my best soldier and oldest friend."
- ―General Custer about Silent Dan
- "Dan's a sly Injun that's for sure, but he won't catch me, that's a fact."
- ―Sergeant Major Tom Renner on Silent Dan looking into the Battle of Vault 52
- "For someone who doesn't talk much, you're a real asshole when you do."
- ―Mary Grass-Snake to Silent Dan
- "I swear to the Lord above I'll wear that injun's scalp on my belt before my time has come, that I can promise you."
- ―Llewelyn Douglass
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