Portrait of a Character – Daniel Chang
The character is canon, albeit he does not have a first name. Therefore, I selected the actor’s own first name.
As in the original, Chang is played by Daniel Dae Kim.
In canon, Chang is a Corporal. But he always rubbed me the wrong way. And so I have added a disobedient streak to him.
Subversive and, sometimes, downright mean, Chang is the villain, particularly in the E2 stories. But there is a background to his behavior.
In Demotion, Chang’s mouth and his penchant for going AWOL at the worst of times leads to the action depicted in the title. This story, a prequel, dovetails with the canon Hatchery episode. I also wanted to address how thoughts that Jay Hayes might be gay would affect him and could be spun out as a part of my fanfiction. Plus I wanted Dan to be resentful.
Dan really gets to be resentful in the E2 stories. Both kick backs in time occur not too long after the events in Demotion, so he has plenty of reasons to be angry. During both kick backs, he is insubordinate and often gripes about the mistakes that have led to injuries, damage and worse during those two alternate time lines. Furthermore, during the first kick back in time, Dan behaves extremely badly. It would be a major spoiler to reveal what happened, but suffice to say that Dan, while not a killer, is very nearly as bad. Deciding what to do about him is a major issue for Captain Archer.
In the second E2 kick back in time, Dan is not as monstrous, but he still behaves in a rather nasty manner. He meets his end in an uncomfortable fashion, but has a chance to be at least a bit of a hero. In that story, Dan shows he has a heart. He’s not simply a one-dimensional bad guy.
The Shell Shock story also references Demotion, when Dan (along with Malcolm, Tristan Curtis, and Josef Kastle and Derek Kelby from the NX-02 Columbia) is suspected of a crime. Dan’s poor behavior comes back to haunt him and he remains under suspicion longer than most because he is so uncooperative and nasty.
The only relationship I have written for him is from the first E2 kick back in time, when he and Sandra Sloane accidentally conceive a child. Their daughter, named Kimberly, is an eventual ancestor of the people who the people from the second E2 kick back meet, including Charlotte Reed-Hayes Archer. Kimberly barely knows her father, but is able to tell him, eventually, that she forgives him. As for Sandra, there is no love lost between her and Dan and, when she takes up with Brooks Haynem, Sandra leaves Dan far behind and never looks back.
I have never written a Mirror counterpart for Dan, but he is not, explicitly, a dead man on the other side of the pond. Hence he may eventually show up there.
He might be carefree, or even obedient and almost conventional.
“He was unprepared. And that gets you killed around here.”
Bad guys need to exist, otherwise stories aren’t that interesting. There needs to be tension. There must be conflict. For me, Daniel Chang provides it in spades.