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Vash was a human archaeologist, thief, profiteer and former member of the Federation Archaeology Council in the 24th century. During the 2360s, she had an on-again/off-again romance with Jean-Luc Picard whom she met on Risa while searching for the Tox Uthat. She later formed a partnership with Q, exploring the Gamma Quadrant with him until 2369. (TNG: "Captain's Holiday", "Q-Pid"; DS9: "Q-Less")
Early life and careerEdit
Little is known of Vash's background, except that she was born sometime in the early 2330s, and, abandoned by her mother, lived on the streets of an (unidentified) "backwater cesspool of a planet."
Her hard life taught her to be exceptionally resourceful, and she escaped her birth world by stowing away aboard a transport bound for the Rigel system. In her early teens, she was a pickpocket and petty thief, wanted by local constabularies from Rigel IV to Wrigley's Pleasure Planet.
According to a story she once related to Timothy Sinclair, when she was 14 she stole an antique pocketwatch from a man she later learned to be Doctor Carter Nelson, a professor of archaeology at the Daystrom Institute. When Nelson posted a reward for the item that was ten times as much as she could get from a fence, she returned it, surprised that Nelson recognized her as the thief. Vash was even more surprised when, instead of turning her in to the authorities, Nelson bought her a hot meal and gave her a job as his field assistant.
Working with Dr. Nelson, Vash came to appreciate the value of ancient things, though she viewed it in a much more monetary sense than her employer. She nonetheless studied at the Daystrom Institute under Nelson and his colleagues. Vash proved to be an excellent student and left with a master's degree in xenoarchaeology in 2354. (Star Trek: Pendragon: "Past Watchful Dragons", et. al)
But Vash's primary goal was not to gain knowledge about ancient cultures, but to sell their artifacts for a profit. To this end she frequently used methods that were considered unscrupulous by the scientific community, including visiting many archaeological sites that were barred to outsiders, such as Sarthong V. (TNG: " Captain's Holiday")
Following her "visit" to Sarthong in 2355, Vash set out for the Great Rift region between the Sagittarius and Orion arms of the galaxy, where many ancient, long-abandoned worlds lay waiting to be explored, and perhaps, exploited. She spent over a year investigating various worlds in the region, and made some "amazing" discoveries. (Star Trek: Pendragon)In early 2357, Vash was a passenger Lalairu vessel. On the journey she met a young man named Timothy Sinclair, who was another guest of the Lalairu. Vash was the first human he had seen in over six months, and as the only humans aboard, they spent much time together. Intrigued by each other, their mutual passion for archaeology turned into a different type of passion altogether, which years later, Vash would remember with fondness, while Sinclair would call it "the second biggest mistake" of his life.
After departing the Lalairu, Vash and Sinclair continued to travel together, forming a partnership that lasted for six months. Half that time was spent among the ancient outposts of the former Tkon Empire. Their partnership dissolved when Sinclair realized that Vash was just using him, and took off for the galactic rim. (Star Trek: Pendragon)
Vash eventually returned to Federation space, and went back to the Daystrom Institute. From 2361 until his death, Vash assisted Dr. Samuel Estragon in his search for the Tox Uthat. She ultimately found the device on Risa, with the help of Jean-Luc Picard. (TNG: "Captain's Holiday")
Because of her "questionable" ethics - Picard considered her "amoral" - Vash was twice removed from the Federation Archaeological Council. She was also persona non grata on a number of worlds, including Epsilon Hydra VII and Betazed. She even had a "dead or alive" warrant on her head on Myrmidon, where she had stolen the Crown of the First Mother. After an incident on Deep Space 9, she was offered both reinstatement to the Council and a teaching post at the Daystrom Institute, but her adventurous, profiteering nature caused her to turn them down. (TNG: "QPid"; DS9: "Q-Less")
After the Federation Civil War, Vash met up with Sinclair again while they were both investigating potential Iconian outposts. Despite Sinclair's objections, she "tagged along" on some of his expeditions, and became acquainted with his sons, Jeff and Tyler. (PDN: "Air and Darkness")
Vash encountered the Sinclairs on many occasions throughout the 2380s, most notably in 2385, when she and Tim worked with a team of archaeologists on Mintaka III, eventually leading to the discovery of the Tkon "Starkindler" artifact. (PDN: "Moments of Revelation", "Another Time, Another Place", "Starkindler")
- Vash was named after Susan Vash, a casting director who Ira Steven Behr worked with on the television series Once a Hero. Her name was changed into Viriad in the French version, because Vash sounds like the french word vache, which means "cow" in English.
- Vash is one of only two serious romances that engage Captain Picard through the course of The Next Generation, the other being with Nella Daren.