Dario Dragan Vukjovic is a Serbian assassin, mercenary and bounty hunter. An orphan from war torn Yugoslavia, Vukjovic was recruited by the Syndicate during a clean up operation while he was a member of a militia. Vukjovic worked with them for eleven years, during which time he became a highly respected operative. He survived the cull of his employers at El Rico Air Force Base in 1999, and began work as a rogue assassin. After briefly being strongarmed into working with the New Consortium, he abandoned them and began work with Schattenjaeger after a personal approach by Alex Krycek, an old friend.
- 1 Early Life & Background
- 2 Working with the Syndicate
- 3 Rogue Agent
- 4 The New Consortium
- 5 Schattenjaeger
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Background Information
- 8 Appearances
Early Life & Background
Born in 1968 in the town of Valjevo, Yugoslavia, Vukjovic lived near the border region of Montenegro and consequently his family were often harrassed by local militias. When he was eight years old, a vicious raid by nationalist Slav militias saw his house destroyed and his family gunned down, along with most of the village. He survived by fleeing into the nearby woodlands. After a spell of four months surviving in the wild, Vukjovic was found by a Serbian militia who took him back to their camp.
He spent the following years with the militia, and was enraptured by the patriotic fervour of one of the army's leaders, Drago Djordjic. At the age of 13, he became a soldier when he killed three of the right wing militia who had wiped out his home town. ("Blood Debt", "Nemesis")
Working with the Syndicate
At the age of 20, and now the unofficial leader of his miltia (Djordjic Militant), Vukjovic encountered operatives of the Syndicate when they were attempting to track down a traitor hiding out somewhere on the Montengro-Serbia border. Vukjovic objected to the trespassing on their territory. The lead syndicate agent, Josip Duljaj, reached an understanding with Vukjovic and offered him the chance to become a 'great man' by joining their cause, in exchange for finding the traitor and killing him. Vukjovic tracked down the man, John Markic, and assassinated him in his log cabin. He then burned down the cabin and left the Djordjic Militant to join Duljaj. ("Blood Debt", "Nemesis", "Denique Velum")
For the next seven years, Vukjovic carried out tasks on the orders of Duljaj and on behalf of the First Elder. He rose in prominence within the organisation, and on occasion carried out tasks for the Cigarette Smoking Man. During this time he first met Alex Krycek, a like minded individual who he became friends with. ("Shattenjaeger", "Premija", "The Krying Game", "Blood Debt")
In 1995, Vukjovic first met Andjela Radan, a fellow Serbian operative who came from a similar background. Although the two were lovers, Vukjovic betrayed her when informed by Duljaj that she was a traitor and leaking information to outsiders. During a mission to kill an American congressman in Florence, he deliberately allowed Radan to activate a car bomb he had set up while she was in it. He left the country immediately after, presuming her to be dead. ("Messenger")
In 1997, he was ordered to assassinate the Cigarette Smoking Man by First Elder. Not agreeing with the decision, Vukjovic spurned the task and returned to Yugoslavia. By means of retribution, First Elder ordered another operative to remove CSM, and sent Duljaj after Vukjovic to kill him. Vukjovic got the jump on his mentor and killed him, before returning to the US and confronting First Elder, who "forgave" him and sent him back to work. ("Redux II", "Blood Debt")
Death of the Syndicate
By 1999, Vukjovic had become First Elder's right hand man and was a highly respected killer and bounty hunter. His high ranking allowed him to sit in on briefings and carry out tasks directly involving extraterrestrials. Because of this, he became more familiar with the Colonists and grew to despise them, and by extension the Syndicate for their collusion. It was this attitude that meant he became well acquainted with Marita Covarrubias, and the two were lovers for a time. ("The Lie", "Denique Velum", "Ueber Alles", "Everything Dies")
Having become lax in his attitude, Vukjovic frequently showed his disillusionment at his employers, leading to many to claim he was compromised and that First Elder was making an error of judgement. When the Syndicate travelled to El Rico Air Force Base to meet with the Colonists, Vukjovic was expected to attend. However, he snubbed the offer, preferring to be killed in the invasion than become a hybrid. As a result, he survived the disaster as his masters were ambushed by the Alien Rebels. ("One Son", "Denique Velum", "Messenger", "Ueber Alles")
With his masters killed, Vukjovic relocated to Finland and went into a period of hiding/retirement. During this time he drank heavily, and wasted what money he had generated during a binge period. Having run out of funds, he attempted to find work as a security guard. However, while searching an attempt was made on his life by an unknown perpetrator. Having failed to locate his would be assassin, Vukjovic became paranoid that his former employers had survived and were attempting to 'punish' him. Because of this, he went to work as a freelance assassin, any hopes of a career away from death having disappeared. ("Blood Debt", "Nemesis")
Having been operating for a couple of years, and on his way back from the killing of a Thai drug lord, he was approached by Alex Krycek, who offered him the chance to join him and his peers in a fight against his old masters and against the Colonists. Although Vukjovic was tempted by this offer, he became suspicious when Krycek failed to explain how he had survived being shot by Walter Skinner in 2001. Vukjovic held Krycek at gunpoint and left. ("Nemesis")
A month later, Vukjovic was ambushed in his Belgrade hotel room by three men who beat him and knocked him unconcious. He awoke two days later in a tiny prison cell in Tunisia, where he remained without food or water for two further days. Starving and desperate, he was then visited by Conrad Strughold, who told him that the secrets that he knew made him a liability but that he'd rather use his talents than shoot him. He then offered him the chance to work for him and the New Consortium. Vukjovic spat at him, and Strughold left. After three more days, Vukjovic screamed and pleaded to be released, and Strughold returned and took him away. Vukjovic promptly became one of the organisation's most respected operatives. ("Umbrakinesis", "Denique Velum", "Sodom and Gomorrah", "Blood Debt")
The New Consortium
The List Killings
Vukjovic's first major operation as part of the New Consortium was the location and elimination of a list of Conspiracy witnesses and 'traitors' given to him by Strughold. Despite his reservations towards his employers, he assigned Sava Kovocevic and Ilija Krasic to assist him, and was 'overseen' by Calegero Piccini, a man he detested.
After nine successful assassinations, Vukjovic had his men go after Senator Richard Matheson. After becoming aware that his efforts had been noticed by the authorities, he came to the conclusion (correctly) that Piccini had been leaking information and murdered him. Realising that the operation was now compromised, he left the country, leaving Kovocevic and Krasic stranded. Before he departed, he visited Marita Covarrubias. Making clear that he had never intended to kill her, despite her name also being on the list, he passionately kissed her and became angry when she pulled away, accusing her of pining for Krycek. After convincing her to keep in touch, he left. ("The Lie")
The Hunt for Gibson Praise
While resting at one of the New Consortium's Barracks at Porto De Empedocle, Vukjovic was contacted by his employer (later revealed to be Conrad Strughold) who ordered him to locate and bring in Gibson Praise, a task he was supposed to have achieved previously. Strughold made an ultimatum that if Vukjovic did not complete his mission, then he would not be working with them again. This would signal his own death. Angry and frustrated, Vukjovic left to make plans.
Vukjvoic, aware that Mulder knew where Gibson was, enginnered a scenario as a distraction to kidnap Scully and hold her to ransom. He manipulated an FBI informant, Shevy Dominguez, into giving a false tip off to his contact agent (Frank Nicholson) to a warehouse in downtown Washington D.C. Vukjovic planned out a route of escape before setting up in the warehouse's rafters and waiting for an armed team to arrive. He then proceeded to gun down five of the agents, including Ed Hamshaw, before fleeing via a series of sewers and maintenance tunnels. With most of the D.C Office working on the case, he was able to pinpoint and spy on Scully as she arrived at the warehouse. He murdered Dominguez, setting it up to look like a suicide, and later broke into Mulder's apartment, stealing a file on Gibson Praise and his FBI badge. Using the badge to enter the Main Office, he stole the bullet traces found in the dead agents from a ballistics office. With most of the Bureau distracted by events, he was able to execute his plan unnoticed. He broke into Scully's apartment and waited for her. When she arrived, he rendered her unconscious with chloroform and took her out to his car, after leaving an envelope with a tape recording and phone number for Mulder. En route, he was interrupted by Nicholson, whom he promptly killed. ("Dead in the Morning")
Vukjovic, with Scully his prisoner, drove down to East Point in Florida. He stopped off briefly to call Mulder and tell him where to go, as well as asserting that he didn't want the FBI involved in their dealings. Vukjovic met with his fixers, Vince Pestrelli and Joshua Wallace, who had set up a place on a freighter named the Righteous Road for him. Despite their arrangement, Vukjovic delighted in humiliating Pestrelli through subtle psychological techniques. They drove down to the boat, and Vukjovic paid off the fixers and prepared to move out. Unhappy at their treatment, Pestrelli and Wallace turned on their client and attempted to hold him up, but Vukjovic killed them both before leaving on the freighter. On board, he gave Scully water but kept her unconscious for the most part through sedative drugs. He contacted Mulder and gave him a twelve hour deadline to reveal Gibson's location. Mulder submitted, and Vukjovic recognised the location he was given. He ordered one of the ship's crew to take Scully back to a specific area of beach outside East Point, before escaping via unknown means.
After completing his mission, he went to Mexico, where he sat in a bar and drank a bottle of tequila. He explained to the barman "It's been a hard week working". ("Premija")
With no intention of giving the information to his employers, Vukjovic decided to use it as his bargaining tool and remained in Mexico, drinking and vacationing. During this time, he was approached for the second time by Krycek, who again offered him the opportunity to join him in fighting for a new cause. Vukjvoic agreed in principle, but displayed openly his suspicions. Reluctantly, Krycek admitted that he was a clone of the real Alex Krycek, created by rebel Colonists as an ambassador to Schattenjaeger, but that he shared Krycek's memories and personality up untill his creation in 2001, the same year the original was killed. Vukjovic agreed. ("The Krying Game", "Umbrakinesis", "Nemesis")
Vukjovic's first mission was the con played on Fox Mulder. Using himself as bait, he contacted Marita and had her reveal his location to Mulder, and later kept a close eye on Mulder's approach while drinking and living up life in San Salvador. When the PI hired by Mulder, Jose LaCarvallia, attempted to take photos of Vukjovic while he seduced an Amerian woman in a bar, he went outside and killed him.
Having apprehended his target, Vukjovic drove him to a remote beach house, under duress, telling Mulder that he should no longer fear him. When Mulder asked about the Krycek tape, Vukjovic blankly replied that "Alex Krycek died four years ago". He took Mulder to Robert Forrest, who attempted to 'induct' him into Schattenjaeger, albeit unsuccessfuly. During this operation, Vukjovic had an altercation with Memo Kodro, a man who he was later revealed to despise. After Mulder was returned, Vukjovic met with Krycek outside the beach house where he noted that he was unhappy by the approach taken during the attempt. He was assured that the organisation was well aware of the danger that Mulder posed. ("Umbrakinesis")
Preventing Colonist Exchange
When it became apparent that the New Consortium were attempting to engineer a deal with the Colonists in Northern Siberia, Vukjovic was tasked by Alexandr Schneider to destroy the artifacts to be presented, along the supersoldiers in statis, using magnetite explosives and a nuclear warhead. He led his team into an abandoned silo and killed the New Consortium forces inside, and was in the process of planting charges when he was interrupted by Mulder, who demanded he surrender himself. Vukjovic refuted Mulder's claims that he was destroying evidence, and claimed he was fighting a new enemy now. The two then discovered the Alien Bounty Hunter had killed the rest of Vukjovic's team, before he advanced on them. ("Shades of Grey")
Surmising that the rest of his men were dead, Vukjovic flatly told Mulder that unless they worked together they could not escape the silo, especially since he was only one who knew how to get out. He also made it clear that since the Bounty Hunter has found them, the main entrance was going to be heavily guarded. Mulder agreed, and let Vukjovic grab his rifle before they attempted to flee.
The two made their way through a series of ventilation shafts and side corridors, chased all the way. After locking themselves into a large control room behind blast doors, Mulder asked where they were going, and noticed Vukjovic adjusting a large device in the centre of the room. Vukjovic explained that it was a small nuclear warhead, designed to ensure that the entire complex would be destroyed along with the artifacts. He also said that the blast would be contained by the silo’s structure, but that they “had better been a long way away when it goes”.
With the bomb prepped, they used an old pipeline to escape to the surface, miles away from the silo’s entrance. However, as they made to leave, the Bounty Hunter smashed through a wall behind them. Vukjovic urged Mulder to run, despite the Serb having the detonators for the demo charges. Mulder refused, forcefully insisting that he would hold off the Bounty Hunter to buy Vukjovic time to blow up the silo. Reluctantly, Vukjovic left.
As Mulder was badly beaten and almost killed, the Bounty Hunter prepared to finish him off. Vukjovic suddenly appeared behind him and stabbed a gimlet weapon into the back of his neck.
Vukjovic carried Mulder out to a farm nearby, where he stole a car as Mulder passed out. They drove for some time before arriving at a large town, where he planned to drop off Mulder at a hospital. Before he could, Mulder, rousing, demanded a full explanation from him. Vukjovic nonchalantly explained that he had a new cause, and that their mission is now to stop the colonisation rather than simply delay it. When Mulder asked how, Vukjovic revealed that they have an alliance with the rebels, and that by destroying the Consortium once and for all there will be no collusion with the Colonists left on Earth, allowing the rebels to win a war with them. Dazed by events, Mulder sagged to the ground as Vukjovic walked away. Before he leaves, Mulder asked what happened to him in El Salvador. After a pause, Vukjovic explained that they “tried to talk [him] into it”. He adds that someone will probably come to see him before his mission was over, before saying “I’d look away if I were you”. He then got back in the car and drove away. ("Denique Velum")
As Vukjovic travelled to a safe spot to activate the charges, he was forced off of the road by a black car, crashing into a ditch. Quickly recovering, he emerged from the vehicle with his weapon, only to be shot by in the leg. He then saw the Grey-Haired Man emerge from the other car. The two engaged in a duel in the nearby field, both taking light injuries. After Vukjovic ran out of ammo, he attempted to flee to the nearby woodland but was shot from long range by GHM, who then jumped into his car with the intention of running him over. Flailing on the ground, Vukjovic found a single remaining magnetite grenade and hurled it at the car. The explosion pulped the car and injured the GHM, knocking him unconscious. Vukjovic, convinced he was going to die, activated the charges, obliterating the silo and killing the awoken Super Soldiers and Scarred Man’s team.
Stranded and crippled, Vukjovic was saved when Krycek drove up to the field and pulled him into the car. A bleary Vukjovic, weak from blood loss, laughed as they drove away. ("Sodom and Gomorrah")
Recovery & Recuperation
Having been saved, Vukjovic was taken back to Schattenjaeger's base of operations at Schloss Schneider in the Bavarian alps. While on a veranda, he called Conrad Strughold, telling him that he knew where Gibson Praise was, but that the information would stay with him to his grave. Strughold responded by saying that Vukjovic was making the biggest mistake of his "dirty pathetic Slav life". Vukjovic interrupted by saying that he himself was the biggest mistake of Strughold's life, that the New Consortium would lose the upcoming war, and that Vukjovic would be the one to put a bullet into Strughold's "deluded head" before hanging up. He then looked over the mountains and smiled. ("Sodom and Gomorrah")
Vaccine, Betrayal & Paranoia
Vukjovic was contacted by a former Syndicate compatriot, Lawrence Kaullsen, who informed him that he had recovered a vial of manipulated black oil, one capable of staving off alien infection and giving the human body immunity to all foreign diseases. Kaullsen said he was being hunted by "our former employers". Vukjovic met Kaullsen in Beirut, Lebanon and Kaullsen explained the vial was a sample of 'distilled' purity strain, one he had stolen from a private contractor. Kaullsen was killed in an ambush by unidentified gunmen, with Vukjovic escaping with the vial and the location of the black oil distillation site. As Vukjovic attempted to leave for Germany, he was attacked by two men in suits who rendered him unconscious.
Waking up in a Nigerian prison cell, Vukjovic became paranoid and delusional due to a strong concentration of LSD in water the jailer provided. He hallucinated seeing important people from his life, such as Josip Duljaj and First Elder. He recounted his life in an attempt to work out what had happened to him. After a "coversation" with Duljaj, Vukjovic broke out of the cell, killed the jailer and burned down the remote prison, walking away with the vial still in his possession. ("Blood Debt", "Nemesis")
Adapting a disguise as an FBI Agent, Vukjovic walked into the J. Edgar Hoover building and visited Mulder's office, much to his shock. Vukjovic explained that he been betrayed by his organisation, and that they wanted to kill him due to the vial he had in his possession. After a heated row, Mulder, restricted from out of office duties, agreed to go to his apartment where they could manufacture a deal. Upon arrival, they were confronted by Krycek, who had come to "bring (Vukjovic) back". TBC ("Nemesis")
Hunt for Niet Vaats
In Spring 2006, Vukjovic was given joint control of Schattenjaeger's Heimaey Operation along with Robert Forrest. He was later told by Krycek that one of his duties would be "keep an eye" on Forrest, who's behaviour was becoming suspicious.
Vukjovic and his operatives inflitrated the UN Task Force on Heimaey, and while there he confronted Marita, taking her to a storage container away from undercover New Consortium agents. He explained that a battle was about to begin, and that he couldn't let her get caught in the crossfire. After Marita angrily refuted his claims, he denied lying about Krycek still being alive, and made clear his wish for her to leave. They were confronted by the Consortium men, disguised as World Health Organisation staff, and were forced to flee before being pinned down by gunfire. Helpless, they were rescued when Thomas O'Brien and his men arrived and covered them before escaping via a humvee. ("Ueber Alles")
Vukjovic and his men met with Forrest, who had brought along Scully, and Forrest instructed him to take Scully back to the ship while he would take command of the island. Vukjovic took Forrest aside and let him know the pressure he was under, and bluntly stated Forrest was under scrutiny.
Upon his return to the ship, Vukjovic ran into Mulder and grudgingly admitted to being glad that he had survived. When Mulder angrily through this back in his face as a rebuke for the intended destruction of Heimaey, Vukjovic was stunned and couldn't form a reply before Mulder stormed away. Vukjovic was called into a meeting with Schneider, along with Krycek, and the pair was tasked with finding and capturing Niet Vaats personally. Despite his surprise at this turn of events, Vukjovic accepted, although he made clear his doubt.
Protecting Scully and Selena Correia
Around Halloween 2006, when Scully and Selena Correia were being pursused by a kill team of insane Willing Flesh cultists in Detroit, Vukjovic intervened
Vukjovic's ties with Mulder have always been incredibly complicated. They first came into contact directly during the investigation into the deaths of five FBI agents, although Mulder had previously identified Vukjovic during the List killings and Vukjovic had been aware of him for years. When Vukjovic kidnapped Scully, Mulder was forced to deal with him and from an early stage made his revulsion clear. This climatised in Mulder abandoing a case to hunt down Vukjovic in El Salvador with the intention of killing him. He was forced to work with Vukjovic during the alien trade in Siberia in order to escape the Bounty Hunter, and after saving Mulder's life by taking him to a hospital, the two formed a shaky truce.
- Highest kill count of 10-13: 14
Creation & Development
"Vukjovic was a character I felt the show really needed, especially in Season 10. At that point it was believed that Krycek was dead, and also Cigarette Smoking Man was a confirmed kill along with almost everyone associated with the Syndicate, and even the later series characters like Knowle Rohrer. I wanted to bring in someone who had the ambiguity of an X-Files character, where you couldn't quite decide which side he was on or what his ultimate goal was. Plus, since we were going for a whole new strand of mythology, we needed a face to represent that; somebody who's very appearance confirmed the conspiracy. This was particularly true with Dead in the Morning.
Something which is very clear in 10-13 is the massive cast of European characters. Whereas before almost all of the conspiracy characters were American, now it seems like it's Mulder & Scully vs Europe. Vukjovic was the start of that. I felt it created interesting possibilities making his a Serb who grew up in war-torn Yugoslavia, and certainly gave an edge of authenticity. Creating the balance between decent but subtle background was difficult. I didn't want him to be Dario 'I'm an orphan' Vukjovic. Dragan is a far better middle name...
We had to be very careful not to make him seem like a Krycek clone (no pun intended), especially before The Krying Game. So although his actions may seem similar, his personality and humour are not. Vukjovic is more like Mulder in terms of his general wit than Krycek, who is great but very humourless.
I think that after touching on Vukjovic's Syndicate connections, it made sense to show it in a bit more detail. I also really wanted to write an episode that went back and showed the Syndicate from a different fly on the wall perspective. The idea of a 10-13 character interacting with long dead villains like 'First Elder and Well Manicured Man. I also wanted this to tie in with his early history, his family being killed and being a militia leader. It's not impressive taking the "Orphaned - Militia - Syndicate" route with no real link up. I also wanted to explain in more detail his reasons for ditching The New Consortium.
Now, the Marita Covarrubias rendezvous....contraversial decision, and I know Nancey was a bit aghast. I don't blame her, and I think while The Lie and The Krying Game established a connection, Messenger perfectly demonstrated the balance. It also went to prove that Vukjovic, though a handsome charming bastard, isn't a good guy and pretty much does what he wants. Relationship with Marita: Lust. Relationship with Andjela Radan: Lust. There's a clear pattern. He isn't evil, but he doesn't much care for feelings which a man of his standing realistically wouldn't. And fair enough, we're talking about a show with shapeshifters and mircale babies and alien invasions, but once character believeability goes out the window the battle to win suspension of disbelief is lost.
Vukjovic and Krycek being buddies made perfect sense to me. They are very similar, if not in personality then in standing and general outward view. Plus they were about the same age working for the Syndicate and both are orphans. Makes sense.
It sounds really morbid and perverse, but the confirmed direct highest kill count for the original series was rewarded to Krycek with a surprisingly thin seven (albeit this could increase to 9 if you count Vassily Peskow and Diana Fowley) and I wanted to top this as soon as possible, so he bags one in The Lie, two in Schattenjaeger, and a wopping nine over the course of the Dead in the Morning/Premija double. In my defence, none of these deaths were unjustified and frankly the guy IS a trained killer after all. Plus, I didn't want a character who acts sinister but is ultimately harmless. Mulder and Scully always have a reason to be wary of him, even if he appears to be on their side, especially since he kidnapped Scully and killed six FBI agents.
- Season 10
- Season 11
- Season 12