He is a dark-skinned man with heavy facial bones of an Earther.
Fred Johnson became famous when he was a Captain with command over three missile frigates. He destroyed a dozen pirate ships and two major bases, causing a drop in piracy in the Belt. Johnson was promoted and given command over the Coalition Marine division responsible for policing the Belt, where he continued to serve with distinction.
When Anderson Station was taken by insurgents, Colonel Johnson led the successful attack to retake the station, killing 173 armed insurgents and over a thousand civilians. This battle earned him fame in the inner planets and the Medal of Freedom, the UN Marines' highest honor. On the other hand, in the Belt he became notorious as "The Butcher of Anderson Station".
Filled with disgust, self-loathing, and the inability to cope with consequences of his actions, Johnson resigned from the Marine Corps and publicly apologized for his actions. WIthdrawing underground for years, he started frequenting bars in the Belt, drinking heavily and getting in skirmishes with the OPA, until he encountered Anderson Dawes who recruited him to the OPA.
Four years after his disappearance, Johnson showed up during a Belter revolt against the Coalition on the Pallas colony. He spent a year negotiating between the Coalition and the insurgents, ending the conflict peacefully and improving conditions for workers on the asteroid, and earning Johnson status as a hero in the Belt.
Eros Incident Edit
After spending ten years working peacefully to improve the lives of Belters and giving up his Earth citizenship, Johnson has become the OPA's spokesperson and de facto leader, operating out of Tycho Station.
On the Knight's way to meet up with the Donnager, Fred sends a message to Jim Holden. He tells him that Holden is about to play a major part in the events to come. He assures him that Holden has allies in the belt and, while Holden is in the custody of the MCRN, to use the word "ubiquitous" in his first sentence to let Fred know he is not being coerced.
After the Donnager is destroyed and the crew of the Tachi escapes, Holden, unsure what to do next contacts him. Fred then gives Holden directions and new transponder codes for his ship. Upon the arrival of the "Rocinante" (formerly the "Tachi"), Fred meets Holden and his crew. He escorts them to their rooms and explains his situation. An all out war between the Belt and Mars would bring about a horrible amount of deaths. However, there is one way to save all the blood shed; view the destruction of the Canterbury and Donnager as a criminal act instead of an act of war allowing for a trial incriminating a group that both the OPA and the Martian Congressional Republic can agree on. In the event of a trial Holden and his crew would be the star witnesses having experienced both ship's destruction first hand and give Fred and the OPA credibility in the process.
A few days later Fred calls Holden to his office. He asks Holden if he can borrow his ship. Holden refuses but offers to go instead if he knows the details. After Fred thinks about it he explains the job; Lionel Polanski, a fake alias created by Mr. Tycho to own things he doesn't want know publicly such as the Scopuli, has checked into a hotel on Eros. Due to them being a fake person Fred knows it's someone who knows the OPA intimately and is in trouble. Holden negotiates in exchange for the Martian data cube from Donnager to be allowed for his ship and crew to be signed on as independent contractors for the OPA. Fred does put one condition on Holden being signed on; he has the right to outbid any one else who tries to hire the Rocinante.
Once the crew of the Roci arrives on Eros and meets Miller, Fred sends them a message indicating that they have found a mole on Tycho and sending the crews location.
When the Rocinante makes it back to Tycho after leaving Eros and stopping at the remains of the Scopuli, Fred meets with Holden and Miller and reads over the after action report. They discuss the only way to stop Protogen is to assault the station that is controlling it. Later after Miller is able to obtain the coordinates to Thoth Station where the Eros incident is being managed from.
Battle at Thoth Station Edit
During the battle at Thoth station, Fred arrives with the ground forces on the Guy Molinari where he guides the OPA forces to the station's ops center. One Miller arrives and meets Antony Dresden, Miller calls Fred there. Once Fred meets Dresden, he begins to bargain with Fred believing the entire assault to a hostage scenario. Once Fred and the crew of the Rocinante arrive, Dresden begins to explain the Protomolecule and Protogen's involvement. Miller eventually hears enough of Dresden and shoots him in the head much to everyone's surprise. Holden begins vocally chastising Miller, telling him to find his own way home. Only Fred shows no reaction.
Once back on Tycho, Fred pays Miller for his time on Thoth. Later, Miller comes to Fred in hopes of a job consequentially, Fred hires Miller as an independent security consultant. He then asks Miller how best to handle the Eros situation. Miller tells him to send the Nauvoo into a collision course with the station knocking it into the sun. The next day, Fred calls Holden and Naomi to his office where Miller briefs them on their plan to destroy Eros. The Roci will patrol the perimeter of Eros and serve as a deterrent against any attempted outside landing parties while a coordinated team of engineers attach five freighters triggered by proximity to explode on the surface. As soon as those primary stages are complete, a final stage will conclude bringing the Nauvoo on a trajectory to crash into the station and drive it directly toward the sun. With Holden and the Roci going back into combat, Fred demands that he turn over the protomolecule sample he has. Holden refuses and, when Fred presses the issue, Holden calls Amos to direct him that if he doesn't contact him in an hour to take the Roci and leave shooting his way out if necessary. Under Miller's advisement, Fred relents.
Once Eros dodged the Nauvoo, the crew members of the Roci begin to panic. Holden opens up a channel to the UNN Ravi asking if they would like to follow Eros as it has now somehow become invisible to radar. Holden then opens a channel with Fred. They concluded that Eros is heading towards Earth and plan to detonate the bombs on the station in hopes of slowing down the ship. At this point, needing Miller to activate the bombs, Holden discovers that Miller willfully remained aboard Eros and Roci's captain seeks other alternatives.
Once the Eros internal video feeds go live, the knowledge of Protogen's involvement is made known. The United Nations begin arresting personnel and dismantling their network looking for clues. While looking they discover that Fred Johnson was considered Protogen's largest threat and the UN forgives him of his past offenses.
With the Roci traveling at high g, Fred contacts him with a plan to paint Eros with a targeting laser while Earth fires they nukes at it. Holden points out that the there is no way for the Roci to maintain visual contact with the station while not killing his crew in the process. To that, Fred responds to put the ship on autopilot if he needs to. Holden replies that he'll think about it. After discussing it with Naomi, they realize that they can use the broadcast transponder codes from the OPA freighter ships on Eros to establish targets for guiding the Earth nukes while not endangering Roci crew. This new tactic receives approval from both Fred and the UN Naval Command.
After realizing that Julie Mao is controlling Eros' flight, Miller suggests a different strategy where he would convince her to head toward Venus instead of Earth. Wanting also to attempt an extraction of Miller, Holden concocts a deal with Fred Johnson to delay the UN nuclear arsenal en route. In exchange for the protomolecule sample that Holden has, Fred Johnson would rotate and modulate transponder codes for the Eros-locked freighter ships which would effectively lead the nuclear missiles on a longer trajectory toward the speeding asteroid. The UN detects the manipulations and this raises their ire and it leads to threats of reprisal for the deception.
Three weeks later after Eros descends on Venus. Fred gives a speech at the peace conference on Ceres. On the Belt, Miller is subsequently and posthumously heralded as a hero. In contrast to prior mutual sensibilities, this is ironic.