Under the flag of the New California Republic and in constant fear of the approaching forces of the Legion, inhabitants of the Mojave wasteland lived expecting death to arrive sooner than later. Hoover Dam was the name in everyone’s minds; a strategic and plentiful source of power to some, and a trophy to others. Titans of similar strength and numbers would clash sooner or later, leaving behind them a trail of blood and gunpowder on top of the great dam walls.
Further West, a city untouched by the warheads that had scorched the rest of the world shined within the vast darkness of the Mojave desert, under the protection of a mysterious overseer named Mr. House and his army of rehabilitated tribals - now the Three Families - and police robots: New Vegas. Around the year of 2274, the NCR reluctantly signed the New Vegas treaty, which allowed them to control the Hoover Dam and set up headquarters at Camp McCarran, while recognizing Mr. House and the Three Families as the rightful owners of the city. The dam was restarted, directing 95% of its power to California, while providing Mr. House and the Families with 5% - enough to power the whole Strip and its many casinos.
It is the year of 2277, two hundred years after the Great War. The Legion - commanded by its unquestionable leader, Caesar, and the fearsome Malpais Legate, formerly known as Joshua Graham - arrived two years ago to the east shores of the Colorado River, directly across from where the NCR has set up base to protect the dam. War is imminent, and so is death. Both the Legion of the east and the NCR of the west own immense chunks of the old American territory and both carry with them armies that would put every other faction or tribe to shame.
Your name is Ace Briggs, daughter of the late Lacey Briggs. You are a lone hurt wolf. You carry on your back not only a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of whiskey, but also the death of those you cared for the most. You come from the North, from the massive capital city of the NCR - appropriately named “New California Republic” - though it used to be called Shady Sands. With the death of your mother due to sickness and the lost of many loved ones to the Wasteland, one thing lead to another and now you find yourself in a saloon in the small town of Goodsprings, directly southwest of New Vegas.
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“Truth is, the game was rigged from the start.”
"You keep drinkin' like that and you'll wake up covered in bighorner shit." The bartender warned me, almost as if she was speaking from experience.
I quickly glanced at her through the bottom of my glass, which was thoroughly emptied countless times that evening, she looked strangely concerned to see this mess of a stranger in this state, I wouldn't be surprised if she was just worried I would start yelling and having a go at possible clientele. "Heh, wouldn't be too much worse." I said as I slammed the glass one last time down on the counter.
She looked at me one last time and turned to her radio which as sitting on the counter directly behind her, where she kept her drinks and a broken cash register. After briefly tinkering with it, she sighed in frustration and gave it a slight tap as a last effort, to no success. "Piece of shit…" She whispered.
"What's so important?" I asked as I placed a cigarette between my lips and grabbed a lighter out of my left pocket.
"Huh? Oh, the radio? Just some old piece of junk. After a while you start to wonder what's going on in the world around you. And that Mr. New Vegas seems like such a gentleman." She sighed. "Name's Trudy."
"Hi. So, what is the latest on the world, Trudy?" Lighting my cigarette and trying to keep my stance after all of the alcohol, I felt out of date. Maybe I just didn’t care enough about events that didn't involve me up to that point. Maybe.
While on the other counter, she grabbed a piece of cloth and then turned to me. "You done?"
I groaned. "Yeah. For now."
She grabbed my empty glass and proceeded to clean it with her rag. "Well, the latest I've got for you is the coming dustup between the NCR and the Legion over the Dam." Legion, I thought, doesn't sound too friendly. Trudy then swiftly switched her attention to another client whose face I could not see very well, but it was clear that they were a man looking for good kick into dream land, riding his glass into the abyss of sorrow and alcohol. His face was hidden in the shade cast by his big hat. His general form was also a mystery due to his big and heavy trench coat.
"There's going to be a war, then? Over this Dam?" I asked, quickly glancing over at the man on the far end of the counter but keeping my attention directed at Trudy.
"Just water? Alright, hold up a second." She finished getting the order from the mysterious man, looks can be deceiving. "Uh… Ah, yes, I do think so. The NCR being the people they are would not let it fall in the hands of the likes of the Legion, specially with how they've presented themselves around this area, bunch of savages."
"I'm sorry, I'm…" I could not look more confused and lost. "Could you tell me a bit about these… Legion... people?"
She stopped on her way to the sink and looked at me. Her face said it all; she was questioning whether I was from this planet or not. "Did you hit your head on your way here or have you just been living under a ro-..." She stopped herself before continuing. "Uh, one second." To not lose any more time, I'd assume, she paused herself to serve the man his glass of water.
"Appreciate it." A very deep and raspy voice came from the darkness under his hat.
Trudy smiled at him - as any bartender would. "Don't mention it." She then turned around and walked towards me as I take the cigarette out of my mouth to exhale the smoke. "Well, where to begin?" Trudy sighed and leaned back on the other counter, crossing her arms and looking at the ground. "Slavers, killers, and all other kinds of trouble. They dress up like Roman soldiers, so there’s no mistaking it when you see them." Trudy's tone was one of disgust, mixed with utter fear. "The rumor is that the Legion is far larger than the NCR lets on, and that it's been due to luck that the Legion hasn’t overrun the territory."
I raised my eyebrows in surprise. "Huh, that's… Comforting. Well, if I see a Roman soldier running around, I'll make sure to turn around and walk away!" I turned and got up from the stool, I reached for my bag to grab the caps I owed Trudy for the drinks and placed them on the counter. "Here ya' go. Thanks for the hospitality."
"'Twas my pleasure…" Trudy replied. Before she could continue her job with other costumers, she looked back at me before I walked through the door. "I didn’t catch your name, lady."
"Call me Ace."