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Bitter Springs was originally a camp for Great Khan civilians that did not participate in raids; namely women, children, and the elderly. Inadequate military intelligence led to progressively worsening miscommunications with New California Republic Army forces, resulting in what came to be known as the Bitter Springs Massacre in 2278.
After the massacre, the NCR seized this settlement from the Great Khan survivors. Having suffered heavy losses, the Great Khans were forced to migrate to Red Rock Canyon, with Great Khan iconography and graffiti still found about their original camp, illustrating their previous ownership. As of now, Bitter Springs is a refugee camp meant to give assistance to those who have been displaced by Caesar's Legion's advance westward. However, the camp is currently in a precarious situation and is need of more supplies and personnel.
The refugee camp has a couple regulations that keep chaos from erupting: a sunset curfew is in place; squatting in view of the camp is prohibited; all personal food, water and pets must be kept away from camp supplies to avoid mixing; and most importantly, all civilian firearms use is forbidden. Lately, though, Bitter Springs has been terrorized by an unknown assailant, which the local NCR officers have determined as living in the nearby mountains. Over the past six months, eight refugees and three soldiers have been killed.
The camp consists of NCR tents to the north, and refugee tents towards the south end of the camp. The doctor's tent is among the NCR tents facing the refugees and Captain Gilles can usually be found sitting by the campfire at the center. Should one approach the area from west by southwest, they will find twelve graves; six on each side of the path, each containing minor loot.
- A copy of Salesman Weekly, on a cot with a refugee.
- A copy of Fixin' Things on the desk in the north-most NCR tent (needs to be stolen).
- Another copy of Salesman Weekly, on the desk in Captain Gilles' tent.
- A Great Khan spike helmet can be found on-top of the northwest-most grave, approaching the area from the southwest.
- Should the Courier have Cass as a companion when visiting the refugee camp, she may complain that the camp stinks of piss and vomit.
- Some NCR troopers may mutter something about a ghost haunting the mountains.
- The NCR flag will be upside down until the quest No, Not Much is completed. This is because the NCR uses it as a sign of distress, like the United States Flag Code.
- During No, Not Much, the option is present to irradiate a portion of the camp (1-3 rads per second), though unlike Cottonwood Cove this does not actually kill the soldiers stationed at the location.
- Bitter Springs can be a hazardous location to reach, as the route to it is frequented by deathclaws and cazadores.
- Many of the refugees have crippled legs.
- You can get infinite experience by doing Mr. Sandman kills on a sleeping child (since they do not die) in one of the tents.
- Walking up the stairs at Bitter Springs may crash the game, requiring a hard reset. Recommend saving before going near this location.
- Saving while in Bitter Springs and then loading your save may cause your system to freeze upon loading, thus forcing you to load a previous save file.
- A gecko may spawn in the middle of Bitter Springs and kill some refugees. There is no way around it other than killing it quickly.
- The Courier: "You were at Bitter Springs, I'm told."
Dhatri: "Yeah, I was there. I was Captain Dhatri, then. That whole situation was a mess and could easily have been avoided with good intel. The major in charge at the time made a bad call - he thought Bitter Springs was full of Great Khan raiders, so we surrounded the place. By the time any of us realized there were civilians down there - women and children - the shooting had already started. The major froze up at the news, and we couldn't get another word out of him. I took over and salvaged the situation as best I could. For my effort, I was promoted to major. Not quite the way I'd have wanted it."
- The Courier: "What happened?"
Craig Boone: "Main force got spotted too soon. We heard shooting. Then Khans started coming through Canyon 37 in bunches. It was all wrong, though. Women, kids, elderly. Wounded started coming through, too. We radioed to confirm our orders but command didn't get what we were seeing. They told us to shoot till we were out of ammo. So that's what we did."
(Craig Boone's dialogue)
- The Courier: "What incident?"
Gilles: "About three years ago, this canyon was the main encampment for the Great Khans. NCR's 1st Recon tracked them here after a raid and made an attack. There was a communication mix-up that resulted in some noncombatants being killed. It was a tragic mistake, but we've done all we can to make amends."
- The Courier: "What is this place?"
Gilles: "This is the Bitter Springs refugee camp. We've been maintaining it for a few years now, ever since Caesar's Legion started seriously pushing west. Most of the people here were displaced by the Legion's advance. At first there weren't many, but lately it's been more than we can handle."
- The Courier: "Why is the flag upside down?"
Gilles: "It's a distress call. This camp is in bad shape, and if we don't get relief soon, I don't know what will happen."
- File:FNV Bitter Springs Regulations.png
- The Courier: "What's this about someone killing refugees?"
Gilles: "It started about six months ago. At first it was just supplies going missing - we figured it was refugees. Then people started dying. Always a single bullet to the head, always from extreme range. We've lost eight refugees and three soldiers to this son of a bitch. We know he must be hiding out in one of the caves up in the mountains, but I don't have enough men to send out looking for him!"
- Rose of Sharon Cassidy: "Heard NCR recon fucked up here once, with the Khans."
Rose of Sharon Cassidy: "Heard NCR drove the Khans out of here, to Red Rock."
Rose of Sharon Cassidy: "Place stinks of sand, piss, and vomit."
Rose of Sharon Cassidy: "Refugees."
Rose of Sharon Cassidy: "Watch out - easy to get sick around here."
(Rose of Sharon Cassidy's dialogue)
- The Courier: "<Lie, give radioactive supplies> These supplies should be "helpful." Enjoy them."
Gilles: "Where did you get this? You know what, it doesn't even matter. Thank you. This will be a tremendous help."