Free Economic Zone of New Vegas

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Free Economic Zone of New Vegas
Ranger at New Vegas entrance.jpg
The heart of the FEZ.
Overview
TypeLiberal autocracy
GovernanceAll power centralized in the office of Chief Executive
LeadershipRobert House (Chief Executive)
Founded2273, by Robert House
Society
StructureCivil liberties and rights for all denizens of the FEZ. Near-absolute economic freedom. No political franchise.
Notable MembersBenny
The Courier (prospective)
Territory
CapitalNew Vegas
Notable LocationsLucky 38
Securitron vault
Relations and associations
Related EntitiesChairmen
Omertas
White Glove Society
 
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The Free Economic Zone of New Vegas[1] is a city state led by Robert House in New Vegas. Although it is formally founded if House establishes sovereignty over the Mojave, in practice, it exists in a practical capacity throughout Mr House's rule in New Vegas.

History[edit | edit source]

The foundation of the Free Economic Zone was laid in 2274, when after detecting NCR advance parties at Hoover Dam, House emerged from hiding and began restoring the city in order to meet the Republic as a host and a bargaining partner.[2] He extended an offer of employment to the tribes inhabiting the city: in return for his considerable resources and access to medical facilities, food, water, clothing, and other high value goods, they would work for him, restoring the city, running its services, and defending it, if need be. Most tribes turned down the offer, but three (the future Chairmen, Omertas, and White Glove Society) did.[3][4] With House's aid, these three tribes drove the others out of the Strip and into the surrounding areas. The future Kings claimed what became Freeside, establishing a semblance of social order there.[5] The Great Khans were particularly hard-hit, forced to settle at Bitter Springs and abandon all claim to the northern Mojave.[6]

When the Republic's military arrived, it found a considerable presence in the city of Vegas and Hoover Dam. The combined forces of Securitrons and tribals resulted in them bargaining with House, rather than conquering the city outright.[7] The resulting New Vegas Treaty normalized relations between the Republic and the FEZ, securing an influx of money and tourists to the city, NCR protection, but without formal annexation. House was aware that the NCR only negotiated to avoid a protracted war for New Vegas, which would leave them vulnerable to the Caesar's Legion. He knew that President Aaron Kimball would gladly trade the blood of hundreds of Republican troops for Hoover Dam. As such, he began working towards securing the FEZ's independence.[8]

The Republic was harnessed as an income source for the FEZ, allowing House to steadily expand his influence and power base.[9] The ultimate goal was to allow the NCR to bleed while fighting the Legion in the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, while setting up conditions that would ensure that House would be the sole party dictating terms once the dust cleared.[10]

With independence, House aims to use the city as a catalyst for the restoration of civilization. It would be one of the most vital trading partners of the Republic, drawing income from exports of water and energy to the Republic, as well as tourists and traders flowing into the city. Meanwhile, House would use that wealth to restart high technology sectors within twenty years. Within fifty, he aims to restart the conquest of space, with another fifty allowing him to send colonization ships to extrasolar planets. The projected timeline is largely an estimate based on available data.[11]

Organization[edit | edit source]

If you can't hold to a contract, simply for the ethic of holding to a contract, you're worthless to me.

Robert House

The FEZ is an autocracy, with all power (legislative, executive, and largely judicial) centralized in the hands of the Chief Executive, Robert House.[12] House states that he has no interest in abusing power, controlling the private affairs of people living in the FEZ, or installing himself as a machine god messiah, with his judgement and utmost rationality being a guarantee of fairness as autocrat of the FEZ-NV.[13]

In practice, House adheres strictly to the letter of all contracts he signs and expects others to do the same. Violation of contractual obligations earns his scorn, at best, and violent retaliation, at worst. The latter is usually reserved for particularly severe violations, for example, if the White Glove Society returned to its noxious habit of eating people.[14][15] Examples of his adherence include limiting the jurisdiction of Securitrons to the Strip, with casinos being off-limits except under extraordinary circumstances[16] and withholding the original tribal name of the White Gloves, even in a situation where no adverse effect could be produced.[17]

A direct result of House's disinterest in legislating people's behavior is the absence of any checks and balances on himself or anyone else. Although he would have the FEZ become an independent, dynamic, high-technology enterprise zone, he would not intervene in the affairs of the people as long as his basic rules were followed. The New Vegas libertopia would be a place where the strong prey on the weak, ruling without limits as long as their strength lasts, and the weak are continuously trampled, lulled by the dream of becoming strong themselves one day.[18]

Military[edit | edit source]

FEZ-NV relies primarily on its robotic Securitron force as a deterrent. Under the Treaty of New Vegas, the burden of securing the Mojave rests squarely on the shoulders of the NCR Army, with Securitron jurisdiction limited to policing the Strip alongside Republican military policemen. However, with House's victory after the Battle, Securitron MkII robots become the primary enforcer of law and security throughout the Mojave, in the absence of Republican military units.

Economy[edit | edit source]

Like the pre-war casinos Las Vegas had before, the FEZ's economy is based almost entirely on tourism and gambling. Nearly all profits are gained from NCR citizens and soldiers vacationing on the Strip and partaking in its various casinos making the FEZ's economy based entirely around tourism.[19][20] To ensure profit from every entrant into the Strip, the person must pass a credit check of 2000 caps or more at the gate. This is to prevent squatters and otherwise non-affording persons from taking away valuable foot traffic. To supplement the income gained from tourists, House offers franchisee agreements to any person who wants to sell foodstuffs, non-alcoholic beverages (alcohol is solely for casinos), and other items on the Strip. The individuals that work under the franchisee agreement must forfeit 50% of their profits to Mr. House at the end of each working day, while the franchisee keeps the rest.[21]

While almost entirely a tourist economy, Mr. House is making strides to expand his economic prospects by acquiring control of Hoover Dam.[22] Should Mr. House acquire Hoover Dam, he begins exporting water and power to the NCR should they comply with the term of withdrawal.[1] Exporting both power and water and the rates he set would be a giant step in bringing the FEZ into a more traditional export led growth that would bolster the coffers of the FEZ immensely.

Foreign relations[edit | edit source]

The FEZ is a major partner for the New California Republic, which is New Vegas' largest and most powerful customer. The fact that the NCR aims to annex the Mojave and New Vegas as the sixth state of the union proves the FEZ's influence but is problematic for relations between the two.[23] Regardless of what the NCR wants, Mr. House plans to make all NCR military personnel withdrawal from the immediate New Vegas area and to charge exuberant fees to the NCR on power and water from Hoover Dam once the current conflict over it ends to further tighten his grip on the NCR.[1][24]

Interactions with the player character[edit | edit source]

The player can help establish the FEZ as an independent, sovereign state by aiding Robert House, first as a contractor, and then as his protege. This is done through the quests, The House Always Wins.

Technology[edit | edit source]

The FEZ is one of the most technologically advanced states in post-War America, with access to an army of Securitrons (which can be upgraded by the Courier for Robert House), pre-War stockpiles of technology and resources, Lucky 38's reactor, which allows for self-sufficiency energy-wise, and, on a more personal level, incredibly advanced life-prolongation techniques.[25]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Free Economic Zone of New Vegas appears in Fallout: New Vegas.

References[edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Order of Withdrawal
  2. The Courier: "Who exactly are you, Mr. House?"
    Robert House: "I am Robert Edwin House, President, CEO, and sole proprietor of the New Vegas Strip. I oversaw the city's renovations starting from 2274 onward. The Three Families are my employees. Before the Great War of 2077, I was the founder, President and CEO of RobCo Industries, a vast computer and robotics corporation."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  3. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.41: "The Strip
    Before the Great War started, Mr. House used his considerable genius and wealth to ensure that no missiles would strike the city of Las Vegas. Though a few warheads did get through in the outskirts, most of the city was spared. Despite this, the Strip itself was not re-settled, and after close to two hundred years, Mr. House immediately began searching for a mysterious Platinum Chip, and rebuilding the glory of Las Vegas. Sending out Securitron scouts, Mr. House started negotiating with local tribes to exchange his considerable resource stockpiles for their help. Some of the tribes resisted, but three tribes eventually gained Mr. House's favor. They became the Omertas, Chairmen, and White Glove Society, running the Gomorrah, Tops, and Ultra-Luxe casinos, respectively. Because Mr. House was dedicated to restoring Las Vegas, he insisted on transforming the tribes into families with cultures that harkened back to Vegas' glory days.
    In the process of rebuilding the Strip, Mr. House also effectively "bought out" the residents of Vault 21. After they evacuated, he had the Vault stripped of useful technology, most of its actual volume filled with concrete, and the entrance turned into a gift shop and small hotel. While the families were rebuilding the casinos, the rest of the locals were hard at work erecting an enormous wall around the Strip. When NCR traders and explorers arrived on the scene, they were amazed at the Strip and returned back to California with tales of opulence and great wealth awaiting travelers.
    Eventually, the NCR military itself arrived and were surprised to find the Strip so well-protected and heavily policed. Though they struck a deal with Mr. House to establish a base in the area (along with control of Hoover Dam), the NCR has never had control of The Strip. After the Battle of Hoover Dam, the NCR negotiated an MP (military police) presence on The Strip, but their influence remains small.
    Though the tribes that became The Strip's families were once hatefully opposed to each other, the demands of Mr. House have forced the families to play nice. They continue to hold long-standing grudges, but do not act openly against each other for fear of angering Mr. House."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide faction profiles)
  4. The Courier: "How did the Three Families defeat you?"
    Papa Khan: "They allied with Mr. House, the self-proclaimed master of New Vegas. He supported them with the resources of New Vegas: weapons, technology, caps. They were better equipped, and we could not stand against them."
    (Papa Khan's dialogue)
  5. The Courier: "What can you tell me about Freeside?"
    The King: "To understand Freeside, you have to look back a few years. Originally, we were all just tribes making a living in this area. That all changed when Mr. House came around. He made an offer to the three biggest tribes that were willing to listen to him. Today, everyone calls those tribes the Three Families, and they live in luxury and run their own casinos in the Strip. The rest of us were left to fight over the crumbs, living in the shadow of those more fortunate. Things got pretty nasty for a while. But we wanted more. A place of our own. A place where no one could tell us what to do. And we didn't want to go elsewhere to find it. So we took control of this place, and made it our own. And that's really all Freeside is, the best of a bad situation."
    (The King's dialogue)
  6. The Courier: "Tell me what you know about the Great Khans."
    Yes Man: "They've been kicked around a lot, but no one's finished them off! Not yet, anyway!"
    The Courier: "How have the Khans been kicked around?"
    Yes Man: "They were one of the tribes the Three Families pushed out of Vegas! A whole bunch got killed! So they settled at Bitter Springs, but they kept being so obnoxious, the NCR had to kill a whole bunch more of them! So then they settle at Red Rock Canyon! There's just no getting rid of them!"
    (Yes Man's dialogue)
  7. The Courier: "How do you intend to enforce your claim on the city?"
    Robert House: "To enforce, one must have force - a position of strength. Years ago, when I detected NCR scouts roaming the Mojave, I could tell from their uniforms that these were no mere tribesmen. I knew it was only a matter of time before an army appeared, to take control of the dam. And I knew my Securitrons wouldn't be enough to oppose them. And so I recruited the Three Families. Vegas belongs to me because I mustered enough strength to bring the NCR to the bargaining table."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  8. The Courier: "Wasn't the NCR's army big enough to defeat your Securitrons and the Three Families?"
    Robert House: "Indeed it was - and still is. But not without taking significant casualties. Would Kimball and Oliver have traded the lives of hundreds of soldiers for absolute control of Hoover Dam? Oh yes. They weren't afraid of me, they were afraid of Caesar - that attacking me would leave them vulnerable to a Legion offensive. And so they negotiated. Not out of the kindness of their hearts, as they try to make it seem. Because the calculus of power left no other choice."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  9. The Courier: "What were the terms of your treaty with the NCR?"
    Robert House: "NCR forces were permitted to occupy Hoover Dam and establish a military base at McCarran Airport. Well, it used to be one. They recognized my sovereignty over the Vegas Strip and agreed to supply electricity and water once their engineers repaired the dam. Written into the treaty were provisions that the NCR do nothing to prevent its soldiers and civilians from visiting the Strip. That's how I harnessed the NCR to my endeavor. Their occupation has been the engine of my growing economy."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  10. The Courier: "You would go to war against the NCR?"
    Robert House: "The salient issue is that they will go to war with me, if given the chance. There's just one reason why the NCR hasn't contrived some outrage to justify invading the Strip - Caesar's Legion. The final battle between those two armies is fast approaching. I can't afford to let either side win on their terms."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  11. The Courier: "Say you keep control of New Vegas. What happens next?"
    Robert House: "New Vegas is more than a city - it's the remedy to mankind's derailment. The city's economy is a blast furnace in which can be forged the steel of a new rail line, running straight to a new horizon. What is the NCR? A society of people desperate to experience comfort, ease, luxury... A society of customers. With all that money pouring in? Give me 20 years, and I'll reignite the high technology development sectors. 50 years, and I'll have people in orbit. 100 years, and my colony ships will be heading for the stars, to search for planets unpolluted by the wrath and folly of a bygone generation."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  12. The Courier: "In the meantime, you'd rule Vegas as some kind of dictator?"
    Robert House: "I prefer the term "autocrat." I would rule as a chief executive. I would not answer to a board of directors or any other entity. Nothing to impede progress. If you want to see the fate of democracies, look out the windows."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  13. The Courier: "What's to keep you from abusing your power?"
    Robert House: "My judgement. I have no interest in abusing others, just as I have no interest in legislating or otherwise dictating what people do in their private time. Nor have I any interest in being worshipped as some kind of machine god messiah. I am impervious to such corrupting ambitions. But autocracy? Firm control in the hands of a technological and economic visionary? Yes, that Vegas shall have."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  14. The Courier: "Did you know some of the White Gloves are... eating people again?"
    Robert House: "No, I was not aware of this. Is it really so hard not to engage in cannibalism? My goodness... It's a violation of their contract. I authorize you to deal with them in any way you see fit."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  15. The Courier: "Did you know I killed some White Gloves who were eating their customers?"
    Robert House: "Cannibalism was strictly forbidden in their contract. If some of them broke that stricture, they deserved whatever punishment you dealt them."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  16. The Courier: "Why can't you be the one to tell Swank?"
    Robert House: "By contract, Securitrons are to enter the casinos only when invited by the Three Families or if other extraordinary circumstances arise. The moment I send one into the Tops, Benny will know I'm on to him."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  17. The Courier: "What were the original names of the other tribes?"
    Robert House: "The Chairmen, as we know them now, went by the unfortunate appellation of the "Mojave Boot-Riders." They were nomads, too. As for the White Glove Society, I afraid I'm contractually obligated not to reveal their original name."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  18. Behind the Bright Lights & Big City: "Mr. House proposes an automatic future for New Vegas: undisputed authority of a technocratic visionary. His long-term goal is to use the attractions of New Vegas as an economic engine to reignite mankind's technological progress. While he has no desire to control every aspect of the lives of those would inhabit the region, neither would the ways and means by which he achieves economic and technological progress be up for discussion. As the ruins of the former world mutely attest, democracy is a failed experiment. The time has come for Mr. House to heroically save Vegas for the second time, forging an independent, dynamic, high-technology enterprise zone.
    So long as Mr. House's basic rules are followed, his intentions are to take a "hands off" approach towards the subjects of his kingdom; he is effectively a libertarian dictator creating his own version of paradise rooted in the old world. If the player supports Mr. House, she is supporting the New Vegas libertopia, a place where the strong rule unfettered for as long as they stay strong and where the weak are continually trampled underfoot. But it's a place where Mr. House wants you to dream, that someday, you could be on of the strong."
  19. The Courier: "What were the terms of your treaty with the NCR?"
    Mr. House: "They recognized my sovereignty over the Vegas Strip and agreed to supply electricity and water once their engineers repaired the dam. Written into the treaty were provisions that the NCR do nothing to prevent its soldiers and civilians from visiting the Strip. That's how I harnessed the NCR to my endeavor. Their occupation has been the engine of my growing economy."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  20. The Courier: "And if Kimball were to be assassinated?"
    Mr. House: "Then the Hero of the Mojave would become the Martyr of Hoover Dam. And when, subsequently, I force the NCR to retreat... They lick their wounds, and dream of righteous vengeance against New Vegas. Hello, embargo, farewell, tourist economy. I've calculated and re-calculated these probabilities. Kimball must live."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  21. The Courier: "Do you work for one of the casinos?"
    Street Vendor: "Nope, strictly independent. Template:Tooptip To vend anything here on the Strip, you got to register with one of those police robots and sign a franchisee agreement. At the end of each day, you keep half of what you made. The rest, you hand over to those bots - and they know if you're cheating. Yep, he makes the rules. It's steep, but it sure beats living in North Vegas. Here on the Strip I can afford to eat, and no one tries to kill me."
    (Street vendor's dialogue)
  22. All or Nothing
  23. The Courier: "You think your Securitrons can defeat Caesar's Legion *and* the NCR?"
    Robert House: "Why would I want to go to war against the NCR? They're my best customers. If their leaders weren't scheming to steal Vegas out from under me, I'd have no troubles with the NCR at all."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  24. Joshua Sawyer tumblr response
  25. The Courier: "The lifespan you're claiming is impossible, except for ghouls and super mutants."
    Robert House: "[SUCCEEDED] I see you've made a study of the topic. My knowledge of the science of longevity would fill several text books... Perhaps, after a decade or two of economic reconstruction, I can commercialize these technologies and offer to others, such as yourself."
    (Robert House's dialogue)