Background[edit | edit source]
When John-Caleb Bradberton formed a partnership with General Braxton to develop chemical weapons, Lead Beverageer Meacham jumped at the opportunity. Rex Meacham and his team (Ruth Leavitt, Edmund Medford, Kevin Benell) were provided with a cutting edge laboratory built into the foundations of the Nuka-Cola bottling plant. Provided with a dedicated reactor and living quarters, it allowed the Beverageers to work around the clock. Work commenced immediately, although it had numerous failures. Attempts to achieve thermogenesis using radioactive isotopes were challenged by unforeseen side effects on top of simple failure to remain stable. Following experiences with toxic fumes, Beverageers finally found a way to achieve semi-stable isotopes with sample M6N5-UD. However, it was Strontium-90 (sample Q4N7-UM) that was the breakthrough. Liquid at temperatures up to 127 degrees Celsius, stable and inert, but with radioactive thermogenesis capable of activation by manipulating the electron sub-field. Version 0.245 of Q4N7-UM was selected as the basis for further weapons development, as a form of high explosive nitroglycerin. Meacham named the substance Quantum, after the sample identification code, and presented his testing to Braxton and Bradberton. The first accepted it as the basis for the Nuka-Nuke, the latter as a new flavor, Quantum.
Following these three weeks of constant work and laboratory experiments, the Beverageers were given vacation time, while Meacham pored over the data with the General and Bradberton. Project Cobalt was about to yield its first fruit. However, the purpose of the Project and its military applications did not sit well with the best organic chemist on the team, Ruth Leavitt. She repeatedly voiced her concerns to Meacham. He was her mentor and idol, until he decided to have the Beverageers research weapons of mass destruction. To appease her, Meacham placed Dr Leavitt in charge of developing an isotope safe for human consumption. Eventually, she arrived at CE775, which would become the foundation Nuka-Cola Quantum. Her work would result in a drink that would become the Corporation's next biggest seller, as indicated by the pilot program in Washington, D.C. However, as the Beverageers continued to focus on Project Cobalt, Leavitt found it impossible to remain in Nuka-Cola's employ. She openly confronted Meacham in early October and declared that she would tender her resignation at the end of the month. Bradberton was livid. When he learned of her intent, he was furious. By defying his and Meacham's will, Leavitt would wind up blacklisted in the industry. It was a loss for Project Cobalt as well, as Leavitt's expertise was second to none. Dr Edmund Medford was the only other organic chemist qualified enough to pick up the slack and he wasn't even remotely near her league. The other members of the team, particularly Kevin Bennell, considered her choice to be a selfish one in wartime. The eventual fate of Dr Leavitt also entrenched their loyalty.
She continued to work at the Beverageer facility, although she refused to even lift a finger to aid Project Cobalt. The other Beverageers pleaded with her to change her mind. Meacham tried to intimidate her into staying, Bennell tried flattery and appeals to reason, while the meek Dr Medford merely supported his colleague. The arguments continued until October 23, 2077. As the nuclear attack on the United States began, the automated safety systems engaged and the Beverageer lab was locked down. All the Beverageers were trapped within the facility. Isolation and the end of the world as they knew it started to take its toll on the research team. Within a couple of weeks, Dr Medford committed suicide, hanging himself in the dorms. Dr Bennell tried to escape into his work, to cover up the cracks in his composure. Meanwhile, relations between Leavitt and Meacham rapidly deteriorated. Meacham reacted to the end of the world with an obsessive focus on Project Cobalt, convinced that completing it could somehow save America, save it from the Chinese soldiers flooding the mainland. In his mind, Project Cobalt was the key to salvation. The predictable result of his obsession was the shooting of Dr Leavitt when he attempted to open the door leading out of the lab. Outside, he was calm and collected. Inside, Meacham was falling apart, guilt eating away at his murder of a woman he secretly loved.
More weeks passed as he and Bennell tinkered with Project Cobalt, trying to create a stable isotope for use by non-existent troops above ground. Meacham believed that Cobalt could tip the scales of the war. In October 2078, the last of his team finally cracked. Bennell made an escape through the reactor overflow pipe, preferring the risk of death from radioactive exposure to certain insanity. Meacham was psychotic at this point and opened fire on Bennell as he disappeared in the tunnel. Dr Bennell would die of his wounds at the service station in the tunnel, never having reached freedom. Meacham stayed behind, continuing his work and descending into lunacy. In the end, he would finish the Project and perish as he awaited rescue by the military that no longer existed.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987004: "Meacham RMNC-0987004
John-Caleb really pulled out all the stops on this lab. When I requested our own dedicated reactor, I didn't think he would actually have one built. Aside from the security aspect, it's going to be convenient having a bunkhouse here to sleep after late nights.
J.C. has really put a lot of faith in us and I can't wait till the others see the new laboratory. We'll likely be hiring Junior Beverageers to deal with the Bottling Plant while we focus on Project Cobalt. I can't wait finally stop dabbling with soft drinks and get to some important, world-changing work."
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Compound L3N2-TG: "Sample Designation: L3N2-TG
Isotope sample has failed to reach stability. Internal thermogenesis resulting in sublimation of toxic fumes. Had to clear the Hot Lab and run a full system cleanse.
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Sample Designation: M6N5-UD: "Sample Designation: M6N5-UD
Sample seems to have reached semi-stabg-00wu90jgwa-hkj0maw=ime0a-ghk mih9=-rsem0hi-0i=-0wamjopgwkjt3o2iqj00ghfjiejmgtew[j[0j9g';rwajm[gtew
::: SYSTEM ERROR :::
File corruption detected."
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Sample Designation: Q4N7-UM: "Sample Designation: Q4N7-UM
Strontium-90 retention seems adequate. Substance stays liquid at temperatures up to 127c and doesn't create toxic vapor. Thermogenic reaction can be achieved by manipulation of electron sub-field.
If we can find a safe way to trigger the radioactive thermogenesis, this may be exactly what I've been looking for. Also it has a pleasant blue glow.
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Compound Q4N7-UM - 0.245: "Sample Designation: Q4N7-UM - 0.245
Repeatable thermogenetic trigger has been achieved. Substance stays in liquid form after trigger, but will explode from a suitable impact. Works sort of like nitroglycerin, but safer and with a much stronger yield. Planning on showing this to Bradberton in the form of a "Nuka-Nuke" to present to Braxton. Decided to call the substance "Quantum."
Ready to begin testing as a beverage as well.
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987115: "Meacham RMNC-0987115
After getting the final okay on our data from General Braxton, we began the actual synthesis process. Based on our initial data, we went with a strontium-90 derivative. It was an immediate success. The weapons we applied the new, bluish payload material to was amplified well beyond our expectations. Ironically, with a slight tweak to the synthesis, we ended up with a totally stable and relatively safe additive that could give a drink a unique bluish glow. I don't know why I was thinking soft drinks at that point, I suppose there was a little bit of Beverageer left in me after all."
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987113: "Meacham RMNC-0987113
It's been a grueling few months, but we finally have something concrete we can show Bradberton. None of us have left the lab in the past three weeks, so I'm giving the others vacation time while J.C. and I go over the data with General Braxton. The sooner he signs off on the research, the sooner we can start testing. Dr. Leavitt wasn't happy when I put the whole Beverageer team onto Project Cobalt, but if she wants to keep her job at Nuka-World, she doesn't have much of a choice."
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987120: "Meacham RMNC-0987120
As far as our new soft drink went, I decided to call it "Quantum." To keep Dr. Leavitt from quitting the team, I put her in charge of that project while Bennell and Medford continued working on Project Cobalt. We had the boys over at the laboratory in Washington D.C. lend us a hand with the live subject testing. Isotopes CE770 and CE772 were close, but caused all sorts of problems with the test subjects. But when we hit CE774, it was that eureka moment we were waiting for. No deaths, only a few mild cases of dizziness and other benign side-effects. A new flavor was born."
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987129
- Meacham recording AB27
- Meacham recording AB30
- Meacham recording AB35
- Meacham recording AB42
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987133: "Meacham RMNC-0987133
Ruth is dead. I had to do it. I had no choice. She was going to compromise the entire lab. Until I know what's going on up there, until I know for certain that the bombs have fallen, I can't afford to open that door. Not under any circumstances. Ruth, I'm so sorry. I'll always remember you."
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987138: "Meacham RMNC-0987138
The last two weeks have been insane. The enemy finally went crazy and bombed the hell out of us, Ruth is dead and Edmund hung himself. Even as I type this, I'm having a difficult time processing it all. The only thing I can do is continue working on Project Cobalt. If there's a war going on above our heads, then we could be this country's only chance to tip the scales. I've had Kevin tweaking the isotope, it's still too unstable for our troops to handle. If we only had a little more time."
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987145: "Meacham RMNC-0987145
I thought Kevin was with me on Project Cobalt. We've been safe down here for over a year now and there's no reason we couldn't keep going for at least another six months. Turns out he'd been plotting for weeks to try to leave the lab through the reactor's emergency overflow, probably trying to sell my work to the goddamn enemy! I couldn't let him go. I know I managed to hit him a few times with my pistol before he disappeared down the overflow tunnel. The blood loss and the radiation will surely finish him off. Serves him right... traitor."