Searchlight Sabotage

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Searchlight Sabotage
Searchlight Disaster.png
The two flatbeds that held the radioactive waste containers and the two dead legionaries.
Overview
LocationCamp Searchlight
Date2281
Result
  • Legion victory
    • Destruction and irradiation of Camp Searchlight
Involved parties
FNV NCR Flag.png New California RepublicCaesarLegionSymbol.png Caesar's Legion
Leader
Commanding officers DeadIcon dead.png
First Sergeant Astor
Vulpes Inculta
Forces
Searchlight personnel2 infiltrators
Casualties
Over twenty soldiers ghoulified and feralised.
Unknown number of radiation deaths.
2 infiltrators
Connected events
Part of:
NCR-Legion War
Previous:
Battle of Arizona Spillway[1]
Next:
Fall of Nelson
Concurrent:
Mojave Campaign
 
Gametitle-FNV.png
Gametitle-FNV.png

The Searchlight Sabotage was the irradiation of the New California Republic Army's Camp Searchlight by Caesar's Legion Frumentarii in the Mojave Wasteland in 2281.

Prelude[edit | edit source]

A convoy of flatbed trucks transporting nuclear waste from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station to a burial site was passing through Searchlight when the Great War began. The local police re-directed the drivers to temporarily park their trucks in the town's fire station, two of the trucks parked in the fire station while another continued on its path to Cottonwood Cove. Locked within the fire station, the barrels would sit in their sturdy containers going undisturbed for 200 years.[2][3]

Disaster[edit | edit source]

The New California Republic had recently stationed a sizable garrison in the ruins of Searchlight; this was a major obstacle for Caesar's Legion due to its size and view of the surrounding area and close proximity to Cottonwood Cove. When it became obvious that a direct assault would not prove fruitful, Vulpes Inculta sent in frumentarii to learn more about the situation. They reported back to him about the pre-War radioactive waste being stored in the town fire station. Knowing that releasing the radioactive waste would render the camp completely radioactive and unusable to the NCR, Vulpes ordered two unwitting legionaries on a covert mission to infiltrate the camp's fire station to "open as many containers as possible" and "report back".[4] The legionaries died near instantly, having only opened two of the containers, their action producing a massive wave of death and ghoulification amongst NCR troops that effectively destroyed Camp Searchlight as a military outpost.[3][5]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The area has become highly radioactive as a result of the opening of the waste containers. This action also resulted in the city having a thick, green haze hanging over it. All troops in Searchlight at the time of the disaster either died or where ghoulified from the massive radiation dose and caused most who succumbed to ghoulification to go feral within hours. The radiation also attracted radscorpions which have taken the opportunity to nest with the corpses of dead troopers providing easy food to raise a queen. Not all of the NCR's troops were irradiated by the disaster, however, a handful of troopers lead by First Sergeant Astor where on patrol before the containers where opened and were sparred death or ghoulification[6] and now warn off passers from entering Searchlight.[7][8]

While not all the troops had succumbed to radiation, there were too few left in the area to be any threat to Caesar's Legion, and thus Caesar ordered Centurion Aurelius of Phoenix to erect a camp at Cottonwood Cove.[9] Even the Alice McLafferty of the Crimson Caravan[10] has taken the opportunity to gain from the NCR army's loss by hiring a party of mercenary prospectors to loot the ruins of weapons, computer parts, and other technical equipment from Searchlight.[11]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The aftermath of the Searchlight Sabotage appears in Fallout: New Vegas.

References

  1. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.372-376: "[3.33] Hoover Dam
    All of the Main Quest in Act III centers around this location, as do the Main Quests involving the visit of President Aaron Kimball. A stronghold of extreme strategic importance for centuries, this location has seen recent turmoil between major Faction too. A few years before current events, Caesar's Legion rolled in, led by ex-Mormon missionary Joshua Graham, Caesar's Legate. Not considering NCR's army to be a serious threat, Graham exercised somewhat lax control over the Legion. During the Battle of Hoover Dam, NCR Rangers and Sharpshooters from First Recon employed risky tactics against the Legion with the help of the enlisted Troopers, and despite horrific loss of life, Caesar's forces were pushed back, but not routed.
    The NCR has been holding the dam continuously since, and have fortified positions along the dam and up and down the west side of the Colorado River. Recently, the Legion pushed the NCR off of the east side of the river at the Battle of Willow Beach (which destroyed an NCR military camp) and the Battle of Arizona Spillway. Day to day military operations at the dam are under the command of Colonel Moore. While troopers are active here, there are also a large number of civilian contractors who are trying to keep the dam running. They are of a secondary concern to Moore, who is preparing from for an impending attack by Caesar and a visit by President Kimball."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  2. Camp Searchlight terminals; Chief Fire Officer Terminal, Chief Fire Officer Report No. F1-218
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.421: "Camp Searchlight
    As an unfortunate twist of fate would have it, a convoy of flatbed trucks transporting nuclear waste from San Onofre was passing through Searchlight when the Great War broke out. Local police directed the drivers to temporarily park their vehicles in the fire department, but no one ever came back to retrieve them. There they sat in their extremely sturdy solid steel spent fuel flasks for over 200 years. The NCR recently set up a sizable base here; but this was a major obstacle for Caesar's Legion due to its size and clear view of the surrounding desert. When it became obvious that a direct assault would not prove fruitful, Vulpes Inculta sent in some spies to learn more about the situation. After he learned about the radioactive waste being stored in the fire station, he ordered some unwitting legionaries to open the containers. The legionaries died near instantly, their sacrifice producing a massive wave of death and ghoulification among NCR troops that effectively destroyed Camp Searchlight as a viable military base."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  4. Legion Orders
  5. The Courier: "What happened at Searchlight?"
    Hanlon: "Searchlight was worse. One of Caesar's frumentarii must have found something in there, flooded the whole camp with radiation."
    (Hanlon's dialogue)
  6. The Courier: "How did you survive?"
    Astor: "I was out on patrol at the time so I wasn't in the camp when it happened. There were a few others with me after it happened, including some of my superiors. Between radiation poisoning and attacks by the Legion they all died out."
    (Astor's dialogue)
  7. Astor: "Hang on there, traveler. You'll want to steer clear of this place - the whole town is irradiated to high hell."
    (Astor's dialogue)
  8. The Courier: "If the area is filled with radiation, why are you still here?"
    Astor: "I was stationed at Camp Searchlight before the incident. I've since taken it upon myself to keep travelers away from the area."
    (Astor's dialogue)
  9. The Courier: "You must be the one in charge here."
    Aurelius of Phoenix: "Of course I am, you fool. I am a Centurion! When Vulpes Inculta drove the NCR from Searchlight by clever means, Caesar himself ordered me to set up this camp and harass the Profligates! It's a modest presence, a single finger of the Legion reaching across the river's narrows. But with me here, it has an iron knuckle."
    (Aurelius of Phoenix's dialogue)
  10. The Courier: "Who is your employer?"
    Logan: "Some caravan company, Crimson something or other. Some old broad said they're looking to expand their business, be more competitive or some shit."
    Logan's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas)
  11. Wheel of Fortune