- "Big Spring is a cesspit that might never have existed at all, completely worthless and irrelevant on its own merits. Only our presence gives it any meaning."
- ―Chrysanthemum Arceneaux
|Location:||Permian Basin, Texas|
|Population:||475+≤50 prisoners(99% Human, 1% Ghoul. Prisoner populace may include Super Mutants on occasion.)|
|Factions:||Salt Clan, Wasteland Pacific|
|Notable events:||Founding of the Arceneaux Clinic|
The mostly-intact ruins of a small oil town, Big Spring is the unlikely source of great strides in medicine, progress that comes with great suffering and the loss of human dignity. It is a place where the wealthy, the depraved, and the rapacious rub elbows, awaiting their turn within the tower known as The Settles. They wait for within the edifice are the beautiful and monstrous Arceneaux twins who transform men with scalpels, chems, and machines, their customers secure in their own safety as the twins have frequent occasion to practice and refine their craft on helpless captives.
The area long served as a water source for various tribes, including the Apache and Comanche, later serving as a campground for American settlers on the way to California. A semi-permanent encampment sprang up in the 19th century to accommodate buffalo hunters, eventually leading to a permanent settlement spearheaded by various ranchers. It became another oil town in the 1920s, only to cede much of its importance to Odessa and Midland. Though the city played host to an Air Force base for decades, the base had been closed long before the Great War. With the evaporation of the oil wells, the city's economy depended upon agriculture: primarily cotton.
The town also boasted a federal prison, a veterans hospital, and a mental health facility; all of which were both repurposed to house various POWs and dissidents. Rumors of inhumane experiments remained unresolved to the bitter end.
As a town with a five-figure population, Big Spring was deemed worthy of a single bomb. Through freak luck, the bomb suffered mechanical failure. Rather than exploding low in the sky over Big Spring, it crashed through the small concourse of the regional airport on the west side of town and exploded in its basement. The neighborhood closest to the airport was affected, but most of the town lay further east and was unaffected. Unfortunately, the citizenry of Big Spring did not take the end of their world too well and many died in riots and looting that raged the better part of the following week. Eventually, the troublemakers had eventually been killed in the violence or succumbed to radiation poisoning, leaving only the portion of the populace that had taken to barricading themselves away.
Once things settled down, Big Spring became just another small community in the wasteland full of scavengers, hunters, and trappers. It was mostly unremarkable, except for the presence of the fifteen-story Hotel Settles. The building continued to serve as a hotel and became the marketplace of the town: the few people offering goods and services used the lobby as a bazaar. Big Spring remained staid and stable for decades, trading with other communities and fending off the occasional attack by raiders or hostile tribes. Things changed when the town got a pair of new arrivals in 2255, a pair of itinerant doctors named Andor and Chrysanthemum Arceneaux.
The siblings were extremely genial and talented physicians and as the town had no local sawbones, the reigning Trader's Council decided to comp them space for an office in the Settles Hotel. The town began to undergo a strange transition soon after: the doctors drastically reduced the town's death rate across the board, everything from infant mortality to illness and accidents were claiming fewer lives in Big Spring, but violent crime steadily rose. The doctors attracted admirers with careless ease and were fond of making these poor souls "prove," their affection with acts of theft or assault for their own amusement as they kindly demeanor was a front for extreme dysfunction. None of the people ever revealed that the twins had put them up to their crimes, but the sheriff grew suspicious of the timing coinciding with the twins settling into town.
The sheriff confronted the twins, one night and did not emerge from their suite of offices until several days later, a changed man. He stepped down as sheriff and took on a new job as the twins' chief of security. If anyone noticed the fine needlework of the various stitches on his head and neck, they said nothing.
The culture of Big Spring could be charitably described as laissez-faire, the Arceneaux twins provide no semblance of law and order outside the Hotel Settles. The residents of Big Spring tend to assemble in gangs centered around an individual business venture, emulating the twins who surround themselves with minions to protect their interests. Big Spring is highly competitive and cut-throat for its residents, but usually quite safe for visitors unless one gang makes a major play for another gang offering similar services.
The twins have rigged up the Hotel Settle's public address system to broadcast whatever they elect to put on their record player. They favor starting surgery with Léo Delibes' The Flower Duet. They have never deigned to share the names of any of the songs they play nor the names of the artists who created them. The people who regularly work in the building who frequently don't even understand the lyrics when present, have assigned various incorrect names and translations. Some think certain songs are in fact used as a code by the twins to communicate with their minions.
The "cosmopolitan," Arceneaux twins are surprisingly well traveled and accept a number of different currencies for their services though they accept barter as well. Consequently, the other vendors operating in Big Spring accept anything the twins accept. Because the waiting list for the twins time can stretch on in peak months, the people of Big Spring have become adept at providing "luxury," services and diversions to the twins wealthy clients, bilking as much as they can from them.
There is no government in Big Springs, everyone is free to do as they wish and free to bear the consequences of their actions. In practice the residents are self-governing, forming small gangs for mutual protection. It's in everyone's interests to make Big Spring safe for visitors, and so it generally is. The Arceneaux Twins tend to step in if things get too out of hand, sending their well equipped henchmen to abduct the biggest troublemakers.
Big Spring is some forty miles east and slightly north of Petroleum and lies south of I-20, which curves quite curiously around most of the town. The ruined, irradiated airport is at the southwest end of town and is the first place someone traveling on I-20 from the Midessa Compact would reach. The distance from the town proper from I-20 and the conditions around the airport make the trip longer than it would otherwise be. The Hotel Settles, in and around which the current populace is based, is near the center of the old city.
|This has been written by OvaltinePatrol. Please contact this user before editing this article.|