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Jacob Vaughton
Jacob Vaughton
Date of birth:2237
Date of death:Unknown
Gender:Male
Height:6' 4.5"
Race:Human
Status:Alive
"I'm here to collect the price on your head. Unfortunately for you, there was a "Dead" option."
―Jacob Vaughton
Commander of the Vaughton Gang, Jacob Vaughton was a looter and bounty hunter who haunted the Ark-La-Tex region. Well-known in some parts, a rumor or urban legend in others, Vaughton was equally feared for his prowess as a killer and ridiculed for his inability to see "the bigger picture". Vaughton cared for little beyond the survival of the Vaughton Gang and the Bolt Hole, and would probably never leave Piney Woods if the Bolt Hole was truly self-sufficient.

Biography

Early Life

"I grew up in the ruins of Los Angeles. Parents didn't die in any kind of Raider attack or anything. Ma was just never around and dad got his neck broke when he took a header down some stairs. So I grew up by myself and I grew up crooked, I grew up fast and I grew up mean."
―Jacob Vaughton

Vaughton was born and raised through childhood in the LA Boneyard among the twisted skeletons of the city's buildings. His father was a talented looter, but his mother seemed to hold the fact that Jacob had not only been an unnaturally large baby, but a breech birth, against the pair. Jacob only ever saw her once or twice every year and didn't even know she was his mother until he was seven years old. By that point in life, Jacob was roughly the size of a fourteen-year-old and strong enough to drag his father's body into the Boneyard settlement after the older man fell through a weakened floor. He had been killed during the fall when he landed in a stairwell, tumbling down the steps and sustaining a broken neck, lumbar spine and shattering both legs. Vaughton then attempted to make up for lost time with his mother when she informed him who she was. However, just as in the past, she rejected him, a sad event that likely led to Vaughton's later obsession with behaving like a father-figure to members of the Vaughton Gang (the kind of father who takes you out, gets you drunk and then helps you beat strangers half-to-death).

Cast out by his only known family, young Jacob lived the hard life of an orphan in the LA ruins, surviving on the pity and sympathy of strangers until he had managed to pick up enough skills to not only hunt and kill but to read and write his own name. After years of malnourishment, Vaughton came to the realization that sneaking up on a target and ambushing it was far more effective than a blitz attack to shock the victim. He practiced his sneaking well in the hazard-strewn wreckage, even staking the clearly exaggerated claim that he could sneak over broken glass; despite the bragging, though, he was known as a good-enough sneaker for any listeners to merely nod and smile in response. As well as learning how to hunt critters in the darkness, Vaughton learned three crucial skills among the other Boneyard Orphans. He learned how to steal, how to fight, and finally, how to kill.

The last time he returned to the Boneyard settlement was to meet his mother one last time before he decided to venture out into the wide world. Once again, she loudly and angrily rejected his attempts at reconciliation. However, this was not the weak, timid boy of the past, and he smashed a whiskey bottle over her head. He left the settlement peacefully after that, declaring a self-imposed exile no one thought would last. A few residents even declared that Vaughton would be found sitting in a building nearby waiting for them to regret his leaving and invite him back (it had happened twice in the past).

Fortunately for both the settlers who considered him an unreliable burden, and Vaughton himself, who had never felt welcome, this was the one time he headed far enough north to lose his way back to the settlement in unfamiliar territory. Left with no choice but to press on, Vaughton constantly broadened his skill set as he hunted and stalked over the California wilderness aimlessly. Secretly, he half-hoped to find a settlement to set up a home in, while the rest of him hoped he could live in the wilds forever, with nothing to hold him back. He would later accomplish both of these dreams when he founded the Vaughton Gang and took over the Bolt Hole.

Service to the NCR

Vaughton stumbled through NCR territory until he happened upon a group of children from a place called Shady Sands. Clearly amused and worried by Jacob's inability to read or write, the children led him to the Republic's capital, where he was immediately arrested for the understandable reason of being a dishevelled man (his lack of a chance to shave made him look much older than he was by this point) in torn clothes who followed a group of children around. After the children and Jacob's stories cleared up the misunderstanding, Vaughton was shaved by the NCR police and set free. After an impressive show of willpower in overcoming his illiteracy to the point where he could read provided he did so out-loud, Vaughton enlisted in the NCR Army.

Vaughton worked his way through training with characteristic efficiency and brutality, excelling in physical training and weapons handling. He ascended the ranks quickly enough for a man who could barely read upon his enlistment. In a small border skirmish with a now-defunct raider faction that roved from as far south as Mexico, Vaughton caught the eye of superior officers, as the only survivor in a week-long, bloody running battle through the ruins of Pasadena.

When debriefed after lengthy medical treatment, Vaughton revealed a frightening disregard for human life (including his own) as long as the mission was completed; the interviewing officers took a dim view of this, but acknowledged that if they carefully fostered a desire to take better care of his troops (under the guise of ensuring greater efficiency, at first), they would have a soldier who could get the job done without stopping to consider the risks.

From that point forwards, Vaughton's record became somewhat sketchy, and his NCR service record contains poorly-concealed links to several alleged atrocities committed by NCR troops on the frontiers of their territory. In an attempt to avoid further incidents, NCR staff made the seemingly poor decision to select Vaughton for the NCR Rangers.

Luckily for the selection staff, the risky decision paid off and in the harsher training and working regime of the Rangers, Vaughton found kindred spirits. To the casual observer, it would appear that such men would be murderers or thieves, but at his core, Vaughton was a survivor. In the loose fraternity of the Ranger ranks, Vaughton's vicious sociopathy diminished, replaced by a twisted sense of brotherhood that he even extended to regular NCR soldiers when working with them.

Firebase Castle-Bravo

Leaving California

Founding the Vaughton Gang & Beyond

Andrew van Krammer once beat him to the ground with a guitar.

Personality

Despite appearing to be an unhinged psychopath, Jacob was usually level-headed and calm. This came from complete remorselessness and an utter lack of respect for human life other than those of his "soldiers". His temper, however, was notorious among settlers at the Bolt Hole. Vaughton was self-assured and self-absorbed, caring only for himself, the Vaughton Gang, and the people of the Bolt Hole. This insular focus on his little "empire" manifested in his once-admirable self-confidence mutating into cockiness and arrogance. The reactions of others to his brash, aggressive personality led to the arrogance fuelling paranoia. This exacerbated his savage temper, and Vaughton got a name for himself as a brilliant but unstable bounty hunter.

Vaughton's poor impulse control prevented him from finding many opportunities to gain an understanding of social norms outside of military and raider life, and he continued to confuse body language and vocal tones. According to many Yeomen, he had an irony impairment and a poor grasp of sarcasm.

When he spoke, Vaughton revealed a deep insecurity, centered around his own perception of his intelligence. His speech patterns often veered into attempts at speaking elaborately and poetically, and his gestures became more and more elaborate in an attempt to hide a lack of knowledge that came and went depending on the subject. His reputation for poor impulse control often kept people nodding along and smiling, convincing him that he was doing something right, though he didn't quite understand what.

Skills & Attributes

Physical Traits & Appearance

Jacob's most obvious physical attribute was his size. Standing at a towering 6' 4.5" tall and weighing in around a hulking 280 pounds, he was an imposing figure. His monstrous physique was mostly muscle, crisscrossed with scar tissue and a few crude tattoos. At full stretch, the reach of his cannon-like arms came in at roughly 80", making him a formidable fighter, even without his combat skills taken into account. His hands were broad and calloused, and his knuckles were covered in scars from practice and live combat. His posture was ramrod straight, the legacy of his time in the NCR Military. However, his harsh breathing (a result of his intercostal muscles having to raise his heavily muscled chest) and wild eyes made him appear to be in constant pain, from which he could only find release in inflicting violence.

Vaughton's neck was thick, and barely-there between his massive trapezoid muscles and his head. His face was hard and angular, appearing somewhere between exhausted and murderous at all times. His chin, cheeks, and neck were covered in an ever-present layer of graying stubble. He kept his graying hair short, in a regimental-style buzz-cut. His heavy brow was lined from his constant scowl, and both eyes were framed with scar tissue from his cheeks and eyebrows being split open repeatedly during practice or combat.

Jacob carried himself like a soldier, moving with a strange fluidity and grace for someone his size - never letting across his war wounds. His hair-trigger temper was given away by his constant scowl, raging stare and his almost-constantly-flexing fingers. Every step was placed with deliberate momentum and force as if he was both trying to march and not march at the same time. Vaughton never seemed to relax, only approaching a state of calm when planning raids or hunts.

As might be expected, Vaughton was in a state of near-constant discomfort. This was brought on both by past injuries and the stress his imposing size caused on his joints and muscles. It was safe to assume that after a lifetime of injury, combat and training away from all but the most rudimentary medical aid, Vaughton's bones were probably all inflamed and his joints had very little cartilage left in them. His left shoulder was permanently damaged by a poor relocation of the joint impinging a nerve and a ligament.

Skills

Even among the NCR Rangers, Vaughton was known as an expert marksman. He had a keen eye and was an almost supernaturally good shot. In open combat, he preferred holding back and picking his shots, aiming for weaker sections in an opponent's armor, with an almost-legendary knack for making head shots. This level of skill took years to emerge, and was not due to any kind of born affinity for combat, but rather a result of work on the frontier where small animals had to be shot in such a manner as not to destroy the meat. Years of shooting small, fast-moving creatures in the head, neck or chest translated surprisingly well to putting bullets in human faces when combined with Vaughton's training and firing range drills. Despite this useful skill in running battles, Vaughton preferred to use his formidable fieldcraft skills to set up ambushes and to flank around enemies (or prey) and strike from unexpected angles.

When fighting hand to hand, Jacob preferred striking attacks to grappling. That is not to say he was a poor grappler, as his strength and dexterity allowed him to dominate in wrestling an opponent and then rip their limbs and joints apart. He seemed to be of the (rather wise) belief that a melee opponent should be as far away as comfortably possible. When using knives, he often used his Ka-Bar knife or his machete-like Bowie. Jacob spent several years looting various police stations and military installations, discovering instruction handbooks and holotapes on CQC techniques. This accumulation of knowledge and years of fighting experience led to a chaotic style that can only be described as a crude approximation of Army Combatives, Krav Maga and MCMAP.

Technique aside, Jacob used either his surprising agility or considerable strength to rapidly gain the upper hand over a foe that is lacking in either of those areas, outpacing a strong and slow target until a killing blow can be struck, compared to pummeling a quicker, less durable opponent into oblivion. By his own admission, he relied on dominating his opponents, and as a consequence, if a foe could withstand the initial onslaught, their chances of surviving the encounter increased exponentially. When he was younger, Jacob relied on overwhelming a foe with flurries of heavy punches and kicks, and occasionally taking the foe to the ground and pummelling them where they lay. However, as his life drew on, Jacob's speed began to wane with age and accumulated injuries, and he switched to relying on devastating hitting power to compensate for the loss in speed and agility. He was known for devastating clinch work, as his reach and strength made it virtually impossible to escape once he had a hold on a victim.

Vaughton's field craft was a skill he honed throughout his life, from his childhood in the Boneyard all the way through to enlisting in the NCR Military and beyond. Despite his immense size, Vaughton had learned that moving slowly and carefully could result in an almost-silent approach. He taught all those under his command this form of "Large Man Sneaking" under the pretense that if it allowed him to make a silent, stealthy approach, it would work even better for someone who wasn't built like a mountain. These outdoorsman skills extend to tracking as well, and there was a common rumor in Firebase Castle Bravo that nothing could escape Vaughton once he caught its trail.

Beyond these abilities as a soldier and ranger, however, Vaughton was somewhat lacking in many fields. A borderline illiterate until joining the NCR military, Vaughton sees little point in reading anything that doesn't contain instructions on how to kill other humans more effectively or efficiently. This obvious lack of any cultural influences led Vaughton down a road many would consider bordering on barbarism, negotiating with the barrel of a rifle whenever possible. Vaughton was openly self-absorbed, caring little for anything outside the Bolt Hole unless it could aid him in the immediate future. This had the knock-on effect of very few people caring for him unless they needed him to track a bounty, or when he had money in his pocket.

Equipment

Vaughton was known to carry a hilarious amount of equipment, as if trying to be prepared for every eventuality. It was often joked about that he would have brought a kitchen sink if he could find a jacket with big enough pockets. Vaughton never went a day without wearing his Black Armour, which he further reinforced with the knee, lower leg and lower arm protection of Reinforced Combat Armour. He only wore the helmet when fighting, hunting or tracking. He usually carried three or four knives, including a Ka-Bar and his large, heavy-duty Bowie knife. As a primary weapon, Vaughton carried a battle rifle, modified with the heavier barrel and upper receiver of a general purpose machinegun to minimize the chance of ammunition cooking off in sustained firefights. His preferred sidearm was an unmodified .223 Pistol. His weapon of desperation was a pair of kevlar SAP gloves. Vaughton also carried a folding entrenching tool, an expanded lock pick set and an advanced electronic lock pick.

Quotes

By

"Close-range combat isn't quiet or glamorous. It isn't sterile. It isn't pretty. The enemy fears the fight at close range. We should bring the fight to them. There's not one of them that can abide by this."
―Vaughton's preference for close action with automatic weapons was clear in his "pep talks"

About

"People say revenge is cold. They ain't never met Lieutenant Vaughton."
―A recruit stationed at Firebase Castle Bravo with Vaughton
"The man is obsessed with death. He wouldn't have walked us through the ass crack of Arizona if it had been called Sunny Valley!"
―One of Vaughton's soldiers
"Don't you worry. He ain't a sociopath. Sociopaths are charming."
―Unknown
"I've seen plenty of thugs, bullies, and tyrants, but never one as base as you; you dumb, nihilist death-worshiper!"
Andrew van Krammer
"Fucken tough bastard, I put a slug in him on a job, got paid, moved on. A few weeks later I hear the guy who hired me had a Ka-Bar shoved up his ass. Word to the wise, they grow 'em mean in the Boneyard."
Hoodlum

Conversations

"Don't you remember me, Vaughton? You killed my father."
"You have
no idea how little that narrows down the list."
―Vaughton and the son of one of his marks
Gulf Commonwealth

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