|Little Bear Company|
|Motto:||"No Way but Forward"|
|Headquarters:||Dayglow (former), Granada (former)|
|Location(s):||New California, Nicaragua|
|Members:||300 (at height)|
|Notable members:||Will Quaid, Norman Unz, Jules|
|Founded by:||Will Quaid|
|Goals:||Establishing a functioning Renewalist state and a NCR ally|
|Allies:||New California Republic (unofficial), Renewalist militias, Nicaraguan militias|
|Enemies:||Constitutional Republic of Nicaragua, El Salvadoran warlords/gangs, raiders|
Little Bear Company, also known as the Nicaragua Expedition or the Freebooters, was a group of post-War filibusters originating from the Core Region, more specifically the New California Republic.
The history of Little Bear Company only goes back to 2276, but its true origins lie in 2261 with the beginning of the Great Nicaraguan Cattle Drive. Word of a growing nation in need of a steady food supply attracted people as disparate as Texas, Tamaulipas, and Baja California. The cattle drive took three years but succeeded in the end. The men who went on the cattle drive returned home and told their friends of Nicaragua, a beacon of hope in the wastelands of Latin America.
The cowboys who returned to Baja California talked of Nicaragua, and the word went north to the New California Republic through NCR Rangers in Baja. Some in the NCR had already heard of Nicaragua from the initial reports of the cattle drive but word of the drive's success hammered home that Nicaragua was a rising power.
These stories of Nicaragua piqued the interest of two very different people from different parts of New California: Will Quaid and Norman Unz.
Will Quaid was the son of a prominent brahmin baron and a well known playboy in the Boneyard. Later in life however, be became an avid reader of Malachi Dip, the founder of Renewalism and became a hardcore Renewalist, leaving his life alcoholism and debauchery behind to help manage his father's business. He considered moving to a Renewalist commune on the outskirts of the NCR but decided against it. Quaid's potential was worth so much more in his eyes, specifically funding a Renewalist expedition to Nicaragua to establish a Renewalist state. The idea was suggested to Quaid by a close friend and after some consideration, he took the idea to heart and made preparations and plans. Quaid approached many people in the NCR military for assistance as well as mercenaries. Almost no one thought a trip that far south was plausible.
Norman Unz was an older NCR war veteran from Shady Sands who had fought in the wars with the Enclave and the Brotherhood of Steel and had turned to mercenary work after retiring to pay the bills. First hearing about Nicaragua in 2273, Unz was unconcerned about the country until he met Quaid in Dayglow in 2276. Quaid's fine words and promises of adventure managed to attract Unz to his cause, hoping to regain some lost glory on the Nicaragua Expedition.
After their meeting in Dayglow, Quaid and Unz continued discuss their goals. They disagreed on quite a few things but they managed to compromise on their end goals: to create a Renewalist state in Nicaragua that also would serve as an NCR ally in Central America.
For the next months, Quaid and Unz worked together to try to make the expedition, with Quaid providing his money and Unz his military expertise. They managed to sway a large number of Renewalists and a few Followers to their cause and some mercs as well. That was where Jules came in.
Jules was an immigrant to the NCR from Baja California, a former raider. She had tried at being a mercenary but had had little luck in the largely peaceful NCR, mostly protecting cattle. When she heard of the Nicaragua Expedition, she saw an opportunity. Coming upon Quaid and Unz, Jules offered her Spanish-speaking skills to the expedition. Quaid doubted her past and legitimacy as a mercenary, but Unz managed to convince him to accept Jules.
After accepting Jules in early 2277, the Nicaragua Expedition was almost ready. Membership was full, money was fine, and the blessing of the Renewalists in the Boneyard was given. Quaid arranged transportation with several ships to go down the Mexican coast.
In February of 2277, the Nicaragia Expedition set out from Dayglow south in their motely fleet of boats. As they made their way south down the Mexican coast, they explored numerous odd locales and shady characters. Norman Unz recorded most of these encounters in his posthumously-published book Viva la Mexico!
As the Expedition made its way south down the coast, it lost a few members but gained more locals who wanted to join. By the time the Expedition made it to Nicaragua, a third of them were Mexican. Also, the Expedition's name had changed to Little Bear Company due to a humorous encounter with a super mutant with a minigun.
Reaching Nicaragua, Little Bear Company landed ashore and set up camp. The company was soon approached by some civilized natives, who asked their business in Spanish. Jules responded by saying they were a New Californian mining expedition who had heard of Nicragua's natural wealth. She quickly told Quaid and Unz this, and they nodded in agreement.
The natives were happy to hear of it and led Little Bear Company to the port of La Boquita on April 4, 2277. There, the Company rested and prepared declare their intentions.
However, the process was sped up by one drunk merc in a bar in La Boquita. Drunk on cheap local liquor, the merc let slip Little Bear Company's entire plan to a table of equally drunk Nicaraguans who did not notice. However, a nearby sober constable also heard. Instead of arresting the merc on the spot, the constable left to alert the law of the town and possibly higher authorities.
Leaving the bar, the constable quickly crossed La Boquita and mobilized the constabulary to capture the invaders. They made the mistake of trying to arrest Norman Unz first.
Unz and the other NCR vets, though surprised, managed to quickly dispatch the constables with their laser weapons, take over the town hall, and alert the rest of Little Bear Company of what had happened. This sent many of them, including Quaid, into a panic believing they had lost the element of surprise. In a rare show of cooperation, Unz and Jules convinced Quaid to carry on.
With La Boquita effectively under the Company's control, Quaid calculated his next move. He knew that the Nicaraguans knew about him, and therefore had to move quickly to win. So, Quaid mobilized Little Bear Company and moved on Granada, Nicaragua's capital.
The forced march and foreign environment took a toll on the Company, and they lost almost twenty people in the march on Granada. Luckily, they lost even less in the Battle of Granada.
The Battle of Granada was much more of a Nicaragua loss than a Company victory. The government had been slow to mobilize troops to confront the Company in La Boquita and been ignorant of their march on Granada due to lack of communication between the countryside and the city. In the high noon of April 7, 2277, the legislature of the Constitutional Republic of Nicaragua was disrupted by sounds of gunshots in the city outside. Little Bear Company's superior firepower and relative element of surprise negated any numerical advantage the Nicaraguans had, and hundreds of Nicaraguan soldiers fled the Company's advance into Granada. By the time Little Bear Company's men, led by Norman Unz, had reached the legislature, most of them had already fled.
A few of the legislators resisted the Company, but Norman Unz and his men gunned them down with extreme prejudice. After about twenty minutes, Will Quaid arrived at the scene and called off Unz. Through extensive negotiation using a Salvadoran as a translator, Quaid managed to secure the remaining Nicaraguan legislature's surrender.
Twenty minutes afterwards, Quaid had already gathered the remaining legislators to try to form his "new government". While the blood of other Nicaraguans was still drying, Quaid was drafting the outline and constitution of his government.
It took three days for Little Bear Company to fully secure Granada and for Quaid to form the framework of his government. Will Quaid became President, Norman Unz became Secretary of War, and Jules became Secretary of State, forming a kind of triumvirate. Granada was declared the capital of the newly minted Renewalist Republic of Nicaragua in opposition to the remaining rump Constitutionalist Republic of Nicaragua. President Quaid set about instituting Renewalism in Nicaragua, outlawing scavenging and constructing new post-War creations. Little Bear Company as a whole disseminated into the RRN's government to fight against the remnants of the Nicaraguan government. They believed that it would be easy.
However, Little Bear Company failed to extinguish the Nicaraguan government quickly, and the region was soon engulfed in civil war. Norman Unz led various expeditions into the bush of eastern Nicaragua to raid and destroy, damaging much of the country's remaining infastructure. However, the Nicaraguan remnants fought on and managed to rally to fight Unz, Little Bear Company, and their collaborators. The pitched battles usually went in Unz's favor but the ones in the bush favored the Nicaraguans.
As the civil war raged in the east, President Quaid attempted to consolidate power in the west and bring the people to his side with Jules' help. Renewalist parties sprung up in many rural settlements and Jules even managed to convert local tribals to Renewalism. Also, Quaid sent several radio calls and messengers north to the NCR to try to get official recognition. None of these succeeded, and the NCR ignored Nicaragua.
After a year of war in Nicaragua, Little Bear Company luck took two major hits: the death of Norman Unz and the rise of General Santiago. In a bush fight in 2278, Norman Unz took a frag grenade to the leg and got blown apart. After the death of his main military leader and a later string of defeats, President Quaid recalled Little Bear Company from eastern Nicaragua to try to marshall a final push to crush the enemy. Soon after Unz's death, a Nicaraguan officer named Santiago rose to power after several victories over the retreating Little Bear Company and RRN. A suspicious individual, Santiago was nonetheless a stellar military leader and diplomat, even reconciling the true government with some Maoist rebels that had been plaguing Nicaragua since before the Great War. He soon became the overall leader of the Nicarguan military and set his eyes on Granada.
Santiago's rise alarmed President Quaid and so he tried to go on the offensive and command the troops. Santiago went on the offensive as well. Quaid and Santiago met at the Battle of Juigalpa. Quaid held the field and managed to turn Santiago back but took devastating casualties. Half of Little Bear Company was killed. Retreating back to Granada, President Quaid prepared the city for a siege.
Some of Little Bear Company and much of the city panicked at this, knowing this meant the end for the RRN. Riots and mutinies rocked the city, but Quaid and Jules quashed these, seemingly wanting to fight to the end.
General Santiago marched on Granada with a large Nicaraguan army and was harassed by Renewalist militias and tribals the whole way, taking many lives. However, the army did reach Granada and surrounded the city, beginning a three week siege.
The remainder of Little Bear Company and RRN fought hard for the first week and a half, but they began to break in the last week. Even President Quaid finally realized that the cause was lost and tried to retreat to the fleet that was still docked at La Boquita along with much of the rest of Little Bear Company. General Santiago anticipated this and used his light infantry to cut off the retreating Renewalists and mercenaries. Almost all of Little Bear Company was captured are killed in this pincer move, and the ships left Nicaragua without them. The Filibuster War was over.
The rightful government of Nicaragua moved its capital from Managua to Granada and set about rebuilding the city and country. The first order of business though was settling the business of Little Bear Company and their punishment for bringing war to Nicaragua. Will Quaid was brought up first and quickly found guilty. He was summarily executed by firing squad. The rest of the captured members of Little Bear Company were also judged. All but three were executed. Most of the surviving RRN collaborators were pardoned though to try to reconcile the country. A Renewalist party was soon formed out of these former collaborators, the Renewalist Party of Nicaragua, and it took part in the following coalition government. The Renewalist militias and tribals meanwhile took a different approach. The tribals fought on against the Nicaraguan government, still believing in their independence and Renewalist ideals. The militias were more split, with some joining the RPN as its military wing and others joining the tribals in their guerrilla war and some surviving members of Little Bear Company.
In the aftermath of the executions and the beginning of a guerrilla war, the surviving captives from Little Bear Company were put on a boat along with some Nicaraguan diplomats and shipped back to the New California Republic in 2280. The three survivor melted into NCR society after landing in Dayglow, hoping to avoid embarrassment for what they did. Meanwhile, the indignant Nicaraguan diplomats tried to find someone to talk to about the state of their country and the NCR's possible involvement in the Filibuster War. No one seemed to understand them.
A loosely organized company of mercenaries and misfits, Little Bear Company had no official command structure beyond the squad level. It was always understood though that Will Quaid was the overall leader, and Norman Unz and Jules were his lieutenants. Beyond that, everyone else was of roughly equal rank.
Due to his Renewalist ideology, Will Quaid at first wanted just post-War weapons and technology on the expedition as a sign of group solidarity. Norman Unz and Jules refused this, and Quaid grudgingly allowed the two mercs and their men to keep their tech while his own men bore post-War equipment.
The two groups were noticably different by the time the expedition had arrived in Nicaragua. Quaid's Renewalists touted their pipe weapons and other homemade weapons while letting the mercs do most of the real fighting with pre-War weapons and even some robots. This ultimately led to many Nicaraguans crying hypocrisy towards Little Bear Company, something Quaid could not confront.
Although they had superior weapons and military experience, Little Bear Company had small numbers and could hardly hold its own on an open battlefield. So, the Company mostly used defensive or covert methods such as ambushes and false retreats. Also, Norman Unz was a big fan of divide and conquer, and he, with the help of Will Quaid, trained many Nicaraguans to fight for them.
Little Bear Company was created as single entity that fought for Renewalism and a new nation under Will Quaid but had many diverse cultural backgrounds. By the end of the Company, it fell under two distinct umbrellas. These umbrella terms were not used when Little Bear Company was still active but was made afterwards.
The first group, the Idealists, was mostly made up of Renewalists from the NCR, converted Followers of the Apocalypse, and local translators. Directly headed by Will Quaid and partially by Jules, the Idealists were the ideological core of the Company, firmly believing in the benefits of Renewalism in Nicaragua and mostly focusing on non-combat issues such as politics, diplomacy, and medicine.
The second group was known as the Pragmatists, made up of NCR vets and mercs. The Pragmatists, de-facto led by Norman Unz, focused more on military issues and establishing Nicaragua as a strong NCR ally. Due to their harsh violent bent, the Pragmatists were less liked in Nicaragua than the Idealists, not for bad reasons.
The two groups tried to cooperate in taking over Nicaragua but ultimately, both of them failed, if more spectacularly for the Pragmatists.
Will Quaid was effectively born with a spoon in his mouth with his mother being an NCR senator's daughter and his father being a prominent brahmin baron in the Stockmen's Association. His upbringing of privilege influenced his early life greatly, and Will learned that he could be practically get anything he wanted. He was a greatly spoiled child and became a bit of a snob towards wastelanders.
This attitude did not do Quaid any good when he moved to the Boneyard to help manage his father's brahmin business. There, Will Quaid took up a playboy attitude and lived the high lifestyle in the Boneyard. This made him quite famous there, but it left him feeling unfulfilled.
That changed when he learned about Renewalism. Learning about it from a former Hubologist, Quaid bought a full collection of Malachi Dip's works and became quite learned about Renewalism, the belief that pre-War inventions were holding back progress. This led him to institute a policy of Renewalism in managing his father's brahmin business and become a local leader in the Boneyard's Renewalist community.
Quaid was satisfied with that but soon found that Renewalism could only have so much influence in the Boneyard. They helped the poor and lobbied for influence, but the NCR prevented the Renewalists from mobilizing into a political party. That was what eventually drove Quaid to leave. Quaid considered the Mojave, Cascadia, and Baja California at first, but when he heard of Nicaragua, Quaid knew he must go there. He approached many mercenaries and Renewalists to support him. None listened to him until he came upon Norman Unz.
Meeting Unz in Dayglow, Quaid was happy to find a kindred spirit. From there, Quaid and Unz planned their journey and eventually went on it. The Mexican coast was a perilous place as they went south. Quaid, a soft man, managed to toughen up as they got to Nicaragua. However, his idealism did not fade.
This stayed true even as Little Bear Company seized Granada and waged war on the remnants of the Nicaragua government. Quaid, now the all-powerful President of Nicaragua, precoccupied himself with social reforms and education to avoid dealing with the war, even trying diplomany once or twice. In 2278 though, the war had reached Granada and Will Quaid was forced to flee towards the Expedition's small fleet. He was disappointed to find it gone and was subsequently captured by Nicaraguan soldiers. Along with other Freebooters, Will Quaid was tried for his crimes against Nicaragua and executed. His body was returned to New California and buried in his family plot.
Norman was born outside Shady Sands to local ranch hands. He was raised to also become a ranch hand, but he soon grew bored with boring brahmin. Norman wanted to get out of that life though and decided to move into Shady Sands proper to become a gate guard at age seventeen. Soon afterwards when a recruiter came by drumming up support for the NCR Army, Norman decided to volunteer to join.
The next thirty years were hell for Unz but somehow he grew to love it and remember the time well later. First, Unz fought raiders in the wastes. Then, Enclave at Navarro. Then, raiders again. After that came the Brotherhood War all over New California. Unz especially remembered that time fondly.
However, by 2269 most of the fighting in New California had subsided, and Norman Unz found himself still just another of the frontline infantry. The pay was not as good as it used to be, and he was growing old. Unz loved the NCR but saw the writing on the wall and decided to get an honorable discharge. After that, Unz moved to the Boneyard to try to live out the rest of his days. At first, he liked the ruined city and even fell in love, eventually marrying Kaitlyn Patricks. However, Unz could never hold down a steady civilian job, and he resented the counterculture presence of the Followers of the Apocalypse, who someimes mocked his patriotic sensibilities.
Unz, along with some other NCR veterans, soon turned to becoming mercenaries protecting local businesses and "made men" to pay the bills. This work humiliated Unz and his friends, but they kept on doing it, hoping one day it would pay off. And it did.
Unz was escorting a caravan from the Boneyard to the Dayglow in 2276. Stopping for the night in Dayglow at a bar, it was there that Unz first saw and heard Will Quaid. Quaid was trying to explain his plan of conquering Nicaragua to a group of Mexican mercenaries, but they were not having it. After the mercs rejected Quaid and left, Unz sauntered over to Quaid's table and offered him a drink. Quaid accepted the gift, and they talked.
The two were surprised to find they both lived in the Boneyard, and Quaid was happy to learn that Unz represented another group of mercs. Luckily for Quaid, Unz also liked his plans of conquest, seeing it as a new opportunity and adventure.
After the initial discussion in Dayglow, Unz and Quaid continued to formulate their plan. Unz was a bit skeptical of Quaid's Renewalist ideals but was waypayed by promises of "special privileges" to Unz and his men and a possible alliance with the NCR. Also, Unz was worried about how the common people of Nicaragua would react to being invaded, something Quaid swept aside as unimportant.
In the next few months, Unz persuaded most of his mercs to join them in their Nicaragua Expedition. Unz also stocked supplies to prepare for the trip. This dismayed Quaid a bit, as much of the equipment (such as robots and firearms) were made pre-War and conflicted with his Renewalist ideals, but Unz convinced him to get over it. Later, Unz and Quaid also clashed over Jules' past as a raider, and they never really resolved the issue.
Luckily Unz, Quaid, and Jules managed to reconcile when Unz and Jules fought alongside each other in Mexico and El Salvador. All seemed well.
Little Bear Company landed in La Boquita in 2277 against Unz's misgivings. He wanted a sneak attack through the jungle but had been voted down. Therefore, Unz was quite pissed when he heard that the Expedition had been figured out. Also, the constables of the port had unsucessfully tried to arrest him. Taking charge, Unz led Little Bear Company to take La Boquita. Knowing he hadn't much time, Unz gave the suggestion of a march on the Nicaraguan capital, Granada. After some reluctance and persuadion by Jules, Quaid agreed to the plan.
Unz's plan suceeded, and Granada quickly fell to Little Bear Company. The Renewalist Republic of Nicaragua was born and Norman Unz became its Secretary of War.
After conquering Granada, with President Quaid's approval Unz moved east to put down the remnants of the former Nicaraguan government, confident his men's technology and experience would achieve victory.
Initially, Unz was successful. Managua fell to Unz with no fight, and he set up shop there and conducted raids from there as well. It was at that time that the war got particularly brutal. Unz could defeat any ramshackle force the Nicaraguans could throw at him but he could not tie down all of eastern Nicaragua. Unz soon resorted to even more brutal tactics such as killing civilians in relation to "insurgents". This and Unz's hypocrisy about Renewalism led many of his allies and enemies to dislike or fear him. As he felt more hopeless and less empathetic, Unz began resorting to drink and women to bring him comfort in Managua. This led to further disapproval.
Despite his failings and weaknesses, Unz remained a stellar military leader to the RRN and put the old government remnants on the defensive. This finally ended in Unz's death at the hands of insurgents during a raid. His body was never recovered due to exploding from a frag grenade. This heralded a string of defeats that would eventually bring down the RRN.
Originally from Baja California, Jules was born to raiders and was raised to become one in her childhood and teens. Jules and her family did not want to stay raiders though and managed to immigrate to NCR when she turned nineteen.
Jules served as a translator in New California, and life was good. However, her wanderlust soon got the better of her, and Jules left home two years after arriving in the NCR to become a mercenary. This business was not too successful until Jules met Will Quaid and joined the Nicaragua Expedition. With him, she felt like she was needed and gained a lot of self esteem. It was rumored that she and Quaid slept together, but Jules was quick to refute this, jokingly saying "Quaid wasn't her type". His Renewalism was always something that she did not agree with.
Soon, Jules became a close confidant of Will Quaid due to her knowledge of Spanish and combat experience. This bugged Norman Unz to no end, as he saw her as an inexperienced blowhard, a harlot, and worst of all a raider. Her friendship with Quaid kept her in the Expedition however and Unz only voiced his disdain for her a couple of times, which she returned.
When the Nicaragua Expedition finally left Dayglow in early 2277 and set off towards Nicaragua. Jules proved herself capable on the way to Nicaragua in various situations, even earning the respect of Norman Unz at one point.
Arriving in Nicaragua, Jules managed to become the most beloved if ineffectual member of the Little Bear Company "triumvirate". She became the Company's primary mouthpiece to the Nicaraguan public due to her proficiency in Spanish. Through this, Jules tried to remain kind and understanding to the Nicaraguan people while also spreading the ideology of Renewalism. Jules even gained the respect of the newly minted Renewalist militias. This did little to really aid the war effort in many's eyes, and some in the Company even whispered that Jules had gone native.
However by the time the war had turned against the Company in 2278, Jules had remained loyal. She even made a great show of mourning the death of her rival Norman Unz. When the Nicaraguans attacked Granada, Jules assisted in the city's defense. She died in a gutter with a bullet between the eyes, unaware that Will Quaid had already fled and of the effects her live's mistakes would have on the nation of Nicaragua.
Born in The Hub, Mitchell became a believer in the Renewalist movement at an early age, always having found the ruins distateful somehow. He would hear about the Nicaraguan Expedition from another Renewalist and originally signed on as a teamster. As they traveled farther from the NCR however Mitchell was forced to fight with the rest of the group, which would be formative experience for the young man.
He would eventually be the second-in-command of a local militia as the Freebooter government collapsed. He and his militia would turn bandit for a time, robbing merchants and those who carried pre-War items. The restored government would eventually find the group, and Mitchell was one of the few to survive the subsequent attack. He would hide in the jungles for a week before returning the capital, determined to make one last statement. He assembled a crude bomb vest and filled his jacked with bits of metal to act as shrapnel. Intending to detonate the device in parliament, Mitchell would be stabbed and robbed three blocks from the building, and would bleed to death in an alleyway.
- "We may have been 'Gringos' and foreigners, and we might have taken power by force, but we were at least trying help these people. But instead they chose the chains of the past and the devils that forge them. These are the same men that lead the world before the bombs, what else can they expect from them but death?"
- ―A bitter Mitchell Larston shortly before his death
- "To prevent repeating the mistakes of the past, we must remove the instruments of your ancestors' destruction! Radiation and dangerous technology haunt this country to this day and must be removed!"
- ―Will Quaid in a speech about scavenging
- "Little Bear Company is perhaps the greatest demonstration of lack of empathy in our generation. Quaid and his fools started a war just to test some madman's theories and didn't even have time to see the results. It's a pity any Followers were involved."
- ―A Follower of the Apocalypse on Little Bear Company
- "Ellos fueron una plaga en Nicaragua. Es una pena que eran ideas dignas."
- ―Nicaraguan politican on Little Bear Company and Renewalism
- ―NCR President Aaron Kimball when asked about Little Bear Company