Sgt. Salizar Contreras (born Dec 16th, 2250) is a New Californian and former NCR veteran scout and retired sharpshooter in the 1st Recon Sniper Battalion. Contreras was the first New Californian to step into the border of New Vegas, atop the Hoover Dam, into the Mojave Wasteland. Currently, Contreras is a squabbling, homeless veteran somewhere lost in the Boneyard, scavenging the skeletal skyscrapers and begging for food, forgotten as a shadow of his former self.
Contreras has a four-sided face with a well-defined, slightly pointed chin and a strong jaw line. The cheeks have pulled back and cling to the bone like a starving Eagle with a long awaited catch. Tired, grayed eyes which are slight and spaced evenly apart, rest below his slender eyebrows which seem to curve as a natural allowance of his broad, smoothed nose.
Once, long years ago, he had an innocent and smooth skin texture, but it has come to be tanned by the wind, burned by the Sun, aged by stress, and bereaved by withdrawal. Gaunt, sullen, and tight against his bone structure, his skin has changed like the turn of a season. The smoothed boy that went into NCR service has returned as a cadaverous man with experiences as weathered and worn as his skin.
Contreras keeps his mouth closed in a thin, conservative line; teeth always clenched against each other due to bruxism, which is the pre-war term for the grinding of the teeth. Desert lips cracked from the kiss of the winds hides the grit teeth; Lips that are always chapped. His hair—naturally black but powdered by Mother Nature into an optimistic brown grunge—was ruggedly self-cut and crushed under a helmet or beanie. The hair of his jaw was patchy and unkempt, plucked or chewed at because of his anxiety.
The trooper jacket he wore over his shoulders had ruggedly polished medals and bars from past victories, and the scarf around his neck has faded from the traditional yellow to a drab tint and was tied so that the ruffles perfectly filled the space left open by his armor. Contreras is never, ever, without a head covering; be it a hood or a scarf. He walks straight, his face held forward in a sturdy gaze, and has an air of authority that is real.
Contreras was once a proud soldier until Bitter Springs changed him. He has nightmares, shouting and flashbacks whenever he smells blood, which reminded him of Bitter Springs. He rarely laughs anymore, the age of innocence is over for him. Having gone through life-altering trials and warfare, it is no surprise that fear is no longer a foreign feeling to this once courageous man.
NCR Military service
After a few years of begrudging practice, he earned the Marksman Badge with Rifle Clasp and the Expert Badge with Bayonet Clasp. Salizar passed basic training and entered full military service and deployment in the field at nineteen years of age.
Discovery of Hoover Dam
In October of 2271, he and twelve other troopers were assigned to a scouting party which was to pioneer northeasterly with the hope of finding adequate land and resources. After a lengthy trek which spanned over four hundred kilometres, which also resulted in three deaths from the violent wildlife and heatstroke, the tired troopers gazed upon the great Hoover Dam, which was inhabited by squabbling tribes. Seeing it as an incredible asset to the Republic, they hastily returned to the NCR Council to set a petition for annexation, as the power output would be immense, and the sight of lights in the middle of the desert was appalling.
Longest Kill Record
Contreras holds the official New Californian military (Non-Ranger) record for the longest sniper kill in active combat. The record was set at a range of 2,310 m (2,526 Yd). Contreras' shot was taken some time after the First Battle of Hoover Dam during the Battle of Willow Beach. Contreras exceeded the previous record set by his teammate, Lance-Corporal Robert Perry by 120 m (130 Yd).
As ordered, Contreras was positioned at Coyote Tail Ridge alongside the other members of 1st Recon. Notably, he was adjacent to Craig Boone and beside Thomas Ellis. When the NCR Army assaulted the camp from the entrance way, 1st Recon was to cover the side passage and fire upon anyone escaping through it. When they heard gunfire echoing throughout the valley, they then noted movement from the passage through scopes and binoculars. Major. Gilles ordered them to fire until they expended all the ammunition they had.
Following orders, Contreras was the first to fire his rifle, consequently causing the other members to follow the effect; firing until the valley walls deafened with screams and frantic return fire. He hit his first shot, missed his second, and injured with his third. When he aimed for his fourth shot after rebolting his rifle, Contreras noticed that the target he was marking was smaller than the others, and was, in fact, a child. He froze in the scope as the little girl, no younger than ten, was shot down as she fired a .32 pistol toward them. Contreras became unresponsive and traumatically distraught at the sight he saw: elderly, women and children, all being mutilated from constant rifle fire.
Contreras was a trained, experienced, and practiced soldier. With vital experience in Baja, support in the first Battle of Hoover Dam, and general military service for years, he was well versed in war. He has both seen and experienced death and despair, and he had endured and pulled through hardship himself. And yet it was this unusual, horrific event that was to be his disentanglement. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder ever since, with his fight-or-flight response always in hyper-arousal, he would sleep with a loaded handgun under his pillow, and looked for solace in addictive sleeping pills known as Red-Eye.The Hub for some down time in 2278, four days after the massacre. After being unofficially discharged, Contreras spent the next two years numbed by alcohol and addictive chems. He had failed relationships, depression, and spells of homelessness.
- "I saw them running towards us, many of them children, and I just followed orders. Carnage - everywhere. Bodies, bits of bodies, heads in helmets, legs in boots. Blood and guts. They expect you to deal with it. You don't think about it at the time because you can't."
- ―Contreras confides in his comrade, Thomas Ellis, who was unfazed by the event.
- "Just as combat will give you friends you never wanted, it will make you miss them even more."
- ―Regarding his first scouting team, which has been disbanded.
- "Say what you will about our ill-favored counterparts, after witnessing the courage, determination and will to fight they display on a daily basis, I grew to respect them and called many of them my friend."
- ―Regarding the Ghouls in NCR Service, which regularly come under fire by younger recruits.
- "I won't clean it, if I did, they would have bled for no reason."
- ―Regarding his blood stained uniform; his fellow soldiers blood.