|Group type:||Mercenary group|
|Motto:||"If the price is right..."|
|Notable members:||Jack Johnson, Tom Blackburn|
|Founded by:||Tom Blackburn|
|Goals:||righting the NCR's wrongs and working for the highest bidder.|
|Allies:||New California Republic, New California Merchant House|
White Legs The 80s
A group of well-to-do Californians.
The Californians despite being founded by Ranger Tom Blackburn in 2263 can trace their roots back to a group of egocentric mercenaries who took work for a man by the name of Seth in 2161, that guy later founded the NCR Rangers and now has his face of the NCR $20 bill. These men called themselves the Californians and would go around helping towns, villages and tribes out for the right price. Yet as time went on the original Californians were absorbed into the NCR Army. Yet when a young Ranger by the name of Tom Blackburn found a book detailing their exploits the young ranger became entranced by their story, their ideals and so on. Yet for young Tom Blackburn his world was about to turn ugly as he was posted to a dangerous post along the Colorado called Kimball Point there he and his Ranger platoon were slated to take the war to Caesar and raid Legion supply caravans around Two-Sun, Arizona.
However Legate Cassius and his men changed this, launching a massive attack on the camp, Tom saw his whole platoon slaughtered in front of his eyes. Eventually Tom sitting lonely in a shell hole he had turned into his personal Alamo took a bullet through the shoulder, his buddies evacuated him to the HQ bunker he stayed there for three weeks in the Medical bay, almost dying of blood loss and dehydration three times, The reason? the doctors forgot about him. Stupid I know. But the massive amount of wounded in the Medical bay simply were too many for the doctors and medics to take care of. Tom was evacuated to Silverton and then back to a hospital in New Essex, where he fully recovered and was discharged from service. But Tom was a Patriot who wanted to serve his country so he started up his own mercenary company, its purpose to serve the NCR and its cause and to help those the NCR had screwed over on their charge across Nevada.
The Californians started as no more than a few of the discharged vets that had been in that hospital with him, numbering no more than 12. They quickly made a name for themselves, they traveled to Shady Sands and took the bounty for a Chieftain in the 80s named Alex the Red.
Alex the Red was a brutal chieftain in the 80s, a raider tribe along the Interstate route 80 in Northern California and Nevada. For the most part the California branch of the 80s had been wiped out or driven off by NCR Rangers and troopers, but Alex's pack was rather tough to dig out so the NCR started putting out bounties for the ring leaders, 20,000 alive, 10,000 dead.
The Californians took off the day they got the bounty and headed off for Alex's compound an old National Guard depot near the Nevada/California border. There they found the place heavily guarded by the 80s, to add a pack of prisoners were being held in a pen, the 80s were planning to sell them to the Legion. So the Californians surrounded the compound and picked targets, at a signal they opened up on the guards killing a number of them right off. The Californians sent a team to break into the compound as the rest showered it with gunfire, the team blew open up the door to the compound and shot their way into the main building. There they found Alex and several of his lieutenants the Californians managed to take several of the pack alive, Alex was killed in the cross-fire the Californians chopped his head off to secure the bounty. The slaves were freed and were able to leave the compound back to their homes. With them they spread stories of the Californians and their heroic rescue.
However the rescue wasn't without its mess ups, the Californians made no distinction between civilians and warriors in the compound. The Californians were able to collect their bounty and a fare amount of fame, the compound was handed over to the NCR Rangers as a gift from Tom.
The Great Raid
With the Californians now having a reputation began to take bounties for anyone from violent tribals to petty murderers. Tom wanted however to take revenge on the Legion for the killing of his friends, squad mates and countrymen. So he put together a strike force of his best men to hit the Legion deep in their homeland. The Raiding party consisted of 26 of his best men, heavily armed and prepared to stare death in the face set off for Two-Sun, Arizona they crossed the river at an NCR base at Howitzer Hill in southern California. They trekked across Arizona encountering Legion patrols killing many legionnaires as they went along, while losing five of their own men. With 21 men Tom and his men arrived outside of Two-Sun the city was not hit as hard as many other cities that's why the Legion had settled this city after the Blackfoot tribe became the Legion.
The Californians started by attacking caravans going into and leaving the city, also ambushing slave caravans going to trade in Two-Sun. The liberated slaves either ran off or joined up with the Californians wanting to take vengeance on the Legion for slaughtering their families. So the group of Californians began to grow as more and more slave caravans were ambushed. The Legion meanwhile began hunting for the Californians, yet to no avail their patrols were ambushed, mostly with all being killed in the attacks with the corpses being mutilated, this cause quite a stir in the Legion forces around Two-Sun. When this reached the garrison commander he decided to go out and hunt down the Californians themselves, the commander named Atticus left the city with a force of 35 Legionnaires with promises of victory for the terrified merchants and citizens in the city. Several hours later as the chatter of gunfire rolled into Two-Sun, an excited and wounded Legionnaire ran into Two-Sun shouting that Atticus was dead and the troops were being slaughtered by their ambushers. A force was sent out to evacuate the survivors they only found corpses and wounded (all of which had been crucified) and Atticus lying without a head, the words Californians written on the rocks in his blood.
This Legion became so desperate to the point where they simply wouldn't let any caravans and troops to leave the city for fear of an ambush. They sent a runner to Flagstaff asking for support, the Legion dispatched Legate Cassius to the area, Tom saw the chance to gain the ultimate revenge on the Legion but his Lieutenants convinced him not to be so rash, such a plan would only lead to his death. So Tom and his men made plans to leave the area before the main force showed up, first they took volunteers to stay behind and continue to harass the Legion, several volunteered while the rest shoved off for California. To this day Legionnaires and merchants around Two-Sun still complain about snipers killing their men during the night.
Upon his return to California Tom was told stories and told a few of his own, he was told of how the Californians cleaned up California of bandits and outlaws, how big his group had gotten over the months he had been gone but all of this was trumped by stories he told of raiding around Two-Sun and how good (it was almost Therapeutic) it felt to strike back at the Legion. Yet there really is no rest for the weary because the NCR had a job for him, to escort arms to their newest allies in the war against the Legion, the Warhounds, a tribe of bloodthirsty warriors out in Utah fighting a holy war against the Legion and the remnants of the White Legs. Led by a former Mormon minister who had decided that another crusade was in order one against the Legion after seeing New Canann burned to the ground, his family butchered he really didn't care about the cost, only that the Legion suffered.
Tom and the Californians were given this job. Tom wanting to meet those he was dealing with decided to go along with the very first arms caravan. The arms were top of the line military grade weaponry supplied from the Gun Runners and thus were a huge target for the 80s who inhabited the highway the caravan was traveling along. The caravan was decimated as the 80s relentlessly attacked the caravan, but they didn't get away without a scratch, the 80s learned the second time that the Californians were not to be messed with. Upon their arrival to the Warhounds village at the small town of Moab, Utah along route 191.
The Warhounds were clearly ruthless people, not only was a small pile of dead Legionnaires being burned but the Warhounds had slaughtered civilians: women and children lay in massive piles waiting to be burned by the tribal shaman. The Warhounds clearly didn't see a difference between the Legionnaires, their slaves or their children and the same went for the White Legs and 80s. The tribe was made up of bloodthirsty killers, rapists and every form of degenerate known to man and they were delivering guns to them. This didn't phase Tom at all, his time fighting the Legion had scarred him like the people of the Warhounds and he held no sympathy for them. He even got to meet their tribal chief, a man who called himself Kurtz. I really have no idea why this is Tom never bothered to tell me, maybe he saw it in an old movie or something.
Tom and the Californians accepted Warhound protection and headed back down I-80 to California killing as they went along.
The Great Cattle War
When Brahmin Baron Frank Turner and Heck Gunderson went to "War" over grazing rights over a rather large plot of land near Redding both gathered armies of mercenaries to fight one another off the turf. Frank approached Tom asking for his help in the forms of mercenaries. In exchange he was promised financial aid and contracts from the NCR government (His son Matthew Turner was an Senator), so Tom agreed. he supplied a dozen men armed to the teeth with the best the Californians had, they joined a growing army of mercenaries building up on what became known was the Blood Flats outside of Redding.
There Heck's army of mercenaries faced off against one another, there they prepared for a battle. The fighting started when a deal between the two failed to go anywhere. The Californians distinguished themselves as being expert marksmen and claiming the most number of Heck's men killed. In the end the Turner boys won over the Gunderson's men and the field became the grazing land for Turner's herds.
However this wasn't the end of their problems with Heck, he made peace with Turner and his men but went after the Californians for their part in defeating him, he sent out groups of mercs to kill Californians out on jobs, smudge their image in any way and even hired a group of Badlanders to kill Tom. This group snuck up on Tom's ranch outside of Modoc, slit the guards throats and attempted to kill Tom in his sleep, luckily Tom always slept with a shotgun at his side (expecting a Legion slaver party) and killed several of the Badlanders and sent the rest scampering off into the hills around Modoc.
The Horrors of Hangman' Rock
When a borderline hysterical mother ran onto Tom's ranch crying how a bunch of hicks stole her son most of the Californians were wondering what she was on. however when several other people came in asking around for disappearing people Tom began to wonder what was going on. It turned out that these people who have gone missing were hired by an elderly man who lived near a rocky, hilly region known as Hangman's Rock. This place was the subject of multiple legends, everything from Big foot to a cult of ghouls that worshiped some sort of deity. Yet another legend was there was a pack non-feral ghouls who had fully accepted the bigots belief that they were mindless zombies and thus abducted people to consume them, naturally most sensible people blew this off as a child's tale told by mothers to keep their kids from the dangerous rocks.
However as the disappearances continued many people began to believe this legend to be true and avoided the road going by the area. So Tom sent a group of three men to search the area for the missing people and what they found surprised them. In fact there was a group of ghouls living out in the rocks but they showed no real want to consume human flesh, they were more interested in selling it. What I mean is these ghouls used the legend of the cannibal cult living in the hills to mask their slaving operation. They kidnapped people and sold them to the highest bidder. The three Californians, a trio of glory seekers decided instead of trying to go back and get more men they would liberate the group of slaves themselves. They shot their way past the guards and into the camp where they presided. They found the prisoners and freed them from their pens.
Among the group was mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles along with the mothers son, they were all safely returned to their families before they could be sold off. The Californians were paid handsomely and the three mercs became rather famous around Modoc (earning them many midnight companions) and soon they had settled into a life of leisure with their new reward money. All was well until one day one of them disappeared, when folks went searching for him they founds his remains half eaten in the hills near Hangman's Rock. Huh.
The I-80 war
The Californians had for the longest time fought the 80s along Interstate route 80 trying to deliver supplies to the Warhounds, yet the constant harassment from the 80s had made this rather difficult for the Californians. Tom sick of hearing about wiped out caravans and seeing his own people killed declared that he would clear out the 80s. The Californians started moving in force with their caravans, working in conjunction with NCR Rangers and troopers posted along the road the Californians were quite an effective force. Drawing the 80s out with alluring targets then wiping them out as they attacked. The 80s never seemed to learn (due to each raiding party belonging to a separate chieftain) and soon their losses were mounting, the 80s became less and less of a problem for the caravans going out east. However the Warhounds proved to be the wall that the wounded dog was cornered by as the Californians and the NCR closed in further on the 80s. Finally the 80s main camp at Battle Mountain, Nevada was looming in with the Warhounds on one side and the Californians and NCR on the other.
The Battle of Battle Mountain was more of a massacre than anything else. The 80s were surrounded in their camp and attacked relentlessly the warriors of the group put up as good of a fight as they could but the three forces aligned against them turned out to be too great. At the last minute the 80s sent out an envoy to the NCR asking for terms of surrender, these were accepted and as the the Californians moved in on the 80s camp they expected to accept the surrender of women, children, the elderly and other non-combatants. However during the armistice the Warhounds beat the group to the camp, they had massacred the 80s piling their corpses in huge piles as the shaman came around reading from Revelations and setting their corpses ablaze. The NCR appalled by what they saw, yet still needing an ally in Utah continued to send arms to the Warhounds but the relationship between the two would forever be strained.
The NCR soon began to look for other allies in Utah and found one in Zion Valley. So the NCR sent an envoy to Zion valley to meet with the chieftain of the Dead Horses, a man named Joshua Graham who was all to willing to take on the Legion with his powerful tribe of warriors. The NCR again began sending arms shipments to the Dead Horses and Sorrows in Zion Valley. This relationship proved to be fruitful as the NCR and Dead Horses worked together on several occasions. The NCR Rangers would eventually convert one of the old park ranger stations into Ranger Station Zero.
The Californians had over the course of their work come into contact with many groups. Yet the Brotherhood of Steel proved to be one of the most persistent. The Californians no matter if they were outside Two-Sun, Arizona or walking along I-80 in Nevada the Brotherhood always seemed to have a presence. The NCR had been at war with the Brotherhood for years and the fact that they had dealt them several crippling defeats probably didn't help the Brotherhood. But Tom knew that the Brotherhood was much bigger than just Lost Hills and the Mojave. Brotherhood patrols had been spotted outside Two-Sun, mostly watching Tom and his group of raiders, in Utah more paladins and Knights had stopped them for searching their caravans, which they allowed. Yet when the NCR sent them after some crazy-assed Elder who had disappeared up into the Sierra Nevadas the Californias were more than a little nervous. Yet the Californians accepted and led by Tom himself ascended into the Sierra Nevada mountains, there they came across a group known as Stern's Raiders and had more than one firefight with them, the results were mostly inconclusive only resulting in a few wounded on each side. But the Brotherhood was another story, a combination of .50 BMG rounds and pulse grenades could make quick work of any single Paladin, but in groups the Brotherhood truly shined being able to kill off whole groups of the Californians off at one time.
But the Californians were resilient and refused to give up, instead they adapted and made changes to their tactics eventually being able to best the Brotherhood in combat, and this crazy Elder turned out to be one of the Lost Hills elders who had enough of war and defected along with a group of Paladins. Despite this he still took a bullet between the eyes for the trouble he had caused the Californians and NCR. His corpse was taken back to Sac-town were the Californians handed him over to NCR officials and relieved their reward. Across New California the Californians were known as a rough troop of mercenaries who would work for just about anyone and had a reputation for being deadly effective. For their trouble of having fought the Brotherhood the Californians attained several suits of Power Armor, however no on in the Californians knew how to wear power armor so some help from the Office of Science and Industry they deactivated them and several veterans of the Sierra Nevada raid got a suit. Tom himslef picked a suit of T-51b off of a dead Paladin but refused to allow it to be deactivated so it sat on a stand in his bedroom, until one day a nice old lady came and taught him how to use it in exchange for free pass into Nevada.
The "Iron Man" of Green Acre
The Californians have taken a lot of odd jobs for people in the past but none seem to have the sort of camp fire story feel as this one. the good people of Green Acre, a small farming community in northern California had multiple people come back from selling their goods in other towns reporting that they had encountered a massive robot, they claimed to be as tall as a skyscraper. The thing was apparently covered in all sorts of symbols also from the NCR bear to the Legion Bull to the Enclave E. No one knew what to make of the stories but when a wealthy businessmen asked them to hunt it down after it had attacked some of his Bighorners. A group of six Californians were dispatched to check out the sightings, looking around for awhile proved fruitless and the locals who had supposedly seen the machine were questionable in their reliability. Thus after spending the day looking around and asking questions the group decided to find a place to spend the night. Finding no place in the town they decided to sleep outside the town.
During the night they were awoken by a tremendous stomping and as they looked around, in the moonlight they saw a massive robot that they claimed was as tall as a skyscraper marching in the distance, there must've been a coyote or wolf out there because they each claimed the robot suddenly turned, held out its massive hand and blasted the thing, whatever it was with a bright blue laser beam. A cannon of sorts popped out of each shoulder and began lining up shots sending bolts of blue laser fire at whatever was on the ground. The men claimed there was a yelp from whatever it had been shooting at and suddenly the cannons disappeared and the robot seemed to relax and continued its march along the horizon.
This scared the absolute shit out of these men, never had they witnessed something so big and so well armed. They took off running back to Modoc where they told their story, the whole station didn't believe a word of it. To this day people still see this massive giant at night and at day and yet no one seems to know what the hell it is.
Relics of the Old World
One of the jobs the NCR government asked of the Californians was to hunt down former Enclave operatives hiding out in NCR territory. Tom, like many soldiers, realized that a soldier took orders with a "Yes Sir" attitude and goes out to complete those orders to the best of his ability. Sometimes, those orders are morally ambiguous, but it was either carry them out or face dishonour, having his friends turn on him, and possibly execution. So, the options weigh heavily on a soldier's mind in the field. Tom realized these things knowing that most of the Enclave simply served their nation, cause, and families so when he was given this job he was very picky in who he targeted and turned in and who he didn't.
For example, there was an elderly man living on a secluded ranch out near Klamath with his equally elderly wife was identified to be ex-Enclave. He was cited as helping in the kidnapping of wasters for FEV experiments and other war crimes. The man since leaving the Enclave had lost his bigotry for wasters, married a ranch girl, fixed up a home, and had a family. Now, the man took care of his wife, a small pack of Brahmin, and his grandchildren. In Tom's eyes to turn such a person in was itself seemed a stupid idea. The man had done his best to be a good NCR citizen, blending into society. When the tax collector came to his home he paid his taxes in full, he flew the NCR flag on a flagpole outside of his house. He was a good responsible citizen, who had done no one wrong (accept the occasional cattle rustler) in many years, as Tom put it like so many others he had been "Young, Dumb, and Patriotic" while serving his country and his set of ideals. Tom ordered nothing done and burned the file on him, allowing the old man to live in peace.
However, not all were repentant at their old age. One man a former Enclave scientist had helped test FEV live subjects and tested those subjects without mercy. The scientist attempted to integrate into NCR society after the fall of Navarro but constantly ran amok of the locals so he was forced to constantly on the move. He was wanted for the murder of several NCR mercenaries who had been sent to hunt him down. So Tom simply ordered several of his men to his estate, they arrested the scientist in his sleep and promptly brought him back to the local marshal in a nearby town.
As of today the Californians have claimed the arrest of a little more than a dozen ex-Enclave soldiers and other personnel, all of them having deserved it (so they say).
The Californians for the most part use the weapons that most of them used while in the service of the NCR, service rifles, Hunting shotguns and so on were rather common to be seen in the use of the Californians. However new members of the Californians brought their own weaponry, assault carbines, marksmen carbines, brush guns and other high powered weapons were soon being carried by the newest members. Work and deals with the Gun Runners gave them access to anti-material rifles, grenade machine guns and flamethrowers. These were quickly adapted into the groups massive arsenal. The latest batch have brought in laser rifles, plasma and recharger weapons are now mixed in with the groups arsenal, making the Californians one of the most well armed groups working for the NCR. However there is a mix of special weapons that have been bought or taken from other vendors/factions.
A custom Anti-Material Rifle picked up from the Gun Runners by one lucky Californian for doing a rather dangerous mission for the trading company. However this is no ordinary Anti-Material Rifle this rifle fires depleted Uranium rounds, capable of bursting even the strongest of armors including Power Armor. This was put to the test when one of the long range patrols of the Devil's Brigade ended up near Modoc, and when the patrol decided to attack the Californian's HQ and Tom's personal ranch the Californian who got this rifle promptly sighted his target and put two rounds into an Enclave trooper, dropping him. that trooper was the patrols commander and after his death the patrol promptly backed off and called for an evac soon after.
M210 Shoulder Mounted Howitzer
This weapon can again be attributed to groups other than the NCR, a Californian by the name of Jack Johnson had been sweeping some of the old hangars at Navarro, (while doing contract work as a security guard there) when he came upon a rather large crate labeled US Government. He opened it up and found the M210 in there it was a massive weapon, basically some brainiac engineer decided to take a Howitzer, and give the user the ability to mount the thing on their shoulder. There was a trigger and two hand grips for the gun. The thing required two people to operate, one to load shells into the breach while the other fired. Albeit it wasn't a full sized howitzer mounted on someone's shoulder it was still a rather large snubbed version, and thus when fired it nearly knocked the gunner unconscious, yet Jack walked around the wasteland with that hand held artillery piece and really gave Caesar's boys a run for their money.
Hyper Plasma Rifle
An upgrade from the folks at Poseidon Energy for the Enclave's Plasma Rifles. The powerful energy rifle was again picked up during the siege of Navarro. When the NCR overran a vertibird landing zone at Navarro (meant to evacuate civilians and the wounded) this was found on a dead Enclave trooper. The trooper who picked it up kept it instead of turning it in. he kept it with him throughout his tours and later during his service in The Californians.
The Californians are a group with a lot of ingenuity, they can make the best out of whatever is presented to them. The fact that the Maverick Express exists is a testament to that fact, When a group of Californians were by the NCR to hunt down trains to be used on the developing rail system within New California. The group of Californians came upon a group of six old diesel trains sitting broken down in an old trainyard they delivered five of them to their employers, keeping one for themselves. Tom had seen this train as a way to give them an edge over their opponents, a safe means to transport dangerous prisoners, supplies, people, an to become a weapon to be used in raids against the Legion. The train was brought back to Modoc and placed in an old trainyard, there the Californians began to repair it, adding metal armor around the engine and cabin, several cars were added to the train and also covered in metal armor. Firing slits, MG and sniper nests were added to the cars along with a prison cells in one of the cars. And on the front of the train painted on both sides is a massive Maverick (a horse) running in front of flames. In all the Maverick Express has the four cars in tow along with a caboose, two are meant for transport, another for prisoners and the caboose acts as a quarters for men on the train. All the cars have positions on them from which men could fight from.
Power Armor and Other Protection
T-51b Power Armor
Only one suit of T-51b came into possession of the Californians and that belongs to Tom Blackburn, he took the suit off a dead Paladin fixed up the dents and bullet holes and painted it dark green, with gold stripes and a red cape going over his left arm. This became know as the "Tempest's Suit" and hung for months on Tom's mount without him being able to use it, that is until a nice old women came along and taught him how to wear it for exchange of a quiet passage into Nevada.
T-45d Power Armor (Deactivated)
Picked off dead Knights and Paladins in the Sierra Nevadas these suits are not functioning suits of Power Armor but rather have been deactivated turning them into Heavy suits of armor to be worn by the Californians, unlike the NCR these suits still have the shoulder pads on them. To add most of the men who wear them have decorated and customized them in their own way showing everything from family seals to threatening color configurations.
Ranger Armor and Trooper Armor
These mostly come from service with the NCR military, the Californians make use of these mostly for propaganda purposes. Whenever there is a successful apprehending of a criminal the men who had them over are in Ranger armor. When a pack of bandits are chased off the men who walk victoriously from battle are wearing trooper armor. Most who have these suits are former troopers and Rangers, and enjoy spreading love for the NCR all across Nevada and California.
Leather and Metal Armor
This is considered the lowest of the low with the Californians. These suits are reserved for new recruits who are out hunting down thieves and petty bandits. These suits are few and far in between and many have been sold to those who need some quick protection.
Californian Patrol Armor
This stuff is hand made by the folks over at the Crimson Caravan, its sturdy, tough and can soak up a 12 gauge like it wasn't anything at all. These are part of a deal the Crimson Caravan made with the Californians for help with taking down a rival caravan company out near Hub. So both groups prospered the Crimson Caravan bought out the remnants of the company and the Californians got a constant supply of armor. These share a resemblance to NCR trooper armor, and features a Bandoleer for extra ammo clips. It is typically worn by veteran members who haven't attained their own personal armor.
Jack was an NCR Ranger for the longest time from the day he turned 17 onwards he was one of the elite few. Jack served in many places across the West coast from the patrol routes on the big and short loops, to the Hoover Dam itself. His career is however doted with periods of time where there is no recorded data on his actions or operations. It was known that Jack was a part of a special operation group, known as Kimball's Killers, he supposedly was deployed to several locales throughout the wasteland to hunt down the enemies of the NCR, he was deployed to Navarro, Kimball Point and Hoover Dam. It was while he was serving at the 2nd battle of the Hoover Dam that he was wounded and brought back to the rear. After the battle he was discharged from the Rangers, without work and cut off from his veterans pensions he sought work with The Californians, while in this group he obtained his signature weapon while doing a security contract at Navarro: the M210 Shoulder Mounted Howitzer, he carries that thing around today. After the longest time with The Californians Jack left the group taking up residence in Silverton,a small mining town where he acts as the town sheriff.
|This has been written by CaptainCain. Please contact this user before editing this article.|