I like to keep things simple. Just focus on now. That's why they made me a sniper.”
A surly, no-nonsense marksman, Bitter-Root is one of the youngest members of the 1st Recon Alpha Team. Despite his young age, he has seen his fair share of horrors and suffered trauma that would break lesser men. The underlying cause is that he was born among the Great Khans and survived the Bitter Springs Massacre that killed so many. He harbors no ill will towards the Republic, if anything, he has convinced himself that he hates the Khans and that the Massacre was just punishment for Khan raids on NCR holdings in the Mojave.
His hatred for the Khans is a function of his upbringing. Life among the Khans is brutal and Bitter-Root's is no exception. The marksman has convinced himself that he hates his parents and the Khans wholesale, to cope with the loss. He recalls the nasty memories with ease: His father was a brutal junkie, starting fights, taking potshots at the NCR, civilian and military alike, children included. In fact, that's how Bitter-Root was taught by his father to shoot. At the end of the day, his father would get drunk and swap stories about his victims. His mother wasn't much better, constantly hopped up on Jet and trying to score some more whenever she wasn't. She allegedly even tried to sell him once, just to get more of this drug. Considered useless, her beauty was the only thing that made Bitter-Root's father keep her.
Bitter-Root convinced himself that he hates them, down to the very core of his being. He believes (and thinks he does so honestly) that the Massacre was the best thing to happen to him. Yet his survival remains a mystery. The NCR troops found him covered in blood, but it was not his. Bitter-Root had his own scores to settle with the Khans, deeper ones than the Republic could have. When the NCR troops attacked, he settled them on his own. Not all of the Khans died from Republican hands. It's possible that Bitter-Root parents didn't either. Brought to Captain Dhatri, Bitter-Root struck the officer as very un-Khan-like. It is unknown whether it was pity, sympathy, or remorse, but Dhatri took Bitter-Root in and treated him as a son.
Bitter-Root enlisted with the Republic's Army, leaving his past behind. He only took one token, a memory of his origins, with himself: He named himself Bitter-Root, in Khan tradition. Though he was too young to receive the beatdown that initiated Khans into adulthood, he accepted the Massacre as its replacement. Eventually, he made it to 1st Recon, making Major Dhatri proud. He loves his job, as he believes (or wants himself to believe) that he is eliminating people who deserve death. It seems his PTSD psychiatric treatment by Dr Usanagi stuck, but it did not undo his single-minded focus.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is involved in quests.|
- I Don't Hurt Anymore: Bitter-Root can provide information that can help convince Betsy to seek treatment.
- Three-Card Bounty: The entire squad will aid the player in taking down Driver Nephi.
Effects of the player's actions
- "[How long have you been with the First Recon?] A while, I guess. I don't keep too careful track of time. I like to keep things simple. Just focus on now. That's why they made me a sniper."
|NCR mantle armor|
1st Recon beret
Drops on death
Bitter-Root appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
- The Courier: "What do you know about the Great Khans?"
Bitter-Root: "They're scum. Lazy, trumped-up Raiders. Most of the time, they're drunk or high, and when they're not shooting chems, they're selling them. Used to have a settlement up at Bitter Springs, 'til they pissed off NCR and got slaughtered for their trouble. Lot of us got killed at Bitter Springs. Lot of them, I mean. My parents died, too."
- The Courier: "You don't really mean that, do you?"
Bitter-Root: "Don't I? Mister, you never met my parents./Don't I? Beg pardon, ma'am, but you never met my parents. My dad, he got himself fucked up, every chance he got. Always started with folk for no reason. Hell, he was the one who taught me to shoot. You know how? By taking potshots at NCR. And not just soldiers. Civilians, too. Even kids. Then he'd get high with his buddies and swap tales about the folk they killed. Bunch of animals. And my mom... couple times she tried to sell me to some waster, just to score some Jet. Even the other Khans said she was useless. Only reason they kept her around was because she was a... how'd my dad say it... "a smokin' piece of ass.""
- The Courier: "Tell me about happened to them at Bitter Springs."
Bitter-Root: "It was massacre. That's what a lot of NCR folk will tell you. Most of them feel plenty bad about what happened. But I was there. Saw it myself. I don't care what anybody says. The Khans asked for Bitter Springs. They wouldn't leave the NCR be. My damn parents, too. They were just as bad as the rest."
- The Courier: "Losing your parents must have been hard for you. I'm sorry."
Bitter-Root: "You're sorry? Well, that makes one of us. Bitter Springs was the best thing that ever happened to me. Best thing that ever happened to my parents, too. They were as bad as the rest. Worse, maybe."
The Courier: "What happened to your parents?"
Bitter-Root: "They're dead. Got themselves killed at Bitter Springs. Served them right, if you ask me."
- The Courier: "You're not telling me something. You couldn't have forgotten the whole massacre."
Bitter-Root: "It's like I tell Major Dhatri. Best not look under a rock, if you don't really want to know what's there. Could be that NCR found some blood on me, and none of it mine. Could be that a few of those Khans didn't die from NCR bullets. I had scores of my own to settle... deeper ones than NCR ever had. Don't bother asking who they were with."
- The Courier: "How did you survive the massacre?"
Bitter-Root: "Guess I could tell a pretty good story, if I had a mind. But the truth is, I don't know. Just got lucky. They brought me to Dhatri after the battle. He was just a Captain, back then. Guess he saw something in me... knew I didn't belong with the Khans. Maybe he felt bad, too. About how his men killed my folks. I told him he did me a service, but he didn't believe me. Still doesn't. He's a good man, Dhatri. Doesn't act like it sometimes, I know. But he didn't have to take me in."
- The Courier: "Your father is your commanding officer? Is that allowed?"
Bitter-Root: "Yeah, look... he's not my real father. He just looked after me, for a while. It's a long story. And I'd get tired of talking before it was through. It's like I told you. Dhatri's not my real father. He just looked after me for a while."
- The Courier: "I didn't mean to offend. You don't have to tell me, if you'd rather not."
Bitter-Root: "[SUCCEEDED] It's a Khan name. You know... the "Great Khans." That's what my parents were. I figured I grew up around the bastards... they owed me a name, after all they put me through."
- The Courier: "So your name... it comes from Bitter Springs."
Bitter-Root: "In the Khans, you're not fully grown 'til you've taken a beat-down. Everybody gathers round and hits you until you're damn near dead. After that - if you haven't begged for mercy - you get to choose a new name. One you'll use for the rest of your life. When NCR slaughtered the Khans at Bitter Springs, I hadn't got my beat-down yet. I was still too young. Way I see it, Bitter Springs was my beat-down. So afterward... I gave myself a name. It's all I've got from the Khans, and it's all I ever want."
- Bitter-Root: "That's one less drugged-out waster. Best part of this job - shooting folks who deserve it."
- The Courier: "I'm trying to get Corporal Betsy to go see a doctor. I heard you saw Usanagi yourself."
Bitter-Root: "10 of Spades really ought to keep his mouth shut, but he's right. There were a lot of things in my past I just couldn't leave behind. It helped. A little. Well, more than a little. Betsy ought to pay a visit to Usanagi since it can't hurt none."
- The Courier: "I'm trying to convince Corporal Betsy to go see a doctor. Any ideas?"
10 of Spades: "Oh, b-b-because of what that fuck Cook-Cook did? W-well, it's n-not the same thing, but D-Doc Usanagi helped me with my s-s-stuttering. The d-doc has a c-clinic north of here. Can't m-m-miss it. You should t-talk to Bitter-Root, too. He's b-been to see the doc, too."
(10 of Spades' dialogue)