Exploring the Crimson Caravan Compound
Fast-travel back to the Crimson Caravan compound. The obvious quest-giver is Alice McLafferty, but first, find a man named Blake standing near a stall outside of the Crimson Caravan Office. He’ll sell you a wide variety of items, as well as answer some questions about the Crimson Caravan company. Later on he will also play a part in a few quests, but for now, he’s not all that interesting.
After you’re done talking to Blake head into the Caravaneer Barracks to the south-west, which has plenty of loot to steal. Numerous Footlockers sit at the foot of the beds here, some of which are locked [Very Easy], [Easy] and [Average]. All are worth looting for the Caps, chems and clothes within. Search a desk for a copy of ¡La Fantoma! then loot the First Aid Box in the bathroom. North-east of the Caravaneer Barracks is the Guard Barracks, wherein you can find some Footlockers, an Ammo Box [Easy] and a First Aid Box in the main room and another First Aid Box in the bathroom. Otherwise, the place isn’t too interesting.
Head into the Crimson Caravan Main Office, which can also be looted. It’s not a lucrative as the Caravaneer Barracks was and there’s more traffic, but if you’re patient you can hack a Terminal [Average] to ogle some smut. In the bathroom you can find an issue of True Police Stories on the floor of a stall and a First Aid Box on a wall. If you’re particularly sneaky you can loot Alice McLafferty’s desks [Very Easy] and the nearby Safe [Average].
Once you’re done being sneaky, talk to Alice McLafferty and talk to her about the Crimson Caravan and work contracts, then get down to business. She’ll offer you a job as a "runner", which sounds an awful lot like being a courier… so at least you’re qualified. Accept the first job and she’ll direct you to deliver a package to one "Doctor Hildern" at Camp McCarran. This starts the quest You Can Depend on Me .
Time to make the trip to Camp McCarran, which is on the western end of New Vegas. There are plenty of areas to discover along the way, but only those that don’t have quests attached to them later will be explored right now. Start out by heading west to reach the large, make-shift walls around New Vegas, which you should follow south until you discover the Freeside’s East Gate map marker. Continue south following the wall and you should shortly find the Gun Runners map marker; which consists of a stall out front of a larger building, the Gun Runner Headquarters. Ignore the building for now and talk to the Vendortron in the stall, who will sell you copious amounts of ammo and high-quality weapons. You can also learn a bit about the Gun Runners in general, and the stall specifically.
To Camp McCarran and the El Ray Motel
Head west from the Gun Runners stall, then go south along the wall around New Vegas. Pass between a gap between the wall and a fence and you should discover the NCR Sharecropper Farms, an area which you’ll come back to later. Continue south until you find a road running along the southern end of the NCR Sharecropper Farms, which you should follow west, then south again when you get the chance. The gates to Camp McCarran should be nearby, on the walls to the east. Across the street to the west is the El Ray Motel, which is worth some exploration, since it’s not tied to any quests.
The El Ray Motel is a very humble place consisting of only three rooms mostly occupied by Chem Addicts. The two on the upper floor are locked [Very Easy] and the lower room is unlocked. In the eastern-most of the two elevated rooms you’ll find a Crazed Chem Addict who needs to be put down and a Sunset Star Sarsaparilla Bottle Cap on a bookshelf. In the eastern room you’ll find a dead Wastelander and a Nuka-Cola Victory on the floor near a bed. On the lone room on the ground floor you’ll find… three Bark Scorpions? Guess they got tired of being out in the sun. Read a "Threatening Note" on a table to find out the resident here got into some money trouble. Yikes. In the bathroom you’ll find a dead Wastelander in a bathroom.
An Invoice for Hildern
Go through the door to Camp McCarran and make your way to the terminal building to the south-east. There are all sorts of NPCs here to talk to, quests to start and stuff to loot, but now is not the time. Don’t worry, you’ll come back here shortly, but for now, it’s time to find Doctor Hildern. Speaking of which, once you’re in the Camp McCarran Terminal Building, head into a room to a room on the south-eastern corner of the ground floor to find Thomas Hildern and Angela Williams. Talk to the former and he’ll try to sell you on some magical food-producing science in Vault 22. Bite and he’ll offer to pay you for finding out Vault 22’s secrets, starting the quest There Stands the Grass . This might seem extraneous, but it’s actually connected to a quest you might get from the Brotherhood of Steel… at least in the fact that they both occur in Vault 22, and it would be lame to have to explore the place twice. After this, give him the invoice then leave the offices… only to be intercepted by Angela Williams, who will give you some unsettling news about the Vault 22 job, then often to sweeten the deal by adding to your responsibilities. Exhaust her dialogue options, then leave Camp McCarran and return to the Crimson Caravan compound.
Note: If you have Veronica with you, you’ll trigger a comment from her when entering the Camp McCarran Terminal building, and another one when talking to Doctor Hildern for the first time. That’s two out of three responses necessary to start her quest I Can Make You Care .
Talk to Alice McLafferty in the Main Office (during the day) or the Guard Barracks (at night) and tell her the news and she’ll also tell you about your next tasks. The jobs available are; to negotiate with Cass and get her to sell her caravan to the Crimson Caravans, deal with a useless employee named Henry Jamison, and to steal from the Gun Runners. The jobs will be covered in reverse order in which they were listed.
|For delivering the invoice to Doctor Hildern||25 XP 150 Caps|
Robbing the Gun Runners
Probably the most difficult of the three tasks, your job is to infiltrate the Gun Runners Headquarters building and steal their manufacturing specifications… without killing anybody or getting detected, if possible. A high Sneak score will come in handy here, but you can embellish it a bit if you use a Stealth Boy. Fast-travel to the Gun Runner’s map marker and pick the locked gate [Average] near the Vendortron stall. Make your way inside quickly, as there are guards wandering the grounds, then head north through the reception room, into a hallway, and through some double doors to the north. Head east to find a Gun Runner Terminal, from which you can download the specifications you need, as well as a few other entries. Once you have what you need, make a beeline for the exit and leave the grounds. If you sneak in at night you should be able to avoid running into pesky guards or employees. Once outside, you can just fast-travel back to the Crimson Caravan without having to brave the guards around the building again… provided they didn’t see you an turn hostile. Return to Alice McLafferty and claim your reward for this task.
Note: You can now return to the Gun Runner Headquarters and kill everybody inside and loot the place, if you wish. There are plenty of magazines to be found a few Duffle Bags to loot, and some weapons to pillage.
|For stealing the Gun Runner schematics||500 Caps NCR Fame|
Retiring Henry Jamison
Leave the Crimson Caravan compound and fast-travel to Freeside’s East Gate and enter Freeside. Once there, follow the street north-west past Mick & Ralph’s and to a four-way intersection, then turn north-east until you reach another intersection. Turn north-west again and continue on until you find a gate to the south-west, which leads deeper into Freeside. Continue south-west until you reach an intersection near The Kings School of Impersonation. Turn north-west and head under a "freeside" sign until you find the Atomic Wrangler casino to the north-east.
You should be familiar with this place if you went on the New Vegas Medical Clinic Run, where you could have earned a significant bit of cash. You’re not here to gamble this time, however. Find Henry Jamison near some slot machines and talk to him. He’s a fine example of a spoiled rich brat, the kind of festering pustule created by nepotism. He’s also managed to find a way to gamble himself into debt, in spite of his lucrative, do-nothing job. Offer to resolve his debt with the Omertas and promise him a severance package or succeed at a [Speech 50] check to scare him off, then return to Alice McLafferty. She’s obviously happier with the latter result, and will reward you more for it.
|For securing Henry Jamison's resignation||300 - 500 Caps NCR Fame|
Buying Cassidy Caravans
Fast-travel to the Mojave Outpost and enter the Mojave Outpost Barracks, where you’ll find Cass, still merrily drinking her life away. Talk to her and show her Alice’s offer, then… well, lots of skill checks are available to you.
If you pass a [Barter 50] check you’ll need hand over 750 Caps out of your own pocket. If you pass a [Barter 75] check you can challenge Cass to a drinking contest, for which you’ll have to provide twelve bottles of Whiskey. Whiskey can be purchased from Lacey - the proprietor of the store in the barracks - and it can also be stolen from around the bar. Once gathered, talk to Cass again and let the burn of some alcohol convince her to sign.
Alternatively, if your Barter skill isn’t great, you can try using the Speech approach. Pass a [Speech 50] check and convince her that the Mojave Outpost sucks and she’ll sign, and if you complete the jobs for Ranger Jackson earlier, you’ll be good to go. If you pass a [Speech 75] check you can hit her with some harsh reality, which will get her to sign.
Afterwards ask her what she’s going to do now and, if you want, invite her along. Her quests will be covered shortly, but you don’t need to keep her around just yet, as there’s some more work to do for Alice McLafferty and another side-quest that should be resolved before helping Cass. When she’s in your party you’ll get the Whiskey Rose perk, which increases your Damage Threshold by four when you drink Whiskey, while allowing you to avoid the negative aspects normally accompanied by such beverages. She can also make you some moonshine if you get the proper ingredients, for what that’s worth.
Cass is pro-NCR, but she’s also a good Karma character. If your Karma is Evil, she’ll scold you on your behavior. You can deflect her disgust at your actions with some Speech checks, but if you continue to talk to her with a low Karma score, she will eventually leave. There’s no timer between these checks, so the more frequently you talk to her, the sooner she’ll leave, and she won’t continue her quest Heartache by the Numbers if you have low Karma in any event. So… make sure your Karma is good before you bring her along if you want to keep her and complete her quest. Killing Fiends around Camp McCarran is a good way to do this, just try to be sure to avoid killing any unique Fiends, as they are part of another quest, later. If you stick with the Fiends south of Camp McCarran (near the Allied Technologies Offices) and west of Camp McCarran (unmarked buildings, but also around - but not inside! - Vault 3) you’ll be fine. You can also kill Feral Ghouls (west of the Nevada Highway Patrol Station and near the Old Nuclear Test Site) to gain Karma, as well as Powder Gangers… but avoid the latter, as there’s no need to senselessly drop your reputation with that faction yet.
Note: There’s a Karma bug in the game that might prevent you from gaining Karma for killing Fiends and Feral Ghouls. This can be resolved by killing them with sneak attacks. Yeah, it’s weird, but if it happened to me, it can happen to you, and I can confirm it. Fortunately, this guide’s build is quite well-suited for over-coming such a handicap.
In any event, return to Alice McLafferty at the Crimson Caravan compound and tell her the news, for which you’ll be well-rewarded. Ask if she’s got more work for you and she’ll task you with locating and disabling a functional bottle cap press, which happens to be located in the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters. This starts the quest Pressing Matters.
|For convincing Cass to sell Cassiday Caravans||500 XP 500 Caps NCR Fame|