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Believe me, I would love orders to take Cottonwood Cove apart and kick the Legion back across the river. But, the brass at McCarran doesn't want us to waste resources on something they consider a minor target. So we just get to watch.
The largest single encampment of Legion forces on the western side of the Colorado River, these Arizonan, Legion slavers have a major foothold in the Nevada and use the position to bring in troops and supplies from Caesar’s main base on Fortification Hill.
To the south are several buildings containing random loot, with the mess hall on the docks in the river. The two-story headquarters can be found in the center of the camp, with some tents just north of it. Prime legionaries (and later into the game, veteran legionaries) patrol the area near the headquarters, with several patrols, which each consisting of a Legion explorer and a Legion mongrel covering all access points. Aurelius of Phoenix can be found inside the second story of the headquarters building, or outside of his office on the balcony. Decanus Severus can be found in or next to a tent beside the building.
To the south there is the Cottonwood overlook, where one can easily pick off Legionaries with a scoped weapon. On the cliff by Cottonwood overlook is an abandoned truck from San Onofre loaded with copious amounts of nuclear waste. A Lockpick skill of 50 is required to open up the back and doing so releases the radioactive contents on the encampment, killing most of the inhabitants. Although the Legionaries and everyone else in the area are killed instantly, the actual radiation level in the area is very low and does not prevent anyone from entering the area afterwards.
When approaching Cottonwood Cove with Boone, he states that it is a Legion slave camp, that he has been here before, and he will kill everything in it.
After every Legionary in the camp is killed, Boone will sometimes express disappointment that there were not more of them.
If the Cove has been cleansed with radiation, and one already has (or subsequently obtains) the Mark of Caesar, Cursor Lucullus will still be waiting to ferry them across the river, but he will be wearing a radiation suit.
If the radioactive barrels were released upon Cottonwood Cove without freeing the Weathers family, the family will be killed and the quest Left My Heart will be failed.
If Cursor Lucullus has been killed, it is still possible to travel to the Fort by simply activating the raft at the end of the pier.
Looting Aurelius' office will result in negative Karma.
There is a hollowed out rock to the left when one fast travels to Cottonwood Cove. The rock will be marked with the phrase "The sun is killing me" and is located in the path between the two crucifixes.