David Browning started his military career against his will when he was conscripted into the Army of the New California Republic at the age of 18. After completing basic training, he was sent to the Mojave for six grueling years, from 2271-2277. His first tour saw him stationed at the newly established Mojave outpost from 2271-2272. His second tour he was at Camp Golf for the duration of 2273. He served as a quartermaster at camp McCarran from 2275-2276. Finally, in 2277 he was called up as part of a frantic effort to reinforce the garrison at Hoover Dam.
He was initially glad to be serving in the army. The operations he participated in at Mojave outpost clearing out raiders and indigenous creatures quickly brought visible benefits to the trade routes in the region, and to the business at New Vegas. His time at Camp Golf was the first time he ever went to the strip himself. He didn't like it. He had been raised back home to have a certain moral standard. It was not that he had anything against drinking or gambling, (he was, in fact, quite good at the second one, though not so good at the first) and even the drug use and prostitution didn't quite seem out of place, but something was definitely wrong about New Vegas. He just couldn't lay his finger on it.
In 2274, he was given three months leave from duty. He returned home to his family’s farm, back in California. As he walked up to it, he could tell the crops were having a bad year. They looked like they had been blown away by the wind, which had been known to happen during a dry spell. It was as though they had been pounded away by a stampede of brahmin, and this year he could swear he could almost see the hoof marks in the hard earth.
He hadn't been home in three years now. He wondered why they never wrote him. Then again, nobody in his family but him could write. His little sister would be a full-grown lady now. Pa would probably have a full head of grey hair now, to match his cold grey eyes. Somehow, he couldn't think of Ma having changed much. While in the army, he had learned from some of the Rangers that passed through to go quietly, spotting key points in the land. He decided he’d do something like that now, and sneak up on his family, give them a surprise.
He returned to New Vegas a few weeks later, and drowned his soul in all it had to offer.
From Camp Golf, he was reassigned to Camp McCarran. This was when the conflict with the Legion was really heating up. He was glad that he wasn't on the front lines any more. He was a bitter man now, and revenge was shaping in his heart. Still, he knew what it was to be a soldier. You don’t question orders; you obey. You push yourself as far as you can and then some to get the job done. He still felt that there was something in that. Some kind of strength, some kind of virtue. As a quartermaster, he was uniquely situated to get his revenge, but he didn't.
There was no point in getting revenge on soldiers, men and women, too many of whom had been in situations just like his own. No, he had to find the people who were responsible for what happened, and so he searched. Every spare moment he had, he researched, he contemplated, he planned, but he just couldn't find his target. It was frustrating. All brahmin hooves look alike, and there just was no tracking down one person to hold responsible. And then he was called up to Hoover Dam.
This was the first time he had really faced Caesar’s Legion. He had faced small bands of red-clothed scouts once in a while at Camp Golf, but never anything quite like this. By the time the reinforcements from McCarran arrived, they were largely too little, too late. NCR Troopers were dead and wounded all over the place, and a tide of battle-hardened Legionaries was flooding over the dam like blood seeping from a wound into water. There was little to do but fall back as soon as they got to the front. They were ordered to go through Boulder City, as though in full retreat, but no order was needed: by the time it arrived, it was already half-completed.
He was about 1000 yards outside of town, trying to regroup with his hastily-created squad, when there was an explosion like nothing he had ever experienced before. When his squad managed to regroup, they were assigned to go back in and mop up. They were joined by fresh troops from the Mojave outpost, eager to get in their share of the action. He took the rear position in his squad. The new troops went from pile of rubble to pile, scouring any building left standing for more half dead Legionaries to put down. That day they went all the way back across Hoover dam, stopping just short of where the Legion had hastily thrown up defenses to cover it’s shameful retreat. The NCR had won the day, but there was still a war to be fought.
Something cracked inside David that day. Now, he had seen all the worst that the NCR could possibly have. Seeing the Army of the New California Republic in full retreat, saved only by a last-ditch ruse; seeing just how immoral the troopers had become, it bore a hole through his heart like a spade bit. This wasn't the army he was forced to join. This wasn't the army he was trained to operate in. This wasn't the way he was raised to be.
He didn't pass the psychological portion of his next medical exam. He was discharged from the army, and told to fend for himself. Not in so many words, of course, but he could see what the officer meant. He knew he had no part in the army, and the army knew that too.
He became a reclusive man. If he had known it, he was quite a hit with the ladies back in the day. But back then, he had more important things to do: he had a republic to protect, morals to uphold. He was too busy developing himself to bother too much with such things. Now, he could really use a wife, a family to replace the one he lost. But how could he justify such a privilege? What did he do that merited such reward?
All he could think about were the raiders he had helped to drive out. They were coming back, now. The Army of the New California Republic had been dealt a serious blow, and it would take time for it to heal. He thought about those raiders. He had heard stories about raiders, back when he was a child. They were always the bad guys, all guns, violence, and crime. But these raiders, in the Mojave... Sure, a lot of them were all guns, violence, and crime, but there were others too. They actually lived in half-maintained houses, and even grew cactus plants in makeshift gardens. Some of the buildings had textbooks, broken parts, and chemistry labs, as though some of these raiders were seeking to make their lives better. Why did he have to drive them out?
Once again, he returned to New Vegas, freely spending his caps on whatever pleasure happened to stand or shake in his way. It was all a blur to him.
Eventually, he got tired of all of it, and the caps ran out. He had to find work for himself. It was now 2278, and he took a contract with the Mojave express. Walking was good. All that marching in the army had gotten him used to going a long time on relatively little, plus he was good at defending himself. Once or twice, raiders had jumped him, only to scurry off when they saw that he didn't back down and cower, but quickly took cover and readied his rifle. The work brought honest pay, and it had a bonus that he appreciated: he could walk alone.
His next contract: carry a shiny big poker chip to New Vegas.
We all know how that turned out. Nine millimeter parabellum to the head, shallow grave, the lot. What more could the world take from him? It already claimed his family, his mind, now even his life. Funny how dead men don’t talk, but they sure think a lot. Maybe he should just give up. It was painful: for once there was a man to blame, someone who needed to die, but now he was dead. The last thing he remembered was some bright light and hasty digging. How pleasant for your last thoughts to be about grave robbers not having any patience these days.
|Apparel||Weapon||Other items||On death|
|T-45d Power Armor, and others||Capable with a wide variety of firearms, Proficent with laser wepons, conventional-projectile guns, and grenades of all sorts||A unique-looking Marksman Carbine, Laser pistol, and Frag grenades with crosses on them for some weird reason (just for good luck)||Game Over|
David Mordecai Browning/The Dead Courier only appears in Fallout: New Vegas.