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|The following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
The Reservation is a ghoul town in New Mexico, built around an old scientific research station, the Los Alamos Nuclear Testing Facility. It is naturally highly radioactive. The ghouls are sick of being the underdogs of the wasteland, and they have a new leader who's going to stick it to the humans good, Firing radioactive artillery shells via Nuclear Nellie into human occupied towns. Of course, Nellie isn't quite working right and the ghouls haven't figured out a way to move Nellie around easily....
The Reservation, formerly known as the Los Alamos Nuclear Testing Facility, was a top secret military & nuclear research facility before the bombs dropped. It was tasked with developing and building the nuclear missiles that went into the B.O.M.B. satellites. The Reservation was nestled deep in the rocky hills of northern New Mexico where the U.S. government felt that no enemy satellites or spies would ever think to look. But nuclear bombs and missiles don’t usually discriminate. During the flurry of falling bombs and missiles from the holocaust, the area around and near the Reservation was annihilated – it would seem that someone had a hunch about the Reservation’s whereabouts. However, even though the area around the Reservation was destroyed and rendered radioactive, the Reservation itself remained relatively intact thanks to most of the facility being underground. In fact, many people who worked at the Reservation survived the attacks, but over time many succumbed to radiation poisoning and died. Some of the Los Alamos soldiers and scientists who were lucky enough not to be in the facility nor its immediate surroundings, wandered north with a band of other survivors and founded Mesa Verde. Out of fifteen-hundred people who were at the underground facility when the bombs fell, only forty "survived," and eventually became ghouls. Due to fear, these "survivors" did not venture out of their impromptu bomb shelter for nearly ten years.
After about a decade of lollygagging about within the maze-like corridors of The Reservation's sub-levels, the surviving ghouls eventually ventured topside. It was then that about a dozen ghouls were tasked with braving the radioactive wasteland and seek out other "survivors." Among these brave ghouls was Dr. Willem Clark, a lead Reservation scientist and part time thrill seeker (in his smooth-skin days). Willem eagerly hit the wastes not only to seek out other survivors, but also to see what could be salvaged. Of the twelve ghouls who went into the wastes, Willem was the only one to return after almost a year. Willem was accompanied by fifty or so other ghouls that he found in his travels; ghouls who wanted a safe place to live, away from not only the hardships of the wasteland, but also away from the persecution ghouls experienced from smooth skin humans.
Willem’s return was celebrated among the ghouls, but Willem himself was unable to celebrate. He witnessed first hand the prejudice and reprehensible treatment ghouls received in the wastes, and he vowed to make a difference. With near religious fervor, he proclaimed the Reservation a sanctuary for what he called the Children of the Wastelands; the ghouls. He preached his version of the truth about ghouls and their rightful place as rulers of the Promised Earth. Willem became the unchallenged leader of the growing ghoul community and mandated that all the knowledge and research that was archived and stored in the Reservation’s libraries and laboratories should further the ghouls’ cause. Research once again blossomed in the Reservation, and over the course of nearly two centuries, weapons and war materials were hacked together to one day not only beat back what they thought would be an inevitable invasion by smooth-skins, but eventually to overtake and conquer the "chosen peoples’" lands.
The Reservation ghouls are not planning an immediate invasion, at least not yet, but are actually a very paranoid group that believes it is inevitable that either the smooth-skins or the mutants will invade their precious facility and try to wipe out the ghouls. This paranoia feeds the ghouls’ desire to scavenge, create, and build new weapons with whatever they can find in the "gold-mine" of a research facility. In addition, the labyrinth of underground tunnels makes hiding the ghouls’ accomplishments and numbers from prying eyes easy. In fact, the casual passer-by on the surface of the Reservation would only see one ruined one-story office buildings, two dilapidated aircraft hangers with decaying aircraft, and maybe two dozen ghouls meandering about. Surrounding this decaying mess is a large stretch of barbed wire and sheet metal (probably from destroyed planes in the hangers) that keeps trespassers away and the ghouls on the surface feeling a tad safer. No other organization or faction is aware that deep underground this ruined community there is a multitude of ghouls working, researching, creating, and living in paranoid harmony (and armed to their rotting teeth).
One of Willem Clark’s immediate plans is to find a way to disable a potential threat to the Reservation. On the third level of the Reservation, there is a powerful gun called Nuclear Nellie, capable of firing a nuclear shell some thirty miles away. However, Willem lacked sufficient uranium to make a complete nuclear weapon, so he used what was left to make a dirty bomb. He figures that a dirty bomb delivered in the heart of an enemy’s town will be enough to devastate their growth. This type of bomb, Willem felt, would buy enough time for he and his ghouls to increase their combat prowess, and, more importantly, find a source of uranium so he can build actual nuclear weapons to complete the process of turning the Earth into his Promised Earth. Nuclear Nellie is most likely a reference to the M65 Atomic Cannon, nicknamed Atomic Annie; a 280mm(11 inch) Artillery Gun used during Operation Upshot-Knothole 
Since the area surrounding the Reservation is highly radioactive, the only safe way to approach the makeshift surface community by a human is with a lot of Rad-X, or a radiation suit. Since there is trade on the surface, the player would be able to come across traders who sell radiation suits, or the player could mug a group of traders for their suits – it’s up to the player. When the makeshift gate guards are approached by someone wearing a radiation suit, the ghouls will be civil, but not warm (civil enough to find out what the hell you want). Mention that you’re here for trade and they will let you into a holding area just big enough for perhaps two-dozen people. Here the player will find a couple of old husks of Army trucks posing as trade tents, an actual tent used for slave trading, and about a three ghouls to communicate with and trade. No sightseeing allowed.
Main article: Reservation Trading Post
The trading post is pretty much the only locale non-ghouls will ever see of the Reservation; that is, any free non-ghoul. The ten-foot outer wall is comprised of steel paneling from automobiles, tanks, helicopters, and whatever other metal siding the ghouls could find, and meshes into the surrounding jagged, rocky hills. It literally looks like a junkyard exploded to form this wall, but it is effective in keeping out undesirables, especially when the two gatling gun towers are taken into consideration.
Another natural (depends how you look at it, really) safeguard against intruders is the high level of radiation in the area. During the big war, several nuclear bombs fell within five miles of the Reservation, but never actually hit it. Because of this, the region still glows with radioactivity even after two-hundred years. Also, since this region is still highly radioactive, all non-ghouls visiting the Trading Post must either wear a radiation suit or be stocked to the gills with Rad-X and Rad-Away. Failure to do so will result in high doses of radiation, sickness, and death within a week.
If the gate guards deem the player worthy of trading (and most likely they will since they always seem to be interested in new folks who might have something interesting to offer, especially services), they will allow the player entrance into the Trading Post, but nowhere else. Upon entering, the player will see two beat-to-hell husks of what used to be Army supply trucks. Mended with spit and gum (some places literally), the cargo beds and tarps now serve as makeshift stores. The store to the north is run by a ghoul named Hank. Hank is a friendly enough ghoul who seems to be in complete social contrast to the surly ghoul guards at the gates and looming inside the Trading Post. Hank’s little shop specializes in weapons and ammo, and seems to have a very good supply of both. As it turns out, Hank is the master weapons smith of the Reservation and oversees all scavenging of materials, and manufacturing and forging. If Hank doesn’t have the conventional weapon the player wants, it might not exist anywhere else in the wasteland.
Hank is also accompanied by a human female dressed in a radiation suit who seems to be doing the brunt of the physical work. As it turns out, this female is Jillian McKinley, one of the escaped prisoners and current slave for Hank. It seems that Jillian was an exceptional mechanic and had a gift when dealing with guns and ammo. The ghouls were impressed with her abilities in this capacity and gave her to Hank. Hank eagerly accepted the help and quickly grew fond of Jillian. Over the course of a few months, this fondness turned into a crush, though he never made any advances on Jillian knowing that a beautiful, smooth skin woman would never shack up with a drippy, smelly ghoul (and he’d be right, in this case). However, Jillian does not mind working for Hank, as slavery goes, especially since the alternative was too horrible to imagine. This horrible alternative is something the player can investigate further, if he so chooses.
The store to the south is run by Betty, a female ghoul who has a way with armor, if not congeniality. She does not like humans and likes even less that she must deal with them in order to trade. In addition, her surly attitude is coupled with the fact that she has a crush on Hank. She might actually act on the crush, but his affection towards Jillian is so obvious that she just does not see the worth in trying. Normally she would just kill the human, but Jillian is Hank’s property and Betty would be kicked out of the Reservation if she did.
On the east side of the Trading Post is a large Army tent. This tent is used specifically for slave trading and is run by a very intimidating ghoul named Horatio. Before becoming a ghoul, it looks like Horatio must have been a very large athlete of some sort, something akin to a football middle lineman or professional wrestler. In either case, it looks like a lot of the size carried over to his present ghoul form. Horatio mainly stays inside the Army tent where he can watch over his newest slave acquisitions and bargain with the members of Caesar’s Legions, the main suppliers of the slaves. A large bargaining table rests on the south side of the tent, and along the eastern wall are two cabinets filled with Rad-X and Rad Away, which will be used on the purchased slaves before taking them into the Reservation proper. At different times during the day, the north end of the tent is occupied by sickly slaves suffering from radiation exposure. Also at different times in the day, the slaves are taken through the heavily guarded Town Gate in the north, never to be seen again.
Main article: Reservation Town
Some things get better with time; the Reservation Town is not one of those things. Upon entering through the homemade steel gate, it becomes apparent that the Reservation, though it missed most of the Big War and the after affects, it did not miss all of it. The player is immediately walking through chunks of debris that looks every bit the two-hundred years it is. The asphalt road that goes north and west is cracked, bleached from sand and sun, and full of potholes, some of them as big as a car. On this road can be found several abandoned husks of what were once fine quality jeeps, cars (with 50’ wings, no less), and a couple of tanks here and there. With a bit of close examination, the player can find that a lot of parts have been salvaged from these abandoned vehicles, but for what use, that’s a mystery – for now.
Going west, the player will run into two helicopter hangers that are pretty much destroyed. There’s not much to look at here, except the careful scavenger might find some useful parts from the helicopter wreckages there. There are some ghouls living in the less exposed sections of the hangers, but for the most part, these are just big ruins.
To the east, after entering the town proper is a dilapidated office building. Several sections have caved in from either an old bomb blast or time – or both. However, in the offices that have not collapsed, several ghouls have taken up residence. All the ghouls here are very standoffish, and will try to avoid conversation. All, that is, except for Florence, a very old ghoul who was old even when she was human before the bombs dropped. Florence was the disgruntled janitor for the office building, but the day the bombs fell she was in sub-level 1 cleaning a particularly stubborn commode. "Luckily" for her, she survived the war, but became even more cantankerous over the last couple of centuries. However, even though she is a fungus-grump, she is more than willing to chat the player’s ear off (if she isn’t tempted to eat it). If the player gained access to the town proper through sneaking, Florence is a good primary source for the player to discover how to get into Sub-level 1.
Down the dusty road and further into the Reservation Town, the player will come across a true shanty town, complete with holey, rank tents and holey, rank ghouls living in them. In the center of this shanty town is a large Army tent occupied by the commander of the Reservation guards, Colonel Green. The Colonel is another ghoul who was around when the bombs first dropped. He was assigned security duty at the Reservation and was in Sub-Level 2 when the war started. He will not give away any information about the sub-levels, but he will speak to the player to find out his/her intent. However, if the player sneaked into the town proper, he and his men will immediately try to capture the player to find out how he/she got in, and how the ghouls could make good use of the player. It’s up to the player to decide if he/she wants to go along with being captured.
The last stop for the player is at the railroad cars, Main Access Elevator, and Equipment Lift. This area is heavily guarded by the ghouls and would represent quite the challenge for the sneaky player type. In fact, sneaking into the elevator and using it is pretty much impossible without the guards noticing. If the player gets captured, he will be brought before Measles and questioned, in which case, depending on how cooperative the player is being, Measles will contact Dr. Willem Clark, via direct comm. link, and consult. Negotiations can start from this point.
Based on either the negotiations or the player’s actions within the Trading Post, there are several ways the player can get authorized access to the sub-levels - which will be explored in more detail in the Quests section. But as a primer, a couple of ways is to foil a scam being placed on Horatio by a Caesar’s Legion slave trader. Another way is to turn in Hank for being a dissenter. And another way is to seek out and kill a caravaner who managed to steal some shotguns, ammo, and a couple of human slaves. Bringing back his head and the loot will make Measles very pleased, who will in turn contact Willem Clark about the deed. Willem Clark finds it interesting that a human would care so much as to help ghouls, so he decides to meet with the player. Measles will then escort the player to Sub-Level 1 and introduce the player to Willem Clark through the General Computer. Only a mouth appears in the computer monitor (obviously Willem’s), and the owner of the chewed up mouth will ask some questions of the player. It is here that Willem will offer Measles as a companion and will give the player access to Sub-Level 2, the level where all the ammo and arms are manufactured.
The Reservation did not appear nor was mentioned in any of the published games, but was one of the main locations in the cancelled Fallout 3 project by Black Isle codenamed Van Buren. It is not certain if it will appear in any future Fallout game.