The West Tek Research Facility was founded in 2002 as the primary research base for soon-to-be most important private contractor of the United States government. Initially divided into two sections, Advanced Weapons and Biomedical Sciences Research, by 2069 it was the single biggest private contractor of the US government, with its biggest project being the T-51b Power Armor for use by infantry soldiers on the frontlines. Its second-largest was the Pan-Immunity Virion Project, later known as the FEV. In 2076, its primary complex in California was secured by a military contingent for fear of international espionage; shortly, the PVP research was moved to the Mariposa Military Base where experimentation on human subjects would continue.
West Tek was destroyed in the nuclear holocaust of 2077, completely obliterating the surface facility, leaving a gaping hole exposing the subterranean installation. Likely, it was during the off hours, as most bodies are located on the deepest, sixth level.
It is important to note that the Glow, true to its name, is one of the most highly irradiated locations in the Fallout universe. A few moments' exposure is enough to give the Vault Dweller a lethal dose of rads. Use of Rad-X to boost Radiation Resistance to 100% is widely considered absolutely necessary to survive a trip to the Glow.
Little remains on the surface of the Glow - just a gaping crater where once the heart of the American research effort laid. The location is extremely irradiated - radiation levels shoot up when one is able to see the giant crater, and it only gets worse afterwards.
This is where the offices and other administrative sections of the facility laid, before its destruction. The atomic bombing obliterated much of the level and scorched what survived. The body of Sergeant Dennis Allen lays in the conference room, encased in a defunct suit of T-51b Power Armor. On his person was a holodisk which the Vault Dweller used to become an initiate of the BOS.
|Loot in West Tek Level 1|
The second level of the facility has been affected by the nuclear blast also, yet more survived, most notably, the security bots of the facility. The exact purpose is unknown (ZAX does not provide a description), but it was likely a section devoted to blueprints and design, as a lot of computers and tables are present.
|Loot in West Tek Level 2|
This level connects two different lifts providing transportation between the levels of the facility. Apart from that, it housed the facility's weapons research and development laboratories, indicated by the twin robot security checkpoints, secure labs and a stash of lockers with weapons and ammo, likely held for research purposes.
|Loot in West Tek Level 3|
Every base needs a brain, and this level houses the mind of The Glow - ZAX. This supercomputer oversaw all research and development that took place in the base, in addition to performing the routine checks etc. Ever since the nuclear holocaust, he idled, biding his time, frustrated at his inability to perform even the most basic of routines.
In addition, the most advanced research labs in the country were located here, most notably physics and biology laboratories, allowing for breakthroughs to happen in science.
The body of Charles Ringhold lies in one of the laser labs, carrying a blue keycard.
|Loot in West Tek Level 4|
The core of the facility, by far the most secure and least accessible, are the testing labs. Sealed, protected by three robot checkpoints, these laboratories witnessed the development of FEV and advanced weaponry, including the Winchester P94 Plasma Rifle. Here, surviving records of the FEV development can also be gleaned.
|Loot in West Tek Level 5|
The deepest level housed the living quarters of the essential research personnel, along with the primary power generator for the base and the operations center. After the Great War, the power generator's fuses got stuck in the locked position, powering down the entire base.
The body of one of Dennis Allen's comrades lies, horribly burned, in one of the rooms.
|Loot in West Tek Level 6|
Head: Nick Davis
FEV project lead: Leon VonFelden
In 2055, West Tek Research Facility started working on a new virus to kill the New Plague. The ZAX 1.2 computer was brought in to regulate conditions in West Tek. It calmly calculated data and played chess with the scientists. Many scientists claimed that ZAX cheated and drew the game out too much for a computer of his considerable abilities.
As China became increasingly aggressive with their use of biological weapons, the United States government felt that a countermeasure was needed. The Pan-Immunity Virion Project was officially formed on September 15, 2073 and plans were made to begin experiments at West Tek.
After a series of experiments, the pan-immunity virion was renamed FEV - the Forced Evolutionary Virus in March 2075, as increased size, muscle density, and intelligence are noted among test animals.
On January 3, 2076, a military team under the command of Colonel Robert Spindel was sent to the West Tek research facility to monitor the experiments in the interest of national security. Captain Roger Maxson, future founder of the Brotherhood of Steel, was among the team personnel.
In October 2076, large progress was made in FEV research, and the government preferred to move the project to a location under military supervision. On January 7, 2077, Major Barnett ordered transfer of all FEV research to the newly-constructed Mariposa Base, despite objections by the research team. Along with the scientists, Spindel's military team was sent to Mariposa.
Head of Laser Development: Charles Rignhold
The primary research goal of this division was the creation of the Power Armor. After years of painstaking research, the first suits were created and deployed on the Anchorage Front Line to reclaim it from the Chinese. Although lacking the mobility of future versions, the T-45d suits performed at the height of specifications. The pinnacle of research was the T-51b Powered Combat Infantry Armor, though it was later re-engineered into the mighty Enclave Advanced Power Armor.
Additionally, West Tek focused resources on energy weapons research, and while it was private companies that manufactured the weapons themselves (Wattz, Winchester, Yuma Flats Energy Consortium, Glock), it's not a far fetched assumption that West Tek provided the necessary scientific foundation for the creation of energy weapons.
During the war, a nuclear missile landed right on the surface of the underground of the facility, shattering the FEV containment tanks and releasing the irradiated virus into the atmosphere. Mutated by radiation, it loses its mutagenic abilities, but it later complicates things for the Master. Due to its high radiation, the place came to be known as the Glow, surrounded by legends among the people of Southern California.
In 2134, a faction within the Brotherhood of Steel led by Sergeant Dennis Allen gained strength, and they urged the Elders to let them explore the ruins of West Tek, now called the Glow, for artifacts. The Elders refused, so Allen and his group split away from the Brotherhood of Steel, taking some technology and weapons with them. Other members of the team included Soto, Jensen and Camarillo. Unfortunately for them, they were killed by security robots and radiation.
The Brotherhood of Steel used to send unwanted applicants there on a fool's "quest" (referring to it by the moniker the "Ancient Order"), just to laugh about it later when they ended up dead because of the high amount of radiation in the area. They were quite surprised when one known as the Vault Dweller actually made it back, bringing with him a holodisk that recorded the fate of Allen's expedition, and earning him a place in the Brotherhood.
Some time after 2162, some ghoul survivors from Necropolis settled north and west of the Glow, and founded the town of Dayglow, whose inhabitants formed partnerships with scavenging companies from New Adytum and the Hub and have built quite a profitable corporation from their salvage efforts.
The West Tek Research Facility appeared only in the first Fallout game. It is also mentioned in Fallout 3 on a computer in the Outcast Outpost in the Operation: Anchorage DLC.
The name of the facility is sometimes spelled West Tech, but West Tek is more common and probably more correct. Its name in the old design documents was FSEF.
The corpses outside the facility, around the crater, are named "Losers". Whether they failed the Brotherhood's initiation or were just losers isn't clear.