Fallout New Texas: A Post-Apocalyptic Adventure in New Texas
No job is too nasty for the mercenaries of Talon Company. If you encounter these heartless opportunists, be prepared for a fight to the death.
— Fallout 3 loading screen
Talon Company is a mercenary organization active in the Capital Wasteland. Doing various jobs, from bounty hunting to fighting against the super mutant occupiers of Washington, D.C.. Even as far as mercenaries go, these men and women are vicious, killing anyone that doesn’t wear their emblem, similar to raiders. The reason for this is simple – in 2277, they are working for an unknown third party, with simple orders – keep the Capital Wasteland a lawless, disorganized place.
The Talon Company is the largest of the mercenary groups in the wasteland. They can be found almost anywhere. They put cash and loot ahead of almost anything, and will attack most groups on sight in the hopes of taking their stuff. Currently an unknown benefactor has hired the Talon Company to hunt down do-gooders. The reasons for this are unknown, but the effect is to keep the wasteland a lawless place where the guys with the biggest guns make the rules. The Talon Company frequently has the biggest guns.1
Because they are hostile to anyone but themselves, they are always hostile towards the player if encountered, but they will generally not hunt the player except under the following circumstances:
1. If the player has good Karma, even for relatively innocuous reasons (such as giving water to the beggars or finding a home for Bryan Wilks), a sizable bounty may be taken out on their head. At the first encounter, a Talon merc will approach the player and address him/her as “the little saint from the Vault”, then express his intent to kill him/her. There are two dialogue options, but neither will dissuade them, and the shooting will start. Subsequent encounters with Talon Company will simply have them attacking, without verbal preamble.
2. Disarming the bomb in Megaton or warning Lucas Simms about Mister Burke (thereby foiling his plan to destroy the town) will also have them tracking you down, though they will register as hitmen rather than Talon mercs. They will simply attack the player, even at the initial encounter.
In the Capital Wasteland area, Talon Company’s central base of operations is Fort Bannister where their leader Commander Jabsco resides, though they have a secondary base west of Grayditch. They are also engaged in a large battle with the super mutants in and around the Capitol Building, Takoma Park, and the Clifftop Shacks, though the purpose of the battles are unknown. You will sometimes come across a fire team of three mercs, patrolling through the Wasteland or in various towns. If they have a contract for your death, you may also be ambushed by them after either fast traveling or zoning to a new location. They seem especially fond of certain subway entrances, including the ones in Grayditch, next to Rivet City, and south of Wilhelm’s Wharf.
Killing these fire teams provide a good supply of armor and ammunition, as they each wear a customized variant of combat armor and tend to have more advanced weaponry as you level up. Indeed, it could be argued that one perk of good karma is that the player has access to quality armor relatively early in the game. If the player would prefer to avoid tangling with the Talons, he/she should keep a neutral karma level. If their karma reaches Good, they should search Metro entrances for Talon groups and run away if they see them; at the first encounter, the Talons will not attack until they have spoken to the player. If the player’s karma drops to neutral before a Talon Merc is able to speak to them, Talon mercs will stop appearing at potential ambush sites, and will not return until player Karma hits Good again.
Talon Company mercenaries are almost exclusively male. Bodies of female Talon mercs can however be encountered in the bathroom in the Hall of Columns in the Capitol Building, in the Metro Central, and the Corvega Factory. A live female Talon merc can be encountered in the Fort Bannister bunker, and another can be in the first fire team that ambushes you (the one that explains that there’s a hit out on you, though the merc is usually male).
In addition to conventional infantry, Talon Company controls several reprogrammed military Mister Gutsies and sentry bots, which they use sparingly to guard some of their outposts in the D.C. Ruins.
Talon Mercenaries that are known as hitmen (hired by Mr. Burke in revenge for the player’s actions in Megaton) have a different set of characteristics that make them stand out from the average Talon Patrol. Their characteristics consist of light armament, same in appearance (all three mercs are the same character build), and very pale skin. And, looting their bodies reveals a different message.
With the addition of Broken Steel, you can now find a group of Brotherhood of Steel Knights outside Fort Bannister who are trying to retrieve a water caravan that the Talons have stolen. You will also find a captured Brotherhood of Steel Paladin, Paladin Jensen, in the tents in Fort Bannister. After releasing him, he will thank you and then proceed into the base to get revenge, quickly followed by his fellow Knights. The Brotherhood will then quickly kill all mercenaries inside the base including Commander Jabsco. This will make proceeding through the fort much easier than going through it by yourself.
On the highway leading to the Citadel, east of the Nuka-Cola Plant, and south of the Red Racer Factory, two Talon mercs are fighting with 2 or 3 raiders over a crate containing 4 Aqua Pura barrels. One of the Talon Mercenaries has a flamer.
Outside the Capitol Building you will find a large contingent of Talon Company mercs with varying robots fighting the occupying super mutants. They focus on the super mutants and will not usually attack you unless attacked first or they win the battle. If you do not interfere then they will usually be killed.
Weapons and tacticsEdit
Members of roving Talon Company fire teams typically have either police batons, combat shotguns, laser rifles, or Chinese assault rifles as their primary armament, with no more than one of each encountered per fire team (exceptions: combat shotgun and police baton). Talon Company personnel in set encounters may also have other weapons, such as sniper rifles and missile launchers. Combat knives, .32 pistols, and pulse grenades are often carried as backup weapons. On rare occasions they may all be carrying Chinese assault rifles (or maybe one R91 assault rifle instead) making them even more dangerous than usual (seems more likely to happen at the Sewer Waystation or sniper shack).
In random encounters, fire team tactics are simple: depending on the weapon type, the mercenary will close to within effective range (if necessary) and engage. At typical encounter distances, this means that riflemen will open fire from where they are, ones who use shotguns will close part of the distance and then open fire, and hand-to-hand fighters will charge at you.
When they have been contracted to assassinate you, the main locations for them to ambush you are at the Northwest Seneca Metro Station near Arefu, Anacostia Crossing near Rivet City, Lucky’s just near Tenpenny Tower and Warrington Station, and the player can randomly run into them near Megaton or out in the Wasteland (this is the same for the Regulators). They also appear frequently at the Jury Street Metro Station, the Super Duper Mart, and near the Reilly’s Rangers location, avoiding them is almost impossible.