Bitter-Root is a sniper with the NCR's 1st Recon at Camp McCarran. He is not very friendly and does not like to talk; however, if asked about it, he says that he does not "mean anything by it," and that it's only his nature.
As a child his parents were members of the Great Khans living in Bitter Springs. His father was a sadistic murderer with an alcohol problem who used to take Bitter-Root out shooting members of the NCR, military personnel and civilians alike, since the age of three, later laughing with his fellow drug addicts about the killings. Bitter-Root's mother was an insipid person whose only useful quality to the group seemed to be her being, to quote Bitter-Root's father, "a smokin' hot piece of ass," attempting unsuccessfully to sell her son into slavery on numerous occasions in exchange for jet. He loathed his parents and the upbringing he received.
Bitter-Root was "liberated" from this environment during the Bitter Springs Massacre by the NCR troops and then-Captain Dhatri, who took him in as his son. He claims he does not remember anything about the massacre, but when pressed he admits that after the battle the blood he was covered with was not necessarily all spilled by the NCR and that perhaps he had seized the opportunity to settle some of his own scores.
Bitter-Root's name is part of an old Great Khans ritual; upon reaching the age of adulthood, one is severely beaten in a rite of passage, and if surviving, afterward they choose their own name. Although too young to undergo the beat-down himself, he chose the name Bitter-Root and feels that the Bitter Springs Massacre was his ritual and that the Great Khans "owe" him his name. His choice of name has a double meaning, referring both to his bitter roots as well as to the traumatic event that he considered his rite of passage - the Bitter Springs Massacre.
Bitter-Root's past haunted him long after being taken in by Captain Dhatri, to the extent that he would eventually seek therapy from Doctor Usanagi of the Followers of the Apocalypse. With her assistance, he was able to work through some of his demons.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is involved in quests.|
- I Don't Hurt Anymore: Bitter-Root is needed for one of the paths to convince Betsy to seek help for trauma.
- Three-Card Bounty: Bitter-Root and the rest of 1st Recon can be brought along to take down Driver Nephi.
- I Forgot to Remember to Forget: Talking to him about his history gives +1 "history" point with Craig Boone.
Effects of player's actions
Upon completing the Driver Nephi portion of the Three-Card Bounty quest by claiming Nephi's bounty, the entire 1st Recon moves to Camp Forlorn Hope to help with the Legion at Nelson. Bitter-Root can then be found in the Camp Forlorn Hope barracks.
Sergeant Bitter-Root is the only active member of 1st Recon that actually sleeps at night. The others simply stand or sit around.
- "I figured I grew up around the bastards...they owed me a name, after all they put me through."
- "I like to keep things simple. Just focus on now. That's why they made me a sniper. You let your mind wander back a ways, and you lose sight of what's in front of your eyes. Good way to miss a mark."
- "Could be that NCR found some blood on me, and none of it mine. Could be that a few of those Khans didn't die from NCR bullets."
Sergeant Bitter-Root appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
- The Courier: "I didn't mean to offend. You don't have to tell me, if you'd rather not."
Bitter-Root: "[SUCCEEDED] "
- Bitter-Root: "
- The Courier: "Where can I find some work around here?"
Bitter-Root: " "
The Courier: "Your father is your commanding officer? Is that allowed?"
Bitter-Root: "Yeah, look... he's not my real father. He just looked after me, for a while. It's a long story. And I'd get tired of talking before it was through."
- The Courier: "I heard you're Bitter-Root's father."
Dhatri: " "
- The Courier: "Not too friendly, are you?"
Bitter-Root: "Guess not. I don't mean nothing by it."
- The Courier: "Losing your parents must have been hard for you. I'm sorry."
Bitter-Root: " "
The Courier: "You don't really mean that, do you?"
Bitter-Root: "Don't I? Beg pardon, ma'am, but you never met my parents. "
- The Courier: "How did you survive the massacre?"
Bitter-Root: "Guess I could tell a pretty good story, if I had a mind. But the truth is, I don't know. Just got lucky. They brought me to Dhatri after the battle. He was just a Captain, back then. Guess he saw something in me... knew I didn't belong with the Khans. Maybe he felt bad, too. About how his men killed my folks. I told him he did me a service, but he didn't believe me. Still doesn't. He's a good man, Dhatri. Doesn't act like it sometimes, I know. But he didn't have to take me in."
The Courier: "You're not telling me something. You couldn't have forgotten the whole massacre."
Bitter-Root: " "
- TheCourier: "So your name... it comes from Bitter Springs."
Bitter-Root: "In the Khans, you're not fully grown 'til you've taken a beat-down. Everybody gathers round and hits you until you're damn near dead. After that - if you haven't begged for mercy - you get to choose a new name. One you'll use for the rest of your life. When NCR slaughtered the Khans at Bitter Springs, I hadn't got my beat-down yet. I was still too young. Way I see it, Bitter Springs was my beat-down. So afterward... I gave myself a name. It's all I've got from the Khans, and it's all I ever want."
- The Courier: "I'm trying to get Corporal Betsy to go see a doctor. I heard you saw Usanagi yourself."
Bitter-Root: "10 of Spades really ought to keep his mouth shut, but he's right. There were a lot of things in my past I just couldn't leave behind. A little. Well, more than a little. Betsy ought to pay a visit to Usanagi since it can't hurt none."