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You're getting too close, Shamus!— Captain Curtis (Wild Wasteland only)

Captain Ronald Curtis is an officer of the New California Republic Army, heading Bravo Company at Camp McCarran. The captain's real identity is that of a frumentarius (codename Picus) planted several years ago by Caesar's Legion to spy on and sabotage the NCR Army.


Officially an upstanding officer of the NCR Army, Ronald Curtis rose through the ranks quickly, reaching the rank of captain and position of Bravo Company commander in three and a half years.[1] Curtis is actually a frumentarius sent into the NCR by Caesar years before the Legion arrived on the banks of the Colorado River to challenge the NCR.[1] Frumentarius Picus is one of the most prized operatives the Legion has at its disposal, a deep-cover agent whose false identity is years in the making.[1]

While normally he would be commanding Bravo Company in the field, General Lee Oliver placed his company at Camp McCarran to shore up its defenses. While his men man the walls, Curtis helps Colonel James Hsu with logistics.[2] This is more than advantageous for Picus who uses his position to discretely provide information on NCR plans to Caesar's Legion, sabotage NCR assets and keep one step ahead of any efforts to apprehend him. Although he provides intel on patrols and other NCR plans back to the Legion each day,[3][4] his main goal has been to build up trust with Colonel Hsu to pull off a major sabotage plan without losing his cover.[5][6] Picus currently has Martina Groesbeck as an informant on the Strip, feeding him information on New Vegas, particularly the casinos; although she would never wittingly help slavers, Picus has concealed his true allegiance from her and is aided by her intelligence gathering.[7]

The Legion's frumentarii have been planning this operation for years as a part of the greater plan, Racket, first requiring Picus to infiltrate the NCR. The NCR bolsters its presence on the New Vegas Strip from Camp McCarran; using the connecting monorail lets them occupy two positions for the price of one. In his years at McCarran, Picus has learned all he can about this monorail and intends to sabotage it. However, Picus believes that Colonel James Hsu is beginning to suspect him; therefore, he is looking for the right scapegoat on which to pin the sabotage. He left some bomb-making supplies alongside a bomb, which are to be placed in Private Davey Crenshaw's personal footlocker to incriminate the practical joker. Although, for this plan to work, Private Crenshaw cannot be allowed to blab and deny his involvement, meaning he must be dead before the sabotage is reported to Colonel Hsu.[8][9] Picus currently is only steps away from pulling off his major plan, but bides his time for the right pieces to fall into place and to find the extra conspirator to ensure his alibi is established.

Silus, the captured Legion centurion, recognized Curtis upon being brought into McCarran, having seen him years earlier during the latter's frumentarii training. He did not know his alias, however.[10] Curtis is also well known to Vulpes Inculta, the frumentarii leader, for his resounding work at infiltrating the NCR and has been keeping close tabs on his progress.[11]

Interactions with the player character

Interactions overview

FO76 ui icon quest.png
This character is involved in quests.


Effects of player's actions

  • If the player character sides with Caesar's Legion, Vulpes Inculta sends the Courier to Camp McCarran incognito, where they assist Curtis in destroying the McCarran-Vegas monorail and help him avoid detection by killing Private Davey Crenshaw and planting incriminating evidence in his footlocker. Instead of disappearing from the NCR Army after the bombing like he had originally planned, Curtis decides to stay and develop his role into "something grander," enabling him to greatly benefit the Legion for a long time to come.
    • Alternately, if the Courier has killed Private Davey Crenshaw prior to working with Curtis to bomb the monorail, Curtis is unable to find a proper scapegoat once the bombing happens. Curtis recognizes that without someone else to blame, the NCR will sooner or later figure out it was him. He makes plans to disappear from Camp McCarran and tells the Courier that they cannot be seen together again, and will thereafter not engage in dialogue.
  • If the player character sides with the NCR, Curtis is found out as a spy and when confronted forces the Courier to kill him rather than be taken alive. If the Courier does not kill him, he will commit suicide. Colonel James Hsu and through him the NCR are fully alerted to the extent and details of Curtis' treachery. His death is a disaster for Caesar's Legion, ruining Caesar's years-long effort to plant a spy at Camp McCarran.
  • If the player character kills Colonel James Hsu while working for Caesar's Legion, a dismayed and furious Curtis says that the Courier has set him back years in his work as a spy. Curtis spent years earning Hsu's trust, and when the NCR replaces him "within a week" Curtis will have to start all over again. He angrily banishes the player character from his sight and will not speak to them again.



  • His office is located on the first floor of the terminal building. It is to the right and behind the right stairs leading up to the second floor.
  • If one kills Curtis and returns to The Fort, Caesar will be furious and says that he knows the Courier disarmed the bomb on the monorail. This counts as a crime against the Legion and Caesar will forgive them once if this is their first crime, or have them killed if a crime was previously committed.
  • Even though Curtis is a Legion spy, he will be hostile towards the Courier if they are Vilified with the NCR and see through any NCR disguise like a normal NCR ranger.
  • Killing him counts towards both the challenge Armed For Bear and Against All Tyrants; however, since the challenges use mutually exclusive lists of weapons, it is not possible to earn credit toward both challenges with a single kill.


Captain Ronald Curtis appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenes

  • Wild Wasteland "You're getting too close, Shamus" is a reference to the video game Where in the U.S.A. Is Carmen Sandiego?[12]
  • During his radio transmission to Caesar's Legion, he calls somebody with the callsign "Lupa," identifying himself as "Picus." This refers to the wolf, Lupa, who nursed the infants Romulus and Remus, and Picus, the woodpecker who fed them.


  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 He may be the only hostile person in Camp McCarran if there is an abrupt drop in reputation with the Legion, or perhaps an abrupt increase in reputation with the NCR. - Happened after a disguise glitch. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 If Colonel Hsu is killed and one talks to Curtis, he will express his anger with the Courier for setting him back years in his mission even if the player has never spoken to Caesar about Curtis being a spy. [verified]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Courier: "How many years have you been on this assignment?"
    Ronald Curtis: "Took me three-and-a-half years, just to make Captain. Usually takes four, but I made sure there was an early vacancy. Caesar sees threats before they're even aware of him. He sent me long before we moved to occupy the eastern riverbank. And now all my work, all the waiting, is about to pay off."
    (Ronald Curtis' dialogue)
  2. The Courier: "What do you do here?"
    Ronald Curtis: "Officially I'm in charge of Bravo Company. But since General Oliver has Bravo and most of our forces here garrisoned, I'm free to do other things. So I work with Colonel Hsu on logistics. Patrols, supply lines, reinforcements, that sort of thing. Lately it's been less about that and more about figuring out how that information is getting leaked to raiders. It's a big base with a lot of unhappy soldiers. They get stir-crazy. Hard to separate the malcontents from the actual culprit."
    (Ronald Curtis' dialogue)
  3. Ronald Curtis: "Lupa, this is Frumentarius Picus, over. Afternoon patrol enters Fiend territory at 1300. Have them mine that stretch. That would leave them the morning to bury mines along that stretch. Over. Roger Lupa. Charges are set. Detonation will occur as the train leaves the station. Over. Couple of minutes. Over. Ten-four."
    (Ronald Curtis' dialogue)
  4. Sniper nest location is located in his office
  5. The Courier: "What do you do here?"
    Ronald Curtis: "Officially I'm in charge of Bravo Company. But since General Oliver has Bravo and most of our forces here garrisoned, I'm free to do other things. So I work with Colonel Hsu on logistics. Patrols, supply lines, reinforcements, that sort of thing. Hell of a position to be in when you're working for the other side. But I have to sabotage with a light touch, or else my guilt would be obvious."
    (Ronald Curtis' dialogue)
  6. The Courier: "Hsu is dead."
    Ronald Curtis: "What? You idiot! I spent years earning his trust. The whole point of your heading up this operation was to preserve that trust! Now they'll replace him in a week with some other colonel and I'll be back to square one. You've set me back years today. Years! Get the hell out of my sight."
    (Ronald Curtis' dialogue)
  7. The Courier: "You work with the NCR? It was the Legion who sent me to protect you."
    Martina Groesbeck: "What? I only talk to Captain Curtis over at McCarran. I would never work with slavers. Honest."
    (Martina Groesbeck's dialogue)
  8. The Courier: "I know who you are. I'm working for the Legion, too."
    Ronald Curtis: "Christ, keep it down! You want to blow the whole thing? We've worked years for this. But maybe it's good you're here. Hsu knows about the leaks, and I'm supposed to find the spy for him. At first I couldn't believe my luck. But since I haven't produced results - for obvious reasons - I feel him looking at me differently now. Maybe he's just thinking about putting someone else in charge, maybe he's starting to suspect. Either way it's bad for me. Especially once this next part goes down."
    The Courier: "What next part?"
    Ronald Curtis: "If you haven't noticed, the NCR bolsters its presence on the Strip from here. Sends troopers on the monorail in shifts. The monorail lets them occupy two positions for the price of one. It's a supply line that's immune to raiders and other hindrances on the ground. If someone were to cut that line, both positions would be much weaker. Fragile. They know this, and they watch it like hawks. But I've been here a long time, and I've learned everything there is to know about it. And I'm going to blow up that train."
    The Courier: "And you have something in mind for me?"
    Ronald Curtis: "I told you I think they're starting to suspect me. You're going to help me cast away those suspicions. You're going to put the bomb on that train. I'll be sure to be in the presence of several reliable eyewitnesses when it happens. Then we're going to pin this on a scapegoat. I'd planned on disappearing after this operation. It'd be a matter of time before they traced it to me. Figured out I was a frumentarius. But with your help, maybe I can stay on after all. Make plans for something... grander."
    The Courier: "Tell me what I need to do."
    Ronald Curtis: "I have the explosives stashed in a trash can next to the ticketing counter along with some incriminating documents. You'll pick them up and make your way upstairs to the monorail terminal. They change the guard there at 0900 and 1800 hours. There'll be a small window where there's no one guarding the train."
    The Courier: "What do I do when I'm at the train?"
    Ronald Curtis: "Put the bomb in one of the vents inside the train on the back wall, towards the joint that connects the cars. Arm it, and get out of there. I've also left some bomb ingredients in with the explosives. You are to take those to the footlocker of a Private Crenshaw. Crenshaw's a problem child. Lots of run-ins with his superiors. It'll be easy for them to believe he's working for the Legion."
    The Courier: "Is that everything?"
    Ronald Curtis: "Report him to Colonel Hsu. Do all that and we should be free and clear. Oh, and Crenshaw should be dead before you report him. Don't leave any chance for him to deny the bombings. Let's say he pulled a gun on you. I've got him on guard duty patrolling the tarmac just inside the south gate. And I reassigned the other guard, so he should be alone."
    The Courier: "Understood. I'll go and pick up the explosives."
    Ronald Curtis: "Good. Try to plant the explosives quietly if you can - you'll make both our lives easier. But first things first. Go offer your services to Colonel Hsu. Tell him you'll work independently to find the leak. He's running out of options. He'll accept as long as you don't give him a reason not to. If he doesn't, then don't be surprised if you're the new scapegoat. So don't fuck this up."
    (Ronald Curtis' dialogue)
  9. The Courier: "The scapegoat isn't me, is it?"
    Ronald Curtis: "No, no. I wouldn't do that. Not unless I didn't have better options, anyway. And I do."
    (Ronald Curtis' dialogue)
  10. The Courier: "What officer?"
    Silus: "I don't know what name he goes by here. But I saw him when they brought me in, and I recognized him. When I saw him last it was ages ago. He was training to be an agent of Caesar's frumentarii. Apparently he passed the trials. And what a job he's done, to achieve such a rank. I have no doubt he'll deliver a crippling blow to the NCR while he's here. Perhaps many. I have heard that he has been radioing high-level NCR intelligence back to Caesar's camp virtually every night. But never mind that now. We don't have much time. If you can get me a weapon, the rest will be easy. In the hall outside, they still have my possessions in a locker. There's a gun in there that should be small enough to get past the lieutenant. When she comes back, I want you to go and get it for me. Simple enough?"
    (Silus' dialogue)
  11. The Courier: "Martina said she sold her information to Captain Curtis in the NCR."
    Vulpes Inculta: "I know the Captain well. If you wish to be of service, go talk to him. Bear in mind that you are now responsible for guarding the secret of his true allegiance. If the NCR finds out, we'll know how that happened."
    (Vulpes Inculta's dialogue)
  12. Screenshot, Where in the U.S.A. Is Carmen Sandiego?