A brilliant organic chemist, Dr. Leavitt was the best among the Beverageers, and her level of expertise far surpassed all her colleagues. Even so, she still idolized her mentor, Lead Beverageer Rex Meacham, and the two even vacationed together at the Mountainside Bed & Breakfast in Appalachia at some point before their falling-out.
When John-Caleb Bradberton formed a partnership with the U.S. military through General C. Braxton to develop chemical weapons as part of Project Cobalt, Meacham jumped at the opportunity. Though Leavitt wholly rejected the notion of developing weapons of mass destruction, her colleagues, Drs. Edmund Medford and Kevin Bennell, went along with no complaints. The team was provided with a cutting edge laboratory built into the foundations of the Nuka-Cola bottling plant. With a dedicated reactor and living quarters, it allowed the Beverageers to work around the clock.
Feeling angered and betrayed at her mentor for what she considered to be "jumping into bed with the U.S. Army," Leavitt confronted Meacham and announced her refusal to support the project, even going as far as to announce her resignation at the end of October. Predictably, when the news reached Bradberton, he was furious, and her blacklisting from the entire industry was a real possibility. Despite this, she continued to work at the Beverageer facility throughout October, although she refused to even lift a finger to aid Project Cobalt. This was a major blow for the team, as her skill was second-to-none among them, and Medford - the closest substitute - was nowhere near her level of expertise. The other Beverageers pleaded with her to change her mind. Meacham tried to intimidate her into staying, Bennell tried to appeal to her through flattery and reason, while Medford merely followed Bennell's lead. To appease Leavitt, Meacham diverted her into working on the new Nuka-Cola Quantum isotope, which she developed into a stable and relatively safe-for-consumption additive.
The arguments continued until the Great War struck on October 23, 2077. Leavitt and the others were all trapped as Bradberton activated his panic button, engaging the automated safety systems and locking down the lab with the Beverageers inside. Within a few weeks, isolation started to take its toll on the research team, and Dr. Medford was the first to break under the strain, hanging himself in his dormitory room. His death shocked his colleagues, who each responded differently. Meacham brushed it off, considering Medford's suicide an act of weakness. Bennell instead tried to escape into his work and avoid confronting his fears. Lastly, Leavitt angrily contested Meacham, their relationship quickly deteriorating, and eventually attempted to leave the lab (despite further attempts at appeasement by Bennell) and was instead killed by Meacham for doing so, to the shock of Bennell.
Leavitt's remains can still be found in a dorm room in the lab in 2287, having been moved by Bennell and Meacham after her death.
In Fallout 76, it is confirmed that Ruth also went by the name Kate.
Behind the scenes
Ruth "Kate" Leavitt's name is an amalgamation of the names of Dr. Ruth Leavitt, one of the protagonists of the 1971 science fiction movie The Andromeda Strain, and the actor that portrays her, Kate Reid.
- Mountainside Bed & Breakfast terminal entries#Rex Meacham & Kate Leavitt
- World of Refreshment terminal entries; Beverageer's terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987004
- Meacham recording AB27
- Meacham recording AB30
- World of Refreshment terminal entries; Beverageer's terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987120
- Meacham recording AB35
- Meacham recording AB42
- World of Refreshment terminal entries; Beverageer's terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987133