Corporal Sterling is a soldier dedicated to the NCR. He was, at one point, a Ranger, and involved in the Hoover Dam Scouting campaign of '73 (prior to the first battle to take place in '77), but has since fallen on hard times. While patrolling the Mojave Wastes near Malpais, he was captured by Legion slavers.
Under their brutal incarceration, he was viciously tortured and maimed, with his captors severely mutilating both his hands and feet. After they were done torturing him they left without tying him, figuring he wouldn't be able to escape. He then crawled out on his elbows and knees to the edge of the camp and rolled down the hill into the Colorado River, where he was then rescued by some rangers observing the scene.
Unable to continue working due to his grievous injuries, he was discharged. Lieutenant Gorobets requested that Sterling be transferred to 1st Recon, believing that while he may not be able to do the trekking required for a Ranger any longer, he can still be an asset to the NCR as a sharpshooter.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is involved in quests.|
- I Don't Hurt Anymore: Sterling is needed for one of the paths to convince Corporal Betsy to get help for trauma.
- I Put a Spell on You: When asked if he has seen anything suspicious, he tells you that he sees the light on in the control tower around 1 AM. He says it should be empty at that time.
- Old School Ghoul: Talking to Sterling with Raul Tejada in the player's party will complete one of the requirements for Raul's quest.
- Three-Card Bounty: The player can bring Sterling and the rest of 1st Recon to take down Driver Nephi.
Effects of player's actions
- Killing him before initiating the necessary dialogue makes it impossible to complete Raul's companion quest Old School Ghoul.
- After the completion of Three-Card Bounty, Sterling and the rest of the 1st Recon team will move out to Camp Forlorn Hope.
- He is the only person in the 1st Recon who uses a lever-action weapon.
- He wears a Ranger hat instead of a 1st Recon beret.
- He mentions he was captured near Malpais. This might be El Malpais National Park in New Mexico. But this is rather out of the way, and surely the NCR would have found Hoover Dam by then if he made it out that far, rather than a year later.
- Sterling is found with Lieutenant Gorobets in the Camp Forlorn Hope command center.
- Oddly, when the quest I Put a Spell on You is active, and after completing Three-Card Bounty, speaking with Corporal Sterling will provide a dialogue option about the lights at the Camp McCarran Control Tower, even though at that point he will have relocated to Camp Forlorn Hope.
- "Nothing like a job done right. I wish I had a cigar." – On the killing of Driver Nephi
- "Used to be a Ranger... one of the first they sent out east, back before we took the Dam. Observation and reconnaissance. We took the lay of the land, checked out the locals, and kept ourselves inconspicuous. Couple friends of mine were the first to scout the Dam. That was back in '73, if I recall. Lot of those Rangers are dead now. Vegas always chewed men up... it's just a little more literal, nowadays."
- "Well... that wasn't really a matter of choice. Got myself caught by Legionnaires, up near Malpais. They had themselves some fun with me... mangled my hands and feet pretty good. Wasn't much good with a pistol after that. Wasn't gonna be trekking across the waste on any more long scouts, either."
Corporal Sterling appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
There is a cell found within the GECK, above the eastern cliffs of the Colorado River and across the river from Camp Forlorn Hope, named "MalpaisLegionCamp," perhaps alluding to Sterling's capture by the Legion near Malpais.