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The way ahead and below - leads to the heart of the Divide. And there... you and I, we'll have an ending to things.Ulysses, Lonesome Road

The Divide is a common term for a stretch of devastated land northwest of the Mojave, in the Mesquite Valley, on top of the Nevada/California border. It is the setting of Lonesome Road.


An isolated town located on the California/Nevada border, Hopeville and its bigger brother, Ashton, were established in the late 21st century. Beneath the towns lay an extensive network of nuclear missile silos built under the auspices of the Commonwealth Defense Administration Ballistic Defense Division. The complex was established in a geologically unstable region, where minor earthquakes were quite common. Military authorities downplayed these problems, confident in the safety of American engineering.[1] Another problem was caused by the fact that the Army used Hopeville as proving grounds for Big MT's weather control research, using the denizens of the regions as guinea pigs.[2][3]

By 2077, the region had a large community of political dissidents, including local hippies, who protested the ongoing Sino-American War and the military at construction camps across both Hopeville and Ashton. In an example of "white-hot rage of capitalist justice," the Political Office arranged to have them rounded up and sent to Big MT as test subjects for the company's latest projects, aided by troops from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment under the command of General Wellesley, military liaison to Big MT.[4][5][6]

During the Great War, the nuclear missiles stored in the missile silos were never launched, remaining safely in their berths for the next two centuries.[7]

The first Divide

Although Hopeville and Ashton were abandoned after the War, a small community would inhabit the storm-covered lands. With the harsh weather unleashed on it constantly from the Big MT, those who inhabited the ruins of the Old World in Hopeville and Ashton drew strength and inspiration from the ancient symbols and technology that surrounded them. In the 23rd century, the settlement flourished thanks to a single courier who was willing to brave the seasons and storms to deliver packages to the community. Whatever the reason, the courier braved that hard road repeatedly, giving them hope and a connection to civilization.[8]

This community eventually styled itself the Divide, taking name not from the monstrous gash in the earth that would eventually appear there, but its role both as a divide and a bridge between the east and west, the New California Republic and the Mojave Wasteland. The community had a chance to become something akin to a second Shady Sands, founding something better than either the NCR or the Legion.[9] The nation that would stir to life here had a chance of bridging the gap between the East and the West, between Caesar's tribes and the republic. Something greater than either, that could unify the two flags into a single banner.[10]

Before that could happen, however, the New California Republic moved in, following the trail blazed by the Courier. The Divide would become a major secondary route into the Mojave, reducing the traffic on the Long 15 to the core lands of the republic. Both the Army and the merchant houses of the republic benefited from the new route established through the storm-wracked region. Naturally, two lifelines leading into the Mojave were a serious problem for Caesar's strategy, as it gave the NCR a logistical advantage despite the intense campaign of sabotage in the period leading up to the First Battle of Hoover Dam.[11] In the months leading up to the battle, Caesar dispatched a group of frumentarii and assassins to cut the supply line and deny the road to the republic, building on the destruction of New Canaan and raids on caravans out west.[12][13][14][15]

The second Divide

However, it was the Courier that established the land trail to the Divide who would play the pivotal role. As legionaries and NCR troops executed the plans of their masters, the Courier delivered a single package from the faraway Navarro, recovered by the republic and sent to the Divide. The NCR believed the people who lived among the silos and Old World symbols could help them make sense of the item recovered in the Enclave's former base. What they didn't realize was that the package would seal the Divide's doom. After the Courier delivered it, the citizens of the Divide opened it up and the device suddenly activated, linking with the launch computers hidden in the dormant silos and sending launch codes and overrides. Warheads started exploding beneath the ground, triggering a massive earthquake that ripped the land open, twisting Ashton, Hopeville and the military facilities above and beneath. It became an expanse of cracked, blighted landscape, while the sand and ash from the devastation was caught by the artificial storms, turning an already savage weather into one, monstrous dust storm[16][17] that could skin a man alive.[18]

In fact, it did flay people alive. Those who weren't killed by the nuclear detonations or debris let loose by the earthquake were twisted by the radioactive storms, flayed alive and turned into mutants, dead men walking sustained only by the radiation without and the hate within. Regardless of their previous affiliation, the marked men banded together into packs, repairing their armor and weapons with whatever the new Divide provided.[19] There was only one survivor, saved from death or marking by the medical robots of the Divide, which mistook the Stars and Stripes on his back for a U.S. military uniform. He walked out of the Divide, whole on the outside, but broken within.[20]

Despite the loss of the Legion task force, the destruction of the Divide was a strategic victory for the Legion. With the land around Hopeville and Ashton destroyed and the sandstorm wreaking havoc on all who tried to pass through, the NCR lost its secondary supply route and couldn't take California State Route 127 north to get around the mountains anymore. Companies sent through were torn apart before they even reached Nevada soil, with Ranger scouts confirming that the route was impassable.[21][22][23] Without it, NCR could not march reinforcements into Nevada fast enough to capitalize on their victory at the First Battle of Hoover Dam, giving Caesar time to retreat to Arizona and prepare his Legion for another confrontation.[24]

The story of the Divide continued, however. The memory of the settlement has vanished from common consciousness, scrubbed by the violent storms that rendered it impossible to brave for all but the hardiest of travelers. One person remembered. Ulysses walked the wastes for four more years, reflecting on the destruction brought upon the fledgling nation by a single courier. Disillusioned with the Legion and the NCR alike, Ulysses decided to make history repeat itself. Unlike the courier, however, he would do so with open eyes. He gathered knowledge and slowly mastered the Divide's many secrets, bringing the nuclear silos back to life as best he could. The arrival of ED-E in the Mojave Wasteland sped the process up greatly, as the Divide's machines remotely scanned the Enclave eyebot and manufactured a new series of robots that accelerated the restoration of the silos. In the process, fragments of the nuclear detonator that the Courier delivered were scavenged and used to manufacture an unique maintenance eyebot at the Hopeville missile silo.[17]

Recognizing this as an auspicious moment, Ulysses sent a single message to the Courier who just cheated death at Goodsprings, inviting them to walk the lonesome road through the Divide and bring the eyebot to him. Then he waited, preparing the nuclear missiles to wipe the slate clean once more, but not before he had a chance for reckoning with the Courier, beneath the storms of the divide and the Old World flag.[7]


Located northwest of the Mojave Wasteland, in the Mesquite Valley, the Divide is a region that was once the home of Hopeville, a planned community built around and over a ballistic missile silo complex, and Ashton, a large city that doubled as a major highway junction. However, whatever the Divide was is largely irrelevant, as the nuclear disaster that befell the region at the Courier's hands has turned it into an unrecognizable mess of twisted metal, concrete and dirt, slowly weathered by the massive sandstorm blanketing the entire region.

The nuclear missiles concealed within Ashton's silos were launched by the automatic detonator delivered by the Courier, exploding beneath the ground. The explosions combined with the presence of the Pahrump Valley fault line created a massive canyon stretching east to west, filled with collapsed buildings, vehicles, and infrastructure from Ashton. The highway network was warped and twisted by the combination of factors, with entire fragments of the elevated superhighway breaking off and crushing buildings below.

Hopeville and adjacent southern military facilities escaped much of the devastation, as missile silos were outside the range of the detonator's transmitter. However, they were subjected to the terrifying earthquakes and the subsequent storms, with at least one missile bunker listing nearly fifteen degrees due to the shifting foundations. Structural reinforcement and armor ensured the survival of these installations, complete with power infrastructure.

Related quests

  • The Silo


  • It takes three in-game days to travel between the Mojave Wasteland and The Divide.
  • According to Joshua Graham, The Divide lies north of the Mojave near Death Valley but is not located in Nevada.
  • Exiting and entering The Divide resets water, food and sleep counters to 0 in Hardcore mode.


The Divide only appears in the add-on Lonesome Road and as a map in Old World Blues, but the location is mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas and the add-ons: Dead Money, Honest Hearts, and Old World Blues.

Behind the scenes

  • Before the release of Lonesome Road, Chris Avellone's Twitter avatar showed the Divide.
  • The goal of Chris Avellone when setting out to create Lonesome Road was to deliver a Zelazny-style Damnation Alley experience in the Fallout universe.



  1. Jackie's terminal; Jackie's Computer, Earthquakes: "Fantastic. Now there's earthquakes. Earthquakes! Sure, Commander Devlin says they're minor ones and nothing to worry about, but come on. EARTHQUAKES. Did no one think to check fault lines before they built a massive UNDERGROUND MISSILE COMPLEX?
    Your tax dollars at work, folks. Swear to God, when my term's up I'm moving to Canada."
  2. Y-0 research center terminals; Terminal, Dispenser Funding Update: "Got the funding from Sinclair. Near as I can tell, he's willing to not only bankrupt himself for these devices, he's struck a deal with the Big MT executives, letting the Villa become a lab for the supposedly-harmless prototype tech here. I've seen the Big MT execs do this with other isolated towns (Hopeville Meteorological research up north), and the whole process, it's not what I signed up for."
  3. Ulysses log Y-17.16
  4. Advanced riot gear
  5. Third Street Municipal building terminals; Office of the Treasurer Terminal, Inter-Office Email
  6. Third Street Municipal building terminals; Office of the Treasurer Terminal, Memo from Commander Devlin
  7. 7.0 7.1 The missiles never launched, which is a major plot point throughout Lonesome Road.
  8. Ulysses: "Never would have known the Divide had it not been for you. The road you made with your tracks, again and again. You were the only one willing to make the journey to and from here... a hard road. Kept the land before the Divide alive through seasons, storms... ...can't have been just a job. Was something more to you. Don't feel for a place that hard unless it's home."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  9. The Courier: "This road leads nowhere. There's nothing in the Divide."
    Ulysses: "Many in the Mojave think the Divide's nothing but canyon and storm. Wasn't always. There was life, a town, farther West... not talking about an Old World town like Hopeville... more recent. Something you saw in your lifetime. It had the name "the Divide," too. But rather than cracks in the earth, it was a road from the West into the Mojave, a supply line. Took a Courier to make that road. You. Back then, you saw the road with eyes facing East. This time... the Divide's in the other direction. And if your eyes try to make sense of it when you reach it... home's not what it was."
    The Courier: "If you blame me for what happened here at the Divide - why do you care?"
    Ulysses: "The community that was once here... and the package you brought... both had markings of the Divide. Markings of America. You've seen the marks, the symbol. As early as the Hopeville silo, maybe. Carried it etched on your weapons. The Divide, its buildings, its people, were built around those same markings, surrounded them here... ...markings like the flag on my back. When I followed your road to the Divide those years ago, I saw the symbol I wore all around me. An Old World symbol. Strong, to survive here - its people, strong. Outlast the Bear, outlast the Bull. Promise of something better. Caesar was right to want it dead. NCR was right to want to rake their claws in it. Seeing it... changed me, just as seeing Hoover Dam changed Caesar and the NCR. Seeing it end changed me, too."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  10. The Courier: "So you believed in this place. What it once was."
    Ulysses: "There was hope here, another chance. A new nation, stirring to life. A place I could have set my flag. Not the America of old. But something larger than the tribes of the East, something larger than the houses of the West. Something better. The Divide... could have bridged both, like Hoover Dam. Not like the Dam, it's too covered in blood to see what it could have been. You gave life to this place. I followed your road here, saw the Divide. You led me here, so that I could see. Then, you brought it to an end."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  11. The Courier: "On the High Road, you mentioned NCR and Legion fought here... before and after the Divide?"
    Ulysses: The two-headed Bear made its claim, dug its claws into the trail you made. For once, it seemed like it might succeed - cut a route to the Mojave. Couldn't let NCR stay in the Divide. Trade route, road the military could use... can't have two roads into the Mojave. Not after the work we'd done to cut off New Canaan, other routes, killing caravans... all we'd done to make the West bleed."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  12. The Courier: "[NCR] NCR would have needed this supply line open to reinforce the Mojave - and Hoover Dam."
    Ulysses: "The Dam. That Old World Wall. The Bear, NCR, couldn't be allowed to reach it easily. Long 15... Canaan... both bad enough. Kimball, Caesar, House... you'd think their whole world was that wall, cutting the Colorado. If I'd never laid eyes on it, never spoke of it... ...but once found, it was all Caesar could see. That, and the flag beyond it, another symbol, big enough to challenge him. And the Divide, one of the roads to it - Legion was tasked with cutting that artery. If you can't kill the Bear in one stroke, bleed it, starve it. That kind of murder... it's what any of the Legion would have done. Now... the Divide belongs to history."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  13. The Courier: "[Legion] The Legion would want to cut this road off if it had been a supply line to Hoover Dam."
    Ulysses: "The Dam. That Old World Wall. The Bear, NCR, couldn't be allowed to reach it easily. Long 15... Canaan... both bad enough. Kimball, Caesar, House... you'd think their whole world was that wall, cutting the Colorado. If I'd never laid eyes on it, never spoke of it... ...but once found, it was all Caesar could see. That, and the flag beyond it, another symbol, big enough to challenge him. And the Divide, one of the roads to it - Legion was tasked with cutting that artery. If you can't kill the Bear in one stroke, bleed it, starve it. That kind of murder... it's what any of the Legion would have done. Now... the Divide belongs to history."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  14. The Courier: "[NCR] Those bodies in the silo were NCR soldiers... some special forces."
    Ulysses: "Might have been. Once. To the Divide they came... in the Divide, they rest."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  15. The Courier: "[Legion] The dead in the silo, some were Legion Frumentarii, scouts. Assassins."
    Ulysses: "Might have been. Once. To the Divide they came... in the Divide, they rest."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  16. The Courier: "What happened here?"
    Ulysses: "You delivered a package. Had markings that matched those in the Divide. Not all... but enough. Military markings, from some place the Bear had savaged in the West. Maybe seeing those markings on it reminded you of home... made you carry it."
    The Courier: "You said I brought it from the West?"
    Ulysses: "It was a device, a detonator. One I'd never seen before - or heard before. You carried that thing to the Divide. I know because I followed you as you walked the road, watched you do it. You brought it here, to the community you built. And you are responsible for what happened after - when the device opened, started to speak. When it did, the Divide answered back. Those missiles you've seen, buried in their silos. They exploded beneath the ground, cracked the landscape. Sand, ash... the dead... the Divide skies became a graveyard."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Chris Avellone talks about the package from Lonesome Road
  18. The Courier: "What was strange about it?"
    Johnson Nash: "That cowboy robot had us hire six couriers. Each was carrying something a little different. A pair of dice, a chess piece, that kind of stuff. Last word I had from the office, it looked like payment had been received for the other five jobs. Guess it was just your chip that didn't make it. First deadbeat we hired to do the job canceled. Hope a storm from the Divide skins him alive. Well, that's where you came in."
    (Johnson Nash's dialogue)
  19. The Courier: "Radiation may keep them alive in areas so physically punishing, it would kill others - even ghouls."
    The Courier: "If they've become ghouls, the radiation would strengthen them. Heal their wounds - not the scars."
    Ulysses: "[SUCCEEDED] There's truth in your words, in what I've seen of their tactics, movements - recovery. Those wounds - they couldn't live otherwise. The Divide winds have torn the skin from many of them - may be the radiation is the only thing keeping them walking. Make camp near silos... warheads. No way to cleanse the radiation - makes them hard to kill there, have to draw them out."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  20. The Courier: "If you saw this happen, then how did you survive?"
    Ulysses: "Should've died there... but now that I know you live... the machines here... saved me. I was the only survivor, or thought I was. Your package, the message inside, awoke medical machines... close to the one that shadows you... began to build themselves, then others. They only take what parts they find in the Divide, never roam beyond it - can't even leave the silos without a human to shadow, like hounds. Maybe they saw the flag on my jacket, thought I was of America. If so, history saved me. A sign."
    (Ulysses' dialogue)
  21. NCR Ranger action reports: "I don't think this will be a suitable route for bringing troops to Hoover Dam. The terrain is a nightmare, we've seen evidence of hostile indigenous life, and the Geiger counters are ticking like a grandfather clock on turbo. Full report when the advance scouts come back at 2300, but as of now I'm recommending we abandon this mission."
  22. The Courier: "The Divide blocked all of their northern land routes?"
    Joshua Graham: "Not all of them. But they couldn't take 127 north to get around the mountains. As if Death Valley weren't enough, they had the Divide and Big Empty to deal with. From what the Legion's explorers reported, the Big Empty may as well have been a wall to any living thing approaching it."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  23. The Courier: "What's at the Divide?"
    Joshua Graham: "I don't know for certain, and I don't think NCR knows, either. Whatever happened at the Divide was too much for them to handle. Our frumentarii told us what they saw. Only fools and madmen would march into a place like that. All roads wind down to the same spot, the grave. They said all that's left there is a gaping wound cut into the Earth, cursed and damned. No place for God-fearing folk."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  24. The Courier: "I'm guessing you don't like Caesar very much."
    Joshua Graham: "Love the sinner, hate the sin. With Caesar, it's often very difficult to see through all of that sin to the person inside. I can say that we were both lucky that NCR's supply lines and land routes north of Mojave Outpost were destroyed before the Battle of Hoover Dam. Something bad happened near Death Valley, at a place called the Divide. NCR couldn't cut across anymore and it slowed down their reinforcements. Terrible storms ripped entire companies apart before they even got to Nevada soil. The aftermath of Hoover Dam could have been even worse for Caesar."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)