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The Think-Tanks are the main antagonists of Old World Blues, the third expansion for Fallout: New Vegas. They consist of a team of scientists who were working at a top–secret experimental facility hidden inside a mountain called Big Mountain (a.k.a. Big MT or Big Empty) since before the Great War. The members are Dr. Klein (the leader), Dr. Mobius, Dr. Borous, Dr. Dala, Dr. 0 and Dr. 8. These were not their birth names, rather they adopted these names when they became robots, and all of them mean "infinity" in some way.
When the war broke out and the planet was laid ruin to, the scientists refused to let go of their work despite the society they were working towards the betterment of no longer existing. As a result of the nuclear bombs, Big Mountain itself was destroyed, exposing the scientific complex that was hidden inside but leaving it intact at the bottom of what was now a crater where the mountain had been. Because of this, survivors who later encountered Big Mountain, the name written as "Big MT.", came to pronounce it as "Big Empty" based on the abbreviation because it was now a crater.
To allow themselves to life beyond the lifespan of their mortal human bodies, the scientists eventually transferred their brains into new robot forms called "Think-Tanks". As they spent more and more years as robots, the scientists became increasingly detached from their original, human selves and all the emotions and hormones they abandoned when they discarded the rest of their bodies, and with no government to keep them in order, the experiments became more and more depraved. They were responsible for the creation of the Nightstalkers and Cazadores, as well as the poisonous fog cloud in the Sierra Madre from Dead Money, and the hazmat suits intended to protect people from said cloud but ended up accidentally mutating them into the horrific Ghost People. They also turned all the other researchers at the Big MT and several outsiders from the wasteland who discovered their location into mindless "Lobotomites" by removing their entire brains and replacing them with artificial ones.
The only member of the group who did not completely lose his humanity was Dr. Mobius, who became fed up with all the horrible experimentation and recognized the danger posed if the Think–Tanks and their creations were to escape the Big MT and be released on outsiders. So, Mobius took drastic measures by first installing an energy fence around the Big MT that stopped the brains from leaving, then sabotaging his colleagues by reprogramming their memory banks to think that nothing else existed outside of the Big MT. Dr. Mobius then moved to another dome on the other side of the crater and built an army of robotic scorpions to keep the other brains occupied, which constantly broadcasted threatening pre–recorded voice messages from him.
Things went on like this for about two centuries, until Father Elijah discovered the Big MT and managed to escape the captivity of the Think–Tanks, destroying one of Dr. Mobius' eyes and Dr. 8's voice box in the process. In the Big MT, Elijah met another human, Ulysses, who told him of the legendary Sierra Madre Casino, setting up the events of Dead Money.
Sometime after that, the Courier, the main character, stumbled upon the Big MT by way of being teleported by a mysterious crashed satellite. There, he/she was lobotomized by the machinery in the Think-Tanks' base, but due to the bullet wound in the Courier's brain from Benny which they miraculously survived at the very start of the game, the robot could not carry out the lobotomy as normal and had to improvise in such a way that the resulting procedure left the Courier's mental faculties intact. The Courier then ventured into the lair of the brains, who at first mistook him/her for a mindless lobotomite and also demonstrated how completely they had forgotten their understanding of the human anatomy (they thing the Courier's fingers and toes are penises!). Upon examining the Courier's brain, the Think-Tanks discovered that due to its special condition, the data obtained from operating on it could be used to let them bypass Dr. Mobius' energy fence and escape into the outside world. However, before they could use it, Dr. Mobius stole the brain and took it to his own personal fortress of the "Forbidden Zone".
The Courier was obliged to help the Think-Tanks defeat Mobius in order to get their own brain back, and first had to retrieve three special pieces of technology abandoned in the Big MT's facilities that would be necessary both for defeating Mobius and also for reattaching their brain, heart and spinal cord (which were also removed). Eventually, after finding these items and infiltrating the Forbidden Zone Dome by defeating Mobius' ultimate weapon, the X-42 Giant Roboscorpion, the Courier confronted the mad doctor only to find that he was in fact a harmless and senile old man. Unless attacked and killed, Dr. Mobius explains the true agenda of the other Think-Tanks and lets the Courier retrieve their brain without a fight. The brain, which now has its own personality and can talk, also encourages its owner to stop them from escaping into the Mojave.
Back at the Think-Tank Dome, a final confrontation ensued between the Courier and the five brains, who either had to be killed or tricked/convinced into staying in their current home and not unleashing their experimentation on the Mojave.
- Big Mountain is based on Black Mesa, Arizona which is also called Big Mountain in real life.
Fallout: New Vegas