No matter the argument or conflict, there tends to be an Other in the minds of each side. This Other is sometimes seen as somehow less than the person speaking, somehow inhuman or negatively foreign. The point of discussions like the one I’m starting with this article is that there is always another perspective. The established opinion of the masses may only scratch the surface of the reality to be had.
Dissecting the Enclave, remnants of the elected government of the United States of America, circa 2077. What if the Enclave were legitimately trying to better humanity at large?
In a short piece of investigative journalism left unpublished in an October 2077 issue of the Boston Bugle, it would have been revealed to the American people where their President and majority of the government had been during the last six months leading up to the Great War, the day every nation on Earth left sanity behind and committed to total nuclear destruction.
Earlier that year, the President and selected members of the government had abandoned the White House and most offices in Washington, even leaving their local bases such as the Raven Rock facility with only skeleton crews. Where did they all go?
Publically, it was known as the Poseidon Energy Off-Shore Oil Platform. To the growing organization that had a President in office and fingers in every branch of government and the private sector, it was known as The Enclave Oil Rig.
History says the leaders of America died along with the rest of civilization, but they survived. They ran away with the intent of not only saving their own skins, but also preserving that which they believed was the “best of America;” the government, scientists, thinkers and soldiers.
Their reappearance in the 2240s cemented their despotism in the minds of many, especially in the minds of the people of the fledgling nation, the New California Republic. The destruction of the Enclave Oil Rig was spread through newspapers as nothing more than a bright light over the horizon of California, but many in NCR and other factions on the west coast remember the facts.
A certain Chosen One gave the Enclave a multi-megaton slap to the face when they attempted to kidnap an entire village to use as test subjects for a deadly strain of the Forced Evolutionary Virus; which is about as terrible as the name suggests.
But years later, in 2277, the Enclave appeared again in Washington DC, now the Capitol Wasteland. History says a Lone Wanderer and his allies in the almost mythical Brotherhood of Steel, the remnants of the old American military, beat them with a combination of righteous authority and Communism-crushing robotics.
But what if history was wrong again?
There were, by 2277, three factions within the Enclave. Of these, the least involved were the aged, retired Enclave Remnants who settled into old age in New Vegas Independent State (NVIS) territory outside their capitol of New Vegas.
The second of these was the generation of Enclave that fled east to Washington when the Oil Rig went up. Several dozen men, women and children made it out of the Enclave main base of operations, and many of them ended up at Raven Rock with the third faction.
The skeleton crew of Raven Rock was long dead and turned to bones, but one man survived. President John Henry Eden called on the leader of the scattered Enclave, General Autumn, to head up the reborn military of the United States of America.
40 years after the Enclave arrived on the east coast, Autumn’s son, Augustus, has risen to the rank of Colonel and is standing in his father’s place as leader of the armed forces of the Enclave. And he has a plan.
In the 2250s, a group of scientists were at work on a project to purify the drinking water of the Potomac tidal basin for the people of the wastes. The project had been abandoned for almost 20 years until the Raven Rock facility received a signal that the generators of the bastardized Jefferson Memorial were turning again.
Moving quickly, Colonal Autumn ordered his forces to the site of Project Purity with the intent of enlisting any person present and restarting the water purification project.
Autumn’s violent execution of his plan was cut short when the project’s leader flooded the control room with waste radiation from the system, killing two Hellfire troopers, himself and very nearly killing the Colonel.
In the following months, the Enclave worked to get the purifier working, but found that several uncommon components were needed to make the system work. All of these could be found in a single package: a Vault-Tec Garden of Eden Creation Kit.
Unfortunately, such a device was lost when the single Vault to be issued one, Vault 87, had been hit with a high yield nuclear warhead in 2077, permanently sealing the entrance to the bunker.
It wasn’t until a free lance for the Brotherhood of Steel broke into that Vault that anyone in the Enclave had hope for utilizing the purifier. Using his paths and their aerial superiority, the Vertibird VTOLs, Enclave officers wrested the much-needed GECK from this mercenary and arrested him.
Once interrogated by the Colonel, the prisoner was set free by President Eden with orders that he be allowed, fully armed and armored, up to the President’s office. This order was countermanded by the Colonel, who ordered the prisoner’s life be terminated on sight.
Here, the divide becomes clear. In a private meeting with President Eden, the standing leader of America shared his plan for the genocide of the irradiated people of the wasteland.
There were two standing factions, and two standing plans of operation, on the east coast in the Enclave: one sought power over the nation’s capitol city by using clean water and force to enforce their laws and authority. The other faction sought to wipe the slate clean for “pure” humans to take the wastes back from mutation.
What happened was never clear to many outside the Brotherhood of Steel, and many of the details were blurred or wiped from record by Arthur Maxson, leader of the Brotherhood in 2287. Some say that the honorary Knight of the Lyon’s Pride was the hero who erased the Enclave from the Earth. Some say he agreed, foolishly, with Eden’s plan to wipe out mutated people and creatures; tainting the waters of life. Whatever the case, one thing is certain: the Enclave, for better or worse, wanted to make America great again; however misguided their actions were. America was still great, but just needed clean water and a few good heroes.