The Enclave is a secretive political and military organization who are believed to have descended directly from members of the pre-War United States government, and military industrial complex, claiming to be the legal continuation of the state, and styling themselves as such. The Enclave comprises mostly descendants of government officials and military elite, and others with ties to powerful corporations who retreated to a Poseidon Energy oil rig.
The Enclave takes pride in being the last bastion of pure, unmutated humanity, aside from the unopened Vaults, and being the most technologically advanced faction in the wasteland. Because of the effects of radiation and the Forced Evolutionary Virus on the people of the Wasteland, members of the Enclave generally do not consider them to be human any more, even if they look no less human than they do. They, as well as other mutated creatures, like super mutants and ghouls, are considered to be sub-humans that are at best to be used as slaves, and at worst eradicated so that “true humanity” could take their place as the “real” nation of America.
While the Enclave and its armed forces claim to be the official continuation of the pre-War United States government and the U.S. Army, the extent to which the Enclave truly represents the Government is a matter of debate.
The government is headed by a President, and, according to the speeches made on Enclave Radio, there is some form of Congress. The Enclave’s scientists continue to do research on armor (e.g. the advanced power armor) and weapons after the War and thus are better equipped than the Brotherhood of Steel, who only have U.S. Military standard issue left over from when the Great War broke out. The Enclave had managed to gain access to one of the last known supplies of fossil fuel in the world, although their source for fuel after the events of Fallout 2 and 3 are questionable.
Main article: History of the Enclave
The Star-Spangled Banner
One of the few old world organizations to survive the Great War, the Enclave was once a shadow government of the United States. Past members conspired, embracing the idea of a nuclear war. They knew that the common man could not survive it. Most believed that as long as the “important people” of the United States survived, they could regroup quickly and wipe out communism once and for all. Though not technically part of the Enclave, many powerful corporations lobbied for the benefits that they hoped to come from government war contracts. Based in many of the Enclave’s research facilities many were protected during the firestorm of 2077.
In 2073, as the global race to exploit the handful of remaining natural resources reached its fevered peak, the United States managed to stake a claim on the world’s last known supply of crude oil, buried thousands of feet beneath the Pacific Ocean. Poseidon Oil, a major U.S. energy concern, was contracted to build an oil rig and extract the oil. Before long, the oil ran dry and it was abandoned by Poseidon. Come 2077, with total nuclear war rapidly arriving at America’s doorstep, the President of the United States and a number of other members of the government left their posts to take refuge on the Poseidon oil rig. Here, the President himself set up a secret base from which the USA could continue to exist and wage war on China, with the eventual goal of retaking the continental United States. Some members of the Enclave retreated to remote locations in other parts of the world, but when the bombs hit, they lost all contact with the main group.1
The Vault ExperimentEdit
A poster advertising the Vault program.
The Vaults were funded by the U.S. government and, accordingly, the government had control over them. Ostensibly, they were intended to allow a selection of privileged United States citizens to survive the Great War. Secretly, however, a large part of the Vault Project had a far more sinister goal.
The following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
The U.S. government’s real plan to survive a nuclear war was simply to find another planet to live on after blowing up Earth. A spacecraft designed to ferry the human race to another planet was either under construction or ready to go before the War. The plan was for the government to flee to the oil rig, and then leave in a spaceship for another planet.2
Any voyage to space or recolonization of Earth would have been very difficult and fraught with unforeseeable complications. Thus, many of the Vaults were designed to have some sort of critical flaw in order to test how an average American would be able to deal with various circumstances. Vault 12 in Bakersfield had a faulty Vault door that wouldn’t close all the way, allowing dangerous radiation to leak in, leading to the creation of California’s ghoul population. Vault 15 was built normally (the rock slide that buried its control center was accidental), but was populated with a diverse mix of races and people to see what sort of tensions arise when varied backgrounds are packed into a small environment. Vault 13 was intended to stay shut for a full 200 years to test the effects of long term isolation. Vault 101 was to be sealed permanently to study the evolution of small communities in complete isolation from the rest of the world. The types and purposes of the experiments go on.
Eventually, due to either a change of plans by the Enclave’s leadership or the spacecraft being destroyed, the Enclave abandoned their initial goal of settling on another planet, and decided to resettle the one they already had, although the Vault monitoring and research continued as the Vault Behavioral Project. In order to monitor the populations being experimented upon, the Enclave’s oil rig possessed a great deal of equipment that allowed them to observe and control the Vaults. For example, the Enclave sent the all clear signal to Vault 8 shortly after the War, prompting them to leave their Vault and build their city. These monitoring tools also let the Enclave see that the population of Vault 13 was largely intact, although this wouldn’t become important until much later.
End of information based on Van Buren.
Rise to PowerEdit
Dick Richardson, President of the United States in 2242.
The seal on the Poseidon oil rig entry level floor – “ENCLAVE” seems to have been added later.
For a long time after the Great War, the Enclave sat quietly in its oil rig, consolidating its forces and working on gaining a technological edge over anyone on the mainland. Eventually, when they felt it would be safe, they decided it was time to move out and start working towards the rebirth of America. Using their vertibirds, the Enclave sent out scouting parties all over California, the closest state to the oil rig.
The Enclave scouting parties arrived in California after the Master’s defeat, and so saw super mutants and ghouls inhabiting the land. When this was reported to the higher ups at the Enclave, it was decided that all the mutants would have to go. It occurred to the Enclave that those who had lived out in the open on the mainland for over a hundred years since the end of the war must have been contaminated or compromised somehow by radiation…or worse. These mutants too, then, would have to be destroyed before “true” humanity (as defined by the Enclave’s leadership), could once again lay claim to the mainland.
Reconnaissance and exploration of California continued, looking for a way of carrying out their genocidal ambitions without destroying the world all over again with nuclear weapons. Eventually, Enclave troops stumbled across the old abandoned Mariposa Military Base, where research on the Forced Evolutionary Virus had been done before the Great War. The FEV was what had created the super mutants, the biggest threat of all to the Enclave.
The Enclave excavated the military base, largely using slave labor gathered from the nearby mining town of Redding, eventually finding the vats deep inside the lower levels of the base. Though they had been buried in rock and forgotten for decades, the vats still contained that old familiar green bubbling gunk, the Forced Evolutionary Virus. The Enclave gathered samples to be sent back to the oil rig for further analysis. Before long, though, the slave miners, some being fully exposed to raw FEV, others likely falling into the vats accidentally, began to mutate into a second generation of super mutants. The mutant slaves soon overthrew their guards. Seizing their weapons, hardware left behind by the first mutant army or anything lying around, the super mutants stormed the upper levels and quickly overran the troops in the base. Panicked and retreating, the Enclave troopers on the upper levels fled the base and used explosives to seal the entrance, trapping the second generation mutants inside the base.
Even though things went badly at Mariposa, the Enclave still had the samples of FEV they needed. Back at the oil rig, the United States Chemical Corps began work on the serum immediately. They found that it would be possible to make from FEV an incredibly potent and lethal toxin that only affected mutants. But, in order for research to progress, they would need test subjects. They needed two test groups: one of clean, pure humans and another composed of the “mutants” that lived all over the mainland, suffering radiation and FEV exposure for decades that, to the Enclave, made them unclean. This unclean sample was easily obtained by kidnapping the entire population of Arroyo.
The clean group would be more difficult to obtain though. The Enclave wouldn’t allow the Chemical Corps to use people living on the oil rig so they had to look elsewhere. Thus, they traveled in force to Vault 13 and sent a command to the Vault’s computers to open the Vault door. After taking care of some mild resistance, the Enclave troops rounded up the residents of Vault 13 and shipped them off to the oil rig in Vertibirds to take part in the Chemical Corps’ FEV experiments.
Fall and AftermathEdit
Just as the Enclave was preparing to launch the poison into the jet stream to kill the entire population of the mainland, a tribal known as the Chosen One arrived at the oil rig on the Poseidon oil tanker that had sat in San Francisco for years. The Chosen One freed the survivors of both the Vault 13 population as well as the Arroyo tribals and started a self-destruct sequence in the oil rig that destroyed the entirety of the Enclave’s headquarters, saving the world from horrible death at the hands of the mutant FEV.
Although the Enclave survived the destruction of the oil rig, all traces of President Richardson were erased from history. Now the title of “President” is used there simply as a boogeyman to frighten children. Weakened, eventually the Enclave was finally shattered by the combined might of the Brotherhood of Steel and the New California Republic, but not before Autumn Senior led a contingent to the ruins of Washington D.C., to Raven Rock, to re-establish the Enclave as the dominant power in the nation’s former capital. Those who remained were hunted by the Brotherhood and the NCR, some tried to integrate themselves into the NCR and met some success, although from time to time stories will crop up of an elderly Enclave veteran being arrested and imprisoned indefinitely for war crimes.
John Henry Eden, President of the Enclave in 2277.
In D.C., the ZAX mainframe installed in Raven Rock to ensure continuity of government continued to function until the destruction of the oil rig. When President Richardson was vaporized, ZAX created a persona, John Henry Eden to claim the post and assume authority over the remaining California Enclave forces, in addition to resuming construction of military ordnance to provide for the resource-stricken subordinates. Augustus Autumn was chosen as the commander of the armed forces (succeeding his father). A series of eyebots were sent to roam the Wasteland, spreading hope. Eden could spout his pro-government rhetoric, and promise a return of the pre-War America of legend: a land of white picket fences, baseball, apple pie, and good, old-fashioned American global supremacy.
President Eden’s secretive plan all along has been to rule over an America of the “pure”, free from any mutation. He has learned of a ridiculously ambitious experiment known as Project Purity, and knew the time to strike had come: his Enclave forces would “reclaim” the Jefferson Memorial. By controlling the purified water, Eden would control the Capital Wasteland, and the rest of the country eventually. What better way to administer modiﬁed F.E.V.— which kills anyone infected with any form of mutation—than through a deceptively clean water supply?
Enclave propaganda in the Capital Wasteland.
East Coast Enclave troopers.
When, in 2277, Project Purity was completed, the Enclave acted at once. Troops under Autumn occupied the Purifier, and established a presence in the wastes, which was resisted by the Brotherhood of Steel. After retrieving a Garden of Eden Creation Kit from Vault 87, Eden attempted to recruit the individual known as the Lone Wanderer to work as a double agent, participating in the Brotherhood’s attempted reclamation of Project Purity but infecting the water supply with the modified FEV at the last moment. The Lone Wanderer took the modified FEV, and exploited the fact that Eden was actually a sentient ZAX supercomputer to convince Eden to shut down and initiate Raven Rock’s self-destruct sequence (if chosen).
Eden was opposed by Colonel Autumn, who wanted to make a bid to lead the populace by completing and activating the purifier, thus providing the Enclave with a strong bargaining chip in unifying the wastes under their flag. When the Brotherhood took the Jefferson Memorial, Autumn was defeated by the Lone Wanderer, but it is not known whether he survived. The Lone Wanderer stood poised to finally realize the Enclave’s goal of purifying the wasteland, but it is unknown to history whether or not they took that action.
Later on, the Adams Air Force Base was destroyed by the Brotherhood. The Enclave were permanently fractured, and were reduced to small remnants.
After the destruction of Raven Rock, the Enclave performed a combination of tactical retreat and all-out ﬂight, and their grip on the Capital Wasteland loosened significantly. Now contending with disillusioned soldiers, ragged Enclave Camps dot the Wasteland with sloppy organization and little communication with other camps. With the conventional Enclave military experiencing a lack of new recruits, the Enclave would seem to be a doomed force.
However, a small inﬂux of specially trained fighters is seeking to fill the manpower losses caused by the Brotherhood of Steel advances. Previously posted to remote and classified locations outside of the Capital Wasteland, only the most elite of Enclave personnel having training in multiple forms of combat can earn the right to belong to Sigma. Squad sigma operates in six-soldier units, which utilize heavy incinerators and are lead by a soldier clad in Hellﬁre Armor. Furthermore, Squad Sigma members are experienced fighters, each member being a hardened veteran of numerous combat operations. Sigma Squads are posted around locations deemed by Enclave high command as “imperative” to the salvation of the cause.
Main article: Enclave Remnants
Though they were a powerful force in the west decades ago, the Enclave has not been seen or heard from in the Mojave Wasteland for years. Members who were not hunted down are believed to have traveled east – or successfully integrated into the NCR.
— Loading screen
Today, a few elderly Enclave survivors make an existence on the fringe of NCR territories, keeping their heads down for fear of persecution. Many left for the Mojave Wasteland, where the NCR’s grip was weaker due to the presence of Caesar’s Legion. Enclave Remnants may have supported the Courier at the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, desperate for a final shot at glory, but whether they joined the Courier and the outcome of the battle is unknown.
Before the destruction of the East Coast Enclave, the engineers at Adams AFB sent a reinforced eyebot, ED-E, to Navarro to be serviced there, apparently unaware of the destruction of the outpost some forty years prior. ED-E’s programming contains a message saying that any repairs needed on the way were to be made by Chicago Enclave personnel, indicating that there may be outposts there. The Illinois license plate bolted to ED-E’s side is just one more fact that supports the idea that other Enclave outposts still exist elsewhere in North America.
The oil rig.
Main article: Oil Rig
The Poseidon Energy oil rig off the coast of California served as the base for the post-Great War American government and the Enclave. The shadow government has relocated to the rig as soon as the bombs fell and it served as the Enclave headquarters until its destruction by a tribal known as the “Chosen One”.
Main article: Navarro
Navarro is an oil refinery that served mainly as a refueling stop for Vertibirds carrying out missions in California as well as a general base of operations outside the oil rig. Navarro perimeter is patrolled by Enclave Control Company light teams, that are independent from Base Commander. Or at least they used to, until the base was overrun by NCR military.
Mariposa Military BaseEdit
Main article: Mariposa Military Base
Mariposa was a pre-War U.S. military base where the Forced Evolutionary Virus research was being done. After the War, it was taken over by the Master who used it to create an army of super mutants. After the Master’s defeat and the base’s destruction, it was excavated by the Enclave, but abandoned when the mutant slaves rebelled.
Main article: Raven Rock
Raven Rock was the Enclave’s main base of operation in 2277. The Lone Wanderer is captured and taken to Raven Rock and held in an interrogation room by Colonel Augustus Autumn. President Eden asks for the Lone Wanderer to be released so that the Lone Wanderer can be spoken to privately. Upon reaching President Eden, the Lone Wanderer is asked to place the modified FEV in Project Purity.
Satellite Relay StationEdit
Main article: Satellite Relay Station
After the loss of Raven Rock, the Satellite Relay Station was the Enclave’s main communications installation. The facility was used primarily to coordinate the remainder of Enclave forces following the devastating defeat at the Purifier. During an offensive by the Brotherhood of Steel led by Liberty Prime, the defending forces of the Station contacted the Mobile Base Crawler to call down an orbital strike on the robot’s position. Liberty Prime is destroyed, but shortly afterward the Station is lost to the Brotherhood.
Adams Air Force BaseEdit
The Mobile Base Crawler
Main article: Adams Air Force Base
Adams Air Force Base was the headquarters of the Enclave after the abandonment of Raven Rock. Located just outside the Capital Wasteland and accessible through the Presidential Metro, the base facilities housed the Enclave’s remaining VB-02 Vertibirds and was defended by squads of soldiers and artillery emplacements. The heart of Enclave operations in the area was the Mobile Base Crawler, which featured a satellite communications dish capable of calling down an orbital strike from an unknown orbital weapons platform. Control of Adams AFB was eventually taken from the Enclave by the Lone Wanderer, who either handed it to the Brotherhood or used its weapons to destroy the Citadel.