Denarius with a depiction of Bill Calhoun among Caesar and Joshua Graham.
Bill Calhoun was a physician of the Followers of the Apocalypse.
In 2246, Bill Calhoun and Edward Sallow were sent east by the Followers of the Apocalypse to study tribal dialects. He was instructed to meet with a Mormon missionary named Joshua Graham who was a tribal specialist. They embarked on a journey to the region known formerly as Arizona as part of a nine-person expedition.
At some point in 2247, Graham, Calhoun, and Sallow were captured by the Blackfoot tribe and were held for ransom. At the time the tribe was at war with seven other tribes, a war they were inevitably going to lose. Unwilling to be destroyed along with them, and against the wishes of his companions, Sallow chose to use his knowledge to train the Blackfoot tribe in the art of warfare after witnessing their lack of knowledge first hand. He quickly impressed them enough to the point where he was made their leader, conquering other tribes.
Surprisingly, Joshua Graham decided to join Sallow (now known as Caesar), as his right-hand man, becoming the "Malpais Legate". While Calhoun was sent back to the Followers to inform them of what he was doing, the other six members of the expedition were killed on Caesar's orders.
- The only depiction of Calhoun is on the back of Legion denarius standing alongside Graham and Caesar.
- The Courier: "What changed you from a Follower to dictator?"
Caesar: "When I was 20, the Followers sent me East to Grand Canyon. It was my first expedition, just me and a physician named Calhoun. As an anthropologist and linguist, my assignment was to learn the dialects of the Grand Canyon tribes. What a fucking waste of time!"
- The Courier: "Why would learning dialects be a waste of time?"
Caesar: "If you think it's worthwhile to make smart people learn how to talk like backward savages, you're a Follower of the Apocalypse... or an idiot. Anyway, we met up with a Mormon missionary who already knew a bunch of dialects - Joshua Graham. He was supposed to teach me. But before that went too far, the Blackfoot tribe captured us, to hold us for ransom. They were a backward bunch. But the real problem was, they didn't know how to fight."
The Courier: "What was wrong with the Blackfoot?"
Caesar: "The Blackfoot were at war with seven other tribes, each just as pissant as they were. But outnumbered like that, they weren't going to last long. It's one thing to be taken hostage, another to be lashed to a sinking ship. So over Calhoun's objections, I decided to take certain steps."
The Courier: "What steps did you take?"
Caesar: "I taught them how to use the guns they already had - how to strip and clean them, how to breathe when pulling a trigger, how to reload ammunition. They looked at me like I was some kind of a sorcerer. So I taught them how to make explosives, and started drilling them on small unit tactics. If there's anything I learned as a Follower of the Apocalypse, it's that there's a lot of good information in old books."
The Courier: "What happened after you trained the Blackfoot?"
Caesar: "Divide et impera - divide and conquer. I led the Blackfoot against the Ridgers, their weakest enemy. When they refused to surrender, I ordered every man, woman, and child killed. When next we surrounded the Kaibabs and they likewise refused... I took one of their envoys to the Ridgers' village and showed him the corpse piles. This was new for the tribes, you see. They played at war, raiding each other, a little rape and pillage here, a little ransoming there. I showed them total warfare. Like I said, there's a lot you can learn from old books."
- The Courier: "What happened to the tribes?"
Caesar: "The Kaibabs joined me, and the Fredonians after that - all the pissant tribes, with names that should be forgotten. I knew from the start I'd need to eradicate this plague of tribal identities, replacing them with a monolithic culture, a uniform identity. So that's what I did, once my confederation of tribes was large enough. I crowned myself Caesar and created a single Great Tribe - my Legion. I sent Calhoun, the Follower captured with me, back West with a message that I should not be interfered with. Joshua Graham, the Mormon interpreter, stayed with me and served as my first Legatus."
- The Courier: "Were you always with the New Canaanites?"
Joshua Graham: "I was born in Ogden, what people came to call New Canaan. Things were more peaceful when I was growing up. When I was a young man, I went out into the world to do missionary work as all New Canaanites do. I traveled along the Long 15 and followed 89 south into Arizona. Along the way, I met two men from a group called the Followers of the Apocalypse. Edward Sallow and Bill Calhoun. They came to teach the tribes. Calhoun was a good man. Edward was the one who got us into trouble down the road."
(Joshua Graham dialogue)