Background[edit | edit source]
Colonel Ellen Santiago was the leader of a large unit of soldiers stationed at Washington D.C. on the eve of the Great War. When the bombs started dropping, she led her unit to safety, then looked for a way forward, out of the horror they were now experiencing. With no sensible alternatives, Santiago led her men away from the still smoldering remains of Washington D.C. to Appalachia, following rumors of the Whitespring Congressional Bunker and eventually arriving at Thomas Eckhart's doorstep with minimal casualties (losing only five men on the way). The Secretary was elated to have a veteran at his disposal and lured her into service with promises of revenge against the Reds. Santiago tried not to show interest, but she was caught hook, line, and sinker.
Agent Grey, the Secretary's right-hand, had his suspicions as a long-time intelligence operative. He found it suspicious that the Colonel managed to reach Whitespring while taking such minimal casualties, and the way she rebuffed his attempts to inquire about the state of the capital didn't help. Grey finally relented when Santiago explained that they went for the Whitespring because these rumors were the only thing they had to go on. Their families were scattered to the winds or dead, the White House was hit with a thermonuclear weapon, and the only place where they thought they could find any remnants of the government was the Whitespring. Grey did not pursue the topic.
With an influx of veterans, the work towards Eckhart's plan to eradicate communism advanced at a rapid pace. The experiments with mutations continued in parallel with work on accessing the nuclear arsenal, resulting in many working serums... And the first scorchbeasts, accidentally created when Enclave scientists exposed irradiated bats to biochemical experiments the previous year. Eckhart ordered further study of the creatures in controlled habitats at the abandoned AMS mining complexes, while keeping the officer corps in the dark. Just three months later, in January 2083, Eckhart's men completed reprogramming the Appalachian election machines. Although General Harper expressed reservations about mobilizing men to vote for Eckhart, granting him the title of President, the Secretary believed it was necessary to give the men of the Enclave an authority to look up to. They only knew two: God and the President, and there was no way to create the former.
Eckhart wasted no time in asserting his newfound authority over his subordinates, Colonel Santiago in particular. In one notable instance, he revoked a sergeant's permission to leave the bunker and search for his wife in the region, berating the colonel for giving special leave in wartime and potentially leading an outsider to learn about the bunker and - God forbid - join the Enclave as a "little housewife". Santiago had no choice but to accept Eckhart's stance. However, the President's heavy-handed approach started to make the colonel reconsider her decision to join without full knowledge of what was going on at the Whitespring.
The situation deteriorated in late 2083, when General Harper died of heart failure brought on by radiation poisoning, derailing Eckhart's plan for nuclear retaliation. With his plans threatened, Eckhart salvaged the situation by sending Santiago to Camp McClintock and making her earn an automatic promotion to general by exploiting the same system that gave him the Presidency. Santiago succeeded, although the way in which she earned the stars disgusted her.
Still, it worked for Eckhart. Not only did he have a general and thus the means to access the silos, he could also offload the task to seek out nuclear launch codes to her and her men. The search was complicated by the way in which the codes were distributed, assigned to aide de camps to carry on their backs or delivered by automated cargobots, but also the fact that even with the key and codes they couldn't launch without somehow tricking the automated system into raising the alert level to DEFCON 1. Eckhart and Grey already had a plan in motion for this occasion, aiming to use the Liberators, Huntersville mutants, and the mighty scorchbeasts to unleash hell upon Appalachia and trick the system into believing an invasion was underway. Although all wanted to win the war, putting Appalachia through hell was making many reconsider - especially Major Ragnarsdottir, who explained the situation to Santiago.
As the soldiers struggled with their consciences, Eckhart took time to order an assassination of former Senator Sam Blackwell, remembering the threat he posed before the Great War. The senator's sudden appearance at Harpers Ferry and subsequent elimination of an Enclave operative left the President furious... While the petty retaliation just alienated Santiago further.
Believing all the cards to be in his possession, the President ordered the attempts to raise the DEFCON levels to begin. Liberators and super mutants were unleashed on Appalachia, but all they managed to achieve was barely a tick on the DEFCON counter. Angry with the half-measures and lack of success, Eckhart planned to move ahead with even more radical attempts. However, his single-minded pursuit of nuclear capability and the sheer amount of blood shed in the process finally broke the straw. General Santiago realized that revenge against the Reds was not worth paying such a steep price and confronted Eckhart in July 2084, threatening to leave with her men. The President tried his usual flattery and playing on Santiago's thirst for revenge, but she remained adamant. Realizing that he was in danger of losing, Eckhart instead chose to incapacitate her with a knock-out agent and keep her in an artificially-induced coma until he had need of her clearance.
She was kept in storage (for a lack of a better word) until June 2086. With nobody to oppose him, Eckhart unleashed the scorchbeasts on Appalachia, with the terror and destruction brought down by them successfully raising the alert level to DEFCON 1. Dismayed and demoralized by the brazen disregard for American life, Santiago's loyalists and members of Eckhart's officer corps staged an open revolt. Fighting off robots and Eckhart's troops, Jackson and one-time Eckhart supporter Major Ragnarsdottir revived Santiago, who gladly assumed leadership of the uprising.
However, while Eckhart was placed under arrest, ultimately the uprising failed. Santiago's decision to blow MODUS up backfired and the AI turned on all human members of the Enclave. After an explosion tore out a large part of MODUS' memory, the damaged AI retaliated with an explosion in the weapons lab that killed General Santiago and ruptured a toxin tank that leaked into the air circulation system. MODUS promptly sealed the bunker, dooming all within - including President Thomas Eckhart that Santiago rebelled against - to an ignoble death, choking to death in darkness.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Ellen Santiago appears only in Fallout 76.
- Whitespring surveillance recording 5.2.4
- Whitespring surveillance recording 5.3.1
- Whitespring surveillance recording 5.4.8
- Whitespring Congressional Bunker terminals: "Meeting Transcript - Entry 5.7.2 (Partial)
TRANSCRIPT - 5.7.8 (Partial)
Very well. We all know our parts then?
I do have one question, Mr. Secretary.
And that is?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the automated silos, they require a general of appropriate rank be present. Just a general. Presidential authorization is not required.
That is correct, General.
And we're mobilizing a not insignificant number of men to achieve this goal. Santiago's men. Men I'm sure some of us may not fully trust yet.
And you're asking why it is we're doing this?
I'm asking why are we risking few and precious resources so you can call yourself President, when it's not necessary for the mission?
To the contrary, General Harper. It is quite necessary. All of us around this table understand the dedication required to accomplish our goals here. The sacrifice. But to ensure the loyalty of those out there, we cannot presume dedication alone will be enough. We require authority. And those soldiers and statesmen recognize only two great authorities - God and the President of the United States. And I don't know of an automated system we can use to make a god. So the latter will have to do.
- Whitespring surveillance recording 6.1.0
- Whitespring surveillance recording 6.2.1
- Whitespring surveillance recording 6.2.4
- Whitespring Congressional Bunker terminals: "Accessing the Silos
--- ACCESSING ARCHIVAL ENTRY.
Initial scouting efforts confirm your suspicion, General. You're the only one who can get us inside the silo. Donnelley's on track to take a run at the promotion process, but until he's ready, when we breach, we're going to need you with us.
The security system requires a missileer escort be present ... which, maybe we'll luck out and one will be alive, but I wouldn't count on it. Chances are good we'll have to fight our way to the targeting computer. But if we could find one of those misileers, it might make our lives a hell of a lot easier.
--- END ENTRY."
- Whitespring Congressional Bunker terminals: "The Code Pieces
--- ACCESSING ARCHIVAL ENTRY.
There are eight aide-de-camps charged with lugging the Silo Alpha code piece transceivers on their backs. We've found six thus far and it's given us some answers ... and one big new question.
Each transceiver has a letter paired with its number ... but even with six of the letters, it doesn't spell anything. I'll admit, spelling wasn't my stand-out subject in school (the Ragnarsdottir boys were recess men), but we spent half a night trying to reorder it into something. Hell, MODUS couldn't figure it out.
That's when we realized the letters are coded. This must be the encryption you said was mentioned in the orientation. We just have to figure out how they did it.
I dispatched men to go through the archives in Sugar Grove, but they failed to find anything useful.
Next group is going to go over Mama Dolce's more thoroughly, see if we missed anything the Commies might've figured out. They found some kind of an password on one of the bodies that they never found a use for - 4Party651 - which could be a lead.
--- END ENTRY."
- Whitespring Congressional Bunker terminals: "Tricking DEFCON
--- ACCESSING ARCHIVAL ENTRY.
This is the tricky one. We've got a Nuclear Keycard. One. If something goes wrong during the launch - fat finger, you sneeze, whatever - we're up shit's creek. And no one has been able to get a bead on a keycard convoy for a while now. But Jackson's been going through the documentation, and he believes he's parsed out what's happening.
The specifics get pretty technical (the man ended up burning through three sticks of chalk trying to explain it to me) but the abridged version is that the system tasked with watching over the region doesn't think things are bad enough to warrant the convoys. This also explains why all the DEFCON signage in the bunker has been slipping downwards. But if we could trick the system into thinking there was some sort of invasion here, we could get its undivided attention, along with all the keycards we could ever need.
Now, staging an invasion, well, we don't have the resources to do that ourselves and it sounds like spinning up an army of MODUS' butler bots won't make it bat an eyelash either. But Grey, sick puppy that he is, had an idea. If we could get the Chinese robot factory at Mama Dolce's back up and running, we might be able to make the system think the region's under attack. It might make things... dicey for folks outside the bunker, but it'd be a big step in getting us to launch.
Now I'm sure you're thinking the same thing I am as I type this: is a group of belligerent spy bots running around going to be enough? And, if it's not, what is the President willing to resort to in order to guarantee the success of the launch? This has "slippery slope" written all over it.
I wanted to bring this to you now, as I can guarantee Grey has already planted the idea in the President's head. I'm not thrilled with the prospect of putting Appalachia through hell just so we can finally win this war, but if we can do this in a managed way, this might be our best way forward.
--- END ENTRY."
- Whitespring surveillance recording 6.6.1
- Whitespring surveillance recording 6.9.7
- Whitespring surveillance recording 8.5.2.
- The following exchange is obtained after fixing the Assaultron at the bunker: Assaultron: Initiating ... final ... playback ... Assaultron: Engag--- Ragnarsdottir: That's the last of them. Entrance is clear, general. MODUS. Have the rest of these things stand down. The general's placed Eckhart under arrest. It's over. MODUS: General ... Santiago is dead, Major. Ragnarsdottir: What? What the hell was that? MODUS: There's been a ... detonation in the weapons lab. It appears the agent has ... broken containment and is filtering into the air system. Ragnarsdottir: MODUS, what are you doing?! Open the god-damned door! MODUS: This facility is now ... quarantined. Ragnarsdottir MODUS! Open the fucking door! You're going to kill us all! MODUS: To the contrary, Major. We're fixing ... the problem.