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Thomas Eckhart was the last United States Secretary of Agriculture before the Great War/World War III in the Fallout series, mainly being involved in the events in the online RPG Fallout 76.

Biography

Thomas Eckhart served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture during the final years of the Sino-American War that inevitably led into the Great War/World War III, when the United States and People's Republic of China unleashed their nuclear arsenals on each other, wiping out both countries, and turning what survived into an apocalyptic Wasteland. Unknown to anyone, Eckhart had secretly been having his branch of the federal government, the Department of Agriculture, working to undermine the preset plans for continuation of the U.S. government in the event of nuclear war. He had many of the V.I.P.s meant to take refuge in the Whitespring Bunker removed from the early warning databanks so they never were alerted ahead of time of the impending nuclear apocalypse and could evacuate to safety, including the Vice President and many of the Joint Chiefs, and had the hard lines connecting the Whitespring to the Poseidon oil platform and Enclave headquarters at Raven Rock severed. He also made sure that the Joint Chiefs who would succeed as President per the line of succession, such as the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of the Treasury, were eliminated as well, leaving him as the next in line to become President. When many Congressmen did make it to the Whitespring in time, but some like the Speaker of the House never showed up, Eckhart had his Enclave members execute them in cold blood. Out of what was left, Eckhart decided to call a vote to see who wanted to join him in his one-man fight to deal with the Communist Chinese once and for all. Those who were against him were sealed into the room and poisoned by toxic gas by Eckhart's assistant, Jefferson Grey. Eckhart also learned that there was still one Congressman that had an access card to the Whitespring Bunker that survived the Great War/World War III, Appalachia Commonwealth Senator Sam Blackwell, who had sided with the Free States secessionists who broke ties with the USA to fend for themselves, especially after the Enclave threatened his daughter. Despite numerous attempts to track him down, they were unable to locate his hidden Free States bunker in The Mire, until Blackwell decided to do an interview with the Charleston Herald reporter Quinn Carter. Because of that mistake, Eckhart discovered Blackwell's hidden bunker, and sent Grey in to eliminate the traitorous Senator and reclaim his Whitespring access card. Though Grey succeeded in killing Blackwell, he was unable to crack the access code to the hidden safe where Blackwell hid his Whitespring access card. With little options left, Grey attempted to leave, but realized too late that resetting the power in Blackwell's bunker to bypass his laser grid defenses also shut down the lures keeping the Deathclaws guarding the bunker's entrance at bay. Upon hearing their roars, Grey knew he was in trouble, and the Enclave agent was soon ripped to shreds by the angry beasts.

After that, out of the survivors, Eckhart found he had one general left, the only military rank with authorized access to the Appalachian Automated Launch System nuclear I.C.B.M. silos in Appalachia, Site Alpha, Site Bravo, and Site Charlie. He has MODUS ensure General Harper doesn't leave the bunker, and then sets about naming himself the new President by automated voting being rigged in his favor. However, he later finds that General Harper died, and attempts to resuscitate him by MODUS via defibrillator fail. With no General to access the silos, Eckhart's revenge on the Reds seems to be over before it started, until he gets word of Colonel Ellen Santiago and her forces having arrived at the Whitespring following escaping the Capital Wasteland, having seen just how badly Washington, D.C. was devastated by nuclear fire, with the White House being ground zero for one thermonuclear device. Putting Santiago through the bunker's automated promotion system to get her up to the rank of General, Eckhart also learns that the silos are in cold shutdown as DEFCON has returned to 5 in the region. The silos will only come online again when the DEFCON drops to 1, necessitating the use of the nukes. To that end, he has the Enclave scientists work with anything they can get their hands on to unleash on Appalachia in the hopes of fooling the DEFCON into descending far enough to warrant the use of the nukes. They secure the secret Chinese Liberator factory under Mama Dolce's in Morgantown, Fujiniya Intelligence Base, and the West Tek Research Center where work was done on the Forced Evolutionary Virus to create the Super Mutants and some West Virginia Cryptids, like the Grafton Monster or Snallygaster.

But worse was to come...

Eckart later learned of the creation of the Scorchbeasts, bats mutated by Ultracite into giant mutant monstrosities. With this being the final key to push DEFCON over the edge, Eckhart has the Scorchbeasts moved to the old AMS mining facility, the Glassed Cavern, to keep it under wraps until it is time to unleash them on Appalachia. However, later on, Santiago discovers what he has done, and refuses to be a part of it anymore upon seeing just how gung-ho Eckhart is on trying to attain "final revenge" on the Communists. Seeing that Santiago refuses to cooperate, Eckhart sedates her after a struggle and has her locked up until her fingerprints are needed to access the silos and use the nukes against China. With Santiago subdued, Eckhart goes through with his plan and unleashes the Scorchbeasts on Appalachia. The effects they have against the Brotherhood of Steel, Free States, the Responders, and the Raiders does the trick as DEFCON plunges to 1, activating the silos, but Eckhart would never get a chance to have his vengeance on America's enemies.

Santiago's loyal troops revive her and launch an open rebellion against Eckhart's loyal Enclave forces, including some of Eckhart's own officers siding with Santiago, resulting in Eckhart being placed under arrest. However, they made a fatal error in trying to dismantle MODUS by destroying its core. MODUS retaliated with summoning robot security to defend it, causing the explosives already planted to be detonated, damaging MODUS so badly that it turned on everyone in the bunker, including Eckhart. Killing Santiago with an explosion in the weapons lab, the blast also released a deadly toxin into the ventilation system. MODUS locked down the bunker, quarantining everyone inside to choke to death on the gas, saying to a panicked Major Ragnarsdottir that it was correcting the problem. Eckhart suffocates to death without ever finding out that his quest for revenge would have long-lasting effects on Appalachia that would not be remedied until Vault 76 opened in 2102.

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Fallout 76
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