Operation: Sunburst

"We lost most of the chapter defending glorified artillery."
— Veronica Santangelo

Operation: Sunburst
HELIOS One Laser
Overview
Location: HELIOS One
Date: 2276
Result: Pyrrhic NCR victory
Brotherhood Chapter retreats to Hidden Valley
Nolan McNamara becomes Elder
NCR gains control of HELIOS One
Involved Parties
New California Republic Army Brotherhood of Steel
Leaders
Colonel Cassandra Moore Elder Elijah
Head Paladin Nolan McNamara
Forces
2,000+ ~150 members:
Brotherhood Paladins
Brotherhood Knights
Brotherhood Scribes
Brotherhood Initiates
~30 Robots:
Sentry Bots
Mister Gutsies
Protectrons
Casualties
800+ ~60-80 members
Connected Events
Part of:
NCR-Brotherhood War

Operation: Sunburst was a military conflict during the NCR-Brotherhood War in 2276.


Background

The leader of the Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood, Elijah, ordered troops under his command to seize HELIOS One, a Poseidon Energy pre-War solar plant, after acquiring information about a possible weapons system hidden in or connected to the facility. The Brotherhood presence at the facility eventually drew the attention of New California Republic Army that began deploying to the Mojave en masse to secure Hoover Dam and New Vegas.

With the establishment of a regional stronghold at Camp McCarran, NCR command decided to seize Helios One to both secure Interstate 93 and procure another source of electrical power in the Mojave. Although the power plant was hardly defensible, leaving Brotherhood forces exposed to attack on all sides, save a small canyon leading to Hidden Valley, Elder Elijah ordered his troops to dig in and protect him as he attempted to unlock the secret of the facility.


Battle

NCR forces stormed the power plant in 2276. While Brotherhood troops were able to defend themselves, thanks to their weapons and power armor, the numerical and tactical advantage the Republic's army possessed soon translated into casualties among Paladins. Due to the overwhelming number of NCR soldiers, the Brotherhood Paladins began to gain heavy losses in time, making it all the harder to fight from a poorly defensible position. Although Head Paladin McNamara repeatedly asked Elder Elijah to order a tactical retreat to save the lives of his men, the latter refused, insisting that he has almost unlocked the secret of the facility, the Archimedes weapon system.

However, Elijah did not anticipate that he'd be unable to use the orbital weapons, as he did not posess the Euclid's C-Finder necessary to aim and fire Archimedes II. The only device he had access to was the previous generation orbital defence system, useless, as it was preset for test firing within the confines of the Helios One perimeter.

Frustrated, Elder Elijah abandoned troopers under his command and disappeared into the wastes. McNamara wasted no time in gathering the survivors and retreating to Hidden Valley from Helios One, but not until reactivating the security measures inside the solar collection tower to prevent the NCR from picking up on Elijah's research.


Aftermath

With their leader gone, McNamara assumed command in accordance with the Brotherhood's chain of command protocols. In order to prevent accidental revelation of Hidden Valley, their sole remaining stronghold in the Mojave, the new Elder declared a full lockdown to be in effect. Activity outside the bunker was drastically restricted: only supply runs, occasional reconnaissance missions and night patrols were allowed to leave the underground installation and even then, they were strictly forbidden to engage NCR Army units. The lockdown order has remained in effect for five years, until 2281, when the conflict in the Mojave forced the Brotherhood to be either destroyed or become active once again. Though the Brotherhood's ascetic lifestyle has prepared its members for a sequestered existence better than most, the passivity of the current situation has proved highly stressful.

The NCR established a firm foothold in Helios One and its vicinity, although due to a stroke of bad luck, an incompetent con artist was hired to act as the facility's principal engineer. He was unable to bring the facility to even moderate operational status, leaving it stuck at 1% efficiency. Ignacio Rivas was posted by the Followers of the Apocalypse to research the facility independently and ensure that the ignoramus hired by the NCR would not figure out a way to unlock the facility's dark secrets.

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