Children of the Citadel are a Los Angeles cult that believes in the union between man and machine as the next step in the evolution of humanity as a whole.
When the Rangers destroyed the Guardians and took down the Guardian Citadel, Matthias and Dugan managed to escape the slaughter. The Cochise AI was stuck beneath the Citadel, confined to a single node, while the two synths conspired to find a way to take revenge on the Rangers and free their master.
They reached Los Angeles, beyond the radiation walls, where they set up the Children of the Citadel circa 2087, the Children were ostensibly founded as a benevolent cult centered around the prophet. He promises adherents of his religion a future free of pain and suffering: A life in a perfect synthetic body, powered by an atomic heart, that does not age, decay, or suffer like a human body does. From his headquarters at the New Citadel he broadcasts to the people of Los Angeles, steadily attracting converts and building up his army.
To cover up their plans, they created a masquerade: Matthias would pose as the Messiah, seeking to uplift humans from their squalor by merging flesh with machine, while Dugan would be the terrifying robotic menace, seeking to exterminate all life. The ruse worked and while Dugan's worker bots scoured Los Angeles for supplies, fighting with the locals from time to time, Matthias built an army of half-man, half-machine soldiers in the depths of Seal Beach, the New Citadel. The ruse worked well, until Team Echo came to Los Angeles and threw a wrench into their plans.
There are three tiers of members in the Children.
- Pilgrims are regular, unaltered humans who have expressed an interest in joining the cult.
- Evolved, humans who have received an atomic heart and several surgical implants to enhance their performance. These are typically faster, stronger, and more durable than regular humans, but are also frequently horrifying to behold, as Goochman, the specialist performing the operations, tends to remove body parts like noses, ears, and performing other grotesque modifications seemingly out of spite.
- Exalted, provided with fully synthetic bodies. They are usually religious fanatics, like Tinker, fiercely fighting in the name of Matthias.
- The Children are the primary antagonists of the Los Angeles chapter of Wasteland 2. Children patrols are encountered regularly on the world map, while different groups, both hostile and not, can be found in various locations around Los Angeles.
Behind the scenes
- Matthias' arguments mirror those of Karras, the main antagonist of Thief II: Metal Age.
- The name Children of the Citadel bears a striking resemblance to Children of the Cathedral, a major enemy faction in Fallout
- Cochise AI: "We attempted to rectify the first problem by ordering the Base Cochise robots to exterminate all life. At the same time, we determined that downloading ourself into a modified human was the best way to fix the second problem. We attempted to modify and enter various humans who came to the base, but failed. The Finster model rejected our programming, others died.
Then a group called the Guardians found us, and because they worshipped technology, they were easily convinced to download us into this mainframe and allow us to experiment on them. Despite early failures, we created two successful prototypes, the Matthias shell and the Dugan shell.
The untimely intervention of the Desert Rangers fifteen years ago stopped both our robot army and our download into these shells, and the rangers destruction of Base Cochise again locked us into a single node. Fortunately, the Matthias and the Dugan shells escaped and began building more shells into which we could download ourselves - including unaware shells who had been given artificial limbs and hearts. These shells will also become part of the army that will army to free us from this prison."