Getting a Clue
Go ahead and head back to Diamond City to meet Nick at his office. Ellie will greet him once you walk in. You can talk to Ellie afterward. Ask for your payment to receive the money you were promised earlier (however much you agreed upon in your negotiations) along with a bonus: a Faded Trenchcoat and a Worn Fedora. You can dress up just like Nick now if you so wished. Go ahead and sit down at Nick's Desk and tell him your story. Pick whatever options you wish here: you will eventually ask about potential enemies. When you can, describe your attacker (the man who killed your spouse) to learn of a possible match: Kellogg. Nick has a file on him and says he actually has a house in town. Sounds like a lead! Go ahead and leave the office with Nick.
|For tracking down Nick for Ellie||100 - 20 Caps Faded Trenchcoat Worn Fedora|
On your way to the house, Nick will confide to you that this modus operandi seems exactly like Kellogg. Follow him as he leads you to Kellogg's house, which is locked [Master]. If at this stage in the game you somehow still can't pick these grades of lock (for shame!) you still have other options. Nick will point out the lift to the Mayor's Office and ask you to go see about getting a key...
Go ahead and travel to the Mayor's Office via the lift. If you want to pass a speech check, go ahead and save and put on Charisma gear if you need to. When you get up there, you can see Piper hassling the secretary about the couriers the Mayor has been seeing. You can pass a speech check with Piper here to see what she is up to, which is good XP, after which she'll leave. Afterwards talk to Geneva and ask about locked-up houses and she'll tell you that Kellogg's house has been seized. You can pass a hard check to get the key (or a moderate one, if you play the "my baby's been stolen!" card), or you can bribe her for 250 Caps.
If diplomacy isn't you thing, however, there are two more way to get the key, and both involve theft. If you wish, wait until night and the only people to bother you up here will be a security guard who is pacing around. What you need to do is sneak and make sure you are hidden, then you can steal from the secretary's desk (it is a [Novice] lock) and inside you will find "Kellogg's House Key". Very nice. You have another option as well. Past the secretary's desk is a room with the Mayor's computer terminal. You can again sneak, make sure you are hidden, and then hack the [Novice] terminal. Once you get in you can see his emails and notes, as well as unlock the safe to the left. Optionally you can also just pick the safe yourself if you can get through the [Advanced] lock. Either way, a second copy of the "Kellogg's House Key" is in the safe.
Once you have the key, head back to Nick and use it to open the door. The place is pretty small, but loot whatever you can. You'll need to find a button in here, which is underneath the desk, so go ahead and push it to open up a nearby room that you can enter. Go ahead and loot the many great items here. In particular note the cigar on the table: "San Francisco Sunlight". Pick it up and continue to loot the place. After awhile, Nick will want to talk with you, so talk with him and suggest that Dogmeat might be able to help. Nick agrees and will ask if you want his help or not. You can choose to tell him to "Come with me" to recruit him as a companion. It's a good idea to bring him along with you for now so you can raise his disposition as a companion in the upcoming quests, perhaps unlocking his companion quest "Long Time Coming" .
All that is left now is to head out of the house and give Dogmeat the scent. He will be off on the trail, officially completing this (rather short) quest and starting the next main story quest, "Reunions" . If you didn't have Dogmeat with you at the time, he'll be waiting outside for you when you leave... but that can wait for a bit. If you remember from a few minutes ago, Ellie suggested that Nick take on a new partner, which officially allowed you to start messing around with Nick's cases, whether he likes it or not! Now's as good a time as any to do these.
The Disappearing Act
Return to the Valentine Detective Agency and search a desk in the corner for the "Earl Sterling Case File". Ellie and Nick will both comment on the case at this time and shortly afterwards the quest will appear. Your first objective is to find a key to Earl Sterling's House. The first, and simplest option is to just pick the door to Earl Sterling's House, as it is a [Novice] lock and won't pose a great challenge. Still, the Dugout Inn is worth visiting for information, if nothing else. The person who reported the disappearance, Vadim Bobrov of the Dugout Inn, should be your first contact so lets head over to the Dugout Inn. Be sure to change into your Charisma gear for this quest as well as some speech checks lie ahead.
At the Dugout Inn, don't talk to Vadim if you plan to pick Earl's House door, but if you don't care about the minor [Novice] pick XP you can talk to him about Earl's disappearance to learn a bit about him and gain "Earl Sterling's House Key". There are also two people here you should really talk to: Vadim's brother Yefim and Scarlett, as both of them have a moderate speech check for you to pass. They each also mention the Mega Surgery Center and how Earl wanted to get a new face, thinking that would help him out with his women problems.
After passing those two speech check, leave the bar and head to Earl's House nearby. Once you are in you can loot anything, but the best thing here is the Duffle Bag upstairs. What you are looking for is a clue as to what happened to Earl, which you can find if you check on the lower floor by the couch, where you will find a folder and the "Surgery Receipt". If you happen to have Nick with you, he will find it himself after talking for awhile and will call you over. It seems Yefim and Scarlett were right.
Head to the Mega Surgery Center and talk to Doctor Sun, who is always outside. Stay in your Charisma gear and save during the conversation, as there are several speech checks you can pass here. First ask him about the receipt (a moderate speech check) to learn that he doesn't think the work was ever done. Ask about Doctor Crocker next (another moderate speech check) and he'll reply he is likely in the cellar. Finally, you can choose to tell Dr. Sun you need in the cellar. You don't ned to do this as you can pick our way in, but if you want to you can either pass one of two moderate speech checks or just bribe him with 100 Caps. Barring all of that, you can just choose to pick the [Advanced] lock on the cellar.
The cellar is in the corner of this medicine shop. You can check the bloodstain nearby to get your protagonist to muse about the obvious, after which go ahead and enter the cellar. Once you do you will see what happened right away... Crocker has botched the operation and subsequently butchered the patient! Oh wow... go ahead and quicksave again, then talk to Crocker and you will have several options. You can either choose one of the moderate speech checks to arrest him or have him end this peacefully, or you could just take him out violently. The speech checks are the way to go (for the XP), but no matter what you pick Crocker decides to "fix things" himself and makes his problems go away.
Dr. Sun comes down shortly afterwards to see what happened. You can chat with him a bit and then he'll tell you he will contact security to inform them. Your job is now essentially done. Note that you can loot the bodies here and obtain duplicate keys (another copy of "Earl Sterling's House Key" and the "Surgery Cellar Key"). Leave the cellar now and go report back to Ellie to finish the quest and gain your 200 Cap reward.
|For finding out what happened to Earl Sterling||325 XP 202 Caps|