|Important Items in This Area|
|Massachusetts Surgical Journa.|
Note: To make this quest beyond easy, go talk to Mama Murphy back at the Settlement and get a vision from her. It doesn’t make much sense as she spouts off a code, but it’ll come in handy later all the same.
Hot and Cold
Now that you’ve found Vergil in the Glowing Sea, you’ll be tasked with finding an Institute Courser and taking him out for his headwear. Heh, this should be fun. To start this quest, you need to head to the “C.I.T. Ruins”, which is along the southern end of Cambridge, near the river. You can easily reach it by fast-traveling to the Campus Law Offices and heading south. Once you get to the “C.I.T. Ruins” you will find the “Courser Signal” on your radio. Go ahead and tune to it and you will be given a signal strength check every few seconds - this signal strength is how you are going to find the Courser, as it gets higher as you get closer to him (so you are essentially playing a game of hot and cold).
Thankfully with this guide, there is no guessing for you! What you want to do is head east, past the building (although it is tempting to go north-east, go east) and follow the signal east (slightly north-east) from there until you run into an obvious Raider Camp. You’re going to have to shoot your way through this camp, so sneak up and head to the door on the right and open it. From there, silently kill as many Raiders as you can as you head east, but watch for the Machine Gun Turret on the left and Frag Grenades on the ground as you go. Also note that there is a walkway higher up in the air (an air bridge) that has Raiders on it, which you can reach by heading into an Office Building to the north (the door is near the turret). The Office Building may have a stray Raider inside, but it’s really just a hub that connects this Raider camp to another camp north of the Office Building. If things go loud, just kill everyone down below and ignore the Raiders higher up. Continue to the east and go up the guard stairs (not down to the gate on the right) and jump over the wall to reach the road to the east.
You are nearly there after the Raider camp - your signal strength should be getting higher and higher as you go east and soon you’ll discover “Greenetech Genetics”, which is your destination. It’s very hard to miss this building because of its overwhelming… green-ness. The entrance is on the eastern side of the building, so go around to it and enter.
This is a Gunner-held base of operations, but by the looks of things they aren’t exactly in control right now. Bodies everywhere; the Courser has been here. Go ahead and loot the place and go up the stairs through the nearby doorway. You’ll hear radio chatter as you approach an outdoor lobby. The Gunners are here waiting for you with Machine Gun Turrets in place to the right and left (they reveal after a few moments). Not good. This will sound weird, but jump down to the bottom portion of this lobby and check the south-east corner for a terminal you can use to shut down the turrets with. That will help quite a bit. Grab the First Aid Box nearby and shoot your way back up, as three Gunners show up to try and stop you.
Head to the hallway they were guarding and note the left path is just a dead end as you need to head right to continue. There is an office area on the left as you go (various junk), but beware of upper level guards coming down to attack as you round the corner up ahead. Kill them off and head to the doorway up here on the left (you should be getting a note about the Courser arriving on the third floor right about now). In this office there is a Chem Cooler with a lock [Novice], so pick it if you wish and then continue up to the third floor yourself (you are going to be chasing the Courser for a while!).
Up here, note the room ahead of you and to the right are both bathrooms, and they each have a guard inside so take out each guard and loot what you can. The stairs and hallway up here are both blocked, which leaves you with the room on the right down the hallway as your only way forward. This room has two Gunners in it, so take them out as you go, but once you do, stop and look around! In the middle of the room on the table is the Massachusetts Surgical Journal, which is sadly the best bit of loot you’ll find here.
Continue on now and past these offices you will run into another Gunner down the hallway. Take him out and note the supply closet nearby (which has a Toolbox) and further down the hallway on the right are more offices (with various junk). Head up the ramp you find and you’ll hear fighting further in (the Courser must be making this easier on you). Sneak across the bridge here and disarm the two Cryo Grenades they have put down. You want to get off the bridge and further in quickly though, as you can be attacked from above out here (take out whoever you can). Head out into the hallway past this room and note that the door straight in front of you has a lock [Novice]. There are goodies inside, so pick it and head in. Now, in here you should locate the Explosives Box on the right and disarm it once you do. Tricky! Loot the room now and you’ll also happen to find a locked Toolbox [Novice] in here. Loot it all and continue down the hallway to a room with a ramp leading up to the fourth floor.
Up here on the fourth floor there are four Gunners waiting for you, so be careful and stay by the ramp, killing whoever comes for you if you are being loud, or just sneak-killing whoever you can get away with. There are a few pathways here, but to continue, head to the south-east corner by the ramp (but above it) and head north. This leads to a hallway with a room on the right that you should explore to find a Stealth Boy (very nice!), a Missile and some Buffout. The next room on the right has an Ammo Box in the back. The terminal up ahead is a locked terminal [Novice] that can shut down the turrets up ahead (and the left path leads back to the ramp; make sure you looted this area). Continue past the ramp and you’ll hear more fighting up ahead. Head right to a hallway now and you’ll find three Gunners you can take out. There are offices on the left (with various junk) but the right hole in the wall leads to some stairs. Before you go up though, look on the nearby table for an Overdue Book. The Gunners also mention something about the Courser being after “the girl”? Weird…
Head up to the next floor now. Straight is a dead end, so disarm the Laser Tripwire on the left and the Grenade Bouquet hanging from the ceiling, then continue up. There is a door coming up on your left which is where you need to go but head straight to find a corpse by a locked Explosives Box [Novice]. Now, back in that room you are supposed to go to is a Laser Tripwire in the distance and, past that and to the right (likely hidden behind the junk) is a Gunner. Try to sneak attack him if you can and take him out, then go disarm the Laser Tripwire. In the left corner is a terminal [Novice] you can hack that controls a ton of things: the turrets, the laser, and the spotlight. Turn the spotlight and turrets off. The door to the west has a lock [Advanced] if you can pick it which leads to some first aid and another terminal [Novice]. This one controls all the things the other one did, but it can also unlock the safe [Expert] in this room.
Head to the main (central) door and save now, then get ready for a fight. There are three Gunners waiting for you in this room (which also means a sneak attack is virtually non-existent here) so enter and shoot them down. They may run up the stairs on either side, so be ready for that as well. Also, note the turret to the left on the lower floor (which you should have turned off). Once the area is clear, check the bottom north-west door for a locked toolbox [Novice] and then enter the elevator here and take it up to the next area.
You will find yourself in a room with two wide spotlights, scanning the area. Note that it really doesn’t matter if you get “caught” by them or not: nothing happens if you do, but you can sneak by them if you want (you can also shoot them down, if they annoy you). The terminal in the middle of this area though has a lock [Master] on it, but if you’ve invested in hacking you can hack it to be let into that middle room for two Fusion Cores. Continue on past the light room to another terminal near a door on the left. This one is an [Advanced] terminal that you can hack to open the door and find some various drugs and a fusion core. Continue heading up and you’ll hear the Courser up ahead asking for the password. You are nearly there, but before the door up ahead note the funky-looking terminals on the left and right by the magnetically locked doors. Both of these terminals are locked [Novice]. The one on the right has an Ammo Box and a First Aid Box while the one on the left has a locked Toolbox [Novice]. Head through the door and note the stairs on the right and the center. Take the right stairs to that ledge up there, which gives you a Caps Stash and then jump down and explore the bathrooms on the left as you wish, then take the center stairs up. You should save at this point as the next thing that happens is the Courser fight.
Combating the Courser
You’ve finally caught up with the Courser, the Institute’s most powerful fighting unit. Now, before you go in, it should be noted that there are essentially three ways to handle this fight. One is through dialogue, but only if you talked to Mama Murphy ahead of time. If you’ve talked to Mama Murphy ahead of time, this is going to be a very simple encounter. All you need to do is walk up to the Courser (who is named Z2-47) and pick the “Reset Code” dialogue option. And… enjoy the show. Wasn’t that easy! Laputan Machine, Sticks and Stones.
If you haven’t got that code from Mama Murphy you are bound to fight. There is absolutely no point in talking to the Courser at all. Instead, head into the room where the Courser is tormenting Gunners and make your way north, bypassing the Courser and heading up some stairs. Here you can find a Fat Man sitting on top of a Trunk full of goodies. Making it a bit too easy, eh, Bethesda? Well, if they are going to put it there, you might as well make use of it, if you need to. Pick up the Fatman and shoot it at the Courser (you can’t get a direct shot, but just to the left). Note that by doing this you are killing the three Gunner Hostages, but there is literally no point to not killing them as they don’t do anything if left alive (in fact, you will get XP from killing them, so yeah!). The Courser will use a Stealth Boy and move around, likely coming to the right to try and attack you so you can get a second shot on him once it is viable.
After those two shots, the Courser will be all but dead. Still, you will need to track him down and finish him. Look for the faint outline of his body and where his laser shots are coming from and take him out. He is nearly dead and you haven’t been touched, so this is an extremely easy fight. He will be dead soon. Of course, if you don’t want to kill the Gunners you will have a straight-up fight on your hands. As soon as the battle begins, the Courser is going to use a Stealth Boy which means no VATS for you so you’ll have to track him down from his body outline and laser shots and attack him that way. Keep your health up and attack. His Stealth Boy does wear off over time, so once you do get a chance, you can use VATS to help take him out. Grenades of various sorts are very helpful here, but if you didn’t want to use the Fatman, you likely won’t want to use Grenades unless you get the Courser away from the hostages (which you can do by circling around him: he likes to keep his distance from you, so beware of that. Again, just keep your health up and keep laying into him with whatever weapon is your strongest (shotguns are fantastic here) and he will fall soon enough.
Once you have killed the Courser, loot his body for the Courser Chip, which officially ends the “Hunter/Hunted” quest. After a few moments, the next main quest “The Molecular Level” will start. Let’s finish up this area though. After killing the Courser you can choose to kill the Gunners if you want (free XP) and a nearby shutter will open up. Talk to the woman here (named “K1-98”) and she will ask for help. She will tell you the nearby Toolbox under the stairs has the key to the terminal nearby. The terminal in question is a [Master] terminal if you want to hack it, otherwise check the toolbox for the “Greentech Genetics Password” and open the door (be sure you turn on the elevator as well while you are here). Talk to “Jenny” as she tells you that she is a Synth and thanks you for helping her, and that she does not need your help anymore. Well… Okay. Before you leave though, be sure to check the stairs in here for the “Trunk” if you haven’t yet. Also note that you can head up the stairs, use the terminal, and head outside from here. There is an Ammo Box out here. You can also Fast Travel from out here easily (or just take the elevator down to the main exit). Either way, this quest is done and you are moving on to “The Molecular Level”.
|For hunting down a hunter||455 XP|
The Molecular Level
Now that you have the Courser Chip, you’ll need to get it analyzed. Go ahead and fast-travel to Goodneighbor and visit Amari, who unfortunately can’t help you. Well, darn. She does suggest that The Railroad will have the ability to decode the chip though, and asks you+9 to get their help. Good thing you’re a member of the Railroad, right? Right? In fact, you’re on good terms with just about everybody in the Commonwealth right now. Fast-travel to the Railroad HQ and you’ll see them all gathered around while Dez briefs everybody on the arrival of the Brotherhood of Steel. They did kind of go out of their way to make an impression, didn’t they? Dez, in her infinite wisdom, declares the Brotherhood of Steel an enemy of the Railroad… Because if you can’t beat a bunch of nerds and their teleporting murderbots, you should pick a fight with people who have a flying fortress, tons of Power Armor, and plenty of heavy energy weapons.
Once she’s done ensuring the Railroad’s demise, she’ll take you over to Tinker Tom and ask for the chip. Hand it over and Tinker Tom will… well, Tinker with it, making a big show of doing hackery stuff. Once he’s done playing around with it you’ll get your chip back and be directed back to Virgil. Go ahead and fast-travel to his Rocky Cave. He will be a bit surprised to see you but tell him you got the chip decoded and he will end up giving you the “Signal Interceptor Plans”, with which you can build your own swanky Interceptor.
Now… the quest splits from here, and the walkthrough will do so shortly after. You are told to “Get Help to Build the Signal Interceptor”, but are given some options here, but who are you going to get the help from? You have four options: the Railroad, the Minutemen, the Brotherhood of Steel, or you can just build the thing yourself. Of course, “yourself” isn’t exactly a faction, but there is a fourth side you can support, and for that, it doesn’t matter how you get into The Institute, just so long as you get there. For the Minutemen and the Railroad, you need merely talk to the head figure of the faction (Preston for the Minutemen, even though you’re technically the “General”). If you’ve been following this guide and have done all the faction quests available up until this point, you should get their help immediately from either Sturges or Tinker Tom. The Brotherhood, however, will require more work, and you’ll have to advance their questline a good bit to get aid from their scientist. Given that, the next step for the guide is to advance the Brotherhood of Steel questline until you can get their help, whether you care to get their help or not. There’s good loot and XP to be had plus, well, c’mon. You want to see that airship up close, don’t you?