This quest can be a bit tricky to start, as you’ll only get it under very specific circumstances. During Comes Now the Power you’ll have to choose whether to reroute power to the Botanical Labs or to Edgewater, and if you reroute power to Edgewater, you’ll be able to convince Reed Tobson to step down in favor of Adelaide. If you left Adelaide in a position of power - whether by rerouting power to the Botanical Lab or by ousting Reed - you’ll get this quest from Sophia Akande when you return to her after completing the quest Signal Point in Space.
Suffice to say, she’s not happy with the way things have gone in Edgewater, and given the precarious state of the colony, she’s decided to cut her losses with Edgewater and liquidate the town. Or rather, you are. Your grisly task is to travel to Emerald Vale’s Geothermal Power Plant, activate a termination protocol that will set some automechanicals on the innocent residents of Edgewater, after which you’ll need to come in and put down the robots.
Travel to the Edgewater Landing Pad, then head over to the Geothermal Power Plant, where you can now find some Spacer’s Choice troopers milling around. Don’t worry about the troopers outside - they don’t care much what you do. The ones inside, however, are another story. Enter via the front (eastern) entrance and you’ll be stopped by Captain Hogarth, who will tell you to leave. Fortunately you can talk your way past him by passing a [Persuade 80], [Lie 80] or [Lie 35] check, the latter being available only if you completed the quest Fistful of Digits and obtained the Junior Deputy Constable’s Badge from Constable Reyes. Hey, the thing wasn’t useless after all!
If you can’t talk your way past, you’ll have to sneak or fight, both of which shouldn’t be too much trouble. In the former case, leave and enter via the plant’s side door (the large bay door on the southern side of the building) and watch for the trooper’s simple patrol routes. You usually won’t have to deal with more than one trooper in an area at a time, and if you opened the barred doors earlier your task will be even easier. If you need to fight, the troopers shouldn’t prove much more formidable than the MSI troopers you may have fought at the end of Canid’s Cradle - levels in the high teens, fond of plasma weaponry, relatively high armor. Not something to take lightly, but nothing a little sense and perhaps the odd corrosive or n-ray weapon can’t handle with aplomb.
In any event, your goal is the Automechanical Control Terminal. Access it and pick the option [Run Termination Protocol], then leave the Geothermal Power Plant and return to Edgewater.
Enter via the southwestern entrance and you’ll find the city crawling with automechanical death squads. Individually, they’re not too powerful, but there’s an awful lot of them around - roughly a dozen, by our count - and if you go in guns blazing you could well end up fighting more than you’d like at once. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, there’s no shame in fleeing the city, recuperating a bit, then returning, as the machines shouldn’t follow you. They’ve got fairly good armor scores, so use shock or corrosive attacks to dish out extra damage.
If you’d rather handle things a bit more gracefully, sneak to the corner of the Spacer’s Choice General Store (from the gate follow the building to your right (east) north, then northeast) to find your old pal Ludwig Miller hiding behind some crates. As he feared, the great automechanical apocalypse has come, and predictably enough for an armchair warrior, his actions don’t match his words. Talk to him and pass an [Inspiration 10] check to get him to live up to his imagined role as leader of the resistance. Not often does a nutter get the chance to fulfill their imagined destiny, but Ludwig performs quite admirably; rushing at the automechanicals with a Shock Cannon Ultra, he’s capable of taking some - or even most - of them out single-handedly, and if you let him draw their fire and assist him from relative safety, he should make clearing out Edgewater significantly easier.
Once the last robot is dead, talk to Ludwig for a final farewell if you wish, then return to Akande on Byzantium. For carrying out the Board’s dirty work you’ll gain XP, positive Board reputation and 2,500 Bits. Better yet, Akande will give you your next task - board the Hope and skip your old colony cryo coffin to Tartarus. That’s right, no matter what you did in Edgewater, both Board paths eventually lead to Kept Secret But Not Forgotten.
Note: Now is a fine time to complete any outstanding quests you have. The end of Kept Secret But Not Forgotten is the point of no return as far as the main story goes, inasmuch as you’ll be forced to make a decision that’ll lock you into either support the Board or Phineas.