Fallout 4 Walkthrough: Side Quests - Tradecraft

Fallout 4 created by Bethesda Game Studios.
Images used for educational purposes only.

Prerequisites: Complete Road to Freedom
Trigger: Speak to Deacon
Reward: 327 XP, a cool nickname

- In the immediate aftermath of Road to Freedom, whether you want membership or not, you’ll begin the quest Tradecraft. Speak to Deacon after you’ve talked to Desdemona and he’ll offer to bring you in on a job; agree and he’ll ask you to meet him on a stretch of freeway to the west of Lexington. (It’s almost directly south of Concord, if you’ve never been to Lexington.)

- The freeway Deacon wants you to travel is kept under watch by a small blockade manned by Gunners, along with a single Turret. You’ll probably see the structure in the middle of the road long before you see any of the Gunners. There are more Gunners than you might think by looking at the blockade, and though you can take them out, you don’t need to, as Deacon is hanging out under the highway. Slip through the woods to the left of the blockade to avoid trouble.

- Deacon’s waiting ‘in disguise’, and after some conversation he’ll invite you to follow him. The trip along the roadway will take you through some rusted-out junkers inhabited by Feral Ghouls. You can one-shot most of them, but be ready for them to leap out of nearby vehicles. There are some items to be found if you investigate the larger vehicles, as well (trucks and buses).

- Deacon’s contact, Ricky Dalton, is a touchy dude. He’ll provide details of the mission to come. Once the conversation’s over, you can speak to Ricky again and ask for further assistance, though you need to be persuasive to sway him. Asking for supplies is easy; asking for sniper support is trickier; asking for a distraction is downright tough. Unless you’re really charismatic, stick with something simple.

- Talk to Deacon again. He’ll discuss the operation in more detail, and you can choose whether you want to engage in a frontal assault or go through the escape tunnel (which is Deacon’s preference). We’ll look at both approaches. (And regardless of the way you go, it's worth noting that you can find a suit of Power Armor in a wrecked train little ways south of the ramp up to the highway where you met Ricky.)

Frontal Assault

This approach is less dangerous than it sounds, but it’s still risky. Slocum’s Joe is one of the first buildings you’ll see on the edges of Lexington if you approach from the northeast hills, and there’s a convergence of roads out front that’s absolutely painted in Frag Mines. Throw in a number of Synths with laser weapons and three Turrets (one on the second floor, two on the first) and you’ve got a tough nut to crack. Close-ranged fighters will find running right up absolutely suicidal, so stick back on the edge of the road and snipe the Snyths as they come out of the store. Shooting even one of the Mines should destroy the majority of the minefield, and probably wipe out a few Synths in the process. Take out the Turrets to complete the process.

(If you persuaded Ricky to come help he’ll either snipe from a distance or, if you made the hardest check for a distraction, he’ll probably take out the minefield on his own - and almost certainly die in the process. Regardless, there seems to be some sort of glitch that will have an immortal Ricky try to murder you in Diamond City later in the game should he survive, so, uh, maybe have him die here, yeah?)

Slocum’s Joe doesn’t have a whole lot to it once you get inside, and if you check the basement you’ll find that the elevator you wanted to use has been disabled anyway. Gotta go in the back. Oh well, at least you tried.

Escape Tunnel

- Either way, you’ll end up going through here. The Escape Tunnel is located just west of Slocum’s Joe, on the edge of train tracks. You can get in by going through a drainage pipe that’s covered by thick vegetation. This opens into a Sewer.

- Once inside Deacon will start talking about the mission. Chat with him a bit, then wait for him to pop open a nearby security door. Beyond is a slope on your right; look along it for bodies and destroyed Turrets to scrounge. There’s a Synth and a Radroach to kill at the bottom.

- The tunnel on your left leads to a catwalk with more destroyed Turrets and a terminal. You can use the terminal to deactivate the spotlights and two remaining Turrets elsewhere. Four more Synths wait down the stone stairs near the catwalk, along with more remains to loot.

- Keep going and you’ll find another terminal. You can use it to activate an inactive Turret ahead and catch some Synths around the corner unawares. The Turret won’t last long at all, but the distraction will pull the Synths out into the open. A firefight is sure to follow.

The Switchboard, an underground location in Fallout 4,
and the former HQ of the Railroad.
- Walk through a broken pipe for a bit and you’ll emerge near a security door and a Novice terminal. Hack through and you’ll enter a small antechamber to a much larger control room. There are four Synths inside, two on the lower floor and two above, and you can shoot them through the windows quite easily. (Going through the double doors will make things a bit stickier.)

- Check the side rooms for items - the only one of real note is a Fusion Core in the room on the left - then head up the stairs to the control room. There are two Expert terminals in here you can crack, if you want. (I was too dumb. Sigh.) Check the desk near the windows for a U.S. Covert Operations Manual.

- Go through the double doors in the back of the room to find a small hallway with three Laser Tripwires that will activate an overhead Tesla Arc. Deactivate all three. There’s a crossroads ahead, and if you turn left you’ll find a room with two Synths inside, and a third will likely join the party if you make noise. To the right are several bathrooms - there’s a Synth in the second one, for some reason? - and an Advanced locked room with some goodies inside. (Given how small it is, Deacon is a pain in the ass if you go inside.)

- Head through the hallway off of the room with the barricaded Synths. A Synth will be patrolling here if you didn’t blow it up earlier. Also here is an intersection.
  • If you go through the door to the right of the intersection you’ll find a research room. There are two terminals in here. The Novice wall terminal pops open two security doors in the room that contain… nothing of importance. The desk terminal contains a bunch of pertinent research notes, but nothing of practical importance.
  • Straight ahead is the exit, guarded by several Synths. Once you’ve disposed of the robots you’ll find a terminal that will power up the elevator. The elevator leads back to Slocum’s Joe’s basement. You can also use this computer to deactivate more Turrets. Also in this room is an Advanced security gate, and inside is a Fusion Core and some other odds and ends.
  • To the left is one more room, this guarded by several more Synths, including a tougher Synth Leader. The room contains several Workbenches, a flurry of useful items (the Hazmat Suits in the adjacent, caged room are really useful for blocking out Rad damage, if you don’t already have one), and a rear room that Deacon will open for you. Inside are two Stealth Boys, and beside ‘em, Carrington’s Prototype. This is what you’re looking for. While you’re down here, Deacon will also pass on a weapon from a dead man. (I got a Deliverer, but it seemed oddly appropriate to my character, so I’m not sure if it’s specific to our build or not. Did anyone / everyone else get a Deliverer?)
- Head up the elevator once you’ve nabbed the Prototype. If you tried to come in the front way before, you’ll find Slocum’s Joe still cleared. If not you’ll have to fight your way out, which is much easier to do from this angle than from outside. Deacon will part ways with you once the coast is clear.

- Return to Old North Church and find Deacon in the catacombs, where you met the Railroad last time. Speak to Desdemona about the operation and she’ll offer to let you join the Railroad. If you want to continue on these missions, accept. You’ll receive a fancy nickname, get your experience reward, and earn the next quest: Boston After Dark.

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