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A Satisfied Conscience

Investigate the source of the disappearances.

A Satisfied Conscience is a main quest in Fallout 76, introduced in the Steel Reign update.

Detailed walkthrough

Returning to Fort Atlas to meet up with Paladin Rahmani following the events with the Blue Ridge Caravan Company, now that they are certain that Dr. Blackburn is responsible for the disappearances to use the missing people as test subjects for his research after being denied the Brotherhood's support for it, Rahmani has the Vault Dweller speak with her, Knight Shin, and Scribe Valdez to figure out their next move in hopes of saving the kidnapped people before they become victims of Blackburn's experiments. Valdez had checked the damaged Pip-Boy recovered earlier from Uncanny Caverns and found it originated from Vault 96. While she does know all about what Vault 76 was designed for, she has no idea about Vault 96. Rahmani, Shin, and Valdez agree that the Vault is their best lead to figure out everything, and Valdez will go with the Vault Dweller to investigate, with Shin agreeing that securing the Vault's technology is also a priority to prevent someone like Blackburn getting a hold of it for malicious intent. Rahmani assigns the Vault Dweller to head to Vault 96 and use the Vault's emergency transponder to signal Valdez to join them at the entrance as Valdez confirmed that every Vault they encountered on the way from New California to Appalachia has an emergency transponder located somewhere just inside the entrance to signal for help if the Vault has been compromised.

Arriving at Vault 96, which is southeast of the R&G Station, east of Federal Disposal Field HZ-21, and south of Spruce Knob Channels, at the end of Route 103, the Vault door is pulled back slightly, allowing entry inside of it. Enter and find several Hellcat mercenary corpses scattered about, along with a living survivor, Corporal Woods. She reveals that the Blood Eagles are already in the Vault, and her crew were hired by Blackburn to help him with securing the Vault and equipment inside, but her squad was overrun by the Blood Eagles, and she herself is in bad shape, taking a bullet wound to the gut, leaving her slowly bleeding out. After asking her if the abductees are here, the player can either leave her to die, or tell her to hang on as Valdez can help her, but in the end, she succumbs to her wounds and dies right in front of the player. After Woods dies, use the terminals to signal Valdez that she can come in. Once she enters, speak to her, and she'll comment on the Vault's freezing state before seeing the Hellcat mercenary corpses and asks what happened to them. Learning that the Blood Eagles are in the Vault, she knows they already have a connection between Blackburn, the Super Mutants, and the abductions, but with the Blood Eagles inside, that makes things harder. Checking the terminal, she sees that they may have to deal with the Vault's automated defenses alongside the Blood Eagles because the Vault is on lockdown, and lets the player take point against anything they encounter.

Trying the terminal reveals the door is locked and cannot be opened. Valdez uses the Pip-Boy to override it, but it fries the Pip-Boy's circuits, so they'll have to use another means to get by any locked doors from here on out. Proceed deeper into the Vault to look for clues. In the Atrium, at least six Blood Eagles need to be eliminated. Once they are dead, Dr. Blackburn comes on over the P.A. to request that the Vault Dweller and Valdez leave at once as he has no grudge against them, but also can't guarantee their safety if they continue to explore the Vault to find him and the abductees. Nevertheless, enter the Mainframe Wing to search for clues, but once inside, Dr. Blackburn will come on the P.A. again as several of the Vault's robotic defenses attack, along with a few more Blood Eagles. Clear them out, and collect the marked items in the Mainframe Wing, including a holotape, note, and the second entry on the Quantum Research Lab terminal. From there, head to the Reactor Wing, or complete the optional objective with short-circuiting the fusebox. A couple of Blood Eagles guard the fusebox and door, so deal with them before opening the Reactor Wing door if unable to crack the Level 3 terminal for the door controls by short-circuiting the fusebox, overriding the terminal and opening the door that way. Head into the Reactor Wing to find more clues, and Blackburn will come on the P.A. again, asking Valdez and the player to leave once more, or face the consequences if they don't. The clues in the Reactor Wing include a holotape and a note, but expect more resistance in the Blood Eagles and a couple of Protectrons before collecting the clues. Once the clues are collected, Valdez has some concern about what they've learned so far with Blackburn, before proceeding towards the Cryonics Wing.

At the Cryonics Wing, it is discovered that Tally Lang, from back at Fort Atlas, is trapped inside the Cryonics Wing with a few others and needs help getting out. She also found a Vault access keycard that could make traversal in the Vault easier. She'll hand it over if Valdez and the Vault Dweller help her out of the Cryonics Wing. However, when Tally opens the door, several Mister Gutsies attack. She and her team, consisting of Needles, Eightball, and Dillo, who wears Blood Eagle Raider power armor, help with taking them out. Once they are all dead, speak to Tally, and if a deal was struck earlier with the keycard, she'll hand it over no problem. The player can change their mind and attack Tally and her gang, but it is the player's choice whether to spare Tally and her gang, or kill them. If spared, Tally and her crew retreat and evac from the Vault, while Valdez has some interesting words to say about the player being friends with a Blood Eagle crew. Once Tally is dealt with, search the Cryonics Wing for more clues, including another holotape with one of Blackburn's FEV research reports on it like in the previous wings, and two more notes. Once the clues are collected, Blackburn speaks again, explaining his actions to undo the damage wrought by West Tek before going silent again.

Next stop is the Research Wing. Unlock the door using the keycard from Tally, and after Valdez comments on the smell coming out of it, search the wing for more clues. However, after dealing with a snallygaster inside, this is where Cassie and the other abductees can be found. After talking with them, look for the controls to open the cells to let them out while also collecting the clues in the Research Wing. The Biology Workstation terminal has the controls needed to open the test chambers and free Cassie and the others. Select "Test Chamber 2" to gain access to free Cassie and the others. Speak to her, and she'll mention having caught a bad case of Sludge Lung. Give her a disease cure if the player has an extra one on them to help her out, and then she can be asked a few more questions. If asked if she can escape, she'll refuse out of concern for the other surviving prisoners. Valdez will radio Fort Atlas for reinforcements once the Vault is cleared and leave supplies to help the prisoners recover until the medics come. Once Cassie is assured that help is coming, resume collecting the clues in the Research Wing, and expect another P.A. message from Blackburn in the process as you look for the clues, including another holotape of Blackburn's FEV research logs, another note, and an entry on the Research Terminal marked "#144H".

Once that is done, the final stop is the Vault Overseer's Office. Use the keycard to take a shortcut back to the Atrium and then enter the Overseer's office from the door left of the main one to the Workroom. However, the card reader fails to acknowledge the keycard, and Blackburn comes on the P.A. again, pleading for the player and Valdez to leave him alone. Talking with Valdez has her suggest looking for a utility room where they can override the hydraulic controls to the door. Head over to Utility Room 1, left of the door to the Research Wing, open the door using the keycard, and use the console inside to override the hydraulic controls. It can be done with Strength, Intelligence, a bladed weapon, or just smash the controls and hope for the best. Whatever is chosen, Valdez will comment on the option chosen, before suggesting heading back to check to see if the door has opened now. The Overseer's door has indeed opened, so head up to confront Blackburn.

Blackburn surrenders without a fight, and can be confronted about his research into the FEV and everything regarding his research, including creating more super mutants, which causes Valdez to erupt at him with reminding him of the attack on Fort Atlas because of his research. Nevertheless, Blackburn admits that his research is still for the betterment of humanity, even if it means he rots in Hell for his sins regarding it. Per earlier orders, make certain that Blackburn is brought in alive to stand trial for his crimes. Grilling him further reveals that his FEV research is complete and it is too late to stop his plans from coming to fruition. Valdez permits the player to head back to Fort Atlas while she waits for the medics to rescue the prisoners while she escorts Blackburn back to the fort personally, completing the quest and starting the final one, The Catalyst.

Quest stages

Quest stages
DescriptionLog Entry
Quest StartPaladin Rahmani asked me to meet with her back at Fort Atlas to discuss our next steps after what we learned at the Harpers Ferry Tunnel.
Told about BlackburnI need to finish speaking with the Brotherhood leaders to determine our next course of action.
Spoke to Rahmani, Shin and ValdezThe clues we've found suggest Vault 96 may be tied to the missing people, the Super Mutant attacks, and Doctor Blackburn. I need to head there to begin our investigation.
Reached Vault 96It looks like the door sealing Vault 96 is partially open. I should be able to fit inside and investigate the Vault.
Entered Vault 96It looks like somebody lost a fight inside the entrance to Vault 96. There's a one injured survivor - maybe they can tell me what's happened here.
Spoke to WoodsBlood Eagles are responsible for killing the Hellcats who were guarding the Vault, and are still inside. I need to signal Scribe Valdez from one of the terminals and let her know the entrance is clear.
Used Terminal to Signal ValdezNow that Scribe Valdez has joined me inside the Vault, we should discuss our next steps.
Spoke to ValdezThe Vault is under a security lockdown due to the Blood Eagle attack. We might now face automated defenses in addition to the Blood Eagles. We'll have to be careful as we head deeper inside.
Exited the Terminal After Trying to Open DoorThe security lockdown has sealed off the rest of the Vault from the entrance. Valdez thinks she can get it open. I need to wait for her to do so.
Valdez Opened DoorValdez used the protocols from the Pip-Boy we recovered in the Uncanny Caverns to get the door open, but that won't work again. It's time to search the Vault.
Entered AtriumWe reached the Vault atrium and found Blood Eagles searching the place. We'll need to take care of them before we can progress further inside.
Atrium Raiders KilledThe Blood Eagles are down, but Dr. Blackburn spoke to us via the Vault PA system, asking us to leave.
Heard Valdez Atrium AmbientWith the Atrium clear, we need to search the rest of the Vault for clues about the missing people. Most of the doors are locked down, but Scribe Valdez pointed out the open door to the Mainframe Wing. We'll start there.
Found Mainframe CluesWe've found some records indicating that Blackburn found the Vault empty and is using it as a research facility. He may be holding the missing people further inside. Maybe we can open the door to Reactor Maintenance.
Opened Reactor RoomI managed to open access to Reactor Maintenance. There may be more clues to find in this area.
Found Reactor Room CluesWe found evidence in the Reactor Maintenance area that Dr. Blackburn has been conducting medical experiments on abductees. We need to keep moving. The Cryonics Lab access is ahead of us.
Entered Intercom TriggerWhen I approached the door to the Cryonics lab, a voice called to us from the intercom next to the door. It sounds like Tally Lang, the suspicious woman I met at Fort Atlas. I should talk to her.
Talked to Tally through IntercomIt turns out Tally is with the Blood Eagles raiding the Vault. She's promised us a security keycard she found in exchange for helping her people fight off the robots attacking them. With little other choice, we've agreed.
Defeated CryobotsWe've beaten the robots attacking Tally's Blood Eagles. Time to settle our deal with her and get that keycard.
Chose to fight TallyI renegotiated our deal with Tally Lang. Her gang is too dangerous to let live.
Killed TallyI killed Tally Lang and her gang in the Cryonics Lab. She should have the keycard we need on her somewhere.
Dealt with Tally, have keycard
Killed Tally, have keycard
We've got the keycard from Tally Lang, so we should be able to bypass any other doors in the Vault. But first we need to search this area for more evidence of the missing persons.
With Tally Lang dead and the keycard in my hands, we should be able to bypass any other doors in the Vault. But first we need to search this area for more evidence of the missing persons.
Found Cryo CluesWe found more evidence that Blackburn is using the abductees to develop an "improved" version of the Forced Evolutionary Virus. The Research Wing is ahead - maybe we'll find survivors there.
Opened Research WingWe've accessed the Research Wing. We must search throughouly - hopefully there are survivors here.
Found Research Wing Clues, not Cassie
Found Research Wing Clues, Cassie spoken to but not freed
Found Research Wing Clues, Cassie freed but not spoken to after freeing
Found Research Wing Cluse, Cassie found but not spoken to or freed
We found more evidence of Dr. Blackburn's horrific FEV experiments. We need to take him alive, but first we should locate the person calling for help in the Research Wing.
We found more evidence of Dr. Blackburn's horrific FEV experiments. We still need to free Cassie Halloway and her fellow survivors before we move on.
We found more evidence of Dr. Blackburn's horrific FEV experiments. With the test chambers unlocked, we need to check on Cassie Halloway and the other survivors.
We found more evidence of Dr. Blackburn's horrific FEV experiments. We still need to speak with the prisoners he's holding in Test Chamber 2.
Started Cassie Shout
Started Cassie Shout, clues found
Someone's calling for help inside the Research Wing. It may be one of the surviving abductees! We need to look for them as we search for other evidence.
We've found more horrific evidence of Dr. Blackburn's research. Someone in this wing is calling for help. It may be survivors of his experiments!
Found Cassie
Found Cassie, clues collected
I've found a small group of surviving abductees trapped inside one of the test chambers here. We need to talk to them.
I've found a small group of surviving abductees trapped inside one of the test chambers here. We need to talk to them before we move on.
Spoke to Cassie at Window, haven't found clues
Spoke to Cassie at Window, found clues already
Cassie Halloway told us that Dr. Blackburn unlocks the cells from somewhere behind the stairs. We should search there as we look for other clues.
Cassie Halloway told us that Dr. Blackburn unlocks the cells from somewhere behind the stairs. We need to look there for a way to free the survivors.
Unlocked Test Chamber 2I've unlocked the Test Chamber where Cassie and the others are being held. I should check on them.
Finished in Research WingWith Cassie and the other survivors safe, we've gathered more than enough evidence to confront Dr. Blackburn. He's in the Overseer's office above the Atrium.
Tried to open Overseer's OfficeThe security keycard I got from Tally Lang isn't working on the Overseer's office door. I should speak to Scribe Valdez to figure out what to do next.
Spoke to ValdezScribe Valdez suggests we may be able to disable the hydraulic locks holding the Overseer's door shut. We should search a nearby utility room for the mechanisms to do so.
Solved the hydraulic puzzleWith the hydraulics controlling the door to the Overseer's office disabled, it is now time to confront Dr. Blackburn and bring him to justice.
Quest Complete


The default rewards for completing the quest are 1,000 XP, 100 Bottle cap, Plan: Blackburn's bungalow, and a variable amount of random consumables, aid items, grenades, or mines. Additional XP can be awarded, depending on how the the hydraulic puzzle is solved; using the blade grants 25 XP, passing either the Strength or Intelligence check grants 75 XP.