On the road between Nelson and Techatticup mine, the Courier will be approached by a NCR trooper Private Renolds. He explains that his squad was ambushed by Caesar's Legion and taken captive in the mine farther down the road. Renolds was able to escape but two of his fellow troopers remain in captivity. He states that "bastard Alexus" is responsible for the ambush. One may accept the quest, garnering caps if a 45 Barter check is passed.
When approaching the mine, one will encounter two Legion recruits who patrol the area around the entrance. Depending on one's reputation with the faction, one can proceed into the mine with or without engaging the recruits, progressing through the mine to the cages where the troopers are held.
The storage key that unlocks the cages is held by Decanus Alexus, who can be pickpocketed or killed to retrieve it. One can also pick the locks to the cells and in either case, untie the prisoners. Return to Private Renolds to inform him of one's success to complete the quest.
As soon as the gates are unlocked, the Legion soldiers will attack if one has anything less than a neutral standing with the faction. The Legion will attack the freed NCR troopers regardless of the Courier's standing.
One does not need to chaperon either prisoner out of the mine, but if they both die in the process, the quest will fail.
Killing the two troopers in sight of Legion soldiers will not cause them to turn hostile.
The quest may be unobtainable if Renolds is killed by legionary assassins that spawn in the area. There are also fire geckos in the area that could pose a threat to him.
If the player character rescues the hostages before talking to Renolds, they can respond to his request by saying, "were they the hostages in the mine?" This will garner surprise from Renolds and the quest will complete in the same fashion.