Burning Cover is a Railroad side quest in Fallout 4. It is the aftermath of failing Underground Undercover and being branded an enemy of the Institute, which also fails all other active, related Railroad quests.
This quest is fairly straightforward and only requires talking to two people.
The Sole Survivor has blown their cover, and must speak to Desdemona for the next step. When talking to her, she explains that there is little hope for rescuing any synths now that communication with Z1-14 is lost, and that the Railroad numbers are too few to challenge the Institute directly. She instructs the Sole Survivor to work with the Commonwealth Minutemen, as they are the only army capable of forcibly freeing the synths. Desdemona also thinks they might be able to find another way into the Institute with the data found in the network scanner holotape.
The next step is to talk to Preston Garvey. Depending on how far the Sole Survivor has advanced in the Minutemen storyline, he will react differently, but ultimately he will agree to support.
- When asking Desdemona how the Railroad can proceed, if one has not dealt with the Minutemen before, or did not complete When Freedom Calls, then Desdemona will ask the Sole Survivor to seek out the remnants of the Commonwealth Minutemen in Concord and work with them in order to take down the Institute, automatically marking Concord in the Pip-Boy. In order to complete Burning Cover, When Freedom Calls must be turned in first.
- Burning Cover will not disappear from the quest log if The Nuclear Option is completed, a quest which involves the Institute's destruction. Additionally, Burning Cover will act as if the Institute still exists.
- Despite talking to Preston Garvey next after talking to Desdemona, this quest will still fail if the Sole Survivor is declared an enemy of the Railroad.
- Preston will not immediately offer the next quest when ending this one. Fast travel away and back to gain access.
- Once this quest is completed, the player character will be locked off of all future Railroad quests.