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Doctor Edgar Blackburn is an independent scientist and researcher operating in Appalachia.
Blackburn first appears visiting Fort Atlas to request technology and equipment from the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force. However, the events of the Steel Reign questline gradually reveal that Blackburn was an employee of West Tek before the Great War, and is the culprit behind several disappearances in Appalachia, capturing wastelanders for human test subjects in a revival of his scientific work. Blackburn hopes to undo West Tek's creation of the super mutants and reinvent humanity using FEV, no matter the cost.
Blackburn worked as a research scientist before the Great War, and was trained in multiple specialties. He was a colleague of Farha and Jain. He clashed with Farha on the ethical boundaries of research, and he and Jain only became familiar with each other after they both went on to work at West Tek.
As he was fortunate enough to survive the bombs dropping, he decided to continue his research, despite the conditions, and instead focus his efforts on the health of the people of Appalachia. He is mostly interested in the diseases and viruses present in the region, as many of its residents have been over-reliant on "folk remedies and makeshift medicines." He is especially concerned by the long-term effects of radiation in the area, stating that just because it is survivable, does not mean that it is safe. He prefers to work in solitude, and although he has more appreciation for the hygiene standards of Foundation than the Crater, he remains independent in his scientific pursuits. Doctor Blackburn freely admits that his social skills are not the best, and although he attempts to remain professional, he recognizes that he can be "rather unthinkingly brusque."
At an unknown point in time, Blackburn began working with Jain, Farha and Nellie Wright to see if they could improve the FEV virus as a means to help humanity thrive in the wasteland. In doing so, they conducted harsh experiments in Vault 96 on non-consenting abducted people such as Cassie Halloway. Blackburn also once subjected a mole rat to several thousand volts. In order to acquire human test subjects, Blackburn contracted with a group of mercenaries called the Hellcat Company who did not question the ethics of his work.
As the Brotherhood returned to Appalachia, led by the First Expeditionary Force, Doctor Blackburn heard that they possessed advanced technology. Interested, he traveled to Fort Atlas to see if an arrangement could be made with the group, as his research occasionally requires items that are hard to obtain through normal scavenging and bartering. However, upon arrival, Blackburn saw that the Brotherhood was less organized than he expected, and theorized that their technological needs likely outweighed his own.
Interactions with the player character
|This character cannot be killed. Status expires when The Catalyst boss fight begins.|
|This character is involved in quests.|
Forging Trust: Dr. Blackburn is one of four civilians inside Fort Atlas, each with their own problems and requests for the Brotherhood of Steel. Knight Shin asks that the player character interview these civilians, though ultimately Shin discards Blackburn's request. Unless Blackburn is willing to fully work for the Brotherhood, conducting his research for and under the supervision of the Brotherhood, Shin cannot give resources to a civilian scientist, especially if this research proves dangerous.
- "I record this log not to seek forgiveness. I neither deserve nor require it. I ask only that you, my hypothetical listener, know that the things to come are not the product of ill-intent or a sadistic mania. One day, good will come of the evil I am set to do. I hope that you are there to see it, and understand."
- "The FEV was never meant to create abominations. At its core is something wondrous and hopeful. I will free it from what they made of it. Humanity will have the future it should have had, and a better human will build that world, free from fear."
- FEV research logs
- Vault Dweller: "Tell me more about yourself."
Doctor Blackburn: "I am sure you have more interesting things to do than listen to a poorly-socialized Wasteland doctor talk about himself. In short, I trained in multiple specialties before the war, and had a brief career as a research scientist prior to the bombs dropping. Finding myself fortunate enough to survive, I have continued my research, such as it is. Now I focus on the health of the people of Appalachia. Please do not ask me to examine any strange growths. I am not that kind of doctor."
- Vault Dweller: "Can you tell me about your research?"
Doctor Blackburn: "It would be difficult to express it in layman's terms. No offense intended. In essence, I have been studying the illnesses of Appalachia. For too long, people have relied on folk remedies and makeshift medicines. The long term effects of this environment are concerning. Just because the radiation is survivable does not mean it is safe."
- Vault Dweller: "Are you working with Foundation?"
Doctor Blackburn: "Their hygiene standards are beter than the lot at Crater, but no. I prefer to work in solitude. One day, perhaps, my research will be of benefit to them and all the other people of Appalachia."
- Doctor Blackburn: "I am waiting to speak with a Brotherhood representative. I have no interest in small talk with strangers."
Vault Dweller: "I was going to speak to Knight Shin for you, but if you want to be like that..."
Doctor Blackburn: "Perhaps I spoke too hastily. I can be rather unthinkingly brusque. Doctor Edgar Blackburn, at your service. Are you working with this Knight Shin? What has he said to you?"
- Vault Dweller: "He asked me to find out what you wanted from the Brotherhood."
Doctor Blackburn: "I had heard that the Brotherhood possessed advanced technology. As a doctor and a scientist, this was of great interest. My research is always in need of equipment and materials rather difficult to obtain by scavenging and bartering. I came to see if an arrangement could be made, but from what I can see of their operations, they are as yet still in too much disarray. Given the state of my fellow supplicants, I would hypothesize that their needs likely outweigh my own."
- Vault Dweller: "It could be good for everyone if you helped him."
Knight Shin: "Our job is to procure and protect technology, not fund civilian scientists in developing it. If the Doctor's research proves dangerous, then the Brotherhood will take a very pointed interest. Until then, it is his problem."