|Side quest: Hole in the Wall|
|Donate blood and wait 24 hours.|
|Go to the infirmary.|
|Explore the secret vault.|
|Talk to Curie.|
|Reward: Vault 81 cure|
|Take the cure back to the infirmary.|
|Agree to use the cure for Austin.||Save the cure for yourself.|
Vault 81 room
|Reward: 250+ XP|
Curie as a companion
|Leads to: Dependency|
After donating blood to Dr. Forsythe, leave the vault and either pursue the Here Kitty, Kitty quest to find Ashes or wait for 24 hours or more before returning (the player character may have to complete another quest in addition to waiting 24 hours before the next scene will trigger). Upon the Sole Survivor's return, Austin Engill will have been moved to the vault's medical bay. Speaking with Dr. Penske begins the quest.
Austin was bitten by a mole rat when wandering in a secret part of Vault 81 and subsequently fell ill. One must follow Bobby De Luca to the entrance hidden in the reactor room. They are asked to go into that part of the vault and find a cure. During the investigation, they must fight or sneak their way through run-down rooms full of Vault 81 lab mole rats, which will transmit a disease if they manage to bite the Sole Survivor, their companion or any activated Protectron, conferring a potentially permanent loss of 10 HP. The true purpose of Vault 81 as an infectious disease incubation and vaccine development facility is also discovered. In the final area, there is a terminal that must be hacked or unlocked with a password in the far room on the upper floor past a mole rat brood mother. The password to the locked terminal is next to the research comm terminal in the subsequent room. After this room the player character will find a robot named Curie who has manufactured the cure; however, there is only one dose left. Curie follows the player character out of the secret vault up an elevator back to the locked door by the main vault's entrance. The player character must then return to Dr. Forsythe in the medical bay with the cure and make a choice.
Option 1: Give Austin the cure
If the Sole Survivor gives the cure to Dr. Forsythe, they receive rewards including the syringer rifle and a room in Vault 81 located across from the depot. Most items throughout the vault are no longer marked as owned and can be freely picked up without angering the residents. As a side effect, if the Sole Survivor has contracted the disease during this quest, they keep the disease. Gwen also gives the player a room in the main hall to stay in.
Option 2: Deny Austin the cure
Regardless of whether it's by directly refusing to hand over the cure in dialogue (requires selecting "Only one, it's mine" followed by "Let him die"), selling or losing the cure, or using it directly from the player character's inventory (to cure the mole rat disease which has been contracted in the secret vault), all of these options are treated the same — Austin dies and everyone in Vault 81 blames the Sole Survivor. A small memorial for Austin is prepared in the classroom under the "America lives on... in you" poster, consisting of a candle, a new teal flared vase, a toy car, a baseball glove and a teddy bear.
Either option results in the quest concluding and Curie asking to accompany the Sole Survivor around the Commonwealth in order to further her scientific research, becoming available as a companion.
- Dr. Penske is essential to the quest, so if she dies before starting this quest, one will be unable to obtain Curie as a companion.
- After completing this quest, items in Vault 81 can be taken without being considered as stealing, with the exception of items within personal residences and the overseer's office.
- The mole rat disease is one of the very few status effects that not even the game's god mode command, tgm, can make the player character immune to.
- It is regarded as a perk, 0023aec1, so using player.removeperk 23aec1 can remove the effect afterward. Alternatively, one can add another cure to the inventory with player.additem 55f10, but the quest needs to be completed in entirety before doing this.
- Selecting the "We'll split it" option results in an angry reaction from Dr. Forsythe, who will respond by saying that it does not work that way, and will chastise the Sole Survivor for being selfish. Many companions will respond negatively to choosing this option, after which one can return to the original choice of keeping the whole cure for themself or giving the whole cure to Austin.
- If hacking the expert-locked "Vault 81 secure access terminal" to gain entry to the room with Curie and bypass the final pack of mole rats, they will remain, but Curie will not open the door until the Sole Survivor is no longer in combat. One can then run to the elevator near Curie and travel to Vault 81's entrance to become hidden, back down to Curie, and she will then open the door to further the quest so long as the Sole Survivor does not agitate the mole rats again.
- It is possible to exploit the game's option to "walk away" mid-conversation in order to cure both Austin and oneself:
- Select the dialogue of choice, then push the left stick/movement keys until the camera cuts away from a closeup of Dr. Forsythe.
- Turn the view away from Dr. Forsythe so the dialogue options disappear and the Pip-Boy becomes accessible.
- Open the Pip-Boy, use the cure (or drop it), and exit, turning back to face Dr. Forsythe.
- One must wait for Dr. Forsythe's first response, otherwise the quest will fail.
- With "Give it to Austin," one has a narrow window to execute this action before it is removed from the inventory. By pressing the touch pad during the player character's dialogue choice, one can quickly break the camera lock in order to look away and open the Pip-Boy as soon as Dr. Forsythe begins to respond. The dialogue options "Only one, it's mine," "Just kidding" and "You're right" will remain as though one still has a cure to hand over. Note that companions will approve or disapprove of the action taken.
- If the Sole Survivor decides to keep the cure for themselves, they will not be able to start or finish the quest Short Stories.
- It is possible to make it through the secret vault without contracting the disease. This requires killing all the mole rats before they can strike the player character, companions, or the Protectrons to prevent infection.
- One cannot contract the disease by looting dead mole rats.
- The mole rat that has bitten Austin can be found on the bed inside the room in the clinic when Dr. Jacob Forsythe explains Austin's diagnosis to Dr. Penske. The mole rat will be gone when the cure is obtained.
- Protectron in the area, gets hit by one of the diseased mole rats, then the player character will get the disease as if they had been bitten instead.[verified] If any companion or any type of creature not hostile to the player character, including the hackable
- If you leave the vault before Bobby opens the secret door, he will have gone into the secret vault with the secret door still being closed, making it impossible to finish the quest.[verified]
- Sometimes, the cure will duplicate when picked up by the player, making it possible for the player to cure themselves and Austin at the same time.[verified]
Sometimes Dr. Penske will not be in the room discussing Austin's illness with Dr. Forsythe and the quest will not start.[verified]
- This can be resolved by going to Dr. Penske's office and talking to her there to start the quest.
Sometimes, Bobby De Luca will try to run straight towards the quest marker and will get stuck in the room adjoined to the medical bay.[verified]
- To fix this, head to the reactor then type into the console: "2a82b".moveto player. This should allow Bobby to reach the marker.
- On console, reload an earlier save.
- It is possible to get stuck under the stairs leading down from the overseer observation station in the secret section of the vault, requiring you to reload a save.[verified]