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Imagine, if you will, the wasteland in bloom... vast fields of corn that grow from seeds and produce their bounty in the space of a month... orchards of trees, their branches weighed halfway to the ground, hung with fat, ripe oranges. A harvest that could feed a city... or a nation. And all this... all this... requiring no more than a few of drops of precious water, and the efforts of only a handful of human farmers. Impossible?Dr. Hildern

There Stands the Grass is a side quest in Fallout: New Vegas.

Quick walkthrough

Side Quest: There Stands the Grass
Speak to Dr. Thomas Hildern at Camp McCarran.
Enter Vault 22 and download the research data found there.
Return to Dr. Hildern at Camp McCarran with the research data.
(Optional) Find Keely, a researcher who has gone missing at Vault 22 - You will only get this optional quest if you speak to Dr. Williams. Keely can be found in the Pest Control area, accessed through the caves.
After you talk to Keely in Pest Control, she will ask you to meet her at her base of operations on the second level.
Find the vents Keely is pumping gas through and somehow ignite the gas.
Return to Keely and let her know the spores have been purged.
Return to Camp McCarran and tell Dr. Williams that Keely is safe.
Reward: 1200-1500 XP
1200-2000 caps (600 more caps with 50 Barter/Speech)

Detailed walkthrough

To start the quest, speak to Dr. Hildern at Camp McCarran. Dr. Hildern can be found in his office located inside the Camp McCarran terminal building on the east side of the terminal in the south wing. After speaking to him, he will tell the Courier that Vault 22 has data on its computers that will help prevent a future food shortage. He will give the player character the location to Vault 22 and ask them to enter and download the experimental data onto their Pip-Boy. Before leaving the base, make sure to speak to Angela Williams in order to get the optional objective to find Keely, a researcher who went to the vault before and is now missing. One finds out from Dr. Williams that Dr. Hildern has sent others on this task but none of them have returned. If he is spoken to again before heading to Vault 22, one can demand that he double the caps he is paying for the job (40 Speech is required). To get this option, one must not have delivered the invoice from the Crimson Caravan, or one will only have the option to say goodbye (fixed or not always happening)

The vault is easily found by following the map marker. Quite a few cazadores roam the area near the vault. There are large and colorful plants outside the entrance, and a sign saying, "Stay Out! The Plants Kill!". There are also four giant mantises hiding in the foliage. The door is permanently open and has a curtain of overgrown plants.

Inside the vault are numerous mantises and spore carriers hidden in plant beds. Spore carriers blend in with the vegetation and will not show up as enemies on the compass until they are disturbed. On Level 5 - Pest Control, there are spore plants who spit spike projectiles.

There are many password-free terminals throughout the vault which can be accessed to find some of Keely's notes and information on what became of the Vault's inhabitants.

Once inside one has the option to repair the elevator (Repair 50) or walk the five levels by stairs. Since access to some staircases is blocked, repairing the elevator will make things easier.

With a Lockpick skill of 75 or higher, one can take the elevator directly to Level 5 - Pest Control and unlock the data bank room. If one has not repaired the elevator or does not have a high enough Lockpick skill, or are also doing Still in the Dark and/or Bleed Me Dry, the player character will need to go to the Overseer's office on Level 4 - Common Areas. Follow the signs through the common areas to the Overseer's office where one will find a terminal (no password needed) that can be used to unlock the crew quarters, the data banks, and the cave entrance. (The crew quarters can also be opened with a Lockpick skill of 50.)

Trying to disengage the cave entrance lock will give one the error message: “Override engaged at door site.” A keycard will need to be retrieved, which is located in the crew quarters (now unlocked via the Overseer's computer). The keycard is in the first room on the left side of the hall as one enters the crew quarters, on a shelf to the right of the entrance. There are three spore carriers waiting inside.

(NOTE: there may be a glitch on the metal shelf where the keycard should be. Items will be invisible and only the item identification will be shown upon scrolling over where the object should be. In this case the key card will be on the bottom shelf in the right corner next to a couple of purified waters.)

With the keycard, climb back up the stairs to Level 3 – Food Production (the stairs to Level 5 are blocked) and follow the arrows until one sees a door to the caves. The keycard will access the adjacent terminal, where the lock can be disengaged. The vault door to Pest Control will be down towards the left in the cave. Follow the arrow to the door.

Once the player character is on Level 5, they can access the Data Room either by picking the lock or having disengaged it from the Overseer's office. At this point one can finish the quest by downloading the data and returning to Hildern, or, either with or without downloading the data, one can look for Keely (this will provide opportunities for additional XP, caps, and either positive or negative Karma).

To find Keely one must locate one of two entrances to the cave where she is stranded. The shortest route is through a room with a hard lock (Lockpick 75). Open this room and there will be a cave entrance. There are plenty of spore plants and mantises in the cave, even a family of baby mantises. Follow the arrows to find Keely. If one does not have a high enough lockpick skill, the room adjacent to the room with the hard lock has another cave entrance. The entrance is partly concealed by a computer wall panel that is been moved slightly from the wall. This route takes a bit longer.

Keely can be found at the far end of the caves. She is on the south end of the cavern sitting alone next to a mantis pod. She will ask the player character to meet her in her lab on Level 2 - Oxygen Recycling. If one has not repaired the elevator yet, Keely will do so at this point, making the trip up and down a bit easier.

Upon seeing Keely on Level 2, she will tell the Courier about her plan to eliminate the contagious spores. She is pumping flammable gas through the vents on Level 5. She wants the player character to find the vents and ignite the gas, without dying in the process.

  • There is a duffle bag with frag grenades beside Keely in the room where one meets up with her on level 2 (Oxygen Recycling). To find the duffle bag turn right (west) after entering the room with Keely's terminal in it, it is in the corner on the floor.
  • On the bottom level of the common areas (in the overseer's office) there is a room marked "Utility", which contains a flamer in the far corner along with plenty of fuel.

Survive the Blast

There are several ways to achieve the intended outcome. First, go to level 5 and locate the "vents", which one can identify by the fuzzy distortion of the air. The vents can be found in an area at the end of the hallway nearest the Data Room and the room nearby room full of mantises.

Next, one will need either explosives or an energy weapon with which to ignite the blast. If one does not have any, grenades can be obtained from Keely's duffle bag in her lab; the AER14 prototype is accessible through a Very Easy locked door on the fifth level, and a flamer can be found in the same room on the fourth level.

Finally, upon igniting the vents, one needs to survive the resulting blast. This can be done either by hiding in the reinforced data room with the door closed, by making it to the elevator before the blast reaches the player character (see below), or by simply surviving the substantial fire damage that the blast causes.

The following methods for surviving blast are ranked by the chances of minimizing or escaping damage entirely:

  • Placing a C-4 plastic explosive near the vents, and then detonating it while standing next to the elevator.
  • Placing a time bomb by the vents and then running for the elevator. Wait for the thump of the explosion before using the elevator.
  • Consuming a turbo and then shooting a laser at the vent from the end of the hall and simply running to the elevator (as the flames are slowed considerably by its effect).
  • If one chooses to use explosives to ignite the gas, long-fuse dynamite will provide the most time to get to safety. The six-second fuse allows enough time to run back into either the data room or the room across the hallway, close the door, and move as far away from it as necessary.
  • Shooting an energy weapon or throwing an explosive from the data room and then closing the door and backing up farther into the data room should prevent all damage from the blast. But closing the door quickly enough can be tricky and it is entirely possible one will take damage depending on the timing.
  • Another method is throwing an explosive toward the gas vents from the opposite side of the file cabinet blockade right next to the data room door. Immediately run to the room directly behind the player character with the purple lights, closing and moving away from the door.
  • Yet another method is standing near the room with the cave entrance, at the end of the hall opposite the vents. Ignite the gas and then turn and run out into the cavern.
  • Consuming an atomic cocktail and/or a Fire ant nectar should help one withstand the flames, although keep in mind any followers may be momentarily knocked unconscious, or even killed if one is playing on Hardcore mode.
  • Standing behind the gas, right where the vent is, does not subject the player character to as much damage as standing in the hall—a high level character can survive this.
  • Stocking up on stimpaks will let one outpace the damage being done but will burn through quite a few stimpaks, depending on one's medicine skill.
  • It's also possible to crouch in the gap between two main frames, right of the main terminal in the data room and fire an appropriate weapon for setting off the gas, but the blast will definitely reach you since you don't have the door closed.
Returning to Keely

Upon returning to Keely after igniting the gas from the vents, she will tell the player character that she intends to destroy the research data. If one has the files she will discover they were downloaded. One have multiple options from here:

  • Avoid talking to her. One can unlock the door by accessing the terminal in front of her and walk out of the vault by pickpocketing her.
  • Tell her the truth and destroy the codes for good Karma. If she lives, one will get caps or Karma depending on what was bartered with Dr. Williams.
  • Tell her the truth and refuse to destroy where she will become hostile. Killing her provides one with the password to leave. Make sure to use her computer to unlock the door. This results in NCR infamy.
  • Tell her the truth and refuse to destroy it, and flee the area. Go back in and she should be non-hostile again. Pickpocket the password from her.
  • Lie and let her live. Karma will be lost for lying but regained for saving her. This results in a net gain of about 50 Karma.
  • With a Science skill of 70 (hidden), one can keep the data while Keely remains alive by suggesting science learns from failure as much as from success. She will unlock the door for one will receive positive Karma. One must choose the speech option of telling Keely that Dr. Hildern sent them for the data in order to get the Science check option.
  • If the Courier is completing I Could Make You Care, they will have another option to save the data without bloodshed. If one tells her Dr. Hildern sent them, the player character can say that their friend is part of a big organization that can use this data to help people. She will then state that the player character has given her no reason not to trust them and will open the door. Note that it will only pop up anytime after finding Elijah's data, and then settle for going after the data as one's then central objective for the quest.
  • If one has already handed in the data to Dr. Hildern, Keely will tell the player character that the data should be deleted but will not confront them. This can result in a situation of being locked in the vault; to escape either pickpocket or kill Keely for her password, and use her terminal to open the locked door.
Returning to Dr. Hildern

After whatever option was chosen, one must return to Dr. Hildern.

  • If the data was saved he will give the Courier 1200 caps and they can get an additional 600 with a high enough Barter (50) or Speech (50) skill.
  • If the data was deleted, the quest will end with the player character informing Dr. Williams that Keely is safe or dead. Dr. Hildern will suspect that Keely was responsible for the data being gone. No matter what response chosen afterwards, he will suspect the player character as an accomplice and angrily demand that they leave the lab. One will earn 1200 xp for this ending.
  • If Keely died, Dr. Williams can be told a lie with a Speech check. One will get 800 caps and lose Karma this way. If the player character does not, they will not get anything nor lose Karma.
  • If both the data and Keely were saved, speak to both Hildern and Williams to finish the quest. One will receive the amount of caps mentioned above from both, and 1500xp.

Quest stages

10 Enter Vault 22 and download the research data found there.
20 Return to Dr. Hildern at Camp McCarran with the research data.
30 (Optional) Find Keely, a researcher who has gone missing at Vault 22.
40 Meet Keely at her base of operations on the second level.
50 Find the vents Keely is pumping gas through and somehow ignite the gas.
60 Return to Keely and let her know the spores have been purged.
70Quest finishedReturn to Camp McCarran and tell Dr. Williams that Keely is safe.


  • Due to dialogue bugs related to Thomas Hildern, it is recommended that the player character completes any other related quests to him prior to starting this one.
  • Vault 22 is also involved in the side quests Still in the Dark, which is given by Elder McNamara in the Hidden Valley bunker, Bleed Me Dry, which can be obtained by speaking to Red Lucy at The Thorn, and I Could Make You Care (depending on chosen path), which is given by Veronica Santangelo at 188 Trading Post.
  • If one completes this quest before doing I Could Make You Care, one will lose the option to retrieve the Vault 22 data as part of that quest.
  • If one completes There Stands the Grass before ED-E My Love, and destroys the research rather than giving it to Hildern, one may not be able to trigger ED-E's audio log, or the dialogue on Hildern with Arcade Gannon. If one wishes to trigger either companion's dialogue, do so before completing There Stands the Grass.
  • If one wants to leave the vault after finding Keely and agreeing to help her, simply pickpocket Keely's password and activate her terminal in the lab, click open entrance and one can leave.
  • Be aware of exposed gas pipes if using a flame based weapon such as the flamer or Shishkebab. The pilot light from the flamer will ignite the gas.
  • If the data has been downloaded before receiving this quest, one will be able to give Dr. Hildern the data immediately upon speaking to him. The best way to go would be speaking to Dr. Williams after receiving the quest to be able to look for Keely, speaking to Dr. Hildern, giving him the data, and bartering the additional caps out of him. After that, the quest will be marked as finished. It is still possible, though, to get caps for rescuing Keely by returning to the vault once more. Some things like the quest logs might not trigger correctly. It could also be necessary to pickpocket the passcode from Keely because the door might not open even after helping her. Be sure to return to Dr. Williams afterward to receive the caps.
  • Killing Keely does not result in negative Karma, though lying to Dr. Williams about her safety does.
  • Keely may not spawn unless the optional quest to find her is accepted from Dr. Williams. Even after downloading the data, one can still go back to Dr. Williams and receive the optional quest, then head back to Vault 22 and rescue Keely.

Behind the scenes

The title of the quest is a reference and pun on the 1953 country song "There Stands the Glass", performed by Webb Pierce.


  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Make sure to deliver the invoice from You Can Depend on Me before completing this quest as the dialogue option to hand it over to Tom Hildern may not appear afterwards. This also affects whether the Courier will be able to recruit Rose of Sharon Cassidy as a companion. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 One may experience problems in Vault 22 completing Keely's quest igniting the gas if one has already cleared Vault 22 and retrieved the data before starting the quest, as there may be a bug in that if the data has already been obtained prior to starting the quest, at the end of Keely's dialogue she goes through the data deletion dialogue meaning one cannot give it to Dr. Hildern. It may be fixed by shooting the gas with a laser, then proceeding into other levels and returning, where one will automatically witness an explosion of the igniting gas. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 ED-E might disappear in the explosion and be lost indefinitely. To prevent this, save before lighting the gas and make sure any companions are in a safe location. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 If one has ED-E when starting, and have not gotten the second (possibly first) record log from ED-E, it may begin to play after talking to Dr. Hildern as one leaves his room and before Williams talks, causing one to freeze in place and only able to look around. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 Veronica, Boone, ED-E (unless ED-E has vanished by being caught in an explosion like the one in Vault 22), Arcade Gannon, Rose of Sharon Cassidy, Lily Bowen, and Rex turn up by the elevator every time after using it, even though they had been told to wait. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 When detonating the gas, it is not necessary to close the door to the computer room. The fire does not enter, even though it is wide open. [verified]
  • PCPC Sometimes it becomes impossible to reach the Fifth level to burn all the spores. Every time the elevator is used to the Fifth level the game crashes to the desktop. The solution is pretty easy, leave any companions on the second level and complete the quest alone. That should prevent the game from crashing. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 After rescuing Keely and going through the dialogue in which she tells the player character to meet her in her lab on the second floor, sometimes she will run to the elevator and go through an animation in which she is attempting to repair it. When she is engaged in dialogue, she notes the good work the player character did in repairing it, but then instead of entering it, she walks into the food production tunnels nearby, and then aimlessly runs throughout them. If approached, she will engage in dialogue normally as if she is in her lab. If other bugs result in her disappearing (see above), one may want to check the food production tunnels for a possible location. This can also just be fixed by reloading a save twice after restarting the game. [verified]
  • PCPC Occasionally, Keely may get stuck beneath the floor in 2nd level for no apparent reason. Using console commands seems to be the only remedy to this. [verified]
  • PCPC The gas may not ignite or only ignite the space surrounding the collapsed door, preventing the quest from progressing.
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sometimes, even if the door is closed, the explosion will still kill the player character, or it may only knock humanoid companions unconscious. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 The controls to close the Data Room door may be invisible, though the activate prompt will still appear if the cursor selects it. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 if you shut both doors in the 5th level of the vault when igniting the gas, the flames will go through the door and you will die. Closing ONLY the door closest to the gas will keep you safe. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 If one obtains the research data before starting the quest, giving the research data to Hildern upon starting this quest to complete it without leaving the room will result in the player character from being unable to move or interact with anything upon leaving the room and having Dr. Williams start up conversation, however she will not mention Keely as scripted because the quest has already been finished. This can be avoided by talking with Dr. Williams before completing the quest. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sometimes the game glitches and one can continually pass Williams' Speech check (25) for infinite experience by asking about her feelings on Dr Hildern. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 After speaking with Dr. Hildern, while leaving his office one may get stuck in place and can only look around. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 It is possible to rescue Keely, and after meeting her on the second level to kill her, leave the vault and come back, THEN destroy the spores, and the game registers her as still alive. When going to talk to Hildern at Camp McCarran, one will have a forced conversation with Williams that confirms this. After this exchange though, the player character will be stuck in cinematic mode and cannot move. Thus, this quest becomes impossible to complete. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 Companions may enter attack mode even though no enemy is visualized in the vicinity in the vault. [verified]
Main quests
Act 1Ain't That a Kick in the Head · Back in the Saddle · By a Campfire on the Trail · They Went That-a-Way · Ring-a-Ding-Ding!
Act 2Wild Card (Wild Card: Ace in the Hole, Change in Management, You and What Army?, Side Bets, Finishing Touches) · The House Always Wins (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII) · Render Unto Caesar · Et Tumor, Brute? · Things That Go Boom · Kings' Gambit · For the Republic, Part 2 · You'll Know It When It Happens/Arizona Killer
Act 3No Gods, No Masters · All or Nothing · Veni, Vidi, Vici · Eureka!
Side quests
New California RepublicAnywhere I Wander · Back in Your Own Backyard · Bitter Springs Infirmary Blues · Boulder City Showdown · Can You Find it in Your Heart? · Climb Ev'ry Mountain · Don't Tread on the Bear! · Emergency Radio · Eye for an Eye · Flags of Our Foul-Ups · Hard Luck Blues · I Don't Hurt Anymore · I Put a Spell on You · Keep Your Eyes on the Prize · Medical Mystery · No, Not Much · Pressing Matters · Restoring Hope · Return to Sender · That Lucky Old Sun · The White Wash · There Stands the Grass · Three-Card Bounty · We Will All Go Together · You Can Depend on Me
Caesar's LegionBeware the Wrath of Caesar! · Caesar's Favor · Caesar's Foe · Caesar's Hire · Cold, Cold Heart · I Hear You Knocking · The Finger of Suspicion · We Are Legion
The StripBeyond the Beef · Bye Bye Love · Classic Inspiration · How Little We Know · Pheeble Will · Talent Pool · The House Has Gone Bust! · The Moon Comes Over the Tower
Freeside & Outer VegasBirds of a Feather · Bleed Me Dry · Debt Collector · G.I. Blues · High Times · Someone to Watch Over Me · The Coyotes · Wang Dang Atomic Tango
BoomersAnt Misbehavin' · Sunshine Boogie · Volare! · Young Hearts
Great KhansAba Daba Honeymoon · Cry Me a River · Don't Make a Beggar of Me · Oh My Papa
Powder GangBooted · I Fought the Law · Run Goodsprings Run · Why Can't We Be Friends?
Brotherhood of SteelEyesight to the Blind · Still in the Dark · Tend to Your Business
OtherCome Fly With Me · Crazy, Crazy, Crazy · Ghost Town Gunfight · Guess Who I Saw Today · Left My Heart · My Kind of Town · The Legend of the Star and A Valuable Lesson · Unfriendly Persuasion · Wheel of Fortune
Companion questsED-E My Love · For Auld Lang Syne · Heartache by the Number · I Could Make You Care · I Forgot to Remember to Forget · Nothin' But a Hound Dog · One for My Baby
Unmarked questsA Bit of Slap and Tickle · A Final Plan for Esteban · Access Powers · All Fired Up! · An Ear to the Ground · Andy and Charlie · Arachnophobia · Arizona Scavenger · Barton the Fink · Bear Necessities · Big Winner (Atomic Wrangler, The Gomorrah, The Tops, Ultra-Luxe, Vikki & Vance) · Bounty Killer (I, II) · Brotherhood Bond (I, II) · Caching in at the Cove · Cajoling a Cudgel · Claws Mended · Claws Out · Dealing with Contreras · Defacing the Humble Stone · Democracy Inaction · Don't Poke at the Bear! · Eddie's Emissary · Exhumin' Nature · Fight Night · Flogging a Dead Corpse · Friend of the Followers · Gland for Some Home Cooking · Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger · Hat's Entertainment · Help for Halford · Hidden Valley computer virus · Highway to the Danger Zone (I, II) · Honorary Rocketeer · I Love Bananas · Iron and Stealing · Keith's Caravan Charade · Laurifer Gladiator · Lenk's Bad Debts · Lily and Leo · Long-Term Care · Malleable Mini Boomer Minds · Maud's Muggers · Meeting an Equal · Missing a Few Missiles · Most Wanted · Not Worth a Hill of Corn and Beans · Old School Ghoul · A Pair of Dead Desperados (I, II) · Papers, Please · Pistol Packing · Playing on the Old Joana · Poor Meat Never Makes Good Soup · Powder to the People · Power to the People · Razzle Dazzle! · Reach for the Sky, Mister! · Rest and Resupply · Ringo's Caravan Rules · Rotface's Loose Lips · Saving (or Savaging) Sergeant Teddy · The Screams of Brahmin · Silus Treatment · Short-Term Treatment · Smooth-Talking Criminal · The Star Showdown · Strategic Nuclear Moose · Straus Calls · Strip Search · Suits You, Sarah · Tags of Our Fallen · A Team of Moronic Mercenaries · Thought for the Day · Tourist Traipse · Trudy's Radio Repair · A Trusted Aide · Useless Baubles or Fancy Trinkets? · We Must Stop Beating Like This · We Must Stop Meeting Like This · Wind-Brahmin Wrangler · You Gotta Break Out a Few Eggs · You Make Me Feel Like a Woman
Add-on quests
Dead MoneySierra Madre Grand Opening! · Find Collars (8: "Dog", 12: Christine, 14: Dean Domino) · Fires in the Sky · Strike Up the Band · Mixed Signals · Trigger the Gala Event · Put the Beast Down · Last Luxuries · Curtain Call at the Tampico · Heist of the Centuries · Big Winner, Sierra Madre
Honest HeartsA Family Affair · Arrival at Zion · Bighorners of the Eastern Virgin · Chaos in Zion · Civilized Man's Burden · Crush the White Legs · Deliverer of Sorrows  · Departing Paradise · Flight from Zion · Gathering Storms · Gone Fishin' · Happy Trails Expedition · Prisoners of War · Retake the Bridge · River Monsters · Rite of Passage · Roadside Attraction · Sanctity of the Dead · The Advance Scouts  · The Treacherous Road · The Grand Staircase · Tourist Trap
Old World BluesAll My Friends Have Off Switches · A Brain's Best Friend · Coming Out of Her Shell · Field Research · He Came... And Went · Influencing People · Midnight Science Fiction Feature! · Old World Blues · On the Same Wavelength · Picking Your Brains · Project X-13 · Sonic Emitter Upgrade · Welcome to the Big Empty · What's in a Name? · When Visitors Attack! · X-2: Strange Transmissions! · X-8 Data Retrieval Test · X-8: High School Horror! · X-13: Attack of the Infiltrator!
Lonesome RoadThe Reunion · The Silo · The Job · The Launch · The Tunnelers · The Divide · The Courier · The End · The Apocalypse