“Too many people have opinions on things they know nothing about. And the more ignorant they are, the more opinions they have.”
Thomas Hildern is the director of the Office of Science and Industry (OSI) eastern division, living in the Camp McCarran in 2281. He can be found in his office located inside the terminal building in the southeastern area on the ground floor of the terminal.
Hildern was educated by the Followers of the Apocalypse, but disagreed with their adherence to "old-world dogma" and instead branched out in an effort to focus on large scale results. After his training, he helped formed the Office of Science and Industry, an organization focusing on finding practical application for knowledge.
As the ambitious current director of the OSI eastern division, he will speak openly about his disapproval of the direction in which the current executives at OSI Central are headed. He states that he wishes to show the president how effective a branch can be by adhering to his level of discipline, imagining rising to a role in the central office in a few years time.
As director of the eastern division, Hildern's team oversees the optimization of Hoover Dam power output and research into advancing food production. His office also supervises Republic-funded projects such as the NCR sharecropper farms initiative, attesting to OSI's dedication to safety and dedication to their work force. Hildern as a supervisor of many operations is just that, as he does no actual research despite his position. However, he is accused by Angela Williams to take credit for the work of other researchers.
Hildern has recently turned his attention to the NCR's projected food shortage. Due to the NCR's expansion, over the next decade food production is estimated to fall short of what would be required to sustain the population. Hildern has identified a potential breakthrough in Vault 22, a facility dedicated to the same issue before the war. By hiring mercenaries to travel to Vault 22, he does not go through the extra step of gaining authorization from the NCR. Fellow scientist Angela Williams disapproves of this and warns potential employees. At each opportunity, Angela shares that Hildern is not concerned with the safety of those he hires for field work, many of which have never returned from their assignments. One of these individuals is a member of their laboratory, a scientist named Keely who Hildern believed had a personal interest in undermining him and thwarting his projects, because she sees him to be a "pompous little pedant".
↑ 1.01.1Arcade Gannon: "Hildern is a good example of "big picture" obsession gone too far. At some point he became so fixated on large scale results that he lost the concept of "the common good" along the way. It's an inhumane kind of public service when people and the basic resources they need become numbers in a ledger." (Arcade Gannon's dialogue)
↑Courier: "So who *did* train you?" Thomas Hildern: "Before the bombs, I might have studied at any number of colleges, universities. They gave a man a chance to advance himself... or so I've heard. But after the bombs - until a few years ago - anyone with half a brain had one choice. The Followers of the Apocalypse. Didn't matter if you agreed with them or not. You either played along or you were turned away." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)
↑Courier: "And what do the Followers believe?" Thomas Hildern: "Knowledge for knowledge sake. A society of equals. They purport to be intelligent people, and then they spout this old-world dogma." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)
↑ 4.04.1The Courier: "Doesn't sound like a good place for a person of ambition." Thomas Hildern: "[SUCCEEDED] Exactly right. Imagine what the Followers could have accomplished if they were properly motivated... if they had a unified purpose! Those of us who founded the OSI... we wanted to put our knowledge to work. And we have, to some degree. But the execs at OSI Central... they're still bound to the old ideas. Society of equals, and all that. There's still too little direction. If I can make real breakthroughs here... show the President what can be done when junior researchers are kept in line... kept focused on task... Who knows. Maybe I'll be sitting in OSI Central, in a few years time. And there'll be no more coddling of "free spirits" like our friend, Williams." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)
↑ 5.05.1Courier: "You said you were the Director of OSI?" Thomas Hildern: "Director of the entire OSI? Me? If I didn't know better, I'd say you were trying to plant seditious ideas in my head. Ha ha ha. No, I direct our eastern operations. I've been responsible for squeezing unprecedented levels of power from the Dam. I'm also confronting the problem of food production, in what little spare time I have. But I've found some promising leads." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)
↑Courier: "What other responsibilities does this office have?" Thomas Hildern: "We aid some programs the Republic has sponsored involving sharecropper farms in the area, but those haven't panned out too well from what I hear. There've been complaints about the amount of water we're supplying, but those are just excuses for lack of diligence, I'm sure." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)
↑Courier: "I'd be careful with that data. You didn't see those plants in the Vault." Thomas Hildern: "Your concerns are perfectly understandable, but I assure you, they're entirely misplaced. We would never use a technology that wasn't fully tested." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)
↑Courier: "I'll think about it, and maybe I'll be back." Thomas Hildern: "I assure you, the OSI places considerable value upon our contractors. We will take good care of you, should you decide to accept our offer." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "He seemed focused on results. Maybe not so much on people." Angela Williams: "[SUCCEEDED] He's not what you'd call... warm. Unless he wants something from you. And even then, it's kind of a cold warm. Most of the time, I focus on the science and try to forget him. He doesn't get mixed up in any actual work. Though he tells people that he does." The Courier: "So Dr. Hildern takes credit for your work?" Angela Williams: "He sure does. Everyone knows it. I've just got to endure this job until the project is finished. But abandoning Keely... he crossed a line. Taking credit for other people's work is one thing. Sending people to die in the waste is another. If Hildern tries to recruit any more mercs, I'm going to warn them. What can he do to me? I'm the only one who can run this lab." (Angela Williams' dialogue)
↑ 10.010.1Courier: "NCR has a food shortage?" Thomas Hildern: "Not yet. But our government understands the value of proactive thought. Our studies project an imbalance between production and consumption. Or, for a layman such as yourself - not enough food, too many mouths to feed. Mass starvation. In a decade or so." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)
↑Courier: "He seemed focused on results. Maybe not so much on people." Angela Williams: "[SUCCEEDED] He's not what you'd call... warm. Unless he wants something from you. And even then, it's kind of a cold warm. Most of the time, I focus on the science and try to forget him. He doesn't get mixed up in any actual work. Though he tells people that he does." (Angela Williams' dialogue)
↑Courier: "No problem. I can wait." Thomas Hildern: "I think... Williams' decryption algorithms seem to be working...Yes... here it is! The data is mostly uncorrupted. This will make the board of directors finally sit up and take notice... Here, then... as promised. An agreeable sum, payable upon delivery of the data. You've more than done your part." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)
↑Courier: "What contract? You cut an under-the-table deal with me." Thomas Hildern: "[SUCCEEDED] You're saying that I didn't file the proper paperwork, is that it? I suppose you're an expert on NCR procedures?" Courier: "Then it wouldn't matter if I mentioned our deal to the colonel?" Thomas Hildern: "All right. Fair enough. No need to bring the military into this matter - it's between the two of us, after all." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)
↑Courier: "Yes, Angela Williams asked me to come find you." Keely: "Ah, she's such a dear. Not like that pompous little pedant she works for." (Keely's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "How do Keely and Hildern get along?" Angela Williams: "Like a brahmin and a deathclaw. Though I'm not sure which would be which. Bad analogy, maybe - they're both deathclaws, in their way. Keely hates Hildern. She says he's more politician than scientist, and gets in the way of true discovery. And Hildern hates Keely because... well, because every time they meet, she makes him look like an ass. In front of important people, usually." (Angela Williams' dialogue)
↑The Courier: "Believe whatever you want. It's the truth." Thomas Hildern: "Keely. It was Keely, wasn't it? Who else would fail to give a fuck that thousands of people are going to starve, without that data? And for what? So Keely can wage her selfish little war against me and the OSI." (Thomas Hildern's dialogue)