So you’ve just landed your new job as the Assistant to the Director of a Deimos mining operation on Mars. However, before you can go through with approving the order for some much-needed mining equipment, you have to retrieve a “package” for Mr. Peter. Brennan.
Like any good goose chase, fetching this package involves tying up another loose end for the package holder. Enter Governor Hurst, a slick-tongued politician who kindly asks you to dispose of a ship stranded in space in exchange for whatever shady package Brennan needs.
While the job seems quick and dirty at first glance, it has the potential to devolve into a serious political scandal. Should you destroy Hurst’s ship – no questions asked – or is there a way to bring the governor to justice?
Destroying Governor Hurst’s Ship
When you arrive at the coordinates where Hurst last saw his ship, you’ll be greeted by the Crimson Fleet pirates. They were hired to take out Hurst’s trash, and now the governor has hired you to trash them as well. And if you aren’t looking to make the most out of this quest, you can toast his ship like the sitting duck it is.
Choosing to destroy Hurst’s ship is the simplest route. It can’t fight back as its engines are disabled, and you get to return to Hurst to report a job well done. He gives you the package, and you give it to Brennan. Case closed.
If you have companions, they probably won’t like your decision to destroy the ship if you decide to hail it first. So, to minimize the consequences of following orders, just shoot the ship when you get there.
Sparing The Crimson Fleet Pirates
Maybe violence isn’t your thing, and you’re trying to find a peaceful resolution to this whole ordeal. You can board the ship by docking and engage in a conversation with the pirate captain. For myself, I had a unique line of dialogue that allowed me to board cordially, thanks to my Bounty Hunter background.
Once on board, the pirates will hold you at gunpoint and ask you for some ship parts, as well as the keys to your spacecraft. But you can steer the conversation in a better direction with Persuasion.
Friendly reminder: if you are going to attempt persuasion but don’t have any points in said skill, you can take Hippolyta or consume foods that raise your persuasiveness.
If you fail to persuade the pirates, he will allow you to leave in exchange for a ship part and is kind enough to let you keep your ship. However, you won’t find the evidence that incriminates Hurst. You can still find the additional evidence on Sylvija Schloss’ body in a room on the lower deck, but you will have to kill the pirate captain in order to get the order of business from his dead body.
In my playthrough, I failed the persuasion, grabbed the additional evidence, and then killed the captain without alerting any of the other pirates.
If you succeed in your persuasion, you can get the evidence without any bloodshed.
Killing The Crimson Fleet Pirates
Maybe you have the charisma of a brick wall or don’t feel like being the good guy. Murder is always on option. Hop on board the ship and immediately pick the (Attack) option to enter combat with the pirates onboard. There are quite a few, so be ready for an intense fight, but my Suppressed Breach shotgun was enough to blow each pirate away in one shot.
Same as the last option, players can collect the evidence from the captain’s body as well as additional evidence from Sylvija Schloss’ body on the lowest level.
Collecting these pieces of evidence opens up a few more options, allowing for justice to be served or for credits to flow.
Turning in Evidence to CDR Woodard
When you collect both pieces of evidence, a message will appear in the top corner of the screen suggesting you can take the evidence to CDR Vincent Woodard. You’ll need to select this quest in the “Activities” section of your Missions tracker to see where to go.
Woodard is the chief of security in Cydonia, so you can find him in the room to the left of Cydonia’s entrance when entering from Mars. There isn’t much to this route. You select the dialogue option that allows you to expose Hurst, and Woodard allows you to finish your business with Hurst so that you can secure the package for Brennan.
The rest plays out the way it would if you didn’t decide to destroy the ship. You can lie to Hurst, tell him the job was done, and he will give you the package.
What’s neat about this option is that if you return to Cydonia at a later time, Woodard will replace Hurst as the acting Governor, promising to do right by the citizens of Mars. You don’t get anything special from this route, just the satisfaction of knowing you’ve removed one more corrupt politician from office.
Using the Evidence To Blackmail Hurst
Oh.. so you don’t care about the future of Cydonia? That’s fine. Woodard has enough on his plate already, and you need to line your pockets with a heaping load of credits. What better way than to use the evidence as leverage?
Do note you will be given two options when confronting Hurst directly about the evidence. One of them does nothing, while the other results in likely the most lucrative outcome of the mission. When Glenn offers to buy the evidence from you in exchange for your silence, you can either accept his offer or threaten to use it as leverage.
Choosing to use the evidence against Hurst will result in nothing.
However, if you accept his offer, Hurst will take the evidence and pay you 12,000 credits in addition to giving you the package for Brennan. He will also keep his position as mayor, but hey, you don’t live there.
And that’s everything there is to know about the Red Tape Runaround quest. You can either get rich quick or depose a murderous governor. It’s a tough choice when you really think about it.