Speak with Dr. Aridana Edit
Dr. Aridana will ask for your help looking into strange transmission patterns in the Scourge. She will give Ryder an optical storage drive which can be inserted directly into SAM Node who will aid in resolving some calculations.
Run the equations at SAM Node Edit
Head to the Hyperion Habitation Deck and proceed to SAM Node. After inserting the data drive into SAM Node, an alarm will sound, the door will lock, and SAM will announce that malicious code has been detected on the drive. Ryder will have to reset three nearby panels and reinitialize the main console in order to help SAM recover. Once stabilized, SAM says that the files contained a virus designed to sever the connection between him and Ryder, and also render him helpless.
Confront Dr. Aridana at the Nexus tech labs Edit
Dr. Aridana denies any knowledge of the virus' origin. Professor Herik suggests that it may have been an anti-AI activist that sabotaged the files. The group suggests Ryder check the rest of the Nexus for anti-AI activity.
Look for anti-AI activity on the Nexus Edit
Head out to the nearest Avina VI on the first floor, which is the VI that you first meet when you dock the Hyperion on the Nexus for the first time. Avina will show erratic behavior. Start a conversation with her and the avatar will be taken over and instead of a VI Ryder will be talking to a member of the secret anti-AI hacker enclave that made the virus. In the conversation SAM recommends you lie and pretend that the virus was successful in order to gain more information from the hackers.
Note: The quest will go on hold at this point until you advance the main mission and have landed on Kadara Port. The mission automatically updates with the next objective.
Look for an email from Knight Edit
In your mail box is an email from Knight titled [Error 982: Carrier signal interrupted!] - Invitation, which invites Ryder to a meeting at an specified area in Kadara Badlands.
Acknowledge the mail to receive the navpoint and get the next objective.
Go to the hackers' sanctuary on Kadara Edit
Head to this location. You will meet "Knight" and her reasons for her hate towards all AI, namely her prior involvement in Project Overlord.
Optional: Find a discreet way to learn Knight's plan Edit
Investigate the place, but do not use your scanner, as this will cause the other personnel at the base to become hostile later on.
Talk to Knight's son Alain. He will tell you a little bit about his history, but refuse to divulge any information about his mother's plans.
Optional: Build a curative device for Alain at a Research Center Edit
Talk to SAM and head to any R&D to Develop a device to help him. Deliver the device to Alain; he will thank you and reveal a little more about what his mother intends to do.
Head to the computer terminal and you will discover that Knight intends to plant EMP bombs on the Nexus in order to destroy its quantum computers, which will prevent the future creation of any AI, though it will cripple the station's operations in the process.
- If you used your scanner at any point prior to this, everyone in the base except for Alain will now become hostile. While it's still possible to get the best outcome to the mission by immediately leaving without killing anyone, in practice this is impossible, as on the easier difficulty settings your squadmates will likely end up killing at least one of the personnel even if you don't fire a single shot, while on Hardcore or Insanity difficulty the number of enemies all but guarantees that you'll be killed if you try to leave without dealing with them all.
Use your scanner and scan a box opposite the wall of the Terminal. It will be an example box of the devices (for Research info).
Locate Knight's EMP devices Edit
Head to the Nexus via the Tempest, talk with Kandros and deactivate the bombs (You will have a normal sensor proximity alert, but no position or wall-seeing. Most of the boxes are hidden behind something or lodged between things). You have to remove 2-3 devices in different areas of the Nexus (Commons Area and Operations), then head to confront Knight right outside the Research office in the Nexus's dock zone (second floor).
How you deal with Knight depends on what happened back at her base:
- If you caused her colleagues to become hostile and then killed even one of them, then Knight refuses to be reasoned with and immediately goes to detonate the final device, but is taken out by a sniper.
- On the other hand, if you were able to escape detection at her base then it's possible to talk her down. Alternatively, you can decide that Knight is too dangerous to be allowed to live, and have the sniper execute her anyway.
- The Consoles in the room when scanned display random segments of binary/hex code, which translate to "Welcome to the world. Your name is SAM.", "Emergency. Contact Alex Ryder or sysadmin." and "System corruption in progress. Please assist."
- Knight's operation name "Mercury" could be a reference to the encryption code of the same name in the movie "Mercury Rising".