Speak With Dr. Aridana Edit
Dr. Aridana will ask for the player's 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 the 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 SAM and Ryder, and also render SAM 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 the player first meets when the player docks the Hyperion on the Nexus for the first time. Avina will show erratic behavior. Start a conversation with Avina and the avatar will be taken over. 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 Rtder lie and pretend that the virus was successful in order to gain more information from the hackers.
Note: The mission will go on hold at this point until the player advances the main mission. Once the player has landed on Kadara Port the mission automatically updates with the next objective.
Look For An Email From Knight Edit
In the 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. Ryder 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, but do not use Ryder's 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 Ryder 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 the Cybernetic Device to help him. The cybernetic device requires 6 Aluminum and 2 Iridium to develop. Deliver the device to Alain; he will thank Ryder and reveal a little more about what his mother intends to do.
Head to the computer terminal and Ryder 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 the player used Ryder's 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 Ryder's squadmates will likely end up killing at least one of the personnel even if the player doesn't fire a single shot. On Hardcore or Insanity difficulties, the number of enemies all but guarantees that the player will be killed if the player tries to leave without dealing with them all. One possible solution is to command squadmembers to hold position out of enemy sight, then run to the Nomad and extract.
Use Ryder's 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 Tiran Kandros and deactivate the bombs (Ryder 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). The player will have to remove 2-3 devices in different areas of the Nexus (Common Area and Operations), then head to confront Knight right outside the Tech Lab in the Nexus's dock zone (second floor).
How the player deals with Knight depends on what happened back at her base:
- If Ryder 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 Ryder was able to escape detection at her base then it's possible to talk her down.
- Ryder can still 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".