It’s time to steal the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it’s not a grand caper, now that you just have to kill a few robots to get it. It’s still cool and profitable, though. You can get this quest by talking to Abraham Washington at the Capital Preservation Society in Rivet City. He’ll ask you to go to the National Archives to find the Declaration, after his last aide failed to return.
A New Friend
Getting to the Archives is pretty simple. They should be marked on your map. Just start heading to the end of the mall. Don’t go all the way to the Capitol building though, since you don’t want to get caught up in the fight between Talon Company and the super mutants. You also have to stay alert and fight your way through the super mutant trenches, if you haven’t already cleared them.
Once you make it to the end, just turn down the side street and go up the steps to the National Archive. Step into the Rotunda to meet Sydney. She’s the last aide and she’s ready to help. Don’t step on any of her mines. You can disable them if you are having trouble moving. Get over to her and she’ll mention that super mutants are attacking.
About 6 leveled super mutants will attack in waves of 3. Just stay behind the sandbags for cover and take them out. There’s no trick to this one. Just pray that you don’t get overlords and masters, since they might have missile launchers and grenades. The sandbags can usually stop them, but it’s not a guarantee.
Once you help her, she’ll ask if you want her help in getting the Declaration of Independence. Allying with Sydney makes this all a whole lot easier, so do it. She also has a cool gun that I’ll talk about a bit later. Keeping her along gives you a shot at it getting it.
If you get Sydney’s help, she’ll mention a secret elevator in the rotunda. Use her computer to unlock this elevator and head right down into a safe spot in the sub-basement. Doing this lets you avoid a lot of super mutants on your way into the building.
If you aren’t using Sydney, then you just have to walk around through the office area. You should be able to get into the sub-basement through some stairs and a back door.
You need to go forward toward the loud speaking voice. This will put you in the bunker system with a lot of leveled robots. Stay alert. It’s easy to get flanked in this maze. If Sydney gets hurt, you can give her a stimpak through dialogue.
If you have 67 points in Science, you’ll be able to automatically fix the utility door ahead of you. If you don’t then you’ll have to take the path to the left and fight a few more robots to get to the room past it.
Go forward a bit more once you’re in this common room. Apparently this room has the central turret generator. I had trouble finding it and didn’t see the point. I only saw 4 turrets and they were guarding the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta. Those are non-essential, so I didn’t mind a quick skirmish. If you don’t see it then it doesn’t matter.
Go down these stairs and through the door. The locked door on the left can be picked to give you access to a caged area. Pick the second lock to gain access to the Bill of Rights. Just blow away the turrets and gather up all the loot and ammo from the safe and the boxes. The locked door on the right should lead to the Magna Carta. It has the same setup.
The rest of this is simple. You just need to move forward through whatever doors you can open. The only big danger is that there are a ton of gas leaks. Be prepared to lose some health from the fireballs or use a melee weapon. After a walk through a few hallways, you should make it to the marked door to the Archive Strongroom. Sydney will point it out too. Save first and then head inside.
This little protection believes that he’s really the second signer of the Declaration. He’s holding on to the real thing and he doesn’t want to give it up. You have a few options here.
You can just kill him and the turrets. This makes a whole lot of robots come out of the woodwork, so be ready for a running gun battle as you leave. It might be your only quick option though.
If you’re nice, then you can offer to prove your loyalty with a trick. You can get him to agree to make a forgery to “trick the redcoats” and leave in peace. You’ll then have to move on over to the Arlington Library to grab some history authentic ink for him. I’m not sure why you’d do this, since it’s going to either be a long boring walk or an unwanted battle with some raiders. If you haven’t been there yet, then you might want to clear it out with the Brotherhood of Steel now. Otherwise, I’m not sure why you’d pick this one.
If you have Robotics Expert as a perk, you can use it to make him shutdown.
The final option is to pass the speech check and convince him that you’re actually Thomas Jefferson. This is a hard speech check. I had 95 points in Speech and only had a 75% chance. Feel free to drink some alcohol and put on some fancy clothes to boost your charisma too. Quicksave and Quickload will also do the trick.
Once you convince him that you’re Jefferson, he’ll agree to hand it over. You can then tell him that you’re taking it to the “new president” or that it’s going for safe keeping in the State House. These are the kind choices. You can also tell him that King George won and that you have to surrender it.
No matter which you pick, he’ll ask for new orders. You can tell him to rest, let him make up his own mind (and decide to rest), or tell him that he’s a fool and strip him of power. The last one makes him blow himself up in dishonor. That’s naturally for a bit of bad karma.
After that, go ahead and loot the office. His supply desks and wardrobes have a lot of energy ammo in them. There should also be some stealth boys.
All that’s left to do is turn it into Abraham. You can head out the side door and walk past the protection storage area. The doors here will let you out in the office of the Rotunda. Any super mutants left here will need to be killed before you show up at the entrance.
You can also backtrack out and use the back stairs or the elevator.
You can give Abraham the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta for about 175 caps. You can then turn in the Declaration of Independence. Tell him that Sydney helped, since he’ll pay her reward separately. You don’t lose anything.
Now, we need to talk to Sydney before we go. She’ll stick around Rivet City for a bit until you talk to her, although she is known for vanishing after you leave. If you talked to her before, then you know that the gun is a gift from her father. Sydney’s Ultra 10mm SMG can be yours if she dies in the mission, if you go ahead and kill her, or if you get her a special recording. Once the mission is over, she’ll mention that her father used to call her his “little moonbeam.” If you went to the Statesman Hotel for Reilly’s Rangers, you might have found a holotape with a dying man’s words for his “little moonbeam.” If you turn this in to Sydney, she’ll thank you and give you the gun as a gift.
Regardless of whether you give her the tape, she’ll decide to retire and set up an ammo shop in Underworld. She’s actually one of the better merchants in the game, which is a decent reason to keep her alive.
If you didn’t agree to work with Syndey, then she should show up randomly at some point in the future seeking revenge.
That’s about it, though. Enjoy your reward and your new merchant.
This post is part of the series: Fallout 3 Quest Walkthroughs
Having trouble completing Fallout 3? Check out this collection of walkthroughs to guide you from beginning to end.
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Agatha’s Song
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - The Superhuman Gambit
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Stealing Independence
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Head of State
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - The Replicated Man
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - You Gotta Shoot’em in the Head
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Tenpenny Tower
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Strictly Business
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Those!
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Reilly’s Rangers
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Blood Ties
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Big Trouble in Big Town
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Tranquility Lane
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - The Keller Family and the Experimental MIRV
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough - Grady’s Key and Grady’s Package
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough: Hunting Behemoths for Fun and Profit
- Fallout 3 Walkthrough: The Oasis