“Out On a Limb” is a side quest in Starfield that involves helping a scientist named Kelton Frush with some botanical research. The quest revolves around acquiring data from Kelton’s disgruntled colleague Emilio Hadek to aid in studying some strange tree-related phenomena happening around the city of New Atlantis.
Both Kelton and Emilio play key roles in this side quest’s storyline, which focuses on resolving their professional falling out in order to obtain research critical to Kelton’s work. The player is dropped into the middle of this conflict between colleagues and given the choice on how to best convince Emilio to part with his data.
STARFIELD: Out on a Limb Mission Guide
This article will provide an overview of starting this optional quest, the different approaches to completing it, and the rewards to expect after helping Kelton with his arboreal predicament. The choices made throughout “Out On a Limb” can also impact companion affinity, providing roleplaying opportunities beyond the core objective.
Starting the Quest
To kick off “Out On a Limb,” the player first needs to speak with Kelton Frush in the MAST District of New Atlantis after completing an earlier quest called “A Tree Grows in New Atlantis.”
Kelton explains that he requires data on younger tree species to further his research into some strange vibrations and seismic activity originating from the massive tree in the city center. However, this data is currently in the possession of his estranged colleague Emilio Hadek.
Due to their strained relationship, Kelton believes the player will have better luck obtaining the data from Emilio than he would. He provides Emilio’s location on the outskirts of the city and specifically requests that his name not be mentioned, so as not to sour the interaction.
With this guidance in hand, the player can now seek out Emilio and hopefully convince him to turn over the research Kelton needs to continue his work investigating the odd tree disturbances. Treading carefully will be key, given the bad blood between the two scientists.
Upon meeting with Emilio Hadek, it quickly becomes clear there is no love lost between him and Kelton Frush. Despite avoiding mention of Kelton’s name, Emilio immediately sees through the player’s questions and realizes Kelton must have sent them.
Emilio reveals that Kelton had previously sabotaged his career at MAST over petty disputes, shutting down any opportunities for promotion or advancement. This understandably left Emilio very bitter and resentful.
However, Emilio does offer a way to get the data Kelton wants – if the player can help get him promoted within MAST by any means necessary. This presents a fork in the quest:
- Persuade Emilio through dialogue to hand over the data willingly.
- Break into the Chief Engineer’s apartment to access the network and delete Emilio’s negative performance files.
Either path will satisfy Emilio and convince him to provide the data slate needed to complete Kelton’s research. But they have very different consequences for any companions present based on their moral leanings.
I. Persuasion Path
If the player chooses to persuade Emilio to hand over the data, they must succeed at a persuasion challenge during the conversation.
A persuasion bar with a few turns to fill it up will appear. Choosing the safest dialogue options slowly fills the bar, while riskier choices provide more progress. Failing to fill the bar in time fails the challenge.
The key is finding the right balance of moderate and bold dialogue choices to max out the persuasion bar before the turns run out. Having companions with high social stats can also help tip the scales here.
Successfully persuading Emilio through non-violent interaction makes him see reason and cooperate willingly. This outcome will please any lawful companions and avoids unintended consequences.
After handing over the data slate, Emilio also becomes available as a companion with the proper social perks unlocked. Taking the high road really pays off!
II. File Deletion Path
If deception and hacking are more your style, Emilio presents the alternative of breaking into the Chief Engineer’s apartment to delete negative performance files from the MAST network.
This will require infiltrating Orient Tower where the Chief Engineer lives, picking the apartment door lock, accessing the terminal inside, and permanently deleting Emilio’s personnel record.
With no one the wiser, returning to Emilio confirms the deed is done and he readily hands over the data, satisfied his career is back on track thanks to your antics.
While expedient, this approach may bother more righteous companions. Stealth and technical skills also prove useful to discreetly pull off this digital heist.
But sometimes getting your hands dirty is necessary when you need results quickly. The ends justify the means when scientific research is at stake!
Returning to Kelton
After obtaining the data slate from Emilio by either persuasion or deception, the player can return to Kelton Frush and complete the quest.
Upon handing over the data, Kelton is overjoyed and thanks the player for their efforts in recovering it, no matter the methods used. True to his word at the outset, he chooses not to pry into precisely how it was procured.
Kelton awards the player 2500 credits and 100 XP for their work resolving his professional grudge with Emilio and acquiring the research he needed. He also hints that the trees around New Atlantis may spur additional work requiring the player’s aid down the road.
Having pleased Kelton and made a potential new ally in Emilio, the “Out On a Limb” side quest can be considered complete at this stage. But the mysterious tremors in New Atlantis hint at more adventures tied to the strange flora in the future…
The “Out On a Limb” side quest in Starfield provides an intriguing look at the professional and scientific world of New Atlantis through a feud between colleagues Kelton Frush and Emilio Hadek.
The player is dropped into the middle of this dispute and given the choice on how best to resolve it – either through persuasion or more underhanded means. Each approach has different consequences, allowing for roleplaying opportunities.
Successfully retrieving the data for Kelton rewards the player with credits and XP while also opening potential new storylines related to the odd tree behaviors still mystifying researchers. Emilio can even become available as a companion given the right outcome.
With its alternative solutions and glimpses into the lives of New Atlantis scientists, “Out On a Limb” stands as an excellent side quest in Starfield for those intrigued by the game’s lore and characters. Just be prepared for the moral quandaries that come when personal and professional lives collide in the stars.