Next up - retrieve The Declaration of Independence from the National Archives.
It took me forever to figure out how to get to the blessed National Archives in the first place. And I had my first encounter with the bane of Oblivion - the invisible force-field and the game message that says "You cannot continue this way. Please move another direction."
Eventually, I do find a subway station that leads in the right direction. It takes two trips back and forth through the tunnel for me to gather up all the loot dropped by the raiders living in the tunnels. And then it takes another two trips for me to gather up all the loot once I get to the other side of the tunnel - just outside the National History Museum - and wind up fighting eight Super Mutants at the same time.
How did I survive? Fragmentary grenades are my friend.
I also run into my first living member of the Brotherhood of Steel, but he's not very chatty. Indeed, he refuses to say anything other than the area is in lockdown. Not that he does anything to stop me from entering the Archives. Lazy ass knights...
No sooner do I enter the archives, I find myself paired up with an attractive Brunette named Sydney. Seems that Mr. Lincoln - the museum curator - hired her to go after the Declaration as well. After fighting off a sudden invasion of Super Mutants, I suggest an alliance and a splitting of the reward. Sydney agrees and I make Level 10 by disarming landmines around the room Sydney set up as a barricade against the Super Mutants. :)
And this is where I max out my Lockpicking skill so that I never again have to dive through a toxic river again. Probably. I also take a feat called Finesse - I get treated as if my Luck were 5 points higher for the purpose of landing critical hits.
Another trip back to Rivet City to sell off loot and I wind up running into a woman who asks me why I'm asking so many questions about this missing humanoid. I answer that I'm looking to help him - that's it. She explains that she's with a group called "The Railroad" and they they are helping escaped android slaves keep hidden - as well as fighting regular slaving organizations. She gives me a micro-circuit unique to that type of android and tells me that giving that to Zimmer should make him give up the chase. I ask about joining the Railroad and she says they'll consider it IF I do this job for them.
Well, Zimmer cheaps out - seems he doesn't care much about the dead on the "dead or alive" thing. But hey - 300 xp for doing the right thing strikes me as being a much better reward than 50 bucks, anyway.
Sydney and I wind up blasting our way through more mutants and - on the bottom level - a lot of robots. There's not much style except for one part where I pick a lock to get into the maintenance tunnels - in order to cut down on the number of robots I HAVE to deal with. Eventually, we get to the vault room... and find that the last guardian before the vault is a robot who has been programmed with the personality of the second man to sign the Declaration.
Okay - little bit of style here. I manage to con my way PAST the robot with my mad speechifying skills by convincing him that I am - in fact - Thomas Jefferson and that I have come to pick up the Declaration in order to deliver it into the safekeeping of the new President. The robot is overjoyed, inquires as to it's service. I thank him for his service and give him permission to "retire" gracefully.
We head back and I get my loot. I ask Sydney if she'd like to keep teaming up but she says she wants to relax and enjoy her wealth for a bit but she invites me to look her up in Underworld. Seems she likes hanging around the ghouls because they don't flirt with her.
So... yeah. Level 10, two more quests done. Three if you count the "mess with jerkass" quest because - as I was walking around selling things - I found out that I couldn't do a blessed thing with the information of the true history of Rivet Town. No blackmailing of the corrupt councilmen or anything.