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New Earth Ostracon

Isotope Mine

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This item, location or encounter is not available in the demo version of the game
Isotope mine

The Isotope Mine is an encounter location that can be found on a hill twelve hexes south of the cryo facility.

Upon first arrival, the character will discover a metal door at the bottom of a ravine filled with junk and bones. The door is not locked, but there is a warning sign affixed to it, which reads: "Isotope Mine. Beware of the Tiger!"

 Show/Hide Spoiler 

There are few actions to choose from:

  • Leave the mine.
  • Try to sneak in.
  • Yell out a friendly greeting.
  • Yell out you're armed and dangerous!
  • Use hiding to enter unnoticed

If the player leaves at this point, they may return later, by using the entrance item that appears in the ground inventory of the map hex. All options other than leaving will take the character inside, to a dark room smelling strongly of decay. There is a door on the other side of the room, which the player will move toward.

From this point, a number of possible events may occur. These are decided mostly by chance, while a few abilities (hiding, melee, or athletic) may allow the player to influence the outcome to some small degree. In every case, the player will discover (one way or another) that the lobby is guarded by Gertrude - a mechanical saber-toothed tiger. There is a very small chance that, upon noticing the tiger-contraption, the player will reverse direction and leave the mine, unharmed and unable to re-enter the tiger's lair (or meet the mine's human occupant.) Usually, though, the player will try to reach the far door; occasionally succeeding without harm, but most often taking some damage. It should be noted that it is possible, though rare, for the player to be gored to death before reaching the door.

Upon reaching the second door, the character will meet Radiation Bob, the only occupant of the mine. After he ensures that the newly arrived player is neither a bandit nor a government agent, Bob will ask for help fixing the programming issues with Gertrude. The player can then choose to:

  • Look over Gertrude's code (using hacking ability) and receive a a strange mechanical doll from Bob as a reward
  • Do what he can (requires a multitool in inventory) - This exposes the player to strong radiation from the robot's crude power cell (and leads to cutaneous radiation syndrome some time in the future)
  • Treat Bob's radiation poisoning (must have a nanorobot medical kit in inventory) - This uses up the device in the process, but also rewards the player with the strange mechanical doll
  • Ask about the power cell - can trade an item of inventory for one of Bob's "hot bricks"; can also decline the trade; but, either way, the power cell option will disappear from the list and return to Bob's inquiry about "Ol' Gerty"
  • Refuse to help

After helping Bob (successful or not) the player will leave the mine and will not be able to re-enter.

If the player refuses to help, Bob will become interested in the player's talisman instead (if he still has it on him) and offer to give him a rifle for it. Options will then appear:

  • refuse the offer;
  • accept the offer;
  • ask why Bob is interested;

If asked for more details, Bob will mention he needs copper from the talisman for his work and that he saw similar ones where he got materials to build Gertrude. Again, options are:

  • refuse the offer;
  • go on with exchange;
  • ask more questions;

Asking again will open a final choice: if the player wishes to exchange the talisman he can choose either a rifle or the location of Allegan Fairgrounds (will be marked on the map if chosen.) Whatever the player chooses, his character will exit the mine, and will not be able to meet Bob again.

If the player has already been to the Fairgrounds, and has the copper beads from there, Bob's actions do not change.

It is worth noting that on the first move (on the main map) after removing the talisman, the character will be attacked by the Merga Wraith. Trading the talisman to Bob is no exception.

Upon returning to the mine, regardless of what happened on the first visit, entering the metal door will no longer be an option.

 Show/Hide Spoiler 

However, those with the electrician ability will be able use either an iSlab or smartphone and some parts to trace an electrical conduit to a half-buried cistern lid. A crowbar or the strong ability is then needed to open the lid and enter the cistern. If the player climbs down the ladder inside, he will step onto a catwalk above a network of pipes and pumps above and around a central sealed container. With a significant drop below, the catwalk gives way, and he will be forced to make a decision between returning to the ladder or jumping for a nearby exhaust vent. If he chooses the vent, he can eventually discover the corpse of a lab technician further in, who died there with a considerable supply of pills in his labcoat. To return to the surface, the player must jump from the vent to the ladder and, unless he has the athletic ability, he risks the loss of his backpack, an item in either hand, or possibly death from the fall (and subsequent radiation exposure.)

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