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- Report to Desdemona.
- Find the Minutemen or talk to Preston.
This quest is fairly straightforward and only requires talking to two people.
The Sole Survivor has blown their cover, and must speak to Desdemona for the next step. When talking to her, she explains that there is little hope for rescuing any synths now that communication with Z1-14 is lost, and that the Railroad numbers are too few to challenge the Institute directly. She instructs seeking out (or requests help from) the Commonwealth Minutemen, as they are the only army capable of forcibly freeing the synths. Desdemona also thinks the Minutemen might be able to find another way into the Institute with the data found in the holotape.
If one didn't complete When Freedom Calls, Desdemona hears there's a remnant operating around Concord. That's all the info given to seek them out. When Freedom Calls needs to be completed before turning in Burning Cover. See respective article for more details on that particular quest.
If When Freedom Calls is completed, the next step is to talk to Preston Garvey. Depending on how far the Sole Survivor had advanced in the Minutemen storyline determines his reaction, but ultimately will agree to support. This marks the completion of Burning Cover. Afterward, the Sole Survivor is unable to finish the rest of the Railroad's main quest line and must choose to finish either the Minutemen's or Brotherhood's quest line.
- Burning Cover will not disappear from the questlog if The Nuclear Option (Minutemen) is completed, a quest which involves the Institute's destruction. Additionally, Burning Cover will act as if the Institute's base still exists.
- The quest will fail if becoming an enemy of the Railroad.
- Preston will not immediately offer the next quest when ending this one. Fast travel away and back to gain access.