When you first reach Megaton, Lucas gives a quick introduction about the town and why it's called such; there is a live atomic bomb in the crater. Since it is a threat, he asks if you think you can disarm it.
A competing interest is located in Moriarty's Tavern — Mister Burke wants to blow up Megaton by rigging the bomb to explode, and gives you a device that allows you to detonate the bomb.
In either case, both interests will give you a reward for completing their side of the mission. If you have a speech skill, you can increase the reward by about 500 caps. They will also give you a deed to a personal room which you can customize or upgrade as necessary.
Note: You need an explosives skill of at least 25 to complete this quest. If you don't have enough skill points or don't want to allocate points to that skill, you can try using Mentats to get a quick boost of 10 points to the skill, or search for the Duck and Cover skill books scattered throughout the wasteland. You can even grab the bobblehead from the WKML Broadcast station.
Detonating the bomb
Some people have no respect for the sanctity of life. —Mister Burke
If you want to detonate the bomb, you need to speak with Mister Burke from Moriarty's Saloon. He will give you a fusion charge that can be used to rig the bomb for detonation.
Once you attach the charge (and loot Megaton for what it's worth, including the bobblehead and schematic), you will need to head to Tenpenny Tower. Go to the balcony at the top, and activate the detonator. You will receive a significant karma loss, that will instantly cause you to become evil (and likewise, be targetted by the regulators.)
He will give you a room at Tenpenny. Addons for this room can be purchased from the Tenpenny lobby - the shop is located through the door on the left.
For the reasons behind destroying megaton, you can talk with both Mister Burke and Allistar Tenpenny. You can determine that Megaton looked like an ugly lump of metal that serves as visual pollution to the luxury suites.
Detonating the bomb won't prevent you from completing the Wasteland Survival Guide. Moria Brown will survive the blast and move to either Underworld or Rivet City. If you spoke to her previously, you may still catch her in front of Megaton.
Disarming the bomb
Disarming the bomb is simple; disarm it, and report to Lucas Simms. If Lucas Simms was killed, his son Harden Simms will give you the reward instead. You will receive a karma bonus for disarming the bomb, although you are likely to be targeted by hitmen or Talon Company mercenaries later.
Your house is in the north-east corner of Megaton. Addons for the room can be purchased from Moria at Createrside Supply.
While the Church of Atom considers disarming the bomb to be sacrilege, there is no adverse reaction from the church. However, Lucas Simms will no longer need to worry about the bomb causing problems in the future.
Black Widow perk
Black Widows can seduce Mister Burke and convince him to not detonate Megaton. If yo do so, he will return to Tenpenny Tower to convince his employer to cancel the detonation.
He will send you love letters, which can be picked up from Moriarty's Saloon. However, there is no further requirement for you to interact with Mister Burke.
An option in this quest is to report Mister Burke to Lucas Simms. If you accepted the fusion charge, Burke will take it from you, and ask you to follow him to the saloon.
Lucas Simms will tell Mister Burke that he is under arrest; however, when Lucas Simms turns his back, Burke will pull out a silenced 10mm pistol, and try to kill Lucas. If successful, he will tell you have made a rather grievous error.
If you want to kill Mister Burke, either by joining in the fight or in retaliation, go right ahead. Mister Burke is stronger than average, and noticeably hard to kill if you are playing a low-level character.
At first, your room contains a bed, various storages, a collector stand, and a personal butler (who can explain the functions of the items, tell you jokes, and provide purified water). You can purchase upgrades from the appropriate store, which is identified by the person giving you the deed.
The home serves as an area for permanent storage; you can keep any items you want there, as well as use the bed to gain a small exp bonus for your upcoming encounters.
The upgrades are:
- A jukebox, which tunes in to the last radio station you used on your Pip-boy. However, the signal for GNR is either weak or non-existent until you boost the signal.
- A prestine vending machine, which gets stocked with Nuka-Colas and makes them ice-cold; Ice cold Nuka Colas restore twice as many hitpoints than normal counterparts, but can't be given to Zip in Little Lamplight.
- A workbench, which can be used to create custom weaponry. While there are free workbenches available, this one is located next to a storage container, allowing minimal travel time. It also comes with a bottlecap mine, reported to respawn after a few days.
- A laboratory, which can create a random compound (Jet, psycho, etc.), which takes 24 hours to complete. If you become addicted to chemicals, you may find the laboratory to be addictive in removing these addictions.
- An infirmary, which heals injuries and eliminates rad points you've accumulated. While the bed already provides healing (alongside a 10% exp boost), the infirmary removes your reliance on Radaway or doctors to cure radiation.
A variety of themes are available for your home, which provide both decorations and items. As with the upgrades, they can be purchased from the store that supplies your house.