I snitched on a police officer in Starfield, and now I'm angry at the game
I find myself in the impoverished lower district of New Atlantis, known as "The Well." There, I am undertaking a mission on behalf of a journalist fro...
I find myself in the impoverished lower district of New Atlantis, known as "The Well." There, I am undertaking a mission on behalf of a journalist from one of the upper city districts. She has been tasked with interviewing business owners and assessing the business climate in that area. However, she considers the journey too unsafe for an ordinary citizen like herself. As a helpful Samaritan, I doubt that it is as dangerous as she claims and volunteer myself for the task.
I speak with a nurse who runs a clinic. She tells me that there's a stomach bug going around, and many children are falling ill. Nevertheless, she is doing her best to keep the residents of "The Well" healthy. She seems optimistic, and I assure her that I will do my best to help her maintain the clinic. Afterwards, I visit the owner of an electronics store who appears shady and peculiar. However, I find no evidence that he is actually involved in any wrongdoing on the premises, and I accept his statements as true.
Next, I go to Kay's House, a restaurant that emerged from a woman's desire to provide nourishment to her neighbors. I speak with both the retired owner, Kay, and her daughter, Theresa. I ask my questions, and Theresa informs me that they don't face many issues - the business is running smoothly, and there is little threat of violence as the restaurant is regarded as a sort of neutral zone where disrespect and disputes from outside are not tolerated. This is confirmed by a very annoying man whom I encounter outside the restaurant before entering. He tells me that he has been banned from Kay's House due to his behavior.
Then, Theresa mentions that she has noticed a new group of customers that concerns her. They hang around near the UC Surplus store, she tells me, and it seems like they are scouting the place. She says she wants to inform the UC security office, but she needs evidence. Could I please be so kind as to investigate and see if I can find anything to file a report on her behalf? "Alright," I say. I don't find it particularly moral to rob a store that already serves an underserved population, so I cheerfully set off. I eavesdrop on their conversation, confirming that they do indeed intend to rob the store, and then I return to Theresa.
She instructs me to inform Karson Endler, a UC security officer, and reluctantly, I do so. My other option would be to go back to the guys and start a fight with them, but since she is a member of "The Well" community and I am not, it seems better to listen to her instead of taking matters into my own hands. I embrace the role of someone trying to make the universe better, and I don't like resorting to unnecessary violence.
Theresa insists that she trusts Endler to do the right thing, and this time the police officer actually does: he agrees to patrol the area to deter the burglars, and Theresa rewards me generously. Later, I checked a guide on it - taking matters into one's own hands leads to a worse outcome and poorer rewards. As far as I can judge, one is expected to report the situation. That's what the game expects from the player.
This result seems to contradict "The Well's" stance towards the UC Vanguard and the security officers, as many argue that the Vanguard has failed to help the community. Strangely enough, Starfield makes another allusion to the idea of the police officer as a "good apple" - when I spoke with Sergeant Yumi from the UC Vanguard about part-time security work, my companion Sarah Morgan emphasized that he is one of the best police officers she knows. Okay, Sarah. I turned around and walked straight out again because, like my colleague Ben Sledge, I have absolutely no interest in being a space cop.
I didn't want to snitch on the police officer, but in the context of the situation, it felt like the lesser evil. However, as I continue to progress in the game, I get the feeling that police officers in this game might be portrayed as good, which makes me laugh considering the current political climate of widespread police violence. There are many aspects in which Starfield shows its age - after all, it has been in development for over seven years - but this is one of the most unexpected ones. No matter how little evil the police officers are in Starfield, I won't become one of them. Nevertheless, I find it strange that Starfield takes this stance.