The majority of side quests in The Outer Worlds are simple. Speak with an NPC, follow the objectives, done. Make sure when you are attempting a specific quest, that it is selected in your journal. You can only track one quest at a time, so you want to ensure you’re chasing the correct markers.
The Frightened Engineer Quest Guide
This quest is at the Botanical Garden next to the vending machine. Speak with Thomas there and he will say he isn’t really an engineer. If you offer to help him he will need three volumes of a book. Go to the way markers on your map and collect them all. Each book is worth 500 credits and all of them will net you a nice exp bonus as well as some Deserter reputation.
The first book is on your map, the second and third may not be, depending on past conversations and events. To locate the second go to Parvati’s house in Edgewater. There’s a terminal upstairs in her dads old room. Access the terminal and read about the engineer manual.
Then head to the Cannery. It’s in one of the offices upstairs. The final one is inside the Geothermal Power Plant. Progress through the area until you run into Higgins, he’s in the silo section, on the lowest level. Near Higgins, it’s resting against a nearby wall.