Caerleon Order Substations

Defending Sovereign, Church, and Country from the Forces of Darkness

To fulfill its mandate to protect Sovereign, Church, and Country from paranormal threats, the Caerleon Order must combine the activity of an intelligence agency with that of a security service. The security activity is provided by the Order battlegroup, whereas the intelligence activity is provided by a contingent of agents. Though some act as analysts, most serve as field agents who perform investigations. The agents are assigned to specific districts within the United Kingdom, usually but not necessarily in the county where they live, and are seconded to specific stations, installations that collect, process, and evaluate intelligence on paranormal activities within the district. Each district a local station called a substation, that then reports directly to one of five regional main stations. The analysts live and work at the substations for one year on a nine weeks on, four weeks off rotational schedule, whereas field agents merely report to the substations on a regular schedule. Otherwise they live wherever it is convenient for them. However, the substations also serves as a safehouses if field agents need a refuge.

During the tenure of Abraham Van Helsing, substations consisted of any building or dwelling the Order could purchase. One or two field agents would live there and make periodic reports by radio to Caerleon Hall. There was virtually no security except for the agents themselves, and a number of substations were overrun by monsters. During the tenure of Sir George, the system was revamped to make each substation a location where intelligence could be analyzed before being sent to Denver House in London. However, they still consisted of individual houses renovated to handle the new role. Security was increased with the addition of armed guards, but some substations were still lost. During the tenure of Sir Miles, however, a program was initiated to replace all substations with underground bunkers for better security, with disguised entrances inside camouflaging surface buildings. In addition to enhanced security, including more guards, they would also have enhanced intelligence gathering, processing, and analysis equipment, as well as more sophisticated communications. The program continued through the tenures of Sir Henry and Sir Differel, but whereas he made no further changes, she frequently upgraded the systems to keep pace with the breakneck development of electronic, computer, and telecommunications technology.

          

She also authorized the installation of emergency escape tunnels, explosive and deadfall traps to seal the entrances and emergency exits against intruders, "First Generation" Sub Sentry Guns, and where feasible "Second Generation" Light Sentry Guns for added defence. Click on an image for a larger view.

CO Substation 4/S/Argyll/2, Oban, Scotland

Technically, there is no such thing as a "typical" substation, because each is custom designed as needed, particularly the surface building. However, they all have nearly the same selection of rooms. The substation outside of Oban in Scotland can serve as a representation of substations in general. It consists of a three-level underground bunker accessed from a two-story surface cottage that resembles a modern version of a historical Scottish longhouse, and the layout of the bunker is very similar to layouts used for the majority of substations elsewhere. See the floor plan below.

The surface cottage is constructed from mortared field stones, whitewashed on the outside and plastered on the inside. The external walls are 9 inches thick and the interior walls 6 inches thick. The floors are wooden and also 6 inches thick. The floor to floor height is 6 feet 6 inches, making the ceiling height only 6 feet on both floors. The roof is covered with slates, and there is an attic beneath the roof above the first floor. The stairstep rise is 6 inches. An underground cellar lies beneath the ground floor. There is only one chimney, with two fireplaces on each floor. Each floor has four rooms and a long-ways transverse hall on opposite sides. Each room has two windows, except for the two front rooms, which have four. The four ground floor rooms are, from front to back, a parlor, library, dining room, and kitchen, whereas the first floor rooms are a morning room, two bedrooms, and a common bathroom. The kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and adjoining bedroom each contain a fireplace. At least two, sometimes three guards pose as the landowners who live in the cottage and provide hosteling services for travelers, to disguise the comings and goings of resident or visiting agents. Hidden and disguised surveillance cameras, infrared and motion detectors, and hypersensitive microphones located both inside and outside allow bunker personnel to keep an eye on the surroundings, and warn the cottage guards of visitors or intruders. In addition to small arms hidden in the library within a gun case, the attic contains eight sub sentry guns and a light sentry gun.

The underground bunker is buried 17 feet below the floor of cottage cellar. It is constructed from fiber and steel-reinforced concrete with a steel armour core. The exterior walls are 12 inches thick while the interior walls are 6 inches thick. The interior surfaces are plastered and painted. The floors and roof are concrete and 9 inches thick. The floor to floor height is 7 feet, making the ceiling height on each floor only 6 feet 3 inches. The stairstep rise on the interior staircases is 6 inches, while that of the exterior helical staircase is 9 inches. The regular swinging doors are steel and titanium-wrapped fire doors, whereas the security sliding doors are steel armour with boron carbide cores. With a few exceptions, all doors are held open with magnetic devices, but in an emergency the devices can be deactivated, and the doors will automatically close and lock.

At left is the floor plan for the Oban substation.
Click on the image for a larger view. [Download]
In 1973, a Royal Observer Corp headquarters outside of Oban was closed. Sir Henry Van Helsing was looking to add a new substation in the Argyll and Bute Unitary Council Area in Scotland, and realized he could modify the existing structure for a fraction of the cost to build one from scratch. Nonetheless, he was required to excavate and gut the bunker to put in the armoured walls, and build the surface cottage. It is something of a joke in HM Government that Oban is the only "public" substation used by the Order, but in many ways this has helped its security.

Below is the key to the Oban substation floor plan:

Surface Cottage

  1. Front Entrance — This is the main entrance used by the public. Most are travelers who stop for a bite to eat and something to drink, with a few staying overnight. For a pound, visitors are taken to the side yard and given a tour of the "secret" bunker. They are shown a simple concrete access port, and if they insist they are taken down the metal ladder to a cramped room where two technicians monitor radio signals. The visitor is told that they listen for distress signals in the North Atlantic and help to triangulate on the ship or airplane's position. The tourist is then given a pint and a pie on the house. Though the fake bunker serves a legitimate purpose, it is merely a distraction, and assignment to that post is considered a disciplinary action.
  2. Trapdoor to Cellar — This gives access to food stores not kept in the pantry. It is also the only access to the cellar in the house. Agents who live and work in the bunker access the cellar through here.
  3. Crawl Space/Pantry — This is where commonly used staples and non-perishable food intended to be eaten within a week is stored.
  4. Access to Cellar — This is the outside garden entrance to the cellar. Though it appears to be a normal door, it will not open except to the correct thumbprint, voiceprint, and code word. It also acts as an emergency exit in case the bunker needs to be evacuated.
  5. Up to First Floor — This stairway leads up to the next floor.
  6. Garden Entrance — This is the "family" entrance, and gives the guards access to back and side lawns and gardens as they perpetuate their deception.
  7. Down to Ground Floor — This is the same stairway that leads up from the ground floor.
  8. Nook — This is a storage area off the common bathroom where bathing supplies and extra towels can be found.
  9. Ladder to Attic — This metal-rung ladder leads up into the attic, but the hatch will not open except to the correct thumbprint, voiceprint, and code word.
  10. Ladder to Kitchen — This metal-rung ladder leads up to the kitchen through the trapdoor.
  11. Hatch to Radiator Room Access — A hatch in the floor at the end of a short corridor provides access to a metal-rung cage ladder that allows access to the bunker radiator room without having to enter the bunker proper. The corridor is closed off by a sliding security door disguised to look like part of stone wall, but it will not open except to the correct thumbprint, voiceprint, and code word.
  12. Up to Garden — This stairwell leads up to the outside garden entrance. Emergency evacuees can exit that way.
  13. Access to Bunker — This helical staircase inside an alcove provides access the the bunker. The alcove is closed off by a sliding security door disguised to look like part of stone wall, but it will not open except to the correct thumbprint, voiceprint, and code word.

Underground Bunker

    Top Floor

  1. Entry Hall from Cottage Cellar — When descending the helical staircase from the cellar of the surface cottage, this is the room an agent emerges into. It acts as an initial clearance checkpoint. Agents who are visually recognized, who have a recorded voiceprint, and who give the correct code word will be allowed to enter. Otherwise, an intruder will be denied entry and held until armed guards arrive. Anyone who tries to go back up the stairs will discover the door to the alcove is locked down, preventing escape. If necessary, Claymore mines can be set off to kill or incapacitate an intruder, and as a last resort, explosive charges can be detonated to seal off the hall.
  2. Foyer — Once the sliding security door opens, this is the next room the agent comes to. It acts as a second clearance checkpoint, except this one looks at the palm and retinal prints, just in case the looks and voice were faked.
  3. Holding Cell — This is where captured intruders are held until they can be taken to Bethmoira Castle for interrogation.
  4. Reception/Isolation — If the palm and retinal prints check out, the agent passes through this room to get to the rest of the bunker. Authorized visitors, however, are held here in isolation until someone can arrive to escort them.
  5. Security Office — The guards in this room are responsible for keeping the entrance to the bunker secure, clearing agents and visitors, and dealing with intruders. In addition to small arms, they are equipped with an L7A2 general-purpose machine gun.
  6. "Airlock" — This is the final room before gaining unrestricted access to the bunker. It isn't an actual airlock; it's called that because the security door will not open except on command of the bunker duty officer. There are also tear gas ports and four sub sentry guns for defence.
  7. Air Conditioning Room — This contains the equipment that circulates and conditions the air for the comfort of the agents and guards on duty. They can also remove noxious and toxic gasses, including body odors and cooking fumes.
  8. Access to Radiator Room — This is the alcove accessed from the surface cottage cellar, that in turn gives access to the radiator room.
  9. Ladder to Cottage Cellar — This metal-rung cage ladder connects with the hatch in the floor of the cottage cellar above.
  10. Radiator Room — This room contains the equipment needed to cool the systems in the bunker, especially the electronic equipment. Pipes circulate water throughout the bunker, absorbing heat and carrying to the radiators, where it is exchanged with other water pipes that carry the heated water to the surface for radiation.
  11. Access Corridor — This is a short hall that links the security area with the rest of the bunker. It is monitored by surveillance cameras and defended by two sub sentry guns.
  12. Down to Middle Floor — This staircase leads down to the next level below the Top Floor. It is monitored by surveillance cameras and defended by a sub sentry gun.
  13. Tank Room — This room contains water storage tanks and the equipment needed to circulate and purify the bunker's water.
  14. Alcove — This area contains a light sentry gun that can be deployed in case intruders make it out of the "airlock".

  15. Middle Floor

  16. Up to the Top Floor — This is the same stairway that leads down from the Top Floor.
  17. Janitorial Closet — A small storage area for cleaning supplies and equipment. When not on duty, the personnel all chip in to keep the bunker clean.
  18. Main Lobby — This corridor connects with the long-ways transverse corridor that provides access to all the rooms in the bunker. At the near end, beside the armoury, a light sentry gun is set up to defend against intruders. A half-dozen sub sentry guns also defend the transverse corridor.
  19. Armoury — Though guards on active duty carry light arms, heavier ordinance and extra ammunition is kept here.
  20. Plant Room — This room contains the rest of the utility equipment that keeps the bunker functioning. It also serves as a general repair and maintenance room, as well as a storeroom. This is one of the few rooms for which the doors are kept closed all the time.
  21. Pump Room — This is where the main water pumps are located. These pumps are for potable and waste water, not the cooling water used by the radiator room mechanisms. This is one of the few rooms for which the doors are kept closed all the time.
  22. Generator Room — This is where the generator that powers the bunker is located, along with a bank of storage batteries. This is one of the few rooms for which the doors are kept closed all the time.
  23. Ladies' Lavatory — The restroom used by the women assigned to the bunker. Though on average the gender ratio is very close to 50-50, there are many occasions when there is more of one than the other, which can make for a crowded restroom at times. It contains four wash basins (WB) and three water closets (WC).
  24. Men's Lavatory — The restroom used by the men assigned to the bunker. It has only two wash basins and one water closet, but three urinals (U). When there are more men than women, the men are allowed to use the ladies' lavatory at special designated times.
  25. Men's Dormitory — The room where the men assigned to the bunker sleep. There are triple-decker bunk beds and three showers at one end. Neither dormatory is used as a recreational space. Both dormitories are off limits to members of the opposite sex, but sometimes accidents happen, in which case Order personnel are expected to act in a professional manner.
  26. Ladies' Dormitory — The room where the women assigned to the bunker sleep. There are triple-decker bunk beds and three showers at one end. Order regulations forbid sexual fraternization between personnel serving at substations, but there is barely any place for privacy as it is.
  27. Office — This is where the duty officer works and sleeps. The post can be filled by an agent or a guard. He/She decides, along with the head analyst, when an incident can be handled locally or needs to be passed on to the regional main station for its decision. There isn't enough room in a substation to segregate officers from non-coms, so being selected duty officer for a rotational period is considered a plum assignment despite the pressures.
  28. Kitchen — Because of the lack of room, Order personnel assigned to substations have to perform multiple duties, including cooking and washing up afterwards. The usual rotation period is every three days, but an individual can volunteer to serve longer if the other people approve.
  29. Canteen/Conference Room — This is where people take their breaks. Aside from the kitchen there are a number of vending machines along the back wall. Conferences are also held here, as it is the only room big enough to hold everyone. There is also a small lending library along the back wall with books, DVDs, and video games personnel can borrow.
  30. Computer & Telecommunications Equipment Room — This is one of two rooms that contain the computer and telecommunications equipment that allows the substation to receive intelligence, to analyze and interpret it, and to pass on reports to the main station at Bethmoira Castle. This room contains mostly the equipment that allows the substation to communicate with field agents, units of the battlegroup, the main station, Denver House, or even Caerleon Hall.
  31. Storage Closet — A general storage room, mostly for office supplies.
  32. Down to Bottom Floor — This stairway leads down to the bottom floor. It is defended by a sub sentry gun.
  33. Intelligence — In this area the analysts receive reports from field agents, and process and analyze them to determine their seriousness. They then make recommendations as to what action, if any, needs to be taken.
  34. Gallery — This is an observation platform that allows viewers to watch the activity on the bottom floor below. Also, additional analysts work along the back wall.
  35. Command & Control (below) — This is an area open to the bottom floor below.
  36. Access to Emergency Tunnel — Despite the increase in security, it is still possible that a substation could be overrun. If the main entrance is destroyed or compromised, substation personnel can escape through this tunnel. It leads to a camouflaged exit on the surface a few hundred yards away. It can be sealed by three sliding armoured doors. Two deadfall traps, designed to each release a ton of rock into the tunnel, can be set to trigger as soon as the doors are closed, or if they are breached.

  37. Bottom Floor

  38. Up to Middle Floor — This is the same stairway that leads down from the middle floor.
  39. Landing — This small enclosed area is meant to restrict movement.
  40. Supply Closet — Another general storage room, again mostly for office supplies.
  41. Computer & Telecommunications Room — This is the second of two rooms that contain the computer and telecommunications equipment that allows the substation to receive intelligence, to analyze and interpret it, and to pass on reports to the main station at Bethmoira Castle. This room contains mostly the mainframes and servers that run the substation's computers, as well as the modems that allow the substation to receive and transmit data.
  42. Command & Control — Whereas reports are analyzed on the upper floor, local operations are supervised and controlled from here. In the center sits a plotting table, while around it sit analysts in contact with field agents or troops.
  43. Display Boards — These are used to display timely and pertinent information, anything from maps to charts and graphs to images and reports.
  44. Duty Desk — This is where the head analyst sits and supervises the processing of intelligence and the supervision of operations.

Return to The Caerleon Order page.

We Hold the Line, and This Line Shall Not Be Crossed!