I.D.E.A. Headquarters

The inter-dimensional building

Some might argue that I.D.E.A.'s head office is not just a building, but a world on its own. And truth is, they are not wrong. The real size of the construction is unfathomable. Even the plans and records are unreliable when combined, as the headquarters span a dozen dimensions.

 

Origin of the project

 

At the very beginning, it was only a business skyscraper like thousands of others on Terra, with some facilities here and there. The rapid growth in both needs and funds led to the construction of a complex on top of the Old Mexico district, then to the purchase of the whole district a few years later. However, it was still not enough to make space for the research facilities, administrative offices and lodgings, despite being the biggest office ever built. The land got prohibitively expensive and laws limited the space a single enterprise was allowed to possess.

 

The many schemes developed to bypass the regulations worked for some time. Decentralized offices, pseudo-independent affiliates and aerial extensions only added an administrative and logistics overload in the end. Managing a dozen worlds was a gargantuan task, even if only one of them has been colonized. Furthermore, research to improve the gateways was intense at the time and required increasing wide spaces.

Beyond Terra

 

Eventually, the I.D.E.A. made full use of its power over the dimensions. The first thing built on every newly discovered dimension was an I.D.E.A. outpost. It was time to put them to use. Binding whole buildings together across dimensions was something completely new that required some more development that was completed by the year 2353. The first connection was experimental at best, and suffered from the inaccuracy of the old gateway system, requiring large portal rooms to make up for the transportation mistakes. As technology advanced, the rooms got smaller until being reduced to small cabins. Nowadays, employees can change dimensions and barely notice it, by taking an elevator or one of the numerous shuttles.

 

For safety measures, it is not yet possible to walk through a hallway or cross a door and emerge into another dimension, but this is the wish of Stefani Kariolli, the head architect. Her ultimate goal is to make inter-dimensional travel as seamless as possible, to make the tentacular complex feel like one building. The plan she provided when she got her position was that of windows in the same room displaying the outside landscape of two different dimensions, with the portal at the centre of the room completely invisible. Although this vision is still far-fetched, the dream it induces motivates the engineers to make it a reality.

Dimensions

 

The headquarters are immense and got a foot in every explored dimension. Even today the agency claims the first construction built after the exploration as its own and links it to the main complex. On twenty of them though, it is way more than a mere outpost. The unending office of Myrella III, the explorers' training grounds of Decemer IV, the cutting-edge facilities of Tianmen Prime and Op IV; every major complex after the Terran one is specialized to get the maximum efficiency out of it. The latter is now the core of the organization, centralizing the directions of sections and head administration, as well as countless smaller departments that never moved out due to administrative oversight or shenanigans.

 

Overall, the building is supposed to be the size of a small world, and is ever-growing. At least a couple of hundred people are required to manage a dimension properly, and way more if the dimension gets colonized. There needs to be enough room for the offices, the pause rooms and all the amenities required by Terran law. Every new dimension is a puzzle of reordering things and people when new aisles are not added altogether. The world of Myrella III, exclusive to the agency, is slowly getting swallowed by the building.

 

Getting around

 

When a building is too big for the human mind to apprehend, it is obvious that people will get lost. Local plans are all over the place, and multiple navigation applications were developed. When even those fail, the lost person can turn to one of the hundred guides, hired to help the employees lost in the maze of hallways and elevators. Since it would be impossible to travel between two departments by foot, manned shuttles, automated trains and hyperspeed elevators are always a flight of stairs away. Big hallways work like streets, special rooms are hubs and stations, and even shops have made their way into the building, providing food and other goods.

 
Ok, I see your route. Are you in a hurry? Under an hour? That won't do ma'am, best I can do is one and a half, but you'll need to run. Don't worry, they'll understand. The record for the track from Decemer IV to the archives is fifty minutes, mad lad was sprinting with biofluid boots all along. Got suspended after that, of course. Injured three co-workers on the way. Oh yeah sorry, I got distracted, so from where you are, you should see a door with a red "AX-18" glowing neon above. Go through, then turn right first chance you get, walk straight for five hundred meters and you should see a blue line painted on the floor. Get a shuttle to follow it for two kilometres, then...
 

The only thing that the headquarters seem to lack is lodgings. It may be strange for such a huge complex to contain an amusement park and not any apartment, but this is on purpose, to avoid the many constraints of the status of Hypercity on Terra. They got all the characteristics except for this one, which is not planned to be added anytime soon. Sleeping at the office is totally allowed though, the break rooms have all the comfort needed.

Multi-dimensional law

 

Having a building in several dimensions at the same time is not common. In fact, only the I.D.E.A. pulled this feat off and set an intricate precedent for how the law should apply. Local governors tried to bind the headquarters to their rule, but at the end of the day, the interdimensional court ruled that since the original building and the head of administration resided in Terra, the law of the capital was the only one that should apply inside the building. This decision was directed and welcomed by both the I.D.E.A.'s board and employees, the former for the great reduction in paperwork and the second because Terran laws were one of the most protective toward workers.

 

Naming rooms and aisles

 

On Terra, even the biggest companies fare well with the good old "letter-number" naming scheme for their buildings, usually not going over two digits. From A1 to Z99, there is more than enough for all complexes except the unreasonable I.D.E.A. When the classic naming scheme showed its limits, another one had to be found, but the decision was far from unanimous at the time. As a result, over thirty schemes coexisted for a time. Most of them disappeared in a few months, but the rooms and hallways never got renamed. To add up to the confusion, four standards still coexist and new ones appear from time to time.


Comments

Please Login in order to comment!