Cloudgate Asylum is a large, tethered skystation which functions as a high-security inpatient psychiatric hospital.
Purpose / Function
Cloudgate Asylum provides residential psychiatric care and conducts psychiatric research in cooperation with the Ghostleaf Foundation. Patients are usually chosen for commitment to Cloudgate due to their presenting a serious risk to the community (violently insane) or, in the case of Folded Hands Syndrome, because their illnesses are spread or exacerbated by contact with the community; other facilities are better suited to dealing with uncomplicated psychiatric conditions, and space aboard Cloudgate is somewhat limited.
Contents & Furnishings
Cloudgate Asylum is operated and administrated with the assistance of an advanced dieseltech autonet. This autonet is primarily used for record-keeping, station-keeping, access control automation, and other facility operation purposes. Cloudgate is notable for being the first such hospital to feature computerized medical records, allowing the onboard doctors, orderlies, and pharmacists to keep careful tabs on which patients are recieving which treatments at any given time. The facility's auto-restraints can even be configured remotely based on patient behavior, though, as such restraint can be dangerous, decisions relating to this are not fully left up to automation.
Halfway up the tether from the gatehouse lies a 'way station,' an aerostat module featuring a short airstrip and ports for docking with supply airships. Several oblate spheroid aerostat modules are tethered near the asylum proper, each accessible via small gondolas from the main facility. At various times modules have been added or removed as needed to meet the needs of the institution. These external modules mostly serve to provide auxiliary wind and solar-thermal power, but they may also contain onsite accommodations for staff members or special purpose rooms (such as laboratories).
Cloudgate Asylum is a low-altitude skystation, meaning that its loitering altitude is well below the inflection layer. It is tethered to ground-based anchoring pylons and a ground-based intake facility called the 'gatehouse.' The tether from the gatehouse features a gondola line for hauling people and cargo up to the asylum. Cloudgate is held aloft by both traditional metal-skinned gas envelopes and many small clusters of gas spores, the latter of which are attended to by high-functioning inmates as a way to provide a soothing connection to nature; an engineer and botanist are on duty at all times to supervise gas envelope maintenance activities.