The Long Lines Building
Owner United States Government Established 1969
Purpose Clandestine Government Operations
Status Active
Affiliation Office of External Investigations

The Long Lines Building, located at 33 Thomas Street in the Manhattan Exclusion Zone has seen itself be the seat of a number of clandestine government organizations. Construction on the building began under the auspices of the OSI (Office of Special Investigations) in the late 1960s in an effort to monitor and track the activity of "Specials" (the parlance of SLC-Expressives in that era). Following the OSI's dissolution at the hands of the Company the building switched hands to the NSA for several decades, until in 2011 it was shifted to the nascent Department of External Strategies, examining reports of time travel and other fringe Expressive powers. When the civil war began the office was largely abandoned, but was repopulated in 2015 following the formation of the OEI. A secret access tunnel to and from the Long Lines Building was dug into the facility's basement via the Lincoln Tunnel, providing vehicle access from the sparsely populated New Jersey side of Manhattan. Inside, the Long Lines Building is a vault of top secret classified information and covert research, all managed via analog means.

The Long Lines Building

Additional Info

General Construction

The Long Lines Building was designed by architect John Carl Warnecke and completed in 1974. The average floor height is 18 feet (5.5 m), considerably taller than in an average high-rise. The floors are also unusually strong, designed to carry 200-to-300-pound-force-per-square-foot.

The exterior walls have no windows (other than the street-level entrance which is purposefully left buried by a pile of rubble to prevent access from Manhattan) and are made from precast concrete panels clad with flame-treated textured Swedish granite faces. There are six large protrusions from the rectangular base which house air ducts, stairs and elevators. There is a series of large, protruding ventilation openings on the 10th and 29th floors.

It is often described as one of the most secure buildings in America, and was designed to be self-sufficient with its own gas and water supplies along with generation capabilities and protected from nuclear fallout for up to two weeks after a nuclear blast.


The Long Lines Building is 33 floors (including 3 basement levels).

Ground Floor

The ground floor of the Long Lines Building is largely disused. It was severely damaged during the firebombing of New York during the Second American Civil War and has been left in a state of disrepair to discourage anyone looking to spy on the structure. The only ground-level entrance is filled with debris from an adjacent, collapsed building.

2nd—5th Floors (Operations)

The second through fifty floors encompass the majority of live operations featuring vast open-concept floors with copious unused space. Desks are kept dozens of feet apart to provide auditory privacy. Special Agents work out of these floors, and each level also includes its own paper archives of governmental and OEI-related records, typically on active cases.

6th—9th Floors (Administrative)

Floors 6 through 10 are administrative operations featuring conference rooms, libraries, and private offices for Secret Agents. Each private office is a glass-walled enclosure with vertical privacy curtains.

10th Floor (Mechanicals)

The 10th floor comprises mechanical services for the Long Lines Building, including an HVAC substation, generator relays, and maintenance access points for the building's elevators. It is primarily staffed by a skeleton maintenance crew. Dormatories for the maintenance crew are also found on-site, and OEI maintenance technicians work in 6 month rotating shifts with 6 months off a year.

11th—20th Floor (Archives)

The 11th through the 20th floor of the Long Lines Building house the voluminous paper archives of the Office of External Investigations. Every single record ever compiled by the OEI including numerous governmental records salvaged from the Civil War and prior are sealed here in heavy metal library stacks that double as fire safes. The vault racks of the OEI Archives are designed to mechanically seal themselves like a bank vault in the event of tampering.

21st—30th Floor (Labs & Medical)

From floor 21 to 30 the OEI conducts scientific experimentation. A number of enormous labs divided by five foot thick concrete walls provide the OEI with the ability to conduct necessary investigation into unusual phenomenon without a relatively safe and secure environment. Many of the labs are outfitted with ceiling mounted fire-suppression devices or in some cases fire emission devices for the destruction of hazardous biological materials. The 30th floor lab is strictly reserved for atmospheric studies and analysis utilizing the rooftop microwave antennas. These labs are intended to study anomalous atmospheric phenomenon.

The 21st Floor is home to the Long Lines medical center, suitable for emergency medical procedures. The medical center is usually only staffed by a handful of employees with the remainder being on retainer at the Fournier-Bianco Memorial Hospital on Roosevelt Island.

31-32 (Executive)

The 31st and 32nd floors are restricted access to Executive-level operatives of the OEI, typically the Director and Deputy-Director or any higher level government oversight. These spacious floors contain sitting rooms, conference rooms, and the private offices of the OEI's Director and Deputy Director.

33rd Floor

The 33rd Floor of the Long Lines Building is mechanical access to the microwave antenna array situated on the top of the building as well as the building's HVAC systems and is accessible only by Long Lines maintenance staff.

Basement Levels

B1 (Detention)

The first level below the ground floor contains 10 lead-lined reinforced concrete detention cells intended for the temporary housing of dangerous or volatile SLC-Expressives or other detainees who require emergency containment.

B2 (Armory)

Basement level 2 comprises the secure armory for the Long-Lines building as well as its security hub, should the building need to repel an attack. The building is typically only staffed by a skeleton crew of security professionals culled from private military backgrounds working on 6-month rotational shifts between the Long Lines Building and the DOE Headquarters in Washington KC.

B3 (Garage & Power Station)

Basement Level 3 has a blast-door accessible route to the Lincoln Tunnel and points New Jersey as well as a parking garage for OEI operatives. The majority of the level comprises the geothermal power station that fuels the Long Lines Building.

Standard Operating Procedure

While the Long Lines Building is effectively a Faraday Cage preventing cellular signals from penetrating from the outside, portable electronic devices are not permitted within the building and agents bringing such devices into the building are subject to termination. The entirety of the Long Lines Building—and largely the whole of the OEI—operates on an analog records system: typewriters, microfiche, physical photography. Digital-to-physical transcriptions are handled in house when needed and permitted by release forms. From the inside, the Long Lines Building feels like an office out of the 1960s rather than the 2020s, which provides it a wealth of protection against digital surveillance and espionage.

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