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Neptune Station: Undersea Research Facility, University, and Community

This was the featured article in the June 2015 issue. In order to keep page loading time and memory requirements reasonable, the article has been broken up into several pages. Even so, viewing these pages is not recommended on download links with speeds less than 1Mbps, and true broadband capability is strongly recommended.

Main Habitat Dome

The largest of the domed structures houses the community and habitat levels for the entire station. Within the main habitat dome are two levels, an upstairs serving as the station university, with the downstairs as the main community level. Moving top to bottom, left to right:

Community Level

The habitat dining room occupies the northernmost area of the main habitat dome, with a kitchen behind a long counter just to its south. As the station’s only food service facility, a full breakfast, lunch and supper menu is provided, serving the entire station population. To make the station more amenable public restrooms exist throughout, with the first of these west of the kitchen and east of the stairway to the second floor (University level), which lies opposite the kitchen to the east.

The 120 Fathoms Lounge lies south of the kitchen on the west, to provide alcohol and entertainment in the evening hours, closing at midnight.

Keeping to the west, south of the lounge is the station gift shop containing clothing, snack foods, beverages, and gift goods – what you would expect to find in a well-stocked convenience store.

South of the gift shop is the station bookstore, with books fully serving the university curriculum, as well as fiction and non-fiction from best sellers to topical materials that serve the interest of the station population. (The bookstore is marked as a convenience store on the map.)

South of the bookstore is hair and beauty salon.

To the east of the these four outlets is the station hospital that includes office and administration, restroom and bathing facilities, an operating room, nurses station, and a dormitory of sick beds. Two full time physicians for 3 shifts serve this hospital with a skilled healthcare staff. A hyperbaric chamber for pressure accidents and scanning beds, as well as a complete laboratory make a complete hospital facility rather than a simple sickbay.

East of the hospital is the maintenance room which contains station cleaning supplies, laundry, as well as backup generators and pumps. The station’s maintenance elevator which connects the main habitat level granting access to the warehouse and industrial operations level, though bypasses the habitat levels.

East of the maintenance room is the station gym facility with exercise bikes, treadmills, weight machines, free weights, and a mat for martial arts, gymnastics, dance and other workouts. South of the gym is a locker room, while to its southwest is a full restroom, sauna, hot-tubs and shower facility.

To the south of the sauna facility is the station’s brig (jail). While eight inmate cells may seem too many for such a secure station, Neptune Station is a kind of regional government facility, serving nearby undersea mining and science facilities, housing criminals throughout the region for eventual transport to courts and penal colonies outside this station.

The entire area south of the brig is station security with a front and back office, and a rear area containing the security break room, training area, and a full interrogation chamber complete with adjacent room and one-way mirror.

South of the Station on the outer edge are two high speed, large capacity (up to 20) elevators accessing the habitat levels below.

Oceanographic and Marine Biology University Level

Accessed from the stairs adjacent to the station kitchen on the north side of the main habitat level is the university level. Four large, tiered classrooms that can contain 400 students, a university laboratory, and offices for four professors. Extensions from a dozen major world universities have curricula at this university location.

Editor’s Note: Neptune Station has been released commercially by the author as a set of maps for Virtual Tabletop systems such as Roll20, at $3.99 from DrivethruRPG. The commercial products are at higher resolution than the maps presented here.

Author’s Note: if you ignore the undersea aspects in the areas surrounding the main map, as well as finding an alternative to the moon pool, and oceanography dome, this facility could easily work as a planetary space station on an airless or exotic atmosphere environment, so it’s doesn’t solely have to serve as an undersea facility. This map can be more versatile than that.

The commercial versions of the mapped station are currently scaled at 1 inch = 10 feet. The large, main map measures 7272 inches, so from edge to edge the area shown depicts 720 feet making the station an entire, compact undersea town and really quite extensive. This means rescaling it to 1 inch = 5 feet would rescale the dimensions to be 144144 inches, meaning you would have to divide this map into 4 quarters to display on platforms like Roll20. At the 1 inch = 5 feet scale, even the sublevels and the main habitat level would be larger than 7272, so a single full level couldn’t be displayed in its entirety on a Roll20 screen.