The primary heavy-duty testing area at the United States Academy of Extranormal Studies, Zero Area is a vast underground chamber where live-fire training exercises and test exercises with the most powerful cadets can be held.
Because of its vast size, dedicated operations, research, medical and support staffs, Zero Area is considered to be an actual separate section of the Academy (including its own power core and secondary systems, medical wing, food service, hydroponics systems, independent life-support systems, a small suite of research labs, its own mainframe and dedicated non-essential personnel support and morale services). Zero Area can be sealed off to allow indefinite independent survival of a large number of people in case of emergency. (See below.)
Functions of Zero Area
Zero Area is located 500 meters beneath the Academy parade grounds, air strip and forest area (roughly one-quarter mile away from the main Academy complex. (Contrary to previous reports, it is not underneath the Academy itself.)
Measuring fully twelve hundred meters in length and width, the entire interior shell of Zero Area is composed of a ten-foot thick mass of True Adamantium (including the heavy shield doors of the entrances), which allow for theoretically any metahuman power to be exercised within the area, including Quinn Morgendorffer's 'Line of Thunder (the use of her powers to literally generate a series of small-scale nuclear detonations) and David Allen Farrington's 'Prime Effect' (an extremely powerful kinetic blast with nuclear-level heat and light signatures, and a line-of-sight range). The composition of the outer shell of Zero Area has not been revealed, but it is believed to be indestructable to even the force of a weapon designed to destroy the planet.
Zero Area boasts a full host of testing paraphernalia for any known metahuman ability; it also possesses 'Active Reality' generation capability (the term used by Zero Area personnel) which is similar to Holodeck and Danger Room technology, but independently modified by Academy personnel and tech-oriented cadets over the years. Any conceivable environment can be generated within Zero Area for any conceivable purpose, including full-power individual and team-oriented metahuman training scenarios and full-immersion hostile environment training.
A secondary purpose for the installation of an 'Active Reality' system in Zero Area was to facilitate its use as a long-term habitat in case of national emergency (see below). It is also designated as an emergency Class Five metahuman containment facility, for purposes of temporary containment of SPB's, HST's, MOV's and EOE's until they can be secured by special units for transfer to the appropriate facilities.
Zero Area: National Defense Shelter designation
Zero Area is designated as a primary shelter for the entire population of the Academy in case of national emergency. It is also designated as a secondary evacuation shelter for National Command Authority - the sitting President - as well as family and staff in time of war or an 'Doomsday'/extinction-level-event. Like the Computer Center on Coruscant in the Star Wars universe, Zero Area was designed to be able to effectively survive the total destruction of the planet earth itself.
Current plans call for the upper levels of the U.S. Government and their families, as well as select individuals with vital skills for a post-war scenario in which to rebuild a viable civilization, to be evacuated to Zero Area - but have all communications indicate that the officials are being evacuated to the Mount Rushmore survival area. It is believed that using the cadet population as 'seed stock' to restart a new population and serve as a viable military force will allow the United States to survive as a sociopolitical entity in the turbulent months or even years after a war or extinction-level event until secure, survivable area on the surface are established.
In 2003, after the development of advanced technology by USAES cadet Sherrie Klein (which included the creation of SMART field generators), Zero Area underwent a series of modifications to allow Zero Area to serve as the main hub for an underground community of potentially thousands of persons and animals. These modifications were part of the recommendations in what is known as the 'Homestead Protocol' - a contingency plan designed to allow for the possibility of a city being founded and expanding beneath the site of the Academy, incorporating the actual movement of USAES facilities and buildings to vast underground caverns and the use of 'active reality' equipment to allow for a semblance or normalcy for the inhabitants (which would include the families of USAES cadets and residents of local communities chosen to occupy the community).