|“||It doesn't connect to any typical network. A direct line to the Astral Plane and the Board - and under the right conditions - to other planes of existence as well.||”|
The Hotline is an Object of Power contained by the Federal Bureau of Control in the Oldest House. It can only be bound by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Control, and once bound, it enables the Bureau's director to communicate directly with the Board.
The Hotline is a 1960s-era red Bakelite telephone, resembling the single-purpose hotline telephones of the Cold War era. It lacks a rotary dial and instead has a single black knob. Its paint coating is partially chipped along its edges. When bound to the Director of the Bureau, they become able to "communicate" with entities from the Astral Plane, namely the Board, as well as entities from other planes of existence. The Hotline rings like a conventional telephone when such an event occurs.
Only the Director can safely answer or pick up the Hotline. If used by anyone other than the Director, the OoP will cause lethal harm to them.
The Hotline is one of only two Objects of Power restricted to the Director with lethal consequences for disobeyers, the other being the Service Weapon, both of these Objects providing an innate connection between the Board and the Director.
As specified in its documentation, only the Director is allowed to access the Hotline. Bureau janitors are still given access to the Hotline Chamber for cleaning purposes, however.
On August 9, 1965, the Object was discovered to have appeared on the desk in the Director's Office with no known origin. It was subsequently used for the first time by Director Broderick Northmoor. The Bureau ran a variety of tests on the Object, but none succeeded in determining its origin.
In 1978, a Communications Department intern answered the Hotline after she heard it ring, disobeying Bureau safety protocols and triggering the Hotline's punishment effect. The exact events are unspecified. The intern was not immediately killed but rather suffered trauma from which she "never recovered", and this event was traumatic enough for the present observers that they were also forced to undergo memory repression therapy.
Sometime after this, possibly as a result of the incident, a specialized containment zone for the Hotline (the Hotline Chamber) was created to both suppress its noise and keep general Bureau staff away.
Events of Control
After she becomes Director, Jesse Faden becomes privy to apparitions of the recently-deceased former Director, Zachariah Trench, speaking to her in fragmented messages. Jesse traverses the Executive Sector in order to reach the Hotline, which will allow her to "communicate" with Trench (and the Board) in full. She is ultimately able to reach the Hotline Chamber and bind the Hotline to herself, and she begins to receive messages from both the Board and the final thoughts of the deceased Trench as she traverses the Oldest House.
Events of AWE
Much later on during the Hiss invasion, Jesse receives an apparition of Alan Wake, a missing author and person of special interest to the Bureau centrally involved in the Bright Falls AWE, through the Hotline. Determining that Wake needs her help, she follows his messages and is led to the sealed Investigations Sector, guided by Alan to reclaim the sector from the monster loose inside.
Events of The Foundation
After turning off the Slide Projector and ending the effective Hiss invasion, Jesse receives an apparition of the recently-disappeared Helen Marshall through the Hotline. Understanding that the Hotline only connects her to entities who are in other planes of existence or are deceased, Jesse sets off to search for Marshall, which takes her into a long-forgotten area of the Oldest House: the Foundation.
The following are known parautilitarians who have bound this object to themselves at some point:
During the Hotline Astral Plane Challenge, the Black Pyramid can be seen hovering directly over the Hotline, showing how the Object connects the Director to the Board. This is the only time the Pyramid can actually be approached (even if it still can't actually be reached.)
|Altered Items / Objects of Power|
|Objects of Power||Service Weapon • Hotline • Floppy Disk • Benicoff TV • Songmaster Jukebox • Ashtray and Cigarette • Slide Projector • Merry-Go-Round Horse • X-Ray Light Box • Home Safe|
|Altered Items||The Oscillator • Game Hammer • Waist Mannequin • Arctic Queen • Ocelot's Anchor • Smoking Pram • Holiday Memories Tree • Swan Boat • Jasper Post Box • Arcade Cabinets • Guru Surfboard • Pink Flamingo • Maneki-neko Statue • Red Light • Rubber Duck • Simulacrum • Bremen Basket • "Get Well Soon" Balloon • Victorian Mirror • Human Hand Chair • Ramen Lantern • Wolff Globe • Oh Deer Diner Coffee Thermos • Moving Letters • Eagle Limited Train Car • Movie Camera • Vending Machine • Cowboy boot • Burrough Tractor • Typewritten Page • Crowbar • Chain Letter Post Box|