The Mainland Communications Station, or The Flame, is the fourth of six stations built by the DHARMA Initiative. This station was revealed in "Enter 77." The Flame is roughly two days' walk from the Oceanic beach camp.
The purpose of the Flame was to serve as a communications point with the outside world. The compound housed a satellite dish to accomplish this mission, but it also served as a hub for the DHARMATEL Intranet. Cabling ran underground from the Flame to the other DHARMA Initiative stations present on the island. One such cable ran into the ocean, as seen in "Solitary", to an underwater beacon which emitted sonar pings. These sonar pings were used to guide in submarines. This beacon was part of another DHARMA Initiative station called The Looking Glass, which is located underwater.
The Flame is about a two day's walk from the Oceanic survivor's beach camp. The compound contained the main building with a satellite dish, and it contained a small and rather rudimentary farm. The building provided fairly comfortable living conditions with electricity, refrigeration and even the means to produce ice cubes. One room was dedicated to the computer systems necessary to run the communications equipment, and a hidden hatch led to the basement of The Flame. Electrical and data cabling run from the station to the barracks.
The station was under the control of the Others, notably a man calling himself Mikhail Bakunin, when it was discovered by Sayid Jarah, John Locke, Kate Austen and Danielle Rousseau. In the basement they found Beatrice Klugh, who ordered Mikhail to kill her. When he reluctantly obeyed the order, he attempted to kill himself but was stopped. The Others were apparently using the station to contact the outside world and gather information, such as the dossier on Jack Shephard that was collected for his stay at The Hydra. However, the activation of The Swan's fail-safe device supposedly triggered an electromagnetic pulse which rendered The Flame's communication systems inoperable. Mikhail believed this was the cause of their communications problems, but the true culprit was the jamming equipment housed inside The Looking Glass which was turned on in secret by Benjamin Linus.
The main room on the ground floor of The Flame contained a spacious living area. Several couches, coffee tables and chairs were present. Numerous lamps were placed around this living area, providing ample lighting. A fan was present for air conditioning. Several bookcases were found packed with books, and even a couple of paintings were hung on the sparse walls. A hatch to the basement was present in this area, concealed with a rug.
Connected to the living area was a large kitchen. It contained an old refrigerator, a lot of counter space, a cutting table, sinks, wooden pantry, freezer with large chunks of meat, numerous pots and pans, and a large quantity of DHARMA branded food.
Connected to the living area was a computer room. The room housed a large number of varying electronics equipment including magnetic tape drives and an active computer terminal. The computer was of a later model than the one present inside The Swan and The Pearl, notably having a color monitor. A CCTV surveillance camera was perched above, and aimed at, the computer. This computer was found running a chess program that Mikhail claimed was programmed by three Grand Masters and also cheated. Locke was able to defeat the program which in turned triggered a manual override program. Dr. Marvin Candle appeared, offering the following code selections:
- 24 - Pallet Drop
- 32 - Station Uplink
- 38 - Mainland Communication
- 56 - Sonar Access
- 77 - Hostile Incursion
Code 77 was only offered after Mainland Communication and Sonar Access failed due to the satellite dish and sonar being inoperable, respectively. If there had been an incursion on the station by the "hostiles" — the Others — then Candle said to enter "77" into the computer. Code 77 triggered a time-delayed detonation of C4 explosives planted in the basement of The Flame.
The room also contained a monitor bank of six monitors with an associated control panel. The controls allowed a user to uplink with sources outside of the island. Mikhail used this equipment to monitor news reports of the disappearance of Oceanic flight 815 and to compile information on all 325 passengers for Benjamin Linus. At Ben's behest, Mikhail also used the equipment to uplink to Richard Alpert off the island. Alpert provided a live video feed of Juliet Burke's sister, Rachel, so Ben could prove to Juliet that Rachel was cured off her cancer.
Access into The Flame's basement was through a hatch in the floor of the living area and down a ladder. The basement contained rooms with shelves full of cardboard boxes for files and DHARMA manuals, such as a DHARMA Initiative Food Drop Protocol manual and a DHARMA Initiative Operations Manual, and a rack of jumpsuits bearing the Flame logo. The basement was wired with C4 explosives.