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DeathByGrotz

Reverse-engineering a space marine

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-->Warning, thread content may be ultra-heretical. <--

 

It's come up, occassionally, from time to time, especially from the Tzeenchan/Dark Mechanicum front: Would it not be possible, if not perfectly feasable, for chaos to reverse engineer the space marine process?

 

Looking at the mutations table, one could even note a striking similarity between various mutations and what a space marine gets as additional organs. Chaos Organs, spitting acid. Is it mentioned in fluff how far the emperor's sorcery and how far science went in their creation anywhere?  At first glance, it destinctly looks like what the emperor did was synthesise common warp mutations in labs and attempt to make them stable enough for constant, frequent reuse (which would imply the geneseed corruption isn't direct divine intervention, but rather the result of his own chosen method).

 

So, two questions I suppose: Is there any definitive canon I'm missing on the creation of space marines (I am notoriously ignorant of novels, for example)?

 

and

 

Would it be feasably possible for Tzeenchan sorcerers and magi biologi to recreate the process from scratch? What would they discover when cutting open marines and analysing their organism?

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The thing about the creation of a space marine from what I understand is that they need geneseed to do it, the thing in the progenoid glands. This contains the template for growing the organs and implanting them into the new host.

 

The only problem with the plan is that Chaos geneseed tends to end up mutated or corrupted due to their exposure to the warp which basically means its useless. This is why it does mention that Chaos marine do try to acquire samples of geneseed where possible from uncorrupted sources to try and create new chaos space marines. 

Edited by Calgor Grim
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space marine organs are bionic implants and not mutations, as far as I know. Of course it can mutate, be corrupted and such. From the Dark Mechaninus view point it could be easier to do servitors/demon engines to do the job of marines. From a sorcerer point of view conjure demons could be the easier solution. Mutation is a big roulette game where the gods decide the mutation and not you.  

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It's come up, occassionally, from time to time, especially from the Tzeenchan/Dark Mechanicum front: Would it not be possible, if not perfectly feasable, for chaos to reverse engineer the space marine process?

 

If you aim for becoming Fabius Bile kind of villain - that's one way you can do it. Actually, you might want to improve the base concept as you see fit - there are no techniques forbidden for you or experiments that are too dangerous to try.

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Is it mentioned in fluff how far the emperor's sorcery and how far science went in their creation anywhere? 

 

Depending on where you look, you could say the Emperor didn't actually have much to do with the Marines' creation and it was an entirely scientific process. Almost every source claims the Marines are his work, but at the same time all sources are potentially twisted by legend and mysticism, and it doesn't require much imagination to consider how, over the course of millennia, the Emperor simply ordering the Marines' creation could, in Imperial folklore and propaganda, turn into the Emperor making them single-handedly.

 

There's an ooold story from White Dwarf #98 on the Space Marines' creation that doesn't really paint the Emperor as the omniscient superman he gets portrayed as in the novels ...

 

The visitors waited in the elevator capsule whilst hidden pumps silently adjusted the temperature, humidity and pressure. When the doors opened there would be no sudden draught. No breeze to alter the constant thirty-one point seven degrees in the subterranean vault. In laboratory nine, the most stable environment on earth, chance had long since been eradicated.

Inside the laboratory, Dr Devam Outek and his staff shuffled nervously as machines made final miniscule adjustments to the capsule's oxygen content. In a moment they would be in the presence of the man who had planned and guided their work through five generations of human endeavour.
The visitors, sealed in their pristine suits, barely heard the doors move aside to reveal the shadowy world of red and yellow light. The technicians and scientists bowed as their visitors stepped from the lift.
'My emperor,' intoned Dr Outek.
'Dr Outek. Phase nineteen is complete?'
The scientist straightened stiffly. 'Oh yes,' he said, 'a pretty baby... Very pretty indeed.'
 
[...]
 
'...And here,' continued Dr Outek, 'we have five of the phase eleven zygotes. The eldest has now been functioning uninterrupted for fourteen years.' The doctor gestured towards the row of glowing incubators containing several varieties of organic components in clear bubbling baths.
'You call the organs zygotes?'
'Yes - our geneticists create the single germ cell for each new organ. Every cell takes years of work as you know. At that stage we can store the cells indefinitely in the zero-room as gene-seed. Inside the incubator we can activate and control the growth process. The cell divides, multiplies, and eventually grows into a whole organ. Until the organ is ready for implant. we refer to it as a zygote.'
The doctor led the party along the long row of glass cases, past incubators labelled with the names of the strange organs. He stopped before a large door emblazoned with the Imperial Eagle and the stark sign 'Security Zone One'.
'Now,' announced the doctor. 'Now you'll see what all this flesh and gristle really amounts to!'

 
Furthermore, WD #260 featured an article about the Cursed Founding as part of the Index Astartes series, and apparently the Inquisition at one point tried to create new Primarchs. However, Chaos happened and the only successful prototype is now on the loose after slaughtering its way through the station personnel. I think this might provide good inspiration, or even a tie-in for a Black Crusade campaign.
 

Log Entry No: 23 -- Project Homo Sapiens Novus continues to meet with further success and I believe that within the next few accelerated evolutionary iterations we may achieve ...... goal of recreating the [fragment destroyed] and imbue them with psychically attuned minds to resist the .................. of Chaos. That we may follow in the footsteps of our Glorious Emperor fills me with pride and that my name may be spoken of in the same breath is an honour I can scarce believe.

 

 

So, two questions I suppose: Is there any definitive canon I'm missing on the creation of space marines (I am notoriously ignorant of novels, for example)?

 

GW says canon is overrated. ;)

Edited by Lynata

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Creating the Astartes was more or less entirely science and consisted mostly of advanced genetic/biological engineering.

Creating the Primarchs, however, was/is reputedly a blend of both science and spiritual bioengineering on the part of the Emperor.

 

 

Entertainingly, however, the Astartes are too far from Human norms for Ancient Human (aka DAoT stuff) technology to recognize them as human.

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Creating the Primarchs, however, was/is reputedly a blend of both science and spiritual bioengineering on the part of the Emperor.

 

Well, depending on where you look. Personally, I find the above-quoted White Dwarf background to be more interesting - and more grimdark, as it hints at a monumental amount of historical revisionism (which is also mentioned in the 6E rulebook's timeline intro).

 

It's a matter of preferences, though, meaning how much fantasy each of us likes in their 40k. ;)

 

Entertainingly, however, the Astartes are too far from Human norms for Ancient Human (aka DAoT stuff) technology to recognize them as human.

 

The 2E SoB Codex featured an interesting fluff-box about this very issue!

 

"[...] Also it is a matter of debate whether the Space Marines are truly human at all. Their genetically engineered bodies are far superior to a normal human, enough to make them a separate race if one wished to interpret their differences so. How can any self-respecting Confessor or Cardinal relate to a monstrous giant who can spit acid, crush a mans skull with one hand and practises crude acts of blood sacrifice?" 
- 2E C:SoB 
Edited by Lynata
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There is a fantastic line in the fantastic SoB book Hammer and Anvil, where a Cannoness basically calls Space Marines (and I quote): "A collection of transhumanism obsessed savages and underhive gangers who wouldn't understand true faith if it bit them in the ass." 

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Entertainingly, however, the Astartes are too far from Human norms for Ancient Human (aka DAoT stuff) technology to recognize them as human.

 

The 2E SoB Codex featured an interesting fluff-box about this very issue!

 

"[...] Also it is a matter of debate whether the Space Marines are truly human at all. Their genetically engineered bodies are far superior to a normal human, enough to make them a separate race if one wished to interpret their differences so. How can any self-respecting Confessor or Cardinal relate to a monstrous giant who can spit acid, crush a mans skull with one hand and practises crude acts of blood sacrifice?" 
- 2E C:SoB 

 

 

Plus there's a bit of fluff - I don't remember where from - where the Astartes landed on a planet and encountered automated guardian systems that attacked them, and when they finished smashing them all and could poke around, found out that the place was a now uninhabited former human holding, and the guardians attacked them because they couldn't tell the Astartes were human.

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Plus there's a bit of fluff - I don't remember where from - where the Astartes landed on a planet and encountered automated guardian systems that attacked them, and when they finished smashing them all and could poke around, found out that the place was a now uninhabited former human holding, and the guardians attacked them because they couldn't tell the Astartes were human.

 

Heh, not a bad idea, actually. Would also work on ogryns, ratlings and other abhumans, I suppose. ;)

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Creating the Primarchs, however, was/is reputedly a blend of both science and spiritual bioengineering on the part of the Emperor.

 

Well, depending on where you look. Personally, I find the above-quoted White Dwarf background to be more interesting - and more grimdark, as it hints at a monumental amount of historical revisionism (which is also mentioned in the 6E rulebook's timeline intro).

 

It's a matter of preferences, though, meaning how much fantasy each of us likes in their 40k. ;)

 

Entertainingly, however, the Astartes are too far from Human norms for Ancient Human (aka DAoT stuff) technology to recognize them as human.

 

The 2E SoB Codex featured an interesting fluff-box about this very issue!

 

"[...] Also it is a matter of debate whether the Space Marines are truly human at all. Their genetically engineered bodies are far superior to a normal human, enough to make them a separate race if one wished to interpret their differences so. How can any self-respecting Confessor or Cardinal relate to a monstrous giant who can spit acid, crush a mans skull with one hand and practises crude acts of blood sacrifice?" 
- 2E C:SoB 

 

Well, they most likely wouldn't be considered human anymore due to the changes to their DNA. Species are defined by the ability to copulate and have virile offspring. I've never heard of a space marine having children with anyone, chaos or otherwise so it's very possible they're simply not capable.

Attempts to make changes to space marine genome's have been tried before and works to an extent, but trying to make changes to "core" problems, like curse of the lycan has always ended in failure. So far only the emperor has been able to have such control in bioengineering.

CSM already create their own space marines, a rather horrific process that takes place in the eye of terror. If this is what you're talking about I can see if I can't hunt down the source.

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Creating one's own marines is one of the current heretical goals, yes. We're seeking to expand our military firepower with a core group of "trustworthy" assets, or trustworthier than the usual merc group, and sufficiently indoctrinated feral worlders with a more or less clean genome are something we intend to use as a basis for the new marines, once we actually figure out "how".

 

The emprah needing the foundation of a solid research group as mentioned above is something we liked, because it will give us more plot points and goals to fulfill, and acquiring these assets can be done in a variety of ways, all of which come with strings attached somehow. The point on changes to the human genome is an interesting one. It definitely applies to the heretics as well, which will make eventual digs/raids of dark ages facilities...more interesting :D

 

So yes, this has been very helpful so far! Thanks bunches!

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Fabius Bile has been doing that (reverse engineering/experimenting on SM) since the horus heresy.

Altough he used to be Emperors children, but nowadays is a renegade from his own legion. Who hires his services to chaos warbands in exchange for data, equipment and slaves to experiment on.

 

If you want to create your own marines

if no one else can help

and if you can find him

maybe you can hire

Fabius Bile.

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