The (Mad) Scientist and His Army of the Second Law
You may well ask why and if you haven't seen my P&M blog then I'll explain it briefly here.
When thinking about what I wanted to do in terms of an army, and before I knew much about the 40k universe, I always liked the idea of Chaos, as the concept of a chaotic army sounded perfect for how I would expect myself to play and it sounded fun.
However, when I started looking into the army composition I noticed that it wasn't really the composition that was chaotic and in fact the armies of Chaos (like all other armies) was very structured.
In fact Orks seem to be the most chaotic of the armies but there is still too many similarities from model to model (for me).
Don't get me wrong, this makes a lot of sense for a game and I understand that.
But I wanted a really chaotic army and decided that, as I wasn't going to be playing any time soon and I am more of a painter/modeller, I would go all out to make the most chaotic army possible.
With this in mind I started thinking about a little reasoning behind why an army like what I was envisioning would exist.
The first question I asked myself was: What is chaos? Coming from a science background I inevitibly answered "Entropy", which is the measure of the degree of disorder (Chaos). The scientific theory that deals with entropy is the second law of thermodynamics (I'll let you type that into your preferred internet encyclopaedia if you are really interested) and that, therefore, gave me the name of my army.
Once I had a name for my proposed army I needed a reason why it existed. I knew people would ask "why are all your models different?" and I needed a better answer than "I just felt like it". I felt it needed a reason within the universe and started to think how an army could be formed of different races that until recently would kill each other on sight and who would do this.
"Who" was easy: All the best crazy and chaotic ideas and plans come from your typical mad scientists. So I had my leader and figurehead.
You may be wondering why he is The (Mad) Scientist and not A mad scientist. This is purely so I didn't need to create a name for him that would place him in any particular race or region and could be somewhat faceless.
The Brackets are due to the fact that he refers to himself as "The Scientist" and the (Mad) is added just so you know.
"How" was more difficult. The beauty of being in a universe 40000ish years in the future is that anything is possible and I decided to keep it simple; I'll brainwash them all, job done.
Or so I thought. This simple excuse has blossomed into a fairly large ball of fluff. This means that a simple explaination now takes a considerable amount of time to explain. I have been adding bits and pieces of the fluff to my P&M blog as I go along, but it's now getting complicated as to what I have told you and what I haven't yet. So I thought I'd put it into one place, together, without any distractions, and with some structure (It's surprising how much structure is required to construct something that's supposed to have little structure). And while I'm at it, I may start to turn this into a Codex: The (Mad) Scientist's Army, complete with rules and, of course, the background.
Codex: The (Mad) Scientist's Army of the Second Law.
The savant awoke in his bed chamber, a tantalising glimpse of a dream fading as he sat up;
"We want information...information..."
"Who are you?"
"...You are number 6..."
The last of the dream faded as the savant whispered to himself "I am not a number..."
He forgot about the dream and prepared himself for the work ahead of him, he had to go into the archives and process the latest data received from across the galaxy. He was not the only savant working on this, there were many men who spent the vast majority of a standard day processing and cataloguing incoming data. Today though, he somehow felt more alone than usual as he took his place in front of the cogitator.
As was usual, he took a deep breath and muttered a prayer to the Emperor before connecting the multi-stranded, purity-sealed cable from the socket at his temple to the cogitator and began to access the databank. What wasn't normal was the strange feeling of warmth that started at the back of the savant's skull and slowly spread forward as if his head was slowly being immersed in warm water.
Before he knew what it was, the muscles in his neck jerked slightly to the left and his whole body froze. His consciousness however was unaffected and he watched as his right hand moved by itself and started to type commands into the cogitator, there was nothing the savant could do to stop it, he could do nothing but watch with horror as his body accessed the mainframe of the archive.
Then, as if something had unlocked in his mind the savant knew what was happening, it was like remembering something that you didn't even remember that you knew or had known.
But still, the savant could only watch as a small piece of AI intelligence was transferred from his own mind into the database. Immediately alarms started sounding and the savant could hear people rushing and shouting in the room around him. And still, the savant could only watch as his hand laid false leads and covered tracks, burying the AI deep in the mainframe.
He watched intently, trying to remember all the steps so he could lead others to it, to remove it, to destroy it, before it could do what he knew it would do. If that AI could not be found quickly it would transmit the entire contents of the imperial archive to whomever it was that had implanted this thing in his head. He could not allow this to happen, but he could not move.
The savant heard the noises of people approaching him from behind and then felt a hand on his shoulder. His hand stopped moving, he could just about sense that someone was talking to him but could not tell what the words were. Then his whole body shook, he stood up and then everything went black and the savant knew no more.
Excerpt from an interview following the incident:
"What happened next?"
"We traced the illegal access to the savant concerned and approached him with caution, he would not respond and then he stood up..."
"...he...he screamed...I can still hear it now, it was inhuman...and then...and...then his head exploded"
"Hmm, the blast injured many people, not least yourself, could information be found from the remains?"
"N...none sir, his entire cranium was atomised and we could find no trace of what it was that he was doing on the mainframe"
"Keep looking, there must be something, he did something"
In the deep-space radio-frequency inspection suite of the Ordo Xenos:
The acolyte in charge of the scanning equipment picked up a weak signal that, at first, appeared to come from Mars; but was found to have been bounced through many systems on many allied planets before being directed at Terra. After scans and checks for safety of the signal itself, a recording was sent to the Inquisitor-in-charge for assessment. This is what he saw:
The signal was decoded into a video format and the initial frames showed one end of a room with wooden panelling on the walls, some metal filing cabinets that look like a guardsman had spent 15 minutes introducing it to the blunt end of his Lasgun, and two pictures on the wall. One picture showed an underwater photograph of a large water-bound mammal seemingly minding it's own business. The other was a painting that showed, in the lower left corner of the canvas, a beautiful woman standing at a fence-like structure that came up to her hip and in the background, a huge battle scene complete with large explosions, tanks, troops and blood and gore where possible; this was clearly the focus for the painter and took up the majority of the space in the picture's frame. In front of all this was a desk made of a dark, red-ish, wood. The desk was clearly well used, but well loved, as it was highly polished but worn at the edges. On top of the desk were untidy piles of paper a few test-tubes in a rack containing various liquids of differing colours, writing equipment and various clutter including a bowl with a plant in it. The plant was in flower and was displaying small, bright, flowers of many colours.
As the Inquisitor regarded this view a figure walked into the scene and seated himself at the desk. This person was wearing a white lab-coat with many tools and pieces of equipment hanging out the pockets, opening the lab-coat to sit down he revealed that he was wearing a brightly coloured shirt underneath and khaki shorts with extra pockets (also bulging with tools etc...). On his head, the person was wearing a very badly made mask of a man's face with wild grey hair. After sitting at the desk for a short while, the figure held up a sign on a stick that had been laying on the desk, which said "Allow me to make myself more comfortable?", the question mark was emphasized. The figure threw the sign over his shoulder and pulled the mask off his head to reveal that his face looked exactly like that which the mask had been representing badly, the figure smiled widely and addressed the camera...
"Hello. If my calculations are correct you should be reading this at 15:34 local time, if not, your clock is wrong or your subordinate is not working hard enough. Ha Ha."
The Inquisitor glanced at a clock in his office and it read 15:35, he frowned.
"I'm sending you this message to inform you of what is wrong with the Universe. You may think that this Galaxy is messed up, but it's nothing, a tiny speck of dust compared to the Universe, so insignificant that it may as well be named after a chocolate bar for all the difference it makes. Ha Ha. It can and it will get worse if nothing is done now."
The Inquisitor thought about stopping the video and doing something more important, like going for a leak, but the next thing the figure said, and the way it was said, stopped him in his tracks and he forgot all about his bladder.
"I know, Inquisitor Vrek, what is wrong with everything and how to prevent the problems the galaxy is having with these warp incursions and the endless fighting. I can stop the problems you have with your enemies and return the Galaxy and the Universe to a favourable equilibrium."
Inquisitor Vrek had to rewind the video to make sure he didn't just imagine or mishear that this strange man had used his name, there was no way that this nobody could have known that this video would find it's way to him and at a time that he also seemed to know...
The video continued "You are likely thinking, what does this man know that we don't, and you are right to be sceptical. But I know, for want of a better word, everything."
He reached out and prodded the plant on his desk. "Take this petunia for instance. Sat in it's bowl, not a care in the galaxy you might think. BUT..." said the man, raising his voice "...You'd be wrong. I know what it knows. I have... methods... that allow me to read, record and implant the knowledge and memories of ANY living creature, and I have."
The bowl of petunias thought to itself "Oh no, not again"
The man on the video leant forward and whispered to the plant "Yes, this again"
Sitting up and looking back at the camera he continued calmly, while caressing a leaf, "You see Vrek, I know what this plant knows, and from that I know what it is thinking. But I won't bother you with the philosophy of a petunia, it's not something you would understand" with that, the man pushes the bowl off the desk and a smash is clearly heard on the video. Inquisitor Vrek felt himself relax a little.
"You want to know how to stop those nasty, filthy xenos and daemons and their accomplices from making a mess of your imperium. I can help, you see. I have extensive knowledge from every corner of the galaxy, every race, every species and I even have a contact on the other side. You would like him, he's bright and shiny and a smashing chap, very talkative. I know their plans, their motives, their drives... and their weaknesses. This information would be incredibly useful in anyone's hands as I'm sure you'd agree." Vrek felt himself nod gently in agreement.
The man shifted himself in his chair. Inquisitor Vrek, now didn't move a muscle even as a small fly landed on his cheek and a bead of sweat ran down the side of his nose. He felt comfortably numb.
"So we come to the nitty-gritty, the point, the deal..." the man lifts a small orb from within his desk "This, is what you want. It will allow you access to the information that I have collected. However, I couldn't just stick this in a box and risk some courier being waylaid and shot in the head over. No, I could only hand this over in person, to someone of your stature. I have included with this transmission, the data to find a small star-system where I'll be awaiting your arrival. To access this data you will need the passwords, they are your mother's maiden name and your first servitor's name, that should be plenty secure enough...Ha ha."
The figure started to rise and then sat down again heavily "Oh, and one final thing, I'm sure I don't need to tell you, but bring all the assistance and security that you feel necessary for the gravity of this information. I'll be waiting."
There was a pause and the figure appeared to be contemplating something. Then with a click of his fingers he reached below the desk and retrieved a large revolver which he aimed at the camera and fired. The video stopped with blackness.
Inquisitor Vrek sat in silence for a while and then seemed to come out of a dream with a start. He reached for the comm' device on his desk and set about arranging for troops and transport to the star-system in question...
About the Army of the Second Law:
Shortly after the Zeist Campaign (999.M41) a small but diffuse cluster of star systems in an area of Ultramar and previously known to harbour civilisations was found by members of the Ultramarine chapter to be devoid of all sentient life. It was thought that this might be due to the Tau or Tyranid infestation, but upon inspection the destruction was not typical of either race.
The only remaining signs that a planet or it's moons had supported a thriving civilisation was the crumbling remains of their structures and buildings. All machinery, resources and, more perplexing, any traces of the bodies of man or animal were absent. The plant life however, was thriving. From studying the degree to which the flora had encroached and covered the ruins of once great civilisations, it could be calculated that these planets had been deserted for centuries and no clue was given as to where or why all the people and fauna had gone. The greatest mystery was that one planet, near the middle of this cluster of star-systems, was completely missing and records showed that nothing has been written about this planet since early M35.
Unknown to the Imperial forces that found this mystery, the missing planet was not missing, but hidden to their instruments, their psykers and their naked eyes. This was the home of the Army of the Second Law.
Headed by The (Mad) Scientist, who's name is long forgotten, even by him. A genius left alone on a planet wiped clean of all sentient life by one of his experiments (in M35); an experiment that granted him a form of immortality and the collective knowledge and memories of the whole planet, he was slowly driven mad by this knowledge and loneliness while perfecting his techniques and experiments over thousands of years, on the surrounding star-systems.
The Scientist's Personal Journal entries:
Tomorrow I shall perform an historic experiment. The past decades of my life have led up to this point. I have detailed my previous experiments of knowledge sharing. There have been set backs, of course, but recent results with small mammals has shown that it is possible to take the knowledge of one or many individuals and implant it into others of the same or different species with no ill affects. I have scaled these experiments up to large groups and implanted many lifetimes worth of experience into one individual, officially a simple primate, unofficially... myself.
If tomorrows experiment works as I have calculated I will implant the knowledge of everyone and everything within range of my transmitter into my mind. This will increase my (already substantial) intelligence exponentially and I will instantly "learn" all the skills of anyone within a 50 mile radius as if I had spent years mastering them myself.
Not only will I be hailed as a genius, I will become a genius the likes of which has never been seen.
I will then be able to perfect the equipment for the application of helping those that are, shall we say, a bit dumb. Also, learning skills and knowledge will merely be a matter of sitting in a chamber and having the required knowledge implanted. Maybe I'll be able to overcome the problem of brain damage when too much information in implanted into a brain that cannot take it. Sadly, at first, some people will not be able to become instant genius', but everyone can be improved to greater or lesser extents.
I am leaving this journal, together with my notebooks, in case something should go wrong with today's experiment, the probability of failure or worse is minimal. If someone should find this, follow my footsteps carefully, many things can go wrong with knowledge transfer... Zero hour approaches, there's no turning back now.
I KNOW EVERYTHING!!! There was an electrical storm that was nearby that I didn't know about at the time, that was stupid of me, I should have read the signs. It boosted and deflected the signal I used and I have absorbed the memories and knowledge of every single living being on the planet... My initial calculations showed that even I would not be able to absorb so much knowledge but they were wrong, I see that now, and I see that with minor modifications to my equipment (most of which I have already performed in the past two days) I can implant much more information into any brain, it just requires the correct compression and a little reprogramming of the memory centres. I can't wait to publish these results, no one believed and will not believe what is possible (I know, you see). But it is now undeniable, I have proof... I even know what it's like to be a blade of grass in a freshly mown lawn, the pain... the pain...
Ha Ha. There's no one left. They all went bye-bye. My transference of their knowledge was too complete. Ha Ha. Every mind on the planet was wiped clean. They all just dropped dead without knowing what was happening, who they were, what they were or even how to breath. Boom, gone, dead. He He. I'm all alone. Not that I need anyone, I know what any one of them would say or do in any circumstance. Indeed, that is correct... You see? Some of them, would agree.
I had forgotten about this journal. I've been busy. Busy busy bee me... yes, ah Ha, He He. I have vastly improved my knowledge transfer equipment. I have found that it is more efficient to read the knowledge from a dead mind, or more precisely, a non-sentient mind. All the flora of the planet happily carried on as if nothing had happened while all the fauna was wiped clean. Except, that is, for dead bodies... already dead bodies.
Having implanted the memories of some people I found in the street outside, that had been alive at the time, I found that the only memories they had were of the short time between having their mind wiped and dropping dead, fascinating, Ha HA. I tried the same with some bodies in a morgue and found that all their memories were intact AND I had already implanted those memories from the initial experiment.
As for improvement to my equipment, I have refined it so that it will not mind-wipe anyone again (or at least not by accident, Ha Ha). He He, and I can now store the knowledge I glean artificially as well. I have taken it upon myself to transfer my own knowledge and memories to storage as well, on a regular basis, as data and not as inefficient words like this journal. I will then be able to implant whatever knowledge is required into anyone or anything I choose, no need to explain anything to anyone again.
He developed an obsession for "true" chaos, through the study of the natural increase in the disorder of his home world as the familiar surroundings of a once great civilised (ordered) planet crumbled to dust to be replaced by the randomness (chaos) of the untouched flora of the planet.
Weeeeell well, hellooo what is this? My old journal. Not seen much use for a while have you? No, of course not, you can't talk. Only the voices talk, that's what voices do, that's what they are for. No, I know that... I know everything of course, you should know that... Where was I? Yes, I was about to create my latest entry in my journal, keep it up to date, yes. Ha Ha.
I have been sending out my robotic probes across the planet to find and return with news and equipment and materials, they don't talk either, no point in making them talk, just record and download to the mainframe here. I can implant it later, yes I do. Latest experiments are progressing well, but I need to acquire the materials. He He. Ho He. Ha Ha. What would a butterfly do? wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwdgrtthhggggh, Oh! I see.
What was once Order is no more. Straight is now bent, clean is now dirty, inorganic is now organic... Kind of, Ha Ha. Without civilisation here to trim and tidy and arrange, nature has fought back, the universe guides. The flora has moved into the cities and towns and walls have broken and collapsed. This is how it should be. It is beautiful.
I have calculated the increase in entropy of the whole planet, yes I have, and I have shown that this increase has led to greater stability in the planet and the surrounding space. The degree of disorder, you see, is directly proportional to the stability of space-time as the voices had told me. I didn't believe them at first, it made no scientific sense, but now, I have calculated it. I have proof.
Somehow, possibly due to him being the only living being in the star system, he was overlooked by the Chaos gods. He was therefore persuaded in his madness by the voices in his head that a fictitious god of disorder had tasked him with fighting the tide of order and uniformity created by the habitation of sentient beings throughout the galaxy. He had therefore to increase the disorder in the universe to a level he believed was appropriate and that the very nature of the universe tended towards without the structure and order brought about by civilisation. Without his help, he believed, the universe would die when the "unnatural" levels of order became too great for nature to function normally.
The plans are ready. I am ready. The universe is ready. It is time to set in motion what will bring stability to the universe. The order that has resulted from civilisations is tearing the universe apart and they don't see it, no they don't, do they? No.
A hole appears in space and they try to fight what comes through it. They don't know that it's space-time itself, fighting back against the Order that they have created. But I know. I know what needs to be done. I have been chosen. By Him. The God of everything. The God of nothing. The God of nature. Nature is random, it is disordered. It must ALWAYS become more disordered... It's the LAW.
Entropy must increase or the universe will be destroyed. He has told me. It took so long for me to see it, to hear what he was saying. But I HEAR you now. I will obey. I am the chosen. I will raise an army to break the Order. To spread Disorder. I must prepare...
I realise now that I am the catalyst, the universe is the flask and all the people and the beasties and the flowers and trees and the rocks and... everything else are the reactants waiting to become the products. They are all thermodynamically unstable and ready to change and yet kinetically inert, they try to change themselves but it is slow and they are destined to potentially wait forever without my guidance, I will help them blossom into the new forms determined for them. I offer myself up to speed the change and save the universe and as the catalyst I will not be consumed or changed and will remain, forever in my special sub-stoichiometric splendour.
He does not believe that all life should be destroyed, just that the structure of the various societies should be disrupted and randomised to allow nature to take it's course. Any that stand in his way, however, will die. After all, he's on a mission from god.
He therefore set about planning to build an army to spread death and destruction from one world to the next, destroying infrastructures and spreading "true" chaos, the greater the degree of destruction the better for disorder. An ordered and regimented army, however, just wouldn't do and he set about it's creation as he did for any of his experiments, by bringing together random pieces or elements and mixing them up in one pot.
He ensnared a drifting space hulk (possibly as early as M36), with a kind of tractor beam he invented solely for the purpose, and brought it in to crash into the planets surface killing nearly all life aboard which consisted of a large population of Tyranids and a small band of space marines that were exploring the hulk at the time together with their support craft. The survivors were left to die on their own or picked off by robotic drones created, but disliked due to their lack of disorder, by The Scientist.
The hulk, a collection of ancient and more recent spacecraft, granted The Scientist access (using the robotic probes he designed and built, themselves from ancient knowledge) to the raw material he required to start his army, body parts. He also discovered a vast collection of wargear, equipment and STC data aboard the hulk.
I am ready. Readyreadyready. Yesyesyes. Ha Ha. They are coming. As was foretold by him... or was it me? I knew they would come. A great spaceship. Filled with all I need to Start my mission. It's coming. I am ready. It will land in the desert. All wrapped in metal, a lovely present for meeeee. He He. I have my robots ready to retrieve the raw materials for my army, The Army of The Second Law. And then I will set my plan in motion. They are coming. They are coming...
He set about rebuilding whole bodies from what he found and learning about the unique biology of the various species from dissection and by absorbing the knowledge and memories of the dead.
Using all manner of techniques he persuaded, tortured, and brainwashed the reanimated, disembodied, heads of the creatures and humans to follow his command and believe in what he believed. He also implanted small bioelectronic devices into the skulls of his army that would allow the various species to recognise each other as "friends", either directly or by a sort of hallucination to disguise the different, hostile, species. Anyone else, therefore, was recognised as the enemy in a similar way.
He could then breath life back into the reassembled bodies and use extracted DNA to clone further members of his army that could be brainwashed from scratch and trained by memory implants.
He then sent small scouting parties to raid other planets, particularly scenes of recent battles for fresh and diverse "raw materials" to increase his disordered army and to supply various pieces of hardware required for weapons and vehicles, ready to spread the word of randomness to the rest of the universe. He also utilised techniques to kidnap or lure "raw materials" directly to his planet in some cases.
He has also developed the transportation technology of the various species encountered through the universe to allow retrieval of equipment and "raw materials" from the battlefield so as to avoid loosing precious hardware and to acquire more from opponents during and after battle. His technology cannot be used to transport his army across the battlefield, only to transfer anything, with one of his transport gizmos attached, to his ship in orbit. All members of his army have a gizmo implanted together with the behaviour implant and all pieces of armour and weaponry have one or more of their own.
During or after battle The Scientist's minions will collect "raw materials" and equipment from the enemy, win or lose, he will always escape harm with the additional knowledge and materials to create more soldiers for his ever increasing (and increasingly random) army.
How The (Mad) Scientist recruited...
As the majority of the samples first obtained by The Scientist a lot of his early experiments were with these creatures. In probing the minds of the bodies recovered he learnt that they could easily be recruited to his army by careful direction of their hunger to consume all bio-matter and only required implants to prevent them attacking absolutely everything, for example, the other members of his army. However, to direct them he needed something more, a synapse creature.
He learnt of the hive mind and the way that a consciousness was spread throughout all the tyranids. The remains of a synapse creature was found within the crashed hulk, but was too badly damaged to be of direct use. It's DNA was therefore used to clone two new creatures; one to act as a general, to control the lesser tyranids on the battlefield and the other to disguise his own planet and base of operations from the hive mind, this second creature was vastly mutated for the purpose. A great deal of electronics were required to keep these two from realising that they were no longer working as part of the hive but against it.
Scientific Notes. Tyr213: An interesting species, the tyranids, they will kill and eat (if possible) any organic matter placed before them. They can learn to overcome obstacles, usually in the most destructive way possible, but they cannot be trained. For example; Hormagaunt 03 was placed in an empty room that it could not escape from. It tried to escape by damaging the walls and floor for 3 days straight with little rest, truly remarkable stamina. Then suddenly it just stopped and went into a hibernation-like state and stayed like that seemingly indefinitely (300 days at least in tests).
The introduction of organic matter, be it in the shape of flora or fauna (animal or man) resulted in 03 instantly attacking and devouring all that it could. That is probably unremarkable and unsurprising, but when placed in similar circumstances where killing or eating the organic matter would result in a gentle shock (not quite enough to kill it, but should certainly discourage it); 03 would, without hesitation, kill and (attempt to) eat it's prey and would do this repeatedly. Even upping the shock and killing 03 would not teach it to leave the prey creature alone upon revival. You could probably teach an ork this simple lesson without much trouble, Note to self: Try this experiment with an ork.
SN-Tyr 245: Implanting the knowledge from the varied tyranid creatures found on board the hulk was an enlightening experience. I have learnt that they share a consciousness that is linked to much greater intellects over immense distances, I have been able to calculate the distance and judging by the information within these few samples I know when and where they expect to arrive (see 242-244 and the following entries).
I know that the vast majority of the tyranids are essentially mindless, driven only by instinct and the direction of the "hive mind", however there are a few larger specimens that have possession of their own faculties and act as a kind of booster or relay station for the "hive mind". I have one here and am in the process of cloning it. Once complete, one of the clones will serve to control the lesser tyranids and another one or two I'll use to shield my planet and army from the hive as I do electronically for other species' sensors.
SN-Tyr 462: From experiments on the genetic make up of these creatures I have discovered their big secret, it's remarkable where they originated from and how they "evolved" before they started on their "mission", the reasons for all this can only be guessed at.
Also, I have unlocked the ability to blend the genetics from one tyranid to another allowing me the ability to replace lost limbs and weapons for the more "damaged" soldiers with whatever I choose.
SN-Tyr 534: The majority of soldiers have accepted their implants, work well and do as commanded. A few have had problems with accepting their fate, as it were, and have caused minor problems requiring destruction by detonation of the brain implant (I have only been killed once and that was a lucky strike, the poor, deluded, little monster). The replacement clones have proved easier to work with as their mixed genetic code has allowed me to start with a blank slate.
Also found aboard the crashed hulk. Biologically easier to work with initially than the tyranids due to The Scientists greater knowledge of the human body. However, psychologically the marines were harder to break than the tyranids due to their religion and morals, but it was not impossible. Absorbing the individual knowledge and memory of each marine gave The Scientist the advantage of knowing their personal weaknesses and given time to work with their disembodied heads using physical and mental torture was able to make the marines susceptible to accept personal programmed delusions into their minds via The Scientist's bioelectronic implants. Each marine believed that they were still fighting for the Emperor and they were standing side by side with the other members of their original chapter.
The Last moments of Battle Brother Raymius.
Battle brother Raymius lay on his back, the battlefield was quiet now that the battle was over. Raymius thought back over what had happened, surrounded by the bodies of the fallen enemy and his battle brothers, they had fought bravely against overwhelming numbers of Tyranids. Raymius himself had slaughtered many of the vile creatures until something huge and black had come up behind him, he had reacted too slow and had paid the price for that mistake.
The thing had ripped him in two, Raymius could not now even see where his legs lay, he was covered in blood and from the waist down...missing. Raymius lay there, with the world around him coming and going to greyness, until he started to hear noises, movement, someone or something was picking over the bodies. Every now and then a strange noise, not unlike a thousand people quietly saying "wop" would float over the marine and then there would be more shuffling and rustling. Raymius opened his eyes as he heard the noise approach him, it was a Dire Avenger. Unmistakeable in it's blue armour and high helmet, the filthy Eldar scum was looting the corpses! If he had the strength, Raymius would teach the xeno a thing or two, but then he saw another figure... a marine... from the Imperial Fists! Why were they helping each other, and why would a marine stoop to looting corpses? Another shadow fell over Raymius, he could not see what it was, it bent over and placed something on his chest and then everything went black with a "wop".
As suddenly as it had gone black, it was immediately bright, strong lights positioned around a large metal-walled room, many more xeno scum were here, including Orks and they appeared to be stripping and sorting the equipment from the bodies. A shadow fell over Raymius again and a voice said "This one's still alive, got no legs, but still moving" another voice answered "He said that He would want to see any survivors, plug him into some support and send it to Him". Raymius was dragged from the room, down a narrow corridor and into a room where he was fitted with a life support system and placed on a glav-platform before being taken to meet whoever this "Him" was.
The first meeting between Raymius and The Scientist as he referred to himself, was strange to say the least. He was tall, for a normal human, thin and had messy grey hair and wild staring eyes. The Scientist wore a brightly coloured shirt (with flowers and strange trees on it) and khaki shorts with many bulging pockets with various tools and things hanging out here and there. Over these clothes The Scientist wore a white lab coat (open at the front for the moment) dirty, well used and with strange designs drawn over most of it, he would stand in front of the marine with his hands in the lab coat's pockets and stare intently at every part of what remained of Raymius, muttering to himself.
They then discussed The Scientists plans and ideals and it was clear to Raymius that he was insane. The discussion ended abruptly after The Scientist had mentioned his immortality and Raymius had scorned him and preached about the Emperor, The Scientist had said he would show him what was what and had Raymius taken to another room, empty save for a small stage at one end. Raymius was positioned facing the stage and the room's single door.
The Scientist entered the room followed by a huge mechanical monstrosity, 10 feet tall at least, all pistons and sharp angles. The Scientist spent a great deal of time describing how he would create some new legs for Raymius using a similar pattern to that of the machine. Raymius was not interested and would rather just be killed than brainwashed and mechanised by this madman.
After 2 or so hours, The Scientist then said he would show the marine something that would shake his faith in his "dead" emperor.
"Heretic" thought Raymius "I'll see you die a painful death for this" he said aloud.
The Scientist laughed at this for half an hour, breaking down into hysterics many times before saying "that is precisely why I have brought you here Raymius".
While the marine was still trying to remember when this madman had discovered his name, The Scientist asked "are you a god?",
Raymius answered "no" curtly,
"ha, but you believe your Emperor is? We shall see..." Without pause The Scientist shouted "KILL" and the machine suddenly sprouted all manner of sharp implements and blades, Raymius tensed but could not move.
He was not in danger though, the machine turned upon The Scientist and proceeded to tear him to pieces, blood and flesh were spread around the room in a flurry of violence. The screams of the madman (mixed with laughter) were still ringing in the marines ears when he was dragged from the room and taken to a holding chamber by some of the madman's lackeys.
It could not have been more than an hour after this that the door to the room he was in was opened and Raymius was struck dumb, he could not believe what he was looking at... The Scientist stood there, as clear as day, a huge grin on his face and not a scratch on his body.
"You see" The Scientist said, "I am truly immortal"
"What trick is this, that could not have been you in that room" Said Raymius
"Oh it was" said The Scientist.
They talked and Raymius questioned The Scientist about what had happened and could only conclude that he was present in the otherwise empty room. The Scientist even described what it felt like to be torn apart and Raymius knew what this was like as well.
"We are alike, you see? Both torn asunder and now both here" The Scientist said.
"I am not like you" Replied Raymius coldly
"No, indeed not. How rude of me, here I am uninjured and you still have no legs." Said The Scientist "where is your god emperor now, to bless you with new appendages? We both know where he is, you may call it a throne but it is a coffin. Is he here to save you from damnation? No. But I am here, I will always be here...Ha Ha. I will give you new legs, better legs and you will follow me to you next death and the death beyond that, again and again"
Raymius could not find the words to describe this man.
The Scientist continued "May I call you Ray?" and without waiting for a reply "Not that it matters, you will be number 11 soon. Well, Ray when someone asks if you are a god, you say YES! Ha Ha, well I do... What would your Emperor say? Oh nothing...because he's DEAD, HA HA!"
The Scientist left Raymius to the last of his thoughts and doubts before he receives the customary brainwash and conditioning. He was still laughing as the door slid shut behind him, "What is life anyway?" he said to himself "I think I'll go and check on the next bodies I'll have..."
In an office on one of the Imperial's frontier worlds:
A private conversation between a commander and a subordinate;
" Sir, you asked me to determine the delay with the repair work to the Predator..."
" Yes, why are they taking so long? We have already received all the other equipment that was sent with it, it wasn't heavily damaged if I recall correctly "
"No sir, it wasn't heavily damaged" He swallowed nervously.
" Well then, what's happened to it? "
"It's missing Sir..."
" Define... missing "
"Sir, they didn't receive it"
" WHAT? It was pulling the trailer that everything else was in, I saw it leave in the capable hands of one of our own marines. We already have all of that equipment back. How did the trailer and it's contents get to and from there...WITHOUT the predator that was pulling it? "
Mouth dryer than any known desert, he replied "We... don't know Sir"
" Well is someone finding out? Where's the marine that was driving? He might have noticed where the vehicle he was sat in had gone? "
"Ah, he's missing too sir, he...erm..."
" What is it? "
"Records show that the marine that was driving has... been dead for 5 months... Sir"
" I'm not going to like this, am I? Would you care to explain that, I shook his hand! "
"Sir, he was killed during our last major encounter with the Orks.
His body was never recovered, although several of the other battle brothers reported seeing him killed by concentrated Ork fire during the second wave of their attack.
However, after the battle no trace could be found of him, one other and several Orks. Only blood stains were found at the scene, no bodies, no equipment. Sir"
" And now, you are telling me that he returned here... 5 months later... and then vanished again... along with a whole tank! "
" ...From the middle of our base of operations... surrounded by thousands of our brethren... on a planet that we supposedly control... AND NO ONE NOTICED! "
"No sir. Some tracks were found leading from the trailer and down an alleyway..."
" Good, and where did these tracks lead to? "
"Nowhere sir, it was a dead end"
" Well surely some information could be found from it. What direction were the tracks headed? "
"No sir, the alleyway was a dead end. The tracks led up to the wall at the end and then...stopped..."
The Scientist surveyed his latest addition. " Not bad, a few tweaks here and there and it'll be ready, Ha Ha ".
The squad leader for the ratling squad approached his commanding officer.
"Sir, the enemy on the east flank appear to have a tank."
"Yes yes, and the south group have a wave serpent. Why are you telling me this?"
"Sir, it's not an Eldar construct."
"Now that is noteworthy. We have reports that there are more than just those skinny xeno' scum moving about as well."
"Sir, I have personally seen Astartes from several chapters moving side-by-side with Eldar and Orks."
"Damn them traitor legions!"
"Sir, these were from... loyal chapters"
"What in the name of the Emperor is going on out there?"
A guardsman entered the bunker, saluted the officer and handed him a report.
"Thank you, dismissed."
The guardsman leaves, but hears the officer from the far side of the thick door.
"THERE'S TYRANIDS AS WELL!!!"
"Sir..." the squad leader continued "...this tank... er..."
"WHO GIVES A DAMN ABOUT A BLASTED TANK!"
"Sir, it has several... modifications... from the standard template design"
"Oh, just to add to the heresy..." said the officer, calming down a little "Have you ascertained anything of use, or is it the usual spikes and chains thing?"
"Sir, there appears to be a great deal of functionality in it's design..."
"Can't say, Sir. I didn't get a good look at it myself, but the second squad are tracking it now."
"I want a report about this asap"
"At least it's not these walker things we heard about from that jungle planet last rotation"
"No Sir, no reports of such things."
The officer sighed. "Good. Now get on to that tank."
Report code 0111000001110010:
The unidentified armoured vehicle (chassis to be confirmed) is conveyed on tracks (confirmed by tread pattern). Approximate weight of between 60 and 80 tonnes (based on indentations) and body width of approximately 3.5 to 4 metres (based on track spacing).
Approximate damage output indicates an autocannon or equivalent, supplemented by a high-rate-of-fire weapon (similar to that of a heavy bolter or autocannon) and an energy weapon of unknown type (possibly linked to sounds of thunder audible in the area).
The vehicle has left evidence of being used in an aggressive manner: One case of a building being breached by the vehicle and many cases of flora and fauna being impacted, moved considerable distances and dissected by what appears to be a moderately sharp implement (more so than would be expected from a simple dozer blade), not used with the same finesse as that seen by the Dark Eldar but more than the blunt force of the Orks.
Report code 0110010101100100:
Further clues to the identity and position of the unidentified tank have been obtained from interviews of local habitants. Transcripts of the more useful parts are attached below.
Voice 1, (Imperial): "Tell him what you told me about the... tank."
Voice 2, (Local, female): "Th...the monster?"
Voice 1: "Yeah, it's a tank. Tell him about the monster. What is it with these locals?"
Voice 3, (Imperial): "Beats me. Just describe what you saw, this thing will record what you have to say."
Voice 2: "It... It has these eyes. They burn so brightly and they search you out, find you, and then it chase you."
Voice 1: "Tell him what you call it."
Voice 2: "Here, we call him El Diablo Cazador"
Voice 1: "and we know what that means, sound familiar?"
Voice 3: "Yeah, probably a better name for that tank really"
Voice 1: "Then what happened?"
Voice 4, (Local, male): "There was a loud noise, like a howl, but more than just animal... Then El Cazador, he came crashing through the trees, knocking them over, cutting them down. It spat thunder at our truck and turned it into fire, had we been inside at the time, El Cazador would have had us roasted. I lay on my back and my wife, my dearest, she ran, he chased her..."
Voice 3: "...and then you fired upon the tank?"
Voice 5, (Local, male): "Yes, we were afraid and didn't mean to, we were surprised to find it sat there quietly in the glade and raised our weapons without thinking."
Voice 3: "What happened next?"
Voice 5: "Our bullets bounced off El Cazador's hide and it angered him. He raised his shield and chased us..."
"Sir, we have received a transmission from the squad tracking the tank."
"Good. Have they found it yet?"
"er... Yes Sir... kind of.."
"Spit it out lad"
"Well, Sir... it's probably just best that you listen to the recording..."
The young sergeant hands the commanding officer the recording and leaves the room while the officer is still processing the unusual response. He decides to leave the matter for now and will talk to the sergeant later, after he's assessed this recording...
It starts with a synthesised voice of the recorder; "Recorded 22:04 local time BZ356.3P-0"
This is followed by a brief pause, some static and then the recording starts.
"We have tracked the tank known as El Cazador to the small town of Yaut-ja to the south east of HQ. We have yet to positively identify the chassis of the tank yet, but all indications point to Human in origin and not Xeno' or demonic.
A voice in the background can be heard "Point has sighted it, Sir"
"Ah, we have visual. I'll leave the com' open as we observe."
- Sounds of movement and hushed orders.*
"It is positioned inside a building. All that is visible is an unusual dozer blade and the tip of what appears to be an autocannon. No lights are on and there doesn't appear to be any indication that the engines are running. Maybe the crew have disembarked for some reason, we could catch them unawares here."
"We have changed position and can now see a little of the front of the tank, it's shape is definitely reminiscent of Astartes design, but is not a mark of armour I recognise. If it is a rhino chassis, it's been abused to such an extent that the machine spirit must be in great pain."
- Quiet sounds of movement and then a brief pause*
"We are advancing on the tank in two groups, as we still can not see any crew outside the tank we will have to be careful, all is quiet"
- A pause and then a distant metallic chime, as if someone has just kicked a tin can*
"The lights are on! And they've moved to focus on the other group. They're like eyes... It's moving, incredibly fast, almost like an animal... It's charging the other group..."
- There is a roar of engine, a blast of a horn and then the sounds of a tank crashing into a brick building, followed by shouts*
"I can't tell if any of the squad are hurt, too much dust... Yes, there's one, he looks ok."
- The sound of a large-calibre rapid-fire gun can be heard*
"Man down, Alpha team... Attack that tank"
- The sounds of the attack can be heard, together with shouts and the sounds of the tank extracting itself from the building*
Raising his voice above the noises. "It has a turret and was at least originally a preda..."
- All other noises are drowned out by a deafening thunderclap. This is followed by automatic weapon sounds and then only the sounds of the tank's engines idling and heavy breathing are left*
The laboured breathing becomes faster and there are some sounds of movement. "The squad is lost, no survivors..." Sounds of the tank slowly moving closer can be heard in the background. "...last known coordinates for the tank are at my position"
The tank is much closer now, the concrete and pebbles can be heard cracking under it's weight.
The heavy breathing suddenly becomes much faster and the last sounds received are those of breaking bones...
The synthesised voice of the recorder signifies the end of the recording; "Signal lost 22:13 local time BZ368.2D-2"
More difficult to find than their dark brethren, The Scientist acquired a great deal of information about them from the dark eldar which helped once "raw materials" were found. The first eldar acquired were a small pirate band that attacked a dummy ship which appeared to be lost in empty space but was actually a trap orbiting the planet (which was hidden to their instruments and their minds). Once boarded, the ship automatically dived into the planets atmosphere and crashed into the surface, killing all on board.
The Scientist then went to work as usual; however, due to the use of spirit stones by the eldar, resurrection of their dead bodies and minds proved difficult. He could access the memories stored in the brain matter, but the dead brains would not accept new implants and refused to be revived. He did, however, find uses for the spirit stones acquired in much the same way as the eldar did. The souls now trapped with The Scientist in their stones had no choice but to obey him as the alternative was being handed over to the great devourer and in time (with a little conditioning) they accepted their roles.
The Scientist decided on a different approach to recruit eldar that involved capturing them alive, a task that the dark eldar forces, together with some of the "better trained" tyranids at his disposal proved useful in achieving. The eldar's heightened response to emotions gave The Scientist the edge in brainwashing them.
SN-Edr 785: Their willingness to study a "path" and become an expert in one field at a time has proven useful for me in training the eldar to my needs. I can override their instinct to stop and change and lock them on the path I choose for them, and after a short while they accept it. So once I convince the poor deluded souls to follow the path of the warrior (or whatever they call it) for example, I can keep them on it and train them up to become what they call "Dire Avengers" or even "Exarch". Therefore they become more deadly and useful to my mission then they would be normally be if I let them pursue other, less useful, paths.
SN-Edr 1454: I have found a way to make a device that acts as what the Eldar refer to as a "Waystone", in essence an empty "Sprit Stone". Once they die, their psychic energy or spirit or soul (however you want to look at it) is stored in the gem. The Eldar use these in order to evade one of those pathetic gods that would eat their soul and then the living relatives use them to power and control weapons and vehicles and the such. I use my devices to record their knowledge, memory and "self" (basically the same thing) so I can reinstall it back into the body. They are now just as useful and expendable as the other races, this saves a lot of bother. It's also amusing to see their faces when they wake up back in their body...
The kidnap of the eldar mechanic:
Dîn-Curunir was a bonesinger and had been for many years. It would soon be time to leave the path of shaping and choose a new path, but he was not worried about this today, he had just completed a work of art for the Autarch and was heading back to his quarters, tomorrow would be a new day. Dîn-Curunir was so content that he failed to notice that he was being followed, although even the most observant of people may well have failed to notice this stalker, for he blended in to the crowds and passer-bys that were ever present in the narrow corridors of the craftworld as if he was meant to be there.
The stalker had in fact been there before, on the craftworld, had lived and worked there much as Dîn-Curunir and countless others did. His name was Ringuial before he was taken to The Scientist, now he was just a number. Ringuial did not miss his name or his past life, indeed he did not even realise that there was anything to miss. All he knew was that he had a mission to complete, and to do that he had to follow Dîn-Curunir.
Dîn-Curunir took the long route home, through the public garden that was near to his quarters, he was not in a hurry. He met a friend there and talked a little while before arranging to meet the next day, without knowing that he would not make it and would never be seen and never see or remember that beautiful garden again.
Dîn-Curunir had not been back at his quarters long, before he heard a quiet knocking at the door. Upon opening the door he saw a package on the floor, it was plain and had no markings on the outside. He reached down and picked the package up, it was light but appeared to have something of substance loose inside. Just as Dîn-Curunir was about to shut the door he noticed a piece of wraithbone, as thin as a keycard, that must have been underneath the package. He picked up the wraithbone and returned inside his quarters, closing the door behind him.
The piece of wraithbone looked as if it had been carefully cut from something larger, as skilled as Dîn-Curunir was at shaping waithbone he could have done little better at shaping the piece into a thin rectangle, he marvelled at the perfection of the edges knowing the skill required to achieve such a feat. Carved on the other side of the wraithbone were three words; Open The Box. Dîn-Curunir, immediately curious, put the wraithbone down on the table next to the box and started to open the package. There was nothing special about the box, but the contents was very interesting. What was inside was an electronic device made from a metal of some sort and pieces of carved waithbone, how was this possible? he thought. Who had done this? and why had they seemingly given it to him?
Dîn-Curunir reached inside the box to lift the device out and study it closer. As soon as he touched it there was a "fop" and everything went black. In the blackness Dîn-Curunir could tell that he was no longer in his quarters, but a smallish room with metal walls, the sheen was discernable by a small light-source in the middle of the low ceiling above him. There was something on the floor by his foot and bending down to study it noted that it was the device that had been in the box, he decided not to touch it again and stood up and started to make towards the wall of the chamber. No sooner had he taken one step, a bright light blinded him and a voice came to him from the darkness.
"Hello, you liked my toy yes? I thought you would. Welcome to my recruiting ship. We were parked no more that 100 meters from the craftworld you called home, you know, no one noticed and we are now travelling away away-O."
"Who are you? What do you want with me?" asked Dîn-Curunir sternly.
"No need to take that tone with me. You will create and repair wraithbone for me and my army, yes you will. You will do this willingly, I do not need your permission, no, I will let you keep all the knowledge that you will need... and nothing else." said the voice in a jovial manner.
"Who are you? I will not do as you say, I will resist with all my strength" Replied Dîn-Curunir.
A light illuminated the room and Dîn-Curunir could now see who he was talking to; scruffy shoes and bare skinny legs stuck out under a dirty lab coat, pockets overflowing with all manner of gizmos and wires and tools. The man was tall, his face thin and his hair wild and grey. His eyes were not visible to Dîn-Curunir as the figure wore glasses that obscured them, but not normal glasses or tinted glasses, these had fake bulging eyes painted on small white balls attached to the frame by long springs that meant the "eyes" bounced and dangled in front of the figure's face and large grin.
"You'll like it here" the figure said, Arms wide as if to embrace Dîn-Curunir, "You will. It'll be as if you were meant to be here, welcome to the family."
"Raw materials" for the Tau members of the army were gathered often by trickery due to the open and trusting nature of the Tau, for example; by sending a craft into the nearby Tau controlled space under the guise of friendship and then once the delegate, technicians from the earth caste (that was sent to aid repair to the apparently stricken ship) and their guards were onboard, the craft returned automatically to The Scientist on his planet for "processing". Further "raw materials" were also gathered from battlefields during the Zeist Campaign. The army recruits are led to believe that they are still fighting for the greater good by the use of the bioelectronic implants. Their technological knowledge has proven very useful to The Scientist.
From a speech in the headquarters of the Tau Empire:
"We have received a message from the members of the Earth Caste that went missing in that strange, apparently stricken, craft 12 rotaas ago. It says they have escaped capture and are hiding out on a small moon where a faceless enemy is amassing a large army and plans to invade T'au space. The message originates from just outside our empire's controlled space. We must take this message seriously, a strike force has been assembled from the Fire and Air castes and a band of our Kroot allies. We will crush this treat before it starts and rescue our brethren, for the Greater Good."
"The Greater Good"
"We expect a report from the strike force in two rotaas time of the reconnaissance mission and, unless there is something we do not expect, the strike force will engage and destroy the enemy, for the Greater Good"
"The Greater Good"
"We have picked up transmissions from the strike force, the entire force has been lost, no survivors that we can tell and no further transmissions have been received. I shall play the recording for you to hear, the quality of the signal is not good as something seemed to have been interfering with it at the time of transmission."
"...Recon team approaching moon...report..."
"...small moon orbiting...planet. No obvious defences...too far to see details on the surface..."
"...clear. When will you...tell us? It could be dange...dvise caution..."
"...coming into range...sensors online...scanning, please wait..."
"...That's no moon! It's a..."
"...Come in recon. Come...don't receive you. Oh...it's...this way...It's a T..."
"We have not been able to locate the moon since receiving this transmission, the area of space where it was originally located is devoid of planets and their moons..."