Temple of the Machine God
Every Imperial world that uses STC technology has a Temple erected to the Machine God. These temples vary from techno-gothic castles, to vast fortified industrial complexes with a towering spires surrounding a gravity lift. No matter the size, the temple is the Adeptus Mechanicus' presence on that world - their base of operations. All technology built on a Forgeworld and delivered to an Imperial world passes through the temple. The temple sanctifies the technology, ensures it is working, and is responsible for passing it on to the inhabitants of that world.
Standards: All technology is delivered to the temple in STC Universal Enclosures. Some enclosures are used as packing crates for small goods like techno-devices, weapons, and ammo, which can be unpacked and supplied on an item basis. Others contain built-in appliances, such as plasma engines or life-support, or modular hab-unit components, which are supplied to the end user with the enclosure. When the enclosure is an integral part of the technology is is called a 'unit'.
Ownership: All technology, be is a single device or a unit is the property of Mars. No one outside the Adeptus Mechanicus can actually own advanced (Adeptus Mechanicus made) technology, it always remains the property of Mars (and is stamped as such: 'Possessioris Adeptus Mechanicus'). Therefore all technology used by the Imperium is on loan from the Adeptus Mechanicus. This loaned technology is supplied under a service agreement - in accordance with the terms of the 10,000 year old Terra-Mars alliance set up by the Emperor.
Service: To gain access to advanced Adeptus Mechanicus made technology, a person has to sign up to a service agreement and is thereafter known as the 'policy holder'. These agreements have fixed minimum terms, substantial deposits, and all payment must be made in advance. The agreement can be extended if the Adeptus Mechanicus agrees the policy holder has show due care and respect for the technology. Under the agreement the policy holder is entitled to the use of a given unit specified within the agreement. This unit is maintained by the Adeptus Mechanicus. A device or unit in needed of a service, or is faulty, is 'swapped out' for a new one under the 'return to base' clause. No maintenance carried out 'on site'.
Void: It is forbidden to open a device or unit. It the security seals are broken, and the Adeptus Mechanicus become aware of it, the associated service agreement is immediately void. The Adeptus Mechanicus will reclaim the technology and investigate. The Adeptus Mechanicus will issue a penance order. A penance order is handed off to the local governmental bureaucracy who are then responsible for delivering the culprit to the Temple. The exact nature of the penance varies according to the crime, but suffice to say the person who are served a penance is a changed man.
RTB: Devices that need a service or are faulty have to be returned to the Temple in person. If the Adeptus Mechanicus are satisfied with the explanation, and the person can flawlessly recite the incantations of usage, they are issued with a replacement. The agreement is transferred to the new device.
Units are far to large for the end user to take to the temple, and the Adeptus Mechanicus would not want them to either. A servant of the Adeptus Mechanicus will inspect the unit (check the security seal and signs of damage) and if deemed that the user is blameless a swap out order will be issued. The faulty unit will be collected by the servants of the Adeptus Mechanicus (Security seals re-checked) and replacement unit is installed.
The whole unit is removed (enclosure included) and replaced with a new one. In the case of critical systems, like Plasma engines, this can be done 'live' (dual hookup and changeover while all the other connected dependant machines are still running). The faulty unit is taken back to the Adeptus Mechanicus base of operations.
Repairs: All repairs are carried out within the temple. The device or unit is reconditioned and will be used later in a swap outs. No one, other than the Adeptus Mechanicus, is allowed into the repair workshops. Any components damaged beyond the abilities of local repair are returned to the Forgeworld where they were made (this is done in bulk pickups).
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Interesting, I'm digging the construct of the Adeptus Mechanicus as being more coorporate, but done with a lot of ceremony. Kind of reminds me of Kage's innerdebate of "meCANicus vs meCANTicus".
But could you tell us more about the temple itself, the article here seems to primarily deal with the contract between the Imperium and Mars. Maybe a few examples of famous temples?
You also suggest that the Adeptus Mechanicus owns all technology? Would this mean that independent production and science are nonexistent in the Imperium? Would they be considered heresy?
Also...how will this translate into Sciror? The gravity lifts I can get as a veins system inside the Ecorium. But the temples? Would they function as the spaceports connecting the worlds of the Supremacy?
The temple complexes are similar to a cross between a modern day 'industrial park' and 'business park' as they are not manufacturing rather they are repairing and re-assembling, though some of the units they re-assemble are quite bulky and would be considered industrial in our era.
The template is basically a central church like control building surrounded by warehouse and repair workshop complexes. The plan (as seen from above) would resemble the Adeptus Mechanicus symbol: a circular inner sanctum with warehouse annexes radiating out from the centre. The inner sanctum is walled (the only way in is through the warehouses, and contains all the workshops. I imagine the whole system is modular and as the Temple grows the workshops move into the nearest warehouses, new walls are put up and new warehouses added to the end of the annexes. The church then grows over the now vacated workshops. Over the centuries this would result in an 'onion skin', a cermite terrace, to form a walled city. In a way it would be something like the Vatican City - in that it is separate from the local government.
Building it this way means there is a direct path from the outside to the very centre.
The warehouses are long Gothic structures, one side is for incoming units and devices to be inspected the other side is outgoing repaired nd new goods and awaiting distribution. I image each of the annexes handles specific outgoing goods, but all returned goods can be dropped off at any of the annexes. Most of the manual work is by servitor.
The workshops are within the outer circular wall. This is holy ground to the Adeptus Mechanicus. It is where all the returned goods are repaired and tested, and also where all new goods via the shuttle or gravity lift are tested, to ensure they are in working order.
The central church contain a place or worship, central records, phased field emitter arrays, and machines spirits. For design I think the machines spirits would be entombed in sarcophagi with connection ports.
Monopoly: The Adeptus Mechanicus own the rights to STC, it's now their IP. That's not to say that STC technology is only made by the Adeptus Mechanicus, there is infringement just as there is in our world. These unsanctioned factories can product good quality goods, but the Adeptus Mechanicus will react to finding these blasphemous items in the same way to modern corporations reacts to knock offs of branded goods (ok, perhaps the Adeptus Mechanicus are a bit more severe). The Adeptus Mechanicus have it as part of the agreement with the Imperium that all technology is recognised as theirs, so the more Imperial a world is the more this is enforced.
I image backwater worlds, and outlaw worlds, where the Imperial presence is limited or non-existent, that the inhabitants do may devices. There are limits.
Advanced technology: is hard to make. I think these unsanctioned good cover the lower end of the technology scale. It you need to make something that is advanced you are going to need some serious archaeotech. Even something 'simple' like a anti-gravity plate (matter repulsor) is going to require access to reality distorting machines called PFE. Phase Field Emitters (PFE) that are used to make phased materials, this can turn a block of lead into a matter repulsor (with no internal working components). The 'gravity plate' is basically a block of lead doing weird things, and generating forces that are not normally seen (a bit like a magnet but repulsing matter). This plate would be the only part a person outside the Adeptus Mechanicus would get a hold off. It would be impossible to reverse engineer the phase emitter technology by looking at the phased material.
Unless the unsanctioned manufactures have access to original machines that can build STC, then they are going to have to settle for more mundane technology. If they did have these machines, and the Adeptus Mechanicus were to hear of it, they Adeptus Mechanicus would launch a techno-crusade to recover the machines.
Sciror: This would cover a later stage, after the fall of the Supremacy, where mankind tries to rebuild/ work recovered technology.
But what about non STC technology? I don't think every piece of Imperial technology is based on the STC. The Titans used by the Adeptus Mechanicus for example aren't, Dark Adeptus mentions an STC Titan which apparently is a totally different ballgame. Space Marine Power Armour and Bolters for example aren't STC technology either, they were made later on by the Emperor in his factories on Luna. I can imagine more technology in the Imperium isn't based on the STC.
Would the Adeptus Mechanicus have their own internal organisation for this, or would they work together with the Inquisition? I guess the Adeptus Mechanicus could order the Inquisition to solve this, sort of forcing them to obey the Terra-Mars Treaty.
A lot of 'non-STC' technology is derived from STC technology and made with STC systems. So while a Titan may not be and overall STC design, all the component parts are STC, and any custom parts are cast up/ constructed according to STC rules (Like ISO). The Titan would be 'STC compliant' and in the same way a custom Personal Computer abides by ISO standards, and the components parts (like memory modules) comply with ISO standards. This means that all advanced technology has it roots in the STC, because the STC pretty much covers all human technology we ever invented and sets out the standards on how to implement that technology.
As for the tech-crusades that seems to be done purely by the Adeptus Mechanicus. I have the old (unofficial) Adeptus Mechanicus codex and it seems the army is pure Adeptus Mechanicus. I suspect they reserve their right, as an independent empire, to go after STC technology. In also imagine the Space Marines would help out in this.
I think that I discussed (very briefly) about the idea of "data shrines" being the core of Adeptus Mechanicus locales. Admittedly I was rocking on the idea of wireless networking after reading through Shadowrun (4e), but also looking into the premise of Augmented Reality as a functional system of choice for museum interpretation. (I work as an archaeologist at a museum and have been getting into digital interpretation. My brain now official hurts trying to learn 3ds Max | Maya | Mudbox, while dabbling with ZBrush and Blender just for some alternatives. Suffice to say that I'm not a gifted artist like some lucky dratsabs. :D) As it stands, McNeill seems to have incorporated similar concepts into his noosphere concept.
While I'm not a huge fan of how you use STC, you do raise a significant point with regards to the nature of the function of the Adeptus Mechanicus and their interaction with STC in general. This has been raised elsewhere as the concept of the Adeptus Mechanicus offering a franchise to some worlds, but would ultimately retain control for systems integration as well as the production for certain key technologies.
I still, and increasingly, find your approach to STC to be a tad restricting. Don't get me wrong, I realise and understand that there are going to be certain things that are standardised. Yet I would argue that these are the things that "join" things, not define form. Even with standardisation of "joins," form has always been variable. One need only consider the construction of human spaces to see the validity of this.
Consider, for example, the nature of colonial structures in America as they derived from "standards" from England. Sure, there was similarity between the structures and the way things were organised, but always the concept of "indigenous" was relevant. It's the same with the concept of the "celts" and "celtic identity." People are so often considered with similarity that they don't consider the nature of variation.
This is the rut that I think that you're in, at least in terms of interpretation. That this is your focus is great, but just gets back into the idea that I love the way that you think but I'm never overtly fond of where your creativity leads you. Human creativity seems to be stifled in so many ways, as does their ability to personal express themselves through the use of STC. STC just seems a blanket to make everything the same rather than giving people the tools that make things similar. I'd understand if you don't see the difference but... Still, there you have it.
Though we often disagree on the whys and wherefores, our image seems to be heading in the same direction. I do make the Ad Mec restrictive, not only because it makes sense they should attempt to be so, but also because it drives the story of renegade characters and groups. It gives them more bite, and makes them more of a outlaw. It's a bit like the RIAA, Blu-ray encryption, copyright pirates, and file sharing over the internet. So while the official view is restrictive, we have to remember that even the best security systems fail, for a whole number of reasons, when put into practice. Some areas of the world are more copyright restrictive than others, and some are wide open.
I imagine the same holds true on an Imperial world. The further from the Temple; the more chaotic things become. There could be a black market run by rogue Ad Mec, xenos, or secret orders. Others may have access to implant technology - a world may comply with Imperial law, but that does not mean everyone is playing ball. Humans are inventive. In part I like making the Ad Mec's system so restrictive as it's a lot of fun to imagine how it can be evaded and torn apart. I give hooks that can generate ideas of what a renegade tech group would require, how they would go about it, why it's important not to be blatant. In many ways it's the old 'organised crime' set-up mixed with 'hacking'.
So take this article with a pinch of salt. It may seem tough, but humans are tougher and they will adapt to get an edge over others. This article is not the be all and end all of how things are. More the Ad Mec system according to the Ad Mec, much like copyright law according to the RIAA. They may be no holes at first glance, but humans will make the holes.
I like to think the Standards are a little more modern. Like ISO standards and building regulations. As an example, think of the modern PC. I've built a PC or two in my time, but I did not build it from scratch. In our modern day and age, 'build' just means 'assembled from component parts' (brickie does make the bricks!). The PC has standard that allows the various pre-fabed parts from different manufactures to fit together. Not all the parts are the same under the hood, but they all share standard components, often from the same components manufacturer.
I imagine the Ad Mec Forge World to be like a component manufacturer, and unit basic part assembler. They put together the 'motherboard', but they also make the 40K equivalent of the 'board', 'chips', 'capacitors', 'chokes' etc. that make up the motherboard. These parts can be shipped all over the Imperium. In many ways 'Mars Fabrication' could be seen to be like 'Asus' and the like. While the Forge World makes the components, I imagine the actual 'PC' may be put together within the walls of a world's Ad Mec Temple and sealed (I think this to allow for on world maintenance, and many parts would be fitted into existing units). Or they may ship the unit as is to worlds that are transitioning to Imperial control, while their Temple is being built.