Intro – Aims of Reimage
This is a reimage of the process of creating a Space Marine, as such it differs from the creation process detailed by Games Workshop. The aim of this fan fiction was is extend what Games Workshop had published, and to offer hypothetical clarifications of what exactly what happens. I delve into the processes in more detail, and offer explanations of how these fit in with the concepts put forward in the previous page of Space Marines Morphology. This page is ‘experimental‘ and not complete.
= THIS IS HERESY =
The Seven Trials of Creation (Physiology)
Marines are a wonder of arcane genetic engineering, matched chimera implants to initialise cascade-modification of bio-system function, new symbiotic system introduction with bio-system re-initialisation, corrective surgery procedures during modification, chemotherapy with immuno-suppression, and to top it all off harsh psycho-indoctrination, electrograft personality modification and skills implanting and lower ‘reptile’ brain jacking to increase reflex recognition and auto-defence. All this gobbledygook is to create a superior fighter adapted and optimised to STC environments.
The creation of a marine is no easy task and takes several steps. The most important component of the marine is the mind of the warrior seeking to become a marine. It is this base instinct, cunning and warrior mentality that it very hard to replicate artificially and retain control. A human warrior has a certain level of compassion for their own kind, and while ruthless in killing others, that compassion and sense of self is vital for the Imperium’s ability to influence the marines. It is also vital component in the marines resistance to chaos and emotion usurping reason. To become a highly skilled killer means that one becomes in control of ones emotions and the control of ones emotions leads to resistance to chaos. The emotion serves as a drive to better ones self and a will to survive, the emotion supports but does not control a marine.
Machine of Flesh
From an Adeptus Mechanicus point of view; a marine is a product, a machine like any other. Marines are classed as ‘Servitors’ by the Adeptus Mechanicus and even a Tech-Marine is not considered to be a real ‘Tech-Priest’. Space Marines are made and reprogrammed using similar technologies to common servitors, though the end product is far more advanced.
What sets marines apart from common servitors or the Adpetus Mechnicus’ own praetorian guard, it that they retain a portion of their personality and memories. These are retained to improve combat ability through emotional conviction and to allow for adaptability through inspiration and instinct, though after the Horus Heresy many within the cult now consider it a mistake. Another aspect that is different from servitors is that men, in certain circumstances, choose to become a Marine.
So what are these circumstances?
The Imperium has millions of worlds for marine chapters to choose from. The most commonly targeted worlds for recruiting aspirants are the most violent barbaric and feudal worlds. In these lands the inhabitants grow tall and strong: often well over 6′ 6″ naturally (As Marines will grow to well over 7 feet tall it good to start with an aspirant who much larger than human average). Therefore it is usual for recruits to fall within the shallow end of the Ogryn cline, and to contain a high concentration of Dark Age artificial genes.
[Notes: The earliest human colonists who left Earth to conquer the star may have been genetically altered to better deal with the ordeals prolonged travel. These genetic alterations would have been passed onto their offspring. The Chapter may be looking for specific artificial genetic markers that can be exploited by the transformation process to follow. Mutation is highly likely and so not humans will have all the markers in their original state and some may be missing. It may not be enough to be strong and a fantastic warrior. It may all come do to the legacy of the Dark Age of Technology]
The Trial of Desire
The selection process is enhanced with cultural manipulation of the legal systems. Those convicted of violent crimes (brigands, rage murderers) can demand ‘Ordeal by Combat’. In opposition the Executioner Champions are offered huge rewards to fight the most hardened, capable and blood thirsty of criminals. If two criminals want the Ordeal they may end up fighting each other!
If a criminal wins they are not executed but held in a cell to await judgement by a Chaplin of a Marine Chapter. If judged worthy (usually by not giving up after getting a good kicking) the ex-criminal becomes an aspirant (or dies).
Another aspect is that the executioner champions may also partition to become an Aspirant, though this is rare in comparison. However human curiosity and the drive for recognition often gets the better of even the greatest of men. Either way the Chapter takes those who they accept off-world for the next stage.
These are not the only methods used by the chapters by they are the most common.
Psalm Verse: Text I
The Trial of Fear (Foundation Psycho-conditioning)
A full battle brother’s blood and bodily fluids contains potent genetic maintenance agents that if ingested by a normal human will alter their genetic structure. This agent is the basis of the marines acidic and poisonous spit, and the ingestion of this is fundamental first step in altering a human into a marine. All chapters require the recruit to drink the blood of the chapter from the chapter’s grail. The grail ritual appears in all the chapters, and in all cases it includes the drinking of the blood of full marines and in some cases the blood of the Primarch!
Once these agents are ingested the effects on the body are traumatic and pronounced and many recruits will not survive. The Space Wolves ‘Canis Helix’ is probably the strongest of these agents and many die in the ice fields of Fenris screaming in pain. The Blood Angel’s seems just as virulent and perhaps produce the greatest physical changes, those mutants who survive the blood of Sanguinius and the sarcophagus emerge as a vision of their Primarch.
Genetic Alterations: As the agent invades the body now produces a range of hormones and proteins that are mostly completely useless to the normal human body, and in many cases harmful to the human body. As the recruit endures the levels of these new hormones and chemicals rise and induce great pain and madness. The perceptions of the initiate so they see things that aren’t there and are prone to suggestion. This is the time when the Chapter moulds the core mind on the future marine. Working with the sickness induced by the new hormones, the initiate is put through the ringer of madness until utterly broken. Then they are rebuilt and taught how focus, how to deal with pain. As they learn these lessons they are injected with geneseeds, which as they grow, the use the hormones and this in turn lifts the madness, restoring metal functioning. The initiate is then thrown into the Trial of Solitude.
Geneseeds: These new proteins and hormones are designed to support and feed ‘geneseeds’. Geneseeds cultivated chimera stem cells that under the influence of the new hormones and proteins flourish into new organs that further modify the initiate’s body. The geneseeds are invasive and can cannibalise surrounding tissue and convert them, they act like targeted cancer. As geneseeds are added they absorb the new hormones, and they absorb a lot when growing. New geneseeds have to be added at regular intervals to balance the system, and the penultimate geneseed of the Progenoids which regulate the whole system. The Progenoids can not go in until all the other implants are in place.
The first implant results in a major cardiovascular alteration often referred to as ‘a second heart’ but that is a gross simplification. This is sometime accompanied with corrective surgery, though many Chapters will leave a recruit experiencing complications to die.
Implants: Secondary ‘Heart’ geneseed implanted, Ossmodula geneseed implanted.
Psalm Verse: Text II
The Trial of Solitude (Implanting the Ossmodula and other implants)
On activating the Ossmodula (bone growth) organ a marine is bound into a automated traction cage his bones are cut and joint sockets are quartered and lined. As time passes the traction cage pulls the bone sections lengthen the gap between the cuts. New bone grows at the ends of the cuts constantly trying to make up the distance between surfaces. The ends of joints swell into the new socket linings, and planer and saddle joints are broadened. Any defects in growth are corrected with cultured replacements, such are the hip joints.
During this time the marine is in immense pain while on the ‘rack’ and are denied any type of pain relief drugs. To further stress the initiate they isolated from other marines and kept in total perceived solitude. Even in the case of surgery they are injected with a neural blocker and can’t see or hear the surgeons, but the blocker doesn’t stop all brain sensations they can feel is the pain as they are cut open and parts replaced. The only way to combat the excruciating pain and isolation is via the pain psycho-indoctrination techniques they learn as an initiate and this period in a marine’s development enforces these methods of mind and pain control.
When the marine emerges, often many months or even years later they are in a very sorry state appearing to be no more that a stick man, the flesh they had on entering the trial being stretch to splitting to cover their vastly larger frame.
Implants: Secondary Heart continues to grow but is not operational (grows like a cancer), Ossmodula activated, Biscopea geneseed implanted.
Psalm Verse: Text III
Trail of Strength (full activation of the Biscopea) [Do not serve]
Once out of the trail of solitude the marine is physically weak all energy he absorbed during the trail was primarily converted to bone. Once out he can’t even stand, it is then that the Biscopea is activated to start the rebuilding process and to bulk up. They are reunited with other marines and relentlessly trained, they pack on muscle as an alarming rate, and as they do so their aggressive and competitive instincts are nurtured to fuel the desire to succeed. It is then the marine understands the full magnificence of he new body, and he wants to test it to destruction.
Psalm Verse: Text IV
The Trial of Skill [Serve as the Nameless]
As they reach maturity the training shifts more towards skill and the teaching of technique. During this time marines get to fight veterans and they see that even though they may be young and powerful the veterans show them the meaning of true power; the power of skill. As they learn with the veterans they are tested in various situations both real and simulated for their skills but also their mental capabilities. They learn more and more that their body means nothing and that it is their mind that is the true weapon.
Though they do not leave their Chapter’s home world they do serve as guards of the Fortress Monasteries. There is an exceptionally high turn over of Neophytes of this level and the Fortes Monasteries are very well guarded!
Psalm Verse: Text V
The Trial of Experience [Scouts]
They are put into scout units to get used to fighting as part of the marine force and to test their abilities in action. Those serving as Scouts are not full marines as the lack the Black Carapace. The scout units regularly take ‘suicide’ missions, and act as the chapter’s eyes and ears. Lead by a Veteran Sergeant, a chapter hero of great renown, these scout learn first hand what it is to be an angel of the Emperor.
Psalm Verse: Text VI
The Trial of Wisdom [Marine]
Once they have served as part of the scouts and achieve distinction of proved themselves beyond all doubt they undergo the final procedure and are implanted with the Black Carapace. The Black Carapace is the control interface for the Marines Power Armour, that allows them to function as though it where a second skin. These new Marines are put into the full marine units to replace losses, though usually they are transferred into the lower companies and work their way up through the ranks. It is here that they undergo the continuing and never ending Trail of Wisdom. This trail does not cease until they are dead or deemed worthy at the end of their time and interred into a dreadnought. The dreadnought has completed all trials.
Psalm Verse: Text VII
40K Threads of interest
The Three Trials of Marine Life
The Last Three
Not all marines will complete these.
The Trial of Leadership [Sergeant]
Text [Command] progress to Terminator
Psalm Verse: Text VIII
The Trial of Faith [Terminator]
Text [Teleport] 1st Company initiation
Psalm Verse: Text IX
The Trial of Undeath [Dreadnought]
Psalm Verse: Text X