( PLAYING CURSED FOUNDING ARMY )

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:

Inquisitor Belial

From:

Inquisitor Apollyon

Date:

999.M41

Subject:

Excavation of Adeptus Mechanicus geno-lab

Thought for the Day:

Strength through stability

Fellow Inquisitor, I contact you now with grave news. A matter has arisen on the world of Incunabla thai may well threaten the delicate balance ot the Irnperium we strive to preserve. I have taken steps to remedy this situation, ordering a detachment of Grey Knights to the planet, but tear that events may have already progressed too far. I believe that our Thorian 'brothers' in the Inquisition have once again attempted to make their wild and heretical beliefs a reality. Only time will tell whether I have acted in time.

An agent of mine, inserted within the Adeptus Mechanicus some years ago, recently reported disturbing news from an archaeological site on the dead world of Incunabla. Details were slow in forthcoming, but it seemed clear that buried deep within the rock of this barren world were secrets that have lain undiscovered these last five thousand years. Secrets regarding a founding of the Adeptus Astartes Space Marines sometimes referred to as the Cursed Founding, Having intercepted and examined the majority of the Adeptus Mechanicus Astropathic transmissions, I believe that elimination of this site is the only viable option open to us. Such technology has no place in the Imperium if we are to preserve its stability. I present my findings to you and await further guidance.

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Adeptus Mechanicus Archaeological Expedition /21/36

Project Leader:

Explorator Magos Marco Pteronus

Date:

998.M41, days 23 - 38

DAY 23 - 27

Despite the frequent, curt reassurances from Brother Lequara that we were in the correct location, our initial investigations into the anomalous readings which our divination auguries registered were less than promising, incunabla is a desolate place indeed and what Lequara expected to find so close to holy Terra was quite beyond me. Surely anything of promise would have been revealed to the Adepts of the Machine God before now? However, he does seem to have considerable sway with the Departments Munitorum, and the funding, equipment and supplies he has provided for our expedition have proven to be most useful. Therefore I was inclined to indulge his fantasy that there was something worth excavating on Incunabla, while secretly deciding how best to obtain more equipment from him. How wrong I was to be proved!

DAY 28 - 33

After much to-ing and fro-ing we were finally able to triangulate the anomalous readings and descended to the planet's surface. The location of the readings proved to be a jagged black mountain peak surrounded by a highly volatile magnetic field and despite such a hazardous external environment, Brother Lequara demanded that we immediately don pressure suits and venture outside.

Almost as soon as the Explorator team stepped beyond the protective hexes of the crawler, systems began to fail on our pressure suits. I believe that the strong magnetic field and lack of a proper blessing had angered the machine spirits and caused them to rail against such treatment. In response, Lequara activated a device the likes of which 1 have never seen before and this seemed to calm the machine spirits of our suits. As I craned forwards for a closer look at this device he concealed it from my view and, admonishing us to continue forward, he led us towards the mountain. We trudged ever upwards, the sky darkening and the temperature dropping rapidly. I advised

Lequara that we should return to the crawler and continue our exploration on the morrow, but he would have none of it. I continued to urge him to reconsider and he shot me a look of utter ruthlessness such that I shall never forget. As we neared the top of the peak, we came upon a small ledge that apparently ended at a sheer basalt rock face. I say apparently because as we halted, Lequara muttered a few words into the strange device he carried and a section of the rock seemed to blur and shift as though caught in some kind of optical distortion.

I stood amazed as revealed before us was a scarred adamantium door clearly marked with the Imperial Eagle. The door resisted all our attempts at opening it and Lequara at last decided to wait until the following day when we would be able to bring up the powerful ias-cutters he had furnished us with.

DAY 34-36

The door proved to be more resilient than I had originally thought and it was several days before we were able to effect an entry. Once inside, we discovered a shattered elevator shaft descending into the depths of the peak and were forced to rig a cable harness since it appeared that the elevator was no longer operational. Brother Lequara was the first to descend on the harness and, as he disappeared into the darkness of the shaft, I noticed the markings on its wails. What I had at first taken for corrosion damage I now realised was in fact laser scoring and impacts from small arms fire. Briefly I wondered what events had transpired here, but these were quickly forgotten as I imagined the secrets we might discover in this abandoned peak. For a moment I even dared hope for a fully functioning STC system!

DAY 37

At last we were within the corridors of the base and, I confess, my sense of trepidation was increasing the deeper we ventured. The facility buried beneath the mountain had obviously been the site of a tremendous battle. The walls were riddled with bullet impacts and laser burns and the remains of hastily constructed barricades lay scattered throughout the empty, echoing halls. The place was deserted and, save for the odd scattered bone, the victims of this battle had either been taken by the victors for some unguessable purpose or had long since decayed to dust. Brother Lequara was like an excited child as we explored the facility and would allow us to touch nothing. It was not until we eventually discovered a laboratorium hidden in the heart of the underground complex that we were to learn the true purpose of this place. What ! believe that purpose to be is almost too fantastic to relate, but having since perused the scant morsels of data on the base's main logic engine, words cannot begin to convey my excitement to you.

DAY 38

The laboratorium we discovered contained a plethora of ancient machines, and rny heart leapt to see so much techno-arcana preserved in such an undamaged condition. But it was the centre of the laboratoria that demanded my most immediate attention. Connected by vast bundles of pulsing tubes and cables to the machines were six ceiling height incubation tanks. Three were empty, but the others contained amniotic fluid with an enormous human male floating within them. The physiology of these giants put me in mind of Space Marines, but these brutes were far larger than those members of the Adeptus Astartes whom I have laid eyes upon. Two of these tubes were obviously damaged, the fluid within cloudy and stagnant, but the third stiil appeared to be functioning after Throne knows how many millennia. Truly the Machine God had smiled on us! We drained the first two tubes and, between six of us, managed to lift the bodies from within.

Genetor Quincus had the bodies taken to the morlarium and began the autopsies immediately while I initiated the revivification of the third body. The process would take almost eight hours and I hoped that we would have a clearer idea of what exactly we were dealing with after the autopsies were complete. I shall append the autopsy reports of the first two beings to this log later this evening. Also attached are the fragments of the facility commander's records which I have been able to recover. I am unsure as to their real value as the recorder of the log appears to be raving and of unsound mind. Nevertheless, I shall append them and allow you to make your own judgement.

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Filed by: Genetor Quincus

1. Preliminary visual examination of the bodies proved to be inconclusive is to the cause of death. The skin of the body displayed a soft elastic quality and ruptured in several places on transport to the mortarium. No external puncture wounds were evident and dermal lividity appeared to indicate that the subject had died less than an hour previous to this examination. How this is possible is as yet undetermined. Initial DNA scans revealed many of the amino acid and enzyme chains still unformed, Combined with evidence of 'hot-bousing' the genome, this leads me to believe that the subjects were artificially accelerated to this level of growth and, biologically speaking, may be less than one year old.

2. Despite the lack of tensile strength in the skin, the bone structure beneath proved to much tougher. Performing a standard 'Y' incision and peeling back the skin and considerable musculature on subject alpha's chest revealed an interlinked growth of highly ossified bone plates that completely armoured the chest cavity. It required a laser saw to cut through this 'bone-shield' and the strength of several servitors to break open the rib cage and expose the chest cavity.

3. The interior of the subject's chest cavity contains a number of organs whose purpose is undetermined. Primary heart, lungs. kidneys and liver are present and, in regard to mass to muscle ratio. must have been many times more efficient than even the Space Marines of the present day are known to be. As well as these organs are a number of others of unknown origin. Their function can only be guessed at and it is beyond my expertise to probe their mysteries. I am familiar with most of the organs unique to the physiology of a Space Marine yet the ones visible here are unknown to me. These organs have been scaled in stasis jars for transport to the more advanced laboratoria facilities on Mars. Perhaps the genetors there will have more success than I.

4. After the chest cavity had been examined. I removed the cranial lid to expose the subject's brain. Inside was a most curious organism that only superficially resembled a human brain. Its mass and colouration were consistent with a male of such disproportionate size. but there the similarity ended. Dissection of the brain revealed a hitherto unknown configuration of matter, if indeed it was matter, and further organs of unknown nature. Further examination was impossible due to the ultra-rapid necrotising of the brain after its removal from the cranium. Within minutes it had disintegrated into a foetid puddle of grey ooze. The nature and purpose of this organ is therefore unknown.

5. In summary it is impossible to say with any certainty how the subjects died. No visible signs of trauma were evident and no viral, bacteriological or toxicobgical contamination was found. My own conclusion is that the subject's growth was boosted artificially and they expired when the machinery of the incubation tube failed. I have performed similar examinations on members of the Adeptus Astartes before this and can say with utter certainty that these subjects are far superior to them in every way.

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[Note: Many portions of data were lost and only these fragments could be
recovered by the Lexmechanics. - Marco - Pteronus.]

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.

Log Entry No: 29
More Warships arrived in orbit today and I was privileged enough to be allowed to watch is our newest Chapter, the Flame Falcons, boarded the vessels en route to their designated home world of Lethe. To see such fighting men is to have mankind's manifest destiny amongst the stars affirmed. With such enhanced warriors as these fighting for the glory of the Emperor, the ......... of our Imperium is assured.

Log Entry No: 33
I discovered an unusual occurrence in the storage labs today. As I was intoning the evening's Litany of Purity over the gene banks. I espied a dark, viscous liquid running from a stasis vessel. I opened the container and was horrified to discover the vessel overflowing with a stinking, organic substance, growing larger as I watched. Incinerator units destroyed the ............... gene stock, but I am at a loss as to explain its sudden, and rapid growth, the material was placed under the proper blessings and rituals. ..................... stasis field failed or the genetic .......................... corrupted before we placed it in storage. Other than this I can think of no explanation for this phenomena.

Log Entry No: 41
Today I received word from the Apothecaries of the Black Dragons of some irregularities in the zygote development of their first born members. It appears that as their Ossmodula has matured more fully, it has caused the growth of bony protuberances and 'crests' from the forearms and heads of the Space Marines. This is an unexpected side effect and is possibly ........................... hormonally stimulated growth. Purity procedures will be reviewed and any deficient zygotes destroyed.

Log Entry No: 44
Reports are coming in daily now of spontaneous mutation in the gene seed of those ........................ we have created here. I dread to think of the consequences should the cause of these mutations be traced back to the experiments we performed here. Our sponsor in these matters. Inquisitor Cresere. has assured me that we proceed with the Emperor's blessing, but as more and more reports of mutation reach us I cannot help but feel ........................... a terrible mistake. I have requested that we halt the program until more thorough research is undertaken, but Crescere informed me in no uncertain terms that my life would be over should I fail to continue the work.

Log Entry No: 46
I have secretly begun implantation with six test subjects, in our hidden lab that not even Crescere knows of, to more closely monitor the gene development of our altered subjects. I will ................... subjects' ............... beyond normal parameters in order to observe any aberrations that might not otherwise come to light whilst they are on Incunabla. Perhaps then we will be able to discover the cause of such mutations and rectify the problem before we create more of these cursed ........................... How many have already left Incunabla I do not know. Only Crescere may communicate with the other facilities on the planet and I fear that we may be too late to ........................ these abominations .................. this damned world.

Log Entry No: 47
I fear Crescere knows of the secret work I have been undertaking. During this morning's unarmed combat training, two of my test subjects ...... berserk ...... killed thirty of the others ......... collapsing in a pile of mad, thrashing limbs as their bodies went ........................ uncontrolled mutation. The things that were left on the floor had only the last vestiges of humanity to their form and the thought of whole Chapters of Space Marines with such defective gene-seed in their bodies fills me with horror and shame. Crescere had the bodies incinerated before we could perform an examination of the corpses and informed me that he was relieving me as head of this facility. Emperor have mercy on my soul. .................. created monsters here! While I can do nothing about those we have already let loose. ..................... destroy most of the knowledge stored here. Crescere has locked me out of the most vital systems, but I will do what I can. When he discovers what I have done ................................................ kill me. I welcome it.

Log Entry No: 49
We were soon to learn that the third of the secret test subjects I created had condemned us all to death. At first it seemed as though his genetic structure had stabilised and we believed that we might yet be able to save the project, but this was to prove our undoing. It was some months after his removal from the incubation tank and after his combat turning was complete that Aslropaths in orbit on the Eternity ............... ... unsanctioned psychic signal originating from our facility Inquisitor Crescere immediately placed our Astropath onto a pain rack and questioned her fully. It transpired that the girl had not been the source of the signal and now our base required another Astropath for communications. As we pondered the mystery, the vox-aster lines from the Eternity suddenly came alive ....... garbled messages ...... confused screams. It was impossible to make out exactly ............... occurring, yet it was clear that another vessel was attacking the Eternity! A planet wide broadcast cut across all our communications and the viewscreen displayed a man of the most loathsome ............ I have ever seen.

From his build I knew he must be a [fragment destroyed] but his armour was adorned with symbols and runes that made my eyes sting to look upon them. Over his shoulders hunched a grotesque device with obscene mechanical limbs like a spider reaching forward, each one ending in what appeared to be a bizarre weapon of torture device. Drop pods ................... descend to the surface of the planet and I knew I must attempt to destroy the remaining three subjects in the incubation tubes. Almost as soon as I formed this thought, the door to the command centre burst open and the third of my test subjects smashed his way inside. The figure ............... viewscreen smiled, as though welcoming a long lost son and I realised at once where the unknown psychic .................. come from. Crescere was the first to die ..................... and I am ashamed to say I fled, leaving everyone screaming as they died and the invaders broke inside our base.

Log Entry No: No ref.
For a day and a night I have hidden here ............... screams of my people as the invaders hunted them down and violated their bodies has left me shaking with a terror I cannot quell. It is clear to me now that Project Homo Sapiens Novus ...... doomed from the start. I have sealed off the hidden laboratorium and pray that the abominations within never see the light of day. What we did here ........................... technology that I fear will return to haunt the Imperium in years to come. I am not long for this life, the pistol sits beside me as I record this and I can only hope that those who find this log will not hate us for what we tried to do here.

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Adeptus Mechanicus Archaeological Expedition /21/36

Project Leader:

Explorator Magos Marco Pteronus

Date:

998.M41, day 39

DAY 39

The revivification process continues and within an hour we should be able to safely remove the last living subject from the incubation tube. I feel sure that this discovery shall be ranked as one of the most significant in the last three thousand years and that we shall learn such wondrous things from this site. Brother Lequara has warned me not to transmit anything offworld or communicate any of our findings, but I felt that this matter outweighed any petty considerations of the Adeptus Terra regarding ownership of this site. Such a discovery merits the immediate attention of a full team of Adeptus Mechanicus Explorators, Genetors, Lexmechanics and Biologis. I therefore submit this report to you and await your most learned counsel.

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:

Inquisitor Belial

From:

Inquisitor Apollyon

Date:

999.M41

Subject:

Excavation of Adeptus Mechanicus geno-lab

Thought for the Day:

Knowledge is dangerous, guard it well.

Since this last entry of the Adeptus Mechanicus research team, there have been no further transmissions from Incunabla and all attempts to discover the true identity of 'brother Lequara' have met with failure. I can only hope that when the Grey Knights arrive they are in time to prevent the sacred technology of this site from falling into the wrong hands. Or that there are survivors left to interrogate. I shall of course keep you updated with my findings.

Addendum to report

I regret to inform you that the archaeological site on Incunabla no longer exists. The Grey Knights secured the entrance and began exploration of the facility, but found no trace of the Abeptus Mechanicus team and no sign of their vessel. The site was as bereft of life as a world stripped by the Tyranids. There were no bodies discovered and no evidence of any attackers. Astropaths detected a residual warp trail, but were unable to discern its direction. I have had the site bombed from orbit with cyclonic torpedoes and expunged all record of it from all files. I fear that what was on this world is now gone and we will rue the day that this cursed place was discovered anew.