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 Gene-Seed [WIP]

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Aethrim
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PostSubject: Gene-Seed [WIP]   Wed May 18, 2016 10:28 pm



GENE-SEED





Gene-seed is the colloquial term used amongst the Adeptus Astartes for the genetic material that allows for the creation of the super human Space Marines. The gene-seed is actually those germ cells and viral machines that have been genetically-engineered to develop into the various organs that are implanted into a normal human adolescent male to transform him into a Space Marine. All of the gene-seed was originally crafted in the 30th Millennium by the Emperor of Mankind in his Himalayan gene-laboratories deep beneath the Himalayan Mountains for this purpose using the genomes of each of the 20 Primarchs as a template. The term is most commonly used to refer to the contents of the Astartes Progenoid Glands which must be harvested by a Space Marine Apothecary so that its genetic material can be used to create a new generation of Astartes. There are 19 types of gene-seed, each corresponding to one of the 19 specialised organs implanted into the body of a human male to create a Space Marine. As many of these implants are neural in nature, it is important to note that for many of these implantations the subject must be awake for the surgery and the mind cannot be dulled by the use of painkillers.

Many of these organs are cultured in vitro from the gene-seed, whilst others require that the gene-seed be injected into the Aspirant's body and then grow into a new organ using the implantee's own physiological processes. All Space Marine Chapters use the gene-seed organs to unleash and control the metabolic processes that transform an ordinary mortal into a Space Marine. The gene-seed itself is encoded with all the genetic information needed to reshape ordinary human cell clusters into the special organs Space Marines possess in those instances where they are not directly implanted after being cultured outside the body. The gene-seed contains genetically-engineered viral machines which rebuild the male human body according to the biological template contained within it and originally crafted by the scientific acumen of the Emperor. However, even from the beginning of the Astartes' existence, there was never a set way to activate these transformative functions of the gene-seed.

During the First Founding of the 30th Millennium when the Space Marine Legions were first created, the process was still highly experimental and many different ways of controlling and managing the transformation from mortal into Astartes were tried. This led to the Space Wolves using the ritual known as Blooding, the Imperial Fists using the process known as the Hand of Faith, the White Scars conducting the Rites of the Risen Moon and the Blood Angels using the ritual of Insanguination.



GENE-SEED IMPLANTS





Since the First Founding, the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes have lost the ability to engineer new gene-seed or implant organs from scratch. They also do not often possess enough stable genetic material to directly culture all 19 implants available to their Chapter due to the loss or rampant mutation of the gene-seed for one or more organs. All Chapters are different, but the "purest" Chapters in this respect are the Grey Knights, the Ultramarines, and the Dark Angels, who have maintained a large enough supply of stable gene-seed to develop all 19 fully functioning Astartes organ implants. It is for this reason that the Ultramarines and the Dark Angels have more Successor Chapters than any of the other First Founding Chapters. However, all known Astartes Chapters possess the gene-seed required to culture the Black Carapace, as this is necessary for a Space Marine to use his Power Armour, and the Progenoid Glands, without which the Chapter would be incapable of creating new Astartes. The implantation of new gene-seed or gene-seed organs has over the centuries turned into a near-religious ritual. Some Astartes will need further operations after the initial implantation procedure to fix imbalances caused by poor surgery or their own body's poor adjustment to the hormonal and physical changes initiated by the implants.


  • Secondary Heart - The Secondary Heart, also called the Maintainer, is the first and least difficult of the 19 Astartes gene-seed organ implants a Space Marine Neophyte receives to transform him into a full Astartes. It resembles a smaller version of the human heart and is implanted in the chest cavity and connected to the rest of the Neophyte's circulatory and pulmonary systems near the original heart. Its function is to enhance the performance of an Astartes by supplying more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles by increasing blood flow well-beyond that capable for even the most fit normal human being. The Secondary Heart can often save an Astartes' life in combat. In the event of combat damage to or failure of the Space Marine's original heart, the Secondary Heart is usually capable of pumping enough blood through the Astartes' circulatory system to maintain survival until he can be treated by the Chapter's Apothecaries.

  • Ossmodula - The Ossmodula, also called the Ironheart, is the 2nd of the 19 gene-seed organs implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte during the induction process to create a new Astartes. This implant, surgically placed alongside the Neophyte's pituitary gland at the base of the brain, thus becoming a part of the Space Marine's endocrine system, secretes a specially engineered form of human growth hormone. When the effects of this hormone are combined with a diet laced with microscopic ceramic-based minerals, they act to synthesise the rapid growth of an Astartes' skeleto-muscular system which results in an Astartes' superhuman strength and massive size compared to a baseline human male. Two years after the surgery to implant the Ossmodula is completed, the Neophyte Space Marine's skeleton will be larger and exponentially stronger than a normal man's with growth having topped out at around 7-7.5 feet in height with an equivalent amount of skeleto-muscular mass. During this time the rib cage will fuse into a solid mass of bullet-proof, interlaced bone plates. The resulting structure protects the Space Marine's organs from damage in a way the normal human skeleton never could, though at the price of producing greater difficulties for the Chapter's Apothecaries when they must perform surgeries on a Space Marine's body cavity.

  • Biscopea - The Biscopea, also called the Forge of Strength, is the 3rd of the 19 gene-seed organs implanted into a Neophyte Space Marine during the induction process to create a new Astartes. This organ enhances a Space Marine's physical combat ability and survivability to superhuman levels should he live to become a full Astartes of a Space Marine Chapter. When implanted into the chest cavity, usually at the same time as the Ossmodula is implanted at the base of the brain, this small, spherical implant bolsters skeletomuscular development and density throughout the Space Marine's body and regulates the Ossmodula's synethetic human growth hormone secretion levels. This initiates a growth process that ultimately causes the adolescent human male implanted with the organ to reach the massive height and gain the superhuman strength and muscle density of the Astartes. As noted above, the Biscopea is commonly implanted at the same time as the Ossmodula since it is necessary to successfully regulate the Ossmodula's hormonal secretions and it will also regulate the hormonal changes caused to the new Astartes' body by many of the other gene-seed implants.

    Haemastamen - The Haemastamen, also known as the Blood Maker, is the 4th of the 19 gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new Astartes. Once implanted into a main blood vessel like the aorta, femoral artery or the vena cava, the Haemastamen alters an Astartes' blood's biochemical composition to carry oxygen and nutrients more efficiently. The actions of the Haemastamen turn a Space Marine's blood a brighter shade of red than that of normal humans because of its greatly increased oxygen-carrying capacity. It also acts to biochemically regulate the actions of the 2nd and 3rd gene-seed implants, the Ossmodula and Biscopea.

  • Larraman's Organ - Larraman's Organ, also called the Healer, is the 5th of the 19 gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new Astartes. Shaped like the human liver but only the size of a golf ball, this gene-seed organ is placed within the chest cavity and manufactures the synthetic biological cells known as Larraman Cells that were named after one of the researchers in the Emperor of Mankind's gene-laboratories on Terra where the gene-seed for the first Space Marines was created under the Emperor's direction from his Primarchs' DNA. These biosynthetic cells serve the same physiological purpose for an Astartes as the normal human body's platelets, serving to clot the blood lost from wounds, but act faster, more efficiently and more effectively. When a Space Marine is wounded and incurs blood loss, Larraman Cells are released by his circulatory system, attached to the body's normal leukocytes (white blood cells). At the site of the injury, they form scar tissue in a matter of seconds, effectively preventing massive blood loss and infection of the wound. The action of this organ is one of the reasons that the Space Marines are seen as nearly invincible and so difficult to kill despite the terrible wounds they sometimes endure.

  • Catalepsean Node - The Catalepsean Node, also called the Unsleeping, is the 6th of the 19 gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new Astartes. This organ is implanted into the back of the cerebrum, just above the brain stem. When deprived of sleep for a long period of time, the Catalepsean Node "cuts in" upon detecting a rise in the Astartes' stress and fatigue hormones. This allows the Astartes to consciously "switch off" sections of the brain sequentially, while remaining awake and alert. This ability comes at a price, as prolonged use of this ability can be hazardous, possibly inducing hallucinations or even psychosis. This implant bears a resemblance to an ancient scientific theory as to how cetaceans known as "Bottlenose Dolphins" "sleep": shutting off sections of their brain while remaining awake and alert through the active use of the other sections. Yet even the mighty Space Marines cannot go too long without actual rest. The longest any Space Marine has ever been on active combat duty without rest is 328 hours, achieved by a squad of the Crimson Fists' Kill-team during the battle against the Orks for Rynn's World.

  • Preomnor - The Preomnor, also called the Neutralizer, is the 7th of the 19 gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new Astartes. The Preomnor is essentially a second or pre-stomach spliced into the human digestive system above the original stomach that allows Space Marines to eat otherwise poisonous or completely indigestible materials. The Preomnor is capable of biochemically analyzing ingested materials and neutralizing most known biochemical and inorganic toxins, and many others that remain unknown save for their toxic effects. Deadly poisons are either neutralized or isolated from the digestive tract by the Preomnor. The Preomnor can also be isolated from the rest of the digestive tract to deal with particularly toxic substances that a Space Marine may simply vomit back up later. Often these extracted toxins are rerouted and then molecularly stored in the Betcher's Gland for future usage by the Astartes.

  • Omophagea - The Omophagea, also called the Remembrancer, is the 8th of the 19 genetically-engineered gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new superhuman Astartes. The Omophagea is implanted into the spinal cord and then wired into the central nervous system so that it is directly attached to the cerebral cortex and to the stomach. It allows the Astartes to gain part of an individual person's or creature's memory by eating its flesh. This special organ is implanted between the thoracic vertebrae and the stomach wall and is designed to absorb information and any DNA, RNA or protein sequences related to experience or memory. This implant thus allows a Space Marine to literally "learn by eating." Four new nerve bundles are also implanted connecting the spine and the stomach wall. The Omophagea transmits the gained information to the Astartes' brain as a set of memories or experiences. This enables the Space Marine to gain information, in a survival or tactical sense, simply by eating an animal indigenous to an alien world and then experiencing some of what that creature did before its death. It is the presence of this organ that is responsible for the various flesh-eating and blood-drinking rituals for which certain Space Marine Chapters are famous, as well as giving names to Chapters such as the Blood Drinkers and Flesh Tearers. Over time, mutations in this implant's gene-seed have given some Chapters an unnatural craving for blood or flesh.

  • Multi-lung - The Multi-lung, also called the Imbiber, is the 9th of the 19 genetically engineered gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new Astartes. The Multi-lung is a third lung implanted into an Astartes' pulmonary and circulatory systems in the chest cavity that is able to absorb oxygen from environments usually too poor in oxygen to allow normal human respiratory functioning. Breathing is accomplished through a sphincter implanted into the trachea, allowing all three lungs to be used at full capacity. In toxic environments, a similar muscle closes off the normal lungs, thus oxygen is absorbed exclusively by the Multi-lung, which then filters out the poisonous or toxic elements. The Multi-lung has highly efficient toxin dispersal systems.

  • Occulobe - The Occulobe, also called the Eye of Vengeance, is the 10th of the 19 genetically-engineered gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new Astartes. This implant sits at the base of the brain after being implanted along the optic nerve and connected to the retina, and provides hormonal and genetic stimuli which enable a Space Marine's eyes to respond to the optic-therapy that all Neophytes must undergo in their Chapter's Apothecarium. These procedures, in turn, allow the Chapter's Apothecaries to make adjustments to the growth patterns of the eyes and their light-receptive retinal cells. The result is that Space Marines have visual acuity that is far superior to that of baseline humans and they can see in low-light conditions and near-darkness almost as well as in bright daylight.

  • Lyman's Ear - The Lyman's Ear, also called the Sentinel, is the 11th of the 19 genetically-engineered gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new Astartes. Not only does this implant's improved inner ear structure make a Space Marine immune to dizziness or motion sickness but it also allows Space Marines to consciously filter out and greatly enhance certain sounds over the capabilities of normal human hearing. The Lyman's Ear completely replaces one of a Space Marine's original ears. It is externally indistinguishable from a normal human ear in size and shape. Lyman's Ear is named after one of the scientists who worked in the Emperor's gene-laboratories on Terra in the 29th Millennium who aided in the project to produce the first Astartes using the Emperor's own genome as the starting point.

  • Sus-an Membrane - The Sus-an Membrane, also called the Hibernator, is the 12th of the 19 genetically-engineered organs created from a Space Marine Chapter's gene-seed that is implanted into a normal human man to transform him into a Neophyte of an Adeptus Astartes Chapter. Initially implanted within the Neophyte's cranium, this membrane eventually merges with the recipient's cerebrum, becoming a full part of his neural architecture. The organ's functions are ineffective without follow-up chemical therapy and training by a Chapter's Apothecaries, but with sufficient practice and instruction a Space Marine can use this implant to enter a state of suspended animation, consciously or as an automatic reaction to extreme trauma, keeping the Space Marine alive for years, even if he has suffered otherwise mortal wounds. Only the appropriate chemical therapy or hypnotic auto-suggestion can revive a Space Marine from this state. The longest recorded period spent in suspended animation was undertaken by Battle-Brother Silas Err of the Dark Angels Chapter, who was revived after 567 standard years in Sus-an hibernation.

  • Melanochrome - The Melanochrome, also called the Skinshield, is the 13th of the 19 genetically-engineered gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new Astartes. This hormonal implant is attached to the human lymphatic system and controls the amount of melanin in a Space Marine's skin. Exposure to high levels of sunlight will result in the Astartes' skin naturally darkening to compensate. It also protects the Space Marine from other forms of electromagnetic radiation. Different levels of radiation cause variations of skin color in different Chapters due to mutations in the Melanochrome organ's gene-seed. This can be related to the unusually pale skin of the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters and the dark black skin and red eyes of the Salamanders.

  • Oolitic Kidney - The Oolitic Kidney, also known as the Purifier, is the 14th of the 19 genetically-engineered gene-seed organs implanted within a Space Marine Neophyte to create a new Astartes. The organ is implanted within the new Astartes' abdominal cavity and it becomes a part of the Space Marines' excretory system, an emergency detoxification organ that allows a Space Marine to survive exposure through the respiration, tactile contact or ingestion of poisons, toxins and gases that are too powerful for even his rugged system to normally process without this organ's help. However, this detoxification process renders the Astartes unconscious once it begins, so it can be very dangerous if required during combat. Under normal circumstances, the Oolitic Kidney also acts as a regulatory organ for the Astartes physiology, maintaining the efficient action of the Space Marine's advanced circulatory system and the proper functioning of his other organs, implanted or otherwise.

  • Neuroglottis - The Neuroglottis, also called the Devourer, is the 15th of the 19 genetically-engineered gene-seed organs implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to create a new Astartes. The organ is implanted within the Astartes' upper nasal passages and after it is functioning, chewing, tasting or smelling a substance allows a Space Marine to biochemically test it for toxicity and nutritional content, essentially determining if the substance is edible or poisonous. The organ also allows the Space Marine to identify extremely subtle odours with the same fidelity as the average canine bred for tracking, allowing him to even track his quarry by taste alone.

  • Mucranoid - The Mucranoid, also called the Weaver, is the 16th of the 19 gene-seed organs implanted within an adolescent Space Marine Neophyte to create a new Astartes. This organ is implanted within the central nervous system and responds to specific chemical stimuli in the environment, causing the Space Marine to secrete a waxy protein substance similar to mucus through his pores that seals his skin. The gland's operations must first be activated by an external chemical treatment, usually self-administered, before it will activate. Space Marines are cocooned in this way before they enter suspended animation, and the process can even protect them from the harshness of the vacuum and other extremes of temperature, particularly deeply frigid environments.

  • Betcher's Gland - The Betcher's Gland, also known as the Poison Bite, is the 17th of the 19 genetically-engineered gene-seed organs that are implanted into a Space Marine Neophyte to produce a new Astartes. Consisting of two glands that are implanted into multiple locations inside a Space Marine's mouth, including the inside of the lower lip, in the salivary glands or in the hard palette, these two glands working in tandem transform an Astartes' saliva into a corrosive, blinding acid when consciously triggered. This allows a Space Marine to spit a wad of corrosive acid with the effect of blinding, wounding or even killing an enemy outright. These implants' more common use is to aid in the digestion of unusually difficult or impossible things to digest, such as cellulose. In the gene-seed of several Primarchs, like that of Rogal Dorn, this organ has atrophied and is no longer as effective or has simply ceased to function entirely in the Astartes of the Chapters that use those Primarchs' gene-seed.

  • Progenoid Glands - The Progenoid Glands, also known as the Gene-Seed, are the 18th of the 19 genetically-engineered gene-seed organs implanted within an adolescent Space Marine Neophyte to create a new Astartes. Every Space Marine has these organs, one implanted in the neck and another in the chest. The organs hormonally respond to the presence of the other Astartes gene-seed implants in the body by creating germ cells with DNA identical to that of those implants through a process very similar to cellular mitosis. These germ cells grow and are stored in the Progenoid organs, much like sperm cells or egg cells are stored in the testes and ovaries of normal men and women. When properly cultured by the Apothecaries of a Space Marine Chapter, these germ cells can be gestated into each of the 19 gene-seed organs needed to create a new Space Marine. Thus, for most Astartes, their Progenoid Glands represent the only form of reproduction they will ever know, though the DNA passed on will be that of their Primarch, not their own. Mature Progenoid organs can be removed and new gene-seed implants artificially cultured from them. This is the only way new implants can be created, so a Chapter depends upon its existing Space Marines to create other Space Marines. Five standard years after implantation, the Progenoid Gland in the neck contains mature gene-seed and may be removed and its germ cells harvested, while the larger chest Progenoid is not considered ready for harvesting until 10 standard years have passed. The harvesting is normally done after an Astartes' death by an Apothecary, who carries a special attachment on the mobile medical field kit he carries on his arm known as a Narthecium. This attachment is called a Reductor and it is specifically used to extract both Progenoid Glands from the body of a slain Astartes so that his gene-seed can be used to replace the Chapter's loss, the only form of true immortality that Astartes will ever know.

  • The Black Carapace - The Black Carapace, also known as the Interface, is the last and one of the most important of all the 19 gene-seed organ implants a Space Marine Neophyte will receive as he is transformed from a normal, adolescent human male into a superhuman Astartes. This neuroreactive, black organic fibrous material is implanted directly under the skin of the Neophyte's torso. Points are then cut through the Carapace by an Apothecary using surgical tools that allow a Space Marine to directly interface his central nervous system with his Power Armour's cybernetic systems. After a few hours, the material hardens and invasive synthetic fiber bundles that will serve as connection points for neurons grow inward and interlink with the newborn Astartes' central nervous system. Note that a Space Marine needs the Black Carapace to use his Power Armour to its maximum capabilities, but the armour itself does not need this implant in order to function. The Sisters of Battle, for example, as well as some Inquisitors, also wear Power Armour. However, since their central nervous systems are not linked directly to their armour's Machine Spirit as a Space Marine would be, their Power Armour is markedly less efficient at providing protection or allowing them to maneuver in combat than that of an Astartes.


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