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After some serious thinking I have decided to tone down Cornelius alot, but his story will still be interesting.
Thanks to Marius and Xerxes for their amazing feed back.
The Emperor’s most accomplished scientist, Gravis was frustrated by his miscalculations. He had overestimated the rate at which his facilities could produce Space Marines. The reports showed that each facility was operating at 99.97% creating .03 less marines a day, even though he was off by the smallest of margins it would cost the Emperor thousands of marines and the Great Crusade would be held back, by Gravis inability to perfect the procedure that the Emperor entrusted him with.
Gravis knew that the Great Crusade was expanding and that he would need Gravis to operate his facilities as efficiently as possible while he was gone. There would be causalities during the expansion and the only way the Crusade would be able to continue without pause is if Gravis was able to meet the demands of the Emperor and that meant operating at 100%. Of all of the facilities that were underperforming, the Himalayan base was the one Gravis found most disturbing. How could the Himalayan base, the greatest of the Emperor’s laboratories be operating at 97%? When he had left the base to advise the other facilities, it was a shining example of excellence, constantly exceeding quotas. After only three months of absence his base had lost its zeal, and no one would ease his rage during the upcoming meeting, not even his trusted friend Dainus.
As he disembarked from his personal carrier, Dainus the scientists that was left in control of the base approached him with two odd looking servitors. “I see the Martians, are starting to rub off on you”, Gravis said, trying to display his anger while sending him a report through his comms.
“Not all of us is as privilege as you, why are you so upset?” Dainus said with little display of emotion, as they hurried towards Gravis office.
“Did you not just get the report I just sent you, this facility is underperforming and you do not even know it”, Gravis said while giving glaring looks at everyone that acknowledged him as their superior.
“If your servitor was half as necessary as you claim, maybe you would have noticed by now”, he said as he slammed the door to his office.
“Notice what?” a voice asked as if already knowing the answer.
Gravis and Dainus both bowed as the Emperor closed one of Gravis notebooks, “Your attention to detail Gravis is an amazing, I remember giving that lecture, now what has you so bothered”.
Normally Gravis would contemplate for several hours of how to word his reports to the Emperor, now without warning he would have to mingle some words together. He did not have the courage to report his failure, but he felt at ease when the eyes of the Emperor seem to inspire him, “Sir, things are not going as expected”, Gravis finally said.
A smile came across the Emperor’s face, “Yes, do not worry about the small decrease in productivity, as we expand so does our resources, the small decreases here is more than made up for by our new allies and I have been side tracked”.
“Sir, this is my fault.” Gravis rudely interrupts showing momentary frustration, because he felt the Emperor was taking the blame for his poor leadership.
Just when Gravis had decided the perfect way to apologize, the Emperor says, “I want to show you something”.
The discomfort in Dainus face could be seen despite the recent mechanical modifications; for both he and Gravis knew they were being lead to a part of the Himalayan base that they wish they could forget. As they enter the lift that would descend downwards for several minutes, Gravis turned his suit body temperature regulator on, as the memories of the freezing temperatures in the underground facility sent chills down his spine.
The Emperor was as silent as his Custodes as they walk through the empty laboratory; Gravis remembered the white oversuits that now hung on the walls. They knew very little of what they were doing during those times, but their work was important to the Emperor and that was more than enough for the scientists. Without all the people there was something missing about the underground facility, even if they were here they would not be able to fill the void that he felt; the mystic of the laboratory had left. Gravis immediately stop walking as the Emperor headed towards the huge silver steel door, with the sign of the aquila etched into it. No one had seen what was beyond those doors he thought as his photogenic memory allowed him to realize what was absent in the facility. The strange mystical looking symbols that could be found throughout the underground facility were missing.
As the door slowly started to raise the Emperor turned around and started to speak, “Gravis and Dainus you two were one of the few scientist who were briefed about my Primarch Project.” Warriors capable of uniting humanity and bringing order to the galaxy Gravis thought. The Emperor had put so much time and effort into them; no one could fathom their capabilities.
The Emperor pause for a second as he lead them through a dark room, Gravis suit started to malfunction even his senses fail him as his eyes tried desperately to view the machines that had played a role in the creation of the Primarchs. Unable to see anything but the light reflecting off of the Emperor’s armor, he could feel the raw energy created from the machines. What type of power could turn off his suit and null his senses he wondered, neither solar or plasma reactors could do such a thing.
“The Primarchs were taken from us by some unknown phenomena, but I could not stop the Great Crusade to solve a mystery. I instead turned my attention to the stars, creating soldiers that would reunite humanity. As we expand the number of high quality leaders such as Gravis is needed more and more, something that became a constant reminder of my lost Primarchs.”
For a second Gravis thought he could hear pain in the Emperor’s voice.
“I did not have the time or the resources to create new Primarchs, but if I could recreate the phenomena I could answer some of the questions that lingered in my head. Using my memory I was able to accomplish months of work in mere days, using what genetic material I had left of the original Primarchs I was able to create replicas. I recreate the scene but no phenomena occurred, and the replicas died off as expected as the original capsules were lost during the phenomena and the temporary ones were not capable of preserving their lives, however, one replica seems to have the fortitude to survive.”
Gravis heart started to pound, as the thought of analyzing the Emperor’s creation. Even if it died he might be able to alter the Space Marine creation process to make them stronger, his thoughts of experiments were interrupted by the Emperor’s voice.
“He will soon be strong enough to leave his capsule, it seems that I have created another mystery, but the Crusade needs me, Gravis your knowledge of my soldiers is second only to me I want you to analyze this specimen. To those around you he will simply be a prototype, you understand that what you learn can unlock many secrets.”
The last eleven words had the impact of a heavy bolter on Gravis skin; he has the opportunity to learn something that could unlock many secrets, a Primarch prototype. The task at hand at first seemed too monumental to handle, until he locked eyes with the Emperor. Visions of his home town prospering and leaders of unknown planets shaking hands with the Emperor, it was Humanity United and he would play his part; he knelt and said, “I would be honored”.
With a nod of his head the Emperor’s Custodes left Gravis field of vision and shortly returned with a small capsule. He could barely see the capsule as they left the Primarch’s birth place. As soon as the sealed door was closed, both Gravis and Dainus suits started to function again their comms exchanged messages at an alarming rate trying to figure out which test they should run first. The trip back to Gravis work area was over before Gravis suit could finish gathering all the resources about the Primarch Project.
Dainus servitors had already prepared the lab, and the cylindrical tank that the young specimen, would be monitored in was operating perfectly. Dainus sent a reply of “Yes” before Gravis could ask as he wanted to make sure the fluid inside his tank and the capsule was exactly the same. After taking a small sample of the fluid out of the capsule, the temperature and the atomic structure were the same there could be no mistakes. Not fully trusting the servitors Gravis connected all of the tubes for the transfer himself, as the humanoid form slowly made its transit to the tank, Gravis noticed that the capsule was marked XI.
The Custodes kept the capsule in hand not allowing the servitors or Gravis to touch it, Gravis asked the Emperor, “The capsule is marked eleven, is that what we should call him, specimen eleven?”
The Emperor smiled and responded, “Attention to detail, call him Cornelius”, Gravis smiled as he was honored to have what could be his greatest work, named after his little brother.
Last edited by CKO; July 1st, 2010 at 00:37.
I'm sorry, but this is all wrong. It's written well, with good grammar and such, but the premise you built it on was poor, and if the foundation of the house is unstable, the whole thing will collapse. Here are the main six points that this story is completely unbelievable, in the order they appear:
1. A 99.07% effeciency rate for Astartes production facilities. WAY too much. A 100% effeciency rating would mean that every candidate they test would become a successful Astartes soldier. First off, they would test thousands, maybe tens of thousands, and yield a few hundred genetically viable candidates. Out of those, most would die from the brutal training. Then many of the dozens left would reject either the new organs or the hypno-training and wash out. Of those who survive, more would die from the brutal training. In the end, a 10% effeciency rating might be considered the best possible.
2. There is a distinct lack of awe and respect towards the Emperor. He is a living demigod who has witnesses thirty thousand millennia of human civilisation, wields mental powers that rival those of GODS, and some puny scientist 'rudely interrupts him'? Even Astartes are rendered speechless when in the presence of Primarchs unless they meet with them on a daily basis, and now the Emperor, the Primarch of Primarchs, doesn't get this respect from an ordinary human? What you might wish to do is have Malcador the Sigilite meet the scientist. Having the Emperor as some nearby but unseen figure is a great way of making him seem the larger-than-life figure he is.
3. The Emperor doesn't seem to know that the Chaos Gods took his sons. He knew, how could he not? The laboratory was guarded by anti-warp sigils, the Primarchs would be the greatest threat to Chaos, and were created specifically to help the Emperor defend Mankind from Chaos. For the Primarchs to disappear from his safest labs and then reappear in the galaxy (and many canon sources state that the Emperor was still in contact with Primarchs like Magnus and Lorgar and Night Haunter), only the Chaos Gods had such power, and such motive.
4. The Emperor recreated the Primarchs in days? What took him years before he was able to do in days, because he simply remembered how he did it? No. Astartes take years to create, and they only need a few new organs. A Primarch is designed from the ground up, the makeup of his very cells unique. Even if he did have every thing else he need, the Emperor could not recreate the Primarchs so quickly. If he could, he would have simply made Primarch Legions, not Astartes Legions. And the capsules being the irreplaceable parts in the experiment? No way, they'd be the easiest to replace.
5.Speaking of time, the Emperor had no time to waste on recreating new Primarchs. As soon as the first ones disappeared he created the Astartes Legions from their genetic material, and once he had enough warriors he headed out into the galaxy. Once out there, embarked on the Great Crusade, he returned to Earth only for very brief intervals, a few months at most, before heading out again. And he only returned to Earth once the Primarchs began to be rediscovered, so there would have been no need to create new ones. And once he returned for good, 200 years after the Crusade began, all of his attention was focused on the webway project, and all the Primarchs had been found.
6. Yes, I said all of them, including the missing XI. They were simply erased from the records for some unknown reason, but they were still found, just like their brothers. Personally, I believe they were unbelievably corrupted by Chaos and had to be put down, but whatever the reason, they were found, so no using that loophole.
Finally, your title is wrong. You aren't creating a new Chapter Master, you are creating a new Primarch. Primarchs are to Space Marines what Space Marines are to humans; that far advanced. THey commanded tens of thousands of Astartes in Legion form, and were the match for foes such as the Avatar of Khaine and Khorne's greatest Bloodthirsters. A Chapter Master is genetically an ordinary Space Marine that has risen through the ranks to command a grand total of 1000 Space Marines.
My advice would be to steer clear of Horus Heresy era fluff and work in the following ten thousand years. There is MUCH more leeway there to work with.
I agree with some of your comments, but this a story which as it progresses more will become clear. I will hopefully be able to defend some of the positions that I have taken with the story.
The thing is, you do seem to be wanting to create another Primarch. A replicae of a Primarch would still be a Primarch, and simply would not be able to be built in only a few days, no matter how well you know the process. Again, creating Astartes takes years, even cloning a Primarch would take just as long. As for the incubators, that's all they were, incubators. Not difficult technology. And if the Emperor knows why the Primarchs disappeared, why task his scientists to find out? What would be the point?
My intent is to not appear belligerent, and if I have then I apologise. It is just that the way you presented your story leads me to assume that you are trying to recreate a Primarch.
I have to agree with Marius.
I've taken lots of liberties with the 40k fluff when writing for my own chapter, but there are some things which you should really just keep away from. Anything directly involving the Emperor or Primarchs or the creation thereof, is a very risky idea.
My question is this: why do you want to write this story?
For example, my Chapter fluff stretches the cannon, but it is because I wanted a particular feel to my chapter. I have written about Steampunk armies in Fantasy, because I enjoy the genre. Why have you chosen to write about Cornelius?
If you like the scientific part of the venture, why not write about any standard marine? You could always chronicle the recruiting of a single marine, and then put in some sort of strange anomaly to make him more interesting.
What is the point of making Cornelius more interesting? Cool, he's a replica primarch. If he goes on to lead a chapter, what chapter does he lead? Chapters recruited new leaders from within, and there are already records of the Second Founding. If you put him in charge of a First Founding chapter, or one that is created in the interim, you're going to step on more toes than you already have.
I've been writing fluff for a long time. I had an entire novel at one point, about a single marine being introduced into my chapter- from the Carapace up through his first skirmish and first true war. You need to know where you're going, and remember that the end product is more important than the journey to get there. If you break boundaries and go against the grain early on, you're not going have anyone left reading by the end. And if you do, they'll still brush it off as impossible. Think about what you want Cornelius or your chapter to represent, and then use accepted methods within your story to prove that it's possible.
The creation process would still take a lot longer than days however. Again, if Astartes take, at the least, months, a Primarch, even a clone, would take longer, as they are being built up from the cellular level, perhaps even the molecular one. And if it is a clone, then the Emperor would be cloning the infant Primarch, which would then have to age.
If you are insistant on doing the replica angle, have the Emperor begin the project once the originals disappear, and then hand it over to his scientist when he leaves for the Great Crusade. Then when he returns briefly years later, the 'replica' can come out of its test tube. It would also enhance the bond between the scientist and the replica, as the scientist would watch over it and see it grow for years, getting attached.
My big question is why the need to make it pre-Heresy? I think that's what most people's bugbear is about this, even more than the primarch thing. If it happened in the Heresy the way you describe, it would be in the canon fluff, it's too significant an experiment to be otherwise. But in the times since the Heresy, it's quite likely that thing will have been forgotten and so on. I'd shift it to either the 13th or the 21st founding, and make Gravis some kind of Magos Biologis with a briefing from the High Lords to create a new chapter, and pushes certain things to the limit based off some notes/relics from the era of the Primarchs. Possibly interweave some use of the Emperor's Tarot to recreate a sense of divine mandate about the project.
Hmmm... I might start on something like this if I have the time...
I knew it. The Emperor can make people blow up by talking to them.Originally Posted by CKO
Seriously, though. There are a couple of issues here; some are substantial and some are just stylistic. We'll start with the stylistic ones.
1. Presenting the background of your new chapter in the form of a work of fiction shows an admirable creative impulse, but it's hard for forum fellows to adequately critique the details, becaues you're not giving details. What you've shown us here doesn't tell us anything about your Chapter Master, the Chapter, its theme, its tactics, its character and so on. It tells us that your Chapter Master is a primarch clone made in secret immediately before the Crusade Era, and that his name is Cornelius.
A better idea is to mix the prose elements with straightforward summaries of your fluff. You'll notice that this is what the codexes do: they'll have bits of short fiction here and there, but it serves to illustrate the substantive elements, which are contained in summary form. If I wanted to tell someone the history of the Imperial Fists from ground up, for example, I wouldn't start with a piece of short fiction about Lysander. I'd go broader, paint a picture on a wide scope and then use the fiction to highlight it; that way, readers don't get caught up in commenting on your writing when they should be commenting on your substantive elements.
One of the side effects of presenting your fluff entirely in the prose fiction form is that people tend to focus on issues with your presentation instead of issues with your fluff. Like Marius pointed out with the "0.03% less marines per day" thing, or cheesy metaphors like the one I posted above. They don't make sense, and they're distracting. You end up with people fixating on the irrelevant fridge logic and saying "Hang on, you can't have 100% efficiency when making Marines" instead of making constructive observations about issues of substance.
2. As a general style guide to 40k fiction: do not include the Emperor. The Emperor occupies a mythical position in the fluff; it's very hard to pull off a mundane depiction such as the one you're showing here. People are going to go "Hang on, isn't this guy a god?" People feel incredible awe in the presence of bog-standard Marines. When Primarchs are around, they practically collapse in worship. If the Emperor even occupied the same room as one of his science staff, they'd probably have to bow and avoid meeting his eyes. They definitely wouldn't interrupt him - the guy is way too arrogant for that.
What you've got here is the Emperor chatting with some of his scientists over coffee like an normal boss. If you're going to describe people around the Primarch Project, treat it like the first episode of the West Wing. That was a TV series based around people working in the White House, and the original intention (which they dropped after the first episode) was to have the President as an unseen character; people would mention him and talk about him but he'd never be shown on set. Martin Sheen ruined that, but Martin Sheen isn't the psychic god-emperor of a futuristic space theocracy. The Emperor is a lot more mysterious and interesting when you can't see him.
3. Thematically speaking, pre-Heresy isn't a great time to set your Chapter's origination. The period is very claustrophobic; the Heresy books are filling more and more of it with canon fluff, making it nearly impossible to fit your stuff in - how does a cloned Primarch escape all the hoo-rah surrounding the Heresy? Where is he during the Siege of Terra? Why isn't he classified as a First Founding chapter (considering that the Second Founding happened several hundred years after?).
This issue is compounded by the fact that, as Xerxes said, you could easily have set the exact same story with the exact same theme but not put it during the pre-Heresy era. Gravis could simply have been an inventive Magos trying to fiddle around with vat-grown or cloned Marines. If you want to include a chapter flaw, this is an easy explanation of how it got there.
4. Okay, now; one of the problems with your substantive fluff is the fact that what you seem to be angling at here is that your Chapter Master is a clone of a Primarch or a beta-grade Primarch or something like that. People generally don't like this attitude in fluff they read; putting your Chapter Master forward as a special kind of Primarch is going to raise ire because it looks like you're just trying to one-up people, like saying that your guy is better because he beat Logan Grimnar at a drinking match or out-psykered Tigurius. Now, if that's not your intention, I have a couple of questions: first, why didn't you say so - you've given us a lot of hints and no details here, so if one of your details was "my guy is not a Primarch" then that's something you should make clear. Secondly, if your guy isn't a Primarch or Primarch-clone, I have to ask again; why even bother with the Heresy setting? It just causes irreconcilable issues with the existing Heresy fluff.
The above poster = Totally a member of the Fluff Masters Clan. Click here for fluff pwnage.
Come, sons of LO! Kneel before Poodle!
Mr_Wayne: "Some people believe that the World Eaters do not field any ranged weaponry. Those people often die at a distance."
Thank you for your help as the summary thing is a really great idea, and I promise you that the next edition/revision of the tale will be much better.
Last edited by CKO; June 4th, 2010 at 14:56.