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This is a fluff question about Space Marine gene-seed
Space Marine chapters take casualties, that's a given. And they are replenished with recruits from their home worlds/sectors. The gene-seed is taken from the dead marines and passed down.
However, there are inevitably casualties from which the gene-seed could not be retrieved (Marine gets incinerated, eaten by something big, apothecary/wolf priest cannot make it to the body, gene-seed destroyed so it doesn't fall into chaos hands, etc.).
As I understand it, gene-seed is in finite supply for space marine chapters. Let's say, they lose one such casualty per year, from which the gene-seed could not be retrieved. I would think they lose more than that, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say 1 per year. If chapters start at 1000 members, then in the 10,000 years since the Horus Heresy, every space marine chapter should have been obliterated 10 times over (and I mean gene-seed wiped out, not just regular casualties). I know there is the making of new gene-seed somehow -- that's how whole new chapters are created.
So the question comes down to this: do Space Marine Chapters have the ability to grow new gene-seed, or no?
If no, then how are the chapters' gene-seeds not obliterated?
If yes, then why is the gene-seed so precious that they try to extract it from every friendly casualty?
This may seem like a logical explanation, but us humans are not dumb. We have implemented new ways of creating new Marines.
Now, of course it is true that with the passing of the Emperor, the Imperium lost the capability to reproduce the implants that made up the Space Marine Chapters, those predominately that fought alongside him at the time of the Heresy, and those that oppossed him. However, all chapters have in their possession the Black Carapace, which is a necessary attribute for a Marine to utilise his armor, and they also retain the Progenoid Gland, and this is the key ingredient needed to make new Marines.
Now the important thing to realize here is that the Gene Seed characteristics are passed down through this Progenoid Gland, which is the eighteenth implant embedded in the Marine, which collects and stores generic data, such as personality, and memory. There are two of these glands, one in the throat, and one in the chest cavity. This chest cavity implant gives the added assurity that the gene seed "data" can be preserved from a lost Marine. The throat is the first that is harvested, but from battles where losses are heavy, the chest cavity is also removed with the Gland still there, which is not really condoned, as the lose of the Gland does not define a true Marine. In these such battles, only a Marine of high ranking authority, such as Chapter Master or Apistolary, has their chest Gland preserved.
Each Gland I believe for one of each of the implants embedded in that of a Marine. This is removed, and and samples are taken and cultivated so that the surrounding tissue can thus be reformed, and ready to be implanted in that of a new Marine. In essence, if a certain hero dies on battle, he lives on in genetic spirit through the body of an heir; a battle brother of blood and bone, and mechanics.
Now to get to your question. If a Marine force suffers countless casualties of war, where the numbers lost are beyond reckoning, which does happen, it could prove necessary that the Apothecaries of the Chapter must use test subjects, and the gene seed locked away in the factories and collection of their chapter's history to cultivate new gene seed, and allow the essential organs to grow, and come to maturity. Obviously there is a lot of mystery and deception enveloping this procedure, but what is known is that this practice is not condoned, as roughly 5% of the chapter's existing gene seed must be used in this process, to be sent to Terra to be checked for purity, flaws, of which some are overlooked, as in the case of the Canis Helix, and it is possible that new Chapters are indeed formed in this way.
So, even if the gene seed of a Chapter is wiped out in battle, I believe there are still relics of the Progenoid Gland, with the statistics of each Astartes organ implemented into it stored away in the depths of the vaults of each Chapter, essential for these cases.
At least, that is from my reckoning. Hope that helps.
Light a fire for a man, and he will be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
The geneseed can be implanted in lobotomised cloned bodies created for this purpose. They wait ten years to mature, the progenoid is harvested, and the clone husk is incinerated.
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Mr_Wayne: "Some people believe that the World Eaters do not field any ranged weaponry. Those people often die at a distance."
Also, you seem to be missing the fact that every marine has TWO progenoid glands, each of which possesses the full genetic information for an entire set of Astartes organs. This means that every marine essentially pays back the chapter the geneseed that was used to create them PLUS one extra. As such even with a slew of fatalities that can't be recovered a chapter will almost always have enough geneseed, especially considering that in good times a chapter probably builds up a stockpile, and geneseed can be kept essentially forever under the right circumstances.
Additionally, every chapter must send 10%(not 5) of its geneseed to Mars(not terra) to be tested on a recurring basis. This geneseed is not only tested though, for providing it is clean it is also stockpiled, usually for the purpose of creating new chapters, but in case of emergency it can also be used to resupply a chapter with suitable replacement geneseed.
Last edited by Sabe; August 4th, 2010 at 21:01.
Nevermore Chapter: 6200 pts; 97/49/11; Longest Streak: 9 Wins/4 Losses; Nearing Completion
Excellent informative responces to the OP, i only knew bits of it. And the British press are going loopy because we might have eaten a cloned cows offspring ? What a joke.
Jager bombs. Very efficient at wiping out friend or foe.
Remember that some of the rapid-repopulation attempts didn't always take. For example, Corax's Gamble. Corax (Primarch of the Raven Guard) found himself left with about the strength of a Chapter, in the era of Legions (1000 of his original 10,000 remained). He tried to clone the geneseed to speed up the return of his force to full combat-ready resulted in... the most luckless psychotic rampaging mutant bastards to have ever been trained as Marines. The Raven Guard were forced to kill all of them.
Also, feel free to enjoy the services of the "fluff" subforum for such fluff-related questions!
Last edited by rafis117; August 5th, 2010 at 01:27.
Terminator armor going critical would be like Three Mile Island only very, VERY angry, and carrying a hammer.
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