A Legacy of Darkness

Apophia's Medical Journal 4
Bigger Bathasar

Since I adopted the late captain's pet dog I have rather thoroughly fallen for him. Being able to return back to the labs and my room and see a jumping dog excited to see me. It's an experience I'd never enjoyed before. In Commouragh I was lucky enough to not be someone's pet or suffer the awkwardness of owning one. But I think I can understand the appeal now. Well as long as it's a pet lacking sentience. Probably explains why I got on so well with the Wytches. But yeah going home to a dog jumping into your arms and just making everything better. Fucking brilliant.

Then I learned of their expected life span 10 YEARS! I'm already in my hundreds! How can I allow something I've become so attached to to die?! It's a betrayal! I couldn't live with myself if I didn't make the upmost effort to save his life. So I began looking into various methods of helping him. One of the quickest was deciding if I wanted him scaled up to my size. Currently he is what I've been told is a hand-bag dog for me when he's meant to be a hunting dog. The most adorable hunting dog ever yes you are!

In the background of the recording a ball can be heard bouncing around the room and frantic excited barking

So I'm putting him on a regimen of growth hormones orally ingested, through his treats which he loves, don't you boy! Alongside this I'm going to have to inject a minor virus to adapt his cells to reduce the level of oxidation in his cells to reduce the aging process. This will be done by the good doctor Catillo as I don't want Balthasar to associate me with needles that are injecting him. 

With Balthasar's feeding schedules in the capable hands of Admiral Salvus and his injections done with I entered my stasis for the next few months. And now that it has passed I can confirm it has been a SUCSESS!!! Balthasar has grown massively and is now at his full size. He's a struggle for me to carry all of his floofy weight. And having checked his cell biology the oxidation process has been slowed to a near infinitesimal level. His lifespan has increased massively.

I wonder if I can look after him post ascension.

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Apophia's Medical Journal 3
Self Improvement

This is possibly the least considered scientific endeavour I have participated in. The conviction of Katarina to subdue and control the human will of Alpha Squad and the bizarre fixation of Gordon to understand everything and anything at least have time, preparation and thought put into it. I am being pressed for time and despite my abundance of material and resource have yet to progress myself towards the goal of returning to my roots. The rebirth of the great Laer.

So with time running out and my hands on the greatest genetic specimens I am aware of in the galaxy (and an unknown which will be used as well) I entered the stasis after injecting myself with the required tailored virus. Leaving an initiate and the Kroot to watch guard as I slumber.

Well the results are in and the alterations have been successful. Despite spending two months unmoving in stasis my muscle mass has increased, I’m faster and more alert than before and most impressively my thought process has improved thanks to the Aeldari thrown in there. But those were entirely to be expected. The unknown was the most bizarre.

I now have… well teeth. I’d say fangs as they are incredibly sharp and viscous but in the context of me being serpentine it gives the wrong impression. These are not snake fangs but those of an overly aggressive squirrel. I shall not inform anyone else of this revelation as it is a tad embarrassing to have just used random genetic sample with no idea what was in there. I’d say in future I’d be more careful but increasingly I fear there will not be a next time, but that belongs in a private log. Not a medical journal

Going through the effects of the specimens for future scientific endeavours:

Ork genetic material increases muscle mass and constitutional resilience. As such I have a greater strength and capacity for physical stress.

The Druchari was a risk. Their genetic variance and well… their time in the webway has had some severe effects on them on the basest of levels. I was concerned my scales would become translucent. For them their skins translucence grants them a more easily overlooked appearance, giving rise to the horror stories of ghosts arriving and claiming the lives of entire cities. For me this would only weaken my natural defences and make me look more weird and possibly scary… I guess? Maybe? But either way it was successful so while the Ork has increased the muscle mass of my body the Druchari has kept it compact and more efficient granting me greater speed and reflexes.

Finally the Aeldari. This was something of an unknown (not as much as the “Mystery Bone”) as it could have granted my the Psyker gene. It didn’t which was a bit of a disappointment but on the other hand I now have a distinctly improved mental acumen and capacity for knowledge. Which would help with future alterations but those won’t be happening.

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Apophia's Medical Journal 2
Assessment of Alpha Squad

After performing the requested surgery on behalf of Magos Katarina Steele Mk. IV… I think. Anyway, the augmentations were invasive and were being applied directly onto various lobes of the brain. This raises concerns but having seen the extent of madness in the eyes of haemonculi, this is still not even approaching that. NOT THAT HAEMONCULI ARE MAD, INSANE OR OTHERWISE. THEY AREPASSIONATE! Assuming that works I’ll continue.

After observing their recovery from brain surgery, they are physically fine but they would be, I’m their doctor. But fearing a similar trend as Bast who is in incredible physical fitness to the point of it becoming a problem (which is currently being treated with muscle relaxants to prevent rupturing of the epidermis under pressure), his mental health is declining as his obsession with physical fitness is beyond Mon’Keigh Slaaneshi tendencies and his violent predisposition grows.

So I thought I should screen Alpha Squad for psychosomatic issues rising from the surgery. On the one hand I failed to screen them prior to the surgery which means I am unaware of what was considered “healthy” by this group and as they’re under the command of Katarina I imagine that it is thoroughly skewed. It was worse than I had expected.

The augmentation has managed to rewire them not directly but with the use of hormonal control. A superior method to anything other Mon’Keigh have attempted and from what I can tell this was just something for the Magos to do while she can’t work on the ship. That isn’t to say it isn’t terrifying, just impressive. The squad receives boosts to their endorphins and other rewarding hormones when working together, most especially when defending each other. But will have negative hormones released with the introduction of potential betrayals and conspiracy against the team to the level that I feared I was about to be tied in a knot and torn apart.

What has to be the greatest level of this achievement is that it has been done despite the presence of  Zethendi. That creep. There’s something wrong with him. He should be gotten rid of. But there’s the entirety of those weaponised FREAKS to get pas…. Yes it’s been accomplished despite the strain he must put on the team. Impressive. Very fucking impressive.

sounds of a strained sigh and an injector being used

Very. Impressive.

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The ACA Implant
Advanced Combat Assistant

ACA Implant:
(Advanced Combat Assistant)

This implant will be the true innovation behind the Alpha Squad, and will consist of a Cerebral Implant, Cybernetic System (Visual, Olfactory and Oral) and an MIU, all of which are going to be heavily upgraded and modified. Benefits will include:

Visual Tactical Simulations: Done through the connection between their MIU port and cybernetic senses, this allows them to “create” basic images that appear as small holograms, useful not only for strategising, but the connection between other implants also allows units to “mark” enemies to denote their position to their squad members. This will also allow squads to connect to specific cameras and other visual and oral security systems provided there is an MIU port available.
Enhanced Targeting Array: Similar to the basic MIU Weapon interface, this provides additional targeting assistance to the unit, but also provides information on the range of targets, positions of “marked” targets (provided they are within line of sight of another unit) and will mark out any priority targets previously recorded during briefing.
Enhanced Combat Preparation: By stimulating the adrenal gland at opportune moments, units can enter and finish a fight quickly, whether they’ve prepared for it or are surprised. Also, by shutting down the Olfactory senses where necessary, the unit will not be distracted by overwhelming smells such as the blood and feces of slain enemies. Stimulation of Visual Senses is also activated during REM sleep in order to provide pre-simulated pleasant dreams, this provides a greater feeling of rest between fights and reduces trauma and feelings of fear and worry.
Deviance Deterrence: Engaging in deviant activities such as drugs, sex crimes and sadism towards their fellow man can be hazardous to the health and well-being of a soldier. The ACA implant corrects this behaviour by suppressing pleasure centres of the brain during these unnecessary activities or when starting unprovoked fights against people marked as allies. In addition they also stimulate the slow release of oxytocin during ideal behaviour such as protecting an ally or felling an enemy in order to provide a pleasant feeling of satisfaction.

In addition to these function, the ACA implant is also designed to prevent feelings of guilt or fear overcome their duty. To reach this goal, their perception of citizens of the Imperium are altered to look like an non-sentient, bestial mutant. This image is specifically designed not to strike fear in the soldier, but rather to instill a feeling of disgust. Heretics that are not marked as criminals or heretics (living in secret in the Imperium) will have to be specifically scanned to avoid being killed on sight by these soldiers. Meanwhile beings that don’t make sense to most individuals (such as warp entities and non-humanoid xenos) are made to appear merely as intelligent beasts, intimidating in size and cunning perhaps, but not unnatural or malign. These targets (both human, xenos and unnatural) also have their voices and words filtered through this implant so that the soldier merely hears animalistic snarls or roars. These changes will allow a soldier to judge a creature’s threat without being overwhelmed by fear or guilt.

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Apophia's Medical Journal 1
Bast's Developments

After leading several classes on medical sciences, anatomy, physiology and history of the Sslyth and Laer. I helped the medical facilities get caught up on the backlog of surgeries and emergency procedures. However, the wounded were in some ways the least harmed by all this. Bast and Dogbert were in desperate need of psychological help and emotional support. 

Talking to Bast we went to Icarus' room and reminisced. It was clear Bast admired and adored Icarus. Without him he was suffering a grief I've never witnessed in anyone. I've seen individuals being tortured by kabalite trueborns with more hope than this man. Thankfully Gordon arrived informing us Icarus in fact survived his demise in some manner. In the Palatial Gardens of Slaanesh he was trapped in the service of a daemon. If we completed his request of Icarus we would save him. This was enough to give Bast a reason to go on, if only a temporary one. 

Later that day Bast would be led by Katarina into the medical bay. Katarina seemed to be taken his broken heart conditions significantly more literally than imaginable. She'd talked him into the procedure and well… he seemed like he wanted it. Implanting the oversized heart he recovered quickly. Over the proceeding weeks he recovered and developed rapidly. His body is producing an overabundance of both testosterone and adrenaline. His mentality has shifted from adoration to aggression. Not only that but physically he has adapted to the hormonal changes. His musculature has increased rapidly and endurance exceeding human capacity. The shift in personality is dangerous though. It's never a good sign to see the grieving so thoroughly devote themselves to tha anger stage of loss. 

What the hell has Katarina done to this man?

And can some of the results be replicated in reptiles?

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The Fall of Zarath Icarus
Aggressive Atheism

Dodging one attack made me overconfident. I deftly escaped his range and was going to destroy him with a flurry of Folsh'ts beautiful screams. But I couldn't help but see the pitiful state Hakael was in. Some robotic abomination was siphoning his very soul into something. I may have my issues with Tzeentchians but I think that was infinitely more than anyone should ever endure. I diverted my attack forcing it to stop it's repugnant form of vampirism. Katarina rushed forward to finish the monstrosity off. 

However, my priorities were noted by my opponent who in a storm of slices cuts and stabs felled me with ease. Death by a thousand cuts as it were. The strikes did little but my constitution was drained from me. I collapsed instantly exhausted. Darkness consumed my consciousness. Then a light, opening to what I'd always wanted to see. The palatial gardens of Slaanesh.

Walking straight through the gardens of the excess of  riches, sustenance and bodily delights I was still confident of my inevitable success. However, at the excesses of adoration I couldn't help but having a look. It revealed cults being spawned in his name. His art was beloved by entire systems, cathedrals burned and rebuilt in his image. However, he resisted the urge to sit by the reflecting pool and stay. It wouldn't be a trip if you didn't have a look. 

As he made his way out of that part of the garden he failed to hear the dripping of the water behind him. Cold terror gripped him as a wet hand wrapped around his throat and dragged him with strangled screams into the water. 

Once consciousness returned he was in a submerged cover within the reflecting pool of the excess of admiration. But he was not alone, lounging on a bed of coral and sand was a vile creature. That he recognised. This was the daemon he'd made a pact with, and failed to resolve. He was now a stretched eel with a lamprey mouth. Laughing quietly to himself.

From then Icarus became the daemon's muse, singing it to sleep and writing great compositions to it's greatness. Thankfully he would every now and again be taken out for therapy sessions with Gordon. Some escape for now.

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Therapy Session Three
Memories and Age
  • His memories are no longer based remotely on fact, rather his emotional responses to the stimuli.
  • His earliest is his realisation as a child that everything was just so damn big.
  • He has forgotten many important faces, Ventium was one that sprung to mind, would press the Sabbanth issue but fear regression
  • His response to this existential crisis was to claim that this would all be his, despite the effort of his siblings
  • He has killed them before old age could take them
  • He relished the death of Alexander
  • His memory of research is extensive
  • Clear Sociopathical distance from family and friends, preferring knowledge and research over personal bonds
  • Remembers his tutor from childhood. But can't recall any faces whatsoever, probable Prosopagnosia
  • John, a psyker who would perform 'magic tricks' not bright (no face)
  • Exceptional memory for names
  • Visualisation difficult
  • It is a huge wooden door with metal details and it looks a little frightening – fear
  • A large banquet hall with huge chandeliers and red carpets – fear and a need to perform
  • It looks sharp and massive like not leading anywhere – hard life
  • It’s too small, almost skylight – trapped in their own life
  • A snowy forest – isolation
  • It is full of hypertrophic plants, grasses, broken wood and fallen barbed wire, fear – depression and hopelessness
  • Also clear fear of the devourer
  • Severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hmmmm…..
  • Optimism attempted.
  • He has plans against the Devourer, which we shall help with!
  • Treasure Hunt is coming!
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Project Alpha 2
Our most Promising Subjects

Having begun the Initial Training of Project Alpha I can't help but be impressed by those who have distinguished themselves. While most of the crew who joined the brawl were less than impressive, those who persevered have truly surpassed even my greatest of expectations. In fact, of the 15 currently in training there are already 8 of which who have shown extraordinary skill above the others.

Ilarian – Wielded only a spear in the arena, immediately distinguished himself in combat when using his greater reach to pummel his enemies. Has a rivalry with Hildr and Skend.
Flaws: Possibly too reliant on favoured weapon, will have to see his capability in training.
Deviancy: Arrogant, with reason to be but cannot stand having a broken pride when he can't follow through. Will require reconditioning

Hildr - Wielded only a sword and shield in the arena, distinguished herself with an incredibly impressive defense, wearing her opponents down before felling them with a single precise strike. Has a rivalry with Ilarian and Skend.
Flaws: Relies too much on defense. Would she be as capable in a tactical assault team? Possibly also as reliant on her shield as Ilarian is with his spear. Will have to keep track of her ability in training.
Deviancy: Stubborness, a good quality in a soldier if tempered, but like Ilarian gains a wounded pride if felled. Will require reconditioning

Skend: Wielded only a knife in the arena, even forewent the shield to gain more maneuverability. Won fights by avoiding hits and landing precise blows in weak areas. In the fight between him, Hildr and Ilarian he won by striking them while their focus was on eachother.
Flaws: While effective at pinpointing weaknesses in the flesh is apparently flawed when judging the strength of armour, given how frequently he attempted to slash through armoured ankles despite it being the only armoured part of the body. Will also need to observe how the fight with weapons other than their favoured knife, as with the others mentioned thus far.
Deviancy: Aloofness, knows they are skilled and feels no need to prove it, seems to bear no ill will over Hildr or Ilarian. Such an attitude is good to find in a soldier, but in excess is a hindrance to allies. Will require reconditioning.

Faddey: Wielded primarily a sword during fights but I saw him try other weapons as well. Faddey was an interesting one, while lacking martial skill like the others he seemed to show incredibly versatile tactics when to pull through despite appearing to be at a clear disadvantage. Even when unarmed was still able to use his environment and his own armour as a means of felling the opponent.
Flaws: While tactically sound they clearly require more physical and martial training. Given how close his fights were he may also have a problem in endurance fights.
Deviancy: As eccentric as his fighting style, such unpredictability may be useful in confusing the enemy but is irritating for his commander and crew. Will require reconditioning

Rose: Possibly the physically strongest of the 15, attempted to wield a sword in the first fight but switched to gauntlets out of frustration and became much more effective. Won her fights by overpowering and pummeling her opponents.
Flaws: Must ensure that her training improves her tactical insight and martial skill to match her brute strength. Also her frustration found in using weapons will hopefully not include firearms.
Deviancy: Anger issues, useful in fight and often in social situations too but must be directed properly. Will require reconditioning.

Renaud: Possibly has the greatest martial skill of any other subject. Forewent the use of any weapons, including gauntlets, in his fights. Won by striking pressure points and tiring his enemies, though found difficulty doing so against Rose. Defeated her with a surprisingly quick flurry,though it seemed to exhaust him after.
Flaws: Given his tactic he likely has difficulty fighting against heavily armoured opponents.
Deviancy: There are no outright quirks in his personality, though this is likely because he does not speak much and defers to commanding officers too often. Such an attitude is not befitting a soldier who should be assertive and vocal. Will require reconditioning.

Rachel: Wielded primarily a sword in fights. Compared to the others she did not seem to demonstrate any signature style or fighting stance, though she was still effective enough to make it to the final 14. While her combat was mediocre compared to the others I have noticed another quality in her during training. She's likable. While this is usually something I ignore among soldiers (and frown upon on Icarus' Ship) she at the very least conveys some level of respect from her peers rather than lust, though something may well be going over my head in this regard. In any case, once training and reconditioning is done I hope the others will look up to her as a commander.
Flaws: Will require more basic training than the others. Given the role I hope for her I will also be more stringent on tactical training in particular.
Deviancy: Particularly loud and vocal, often speaks over others. A good quality in a soldier and commander but only if done so for the right reasons. Will require reconditioning.

Zethendi: While not the strongest, skilled or tactically brilliant of the team, Zethendi is the member I am most impressed by, and that is without mentioning his special talent. No I am impressed by Zethendi because despite receiving no training (formal or personal) and having no military experience he can still keep up with the most distinguished among Icarus' crew.
Flaw: Requires more training than the others given his lack of experience. Will also require a closer eye on him given his "quirk"
Deviancy: A lifetime of running and being hunted has left him with a quiet, emotionless voice. Will require reconditioning

These subjects are the most likely to be used once I form the Alpha Squad, though this may change if the others distinguish themselves during training.

Side Note
Further reconditioning my be required once the blood and drug tests come back.

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Project Alpha Requirements
Preparations for an expensive endeavor

Arms:

-Modified Best craftsmanship plasma rifle allowing for greater short and long range effectiveness
-Modified Laspistol for greater firepower and short range effectiveness
-Good craftsmanship Shock Maul

Armour:

-Best Craftsmanship Carapace
-Helmet Augmentations
  -(preferably a additional augmentation equivalent to a dead-space earpiece)
  -plus integrated small plates from the unknown allow to provide additional protection
-Armour Spikes to be placed on shoulders and forearms

Other gear:

-Grapnel and Line
-Combat Webbing Harness (integrated into armour)
-Haywire Grenades
-Krak Grenades
-Photon Grenades

Cybernetics

-Cybernetic Senses (Visual and Oral)
-Best craftsmanship Cerebral Implant
-Good Craftsmanship MIU

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A second blessing

 

The buck shot clattered off Rits surroundings as it flew past him. Rit was unsure if any had hit him but the thought of someone trying to injure him was rather loathsome. He glared round at his would be "killer". "Your mine imperial filth" Rit said inevitably. Rit walked purposely toward his new target as he approached he could help but smile. The man first stumbled and scrambled but it was too late. The chemical flame drowned his from in a foul smog. The man screamed as flesh came from bone the man rived on the floor in his last moment desperate for any kind of escape form his pain. The daemon altered being that was Rit Levic found the mans demise Nourishing. The man screams cut thought the chaos of the fire fight. So horrid where his death throngs where that the rest of his squad ran for their mortal souls leaving behind them the dreadful screams and the sound of laughter that spoke of the promise of it.               

As the warp Rift open Rit felt a surge in power within him. The sound of the flies that nested with in him grew louder. He felt the body twist and buckle as he changed once again into something must worse, much deadlier. Great were nurgles blessing thought Rit as he pressed the detonator for the melta bomb and the daemons before the warp rift vanished. "come froth Brothers we are not allied today" Rit shouted over the auto cannon as he let loose is fury.      

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