Saturday, January 5, 2013

Geneseed and Progenoid Glands

I'm a little confused about progenoid glands in the space marine background.

Their stated purpose is to create the material (geneseed) required to produce more space marine organs, once havested.  Each of the two (neck and chest) progenoids takes 5 and 10 years (resepectively) to mature.  After which time, they can be removed, but the chest one is typically not removed until the death of the marine.

The progenoid material is then used to grow more organs in vitro. Including more progenoid glands.

Here's my confusion.  Do each mature progenoid only produce one of each of the 19 implants (including 2 new progenoid glands?).  Or can the produce an indefinite number of them (over time)... in which case why bother harvesting when one could have a store of them all pumping out organs all the time. And: can a harvested progenoid gland/s be re-implanted in to a new recruit (i.e. recycled), or is a new one required?

The answer to the above questions affects how long it would take a chapter / legion to re-populate itself, but I'm still a bit confused!


Rhasputine said...

I think its plant one grow 2

Lead Legion said...

That rings a bell, but in all honestly, they've changed it so often it's hard to remember.

I believe the grow one, plant two pertains only to the progenoiid glands themselves. Each gland contains all the genetic material required to re-grow all 19 organs.

Some chapters do extract the neck progenoids as soon as they are mature (if I remember correctly). Some mark the occasion by awarding the marine in question a long-service stud on the occasion of extraction. Other chapters considered a marine to remain a scout until his first neck progenoid has matured enough to be removed.

A significant proportion of retrieved glands must also be sent away to the AdMech for storage and examination.

A related question would be: how many glands can they recover from the battlefield? Many of the weapons that can take down a fully armored marine leave little in the way of remains (plasma, melta, gauss etc) so only a relatively small percentage of marine corpses can be successfully harvested following a successful engagement and presumably fewer in an engagement that saw the marines being forced to leave the battlefield.

And then you have to consider how many of the organs that are cultivated are actually viable for transplant? How many of the Chapters recruits survive the process of implantation without undergoing catastrophic rejection or mutation, how many survive training long enough to be scouts etc. This would vary from chapter to chapter. The Ultramarines and Imperial Guard have relatively pure geneseed when compared to Blood Angels, Space Wolves and (especially) Flesh Tearers . The Ultramarines and Imperial Fists presumably lose less aspirants to mutation and rejection than the Wolves. The you have to consider that some chapters don't use anaesthesia during the surgeries, while some do. Then there is the varied training regimes with different fatality rates from chapter to chapter as well.

So really, I think the answer would be:
"It depends on the Chapter."

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