Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow, etc)

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Connor MacLeod
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Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow, etc)

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-04-07 01:40pm

First off, I'd just like to say I dedicate this entire thread to Aaron, because I know he loved Hammer and Anvil :P

Actually the series isn't completely horrible. Compared to how the Sisters are written in alot of novels (REdemption Corps and Flesh and Iron) they're downright heroic. Although they're nowhere near on par with, say, Sister Aescarion. But the series is (generally) much better IMHO than the blood angels novels. The only problem I really have (and I wonder if this is where Aaron feels the same) is how sanctimonious they act, especially relative to the rest of the Imperium. It can get grating.

All that said, I like Miriya and Verity both. I enjoyed 'Faith and Fire' quite a bit. Whilst Hammer and Anvil wasn't as enjoyable on the Sisters side, it still had Necrons. Swallow likes to write his 40K very very science fictioney, which includes alot of sci fi terms you wouldn't think to include. (much the same way Zou writes 'military' 40K, meaning its the only series where you'd hear the term 'picatinny rail' show up in 40K.)

Faith and Fire's premise is that the Sisters are transporting a psyker terrorist to a planet, who escapes. They have to hunt him down (for vengeance amongst other things) and end up uncovering a much larger plot.

Since its a short series currently and thus easy to burn through, two posts for a single update. Part 1:

Page 14
No one knew how many craft there were in the fleets of the Black Ships. Some spoke of a secret base on Terra, sending out droves of ebon vessels to scour the galaxy for psykers. Others said that the ships worked in isolation from one another, ventur­ing back and forth under psychic directives sent by the Emperor himself. Miriya did not know the truth, and she did not want to.

Whenever a potent psyker was discovered, the Black Ships would come for them. Some, those with pure hearts and wills strong enough to survive the tests the adepts forced upon them, might live to become servants to the Inquisition or the astropafhic colleges. Most would be put to death in one manner or another, or granted in sacrifice to the Emperor so that he might keep alight the great psychic beacon of the Astronomicon.

Comments on the Black ships. the interesting thing is that the numbers are unknown (save the Soul drinkers novels making a vague stab at conjecture) as well as that some believe the Emperor directs them. Since he controls/regulates the Astronomican, and to an extent astropaths themselves, the Tarot, and so on... this is quite likely.

Page 15
The Adeptus Telepafhica had their own operatives but by Imper­ial edict they were not allowed to serve as warders upon their own vessels; it was too easy for a malig­nant psyker to coerce another telepath. Instead, Sisters of Battle or Inquisitorial Storm Troopers served in the role of custodian aboard the Black Ships, their adamantine faith protecting them from the predations of the mind-witches they guarded.

With Inquisitors serving on board Black ships, you'd thinkthey'd be under the auspices of the Inquisition.. but eh. Must be a joint venture.

Page 15

- Sister Retributors armed with multi-meltas.

Page 23
She crossed to a pod of arcane dials and switches connected to the flank of the glass container. Rods and levers were set at indents indicating the amounts of sense-deadening liquids
and contrapsychic drugs filling Vaun's cell. The Battle Sister was no tech-priest, but she had seen confinement frames of this design before. She knew how they worked, pumping neuropathic philtres into the lungs and pores of particularly virulent psykers to stifle their mutant powers. She adjusted the rods and fresh splashes of murky fluid entered the tank.

methods of confinement and control used on psykers onboard ship. This is rather interesting in contrast to methods used in other sources, like the Alpha-class psykers captured in Malleus.

Page 23
Miriya rested the barrel of her plasma weapon on the glass. "Heed me. If one breath more of speech comes from that cesspool you call a mind before I deliver you to Neva, I will boil you in there like a piece of rotten meat."

Not sure if that is literally or figuratively, but boiling a man alive (nevermind the liquid he is in) would require double digit MJ at least. probably triple with boiling the liquid itself (to get at the guy, or to boil him indirectly, or whatever.) if we take it literally.

Page 25
After the incident with the midshipman, Sister Miriya had demanded and been given a third gun servitor from the ship's complement to guard the prisoner.

Naval ship with its own complement of gun servitors in stores.

PAge 30
The Corolus was a starship in only the very loosest sense of the word. It didn't possess warp drives, it was incapable of navigating across the vast interstellar distances as its larger brethren could. And where the majority of vessels in service to humankind had some degree of artistry however brutal, to their design, Corolus was little more than an agglomeration of spent fuel tanks from sub-orbital landers, lashed together with pipework and luck. Fitted with a sim­ple reaction drive and a bitter old enginarium from a larger vessel now centuries dead, the cargo scow plied the sub-light routes across the Neva system from the core worlds to the outer manufactory satellites with loads of chemicals and vital breathing gases. The ship was slow and fragile and utterly unprepared for the fury that had suddenly been turned upon it.

sublight warship of some kind.

Page 31
They were never this fast, never this good. Finton was entertaining a new emotion inside his oily, calculating mind. He was afraid, and when the bridge door went orange and melted off its hinges, he very nearly lost control of his bodily functions.
Figures in black armour came into the chamber, iron boots clanging off the patched and rusty deck plates. They wore dark helmets bannered with white faceplates, eyes of deep night-blue crystal that searched every shadowed corner of the bridge. Movement for them was graceful and deadly, not a single gesture or motion wasted. One of them noticed him for the first time and Finton saw a dif­ference: this one had a brass shape on the front of its helmet, a dagger-shaped leaf.


As one, the invaders threw back their heads and the helmets snapped open. Their short, bobbed hair, framed eyes that were hard and flinty.

Sisters of Battle. Note the helmets worn.

Page 37
The Order of our Martyred Lady was not the only Chapter of the Adepta Sororitas to have a convent on Neva, but theirs was the largest and by far the most elaborate.

Small typo methinks. They don't use Chapters.

Page 50 - mention of the Sister Repentia, the Sororitas eqvuialent of the Penal Legion, only more fanatical and with giant chainswords.

Page 60
Like the Order of our Martyred Lady, the Sister Hospitallers who served in the name of Seren­ity came from the Convent Sanctorum on Ophelia VII. Hospitaller orders were, by Imperial law, non-militant, but that by no means meant their ranks were filled with weaklings. These women were chirurgeons and nurses of expert skill and great compassion, serving the warriors of the Imperial military machine on countless thousands of worlds.

They were also full trained in the arts martial, and were fully able to take action if circumstances demanded it. No planet that dared to consider itself civilised was without a hospice or valetudinarium staffed by such Sisters.

The Hospitallers described. Of interest is both their martial training, as well as the fact any and all civilised worlds can be expected to have at least some sign of their presence.

Page 66
The prison was a monument to deterrence. There were no windows of any kind along its outer facia, nothing but the thin slits where cogitator-controlled autoguns peeked out at the open plaza around it. The brassy weapons hummed and clicked as people passed beneath their sights, ever prepared to unleash hails of bullets into escapees or trouble­makers.

Cogitator controlled autoguns. Wonder how often you see those on Imperial prisons.

Page 66 - the local "enforcerd" seem to be arbites wannabes (Power mauls and such)much like on other Imperial worlds like Necromunda. Or this may just signify how their weapons and armament are subsidized/provided by the Arbites.

Page 70
"Have you ever seen an arco-flagellant, Vorgo?" Miriya signalled to Cassandra and the other Battle Sister dropped her bolter into a ready stance. "Let me tell you about them." Her voice took on a cold, steely quality. "As the Emperor wills, those who are found guilty of heresy and crimes of similar gravity are taken into the service of we who hunt the witchkin. Chirurgeons and Hospitallers adapt them to this new life with surgery and conditioning, implanting pacifier helms and lobotomaic taps in their brains."

For emphasis, she tapped Vorgo's forehead with a finger. "Imagine that. Your limbs removed, replaced with spark-whips and nests of claws. Eyes bored from your skull and stained glass in their places. Your heart and organs fixed with stimm injectors and neuropathic glands. And then, proud in your new body, what remains of your drooling waste of a mind will be turned to the good of the Imperium. With a word of my com­mand, you'll willingly fling yourself into the jaws of hell, a berserk flesh-machine bound for a long, long death."

A rather menacing depiction of Arco-flagellants provided.

Page 71
"You can read the machine dialect?" asked Cassan­dra.

The Hospitaller nodded. "A little. I have worked closely with Sisters of the Orders Dialogous in the past. Some of their skills are known to me."

Once more a normal human can understand machine code. I really have doubts this is the "binary" we're familiar with IRL.

Page 80
All across the metropolis, individuals donned their ritual wear or chose their costumes if they were lucky enough to have received a blood red sum­mons paper. The icon sellers filled their stalls and emptied them, filled and emptied them again, tak­ing in fists of Imperial scrip and church-certified tithe beads.

This year, it was the new cotton shirts adorned with a gold-thread aquila that were the must-have item, and the enforcers had already broken up a minor fracas in the linen quarter after stock had sold out. Elsewhere, devotional parades where local girls painted themselves sun-yellow and wore wings, celebrated the passing of Celestine. In other districts there were gleeful, impromptu stonings for those whose petty crimes had gone unpunished by the judges. The mood was a strange, potent mix of the buoyant and the fierce, with the lust for hard violence hovering just beneath the surface. You could see it in the eyes of the running children, on the faces of their parents, reflected in the fervour of the city's thousands of clerics.

Like any other human society, the Imperium has its own fashion and merchandise trends and fads, although most of them clearly have a more relgious bent to them. Also alongside the usual vigilante BS you expect from GRimdark (Or America.)

Also a city with thousands of clerics.

Page 87 - Mention of a ceremonial lasgun. Made of glass. That's all I am going to say.

Page 100
Ivar's story was famous to every Nevan, taught in creches and re-told to them again and again throughout their lives. There were books of his life, heavy with garish illustrations and few words for the simple-minded and the young, or dense with layers of interpretation for the thinker. Each year the church had the public vox networks produce a lav­ish viddy-drama biography. He was celebrated in song and his patrician profile adorned murals across the planet.

This planet uses creches. Also mention of "public vox networks" producing what I guess passes for TV in the Imperium. Like in some countries, the programming is mostly in terms of propoganda.

Page 104
'Eldar,' Miriya observed, recognising the rudimen­tary capes and plumes adorning the fake armour of the actors. They are playing at the battle for Kodiak Prime, or something like it.' She failed to keep a gri­mace from her face. The whole performance was a caricature, a ridiculous spectacle that might have been comic if she had not found it so offensive. Miriya had faced the xenos in battle, and the eldar she had fought were terrifying deadly killers full of powerful grace and unstoppable speed - these moronic mimics in the ampitheatre were blundering jesters in compari­son, exaggerated and simplistic parodies of the real thing.

I don't blame her for being annoyed at Imperial propoganda - she's an actual soldier and it likely annoys her that people trivialize the risks and dangers she has faced - it makes it seem like anyone could face them when Eldar (and many other threats) are quite dangerous in-universe. Of course, its the sort of cariacture-type propoganda that the Ecclesiarchy itself is fond of (CF Damocles gulf crusade, and the Uplifting primer edition for that portryaing the tau as backwards, baby eating monsters whose weapons were weak and ineffectual andwouldn't even pierce flak.)

Like most actual, experienced soldiers in 40K, Miriya tends to take the propoganda with a grain of salt, especially when it is as ham-fisted as this (or the attitude of the Guard towards the Uplifting Primer, for example.)

Page 114
Miriya's gun barked, the ear-splitting shriek of supeheated plasma bolts drowning out the dull rat­tle of lead shot. It became a rout, every trigger-pull marking a critical hit, no single charge from the energy pistol wasted as the costumed men screamed and died. Paper and cloth in garish oranges and greens were stained with dark arterial crimson. Hel­mets made out of softwood splintered and broke.

The Battle Sister heard the pellets clattering off her power armour, as ineffectual as hailstones against the black ceramite sheath. A chance ricochet nicked a line of stinging pain across her cheek and she ignored it, turning and firing again in a single fluid

When all the assailants lay dead or bleeding their last into the dust, Miriya closed her eyes and prayed for silence but she was denied it, the air about her filled to overflowing with the deafening adulation of the congregation.

There are a dozen people firing on her with stubbers and shotguns, and she lays them all out with single shots. Likely these are low powered plasma shots - designed to blow apart and burn rather than outright cremate. The fact she got over a dozen shots out of the gun tends to confirm that idea, as does an absence of cauterization or anything reduced to ash.

Also her power armor stands up against the small arms fire pretty well/

Page 115-116
A handful of bright dots crossed the night above the ampitheatre, moving with purpose and great speed towards the towering Lunar Cathedral. Just as it had moments before when she locked gazes with the gunmen, Miriya's honed combat sense rang a warning in her mind. "Aircraft," she said aloud, "in attack formation."

As if they had been waiting for her to voice her thoughts, the flyers suddenly split apart and swept away in pairs towards different points of the com­pass. The closest duo dipped low and came into the nimbus of the floating lamp-blimps. They were coleopters, vessels with a ring-shaped fuselage enclosing a large spinning fan that kept them air­borne. The unmistakable shapes of boxy weapons pods hung on stubby winglets.

No alarm cry would have warned the people in the crowds, and they watched the flyers with disbe­lief, perhaps believing them to be yet another surprise addition to the Games of Penance. In the next second panic and terror rose up in a wave as fountains of firebombs spat from the coleopters and fell in orange trails towards the stadium. Every­where they landed, great balls of black smoke and yellow flame bloomed, immolating hundreds. The aircraft wove through the mayhem they seeded, strafing the panicked people, while above them another lone ship dropped out of sight on the Tier of Greatest Piety. Whoever these killers were, they were landing men on the upper levels of the church tower.

Armed helicopter-gunship analogues. Probably a local variant, but its interesting to note that such aircraft do exist on planets.

Page 119
The rockets dropped from the coleopters were stolen from Imperial Guard regiments, elderly area denial munitions pilfered from bunkers where they aited for rebellions and uprisings that never came... until now. The warheads broke open in right plumes that made miniature daybreaks wher-ver they struck, and where people did not die from smoke and flame, they smothered each other in panic.

Guard issue area denial weapons. They may be explosives, although I gather they are more likely incendiary/thermobaric weapons, possibly designed for smoke and light as much as actual harm.

Page 120
The flyer that approached the Tier of the Greatest Piety executed a running touch-and-go, its wheels barely kissing the careworn granite for ten seconds before it took off again, thrusting away to enter a wide, lazy orbit of the conical tower. It left behind a squad of rag-tag men with no single uniform or look to them. All that united these killers was a cal­lous, predatory anticipation, that and the absolute loyalty they showed to their leader.
Vaun dropped a pair of battered night vision gog­gles from his eyes and pointed with both hands.

Rebel/REnegades armed with NVG. also the copter-thingies apparently can carry troops as well.

Page 121
There were bodies. Mostly they were servitors, and by the pattern of the kill shots they had been tar­geted by weapons aimed from a moving platform beyond the balconies. Miriya recognised the distinc­tive wound patterns of shells from Navy-issue heavy bolters. The bodyguards had died under the guns of the coleopter as it strafed the tower with random cascades of fire.

I guess the bolters of different organizations produce distinctive wound patterns (at least to a trained military sort like Miriya). Also interesting that the bolters on the Coleopters are naval issue - does this mean that these craft also come under Navy auspices the same way Valkyries, vultures and aerospace fighters do? Quite possibly.

Page 121
"Take comfort then that those you attended are at the Emperor's side now."
The Hospitaller gestured to the dead servitors. "But not all."
"No." agreed Miriya. "Not all."

This is amusing, given the Cain novel mentions that some combat servitors are made from mentally unbalanced/insane Ex-Guard troopers (and probably penal troopers or whatever). Or the other sources indicating that Servitors, servo-skulls, etc. can be made from the bodies/skulls of loyal corpses or such. Are all servitors damned by the SoB mind?

Page 122
The Sister Superior spoke into the vox pickup on her armour's neck ring.

Sororitas Vox is built into the neck rings. Presumably this allows them to go into battle like helmetless lunatics if they wish and still have comms.

Page 123
The Canoness wished that she had ordered her women to bring their helmets: the optical matrix of Sabbat-pattern Sororitas head­gear had a full-spectrum capacity that would render the darkest clouds transparent.

I guess there are times when the Sisters choose not to enter battle like helmetless lunatics!

On a more serious note, we observe that the helmets have night visionc apabilities, although "full spectrum" could imply the ability to see in multiple spectrums, like infrared as well. either way, it's the useful sort of ability you'd expect power armored troops to have and want, especiall when they don't come kited out in their own geneseed.

Page 126
There was a horrible moment when the air about Torris Vaun's body bowed and lensed like a heat haze, and fizzing spurts of molten lead spat away from him. Vaun raised a hand in a blase wave and the two guardsmen began to twitch and scream. Emmel had personally chosen these two from the ranks of his private sentry force for their devotion and fortitude, but that counted for nothing as he watched them die on their feet. Heat radiated from them, along with the burnt-skin smell of over­cooked meat. Thin plumes of fatty smoke streamed from their nostrils and mouths, while the decorative festival ribbons in their hair and beards caught fire in puffs of ignition. Swelling with internal combustion, the guards dropped to the stone floor, burning from the inside out.


The psyker killed Sherring's pale-faced friend with a needle of yellow flame, the psi-discharge punch­ing the body away down the corridor. He seemed to relish it.

Our anti-hero shows significant pyrokinetic abilities, although calculating it is hard due to uncertain timeframe and effect - inflicting severe internal burning at least.. high kj to low MJ range certainly, although there is a distinct absence of actual steam and its possible that all Vaun did was ignite them somehow.

The second ability is alot more impressive even if it isnt brute force - a highly focused, highly penetrating and highly forceful attack, more like a psychic beam weapon.

PAge 129
He raised a small vox transmitter to his lips.

Not sure if its civilian issue or stolen from the Guard, but its presumably handheld.

Page 133
A woolly, indistinct noise like the bark of a dog reached her ears, and then Rink rolled off her. It took a long moment for Miriya to realise that there was sticky, wet matter coating her face and torso. She sat up and unceremoniously used her robes to mop the thick offal away. The Battle Sister shook off her daze and realised that Rink, lying there on the tier next to her, was without his head.

Verity emerged from the haze with Isabel's bolter in her hands, vapour coiling from the barrel. The gun looked wrong in her grip, the shape of it there almost obscene against the virginal white of the Hospitaller's garb.


"Fortunate for me then that you still remember your training. A little to the left and that shot would have found me, not him."

Human sized bolter blows apart a human skull.

Page 134
On more familiar ground, Verity became efficient and quick of hand, using an auspex-like device to divine the man's well-being, touching him to feel a pulse. She frowned. "We cannot take him from this place, Sister. He has internal injuries that will worsen if we move him."

Medical auspex.

PAge 135
Miriya accepted that with a nod, and then recov­ered the dead thug's lasgun. "Take this until we can find you a better weapon." she said, handing it to Verity. "Use it if you must."
"There are only two charges left in the weapon. If Vaun comes, I would suggest you use them to grant the Emperor's Peace to the good governor here and yourself."

Lasgun with two charges left.

PAge 138-139
He was close enough now, reasoned the priest. Close enough to be certain. "I think not, child." said LaHayn, and from his voluminous sleeves he pro­duced an ornamental box that ended in a finely tooled argentium muzzle. He squeezed the device and it shrieked, projecting a mid-calibre bolt shell at the witch's chest.

The recoil from the weapon was so strong it almost broke the priest's wrist, but the gun was just the means to deliver the shell to the target. The bolt itself was not the typical carbide-fusion matrix bullet that issued forth from countless Astartes and Sororitas weapons - the very matter of the round was impregnated with psionic energy, culled from the minds of dying heretics. Each molecule of it reeked. with mental anguish, pain and psychic terror imprinted on the shell down to the atomic level. These munitions were very rare, but Lord Viktor LaHayn had taken a long time to build up the position he now held, and along the way many such items had come into his possession.

The psycannon bolt struck Torris Vaun in the chest, tearing through the heat wards that had turned the lesser shots of other men, and spent its massive kinetic energy punching through the flexsteel armour of his battle vest. The impact threw him back into the puddles of burning liquor, ripples of contained psy-force licking around him, fading. He coughed hard and brought up a mist of blood.

Psycannon bolt of rather interesting origin. Possibly a "low quality' or knockoff type of the sort Inquisitors and Grey Knights use, although still appaently rare. Otherwise we aren't told alot in how those things are made. Also the bolter-projection box has such recoil it still nearly breaks the priest's wrist (EG considerable.. possibly comparable to a amgnum weapon IRL.)

We also learn that "carbide fusion matrix" bolters are more standard to Astartes and SoB weapons. Not sure hat "carbide fusion" is - miniature nuclear weapons? That may be since they do use "depleted dueterium" which could suggest some sort of ultra-dense material.

Vaun has a intereting "flexsteel armor" that manages to stop much if not nearly all of the penetration of the bolt - he's injured (Blunt force trauma I suspect) but not killed. Also the "heat wards" which I suspect turn aside, destroy regular incoming fire.

page 140
The psyker stumbled and snarled at them, blood from broken capillaries in his eyes trickling down his face in red tracks. The glowing brand where the psycannon shot had struck him still flickered with desultory glimmers of blue-white energy, and Vaun picked at it with sweat-slick fingers, using his other hand in a warding gesture to banish the incoming bolts. The rounds struck the heat-wall conjured by his mind and deflected, some breaking and melting, others skipping away, but Miriya could see the agony caused by the injury LaHayn had inflicted was taking its toll.

We see the heat ward shielding in effect.. seems like it implarts some sort of momentum (explosve vaporization impulse perhaps) to deflect them, but it will destory/melt other rounds.

Page 141
Vaun barked out a harsh laugh and shook the sleeve of his coat, revealing a bulbous, ornate device of jewels and metals wrapped about his wrist.


The psyker squeezed a trian­gular emerald switch and delicate, century-old microcircuits sent an activation signal.

The Battle Sisters heard a chug of static across their vox channels. Instants later, the shaped charges of detonite that Vaun's men had secreted all about the cathedral exploded. Under cover of the fires and the panic they had gone unnoticed. Still, there were enough in place to do what Vaun wished of them.

The coughing crashes of noise blew out stained glassteel windows and threw doors off their hinges. They cut through support pillars as saws might fell trees, or dashed ancient pews and unlucky people about the place in clouds of vapour.

Stonework from the upper tiers dropped to punch ragged holes through the mosaic floors, and Lord LaHayn threw himself off the pulpit just as a granite angel smashed the thing to matchwood. Blinking through brick dust and pain, the priest cursed the psyker's name as Vaun's mocking laughter echoed back at him.

Detonator with microcicruits, and mention of shaped charges of "detonite" Must be powerful to penetrate support pillars

Page 145
Before the lasing crystal in the slender pistol could even energise, the psyker caused the molecules of the emitter matrix to superheat and fracture. Verity knew nothing of this until the gun became red-hot and sizzled against the flesh of her hand. By reflex, the Hospitaller threw the weapon away and cried out. Her shriek was drowned by the thrum of coleopter blades as the flyer banked around and dropped towards the terrace. The Hospitaller fell to her knees, clutching her scarred hand to her chest.

It's alternately called a lasgun and laspistol, so there is some inconsistency. It depends on the mode we use for calcing it.

One way is to try calcing the effect on Verity's hands - in other wise flash burning. we gould guesstimate burn depth and use temp/area calcs to vaguely calc it, but its probably not going to be that deep or serious - she doesn't lose use of her hands or any significant function as near as I can tell later in the novel, so the result probably wouldn't be dramatically different than flash burning (less than an OoM difference) so why bother complicating it? In any case calcing the burns is a lower limit since it only measures the energy delivered to the parts of her hands contacting the gun (and the entire gun heats up.)

This quote and the next one indicate that some scabbing and scarring occurs from the injury, this suggests severe second or mild third degree burns of some kind (her skin isn't blackened or charred noticably) By Luke's site on flash burns we can figure between 20-50 J cm^2 as a rough range for the wounds. And it fits within an Oom (10-100 J cm^2 would serve for these purposes fine) Assuming her hand is about 6 cm across and maybe 8 cm "long" (this is a bit smaller than my own hand, and I figure I have pretty big hands. the actual values probably won't vary significantly either. call it 50 cm^2 for each palm.. 100 cm^2 for both. thats 2-5 kj for both hands. This may be for one shot, or both shots (the gun malfunctions, but it said it had only two charges left) so it may be between 1-5 kj depending on context.

That is, of course a lower limit for the reasons I stated, but its not impossible as a calc either. The other way to calc it is to estimate the temperature the lasgun/pistol itself was raised to.

For lasgun masses we could just use the uplifing primer for a rifle - 2.3 kg. Or we could turn to the FFG material: laspistols in all the FFG material are 1.5 kg, and lasguns are 4 kg. Alternately we can use real life weapons as a benchmark - Beretta 92 or Colt M1911 wegh around a kilo each, but a glock pistol can weigh half that. Rifle wise, M-16s ad AK-47 seems roughly consistent (3-5 kg depending on source)

Then there is the color, which is actually simple per my trusty link here. I'll assume iron composition for specific heat (400-600 J per kg*K IIRC)

I'll assume a 1 kg pistol (a smaller one can half this or a bigger one can increase by 50%), faint read (770K - 300K starting temp - 470K temp) is 188 kilojoules - call it 90-190 kj per shot (depending if it was one or two shots in the backfire.) It could be higher (although for literal-ness sake I'll assume "red" doesn't mean cherry, although it possibly could) the value could be several times higher depending on specific heat and mass. Of course, its debatable whether lasguns are wholly metal (probably not) so only a portion of it could be metal (the reference to RL weapons is part of a means to account for that) Since I'm doing what amounts to an OoM calc anyhow it probably doesn't matter too much.

a 3-4 kg rifle of course would probably be 3-4x larger than my initial assumption - and it can even get into the dreaded/reviled "megajoule" range per shot :P

There's lots of ways to finagle it back and forth, but I'd say its quite reasonable to say that double digit kj for a laspistol at least is reasonable as an infernece from this incident.

Page 148
"Of course you understand the deacon's concerns," said Dean Venik, looming over the serf boy minis­tering to the bandage on Verity's forearm.


"It happened very quickly. He... He used his power..." She held up the livid, inflamed hand, flesh scabbed with new scarring peeking through the white gauze.

Useful to confirm my earlier calcs, at least as far as inflicting the burns go.

Page 158
The morose logistoras who had accompanied her down to this level rattled off a few cursory facts about the place, like a tourist's data-plate. He spoke of how many hundreds of metres
they were below the streets of Noroc, of how many more levels were below this one. In the middle dis­tance, the Hospitaller could hear the oiled clanking of huge brass cogs as one of the room's mobile decks dropped away into the storage tiers. She stopped to watch the empty space, as big as a scrum-ball pitch. After a moment, another deck clattered up to replace it, a piece of a huge library rolling into position complete with endless racks of papers and bookish little men working the aisles.

logistoras (logister?) who is basically a human data-slate/plate/computer thingy. They're also "hundreds of metres below ground" in this huge ass library. Showing how deep Imperial consturction can go in a planet.

Page 160
Many of the papers held here were so old that they would wilt beneath hard light, and in some sectors the servitors that ministered to the books operated totally on infrared wavelengths. In such a place, the act of concealment was almost welcoming.
Verity's shadow watched her from the hex-frame supporting part of the ferrocrete roof above the Hospitaller's head. The shadow was molten dark­ness, merged there into the black with such skill that even the vigilant skulls with their tiny red eyes looked straight at it and passed on, unaware.

Infrared servitors, and a spy/assassin who is proofed against visible and infrared light.

Page 162
At the sound of her voice, the cogitator's pewter mask-speaker turned on oiled spindles to face the woman. It was a morose thing, worked out of metal to resemble the aspect of an exalted tech-priest some centuries dead. Bellows and tiny chimes in the throat of the device huffed and rattled, creating a sound that resembled human speech.

Gothified, Grimdark, Library computer. voice operated no less.

Page 164
It was remarkable how such a small piece of cardboard could so encapsulate the life of a person. She lingered over a blank spot on the index. Just one accidental nick of her fingernail, a dot of spilled ink on the wrong page, and Priser could find himself penniless or declared dead. Such was the monumental inertia of the Imperium's monolithic bureaucracy that the word of these documents was law, and these flawed, impossibly old machines were the custodians of it all. It was a sobering thought to imagine all the things - people, ships, perhaps even entire worlds -that could go missing just for the sake of a wrongly placed decimal point.

More grimdarkified reflection on the bureaucratic nature of the Imperium's governmental institutions and their recordkeeping, and how vaguely estimated everything is, blah blah...

I also like the implied punch-card operated computers, because it's the Imperium after all. :P

Page 166
The ghost pistol moved a few degrees. The age and origin of the killer's weapon was unknown. Some had said it was of xenos manufacture, others that it dated back to the black period known as the Dark Age of Technology. The shadow liked it for its silence. Inside the non-reflective matter of the breech, single dart-shaped projectiles nestled and waited. These were made by hand, crafted by sight­less tech-priests specially blinded for just that purpose. When fired, they left the ghost pistol with no ejecta, no sound or report of fire. Not even the whispering air about the flying darts could give away their passage, and the material they and the gun were made from was utterly energy-inert. Any senses, from an auspex to a psyker's witchsight, could not see it.

There were many darts in the gun, but one would be enough.

"ghost pistol" made by blind techpriests. Basically its an undetectable assassin weapon, even from psychic detection (which also indicates that psykers can detect inert materials by the materials they may be made of, or the energy they give off.)

You also have to love how there are (blind) techpriests who will work with potentially xenos tech.

I wonder maybe if its some sort of CO/air gun for propulsion. Possibly its some sort of funky needler.

Page 170
Unshir used the keys to unlock a tome sheathed in light-absorbing obsidian, touching a ring of code-spots on the cover to open it. He whispered something that sounded like birdsong into a grille on the book's spine and it obediently opened by itself, pages moving on armatures in a blur. With a snap, the book laid itself flat in Unshir's hands and he turned, presenting it to her. "The pages are made of a psychoactive papyrus," he said reverently. "Don't touch them with naked skin."

Verity nodded and began to read. These were the books of the tithe kept to record the comings and goings of the Adeptus Telepathica in the Neva sys­tem. Whenever a person was found bearing the stigma of a psyker, their name was entered here along with a preliminary record of the abilities they exhibited. In time, when the Black Ships came to claim them, the witchkin would be transferred from the deep cells in Neva's Inquisitorial dungeons to the mysterious vessels, never to be seen again.

"psychoactive papyrus" books, and which seems computerized and to some degree automated. Only in the imperium would something like this seem like a good idea, although it wouldnt surprise me if vanity or "tradition" played a role in the shape (the same way you make drones out of skulls, for example.)

Also an indication that some accurate (for once) recordkeeping of psyker culls/captures is kept in this sector/system, held until the Black Ships show up. (The planet also has its own special Inquisitorial dungeons)

Page 171
"It is forbidden for us to look upon the pages that we write and protect. Our cognitive functions are compartmentalised so that we cannot understand the words which we tran­scribe."

An intresting look into Imperial medical technologies and what they can do to the brain (or the ways they can maim it, more likely).

PAge 172
The quillan's pen-nib fingertips scratched at the security buzzer panel, but then his head ripped open with a noise like tearing cloth and the clatter­ing clerk fell dead to the deck.

Peculiar augmetics :P

Page 173
The gloom of the librarium was rendered bright by the preysight mechanism within the sealed helm the shadow wore. Ahead, the assassin saw the heat blob that was Sister Verity lurching from one canyon of books to another, directionless and terri­fied.

Preysight senses in a "helm" - again infrared sensing.

Page 174-175
Careful, deft fingers dialled the barrel of the ghost pistol to maximum dilation and the shadow racked

a dart into the breech. A sensor pit on the tip of the gun relayed information to the preysight, highlight­ing the shape of organs inside Verity's shuddering frame. There was the throbbing orb of her heart, nes­tled beneath the crosshairs.

The interesting thing about this is that the gun darts are "guided" shells, and linked to the preysight - yet are utterly undetectable (supposedly?) sensor/laser guided bullets in other words, and yet its not so absurdly high tech that only powerful Inquisitors (or those who can afford starships) can buy them (CF Bleeding Chalice.) - rather they are more like Arbites Executioner rounds.

I'm not sure what "dilation" means on the pistol - maybe the needles are variable in size/diameter or bore for some reason (bigger hole?)

Page 176
"Preysight," she reasoned, shaking off her cloak to gain greater freedom of movement. The woman knew of the arcane technology that rendered night into day - the Sabbat helmets of the Adeptus Soror-itas had similar capacity - but she also understood its limitations.

SoB helms have their own preysight function or similar - eg infrared capability.

Page 176
The machine-spirits of the librarium would not stand to let a fire rage for more than a second or two, lest it spread across the entire complex. There were net­works of pipes that delivered inert, suffocating gases to such outbreaks - if the flames died, then so would she and Verity.

Library firefighting mechanisms, all machine spirit controlled.

Page 176-177
The Battle Sister's weapon howled.

A fist of gaseous matter as hot as the core of a star ripped into the shadow's left arm, just above the elbow. Everything below the joint exploded from the touch of the incredible heat, and the hydrostatic shock of boiling blood sent a hammer blow racing through the killer's body. The assassin tumbled from the bookcases, falling to the decks through wreaths of fire-retardant mist.

Plasma weapons were designed not to target unarmoured forms like the shadow, but to melt their way through ceramite or hull metal. Used on flesh, they were a blowtorch turned upon wax. The pain of the hit was of such intensity that the killer's heart was stopped by it, and in turn, this factor triggered the compact denial charge of hexogen that was implanted beneath the shadow's ribcage. The assas­sin's patron was not in the business of letting discarded tools fall into the wrong hands.

With a wet crack, the shadow blew apart in mid­air.
Flecks of burnt matter, some of it flesh, some unidentifiable, scattered down around them in a macabre rain.

Effect of plasma weapons on the shadow, and in effect. The quote implies that they are primarily thermal weapons (against armour) although they have explosive effects on flesh (hydrostatic shock) as well as thermal (blowtorch on wax, boiling blood, etc.)

Again this is not the insane "cremate an entire person" type of pistol weapon either, which is not necesarily a bad thing, as lower powered shots can still be lethal, yet have better ammo capacity, rate of fire, and less danger of overloading if they aren't built to such insane power charge levels. Whether or not Miriya's plasma pistol can achieve a higher setting (or if this is such a setting) we dont know.

Anyhow, blowing apart/burning the lower arm is likely achieved via steam explosion (boiling point perhaps) since the primary mechanism is implied thermal, mechanical effects would be more secondary by boiling the water in the body (or at least part of it I figure the arm probably masses around 1-1.5 kg or so, but it may have only boiled a "fist sized' part of it - call it one third to half a kilo of water boiled or so. Figure on 270 kj injected to raise to boiling point (ignoring phaes change to water). Call it between 90-135 kilojoules as an "order of magnitude" calc via steam explosion.

If it is more mechanical, the calc could probably be an OoM or so lower (neglecting burn damage) but this is unlikely because of the size of the projectile (also its not a laser.)

Page 184

With clipped orders, she sent her commands down the line to the Rhinos, Repressors, Exorcists and Immolators. In slow precision, the armoured vehicles proceeded to force their way through the trees. From the brass grilles of a dozen winged speaker horns came the opening cantos of the Fede Imperialis, the battle hymn of the Adepta Sororitas.

There's at least a dozen vehicles here. This implies there should be well over a hundred, if not several hundred, SoB on planet.

Page 185 - Baron Sherring has "automated gun servitors"

Page 192
The Metis Household Cavalry had laid an ambush for the Order of our Martyred Lady. Just beyond the places where chokepoints had been planted with stands of tough trees to slow any armoured advance, a squad of Salamander scout mobiles was concealed beneath camouflage netting, ranged optics peeking out of the fake leaf-pattern material to spy on the Battle Sisters.


As one, the Salamanders discharged their primary armaments, a spread of punishing autocannon fire ripping through their temporary cover to strike at the Battle Sisters' forward line. Women died in streaks of orange fire, and back behind the copse, the scout commander ordered his units to fire up their engines and start the retreat. The cavalry tanks fired again as they moved, lining the perimeter with falling steel.

salamander scout vehicles in private use, with "ranged optics" of some kind. Also Salamander autocannon fire penetrates/kills Sisters in armour. This suggests at least some Sisters are dismounted.

The Salamanders here are also defined or configured as "calvary tanks" which may actually mean they are operating in a different role or variant than what we're used to - they can certainly fire on the move, which may suggest the gun is turreted (or at least has some limited traverse/tracking ability.

Page 193
The Canoness was pressed to a complex device that mingled a periscope scanner with an auspex and targeting cogitator.

SoB have more complicated optics than the Salamanders it would seem.

PAge 193-194
Built, like so many of the Imperium's armoured vehicles, upon the standard template construct that formed the basis of the Rhino, Exorcists were among the longest serving tactical units in existence. Almost all of them dated back to the turbulent years of the Age of Apostasy, when they travelled the bat­tle zones of the Wars of Faith as mobile shrines-cum-attack units. Where most of the order's war vehicles were liveried in reds, blacks and whites, many Exorcist units had gold and silver about them in infinite detail. Their planes of ablative armour were worked with inlaid castings, and sprouting from the rear of some were towering organ pipes stained copper in the light of the Nevan sun. From these instruments came not music, but judgement and destruction.

With shrieks of fire at their tails, fountains of missiles emerged from the launch tubes, describing an arc up from the launchers, then down upon the Salamanders and the intractable trees. The hardy trees were split apart or felled, clear­ing the way for Sisters and Retributors to advance. With them came the spike-mawed prows of a dozen Repressors and Immolators.

A second barrage was unnecessary. The surviving Salamanders fled in full retreat, random snaps of laser fire lancing back from men in the cockpits who dared to test the patience of the Sisterhood. Galatea's tank circled about one of the enemy units. The scout car had been flipped on to its side by a near miss, and Miriya caught the vague noise of movement inside as they passed. She paid little mind to it. Her Sisters on foot would deal with any survivors. The Immolator's gun turret turned easily, letting her track the fat-barrelled meltaguns back and forth across the horizon. The Salamanders were quick off the mark, and there was a chance they would get out of range before the Sororitas could find a clear shot.

SoB Exorcists. Note the ablative armour and that their missiles drive the Salamanders back.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-04-07 01:43pm

Part 2

Page 194
A lasgun beam flew wide of the tank, striking a tree and making it a torch. Miriya cranked the
meltas to track the culprit, dialling in the focal length and waiting for the right moment.

A lasgun (rifle) beam torches a tree without exploding it. If we use the "Laser Death ray" 125 J cm^2 figure for "ignitable materials bursting into flame" from flash burns. It implies it sets a large diamater afire. IF we assume a 5x5 cm area that would be 3 kj. 10x10 would be 12.5 kj. 20x20cm is 50 kj. Note for the beam to actually work this way (or hell to set the tree on fire) it has to be more of a heat ray, and needs to be wide-focus - more like a flamethwoer. We know of those things from the HH novels, so this isn't wholly impossible.

Also meltas have a focal length, which I take to mean how tightly focused (converging) or how widely dispersed (flamethrower like) the melta is set to be.

Page 195
Four lines of shimmering energy burst from the melta cannons and came together, falling like arrows of pure heat. The microwave blasts struck the rear of the trailing Salamander and excited the molecular structure of the scout in nanoseconds. Metal warped and out-gassed, while inside men screamed as searing fumes tore their lungs. The Salamander veered sharply off course and collided with a grove of trees.

Miriya threw a look over her shoulder at the force riding up behind them. At their backs there were dirty clouds of grey smoke coiling into the air. Small blazes started in the woodlands by indirect fire were taking hold.

4 melta cannon suggests a multi-melta. Note they're the microwave weapon and they're working in the nanosecond range. If the melta could obtain a very narrow focal point it could very well achieve explosive effects similar ot a "blaster" type Deathray - it impiles something akin to flash burning, although it clearly begins to melt/evaporate the hull material. Hard to calc though, sadly.

Page 197-198
Glassy cogitator eye-lenses on iron stalks extended from the tops of the flat turrets and there were wires connecting some of them together so that the servitor-minds inside each could share tar­get data. The guns were elderly and ponderous, but still their accuracy was enough to rip apart Sisters who dared to press too far forward, too quickly. The surviving Salamanders retreated behind the lines of the guns, past trenches where heavy stub­ber cannon were being belt-fed by more of Sherring's overdressed soldiers. The occasional laser bolt showed where Imperial Guard troopers had joined the cavalry in the ill-informed defence of Metis.

Sister Reiko directed the women under her direct command to zero in on the las-fire and kill the guardsmen first. Their training was better than the second-rate locals, whose martial skills turned mostly to parade ground drills and regimented dis­plays. Precise shots on the turncoat guards also had a demoralising effect on the cavalrymen, letting them watch the abrupt and brutal death that they themselves faced if they continued to fight.

Servitor-gun turrets, explicitly noted to be an "old" kind of gun (and I presume not in a good way givne 'elderly') that can share targeting data via wire feeds.

Also confirmation (or at least SoB belief) Guardsmen are better than a noble's private military, and for psychological warfare reasons.

Page 198
The Retributors were faceless valkyries, their hel­mets sealed against the smoke and fury of the battle. Many of them carried the bulky slabs of heavy bolters and multi-meltas. Reiko urged them on with a sharp gesture from her flamer, writing a sweep of orange fire across the enemy lines. As one, they unleashed the force of their guns, fording the spines of steel tank traps and pouring death into the outer trench lines. Blunt-nosed bullets from the ballistic stubber rifles came off the armour of the Battle Sis­ters in clatters, falling away

Tank traps. Stubber rifles (or heavy stubbers maybe?) bouncing off SoB armor, and they're actually wearing helmets!

Page 201
Vaun gave an off-hand nod. "Yes. The Order of our Martyred Lady has been most devout in its deployment. I understand they sent almost every­thing they have in this region. The women of the Ermina Mantle have remained to defend Noroc in their stead, so Canoness Galatea might come here and chastise you." A smirk threatened to rise on his face.

The planet seems to have multiple SoB Orders around. That's either a hefty (and unusual) concentration or there are so many Sororitias that they can afford to waste them this way. Given how SoB have been wasted elsewhere, and the fact they are the primary (only) ofifical military arm they have, there's probably fuckloads of them, fuckloads more than there are marines anyhow.

Page 203-204
The coleopters thrummed through the cowl of smoke growing up about Metis's tall West Gate, lighting up the slow-moving lines of tanks with bolter shells and laser fire. They came in low,
counting on surprise, but that tactic had already been exhausted of its value.

Units of Sister Dominions, the special weapons caste of the Sororitas, switched targets from the turret emplacements and gun servitors of the cavalry. Storm bolters and meltaguns converged and brought the first of the disc-shaped aircraft out of the sky, shedding turbine blades and hull metal as it tumbled end over end into the smouldering tree line.

Air support once again, providing an anti-tank role, and the Dominon squads provide anti-aircraft role, although I suspect the shitty tactics of the 'copter pilots are what make this possible.

Page 208
Attracted by the activity, the cogitator brain in the turret began a ponderous turn to bear on the tank. Miriya kicked at a control switch by her feet and spoke a quick prayer to the God-Emperor and His tech-priests. The switch brought the blessing of power to a single-shot tube launcher that clung to the flank of the Immolator. Words of consecration wrapped about it on streams of parchment and the shapes of holy seals in red and white wax sheathed its exhaust vents.


Miriya needed no more encouragement, turning an ornate brass key inset on the turret's dashboard.

The tube chugged out a fat flower of white smoke, and from the middle of that bloom came a wicked projectile, the tip saw-toothed and barbed. Through a means that was beyond Sister Miriya's understanding, the hunter-killer missile spoke directly to the machine spirit of the Immo­lator and its auspex, there in the few seconds between leaving its birth chamber and turning to its target. The rocket went up into the grey air as a salmon leaps from a river, then turned about its own axis and penetrated the top of the autocan-non turret.

The gun emplacement burst open in a black and red flash, unspent shells ripping the air as they ignited in the inferno. Along the line of enemy turrets, a ripple of electric shock streaked through the cables connecting the servitor-brains inside each, and the maws of guns twitched in confusion.

Immolator tank equipped with a Hunter Killer missile.. with a saw-toothed tip. Interesting that the HK missile has telemetry relays betwene the Immolator (which itself has a "machine spirit" - an actual computer IoW) and auspex, and crossing the distance in a few seconds. Depending on the range, this could be near- supersonic or supersonic velocity - hundreds of meters/sec at lest seems reasonable.

Also the gun "servitors" are merely brains this time. BRAIIINS. Guess you dont always need those large meaty bodies.

Page 215
He weighed the slate in his hand. It seemed such a small thing to be so important, and yet inside the primitive bio-cell memory of the device were strings of numbers that meant more to Torris Vaun than any other prize he had taken.

Data slate, with "bio-cell memory"

PAge 220

All in the space of moments, the psyker who called himself Abb used his preternat­ural talent to excite the molecules inside the sickle magazine of Sister Reiko's boltgun. In a throaty roar of detonation, every shell in Reiko's weapon exploded at once. The crash of flame took off her gun arm and ripped away most of her breastplate and the flesh beneath. The woman was punched back into Miriya and the Celestian was thrown against a stone plinth. The aromas of ash and cooked flesh filled Miriya's senses. She pushed Reiko off her and the woman's head lolled to one side, a ruined face in mute shock.

Effects of a bolt gun explosion. Although how many shellsthere were, we dont know. It implies that at last some partial charring occured. Also implied is that the Sister's armour did not withstand the detonation.

Page 220
The plasma pistol sang in her mailed grip, the bright blue-white emitter coils along the breech sparking wildly with eager power. Plasmatic energy weapons were infamous for inopportune failures and catastrophic overheats, but in all the years that Miriya had used this handgun, she had never once had cause to regret it. It was a daily ritual of hers to pray over the firearm and ask the Emperor's for­bearance in its use, so that she might employ it to exercise His displeasure.

I would expect the reason it never blew up is because she got a wepaon that wasn't designed to cremate a person in a single shot. I mean considering how often she uses the damn thing like a laspistol or a boltgun implies it has far more shots than the typical plasma gun, and the fact it never seems to overload only confirms this. Makes sense though - you dont always need a plasma gun for cremating targets. (Hark's pistol, for example, cna make a kind of sense both as a psychological motivator and a display of power and in the rare case he might face something tougher than he is.)

Page 221

Abb screamed as he forced the charge of burning energy from his mind, turning the power on the Bat­tle Sister. Miriya's finger twitched on the trigger plate and the plasma pistol obeyed her. Psy-force and superheated, sun-hot plasma crossed in the air and split the day with thunder. The Sororitas reeled back, burnt and snarling. Abb became a thing of smouldering black meat, dying as the energy shot enveloped him.

Plasma vs psychic fire.. This time the plasma shot engulfs the target and seems to actually behave flamethwoer like. Call it hundreds of kj to at least several MJ for full-body burning (assuming third degree burns)

Page 234
Miriya pulled the trigger and vaporised the upper torso of the kneeling man with a single shot.

literal vapourisation or figurative? If literal could be double digit MJ easily. Otherwise probably more grendae like (high kj/low MJ) explosive effects. Works either way for me!

Page 242
Miriya stroked an indent on the plasma gun's breech and dialled the weapon's emitter nozzle to a narrow beam setting. Ducking from behind a support pillar, she fired again, slashing through a tertiary cogitator console.

Miriya's plasma pistol has the interesting property of having a variable emission setting - it can go with a narrow-focused bolt (which presumably creates the explosive/vaporizing effects) or the wide-dispersal "flamethrower" effect (which consumes and burns nastily.)

An interesting implication o this as well may be that more focused shots draw less power, perhaps because the focusing/acceleration matrix cannot concnetrate/speed a "larger power" flamethrower style shot.

PAge 242
Miriya snarled and fired again. The plasma weapon turned a steel stanchion to hot slag and sent flame licking up to the ceiling of the compartment.

No idea how the Stanchion is size wise, but even a kg or so of steel (iron) melted would be high kj/low MJ. But that also assumes it melted a good portion of it or a large stantion (and one that isnt hollow) so that should not be used as a primary or reliable one.

Page 245
Miriya pulled the trigger and the plasma gun spat flame across the cabin. The gaseous plume melted the helm into runnels of liquid metal and sent the tech-priest screaming away, his robes on fire and his augmetics twisted by the heat surge.

At least partly melts the helm/helmet of some Techpriest. Again possibly high kj/low MJ,d epending on mass and quantity.

PAge 245
At her side, Sister Portia consulted an auspex and frowned. "The device's machine-ghost speaks of lives still inside, but the glyphs are contradictory."

"Heat from the fires," said Cassandra, approaching the downed ship with her bolter held ready.
"The warmth radiates up from the ground. It confuses the sense-taker."

Thermal auspex.

PAge 259
The Battle Sister had purposely tuned her vox frequencies to take in only local sig­nals immediate to the engagement at hand, not the high channel communique links that would con­nect Lord LaHayn to her ear. She wanted little distraction, reasoning that anything of great import would be relayed to her eventually. Galatea hooked her fingers over indents in the neck ring of her Sororitas power armour and was rewarded by an answering chime in her ear bead relay."'Canoness Galatea, returning to network." she announced.

Within seconds, the even voice of the PDF officer Colonel Braun came to her.

More on Sororitas comms.

Page 259 - the Sororitas battle was observed from "scrye scans" aboard the frigate Mercutio, which is still in orbit around the planet. Seconded to the SoB?

Page 261
The Canoness fell silent. Such a decision was unprecedented in the modern Imperium. Since the Age of Apostasy, when the High Ecclesiarch Goge Vandire had tried to turn the galaxy to his rale, the separation of church and state in the ruling of human worlds had become an unbreakable dictum; a dictum that LaHayn had swept away while the Sis­ters of Battle were deep in the thick of the fighting. Galatea frowned. While she believed utterly in the church's Tightness in all things, this was a develop­ment that did not sit well with her, but it would do her no good to let Venik know her mind.

The SoB aren't so totally blinkered, at least, that they'd be willing to tolerate a Priest taking control of a planetary government not expressly under their auspeices, as occured during the Reign of Blood. Of course much of this depends on who is writing hte SoB.. most writers tend to use them as villains it seems. Which may be one reason why I like this series.

Page 262
Once the aeronef had reached its optimal altitude, the ship's nature as a racing yacht came to bear. Even with the damage it had suffered, even with only the lone, twitchy tech-priest at its controls, Sherring's airship cut through the clouds of Neva's skies with the swiftness of a raptor, at times riding on the rapid jet streams of the planet's upper atmos­phere as fast as a cruising Thunderhawk.

Intresting vehicle.

PAge 263
Neva was at its most geologi­cally active in this region, riven with small earthquakes and outgassings of fumes. Nothing lived here beyond the hardiest plant life and a few
dogged invertebrate life forms. So the mythology of the planet said, the toxic lands would have one day expanded to engulf the entire world if not for the arrival of the Emperor of Mankind, who, with a ges­ture to His magnificent technologies, halted the march of the volcanoes and reined them in. The blighted landscape remained now as a reminder of the planet's turbulent core and one more example of Neva's unanswerable debt to the God-Emperor.

Interesting bits on Neva's Geology, and how back in the Pre-Heresy era the Emperor (at least) Had the means to stabilize planets of this activity. And yes, this is a plot point.

PAge 269
In a ragged line, they entered the tunnel and ventured inside. Boiling hot streams of scorching air rumbled past them, fogging the visors of their Sabbat-pattern helms with condensation. Miriya toyed with the preysight setting, but the colours were a riot of tumbling reds, whites and oranges, and she quickly became disoriented.

Blinking sweat from her lashes, she pushed on, conscious of the suit's internal mechanisms labour­ing to keep her body cool. The tiny fusion core apparatus in her power armour's backpack showed warning glyphs at the corner of her vision, the tem­perature gauge rising quickly toward the red line.

Miriya's armour has some internal cooling systems (although they seem to have some trouble handling an enviroment which resembles a volcano, at least in some ways) but also an internal fusion core, which seems to be sensitive to enviromental conditions. This is osmething worth contrasting with Space Marine armour, methinks.

Page 276
"The chains are made of phase-iron" said Vaun, his hand straying to his opposite wrist, rubbing at the site of an old injury in recollection. "It sears the skin when psychic energies are used."

Verity nodded. "I have heard of this material. It is a rarity, a relic from the Dark Age of Technology."

Swallow likes to incorproate concepts from his Blood Angels novels (like phase iron and stuff.) Or possibly incorproates SoB stuff into the Blood angel novels. I forget which came first really. We learn phase iron is a DAoT relic, which suggests it may very well be "lost tech" for the Imperium, although creating a magic metal to burn psykers should not be difficult (you just inscribe wards/runes on metal.) Maybe its the power/reliability that makes it rare, or the fact it doesnt rely on "magic"

Page 279
"This mantle is lined with a ceramite weave."

"Body armour." offered Cassandra, "in case their charges get too boisterous."

Cermaite again has some resilience agains thermal and (it would seem) even psychic effects. Also ceramite can be "woven" into clothing. somehow.

Page 286
"Tell me, Sister Superior, how many psykers are there for every normal human in the Imperium?"
"One or two in every hundred thousand births, perhaps less."

Vaun nodded. "On Neva the number would prob­ably be closer to five times that." He ignored the looks of incredulity on the women's faces. "Neva's brush with warp space means that its people are more attuned to the psychic realm. Most of them never know it, they just get "feelings" or have strange dreams. But many of us exhibit the more, shall I say, unique properties."

"Neva is not the only world to have such a blessing. What of Magog, or Prospero, the holdfast of the Thousand Sons? Those planets were rich in preternatural power."

WE get some glimpse into psyker-human ratios, or at least what they believe them to be. I believe other novels (like the HH serieS) suggested something like 1 per 1 million. This may reflect the rate at which humans have evolved psychic abilities, although not knowing how it scales (is it linear or not, etc.) makes prediction impossible.

We know that billions of astropaths/psykers exist ay any given time, this suggests there are - at a bare minimum, tens or hundreds of trillions of people in the Imperium, and more likely quadrillions given 5th edition material.

Page 290
The Aquila-class shuttle carved a supersonic path through the roiling black clouds of the wastelands, tipping up on the edge of a wing to skirt about the plumes of toxic gas issuing from the muttering chains of volcanoes. Designed to resemble the Imperial eagle with its wings outstretched, the craft was swift and capable: an icon of the Emperor's will made manifest in steel and ceramite.

Aquila landers can go supersonic. Also a direct borrowing of IA vehicles I believe.

Page 295
The tenders were well armed for priests. What they lacked in the cold application of soldiery exhibited by the Sisters, they made up for with their rare bolter-crossbow weapons, glittering with artifi­cer filigree. Humming electro-stakes as long as Miriya's arm rained down the open hallway, rebounding off the steel walls in sparks of searing blue light. The Celestian heard an irate curse behind her as Isabel took a stake in the shoulder, spinning her around like a top.

Magic bolter crossbow weapons. They show up in the FFG material I believe but I forget their names.

Page 296
Almost the size of dread­noughts, the flesh-metal amalgams stomped dead clerics into slime beneath their clawed feet as they shouldered forward. Meltaguns whined up to full capacity and oily snaps of sound announced the unlocking of multi-barrelled stubber cannon.

Dreadnought wannabes.. some sort of servitor analogue. Gotta love what you can do with a servitor.

Page 302

The Hospitaller had heard it said that the copies of the sacred texts carried by Sisters of Battle held kill-needles and memory-metal knives concealed in their pages along with the God-Emperor's wisdom.

Memory metal knives hidden in books. Hah hah.

Page 308-310
"Your dogmatic order understands nothing of the Lord of Mankind's machinations." LaHayn took a breath. "I will indulge you, because it will amuse me to see your minds struggle to comprehend the awesome reality." He dragged Verity to her feet. "You know the story of the Heresy, of how the God-Emperor was felled by the archtraitor Horus and confined forever to the stasis of the Golden Throne."

Reflexively, Verity made the sign of the aquila, the still-loose chains on her manacles clanking as she did so. "And from there, the God-Emperor watches over us."

"Yes..." LaHayn looked away. He seemed gen­uinely moved by the scale of the sacrifice made by the Master of Mankind. "But what you do not know, what is recorded only in the most secret and arcane places, is the nature of the Great Work that He was about when Horus's perfidy drew him away." The deacon's voice dropped to a low, reverent whisper. "I have dedicated my life to that knowledge. I have found scraps of datum from across the galaxy, col­lated and sifted them, and drawn together a piecemeal vision of what I believe to be the Emperor's lost labour. That is what I continue here, His works."


"With each passing century, more and more psykers are born within the Imperium, far more than the Adeptus Ministorum will admit to. These are not mutant throwbacks, they are the hand of human evolution struggling to exert itself. The fools of the Ordo Malleus try to stem the tide but they are blind to the truth: the progression of mankind's psychic poten­tial is inevitable, that it was the will of the Emperor to shepherd it, not destroy it."

"Madness." retorted Miriya. "How can you claim to know the God-Emperor's mind? His intentions are beyond those of normal men. You've made some patchwork ideal from half-truths and rumour, then trumpeted it as fact. This is delusion, priest, delu­sion!"

He shook his head fiercely. "Don't you see?" LaHayn hissed. "He knew that one day all mankind would develop the power of the mind. It is our destiny. Think of it, imagine a time when every man is a god himself, a subject in an Imperium that spans the universe. Can you even begin to comprehend the glory of it?" The deacon's eyes glittered. "Had He not been wounded so grievously by Horus, that destiny is where we would be now. He would have led us there. Instead He lies trapped on the Golden Throne, hobbled and frozen."

A radical, psyker loving priest. Admittedly I didn't see where this is going, but I'm not always the most alert reader. His lil monologue is interesting at least, given what he believes. I find it hard to agree with him though given what we know - I mean most of the "secret work" the GEoM did was usually hidden on Terra, which was the most powerful and well protected planet in the galaxy, and also had the best security. That would be the natural place to conduct any sort of research LaHayn claims the Emperor is doing.

He is right insofar as believing the Emperor's goal was to protect and shepherd humanity into becomeing an Eldar-like psychic race, we know that, but his conclusions are wrong. What I'd imagine is that this was set up by someone else, although whether for the Imperium's benefit or as some sort of secret operation under its nose, I dont know (EG something Horus, or the Thousand Sons, or whatever might do in secret.) It's hard to say.

We also discover there are probably far more psykers than is admitted, which means the number/ratios from before are probably conservative at best.

Page 313
He dropped onto a shallow ledge. In the stone wall nearby there was a shuttered grille and beyond it - if his memory served him correctly - the upper­most tiers of the place the tenders called 'the sty'. Heavy bolts held the vent in place, but they were nothing more than simple steel. With care, Vaun applied his fingers to the first of them and concen­trated. In moments, the metal was glowing cherry red. Gradually, the bolts began to sag and distend.

VAun's abilities are such that he can turn steel bolts red hot in seconds.

Page 318
There was always a need for more experimental subjects, whether it was for the psyker-slaves to practise on or for LaHayn's pet biologis adepts to doctor. The tech-priests liked to toy with the brains of the operant and the latent, trying to enhance the powers of the former and engender spontaneous psychic phenomena in the latter. These experiments were designed to induce 'break­outs' - artificially generated telepaths and psychokinetics - but more often than not, their end results were corpses or things that had to immedi­ately be put down.

REnegade techrpiests trying to create artificial psykers. And they're still assholes. No wonder Vaun is such an ass himself. Find it hard to blame him for wanting revenge.

PAge 318
Vaun recalled from his youth the way the once-men clanked about the stone floors, the mouths of their guns forever questing for something out of place, so that they might kill it. He had heard that the blanked minds of the servitors were festooned with implanted triggers, devices that would stir pleasure impulses in them whenever a runaway was brought down.

This makes them seem more like obliterators, but the idea that thy can stimulte a pleasure/pain response in what is a mind-wiped cyborg has interesting implications. (EG some level of awareness despite haivng no mind, essentially.)

PAge 337
"A reprisal force is inbound to your position, Sis­ter Superior." continued Galatea. "Once I understood your wilful denial of my orders, I had the captain of the Mercutio scry the area about Metis City from orbit. His sense servitors tracked that aeronef you stole all the way to the wastelands."

Sensor servitors on the frigate. and the SoB of high rank can apparently make demands of a frigate captain.

The interesting ting I remember and I dont think I quoted, is that LaHayn's secret psyker fort was hidden from detection from the outside by psychic (or technological) means. Yet another case of stealth/cloaking in the Imperium. Yay.

PAge 341-342
The last days of the God-Emperor were a mystery to many. His actions in the dark time before the betrayal of the Warmaster Horas were shrouded in mythology and layers of obfuscation ten thousand years thick, but in all the holy tomes that spoke of His final actions before the enshrinement on the Golden Throne, there were mentions of His Works, of the secret
machinations He was about in the lab-oratoria beneath the Holy Palace on Earth.

In forbidden tomes, LaHayn had discovered scraps of old creed that the current generation of the Ministorum had declared apocryphal. He collected references to things that flew in the face of the cur­rent beliefs, names that none dared to speak, talk of star-children and the births of new gods. The dea­con courted death a hundred times over just for daring to possess such knowledge.

Through all his gathered secrets, he traced one thread, unravelling it from the tapestry of the God-Emperor's clouded legacy. That strand of causality spanned the light years that stretched from Terra to Neva, undeniable proof that this distant world was touched by His hand, just as it was coloured by the passage of the warp. It was plain to see once the pieces were assembled, and the priest-lord saw it with shining eyes. The engine was the Emperor's bequest to humanity, to Viktor LaHayn himself. Like a sentinel, it had waited here beneath the stone walls of the Null Keep, waiting for one with the breadth of vision to know its purpose and awaken it. There was absolutely no doubt in Viktor's mind that he was that man.

The deacon came as close as he dared to the spin­ning rings and held out a hand, letting his fingertips enter their aurora. Trickles of force shifted through him, and he became a prism for their light. It was a gentle caress, the merest fraction of the true energy inside. He could feel the primitive matter of his brain struggling to comprehend the power of it, and always, the same fleeting sense of something magnificent just beyond his reach. If only...

Not for the first time, LaHayn let himself drift and dream about what it would be like to know such capa­bility. To have the power to become one with the machine... To touch the distant mind of my god... The enormity of that idea struck the breath from him.

More inside LaHayn's mind and his research. The reference to the "star child" and "new gods" is an interesting bit of early fluff that I don't mind seeing brought up again. I rather likeed that angle from 2nd edition, but the mixed way his research evidently goes makes me question whether it has truth or not. Hard to say. I still don't think this device was constructed by the Emperor though.

PAge 342
"A force of strike сraft approach in skir­mish formation. The sensor servitors read them as bearing the mark of the Sororitas."
His lips thinned. "How many?"
"Ten, perhaps more. Their silhouettes match the con­figurations of troop transports and armour carriers."

The SoB can either requisition or have their own strike craft and troop transports/armour carriers, making them quite airmobile.

Page 349
With unerring precision, the Battle Sisters with flamer weapons dropped back to let
their comrades with boltguns and meltaguns take their places. The oncoming pyrokenes met a spread of heavy shells and microwave beams as they boiled over the pass.

Microwave melta guns again.

Page 350
Galatea's bolter howled on full automatic, the sickle magazine clip emptying into the closest pyro-kenes she could target. The psykers danced and twitched beneath her fire but failed to fall. She saw great fat chunks of flaming meat being ripped from them and blown away, and still they came on. Whatever devilish force of will drove them, it was incredible.
At her side, a Battle Sister with hair the colour of granite joined the Canoness with her storm bolter. It was enough: the psykers exploded in concussive bursts of noise, detonating hot, fleshy fragments and needles of bone.

SoB bolter empties its clip in a short time into a pskyer. Does not blow the thing totally apart though. and a SoB using a storm bolter.

Page 351
She had accepted nothing from Verity but a few dermal pads, small adhesive discs impregnated with pain nullifying agents. A trio of the white gauze circles ringed the neck of the injured Sororitas like a collar of dull jewels. Isabel's face was tight with denied agony, her skin pale and sallow.

Verity's available medical gear.

Page 354
A pyrokene freak scrambled from the basalt rocks, howling murder. The witch had been shredded by the near-hit of a frag grenade detonation, ripping the psyker's legs from his waist, and yet still the mutant came on, shouting through the aura of gold fire surrounding it, projecting itself forward on the spindly pins of its arms. It threw itself at Galatea, mouth yawning to present a throat full of fiery bile.

The Canoness reacted with preternatural speed, the adrenaline racing through her veins in a flood of holy quickening. Her bolter's breech clacked open, the gun empty, and she took a chain at her belt and whipped it upward. At the end of the pewter links was a golden ball the size of a man's fist: a censer, still fuming with a potion of consecrated oils and sacred herbs. Galatea brought it up and used the device as a mace, batting the pyrokene away with a single stroke. The solution within the censer spilled across the pathetic creature's face and sent it scream­ing into the dirt. There it lay, clawing and dying as the potent oils ate into it like acid.

effect of a grenade and more psyker craziness. The curiously interesting thing is the supernatural reactions she is implied to have - a benefit of faith maybe. But the "censer" grenade thing makes me think of Monty Python, only in incendiary form :P

PAge 356
Their unbreakable faith shielded them against the malice of these foes, such forces of inner will that the weaker of the witchkin would find their foul cantrips ineffectual, but what they faced today was of a very different order.

SoB shielding effects described, at last as having a tangible benefit.

Page 357
Beyond the thinning ranks of the witches, the guns of the Immolators found their mark. Dark obsidian stone and heavy iron split asunder as spheres of explosive force tore their way into the Null Keep. The holdfast was breached, and the Sororitas onslaught came on.

Immolators seem to be using "spheres of explosive force" - thermobaric weapons?

Page 358
Vaun pictured the churning roil of psionic ecto­plasm simmering in the fat man's ample gut. His kind of pyrokene was a peculiar breed, manifesting their ability like mythic dragons spewing fire from an endless reservoir of incendiary bile. The fat man and his sort were walking flamethrowers.
The psyker let his mind create the reality. He pro­jected a boiling heat inside the wailing man, watching him twitch and moan. Chemical reactions made his body expand, the grey fleshy wattles on his neck stretching tight. Vaun's errant minions went for cover just as the fat man exploded. The wet concussion hammered at the phase-iron doors, chewing a ragged hole in them. The gates tilted and sagged off their huge hinges.

A rather peculiar sort of pyro... I imagine its warp flame, although the chemical reaction implication may be some practical/tangible limit... although I suspect it was meant to imply it was some "genetically engineered' flamethrower ability . Remeinds me of the Soul Drinker's Pyro Eumenes and the way he needs body heat to trigger his pyro abilities.

Page 367
The tight confines of the machine throne coiled about his body, tightening around his skin and pressing invisible forces into his brain - but at the same time, the resonating engine was filling him with impossible power, charging his crude flesh with reserves of psychic potential beyond anything he could comprehend.

His mind was drowning in a screaming sea of churning, raw emotion, the spinning rings slowly forming a conduit through him into the soul-shattering madness of warp space. Vaun's thoughts were slipping away from him, the matter of his skin and bone becoming less and less defined as the machine absorbed him. In moments, he would become a shade, a ghost of the man he was. With sudden, blinding clarity he understood what was happening to him, what it was that LaHayn had conspired to do. In the crudest, most basic sense the ancient psionic device was no different from any other engine. To fully bring itself to optimal capacity, it required a spark of ignition - a scrap of human kindling to set it running to full power.

You are the spark. The priest-lord's words echoed in the blazing halls of his mind. It was inconceivable for Vaun to contemplate that the energy surging about him was only the primer for the engine's true millionfold capacity.

And now he was going to die for his mentor, he would vanish and disintegrate into pure psychic energy so that LaHayn could take the power of the engine for him­self

Lahayn's psyker machien described at last. I do admit the similraiites to the golden throne are hard to ignore. Of course we know now the Throne was not created by the Emperor, so if there are similarities this just makes it more unlikely that the GEoM created the device. He might have found it and tested it, but I doubt he would have just left it here ungaruded or anything. Again he does his testing on TErra.

Page 374
The psycannon bolt lanced through Vaun's fad­ing mental shields as if they were nothing more than cloth. It entered his skull through the nasal cavity and travelled into the meat of his brain, shed­ding needles as it did. The penetration core ruptured inside him, imploding. With nothing to animate his flesh any more, Torris Vaun, the corsair of Neva, hated criminal and witchkin lawbreaker, died with a feeble gasp. His final release of mental energy melted into the psi-engine and the machine glowed white.

Another psycannon bolt. note the deployment of needles, more reminisicent of a hellfire shell.

Page 377
"Listen to me. All the pieces are in place. The keys found, the codes bro­ken, the assumption is upon me. Consecrate it with your faith, dear sisters. Watch me take up the man­tle lost by blessed Malcador and become the Second Sigillite!"

Miriya's breath caught in her throat and her hand wavered. LaHayn invoked the name of the Emperor's first-chosen adjutant, the secretive administrator-priest selected in the days of the Great Crusade, the man who - so the legends said - had been the first human being to bear the mark of the soul-binding ritual that forever connected him to the Father of Mankind.

Malcador had perished thousands of years ago and no man had ever dared to try and take his title. It was written that the Sigillite was one of the most powerful psykers in creation, second only to the mental might of the Emperor. That the deacon believed he might stand in Malcador's place was either blasphemy of the highest order or the folly of lunacy.

Malcador mentioned and described.

PAge 385
Legend had it that the faith of the Adepta Sorori­tas was so strong that no psyker could ever break their conviction, that only the most monstrous of the witchkin could threaten their purity. It was said that when a Sister was at her most pious, when she was at the moment of most virtuous sacrifice to the God-Emperor's spirit, the shield of faith that sur­rounded her could turn any blow from the mind of the aberrant and unholy. Only when her faith was tested to the breaking point could a Sororitas truly know the power of her own zeal.


As suddenly as it came, the searing, murderous heat faded away, back into the bone-chilling cold. Verity's eyes snapped open and she saw Miriya before her, holding on to her rosary for dear life. "We... We are unharmed... By the Throne, we turned the killing blow. By faith alone we set our souls as armour!"

Miriya's eyes shone and she turned, raising her plasma gun in her mailed grip. "Yes... Katherine pre­serve us, dear Sister, yes. We resisted!"

And more on the tangbile, useful benefits of SoB faith, which really sounds more like a different form of psychic manifestation itself -the Imperial equivalent of the WAAAGH, as I think of it.

Page 388
Inexorably, the engine drifted out across the throat of the volcanic chimney, ascending to where geothermal power conduits snaked up the inside of the basalt flue. The thick adamantium channels extended into the fluid core of Neva, to energy-exchange mecha­nisms of such advancement and age that their science was unknown to all but the most learned mechanicus adepts on Mars. LaHayn hissed and exercised his new strengths, drawing raw energy straight from the grids.

some of the devices (the geothermal and energy exchange stuff) is considered very rare, almost lost tech - which is hilarious or maybe appropriate, depending on which geothermal power sources you choose to compare it to.

Also note the implication that Adamanitum of certain grades can stand up to prolonged lava exposure, and may have highly thermally conductive properties.

Page 389 - Miriya's battle armor is made of "flexsteel and ceramite plates"

Page 390-391
The deacon caught the weapon in his hands and howled as the scorching heat of it burned him, and in that instant the overloaded plasma pistol detonated in a fireball.

The blast ripped great strips of molten flesh from Viktor LaHayn, flashing the soft tissues of his eyes to cinders, carving him open with daggers of flame as hot as a sun. His bone and marrow turned to molten slag, the opulent ministerial robes and golden icons he wore becoming blackened ashes in less than a second. Miriya's armour went slick and flowed like oil as she turned away. The ignition threw a bow wave of air compressed into a hazy white ring, slamming her out of the dying energy nimbus and against the sheer walls of the volcano's flue. She fell, clawing at black stone and adaman-tium decking.

With their organic component abruptly immo­lated, the spinning rings lost all synchronisation and clashed with an ear-shattering cacophony. Met­als that had been forged in the hearts of long-dead neutron stars and etched with the blood of artisans from a thousand planets came apart. The rings frac­tured, dashed against one another, and lost all coherence. The aura field popped like a bubble and the machinery of the Emperor's lost engine fell the rest of the distance to the waiting deeps of the magma core. Somewhere down there, what remained of the High Ecclesiarch Lord Viktor LaHayn of Noroc boiled away into greasy vapours.

Effect of Miriya's deliberately overloaded plasma pistol on LaHayn. Hard to calculate though because of the psyker crap and he may have simply caught fire. Oh well. The device apparently didn't like the plasma pistol explosion either.

Page 395
"Do you hear me?" spat Galatea. "Let there be absolutely no room in your mind to interpret this command. Sister Superior Miriya, you are to desist in all combat activities immediately and evacuate the Null Keep to our rally point in the southern val­ley, where you will submit yourself for arrest. You have less than eleven standard minutes to comply!"

"Eleven minutes?" she repeated. "Until what?"

"Until the orbital bombardment from the Mercutio reaches your co-ordinates. Pray tell, Sister, do I have your full and undivided attention now?"
"Miriya choked on the words. 'A lance strike will reduce the entire citadel to rubble."

Null Keep is going to be blasted by orbital bobmardment in eleven minutes. A single lance strike will destroy the citadel.

Page 396
She aimed the lasgun and took the prone man's head off with one shot.

Miriya using a lasgun at point blank range. Single digit Kj, double digit kj maybe, depending on how we define "take the head off"

Page 398
There was a control board at her right hand and she stabbed the glyphs to activate the stubber guns in the flyer's nose. Rigged with cogitator sense engines, the weapon cupolas saw where she aimed them and busied them­selves by automatically opening fire on anything that moved. The pilot dutifully turned the coleopter to present its flank to the women below, and Miriya felt the aircraft pitch as they scrambled aboard.

Coleopter weapons... cogitator guided stubbers and other weapons.

PAge 399
At maximum thrust, the spindly flyer rose through the ash-fogged air and out into clear sky, turning southwards.

Cassandra came into the cockpit and started to speak but Miriya held up a hand to silence her and pointed at the sky. Dozens of quick twinkling stars were falling down towards the Null Keep.
By the time the Shockwave of the first impacts reached them, they were safe in the canyons, and leaving LaHayn's mad dream further behind with every passing second.

That's not a lance strike. Broadside maybe? Torpedo volley? Hard to say. Its some sort of projectile though.

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Grumman » 2012-04-07 03:55pm

Connor MacLeod wrote:PAge 30

sublight warship of some kind.

Not a warship, just a Space Barge.

Page 80

Like any other human society, the Imperium has its own fashion and merchandise trends and fads, although most of them clearly have a more relgious bent to them.

This planet is explicitly presented as more religious than most, so you can't really draw conclusions about other planets from this one.

Page 121

This is amusing, given the Cain novel mentions that some combat servitors are made from mentally unbalanced/insane Ex-Guard troopers (and probably penal troopers or whatever). Or the other sources indicating that Servitors, servo-skulls, etc. can be made from the bodies/skulls of loyal corpses or such. Are all servitors damned by the SoB mind?

It probably differs by type. For instance, I'm pretty sure all servo-skulls are from loyal servants, and it's possible those insane IG are only picked up when they do something to damn themselves and not just because they're insane.

Page 162

Gothified, Grimdark, Library computer. voice operated no less.

Page 164

...I also like the implied punch-card operated computers, because it's the Imperium after all. :P

Yeah, I liked those too.

Page 192

The Salamanders here are also defined or configured as "calvary tanks" which may actually mean they are operating in a different role or variant than what we're used to - they can certainly fire on the move, which may suggest the gun is turreted (or at least has some limited traverse/tracking ability.

I think the "cavalry tank" label just refers to the Salamander scout tank in general rather than a new variant.

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Aaron MkII » 2012-04-08 01:57pm

Fuckin hell your off the Xmas list!

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Aaron MkII » 2012-04-08 02:23pm

No. Only coal.

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-04-08 02:33pm

FINE! I'll use good ol American Ingenuity to make booze out of coal. And then who will be laughing!

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Aaron MkII » 2012-04-08 02:34pm

Probably me after you get da cancer. ;)

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-04-08 02:44pm

Pfft didn't you read Shroom's fanfic? we American's don't GET cancer! we're too FUCKYEAH for such piddly things. Unless you're a DEMOCRAT! :P

You're just not manly enough to drink coal based alcohol :P

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Aaron MkII » 2012-04-08 06:43pm

That's cause we drink fermented bear fat.

Actually that's disgusting, forget I brought it up.

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-04-14 02:08pm

And this is second update: hammer and Anvil. Which again is Dedicated (doubly so!) to Aaron, due to that fermented bear fat mark. I still haven't purged my mind of that :P

Two posts, one update, then I'm clear of that.

Page 7
In corridors and rooms, in spaces large and small, the sand would accrete in drifts if not properly dealt with. It seemed that no amount of baffles or electromagnetic fields could keep it entirely at bay.

The Sisters used EM fields to deflect/repulse sand on Sanctuary 101
Page 8
Sister Elspeth had once joked that perhaps the sand was alive, that it might be some sort of mite-sized swarming animal that craved warmth and shadowed corners. Elspeth was dead now, killed just after matins when the attack came.
Clever Elspeth, who was good at regicide and games of tall card, pious Elspeth who sometimes mumbled the catechisms in her sleep.

I quoted this, I like it, because it shows that Sisters can have humor and can enjoy games as well as being fanatical and pious and warriors. To me these groups are at their best when they show a range of personalities, be they Space Marines or Imperial Guard or whatever. I loathe the stereotyping of the Codexes.

Page 8
...she cursed herself for leaving in such a hurry, without first securing the helmet twinned with her Sabbat-pattern power armour; the infra-red sensing lenses and preysight mechanisms within the helm would have been of great use at this moment.

SoB helmets have both infra red and preysight, which seem to be different things here (whereas IIRC they're the same thing in other sources, like FFG or the ADB novels.)

Page 10
A digicompass in the vambrace of her armour was the only thing she was willing to trust.

Digital compass, I suppose?
Page 11
More than once she fell, losing her step as she crested one of the dunes, tumbling, then scrambling after the container when it rolled away, afraid it might split open. But it remained intact; the metal pod was crafted using lost techniques from the Dark Age of Technology, and would have survived a fall from orbit unharmed.

Inidcation of materials tech of the DAoT. I'm not sure if the context means this thing is lost-tech and irreplacable, or if it's just something that relies on sophisticated, rarely understood, and hard to replicate tech that merely makes it rare,

Page 11
n the gloomy corridors of the convent, the attackers had first shut down the fusion reactor and plunged the outpost into darkness as the storm took hold. Decima did not know how, as the power core was locked away behind thick shield doors and protected by gun-servitors.

convent powered by fusion reactor, which the Necrons easily disabled through unknown means.

Page 19
The labourers were busy loading cargo pods, and prefabricated Phaeton-pattern construction units that could be assembled into any one of a hundred different modular buildings.

Imperial modular construction stuff.
Page 21
The long journey from Holy Terra to the Eastern Galactic Rim was almost at an end

Idea of the distances covered.
Page 24
The deposition from the Sisterhood had come in person to ask again upon a request, which had been circling through the vast machine of Imperial bureaucracy for almost seven solar years.
Seven years of being banned from setting foot upon their own outpost world...
And so, in the nine hundred and third year of the forty-first millennium of the Imperium of Man, Canoness Sepherina was empowered to command a mission back to the silent outpost. Even with good warp currents, six more years Terran standard time had elapsed as the starship Tybalt travelled first to Paramar to equip, and then on to the distant Kavir system.

13 years since the masscare, 7 years of delay, plus 6 years (realspace?) of travel from Terra to the eastern fringes.. 60-70K LY covered.. which is a bit more than 10-12,000c on average (and assuming straight-line course.)

Page 27
None saw this as clearly as the Sisters of Battle. Oh, it was true that they did not fight this tide of enemies alone, but one could not expect the common soldiery of the Imperial Guard to weather such threats. The Inquisition, while companionable in some forms to the work of the Sororitas, often dallied too closely with the very things they set out to expunge. And the Adeptus Astartes, the Emperor’s Space Marines… They were a melange of conflicted, tribal warrior bands that embraced undependable psychics and the tenets of transhumanism. A few of their number were perhaps more tolerable than the others, and all were faithful to the Throne in their own crude conduct… But they were never to be trusted.

SoB atttitudes towards other branches of the military. Not arrogant at all.
Note the Transhumanism bit. You get alot of recent references to Astartes as post- or trans- human, likely to enrage some epople as 'thematically inappropriate' for real sci fi. Which amuses the hell out of me but I hate those labels as well and think they probably don't apply either.
Page 39
Like the rest of the hospitallers, Verity had changed into a stripped-down version of a Battle Sister’s combat rig. It wasn’t the Sabbat-pattern power armour the militants took into war, more like carapace kit of the common Imperial Guard, but it was protection enough for auxiliaries like them. Verity had been told it could absorb the power of stubber bullets or an indirect las-bolt, but she had no wish to test the veracity of that claim.

Hospitaller carapace. Gets a mention in (I think) Blood of martyrs (DArk heresy supplement) - for carapace it seems of limited protection, since it can't stop a direct lasbolt (contrastd with storm trooper carapace for example, or even hard-shell Guard flak...) but of course that also depends on the kind of las-bolt. Being able to stop stubber bullets doesn't tell us what kind of stubber (it could mean stub guns up to heavy stubbers, which in turn can be anything from 7.62 NATO analogue to 25mm. And there are stubber rifles.)
Also regardless of the kind of stubber, lasweapons seem to be inherently more powerful. :)

Page 43
..just visible beneath the ballistic-cloth coif she habitually wore.

ballistic cloth headgear.
PAge 56
He let his mechadendrites wander a little, sampling the aura of the planet. He drank in the air and the temperature level, let his digital senses taste the gravity index and parse the radiation count. He looked with thermographic and etheric-trace vision clusters, taking in gigaquads of raw data on the physical make-up of the world.
They saw little with the crude jelly of blood vessels and nerves in their heads, crude in comparison to the questor’s superlative multi-sight. This world was alive on the microwave, ultraviolet and phototropic level in ways they would never be able to know.

Techpriests amassing info about the planet thorugh various senses. not sure what 'etheric trace' is. The priest is taking in 'gigaquads' of data in a relatively short period of time (seconds or minutes, before he forms up with is retinue or is interrupted by the Sisters). I ma not sure what a 'quad' is meant to represent. this was the best I could come up with . Assumgn that does apply, we're talking tens of billions of gigabytes of data accumulated in that short time, although its possible other definitions of 'quad' apply.
Page 56-57
There were eight in the party, five of them minor adepts the questor had chosen for their combination of pliancy and intelligence, the others carefully disguised combat skitarii that would pass as non-military Mechanicus helots to all but the most invasive of scans. They formed a cyberconcert and began to create a communal data pool for all the party members.
...He used an encrypted vox-feed to tap into the virus program he had injected into the Tybalt’s machine-spirit back at Paramar, and sifted through the vessel’s orbital scans of the local continent.

some sort of local data network and a virus to hack into a starship's sensor network.

Page 65
All of them were here, all engaged in the connectivity of it. They shared the responsibility of processing the pool-data between them, utilising a variant form of swarm logic to bounce the cloud of information back and forth. Through machine-code and binary lingua, they communed by use of laser beams, each tuned to be beyond human sight into the far ultraviolet ranges.
The data they shared had many overlaps. The basic factual information about the planet, the environment, the numbers of the mundanes and the materials they had brought down with them, all that was affirmed and filed away. Other matters, like snatches of overheard conversation, were being parsed and edited together to provide a full surveillance of the day’s proceedings. These things occurred on a secondary, almost autonomic level of processing that to the adepts was as unthinking as breathing in and out.
What floated at the top of their data stacks was the discourse about what was to happen next. In strings of ones and zeroes, sometimes with hexadecimal epithets and complex octal-layer nuances, Tegas conversed with his operatives.

More AdMech data sharing. note the use of UV Lasers.

Page 66
The funeral was a pointless thing, celebrating nothing, meaning nothing. It could not be compared to the importance of, say, a rite of activation upon a sacred device or the anointing of holy mech-oils upon an augmentation. What the Sisterhood engaged in was little more than the flailing of uneducated children, an attempt by the inept to catch the attention of beings far greater than themselves. The Adeptus Mechanicus, on the other hand, knew exactly how their rituals affected the matrix of the universe, down to the last piconeper. They measured and collated their prayers to the Omnissiah, encoded them on punch-cards and magnotape. Each entreaty to the Machine-God was precise and controlled, laid out to a flawless standard.
What Canoness Sepherina was doing here was little more than noise, like trying to liberate hydrogen and oxygen from water by singing to it

Techpriest compares AdMech ritual to Sororitas ritual. implies that Admech rituals all actually are meant to have an impact - does this mean they're aware of the nature of the warpa nd how belief impacts it and take advantage of that? Or is it that they're more like the necrons and use their science to 'influence' the universe magically? It's not the first time an author has drawn (deliberately or accidentally) parallels between the AdMech and the Necrons in such aw ay.
It's also a bit silly to rule out the Sisters, since they have genuine faith that can have tangible effects but this is the AdMech...
Page 66
up on the Tybalt was a self-contained portable laboratorium unit, a rare example of an STC construct built for the Mechanicus’s use. Normally, it would be one of the first pieces of hardware deployed to a planet’s surface...

STC portable lab.

Page 67
The cargo shuttles had brought down a number of small ground vehicles, including Rhino transports for the Battle Sisters and more general all-terrain rovers for use where the heavy APCs could not venture. One of the skitarii had already observed and marked the location of an unarmed Venator-pattern scout car that would serve their needs. Tegas would have preferred a contra-gravity craft like a land speeder instead, but there was no other choice.

Vehicles on Sanctuary. Interesting they got ahold of some Venators for general purpose use, but probably not surprising. Also suggests the Techpriests build land speeders for themselves.

Page 68
To underline the point, Tegas briefly switched back from millisecond-fast machine code to the laborious configurations of actual human language. Using the archaic dot-dash forms of orskode he broadcast to his assembled group.

AdMech communication. Note the 'millisecond' speed machine code - I'd guess that's the rate they process and transmit data between each other.

Page 80
The crash of low-gauge bolt-rounds rumbled around the stone walls and muzzle flashes blasted staccato shadows across her sightline.

low gauge relative to what? Astartes bolters?

Page 80
"Those are Sororitas issue gun-servitors."

Sororitas issue gun servitors. So they do make use of them.

Page 81
.. Imogen and a few of the other Sisters laying down an arc of shots, but the rounds did little but chip away at the layers of armour-plate of the mobile gun-slaves. Sat atop heavy tracks like miniature tanks, they were mobile turrets controlled by the remnants of human helots wired into metal bodies.

The aforemntioned gun servitors.
Page 82
The tungsten-carbide teeth of the blade whirred, drawing Imogen’s attention from across the corridor.

Chainsword teeth.
Page 83
Miriya leaned in, pressing her full weight into the attack, and felt the sword cut into the ablative sheets, throwing out great streamers of sparks.

ablative armour on the servitors.
Page 83
The autocannon blew fist-sized holes across the stone walls in a line of peaks and troughs. Miriya brought it to rest on the torso of its armour-plated companion and watched the dying helot blow the other gun-slave off its treads.

firepower of gun servitor autocannons.
Page 86
hey were close now, and even as the realisation formed, a long, slow pulse of ultraviolet laser light flashed across his vision quadrant. Judging by the attenuation and frequency shift, the beam had been fired from an emitter less than a kilometre distant. The questor snaked one of his mechadendrites – the one with a lasing diode in the tip – up through the scout car’s canopy and flashed back a response pulse.

More lasers.
Page 87
He measured the radiant index from the muzzle of a meson cutter.

Meson cutter. Some sort of AdMech industrial tool, I guess.
Page 91
"I am detecting major internal damage within this module. Breakage of core hyperdynamic spatial linkage arrays, phase-effect nulls… That would explain why this piece did not deresolve with the rest of the corpse-metal when the unit was destroyed"

The AdMech seem to know quite a bit about necron technology.
Page 93
"The necron species came to this planet several million years ago… Or at least, one faction of them did."
"Data that lends weight to a theory of differential sects within the alien society. It appears that the commonly-held opinion of the necrons as a monolithic culture, with little in the nature of divisive internal power blocs, is short-sighted at best."
"Construction, detail, cosmetic presentation, internal structure. All show numerous points of differentiation. Many of which are external and largely decorative, lending credence to the concept of tribal structures within the alien civilisation. Time-dating indicates that both groups of necrons are contemporaries."
"This theory has been aired before… It has been less than popular… But if we have proof…"

And this is how the difference between the old nad new Necron codexes is handled, as differing theories for their organization and society. I still wouldn't rule out the old stuff still applying in some way, the new codex leaves alot of latitude for that.

Page 98
"But by the God-Emperor’s Grace, Thalassa lives. Her torso armour took the brunt of the barrage from the autocannons, protecting her vitals from a fatal level of damage. However, it saddens me to tell you that she will not walk again under her own locomotion. Our facilities here are crude and those remaining intact in the convent’s valetudinarium do not include tissue regeneration devices. I would recommend augmetic surgery upon her person after she has had time to recover."

The Sisters power armour can make the earlier gun-servitor autocannon damage survivable, albeit not withou tinjurty it seems. Also mention of 'tissue regeneration' tech - I guess they can regrow limbs or fresh organts to graft.
Page 103
"One of my tech-guard managed to englobe it with a stasis sphere before it could fully awaken."

Stasis device to capture a tomb spyder.
Page 105
Reinforced cyborg limbs went against wiry bone and muscle, one powered by energetic battery cells, the other by sheer force of madness.

Tech-guard are battery powered.
PAge 105-106
The ragged figure’s free hand vanished into the stained, dirty robes and came back with a black blade, a shortsword made of a material that only barely existed in the real world. It went into the soldier’s biogenerator implants, through the solar plexus with a sound like whispers.

Biogneerator implants - some sort of battery charger device? running things off human heat perhaps ? They certainly have that tech.
Also I supsect the short sword is a c'tan phase sword.

Page 106
Ferren reverted back to a blink-code of panicked denials transmitted in the infra-red wavebands.
Tegas scanned the stress levels in the reply and discarded it.

More Admech scanning types. Infrared and truth-telling basically
Page 107
He drew it open, and the action of light falling on the scroll’s surface brought it to life. A silent waterfall of images and complex mathematical structures fell across the revealed page. Infinitely long lines of text revealed themselves, resembling the circle-spar iconography of the necrontyr. The scroll showed orb-like panes of data growing out of each other, and when Tegas tilted it, the images changed to reveal even more script layered atop them. It moved past with incredible speed, a library’s weight in texts passing by in a second, more following, more and never ending.

Necron storage device, not unlike an Imperium dataslate, I'd guess.

Page 109
They scrambled out into the dusty gloom and into a chorus of laser fire. Tegas saw streaks of bright yellow flashing up at the wall of stone above them, blasting divots out of the red rock in crackling concussions.

Laser fire from Tech guard blowing chunks in wall. ASsuming a 3-5 cm diameter hole we're probably tlaking a few kilojoules. Of course it depends on damage mechanisms.

Page 109
Even as the demand was made, the questor spotted a blink of movement up on the sheer stone mass. A figure, humanoid in form, scaling the towering side of the arroyo in leaps and jerks, vanishing in and out of shadow as it moved. He immediately scanned in a dozen variant vision modes to pinpoint the intruder, but it was difficult to achieve. Something about the hooded cloak that hid the creature caused his sensor returns to simply slide off it.

Necron tech must include some sort of sensor distorting cloaking. Literal cloaking.

Page 110
The biosynthetic innards of the soldier-cyborg formed a pool around it as the body twitched, mech-agumented nerve clusters still firing after meat-death.

Tech guard upgrades. Synthetic organic elements. Vat grown perhaps?

Page 124
..plucked a small orb from her belt and tossed it into the air. The silver sphere described an arc that took it up into the rafters of the Great Chapel’s dome, and at the apex it burst into a glaring white clump of fire. The flare-pod began a slow drift back to the ground, but the stark illumination it threw out cast sharply defined shadows that shifted and wheeled.

flare pod . How it floats down like that, I have no idea. suspensor?

Page 129
She checked her ammunition clip and brought her weapon to her shoulder, sighting down the optical scope.

Opticla scope on Miriya's bolter.
page 129
"Ananke reports a detection from the thermographic scanners. Four hundred metres now and closing."
Miriya’s finger tensed on the bolter’s trigger. "Are we to fire?" Sepherina had said the words and ordered them to combat alert – and the letter of that standing order included directives to shoot anything that refused to identify itself.

Implied bolter range of 400 m.

Page 130
A dozen Sororitas guns were trained on the Venator, across from cover or down from the battlements. Any sudden motion, any threatening action, and the vehicle would be torn apart by bolter fire.

A dozen bolters can demolish a Venator.

Page 132
"It is within my remit as a questor to appropriate military vehicles, should I wish to," Tegas sniffed.

Tegas can comandeer vehicles. I wonder if this puts him on the level of say, a Rogue Trader.

"The vehicle’s machine-spirit – if we could interpret its datum, we might be able to narrow down the area of transit. We know how long Tegas was gone for. If we can reckon the charge remaining in the power core."

Reminder of the battery-based nature of the Venator, as well as it apparently having a machien spirit of some kind. I'd guess its been gone hours at least/

PAge 138
"he digicompass continues to drift off true. Something in the rocks, a magnetic ore perhaps… It is interfering with the automap." She showed the display of the auspex unit in her hand. "It will take me only a few moments to sight and recalibrate."

Auspex with digicompass and automapping function.

PAge 138
They had been searching for several hours now, working through a grid pattern...

Sevearl hours endurance if not hours more for the Venator. Implied range of hundreds of km?

Page 138
A Masakari-pattern variant of the smaller standard scout car, this vehicle differed from those used by the units of the Imperial Guard or the Adeptus Arbites. It had a longer wheelbase, an enclosed space for a driver, and instead of mounted lascannons, an aft compartment where six women could be carried in supremely uncomfortable proximity. But even a unit specially-adapted for use on desert worlds like Sanctuary 101 was finding this sortie hard going. Still, it was better suited than a heavy armoured vehicle, like a Rhino or an Immolator tank, which would have sunk to its deck in the powdery metallic sands.

The Venators used by the Sisters on this planet. The Guard in gneeral (not just the Elysians) and the Arbites seem to make use of them. This one is a troop transport variant, which probably suggests others could have such a design as well. Useful for an impromptu motorised company I imagine.

Page 139
She looked away and bent to duck inside the rear of the Venator.
Verity was in there, whispering a prayer over a keyboard of brass buttons and a flickering pict-screen.
"It is merely that the vehicle’s machine-spirit is of a different order to the devices I am familiar with."

I guess it does have a computer-analogue of some kind inside it. :)
Page 145
The hospitaller peered at the pict-screen and frowned. "A detection," she began. "A lasing beam, it appears. There was a brief moment of contact from a kilometre distant."
"A targeting sweep?"
"No," Verity went on. "The beam was too weak."

I'm guessing the Venator has sensors as well to pick up the laser, unless the vox picked it up (but if so they would knwo its not a targeting beam and is for communications purposes immediately) Also implies there is some sort of weapon with a km range that needs a targeting beam like that. :P

Page 148
Slowly, the weapon-arms of the gun-slaves and the laser carbines of the skitarii rose to a guard position.
She moved to draw up her gun in return, but the instant she moved, a trio of actinic blue sighting beams threaded through the air to dance across her breastplate. She lowered the bolter again and they winked out.

Skitarii have las carbines and there are sighting/targeting beams. That are visible, and blue.

Page 148
His shifting crimson eyes scanned the Venator, doubtless picking out those within via thermographic vision cues, like the preysight of the Sabbat helmets.

Preysight described as thermographic.

PAge 150
Laser strikes fused sand into clumps of dirty silica at her heels as she ran towards the rear of the Venator. She bit back a scream of pain as one shot found its mark and melted into the ceramite and flexsteel of her shoulder pauldron.

Lasweapons seem to be mostly thermal... assuming a 3-5 cm diamter hole melted we might be looking at 100-200 kilojoules. Nott the most efficient kill mechanism, however :)
If we assume the sand is metallic (as alluded to before) you might get 300 kj. Alot depends on density and diameter, so both calcs should be treated as very much order of magnitude estimates (EG tens to hundreds of kj)
Also Sisters power armour is ceramite and 'flexsteel'.

Page 150
Miriya put her foot on the running board and discharged her bolter one-handed, firing blind into the broken lines of the Mechanicus soldiers

Miriya fires her bolter one handed.

Page 151
, Imogen threw herself at the open hatch and landed on the deck, las-bolts cutting crimson pits in the hull of the vehicle

Lasgun blasting holes in the Venator, dpeth and diameter unknown.

Page 152
Ferren calculated his options within a microsecond, evaluating and considering all possibilities he could see, and discarding those that did not suit him.

Calculating processing speed of the tech priest's implants.

Page 154-155
The younger Sororitas, her shoulders and head poking out of the roof hatch, gave a sudden, savage jerk before her knees gave way and she fell into the compartment. Xanthe came back trailing a mist of hot, pink vapour and the stink of burnt iron. Her face was a ruin of blackened meat, cored straight through by a las-bolt.

Lasbolt from Skitarii carbine cooks the head of a sister without blasting it apart. If we go by flash burns call it 100-1000 j per sq cm as per here, with the upper limit representing an effective blowtorch, the lower end being severe third degree burns close enough to igniting clothing. assuming a 20x20 cm face, with about 50% greater coverage for the other sides.. 600 sq cm. at least 50-60 kj, up to 500-600 kj for the other end of the spectrum.
If we go by volume and assume somewhere between scalding and boiling (100-300 kj per kg) and a 4-5 kg head, we're talking 400 kj to 1.5 MJ. Again bear in midn this is a purely thermal weapon, with little or no mechanical/explosive effects, and again it should be treated as an order of magnitude estimate. nonetheless, tens to hundreds of kj at least per bolt seems likely.
Page 158
None would dare venture into the laboratorium, for the law of the Ministorum classed the module as de facto territory of Mars, a tiny embassy of the Mechanicus light years from the solar system. Tegas would be within his rights to class any invasion of that space as an act of war.

AdMech Labs are considered sovereign AdMech territory.

Page 158
Tegas had already absorbed every teraquad of data his errant protégé had gathered about the device, but he had ordered his own retinue to perform the same suite of tests again.

"teraquads' of data in an unkonw timeframe (hours maybe?) Useful for storage but not much for processing or data transmission I'd gather, except we're maybe talking tens of terabytes - assuming the same definition of 'quad' as before was used.

Page 159
If Ferren’s data was correct, if his interpretations were sound, it seemed to suggest that the scroll-device was operating in discontinuous phase with the rest of space-time. It was acting through quantum linkages to gain access to instrumentality at levels undreamed of in Imperial computational devices. Information, stored in the very structure of subatomic particles. An infinity of facts, entire histories encoded within it; and most amazingly, all this on something that might be a trivial gewgaw to the beings who had manufactured it.

The nature and operation of the Necron scroll storage device thingy.

Page 162
She could hear the rat-scramble skittering of the Mechanicus’s soldiery following them, inexorably tracking the fleeing women with thermal scopes, pheremonic scans and other sensing technologies that the Battle Sisters could only guess at.

AdMech tracking gear.

Page 164
He had only middling combat prowess beyond the reams of match-move data he had downloaded from the central processing matrix of his warrior squads...
The scouts leading the search party down the tunnels were beaming back their targeting data to the rest of the group. Sound sensors cut a picture out of the gloom, listening for the motion of boots on stone, the whine of power armour, even the thudding of human hearts

AdMech data sharing by combat units, including targeting data. They're also using passive auditory sensors - possibly sonar? They can pick up human hearts.

Page 165
The panes of glassy material, as much as they resembled fused silica, were actually some kind of extruded metallic crystal with a tensile strength greater than steel. In months of examination, none of Ferren’s explorator team had been able to uproot them or gain insight into their functionality. And while they were proof against all but the most powerful ballistic rounds, the Mechanicus expedition had learned early on that they were transparent to las-bolts.

Interesting comment on Necron materials science

PAge 165
Ferren’s train of thought was halted by a sudden surge of new inputs from the sensing palps at the tips of his mechadendrite cluster. A spike in exotic radiation came from nothing, spent neutrinos and quark-flux particles creating an invisible mist that could only be perceived by one with the eyes of a machine.
The tech-priest beamed an interrogative to the communal data pool and found he was not the only one detecting the same variance. Even as he communicated with his minions in microsecond-swift binaric pulses, comparing readings and building a theory, he began to register another effect.

Sensors detecging texotic radiation, neutrinos, and quarks. Also theorising and communicating/trandmistting data in microsecond pulses, again showing transmission and reaction time for the implants.

Page 166
The electromagnetic force did not diminish; it became uncomfortable for the skitarii and the other adepts, causing misfires in their neural implants and stutters across the interface of their brain-augmentation connections. Ferren took an involuntary step backwards, his accelerated thoughts cycling, becoming glitchy as the energy discharge grew stronger. He tried to engage his tempest shields, but the force was strong, overwhelming them. His deep logic cores began to auto-deactivate in order to protect vital data such as his persona matrix and his primary memories.
It was hard to concentrate. The pulse was like blades being drawn across the cords of the tech-priest’s cerebral implants.

Admech neural/brain agumentation implants - all are vulnerable to EM

Page 168-169
he question became moot as some of the tech-guard gathered enough of their wits to fire on the warriors. Crimson light flashed, las-bolts threading from the barrels of beam carbines and into the arrowhead formations of the necrons.
A few of the machines stumbled and faltered, ignored by their companions. The others raised their weapons in perfect concert and returned fire.
Emerald flame, eldritch and crackling, engulfed the closest group of skitarii and began the work of disintegrating them. Verity’s mouth dropped open in shock. Where the tech-guard troopers had organic flesh, their skin and nerves, their meat and bone were flensed apart and flashed instantly to puffs of ash. The pure cyborg parts of them, the implants and the biomodules, became blackened pieces of slag, spilling onto the dusty floor as they collapsed and perished.

Skitarii vs Necrons. Gauss flayers FTW.
Also the flayers here, much like in Fall of Damnos, exhibit thermal like qualities. Although as I said it may be purely a side effect of the gauss effect.

Page 172
The odour of harsh chemicals, of hexogene rings and complex nitrotoluene clusters, assailed his sensing pallet. Inside, there were racks of metal cylinders, each marked with warning trefoils and warding runes; geo-mag charges of various explosive potentials, used to crack the recalcitrant rock during excavations and deep digs.

HE charges. Hexogene probably means RDX, which also goes by the name Hexogene. "nitrotoluene" probably refers to di or Tri nitrotolulene, which is basically TNT or its predecessor.

Page 173
The glancing energy bolt swept over him and severed the tech-priest’s right leg at the hip, throwing Ferren into a headlong tumble that was arrested only by a collision with the stub of a half-buried boulder. He doused all pain receptors the moment he was struck, but it was too late to stop the initial surge of agony. Ferren scrambled, a mess of torn, dirty robes and spindly iron-black limbs, flailing around like a swatted insect unable to right itself.
The shot had been random, a miss that had taken him instead of its intended target..

I'm guessing its a gauss shot, but it might be lasfire too.

Page 174
Gauss fire shattered the rocks they had chosen as their cover, driving them out to duck and run among the glittering panes of glass. Miriya was wary of the strange portal-panels. No more warriors had emerged from the doorways beyond them after the initial invasion group had come through, but there was no way to know if more were on their way.
Danae moved and fired with the meltagun, shooting from her hip, panning it about in a sharp arc that engulfed the glass panes and the machine-forms alike. The panes she hit slagged and misted, the fires within dying, but they did not shatter. Miriya could not help but wonder what kind of exotic matter could resist the sun-hot power of a melta blast.

Reemember those clear panes that were mentioned to be transparent to lasfire but impenetrable by kinetics? These are those again. Apparently meltas can't go thorugh them either, so the SoB meltas are probably not of the microwave vareity. Beyond that its just more proof of how durable Necron materials are.
Also gauss weapons make a mockery of stony cover.
Page 174
Miriya executed a shot from half-cover and placed a three-round burst of mass-reactive bolts in the chest of an advancing warrior. The steel skeleton was blown back off its clawed feet and it crashed to the ground in a ruined heap.
And then, to her shock, the thing Miriya thought she had killed rose again. The grievous wound across its torso was shrinking, the metal plates there flowing like mercury, what could only be splines and wires beneath knitting back together to undo the injury.

Necron healing from a 3-round burst from a sororitas bolter. This being a James Swallow novel, its likely they're firing non-explosive bolt rounds as well.
Page 175
She thumbed her bolter’s fire-select switch to its fully automatic setting and squeezed the trigger. Rounds thundered from the gun and punctured the skull of the advancing mechanoid, this time splintering the steel into shimmering fragments, decapitating it. Even though it was robbed of a mouth with which to scream, the necron finally emitted a death-howl. It was a grating, static-laced skirl of noise, a synthetic parody of a shriek that vibrated out from its entire body.

Full auto-headshot seems to hurt the thing at least. But no phase-out yet.

PAge 177-178
Two of them pivoted to fire and the black sword spun. Viridian sparks flared as the muzzles of gauss flayers were cut away by the passage of the blade. The dark edge slashed at the machines, opening them to the air. Verity saw bisected parts of a necron warrior fall away, the cut ends polished and mirror-bright. The mechanoids collapsed to their knees, shuddering. She watched them grasping for severed limbs, trying to reconnect them to fresh stumps.
She raised the black sword and held it threateningly at the Sister Superior. The blade did not resemble any kind of metal; it was like a river of ink, a shadow made solid.

the weird necron-made melee weapon again. It seems effective at hampering their regeneration, whatever it is. I'm not sure if its because it fused the edges, or it has some other secondary effect that hampers it.
Page 179
The transition could only have lasted for a fraction of a second, but from Sister Miriya’s point of view it felt like an eternity. The watery green light engulfed her, seeming to lap over her flesh like a slow tide of oil, and then everything became distorted.
Her perception was twisted and useless. She saw dreamy shapes, colours and synesthesic effects that her mind could not interpret, giddy vivid impressions that could have been motion, heat, terror or some mixture of all.
This portal, this alien gateway, was not meant for unprotected humans, and she could sense it trying to reject her. Miriya felt as if the power of the thing was actively repelling her flesh and blood, acting on it like the disparate poles of a magnet. Her skin crawled with sickening sensations that threatened to crack the Battle Sister’s iron resolve. This tunnel through nothingness skirted close to the psychic maelstrom of warp space, and she could feel the incredible pressure of the immaterium just beyond the walls of her own mind. It was so close.
And then, just when it seemed as if she could stand it no more, she was staggering, her boots ringing on a metal deck. Miriya tried to open her eyes, and found her skin layered with a coating of frost that crackled as she moved. Patches of steaming ice covered her wargear, sloughing off in sheets as she stumbled.

I think this is a dolmen gate, given the webway access but I'm not 100% sure. It may just be some sort of portal or something - nothing says that Dolmen gates are the only means by which the Necrons tap the webway, or maybe they just have different kinds of portals.
Page 186
She brought up the dark edge of the voidblade in her hand, slow and careful. ‘See!’ she spat.
The periphery of the sword’s cutting field, existing a microsecond out of phase with the rest of the weapon, buzzed as she lay it across the palm of her other hand. The entropic aura disintegrated the rags wrapped around her skin and made a perfect line along her dirty flesh. Bright crimson blood welled up and ran in streaks down her fingers.

The weapon is a voidblade.

PAge 189
Verity touched the auspex unit hanging at her belt. In a moment of clarity she had turned the device’s memory spools to an automatic recording state; there was no telling what they might find in here, and if they should make it back to safety, a log of what they encountered might prove invaluable as intelligence.

Auspex recording function.

Page 193-194
"Kora peered at one of the displays. It was filled with alien iconography, trailing down its span in cascades of unreadable text. ‘Not enough? An army of thousands, and you say it is not enough?"
"Each of these represents a single cohort of combat forces. One group, like the Monolith brigade above."
Cassandra’s eyes widened as she took in the count of the screens. "But there are… There must be hundreds of displays here."
"And this is but one monitoring bay. There are many more."
"Tell us how many of these Light-Forsaken machines are sleeping here. A legion’s worth? More?"
" This complex is a staging area for invasion on a cosmic scale. A hub at the centre of the wheel, only one of many seeded in the deep past, left to wait out the aeons. Here they sleep, and they are maintained and prepared for eventual revivication. An army that numbers in the billions."
"If what you say is so… With those portals, they could strike en masse in an instant. No force sent by lander or teleporatrium could hope to match such numbers…"
"We have seen enough xenos here to invade a dozen worlds." Cassandra shouldered her weapon. "And you tell us there are more?"

The scope of the necron forces on Sanctuary 101. We don't know exactly how 'common' this scale of force is for the Necrons, although the Sisters seem to think billions of teleporting 'Crons is a very dire threat. And the revenant (as they call her so far) implies that this is perhaps a major world, but not the only such world. There may be thousands, or even millions of such.. which suggests Necron forces on the order of trillions or quadrillions. We may get more clarification later.

Page 195
"This complex exists… inside the Obsidian Moon?"
"Impossible," snorted Imogen. "The Tybalt passed within a hundred kilometres of the surface of that satellite. A base of this magnitude would have been detected!"
"Would it?" came the question. "The machines alter space-time with their arcane technologies, they twist dimension and void. You felt that in the gateways. They do the same here, coring out the moon as their hibernaculum, building something of impossible aspect where it should not exist."

The billions strong necron complex lies inside a moon of indeterminate size, and it sounds like its a glorified 'bag of holding' effect (bigger on the inside than outside) - I'd actually think the moon is a gateway to a bigger locale elsewhere, which explains the connection between it and the (dolmen?) gateways. The gateways are also space/time folding tech, it seems.

Page 199
In orbs made of cloudy, metallic glass there were corpses opened with all the detail of an anatomist’s textbook. Miriya’s knowledge of flesh and blood, human or otherwise, was limited to the knowledge of how to do harm to it and the most basic field medicine. About her, she saw layers of skin and bone, nerve and sinew flayed away, and suspended by unseen means. Museum-perfect displays that were part art-work, part experiment. The Battle Sister was reminded of the exploded technical diagrams of gun components she had memorised as a Novice Cantus. But instead of frame, coil and lever, these things were aorta, marrow and organ meat.
There were dozens of the spheres, many of them containing exhibits so finely dismantled that it was impossible to know what species they might have originally come from. She saw what could have been parts of a greenskin, the dull blue hue of a tau, or perhaps they were all human remains, the last of the women who had died defending Sanctuary 101.
"This is an arcade dedicated to cruelty, ordered by something that sees no horror in what has been done. No more than a child might pluck wildflowers and press them into the pages of a notebook."
"Why?" Miriya asked, the question escaping her. She crossed to the nearest orb-pod and peered at a circular display floating near it. Alien text filled the disc, and she wondered what it might say. Was it the record of the agonies of a long-dead Battle Sister, captured after the invasion? Or coldly harvested genetic data, preserved for future iterations of necrontyr to study, so they might better destroy any humans they encountered?
"I thought the machines were only killers," she went on. "All records speak of them as turning their victims to ash. What purpose does a… harvest like this serve?"

Necron retcon on the 'harvesting' angle obviously. Still pretty creepy if you ask me, and the only possible way is if they decided to anal probe you with a voidblade or something.
Page 200-201
The architecture of the construction was like everything else inside the Obsidian Moon, all time-soiled metals surrounding carved rectilinear ribs of heavy stone – but where those shapes seemed to at least adhere to some rational, if alien, design ethos, this thing was an impossibility.
The Sister Superior tried to take it all in with a single glance, but it would not come to her. Like an optical illusion, lines seemed to begin and end on themselves, hard-cut corners forming into angles that collapsed upon one another. It made her head swim to try and hold the shape of the thing in her mind’s eye. An inverted tetrahedral surround of old iron, it stood bigger than the central donjon of the Sanctuary convent, glinting with flickers of power. Dull, unearthly light gathered in the open framework of the thing, the same brilliant green hue they had witnessed elsewhere.
Cassandra was the first to make the leap of concept. "It is another portal." She glanced at the hooded woman and the revenant nodded once.
"Very different to the simple doorways we passed through," she intoned. "This is an engine of transmission far more powerful, capable of instantaneous conduction across vast tracts of interstellar space. A Dolmen Gate."
"Where does it lead?" She dreaded the answer to the question.
"Everywhere," said the revenant, retreating into the shadows. "The dolmen bores down into the matrix of the universe, the grid of line and power that underpins all things.’ She cocked her head. ‘The eldar have a name for that network. They call it 'the webway'."
Cassandra uttered a curse. "I have seen the Harlequins use that magick," she grated. "Tunnels through space, big enough to bring tanks and war machines from worlds away. You say the machines know this lore as well? How is that possible?"
"It operates by no means I can understand. The necrons are slicing into the ethereal realm with this device, but the mere act corrodes the stone it is made from." She pointed towards the edges of the massive gate mechanism; parts of it were laced with cracks and fragments drifted about it in pockets of null gravity.

The Dolmen gates. I guess the earlier teleportation device wasnt the same thing, but a related technology.

Page 201-202
"It is the reason for this entire construct. The layers of space run thin here. The barriers between our realm and the conduits of the webway lie close to the surface in the Kavir system."
"They draw power from a vast energy core to keep it open a crack."
"Attacks would come without warning," said Cassandra. "Legions of these war machines phasing in out of nowhere..." She paused, considering the scale of it. "God-Emperor… The Imperium would be defenceless."
"Simultaneous mass invasion, from here to the shores of Holy Terra herself." said the revenant. "The xenos would slake the thirst of their warlords with human dead."

More on the Dolmen gate and the danger it represents. I wonder who the 'warlords' they refer to are? The Lords? Or the C'Tan?
Page 204
"Why did you do this, alien?" She indicated the glassy orbs. "What do you hope to learn from such acts of spite?"
"To feed well the food stock must be tasted. And there was also the puzzle to be solved."
"What puzzle?" Verity was unable to stay silent.
The creature Ossuar made a noise that might have been a sigh of pleasure. "How it was you came to evolve. The answer still eludes."

The R&D/Experimentation angle makes sense as far as the Harvesting retcon goes, but who the fuck are they feeding? These 'Warlords' alluded to earlier?
Page 205
Broad-shouldered and possessed of blank skull masks, they danced around the Sororitas, hovering on pillars of etherium energy, cocking their heads as they examined the humans. Hands that were little more than blade-sharp manipulators clenched and unclenched as they considered the intruders.

Necron wriaths. Not sure what the etherium energy is but it is antigrav for them.

Page 206
In the confines of the gallery, the fight became a storm of fire and darkness. Danae’s meltagun forged lines of solar flame that lashed at the necron creature, and in return he unleashed black beams of negative energy that froze air molecules to snow in their wake. Verity dashed into cover as Miriya fired true, marching rounds up the chest of the machine to beat at its near-featureless face.
This Ossuar, this creature that called itself ‘the cryptek’, swatted the rounds away as if they were nagging insects and rolled the staff in his talons. A sinister shroud of oily smoke emerged from the rod and flowed towards them in a towering wave.

Cryptek vs Sororitas.

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Connor MacLeod
Sith Apprentice
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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-04-14 02:12pm

Dammit now I have to break this up into 3 parts.. so this is part 2. I'm blaming fermented bear fat.

Page 207
...but the shroud behaved like a living thing, rising up in curtains of rippling gloom.
Incredibly, she felt it plucking at her mind, prickling her skin. A sudden sense of despair loomed over her, so strong it almost forced a sob from her mouth. She felt a snake of dread uncoiling inside her chest, slithering across her will. The nightmares of an orphan child that she had banished from her mind in adulthood, burst through the walls she had built over them and gathered around her.
"Curse you!"’ Miriya spat, reaching deep within herself for the wellspring of defiance that she knew was there. The Sororitas had no concept of how Ossuar’s weapon was working its assault on her senses. Through science or arcane magick? It was impossible to know. But she was sure of one thing – she would resist it.
The litany came easily to her, and Miriya invoked the Light of the Emperor, saying the words in a breathy rush. The effect was immediate, it was electric; she felt renewed as she looked within and touched her love and faith for her god.
Yes, she told herself. Still strong.
With her free hand she drew her chainsword and swept it up to beat at Ossuar’s staff. The nightmare shroud parted before her savage attack and the necron actually staggered, as if he were surprised by the vigour of her counter strike.

True faith in action? It seems that way to me.
Page 213
Then, barely a youth, he had been recruited out of the schola progenium where the evaluators of the Adeptus Mechanicus had found him. Recruited, if one were to use that word as a synonym for taken.

Tegas, the techpriest, was recruited from a Schola progenium. I'd think this is rather unusual but eh.
Page 214
..something Tegas had done had released a surge of electromagnetic energy unlike any he recognised. The alien radiation swamped the interior of the laboratorium, and the efficient ray-shields that so cleverly protected the module from outside surveillance or imaging had trapped the force of it inside.

Ray shields that block EM radiation (or confine it). Useful tech for various purposes (shape charging nukes for example :P)
Page 214-215
The virtual switches he had tripped, they had sent signals along quantum filaments, the electromagnetic surge spilling out around them.
"The device is drawing on power from an unknown source. Speculation: extradimensional. It resists all attempts to enquiet it."
The device had never shown any sign of being self-sustaining in its actions, not in Tegas’s examinations or any of the tedious studies run on it by Tech-priest Ferren.

The scroll again.. apparently its got some external/extradimensional power source :P
Page 216-217
The iron scroll had shown many interesting characteristics, including a capacity to alter itself on an atomic level by moving sheets of molecules back and forth. At first it was a roll of metallic paper, then a fan of thin, feather-like blades.
Radiance, a rippling emerald shimmer like captured lightning, emerged from the edges of the scroll as it unfolded along its length. The device deconstructed itself, a sculpture formed of metal paper unmaking its shape. As Tegas and his adepts watched in stunned awe, organo-metalloid materials deformed as new molecular patterns stored deep in particle waveforms imposed themselves.
The scroll became the fan, the fan became a pennant, the pennant bending into a thin spline, curving up and growing. Chains of molecules reordered and knitted in new configurations, mimicking an accelerated biological growth cycle.
He was enrapt by the dance of reconstruction, the living metal cresting to make itself into a ring of chrome a little over two metres in diameter.
Across the disc of the ring a net of crackling green sparks formed, merging, reforming. A liquid effect, the visual component of exotic radiations interacting with air molecules, appeared. It was like a child’s toy, the membrane of a giant bubble held tense in the hoop.
Unusual particulates that resembled ozone, calcites and other elements were being generated by the membrane, wafting invisibly into the laboratorium. Waves of radiant, invisible energy spilled out with them, and Tegas felt the passage of air on the few pieces of skin that formed his face.

Properites of the Necron scroll. In this context, It forms an exit point for the Dolmen gate. Rather interesting, since it suggests that the various functions ascribed to it are all connected to the webway in some fashion, quite possibly through the Dolmen gate. That doesn't mean it is the only means of FTL communication or connections, but it seems a significant one. And quite possibly the source of the power.

Page 222
Ossuar and his kindred were harbingers, and that had been their singular purpose since biotransference, unchanged despite the passed aeons of the Great Sleep. Psychomancers like he were the ones who knew the hearts of the unenlightened child-races the best, and he had often fought with his gift-powers at the fore. Ossuar’s brethren, be they geomancer or plasmancer, the time-weavers or the storm-callers, were the intellectual elite of the necrontyr, echoing in eternity what they had been before the C’tan had come to uplift them. But he and his kind were not soldiers. They were ultimately thinkers, the learned of the dynastic houses. It was not their place to engage in the petty actions of killing the meatbound en masse.


Page 223
Beyond, to the right, the annex chamber brimmed with weapons of all kinds, a personal armoury that contained flayers and etherium projectors, gauntlet-mounded voidblades and null spears, tachyon arrows and hyperphasic swords. Ossuar found such an overt display of these killing tools to be without purpose.

Nemesor armoury. Note the tachyon arrow, implying they have access to and control over tachyonic matter.

Page 224
The warlord, like Ossuar, displayed the same skeletal form as all humanoid necrontyr did, the shape a deliberate echo of the frail bones they had left behind when they embraced the majesty of biotransference. But where the cryptek was spindly and long of finger, the warrior-general was almost muscular. Layers of redundant lamellar armour made of living alloy plated his torso and limbs, and a splayed head-crest framed a gaunt steel face that was bright with copper accents.

This would suggest we could extrapolate limited ideas about how Necrons were from this.

Page 225
Tiny phylacter arachnids scuttled across him before flinging themselves back into their container, now that their tasks of repair and maintenance were done.

Phylactery repair bots.
Page 228
It was only now that she had returned to the convent that Miriya was able to parse the sensations she had felt in the lair of the machine-xenos. In all the time they had up there, it was like something in the Battle Sister’s spirit had come loose and disconnected. Now that feeling was gone, and she found a moment of understanding.
There was a numbness about the necrons and their machines that leaked into the air around them. A sense of dead space, of decay. Not like the rot of a plague zombie or the charnel stench of a battlefield, worse than that. It was a complete and total absence of the force of life.
Miriya had walked in a place and encountered beings that could only be described as soulless. For one whose existence orbited around the light of faith and the power of the human spirit, to experience that chilled the Sororitas to her marrow. The necrons were antithesis, raw and real and made manifest.

That almost makes them sound like Pariahs/untouchables. It could be perhaps they only had a small amount of that (or engineered it into themselves) but we know they had souls at some point, and they still have enough of a connection that thoughts/emotions can be felt (EG Fall of Damnos and the Voidbringer.)
Page 230
"Once before you warned me that you and your masters might annex this planet for your own needs. I believe that you have attempted that very thing, you and Hoth together in alliance for whatever spoils lie beneath these sands!"
"But why involve us?" Miriya let the question slip.
The canoness looked across at her. "To cover their lie. Because even they cannot be seen to defy the Imperial Church so blatantly. They pretended to share this duty with us, but all along we are seen as nought but an impediment."

Ah, Imperial politics. Is there anyone's power that you are unable to nullify?
Page 232
Imotekh’s steady march across the galactic plane wove its course even now, out in the depthless tracts of interstellar space where necron tomb ships and harvester cruisers travelled at near-light velocities.

Implies Imotekh is limited ot sublight velocities, unless he has some trick or ability to multiply or amplify that travel (possibly by chronomancy, or something else.
Page 232
hey had come to the Kavir system in search of the Obsidian Moon, and the Dolmen Gate that lay hidden beneath its surface. The Atun, the dynasty that had built it, was weak and scattered, and the Sautekh had claimed it for themselves.
Hidden inside the moon, a treasure trove of Atun soldiery and weapons inert but undamaged, ready to be reprogrammed and turned to Sautekh allegiance. Great value to any Royarch, even one as powerful as mighty Imotekh, whose war fleet already brimmed with death-dealers. And there, the Gate itself, rare and precious. Capable of penetrating the immaterial walls of the subspatial network existing in the bones of the void itself.
Without the Dolmen Gate in full order, the weapons stored inside the Obsidian Moon could not be deployed, their function stunted.

Implies that the world was not a one-off superweapon, but a major base of a single Dynasty. Given how many dynasties there are, and tha tthis probably wasn't even remotely close to a Throneworld, we're probably talking many thousands/tens of thousands of planets with armies like this. If not millions. There are lots of dynasties, after all....
Also the webway is implied to be 'subspatial' - eg subspace. Not the first time such a connection between the warp and 'subspace' has been made.
Also there is no other way except the Dolmen Gate to deploy forces of this scale apparently - possibly another limitation of non-webway FTL.
PAge 235
"You have put us at risk. What if more of these organics are coming here? With a fleet of ships? Enough to destroy us?"

The Nemesor seems to think it's possible that a Imperial fleet could destroy them (the forces there, or the planet I'm not sure)
PAge 237
A human female, indeed, but mutilated by callous intention. Implants of alien design, some of steel, others green crystal or metallic stone, emerged from pockets of sunburnt flesh or pressed up from beneath translucent skin. The works that had been done to her lacked the ritual nature of bio-organ embedding used by the Adeptus Astartes, or even the embrace of machine parts practised by Tegas’s precious Mechanicus.

A human augmented with necron tech cyborg-style. I wonder if parallels might exist between this and Pariahs?
Page 241
With deft, practised motions, the hospitaller opened the narthecium pack on her belt and produced a needle, with which she pricked the revenant’s bare skin. She ran the needle into a slot on the auspex she carried and let its internal cogitator work, whispering a litany of operation to it. The device gave a chime and she held it up for all to see. "A blood match. "

Verity's auspex can do blood tests very rapidly.
Page 244
"Send a message to the Tybalt. Tell the captain to return here immediately."
"The ship has been gone for several days," noted the Sister Superior. "They may have already entered warp space."
"Even if they are still within the Kavir system, a vox-signal may not reach them in time," added Pandora. The party dispatched to reconsecrate the convent had no astropath among them. The Sisterhood were well-known for their abhorrence of even the sanctioned slave-psychics used by the Adeptus Terra, and it had been a point of honour that no such being would be among them on this hallowed duty.

2-3 days may be enough time for the Navy ship to have reached a distance far enough for the warp. That puts an upper limit on the time to reach the edge of the systme, however far away that is. If its 2 AU, we're talking a constant burn of 2-4 gees at a minimum, and a max velocity between 2400-3300 kps.
Also it is in characte rto avoid astropaths, but utterly foolish of them to do so.
Page 249-250
Ossuar recognised the configuration of the new arrival’s wargear; the hyperspatial waveguides etched into the dull steel armour, the airstream lines of the metallic skull and the dark gaze of the solemn optics within.
The deathmark bowed once more, and the dimensional matrix in its armour glowed brightly. The sniper became insubstantial, ephemeral, before vanishing entirely. Unstuck in space-time, the assassin now existed in a hyperspace oubliette, a micro-dimension out of synch with this universe. From there, the deathmark would track the woman and be drawn to her, waiting in nothingness until he was ready to execute his sanction.

Deathmark. Funny thing is it's implied they can travel through their 'hyperspatial' pocket to where they need to go - some form of FTL travle, perhaps?

PAge 260
The display showed a container made of heavy, starship-grade metals, inscribed with runes and wards, carved symbols of the Sororitas spread across the surface.

The object from the start of the book tjhat could survive atmospheric reentry was made of 'starship grade' materials.
Page 261
Sister Imogen placed them in the cell-crypts, one member of the questor’s team in a compartment, each of them separated by one empty cell, with a local-range countermeasures transmitter set up in the corridor to make it difficult for them to engage in wireless communication.

Jamming devices for AdMech comms.
PAge 261
For all the things that had been done to offend the Sisterhood, it was only acts of heresy that they would kill for without hesitation, and Tegas would never betray the Throne. Sepherina and Imogen, for all their stern snarls and righteous anger, would not murder him out of hand. He was alive because they wanted him to face what they considered his misdeeds before the High Lords of Terra. It would never occur to them that perhaps some of those self-same High Lords were complicit in what was going on in the Kavir System.

Much as I dislike Tegas, this is painfully accurate.
Page 262
Sepherina’s voice came to him on a narrow bandwidth that the crude Sororitas jammer had no hopes of blocking. It was being transmitted from a microscopic surveillance probe no bigger than a sand-fly. In the moments before Imogen had turned her guns on him, Tegas had released the miniscule robot from a pod in his arm. Currently, it was hiding in a crevice on Sister Cassandra’s power armour, the crackle of static over the transmission indicating to the questor that it was close to the Battle Sister’s backpack microfusion generator.

A useful toy, and yet another indication of how the AdMech holds back toys from the greater Imperium.
Also SoB armour has a 'microfusion' generator.
Page 266
Floating lume-globes drifting over the heads of the workers offered weak illumination..

antigrav lights for outside, night time work.
PAge 269
Sijue drew a disc of dark metal from inside the lining of his vest, and it unfolded into the shape of a holdout pistol. A silencer baffle shrouded the muzzle. "Clever toy, isn’t it?" remarked the man. "Like a logica game. Something too clever for you to meddle with, priest"

Folding gun.
PAge 272-273
Gauss flayer beams erupted in a wall of flames as the leading rank crested the broken wall, blazing into the backs of the organics who attempted to flee. Defensive gunfire from the towers and the unbroken stretches of wall answered back, and the nemesor sensed the first few shutdowns as warriors were knocked off-line by the massive kinetic impacts of ballistic rocket-shells. Even as they fell, they entered regeneration cycles, the living metal of their bodies knitting back together over their bloodless wounds. Khaygis stroked the resurrection orb at his side, hastening their return to battle with a small measure of the device’s powerful essence.

Gauss vs Bolter fire. The bolters seem to be kinetic rather than explosive.
Page 273
The immortals, true to their name, marched undying into the teeth of the human guns and let fly with their tesla carbines. Blue-white fire reflected off their morose skull-faces as chains of living lightning leapt into the human cohort, ripping from one organic to another, gathering power from the life-force they liberated with each screaming kill.

Tesla carbines. They seem to draw power from human life to enhance their own dmaaging effects.

PAge 274
The Tomb Blades came in fast, the scream of their repulsor drives resonating off the hillside. Resembling some strange combination of a cargo-crane’s claw and a metallic throne, the flyers shone dully in the wan light. A flight of three craft, each armed with a particle beam cannon, tore down over the walls and stitched lines of crackling red-orange light across the flagstones. The beams cut black lashes into the rock, and the workgangers who did not get to cover in time were flashed to wet clouds of cinders when the fire-light touched them.

Implies high MJ/low GJ range firepower for Tomb Blade beam weapons.

Page 275
As the Tomb Blades wheeled in the air and came back for another pass, a squad of Sister Danae’s Retributors took position and made ready. Experienced Battle Sisters to a woman, they were specially trained in the use of heavy weapons. They considered themselves to be the hammer of the Sororitas forces.
Danae gave the command for weapons free and the Retributors cut the sky. Heavy bolters thundered, dense mass-reactive rounds blasting the necron flyers. The searing bright discharges of meltaguns joined them, throwing brief flares of stark, juddering illumination over the courtyard.
They found their target, and the first true enemy casualty was struck as a Tomb Blade erupted in fire. The pilot within was so heavily damaged that not even its inbuilt reanimation protocols could overcome the storm of shot and shell, and the flyer disintegrated into a metallic rain, clattering down over the open quad.

Tomb blade goes down to heavy weapons fire.
PAge 278
eyn’s whip lashed out and struck the leading elements of the necron line, discharging its full power into the machine-skeletons. They performed a mad dance as the electro-discharge misfired their motor controls, and one of the immortals jerked, sweeping up its gauss blaster while still firing, turning its gun over the torsos of its brethren.

Necrons seem vulnerable to electrical discharge form the electro whip
PAge 278
Isabel used her cyber-eye to target and shoot without needing to raise her bolter to her shoulder, sprinting into the dithering necron skirmish line.

useful augmetic.
Page 279
She killed an immortal with a salvo that took off its head, and the machine crumpled, disintegrating into a bright flash of light. Zeyn’s lash rose and fell, his makeshift laser weapon bisecting limbs and burning through steely skulls.

Bolter fire and mining laser downing Necrons.
Page 280
he shots converged on Deacon Uriahi Zeyn and tore him out of existence. The last verse of the song from his lips extended into a blood-chilling shriek, as the gauss flayers did their work. His mane of hair and the ruddy skin of his face became ashes, the bones beneath briefly blackening before they too were made powder in the nimbus of jade fire.

Combined salvo of gauss fire.
PAge 281
The Battle Sister was caught in the nimbus of a necron flayer blast and her death-cry was lost in the howling discharge of the alien guns. The last of her Tegas saw was the woman’s flesh puffing into scraps that resembled burnt paper.
Metal claws tore open cell doors and burned the interiors with millisecond bursts of kill-fire, advancing down the corridors towards his hiding place.

more gauss fire.
PAge 282-283
Strong hands shoved her to the wall and a figure in armour lurched past, emerging from a doorway across the landing. Imogen saw the other Battle Sister hurl a cluster of fragmentation grenades down the mouth of the stairwell and then dive for cover. She dropped to the stone floor as the grenades detonated almost immediately, the fuses dialled down to their shortest setting.
The concussion deafened her and blasted the necrons into pieces, choking the spiral staircase with broken rock and broken machines.

Necrons vs armful of grenades.
PAge 285
Finally, Tegas heard the clash of xenos blade on forged steel as the axe-head upon a gauss flayer barrel met the door to his cell-crypt. The metal around the hinges deformed and bent, before the axe bit and sliced, the monomolecular edge cutting it cleanly.

Molecular blade on Necron weapon vs steel door
Page 285
He peered past her and saw a mess of death. The ashen remains of the murdered Battle Sisters and some of Lumik’s fellow adepts, pieces of molten slag surrounding a mortally wounded servitor lying on its side, legs kicking pathetically.

More indicators of a thermal component to Necron guns.
PAge 287
Warriors and immortals began to phase out by the dozen, squad after squad dissipating into crackling sheets of energetic expulsion as space-time warped about them.

Phasing effect seems to involve space-time warping.
Page 294
"As we have a reactor core inside this outpost, so the xenos have a dimensional-phase device to provide power to their largest facilities. "

Necron power source.

PAge 295-296
The tip of one of Tegas’s mechadendrites snapped open like a metal bloom. A fan of glassy triangles emerged from it and spun into a circle, clicking into place. The pieces created a device that resembled an outsized magnifier. The lens misted and grew definition as Tegas ran it over Decima’s limbs, a few centimetres from the surface of her flesh. Terahertz waves bombarded her harmlessly, reflecting through the meat and bone of her to display a three-dimensional image. The myriad of metal implants forced into her flesh became starkly visible.

Terahertz scanner. Rather useful implant.
PAge 297
he lens framed a model of the revenant’s skull, rendered in layers of colour and photic density. Visible clearly, clasped to the occipital region, was a device that Miriya had seen before, inside the halls of the Obsidian Moon.
It was a variant design of a necron scarab mechanoid; smaller than the others, the malevolent beetle-form buried in the meat of her neck, its needle-like legs embedded in her spinal column. As she watched, the Battle Sister could see it moving slightly, as if it were alive.

Mindshackle scarab.

Page 298
The warriors were barely sentient in the true sense of the word. Before the Great Uplifting and the sweet release of biotransference, they had been the lowest of the necrontyr castes, the workers, the menials and the poor. The Stargods had freed them from the tyranny of conscious thought, stripping away all emotion and character until only the very core of being remained. The smallest possible spark of animate life, rendered soulless and servile.
Their superiors, the immortals, had been the soldiers of the dynasts in the fleshtime, and their reborn forms reflected that fact. The immortals were better armed, better armoured, and they retained a tiny fraction more of what they had once been. Not enough to give them a name or a persona, of course, but enough that their martial training remained intact. It was an efficiency, after all, not to waste the time and effort that had been put into training them. But they too did not have the intellect to exist anywhere beyond the moment. Both were walking weapons, tools of killing, and they performed those functions admirably.

Necron warriors vs Immortals. The latter are the actual troops and sort of their NCOs I'd gather, but the warriors are the shock troops adn the cannon fodder (By necron terms.) Much like the Tyranids and the Orks, the Necrons are well adapted to attrition tactics - far better than the Imperium, in fact.
PAge 307
The first few shots – beams fired from long las-rifles wielded by the remnants of Tegas’s personal tech-guard – were absorbed harmlessly by the invisible panes of dispersal shields that hung around the stalker.

Long las? Who knows. They seem to outrange bolter and gauss weaponry though, but not by a great margin
Page 307
The heat ray angled upwards and brushed the battlements over the main gate, where Tegas’s shooters had made their gun-nests. Rock turned dull crimson and flowed to lava, and the tech-guard were reduced to screaming torches.
It was the signal that the final clash had commenced. Every Battle Sister on the line went weapons free and opened fire on the necrons. Warriors and immortals returned their hate with the precise threads of flayer-beam, denaturing stone or ashing flesh wherever they found their marks. The lychguard led the way, blocking killing shots with the dispersion fields surrounding their long kite shields.
The stalker crabbed sideways across the approaches, dodging throbbing pulses of plasma as it tuned the heat ray to a wide dispersal and sprayed fire into the places where the wall had already been partly breached.

Stalker, gauss fire and lychguard.
Page 308
"All vox is down," Isabel corrected. "Don’t ask me how, but the machines have neutered all the frequencies."
" It is the Monolith"
" They broadcast electromagnetic fields, disrupt our comms. "

Monolith jamming comms, and also vox in this case seems to be EM based.
Page 308
Helena spat and executed a pop-up shot, finding and beheading an immortal marching below them with a pinpoint bolt-round to the throat.

Bolt rounds can kill even an Immortal if you hit in the right spot (like the joints, it seems.)
Page 308
A woman’s scream sounded from behind her, and Helena turned in time to see a Sororitas tip over the edge of the wall and fall to the rocks below. The upper half of the Sister’s torso was a blackened ruin, trailing meat-smoke and embers. Seconds later, another heat beam slammed at the air, and the halo of it thundered over them both.

The Stalker's heat ray again.
Page 309-310
"How many grenades do you have?"
"Four remaining."
The veteran thrust hers into Isabel’s hands. "Take mine too, bind them, synchronise the fuses."
Isabel did exactly as she was meant to. A spinning cluster of tethered krak grenades described a narrow arc down towards the dorsal panels of the Triarch Stalker, and at the perfect moment, they detonated. The force of the blast was enough to weaken the quantum shields for an instant – long enough for Helena to lay a lethal three-round burst on the praetorian pilot.
The stalker was wounded, gravely indeed – but despite their desperate plot they had not killed it outright.

At least a half dozen but fewer than perhaps a dozen krak grenades badly wound (and overload the shields of) a Triarch Stalker.
Page 316
"Layers of data etched into the atmosphere itself. Quantum shift matrices, electromagnetically-encoded mnemonics, gardens of exotic particles singing in symphony…"
We have just arrived inside this complex through a direct dimensional shunt corridor, forced into connection by brute means.

Necron 'air' from AdMech POV. Also the gate is a 'dimensional shunt corridor.'
PAge 317
"The Sisterhood have always looked down on my kind. You are happy to have us maintain your guns, forge your power armour, build your tanks and your starships… But you baulk at the idea of seeing us as equals. "

Again, he's an asshoel but he has a point. Although if he were more honest and less radical he would admit his own hypocrisy, since he looks down on the Sisters as much as they look down on him. And in this case, at least, they have some merit, since they've caught him out several times in deception.
Also apparently the SoB have their own starships from the AdMech.
Page 319
This was combat-zone protocol, where the wounded were stitched back together as swiftly as possible and sent back into the fray; but in truth there were very few who needed their skills. Most of those who took a hit from the necron guns died of it almost immediately, and those that did not were lying in shallow comas, their bodies shocked almost to the point of total physical shutdown by the raw trauma of a near-hit. She used a valetudinarian gauntlet to run over the flesh of a flash-burnt workganger whimpering in his drug-induced sleep. Scalpel blades, auto-sutures and remedial probes clicked out from mountings on the fingers of the metal glove, tracking over his skin. Using the gauntlet was like second nature to Verity, the device as much a part of her as a boltgun was to a Sister Militant.

Lethality of necron weapons, even from indirect fire. It seems they not only rely on thermal damage as well as the flaying/disintegration effect, but also from neural/shock trauma of the hit.
Also SoB gauntlet thingy for medical use.

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-04-14 02:13pm

Part 3 and I can write this series off now

Page 322-323
Already he was beginning to understand the first principles of how the necron network operated. With the correct quantum transmitter, it could be accessed from anywhere in the universe, instantaneously communicating through the entanglement phenomena of controlled quanta. Modification protocols inside Tegas’s internal systems were working on adapting one of his many communicator arrays to perform just that function. Already, he had gently sampled a few benign subroutines and chanced a low-level intrusion into the dormant sectors of the complex’s invisible grid. Soon, he would be ready to try something more pro-active.
One of the subroutines was generously filling his redundant data-stacks with mapping data that showed the scope and design of the Obsidian Moon facility. He found it odd that the necrontyr did not keep all information under walls of heavy data-security, but then they were not like the Imperium. In the nation of the Emperor of Mankind, ignorance and fear were the core tools of rulership; and the best way for the Adeptus Terra to keep the people ignorant and fearful was to keep them unaware of even the most basic of truths. In many sectors of the Imperium, it was a capital crime for a common man to possess a star map without official sanction to do so. On some worlds, it was illegal even to read without a licence.
But the necrontyr had no reason to keep their lower orders afraid and unaware. The roots of those things – of fear and the need to know – did not exist within their greater ranks. What the Imperium hoarded like gold was freely available among the necron species. Information abounded within their networks, uncountable near-infinite amounts of it there for the taking. Millions of years of data, and Tegas’s first impulse was to want it all.
But that was impossible. Here he was, his memory stores colossal and robust by any definition, but even he was a cup attempting to hold an ocean.
An emulation of frustration turned to pragmatism after a nanosecond or two. He could not encompass the whole of the alien matrix, nor should he try. Even with the new reams of data he had now, Tegas would be able to count himself the most knowledgeable authority on the necrontyr in human space. If he was able to survive and escape the conflict.
He considered that. It pleased him, the idea of returning to Mars, swollen with gigaquads of information on the alien machines.

Tegas contemplating the Necron data networks and its differences between Imperial and Necron info sharing. (including the 'need a license to read' bit, which is hilariously in character for 40K, nevermind the star map details.)
Also Tegas holding 'gigaquads' of info - he must have collected it in hours tops, probably minutes. And nanosecond reaction/processing times (mentally.) Again we get good glimpses of 40K computer/mechanical tech. Tens of gigabytes say in.. 5 hours would be 1 MB/s transfer speed.. we could figure hundreds or thousands of kb/s 'reading/writing/transfer' speed - the Sisters haven't been around long enough to get hungry, sleepy or anything like that, so we're talking fewer than 12 hours, and probably not even that. It's transfer rates that highly echo stuff implied in the Armageddon novels, for example. Though it might not match up *quite* to the degree of the Calpurnia novels stuff (I dont remember those details and I'm too lazy to check lol)
Lastly it's interesting just how rapidly tegas was able to adapt his own tech and access the Necron stuff, given the implied FTL capabilites of it. We already knew that human tech may have roots in necron tech (through the Dragon of Mars), but this is not only implied proof of that, but it suggests the AdMech may have been studying/working with Necron tech for quite some time (Tegas seems to know an awful lot already) - they may even possess (and be withholding) the quantum entanglement comms tech for all we know. (Of course given how 5th edition implies the Necron seek out their own tech to destroy it and keep it out of lesser races' hands they might have reason to keep it secret.)
That said I'm not sure quantum entanglement actually works as some sort of hypotheticla FTL process (at least in the way we think of it) so Tegas could be bullshitting about that. :P

Page 325-326
In silence, phase potentiality altered and softened a sector of space-time inside the human complex, and allowed the necron marksman to slip out of the hyperspatial oubliette where it had observed and prepared. The alien killer emerged from the dimensional blind and activated the hunter’s mark. The datum-jewel on the target provided by Nemesor Khaygis was rich with information and perfect for the sniper’s needs. The designator transmitter inside the deathmark’s armour-hood embedded the neutrino-boson template upon the target, tuning it so the marker glow would fluoresce across five-dimensional space. Wherever the objective went, if she made it to the immaterium or into a teleportation chamber, passed through chronometric barriers or the heart of a star, it would not matter. Until the decay-pattern fell below the receptor threshold – little more than an hour by human reckoning – the energy halo would denote the inescapable eye of the assassin upon her.
It was unheard of for a target to outlast the mark upon them. This deathmark’s own records showed only one objective of note, an eldar exarch who managed to avoid termination for a full five minutes before the kill-shot claimed him. It anticipated no such challenge from this mind-damaged human.

Oddly, this might suggest the Deathmark can track its targets at FTL speeds through the oubliette - at least for that hour or so (if it can get into warp and shit.) Also implies the Warp is five dimensional space, which is interesting because in the early novels like Eye of Terror its implied to be eight or twelve dimensional (4 in realspace, 8 in the warp.)
Page 326-327
he deathmark raised its synaptic disintegrator rifle and fired, unleashing a streak of compressed lepton particles across the chamber.
The wounded Battle Sister released a bloodcurdling scream as the weapon ripped through her neural tissue, destroying all synaptic activity within her brain. She crumpled, her body a nerveless sack of meat, eyes open and turned to ruby. Blood trickled from her nostrils, her ears, pooling around her head. Horribly, she seemed to be still alive, dying slowly, her legs twitching as her ruined neural matter misfired and dissolved.

Synaptic disintegrator in action.
Page 332
A slit in reality opened briefly and the deathmark sealed its disintegrator back in the dimensional oubliette. It returned with a secondary weapon – a silver hyperphasic sword capable of cutting through all but the densest matter.

The oubliette is also a storage space as well as a hunter's blind. And a hyperphasic sword (Necron phase blade?)
Anyhow, Decima bludgeons it to death with a piece of rockcrete.
Page 336
The dark red stone of the towering donjon glittered with a heat-haze effect thrown up by a void shield generator. The energy barrier deflected the torrent of death, great ripples shuddering in the air all around it as the device laboured to protect the last stronghold on Sanctuary 101. Once, the force wall had been part of the arsenal of a great Battle Titan, and in the aftermath of the War of Faith in which it was lost, this component of it had been bequeathed to the Order of Our Martyred Lady. It had served them well for three hundred and eleven years, but now it teetered on the edge of a catastrophic overload, stressed beyond all limits.

The Sisters have a loaned Battle Titan void shield.
PAge 337
On the other side of the void shield, warriors and immortals in massed ranks concentrated their firepower on specific points of the energy barrier, loci that the Canoptek wraiths had scanned and determined as the ideal points of overload for the attack. A ring of steel remains ringed the edge of the crackling force wall, shredded pieces of attackers and a single ill-fated deathmark that had attempted to penetrate the barrier through hyperspatial transition. The humans had been careful, raising the power that coursed through the void shield until it was dimensionally impregnable. But the intensity required to do so was monstrously high, and it would exact a grave cost in time.

The void shield can be tuned or ramped up to block Necron teleportation, wormholes, and apparently even the Hyperspatial oubliettes of the Deathmarks (again impliying hyperspatial travel within it) Provides proof that voids provide trans-dimesnional protection of some kind.
PAge 338-339
Of course, that time could be reduced to a single Kaviran day with sustained bombardment, perhaps even hours if he placed his Monolith’s particle whip and flux arc cannons to the deed.
Or it could be dealt with now, at this very second.
There were many names for the craft, honours and dedications presented by the Sautekh dynasty for all the battles it had won them. If its description could be translated into the poorly-nuanced tongue of the humans, they would have named it a Doomsday Ark.
When it was time, the nemesor closed his open claw into a fist, and the Doomsday Ark fired. Such was the power of the blast, it momentarily drained the potential of the barge, sending it dropping to the earth as it recovered; but the searing bolt of actinic plasma it unleashed roared across the courtyard like a spear made from the flesh of a star.
Those Battle Sisters not behind their helmets or quick enough to seek cover were instantly and permanently blinded. They did not see the writhing charge of energy meet the haze of the void shield, did not see the massive release of contrary power as one overwhelmed the other.
The barrier protecting the keep was shattered with a single blow, and monumental back-shock resonated through the generator’s beam-vanes. Down in the basement levels, the generator exploded, killing the operator crew and its guards. Fire caught and bedded in there.

doomsday ark downs the void shield, as well as providing a comparison between it and other necron artillery (including monoliths.)
Page 343-344
He had no need to eat, his internal systems fed by a microfusion generator and monthly ingestions of a polymer nutrient gel dense in metals and proteins...

The Techpriest is powered by a microfusion reactor as well as the Sisters, and its diet is 'interesting' to say the least... polymers, metals, and proteins..
Page 345
The questor carefully opened the book at its first page and coiled his mechadendrites around it, scanning the tome across every possible perceptive range. The form could be illusory, he told himself. There were files on Mars that described things that resembled books, such as the Malus Codicium, the Ravonicum Rex or the Epistles of Lorgar, things that were so much more. Pages encoded with telepathic matrices, subspace memes, even possessed by daemonic energy from the warp. There could be nanoforms within the ink itself, the paper could be psychoactive, even the spine might hide data needles that led to other riches.

Interesting sorts of encodings, and its all apparetnly warp-based, although not sure what 'nanoforms' are and how they pertain to the warp. And data needles (compact data storage tech?)

Page 349
"Do you actually believe that you gained access to our information network on your own? You are here only because I allowed it." It approached, studying the questor with open curiosity. "Fascinating. You have attempted biotransference through an organic replacement progression. Flawed. Your theory is based on a faulty base concept."

Tegas' ease of manipulating the Necron networks is explained, although that still leaves the fact he recognized and understood it to some extent (and the adaptations) - this just means that Necron info security would be far better than demonstrated.
also we get a linkage between biotransference and AdMech philosophy of machine enhancement, although this is 'crude' by thos standards. Rather interesting given the AdMech view of the 'Crons.
Page 351
Now Sepherina was speaking into an auspex activated in recording mode, moving her hands in a benediction.

Another auspex with recording function.

Page 353
The veteran had cruel burns all down one side of her body, and she was barely conscious.
"Tesla carbine," explained Decima. "The blast was attenuated but she caught enough for it to wound her deeply."
Verity nodded, drawing counter-infectives and pain-killers for the injectors in her medicae gauntlet. She worked on bandaging Helena’s wounds, and the other woman stirred.

Tesla carbines cause severe flash burns as a side effect, albeit here the injury is attenuated. I'm guessing we're talking at least wide body first or second degree burns - tens or hundreds of kilojoules maybe, although that is from a reduced power blast.

Page 357
The impacts punched into the flawless metal of the xenos machine-form, and Sister Miriya felt a momentary surge of triumph as the cryptek staggered backwards, caught by surprise at the sudden violence of her attack.
The moment did not last. What she had thought was nothing more than some kind of ornate talisman around Ossuar’s neck cracked open. It was a phylactic charm, and from within it a horde of gel-like spiders emerged, swarming over the necron’s chest and burying themselves in the wounds she had just inflicted. Even as she watched, the living metal began to flow and scab over, in a parody of organic healing.
Miriya ejected the clip in her bolter and reloaded

Full auto bolter burst injures the Cryptek and riggers the self repair phylactic.
Page 359
Miriya grimaced. She had seen the cryptek use this trick before, and no sensors or preysight would be enough to penetrate the rippling wall of dark the necron bent to his will.

Nightshroud I think.

Page 360-361
The dark was in her mind. The weapon was not just something that could confuse vision. The necron technology was projecting a nightmarish mantle that cut her off from everything. It was not like the poison of a psy-witch, oily and insidious, toxic to thought; no, Miriya had faced psykers before and it did not feel like this.
Ossuar’s weapon was very different. It was touching some primitive level of her animal brain, buried under the rational and logical. It awakened the most base of primal fears – of the dark, of isolation, of death. Even as she understood it, she felt the shroud drawing tighter, starving her mind of reason as a strangling hand would choke air from her throat.
The void filled with emotion, and that emotion was every shade of despair. It was raw and bloody, inescapable. Suddenly, Miriya was drowning in regrets and misery.

Fear creating effect of some kind. I dont remember enough about the codex to classify it :P
And since she's a sororitas, her faith shields her from it naturally.

Page 363
Black mist emerged from nothing, curtains of dark falling. Miriya swung again at the necron, but the cryptek was gone. He appeared, stepping in and out of the churning veils, moving from one side of the laboratorium to another without seeming to cross the physical space in between. Nearby, Tegas groaned, dragging himself into a corner out of the fray.

Chronomancy? Or another effect of the Nightshroud? Again I can't remember for sure.
Page 364
"There are more of my kind than stars in your night. We owned this galaxy before your species was born. We killed the first gods and we will kill yours"

This isn't really saying much since there are only a few hundred billion stars in the galaxy and we already have clues there are trillions of necrons.
Page 366
She heard the death-cries of Battle Sisters as they were reduced to cinders by the concentrated fire of the xenos. Necron soldiers widened the entrance with heavy beam blasts and they surged forwards.

Gauss weaponry again.
Page 368
On impulse, Verity jerked the trigger of the bolt pistol and spent the rounds in the clip harmlessly against the spatial dispersion effect surrounding the shield.

Lychguard shield.
Page 368
She jerked away, and felt the wind of the blade’s passing brush her lips. The very end of the curved axe-head met the chest-plate of her duty armour and sliced through it as if it were smoke. Panic flooded Verity as she stumbled, expecting a gusher of blood to emerge from the cut; but only desultory impact fibres bled through from within. She had out-stepped the blow by a tiny fraction. A centimetre less and it would have cut her open through the breastbone.

Verity's carapace has a 'impact fibre' underlayer - mesh perhaps? and implied that its at least a centimeter, probably more, thick (carapace + mesh)
Page 372
The Retributor said nothing for a long moment, a silent challenge in her eyes. Then at last she looked away. Imogen’s wargear had already been stripped of equipment, grenades and ammunition, leaving only her armour, her chaplet and personal votives. On the battlefield, the corpse would have been recovered for a proper burial, but here such attention was impossible. Instead, her funerary would be concluded by the most expedient means.
Danae bowed, and pulled the meltagun’s trigger. Plasma-bright fire hummed from the weapon as she used it to immolate the Sister Superior’s body, turning metal, bone, flesh and ceramite into an ashen mass.

Retributor meltagun cremates sister in powered armour. I'm assuming the armour melts and the body inside turns to ash, or something. MJ to GJ range, with more of an emphasis towards the latter.
Page 375
Gauss flayer arcs on each corner of the floating pyramid twitched and moved, seeking targets. They laid down pulses of energy that ripped up the intricate mosaics across the tiled floor, flash-blasting discarded prayer books and Battle Sisters alike into embers and ash.

Monolith weapons.
Page 375
A necron bedecked in a metal cloak rose from it, glaring out imperiously over the war his kind had brought to the convent. It raised its hands and pointed them into the battle. From one leapt pulses of green fire, boiling through the smoky air to set stone melting where they impacted; from the other, projectiles trailing lines of energetic particles hissed across the chamber. Verity saw one such arrowhead strike a Sister Dominion with such force that it picked her up and carried her off her feet, into the shadows.

Nemesor and his armament. A fire gauntlet and a tachyon arrow.
PAge 379
Tegas’s internal chronometers, accelerometers and positioning sensors were finely-tuned pieces of archeotechnology, and operating in concert they were capable of telling him at any time, in any place, of his exact location against the greater skein of the universe.
But not here, and not now. Energies out of balance with the questor’s understanding of space-time assailed him, and he was – for want of a better term – giddy. His claw-like hands found the safety rail running alongside the thin gantry where they had emerged, and he clung to it as if on the deck of a ship in a high gale. Tegas was tilting as his neural matrix tried to reorient itself against new fields of micro-gravitation. The Sisters of Battle, with their crude human sense organs, were barely affected by the shift in the invisible energy that webbed the air around them.
They could not see what he could see, the threads of neutrinos and bosons liberated and roiling all around them, the streamers made of high-energy particles so rare and charmed that their existence was only theorised by the high thinkers of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Effect of the singularity on Tegas' senses, whicha re far more precise and sensitive (and prone to fuckery) than the Sorortias ones. Also the Admech theorizes about particles :P At least if you're high up you're allowed to.
PAge 380
Crackles of blue light formed a shifting aurora around the object where the output of a powerful electromagnetic field prevented it from interacting with anything larger than an air molecule.

Shielding aorund the singularity
Page 381-382
It was no surprise to Tegas that his sensors returned him only gibberish. The singularity was an elemental effect so uncommon that what mankind knew as the laws of physics simply ceased to apply within its influence. That the necrontyr could shackle such a power to their will was incredible, but then this was a species that apparently dated back millions of years, to an era when things half-recalled by race memory and distant myth walked the stars. The xenos had shown they had knowledge of forced spatial distortion, dimensional transit, teleportation, quantum gravity… The questor would have given much to plunder the mind of one of their scientists, if such a thing were possible.
The singularity was an artificially-created event in space-time, shrouded by some form of exotic material acting as its event horizon. The energy differential between this plane of reality and the one where the singularity existed as an orbifold was being siphoned off, becoming self-reinforcing, bleeding cosmic amounts of radiation into its shell – or so he theorised. The science of it was staggering, and again Tegas felt hungry looking at the object. Somehow, the necrons had manufactured this thing and turned it to power not only the altered dimensional spaces of the Obsidian Moon, but also to the activation of the Dolmen Gate.

Necron power source. I wonder if its tapping the warp (like warp fission or neoplasma reactors or similar implied) or another dimension.
Page 383
"If the singularity core enters an uncontrolled collapse, it will annihilate…" He spread his hands. "All of this."

I guess even eing Necrons can't protect you from having a conveniently volatile power source.
PAge 388
Danae led them to the spiral riser that threaded up through the decks, and they ran on in the hellish half-light, ignoring the rattle of the radiation detectors in their gauntlets and the inferno boiling beneath them.

Sorortias power armour has radiation detectors of some kind.
Page 388-389
Up in the iron dome-sky far overhead, sections of the complex suspended by gravity shunts were suddenly cut loose to implode under their own impossible weight. Tesseract chambers holding isolated pocket dimensions exploded open and devoured themselves, unable to retain any stability in this reality.

Necron Architecture. Tesserect chambers or labyrinths seem to be unstable unless maintained (or they're rather fragile to external stimuli, though a exploding singularity is not exactly trivial..)

Page 392
In return, Khaygis loosed a tachyon arrow, which keened from the launcher atop his other gauntlet and missed the human by a fraction.
The nemesor drew back his gauntlet and conjured a globe of green flame, moulding it with the care of an artisan, coiling it to maximise the kill power of the molecular inferno; but in the next instant his concentration was broken by a strident, noiseless warning that struck at him from out of nowhere. The fire guttered and ebbed.

Nemesor weapons
Page 392-393
Resonating instantly down the quantum linkages of the necron communication network, a sudden cacophony of alerts were being broadcast to him from the automated systems up on the Obsidian Moon. He looked up on reflex, glaring out through the fallen roof of the chapel and into the sky. The satellite was visible up there, a pale ghost of visible light, but seen through necron eyes, in frequencies of radiation and energy, ripples of deadly invisible force shimmered all around it.

More on necron communications
Page 393
[quoteShe answered by firing at him, laying two close-range bolt impacts in his torso. Khaygis howled at the pain-analogue feedback through his synthetic nerves and rushed at her.[/quote]
Necron bodies for whatever bizarre reason simulate pain.
PAge 393
...he closed the talons of the fire gauntlet around her bolt pistol and the fingers that held it.
Bright flame surged, enveloping the weapon and the human’s armoured hand. The ancient metals of the bolt pistol grew white-hot in an instant, and the woman grunted in pain, struggling to free herself.
Khaygis intensified the fire and the gun exploded, the last rounds in the near-empty magazine combusting with the heat of it. The human screamed and fell, her arm now ending at the bloody stump of an elbow, her chest and face peppered with fragmentation wounds. The nemesor’s gauntlet was damage...

Fire gauntlet superheats bolt pistol. Assuming a 3-4 kg bolt pistol we're probably talking several MJ for the temperatures implied (in exess of 1000+K)

PAge 393
He gave her the grace of another arrow in the chest, the kinetic force of the dart impact throwing her over the battlements of the hovering Monolith. She clattered into the rubble below, leaving trails of blood across the broken stone.

Tachyon arrow again. Damn thing has alot of momentum.
Page 398-399
The nemesor had barely processed the datum of the new transit when the collapse event entered its terminal phase. Even within a synthetic intellect capable of collating information at near light-velocity, he was unable to parse all the conflicting streams of sensor data at once.
. In that instant, he understood the meaning of hate again. The organics were like the viral codes used by some of the more honourless necrontyr dynasts, endlessly replicating, hiding and striking, hitting and fading, seemingly impossible to eradicate.
Khaygis did not for one nanosecond consider the fact that his eagerness to hammer the humans into the sands had left the singularity core underprotected.

Necron synthetic brains seem to be electrical, or some particle analogue at least. Also viral codes used by Necrons (considered honorless) and nanosecond cogitation.
PAge 399-400
Khaygis knew of some lesser species that spoke of ethereal cords connecting their physical forms in the real world with their spiritual ones in the phantasmal. That was idiocy, of course, but the Stargods had gifted the necrontyr with many technologies when they embraced biotransference, and this link was one of them, a near-literal expression of that mystical ideal. Each necron was connected in part or in whole to an invisible network that spanned the galaxy, broken only by lines of dynasty and fealty. When their physical structures suffered critical levels of damage, it was the quantum link that was the means by which their digital consciousness and their damaged forms were reeled back to the closest World Engine or Tomb Planet.

More of the Necron comms/command and control network. It's literally pan-galactic, which is a big advantage. IF they only moved faster... :P
PAge 400
The singularity core, so dutifully maintained by the worker-drones of the Atun since the age of the Great Sleep, distorted and fractured. For one infinite second, the space-time event concealed within it was exposed as the electromagnetic barriers that surrounded it were broken. Mass from this reality was acted upon by gravitation akin to that at the event horizon of a black hole, and the orbiting complex was torn inside out by the collapsar in its heart.
But the effect could not sustain itself. It was unnatural, not the product of a sun’s slow death and fall to darkness. It had been forced into existence, the rules of nature twisted violently by the necrontyr who had built it with Stargod knowledge so many millennia ago. Now, reality wanted it expunged, and it crushed the anomaly. Massive sheets of radiation sloughed off the crumbling singularity, ripping into the exospheric layers of the colony world’s atmosphere, dragging on the planet’s heavy iron core with sudden gravitation. It did not die quietly, lashing out with such force that Sanctuary 101’s orbit was shifted by several degrees.
Then the Moon was gone, falling into a pit of itself, imploding. Violent blasts of light marked the last expenditures of energy as the vast complex – with its billions of slumbering soldiers, its mammoth storehouses of weapons, battlecraft, its databanks packed with ancient knowledge – was utterly obliterated.

The Singularity destroying the Necron Death-err Moon. also billions of necrons lost again.
Page 401-402
Khaygis felt a terrible emptiness open up in his thought-space as all the quantum filaments binding him back to the complex were suddenly severed. He saw it happening all around him, every necron losing their connection to their point of origin. In the web of the network, the phantom cords that bound them were flailing in the void, severed and bleeding.
Too late the nemesor realised what would come next. The torn dimensional links had nowhere to go, nothing to anchor themselves upon. With no terminus, the communion links entered a destructive feedback loop. The single driving impetus of the connection – to never be broken, to never allow a necron to truly die –overwhelmed all other functions of his army.
The dead-man’s switch in their heads tripped, and the nemesor’s horde began to phase out, sucked into a dimensional non-space that existed in the voids between realities.
As one, the necrons emitted the same piercing death cry, unable to stop themselves from being dragged into the undertow of the moon’s destruction.
He was aware of other high-level warfighters trying to resist the compulsion of dissolution, the lychguards trying desperately to rewrite their own mind-code to ignore the recall order, failing and vanishing in flames.

bit of a weak point in the Necron command and control structure, methinks.
Page 402
The necron general reached into his own digital matrix and found the compulsion-code dragging at him, begging him to submit to the recall command. An ordinary necron, one left after biotransference without the higher mental functions of a high born, would never have been able to hold it off – but Khaygis did. He perceived the communion links stretching away into the void, at last finding some unknown Tomb World hundreds of light years away.

The General can not only resist the compulsions killing the Necron forces on Sanctuary, he can apparetnyl use the network to locate some place to teleport away to, even from hundreds of LY away. Whether it is 'his' territory or not I dont know.
Page 405-406
Lightning flashed in the clouded sky and deep thunder growled, as a spear of yellow sunfire lashed down from high above and struck a point far distant, out in the desert. A low rumble echoed over the landscape as the lance barrages fell from orbit.
Now that the starship Tybalt had returned with a support fleet from the Seltheaus system...
Another streak of fire punched through the cloudbase and on the horizon there was a smoky flash as a far-off mesa was obliterated. The Imperial Navy had taken to the task of erasing all trace of the xenos from the outpost with lethal precision, bombarding every site in Adept Ferren’s records from low orbit with lance cannons and megalaser salvoes. The pulverised rock kicked up into the atmosphere would forever alter the ecology of the planet, but it was a small price to pay to expunge the necron taint.
In the weeks that followed what the women were now calling ‘the Second Battle of Sanctuary 101’, survival had been difficult.
Transports came with new cohorts of Battle Sisters, and the cycle began again. The daughters of Saint Katherine did not give up their ground. They had come to this world to rebuild, and they would do so. To conscience anything else was to admit weakness.
Others came, too. Delegations from the Adeptus Mechanicus in search of Tegas and Ferren, who feigned horror at the so-called ‘unauthorised works’ being undertaken by their adepts, as if they knew nothing of them. Miriya had been there when those men had arrived. Sepherina did not even allow them to step off the ramp of their shuttlecraft. She told them to turn around and return to Mars. She invoked ancient rules and declared Sanctuary 101 to be Mausoleum Valorum – a war grave world. She told them that nothing on this planet belonged to them, and if they ever dared to come grubbing in its sands again, the Order of Our Martyred Lady would see them all die for it.
A single, final lance beam flickered, casting white light over the faces of the assembled Battle Sisters, and the low rumble washed across the tumbledown walls of the convent.

Several points of interest
1.) Its' implied several weeks have passed since the events with the Necrons, and both Battle Sisters (and AdMech) have arried and departed in that time. The AdMech it is implied came from Mars, and the Sororitas (probably) from Ophelia or Terra - either of which is going to be outside Segmentum Ultima. So we're talking a good 40-50K LY in weeks - hundreds of thousands of c easily implied.
Page 2.) The naval forces from a nearby system/sector (or however far away) in unknown numbers are trying to purge the necrons via orbital bombardment. apparently this isn't going to require mass extincton (the bulk of the necrons were on the moon, not on the planet itself), but it will still fuck up the ecosystem something fierce, which tells you something about the scale of the bombardment. Kiloton/megaton range per second, sustained, at least.
We also see a single lance strike take out a mesa. Judging by here we might figure the mesa is severla hundred meters to a side, tops. cratering that much (to destroy the mesa) is definitely kiloton (low megaton at most) range, which isn't beyond the 'tactical' bombardment yields established in other sources (planetstirke, Tyranid codex, Deathwatch and Rogue Trader, etc.)
Lastly, politics plays a role yet again in hampering the AdMech - the Sorortias invoke some sort of obscure law or provision that prevents the ADmech from doing anything or taking any influence on the planet, and there evidently is fuck all they cna do about it.

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Sidewinder » 2012-04-17 12:56am

"Take comfort then that those you attended are at the Emperor's side now."
The Hospitaller gestured to the dead servitors. "But not all."
"No." agreed Miriya. "Not all."

This is amusing, given the Cain novel mentions that some combat servitors are made from mentally unbalanced/insane Ex-Guard troopers (and probably penal troopers or whatever). Or the other sources indicating that Servitors, servo-skulls, etc. can be made from the bodies/skulls of loyal corpses or such. Are all servitors damned by the SoB mind?

I think it means "dead" servitors go to the Machine God- which, as the Cain novels suggest, the Sororitas view as an entity distinct from the Emperor.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Aaron MkII » 2012-04-17 06:22pm

Its just implied i think, not directly stated.

Speakng of shit, have you done Redemption Corps yet Glass Fort Macleod?

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-04-18 01:38am

Aaron MkII wrote:Its just implied i think, not directly stated.

Speakng of shit, have you done Redemption Corps yet Glass Fort Macleod?

Not in its entirety. As soon as the smurf novels are read through I'll be diving into either Last Chancers or maybe the IG novels. I'm working ym way through series after series.

Redemption corps is.. an odd novel. Its got some interesting aspects to it, and it reminds me a bit of Empeor's Mercy but its not Rob Sanders best work: I much preferred Atlas Infernal and 'Legion of the Damned' to Redemption Corps.

Still its better than 'Dead Men Walking' ;)

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-04-18 02:27am

PS I've been thinking of another nickname for myself. SENATOR GIGATONS. My seal is a spherical mass of iron moving at a percentage of lightspeed.

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Sidewinder » 2012-04-18 01:02pm

Connor MacLeod wrote:PS I've been thinking of another nickname for myself. SENATOR GIGATONS. My seal is a spherical mass of iron moving at a percentage of lightspeed.

"Ambassador Gigatons" sounds better. "Senator" has too many negative connotations, at least for me- it makes me think of sex scandals, political corruption, and partisan infighting, NOT badass motherfuckers.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Aaron MkII » 2012-04-18 03:00pm

Connor MacLeod wrote:PS I've been thinking of another nickname for myself. SENATOR GIGATONS. My seal is a spherical mass of iron moving at a percentage of lightspeed.

Do it, it's a nice humorous take on the boards past.

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Re: Sisters of Battle novel analysis thread (James Swallow,

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2012-04-18 03:23pm

Sidewinder wrote:"Ambassador Gigatons" sounds better. "Senator" has too many negative connotations, at least for me- it makes me think of sex scandals, political corruption, and partisan infighting, NOT badass motherfuckers.

This board has too many negative connotations tied to it as it is I can't see a few more upsetting the barrel. I mean I thought I was part of the 'Old Boys club' so I should be a symbol of corruption and partisan infighting. :lol:

Besides I like Aaron's opinion, so its now GLASS FORT MACLEOD, SENATOR OF THE GIGATONS.

I'm probably going to need a banner to represent me if this keeps up. :P

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