Necromunda: Fleshworks analysis and discussion thread

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Connor MacLeod
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Necromunda: Fleshworks analysis and discussion thread

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-10-09 05:13am

Note: several months ago this was the first Necromunda novel I read, so I havne't been posting them in order. This one wasn't a bad read, wasn't a great one. Better htan Salvation. I still liked it mostly. It's also one of the bigger analyiss threads, so I will probably break it up into two partts just cuz I'm extremely lazy at this point.

Intro
The Necromundan hive cities have populations in the billions and are intensely industrialised, each one commanding the manufacturing potential of an entire planet or colony system compacted into a few huhndred square kilometres.
This is part of the intro paragraphs in every Necromunda novel, and I believe its also reproduced in the Necromunda sourcecbooks. Basically, it means Necromunda has a huge-ass manufacturing capability. Not only do Hive worlds possess orders of magnitude more population than other planets, they also possess orders of magnitude more manufacturing potential.

Of course, this also indicates they need correspondingly greater resources and such to maintain such output - without the resources (which probably comes from shipping, just as food does), the Hive World's over-specialized nature becomes a liability.

Page 21
"Oh, please! Not this crap again. There is no Machine Spirit. Just machine. Wires, tubes, chips and the occasional attitude. But no Machine Spirit!"
- the Delaque operative in this story, Uriah storm, makes use of an anonymous hacker/technician type named "Voice". The curious thing about the Voice person is that she (we learn its a she) is not a believer in the Machine Spirit (even though some people like Uriah are.) In fact, the "Machine spirit" seems to be relatively unknown amongst most UnderhiverS (and quite probably amongst most citygoers too.) The Van Saar (and Uriah, because of his Van Saar associations) are also believers in the AdMech's religion.

This seems to indicate that the AdMech only goes so far in promulgating its "religion" on such worlds (its probably too dangerous for them to try to!), and implies that there probably are alot of people in the Imperium who don't subscribe to the AdMech point of view unless they are elevated to a certain plateau of society or fall under an organization that pays homage to the AdMech (like the Guard or Navy.) On the other hand, the fact that most of the others don't believe in the Machine Spirit also seems to result in them being much lower-tech than other groups (like the Van Saar), so there probably is a correlation there.

Page 28
The las-beam cooked the arm of one shooter, foring him to drop the weapon.
The weapon is a las-pistol. No idea what "cooked" means, but if we assume boiling the water content in the huuman body or outright cauterization, we get very high kilojoule (500-800 kj) to low megajoule (1-2 MJ) las output.

Page 55
He fired a shot, catching the Orlock in the face. The shot resonated with a metallic echo.
The Orlock stumbled to one knee, his face a masticated red pulp except where steel plates were riveted to his skull.
Uriah is using a bolt pistol (but apparently one wiht solid, non-explosive ammo). The Orlock takes nasty damage to his face but oddly survives. This is probably due to the fact that he's at least partly augmentic (given the metal in his skull.) Then again, the Orlocks aren't that much above, say, the Goliaths, so its also possible that Orlocks are just that durable. (especailly given what Goliaths can endure.)


Page 74-75

- One of the Orlocks is wielding a heavy bolter seemingly without much effort (implied like a regular bolter.) which implies some fairly substantial strength, about what a Goliath would possess in fact. It might be a very high-tech weapon, but Orlock's aren't really tech-savvy, so probably not..


Page 80-81
"You're just like the Van Saar, praying to machines."
"Given their proficiency with devicecs, I thank you for the compliment."

...

"Because no Van Saar would ever ask for outside help - my help - in handling technology. You know there is no Machine Spirit. It's jsut circuits and relays, nothing more."

"That's Heresy to some," Uriah replied.

"And music to others. The more we treat machinery as mysterious, the less we'll truly understand mechanics. Do you know I actually saw some poor fool praying to a keypad. He forgot his code - he was begging the Machine Spirit to open it up."

'Some people don't want ot understand machines, Voice. They find solace in believing in the spirit of the device. For them, communion and prayer is wearing implants."
More discussions on the nature of the Machine Spirit beliefs and its impact on the people of the Imperium. Note that people like Voice aren't unusual (You occasionally run across folk in the Guard who either get in trouble for tinkering with tech, or tinker with it without getting into trouble.) It's possible this may also be a leftover legacy of the Squats, since they were chronic disbelievers of the Machine Spirit and endured (and may still endure, given how well traveled they were.)

Page 90
The darkness enveloped him in anonymous comfort, and his black clothing and thermal cloak added to the camouflage. His goggles amplified the ambient light, allowing him to see more clearly.

...

Uriah paused after each misstep, drawing the cloak around him tighter to shield him from thermal optics.
Uriah (Delaque operative) sneaking into a Goliath stronghold (who are regarded as virtual barbarians by the other gangs/houses.) And yet he is concerned that the Goliaths would be using thermal gear to look for intruders.

Note the use of a thermal cloak again to protect against such detection methods (like in Salvation.). Again, there must be limits to the shielding effect, because otherwise he'd run in danger of overheating himself (the cloak would reflect/store heat his body emits, and keep it under the cloak. Which is bad.

And, like other Delaques, Uriah has night vision gear (preusmably better than anything the Goliath might use.)


Page 95
[
The medical adhesive strip he'd attached to his face stung, but it kept hte wound closed. After a few moments, he applied water from a bottle to the strip and felt it bubble against his skin. A few seconds more, and the strip dissolved, leaving him with a wound glued shut and, hopefully, no scar.

More wonders of Van Saar technology. Uriah thought.


glimpse at Imperium medical technology (more specifically what the Van Saar have.) Given they're merely an industrial house, it probably can give us a good glimpse into what sort of medical tech the Guard would have.


Page 100

Uriah had heard of such men and women, those within the gang who refused to inject themselves with the chemicals to add obscene muscle mass.


Goliath gangers use chemical augmentation to give themselves grgeatly enhanced physical abilities. As we see in other novels, this leads to them having insanely high levels of strength (the kind where they can wield .50 caliber machine guns and heavy bolters like Bragg does, but arguably with better accuracy.)

Again, one has to marvel at how nasty such gangers would be as a Guard regiment. About on par with Ogryns, in fact.
Last edited by Connor MacLeod on 2007-10-09 01:57pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Lost Soal » 2007-10-09 01:48pm

- the Delaque operative in this story, Uriah storm, makes use of an anonymous hacker/technician type named "Voice". The curious thing about the Voice person is that she (we learn its a she) is not a believer in the Machine Spirit (even though some people like Uriah are.) In fact, the "Machine spirit" seems to be relatively unknown amongst most UnderhiverS (and quite probably amongst most citygoers too.) The Van Saar (and Uriah, because of his Van Saar associations) are also believers in the AdMech.

This seems to indicate that the AdMech only goes so far in promulgating its "religion" on such worlds (its probably too dangerous for them to try to!), and implies that there probably are alot of people in the Imperium who don't subscribe to the AdMech point of view unless they are elevated to a certain plateau of society or fall under an organization that pays homage to the AdMech (like the Guard or Navy.) On the other hand, the fact that most of the others don't believe in the AdMech also seems to result in them being much lower-tech than other groups (like the Van Saar), so there probably is a correlation there.
I think I'm missing something here. Voice says she doesn't believe in the Machine Spirit, and your saying she and others don't believe in the Ad Mech. Is it just the Ad Mechs beliefs which get cast into doubt or are their actually people who don't believe the organization exists.
Goliath gangers use chemical augmentation to give themselves grgeatly enhanced physical abilities. As we see in other novels, this leads to them having insanely high levels of strength (the kind where they can wield .50 caliber machine guns and heavy bolters like Bragg does, but arguably with better accuracy.)
Thank You! After reading that last analysis with the Goliaths in I was wondering if their was something to confirm that they use 40K Steroids, since the rulebook avoided mentioning it.
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Post by Teleros » 2007-10-09 01:51pm

Lost Soal wrote:I think I'm missing something here. Voice says she doesn't believe in the Machine Spirit, and your saying she and others don't believe in the Ad Mech. Is it just the Ad Mechs beliefs which get cast into doubt or are their actually people who don't believe the organization exists.
Given how widespread the Adeptus Mechanicus is I can't see how you can not believe it exists - Connor probably got them & the Machine God mixed up.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-10-09 01:56pm

Yes when I refer to the AdMech I'm referring to the Omnissiah religion. I should have said "AdMech's beliefs" instead of AdMech.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-10-09 01:59pm

Teleros wrote:
Lost Soal wrote:I think I'm missing something here. Voice says she doesn't believe in the Machine Spirit, and your saying she and others don't believe in the Ad Mech. Is it just the Ad Mechs beliefs which get cast into doubt or are their actually people who don't believe the organization exists.
Given how widespread the Adeptus Mechanicus is I can't see how you can not believe it exists - Connor probably got them & the Machine God mixed up.
Nothing I've ever seen suggests that the AdMech even bothers fucking around with the Underhive, which is basically the "slums" of the Hive City. So of course its natural that their beliefs dont neccessarily propogate there much less enforced (Van Saar seeming to be the exception.) - iit also means the Underhivers have to do their own engineering/technical work (some of whom it seems, such as Voice, get quite good.)

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Post by Teleros » 2007-10-09 02:04pm

Perhaps the AdMech doesn't do much itself about the Underhive, but I'd be surprised if the knowledge of their very existence is suspect. I mean, they're responsible for maintaining practically all of the Imperium's war machines, and I get the impression they have a hand in a good portion of the civilian stuff too.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-10-11 01:58am

Teleros wrote:Perhaps the AdMech doesn't do much itself about the Underhive, but I'd be surprised if the knowledge of their very existence is suspect. I mean, they're responsible for maintaining practically all of the Imperium's war machines, and I get the impression they have a hand in a good portion of the civilian stuff too.
They don't bother with feral or feudal worlds much though, do they (Save maybe the Imperial Commander and his people). The Underhive is as "low income" as you can get in the Imperium, along the lines of a Feral or Feudal world that just happened to get hold of high tech weapons.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-10-11 01:58am

Part 2

Page 101
Cantrall had swapped six ribs as well as the breastbone with titanium replacements. Uriah examined where the bone ribs gave way to metal, and proceeded to rack the bolted seams.
More examples of Imperium medtech. This isn't exactly "high end" stuff, but it is more sophisticated than most underhive tech.

Page 102

- "Heart acceleratn" has several functions, including "boosting the heart rate, oxygenating the blood more easily, and deliver an electric charge to stimulate the heart." No idea what result this is supposed to be, but I'd guess it might help in cases of injury in sustaining life, and possibly in boosting physical performance.

Again, one must wonder what a Guardsman with this augmentic would be like.

Page 124-125

- Uriah plants a series of "micro wire" garotte/cutting wires in a hallway as booby traps. The wires appear to cut anywhere from a quater inch to an inch into flesh and cartilege, but don't seem strong enough to cut bone (they snap) They seem to be more like delaying/distraction devices than actual killing ones (though given a sharper "wire", which the Imperium has given the prevalance of monomol weapons, it probably could be quite lethal. Given the plethora of "insane charge" opponents they deal with (Orks, Tyranids, chaos), this probably woujld be quite formidable in a defensive setting.

Paged 125

- Uriah runs into an Orlock of "Goliath" stature with a bunch of implants - pistons and mechanical claws for arms and hands. Shoulders, spine, were also plated implants. He was also apparently either mentally retarded or adjusted in such away that fear/caution and pain was dampened/removed (he rushed through all of the aforementioend micro-wires without noticable effect, despite having deep groves cut into his flesh in the process of breaking them.)

Page 139
"Wait, you believe in the Machine Spirit too?"

"Most Requisitioners pay some lip service to the Machine Spirit, but yes, I do believe. It's hard working with devices without seeing the miracle in them. I'm more surprised that oyu do, however. Never seen a Handler thank the Machine. Percal isn't the type to encourage faith in anything but himself."
Again, the Machine Spirit seems to be an uncommon belief feature amongst hte technically minded of the Underhive and surrounding locales. Enough so that a Delaque armourer/technician is surprised to find Uriah believes as well (Other Delaque apparently don't.)

Page 165

- to some members fo House Delaque (and presumably other Houses, or at least the middle/lower classes) the existence of other Hives is rumored but not known definitely to exist. In fact it seems to exist almost as a quasi-mythological belief. Given the nastiness outside of a Hive, I have no doubt that travel between them is difficult to the point of impossible for the vast amjority of people.

PAge 173
HE was a stitching needle, coursing through the fabric that separated him from exhausted unconsciousness. It was in this moment that Uriah was grateful for Percal's training, for stretching his endurance to the breaking point and teaching him to surpass his own limitations.
The guy has been constantly beaten up and injured in various minor ways by attacks, operated for days without sleep, and so on and so forth. A testiment to his training (and perhaps to just how tough a Hiver can be, at least a well-trained one.) And quite possibly another indicatio nthat 40K humans are much different (superior?) physically from modern/real life humans.

Page 177

- Another Delaque agent has a "skull probe" with a camera lens and speaker grille. Basically a servo-skull. I guess even those (and their antigrav tech) are not uncommon on Necromunda.


Page 181
He pressed against the lump behind his right ear and pushed hard. The pain was intense and Uraih felt a trickle of blood flowing down his neck.

...

Despite the sharp pain that shot through his neck, Uriah gritted his teeth and jabbed the injury; he found the plastic edge of the double-chambered ampoule beneath the fold of flesh. The agony flared, but he pulled the ampoule free of the skin pouch.
Its possible to put hidden chambers/pockets in parts of the body to store things.


Page 182
He then reached through the bars closest to the cage door and felt around for the lock. When he finally fond it, after some fumbling, he jammed the splinter into the door's lock and pressed the disc head as hard as he could. He let go of the splinter when he felt the flash of heat from it. A second later, teh splinter consumed itslef with a tiny pop, melting the lock in a quick chemical flash. The interior of the lock dissolved and the door unlocked.
We have no idea how big the "splinter" is, but given that several such could be hidden in a small bottle pulled out from a pocket behind his ear, they can't be too terribly large or massive.

We also have no idea how big the lock is, but if we assume its only slightly larger than the key (say 4 cm diameter, and 6 cm "deep" of iron, it would take between 500-700 kilojoules to "melt" the lock. This serves as an indicator that the Imperium has access to significantly superior chemical reactions/explosives than what is available to modern science, and that they are arguably much more compact as well. Which naturally meshes with other devicese like flamers. It also tells us that their high explosiev weapons (grenades, HE/frag shells, etc.) are considerably better than anything we have.

Page 191

- The hive appears to be fed on "fungus farms" fertilized by composted waste collected from higher levels in the city. Its alot more appetizing tham the "human flesh recycling" I've heard in other hives... Not exactly appetizing, but its far better than recycling and eating human flesh like some Hives do. It's also arguably more self-sustaining for the Hive than alot of other Hives.

Page 202-203:
The Orlock research outpost of Stainstrip owed more to machine shops than the relatively sterile facilities of the Van Saar. Oily chains hung from the sheds mounted on ceiling tracks, metal fillings literred the floor and a variety of instruments were crammed against the laborotory's walls. Band saws, munted chain-blades, drill pistons, compressed tanks of actuator fluid and all kinds of heavy industrial equipment. Where the Van Saar used finesse, the Orlock's Tech-Trust was more about rivets than screws, skin bolts than bone pins, iron than chrome-plated alloys, machetes than scalpels.

In short, Stainstrip exemplified the nature of Orlocks and their heavy-handed approach to technology.
Once more, it's worth noting that when investigating the Van Saar bio-implants the Orlocks do not do any of the "Machine Spirit" stuff that Uriah or the Van Saar are supposedly noted for (and that Voice mocks.) This again suggests that the whole "AdMech" religious aspect is a peculiarity to the Imperium only at certain levels.


Page 205

- Uriah is injected with a drug that cuases him to sleep an hour and a half (but possibly having overslept, due to his "fatigue" being underestimated) and receiving the equivalent of an eight hour sleep, infusing him with energy and masking his pain and fatigue temporarily. It lasts for about a day, and when it wears off, everything before (And probably anything new) will be "revisited."

Quite a useful thing I suspect. I wonder if the Guard has access to things like this.


Page 210

- mention of a "lung scrubber" bioimplant that "neutralised" harmful gasses and airborne poisons.

Page 211

- important areas of a spire (Air filtration, ,water, heat sinks, etc.) are considered vital territories, often are the most profitable, and safest to occupy, because of their importance to the continued well being of said hive. They are considered "Above" turf wars, and often have their own Enforcer [the world's police forces, but armed/operating more like a PDF version of the Arbites) complements as well as the Hive Gang(s) running the territory to defend them.


Page 214

- underhive street surgeons are considered "part mechanic, and part butcher"

Page 215

- Uriah uses the old "glass cutter and suction cup" routine to cut out a panel of glass and remove it. Given that this was a tested myth on Mythbusters and IIRC proven unlikely/impossible, the means for cutting the glass probably aren't phyiscal (a laser, or perhaps a monomol blade.)

Page 224
The ammuniton being used in this battle wouldn't stop for flesh or bone. It would travel through two or three people before lodging in the wall.

The daughter would die alongside her parents when the first bullet struck them. A couple of wild shots were already hammering the column they had hid being, gouging out fist-sized chunks.
The Orlocks (especially Slag) do have heavy bolters (and perhaps regular bolters), but most of the weapons would seem to be either autoguns or stub guns. The gang running this locale, the Shina boys, are less likely to be using bulky weapons because they have to keep them fairly concealed under jackets or in pockets, which suggests pistol or small SMG gun size at best. The Orlocks probably have somewhat heavier weapons, but possibly not greratly heavier (Except for people like Slag.)

Given that 'bullets and las-fire" are mentioned more commonly than any other ammo, this seems likely. In any case, it implies some pretty hefty firepower/penetration capability for solid ammo weapons.

Page 242

- mention of the Machine Spirit is considered to be associated with "Van Saar" practices, and this (once again) is unusual enough among other houses like Delaque for Uriah to avoid mentioning it to other Delaques for fear of being considered traitor. This reinforcees the idea that the "Machine Spirit" preached by the AdMech is not universally followed, at least beneath a certain level of technology (IE that in the underhive.)

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2007-10-11 02:07am

As for the Goliaths: I'm not done touching on some of their insane stuff just yet. A few of the upcoming Necromunda novels I'll highlight will touch on them as well.

The short of it is they do seem to "train" some of it as well as some chemical stuff (steroids are mentioned in another novel, I forget which), but part of it is also quite simply their enviroment. The Goliaths live generlaly in the deepest, dangerous, most unpleasant areas of the Underhive. The places with dangerous toxins and fumes, radiation, and the most hardship. Given the kinds of mutation rampant in the Imperium, I'd not be surprised if their insane strength/toughness as a direct result of their habitat (the warp is funny that way.)

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