Brainwashed Cult Mechanicus children who grow up in age cohorts under strict discipline and adult scorn, will receive electrografts and other cerebral bionic implants for efficient information downloading and educative installation directly into their tender brains. Electrografts and other cerebral tech implants were often originally designed with a rudimentary simulated intelligence in order to learn their tasks increasingly well over time so that they would improve function and efficiency over generations of irrelevant fleshly human carriers. Yet nowadays many cheaper electrografts decay over time and gradually turn the human production unit first irritable, then erratic, and finally insane. Neither the Imperium of Holy Terra nor the empire of the Adeptus Mechanicus sworn to Holy Mars have much patience for teaching plebs. For lay tech-folk and other lowly specialists it is far better to surgically implant hardware and quickly install software containing the necessary technical knowledge, rather than wasting years and years on proper education, teaching through hands-on practice and a thorough understanding of subject matters. Why would limited resources be wasted on pampering to such shortlived human components when more efficient means are available?

This entire approach to learning is but one sclerotic reason among many as to why the Imperium of Man in general and the Adeptus Mechanicus in particular will not be a source of human innovative renaissance, and thus mankind has wasted ten precious millennia of interstellar empire on stagnating into senility when it should have bounced back into a self-rejuvenating virtuous cycle of boundless scientific curiosity and confident technological development. And so Tyranid hive fleets are now falling upon the Milky Way galaxy like so many fangs sinking into the soft belly flesh of weak prey, all the while baleful eradicators of ancient times awake on thousands of Necron tomb worlds, set to harvest all life for themselves as they once did during the War in Heaven. Thus the human species in the far future is doomed to fight a losing war against forces mighty beyond imagination, trapped in a dysfunctional colossus on feet of clay that has regressed into a fortified interstellar madhouse filled with ignorant fanatics and selfserving overlords whose mercilessly harsh measures have proven counterproductive to a lunatic degree.

And so the decline of human power continues unabated in the Milky Way galaxy, for mankind stands horribly ill prepared to face the forces of doomsday, and the best and the brightest of humanity's experts on science and technology have been reduced to little more than ranting witch doctors and ignorant scavengers of antique fossils. In the face of this rising tide of doom, the Adeptus Mechanicus' quest for the holy grail of an intact Standard Template Constructor or STC archive has intensified to never before seen levels, and explorators backed by billions of Skitarii and other armed forces of the Cult Mechanicus are now scouring the galaxy for any clue of archeotech hidden beneath the earth, or searching for treasures drifting through space, or excavating for artefacts and techno-relics forgotten beneath the polluted foundations of hive cities that once soared to the high heavens as idyllic arcologies of shining splendour.

See, then, the Imperium of Man for what it is, in all its fanatic savagery. The union of Terra and Mars that the Imperator forged during the Great Crusade has resulted in a primitive astrotechnological civilization which has been leaking human knowledge for fivehundred generations, akin to a wounded man slowly bleeding out. Bear witness to the ramshackle huts and crude edifices built upon the wreckage of former glories, constructed along the lines of engineering lore born out of ancient discoveries cloaked in mystery and enigma to the Adeptus Mechanicus. Ever since the Golden Age of Technology ended, mankind has been reverting to an ever worsened state of being in a grinding spiral of descendant degeneration, broken only by brief resurgences of Imperial recovery and succesful manufacturing of ancient human technology.

Scan the Imperium of Man in general, and the Martian empire of forge worlds and millholms ruled by the Adeptus Mechanicus in particular. Be cognizant of the flood of deadly hate. Watch how rueful man like a machine tool will be made to conform to the movements and requirements of engines, just like a cardan shaft must in order to function properly. The freewheeling powers of cognition have been robbed from the human mind, and locked in an abhorrent straitjacket of ignorant dogma, strict surveillance and limited thought. No wonder so many despairing souls turn insane in this living nightmare of lost hope. In the Age of Imperium, the lofty dreams inherent to the human heart have died a baleful death of dystrophy and decay. See the pitiful state of man, toppled from his soaring pedestal of yore. O, how the mighty have fallen! Behold a paradise lost.

And so degraded mankind stumbles onward, in service to its own rotting interstellar empire. Within this cosmic domain can be found a scattered realm of sheer industry, where man himself has become a factory process like any other. Here, endless hordes of toiling men, women and children will have their body parts callously replaced with machinery. Here, the blinkered masses are ruled by minds of metal and wheels, for it is a starspanning realm of cold numbers and lifeless calculations, of heartless equations and grinding machinery churning out an endless stream of ever more primitive products to prop up a dysfunctional theocratic dictatorship. Here, in the holdings of the red planet, man is become more machine than a being of flesh and blood, and he will brutally force his own round life to fit into a square slot.

All the precision and cunning artifice of the Adeptus Mechanicus amounts to reduce man to nothing but a replacable machine component, one that will be pragmatically installed, without ever asking for his irrelevant thoughts on the matter, into a vast and intricate system of movings levers, pistons and pumps. Here, man's lot is toil neverending, toil ever burdensome, toil ever grinding. Man's progeny is birthed through a mechanistic arrangement of industrial reproduction, in thrall to statistical sheets balancing input and output of life for the sake of running machines. Here, amid endless rows of towering factories, man is but another material piece of inventory in facilities filled with siphons, conveyor belts and all manner of enigmatic techno-arcana. Man is but dust in the shadow of roaring furnaces and crackling tesla coils, but yet another resource to be consumed with the indifference of a heart of stone.

And so, on thousands upon thousands of forge worlds, man is laid out upon the anvil and hammered into a shape fit for workshop purposes. He is thus reshaped and crafted, to eventually be discarded like a broken tool once he has served his purpose and his mind and body are no longer fit for endless toil. The cycle of organic life itself has been made subject to dehumanizing mechanisms and engineered systems as but yet another manufactorum process among many others. Here, in the darkest of futures, man has constructed for himself nothing short of hell on earth, where man be both its tormentor and tormented. Perhaps, in a weak moment in the darkest of nights or lightsouts, some few of the masters and rulers of mankind will recognize this faltering edifice of human suffering and pointless misery for what it truly is. Yet even then, they are bound to conclude that it is better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.

Thus the dizzying prospects of the brief human renaissance offered by the Emperor's Great Crusade has run into the sand, and long since disappeared beneath the uncaring dunes of oblivion. In their stead, man has earned for himself ten thousand wasted years of eroding science and decaying technology, of ever more primitive industry and worsening demechanization of human civilization across the stars. Man has fashioned for himself an aeon filled with ten thousand years of shackled thought, where the best and the brightest of his species can do naught else but dig for buried treasure and pray for deliverance. Ten thousand years of purging freeminded deviants and infidels. Ten thousand years of rusting stagnation, where occult mysteries have replaced the diligent research of yore.

Do not avert your eyes from the etiolated ugliness on full display, but witness instead how a degenerate feedback loop of despondent fatalism has replaced the optimist spirit that served the ancients so well. The demented ramblings of feverish fanatics have taken over where once doubtfilled criticism and rigorous testing of theories held sway. Know this, and never forget that interstellar empires are absolutely dependent on their mastery of science and technology. Man has long since lost the ball in this great game, and his eyes refuse to see, just as his mind refuse to comprehend.

This is the Imperium of Man. This is the demise of hope, the broken promise of humanity's birthright, the death of a dream. In these dying years of senile mankind, humanity shines as a flickering candle light soon about to be quenched by the maws of a suffocating darkness.

All this transpires, in a demented epoch, where man is bred by force.

In an age of decay, where man has harnessed himself under the yoke.

In an era of doom, at the end of our species.

Such is the horror that awaits us all.

It is the fortyfirst millennium, and there is only production.


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Inspired by Jchrispole's first human children of the dark future piece.