Enginseer Prime Veche Xanatov
57th of his geneline, and a great disappointment
Throughout the Cult Mechanicus’ history, there have been great tech-priests who have discovered vast stores of forgotten lore in the Cult’s Quest for Knowledge and reclaimed past glories for the good of the Imperium. In the hope that lightning can strike twice, these august personages are frequently cloned with the expectation that their gene progeny will follow a similarly great career path. Often this is the case, and these clones form a grand and noble geneline and continue to expand the Mechanicus’ vaults of data.
Veche is not one of those clones.
Magos Biologis Vechelin Aloysius Xanatov, 1st of his geneline, was a controversial figure in the Mechanicus. On the one hand, he was capable of feats of staggering genius, creating brilliantly elegant creations that frequently surpassed the works of other Magos’ whose seniority over him was measured in centuries. On the other hand, his artifice often skirted the borders of tech-heresy, and he spoke out against the more entrenched elements of the Cult, expressing the opinion that the Mechanicus in the sector had become less about the Quest for Knowledge and more about the upper echelons indulging each other’s pet projects, regardless of their actual value. This did not make him many friends within those echelons.
He was not missed when he accidentally cut his own head off (systematically destroying his brain and personal cogitator array in the process) after falling down some stairs in his laboratory; however, it was acknowledged that he had possessed rare talent. It was just a shame about the rest of the person said talent was a part of. It was decided that he would be cloned in an attempt to create an iteration of him, with his talent, but without everything that had made him objectionable.
Enginseer Veche Xanatov, 57th of his geneline, is the latest and final attempt to create such a person. The previous 55 versions were all defective in one way or another, be it gradually regaining the memories of the original and trying to kill their makers, coming out of the vat drooling idiots, coming out of the vat too far in the other direction and rapidly creating tech-heretical monstrosities, or inexplicably having esoteric, contagious, and invariably lethal diseases that appeared to be the result of the original foreseeing certain ways of tampering with his genetic legacy and taking measures to stop it. Number 57, once decanted, appeared stable in a way the others were not; however, he also seemed to have all of the psychological indicators that he would inherit the original’s attitude, and appeared to possess none of his talent.
After concluding that the project was a dead end and shutting it down in despair, Veche was figuratively swept under the rug and actually shipped off to the front lines, hopefully to die somewhere far away from his creators. Veche himself has no idea of the significance of the battery of tests he took during the course of his training, and records pertaining to his genefather have been sealed to him, lest he follow in the original’s footsteps.
During the campaign following Inverness, Veche got hold of some highly classified plans from high command in the course of bartering with Master Sergeant Krax Devlan which ordered that, unless a miracle occurred and the Orks were sufficiently repelled, the planet should be virus bombed, with the whole regiment labelled as acceptable losses. As a loyal soldier of the Imperium, and agent of the Omnissiah, Veche got to work… getting his squad off-planet as soon as possible. Veche figured that it was his duty to keep the machines of the Omnissiah in top working condition, and that as he was mostly machine at this point, this included himself. Further, while dying for the Emperor is a high honour for his worshippers, serving an inquisitor as they go about their duties should be an even higher honour, as far as his teammates are concerned.
Attached to the orders to virus bomb was a transfer for first squadron, first platoon, first company to be attached to Inquisitor Teyarna Gwonos’ retinue. After trading away the rest of his amasec stash and a shuttle from his motor pool to some ratling ‘typographers’, Veche and his squad presented their transfer documents to the Colonel and headed up to the Inquisitor’s black ship, along with the squad originally named in the transfer, all in their shiny dress uniforms. The Inquisitor announced that there was room in her retinue for one group alone, and had both squads fight to the death. Veche’s squad was not in dress uniform. Veche’s squad had recently been in the field and were armed to the teeth. It was a massacre.
Master Sergeant Krax Devlan then stepped out and informed the Inquisitor that all had gone to plan, that Veche’s squad had shown the predicated amount of cunning and chicanery and were well-suited to inquisitorial duties. Feeling somewhat stunned, Veche and his squad went on to serve the inquisition…