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post #21 of 74 (permalink) Old 05-02-16, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Euphrati View Post
...[A LENGTHY SERMON FILLED WITH THE FURY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE GOD-EMPEROR OF MANKIND]...

You know it always baffled me how some of those people whine about the Astartes having no women, and the lengths they go to justify it being possible...

When we should do a comparison:

The Astartes are genetically enhanced as boys to become walking, biologically augmented, superhuman killing machines. They are artificially psychologically conditioned to be a warrior in a cohesive unit fighting in the name of the Emperor. They are given the best arms and armor and vehicles in the Imperium. Most of the time, these young boys are taken against their will and press-ganged into service until they die.

The Sisters of Battle are a bunch of crazy-ass bitches, but they're just mortal women. They train to become hardass warriors and have a camaraderie with their sisters forged in battle and experiences together. They have power armor, bolters, meltas, flamers, and a church organ on tank tracks. These women can quit if they want, and are all volunteers to this life.

Who's the real badass? Why do people obsess over women being Space Marines when women are already the most TERRIFYING force in the Imperium?

If women could be Space Marines, they'd take them from the Sisters of Battle and there would be absolutely nothing in the Galaxy that wasn't human and screaming the Hymns of the God-Emperor to the top of their lungs.
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post #22 of 74 (permalink) Old 05-02-16, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Brother Armiger View Post
You know it always baffled me how some of those people whine about the Astartes having no women, and the lengths they go to justify it being possible...

When we should do a comparison:

The Astartes are genetically enhanced as boys to become walking, biologically augmented, superhuman killing machines. They are artificially psychologically conditioned to be a warrior in a cohesive unit fighting in the name of the Emperor. They are given the best arms and armor and vehicles in the Imperium. Most of the time, these young boys are taken against their will and press-ganged into service until they die.

The Sisters of Battle are a bunch of crazy-ass bitches, but they're just mortal women. They train to become hardass warriors and have a camaraderie with their sisters forged in battle and experiences together. They have power armor, bolters, meltas, flamers, and a church organ on tank tracks. These women can quit if they want, and are all volunteers to this life.

Who's the real badass? Why do people obsess over women being Space Marines when women are already the most TERRIFYING force in the Imperium?

If women could be Space Marines, they'd take them from the Sisters of Battle and there would be absolutely nothing in the Galaxy that wasn't human and screaming the Hymns of the God-Emperor to the top of their lungs.
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post #23 of 74 (permalink) Old 05-02-16, 12:00 PM
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It seems like a reasonable explanation, as it explains both why there's a maximum age on becoming a Space Marine (you'd otherwise expect recruitment to heavily focus on older veterans), and why the process would only work on males.

Note, in my view it's extremely likely that the Dark Age of Technology also had a process for females, and it's actually equally likely that the process would've been conspicuously missing from the book the Emperor had to work from. Reason: As soon as you make a superior man and a superior female, and they can breed, you've just made your species obsolete. The situation may well have been the biological equivalent to the Men of Iron... and been resolved in a similar manner

Anyway, the situation is as it is, and Brother Armiger worded my feelings on it quite well

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post #24 of 74 (permalink) Old 05-02-16, 01:27 PM
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When we should do a comparison:
Pardon me, but I feel/believe some of things here are incorrect or wrong.

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They are artificially psychologically conditioned to be a warrior in a cohesive unit fighting in the name of the Emperor.
Well they are really conditioned to be a fighting brotherhood in the name of the Emperor, their respective primarch, and the Imperium as a whole.

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Most of the time, these young boys are taken against their will and press-ganged into service until they die.
Any sources on this one? Because I think this is an extreme minority more than anything. For what little I've ever seen in regards to recruitment, its viewed as a great honour and a lot of prestige and positive is thrust on both attempting to be taken and those who might achieve it.

Space Wolves, Black Templars, Crimson Fists, and Imperial Fists only take those who are proven warriors in some way, Ultramarines, Salamanders, and White Scars look for the most fit and, likely barring the Scars, have an active pool of aspirants trying to be chosen willingly.

Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, and Mortifactors have aspirants compete to see who is the best. This doesn't mean all of them ultimately go through with it (read Angels of Darkness for this one) but they do not return to their people.


I would think that those who are taken unwillingly are in the far, far, far minority. This seems more true given the fact that aspirants are taken at the start of puberty, a time when you can be at some of your most competitive.

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The Sisters of Battle are a bunch of crazy-ass bitches, but they're just mortal women.
Space marines might be augmented and modified, but they are also mortal and some of them can be bat shit crazy.

If your aiming to do a humble comparison, then you honestly don't have much beyond the fact that the Sororitas are unaugmented. They are a highly trained, elite sisterhood fighting in the name of the Emperor, the founder of their order, and the Imperium. They have access to some of the best weapons, wargear, and vehicles available to mankind; and they are trained/conditioned from an early age for this life and no other.

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They train to become hardass warriors and have a camaraderie with their sisters forged in battle and experiences together.
Replace sisters with brothers and this describes Space Marines, and replace with fellow soldiers and your describing the Guard.

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They have power armor, bolters, meltas, flamers, and a church organ on tank tracks.
The exorcist aside, marines have all of this to so whats your point?

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These women can quit if they want, and are all volunteers to this life.
Sure, a sister from one of the majoris houses (since your likely ignoring the minoris ones for this) that has achieved a certain rank or suffered hideous injuries could retire from front line actions, but they will always do something for the Sororitas.

And do you have any sources to back up sisters being volunteers? Because last I recall they are about as brainwashed (possibly even more so in some cases) as marines to be servants of the Imperial church and their duty only ends upon death.

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post #25 of 74 (permalink) Old 05-02-16, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Sisters are drawn from the oprhans in the Schola and are all women who showed incredible levels of faith and devotion as children. That only gets further enhanced by the church.

Battle Sisters "retire" to non-militant orders mainly, or end up working for/becoming Inquisitors. Or dying.
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post #26 of 74 (permalink) Old 05-02-16, 06:27 PM
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Reason: As soon as you make a superior man and a superior female, and they can breed, you've just made your species obsolete. The situation may well have been the biological equivalent to the Men of Iron... and been resolved in a similar manner
That's... actually a really cool theory. It's not that female Astartes can't be done, but anyone who does it has the Inquisition come knocking. With extreme prejudice. And their work announced, posthumously, as a failure of catastrophic proportions, so nobody ever tries it again.

I like it a lot.

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post #27 of 74 (permalink) Old 05-02-16, 07:09 PM
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So as I typically do I was mulling some stuff over in my mind on the way to work and was struck by a random thought on why the Emperor needs to use the Y chromosome to make Marines. Basically it's because of something the gene has: a short leg. My thought is to minimize rejection, failure and catastrophic mutation the geneseed amends that short leg of the Y early in puberty basically making it an artificial X. The body is already geared to read that chromosome for puberty so it just reads the additional instructions on top of the base ones.

Also crossed my mind is that the switch for psykers is likely in the X chromosome since both sexes can be psykers.

Thoughts, or disagreements?
The idea has merit, I think, but it's hard to say either way with 40k.

There are a few sorta hand-wavey ways you can go about explaining marines being only male, with this sorta being one of them. As far as adding stuff into the genome, assuming you add said stuff into a non-coding region, you can pretty much get away with murder; the body can't really tell if something isn't you once it's in the genome, especially in terminally differentiated cells - that's why retroviruses work. On the Y chromosome, it's true that it might be a little easier to do something like this and get away with it simply because there are comparatively fewer genes and the ones which are there can be fudged without the person dyeing. This might help to explain marines being incapable of fathering children as the process might cause a loss-of-functon mutation in a gene like spy which is needed to initiate spermatogenesis. So yeah, that's one explanation.

Another explanation, and one I like, is that aspirants undergo the process during puberty because maturation and activation of the various organs required male sex hormones, which increase drastically during puberty. If activation of the various organs were tied to DHT levels, for example, it would make perfect sense for the process to only work in males because DHT levels are considerably higher in males than females. I suppose you could supplement females with male sex hormones as a workaround, but why? It isn't as though the Imperium is lacking in young men. As far as this going into explaining why marines can't father children, well.... perhaps they can, just not with human women. Assuming that they can't reproduce with human women, it is possible that marines, due to whatever genetics modifications they undergo, are genetically different enough that they can no longer produce viable offspring with humans. Which would make them a different species, but, hey, space magic.

At the end of the day, you can explain away whatever you want in 40K however you want to do it, because none of it makes any god damn sense. Even what I said above is probably largely horse shit, and there's something I've forgotten from one of my genetics courses that explains why it's horse shit. But, again, space magic.

Oh, and to the psyker thing, I have no reason to think that it's a sex-linked trait, besides the fact that males and females can become psykers. It's entirely possible that the phenotype is polygenic and that the genes responsible are on one OR MORE different chromosomes, which may or may not include X. Polygenic incoherence can get complicated fast.

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post #28 of 74 (permalink) Old 05-02-16, 07:39 PM
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That's... actually a really cool theory. It's not that female Astartes can't be done, but anyone who does it has the Inquisition come knocking. With extreme prejudice. And their work announced, posthumously, as a failure of catastrophic proportions, so nobody ever tries it again.

I like it a lot.
*Narrows her eyes and sighs*

See? This is what I'm talking about. It seems like people simply cannot accept females can not be astartes. Even when the lore is outright specific on it cannot be done- not that 'well, it is possible but the wrath of the =][= will fall on you!'.

There always seems to be someone trying to butcher the lore in some round-a-bout way to justify their army of female 'marines'.

Yet, I have yet to see someone try and pass off an army of MALE battle sisters....
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post #29 of 74 (permalink) Old 05-02-16, 08:06 PM
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Yet, I have yet to see someone try and pass off an army of MALE battle sisters....
..... you mean space marines?
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post #30 of 74 (permalink) Old 05-02-16, 08:30 PM
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..... you mean space marines?


Nope, I mean full on Sisters of Battle- here is my Adepta Sororitas army, oh by the way they are all male! Doesn't my Canoness look smashing in His fleur de lis embossed armour?

Who says 'Sisters' cannot be boys....
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