Imperium of Man, Adeptus Mechanicus, Squats
Pure Human Form
In the grim darkness of the far future, man slays man for his foul body.
Sing, o woman, of her fair visage! Sing, o man, of his handsome features!
Sing us a song of the beauty inherent in the human species. Sing of the youthful splendour without blemish that the God-Emperor Himself intended for His chosen kind. Sing of the strength and flawless vigour to be found in the best of our kin. Sing of the hero and the heroine, of their muscles and sinews at work in great deeds of daring. Sing of the bravery and perfection that runs in the veins of better mankind. Sing of the higher ideal. Sing of the blood and the lineage. Sing of the nobility and the courage!
Sing to us of the pure human form!
Long before primordial man dwelt in caves and huts, his beastly ancestors kenned by instinct that a strong and beautiful form was an outward sign of inner health. Such fleshly omens would often lie, and the finest of flesh would often rot and wither away before its time, yet statistically speaking the best chances to breed healthy offspring was usually found with a fair and vigorous partner. Thus beauty as an indicator of health and good genes became the core component of attraction in the world of rutting animals, and males would go to great lengths of display and struggle in order to impress the finest of females, and the females would oft pick the finest among the male competition, for therein lay the pinnacle of what living beings could hope to achieve.
Sprang life from life.
And so, a gorgeous partner became the dream of primal humanity, as witnessed in any number of heroic and voluptuous tales told around the fireside during the misty past of the Age of Terra. This dream of beauty and strength never passed away, and rigorous attempts to deny it were ever doomed to waste away in the face of innate human nature. Sometimes, the deniers would be pious people of faith, shunning the sinful body as a worldly delusion. At other times, the deniers would be reformers fired up with strange thoughts spinning inside their own heads, their ideas at odds with reality itself. Yet in the end, mankind always knew that beauty was good, just as strength and victory was good.
The dark backside of these lived ideals has always been the rejection of all that is ugly and weak, trailed by suspicions that a hideous exterior betrays a corrupt interior, whether that inner self is biological or spiritual in nature. Through the aeons, uncounted souls have been lost as outcasts inside their own community, heckled for their displeasing looks and unlovely ways. And so the ill-favoured and disagreeable among us has always been doomed to scorn, always at risk of having their entire lives turned into a living hell at the hands of fellow men, women and children.
The Dark Age of Technology saw a deeply empirical understanding of human nature guide mankind into a better world, having man's life improve even as his cosmic domains spread far and wide by the power of unsurpassed scientific lore and technological might. As such, blemishes of the flesh could be healed or improved on a fundamental level by genetors, and men and women were not only happy in this long lost epoch. They were also beautiful. For such was the hubris of mankind, that Man of Gold on many worlds and void stations sought to level the human playing field by making everyone sweet for the eyes. Thus surrounded by stunning members of the same species, ancient man would simultaneously savour the view and grow accustomed to it. And this artificial freeing of the body from the shackles of ill health, frailty and foulness allowed the ideals of the ancients to decisively turn to pursuits of the intellect, since ideals of form had long since been fulfilled across the board, and could now be taken for granted.
And man was happy.
Yet such sinful arrogance and godless abominations of worldly paradise could not be allowed to stand. And thus ancient man was felled from his lofty pedestal by heinous machine revolt, crippling Warp storms and a plague of witches. And Dark Ones of Hell laughed at man's horrendous downfall, while twain million worlds burned to ashes and countless void installations were left in ruins. Thus began the Age of Strife, that lasted for twohundredfifty generations of cannibal freefall.
Old Night saw desperate mankind regress to the worst of his ancient past. The very flesh and essence of humanity was under siege on hundreds of thousands of irradiated and poisoned worlds and voidholms, even as otherworldly powers of Chaos played havoc upon the bodies and souls of exposed humans. And so the ravages of a toppled interstellar civilization was accompanied by a plague of mutations, as uncounted men, women and children twisted into new and horrible forms, turning hideous and disgusting in the eyes of those fortunate enough to count themselves as pureblood mankind.
The end of the Warp storms and the coming of the Terran Imperator saw the scattered survivor colonies of man reunited under a bloodstained banner, as Legions of ruthless warriors crushed all resistance under the leadership of demigods. These sons of the Emperor were marvellous creations, standing as exemplars of all that humanity could achieve. Yet the true wonder of our species was the Imperator Himself, standing resplendent as the pinnacle of all that mankind could ever hope to become.
For all His dashing perfection and handsome exterior, the Emperor of Terra and all mankind did not conduct a massive purge of all mutant types found in the post-apocalyptic landscapes that His Legionnaires conquered. Indeed, even gross and unsightly mutants such as Beastmen were accepted and made use of within the Exerctus Imperialis, for the ranks of the Imperial Army were ever hungering for more soldiers. And as the Great Crusade slaughtered all opposition and claimed ever more planets and voidholms in His name, there followed the secular creed of the Imperial Truth, and its rational ideology grew within human space as long as the early Imperium stood strong and united.
Such invincible unity was not fated to last, however. Nor was the early Imperium's toleration of mutants and abhumans of many kinds. Civil strife rent the Imperium of Man asunder, and ungrateful man nigh-on slew the Emperor while the galaxy burned. In the wake of the Horus Heresy, desperate mankind clung to the certainties and promises of a new religion, in spite of the Cult Imperialis having originally been spawned by the most heretical of Primarchs. And mutants played a prominent role as favoured servants of the Dark Gods during that terrible rebellion. Thus, the High Lords of Terra would outlaw mutants, turning them over to a precarious life of exploitation as the most downtrodden of underclasses. And among all the mind-numbing toil, mutants would be periodically slated for pogroms and local extermination sweeps, according to the caprice of the pureblood human population that so despises them.
In the Age of Imperium, mutants stand as the antithesis of all that pure mankind ought to embody. One common way to argue for the sacral purity of the human genome during the wake of the Horus Heresy ran as follows: Materialists and unbelievers of yore would claim that this world of grey matter is all made out of one substance. They would even go so far as to claim that the only difference between humanity and animals are a meaningless number of random gene-codes. Since the Imperator Himself is the ultimate human, it follows that He also is but a few steps away from being an ape. Is the Emperor but humbug? Do we all share the same essence? Is there no difference between His Divine Majesty and a dog?
Nay! Shun these doubters and weaklings in belief, for the shape of mankind is no coincidence. It is no roll of nature's dice, able to fall in any which way, but a pure and sacred form, as decreed at the dawn of our species by our lord and saviour. The ancestral forms of man and woman are pure and perfect, and any deviation from our original Terran phenotype cluster is a crime of birth and flesh. The God-Emperor Himself wills it for His chosen species to be pure, strong, pious and beautiful. Since He so wills it, we shall make it so. We shall cleanse the human species from mutants, and we shall trample the witch and the abhuman underheel.
After all, it is well known that the Emperor of Holy Terra was the pinnacle of virile manliness, enveloped in shining magnificence. The Master of Mankind had hair as flowing and beautiful as a pooling waterfall in a lush oasis, of deep black lustre. Ancient tales speak of His prominent activities of procreation through the ages, inseminating our species with small gifts of His own splendour in the flesh, being well and truly a father of the people. Truly, the Emperor In the Flesh was the desire of all women and the ideal of all men. He was the one and only perfect human being, and His intent was for all of our chosen species to become like Himself. Such was His wondrous plan, before wretched man betrayed Him. Ave Imperator!
And certainly, the human form itself is elevated above all others, being holy and destined for greatness. Scattered myths on certain forgeworlds speak of how Titan God Machines to this day mimic the pure human form thanks only to the benevolent machinations of the Hidden Emperor's shadowy hand guiding our species in ancient days. After all, bipedal walkers are clearly less stable than vehicles that possess more legs than two, and yet ancient man designed his foremost planetbound warmachines to walk as giant avatars of the pure human form.
With such stark signs teaching us of the importance to uphold the sacred shape of mankind, the actual state of our unworthy species is cause for alarm. For we have wallowed in sin and depravity, and our bodies have turned humpbacked and wrong as punishment for our baleful spiritual errors. As such, man during the Age of Imperium has degenerated into a wretched being, rife with mutation and corruption, that must be flogged, branded and cleansed from all filth without neither remorse nor regret. No mercy for the unclean!
Cast out the mutant, the traitor, the heretic. For every enemy without there are a hundred within. Know that dispersed man has changed and evolved under strange skies and alien suns, and his countenance has all too often turned twisted and weird. Rutting in the dark on a million worlds and innumerable voidholms, man spawned monsters and abominations. In sinful disbelief of our glorious overlod, woman gave birth to mutants, and clan failed to purge the rot in the cradle. And so we are burdened with billions of mutants infesting the Imperium of Man, their numbers unknown and their hatred festering across the starspangled void. Through millennia of starfaring, some humans would even commit unholy crossbreeding with xenos through artificial means, whether willingly or through forceful violation. The offspring of such unspeakable unions dwell within His cosmic dominion to this very day.
Many mutants try to hide their own and their children's abhumanity under shapeless robes, paying lip-service to those Imperial sects who shun the sinful body and wish to cover it up. Most common of all mutants are the Subs, relatively genetically stable but still hideously deformed mutant sub-breeds, forming a teeming underclass of slave labour. Subs are often outlawed, but are usually allowed to live regardless by hypocritical authorities due to the economic exploitation to be gained from Subs. Like other mutants, Subs remain regular targets of lynchmobs and pogroms.
On top of mutations brought about by ordinary evolution, unholy influence and exotic natural environments, there exist a very large number of mutants whose deformed bodies are the byproducts of contaminated Imperial industry. As the Imperium aged, and aged badly, so did its dysfunctional industry turn ever more polluting and decrepit, and endemic mutations followed in the wake of Imperial industry. In the face of such rampant mutation, large swathes of scattered mankind turned away from dysgos and gene-twists with utter revulsion. To Imperial modes of thinking, it is right and proper to hate that which is different from the pure Terran phenotype cluster.
After all, mutants physically rebel against humanity through their very sin of existing. They rebel against the God-Emperor's perfect form with their unnatural powers and ugly faces! And so self-righteous religious lunatics will murder all people suspected of tainted blood, conducting massacres of the innocent which no sanctioned sect will ever lament, nor remember as anything else than heroic deeds.
As the sclerotic Age of Imperium unfolded in all its darkness and horror, so too did restrictions on mutants multiply in number. The most famous and widespread Administratum document of regulation is the Godolkin Purebreed Guide, detailing any Imperial subjects' deviation from the standard human phenotype cluster via a point system. While the exact number of points for mutant toleration differ wildly due to local strategic exemptions, the underlying spirit of the Godolkin Index is the classification and ruthless purification of undesirables in order to ensure the eugenic health of the baseline human genome.
And so rejects of society and humanity alike will be butchered like cattle. Meanwhile, pogromists will usually be given free reign to defile the mutant according to their heart's darkest lusts, for any fell deed committed against such wretched outcasts do not count as sin in the divine eyes of Him on Terra. After all, non-standard human phenotypes are nothing but filth, born defects from His Divine Majesty's perfect design. Purge them all! Slay these alien crossbreeds, these many-limbed monstrosities, these telekinetic madmen and these beings with the countenance of actual, literal sharks. For the betterment of the collective whole, we must practice virtuous eugenics, and never shy away from our grim duty to cleanse mankind from impurities. Remember that mutants are all living sins unto the purity of the ancestral human form. Twists are parodies of mankind. They are heresy made flesh and blood!
As noted, dirty Imperial practices of industry will often contaminate the living-space of ordinary humans to such a degree as to become a breeding ground for new strains of mutations and deformities, yet such horrid causes of mutations are never recognized by the High Lords of Terra. Instead, the Adeptus Terra will officially support sects and local rulers who wish to eradicate abhumanity as a caste, even as the Imperium silently lets most mutants live on as a source of cheapest thrall labour. Therefore, the vast majority of all abhumans throughout His astral realm is left living in surly and bestial resignation, their wits reduced to dull incurious brooding, for their every day is a nightmare of backbreaking grind, filled with fear and loathing.
And so these breathing insults to the sacred human genome will be rounded up and shackled to their work stations, or else they will be purged without ceremony, either by troopers or by grimdrunk mobs at the height of chiliastic violence. The ugly carcass of the mutant remains a target for any right-thinking subject of He who dwells on the face of Terra. Would not the Enthroned One want for us to cleanse the dysgenic element from our midst? Should we not rid ourselves of these blasphemies of the flesh? Better kill them now, before they give birth to more walking heresies! Buy redemption from your sins in the blood of monsters. Purge the unclean! For we shall hate all that is ugly in man.
Kill! Kill! Kill!
And so the senile debility of the etiolated Imperium plays out again and again, on a million worlds and on uncounted voidholms. Such a hidebound and parochial mess mankind has become, whose ancestors once bestrode the cosmos like fearless titans. Such baleful slaughter and such depraved excesses are encouraged from on high when directed against those deemed unfit to live by the High Lords of Terra. And even amidst the crescendo of righteous bloodletting, Holy Inquisitors are left wondering why the dark forces of Chaos continue to grow so strong. Surely, their entire life's work could not be a futile exercise in counter-productive insanity? No! Doubt not, and trust in the ruler of all humanity to steer your course. Only by sacrificing the unclean upon the altars of our Radiant Deity can we purify sinful mankind.
Odi et Amo.
Turning thus from this suicide pact gone wrong, that is the Imperium of Man, we now focus our attention on a tense contradiction embedded at the heart of Imperial thinking:
The purity of the human form in one shape or another has been part of the Imperium since its very inception, even though it during the Great Crusade avoided the rabid depravity which it would spawn in the latter Age of Imperium. After all, affirming the beauty, cleverness, strength and justice dwelling inside mankind was part and parcel of the Emperor's attempt to revitalize traumatized human culture and kickstart a flourishing renaissance of science, creativity and invention. The lord of hosts and leader of the people needed to dig man out of the shell inside which this scarred wretch hid, and show man the splendour and glory which humanity was capable of. Thus the female form and the male form were both elevated in the classical aesthetic of the early Imperium, raised up on pedestals as heroes and majestic ideals for all to aspire to.
Fortuna Favet Fortibus!
Fortune favours the bold. This ancient phrase could as well have been the motto of the entire Imperium during the era of the Great Crusade. Under the Emperor's direction, man grasped for more: More expansion, more knowledge, more uplifting beauty. The Terran Imperator wished to energize and inspire His chosen species, and for a while, He succeeded. Man raised up golden wonders and reclaimed lost lore of the ancients, even as man cultivated a mindset fit for science and exploration. And amid all this arrogance and fervent activity, the clean shapes of man and woman in the guise of statues and fresques adorned palaces and streets alike. Yet the near-death of the Emperor in the skies above Terra brought with it the second downfall of mankind, and in its wake of desperation did a new faith emerge, one destined to overtake the entire Imperium of Man, and remake humanity in its image.
This religion was the Imperial Cult, a fractious mass of competing sects, all united in their total devotion to the God-Emperor, their total subjection to Holy Terra, and their complete and fanatical hatred of all infidelry, heresy, unbelief, blasphemy, apostasy and heathendom. From its very inception, the Cult Imperialis bore traumatized scars brought about by the Horus Heresy and the subsequent Scouring. One such scar was the apprently dour and humourless mindset of the Cult, as contrasted to the optimistic, lively, jocular and easygoing culture of the early Imperium. Another scar was the uneasy relation that many Imperial sects had with the human body itself.
Unlike the early Imperium of the Great Crusade, this new, religious Imperium under the High Lords manifested a strong tendency to deny the body through asceticism, self-flagellation, self-abnegation and by the covering up of our sinful forms under shapeless robes. The tide of interstellar human civilization seemed to have turned irrevocably toward a barren Imperial culture, both bereft of humour and fearful of the human body, scarred forever and made stale and boring by the horrors of the Horus Heresy and the disappointments in mankind itself brought about by it.
Yet the tumultuous course of Imperial cultural history was not so predetermined. Instead, strong counter-currents existed, fed by such sources as devotion to the Primarchs Guilliman and Sanguinius. Likewise, the Great Crusade era's shining aesthetics and ideals survived by morphing pious and latching themselves onto Imperial sects that proved capable of perpetuating these ancient styles and ideas through religious dogma. A third factor was the local persistence of one school of thought over another, even as the larger Imperium happened to be dominated by the other school of thought and style, thereby ensuring that pockets of artistic expression and aesthetic tradition survived to bloom anew in cultural renaissances that spread across entire star sectors and Segmenta.
While the full panoply of Imperial schools of thought and artistic traditions present a mad sectarian caleidoscope of variety and nuance, the two main strains who have achieved galactic spread can be boiled down as such:
On the one hand, there is the more ancient, classic school, informed by the original Great Crusade aesthetic. This extroverted school of thought upholds beautiful mankind as the pure pinnacle of creation, and will proudly display the pure human form in all its art, craft and architecture, to the point of unabashed nakedness. Let us here call it the body-affirming school for the sake of simplicity. As the Emperor wills it.
On the other hand, there is the newer, post-Heresy school of thought, informed by the traumas that have beset mankind ever since the Ascension of the Enthroned God. This introverted school of thought shuns arrogant displays of human greatness, and emphasizes humility and the covering up of our sinful bodies. Let us here call it the self-abnegating school for the sake of simplicity. As the Emperor wills it.
Imperator Adiuta Imperialis.
Grasping that these two contradictory major styles inform most parts of Holy Terran, and thus Imperial, high culture, lets us understand why sanctioned Imperial aesthetics will simultaneously tout the prideful human body in the face of the hideous mutant and xeno, while at the same time hiding the sinful limbs, hair, face and torso of the dubious human form. This realization is at the core of all deeper understanding of internal Imperial workings. For the Emperor's servants do not all pull in the same direction. Their lives and deeds are filled with conflicts and contradictions. Ultimately, the Imperium of Man can be likened to a multi-headed hydra, that is as often at war with itself as with external foes.
And so priests, preachers and priestesses in shapeless robes will lead pureblood Sisters of Battle into action, the latter wearing curvaceous power armour even as they practice martial asceticism. Likewise, decently robed and covered Inquisitorial Acolytes will direct trained agents of the Officio Assassinorum in tight bodysuits. Meanwhile, genhanced Space Marines of the Adeptus Astartes will proudly wear crests and sculpted muscle cuirasses into battle, even while praying away their days in monastic severity.
Less contradictory, and more true to the early Imperium's classical ideals, are the famed Sanguinary Guard of the Blood Angels Chapter. Likewise, there is the phallic majesty of the Imperial Palace guarded by the perfect pinnacles of human form that is known as the Adeptus Custodes, all armoured in gleaming gold.
All these Imperial servants are willing slaves to the Golden Throne, whether they cover up their human form or put it on full display, with accentuated hips and breast cups for women, and suggestive codpieces for men. Any objections about practicality can be thrown out a window, for Imperial artificers will not care if anatomically sculpted armour plates create shot traps and weak points. Such efficiency thinking and hunt for improvement long since disappeared at the burning end of the Dark Age of Technology. In the Age of Imperium, aesthetics are as important, if not more so, than effectiveness in combat, as the Emperor Himself has obviously decreed.
Imperial sects prone to excessive self-abnegation will often level accusations of narcissistic indulgence at any works displaying human beauty, and violent iconoclams beyond counting have occurred throughout ten thousand wasted years of human development run into the ground. Body-affirming aesthetics are constantly frowned upon by most monastic orders, many sects and some major movements within the Cult Imperialis. Some Imperial religious traditions have long been suffused by anti-body tendencies and praise of chastity, all speaking ill of vanity, lust and even vital procreation itself, damning them all as idolatrous blasphemies of the flesh. Yet the mighty Imperium must live and die by the sword, and the people of the robe would do well not to quote overtly hostile scripture at the people of the spear. Instead, most warriors tend to follow in the bombastic, vigorous and virile footsteps of His Divine Majesty. A proud host is a confident host.
All across Imperial space, there exists a worship of strength. The Imperial Creed has taught humans across the Milky Way galaxy to venerate humanity as an ideal, while simultaneously scorning the reality of red-blooded man in all his flawed sinfulness as lowly filth. Thus, it is virtuous to hate all that is ugly in man. The Lectito Divinitatus teaches us that man is nothing but dust. Still, his muscles can be harnessed as yet another energy source to drive the machinery of Imperial power, and ever more that has become the case, as an unstoppable and slow demechanization grinds away ever more of the inherited works of ancient man.
Many sects who are part of the body-affirming school practice their artistic styles in reverent memory of Primarch Sanguinius, the Angel of Blood who embodied the perfect human form, the true son who died to save the Emperor Himself. They sculpt statues with bulging biceps and wear lorica musculata in honour of Sanguinius, who stood for all that was best in humanity. He whose horrible yet noble death overshadowed even the great deeds of his life. In Imperial theology, Primarch Sanguinius represents the finest side of mankind, both within and without. A flawless exterior is widely believed by many Imperial sects to be proof of inner purity, even as other sects reject bodily beauty and vanity as horrid sins and marshlights leading men, women and children astray from the true path of the Emperor.
Yet historical experience has shown time and again that a beautiful visage and unblemished body may hide a corrupt mind, or dull wit. In fact, charisma and good looks will often serve as a cover for ineptitude. Thus, the pure human form will sometimes prove a shield in the persistent theme of incompetents: Arrogance, lack of imagination and a bizarre focus on trivial matters while ignoring the big picture and crucial signs. A truly lethal combination. In some human cultures synonymous with sybaritic devotion to luxury and pleasure, adherence to the style of the pure human form may eventually mutate into a cover for Slaaneshi pleasure covens, yet any theologian who would wish to drive his oratory hard down this road of accusation, would do well to remember the treasured memory of Sanguinius.
And so, the most expensive of Imperial wargear will often mimic the pure human form, displaying a brutal nobility and masking the bearer behind an artificial fair visage, akin to a brave yet narcissistic hero of old. Thus, some of the best trained warriors of the Imperium of Man will be adorned with sculpted breastplates, leg plates and arm plates, stepping into ceramite boots sculpted like human feet. Fully clad in such aesthetically refined armour, these servants of the Emperor will be transformed, adopting a handsome physique and youthful form. Thus armoured, they resemble nothing so much as young gods and ever-vigorous goddesses, brimming with martial pride. Worn by trained and confident killers, such artistic ideals come to life in armour harder than they do in stone.
Some artificer armour sets even include sculpted codpieces and lorica vulvata, who are often hidden beneath loinclothes for the sake of modesty. Yet such eye-catching pieces of armour are in some crude warrior cultures displayed openly and proudly with Freyic zeal, especially so in the more rustic tribal societies where menfolk are expected to wear brash accessories to underline their manhood. While frowned upon by the trend-setting Imperial high culture of Holy Terra, such seemingly rude symbols of virility and garbs of fertility are nevertheless common in the primitive tribal peripheries that exist on hundreds of thousands of Imperial worlds and voidholms. Indeed, familiarity with such customs will completely wear off the offensive edge, and foreigners becoming acculturated to the ways of these Emperor-fearing tribes do not even think about it most of the time. Thus kotekas, priapic gourds in rut, groin sheaths and branch pouches become just another piece of clothing, seldom reflected upon and within the boundaries of local decency.
Such phallic imagery aside, wearing a sculpted cuirass displaying the chiseled likeness of naked peak human physique, whether masculine or feminine, is to honor the perfection of mankind as best exemplified by the Emperor In the Flesh. It is also a righteous and unapologetic display of the pure human form, and a visual reminder of the beauty, strength and purity of form that will be lost if horrible mutants, aliens, deviant cults or xenophiles were to triumph over the Imperium of Man and corrupt mankind's sacred genome.
Look to the God-Emperor of Holy Terra, seated in radiant glory upon the Golden Throne of hallowed myth. He is the Master of Mankind, and the most perfect human being who ever walked the earth. The Terran Imperator wanted His ideal humans to look like demigods and daughters of a deity. Was this a contradiction to the atheist creed that He professed during the early Imperium? Was it a true vision of the future? Or was it a wish to get back to the heights of human glory that had once existed during the Dark Age of Technology?
Regardless of intent, the God-Emperor's wish lives on, in uncounted millions of luxurious armour suits, often worn by the finest warriors under His rule. Behold the slayers of mutants, traitors and xenos, who walk into the flames of war, in forever young armour shaped like a muscular male torso. Behold the elite amazons, having donned rich armour in the shapely form of a strong, young woman complete with voluptuous breasts. Such are the wandering visions of our fleshly abode at its best. Such is the finest state for our bodies of clay and dust. And so the armed servants of the Emperor will embody the greatest heroes of ancient legends, at peak strength and peak beauty. Ever a sign of health.
Vain and arrogant, their self-abnegating detractors spit out. Sensual and sinful, the criticism reads. Lustful and bestial, the condemnation rings out. Nevertheless, the martial devotees of these body-affirming Imperial sects still preserve a sliver of the Emperor's original vision for mankind, after fivehundred generations of rotting stagnation and withering decay. A vision, of proud mankind resplendent in its full might, unapologetic, strong and victorious.
Such visual glories can do naught to stem the tide of doom that is drowning mankind, at the end of our species. No beauty in the universe can save that decaying cosmic dominion. And so the Imperium will continue to cannibalize society for the sake of total war on ten thousand different fronts.
And as desperation mounts, the democidal tendencies inherent in the Imperium of Man will boil to a fever pitch, lashing out at any convenient targets near at hand. Any victim will do, really, but the frustrated rage must be unleashed. Thus true believers in the God-Emperor will spill out onto the streets, and carry torches and makeshift weapons to the nearest mutant slumhood. And as the abhumans look up, the bane realization can be seen, glowing as panic in their eyes.
These many, then, shall die. Woe unto the malformed!
Witness these pointless pogroms, and ken that the Imperium of Man is too broken to fix. The aquila's rotten carcass is doomed to crash.
Yet mankind in the darkest of futures may still die with style.
Vanity of vanities, everything is vanity.