I've been watching the Hammer and Bolter animated series on Warhammer+, and I'm reviewing each episode as I watch it. There may be very minor spoilers, but ideally no more than you'd get from the episode description.
I work in IT in real life, and it's possibly because of my affinity with computers that one of my favourite factions in the Imperium is Adeptus Mechanicus. Of course, this is Warhammer 40k, so much of my enjoyment of Adeptus Mechanicus is my dread for it. They're the IT department's own private nightmare. It's a culture of people who depend on and worship machines, while obstinately refusing to understand them. Imagine if every modern human, in today's world, carried around a mobile device in their pocket but couldn't even tell you the difference between BIOS and EFI.
Oh, no. The Adeptus Mechanicus is inside the house.
Anyway, this episode is about an Adeptus Mechanicus, voiced by Zehra Jane Naqvi, is on a quest to find Archeotech. I felt fine about this. I've played the Mechanicus video game. I've been on this kind of quest.
The Adeptus Mechanicus in this episode is entirely on her own. She has a robot along with her, but otherwise she's on a savage world on a quest all her own. There are a few ork attacks, but she and her robot manage to survive. They come across a local soldier, though, and he asks where the rest of the Imperial troops are. She explains that there are no more troops. They've all left, because the number of remaining orks is not considered a threat. Victory has been declared.
Looking at the planet, though, you get the notion that this isn't what the locals expected "victory" would look like.
Of all the powers within the Imperium, though, an Adeptus Mechanicus doesn't care. And so she continues on her quest. I won't spoil what she finds, but you get the sense that she maybe learns a few things about herself.
For me, there were more than a few moments where I groaned at the Adeptus Mechanicus tendency to anthropomorphise (or whatever the spiritual version of that is) their machinery. To my surprise, though, this wasn't just the usual Mechanicus flavour. It ended up being meaningful, in the context of a lone Adeptus Mechanicus on a wartorn world. This time, among the harsh dystopia of Warhammer's aftermath, you find some unexpected moments of compassion, and weakness, ecstasy, and hope. And you find it in a human that's mostly robotic. It's really effective, and while I'm generally a big fan of cyborg fiction, I think this particular cyborg is one I'm not likely to forget.
This episode is good sci fi. Its two main characters are heavily augmetic. The moral of the story, or at least what I take it to be, resonates with an open source geek like me.
This episode is great Warhammer 40,000. The Adeptus Mechanicus are one of the most unique factions of the Imperium, and I think its stories couldn't quite be as effective outside the peculiarities of the Warhammer universe.
All images in this post copyright Games Workshop.