Atmospheric Depolarisation – sciene-gone-too-far in Warhammer 40,000

Science-goes-too-far in Warhammer 40,000 (who would have thought):

Atmospheric Depolarisation

A Liege-X pattern magnetospheric shield is a standard construct from the Dark Age of Technology. It is a primary terraforming device used to strengthen a planet’s magnetic field and atmospheric protection against inimical cosmic rays and solar winds to make it viable for colonisation.

Though they have been destroyed or fallen into disrepair on many worlds, leading to their surface conditions deteriorating and inhabitants forced to seek shelter under crude domes or in deep caverns or have their life expectancy cut short by radburning and increased mutation, the massive facilities continue to operate and stand guard over the population and environment on many more planets.

Sha Magna was among the worlds which could still count on the arcane power of its ancient Liege-X when it rebelled against the Imperium and revealed a cesspit of corruption, diabolism and xenos worship. With Sha Magna well and truly lost and mankind’s enemies preparing to transform the industry rich planet into a hub from which to launch raids and spread their taint and anarchy into surrounding systems, the planet was marked for Exterminatus. However, the naval task force charged with the solemn duty was ambushed before it could complete its mission.

Magos Eisenhardt, the surviving ranking Mechanicus representative with the remnants of the task force, took it upon himself to fight his way through to the planetary surface and into the complex of the magnetospheric shield. Once inside, he did not just deactivate the shield but reversed its polarity, stripping away even what meagre natural protection the planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere offered. Within hours, Sha Magna was scoured of life by the hard radiation emitted by its sun.

Although the magos himself perished, his notes were subsequently recovered and after much debate his radical procedure received the official blessing and approval of the lords of Mars.

Since then, Eisenhardt’s atmospheric depolarisation has been used against more than a score of other worlds possessed of original Liege-X facilities and there are at least two documented cases of the Mechanicus constructing new shield assemblies on a planet’s surface for the express purpose of Exterminatus.

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