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[Being a study on the methods and culture of the ancient Necrontyr race]

Transmitted:  Magos Biologis Research Station: Denebar
Received:  Nallisea III
Date: 8638999.M41
Astropath: Prime Estellis
Ref: INQ.XB.13056/N
Collated by: Magos Biologis Urieth Malkar

Necrontyr Gauss Weaponry

My Lord,

gauss-rifle-green.gif (11152 bytes)Necrontyr gauss weaponry is by far the most common of the Necrontyr weapons known to us. It works on a principle of teleportation and matter conversion, a similar technology to our own teleporters.  Energy bonds within individual atoms are broken down and this matter is then reduced to codified energy forms that can be stored and replicated almost simultaneously.  A theory that has caused a great deal of concern suggests that these weapons are used to collect information on biological targets and store it away for later study.  See the notes below for how this may be accomplished.

The closest analogy we have to these weapons is the gauss-teleporter principle. Simply put, the weapons strip away their target's flesh with ease, removing it layer by layer.  This is accomplished by systematically breaking down the target's atoms and converting them into energy codes, which are then stored by the weapon.   Their main use is in an anti-infantry role, where they display tremendous effectiveness against their targets.

Gauss weapons can also be dangerous to our vehicles, as their armour is stripped away over time, exposing the inner vulnerable mechanisms.   However, due to the apparent difficulty of breaking down the materials that compose armour (ceramite, adamantine, and the like), this process is much less dangerous to vehicles and buildings than it is to an individual.  The gauss weaponry has a harder time converting the armour's molecules to energy codes, and thus only a small amount of armour is stripped away at a time.  Gauss rifles work best when a number of Necrontyr fire at the same area, each removing a strip of armour until the last few shots begin hitting the vehicle's engines, ammunition storage, and other vital compartments.  The larger gauss weapons have a slightly easier time breaking down armour.  In the case of gauss blasters and the lesser gauss cannons, this simply means that fewer weapons need to be brought to bear on the target.  In the case of the more powerful gauss cannons, only one weapon is sufficient to break down a significant portion of the armour.

I believe I should note here that this difficulty with armour extends not only to our vehicles but also to our troops.  Recorded holo-images show that more shots are required to remove a Space Marine's armour and begin actually harming him.  Gauss rifles have little difficulty reducing flak armour and indeed even mesh armour to its constituent atoms and then to mere energy codes.

I do not mean to place more importance on these weapons than is needed, but I do feel that they are a threat.  These weapons are by far some of the most dangerous known to our Tech-Priests.  Very few weapons used by the Eldar even come close to, much less surpass, even the most basic of gauss weapons.

Recent finds have allowed us to study undamaged gauss weapons, mainly rifles.  The only evident harm to the weapons is the severance of the cables connecting the weapons to their power source.  All of the Necrontyr gauss weaponry is based on the same principles and set-up.  However, there are some notable differences, and these will be addressed where necessary.

The most notable component within a gauss rifle is the crystal running along its inner chamber.  This crystal is linked to a series of capacitors that provide it with power.  The energy needed for the weapon to perform its function builds up within the crystal, then focused and narrowed until the gauss beam is so small in diameter that it is impossible to get an accurate reading with the equipment we have available to us.  This allows the Necrontyr to strike at precise portions of a target.  Although such a component has not been found in any of the larger gauss weapons, it is assumed that the crystal's function is instead performed by the columns of black metal that form internal 'spines' within those weapons.  I have yet to determine the composition of this metal.

The portion of a target that is affected depends on the weapon that is fired at it.  Gauss rifles do minimal damage to armoured targets but are able to remove a sizable portion of a biological target, usually approximately 0.35m in diameter.  This is still enough to cause instant death to the target, though sometimes the rifle will not have an accurate enough hit to cause this much damage, or the damage will be dealt to a limb whereupon the victim will live for some time before death occurs (the cause of death is usually shock or loss of blood, but sometimes infection is the cause).  Occasionally the victim will live long enough to receive a bionic replacement.

Gauss blasters do significantly more damage to biological targets, though there is only a slightly noticeable difference in performance when the target is armoured.  When a biological target is directly hit, the removed portion of their body will be from 0.60m to 1.2m in diameter, depending on their mass, armour, and a number of other factors.  It is very rare that an individual who has been the victim of an attack by a gauss blaster will survive, but it has been known to happen.

Gauss cannons of both varieties cause total annihilation of most biological target, though there have been some exceptions.  The victim is destroyed utterly in a mater of milliseconds.  Any armour less than a suit of Tactical Dreadnought Armour will give no protection.   Armoured targets struck by the lighter gauss cannon are sometimes spared from destruction, but still left with significantly weakened hulls with may contain holes of a size up to 0.65m in diameter, depending on the grade of armour and the materials it contains.  Armoured targets struck by the heavier gauss cannon will usually have a portion of their hole removed with a size of up to 2.05m in diameter, and then be destroyed as their fuel cells or ammunition explode.  Only in extremely rare circumstances does the target remain even lightly damaged after being hit by a heavy gauss cannon, and never will a target escape harm, not even when glanced by the weapon.

Once a target is hit and its matter converted to energy, the newly created energy codes are moved quickly through the crystal or spines and along a series of silicon fibers into a central processing unit.  The CPU is found in a different location depending on the weapon.  On a gauss rifle, it is stored on a portion of the weapon that is attached to its side.  In a gauss blaster, it is stored slightly behind the spines and silicon cylinders.  In gauss cannons of either type, it is located in the rear of the weapon.  In all cases it is reinforced with additional armour.  This CPU then analyzes the data and stores it within one of the memory chambers contained within the weapon (I am uncertain how much data can be stored in each of these chambers).   Each style of gauss weapon has a different number of memory chambers: the gauss rifles has four; the gauss blaster has six; the gauss cannon has ten; and the heavy gauss cannon has twelve.  It is unknown what the collected data is used for, but one common belief is that it is used to study the Necrontyr's foes.  It is almost as if by firing the weapon the warrior is collecting a small sample of the target's matter for later examination.

A cable links the weapon to either its user or the platform it is attached to, allowing for a constant flow of energy. This generates the main power for it, which is stored inside the weapon's capacitors until it is needed.  Through this method gauss weapons almost never run out of 'ammunition'.   Gauss rifles and blasters are linked to their user.  Gauss cannons are linked not to their user, but instead to the platform carrying them.  I believe that if these cables were to become severed, the gauss rifles would be limited in the number of 'shots' they would have until exhausting themselves of energy.  Therefore I propose that these cables be targeted when fighting the Necrontyr.

When the Necrontyr wish to replicate the matter that they earlier stored as codes, the computer feeds the necessary data and commands through a series of smaller computers and energy-matter converters which focus again through the crystal or spines.  A targeted area has its molecules restructured to replicate perfectly the matter stored within the weapons' memory chambers.  (This has been determined after much experimentation with the rifles, of which I will later discuss in an addendum.)

gauss-cannon-green.gif (7123 bytes)Gauss weapons have a targeting system attached close to their central computer.  These targeters are not conventional scopes.  Instead, they act as an extra eye for the Necrontyr, feeding visual data through the cable connecting the owner to his weapon.  The Necrontyr is able to see what the targeter sees, and this allows for an even more precise shot.

There are a few components within the weapons that I have not yet begun to understand.  I will continue research and inform you of future developments.


ADDENDUM I (8644999.M41)
Initial Results of Replication Tests

In order to learn how the gauss weapons replicated the matter stored within, I placed myself within a contained environment and used a gauss rifle.  I used a Mark IV.C generator to provide power for the rifle.  After offering a prayer to the Machine God and 'tinkering' with the weapon's controls, I was able to perform the replication of six stored codes. This was achieved by simply pointing the weapon at the matter that is to be altered, using the correct sequence of commands, and then watching to see what occurred.   I first tried simply altering the molecules of the air around me.  When this did not work, I used a half-dozen pieces of metal The replication process was an interesting sight, with the very molecules before me being altered and changed one-by-one, until the process was complete.

The first stored code happened to be a portion of a human victim's chest. This contained a number of ribs, as well as a partial lung and a complete heart, to note just a few items. The replication was complete, down to the blood that the chest had earlier contained and that was now pooling up on the floor of the testing lab. There was also a bit of fabric, which I believe belonged at some time to an Imperial Guardsman. After examination of the perfect geometry of the method used to remove this portion of chest, I asked that it be removed. The gauss weapon had removed a spherical portion of its target’s flesh.

Though what I had just seen disturbed me greatly, I pressed on with the experiment. The next code was a portion of leg, and the next a portion of arm, both belonging to a Guardsman. Both came from the joint connecting the limb to the body, and with the amount of matter that was displayed before me I could only assume the instant and agonizing death of both victims.  They both managed to lose a copious amount of blood which lying on the floor, which I had several samples of collected by my Servitors.

The fourth code was the most disturbing. When the replication process was complete, an entire human head lay before me. Two blue eyes stared from a youthful face and a mouth filled with a perfect set of teeth gaped at me. Beneath the head blood was beginning to seep out in all directions. Bloody hair was matted around the head, and I must admit I forced myself to look away until a crew came in to remove the head. To see such a sight, that of a youth's head severed and stored away for later study, truly appalled me and made me come to hate the Necrontyr even more.

After some time resting to get over that incident, I successfully replicated the fifth and sixth stored codes. Both were portions of one of our tanks. One code was a small amount of armour, the next was the main portion of a lascannon. I have not yet been able to determine what class of tank these were stripped from, but I am certain that the tank was ours, as the lascannon's parts still had their identification runes.

I have sent these items to be studied by a team of Tech-Adepts. At this moment I am shocked by what I have seen, and at the same time disgusted. To be honest, I find myself both loathing and fearing these Necrontyr, wondering what grisly experiments they may at this moment be performing on heads similar to the one I replicated. The local Magos Apothecarium, Fryst, has agreed to help me undergo some tests and recover from this trauma, but I doubt that I will ever be able to shake these images from my mind.


ADDENDUM II (8651999.M41)
Gauss Grenades

I neglected to include gauss grenades in the above report. Forgive me, that was a mistake. These weapons are similar in nature and function to the ranged class of gauss weapons. However, there are some key differences.

Instead of using a focused beam for the matter-energy conversion, gauss grenades use a 'wave'. Due to the extremely low range of this wave, the grenades can only be used by attaching them to something that cannot brush them off. This will most often mean a vehicle. The wave appears to be less powerful that the beams used by the ranged weapons, but is still harmful to the vehicle due to the wide dispersal of atoms being broken down. It has been surmised that a number of gauss grenades used in conjunction can cause a vehicle's armour to become brittle and shatter, sometimes with spectacular results. Such an event could destroy a key weapon, or the vehicle's motive systems. Indeed, were this to happen around some of the more reactive systems within a vehicle, then an explosion would occur that could destroy the vehicle.

The energy codes collected by a gauss grenade will naturally be less than that of a ranged gauss weapon, so memory storage and other components can be much smaller. Only one memory chamber is contained, but I believe these grenades are one use only, so this is more than sufficient. Once a series of grenades has performed their job, they are removed and stored until the Necrontyr return to the area from which they launched their assault. Theoretically, they can then be used to replicate small portions of a vehicle's armour, giving a number of samples that can be studied and analyzed.


necrontyr-guass-rifle.jpg (15180 bytes)ADDENDUM III (8724999.M41)
Upgraded Gauss Weaponry

We have recently seen a number of more advanced Necrontyr appear.  These include not only the larger constructs and more specialized drones, but also more advanced forms of the Warrior, Immortal, and Lord constructs, as well as a highly modified Destroyer.   With these advances in structural form come advances in equipment, including the gauss weaponry carried by the Necrontyr.

In the main portion of this report, I explained the use of a large crystal or long black spines to perform a gauss weapon's main function. This has since changed, and all of the advanced Necrontyr carry gauss weapons that use a long, cylindrical green crystal. The crystal's function has increased to replace a number of systems found in earlier gauss weapons. It now focuses the gauss beam, retrieves energy codes, and feeds them through a series of wires and silicon wafers that filter out unnecessary data, then store the energy codes collected from the target in a much smaller, more armoured memory compartment.

It appears that most of the new gauss weapons have internal power generators, no longer requiring a direct link to the Necrontyr carrying it. This has made quite an impact on our campaign to disrupt the weapons' effectiveness by severing connections to their users. It is possible that this is a result  of adaptation to our tactics. The thought of such adaptability is, admittedly, somewhat frightening. It has been quite some time since we found out just how extensive the Necrontyr's thinking abilities are, but I still have a hard time finding these changes unsurprising.


new-staff-of-light.jpg (11829 bytes)ADDENDUM IV (8728999.M41)
Staff of Light Changes

It has been noted in reports from several battles that the advanced Lords have been carrying what appears to be a new form of the Staff of Light. This new staff has a prominent crystal in it resembling the crystal use in the advanced gauss weaponry.   With the increased efficiency against armoured targets, this would appear to be a result of a modification in the Staff of Light, changing it into a gauss weapon. Battlefield holos have recorded images of these Staffs being fired, and indeed they have shown the characteristic "shimmering" that can be seen when a gauss weapon is fired, as opposed to the other Staffs' characteristic bright reddish-white beam. I am hoping we can capture one of these new Staffs and study it.


ADDENDUM V (8746999.M41)
Second Generation Gauss Weapons

It has recently come to my attention that the gauss weapons used by the majority of awakening Necrontyr are different from those first encountered by our forces. As the tactics of the Necrontyr changed, so have their weapons. Both have become more refined.

I choose the term second generation based solely on the chronological order of the weapons' appearance in battles throughout the Imperium. It is unknown to us currently whether these weapons were created at the same time as the gauss weapons we first encountered, or at a l ater date as an improved variant. Regardless of when it was created, it is known that the technology used in these weapons is the technology seen in most of the gauss weapons used on the battlefield.

The principle of the weapon remains the same, but the actual workings have changed. The weapon's effectiveness is very much increased, as it does not seek to convert distant matter to energy. Instead, the gauss weapon rapidly magnetizes its target with a negative charge. The weapon then switches over to a tight positive charge magnetic beam. This beam, which is extremely powerful, strips the opposite-charged atoms from the target, pulling them into the weapon in a rapid stream. This stream, when seen by the human eye, appears as a shimmer in the air. Sometimes this shimmer is occurred by a green hue of energy. The cause for this is uncertain.

Once the atoms have reached the weapon, they are broken down into energy in a complex reaction within the weapon's crystalline core. Once all atoms have been converted to energy rather than matter, this energy is stored in a cell. A computer within the weapon stores codes that include the atomic makeup of the energy in its material form, allowing the weapon to later attempt to replicate the material for study.

This technology is present in gauss rifles, blasters, cannons, heavy cannons, flux arcs, and, to an extent, the particle whip.

A side effect of the storing of energy is that the Necrontyr have built up sources of energy which they can use should they run low themselves. This is, in all likelihood, a rare occurrence, but I believe it is a function of the weapon created in the event that such a thing happens. The energy contained within a gauss weapon is remarkably high, and tests of the power transfer have shown that even a rifle can store enough energy to power a standard Castellan robot for upwards of six hours.


Utilized Resources

I have attached this appendix to inform you of the resources used to create this report, including but not limited to: weapons retrieved after raids, studies of after-battle action reports and holos, and artifacts recovered during excavations.

This report is based on information recovered from several battle reports and a number of interrogations I performed alongside Inquisitor Mandius.   It is also based on the observation of a number of gauss weapons shipped to Denebar from Benegtra, Quasiar, Mortarion, Carti, Graeto, Angelis, Hydyrmede and Levindo.

After the Novia IX incident, I began taking extra precautions when working with these weapons.  Before the weapons were opened to study their inner workings, many tests were performed through the use of servitors, rather than by my own hand.  I regret that such tests lost two of our Servitors through the mishandling of these weapons, but am nonetheless grateful that I set into place these preventative measures.  The power provided for the weapons during these tests came from a quartet of generators.

After having the gauss weapons' shells removed by Servitors, I personally examined the mechanisms within to determine their uses.  This took more work and a number of extra tests, and progress has been somewhat slow due to the caution I am using.  However, I am pleased with the information we have learned to date, and confident that we will learn more in the weeks to come.  To that end I am also having three gauss rifles sent to Gaza VI and three rifles sent to Packard II, as well as a gauss blaster and cannon sent to each.  With three teams working on the research I am certain that we will learn more.

ADDENDUM: Recently we have acquired some fuzzy battlefield images of the upgraded gauss rifles and Staff of Light.  You can see those in the report above.

Your obedient servant,
Magos Biologis Urieth Malkar