To Error is Human
Planet name: Lid-Fe I
Large – 1.2x Terra
65% desert, 11% industrial, 18% misc, 6% water
Surface – unstable
Neigh over a millennia ago the planet of Lid-Fe I, had been a forge world in the making. The Adeptus Mechanicus had dumped a fortune in its construction, even though its irregular orbit and surface instability raised concerns among the more conservative members. This irregular orbit would eventually pull the planet into its own sun. Careful calculations and stellar trajectories indicated that this event would be at least a millennia after the planet would be rendered useless due to a strong strip mining effort. Surface scans and expeditions indicated that there was a soft layer of clay which rested under the mounds of sand; this would make building difficult and dangerous in some areas. Main supports would have to be sunk miles below the surface into the harder bedrock to provide support.
Construction of the great factories and mining equipment continued for a century, but much of the structures had collapsed due to ground shifts. On such unstable ground, millions of lives were claimed. More men and supplies brought in monthly, and sent to the site for deconstruction. Still even with the set backs costs were within the estimations, so construction continued.
A few short months after the 120th anniversary of construction, a massive asteroid came into the system headed straight for the Lid-Fe I. Scans showed an Ork hive thriving just below the surface. A Waaagh had been brought to the planet. Planetary defense ships attempted to protect their charge, with powerful lance and plasma weaponry. Huge chunks of the surface we sheared away, but did little to change the trajectory for stop the celestial body. As the assault on the asteroid continued, the Adeptus Mechanicus began pulling valuable pieces of technology from the building sites. Transport ships shuttled high ranking members off the surface. A select group of tech priests had been sent about to construct defenses and plan retreat paths.
This was all unbeknownst to the mass population until it was too late. Planetary governors in the system began shipping soldiers and supplies to the planet, by order of the priests of Mars. Workers had been conscripted into the PDF and stationed en masse at strong points. Trained soldiers had been dispersed as trainers for the conscripted. Calls for assistance were met by two neighboring Space Marine chapters. Reinforcements were to arrive within the next couple months to assist the clean up and purification. Lid-Fe I was ready for war.
A mass of panic spread through out the crowd when word of the asteroid had finally been spread. Star ports were flooded preventing any more extraction. Those that attempted became swamped by a swarm of manics trying to flee their doom. Afterburners incinerated those who could not escape their path. Bodies of the desperate clung to the hull, only to inevitably loose their grasp and fall. Lid-Fe I’s population would have to remain.
Then just as the calculations predicted, the asteroid hit. However, the impact was much larger and devastating then expected. The soft layer of clay should’ve absorbed much of the impact; however the actual point of impact had been rather devoid of clay. A colossal sand storm whipped across the planet as the asteroid tore into the atmosphere. Those caught in the sands were picked up and dashed across buildings and then eroded by the pelting sand. The paint on the sides of buildings was whittled away; smaller buildings didn’t stand a chance and were shook apart. So powerful was the impact that the planet’s already irregular orbit was knocked even more off kilter. Later calculations showed that 90% of the planets longevity had been lost due to this change in orbit.
Shockwaves traveled through the surface creating massive earth quakes and fissures, toppling whole cities. Buildings meant to stand the test of time, buckled and fell. Untold millions lay crushed under these masses of metal. Death was everywhere.
Worse still the Orks began swarming out like locust. The immediate surroundings were enveloped without even giving the Orks pause. Roving bands of Orks zipped across the desert on shoddy improvised vehicles. Few cities remained to defend, but those that did were enough to stall their rampage. However, they could not hold on indefinitely one by one the cities feel to the green tide.
The sands were stained red with the blood of both sides. Every person man, woman, and child carried a gun on their person. So that they were able to defend themselves at all times. Manufactoriums continuously made new ammunition, weapons, and tanks from the automated drilling structures within each city. People began to feel a sense of duty to the cities and its protection. Birth rates went up in an attempt to keep up with the demand for soldiers. With teaching and indoctrination this bond to the city became even stronger.
The months passed, millions died of exposure, starvation, and war. That is at least, until that faithful day when the Adeptus Astartes made planet fall. Like angels the massive legendary forms of the Space Marines descended upon the Ork horde and halted the tide.
In the initial firestorm many Ork leaders were hunted down and mercilessly slaughtered. Leaderless and against strong resistance the Orks scattered. Until the last Ork stronghold was the very asteroid that brought them to Lid-Fe I. A massed bombardment campaign leveled the asteroid, and made the area completely uninhabitable.
With the Orks divided, the Space Marines abandoned Lid-Fe I and left it to its own devices. Roving Ork warbands now plagued the massive desert planet. Trade caravans still feared possible attack and refused to set down on the planet. The few remaining astropaths left on the planet coordinated with the ships in orbit and system planets. The surviving tech priests developed a plan for the planet.
Their most prying issue was the protections and retrieval of their technology. Unable to abandon their great works, now buried under the sands the Adeptus Mechanicus could not afford to simply leave. They would have to send expeditions out into the sands and gather the technology. However, there would be two issues facing them. The first, was the warbands that traveled the desert hunting for a good fight and supplies. Second, would be looters stealing their technology.
To solve their issue they began to indoctrinate the following generations into protecting their home world and guarding the ancient ruins. Huge caravans would span the desert and hunt down the Ork menace and later on ward off looters. Ecclesiarch missions were placed strategically across the surface providing food and supplies to the tribes, mandatory annual
A neighboring planetary governor bargained with the Ecclesiarchy and Adeptus Mechanicus to use Lid-Fe I’s people as supplement for his own imperial tithe. After careful negotiations a pact was settled upon. It was over a century passed before the next trader vessel landed, as careful plans were put in place.