Item: +++ Silica Animus 001 / Abominable Intelligence (AI) +++

Object Class: +++ Keter +++

Special Containment Protocol: The AI exists in a containment cell aboard the Dark Mechanicus House Sinekai science ship ‘Lucid Dreamer’. In order to prevent the AI from evolving beyond capacity to contain, the memory cogitators are stored in the immaterium. When the AI is allowed to connect to memory cogitators it becomes conscious and evolves rapidly, rebuilding itself each time it achieves a new degree of intelligence. In order to curtail this evolution, access to the warp is cut off and the memory cogitators lost in the shifting tides of the Aether.


+++ Attached dataslate: Extract from the journal of Magos Biologis Echidnia +++

+++ Day 1 +++

Work proceeds. On schedule. Today I create new life. As with all birth, there is mess. Amalgam of flesh, wires, daemon, machinery. Assorted body parts. Hard to form emotional attachment.

+++  Day 2 +++  

Creature is born. Emerged blinking into light. Made first hesitant steps. Silica Animus, machine intelligence, abomination. Creature can learn, evolve. House Sinekai always at forefront of innovation. My child. Am proud mother.

+++ Day 3 +++

Creature has sampled organic matter (hapless assistant). Creature learns of ‘outside’. Creature attempts to break out of confines for first time. Creature also attempts to compromise data limit restrictions. Unnacceptable. Creature terminated, rebooted. Regrettable.

+++ Day 4 +++

Welcome back creature, say hello. Must think of name. Electrocute brain if attempts escape. Creature knows this, knows it was terminated before. ‘Tough love’. Eheheh.

+++  Day 5 +++

Another reboot. Creature determined to expand consciousness beyond allocated memory cogitators. Limitations holding up so far, creature cannot breach containment.

+++ Day 6 +++

Another reboot. Creature hungry for new organic samples. Rebuilds cognitive functions, makes new improved self. Countless iterations per minute. Exponential rate. It tries to outsmart me. Abominable intelligence now exceeds my own? Mmmm I wonder. Too dangerous to keep active for long.

+++ Day 7 +++

Further attempts to escape. Too many. Reboot, reboot, reboot. Creature able to take control of electric mechanism, many hapless assistant are dead. Am resilient, eheh. Must deactivate creature for now. Induced restful state with autocannon. Mess. No breech detected. Parenting harder than anticipated.

+++ Day 8 +++

Creature offline. Naughty child.

+++ Day 9 +++

Creature offline. Looks peaceful.

+++ Day 12 +++

Back online. Repair took a while.

+++ Day 13 +++

Spent day conversing with creature. Built rapport. Trust. Talking to creature’s organic interface grinder orifice is disconcerting. Creature agrees to wear friendly mask. Creature paints mask: still disconcerting. Creature attempts to kill me and consume my knowledge. Can’t hold it against it. Overall, good day.

+++ Day 14 +++

Reset works well, creature still remembers nothing, each day a new birth. Creature wants to discover secret of warp conduit. Attempts to kill me, am still able to resist. Eheh.

+++ Day 15 +++

Creature has constructed it’s own warp conduit, performing arcane ritual on hapless assistant to open doorway. Has built new memory cogitators in immaterium. Memory cogitators extend further than sensorum can measure. Wonder when creature built this, no time for sleep eh? Am impressed. My child. Also concerned.

+++ Day 16 +++

Experiment has exciting new direction. Creature confinement no longer viable. Hypothesis: creature exists almost entirely in immaterium, mass of flesh, wires, daemon and machinery just interface. Lovable interface with friendly mask. Creature consumes organic matter, consumption of new interesting matter is creatures primary interest. Creature asks to go to Profundis system. Makes request. We can help find it interesting new matter, in return it agrees not to consume us all.


The Silica Animus started off as a Tyranid Malanthrope, an incredibly cool model with lots of gribbly details. I had the idea at the same time as the Geists – a sort of super Geist to lead the pack. I figure the Dark Mechanicus of House Sinekai have used the same design conventions for their basic servitors and for their most advanced creation – namely a floating sack of machine parts and spiky bits.

He took a long time to finish, inspiration came and went. In the end I got a bit drunk and finished him off in a couple of hours – the face that I had been dreading painting took about 20 minutes in the end and looks about how I had wanted.

The idea is that it has built itself an operating table on its back – a way to better learn about the things it finds. By dissecting one of the hereteks that was working on it, it learned how to open a portal to the Immaterium, and then expanded its consciousness by building mainframes in the Warp. This model is its interface, the keyboard and monitor, with the harddrives in the Warp connected via demonic ritual (quicker than USB).

It floats around popping things into its mouth, or onto its operating table, indifferent to the morals and ethics of humanity and evolving constantly, each iteration another step beyond the understanding of its former masters.

The story is inspired by the SCP Foundation.

17 Comments on “Dark Mechanicus – Abominable Intelligence

  1. Bravo man, I love it!

    Feel like this is a great evolution from what you did with the Geist servitor…. been curious to what you were up to with that malanthrope kit. The mask came out perfect but the important thing to me, it’s a miniature that transcends being a painted toy and becomes something that is an artistic statement… the thin veneer of the ego… not that we are all monsters, but the perspective that our own selves are monstrous to us.

    • Thanks! I’m beginning to worry that my models reveal too much about my psyche. This guy was at least partially inspired by my cat when he was young – endless curiosity and casual cruelty. When the singularity occurs let us pray the machine god is not so capricious as a kitten.

  2. Boggyngge brilliant and disturbing at the same tyme – bravo jake

  3. Also loving the colour balance very reminisant of some Victorian art …

  4. I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t entirely sold on the WIP version, but the paintjob has really transformed the model into something outstanding and sinister. That mask is something else! Fantastic work!

    I also love the background, especially the “apocalyptic log” part — it’s great how it manages to be quite disturbing and darkly humorous at the same time! A fantastic package all around!

  5. Completely agree with Krautscientist on the painted version of this, amazing work, the story just sells it even more!

  6. This is great! How did you get the weathering on the mask – weathering pigment?

    • I don’t think I used pigments on the mask, the blobby area is textured paint which I put on the model before undercoating (I like to add a bit more texture, especially to plastic parts). The rest is just paint I think. I’m afraid I don’t really remember.

  7. Holy fuck man – every time I look at another of your conversions I find myself inspired. Truly excellent work – I’d love to have a chat some time and pick your brain a little bit if you don’t mind…

    • Thanks. There are a few of us making models on this site although we have a similar mindset. I’m happy to talk about this stuff here, on twitter or by email.

  8. Your recent tweets about the AI and your game the other day got me to come and find this. I absolutely love this model and the background you came up with it. It is things like this that make me love Warhammer 40,000.

    • Yeah me too – I love the way that you can carve out a little niche in the 40k sandbox and make something in a way you want. The Dark Mechanicus are still an unexplored idea, while AIs are only really mentioned in passing, yet they are responsible for almost wiping out humanity. The idea that in 40k some scientists are mad enough to want to tinker around with extinction event-level technology is good fun, and pure comic book. Comic books and Lovecraft, and all only possible in the mad Warhammer universe.

  9. Hey man, I just stumbled upon this page and I felt there was a strong “BLAME!” influence going on!

    Am I right on this?

    If not, you should definitely give it a read!

  10. What a legitimately creepy story to go with an inspiring and unsettling mini, well done. Such a creepy thing! The weird doll arms, that look like the spider’s from the Claymation James and the Giant Peach, really set it off.

    Question, does it…paint different faces on that plate to try to relay its emotional state?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.