The Free Radical Equivalent is a seemingly benevolent techno-cult operating out of the Ferron Proxima badlands. Their agenda is presented as a free transfer of technology mainly to the masses and in the process decrying the traditional values and oversight of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Their Open-Source Manifesto of "Progress is progress" borders on the heretical though and the Adeptus Mechanicus has raised their concerns with the local Inquisition, of course this free technology conveniently sidesteps the usual Ad-Mech 'tithe-gelt' but the loss of revenue pales compared to the potential corruption non-sanctioned tech could have on the population. It is for this reason, and this reason only the Ad-Mech is pursuing the Collective and categorizing them as 'techno-terrorists'.
However, the general populace have developed a fondness of the group, seeing them as 'heroic outlaws' akin to the individuals in ancient Terran folklore 'robbing from the rich to give to the poor'. The fact the 'rich' in this case is often the celebrated Techno-archaeologist Avro Vulcan is the only dividing aspect of those that support the collective and those that decry them. Some believe they are targeting him because he has become the most successful discoverer of STC's the sector has ever known. The Free Radical Collective appear to shadow his every move then 'liberate' the data before he can hand it over to the Mechanicum and garner yet more praise. The very same believe Vulcan's agenda is only about himself and the Free Radical Collective is allowing the populace to reach greater potential thanks to their generosity.
|Last known picture of Techno-Achaeologist Avro Vulcan and mechanid|
Yet others believe there is a darker side to their harrying of Vulcan, that a deeper more sinister connection has led them to plague his every step. Vulcan is a learned Techno-archaeologist and although he has come into conflict with the Adeptus Mechanicus itself his discoveries have offered considerable advances to Ferron Proxima and, more importantly, been 'approved' by the Mechanicus for safe use in the wider Imperium. Evidence to support this argument has been borne out with the many Plasma Generators that have sprung up since their STC plan's were leaked by the FRC. Without Ad-Mech approval and their rigorous testing procedures it is only now that people are finding the STC to be faulty and potentially dangerous. Plasma gas is leaking from the plasma coils and shows no sign of stopping. The caustic gases produced from the Standard Manifold Coupling has already taken the lives of a number of workers and citizens but still the generators are popping up planetwide to the same fatal spec.
With both the political pressure of the Mechanicum and the moral and social pressure from the recent fatalities the Inquisition has employed one of their lead Investigators - Ephion Rook, who has a long history as an Enginseer prior to his indoctrination in the Ordo Hereticus. It has been his tireless detective work that has uncovered the truth behind some of the Free Radical Collective's activities. With the co-operation of members of the Dark Angels a surgical strike into the heart of the Free Radical Collective's HQ discovered various materials of a Heretical nature. The involvement of the Dark Angels may suggest that their hunt for a member of 'the Fallen' was close to success and evidence would support there was some depraved chaotic links.
|Dark Angels of the Deathwing teleported into the Collectives HQ in support of Inquisitor Rook. Whether they found a member of the Fallen or not has not been revealed...|
However, more worrying was the forensic biology reports that some of the Collective were not tainted by Chaos but were in fact some obscene Xeno/human hybrid. Inquisitor Rook has called for support from the Ordo Xenos in confirming his suspicions, that the recent appearance of Hive Fleet Gorgon may have been not the first incursion onto Ferron Proxima but in fact a later stage that has been infecting and conspiring in the dark recesses of the red planet for decades or even millenia.
What is even more disturbing in the evidence secured by the Inquisition/Deathwing strike team that teleported into the Collective's HQ was that there are clearly more of these bases hidden within the rusting hills that dot the Ferron landscape. This was in fact only a small cell and those members that were captured, which were few compared to the many killed by the heroic efforts of the combined force, may well not be the leaders or even the hunted 'Fallen' the strike force hoped.
Certain documents pointed to someone of prominence known only by the initial 'M' and there was also a cryptic reference to the 'Free Radical Equivalent' which is still to be explained. Suffice to say the investigations by the various branches of the Inquisition and the Adeptus Astartes, each for their own priorities will eventually discover the whole truth regarding the Free Radical Collective. In the mean time the population of Ferron Proxima are blissfully unaware and continue to blindly believe they are either threat or saviors.