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Debate on the Validity of the Conventional Theory on the Tyranid "Hivemind"

The "Hivemind" is an aspect of the Tyranids which is not well understood and which often sparks heated debates. In an attempt to "explain" to the masses the nature of the enemy many liberties have been and continue to be taken with the "truth" and "fact". The conventional theory of the hivemind doesn't stand up to any scrutiny. Grand generalizations were used to classify the phenomenon of telepathic group consciousness presumed to exist within the various Hivefleets.

If we, of the Magos Biologis, analyze the function and effects of the "Hivemind" we will see however, that it is remarkably similar to our own technological means of communication and government. The mystique surrounding this topic stems from the psychic nature of the phenomenon and the complete lack of our ability to intercept, decipher and analyze the signal itself. But placed into more commonly understood forms the hivemind serves as language; verbal and written, government; local and regional, command structure, infrastructure, data storage, and many others seamlessly integrated into the biology and society, (if we can use the term with respect to Tyranids) The system affords few if any avenues for quantifiable study and only the rare instances of captured specimens give us any insight into the degree of influence the "Hivemind" holds over each tyranid within the hive. Where within the minds of the creatures does instinct stop and cognitive reasoning and learning begin? A difficult question to answer given the best circumstances.

Magos Biologis Alkian, Dictator Psychic Research

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On the much ballyhooed topic of rogue Hivefleets. To assume that the sum total of all tyranidic organisms within the galaxy are under the direct influence of some ubiquitous entity is sheer nonsense. Each Hivefleet has distinctive characteristics which individualize it from the collective whole. While they maintain significant similar traits, there can be little doubt that the Hivefleets operate autonomously. The theory that the "hivemind" or "warpshadow" controls the entirety of the race is unsubstantiated and refuted by many acid tests within the short known history of the Tyranids. In essence all Hivefleets are "rogue", tantamount to singular predators existing harmoniously with one another so long as territorial boundaries are respected.

Magos Biologis Alkian, Dictator Psychic Research

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Some argue that the hivemind is akin to the brain within the Hivefleet and that the individual creatures are the cells of the Hivefleet. While this analogy seems accurate, turn the gaze of analysis back upon the analyst. Does not the Imperium function in a strikingly similar fashion? Do not all organizations of any size also fit into this broad characterization? The individual, within any vast conglomerate, typically operates at the behest of other authorities beyond his control. The Imperial Guardsmen accepts the suicidal order from his commanders, who received their orders from even higher echelons. It is the very nature of things. We can say that the common Termagant is significantly less self-aware or "intelligent" than the Imperial Guardsmen are are. But does either hold any more or less power over their fate? Self-awareness, in the guardsman, affords him occasions for doubt, fear and question. Tempered by rigid discipline these are overcome. The comparative lack of these problems in the tyranid model emphasizes the role of the "hivemind" once more. The "Hivemind" guides, and coordinates the efforts of the hive. It maintains the caste system within the fleet and disciplines the populace to a common goal.

Chief Magos Biologis Salk

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The "Hivemind" is ostensibly the biological version of a communications and command grid. It facilitates the efficient transfer of information, relays commands, enforces discipline and collects intel. In battlefield theaters it acts as the direct command link by which the orders of the commander are relayed. The extent to which this signal overrides the individual will of the constituent members of the hoards is uncertain. What is known is that the most highly developed cognitive abilities evidenced by the Tyranids are in the upper echelons of the developmental range.

Magos Biologis Krian

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My personal feelings on the matter are that given the biological data obtained, degrees of genetic variance encountered and differing methods of operation employed, that the tyranidic Hivemind is simply a biological C&C. Placing greater significance upon it by encompassing all Tyranids into some huge cabal or gasalt consciousness simply doesn't fit with the detected differences between Hivefleet tactics and observed actions. Tyranidic fleets have been seen to learn from initial encounters with various tactics, but subsequent encounters with other Hivefleets have not shown that they too have the benefit of the previous encounters. The separation of the Tyranids into these distinctive Hivefleets leads me to believe that the hivemind, while common to all Tyranids, develops uniquely within each Hivefleet. It is obvious that Tyranids can be isolated from the influence of the hivemind and act in a way unmotivated by the will of the hive.

Magos Biologis Adept Vurek

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Analytical evaluation of biological components of this system is currently underway. With the help of the Epistolary Drukha, we were able to determine which creatures had "True" intelligence and which seemed to rely only on rudimentary intellect when isolated from the "HiveMind" signal. Examination and comparison of bestial creatures versus higher organisms noted a significant biological difference within the creature's brains.

All tyranidic creatures and especially Hivenode creatures < Tyranicus Tyranicii "Tyrants" and Tyranicii Preafeceta "Warriors"> were found to harbor a complex truncated organ within the brain which seems to be the source of psychic activity and "control" of lower organisms. In genestealers this organ emits a psychic energy field powerful enough to tear through most armor. Cerebrumea have the most pronounced use, allowing them to hurl bolts of force capable of destroying battle tanks. Three types of organs were found, Master, Independent and Slave. Master organs constantly radiate thoughts and commands as well as read stimulus from other organs capable of overriding the control of the Slave brain through the organ. Spurring them to acts which could be self destructive or would be avoided were it not of the influence of the "Hivemind Signal".

Independent organs receive but do not broadcast any slaver signal. While they do not appear to radiate the signal the presence of these creatures within hoards of smaller creatures bolsters the smaller considerably. Slave organs require stimulus from master organs and many creatures with this organ function only on instinct when removed from Master influence.

EXAMPLE:
When placed within "contact" range of a Tyranicii Preafeceta, all Termagauntus behaved similarly. When the stimulus was removed the Gargoylisii and Termagauntii both exhibited diminished faculties while the Hormaguantii become completely animalistic. It could be possible to jam these emanations and disrupt the orchestration of the entire attack. We are currently working on developing a modulator, which will cause excessive feedback to the source. . NOTE: Individual creatures are unable to manifest the warp disturbances, which blanket worlds attacked by the fleet, even at minute levels. Thus this phenomenon has been attributed to either the Hivemind circuit overloading the warp with psychic messages, or a constant flux of overwhelming power from an as yet unknown source.

Tests also indicate that there are subtle nuances within the hivesignal which might be best described as dialects. Members of Kraken Hivefleet have significant difficulty in relaying instructions for problem solving to members of Harbinger. However Behemoth and Kraken show considerably less difficulty. While Harbinger and Behemoth are barely able to function at all. While other specimens are being tested these initial findings are remaining the norm. Functional "communication" via hivemind signal is more readily accomplished as the development of the creature increases. Tyrants make the transition in one forth the time required by warriors.

I will continue to report on this topic as our theories are tested.

Chief Magos Biologis Salk