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Codex: Gellerpox Infected (2018), p4-5 — Infection Rising

Feel the machine pulse - it feeds the tumours within us. Do not fear these new growths, for they make us stronger. Feel the machine thoughts, they meld with your own. Listen to the engine's rhythm, and heed the voice that is calling. Bow before that which speaks from beyond, that which gives us purpose. Rise up, brothers and sisters - our time has come.
— Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed, leading the Ritual of Acceptance

A never-before-seen type of techno-mutant has lurched out of the darkness to claim its piece of the dilapidating Imperium of Mankind. Flesh and machine alike succumb to the insidious call of the Gellerpox Infected, victims of the corrupting powers of Chaos. They seek to spread their disease, and to make others of their befouled kind.

The Imperium-wide stigma against mutation exists for good reason. Some mutants are distorted in their physical forms, but others are as malformed in thought as they are twisted in frame. Many in their right minds grow embittered, and become obsessed with taking revenge against those whose resentment and fear have caused them life-long suffering, but that pales in comparison to those who have been corrupted in consciousness as well as in body. With their mores and moral compasses curdled into hatred and murderous rage, those most infected by the Ruinous Powers of Chaos seek to sow destruction. It is Nurgle, the Chaos God of Decay, who specialises in disease, and his unnatural creatures plague the galaxy.

There are many ways in which Mankind might become mutated. Some catalysts of change - such as radiation poisoning - are predictable in their alterations to the human body. The mutations of Chaos, however, are anything but natural, and far from rational. Such transmutative energies come from warp storms, daemonic possession, forbidden lore, dark disease, and open worship of the Ruinous Powers.

Those known as the Gellerpox Infected bear mutations from a vile strain of daemonic disease that corrupts flesh and metal. Gellerpox is a mutative malady that spreads via contamination of Geller field generators, devices that protect the ships of Humanity against the horrors of the warp. They are so regularly monitored and tested that even the most cautious of Tech-Priests assume that any malfunction would be immediately discerned.

The effects of the Gellerpox are slow to build, beginning with disturbing dreams and gradually escalating. Those working with and around an infected Geller field generator find themselves drawn to the device, eager to venerate its life-saving powers, willing to do anything to placate its will. Simple superstitions, such as rubbing the machine's protective glyphs to ensure a safe voyage or knocking on the machine for good luck, have a cumulative effect, wearing down the effectiveness of the protective wards and strengthening the twisted machine spirit.

Eventually the corruption grows strong enough that the voices head in dreams become discernible in waking hours. Afflicted workers and drew are compelled to dismantle machine parts or remove symbols of warding. Mutating energy slowly escalates, warping the minds and bodies of those nearby. The victims submit willingly, still positive that the strange and debased rituals they perform upon the Geller field generator are to everyone's benefit. These unfortunate souls become so corrupted that they leave their humanity behind, transforming into shambling grotesques who can turn a brave man's guts to water.

A Growing Threat

The bulk of the Infected are known as Gellerpox Mutants, their minds and bodies twisted in disturbing fashion. Some absorb more energy still, becoming hugely swollen with dark vitality but losing their minds entirely - these are the very powerful, but slavishly dim, Nightmare Hulks. Live living tanks, the enormous mutants can withstand entire volleys of las-fire, and they are mighty enough to stand toe-to-toe with an enraged Ogryn and emerge victorious. Those Gellerpox Infected strong enough to hang onto their intellect and willpower whilst their bodies mutate beyond all recognition usually rise to become the masters of their kin. They are the Twisted Lords, abominable tyrants who rules over entire enclaves of degenerates. Even when slain, such leaders leave an indelible mark on the minds of the local populace. Legends of the Great Biter, the Blister-Man and the Blubberdark persist in the Ultima Segmentum, despite the laws passed against speaking of them.

The transmutative power of the Gellerpox is not limited to humans, or even flesh and blood. Ships whose crew have fallen victim to the disease have been discovered in varied states of mutation, with metal turned into organic tissue. The lower decks of such vessels resemble the innards of some enormous beast, and their warp engines and Geller field generators continue to pump out mutating waves of foul energies, polluting all around them. At least one such ship - the Argonaut - was last seen joining the Plague Fleets of Typhus, the Herald of Nurgle.

Even the smallest of parasites are not spared. Such life forms are all too common aboard starships, as the long journeys and crowded living quarters are the perfect breeding conditions for a large number of tiny bloodsuckers. With the eruption of the Gellerpox, these diminutive creatures feed upon corrupted humans long enough to suffer their own maladies. Those not instantly curdled by the contaminated blood grow vast in size. Most Infected warbands are joined by swarms of these crawling, flying and bounding horrors.

At the height of an outbreak, the Gellerpox virus opens a tiny rift into the warp. From this pulsating hole emerge Glitchlings, Daemon-mites known for their joy of contaminating machinery. Although small in size and strength, the strange entropic fields the Glitchlings emante cause guns and equipment to sporadically malfunction, robbing enemies of their chance to bring low the shambling hordes of Infected before they fall upon them with horrifying and merciless fury.

Since the Great Rift yawned wide across the firmament, mutation has become more rife than ever. The Gellerpox Infected have been seen working in conjunction with other Chaos forces, including Heretic Astartes and Daemon hordes. Several cults have already begun to worship the Gellerpox Infected, building shrines around corrupted Geller field generators.

Wherever the Gellerpox Infected hordes rampage, they spread before them a wave of terror, anarchy and destruction, and leave only mangled corpses and mutated corruption in their wake.

One two three, I yearn for thee, three four five, I'll eat you alive...
— Alleged feeding song of the Blubberdark