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Dune / (by Frank Herbert, 2006) -

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Dune /  (by Frank Herbert, 2006) -

Dune / (by Frank Herbert, 2006) -

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: 458
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Dune / (by Frank Herbert, 2006) -
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2006
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Frank Herbert
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Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, Simon Vance
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,
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intermediate
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22:02:51
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32 kbps
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mp3, pdf, doc

Dune / :

.doc (Word) frank_herbert_-_dune.doc [1.4 Mb] (c: 7) .
.pdf frank_herbert_-_dune.pdf [2.58 Mb] (c: 11) .
audiobook (MP3) .


: Dune

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Book 1 DUNE = = = = = = A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. This every sister of the Bene Gesserit knows. To begin your study of the life of MuadDib, then, take care that you first place him in his time: born in the 57th year of the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. And take the most special care that you locate MuadDib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place. -from Manual of MuadDib by the Princess Irulan In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul. It was a warm night at Castle Caladan, and the ancient pile of stone that had served the Atreides family as home for twenty-six generations bore that cooled-sweat feeling it acquired before a change in the weather. The old woman was let in by the side door down the vaulted passage by Pauls room and she was allowed a moment to peer in at him where he lay in his bed. By the half-light of a suspensor lamp, dimmed and hanging near the floor, the awakened boy could see a bulky female shape at his door, standing one step ahead of his mother. The old woman was a witch shadow hair like matted spiderwebs, hooded round darkness of features, eyes like glittering jewels. Is he not small for his age, Jessica? the old woman asked. Her voice wheezed and twanged like an untuned baliset. Pauls mother answered in her soft contralto: The Atreides are known to start late getting their growth, Your Reverence. So Ive heard, so Ive heard, wheezed the old woman. Yet hes already fifteen. Yes, Your Reverence. Hes awake and listening to us, said the old woman. Sly little rascal. She chuckled. But royalty has need of slyness. And if hes really the Kwisatz Haderach . . . well . . . Within the shadows of his bed, Paul held his eyes open to mere slits. Two bird-bright ovals the eyes of the old woman seemed to expand and glow as they stared into his. Sleep well, you sly little rascal, said the old woman. Tomorrow youll need all your faculties to meet my gom jabbar. And she was gone, pushing his mother out, closing the door with a solid thump. Paul lay awake wondering: Whats a gom jabbar? In all the upset during this time of change, the old woman was the strangest thing he had seen. Your Reverence. And the way she called his mother Jessica like a common serving wench instead of what she was a Bene Gesserit Lady, a dukes concubine and mother of the ducal heir. Is a gom jabbar something of Arrakis I must know before we go there? he wondered. He mouthed her strange words: Gom jabbar . . . Kwisatz Haderach. There had been so many things to learn. Arrakis would be a place so different from Caladan that Pauls mind whirled with the new knowledge. Arrakis Dune Desert Planet. Thufir Hawat, his fathers Master of Assassins, had explained it: their mortal enemies, the Harkonnens, had been on Arrakis eighty years, holding the planet in quasi-fief under a CHOAM Company contract to mine the geriatric spice, melange. Now the Harkonnens were leaving to be replaced by the House of Atreides in fief-complete an apparent victory for the Duke Leto. Yet, Hawat had said, this appearance contained the deadliest peril, for the Duke Leto was popular among the Great Houses of the Landsraad. A popular man arouses the jealousy of the powerful, Hawat had said. Arrakis Dune Desert Planet. Paul fell asleep to dream of an Arrakeen cavern, silent people all around him moving in the dim light of glowglobes. It was solemn there and like a cathedral as he listened to a faint sound the drip-drip-drip of water. Even while he remained in the dream, Paul knew he would remember it upon awakening. He always remembered the dreams that were predictions. The dream faded. Paul awoke to feel himself in the warmth of his bed thinking . . . thinking. This world of Castle Caladan, without play or companions his own age, perhaps did not deserve sadness in farewell. Dr. Yueh, his teacher, had hinted that the faufreluches class system was not rigidly guarded on Arrakis. The planet sheltered people who lived at the desert edge without caid or bashar to command them: will-o-the-sand people called Fremen, marked down on no census of the Imperial Regate. Arrakis Dune Desert Planet. Paul sensed his own tensions, decided to practice one of the mind-body lessons his mother had taught him. Three quick breaths triggered the responses: he fell into the floating awareness . . . focusing the consciousness . . . aortal dilation . . . avoiding the unfocused mechanism of consciousness . . . to be conscious by choice . . . blood enriched and swift-flooding the overload regions . . . one does not obtain food-safety-freedom by instinct alone . . . animal consciousness does not extend beyond the given moment nor into the idea that its victims may become extinct . . . the animal destroys and does not produce . . . animal pleasures remain close to sensation levels and avoid the perceptual . . . the human requires a background grid through which to see his universe . . . focused consciousness by choice, this forms your grid . . . bodily integrity follows nerve-blood flow according to the deepest awareness of cell needs . . . all things/cells/beings are impermanent . . . strive for flow- permanence within . . . Over and over and over within Pauls floating awareness the lesson rolled. When dawn touched Pauls window sill with yellow light, he sensed it through closed eyelids, opened them, hearing then the renewed bustle and hurry in the castle, seeing the familiar patterned beams of his bedroom ceiling. The hall door opened and his mother peered in, hair like shaded bronze held with a black ribbon at the crown, her oval face emotionless and green eyes staring solemnly. Youre awake, she said. Did you sleep well? Yes. He studied the tallness of her, saw the hint of tension in her shoulders as she chose clothing for him from the closet racks. Another might have missed the tension, but she had trained him in the Bene Gesserit Way in the minutiae of observation. She turned, holding a semiformal jacket for him. It carried the red Atreides hawk crest above the breast pocket. Hurry and dress, she said. Reverend Mother is waiting. I dreamed of her once, Paul said. Who is she? She was my teacher at the Bene Gesserit school. Now, shes the Emperors Truthsayer. And Paul . . . She hesitated. You must tell her about your dreams. I will. Is she the reason we got Arrakis? We did not get Arrakis. Jessica flicked dust from a pair of trousers, hung them with the jacket on the dressing stand beside his bed. Dont keep Reverend Mother waiting. Paul sat up, hugged his knees. Whats a gom jabbar? Again, the training she had given him exposed her almost invisible hesitation, a nervous betrayal he felt as fear. Jessica crossed to the window, flung wide the draperies, stared across the river orchards toward Mount Syubi. Youll learn about . . . the gom jabbar soon enough, she said. He heard the fear in her voice and wondered at it. Jessica spoke without turning. Reverend Mother is waiting in my morning room. Please hurry. The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam sat in a tapestried chair watching mother and son approach. Windows on each side of her overlooked the curving southern bend of the river and the green farmlands of the Atreides family holding, but the Reverend Mother ignored the view. She was feeling her age this morning, more than a little petulant. She blamed it on space travel and association with that abominable Spacing Guild and its secretive ways. But here was a mission that required personal attention from a Bene Gesserit-with-the- Sight. Even the Padishah Emperors Truthsayer couldnt evade that responsibility when the duty call came. Damn that Jessica! the Reverend Mother thought. If only she d borne us a girl as she was ordered to do! Jessica stopped three paces from the chair, dropped a small curtsy, a gentle flick of left hand along the line of her skirt. Paul gave the short bow his dancing master had taught the one used when in doubt of anothers station. The nuances of Pauls greeting were not lost on the Reverend Mother. She said: Hes a cautious one, Jessica. Jessicas hand went to Pauls shoulder, tightened there. For a heartbeat, fear pulsed through her palm. Then she had herself under control. Thus he has been taught, Your Reverence. What does she fear? Paul wondered. The old woman studied Paul in one gestalten flicker: face oval like Jessicas, but strong bones . . . hair: the Dukes black-black but with browline of the maternal grandfather who cannot be named, and that thin, disdainful nose; shape of directly staring green eyes: like the old Duke, the paternal grandfather who is dead. Now, there was a man who appreciated the power of bravura even in death, the Reverend Mother thought. Teaching is one thing, she said, the basic ingredient is another. We shall see. The old eyes darted a hard glance at Jessica. Leave us. I enjoin you to practice the meditation of peace. Jessica took her hand from Pauls shoulder. Your Reverence, I Jessica, you know it must be done. Paul looked up at his mother, puzzled. Jessica straightened. Yes . . . of course. Paul looked back at the Reverend Mother. Politeness and his mothers obvious awe of this old woman argued caution. Yet he felt an angry apprehension at the fear he sensed radiating from his mother. Paul . . . Jessica took a deep breath. . . . this test youre about to receive . . . its important to me. Test? He looked up at her. Remember that youre a dukes son, Jessica said. She whirled and strode from the room in a dry swishing of skirt. The door closed solidly behind her. Paul faced the old woman, holding anger in check. Does one dismiss the Lady Jessica as though she were a serving wench? A smile flicked the corners of the wrinkled old mouth. The Lady Jessica was my serving wench, lad, for fourteen years at school. She nodded. And a good one, too. Now, you come here! The command whipped out at him. Paul found himself obeying before he could think about it. Using the Voice on me, he thought. He stopped at her gesture, standing beside her knees. See this? she asked. From the folds of her gown, she lifted a green metal cube about fifteen centimeters on a side. She turned it and Paul saw that one side was open black and oddly frightening. No light penetrated that open blackness. Put your right hand in the box, she said. Fear shot through Paul. He started to back away, but the old woman said: Is this how you obey your mother? He looked up into bird-bright eyes. Slowly, feeling the compulsions and unable to inhibit them, Paul put his hand into the box. He felt first a sense of cold as the blackness closed around his hand, then slick metal against his fingers and a prickling as though his hand were asleep. A predatory look filled the old womans features. She lifted her right hand away from the box and poised the hand close to the side of Pauls neck. He saw a glint of metal there and started to turn toward Stop! she snapped. Using the Voice again! He swung his attention back to her face. I hold at your neck the gom jabbar, she said. The gom jabbar, the high- handed enemy. Its a needle with a drop of poison on its tip. Ah-ah! Dont pull away or youll feel that poison. Paul tried to swallow in a dry throat. He could not take his attention from the seamed old face, the glistening eyes, the pale gums around silvery metal teeth that flashed as she spoke. A dukes son must know about poisons, she said. Its the way of our times, eh? Musky, to be poisoned in your drink. Aumas, to be poisoned in your food. The quick ones and the slow ones and the ones in between. Heres a new one for you: the gom jabbar. It kills only animals. Pride overcame Pauls fear. You dare suggest a dukes son is an animal? he demanded. Let us say I suggest you may be human, she said. Steady! I warn you not to try jerking away. I am old, but my hand can drive this needle into your neck before you escape me. Who are you? he whispered. How did you trick my mother into leaving me alone with you? Are you from the Harkonnens? The Harkonnens? Bless us, no! Now, be silent. A dry finger touched his neck and he stilled the involuntary urge to leap away. Good, she said. You pass the first test. Now, heres the way of the rest of it: If you withdraw your hand from the box you die. This is the only rule. Keep your hand in the box and live. Withdraw it and die. Paul took a deep breath to still his trembling. If I call out therell be servants on you in seconds and youll die. Servants will not pass your mother who stands guard outside that door. Depend on it. Your mother survived this test. Now its your turn. Be honored. We seldom administer this to men-children. Curiosity reduced Pauls fear to a manageable level. He heard truth in the old womans voice, no denying it. If his mother stood guard out there . . . if this were truly a test . . . And whatever it was, he knew himself caught in it, trapped by that hand at his neck: the gom jabbar. He recalled the response from the Litany against Fear as his mother had taught him out of the Bene Gesserit rite. I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. He felt calmness return, said: Get on with it, old woman. Old woman! she snapped. Youve courage, and that cant be denied. Well, we shall see, sirra. She bent close, lowered her voice almost to a whisper. You will feel pain in this hand within the box. Pain. But! Withdraw the hand and Ill touch your neck with my gom jabbar the death so swift its like the fall of the headsmans axe. Withdraw your hand and the gom jabbar takes you. Understand? Whats in the box? Pain. He felt increased tingling in his hand, pressed his lips tightly together. How could this be a test? he wondered. The tingling became an itch. The old woman said; Youve heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? Theres an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind. The itch became the faintest burning. Why are you doing this? he demanded. To determine if youre human. Be silent. Paul clenched his left hand into a fist as the burning sensation increased in the other hand. It mounted slowly: heat upon heat upon heat . . . upon heat. He felt the fingernails of his free hand biting the palm. He tried to flex the fingers of the burning hand, but couldnt move them. It burns, he whispered. Silence! Pain throbbed up his arm. Sweat stood out on his forehead. Every fiber cried out to withdraw the hand from that burning pit . . . but . . . the gom jabbar. Without turning his head, he tried to move his eyes to see that terrible needle poised beside his neck. He sensed that he was breathing in gasps, tried to slow his breaths and couldnt. Pain! His world emptied of everything except that hand immersed in agony, the ancient face inches away staring at him. His lips were so dry he had difficulty separating them. The burning! The burning! He thought he could feel skin curling black on that agonized hand, the flesh crisping and dropping away until only charred bones remained. It stopped! As though a switch had been turned off, the pain stopped. Paul felt his right arm trembling, felt sweat bathing his body. Enough, the old woman muttered. Kull wahad! No woman child ever withstood that much. I mustve wanted you to fail. She leaned back, withdrawing the gom jabbar from the side of his neck. Take your hand from the box, young human, and look at it. He fought down an aching shiver, stared at the lightless void where his hand seemed to remain of its own volition. Memory of pain inhibited every movement. Reason told him he would withdraw a blackened stump from that box. Do it! she snapped. He jerked his hand from the box, stared at it astonished. Not a mark. No sign of agony on the flesh. He held up the hand, turned it, flexed the fingers. Pain by nerve induction, she said. Cant go around maiming potential humans. Therere those whod give a pretty for the secret of this box, though. She slipped it into the folds of her gown. But the pain he said. Pain, she sniffed. A human can override any nerve in the body. Paul felt his left hand aching, uncurled the clenched fingers, looked at four bloody marks where fingernails had bitten his palm. He dropped the hand to his side, looked at the old woman. You did that to my mother once? Ever sift sand through a screen? she asked. The tangential slash of her question shocked his mind into a higher awareness: Sand through a screen, he nodded. We Bene Gesserit sift people to find the humans. He lifted his right hand, willing the memory of the pain. And thats all there is to it pain? I observed you in pain, lad. Pains merely the axis of the test. Your mothers told you about our ways of observing. I see the signs of her teaching in you. Our test is crisis and observation. He heard the confirmation in her voice, said: Its truth! She stared at him. He senses truth! Could he be the one? Could he truly be the one? She extinguished the excitement, reminding herself: Hope clouds observation. You know when people believe what they say, she said. I know it. The harmonics of ability confirmed by repeated test were in his voice. She heard them, said: Perhaps you are the Kwisatz Haderach. Sit down, little brother, here at my feet. I prefer to stand. Your mother sat at my feet once. Im not my mother. You hate us a little, eh? She looked toward the door, called out: Jessica! The door flew open and Jessica stood there staring hard-eyed into the room. Hardness melted from her as she saw Paul. She managed a faint smile. Jessica, have you ever stopped hating me? the old woman asked. I both love and hate you, Jessica said. The hate thats from pains I must never forget. The love thats . . . Just the basic fact, the old woman said, but her voice was gentle. You may come in now, but remain silent. Close that door and mind it that no one interrupts us. Jessica stepped into the room, closed the door and stood with her back to it. My son lives, she thought. My son lives and is . . . human. I knew he was . . . but . . . he lives. Now, I can go on living. The door felt hard and real against her back. Everything in the room was immediate and pressing against her senses. My son lives. Paul looked at his mother. She told the truth. He wanted to get away alone and think this experience through, but knew he could not leave until he was dismissed. The old woman had gained a power over him. They spoke truth. His mother had undergone this test. There must be terrible purpose in it . . . the pain and fear had been terrible. He understood terrible purposes. They drove against all odds. They were their own necessity. Paul felt that he had been infected with terrible purpose. He did not know yet what the terrible purpose was. Some day, lad, the old woman said, you, too, may have to stand outside a door like that. It takes a measure of doing. Paul looked down at the hand that had known pain, then up to the Reverend Mother. The sound of her voice had contained a difference then from any other voice in his experience. The words were outlined in brilliance. There was an edge to them. He felt that any question he might ask her would bring an answer that could lift him out of his flesh-world into something greater. Why do you test for humans? he asked. To set you free. Free? Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them. Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a mans mind, Paul quoted. Right out of the Butlerian Jihad and the Orange Catholic Bible, she said. But what the O.C. Bible shouldve said is: Thou shalt not make a machine to counterfeit a human mind. Have you studied the Mentat in your service? Ive studied with Thufir Hawat. The Great Revolt took away a crutch, she said. It forced human minds to develop. Schools were started to train human talents. Bene Gesserit schools? She nodded. We have two chief survivors of those ancient schools: the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild. The Guild, so we think, emphasizes almost pure mathematics. Bene Gesserit performs another function. Politics, he said. Kull wahad! the old woman said. She sent a hard glance at Jessica. Ive not told him. Your Reverence, Jessica said. The Reverend Mother returned her attention to Paul. You did that on remarkably few clues, she said. Politics indeed. The original Bene Gesserit school was directed by those who saw the need of a thread of continuity in human affairs. They saw there could be no such continuity without separating human stock from animal stock for breeding purposes. The old womans words abruptly lost their special sharpness for Paul. He felt an offense against what his mother called his instinct for rightness. It wasnt that Reverend Mother lied to him. She obviously believed what she said. It was something deeper, something tied to his terrible purpose. He said: But my mother tells me many Bene Gesserit of the schools dont know their ancestry. The genetic lines are always in our records, she said. Your mother knows that either shes of Bene Gesserit descent or her stock was acceptable in itself. Then why couldnt she know who her parents are? Some do . . . Many dont. We might, for example, have wanted to breed her to a close relative to set up a dominant in some genetic trait. We have many reasons. Again, Paul felt the offense against rightness. He said: You take a lot on yourselves. The Reverend Mother stared at him, wondering: Did I hear criticism in his voice? We carry a heavy burden, she said. Paul felt himself coming more and more out of the shock of the test. He leveled a measuring stare at her, said: You say maybe Im the . . . Kwisatz Haderach. Whats that, a human gom jabbar? Paul, Jessica said. You mustnt take that tone with Ill handle this, Jessica, the old woman said. Now, lad, do you know about the Truthsayer drug? You take it to improve your ability to detect falsehood, he said. My mothers told me. Have you ever seen truthtrance? He shook his head. No. The drugs dangerous, she said, but it gives insight. When a Truthsayers gifted by the drug, she can look many places in her memory in her bodys memory. We look down so many avenues of the past . . . but only feminine avenues. Her voice took on a note of sadness. Yet, theres a place where no Truthsayer can see. We are repelled by it, terrorized. It is said a man will come one day and find in the gift of the drug his inward eye. He will look where we cannot into both feminine and masculine pasts. Your Kwisatz Haderach? Yes, the one who can be many places at once: the Kwisatz Haderach. Many men have tried the drug . . . so many, but none has succeeded. They tried and failed, all of them? Oh, no. She shook her head. They tried and died. = = = = = = To attempt an understanding of MuadDib without understanding his mortal enemies, the Harkonnens, is to attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be. -from Manual of MuadDib by the Princess Irulan It was a relief globe of a world, partly in shadows, spinning under the impetus of a fat hand that glittered with rings. The globe sat on a freeform stand at one wall of a windowless room whose other walls presented a patchwork of multicolored scrolls, filmbooks, tapes and reels. Light glowed in the room from golden balls hanging in mobile suspensor fields. An ellipsoid desk with a top of jade-pink petrified elacca wood stood at the center of the room. Veriform suspensor chairs ringed it, two of them occupied. In one sat a dark-haired youth of about sixteen years, round of face and with sullen eyes. The other held a slender, short man with effeminate face. Both youth and man stared at the globe and the man half-hidden in shadows spinning it. A chuckle sounded beside the globe. A basso voice rumbled out of the chuckle: There it is, Piter the biggest mantrap in all history. And the Dukes headed into its jaws. Is it not a magnificent thing that I, the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, do? Assuredly, Baron, said the man. His voice came out tenor with a sweet, musical quality. The fat hand descended onto the globe, stopped the spinning. Now, all eyes in the room could focus on the motionless surface and see that it was the kind of globe made for wealthy collectors or planetary governors of the Empire. It had the stamp of Imperial handicraft about it. Latitude and longitude lines were laid in with hair-fine platinum wire. The polar caps were insets of finest cloud-milk diamonds. The fat hand moved, tracing details on the surface. I invite you to observe, the basso voice rumbled. Observe closely, Piter, and you, too, Feyd- Rautha, my darling: from sixty degrees north to seventy degrees south these exquisite ripples. Their coloring: does it not remind you of sweet caramels? And nowhere do you see blue of lakes or rivers or seas. And these lovely polar caps so small. Could anyone mistake this place? Arrakis! Truly unique. A superb setting for a unique Victory. A smile touched Piters lips. And to think. Baron: the Padishah Emperor believes hes given the Duke your spice planet. How poignant. Thats a nonsensical statement, the Baron rumbled. You say this to confuse young Feyd-Rautha, but it is not necessary to confuse my nephew. The sullen-faced youth stirred in his chair, smoothed a wrinkle in the black leotards he wore. He sat upright as a discreet tapping sounded at the door in the wall behind him. Piter unfolded from his chair, crossed to the door, cracked it wide enough to accept a message cylinder. He closed the door, unrolled the cylinder and scanned it. A chuckle sounded from him. Another. Well? the Baron demanded. The fool answered us, Baron! Whenever did an Atreides refuse the opportunity for a gesture? the Baron asked. Well, what does he say? Hes most uncouth, Baron. Addresses you as Harkonnen no Sire et Cher Cousin, no title, nothing. Its a good name, the Baron growled, and his voice betrayed his impatience. What does dear Leto say? He says: Your offer of a meeting is refused. I have ofttimes met your treachery and this all men know. And? the Baron asked. He says: The art of kanly still has admirers in the Empire. He signs it: Duke Leto of Arrakis. Piter began to laugh. Of Arrakis! Oh, my! This is almost too rich! Be silent, Piter, the Baron said, and the laughter stopped as though shut off with a switch. Kanly, is it? the Baron asked. Vendetta, heh? And he uses the nice old word so rich in tradition to be sure I know he means it. You made the peace gesture, Piter said. The forms have been obeyed. For a Mentat, you talk too much, Piter, the Baron said. And he thought: I must do away with that one soon. He has almost outlived his usefulness. The Baron stared across the room at his Mental assassin, seeing the feature about him that most people noticed first: the eyes, the shaded slits of blue within blue, the eyes without any white in them at all. A grin flashed across Piters face. It was like a mask grimace beneath those eyes like holes. But, Baron! Never has revenge been more beautiful. It is to see a plan of the most exquisite treachery: to make Leto exchange Caladan for Dune and without alternative because the Emperor orders it. How waggish of you! In a cold voice, the Baron said: You have a flux of the mouth, Piter. But I am happy, my Baron. Whereas you . . . you are touched by jealousy. Piter! Ah-ah. Baron! Is it not regrettable you were unable to devise this delicious scheme by yourself? Someday I will have you strangled, Piter. Of a certainty, Baron. Enfin! But a kind act is never lost, eh? Have you been chewing verite or semuta, Piter? Truth without fear surprises the Baron, Piter said. His face drew down into a caricature of a frowning mask. Ah, hah! But you see, Baron, I know as a Mentat when you will send the executioner. You will hold back just so long as I am useful. To move sooner would be wasteful and Im yet of much use. I know what it is you learned from that lovely Dune planet waste not. True, Baron? The Baron continued to stare at Piter. Feyd-Rautha squirmed in his chair. These wrangling fools! he thought. My uncle cannot talk to his Mental without arguing. Do they think Ive nothing to do except listen their arguments? Feyd, the Baron said. I told you to listen and learn when I invited you in here. Are you learning? Yes, Uncle. the voice was carefully subservient. Sometimes I wonder about Piter, the Baron said. I cause pain out of necessity, but he . . . I swear he takes a positive delight in it. For myself, I can feel pity toward the poor Duke Leto. Dr. Yueh will move against him soon, and thatll be the end of all the Atreides. But surely Leto will know whose hand directed the pliant doctor . . . and knowing that will be a terrible thing. Then why havent you directed the doctor to slip a kindjal between his ribs quietly and efficiently? Piter asked. You talk of pity, but The Duke must know when I encompass his doom, the Baron said. And the other Great Houses must learn of it. The knowledge will give them pause. Ill gain a bit more room to maneuver. The necessity is obvious, but I dont have to like it. Room to maneuver, Piter sneered. Already you have the Emperors eyes on you, Baron. You move too boldly. One day the Emperor will send a legion or two of his Sardaukar down here onto Giedi Prime and thatll be an end to the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Youd like to see that, wouldnt you, Piter? the Baron asked. Youd enjoy seeing the Corps of Sardaukar pillage through my cities and sack this castle. Youd truly enjoy that. Does the Baron need to ask? Piter whispered. You shouldve been a Bashar of the Corps, the Baron said. Youre too interested in blood and pain. Perhaps I was too quick with my promise of the spoils of Arrakis. Piter took five curiously mincing steps into the room, stopped directly behind Feyd-Rautha. There was a tight air of tension in the room, and the youth looked up at Piter with a worried frown. Do not toy with Piter, Baron, Piter said. You promised me the Lady Jessica. You promised her to me. For what, Piter? the Baron asked. For pain? Piter stared at him, dragging out the silence. Feyd-Rautha moved his suspensor chair to one side, said: Uncle, do I have to stay? You said youd My darling Feyd-Rautha grows impatient, the Baron said. He moved within the shadows beside the globe. Patience, Feyd. And he turned his attention back to the Mentat. What of the Dukeling, the child Paul, my dear Piter? The trap will bring him to you, Baron, Piter muttered. Thats not my question, the Baron said. Youll recall that you predicted the Bene Gesserit witch would bear a daughter to the Duke. You were wrong, eh, Mentat? Im not often wrong, Baron, Piter said, and for the first time there was fear in his voice. Give me that: Im not often wrong. And you know yourself these Bene Gesserit bear mostly daughters. Even the Emperors consort had produced only females. Uncle, said Feyd-Rautha, you said thered be something important here for me to Listen to my nephew, the Baron said. He aspires to rule my Barony, yet he cannot rule himself. The Baron stirred beside the globe, a shadow among shadows. Well then, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, I summoned you here hoping to teach you a bit of wisdom. Have you observed our good Mentat? You shouldve learned something from this exchange. But, Uncle A most efficient Mentat, Piter, wouldnt you say, Feyd? Yes, but Ah! Indeed but! But he consumes too much spice, eats it like candy. Look at his eyes! He mightve come directly from the Arrakeen labor pool. Efficient, Piter, but hes still emotional and prone to passionate outbursts. Efficient, Piter, but he still can err. Piter spoke in a low, sullen tone: Did you call me in here to impair my efficiency with criticism, Baron? Impair your efficiency? You know me better, Piter. I wish only for my nephew to understand the limitations of a Mentat. Are you already training my replacement? Piter demanded. Replace you? Why, Piter, where could I find another Mentat with your cunning and venom? The same place you found me, Baron. Perhaps I should at that, the Baron mused. You do seem a bit unstable lately. And the spice you eat! Are my pleasures too expensive, Baron? Do you object to them? My dear Piter, your pleasures are what tie you to me. How could I object to that? I merely wish my nephew to observe this about you. Then Im on display, Piter said. Shall I dance? Shall I perform my various functions for the eminent Feyd-Rau- Precisely, the Baron said. You are on display. Now, be silent. He glanced at Feyd-Rautha, noting his nephews lips, the full and pouting look of them, the Harkonnen genetic marker, now twisted slightly in amusement. This is a Mentat, Feyd. It has been trained and conditioned to perform certain duties. The fact that its encased in a human body, however, must not be overlooked. A serious drawback, that. I sometimes think the ancients with their thinking machines had the right idea. They were toys compared to me, Piter snarled. You yourself, Baron, could outperform those machines. Perhaps, the Baron said. Ah, well . . . He took a deep breath, belched. Now, Piter, outline for my nephew the salient features of our campaign against the House of Atreides. Function as a Mentat for us, if you please. Baron, Ive warned you not to trust one so young with this information. My observations of Ill be the judge of this, the Baron said. I give you an order, Mentat. Perform one of your various functions. So be it, Piter said. He straightened, assuming an odd attitude of dignity as though it were another mask, but this time clothing his entire body. In a few days Standard, the entire household of the Duke Leto will embark on a Spacing Guild liner for Arrakis. The Guild will deposit them at the city of Arrakeen rather than at our city of Carthag. The Dukes Mentat, Thufir Hawat, will have concluded rightly that Arrakeen is easier to defend. Listen carefully, Feyd, the Baron said. Observe the plans within plans within plans. Feyd-Rautha nodded, thinking: This is more like it. The old monster is letting me in on secret things at last. He must really mean for me to be his heir. There are several tangential possibilities, Piter said. I indicate that House Atreides will go to Arrakis. We must not, however, ignore the possibility the Duke has contracted with the Guild to remove him to a place of safety outside the System. Others in like circumstances have become renegade Houses, taking family atomics and shields and fleeing beyond the Imperium. The Dukes too proud a man for that, the Baron said. It is a possibility, Piter said. The ultimate effect for us would be the same, however. No, it would not! the Baron growled. I must have him dead and his line ended. Thats the high probability, Piter said. There are certain preparations that indicate when a House is going renegade. The Duke appears to be doing none of these things. So, the Baron sighed. Get on with it, Piter. At Arrakeen, Piter said, the Duke and his family will occupy the Residency, lately the home of Count and Lady Fenring. The Ambassador to the Smugglers, the Baron chuckled. Ambassador to what? Feyd-Rautha asked. Your uncle makes a joke, Piter said. He calls Count Fenring Ambassador to the Smugglers, indicating the Emperors interest in smuggling operations on Arrakis. Feyd-Rautha turned a puzzled stare on his uncle. Why? Dont be dense, Feyd, the Baron snapped. As long as the Guild remains effectively outside Imperial control, how could it be otherwise? How else could spies and assassins move about? Feyd-Rauthas mouth made a soundless Oh-h-h-h. Weve arranged diversions at the Residency, Piter said. Therell be an attempt on the life of the Atreides heir an attempt which could succeed. Piter, the Baron rumbled, you indicated I indicated accidents can happen, Piter said. And the attempt must appear valid. Ah, but the lad has such a sweet young body, the Baron said. Of course, hes potentially more dangerous than the father . . . with that witch mother training him. Accursed woman! Ah, well, please continue, Piter. Hawat will have divined that we have an agent planted on him, Piter said. The obvious suspect is Dr. Yueh, who is indeed our agent. But Hawat has investigated and found that our doctor is a Suk School graduate with Imperial Conditioning supposedly safe enough to minister even to the Emperor. Great store is set on Imperial Conditioning. Its assumed that ultimate conditioning cannot be removed without killing the subject. However, as someone once observed, given the right lever you can move a planet. We found the lever that moved the doctor. How? Feyd-Rautha asked. He found this a fascinating subject. Everyone knew you couldnt subvert Imperial Conditioning! Another time, the Baron said. Continue, Piter. In place of Yueh, Piter said, well drag a most interesting suspect across Hawats path. The very audacity of this suspect will recommend her to Hawats attention. Her? Feyd-Rautha asked. The Lady Jessica herself, the Baron said. Is it not sublime? Piter asked. Hawats mind will be so filled with this prospect itll impair his function as a Mentat. He may even try to kill her. Piter frowned, then: But I dont think hell be able to carry it off. You dont want him to, eh? the Baron asked. Dont distract me, Piter said. While Hawats occupied with the Lady Jessica, well divert him further with uprisings in a few garrison towns and the like. These will be put down. The Duke must believe hes gaining a measure of security. Then, when the moment is ripe, well signal Yueh and move in with our major force . . . ah . . . Go ahead, tell him all of it, the Baron said. Well move in strengthened by two legions of Sardaukar disguised in Harkonnen livery. Sardaukar! Feyd-Rautha breathed. His mind focused on the dread Imperial troops, the killers without mercy, the soldier fanatics of the Padishah Emperor. You see how I trust you, Feyd, the Baron said. No hint of this must ever reach another Great House, else the Landsraad might unite against the Imperial House and thered be chaos. The main point, Piter said, is this: since House Harkonnen is being used to do the Imperial dirty work, weve gained a true advantage. Its a dangerous advantage, to be sure, but if used cautiously, will bring House Harkonnen greater wealth than that of any other House in the Imperium. You have no idea how much wealth is involved, Feyd, the Baron said. Not in your wildest imaginings. To begin, well have an irrevocable directorship in the CHOAM Company. Feyd-Rautha nodded. Wealth was the thing. CHOAM was the key to wealth, each noble House dipping from the companys coffers whatever it could under the power of the directorships. Those CHOAM directorships they were the real evidence of political power in the Imperium, passing with the shifts of voting strength within the Landsraad as it balanced itself against the Emperor and his supporters. The Duke Leto, Piter said, may attempt to flee to the new Fremen scum along the deserts edge. Or he may try to send his family into that imagined security. But that path is blocked by one of His Majestys agents the planetary ecologist. You may remember him Kynes. Feyd remembers him, the Baron said. Get on with it. You do not drool very prettily, Baron, Piter said. Get on with it, I command you! the Baron roared. Piter shrugged. If matters go as planned, he said, House Harkonnen will have a subfief on Arrakis within a Standard year. Your uncle will have dispensation of that fief. His own personal agent will rule on Arrakis. More profits, Feyd-Rautha said. Indeed, the Baron said. And he thought: Its only just. Were the ones who tamed Arrakis . . .except for the few mongrel Fremen hiding in the skirts of the desert . . . and some tame smugglers bound to the planet almost as tightly as the native labor pool. And the Great Houses will know that the Baron has destroyed the Atreides, Piter said. They will know. They will know, the Baron breathed. Loveliest of all, Piter said, is that the Duke will know, too. He knows now. He can already feel the trap. Its true the Duke knows, the Baron said, and his voice held a note of sadness. He could not help but know . . . mores the pity. The Baron moved out and away from the globe of Arrakis. As he emerged from the shadows, his figure took on dimension grossly and immensely fat. And with subtle bulges beneath folds of his dark robes to reveal that all this fat was sustained partly by portable suspensors harnessed to his flesh. He might weigh two hundred Standard kilos in actuality, but his feet would carry no more than fifty of them. I am hungry, the Baron rumbled, and he rubbed his protruding lips with a beringed hand, stared down at Feyd-Rautha through fat-enfolded eyes. Send for food, my darling. We will eat before we retire. = = = = = = Thus spoke St. Alia-of-the-Knife: The Reverend Mother must combine the seductive wiles of a courtesan with the untouchable majesty of a virgin goddess, holding these attributes in tension so long as the powers of her youth endure. For when youth and beauty have gone, she will find that the place-between, once occupied by tension, has become a wellspring of cunning and resourcefulness. -from MuadDib, Family Commentaries by the Princess Irulan Well, Jessica, what have you to say for yourself? asked the Reverend Mother. It was near sunset at Castle Caladan on the day of Pauls ordeal. The two women were alone in Jessicas morning room while Paul waited in the adjoining soundproofed Meditation Chamber. Jessica stood facing the south windows. She saw and yet did not see the evenings banked colors across meadow and river. She heard and yet did not hear the Reverend Mothers question. There had been another ordeal once so many years ago. A skinny girl with hair the color of bronze, her body tortured by the winds of puberty, had entered the study of the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, Proctor Superior of the Bene Gesserit school on Wallach IX. Jessica looked down at her right hand, flexed the fingers, remembering the pain, the terror, the anger. Poor Paul, she whispered. I asked you a question, Jessica! The old womans voice was snappish, demanding. What? Oh . . . Jessica tore her attention away from the past, faced the Reverend Mother, who sat with back to the stone wall between the two west windows. What do you want me to say? What do I want you to say? What do I want you to say? The old voice carried a tone of cruel mimicry. So I had a son! Jessica flared. And she knew she was being goaded into this anger deliberately. You were told to bear only daughters to the Atreides. It meant so much to him, Jessica pleaded. And you in your pride thought you could produce the Kwisatz Haderach! Jessica lifted her chin. I sensed the possibility. You thought only of your Dukes desire for a son, the old woman snapped. And his desires dont figure in this. An Atreides daughter couldve been wed to a Harkonnen heir and sealed the breach. Youve hopelessly complicated matters. We may lose both bloodlines now. Youre not infallible, Jessica said. She braved the steady stare from the old eyes. Presently, the old woman muttered: Whats done is done. I vowed never to regret my decision, Jessica said. How noble, the Reverend Mother sneered. No regrets. We shall see when youre a fugitive with a price on your head and every mans hand turned against you to seek your life and the life of your son. Jessica paled. Is there no alternative? Alternative? A Bene Gesserit should ask that? I ask only what you see in the future with your superior abilities. I see in the future what Ive seen in the past. You well know the pattern of our affairs, Jessica. The race knows its own mortality and fears stagnation of its heredity. Its in the bloodstream the urge to mingle genetic strains without plan. The Imperium, the CHOAM Company, all the Great Houses, they are but bits of flotsam in the path of the flood. CHOAM, Jessica muttered. I suppose its already decided how theyll redivide the spoils of Arrakis. What is CHOAM but the weather vane of our times, the old woman said. The Emperor and his friends now command fifty-nine point six-five per cent of the CHOAM directorships votes. Certainly they smell profits, and likely as others smell those same profits his voting strength will increase. This is the pattern of history, girl. Thats certainly what I need right now, Jessica said. A review of history. Dont be facetious, girl! You know as well as I do what forces surround us. Weve a three-point civilization: the Imperial Household balanced against the Federated Great Houses of the Landsraad, and between them, the Guild with its damnable monopoly on interstellar transport. In politics, the tripod is the most unstable of all structures. Itd be bad enough without the complication of a feudal trade culture which turns its back on most science. Jessica spoke bitterly: Chips in the path of the flood and this chip here, this is the Duke Leto, and this ones his son, and this ones Oh, shut up, girl. You entered this with full knowledge of the delicate edge you walked. I am Bene Gesserit: I exist only to serve, Jessica quoted. Truth. the old woman said. And all we can hope for now is to prevent this from erupting into general conflagration, to salvage what we can of the key bloodlines. Jessica closed her eyes, feeling tears press out beneath the lids. She fought down the inner trembling, the outer trembling, the uneven breathing, the ragged pulse, the sweating of the palms. Presently, she said, Ill pay for my own mistake. And your son will pay with you. Ill shield him as well as Im able. Shield! the old woman snapped. You well know the weakness there! Shield your son too much, Jessica, and hell not grow strong enough to fulfill any destiny. Jessica turned away, looked out the window at the gathering darkness. Is it really that terrible, this planet of Arrakis? Bad enough, but not all bad. The Missionaria Protectiva has been in there and softened it up somewhat. The Reverend Mother heaved herself to her feet, straightened a fold in her gown. Call the boy in here. I must be leaving soon. Must you? The old womans voice softened. Jessica, girl, I wish I could stand in your place and take your sufferings. But each of us must make her own path. I know. Youre as dear to me as any of my own daughters, but I cannot let that interfere with duty. I understand . . . the necessity. What you did, Jessica, and why you did it we both know. But kindness forces me to tell you theres little chance your lad will be the Bene Gesserit Totality. You mustnt let yourself hope too much. Jessica shook tears from the corners of her eyes. It was an angry gesture. You make me feel like a little girl again reciting my first lesson. She forced the words out: Humans must never submit to animals. A dry sob shook her. In a low voice, she said: Ive been so lonely. It should be one of the tests, the old woman said. Humans are almost always lonely. Now summon the boy. Hes had a long, frightening day. But hes had time to think and remember, and I must ask the other questions about these dreams of his. Jessica nodded, went to the door of the Meditation Chamber, opened it. Paul, come in now, please. Paul emerged with a stubborn slowness. He stared at his mother as though she were a stranger. Wariness veiled his eyes when he glanced at the Reverend Mother, but this time he nodded to her, the nod one gives an equal. He heard his mother close the door behind him. Young man, the old woman said, lets return to this dream business. What do you want? Do you dream every night? Not dreams worth remembering. I can remember every dream, but some are worth remembering and some arent. How do you know the difference? I just know it. The old woman glanced at Jessica, back to Paul. What did you dream last night? Was it worth remembering? Yes. Paul closed his eyes. I dreamed a cavern . . . and water . . . and a girl there very skinny with big eyes. Her eyes are all blue, no whites in them. I talk to her and tell her about you, about seeing the Reverend Mother on Caladan. Paul opened his eyes. And the thing you tell this strange girl about seeing me, did it happen today? Paul thought about this, then: Yes. I tell the girl you came and put a stamp of strangeness on me. Stamp of strangeness, the old woman breathed, and again she shot a glance at Jessica, returned her attention to Paul. Tell me truly now, Paul, do you often have dreams of things that happen afterward exactly as you dreamed them? Yes. And Ive dreamed about that girl before. Oh? You know her? I will know her. Tell me about her. Again, Paul closed his eyes. Were in a little place in some rocks where its sheltered. Its almost night, but its hot and I can see patches of sand out of an opening in the rocks. Were . . . waiting for something . . . for me to go meet some people. And shes frightened but trying to hide it from me, and Im excited. And she says: Tell me about the waters of your homeworld, Usul. Paul opened his eyes. Isnt that strange? My homeworlds Caladan. Ive never even heard of a planet called Usul. Is there more to this dream? Jessica prompted. Yes. But maybe she was calling me Usul, Paul said. I just thought of that. Again, he closed his eyes. She asks me to tell her about the waters. And I take her hand. And I say Ill tell her a poem. And I tell her the poem, but I have to explain some of the words like beach and surf and seaweed and seagulls. What poem? the Reverend Mother asked. Paul opened his eyes. Its just one of Gurney Hallecks tone poems for sad times. Behind Paul Jessica began to recite: I remember salt smoke from a beach fire And shadows under the pines Solid, clean . . . fixed Seagulls perched at the tip of land, White upon green . . . And a wind comes through the pines To sway the shadows; The seagulls spread their wings, Lift And fill the sky with screeches. And I hear the wind Blowing across our beach, And the surf, And I see that our fire Has scorched the seaweed. Thats the one, Paul said. The old woman stared at Paul, then: Young man, as a Proctor of the Bene Gesserit, I seek the Kwisatz Haderach, the male who truly can become one of us. Your mother sees this possibility in you, but she sees with the eyes of a mother. Possibility I see, too, but no more. She fell silent and Paul saw that she wanted him to speak. He waited her out. Presently, she said: As you will, then. Youve depths in you; that Ill grant. May I go now? he asked. Dont you want to hear what the Reverend Mother can tell you about the Kwisatz Haderach? Jessica asked. She said those who tried for it died. But I can help you with a few hints at why they failed, the Reverend Mother said. She talks of hints, Paul thought. She doesnt really know anything. And he said: Hint then. And be damned to me? She smiled wryly, a crisscross of wrinkles in the old face. Very well: That which submits rules. He felt astonishment: she was talking about such elementary things as tension within meaning. Did she think his mother had taught him nothing at all? Thats a hint? he asked. Were not here to bandy words or quibble over their meaning, the old woman said. The willow submits to the wind and prospers until one day it is many willows a wall against the wind. This is the willows purpose. Paul stared at her. She said purpose and he felt the word buffet him, reinfecting him with terrible purpose. He experienced a sudden anger at her: fatuous old witch with her mouth full of platitudes. You think I could be this Kwisatz Haderach, he said. You talk about me, but you havent said one thing about what we can do to help my father. Ive heard you talking to my mother. You talk as though my father were dead. Well, he isnt! If there were a thing to be done for him, wed have done it, the old woman growled. We may be able to salvage you. Doubtful, but possible. But for your father, nothing. When youve learned to accept that as a fact, youve learned a real Bene Gesserit lesson. Paul saw how the words shook his mother. He glared at the old woman. How could she say such a thing about his father? What made her so sure? His mind seethed with resentment. The Reverend Mother looked at Jessica. Youve been training him in the Way Ive seen the signs of it. Id have done the same in your shoes and devil take the Rules. Jessica nodded. Now, I caution you, said the old woman, to ignore the regular order of training. His own safety requires the Voice. He already has a good start in it, but we both know how much more he needs . . . and that desperately. She stepped close to Paul, stared down at him. Goodbye, young human. I hope you make it. But if you dont well, we shall yet succeed. Once more she looked at Jessica. A flicker sign of understanding passed between them. Then the old woman swept from the room, her robes hissing, with not another backward glance. The room and its occupants already were shut from her thoughts. But Jessica had caught one glimpse of the Reverend Mothers face as she turned away. There had been tears on the seamed cheeks. The tears were more unnerving than any other word or sign that had passed between them this day. = = = = = = You have read that MuadDib had no playmates his own age on Caladan. The dangers were too great. But MuadDib did have wonderful companion-teachers. There was Gurney Halleck, the troubadour-warrior. You will sing some of Gurneys songs, as you read along in this book. There was Thufir Hawat, the old Mentat Master of Assassins, who struck fear even into the heart of the Padishah Emperor. There were Duncan Idaho, the Swordmaster of the Ginaz; Dr. Wellington Yueh, a name black in treachery but bright in knowledge; the Lady Jessica, who guided her son in the Bene Gesserit Way, and of course the Duke Leto, whose qualities as a father have long been overlooked. -from A Childs History of MuadDib by the Princess Irulan Thufir Hawat slipped into the training room of Castle Caladan, closed the door softly. He stood there a moment, feeling old and tired and storm-leathered. His left leg ached where it had been slashed once in the service of the Old Duke. Three generations of them now, he thought. He stared across the big room bright with the light of noon pouring through the skylights, saw the boy seated with back to the door, intent on papers and charts spread across an ell table. How many times must I tell that lad never to settle himself with his back to a door? Hawat cleared his throat. Paul remained bent over his studies. A cloud shadow passed over the skylights. Again, Hawat cleared his throat. Paul straightened, spoke without turning: I know. Im sitting with my back to a door. Hawat suppressed a smile, strode across the room. Paul looked up at the grizzled old man who stopped at a corner of the table. Hawats eyes were two pools of alertness in a dark and deeply seamed face. I heard you coming down the hall, Paul said. And I heard you open the door. The sounds I make could be imitated. Id know the difference. He might at that, Hawat thought. That witch-mother of his is giving him the deep training, certainly. I wonder what her precious school thinks of that? Maybe thats why they sent the old Proctor here to whip our dear Lady Jessica into line. Hawat pulled up a chair across from Paul, sat down facing the door. He did it pointedly, leaned back and studied the room. It struck him as an odd place suddenly, a stranger-place with most of its hardware already gone off to Arrakis. A training table remained, and a fencing mirror with its crystal prisms quiescent, the target dummy beside it patched and padded, looking like an ancient foot soldier maimed and battered in the wars. There stand I, Hawat thought. Thufir, whatre you thinking? Paul asked. Hawat looked at the boy. I was thinking well all be out of here soon and likely never see the place again. Does that make you sad? Sad? Nonsense! Parting with friends is a sadness. A place is only a place. He glanced at the charts on the table. And Arrakis is just another place. Did my father send you up to test me? Hawat scowled the boy had such observing ways about him. He nodded. Youre thinking itd have been nicer if hed come up himself, but you must know how busy he is. Hell be along later. Ive been studying about the storms on Arrakis. The storms. I see. They sound pretty bad. Thats too cautious a word: bad. Those storms build up across six or seven thousand kilometers of flatlands, feed on anything that can give them a push coriolis force, other storms, anything that has an ounce of energy in it. They can blow up to seven hundred kilometers an hour, loaded with everything loose thats in their way sand, dust, everything. They can eat flesh off bones and etch the bones to slivers. Why dont they have weather control? Arrakis has special problems, costs are higher, and thered be maintenance and the like. The Guild wants a dreadful high price for satellite control and your fathers House isnt one of the big rich ones, lad. You know that. Have you ever seen the Fremen? The lads mind is darting all over today, Hawat thought. Like as not I have seen them, he said. Theres little to tell them from the folk of the graben and sink. They all wear those great flowing robes. And they stink to heaven in any closed space. Its from those suits they wear call them stillsuits that reclaim the bodys own water. Paul swallowed, suddenly aware of the moisture in his mouth, remembering a dream of thirst. That people could want so for water they had to recycle their body moisture struck him with a feeling of desolation. Waters precious there, he said. Hawat nodded, thinking: Perhaps Im doing it, getting across to him the importance of this planet as an enemy. Its madness to go in there without that caution in our minds. Paul looked up at the skylight, aware that it had begun to rain. He saw the spreading wetness on the gray meta-glass. Water, he said. Youll learn a great concern for water, Hawat said. As the Dukes son youll never want for it, but youll see the pressures of thirst all around you. Paul wet his lips with his tongue, thinking back to the day a week ago and the ordeal with the Reverend Mother. She, too, had said something about water starvation. Youll learn about the funeral plains, shed said, about the wilderness that is empty, the wasteland where nothing lives except the spice and the sandworms. Youll stain your eyepits to reduce the sun glare. Shelter will mean a hollow out of the wind and hidden from view. Youll ride upon your own two feet without thopter or groundcar or mount. And Paul had been caught more by her tone singsong and wavering than by her words. When you live upon Arrakis, she had said, khala, the land is empty. The moons will be your friends, the sun your enemy. Paul had sensed his mother come up beside him away from her post guarding the door. She had looked at the Reverend Mother and asked: Do you see no hope. Your Reverence? Not for the father. And the old woman had waved Jessica to silence, looked down at Paul. Grave this on your memory, lad: A world is supported by four things . . . She held up four big-knuckled fingers. . . . the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all of these are as nothing . . . She closed her fingers into a fist. . . . without a ruler who knows the art of ruling. Make that the science of your tradition! A week had passed since that day with the Reverend Mother. Her words were only now beginning to come into full register. Now, sitting in the training room with Thufir Hawat, Paul felt a sharp pang of fear. He looked across at the Mentats puzzled frown. Where were you woolgathering that time? Hawat asked. Did you meet the Reverend Mother? That Truthsayer witch from the Imperium? Hawats eyes quickened with interest. I met her. She . . . Paul hesitated, found that he couldnt tell Hawat about the ordeal. The inhibitions went deep. Yes? What did she? Paul took two deep breaths. She said a thing. He closed his eyes, calling up the words, and when he spoke his voice unconsciously took on some of the old womans tone: You, Paul Atreides, descendant of kings, son of a Duke, you must learn to rule. Its something none of your ancestors learned. Paul opened his eyes, said: That made me angry and I said my father rules an entire planet. And she said, Hes losing it. And I said my father was getting a richer planet. And she said. Hell lose that one, too. And I wanted to run and warn my father, but she said hed already been warned by you, by Mother, by many people. True enough, Hawat muttered. Then whyre we going? Paul demanded. Because the Emperor ordered it. And because theres hope in spite of what that witch-spy said. What else spouted from this ancient fountain of wisdom? Paul looked down at his right hand clenched into a fist beneath the table. Slowly, he willed the muscles to relax. She put some kind of hold on me, he thought. How? She asked me to tell her what it is to rule, Paul said. And I said that one commands. And she said I had some unlearning to do. She hit a mark there right enough, Hawat thought. He nodded for Paul to continue. She said a ruler must learn to persuade and not to compel. She said he must lay the best coffee hearth to attract the finest men. Howd she figure your father attracted men like Duncan and Gurney? Hawat asked. Paul shrugged. Then she said a good ruler has to learn his worlds language, that its different for every world. And I thought she meant they didnt speak Galach on Arrakis, but she said that wasnt it at all. She said she meant the language of the rocks and growing things, the language you dont hear just with your ears. And I said thats what Dr. Yueh calls the Mystery of Life. Hawat chuckled. Howd that sit with her? I think she got mad. She said the mystery of life isnt a problem to solve, but a reality to experience. So I quoted the First Law of Mentat at her: A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it. That seemed to satisfy her. He seems to be getting over it, Hawat thought, but that old witch frightened him. Why did she do it? Thufir, Paul said, will Arrakis be as bad as she said? Nothing could be that bad, Hawat said and forced a smile. Take those Fremen, for example, the renegade people of the desert. By first-approximation analysis, I can tell you therere many, many more of them than the Imperium suspects. People live there, lad: a great many people, and . . . Hawat put a sinewy finger beside his eye. . . . they hate Harkonnens with a bloody passion. You must not breathe a word of this, lad. I tell you only as your fathers helper. My father has told me of Salusa Secundus, Paul said. Do you know, Thufir, it sounds much like Arrakis . . . perhaps not quite as bad, but much like it. We do not really know of Salusa Secundus today, Hawat said. Only what it was like long ago . . . mostly. But what is known youre right on that score. Will the Fremen help us? Its a possibility. Hawat stood up. I leave today for Arrakis. Meanwhile, you take care of yourself for an old man whos fond of you, heh? Come around here like the good lad and sit facing the door. Its not that I think theres any danger in the castle; its just a habit I want you to form. Paul got to his feet, moved around the table. Youre going today? Today it is, and youll be following tomorrow. Next time we meet itll be on the soil of your new world. He gripped Pauls right arm at the bicep. Keep your knife arm free, heh? And your shield at full charge. He released the arm, patted Pauls shoulder, whirled and strode quickly to the door. Thufir! Paul called. Hawat turned, standing in the open doorway. Dont sit with your back to any doors, Paul said. A grin spread across the seamed old face. That I wont, lad. Depend on it. And he was gone, shutting the door softly behind. Paul sat down where Hawat had been, straightened the papers. One more day here, he thought. He looked around the room. We re leaving. The idea of departure was suddenly more real to him than it had ever been before. He recalled another thing the old woman had said about a world being the sum of many things the people, the dirt, the growing things, the moons, the tides, the suns the unknown sum called nature, a vague summation without any sense of the now. And he wondered: What is the now? The door across from Paul banged open and an ugly lump of a man lurched through it preceded by a handful of weapons. Well, Gurney Halleck, Paul called, are you the new weapons master? Halleck kicked the door shut with one heel. Youd rather I came to play games, I know, he said. He glanced abound the room, noting that Hawats men already had been over it, checking, making it safe for a dukes heir. The subtle code signs were all around. Paul watched the rolling, ugly man set himself back in motion, veer toward the training table with the load of weapons, saw the nine-string baliset slung over Gurneys shoulder with the multipick woven through the strings near the head of the fingerboard. Halleck dropped the weapons on the exercise table, lined them up the rapiers, the bodkins, the kindjals, the slow-pellet stunners, the shield belts. The inkvine scar along his jawline writhed as he turned, casting a smile across the room. So you dont even have a good morning for me, you young imp, Halleck said. And what barb did you sink in old Hawat? He passed me in the hall like a man running to his enemys funeral. Paul grinned. Of all his fathers men, he liked Gurney Halleck best, knew the mans moods and deviltry, his humors, and thought of him more as a friend than as a hired sword. Halleck swung the baliset off his shoulder, began tuning it. If y wont talk, y wont, he said. Paul stood, advanced across the room, calling out: Well, Gurney, do we come prepared for music when its fighting time? So its sass for our elders today, Halleck said. He tried a chord on the instrument, nodded. Wheres Duncan Idaho? Paul asked. Isnt he supposed to be teaching me weaponry? Duncans gone to lead the second wave onto Arrakis, Halleck said. All you have left is poor Gurney whos fresh out of fight and spoiling for music. He struck another chord, listened to it, smiled. And it was decided in council that you being such a poor fighter wed best teach you the music trade sos you wont waste your life entire. Maybe youd better sing me a lay then, Paul said. I want to be sure how not to do it. Ah-h-h, hah! Gurney laughed, and he swung into Galacian Girls. his multipick a blur over the strings as he sang: Oh-h-h, the Galacian girls Will do it for pearls, And the Arrakeen for water! But if you desire dames Like consuming flames, Try a Caladanin daughter! Not bad for such a poor hand with the pick, Paul said, but if my mother heard you singing a bawdy like that in the castle, shed have your ears on the outer wall for decoration. Gurney pulled at his left ear. Poor decoration, too, they having been bruised so much listening at keyholes while a young lad I know practiced some strange ditties on his baliset. So youve forgotten what its like to find sand in your bed, Paul said. He pulled a shield belt from the table, buckled it fast around his waist. Then, lets fight! Hallecks eyes went wide in mock surprise. So! It was your wicked hand did that deed! Guard yourself today, young master guard yourself. He grabbed up a rapier, laced the air with it. Im a hellfiend out for revenge! Paul lifted the companion rapier, bent it in his hands, stood in the aguile, one foot forward. He let his manner go solemn in a comic imitation of Dr. Yueh. What a dolt my father sends me for weaponry, Paul intoned. This doltish Gurney Halleck has forgotten the first lesson for a fighting man armed and shielded. Paul snapped the force button at his waist, felt the crinkled-skin tingling of the defensive field at his forehead and down his back, heard external sounds take on characteristic shield-filtered flatness. In shield fighting, one moves fast on defense, slow on attack, Paul said. Attack has the sole purpose of tricking the opponent into a misstep, setting him up for the attack sinister. The shield turns the fast blow, admits the slow kindjal! Paul snapped up the rapier, feinted fast and whipped it back for a slow thrust timed to enter a shields mindless defenses. Halleck watched the action, turned at the last minute to let the blunted blade pass his chest. Speed, excellent, he said. But you were wide open for an underhanded counter with a slip-tip. Paul stepped back, chagrined. I should whap your backside for such carelessness, Halleck said. He lifted a naked kindjal from the table and held it up. This in the hand of an enemy can let out your lifes blood! Youre an apt pupil, none better, but Ive warned you that not even in play do you let a man inside your guard with death in his hand. I guess Im not in the mood for it today, Paul said. Mood? Hallecks voice betrayed his outrage even through the shields filtering. What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises no matter the mood! Moods a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. Its not for fighting. Im sorry, Gurney. Youre not sorry enough! Halleck activated his own shield, crouched with kindjal outthrust in left hand, the rapier poised high in his right. Now I say guard yourself for true! He leaped high to one side, then forward, pressing a furious attack. Paul fell back, parrying. He felt the field crackling as shield edges touched and repelled each other, sensed the electric tingling of the contact along his skin. Whats gotten into Gurney? he asked himself. Hes not faking this! Paul moved his left hand, dropped his bodkin into his palm from its wrist sheath. You see a need for an extra blade, eh? Halleck grunted. Is this betrayal? Paul wondered. Surely not Gurney! Around the room they fought thrust and parry, feint and counterfeint. The air within their shield bubbles grew stale from the demands on it that the slow interchange along barrier edges could not replenish. With each new shield contact, the smell of ozone grew stronger. Paul continued to back, but now he directed his retreat toward the exercise table. If I can turn him beside the table, Ill show him a trick, Paul thought. One more step, Gurney. Halleck took the step. Paul directed a parry downward, turned, saw Hallecks rapier catch against the tables edge. Paul flung himself aside, thrust high with rapier and came in across Hallecks neckline with the bodkin. He stopped the blade an inch from the jugular. Is this what you seek? Paul whispered. Look down, lad, Gurney panted. Paul obeyed, saw Hallecks kindjal thrust under the tables edge, the tip almost touching Pauls groin. Wed have joined each other in death, Halleck said. But Ill admit you fought some better when pressed to it. You seemed to get the mood. And he grinned wolfishly, the inkvine scar rippling along his jaw. The way you came at me, Paul said. Would you really have drawn my blood? Halleck withdrew the kindjal, straightened. If youd fought one whit beneath your abilities. Id have scratched you a good one, a scar youd remember. Ill not have my favorite pupil fall to the first Harkonnen tramp who happens along. Paul deactivated his shield, leaned on the table to catch his breath. I deserved that, Gurney. But it wouldve angered my father if youd hurt me. Ill not have you punished for my failing. As to that, Halleck said, it was my failing, too. And you neednt worry about a training scar or two. Youre lucky you have so few. As to your father the Duked punish me only if I failed to make a first-class fighting man out of you. And Id have been failing there if I hadnt explained the fallacy in this mood thing youve suddenly developed. Paul straightened, slipped his bodkin back into its wrist sheath. Its not exactly play we do here, Halleck said. Paul nodded. He felt a sense of wonder at the uncharacteristic seriousness in Hallecks manner, the sobering intensity. He looked at the beet-colored inkvine scar on the mans jaw, remembering the story of how it had been put there by Beast Rabban in a Harkonnen slave pit on Giedi Prime. And Paul felt a sudden shame that he had doubted Halleck even for an instant. It occurred to Paul, then, that the making of Hallecks scar had been accompanied by pain a pain as intense, perhaps, as that inflicted by a Reverend Mother. He thrust this thought aside; it chilled their world. I guess I did hope for some play today, Paul said. Things are so serious around here lately. Halleck turned away to hide his emotions. Something burned in his eyes. There was pain in him like a blister, all that was left of some lost yesterday that Time had pruned off him. How soon this child must assume his manhood, Halleck thought. How soon he must read that form within his mind, that contract of brutal caution, to enter the necessary fact on the necessary line: Please list your next of kin. Halleck spoke without turning: I sensed the play in you, lad, and Id like nothing better than to join in it. But this no longer can be play. Tomorrow we go to Arrakis. Arrakis is real. The Harkonnens are real. Paul touched his forehead with his rapier blade held vertical. Halleck turned, saw the salute and acknowledged it with a nod. He gestured to the practice dummy. Now, well work on your timing. Let me see you catch that thing sinister. Ill control it from over here where I can have a full view of the action. And I warn you Ill be trying new counters today. Theres a warning youd not get from a real enemy. Paul stretched up on his toes to relieve his muscles. He felt solemn with the sudden realization that his life had become filled with swift changes. He crossed to the dummy, slapped the switch on its chest with his rapier tip and felt the defensive field forcing his blade away. En garde! Halleck called, and the dummy pressed the attack. Paul activated his shield, parried and countered. Halleck watched as he manipulated the controls. His mind seemed to be in two parts: one alert to the needs of the training fight, and the other wandering in fly-buzz. Im the well-trained fruit tree, he thought. Full of well-trained feelings and abilities and all of them grafted onto me all bearing for someone else to pick. For some reason, he recalled his younger sister, her elfin face so clear in his mind. But she was dead now in a pleasure house for Harkonnen troops. She had loved pansies . . . or was it daisies? He couldnt remember. It bothered him that he couldnt remember. Paul countered a slow swing of the dummy, brought up his left hand entretisser. That clever little devil! Halleck thought, intent now on Pauls interweaving hand motions. Hes been practicing and studying on his own. Thats not Duncans style, and its certainly nothing Ive taught him. This thought only added to Hallecks sadness. Im infected by mood, he thought. And he began to wonder about Paul, if the boy ever listened fearfully to his pillow throbbing in the night. If wishes were fishes wed all cast nets, he murmured. It was his mothers expression and he always used it when he felt the blackness of tomorrow on him. Then he thought what an odd expression that was to be taking to a planet that had never known seas or fishes. = = = = = = YUEH (yue), Wellington (weling-tun), Stdrd 10,082-10,191; medical doctor of the Suk School (grd Stdrd 10,112); md: Wanna Marcus, B.G. (Stdrd 10,092-10,186?); chiefly noted as betrayer of Duke Leto Atreides. (Cf: Bibliography, Appendix VII [Imperial Conditioning] and Betrayal, The.) -from Dictionary of MuadDib by the Princess Irulan Although he heard Dr. Yueh enter the training room, noting the stiff deliberation of the mans pace, Paul remained stretched out face down on the exercise table where the masseuse had left him. He felt deliciously relaxed after the workout with Gurney Halleck. You do look comfortable, said Yueh in his calm, high-pitched voice. Paul raised his head, saw the mans stick figure standing several paces away, took in at a glance the wrinkled black clothing, the square block of a head with purple lips and drooping mustache, the diamond tattoo of Imperial Conditioning on his forehead, the long black hair caught in the Suk Schools silver ring at the left shoulder. Youll be happy to hear we havent time for regular lessons today, Yueh said. Your father will be along presently. Paul sat up. However, Ive arranged for you to have a filmbook viewer and several lessons during the crossing to Arrakis. Oh. Paul began pulling on his clothes. He felt excitement that his father would be coming. They had spent so little time together since the Emperors command to take over the fief of Arrakis. Yueh crossed to the ell table, thinking: How the boy has filled out these past few months. Such a waste! Oh, such a sad waste. And he reminded himself: I must not falter. What I do is done to be certain my Wanna no longer can be hurt by the Harkonnen beasts. Paul joined him at the table, buttoning his jacket. Whatll I be studying on the way across? Ah-h-h-h, the terranic life forms of Arrakis. The planet seems to have opened its arms to certain terranic life forms. Its not clear how. I must seek out the planetary ecologist when we arrive a Dr. Kynes and offer my help in the investigation. And Yueh thought: What am I saying? I play the hypocrite even with myself. Will there be something on the Fremen? Paul asked. The Fremen? Yueh drummed his fingers on the table, caught Paul staring at the nervous motion, withdrew his hand. Maybe you have something on the whole Arrakeen population, Paul said. Yes, to be sure, Yueh said. There are two general separations of the people Fremen, they are one group, and the others are the people of the graben, the sink, and the pan. Theres some intermarriage, Im told. The women of pan and sink villages prefer Fremen husbands; their men prefer Fremen wives. They have a saying: Polish comes from the cities; wisdom from the desert. Do you have pictures of them? Ill see what I can get you. The most interesting feature, of course, is their eyes totally blue, no whites in them. Mutation? No; its linked to saturation of the blood with melange. The Fremen must be brave to live at the edge of that desert. By all accounts, Yueh said. They compose poems to their knives. Their women are as fierce as the men. Even Fremen children are violent and dangerous. Youll not be permitted to mingle with them, I daresay. Paul stared at Yueh, finding in these few glimpses of the Fremen a power of words that caught his entire attention. What a people to win as allies! And the worms? Paul asked. What? Id like to study more about the sandworms. Ah-h-h-h, to be sure. Ive a filmbook on a small specimen, only one hundred and ten meters long and twenty-two meters in diameter. It was taken in the northern latitudes. Worms of more than four hundred meters in length have been recorded by reliable witnesses, and theres reason to believe even larger ones exist. Paul glanced down at a conical projection chart of the northern Arrakeen latitudes spread on the table. The desert belt and south polar regions are marked uninhabitable. Is it the worms? And the storms. But any place can be made habitable. If its economically feasible, Yueh said. Arrakis has many costly perils. He smoothed his drooping mustache. Your father will be here soon. Before I go, Ive a gift for you, something I came across in packing. He put an object on the table between them black, oblong, no larger than the end of Pauls thumb. Paul looked at it. Yueh noted how the boy did not reach for it, and thought: How cautious he is. Its a very old Orange Catholic Bible made for space travelers. Not a filmbook, but actually printed on filament paper. It has its own magnifier and electrostatic charge system. He picked it up, demonstrated. The book is held closed by the charge, which forces against spring-locked covers. You press the edge thus, and the pages youve selected repel each other and the book opens. Its so small. But it has eighteen hundred pages. You press the edge thus, and so . . . and the charge moves ahead one page at a time as you read. Never touch the actual pages with your fingers. The filament tissue is too delicate. He closed the book, handed it to Paul. Try it. Yueh watched Paul work the page adjustment, thought: I salve my own conscience. I give him the surcease of religion before betraying him. Thus may I say to myself that he has gone where I cannot go. This mustve been made before filmbooks, Paul said. Its quite old. Let it be our secret, eh? Your parents might think it too valuable for one so young. And Yueh thought: His mother would surely wonder at my motives. Well . . . Paul closed the book, held it in his hand. If its so valuable . . . Indulge an old mans whim, Yueh said. It was given to me when I was very young. And he thought: I must catch his mind as well as his cupidity. Open it to four-sixty-seven Kalima where it says: From water does all life begin. Theres a slight notch on the edge of the cover to mark the place. Paul felt the cover, detected two notches, one shallower than the other. He pressed the shallower one and the book spread open on his palm, its magnifier sliding into place. Read it aloud, Yueh said. Paul wet his lips with his tongue, read: Think you of the fact that a deaf person cannot hear. Then, what deafness may we not all possess? What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us? What is there around us that we cannot Stop it! Yueh barked. Paul broke off, stared at him. Yueh closed his eyes, fought to regain composure. What perversity caused the book to open at my Wannas favorite passage? He opened his eyes, saw Paul staring at him. Is something wrong? Paul asked. Im sorry, Yueh said. That was . . . my . . . dead wifes favorite passage. Its not the one I intended you to read. It brings up memories that are . . . painful. There are two notches, Paul said. Of course, Yueh thought. Wanna marked her passage. His fingers are more sensitive than mine and found her mark. It was an accident, no more. You may find the book interesting, Yueh said. It has much historical truth in it as well as good ethical philosophy. Paul looked down at the tiny book in his palm such a small thing. Yet, it contained a mystery . . . something had happened while he read from it. He had felt something stir his terrible purpose. Your father will be here any minute, Yueh said. Put the book away and read it at your leisure. Paul touched the edge of it as Yueh had shown him. The book sealed itself. He slipped it into his tunic. For a moment there when Yueh had barked at him, Paul had feared the man would demand the books return. I thank you for the gift. Dr. Yueh, Paul said, speaking formally. It will be our secret. If there is a gift of favor you wish from me, please do not hesitate to ask. I . . . need for nothing, Yueh said. And he thought: Why do I stand here torturing myself? And torturing this poor lad . . . though he does not know it. Oeyh! Damn those Harkonnen beasts! Why did they choose me for their abomination? = = = = = = How do we approach the study of MuadDibs father? A man of surpassing warmth and surprising coldness was the Duke Leto Atreides. Yet, many facts open the way to this Duke: his abiding love for his Bene Gesserit lady; the dreams he held for his son; the devotion with which men served him. You see him there a man snared by Destiny, a lonely figure with his light dimmed behind the glory of his son. Still, one must ask: What is the son but an extension of the father? -from MuadDib, Family Commentaries by the Princess Irulan Paul watched his father enter the training room, saw the guards take up stations outside. One of them closed the door. As always, Paul experienced a sense of presence in his father, someone totally here. The Duke was tall, olive-skinned. His thin face held harsh angles warmed only by deep gray eyes. He wore a black working uniform with red armorial hawk crest at the breast. A silvered shield belt with the patina of much use girded his narrow waist. The Duke said: Hard at work, Son? He crossed to the ell table, glanced at the papers on it, swept his gaze around the room and back to Paul. He felt tired, filled with the ache of not showing his fatigue. I must use every opportunity to rest during the crossing to Arrakis, he thought. Therell be no rest on Arrakis. Not very hard, Paul said. Everythings so . . . He shrugged. Yes. Well, tomorrow we leave. Itll be good to get settled in our new home, put all this upset behind. Paul nodded, suddenly overcome by memory of the Reverend Mothers words: . . . for the father, nothing. Father, Paul said, will Arrakis be as dangerous as everyone says? The Duke forced himself to the casual gesture, sat down on a corner of the table, smiled. A whole pattern of conversation welled up in his mind the kind of thing he might use to dispel the vapors in his men before a battle. The pattern froze before it could be vocalized, confronted by the single thought: This is my son. Itll be dangerous, he admitted. Hawat tells me we have a plan for the Fremen, Paul said. And he wondered: Why dont I tell him what that old woman said? How did she seal my tongue? The Duke noted his sons distress, said: As always, Hawat sees the main chance. But theres much more. I see also the Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles the CHOAM Company. By giving me Arrakis, His Majesty is forced to give us a CHOAM directorship . . . a subtle gain. CHOAM controls the spice, Paul said. And Arrakis with its spice is our avenue into CHOAM, the Duke said. Theres more to CHOAM than melange. Did the Reverend Mother warn you? Paul blurted. He clenched his fists, feeling his palms slippery with perspiration. The effort it had taken to ask that question. Hawat tells me she frightened you with warnings about Arrakis, the Duke said. Dont let a womans fears cloud your mind. No woman wants her loved ones endangered. The hand behind those warnings was your mothers. Take this as a sign of her love for us. Does she know about the Fremen? Yes, and about much more. What? And the Duke thought: The truth could be worse than he imagines, but even dangerous facts are valuable if youve been trained to deal with them. And theres one place where nothing has been spared for my son dealing with dangerous facts. This must be leavened, though; he is young. Few products escape the CHOAM touch, the Duke said. Logs, donkeys, horses, cows, lumber, dung, sharks, whale fur the most prosaic and the most exotic . . . even our poor pundi rice from Caladan. Anything the Guild will transport, the art forms of Ecaz, the machines of Richesse and Ix. But all fades before melange. A handful of spice will buy a home on Tupile. It cannot be manufactured, it must be mined on Arrakis. It is unique and it has true geriatric properties. And now we control it? To a certain degree. But the important thing is to consider all the Houses that depend on CHOAM profits. And think of the enormous proportion of those profits dependent upon a single product the spice. Imagine what would happen if something should reduce spice production. Whoever had stockpiled melange could make a killing, Paul said. Others would be out in the cold. The Duke permitted himself a moment of grim satisfaction, looking at his son and thinking how penetrating, how truly educated that observation had been. He nodded. The Harkonnens have been stockpiling for more than twenty years. They mean spice production to fail and you to be blamed. They wish the Atreides name to become unpopular, the Duke said. Think of the Landsraad Houses that look to me for a certain amount of leadership their unofficial spokesman. Think how theyd react if I were responsible for a serious reduction in their income. After all, ones own profits come first. The Great Convention be damned! You cant let someone pauperize you! A harsh smile twisted the Dukes mouth. Theyd look the other way no matter what was done to me. Even if we were attacked with atomics? Nothing that flagrant. No open defiance of the Convention. But almost anything else short of that . . . perhaps even dusting and a bit of soil poisoning. Then why are we walking into this? Paul! The Duke frowned at his son. Knowing where the trap is thats the first step in evading it. This is like single combat, Son, only on a larger scale a feint within a feint within a feint . . . seemingly without end. The task is to unravel it. Knowing that the Harkonnens stockpile melange, we ask another question: Who else is stockpiling? Thats the list of our enemies. Who? Certain Houses we knew were unfriendly and some wed thought friendly. We need not consider them for the moment because there is one other much more important: our beloved Padishah Emperor. Paul tried to swallow in a throat suddenly dry. Couldnt you convene the Landsraad, expose Make our enemy aware we know which hand holds the knife? Ah, now, Paul we see the knife, now. Who knows where it might be shifted next? If we put this before the Landsraad itd only create a great cloud of confusion. The Emperor would deny it. Who could gainsay him? All wed gain is a little time while risking chaos. And where would the next attack come from? All the Houses might start stockpiling spice. Our enemies have a head start too much of a lead to overcome. The Emperor, Paul said. That means the Sardaukar. Disguised in Harkonnen livery, no doubt, the Duke said. But the soldier fanatics nonetheless. How can Fremen help us against Sardaukar? Did Hawat talk to you about Salusa Secundus? The Emperors prison planet? No. What if it were more than a prison planet, Paul? Theres a question you never hear asked about the Imperial Corps of Sardaukar: Where do they come from? From the prison planet? They come from somewhere. But the supporting levies the Emperor demands from Thats what were led to believe: theyre just the Emperors levies trained young and superbly. You hear an occasional muttering about the Emperors training cadres, but the balance of our civilization remains the same: the military forces of the Landsraad Great Houses on one side, the Sardaukar and their supporting levies on the other. And their supporting levies, Paul. The Sardaukar remain the Sardaukar. But every report on Salusa Secundus says S.S. is a hell world! Undoubtedly. But if you were going to raise tough, strong, ferocious men, what environmental conditions would you impose on them? How could you win the loyalty of such men? There are proven ways: play on the certain knowledge of their superiority, the mystique of secret covenant, the esprit of shared suffering. It can be done. It has been done on many worlds in many times. Paul nodded, holding his attention on his fathers face. He felt some revelation impending. Consider Arrakis, the Duke said. When you get outside the towns and garrison villages, its every bit as terrible a place as Salusa Secundus. Pauls eyes went wide. The Fremen! We have there the potential of a corps as strong and deadly as the Sardaukar. Itll require patience to exploit them secretly and wealth to equip them properly. But the Fremen are there . . . and the spice wealth is there. You see now why we walk into Arrakis, knowing the trap is there. Dont the Harkonnens know about the Fremen? The Harkonnens sneered at the Fremen, hunted them for sport, never even bothered trying to count them. We know the Harkonnen policy with planetary populations spend as little as possible to maintain them. The metallic threads in the hawk symbol above his fathers breast glistened as the Duke shifted his position. You see? Were negotiating with the Fremen right now, Paul said. I sent a mission headed by Duncan Idaho, the Duke said. A proud and ruthless man, Duncan, but fond of the truth. I think the Fremen will admire him. If were lucky, they may judge us by him: Duncan, the moral. Duncan, the moral, Paul said, and Gurney the valorous. You name them well, the Duke said. And Paul thought: Gurneys one of those the Reverend Mother meant, a supporter of worlds . . . the valor of the brave. Gurney tells me you did well in weapons today, the Duke said. That isnt what he told me. The Duke laughed aloud. I figured Gurney to be sparse with his praise. He says you have a nicety of awareness in his own words of the difference between a blades edge and its tip. Gurney says theres no artistry in killing with the tip, that it should be done with the edge. Gurneys a romantic, the Duke growled. This talk of killing suddenly disturbed him, coming from his son. Id sooner you never had to kill . . . but if the need arises, you do it however you can tip or edge. He looked up at the skylight, on which the rain was drumming. Seeing the direction of his fathers stare, Paul thought of the wet skies out there a thing never to be seen on Arrakis from all accounts and this thought of skies put him in mind of the space beyond. Are the Guild ships really big? he asked. The Duke looked at him. This will be your first time off planet, he said. Yes, theyre big. Well be riding a Heighliner because its a long trip. A Heighliner is truly big. Its hold will tuck all our frigates and transports into a little corner well be just a small part of the ships manifest. And we wont be able to leave our frigates? Thats part of the price you pay for Guild Security. There could be Harkonnen ships right alongside us and wed have nothing to fear from them. The Harkonnens know better than to endanger their shipping privileges. Im going to watch our screens and try to see a Guildsman. You wont. Not even their agents ever see a Guildsman. The Guilds as jealous of its privacy as it is of its monopoly. Dont do anything to endanger our shipping privileges, Paul. Do you think they hide because theyve mutated and dont look . . . human anymore? Who knows? The Duke shrugged. Its a mystery were not likely to solve. Weve more immediate problems among them: you. Me? Your mother wanted me to be the one to tell you, Son. You see, you may have Mentat capabilities. Paul stared at his father, unable to speak for a moment, then: A Mentat? Me? But I . . . Hawat agrees, Son. Its true. But I thought Mentat training had to start during infancy and the subject couldnt be told because it might inhibit the early . . . He broke off, all his past circumstances coming to focus in one flashing computation. I see, he said. A day comes, the Duke said, when the potential Mentat must learn whats being done. It may no longer be done to him. The Mentat has to share in the choice of whether to continue or abandon the training. Some can continue; some are incapable of it. Only the potential Mentat can tell this for sure about himself. Paul rubbed his chin. All the special training from Hawat and his mother the mnemonics, the focusing of awareness, the muscle control and sharpening of sensitivities, the study of languages and nuances of voices all of it clicked into a new kind of understanding in his mind. Youll be the Duke someday, Son, his father said. A Mentat Duke would be formidable indeed. Can you decide now . . . or do you need more time? There was no hesitation in his answer. Ill go on with the training. Formidable indeed, the Duke murmured, and Paul saw the proud smile on his fathers face. The smile shocked Paul: it had a skull look on the Dukes narrow features. Paul closed his eyes, feeling the terrible purpose reawaken within him. Perhaps being a Mentat is terrible purpose, he thought. But even as he focused on this thought, his new awareness denied it. = = = = = = With the Lady Jessica and Arrakis, the Bene Gesserit system of sowing implant- legends through the Missionaria Protectiva came to its full fruition. The wisdom of seeding the known universe with a prophecy pattern for the protection of B.G. personnel has long been appreciated, but never have we seen a condition-ut- extremis with more ideal mating of person and preparation. The prophetic legends had taken on Arrakis even to the extent of adopted labels (including Reverend Mother, canto and respondu, and most of the Shari-a panoplia propheticus). And it is generally accepted now that the Lady Jessicas latent abilities were grossly underestimated. -from Analysis: The Arrakeen Crisis by the Princess Irulan [Private circulation: B.G. file number AR-81088587] All around the Lady Jessica piled in corners of the Arrakeen great hall, mounded in the open spaces stood the packaged freight of their lives: boxes, trunks, cartons, cases some partly unpacked. She could hear the cargo handlers from the Guild shuttle depositing another load in the entry. Jessica stood in the center of the hall. She moved in a slow turn, looking up and around at shadowed carvings, crannies and deeply recessed windows. This giant anachronism of a room reminded her of the Sisters Hall at her Bene Gesserit school. But at the school the effect had been of warmth. Here, all was bleak stone. Some architect had reached far back into history for these buttressed walls and dark hangings, she thought. The arched ceiling stood two stories above her with great crossbeams she felt sure had been shipped here to Arrakis across space at monstrous cost. No planet of this system grew trees to make such beams unless the beams were imitation wood. She thought not. This had been the government mansion in the days of the Old Empire. Costs had been of less importance then. It had been before the Harkonnens and their new megalopolis of Carthag a cheap and brassy place some two hundred kilometers northeast across the Broken Land. Leto had been wise to choose this place for his seat of government. The name, Arrakeen, had a good sound, filled with tradition. And this was a smaller city, easier to sterilize and defend. Again there came the clatter of boxes being unloaded in the entry. Jessica sighed. Against a carton to her right stood the painting of the Dukes father. Wrapping twine hung from it like a frayed decoration. A piece of the twine was still clutched in Jessicas left hand. Beside the painting lay a black bulls head mounted on a polished board. The head was a dark island in a sea of wadded paper. Its plaque lay flat on the floor, and the bulls shiny muzzle pointed at the ceiling as though the beast were ready to bellow a challenge into this echoing room. Jessica wondered what compulsion had brought her to uncover those two things first the head and the painting. She knew there was something symbolic in the action. Not since the day when the Dukes buyers had taken her from the school had she felt this frightened and unsure of herself. The head and the picture. They heightened her feelings of confusion. She shuddered, glanced at the slit windows high overhead. It was still early afternoon here, and in these latitudes the sky looked black and cold so much darker than the warm blue of Caladan. A pang of homesickness throbbed through her. So far away, Caladan. Here we are! The voice was Duke Letos. She whirled, saw him striding from the arched passage to the dining hall. His black working uniform with red armorial hawk crest at the breast looked dusty and rumpled. I thought you might have lost yourself in this hideous place, he said. It is a cold house, she said. She looked at his tallness, at the dark skin that made her think of olive groves and golden sun on blue waters. There was woodsmoke in the gray of his eyes, but the face was predatory: thin, full of sharp angles and planes. A sudden fear of him tightened her breast. He had become such a savage, driving person since the decision to bow to the Emperors command. The whole city feels cold, she said. Its a dirty, dusty little garrison town, he agreed. But well change that. He looked around the hall. These are public rooms for state occasions. Ive just glanced at some of the family apartments in the south wing. Theyre much nicer. He stepped closer, touched her arm, admiring her stateliness. And again, he wondered at her unknown ancestry a renegade House, perhaps? Some black-barred royalty? She looked more regal than the Emperors own blood. Under the pressure of his stare, she turned half away, exposing her profile. And he realized there was no single and precise thing that brought her beauty to focus. The face was oval under a cap of hair the color of polished bronze. Her eyes were set wide, as green and clear as the morning skies of Caladan. The nose was small, the mouth wide and generous. Her figure was good but scant: tall and with its curves gone to slimness. He remembered that the lay sisters at the school had called her skinny, so his buyers had told him. But that description oversimplified. She had brought a regal beauty back into the Atreides line. He was glad that Paul favored her. Wheres Paul? he asked. Someplace around the house taking his lessons with Yueh. Probably in the south wing, he said. I thought I heard Yuehs voice, but I couldnt take time to look. He glanced down at her, hesitating. I came here only to hang the key of Caladan Castle in the dining hall. She caught her breath, stopped the impulse to reach out to him. Hanging the key there was finality in that action. But this was not the time or place for comforting. I saw our banner over the house as we came in, she said. He glanced at the painting of his father. Where were you going to hang that? Somewhere in here. No. The word rang flat and final, telling her she could use trickery to persuade, but open argument was useless. Still, she had to try, even if the gesture served only to remind herself that she would not trick him. My Lord, she said, if youd only . . . The answer remains no. I indulge you shamefully in most things, not in this. Ive just come from the dining hall where there are My Lord! Please. The choice is between your digestion and my ancestral dignity, my dear, he said. They will hang in the dining hall. She sighed. Yes, my Lord. You may resume your custom of dining in your rooms whenever possible. I shall expect you at your proper position only on formal occasions. Thank you, my Lord. And dont go all cold and formal on me! Be thankful that I never married you, my dear. Then itd be your duty to join me at table for every meal. She held her face immobile, nodded. Hawat already has our own poison snooper over the dining table, he said. Theres a portable in your room. You anticipated this . . . disagreement, she said. My dear, I think also of your comfort. Ive engaged servants. Theyre locals, but Hawat has cleared them theyre Fremen all. Theyll do until our own people can be released from their other duties. Can anyone from this place be truly safe? Anyone who hates Harkonnens. You may even want to keep the head housekeeper: the Shadout Mapes. Shadout, Jessica said. A Fremen title? Im told it means well-dipper, a meaning with rather important overtones here. She may not strike you as a servant type, although Hawat speaks highly of her on the basis of Duncans report. Theyre convinced she wants to serve specifically that she wants to serve you. Me? The Fremen have learned that youre Bene Gesserit, he said. There are legends here about the Bene Gesserit. The Missionaria Protectiva, Jessica thought. No place escapes them. Does this mean Duncan was successful? she asked. Will the Fremen be our allies? Theres nothing definite, he said. They wish to observe us for a while, Duncan believes. They did, however, promise to stop raiding our outlying villages during a truce period. Thats a more important gain than it might seem. Hawat tells me the Fremen were a deep thorn in the Harkonnen side, that the extent of their ravages was a carefully guarded secret. It wouldnt have helped for the Emperor to learn the ineffectiveness of the Harkonnen military. A Fremen housekeeper, Jessica mused, returning to the subject of the Shadout Mapes. Shell have the all-blue eyes. Dont let the appearance of these people deceive you, he said. Theres a deep strength and healthy vitality in them. I think theyll be everything we need. Its a dangerous gamble, she said. Lets not go into that again, he said. She forced a smile. We are committed, no doubt of that. She went through the quick regimen of calmness the two deep breaths, the ritual thought, then: When I assign rooms, is there anything special I should reserve for you? You must teach me someday how you do that, he said, the way you thrust your worries aside and turn to practical matters. It must be a Bene Gesserit thing. Its a female thing, she said. He smiled. Well, assignment of rooms: make certain, I have large office space next my sleeping quarters. Therell be more paper work here than on Caladan. A guard room, of course. That should cover it. Dont worry about security of the house. Hawats men have been over it in depth. Im sure they have. He glanced at his wristwatch. And you might see that all our timepieces are adjusted for Arrakeen local. Ive assigned a tech to take care of it. Hell be along presently. He brushed a strand of her hair back from her forehead. I must return to the landing field now. The second shuttles due any minute with my staff reserves. Couldnt Hawat meet them, my Lord? You look so tired. The good Thufir is even busier than I am. You know this planets infested with Harkonnen intrigues. Besides, I must try persuading some of the trained spice hunters against leaving. They have the option, you know, with the change of fief and this planetologist the Emperor and the Landsraad installed as Judge of the Change cannot be bought. Hes allowing the opt. About eight hundred trained hands expect to go out on the spice shuttle and theres a Guild cargo ship standing by. My Lord . . . She broke off, hesitating. Yes? He will not be persuaded against trying to make this planet secure for us, she thought. And I cannot use my tricks on him. At what time will you be expecting dinner? she asked. Thats not what she was going to say, he thought. Ah-h-h-h, my Jessica, would that we were somewhere else, anywhere away from this terrible place alone, the two of us, without a care. Ill eat in the officers mess at the field, he said. Dont expect me until very late. And . . .ah, Ill be sending a guardcar for Paul. I want him to attend our strategy conference. He cleared his throat as though to say something else, then, without warning, turned and strode out, headed for the entry where she could hear more boxes being deposited. His voice sounded once from there, commanding and disdainful, the way he always spoke to servants when he was in a hurry: The Lady Jessicas in the Great Hall. Join her there immediately. The outer door slammed. Jessica turned away, faced the painting of Letos father. It had been done by the famed artist, Albe, during the Old Dukes middle years. He was portrayed in matador costume with a magenta cape flung over his left arm. The face looked young, hardly older than Letos now, and with the same hawk features, the same gray stare. She clenched her fists at her sides, glared at the painting. Damn you! Damn you! Damn you! she whispered. What are your orders, Noble Born? It was a womans voice, thin and stringy. Jessica whirled, stared down at a knobby, gray-haired woman in a shapeless sack dress of bondsman brown. The woman looked as wrinkled and desiccated as any member of the mob that had greeted them along the way from the landing field that morning. Every native she had seen on this planet, Jessica thought, looked prune dry and undernourished. Yet, Leto had said they were strong and vital. And there were the eyes, of course that wash of deepest, darkest blue without any white secretive, mysterious. Jessica forced herself not to stare. The woman gave a stiff-necked nod, said: I am called the Shadout Mapes, Noble Born. What are your orders? You may refer to me as my Lady, Jessica said. Im not noble born. Im the bound concubine of the Duke Leto. Again that strange nod, and the woman peered upward at Jessica with a sly questioning, Theres a wife, then? There is not, nor has there ever been. I am the Dukes only . . . companion, the mother of his heir-designate. Even as she spoke, Jessica laughed inwardly at the pride behind her words. What was it St. Augustine said? she asked herself. The mind commands the body and it obeys. The mind orders itself and meets resistance. Yes I am meeting more resistance lately. I could use a quiet retreat by myself. A weird cry sounded from the road outside the house. It was repeated: Soo- soo-Sook! Soo-soo-Sook! Then: Ikhut-eigh! Ikhut-eigh! And again: Soo-soo- Sook! What is that? Jessica asked. I heard it several times as we drove through the streets this morning. Only a water-seller, my Lady. But youve no need to interest yourself in such as they. The cistern here holds fifty thousand liters and its always kept full. She glanced down at her dress. Why, you know, my Lady, I dont even have to wear my stillsuit here? She cackled. And me not even dead! Jessica hesitated, wanting to question this Fremen woman, needing data to guide her. But bringing order of the confusion in the castle was more imperative. Still, she found the thought unsettling that water was a major mark of wealth here. My husband told me of your title, Shadout, Jessica said. I recognized the word. Its a very ancient word. You know the ancient tongues then? Mapes asked, and she waited with an odd intensity. Tongues are the Bene Gesserits first learning, Jessica said. I know the Bhotani Jib and the Chakobsa, all the hunting languages. Mapes nodded. Just as the legend says. And Jessica wondered: Why do I play out this sham? But the Bene Gesserit ways were devious and compelling. I know the Dark Things and the ways of the Great Mother, Jessica said. She read the more obvious signs in Mapes actions and appearance, the petit betrayals. Miseces prejia, she said in the Chakobsa tongue. Andral tre pera! Trada cik buscakri miseces perakri Mapes took a backward step, appeared poised to flee. I know many things. Jessica said. I know that you have borne children, that you have lost loved ones, that you have hidden in fear and that you have done violence and will yet do more violence. I know many things. In a low voice, Mapes said: I meant no offense, my Lady. You speak of the legend and seek answers, Jessica said. Beware the answers you may find. I know you came prepared for violence with a weapon in your bodice. My Lady, I . . . Theres a remote possibility you could draw my lifes blood, Jessica said, but in so doing youd bring down more ruin than your wildest fears could imagine. There are worse things than dying, you know even for an entire people. My Lady! Mapes pleaded. She appeared about to fall to her knees. The weapon was sent as a gift to you should you prove to be the One. And as the means of my death should I prove otherwise, Jessica said. She waited in the seeming relaxation that made the Bene Gesserit-trained so terrifying in combat. Now we see which way the decision tips, she thought. Slowly, Mapes reached into the neck of her dress, brought out a dark sheath. A black handle with deep finger ridges protruded from it. She took sheath in one hand and handle in the other, withdrew a milk-white blade, held it up. The blade seemed to shine and glitter with a light of its own. It was double-edged like a kindjal and the blade was perhaps twenty centimeters long. Do you know this, my Lady? Mapes asked. It could only be one thing, Jessica knew, the fabled crysknife of Arrakis, the blade that had never been taken off the planet, and was known only by rumor and wild gossip. Its a crysknife, she said. Say it not lightly, Mapes said. Do you know its meaning? And Jessica thought: There was an edge to that question. Heres the reason this Fremen has taken service with me, to ask that one question. My answer could precipitate violence or . . . what? She seeks an answer from me: the meaning of a knife. Shes called the Shadow in the Chakobsa tongue. Knife, thats Death Maker in Chakobsa. Shes getting restive. I must answer now. Delay is as dangerous as the wrong answer. Jessica said: Its a maker Eighe-e-e-e-e-e! Mapes wailed. It was a sound of both grief and elation. She trembled so hard the knife blade sent glittering shards of reflection shooting around the room. Jessica waited, poised. She had intended to say the knife was a maker of death and then add the ancient word, but every sense warned her now, all the deep training of alertness that exposed meaning in the most casual muscle twitch. The key word was . . . maker. Maker? Maker. Still, Mapes held the knife as though ready to use it. Jessica said: Did you think that I, knowing the mysteries of the Great Mother, would not know the Maker? Mapes lowered the knife. My Lady, when one has lived with prophecy for so long, the moment of revelation is a shock. Jessica thought about the prophecy the Shari-a and all the panoplia propheticus, a Bene Gesserit of the Missionaria Protectiva dropped here long centuries ago long dead, no doubt, but her purpose accomplished: the protective legends implanted in these people against the day of a Bene Gesserits need. Well, that day had come. Mapes returned knife to sheath, said: This is an unfixed blade, my Lady. Keep it near you. More than a week away from flesh and it begins to disintegrate. Its yours, a tooth of shai-hulud, for as long as you live. Jessica reached out her right hand, risked a gamble: Mapes, youve sheathed that blade unblooded. With a gasp, Mapes dropped the sheathed knife into Jessicas hand, tore open the brown bodice, wailing: Take the water of my life! Jessica withdrew the blade from its sheath. How it glittered! She directed the point toward Mapes, saw a fear greater than death-panic come over the woman. Poison in the point? Jessica wondered. She tipped up the point, drew a delicate scratch with the blades edge above Mapes left breast. There was a thick welling of blood that stopped almost immediately. Ultrafast coagulation, Jessica thought. A moisture-conserving mutation? She sheathed the blade, said: Button your dress, Mapes. Mapes obeyed, trembling. The eyes without whites stared at Jessica. You are ours, she muttered. You are the One. There came another sound of unloading in the entry. Swiftly, Mapes grabbed the sheathed knife, concealed it in Jessicas bodice. Who sees that knife must be cleansed or slain! she snarled. You know that, my Lady! I know it now, Jessica thought. The cargo handlers left without intruding on the Great Hall. Mapes composed herself, said: The uncleansed who have seen a crysknife may not leave Arrakis alive. Never forget that, my Lady. Youve been entrusted with a crysknife. She took a deep breath. Now the thing must take its course. It cannot be hurried. She glanced at the stacked boxes and piled goods around them. And theres work aplenty to while the time for us here. Jessica hesitated. The thing must take its course. That was a specific catchphrase from the Missionaria Protectivas stock of incantations The coming of the Reverend Mother to free you. But Im not a Reverend Mother, Jessica thought. And then: Great Mother! They planted that one here! This must be a hideous place! In matter-of-fact tones, Mapes said: Whatll you be wanting me to do first, my Lady? Instinct warned Jessica to match that casual tone. She said: The painting of the Old Duke over there, it must be hung on one side of the dining hall. The bulls head must go on the wall opposite the painting. Mapes crossed to the bulls head. What a great beast it must have been to carry such a head, she said. She stooped. Ill have to be cleaning this first, wont I, my Lady? No. But theres dirt caked on its horns. Thats not dirt, Mapes. Thats the blood of our Dukes father. Those horns were sprayed with a transparent fixative within hours after this beast killed the Old Duke. Mapes stood up. Ah, now! she said. Its just blood, Jessica said. Old blood at that. Get some help hanging these now. The beastly things are heavy. Did you think the blood bothered me? Mapes asked. Im of the desert and Ive seen blood aplenty. I . . . see that you have, Jessica said. And some of it my own, Mapes said. Moren you drew with your puny scratch. Youd rather Id cut deeper? Ah, no! The bodys water is scant enough thout gushing a wasteful lot of it into the air. You did the thing right. And Jessica, noting the words and manner, caught the deeper implications in the phrase, the bodys water. Again she felt a sense of oppression at the importance of water on Arrakis. On which side of the dining hall shall I hang which one of these pretties, my Lady? Mapes asked. Ever the practical one, this Mapes, Jessica thought. She said: Use your own judgment, Mapes. It makes no real difference. As you say, my Lady. Mapes stooped, began clearing wrappings and twine from the head. Killed an old duke, did you? she crooned. Shall I summon a handler to help you? Jessica asked. Ill manage, my Lady. Yes, shell manage, Jessica thought. Theres that about this Fremen creature: the drive to manage. Jessica felt the cold sheath of the crysknife beneath her bodice, thought of the long chain of Bene Gesserit scheming that had forged another link here. Because of that scheming, she had survived a deadly crisis. It cannot be hurried, Mapes had said. Yet there was a tempo of headlong rushing to this place that filled Jessica with foreboding. And not all the preparations of the Missionaria Protectiva nor Hawats suspicious inspection of this castellated pile of rocks could dispel the feeling. When youve finished hanging those, start unpacking the boxes, Jessica said. One of the cargo men at the entry has all the keys and knows where things should go. Get the keys and the list from him. If there are any questions Ill be in the south wing. As you will, my Lady, Mapes said. Jessica turned away, thinking: Hawat may have passed this residency as safe, but theres something wrong about the place. I can feel it. An urgent need to see her son gripped Jessica. She began walking toward the arched doorway that led into the passage to the dining hall and the family wings. Faster and faster she walked until she was almost running. Behind her, Mapes paused in clearing the wrappings from the bulls head, looked at the retreating back. Shes the One all right, she muttered. Poor thing. = = = = = = Yueh! Yueh! Yueh! goes the refrain. A million deaths were not enough for Yueh! -from A Childs History of MuadDib by the Princess Irulan The door stood ajar, and Jessica stepped through it into a room with yellow walls. To her left stretched a low settee of black hide and two empty bookcases, a hanging waterflask with dust on its bulging sides. To her right, bracketing another door, stood more empty bookcases, a desk from Caladan and three chairs. At the windows directly ahead of her stood Dr. Yueh, his back to her, his attention fixed upon the outside world. Jessica took another silent step into the room. She saw that Yuehs coat was wrinkled, a white smudge near the left elbow as though he had leaned against chalk. He looked, from behind, like a fleshless stick figure in overlarge black clothing, a caricature poised for stringy movement at the direction of a puppet master. Only the squarish block of head with long ebony hair caught in its silver Suk School ring at the shoulder seemed aliveturning slightly to follow some movement outside. Again, she glanced around the room, seeing no sign of her son, but the closed door on her right, she knew, let into a small bedroom for which Paul had expressed a liking. Good afternoon. Dr. Yueh, she said. Wheres Paul? He nodded as though to something out the window, spoke in an absent manner without turning: Your son grew tired, Jessica. I sent him into the next room to rest. Abruptly, he stiffened, whirled with mustache flopping over his purpled lips. Forgive me, my Lady! My thoughts were far away . . . I . . . did not mean to be familiar. She smiled, held out her right hand. For a moment, she was afraid he might kneel. Wellington, please. To use your name like that . . . I . . . Weve known each other six years, she said. Its long past time formalities shouldve been dropped between usin private. Yueh ventured a thin smile, thinking: I believe it has worked. Now, shell think anything unusual in my manner is due to embarrassment. Shell not look for deeper reasons when she believes she already knows the answer. Im afraid I was woolgathering, he said. Whenever I . . . feel especially sorry for you. Im afraid I think of you as . . . well, Jessica. Sorry for me? Whatever for? Yueh shrugged. Long ago, he had realized Jessica was not gifted with the full Truthsay as his Wanna had been. Still, he always used the truth with Jessica whenever possible. It was safest. Youve seen this place, my . . . Jessica. He stumbled over the name, plunged ahead: So barren after Caladan. And the people! Those townswomen we passed on the way here wailing beneath their veils. The way they looked at us. She folded her arms across her breast, hugging herself, feeling the crysknife there, a blade ground from a sandworms tooth, if the reports were right. Its just that were strange to themdifferent people, different customs. Theyve known only the Harkonnens. She looked past him out the windows. What were you staring at out there? He turned back to the window. The people. Jessica crossed to his side, looked to the left toward the front of the house where Yuehs attention was focused. A line of twenty palm trees grew there, the ground beneath them swept clean, barren. A screen fence separated them from the road upon which robed people were passing. Jessica detected a faint shimmering in the air between her and the peoplea house shieldand went on to study the passing throng, wondering why Yueh found them so absorbing. The pattern emerged and she put a hand to her cheek. The way the passing people looked at the palm trees! She saw envy, some hate . . . even a sense of hope. Each person raked those trees with a fixity of expression. Do you know what theyre thinking? Yueh asked. You profess to read minds? she asked. Those minds, he said. They look at those trees and they think; There are one hundred of us. Thats what they think. She turned a puzzled frown on him. Why? Those are date palms, he said. One date palm requires forty liters of water a day. A man requires but eight liters. A palm, then, equals five men. There are twenty palms out thereone hundred men. But some of those people look at the trees hopefully. They but hope some dates will fall, except its the wrong season. We look at this place with too critical an eye, she said. Theres hope as well as danger here. The spice could make us rich. With a fat treasury, we can make this world into whatever we wish. And she laughed silently at herself: Who am I trying to convince? The laugh broke through her restraints, emerging brittle, without humor. But you cant buy security, she said. Yueh turned away to hide his face from her. If only it were possible to hate these people instead of love them! In her manner, in many ways, Jessica was like his Wanna. Yet that thought carried its own rigors, hardening him to his purpose. The ways of the Harkonnen cruelty were devious. Wanna might not be dead. He had to be certain. Do not worry for us, Wellington, Jessica said. The problems ours, not yours. She thinks I worry for her! He blinked back tears. And I do, of course. But I must stand before that black Baron with his deed accomplished, and take my one chance to strike him where he is weakestin his gloating moment! He sighed. Would it disturb Paul if I looked in on him? she asked. Not at all. I gave him a sedative. Hes taking the change well? she asked. Except for getting a bit overtired. Hes excited, but what fifteen-year-old wouldnt be under these circumstances? He crossed to the door, opened it. Hes in here. Jessica followed, peered into a shadowy room. Paul lay on a narrow cot, one arm beneath a light cover, the other thrown back over his head. Slatted blinds at a window beside the bed wove a loom of shadows across face and blanket. Jessica stared at her son, seeing the oval shape of face so like her own. But the hair was the Dukescoal-colored and tousled. Long lashes concealed the lime-toned eyes. Jessica smiled, feeling her fears retreat. She was suddenly caught by the idea of genetic traces in her sons featuresher lines in eyes and facial outline, but sharp touches of the father peering through that outline like maturity emerging from childhood. She thought of the boys features as an exquisite distillation out of random patternsendless queues of happenstance meeting at this nexus. The thought made her want to kneel beside the bed and take her son in her arms, but she was inhibited by Yuehs presence. She stepped back, closed the door softly. Yueh had returned to the window, unable to bear watching the way Jessica stared at her son. Why did Wanna never give me children? he asked himself. I know as a doctor there was no physical reason against it. Was there some Bene Gesserit reason? Was she, perhaps, instructed to serve a different purpose? What could it have been? She loved me, certainly. For the first time, he was caught up in the thought that he might be part of a pattern more involuted and complicated than his mind could grasp. Jessica stopped beside him, said: What delicious abandon in the sleep of a child. He spoke mechanically: If only adults could relax like that. Yes. Where do we lose it? he murmured. She glanced at him, catching the odd tone, but her mind was still on Paul, thinking of the new rigors in his training here, thinking of the differences in his life nowso very different from the life they once had planned for him. We do, indeed, lose something, she said. She glanced out to the right at a slope humped with a wind-troubled gray- green of bushesdusty leaves and dry claw branches. The too-dark sky hung over the slope like a blot, and the milky light of the Arrakeen sun gave the scene a silver castlight like the crysknife concealed in her bodice. The skys so dark, she said. Thats partly the lack of moisture, he said. Water! she snapped. Everywhere you turn here, youre involved with the lack of water! Its the precious mystery of Arrakis, he said. Why is there so little of it? Theres volcanic rock here. Therere a dozen power sources I could name. Theres polar ice. They say you cant drill in the desertstorms and sandtides destroy equipment faster than it can be installed, if the worms dont get you first. Theyve never found water traces there, anyway. But the mystery, Wellington, the real mystery is the wells thatve been drilled up here in the sinks and basins. Have you read about those? First a trickle, then nothing, he said. But, Wellington, thats the mystery. The water was there. It dries up. And never again is there water. Yet another hole nearby produces the same result: a trickle that stops. Has no one ever been curious about this? It is curious, he said. You suspect some living agency? Wouldnt that have shown in core samples? What would have shown? Alien plant matter . . . or animal? Who could recognize it? She turned back to the slope. The water is stopped. Something plugs it. Thats my suspicion. Perhaps the reasons known, he said. The Harkonnens sealed off many sources of information about Arrakis. Perhaps there was reason to suppress this. What reason? she asked. And then theres the atmospheric moisture. Little enough of it, certainly, but theres some. Its the major source of water here, caught in windtraps and precipitators. Where does that come from? The polar caps? Cold air takes up little moisture, Wellington. There are things here behind the Harkonnen veil that bear close investigation, and not all of those things are directly involved with the spice. We are indeed behind the Harkonnen veil, he said. Perhaps well . . . He broke off, noting the sudden intense way she was looking at him. Is something wrong? The way you say Harkonnen, she said. Even my Dukes voice doesnt carry that weight of venom when he uses the hated name. I didnt know you had personal reasons to hate them, Wellington. Great Mother! he thought. Ive aroused her suspicions! Now I must use every trick my Wanna taught me. Theres only one solution: tell the truth as far as I can. He said: You didnt know that my wife, my Wanna . . . He shrugged, unable to speak past a sudden constriction in his throat. Then: They . . . The words would not come out. He felt panic, closed his eyes tightly, experiencing the agony in his chest and little else until a hand touched his arm gently. Forgive me, Jessica said. I did not mean to open an old wound. And she thought: Those animals! His wife was Bene Gesseritthe signs are all over him. And its obvious the Harkonnens killed her. Heres another poor victim bound to the Atreides by a cherem of hate. I am sorry, he said. Im unable to talk about it. He opened his eyes, giving himself up to the internal awareness of grief. That, at least, was truth. Jessica studied him, seeing the up-angled cheeks, the dark sequins of almond eyes, the butter complexion, and stringy mustache hanging like a curved frame around purpled lips and narrow chin. The creases of his cheeks and forehead, she saw, were as much lines of sorrow as of age. A deep affection for him came over her. Wellington, Im sorry we brought you into this dangerous place, she said. I came willingly, he said. And that, too, was true. But this whole planets a Harkonnen trap. You must know that. It will take more than a trap to catch the Duke Leto, he said. And that, too, was true. Perhaps I should be more confident of him, she said. He is a brilliant tactician. Weve been uprooted, he said. Thats why were uneasy. And how easy it is to kill the uprooted plant, she said. Especially when you put it down in hostile soil. Are we certain the soils hostile? There were water riots when it was learned how many people the Duke was adding to the population, she said. They stopped only when the people learned we were installing new windtraps and condensers to take care of the load. There is only so much water to support human life here, he said. The people know if more come to drink a limited amount of water, the price goes up and the very poor die. But the Duke has solved this. It doesnt follow that the riots mean permanent hostility toward him. And guards, she said. Guards everywhere. And shields. You see the blurring of them everywhere you look. We did not live this way on Caladan. Give this planet a chance, he said. But Jessica continued to stare hard-eyed out the window. I can smell death in this place, she said. Hawat sent advance agents in here by the battalion. Those guards outside are his men. The cargo handlers are his men. Thereve been unexplained withdrawals of large sums from the treasury. The amounts mean only one thing: bribes in high places. She shook her head. Where Thufir Hawat goes, death and deceit follow. You malign him. Malign? I praise him. Death and deceit are our only hopes now. I just do not fool myself about Thufirs methods. You should . . . keep busy, he said. Give yourself no time for such morbid Busy! What is it that takes most of my time, Wellington? I am the Dukes secretaryso busy that each day I learn new things to fear . . . things even he doesnt suspect I know. She compressed her lips, spoke thinly: Sometimes I wonder how much my Bene Gesserit business training figured in his choice of me. What do you mean? He found himself caught by the cynical tone, the bitterness that he had never seen her expose. Dont you think, Wellington, she asked, that a secretary bound to one by love is so much safer? That is not a worthy thought, Jessica. The rebuke came naturally to his lips. There was no doubt how the Duke felt about his concubine. One had only to watch him as he followed her with his eyes. She sighed. Youre right. Its not worthy. Again, she hugged herself, pressing the sheathed crysknife against her flesh and thinking of the unfinished business it represented. Therell be much bloodshed soon, she said. The Harkonnens wont rest until theyre dead or my Duke destroyed. The Baron cannot forget that Leto is a cousin of the royal bloodno matter what the distancewhile the Harkonnen titles came out of the CHOAM pocketbook. But the poison in him, deep in his mind, is the knowledge that an Atreides had a Harkonnen banished for cowardice after, the Battle of Corrin. The old feud, Yueh muttered. And for a moment he felt an acid touch of hate. The old feud had trapped him in its web, killed his Wanna orworseleft her for Harkonnen tortures until her husband did their bidding. The old feud had trapped him and these people were part of that poisonous thing. The irony was that such deadliness should come to flower here on Arrakis, the one source in the universe of melange, the prolonger of life, the giver of health. What are you thinking? she asked. I am thinking that the spice brings six hundred and twenty thousand Solaris the decagram on the open market right now. That is wealth to buy many things. Does greed touch even you, Wellington? Not greed. What then? He shrugged. Futility. He glanced at her. Can you remember your first taste of spice? It tasted like cinnamon. But never twice the same, he said. Its like lifeit presents a different face each time you take it. Some hold that the spice produces a learned-flavor reaction. The body, learning a thing is good for it, interprets the flavor as pleasurableslightly euphoric. And, like life, never to be truly synthesized. I think it wouldve been wiser for us to go renegade, to take ourselves beyond the Imperial reach, she said. He saw that she hadnt been listening to him, focused on her words, wondering: Yeswhy didnt she make him do this? She could make him do virtually anything. He spoke quickly because here was truth and a change of subject: Would you think it bold of me . . . Jessica, if I asked a personal question? She pressed against the window ledge in an unexplainable pang of disquiet. Of course not. Youre . . . my friend. Why havent you made the Duke marry you? She whirled, head up, glaring. Made him marry me? But I should not have asked, he said. No. She shrugged. Theres good political reasonas long as my Duke remains unmarried some of the Great Houses can still hope for alliance. And . . . She sighed. . . . motivating people, forcing them to your will, gives you a cynical attitude toward humanity. It degrades everything it touches. If I made him do . . . this, then it would not be his doing. Its a thing my Wanna might have said, he murmured. And this, too, was truth. He put a hand to his mouth, swallowing convulsively. He had never been closer to speaking out, confessing his secret role. Jessica spoke, shattering the moment. Besides, Wellington, the Duke is really two men. One of them I love very much. Hes charming, witty, considerate . . . tendereverything a woman could desire. But the other man is . . . cold, callous, demanding, selfishas harsh and cruel as a winter wind. Thats the man shaped by the father. Her face contorted. If only that old man had died when my Duke was born! In the silence that came between them, a breeze from a ventilator could be heard fingering the blinds. Presently, she took a deep breath, said, Letos rightthese rooms are nicer than the ones in the other sections of the house. She turned, sweeping the room with her gaze. If youll excuse me, Wellington, I want another look through this wing before I assign quarters. He nodded. Of course. And he thought: if only there were some way not to do this thing that I must do. Jessica dropped her arms, crossed to the hall door and stood there a moment, hesitating, then let herself out. All the time we talked he was hiding something, holding something back, she thought. To save my feelings, no doubt. Hes a good man. Again, she hesitated, almost turned back to confront Yueh and drag the hidden thing from him. But that would only shame him, frighten him to learn hes so easily read. I should place more trust in my friends. = = = = = = Many have marked the speed with which MuadDib learned the necessities of Arrakis. The Bene Gesserit, of course, know the basis of this speed. For the others, we can say that MuadDib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It is shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. MuadDib knew that every experience carries its lesson. -from The Humanity of MuadDib by the Princess Irulan Paul lay on the bed feigning sleep. It had been easy to palm Dr. Yuehs sleeping tablet, to pretend to swallow it. Paul suppressed a laugh. Even his mother had believed him asleep. He had wanted to jump up and ask her permission to go exploring the house, but had realized she wouldnt approve. Things were too unsettled yet. No. This way was best. If I slip out without asking I havent disobeyed orders. And I will stay in the house where its safe. He heard his mother and Yueh talking in the other room. Their words were indistinctsomething about the spice . . . the Harkonnens. The conversation rose and fell. Pauls attention went to the carved headboard of his beda false headboard attached to the wall and concealing the controls for this rooms functions. A leaping fish had been shaped on the wood with thick brown waves beneath it. He knew if he pushed the fishs one visible eye that would turn on the rooms suspensor lamps. One of the waves, when twisted, controlled ventilation. Another changed the temperature. Quietly, Paul sat up in bed. A tall bookcase stood against the wall to his left. It could be swung aside to reveal a closet with drawers along one side. The handle on the door into the hall was patterned on an ornithopter thrust bar. It was as though the room had been designed to entice him. The room and this planet. He thought of the filmbook Yueh had shown himArrakis: His Imperial Majestys Desert Botanical Testing Station. It was an old filmbook from before discovery of the spice. Names flitted through Pauls mind, each with its picture imprinted by the books mnemonic pulse: saguaro, burro bush, date palm, sand verbena, evening primrose, barrel cactus, incense bush, smoke tree, creosote bush . . . kit fox, desert hawk, kangaroo mouse . . . Names and pictures, names and pictures from mans terranic pastand many to be found now nowhere else in the universe except here on Arrakis. So many new things to learn aboutthe spice. And the sandworms. A door closed in the other room. Paul heard his mothers footsteps retreating down the hall. Dr. Yueh, he knew, would find something to read and remain in the other room. Now was the moment to go exploring. Paul slipped out of the bed, headed for the bookcase door that opened into the closet. He stopped at a sound behind him, turned. The carved headboard of the bed was folding down onto the spot where he had been sleeping. Paul froze, and immobility saved his life. From behind the headboard slipped a tiny hunter-seeker no more than five centimeters long. Paul recognized it at oncea common assassination weapon that every child of royal blood learned about at an early age. It was a ravening sliver of metal guided by some near-by hand and eye. It could burrow into moving flesh and chew its way up nerve channels to the nearest vital organ. The seeker lifted, swung sideways across the room and back. Through Pauls mind flashed the related knowledge, the hunter-seeker limitations: Its compressed suspensor field distorted the vision of its transmitter eye. With nothing but the dim light of the room to reflect his target, the operator would be relying on motionanything that moved. A shield could slow a hunter, give time to destroy it, but Paul had put aside his shield on the bed. Lasguns would knock them down, but lasguns were expensive and notoriously cranky of maintenanceand there was always the peril of explosive pyrotechnics if the laser beam intersected a hot shield. The Atreides relied on their body shields and their wits. Now, Paul held himself in near catatonic immobility, knowing he had only his wits to meet this threat. The hunter-seeker lifted another half meter. It rippled through the slatted light from the window blinds, back and forth, quartering the room. I must try to grab it, he thought. The suspensor field will make it slippery on the bottom. I must grip tightly. The thing dropped a half meter, quartered to the left, circled back around the bed. A faint humming could be heard from it. Who is operating that thing? Paul wondered. It has to be someone near. I could shout for Yueh, but it would take him the instant the door opened. The hall door behind Paul creaked. A rap sounded there. The door opened. The hunter-seeker arrowed past his head toward the motion. Pauls right hand shot out and down, gripping the deadly thing. It hummed and twisted in his hand, but his muscles were locked on it in desperation. With a violent turn and thrust, he slammed the things nose against the metal doorplate. He felt the crunch of it as the nose eye smashed and the seeker went dead in his hand. Still, he held itto be certain. Pauls eyes came up, met the open stare of total blue from the Shadout Mapes. Your father has sent for you, she said. There are men in the hall to escort you. Paul nodded, his eyes and awareness focusing on this odd woman in a sack- like dress of bondsman brown. She was looking now at the thing clutched in his hand. Ive heard of suchlike, she said. It wouldve killed me, not so? He had to swallow before he could speak. I . . . was its target. But it was coming for me. Because you were moving. And he wondered: Who is this creature? Then you saved my life, she said. I saved both our lives. Seems like you couldve let it have me and made your own escape, she said. Who are you? he asked. The Shadout Mapes, housekeeper. How did you know where to find me? Your mother told me. I met her at the stairs to the weirding room down the hall. She pointed to her right. Your fathers men are still waiting. Those will be Hawats men, he thought. We must find the operator of this thing. Go to my fathers men, he said. Tell them Ive caught a hunter-seeker in the house and theyre to spread out and find the operator. Tell them to seal off the house and its grounds immediately. Theyll know how to go about it. The operators sure to be a stranger among us. And he wondered: Could it be this creature? But he knew it wasnt. The seeker had been under control when she entered. Before I do your bidding, manling, Mapes said, I must cleanse the way between us. Youve put a water burden on me that Im not sure I care to support. But we Fremen pay our debtsbe they black debts or white debts. And its known to us that youve a traitor in your midst. Who it is, we cannot say, but were certain sure of it. Mayhap theres the hand guided that flesh-cutter. Paul absorbed this in silence: a traitor. Before he could speak, the odd woman whirled away and ran back toward the entry. He thought to call her back, but there was an air about her that told him she would resent it. Shed told him what she knew and now she was going to do his bidding. The house would be swarming with Hawats men in a minute. His mind went to other parts of that strange conversation: weirding room. He looked to his left where she had pointed. We Fremen. So that was a Fremen. He paused for the mnemonic blink that would store the pattern of her face in his memoryprune-wrinkled features darkly browned, blue-on-blue eyes without any white in them. He attached the label: The Shadout Mapes. Still gripping the shattered seeker, Paul turned back into his room, scooped up his shield belt from the bed with his left hand, swung it around his waist and buckled it as he ran back out and down the hall to the left. Shed said his mother was someplace down herestairs . . . a weirding room. = = = = = = What had the Lady Jessica to sustain her in her time of trial? Think you carefully on this Bene Gesserit proverb and perhaps you will see: Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that its a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain. -from MuadDib: Family Commentaries by the Princess Irulan At the end of the south wing, Jessica found a metal stair spiraling up to an oval door. She glanced back down the hall, again up at the door. Oval? she wondered. What an odd shape for a door in a house. Through the windows beneath the spiral stair she could see the great white sun of Arrakis moving on toward evening. Long shadows stabbed down the hall. She returned her attention to the stairs. Harsh sidelighting picked out bits of dried earth on the open metalwork of the steps. Jessica put a hand on the rail, began to climb. The rail felt cold under her sliding palm. She stopped at the door, saw it had no handle, but there was a faint depression on the surface of it where a handle should have been. Surely not a palm lock, she told herself. A palm lock must be keyed to one individuals hand shape and palm lines. But it looked like a palm lock. And there were ways to open any palm lockas she had learned at school. Jessica glanced back to make certain she was unobserved, placed her palm against the depression in the door. The most gentle of pressures to distort the linesa turn of the wrist, another turn, a sliding twist of the palm across the surface. She felt the click. But there were hurrying footsteps in the hall beneath her. Jessica lifted her hand from the door, turned, saw Mapes come to the foot of the stairs. There are men in the great hall say theyve been sent by the Duke to get young master Paul, Mapes said. Theyve the ducal signet and the guard has identified them. She glanced at the door, back to Jessica. A cautious one, this Mapes, Jessica thought. Thats a good sign. Hes in the fifth room from this end of the hall, the small bedroom, Jessica said. If you have trouble waking him, call on Dr. Yueh in the next room. Paul may require a wakeshot. Again, Mapes cast a piercing stare at the oval door, and Jessica thought she detected loathing in the expression. Before Jessica could ask about the door and what it concealed, Mapes had turned away, hurrying back down the hall. Hawat certified this place, Jessica thought. There cant be anything too terrible in here. She pushed the door. It swung inward onto a small room with another oval door opposite. The other door had a wheel handle. An airlock! Jessica thought. She glanced down, saw a door prop fallen to the floor of the little room. The prop carried Hawats personal mark. The door was left propped open, she thought. Someone probably knocked the prop down accidentally, not realizing the outer door would close on a palm lock. She stepped over the lip into the little room. Why an airlock in a house? she asked herself. And she thought suddenly of exotic creatures sealed off in special climates. Special climate! That would make sense on Arrakis where even the driest of off-planet growing things had to be irrigated. The door behind her began swinging closed. She caught it and propped it open securely with the stick Hawat had left. Again, she faced the wheel-locked inner door, seeing now a faint inscription etched in the metal above the handle. She recognized Galach words, read: O, Man! Here is a lovely portion of Gods Creation; then, stand before it and learn to love the perfection of Thy Supreme Friend. Jessica put her weight on the wheel. It turned left and the inner door opened. A gentle draft feathered her cheek, stirred her hair. She felt change in the air, a richer taste. She swung the door wide, looked through into massed greenery with yellow sunlight pouring across it. A yellow sun? she asked herself. Then: Filter glass! She stepped over the sill and the door swung closed behind. A wet-planet conservatory, she breathed: Potted plants and low-pruned trees stood all about. She recognized a mimosa, a flowering quince, a sondagi, green-blossomed pleniscenta, green and white striped akarso . . . roses . . . Even roses! She bent to breathe the fragrance of a giant pink blossom, straightened to peer around the room. Rhythmic noise invaded her senses. She parted a jungle overlapping of leaves, looked through to the center of the room. A low fountain stood there, small with fluted lips. The rhythmic noise was a peeling, spooling arc of water falling thud-a-gallop onto the metal bowl. Jessica sent herself through the quick sense-clearing regimen, began a methodical inspection of the rooms perimeter. It appeared to be about ten meters square. From its placement above the end of the hall and from subtle differences in construction, she guessed it had been added onto the roof of this wing long after the original buildings completion. She stopped at the south limits of the room in front of the wide reach of filter glass, stared around. Every available space in the room was crowded with exotic wet-climate plants. Something rustled in the greenery. She tensed, then glimpsed a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms. An arm lifted, sent out a fine spray of dampness that misted her cheeks. The arm retracted and she looked at what it had watered: a fern tree. Water everywhere in this roomon a planet where water was the most precious juice of life. Water being wasted so conspicuously that it shocked her to inner stillness. She glanced out at the filter-yellowed sun. It hung low on a jagged horizon above cliffs that formed part of the immense rock uplifting known as the Shield Wall. Filter glass, she thought. To turn a white sun into something softer and more familiar. Who could have built such a place? Leto? It would be like him to surprise me with such a gift, but there hasnt been time. And hes been busy with more serious problems. She recalled the report that many Arrakeen houses were sealed by airlock doors and windows to conserve and reclaim interior moisture. Leto had said it was a deliberate statement of power and wealth for this house to ignore such precautions, its doors and windows being sealed only against the omnipresent dust. But this room embodied a statement far more significant than the lack of waterseals on outer doors. She estimated that this pleasure room used water enough to support a thousand persons on Arrakispossibly more. Jessica moved along the window, continuing to stare into the room. The move brought into view a metallic surface at table height beside the fountain and she glimpsed a white notepad and stylus there partly concealed by an overhanging fan leaf. She crossed to the table, noted Hawats daysigns on it, studied a message written on the pad: TO THE LADY JESSICA May this place give you as much pleasure as it has given me. Please permit the room to convey a lesson we learned from the same teachers: the proximity of a desirable thing tempts one to overindulgence. On that path lies danger. My kindest wishes, MARGOT LADY FENRING Jessica nodded, remembering that Leto had referred to the Emperors former proxy here as Count Fenring. But the hidden message of the note demanded immediate attention, couched as it was in a way to inform her the writer was another Bene Gesserit. A bitter thought touched Jessica in passing: The Count married his Lady. Even as this thought flicked through her mind, she was bending to seek out the hidden message. It had to be there. The visible note contained the code phrase every Bene Gesserit not bound by a School Injunction was required to give another Bene Gesserit when conditions demanded it: On that path lies danger. Jessica felt the back of the note, rubbed the surface for coded dots. Nothing. The edge of the pad came under her seeking fingers. Nothing. She replaced the pad where she had found it, feeling a sense of urgency. Something in the position of the pad? she wondered. But Hawat had been over this room, doubtless had moved the pad. She looked at the leaf above the pad. The leaf! She brushed a finger along the under surface, along the edge, along the stem. It was there! Her fingers detected the subtle coded dots, scanned them in a single passage: Your son and Duke are in immediate danger. A bedroom has been designed to attract your son. The H loaded it with death traps to be discovered, leaving one that may escape detection. Jessica put down the urge to run back to Paul; the full message had to be learned. Her fingers sped over the dots; I do not know the exact nature of the menace, but it has something to do with a bed. The threat to your Duke involves defection of a trusted companion or lieutenant. The H plan to give you as gift to a minion. To the best of my knowledge, this conservatory is safe. Forgive that I cannot tell more. My sources are few as my Count is not in the pay of the H. In haste, MF. Jessica thrust the leaf aside, whirled to dash back to Paul. In that instant, the airlock door slammed open. Paul jumped through it, holding something in his right hand, slammed the door behind him. He saw his mother, pushed through the leaves to her, glanced at the fountain, thrust his hand and the thing it clutched under the falling water. Paul! She grabbed his shoulder, staring at the hand. What is that? He spoke casually, but she caught the effort behind the tone: Hunter- seeker. Caught it in my room and smashed its nose, but I want to be sure. Water should short it out. Immerse it! she commanded. He obeyed. Presently, she said: Withdraw your hand. Leave the thing in the water. He brought out his hand, shook water from it, staring at the quiescent metal in the fountain. Jessica broke off a plant stem, prodded the deadly sliver. It was dead. She dropped the stem into the water, looked at Paul. His eyes studied the room with a searching intensity that she recognizedthe B.G. Way. This place could conceal anything, he said. Ive reason to believe its safe, she said. My room was supposed to be safe, too. Hawat said It was a hunter-seeker, she reminded him That means someone inside the house to operate it. Seeker control beams have a limited range. The thing couldve been spirited in here after Hawats investigation. But she thought of the message of the leaf: . . . defection of a trusted companion or lieutenant. Not Hawat, surely. Oh, surely not Hawat. Hawats men are searching the house right now, he said. That seeker almost got the old woman who came to wake me. The Shadout Mapes, Jessica said, remembering the encounter at the stairs. A summons from your father to That can wait, Paul said. Why do you think this rooms safe? She pointed to the note, explained about it. He relaxed slightly. But Jessica remained inwardly tense, thinking: A hunter-seeker! Merciful Mother! It took all her training to prevent a fit of hysterical trembling. Paul spoke matter of factly: Its the Harkonnens, of course. We shall have to destroy them. A rapping sounded at the airlock doorthe code knock of one of Hawats corps. Come in, Paul called. The door swung wide and a tall man in Atreides uniform with a Hawat insignia on his cap leaned into the room. There you are, sir, he said. The housekeeper said youd be here. He glanced around the room. We found a cairn in the cellar and caught a man in it. He had a seeker console. Ill want to take part in the interrogation, Jessica said. Sorry, my Lady. We messed him up catching him. He died. Nothing to identify him? she asked. Weve found nothing yet, my Lady. Was he an Arrakeen native? Paul asked. Jessica nodded at the astuteness of the question. He has the native look, the man said. Put into that cairn moren a month ago, by the look, and left there to await our coming. Stone and mortar where he came through into the cellar were untouched when we inspected the place yesterday. Ill stake my reputation on it. No one questions your thoroughness, Jessica said. I question it, my Lady. We shouldve used sonic probes down there. I presume thats what youre doing now, Paul said. Yes, sir. Send word to my father that well be delayed. At once, sir. He glanced at Jessica. Its Hawats order that under such circumstances as these the young master be guarded in a safe place. Again, his eyes swept the room. What of this place? Ive reason to believe it safe, she said. Both Hawat and I have inspected it. Then Ill mount guard outside here, mLady, until weve been over the house once more. He bowed, touched his cap to Paul, backed out and swung the door closed behind him. Paul broke the sudden silence, saying: Had we better go over the house later ourselves? Your eyes might see things others would miss. This wing was the only place I hadnt examined, she said. I put if off to last because . . . Because Hawat gave it his personal attention, he said. She darted a quick look at his face, questioning. Do you distrust Hawat? she asked. No, but hes getting old . . . hes overworked. We could take some of the load from him. Thatd only shame him and impair his efficiency, she said. A stray insect wont be able to wander into this wing after he hears about this. Hell be shamed that . . . We must take our own measures, he said. Hawat has served three generations of Atreides with honor, she said. He deserves every respect and trust we can pay him . . . many times over. Paul said: When my father is bothered by something youve done he says Bene Gesserit! like a swear word. And what is it about me that bothers your father? When you argue with him. You are not your father, Paul. And Paul thought: Itll worry her, but I must tell her what that Mapes woman said about a traitor among us. Whatre you holding back? Jessica asked. This isnt like you, Paul. He shrugged, recounted the exchange with Mapes. And Jessica thought of the message of the leaf. She came to sudden decision, showed Paul the leaf, told him its message. My father must learn of this at once, he said. Ill radiograph it in code and get if off. No, she said. You will wait until you can see him alone. As few as possible must learn about it. Do you mean we should trust no one? Theres another possibility, she said. This message may have been meant to get to us. The people who gave it to us may believe its true, but it may be that the only purpose was to get this message to us. Pauls face remained sturdily somber. To sow distrust and suspicion in our ranks, to weaken us that way, he said. You must tell your father privately and caution him about this aspect of it, she said. I understand. She turned to the tall reach of filter glass, stared out to the southwest where the sun of Arrakis was sinkinga yellowed ball above the cliffs. Paul turned with her, said: I dont think its Hawat, either. Is it possible its Yueh? Hes not a lieutenant or companion, she said. And I can assure you he hates the Harkonnens as bitterly as we do. Paul directed his attention to the cliffs, thinking: And it couldnt be Gurney . . . or Duncan. Could it be one of the sub-lieutenants? Impossible. Theyre all from families thatve been loyal to us for generationsfor good reason. Jessica rubbed her forehead, sensing her own fatigue. So much peril here! She looked out at the filter-yellowed landscape, studying it. Beyond the ducal grounds stretched a high-fenced storage yardlines of spice silos in it with stilt-legged watchtowers standing around it like so many startled spiders. She could see at least twenty storage yards of silos reaching out to the cliffs of the Shield Wallsilos repeated, stuttering across the basin. Slowly, the filtered sun buried itself beneath the horizon. Stars leaped out. She saw one bright star so low on the horizon that it twinkled with a clear, precise rhythma trembling of light: blink-blink-blink-blink-blink . . . Paul stirred beside her in the dusky room. But Jessica concentrated on that single bright star, realizing that it was too low, that it must come from the Shield Wall cliffs. Someone signaling! She tried to read the message, but it was in no code she had ever learned. Other lights had come on down on the plain beneath the cliffs: little yellows spaced out against blue darkness. And one light off to their left grew brighter, began to wink back at the cliffvery fast: blinksquirt, glimmer, blink! And it was gone. The false star in the cliff winked out immediately. Signals . . . and they filled her with premonition. Why were lights used to signal across the basin? she asked herself. Why couldnt they use the communications network? The answer was obvious: the communinet was certain to be tapped now by agents of the Duke Leto. Light signals could only mean that messages were being sent between his enemiesbetween Harkonnen agents. There came a tapping at the door behind them and the voice of Hawats man; All clear, sir . . . mLady. Time to be getting the young master to his father. = = = = = = It is said that the Duke Leto blinded himself to the perils of Arrakis, that he walked heedlessly into the pit. Would it not be more likely to suggest he had lived so long in the presence of extreme danger he misjudged a change in its intensity? Or is it possible he deliberately sacrificed himself that his son might find a better life? All evidence indicates the Duke was a man not easily hoodwinked. -from MuadDib: Family Commentaries by the Princess Irulan The Duke Leto Atreides leaned against a parapet of the landing control tower outside Arrakeen. The nights first moon, an oblate silver coin, hung well above the southern horizon. Beneath it, the jagged cliffs of the Shield Wall shone like parched icing through a dust haze. To his left, the lights of Arrakeen glowed in the hazeyellow . . . white . . . blue. He thought of the notices posted now above his signature all through the populous places of the planet: Our Sublime Padishah Emperor has charged me to take possession of this planet and end all dispute. The ritualistic formality of it touched him with a feeling of loneliness. Who was fooled by that fatuous legalism? Not the Fremen, certainly. Nor the Houses Minor who controlled the interior trade of Arrakis . . . and were Harkonnen creatures almost to a man. They have tried to take the life of my son! The rage was difficult to suppress. He saw lights of a moving vehicle coming toward the landing field from Arrakeen. He hoped it was the guard and troop carrier bringing Paul. The delay was galling even though he knew it was prompted by caution on the part of Hawats lieutenant. They have tried to take the life of my son! He shook his head to drive out the angry thoughts, glanced back at the field where five of his own frigates were posted around the rim like monolithic sentries. Better a cautious delay than . . . The lieutenant was a good one, he reminded himself. A man marked for advancement, completely loyal. Our Sublime Padishah Emperor . . . If the people of this decadent garrison city could only see the Emperors private note to his Noble Dukethe disdainful allusions to veiled men and women: . . . but what else is one to expect of barbarians whose dearest dream is to live outside the ordered security of the faufreluches? The Duke felt in this moment that his own dearest dream was to end all class distinctions and never again think of deadly order. He looked up and out of the dust at the unwinking stars, thought: Around one of those little lights circles Caladan . . . but Ill never again see my home. The longing for Caladan was a sudden pain in his breast. He felt that it did not come from within himself, but that it reached out to him from Caladan. He could not bring himself to call this dry wasteland of Arrakis his home, and he doubted he ever would. I must mask my feelings, he thought. For the boys sake. If ever hes to have a home, this must be it. I may think of Arrakis as a hell Ive reached before death, but he must find here that which will inspire him. There must be something. A wave of self-pity, immediately despised and rejected, swept through him, and for some reason he found himself recalling two lines from a poem Gurney Halleck often repeated My lungs taste the air of Time Blown past falling sands . . . Well, Gurney would find plenty of falling sands here, the Duke thought. The central wastelands beyond those moon-frosted cliffs were desertbarren rock, dunes, and blowing dust, an uncharted dry wilderness with here and there along its rim and perhaps scattered through it, knots of Fremen. If anything could buy a future for the Atreides line, the Fremen just might do it. Provided the Harkonnens hadnt managed to infect even the Fremen with their poisonous schemes. They have tried to take the life of my son! A scraping metal racket vibrated through the tower, shook the parapet beneath his arms. Blast shutters dropped in front of him, blocking the view. Shuttles coming in, he thought. Time to go down and get to work. He turned to the stairs behind him, headed down to the big assembly room, trying to remain calm as he descended, to prepare his face for the coming encounter. They have tried to take the life of my son! The men were already boiling in from the field when he reached the yellow- domed room. They carried their spacebags over their shoulders, shouting and roistering like students returning from vacation. Hey! Feel that under your dogs? Thats gravity, man! How many Gs does this place pull? Feels heavy. Nine-tenths of a G by the book. The crossfire of thrown words filled the big room. Did you get a good look at this hole on the way down? Wheres all the loot this places supposed to have? The Harkonnens took it with em! Me for a hot shower and a soft bed! Havent you heard, stupid? No showers down here. You scrub your ass with sand! Hey! Can it! The Duke! The Duke stepped out of the stair entry into a suddenly silent room. Gurney Halleck strode along at the point of the crowd, bag over one shoulder, the neck of his nine-string baliset clutched in the other hand. They were long-fingered hands with big thumbs, full of tiny movements that drew such delicate music from the baliset. The Duke watched Halleck, admiring the ugly lump of a man, noting the glass- splinter eyes with their gleam of savage understanding. Here was a man who lived outside the faufreluches while obeying their every precept. What was it Paul had called him? Gurney, the valorous. Hallecks wispy blond hair trailed across barren spots on his head. His wide mouth was twisted into a pleasant sneer, and the scar of the inkvine whip slashed across his jawline seemed to move with a life of its own. His whole air was of casual, shoulder-set capability. He came up to the Duke, bowed. Gurney, Leto said. My Lord. He gestured with the baliset toward the men in the room. This is the last of them. Id have preferred coming in with the first wave, but . . . There are still some Harkonnens for you, the Duke said. Step aside with me, Gurney, where we may talk. Yours to command, my Lord. They moved into an alcove beside a coil-slot water machine while the men stirred restlessly in the big room. Halleck dropped his bag into a corner, kept his grip on the baliset. How many men can you let Hawat have? the Duke asked. Is Thufir in trouble. Sire? Hes lost only two agents, but his advance men gave us an excellent line on the entire Harkonnen setup here. If we move fast we may gain a measure of security, the breathing space we require. He wants as many men as you can spare- -men who wont balk at a little knife work. I can let him have three hundred of my best, Halleck said. Where shall I send them? To the main gate. Hawat has an agent there waiting to take them. Shall I get about it at once, Sire? In a moment. We have another problem. The field commandant will hold the shuttle here until dawn on a pretext. The Guild Heighliner that brought us is going on about its business, and the shuttles supposed to make contact with a cargo ship taking up a load of spice. Our spice, mLord? Our spice. But the shuttle also will carry some of the spice hunters from the old regime. Theyve opted to leave with the change of fief and the Judge of the Change is allowing it. These are valuable workers, Gurney, about eight hundred of them. Before the shuttle leaves, you must persuade some of those men to enlist with us. How strong a persuasion, Sire? I want their willing cooperation, Gurney. Those men have experience and skills we need. The fact that theyre leaving suggests theyre not part of the Harkonnen machine. Hawat believes there could be some bad ones planted in the group, but he sees assassins in every shadow. Thufir has found some very productive shadows in his time, mLord. And there are some he hasnt found. But I think planting sleepers in this outgoing crowd would show too much imagination for the Harkonnens. Possibly, Sire. Where are these men? Down on the lower level, in a waiting room. I suggest you go down and play a tune or two to soften their minds, then turn on the pressure. You may offer positions of authority to those who qualify. Offer twenty per cent higher wages than they received under the Harkonnens. No more than that, Sire? I know the Harkonnen pay scales. And to men with their termination pay in their pockets and the wanderlust on them . . . well. Sire, twenty per cent would hardly seem proper inducement to stay. Leto spoke impatiently: Then use your own discretion in particular cases. Just remember that the treasury isnt bottomless. Hold it to twenty per cent whenever you can. We particularly need spice drivers, weather scanners, dune menany with open sand experience. I understand, Sire. They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity of the sand. A very moving quotation, the Duke said. Turn your crew over to a lieutenant. Have him give a short drill on water discipline, then bed the men down for the night in the barracks adjoining the field. Field personnel will direct them. And dont forget the men for Hawat. Three hundred of the best, Sire. He took up his spacebag. Where shall I report to you when Ive completed my chores? Ive taken over a council room topside here. Well hold staff there. I want to arrange a new planetary dispersal order with armored squads going out first. Halleck stopped in the act of turning away, caught Letos eye. Are you anticipating that kind of trouble, Sire? I thought there was a Judge of the Change here. Both open battle and secret, the Duke said. Therell be blood aplenty spilled here before were through. And the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land, Halleck quoted. The Duke sighed. Hurry back, Gurney. Very good, mLord. The whipscar rippled to his grin. Behold, as a wild ass in the desert, go I forth to my work. He turned, strode to the center of the room, paused to relay his orders, hurried on through the men. Leto shook his head at the retreating back. Halleck was a continual amazementa head full of songs, quotations, and flowery phrases . . . and the heart of an assassin when it came to dealing with the Harkonnens. Presently, Leto took a leisurely diagonal course across to the lift, acknowledging salutes with a casual hand wave. He recognized a propaganda corpsman, stopped to give him a message that could be relayed to the men through channels: those who had brought their women would want to know the women were safe and where they could be found. The others would wish to know that the population here appeared to boast more women than men. The Duke slapped the propaganda man on the arm, a signal that the message had top priority to be put out immediately, then continued across the room. He nodded to the men, smiled, traded pleasantries with a subaltern. Command must always look confident, he thought. All that faith riding on your shoulders while you sit in the critical seat and never show it. He breathed a sigh of relief when the lift swallowed him and he could turn and face the impersonal doors. They have tried to take the life of my son! = = = = = = Over the exit of the Arrakeen landing field, crudely carved as though with a poor instrument, there was an inscription that MuadDib was to repeat many times. He saw it that first night on Arrakis, having been brought to the ducal command post to participate in his fathers first full staff conference. The words of the inscription were a plea to those leaving Arrakis, but they fell with dark import on the eyes of a boy who had just escaped a close brush with death. They said: O you who know what we suffer here, do not forget us in your prayers. -from Manual of MuadDib by the Princess Irulan The whole theory of warfare is calculated risk, the Duke said, but when it comes to risking your own family, the element of calculation gets submerged in . . . other things. He knew he wasnt holding in his anger as well as he should, and he turned, strode down the length of the long table and back. The Duke and Paul were alone in the conference room at the landing field. It was an empty-sounding room, furnished only with the long table, old-fashioned three-legged chairs around it, and a map board and projector at one end. Paul sat at the table near the map board. He had told his father the experience with the hunter-seeker and given the reports that a traitor threatened him. The Duke stopped across from Paul, pounded the table: Hawat told me that house was secure! Paul spoke hesitantly: I was angry, tooat first. And I blamed Hawat. But the threat came from outside the house. It was simple, clever, and direct. And it wouldve succeeded were it not for the training given me by you and many othersincluding Hawat. Are you defending him? the Duke demanded. Yes. Hes getting old. Thats it. He should be Hes wise with much experience, Paul said. How many of Hawats mistakes can you recall? I should be the one defending him, the Duke said. Not you. Paul smiled. Leto sat down at the head of the table, put a hand over his sons. Youve . . . matured lately, Son. He lifted his hand. It gladdens me. He matched his sons smile. Hawat will punish himself. Hell direct more anger against himself over this than both of us together could pour on him. Paul glanced toward the darkened windows beyond the map board, looked at the nights blackness. Room lights reflected from a balcony railing out there. He saw movement and recognized the shape of a guard in Atreides uniform. Paul looked back at the white wall behind his father, then down to the shiny surface of the table, seeing his own hands clenched into fists there. The door opposite the Duke banged open. Thufir Hawat strode through it looking older and more leathery than ever. He paced down the length of the table, stopped at attention facing Leto. My Lord, he said, speaking to a point over Letos head, I have just learned how I failed you. It becomes necessary that I tender my resig Oh, sit down and stop acting the fool, the Duke said. He waved to the chair across from Paul. If you made a mistake, it was in overestimating the Harkonnens. Their simple minds came up with a simple trick. We didnt count on simple tricks. And my son has been at great pains to point out to me that he came through this largely because of your training. You didnt fail there! He tapped the back of the empty chair. Sit down, I say! Hawat sank into the chair. But Ill hear no more of it, the Duke said. The incident is past. We have more pressing business. Where are the others? I asked them to wait outside while I Call them in. Hawat looked into Letos eyes. Sire, I I know who my true friends are, Thufir, the Duke said. Call in the men. Hawat swallowed. At once, my Lord. He swiveled in the chair, called to the open door: Gurney, bring them in. Halleck led the file of men into the room, the staff officers looking grimly serious followed by the younger aides and specialists, an air of eagerness among them. Brief scuffing sounds echoed around the room as the men took seats. A faint smell of rachag stimulant wafted down the table. Theres coffee for those who want it, the Duke said. He looked over his men, thinking: Theyre a good crew. A man could do far worse for this kind of war. He waited while coffee was brought in from the adjoining room and served, noting the tiredness in some of the faces. Presently, he put on his mask of quiet efficiency, stood up and commanded their attention with a knuckle rap against the table. Well, gentlemen, he said, our civilization appears tove fallen so deeply into the habit of invasion that we cannot even obey a simple order of the Imperium without the old ways cropping up. Dry chuckles sounded around the table, and Paul realized that his father had said the precisely correct thing in precisely the correct tone to lift the mood here. Even the hint of fatigue in his voice was right. I think first wed better learn if Thufir has anything to add to his report on the Fremen, the Duke said. Thufir? Hawat glanced up. Ive some economic matters to go into after my general report, Sire, but I can say now that the Fremen appear more and more to be the allies we need. Theyre waiting now to see if they can trust us, but they appear to be dealing openly. Theyve sent us a giftstillsuits of their own manufacture . . . maps of certain desert areas surrounding strongpoints the Harkonnens left behind, . . . He glanced down at the table. Their intelligence reports have proved completely reliable and have helped us considerably in our dealings with the Judge of the Change. Theyve also sent some incidental things- -jewelry for the Lady Jessica, spice liquor, candy, medicinals. My men are processing the lot right now. There appears to be no trickery. You like these people, Thufir? asked a man down the table. Hawat turned to face his questioner. Duncan Idaho says theyre to be admired. Paul glanced at his father, back to Hawat, ventured a question: Have you any new information on how many Fremen there are? Hawat looked at Paul. From food processing and other evidence, Idaho estimates the cave complex he visited consisted of some ten thousand people, all told. Their leader said he ruled a sietch of two thousand hearths. Weve reason to believe there are a great many such sietch communities. All seem to give their allegiance to someone called Liet. Thats something new, Leto said. It could be an error on my part, Sire. There are things to suggest this Liet may be a local deity. Another man down the table cleared his throat, asked: Is it certain they deal with the smugglers? A smuggler caravan left this sietch while Idaho was there, carrying a heavy load of spice. They used pack beasts and indicated they faced an eighteen-day journey. It appears, the Duke said, that the smugglers have redoubled their operations during this period of unrest. This deserves some careful thought. We shouldnt worry too much about unlicensed frigates working off our planetits always done. But to have them completely outside our observationthats not good. You have a plan. Sire, Hawat asked. The Duke looked at Halleck. Gurney, I want you to head a delegation, an embassy if you will, to contact these romantic businessmen. Tell them Ill ignore their operations as long as they give me a ducal tithe. Hawat here estimates that graft and extra fighting men heretofore required in their operations have been costing them four times that amount. What if the Emperor gets wind of this? Halleck asked. Hes very jealous of his CHOAM profits, mLord. Leto smiled. Well bank the entire tithe openly in the name of Shaddam IV and deduct it legally from our levy support costs. Let the Harkonnens fight that! And well be ruining a few more of the locals who grew fat under the Harkonnen system. No more graft! A grin twisted Hallecks face. Ahh, mLord, a beautiful low blow. Would that I could see the Barons face when he learns of this. The Duke turned to Hawat. Thufir, did you get those account books you said you could buy? Yes, my Lord. Theyre being examined in detail even now. Ive skimmed them, though, and can give a first approximation. Give it, then. The Harkonnens took ten billion Solaris out of here every three hundred and thirty Standard days. A muted gasp ran around the table. Even the younger aides, who had been betraying some boredom, sat up straighter and exchanged wide-eyed looks. Halleck murmured: For they shall suck of the abundance of the seas and of the treasure hid in the sand. You see, gentlemen, Leto said. Is there anyone here so naive he believes the Harkonnens have quietly packed up and walked away from all this merely because the Emperor ordered it? There was a general shaking of heads, murmurous agreement. We will have to take it at the point of the sword, Leto said. He turned to Hawat. Thisd be a good point to report on equipment. How many sandcrawlers, harvesters, spice factories, and supporting equipment have they left us? A full complement, as it says in the Imperial inventory audited by the Judge of the Change, my Lord, Hawat said. He gestured for an aide to pass him a folder, opened the folder on the table in front of him. They neglect to mention that less than half the crawlers are operable, that only about a third have carryalls to fly them to spice sandsthat everything the Harkonnens left us is ready to break down and fall apart. Well be lucky to get half the equipment into operation and luckier yet if a fourth of its still working six months from now. Pretty much as we expected, Leto said. Whats the firm estimate on basic equipment? Hawat glanced at his folder. About nine hundred and thirty harvester- factories that can be sent out in a few days. About sixty-two hundred and fifty ornithopters for survey, scouting, and weather observation . . . carryalls, a little under a thousand. Halleck said: Wouldnt it be cheaper to reopen negotiations with the Guild for permission to orbit a frigate as a weather satellite? The Duke looked at Hawat. Nothing new there, eh, Thufir? We must pursue other avenues for now, Hawat said. The Guild agent wasnt really negotiating with us. He was merely making it plainone Mentat to anotherthat the price was out of our reach and would remain so no matter how long a reach we develop. Our task is to find out why before we approach him again. One of Hallecks aides down the table swiveled in his chair, snapped: Theres no justice in this! Justice? The Duke looked at the man. Who asks for justice? We make our own justice. We make it here on Arrakiswin or die, Do you regret casting your lot with us, sir? The man stared at the Duke, then: No, Sire. You couldnt turn and I could do nought but follow you. Forgive the outburst, but . . . He shrugged. . . . we must all feel bitter at times. Bitterness I understand, the Duke said. But let us not rail about justice as long as we have arms and the freedom to use them. Do any of the rest of you harbor bitterness? If so, let it out. This is friendly council where any man may speak his mind. Halleck stirred, said: I think what rankles, Sire, is that weve had no volunteers from the other Great Houses. They address you as Leto the Just and promise eternal friendship, but only as long as it doesnt cost them anything. They dont know yet whos going to win this exchange, the Duke said. Most of the Houses have grown fat by taking few risks. One cannot truly blame them for this; one can only despise them. He looked at Hawat. We were discussing equipment. Would you care to project a few examples to familiarize the men with this machinery? Hawat nodded, gestured to an aide at the projector. A solido tri-D projection appeared on the table surface about a third of the way down from the Duke. Some of the men farther along the table stood up to get a better look at it. Paul leaned forward, staring at the machine. Scaled against the tiny projected human figures around it, the thing was about one hundred and twenty meters long and about forty meters wide. It was basically a long, bug-like body moving on independent sets of wide tracks. This is a harvester factory, Hawat said. We chose one in good repair for this projection. Theres one dragline outfit that came in with the first team of Imperial ecologists, though, and its still running . . . although I dont know how . . . or why. If thats the one they call Old Maria, it belongs in a museum, an aide said. I think the Harkonnens kept it as a punishment job, a threat hanging over their workers heads. Be good or youll be assigned to Old Maria. Chuckles sounded around the table. Paul held himself apart from the humor, his attention focused on the projection and the question that filled his mind. He pointed to the image on the table, said: Thufir, are there sandworms big enough to swallow that whole? Quick silence settled on the table. The Duke cursed under his breath, then thought: Nothey have to face the realities here. Therere worms in the deep desert could take this entire factory in one gulp, Hawat said. Up here closer to the Shield Wall where most of the spicings done there are plenty of worms that could cripple this factory and devour it at their leisure. Why dont we shield them? Paul asked. According to Idahos report, Hawat said, shields are dangerous in the desert. A body-size shield will call every worm for hundreds of meters around. It appears to drive them into a killing frenzy. Weve the Fremen word on this and no reason to doubt it. Idaho saw no evidence of shield equipment at the sietch. None at all? Paul asked. Itd be pretty hard to conceal that kind of thing among several thousand people, Hawat said. Idaho had free access to every part of the sietch. He saw no shields or any indication of their use. Its a puzzle, the Duke said. The Harkonnens certainly used plenty of shields here, Hawat said. They had repair depots in every garrison village, and their accounts show a heavy expenditure for shield replacements and parts. Could the Fremen have a way of nullifying shields? Paul asked. It doesnt seem likely, Hawat said. Its theoretically possible, of coursea shire-sized static counter charge is supposed to do the trick, but no ones ever been able to put it to the test. Wed have heard about it before now, Halleck said. The smugglers have close contact with the Fremen and wouldve acquired such a device if it were available. And theyd have had no inhibitions against marketing it off planet. I dont like an unanswered question of this importance, Leto said. Thufir, I want you to give top priority to solution of this problem. Were already working on it, my Lord. He cleared his throat. Ah-h, Idaho did say one thing: he said you couldnt mistake the Fremen attitude toward shields. He said they were mostly amused by them. The Duke frowned, then: The subject under discussion is spicing equipment. Hawat gestured to his aide at the projector. The solido-image of the harvester-factory was replaced by a projection of a winged device that dwarfed the images of human figures around it. This is a carryall, Hawat said. Its essentially a large thopter, whose sole function is to deliver a factory to spice-rich sands, then to rescue the factory when a sandworm appears. They always appear. Harvesting the spice is a process of getting in and getting out with as much as possible. Admirably suited to Harkonnen morality, the Duke said. Laughter was abrupt and too loud. An ornithopter replaced the carryall in the projection focus. These thopters are fairly conventional, Hawat said. Major modifications give them extended range. Extra care has been used in sealing essential areas against sand and dust. Only about one in thirty is shieldedpossibly discarding the shield generators weight for greater range. I dont like this de-emphasis on shields, the Duke muttered. And he thought: Is this the Harkonnen secret? Does it mean we wont even be able to escape on shielded frigates if all goes against us? He shook his head sharply to drive out such thoughts, said: Lets get to the working estimate. Whatll our profit figure be? Hawat turned two pages in his notebook. After assessing the repairs and operable equipment, weve worked out a first estimate on operating costs. Its based naturally on a depreciated figure for a clear safety margin. He closed his eyes in Mentat semitrance, said: Under the Harkonnens, maintenance and salaries were held to fourteen per cent. Well be lucky to make it at thirty per cent at first. With reinvestment and growth factors accounted for, including the CHOAM percentage and military costs, our profit margin will be reduced to a very narrow six or seven per cent until we can replace worn-out equipment. We then should be able to boost it up to twelve or fifteen per cent where it belongs. He opened his eyes. Unless my Lord wishes to adopt Harkonnen methods. Were working for a solid and permanent planetary base, the Duke said. We have to keep a large percentage of the people happyespecially the Fremen. Most especially the Fremen, Hawat agreed. Our supremacy on Caladan, the Duke said, depended on sea and air power. Here, we must develop something I choose to call desert power. This may include air power, but its possible it may not. I call your attention to the lack of thopter shields. He shook his head. The Harkonnens relied on turnover from off planet for some of their key personnel. We dont dare. Each new lot would have its quota of provocateurs. Then well have to be content with far less profit and a reduced harvest, Hawat said. Our output the first two seasons should be down a third from the Harkonnen average. There it is, the Duke said, exactly as we expected. Well have to move fast with the Fremen. Id like five full battalions of Fremen troops before the first CHOAM audit. Thats not much time, Sire, Hawat said. We dont have much time, as you well know. Theyll be here with Sardaukar disguised as Harkonnens at the first opportunity. How many do you think theyll ship in, Thufir? Four or five battalions all told, Sire. No more. Guild troop-transport costs being what they are. Then five battalions of Fremen plus our own forces ought to do it. Let us have a few captive Sardaukar to parade in front of the Landsraad Council and matters will be much differentprofits or no profits. Well do our best, Sire. Paul looked at his father, back to Hawat, suddenly conscious of the Mentats great age, aware that the old man had served three generations of Atreides. Aged. It showed in the rheumy shine of the brown eyes, in the cheeks cracked and burned by exotic weathers, in the rounded curve of the shoulders and the thin set of his lips with the cranberry-colored stain of sapho juice. So much depends on one aged man, Paul thought. Were presently in a war of assassins, the Duke said, but it has not achieved full scale. Thufir, whats the condition of the Harkonnen machine here? Weve eliminated two hundred and fifty-nine of their key people, my Lord. No more than three Harkonnen cells remainperhaps a hundred people in all. These Harkonnen creatures you eliminated, the Duke said, were they propertied? Most were well situated, my Lordin the entrepreneur class. I want you to forge certificates of allegiance over the signatures of each of them, the Duke said. File copies with the Judge of the Change. Well take the legal position that they stayed under false allegiance. Confiscate their property, take everything, turn out their families, strip them. And make sure the Crown gets its ten per cent. It must be entirely legal. Thufir smiled, revealing red-stained teeth beneath the carmine lips. A move worthy of your grandsire, my Lord. It shames me I didnt think of it first. Halleck frowned across the table, surprised a deep scowl on Pauls face. The others were smiling and nodding. Its wrong, Paul thought. Thisll only make the others fight all the harder. Theyve nothing to gain by surrendering. He knew the actual no-holds-barred convention that ruled in kanly, but this was the sort of move that could destroy them even as it gave them victory. I have been a stranger in a strange land, Halleck quoted. Paul stared at him, recognizing the quotation from the O.C. Bible, wondering: Does Gurney, too, wish an end to devious plots? The Duke glanced at the darkness out the windows, looked back at Halleck. Gurney, how many of those sandworkers did you persuade to stay with us? Two hundred eighty-six in all, Sire. I think we should take them and consider ourselves lucky. Theyre all in useful categories. No more? The Duke pursed his lips, then: Well, pass the word along to A disturbance at the door interrupted him. Duncan Idaho came through the guard there, hurried down the length of the table and bent over the Dukes ear. Leto waved him back, said: Speak out, Duncan. You can see this is strategy staff. Paul studied Idaho, marking the feline movements, the swiftness of reflex that made him such a difficult weapons teacher to emulate. Idahos dark round face turned toward Paul, the cave-sitter eyes giving no hint of recognition, but Paul recognized the mask of serenity over excitement. Idaho looked down the length of the table, said: Weve taken a force of Harkonnen mercenaries disguised as Fremen. The Fremen themselves sent us a courier to warn of the false band. In the attack, however, we found the Harkonnens had waylaid the Fremen courierbadly wounded him. We were bringing him here for treatment by our medics when he died. Id seen how badly off the man was and stopped to do what I could. I surprised him in the attempt to throw something away. Idaho glanced down at Leto. A knife, mLord, a knife the like of which youve never seen. Crysknife? someone asked. No doubt of it, Idaho said. Milky white and glowing with a light of its own like. He reached into his tunic, brought out a sheath with a black-ridged handle protruding from it. Keep that blade in its sheath! The voice came from the open door at the end of the room, a vibrant and penetrating voice that brought them all up, staring. A tall, robed figure stood in the door, barred by the crossed swords of the guard. A light tan robe completely enveloped the man except for a gap in the hood and black veil that exposed eyes of total blueno white in them at all. Let him enter, Idaho whispered. Pass that man, the Duke said. The guards hesitated, then lowered their swords. The man swept into the room, stood across from the Duke. This is Stilgar, chief of the sietch I visited, leader of those who warned us of the false band, Idaho said. Welcome, sir, Leto said. And why shouldnt we unsheath this blade? Stilgar glanced at Idaho, said: You observed the customs of cleanliness and honor among us. I would permit you to see the blade of the man you befriended. His gaze swept the others in the room. But I do not know these others. Would you have them defile an honorable weapon? I am the Duke Leto, the Duke said. Would you permit me to see this blade? Ill permit you to earn the right to unsheath it, Stilgar said, and, as a mutter of protest sounded around the table, he raised a thin, darkly veined hand. I remind you this is the blade of one who befriended you. In the waiting silence, Paul studied the man, sensing the aura of power that radiated from him. He was a leadera Fremen leader. A man near the center of the table across from Paul muttered: Whos he to tell us what rights we have on Arrakis? It is said that the Duke Leto Atreides rules with the consent of the governed, the Fremen said. Thus I must tell you the way it is with us: a certain responsibility falls on those who have seen a crysknife. He passed a dark glance across Idaho. They are ours. They may never leave Arrakis without our consent. Halleck and several of the others started to rise, angry expressions on their faces. Halleck said: The Duke Leto determines whether One moment, please, Leto said, and the very mildness of his voice held them. This must not get out of hand, he thought. He addressed himself to the Fremen: Sir, I honor and respect the personal dignity of any man who respects my dignity. I am indeed indebted to you. And I always pay my debts. If it is your custom that this knife remain sheathed here, then it is so orderedby me. And if there is any other way we may honor the man who died in our service, you have but to name it. The Fremen stared at the Duke, then slowly pulled aside his veil, revealing a thin nose and full-lipped mouth in a glistening black beard. Deliberately he bent over the end of the table, spat on its polished surface. As the men around the table started to surge to their feet, Idahos voice boomed across the room: Hold! Into the sudden charged stillness, Idaho said: We thank you, Stilgar, for the gift of your bodys moisture. We accept it in the spirit with which it is given. And Idaho spat on the table in front of the Duke. Aside to the Duke, he said; Remember how precious water is here, Sire. That was a token of respect. Leto sank back into his own chair, caught Pauls eye, a rueful grin on his sons face, sensed the slow relaxation of tension around the table as understanding came to his men. The Fremen looked at Idaho, said: You measured well in my sietch, Duncan Idaho. Is there a bond on your allegiance to your Duke? Hes asking me to enlist with him. Sire, Idaho said. Would he accept a dual allegiance? Leto asked. You wish me to go with him, Sire? I wish you to make your own decision in the matter, Leto said, and he could not keep the urgency out of his voice. Idaho studied the Fremen. Would you have me under these conditions, Stilgar? Thered be times when Id have to return to serve my Duke. You fight well and you did your best for our friend, Stilgar said. He looked at Leto. Let it be thus: the man Idaho keeps the crysknife he holds as a mark of his allegiance to us. He must be cleansed, of course, and the rites observed, but this can be done. He will be Fremen and soldier of the Atreides. There is precedent for this: Liet serves two masters. Duncan? Leto asked. I understand, Sire, Idaho said. It is agreed, then, Leto said. Your water is ours, Duncan Idaho. Stilgar said. The body of our friend remains with your Duke. His water is Atreides water. It is a bond between us. Leto sighed, glanced at Hawat, catching the old Mentats eye. Hawat nodded, his expression pleased. I will await below, Stilgar said, while Idaho makes farewell with his friends. Turok was the name of our dead friend. Remember that when it comes time to release his spirit. You are friends of Turok. Stilgar started to turn away. Will you not stay a while? Leto asked. The Fremen turned back, whipping his veil into place with a casual gesture, adjusting something beneath it. Paul glimpsed what looked like a thin tube before the veil settled into place. Is there reason to stay? the Fremen asked. We would honor you, the Duke said. Honor requires that I be elsewhere soon, the Fremen said. He shot another glance at Idaho, whirled, and strode out past the door guards. If the other Fremen match him, well serve each other well, Leto said. Idaho spoke in a dry voice: Hes a fair sample, Sire. You understand what youre to do, Duncan? Im your ambassador to the Fremen, Sire. Much depends on you, Duncan. Were going to need at least five battalions of those people before the Sardaukar descend on us. This is going to take some doing, Sire. The Fremen are a pretty independent bunch. Idaho hesitated, then: And, Sire, theres one other thing. One of the mercenaries we knocked over was trying to get this blade from our dead Fremen friend. The mercenary says theres a Harkonnen reward of a million Solaris for anyone wholl bring in a single crysknife. Letos chin came up in a movement of obvious surprise. Why do they want one of those blades so badly? The knife is ground from a sandworms tooth; its the mark of the Fremen, Sire. With it, a blue-eyed man could penetrate any sietch in the land. Theyd question me unless I were known. I dont look Fremen. But . . . Piter de Vries, the Duke said. A man of devilish cunning, my Lord, Hawat said. Idaho slipped the sheathed knife beneath his tunic. Guard that knife, the Duke said. I understand, mLord. He patted the transceiver on his belt kit. Ill report soon as possible. Thufir has my call code. Use battle language. He saluted, spun about, and hurried after the Fremen. They heard his footsteps drumming down the corridor. A look of understanding passed between Leto and Hawat. They smiled. Weve much to do, Sire, Halleck said. And I keep you from your work, Leto said. I have the report on the advance bases, Hawat said. Shall I give it another time, Sire? Will it take long? Not for a briefing. Its said among the Fremen that there were more than two hundred of these advance bases built here on Arrakis during the Desert Botanical Testing Station period. All supposedly have been abandoned, but there are reports they were sealed off before being abandoned. Equipment in them? the Duke asked. According to the reports I have from Duncan. Where are they located? Halleck asked. The answer to that question, Hawat said, is invariably: Liet knows. God knows, Leto muttered. Perhaps not. Sire, Hawat said. You heard this Stilgar use the name. Could he have been referring to a real person? Serving two masters, Halleck said. It sounds like a religious quotation. And you should know, the Duke said. Halleck smiled. This Judge of the Change, Leto said, the Imperial ecologistKynes . . . Wouldnt he know where those bases are? Sire, Hawat cautioned, this Kynes is an Imperial servant. And hes a long way from the Emperor, Leto said. I want those bases. Theyd be loaded with materials we could salvage and use for repair of our working equipment. Sire! Hawat said. Those bases are still legally His Majestys fief. The weather heres savage enough to destroy anything, the Duke said. We can always blame the weather. Get this Kynes and at least find out if the bases exist. Twere dangerous to commandeer them, Hawat said. Duncan was clear on one thing: those bases or the idea of them hold some deep significance for the Fremen. We might alienate the Fremen if we took those bases. Paul looked at the faces of the men around them, saw the intensity of the way they followed every word. They appeared deeply disturbed by his fathers attitude. Listen to him, Father, Paul said in a low voice. He speaks truth. Sire, Hawat said, those bases could give us material to repair every piece of equipment left us, yet be beyond reach for strategic reasons. Itd be rash to move without greater knowledge. This Kynes has arbiter authority from the Imperium. We mustnt forget that. And the Fremen defer to him. Do it gently, then, the Duke said. I wish to know only if those bases exist. As you will, Sire. Hawat sat back, lowered his eyes. All right, then, the Duke said. We know what we have ahead of uswork. Weve been trained for it. Weve some experience in it. We know what the rewards are and the alternatives are clear enough. You all have your assignments. He looked at Halleck. Gurney, take care of that smuggler situation first. I shall go unto the rebellious that dwell in the dry land, Halleck intoned. Someday Ill catch that man without a quotation and hell look undressed, the Duke said. Chuckles echoed around the table, but Paul heard the effort in them. The Duke turned to Hawat. Set up another command post for intelligence and communications on this floor, Thufir. When you have them ready, Ill want to see you. Hawat arose, glanced around the room as though seeking support. He turned away, led the procession out of the room. The others moved hurriedly, scraping their chairs on the floor, balling up in little knots of confusion. It ended up in confusion, Paul thought, staring at the backs of the last men to leave. Always before, Staff had ended on an incisive air. This meeting had just seemed to trickle out, worn down by its own inadequacies, and with an argument to top it off. For the first time, Paul allowed himself to think about the real possibility of defeatnot thinking about it out of fear or because of warnings such as that of the old Reverend Mother, but facing up to it because of his own assessment of the situation. My father is desperate, he thought. Things arent going well for us at all. And HawatPaul recalled how the old Mentat had acted during the conference- -subtle hesitations, signs of unrest. Hawat was deeply troubled by something. Best you remain here the rest of the night, Son, the Duke said. Itll be dawn soon, anyway. Ill inform your mother. He got to his feet, slowly, stiffly. Why dont you pull a few of these chairs together and stretch out on them for some rest. Im not very tired, sir. As you will. The Duke folded his hands behind him, began pacing up and down the length of the table. Like a caged animal, Paul thought. Are you going to discuss the traitor possibility with Hawat? Paul asked. The Duke stopped across from his son, spoke to the dark windows. Weve discussed the possibility many times. The old woman seemed so sure of herself, Paul said. And the message Mother Precautions have been taken, the Duke said. He looked around the room, and Paul marked the hunted wildness in his fathers eyes. Remain here. There are some things about the command posts I want to discuss with Thufir. He turned, strode out of the room, nodding shortly to the door guards. Paul stared at the place where his father had stood. The space had been empty even before the Duke left the room. And he recalled the old womans warning: . . . for the father, nothing. = = = = = = On that first day when MuadDib rode through the streets of Arrakeen with his family, some of the people along the way recalled the legends and the prophecy and they ventured to shout: Mahdi! But their shout was more a question than a statement, for as yet they could only hope he was the one foretold as the Lisan al-Gaib, the Voice from the Outer World. Their attention was focused, too, on the mother, because they had heard she was a Bene Gesserit and it was obvious to them that she was like the other Lisan al-Gaib. -from Manual of MuadDib by the Princess Irulan The Duke found Thufir Hawat alone in the corner room to which a guard directed him. There was the sound of men setting up communications equipment in an adjoining room, but this place was fairly quiet. The Duke glanced around as Hawat arose from a paper-cluttered table. It was a green-walled enclosure with, in addition to the table, three suspensor chairs from which the Harkonnen H had been hastily removed, leaving an imperfect color patch. The chairs are liberated but quite safe, Hawat said. Where is Paul, Sire? I left him in the conference room. Im hoping hell get some rest without me there to distract him. Hawat nodded, crossed to the door to the adjoining room, closed it, shutting off the noise of static and electronic sparking. Thufir, Leto said, the Imperial and Harkonnen stockpiles of spice attract my attention. MLord? The Duke pursed his lips. Storehouses are susceptible to destruction. He raised a hand as Hawat started to speak. Ignore the Emperors hoard. Hed secretly enjoy it if the Harkonnens were embarrassed. And can the Baron object if something is destroyed which he cannot openly admit that he has? Hawat shook his head. Weve few men to spare. Sire. Use some of Idahos men. And perhaps some of the Fremen would enjoy a trip off planet. A raid on Giedi Primethere are tactical advantages to such a diversion, Thufir. As you say, my Lord. Hawat turned away, and the Duke saw evidence of nervousness in the old man, thought: Perhaps he suspects I distrust him. He must know Ive private reports of traitors. Wellbest quiet his fears immediately. Thufir, he said, since youre one of the few I can trust completely, theres another matter bears discussion. We both know how constant a watch we must keep to prevent traitors from infiltrating our forces . . . but I have two new reports. Hawat turned, stared at him. And Leto repeated the stories Paul had brought. Instead of bringing on the intense Mentat concentration, the reports only increased Hawats agitation. Leto studied the old man and, presently, said: Youve been holding something back, old friend. I shouldve suspected when you were so nervous during Staff. What is it that was too hot to dump in front of the full conference? Hawats sapho-stained lips were pulled into a prim, straight line with tiny wrinkles radiating into them. They maintained their wrinkled stiffness as he said: My Lord, I dont quite know how to broach this. Weve suffered many a scar for each other, Thufir, the Duke said. You know you can broach any subject with me. Hawat continued to stare at him, thinking: This is how I like him best. This is the man of honor who deserves every bit of my loyalty and service. Why must I hurt him? Well? Leto demanded. Hawat shrugged. Its a scrap of a note. We took it from a Harkonnen courier. The note was intended for an agent named Pardee. Weve good reason to believe Pardee was top man in the Harkonnen underground here. The noteits a thing that could have great consequence or no consequence. Its susceptible to various interpretations. Whats the delicate content of this note? Scrap of a note, my Lord. Incomplete. It was on minimic film with the usual destruction capsule attached. We stopped the acid action just short of full erasure, leaving only a fragment. The fragment, however, is extremely suggestive. Yes? Hawat rubbed at his lips. It says: . . . eto will never suspect, and when the blow falls on him from a beloved hand, its source alone should be enough to destroy him. The note was under the Barons own seal and Ive authenticated the seal. Your suspicion is obvious, the Duke said and his voice was suddenly cold. Id sooner cut off my arms than hurt you, Hawat said. My Lord, what if . . . The Lady Jessica, Leto said, and he felt anger consuming him. Couldnt you wring the facts out of this Pardee? Unfortunately, Pardee no longer was among the living when we intercepted the courier. The courier, Im certain, did not know what he carried. I see. Leto shook his head, thinking: What a slimy piece of business. There cant be anything in it. I know my woman. My Lord, if No! the Duke barked. Theres a mistake here that We cannot ignore it, my Lord. Shes been with me for sixteen years! Thereve been countless opportunities forYou yourself investigated the school and the woman! Hawat spoke bitterly: Things have been known to escape me. Its impossible, I tell you! The Harkonnens want to destroy the Atreides linemeaning Paul, too. Theyve already tried once. Could a woman conspire against her own son? Perhaps she doesnt conspire against her son. And yesterdays attempt couldve been a clever sham. It couldnt have been a sham. Sire, she isnt supposed to know her parentage, but what if she does know? What if she were an orphan, say, orphaned by an Atreides? Shed have moved long before now. Poison in my drink . . . a stiletto at night. Who has had better opportunity? The Harkonnens mean to destroy you, my Lord. Their intent is not just to kill. Theres a range of fine distinctions in kanly. This could be a work of art among vendettas. The Dukes shoulders slumped. He closed his eyes, looking old and tired. It cannot be, he thought. The woman has opened her heart to me. What better way to destroy me than to sow suspicion of the woman I love? he asked. An interpretation Ive considered, Hawat said. Still . . . The Duke opened his eyes, stared at Hawat, thinking: Let him be suspicious. Suspicion is his trade, not mine. Perhaps if I appear to believe this, that will make another man careless. What do you suggest? the Duke whispered. For now, constant surveillance, my Lord. She should be watched at all times. I will see its done unobtrusively. Idaho would be the ideal choice for the job. Perhaps in a week or so we can bring him back. Theres a young man weve been training in Idahos troop who might be ideal to send to the Fremen as a replacement. Hes gifted in diplomacy. Dont jeopardize our foothold with the Fremen. Of course not, Sire. And what about Paul? Perhaps we could alert Dr. Yueh. Leto turned his back on Hawat. I leave it in your hands. I shall use discretion, my Lord. At least I can count on that, Leto thought. And he said: I will take a walk. If you need me, Ill be within the perimeter. The guard can My Lord, before you go, Ive a filmclip you should read. Its a first- approximation analysis on the Fremen religion. Youll recall you asked me to report on it. The Duke paused, spoke without turning. Will it not wait? Of course, my Lord. You asked what they were shouting, though. It was Mahdi! They directed the term at the young master. When they At Paul? Yes, my Lord. Theyve a legend here, a prophecy, that a leader will come to them, child of a Bene Gesserit, to lead them to true freedom. It follows the familiar messiah pattern. They think Paul is this . . . this . . . They only hope, my Lord. Hawat extended a filmclip capsule. The Duke accepted it, thrust it into a pocket. Ill look at it later. Certainly, my Lord. Right now, I need time to . . . think. Yes, my Lord. The Duke took a deep sighing breath, strode out the door. He turned to his right down the hall, began walking, hands behind his back, paying little attention to where he was. There were corridors and stairs and balconies and halls . . . people who saluted and stood aside for him. In time he came back to the conference room, found it dark and Paul asleep on the table with a guards robe thrown over him and a ditty pack for a pillow. The Duke walked softly down the length of the room and onto the balcony overlooking the landing field. A guard at the corner of the balcony, recognizing the Duke by the dim reflection of lights from the field, snapped to attention. At ease, the Duke murmured. He leaned against the cold metal of the balcony rail. A predawn hush had come over the desert basin. He looked up. Straight overhead, the stars were a sequin shawl flung over blue-black. Low on the southern horizon, the nights second moon peered through a thin dust hazean unbelieving moon that looked at him with a cynical light. As the Duke watched, the moon dipped beneath the Shield Wall cliffs, frosting them, and in the sudden intensity of darkness, he experienced a chill. He shivered. Anger shot through him. The Harkonnens have hindered and hounded and hunted me for the last time, he thought. They are dung heaps with village provost minds! Here I make my stand! And he thought with a touch of sadness: I must rule with eye and clawas the hawk among lesser birds. Unconsciously, his hand brushed the hawk emblem on his tunic. To the east, the night grew a faggot of luminous gray, then seashell opalescence that dimmed the stars. There came the long, bell-tolling movement of dawn striking across a broken horizon. It was a scene of such beauty it caught all his attention. Some things beggar likeness, he thought. He had never imagined anything here could be as beautiful as that shattered red horizon and the purple and ochre cliffs. Beyond the landing field where the nights faint dew had touched life into the hurried seeds of Arrakis, he saw great puddles of red blooms and, running through them, an articulate tread of violet . . . like giant footsteps. Its a beautiful morning. Sire, the guard said. Yes, it is. The Duke nodded, thinking: Perhaps this planet could grow on one. Perhaps it could become a good home for my son. Then he saw the human figures moving into the flower fields, sweeping them with strange scythe-like devicesdew gatherers. Water so precious, here that even the dew must be collected. And it could be a hideous place, the Duke thought. = = = = = = There is probably no more terrible instant of enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a manwith human flesh. -from Collected Sayings of MuadDib by the Princess Irulan The Duke said: Paul, Im doing a hateful thing, but I must. He stood beside the portable poison snooper that had been brought into the conference room for their breakfast. The things sensor arms hung limply over the table, reminding Paul of some weird insect newly dead. The Dukes attention was directed out the windows at the landing field and its roiling of dust against the morning sky. Paul had a viewer in front of him containing a short filmclip on Fremen religious practices. The clip had been compiled by one of Hawats experts and Paul found himself disturbed by the references to himself. Mahdi! Lisan al-Gaib! He could close his eyes and recall the shouts of the crowds. So that is what they hope, he thought. And he remembered what the old Reverend Mother had said: Kwisatz Haderach. The memories touched his feelings of terrible purpose, shading this strange world with sensations of familiarity that he could not understand. A hateful thing, the Duke said. What do you mean, sir? Leto turned, looked down at his son. Because the Harkonnens think to trick me by making me distrust your mother. They dont know that Id sooner distrust myself. I dont understand, sir. Again, Leto looked out the windows. The white sun was well up into its morning quadrant. Milky light picked out a boiling of dust clouds that spilled over into the blind canyons interfingering the Shield Wall. Slowly, speaking in a slow voice to contain his anger, the Duke explained to Paul about the mysterious note. You might just as well mistrust me, Paul said. They have to think theyve succeeded, the Duke said. They must think me this much of a fool. It must look real. Even your mother may not know the sham. But, sir! Why? Your mothers response must not be an act. Oh, shes capable of a supreme act . . . but too much rides on this. I hope to smoke out a traitor. It must seem that Ive been completely cozened. She must be hurt this way that she does not suffer greater hurt. Why do you tell me, Father? Maybe Ill give it away. Theyll not watch you in this thing, the Duke said. Youll keep the secret. You must. He walked to the windows, spoke without turning. This way, if anything should happen to me, you can tell her the truththat I never doubted her, not for the smallest instant. I should want her to know this. Paul recognized the death thoughts in his fathers words, spoke quickly: Nothings going to happen to you, sir. The Be silent, Son. Paul stared at his fathers back, seeing the fatigue in the angle of the neck, in the line of the shoulders, in the slow movements. Youre just tired, Father. I am tired, the Duke agreed. Im morally tired. The melancholy degeneration of the Great Houses has afflicted me at last, perhaps. And we were such strong people once. Paul spoke in quick anger: Our House hasnt degenerated! Hasnt it? The Duke turned, faced his son, revealing dark circles beneath hard eyes, a cynical twist of mouth. I should wed your mother, make her my Duchess. Yet . . . my unwedded state gives some Houses hope they may yet ally with me through their marriageable daughters. He shrugged. So, I . . . Mother has explained this to me. Nothing wins more loyalty for a leader than an air of bravura, the Duke said. I, therefore, cultivate an air of bravura. You lead well, Paul protested. You govern well. Men follow you willingly and love you. My propaganda corps is one of the finest, the Duke said. Again, he turned to stare out at the basin. Theres greater possibility for us here on Arrakis than the Imperium could ever suspect. Yet sometimes I think itd have been better if wed run for it, gone renegade. Sometimes I wish we could sink back into anonymity among the people, become less exposed to . . . Father! Yes, I am tired, the Duke said. Did you know were using spice residue as raw material and already have our own factory to manufacture filmbase? Sir? We mustnt run short of filmbase, the Duke said. Else, how could we flood village and city with our information? The people must learn how well I govern them. How would they know if we didnt tell them? You should get some rest, Paul said. Again, the Duke faced his son. Arrakis has another advantage I almost forgot to mention. Spice is in everything here. You breathe it and eat it in almost everything. And I find that this imparts a certain natural immunity to some of the most common poisons of the Assassins Handbook. And the need to watch every drop of water puts all food productionyeast culture, hydroponics, chemavit, everythingunder the strictest surveillance. We cannot kill off large segments of our population with poisonand we cannot be attacked this way, either. Arrakis makes us moral and ethical. Paul started to speak, but the Duke cut him off, saying: I have to have someone I can say these things to, Son. He sighed, glanced back at the dry landscape where even the flowers were gone nowtrampled by the dew gatherers, wilted under the early sun. On Caladan, we ruled with sea and air power, the Duke said. Here, we must scrabble for desert power. This is your inheritance, Paul. What is to become of you if anything happens to me? Youll not be a renegade House, but a guerrilla Houserunning, hunted. Paul groped for words, could find nothing to say. He had never seen his father this despondent. To hold Arrakis, the Duke said, one is faced with decisions that may cost one his self-respect. He pointed out the window to the Atreides green and black banner hanging limply from a staff at the edge of the landing field. That honorable banner could come to mean many evil things. Paul swallowed in a dry throat. His fathers words carried futility, a sense of fatalism that left the boy with an empty feeling in his chest. The Duke took an antifatigue tablet from a pocket, gulped it dry. Power and fear, he said. The tools of statecraft. I must order new emphasis on guerrilla training for you. That filmclip therethey call you Mahdi'Lisan al-Gaib as a last resort, you might capitalize on that. Paul stared at his father, watching the shoulders straighten as the tablet did its work, but remembering the words of fear and doubt. Whats keeping that ecologist? the Duke muttered. I told Thufir to have him here early. = = = = = = My father, the Padishah Emperor, took me by the hand one day and I sensed in the ways my mother had taught me that he was disturbed. He led me down the Hall of Portraits to the ego-likeness of the Duke Leto Atreides. I marked the strong resemblance between themmy father and this man in the portraitboth with thin, elegant faces and sharp features dominated by cold eyes. Princess- daughter, my father said, I would that youd been older when it came time for this man to choose a woman. My father was 71 at the time and looking no older than the man in the portrait, and I was but 14, yet I remember deducing in that instant that my father secretly wished the Duke had been his son, and disliked the political necessities that made them enemies. -In My Fathers House by the Princess Irulan His first encounter with the people he had been ordered to betray left Dr. Kynes shaken. He prided himself on being a scientist to whom legends were merely interesting clues, pointing toward cultural roots. Yet the boy fitted the ancient prophecy so precisely. He had the questing eyes, and the air of reserved candor. Of course, the prophecy left certain latitude as to whether the Mother Goddess would bring the Messiah with her or produce Him on the scene. Still, there was this odd correspondence between prediction and persons. They met in midmorning outside the Arrakeen landing fields administration building. An unmarked ornithopter squatted nearby, humming softly on standby like a somnolent insect. An Atreides guard stood beside it with bared sword and the faint air-distortion of a shield around him. Kynes sneered at the shield pattern, thinking: Arrakis has a surprise for them there! The planetologist raised a hand, signaled for his Fremen guard to fall back. He strode on ahead toward the buildings entrancethe dark hole in plastic- coated rock. So exposed, that monolithic building, he thought. So much less suitable than a cave. Movement within the entrance caught his attention. He stopped, taking the moment to adjust his robe and the set of his stillsuit at the left shoulder. The entrance doors swung wide. Atreides guards emerged swiftly, all of them heavily armedslow-pellet stunners, swords and shields. Behind them came a tall man, hawk-faced, dark of skin and hair. He wore a jubba cloak with Atreides crest at the breast, and wore it in a way that betrayed his unfamiliarity with the garment. It clung to the legs of his stillsuit on one side. It lacked a free-swinging, striding rhythm. Beside the man walked a youth with the same dark hair, but rounder in the face. The youth seemed small for the fifteen years Kynes knew him to have. But the young body carried a sense of command, a poised assurance, as though he saw and knew things all around him that were not visible to others. And he wore the same style cloak as his father, yet with casual ease that made one think the boy had always worn such clothing. The Mahdi will be aware of things others cannot see, went the prophecy. Kynes shook his head, telling himself: Theyre just people. With the two, garbed like them for the desert, came a man Kynes recognized Gurney Halleck. Kynes took a deep breath to still his resentment against Halleck, who had briefed him on how to behave with the Duke and ducal heir. You may call the Duke my Lord or Sire. Noble Born also is correct, but usually reserved for more formal occasions. The son may be addressed as young Master or my Lord. The Duke is a man of much leniency, but brooks little familiarity. And Kynes thought as he watched the group approach: Theyll learn soon enough whos master on Arrakis. Order me questioned half the night by that Mentat, will they? Expect me to guide them on an inspection of spice mining, do they? The import of Hawats questions had not escaped Kynes. They wanted the Imperial bases. And it was obvious theyd learned of the bases from Idaho. I will have Stilgar send Idahos head to this Duke, Kynes told himself. The ducal party was only a few paces away now, their feet in desert boots crunching the sand. Kynes bowed. My Lord, Duke. As he had approached the solitary figure standing near the ornithopter, Leto had studied him: tall, thin, dressed for the desert in loose robe, stillsuit, and low boots. The mans hood was thrown back, its veil hanging to one side, revealing long sandy hair, a sparse beard. The eyes were that fathomless blue- within-blue under thick brows. Remains of dark stains smudged his eye sockets. Youre the ecologist, the Duke said. We prefer the old title here, my Lord, Kynes said. Planetologist. As you wish, the Duke said. He glanced down at Paul. Son, this is the Judge of the Change, the arbiter of dispute, the man set here to see that the forms are obeyed in our assumption of power over this fief. He glanced at Kynes. And this is my son. My Lord, Kynes said. Are you a Fremen? Paul asked. Kynes smiled. I am accepted in both sietch and village, young Master. But I am in His Majestys service, the Imperial Planetologist. Paul nodded, impressed by the mans air of strength. Halleck had pointed Kynes out to Paul from an upper window of the administration building: The man standing there with the Fremen escortthe one moving now toward the ornithopter. Paul had inspected Kynes briefly with binoculars, noting the prim, straight mouth, the high forehead. Halleck had spoken in Pauls ear: Odd sort of fellow. Has a precise way of speakingclipped off, no fuzzy edgesrazor-apt. And the Duke, behind them, had said: Scientist type. Now, only a few feet from the man, Paul sensed the power in Kynes, the impact of personality, as though he were blood royal, born to command. I understand we have you to thank for our stillsuits and these cloaks, the Duke said. I hope they fit well, my Lord, Kynes said. Theyre of Fremen make and as near as possible the dimensions given me by your man Halleck here. I was concerned that you said you couldnt take us into the desert unless we wore these garments, the Duke said. We can carry plenty of water. We dont intend to be out long and well have air coverthe escort you see overhead right now. It isnt likely wed be forced down. Kynes stared at him, seeing the water-fat flesh. He spoke coldly: You never talk of likelihoods on Arrakis. You speak only of possibilities. Halleck stiffened. The Duke is to be addressed as my Lord or Sire! Leto gave Halleck their private handsignal to desist, said: Our ways are new here, Gurney. We must make allowances. As you wish, Sire. We are indebted to you, Dr. Kynes, Leto said. These suits and the consideration for our welfare will be remembered. On impulse, Paul called to mind a quotation from the O.C. Bible, said: The gift is the blessing of the river. The words rang out overloud in the still air. The Fremen escort Kynes had left in the shade of the administration building leaped up from their squatting repose, muttering in open agitation. One cried out: Lisan al-Gaib! Kynes whirled, gave a curt, chopping signal with a hand, waved the guard away. They fell back, grumbling among themselves, trailed away around the building. Most interesting, Leto said. Kynes passed a hard glare over the Duke and Paul, said: Most of the desert natives here are a superstitious lot. Pay no attention to them. They mean no harm. But he thought of the words of the legend: They will greet you with Holy Words and your gifts will be a blessing. Letos assessment of Kynesbased partly on Hawats brief verbal report (guarded and full of suspicions)suddenly crystallized: the man was Fremen. Kynes had come with a Fremen escort, which could mean simply that the Fremen were testing their new freedom to enter urban areasbut it had seemed an honor guard. And by his manner, Kynes was a proud man, accustomed to freedom, his tongue and his manner guarded only by his own suspicions. Pauls question had been direct and pertinent. Kynes had gone native. Shouldnt we be going, Sire? Halleck asked. The Duke nodded. Ill fly my own thopter. Kynes can sit up front with me to direct me. You and Paul take the rear seats. One moment, please, Kynes said. With your permission, Sire, I must check the security of your suits. The Duke started to speak, but Kynes pressed on: I have concern for my own flesh as well as yours . . . my Lord. Im well aware of whose throat would be slit should harm befall you two while youre in my care. The Duke frowned, thinking: How delicate this moment! If I refuse, it may offend him. And this could be a man whose value to me is beyond measure. Yet . . . to let him inside my shield, touching my person when I know so little about him? The thoughts flicked through his mind with decision hard on their heels. Were in your hands, the Duke said. He stepped forward, opening his robe, saw Halleck come up on the balls of his feet, poised and alert, but remaining where he was. And, if youd be so kind, the Duke said, Id appreciate an explanation of the suit from one who lives so intimately with it. Certainly, Kynes said. He felt up under the robe for the shoulder seals, speaking as he examined the suit. Its basically a micro-sandwicha high- efficiency filter and heat-exchange system. He adjusted the shoulder seals. The skin-contact layers porous. Perspiration passes through it, having cooled the body . . . near-normal evaporation process. The next two layers . . . Kynes tightened the chest fit. . . . include heat exchange filaments and salt precipitators. Salts reclaimed. The Duke lifted his arms at a gesture, said: Most interesting. Breathe deeply, Kynes said. The Duke obeyed. Kynes studied the underarm seals, adjusted one. Motions of the body, especially breathing, he said, and some osmotic action provide the pumping force. He loosened the chest fit slightly. Reclaimed water circulates to catchpockets from which you draw it through this tube in the clip at your neck. The Duke twisted his chin in and down to look at the end of the tube. Efficient and convenient, he said. Good engineering. Kynes knelt, examined the leg seals. Urine and feces are processed in the thigh pads, he said, and stood up, felt the neck fitting, lifted a sectioned flap there. In the open desert, you wear this filter across your face, this tube in the nostrils with these plugs to insure a tight fit. Breathe in through the mouth filter, out through the nose tube. With a Fremen suit in good working order, you wont lose more than a thimbleful of moisture a dayeven if youre caught in the Great Erg. A thimbleful a day, the Duke said. Kynes pressed a finger against the suits forehead pad, said: This may rub a little. It if irritates you, please tell me. I could slit-patch it a bit tighter. My thanks, the Duke said. He moved his shoulders in the suit as Kynes stepped back, realizing that it did feel better nowtighter and less irritating. Kynes turned to Paul. Now, lets have a look at you, lad. A good man but hell have to learn to address us properly, the Duke thought. Paul stood passively as Kynes inspected the suit. It had been an odd sensation putting on the crinkling, slick-surfaced garment. In his foreconsciousness had been the absolute knowledge that he had never before worn a stillsuit. Yet, each motion of adjusting the adhesion tabs under Gurneys inexpert guidance had seemed natural, instinctive. When he had tightened the chest to gain maximum pumping action from the motion of breathing, he had known what he did and why. When he had fitted the neck and forehead tabs tightly, he had known it was to prevent friction blisters. Kynes straightened, stepped back with a puzzled expression. Youve worn a stillsuit before? he asked. This is the first time. Then someone adjusted it for you? No. Your desert boots are fitted slip-fashion at the ankles. Who told you to do that? It . . . seemed the right way. That it most certainly is. And Kynes rubbed his cheek, thinking of the legend: He shall know your ways as though born to them. We waste time, the Duke said. He gestured to the waiting thopter, led the way, accepting the guards salute with a nod. He climbed in, fastened his safety harness, checked controls and instruments. The craft creaked as the others clambered aboard. Kynes fastened his harness, focused on the padded comfort of the aircraft soft luxury of gray-green upholstery, gleaming instruments, the sensation of filtered and washed air in his lungs as doors slammed and vent fans whirred alive. So soft! he thought. All secure, Sire, Halleck said. Leto fed power to the wings, felt them cup and diponce, twice. They were airborne in ten meters, wings feathered tightly and afterjets thrusting them upward in a steep, hissing climb. Southeast over the Shield Wall, Kynes said. Thats where I told your sandmaster to concentrate his equipment. Right. The Duke banked into his air cover, the other craft taking up their guard positions as they headed southeast. The design and manufacture of these stillsuits bespeaks a high degree of sophistication, the Duke said. Someday I may show you a sietch factory, Kynes said. I would find that interesting, the Duke said. I note that suits are manufactured also in some of the garrison cities. Inferior copies, Kynes said. Any Dune man who values his skin wears a Fremen suit. And itll hold your water loss to a thimbleful a day? Properly suited, your forehead cap tight, all seals in order, your major water loss is through the palms of your hands, Kynes said. You can wear suit gloves if youre not using your hands for critical work, but most Fremen in the open desert rub their hands with juice from the leaves of the creosote bush. It inhibits perspiration. The Duke glanced down to the left at the broken landscape of the Shield Wallchasms of tortured rock, patches of yellow-brown crossed by black lines of fault shattering. It was as though someone had dropped this ground from space and left it where it smashed. They crossed a shallow basin with the clear outline of gray sand spreading across it from a canyon opening to the south. The sand fingers ran out into the basina dry delta outlined against darker rock. Kynes sat back, thinking about the water-fat flesh he had felt beneath the stillsuits. They wore shield belts over their robes, slow pellet stunners at the waist, coin-sized emergency transmitters on cords around their necks. Both the Duke and his son carried knives in wrist sheathes and the sheathes appeared well worn. The people struck Kynes as a strange combination of softness and armed strength. There was a poise to them totally unlike the Harkonnens. When you report to the Emperor on the change of government here, will you say we observed the rules? Leto asked. He glanced at Kynes, back to their course. The Harkonnens left; you came, Kynes said. And is everything as it should be? Leto asked. Momentary tension showed in the tightening of a muscle along Kynes jaw. As Planetologist and Judge of the Change, I am a direct subject of the Imperium . . . my Lord. The Duke smiled grimly. But we both know the realities. I remind you that His Majesty supports my work. Indeed? And what is your work? In the brief silence, Paul thought: Hes pushing this Kynes too hard. Paul glanced at Halleck, but the minstrel-warrior was staring out at the barren landscape. Kynes spoke stiffly: You, of course, refer to my duties as planetologist. Of course. It is mostly dry land biology and botany . . . some geological workcore drilling and testing. You never really exhaust the possibilities of an entire planet. Do you also investigate the spice? Kynes turned, and Paul noted the hard line of the mans cheek. A curious question, my Lord. Bear in mind, Kynes, that this is now my fief. My methods differ from those of the Harkonnens. I dont care if you study the spice as long as I share what you discover. He glanced at the planetologist. The Harkonnens discouraged investigation of the spice, didnt they? Kynes stared back without answering. You may speak plainly, the Duke said, without fear for your skin. The Imperial Court is, indeed, a long way off, Kynes muttered. And he thought: What does this water-soft invader expect? Does he think me fool enough to enlist with him? The Duke chuckled, keeping his attention on their course. I detect a sour note in your voice, sir. Weve waded in here with our mob of tame killers, eh? And we expect you to realize immediately that were different from the Harkonnens? Ive seen the propaganda youve flooded into sietch and village, Kynes said. Love the good Duke! Your corps of Here now! Halleck barked. He snapped his attention away from the window, leaned forward. Paul put a hand on Hallecks arm. Gurney! the Duke said. He glanced back. This mans been long under the Harkonnens. Halleck sat back. Ayah. Your man Hawats subtle, Kynes said, but his objects plain enough. Will you open those bases to us, then? the Duke asked. Kynes spoke curtly: Theyre His Majestys property. Theyre not being used. They could be used. Does His Majesty concur? Kynes darted a hard stare at the Duke. Arrakis could be an Eden if its rulers would look up from grubbing for spice! He didnt answer my question, the Duke thought. And he said: How is a planet to become an Eden without money? What is money, Kynes asked, if it wont buy the services you need? Ah, now! the Duke thought. And he said: Well discuss this another time. Right now, I believe were coming to the edge of the Shield Wall. Do I hold the same course? The same course, Kynes muttered. Paul looked out his window. Beneath them, the broken ground began to drop away in tumbled creases toward a barren rock plain and a knife-edged shelf. Beyond the shelf, fingernail crescents of dunes marched toward the horizon with here and there in the distance a dull smudge, a darker blotch to tell of something not sand. Rock outcroppings, perhaps. In the heat-addled air, Paul couldnt be sure. Are there any plants down there? Paul asked. Some, Kynes said. This latitudes life-zone has mostly what we call minor water stealersadapted to raiding each other for moisture, gobbling up the trace-dew. Some parts of the desert teem with life. But all of it has learned how to survive under these rigors. If you get caught down there, you imitate that life or you die. You mean steal water from each other? Paul asked. The idea outraged him, and his voice betrayed his emotion. Its done, Kynes said, but that wasnt precisely my meaning. You see, my climate demands a special attitude toward water. You are aware of water at all times. You waste nothing that contains moisture. And the Duke thought: . . . my climate! Come around two degrees more southerly, my Lord, Kynes said. Theres a blow coming up from the west. The Duke nodded. He had seen the billowing of tan dust there. He banked the thopter around, noting the way the escorts wings reflected milky orange from the dust-refracted light as they turned to keep pace with him. This should clear the storms edge, Kynes said. That sand must be dangerous if you fly into it, Paul said. Will it really cut the strongest metals? At this altitude, its not sand but dust, Kynes said. The danger is lack of visibility, turbulence, clogged intakes. Well see actual spice mining today? Paul asked. Very likely, Kynes said. Paul sat back. He had used the questions and hyperawareness to do what his mother called registering the person. He had Kynes nowtune of voice, each detail of face and gesture. An unnatural folding of the left sleeve on the mans robe told of a knife in an arm sheath. The waist bulged strangely. It was said that desert men wore a belted sash into which they tucked small necessities. Perhaps the bulges came from such a sashcertainly not from a concealed shield belt. A copper pin engraved with the likeness of a hare clasped the neck of Kynes robe. Another smaller pin with similar likeness hung at the corner of the hood which was thrown back over his shoulders. Halleck twisted in the seat beside Paul, reached back into the rear compartment and brought out his baliset. Kynes looked around as Halleck tuned the instrument, then returned his attention to their course. What would you like to hear, young Master? Halleck asked. You choose, Gurney, Paul said. Halleck bent his ear close to the sounding board, strummed a chord and sang softly: Our fathers ate manna in the desert, In the burning places where whirlwinds came. Lord, save us from that horrible land! Save us . . . oh-h-h-h, save us From the dry and thirsty land. Kynes glanced at the Duke, said: You do travel with a light complement of guards, my Lord. Are all of them such men of many talents? Gurney? The Duke chuckled. Gurneys one of a kind. I like him with me for his eyes. His eyes miss very little. The planetologist frowned. Without missing a beat in his tune, Halleck interposed: For I am like an owl of the desert, o! Aiyah! am like an owl of the des-ert! The Duke reached down, brought up a microphone from the instrument panel, thumbed it to life, said: Leader to Escort Gemma. Flying object at nine oclock, Sector B. Do you identify it? Its merely a bird, Kynes said, and added: You have sharp eyes. The panel speaker crackled, then: Escort Gemma. Object examined under full amplification. Its a large bird. Paul looked in the indicated direction, saw the distant speck: a dot of intermittent motion, and realized how keyed up his father must be. Every sense was at full alert. Id not realized there were birds that large this far into the desert, the Duke said. Thats likely an eagle, Kynes said. Many creatures have adapted to this place. The ornithopter swept over a bare rock plain. Paul looked down from their two thousand meters altitude, saw the wrinkled shadow of their craft and escort. The land beneath seemed flat, but shadow wrinkles said otherwise. Has anyone ever walked out of the desert? the Duke asked. Hallecks music stopped. He leaned forward to catch the answer. Not from the deep desert, Kynes said. Men have walked out of the second zone several times. Theyve survived by crossing the rock areas where worms seldom go. The timbre of Kynes voice held Pauls attention. He felt his sense come alert the way they were trained to do. Ah-h, the worms, the Duke said. I must see one sometime. You may see one today, Kynes said. Wherever there is spice, there are worms. Always? Halleck asked. Always. Is there relationship between worm and spice? the Duke asked. Kynes turned and Paul saw the pursed lips as the man spoke. They defend spice sands. Each worm has aterritory. As to the spice . . . who knows? Worm specimens weve examined lead us to suspect complicated chemical interchanges within them. We find traces of hydrochloric acid in the ducts, more complicated acid forms elsewhere. Ill give you my monograph on the subject. And a shields no defense? the Duke asked. Shields! Kynes sneered. Activate a shield within the worm zone and you seal your fate. Worms ignore territory lines, come from far around to attack a shield. No man wearing a shield has ever survived such attack. How are worms taken, then? High voltage electrical shock applied separately to each ring segment is the only known way of killing and preserving an entire worm, Kynes said. They can be stunned and shattered by explosives, but each ring segment has a life of its own. Barring atomics, I know of no explosive powerful enough to destroy a large worm entirely. Theyre incredibly tough. Why hasnt an effort been made to wipe them out? Paul asked. Too expensive, Kynes said. Too much area to cover. Paul leaned back in his corner. His truthsense, awareness of tone shadings, told him that Kynes was lying and telling half-truths. And he thought: If theres a relationship between spice and worms, killing the worms would destroy the spice. No one will have to walk out of the desert soon, the Duke said. Trip these little transmitters at our necks and rescue is on its way. All our workers will be wearing them before long. Were setting up a special rescue service. Very commendable, Kynes said. Your tone says you dont agree, the Duke said. Agree? Of course I agree, but it wont be much use. Static electricity from sandstorms masks out many signals. Transmitters short out. Theyve been tried here before, you know. Arrakis is tough on equipment. And if a worms hunting you theres not much time. Frequently, you have no more than fifteen or twenty minutes. What would you advise? the Duke asked. You ask my advice? As planetologist, yes. Youd follow my advice? If I found it sensible. Very well, my Lord. Never travel alone. The Duke turned his attention from the controls. Thats all? Thats all. Never travel alone. What if youre separated by a storm and forced down? Halleck asked. Isnt there anything you could do? Any thing covers much territory, Kynes said. What would you do? Paul asked. Kynes turned a hard stare at the boy, brought his attention back to the Duke. Id remember to protect the integrity of my stillsuit. If I were outside the worm zone or in rock, Id stay with the ship. If I were down in open sand, Id get away from the ship as fast as I could. About a thousand meters would be far enough. Then Id hide beneath my robe. A worm would get the ship, but it might miss me. Then what? Halleck asked. Kynes shrugged. Wait for the worm to leave. Thats all? Paul asked. When the worm has gone, one may try to walk out, Kynes said. You must walk softly, avoid drum sands, tidal dust basinshead for the nearest rock zone. There are many such zones. You might make it. Drum sand? Halleck asked. A condition of sand compaction, Kynes said. The slightest step sets it drumming. Worms always come to that. And a tidal dust basin? the Duke asked. Certain depressions in the desert have filled with dust over the centuries. Some are so vast they have currents and tides. All will swallow the unwary who step into them. Halleck sat back, resumed strumming the baliset. Presently, he sang: Wild beasts of the desert do hunt there, Waiting for the innocents to pass. Oh-h-h, tempt not the gods of the desert, Lest you seek a lonely epitaph. The perils of the He broke off, leaned forward. Dust cloud ahead, Sire. I see it, Gurney. Thats what we seek, Kynes said. Paul stretched up in the seat to peer ahead, saw a rolling yellow cloud low on the desert surface some thirty kilometers ahead. One of your factory crawlers, Kynes said. Its on the surface and that means its on spice. The cloud is vented sand being expelled after the spice has been centrifugally removed. Theres no other cloud quite like it. Aircraft over it, the Duke said. I see two . . . three . . . four spotters, Kynes said. Theyre watching for wormsign. Wormsign? the Duke asked. A sandwave moving toward the crawler. Theyll have seismic probes on the surface, too. Worms sometimes travel too deep for the wave to show. Kynes swung his gaze around the sky. Should be a carryall wing around, but I dont see it. The worm always comes, eh? Halleck asked. Always. Paul leaned forward, touched Kynes shoulder. How big an area does each worm stake out? Kynes frowned. The child kept asking adult questions. That depends on the size of the worm. Whats the variation? the Duke asked. Big ones may control three or four hundred square kilometers. Small ones He broke off as the Duke kicked on the jet brakes. The ship bucked as its tail pods whispered to silence. Stub wings elongated, cupped the air. The craft became a full thopter as the Duke banked it, holding the wings to a gentle beat, pointing with his left hand off to the east beyond the factory crawler. Is that wormsign? Kynes leaned across the Duke to peer into the distance. Paul and Halleck were crowded together, looking in the same direction, and Paul noted that their escort, caught by the sudden maneuver, had surged ahead, but now was curving back. The factory crawler lay ahead of them, still some three kilometers away. Where the Duke pointed, crescent dune tracks spread shadow ripples toward the horizon and, running through them as a level line stretching into the distance, came an elongated mount-in-motiona cresting of sand. It reminded Paul of the way a big fish disturbed the water when swimming just under the surface. Worm, Kynes said. Big one. He leaned back, grabbed the microphone from the panel, punched out a new frequency selection. Glancing at the grid chart on rollers over their heads, he spoke into the microphone: Calling crawler at Delta Ajax niner. Wormsign warning. Crawler at Delta Ajax niner. Wormsign warning. Acknowledge, please. He waited. The panel speaker emitted static crackles, then a voice: Who calls Delta Ajax niner? Over. They seem pretty calm about it, Halleck said. Kynes spoke into the microphone: Unlisted flightnorth and east of you about three kilometers. Wormsign is on intercept course, your position, estimated contact twenty-five minutes. Another voice rumbled from the speaker: This is Spotter Control. Sighting confirmed. Stand by for contact fix. There was a pause, then: Contact in twenty-six minutes minus. That was a sharp estimate. Whos on that unlisted flight? Over. Halleck had his harness off and surged forward between Kynes and the Duke. Is this the regular working frequency, Kynes? Yes. Why? Whod be listening? Just the work crews in this area. Cuts down interference. Again, the speaker crackled, then: This is Delta Ajax niner. Who gets bonus credit for that spot? Over. Halleck glanced at the Duke. Kynes said: Theres a bonus based on spice load for whoever gives first worm warning. They want to know Tell them who had first sight of that worm, Halleck said. The Duke nodded. Kynes hesitated, then lifted the microphone; Spotter credit to the Duke Leto Atreides. The Duke Leto Atreides. Over. The voice from the speaker was flat and partly distorted by a burst of static: We read and thank you. Now, tell them to divide the bonus among themselves, Halleck ordered. Tell them its the Dukes wish. Kynes took a deep breath, then: Its the Dukes wish that you divide the bonus among your crew. Do you read? Over. Acknowledged and thank you, the speaker said. The Duke said: I forgot to mention that Gurney is also very talented in public relations. Kynes turned a puzzled frown on Halleck. This lets the men know their Duke is concerned for their safety, Halleck said. Word will get around. It was on an area working frequencynot likely Harkonnen agents heard. He glanced out at their air cover. And were a pretty strong force. It was a good risk. The Duke banked their craft toward the sandcloud erupting from the factory crawler. What happens now? Theres a carryall wing somewhere close, Kynes said. Itll come in and lift off the crawler. What if the carryalls wrecked? Halleck asked. Some equipment is lost, Kynes said. Get in close over the crawler, my Lord; youll find this interesting. The Duke scowled, busied himself with the controls as they came into turbulent air over the crawler.

  • Revealed /  (by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast, 2013) -   Revealed / (by P.C.
  • Pollyanna /  (Porter, 2014)    Pollyanna /
  • Winston The Wizard / - (Williams, 2014)    Winston The Wizard /
  • The Universe in a Nutshell /     (by Stephen Hawking, 2001) -   The Universe in a Nutshell /

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