Dune: The Saga is Far From Over
Muad'Dib (Paul Atreides) stood, facing his only love Chani, and knowing she could be nothing more than a concubine for him, as his mother was for his father. This prospect saddened him, but he knew, as did she, that an alliance between himself and Princess Irulan was the only way to stop this seemingly endless and pointless feud. He sighed and turned to face the people in the room.
Muad'Dib: My mother is now the closest heir to Baron Harkonnen. However, as a Reverend Mother, she could never carry out her duties as both. The next and only other heirs to Baron Harkonnen are myself, and Alia, and I am the Duke of Arrakis. She is what the Truth-Sayer would call "The Abomination." The one who knows all. Alia?
Alia: I don't want to be Baroness Harkonnen. That name carries with it the stench of generations of evil. I'm happy being myself, thank-you.
Muad'Dib: Then it's settled. There will be no more House Harkonnen.
The throngs of Fremin present, and even some of the noble-born, cheered and shouted. He raised his hand and they were silenced.
Muad'Dib: And because of the soon-to-be alliance between myself and Princess Irulan, the House Atreides and the Emperial Court will merge. Now, this impromptu ordiance is through. We are going home.
He, his mother and sister, Chani, and the Fremin headed to the doors to the side chambers. Irulan followed them, and caught up with Muad'Dib.
Irulan: Paul, wait!
He turned to face her, stern-faced and unhappy.
Muad'Dib: I am known to the Fremin, my brethren, and to Chani, as Muad'Dib. Only my mother and sister may call me Paul. You shall call me Muad'Dib, too.
Irulan: Fine, Muad'Dib. Where are you going?
Muad'Dib: Back to Cave of Ridges. Why?
Irulan: But what about the wedding?
Muad'Dib: When I come back. The Fremin no longer must live in caves. We are moving back into Seige De'Bar. Then I will come back to the Atreides hall and live there. You'll live there, too.
Irulan: Can I come with you?
Muad'Dib stopped and turned to Chani, who nodded.
Muad'Dib: Chani will get you a still suit and help you adjust it. Meet us out front when you're done. Stilgar!
Stilgar: Yes, M'lord?
Muad'Dib: Activate the thumpers.
Stilgar bowed and went to do his task.
Ten minutes later, they were all out front, and Irulan came out of the palace. She looked unsure and uncomfortable in the stillsuit, but she knew it was a neccessity. On her back was a small rucksack. Muad'Dib, unlike the others, was out on the sand, waiting. The other Fremin were standing on the last step. The thumper was activated.
Irulan: What is that sound?
Stilgar: You were born to be a Fremin, M'lady.
Irulan: Is that a compliment or an insult?
Stilgar: The highest compliment a Fremin would give an outworlder. That sound is the worm. The only other outworlder who was able to hear it without trying is Muad'Dib. You're almost worthy of him.
Irulan rolled her eyes and waited. Chani tapped her on the shoulder and handed her a hook.
Irulan: What's this?
Chani: What does it look like?
Irulan: A hook on a stick. For walking, right?
Chani shook her head.
Chani: For riding.
Irulan: Riding what? I don't see why we'd need these to ride an avicopter.
Chani: Not for the avicopter. For the worm. If you marry Muad'Dib, you must learn to do things as we have done them. Here, watch this!
Irulan looked foreward and watched in amazement as Muad'Dib hooked the worm, climbed up, and turned it towards them.
Irulan: So, we climb up there like he did?
Chani: Yes. But I will help you. It takes much strength, and you spent your life indoors.
Irulan: It is going to stop, right?
Chani shook her head, grabbed her hand, and ran with her out to the worm. She hooked up and grabbed Irulan's hook, showing her how to climb, then pulling her the last few feet. They stood on either side of Muad'Dib, Irulan filled with excitement, happy with this new adventure, and Chani filled with sadness, first at the loss of her son, and now at having to share her lover with another woman. She sighed, and Muad'Dib slowed the worm, and they jumped off.
Inside Cave of Ridges, Chani showed Irulan to her room, gave her some food, shook the spice-lamp to light it, then left her and went to her own room. Irulan changed into the clothes Chani had given her: Homespun pants, a loose blouse, a cape, and boots, and then followed her. Stilgar blocked her path.
Irulan: Let me pass.
Stilgar: Where do you think you are going? Only Muad'Dib, Jessica, Chani, Alia, and Othium are allowed back here.
Irulan: Why am I not allowed back there?
Stilgar: To the Fremin, you are not of noble blood. Neither is Othium, technically, but he is a trusted friend and guard. Not even Gurney Hallack is allowed into their chambers.
Irulan: Oh. Why?
Stilgar: It is a sanctuary for them. A private space. Other reasons exist as well, but they are not spoken of. Don't look so down-faced. We gave you the biggest room in the entire cave-system.
Irulan: Still, I wonder what goes on back their.
Stilgar: You are incredibly naive, then. Muad'Dib and Chani are life-partners. Chani is the mother of his first-born son, Leto (after his father, you know), who was killed by Rabban. Twised boy, that Rabban. Did you know, it was a child who killed him? A very brave child who was the first in the crowd, and cut off his head.
Irulan: Eh. So that is why Chani doesn't seem to like me.
Stilgar: You are not aware of the ways of people out here. She is cautious and pragmatic. She will warm up to you, because she doesn't have to give him up.
Irulan: Yes she does.
Stilgar: Are you also not aware of the concept of a concubine? But she will be happy. And you, unfortunately, will be very lonely. I think those books you love shall probably be your only comfort.
Irulan: Oh. Oh, I see. Indeed. Good day, sir.
Stilgar: Call me Stilgar. Or still, even. I am... was the naib of this tribe. Now it is Muad'Dib's turn.
Irulan nodded and went back to her chamber to think. A few hours later, there was a tapping at her wall.
Othium: May I bring you anything, M'lady? Some food?
Irulan: Yes, thank-you.
Othium left and returned a little while later with bread and coffee. She looked at the food, confused.
Othium: We eat simply out here, M'lady.
Othium: It's everywhere. We don't add it to the food, it's just there.
Irulan: Oh. Alright.
A few hours later, there was much noise throughout the cave. She looked out her door, to see the Fremin moving lamps, tables, blankets, and clothes out of the door. There was the distant sound of a thumper.
Irulan: What's going on here?
Muad'Dib: We're moving our belongings back into Seige De'Bar. I'll be back tomorrow morning. The food Othium brang you must last until then. We'll take an Avicopter back to my father's palace.
She nodded and went back to her room. Awhile later, there was that sound again. The worm, rumbling through the sands below them. She got up and went to the mouth of the cave to watch. Then it happened. An explosion, a gush, a whoosh, and there it was. Spice: Treasure of the universe. She watched it fall in the afternoon sun, and waited for it to dry. All of the sudden, she got a sly look on her face.
Irulan: I've read about this before. I think I can pull it off.
She climbed down to the desert floor and walked to the Spice blow. She looked around to be sure no one was looking, then proceeded to gather as much as she could into her pockets, and took off her cape, using that as well to hold it. She brought it in bag fulls back into the cave and measured it into baskets, just as she had read.
As she stacked the last basket against the walls of the furthest rooms of the cave, a thought struck her: Her footprints. Hurriedly she rushed out to cover them. A rumble told her the worm was near. She scraped the ground with her cape as she ran back towards the cave. She turned, and there it was. The worm, out of the sand, and looming in the sky above her. The last thing she knew was the sound of a thousand souls screaming into her mind as the great beast sucked her up, up, and into it's mouth, and then.... Nothing.
To be continued...
Please R and R. I need to know if this is any good or not, and whether or not I should write another chapter.