Disclaimer: I do not own Dune in any way, shape, or form.
Author's Note: This is something I wrote for a writing contest at school and decided to post. I've always liked Ghanima's character and wanted to see some of her thoughts. This is set more in the mini-series world, because I like the idea of she and Leto being just a bit older. (And I prefer the shorter version of the Litany Against Fear.) Anyways. Enjoy!


I Will Not Fear

I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear. I will let it pass through me. Where the fear has gone, there shall be nothing. Only I will remain.

-Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

My father was Muad'Dib, the messiah of all messiahs. He was born the son of Duke Leto Atreides, but in his heart he has always been a son of Dune. Even before he knew their ways, he was Fremen. He led them in their revolt against House Harkonnen, and together they took back their planet. He himself defeated Feyd Rautha, securing the dominion of House Atreides and replacing Shaddam IV as the ruler of the Empire. And then the true jihad began. My father's Fremen scattered across the galaxy, imposing the rule of Muad'Dib on all they met. It was bloodbath, a carnage. That was always my father's greatest regret, that his name was used as a banner for the war that followed. He wanted to bring peace, not death. But even he could not control the future.

My brother and I know all of this. We were alive for none of it, and yet we can remember all of it. This is our mother's gift to us: the gift of the Preborn. We have all of our parents' memories inside of us, and those of their parents and of their parents before them, on and on, stretching so far back in to time that we would be lost in the flood if we tried to follow it back to its source. All of those voices are in our minds. It is both a gift and a curse. We have seen so many things, wondrous things that we will never experience for ourselves. But there is also the danger of becoming lost in Other Memory, of falling prey to one of the many voices. It is for this reason that we must hide our gift. The Bene Gesserit would kill us if they knew. They would fear Abomination, the taking over of our minds by someone from the Other Memory. Their Reverend Mothers have our same ability, but it is one they train for many years to earn. And then only those who survive the Spice Agony are able to achieve the unlocking of the Other Memory. But Leto and I were born this way, born old. This is the danger. That we are too young to understand the risks of looking into Other Memory, that we were never given a chance to find ourselves and instead we will become lost in the flood.

It was the same with Alia, our aunt. Our grandmother underwent the Spice Agony while she was unknowingly carrying Alia. The spice changed her just as it has also changed us. On the day she was born she had already lived a thousand lives. The Bene Gesserit would have destroyed her. Even many of the Fremen feared her as a child. But Muad'Dib loved her, and that was her saving grace.

Leto and I have always had each other. We understand each other more completely than any other siblings ever could. We know what it is to grow up with the Other Memory, know the loneliness that accompanies it. But we have always had each other to stand beside, to keep us from sinking too far into Other Memory. To keep us from Abomination.

There was a time when Alia had Muad'Dib. But now our father is gone. After the loss of his eyes and his wife, he chose to walk into the desert like a true Fremen. Some say he abandoned us, but Leto and I know better. He did it to save us. Not only Leto and I, but all of mankind. By holding to Fremen tradition, by letting Shai'Hulud claim him, he only strengthened the legend of Muad'Dib. It is this that has protected Leto and I all these years. No one dares to touch the children of the man that many say was actually a god.

Our father had become trapped by his visions, by what he knew of the future. He knew too much. He was no longer free to make his own choices. He saw what would happen to his jihad, what will eventually become of humanity. But he was too afraid to do what he knew must be done. And so he walked into the desert, leaving his ghost to protect Leto and I so that someday one of us may pay the price that was too great for him to bear.

Neither of us truly understands this terrible purpose our father knew of. We know there is something we must do, something only we can do. But we do not yet know what it is. Leto has begun to catch glimpses of it, of something he calls a Golden Path. He says this path will save humanity, and that only we can accomplish the deed that will place humanity on this path. But we do not yet know what it is.

I can feel Leto growing further from me every day. We are still close, like one mind in two bodies. But there is something he has begun to understand, something he cannot tell me. He is beginning to understand something about the task our father left us. As children we believed it was left to both of us. But Leto has always been the stronger, and I fear that in the end he will be the one forced to make the sacrifice, to fulfill the terrible purpose.

As my brother draws closer to understanding this Golden Path, Alia meanwhile is sinking further into madness. I can see it in her eyes. She is slipping, falling in to Abomination. She has no one who understands her burden. She had only our father, and now he has gone. Her own mother has abandoned her, preferring to return to the ancestral home of House Atreides. She is alone now, alone with the burden of ruling the Empire, alone with the weight of her Other Memory. And so day by day she sinks. Leto has seen it too. We know that soon she will be lost to us forever.

I pity her and what she has become. But I am also afraid. I am afraid of what might become of us, of what will happen if we are not careful. Leto says that we will be alright, that this Golden Path means that we will not become what she is. I want to believe him. But I am not so sure. Alia is a constant reminder of the threat we face, of what we may become. Every day I watch her fall farther and farther, completely unable to stop herself. She is already beyond any help Leto or I could provide. The possibility of seeing the future was too tempting for her to resist, the weight of Other Memory was too much for her to bear. She has become what every Bene Gesserit fears from the Preborn: Abomination.

It frightens me.

I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I know these words by heart. I have heard them all my life. The Bene Gesserit say fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I must not fear. To fear is to fall. To fear is to create weakness in yourself, to give your opponent an opportunity to strike. To fear is to open the door to Abomination. I am not Alia. I am both Atreides and Fremen, the daughter of Muad'Dib himself. I must believe Leto. He says we will not fall into Abomination. Somehow he will find a way to save us both. I must believe him.

I do believe him.

I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear. I will let it pass through me. Where the fear has gone, there shall be nothing. Only I will remain.

I am Ghanima Atreides, daughter of Muad'Dib, granddaughter of Duke Leto Atreides and of Liet Kynes.

I will not fear.


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