Chapter 1

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Every civilization must contend with an unconscious force which can block, betray or countermand almost any conscious intention of the collectivity.

-Tleilaxu Theorem (unproven)


The distant sun began to set across the Tleilaxu violet horizon. Scytale scanned the city's convoluted skyline. Each building spiraled upward, gently blinking a soft orange from above. "The Wekht of Bandalong", Scytale recited to himself, and, in that moment, the memory of the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam pressed itself upon Scytale's mind. Scytale scoffed, shaking his head from left to right.

Didn't I say it? I shall regret causing death and misery to Muad'dib! Scytale recalled Paul's empty eyes piercing him on that night. How could such a thing be possible? Behind him, four knocks radiated from the ancient wood door. These new face dancers are subpar, Scytale observed before pursing his lips to release a baritone whistle.

The face dancer entered. She was of the standard make; blonde hair cropped against her forehead, clothed in an iridescent purple robe. She lowered her head saying, "The other Masheikh have just arrived, lord". Scytale turned then whistled; the Face Dancer stepped aside.

Scytale made his way through the Tleilaxu tower of twisted plasteel and plazstone. Ghola architects rivaling that of even the Prophet Leto had been summoned to erect this monument before Scytale's birth. How long ago that was, Scytale thought to himself.

Scytale stepped into the council room, lit by the delicate white of suspended glowglobes. Seven men sat at an oblong table, each clothed in robes of a deep, luxurious red. "Nurahhib 'akhi. Please take a seat next to Proffwyd Sung , Scytale", said the man sitting at the head of the table.

"We've almost perfected spice protein synthesis with the modified tanks, Tylwyth, the experiments are progressing as planned...", the man was cut short swiftly.

"You've almost perfected nothing. You know I inspect the melange myself."

"Of course, Lord. Naturally, the artificial melange is.... divergent from Rakian spice"

"We are generations away from developing a mock spice solvent. Your trials remain deadly, Marwolaeth."

"It isn't our fault, Lord! Without the DTT, we move at a crawl!"

"We've been without the DTT for a thousand years and you still use it as an excuse. Are you not close with God?", Waff stared at Marwolaeth; gaze unbroken, " I've not brought you here to replace you. God tests us in other ways".

"In other ways, Lord?", Scytale questioned. He was always so bold, Waff reminded himself.

"The discovery of a new world has been revealed to us. It orbits the G-type star, Suttetter 4041. It's habitable."

Sung with wide eyes responded, "We've barely enough melange to continue with our current projects, there is no way we can send a colony team to..."

"We will not be sending colony team. A low orbit satellite is already in place and we've found something interesting. A complex on the shore of planet's largest inland lake."

"A complex? Could it be, Lord?", Scytale added.

"Perhaps. Face dancers are in place. The guild will no doubt request a mentat envoy from Wallach IX. We cannot let the Bene Gesserit investigate before us."

" The Bene Gesserit? What do they have to do with this discovery, Lord?", Marwolaeth questioned.

Interrupting, Scytale spoke, " Do you recall the legend of Muad'dib's spice horde?"

"I, yes, of course I've heard the legend"

"The prophet himself cultivated this myth. and why would he do that?". Waff listened to Scytale intently, waiting for Marwolaeth's rebuttal.

"The prophet intended to force humanity onto his Golden path as we've heard him say. I don't understand.."

"He left us places to discover. That was his Golden Path"

Waff allowed himself a grin, This one is close to god. Waff glanced over to Scytale saying, " Precisely. Scytale, you will go on the next guild lighter". Scytale nodded in acceptance. "Now to discuss the finance report on the soostone venture".

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