Chapter 4

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The child who refuses to travel in the father's harness, this is the symbol of man's most unique capability. "I do not have to be what my father was. I do not have to obey my father's rules or even believe everything he believed. It is my strength as a human that I can make my own choices of what to believe and what not to believe, of what to be and what not to be.

-Leto Atreides II

The Harq al-Ada Biography

    Levas Crompton was a man with broad shoulders and a strong jaw. His blonde hair was pushed back in military style and the captain sat at the ship's dining table with ten others. It had been a week since the distrans from Tleilax arrived and today was the day he had been dreading. Part of Levas assumed this day was just a hypothetical. When the filthy Tleilaxu call in their favor.

    A pretty and freckled, young woman spoke in a sarcastic tone, "I'm so excited to meet your friends, Levas"

    "Quiet, woman", the Captain growled.

    "I don't understand why we all have to be here. I made no deal with the Tleilaxu. Have you?", she asked the nearby crew. They remained silent.

    "We are going back to Suttetter", the Captain responded. The crew let out a disappointed groan. The ships lights began to fade in and out. Deep below, a mechanical whirring could be heard.

    "I certainly am not, Levas. Especially not in this safety hazard", Liv glared.

    "We have no choice"

    "Perhaps you don't, Levas. You can just drop us down at Nippur. I hear the city is lovely this time of year"

    "We are going back to Suttetter. Double pay for all of you"

    "Triple it and perhaps we can find a compromise", she said with feminine charm.

    Levas perched his forehead atop his two hands supported by the plasteel table, "Fine", he responded in a low grumble.

    "I suppose the Captain is wise in Tleilaxu submission", interjected a man with a wiry beard and mustache.

    "Submission!", Levas erupted, "This is no submission. I'm merely fulfilling a promise I made when I ... was much younger"

    "Calm yourself, Captain. I do not question your masculinity. I merely observe your tactful behavior. I've heard some terrible stories in regards to your friends"

    "I'm no friend of the Tleilaxu", the Captain replied sternly.

    "Whatever your relation may be, entire planets have gone quiet under circumstances that suggest Tleilaxu involvement"

    "Is that your mentat computation", Levas sneered.

    "One does not need to be a mentat to calculate the obvious. All's required is a healthy common sense. The tleilaxu are dangerous. Dangerous in unknown ways. I offer you this mentat computation. The Tleilaxu are not used. That defines your position quite well, Captain"

    "I do not need your warnings, Malin"

    The ship creaked as the docking shuttle detached itself back into lower orbit. He remembered the words delivered to him by the face dancer envoy. Follow the instructions precisely as our masters have graciously prepared.

    Levas began to prepare himself both physically and mentality for the encounter. He stood up with his chin raised, waiting for the gray, Tleilaxu master. Filthy Tleilaxu , Levas thought with contempt. His crew stood up into attention to his left. Levas always prided himself as a strong man. He consolidated his confidence, remembering how many compared him to Duncan Idaho. Levas held no doubt that he carried Idaho's genes. He stared at the silver, plasteel door, restraining his obvious disdain. I should snap this little imp's neck! That will show those "masters".

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