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Chapter 04

Posted: 01 Mar 2008 11:56
by Freakzilla
I am the most ardent people-watcher who ever lived. I watch them inside me and
outside. Past and present can mingle with odd impositions in me. And as the
metamorphosis continues in my flesh wonderful things happen to my senses. It's
as though I sensed everything in close-up. I have extremely acute hearing and
vision, plus a sense of smell extraordinarily discriminating. I can detect and
identify pheromones at three parts per million. I know. I have tested it. You
cannot hide very much from my senses. I think it would horrify you what I can
detect by smell alone. Your pheromones tell me what you are doing or are
prepared to do. And gesture and posture! I stared for half a day once at an old
man sitting on a bench in Arrakeen. He was a fifth-generation descendant of
Stilgar the Naib and did not even know it. I studied the angle of his neck, the
skin flaps below his chin, the cracked lips and moistness about his nostrils,
the pores behind his ears, the wisps of gray hair which crept from beneath the
hood of his antique stillsuit. Not once did he detect that he was being watched.
Hah! Stilgar would have known it in a second or two. But this old man was just
waiting for someone who never came. He got up finally and tottered off. He was
very stiff after all of that sitting. I knew I would never see him in the flesh
again. He was that near death and his water was sure to be wasted. Well, that no
longer mattered.

-The Stolen Journals

Leto waits for a meeting with Duncan in the catacombs under his citadel. While waiting and thinking to himself we're told that if he dies away from water there will never be any worms or spice ever again.
The Guild, who do everything they can to protect their slender connection to the spice, has informed Leto that Duncan has received a lasgun from the Ixians. While giving reports, Duncan pulls the lasgun on Leto whom he's caught daydreaming. Leto narrowly escapes by intimidating Duncan with Paul's voice and crushing him with his body.

Re: Chapter 03

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 16:37
by grandmastercrafter
Freakzilla wrote:Leto narrowly escapes


He doesn't narrowly escape, does he? He states that he is unconcerned RE damage via lasgun to his pre-worm body, and notes that Duncan aimed for his human head, when his brain has actually re-distributed itself throughout the worm body in separate nodes, no? Then there is the fact that once the danger is real, his worm self automatically reacts, with a speed and finality that even surprises him on occasion... Was he ever in any real danger? (I've got my copy of God Emp in the car - gotta double-check that) :think:

Re: Chapter 03

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 16:42
by grandmastercrafter
Freakzilla wrote:if he dies away from water there will never be any worms or spice ever again.


...this, coupled with the fact that he chooses not to see the moment of his own passing (hence he would never be sure that one of the many assassination attempts wouldn't succeed), shows his willingness to court (potential) disaster (the loss of all future spice) in order to alleviate his boredom... no?

Re: Chapter 03

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 16:45
by A Thing of Eternity
Oh he was in pretty good danger. If Duncan had pulled the trigger it's possible he could have got Leto right in the face and killed him on the spot.

I agree, it speaks volumes to just how horrible it must have been to be Leto, boredom like nothing we can possibly imagine.

Re: Chapter 03

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 13:16
by grandmastercrafter
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Oh he was in pretty good danger. If Duncan had pulled the trigger it's possible he could have got Leto right in the face and killed him on the spot.


hmmm... checking on that I see that:

"...some of his flesh was vulnerable to lasguns, especially the face." (p.23), and
"It could scratch him badly, but few understood the abilities of the pre-worm body to deal with heat." (p.29), and
"There could be little doubt that Duncan was aiming for the brain." and
"Leto was always aware that his hands and feet were vulnerable, but he had allowed no one to learn that what had once been his brain was no longer directly associated with his face. It was not even a brain of human dimensions anymore, but had spread to nodal congeries throughout his body. He had told no one this but his journals." (p.30)

Nodal brains allow distributed abilities and awareness, so the destruction on one node or another may or may not impede conscious thought, and there seems to be the implication that Leto would only suffer from cosmetic damage (loss or disfigurement of his human face) rather than death. The flesh of the face would be damaged if struck by lasgun, just as the tip of his flipper was burned away by Duncan's attack, but Leto himself would be alive and well, as his worm-body reflexes took over to kill the attacker...

What do you think? :think:

Re: Chapter 03

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 13:27
by A Thing of Eternity
He might keep going long enough to kill his attacker, but he could die from the injuries even if the brain wasn't destroyed.

There is a point later in the book where he says something that suggests a bllast to the face could kill him, but I don't want spoilers from other chapters in this thread. PM me if you want to know the part I'm thinking about.

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 11 Jul 2012 11:26
by Freakzilla
Revised

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 11 Jul 2012 11:28
by Freakzilla
I didn't say he narrowly escaped death. I meant that he narrowly escaped being attacked. He was clearly worried about the threat of injury from the lasgun to his face, hands or legs.

Re: Chapter 03

Posted: 14 Aug 2015 09:49
by georgiedenbro
grandmastercrafter wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Leto narrowly escapes


He doesn't narrowly escape, does he? He states that he is unconcerned RE damage via lasgun to his pre-worm body, and notes that Duncan aimed for his human head, when his brain has actually re-distributed itself throughout the worm body in separate nodes, no? Then there is the fact that once the danger is real, his worm self automatically reacts, with a speed and finality that even surprises him on occasion... Was he ever in any real danger? (I've got my copy of God Emp in the car - gotta double-check that) :think:


He was in real danger, and it surprised him. Here's how we know:

GEoD wrote:That was enough. Leto was off the cart in a hurtling roil. Idaho had never seen him leave the cart this way, had not even suspected it could happen. For Leto, there were only two requirements-a real threat which the worm-body could sense and the release of that body. The rest was automatic and the speed of it always astonished even Leto.


And this:

GEod wrote:"Siona," Idaho gasped.
Leto saw the life leave him then.
Interesting, Leto thought. Is it possible that this Duncan and Siona . . . No! This Duncan always displayed a true sneering disdain for Siona's foolishness. Leto climbed back onto the Royal Cart. That had been a close one. There could be little doubt that the Duncan had been aiming for the brain. Leto was always aware that his hands and feet were vulnerable, but he had allowed no one to learn that what had once been his brain was no longer directly associated with his face. It was not even a brain of human dimensions anymore, but had spread in nodal congeries throughout his body. He had told this to no one but his journals.


We learn here are few things:

-Duncan and Siona were apparently close in some capacity.
-Duncan knew exactly where his brain was, meaning he had access to the journals, meaning Siona had shown him.
-Therefore both Siona and Duncan had directly conspired to try to kill Leto.
-Since they enlisted the aid of the Ixians to do it, this means either Duncan or Siona was in contact with them.