Hiih Resser stood with a dozen members of the Moritani royal court, packed shoulder to shoulder in the sickroom of the dying boy. Viscount Moritani spoke to them all in a voice like ripping paper. "The Suk doctor says my son will soon breathe his last. It is only a matter of days, or less. If only we had the drug to cure him." Moritani's broken whisper drove a knife of sorrow into Resser's heart. If only.
On his bed, reeking of melange and semuta smoke, accompanied by wailing atonal music, whether or not the melodic trance effects were necessary, Wolfram was beyond hearing his distraught father.
Some of the witnesses sobbed softly, but Resser had no way of judging if their tears were sincere.
Looking on, he was convinced that this clumsy demonstration of support was largely an effort to gain favor with the Grumman lord.
Preoccupied with his work, Dr. Terbali made adjustments to Wolfram's intravenous lines, while the wild-haired Viscount leaned over his son from the other side, kissed his sunken cheek, and spoke quietly.
The unfortunate boy did not respond, but stared vacantly, only occasionally twitching a muscle or blinking his red-veined eyes.
The sick boy slipped so quietly into death that even Moritani did not notice for several seconds, though he held the boy's limp hand. Then, in delayed reaction, he let out a bestial sound that was half wail, half roar.
Klingons of Dune!
Dissect or discuss as you will.
I'll start by pointing out the modifiers used for the boy; he's "dying", he's "unfortunate" and he's "sick". No sooner are we told in the first paragraph of this excerpt that he's "dying" than his father speaks ("in a voice like ripping paper"? just what the FUCK does that mean?) and tells those assembled that the boy will soon kick the bucket. Is "dying" really needed then, before this?
I don't know about the rest of you, but I almost want to giggle when I read this scene, it's so bad. (And it gets worse, as Moritani kills the doctor and tells him to heal himself. )