Heretics of Dune

Image
    Can't find the appropriate forum for your topic? Post it here!

Moderators: ᴶᵛᵀᴬ, Omphalos, Freakzilla

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18163
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby Freakzilla » 22 Dec 2014 09:57

I believe there was only a trickle of returned BT from the scattering, they are who gave them the sexual knowledge to program into the latest Idaho ghola. The BT were dealing with the whores directly and they put them up to the attack on the Gamu keep. What I don't understand though is why the HM just didn't attack the BG themselves. Maybe they weren't ready and were stalling until the Ixians figured out their secret weapon?
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

georgiedenbro
Posts: 770
Joined: 11 Jun 2014 13:56
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby georgiedenbro » 31 Mar 2016 12:08

I read this thread a year and a half ago and was unprepared to add anything to it without re-reading Heretics. I just finished my latest read-through last night and I think I can help a little.

For one thing I somewhat consider it a flaw in Heretics that most of its content cannot be fully deciphered without reference to Chapterhouse, and inasmuch as they may be true I can't comment on it since I'm only starting my re-read of CH:D tonight. I don't think the basic content of a book should require reading another book to understand it, but that's just my opinion. I almost feel that Heretics and Chapterhouse are basically a duology; almost one book split into two sections much like Dune was originally in three sections. Anyhow here's my go at the facts:

The real BT were the ones who attacked Gammu keep, but Schwangyu thought the HM were behind it. The likeliest reason for this conclusion is that - as we learn in the last chapter of the book - the local BT had already been corrupted by the HM and were under their control. Odrade mentions in passing (!) that she recognized that Waff's one encounter with an HM imprinter left him under her control despite his protestation to the contrary. The quote says it was merely one of his Face Dancers and not an HM, which might lead us to believe that even if he was imprinted it was by a loyal BT subject and therefore the control over him wouldn't actually benefit the HM (especially since he claims to have destroyed the FD that did it to him). However we also learn in the book that the NFD's lose their original sense of self and believe they are the adopted persona. This is shown to us in a detailed scene involving the fake Tuek. This might well mean that the 'fake' HM that imprinted him really thought she was a true HM and that she was controlling him for the HM agenda, and she may well have done just that. Maybe she was destroyed in the end, maybe not, but if not she could certainly coerce him to say she was while she went on imprinted other masters. distrans is right that this is barely alluded to but is one of the most critical plot points.

Another question is whether Taraza always had the same plan in mind, or whether her plan was modified on the fly based on current events. I think the text suggests that her plan was never modified, and that it was to have Duncan and Sheeana lure in the HM to destroy Rakis, for the purposes of releasing the universe from the Tyrant's endless dream. This could only be safely done, however, if access to BT spice was guaranteed, which should lead us to conclude that the ability for the BT to produce spice was an extremely recent development. I imagine that Taraza's plan was only devised after learning of the BT supply and testing it, which may mean that it was during Taraza's tenure as Mother Superior that the BT developed this capability. It would also explain why Taraza chose that time to hasten the destruction of Rakis; the BG were tethered to Rakis and because of that any force that wanted to hunt them down would only need return to the old Empire to find them. By removing Rakis from relevance the BG would be freed up to go anywhere at all and lose their dependence on it. Dependencies and key logs; the dependency was on Rakis and the way of life known to the Sisterhood for eons, and Teg was the key log to release them from that. The bit about the pearls of awareness was, I think, relevant, but it may have been more of a psychological trick played on the BG to make them think they were trapped into Leto's vision and needed to escape. The key idea here being - that they needed to make a big change, and the idea of the pearls of awareness was the trigger to make them think they had to make that change. Whether Leto's visions actually were still having effect would seem to be moot, since as long as the Sisters thought they were then, in effect, they were.

Now we get to Duncan. The Sisters wanted him to be trained to seduce Sheeana, and to therefore take over the Rakian priesthood. The big question is: why would the HM destroy Rakis just because of that? Why would they care if the priesthood was controlled by the Shai-hulud worshippers or by the BG? The Tleilaxu would certainly care, that's for sure. In fact, since Taraza's plan had been in effect for many years (enough for 12 Duncan gholas, as well as time enough to complete the search for someone like Sheeana), we assume she had taken into account these variables back then. Could the BG have known about the HM sexual techniques way back then? The BT certainly didn't, but maybe Taraza did. I'm not sure if the text would back up this possibility. Even so, the only thing that would offend the HM enough to destroy a planet would seem to be the ability to replicate their techniques or at least resist it, so let's say for argument's sake it was Duncan's sexual abilities that made them complete Taraza's plan. In that case the BG must have planned to teach Duncan how to be an imprinter after being imprinted himself by Lucilla. It seems like such a plan would, indeed, be offensive to many BG, since I think such powers and duties had previously been restricted only to the females. When we consider that a RM actually went rogue on account of this schism, it must have been over something very serious. Creating a male imprinter would probably be enough. It was also likely a calculated gamble that BG imprinting techniques present in a man would be enough to bring down the wrath of the HM on Rakis.

Now we get to the BT and Duncan, which was the OP question. By total coincidence, I guess, the BT had also been given the HM techniques by the BT from the Scattering, and they implanted this ability in Duncan, which removed the necessity for Lucilla to teach him those skills. Another big question is why Taraza ordered Teg to prevent Lucilla from imprinting Duncan. I think maybe it was just so Duncan could be awakened first and imprinted afterwards, since it seems that once he was awakened Teg ceased interfering with Lucilla. At that point it was Duncan himself who prevented her attempts, which was perhaps not according to plan. Since we know Teg was a latent prescient he may have had an instinct (like the sort Odrade sometimes had) that things were going to work out ok anyhow and not to force Duncan to submit to it. This was the first instance, I think, of him altering Taraza's plans on the fly.

It takes reading CH:D to know the other ability implanted in Duncan, but to my surprise that ability was actually hinted at here in Heretics. I never understood it before, but now that I do it's crystal clear and makes complete sense from the BT's perspective. They had already perfected serial-ghola memory, which was a kind of immortality. However this advantage could only go so far as each lifetime still had to be lived, so in terms of 'data collection' this process of a master acquiring knowledge would still be 'slow.' They had also perfected the ability to splice DNA from various beings to change the characteristics of another one; for instance they could take the original Duncan cells and add other material to them to create a modified Duncan. The implication of this should already be clear - when growing a new ghola, should not those spliced cells have memories of their own? It seems so far that only the 'majority' person regrown had his memories restored when awakened, but there were cells or DNA from others present in him as well in small part. The next logical step in the BT plan would be to find a way to awaken the memories in those spliced cells as well so that they could regain not only the serial memories from the ghola's past life but the memories of the lives of those combined into the ghola. And once this technique would be available it would be possible to take any being whatsoever and add his DNA to that of a master and acquire of of his memories in the master's next serial life. The collection of memories! And here we have a quote from Heretics that took me aback because I hadn't remembered it:

Did they dare risk releasing Duncan from the shielding of that ship? The cell studies said he was a mixture of many Idaho gholas -- some descendant of Siona. But what of the taint from the original?


This was not an original Duncan, modified with enhanced abilities as the BG requested! It was a composite of "many" Duncans. How many? If I'm right that the next and perhaps final stage of the BT plan was to create a composite ghola of many beings and to awaken all of their memories, then Duncan was their prototype in this. I believe Duncan was a composite of ALL of the serial gholas through the Tyrant's time, or at least as many as could have their cells harvested before or after death (before death would still be good enough for these purposes). I expect that the BT would have been able to extract cells from the Duncans at some point or another so that the collection could conceivably have been complete. I also think that the BT plan for awakening the dormant serial personas was not part of the BT plan on Gammu, but was going to be realized later if their initial test on Gammu ever proved to be successful. The initial test being the test to see if he could reverse imprint and/or kill a BG imprinter. My guess is that the BT killed the previous Duncans right after the BG imprinter did her work on him and the BT sexual techniques failed. At that point they would scrap that Duncan and try again. But if he ever did succeed he would likely be able to come to control the BG on Gammu and the BT could then reclaim him for part 2 of the experiment to try to reactivate his dormant memories. Another thing we may notice is that Teg's awakening procedure did reawaken his original (majority) DNA, that of Paul's Duncan. But it did not awaken the rest of the DNA, meaning that another more advanced secret step would be needed for that. This way a master could first regain his serial self and after that acquire the additional memories to add to his own. If it was all done at once the masters would face the same problem as a BG abomination, as the master's own persona would likely be lost in the morass and he would not be 'the same person' he was in the previous life.

Since the 12th Duncan was, in fact, a total success, the BT would have wanted to reclaim him rather than destroy him, and I think Freak's explanation for this is on point. By this time the HM's had infiltrated and taken control of at least some of the masters (including Waff), and they made the BT attack the Gammu keep to destroy the ghola. This was a disruption to Taraza's timetable since the HM learned of Duncan's powers earlier than she intended them to (and before the BG had even taught them to him). So in short, my explanation is that the decision to destroy this ghola even though they had previously stated that the timing was carefully prepared and that this ghola was the one, is that the BT didn't make this decision at all and were probably very upset at being made to do this. This quote of Waff's is telling, but only in hindsight:

Waff flared: "She thought to . . . to hire us like a band of assassins! We only taught her a lesson!"
Ahhhh, his pride shows itself, Taraza thought. Interesting. The implications of a moral structure behind such pride must be explored.


Taraza sees pride here, but she mistakenly thinks it's the pride of having Waff's honor impugned by being asked to work as a mere assassin. I think his pride was already wounded because of being made to do something he didn't want to do by HM control, and his statement here is an excuse and a lie to cover the fact that he wasn't in control of himself any more.

I won't say any more about the desire for the BT to develop the ability to acquire memories, but let's just say this idea may have been given to them by the returned BT from the Scattering after seeing what the SFD's there could do. They may have been trying to warn the original BT on how to develop countermeasures to this by becoming acquirers of personas themselves as masters, rather than being overcome by the SFD's who could develop this capability first. The amazing thing in Heretics is that this detail is only in the background and yet it is the entire reason for the HM return to the old Empire and would become the likely focus of Dune 7.

And one more thing I noticed that confused me when I read it:

Taraza again.
Taraza who had played such a dangerous game with the future of the entire Sisterhood hanging in the balance! How carefully she had timed the leaking of word to the whores that the Tleilaxu had built dangerous abilities into the ghola. And the attack on the Gammu Keep confirmed that the information had reached its source. The brutal nature of that attack, though, had warned Taraza that she had little time. The whores would be sure to assemble forces for the total destruction of Gammu -- just to kill that one ghola.
So much had depended on Teg.


Could this be a typo? I think Frank might have meant the total destruction of Rakis, since that is exactly what happened. There seems to be no evidence in the book that the total destruction of Gammu was going to happen, especially since the HM had such total control of its territory that finding all three fleeing parties (Teg, Lucilla/Murzmali, and Duncan) seemed quite simple for them.

EDITED TO ADD: I just realized something else huge. Why would the BT put both of their experimental projects in the same ghola? Why not test the imprinting ghola on the BG and test a composite-lives ghola somewhere else safe? The answer can only be one thing, which is that they didn't merely want to create the ability to collect memories, since memories from one being is nice but limited. What they really wanted was to collect a BG set of memories (as M&D finally just say at the end of CH:D, but which is hinted at here) . That way, the BT would be able to splice the entire set of BG ancestral memories onto a BT master, and he would effectively be an even superior version of a RM. THAT is why the same Duncan ghola was given the reverse imprinting skill as well as the combined Duncan DNA - they wanted him to not only corrupt the BG who tried to imprint him, but also to take her or at least her cells back to the BT. It's also possible they thought the reverse imprinting activity itself would reawaken the combined serial memories, which actually it kind of does. Towards the end of Heretics there is a passage I can't find right now that even hints at him having recollection of dying to the Tyrant countless times. So it looks like the BT experiment worked on both counts. When seen in this light they really appear to be crafty. This plan was actually quite excellent, but they were simply outplayed by Teg.
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"

georgiedenbro
Posts: 770
Joined: 11 Jun 2014 13:56
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby georgiedenbro » 01 Apr 2016 10:48

Freakzilla wrote:What I don't understand though is why the HM just didn't attack the BG themselves. Maybe they weren't ready and were stalling until the Ixians figured out their secret weapon?


Maybe the HM wanted to test how much they had the BT in their grasp by commanding them to do the very last thing they would want to do - to destroy their precious experiment. Also it seems that the HM delight in ordering people around just for the enjoyment of acting like a master, so it might have been as capricious a reason as merely that. I guess another possibility is that since the HM were prone to underestimate the BG individually they may have thought the BG would blame the BT for the attack and begin a war between those two factions, eliminating the need for the HM to put so much effort into dealing with either of them.
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18163
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Apr 2016 14:27

georgiedenbro wrote:I guess another possibility is that since the HM were prone to underestimate the BG individually they may have thought the BG would blame the BT for the attack and begin a war between those two factions, eliminating the need for the HM to put so much effort into dealing with either of them.


That makes sense.
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

pcqypcqy
Posts: 93
Joined: 07 Jun 2017 05:54

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby pcqypcqy » 05 Sep 2017 21:57

There's a bit of an inconsistency within Heritics I think. As noted above, when Taraza and Waff are meeting, Waff admits that the BT taught Schwangyu a lesson for trying to hire them as assassins - i.e. Core BT attacked the Keep.

However, at the end when Odrade is the Mother Superior, he's thinking about how Taraza leaked word of the ghola's capabilities to the HM, and how their ferocious attack on the keep was confirmation that the leak had worked. I read this to mean the initial attack where Teg, Lucilla and Duncan escaped, rather than the second attack where Schwangyu leaves the 'whores' message. Not sure why I think that, just do. I may be wrong. If this attack was done at the HM's behest, it doesn't align with the discussion between Taraza and Waff.



Transferring my thoughts from the reading group thread, I also wonder about the 'this ghola, at this time' line. A big part of the BG plan for Duncan seems to be to control Sheeana, but she's quite young and only around during Heretics really. This ghola is the 12th, so if they've all lived a few years each then potentially the BG have been undertaking this project for a 100 years or more.

A possible explanation is that the BG plan for Duncan was adapted as Sheeana was discovered, but there's a line where Tamalane messages Chapterhouse that states "Sheeana is the one we have long awaited", so I don't necessarily buy this.

The BG seem genuinely upset that the BT have been assassanating Duncan's, but it seems to have played into their hands and plans perfectly.

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18163
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby Freakzilla » 06 Sep 2017 19:25

I think I started a thread about HoD making no sense...

But Anyway...

I don't think ANYONE had a reason for continuing the serial Idaho gholas, until one came along. Then they all had one. :crazy:
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

pcqypcqy
Posts: 93
Joined: 07 Jun 2017 05:54

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby pcqypcqy » 06 Sep 2017 22:16

It is one of the weaker parts of the story. Perhaps he was added as an after thought due to popular demand as some have suggested.

georgiedenbro
Posts: 770
Joined: 11 Jun 2014 13:56
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby georgiedenbro » 07 Sep 2017 10:13

Freakzilla wrote:I don't think ANYONE had a reason for continuing the serial Idaho gholas, until one came along. Then they all had one. :crazy:


Well, maybe because of the special circumstance of Leto II ordering so many Duncans the BT ended up inadvertently becoming expert at his genome in particular and were most comfortable doing their experiments with his DNA. And since there were so many iterations of him they had the most samples of different versions of the same person to draw upon when creating a composite of people who were quite similar to each other. I imagine that aside from Duncan the only people of whom they had thousands of years of DNA samples were the Masters themselves, and there's no way they were going to put that in arm's reach of the BG. So Duncan may have been the only option in terms of a subject to use and put among the BG. It's clear why they needed to do it; so they could test the new techniques suggested to them by the Scattering-BT. I think it's a fair question as to why the BG wanted a Duncan ghola in particular. Homage to the God Emperor? We know they wanted to train someone who could eventually imprint the girl who would control the worms, although that part of the plan feels fuzzy to me. Why would such a girl need to be imprinted? If the plan was the bring down the HM's on Rakis then wouldn't the presence of a male imprinter be enough? Why require the condition that he has also imprinted a particular person (who presumably would just die with him there anyhow)?

I guess my current theory is that the BG knew the MN's had sexual techniques, and somehow also came to know that the BT were working on a countermeasure, and so requested gholas deliberately so that the BT would send their experiments to the BG, kind of like inviting in a trap just to see exactly how it will be sprung. Maybe they were hoping to learn just what the BT did to the Duncan gholas, but they ended up being killed too quickly for the BG to make positive conclusions. Maybe the BG never really had the capability of creating a male imprinter and were in a sense relying on the BT to succeed in their plan so that they could take the BT tool (a functioning Duncan) as bait for the HM's.
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"

User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18163
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby Freakzilla » 07 Sep 2017 16:10

pcqypcqy wrote:It is one of the weaker parts of the story. Perhaps he was added as an after thought due to popular demand as some have suggested.


This makes sense
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

pcqypcqy
Posts: 93
Joined: 07 Jun 2017 05:54

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby pcqypcqy » 07 Sep 2017 17:21

Freakzilla wrote: This makes sense


One of the highest compliments you can get on this page!

User avatar
Serkanner
Posts: 2830
Joined: 17 Feb 2008 18:44
Location: Den Haag - The Netherlands

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby Serkanner » 08 Sep 2017 15:31

pcqypcqy wrote:
Freakzilla wrote: This makes sense


One of the highest compliments you can get on this page!


Indeed! Never got one :wink:
"... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

“There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

Sandrider: "Keith went to Bobo's for a weekend of drinking, watched some DVDs,
and wrote a Dune Novel."

georgiedenbro
Posts: 770
Joined: 11 Jun 2014 13:56
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby georgiedenbro » 08 Sep 2017 15:48

Serkanner wrote:
pcqypcqy wrote:
Freakzilla wrote: This makes sense


One of the highest compliments you can get on this page!


Indeed! Never got one :wink:


That makes sense.

(no, jk)
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"

pcqypcqy
Posts: 93
Joined: 07 Jun 2017 05:54

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby pcqypcqy » 09 Sep 2017 05:17

Zing!

User avatar
Serkanner
Posts: 2830
Joined: 17 Feb 2008 18:44
Location: Den Haag - The Netherlands

Re: Heretics of Dune

Postby Serkanner » 09 Sep 2017 10:10

georgiedenbro wrote:
Serkanner wrote:
pcqypcqy wrote:
Freakzilla wrote: This makes sense


One of the highest compliments you can get on this page!


Indeed! Never got one :wink:


That makes sense.

(no, jk)


:lol:
"... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

“There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

Sandrider: "Keith went to Bobo's for a weekend of drinking, watched some DVDs,
and wrote a Dune Novel."


Return to “˱”