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Chapter 33

Posted: 12 Feb 2008 17:55
by Freakzilla
My father, the Padishah Emperor, was 72 yet looked no more than 35 the year he
encompassed the death of Duke Leto and gave Arrakis back to the Harkonnens. He
seldom appeared in public wearing other than a Sardaukar uniform and a Burseg's
black helmet with the imperial lion in gold upon its crest. The uniform was an
open reminder of where his power lay. He was not always that blatant, though.
When he wanted, he could radiate charm and sincerity, but I often wonder in
these later days if anything about him was as it seemed. I think now he was a
man fighting constantly to escape the bars of an invisible cage. You must
remember that he was an emperor, father-head of a dynasty that reached back into
the dimmest history. But we denied him a legal son. Was this not the most
terrible defeat a ruler ever suffered? My mother obeyed her Sister Superiors
where the Lady Jessica disobeyed. Which of them was the stronger? History
already has answered.

-"In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan

Jessica is awakened in the cave by people moving around. She notes how subconsciously safe she felt, allowing her to sleep deeply and wonders how she could get a message to the Bene Gesserit. Paul is already dressed but has a strange look in his eyes and remembers his warning about spice addiction and wonders what side effects it is having on his prescience. Jamis is challenging Paul to ritual combat as a test of the legend, again she wonders at how the ways of the Missionaria Protectiva have been twisted here. Jessica tries to talk him out of it, then when she can't tries to instill fear in him of her. Jamis accuses her of putting a spell on him and Stilgar orders her to be silent of forfeit. Chani gives Paul a crysknife and some tips about Jamis' fighting style. Jessica wishes she could truely pray. Here is the time nexus Paul saw in his earlier vision, there are so many tiny variables that a clear path forward cannot be seen. Jamis attacks and Paul dodges but his counterattack is too slow, he's been conditioned all his life to fight with a shield. Only the slow blade will penetrate the shield. He also turns at an angle that would normally help the shield deflect a blow. This happens over and over until finally, Jamis switches knife hands, Chani had warned him about this and he was prepared, Jamis' knifehand comes down on the point of Paul's blade. The bleeding stops almost instantly. Jamis leaps again and switches knifehands, paul dodges the other way and Jamis comes down on Paul's knife and dies on the floor. Jessica asks him how it feels to be a killer now, in hopes of crushing any rush Paul may be feeling from the fight. Stilgar warns him that he won't be able to toy with him like that when the day comes that they have to fight. Jessica tells Stilgar Paul has never killed a man with a knife before and he stares at her in disbelief. Paul explains that he wasn't toying with Jamis, he just didn't want to kill him. Stilgar gives Paul his sietch name, Usul, which means the base of the pillar. Paul remembers his vision of this event and the slight differences were like a phisical thing forcing him through a narrow doorway. For his open name, Paul asks what they call the kangaroo mouse, it's Muad'dib, the teacher of boys. The Fremen are assured of the prophecy. Paul remembers his vision of the Jihad and vows not to let it come to pass. He deviates from the vision and asks to be called Paul-Muad'dib but the vision remains. The troop reaffirms the prophecy. Stilgar gives of Paul and Jessica's water to those in need promising repayment at field rates, ten for one. Stilgar orders the full verimony for Jamis.

Paul can still see nothing in the future but Jihad.

Re: Chapter 33

Posted: 10 Nov 2009 03:34
by Hunchback Jack
This chapter and the one preceding it are a joy to read. Such a contrast to the typical "heroic battle" scene you'd find in many coming-of-age SF novels.

Frank is able to be vague about what Paul sees, but be incredibly specific about the way prescience works and its limitations. Prescience gives Paul an enormous advantage, but it's not all-powerful; it doesn't solve all his problems for him.

Also interesting was that Paul's combat training was in part a hindrance to his ability to fight Jamis.


Re: Chapter 33

Posted: 10 Nov 2009 06:06
by inhuien
Frank Herberts writing has always spoke of the dangers of enforced patterns and the breaking of them as a route to salvation.

Stagnation equals death.

Re: Chapter 33

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 13:43
by Freakzilla
Revised, clean.