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Chapter 04

Posted: 12 Feb 2008 21:26
by Freakzilla
The advent of the Field Process shield and the lasgun with their explosive
interaction, deadly to attacker and attacked, placed the current determinatives,
on weapons technology. We need not go into the special role of atomics. The fact
that any Family in my Empire could so deploy its atomics as to destroy the
planetary bases of fifty or more other Families causes some nervousness, true.
But all of us possess precautionary plans for devastating retaliation. Guild and
Landsraad contain the keys which hold this force in check, No, my concern goes
to the development of humans as special weapons. Here is a virtually unlimited
field which a few powers are developing.

-Muad'dib: Lecture to the War College from The Stilgar Chronicle

Scytale, disguised as Duncan Idaho, goes to the Arrakeen suburbs to meet with Farok, Othyem and Bijaz the catalyst-dwarf wait in the house next door. Scytale asks if Farok has been inside Paul's Keep, Farok tells him of a celebratory feast he went to there. Paul's private apartments are deep inside with a thopter landing pad on an interior wall. Scytale guesses that most of what Farok knows of the keep is myth. Farok is disenchanted with how the Fremen are becoming soft and longs for the good old days in the desert. Farok reveals that his son, who's semuta music is playing in the background, lost his eyes to a defender's stone burner in Paul's Jihad. Farok says he enlisted in the jihad to see a sea and when he did and emersed himself in it, he was healed of the jihad. Scytale is there to find a way into Paul's keep and the semuta music is to implant the names of conspiracy cells and pass phrases onto a drstrans within him. They plan to steal a worm from Arrakis and start the spice cycle elswhere to break Paul's monopoly on spice. They semuta music is also for Otheym's Daughter whom his son has drugged to try to make her forget his blindness. Farok asks about Scytale's intentions for the girl and Scytale kills Farok and his son and thinks to himself that now Otheym's daughter will have her chance.

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 29 Oct 2011 12:50
by Demerzel
I'm sure many have noticed this: the Tleilaxu are much better off in DM than in the later books. For instance, in the initial chapter of the conspirators, Scytale seems to be on par with - if not greater than - the BG in terms of control and intellect. Also, as a Face Dancer, Scytale seems rather advanced in comparison to the ones in GEoD, etc. (though the Face Dancer perspective isn't shown in the later books, it still seems apparent). Throughout the book, Scytale is rather calm, composed and organized, and also more or less successful in his purpose. It seemed to me when I was reading DM for the first time that the BT are superior to the BG.

In the later books, especially the ones with Master Waff, I couldn't help but feel that Waff was a gibbering fool in comparison to the BG. He was also overly religious, almost unforgivably so.

Another key issue is the morality of the BT. In Dune, they came off as moral and respectable in their aims - look at the last few lines of this chapter for instance - Face Dancers give their victims a chance to escape. Heck, Scytale was shown to be capable of feeling some tinge of regret on killing his foes before consoling himself. Scytale was also exceedingly clever, as I've said so before. In GEoD, however, the Face Dancers seem more like standard, mindless minions of a greater power <this view would have remained if not adulterated by the ridiculous masked menaces of McDune>. It puzzles me, 'cause throughout DM, although I wished for the conspiracy to fail, I couldn't help but respect Scytale.

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 28 Dec 2011 15:06
by Mandy
I think what makes the difference is that in Messiah the BT weren't infected with Dune's religion. I'm sure they did have their own religion, but it was different from the one that evolved later. Perhaps their original religion was a more practical one.

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 28 Dec 2011 15:25
by Freakzilla
Please, let's not discuss later books in the earlier book chapters.

I'll get around to deleting previous off-topic comments as I read through the series this time, otherwise, if y'all want, you can report off-topic comments as you notice them and I'll delete them.

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 28 Dec 2011 15:36
by Mandy
That's what makes chapter by chapter discussions so hard :x

BUT, I just found a nearly identical discussion here viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2916

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 28 Dec 2011 16:03
by Freakzilla
I know it's difficult for those that have read the whole series, it's like one big story to me.

But try to think of the first time reader.

And as you pointed out, there are plenty of other fora here to discuss broader topics.

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 14:04
by Freakzilla

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 21 Aug 2014 09:37
by georgiedenbro
I'm not quite sure that Farok's son was necessarily exposed to a stone burner.

Dune Messiah wrote:"An object seen from a distance betrays only its principle," Scytale said,
revealing that he wished to discuss the Emperor's fortress Keep.
"That which is dark and evil may be seen for evil at any distance," Farok
said, advising delay.
Why? Scytale wondered. But he said: "How did your son lose his eyes?"
"The Naraj defenders used a stone burner," Farok said. "My son was too
close. Cursed atomics! Even the stone burner should be outlawed."
"It skirts the intent of the law," Scytale agreed. And he thought: A stone
burner on Naraj! We weren't told of that. Why does this old man speak of stone
burners here?

This is a tricky passage, but here's my take on it: There is a double meaning to the first two messages they exchange, the first being the one expressed in the text (the code message). But the literal messages are also meaningful. "An object seen..." seems to suggest that when viewed strategically (from a distance) a man such as Paul will appear to be 'the KH', or 'a prescient with OM and an army.' But these broad strokes don't tell what knowing Paul up-close would tell - that he is a man, with feelings, and weaknesses. This message all but says that to get to Paul a method must be used that is to do with his humanity and personality, not with his tools of power. The coded message is an inquiry into Muad'dib's fortress.

Farok's answer, "That which is dark..." seems to suggest that even up close Paul is just as difficult to deal with as his broad-strokes powers would suggest. He isn't merely powerful, but is formidable in his character. The coded message is to delay the actions of the conspiracy. Scytale doesn't understand the need for delay, but has the inspiration to ask about Farok's son's eyes.

Then we come to the part about the stone burner. Scytale suggests that the events on Naraj may be fabricated, since he expects the BT would have heard about stone burner use. He wonders why Farok is mentioning this, since it may be more code, but it certainly isn't a code they had pre-arranged between themselves. But it seems as that Farok's comment about the stone burner might be his answer about why the conspiracy should delay infiltrating Maud'dib's fortress.

I think that Farok might be bringing up stone burners as an new idea to use against Muad'dib, and that his son probably lost his eyes some other way that isn't important. Farok perhaps thinks that it would be easier to deal with Muad'dib if he were literally blinded so that he was less of a threat in a close-quarters basis, and that the main plan of the conspiracy could be saved until after Muad'dib is blinded.

I guess I'll keep reading to find out if this checks out...

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 21 Aug 2014 11:19
by Freakzilla
Just because it's used as code doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't true. Maybe Paul's Fremen suppressed the story?

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 21 Aug 2014 11:54
by georgiedenbro
Maybe. I could see how planets defending themselves and resorting to quasi-atomics would be cause for concern for the Empire. The last thing Paul would want is people throwing out the Great Convention in desperation and doing anything possible to stop Paul's forces. It could be that they suppressed it. In the epigraph at the start of the chapter Paul seems to mention that the threat of atomics causes "nervousness", which I think could be called an understatement. Maybe he is deliberately playing down the threat of atomics or quasi-atomics in order the make people think they're not a viable option.

Re: Chapter 04

Posted: 21 Aug 2014 13:01
by Freakzilla
He also might not want it know what his losses were.