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Chapter 12

Posted: 12 Feb 2008 21:30
by Freakzilla
"You do not beg the sun for mercy."
-Maud'dib's Travail from The Stilgar Commentary

Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohaim has been summoned from her cell to appear before Paul. She remembers testing him with the Gom Jabbar and blames Jessica for letting him escape Bene Gesserit control of that bloodline. She worries about the possibilities in Paul's genes and especially Alia's. The scale of Paul's citadel impresses her, a dozen cities could fit inside. Paul wants something from her and they both know it, if only she can figure out what it is. Mohiam is awed by the architechtual genius behind Paul's audience chamber, it could have held the entire citadel of any other ruler. They go into a private chamber behind Paul's throne along with Alia, Stilgar and Hayt. Paul says he wishes to bargain for Chani's life. He offers to have Irulan aritificially inseminated and banished. Her child will not be his heir. Mohiam is horrified, the Bene Gesserit believe that artificial insemination is a violation of the Butlerian Jihad. Paul reveals that Chani is pregnant and this is his final offer. Mohiam asks Hayt to function as a mentat and judge whether she should take the deal. He tells her that an offer is only as good as what it buys, in this case, a life for a life. Alia askes what else is hidden in the bargain. He asks why the BG have not used the Tleilaxu. Mohiam shudders at the thought, if they resort to artificial insemination, what next, controlled mutation? Alia questions what the BG will do with the Atreides genes. What if Paul went to the Bene Tleilax himself? Mohiam regrets that the ideal mate for Alia, Feyd Rautha, was killed by Paul. She hints at a mating between Paul and Alia, Paul warns her. Mohiam asks for time to send a message to Wallach. Paul agrees and tells her to hurry, he plans for his child to be born in the desert. Paul sheds a tear, Alia touches it and tells him not to grieve for people before they die. Paul asks her, "What is before?"

Re: Chapter 12

Posted: 20 Apr 2012 16:32
by Freakzilla

Re: Chapter 12

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 09:39
by georgiedenbro
Dune Messiah wrote:"Say what it is you want from me," she muttered.
Alia glanced at her brother, nodded toward the draperies behind the throne.
She knew Paul's reasoning in this, but disliked it all the same. Call it wild
prophecy: She felt pregnant with reluctance to take part in this bargaining.
"You must be careful how you speak to me, old woman," Paul said.
He called me old woman when he was a stripling, the Reverend Mother thought.
Does he remind me now of my hand in his past? The decision I made then, must I
remake it here?
She felt the weight of decision, a physical thing that set her
knees to trembling. Muscles cried their fatigue.
Mohiam knows Paul wants something from her, and that she needs to determine what she may hold over him that she can leverage. But the reference to "the decision" she made back on Caladan - what decision is that, I wonder? And how would any decision of hers now be a repetition of the one on Caladan, whatever that was?

The only things from Dune (chapters 1 + 3) I can think of as Mohiam making a decision are the decision to apply to gom jabbar test (a decision we expect she might have made prior to her arrival) and this:
Dune wrote:"If there were a thing to be done for him [Leto], we'd have done it," the old woman
growled. "We may be able to salvage you. Doubtful, but possible. But for your
father, nothing. When you've learned to accept that as a fact, you've learned a
real Bene Gesserit lesson."
Perhaps this is Mohiam's decision - to help Paul. We don't see much trace of any help offered to the Atreides by Mohiam or the sisterhood, with the sole exception of Margot Fenring's message on the leaf in the conservatory. The part about the trap in the bed is totally useless, and the part about the traitor is a very suspicious piece of 'help.' As the Baron himself planned on sowing suspicion among the Atreides by alerting them to the existence of a spy (and by leaving Hawat clues it might be Jessica), this message from Margot strikes me as playing into the Baron's hands. Did Margot accidentally forward intelligence to Jessica that had been planted by the Baron? Either way, if this message was Mohiam's 'help' then it didn't amount to much.

If Mohiam's big decision on Caladan was to help Paul, and she's wondering whether to do so again...I don't know if this makes sense. Why would she ever be inclined to help Paul now? And I question whether she ever really tried to help him in the first place.

Re: Chapter 12

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 11:37
by Freakzilla
I thought "Judging him as "human"" was her decision.

Re: Chapter 12

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 12:18
by georgiedenbro
Freakzilla wrote:I thought "Judging him as "human"" was her decision.
Alright, but the test of a human is simply the ability to resist base instinct in favor of using the will. A person could be a human and be noble, and could just as soon be human and be a terrible tyrant. The test merely determines whether someone can be trusted to act according to a plan, versus being impulsive and rash. For what reason, do you think, might Mohiam be considering the need to test Paul again for being human? And how?

Re: Chapter 12

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 13:11
by Freakzilla
I was thinking about how she submitted him to the test longer than any female had been and had wanted him to fail. I don't suppose that would have made any difference, though. Jessica would surely have continued training him and he would ended up with the Fremen and taken the WoL.

Maybe she's referring to her part in a BG higher plan? Tough to say from this little info.

Re: Chapter 12

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 14:24
by georgiedenbro
Maybe Mohiam is in deep denial about her role in the current state of affairs. It seems reasonable to suggest that from the moment Jessica decided to have a son and onward, she had more influence in Imperial affairs than the rest of the BG combined. A bitter pill for Mohiam to take, to be sure, especially as Jessica was her student and Mohiam seems to still feel superior to her. Maybe Mohiam greatly overestimates the importance of her role in the events of Dune, and even now thinks that she is terribly relevant beyond what is really the case? She mentions in this chapter the vanity and pride that come with being a BG, to say nothing of being a RM. Maybe she's got this in spades and thinks she's still somehow in a position to judge Paul.

If any adversary was in a position to understand Paul it might be Scytale, and Mohiam was being lessoned by him in chapter 2. Maybe she didn't pay proper attention.