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Science Fiction Drama Dune: The Between Years

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by darthbernael , Sep 29, 2021.

  1. BobaMatt

    BobaMatt TFN EU Staff star 7 VIP

    Aug 19, 2002
    IC: Espanza & Mudze
    Ancient Imperial Testing Station
    (Combo with @Mitth_Fisto)

    Mudze stood, hands on hips, as the landing ramps came down. He waved to the young lord as he approached, gesturing around to the hangar and the rest of the facility. "Not bad, eh? This'll do nicer than the bullseye known as Arrakeen."

    As Randolpho drew nearer, Mudze put a hand on the noble's shoulder. "I will make introductions in short order, but you should know, we've made a discovery. A fairly momentous one, of interest to your family." He gathered gravitas for a moment. "We've discovered the body of Duncan Idaho."

    Smiling largely at his compatriot he came down the gangplank with arms wide as he received the warm welcome. That smile soon died. His arms stayed raised as he stood there. Somber, brooding in a sea of his own thoughts and feelings.

    "Momentous. I do not think you know the meaning of this word." He simply stated as his arms dropped to his sides. No longer thinking about showing off how he was now 'properly' wearing the still-suite, or the happenstance alliance he had made with a group of Freemen. Pointing to the back, away from anything he saw as activity he hummed softly. "Somewhere private?" he asked.

    Mudze nodded as they began to walk away from the group. "My friend, I don't understand. I thought you'd be overjoyed to give a swordsman of your house a proper burial?"

    Espanza gestured largely as his mouth moved without making words for a moment. Then sighing he looked at him. "I just relocated our operation here, and you tell me not just a swordsman, but a legend in the making of our own time was found dead within that new home? I will be more overjoyed to give a proper burial if I know all his attackers are dead and that none will be coming here to finish the job or be satisfied with us instead." Reaching up he tugged at his own chin hairs as he tried to process this news beyond what he was able to articulate.

    Mudze's shoulders slumped. "Due respect, my friend, if the sardaukar return - we're all aligned on this, correct? There's no use pretending it wasn't the sardaukar - then we're in trouble no matter what. But this time we have allies." He gestured to the teen behind him. "I found Duncan under a mountain of dead Imperial warriors, Espanza. If we make this friendship... and they all so respected Idaho..." He raised his eyebrows, hoping to cheer the man.

    Nodding his head he muttered softly to himself before looking back up from checking his own shoes with his distracted eyes. “Yes, yes. We both made allies. How we will get this to function, ah forgive me. I don’t see much hope for success except we die as honorably.” This was going to be a rough one to survive. A rough one indeed.

    Mudze allowed his aspect to fall. "My friend... let's bury your kinsman, and worry about the rest later. We have yet to see Sardaukar, here, but we know well the threat of the Moritani, the witches, and the other houses."

    Espanza looked up from his shoes with a firm nod, "Yes. Yes we do." He nodded again reaching out a hand to clasp on Mudze's shoulder. "Thank you friend. We have a hero to bury, tales to tell, and hopefully enough provisions to make us hate the mornings light soundly tomorrow!" Smiling now he nodded as he reached up and pulled the nose piece of the suit out of his nostrils. "Not to mention we are all going to test these suits out on their limits. Hehe."

    TAG: @darthbernael @Mitth_Fisto

    IC: Thufir and Ike
    Harkonnen Palace at Carthag

    (Combo with @Sinrebirth and @darthbernael)

    “...will join them, at Thufir’s request.”

    Ike didn't like that, and wasn't too enamoured with the idea of being cut out of some of the discussion, but soldiers were soldiers. He simply demurred. "Of course, at Thufir's request. He is after all able to do so... regardless of your preferences to the contrary."

    Befriending Thufir would get him into the room where it happens.

    The sooner the better, and so if he could be accused of sucking-up, why not?

    Thufir was frail, perhaps he would need support into the room with the na-Baron.

    Ike smiled wanly, absently squeezing Trinnian's arm.

    Thufir didn't want to concede any frailty to the young man, but all the same his health was fading and he needed assistance up the few steps. He processed for a moment. Perhaps it would be endearing? "Young man," Thufir smiled, "would you mind taking my hand up these stairs? I'm not quite myself today. I'd appreciate it."

    Ike smiled inwardly, celebrating the victory. Careful not to seem too eager to detach from his bride to be, Ike moved up of course. "Definitely, my Lord and sir." He moved forward, disregarding the guard -

    Trinnian held to Ike as long as she could before moving over to the Fenrings. She smiled at Ike as he joined Thufir, eyeing the Mentat and wondering what the cause was of the older man's apparent infirmity.

    The guard sniffed, staying as far from Hasimir as possible. He eyed the two men, "The na-Baron will not be pleased, the initial meeting was to be just him and the House Mentat. But," he swallowed as Hasimir shifted slightly, "the Moritani are close allies so.." His eyes were locked on Hasimir, afraid to shift his focus, "please enter."

    His hand turned the latch, opening the door so the two men could go in as Margo smiled softly, laying a hand on her husband's shoulder. "We shall wait until either the na-Baron or either of you admit us." Her lilting voice said as her eyes locked on Thufir's rheumy ones.

    Thufir was speaking as he entered the darkened room beyond. "I know this was a meeting just for the two of us, Lord, but the Moritani boy is helping me up the stairs. He wanted to say hello before we cracked on with business. I'm eager to speak to you." The shaft of light from the doorway stretched out into the end of the dim space. Opulent. Hawat could not see it at the moment but he could hear the burbling of a fountain.

    A low, rumbling chuckle came from the dim depths of the room. Slowly the glowglobes increased in illumination. The light revealed a larger room, a desk standing by a set of window covered in thick, blackout curtains. Standing by a fountain, the source of the noise that Thufir had heard was a large, broad man. His fingers trailed through the water as it cascaded from the upper pool of the fountain into the lower. Small droplets splashed from his hand onto the armored stillsuit he wore. The light shone off his bald head, his eyes in his small featured face turning toward the pair of men with a humored grin.

    "Are you falling behind, Thufir? Is it past time for your meal?" he asked in a deep baritone, chuckling at his apparent humor, as though only he and Thufir understood what he meant by it. His gaze turned toward Ike, "The Moritani representative is it?"

    Moving his hand from the water of the fountain he picked up a cloth from the desk, drying it. Tossing into an untidy heap on the floor by the fountain, "Water, such a commodity, worth almost as much if not more than the spice, here on this world. The filthy planet dwellers here pay for even the leavings of this towel."

    He gestured at a nook by the door to the room, a table centered between four chairs making for a comfortable area to sit and speak. "You must have much to discuss to insert you into another Great House's business, even by 'assisting' our Mentat." His smile slowly turned predatory, "So...tell me Moritani, what is it that your House would desire from the Harkonnen here on Arrakis?"

    Ike felt suddenly out of his depth.

    A Great House... but he had to play hard, and fast.

    In the last week he'd gone from ragtag spicerunner to Moritani... he could have it taken from him, he knew that, unless he took it from someone else. He smiled back, forcing a predatory edge to it.

    "My lord, apart from wanting to become a Great House, allied with the Harkonnen, the greatest of those Houses, but who doesn't want that, I wonder?" He bowed, deeply. "I am at your service, my lord, in whatever way you see fit." His eyes flashed, and he flicked his eyelashes. "But primarily," his voice turned, softer. "The Mentat appears to require a personal aide, someone to defend his and your interests at all times. To be your hand and reach; one can never have too many tools, and useful ones are, inevitably, in the grand game, difficult to find."

    "And even more difficult to find ones willing to prove themselves in the field of your choosing."

    How many pompous prigs did Harkonnen have in their service without an ounce of military experience? Of the rough and tumble of the Spice Front?

    A lot, he wagered.

    Thufir smirked. The boy's ambition might be his undoing. "I feel we may find use in working closely, here." He coughed. "Perhaps we can discuss the young man's prospects in private. And yes, my Baron, I am... in need of something to eat."

    Glossu's smile was thin lipped but cold as he walked over to the seating area. The light reflected more from his bald head as his attention returned to Ike, even as he responded to Thufir. "The young man has inserted himself as your aide. So I believe he's to be allowed an opportunity to carry out that duty."

    Snorting as though at a joke he told only himself, his eyes shifted to the elderly Mentat, "After all, it wouldn't do to cause distrust with such allies, especialy when this one happens to be from the House of Assassins." His eyes shadowed as they narrowed, "And especially when the young man brings us another ally as well, in his fiance." The latter revealed, to a degree, the extent of the Harkonnen spy network inside the Residence.

    Glossu picked up a small comm unit by the chair he'd chosen, the largest, most comfortable seat of course, spekaing softly into it. Glancing up, at Ike, "And you, young Moritani, would you prefer a similarly spicy dish to our Mentat?"

    Glossu you idiot, Hawat thought, take my lead instead of this gloating, preening cruelty.

    "Spicy." Hawat forced a chuckle. "Very humorous, my Lord. I do wonder at what business you have, and whether your uncle would approve of our friend here listening in. I'm sure he will be fine, but I would not make that decision for him."

    This feels more dangerous than it did a moment ago.

    Thufir was correcting Glossu? That didn't seem advisable.

    And that information network... it moved faster than the spice could move a starship...

    ... he swallowed, not-quite audibly. "I would not want to displease your uncle, my Lord." An amenable tone. "But if a spicy meal is your wish for myself, then of course."

    Rabban's attention shifted to Thufir, with an amused expression. He waved a hand lazily to the two men, directing them to sit in the two chairs opposite his.

    "It is better that you get Thufir into a chair, he has been too long on his feet."

    Glancing back at Thufir, he spoke swiftly into the comm, ording the food for the two men. When he finished, he set the unit aside. "My uncle handed the demi-fief of this planet to me, so it is mine to do with as I please, as long as the spice flows."

    His attention turned back to Ike, smiling slightly more broadly, "Besides, as long as the discussion pertains to Arrakis itself the Moritani, our close allies, should be kept informed."

    He looked upward, toward darker corners of the room as he mused, "And...I am certain that if we removed him from the conversation now his assassins would report the contents of it to him within minutes of it concluding. So, old Mentat, it is perhaps better that he be present and receive such information directly."

    Thufir sighed. "You are of course, correct, my Lord." Ike helped him into a chair. "It must be my hunger getting the better of me."

    Leaning against the arm rest, Thufir brightened. "Please, then, Lord Rabban, proceed. What is your business?"

    Glancing at Ike with a wry twist of his lips, Rabban sat back, the chair creaking. "As you know, the Landsraad has taken to the Emperor's new command with a fervor. My uncle has decided, in his wisdom, to not accede to my request for more resources. Which has caused our efforts to mine the spice to suffer even more of a hit."

    He gestured vaguely at Ike, "Add to that the other Houses having landed their own operations and Arrakis has become chaos. There are even reports of the Fremen entering the cities and directly fighting our patrols. What do you see in that pattern, Mentat?" His gaze swung to Ike, "Or what do you see, Legate of the House of assassins?"

    Ike glowered. He didn't like the assassins being continually mentioned. "I see that we're losing the planet."

    He had to be careful with the way he shaped these sentences. "Because the Houses aren't respecting your power."

    "Ah," Thufir chuckled. "'We.' And then 'your.'" He watched Rabban closely. "The young man is fitting in nicely."

    Glossu's head turned slowly toward Ike. His eyes were flat, even as he smiled. He nodded at both men's words before, while still looking at the young Moritani, speaking once more. "Yes, Thufir, he is." He chuckled, "Although his response is also the same as a pit fighter, that knows the battle could go either way and is hedging his bets to end on the winning side."

    He snorted, "Arrakis will disabuse you of that notion, Moritani. Your House is aligned with mine and the savages here will not afford you to the time to convince them otherwise, should they come for you." He glanced, almost slyly at Thufir, "Nor will the Emperor, if he decides our fief is done here."

    Ike smiled like a child with his hand caught in a jar of confectionary, and shrugged. "All is fair in love and war, and to gamble is to live, and to lose. If one does not put ones hand out, then one cannot receive. It is the expert player who knows how far to put out a limb..." The smile grew broader as he bowed to their host. "... or knows to push other hands into the fire first."

    "So, shall I visit the Emperor on your behalf later, or now?"

    He cut to the chase, hoping to amuse, rather than offend.

    Glossu chuckled, shaking his head. The food was brought in and he kept his tongue while the servitors were present. Gesturing to the other two men, "Eat well." he said in tone that was surprisingly soft. "As to the Emperor, I have more chance of an audience in the days to come than you do and my chances are as close to none as is possible."

    He glanced at Thufir, "After all, my supposed mismanagement, only following the orders my Uncle gave, is why he has allowed the other Houses to begin their own operations here."

    Thufir nodded, eating more sloppily than he had usually been accustomed, so ravening was he for his cure. There was an opportunity here. "Let's not be too hard on your uncle. He only wants what's best." Tasting a hint of cinnamon, Thufir wondered how much was in the dish, and how much it would take to become helplessly addicted like his predecessor DeVries. "After all," Thufir gestured with his fork, "it seems he's learned from the challenges you've faced here. Why else bring your younger brother here?"

    At that, Ike could detect a slyness behind the outward appearance of degradation that Thufir had seized upon... or he just ate this messily. He didn't wince, but he did smooth out his features, very intrigued as to what Glossu would say next, absently twirling some kind of gelatinous pasta around his fork, waiting for a sign from the shadows for poison, if any.

    TAG: @darthbernael @Sinrebirth
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2022
  2. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: This is a combo between me and @darthbernael thank you for your patience!

    IC Aya-Carolina and Dyana
    Ginaz Residence

    Dyana was already moving as the assassins advanced. She’d grabbed a pan from the stove, brandishing it as a club, rounding the kitchen island. Two of the assassins threw daggers as she moved, one toward her, the other at Shamir. As theFedaykin blocked the dagger aimed at him, Dyana swung the pan, deflecting the dagger aimed at her. This caused the knock on effect of that dagger to tumble through the air and clip the young Fremen warrior on his temple, with its pommel.

    He collapsed as unconsciousness claimed him, the liquid drop of his body lucky for him as a second dagger had been thrown behind the first and only lightly pierced his stillsuit, tip embedding in one rib. Dyana reached him just as he collapsed to the floor. Dropping the pan, she dragged him behind the kitchen island, fury in her eyes as she rounded the island again, now armed with a kitchen knife, picking up the dagger that had knocked Shamir out as she did, “Ya Hya Chouhada!” she called out, fire in her tone.

    The third assassin smiled at the byplay, studying the third person in the room they’d entered. “A Sister, a shame you are attached to the Ginaz, but war is war.” he said softly, his hand moving swiftly, a pair of daggers now flying at her, aimed at her chest and her upper left thigh.

    Aya had sensed that there was something going on and sprung into action right away. It was hard to ambush a trained Bene Gesserit, they knew how to sense the danger from the minute telltale signs, which were usually invisible for the normal people. They also received excellent martial training and were skilled warriors, who knew how to fend for themselves.

    The attack was a bold move, someone desperately needed to take her out of the game before she could even make her opening moves. That was pretty curious. Another issue was that whoever had ordered the attack clearly underestimated the Sisterhood, or (which was more worrying) knew exactly what they were doing and this assassination attempt was just a sham (although the assassins probably did not know that).

    This whole thought process took part while her body did its job of fending for herself. She focused on the knife flying towards her, Aya's brain was working so fast that it made the knife look as if flying in slow motion, which made her next actions simple. She simply managed to grab it just before it pierced her chest. If she were a fraction of a second too late, there would have been... fatal consequences.

    Instinctively she grabbed it by the handle and sent it flying towards the man's foot, hoping to pin him. She needed a live prisoner to interrogate.

    The assailant was a smart one as he had sent two daggers her way though. She had to prioritize the one flying towards her heart for the obvious reasons. That was probably what the man was hoping for. Aya barely had time to react so the dagger scraped her thigh. Wincing from the sudden pain, she would have to redirect a bit of energy to push it back.

    The third assassin held back, eyes flicking from Dyana to Aya-Carolina, allowing the other two to battle the two women one on one. The first charged Dyana, arms thrusting and slicing in short sharp motions as Dyana blocked and parried with the kitchen knife and dagger she'd retrieved. Their feet and legs shifted form defensive stances to kicks; bruises beginning to form as each blocked the kicks with their own legs. It was almost an evenly balanced battle and the third assassin was mentally recording the battle, knowing that one of them, if any were defeated, needed to get the new information about Fremen battle tactics back to their headquarters.

    The second assassin grinned as he saw the wound on Aya-Carolina's thigh. His foot moved quickly and the blade sliced the tip of his shoe as its tip slammed into the flooring, making the blade quiver. In a casual tone, "Well...your luck is only half true..." he mocked as he squatted quickly and his muscles stood out as he pulled the blade from the floor, by the handle. He moved warily closer to the Sister, dagger tips shifting as he did, "Don't worry, your skin won't turn orange, no elacca on the tip. But..."

    The sliced soft shoed foot lashed out, towards Aya-Carolina's forward leg, in her stance, even as one blade used a similarly short slash to slice at the back of her forward hand.

    Aya remained quiet, she needed to focus as she had already made one mistake and it had almost cost her mobility. Now she had to function at a diminished capacity as she would have to push back the pain. Focusing on the assailant, but keeping an eye for any other surprises she waited for him to strike. She was going to analyze his movements before coming up with an attack strategy.

    The battle between Dyana and the assassin she faced raged on. A frown was on her face as blood from them both spilled on the floor, annoyance at the loss of body's water from them both. But their battle was slowing as they inflicted cuts on each other, almost in a race to see which of them would tire first and make the first true mistake.

    The one facing Aya-Carolina circled her slowly, waiting as the poison worked it's way into her body. The way she was holding herself she was fighting the pain and the poison, trying to keep it from moving deeper inside her. Finally, knowing that by now the poison should have begun to invade her more fully, he stepped forward, slashing at her near arm, to inflict another wound and cause ven more poison to flood her system.

    That was a rookie mistake on her part, but she had to choose between which organ was to be hit and the heart was ... slightly more important (to put it mildly) than her leg. The problem was now the diverted attention. If she had not received a Bene Gesserit training she was going to be dead by now. Luckily controlling the fluids in her body was one of the things she had been taught so she had slowed the poison's advance, giving her time to get rid of her attacker and then deal with the poison inside of her.

    "It seems you are not as clever as you thought." she smirked and lunged for an attack. The man clearly was stalling in order for the poison to take effect, so her reasoning was two-fold either she would be able to finish him off right now or she would be able to provoke a reaction so that she could start analyzing his movements and then kill him.

    Either scenario meant that her attacker was going to die. That was a certainty.

    A growl of frustration came from the assassin, the Sister seemed to be more in control of her body than he'd anticipated. Her lunge caught him slightly off guard, making him spin as she knocked his lunging arm out of line, the blade dropping from his hand; realizing she'd hit a pressure point as his hand went numb.

    His eyes narrowed, skidding to a stop and backing up a pace. Shaking his hand to regain feeling he switched his stance to bring his other arm forward. he darted forward, dropping and skidding across the floor, slicing at her lower calf as he went past her.

    His surprise spoke volumes, the assassin had no idea how to deal with a Bene Gesserit, she was going to use that to her advantage. She would have to make a couple more attacks before she would make the killing blow.

    A smart move, but this time she was more focused on what was going on so she managed to evade the slice, just barely, a bit of fabric got torn, but her skin remained intact.

    She took a defensive position expecting his next move.

    The assassin came back to his feet, shaking his head minutely, seeing that his attack had not caused more damage. His hand tingled as feeling began to return to it. Crouched before Aya-Carolina, he reached with that hand, cradling a third dagger by it's pommel as his hand slowly closed around it.

    Her only warning was a slight tightening of his eyes as the one assassin, the observer, that had stayed out of either fight took the opportunity to fling a dagger at her spine, with her back to that third assassin.

    Aya noticed the change in the expression and was quick to react and turned her head quickly to see the attack. She shifted her position in such a minimal way that it would be hard for the attacker to discern whether or not it would have been enough for her to stay safe. But she knew. Her mind was working so fast that the attack itself looked as if in slow motion. Hopefully the dagger's trajectory will be such that to hit the other assailant.

    Even as the initial assassin facing Aya-Carolina caught the dagger in his gloved fingers and whipped it back at her, the one who had thrown it shrugged, then turned back to observe the battle between Dyana and the last asssassin. Bene Geserrit were known as excellent fighters so any attack as the luck of the draw. Even if they didn't kill this pair the data they could bring back would be invaluable, as well as the proof that they could invade the Ginaz residence at will.

    After throwing the dagger, the assassin facing Aya-Carolina charged. He slashed at her leg again before going in to grapple her, trying to drag her to the ground. His hands closed on her wrists, knowing that the Sisters often had a hidden weapon, a poison needle so her hands would be the place to avoid at this close a range.

    These people were toying with her! The gall! She had to contain the sudden flare of indignation. Much like fear, anger too was a mind-killer, albeit for different reasons. Either way she would have to deal with the assassins. This whole charade has gone for far too long.

    The man in front of her actually surprised her as he charged. She managed to evade the slash but that was another feint and he grappled her. He even managed to hold her wrists. Smart move.

    But at least she had her legs, so she decided to kick with her knee at the crotch...

    TAG: @darthbernael
  3. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, Fuego, Pyrofuego! star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Apr 15, 2019

    “I must rule with eye and claw—as the the hawk among lesser birds.”
    Duke Leto II Atreides - Dune​

    Ginaz Residence

    There was a grunt as Aya-Carolina’s knee connected. The grip on her hands tightened at the pain the assassin felt and then relaxed as he folded on himself. The third assassin crossed the space quickly, grabbing their partner by a loop in the back of their armor, dragging them away from the Bene Gesserit.

    Almost concurrently, Dyana managed a slash that opened the sleeve of the second assassin, cutting into their arm. The dagger the assassin held in that hand fell from their suddenly nerveless fingers. He growled at her, about to slash when the pan she held smashed into his chest, throwing him backwards.

    The one dragging their compatriot called out, “Fall back.” Cradling their arm, trying to breathe, the last assassin glared at Dyana as they backed away. The wall hanging tapestry the first had appeared from swayed as all three disappeared, Dyana racing toward it.

    When she reached it, pulling it open, she began to cough, a thick, roiling smoke filled the hidden passageway behind it. Dropping it back into place, an annoyed expression crossed her face. “They’re gone….” she stated sourly.

    Walking back across the room, she picked up the dagger the one assassin had dropped. Even as she cradled it, a design on it began to melt and disappear. Bringing it over to Aya-Carolina, “Not sure where they were from but there was an embossed horse’s head on the pommel a few moments ago.” she told the Sister. “I think we should find the Head of Security and let them know the Residence has been infiltrated.”

    TAG: @TheAdmiral (Combo with GM)


    Sietch Tabr

    After finishing his coffee, Aratt had slipped back out of his room, washing his mug as quietly as possible, grinned at Naveed and Taina, then headed out of the cave residence. While he was away the conversation between the two continued as they got to know each other better. He was gone for approximately an hour, time hard to tell in the underground, except by how the glowglobes brightened and dimmed over the course of that hour.

    When he returned he was grinning even more broadly, almost hopping from foot to foot, as he waited for a lull in their conversation so he could speak. The second there was such a pause he spoke in a loud, happy tone, “The training salle is available, Naveed. There are several Fedaykin there but they’re all interested to see what the newest member of the sietch is like.”

    He started bouncing around, “Word has gotten around that we may have someone else who can teach the weirding way.” Smiling again, he moved through several of the combat forms that Naveed had taught him, after he’d mastered them himself. That is, until he accidentally hit one of the lower glowglobes, making it bounce and sway.

    Coming to an abrupt halt, he looked slightly ashamed, “Oh…sorry…” Rubbing his hands together, “Come on…come on…please, I want to see you both in action.” His excitement had returned as he bounded over, grabbing both their free hands, trying to pull them toward the hanging curtain that was the door to their ‘apartment’.

    TAGS: @Adalia-Durron, @greyjedi125 (Combo with GM)


    Ishkal, House Ordos Palace

    Galina snorted at Cassandra’s response to Lord Ezharian even as Kimon scowled deeply. “Wife, she is making the House look bad, take her away and discipline her.” he said flatly. Turning to the other man, “Apologies, her actions are not reflective of our House.” he said as he waved a hand, dismissing Galina and Cassandra.

    Galina once again raised one sculpted eyebrow but sat, finishing her coffee, as the Ezharian nodded, “Yes, perhaps the negotiations can be completed then.” he said as he pulled out a message scroll, writing something on it before rolling it and securing it.

    When Galina set her mug on the table, standing, the scroll was passed to her. She slipped it into her cleavage before she took Cassandra’s hand, “Come, my concubine, we are bothering the menfolk. And I believe we made our point.” she said as she led the still struggling Sister out of the room.

    The door shut behind them, Galina walking at a measured pace toward her rooms. She retrieved the message cylinder, breaking the seal, and pulling out the message, as she walked. It read,

    Dear Lady,

    I apologize for my actions in touching your concubine, I had to distract your husband. I fear he is negotiating in bad faith. I know the quality of your troops and I am willing to offer three times the amount previously stated, per month, for my daughter’s safety. At 15kg every month you could expand the Ordos sphere of influence by two planets every three months. However, I would ask to bank this amount, two thirds of it in your personal account and only the original amount, that I shall momentarily agree upon with your husband, in his coffers, every month. Please respond with a simple yes or no before I depart and this can be put into effect.


    Cian, Lord Ezharian

    Galina let out an airy peal of laughter as she rerolled the scroll and held the cylinder in her hand. Glancing over at Cassandra and her sour expression, she smiled. Taking her concubine’s arm, pressing against her side, “Come, Cassandra, we have some plotting to do, and you to ‘enjoy’ that dress longer, for me.” she said as she turned down a different corridor, heading toward her office.

    TAG: @Anedon (Combo with GM)


    IC Chok
    Imperial Testing Station

    When the massive amount of vehicles had arrived Chok had stayed by Mudze, nodding awkwardly to Randolpho when that man descended from his ship. He, and his siblings, hadn’t seen this many people around since before their parents had left them here at this station. And now there were more people moving around than he’d ever seen, save for the one time his father had brought him to a gathering at their old sietch.

    Thankfully none of the other new people paid him or his siblings any attention and soon Mudze and the new man had walked off to, he guessed, discuss other business. Darting through the crowd, avoiding all the moving vehicles, equipment, and men, he found his siblings and explained again what was going on. Looking back over his shoulder, he saw that the two men were almost done with their conversation. Turning back, “Head back to our rooms. Lock the door and do not let anyone in unless they have the password.” Leaning closer, he whispered, “It’s watersip.”

    As his sibs disappeared back into the corridors, he returned to the spot that the two men had left him, then walked towards them, noting that they seemed to be resolved about something. “What can I do for you now?” he asked. The way the men were standing they seemed to have decided something and, as this was his home, he wanted to be sure what it was. He was a teen but, as Mudze had said, it was basically his sietch now so he had to act as much like a Naib as he could.

    TAGS: @Mitth_Fisto, @BobaMatt (combo with GM)


    Iypr, Departing

    When Hundro and Sokanon woke the next morning, the rain had recently ceased, servants of the Residence were drying the paths around it, out of the windows. He had held her for several long minutes before the maids had arrived to serve breakfast and prepare her for the day. After they ate she’d been whisked to the bathroom by them after he’d been asked what he wanted to see her in today. When the women returned she’d been bathed, dried, her skin oiled and her garments on. The translucent garment today was black with the, similar to the day before, undergarment now a metallic gold color.

    He’d dressed and reviewed news from the night before as his people packed their bags, preparing to depart. “I will send my report to the Emperor once we are aboard ship, I do not trust Memnon not to interfere with even messages under an Imperial seal.” he’d told her as he finished, the contents of the desk being placed in their respective bags.

    They had said their formal goodbyes to most of the House. Memnon was conspicuously absent as they departed the residence. A squad of Moritani had fallen in around them as they made their way to the landing field. When they arrived there was a high degree of activity, many Thorvald troops were ringing the field, companies of them were on patrol as well. The squad around them seemed amused at the activity, most likely as there were even more of them that the Thorvald troops never saw.

    Halfway to the Moritani frigate one of his aides approached, leaning to whisper in Hundro’s ear. His expression darkened slightly at the whisper but he took the message cylinder without a word. He read it quickly, then glanced at the aide, “Retire them. Now.” The aide’s expression was just as dark as he bowed and headed back to the frigate. Shaking his head, he glanced at Sokanon, “The Ginaz are probably now aware of our actions.” he muttered.

    It was not a surprise, not just because he’d expected it, but because both Hundro and the squad around them had seen the way the Thorvald troops were moving, when the entrance to the ‘neutral territory’ around his frigate was blocked by a contingent of the Thorvald troops and Memnon appeared before them. “We had not completely finished our negotiations, Moritani. And my price still has not been paid.” He said with a sneer at Sokanon.

    TAG: @pashatemur (Combo with GM)


    Baronial Residence, Carthag

    Glossu snorted at Thufir’s question. “The playboy is on his way here? He always was my Uncle’s favorite.” He shook his head, eyeing Ike as the young man simply stirred the pasta, not eating yet. “Feyd-Rautha thinks he’s a genius and the one who should rule the Harkonnen once my Uncle finally passes on. But that is why I am here, to show the Baron that I deserve to be his heir.”

    He sighed and sat back then his piggish eyes shifted, darting around the room as what sounded like a sigh drifted through the room. The atonals in the sigh were meant for Ike’s ears only, a warning that his shadows suspected something was off about the food but unsure what as the Governor’s private kitchen was all but inaccessible without giving away their presences.

    Glossu’s eyes swung back to face Ike, glancing at Thufir to see if the Mentat suspected that the Moritani legate had brought more than the Fenrings and his, now, fiance. However, the Mentat was deep in his eating, the need for the stabilizer drug that was in his food a deep need for the old man.

    He glanced again at Ike, then a sly smile crossed his face. “Perhaps we should invite in Count Fenring, his wife, and your fiance. It is rude of me to offer you food but leave them waiting outside.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @BobaMatt (combo with GM)
  4. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 21, 2004
    This is a combo with the GM. Thank you, Bernael.

    IC: Sister Na'die, Kanti-Sokanon, Viscount Hundro Moritani, and Memnon, Earl of Thorvald

    Location: House Thorvald, private port tarmac

    Through the pulled lace threads at the front of her black veil, Sokanon regarded the elderly lout with an unmoved and unreadable expression, though for an instant she stiffened and stood back slightly from where the Viscount Moritani halted before Thorvald and his armed escort. Sokanon, yet took in the perimeter of the private port. Such a lush and profuse environment for a stale, bitter man as the Earl.

    Hundro's arm tightened around Sokanon's waist. "She is not property, not even mine. She is a human being and is free to choose. I do believe she made her choice abundantly clear at the memorial last night." He said, coldly.

    Memnon's smile stayed broad, "And yet, here I stand, with overwhelming numbers and say she will not leave Iypr."

    Sokanon remained silent, but stepped forward, her gaze on Memnon. The black gauze in which she was draped, wafting in the gusty and shadows, giving her a wraith-like quality. As if the living canopy conspired, several bird calls pierced the quiet.

    Hundro watched as Sokanon moved. His garments hid the raptor like tension in his form, the surrounding squad didn't hide their movements however as they smiled coldly at the Thorvald troops.

    Memnon licked his lips as he watched Sokanon step forward, "She seems to have changed her mind, Moritani. And tell your dogs to stand down or I'll have them put down." He reached out to Sokanon as he mocked Hundro.

    Yet she remained beyond his grasp.

    The leer turned into a frown as Sokanon stayed out of his grasp. Memnon stepped forward, reaching out again, "You were wise to change your mind, now finish what you started... Sister." he said in a low tone.

    Behind her, Hundro took a step forward, his fingers tapping on the leg of his uniform.

    Sokanon put her right hand out to the side to stay Hundro. She stepped closer and caressed the elderly Thorvald's cheek. Leaning close, she whispered in his ear; her veiled left hand still caressed the Earl leathered neck. "Rest now, Memnon." She whispered and withdrew.

    Hundro's fingers continued to drum his thigh, but in a different way, as Sokanon held out her hand. His expression was dark, but he trusted her, remaining where he stood, but ready for violence.

    Memnon's leer returned as she stepped closer, before his features began to go slack. As her hand moved an almost breathy "You...witch..." escaped his lips as he crumpled to the pavement.

    Weapons barrels came up in the troops behind him, pointing at Sokanon and the Moritani, "The Sister has killed Lord Thorvald!" An officer shouted. "Kill them all!"

    Sokanon knelt. She beckoned one of his staff. "He's fainted." She said. "Exhausted from the ceremonies and work.!"

    The Thorvald retainer slowly, cautiously approached, the weapons were still trained on the Moritani contingent. He knelt by her, reaching out a shaking hand, touching Memnon's throat to feel for a pulse. As he did, Hundro met the eyes of the officer who had shouted the command, glancing over the man's shoulder at the frigate. While the drama had played out with Memnon, the signal he'd given had been received. The Thorvald troops had their weapons pointed at him but panels had opened silently on the Moritani frigate and were aimed at the officer and his men.

    Finally, the retainer nodded, looking at Sokanon, then at the officer. "Captain, stand down your men. Lord Thorvald is unconscious and has a thready pulse. Get the medics to remove him." The Captain let out a breath, "Arms down....Ummmm, Viscount...could you...ask the ship to do the same....The medics would be work under the guns."

    Hundro smiled a thin-lipped smile as he moved up by Sokanon but glanced up toward the bridge of the frigate, giving an almost imperceptible nod, the guns retracting back into the hull of the ship.

    Sokanon smiled softly and slowly rose next to the Viscount. "Trying times, poor Earl Thorvald. Please give our hopes for his speedy recovery!" She said to the retainer.

    The man nodded as the medics rushed over, did a quick examination to ensure that Memnon was, indeed, only unconscious, and then bundled him onto a stretcher. As the medics carried him away to the Residence's medical facility,

    Hundro, his arm around Sokanon once more, approached the officer. "Our business is concluded here. Please, move your troops so that we may board our ship." His tone was more in the way of a command than asking as he stood before the man.

    TAG: @Anedon, @darthbernael
  5. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016
    IC Cassandra, Galina (Combo with @darthbernael)

    Getting back into Galina´s office Cass grabbed the pieces of the dress around her shoulders and began tearing at it. She wouldn`t wear this any longer, suffer no further pain and humiliation today. Galina´s little 'game' sickened her to no end. This was a breach, a breach of the trust she believed had been build between them.

    Galina had one eye on Cassandra as she moved behind the desk of her office. Sitting demurely, a half smile crossed her face as Cassandra removed the dress. "You cannot deny that the pleasure was equal to the pain, as you wore it, dear. And..." she waved the message cylinder after retrieving it from her cleavage. "while that man touched you, your writhing had the effect we desired. He has agreed to much better terms, for us, not my husband." she said, calmly, while waving the cylinder in Cassandra's direction.

    "Great..." Cas muttered as she tore the remains of her dress from her body, she didn`t care she wasn`t wearing any underwear. She was far too angry for her nakedness to matter just one bit. All that was on her mind was, "so this was the whole reason? Making some old idiot horny so he would offer more?" She crossed her arms in front of her chest, "I have to ask, does he pay for our troops or because he wants me in his bed?"

    Galina smirked slightly, "Some men are more perceptive than others." She tapped the message scroll on the desk, "Ezharian realized why you'd been brought without even saying. He even apologized to you." a light laugh came with that statement. "And has proposed something that will make us wealthy while still appearing to agree with Kimon."

    Wealthy huh? Cassandra couldn`t help but think as her gaze wandered through Galina´s ellaborate office, each and every piece of furniture or tech in here was probably more expensive than what a common worker would earn through their entire life... "He appologized? Well won`t get him into my pants either..." she muttered loud enough for Galina to hear.

    Galina stood, leaving the scroll on the desk for the moment. She walked up to Cassandra, feeling her stiffen as she took the other woman in her arms, "I would never have let him, dear."

    "Do you promise it?" Cassandra looked at her, Galina´s charm was strong, but she was unsure if she could trust this woman ever again.

    Galina nodded, "Absolutely, dear. Men truly are not for us." Her hands caressed Cassandra's back, as she looked into the other woman's eyes.

    Cassandra returned the glance, then the hug, then she leaned forward a bit... I`ll go along Lina... for now, but I will get you back for this humiliation, so better keep that promise...

    Galina smiled softly as she felt Cassandra press against her. Perhaps she should have warned her about the cream but she also enjoyed as her concubine had writhed around. Turning in the embrace, "Come, join me in the seat, as I compose a response to the Ezharian."

    "Sure, but then... lets make this on even ground..." Cass said as she reached for the zipper of Galina´s dress.

    Standing still, Galina allowed Cassandra to do as she wanted with her dress.

    "I hope you locked the door," Cass joked as she threw Galina´s dress to the ground, admiring her lovers body.

    Galina chuckled, "Do you think I would not do so?" she asked sweetly. Taking Cassandra's hand she led her back behind the desk. She sat and pulled Cassandra to sit across her. As she felt Cassandra move on her, "Now, how would my Cassandra answer the Ezharian?" she asked, pulling out a stylus.

    "Dear, perverted, incompetend, creep... for a start at least?" Cassandra said, crossing her legs as she leaned onto her chair.

    Galina laughed lightly, "Remember, dear, he was the one who realized the truth of what we were doing. And he played the game for Kimon's benefit." She trailed a finger down Cassandra's arm, before writing Lord Ezharian, to begin I applaud you for seeing through a simple deception, not many men see beyond the flesh, where it comes to women.

    "Which is why in truth we girls rule the universe," Cass added, chuckling at what Galina had wrote so far. "But we do apperchiate men who see is as more than just the amount of naked skin we may display." She gently tickled Galina´s stomach.

    Smiling at the tickle, Galina let her fingers continue to glide up and down Cassandra's arm as she continued writing, Your proposal is acceptable. So long as you never reveal to Kimon the true extent of the deal I will release the troops to assist your House. The account is accessible at the Guild Bank so once the initial deposit is made, I will send them.

    Sensing her lovers enjoyment of it Cassandra continued to tickle, letting her fingers dance around Galina´s navel. "Maybe its best for us to demand some form of reassurance about him keeping your dumb husband in the dark." She suggested, "can`t let him eventually try to extort us with that fact..."

    Lifting the stylus, Galina tapped it against her lips and then against Cassandra's mouth, as she thought. A sudden smile came to her face, the stylus dipping back to the scroll. You desire these troops to defend your daughter at Arrakis. I understand you have another daughter, almost the same age. In addition to the spice payments, to secure the contract, I would take her as my Lady's Maid, to learn from myself the mecessities of running a House.

    "Hehehe," Cassandra chuckled, "will be nice to have a spoiled little noble girl around to do our chores..." ...and to have a potential ally in chase you turn on me again, dear Galina.

    "It will, yes." Galina replied. She could see the small light that came to Cassandra's eyes and hid a small smile. Their relationship was a cat and mouse affair, each having their own desires in it and both having their moments of triumphs over the other but they did work better together than apart. Once the final term has been agreed, I will forward you the contract, and the troops will be released to you. Lady Galina, House Ordos she wrote, rolling the scroll and placing it in the message tube.

    "Should work," Cass said looking at the final bits of the letter, "If he needs the troops as badly as he claims he will certainly agree..." She smiled. "Though I guess that ain`t the only troubles coming to us when we get involved on Arrakis."

    Galina called her assistant in, who ignored the way the two women were seated, to retrieve the message cylinder. "Deliver it directly into Lord Ezharian's hands." The woman bowed, then departed, to fulfill her duty. Setting down the stylus, stroking Cassandra's arm again, "Arrakis is poison, is death for us all, for the Imperium, I fear. With the Emperor's new command I believe a new era of humanity is coming, one we will have to overcome, together." she said softly.

    "Yes... together..." Cass muttered lovingly. Unless you try to backstab me once more, my dear....

    Tag: @pashatemur
  6. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, Fuego, Pyrofuego! star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: A thank you to @pashatemur for the message to the Bene Gesserit for this in between updates post.

    Kaitain, Imperial Palace

    The audience chamber slowly emptied after, the echoes of the courtiers and nobles footsteps dwindling. The latest reports from Arrakis did not bode well for the Harkonnen but other of the Great Houses and lesser Houses had actually increased their coffers of spice as well as their fortunes. Such reports had brought a brief smile to Shaddam’s face, especially when he saw the barely controlled anger on the Harkonnen representative’s face.

    The large doors at the exit of the audience hall closed, the sound of it echoing in the stillness. As they did, the Emperor shifted on the throne, one leg tossed over the arm of it. He sighed, rubbing his upper legs, the throne, even with cushions, was not the most comfortable seat but as the Padishah Emperor was required to sit it he must put up with the discomfort.

    “The Landsraad is doing just as I knew they would, at each other’s throats for the merest profit of spice.” he stated in a teasing tone to the woman standing beside the throne.

    The Emperor’s Truthsayer, Gaius Helen Mohiam, nodded briefly, “Once they discover your scheme only the Sardaukar will protect the Padishah Imperium and the Corrinos.” she said in a lilting tone.

    “But…there is other news, a report from a Sister embedded with your tame assassin, Viscount Moritani. It provides new insight on your former brother-in-law, Earl Thorvald.” she said as she pulled a message cylinder from her robe. “This is the decoded version, one part is omitted as it has to do with Bene Gesserit business alone.” she stated as she held it out to him.

    Shaddam took the cylinder, unrolling it to read.

    Mother, I have several items of note to report, one of which you no doubt are already aware. I am with child.. ( The sex of the child was omitted.)

    Second, upon a state visit to House Thorvald, the Earl, Memnon, desired I be "given" to him by a petition he believed the Emperor would grant him-I did not disabuse him of his understanding of who would be the granter of such a request.

    So uncontrolled was his need to exert his provenance, he pursued it publicly, not once, but twice. Clearly, it was to provoke the Viscount Moritani, a provocation His Grace, the Viscount, twice avoided.

    I felt I must take action to nullify Thorvald's efforts and I rendered him unconscious, without complication, of course, or implicating evidence of my having done so. I was successful, though brandishing of weapons and stand downs were required. The Viscount was prepared but did exercise restraint.

    I understand the ramifications of these actions all around, of authority, balances of power, and particularly, the stability and autonomy of the order.

    Your servant,
    Sr. Nadie, Kanti-Sokanon

    As he rolled it back up and handed it back to her the corner of his mouth turned up in a smile. “Perhaps a company of Sardaukar can remind Memnon that I control the Imperium and his own wishes should always be what mine are, in memory of his sister.” he said wryly.

    Straightening, his leg swinging back so his foot touched the floor, “Actually, expand that, every Great House, save the Fenrings and the Moritani will be ‘gifted’ a company of household troops, Sardaukar disguised in their livery. To ferret out those who would undermine my Imperium.”

    Mohiam shook her head but when Shaddam got in this mood it was best to allow him to follow his whim. She did make a mental note though, to send coded messages to all sisters embedded in the Houses to warn them of this development.

    TAGS: No one, for information purposes as to developments in the Imperium
  7. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 6

    Apr 29, 2002
    A rather hefty, yet satisfying mega-combo with the amazing, @Adalia-Durron & @darthbernael


    IC: Naveed & Taina

    For better, for worse...

    It was becoming pleasant, almost enjoyable as she relaxed a little and listened while sipping her beverage. It was light conversation, the kind you found at a formal function, dotted with moment of amusement and gentle laughter. Simply put, Taina was enjoying his company, she liked him. Suddenly they were interrupted once again, Aratt had returned and his words made her very uncomfortable. His implication was that the sietch wanted a 'display' from her. That felt very wrong, not to mention her physically exhausted state. Sitting and talking was her best right now and the very thought of exerting herself was almost distressing. Now finding herself being dragged, she turned to Naveed, "must we?" She asked honestly, "I am rather weary right now."

    Naveed was pleasantly amused by Aratt's antics, but not so much when he almost broke an interior amenity. A slight warning look was all that was needed. Aratt's form had been good, but once again, being aware of one's surroundings was just as important as form and technique. Still, Naveed allowed himself to go along with the unexpected plan, because that was part of Fremen culture. 'Expect the unexpected'. 'Always be prepared'. This is how they survived. The enemy did not knock when he came to your doors, nor did he wait for you to be conveniently ready to receive him.

    Taina's exhaustion was keenly palpable, she'd communicated as much to Naveed. He understood completely, so now it was up to him to satisfy both parties. Thankfully, he was already formulating a plan in his mind.

    "Don't worry." He said to his 'wife'. "I got us covered."

    He gave no details, but the momentary sly look on his face and the wink he gave her, indicated a plan was in the works. True, Taina couldn't know what he planned, if it included a 'performance' from her still. In this instance, the 'wife' would simply have to trust the 'husband'. This valuable lesson, this necessary trait, was never too early to practice between them.

    "To the training salle!" He mock commanded, before laughing as he was pulled along.

    She was in his world, she was in his care, Taina had little choice but to trust the smile, trust the wink and his words of affirmation. She understood the body language and knew instantly it was expected of her to do what was requested by him and she trusted he'd not push her too far. Taina feared her physical exhaustion may well cause her to be less than effective in anything at this point, but whatever was require, whether that be watching or participating, she'd do her best. "As you wish." Although she found no reason to laugh nor smile about it.

    Aratt was slightly confused by Taina's response. He knew they'd only come from the nurses that morning but he was used to the fact that training or attacks could come at any time and you had to be ready. But she had just come here. Naveed's response though made him grin again, pulling both along as best he could.

    The beads parted and then closed behind them as they headed down one of the tunnels, deeper into the sietch. Even here the air was dry, water sips embedded in the walls to catch any tiny bit of water in the air. Once out of the main living area of the sietch more and more would Taina see the warriors of the Fremen as they went about their business. It was almost unnoticeable but there seemed to be two castes of warriors, the regular Fremen and those like Naveed, the Fedaykin.

    The latter watched the trio carefully, some beginning to follow as it became apparent, they were headed toward the training salle.

    Naveed didn’t say much as they walk towards the training salle, as he was readying his mind for what would come next. Aratt’s enthusiasm was understandable, but he couldn’t let that distract him now, especially after noticing those who were beginning to follow them to the salle.

    Naveed had a reputation as a warrior. Strength and success were silent invitations for continued ‘testing’ and contenders. Their enemies certainly knew a thing or two about this dynamic. Ironically enough, Naveed also welcomed this opportunity- for many reasons. A wry smile etched itself on his face, as he glanced at some of his more ‘ambitious’ brothers. They were good people. Strong people. Survivors.

    Taina would see that Naveed’s expression had changed. He was neither dour, or easy going now, but had become ‘unreadable’, his body on the other hand, was relaxed, free of tension.

    Upon entering the training salle, Naveed furtively glanced at the room, noticing who exactly was in attendance. A few faces did look familiar. The Fedaykin half chuckled, half-amused. In his mind, he knew news of this encounter would eventually travel to Stilgar.

    He would make sure not to disappoint.

    “Fremen! Brethren!” Naveed said, suddenly bursting into announcement.

    “I just got back from the mission field not long ago. Me and my wife, that is….” With a hand, he gestured at Taina. He smiled towards here briefly, then gave her an appreciative nod.

    “I’m tired. We’re tired….” he stated, while moving to one of the stations. “Yet, here we are.”

    “I’ll admit, I’m feeling bit cornered.” He chuckled. “So, to make things fair, especially for first timers, I’ll use ‘hand-wraps’ and forego ‘bare knuckles’, hmmm?”

    Naveed motioned with his head for Aratt to help him put on the aforementioned hand wraps, after speaking in a very Stilgar-esque manner just now.

    “I can’t say things will go well for you.” He said gravely at his audience, but managed a quick wink at Aratt.

    “To get to my wife, you’ll have to go through me first. Always.” A simple statement of fact.

    Naveed gives a momentary grin to Aratt, after the hand wraps are checked twice. Then falls back to character. “Plus, I must also warn you……”

    A small dramatic pause.

    “I just had coffee……”

    Naveed inclines his head slightly and offers a predatory grin, yet his posture, is still completely relaxed.

    “Now. Who wants to go first?”

    Naveed was certainly going to enjoy this, because he always did his best work under pressure.

    Aratt grinned as he heard his mentor speak. He walked over to the table that held gear for training bouts, picking up the rolled wraps that one would cover one's hands with when fighting as Naveed had said. He glanced over at the Fedaykin and the other Fremen warriors, to see who would take up the challenge as he walked over to Naveed. Glancing up as he put one roll into a pouch for a moment, he began to wrap one of the older man's hands. "Bet you it's one of the non Fedaykin that take you up first." he said in a near whisper. "Winner makes coffee for a week?" he continued with a grin as he wrapped the hand tightly. When the last bit of the wrap was done and tucked into the rest of it, he glanced at it, "Flex your hand and see if it's right."

    Having dutifully followed close, Taina was more confused at first as to why or what was happening. He'd said trust him, and interestingly enough to her, she did and had no idea why. Once there she listened to Naveed's declaration and a part of her did not quite understand the 'display' but his words inspired her to stand tall, something told her she needed to be somewhat appealing. Reaching behind her she pulled the long braid around and proceeded to undo it, shake her head and fluff the long tresses. Taina then folded her arms with her feet slightly apart, and watched her 'husband' with her best attempt at support and faith.

    Naveed chuckled and scoffed simultaneously at Aratt. “Since when you get to make the rules?” He teased, amused that Aratt was attempting to get out of one of his duties.

    Looking at the hand wraps and flexing his fingers, he nodded in satisfaction.

    “That’s good.” He said, then gave his student a friendly fist bump on the shoulder. Out of the corner of his eye, Naveed saw Taina undoing her braid. Surprised, Naveed fought his initial impulse, but couldn’t stop his raised eyebrow, then smoothly transitioned to putting on his ‘game face’.

    Now he was going to need to send a bit of a message.

    Walking to the ’sparring circle’, he didn’t wait for one of the more ‘eager’ contenders to approach.

    “You.” He called on a non-Fedaykin. “Yes, you. Help me warm up. Let’s go.”

    Turning to fully face his opponent, Naveed dropped into a standard fighting stance.

    Aratt was stuck for a moment, once he'd finished assisting Naveed with the wraps. He should go stand with the other trainee Fedaykin but, at the same time, Taina was standing on her own. He glanced at her, the trainees, and then at Naveed. His expression firmed up before he went to stand beside Taina, spine straight, eyes challenging.

    The warrior that Naveed had pointed out knew the Fedaykin lieutenant was one of the better trained warriors in the sietch but one never turned down a challenge. Stopping at the equipment table for a moment, he wrapped his own hands as he walked into the ring. Rolling his shoulders, he fell into a combat stance as he faced Naveed. "First fall, Naveed?" he asked as he studied the other man's stance and how his body was moving.

    Watching all the actions before her Taina noted that Aratt's excitement was almost palpable and that gave her the understanding of how important this was. She'd have questions, but they were for later. Then a man stepped forward, and in moments he'd wrapped his hands similarly to Naveed, she assumed that was to reduce the potential damage they could do to each other. This intrigued her as she knew there were 'ways' to subdue an enemy with less violence but understood their ways as out here things were very different. She watched as he stepped before her husband, assuming a similar stance to him, and for a moment she worried Naveed would be hurt badly, but decided instantly her duty would be to care for him and she would do so.

    Naveed seemed to give the other man's words a moment of consideration, his eyes never leaving him, just in case he attacked suddenly, since doing so was 'fair' the moment they stepped into the 'ring'.

    "First to tap out." Naveed declared, denying the man the advantage of setting rules that were convenient to them.
    Silently, he hoped Aratt was taking mental notes, despite his excitement.

    The Fedaykin then beckoned his opponent with his left hand, inviting him to attack, even as he slowly stepped to the right, then swayed left.

    Aratt could see the subtle tension in both Taina and Naveed, even if he didn't understand why. To him, Naveed was a warrior with very few peers or those that surpassed him. But he was watching every movement his mentor made, how he directed the fight before it even began. And knew this was as much for his benefit as it was for Taina or the battle itself.

    Naveed's opponent watched as he moved, a small smile as his hands curled but open. He watched as Naveed swayed, waiting for an opening. He moved on what seemed to be slippered feet, almost silent, as he mirrored Naveed's movements. And then, without a sound and barely a whisper of what his intentions were, he stepped forward, spinning. As his torso turned, his closer hand sweeping toward Naveed’s brow, the foot that wasn't planted for the spin shot backward, towards Naveed's right kneecap, the true attack.

    Naveed raised his guarding harm slightly higher in defense -to block the strike to his brow, even as he jumped in place, timing a 'jump kick' to his opponent's torso, while he was in mid-air, which allowed him to spoil the strike to his kneecap. This was why he had to keep training, keep his reflexes in top shape at all times.

    The encounter was off to a good start, still, he did not smile, even though he was becoming excited. Naveed would remain focused and controlled. His opponent was clever, that much he could tell, which meant they both had something to teach and learn from each other.

    Planting himself back on the floor, he encouraged his opponent to attack once more.

    Naveed's opponent knew Naveed was faster, could anticipate his movements better but he wasn't fully prepared for the jump kick to his torso. He turned the stumble backward into a roll, coming to his feet again several long paces away. He used the momentum to spring forward again, rushing toward Naveed, swaying right to left as he approached, a swift combo of a right, left, then right again series of jabs. He kept light on his feet and swayed as he punched, knowing the flurry left him somewhat open to being hit in return.

    Aratt watched excitedly as the fight continued, swaying and concentrating on Naveed's movements. At the jump kick he leaned toward Taina, "See...all those movements, that's a Fedaykin fighting with the new training." he whispered.

    She'd watched and studied the movements as they were revealed, whilst intense and very strategic, she knew her way was much better. Having thought that, she knew it was not a skill that could be taught to these people, not in the way they believed it could. At Aratt's comment she gave a sage nod, not wishing to speak and interrupt the concentration Naveed was clearly using.

    Naveed was about to give chase, to keep up the pressure on his opponent and land on him with a jumping elbow strike, but his opponent had good footwork and back-pedaled after the roll, enlarging the gap between them. This was also a trap, as he was close to the edge of the fighting ring.

    Naveed let him come back in, he kept his arms guarding at mid level, to ‘encourage’ his opponent to strike him high. Naveed used upper body movement to evade the striking combination, but allowed closed ‘misses’, just so his opponent would be baited into thinking he had a chance to connect. The moment Naveed noticed his opponent’s eagerness and the repetition of the combo- he knew the opening was made.

    Naveed countered with a powerful hitch kick to his opponent’s midsection, his intention was to kick the wind out of him so he could transition into a triangle choke, or see if his core strength was up to par. Either way, the encounter was turning out to be a good warm up for the both of them.

    The man tightened his abdominal muscles as the kick came in. Still, it pushed him back a step with a loud exhalation of breath. Keeping his focus up, as he stepped back, he grabbed Naveed's ankle, pulling it toward him as he fell back, stretching the Fedaykin's legs wide.

    Dropping the leg, he kicked up, aiming for the back of the calf, his free shoulder rolling as he centered himself, drawing a deep breath to fill his lungs once more.

    He nodded to Naveed, then bent over coughing, the kick had hit him harder than he'd expected.

    Naveed took the hit to his calf, as he was momentarily unbalanced when his opponent had trapped his ankle, robbing him of the opportunity of a follow-up strike. However, the hit to his opponent's core had the desired effect.

    Naveed stepped back, after all, it was a sparring session. At a safe distance, he did pantomime clenching his opponent's head with both hands, then ramming it with his knee. That was strictly to demonstrate what one should do to an enemy in that position, but not to each other. Holding the head would prevent swaying and a miss, which would place the attacker in a vulnerable position. Naveed did not smile, but nodded respectfully as he waited for the his fellow fremen to either rise or tap-out.

    He would stay focused on the encounter, bouncing lightly on his feet, arms raised in a guard position - as an example. One should not become distracted, but remain aware of the combat theatre at all times. Naveed found these exchanges served to strengthen the bonds between the fighting fremen, who grew to trust each other implicitly during battle. For they were all truly brothers.

    Taina was mildly impressed, allowing a light smile as she watched and unsure of the feeling she was experiencing. She glanced around at those watching, their focus all on the two combatants as a slight frown creased her face. 'Was it pride she was feeling?'

    Aratt was almost bouncing on his toes beside her. He had been still mimicking Naveed's movements, as though trying to memorize them for future use. He grinned as the Fremen warrior recovered his breath, but then stilled his face, the man was of his tribe and it would be wrong to make him feel humiliation because a teen thought he wasn't as good a warrior as he was.

    Finally getting his breath back, the Fremen straightened, standing in a defensive stance once more before another cough escaped him. Nodding once more to Naveed he raised his left hand then brought it down, tapping his thigh twice. Straightening he bowed slightly, "Ya hya chouhada!" he said almost reverently. Backing slowly, he exited the ring.

    Murmurs ran through the Fedaykin that stood to one side, the man had done well and a consensus was slowly gained that he be given an offer to join their ranks. The remainder stared almost placidly at Naveed as though expecting him to choose a fighter from their ranks next.

    Naveed offered the departing challenger a nod of respect and encouragement. Indeed, he had done well and would progress to be a fierce warrior, Naveed had no doubt of that.

    Here, he took a re-energizing breath. He was warmed up and hadn't spent too much energy, but now.....

    Naveed turned and found the largest contender in the room, he then beckoned for him to step into the ring. His facial expression betrayed nothing, however. Within himself, he knew it was only right to do this, because 'out there', one had to be prepared to face both smaller and larger contenders in the battlefield. There was no 'cherry-picking' who or what one would be up against. It was best to be prepared for one and all situations. This was the way.

    The gesture caught Taina by surprise. She'd been fascinated by the battle and techniques used but believed the 'dueling' was done.

    Clearly, she was wrong.

    Her own training had not allowed such pain to be inflicted and she found herself concerned for Naveed's health and wellbeing. Would she have to care for his 'broken' body? Was that really her main concern? She kept her expression strong and passive, merely raising an eyebrow as he gestured the larger opponent forward.

    The larger Fremen smiled at the gesture. He squatted a few times to stretch, his muscles and sinews creaking slightly as he did. When he rolled his shoulders and made fists a couple times, they did the same. Sauntering over to the prep table he quickly wrapped his hands, opening and closing his fists again to make sure that the wraps were tight and not moving as he moved. Walking out into the ring, he stopped a couple paces from Naveed, bowing. His eyes flicked over to the side of the ring and a small smile crossed his face. He could tell that this display was as much training as it was showing Naveed's companion what the Fremen could do.

    Rolling his shoulders he fell into a combat stance, hands curled but not yet into fists. "Have you brought us a new Sayyadina, Lieutenant?" he asked. The very slight harmonics in his voice would be familiar to Taina, possibly telling that he had a touch of the Voice. Beside her Aratt stirred, eyes almost narrowed as he looked at the bigger Fremen. "He's a beast..." came in an almost whisper from his mouth.

    It was all Taina could to not react to what she'd just seen, heard and felt. The reference to her was obvious, but the tone and delivery of the words had taken her buy surprise. The mild arched brow had been replaced ever so briefly with a flash of widened eyes. A movement most would have missed as Aratt whispered beside her; his assessment was almost correct in her mind but a 'beast' an understatement.

    Naveed never stopped bouncing around on his feet, as his large opponent approached, this 'beast'. He did return the respectful nod with open sincerity however, though he did not respond to the verbal taunt. He couldn’t allow the larger man to see it.

    His opponent was a result of the new, a byproduct of Mua’Dib’s influence. He himself was a product of the old, a warrior forged under Naib Stilgar. Mua’Dib had stolen Chani from him. Stilgar had given him Taina. He was, and would always be, an oath-bound Fedaykin.

    Naveed was the determined to make the best he could out of his fate.

    The man's voice was 'strangely weird', which caused Naveed to box his own ears twice, to make them ring inside his head. This was, in his mind, a counter measure against being controlled.

    He'd also noticed that his opponent had not made fists of his hands, but kept them open, curled in the way a grappler would. This was an interesting tell, despite the fact the larger man could technically form a fist in an instant. How fortunate then, that despite leading with his skills as a striker, Naveed was also quite versed at grappling.

    A ghost of a smile, graced his countenance as he began to ‘dance’ around his opponent now, making it harder for the man to simply ‘grab’ him. Naveed shuffled in a counter clockwise direction and threw a few tentative jabs at the man's head, to probe his reflexes and footwork.

    The larger Fremen chuckled as Naveed boxed his ears but nodded. He'd also seen the tiny widening of the woman's eyes, confirming what his assessment had been of the woman. Knowing how knowledgeable his opponent was he'd prepared so as to fight him in a different style than what Naveed tended to use in the ring.

    As Naveed began to dance around him, he turned, just enough at at time to keep his opponent facing him. Using as little energy as possible, slowly speeding up his movements to match those of Naveed, he blocked most of the blows, smiling as he let a couple of the jabs through his guard, a small shine coming to the cheek he'd taken them on.

    The last of the jabs, however, he grasped his opponent's wrist in a vice grip, hips shifting and swinging as he turned sharply, pulling on the arm, to use Naveed's own momentum against him. He didn't expect it to work fully but even if it didn't throw Naveed across the ring it would pull him into what would be next, a knee already rising toward where he expected his foe's solar plexus to be in moments.

    Taina blinked in surprise; this man had training she recognised but it wasn't to the level she knew. It felt like cheating to her, but she believed that if Naveed to defeat any opponent he needed to know not all would play fair, or by his rules.

    Naveed's opponent was both quick and strong for sure! In a blink, the Fedaykin's arm was grabbed and in that same instant, pulled forward and into a rising knee. Thankfully, Naveed also had quick reflexes. He not only allowed himself to go forward, he also dropped his centre of gravity, turning his trajectory into a tackle. His free arm came up, blocking the rising knee with his forearm and using his open palm to help turn his opponent clockwise as he fell on him. Certainly, standing on one leg would prove insufficient support against the weight and momentum that now barrelled on the larger man.

    The standing confrontation would most likely result on a 'ground game'.

    She'd lifted her hand instinctively, not wanting to react but doing so ever so briefly as she continued the movement, pretending to brush a wayward strand of hair from her face and running it over her head. Naveed's response sent a feeling of relief through her, although she did not express that at all.

    The large man grinned as he grunted, at Naveed’s response. The spin caused by the block began to turn him, putting him slightly off balance. Moving swiftly, he trapped Naveed’s arm against his body as he turned his heel on the floor, turning the fall into a further pull. As he did, his head turned and he saw Taina moving her hand. His eyes narrowed slightly, before his back hit the training mat.

    Pulling Naveed down on top of him, his free arm rose in a swift strike, the forearm hitting Naveed just below the temple as he wrapped his legs around his foe, lifting with his hips and shoulders. “Your…tame witch…doesn’t know the rules. If she interferes, I win the bout.” he stated in a tone both teasing and serious.

    A grappler.

    Naveed was not surprised by this, for it made sense that someone as large as his opponent would be thus skilled. Not only that, Naveed was known as a ’striker’, a fighter who did his best work on his feet. His opponent was doing his best to rob Naveed of his natural advantage.

    The Fedaykin ignored his opponents comment and focused on their match. If Taina interfered, it would be by choice and not something that he would in reality be able to control, so in this instance, he would not prevent it. The real goal here was to train and simulate realistic encounters. Preventing assistance during an engagement would need to be specific- and not something he would ingrain in her, for that would be counterintuitive.

    Losing a match, but living to fight another day was still a win. One should never fight by the 'enemies' rules. Ever.

    As it was, Naveed understood that his opponent was quite skilled, as he had wrapped his legs around him from below and lifted his core to throw him off balance. Naveed had automatically turned his head to lessen the blow under his temple, but he had to act fast, otherwise he would risk getting locked in by his opponent’s triangle. Naveed went forward, getting his shoulders above his opponent’s knees and simultaneously pressed down, trapping both their arms as to prevent an arm-bar. He was not in the best position and needed to transition out to a more favourable escape solution. His opponent was naturally stronger, so the quicker he managed an escape, the better his chances to get back on his feet.

    Naveed’s opponent smiled toothily at the manoeuvre. He’d heard that Naveed was quite talented, both on his feet as well as in the grapple, and this was showing that he was. His hips lowered some when Naveed pulled up and trapped his arms. With a grunt, he tightened his abdomen, pushing with his back muscles and hips. Pressing down, quickly, with his legs and feet he pushed upwards.

    His biceps rippled as he felt scrapes form on his arms, ripping them from Naveed’s grasp, flexing and flipping. As they slammed onto the mat again, this time with him on top, he shifted, driving his kneecaps into Naveed’s underarms and digging into his shoulder joints. At the same time, he began to rain down blows on his head and abdomen, at the same time. The blood, from the scrapes, began to splatter the canvas, his blows speeding up even more as he began to use one of the weirding techniques, he’d been taught to anticipate Naveed’s defensive moves and out manoeuvre them.

    Taina was not prepared to stop and therefore shame Naveed before, but that was before. This man was not playing fair and sure, a real fight would not be a fair one, but she’d already decided in a real fight, Naveed would have his own ‘cheat’ as it were, her. She’d seen the man’s moved and knew exactly what was happening, his earlier comments grated her now as she made her instant decision to act.

    In the blink of an eye, a blur at best was seen as she moved from her position to be in front of the what she had already decided was an overly violent man with no regard for the skills nor the spirit of what was occurring. In the space of half a heartbeat, or less, she’d driven her knee into his face with all the force she could muster.

    The grappler was good. No, more than good, he was a complete expert. Naveed found himself on the ground, pinned and mounted before he could summon a proper defence or counter. His opponent had made it nearly impossible for him to respond, leaving his head completely vulnerable to the blows as they rained down. Every time Naveed attempted to raise his hip, or get a leg up, a timely blow would impact with enough force to prevent that very action- this was completely uncanny. It was almost as if his opponent were somehow anticipating his move.

    Still, Naveed was a Fedyakin- and Fedaykins didn’t ‘tap out’. They fought to the last, they found their way out of impossible situation, if possible. They trusted their skills, their commanders and their fellow combatants- for they all fought as one.

    In that moment as he vainly attempted to raise himself and shake-off his mounted opponent, who was now focused on him, he too was surprised by what followed. Taina’s knee impacted against the man’s face, which resulted in a splendid ‘crack’.

    Naveed reacted immediately turning his body so the man would be off-balance and unable to reach for Taina, even as he quickly moved to slip behind the larger man and position himself behind him. Naveed would wrap his arms around the man’s neck to ‘triangle choke’ him as he slowly moved back, spoiling any attempts at gaining any leverage and forcing him to focus on him and not Taina, leaving her free to either disengage or press her advantage.

    Still, as an eye began to swell and close, he would be ready for any ‘tricks’.

    Taina’s assistance was exceedingly timely, but he knew better than to claim victory until his opponent either tapped or blacked out.

    The knee to his face rocked his head back, disorienting him for a moment. A growl began to form in his throat as he swiped one arm out at the one who’d simply appeared in front of him just before the hit. But, the growl died out as he felt Naveed turn them both, throwing him off center. His free hand shot out, palm to the mat as he shook his head, working out the slight confusion that had resulted from the knee to his face.

    As he began to recover, he felt Naveed rotating around him, arm lock forming on his neck. He heaved his legs against the ground to slow the process of the choke hold as he fully returned to his senses, for now. One leg kicked out, where he could see, through the slight cloudiness to his vision, the woman standing before them. Reaching up, he could feel the quality of the lock but there were ways out of it, including…

    He began to rub his forearms along the upper surface of Naveed’s forearm and bicep at his neck, the mix of blood and sweat coating those surfaces, creating lubrication to allow him to move his head more. A fiercely whispered “Witch…” came from him as he tried to get his chin tucked into the ‘pit’ of Naveed’s elbow with the aid of the lubrication. Otherwise, the choke hold would only tighten and tighten.

    With the one leg kicking at the woman, he shifted one arm, forming the fingers into a bar and began to thrust those fingers at the nearer armpit, trying to hit the nerve cluster that was just under the surface there, blows slowly getting weaker.

    Taina wasn't done, she stepped back after her attack, allowing her new husband to do what he does best and smiled faintly as he did so. She watched as the opponent attempted to kick at her, but she was way beyond his reach. Then she saw what he was doing, and if he succeeded, the fight would be on once again. She had seen the condition of Naveed's features and was unsure as to how much more he could take, and did not want to find that out. Stepping a little closer but staying out of reach she lowered her gaze to the man.

    Using her skill of 'the voice', she spoke in a hypnotic tone. "You are tired, you want to sleep. Close your eyes." Her gaze intense, her words resonating.

    Naveed gritted his teeth as sweat poured from the effort: He would not relent, he could not. If his opponent got loose, it would be all over. So, he held on and squeezed with all his might, making the triangle smaller, though his muscles were now burning. He felt the powerful jabs to his armpit. This man was an outstanding warrior, there was no denying it. Taina was the only reason he had regained any advantage and he would not allow it to be in vain. Naveed twisted his torso slightly, so the man wouldn't hit the same place twice, or as few times as possible. The surge of adrenalin had already peaked for both of them, or so he assumed. Thankfully, he felt it...the force of impact from his opponent's jabs slowly beginning to wane. Naveed felt his own strength fleeing from him, slowly, against his own will.

    Both warriors were equally determined, of that there was no doubt. When strength was spent and techniques ran their course, it was raw will that remained.

    Taina literally had become Naveed's his saving grace, in the sense that through her actions, she demonstrated her deep level of commitment, showed a glimpse of that fire inside her. She was all in. Naveed did not smile, he let that knowledge fuel his resolve, bolster his endurance. Together, they were far greater than alone. Their time in the desert had showed them that much.

    He heard her speak then, using her 'voice'. Naveed had no idea if that would affect his opponent or not. He did not focus on Taina's action for he trusted her. His only focus was to choke this man- if it came to that- or wait to see if he would indeed 'tap-out'.

    To have taken on the two of them- yeah- that was in itself, quite an impressive feat. regardless of the outcome, he needed to learn his opponent's name.

    The man struggled, fighting the increasing strength of the choke hold around his neck. He was just beginning to get some traction against it when Taina spoke. A growl escaped his lips, and an almost whispered "Witch..." as the effects began to take hold. He was fighting the effects of the Voice as much as he could, but between it and Naveed's hold he was losing the battle. He was Fremen though and none of them would ever give up the fight until they were dead or incapacitated. Fighting with all he had, he jabbed weakly into Naveed's armpits until the hold slipped tighter, taking away his air. With one final attempt his body went limp in Naveed's arms.

    Taina silently watched the man pass out, stepping back silently without a word. She may have crossed lines, but she never once considered her actions wrong, he was her husband and in any other situation, he'd have had her by his side.


    To say that Naveed felt relieved as soon as his opponent went limp would be a tremendous understatement. The Fedaykin went slack, releasing his arms with an audible groan, even as the area under his armpit began to spasm and cramp, turning from a deep red to blue black from the bruising it had received. Naveed was too glad the encounter was over as he was now covered in a sheen of sweat- his breathing was slow and laboured.

    After catching at least part of his breath, he finally trusted himself to move, unlatching himself from his incapacitated opponent. The Fedaykin immediately checked for the man’s breathing and his pulse, and was very relieved that they were strong. Opening his hand, he palmed the man several times on his face, until he roused back to consciousness.

    “Welcome back brother.” Naveed said, rising then holding his arm out to help his former opponent to his feet.

    “If I’m to learn from someone as skilled as you, then I guess I should at least know your name.”

    Naveed’s eye had closed almost completely, but he seemed not to notice, as he nodded to the man and clasped his arm.

    Internally, Naveed smiled - not only because he’d just had a worthy bout with a worthy opponent, but more so, because he’d acquired a secret weapon - one who would complete him in more ways than he could imagine. Now and until the end of his days.

    The man shifted as the carefully applied slaps hit his face. With a groan, his eyes opened and he saw Naveed standing over him. Pushing up with one elbow, his other arm reached out, grasping Naveed's arm in a warrior's embrace, using the leverage to pull himself to his feet. He grinned at Naveed, glancing at Taina for a moment, before turning back to the Fedaykin lieutenant. "I am Zafim, it is my pleasure to have fought you." Snorting and glancing at Taina once more, "You have a formidable wife there, Naveed. And blessed by the Maker to have her at your side." His fingers grazed his throat, knowing it would be slightly swollen for a couple days. "That was the best duel I have had, in years."

    Taina had expected to be chastised, possibly ostracized for her actions, she was mentally preparing for it as the man rose. Then he spoke and his words came as more than a surprise to her. Formidable? Blessed? Did that mean she'd acted appropriately? Did she dare to hope she'd not crossed lines? That was not for this man, Zafim to decided, no, this was a decision to be made by Naveed himself. She did not react, nor did she respond, she chose to wait.

    "Brother, our time is coming, the time of the Fremen. Arrakis will be ours."

    If you were to ask him, Naveed wouldn't know exactly why he'd spoken those words, but he'd simply say that he felt them to be true- to be real- like the breath in his nostrils.

    Without hesitation he lifted Zafim's arm, declaring him the victor of the match. But in truth, they were all victors. Taina had demonstrated her skills in a single moment, which proved more than sufficient to the task. No doubt Stilgar would hear about it before he'd even get a chance to speak on it himself. More importantly, her heart and strength were now joined to that of the Fremen- not as a graft, but as someone who belonged.

    Blessed be the Maker

    He'd noticed her countenance, that she betrayed nothing- and that was inwardly pleasing to him. He would commend her on the first opportunity they had alone.

    Additionally, Naveed certainly hoped that Aratt would be inspired in all counts, just like he himself had been inspired at his age.

    "Zafim, Zafim!!"

    Naveed began to chant, encouraging the others present to do the same.

    He had watched Stilgar closely, how he carried himself, how he led. How he build-up the Fremen confidence by building-up individuals, then connecting them more closely to the whole, and so bolstering them all. Naveed had much to learn, had many other 'softer' skills to refine, as these were equally important and just as critical, as being able to do battle against their sworn enemy. Together, these were all necessary skills which were the key to their survival.

    'A man's flesh is his own; the water belongs to the tribe'

    Tag: @Adalia-Durron , @darthbernael

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2022
  8. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: A combo between me and @darthbernael thank you!

    IC: Aya Carolina, Dyana, Chiar
    Ginaz Residence

    These attackers were good! She gave an appreciative grunt to Dyana who managed to draw blood. Hopefully they would be able to finish them off, but it seems the assassins had reached the same conclusion and they decided to flee the scene.

    Dyana followed them, the foolish girl, barging in on potential traps. There was smoke coming out of the hole and her companion returning with the news that the assassins were successful in escaping.

    She noted the description that the woman gave to her. Good thing she too managed to have a look at the hilt of the dagger. She would have to study. The Bene Gesserit doubted that this was the crest of the true assailant. That would have been too easy. She will have to check on them as it was clear that someone was pointing her at their direction for some reason.

    Dyana quickly made a visual assessment of Aya-Carolina, to ensure she wasn't further wounded. Once she had, she checked her own wounds, pulling out a wrap of linens, to bind hers. She picked up the pan, grinning at it, "Not a perfect weapon but it worked." she said, before taking it back to the kitchen. Returning to the main area of the room, she nodded to the Sister, "Once you're cleaned up, we should take what evidence we have to the Residence Manager, who is also Head of Security here."

    Sitting on the arm of one of the couches of the room, she began to make a visual study of it, to determine the exact points the assassins had used to enter, the paths they had taken, as well as noting that there had to be extensive corridors behind the walls that had allowed the assassins entry. Her eyes narrowed at the thought, before she looked over at Aya-Carolina again, " the House or connected to it must have been involved. Even the best assassins wouldn't know every square inch of this Residence well enough to know those secret passages as well as they seem to."

    Aya noted Dyana's inspection "I am alright, we have to focus on the attackers." she noted then nodded about the pan "Anything can be a weapon." getting a bit irritated by these distractions. They had to learn everything possible about the attackers while the whole altercation was still fresh. "There is no time to waste." she said "We have to start the investigation right away."

    "You should make a list of people who are trustworthy and who might not be." Aya said, good thing she was a Bene Gesserit and could conduct a proper interrogation, though she doubted the traitor would know much. They would probably have been paid off and would have had limited interaction, but still it was a potential lead.

    Nodding, Dyana slung the pan to one of the loops of her stillsuit's belt. Patting it with a smile, she walked over to the desk of the room, taking out some paper and a pen that was there. She sat down, frowning in concentration as she wrote a pair of lists. It took her several minutes but when she was done, she returned to Aya-Carolina with the paper. On one side was the ones she considered trustworthy, including the Residence/Security manager, most of the security staff, and a good portion of the Residence staff. On the other was the remaining Security staff and Residence staff, as well as some personnel that were casual staff, only there infrequently. Notably, all the Fremen that worked at the Residence were on the trustworthy side of the list.

    Aya gave an appreciative nod. Dyana had a good head on her, shame she had not been trained as a sister, she would have made a great addition to the Sisterhood. "I will keep that for now." she said simply "We will first go to the chief of security as you suggested." Aya did not say that she was going to test if he was being trustworthy, the list notwithstanding.

    Turning, Dyana headed for the door to the chamber. "Very good idea. And then he can have this room searched, the entire Residence, to see how and where the assassins got in and past Security." She opened the door, peering up and down the hall before she stepped out. Turning toward the left, "Down this way, the offices are in a back area of the Residence."

    As they walked down the hall, they passed several guards, most being Fremen. Subtle hand signs from Dyana had the men suddenly more alert, a pair falling in behind them as they headed for the offices. Glancing back at the two men, "I trust them with my life, they are Fremen from my own sietch." she told the Sister, seeing the skeptical look that hed been given when the men joined them.

    Aya ignored the praise, it meant nothing to a Bene Gesserit, so she simply nodded. "That is the plan." she managed a small smile for reassurance. She needed to keep the girl on her side. "Although I will have to be present during the investigation to make sure they don't trample anything." she did not add that also she was going to look if anyone was trying to cover the tracks.

    Aya noticed the hand signs and the change in the guards' attitude. Her reassurance did not mean as much as Dyana would have liked, but there was no point in antagonizing her. "Let's go then."

    Soon they had passed from the upscale part of the Residence into the back corridors. The two guards remained with them as they walked. Dyana had nodded at Aya-Carolina’s insistence that she be present for the investigation but had mostly stayed silent.

    She led the small group to a door set in the hall near what had to be the comms office for the Residence. In the distance the comms techs could be heard routing traffic for the building as she knocked on the door.

    A deep, gruff voice came from within, “Come in.”

    She opened the door, revealing the spartan office beyond, a tall, lean man sitting behind the desk. Stepping inside she nodded in respect, “Swordmaster Chiar, the Sister and I have something to report, an incursion by some foes. It may be best to let her describe what happened as I was mostly at the fringes of it, trying to stay alive.”

    Turning back to Aya-Carolina she gestured for the woman to enter, the two guards planting themselves on either side of the doorframe outside the room. “She has a good head on her shoulders, even if Shamir was seriously wounded in the attack.”

    Aya walked inside the room. She studied the Swordmaster. Interesting that no one else in the compound had even noticed that something had gone wrong and that there had been infiltrators. She was going to study that particular question as well. Aya gave a succinct account of what had transpired while maintaining her gaze on the man's face, checking his reactions to what has transpired.

    Chiar listened, keeping an impassive expression on his face as the Bene Geserrit gave her report. When she concluded, he gave a single nod, "As I expected." he said calmly. "What I did not expect was that the infiltrators would attack where they did instead of the House Legate's suite." His blue within blue eyes almost glittered as he met Aya-Carolina's, "I, and my people, have known of those secret passages for some time now. And had left only two routes unguarded, one to your chambers and one to the Legate's chambers."

    He sat back in his seat, the chair creaking as he did, "So my concern now, besides determining who these infiltrators are, is why they chose to attack where they did, rather than the 'bigger' target of the Legate."

    Aya was surprised by that revelation, but kept her cool. There was more to this than she knew. A legate is a legitimate target and the question raised was an interesting one. If only they had managed to capture at least one alive. "I would have preferred that you informed me of these passages." she said coolly. "But that is beside the point right now." Aya conceded "I will be present during the investigation of these routes, I am sure your people will benefit by having someone with my training."

    Chiar did nto respond to Aya-Carolina, not at first. Instead, his head turned, his deeply blue eyes regarding Dyana. She met his gaze levely, before giving one short, sharp nod. His head swivelled back to face the Sister. Responding as though he'd not ignored her, "Your assistance would be appreciated in this matter."

    Standing suddenly, his lean, muscular shape evident in the tightness of the stillsuit he wore. He pressed a call stud on the desk, "Send Mahmet and Tiar." he spoke when the voice on the other end inquired what he needed.

    Looking back up to Aya-Carolina, "My two best and, whether you care for their presence or not, you may consider them my right and left hands. They will meet you outside. I await the outcome of what you and they find."

    Aya said nothing at Chiar's attempt of power play. There was no place for pettiness right now. This whole affair had a peculiar stench to it that she wanted to unravel. There were more layers to the plot that she had considered at first. It seems she had been placed right in the middle of a game that had already started, the rules of which were unfamiliar to her. As were the players.

    "Of course." she gave a tight smile. Aya was also going to make a report for the Sisterhood as well. They needed to be made aware of the situation. She wondered what the Mother Superior's reaction will be. That way Aya would be able to gleam into the Sisterhood's role in the whole affair.

    Aya rose up "I take it, our meeting is at an end then." she looked at Chiar "Best to start the investigation before the trail runs cold."

    TAG: @darthbernael
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2022
  9. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Ike and Thufir and Glossu - a combo
    Feyd-Rautha be mentioned

    Ike was straining for the hint about the food, and he nearly missed the Uncle's boy-toy being mentioned. Ike stirred at that, and would have spoken up, but the moment passed and all Ike could add was a slight line of perspiration to his brow.

    Feyd-Rautha had done just what Ike would have done; seduced his way to the top. Why not? When you have a gross old man ruling a House, and you're a teen, and your target has a predilection for that... why not proffer that a few years of privation for decades of influence was a fair trade? Ike heard the slight sigh from the assassin, and realised Glossu was staring. The Mentat was eating, and so Ike wondered if he should just risk it. He had his fork collating pasta when Glossu spoke, thankfully interrupting him eating.

    “Perhaps we should invite in Count Fenring, his wife, and your fiancé. It is rude of me to offer you food but leave them waiting outside.”

    Ike hesitated, sure to ensure the food was near his mouth when he spoke, as if Glossu had interrupted him, not that he was reluctant to eat, and impugn the man's honour. "What a splendid idea. I had thought you preferred the more intimate gathering, as this is your private space, of course." He placed his fork on the plate. "Let me go get them."

    Bait, bluff, twist, turn. As he went to stand, he eyed Glossu. "By your leave, of course, sir." He leaned forward. "But I had intended to ask what one would need to offer to meet him, of course."

    If he turned it so Glossu insisted upon privacy, and was suitably distracted by his ploy - part-feint, part genuine desire to reach the higher and higher corridors of power - then he might multi-layer all of this and avoid the maybe-poisoned food...

    Glossu’s eyes had a glimmer in them as Ike lifted his fork to his mouth and then, if one wasn’t quick enough to see they wouldn’t, his lips turned down in a frown before he smiled once more. Nodding fractionally to Ike, “I knew the others were still outside. Hasimir’s handiwork is hard to ignore. That and making my own appraisal of the splendid young woman would be good to have.”

    He leaned back in his seat, “After all I am, perhaps, a better prospect for marriage so I should get to know her.” he said in a conversational tone regardless of the content of his words. “And a meal such as has been prepared would be wasted if the others did not join us.”

    Waving a hand as he turned back to Thufir, he gave tacit leave for Ike to admit the Fenrings and Trinnian. “What else has my uncle ordered you to advise me before his arrival?” he asked the Mentat as he waited for the man to take a breath between bites of his food.

    Thufir smiled widely, leaning on his cane. Rabban, you dolt, no wonder they call you beast. "Nothing, my lord," the old mentat said. "Let's commence with our distinguished guests!"

    Ike narrowed his eyes at Glossu at the idea of marriage... but perhaps Ike could marry higher. Higher than even Glossu?

    With a bow, he went for the door. "As requested."

    The door opened at his touch, the remaining guard looking relieved as he could see that those standing outside would be entering and he wouldn't be standing next to one of the premier assassins of the Imperium. Margot led Hasimir into the room, Trinnian moving over to Ike as she entered.

    As she reached him she noticed Glossu sitting there, the smile on his face, and the way he seemed to undress her with his eyes as they roved over her. She shivered slightly as she took Ike's hand. "He is..." she whispered before shivering slightly.

    Hasimir nodded to Thufir before turning to face Glossu, "na-Baron, the Emperor is..." he glanced at Margot, "how would you put it, dear?"

    Margot's smile was thin, "Shaddam is less than pleased at the missed quotas. I wouldn't be surprised if he attempted to take more direct control of the spice soon."

    Rabban chuckled, "Enough business, it is meal time, come join us. But, the Emperor does know the value of House Harkonnen, don't they Mentat?"

    Ike stepped close to Trinnian, and took her hand, ignoring her disquiet. "The na-Baron," Ike said, introducing her, squeezing her hand. "My fair lady, sir." He was effusing warmth so false it could be peeled.

    TAG: @darthbernael, @BobaMatt
  10. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Chosen One star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    A Combo with BobaMatt & Bernael!

    IC Randolpho Espanza & Mudze & Chok
    Imperial Testing Station

    The young man who apparently was the sietch leader that Mudze had pointed out earlier approached. “What can I do for you now?” he asked.

    Smilingy gently Randolpho nodded at the youth, "Yes! Tonight we bury our dead and share tales, where would be a good place for us to do so here? There will be much celebrating their memories by all who know of them, and all who love strong drink." he added with a knowing gaze.

    Mudze smiled. "Yes, the boy should be able to help us. What can possibly be said to commemorate the death of one such as Idaho? We more not just him, but also our brothers among the Atreides."

    Chok smiled as the two men treated him as an equal, not an awkward teenager. He looked around the hangar at all that was going on. "In the sietch we'd reclaim his water but it has been so long that isn't possible. What are the Atreides customs for a funeral. If it's a pyre, I know a hidden alcove not far from here that would keep that from being noticed by Harkonnen patrols. There are still some nonperishable food stores that could be opened to have a feast to celebrate his life, afterward, in one of the chambers here." his tone was slightly distant as he spoke, thinking about all what might be needed.

    Randolpho smiled gently at the lad with a smile and a glance at Mudze, "That would be good, that would be good. We burn our hero's. Ashes to ashes, scatter them on the breeze over the troubled waters, and feast and drink to their memory as we regale each other with tales of how great they were! Sometimes we don't even lie about the small stuff." he added with a shrug.

    Mudze clamped down on his impulse. "The Atreides inter their dead. In tombs, if possible, or under the ground. I've seen them. Beautiful, cut stone, on bluffs. To look at the corpse there's no water left - he's half a mummy by now. But we can do him the Atreides honor of putting his body in the ground. In Arrakeen, perhaps, if it's still safe. Unmarked. No need to draw attention."

    Chok looked back and forth between the two men. It seemed odd that they differed in what they said were the funerary customs of their people but he supposed offworlders had customs that varied from world to world. They hadn't spent such time here that they understood the need of conservation of absolutely everything. He shrugged, it would be better the Fremen way but the body had been there so long that he knew it was past the reclamation point, at least in such a way to return the man to the tribe.

    " and he should discuss which ritual you believe should be held. Either way I'm sure that we can do so. Taking him back to the city though..." he shivered. "If so, then please take a route that will not lead back to this place. The pigs are tricky and I do not want my home destroyed because of this."

    Randolpho nodded with a sigh at the other man, "Of course, I wasn't thinking of the high borne born with gold in their cradles." With a shrug he looked back at the kid that was the landlord here, "No need. He should get the higher honor. Let us enshrine his body in a tomb, leave a mark with his body so that someday perhaps he can be recognized when this conflict is done someday. . .he will have to lie somewhere here. We cannot risk a body or taking him home, that will be later."

    TAG: @darthbernael , @BobaMatt
    pashatemur and darthbernael like this.
  11. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, Fuego, Pyrofuego! star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Apr 15, 2019

    "Do you think I wish to cut off my right arm?"
    Paul Atreides, Dune​

    Salusa Secundus

    The orders went out from Kaitain, from the Palace to Salusa Secundus. Even as that set of orders were sent, a message was sent to the Spacing Guild, notifying the Guild that there would be higher than usual Imperium related traffic.

    Without disrupting the usual routing of the Heighliners, several made their stops at the prison planet. The Navigators on board ignored the insignias that adorned the frigates that rose from the surface of the planet, the insignias of every Great House and House Minor, excepting House Fenring and House Moritani. Each frigate was secured upon the Heighliner whose route would take it past the home planet of that House, before the Holtzman engines spun up and space above Salusa Secundus cleared once again.


    Across the Imperium

    In the usual dispatches that the Bene Gesserit Mother House sent to each Sister the wording of the dispatches contained a cypher, known only to the Sisterhood. But one cypher was not enough. The first code only gave directions to the Sister it addressed, where in the dispatch they would find the second cypher.


    Beware the new troops that have taken station in the House Residence, they are not household troops. They are beholden alone to the Emperor, and have been conditioned to resist our abilities. I leave it to your discretion whether to warn those closest to you.

    Reverend Mother Superior Harishka

    The word had gone out, now it remained what repercussions would occur from both the Reverend Mother Superior’s actions and those of the Emperor himself.


    Ishkal, House Ordos Landing Field/Palace

    The House Moritani frigate had departed Iypr with no more incident. Once in orbit it rendezvoused with a Heighliner, docking, and waiting for the vast ship to bring them to the next House that the Emperor had chosen for Hundro to visit. Once he and Sokanon had been given the opportunity to let the tension drain from them, after the events surrounding Memnon Thorvald, he let her know that they were headed for Ishkal.

    The flight was, with the Navigator folding space, short so it was only an hour after the frigate had docked that the docking clamps released them, allowing the frigate to depart and revealing the world below. In that time, Hundro and Sokanon had discussed House Ordo and how Memnon or even Vladimir Harkonnen might seem tame in comparison. The only interruption in that time had been when a courier had brought a message cylinder for Sokanon.

    Upon landing, the ramp touched down, Hundro guiding Sokanon, her still enrobed in the sensual garments he preferred, until they reached the base of it. His eyes were narrowed as he took in the House Ordo troops that stood as their honor guard and guides. Knowing the quality of their soldiers the troops had the look of that quality but there was something off about them, something that caused the hair on the back of the master assassin’s neck to stand on end.

    As they walked between the rows, his wariness only increased. A House Officer gave a smart salute, not even flinching when a quad of Moritani troops seemed to appear from out of the tarmac. He explained that a similar four man squad would accompany the two of them, that the Lady Galina had requested to meet with him before he met with her husband.

    Still wary, Hundro kept Sokanon close, noticing her own wariness and how it had heightened when she had seen the House troops waiting for them, allowing them to be guided into the Residence. Through cavernous halls the group walked, the House troops close by the pair, as wary of the Moritani troops that drifted in and out of the shadows as of anything else.

    When the pair was let into what had to be the Lady’s office, they found not just the Lady herself but another woman, both dressed in garments that he was sure was intended to draw the eye. However what did draw Hundro’s eye first was that there was a message cylinder that looked almost exactly as the one Sokanon had received in the standing woman’s hand.

    What else caught his eye was how the older, sitting woman’s eyes narrowed slightly as the younger, standing one cut off what she was saying as the door opened, admitting not just himself and Sokanon but the four House troops as well.

    Allowing a smile, false as it was, to cross his face, “Am I and my companion such threat that this is not to be a private meeting?”

    TAG: @pashatemur, @Mira Grau (Combo with GM, you both may do a little bit as your first response as a leadup to the conversation before Lady Galina responds to Hundro)


    Sietch Tabr, Training Salle

    Aratt’s eyes were bright as he basked in the raging emotions that swirled around the training salle. At the center of that whirlwind of noise and emotion was his mentor, Naveed, his wife Taina, and the man who had been his last opponent, Zafim. The Fedaykin surrounded the trio, chanting both of the men’s names as well as 'ya hya chouhada'.

    He was just outside the center ring of Fedaykin that surrounded the trio so he was able to see what occurred next, whether the others saw or not.

    Removing his hand wraps, Zafim pulled his chrysknife from his belt, slicing it quickly across his left palm, drawing a thin line of blood that coagulated almost as soon as it was exposed to air. The man reached out, taking Naveed’s left hand, doing the same before doing the same to Taina’s left palm, even to her slight surprise. He wrapped her palm, as her coagulation factor was not yet as quick as that of the Fremen, before he brought his fist enclosed blade to his chest in a salute, blue within blue eyes locked on Naveed’s.

    “My blade is yours, brother.” he said in a quiet, firm voice.

    It was shortly after that the Salle began to empty. A commotion outside caused many of the Fremen, Fedaykin or not, to filter out. Along the corridor passed the stilted crow in appearance, shroud draped waterbearers, carrying their burdens to be relieved of their water.

    The fighters drifted after the shapes, others headed back up the corridor to discover where the bodies had come from. A subtle cough alerted Naveed, causing him to turn his head in the direction the waterbearers had first appeared.

    A weary Stilgar, looking as though he’d been in a very rough fight, leaned against the wall of the corridor. Holding up a hand, “I’m fine, but we just had some trouble. That and,” his hand dipped, to a pouch by his belt. When his fingers emerged from it, they held a long, thin strip of flashpaper.

    His piercing blue eyes turned to Taina, “Apologies but we knew your Sisterhood would try to contact you at some point and they did. They, however, have encoded whatever they sent in a code we haven’t translated yet.” he said as he held out the slip to her.

    Eyes turned back to Naveed, a slight touch of sorrow in them. “I have his assurances he will not, but…the younger fighters are demanding Mua’dib call me out for command of the tribe.” he told his fellow Fedaykin in a quiet tone.

    TAGS: @Adalia-Durron, @greyjedi125 (Combo with GM)


    Governor’s Residence, Carthage, Arrakis

    The remainder of the meal passed with no true incident. Subtly nuanced threat and counterthreat was the order of the discussion. No open violence among those present but the edge of tension remained, allowing the older Mentat to learn even more about the young Ike as well as his fiance apparent Trinnian.

    The meal was already winding down when a servant was admitted, whispering a few words to the na-Baron before she scurried over to Thufir, at a nod from Glossu. In his ear she whispered once more, “The Baron has arrived, he is awaiting your presence.”

    With a dismissive wave of his hand, Glossu let Thufir leave. Still recovering from receiving the antidote in his food, Thufir walked slowly down the corridors of the residence. New guards had been posted, he noted, not ones he’d vetted himself. They seemed more professional and battle ready than the standard gutter scraps that the Harkonnen troops tended to be, which aroused his suspicions.

    By the time he arrived at the suite the Baron had taken, his Mentat faculties had worked out just what the troops had to be, which did nothing to allay his suspicions. The guards on the door allowed him entry immediately, leading him into a dim office. In the low light he saw the large form of the Baron behind the desk.

    Glowglobes slowly increased in intensity to reveal a hungry smile on the Baron’s face. “The Emperor is playing right into my hands, as Leto did before.”

    TAG: @BobaMatt (combo with GM possible)


    Governor’s Residence, Carthage, Arrakis

    The remainder of the meal passed with no true incident. Subtly nuanced threat and counterthreat was the order of the discussion. No open violence among those present but the edge of tension remained, quite often fueled both by Ike’s own double edge comments as well as Fenring’s obvious distaste for Glossu himself. Near the end of the meal, a servant entered, a short, whispered discussion with both Glossu and Thufir, and the dismissal of the Mentat.

    It was only a short time later that Rabban decided to retire for the evening, leaving the Fenrings, Ike, and Trinnian to find their way from his office to their own lodgings. Once they had left the office, Margot wished Ike and Trinnian a good evening with a smile before leading Hasimir away down a corridor, deeper into the residence.

    There being a Moritani residence in Carthag, Ike and Trinnian departed the Governor’s residence, walking through the evening quiet, broken only by the sounds of Harkonnen squads doing their nightly rounds. That was, until a robe wrapped youth darted up, pressing a pair of small slips into the young woman’s hands. He disappeared as fast as he’d appeared, without a word.

    She held them clasped in her hands, feeling the ridges of one that told her it was from the Sisterhood, telling Ike that she’d read them when they arrived at his residence. A short walk later and the doors of the residence closed behind them. Walking over to a glowglobe near the entrance, she swiftly read both slips. The only sign of what she’d read was the tensing of her shoulders.

    When she returned to his side, “Interesting news, my dear fiance. Shall we go see your new office and I’ll tell you there?”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth (Combo with GM)


    Ginaz Residence

    The meeting broke up after Chiar summoned the two investigators. Dyana stayed near Aya-Carolina as they exited the office, greeting the two Fremen who had joined the two guards outside. The two had a look that reminded Aya-Carolina of Sisters who held the same type of position, hardened and observing everything.

    The walk back to her quarters was quiet. The only disruption was when a tall officer brushed past the six of them, seemingly heading for Chiar’s office. The man’s demeanor was arrogant, powerful, a different feel to those of the Ginaz officers that had met the transport that had brought her to Arrakis. A sense of death hung over the man, which caused quiet whispers to pass between the five Fremen.

    Reaching her quarters she would be relieved to see that nothing had been disturbed, even the wall hanging that had fallen when the assassins had disappeared was still askew on its hanging frame. As the investigators began to walk through the space, noting the damage and the furniture that had been tossed aside as the battle had taken place, a knock sounded on the door, in a basic code the Sisters had developed.

    Answering the door revealed a young girl, the aura of an initiate of the Sisterhood clung to her. She pressed a message cylinder into Aya-Carolina’s hand with a small bow before turning and vanishing down the corridor. With a quick flick of her fingers the cylinder was opened, letting her read the coded message inside. Stepping back into her quarters she saw that Dyana had made the two investigators pause their search, knowing that the Sister would want to see all they did.

    The teen Fremen could see the look in Aya-Carolina’s eyes, from what the message had held. “Does that help with knowing who it was that attacked us?” she asked cautiously.

    TAG: @TheAdmiral (Combo with GM)


    Guild Bank, Carthag, Arrakis

    A young Guild Navigator attendant walked briskly down the sterile black marble of a corridor of the Guild Bank. This deep in the building the heat of the day outside did not penetrate and, with the color of the marble, caused the feel and appearance of deep space to surround the young man. In his hand he carried a message cylinder, addressed to one of the first stage Navigators stationed at the Bank.

    Very few people walked the corridors, the Guild was managed to a strict schedule and efficiency. Which gave the young man plenty of time to think about the fragments of the message he’d seen as it had been printed and secured in the cylinder. But the decision as to what that message boded rested with the Navigator to which it was addressed.

    Reaching the Navigator’s office he rapped sharply, in a seemingly uneven cadence. After a couple moments, which allowed the person within to work out the knocks, a warbling “Enter.” coming from the speaker by the door was the reply to his knocks. He opened the door, taking a moment with the weight of it, almost that of a vacuum proof hatch that would be installed on a Heighliner. That same weight resisted as he shut it behind him, also shutting out any noise.

    “Sir, there is news.” the attendant said as he approached the desk and the person behind it. Laying the cylinder on the desk, he stepped back, waiting. A hand, fingers longer and thinner than that of a stock human, reached out and took the cylinder from the desk. Manipulating the lock upon it, they opened it, rheumy seeming eyes scanning the message quickly.

    The Navigator looked up, “You know the import of this message I take it.” came out in the same warble that had sounded from the speaker. The attendant simply nodded in reply. Setting the message and cylinder on the desk, the long fingers pressed several buttons on a transmitter. A slight hiss sounded and the fingers tapped out a message, Return to the Carthag Guild Bank immediately, the timetable has been advanced.

    Those same eyes looked up to the attendant when the message was sent, “Prepare for his arrival.”

    TAG: @BobaMatt (Single)


    Imperial Testing Station

    The funeral had been held after the blazing sun set, the two moons giving enough light that the spice crew was able to carry the desiccated body from the testing station, up a narrow, natural path in the rocks. The path had led to a series of caverns, ranging in size from too small for a human to big enough to be considered a house. Chok had guided them, Randolpho, and Mudze to one that was perfect for a burial chamber.

    It had been a quite, somber affair as they laid the body to rest, a pair of Harkonnen blasters taking the place of the corpses of the body’s foes resting by the body’s feet. And then an hour’s work to create a barrier of rock that would seal the body inside. As they finished, Mudze comm vibrated on his belt, drawing him away from the others. By the time the crew, Randolpho, and Chok returned to the testing station Mudze was not to be seen, having told one of the crew that had remained behind that he had business to attend to.

    Chok had, once again, led the others to one of the larger rooms where what food they could muster of the supplies was laid out as a feast to celebrate the life of the man they had just laid to rest. The party, which included some homemade brew, as thin and vile as it was, lasted most of the evening. When morning dawned, Chok had rejoined them, from the quarters he shared with his siblings.

    “As thanks and to show our appreciation, I know of a spice patch, not too distant, that should prove of high value to you. I can show you, if you wish.”

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto (combo with GM)
  12. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 21, 2004
    IC: Sister Na'die, Kanti-Sokanon, Viscount Hundro Moritani, Lady Galina of House Ordos, and Sister Cassandra

    Location: House Ordos, Ishkar

    Her commitment had been made the day her father died. All of Sokanon's childhood lessons, the stories of the ancestors, the gathering of the people and their various journeys to a vast garden in the old world, all the spirits, the creation of the Universe, the wheel of return, her solo hunting and survival-to all these she listened in wrapped attention. Her eyes followed his gestures and movements, noting every small adjustment as his visage and body reflected subtly his feeling and sensing, what he meant to convey and what he did not "say." She was attuned exquisitely, because she loved him and she felt his love and care for her and for the people in the new world. But now the "Human Beings" were the immigrants.

    They that claimed the new world did not live there, but came to gather resources and energy. Water, was chief among the "Zensunni Wanderers'" needs. The "Human Beings" came to live in harmony with the new world as they had in the one before the "White Walkers" came and destroyed the land, the old world, the only habitable world in a small and remote system. Dying, the world erupted in an impossible war where everyone lost. The "White Walkers", holding much of the world's wealth and a claim to an imagined superiority that lead to the impossible war, left early, leaving the husk of a once vital world to the other peoples. In the end, the Human Beings left the destroyed garden to burn and yield itself to the great "Wheel of Return."

    Traveling a long and difficult path, her people found Rossak at great loss. This journey made the "Human Beings" appreciate all the more what had been lost to them and now was seemingly found.

    Many centuries passed before the "Wanderers" came and swept down upon the "Human Beings" with knives and daggers, their wild blue eyes burning a soulless flame.

    Her father had told her the Zensunni claimed their own grief and victimhood and thus felt righteous in their victimhood and therefore excused themselves for all manner of brutality just as had her own people. The early settlers eventually made a fragile peace that often the "Wanderers" broke sometimes only to train their warriors.

    Yet the "Zensunni Wanderers'' were gone sometimes nearly a century before returning and each time there was war and talking and bloodshed. Though no bloodshed compared to that which the Imperium brought down upon them when the world was claimed-yes, once again, by the "White Walkers!" (Sokanon wondered that the name was taken from a popular story of far ranging fantasy and gore beloved at the dawn of a tumultuous time on Earth when the whites believed the colorful people sought to replace them. This was a common thread that continued to this day, this neurotic fever that seemed to be in the marrow of some that they must own and rule all or they would disappear and cease to be relevant.) What a sad existence!

    Kanti-Sokanon trembled. The environmentals in the frigate were adjusting to prepare for their decoupling from the Heighliner. The last of the cooling air was expelled like condensing breath in a winter chill and it caused a momentary current. She watched as the current sent the tail end of the coiled message aloft before she snuffed the flame and char between her palms and brushed away the soot in a bowl for that purpose.

    Escorted from stateroom to Iskar to conveyance and then House Ordos, Sokanon tapped out the gist of the Mother Suprerior's message and her concern upon Hundro's forearm as they were conveyed. It gave them no time to confer. But now he knew that Mohiam, Shaddam's Bene Gesserit oracle, had conveyed this information to Harishka. Surely the Emperor knew and depended upon this being the case! And surely, each Sister would see to the security of her charge should that have been an explicit charge or one understood. Though Sokanon had no specific mandate, she understood it to be so and she had decidedly become attached.

    Time yielded them only a moment for a meaningful glance and a nod in understanding. Now, how to prepare...and what the scope and purpose if not to negate or indeed neutralize the power of the Bene Gesserit and thus remove any edge a house might have... Quell this disturbance. You are more than this instance! "A Human Being only loses choice when believing themselves robbed of it, my daughter!" She entered prana.

    Now, standing in the presence of the two uncommonly beautiful women, Sister Nadie at once recognised in the bearing and comportment, a sister Bene Gesserit and the other women, Lady Galina, one proud and certain of her acumen and, yes, superiority. This was a pairing. Scent spoke volumes! Human Beings were well practiced in quiet stance and tracking, and Sokanon kept her hands beneath her veil, and gestures calm and poised. Owl and bear balanced her. Peripherally watching for a sign from the other Bene Gesserit, Sokanon took note of the lithesome sister standing next to the Lady.

    TAG: @Mira Grau, @darthbernael
  13. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    Governor’s Residence, Carthage, Arrakis - a combo with the GM

    Ike tried to keep a lower profile for the rest of the meal; he had pushed his boundaries as far as he could, and it wouldn't take much of a shift to have him crushed by the power he was pressed up against. Similarly, if he didn't deliver the Spice... he needed to spend more time on the ground, not politicking, he absently knew, touching his phantom eye. Between Fenring, Glossu and Thufir, who seemed to have lapsed into his age and grown silent... Rabban was done shortly after, and that left Ike, Trinnian and the Fenrings.

    They were shortly free of the Fenrings - with heavy hints that joint proclivities were not off the table - and they could walk, perhaps enjoy each others company. Ike was going to suggest they retire when a pair of slips were wordlessly passed to Trinnian, and Ike tensed.

    The Sisterhood?

    It could be nothing but.

    The true rulers of the Empire, it was whispered.

    Walking over to a glowglobe near the entrance, she swiftly read both slips. The only sign of what she’d read was the tensing of her shoulders.

    When she returned to his side, “Interesting news, my dear fiance. Shall we go see your new office and I’ll tell you there?”

    "My new office?" He arched an eyebrow.

    Has something been moved, to reveal my way?

    Trinnian let out a trilling laugh. "Fiance mine, have you forgotten already? You are the Legate of the Moritani here, which means the Legate's office in the Moritani compound is now yours. And is possibly," she glanced around, eyes furtive, "is possible one of the more secure spaces on the planet." she finished in a whisper.

    Ike pressed a hand to his face briefly, and tried to centre himself. "Sorry, the corridors of power were so inviting I nearly forgot all that I had achieved today." He breathed between his fingers, and lowered his hand, smiling genuinely. He hadn't really intended to show his real self to Trinnian, but she was so... perky. Warm, rather.

    "I wonder if the office has a boudoir..." A quirk to his expression. "But a desk will do."

    Trinnian grinned at Ike's comment. "No idea, I've not been to the Moritani compound before. I'm just sure the Legate has to have an office." She took his hand, leading him through the Governor's Residence. When they emerged into the night air, it was mostly quiet, except for the static sound of the Residence shields.

    She guided him, not sure that he'd been to the Moritani compound himself, in the time he'd been there. Around them the silence remained, making her wonder if he had a secret bodyguard that was keeping people away from them. After all, they were allied with the people that had been making life hard for the citizens of this desert world.

    She sighed in relief once they entered the gates of the Moritani compound, leaning against his side. "Now, why don't we find out if they have that boudoir you hope is there. And then I can tell you what this message says."

    Ike smiled at her slightly, not having noticed the lack of people present, whereas he should have really been hypersensitive for his watcher. But he was tired, it had been a long day, and presently all that was keeping his interest was the message... and Trinnian, of course.

    He squeezed her hand, linked arms with her, and walked through.

    He really should have wondered as to security measures on his gates, and perhaps even who he had replaced, but Ike wanted his message... and his prize.

    Trinnian smiled, sighing happily as she felt Ike pressed closely against her side. She'd not noticed the lack of people, or rather she assumed that the Moritani had responded and were guarding the two of them as they had walked through the city and even now as they entered the Residence. Once the doors shut behind them an older retainer in the uniform of the House appeared as though from nowhere. His appearance made her squeak and press closer to Ike for a moment.

    The man, still well built, lean and strong, made her appraisal of him come to the conclusion that he was a, now retired, former assassin of the House. Her face went slightly pale as he spoke, welcoming them to the Residence. He bowed to Ike, the Residence already aware of the change of Legate. With a sweep of his arm, he guided them through the Residence, which she was noticing was built differently to other buildings in the city. Where the Governor's Residence was open, airy, and imposing, this building was full of narrower corridors, with odd bends to them, giving the spaces nooks and crannies that could hide anything or anyone.

    Eventually they were brought to a central space, from a guess fo the size of the building that she had seen from the outside, that was in the middle of the building. The man ushered them through a door, closing it behind them, leaving them alone again. She looked around, letting her Bene Geserrit training come to the fore as she took it all in. They were in a lower ceilinged but spacious room. It had the look of a lounge, which made her wonder what the other three doors of the space led to. She suspected, once she'd looked around, that this was the Legate's quarters as well as office. Which meant one of the doors led to that office, the others presumably led to the bedroom and bathroom.

    Ignoring the small kitchen space to their right, she led Ike to the pair of large couches that flanked a fireplace which had an already lit fire in it. "I think, I believe, we are alone here but if you wish to make sure for yourself please do. I'll reread the message I have so I am sure of what it means, before we talk about it." she said to him in a soft voice, leaning close, kissing his cheek.

    Ike eyed the assassin speculatively. The lack of staff was telling, but he would have needed a purge of the current employees to weed out the loyalists to the former Legate, Sisterhood spies, or Emperor's tools, so he appreciated that the assassin had cleared house.

    Efficiency; he did so approve of it, after his bumbling crew of spice runners...

    The room was interesting enough, and he had opted to trust the assassin at this point; he'd be dead otherwise. "Reread, Trinnian." His voice was clipped, because he realised just how much power he had, and she wasn't anything to him in this moment.

    Trinnian grinned at the tone that Ike used. He was already sliding into the role of Legate, not that of the spice runner she'd been told he'd been prior to that. But he had more to learn in the meantime and she would make sure she was there by his side to guide him as he allowed, and as his power grew.

    She unrolled the cylinder, reading the message and then a trilling laugh came from her. "I see part of why things are or have been quiet. Although it doesn't explain the silence here in your Residence." She cleared her throat, her tone taking on that of a herald of sorts, leaving off the header and signature, Beware the new troops that have taken station in the House Residence, they are not household troops. They are beholden alone to the Emperor, and have been conditioned to resist our abilities. I leave it to your discretion whether to warn those closest to you.

    She turned to face him, her eyes piercing, "I have not yet received further correspondence, therefore anyone not vetted by the Viscount I would take as suspect, especially if they are new. The Emperor seems to be playing a dangerous game, now." She shivered, knowing what those troops had to be, "Which now makes me suspect any that have been sent by the Ordos to protect us both, under the contract my father requested."

    Ike's eyes flashed. The Emperor himself, watching him?

    He filed away whatever else she said for later wondering, but for the moment, the thrill of matching wits with the Emperor and the other political savants of the Empire, that enticed him. It made him mischievous; ornery, even.

    Souring his face in mock frustration, he stepped closer to Trinnian, his height drawn up fully. "What a mire. It makes me wonder what best use of our time would be, my dear." He placed a hand on her upper arm, looped his thumb around it, and began to lead her, eyes hungry.

    He had power, he was power, and he would use that power on her.

    They would create a dynasty, the two of them; they would threaten the Empire itself.

    TAG: darthbernael
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  14. Adalia-Durron

    Adalia-Durron WNU/Costume/Props/EUC Mod. star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 3, 2003
    IC Naveed and Taina - thank you to @greyjedi125 and @darthbernael

    Listening, Taina could see the passion, the resolve and the determination in Naveed's expression and his eyes. She understood it and more and more she was understanding that the Fremen were not the enemy, everything they possessed had been fought for, everything they wanted was basic and fundamental, all they believed was fair and just. This was their world and it had been invaded, for a brief moment she felt as just that, an invader, but let that thought go as fast as it had arrived. There had been few times in her life where she felt she fitted in, her times on the streets as a child had made her an outcast, the sisters had welcomed her, but now she felt a connection, not just a place.

    Looking away to the ground, her fist curled around the message, knowing she had to find somewhere private to decipher and read it, and soon. It would not have been this obvious unless it was important.

    As Naveed checked him for any wounds, Stilgar allowed a small smile to cross his face. His friend and former student’s concern was evident. He could see Taina and the concern on her face. As he clasped forearms with Naveed, his hawk eyes turned on Zafim, “You have sworn yourself to Naveed and Taina. Guard the door to the training salle, I believe what she just received she may need privacy to digest.”

    The fremen warrior saluted, moving in front of the door, “Sayyidina, the room is empty, I will allow none to enter until you are ready.” Aratt began to protest but stilled himself at a look from the large warrior.

    Stilgar chuckled at the scene, his attention turning back to Naveed, “I see your ‘family’ has grown. I believe that is a good thing, brother.” His expression stilled slightly, “There will be a great meeting this evening, I would have you and yours stand by my side as,” he glanced at Taina for a moment, lowering his voice until it was barely audible even to Naveed as he moved his lips by Naveed’s ear, “As Usul has asked to speak to the sietch.”

    Taina gave a single nod, "your consideration and privacy offer is appreciated, thank you." A glanced at Naveed before turning and moving to the area to read. Once there she unwrapped the message, it was coded, but a code she was reasonably familiar with so it took a minute or two to decode it.

    Drawing in a deep breath, she let it out slowly, the information was clearly to tell her, and her alone what the state of affairs was, not to be shared. The Sisterhood would want that information to be kept to her alone, in fact she believed if asked, they'd be inclined to tell her to encourage the Freman to retreat, the time was all wrong.

    Could she do that?

    They'd taken her in, she'd battled the desert with him. Him. He was the key to this as with even trying that much, Naveed had gotten under her skin and this was a new experience for her. So long she'd managed to never allow anyone into her world and yet, there he was, in it.

    Biting her lip she considered her options, and decided she needed to speak to him alone, quietly, just them. She wasn't exactly sure what to tell him, if anything at all, time was needed, but sadly that was in short supply. Turning she returned the men, "I would ask that I speak to my husband alone please?" She requested ever so slightly surprised at how easily the word 'husband' slipped off her tongue.

    Stilgar smiled at Taina and her question before he released his clasp with Naveed. "Lieutenant, attend your wife." he said, in an almost jovial tone. "We will await you here, outside the salle."

    With a nod, he silently gathered Aratt and Zafim, stepping several paces away from the portal to the salle.

    “Attend my wife. Right…”

    Naveed blinked. He hadn’t realized that in a span of seconds, his mind had drifted into a stream of varying thoughts. Some were conflicting, while others were hopeful. He smiled apologetically to Stilgar, then nodded respectfully, before he turned.

    As he passed both Aratt and Zafim, the Fedaykin Lieutenant exchanged brotherly ‘fist bumps’ with his young charge and the large warrior. Unsurprisingly, his body suddenly took opportunity to remind him how sore he was from his recent match- and what a match it had been.

    Though that moment’s jubilation had been soured by news of the Sardukar, all signs seemed to point towards rapid change, war - and prophecy.

    Naveed took unhurried steps towards Taina, who stood to one side of the salle as the others exited the room. A deep centering breath is taken by the rugged Lieutenant as he comes to stand next to his wife. His blue on blue eyes take her in, beholding her entire person, wordlessly taking in the wonder of her being- the mystery of her very existence.

    Though a meeting had been called, it was critical that they share this moment alone.

    Naveed’s expression softened was he sought her countenance and her eyes.

    “What words have you for me, my wife. Please tell me.”

    He spoke these words as if he had known her for a thousand, thousand years- despite the fact they yet had so much to discover about each other; but time? That was another matter.

    Glancing at her hand where the message lay, Taina was more certain now of her need to share the information contained in it. "I have word, from the Reverend Mother non the less, it tells of information that may or may not assist the Fremen." She stepped a little closer, "it seems the Emperor has moved his own troops into the House Residence. They replace the house guards and I have been told they are condition to resist those like myself. Loyal to the Emperor, I fear it is not only the Fremen he is attempting to.....destroy." The last word was her own, but she felt it was the Emperors goal, to remove all resistance good or bad from Arrakis. Reaching her hand over, she rested it on his forearm, "I wish this to help the Fremen, nothing more."

    She knew by the look in his eyes, what she had revealed was vital, and despite the fact she'd been conditioned to never share such things, Taina knew she'd just done the right thing.

    Without warning, he suddenly took her in his arms, and the lurch in her chest was obvious to her but she said nothing as he leaned his head against hers. Safe, she felt safe. Taina had never desired that feeling, being able to take care of herself for all her life, but at that moment it was what she felt. Then she felt it, he'd kissed her, a sign of affection? She did not know, but as she'd placed her hands on his chest, she curled her fingers slightly applying pressure as she held her breath. A moment, one she did not want to end.

    Then it did as he withdrew, gripping her shoulders with a question. Taina nodded, "yes I do, I would have it no other way."

    Naveed smiled softly and gently at his wife, feeling grateful for her. More than anything, he wished to grow to cherish her, the way she deserved to be cherished.

    Slowly, he let go of her shoulder, then his hand took hers in his.

    “We must join the others. The assembly has been called.”

    He knew that she was already aware of this, yet he spoke the words just the same. Turning, her hand still in his, Naveed walked towards the training salle entrance with his wife, to join Stilgar and the others, even as he mentally prepared for what was to come next.

    She had made her choice, she knew it, and now as she was being guided by the hand, Taina knew it was here with Naveed. She'd never had someone listen to her, respect her and take every word she spoke seriously. Not someone who wasn't of the order at least, it was a new feeling, a good one.

    TAG Anyone
  15. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Chosen One star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Randolpho Espanza - A Combo with Darth Bernael
    Imperial Testing Station

    When morning dawned Randolpho was sitting bleary eyed as he stared at a small breakfast container of hydrated slush. Contemplating his life choices on coming to this world when an unexpected face joined the breakfast, Chok had rejoined them, from the quarters he shared with his siblings.

    “As thanks and to show our appreciation, I know of a spice patch, not too distant, that should prove of high value to you. I can show you, if you wish.” Chok offered.

    "Thank you. That will be appreciated. I'll have to check if the men are ready to work, a lot of them probably aren't as spry today." Randolpho replied with a weak smile, noting his own lethargy at the start of this new day.

    Nodding, Chok smiled softly before he walked over to the table that held food and a coffee urn. He poured himself a cup, heaping his plate.

    The team lead walked over to Randolpho, one hand rubbing his forehead, "Better get some coffee before he drains the urn, boss." he muttered, setting the mug of coffee he had down on the table. "And, did he say something about a rich spice patch?" he muttered, trying not to shake his head. "Doubt my team will be ready until almost noon."

    Nodding at the man Espanza affirmed the comment about a spice patch, and accepted the delay in the men being ready. "If that is still a safe time to mine the spice, I think we cannot afford to pass it up." Pulling out a flask of what was definitely not coffee he took a small swig before putting it away. "If the kid is on the truth, he will have more than earned the rest of the coffee." he stated wry smirk at the man's concern.

    The crew chief chuckled, "Most of this food is his, we haven't touched our stores yet but he's eating like he's not seen food in weeks." Hooking a thumb at the largest of their crew, "Last night, while we were all drinking he ate Akin under the table."

    He glanced back at Randolpho, "I'll let the crew know and we'll enact strict water protocols, make sure they keep drinking, at that hour." Seeing Chok headed back with a heaping plate and his coffee, "I do hope he's right, we could use a good break."

    "Good! Good." Chuckling at the chief's words he nodded at the returning lad, "Well, perhaps we should have Akin and our kind hosts checked by medical? Make sure neither of them has a tape worm or something! Eating Akin under the table and still a glutton for punishment the next morning?" Espanza shook his ruefully as he smiled happily at their host.

    Seeing the smile Chok returned it. "To be fair I did see him put away about a third his bodyweight in alcohol before he challenged me."

    He set the plate down on the table, sipping his coffee. Nodding politely at the chief, "When I show you where the spice is you'll have to be careful, it's near a large field of drum sand."

    The chief nodded in return, the boy was young but the way these Fremen were he could have been in battle for a few years already and, given the signs of the place, he probably had fought here too, with his parents, against the Harkonnen. "And how do we know the Harkonnen do not know where it is?" trying to keep sharpness out of his tone, as he rubbed the back of his head.

    Chok merely grinned in reply.

    "We don't." Espanza cut in coldly. Laughing and foolery were good for moral and his own soul, but survival was better. "That is why we wait for later in the day when the men have recovered, I don't want to go in without everyone being sharp. For worms and Harkonnen."

    Chok eyed Randolpho, digging into the mound of food. The man had a cunning mind and that was a good thing out here. Gesturing with his fork, doing so with the knife would have been bad, he thought, with hungover militaristic men, "You do have one thing going for you, someone showed you how to wear a stillsuit desert fashion. Which tells me some sietch thought enough of you to show you."

    "Yes." he replied as his smile slipped back onto his face. "Anything special we need to prepare for this little oasis at the edge of the drum sands?" deflecting from who and how long he had known anything of the sort.

    "Do you have thumpers?" Chok asked around a mouthful of food. "If not, then keep your spotters sharp, one step on the drum and...the worms...will come. Otherwise, it's relatively out of line of sight of most patrols and the pigs don't often go where it is."

    Espanza looked at his crew chief, raised an questioning eyebrow. He was more the big picture kind of hired guy. "Understood." Hopefully they had whatever those things were. The words of often in regards to the pigs made him uneasy, but they couldn't afford to pass this up.

    Catching the look from the boss the chief shrugged, "Sounds like something to draw sandworms away but I don't think we have any. I'll go see if any of our men who've been here longer know." With another nod at both Randolpho and Chok, he began to circulate the room, asking still hungover crew if they knew what the kid had been talking about.

    Chok watched him walk off, "So, spotters for you then. My parents didn't leave any thumpers or I'd offer. Still will have to be fast, just the sound of your machines on the sand will eventually draw a worm."

    "Unfortunately so, but we have the flyers to keep an eye. I like to stay up in one myself. Put me on rock or put me on the air. Sand is no place for a blade to dance." Espanza replied as he watched the chief make his rounds. "Nobody said this life was safe, and if they did they were a fool or a liar."

    Polishing off the last of the food on his plate, Chok nodded, his blue within blue eyes bright, "Sounds almost like a true Fremen." He sipped from his coffee again before he suddenly glanced at the door, "Excuse me, I need to get breakfast to my sibs. When you're ready just knock on the door where we're staying."

    "It'll not be until afternoon. I'll see you then." he nodded the young lad away. Well, this would be an interesting day. With that he rose and decided to see about settling his stomach with food to chase the hair of the dog through his system.

    TAG: @darthbernael
  16. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 21, 2004
    OOC: Part I of a Combo with GM, @darthbernael, @Mira Grau, and @pashatemur (double post GM-approved)

    IC: Sr. Cassandra, Lady Galina Ordos, Viscount Hundro Moritani and Sr. Na'die, Kanti-Sokanon
    LOCATION: Ishkal, House Ordos, Lady Ordos’ study

    Cassandra was a bit surprised to see another Bene Gesserit sister with the envoy. It had been quite a while since she had direct contact with another member of her sisterhood and it certainly wasn't something she enjoyed, when she talked to her sisters she could usually see the unspoken scolding, feel the mistrust and disdain in the other woman's scent and body language. And yet... as she looked at her sister, she wondered if she had seen her before. There was a memory, something in the back of her mind.

    For a moment she gave them a pleasant smile, stretching herself a bit in her robe so her bare, toned stomach and her long muscular arms and legs would be emphasized. For a moment her smile grew into a grin as she remembered at how upset several of her sisters had been about how well 'endowed' they were developing, but Cassandra had never cared much about it, knowing that despite her rather modest bosom she had other qualities to draw in the eyes of men and women.

    As she thought back to her youth for a moment, she remembered what she knew about this other sister. She didn't remember her name, but she had been quite a prankster in her youth, another troublemaker like Cass, which probably explained why they had never properly met, the sisters superior would have done their utmost to keep them from teaming up to cause even more mischief.

    A second later she remembered the message in her hand and her first impulse was to try and hide it, but that would have drawn even more attention to it, so she kept it casually in her hand, as if it didn’t contain any sensible or secret information. Cass noticed that Galina easily followed her lead. She had fought hard with herself whether she should reveal the contents of the message to Galina, as she was still angry about Galina´s little stunt.

    But ultimately she had decided that this was a message of greater importance and possible danger. And after what had happened to the Atreides, Cass wasn't one to take risks on a petty grudge. Her allegiance to the sisterhood didn't save sister Jessica in the end...

    However, she had barely given Galina the news when the newcomers had entered. Any deeper discussion of the issue had to wait until a later time.

    Instead, Cass now focused on her sister, the cylinder in her right hand. She used her left to sign, 'welcome sister, glad to see a pretty face amongst our guests for once.' It was an open message, more a jest than anything, but it was an opening that would allow her to test the waters and to see with whom she was dealing.

    Galina looked up at the lithe, well-dressed man who had entered, the woman at his side she could see that Cassandra had recognized but one who caused one of her perfectly sculpted eyebrows to arch, seeing the emblem of House Moritani tattooed on her abdomen. Her eyes flicked back to the man, realizing she could see the signs of a well capable man poised on the edge of violence.

    Sitting back, one hand reached out, trailing down the outer curve of the nearer of Cassandra's thighs, a thin smile crossed her face. "Viscount Moritani...for shame. You and I both know, with the recent troubles that the Houses have faced, security must be paramount."

    He snorted, glancing at the four guards with a keen eye before turning back to face Galina, his arm around Sokanon's waist tightening imperceptibly. "I do not question the need for guards." he began, before a similar smile to Galina's crossed his face, "Merely why guards of such....obvious quality are required."

    The casual exchanges and discrete signaling conveyed in various shades an awareness that each of the four understood the threatening ruse of Shaddam IV’s “tools in fancy dress” of the House. Sokanon noted how the guards seemed burgeoning in their Ordos Uniforms. Arrogance was an occupational hazard these otherwise highly trained warriors could not avoid. Their checked menace was palpable in the intimate space of the Lady Ordos’ study and put a damper on the welcome meeting of a fellow Sister, especially one so storied a great warrior Sr. Cassandra. Her well-trained body proved the reputation true.

    "Lady," said Sokanon,” addressing the Ordos noble woman and giving a slight bow to both Galina and Sr. Cassandra and in rising, to her fellow Bene Gesserit, a brief smiling glance and a tacit acknowledgement of Sister Cassandra's refreshing signalled and nuanced “words” of greeting. Sokanon replied in kind, ‘Well met, Sister! An honor to meet you and clearly an honor to us that four such fierce faces are required to “attend” us!’

    Her eyes lowered, Sokanon observed that her long veil trailed the floor and rested on the boot of the guard to her right. An opportunity presented itself to acclimate the guards and test to what level of ‘fierceness’ the guards were wound.

    Hip pressed to Hundro's thigh, Sakonan stretched inconspicuously to her right in hopes of giving Hundro a sign of her intention.

    Cassandra kept a close eye on her fellow Bene Gesserit, but did her best to make it look like she was just checking her out, that wasn`t a fully lie of course, she would check out every attractive woman she came across. But internally she was unsure, it was clear her sister was preparing something, but so far she couldn`t be sure what it was, her skills at reading people had never been as good as that of most Bene Gesserit. So she prepared herself for everything, or at least tried to.

    Galina's hand drifted under her desk, as she watched the byplay between the pair that had entered her office. Her hand rested lightly on the stock of the pellet thrower mounted on a swivel underneath the desk. Her other hand stroked Cassandra's side, tapping out in a code they'd worked out, 'Perpare to assist them, if violence occurs.'

    Hundro felt Sokanon's hip against his, drawing a smile. He turned slightly, away from her, facing the pair opposite the two that she was baiting. He looked at ease but it was simply a ruse, his hands near his hips.

    The guard whose boot Sokanon's veil landed on, his eyes flicked down to it, then back up to her. His eyes narrowed fractionally before returning to the same blank expression he'd held when they entered.

    Hundro, still facing slightly away, let his lips quirk in a slight smile. "Your guards...Lady Ordos...seem calmer than most that come from your Academy."

    She snorted, "Special training, Hundro dear. They have taken the...intensive course."

    Aware of the cozeted meanings in the conversation, Sokanon’s eyes wandered to the floor where she was met with the quandary-the close space in which she, Hundro, and the Guards were arranged-a tight space in which to gain leverage. Sokanon began to think instinct was best, nothing flashy. Keep it simple! She felt the guard next to her sizing the situation. Not subtlely enough, he had noted her veil on his boot.

    Sokanon looked up to take his gaze and then looking down, with a quick gesture that neared his dagger, she brushed her veil, tugging it from off his boot. "We appear to be a little close." She offered politely.-So she could get that close!-

    Cassandra prepared herself for the inevitable outbreak of hostilities Galina had pointed her towards. She knew this wouldn't be easy, Sardaukar knew their craft and while she was wearing her personal shield, activating it would cause trouble. She needed to wait, wait until the last possible moment. For a moment she thought back to her childhood, her life amongst the other novice sisters, who had often called her more of a Sardaukar than a Bene Gesserit for her combat skills and lack of manners. Now she would see how true that assessment truly was.

    "Flirting with the guards, sister?" She asked in a condescending voice, hoping that it would help distract the enemy from her plan just a little bit longer.

    Augmented time, often the texture of dreams deepened the senses yet obscured them too. Perhaps it was the mind, over-stimulated by apprehension and travel. Though what she was experiencing felt like what in past history had been called 'déjà vu,' her sister's distraction much appreciated, echoing as if in a fevered spice dream, Sokanon braced herself for a possible draconian response from the guard.

    Hundro leaned closer to the guard nearest him as he felt Sokanon move. The muscles of his arms moved, but otherwise, he simply seemed to be leaning away from whatever she was doing.

    The guard, however, did react as Cassandra spoke. With a movement almost as fast as a sister when she was moving at her almost preturnatural speed, his arm moved, his gauntlet closing around Sokanon's wrist. "Apologies, Sister. I wouldn't want you to hurt yourself with such a blade." He said in a tone that apologized for nothing, his cold blue eyes finally meeting hers as he began to move her arm to sheath the dagger again.

    "No, my apologies." She didn't fill out that sentence. Which would have gone something to the effect of "for not testing you further." Instead she said, "You are a well trained warrior. It would be good to feel so well guarded." This she said without the guile and warmth with which she could potently inflect 'The Voice.' These guards were indeed trained to meet a Bene Gesserit's "arsenal."

    The piercing blue of the man's eyes revealed a lack of true sight. He saw but did not see! His gaze could not capture her, nor his coldness invade her.

    "Keenomp, papaum uttah aabe manitou! Yeuo howan nessheteum manitou?!" She mused aloud as she regarded him. She did not give the meaning, "Warrior, you walk without spirit. Who took the spirit from you?!"

    As the dagger settled back in the sheath the guard released his grasp on her wrist. His eyes remained locked on hers for a moment longer before his head turned away, "I do not accept praise from someone who travels wi.." The sentence was not completed before his counterpart let out a two toned whistle, making the guard straighten.

    Hundro watched the byplay, knowing Sokanon was testing the guards. The speed of the man's movement alone spoke to all those present what he truly was. Which meant what happened in this meeting balanced on a razor's edge. He straightened from where he'd been leaning. The 'guard' may not have finished his sentence but he knew what the Sardaukar thought of him and his assassins. Which...he let his vision unfocus slightly, looking without looking and saw it, the miniscule twitch of an eyelet in the paneling of the ornate ceiling closing. His arm slipped around Sokanon's waist, "Yes, dear, formidable warriors indeed." He said in a low, almost flat tone.

    Understanding through Hundro's particular touch, Celeste let herself be folded to his side. She had made her observations. Tellingly, the guard took her comment as a compliment! Nestled at Hundro's side she saw options as to next necessary moves as per everyone's present dispositions, but given Hundro's very definite clasping her to his side, he also had some of his own. She would follow his lead. Sokanon sought Cassandra's gaze, certain she understood, as well.

    Cassandra had quietly watched the altercation, ready at each moment to step in should a fight break out. The moment having shown her both the strengths and weaknesses of the two elite soldiers in the room. And that her sister was not yet fully ready to begin a fight, that would be Hundro´s choice, so she fixated her senses on him, to notice any signs he might give on how to go on.

    To keep the guise of a civilized conversation up she said, "let me properly introduce you to my Lady Galina of House Ordos. We truly did her a disservice ignoring her radiant beauty up to this point."

    Galina smiled, stroking Cassandra's leg. She had watched as the Sister with Hundro had executed her little maneuver, making an appraisal of the woman. She'd expected nothing less than what Hundro had done, when he hadn't taken to violence. Nor had she been surprised at his glance when the situation ended. By this point she doubted there was a space in the Residence that his people hadn't studied.

    As her almond shaped eyes sparkled, she leaned forward, her hand never leaving Cassandra's skin. "Thank you, my dear. Hundy and I are...old friends." She met his eyes as his head turned like a bird of prey, "That is what you call someone who you owe your life and a massive debt to, isn't it?" her tone was lilting and amused. Glancing up at Cassandra standing by her side, "He...personally removed an unworthy suitor who was vying for my hand, someone utterly vile." she explained. Turning back to face him, "What brings you to our home, if I may ask?"

    His arm still tight around Sokanon's side, his fingers pressing in a specific rhythm, one that was a subtle message to her, ‘Expect violence from the guards soon’. He smiled at Galina's response and question. Bowing his head slightly. "First, our thanks for the warm welcome, Lady Ordos. Second," his eyes barely flickered toward the guards, "our Emperor has commanded me to tour the Imperium, to visit Houses both Great and Minor." A wry smile crossed his face, "Although I would prefer this visit be more fruitful than our last, to House Thorvald."

    Cass prepared herself, flexing her muscles and thanking god that her short clothes wouldn`t hinder her in a fight at all. This was it, her against a Sardaukar, something she had always wondered about, now it would be tested, with her own life on the line. It both worried and weirdly excited her.

    True to legend, the four Sardaukar were large and, despite the obscuring fabric and armor, their form, aura, and stance telegraphed their rigorous training and speed, well exhibited just now. Should Sokanon be concerned at his speed, the Sardaukar’s eyes, that blue in blue! Hundro signaled to expect violence. The melange-spice seemed to permeate all layers of this perplexing society.

    “...laboratory synthesized...”

    TAG: To be continued...
    greyjedi125 and darthbernael like this.
  17. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 21, 2004
    Continued from previous post...

    OOC: Part II of a Combo with GM, @darthbernael, @Mira Grau, and @pashatemur (double post GM-approved)

    IC: Sr. Cassandra, Lady Galina Ordos, Viscount Hundro Moritani and Sr. Na'die, Kanti-Sokanon
    LOCATION: Ishkal, House Ordos, Lady Ordos’ study

    Focus became Sokanon’s gravity, and heart matched breath.

    Peh tah...Peh tah...Peh tah...

    Time dilated.

    Sokanon's advantage was in the guards' expectations of the Bene Gesserit "wierding way" but she would confound it. Her training was as an "aummenuhkesuenomoh" and her sparring partners had been many mature warriors and beasts. As a child, she had to outmaneuver them.

    At the core of her training was her totem spirit and synchronicity with the environment. It was not only the reality of the fighter, but the illusion of permanence and the actuality of flow that comprised the warrior’s true “tools.”

    Sokanon was slight enough to compromise their height and Bene Gesserit prana bindu gave her flexibility, providing strength and resilience. Through her yielding, moving in the direction of an attack, the Sardaukar-Ordos armor and helms impeding the guards’ movement, she would flow like water and silk, like fire!

    The guard closest showed he was a slave to pride and bias. He was also brash and leaned upon his confidence. He was wary and held superstitions regarding the Bene Gesserit. Would he respond to "the voice"? If things came to a head as the energy in the room suggested, she would soon discover. Yet, she could sense conflict among the guards!

    Surely, the Sardaukar gleaned she was the Viscount's concubine. They might try to leverage that and she would not let them acquire that advantage over Hundro, who she felt more and more had accounted for much of this situation, having already and often experienced Hundro's advanced and inventive "preparations."

    Not wanting to draw attention where it might prove a disadvantage, Sokanon forced herself not to look at Hundro. It was best to reduce the appearance that she and Hundro were communicating, though she understood his clear warning of possible violence to come.

    “...spice...” Peh tah...Peh tah...Peh tah...

    Lady Galina and Sister Cassandra were less unknown factors than before this meeting, at least to Sokanon. The Lady Ordos revealed her need to prove her primacy by "leaving her scent on the tree," an intimate association with Hundro and his gallant extrication of the unwanted suitor. Sokanon hadn’t expected her own response to the revelation. Sokanon was concubine to the Viscount and their union was a gift of life that only increased her fierceness and focus.

    Sister Cassandra, it was quite visible, was supremely toned and Sokanon recalled her stamina and prowess drew admiration within the rank and file of the Bene Gesserit. From their subtle comportment and their scent, Cassandra had cleaved to the Lady Ordos. Did she serve the House or the Lady?

    “...So Shaddam created a run on spice, a punitive incentive to over-harvest the “rare necessity...” Peh tah...Peh tah...Peh tah...

    She studied the details of the room, as it would be the landscape of whatever transpired next. About 5 by 8 meters, the study was set in three relatively cozy sections. Where they waited, the four guards closely flanking Hundro and Sokanon, stood Lady Ordos’ desk, a heavy piece of furniture, hiding Galina’s lower half and hands from view and atop the desk, to one side, sat a carved stone figure.

    Fronting and facing the desk were two heavy, tall-backed armchairs to either corner of the desk. Standing to the side and slightly behind Galina was Cassandra. Behind Hundro and Sokanon was a relatively open area, and behind that, near the end of one long wall, the doors by which they had entered. Also, in the last third of the study, was a fireplace and lounges set at angles facing the warmth, a low table in between, a congenial space.

    On the walls were sconces and pieces of rare and ancient art, one a carved relief made of what appeared to be wood and an ornate rack of old and intimidating swords, dull, but still useful-the Ordos were wealthy!

    “...The guild controlled all business, and without it, businesses would fail, some worlds would starve, commodity futures would fail, and in particular, no matter the harvest, spice could not be transported ...” ...Peh...tah... ...Peh...tah... ...Peh...tah...

    Iskar, a frigid planet, its water locked in ice, the palatial abode was comprised of thick walls. This study, being an interior, and thus fortified room, was absent of windows. Sokanon allowed her eyes to rise to the ceiling above Galina, noting the elaborate cornices and figures on the ceiling. It was a riot of garlands, scrolls, and floral pastiches in relief. Against the walls were several torcheres and‌ on the floor beneath their feet, thick hand loomed carpets with a pile so high, she had to adjust the placement‌ of her feet as they walked from stone floor to carpets across the length of the ostentatious study. It was a veritable theatre of wealth and power!

    “... neither could the authority of the Padishah Emperor be maintained...” ...Peh...tah... ...Peh...tah... ...Peh...tah...

    The furniture and people situated as they were, Hundro and Sokanon, hemmed in. Something in Hundro’s stance adjusted, an indication that an “unseen force” was present. If that was so, they needed to give that “force” the clearest means for accomplishing their offensive, and quickly. She took her veil in her fingers at her side prepared to use the seeming delicate and ephemeral covering to destabilizing advantage.

    “...Shaddam IV was not going to allow his authority to waiver, only to grow...”...Peh...tah... ...Peh...tah... ...Peh...tah...

    She made her next breath slow further. Was Lady Ordos complicit or the calm and prepared Cassandra? And Hundro? No! he would have said so when Sokanon had relayed the contents of Harishka’s message she’d earlier received. Why was Hundro put in this position, being, as he was, an asset in play for the Emperor? If these guards were “neutralized” what would the ramifications be? Would she and Hundro be or were they already on Shaddam’s “make-disappear list?”

    “...the means of production...” ...Peh...tah... ...Peh...tah... ...Peh...tah...


    Hundro was not part of the Emperor’s scheme and this might be a means of controlling Hundro who was altogether too good at leadership, forecasting, and execution. Wasn’t it Shaddam’s ultimate insecurity that he would be superseded by younger talent. Even kinship did not save one, it was rumored, from such infractions of superior talent and success, the most recent example being the Atreides- What a horrible waste!-dooming the peoples of the Imperium to harsher and harsher existence for the sake of one man’s vanity! The ancient god, Saturn, ultimate cannibal, his mirror. However, Shaddam was mortal!

    “...Control...” ...Peh...tah... ...Peh...tah... ...Peh tah...

    Shaddam needed to subdue the Bene Gesserit and put them under his thumb, having already reduced the power of the Landsraad, setting the Houses in danger of unlawful violent conflict, nevermind that it had already happened on Arrakis!

    “...the means...” ...Peh tah... Peh tah...Peh tah...

    What remained was the guild! Sokanon nearly gasped. Such unopposed power in the hands of Padisha Emperor, Shaddam IV! The rumor and her thoughts that day on Kaitain threatened to distract her now. She smiled subtly and breathed again, sublimating her thoughts.

    Peh tah...

    Sokanon’s veil slipped to the floor and she along with it, lassoing the veil round the guard’s ankle and yanking in one fluid movement as she dove between the desk and armchair, grasping it as a shield to stand before the desk and Galina.

    Hundro had shifted into a relaxed stance, that anyone but those close would think was relaxed at least. But, the moment Sokanon moved, he shifted to be out of her way, which brought him closer to the guard closest to him. A death's head grin that occupied his face was reflected in the guard's visor as his hands clamped on the kindjal and knife in the guard's belt.

    The lasso of fabric from Sokanon's veil pulled the guard's foot forward, the sole of the boot skidding on the ground as she dove. His hand reached out, grabbing at the fabric of her wrap, the thin cloth tearing as her body continued to move forward, the fabric pulling away from her. Her movement, though, had caused what Hundro had been waiting for to fail, for that particular guard, at least.

    Galina had seen the moment as both Sokanon and Hundro moved, her hand resting lightly on the pistol under the desk. She gave a sharp nod to Cassandra, freeing her to act just as four shigawire nooses had descended from hidden spots in the ceiling, three of the almost invisible loops settling around the necks of the three still standing guards. Just as they did, she fired, hitting the guard closest to Cassandra in the chest, as his hands rose to stop the now tightening loop of wire from choking him.

    Cassandra had been preparing for this for several minutes now, and so her action came quick and decisive, she knew that in a fight like this, in close quarters with no use of shields, death came at any second and so the first, initial phase was the most important. So she quickly stepped ahead, past the guard Galina had shot. With one of the other currently 'occupied' with her fellow Bene Gesserit sister there were two more to worry about. Two men who now both grabbed for the nooses around their necks to keep on breathing. Cass quickly reached one of them, grabbing his clutched hands and twisting them around as hard as she could to make him let go of the only thing currently keeping him alive.

    The Sardaukar was upon Sokanon like a big cat on a deer, but she had pulled the heavy high-backed chair down atop him and the act of grabbing it helped anchor her enough with its weight a counter to her body's direction of flight such that she turned in the air before landing to face upward, the thick, oaken chair coming down hard across his back.

    Her free hand grasped the wrist of his knife-hand, which she anticipated, having ascertained earlier which that would be. He was large and had fallen with force upon her, but she dodged his lightening fast slash meant for her neck, before the fine cut to her shoulder could become a fatal wound.

    The man's eyes were hard as he struggled against her, his knife hand inching across her shoulder, now attempting to cut the blade deeper into the muscle and her joint below. His other hand tried to grapple with her wrist, but the combination of the blood that came from the slash he'd already given her as well as the heat of the room drawing sweat to her skin, his hand was slipping. "Damned witch!" he cursed in a near whisper as his legs shifted, pushing up as he tried to shift the chair off of his back.

    Sokanon's knees swiftly drew into akimbo to block his legs, hold his hips between her thighs to keep him from gaining leverage while her feet pressed the ground. She would not avoid a deeper cut, but as the knife cut slowly further and she winced, she pressed down upon the floor, the pain bracing her core the more and the burst of energy allowing her to flip him on his back, blood from her wound spurting into his face. She fixed her fist flat against the far side of the ugly blade , the other hand over and around his hand on the bloody pommel. She turned it with a deep penetrating growl and plunged the blade down to his chest with the force increased through gravity and the spring of her feet, thighs, and knees as she threw herself over his head driving the knife in his flesh as all her weight was above him twisting around to face the arrogant Sardaukar. Her chest heaved as sweat falling from her brow to splashed and laced the blood on his face now drizzling down to his ears and neck, the floor beneath him appearing that of a slaughterhouse pooling with her blood!

    Having hit the desk, her knees pulled in, one landing with shooting pain as it rammed his face, she, growling ferally. She had to use this moment to incapacitate or kill him or she would not survive and more importantly, neither would her child. Letting go of the dagger was not an option and thus neither was the use of the gom jabbar!

    The Sardaukar was fighting, struggling, an animal caught in a deadly trap, but a strong animal, a dangerous being. Even in his seeming helplessness he frightened Cassandra, she knew that she needed to take care of the other Sardaukar still left alone in the room, but, turning her back on this one, even in his current state, was a risk, a risk that could end deadly for her. Yet she had no real choice, she turned her back, then moved quickly to get into striking distance with the final enemy.

    Galina remained seated, her hand on the blaster, turning it toward the last Sardaukar that was struggling with the noose around his neck. Cassandra was almost upon him but she didn’t want to hit her precious concubine. A frown crossed her face, glancing back over to where Hundro had released the one he’d been holding, the wire thin noose around the Sardaukar’s neck beginning to dig into his skin. Sokanon, she could tell, would be in serious need of the medics when, if, they escaped this situation. So many thoughts were going through her mind, which should she assist, which one would give her the best return of investment to assist was more her calculation.

    The door by which Hundro and Sokanon had entered slammed open, the locks that should have secured it glowing, from intense heat. A cloaked guard, rank tabs of an officer on his shoulders, the seemingly inborn arrogance of the Sardaukar on his face, strode through the opening, a half dozen more guards behind him.

    As Hundro turned to face the man, light on his feet, prepared for any violence, Galina’s eyes widened, seeing the hazy edge around the man, indicating an active shield. His eyes swept the room, a frown forming on his face. Before even the master assassin could move, the man’s hand flashed to his belt then across the assembled people in the room. Silence fell as lion head pommeled daggers seemed to appear in the chests of all four of the guards that had been in the room.

    In a cold, flat voice, the man spoke over his shoulder, “Were my instructions not clear? No one, under the Emperor’s penalty, was to touch or threaten the Viscount or his Bene Gesserit. In direct disobedience, these four have done more than that.”

    Stepping further into the room he swept his cloak from his shoulders, “Medic, see to the injured sister, now. Then tie my cloak around her as a robe, so she is clothed.” Bowing to Hundro first, Galina second, “The Emperor commanded that any attempt on the Viscount be met with the death penalty. These four have paid. Once the medic has finished, I will have my men retire and leave you four in peace.” he said stiffly, as he straightened from the bow.

    The medic came into the room, immediately beginning to triage Sokanon as Hundro moved close to her. Galina stood, moving around the desk, until she stood beside Cassandra, “Your prompt appearance and your tact is noted, Captain.” she told the officer. “Remove the bodies when you and your men retire.”

    A moment before, as much as she eschewed pride as a distraction, Sokanon would not leave herself any more prey to her opponent than he would to her. Though he had risen to a seated position, he had not rested her hands from his own dagger which she had lodged and turned under his clavicle.

    Aware of movement and noise behind her, Sokanon was locked in battle. Nonetheless, the Sardaukar had struck her deep wound and succeeded in throwing Sokanon down to the floor. Drawing her knees back, she kicked him in the ribs. He lurched forward. That seemed too easy! As the dark edges of her vision closed in, she thought she saw two daggers in his chest before he fell upon her.

    Cassandra said nothing for a moment, events had, once more, progressed far quicker than expected. A small part of her was even a little bit disapointed that she had been denied a real fight with a Sardaukar, but as things stood these days that was probably just a matter of time. But for now she gave the Captain a polite bow, "my thanks as well to you officer."

    Then she turned to Galina, knowing that she would undoubtedly have some revelations once the soldiers had left the room again.

    TAG: @darthbernael, @Mira Grau, all others
  18. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: A combo between me and @darthbernael thank you for your patience!

    IC: Aya Carolina
    Ginaz Residence

    Aya was curious about the two spies, that was what they were, sent to follow her every move. She found it interesting that they were too obvious about that. Were they really there to help her or hinder her? That remained to be seen.

    She paused for a second to observe the Ginaz officer. She did not like him, nor were her place to do that. Although she wondered what he was going to talk about with Chiar. Especially at the wake of the attack.

    Once back at the crime scene she shifted her focus to looking for clues and leftover pieces that could help her get a clear picture. The knock on the door was a curious one. One of the other sisters wanted to see her. Aya sidestepped the guards and headed for the door. She did not want any of them to do that. It was an initiate. Probably a messenger. She gave a small nod to the younger sister and took the offered cylinder.

    When she came back inside she cocked an eyebrow at the question. The gall. "I am afraid it is Sisterhood business." she said dourly not revealing whether or not it was the truth.

    The senior of the two Fremen men glanced over to Dyana, an eyebrow raised.

    She smiled softly, "If the Sister wishes to not tell us, that is her perogative."

    With a grunt he turned back to the other man, "Back to work then." he said with a shrug. Both walked over to the tapestry that had been the escape route of the assassins, noting it because of how it was still askew. One headed into the tunnels, checking where it split as the other checked the tapestry itself.

    When the second returned the first opened the palm he'd closed when he studied the back of the tapestry. It was the second one's turn to grunt as he saw what was there. Shaking his head, the two men began to search any of the pieces of moveable furniture or items. "Bugs." The senior one said flatly when Dyana asked him what they were searching for, holding out the sliver of metal he'd found to her.

    She took it, bringing it over to Aya-Carolina, "This isn't something the Fremen use and I don't recognize its make from what are in the stores of this Residence."


    Beware the new troops that have taken station in the House Residence, they are not household troops. They are beholden alone to the Emperor, and have been conditioned to resist our abilities. I leave it to your discretion whether to warn those closest to you.

    Reverend Mother Superior Harishka

    Aya's face remained unchanged as she read the message. That was bad news, she would have to consider carefully who to warn. Dyana maybe? She seemed trustworthy enough and with the ability to move around the residence. She could hear and see things Aya could not. The problem was that her being a Fremen meant that her loyalties will be split and that could cause problems.

    Although, if she warned her, she could use her and see what the young woman would do. Will she notify the Fremen and how they would react? She would have to run those scenarios in her head and choose a proper course of action.

    But first things first, she walked towards the two men as they showed her the piece of metal. Aya was not surprised that there were bugs in the room, but the fact that the guards did not recognize the make "Do you have anyone in the residence who is familiar with this kind of technology?"

    The senior of the two investigators nodded at the Bene Geserrit's question. "Chiar has spent time among the Swordmasters of the Ginaz, offworld, and has said that part of the training he received there was in the identification of spy devices."

    Dyana smiled at the response, having felt that Aya-Carolina wasn't the most impressed with the Residence Manager. But, then again, as a Sister, she doubted that Aya-Carolina would be impressed with just about any being that wasn't part of the Sisterhood. "He's a bit rough around the edges, but he is a good man, on this I swear."

    Aya nodded to the response. This was a start. "As long as he can be of use I do not care about niceties." she stated flatly. "Find if there any more of these and we should investigate the passage." Aya added. They needed to find who the producer of these devices was, maybe that would give them a clue as who planted them.

    The two investigators nodded, one handing Dyana the bug they'd found, which swiftly disappeared into a pouch. The junior of the two retrieved a glowglobe, setting it to follow just behind them at a low light intensity that wouldn't diminish their night vision once their eyes adapted but would help them see ahead for any traps left by the assassins.

    Entering the passageway, it quickly branched left and right, heading along behind the various rooms that dotted the corridor that Aya-Carolina's room was a part of. There wasn't much in the ay of dust which showed that it was regularly swept, both for cleanliness as well as to be sure of security. The walls were plain and bare, stone and mortar. Every so often, along the pathway, there were opening, ones that led to the other rooms. The senior investigator grunted, elbowing the junior softly as he looked at the floor.

    Lifting his gaze, he turned his head to face the Bene Geserrit, "Blood trail leads to the right, there is no splatter or footprints to the left, your choice which direction we investigate first."

    Aya considered the options. The assailants were very professional, so the obvious answer might not be the right one. Better to cover both alternatives. "We should split up. Dyana will go to the right along with your companion." she nodded towards the younger guard "And you and me, we are going to check the left one."

    TAG: @darthbernael
  19. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, Fuego, Pyrofuego! star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Apr 15, 2019

    ‘How often it is that the angry man rages denial of what his inner self is telling him.’

    -’The Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib’ - by the Princess Irulan

    Salusa Secundus

    The soft light of the Situation Room located deeply in the headquarters of the Sardaukar reflected, briefly, the rank tabs of a Burseg, a third level Bashar, of the Corps as he shifted in his seat. Looking at the several other officers around the central table, the noise of activity, of reports coming in and being sent out, of the galactic map with symbols of Houses and units attached noted across its face, the general sounds of such a room making speaking in a louder tone necessary. But, he’d learned that skill on the parade ground decades ago, when he spent a brief stint as a trainer of the Corps.

    “Remind me again, the Emperor’s orders were explicit were they not? That the Viscount Moritani and his concubine, hated Bene Gesserit or not, were to be protected and to avoid any confrontation with them, were those not the Emperor’s intent?”

    The Caid, a second level Bashar, to whom his question was addressed stilled his features so as to not give away any emotion. “The orders were so, Burseg. The only solace is that the troopers and the Immenbrech involved were all liquidated.” He replied, as calmly as he could.

    The Burseg responded with a millimetric nod of his head before turning his head to another Caid further down the table. “How many of the Houses Major and Minor have received their complements of new ‘household’ troops?” he asked, the distaste at his Death Troopers being used so in his tone.

    The Caid addressed glanced at the situation map behind the Burseg, “The last House to receive their allotment are the Ginaz, or rather the small detachment from the main one of that House is enroute to Arakkis to accompany the Legate there and,” A tight smile flitted over his features, “Ensure the Bene Gesserit that was reported to have alighted with the Legate to have an accident. According to the reports of spies already in the Residence our first attempt was met as it should be, with confusion and the waters muddied with all evidence left behind pointing to their usual foes, the Moritani.”

    He sipped from the water before him, “The Harkonnen have proven as traitorous and as oily as their ancient reputation evidences. The Baron seems to be allowing the troops, their Immenbrech, and the Levenbrech above them to let loose on the natives of the desert planet, but is attempting to keep any from Geidi Prime, with the excuse that the desert people are too dangerous and our forces better used to combat them.” Shaking his head with a snort, “I would disagree but several squads have already been dispatched into the deep desert and none have reported back to Carthag.”

    One of the Burseg’s eyebrows arched at the last report, that even a dozen Sardaukar disappeared was cause for concern and meant that they would need to step up their efforts. Considering for a moment, “Double the allotment assigned to that damnable world of the spice. But, they are not to fall under the banner of the Harkonnen, they are to infiltrate the smugglers and attempt to find ways to infiltrate the desert people and find out their true strength, should we need to mount a full scale operation.”

    Noting the silence he nodded, “You have your assignments, and have a truly loyal Immensbrech offer the apologies of the Corps to the Viscount Moritani. I will report to the Emperor. Dismissed.”

    Standing, he turned and swiftly made his way out of the room, the others knew what they must do so he wasted no time thinking about them as he headed to the lighter that would bring him to Kaitain and the Emperor.

    TAG: All who want to peek behind the curtain just a fraction


    Moritani Residence, Carthage, Arrakis

    Trinnian, standing beside Ike who was seated on the Legate’s official seat, had her hand on the back of it, just behind his head. Her fingers, grazing his hair, were the only signs of her nervousness. Internally she was repeating the calming mantras of the Sisterhood. Earlier had been…wonderful, just the two of them. A small smile touched her face as her other hand moved from her side to touch her belly, not yet certain if she had completed that goal.

    The reason for her nervousness, though, was not that but what the message she’d received and dutifully passed along to him and what it had brought here today. She knew, from the message, that when that event happened in a couple minutes, it would be directed to her, not Ike. So, dealing with those appearing made her worry how events would be handled with her engagement to the man who was the Moritani Legate on Arakkis.

    Her fingers moved again, caressing the back of his head, turning to look down at where he was sitting, wondering what he was thinking. He was of the house of assassins but had spent years here so she also wondered if he was considering that in how he would be engaging those approaching. There was a whisper of noise, almost inaudible, and then a flash of dark colors that resolved into a figure, kneeling several paces from the Legate’s seat.

    “The deputation of new household troops of House Ezharian approaches.” reached their ears from the kneeling figure. “A…Lieutenant…and two quads of troopers at his back.” The Assassin’s short report, and the pause, gave evidence that the House assassins here were sure that the guards approaching were anything but actual Ezharian troops. Just as swiftly as the figure appeared he disappeared again.

    Moments later the sound of bootsteps reached their ears, stopping before the door. The servitor outside the door opened it, stepping through, bowing to Ike. Straightening, he gestured as figures appeared, “Legate Moritani, the household troops designated to protect Lady Ezharian have arrived.” he stated calmly before closing the door behind the nine that had entered.

    The one leading was the only who was not wearing the helmet of his armor, which was attached to his belt by a chinstrap. The remainder, all that could be seen of the men within, could only be seen through the face screens from the nose up. All were of a similar height and the facial expressions were so similar that an extrapolation of what was below the helmets could be made from the one leading them, with the rank tab of a Lieutenant above the shield device of the Ezharian on his arm.


    The man who stood before them was tall, but had a similar whipcord lean look that the Fremen carried. However, his features were similar in the hawkish look as the Atreides but twisted, arrogant, sure of his own superiority evidenced in the flat line of his lips, the piercing eyes that surveyed everything, and the blonde hair atop his head. He stepped forward, the troopers behind him following closely, until he stopped only a pace from Ike.

    The arrogance was in full display at the poorly hidden sneer he gave the Legate before he turned his attention to Trinnian. He bowed formally, straightening “Lady Ezharian, your fiance’s forces have not yet given your household troops permission to examine the compound, to ensure your safety. Until that time, a full squad, two quads, will be around your person, even when it is only you and your betrothed.”

    The man's attitude, his belief in his own superiority, was in full bloom when he turned to face Ike, to address him directly, “Lady Ezharian’s forces have no care for your person as a Moritani and, should your…forces interfere with our duty to our charge even their training will not suffice.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth (Combo with the GM)


    Ginaz Residence - Hidden Passages

    Dyana nodded at what Aya-Carolina had stated. With the senior investigator, they began a careful sweep down the right hand direction from Aya-Carolina’s quarters. Their going was slow as they followed the blood trail, making note of every drop or splatter, in case it was needed to further the investigation.

    As the senior investigator led the Sister down to the left, he was even more vigilant, as he had similar suspicions that the Bene Gesserit had. He’d already loosened his maula pistol in its holster as he moved carefully, silently. The only noise that came from him was an almost under the breath sound that when it reached her ears would make her wonder who Shai-Hulud was and why the man would seek whatever it was blessing.

    Further down the corridor noise sprang up, the sound of footsteps approaching, deep, long, and flavorful cursing leading the sound of the footsteps. The voice became more familiar as it drew closer. Finally it was recognizable as the man who it came from, as well as five other men behind him, came into view. The cursing man was none other than the Residence Manager, Chair. His blue within blue eyes looked furious but it was obvious that fury was not directed at her but rather at the men behind him.

    When he stopped before her and the senior investigator he shook his head. “I have or they,” his arm bent, the thumb pointing behind him, “have better evidence for you.” he ground out. “I received word that the new household troops arrived and a group of them were near one of the exits of this passage. When I arrived…”

    As he was speaking the one man without a helmet behind him pushed past, “I will report to her, Fremen scum.” He stopped, closer to her, the badge of the Ginaz on one shoulder, the rank tab of a Lieutenant above it. “The recently arrived household troops and I were sweeping the grounds to secure it when three men burst out of a section of wall. We stopped two of the three but the third escaped.”

    Behind him Chiar growled again, “Stopped…they turned those two into dog food.”

    The Lieutenant smiled, a predatory smile, “They resisted, we did our job.” His fierce eyes met hers, “I understand that you were investigating an attack on your person. If those were the men, I apologize that we could not subdue them.” The tone to his words, to a Sister, were obviously false, he’d had his men kill the assassins as soon as they were seen.

    “However, I have worse news for you, Sister. The Legate has been incapacitated in some way and his instructions were that you were to act as Legate if or when he was in that state. So, we must get you to the Legate’s Situation Room to secure you before we discuss things. Now,” he looked past her, “are those two with you?” he asked in a hard tone as his hand moved suddenly, his pistol pointed past her head at Dyana and the junior investigator, who had returned.

    TAG: @TheAdmiral


    Ishkal, House Ordos, Lady Ordos’ study

    The medic had rushed through the door, immediately tending to Sokanon’s wounds, as the most wounded of the four. Several other troops with medical bags entered, checking Hundro, Galina and Cassandra, tending their minor wounds. It took about a half hour to close up Sokanon’s wounds enough to say she was stabilized enough to be transported. A floatbed was brought in and Hundro insisted on lifting her, as gently as he could, onto it before she was covered by the Lieutenant’s cloak.

    Turning to Galina, “I suggest that we retire for the evening and resume our discussions tomorrow. That will allow my concubine time to heal more.” he told her.

    Galina had taken a seat again after the medic examined her. She didn’t trust the troops and her hands were low enough that she could reach the hidden blaster easily enough but refrained for the moment. Looking up at Hundro with a smile, her eyes flicking toward the ceiling, “I think that Cassandra and I will accompany you and Sokanon to your quarters, it seems the safest option at the moment.” Her attention turned to the Lieutenant, “I’m sure the officer here has no issue with that.” she said, in a sweet tone.

    The Lieutenant stiffened for a moment, as though he desired to say that he would prefer that the two pairs separate for now but he had to remind himself that he was an officer in her guard at the moment. Turning to face her, “Yes, Lady Ordos, that is strategically wise. It allows our troops to better guard and know you and your guests' whereabouts.”

    With a smile that could have been interpreted as predatory, Galina stood, slipping her arm about Cassandra’s waist. “Exactly.” she murmured.

    A minute later the three of them were walking down the corridor toward the suite that had been set aside for Hundro and Sokanon, the latter resting on the floatbed. Hundro walked beside it in that catlike pace that said he was truly tense and ready for anything either of the pair of guards the Lieutenant had asked to accompany them would do.

    However, they reached the suite without issue, though Hundro insisted that the guards remain outside the door. The central lounge of the suite was set up with both a formal side to the right of the entryway, long couches and a modern looking low table between them, wall sconces lighting the space, and a more informal area to the left of the entryway. There, more comfortable chairs and smaller tables beside them were in an arc around a large fireplace, similar wall sconces to the right were on the walls here as well. In the far wall there were several doors, two obviously leading to bedrooms, one had the scents of a kitchen, and the other seemed to be an office. When the door shut behind them three figures appeared, as though from thin air. One immediately went to check on and treat Sokanon further while one approached Hundro, glancing at Galina and Cassandra. “Lord, the suite is secure, even the listening and snooping devices of the Ordos…” His eyes flicked back toward Galina with an amused look, “...have been disabled.” With that, he walked over, the floatbed following, until he sat in one of the comfortable chairs to the left of the entryway.

    Galina, for her part, simply grinned as she followed him to take a seat, “I told my husband it wouldn’t work but he insisted.” she replied unapologetically, with a shrug. “Now, Hundro my dear, what are you truly here to discuss?” she almost purred.

    TAGS: @Mira Grau, @pashatemur (Combo with the GM)


    The deep desert, northwest of Arrakeen

    It was an interesting experience for Chok, as he rode with Randolpho in the carryall. He’d been nervous boarding it, never having had his feet leave the surface of the planet, at least not to the degree that the carryall was flying. At first he was slightly queasy, as his body got used to the movement and heights. After several minutes, and the carryall staying at a steady altitude, the queasiness faded.

    Once it had, he was able to recognize features of the desert, albeit from a different perspective. Beginning to see where they were, he pointed out the path to where he’d told Randolpho the spice patch lay. As they flew, he appreciated the way the crew worked together, almost like a sietch as they worked toward their goal.

    Arriving over the grounds where the spice should have been thickest, he pointed it out. Holding onto the chair he was sitting in he could feel the vibration and movement of the large craft as the ornithopters released and then larger movements as the carryall set the spice harvesters on the sands.

    Following Randolpho to an armored ornithopter, he could feel the difference in flying as the smaller craft departed the carryall. He didn’t particularly like it and would have preferred to have his feet on the ground but, for the moment, he was scanning the sands, keeping an eye out for wormsign.

    Seeing a spire in the vicinity, “Might be good to have a team there,” he said, pointing to it, “better visibility to keep an eye out for worms.”

    Something seemed off though, as he scanned. The spice sands below were undisturbed but his guts were roiling and this time wasn’t due to the airsickness. His scrutiny grew, as did the feeling that the harvest these men were after wouldn’t be as simple as had been planned.

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto (combo with the GM)


    Sietch Tabr, Gathering space

    ”You are tired of waiting.” Paul cried.

    Again, he waited while the cries of response died out.

    Indeed, they are tired of waiting, Paul thought. He hefted the message cylinder, thinking of what it contained. His mother had showed it to him, explaining how it had been taken from a Harkonnen courier.

    The message was explicit: Rabban was being abandoned to his own resources here on Arrakis! He could not call for help or reinforcements!

    Again, Paul raised his voice: “You think it’s time I called out Stilgar and changed the leadership of the troops!” Before they could respond, Paul hurled his voice at them in anger: “Do you think the Lisan-al-Gaib that stupid?”

    There was stunned silence.

    ’He’s accepting the religious mantle,’ Jessica thought. ’He must not do it!’

    “It’s the way!” someone shouted.

    Paul spoke dryly, probing the emotional undercurrents. “Ways change.”

    An angry voice lifted from a corner of the cavern: “We’ll say what’s to change!”

    There were scattered shouts of agreement through the throng.

    “As you wish.” Paul said.

    And Jessica heard the subtle intonations as he used the powers of Voice she had taught him.

    “You will say,” he agreed. “But first you will hear my say.”

    Stilgar moved along the ledge, his bearded face impassive. “That is the way, too,” he said. “The voice of any Fremen may be heard in Council. Paul-Muad’Dib is a Fremen.”

    “The good of the tribe, that is the most important thing, eh?” Paul asked.

    Still with that flat-voiced dignity, Stilgar said: “Thus our steps are guided.”

    “All right,” Paul said. “Then, who rules this troop of our tribe - and who rules all the tribes and troops through the fighting instructors we’ve trained in the weirding way?”

    Paul waited, looking over the heads of the throng. No answer came.

    Presently, he said: “Does Stilgar rule all this? He says himself he does not. Do I rule? Even Stilgar does my bidding on occasion, and the sages, the wisest of the wise, listens to me and honour me in Council.”

    There was a shuffling silence among the crowd.

    “So,” Paul said. “Does my mother rule?” He pointed down to Jessica in her black robes of office among them. “Stilgar and all the troop leaders ask her advice in almost every major decision. You know this. But does a Reverend Mother walk the sand or lead a razzia against the Harkonnens?”

    Frowns creased the foreheads of those Paul could see, but still there were angry murmurs.

    ’This is a dangerous way to do it,’ Jessica thought, but she remembered the message cylinder and what it implied. And she say Paul’s intent: Go right to the depth of their uncertainty, dispose of that, and all the rest must follow.

    “No man recognises leadership without the challenge and combat, eh?” Paul asked.

    “That’s the way!” someone shouted.

    “What’s our goal?” Paul asked. “To unseat Rabban, the Harkonnen beast, and remake our world into a place where we may raise our families in happiness amidst an abundance of water - is this our goal?”

    “Hard tasks need hard ways,” someone shouted.

    “Do you smash your knife before a battle?” Paul demanded. “I say this as fact, not meaning it as boast or challenge: there isn’t a man here, Stilgar included, who could stand against me in single combat. This is Stilgar’s own admission. He knows it, so do you all.”

    Again, the angry mutters lifted from the crowd.

    “Many of you have been with me on the practice floor,” Paul said. “You know this isn’t idle boast. I say it because it’s fact known to us all, and I’d be foolish not to see it for myself. I began training in these ways earlier than you did and my teachers were tougher than any you’ve ever seen. How else do you think I bested Jamis at an age when your boys are still fighting only mock battles?”

    ’He’s using the Voice well,’ Jessica thought, ’but that’s not enough with these people. They’ve good insulation against vocal control. He must catch them also with logic.’

    “So,” Paul said, "we come to this.” He lifted the message cylinder, removed its scrap of tape. “This was taken from a Harkonnen courier. Its authenticity is beyond question. It is addressed to Rabban. It tells him his request for new troops is denied, that his spice harvest is far below quota, that he must wring more spice from Arrakis with the people he has.”

    Stilgar moved up beside Paul.

    “How many of you see what this means?” Paul asked. “Stilgar saw it immediately.”

    “They’re cut off!” someone shouted.

    Paul pushed the message and cylinder into his sash. From his neck he took a braided shigawire cord and removed a ring from the cord, holding the ring aloft.

    “This was my father’s ducal signet,” he said. “I swore never to wear it again until I was ready to lead my troops over all of Arrakis and claim it as my rightful fief.” He put the ring on his finger, clenching his fist.

    Utter stillness gripped the cavern.

    “Who rules here?” Paul asked. He raised his fist. “I rule here! I rule on every square inch of Arrakis! This is my ducal fief whether the Emperor says yea or nay! He gave it to my father and it comes to me through my father!”

    Paul lifted himself onto his toes, settled back to his heels. He studied the crowd, feeling their temper.

    ’Almost,’ he thought.

    “There are men here who will hold positions of importance on Arrakis when I claim those Imperial rights which are mine,” Paul said. “Stilgar is one of those men. Not because I wish to bribe him! Not out of gratitude, though I’m one of many here who owe him life for life. No! But because he’s wise and strong. Because he governs this troop by his own intelligence and not just by rules. Do you think me stupid? Do you think I’ll cut off my right arm and leave it bloody on the floor of this cavern just to provide you with a circus?”

    Paul swept a hard gaze across the throng. “Who is there here to say I’m not a rightful ruler on Arrakis? Must I prove it by leaving every Fremen tribe in the erg without a leader?”

    Beside Paul, Stilgar stirred, looked at him questioningly.

    “Will I subtract from our strength when we need it most?” Paul asked. “I am your ruler, and I say to you that it is time we stopped killing off our best men and started killing our real enemies - the Harkonnens!”

    In one blurred motion, Stilgar had his crysknife out and pointed over the heads of the throng. “Long live Duke Paul-Muad’Dib!” he shouted.

    A deafening roar filled the cavern, echoed and re-echoed. They were cheering and chanting: “Ya hya chouhada! Muad’Dib! Muad’Dib! Muad’Dib! Ya hya chouhada!”

    Jessica translated it to herself:
    ’Long live the fighters of Muad’Dib!’ The scene she and Paul and Stilgar had cooked up between them had worked as they planned.

    Dune, Frank Herbert


    Taina and Naveed, as well as Aratt and Zafim were close to the ledge where Paul was giving his speech, where Stilgar stood as well. The emotion, the fury, the need to fight, the need to focus that fight, they could feel being whipped up by Paul as he prepared them for what he had planned. And then…he surprised the Fremen, created a new tradition, when he had Stilgar kneel, become his vassal.

    The murmurs ran through the tribe, that the prophecy was being fulfilled in front of their eyes, that Paul truly was the Lisan-al-Gaib!

    TAGS: @Adalia-Durron, @greyjedi125 (Combo with the GM)


    Tags for Thufir Hawat and Clarence Mudze roll over, continue on. @BobaMatt
  20. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Chosen One star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Randolpho Espanza - A Combo with Darth Bernael
    The deep desert, northwest of Arrakeen

    Flying out over the desert to their new spice trove proved to not be as much of the secret that the kid thought it was or if it was it was for all the bad reasons. It had been hard not to laugh at the boys discomfort on the flight here, but now that they were here and mining there was no help but to notice this place didn't feel safe. Not that Dunes ever felt save, but this felt more imminent. Maybe this was the wrong mercenary job to take for his house. He could be home watching waves crashing on the shore and involved in just some minor houses petty dispute right now, but no, he chased the pay day.

    Flicking an instrument he opened a direct channel. "Can we get someone to clear the spire and use it as an overwatch station? Having a stable lookout might draw less attention and better see competition inbound.

    One of the larger ornithopters dipped its wings before they began to beat harder, climbing and circling the large peak. The wings cupped the air, the ornithopter rearing like a hovering dragonfly, before four of the Randolpho’s crew descended ropes to the peak. The thopter tilted forward, flying away from the peak, then returned to circling and keeping eyes out for wormsign.

    A couple moments later the radio crackled, “Boss…we’re not alone up here.” The crew on the peak had called in, the voice slightly shaky. “You did say we’re in good with the Fremen, right? Do you remember the sietch that helped us earlier because I really need to know…now. I’d rather not die.”

    "Uh, shouldn't be surprised. I guess." Pinching the bridge of his nose he began muttering names under his breath. "Freemen, brother, cog or mother, stand by sand, I by water, find a hand. . .over still-suit can. . .can over still-suit -" ceasing his muttering he spoke up loudly into the mic. "COSS! It was Coss. I'm coming down, let them know that."

    Angling his ornithopter toward the same spot he motioned for the back up pilot to come take over. "Do you want to rope down kid? Or do you want to stay up here for now?" Randolpho asked with a concerned look. He wasn't trying to pawn the kid off or nothing, but this was a chance for the kid to reconnect with his own peoples. Hopefully an allied tribe.

    The squad leader responded in the affirmative at Randolpho's message.

    At the offer of joining Randolpho on the surface Chok nodded quickly. "I do not know how you people stand this constant movement and high vantage." he muttered. "Hopefully I can help you too, with the others." He began to double check his stillsuit to be sure it was sealed, ready for when they stepped out of the thopter.

    Randolpho chuckled at that, "You should experience an Ocean sometime, steady rocks are more treacherous after living on the waves." With a spreading grin he made sure the thopter would be perched well before checking his own suit and leaving to see what this was all going to be about.

    Chok shuddered at the thought of what an ocean might be. He'd never seen water in any great quantity, at least not that he'd admit to any non-Fremen. But the thought of his world finally more a paradise was the dream of all Fremen, to even see water fall from the sky was almost a holy experience.

    Nodding, he waited for the thopter to land so he could step forth and see who or from what sietch these Fremen hailed.

    Nodding once the thopter was down and seeing that the kid was ready he carefully set the nose plugs before opening the hatch and walking out onto the spire. Arms held slightly out, palms empty. Waiting to speak off of what he was going to see with the team and of those that were waiting with them.

    Fully prepared by the time the thopter touched the spire, Chok shadowed Randolpho as they departed the ship. He stayed near the man, the fate of his tiny 'sietch' was in the hands of the man and his people, as it was only himself and his siblings. The dust was settling from the beat of the thopter's wings, even this high, in this craggy peak, there was the everpresent dust of the planet.

    Outside the radi of the thopter's wings crouched the team the spotter thopter had dropped. Interspersed among them were, in the settling dust, shadowy figures, cloaked, who stood near each of the four men that had been set as the spotter crew. The man who had called Randolpho sat near the communicator, hands on his lap, a man directly behind him, deepset blue eyes looking directly at Randolpho.

    "Why are you here, city dweller? The spice is here so there is that but why here in particular?" the man's voice came out in a low, flat tone.

    With a wider armed shrug he decided to just play it straight, that had seemed to work best so far with these people anyway. "We had warnings the city rulers would not keep us of House Ginaz safe much longer, and we fled to the sands. Made friends with a seitch, as they told you, and then a another seitch. This one told us of the spice here." Here he pointed back at the kid with a slight shrug.

    Chok stepped out of Randolpho's shadow, letting the Fremen before them see he was there. Silence descended on the peak, the Fremen around the spice mining crew suddenly, seemingly, even more still.

    A choked out "Chok..." came from the one over the miner by the comms.

    Chok's eyes narrowed, "Do I know you, your sietch?" he asked, in a wary tone.

    "We thought your family was lost...we held the wat..." the man walked a couple steps closer, cutting off what he was saying when he remembered that it wasn't just Fremen on the peak. "It's me...your uncle, Garik." the man said in a whisper that cut just over the noise of the swirling dust and wind.

    Chok continued to remain wary, glancing at Randolpho. He stepped closer to the Ginaz spice miner. Almost pressing against the man, he whispered in what he hoped was a tone only Randolpho would hear, "I have no uncle, my father had a sister but not brothers. My mother was an only child."

    Doing nothing but look about impassively through shaded eyes he wondered if he had wandered into a dispute between seitches similar to the dispute between Houses. If so, this could be a very dangerous time. . .a very dangerous time. Reaching up he rubbed idly at his nose piece, it was annoying as all get out. He was by no means used to it, and a part of him feared the day he would become used to such an intrusive thing.

    "Family matters aside," he added with a sniff before lowering his hand to rest in a relaxed manner on belt, conveniently at a spot that would make it very easy for a quick draw of the blade. "If we have overstepped by coming here to mine the Spice, we will go. We have no quarrel with you and wish none."

    The 'uncle' began to walk closer to Randolpho and Chok. "This is the lands of our seitch, we hold ourselves aloof from those of other seitches, they have...gone down a path we do not follow." he said, one hand moving closer to his belt.

    Chok shook his head, eyes studying the man approaching. He leaned closer to Randolpho again, "No...not family matters." he whispered. "I mean..he's not Fremen. Look at his stillsuit, it's done up all wrong." he went on in that very low voice.

    Randolpho didn't need to hear anything more than that. Quick drawing his made to open the other from just above his belt to the heart. His off hand reaching forward to keep whatever the other drew down and away. "Thieves!" he cried out in that moment, hopefully it would stir his men to action. If not, this was going to be very interesting.

    Chok hadn't quite expected Randolpho to immediate leap into action but noce the man had, he grabbed his crysknife from his belt, howling a warcry. He moved to the side of Randolpho opposite the other man's weapons hand. His blue within blue eyes were slitted as he raced at the man who had called himself his uncle. Which quickly found himself on his backside, grunting and trying to breathe as the man kicked him in the gut.

    The lookout team heard their commander's call and surged into action. Each took on the nearest of the supposed Fremen nearest him, beginning a rolling, noisy, and bloody tussle atop the small platform that was the top of the spire. Randolpho's troops were seasons and many former fighters of the Atredies but the battle seemed evenly matched.

    After kicking Chok away from him the man who had spoken let a tightlipped smile cross his face. "Well, they do say no plan survives contact with the enemy. Although your lot are only smugglers, trash." he muttered, drawing a long bladed knife, the lion headed pommel gleaming on and off as the sun broke through the swirling dust on occasion.

    Smiling at the situation Randolpho flourished his sword, "You got that right, but ah you know. . ." he added as he got his pistol ready and shot offsides to try and free one of his men. "We're better in a scrap. Hahaha." He added with flick of his head to shift his head to do something with his hair - which did nothing with the constrictions of the still suit.

    Randolpho's shot winged his target, punching in one side of his left calf and out of the other. It was just enough for his man to get through the other man's guard and stab into his chest with his knife. As the supposed Fremen fell to the ground, coughing and his body no longer responding the smuggler rushed to the aid of another of their number.

    The leader of the group they faced, his eyes narrowed at Randolpho's actions. "That man was worth a thousand of you wretched smugglers. And yet you fight alongside the filth of this planet." he cursed. The long knife flashed in the air, the man's arrogant blue eyes locked on Randolpho's eyes as he slashed at the wrist that held the pistol.

    Pulling back he still felt the sting of the knife, his adrenaline was pumping too much now for him to honestly know how bad it was, but he did know he had dropped his gun in his quick retreat. Focusing solely on the sword now he aimed at the opponents knife hand a little high on the point. He had no delusions that this thrust would work as choreographed but if blocked he might be able to push and lift his thrusting arm to change the attack. Basically use the knife guard like a pool player uses an offhand to stabilize the stick, only instead of hitting a ball it would be to hit something vital - face or neck or chest. "If he was worth a thousand, I do not think he would'a die to one." Randolpho replied with flippant disregard.

    Chok darted around the pair, looking for an opportunity. The man attacking Randolpho was fast, he could see that. As the smuggler thrust for the man's hand with the tip of his sword, Chok kicked out, hearing a crunch as it connected with the back of the man's right knee. With a groan, the knee went out from under the man, his knife twisting to parry Randolpho's sword. "The Emperor knew you filthy smugglers were working with the desert rats. You will not stop the Imperium." he ground out.

    Randolpho laughed openly at that, "I do not aim to go against the Emperor. But last I checked, you're not him, and your no Freemen either." Pressing the attack he aimed once more to ease his blade through the other mans neck.

    In the fights around them one of Randolpho's men was down, wounded but breathing. The other two were facing the last two, slashes in their stillsuits showing the ferocity of the fight. The taller of the two slashed out, cutting at the neck of one of their opponents. His attack showed the training he'd had, his foe's eyes widening, "Atredies..." he gurgled out as the wound began to spurt. Reaching up, he pulled at the neck of his stillsuit, to get his hand over the wound.

    A gasp came from Randolpho's man, as a distinctive tattoo came into view on the man's neck. "Sardaukar!" he cried out before he and the other turned and attacked the remaining foe as one.

    The one facing Randolpho struggled to get to his feet again, knee buckling once more as his knife clattered to the surface of the spire, "Atredies pawns still alive are automatically traitors to the Imperium." he panted out, his hands reaching to keep Randolpho's blade from his own neck.

    A hand in the way was merely an awaiting wound. He slashed it twice in rapid turn to make sure the fingers would be useless. If he had the chance he would end this, "As we believe the Sardaukar. Eh, if only your mothers loved you." he ribbed the last as he pushed his attack to end the man.

    A choked growl escaped the man's lips, refusing to give this smuggler the satisfation of a scream as several fingers were sliced away from his defending hand. Once again, he tried to surge to his feet, to attack rather than defend. So he did not see as Chok leapt, planting a kick on his back as Randolpho attacked, Randolpho's sword burying itself in his body. With a dying light in his eyes, "One of my brothers will end you, Atredies filth." his voice growing more and more hollow as the weight of his body pulled him off the blade.

    "That's only if they know what happened to you, and the sands are treacherous." he stated with a smirk before turning to make sure to see that his allies were freed and finished with their battles if they needed his help. The bodies would be stripped and given to the sands, more wormfood for more spice.

    The last of the apparent Sardaukar had just fallen and the two who had faced him were pulling bandages from their packs, to take care of each other and the one of their team that was laying on the sands, with a deeper wound. Chok held his side, walking up to Randolpho, holding out the leader's knife to him. "This mght help, somewhere, to show what's going on." he said softly.

    With a negligent wave, "Keep it. The Freemen will need more proof than my people." Randolpho was not the kind of man to take a trophy of another man's weapon. Especially one he didn't particularly like to use himself. "Now, lets see about medicines, looting bodies, and making sure these fellows didn't have others waiting to attack us here. Either way I have a feeling we better call the spice harvest short either way as soon as we are done whether there be worms or not."

    TAG: @darthbernael
  21. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Ike and Trinnian
    Moritani Residence, Carthage, Arrakis

    And so the sex was over.

    They had Legate business to attend to, and he knew very well when he was being moved forward into a spot on a board.

    As it was, it wasn't an unhappy piece, but at some point payment would come due and he would need to know what and why it was that was wanted of him. The factions around him were incredibly dangerous and powerful; they were presently aligned, but for how long?

    When would he have enough of his own soft power to influence his House, and dominion, without them?

    Ike found the way in which she played with the back of his hair distracting, almost annoying, especially when the Assassin appeared and added to that ire. “The deputation of new household troops of House Ezharian approaches.”

    As the assassin bowed - a nice touch, he absently thought, Ike paid more attention to his next words. “A…Lieutenant…and two quads of troopers at his back.”

    Just as swiftly as the figure appeared he disappeared again.

    Ike sat up straighter, and looked to Trinnian. "Off the dais, dear, but stay close."

    Moments later the sound of bootsteps reached their ears, stopping before the door. The servitor outside the door opened it, stepping through, bowing to Ike. Straightening, he gestured as figures appeared, “Legate Moritani, the household troops designated to protect Lady Ezharian have arrived.” he stated calmly before closing the door behind the nine that had entered.

    The man who stood before them was tall, but had a similar whipcord lean look that the Fremen carried.

    His armour and attire did nothing to detract from the arrogance he had.

    He stepped forward, confident, superior, and the troopers behind him following closely, until he stopped only a pace from Ike.

    For his part, Ike already wanted to kill him.

    He turned his attention to Trinnian. He bowed formally, straightening “Lady Ezharian, your fiancé's forces have not yet given your household troops permission to examine the compound, to ensure your safety. Until that time, a full squad, two quads, will be around your person, even when it is only you and your betrothed.”

    Ike arched an eyebrow.

    “Lady Ezharian’s forces have no care for your person as a Moritani and, should your…forces interfere with our duty to our charge even their training will not suffice.”

    Ike sat forward on his chair, fingers linked, elbows on his knees. He would not stand.

    "Is that so?"

    He smiled slightly.

    "Should I order a larger bed, so you may join us in consummation?"

    His eyes alit.

    "I would not want to interfere with your duty."

    From where she had moved, her head now almost even with Ike's, Trinnian had to lift a hand to hide the smile at his response to the officer. Stilling her features slightly, after all she knew what the troops truly were, she looked over the men, judging them with her own knowledge of combat training guiding her appraisal.

    One of the troops behind the Levenbrech shifted, eyes hard inside his helmet. The speaker of the helmet amplified the muttered "Why you little sand sucking Freme...." that was cut off as the trooper with the tab of a second rank trooper on his armor elbowed the speaker in the side.

    A grim smile crossed the officer's face as his eyes met Ike's. "I take it then, Legate, that you do not intend to allow your fiancé's troops to protect her fully?"

    Turning to face Trinnian, his eyes raked up and down her before turning back to Ike. The way the man was attempting to bait him made the officer wonder if the young woman had told her fiancé about the true nature of the deployment of troops. The corner of his mouth turned up a fraction more, "Of course, the other option is that, with your decision to not allow us to protect her so then that means she must also be protected from you."

    He raised an arm, two of the troopers detaching from the group, moving to stand on either side of Trinnian. "After all, we cannot protect her if we cannot guarantee her safety...from all threats."

    "You're welcome to protect her to the fullest extent," he said lazily, unthreatening to the end, "but you would not want to interfere in the running of the House... and the flow of the spice..." His eyebrow arched. "Would you now?"

    He hadn't stood, still, even though he ached, yes ached to step to Trinnian's side, but he couldn't allow them to dictate the pace. "If you have a treason," a cough, "my apologies, reason that you are here, this Fremen scum would like you to stop seeking an excuse to move against me and my beloved and simply get to it."

    He regarded his throne chair, and wondered as to whether any of his special modifications had been added.

    "Or is this a challenge upon my honour as a man, that I would not protect the fair lady as vigorously as I make love to her?"

    Trinnian frowned at the exchange, the guard officer seemed to be wanting to truly upset her fiancé. He'd asked her to stand off the dais but now was not the time to appear to have a space between them. She moved, almost floating up the steps, until she was standing where she had before the guards entered the room. Reaching down, she laid her hand over Ike's, moving it slightly before putting pressure on one finger of his. She'd taken a moment to study the seat that morning and where she'd placed his hand and finger would enable a shield that protected most of the dais, including where she was standing.

    The officer noted her movement, the two guards who had taken up position on either side of her having slumped when she moved, suddenly realizing she must have had one of those damnable gom jabbars. By the time he turned back to the throne the guards were unconscious on the floor. The corner of his lips turned up in a small smile, "It appears, Legate Moritani, that your fiancé has made her own decision about security arrangements." He nodded in grudging respect to her, "Although, she is my responsibility so there will be no private moments where her safety could be hazarded."

    Ike stood up, imperious - why not? He had his shield up now, he may as well posture more.

    "She is my responsibility," he said, drawing his ceremonial blade. "As I am hers. We are joined."

    He glowered at the man. "If you wish to challenge me, you may do so on equal footing, without the posturing of men in arms, we can do so, but my boudoir will be our realm alone."

    He smiled slightly at the man before him; this was theatre, nothing more. He would need to accede, and Ike would be magnanimous, and perhaps they would have a separate and more intimate discussion later.

    Surely that is how this confrontation would work?

    The guards behind the officer stiffened, two even bringing their rifles to a ready position, barrels still low. The officer's eyes glittered dangerously as he looked up at Ike standing behind the shield, at Trinnian standing beside him. "Several points to consider. One, you are a Moritani and...I have orders. Two, challenging a member of a House to a duel requires several rules and I do not have the authority to do so...yet. Three, my men hold lasguns and those weapons and shield do not mix well. My superiors would be quite annoyed if an accidental bolt caused a near nuclear detonation here and now. And four, there is always time for things to resolve as desire." The last was said in an tone that suggested that Ike would suffer an accident if the opportunity presented itself. Without any formalities, the officer snapped his fingers, turned, and stalked out of the hall, the guards eyeing Ike one last time before they followed him, two very obviously taking up station just outside the door before it shut.

    Ike raised an eyebrow at the iciness.

    "Did I overdo it?" He said to the thin air, amused.

    Trinnian was beaming as she threw her arms around him at the question. "Oh no, dear, not at all." she said merrily. Glancing down at the two, still comatose, guards, "Need to get them back to that officer..." her tone almost malicious. Looking back to Ike she lifted onto her tiptoes for a moment, kissing him.

    When it ended, she sighed then loosened the hug, "He was testing you, I could sense it. He knew his orders, know you are a Moritani, and I beleive that they are not pleased that your House has been excused from the orders they were given and want an excuse to rein in the House." she mused. "That you acted as a true Moritani rather than any other way threw him off though. Well played, my dear."

    He smiled at her, pleased. Perhaps she wasn't just a lever upwards. "I am glad, because I would not want anyone to think you, or I - or we are vulnerable to outsiders." He paused. "Do you think we should have a private chat with him, away from his troops, so we have an understanding?"

    Her smile matched his at the question. Pursing her lips, she thought for a moment. "That's an idea, yes. He might be more willing to listen in that case but..." She shook her head, "He's what he is and they..." she shivered, "even give sisters nightmares sometimes."

    Ike frowned at that; he didn't like that at all. "So... no meeting?" He tried not to sound pensive.

    She reached up one hand, running it through his hair on the back of his head, with a small smile. "It may be worth considering, if it can throw him off his perch. But I wouldn't hold out hope, their brainwashing, their ingrained training is almost deeper than even the Sisterhood." she admitted.

    Ike mused. "Call him to us, in our room. We'll need as much privacy as possible to break such indoctrination."

    He briefly spoke to the open air. "Is that agreeable, shadow of mine?"

    A sense of...amusement filled the air at the question. Finally, a voice drifted out of the darkness, "None shall harm you or your betrothed."

    "Good, good," Ike said, returning the tone of amusement. "Bring him to us, then, someone or other. Clandestinely, so he might save face, whatever face that may be..."

    Trinnian linked arms with Ike, smiling at him. "I can see why you were lifted to the office of Legate." she murmured as she walked with him from the audience hall. Along the central corridor there were now even more of the troops garbed as those who had come in with the officer. They stood at attention, seeming statues but deadly ones, in their armor, weapons at the ready, cold eyes constantly scanning the corridor. She ignored them, simply walking with Ike, until they passed out of the main corridor, into the one that led to their suite.

    This corridor was empty of the troops, small scratches on the stone of the walls told of the fact that Ike's shadows patrolled here instead. Halfway down the corridor, she stopped at a door, made of wood that would never have grown in the desert of Arrakis, a thick, heavy slab of wood, intricately carved. She pressed her hand at the doorplate and it opened silently. Leading Ike inside revealed a more utilitarian office than the door suggested.

    There was a small seating area, only two chairs of the four there were of comfortable material, subtle signs on them suggesting they had been gone over well by the shadows to ensure they were not trapped. The other two chairs there were ornate but wooden, no cushions graced them. A simple, low table stood between the pairs of seats. Beyond that, the walls hung with banners, the only decoration save the glow globes, banners of Houses other than the Moritani, implying they were taken as trophies during missions.

    The far end of the office held a large desk, a third comfortable chair behind it. Near the desk were two more ornate, wooden chairs, giving almost two meters of space between the seating area and the backs of those chairs. Trinnian's eyes glittered as she studied the room. Releasing Ike's arm, she demonstrated a strength that her small form otherwise didn't exhibit as she moved the two chairs near the desk to the side of the office, moving the two comfortable chairs from the seating area to take their place, facing the door. The first two moved chairs took positions at the seating area before she was done.

    She guided Ike to the two chairs she'd moved and faced the door. Smoothing her skirt under her, she sat in one and smiled up at him to take the other. It was only a ten minute wait of general chatting before the door opened. A form, wearing clothing that the design seemed to make the eye want to drift from it entered, followed by two more. Their faces were hidden, save for their eyes which seemed to glitter with mirth. The reason became apparent when the first moved out of the way, to reveal that the latter two were carrying the hogtied and trussed form of the officer who had spoken to Ike in the audience hall.

    The door shut behind the trio as they approached. The officer was unceremoniously dropped on the floor in the empty space before them. When Ike and Trinnian looked up from the officer the room was empty save the two of them and the obviously enraged but bound officer. Yet the door had not been opened once more, which was all the sign needed that there must be multiple hidden entrances and exits to the office.

    Trinnian looked back down before laughing, a high, trilling sound. "Obviously they had to be clandestine if they brought him here in this condition, dear."

    Ike smiled, wolfishly. "Very astute, Trinnian."

    He pitched his tone. "Oi. You. We've gone to great lengths to have this private aside, so you can supervise our lovemaking."

    A cold, calculated fury blazed in the officer's eyes. They focused with a laser straight glare at Ike. His jaw worked for a moment, forcing the cloth gag out of his mouth. "Just because you are a Moritani will not keep an accident from happening." he growled.

    Trinnian simply leaned over in her seat, her hand reaching out, softly patting Ike's leg. "I worry that he'll get some details wrong, in his state, probably to attempt to deflate your male prowess." she murmured.

    "I worry too," Ike sounded genuinely lamentable. "But you are not entirely who you say you are." Ike had between changed into a not-too concealing shawl, though within his sleeves were concealed various things. His chest and bare legs were evident, his neck exposed.

    Stepping over and dropping to his haunches in front of the man. Ike opened his hand and slapped the man. "Well?"

    Trinnian tensed slightly as Ike stepped forward. She was well trained with the Voice but, knowing what she did of what the man had to be she knew that he would be well trained against it working. But, she was also well aware that even when they were 'alone' they were never truly alone, in this house and the shadows wouldn't allow harm to come to the Legate, to her fiancé. Which was all that made her muscles untense, even though her hand slid into her sash, a small cap settling over one finger, before her hand was at her side, the item hidden.

    The officer took the slap without a sound, his head flicking to the side as the hand impacted. There was a hand shaped red mark across his cheek and the side of his nose as his glaring eyes met Ike's. Glancing over at the standing woman, if anything, the rage intensified. Turning his attention back to Ike, "Why don't you ask your b...witch who I am if you are unsure." he responded, tone grating and derisive.

    Ike looked back at her, allowing surprise to filter into his voice. "Trinnian?"

    Composing herself, she met his gaze calmly. " you recall our recent discussion, before..." she allowed a light blush to cross her face as she trailed off. Her eyes flicked from her fiancé to the officer, "They despise and hate the Sisterhood. I suspect that we are high on their list of what must be removed." That was as close as she would dare to speak what she knew, at least in the officer's presence.

    Spitting blood onto the floor, having cut the inside of his lip with the slap, the officer laughed, "The high and mighty Bene Geserrit, trying to decide the course of the Imperium. Your time will come, soon, little witch. Even sooner for you, personally, after this."

    Ike was merely playing along. "You intend to usurp the Emperor himself?"

    The officer snorted, spitting more blood onto the floor, "You are a reckless fool but I doubt you are truly that much of a fool." he spat out. "Do you honestly believe that the destruction of those women wouldn't be sanctioned?"

    "Sanctioned?" Ike looked back. "You appear to be suggesting the Sisterhood is not uniform in their approach to things, kind sir."

    The officer snorted, "They made you the Legate?" His burning with anger eyes turned to peer at Trinnian, "Where did you find this yokel, the deep desert?" he sneered.

    Ike glared with his eyes for a moment, interposing himself to meet the gaze, and surpass it, allowing the blue in his eyes to shine.


    Coughing as a dark laugh escaped him, the officer bent double in his restraints, the more blood was spit upon the floor. "That explains it then. You have no idea of the swirl of politics in the Imperium. And yet, you were made Legate. Who wants you to fail then?" he taunted, shifting one arm, trying to inch a section of shigawire from his sleeve, to cut his bindings.

    Trinnian moved swiftly, from Ike's side. In a moment she was beside the officer, her finger capped with the gom jabbar at the officer's neck. "You will not insult my fiance or the Sisterhood. You know what awaits you if you do." She lifted his head to make him look at Ike as she glanced at her fiance as well. "I believe," her finger moved, not yet cutting the man's skin, "he will answer your questions now, my dear."

    Ike watched Trinnian, and nodded slightly. He was fully aware he was a pawn on someone's board, but who had yet to be decided. He would enjoy, imbibe, and be careful as he did. But he wouldn't stop walking this path until he came to whatever was at the end.

    The gom jabbar was a violent weapon, and Ike absently remembered he was putting a lot of faith in this woman.

    But so be it.

    "Your name, please," he said softly, "so we may ascertain just who wants you to fail too."

    Trinnian's finger moved, to keep from jabbing into the man's neck as the muscles in it flexed, the officer's jaw moving as he attempted to come up with a suitable reply.

    "I am..." he swallowed, feeling the death present at his neck. His arm continued to flex, slowly working the segment of shigawire closer to his fingers, where he was sure he could saw through the bindings. "I am Levenbrech Murad." he finally replied, in a cold tone.

    Ike blinked a few times at that.

    An officer.

    A 'Life-Breaker', with a couple colloquialisms to mean life server, or life taker.

    A pure old military man.

    "Well, nice to meet you, Levenbrech."

    He placed a hand on Trinnian's, cautious. "We aren't interested in killing you, just working out where we are in the web, and who considers us pawns."

    Trinnian smiled at Ike as she felt his hand laid on hers. "It might actually be better to rid ourselves of this one, love." She knew that sounded bloodthirsty but she was hiding, using her training to hide, a deep seated fear that the man and his troops intended to kill them both as soon as they could.

    Murad snorted, managing not to shake his neck with the deadly needle against his skin. "Everyone is a pawn in someone else's game, Legate. You just happen to be one of the newest pawns in the greatest game in the galaxy, that of politics. Which means that you will be under the Emperor's eye, very soon." He knew the more he spoke the more it would be evident what he was but it was also a stalling tactic as the shigawire reached his fingers and he began to saw through his bonds as quietly as he could.

    "But is that a good thing, or a bad thing?" Ike said, staying Trinnian's hand for a moment with the gentlest pressure, and a warm smile. "Won't you and I killing each other draw that eye all the more quickly?"

    Murad felt the trembling of the hand at his neck when the Legate grasped his fiancé's hand. The subtle movement caused him to cease the attempt to remove his bonds out of a narrow concern that any stray movement would be interpreted as it actually should be and his life be forfeit. His hard eyes turned to Ike, "The chances of you, personally, ending my life are much less than you believe, boy. Why don't you enquire of your tame witch here whereof my orders are derived. That should tell you of the quality of man you are trying to taunt." His voice was filled with scorn and derision.

    Ike looked to Trinnian. "My dear?"

    He may as well find out.

    It was a dangerous game they were playing, and it was useful to know that it was dangerous to Trinnian too.

    For a moment, the façade of neutrality on Trinnian's face, the mask that hid what was below the surface, cracked and a sense of anger radiated from her. "Sardaukar...!" she spat out. Looking down at Murad she shivered, "The death warriors wat to destroy us as much as they have been sent to upset the balance of power in the Imperium."

    A smirk crossed Murad's face. "Silly witches, thinking you know what is best for humanity. Only the Emperor does." He could feel the bonds loosening as he sawed at them.

    Generally afraid, Ike twitched, and pressed her hand on, to kill the man -

    TAG: @darthbernael
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  22. Adalia-Durron

    Adalia-Durron WNU/Costume/Props/EUC Mod. star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 3, 2003
    IC Naveed and Taina
    Like sands through the hour glass......

    Naveed was completely galvanized, he felt as if he’d been set on fire from the inside out. Every time some hesitation would attempt to crop up in his mind, Paul would say the right things to banish it from his mind. There was no doubt whatsoever in his heart, for he could feel the truth of it. It was time to face the enemy, they had all been waiting for far too long. Its as time to give it their all! But there was one objection Naveed was sure to have, one objection to unravel the frenzy that had been building.

    Then something happened to shatter that objection to pieces; Stilgar, the most important figure in Naveed’s life, knelt before Muad’Dib!!

    Naveed was speechless! Stilgar would never bend the knee if the rumors had not been true. He would have never shown deference, if he did not believe that the man standing before him, was the Chosen One.

    “Muad’Dib!!” Naveed heard himself shout. “MUAD’DIB!!! He shouted louder still, his fist pumping up in solidarity as he joined the rising chorus.

    There would be no more waiting. No more incursions. It was time for them to go all in - or perish in the attempt.

    Taina knew this was an important moment, knew instinctively that this moment in time would go down in history. She watched and took it all in, knowing she was witnessing a moment that would be talked about for a long time to come. Glancing at Naveed, she saw the emotions that played over his features, he was unsure as to what was happening, but then he was. His cheers sent a sense of relief through her, as she'd hoped this would be his reaction. She also knew that this moment meant there was a chance one or both of them would not survive what was to come, but that was her choice, she'd made it and beside him was where she'd remain, to the end.

    felt the energy, the emotion of the tribe as the roars filled the cavern. He nodded calmly, turning to the other Sietch leaders as the shouts continued, not ignoring those who he’d already spoken to but solidifying the oaths of the Fremen before the emotional impact lessened to any degree.

    Stilgar had risen to his feet, nodding as Paul moved on. He turned to face Naveed and Taina, smiling at her reaction, fully understanding Naveed’s. He took two steps, stopping before Naveed. “As Muad-Dib needs lieutenants, so do I. You are Fedaykin and my right hand, Naveed. Kneel and accept becoming my Lieutenant and lead our forces in the Duke’s name.” His tone was soft but commanding.

    Naveed shook despite himself, his mind wrapping around the very fact that ‘it was really happening’. The decisive battle for Arrakis was upon them all. This was the moment he was born for, this was the duty that was instilled in him by his parent, by his people. If he had more than one life to give, he would give it gladly.

    Moved by emotions he could hardly describe in spoken words, Naveed fell to a knee. His will was not his own, but of the people, of all Fremen, past and present. He trusted Stilgar with his own life, as did all Fremen. Stilgar trusted in the prophecy, trusted Maud-Did- and so would he. Any fight he had within and without was to be directed at ending the occupation of their home, funneled to end the reign of the Harkonnen infidels.

    “By my name and my blade, I solemnly swear and accept this duty. So, I do swear.”

    More than ever, his determination was crystalized in his heart, as he remained kneeling- a sign of fervent duty. Naveed marshaled himself as it would befit a Fedyakin Lieutenant and would rise at the word of those who would finally usher their long awaited freedom.

    Pride, not a usual emotion, yet here is was, washing over Taina. Pride in her husband, and man she hardly knew yet in the short time they'd been joined, she'd seen courage, empathy, leadership and so much more, and now it was recognised openly. She could tell by his tone, by the expression, that the gravity of this was not lost on him, nor her. As he declared his oath, Taina closed her eyes muttering to herself, "and I with you my love."\

    Paul appeared to have turned away to deal with other business of the meeting, with the other seitch leaders yet, from his side profile a small smile could be seen on his face. He approved of all that was now occurring.

    Stilgar nodded solemnly, drawing a fine line of a cut along Naveed's skin, the ceremony of a crysknife to never sheathe it without having drawn blood. The ritual complete he turned the knife, offering the handle to Naveed. His attention turned to Taina, as he spoke to Naveed, "Rise, my lieutenant. And," the corners of his lips twitched, "we shall retire so that I can formally join you and your wife in marraige, I believe it is time, before we begin our war. She deserves that."

    Taina allowed a very small frown on her face as she was under the belief they were 'married' already, clearly she was wrong. She wondered what the next step was, and if her physical attributes would come into play. Turning to look at Naveed, she had already decided that would not be a difficult jump for her at least, bowing her head she spoke confidently. "I thank you for this concession."

    Naveed rose from his kneeling position to his full height, his countenance seeming to glow with honor and no small measure of pride at being bestowed such a great duty and responsibility. He’d clench and unclench his hand, momentarily wrapped by the sensation of the honorific cut across his hand and all that it entailed. He would replay the scene in his mind…then suddenly pause.

    “Thank you….” He would say, with a bit of a stammer as his gaze went from Stilgar to Taina, then back to Stilgar, his mind now recalling what his own parents had schooled him about ‘formal wedding ceremonies’.

    Naveed’s face turned a deep red as he avoided eye contact while bringing himself back to composure.

    “OH!!" He'd exclaim aloud, vocalizing his realization. "I hadn’t even considered….oh……wow……” He'd finally manage to say.

    “Well…..” he began again, speaking in a calm and composed manner.

    “Whatever makes my wife happy.” He declared as he'd level a tender gaze towards Taina, a soft smile forming on his lips.

    TAG @darthbernael
  23. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: Another combo between me and @darthbernael ! Thank you!

    IC: Aya Carolina
    Ginaz Residence

    Aya was observing the situation unfold. She stayed on the sidelines for the most part until she got informed that she was the new Legate. Curious. Maybe that was part of the plan. If the old one was incapacitated then the guards will have to follow protocol and lock her up for an indefinite amount of time, or simply until the threat had been dealt with. That was not part of her plan and was about to speak when the man pointed a gun past her.

    Aya did not need to turn her head to know it was Dyana. Her footsteps revealed her. Despite the fact that she was a Fremen and knew how to walk silently there were still minuscule tell-tale signs that revealed her identity.

    "Lower your weapon." she commanded.

    The barrel of the pistol did not move, did not waver. The Lieutenant's eyes never drifted from Dyana, "That did not answer my question, Legate." he said in a firm, authoritative tone.

    Dyana had halted at the sight of the pistol and the men, the tableau before her. Behind her the junior investigator held still in the statue like pose of a Fremen on the edge of violence. Dyana's hands were behind her, out of sight. Her fingers flicked, in a subtle signal to the man behind her. 'Trouble, these are not ordinary household troops. Warn the others, should you be able to get free.'

    Aya was getting irritated. She was not used getting that tone from a mere soldier. She pushed those feelings aside. They were bad advisors at such tense moments. "Yes, they are with me." she said matter-of-factly "Now lower your weapon. I am sure you do not want to get hurt." she gave a small smirk. "Also what is this nonsense of taking me to a bunker? I am conducting an important investigation and I will not be interfered with."

    The blue eyes, not the blue within blue of a native of Arrakis, turned to meet hers. The pistol moved, faster than most would be able to follow, holstered once more. "You are investigating those that attacked you. I have already told you that we encountered them and took care of them. So, unless you wish to examine the bodies to learn more there is a more pressing need to keep the Legate safe from harm than there is to expose you to more danger."

    Dyana's fingers were still twitching, signalling the Fremen behind her. She walked closer to Aya Carolina, her hand finally coming from behind her back. "Is it possible to allow the Junior Investigator to return what findings we already have to the Residence Security office?" she asked Aya Carolina, ignoring the Lieutenant.

    Aya nodded to Dyana as she kept on observing the guard. "I want to see the bodies first." she said firmly. "I hope you and your men had not disturbed the scene too much." she made a sour face. Aya wanted to learn as much as possible about her assailants. Hopefully they were not involved in all this and had covered their tracks.

    Taking the nod as permission, the Junior Investigator walked out of the hidden corridor, through the passage from Aya-Carolina's room. Once he was sure that the others couldn't hear him, he moved with haste to reach and warn the others what Dyana had told him with her hand signals.

    Dyana moved up beside Aya, looking at the man who had pointed his pistol at her. She studied him, not entirely sure what he was but that he was certainly quite dangerous. "Of course, Sister, I would like to see them too."

    The Lieutenant's eyes were still cold as they drifted between the two women. "As you wish, Legate. But, I must insist on accompanying you, my men as well. There is no guarantee that they were the only ones who would make such an attempt." With that, he turned, two troops falling in on either side of Aya-Carolina and Dyana, the officer leading the way back out of the corridor, the Residence Manager only a step behind him.

    Aya gave him a smile "Of course Lieutenant." she did not hide her sarcasm from her voice "We don't want anyone else try their luck with me." she gave him an innocent look "Besides, Dyana here is quite capable with a cooking pan." she gave a soft chuckle. Those soldiers did not want her to find something, which meant she absolutely needed to carry out her investigation, there was no other way. Hopefully her companion would be ready to fight if the need arose.

    TAG: @darthbernael

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  24. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, Fuego, Pyrofuego! star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Posted on behalf of BobaMatt

    IC: Thufir Hawat
    Carthag Palace

    Glowglobes slowly increased in intensity to reveal a hungry smile on the Baron’s face. “The Emperor is playing right into my hands, as Leto did before.”

    Hawat pursed his lips. "Well you certainly seem to be on good terms with the man, considering the new guards." Did the Baron not realize that keeping sardaukar close at hand was a sword with two edges? Surely there was more to it than that. "I eagerly await your good news."

    A lazy smile crossed the Baron's face. A chortling laugh, that caused his body to jiggle on the suspensors holding it up, likewise came from him. "Those new guards...I have it on good authority that every House, Great and Minor, have been issued new household troops. Tell me what your computations say about that."

    The mirth faded, to a degree, from his face. "I realize that Glossu is overreaching, more and more. Partially we need that, to rebuild the spice coffers but..." one hand rose, rubbing his chin, "there are plans that are already in motion, that will turn the populace to support us, and fill those coffers with ease. We must just let Glossu continue squeezing until the tipping point is reached."

    Thufir pursed his lips. "My computations say it's a perilous situation. Will Sardaukar fight other Sardaukar? Do your Sardaukar answer to you, Baron, or are they here to keep you in line? Will they allow Glossu to squeeze?"

    A low, rumbling, laugh escaped the Baron. It was an ugly sound. "I am certain the Sardaukar are intending to sow discord among the Landsraad, to fracture and divide the various alliances. From what I have seen the ones assigned to us only nominally follow my orders."

    His large fingers rapped on the desk, another greasy chuckle escaping him. "This may work to our advantage, give them the most minimal, vague orders and when they do what they would otherwise and cause the populace to rise up in further revolt, we can point the finger that they obviously misinterpreted or ignored the orders they were given."

    "Or..." the mentat sat up a bit taller, seeing an opportunity to make himself important, "we can feed them information that leads the Padishah astray. Or would that be too bold? Certainly for some Houses..."

    Vladimir reached up, fat fingers now tapping his chin. His eyes glittered as though a decision had been reached. "And who would I be if I ignored the advice of my Mentat. People would suspect I do not trust you." A sly smile was on his face as he spoke. "I'm certain that your thoughts mean that Shaddam would lose even more support."

    Thufir stroked his chin and considered how to proceed. "Support, perhaps. Clarity, certainly." He allowed himself a smile. "And certainty, clearly."

    Thufir, keep your head about you, he warned himself. The Baron destroyed your House, your family, he keeps you tortured here, do not ally yourself with him... and yet the Emperor oversaw that destruction! The Padishah was not only an enemy, but a betrayer! Like Yueh! He broke a sacred trust and the Universe was poised to suffer my own fate!

    "The Emperor has allowed the Houses to command sardaukar now, ostensibly to fight smugglers and Fremen but also to ensure the Houses will not fight one another - and as a threat to the operations of those houses on Arrakis." Thufir stood and began to pace, rising to a crescendo, gesticulating with his free hand while the other punctuated with the impact of his cane. He became like an orchestra's conductor. "They are like the poison you feed me, Baron, these soldiers - the Emperor's threat is within you now, and they will kill you unless regularly sated. A method of control. The antidote here is not a helpful dram, the likes of which you put in my food, my lord, but a potent tincture of spice, information, and compliance. But what if we fed him poison back? You, my lord Baron, smiling and grateful for the Emperor's aid, coming to the Emperor like medicine when in fact you work slowly upon him, like chaumurky, serving... bad data, incomplete reports... informational and logistical poison. I know you're fond of it, Baron, because that's what you served me at first." He tapped his cane against the tile hard, making a sound like a gunshot. He spun on his heel, free arm held high, chest heaving, to face the mountainous tyrant behind him.

    The Baron chortled, "Yes, Thufir. We must at slowly and carefully. Which is why Glossu has not been made fully aware of my plans for the new 'guards'." He smiled, the expression almost obscene on his face, "I will make sure there are instructions for the use of them left with him without him realizing what they are. And, should Shaddam be unhappy with how they are being used I will point out that he was lat in charge and that I have Feyd-Rautha ready to take Glossu's place."

    Thufir thought about this, chewing the velvetty edges of his sapho stained lips. "No doubt the Sardaukar will act in theirs and the Emperor's interest, regardless of Lord Rabban's conduct or command. And so... yes... we use Rabban as our conduit of bad intel and mismanagement. I advise, seemingly well, but we simply fall short."

    Vladimir smiled coldly, the Mentat was beginning to understand how his house truly worked. "Yes, Glossu has been, I have made set up to be the one to end up being the one to take the fall for anything that is not of the Emperor's design." he murmured. "And you will ensure he never understands that."

    Thufir set his jaw, engaging in a calming exercise. "Where do we begin?"

    TAG: @BobaMatt (The last bit I added in the PM will be in the tag.)
    pashatemur likes this.
  25. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, Fuego, Pyrofuego! star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Apr 15, 2019

    In a low voice, she said: “I’ve been so lonely.”
    “It should be one of the tests,” the old woman said. “Humans are almost always lonely.”
    Lady Jessica and Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam - Frank Herbert's Dune

    A Fremen Wedding

    Preparations had to be made, the ceremony, the happy celebration needed to be done correctly, the Fremen way. Which meant that the evening of the announcement by Paul turned into morning and then day as the sietch set into motion their preparations. Word of this wedding had spread throughout the sietch and everyone seemed to be involved.

    Taina had been whisked away from Naveed and Aratt early in the morning, just after breakfast, by the women of the sietch. When they guided her out of their home she passed Zafim, who was headed into the home, with a thin smile, as much emotion as the big man showed, at her.

    Brought to a space she had not yet entered she was brought face to face with the Sayyadina, who explained the ritual to her, knowing she was not aware as an outsider. She was bathed, her hair groomed and plaited as custom demanded, before being dressed in her stillsuit with a muted color cloak dress over the rubbery garment meant to keep them alive in the desert.

    Meanwhile, Naveed spent the morning and midday mostly pacing their home, Aratt and Zafim trying to calm his nerves, the nervousness of what the Fedaykin knew was to come. He had been bathed, his hair and beard groomed, copious coffee being drunk as the day went on. He could hear the preparations deeper in the caverns as he waited, the usual task of the groom, and not something he’d ever expected or was prepared for.

    Finally, evening arrived. Stilgar guided Naveed from his cavern home out of the sietch. Aratt and Zafim had gone ahead, to be present when Naveed arrived. He’d been dressed in his stillsuit, the insignia as both a Fedaykin Lieutenant and now Stilgar’s right hand adorning it. As he stepped out of the entrance of the sietch he was greeted by a line of glowrods, their output facing down so no overflying thopters would see. Stilgar guided him between them, out to a flat plain of sand, Taina standing with the Sayyadina at the end of it.

    As he approached soft tones of Fremen music began to sound, until he was standing beside her, her water rings and his braided into her hair. The Sayyadina smiled softly, “Welcome Naveed, Taina, the sietch has gathered to affirm your vows of marriage, to join the two of you as one. May the Maker bless this union.”

    TAGS: @Adalia-Durron, @greyjedi125 (Combo with GM)


    Carthag Governor’s Residence

    "The senior of the new 'guards' is set to join us shortly. He'll trust you more than I, so sure, in his arrogance, that the former Mentat of the Atreides would not act as a Harkonnen." Vladimir said, with a smile. "So, when you give him his instructions, that Glossu is the na-Baron and to be obeyed while in their role here, he will believe you. And, with that belief in the Atreides loyalty he'll also believe he can read into your words to truly work against Glossu. Plans within plans, after all." the Baron Harkonnen replied, calmly but with a devious edge.

    The remainder of the meeting was filled with forced pleasantries before the Baron dismissed Thufir. As he walked the corridors of the Residence, the new guards were visible in their presence. An aura of arrogant superiority cloaked them, all but screaming their origins. They ignored the Mentat as he stalked down the hallways, headed toward his own suite.

    Before he reached his quarters, a pair of the new household guards fell in on either side of him. Another two moved, one before and one behind him. His Mentat training could have had him get away from the quartet but the poisons in his system severely degraded his abilities. So, the old Mentat followed where he was being led.

    Only a short walk later, he was brought to an office, a tall, wellbuilt man standing behind the desk of it. The short blonde hair and piercing blue eyes matched the arrogance that was held in those eyes as they met his rheumy ones. “Mentat Thufir Hawat, once aide to the Duke Leto II Atredies, now advisor to the Baron Harkonnen. Tell me, Mentat, why should I allow this sham to continue.”

    TAG: @BobaMatt (Can be a combo with the GM or, if you’re comfortable, you can play the Sardaukar officer as well)


    The deep desert, northwest of Arrakeen, near the Imperial Testing Station

    “Levenbrech, the craft were last seen flying low in this direction, as though near to a landing spot.” a low voice said, close to the hot sands.

    “There is nothing here, Immenbrech, save for several spires of rock, they must be here somewhere.” came another low voice. “Find them.”

    Sand humped up as a dozen forms lifted out from depressions in it. As the sand cascaded off the figures, they resolved into warriors in full armor, weapons at the ready.

    Hidden behind one of the spires near the testing station, one of Randolpho’s men tapped another on his shoulder. With a soft nod, “Let the boss know, we’re being hunted, and they’re close.”

    The spice miners had returned to the station, only moments before the patrol came close enough to see which rock spire they’d dropped behind. Which meant that Randolpho was in the closing hangar, unknowing that they’d been followed.

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto (combo with the GM, if desired, otherwise a solo)


    Levenbrech Murad
    Moritani Residence, Carthage, Arrakis

    The officer felt the pressure exerted by Ike’s hand against Trinnian’s. Which was when the bindings at his wrists separated. He threw himself down and to the side, away from the poison tipped needle. At the same time, he kicked his still found feet, his boots crashing into Trinnian’s nearest leg.

    The kick overbalanced Trinnian with a shriek of pain as her tibia cracked from the impact. She fell toward the floor, her free hand reaching for her injured leg, crying in pain. The pull began to overbalance Ike when the situation changed again. Murad rolled to his feet, snapping upward and causing Trinnian to shriek in pain again as he wrenched her upward, her body bowing as one the officer held her. He took the hand with the gom jabar, bringing the needle to her neck as he stared at Ike coldly.

    “Remove my other bindings, forget this conversation ever happened, and I might let your little witch live.” he stated.

    Backing away from Ike a couple steps brought his back against the seats of the sitting area, Trinnian moaning in pain and trying to stay still with the needle at her neck.

    “You may be on the do not kill list but she certainly is not and my men are placed to remove her household troops from this house, your shadows too, if needed. Do what I said, Moritani.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth (Combo with GM)


    Ginaz Residence - Hidden Passages, outside the walls

    Dyana glanced at Aya-Carolina with a questioning look. There was little she could do at the moment, with the Lieutenant leading them through the hidden passages. She could feel Chiar behind her and knew the man was very capable. He’d shown that in the duel against the now injured Fedaykin. A small smile was on her face, hefting the pan she still had. Her other hand reached out, fingers tapping on Aya-Carolina’s arm in a pattern that was a Bene Gesserit code, The investigators you got let go will have a team here soon. it said.

    The walk was a quiet one, that went through one musty corridor after another, whatever evidence of footprints of the assassins was gone due to the Lieutenant and his men, as they came to find Aya-Carolina. When the breath of wind touched their skin it told that they’d come to the exit of the hidden passages, one of them at least. Another of the troops was at the hidden doorway, holding it open for them.

    Only a hundred meters away was another of the Lieutenant’s men, standing by a couple piles on the ground. When they reached the man it was evident that the piles were all that were left of the assassins. Chair had said they had ‘turned them into dog food’ and his assessment wasn’t far off. There wasn’t a spot on what was left of the bodies that hadn’t been shot, sliced, or stabbed. Blood was everywhere, attracting flying insects, the pungent smell of it filling the air.

    The Lieutenant turned to Aya-Carolina with a fractional smile, “You wished to see the bodies, here they are. Not that there was much of them left when we captured them.”

    TAG: @TheAdmiral (Combo with GM)


    Tag for Clarence Mudze to roll over. @BobaMatt

    Tag for @Mira Grau (Cassandra) and @pashatemur (Sokanon), in progress, to roll over, continue.