Storms on Trajaras

Chapter Two

Truth and Lies

Both Sisyphus and Nicholas retire for a couple of hours of rest. Saskia tries for a prescient vision: She sees a throne room with a large man issuing orders that pass out in webs. One part is cut. A silhouetted man ties one end, then passes the end to another man, who will be betrayed by his wife. She recognises the first figure to be Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, but 20 years ago. Rona prophecies about the Lady Aurora: She sees a time in the future, and feels a mind or minds more powerful than any she has seen. She reaches out to them, and they respond because of what she is.

Warren goes to see Jasmine. She is still justifiably upset. He deflects her missiles (thrown books, etc.) with a tea tray, and plays dodge around the swimming pool, until she runs back to her room. He muses, as he waits outside, that she seemed to be a very good shot for someone with very bad distance vision.

Sisyphus goes to Lady Aurora and waits in her private reception room. When she appears he explains the Sardaukar incident to her (as he does, he notices that her eyes are completely blue. Not the normal spice-effect). As she smiles at him, her eyes become brown again, and agrees that it would be a good idea to invite both Schiavonna and Callistus to dinner. She has also invited Captain Lithian (the one with the key to the palace).

Sisyphus returns to his room, to receive an irate call from Sean O’Garee. Some House Manndrach guards have just arrested Simone O’Garee! Sisyphus contacts Osiron, but the only guards around there are in no fit state to be on duty. He then calls Captain Ludicus, head of the Porthaven Guard, but it wasn’t his men. So who is impersonating House Manndrach guards?

Sisyphus finds out more details. Simone had been shopping in the commercial centre 45 minutes ago. He closes the port, then talks to Taran to ask about the eyes. Taran suggests Tleilaxu gene-engineering. He also asks Nicholas about the situation, who chooses not to pass it on to Leander.

All turn up for dinner. The two Sardaukar (Schiavonna and Captain Constantine) are talking with Captain Lithian. Sisyphus calls Major Heinz to get the Special Forces troops to check the Porthaven tunnels. Just then, the House O’Garee group arrives. Sean is not happy and Eland looks alert. The conversation is stilted. During dessert, Nicholas gets a communication from Captain Moore on a frigate in orbit above the palace, apart from the House O’Garee and Sardaukar transports, telling him that there is a House Richese ship present. What are they doing here? Sisyphus checks in with Captain Ludicus, who backs up Sean O’Garee’s story. They were definitely not House Manndrach guards, but impersonators. Mavern remembers that the accountants had billed House Richese for 350 million solaris. Perhaps they have come to deliver?

Captain Lithian is pleased to meet Leander, the prophesied saviour of Trajaras (Thordis is smirking at this point). He also tells us more about Seeaman (sp?); the ocean religion and the sailors’ god. This is an exclusive religion, separate from the Fire Cult of Mazaranus. The followers are few but dedicated, co-ordinated by a High Priestess (Lady Aurora reacts to this. Remember the Seeaman greeting?) selected by the Sea. Rona asks him about the Seeaman greeting. He says that it is just a general blessing used amongst worshippers, but he is lying! He knows that the last High Priestess passed on, because she was his wife. Her name was Amelia Helena. She married him after Pieter died. They had 14 daughters, but he is not aware of Sabrina! He is now re-married.

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