Storms on Trajaras

Chapter Two

Truth and Lies

All retire for the night. Sisyphus is woken from his slumbers by his communicator. Security control has a an alert from Moon Mountain (a processing city far away). An explosion has occurred (sabotage) at one of the refineries. He coordinates their actions, then goes back to sleep. When he wakes again, he checks the security reports: At 6:00am, Major Heinz took 2,000 Special Forces troops into the tunnels under Porthaven. At 6:15am 30 Sardaukar also went in. There is also a report of a missing ship, the Lepidoptera, 2.5 days overdue at Moon Mountain.

Sisyphus calls Osiron to find out who is the de facto leader of the smugglers since Dawn Rose may be fictitious. He flirts with the idea of questioning Callisius, or plea bargaining with him, until he gets a summons from Saskia. She has decided to prophecy on him. Unfortunately it seems to work. She sees him being stabbed through the chest by Thordis! She manages to disguise her horror, just as an orbital craft swoops down to the lawns. It is a shuttle from the Atreides frigate. Nicholas says he invited them down here. He then gets a communication from the frigate, saying that a Guild heighliner has arrived and a House Cadiz frigate has disembarked along with a large House Richese craft. Also, lots of smaller vessels have launched from the planet (most of those should be scheduled). As the Atreides frigate watches, some of them dock with the (now joined) House Richese ships! Nicholas realises that he can send up a shuttle, but not take any offensive action.

Rona gets a very bad feeling about things. Leander receives a note from Lady Aurora; she has obligations tonight and asks him to meet the Cadiz delegation on her behalf. Nicholas orders medical checkups on all the Atreides staff, starting with Jasmine.

A ship hovers above the mansion. A shuttle leaves it, to land on the roof. Sisyphus quietly gathers an honour guard to greet them in the ballroom. Lady Aurora asks him why he thinks the Guild Navigator wants to see her. He thinks: A Guild Navigator is prescient, greater even than the Bene Gesserit. The previous Bene Gesserit resident (Amelia Helena) is apparently dead. Rona’s prescience about Aurora meeting a great number of minds; therefore, the Navigator wants to talk to her about this. When Sisyphus says he suspects it’s something to do with the alleged disappearance of he stepmother, a “How did he know about that?!” look passes over Lady Aurora’s face.

The Navigator’s tank is wheeled in, and a voice speaks: “The time is soon. The old ones are rising. Soon you will call the power of the Ancients. Make sure you are ready, and that no-one shall stop you. To succeed, the Ancients will die. The Ancients are the only ones to stop this (something?)”.

Lady Aurora responds: “But the Ancients are a myth. They don’t exist. All that is left is the ch- (?) minds of those gone before me.”.

Navigator replies: “The Ancients have always existed. Trajaras is founded on their power. When they return they will come here. Only the power of the ancient Trajarans can stop them.”

The tank is wheeled out. Sisyphus and Thordis look at Lady Aurora; she smiles back. She walks to the window with Sisyphus and clarifies: “Some of the religions on Trajaras are real, not myths. Seeaman always protected Trajaras before the Chaos. It has taken thousands of generations to regain that control. In that time, each High Priestess contributed her knowledge, wisdom and memories. Each new Priestess can hear.

Sisyphus: “What do you hear?”.

Aurora: “Most of the time, Chaos. The last statement was `Don’t go to Calypso.`”

Enquiring further, she knows nothing of the Ancients, but says: “According to Amelia, the Bene Gesserit are capable of a group mind. This may be similar, or predate their methods. I would like you to find out. Amelia had no idea I would be next in line, and by then she was gone.”. It seems Amelia went to these memories, and not to the Bene Gesserit mind, which would explain why the Reverend Mother still thinks she is alive.

Sisyphus asks about Thordis, and her ability to protect Lady Aurora. She has killed 47 people; those who upset her, their families and everyone who knew them. Thordis is an off-worlder, but Lady Aurora recruited her here. She killed Aurora’s brother’s (Ryan) gladiator! (Thordis is vaguely oriental, and looks similar to those of House Wayku). Sisyphus asks which other religions Lady Aurora knows are true. She says the Cult of Melack, the Trajaran god of Death.

Rona checks out the religions of Trajaras, by reading Mavern’s report. Sailors worship Seeaman, land-dwellers worship Mazeranus.

Nicholas receives reports; 17 loads of jasmium quartz were delivered to the House Richese ships. All had proper paperwork, and left from House Manndrach spaceports. The larger Richese vessel is now docking with the heighliner. The other is still in orbit. The Sardaukar ship had two imperial couriers bring information. The House O’Garee, House Richese and Sardaukar ships are holding orbit, while the House Cadiz ship is coming in to land.

Warren goes to see Jasmine, and challenges her about her very good aim. Her body language changes completely (A ‘Shit! He noticed!’ reaction) and she walks away in a manner that suggests she could be an assassin!

Mavern is assembling a dinner list for tonight, to match the 12 strong Cadiz delegation. Sisyphus and Saskia go for a walk (with Sisyphus intending to ask Saskia’s help in questioning people and hopefully find out more about the Bene Gesserit group mind). He refuses to tell her what happened in his meeting with Lady Aurora earlier, so she tries using the Voice. It fails, and in desperation she seduces him and he tells everything.

Warren is a little concerned. He can’t find Sisyphus, and the House Manndrach security say he’s on an undercover operation. So instead he finds Rona and tells her of his suspicions. They go to confront Jasmine together and ascertain that she has been trained, but not in that way. She has also received a note, threatening to kill her sister if she testifies. Warren offers her some extra training. She makes a deal. If Paramina is returned, she will testify.

4pm – Nicholas receives a report of the day’s activities. Some House Manndrach personnel are dead after 3 separate engagements (Oops! 1 is against the Sardaukar). They killed some rebels and discovered a hideout. The 3rd fight was on the surface; House Atreides guards killed and one rebel dead. Major Heinz is still supervising the cleanup operation. It is now the Hour of Assassins, so everyone retires to their respective quarters to prepare for the dinner with the House Cadiz delegation.

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