Storms on Trajaras

Chapter Two

Truth and Lies

Archbishop Manilus and Bishop Ridalus Polio of Trajaras, Captains Masta and Mahannun, and Morgan Evangelos complete our dozen for dinner, to match the 12-strong House Cadiz delegation. When we reach the ballroom, Captain Masta and Morgan Evangelos are chatting, and embracing scantily-clad girls. Captain Mahannun is also there, very smartly turned out (but he is hiding his true self). Just then, the Bishops arrive. The Archbishop is very old and senile.

Captain Mahannun questions Nicholas about why his men wanted to search his ship. Nicholas mentions the Moon Mountain incident. He expects it is Trajaran separatists. Just then, the House Cadiz delegation arrives, dressed all in black and orange. A powerful couple (Don Thomas and Cornelia Cadiz) head the party, followed by a Suk Physician (Dr. Sancho Sanchez), another man (Juan de Corleone – Swordmaster) and a young lady (Floriana. The daughter?) who seems impressed by Leander. Cornelia, however, is not impressed by Saskia and suggests that she should be burned as a witch. Don Thomas apologises for his wife’s outspokenness. The dinner proceeds, and luckily Taran’s stories go over extremely well with the House Cadiz members. Leander finds out that they are here to preach The Word (Orange Catholicism) with the blessing of the Emperor. Leander explains that these are dangerous times.

Mavern receives a message from Colonel Magnus Schiavonna, outraged at House Manndrach and Atreides guards shooting his troops. He holds Atreides to blame, and calls it an ambush. He demands an outright apology. Mavern drafts a reply to make his apologies. As the Cadiz leave, they mention that two thousand missionaries will soon be joining them. After they have gone, everyone relaxes with a drink. Saskia tells Rona what she learned earlier from Sisyphus.

Nicholas receives a communication from Captain Moore. A second heighliner has appeared in orbit! Its cargo doors open and a House Wayku battleship flies out! It manoeuvres to the original heighliner and flies inside. The second heighliner immediately vanishes.

Later that evening, Leander receives a summons from Oleg Constantine, aide to Colonel Schiavonna. He is here to deliver a message from the Emperor, and must stay to wait for a reply immediately. It is to declare formal Vendetta against House Atreides by House Richese in response to the bill for unpaid taxes! He acknowledges it (there are some House Richese personnel constructing the undersea tunnels).

Meanwhile, Sisyphus and Nicholas go to interrogate Callisius and threaten him with House Cadiz. He seems unfazed and doesn’t offer any additional information.

The following morning, security reports arrive: House O’Garee all left in the heighliner (without Simone, it appears). Something weird near Moon Mountain; the Caesar Augustus (searching for the Lepidoptera) has not seen the ship, but it has lost 3 search craft in the area. Nicholas investigates Ichabod Richese. He is an engineer, but his mentat disappeared from the records after first arriving on planet 5 years ago. Taran reminds Leander that Simone O’Garee was originally trained and conditioned by House Richese.

Sisyphus then goes to see Lady Aurora. He tells her of the House Cadiz meeting. She has a memo from Cyan about the Moon Mountain explosions blaming Trajaran separatists, and suspects further attacks may be forthcoming. Sisyphus starts to ask about hiring more people to assist his job, and Lady Aurora then seduces him. They retire for further questioning…

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