The first day on the heighliner passed peacefully. During the night, the liner arrived at the next pickup point and started loading – here the Bene Gesserit and Slavo Reav board. They join the other passengers for breakfast. Most notice an interesting conversation between Hassan Principio, his bondsman and another – they are talking in a secret language, but appear to be discussing Leander! Slavo is greeted by a fellow Wallach (a slave seller).
After breakfast, Sigmar Vidal commences sculpting Leander’s bust, while Saskia watches. Rona returns to her quarters. The others then continue to the gym, while Sisyphus and Taran go through the books and films on the quartz mining operation. Unfortunately, at the gym, Leander injures Slavo whilst sparring, who has to be helped to the medical bay. Soon he feels better and returns. Meanwhile, Rona promenades for a while, then settles down with a film book – she notices that Sigmar is an assassin! She communicates this to Saskia, to do with as she pleases.
After dinner, all except Taran and Saskia go to the games room. Leander meets up with Sebastian Ivilonette and a couple of his scantily clad beauties – Slavo is somewhat distracted. He invites them to play a card game, Hangman’s Hand. Leander, Slavo and the mentat agree – Slavo wins, even though he appears to be playing badly. The Harkonnen cannot pay, and offers his concubine Samantha! Saskia notes it was an obvious set up.
Suddenly there is a scream from next door, the Cheops room. Saskia remembers there were 4 people in there: Reuben Ivilonette (Sebastian’s father) and a couple of his concubines, plus one of his bondsmen. Now, Ruben is lying writhing on the floor, blood pouring from him. One of the concubines is screaming in the corner, the other 2 are missing. Rona fails to calm her down, Saskia succeeds. Rona notices Sebastian’s response – he is angry, but otherwise completely unreadable. Just then the medics arrive, but Ruben is dead. The medics shoo everyone out, then remove the body. Leander returns to his room – and spots a hunter-seeker hovering in the corner! He stops, and hopes it is a protective one placed by his assassin. It doesn’t seem to attack.
Next morning, as Sisyphus goes to breakfast, he is challenged by Hassan Principio to a duel to the death, for the murder of Ruben Ivilonette and Principio’s bound concubine, Leah. (huh?). Slavo asks for more details – the concubine died last night, after we retired. He accuses Sisyphus of killing Ruben, because he remembered Sisyphus as the perpetrator of Harkonnen genocide and that he killed the concubine as a cover. Sisyphus, of course, denies everything. As his champion, Leander agrees to the duel, immediately before dinner.
Rona goes off to see the medic – the concubine was found by Principio, exhibiting the same bleeding symptoms as Reuben. The medic still gives the official story of “space sickness”, but after application of the Voice, admits that something stopped their blood from clotting. He suspects poison, but found no method of administration. He is angry, so she lets him leave.
Sisyphus tries prescience. He has a vision of lots of House Wallach bodies, lying in pools of blood. Everyone is dead, except one; somebody is immune. – but he cannot focus on who. Rona also tries- she sees an old-fashioned ship, running before a storm (dark green clouds, stinging to the skin); it starts to sink before it reaches the safety of the island. She goes to tell the assassin; she (assassin) is sure the symptoms are not due to a poison, so they go to see Taran, who has some medical knowledge. He knows this effect is due to excess ingestion of mandross, a pharmaceutical moss used as an anticoagulant. It grows in the Vidal homeworld, Ecaz. Its effects can be counteracted by taking a coagulant. Dosage might be tricky, unless you know the environmental levels! The only people who have not been eating with everyone else are the 3 members of House Evangelos.