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Chapterhouse: Dune

Frank Herbert

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  FRANK HERBERT (1920-1986)

  One of science fiction's greatest creators, Frank Herbert was born in Tacoma, Washington, and educated at the University of Washington, Seattle. He worked a wide variety of jobs--including TV cameraman, radio commentator, oyster diver, jungle survival instructor, lay analyst, creative writing teacher, reporter and editor for several West Coast newspapers--before becoming a full-time writer.

  In 1952, Herbert began publishing science fiction with "Looking for Something?" in Startling Stories, then followed up with a number of short stories for other SF magazines. His novel The Dragon in the Sea (1956) was very favorably received, but his true emergence as a writer of major stature did not occur until 1965, with the publication of Dune.

  A stunning blend of science fact and fiction, environmentalism, and politics, Dune won the first Nebula award, shared the Hugo award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction. Chapterhouse: Dune marks the sixth and final volume of this phenomenal series. Frank Herbert's death in 1986 was a tragic loss, yet the astounding legacy of his visionary fiction will live forever...

  Praise for the Dune Chronicles--the Bestselling Science Fiction Adventure of All Time


  "One of the monuments of modern science fiction."

  --Chicago Tribune

  "I know nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings."-- Arthur C. Clarke


  "Brilliant ... It is all that Dune was, and maybe a little more."--Galaxy Magazine


  "A major event."--Los Angeles Times

  "There is something here for all science fiction fans."

  --Publishers Weekly


  "Rich fare... Heady stuff."--Los Angeles Times

  "A fourth visit to distant Arrakis that is every bit as fascinating as the other three--every bit as timely."--Time


  "A monumental piece of imaginative architecture... indisputably magical."--Los Angeles Herald Examiner

  "Appealing and gripping ... Fascinating detail, yet cloaked in mystery and mysticism."--The Milwaukee Journal


  "Compelling ... a worthy addition to this durable and deservedly popular series."--The New York Times

  "The vast and fascinating Dune saga sweeps on--as exciting and gripping as ever."--Kirkus Reviews

  Books by Frank Herbert


  DESTINATION: VOID (revised edition)













  MAN OF TWO WORLDS (with Brian Herbert)

  The Dune Chronicles







  Books by Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom




  Books edited by Brian Herbert



  If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as "unsold and destroyed" to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this "stripped book."

  This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents

  either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously,

  and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business

  establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


  An Ace Book / published by arrangement with

  G. P. Putnam's Sons


  G. P. Putnam's Sons edition / April 1985

  Berkley trade paperback edition / October 1986

  Ace edition / July 1987

  Copyright (c) 1985 by Frank Herbert.

  All rights reserved.

  This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced

  in any form without permission.

  For information address:

  G. P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  eISBN : 978-0-441-10267-9


  Ace Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  The name ACE and the "A" design are trademarks

  belonging to Penguin Putnam Inc.

  Those who would repeat the past must control the teaching of history.

  --Bene Gesserit Coda

  When the ghola-baby was delivered from the first Bene Gesserit axlotl tank, Mother Superior Darwi Odrade ordered a quiet celebration in her private dining room atop Central. It was barely dawn, and the two other members of her Council --Tamalane and Bellonda--showed impatience at the summons, even though Odrade had ordered breakfast served by her personal chef.

  "It isn't every woman who can preside at the birth of her own father," Odrade quipped when the others complained they had too many demands on their time to permit of "time-wasting nonsense."

  Only aged Tamalane showed sly amusement.

  Bellonda held her over-fleshed features expressionless, often her equivalent of a scowl.

  Was it possible, Odrade wondered, that Bell had not exorcised resentment of the relative opulence in Mother Superior's surroundings? Odrade's quarters were a distinct mark of her position but the distinction represented her duties more than any elevation over her Sisters. The small dining room allowed her to consult aides during meals.

  Bellonda glanced this way and that, obviously impatient to be gone. Much effort had been expended without success in attempts to break through Bellonda's coldly remote shell.

  "It felt very odd to hold that baby in my arms and think: This is my father," Odrade said.

  "I heard you the first time!" Bellonda spoke from the belly, almost a baritone rumbling as though each word caused her vague indigestion.

  She understood Odrade's wry jest, though. The old Bashar Miles Teg had, indeed, been the Mother Superior's father. And Odrade herself had collected cells (as fingernail scrapings) to grow this new ghola, part of a long-time "possibility plan" should they ever succeed in duplicating Tleilaxu tanks. But Bellonda would be drummed out of the Bene Gesserit rather than go along with Odrade's comment on the Sisterhood's vital equipment.

  "I find this frivolous at such a time," Bellonda said. "Those madwomen hunting us to exterminate us and you want a celebration!"

  Odrade held herself to a mild tone with some effort. "If the Honored Matres find us before we are ready perhaps it will be because we failed to keep up our morale."

  Bellonda's silent stare directly into Odrade's eyes carried frustrating accusation: Those terrible women already have exterminated sixteen of our planets!

  Odrade knew it was wrong to think of those planets as Bene Gesserit possessions. The loosely organized confederation of planetary governments assembled after the Famine Times and the Scattering depended heavily on t
he Sisterhood for vital services and reliable communications, but old factions persisted--CHOAM, Spacing Guild, Tleilaxu, remnant pockets of the Divided God's priesthood, even Fish Speaker auxiliaries and schismatic assemblages. The Divided God had bequeathed humankind a divided empire--all of whose factions were suddenly moot because of rampaging Honored Matre assaults from the Scattering. The Bene Gesserit--holding to most of their old forms--were the natural prime target for attack.

  Bellonda's thoughts never strayed far from this Honored Matre threat. It was a weakness Odrade recognized. Sometimes, Odrade hesitated on the point of replacing Bellonda, but even in the Bene Gesserit there were factions these days and no one could deny that Bell was a supreme organizer. Archives had never been more efficient than under her guidance.

  As she frequently did, Bellonda without even speaking the words managed to focus Mother Superior's attention on the hunters who stalked them with savage persistence. It spoiled the mood of quiet success Odrade had hoped to achieve this morning.

  She forced herself to think of the new ghola. Teg! If his original memories could be restored, the Sisterhood once more would have the finest Bashar ever to serve them. A Mentat Bashar! A military genius whose prowess already was the stuff of myths in the Old Empire.

  But would even Teg be of use against these women returned from the Scattering?

  By whatever gods may be, the Honored Matres must not find us! Not yet!

  Teg represented too many disturbing unknowns and possibilities. Mystery surrounded the period before his death in the destruction of Dune. He did something on Gammu to ignite the unbridled fury of the Honored Matres. His suicidal stand on Dune should not have been enough to bring this berserk response. There were rumors, bits and pieces from his days on Gammu before the Dune disaster. He could move too fast for the human eye to see! Had he done that? Another outcropping of wild abilities in Atreides genes? Mutation? Or just more of the Teg myth? The Sisterhood had to learn as soon as possible.

  An acolyte brought in three breakfasts and the sisters ate quickly, as though this interruption must be put behind them without delay because time wasted was dangerous.

  Even after the others had gone, Odrade was left with the aftershock of Bellonda's unspoken fears.

  And my fears.

  She arose and went to the wide window that looked across lower rooftops to part of the ring of orchards and pastures around Central. Late spring and already fruit beginning to form out there. Rebirth. A new Teg was born today! No feeling of elation accompanied the thought. Usually she found the view restorative but not this morning.

  What are my real strengths? What are my facts?

  The resources at a Mother Superior's command were formidable: profound loyalty in those who served her, a military arm under a Teg-trained Bashar (far away now with a large portion of their troops guarding the school planet, Lampadas), artisans and technicians, spies and agents throughout the Old Empire, countless workers who looked to the Sisterhood to protect them from Honored Matres, and all the Reverend Mothers with Other Memories reaching into the dawn of life.

  Odrade knew without false pride that she represented the peak of what was strongest in a Reverend Mother. If her personal memories did not provide needed information, she had others around her to fill the gaps. Machine-stored data as well, although she admitted to a native distrust of it.

  Odrade found herself tempted to go digging in those other lives she carried as secondary memory--these subterranean layers of awareness. Perhaps she could find brilliant solutions to their predicament in experiences of Others. Dangerous! You could lose yourself for hours, fascinated by the multiplicity of human variations. Better to leave Other Memories balanced in there, ready on demand or intruding out of necessity. Consciousness, that was the fulcrum and her grip on identity.

  Duncan Idaho's odd Mentat metaphor helped.

  Self-awareness: facing mirrors that pass through the universe, gathering new images on the way--endlessly reflexive. The infinite seen as finite, the analogue of consciousness car-r ying the sensed bits of infinity.

  She had never heard words come closer to her wordless awareness. "Specialized complexity," Idaho called it. "We gather, assemble, and reflect our systems of order."

  Indeed, it was the Bene Gesserit view that humans were life designed by evolution to create order.

  And how does that help us against these disorderly women who hunt us? What branch of evolution are they? Is evolution just another name for God?

  Her Sisters would sneer at such "bootless speculation."

  Still, there might be answers in Other Memory.

  Ahhhh, how seductive!

  How desperately she wanted to project her beleaguered self into past identities and feel what it had been to live then. The immediate peril of this enticement chilled her. She felt Other Memory crowding the edges of awareness. "It was like this!" "No! It was more like this!" How greedy they were. You had to pick and choose, discreetly animating the past. And was that not the purpose of consciousness, the very essence of being alive?

  Select from the past and match it against the present: Learn consequences.

  That was the Bene Gesserit view of history, ancient Santayana's words resonating in their lives: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. "

  The buildings of Central itself, this most powerful of all Bene Gesserit establishments, reflected that attitude wherever Odrade turned. Usiform, that was the commanding concept. Little about any Bene Gesserit working center was allowed to become non-functional, preserved out of nostalgia. The Sisterhood had no need for archeologists. Reverend Mothers embodied history.

  Slowly (much slower than usual) the view out her high window produced its calming effect. What her eyes reported, that was Bene Gesserit order.

  But Honored Matres could end that order in the next instant. The Sisterhood's situation was far worse than what they had suffered under the Tyrant. Many of the decisions she was forced to make now were odious. Her workroom was less agreeable because of actions taken here.

  Write off our Bene Gesserit Keep on Palma?

  That suggestion was in Bellonda's morning report waiting on the worktable. Odrade fixed an affirmative notation to it. "Yes."

  Write it off because Honored Matre attack is imminent and we cannot defend them or evacuate them.

  Eleven hundred Reverend Mothers and the Fates alone knew how many acolytes, postulants, and others dead or worse because of that one word. Not to mention all of the "Ordinary lives" existing in the Bene Gesserit shadow.

  The strain of such decisions produced a new kind of weariness in Odrade. Was it a weariness of the soul? Did such a thing as a soul exist? She felt deep fatigue where consciousness could not probe. Weary, weary, weary.

  Even Bellonda showed the strain and Bell feasted on violence. Tamalane alone appeared above it but that did not fool Odrade. Tam had entered the age of superior observation that lay ahead of all Sisters if they survived into it. Nothing mattered then except observations and judgments. Most of this was never uttered except in fleeting expressions on wrinkled features. Tamalane spoke few words these days, her comments so sparse as to be almost ludicrous:

  "Buy more no-ships."

  "Brief Sheeana."

  "Review Idaho records."

  "Ask Murbella."

  Sometimes, only grunts issued from her, as though words might betray her.

  And always the hunters roamed out there, sweeping space for any clue to the location of Chapterhouse.

  In her most private thoughts, Odrade saw the no-ships of Honored Matres as corsairs on those infinite seas between the stars. They flew no black flags with skull and crossbones, but that flag was there nonetheless. Nothing whatsoever romantic about them. Kill and pillage! Amass your wealth in the blood of others. Drain that energy and build your killer no-ships on ways lubricated with blood.

  And they did not see they would drown in red lubricant if they kept on this course.

  There must be
furious people out there in that human Scattering where Honored Matres originated, people who live out there lives with a single fixed idea: Get them!

  It was a dangerous universe where such ideas were allowed to float around freely. Good civilizations took care that such ideas did not gain energy, did not even get a chance for birth. When they did occur, by chance or accident, they were to be diverted quickly because they tended to gather mass.

  Odrade was astonished that the Honored Matres did not see this or, seeing it, ignored it.

  "Full-blown hysterics," Tamalane called them.

  "Xenophobia," Bellonda disagreed, always correcting, as though control of Archives gave her a better hold on reality.