"Well, Jessica, what have you to say for yourself?" asked the Reverend
It was near sunset at Castle Caladan on the day of Paul's ordeal. The two
women were alone in Jessica's morning room while Paul waited in the adjoining
soundproofed Meditation Chamber.
Jessica stood facing the south windows. She saw and yet did not see the
evening's banked colors across meadow and river. She heard and yet did not hear
the Reverend Mother's question.
There had been another ordeal once -- so many years ago. A skinny girl with
hair the color of bronze, her body tortured by the winds of puberty, had entered
the study of the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, Proctor Superior of the
Bene Gesserit school on Wallach IX. Jessica looked down at her right hand,
flexed the fingers, remembering the pain, the terror, the anger.
"Poor Paul," she whispered.
"I asked you a question, Jessica!" The old woman's voice was snappish,
"What? Oh . . . " Jessica tore her attention away from the past, faced the
Reverend Mother, who sat with back to the stone wall between the two west
windows. "What do you want me to say?"
"What do I want you to say? What do I want you to say?" The old voice
carried a tone of cruel mimicry.
"So I had a son!" Jessica flared. And she knew she was being goaded into
this anger deliberately.
"You were told to bear only daughters to the Atreides."
"It meant so much to him," Jessica pleaded.
"And you in your pride thought you could produce the Kwisatz Haderach!"
Jessica lifted her chin. "I sensed the possibility."
"You thought only of your Duke's desire for a son," the old woman snapped.
"And his desires don't figure in this. An Atreides daughter could've been wed to
a Harkonnen heir and sealed the breach. You've hopelessly complicated matters.
We may lose both bloodlines now."
"You're not infallible," Jessica said. She braved the steady stare from the
Presently, the old woman muttered: "What's done is done."
Note that Jessica was not ordered to bear A daughter but ONLY daughters.
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.~Pink Snowman