"At last, you have asked a proper question." And when she did not reply, he
said: "Mater Felicissima." Addressing her by the ancient term for Bene
Gesserit Council members.
She knew why he did it and felt the word produce the wanted effect. She was
firmly balanced now, Mentat Reverend Mother encompassed by the mohalata of her
own Spice Agony -- that union of benign Other Memory protecting her from
domination by malignant ancestors.
How did he know to do that? Every observer behind the comeyes would be asking
that question. Of course! The Tyrant trained him thus, time and time again.
What do we have here? What is this talent Mother Superior dares employ?
Dangerous, yes, but far more valuable than I suspected. By the gods of our own
creation! Is he the tool to free us?
How calm he was. He knew he had caught her.
"In one of my lives, Bell, I visited your Bene Gesserit house on Wallach IX and
there talked to one of your ancestors, Tersius Helen Anteac. Let her guide you,
Bell. She knows."
Bellonda felt familiar prodding in her mind. How could he know Anteac was my
"I went to Wallach IX at the Tyrant's command," he said. "Oh, yes! I often
thought of him as Tyrant. My orders were to suppress the Mentat school you
thought you had hidden there."
Anteac-simulflow intruded: "I show you now the event of which he speaks."
"Consider," he said. "I, a Mentat, forced to suppress a school that trained
people the way I was trained. I knew why he ordered it, of course, and so do
Simulflow poured it through her awareness: Order of Mentats, founded by
Gilbertus Albans; temporary sanctuary with Bene Tleilax who hoped to incorporate
them into Tleilaxu hegemony; spread into uncounted "seed schools"; suppressed by
Leto II because they formed a nucleus of independent opposition; spread into the
Scattering after the Famine.
"He kept a few of the finest teachers on Dune, but the question Anteac forces
you to confront now does not go there. Where have your Sisters gone, Bell?"
"We have no way of knowing yet, do we?" She looked at his console with new
awareness. It was wrong to block such a mind. If they were to use him, they
must use him fully.
"By the way, Bell," as she stood to leave. "Honored Matres could be a
relatively small group."
Small? Didn't he know how the Sisterhood was being overwhelmed by terrifying
numbers on planet after planet?
"All numbers are relative. Is there something in the universe truly immovable?
Our Old Empire could be a last retreat for them, Bell. A place to hide and try
"You suggested that before . . . to Dar."
Not Mother Superior. Not Odrade. Dar. He smiled. "And perhaps we could help
"Murbella to gather information, I to assess it."
He did not like the smile this produced.
"... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."
“There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”
Sandrider: "Keith went to Bobo's for a weekend of drinking, watched some DVDs,
and wrote a Dune Novel."