Chapter 08


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Freakzilla
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Chapter 08

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Ten thousand years since Leto II began his metamorphosis from human into the
sandworm of Rakis and historians still argue over his motives. Was he driven by
the desire for long life? He lived more than ten times the normal span of three
hundred SY, but consider the price he paid. Was it the lure of power? He is
called the Tyrant for good reason but what did power bring him that a human
might want? Was he driven to save humankind from itself? We have only his own
words about his Golden Path to answer this and I cannot accept the self-serving
records of Dar-es-Balat. Might there have been other gratifications, which only
his experiences would illuminate? Without better evidence the question is moot.
We are reduced to saying only that "He did it!" The physical fact alone is
undeniable.

-The Metamorphosis of Leto II, 10,000th Anniversary Peroration by Gaus Andaud

Master Waff has been summoned by a Honored Matre. The returned Tleilaxu descendants from The Scattering have warned them about the dangers of the HMs, but they don't trust their returning brothers, considering them unclean. They have also brought back information that has been incorporated into the Duncan Idaho ghola. He is to meet the HMs on an Ixian no-ship, of which, some of the crew have been replaced with the New Face Dancers. This will be a test of the HMs ability to detect the NFDs. Waff also has poisoned dart throwers concealed in his sleeves. The HM wants to know why they sell Gholas to the BG then kill the gholas and what the BG plan to do with the girl on Rakis. She wants to know if Waff trusts the Ixians. Waff lies to her that the BG are using the ghola to find a way to nullify no-ship invisibility. The HM tells Waff that she intends to make the BT servants of the HMs and two HMs will accompany him back to Tleilax. When the two enter Waff notices that one of them has been replaced with a NFD. He kills the other one and the one he was talking to with the poisoned dart throwers. They are replaced with NFDs who imprint the slain HM's memories. Waff learns that HMs are like Reverend Mothers without Other Memory and that they practice sexual enslavement. Waff orders the no-ship destroyed and them all back to Bandalong.
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nistle2
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Re: Chapter 08

Post by nistle2 »

I can't read about Waff without picturing him as Warwick Davis in the Leprechaun.

Is he actually elfin or us that just his disguise? Is he even a face dancer or can't elders do that?

And it was pretty badass how he took out the Honored Matre. I knew he'd likely take care of business but who doesn't like reading about a smug mystic who gets killed with darts by an elf?
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Freakzilla
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Re: Chapter 08

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nistle2 wrote:I can't read about Waff without picturing him as Warwick Davis in the Leprechaun.
That's terrible!
Is he actually elfin or us that just his disguise?
They have genetically engineered themselves over the millenia to reinforce their stereotype.
Is he even a face dancer or can't elders do that?
No, Masters are not Face Dancers.
And it was pretty badass how he took out the Honored Matre. I knew he'd likely take care of business but who doesn't like reading about a smug mystic who gets killed with darts by an elf?
There's lots of action in this book.
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Ampoliros
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Re: Chapter 08

Post by Ampoliros »

I especially like the dynamics in this scene, Waff is so sure of himself, but Frank writes it in a way that you have no idea who will win until the conflict occurs, and even then he does it in a way that doesn't make the Honored Matres look weak, if anything they are even more of a threat after this scene.

One of my favorite scenes!
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nistle2
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Re: Chapter 08

Post by nistle2 »

Thanks Freak for clearing that up. I was pretty certain that Waff wasn't a Face Dancer but in this chapter there's some mention of him letting his expression down or something after he kills the Matre. Just thought I missed something.

This book is really different from the others, and better for it I think. Theres a great sense of the present since there's no longer any prescience, much like what Amp was saying about not knowing the outcome until it happens.

All the books have had a prophetical nature in Herbert's storytelling but that disappears in this one because The Tyrant has destroyed it. It's a cool connection between the plot drastically changing and Herbert's voice changing entirely with it.
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Re: Chapter 08

Post by A Thing of Eternity »

I'd say that that's an astute observation there. FH was a master of changing his "voice" while writing, sometimes within one book, but more often from book to book. His short stories really showcase this talent, reading through a collection of his shorts, a lot of them will have that typical FH tone, but then a few will just jump out at you and take you by surprise, almost as if a different author had written them.
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Re: Chapter 08

Post by Freakzilla »

Cleaned.
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OberstBK
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Re: Chapter 08

Post by OberstBK »

Hello there!

Been re-reading Heretics lately and a negative Kelvin temperature mentioned in this chapter caught my eye: when Waff thinks about how his darts were treated to make them undetectable by snoopers, he says they were kept for five months at minus 340 Kelvin in a radiation bath. Remembering from my physics class that you can't get below absolute zero (0 Kelvin means the lack of any heat) I frantically searched the webs to find if it is indeed true - managed to find an article that mentions that "A negative temperature can only be achieved with an upper limit for the energy" and so on.

Anyway, long story short, do you think Frank was messing with us, expecting full well that 15k years in the future such a temperature would exist? Or he just simply made a mistake?

Thanks all!
PS: massive appreciation for these posts by Freakzilla - they are a life saver.
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Re: Chapter 08

Post by georgiedenbro »

Hello!

Pretty sure it's just a mistake. In fact -340 C is even impossible as well. And yes, 0 Kelvin literally means zero energy, which is in theory a lower bound but in practice not really possible to exist since you can't eliminate all energy. You can get very, very close at best. The only reason I would hesitate to say FH was wrong about this is that the uncertainty principle is kind of funny, in that you can't get all measurements precise at the same time. So in theory a negative energy state is possible in an extremely short time frame, but not over any significant amount of time.

Another sci-fi thing to mention is that we have as yet never discovered 'exotic' matter, the stuff theoretically necessary for wormholes to exist and stay open. It basically amounts to positing material that has negative mass, negative energy, and so forth. I don't know that the standard model (for what that's worth) implies this should exist, but I don't think so. In 20,000 years the standard model will probably go bye-bye anyhow. So if this stuff exists then maybe they could fill a chamber with exotic matter in a containment field or something. Not sure how this would help the manufacture of his darts, though!!

Ok, so side conspiracy theory: maybe FH really did have the Hermetic mysticism in mind when writing Dune, as I suspect he did. This involves memory being stored in space, rather than in the brain (explaining OM and Duncan's powers in CH:D), it involves distance in space being merely a matter of perspective and solvable (explaining Holtzmann tech), and it involves the mind being capable of many things non-local (explaining the KH). If this is so, then a jump drive (which I take space folding to be) would, I imagine, require exotic matter to function. In the mysticism angle a human could actually traverse space in this way, but FH seems to suggest that a human's capabilities can be replicated technologically, which we see with the Ixian Naxtech. So the Holtzmann tech would be an example of the tech version arriving earlier than the human capacity to do it. In any case, if we suggest that space folding is wormhole-type tech, then exotic matter would be needed, and therefore I expect this type of matter would be generally available for scientific usage.
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