Chapter 06


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Freakzilla
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Chapter 06

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"Once more the drama begins."
-The Emperor Paul Muad'dib on his ascension to the Lion Throne

Alia spies on Paul and Stilgar from above as they meet Edric, the new Guild Ambassador in Paul's great reception hall. She recognizes Duncan Idaho among the Guild entourage from other memory. Edric offers Paul the ghola of Idaho, now called Hayt, as a gift. Hayt is pleased by the sound of Paul's voice but doesn't remember his past. Some things are oddly familiar to him, though. Paul wonders what, if any, debt he owes his former trainer and friend for saving his life and what the Tleilaxu have hidden in the ghola. Edric informs Paul that Hayt has been trained as a Zensunni Mentat in an effort to improve his abilities with the sword. Paul senses danger in the currents of time around Edric. Hayt says he finds pleasure in looking for signs of his past in those around him and he sees such signs in Stilgar. Paul tells him that they will keep his Tleilaxu name. Hayt steps back and Alia wonders how he knew the interview was over. Paul accepts and sends Edric's envoy away, notifying him that they will meet in private later, to discuss, among other things, the presence of RM Mohiam on the Highliner and his removal of her from it. Paul asks Hayt to remain and discovers from him that his intended purpose is to destroy him and asks to be sent away. Paul refuses. Alia feels attraction for the Idaho ghola but also feels danger to herself from him.
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Re: Chapter 06

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These scenes with Paul's court are some of my favorite in any of the Dune novels, but there's one thing in this chapter that bothers me, and it's the suggestion that Dr. Yueh was engineered by the Tleilaxu to be a traitor:

"They sold killer mentats. They produced killer medics, overcoming the Suk inhibitions against the taking of human life, to do it."

I thought that the whole point was that the Baron discovered he could use Yueh's love for Wanna as the lever long enough to move a planet, to subvert the Imperial conditioning. I don't think it's as powerful if the Tleilaxu engineered him to be a traitor.

I also thought that Yueh was the first Suk doctor whose Imperial conditioning failed, which made him above suspicion. I suppose you could say that a medic is different from a doctor, but who else but Yueh can this possibly refer to. They're talking about the Suk school imperial conditioning here, which was impossible to subvert in Dune. I also don't like the fact that "medics" is plural, as if it had been done many times before.

Dune Messiah is one of my favorite books, and I've probably read it more times than I've read Dune. I am, personally, interested in the ideas in DM more than any of the books (which is highly subjective). There are a couple things though, possibly in the editing, that seem slightly wonky, like Bronso of Ix's being on trial during Muad'Dib's reign for a history that's supposed to be written after Muad'Dib's reign). And maybe the transition from chapter 5 to chapter 6, from a scene with Paul's court talking about the Guildsman arriving to a scene with Paul's court receiving the Guildsman, is a little bit awkward.



By the way, I think chapter 4 has mistakenly been double-posted as chapter 5. I don't have the book in front of me, but I think there's a chapter where Paul observes the pilgrims, Irulan is humiliated, Korba reviles the Guild and almost suggests Muad'Dib isn't fully Fremen, and Irulan is relieved because Paul hasn't "seen" a Steersman. Again, I don't have the book in front of me, I'm actually listening to the audiobook at the moment, and I risk being an asshole complaining about the massive undertaking that is the Reading Group.
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Re: Chapter 06

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merkin muffley wrote:These scenes with Paul's court are some of my favorite in any of the Dune novels, but there's one thing in this chapter that bothers me, and it's the suggestion that Dr. Yueh was engineered by the Tleilaxu to be a traitor:

"They sold killer mentats. They produced killer medics, overcoming the Suk inhibitions against the taking of human life, to do it."

I thought that the whole point was that the Baron discovered he could use Yueh's love for Wanna as the lever long enough to move a planet, to subvert the Imperial conditioning. I don't think it's as powerful if the Tleilaxu engineered him to be a traitor.

I also thought that Yueh was the first Suk doctor whose Imperial conditioning failed, which made him above suspicion. I suppose you could say that a medic is different from a doctor, but who else but Yueh can this possibly refer to. They're talking about the Suk school imperial conditioning here, which was impossible to subvert in Dune. I also don't like the fact that "medics" is plural, as if it had been done many times before.
I can't explain the plural form of "medics" but the only way I can make sense of that line is that Piter was a BT creation and through him they overcame Dr. Yueh's Imperial Conditioning.
By the way, I think chapter 4 has mistakenly been double-posted as chapter 5. I don't have the book in front of me, but I think there's a chapter where Paul observes the pilgrims, Irulan is humiliated, Korba reviles the Guild and almost suggests Muad'Dib isn't fully Fremen, and Irulan is relieved because Paul hasn't "seen" a Steersman. Again, I don't have the book in front of me, I'm actually listening to the audiobook at the moment, and I risk being an asshole complaining about the massive undertaking that is the Reading Group.
I'll check on that, thanks.
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Re: Chapter 06

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My texts (book & file) have "a killer medic", singular:
[Alia] sensed the hidden perils in this gift then. This was a Tleilaxu thing. The Tleilaxu displayed a disturbing lack of inhibitions in what they created. Unbridled curiosity might guide their actions. They boasted they could make anything from the proper human raw material—devils or saints. They sold killer-mentats. They'd produced a killer medic, overcoming the Suk inhibitions against the taking of human life to do it. Their wares included willing menials, pliant sex toys for any whim, soldiers, generals, philosophers, even an occasional moralist.
It has been suggested before that this refers to Yueh, but if Yueh was meant, why wasn't he named? Just because Alia never knew him in person?

It's been about 15 years since Yueh's betrayal, enough time for word of it to spread. After learning that a thing is possible, maybe the BT decided to reproduce it. That would fit with the pride in their abilities (hubris?) which is the source of Alia's unease, no? :)
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Re: Chapter 06

Post by merkin muffley »

SandChigger wrote:My texts (book & file) have "a killer medic", singular:
They'd produced a killer medic

Audiobook. No actual book around. (Damn it. :doh: )

SandChigger wrote: It has been suggested before that this refers to Yueh, but if Yueh was meant, why wasn't he named? Just because Alia never knew him in person?

It's been about 15 years since Yueh's betrayal, enough time for word of it to spread. After learning that a thing is possible, maybe the BT decided to reproduce it. That would fit with the pride in their abilities (hubris?) which is the source of Alia's unease, no? :)
That definitely works and does fit into Alia's inner monologue. It's still a little bit odd to me to have a reference to overcoming Suk school conditioning without any reference to Yueh, or without mentioning it had been done before. A little bit misleading, maybe.

But I guess a "medic" is distinctly different from the kind of doctor Yueh was, and typically refers to somebody in the military, on the battlefield, associated with troops.
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Re: Chapter 06

Post by SandChigger »

Yeah, the lack of any mention of Yueh is weird either way.

And there's always the possibility it was something FH missed in the editing. ;)
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Re: Chapter 06

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Freakzilla wrote:
By the way, I think chapter 4 has mistakenly been double-posted as chapter 5. I don't have the book in front of me, but I think there's a chapter where Paul observes the pilgrims, Irulan is humiliated, Korba reviles the Guild and almost suggests Muad'Dib isn't fully Fremen, and Irulan is relieved because Paul hasn't "seen" a Steersman. Again, I don't have the book in front of me, I'm actually listening to the audiobook at the moment, and I risk being an asshole complaining about the massive undertaking that is the Reading Group.
I'll check on that, thanks.
Fixed. :oops:
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Re: Chapter 06

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Revised
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Re: Chapter 06

Post by georgiedenbro »

Here's a passage I had to re-read several times in a row to figure out:
Dune Messiah wrote:"This is a place where a man draws away from people," Hayt said. "It speaks
of such power that one can contemplate it comfortably only in the remembrance
that all things are finite. Did my Lord's oracular powers plot his course into
this place?"
Paul drummed his fingers against the throne's arms. The mentat sought data,
but the question disturbed him. "I came to this position by strong decisions . .
. not always out of my other . . . abilities."
"Strong decisions," Hayt said. "These temper a man's life. One can take the
temper from fine metal by heating it and allowing it to cool without quenching
."
"Do you divert me with Zensunni prattle?" Paul asked.
"Zensunni has other avenues to explore, Sire, than diversion and display."
The highlighted passage is the one that concerned me, purely because I didn't know what Hayt was saying and he is generally very economical with his comments. Upon close inspection I take its literal meaning to be this: "Strong decisions can shape a life's course into a fine and well-crafted path. But the quality of that path can be destroyed if its heat is left to peter out slowly instead of being quenched quickly in another strong decision."

I think this is a very important passage because it shows that Hayt knows more than we'd have expected. In fact we don't know what to expect - he shows up at Paul's door direct from the Tleilaxu, and we don't know what they've told him or what information he has. But it seems to me that here Hayt is bringing up the very topic that's been on Paul's mind during DM so far - that Paul's course is becoming muddied, that any purpose his Empire had is slowly cooling, and that the situation can't be solved by waiting for something to just happen. I think he's telling Paul that he'll have to do something if he wants his actions to continue to have meaning. Paul had been considering, in Chapter 03, ways he might stop the jihad, stop the fate upon which he'd been set, and to escape from what seemed like a trap into which he had been thrust by his use of oracular power. I get the distinct sense that Hayt is somehow is aware of all this, perhaps in a general basis, and that he even sees himself as being part of Paul's larger trap.

To be more explicit: I think this is a passage where Hayt tells Paul what he must do in order to escape the Tleilaxu trap, thus fulfilling the code whereby the Tleilaxu always provide a means of escape to their victims. We will see later on in the book how Paul's actions reflect the advice given to him here. But Hayt's comment seems to suggest the general way in which Paul should end his reign - in a swift quenching, rather than a slow cooling, and a deliberate and calculated quenching at that.
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Re: Chapter 06

Post by the rev »

The highlighted passage is the one that concerned me, purely because I didn't know what Hayt was saying and he is generally very economical with his comments. Upon close inspection I take its literal meaning to be this: "Strong decisions can shape a life's course into a fine and well-crafted path. But the quality of that path can be destroyed if its heat is left to peter out slowly instead of being quenched quickly in another strong decision."
The meaning here is that when a sword is not dunked in cold water (or blood :roll: ) it will be brittle and shatter when put to the test.
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Re: Chapter 06

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the rev wrote: 17 Mar 2023 15:42
The highlighted passage is the one that concerned me, purely because I didn't know what Hayt was saying and he is generally very economical with his comments. Upon close inspection I take its literal meaning to be this: "Strong decisions can shape a life's course into a fine and well-crafted path. But the quality of that path can be destroyed if its heat is left to peter out slowly instead of being quenched quickly in another strong decision."
The meaning here is that when a sword is not dunked in cold water (or blood :roll: ) it will be brittle and shatter when put to the test.
That is the literal meaning. We are discussing what Hayt meant when he used those words.
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Re: Chapter 06

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That is the literal meaning. We are discussing what Hayt meant when he used those words
It was for Georgio's benefit. Read his response above mine. He misunderstood what it meant and came to a conclusion based on his misunderstanding. I didn't try to correct him because he's a clever fellow, I figured he'd take the new meaning and run with it. I should have included a note explaining this.

Might as well make my own interpretation since I'm responding. He's telling him that the stresses from the insane power he wields and terrible decisions he is constantly making are going to overwhelm and shatter him.
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Re: Chapter 06

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the rev wrote: 18 Mar 2023 16:17 It was for Georgio's benefit. Read his response above mine. He misunderstood what it meant and came to a conclusion based on his misunderstanding. I didn't try to correct him because he's a clever fellow, I figured he'd take the new meaning and run with it. I should have included a note explaining this.
I missed this was what you were aiming for :)
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and wrote a Dune Novel."
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Re: Chapter 06

Post by georgiedenbro »

Getting into metallurgy is a bit complicated, from what I'm reading. Tempering involves heating of the metal, and it apparently depends on whether we're talking about steel or not. Let's assume we are. First the metal is hardened/tempered, which can be done by heating and quenching (cooling quickly in a fluid). But then as it's been made harder it is brittle, so needs to be heated again, which this time is left to cool slowly in the air, which leaves it a bit softer and more flexible. It seems like "taking the temper from" means to reduce the hardness of, which involves what Duncan says, letting it sit in the air without quenching.

@ the rev, it turns out you were right that I misunderstood Duncan's remark, but for the wrong reason. What you said about a sword being brittle unless dunked in water is actually the opposite of the case: you dunk in water to bake in the hardness from the tempering, which in turn can make the metal brittle. You avoid this result by re-heating slowly and then allowing to cool slowly.

It seems to me Duncan may then be saying the opposite of what I originally thought: that if Paul's future has been made too rigid because of his strong choices (likened to heating and quenching), he can make his destiny more malleable by introducing choices that at more drawn-out and slow, and which will be left to their own devices rather than being controlled with quick and decisive action. Thinking of it this way, it reminds me of themes found in the later books, but for now I think I could summarize what I think it means like this: set things in motion that will have a life of their own, and let them chaotically run their own course, rather than controlling everything, and this gives you more options down the road.
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