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datatime: 2022-12-03 20:53:12 Author:XKyubLCK

Jessica hesitated, wanting to question this Fremen woman, needing data to guide her. But bringing order of the confusion in the castle was more imperative. Still, she found the thought unsettling that water was a major mark of wealth here.

"I know the Dark Things and the ways of the Great Mother," Jessica said. She read the more obvious signs in Mapes' actions and appearance, the petit betrayals. "Miseces prejia," she said in the Chakobsa tongue. "Andral t're pera Trada cik buscakri miseces perakri -"

"What is that?" Jessica asked. "I heard it several times as we drove through the streets this morning."

Now we see which way the decision tips, she thought.

In a low voice, Mapes said: "I meant no offense, my Lady."

"My Lady" Mapes pleaded. She appeared about to fall to her knees. "The weapon was sent as a gift to you should you prove to be the One."

Mapes nodded. "Just as the legend says."

Slowly, Mapes reached into the neck of her dress, brought out a dark sheath. A black handle with deep finger ridges protruded from it. She took sheath in one hand and handle in the other, withdrew a milk-white blade, held it up. The blade seemed to shine and glitter with a light of its own. It was double-edged like a kindjal and the blade was perhaps twenty centimeters long.

"It's a crysknife," she said.

"You know the ancient tongues then?" Mapes asked, and she waited with an odd intensity.

"It's a crysknife," she said.

"It's a crysknife," she said.

"My Lady" Mapes pleaded. She appeared about to fall to her knees. "The weapon was sent as a gift to you should you prove to be the One."

"Do you know this, my Lady?" Mapes asked.

Mapes took a backward step, appeared poised to flee.

A weird cry sounded from the road outside the house. It was repeated: "Soo-soo-Sook" Then: "Ikhut-eigh" And again: "Soo-soo-Sook"

"It's a crysknife," she said.

And Jessica wondered: Why do I play out this sham? But the Bene Gesserit ways were devious and compelling.

"My husband told me of your title, Shadout," Jessica said. "I recognized the word. It's a very ancient word."

"What is that?" Jessica asked. "I heard it several times as we drove through the streets this morning."

"And as the means of my death should I prove otherwise," Jessica said. She waited in the seeming relaxation that made the Bene Gesserit-trained so terrifying in combat.

A weird cry sounded from the road outside the house. It was repeated: "Soo-soo-Sook" Then: "Ikhut-eigh" And again: "Soo-soo-Sook"

"You know the ancient tongues then?" Mapes asked, and she waited with an odd intensity.

"I know the Dark Things and the ways of the Great Mother," Jessica said. She read the more obvious signs in Mapes' actions and appearance, the petit betrayals. "Miseces prejia," she said in the Chakobsa tongue. "Andral t're pera Trada cik buscakri miseces perakri -"

It could only be one thing, Jessica knew, the fabled crysknife of Arrakis, the blade that had never been taken off the planet, and was known only by rumor and wild gossip.

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