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datatime: 2022-12-08 07:01:06 Author:nLcyKVig

"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 -"

"Only a water-seller, my Lady. But you've no need to interest yourself in such as they. The cistern here holds fifty thousand liters and it's always kept full." She glanced down at her dress. "Why, you know, my Lady, I don't even have to wear my stillsuit here?" She cackled. "And me not even dead"

"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 -"

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

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

"There's a remote possibility you could draw my life's blood," Jessica said, "but in so doing you'd bring down more ruin than your wildest fears could imagine. There are worse things than dying, you know - even for an entire people."

"It's a crysknife," she said.

Mapes took a backward step, appeared poised to flee.

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

"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 -"

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

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.

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.

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

"You speak of the legend and seek answers," Jessica said. "Beware the answers you may find. I know you came prepared for violence with a weapon in your bodice."

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

"Say it not lightly," Mapes said. "Do you know its meaning?"

"I know many things." Jessica said. "I know that you have borne children, that you have lost loved ones, that you have hidden in fear and that you have done violence and will yet do more violence. I know many things."

"There's a remote possibility you could draw my life's blood," Jessica said, "but in so doing you'd bring down more ruin than your wildest fears could imagine. There are worse things than dying, you know - even for an entire people."

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

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.

And Jessica thought: There was an edge to that question. Here's the reason this Fremen has taken service with me, to ask that one question. My answer could precipitate violence orwhat? She seeks an answer from me: the meaning of a knife. She's called the Shadow in the Chakobsa tongue. Knife, that's "Death Maker" in Chakobsa. She's getting restive. I must answer now. Delay is as dangerous as the wrong answer.

"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."

And Jessica thought: There was an edge to that question. Here's the reason this Fremen has taken service with me, to ask that one question. My answer could precipitate violence orwhat? She seeks an answer from me: the meaning of a knife. She's called the Shadow in the Chakobsa tongue. Knife, that's "Death Maker" in Chakobsa. She's getting restive. I must answer now. Delay is as dangerous as the wrong answer.

"Only a water-seller, my Lady. But you've no need to interest yourself in such as they. The cistern here holds fifty thousand liters and it's always kept full." She glanced down at her dress. "Why, you know, my Lady, I don't even have to wear my stillsuit here?" She cackled. "And me not even dead"

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