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The Machine Wars

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This story is No. 2 in the series "The Slayers Of Dune Book III". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: An ancient enemy not seen since the old days of the Butlerian Jihad returns.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Sci-Fi > DunenedwardsFR132021,9110214,45111 Jun 114 Sep 11Yes

chapter 2

All characters from the Dune Universe are property of the Frank Herbert Estate. All characters from the Buffyverse are Property of Joss Whedon. Everything else belongs to me.






The Kwisatz Haderach can be in many places at once. I am the physical embodiment of the idea of the all seeing eye. I make the perfect witness and that is a problem. I see everything so I know that everything is justified if you look deep enough,


Liam Atreides
Notes from the Golden Throne












Fleet commander Guerrero took the stand. She wore her dress white suit with the brass buttons down the front and the bright gold bars on her shoulder. As she took the stand she placed her hand on the biometric scanner that sat in the corner of the witness booth. She didn’t have to swear honesty before a deity in order to be trusted. The technicians that monitored her body could tell instantly if she was lying. This was not a jury trial. This was more of an inquiry. Fishspeaker commander Adele approached Guerrero. The Fishspeakers had taken up the duty of persecuting the slayers. They had a long list of grudges they wanted to settle. Adele stood before Guerrero a moment before launching her attack.

“Commander Guerrero, are you the current commander of the slayer ship “Memories of Dawn”? She asked.

“Yes.” Guerrero answered flatly.

“Do you recall your role in the Trellian massacre?” Adele asked. Everyone could hear the acid in her voice.

Guerrero cleared her throat before she spoke. “I was under the influence of the First…” she was about to say.

Adele cut her off.

“You murdered millions of people while under the influence of a supernatural force? How often are slayers influenced by the supernatural?” Adele asked. “In the thousands of years of recorded history there has been no recorded case of a normal human being influenced by the supernatural. Is this a special weakness of the slayers?”

Guerrero didn’t know what to say. Adele herself had sat in on meetings with the First disguised as reverend mother Nisha.

“I was deceived!” Guerrero blurted out. “I was compromised by pride.” When she heard herself actually say the words she understood in a flash her sin. She had let herself be guided by pride and arrogance, and because of that millions had died. Guerrero sat on the stand for long moments letting the guilt wash over her. Adele ran her fingers over a small tablet computer.

She brought up a file that made her raise an eyebrow.

“Tell me about the mission to Quor'Toth?” She asked. Adele was on to something juicy now. Something more damning than genocide.

“The Destroyer asked, no commanded, that we free an innocent man from a hell dimension.” Guerrero answered.

“You took the “Memories of Dawn” to an alien world just too free one man?” Adele asked. She was carefully laying her trap.

“We jumped to Quor'Toth, which is actually an entirely different dimension, to save someone which played a key role in an ancient apocalypse. “Guerrero answered.

Adele smiled. She would damn Guerrero with her own words.

“So let me get this straight, without permission or clearance from anyone, you executed an incursion into an alien territory committing a possible act of war against a people we have absolutely no defense against or knowledge of? Are you saying that you engaged in reckless military adventurism leaving the empire exposed to an alien threat?” Adele had spring her trap. What Guerrero said next would stain the slayers with the mark of treason.

“God told us to go!” Guerrero spat back. “She had figured out the trap. “I obeyed the ultimate authority. And as far as defense goes, you have us!” She said as she pointed to herself. The slayers are the line in the sand against the demon kind!”

"God told us to go?" Liam thought. “Do they wage holy war? Do the slayers think of what they do as jihad?

“Move to strike her comments from the records!” Adele hurried to the corner of the room where recording devices were kept.

Liam smiled to himself. It had been like this for weeks now.

Adele returned to the center of the room and once again focused on Guerrero.

“Tell me Commander, what exactly happened on Quor'Toth?” She asked.

“In the Quor'Toth dimension we freed a key player in an apocalypse.” Guerrero said referring to Angel. “There were casualties …” She choked as she thought of the slayers who died there.
Adele lifted her eyes up from her tablet.

“That is all for now she said.” Adele motioned for Guerrero to leave the stand. As Guerrero passed her Adele spoke.

“I call as next witness Ashoka Lang.” She said.

Guerrero stopped dead in her tracks, turned and stared at Adele. The color had drained out of her face.

“Is this some kind of sick joke?” She thought. Ashoka Lang had died in Quor'Toth releasing Angel and saving the world. She would not have that name dishonored. Before she could speak, the doors to the room burst open. Ashoka Lang walked directly to the witness stand ignoring her former commander. Ashoka was silent. Her eyes were hard. Guerrero stood there open mouth. Someone came and helped her to her seat.

“State your name and former rank for the record.” Adele said.

“Ashoka Atano Lang. Field commander Valkyrie squadron assigned to the “Memories of Dawn.” She said.

“Tell me Ashoka, where did you die?” Adele asked. The courtroom crowd began to murmur.

“I died in hell.” She said. Ashoka look straight at Guerrero. “I was resurrected by forces unknown and sent here by the First to kill you all.”

Even Adele was shocked. This was better than she’d hoped.

“How many other slayers were abandoned in hell?” Adele asked.

“Four others that I know of.” Ashoka answered.

“Did anyone come back to check on you?” Adele asked.

“No.” Ashoka answered.

“Tell me.” Adele said in voice loud enough for the entire courtroom to hear. “Is it current slayer policy to leave wounded soldiers on the field?”

Ashoka looked at her as if she was insane. She cut her eyes to Liam and waited for the signal. One word from him and she would gut Adele like a game animal. Liam was very careful to sit very still. He knew the violence that lay just beneath the surface of the slayers. They may appear to be civilized, they may appear to be girls, but Liam knew of the monster that slept beneath their breast. Liam sat very still making sure not to give any movement that might be interpreted by Ashoka as an excuse for violence. Ashoka turned her eyes back to Adele. She responded with the coldest voice imaginable.

“You simple minded twit.” She said. “While you slept in your warm bed here on Arrakis my sisters and I fought and bled and died fighting monsters the likes of which would haunt your nightmares!”

Ashoka leaned forward and several of the reverend mothers began to move towards the exit. They recognized the undertone of violence in her voice.

“We condescend to indulge the Fishspeaker hordes.” Ashoka said with all of the contempt she could muster.

Ashoka looked at Guerrero.

“I am a soldier. I did my job. The past is past. It is sand in the wind.” She said. Guerrero understood.

“Sand in the wind.”

It was an old Freman saying. What was lost was lost. Forget about it. Guerrero nodded back to Ashoka. Message received. Adele pressed her lips together. She would have at this slayer later.

“The state rests for now.” She said. She turned the floor over to Liam.





Liam walked to the center of the room to cross examine Ashoka. He was charged with presenting evidence in favor of the slayers.

“The needs of God and the needs of the State…” Liam thought about the soundness of using slayers in his empire. “Very rarely are they one.”
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