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.
You cannot avoid the interplay of politics within an orthodox religion. This power struggle permeates the training, educating and disciplining of the orthodox community. Because of this pressure, the leaders of such a community inevitably must face that ultimate internal question: to succumb to complete opportunism as the price of maintaining their rule, or risk sacrificing themselves for the sake of the orthodox ethic.
from "Muad'Dib: The Religious Issues" by the Princess Irulan
Liam met with the Tleilaxu ambassador early that morning. He had a full day. His ascent to the throne was within the week. He had a million details to handle between now and then. He entered the conference room accompanied by his honor guard made up of two fish speaker commandos and his private security detail made up of slayers. Every since he had raised the Fish speakers from the dead they had followed him around like puppies.
The slayers didn’t like it one bit. Liam was theirs and they didn’t want to share him with the women that had given them grief for twenty years. Colette, the captain of his honor guard and his childhood friend, eyed the fish speakers with contempt. She always managed to keep her body between the fish speakers and Liam. The fish speakers didn’t seem to mind. They regarded the slayer’s jealousy with amusement. They remembered what it was like to serve a living god once. They were learning to leave those feelings behind.
Liam entered the room. The women spread out around him. They scanned the room for threats. Colette stood by his side directing the slayers. Liam looked at her out of the corner of his eye. Colette was half an inch shorter than him with brown curly hair, a round face, firm breasts and carefully trimmed fingernails. Liam noticed she had decided to paint her nails a glossy black. Colette was thoroughly freman. Black was the color used by freman to mark high holy days. His ascension to the throne was considered by many to be a religious event.
“Maybe it is true.” Liam thought. “I was designed by the powers that be and invoked into being by the sprit child of the slayers.” “The weapon has no use beyond its function. Its function has been fulfilled.”
Liam remembered the words of the Oracle in the white room. He was supposed to die along with the First. He survived by the grace of his unborn daughter. And for that, the Gods hated him.
Liam watched the fingers of Colette gesture. He was fascinated by their movement. She spoke entire chapters of thought just by moving her hands as she directed the slayers in their security sweep.
“She should have been the one.” Liam thought as he grieved over what might have been. “I’ve loved her since we were kids. She knows me better than anyone else. “
He was to marry Ashoka Lang a former slayer commando and avatar of the First. The marriage was originally intended to cement the bond between him and the slayer fleet. But recently he had begun to have feeling towards her. He knew from his visions of the future that he would come to love Ashoka and that she would be the mother of his child. He thought once more of Colette. The demands of the throne had destroyed their childhood dreams of being together forever.
“I’m so sorry.” Liam thought. Colette suddenly looked at him. She could always feel his moods.
“No regrets.” She said as if reading his mind. “We live to serve.” She said quoting the slayer credo. Colette waved her hands. The slayers retreated to the corners of the room. The security sweep was complete. The room was safe. Liam approached the Tleilaxu.
Twenty years ago a rouge face dancer had stolen slayer DNA from the fish speaker data banks. The Tleilaxu still had copies of that stolen data. There was no way Liam could stop them from using it. Liam had seen enough of the timelines to know that digital information was impossible to contain. He sat across the conference table from the Tleilaxu ambassador. They sat in silence. They were waiting for someone else to arrive.
There came a sound of hurried footsteps from the hall and the rustlings of papers. Duncan Idaho, golem of house Atreides rushed into the room. He was nearly two meters tall with a rich dark goatee and warm brown eyes. He stood beside Liam who looked at him briefly and smiled. Liam turned to the Tleilaxu ambassador and said.
“I present to you the ambassador to Tleilaxu from the court of the black dragon.” The Tleilaxu took Duncan’s papers and examined them carefully.
“Everything appears to be in order.” The Tleilaxu Master said. His eyes, colored in ridges of blue and yellow stared at Liam intensely. His rubbery hands folded the papers carefully.
“We have information you may be interested in examining.” The Tleilaxu ambassador said flatly. Liam knew he was referring to the genetic scans of the slayers stolen by the face dancer Swanson over twenty years ago. He had to make them understand. Liam slammed his fist on the table and raised voice to a roar.
“You will not touch, manipulate or distribute that information as long as you exist!” He rose slightly for emphasis. “If any of that information is used in any way, I will personally kill you all!” Liam growled at the ambassador. They all knew he could do it. They had read the reports of the Machine attack on fish speaker command. They showed no emotion. Such weaknesses had been bred out of them thousands of years ago.
“As you wish my lord.” The ambassador said. Liam knew he was lying. His visions had shown him that a much more vulgar display of power would be needed in the near future.
“Excellent.” Liam said as he stood to leave. His security guards snapped to attention.
“DNA is the language of God.
” Muttered one of the ambassadors. Liam pretended not to hear him. He knew the Tleilaxu were excellent geneticists with a religion of their own. They believed the mind of God could be understood by studying and manipulating DNA. The data stolen from fish speaker command was both irresistible and a godsend. They would be helpless to examine it. They already had twenty years of work on the stolen data.
“There’s a reason why some things must be resisted.” Liam thought as he gathered his entourage. “It’s so that they don’t destroy you.”
Liam took one last look at the doomed Tleilaxu. A day was coming soon when the dragon of Arrakis would have to roar and melt worlds into nothing.