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Dune: Land of Sand


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Chaylyn moves to the middle column on the right side of the balcony. Eyes watching the steam from the coffee, apparrently losing himself in thought.

 

So much wealth. They let water flit into the air and out the window into the sky.... House Atreides....

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The peace and calmness of the room seemed welcomed (to the humans, at least), especially after the last few, sand-blasted days on Dune. The coffee was smooth, with a heavy aroma of cinnamon. However, your moment of tranquillity was disrupted by loud voices coming from outside the conference room.

 

"What do you mean they were DETAINED?!"

 

"But sir, I don-"

 

Then, the door was violently shoved open, and another higher-ranking Atreides officer stomped inside, followed by a few somewhat scared-looking junior officers. The man wore many medals, but his uniform seems more wheatered and not as elegant as that of the Mentat. He bore a massive scar that ran down his whole cheek.

 

"Master Hallack... Is anything bothering you?" Hawat said with an emotionless smile.

 

"Thufir, those sand-people," he said as he glared suspiciously at Chaylyn and Araore, "... agreed that they would not imprisoned any of our officer without our permission! What have you put our men through?"

 

Hawat sighed, and turned to face the Atreides commander. He sat down at the table, his eyes still on Hallack.

 

"Relax, old friend, and have a seat. I believe I have a... solution to our problems." he said, looking at the mercenaries.

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Glancing at Caleb, then turning to Gurney Halleck, Chaylyn shifts into a neutral position and states, "With out being adversarial, Master Halleck, I assure if my sietch has detained your people it is for their safety and they chose that course over the death of your men.

 

"I am beginning to understand just how different our peoples are. I assure you, that your men are learning the same lesson and will be as safe as any member of my peoples can be.

 

"When my peoples permitted your men into the sietch to live we adopted them, and we are not careless with our charges."

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Hallack sat down, his face still red. The other officers stood around the table, not daring to sit down while Hallack is in this mood.

 

"Look, Femen. I don't care about what you people do, but these are my men, and I do not want them to be imprisoned in some primitive cage!" Hallack barked at the native

 

"Now, Master Hallack, please. No need for that..." Thufir said as he raised his hand to quiet down the near-enraged warrior.

 

"I understand the dire situation that has been placed upon both us and the Fremens, but we must be calm. Hallack, the mercenaries you have hired have arrived. Now, don't you think this little... dispute might prove to be a worthy test for them?" he said with a grin.

 

"Aye, it's as good as any..." Gurney admitted.

 

"Good." Hawat said, leaning back against his chair.

 

"Thomas, I am sending you to Sietch Malan to see why our men have been imprisoned. Find out what happened, and, if you can, try to convince the Fremen to release them. Now, since the Fremen might be a bit edgy, I will send Araore and Chaylyn with you." Hawat continued, nodding at the two Fremen.

 

"Sebastien, Caleb... this would be a good time to earn your money. I will send you along with Thomas, just in case something happens. Now, this might sound like a simple dispute, but keep in mind, it is a very important and extremely delicate issue. We do not want to hurt our friendship with the Fremen." he said.

 

He paused, looked at the group.

 

"Can I trust you with this mission?" he asked.

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"For what reason are my people holding yours?"

 

"That is what we are trying to find out..." Hawat replied.

 

"Master Halleck, may I have whatever information you feel pertains to the situation?"

 

"Idaho said he would take care of it. He took two of my best men, and went off to the Sietch to try and make peace. We didn't hear from them for a while until those Fremen sent a message to us saying they were being held captive for the time..." Hallack said.

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"Who is being held? Idaho? Or a others that have been sent at a another time?", asks Hawat.

 

Chaylyn is clearly confused

 

"I can not imagine why our sietch would detain your people and not tell you why. It certainly is unusual behavior."

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"Damn it, don't you Frem-" Gurney blurted out, but Hawat stopped him.

 

"Calm down, my friend..." Hawat said, then sighed.

 

"When we came here to Bandar, Master Idaho requested that we send someone to establish a connection with the closest Fremen tribe. Your Sietch was the closest one to our territory. Idaho decided he would take two of our best officer, and go see if he can forge a friendship between your tribe and our House. That was at least two weeks ago, when he left. Just yesterday, we have received a garbled message from the Fremen saying they were holding our men until further notice." the Mentat explained.

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Garbled? That requires a radio.

 

"Unless things have completely changed since I was sent here, it is very unlikely Idaho and his friends are with my people. You see, we take great pains, normally to not reveal the location of our sietches. I am unaware of any communication device in the seitch that resembles a radio. They are too easy to triangulate the location of the broadcast.

 

It would seem to me that another house holds your men and is trying to blame the Fremen."

 

Chaylyn looks over at Araore and asks, "Have you seen a radio in the sietch?"

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