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"It's not as simple as just defying the Baron." Aleksandr sighed. "Even if we were to win, the Landsraad would not stand for this. The Great Houses will not brook any threat to the supply of spice."

"You think that the Baron would be willing to admit defeat by our hands?" Relnev raised an eyebrow.

"I think that if the first wave of the Harkonnen army is defeated, and that is highly unlikely, then the Baron will blame someone other than himself for the failure and encourage the Landsraad to intervene. And they will."

"One of the reasons I believe we should fight is that he will have no-one else to blame." Relnev replied. "He is full of pride, and will sooner declare this a test of your strength than admit defeat despite his best efforts." Aleksandr frowned.

"He is not a stupid man." He said, "If he decides that I should be removed, he will first try legal means, and then force. If his own force is not enough, then he will aquire more. Besides which," he smiled weakly, "all of this will be a moot point if the rumours aren't true."

"Are you suggesting that the Baron's forces will not attack?" Atilian asked skeptically.

"The forces *will* attack, and they *will* be repelled; there are few if's anymore." Relnev said firmly. "We must deal with this situation first. Besides, the Harkonnen can ill afford to look any worse in the eyes of the Landsraad. By requesting help, it is true that the other Great Houses could see us as a threat to the flow of Spice... but through careful persuasion, they could see the Baron's attacks as being the true threat." He took a sip from his glass.

"The Baron had the Emperor's help in attacking the Atreides." Aleksandr reminded him. "Effectively that means that the Emperor can be blackmailed. Besides which, even if we do win, what then? Do we just sit here on Dune, cut off from the Imperium?"

"Cut off? You forget that you control the Spice, and we all know the saying with regards to that." Relnev smiled thinly. "I am confident that the Baron will realise the benefits of allowing our continued livelihood."

"Perhaps." Aleksandr glanced over to Atilian. "But he has little reason to support the Trebeis, or Huahin. Besides, I don't control the spice, I just harvest it. If I didn't do it, someone else would."

"Let them try, and let them fail." Atilian hissed.

"And for the Trebeis, the Huahin and the Fremen... they will have to decide where their loyalties lie." Relnev said calmly.

"We already have." Atilian replied.

"What makes you think your council will support you?" Aleksandr asked Relnev. "I know that nobody supports me."

"My job is to establish an Ixian presence on this planet; to make it as efficient, expansive, productive and profitable as possible, by - and I quote - 'any means neccessary'." Relnev smirked. "I represent the Ix, and you have our support... though we would urge you to fight.

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"I will Accompany you" Replied Atillian. "I must point out that the Freman are intrested in an allience with my house, According to reports they have amassed over 200,000 Warriors for un-known reasons. Should not we seek their aid?"

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"I thought something like this might happen." Relnev said, still bearing the same, neutral expression.  Ekaterina turned to face the ambassador.

"Did you really?" she asked rhetorically, kicking Aleksandr.

"Stop that." Relnev said firmly.  "He needs medical attention."

"Not at all." Ekaterina smiled.  "I've managed to keep scum like him alive for positively weeks in much worse states."

"Indeed." Relnev replied, pressing a button on his left wrist.  Ekaterina noticed.

"What did you just do, Ixian?" she asked aggressively.

"'Ixian' now, is it?" Relnev grinned.  "What happened to 'Ambassador'?"

"Careful how you tread, Relnev, or you'll be wiped out along with the rest of the mongrels on this planet." came the reply.

"Thank you for helping me erase all doubts about my decision, Lady Harkonnen."

"What are you prattling about?"

From outside came the sound of the palace doors being blown apart.  Ekaterina's head turned abruptly towards the door; now was Relnev's chance.  With astounding speed, he raised his right arm and fired off two darts from a concealed weapon.  They hit the two guards, the nerve suppressant rendering them instantly unconscious and incapable of reflex reactions.  Atilian seemed to have the same idea, and drew his sword once again, parrying a blow from Ranith's blade that would have otherwise killed Relnev.

Ekaterina screamed with rage, drawing her own sword; a rapier, most likely poisoned.  Relnev had already reached into a pouch on his belt, and had withdrawn a small metal pole.  He twirled it around in front of him as Ekaterina lunged at him with her rapier.  The pole extended as it turned, becoming a full length staff, and deflecting the attack to Relnev's left.  The ambassador then brought the staff back around to strike Ekaterina in the midriff as she stumbled, knocking her backwards and to the ground.  Behind him, Atilian and Ranith were busy sparring.

Ekaterina was quick to her feet, almost immediately beginning to use footwork and short, controlled thrusts in her attack.  However, her rapier did not have the range or weight of Relnev's staff.  Taking a risk, Ekaterina lunged once again with the rapier.  Relnev strafed to the right and aimed low, tripping the sadistic Harkonnen.  With a quick turn of the grip of the staff, the tips crackled with electricity, and Relnev slammed one of them into Ekaterina's lower back, pinning her to the ground and temporarily paralysing her.

"Never underestimate this Ixian, m'lady."

Outside, the sound of fighting began, but quickly ended.  Relnev smiled, then jumped over to where Ranith and Atilian were continuing to fight, jamming the staff into Ranith's back in the same manner.

"I could have taken her!" Atilian shouted as Ranith twitched on the ground.

"Now is not the time." Relnev said firmly, beginning to perspire.  "Aleron, Eemins; grab Aleksandr.  We're leaving."

As the group stepped outside, they saw the cause of the ruckus; the hall was littered with the bodies of Harkonnen soldiers.  Some belonged to Ekaterina or Ranith's personal guard, others were defectors from Aleksandr's cause.  Standing triumphant, however, were several brigades of Ixian soldiers and slightly fewer loyal Harkonnens.

"We have to get to the transports." Relnev explained.  "We don't have long before the alarm is raised on our actions here."

"Yes, sire." Eemins said, working with Aleron to get Aleksandr to safety.

"Let me kill them!" Atilian shouted.  "It can end here!"

"No!" Relnev shouted.  "The last thing we need is a martyr."


"Anyone in a position of power can be one." he said, then pushed Atilian to the side as a bolt of lasgun fire passed through the space his head had occupied a split-second earlier.  More Harkonnen loyal to Ekaterina had arrived, presumably from another entrance.

"Quickly!" Relnev shouted, dashing for the exit.  The Ixian troops provided covering fire while the group boarded an armoured ornithopter.  Within seconds, it was airborne; bound for Outpost 9.

"So it begins." Relnev sighed.

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OOC: Dragoon, you forgot my Nokker, they should have been included in the killing.  :P

Looking at the mangled mess that was once Aleksandr's face, Atillian Murmered "What made you allow that beast do this?" One of the two Nokkers, who had been busy defending the transports outside the palace stepped next to the Nobleman and nodded out the Transport's window. Atillian looked out and saw 50 Mark II's bearing the Trebesian Ensignia form up around their craft. It was a reassuring sight. "What are our plans now?" He enquired, looking at Relnev. "Our top priority should be securing our defenses, Outpost 9, Your base in Arakeen and your W.T.F." "Good" replied Atillian as he turned to watch one of the Nokker Guardsman begin cleaning his bloodied No'kar'e while the other started loading clips for his Automatic projectile Rifle.

"Any movement?" The radio crackled aboard the Trebesian Frigate orbiting above Arsunt. "Not much" The Captain replied. Qapmoq shut off the uplink. Looking down at a pad of paper, he scratched his forehead. No activity from the Hostile Harkonnen Frigates nor is there any signs of movement besides Defense construction in Arsunt. Strange. Then, to his surprise. The radio reserved for communication between Nokkers snapped to life. Placing it in his ear, he gave his I.D code and listened as the two Nokkers in Atillian's company reported on the recent events. "What did they say?" Turning, the Nokker was surprised to find the Duke sitting behind him. "Atillian, Relnev and Aleksandr were attacked by Ektennera, Aleksandr was rather badly wounded and Atillian was engaged by Ranith, The Governor's other sister." "Intresting" The man wheezed. "Well, I guess then, it is time for action. Order all forces in the W.T.F district Consolodated back to the facility and for 3,000 men from the W.T.F base to re-inforce the 50 Nokker Guardsman and 50 Ornithopters guarding Outpost 9. As for here, I want 150 Artillery and Rocket launching pieces pointed at the Governor's Residence. If that ***** is going to be staying there, we are damn well going to make it uncomfortable for her. You also are to personnally supervise the reinforcement of all Defenses here and at the W.T.F. I want both bases impeneratratable." Finishing his large list of orders, the Duke coughed and noticing blood on his hand, grabbed a passing Sub-fer Commander and had him help bring him back to his hospital room. Shaking his head, Qapmoq started off to enact the orders. Twenty minutes later, The men in the W.T.F district were in motion and the defenses there were under cunstruction again. In the Arakeen base, things looked the same. De-meks tramped into posistion and made starnge whirring sounds as their loading systems placed Chemical shells into launch tubes, while magizines loaded Grenades and Projectile rounds into their respective places. This all hapening within the mechanical Beast's armor made some strange noises that drew looks from their maintenince crews. Everywhere in the bases, workers began fixing into place heavy  repeating projectile weapons, Las-weapons and AA emplacements. Massive blocks of Plas-crete and Plas-steel were being added to the base walls and even more Pillboxes were being built. Meanwhile, Ornithopters were being armed and fueled. The soldiers and Nokkers, already being armed and Equipped with the Ixian technology were put on high alert.

Standing in the window of a Residential building directly across from the Governor's residence was a Nokker Sharp Shooter. He held in his hands a Las-Rifle. Next to him sat five regular Infantryman. There were Sniper teams like this all around the Palace. "She'll have to be magic to get out un-scathed" smirked one Nokker as he glanced at a picture of the target. Ektenerra. 

Reinforcement of Trebeisian bases 25% at 25% per post.

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"Well, that could have gone worse." Ranith remarked, looking down on the bustling Arrakeen. She was smiling calmly once more.

"Oh shut up." Ekaterina growled, peering over the parapet next to her sister. "I should have thrown those Ixians out when I had the chance..." She winced at the tingling feeling that still buzzed inside her spine.

"But you didn't, sister dear, and now-"

"With you shut up?" Ekaterina shouted, slamming the back of her hand into Ranith's face. "Geez, with you it's always talk, talk, talk. Just still your tongue now or I'll take it out!" She turned back to Arrakeen, fitting a pair of lenses to her eyes. "The last thing I need right now is some idiot rattling off idiocy while I try to conduct a war." She focussed on the Trebesian compound, and pursed her lips. "I see." Ranith said nothing, nursing her jaw with a scowl. Ekaterina snapped her fingers, summoning an aide.

"Prepare for departure, I want to get back to Arsunt." Ekaterina ordered. Ranith's eyes went wide.

"Are you sure that's wise?" She asked fearfully. "Even I can see the weapons from here."

"Yes, 'sister dear,' I'm sure you can." Ekaterina rolled her eyes. "But the reason that I am Governess of Arrakis and you are not is that I inherited our mother's brains." So saying, she turned and strode away.

* * *

"The Gunship is rising! It's leaving!" The message ran along the Trebesian lines. In the distance, the massive shape of the governer's Gunship was rising above the Arrakeen palace. The orders from the top came back almost immediately. 'Fire at once!'

The AA emplacements, those of them that were in place, fired immediately. The Gunship, slow and ponderous in its takeoff procedure, was a sitting duck.

Projectiles slammed into the side of the vehicle, even as the smaller ornithopters buzzed into life around it. Instantly crippled, it lurched to one side. One wing clipped the edge of the palace, and that was the end. The Gunship tumbled down out of the sky, smashing into the city below. The fuel tanks exploded.

The AA continued firing on the smaller ornithopters, but most of them were swift enough to dodge the missiles from the other side of the city. One or two went down in flames, the others sped south, out of range. A cheer carried along the Trebeis.

* * *

"Heh." Ekaterina smirked, as she piloted her ornithopter in the direction of Arsunt. "Idiots." She picked up her radio, and opened a frequency to her palace. "Alacia, inform the Commander that he can come down now. Have the starport prepared." She replaced the radio. 'Time to show these morons who's boss...'

* * *

Hide above Arrakis, the Heighliner finally disgorges its contents. Freighter after freighter, shuttle after shuttle, descended from the massive construction...

Buildup of Arsunt: 79%, 7% per post.

Harkonnen forces on Arrakis:

Carthag: 6,000.

Arrakeen: 10,000. Secondary Commander Thorn.

Arsunt: 13,000. The eleven Elites. High Commander Danforth.

Tsimpo: 1,000. Whole garrison on standby to move.

Harkonnen forces off Arrakis: Unknown.

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Message to Seth. (Consider it incripted because I cannot remember the code for hidden text) Thank you seth, we would indeed like it if you were to aid in our defenses. Could you possibley expend 10,000 men to aid in the defense of the WTF? We would be willing to pay for your assistance with 3 or more Frigates which I know you desire. On another note, your ambassadors are still at our Arrakeen base, they can stay as long as they need. I personnaly would like to answer their preposistion, yes. We would indeed accept an allience with you.

Thank you for your time. -Atillian Trebeis.

ARRAKEEN: The witch Ektennera gone, Trebesian forces with the assistance of Harkonnen loyal to Aleksandr take control of the city from the handfull of Enemy Harkonnen and begin entrenching forces and constructing defenses. After hearing of what had befallen their beloved Governor, Townspeople begin streaming to the Trebesian Base and Loyalist HQ to volunteer their services. approximately 12,000 people volunteer with more still joining.

Trebesian Defenses- Compleated.

Arrakeen defenses- 0% at 25% per post.

Volunteers- 12,000 + 4 to 6,000 more waiting to join.

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A man enters Carth's office at his Den.

- Sir, there are disturbing news...

- What news, Bod?

- It seems that Ekaterina Harkonnen is back. Backed up by the Baron and some other woman. Loads of troops are being debarked at Arsunt. In Arrakeen the Trebeis and Ixians took Alexandr's side, as well as the Huahin.

- I don't give a s**t who's ruling the planet as long as I have my credits, but if Ekaterina's back, then... we'll have to greet her. Alert the council...

- Already did that, they transfered supreme command to you.

- Alert the troops, and don't forget to remind them what will happend if we fail, or if they will get captured. I want them to fight desperate... Have you ever read Sun TZu?

- No.

- Very long ago he wrote a book about military strategy... make our troops to know that there is no retreat, nowhere to run if Ekaterina wins.

Message to Relnev:


This is Carth Bindar of the Kondor Cartel. I have 5000 men ready to fight and about just as many is I issue a call-to arms amongst the smugglers. We'd rather fight Ekaterina's forces personnaly. We have a surprise for her.

One more thing, if you have any "eye in the sky", defend it... it can be easely blown off the sky by any interceptor.[/hide]

The stocks of Carth's forces:

1500 individual shields + 750

5000 swords +1500

1000 portable laserguns +250

100 ornis +15

500 trikes +75

125 quads +20

Unconventional weaponry:

100 flame-throwers +10

200 grenade-launchers (aka Bazooka) +30

50 napalm units +10

5 shielded tanks

(issued order for 5 more)

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OOC: Given the nature of the meeting, I'd be interested to know where that fremen spy got his infomation...

"Lets look at this objectively, shall we?" Ekaterina stood at the head of a long table, leaning on a large map of Arrakis. Around the table were sat the various people who might be helpful in this case. Alacia Vorbid was calmly filing her nails to points in the first chair to the right, while Ranith Moritani, as the official emissary of the Baron, sat on the left. Rachael, Wordsworth, Aurelien, Orianna and Caelen each sat at various points around the table, with Vail leaning against a pillar further away. Dune and Douglas Trilu stood by the doors to the room. The rest of the table held representatives of House Rabban, the Spacing Guild, the Tleilaxu, and the Emperor. Various technicians and aides sat awkwardly between them. At the end of the table, the Bashar Khan of the Sardaukar sat glaring at the map.

"Arrakis is a large planet, but there are only four locations of note." Ekaterina continued. "The four cities. Carthag, Arrakeen, Arsunt and Tsimpo." She glared about her. "For all intents and purposes, Carthag is still loyal to the Baron. Arsunt is firmly under my control. Arrakeen belongs to that iblith Relnev and my idiot brother. No doubt the renegades are heavily involved as well. Tsimpo, on the other hand, is relatively untouched."

"Until now, nobody has thought it important." Rachael said without expression.

"Exactly." Ekaterina nodded. "But distance-wise, Tsimpo is the furthest city from Arrakeen."

"You wish to use it as a bolt hole?" The Guildsman raised a thin eyebrow.

"I wish to make sure that we can only be attacked from one direction." Ekaterina replied icily. "Taking over Tsimpo shouldn't be difficult. The population have no natural bias. But I would like to make it a priority."

"We shall see." Ranith muttered. "Arrakeen should be our primary concern."

"Arrakeen is fast becoming the focus of an extremely large army." A minor technicion reported, glancing at his notes. "The satellite indicates that the Trebesian forces are preparing well, and volunteers are joining up in the thousands. If the reports of the fremen activity at the Water Treatment Facility are to be believed, then a direct attack on the city would be suicide."

"Satellite? What satellite?" The Guildsman asked in an annoyed tone.

"The Ixians launched a satellite just after the destruction of Arrakeen, at my brother's request." Ekaterina informed him. "The proper monies were paid to the guild. But it just so happens that I also have access to its data. And even if I didn't, there are any number of employees in Arrakeen that have family in Arsunt." She grinned evilly. The Guildsman swallowed uneasily.

"Have you considered the, mhm, option," the Tleilaxu said in an oily voice, "of an attack on the Water Facility? Mm hm, it would deprive the defenders, mhm, of a vital resource, as well as men..."

"That has been taken into consideration." Ekaterina nodded sharply. "We have already set aside a force to deal with the WTF, a fact that you are quite aware of."

"Ah-hm, indeed." The Tleilaxu nodded, and smiled. His fang-like teeth poked out over his lips. The woman sitting next to him squirmed uncomfortable in her seat.

"Bashar Khan." Ekaterina spoke to the silent Sardaukar commander. "You have more tactical and military experience than any of us. Perhaps you would care to share your thoughts?" Everyone turned to look at the Bashar, who had said nothing throughout the meeting. He ignored them at first, looking down at the map. Slowly he looked up, and leaned back in his chair.

"An interesting thing about Arrakis," he said slowly, not speaking to anyone in particular, "is the complete lack of roads. The four cities are very much isolated from each other, with Arrakeen in particular only really reachable by air travel. So the only real battlegrounds are going to be in and above the cities themselves."

"Urban warfare." Ranith murmured. The Bashar glared at her. She shrank in her seat.

"Indeed." Khan nodded. "Large weapons are not going to help in small streets." He paused, apparantly looking at nothing. Nobody spoke.

"I believe," Khan continued, "that this war will be won by smaller units. Not only can they travel where larger behemoths cannot, but their manoeuvrability will make them far more effective in close combat. There is also the matter of stealth." He looked to the Tlailaxu, "And treachery." A nod to Ekaterina. "However, this is ignoring the most basic and useful of our advantages. Supplies." He stood up, and jabbed a finger down on the map. "We have the power to blockade the Arrakeen starport. Carthag and Arsunt are both under our control, and Tsimpo has no starport. If the Water Facility could be destroyed, it would be only weeks, days maybe, before Arrakeen ran out of water and food. If it becomes longer, then we put them under siege. There does not need to be an attack. All we need do is starve them out." He sat down again. "Also," he added, "any illegal ports can be picked up by the Ixian satellite. We can destroy them."

"Has the Emperor allocated any forces other than your own to this venture, Bashar?" The Rabban diplomat asked.

"No." Khan asnwered. "The Emperor is neutral towards this conflict, officially. We are peacekeeping forces. We are here to keep the peace. And keep it we shall." He grinned.

"Indeed." Ekaterina sniffed. "Well, does anyone have anything else to add at this time?"

"What of assassination?" The Guildsman asked. "If we were to decapitate the leadership of these rebels, they would fail miserably."

"That is being dealt with." Ekaterina said. "The Baron has already engaged the services of the Tleilaxu for an attempt on the Duke Trebeis. The agent failed." She glared at the Tleilaxu, who shrugged. "We are currently drawing up plans for the assassination of Aleksandr, Atilian Trebeis, and Relnev, the Ixian."

"What do the Ixians thing it is that they do?" The Emperor's man asked, his mouth forming an 'o' as he spoke. "Surely they are still answerable to the High Council?"

"Ix has not been forthcoming with infomation." Ranith growled. "For now we are acting under the assumption that Relnev is acting without orders and is considered renegade."

"But you do not, mhm, know that?" The Tleilaxu asked pointedly.

"No. We don't." Ekaterina replied.

"What of the smugglers?" A new voice spoke up. Heads turned to regard Orianna Lyasma, the waifish ex-smuggler. She continued. "Carth Bindar escaped some time ago, and what little reports we have indicate that he is amassing a sizable force. Considering his... time in Arsunt, it is highly likely that the smugglers will align themselves against us. This may put a dampner in any plans to starve Arrakeen." She looked to Bashar Khan, who said nothing.

"The smugglers can be bombed, just as any other." Alacia Vorbid said resolutely. "The only reason that they have survived this long is that until now there has been no satellite to track their activities and no determined effort to wipe them out!" She thumped the table.

"Indeed." Ekaterina raised an eyebrow. "If the smugglers cause trouble then they will get tenfold in return."

"How secure is this city? We do not want a rout at any point." Aurelian asked politely.

"The defences are nearly ready." Ekaterina replied. "We have large shield generators and a plentiful supply of plasteel barriers. Haven't you looked outside recently? The city is a fortress."

"I meant people." Aurelian continued. "The people of Arrakis look terribly similar to one another. How is one supposed to distinguish between a smuggler and a citizen? Or for that matter an Ixian spy?"

"A program of purification has been at work within Arsunt for the past few days." Ekaterina said quietly. "Any residents who cannot prove their citizenship have been quietly put to death. We found several suspicious individuals. Anyone likely to have smuggler or fremen connections has been incarcerated indefinately." Saying that, she suddenly found that she missed Fyodor, her old mentat. The twisted man had always enjoyed a bit of sadism. She almost felt sorry that she had killed him out of boredom...

"There is no chance of an attack, then?" Vail asked with a smirk from his position away from the table.

"There is always a chance." Bashar Khan said stonily. "But we have our own defences, and we have a few tricks. It would be a tough ornithopter to get through our shields."

"That, ahm, is another thing, shields." The Tleilaxu spoke. "What if some, hmahm, madman targets Arsunt with a hmn lasgun?"

"The feedback would destroy the planet. Nobody is that stupid." The Guildsman waved a hand.

"Do not underestimate fanatics and cornered men." Bashar Khan replied. He looked at Ekaterina. "Outer defences plasteel. Inner defences shields and plasteel."

"Very well." Ekaterina nodded. "Anything else?" She looked about. One by one the representatives shook their heads. "Very well. This meeting is over."

* * *

Aleksandr Harkonnen sat in a small chamber in the Ixian outpost at Arrakeen. He wrote slowly on a piece of spice paper.

Memo to self: suggest that Trebeis and Ixians both move into city proper of Arrakeen. Defences can be consolidated? No need for outer bases anymore.

Go and see how DT is getting on. Tleilaxu known for use of poison, offer doctors?

Write down details on sister and EE. Might be useful in battles.

Write to mother. Try to get message out.

See about getting mission sent to find Huahin. Want to know where refugees gone.

He wrote on. From the other side of the room, Aleron watched him. The aide sat on the floor, his chin resting glumly on his knees.

"That's my job, you know." He said, not really expecting an answer. Aleksandr wrote on for a few more seconds, before the pen slowly halted.

"What?" He asked.

"'s my job. To write." Aleron said. "You know, you say stuff, I write it down. The whole master-servent thing." Aleksandr looked up, and Aleron tried to avoid starting. It was still a surprise, every time he saw his employer. One steely Tleilaxu eye in the right socket, installed by the Ixians, sitting beside one blue-on-blue eye in the left. Now that his sister had revealed Aleksandr's heavy spice addiction, he saw no need for the Ixian contact lenses that he had been wearing. The image was unsettling.

"I need something to do." He shrugged.

"You've got plenty to do." Aleron told him. "You've got soldiers to inspire, defences to inspect, all that jazz."

"What's the point? She's going to win." Aleksandr sighed, dropping the paper.

"She will not win." Aleron replied angrily, standing up. "Because you have allies and men who depend on you just as you depend upon them! I was there when you faced down Ranith. There was conviction then!" He walked forward slowly, standing slightly closer than protocol allowed. "Yes, you lost an eye. And yes, everyone knows about the melange. It's not a big deal. Now give me this," he picked up the fallen paper, "get up and go talk to people. Go out, be seen! If people don't see you, they won't believe that they can win. In fact," he flipped through his charts, "Yes, here! Over eleven thousand volunteers have joined up in Arrakeen!"

"Fear of my sister." Aleksandr said stubbornly.

"And love of you." Aleron retorted. "Now go out, speak to people. Go talk to Relnev, he always seem to have a good effect on you." He stepped back as Aleksandr stood up wearily. "And don't hide your eyes! You won't accomplish anything and they look fine anyway! Go on!"

Buildup of Arsunt: 86%, 7% per post.

Harkonnen forces on Arrakis:

Carthag: 6,000.

Arrakeen: 10,000. Secondary Commander Thorn.

Arsunt: 63,000. The eleven Elites. High Commander Danforth. 5,000 Sardaukar.

Tsimpo: 1,000. Whole garrison on standby to move.

Harkonnen forces off Arrakis: Unknown.

OOC: Working out legion in Roman terms, a single legion contains 4720 men. Khan told us that he had five on Arrakis, making 23,600 Sardaukar altogether. This, however, is assuming that a Sardaukar legion is the same as a Roman one, which I doubt. Anyways, in the interest of balance I put down 5,000 Sardaukar. Also yes, I asked and he allowed me to take control of them. Which is jolly nice as I was starting to get a bit outnumbered.

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OOC: ARRRGH! I just typed out a 5 paragraph post and MY COMPUTER FROZE!!!! I swear, if I saw Bill Gates walk by just now I WOULD STAB HIM!!!! So I'll just post the updated Troop numbers and disposistions which I had memorised. Or not.....

With a grinding noise, the previously hidden Anti-orbital target weapons posistioned in the WTF re-oriented themselves towards the orbiting Harkonnen craft and have been fed targets opened fire. The entire Facilitie's lighting systems dimmed as massive las-bolts spewed from the weapons and lanced through the enemy ships. Explosions lit up the sky.....

Arakeen: Having nearly compleated defenses, the city was beginning to look like something from a nightmare, defenses dotted the landscaped and Allied forces seemed to be like ants from a distance, swarming around defensive posistions. At the Trebesian compound's Starport, technitions had begun prepping the port for use, Elsewhere in the city, massive shipments of water and other supplies had begun to arrive, this coupled with the re-calibration of the Citie's factories for the production of war-goods ensured the entire population was at work.

Trebesian Millitary Forces.

Troops  38000, Nokker Guard 935, Ornis  657, Trikes 225, Quads 165, De-Meks 47, Frigates 2,012, Assorted Artillery & Anti Aircraft Pieces 3,972, Anti Orbital Weapons (classified) + Classified weapons.

WTF- 20,000 Troops 400 Nokker Guardsman, 307 Ornithopters, 200 Trikes, 100 Quads, 27 De-meks and 1,000 Assorted Artillery & Anti Aircraft Pieces. +10,000 Freman Warriors?

Arrakeen- 15,000 Troops, 485 Nokker Guardsman, 300 Ornithopters, 25 Trikes, 65 Quads, 2,012 Frigates, 20 De-meks and 2,972  Assorted Artillery & Anti Aircraft Pieces + Anti Orbital Weapons (classified) + Classified weapons. + 17,520 Volunteer forces.

Outpost 9- 3,000 Troops, 50 Nokker Guardsman and 50 Ornithopters.

Arakeen Defenses- 75% at 25% per post.

Frigate Mods (Formerly halted, now restarted) 65% at 15% per post.

(Classified)Operation Hide and Seek 25% at 25% per post.

(Classified)Operation Unseen Trident 25% at 25% per post.

Arrakeen Produced Ornithopters (500) 0% at 25% per post.

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That's an impressive weapon to keep hidden. Not that it matters, since there currently aren't any orbiting Harkonnen craft anyway... Also, massive shipments of water and other supplies? From where, exactly?

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OOC: Let it open... but start it soon. Yeah, you took it over :) and I thought that Edric was the subversive one LOL. Still, you're doing a great job.. but don't over-do it.

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Eh, I have a habit of doing that. Happened in Warlords too, when Sard disappeared for a while. Well, someone has to keep things in order...

Anyways, this is the IM that I just sent. As soon as these events are played out, we'll return things to normal:

Right, this message is being sent to both Barbarossa and Beowulf. I don't have much time, so I'll try to keep this brief. This is how it's going to work (as previously arranged).

You will both remove your most recent posts. When I get round to it, I'll remove mine. Beowulf will post the 10,000 fremen arriving at the WTF. Barbarossa will let them in, and the fremen will do some sneaky spy-y stuff. The fremen will then 'open the gates,' as it were, to the remaining 60,000 outside. This will alert the Trebeis. There will be an open battle, rather than an ambush. The winner will be decided in the thread. Have fun.

Also, don't mess this up.


Edit: I kind of meant you to start posting before I removed my post. *Sigh* Well, get to it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

"As requested, we have arrived." The fremen warrior stated bluntly, his expression blank. The Trebesian Commander nodded, unsure of how to treat the desert people. They had attacked the base in Arrakeen in the past, and now the Duke wished to let them inside the defences? Well, orders were orders...

"Very well." He replied. "Have your men spread throughout the base and surrounding area. How many is it?"

"Ten thousand. As requested." The fremen nodded. He turned to one of his fellows, and gestured an order. The other man nodded and left. 'Ten thousand!' The Commander thought to himself, 'They outnumber us! Too much! What can he be thinking?'

"Perhaps you would show me the layout of the base, so that I could position my men better?" The fremen asked. The Commander frowned. And then sighed.

"Very well, follow me." He shrugged.

He spent the best part of the next five hours leading the man around the Water Mining Facility. The desert man spoke little, except to ask questions or clarify statements. He didn't laugh at the Commander's weak attempts at humour. At the end of the tour, he thanked the Trebesian. He had, apparantly, gained a great understanding into the works of the base, and would position his men correctly. The Commander watched the man leave with an uneasy feeling.

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Senihca intently watched the Freman. Ajusting a small knob on The Eyeware, the Nokker calmly observed their every move.

Walking around the perimeter base wall, the WTF Commander angriliy mused to himself. "25 years of faithful service and expierience, and this is how Atillian treats me? He ignores my professional oppinion and throws caution to the wind by simply trusting these Desert rats!?" Walking farther down the Plas-crete Structure, his curiosity was piqued by a reading on his eyeware, turning to face the opening of the WTF's vally, he was shocked to have the equipment read thousands of concealed men, over fifty thousand. They were streaming directly for the main gate, which was open! Slapping the face plate of his Shield and drawing a Dagger and Pistol, he began running back toward the gate. He got within 50 meters of the gate just in time to see the last of the men guarding the gate get cut down. Turning he slammed his hand on a security alert button. But nothing happened! Charging down the wall, he found another Alert button, but it too was bypassed! Looking around in the darkness, he activated the nightvision function of the pieces. He was horrified to view a Freman standing over the body of A trooper, drawing a Crysknife from the man's back. Running toward a AA emplacement, he vaulted in surprising the gunners. Looking at the Turret's control panel, he found what he was looking for. Smashing a button, suddenly the base was filled with klaxons and lights. With the Turret's view-screens, he was abled to see the the flicker of shields everwhere as the Trebesians activated their shields and charged toward the enemy. Unifortunately, no one but the De-meks noticed the open Gates.

The Trebesian's superior numbers and technology was winning them the battle, Freman were not surrendering when near overpowered, so the Trebesians had a terribal time subduing the ten thousand freman, taking heavy casualties. Then, The De-meks opened up with their grenade launchers and Nuero-gas, only not at the battle. They were firing over the walls, toward the main road leading from the entrence. Finally having subdued the last of the enemy, the Trebesians noticed the De-mek's activity. Some ran to the walls, the others took their posistions at machine Projectile, turrets. The few men the ran toward the entrance in hopes of securing it, were taken down with grenades. Then the Freman's real force began streaming into the base. The Demeks continued blazin away at the freman, but their massive numbers compleately nullified the monsturous machine's power. One of the Meks had a malfunction in it's loading system, which caused a grenade to blow up within the armour, destroying it. Totally outnumbered, the trebesian forces fell back. De-meks tramped backward, the men ran. As they left, their left behing posisition blew up, having been detonated. The Freman charged, and more Trebesians fell. Then, the relocated Meks and Trebesians opened up again, The Freman, sustaining heavy losses, fell back. "My god, there are so many of them!" The Commander Exclaimed. Directing the Trebesians, he was in deep thought. what advantages do we have! He was so deep in thought, he was surprised when a private came up to report. "Sir, the Ornithopters are ready to take off!" Nodding to the man, the Commander ordered "I want those birds to be fully shielded, Attack initially with light-cluster Rockets and then begin straffing runs." He turned back to the ongoing battle in time to see a group of troopers and Nokkers dueling a bunch of the Invaders. Then, with a roar, 307 Ornithopters took off.

Qapmoc smiled "You are the ones responsible for defending your lovely city!" He was speaking to another batch of volunteers. They looked both eager and frightened. They were also extreamly agntious to keep their homes from suffer the same fate they had the first time around. Arrakeen had truely become a war-ready city. Ornithopters being turned out of the citie's various production centers, were being immediately pressed into service. Loyalist Harkonnen, Trebesian and Civillian Volunteer Force troops marched everywhere. Defenses were being put up in every direction and the inhabitants all seemed willing to defend their homes to the last. One thing that kept echoing among the various peoples of the city was "Where is our leader, Aleksandr? Why are his troops here, but not he? Are the Trebesians going to stay true to us? How will we fare if the Harkonnen attack?" There was much worry.

Being followed by a group of Nokker, Atillian Ranted "What are we to do!?" he had recieved reports from his orbiting Frigates of the battle in the WTF. Bustling into Relnev's office, he inquired throwing the photos on the Ixian's lap "What do I do? I can't spare anything from Arrakeen, and my forces here are neccisary to defenses!" One of the Nokker trumped up the Nobleman and said simply "Sir, The Frigate mods are completed." Atillian Smiled.

WTF- Numbers unavailable, battle in progress.

Arrakeen- 15,000 Troops, 485 Nokker Guardsman, 300 Ornithopters + 500 = 800, 25 Trikes, 65 Quads, 2,012 Modified Attack Frigates, 20 De-meks and 2,972  Assorted Artillery & Anti Aircraft Pieces + Anti Orbital Weapons (classified) + Classified weapons. + 17,520 Volunteer forces + 4,580, 22,100.

Outpost 9- 3,000 Troops, 50 Nokker Guardsman and 50 Ornithopters.

Arakeen Defenses- Compleate.

Frigate Mods- compleate.

(Classified)Operation Hide and Seek- Compleate, initialising.

(Classified)Operation Unseen Trident- Compleate, initialising.

Arrakeen Produced Ornithopters (500- Compleate.

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"You wished to speak to me?" The stooped guildsman asked quietly, watching Ekaterina's back as she stared out at Arsunt. The Governess nodded, and waved a hand. The guildsman advanced slowly, his steps muffled in the thick carpet.

"M'lady Harkonnen." He nodded his deference as he stood alongside.

"I wish to know," Ekaterina said sternly, without looking at him, "what the policy of the Guild shall be in relation to this conflict." The Ambassador thought for a moment, pressing a misshapen hand to his lips.

"Junction has decided that it is in the interests of the Imperium and the Guild that this conflict be resolved quickly." He answered. "It must also end with the victory of House Harkonnen. There can be no stability otherwise."

"Good." Ekaterina did not smile. "So I assume that you will refuse transport to any and all shuttles from Arrakeen."

"Any Trebesian shuttles will be refused transport." The guildsman agreed. "Shuttles belonging to your brother will also be refused, as will identified smugglers. Ixian shuttles will be allowed only through prior permission and a thourough inspection of cargo. This will effectively prevent any supplies or materials from reaching the renegades."

"Hmm." The Governess frowned. "Very well, you may go."

"M'lady, the Trebesian Facility is under attack." Rachael said from a corner of the room, reading statistics from a monitor. The guildsman snuck away.

"Who's winning?" Ekaterina asked in a bored voice.

"No clear indication of a victor thusfar." Her new mentat replied.

'Well, if they've opted for open attack then at least we can rest assured that the most important part of the plan has succeeded...' Ekaterina thought to herself. She grinned evilly, and turned back to Arsunt. Her buildup was nearing completion. Soon, the city would have defences rivalling those of the Imperial Palaces on Kaitan. Especially since Sardaukar now patrolled the walls...

* * *

[i'd write something for Aleksandr, but I really can't think of much right now. Maybe later]

Buildup of Arsunt: 93%, 7% per post.

Harkonnen forces on Arrakis:

Carthag: 6,000.

Arrakeen: 10,000. Secondary Commander Thorn.

Arsunt: 63,000. The eleven Elites. High Commander Danforth. 5,000 Sardaukar.

Tsimpo: 1,000. Whole garrison on standby to move.

Harkonnen forces off Arrakis: Unknown.

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From the safety of the Den, Carth monitored the events that took place around the planet.

After reading a report that came in from the spice suppliers a man walked in:

- Sir, the Guild refuses to let our associates' frigates through. We're being blocaded.

- Well, there's a war going on, and the Guild seems to have decided on who's side it is. Anyway... ready the troops.

- And the volonteers?

- Not yet. Have the last tanks arrived?

- With the last shipment... in the nick of time.

- That's all for now... notify me if Ekaterina does anything.

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Recorded Message to Carth.

[hide]Hello Carth. I do not believe we have spoken since the last time Arrakis was in a situation such as this- *Coughs* excuse me. I am not in such great health since the attempt on my life. Now, down to buisiness. I have recieved reports suggesting that you have been building up your forces in preperation for something. We know that you have been aquiring some rather large equipment and we also know that- *cough* you will be unabled to continue such projects with the Guild's pseudo-blockade. We can supply you with components neccisary to your construction. But, we need your help. You led wonderfully the last time such a siuation on Arrakis existed and I would like you to come to Arakeen. Meet the people, they will be emboldened by a visit from you. Please cons- *Cough* Consider.

Duke Trebeis.[/hide]

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