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Arrakis Factions


Davidu

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The Ixian base, now supported by dense and thick rock, was approaching the status of fully operational.

"The Harkonnens are quick to defend us, Eemins." Relnev observed.  He was pacing the floor of the command tent, as if waiting for something.

"Indeed, sire." replied Eemins, the mentat assigned to the Ixian excursion to Arrakis.  "They know a strong ally when they see one.  Harsh and brutish they may be, but the Harkonnens are intelligent."

Relnev moved across the tent at the sound of ornithopters coming in to land.  He exited the tent, hand poised over his lasgun's holster.  A mass of ornithopters were being guided in by the Harkonnen guard.  A weaponless soldier approached the tent with measured caution.

"Mistress Ekaterina Harkonnen requests an audience with you, Relnev of Ix." he said, confidently.  Relnev appeared to consider this, then gestured for two bodyguards and Eemins.

"They will accompany me." he said simply.

"Understood.  There is a 'thopter waiting to take you to Carthag."

"Carry on with base creation and security while I am gone!" Relnev shouted, to the general acknowledgement of several other Ixians.  He then followed the Harkonnen soldier into the ornithopter, and began the flight to Carthag.

This will be most interesting... he thought.

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Message to the Fremen at Mushtal Ridge:

[hide] Understood. We have 'round 7500 men left. Welcome to the party. [/hide]

The Smugglers were coducting raids and ambushes constantly, desorientating and distracting the Harkonnen troops. Every attack led to more Harkonnen death and equipment loss. As not all the Harkonnen soldiers had shields... (OOC only the officers, right? ;) ) the smugglers began using old-fashioned projectile sniper rifles, shooting down harks, thus making them fear any open space, and destroying their morale. Arrakeen was a standstill.

On Giedi Prime, Carth's messenger arrived and began working his way into the Baron's office for an audience.

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OOC: The following conversation was role-played between Dragoon and myself.

"Welcome to the fief of Arrakis, Ambassador." Ekaterina flashed her most charming smile in Relnev's direction. She held out a plate. "Biscuit?"

"No thanks, m'lady." The Ixian replied, with a smile of his own. Ekaterina's eye twitched.

"Tea, then? I have to follow the words of my invitation." She indicated Fyodor, who was pouring tea and keeping a poker-straight face.

"Perhaps a small cup, then." Relnev took the cup from Fyodor. "I see that m'lady has graciously protected us from rebel attacks since our arrival.  Please accept my heartfelt thanks." He continued to smile. Ekaterina's smile was becoming forced. It hurt her mouth.

"Happy to help." She tried to sound cheery. "After the unusual worm attacks, I had to make sure you were safe. And of course you chose an unusual landing spot, Ambassador. A city in the midst of a battle?" She took her own cup of tea from Fyodor, and sipped it. The mentat retreated to the side of the room.

"But very near the spaceport, m'lady. Important for supplies, and an excellent position for making demands." Relnev continued to smile as he sipped his tea. Ekaterina was unlikely to have poisoned it before she drunk it herself. Unlikely... "I'll be frank, m'lady." He said, "the Ix are neutral. We do not 'side' with anyone.  We merely supply to those who pay the most." The smile broadened, as his eyes scanned Ekaterina. "But I do hope that you will be the highest bidder, m'lady Harkonnen."

"I have the backing of the Baron, Ambassador." Ekaterina's smile dropped. "I assure you that my capital is most flexible. Still, you are going to require protection and that will not be cheap for me."

"Our protection is greatly appreciated, make no mistake." Relnev replied, "However, once our base is fully operational, defences should not be a problem." He sipped his tea. "Now... what is it that I can do for you, m'lady?"

Ekaterina's expression did not change as a loud clattering filled the hall. A metal jug bounced across the tiles, chased by a young man who seemed to be frantically trying to catch it. Relnew raised an eyebrow. As the jug came to an abrupt stop under Fyodor's foot, Ekaterina turned to glare at her younger brother.

"Leave." She ordered. Aleksandr hesitated for an instant, his eyes darting from the jug, to his sister, to the Ixian ambassador. His decision made, he scuttled quickly out of the hall, leaving the jug behind. Ekaterina turned back, her face serious. "I do not pretend that I understand your motives, Ambassador," she said sharply, "arriving to Arrakis so soon after the tragic death of Duke Atreides, and in Arrakeen of all places... I have enemies on Arrakis, Ambassador, I do not wish you to become one of them. What can I provide you with in exchange for... assistance?"

Relnew thought for several seconds, putting down his empty teacup. "I hadn't expected such generosity, lady Harkonnen." He mused, weighing options. "The Ix are always on the lookout for, shall we say... donations for the purposes of research. Perhaps if a philanthropist were to give enough Solaris on a regular basis, our research could be swayed towards areas of most interest to them?"

"I'm sure that can be arranged." Ekaterina smiled genuinely. She stood up, and the ambassador took his cue to rise to his feet. "We will be in contact, ambassador." Ekaterina nodded, "I was glad to meet you." She turned abruptly and stalked from the room. Automatically a group of aides slipped from their positions around the room, escorting the ambassador back to the ornithopters. A worried looking Aleksandr peered after him from behind a curtain.

* * *

"Too long." Ekaterina said, dismissing the pointy tool that Fyodor held up. The mentat put the tool down, and selected another one at random. "Too much tubing." Ekaterina made a face. "Those things make a horrible mess, Fyodor. Get me something... serrated." Fyodor raised an eyebrow, but selected from the bench in front of him a jagged implement that looked like the cursed offspring of a whisk and several razorblades. Ekaterina smiled, and took it by the blunt end. "Very good, Fyodor." She said, choosing a few small knives at random before turning away.

She made her way along the room, which was brightly lit and richly decorated. Close inspection, however, would reveal that the floor was utterly smooth, and the decorations on the walls were all behind glass. At the end of the room was a large, metal structure in the shape of a giant X. Clever people would have noted that the 'spokes' of the device appeared to be extendable. Stupid people would have been surprised that there was someone tired to this device, each of his limbs on a different spoke. The top right spoke had been extended already, and the arm attached to it appeared to have been pulled from its socket. Despite his condition, the man appeared to be stubborn. His one open glare glared defiance. Ekaterina rolled her eyes.

"Let's start with something easier then, shall we?" She smiled, holding one of the smaller knives up. "Now tell me, what's your name?"

"Go to hell, Harkonnen bitch." The man muttered. Ekaterina stared at him for a moment.

"Bad answer." She replied, throwing the knife aside and picking up a short, thick metal pole. She smiled cruelly as she watched a dawning comprehension spread into the prisoner's eyes, before she swung the pole as hard as she could to connect directly between his legs.

The tirade of screaming, cursing, and bellowing followed her back up the room as Ekaterina returned to Fyodor.

"Vitriol." She ordered, taking the bottle and walking back. Even though the man wasn't done making a noise yet, she didn't wait. Taking the stopper off the bottle, she started to pour the contents onto his shoulder...

* * *

A few minutes had passed. Ekaterina sat on her own chair, directly in front of the man. "Fyodor." She intoned.

"Mistress?" Fyodor slid to her side.

"Summarise." Ekaterina ordered.

"Rebel gives name as 'Maverik.'" Fyodor began to list. "Has given details on probable rebel strategy and positioning, though no certain knowledge. Has given personal details of the leader, 'Carth,' including a description. Has admitted mission to abscond with Harkonnen property in order to wage violence against House Harkonnen. Has cried like a little baby, like a whining little baby. Has given details of a messenger bound for Giedi Prime, for the Baron. Has theorised on alliances with the Fremen and Ix. Has given imfomation on smuggler supplies and positions of same. Has given infomation on what weapons are available to smugglers, and what defences. Has not, despite repeated encouragement, agreed to act as bait in a Harkonnen trap." He stopped. The quiet sounds of whimpering and dissolving flesh echoed slightly in the room.

"Very good." Ekaterina said smugly. "And I never did get around to using this." She held up the shrapnel-like implement. Leaning over, she passed it to Fyodor. "Choose an orifice at random and put this there, will you?"

"Certainly, Mistress." Fyodor's wrinkled visage split into an ugly, yellow grin. Ekaterina was just leaving the room as the screaming began again.

* * *

(Hmm... Am I writing too many of these scenes? I think I am, really. ...Meh, I don't care. I enjoy writing them. >:D)

* * *

Message to Carth:

We have Maverik and eleven of your men in Carthag. ...Oops, wait, make that ten of your men. Here's the deal. You come here, we kill you, we let them go. In case you doubt our word, please find enclosed one of Maverik's hands. Good day.

E.H.

* * *

Prepare for an assault on the city." Sub-commander Thorne muttered, scanning a map of Arrakeen. "We have three thousand men here, give or take, and enough ornithopters to mount aerial cover. With those idiots moving away from the city and into the desert..." He grimaced, although it might have been a smile. "Pull back patrols. Nobody leaves the perimeter around the Ixian base. Anyone without identification, even in Harkonnen uniform, is to be brought directly to me, understood? I'm going to do this my own way... We'll attack tomorrow."

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Day 21

We have recovered more survivors from the Honor Guard! The poor fools had lived in Arakeen for all this time until the Harkonnens attacked the city. From their stories, it was quite a battle indeed. Only 21 of them survived and fled into the desert, where they luckily stumbled upon one of our scouts. We now have 140 men total, and though that may be a small number, I would trust them enough to go against 500 of the Harkonnen's finest and win. But that wouldn't get us anywhere. We'll need all the help we can get, therefore I will send messages to all the other rebel factions.

Message to Carth's smugglers:

[hide]Greetings. First let me express my sorrow for all the men and women you lost during the battle of Arakeen. About your request, we'll allow you to use our spaceport for your own business, on the following conditions. You will continue to sell our spice to the Guild, without charging us for a part of our profits.

Also, I propose a meeting between all factions that oppose the Harkonnen so we can devise a strategy. Massacres like Arakeen should never happen again. I have picked a secret location in a remote rock island, you'll receive the coordinates a day before the meeting.[/hide]

Message to Athanasios

[hide]Hail, fellow brother in arms! I am Fharim Odreck, of the Atreides Honor Guard. What remains of the Honor Guard is only a few men, but our spirit is strong and we're rich in equipment. We have only just learned of your existence. I propse a meeting between us and the other factions that are against the Harkonnens, namely Carth's smugglers and the fremen under Dinsdar. I have personally chosen a safe location. Let me know how you feel about the proposal.[/hide]

Message to Dinsdar

[hide]Greetings, fremen. I am Fharim Odreck and I lead what is left of the Atreides Honor Guard. Me and my men hate Ekaterina with a passion, and have decided to pick up arms against them. How we will go about this is uncertain. Therefore I propose a meeting between the leaders of the four factions against the Harkonnens. The meeting will take place on a rock island situated far in the desert.[/hide]

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Seth promptly sent a message to Fharim Odreck

[hide]I have just intercepted a person I suspect is a spy. He had infomation on our proposed meeting. I have just recieved 6500 more fremen warriors, 264 quads and 128 onithopters, so if you need more troops, just ask.[/hide]

Later that day Seth ordered 1200 troops, 12 quads and 9 ornis to move within 10 kilometers of the Atriedes base. 

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Carth received the Harkonnen message.

- maverik... i'll give her to the troops...

- Carth... what do we do?

- What?

- Here's a message from our Atreides parteners.

- Those ...!!! NOW they remember to answer!!! Fine... agree with their demands. Numbers! What's our position?

- Carth? You're not making much sense.

- Sorry... sorry... I don't want to think about MAverik's pain... d'you think he would have spoken?

- The harks have a way at making people talk.

A man rushed into the room: Carth, Sven, the harks are moving towards the city... they're gonna storm it.

- Take all our men out. Ready our troops. Sven! How many toops do we have.

- Some more people joined us today: about 7750 men. We'll put up a good fight... but they're not hardened fighters.

- Send someone to the Atreides and order at their spaceport attack ornis.

- Do we have enough money?

- We do. And lasres, and shields. Fast!

- Yes sir.

***

At Harko, on Giedi Prime Carth's man killed an officer on a backstreet and took his uniform. After a few 'minor' adjustments he presented himself at the Baron's palace:

- I am Major Bellow Portok. I have just arrived from Arrakis. Where do I debrief? MOVE IT PRIVATE, THIS IS URGENT!!! I'll have you send to the front if you don't move faster!

The soldier lost himself in front of the man's shouting and pointed a room on the second floor.

The spy left in a hurry, before the soldier could recover. The Baron surely was on the last floor. Guards everywhere. The Baron knew he was hated.

"I'm not here to kill the bastard! I want to pass him a message. If I won't meet him, the better."

The next 5 floors were pretty easy to pass... the rank and stature acted as a passcode. 3 more floors.

- HALT! What is your mission?

- Excuse me Seargent?

- I have to...

- YOU HAVE TO QUESTION ME??? DO YOU SEE MY RANK??? D"YOU KNOW WHERE I'M COMING FROM? ARRAKIS!!!! NOW MOVE OUT OF MY WAY. I HAVE IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE BARON.

- ...err... the Baron is out today...

- Well? When is he coming back?

- Tomorrow evening.

- Thank you. NOW MOVE!

The spy moved on. Reached the Baron's apartaments and after a brief search found a good hiding place in a closet. One of those things full of brooms and cleaning gear. After a few minutes he realised that was not a good hiding place and left.

"If I leave the message in his apartamens, how sure am I he'll find it there?"

The spy broke in and placed the message on the most visible and lighted table, using his cover's ID to make the message more legitimate. He also left a piece of paper:

"To the cleaning teams: do NOT touch this message or else..."

He then left for the spaceport to head back to Arrakis.

***

Message to Ekaterina Hakonnen (public - broadcasted on all frequences):

"I'll come for my men. Just wait... I'll be in Chartag, with ALL my men at my side. Better run <<bitch>> for we're coming."

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I believe I already replied to your messages once. Maybe you didn't notice ;)

I'm not sure if AK is still in, since he left the Espionage thread some time ago. I'll give him one more day.

tell them we'll pay a visit to their base. I'll travel to him by ornithopter with 3 other men."

"Aye sir."

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Slipping through the shadows, a four man team entered Arsunt night.  They were all dressed in typical Smuggler outfits instead of their usual uniform; the Huahinian *Mud* Camouflage which had been  rendered useless in their current situation.

As they got closer to the town centre, they heard the heavy thud of Harkonnen boots.  The Harkonnens had imposed a curfew on the local population, and these troops were enforcing it. Numbering only five, and very closely together, the leader of the Huahinian Special Forces Unit threw a stun grenade into their path. As the light blinded the Harkonnens, the Brigadier remembered the life of Jannis Fehler, a young Corporal whose mutilated body had been found chained to a wall by a Huahinian reconaissance group.  By the time he'd finished with that thought, he found himself already with his blade cutting into the throat of the first Harkonen, whilst his men took down one each between them. The last Harkonnen had been disarmed and immobilised.  As wriggled and spat, the Brigadier pistol whipped him across the face and bent down.

"Run Harkonnen scum, and tell your Baron that his days are numbered."

No sooner had the strange intoxicating vapour been inhaled by the Harkonnen, than the Huahinians slipped back off into the night.

One hour later the Harkonnen soldier was awakened from his  drugged stupor by another Harkonnen patrol. And he ran.

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At the last minute, the Harkonnen forces pulled back. Arrakeen was not attacked, but AA launchers were placed around the Harkonnen base, within easy firing distance of the starport.

* * *

Meanwhile, a program of innoculations has begun in Arsunt, Tsimpo and Carthag, as well as various other minor communities. All citizens are to recieve an injection, by order of the Harkonnen rulers. Any visitors to the planet (and there are few right now) are also obligated to be injected, or they shall not be allowed onto the surface.

The Baron Harkonnen does not deign to reply.

Appologies for short reply, here. But I don't have the energy to spend time on detail right now.

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What does OOC mean? anyway are there sardaukar still around?

As Seth walked through his sietch, he noticied that he needed more equipment. For that he needed more funds. He decided, against his better judgement to send this message to the

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Message to Ekaterina Harkonnen

[hide]IWe suggest courier, or direct delivry (spice field-Storage area). If you have a better idea, please suggest one[/hide]

As Seth sent the message, he laughed. "Those harkonnens are such fools!".

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The Ixian base stationed outside Arrakeen was complete.  Despite straggled and unorganised attempts at halting the building process by various rebel factions, the Harkonnen had defended the Ix for long enough to ensure a permanent base camp.  The Ixian defence matrix was more advanced than anything seen on Arrakis thus far; lasguns, anti-aircraft emplacements, shields, barriers, troops and vehicles.  Supplies were coming in steadily via the spaceport, which was being monitored closely by both the Harkonnen and the Ix, with a comfortable surplus already amassing.

Ambassador Relnev had returned several hours ago, pleased to see that such progress had been made in his absence.  Within ten minutes of his return, he called a meeting of the senior Ixian officers to inform them of the deal he had made with the Harkonnen.  In return for large sums of Solaris, this base was to research new developments in line with requests made by Lady Ekaterina Harkonnen.  80% of base research was to be devoted to this task, with 20% remaining open to offers from other factions, should they deign to stop attacking the enclave.  The meeting was quickly adjourned, and Relnev busied himself with other duties.  He drafted a message to Ixian command, informing them of the status on Arrakis, and the progress.  He entrusted a group of four armed messengers with it, who then boarded the next shuttle off Arrakis.

"What shall we call this place, Eemins?" Relnev asked, while signing an 'Permission to Research' form... something to do with advanced camoflauge.

"I presume you mean the base, sire?" Eemins replied, sitting in his own chair across the room.  The command tent had long ago been folded up and stowed away, having been replaced by a much more permanent and sturdy command bunker.

"Yes.  It needs a name."

Eemins smiled.  "How about 'Outpost 9', sire?"

"Ha..." Relnev grinned, seeing the irony.  "Yes, Outpost 9 will do nicely." he finished, standing up and stretching.  A soft tone indicated someone waiting outside the door.

"Enter." Relnev said, moving across the floor.  A young Ixian soldier moved into the room as the doors slid open.

"Sir, the Harkonnen have ceased their attack on Arrakeen." he said.  Relnev paused to think about this, then dismissed the soldier.

"They will have their reasons." Relnev said eventually.  "Eemins, take these forms to the Research Quarter and have work begin immediately."

"As you wish." Eemins bowed.

"Oh, just a second." Relnev signalled with his hand, grabbing some paper with the other, then quickly jotting down a message.  "And give this to one of the Harkonnen guards.  Tell him it is for Lady Ekaterina."

"At once." said Eemins, who then left.

Message to Lady Ekaterina Harkonnen:

[hide]Our base - Outpost 9, as it has now been dubbed - is complete.  We await your instruction as to what, exactly, you would like us to research.  Development will commence as soon as m'lady replies with her wishes.

Head Ambassador Relnev of Ixian Outpost 9.[/hide]

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As Seth heard of the completion of the Ixian base he changed his mind. He was NOT going to attack the Ixian base, instead sending a message offering an alliance.

[hide] We need new, innovative technology, especially defensive mechanisms. Can you supply us with this? We offer desert survival techniques, supervizors to help make your future bases

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"Events have gone almost exactly to plan." The Baron Harkonnen smirked, sitting back and admiring his globe of Arrakis. "Though I confess, I had not anticipated such a drastic shift in timescale."

"It happened quicker than you thought it would." Feyd Rautha muttered.

"Precisely." The Baron nodded, "Which is even better for us, really. Cruelty followed by idiocy, and then in time, by rulership... Draft this message to the good Ekaterina."

* * *

"I... buh- he, no..." Ekaterina Harkonnen alternately gasped and choked, reading the Baron's message. "He can't; I mean... Arrakeen, not finished, he..." She trailed off, staring at the paper clutched in her hands. "I'll murder him." She growled at last, "I'll murder the little runt! Where is he? Where is he?!" She screwed up the paper and strode over to the wall, taking a large sword down from a display. Turning around, she noticed Fyodor still standing where she had left him. "Get my worthless, pathetic, cowardly excuse for a brother down here this instant!" She shrieked. Fyodor remained motionless.

"Am I to take it," he intoned, "that you wish to meet m'lord Harkonnen?" Ekaterina gaped. She dropped the sword.

"You... but, he... I, no..." She choked, "eep!" Ekaterina collapsed. Fyodor raised an eyebrow.

Message to Arrakeen rebels:

I invite you to quietly submit to the Harkonnen forces outside the city of Arrakeen. Know that no violence is wished against you, and a peaceful surrender will ensure that nobody is hurt any more. No captives will be taken, no executions will take place. All former rebels will be forgiven, and requested to aid House Harkonnen in rebuilding the city, which will be paid for entirely out of Ekaterina Harkonnen's coffers. In exchange for this, we ask that the rebels and citizens of Arrakeen submit peacefully to Harkonnen rule under Aleksandr Harkonnen.

In good faith, the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

Message to the Ixians:[hide]

We require a biological pathogen that is capable of surviving only in the atmosphere of Arrakis. It must have be virulent and have a high mortality rate, but also be completely anulled by a vaccine. Furthermore, we wish you to investigate the electrical signals picked up prior to the unusual worm attacks, and find a method of jamming them, or tracking them. That is all.

Fyodor Sa'jar, Mentat to Aleksandr Harkonnen. [/hide]

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Relnev sorted through the various reports that he'd been handed throughout the day.  Messages from various tiny factions, all requesting help that he wasn't willing to devote to such meagre forces.  But one caught his eye... apparently from a Fremen representative.  They seemed to be offering valuable assets in return for only a small portion of the base's research ability.  And there was that message from the Harkonnens... Aleksandr was in charge now?

Relnev rubbed his chin, then began writing his replies.

Message to The Fremen:

[hide]We are open to offers, and yours seem promising.  Tell me, what is your stance on the Harkonnen?  They are becoming ever more even handed to those citizens who obey the law.

Head Ambassador Relnev of Ixian Outpost 9.[/hide]

Message to Alexsandr Harkonnen:

[hide]Understood.  Development of the smart-toxin shall begin immediately, henceforth codenamed Project Red.  The vaccine shall be Project Blue.  The tracking / jamming of the 'worm electricity' shall be Project Green.  That is all.

Head Ambassador Relnev of Ixian Outpost 9.[/hide]

Project Red: 5 Posts until completion.

Project Blue: 6 Posts until completion.

Project Green: 5 Posts until completion.

(N.B. --> Everybody's posts count towards this countdown.)

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OOC: I just checked the topic dates, and saw that AK hasn't posted for almost 2 weeks. As the only other Atreides player I'll take over his possesions and characters, unless anyone objects. Of course he can take them back if he decides to rejoin.

Message to Carth Bindar and Seth Dinsdar (heavily incrypted)

[hide]The meeting will begin tomorrow. It is very important for our cause that you come. In this message you will find the coordinates of the meeting point.

Greetings,

Fharim Odreck[/hide]

Fharim had filled the cave with tables, covered with maps and documents. It wasn't exactly a comfortable place to hold a meeting, but it would do.

The cave was so deep in the desert that they had to add extra fuel tanks to the ornithopter to be able to return afterwards. Fharim had chosen the location because the Harkonnens didn't patrol this far away from the cities, and the worm activity made the area to dangerous for harvesters.

"Sir!" exlaimed an officer. "Our scouts have spotted another ornithopter. It's not wearing Harkonnen emblems." Fharim left the cave through the narrow entrance and picked a good lookout point on the rock. He could see a small dot in the sky, gradually becoming bigger until it was unmistakably an ornithopter. As it moved closer the rest of Fharim's men joined to see what would happen. The thopter hovered about 20 metres above the rock and hung still, apparently to pick the most suitable landing ground. Fharim could feel a cool breeze, generated by the flapping wings of the machine. It landed right next to Fharim's thopter. Some of the men took out their lasguns and pointed it towards the thopter doors.

"That will hardly be nessecary." said Fharim and gestured them to put down their weapons. The thopter door opened, and someone stepped out. It was a man of about 30, strong stature, carrying a lasgun. Unmistakenly a guard, though not wearing any uniform. The next man to step out was not armed. About 1.80 in lenght, medium long black hair, and green eyes that were beginning to turn blue in blue. Fharim recognised him.

"Athanasios" he reached out and shook hands with his comrade in arms.

"Fharim" Athanasios replied. "Good to see a friendly face in this hell hole. "

"Likewise. Let's get inside and wait for the others." Athanasios confirmed with a nod, and followed Fharim down the crack in the rock, descending into the cave. Now in the room, Fharim offered Athanasios a chair and both sat down.

"So how did you survive all this time, my friend?" Fharim inquired.

"With great difficulty. We looted some Harkonnen water supplies, but those will run out soon. How did you survive?"

"We took over a smuggler base and the starport that came with it. We've made a living out of selling spice."

"You killed the smugglers who owned it?" Athanasios eyes widened.

"Yes." Fharim's voice betrayed a feeling of guilt, but then his face hardened. "And I'd do it again, too."

Athanasios remained still. "Given the position, I'd have done the same thing." it sounded sincere.

"Now that we're together, we can share our recources. You won't have to worry about water from now on."

"That's good...very good. Are there any future plans you have?"

"Getting out of here I hope, but for the moment, let's wait until our two new friends arrive."

The meeting will begin as soon as both Carth and Dinsdar arrive, or send negotiators.

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As Seth read the message he smiled. Everything was going according to plan. As he smiled he wrote a message to the ixians

MESSAGE TO IXIANS ( HEAVILY ENCRYPTED)

[hide] Greetings, ixians. Our stance on the harkonnens is that right now we are organising a deal. Don't worry that providing technology for us will bring down the wrath of the harkonnens. What we need is mainly defensive mechanisimns, but we also need a stealthed suface craft. If you are capable of creating this technology, then we shall order more. Our first shipment of melange is with this message. It is 400 kilograms of spice, worth about 180,000 solaris at today's market. If you need desert survival techniques, then send another message saying so.[/hide] Afterwards he composed a message to Fharim Odreck...

[hide] Understood Atriedes[/hide]

The base outside the atreides base was going well. Although it was small, it was fully camoflaged. A few harkonnen patrols were seen flying over the area, but luckily all the fremen were able to hide. Noticing that he had not recieved a reply from the harkonnens he sent another message.

[hide] We sent a message to Ekaterina Harkonnen, but noticing the change in power we decided to send our offer again. We can give you 600 kilograms of melange, which is worth at least 2 hundred thousand solaris at today's market. The Fremen[/hide]

Seth sent for an ornithopter and flew with one very highly trained to the cave which had been mentioned

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Reply to the Fremen:

I am not the governer of Arrakis any more, but I still have power of my own. Send your melange, under guard if you wish, to this location south of Carthag. Coordinates included in message.

E.H.

Reply to the Ix:

[hide]Excellent. We also wish to be kept fully informed of any other technical requests made of you by other factions.

Fyodor Sa'jar. [/hide]

EDIT: Message to all Atreides survivors:

The same offer extended to the rebel smugglers is extended to you as well. Should you wish to join us in rebuilding Arrakeen, you are welcome. All Atreides will be offered free accomodation in the city. Alternatively, transport back to Caladan can be arranged by those who wish it. I am available to discuss terms, if you wish.

Sincerely, Aleksandr Harkonnen.

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As Seth arrived he recieved the harkonnen's message. In reply he sent another message, followed by orders to send 400kg's of melange to Ekaterina Harkonnen

[hide] Understood.It should arrive soon[/hide] Then he noticed a soldier in atriedes uniform watching him. He walked over and introduced himself...

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"Ah... finally I see some of the spice, Melange." Relnev said, eyeing a small pile on his desk.  The shipment sent by the Fremen was indeed very valuable, as pure a batch as any Harkonnen harvester could produce.  He had sent a small quantity to be examined, to analyse its chemical make-up.

"They wish us to develop technology for them." Eemins commented, passing a piece of paper towards Relnev.  It listed the Fremen requirements, with promises of more spice and desert survival training.

"Very well.  Draft the following messages, Eemins."

Message to The Fremen:

[hide]Your reqests have been granted.  Defences in the form of modified AA guns, ground turrets and barriers will be with you presently.  (O.O.C. --> The next time you post, you'll have them.)  However, the stealth land vehicle will take slightly longer.  It has been labelled Project Yellow, and will be ready for you as soon as we can.  As for further projects, the Ix request some of your finest Fremen Stillsuits as payment.  Thank you.

Head Ambassador Relnev of Ixian Outpost 9.[/hide]

Message to Aleksandr Harkonnen:

[hide]We are developing modified defences for the Fremen, codenamed Project Yellow.  Projects Red, Green and Blue are nearing completion.  We suggest that suitable transport is arranged promptly... secure transport.  Regards,

Head Ambassador Relnev of Ixian Outpost 9.[/hide]

Project Red: 1 Post until completion.

Project Blue: 2 Posts until completion.

Project Green: 1 Post until completion.

Project Yellow: 4 Posts until completion.

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Four bombs. Four spice fields. Using maps stolen from Harkonnen patrols, the Huahinian Generals had pinpointed the four spice fields which were giving the Harkonnens the greatest production of spice at the current time. Four Seismic bombs had been delivered to the spice fields by freighter ornithoptors. All bombs were awaiting a signal to blow...

Similtaneously, three seismic bombs went off around Arrakis, and the planet trembled.  .. OOC:Will leave Dante to post the damage.

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Location: south of Carthag, small cluster of abandoned buildings that probably used to be a village.

The Fremen troops waited for the Harkonnens to turn up. The melange they carried was destined for Ekaterina Harkonnen herself, former governer of Arrakis. She had arranged this meeting herself. So it should have come as no surprise when a pressure plate hidden under the sand was stepped on, and hidden lasguns sliced the guards to sizzling little pieces [OOC: The Fremen may be capable fighters, but this wasn't a fight]. A few hours later, a Harkonnen patrol arrived, collected the melange, and left.

To the Fremen:

Nice try. You really think I'm that dim? Thanks for the spice.

E.H.

To the Ix:

All projects are now complete, they will be collected by armoured ornithopter with an honour guard immediately.

A.H.

* * *

"Blew up spice fields?" Aleksandr asked, "I thought the fields were inconstant in-"

"They are, M'lord." Fyodor sighed. He twitched, suddenly. Aleksandr had taken away his toys, and Fyodor knew it was only a matter of time before he was replaced. "Three large explosive devices were set off in fields that we had planned to harvest. Since there isn't much point, now, we shall simply have to go elsewhere. There is always more spice."

"We didn't lose any men, did we?" Aleksandr sounded concerned, before adding as an afterthought, "Or any equipment?"

"The bombs had to be planted in our absence, or we would have noticed." Fyodor muttered, "Therefore the fields hit were completely absent of Harkonnen resources. No damage."

"And no casualties. Well, that's a relief." Aleksandr breathed. "How goes the preparation for Arrakeen?"

"Tsimpo has volunteered several hundred men and women to rebuild the city." Fyodor reported, "Arsunt is slightly behind, and Carthag has volunteered hardly at all."

"The legacy of my predecessors..." Aleksandr sighed. "Fyodor, why did the Baron replace my sister?" Fyodor smirked.

"Because you are obviously far more capable." He lied smoothly. Aleksandr glared at him.

"How are my messages to the rebels being recieved?" He asked stonily.

"No replies as yet, M'lord." Fyodor smiled, "Neither the smugglers, nor the Atreides has contacted us. Also, your sister has probably angered the Fremen."

"The last group that I wanted to antagonise..." Aleksandr muttered angrily. "Fine, take this down..."

To all rebels, surviving Atreides, Fremen, and whoever blew up those fields:

I will be flying to Arrakeen in the near future in order to oversee the commencement of the rebuilding work. Anyone who wishes to meet with me and discuss terms is more than welcome. The price on the head of 'Carth' is henceforth removed, and I would welcome his presence. I will be staying the Harkonnen compound outside the Ixian base.

Furthermore, I offer formal appology to the Fremen for the affront of my sister, and request their presence in Arrakeen to negotiate a peaceful settlement.

Sincerely, Aleksandr Harkonnen.

"And one more thing, Fyodor." Aleksandr mentioned as the mentat started to leave.

"M'lord?"

"Ekaterina and yourself are henceforth confined to the official Harkonnen residence in Arsunt." Aleksandr told him casually. "I will see to it myself."

"... Yes, M'lord."

Aleksandr Harkonnen leaves for Arrakeen.

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The last seismic bomb had failed to detonate, and it was in a spice field with an active Harkonnen presence. A recovery team extracted the bomb and fixed it. Noting that the other three bombs failed to have a great effect, the increased the amplitude tenfold. Highly unstable, this bomb would emit high frequency sound waves, as well as P and S waves (the type associated with Earthquakes).  The Huahinians were disgusted with the Ixians, who they used to consider allies, working with the Harkonnens. They would pay.

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