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Arrakis Factions


Davidu

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OOC: in the books, the Fremen stillsuits cover all of the body except the hands, though some Fremen use special gloves in addition to their stillsuit. The reason why the Fremen's faces aren't covered in Dune is because if they weren't, you'd never know what they look like ;)

The whole meeting plot didn't work out entirely well, so just let's say that the meeting went well and that the Fremen, Atreides remnants and Carth's smugglers are now united in a single pact, hmmmkay?

"The Huahins have accepted our proposal." Athanasios said as his eyes moved over the decoded message in his left hand, while in his right hand he held a kindjal blade.

"Good. May I...?" Fharim stretched his left hand and Athanasios handed him the paper message. He read it meticulously, memorised it, then took a lighter out of his left pocket and burned the message. On this planet, you never could be to careful, even when among comrades in arms. Anybody could be a facedancer, hired by the Harkonnens or the Emperor.

Athanasios had assumed his fighting stance again. They had been practicing in melee combat when their chief of communications had brought a message for Athanasios. He gestured with his blade that he was waiting.

Suddenly, Fharim dropped the lighter and made a fierce dash towards Athanasios. Somewhat surprised, but prepared for anything, Athanasios evaded his opponent's blade by a roll to the left. Relentlessly, Fharim continued his assault. He made a side step followed by a wide slash that Athanasios only narrowly dodged. Then Fharim tried to stab, but Athanasios blocked it sidewards with his free arm. Then this arm pushed his left shoulder while at the same time he felt a leg slipping behind both of his knees. He was pushed over, fell on the ground and before he could react, Athanasios was on top of him with his blade on Fharim's throat.

"You lose." Athanasios grinned and stould up. He gave Fharim a hand and helped him up.

"I'm getting to old for this." Fharim moaned.

"Losing by 5-4 is not that bad. Besides, you're only 3 years older then me.

"Feels like 30 years. Let's call it a day, shall we?"

"Agreed. Fighting without shields feels weird, doesn't it?"

"Very unnatural. But on Arrakis we won't be wielding shields when we have to fight. Those blasted worms will hunt down anything with a shield." Fharim sighed.

"Speaking of hunting, how are your spies doing?"

"They've all succesfully infiltrated the Harkonnen infrastructure. We don't have regular contact to avoid risks, but they check in whenever they can. One of them is going to drop a surprise, if you will."

Message to House Huahin

[hide]Your cooperation is deeply appreciated. Let us know when we can be of assistence to you.[/hide]

"The worm is going to be here any minute, hurry up already!" the co pilot yelled at Kort.

"Shut up Veln. All right, we're locked to the harvester. Up we go!"

The jet burners ignited, lifting both the carryal and it's baggage. They accelerated until they were at an altitude of 40 metres, safe from the worm.  The co pilot named Veln adjusted several switches and suddenly a bright red light flashed, illuminating the cockpit on and off.

"Barder, what the hell is wrong with your harvester?" Veln yelled into his headset. A short crackling sound both Kort and Veln could hear was the response, then silence.

"According to these indicators, the harvester is going to blow." Veln said. Kort could hear he was nervous.

"God dammit, what the hell is going on? Drop the thing before it blows up both of us!" Kort yelled. Veln violently pushed a lever and a loud "click" sound could be heard. The harvester was released and fell down, creating a loud thump and a huge shockwave when it hit the sand. As if perfectly timed, the worm showed up 2 seconds later and devoured the wreck before it could explode.

Kort turned pale. He fully realised what a disaster this was. House Harkonnen would not only miss a huge chunk of profit, they would also be scowled at by the Guild and CHOAM. He quickly began to think what could possibly have caused this. Human error? Sabotage? The first one was unlikely, as the harvester had an experienced crew. If they had been sabotaged, he could be blamed for failing to prevent it. He turned his head and looked into Veln's eyes.

"Mechanical failure." he said as if he had just established that beyond any doubt. Veln nodded in agreement.

"Stupid dipshits at the hangar...nothing they can blame on us."

Neither said anything from that point. Kort adjusted the ventral stabilizers and accelerated in the direction of the hangar. Veln sat back and sighed, and it took him the greatest effort to supress a grin appearing on his face.

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Since the house huahin had accepted their offer Seth sent a reply to the huahinians

[hide]We need a chemical which will dissolve anything apart from one metal which we would like you to invent, or if it's cheaper mix two hardly known metals together. Also we would like a sort of projector that will destroy any electrical circut. The payment should be 3000kgs of melange. The Fremen[/hide]

The training program was going well and most of the warriors new how to fight with shrewdness. so they could outwit the enemy.

Message to other Fremen tribes

[hide]We need 6000 fremen warriors, 200 ornithopters and 90 sand crawlers. Seth Dinsdar[/hide]


Special Training 44% (7 posts to go, 10% per post)

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OOC: Well, I am rather offended that anyone would be able to get into the compound that easily...

"Toy?" Ekaterina smirked. "Yes, I suppose that's accurate enough." She placed a hand on Carth's chest, and pushed him away. "A toy, to play with and break at my discretion." She took a careful step in front of Maverik, blocking access to the pain amplifier. "You know when he first arrived here, he was very much like you." She smiled, trailing a hand along a patch of raw flesh. "Idealistic, empassioned, self-righteous..." She dug her nails in. "And I broke him, Carth. I can break anyone. How long do you think it will take me to break you?"

"You'd never break me." Carth scowled.

"No?" Ekaterina's face showed innocent curiosity, her eyes wide. "You don't think so? Not after a few months in this device?"

"Never." Carth answered firmly, jaw set.

"Oh." The Harkonnen seemed disappointed. "Oh well, maybe I could just put you in here and torture your friends in front of you."

"You'll never get me in one of those you sadistic bitch." Carth stopped, turning suddenly at the sound of something heavy falling to the floor. The two men with him lay on the ground, a steadily spreading pool of blood moving out from their gashed throats. Two men were standing over them, one holding a blade to Sven's throat. They were both completely expressionless.

"Carth, meet Dune and Douglas Trilu." A mocking Ekaterina said from behind the smuggler. "Individually, two of the finest fighters in the Imperium. Together, I have yet to find anyone who can best them. Alacia is very pleased with them." Sven twitched, and the man behind him pulled his blade ever so slightly, drawing a line of blood from the smuggler's throat.

"You didn't really think I'd make it that easy for you, did you?" Ekaterina continued. Carth felt a tiny nip in his back, and swung around at once to confront Ekaterina, who was holding a long needle in one hand.

"Don't you remember, Carth?" She asked with an innocent expression. "Never turn your back on your foe."

"P- Poison..." Carth spluttered, watching as his vision began to blur.

"Carth!" Sven cried out, before his voice was cut off with a gurgling noise.

"No, Carth. Not poison. Just a drug." Ekaterina told him, taking Carth's weapon from his unresisting hand. "You got too close to me, Carth. You'd have been safe in Arrakeen, but you just had to come closer, you just had to enter the place where I am strongest." She shrugged. "And you're going to stay for years." Already wobbling on his feet, Carth tumbled to the ground at Ekaterina's feet.

* * *

"Carth? Carth, sweetie, wake up." The woman's voice floated through the smuggler's fuzzy consciousness. Someone slapped him, and reality began to assert itself. The first thing he saw was Ekaterina's face. She was smiling. Immediately Carth reached out to strangle her, but found himself completely restrained by metal straps around his wrists, ankles, and neck.

"Welcome back, honey." Ekaterina smiled, moving away from her bound captive. "I've made you comfortable, and Sven over there, of course." She indicated the other man, who was breathing harshly in a device similar to the one that had held Maverik. He seemed to be intact. The twin fighters that had taken down the two other men stood nearby.

"L- Let him... go." Carth muttered, his muscles still not quite free of the drug on Ekaterina's needle.

"Let him go?" Ekaterina giggled. "Carth, dear, I'm not letting anyone go." She walked over to a rack and selected a cruel fork-like implement. "With poor Fyodor gone, I'm having to invent new forms of torture all on my own." She pouted.

"You'll never... never break me." Carth felt himself grow stronger. The drug was wearing off quickly.

"Yes, you said so." Ekaterina smirked. "So I'm not going to torture you." Suddenly she turned around and thrust the tool into Sven's eyesocket, twisting it viciously before pulling it out. It took a bloody chuck of face with it. Carth felt bile rise in his throat as Sven screamed. The twins did not react at all.

"See?" Ekaterina said sweetly, thrusting the contents of the tool into Carth's face. "This is what your life is going to be like from now on, Carth who tried to oppose me. I'm going to make this one last for months. And when he finally dies, I'll get someone else. Maybe a friend of yours. Maybe you have a wife, children?" She smirked evilly, handing the tool to one of the blonde twins, who took it without a word. "I'll find them, Carth. I'll find anyone who ever meant anything to you and I will slowly kill them, piece by piece, right in front of your eyes." She was smiling. "And do you know why?" Carth was too sickened to reply. "Not because I hold out any hopes of getting power. If I understand the Baron, I'll never get it back until dearest Aleksandr dies. It's because you tried to work against me, and I want revenge." She paused, apparantly considering something. "Oh, and just because I can of course." She grinned, and walked towards the door to the featureless metal room, signalling. Two guards in Harkonnen uniform entered.

"These," she explained, "Are soldiers. They couldn't stand up to one of my dear twins, let alone both of them. But I assure you that they're very loyal. Straight from the Baron, in fact." The two guards took up positions on either side of the door, their faces almost as still as those of Dune and Douglas, who exchanged a smug look before exiting the room together.

"Your guards are both completely deaf, so don't bother talking to them." Ekaterina smiled. "They see you doing anything wrong..." She let the sentance trail off, allowing Carth's imagination to do the rest. "I'll be back in a few hours, once I've gone for a nap." Ekaterina paused on her way to the door. "Oh yes, and escape would be worthless anyway. The guards don't have keys, they'll be locked in with you. And since there are several strong doors and no windows between you and the outside world, it would be a pretty futile effort. So just don't bother, ok? Nobody's going to get my brother to make me release you, nobody knows you're here!" She blew a final kiss. "Bye bye now!"

* * *

Message to all residents of Arrakis:

The Baron Vladimir Harkonnen has informed me that unless spice production increases by 30% in the next three months, my governorship of Arrakis will cease. The recent... technical troubles, must come to an end for this to be accomplished. To this end, in order to preserve the Arrakeen project in the long run, I feel forced to channel funds from the rebuilding effort into spice mining repairs. Be assured that once the spice mining is at stable capacity I shall do my utmost to return the project to schedule; but I know that if I do not take these measures now then in three months time I will be replaced, and my replacement will abandon the project entirely. I hope you understand.

Aleksandr Harkonnen, Governor of Arrakis.

Message to Duke Trebeis:

I sincerely appologise, but I feel that I am unable to leave my camp right now. I must oversee both the spice repair funds and the Arrakeen project, which does not leave me much free time. Regarding your recruitment, I do not think it appropriate to recruit from the citizens of Arrakis, who are not your lawful citizens and are already occupied with their own hardships. Be assured however that in the event of an attack on your forces, I would certainly intervene.

Regards, Aleksandr Harkonnen, of Arrakis.

Message to House Huahin (delivered using co-ordinates from the Ix and the Fremen):

I do not desire hostile relations with any on this planet. If you wish I can allow you to set up an official embassy in Arrakeen or Tsimpo (or Carthag or Arsunt, but between us that wouldn't really be advisable), in order to further the goals of your house. I would be willing to sponsor an appeal to the Landsraad on your behalf. But I must insist that this violence comes to an end. I am doing my best to reverse decades of suffering, do you really need to make my job harder?

Sincerely Aleksandr, Governor of Arrakis.

Message to Atreides survivors:

Prior offer still stands. I do not have the resources or the desire to attack you. You are free to come forward and leave for Caladan at any time, or alternately stay here on Arrakis as citizens of the planet. Please do not hinder me in my efforts to help you.

Sincerely, Aleksandr Harkonnen, Governor of Arrakis.

Rebuilding of Arrakeen: 30%. 2% per post until spice mining at workable level.

Spice equipment repairs: 10%. 10% per post, -15% for every incident. 100% must be reached in twenty posts or less.

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Message to Freman Leader.

[Hide] My sources have brought myself up to date on the resources you currently have, this coupled with the trobled atmosphere between us has led me to compose a trea- no not a treaty, A request that our Factions should end this Impromptu, Cold War of preperation. I wish to speak to you personally and so I would like to extend an invintation for a meeting in my Water Extraction Facility. If you agree , You may be Accompanied by 15 of your best Warriors if you so desire. I still owe you for giving us the coordinates for our Second base so if you still are interested in those Ornithopters I would gladly give you one in the hopes that it improves our somewhat strained relations.

-Duke Trebeis, Leader of House Trebeis on Arrakis.[/hide]

Finished composing and sending his message, The Duke turned to his Production Chief and inquired, how long do you believe it would take to create A Ballista Battlecruiser? Looking slightly shocked, the man replied, Well under our best estimate, 10 to 15 turns. may I enquire into the need for such a vessel? Well Replied the duke I hope to Re-establish some off world trade and such an endever would require us to prepare some Security. Forget it though, The last time our vessels were attacked, The Guild was swift to punish the offenders. I would like you to begin modifing our 1,000+ Frigates with Shields, Projectile and Las launchers. Also Reconfigure the Engines so they can be used more efficiently with the strain of a Planets gravity.

Standing to depart for the Nokker Guard's Graduation cerimony, the Duke thought, Well I hope those Freman agree to my preposision.

Turns until Frigate Modifications completion- 3

Nokker Guard strength +250, 800.

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Message to Duke Trebeis:

You don't seem to quite understand the meaning behind my messages. This is not just any planet, it is Arrakis. A military presence beyond personal guards by any but the ruling house is a threat the the security not just of the planet but also of the Imperium. I must insist that all military buildup is halted. Feel free to start any business ventures, they would be more than welcome.

Sincerely, Governor Aleksandr Harkonnen.

Rebuilding of Arrakeen: 32%. 2% per post until spice mining at workable level.

Spice equipment repairs: 20%. 10% per post, -15% for every incident. 100% must be reached in twenty posts or less.

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After recieving the message from House Trebias Seth composed one in reply

[hide]Firstly, it is not 'your' Water Extraction Facilty and secondly'I am not going to meet you there. Do you think I'm that stupid!

The Fremen[/hide]

At last the troops came. 42000 troops, 1400 ornithopters and 630 sand crawlers. Well, that should be enough said Seth. Calling on his duplication specialist he said 'How long is it going to take to duplicate that hand weaponry that the Ixians gave us?' 'Well, at our best estimate I would say 15 to 20 posts.''Good, start immediatly.'

The training progamme was going well, all his original troops were trained. But the extras that had just arrived would need to be trained as well...


Special Training 5% (19 posts to go, each post 5%)

Duplication Programme 0% (20 posts to go, 5% per turn)

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Message to the Fremen:

[hide]Project Red2 is complete.  The ornithopter shall be flown by remote control to the usual pickup point.  A pleasure doing business with you once again.

(O.O.C. --> And I would advise that you don't go around duplicating Ixian weaponry if you want to keep the Ix as neutral suppliers, and not deadly enemies.)

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

No sooner had Relnev finished drafting his message to the Fremen, when a message came from Ixian command.

To: Head Ambassador Relnev, Ixian Outpost 9, Arrakis.

Wrom: PYOQKEDOTWFAOB

R.E.: Reward.

We are pleased with your progress, Relnev.  We have decided that your reward shall be the privilege of establishing a full-fledged Ixian presence on Arrakis.  We desire for you to expand your current base; it must be bigger and better equipped.  We also set you the task of building outposts in Arrakeen and Tsimpo, followed by full-scale expansion across the desert using synthetic rock and strengthened concrete, or whatever methods you devise.

We shall be monitoring your progress closely, and are sending supplies to co-incide with the amount of work you shall be undertaking.  70% of the funds you have transferred to us are being redistributed back to you for whatever purpose you see fit to put them to.  We expect results, Relnev.

"Expansion of Ixian facilities on Arrakis?" Relnev asked himself.  "This could be interesting..."

Message to Arrakeen and Tsimpo:

Greetings from the Ix, cities of Arrakis.  During the next few days, you shall be visited by Ixian construction crews.  We are pleased to inform that the Ix are beginning a process of making Arrakis more inhabitable, and that we shall be building outposts in all major cities and towns on Arrakis, excluding Carthag and Arsunt.  We hope that you will be courteous and inviting to these visitors; they are working to bring you a better Arrakis, and your co-operation is greatly appreciated.

Any attacks upon these persons will be dealt with harshly.  In the case of Arrakeen, some of the workforce shall be diverted to helping with the rebuilding effort.  More information will follow in due course.  Thank you.

Head Ambassador Relnev of Ixian Outpost 9.

As the day drew to a close, the Ixians were just beginning to work.  Construction of the advanced base was already in full swing, with new departments and enhancements being speedily and carefully constructed.  It would be ready within a couple of days; then the expansion could really begin.

Building Works

Outpost 9 Enhancement - 8 Posts until completion.

Arrakeen Outpost - Pending.

Tsimpo Outpost - Pending.

Desert Works

All Projects Pending.

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As news of the new outposts came in , Seth was worried. Where would the Ixians get the supplies from? From their superiors, of course! And what if something should happen to these supplies? Well, the Ixians would be extremely annoyed. And what if we were to help them? Well they might give us something in return!While this was going on in Seth's head the the duplication process was not going well. The reports that Seth was getting were not good news. All the las-guns that the fremen had produced were inferior to their ixian counterparts. So Seth decied not to continue the programme. Instead he would request more from the Ixians

[hide]We need more las-guns and hand-weaponry, also we need at least two more stealth vehicles. We can offer help for your contruction teams as bodyguards or laborers or, you can just have melange. The payment should be 2000kg's of melange. If you want more payment, just ask. The Fremen[/hide]


Special Training 20% (16 posts to go, 5% per post)

Duplication Programme- Cancelled

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Extract from the diary of Aleksandr Harkonnen, Governor of Dune:

...The smugglers have been oddly quiet over the past few days, but no explanation is forthcoming. Sister reports that a group of smugglers attacked and killed a patrol in Arsunt, but escaped without trace soon afterwards. My own sources have confirmed the death of the patrol members from weapons commonly carried by smugglers, but have been unable to find out more as sister, as per usuual, is blocking as much as she can. I suspect she does it out of spite. Smugglers not answering my messages. Suspect something has upset them, but since they won't tell me what...

On lighter note, sources indicate that spice repair work is going to schedule, and that Arrakeen should be able to work itself for a while. I believe that it everything goes well, I should be able to get Dune in working order soon, perhaps even ahead of schedule. Ach, contact lenses hurting so much now. Memo to self, ask Ixians about eye technology.

On subject of Ixians, Ambassador Relnev is most pleased that his superiors have allowed him to build out on the planet. I do not think that his spread into the desert will be welcomed by the Fremen, but that is none of my business. The Fremen themselves have been making most interesting movements recently. I do not understand their motives, but I am hoping that they will be clear as peaceful soon enough.

Duke Trebeis still trying to build up a military here. I've had to intervene again, much to my upset. The Duke doesn't seem to quite understand that military buildup on Dune is automatically considered a threat by the Landsraad. The Baron contacted me again yesterday, he still wants me to expell the Trebeis from the planet completely. I will hold out a while longer. If the Duke can be persuaded to take a more financial approach to life, perhaps all will be well. If he insists on following his current path, however, I see little alternative but to actively surpress his goals. ... Perhaps I should attend his graduation and review. It couldn't hurt to leave the camp for a few hours, and if I have to be firm then perhaps it would soften the blow. Yes, I'll inform the Duke immediately.

(Memo to self: Send envoys to the smugglers)

Message to Duke Trebeis:

Perhaps a break from work will do me good. I appologise for being so rash before, and request that I be allowed to accept your prior invitation to the review of the guard and graduation ceremony.

Aleksandr.

Rebuilding of Arrakeen: 34%. 2% per post until spice mining at workable level.

Spice equipment repairs: 30%. 10% per post, -15% for every incident. 100% must be reached in twenty posts or less.

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To Seth:

[hide]We have already produced a gas capable of dissolving metal for the Atreides. We will give you our remaining stocks, and produce a new batch for you. In return we wish for your help in making our base more camoflaged. What say you? [/hide]

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OOC Dante, I am not good at posting long conversations and the likes. Would you post the tour and review. Bi-ixian, Those statistics are absurd!

Reading the latest batch of letters delivered to his office, The Duke was quite surprised to find a report on the Freman activity and was shocked to find that they had aquired  some rather large amounts of military supplies, The infantry could be delt with but if it came to blows his airforce would most definatly pose a problem, Especially with his Frigate mods being halted. Oh well thought the Duke, At least Alexander will be visiting, Despite my dislike of the Harkonnen, I find my self growing attached to the Governer.

Turning to face the leader of his Nokker Guard, The Duke asked, What is the status of our Resistance groups on Athalon? Terribal, Replied the man. Our forces were scatered and with out the presence of ant Guardsman they are being slaughtered.

Message to Alexander.

[hide]Dear Governer, I look forward to your visit and believe you will enjoy it. On a buisness matter, I am ordering my men on Athalon to stop fighting your reletives and I was wondering if it was possible for them to be deposited here by highliner?[/hide]

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"I get the impression that they're not used to working in these conditions." Aleksandr noted, looking across to the Trebeis troops as they demonstrated various manoeuvres just outside Arrakeen. They had been at it for just under an hour now.

"Oh?" The Duke Trebeis raised an eyebrow, looking across to the governor. "What makes you say that?"

"The uniform, for a start." Aleksandr pointed. "I don't know what the climate on Athalon is like, but Arrakis is different from any other place in the universe. There's no water and it's extremely hot; if you're going outside you should really have a uniform adapted for the heat. That and I notice some of them are still carrying shields."

"We're far enough from the desert." Trebeis replied.

"You would risk someone forgetting about it and carrying one out there?" Aleksandr smiled. "Don't get me wrong, I'm quite impressed. Especially with the De-Meks." He glanced aside at the imposing devices. "Er, on the subject of the De-Meks, just how self-sufficient are they?"

"We'll talk about that later." The Duke batted the question aside, turning from the parading troops and leading the governor down a makeshift path under a canopy. "Perhaps before the graduation begins, you would give me your decision regarding my men on Athalon?"

"I can arrange to have them taken off the planet." Aleksandr answered. "But with Arrakeen and the new spice repairs, you'll have to pay for it. I can have it started in a few days."

"Hm, very well." Duke Trebeis appeared slightly put out for a moment, before brightening. "Come, then. The graduation is just along here." He indicated. The Duke led the way along, followed by the governor and his small honour guard.

Message to the Ixians:[hide]

The Guild has refused for years, therefore I wish you to place an orbital satellite in the upper atmosphere of Arrakis. It should be capable of all monitering activities, and be very secure. It should also be able to penetrate the strong 'interference' that the Guild gives as an excuse for not putting up a device. Should you run into any legal trouble, bribe the Guild.

Also, I request that you to develop a form of contact lenses for myself and my men. I wish to reduce the glare of the sun without hindering peripheral vision, so they are to be tinted slightly. They are to be comfortable and durable, as missions to the desert may last a week or more and I can't risk anyone getting itchy eyes in the face of a worm attack. Outwardly they are to appear as uncovered eyes, nobody is to know that lenses are being worn.

Also, given your new expansion efforts, I think it would be a good idea if the Ixians were accompanied by a Harkonnen guard force. I think forty men per outpost? They would of course pay rent, but in view of their purpose I don't think the rates should be too extortionate.

-Aleksandr Harkonnen, Governor of Arrakis. [/hide]

Rebuilding of Arrakeen: 36%. 2% per post until spice mining at workable level.

Spice equipment repairs: 40%. 10% per post, -15% for every incident. 100% must be reached in seventeen posts or less.

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still walking to the Cerimony, The Duke turned to the Harkonnen and said- On your earlier question, Yes the De-meks can remain alone for any amount of time, The only thing needing replenishment being the ammunition, but even that does not come often as the reserves it carries are huge. Then leaning conspiritorally, he added Now only myself and closest advisors-and now you know this, but I've addeda new Neuro-toxin to their arsonal, A Toxin that is encased in capsuls that can be fired nearly 3 Kilometers. Looking slightly peturbed Alexander Enquired Precisely how farther to the Ceimony?

ooc: Take it from here Dusty.

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Carth just stood in the room.

- I have no family left. You killed it all, one way or the other!

- Carth... you... have... to... get out!

- No shit! WE have to get out. And where's Maverik? OH! That bitch played us like fools! I can't believe I turned my back on her!

- I have quite got used to the pain now... or it's just... uh....

Sven fainted.

The guards were whatching him carefuly.

"I wonder how much can they stay like that..."

- Hey... come here.

The guards stood silent.

Carth raised his head so his lips were to be seen:

- COME HERE I HAVE TO TALK TO YOU.

The guards looked at him. One of the aproached and punched him in the face. Then returned to his place.

"Well, that was surely stupid."

The Kondor Cartel ran buissness as usual, being led by the council made up by all the head smugglers.

Message to Alexadr Harkonnen:

[hide] Carth Bindar is unavailable right now. We don't know where he is. He left several days ago with his lieutanant and two men. Flew south... We don't know where. We would be grateful for any information. Council of Kondor Cartel [/hide]

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Message to Aleksandr Harkonnen:

[hide]Your request for an orbital satellite of Arrakis has been granted, though it will take time to design, build and launch.  We have already contacted the Guild, and they have been persuaded to comply with this request, so long as the information gathered by this satellite goes no further than the Ix and the Harkonnen.  They also require a hefty bribe to keep this issue quiet, which I assume you shall be paying when the project is complete.  Codename: Moon.

Specialised contact lenses are much easier.  We have had dealings with the Tleilaxu in the past, and our knowledge of semi-organic fibres is sufficient enough to create moisture-retaining lenses of varying sizes, strengths and auto-adjusting tints.  I suggest that you send exact specifications as to your requirements promptly, so as to ensure prompt completion of this simple project.  Codename: Sun.

Regarding the matter of your bodyguards; the Ix are prepared to waive any rent fees, provided that the Harkonnen troops you provide will help quell any uprising that results from our expansion.  We intend to make use of all rock outcrops primarily - including Fremen sietches - on which to build our new bases.  Do we have an agreement?

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

(O.O.C. --> Vaccine of Death, the amount of Fremen and other warriors you've pulled out of nowhere is preposterous.  Lower the troop size by a lot... I mean, how can they all be in one place for a start?  Where could fit 60,000 warriors?  Why are they all assembling?  Be sensible, man. ;))

Building Works

Outpost 9 Enhancement - COMPLETE

Arrakeen Outpost - 8 Posts until completion.

Tsimpo Outpost - Pending.

Desert Works

All Projects Pending.

Research and Development

Project Sun: 4 Posts until completion.

Project Moon: 12 Posts until completion.

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OOC: They have a point, Vaccine. I've got the full might of House Harkonnen behind me and I've never mentioned any more than about five thousand in any one place. Not that I can remember, anyway...

"A projectile toxic weapon?" Aleksandr appeared slightly worried, glancing to the De-Meks again.

"Ssh, not so loud." The Duke winked. He continued to lead the way towards the graduation ceremony, where a platform had been constructed for the governor and various other dignitaries.

"You do realise," Aleksandr whispered, "That any use of these weapons would be in direct violation of the Great Convention? Not just because of the toxins, but if those... machines are capable of surviving almost on their own..." He trailed off.

"You worry too much." Duke Trebeis answered, his voice showing a sharp edge. "Now come on, I'm making the speech personally."

* * *

"You probably don't know how long you've been down here, do you sweetie?" Ekaterina asked Carth, as she poked areas of Sven's exposed brain. The smuggler flatly refused to answer, merely glaring at her through the burblings and twitchings that Sven was making. She shrugged. "It's been several days now, and you know nobody's even tried to rescue you?" She smirked. "Not that they could have done anyway, but it's rather funny that they didn't even try, don't you think?" Carth continued to glare. "Not even my idiot brother guessed where you are. Everyone assumed that anyone who killed a patrol of mine would be smart enough to have fled the city. Nobody guessed you'd be idiot enough to come further in." Ekaterina smirked, looking across to the two new guards who had replaced the old ones for the shift. Between them stood a tall and powerful looking woman holding an inkvine whip. Her reputation, if it were possible, was worse than Ekaterina's. She was Alacia Vorbid, head of the elite guard on Arrakis.

"Indeed, M'lady." She nodded in deference. "Shall I have Vail bring the other one in now?"

"Yes, I think that would be a good idea." Ekaterina mused, putting the top of Sven's skull back on, patting it heavily. "I think this one's done for the day."

"Vail!" Alacia bellowed. The door behind her opened, and two women entered, one leading the other. The leading woman was short and plain, and seemed bored with her surroundings. The other woman was taller, and clearly a resident of the city. She was thin, but attractive. Probably in her mid twenties. She looked extremely worried, and whimpered quietly to herself.

"I am now going to demonstrate further," Ekaterina smirked at Carth, "How the pain that I am about to inflict is all your fault." She indicated to the shorter woman, who pulled her captive over to another chair, and forcefully strapped her in place.

"I don't know this woman!" Carth shouted out, straining at his metal bonds. "I've never seen her before, why would you hurt her?" Ekaterina looked surprised.

"Why Carth, this is even better." She said. "This woman is completely innocent, aren't you?" She looked at the woman, who was too terrfied to move. "She's done nothing wrong, but because of you, she's about to be tortured. You're causing pain to people you've never met, Carth." The woman began to moan.

"How dare you..." Carth gritted his teeth. "How could this possibly be my fault?"

"Look at it this way." Ekaterina explained, waving aside the shorter woman. "You sent Maverik to me. You brought Sven to me. If you weren't here, this woman would still be with her family." She smirked. "Don't you get it? The pain of these people is all down to your actions. It's your fault." She smiled, picking up the fork-thing that still held chinks of Sven's face and eye. "You're condemning innocent life, Carth. How does that make you feel?"

"You bitch..." Carth growled. Ekaterina turned around.

"Oh yes, I almost forgot." She said, indicating to the short woman, who walked over to Carth and began to examine him closely. She peered at his face, scanned his body completely. Carth bore her observation with a clenched jaw, saying nothing. Finally, when the woman was finished, she stood back and looked to Ekaterina.

"Can you do it?" The Harkonnen asked, casually waving the bloody fork in front of the girl's face.

"Easily." The woman answered. Immediately her features began to shift, blurring for a moment as she grew taller and broader. In less than a second, an exact copy of Carth Bindar stood before him. He gaped.

"Carth, this is Vail." Ekaterina introduced them as if at a party. "It's a face dancer, as you may have guessed. And quite an expensive one, too. Once took out eight Sardaukar on its own. Vail will be my ace in case anything goes awry." She winked, as Vail shifted into a shorter male form. "Now... What to take out first?"

* * *

To the Ixians:

[hide]Agreed, though I would prefer it if you could try peceful relocation of the residents at first. As for Project Sun, Just the specifications given, and with regular deliveries.

A. [/hide]

Rebuilding of Arrakeen: 38%. 2% per post until spice mining at workable level.

Spice equipment repairs: 50%. 10% per post, -15% for every incident. 100% must be reached in sixteen posts or less.

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OOC-Bi-ixian, In the books there was only about 200 or so people to a sietch and one or two decrepit ornis, so to accomplish those numbers ALL the sietches would have to give up their ornis (and build about ten more) not to mention that they would have to press all their men,women and children into service. I have as many men as I do because there was a mass evacuation of my forces to Arrakis.

Dante-The great convention outlaws machines that are Intelligent, whereas the De-meks simply have a targeting system that aims and fires, nothing else ;).

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Atomics and chemical weapons are also banned; and the Convention does not restrict itself to 'intelligent.' It's more 'in the likeness of intelligence.' Anything that can react to stimuli without human intervention falls into this category, even glorified gun turrets.

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The sietch was terribly over crowded. The Supplies were running short. Seth decied to split the forces. He had decided to send back about 4000 troops. But he still had enough to attack house trebias.

He then split the battle group up so the sietch wouldn't be so crowded. Bases were set up in the desert as temporary bases.


Special Training80% (4 posts to go)

OOC> In the books there was a estimate of the body count. it was 10 million. I see what you meen about the orni's though. In the Great Convention it says: Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind 8)

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Back at the Council a middle-size man entered the room. All in black.

The smugglers moved slightly: "this is the man that entered the Baron's bedroom. The spy."

The Council President rised:

- Now, friends I don't know your name, Carth wouldn't say it to me. You know he dissapeared. Please try and find him. He's the political leader.

- I know where he is. And wy he is there. But I am afraid he might have been captured. She deosen't kill unil she played with her victims.

The smugglers stood uneasy in their seats. It was clear the dark man was talking about Ekaterina Harkonnen.

- How do you know where he is?

- I talked to the people that accompanied him in his previous ... "escapade". They were in Arsunt to look for a shuttle engineer, scientist, whatever. They found out he was inside Ekaterina's citadel. gues what was his next move.

- THE IDIOT! shouted one older smuggler.

- If he's still alive I'll get my hands on that idiot. I promised his father to take care of him. said another.

- So, what do we do? Full scale attack? Alexandr's forces are strong... but we might take'em. But ANOTHER war? said the president.

- YOU.DO.NOTHING. I'll get him out. But get me a stoneburner.

***---

"Sven is dead. MY FAULT?! I told him to stay. He said he'd come with me to stop me from doing stupid mistakes. Seems I outsmarted him and done THE biggest mistake of my life."

Ekaterina was still undecided in front of the young woman.

- No one will come to my rescue. The smugglers' loyalty is to the coin almighty. They won't come. They aren't so stupid. Like me... Oh, and do whatever you want to her. Why should I care? But don't blame your INSANITY on me.

Ekaterina turned and faced Carth.

- You really think I beleve all that nonesense you just said. I know you admire the Atreides and, therefore, are the likes of them. SOFT AND INFERIOR.

- Your men follow because of money or fear. Mine follow me for their own free will. What makes them loyal is their trust in me. And you'll kill me. Eventually. But guess what, from all those men that trusted me, surely one will rise to take my place. SURELY one will rise. And when he's gone another one. And another one. Know why? YOU UNITED US. Our hate for you united us, our spirits in one. You may kill lost of individuals, but many will take their places, and you won;t be able to kill us all.

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Te cerimony still proceding, the Duke recieved a message informing him that the freman were preparing to attack. Turning to Aleksander he said- It seems our freman friends have decided to make their move. Then, Activating an Comlink he ordered all personell to battle stations, The De-meks to be activated, Artillery preped, Ornis manned, Trikes and Quads fueled, pill boxes manned and Civillians moved away from his three bases. He also ordered 200 of his Frigates put into low orbit to serve as observation and Command posts in Lieu of formal Sattalites.

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