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arnoldo

Smugglers Blues; Part I of Animals of Dune Trilogy

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"My smugglers deserve a reward for all of the spice they have harvested" Cain, the leader of this small band of smugglers mused.With some of the profits from the recent harvest of spice from Arrakis, Cain decided to treat his men to the pleasures of some off world women.  It was frustrating for his men to have to pay the water merchants ridiculous prices for their pleasure when it would be an easy thing for  smugglers to bring a few  women to this hell hole.  Instead, Cain made arrangements for his contacts to go off world and raid a previously unknown world which had strangely hidden themselves from the outside world.

Esther had known all of her life that her tribe had fled pogram after pogram on countless planets before arriving on their current world, Peleg.  Despite living in relative peace for generations Esther had premonitions of an approaching holocaust. When small scout ships began landing on her home world Esther realized her life would never be the same.

Drugged, Esther saw through a haze that she was held in a cave along with several other women.  

"No harm will come to you as long as you please my men."  Cain told Esther.

The other women explained to Esther that they also had been captured by the smugglers but hoped to save money for journey off planet.

"The smugglers pay us with spice and as soon as we have enough they will let us leave." One of the older women told Esther.

But before Esther could take all of this in a group of fremen burst into the cave and after killing all of the men led the women and several pack animal away.

"Esther has the honour of being sacrificed to Shai-Hulud."  The unnamed fremen leader spoke.  "The rest of you will have your water taken."    

The fremen saw it as an omen for the smugglers to have the strange off world creature, called a kulon, and decided they would tie Esther to this kulon and sacrifice them both to Shai-Hulud.  Once tied to this creature Esther began to pray and prepare for her death.

Watching from a distance the fremen were amazed to see Shai-hulud refuse to devour their offering.  The kulon had earlier eaten sandtrout and sensing santrout  phermones emanating from the animal had refused to attack it.  Seeing this as a great omen the fremen led back Esther and the kulon back to their deep desert sietch. Once inside they began to participate in a great spice orgy which reminded Esther of the story her rabbi told her of the jews dancing around the golden calf.

Fleeing, Esther was captured by another group of fremen who had heard of the omen of Shai-hulud refusing to devour the sacrifice.  Once Esther took off her contacts and revealed her total blue eyes this tribe accepted her as their Sayyadina.  Esther then ordered that the fremen who wanted to sacrifice her, and  had defiled themselves with the kulon, to be killed.

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"I will die on Gammu" Scytale thought.

The lost ones had promised to provide Scytale a breeding pair of futars to fight off the whores who had destroyed all of the known Tleilaxu planets. However deep within the moon orbiting the birthworld of man, Scytale had hoped to begin rebuilding the Tleilaxu civilization.

"I'm so far from my laboratory where my ghola hibernates," Scytale thought. "If I die then my race may die with me."

Scytale began to suspect the lost ones where not trustworthy when the breeding pair died but these "handlers" assured him they would provide more specimens.

Scytale desperately needed these futars for his own protection after the honored matres learned that his face dancers had killed honored matres and even destroyed several of their no ships. Now the honored matres were hunting for him on Gammu with the revenants of Leto's fabled d-wolves.

The foolish Ixians had allied themselves with the honored matres and after the sexual bonding were their compliant slaves to their every whim. The Honored Matres requested from the Ixians an implant which could be embeded into d-wolves to help them handle these beasts. Though somewhat smaller in stature than the futars, the d-wolves compensating by hunting in packs and their sheer numbers.

Great Dama reflected that soon she would see Scytale torn to shreds by her pets avenging the death of her sisters. "If my pets fail I will have to blacken Gammu to a lifeless ball of dirt, no matter."

Dama scowled at the objection the high council put up for her request for the weapon she requested for the Gammu offensive. "I may have need of it if the Ones of Many Faces should have any surprises for us"

Just then Dama saw a great number of futars cresting the hill ahead of her whining in anticipation for the hunt.

However, Dama had instructed her most trusted commander to ignore the futars and concentrate where the handlers would be supervising the battle nearby high aloft a tree line at the edge of the forest.

"Use the weapons to kill the handlers, then my pets will take care of the futars." Dama instructed.

Wave upon wave of handlers fell to the ground from the trees bringing the futars into a state of confusion. "Without a kill command from the handlers the futars will hesitate," Dama thought.

"Now!" Dama screamed, "Release the D-wolves!"

Before the D-wolves tore out his throat Scytale uttered a curse and activated the signal bringing his ghola out of hibernation.

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