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Asdrubaal

The Face of the Second Assassin War

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Emperor:

The Face of the Second Assassin War

Part one: Hunters

"Some say that House Atreides train soldiers good enough to be compared to the Imperial Sardaukar. Those whom has seen the wrath of the Sardaukar, the guardians of the Golden Lion Throne, knows that nothing compares to their zeal, ferocity and skill" -Mentat Abriol Toscorne of House Seraphim

The air was dry, as if it condensed the water out of Trooper Kel Atreides, and it was warm as it washed over his head in a breeze. The sand danced with the wind, and the sun beamed over the arid landscape. Kel had fallen in love with this planet - the planet Arrakis, or Dune as some called it. It had a mystic and romantic aura, which had overwhelmed Kel since he first set foot upon Dune. Sergeant Devloc would not agree with Kel though, he had been here to see many things - bad things.

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The APC rolled up to the base. The snipers marched out of the vehicle and headed to the barracks. Kel had his own room in the base; it was by order of the Duke’s family. Kel is the 234th inheritor of the title of Duke of the Atreides. His parents had decided that he was to spend some time in the army, as all of his father and grandfather had. So, Kel joined as a volunteer to the sniper division.

   He sat down and made an exhausted sigh. The resent political affairs between the Atreides and the Harkonnen had lead to several conflicts – often military conflicts – and it had all worn Kel down with missions. The only thing that kept him going was the call of the desert. Somehow, he felt attached to Dune; it had always had a place in his heart. Perhaps the Fremen felt the same? He had met them once, during a negotiation about hiring a guide through the Amalosan Rocks. They were mystic in a way, and their intense blue eyes made Kel feel as if they pierced his mind with them.

   Kel noticed that his mouth was drier than the sand outside. He went over to the cooler-closet and brought out his water-ration bottle. It contained about 2 litres of water. He uncapped it and poured some water into a glass. He also added blue-syrup to the water; a liquid that contained much nutrients and made him not feel so thirsty. He sipped of the drink, it ran down his dry lips and almost instantly he was freshened up.

   He walked up to the window, holding the glass in his hand. He gazed at the brown-beige landscape as a carryall soared past him with a harvester attached to it. Apparently, someone called in a worm-sign. That made it the most perfect time for a ride on the dunes. At this time, the scout-bikes were parked. Perhaps he could take ride?

***

Lord Kealo of House Seraphim sat behind the pilot’s seat in the Ornithopter. The engines made a high-pitch whine and the whole cockpit rocked as the long fibre-wings flapped without rest. The rippled sand dunes seemed eternal as the vehicle soared a great speed across the barren landscape. The planet disgusted the Lord. He hated the whole dusty rock, but now, his whole house along with the weapons contracts depended on it.

   

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