"Should anything be done about the Tleilaxu stories which..."



She stared at him, remembering their earlier conversation.

The seeds of dissolution were being planted.

"It is my fear, Lord, that I will weaken you," she said.

"Then you must find ways to strengthen me."

"Can it strengthen you if we diminish belief in the God' Leto?"

He heard a hint of Malky in her voice, that measured weighing which had made him so revoltingly charming. We never completely escape tine teachers of our childhood.

"Your question begs the answer," he said. "Many will continue to worship according to my design. Others will believe the lies."

"Lord... would you ask me to lie for you?"

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"Of course not. But I will ask you to remain silent when you might wish to speak."

"But if they revile..."

"You will not protest."

Once more, tears flowed down her cheeks. Leto longed to touch them, but they were water... painful water.

"It must be done this way," he said.

"Will you explain it to me, Lord?"

"When I am gone, they must call me Shaitan, the Emperor of Gehenna. The wheel must turn and turn and turn along the Golden Path."

"Lord, could the anger not be directed at me alone? I would not..."

"No! The lxians made you much more perfectly than they thought. I truly love you. I cannot help it."

"I do not wish to cause you pain!" The words were wrenched from her.

"What's done is done. Do not mourn it."

"Help me to understand."

"The hate which will blossom after I am gone, that, too, will fade into the inevitable past. A long time will pass. Then, on a far-distant day, my journals will be found."

"Journals?" She was shaken by the seeming shift of subject.

"My chronicle of my time. My arguments, the apologia. Copies exist and scattered fragments will survive, some in distorted form, but the original journals will wait and wait and wait. I have hidden them well."

"And when they are discovered?"

"People will learn that I was something quite different from what they supposed."

Her voice came in a trembling hush. "I already know what they will learn."

"Yes, my darling Hwi, I think you do."

"You are neither devil nor god, but something never seen before and never to be seen again because your presence removes the need."

She brushed tears from her cheeks.

"Hwi, do you realize how dangerous you are?"

Alarm showed in her expression, the tensing of her arms.

"You have the makings of a saint," he said. _"Do you understand how painful it can be to find a saint in the wrong place and the wrong time?"

She shook her head.

"People have to be prepared for saints," he said. "Otherwise, they simply become followers, supplicants, beggars and weakened sycophants forever in the shadow of the saint. People are destroyed by this because it nurtures only weakness."

After a moment of thought, she nodded, then: "Will there be saints when you are gone?"

"That's the purpose of my Golden Path."

"Moneo's daughter, Siona, will she..."

"For now she is only a rebel. As to sainthood, we will let her decide. Perhaps she will only do what she was bred to do."

"What is that, Lord?"

"Stop calling me Lord," he said. "We will be Worm and wife. Call me Leto if you wish. Lord interferes."

"Yes, L... Leto. But what is..."

"Siona was bred to rule. There is danger in such breeding. When you rule, you gain knowledge of power. This can lead into impetuous irresponsibility, into painful excesses and that can lead to the terrible destroyer-wild hedonism."

"Siona would..."

"All we know about Siona is that she can remain dedicated to a particular performance, to the pattern which fills her senses. She is necessarily an aristocrat, but aristocracy looks mostly to the past. That's a failure. You don't see much of any path unless you are Janus, looking simultaneously backward and forward."

"Janus? Oh, yes, the god with the two opposed faces." She wet her lips with her tongue. "Are you Janus, Leto?"

"I am Janus magnified a billion-fold. And I am also something less. I have been, for example, what my administrators admire most-the decision-maker whose every decision can be made to work."

"But if you fail them..."

"They will turn against me, yes."

"Will Siona replace you if..."

"Ahhh, what an enormous if! You observe that Siona threatens my person. However, she does not threaten the Golden Path. There is also the fact that my Fish Speakers have a certain attachment to the Duncan."

"Siona seems... so young."

"And I am her favorite poseur, the sham who holds power under false pretenses, never consulting the needs of his people."

"Could I not talk to her and..."

"No! You must never try to persuade Siona of anything. Promise me, Hwi."

"If you ask it, of course, but I..."

"All gods have this problem, Hwi. In the perception of deeper needs, I must often ignore immediate ones. Not addressing immediate needs is an offense to the young."

"Could you not reason with her and..."

"Never attempt to reason with people who know they are right!"

"But when you know they are wrong..."

"Do you believe in me?"


"And if someone tried to convince you that I am the greatest evil of all time..."

"I would become very angry. I would..." She broke off.

"Reason is valuable," he said, "only when it performs against the wordless physical background of the universe."

Her brows drew together in thought. It fascinated Leto to sense the arousal of her awareness. "Ahhh." She breathed the word.

"No reasoning creature will ever again be able to deny the Leto experience," he said. "I see your understanding begin. Beginnings! They are what life is all about!"

She nodded.

No arguments, he thought. When she sees the tracks, she follows them to find where they will lead.

"As long as there is life, every ending is a beginning," he said. "And I would save humankind, even from itself."

Again, she nodded. The tracks still led onward.

"This is why no death in the perpetuation of humankind can be a complete failure," he said. "This is why a birth touches us so deeply. This is why the most tragic death is the death of a youth."

"Does Ix still threaten your Golden Path? I've always known they conspired in something evil."

They conspire. Hwi does not hear the inner message of her own words. She has no need to hear it.

He stared at her, full of the marvel that was Hwi. She possessed a form of honesty which some would call naive, but which Leto recognized as merely non-self-conscious. The honesty was not her core, it was Hwi herself.

"Then I will arrange a performance in the plaza tomorrow," Leto said. "It will be a performance of the surviving Face Dancers. Afterward, our betrothal will be announced." -= Let there be no doubt that I am the assemblage of our ancestors, the arena in which they exercise my moments. They are my cells and I am their body. This is the favrashi of which I speak, the soul, the collective unconscious, the source of archetypes, the repository of all trauma and joy. I am the choice of their awakening. My samhadi is their samhadi. Their experiences are mine! Their knowledge distilled is mfr inheritance. Those billions are my one.

- The Stolen Journals THE FACE DANCER performance occupied almost two hours of the morning, and afterward came the announcement which sent shock waves through the Festival City.

"It has been centuries since he took a bride!"

"More than a thousand years, my dear."

The trooping of the Fish Speakers had been brief. They cheered him loudly, but they were disturbed.

"You are my only brides," he had said. Was that not the meaning of Siaynoq?

Leto thought the Face Dancers performed well despite their obvious terror. Garments had been found in the depths of a Fremen museum hooded black robes with white cord belts, spread-winged green hawks appliqued across the shoulders at the back-uniforms of Muad'Dib's itinerant priests. The Face Dancers had put on dark, seamed faces with these robes and performed a dance which told how Muad'Dib's legions had spread their religion through the Empire.

Hwi, wearing a brilliant silver dress with a green jade necklace, sat beside Leto on the Royal Cart throughout the ritual.

Once, she leaned close to his face and asked: "Is that not a parody?"

"To me, perhaps."

"Do the Face Dancers know?"

"They suspect."

"Then they are not as frightened as they appear."

"Oh, yes, they are frightened. It's just that they are braver than most people expect them to be."

"Bravery can be so foolish," she whispered.

"And vice-versa."

She had favored him with a measuring stare before returning her attention to the performance. Almost two hundred Face Dancers had survived unscathed. All of them had been pressed into the dance. The intricate weavings and posturings could fascinate the eye. It was possible to watch them and, for a time, forget the bloody preliminaries to this day.

Leto remembered this as he lay alone in his small reception room shortly before noon when Moneo arrived. Moneo had seen the Reverend Mother Anteac onto a Guild lighter, had conferred with the Fish Speaker Command about the previous night's violence, had made a quick flight to the Citadel and back to make sure Siona was under a secure watch and that she had not been implicated in the Embassy attack. He had returned to Onn just after the betrothal announcement, having had no previous warning.

Moneo was furious. Leto had never seen him this angry. He stormed into the room and stopped only two meters from Leto's face.

"Now the Tleilaxu lies will be believed!" he said.

Leto responded in a reasoned tone. "How persistent it is, this demand that our gods be perfect. The Greeks were much more reasonable about such things."

"Where is she?" Moneo demanded. "Where is this..."

"Hwi is resting. It was a difficult night and a long morning. I want her well rested when we return to the Citadel this evening."

"How did she work this?" Moneo demanded.

"Really, Moneo! Have you lost all sense of caution?"

"I am concerned about you! Have you any idea what they're saying in the City?"

"I'm fully aware of the stories."

"What are you doing?"

"You know, Moneo, I think that only the old pantheists had the right idea about deities: mortal foibles in immortal guise." Moneo raised both arms to the heavens. "I saw the looks on their faces!" He lowered his arms. "It'll be all over the Empire within two weeks."

"Surely it'll take longer than that."

"If your enemies needed one thing to bring them all together..."

"The defiling of the god is an ancient human tradition, Moneo. Why should I be an exception?"

Moneo tried to speak, found he could not utter a word. He stamped down along the edge of the pit which held Leto's cart, stamped back and resumed his former position glaring into Leto's face.

"If I am to help you, I need an explanation," Moneo said. "Why are you doing this?"


Moneo's mouth formed the word without speaking it.

"They have come over me just when I thought them gone forever," Leto said. "How sweet these last few sips of humanity are."

"With Hwi? But you surely cannot..."

"Memories of emotions are never enough, Moneo."

"Are you telling me that you are indulging yourself in a..."

"Indulgence) Certainly not! But the tripod upon which Eternity swings is composed of flesh and thought and emotion. I felt that I had been reduced to flesh and thought."

"She has worked some kind of witchery," Moneo accused.

"Of course she has. And how grateful I am for it. If we deny the need for thought, Moneo, as some do, we lose the powers of reflection; we cannot define what our senses report. If we deny the flesh, we unwheel the vehicle which bears us. But if we deny emotion, we lose all touch with our internal universe. It was emotions which I missed the most."

"I insist, Lord, that you..."

"You are making me angry, Moneo. That is an emotion."

Leto saw Moneo's frustrated fury cool, quenched like a hot iron plunged into icy water. There was still some steam in him, though.

"I care not for myself, Lord. My concern is mostly for you, and you know this."

Leto spoke softly. "It is your emotion, Moneo, and I hold it dear."

Moneo inhaled a deep, trembling breath. He had never be- fore seen the God Emperor in this mood, reflecting this emotion. Leto appeared both elated and resigned, if Moneo were reading it correctly. One could not be certain.

"That which makes life sweet for the living," Leto said, "that which makes life warm and filled with beauty, that is what I would preserve even though it were denied to me."

"Then this Hwi Noree..."

"She makes me recall the Butlerian Jihad in a poignant way. She is the antithesis of all that's mechanical and non-human. How odd it is, Moneo, that the lxians, of all people, should produce this one person who so perfectly embodies those qualities which I hold most dear."

"I do not understand your reference to the Butlerian Jihad, Lord, Machines that think have no place in..."

"The target of the Jihad was a machine-attitude as much as the machines," Leto said. "Humans had set those machines to usurp our sense of beauty, our necessary selfdom out of which we make living judgments. Naturally, the machines were destroyed."

"Lord, I still resent the fact that you welcome this..."

"Moneo! Hwi reassures me merely by her presence. For the first time in centuries, I am not lonely unless she is away from my side. If I had no other proof of the emotion, this would serve."

Moneo fell silent, obviously touched by Leto's evocation of loneliness. Surely, Moneo could understand the absence of the intimate sharing in love. His expression betrayed as much.

For the first time in a long while, Leto noted how much Moneo had aged.

It happens so suddenly to them. Leto thought.

It made Leto deeply aware of how much he cared for Moneo.

I should not let attachments happen to me, but I cannot help it... especially now that Hwi is here.

"They will laugh at you and make obscene jests," Moneo said.

"That is a good thing."

"How can it be good?"

"This is something new. Our task has always been to bring the new into balance and, with it, modify behavior while not suppressing survival."

"Even so, how can you welcome this?"

"The making of obscenities?" Leto asked. "What is the opposite of obscenity?"

Moneo's eyes went wide with a sudden questioning awareness. He had seen the action of many polarities-the thing made known by its opposite.

The thing stands out against a background which defines it, Leto thought. Surely Moneo will see this.

"It's too dangerous," Moneo said.

The ultimate verdict of conservatism!

Moneo was not convinced. A deep sigh wracked him.

I must remember not to take away their doubts, Leto thought. That's how I failed my Fish Speakers in the plaza. The lxians are holding on to the ragged end of human doubts. Hwi is the evidence of that.

A disturbance sounded in the anteroom. Leto sealed the portal against impetuous intrusions.

"My Duncan has come," he said.

"He's probably heard about your wedding plans-"


Leto watched Moneo wrestle with doubts, his thoughts utterly transparent. In that moment, Moneo fit so precisely into his human niche that Leto wanted to hug him.

He has the full spectrum: doubt-to-trust, love-to-hate... everything! All of those dear qualities which come to fruition in the warmth of emotion, in the willingness to spend yourself on Life.

"Why is Hwi accepting this?" Moneo asked.

Leto smiled. Moneo cannot doubt me; he must doubt others.

"I admit it is not a conventional union. She is a primate and I no longer am fully primate."

Again, Moneo wrestled with things he could only feel and not express.

Watching Moneo, Leto felt the flow of an observational awareness, a thought process which occurred so rarely but with such vivid amplication when it did occur, that Leto did not stir lest he cause a ripple in the flow.

The primate thinks and, by thinking, survives. Beneath his thinking is a thing which came with his cells. It is the current of human concerns for the species. Sometimes, they cover it up, wall it off and hide it behind thick barriers, but I have deliberately sensitized Moneo to these workings of his innermost self. He follows me because he believes I hold the best course for human survival. He knows there is a cellular awareness. It is what I find when I scan the Golden Path. This is humanity and both of us agree: it must endure!

"Where, when and how will the wedding ceremony be conducted?" Moneo asked.

Not why? Leto noted. Moneo no longer sought to understand the why. He had returned to safe ground. He was the majordomo, the director of the God Emperor's household, the First Minister.

He has names and verbs and modifiers with which he can perform. The words will work for him in their usual ways. Moneo may never glimpse the transcendental potential of his words, but he well understands their everyday, mundane uses.

"What of my question?" Moneo pressed.

Leto blinked at him, thinking:, on the other hand, feel that words are mostly useful if they open for me a glimpse of attractive and undiscovered places. But the use of words is so little understood by a civilization which still believes unquestioningly in a mechanical universe of absolute cause and effect-obviously reducible to one single root-cause and one primary seminal-effect.

"How like a limpet the Ixian-Tleilaxu fallacy clings to human affairs," Leto said.

"Lord, it disturbs me deeply when you don't pay attention."

"But I do pay attention, Moneo."

"Not to me."

"Even to you."

"Your attention wanders, Lord. You do not have to conceal that from me. I would betray myself before I would betray you."

"You think I'm woolgathering?"

"What gathering, Lord?" Moneo had never questioned this word earlier, but now...

Leto explained the allusion, thinking: How ancient! The looms and shuttles clicked in Leto's memory. Animal fur to human garments... huntsman to herdsman... the long steps up the ladder of awareness... and now they must make another long step, longer even than the ancient ones.

"You indulge in idle thoughts," Moneo accused.

"I have time for idle thoughts. That's one of the most interesting things about my existence as a singular multitude."

"But, Lord, there are matters which demand our..."

"You'd be surprised what comes of idle thinking, Moneo. I've never minded spending an entire day on things a human would not bother with for one minute. Why not? With my life expectancy of some four thousand years, what's one day more or less? How much time does one human life count? A million minutes? I've already experienced almost that many days."

Moneo stood frozen in silence, diminished by this comparison. He felt his own lifetime reduced to a mote in Leto's eye. The source of the allusion did not escape him.

Words... words... words, Moneo thought.

"Words are often almost useless in sentient affairs," Leto said.

Moneo held his breathing to a shallow minimum. The Lord can read thoughts!

"Throughout our history," Leto said, "the most potent use of words has been to round out some transcendental event, giving that event a place in the accepted chronicles, explaining the event in such a way that ever afterward we can use those words and say: "This is what it meant."

Moneo felt beaten down by these words, terrified by unspoken things they might make him think.

"That's how events get lost in history," Leto said.

After a long silence, Moneo ventured: "You have not answered my question, Lord. The wedding?"

How tired he sounds, Leto thought. How utterly defeated.

Leto spoke briskly: "I have never needed your good offices more. The wedding must be managed with utmost care. It must have the precision of which only you are capable."

"Where, Lord?"

A bit more life in his voice.

"At Tabur Village in the Sareer."


"I leave the date to you. Announce it when all things are arranged."

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