House Corrino

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Penny Merritt assists in managing the literary legacy of her father, Frank Herbert.

Our editors, Mike Shohl, Carolyn Caughey, Pat LoBrutto, and Anne Lesley Groell, offered detailed and invaluable suggestions through many drafts to fine-tune this story into its final version.

As always, Catherine Sidor at WordFire, Inc., worked tirelessly to transcribe dozens of microcassettes and type many hundreds of pages to keep up with our manic work pace. Her assistance in all steps of this project has helped to keep us sane, and she even fooled other people into thinking we’re organized.

Diane E. Jones served as test reader and guinea pig, giving us her honest reactions and suggesting additional scenes that helped make this a stronger book.

Robert Gottlieb and Matt Bialer of the Trident Media Group and Mary Alice Kier and Anna Cottle of Cine/Lit Representation never wavered in their faith and dedication, seeing the potential of the entire project.

The Herbert Limited Partnership, including Ron Merritt, David Merritt, Byron Merritt, Julie Herbert, Robert Merritt, Kimberly Herbert, Margaux Herbert, and Theresa Shackelford, gave us their enthusiastic support, entrusting us with the care of Frank Herbert’s magnificent vision.

Beverly Herbert gave almost four decades of support and devotion to her husband, Frank Herbert.

And, most of all, thanks to Frank Herbert, whose genius created such a wondrous universe for us to explore.

The axis of spin for the planet Arrakis is at right angles to the radius of its orbit. The world itself is not a globe, but more a spinning top somewhat fat at the equator and concave toward the poles. There is a sense that this may be artificial, the product of some ancient artifice.

— Report of the Third Imperial Commission on Arrakis

Under the light of two moons in a dusty sky, the Fremen raiders flitted across the desert rocks. They blended into the rugged surroundings as if cut from the same cloth, harsh men in a harsh environment.

Death to Harkonnens. All members of the armed razzia squad had sworn the same vow.

In the quiet hours before dawn, Stilgar, their tall and black-bearded leader, stalked catlike ahead of a score of his best fighters. We must move as shadows in the night. Shadows with hidden knives.

Lifting a hand, he commanded the silent squad to halt. Stilgar listened to the pulse of the desert, his ears probing the darkness. His blue-within-blue eyes scanned towering rock escarpments profiled against the sky like giant sentinels. As the pair of moons moved across the heavens, patches of darkness shifted moment by moment, living extensions of the mountain face.

The men picked their way up a rock buttress, using dark-adapted eyes to follow a steep, tool-hewn trail. The terrain seemed hauntingly familiar, though Stilgar had never been here before. His father had described the way, the route their ancestors had taken into Hadith Sietch, once the greatest of all hidden settlements, abandoned long ago.

“Hadith”— a word taken from an old Fremen song about the patterns of survival in the desert. Like many living Fremen, he carried the story etched into his psyche… a tale of betrayal and civil conflict during the first generations of the wandering Zensunni here on Dune. Legend held that all meanings originated here, in this holy sietch.

Now, though, the Harkonnens have desecrated our ancient place.

Every man in Stilgar’s commando squad felt revulsion at such sacrilege. Back in Red Wall Sietch, a flat stone held tally marks of all the enemies these Fremen had slain, and tonight more enemy blood would be shed.

The column followed Stilgar as he picked up the pace down the rocky trail. It would be dawn soon, and they still had much killing to