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datatime: 2022-12-04 06:31:15 Author:KaRSdXmk

"Tongues are the Bene Gesserit's first learning," Jessica said. "I know the Bhotani Jib and the Chakobsa, all the hunting languages."

"There's a remote possibility you could draw my life's blood," Jessica said, "but in so doing you'd bring down more ruin than your wildest fears could imagine. There are worse things than dying, you know - even for an entire people."

"Do you know this, my Lady?" Mapes asked.

"Tongues are the Bene Gesserit's first learning," Jessica said. "I know the Bhotani Jib and the Chakobsa, all the hunting languages."

"I know the Dark Things and the ways of the Great Mother," Jessica said. She read the more obvious signs in Mapes' actions and appearance, the petit betrayals. "Miseces prejia," she said in the Chakobsa tongue. "Andral t're pera Trada cik buscakri miseces perakri -"

"It's a crysknife," she said.

"My husband told me of your title, Shadout," Jessica said. "I recognized the word. It's a very ancient word."

"You know the ancient tongues then?" Mapes asked, and she waited with an odd intensity.

"What is that?" Jessica asked. "I heard it several times as we drove through the streets this morning."

A weird cry sounded from the road outside the house. It was repeated: "Soo-soo-Sook" Then: "Ikhut-eigh" And again: "Soo-soo-Sook"

"You speak of the legend and seek answers," Jessica said. "Beware the answers you may find. I know you came prepared for violence with a weapon in your bodice."

And Jessica thought: There was an edge to that question. Here's the reason this Fremen has taken service with me, to ask that one question. My answer could precipitate violence orwhat? She seeks an answer from me: the meaning of a knife. She's called the Shadow in the Chakobsa tongue. Knife, that's "Death Maker" in Chakobsa. She's getting restive. I must answer now. Delay is as dangerous as the wrong answer.

"My Lady, I"

It could only be one thing, Jessica knew, the fabled crysknife of Arrakis, the blade that had never been taken off the planet, and was known only by rumor and wild gossip.

A weird cry sounded from the road outside the house. It was repeated: "Soo-soo-Sook" Then: "Ikhut-eigh" And again: "Soo-soo-Sook"

"My husband told me of your title, Shadout," Jessica said. "I recognized the word. It's a very ancient word."

"And as the means of my death should I prove otherwise," Jessica said. She waited in the seeming relaxation that made the Bene Gesserit-trained so terrifying in combat.

"My Lady, I"

Slowly, Mapes reached into the neck of her dress, brought out a dark sheath. A black handle with deep finger ridges protruded from it. She took sheath in one hand and handle in the other, withdrew a milk-white blade, held it up. The blade seemed to shine and glitter with a light of its own. It was double-edged like a kindjal and the blade was perhaps twenty centimeters long.

"Tongues are the Bene Gesserit's first learning," Jessica said. "I know the Bhotani Jib and the Chakobsa, all the hunting languages."

"My husband told me of your title, Shadout," Jessica said. "I recognized the word. It's a very ancient word."

Now we see which way the decision tips, she thought.

"It's a crysknife," she said.

Slowly, Mapes reached into the neck of her dress, brought out a dark sheath. A black handle with deep finger ridges protruded from it. She took sheath in one hand and handle in the other, withdrew a milk-white blade, held it up. The blade seemed to shine and glitter with a light of its own. It was double-edged like a kindjal and the blade was perhaps twenty centimeters long.

"And as the means of my death should I prove otherwise," Jessica said. She waited in the seeming relaxation that made the Bene Gesserit-trained so terrifying in combat.

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