Foreword by Dysphemism:
Hear me out, for at least this paragraph. I may ramble, but I gotta set some parameters. Yes, this is a fan-fiction of a rather large series. You should be able to read and understand it well without having read Dune. If you wish to add to it, I recommend that you read Dune, the first book, at the very least. Any concepts from the rest of the Dune Chronicles will be used with explanations and without spoilers pertaining to them.
The continuation of the Dune Chronicles at the hands of the original author's son and a co-writer are considered partially non-canonical by the greater community of Dune fans. Therefore, if one is collaborating in this story, they may feel free to both contradict and borrow from the concepts explored by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. If you wish to debate that here - do not. If you wish to ask for more information about the continuation - feel free. Now, I digress.
As far as style and narrative mode, please try to imitate Frank Herbert as much as possible. The works of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson contradict with the original style, and are considered by most to be of inferior quality. They unnecessarily patronize the reader, use brackets crudely on a whim and leave very little up to oblique implications. Dune is for a more sophisticated audience than that.
Feel free to be as explicit when it comes to mature content as any of the Dune Chronicles. Keep in mind that the first three are not as sexually explicit as the others. Violence is another matter - please be as clever as Frank with it and not as casual as Brian & Kevin.
Alternate timeline, same timeframe. Faintly similar plot.
Same factions, different characters. Different major and minor Houses of the Landsraad. Different Mother Superior, but the same Bene Gesserit. Different Tleilaxu Masters, same Bene Tleilax. Different Imperial Family, same political system. Different Guild Navigators, same old Spacing Guild. None of the same people, past or present from the series.
Same settings, and new settings. Reference the Arrakis and Rakis maps if you want. Pull out the Brian & Kevin maps, which are presumably derived from Frank's work and notes, and reference them if you want. If you do not own those books, you can probably google maps for Lankiveil, Caladan and Giedi Prime. Or ask me to scan mine. Make up as many new planets as you want. Just be tactful - and original.
Begin each chapter with a quotation of informational, symbolic, philosphical or some other kind of relevance to your chapter. That is how Dune is written. If you must, write it after you finish your chapter.
Please attempt to expose, or implicate, concepts as you add them. That way, any concepts foreign to the first book or the series itself will not alienate readers. And readers should be able to enjoy this without even reading the series.
Primarily Based Upon: Dune by Frank Herbert
Secondarily Based Upon: Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune by Frank Herbert
Based Very Loosely and With The Utmost Discretion Upon Concepts From: Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, Dune: The Machine Crusade, Dune: The Battle of Corrin, Dune: House Atreides, Dune: House Harkonnen, Dune: House Corrino, Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.
Intended Length: Novel
Genre: Ecological Science Fiction (Fan-Fiction)
Narrative Mode: Third-Person Limited Omniscient
The following writing may contain mature subject matter that some readers may find unsettling: gratuitous religiosity, depictions of gore, dark contemplations of the human mind, the use of drugs, expressions of sexuality, vocalizations of vulgarity, displays of nudity and other mature themes.
This writing is fiction. Names, characters, settings and events are either used fictitiously or are products of the writers' imaginations if not part of the Dune Chronicles. Any resemblance to real events, settings or people, dead or alive, is coincidental unless stated otherwise.
Dune and its concepts are the property of Herbert Enterprises or Herbert Limited or Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Or some such thing like that. See Dunenovels.com for more information.
Anything below the following line is subject to judgment for the ratings of this chapter. (And note that the name 'Muad'Dib' will be given to a different individual in this story, as Paul does not exist and the Mahdi/Messiah linguistic stuff is necessary.)
"The study of Muad'Dib begins first and foremost with a study of his derivative. The man he was first, before the guiding hands of the Bene Gesserit lost control. Before he married Princess Sierra Regulus, and accepted what I could not. He is a Messiah; I am a pawn."
-- except from At The Right Hand of Muad'dib by Prince Nero Regulus
"The Imperial Parliament of the Landsraad is still in session, m'lady," a stern-faced soldier said.
A young woman bowed her head in acknowledgment, "Is it true, what they mutter in these halls?"
The guard remained stoic, under the aristocrat's gaze.
"Hold not your tongue, I am no commoner!" Her voice was full of commanding presence, carrying a subtle edge of Bene Gesserit training. Do not tempt me to use the Voice. "Do the Imperial Sardaukar soldiers no longer honour the Major Houses of the Landsraad?"
Face still, turning red, he bowed cautiously. And finally, with a quick glance at her robes and insignia, "I apologize, Lady Mira Al'Gattais." Witch!
"Surely they teach manners in the harsh training of the Salusa Secundus climate."
She knows too much. He fidgeted, still clutching an idle berdiche with one hand and the button of his Holtzmann-shield belt with the other - in case danger were to strike.
"Now, kindly tell me - is His Imperial Majesty moving into Arrakis?"
The soldier nodded, and grinned.
"You like the idea of a revolt," she read his face, "Wishing I'd twist my Baron's arm to bring House Al'Gattais renegade this instant so you can clean up the boiling mess of an atomic war on Caladan, eh?"
And the soldier cracked up, at the accurate projection of his thoughts and the absurd extension. Love to slit your throat right here, witch.
"Imperial despotism of the spice requires tact, soldier," she explained. "If the Emperor sends his sister to rule Arrakis rather than alternating between Major Houses, the Spacing Guild will get nervous."
The soldier, in his black plasteel armor, looked at her wide-eyed.
"Can't defend Imperial control over Arrakis without the Spacing Guild, eh?" I've got him on that one.
The Sardaukar soldier frowned intensely, pondering what little he grasped of Imperial politics. Damn you witch, today we look forward to war and you crush my hopes!
And then, the big doors of the Grand Amphitheater of Kaitan's Imperial Palace opened. They were large, ornately-carved wooden doors - engineered with a soundproof core. The hall was abruptly filled with the shouting of a thousand voices in protest. And then they closed.
A second Sardaukar soldier in identical black armor cam out, holding a young man by the scruff of his neck. The boy's legs flailed a foot above the ground. The soldier looked directly into Mira's dark blue eyes. She eats a lot of spice, is she a Bene Gesserit witch? "Madam, is this one yours?"
"Put me down! I'll soon be Baron of Caladan! Do you hear me?"
"Hmmm," she said staring quizically at the youth. He had the same tanned skin, though his brown eyes had not yet been fully saturated with the side-effects of the melange spice from Arrakis.
He looked up at her, mouth clamped shut. Breathing fast through his nose and nearly choking as the Imperial soldier had a firm grip on the back of his collar.
"That is one of my younger servants. I apologize - let me escort him back to my quarters," she said.
The guard dropped the boy, and once again pulled the rope that opened the doors. And he slid his way back into the cacophony of countless politicians.
From what little they could see through the door, no chair was unoccupied, and no occupant was there by proxy. Every major family of the Empire was in direct attendance.
Lady Mira walked calmly down the hall, away from the other soldier, in her black Bene Gesserit acolyte robe, adorned with the crest of House Al'Gattais. A silver albatross upon a sea of blue threads.
The teenage boy followed behind her, head hung low. And after they were out of earshot...
"Well, my son, did you glean any information?"
"Count Chriache found a way to sneak poison into Session. Almost got away with it too. But he got nervous, and used too much at once - triggered the censors and the Suk doctors are now attending to Duke Browitz Alchon."
"Do not give me petty gossip of chaumurky and age-old House feuds. I want politics, or I will punish you for getting caught like I would any servant. You are my son, Caradoc, not a street-ear."
Caradoc grinned, "Mother Superior's ears twitch when she gets mad, right?"
"She's seething, isn't she?"
"Yes, mother," he said, "The Tleilaxu are indifferent, the Spacing Guild is still chattering frantically and incoherently with their chosen Navigator. Most of the Houses of the Landsraad are too scared to protest let alone declare Renegade Status. One house uses their family atomics on Kaitan, and it gets retaliation tenfold for them and their allies. The Spacing Guild is the only group who has any control over the situation."
"And House Aidamhus?" she asked, Better to test him. I know the answer.
"They are not concerned. Their reign over Arrakis is due to end no matter how soon the Emperor's vile dyke of a sister gets her hands on the spice," he looked cautiously at her disapproving gaze, "No matter whether House Regulus moves into that rich wasteland or some other house wins a traditional bid; Arrakis will be occupied by Sardaukar for the next month while this blows over."
"Very good," they turned a corner. "Now, since I've finally found you, it is time we stop keeping Reverend Mother waiting. She has much to speak with you about before we return to Caladan. Keep your wits about you, my son."