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"show me your world"

Farad'n asked me this, once, months ago. "Show me Dune," he said, believing, it seemed, that by knowing Arrakis he could know me.

I suppose he was not wrong. I have never been the Imperial Lady Ghanima, not deep in me – it is an identity that sits only heavily.

I am Ghani, Fremen woman, twin of Leto, and the sands and sietches of Dune are where I took him. Once he was ready, taught to use a stillsuit and the rhythmless walk, we went far into the desert by 'thopter... and then my Corrino prince rode Shaitan with me.
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Ghanima ran the fingertip of her right index finger up the long, raked scar that twined around her left forearm as she looked over at Farad'n. "The longest day of my life? Surely you know what a strange question that is to me..."

"I know. But I'm curious... and still trying to learn you, since we seem to have far to go on preparing me to see Dune." She could see the tightness of his lips that said he was far from pleased at that, but he had made such progress. The water-fat that had once been all through his body was toning down into much more pleasing lines of sinewed muscle, though his skin would likely never loose the too-soft feeling of having been raised on a water-rich world. Not without circumstances that were unlikely to occur, at least.

She studied his face, seeing the real desire to know, the honesty he had not learned to mask deeply enough to hide from her or her twin, and smiled a little as she moved to press the robe away from the skin of her left calf, revealing the other scars. Long and thin, stretched with the growth of her skin much like the one that reached up her arm. "Probably the day I received these. At least... I cannot easily think of a longer day in my own life."

"I never have understood why you have scars, given prana-bind--"

She laughed, cutting him off with the dark edges of it. "Fremen women are more beautiful when scarred, for one thing, Farad'n. And for another, they were excellent reminders that I would kill you. And see my dear aunt dead as well."

"You are so casual about it." It bothered him, how easily the young girl she had been (she had never been young) had planned his death. Foolish of him.

She dipped her shoulder a little, untroubled by his unease. "Of course. I am Fremen, and all evidence showed that you had murdered my brother. Why would I not intend your death?"

Then she smiled at him, soft and loving as she had become towards him since those first days. "I am glad that I was wrong, Farad'n," she told him as she wrapped her hands around his, holding on gently. "You do suit me well. Shall I tell you of that day, then? Or is the knowledge of it enough?"

"I think I would be content to merely know it, as I am still shamed by the plots carried out in my former name."

She filed that away into her memory, making herself a note that the story might itself be a useful weapon on some later day, and dipped in to kiss him lightly.
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"Show me Arrakis?" Farad'n asked her, late one evening as the last of the ruddy light slipped away outside the thick panes of glass. Before she could reply, he shook his head, lips tightening just slightly, "No... that's not what I meant. Show me Dune, Ghani?"

Dune )


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November 2009

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