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Duncan Idaho (10158 AG - 13791 AG) was originally a Swordmaster of the Ginaz in the service of House Atreides, and one of Duke Leto's three major aides, with Gurney Halleck and Thufir Hawat, who was later considered one of the finest fighters in history. Through a series of ghola incarnations over the next 3,500 years, he rose from this relatively obscure role to become one of the most important figures in the history of the universe, first playing a key role in the plot against Emperor Paul-Muad'Dib Atreides, then as the husband of the Regent Alia, and finally as the Commander of the God Emperor's forces and his killer.

Biography[]

Original life[]

The original Duncan Idaho was also known as Duncan-the-First or Duncan Prime. Born the son of undistinguished lower-class parents in 10158 AG, Duncan spent most of his early years on Caladan, His aptitudes and intelligence were discovered during one of the Atreides' regular assessments of the population, and he was apprenticed to House Ginaz. Duncan's abilities and aptness quickly singled him out as one of the few who would be trained in the multiple skills of a sword-master. He demonstrated extraordinary proficiencies and, prior to the War of Assassins, he had far outstripped his contemporaries and most of his teachers.

Caught up in the War of Assassins between House Ginaz and House Moritani shortly after his graduation, he energetically threw himself into combat, partially to ease the sorrow of having not been returned to House Atreides. Decades after his death, troubadors related his exploits, and it is still sung that he was finally captured only through the craven use of a hunter-seeker armed with a soporific. With everyone in his patrol dead, he stood with his back to the door while the Ginaz family attempted to escape, defying the finest swordsmen of Grumman. The ballads tell that he slew eighteen before the hunter-seeker finally took him.

After his capture, he was a slave on Grumman with his keepers hoping that he could be used as a trainer. However, his constant escape attempts, his disruption of even the most sophisticated imprisonments, and his tactical leadership of three slave revolts forced his sale to House Harkonnen in 10180, when he was twenty-two years old. Again, Duncan demonstrated that his desire for freedom and a return to House Atreides overcame any value his skills had to the Harkonnens. Like other incorrigibles, he was condemned to the mines on Hagal, almost always a death sentence. These mines, a minor CHOAM feif, had been largely exhausted of their jewels during the reign of Shaddam I. The Harkonnens were attempting to gather what little profit remained and could do so only by operating at the lowest cost. The conditions were savage, with the slave mortality rate over sixty percent. Duncan survived the darkness and the starvation for over three years. He had evidently learned subtlety from his unsuccessful escape attempts on Grumman, and in 10184, through a series of bribes paid with hoarded jewels and the seduction of the daughter of the Harkonnen governor, he was able to send a message to Caladan and escape with the girl into Hagal's vast veldt. Six months later, Idaho was found by an Atreides commando force led by Gurney Halleck.

Duncan was heralded as a hero on his return to Caladan, and the large expense involved in his rescue demonstrated his value to the Atreides and the reality of the Atreides boast that they took care of their own. Duncan reciprocated with absolute loyalty. In the Atreides he saw his origins, his life, and his resurrection. He brought to them a personal integrity and an inherent morality that would continue to be of value to the God Emperor himself.

Idaho was a military genius, and his training as a swordmaster enabled him not only to plan military campaigns but also repair force shields, create linguistically complex battle languages, design military support facilities, and improvise weapons. His greatest long-range contribution to House Atreides, however, was his training of the young Paul Atreides, or as Duncan was fond of calling him, "young master." Even though Duncan was not quite the swordsman that Gurney Halleck was, he was a superb teacher. Paul often remarked that Duncan's feline movements and swift reflexes made him a difficult teacher to emulate. However, Duncan's success is easy to measure in Paul's triumphs over the Fremen Jamis and the na-Baron Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. More important to Paul's leadership to the Fremen, Duncan also made him a master tactician, and it would be foolish to expect that Paul ever would have been accepted by the Fremen, even with consideration of the religious forces, if he had not been a complete warrior. Sadly typical of Duncan's services to the Atreides, his skill as a teacher brought House Atreides woe as well as joy. One of the primary reasons Shaddam IV and House Corrino supported Baron Vladimir Harkonnen's attempted destruction of House Atreides was that Duncan and Gurney Halleck had trained a small force to equal the Padishah Emperor's Sardaukar, and Arrakeen Fremen held great potential for expansion of this small group. It was Duncan who first recognized the military potential of the Fremen. As the leader of the second wave onto Arrakis, it was his responsibility to initiate contact and negotiations with the desert commandos. The success with which he did this demonstrates Duncan's thoroughness and care in matters relating to House Atreides. He was the one who learned of the danger of Shields in the desert, who delivered the first crysknife to Duke Leto, and who stopped Leto's anger when the Naib Stilgar spat on the table to honor the Duke. He also established a temporary truce with the Fremen. While he was never the ideal diplomat, his character made him the ideal liaison with the Fremen. His morality, pride, ruthlessness, loyalty, prowess, and fondness for the truth were a perfect match with the puritanical, rigid, and brutally direct Stilgar. In addition, his honoring of the slain Fremen, Turok, shortly after the Atreides arrived in Arrakeen, created the opportunity for Duncan to accept dual allegiance. Duncan's familiarity with the deserts of Arrakis, gained during his time in the sietches, would later be an irreplaceable asset following theHarkonnen/Sardaukar attack. His knowledge enabled him to guide Paul and the Lady Jessica to freedom and to find Liet-Kynes.

In spite of his obvious skills and singular loyalty, Duncan Prime's life was filled with bitter anomalies. His impulsive actions, which often spelled the difference between life and death, were out of place, in the Atreides world of intrigue, politics and prescience. Duncan was unreflecting and imprudent, frequently as the result of inner forces he could not understand. For example, directed by Duke Leto to watch the-Lady Jessica, who had been falsely accused as a spy by a Harkonnen ploy, Duncan became drunk on spice beer. Troubled by his homesickness, misguided by his lack of understanding, marked by his characteristic doubt and intrinsically self-destructive, he unthinkingly accused Lady Jessica.

Even his rescue of Paul and Jessica, following the Harkonnen/Sardaukar attack, was tainted. Having successfully led them into the desert and gone for Liet-Kynes, he unwittingly led the Sardaukar back to the three where they hid in the ecological testing station. Yet he gave his life to save theirs, taking with him such an astonishing number of the Sardaukar commandos that his body was frozen and sent to the Bene Tleilax axolotl tanks for regeneration.

Amid the cosmic concerns and Machiavellian forces that swirled around him, Duncan contributed the glories of ancient times to a millennium that might otherwise have been sterile in its preoccupation with great issues. His devil-may-care humanity and frailty provided color and excitement. A true swashbuckler, his black goatish hair over sharp, dark features, his chin marked by a small mole, his neverrelinquished habit of the insignia-less, black uniform of the Atreides' House Guard, and his gently observant eyes melted women's hearts and often made him the designated Atreides' escort. Duncan was a man out of his time who carved magic in an age of rationality and contrivance. He recalled an age when noble action was always the most admirable choice, when virtue was selfevident and at the call of the bright and the good, and when loyalty was the greatest gift.

Legacy[]

The many gholas of Duncan Idaho created over the ensuing centuries retained the original Duncan's unique characteristics. The God Emperor recognized Duncan's charms, and used it to maintain the Fish Speakers' bond to the Duncans, and the gholas were the asexual Leto II's gift to his amazons. However, in his fear of the relationship between Duncan-theLast and Hwi Noree, Leto II remarked in his diaries that Duncan could always see into the souls of women and get them to do whatever he wanted. While he was rarely simply a Lothario, Duncan was a romantic figure, often called "an aristocrat of the sword." Even as a ghola, he was a poet in actions and words, and "The Ghola's Hymn," Duncan-10208's eulogy for his ''young master," remains one of the tenderest expressions of the spirit of Duncan and the House Atreides.

In her commentaries and before her abomination, St. Alia-of-the-Knife described Duncan as a vulnerable "child-man-adolescent" under seige. His whimsy and attractiveness were always constants in the eyes of the Atreides, much to their misfortune, but certainly to the betterment of later ages.

First rebirth[]

Duncan-Hayt[]

The first ghola of Duncan Idaho was a gift to the newly crowned emperor, Paul Atreides, from the Spacing Guild. Hayt was delivered to the new court by the first Guild ambassador, Edric, during the presentation of diplomatic credentials. Having been regenerated in the Bene Tleilax axolotl tanks, Hayt was an exact physical duplication of the original Duncan Idaho. In fact, due to the methods of regeneration the Tleilaxu were using at the time, Hayt's flesh was Duncan's. The ghola Hayt differed from the original in only four ways: he had no memory of his life as Idaho; his natural eyes had been replaced by lead-colored metal ones, a change resulting from Tleilaxu whimsy rather than any injury; he had been educated as a mental and a Zensunni philosopher; and he was conditioned to be a weapon that could have destroyed the Atreides. Many historians maintain that the Hayt gift should have been rejected. His Bene Tleilax eyes and regenerated flesh evoked all of Stilgar's fremen superstitions, and the Naib strongly advised tat to reject the ghola. Paul himself was uneasy with a being who appeared and acted like an old, trusted friend, but who was merely an appearance rather than a reality. Nonetheless, the Idaho-Atreides bond held true and me "young master" could not reject even the image of his beloved teacher and comrade. Paul Atreides was still a young man, and he sorely felt the loneliness and isolation of his role as emperor and his character as Kwisatz Haderach. lust as loneliness partly motivated Paul's love for Chani, so too he sought in Hayt the solace of his past amid an antagonistic empire.

But Stilgar and Paul were well advised to fear Hayt. The ghola himself admitted that his purpose was to destroy Paul and advised his own rejection. Hayt had been purchased from the Bene Tleilaxu by the Spacing Guild. The purchase was part of a conspiracy involving the Guild, the Bene Tleilax, and the Bene Gesserit, all of whom feared the young emperor's control of the priceless melange. The agents were the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohaim, Ambassador Edric, the Princess Irulan, and the face dancer Scytale. They cloaked their machinations behind Edric's ability as a Guild navigator to be concealed from Paul's and Alia's prescience.

Hayt was conditioned to accomplish two initial subtle purposes before the assassination of Paul. First, through Hayt's echoing of Idaho's and the Atreides' morality and through the circumlocutions of Zensunni philosophy, he was to blunt Paul's judgment. The conspirators wanted to encourage Paul to differentiate between the critical positive and negative aspects of fife and religion, thus poisoning Paul's psyche and creating an empire he could not live in: the decisiveness and ethical agility that Paul needed to survive, prosper, and control his jihad would become repugnant to him. Second, Hayt was to use the renowned Duncan attractiveness to women to seduce Alia. Alia may have held within her memory the sexual activities of numerous women before her, but her flesh was innocent at this time. Moreover, Hayt was able to appeal to Alia's intellect through his mentat training. As Stilgar remarked when he and Paul came upon the naked Alia dueling the target dummy to eleven lights, she had to have a mate. The conspirators were either very lucky or very intelligent to present Hayt to Alia at her most physically vulnerable time.

However, the conspirators and the Bene Tleilax technicians had failed to anticipate the unplumbed depths of Duncan Idaho. Certainly, the singularity of purpose of Idaho's life encouraged superficial conclusions. Yet, from the very beginning, Duncanmade-Hayt violated expectations. Had the Bene Gesserit been less smug and the Bene Tleilax more sensitive, they would have recognized the dangers. Hayt's loneliness when he emerged from the axolotl tank, which the Bene Tleilax told him was a sickness, persisted and should have warned them that even this chemically reproduced flesh would need the same affections and loyalty that had marked the original Idaho. In addition, Hayt manifested behavior atypical of Idaho. These deviations were attributed to the new mentat and Zensunni training, rather than perceived as the unexpected combination of the new and the old. Almost without fail, Hayt was Duncan when he was not expected to be, and none of his training and conditioning produced the anticipated results. He was something new.

Hayt's lack of a past freed him from the extreme loyalty to the Atreides even though his dispositions drew him back to them. For the first time, a Duncan Idaho could pursue himself, and this liberation allowed for considerable, intensive serf-reflection and self-development. Most accurately, then, this new freedom of serf, combined with genetic memories of his past and his Zensunni and mentat training, made Hayt and his later awakened self an evolution of Duncan Idaho. Since, after Hayt, the Bene Tleilax used dire confrontation to restore the memories of the numerous Duncans, he was the only one of the restorations to have this opportunity for personal growth.

An imporant element in Hayt's pursuit of himself was a Zensunni belief he often repeated: "Every man carries his own past with him." Hayt perceived his own genetic memories from a new perspective that stressed his unique person-ness. While he may have been moved to "give water to the dead" by the vital memory of a friend's aim on his shoulders, he was also able to mold himself as a person, an opportunity unavailable to Idaho and a power unanticipated by Hayt's creators.

Thus, Alia perceived Hayt as the most complex creature she had ever seen, a profound statement from someone who could draw upon racial memory. As the "new man," Hayt also dared and understood far more than his progenitor. For example, his mentat training recognized Alia's erotic stirrings and his new initiative dared respond, in small ways at first, to her desires. This candor and pursuit of his own life is also apparent in Hayt's own words, taken from "The Ghola Speaks":

"I think what a joy it is to be alive, and I wonder if I'll ever leap inward to the root of this flesh and know myself as I once was. The root is there. Whether any act of mine can find it, that remains tangled in the future. But all things a man can do are mine. Any act of mine may do it."

Hayt derived his greatest pleasure from seeing the reflection of Duncan Idaho in the reactions of others and from his own drive to both create and discover himself. Hayt gained his special distinction from pursuing his own interests, not the Atreides'.

It is unlikely that a new, inexperienced ghola of Duncan Idaho could have resisted the Tleilaxu's conditioning and power words. A Hayt without the process of becoming would have pliantly carried the Tleilaxu offer of a ghola of the dead Chani from the dwarf Bijaz to the grieving Paul, and would have struck Paul down in his moment of decision. Hayt was still "innocence under siege," as Alia saw him in her trance. His confession of the Bene Tleilaxu compulsion to Paul illustrated his threatened innocence, but it also demonstrated his horror at being controlled and the strength of his determination. White Paul-as-oracle saw a portion of Duncan in Hayt and knew that there would be no •violence from the ghola, even when Paul spoke the compulsion trigger, "She [Chani] is gone," this moment marked Hayt's partial return to his past as Duncan Idaho. As Paul Atreides indicated in his memoirs, Hayt called the emperor "young master," the beginning of the restoration that was completed when Hayt confronted his compulsion to kill. The person who emerged from this trauma was a new being. As quickly as Hayt-Duncan responded to Paul's entreaty in Atreides' battle language to slay Bijaz and as much as his swiftness echoed the unquestioning loyalty of Duncan Idaho, the new Duncan was unanticipated by his Tleilaxu creators and the Atreides. He was still loyal and retained many of Idaho's characteristics, such as his ability to charm women. Yet the man who accompanied the truly blind Paul Atreides on the beginning of his walk into the desert was a mutated and hybrid consciousness. His marriage to Alia, a mark of the Duncan tradition of service, further estranged him from his pasts as Hayt and Duncan Idaho.

An excellent mirror of this new being is "The Ghola's Hymn," a eulogy (reprinted in Overby's Poems of Antiquity) written for Paul Atreides by the awakened ghola after Paul had gone off into the desert to be slain by ShaiHulud. A haiku, traditionally attributed to the transfigured Hayt, provides further perceptions of a Duncan who empathized with Paul, rather than revered him:

"Young Master, Usul, God who walks the Golden Path, My comrade in doubts."

Here Paul became both a god and a man for Hayt. Written after Paul's death walk but before the appearance of The Preacher in Arrakeen, it shows the continued growth of understanding after the grief had lessened, and Duncan's further perception of his unified place in a seemingly chaotic cosmos. This new being demands separate study, but despite all his new awareness and powers, he remained the crucible and the catalyst. The chemistry of his involvement with the Atreides and his roles as Hayt and husband to Alia continued to reflect the danger and sanctuary that Duncan Idaho always offered to his patron family.

Duncan-10208[]

Within the nexus created by the death of Chani, the failure of the Bene Tleilax to Convert Chani and Paul Atreides into gholas, and the birth of Leto II and Ghanima, the ghola Hayt became the new Duncan Idaho (10208-10231). Transformed by the crisis initiated by the dwarf Bijaz, this new being was the agonized fusion of the vital memories of Duncan Prime and the Zensunni and mental training of Hayt. The "new" Duncan Idaho was distinct from both his predecessors and, as the consort to Alia-of-the-Knife, as the apparent antagonist of Jessica Atreides, and as the ally of the reborn Paul Atreides ("The Preacher"), he merits separate attention.

The agony of Duncan Idaho's marriage to Alia was one of the deepest personal tragedies ever to afflict the Atreides' dynasty. The union was founded in genuine affection, strong physical attraction, and shared grief for the seemingly dead Paul Atreides. It ended in horror and abomination. If Duncan-10208 had not had the sensitivities of a mentat and a poet, he might have survived as a cuckolded fool, continuing to believe in the existence of the early joy and comfort that marked the beginning pf the marriage. However, as Leto II and Ghanima suspected, Duncan could not remain unaware of Alia's adultery, especially after The Preacher announced it in public. As it was, the new Duncan was too perceptive to remain ignorant for long. While his loyalty to the Atreides, practically a genetic trait, made him suspend negative judgments about Alia, his Tleilaxu eyes revealed her true nature. As The Preacher observed many times, and Farad'n Corrino echoed, loyalty can be bought only by loyalty, and the Baron-possessed Alia had none even for herself, much less for Duncan.

Duncan was immediately suspicious of Javid's self-serving interest in Alia. While the Harkonnen persona in Alia insisted to her that Duncan's mentat consciousness would be untroubled by her numerous fleshly indulgences, Duncan was jealous. His was a jealousy tempered by mentat awareness, but the pain remained. What the Old Baron predicted would be indifference became, in actuality, icy hardness. The new Duncan's emotions, gained in large part from Duncan Prime, still found Alia's continual violations of their bond lacerating, and, contrary to popular belief, his Tleilaxu eyes were not immune to tears. Alia maintained her liaison with Duncan because of his mentat capabilities, especially important in light of her flawed access to past lives, and for most of Duncan-10208's life, she was unaware that he could see her pathetic psychic state. To Duncan, however, she was dead flesh, a vision so repugnant that he could not look at her without averting his eyes, she was an empty shell, a house of ghosts.

Yet in spite of his wisdom and vision, Duncan never surrendered his affection for the Alia he once knew, and for a short time he was able to challenge the truth and maintain a "myth-Alia" in his consciousness. He was, thus, so stricken when he learned, while prisoner on Salusa Secundus, that Alia had offered herself as Farad'n Corrino\ bride, that Duncan exercised an old mentat drill, controlled his muscles, and severed the artery in his right wrist with his shigawire bonds.

This unsuccessful suicide attempt drew Lady Jessica's inaccurate contempt. She saw it as stemming from Duncan's innate self-destructiveness, and failed to realize that the true motivations were Alia's actions and the unbearable burden that loyalty to his beloved House Atreides had become. Like many, she let her memory of the old Duncan Idaho cloud her vision of the new. His hybrid qualities left Jessica uneasy: this Duncan was out of keeping with what she thought he should be. A portion of this can be excused. Just as this Duncan was immune to the Bene Gesserit "Voice," he was also partially hidden from the Sisterhood's perceptions, an advantage that would remain secret until the advent of Duncan-13724.

Farad'n Corrino, writing as Harq al-Ada in The Dune Catastrophe, talks of Duncan Idaho:

"There was a sense of duration about Idaho, a feeling that he could not be worn down. He gave the impression of being self-contained, an organized and firmly integrated whole. The Tleilaxu tanks had set something more than human into motion. There was a self-renewing movement about the man, as though he acted in accordance with immutable laws, beginning over at every ending. He moved in a fixed orbit with an endurance about him like that of a planet around a star. He would respond to pressure without breaking — merely shifting his orbit slightly but not really changing anything basic. The Atreides were the star of his orbit."

Although Farad'n's analysis prophesied the continuing service Duncan gholas would perform for the God Emperor Leto II, and although he and Jessica did correctly see that this Duncan was not divided in his actions as Duncan Prime had been, they both failed to appreciate the independent decision that Duncan-10208 would soon make in regard to which Atreides he would serve.

Duncan-10208's rejection of the abomination Alia and his later manipulation of Jessica marked the solving of his greatest problem and were strong evidence of his personal growth. For Duncan Prime, House Atreides had always been a single organism, and he was singularly bound to it by pleasure and pain. For the awakened Hayt, Duncan-10208, House Atreides was fragmented by Alia's possession. The visible and obvious stimuli that had long keyed his fanatical loyalty were gone. While the Preacher did eventually use one of these keys — the secret sign with which Paul Atreides had summoned his swordmaster — he did so too late. It came after one Atreides, Alia, had commanded Duncan to assassinate another, Lady Jessica, and after The Preacher had pledged Duncan as a "jewel without price" to House Corrino as part of his arrangement to interpret the dreams of Farad'n Corrino. By then Duncan saw House Atreides for the ruin it was, and had already decided to disobey Alia. Here the old Atreides and Duncan Prime values came to the fore and candor and honesty were his only touchstones.

Duncan remained a constant for Paul and Jessica, just as tie other gholas would be for the God Emperor, but — - and the difference is critical — he was a constant by decision rather than by faith. He had ceased to follow and adore; he had begun to act and think. More than this, his mental skills allowed him to avert matricide: he invented a spurious danger from House Corrino to Alia; isolated on Salusa Secundus, Jessica was both safe from Alia's threats and prevented from revealing Alia's Abomination. Duncan's love for Alia prevented him from slaying her even though he already suspected her part in the Corrino attempt on the lives of Leto and Ghanima; hindsight shows he was wrong to spare her.

Duncan remained obedient to both Jessica and Paul, but made his own judgment about overthrowing Alia, He knew that he could no longer support the excesses and brutalities of Alia's regency and so, at The Preacher's bidding, allied himself with the Zarr Sadus, the rebel Fremen who refused to submit to Alia's Quizara Tafwid. Prior to this, Duncan had cleverly misled Alia's and Farad'n's spies by appearing to formal demand his release from Atreides' service. This falsehood was so well acted that not even Lady Jessica's Bene Gesserit perception detected it. He reinforced his apparent disaffection by telling Jessica that he would ask Farad'n to send her back to Wallach IX. His stated reason was that the Bene Gesserit moved too deeply and darkly to be safe toys — indicating his awareness of Jessica's plans to put the Corrino heir on the throne.

Later, Jessica did suspect Duncan's true intent, but remained unsure. Her unease was shared by Ghanima, who doubted "this gholaflesh," and by Alia, who was stunned by Duncan's refusal to kill Jessica. By this time Alia was finding any loyalty to the Atreides offensive, especially Duncan's; she had already ceased to think of herself as Atreides. Duncan was immediately aware of Alia's rejection. This keenness enabled him to avoid death at the hands of one of Alia's amazons, Zia, and the escape to Sietch Tabr to help Ghanima and Stilgar.

Second Death[]

Shortly after his arrival there in 10231, his abilities allowed him to recognize the danger to everyone, especially Ghanima, of Stilgar's neutrality. After failing to convince Stilgar to take his company into hiding, he deliberately orchestrated a crisis by killing Javid and violating the sanctity that Stilgar had so carefully established. Further, he baited the furious Naib by accusing him of wearing a collar, one of the deepest of Fremen insults, and then passively accepted death on Stilgar's knife. Thus, faced with the dead bodies of Alia's husband and lover, the Fremen were forced to flee Alia's wrath and Stilgar was forced to understand that he was Ghanima's only hope. In a bittersweet interlude at this moment of death and treachery, Alia discovered one of Duncan's old silver and platinum buckles, a gift to him from her father, and in one of her last human gestures, she wept while Vladimir Harkonnen reacted incredulously within her: "Who cries? Who cries?"

Thus did Duncan-10208 serve the Atreides' interests even when fee family itself was internally riven. Like Duncan-13724, he supported Atreides' goals with a freedom distinct from the undivided faithfulness of Duncan Prime and many of the intervening Duncan gholas. In doing so, he willingly died, giving up his melangeinduced longevity and his unique set of abilities and potentials. He died alone among the Fremen, whose superstitions made them still consider him a "thing," but he fell as a man and an individual, not as a servant.

Subsequent Rebirths[]

Duncan-10232[]

While the Bene Tleilax's knowledge of genetic engineering was unparalleled, their sense of human psychology was woeful. This second ghola was delivered within three months of the death of Duncan Idaho10208. Leto II had him killed immediately

Duncan-11099[]

Among the numerous Duncan Idaho gholas certain failures resulted from the Bene Tleilax method of memory restoration through direct confrontation. This technique was simply too traumatic to produce sane individuals consistently. The greatest of these failures was Duncan Idaho11099 (d. 11103), often called Duncan-the-Archtraitor. However, it is vital to note that what may have been a failure for the God Emperor Leto II could very well have been a success for the enigmatic Bene Tleilax.

Duncan Prime and his gholas always felt comfortable with chaos, a state in which they could exercise their own independence and readily accept the tahaddi al-burhan, the ultimate test. Duncan-11099 had this characteristic in excess and also possessed an inordinate amount of ghafla. Among all the gholas, with the possible exception of Duncan-the-Last, he was the one most offended by Leto II’s absolute rule. Most significantly, he manifested a greatly exaggerated immaturity and rape syndrome sometimes seen among male career soldiers and not unknown even among the Fish Speakers.

Sent on a mission to observe the remnants of House Corrino on Salusa Secundus in 11100, Duncan fell under the spell of Ancas Aramsham, the great-great-granddaughter of Captain Otto Aramsham, and a Bene Gesserit of secret rank in the tradition of Margot Lady Fenring. One of the leaders of a militant group of Sardaukar, the "Final Force," originally founded by her fanatical ancestor, Ancas easily seduced Duncan and convinced him that he could serve the true Atreides' tradition only by accomplishing the death of Leto II. With the resources of Duncan's ever-superb military mind and the support of the Bene Gesserit, the "Final Force" nearly breeched Leto's inner sanctum with every intention of assassinating him with a stone burner supplied by the willing Ixians. Fortunately, many Fremen still qualified as Fedaykin. They killed most of the Sardaukar but without their legendary success of the days of Paul Muad'Dib. In fact, even though the Fedaykin outnumbered the Sardaukar, it was necessary for Leto himself to kill Duncan and the five remaining members of the "Final Force."

The short-term result of this abortive revolt was that thirty years lapsed before the God Emperor ordered another ghola from the Bene Tleilax. This delay gave the Bene Tleilax further opportunity to modify the Duncan prototype. The long-term results were Leto's extensive remodeling of his keep and his realization that male soldiers, be they Sardaukar or Fedaykin, were inherently dangerous. This led to the formation of the Fish Speakers as the military arm of his empire, the emasculation of his own Fedaykin and their conversion into "Museum Fremen," and the major alterations in his own breeding program to produce both men and women who far exceeded the Duncan gholas in physical prowess.

Duncan-11181[]

Known in Fish Speaker history as "the General." Duncan-11181 (d. 11226) conceived and implemented the elaborate training program for Leto's amazon warriors. He was killed when a cadet accidentally armed a "pillar of flame" that he was explaining.

Duncan-12117[]

His mental training was in direct defiance of Leto II's prohibition. He was slain by the Fish Speakers upon delivery.

Duncan-12122[]

The most foolish and among the most radical of the Bene Tleilax creations: In a naive attempt to take advantage of Leto II's fading human sexuality, this ghola was delivered in female form. The Fish Speakers at the first interview knew enough of Leto's whimsy to allow her to pass. However, the God Emperor became enraged at their first meeting and crushed her. This was the first occurrence of what Moneo Atreides would later call "The Worm," Leto's uncontrollable lapse into pure animal behavior. In retrospect, his reaction to a female Duncan was predictable. It made him acutely aware of his vanishing humanity.

Duncan-12143[]

(d. 12161). Trained on Gamont prior to his memory restoration and delivery, Duncan-12143 was the most prolific of the breeder Duncans. In his eighteen-year span, he fathered almost one thousand children. He was slain by an aging and jealous Fish Speaker while in the carnal company of a thirteen-year-old Fremen girl.

Duncan-12212[]

Despite his short tenure (d. 12212), this homosexual Duncan enabled Leto II to recognize the wisdom of sexual relations among his Fish Speakers. Duncan-12212 was slain by a Museum Fremen Naib during an attempted seduction.

Duncan-12280[]

A clumsy Duncan (d. 12283). While he possessed full mentality, an accident (perhaps deliberate) in the axolotl tank flawed his balance and coordination. Duncan-12280 may, in fact, have been the first clone, rather than another ghola. The new procedure may therefore have caused his flaws. He became a court buffoon among the Fish Speakers, but in spite of this deep wound to his pride, he persevered through his loyalty to the Atreides. Sadly, he walked in on a casual discussion between one of the Fish Speakers and the God Emperor, of his latest hilarious attempt at seduction. Unable to bear Leto's laughter, he went berserk and took a small bomb from the armory. In his rage, he saw Leto as the source of all the ridicule he had so faithfully endured. Unfortunately for him, since so small a bomb would never have harmed the God Emperor, he miscalculated the bomb's fuse and had difficulty throwing it. It blew up in his hand, killing him instantly.

Duncan-12301[]

(d. 12302). A reconstruction of the artifical Kwisatz Haderach that the Bene Tleilax had created during the regency of Alia Atreides. Following his bitter denunciation of life and loyalty at his first Siaynoq, he was torn to pieces by the Fish Speakers.

Duncan-12613[]

(d. 12617). An extraordinary creature who possessed almost every artifical augmentation in the Bene Tleilax and Ixian technological arsenal. Duncan-12613 was the physical superior of even the most expert Fish Speaker. He contributed so markedly to their training that Leto II ignored the number of cadets he killed in training as well as the number of officers that fell to his blade in duels. He died from a cumulative allergic reaction to melange following his fourth Siaynoq.

Duncan-12720[]

(d. 12725). A fog-wood sculptor who gained considerable renown throughout the empire for his scenes from early Atreides history. Duncan12720 was kilted when he was crushed by his partially finished statue of Stilgar, an ironic death in light of the death of Duncan-10208. Duncan-12720 is also known for his design of the tortured architecture of Onn, the city created with the primary purpose of viewing the God Emperor.

Duncan-12921[]

(d. 12934). A Duncan delivered with Bene Gesserit training in an attempt to subvert the Fish Speakers. Completely mused by the attempt, Leto D. allowed him to survive for thirteen years, taking cruel glee in his failures among the Fish Speakers and parading him in mockery before the Bene Gesserit ambassadors at every opportunity, He was assassinated by the Bene Gesserit when, growing progressively mad, he began to affect the role of a "Cogita Vera" (Truthsayer).

Duncan-13004[]

(d. 13014). Perhaps the greatest player of the baliset in history, exceeding even the legendary Gurney Halleck. The recordings of his music in the Dar-es-Balat hoard have brought a forgotten master to our era. Like so many of the Duncans, he suffered from what the God Emperor called the "Since Syndrome," wanting to know what had happened since he last knew awareness. Fortunately, this tendency came late in his ten-year span, otherwise, a significant quantity of great music would have gone uncreated and unperformed. However, when the "Since Syndrome" did arrive it came with an intensity that could be felt only by a true artist. Realizing at the end of his life that he was subverting his music to his paranoia, Duncan-13004 quietly committed suicide, while his recording of Licallo's Second Baliset Concerto played in the background. That recording as well as many others have been located in Leto's collection.

Duncan-13015[]

(d. 13021). According to legend, killed by Leto in a rage when he asked the emperor a question. Many have wished to know what that question was, from curiosity seekers to ambassadors who wanted to avoid asking it. With the Rakis discovery, we may be able to solve the mystery. Leto's breeding plan interested Duncan-13015, and his enthusiasm pleased Leto, who allowed him access to his stud books. As his understanding of genetics grew, Duncan prevailed on the emperor to share what information he had of the Bene Gesserit breeding records. Despite the mass of material at his command, Duncan found his progress blocked by a question he could not answer. He learned of the Bene Gesserit's unsuccessful attempt to produce the Kwisatz Haderach in Hasimir Fenring. He knew also that Paul's mother, Jessica, had disobeyed her order's strategy, which called for her child to be a girl who would be mated to Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. Duncan compared the real and the planned genealogy.

Fenring was a genetic eunuch through some flaw in his inheritance from either his father, the old Count, or his Bene Gesserit mother. Whatever the problem, it had been unforeseen, for Fenring's was a planned male birth — the Bene Gesserit thought that in him they would receive their long-awaited Messiah. The question that Duncan asked himself was this: Why was the breeding of the Kwisatz Haderach pushed back not one generation but three? Duncan threw himself into the investigation. Leto seemed pleased by this unlooked-for cooperation, even to the extent of allowing Duncan to append notes on his research to the emperor's journal. We quote now from an entry of early 13018:

"The inquiry about Fenring's mother is fruitless. As a new hypothesis, suppose not one but two defects in the genetic mix. One, from his father, becomes apparent as Fenring matures; the B.G. expect a one-generation delay. Since they have half the genetic potential for the Kwisatz Haderach in F's mother, they would surely plan to breed her again. But the next mating is Harkonnen and Mohiam. Could it be? Supposing that she is, where does that get us? If the B.G. finds out about the second defect in the time between the two breedings — and it's an unsuspected defect in the mother, they can't write her off. I can hardly believe it — Good God, imagine watching a duel between your son and your grandson with no one knowing the relationship but you. No, she couldn't have the flaw: surely no one's genetic structure was ever so carefully mapped as Helen Monism's. Unless the second father brings in the second flaw. That has to be it! Harkonnen is picked to supply what old Count Fearing lacked, but he's a second choice — and, yes, later they find out he's brought a new. problem. Now the B.G. needs an additional generation at least to breed in a dominant to mask this second defective gene. Hence Jessica is born a woman, not a man, and hence Duke Leto's services are required. But what was wrong with the Harkonnens?"

In late 13018, Duncan began a three-year tour of Fish Speaker garrisons around the empire. The trip would have conveniently covered his investigations, and among the planets he visited were Wallach IX, on which the entry below was made, and Giedi Prime.

"I saw the report on Baron Harkonnen today, and I can see why a defect in him would be a surprise: good stock, healthy as weeds — the iron in his blood is remarkable. If I'm right, the report of a defect will be well hidden here — I'll never find it. But if it came from Giedi Prime, 1 might be able to get hold of that copy. And I know what to look for: an inherited disease, one that would kill a child if both parents had it, but would produce only a mild condition if just one passed it on — incomplete dominance."

Giedi Prime was the last stop on the tour, and the next entry was made on Arrakis after Duncan's return.

"on Arrakis after Duncan's return. It has to be Hardison's Disease — an inherited blood condition, and if one parent passes on the trait, the child suffers a mild oxygen deprivation from incomplete hemoglobin bonding. Giedi is moist and oxygen-rich, near the top of the inhabited worlds in atmospheric oxygen. Upper-class diet is heavy in red meat, especially organ meats. No doubt over generations, natural selection has favored individuals with high iron concentrations in their blood. So everything conspired to mask the presence of Hardison's Disease in the Harkonnens: high hemoglobin; lots of iron in their diet; high atmospheric oxygen. But even so, how many of them were mad, and look what happened when one left the homeworld: when Rabban became governor of Arrakis, he moved to a planet with low oxygen, dry atmosphere (which exacerbates the disease), a diet low in iron. He was none too stable before; no doubt his brain had already been damaged by oxygen starvation. But on Arrakis it must have increased progressively, and he became "Beast Rabban, the Demon Ruler." Sure, he brought his own nasty tendencies to Dune, but much of his excess must have come about because the disease was driving him mad. If this hypothesis is correct, then Jessica had the condition too, and passed it on to her children. But she never spent more man a few years in a row on Arrakis. For some reason, the disease progresses more slowly in women, and melange also retards its effects. Nevertheless, a Jessica who would return to the B.G. doesn't sound like my Jessica. Could that have been a symptom? But poor Paul! Twenty years on Arrakis, and all the time his brain cells dying! How else could he have launched a jihad killing hundreds of millions? Emperor of the universe, yet all his writings so helpless, so passive. Seer of the future, yet he walks first into the Qizarate trap then into the desert. And when he returns, that's not Paul Atreides. Rabban's twisted will led his mania to appear as monstrosities of vice; just so Paul's guilt brought his to the surface as an enormity of religious zeal. Alia should have been able to resist: heavy spice diet from before birth; her sex; the mitigating heredity of Duke Leto. But the struggle with the Voices must have been continuous; maybe just the loss of a slight edge in her mental capacity was enough to tip the balance in favor of the devils inside. Ghanima may have been free of the disease, but it hardly matters now. What does matter is Leto — he's the one that must be advised."

The next day Duncan Idaho13015 was killed. He believed that Leto's voices and visions were the phantoms of a deteriorating mind, that the more frequent approaches of "the Worm" were signs of the progress of the disease, and the disclosure cost him his rife. Given what we know now from his journal entries; and given what remained for him to clear up in the puzzle he worked at so tirelessly, the question that enraged Leto may well Have been: "Was the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam the mother of Hasimir Fenring?" Perhaps Leto could have answered it; we cannot.

Duncan-13381[]

Delivered with a melange addiction. The Bene Tleilax and the Space Guild hoped that Leto II's affection for his Duncan would force the God Emperor into revealing the location of his enormous spice hoard to Duncan-13381. This stratagem appeared to work. Responding to a post-hypnotic command, Duncan led the Spacing Guild ambassador to the hoard. They were allowed a brief moment of triumph and then slam by the waiting Fish Speakers.

Duncan-13663 - Penultimate Incarnation[]

(d. 13723). Best known for his lasgun attack on Leto II, in which one of the God Emperor's vestigial legs was harmed; and for his sixty-year span. He is, with the exception of Duncan-theLast, the longest lived of all the Duncans — something of a major achievement. The "Welbeck Fragment" indicates that prior to 13663 nine Duncans had suffered violent deaths and nineteen had died of natural causes. These figures are now known to be highly inaccurate. Leto II's diaries in the Dar-es-Balat hoard have already indicated that over twenty Duncan gholas failed to survive the first-contact interview with the Fish Speakers, and the initial survey of the diaries reveals that there were well over seventy Duncans delivered by the Bene Tleilax.

bverted either by psychological elements introduced by the Bene Tleilax or physical abnormalities, Duncan-13663 appeared for most of his life to be a return to the original prototype. This "throwback" may have been an attempt to lull the God Emperor prior to the delivery of the seriously modified Duncan-the-Last. However, he manifested the fanatical loyalty and affection toward the Atreides associated with most of the gholas and the original.

He was distinctive, however, in one major characteristic. He was the only Duncan who was monogamous, a factor that surely contributed to his stability. Early in his career, he married the Museum Fremen Irte, who lived in Goygoa (originally Jacurutu) on Arrakis, and who strongly resembled Lady Jessica Atreides. Together they had two sons and a daughter. The psychological implications here are fascinating. While there was considerable conjecture but little evidence that the woman was a ghola of the original, planted in Goygoa by the Bene Tleilax, Leto II tolerated the situation and did not interfere. His motives for this are unclear: perhaps he did it out of curiosity, perhaps out of reverence for his grandmother's memory. However, the time Duncan13663 spent with the Museum Fremen and his family aggravated his own sense of uselessness and heightened the bitterness that seemed always to precede the Duncans' deaths.

Duncan-13663 learned of his impending termination from the Ixian ambassador. He was being replaced because of his advanced age (most of the Duncans refused melange and so did not benefit from its geriatric properties) and because the God Emperor felt the need to have the Duncan genes more widely available in his breeding program. Like Duncan Prime and Duncan-the-Last, Duncan13663 could not tolerate the realization that he was useless or antiquated. Uncommonly, his attack on the God Emperor was not impulsive. He planned the assassination after the Mans made the lasgun accessible. He was survived by his wife and children, who were later the cause for a particularly poignant moment in the lives of Duncan-the-Last and Siona Atreides.

Duncan-13724 - Last Incarnation[]

Duncan-13724 (d. 13791), or Duncan-the-Last, as he is popularly known, was along with Duncan-10208 the most noteworthy of all the gholas of the famed Atreides' right hand. Retaining many of the characteristics of Duncan Prime, he also embodied all the adjustments the Bene Tleilax had made in the gholas over more than thirtyseven hundred years of production. There is also evidence that Duncan10208 was the template for Duncaii13724. While this conclusion involves considerable reliance on secondary evidence, one supporting fact is that Duncan-the-Last had DI-10208's invisibility of prescience. However, there were traits in the final Duncan that also reflected other predecessors. For example, he preferred the monogamy of Duncan-13663 and had the especially astute military instincts of DM1181. "the General." Most significantly, there are additional indications that Duncan-the-Last had been conditioned to resist the persuasions and compulsions of the God Emperor Leto II to a far more thoughtful and reflective degree than even the typically recalcitrant Duncans usually had. In addition, and to a far lesser degree of certainty, it is suspected that he was conditioned in much the same manner as Hayt, although more successfully, and that his rebellion against the God Emperor was stimulated by Hwi Noree's presence and, specifically, by her statement, "I was designed to please an Atreides. Leto says his Duncan is more an Atreides man many more born to that name." Her attraction to him can be partially explained by his historical attractiveness to women, and his embodiment of the Atreides character. In fact, the reactions of the Fish Speakers to the later Duncans indicate that he had, in some manner, begun to function as a human aphrodisiac, a condition revealed in Leto's diaries by the observation that Duncan-13724 frequently excited the Fish Speakers to excessive and dangerous displays of their abilities. However, his attraction to Hwi is more enigmatic and may have resulted (as could have hers) from pre-awareness appetites and patterns "built-in" by the Tleilaxu and the Ixians. Perhaps Duncan-13724 was programmed-resistant to Siona Atreides, an aversion that would have disappeared with the God Emperor's death.

h. To better understand the nature of Duncan-the-Last and his unique role in the fall of the God Emperor, it is important to consider why Leto II always desired the company of a Duncan Idaho. One reason was pragmatic: Leto needed the Duncans' genes for his program of breeding individuals who were invisible to the prescience power and to the racial memories. Only in this way, he believed, could sentient beings finally achieve harmony with the universe's randomness. Even though the Bene Gesserit and the other Atreides never suspected, Leto II had known since the time of Hayt that some of the Duncan gholas were among those extraordinary individuals who were presciently unobservable and moved, outside of ijaz and the alam al-mithal in the deepest shadows of the cloud-darkness of arafel. Leto II's commitment to sustaining this Y-chromosome-linked trait and developing it in the Atreides X-chromosome accounts for his permitting the abrupt termination of sports like the female Duncan-12122, the homosexual DI-12212, the Face Dancer DI-13164, and the misogynist DI-13237. In a variety of ways, each prevented the transference of the trait or suffered from genetic manipulation that destroyed or distorted it. The God Emperor also used the Duncan genes to introduce hybrid vigor and mongrel strength into the dangerously inbred Atreides line. The Duncans' physical abilities may have been antique compared to those of the Fish Speakers and the later Atreides, a point made pathetically clear by the clear superiority of even the aging Moneo Atreides over Duncan-13724. However, the Duncans' genetic dispositions were valuable for other reasons.

As Leto II reveals in the Dar-esBalat diaries, his continued suppression of the incompatible was only a holding action disguising and preparing the way for his ultimate goal, and the Duncans' genes were the deviant variety that richened his breed and created the means for his own necessary 'destruction. The Duncans were not only a means of preserving beings who craved chaos, but also a gift from the disappearing male portion of the increasingly androgynous God Emperor to the Fish Speakers and posterity. Such an awesome demand by Leto II makes it clear why the Duncans felt their masculinity so deeply threatened at the Siaynoqs, and why the Fish Speakers were so repugnant to all the Duncans except for the homosexual DM2212. This "Breeding responsibility was not always accepted by the gholas. Like many of his predecessors, Duncan-13724 was shocked by a female army, and while he was not as moved to action as Duncan-11099 had been, it was enough for him to limit his intercourse with them and to contribute to his reluctance to mate with Siona Atreides, especially after she was presented in a Fish Speaker uniform following her aql in the deserts of Arrakis. The gholas' antiquated morality and hubris, despite Duncan12143's prolific exception, frequently meant that their genes were rare dowers in the Atreides' family free.

he Atreides' family free. In addition to the genetic reasons, the God Emperor retained Duncans as a reminder of the simpler time, and as a result of the influence and affection of Paul Muad'Dib in his ancestral memories. In his ever-present plain black uniform of the ancient Atreides' House Guard, like the river named for him, the Duncan was a lifeline to the original Atreides' glory and stability. Leto II's ritualistic evocation to the Duncans at the Siaynoqs demonstrates their value as living symbols:

"You [Duncan] ate the ancient norm against which the new can be measured. You are the rogue mate in the tunes of the passive and emasculated men. You are the fear and the violence that brings chaos, You are the ghafla, preserved for the Golden Road."

reserved for the Golden Road. Moreover, the Duncans' peculiar stability, loyalty, archaic morality, continual search for justification, and love of chaos were the touchstones that the God Emperor used to test his brave new world of randomness, a new world that he, ironically, came to fear. The Duncans also represented hope for resurrection and cleansing in an Imperium that Leto II had directed into the immorality of situational ethics and expedience. For example, Duncan13724 was one of the few people in Leto II’s court who could still blush, and in his demands and decisions, he invariably selected the human side, something the ever-increasingly wormlike Leto needed to have recalled. The Duncans' refusal to worship the God Emperor, particularly Duncan13724's, was another important reminder to Leto II's failing sense of his own humanity and vulnerability. Finally, in a cosmos of shifting tides and false friends, a cosmos in which Leto II had to embrace rebels to produce beings who could walk the Golden Road, Duncan-13724 and many of the other gholas represented the loyalty and duty of the Idaho archetype; and that bond must have seemed ageless and natural even to the ancient God Emperor. In a personal and psychological sense, Leto needed the Duncans' variety to prevent the grave danger of boredom throughout his long reign.

Yet for all the predictability of the Duncan pattern, this last Duncan was something very different. He became Leto II's appointed Judas Iscariot: a destroyer created by his godlike victim as an instrument of the felix culpa, the fortunate fall. Duncanthe-Last was the agent of the change that Leto II knew must come but which he feared too much to implement himself. Also, since the final Duncan was the foundation needed to sustain the Golden Road, he avoided the scapegoat role that usually accompanies Judas figures, in no little part because of the alienness of the metamorphosed God Emperor. However, not all the achievements of Duncan-the-Last were designed by Leto II; in part the last ghola's character resulted from a response to Hwi Noree and Siona Atreides, his actions resulted from his unusual experiences.

Among these critical experiences was the liaison with Hwi Noree that prompted Leto II to say to Moneo Atreides, "The Duncan disobeys me!" This was a startling statement since it had probably never been spoken before by an Atreides Duke. Moneo was terrified by this pronouncement. It put everyone and everything in peril since the loss of Hwi might have destroyed the last vestige of Leto's humanity and turned him irrevocably into the mindless Shai-Hulud, a tendency he had been manifesting to an increasing degree.

A second noteworthy experience of Duncan-the-Last was his disgust with the Museum Fremen at Tuono Village. A third was his unnerving meeting with Duncan-13663's children and wife in Goygoa, a place that by its original name, Jacurutu, was already emotionally charged for him. Both of these moments prompted him to reflect on the failures of the past gholas and to raise the curiosity that helped him avoid the dangerous aspects of the usual Duncan "Since Syndrome." These encounters and others contributed to his successes in areas where other Duncans had failed. Just as he avoided the "Since Syndrome," he also never fell victim to empty sensuality or to tile physical and psychological emasculation that his unexpected physical limitations might have caused.

Leto II was astonished to find a new characteristic in this last Duncan: the ability to look beyond what he thought he knew. Through this, he began to understand that knowledge was constructed of more than particulars and to learn the value of spannungsbogen (the self-imposed delay between desire and possession) as a valid substitute for sudden action.

In his alteration from what thirty-five hundred years of experience had fed Leto H to expect of the "father" of modem civilization, much is owed to Duncan-the-Last's interaction with Siona Atreides. Like two powerful fighting cocks, they had circled each other. both desiring and fearing the nexus of their inevitable union. Each resisted the other through their common bitterness toward and rebellion against the God Emperor. They were tempered by their antagonism and by the pugnacity of their refusal to breed. Duncan learned to accept Siona's physical superiority as he struggled with the Tleilaxu compulsion to reject her. She gained respect for Duncan's professionalism and evolving mentality, and allowed herself to accept his successful plan for the final destruction of Leto fl. It was through her leadership, insight and rebellion that Duncan-13724, like Duncan-10208, went in search of another Atreides to serve instead of the God Emperor. Significantly, what he found was an idea, the first time a Duncan had ever found anything other than a living Duke. Together, Duncanthe-Last and Siona became convinced that if there had to be a God Emperor, it should not be Leto II. They were, of course, wrong, but that was significant in contrast to their resulting actions. Thus, as Duncan-the-Last rose from his frustrated desire for Hwi Noree and as he and Siona circled each other, he climbed the nine-hundred-meter wall to the Royal Road and engineered the assassination of an emperor and his consort.

His pinionless climb mirrored his growing understanding that, unlike Siona and himself, Leto II was no longer a true Atreides; like the longdead Alia he had become an alien within the family. Duncan realized this first when he considered Leto II’s heinous, selfish crime of resurrecting him and his predecessors without their permission. Duncan finally understood something Paul Muad'Dib had said: "Your liberties vanish when you recognize any absolute leader." Thus, Duncan-13724 ascended to a new ruthlessness and understood that defending his independence justified his impending violence. Ironically, Leto II's most faithful servant, Moneo Atreides, inspired this decision when Duncan saw his old self in Moneo's duty and responsibility.

It was this epiphany that the God Emperor had miscalculated. Just as Lady Jessica Atreides had let her memory of Duncan Prime fog her perception of Duncan-10208, the God Emperor's overconfidence had prevented him from seeing the full implications and nature of Duncan-theLast's growth. What Moneo, Leto II, and the younger Siona saw as archaic in Duncan was actually what made him the savior he became. More of an Atreides than any of them, with roots that went even deeper than the God Emperor's, his otherness within Leto II's contrived universe and his lack of understanding of it protected him against its seductions. The God Emperor's Imperium repressed change, while Duncan's traditional ghafla and irrepressible craving for chaos made him the instrument of mutability that the Double God, Leto II, feared and craved. Duncan-the-Last's disgust for Leto II was created by the God Emperor in many, many ways, but the last ghola made his own special contributions as did Siona, Moneo, and the Tleilaxu. The result even stirred the Museum Fremen Garun to life: Duncan was the only person he had ever met with whom he wanted to die.

In his dying moments, the God Emperor too perceived that he respected this last Duncan more than he had any other, and this perception allowed him to recover the vision of the Golden Road hidden by the promise of a life with Hwi Noree. He revealed to Siona and Duncan me location of his priceless spice hoard in the ruins of Sietch Tabr. Most significantly, he removed the veil from his own plan for the two: they could travel the Golden Road that he could not. Siona, Duncanthe-Last, and we, their descendants, could then and can now walk silently among the ancestral memories without fear of possession or abomination. Further, the Dar-es-Balat diaries reveal that, even in the moment of his human death, Leto II retained some-• thing of his blithe youth when he asked Duncan what he would now do with his new power and when he and Siona both realized that this Duncan would need gentle seduction. The answers to both of these queries are now, of course, obvious and seem purposely naive in their posings even though Duncan had little insight then into Siona's deep wisdom and the plenty that the two of them would yield.

What is surprising is that legend and history have not elaborated the figure of Duncan-the-Last and his union with Siona Atreides as might be expected. Instead, they have actually dimmed the majesty of this incredible figure, who in light of the Dar-es-Balat recordings appears to have been a myth incarnate. Duncan-the-Last was, if such a thing is possible, a demiurge. He was instilled with forces and powers far beyond himself, and yet he was able to contain them within a human form. While further insights into Duncan13724 await the integration of the Dares-Balat hoard with the records of the reign of Duncan and Siona and the Scattering, his brief age can justifiably be called the Salvation. Nayla the Fish Speaker was never the Judas as Holy Church proposes. It was Duncan and Duncan alone who was the archtraitor and the savior in one. Abroad in the realms of consciousness, his incantatory life and personality brought sentient life into harmony with the universe's caprice. Alive at last, he followed Siona from the death cave of the Divided God and brought the power and fire of magic to us all.

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