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An Enhanced Face Dancer was a type of Face Dancer originally created and released into deep space by the Tleilaxu Master Hidar Fen Ajidica near the end of the Corrino Empire. Much later, they were intercepted by the reborn Thinking Machine Empire. The leaders of the Machine Empire-Omnius, and especially Erasmus-fine tuned and improved their mimicking abilities and other attributes.


Released by Ajidica[]

During the Project Amal spice research development, when the Tleilaxu temporarily conquered the planet Ix; their leader, Hidar Fen Ajidica, developed a group of more advanced Face Dancers. These Face Dancers could not be as easily detected by the Bene Gesserit, and other detection-trained individuals.

After Ajidica secretly created and consumed vast quantities of the melange substitute amal, or ajidimal; Ajidica began having delusions of the ascendancy of the Telilaxu people, especially a large group led by himself. To further this ascendancy, Ajidica secretly decided to send into deep space, large groups of pre-colonizing Face Dancers, to prepare "the way" for his galaxy-wide rule. After he sent these large contingents into the far reaches of the galaxy, the Face Dancers were lost contact of, and were not heard from again for millennia. Meanwhile, in the Old Empire, Project Amal was ruined into utter failure, Ix was re-captured by House Vernius, the Tleilaxu who helped Ajidica were killed, and Ajidica himself died with his secrets.[1]

Enhanced by Erasmus[]

After their release into deep space, the colonizing Face dancers came across the reborn Thinking Machine Empire, led by Omnius and Erasmus, on the planet Synchrony. It is thought that this events occurred during the time of the Ascension of House Atreides, or of the time of the God Emperor.

Upon finding the Face Dancers, the Machine leaders, led by the experimental Erasmus, began to make "improvements" to the group, to make them effective servants of the Machines. Based on his knowledge of human-kind, Erasmus improved upon the Face Dancers mimicking abilities, so much so, that later when they were placed back into humanity years later, the Face Dancers themselves would sometimes believe they were the replaced humans (which can explain the God Emperor's hatred for all Tleilaxu). Neither the Bene Gesserit nor later, their successor group, the combined New Sisterhood could detect them. Only a Tleilaxu Master using the Whistling language, could force their face to contort and lose visage temporarily, revealing their presence.

Secondly, Erasmus believed that by their own nature—the need to kill the humans they replaced—to be an evil act, he thought them to be untrustworthy. To counter this, Erasmus installed a "kill switch" at the base of the brain of each and every Enhanced Face Dancer, that could be activated through the Machine's tachyon net. Third, Erasmus installed into each Enhanced Face Dancer the instinctive ability to return to the Machine homeworld, the planet Synchrony, as a type of homing beacon with each of them.

During the time of The Scattering, promulgated by the death of Leto II, colonizing groups of Tleilaxu, Bene Gesserit, and Fish Speakers, as well as "ordinary" humans, went in search of worlds to live on. The Tleilaxu Masters brought their own Elders, Scribes, Axlotl Tanks, and common Face Dancers, with them into the Scattering, as well. After a few hundred years, the uprising creation of the Honored Matres occurred, the Matres expanded their dominion, and the Matres stumbled into, and attacked an outpost of the Thinking Machine Empire. Omnius's new-found awareness of human-kind caused an immediate counter-attack against the Matres, and the Matres fled back towards the Old Imperium.[2]

Servants of the Machines[]

Knowing where humanity again lived, Omnius and Erasmus released the Enhanced Face Dancers back into the fold of the Lost Tleilaxu. They were ordered to have the expressed intent of taking over key positions of both the Tleilaxu and human-kind's leadership, to prepare for Kralizec, the great battle at the end of the age. Even though the Enhanced Face Dancers came into contact with, and even blended with Scattering-returned Face Dancers, the Scattering-returned (Lost Ones) Tleilaxu and Old Imperium leaders never trusted the Enhanced Face Dancers. Tleilaxu leaders such as the Elder Burah, knew of Ajidica sending out Face Dancers thousands of years earlier, but he and the other leaders never knew of their enhancement, and allegiance to the Thinking Machines.

As the Return of the Honored Matres continued into the Old Imperium, the Honored Matres attacked and decimated Tleilaxu worlds, as revenge for the Tleilaxu males turning females into axlotl tanks centuries earlier. The population of Tleilaxu leadership was greatly reduced, only a handful escaped the Matres' wrath. So much so, that the machines saw their opportunity to finish off the Tleilaxu hierarchy, and secretly decided to eliminate the Tleilaxu Masters and Elders once and for all. Khrone, the machine-appointed leader of the Enhanced Face Dancers, and an Enhanced Face Dancer himself; killed Burah, and the last of the Elders; and only allowed the Scribe Uxtal to survive. With the traditional Tleilaxu leadership out of the way; Khrone, with guidance from Omnius and Erasmus, led the Enhanced Face Dancers into their end of the age plots.

Role with the Ultimate Kwisatz[]

Khrone was told by Omnius and Erasmus, in their Daniel and Marty guise, that the Kwisatz was the necessary fulcrum [or individual], to influence or tilt, the battle at the end of the universe (Kralizec), in favor of whomever possessed him. The machine leaders therefore gave Khrone and the Enhanced Face Dancers a pivotal role in both finding; and creating, the Ultimate Kwisatz Haderach.

First, in locating the Ultimate Kwisatz Haderach, Erasmus believed, due to complex "mathematical projections", the super-being to be aboard the no-ship, Ithaca. When the Ithaca made a Fold space stop on the planet of the Handlers, Enhanced Face Dancers killed the gholas of Thufir Hawat and the Jewish Rabbi, and replaced them aboard the ship. Over the next decade, the two killed necessary and needed gholas the ship's leaders were creating, and sabotaged the ship's systems, leaving them vulnerable to detection by the Enemy's tachyon net. Even though the first Dancer impersonating Hawat was killed by the ship's sandworms detecting him, and the second by the Tleilaxu Master Scytale through the whistling language, irreversible damage had been done to the ship. It was through these two Enhanced Face Dancers that the Ithaca was finally captured after 26 years, and forced brought to Synchrony.[3]

Secondly, as a back up, since it was taking so long to capture the Ithaca, the Thinking Machine leaders had Khrone create a clone of Paul Atreides, the first known Kwisatz Haderach. Khrone first ordered the Tleilaxu Scribe, Uxtal, to produce a ghola of Vladimir Harkonnen, from a partially recovered nullentropy tube found inside a partially burned Tleilaxu Master in Bandalong. After 9 years passed, a clone of Paul was then created from the dried blood of a knife wound that had been given to Paul Atreides 5000 years earlier. This clone was named Paolo, and Harkonnen raised him with negative personality traits, with Enhanced face Dancer oversight on Dan, until Paolo was ready to assume his mantle. Later when Paolo was 11, he and Harkonnen were ordered by the machine leaders, through the Dancers; to come to Synchrony, when Erasmus would complete Paolo's training.

Infiltrating the Old Imperium[]

Concurrently, Khrone lead the ever increasing infiltration of the Old Imperium by Enhanced Face Dancers. He had the Face Dancers infiltrate rebel Honored Matres leadership, the most notable being that of a duplicate of Hellica, overseeing the Matres base from Bandalong on Tleilax. From that base, Khrone had her launch an Obliterator attack on human starship-producing Richese itself, reducing the planet to uninhabitable slag. He placed Dancers at the starship foundry planets of Ix, de-stabilizing the war effort against the Thinking Machines. His Face Dancers infiltrated the Guild, taking advantage of the ever widening chasm between the Administrator branch, and the Navigator branch of the organization.

Khrone put Face Dancers at each and every level of human authority, even putting them in mortal danger as Omnius launched his final million-starship attack on humanity. To affect the morale downward on systems in the attack wave paths, Enhanced Face Dancers would replace human leaders on planets and the Dancers caused chaos, and advocated surrender to the machine fleet. Then, following their ordered attack, the machine fleet would first unleash the dreaded Omnius Scourge plague on the next successive world in their path to the center of the Old Imperium, to eradicate the human population through disease before the machine attack.

As the disease would spread among the populace of a particular star system, the population would rise up against their leaders, as the accusation from humans of "Face Dancer" would be heard, and caused humans to kill their planetary leaders in mob frenzies. As system after system fell to the machines, there was no concern from Omnius or Erasmus for the lives of the Dancers, as they considered them completely expendable servants.

Relationship with Machine Leaders[]

The Enhanced Face Dancers were considered by Erasmus to be halfway between human and machine, as he considered them completely obedient to his and Omnius' every command, however suicidal for the Dancer that command was. He also considered them inferior to humans as far beings worth studying, as they did not have their own distinct in-bred personalities.

As Face Dancers absorbed the personalities and traits of humans that they killed and replaced; the Machine leaders, especially Erasmus, enjoyed in turn, absorbing the human personalities from the Face Dancers. Erasmus then internalized the feelings from these personalities, to which he considered himself more human-like, and more knowledgeable about the universe in general.

Battle Above Chapterhouse and on Synchrony[]

The great final battle, the Day of Kralizec, began as human-kind drew a line-in-the-sand against the invading Machine fleet in a line in the Old Imperium. Under-armed rag tag human fleets met the machines over the planets of Chapterhouse and Junction. The full extent of the Enhanced Face Dancer of the Imperium became known as the two fleets began to fire upon one another. As the machines decimated the humans, the humans attempted to counter-attack, but could not. The humans found that due to the Dancers sabotage; that their Obliterator missile weapons would not fire, their ships would not power and maneuver correctly, and that some of their crew were actually Enhanced Face Dancers themselves. It was only through the Oracle of Time's intervention that human fleet was not eliminated in the first round of Machine attack.

At the same time on Synchrony; Erasmus ordered Enhanced Face Dancers to retrieve the captured Ithaca crew, and the bring them to Cathedral, in the heart of the flow-metal city. Erasmnus also ordered Khrone to have the Enhanced fight as kamikaze-like soldiers against the restrained ship when Scytale released nerve gas to kill them. Finally the Dancers were forced to fight against the giant sandworms that Sheeana and the ghola of Leto II released in the city, which decimated their ranks.

Khrone waitied patiently as the events of the end of the age played themselves out on Synchrony. Omnius was banished to another universe by the Oracle, which caused the machines to temporarily have a lessening of effort and cohesion with the loss of their Evermind. The humans were reeling as Paul lay in a pool of blood from the near-death blow given to him by Paolo, who in turn lay in a trance due to an over-dose of Ultraspice.

Revelation as their Own Agents[]

Khrone then revealed to all those assembled, especially Erasmus, that all Enhanced Face Dancers had been acting as their own agents, and declared themselves to be against humans and machines. Khrone announced that since the beginning of the ramp-up to Thinking Machine's War on humanity, Khrone had an alternative agenda to that of helping Daniel/Omnius and Marty/Erasmus. He and the Face Dancers would help the Machines near conquer and near eliminate human kind, and then spring a type of trap of their own.

Khrone declared in Cathedral that he envisioned that once the Machines and humanity had exhausted their resources as they had in the recent battles in the Old Imperium, that the Face Dancers were now free to mop up the remains, and take their place as rulers of the Known Universe. Khrone announced that the moment of Enhanced Face dancer ascendancy had come.

Erasmus Springs the "Kill Switch"[]

Erasmus declared that he had long see the day coming when the Enhanced Face Dancers would try to wrest control from himself, and that he had planned for the moment long ago. He lectured Khrone about the conniving, inherent aspect of the Dancers, and quoted human-kind and said, "Who can Ever Trust a Face Dancer?" Khrone sent Dancers to attack the Machine leader, but found that the AI savant was prepared for his actions.

Erasmus nodded his head, and started up the tachyon net throughout the galaxies. Using a pre-arranged signal from himself, he activated the genetic "kill switch" in the base of each and every Enhanced Face Dancer in the universe, killing all of them instantly. Throughout the Imperium, as well, in the fleet war above Chapterhouse and Junction, the Dancers died. On Synchrony, Khrone was dumbfounded as he himself, and his entire race, died all around him; collapsing instantly. Erasmus calmly explained to everyone around him that the mass killing deed had to be done, as he believed by their very nature, Enhanced Face Dancers, all Face Dancers, to be evil.