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Loathing

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She did not loathe him. Her nephew, who would not help her. Her nephew who sequestered his burgeoning power with cynical philosophy before he disappeared into the night and an assassin’s trap.

She did not loathe her. Her niece, who began to take form once her brother was gone. Her niece who was now heir apparent to the throne… it would be better just to marry her off. Quiet old enemies…solidify the people under Atreides power.

She did not loathe Irulan. That spineless ninny, that useless pawn (as now her niece would be, as she would not open herself to the voices.) She was easy enough to brush off as Paul’s bitter old widow, desperate to wheedle her way into their lives, though it was apparent that none loved her.

She did not loathe Chani. For taking her beloved brother away.

She did not loathe Paul. For leaving so many times… in lust with Chani, in politics with rulership, into the desert with death. He was the only one she could latch onto, the only one staunch enough, the only one strong enough, the only one to build an empire out of a fremen rebellion.

She did not even loathe her mother (not really.) For abandoning her… first in the womb, opening her mind to voices she could not understand… then with the insurrection, leaving both children for Caladan once Paul was settled on his throne. She knew her mother was weak…loving at the wrong times, indifferent to the wrong people.

She loathed the Baron. For taking her father away, for banishing her brother to the desert, for exploiting their resources—even for what he did to her mother. She felt no remorse in taking his life, just a cool satisfaction. But it was he, the one she loathed, who would possess her. It was he, who would, without her knowledge, lead her to the wolves in a mad quest for power. It was he who would quiet the voices, spur up her lust, whisper words of comfort, dare her to take the life of her mother, deny her brother, and crush her returned-nephew into the ground.

And it was he, unwittingly, who would lead her to her death. Because once all that loathing is spewed, there is really nothing more that your mind can take.