Post by Juho Julkunen Post by Kevrob Post by The Zygon
Paul was tested. They knew both his mother and father, who were both
human. Do you imagine that they thought that some alien was substituted
for the human child?
Fear of a possible mutation that would create an "abomination"* is
what I remember, but I read Frank Herbert's "DUNE" at least 45 years ago.
The abominations weren't the result of a mutation, but circumstance. It
referred to children with awakened "other memories". Their undeveloped
psyches left them vulnerable to being taken over by strong
personalities from the past. Those personalities didn't tend to be the
nicest ones, and the stored memories gave them extensive experience and
skills to draw on. From Bene Gesserit point of view they were dangerous
because they were unpredictable and uncontrollable.
They created Kwisatz Haderach quite deliberately. Once they succeeded,
they spent the rest of their existance trying to prevent another one,
as it turned out Paul wasn't that controllable either.
(Leto II, of course, was an abomination by BG views.)
Alia, an accidental abomination, happens when Jessica drinks the Waters
of Life while she's pregnant. The Waters of Life are drunk as part of
the ceremony for Jessica to take over from Reverend Mother Ramallo.
For me, this is about enjoying every exquisite detail of the story
with fellow fans. It's not intended as pedantic. In that spirit, here's
yet another copy-and-paste from the pertinent pdf. (If this keeps up,
the whole darned story will eventually get posted to usenet. And then a
netkook will nark on me for a ToS violation. LOL.)
"The Reverend Mother tells me she cannot survive another hajra,"
Stilgar said. "We have lived before without a Reverend Mother, but
it is not good for people to seek a new home in such straits."
Now, the throng stirred, rippling with whispers and currents
"That this may not come to pass," Stilgar said, "our new
Sayyadina Jessica of the Weirding, has consented to enter the rite
at this time. She will attempt to pass within that we not lose the
strength of our Reverend Mother."
It was like an ultimate simpatico, being two people at once: not
telepathy, but mutual awareness.
With the old Reverend Mother!
But Jessica saw that the Reverend Mother didn't think of herself
as old. An image unfolded before the mutual mind's eye: a young girl
with a dancing spirit and tender humor.
Within the mutual awareness, the young girl said, "Yes, that is
how I am."
Jessica could only accept the words, not respond to them.
"You'll have it all soon, Jessica," the inward image said.
This is hallucination, Jessica told herself.
"You know better than that," the inward image said. "Swiftly
now, do not fight me. There isn't much time. We . . . " There came a
long pause, then; "You should've told us you were pregnant!"
Jessica found the voice that talked within the mutual awareness.
"This changes both of you! Holy Mother, what have we done?"
Jessica sensed a forced shift in the mutual awareness, saw
another mote-presence with the inward eye. The other mote darted
wildly here, there, circling. It radiated pure terror.
"You'll have to be strong," the old Reverend Mother's
"Be thankful it's a daughter you carry. This would've killed a
male fetus. Now ... carefully, gently ... touch your
daughter-presence. Be your daughter-presence. Absorb the fear ...
soothe ... use your courage and your strength ... gently now ...
The other whirling mote swept near, and Jessica compelled
herself to touch it.
Terror threatened to overwhelm her.
She fought it the only way she knew: "I shall not fear. Fear is
the mind killer ... "
The litany brought a semblance of calm. The other mote lay
quiescent against her.
Words won't work, Jessica told herself.
She reduced herself to basic emotional reactions, radiated love,
comfort, a warm snuggling of protection.
The terror receded.