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.C’tair realized that, before long, the manufactories would begin pouring out merchandise again; and shiploads of solaris would flow back into the Bene Tleilax coffers to pay them for this costly military adventure.Now, though, the secrecy and security developed by generations of House Vernius would work against them.Ix had always shrouded itself in mystery, so who would notice the difference? Once the paying customers were satisfied with the exports, no one in the Imperium would much care about internal Ixian politics.Anyone on the outside would forget all that had happened here.It would be cleanly swept under the rug.That must be what the Tleilaxu were counting on, C’tair thought.The entire world of Ix— he would never refer to it, not even in his mind, as Xuttuh— was walled off from the Imperium as an enigma.much as the homeworlds of the Bene Tleilax had been for centuries.The new masters restricted travel off-planet and imposed curfews with deadly force.Face Dancers rooted out “traitors” from hiding rooms similar to C’tair’s and executed them without fanfare or ceremony.He saw no end to the repression, but he vowed not to give up.This was his own world, and he would fight for it, in any way he could.C’tair told no one his name, called little attention to himself— but he listened, absorbed every whispered story or rumor, and he planned.Not knowing whom to trust, he assumed everyone was an informant, either a Face Dancer or simply a turncoat.Sometimes an informant was easily recognizable by the directness of a line of inquiry: Where do you work? Where do you live? What are you doing on this street?But others were not so easy to detect, such as the gnarled old woman with whom he had initiated a conversation.He’d only meant to ask directions to a work site where he had been assigned.She hadn’t sought him out at all, except to appear harmless.somewhat like a child with a grenade in its pocket.“Such an interesting choice of words,” she’d said, and he didn’t even remember his own phrasing.“And your inflection.you are Ixian nobility, perhaps?” She looked meaningfully at some of the ruined stalactite buildings in the ceiling.He had stammered an answer.“N-no, although I have been a s-servant all my life, and perhaps I picked up some of their distasteful mannerisms.My apologies.” He had bowed and departed quickly, without ever getting directions from her.His response had been awkward and perhaps incriminating, so he’d thrown away the clothes he’d been wearing and hadn’t gone down that narrow street again.Afterward, he had paid more attention than ever before to masking his own vocal identity markers.Whenever possible, he avoided talking to strangers at all.It appalled C’tair that so many opportunistic Ixians had switched allegiance to the new masters, forgetting House Vernius in less than a year.In the first days of confusion following the takeover, C’tair had hoarded scraps of abandoned technology, from which he had constructed the cross-dimensional “Rogo” transceiver.Soon, though, all but the most primitive technology had been confiscated and made illegal.C’tair still snatched what he could, scavenging anything that might prove valuable.He considered the risk well worth taking.His fight here might continue for years, if not decades.He thought back to the childhood he’d shared with D’murr, and the crippled inventor, Davee Rogo, who had befriended the boys.In his private laboratory, secreted inside an ignored coal vein in the upper crust, old Rogo had taught the youths many interesting principles, had shown them some of his failed prototypes.The inventor had chuckled, his bright eyes sparkling as he goaded the boys into disassembling and reassembling some of his complicated inventions.C’tair had learned a great deal under the crippled man’s tutelage.Now C’tair recalled his Navigator brother’s lack of interest when he’d told him of the wavy vision he’d seen in the rubble.Perhaps the ghost of Davee Rogo had not come back from the dead to provide instructions.He’d never seen a similar apparition, before or since [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]