Generation Terrorists

Quotes [new quotes]
Frank Herbert

"A human can overwite any nerve in the body."

"Why do you test for humans?" he asked

"To set you free."


"Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them."

"'Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man's mind,'" Paul quoted.

"Right out of the Butlerian Jihad and the Orange Catholic Bible," she said. "But what the O.C. Bible should've said is: 'Thou shalt not make a machine to counterfeit a human mind.'"

"Have you ever seen truthtrance?"

He shook his head. "No."

"The drug's dangerous," she said, "but it gives insight. When a truthsayer's gifted by the drug, she can look many places in her memory - in her body's memory. We look down so many avenues of the past... but only feminine avenues." Her voice took on a note of sadness. "Yet, there's a place where no Truthsayer can see. We are repelled by it, terrorized. It is said a man will come one day and find in the gift of the drug his inward eye. He will look where we cannot - into both feminine and masculine pasts."

"Your Kwisarz Haderach?"

"Yes, the one who can be at many places at once: the Kwisarz Haderach. Many man have tried the drug... so many, but none has succeeded."

"They tried and failed, all of them?"

"Oh, no." She shook her head. "They tried and died."

To attempt an understanding of Muah'Dib without understanding his mortal enemies, the Harkonnens, is to attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be.

"That which submits rules. The willow submits to the wind and prospers until one day it is many willows - a wall against the wind. This is the willow's purpose."

"A world is supported by four things... the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all of these are as nothing without a ruler who knows the art of ruling."

'A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.'

"You are an apt pupil, none better, but I've warned you that not even in play do you let a man inside your guard with death in his hand."

"I guess I'm not in the mood for it today," Paul said.

"Mood?" Halleck's voice betrayed his outrage even through the shield's filtering. "What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises - no matter the mood! Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It's not for fighting."

"I'm sorry, Gurney."

"You're not sorry enough!"

"It's a very old Orange Catholic Bible made for space travellers. Not a filmbook, but actually printed on filament paper. It has its own magnifier and electrostatic charge system. The book is held closed by the charge, which forces against spring-locked covers. You press the edge - thus, and the pages you're selected repel each other and the book opens."

"Knowing where the trap is - that's the first step in evading it. This is like single combat, Son, only on a larger scale - a feint within a feint within a feint... seemingly without end."

There is probably no more terrible instant of enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a man - with human flesh.

"Spice is in everything here. You breathe it and eat it in almost everything. And I find it imparts a certain natural immunity to some of the most common poisons of the Assassins' Handbook. And the need to watch every drop of water puts all food production - yeast culture, hydroponics, chemavit, everything - under the strictlest surveillance. We cannot kill of large segments of our population with poison - and we cannot be attacked this way, either. Arrakis makes us moral and ethical."

"It's basically a micro-sandwich - a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system. The skin contact layer's porous. Perspiration passes through it, having cooled the body... near-normal evaporation process. The next two layers include heat-exchange filaments and salt precipitators. Salt's reclaimed.

"Motions of the body, especially breathing, and some osmotic actions provide the pumping force. Reclaimed water circulates to catchpockets from which you draw it through this tube in the clip at your back.

"Urine and feces are processed in the thigh-pads. In the open desert, you wear this filter across your face, this tube in the nostrils with these plugs to insure a tight fit. Breathe in through the mouth filter, out through the nose tube. With a Fremen suit in good working order, you won't lose more than a thimblefull of moisture a day - even if you're caught in the Great Erg...

"Properly suited, your forehead cap tight, all seals in order, your major water loss is through the palms of your hands."

"Ah-h, the worms," the Duke said. "I must see one sometime."

"You may see one today," Kynes said. "Wherever there is spice, there are worms."

"Always?" Halleck asked.


"... if a worm's hunting you, there's not much time. Frequently, you have no more than fifteen or twenty minutes."

"What would you advise?" the Duke asked.

"Never travel alone."

The Duke turned his attention from the controls. "That's all?"

"That's all. Never travel alone."

"What if you are separated by a storm, and forced down?" Halleck asked. "Isn't there anything you could do?"

"Anything covers much territory," Kynes said.

"What woud you do?" Paul asked.

"I'd remember to protect the integrity of my stillsuit. If I were outside the worm zone or in rock, I'd stay in the ship. If I were down in open sand, I'd get away from the ship as fast as I could. About a thousand meters would be far enough. Then I'd hide beneath my robe. A worm could get the ship, but it might miss me."

"Then what?" Halleck asked.

Kynes shrugged. "Wait for the worm to leave".

"That's all?" Paul asked.

"When the worm has gone, one may try to walk out," Kynes said. "You must walk softly, avoid drum sands, tidal dust basins - head for the nearest rock zone. There are many such zones. You might make it."

"Drum sand?" Halleck asked.

"A comdition of sand compaction," Kynes said. "The slightest step sets it drumming. Worms always come to that.

"And a tidal dust basin?" the Duke asked.

"Certain depressions in the dessert have filled with dust over the centuries. Some are so vast they have currents and tides. All will swallow the unwary who step into them."

There is no escape - we pay for the violence of our ancestors.

"Humans live best when each has his own place, when each knows where he belongs in the scheme of things. Destroy the place and destroy the person.

Mood's a thing for cattle or making love. You fight when the necessity arises, no matter your mood.

Parting with people is a sadness; a place is only a place.

A time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; a time for love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.

"A poison - so subtle, so insidious... so irreversible. It won't even kill you unless you stop taking it. We can't leave Arrakis unless we take part of Arrakis with us."

My father once told me that respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. "Something cannot emerge from nothing, " he said. This is profound thinking if you understand how unstable "the truth" can be.

"Any man who retreats into a cave which has only one opening deserves to die."

"Do not spend thoughts on a matter which has not been proved."

A plan depends as much upon execution as it does upon concept.

If you rely only on your eyes, your other senses weaken.

"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear's path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

What do you despise? By this you are truly known.

"You must be the carnivore, my boy. A carnivore never stops. Show no mercy. Never stop. Mercy is a chimera. It can be defeated by the stomach rumbling its hunger, by the throat crying it thirst. You must be always hungry and thirsty. Like me."

At the age of fifteen, he had already learned silence.

"Drink all your water," Paul said. "Axiom: the best place to conserve water is in your body. It keeps your energy up. You're stronger. Trust your still suit."

We came from Caladan - a paradise world for our form of life. There existed no need on Caladan to build a physical paradise or a paradise of the mind - we could see the actuality all around us. And the price we paid was the price men have always paid for achieving a paradise in this life - we went soft, we lost our edge.

I drove my feet through a desert
Whose mirage fluttered like a host.
Voracious for glory, greey for danger,
I roamed the horizons of al'Kulab,
Watching time level mountains
In its search and its hunger for me.
And I saw the sparrows swiftly approached,
Bolder than the onrushing wolf.
They spread in the tree of my youth
I heard the flock in my branches
And was caught on their beaks and claws!

Arrakis Awakening

"The highest function of ecology is understanding consequences."

"The Arrakeen environment built itself into the evolutionary pattern of native life forms. How strange that so few people ever looked up from the spice long enough to wonder at the near-ideal nitrogen-oxygen-CO2 balance being maintained here in the absense of large areas of plant-cover. The energy sphere of the planet is there to see and understand - a relentless process, but a process nonetheless. There is a gap in it? Then something occupied that gap. Science is made up of so many things that appear obvious after they are explained. I knew the little maker was there, deep in the sand, long before I ever saw it."

"Men and their works have been a disease on the surface of their planet before now. Nature tends to compensate for diseases, to remove or encapsulate them, to incorporate them into the system in their own way."

He felt the bubble lift him, felt it break and the dust whirlpool engulf him, dragging him down into cool darkness. For a moment, the sensation of coolness and the moisture were blessed relief. Then, as his planet killed him, it occured to Kynes that his father and all the other scientists were wrong, that the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error.

"When we slip into the villages and towns we must mask our origin, blend with the pan and graben folk," Stilgar said. "We carry no weapons, for the crysknife is sacred. But you woman, you have the weirding ability of battle. We'd only heard of it and many doubted, but one cannot doubt what he sees with his own eyes. You mastered an arned Fremen. This is a weapon no search could expose."

"Out here, we carry no paper for contracts. We make no evening promises to be broken at dawn. When a man says a thing, that's the contract."

The Fremen were supreme in that quality the ancients called "spannungsgogen" - which is the self-imposed delay between desire for a thing and the act of reaching out to grasp that thing.

Paradise on my right, Hell on my left and the Angel of Death behind.

"We bribe the Guild with a monstrous payment in spice to keep our skies clear of satellites and such that none may spy what we do to the face of Arrakis."

"And what is it you do to the face of Arrakis that must not be seen?"

"We change it... slowly but with certainty... to make it fit for human life. Our generation will not see it, nor our children nor our children's children nor the grandchildren of their children... but it will come... Open water and tall green plants and people walking freely without stillsuits."

"A leader is one of the things that distinguishes a mob from a people. He maintains the level of individuals. Too few individuals and a people reverts to a mob."

"When in doubt of your surface, bare feet are best."

"The good knife fighter thinks on point and blade and shearing-guard simultaneously. The point can also cut; the blade can also stab; the shearing guard can also trap your opponent's blade."

"When your oponent fears you, then's the moment when you give the fear its own rein, give it the time to work on him. Let it become terror. The terrified man fights himself."

"Keep the mind on the knife and not on the hand that holds it. The knife is more dangerous than the hand and the knife can be in either hand."

"Killing with the point lacks artistry, but don't let that hold your hand when the opening presents itself."

"I see strength in your... like the strength beneath a pillar. You shall be known amond us as Usul, the base of the pillar. This is your secret name, your troop name. Now, what name of manhood do you choose for us to call you openly?" Stigar asked.

"How do you call among you the little mouse, the mouse that jumps?"

"We call that one muad'dib."

The meeting between ignorance and knowledge, between brutality and culture - it begins in the dignity with which we treat our dead.

"I was a friend of Jamis," Paul whispered. "Jamis taught me... that... when you kill... you pay for it."

She focused on the words: "He gives moisture to the dead." It was a gift to the shadow world - tears. They would be sacred beyond a doubt.

Nothing on this planet had so forcefully hammered into here the ultimate value of water. Not the water-sellers, not the dried skins of the natives, nor the stillsuits or the rules of water discipline. Here there was a substance more precious than all others - it was life itself and entwined all around with symbolism and ritual.


The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future.

"Anger is one thing, violence another."

"There is a Bene Gesserit saying," she said.

"You have sayings for everything," he protested.

"You'll like this one," she said. "It goes: Do not count a human dead until you've seen his body. And even then you can make a mistake."

Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.

"The Padisha Emperor turned against House Atreides because the Duke's Warmasters Gurnet Halleck and Duncan Idaho had trained a fighting force - a small fighting force to within a hair as good as the Sardaukar. Some of them were even better. And the Duke was in a position to enlarge his force, to make it every bit as strong as the Emperor's.

The Baron weighed this disclosure, then: "What has Arrakis to do with this?"

"It provides a pool of recruits already conditioned to the bitterest survival training."

The Baron shook his head. "You cannot mean the Fremen?"

"I mean the Fremen."

"Hah! Then why warn Rabban? There cannot be more than a handful of Fremen left after the Sardaukar pogrom and Rabban's oppression... Not more than a handful! Rabban killed six thousand of them last year alone!... And the year before it was nine thousand. And before they left, the Sardaukar must've accounted for at least twenty thousand."

"What are Rabban's troop losses for the past two years?"

"Well, he has been recruiting rather heavily, to be sure. His agents make rather extravagant promises and - "

"Shall we say thirty thousand in round numbers?"

"That would seem a little high," the Baron said.

"Quite on the contrary," Hawat said. "I can read between the lines of Rabban's reports as well as you can. And you certainly must have understood my reports from our agents."

"Arrakis is a fierce planet," the Baron said. "Storm losses can -"

"We both know the figure for storm accretion."

"What if he has lost thirty thousand?"

"By your own count, he killed fifteen thousand over two years while losing twice that number. You say the Sardaukar accounted for another twenty thousand, possibly a few more. And I've seen the transportation manifests for our return from Arrakis. If they killed twenty thousand, they lost almost five for one. Why don't you face the figures, Baron, and understand what they mean?"

"This is your job, Mentat. What do they mean?"

"I gave you Duncan Idaho's head count on the sietch he visited. It all fits. If they had just two hundred and fifty such communities, their population would be about five million. My best estimate is that they had at least twice that many communites. You scatter your population on such a planet."

"Ten million?"

"At least."

There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace - thse qualities you find always in that the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of the creosote bush of the pattern of its leaves. We try to copy these patterns in our lives and in our society, seeking the rhythms, the dances, the forms that comfort. Yet, it is possible to see peril in the finding of ultimate perfection. It is clear that the ultimate pattern contains its own fixity. In such perfection, all things move towards death.

"When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movement becomes headlong - faster and faster and faster. they put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a bland rush until it's too late."

"The Fremen has a simple, practical religion."

"Nothing about religion is simple."

You cannot avoid the interplay of politics within an orthodox religion. This power struggle permeates the training, educating and disciplining of the orthodox community. Because of this pressure, the leaders of such a community inevitably must face the ultimate internal question: to succumb to complete opportunism as the price of maintaining their rule, or risk sacrificing themselves for the sake of the orthodox ethic.

"One of the most terrible moments in a boy's life is when he discovers his father and mother are human beings who share a love that he can never quite taste. It's a loss, an awakening to the fact that the world is there and here and we are in it alone."

"The space above Arrakis is filled with the ships of the Guild. The Padishah Emperor himself is there. With his favorite Truthsayer and five legions of Sardaukar. The old Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is there with Thufir Hawat and seven ships jammed with every conscript he could muster. Every Great House has its raiders above us... waiting."

"For what are they waiting?"

"For the Guild's permission to land. Tha Guild will strand on Arrakis any force that lands without permission."

"The Guild's protecting us?"

"Protecting us! The Guild itself caused this by spreading tales about what we do here and by reducing tropp transport fares to a point where even the poorest Houses are up there now waiting to loot us."

"Mother, you must change a quantity of the Water for us. We need the catalyst. Chani, have a scout force sent out... to find a pre-spice mass. If we plant a quantity of the Water of Life above a pre-spice mass, do you know what will happen? The Water of Death. It'd be a chain reaction. Spreading death among the little makers, killing a vector of the life cycle that includes that spice and the makers. Arrakis will become a true desolation - without spice or maker.

"He who can destroy a thing has the real control of it. We can destroy the spice."

He was warrior and mystic, ogre and saint, the fox and the innocent, chivalrous, ruthless, less than a god, more than a man. There is no measuring Muah'Dib's motives by ordinary standards. In the moment of his triumph, he saw the death prepared for him. Can you say he did this out of a sense of justice? Whose justice, then? Remember, we speak now of the Muah'Dib who ordered battle drums made from his enemies' skins, the Muah'Dib who denied the conventions of his ducal past with a wave of the hand, saying merely: "I am the Kwisatz Haderach. That is reason enough."

"Gurney," Paul whispered. "Since we've been rejoined I've yet to hear you produce the proper quotation for the event."

"As you wish , m'Lord. 'And that victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son.'"

"The eye that looks ahead to the safe course is closed forever."

"Observe her, comrades! This is Bene Gesserit Reveremd Mother, patient in a patient cause. She could wait with her sisters - ninety generations for the proper combination of genes and environment to produce the one person their schemes require. Observer her! She knows now the ninety generations have produced that person. Here I stand... but... I... will. never... do... her... bidding!"

"I remind you, m'Lord, that there's a Harkonnen in that bunch. The one with the squinting eyes there on the left. As evil a face as I ever saw. You promised me once that -"

"Thank you, Gurney," Paul said.

"It's the na-Baron... Baron now that the one man's dead. He'll do for what I have in -"

"Can you take him, Gurney?"

"M'Lord jests!"

"Majesty, is there a Harkonnen among you?"

"I believe my entourage has been placed under the protection of your ducal word."

"My question was for information only," Paul said. "I wish to know if a Harkonnen is officially a part of your entourage or a Harkonnen is merely hiding behind a technicality out of cowardice."

"Anyone accepted into the Imperial company is a member of my entourage."

"You have the word of a Duke, but Muah'Dib is another matter. He may not recognise your definition of what constitutes an entourage. My friend Gurney Hallack wishes to kill a Harkonnen."

"The Fremen have the word of Muah'Dib. There will be flowing water here open to the sky and green oases green with good things. But we have the spice to think of, too. Thus, there will alwas be desert on Arrakis... and fierce winds, and trials to toughen a man. We Fremen has a saying: 'God create Arrakis to train the faithful.' One cannot go against the word of God."

"I know the reasons," Chani whispered. "If it must be, Usul..."

"My sihaya need fear nothing, ever. You will negotiate for me, Mother, with Chani by your side. She has wisdom and sharp eyes. And it is wisely said that no one bargains tougher than a Fremen. She will be looking through the eyes of love for me and with the thought of her sons to be, what they will need. Listen to her."

"What are your instructions?"

"The Emperor's entire CHOAM Company holdings as dowry."


"He is to be stripped. I'll want an earldom and CHOAM directorship for Gurney Hallack, and him in the fief of Caladan. There will be titles and attendant power for every surviving Atriedes man, not excepting the lowliest trooper."

"What of the Fremen?" Jessica asked.

"The Fremen are mine," Paul said. "What they received shall be dispensed by Muah'Dib. It'll begin with Stilgar as Governor on Arrakis, but that can wait."

"No title for me," Chani whispered. "Nothing, I beg of you."

"I swear to you now, that you'll need no title. That woman over there will be my wife and you but a concubine because this is a political thing and we must weld peace out of this moment, enlist the Great Houses of the Landsraad. We must obey the forms. Yet that princess shall have no more of me than my name. No child of mine nor touch nor softness of glance, nor instant of desire."

"So you say now."

"Do you know so little of my son?" Jessica whispered. "See the princes standing there, so haughty and confident. They say she has pretensions of a literary nature. Let us hope she finds solace in such things: she'll have little else. Think on it Chani: the princess will have the name, yet she'll live less than a concubine - never to know a moment of tenderness from the man to whom she's bound. While we, Chani, we who carry the name of concubine - history will call us wives."