Study Guide

Dune Book II, Chapter 25

By Frank Herbert

Book II, Chapter 25

  • The ornithopter lands near Paul and Jessica. Duncan Idaho emerges, and Paul recognizes Dr. Kynes as well. Idaho explains the Fremen have a safe house nearby to, um, safely house them.
  • Paul asks about the lasgun fire over the distant cliff. Idaho smiles about some surprise when a gigantic explosion as bright as the sun goes off.
  • After things settle, Idaho tells Paul he left a shield on at full power. When the lasgun touched it, the reaction caused a subatomic explosion, meaning that the Harkonnens and Sardaukar will think twice before using lasguns again. Because when you want to really teach someone a lesson, it's best to use subatomic explosions.
  • Kynes brings Paul and Jessica to an Imperial Ecological Testing Station. All the while, he wonders why he's risking himself and his agenda to help them.
  • Paul correctly guesses the facility type and its purpose (making Arrakis a more inhabitable planet). All we can say is thank goodness we never had Paul as a classmate. His superhuman guessing abilities would totally wreck the class curve.
  • A Fremen tells Kynes that the field-generator equipment isn't working, so they cannot be masked by proximity detectors (cough—foreshadowing—cough). The Fremen drops the name Liet when talking to Kynes, revealing the doctor's Fremen alter ego.
  • Taking up the mantle of duke, Paul lays out his plans for Kynes and his mother.
  • First, Paul will get proof that the Sardaukar helped the Harkonnens defeat the Atreides. Then he'll threaten the Emperor, saying he'll reveal the treachery to the Landsraad, a move that'll cause warfare between the Imperium and the Great Houses. As Jessica nicely sums it up, the result would be "[c]haos" (25.93).
  • Universal Politics 101: For more on what a Landsraad is and why the Sardaukar helping the Harkonnens is a problem, feel free to click over to our "Setting" section where we've got all the juicy gossip on universal political studies.
  • Wait—Paul's not finished. He'll offer the Emperor an ultimatum to prevent the chaos. Since the Emperor has no sons, Paul will offer to wed his eldest daughter, securing his right to the throne and ensuring peace across the universe.
  • Paul needs Kynes's support to pull it off, though. He promises his full support to Kynes's dream of turning Arrakis into a paradise. From the throne, Paul will have unlimited coin, after all.
  • This ruffles Kynes's feathers a bit. His loyalty, it seems, does not come with a "for sale" ticket.
  • Paul apologizes for his error, and Kynes is taken by the fact that no Harkonnen ever apologized.
  • Paul redefines his offer. He'll remain completely loyal to Kynes and his goals if Kynes will do the same for him.
  • Before Paul and Kynes can shake on the deal, there is a ruckus outside. Isn't that always the way of it?
  • Through the open door, Paul sees Duncan Idaho fighting savagely with Sardaukar warriors. He's been injured—a "'tis but a flesh wound" type of injury.
  • Both Kynes and Paul leap up and slam the door shut, signaling the end for Idaho. It appears Kynes has thrown in his lot with the Atreides after all.
  • If only Kynes had a secret passage of some sort, perhaps behind a cabinet or something. Oh, wait—he does.
  • Kynes sends Jessica and Paul down one passage marked with green arrows that conveniently disappear after someone crosses them. Seriously? Any other plot saving devices up your sleeve there, Kynes? Maybe a transportation watch or a deus ex machina gun?
  • At the end of the passage Paul and Jessica follow is an ornithopter. Their only hope is to flee into the oncoming storm.
  • Anyway, Kynes says he'll find another passage. If he's captured, well, what are they going to do? He's the Imperial Planetologist after all.
  • The gang splits up Scooby-Doo style. Jessica considers "the plans within plans within plans" they've caught themselves in again (25.155).
  • They find the ornithopter and take off. They head for the sandstorm while Harkonnen artillery rocks the boat. Another ship follows them.
  • Paul flies straight into the sandy maelstrom. Jessica tries to use her Bene Gesserit training to keep composure, but she's in the middle of a storm that can shed metal like butter. Yeah, she doesn't do so well.
  • Paul rides out the storm at a high altitude, as Kynes suggested, reciting the Bene Gesserit mantra on fear as he goes.