ought to be. The gaps called out to him in dreams. And sometimes when he fell into reverie, faces appeared before him. He could almost hear words. Then there were times he knew the names of things before anyone told him. Especially names of weapons.

Momentous things grew in his awareness. This entire planet would become desert, a change started because Honored Matres wanted to kill these Bene Gesserit who raised him.

Reverend Mothers who controlled his life often awed him - black-robed, austere, those blue-in-blue eyes with absolutely no white. The spice did that, they said.

Only Odrade showed him anything he took for real affection and Odrade was someone very important. Everyone called her Mother Superior and that was what she told him to call her except when they were alone in the orchards. Then he could call her Mother.

On a morning walk near harvest time in his ninth year, just over the third rise in the apple orchards north of Central, they came on a shallow depression free of trees and lush with many different plants. Odrade put a hand on his shoulder and held him where they could admire black stepping-stones in a meander track through massed greenery and tiny flowers. She was in an odd mood. He heard it in her voice.

'Ownership is an interesting question,' she said. 'Do we own this planet or does it own us?'

' I like the smells here,' he said.

She released him and urged him gently ahead of her. 'We planted for the nose here, Miles. Aromatic herbs. Study them carefully and look them up when you get back to the library. Oh, do step on them!' when he started to avoid a plant runner in his path.

He placed his right foot firmly on green tendrils and inhaled pungent odors.

'They were made to be walked on and give up their savor,' Odrade said. 'Proctors have been teaching you how to deal with nostalgia. Have they told you nostalgia often is driven by the sense of smell?'

'Yes, Mother.' Turning to look back at where he had stepped, he said: 'That's rosemary.'

'How do you know?' Very intense.

He shrugged. 'I just know.'

'That may be an original memory.' She sounded pleased.

As they continued their walk in the aromatic hollow, Odrade's voice once more became pensive. 'Each planet has its own character where we draw patterns of Old Earth. Sometimes, it's only a faint sketch, but here we have succeeded.'

She knelt and pulled a twig from an acid-green plant. Crushing it in her fingers, she held it to his nose. 'Sage.'

She was right but he could not say how he knew.

'I've smelled that in food. Is that like melange?'

'It improves flavor but won't change consciousness.' She stood and looked down at him from her full height. 'Mark this place well, Miles. Our ancestral worlds are gone, but here we have recaptured part of our origins.'

He sensed she was teaching him something important. He asked Odrade: 'Why did you wonder if this planet owned us?'

'My Sisterhood believes we are stewards of the land. Do you know about stewards?'

'Like Roitiro, my friend Yorgi's father. Yorgi says his oldest sister will be steward of their plantation someday.'

'Correct. We have a longer residence on some planets than any other people we know of but we are only stewards.'

'If you don't own Chapterhouse, who does?'

'Perhaps nobody. My question is: How have we marked each other, my Sisterhood and this planet?'

He looked up at her face then down at his hands. Was Chapterhouse marking him right now?

'Most of the marks are deep inside us.' She took his hand. 'Come along.' They left the aromatic dell and climbed up into Roitiro's domain, Odrade speaking as they went.

'The Sisterhood seldom creates botanical gardens,' she said. 'Gardens must support far more than eyes and nose.'


'Yes, supportive first of our lives. Gardens, produce food. That dell back there is harvested for our kitchens.'

He felt her words flow into him, lodging there among the gaps. He sensed planning for centuries ahead: trees to replace building beams, to hold watersheds, plants to keep lake and river banks from crumbling, to hold topsoil safe from rain and wind, to maintain seashores and even in the waters to make places for fish to breed. The Bene Gesserit also thought of trees for shade and shelter, or to cast interesting shadows on lawns.

'Trees and other plants for all of our symbiotic relationships,' she said.

'Symbiotic?' It was a new word.

She explained with something she knew he already had encountered - going out with others to harvest mushrooms.

'Fungi won't grow except in the company of friendly roots. Each has a symbiotic relationship with a special plant. Each growing thing takes something it needs from the other.'

She went on at length and, bored with learning, he kicked a clump of grass, then saw how she stared at him in that disturbing way. He had done something offensive. Why was it right to step on one growing thing and not on another?

'Miles! Grass keeps the wind from carrying topsoil into difficult places such as the bottoms of rivers.'

He knew that tone. Reprimanding. He stared down at the grass he had offended.

'These grasses feed our cattle. Some have seeds we eat in bread and other foods. Some cane grasses are windbreaks.'

He knew that! Trying to divert her, he said: 'Windbrakes?' spelling it.

She did not smile and he knew he had been wrong to think he could fool her. Resigned to it, he listened as she went on with the lesson.

When the desert came, she told him, grapes, their taproots down several hundred meters, probably would be the last to go. Orchards would die first.

'Why do they have to die?'

'To make room for more important life.'

'Sandworms and melange.'

He saw he had pleased her by knowing the relationship between sandworms and the spice the Bene Gesserit needed for their existence. He was not sure how that need worked but he imagined a circle: Sandworms to sandtrout to melange and back again. And the Bene Gesserit took what they needed from the circle.

He was still tired of all this teaching, and asked: 'If all these things are going to die anyway, why do I have to go back to the library and learn their names?'

'Because you're human and humans have this deep desire to classify, to apply labels to everything.'

'Why do we have to name things like that?'

'Because that way we lay claim to what we name. We assume an ownership that can be misleading and dangerous.'

So she was back on ownership.

'My street, my lake, my planet,' she said. 'My label forever. A label you give to a place or thing may not even last out your lifetime except as a polite sop granted by conquerors... or as a sound to remember in fear.'

'Dune,' he said.

'You are quick!'

'Honored Matres burned Dune.'

'They'll do the same to us if they find us.'

'Not if I'm your Bashar!' The words were out of him without thought but, once spoken, he felt they might have some truth. Library accounts said the Bashar had made enemies tremble just by appearing on a battlefield.

As though she knew what he was thinking, Odrade said: 'The Bashar Teg was just as famous for creating situations where no battle was necessary.'

'But he fought your enemies.'

'Never forget Dune, Miles. He died there.'

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