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HERBERT, Frank



Dune

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When the sandstorm came howling up from south, Pardot Kynes was more interested in taking meteorological readings than in seeking safety. His son Liet--only twelve years old, but raised in the harsh ways of the desert--ran an appraising eye over the ancient weather pod they had found in the abandoned botanical testing station. He was not confident the machine would function at all.

Then Liet gazed back across the sea of dunes toward the approaching tempest. "The wind of the demon in the open desert. Hulasikali Wala."

"Coriolis storm," Kynes corrected, using a scientific term instead of the Fremen one his son had selected. "Winds across the open flatlands are amplified by the planet's revolutionary motion. Gusts can reach speeds up to seven hundred kilometers per hour."

As his father talked, the young man busied himself sealing the egg-shaped weather pod, checking the vent closures, the heavy doorway hatch, the stored emergency supplies. He ignored their signal generator and distress beacon; the static from the sandstorm would rip any transmissions to electromagnetic shreds.

In pampered societies Liet would have been considered a boy, but life among the hard-edged Fremen had given him a tightly coiled adulthood that few others achieved even at twice his age. He was better equipped to handle an emergency than his father.

The elder Kynes scratched his sandy-gray beard. "A good storm like this can stretch across four degrees of latitude." He powered up the dim screens of the pod's analytical devices. "It lifts particles to an altitude of two thousand meters and suspends them in the atmosphere, so that long after the storm passes, dust continues to fall from the sky."

Liet gave the hatch lock a final tug, satisfied that it would hold against the storm.

"The Fremen call that EI-Sayal, the 'rain of sand.'"

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