• The story opens on Gammu. Revered Mothe Schwangyu is discussing the gholas program and notes that this is the group's twelfth ghola.
• Schwangyu is with Reverend Mother Lucilla, who is shocked by Schwangyu's impersonal language, calling the boy ghola instead of Duncan.
• Lucilla is an Imprinter and is given the task to awaken his original memories through sex. The plan is to then turn him over to Darwi Odrade, who looks like Lucilla.
• Odrade is suppose to take Duncan to Rakis to meet with Sheeana, who they believe is a "Sandrider" that can talk to the great worms.
• Mother Superior Taraza makes a final decision to send Odrade to Rakis. She believes there are forces trying to return to pre-Tyrant conditions.
• Taraza travels to see Miles Teg, a Military Mentat, at his personal farm in Lernaeus to ask him to come out of retirement to train...
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