The Scattering

The Scattering is a fictional event that takes place in Frank Herbert's "Dune" universe. It is explained, and its after-effects explored, in Herbert's "Heretics of Dune" (1984) and "Chapterhouse Dune" (1985). The story plays out further in the Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson sequels to the original series, "Hunters of Dune" (2006) and "Sandworms of Dune" (2007).

The original series

According to "Heretics of Dune", when the 3,500 year reign of God Emperor Leto II comes to an end with his death at the end of "God Emperor of Dune" (1981), humanity is thrown into chaos. The breakdown of Leto's empire, severe famine on many worlds and the introduction of Ixian navigation machines causes billions of people to leave the settled worlds, striking off into unknown space. This resettlement is one of the goals of Leto's Golden Path, a plan for the survival of humanity. The exponential growth in human numbers and colonized planets, combined with the dissemination of Siona Atreides' genes which render their bearer invisible to prescience, ensures humanity's survival by making it impossible for any one force to track down every human in the universe — at least some would survive somewhere.

The Scattering is also used to refer to the region in space in which the people who flee the Famine Times had settled. The people who had gone out into The Scattering are often referred to as the "Lost Ones."

In "Heretics of Dune", the descendants and "creations" of these Lost Ones have begun to return to the Old Empire, including the fierce Honored Matres and a new breed of Tleilaxu.

"Hunters of Dune"

In this sequel to the original series, the so-called Lost Tleilaxu are at odds with their forebears, and soon ally with the Honored Matres to obliterate nearly all Tleilaxu planets. It is ultimately revealed that the Lost Tleilaxu leadership has been infiltrated and overtaken by the newest incarnation of Face Dancers, who have secretly gained control of many similar power bases across the Old Empire. Finally, it is established that the force behind this plot against humanity is in fact mankind's ancient enemy, the thinking machines.


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