Bene Tleilax

Bene Tlielax
Name: Bene Tleilax (Tleilaxu)
Organisation Type: Scientific, relegious (zen-sufi)
Center of Operations: Tleilax
Equipment and abilities: Genetic dexterity, Face Dancers, gholas. spice production (post God emperor), metal eyes, chairdogs (post God Emperor), sligs (post God Emperor)
Function: Providing genetic prosthetics such as eyes, creating gholas and Facedancers. Later: Spreading of religious ideologies.
Intentions: Continuation of their meritocracy.

"The vile, detestable, dirty Tleilaxu! The stupid Tleilaxu! The predictable Tleilaxu! The impetuous Tleilaxu!"
-Tylwyth Waff, Master of Masters

Organisational Information

The Bene Tleilax, known colloquially as the Tleilaxu, were an organisation existing on the outskirts of the Imperium that specialised in the production of numerous technologies and genetics, many of which were considered a-moral, and distributed these products around the paying factions of the Imperium. Among the most common of these were gholas and prosthetics, though, after the fall of Leto II, they produced a number of other products, such as chairdogs, sligs and even genetically created Melange, thus breaking the monopoly on Arrakis. The Bene Tleilax, though possessive of near-equal power to a Great House of the Landsraad, were secretive, and existed outside of the feudal system of the Imperium. Because ofthis, tied with their a-moral genetic practices, they were generally distrusted and despised. There is a strong strain of xenophobia in the Tleilaxu. Outsiders or "powindah" were considered "unclean" and inferior. Guests to the Tleilaxu worlds were not permitted to freely mingle with the Tleilaxu but were segregated into "sterile" areas, their presence only tolerated for the purposes of commerce.At the apex of the Tleilaxu community were the "Masters". Masters served the community while exercising considerable latitude of choice. They would assemble in meetings, at holy places known as "kehls" where they would consider important decisions while "feeling the presence of their God". Masters exercised control of decisions with respect to Genetics. Many were avid researchers who "spoke parts of the language of God", their term for the arrangements of DNA. They were somewhat capable of reproduction but it is unclear if their "depositing sperm at the selamliks" had other meanings. Beneath the Masters were "Dhomel" or Face Dancers, who would respond to commands from the Masters while at the same time acting on their own in more limited ways. Face Dancers were incapable of reproduction and could emulate either male or female roles, complete with appropriate genitalia that they would "fashion" by wishing it. Earlier forms of Face Dancer obeyed the commands of the Masters and were at their command but were able to solve problems and accomplish their missions independently. In due time the Dhomel were able to not only adopt the appearance and mannerisms of those whom they imitated but were able to absorb some of their memories much like how a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother absorbs memories. The Tleilaxu had neglected to consider that these augmented Face Dancers might be able to adopt their own sense of "self" and might slip beyond the control of the Masters. This eventually did occur, to the extent that the Dhomel would be forced to punish a Master who presumed to command them. Besides the Dhomel there were various genetic products, for example, Sligs. Other products included "twisted" Mentats, totally compliant sexual playmates, slaves and other menials. The Tleilaxu were flexible merchants capable of producing almost any living object, including "Reverend Mothers" for sale to the Bene Gesserit or even their own version of the "Kwisatz Haderach" which according to Scytale the Face Dancer "destroyed itself". It was believed that all Tleilaxu products were ultimately designed to obey the wishes of the Tleilaxu themselves and would under certain circumstances betray their possessors. This, coupled with the generally "slimy" reputation of the Tleilaxu, ensured that "powindah" would not intrude into their worlds. An anomalous product of the Tleilaxu were gholas, essentially resurrected individuals. For a time only the body was resurrected but it was discovered that through intense emotional pressure that sometimes a ghola's "original" memories could be awakened. In the case of the "Duncan Idaho" gholas the Tleilaxu were able to create a chimera Duncan which contained parts of many if not all of the Leto Idahos. Upon application of sufficient pressure this chimera Idaho "remembered" all of the previous incarnations of Duncans, including their moments of death. The "Great Kehl" was populated by gholas of Masters, all of whom would chose to ressurect themselves from time to time in order to continue to serve. The mainstay of Tleilaxu technology was the "Axlotl Tank". This device was eventually discovered to be a human female whose womb was modified by changes in her genetics to produce various products. The "Axlotl Tank" did not possess any sapience but was simply a melding of machine and flesh which did the bidding of the Masters, somewhat akin to livestock. The use of the Axlotl Tank dehumanizes females while at the same time explains the absence of "Tleilaxu females". The Bene Tleilax were themselves products of of their own technology, each fulfilling a separate role within the Tleilaxu community. The Axlotl Tank and its secrets were closely held by the Tleilaxu. The Bene Tleilax were governed by a meritocracy, a political system rewarding merit and achievement with power, and controlled a number of planets, chief among which was their home planet of Tleilax. and its capital city, Bandalong. Their Faith, known to them as the "Great Belief", did not preclude them from having a "Department of Religious" engineering. Whether this was due to some sort of cynicism or due to their contempt of "powindah" is not clear.Another important Tleilaxu ethic was the notion of providing every victim of a trap with a potential route of escape but not making that route plainly obvious. There is a paradox in this that one wants to leave an avenue of escape plainly visible in order to dampen ardor yet allowing a victim who is clever enough to escape a "way out" tends over time to favor smarter victims, thus increasing the threats to the Tleilaxu. There was apparently a deeper reason, perhaps pertaining to the "Great Belief". Eventually the Tleilaxu homeworlds were dominated by the Honored Matres, who were fleeing "Those of many faces" who harbored a disease which made "vegetables" of them. These augmented Face Dancers also controlled an intelligent carnivore known as a "Futar" which was intended to aid these augmented Face Dancers in their battle against the Honored Matres. The Futars were directly controlled by "handlers" who may well have been augmented Face Dancers themselves. The fact that the Tleilaxu homeworlds elected to cooperate with the Honored Matres did not spare them. Eventually they were all incinerated.

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