“But he can’t do it in twenty-four hours, can he?”
Creepy sandworm-man Leto II, son of Paul Atreides (known by about 300.79 names in including but not limited to: “The Base of the Pilaf,” “The Shortening of the Waif,” the “Lisan Abu-Ghraib,” the “Kwickstash Hackeysack” in Bene Gesserish, and, in later books, simply “That Damn Atreides”) in Kevin J. Anderson’s classic Dune series, deems that by merit of his abilities, like his father, to be many places at once (sounds like the plot of an episode of every sitcom ever, doesn’t it?), he will take it upon himself to save humankind in what he calls the Golden Path.
Early Inspiration, Ambitions, and Accomplishments
Allegedly inspired by munchkins in Kansas while on one of his “trips” (likely induced by an overdose of the narcotic Spice his grandmother forced on him– don’t ask), in efforts to avoid copyright infringement, Leto changed “Yellow Brick Road” to “Golden Path,” and told the conniving Lollipop League that he would break their monopoly on intergalactic transport if they pressed charges. With this threat over their heads, the head munchkin, the Tleilaxu mob boss known as Waff, did not insist that Leto register with his home state even when Leto claimed numerous times that he wanted to be the greatest predator ever.
Because the extension of life brought about by addiction to a drug made from exploded sandworm bits just wasn’t enough for Leto, he decided to become a worm himself, covering his body with a drier, leathery, cilia-covered form of the modern-day leech (although it’s history is not commonly known, the new teen rage, SLOM-ing, actually comes from the life of Leto II). Over a period of 3,500 years, Leto’s worm-like body grew to such enormous lengths that it could only be supported by special machines made in violation of the Great Convention, finally forcing Leto to use his massive bulk to crush that group of nerdy debate kids who had been hogging the nicest boardroom for way too long.
While immune to most poisons because of his no-longer-human body chemistry and impervious to sharp knives, lasguns, kryptonite, and even Fayed from 24’s scariest suitcase atomic bombs, Leto could be killed by inundation in water and Buzz Lightyear’s laser beam (even while just set on stun mode). For that reason, the so-called God Emperor sent out his hordes of Fish Speakers (which he carefully cultivated through his breeding program from ancient Terran singing bass) to destroy all things mechanical and computer-like which were made in the image of a person, thus fueling the Buzzlerian Jihad. However, so as to avoid blame, Leto used his immense powers as the son of the Kiwiscratch Hannibal to project this event way back in time. Pretty cool.
Leto's Weaknesses and the Strategy of the Rebellion
Water, though, was a problem Leto II could not easily avoid. Leto's home planet of Dune aka Arrakis aka Rakis aka Spice World (the inspiration for a nicely seasoned singing sensation back on Earth) was originally extremely dry and arid due to the presence of sandtrout (the aforementioned “leeches”) that would suck up all the water in the ground. Leto, the new sandtrout overlord, called the little buggers to himself like a homing beacon, thus inadvertently opening the floodgates, an occurrence that was aided and abetted by the Fish Speaker army, who, despite millennia of evolution, still liked to splash around in the water.
The water surplus on Dune was a situation taken advantage of to great effect by Duncan Idaho– Leto I, Paul Moldy’Rib, and Leto II’s best friend (who Leto II cloned and subsequently killed off over and over over the centuries of his totalitarian administration).
(Archiver's Note: For the purposes of this history, “clone” will be used as the shorthand form of “re-gola-ify” which is the proper verb according to the Tleilaxu and the Oral History. The process of re-ghola-ifying, however, is notably different from cloning, as, while cloning is a hotly debated topic in the political arena of ancient Terra, the nerdy delegates to the Great Convention have not even placed gholas on the docket to be discussed. Besides, Leto’s thought police have deemed misinformation of this nature doubleplusgood!)
Hoping to thwart Leto’s still vaguely understood Golden Path, Duncan climbed a sheer mile-high cliff using only his hands and caused a bridge to collapse, drowning Leto and, sadly, his beloved Ambassador Hwi Noree (gesunheit!). For this reason, grateful crowds nicknamed Duncan Idaho “Dunkin’ Idaho” or, on those planets with the highest population of mentats (who were distressed by this grammatical incorrectness), “Dunk into the Idaho” as the rive Leto drowned in was named for his killer.
Ironically, this was just the end that Leto II wanted for his Golden Path, his psychic powers having showed him that when he died from water poisoning, his sandworm body would explode and start a new cycle of life on Arrakis, drying out the land again and providing renewed sources for the depleted Spice reservoirs. Also, when people realized how creepy the whole situation was, they left in massive waves out into the rest of the Duniverse in an event called “The Scattering.” And, in the event that someone as equally weird but even more predatory than Leto II ever came along, humanity would never be wiped out completely, kind of like cockroaches, due to the special jeans of Siona Atreides, a rebel accomplice of Dunkin’ Duncan which, when worn, made anybody disappear from prescient vision.