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Enc2 This article or section refers to elements from The Dune Encyclopedia.
There are separate pages for this subject as it appears in the other canons, the reasons for this are explained [[../XD#Behind the Scenes|here]]

Ibrahim Vaughn Holtzman (7593 BG-108 BG) was a son of a planetary governor turned into a thinking machine journeying in space around his planet. He pondered on significant theories and discoveries during his isolation, such as the Holtzman Effect which he transmitted to humans during his periodical returns.

Early lifeEdit

He was born on Liesco II during the Great Dark Ages to a planetary governor. He had been a mathematical genius and was most interested in the suspensor-nullification effect. He was an early sport ornithopterist until nearly killed in an accident in a racing ornithopter in 7565 BG.

He survived thanks to the advanced medical sciences of the planet; he became one of the first individuals whose brain was transplanted in a prototype axolotl tank wired to a computer. Holtzman acquired thought-processing speed at least 30 times faster than that of a normal human and, as a result, contemplated and learned more about the suspensor-nullification effect than the best minds of the previous 5000 years. However, he was marred by psychosis and paranoia.

Escape and journeyEdit

In his paranoia, Holtzman imagined that he was persecuted, and desired time to ponder in isolation. He tapped into the production network of the planet under the guise of the chief engineer of House Holtzman, ordering the construction of a new style of spaceship. Then, in 7562 BG, he managed to present release papers, summarily discharging from the hospital he was interred in, and was somehow placed aboard the new ship. He then managed to procure takeoff clearances, tricking the scheduling comp into queuing his ship into the take-off line ahead of other waiting ships. He disappeared into The Void before anyone could stop him.

Holtzman entered a cometary orbit attaining perihelion in 7556 BG, nine years away. In the following years, Holtzman covertly copied the data of the library comps of the planet into his own storage, absorbing all the knowledge they contained. This resulted in interruptions of the planetary library comps' transmissions. Eventually, he transmitted an anonymous message via Holtzman Waves to his imagined persecutors, a strange amalgam of random accusations. Subsequently, he used the planetary mass of Liesco II itself to emit his next messages, explaining his discoveries to the excitement of the academic community of the planet.

However, Governor Holtzman feared that his insane son would become dangerous and, for the next nine years, he sent patrols to search the Liesco system for "the Mad Holtzman" ship. In 7556 BG a patrol scout received a radar image of the ship and, joined by two cutters, moved in to destroy him. Holtzman sent a distress wave message to the six nearest inhabited systems, detailing an instantaneous interstellar comm device. This was information that, allegedly, his father intended to keep for himself. All systems, save one, replied to the message immediately.[1]

During the pursuit, his suspensor-nullification field's manipulators were ripped apart by two extremely long-range shots from his attackers, causing the stern of his ship to blow apart. Unable to maneuver, he was thrown into an uncharted orbit. He then used his remaining power to transmit data for the construction of Holtzman Wave transmitters via a quick wave pulse to every inhabited star system he could aim at.

Isolation in spaceEdit

Following the crippling of his ship, he placed himself into an inactive state, scheduling a wake-up procedure after 1862 years. This would occur when his new and highly eccentric orbit would bring him back into the Liesco system and within panel range from the star.

Second returnEdit

His scientific contributions before his isolation resulted in the rapid development of Holtzman Wave generators, which brought on the Wars of Reunification. These struggles were so ferocious that Holzman did not reveal his existence in 5694 BG during his second return, although he managed to make repairs within the limits of his damaged servos and discovered the curious existence of the point-source nodes.

Third returnEdit

By his third return around 3832 BG, Liesco had become a prison world administered by a few orbital comps. Detecting no malevolent activity, Holtzman sent a brief wave message to the planet. This message was detected by these machines, who then sent emergency calls to the Provincial Warden's office on Maktiun III. The Warden thought that the prisoners managed to construct a transmitter and sent technicians to investigate. Still paranoid that they would move against him, Holtzman published (of course, in what was by then considered the archaic speech of the Great Dark Ages) his discovery of the Planar Effect and dropped back into quiescence.

The technicians, seeing that all accounts reported Holtzman dead by the skirmish centuries ago, suspected a hoax; whereas, no malfunction was discovered in the comps' operations. Meanwhile, a historian contacted by the Warden recognized the archaic speech of the Great Dark Ages in those recordings, verifying plausible legitimacy. Additionally, a theoretical wave mechanic, named Staivan, attempted to follow the instructions within the transmission and successfully generated a Node for this Planar Effect, resulting to the first manufactured Shield. Staivan then reported to the Warden that the messages were not a hoax.

The Warden sent a wave to Liesco demanding more information, and Holtzman broadcast a brief biography promising to be back in the next millennia. He then sent a last message to the systems within range about his latest discovery before powering down. Eventually, the Planar Effect led to the creation of the Defensive Shield.

Fourth returnEdit

By 1970 BG when Holtzman made his fourth return, the Second Reunification arose and Liesco was again at war. Yet, a two month truce was made amidst the Battle of Liesco XI to welcome Holtzman, a legend expected to return. The combatants bracketed the perigee of Holtzman's approach, who then published his Unified Effect Theory, linking the various effects into a single hierarchy of phenomena. During that visit, Holtzman seemed communicative and less insane, but still would not discuss his "work in progress" where he could "see the end" for which he stated that he needed only a few more days. Still, he denied to make his orbit known, and threatened that a Planar Field booby-trap would trigger in case someone attempted to capture him.

Fifth returnEdit

His last return occurred in 108 BG, near the end of the Butlerian Jihad. By then, however, Holtzman was thought to be the last thinking machine and was expected to return only to be destroyed; pilgrims had amassed in space around Liesco to witness the elimination of the final symbol of the old order of the machines (so many of them, in fact, that many of their ships suffered collisions). The Jihad fleet did not try to communicate with Holtzman, but found his ship after three days. Viana Kellis won the lot cast to sacrifice herself in killing him, making his preventative measures of self-preservation ineffective. She suited up and infiltrated his ship, presumably triggering his Planar Field device, thereby causing a mass-conversion reaction that was witnessed by the Jihad fleet. The explosion obviously destroyed both Kellis and Holtzman.

Holtzman's last discoveries were never made known.


  1. The encyclopedia doesn't mention how they replied

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