Wanna Marcus (10092 AG-?10186 AG) was a Bene Gesserit adept, wife of the Suk School doctor Yueh, who betrayed Duke Leto Atreides. Wanna Marcus was believed to have been killed by order of Baron Harkonnen. Information concerning a plot to kill Duke Leto Atreides substantiates the extent of Wanna's involvement in Bene Gesserit political infiltration plans.
Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam's journals indicate that Wanna Marcus was extremely talented, especially in the skills of truthtrance and truthsaying. She was being groomed for the role of Truthsayer and a possible place on the Cogita Vera Council. But certain developments, notably Mohiam's discovery of the young Paul's exceptional abilities, caused the Reverend Mother to alter her plans for Wanna. Believing that the time of the Kwisatz Haderach had come, Mohiam was determined to usher it in without any delay. For this purpose Wanna Marcus was selected to act as decoy. She was chosen, her order told her, because of her courage, her record of obedience, her special training, and her exquisite gifts.
Mission and deathEdit
It is unclear whether Wanna was entrusted to infiltrate the Harkonnen entourage, or whether she was taken by them against her will. Either way, the Baron was aware of her husband's intimate relationship with the Atreides and the position of responsibility the Suk doctor held in that Household. The scheme he developed with Piter de Vries turned on the strength of Yueh's love for his Bene Gesserit wife and the extent to which he could be depended upon to protect her from harm.
For Wanna's part, her commitment to the Sisterhood and its universal mission would have overcome any scruples she might have regarding Duke Leto and take precedence over allegiance to her own husband. Indeed, the Baron knew that Yueh's capitulation to the blackmail was certain if he possessed the faintest hope that his treachery could keep Wanna alive. To Baron Harkonnen love was a fatal weakness that invited assault, and he played out his accustomed part perfectly.
Historians never concluded what was Wanna's fate, if she was killed and when, and whether Yueh knew it, hoping for her freedom. Irulan maintained that Yueh's motive was not to seek Wanna's freedom, but finally to put to rest all of his private doubts about her death. When Yueh delivered Duke Leto to the Baron he discovered that Wanna had been dead a long time.
When Bronso claimed that Yueh was innocent of the treachery, he was silenced by The priesthood, accused as part of an Ixian plot to undermine the empire, Then, the Ixians released an item of hard but inconclusive evidence, a fragment of a Guild transport bill of passage, found in RRC 99-T106, that shows a party of "four Sardaukar and one female of the Bene..." This party of five traveled to Caladan about four months before Yueh and the others in the Atreides household left for Dune, spending only one evening on Caladan. On that specific date Yueh is known to have been away from the family estate, traveling on a medical inspection to a village very close to where the Guild shuttle landed. The priesthood, using this small fragment, maintained that Yueh met that Guild transport and saw Wanna alive but under guard. Having seen his beloved, Yueh agreed to betray Duke Leto, thinking thereby to free his wife.
It is impossible to confirm or deny the authenticity of the Guild fragment. Bills of passage would have been easy for the government's religious bureaucracy to obtain or forge. But of greater interest is the context within which those words appeared. Perhaps the missing word was not "Gesserit but "Tleilax." A few scholars have suggested that the fifth person in that party, if indeed there ever was such a party, was not Wanna but a Tleilaxu face dancer, perhaps hired by the Harkonnens to deceive Yueh. Yueh, who was not trained to detect face dancers, would never have suspected that he was being deceived.
The bill bears "Quizarate Proclamation 10.15.10210 and a partially obliterated Guild passage number "----/CAL 44281": the three dashes mark the position of the abbreviation for point of origin. Obviously, if that abbreviation had been GIP, one thesis is supported; if it had been TLE, the other gains authority.
The bill remained an historian's headache, raising more problems than it settles. If it had originally read "and one female of the Bene Gesserit", then it was redundant: there were no male Bene Gesserits. If it had read "and one female of the Bene Tleilax", and that female was a face dancer, then the face dancer was already in disguise — a wearying exercise — when he had no reason to be.
Wanna would be remembered, if at all, as a hapless innocent caught in the deadly Harkonnen net of pride and revenge. Wanna was told her sacrifice would hasten the day of the Kwisatz Haderach by eliminating foreseeable contingencies on both sides, Atreides and Harkonnen. It was regretted, of course, that one so brilliantly endowed should be so prematurely lost to the Sisterhood, even in such a cause.
The Bene Gesserit believed one person's weakness is another's strength. In the eyes of the Sisterhood the untimely loss of Duke Leto would prepare the way for young Paul and the rule the Bene Gesserit had awaited so long and had worked with such tenacity to achieve. Wanna Marcus was an instrument through which the order's dream would become reality. The Sisters at the Chapter House where she had been a special favorite mourned Wanna's death with quiet affection and genuine sorrow, intoning lamentations of great simplicity and pathos. And the great dramatist Harq al-Harba later celebrated the saga of Wanna's blameless life and tragic death in History of Duke Leto, Part II.
- YUEH, WELLINGTON