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Friday, September 26, 2014

Your Creation of a Motivated Agile Organization

Preserving a traditional attitude in how any commerce system continues to run smooth and efficient is often the fastest avenue to the decline of any business. Wisdom fails when a company's leadership forsakes allocating time in exploring new and better ways to employ their assets, therefore growing richer. The sin in this is getting so comfortable in the process that we neglect to conceive scenarios where day-to-day difficulties are occurring within the economic fabric of the company or the market it serves. This structural process can fail a firm's future. Successful or not a company should never get too content in their practices. Market requirements change. This requires research.

The demographics that affect your customer base will change. It is a given that groups of consumers get older, have new requirements, new technologies. These evolutions change how you run your business, altering how your clients consume. Conversely, because we live in a global society of wealth building product and service consumption, other businesses will duplicate your success. Depending on your product or service, a business can face a movement of patrons to new offshore businesses. Although the nature of some services may not be "offshore-able", staying abreast of needful changes is wise. It is important to imagine and embrace the predictabilities of transformation, which is constant. Project Managers can forecast, but the net has to be cast wide using imagination.

Project Managers are trained to anticipate change and use the age-old tool of projecting. However, natural calamities are unpredictable and fluctuations in global trade unforeseen. In order to keep satisfying the commitments to clients, your business often depends on the health of other businesses or local economies. Interruptions in deliveries or price fluctuations of raw goods can mean a disruption in business productivity. Depending on the severity of the disturbance, this is a period where a firm is tested most. It is important to develop stress tests during times of plenty. Forming development teams to stress test while your firm is healthy is not unreasonable. This is especially true for large and mid-size firms.

When a business group is large enough to form pockets or divisions with the sole purpose of successfully completing a single task, the fear of becoming redundant is pervasive. The fear of job loss is real. Whole groups within your firm consumed with the objective of project completion lacks objectivity. When a firm's work groups behave autonomously, the ability to be agile or to initiate quick procedural changes diminishes. The lack of imagination to moderate or alter a prescribed procedure is common. Rather their focus is goal oriented and regulated. A responsive team trained in the implementation of well-planned responses to unforeseen crises or changes in markets is what your business requires. This type of crew has little need for constant regulation.

They possess the nimbleness to adjust to the changes in the markets that your firm depends on to remain healthy. This goes a long way in maintaining your market currency; therefore increasing your business success. Business processes must be organic in order to continue to be wealth generating.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7636400

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Meretneith–Ptah’s story

They shared a wine from Ptah’s vineyards. The stillness around him was stunning. Joining a waiting Ptah, Saul drew close to his love anticipating the cold of the approaching night. Ptah pulled a heavy fur over them. Snuggling closer his lips brushed Saul’s cheek causing a warm smile. Ptah whispered,

“I promised more telling of your tribe and family.” Ptah continued,

“We crossed Chanani territories to the northern borders of upper Kemet in our journey to Akkad. This was my first visit outside of the Chanani territories and I longed to know what treasures that awaited me. As part of her education, the future Protectress Meretneith was required to accompany our mother in her travels. Together they travelled often to these regions. My duties as her future consort required me to learn at our father’s side. I’d met Egyptians traders from Upper and Lower Kemet, but never travelled to their cities. I had dreamt of this moment.

“We came to the city during the rule of Seti I. Let me say that your romanticized ideas of the Egyptians are highly over rated. As we neared the city, our senses were assailed by the stench of the masses living outside the gates. In those days, the poor did not live in the cities. The wealthy prohibited mixing with the sick, old and the poverty that streamed to them from other regions. They set up permanent camps outside the gates in numbers too numerous to count. The smells of cow dung, camel, horse and human waste clung to the dusty air. This assailed my senses, almost obscuring my first visual impressions of the colourfully painted high walls that protected the Pharaoh’s city within. The great villages outside the gates endured constant assaults from thieves, animals and the desert.

“Guarded by palace warriors during daylight, the gates were opened to the world. However, living outside the gates as far as the eye could see was a city of vendors from other parts of Kemet and Sumer. Some neighbouring tribes I had never seen bartered their goods and their services. For here, as in all times the bodies of young girls and boys could be purchased for a moment of pleasure. Everywhere in the busy town center, my eyes met men and women with bodies draped in the richness of bright coloured robes trimmed in gold and silver. Occasionally exquisite Nubian male and female offspring beauties, would stride past us to disappear behind the gates guarding Pharaoh’s city. Tall as we, their striking forms were sparsely adorned in brilliant jewels and fine silks. Their slaves were either nude or wore what looked like loin clothes. It was nothing more than narrow pieces of colourful cloth wrapped between their legs. Naked children led their beasts of burdens along crowded narrow streets.

“Sand filled air carried tiny particles of smoke ash from outdoor ovens. Dwellings, though some had incredibly intricate designs painted on their walls, were built too close together. Most were two storied with tiny outdoor rooftop gardens. Women and children squatted in doorways, some pounding leather others preparing strips of meat on reed mats for drying, still others sifted dried barley for beer. A little one caught my attention. Barely missing the hooves of my horse, he looked fearless and merely stared back at me enraptured. His beautiful cupid lips formed a smile when I reach down to touch him. He was covered in white dust that had begun to crease in the baby fat folds of his neck. Reminding me of the little ones we left behind, I loved him all at once. My mother drew near to me touching my face. Reluctantly I released my gaze on the boy and dismounting walked slowly on with my family.

“These overcrowded communities so near the gates of the city carried diseases. Sometimes great illnesses came hitching rides with visitors from far places. A few of the people that we passed recognized my mother and bowed deeply. I noticed the stares of fear or awe in their eyes of those we passed. As the crowds grew denser, children scurried everywhere. Afraid that our horses would crush one under foot our parents and Meretneith dismounted and joined me. We wound our way through dust laden crowded streets for the word went out quickly that gods had come. People crowded the streets and alleyways or peered from rooftops. Arriving nearer to the city gates and homes of Seti I, the smells and aromas began to change. The crowds began to thin in number and we could smell members of our tribes as well as Hyksos. Moving closer to our mother, I asked her,

“‘Mother how is it that we can smell Hyksos as well as our tribe here. Surely they are not living in this city together?’

“‘Yes they are Ptah. But many of the scents you’re experiencing are of their offspring.’ Pulling me closer she whispered.

“‘Ptah, look around you at how these people live. These humans live far better than those we passed outside the gates. Those that dwell here are offspring of the Hyksos and our tribe. They are unaware for the most part of the ongoing war that separates our kind. They live better because they have been taught some of the principles of the Ma’at. In generations to come many will live completely within the laws of the Ma’at. They will move on to other cities taking their wisdom with them. Those offspring of our tribe will never be under the control of the Old Ones’ because they share our bloodline.’

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Meretneith

Resting in comfort Saul appreciated the quiet that descended inside the aircraft. He guessed that everyone had turned in for the night. The bed was comfortable. He stared out at the moon through the port hole. It floated over the clouds occasionally casting its silver sheen over the ocean. He felt at peace. Finally sleep came.

Saul awoke with a start. Someone had covered him in a wool throw. Glancing at his watch only three hours had passed. He still felt sleepy, but he could hear music coming from some place in the aircraft, soft and lilting. Opening his cabin door, he padded barefoot into the main cabin. Lights had been dimmed. Peering down the long corridor past cabin doors, he saw a sliver of light outlining a partially closed cabin door. Moving in that direction the sensual syncopation became clearer. This was where Aisha said Meretneith’s cabin was.

Silently pushing it open, he slipped inside. Sheer drapes divided the entrance from the room beyond; he could see the shadow of a female form slowly undulating to the sultry beat. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, Saul carefully parted the drapes. The dancer was Meretneith. Full hips were swaying gently to the beat of the music. Each of her movements flowed with the melody, pausing in step then anticipating the syncopation in beat. He saw a beautiful bareback narrowing to the tight muscled curvature of her spine. Fine white gauze of linen wrapped smooth hips then tied at the waist. Nude from the waist, taunt sinews were deeply defined in shoulders and arms moving above her head. Within her hands flashed long blades. The movement of the blades created arcs of silver in the dark room. Their ornate hilts firmly grasped in each hand.

Saul was mesmerized. The beat of the music began to increase its speed lending heat to her movements. Her torso began its undulations not unlike the moves of a belly dancer. He could see beads of sweat began to drip down her back and pool at the hollow of her spine. Legs stretched far apart she squatted stretching out one leg bringing the blade over her head, holding the position for two counts she duplicated that effort to the other side. The sheer gauzy fabric became soaked with moisture from her body, clinging to every smooth curvature. Becoming aroused, Saul shifted his position slightly and she stopped still. Turning quickly her eyes bored down on him in the darkness, her head lowered.

Saul didn’t know what to do or say. Approaching slowly he offered her time to react to the intrusion. She held her ground, saying nothing, her stare not faltering. The sweat coating her skin held it to a rich sheen, her breasts rising and falling in deep inhalation. He reached out to stroke her arm, and then fingered the waves of wet hair. His eyes travelled over her. Both hands entwined in her hair, he brought his lips to nestle in the hollow of her neck. With clear purpose, his tongue began to lap gently the sweat that trickled down the nape of her neck. At first she remained motionless and then moving close, allowed her lips to pressed the hollow of his neck, inhaling deeply. Then in a very low voice she spoke,

“Not now Saul. Our time will come. Go back to your bed.”

Saul felt a chill run through him. He felt like a schoolboy. The heat and the scent of her were so close. The disappointment was deep. His head was still feeling light from the scotch. Turning her back to him, she carefully placed the blades in their racks. Extinguishing the music, she turned to face him again.

“Perhaps while we’re in London we will have the time to pleasure each other. I want you as much. But for now good night Saul.”

Monday, September 22, 2014

Meretneith and Merneptah

Word came early on a winter season’s night that Syrus was on the move. He took the lives of three Teachers and their tribes near the Al Jufrah. Merneptah came for his mother in the dead of night to ride out on horseback to meet with tribal fighters. They found Athtar’s chopper well hidden within a rocky crag. Merneptah took the controls. They were only out an hour before the trail of bodies began. Meretneith grabbed her son’s arm. “Merneptah…land here.”

They walked the desert and the Savannahs. There was no scent of the Hyksos, but the trail of bodies led them to a mass grave. Impaled on ten foot tall stakes were small forms of children and offspring of the Teachers. Some tiny ones hung at angles from poles pounded into bedrock. The severed heads of mothers, their faces contorted in horror, sat at bases of poles. As if thrown in play, headless corpuses lay across the killing field. Meretneith and her son knew that the slaughterers were Hyksos offspring. No Old One would so breach the Law.

The rising sun found the Protectress sitting in the sand, her son began to cover most of the dead. Taking the children from poles first, they assemble them in a mass grave. Meretneith recognized many of the faces from the Council meeting in Dubai. Syrus’ offspring targeted members of the tribal Council. He was careful not to disfigure facial features so that the Protectress would recognize the dead.

Mother and son watched from a distance as impatient desert animals began picking at the carnage. Merneptah and Meretneith understood that they could do little. It was the desert. Life demanded its premium to live here. They waited for nightfall before climbing the nearby mountains and then contemplated quick retribution. Use of modern weaponry would only disturb the Ma’at. What modern weapon could be greater than the passions that drive the blade? The Protectress wanted to know the location of her enemies’ camp.

Syrus and his kind had grown accustomed to her hunting habits. Their fight would be different this time. She now owned the energies of three powerful males fighting at her side. This day the most powerful one of them hunted with her, the one they called the monster. She and Merneptah left the sands for the dense arboreal jungles on the borders of southern India. Syrus kept his core fighters there. Their habit was always to train and hide amongst trees and mountains. She and Merneptah would have to move fast.

Merneptah called Khalid to have a small fixed wing ready for them at the Faiyum. They waited until sundown to fly to Muscat landing on the opposite side of the shoreline. Khalid returned to Abu Dhabi to refuel and wait for Merneptah’s call.

On the rocky and mountainous shoreline of Encounter Point along the borders of Iran, caregivers met them with an all terrain. A full day’s ride to Ranakpur yielded what the Protectress knew was a reality. Syrus’ female warriors stopped to organize another group. The slaughter of the desert tribes belonging to the Teachers was a training run for new offspring warriors. Meretneith and Merneptah were closing in. Entering dense mountainous jungle foliage they left their vehicle to begin the track on foot. They found their tribal warriors and offspring in the mountains. Recognizing their Protectress and her son, they greeted them with food and water.

Declining offers to stay the night. Merneptah and his mother moved on. Even with the setting sun, the heat and moisture clung to their skin. The mountain climbs into the night took its toll on Meretneith’s body. Stripping to the waist they climbed in silence until the Protectress caught the scent of Hyksos offspring. It was a true scent. These Old One offspring and humans were the warriors that made the raid within her territory. She stared into her son’s eyes. His expression mirrored her thoughts. Mother and son slowed their heart rate. Drawing blades for close quarter kills, they paused. Keeping close to the floor of the canopy the predawn chill helped her focus. Then the little one nestled in her made a move. The strong kick was unexpected. Meretneith grabbed her son’s hand for momentary support. She smiled into his face. Placing his hand on her abdomen, he felt his sister’s answer. He smiled.

No longer tracking Meretneith and Merneptah quickly moved toward the Hyksos offspring camp. A group of fighters lay in the open portico of the ancient ruins of a palace garden. Thick vines and foliage covered the once impressive marble flooring. With their guard down and in celebration of their recent kill, the Old Ones’ offspring spent the evening dulling their senses with wine and pleasuring. There were fifty or so slumbering under the chill of mountain forests. A nearby creek sang of recent rains. The forest wind picking through the broad leaf trees did not notice mother and son creeping along its floor.  Nor did the slumbering fighters catch the scent of approaching death. Merneptah moved away from his mother.

Crawling through old carved and rotting doorways, he quietly landed in the entrance of old palace rooms. Finding them empty, he crawled outside to the porticos. Disturbing nesting snakes, he lifted a few quietly laying them aside. He found a warrior group slumbering close to the keyhole doorway. Calming his pulse in anticipation of the kill his blade glided along the exposed throats. Their last breaths came from severed pipes as warm blood formed rivulets across the dirt and tile. A monkey called out a warning that echoed throughout the upper canopy.

One lover shifted her arms to draw closer to her mate. It was her last move. Another severed windpipe silently emptied its contents onto the faded stone patterns on the tiled floor. He felt his mother near. Moving to Meretneith’s side, he found lovers still in the throes of pleasuring. In the same instant, he saw his mother embrace a fighter. One warrior’s mouth still clinging to another stifled the scream. Death came immediately.

Another gust of wind moved through the forest. Carrying the screams of monkeys while disturbing bright colored wings that fluttered from branches straining to greet the golden rays of Re. Looking down at the river from a mountain cliff, mother and son paid homage to the awakening sun god. His new pale light revealed the carnage of bodies coloring bright red the paved stones of the ancient palace. Protectress and son moved quickly down the mountainside.

One day later, they greeted Khalid at Muscat Oman on the shores of the gulf. They took the fixed wing back to Faiyum. They arrived at the palace just before dawn.

Saul met her on the lawn and said, “At least you had the decency to take your son with you. I smell the kill on you. Woman what am I to do? You are my life. This is not like the other battles Protectress.”

Merneptah strode into the palace in silence. Meretneith looked into the eyes of Saul. Drawing him near, she placed his hand on her abdomen. Their daughter greeted his caress. Saul fell to his knees to embrace and press his lips to her growing belly. She lifted her voice in joy and tears. Gazing into Saul’s eyes, she said,

“You feel my joy sweet male. This is your young one and she rejoices in what has happened this day. We have reduced their numbers. We go to battle tonight. Bringing his best Syrus will be on my heels. He did not see this coming. The Oldest of the Old Ones will hasten his fight bringing his defeat. We will press our fight to him in the Iranian deserts. Pleasure me.”

Saul lifted her into his arms walking quickly for the palace. She whispered,

“I am not a woman sweet male. I am your Protectress.”

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Coming of Seth - the sagas of the Protectress Meretneith continues

His presence did not alarm her, the scent was tribe, but it surprised her. What male would dare enter her tent alone? This youth was in heat. He had no female for his pleasuring. Then a cold realization took her. This was a caregiver. Meretneith quickly flipped over to view his face.

Busy preparing her bath in a great brass tub his back was to her. Bare from the waist his shoulders and back was enormous, his skin the rich deep coffee of his tribe. The tendrils of glossy black long hair cut blunt to the shoulder blades. He spoke over his shoulder,

“Arsay granted my request to be your new caregiver Meretneith.”

He turned to rise to his full height. Meretneith was impressed. This male was stunning in every way. The long prominent nose was offset by huge almond shaped eyes that dominated his face. The full lips were parted in a smile. Deeply arched brows gathered at the center of his forehead. Meretneith guessed that he was no older than a few hundred years. As an offspring, he had just entered manhood. With most of his youth spent in training and education; this one was cloistered and had foregone marriage or sexual commitment. He was part of Arsay’s select group of male warrior caregivers. Meretneith had met but a few. There were stories of his kind. Nevertheless, Meretneith felt her anger brewing. Arsay gave her no warning of assigning a caregiver warrior. Yet this was Arsay’s way. She knew Meretneith would refuse her request. Meretneith had been too long without a caregiver and the tribal council would have voiced objections long ago. However why should she be given a male?

His deep smooth voice spoke again; this time in ancient speech. It startled Meretneith that the words came with no effort, smooth, true in form, and content.

“Meretneith, do I not please you?”

“You please my eyes beautiful one, not my mind. Why was I not told of your coming? How did you know I would find this tribe and what is your name?”

Meretneith walked closer to him fully prepared to inflict pain.

“My name is Hadid ben Abijah. Arsay told me yesterday you were heading for the caves. She had the Council and her brother’s permission to assign me. You were not told because Arsay said you would refuse me.”

“You are of the house of Abijah? You are Khalid’s brother?”

“Yes goddess.”

“Arsay is right I would have refused you. I still refuse you, Council consent or no. Leave me young one before I hurt you.”

Meretneith turned from Hadid looking for a wrap. He approached her from behind, gently wrapping her in soft linen. The scent of him was maddening. Meretneith was not surprise to feel the familiar moisture gathering in her nether, the pain gnawing and wetting. She knew he would detect the scent of her arousal. That angered her more.

“Please leave me young one. I have no time for you. Do not force me to throw you from the tent.”

“I will. First let me bathe you.”

His voice had the unmistakable allure of the males of his tribe. They were all males born to the fight. Arsay cultivated this family for over 4,000 years. She and Pidray trained them from birth. The smooth muscled form lifted the scented water filled tub. The aroma of him and the soothing oiled water was intoxicating.

Turning on him suddenly with the speed of a heartbeat the goddess grabbed his arm. He did not resist. Meretneith was suddenly aware of being gently carried across the tent. She was stunned. This was a powerful male, fruit of more than one offspring tree. His powerful movements were swift and easy. Taking the wrap from her body, gently he lowered her into the bath then turned to leave. Meretneith felt her anger grow.

“Young One look at me! Who are you that you handle your Protectress this way?”

“Protectress, you have been the source of my life. Since a babe, I’ve wanted nothing else but to be your caregiver. When word came of how old Inanna was, we knew it was a matter of time before she would go to the light leaving you alone. When Arsay came to my mother asking for me, my mother told her that I was for you alone. I would train to be warrior but caregiver to no one but Meretneith. Can you understand what I am saying?”

He approached Meretneith slowly looking into her eyes.

“I was given to Arsay with the promise that I would be a caregiver to no other. I know you have never had a male caregiver and companion. All know of your love for Ptah. There was no other for you except the god Ptah, until the Chosen One. I can be your pleasure no one else’s until you part for the light. Do you know what this means to me?”

Meretneith was stunned. Hearing his words was difficult. “This means that you have abstained from pleasuring. All of your energies have driven your training in anticipation of becoming my caregiver. How could one like you do such a thing?”

“How can I not? I was born to this. I’ve not wanted anything else, except your love.”

Meretneith whispered, unsure of what to say to this male, “Young One love and pleasuring is not something I give freely. Those who have demanded it of me have not lived long or have endured great pain.”

“I know this. Athtar has shared tails of your punishment of males who have thoughtlessly tried to force your emotions. Pain delivered by your hands doesn’t matter to me. If you prefer I’ll return to Arsay and become one of her warriors.”

Meretneith stared at the male for a time. He was stunning to the senses. His manner wore the unmistakable stamp of Ba’al, which meant he was brother to Saul. The scent of him was magical; Meretneith could feel her body responding to him. She sank into the warm bath inhaling deeply the aroma of spices and herbs. Her senses were being soothed.

“Re…bathe me young one. I’ll make my decision tomorrow.”

Quickly he crossed the tent to kneel beside the tub. His hands were as smooth as silk. As the female of his kind, he did not join Meretneith in the bath; rather he kept his position at tub side. He used his great gentle hands to cleanse her body. The feel of his touch on her skin was magnificent. His hands massaged slowly and deeply her tired muscles. They smoothed the silken oily soap over her skin. She moaned aloud when his fingers found their way to her pleasuring places. His strokes were gentle and urgent. Gently parting her thighs, he massaged the oils deep. Her breathe came in gasps. Meretneith succumbed to the force of it allowing her body to become limp in a smooth release. Sighing she was lifted from the bath and rubbed dry. His voice spoke in a whisper.

“Goddess”

Meretneith lifted her lips for him. He inhaled the breath of her and shuddered.

Not until she lay in bed wrapped in soft linen did she speak again.

“Young One we go to the caves tomorrow. I promise you nothing until you prove to me that you are worthy to walk at my side. No one will ever replace my Inanna. I have never endured a male caregiver. My solitary road is a hard one. I don’t expect to return from this next fight. Tomorrow the training will be difficult.”

Hadid started to leave the tent then hesitated.

“Goddess?”

Meretneith allowed her anger to show. “Young One! Do not call me goddess. I tolerate such foolishness from the tribes because it brings then comfort. If you wish to become my caregiver, please call me Meretneith. I need your trust and respect not your adoration. Adulation does not win battles nor does it make me happy. Hasn’t Arsay explained this to you?”

For the first time in their meeting, Meretneith felt his uneasiness, a slight increase in his heartbeat. This angered her more.

“What in hell is wrong with you?”

Hadid approached Meretneith again speaking as he came, “Your anger tells me that you are heart weary as well. You are afraid for your son, Merneptah. I’m also afraid that you will not allow me to become your caregiver. Please understand me when I say that being with you is as close as I will come to heaven on Earth.”

She lay stunned looking into his great eyes. His strong jawbone clinched in the anger, she knew was there. He was unaccustomed to being talked to in this way.

“Hadid, sleep at my side tonight, guard me so that I may truly rest. We’ll train and talk tomorrow. You know my ways.”

“Yes Meretneith. Gideon will be ready before Re awakens. Would you do one thing?”

“Yes Hadid.”

“Arsay tells me that you lived among my human kind in Sumeria. One day will you tell me some of what you know of them?”

“Of course,”

Within a matter of moments, Meretneith was asleep. She was awakened by her name spoken softly. Hadid was standing over her offering desert clothes. They were fine and warmed her skin against the early morning chill. He held out a steel tumbler filled with her chilled morning drink. Meretneith had to admit to herself that she had missed a caregiver. One of this obvious beauty and skill was rare. She thought perhaps Arsay was right, but she reserved the final decision until the caves.

They entered the predawn darkness together. His horse approached immediately followed by Gideon and Sadik. Meretneith was impressed again. It was rare that Gideon allowed any beast to approach Meretneith. He galloped slowly straight for her. She stooped to nuzzle the great dog Sadik before swinging onto Gideon’s back; they started out of the encampment at a full gallop . After they reached some distance, she started a full run across a savannah. Gideon took to the stretch before the caves with joy. She allowed him to run full out. Sadik was far ahead. Hadid and his stallion easily kept the pace.

By the time they reached the cave mouth, the sun was shining. Meretneith thought of her family. They were probably at Ptah’s palace by now. She missed her daughters. Dismounting at a run followed closely by Hadid, Meretneith entered the familiar coolness of the caves. As they walked, she explained to Hadid the ancient illustrations painted and carved in relief along the walls. One hour later, they entered the first of the great caves. She allowed Gideon and Sadik to run ahead of her, Hadid’s stallion following close behind. Stripping immediately Meretneith donned her kilt. Grabbing twin-training blades, she threw one to Hadid.

His movements were lightning fast. The blade seemed to appear in his hand. His response to her was swift and confident. The blows she delivered were unmistakably brutal. He took them without a word, delivering his own parries. Meretneith was impressed. There were few males able to withstand her speed and cruel blows. She knocked him to the ground twice; yet he found his legs again standing firm. In some instances, his movements surprised her. He was more than a match for some of her tribesmen and stronger than any offspring she had ever fought save for Saul. This Young One had been trained well. She saw the unmistakable stances of Arsay and Pidray. Hadid was extraordinary. Their fight lasted four full hours. He did not tire or slow. The dark skin glistened with sweat, muscles became distended with use. His black hair plastered to his shoulders and chest was like oil slick on his body. Suddenly Meretneith dropped the blade. Stripping the sweat-laden kilt from her body, she ran for the deep pool fed by an underground spring. Floating on her back, she beckoned Hadid.

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