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The majestic Arabian stallion flew across the hot sands of the Sahara Desert, flanks heaving, hooves pounding, and jet-black coat flooded with sweat. The rider’s long hair, flowing cloak and head scarf billowed out behind her in the rushing air, a vision of furious beauty. In the shimmering distance she spied her target, a caravan of camels. Her hand went down to her saddle and checked the AK-47 assault rifle was accessible and ready for action.

Hunching down low and spurring her mount even harder, she closed the gap to her goal, knowing that if the Bedouin raiders made it back to their camp, there would be no chance of rescue. As she got within range of her trusty Kalashnikov, she released the reins and sat up tall in the saddle, controlling the beast only with her legs. She pulled the assault rifle from the saddle and brought it up to her shoulder, sighted down the weapon, paused for a breath and then squeezed the trigger.

As the crack of the gunshot split the air, a man fell from his camel. Before he hit the desert sands, the chasing rider shifted aim and squeezed the trigger once more. The next bullet also found its mark, dropping the second camel rider from his saddle. At the sight of his stricken comrades, the third and final raider wheeled his ungainly mount in a sharp turn to face the oncoming threat. As he raised his weapon to his shoulder, the woman flipped the selector from semi to fully automatic, took aim and squeezed the trigger once more. In seconds, the magazine emptied a hail of bullets, two of which found their mark and felled the last raider.

She drove her mount onwards over the final distance, then reached out and took the lead rope of the camel that had her husband lashed to its saddle. He had been bound, gagged and roped onto the mobile prison, at the mercy of the animal and its drivers. But rescue had arrived, and the relief, emotion and wonder showed in his eyes as he gazed upon his wild, beautiful, vengeful Bedouin Princess.

She drew her shibriya dagger, cut his bindings and removed his gag, then they turned their mounts and flew off into the distance, kicking a cloud of sand behind them as they set course for the safety of home.