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With Anya beside me, I walked out of the ancient temple into the warming sunshine of a new day. All around us a lush green garden grew: flowering shrubs and bountiful fruit trees as far as the eye could see.

Slowly we walked along the bank of the river, the mighty Nile, flowing steadily through all the eons.

"Where in time are we?" I asked.

"The pyramids have not been started yet. The land that will someday be called the Sahara is still a wide grassland teeming with game. Bands of hunting people roam across it freely."

"And this garden? It looks like Eden."

She smiled at me. "Hardly that. It is the home of the creature whose statue stood on the altar."

I glanced back at the little stone temple. It was a simple building, blocks of stone fitted atop one another, with a flat wooden slat roof.

"Someday the Egyptians will worship him as a powerful and dangerous god," Anya told me. "They will call him Set."

"He is one of the Creators?"

"No," she said. "Not one of us. He is an enemy: one of those who seek to twist the continuum to their own purposes."

"As the Golden One does," I said.

She gave me a stern look. "The Golden One, power mad as he is, at least works for the human race."

"He created the human race, he claims."

"He had help," she replied, allowing a small smile to dimple her cheeks.

"But this other creature . . . Set, the one with the lizard's face?"

Her smile vanished. "He comes from a distant world, Orion, and he seeks to eliminate us from the continuum."

"Then why are we here, in this time and place?"

"To find him and destroy him, my love," said Anya. "You and I together, Hunter and Warrior, through all spacetime."

I looked into her glowing eyes and realized that this was my destiny. I am Orion the Hunter. And with this huntress, that warrior goddess, beside me, all the universes were my hunting grounds.

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