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When Paranormal Investigator Mike Travis answers a call for help. he doesn’t anticipate being flung headlong into Ancient Egyptian secrets in The Sacred Ark. An old acquaintance needs his help in his search for proof that his controversial theories are correct, theories which have resulted in him being ridiculed by the world of archaeology.
Mike finds himself in the heart of the Sinai desert pursued by government and Vatican hit men, all desperate to find the same thing, the Ark of the Covenant.
What secrets does it hide? And where will it take him?
CHAPTER ONE TO WHET YOUR APPETITE!
“Have them make an arkof acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold moulding around it. Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed.
(Exodus 25:10-15 NIV)
A young woman looked up and signalled the tall uniformed officer in the centre of the room.
“Sir, we have an alert on Echelon*. Keywords are Ark of the Covenant.”
She relinquished her headset and he put the earpiece against his ear. She replayed the recording.
The General nodded at her. “Good work. Send the file directly to my desk. And get me everything on the recipient and caller. I want the locations. And backgrounds.”
He turned abruptly and left the room. Into his Blackberry his voice was low and calm. “Protocol 218. Who do we have out there?”
(* ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a collection and analysis network, monitoring all digital and voice communications, operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UK USA Security Agreement.)
CIA HEADQUARTERS, LANGLEY, VIRGINIA.
“Sir, this was relayed from our station in Jordan. It’s a hit on Echelon. You should hear it.”
The Chief of Staff listened intently to the recording then nodded at the young agent. “Send it to me and then delete it.”
“Delete it. As in remove it, wipe it, how else do you want me to say it? Am I clear?”
He spoke to a retreating back.
THE VATICAN, ROME.
The white garbed, white haired old man stood near the window looking down on to St. Peter’s Square. The silence in the room crackled as the Cardinal awaited a response. His voice had broken as he relayed the information and he shook as he debated whether he should speak or wait. He made a decision.
“Your holiness, do I have your sanction?”
The old man continued to watch the throng of heads in the square. Some were uplifted heavenwards, some bowed in prayer. The Church was in crisis, his church, this could signal the end.
The nod was almost imperceptible but the Cardinal exhaled in relief.
The old man turned back to the window to contemplate the adoring crowd, so the Cardinal made good his escape. He bowed and quickly left the room, keeping his eyes averted from curious glances as he strode through the corridors and descended to his own office on the lower level. Once behind his desk he made a telephone call. He was perspiring and he felt sick.
General Franklin leaned on his elbow and cradled his chin. A penny for his thoughts wouldn’t cut it.
After several moments of bleak deliberation he turned his attention to the flashing icon on his computer screen. He opened the file and listened for what was never going to be the last time.
“Mike? Mike Travis?”
“Yeah, who is this? I’m sorry it isn’t a good time right now.”
“Mike! Don’t hang up! Please. It’s Josh Hammond, we met at Uni.”
There was a pause.
Yeah, I remember you. Archaeology right? As I recall you kinda blew it.”
The edge in the other voice spoke of a raw nerve being well and truly twanged.
“Yeah, yeah. Look, can you give me a few minutes? That’s all. If after that you want to join the establishment in their denial of the truth, then you won’t hear from me again.”
Another pause. Then a quiet sigh.
“I remember now, your thesis wasn’t it? Upset a few people it was unwise to upset. I think I remember the words blasphemy, heresy, mentally unstable, and then there were the more damaging phrases like, paranoid, maverick, incompetent and undisciplined. A conspiracy theory wasn’t it?”
There was a slow intake of breath and an even longer, slower exhalation.
“Okay, sorry to have bothered you.”
“Hold on! I love conspiracy theories as it happens. They usually stem from some degree of accuracy that brings on the desire to punch the crap out of someone. So what do you think I can do for you? Assuming of course that it isn’t punching the crap out of someone.”
Another long exhalation, but this time it held the sound of relief.
“I have to go. They’ll pick this up the minute I tell you this, and I can’t afford for them to find me. They’ll kill me.”
There was tension in the second voice.
“I’m assuming you called me because of my career change?”
“Yes. Mike, what I’ve discovered proves my theories, I’ll be vindicated.”
“So take it to the bastards that wouldn’t believe you, if you’ve got proof now.”
“You don’t get it. It’s those bastards that will kill me. I’m leaving the dig site. Remember the field trip? That’s where I’ll be. If you come, I’ll find you.”
A longer pause and then a lowered tone.
“Jesus Christ, Josh. What have you found?”
An even longer pause.
“The Ark of the Covenant.”[easyazon_cta add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”B00D9EP824″ cloaking=”default” height=”28″ key=”small-light” localization=”default” locale=”UK” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”ravencrestboo-21″ width=”137″]