Sacred Ground (Rogue Angel, Book 23)
Alex Archer, Jon F. Merz
In a land of subzero temperatures and snow-covered vistas, survival is a challenge. But for the Araktak--an isolated and mysterious Inuit people--this harsh tundra is their heritage. Until now. A large mining company has purchased the land, and the sacred Araktak burial site with it. But more than diamond deposits await them under the dark, icy earth....Contracted by the mining company, archaeologist Annja Creed is to oversee the proper relocation of the burial site. Her job is to ensure that each ancient relic and all human remains are carefully removed. But the sacred ground harbors a terrible secret. One that a powerful group of men intend to unleash on an unsuspecting world--unless Annja can find a way to stop them.
strong. Annja drank it and marveled at how fast the obviously alcoholic drink hit her system. She felt entirely relaxed and when she tasted the meat, it only seemed to enhance the drink’s effects. “This is delicious,” she said. Godwin sat next to her. “The Inuit have a high-fat diet with very little in the way of carbohydrates. Surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to have an adverse effect on their health.” Annja nodded. “Just like the folks down in Antarctica who have to eat double the number of
watched him unbundle the unit and set the probes out. The spikes would shoot impulses into the earth and register the return echoes by displaying them on the small screen of the unit. They should be able to see a good picture of what lay below the surface of the burial mound. “It’s really handy you thought to bring this along,” Annja said. Godwin smiled. “I did some research on archaeological digs. It seemed like it might just be a good idea.” “Remind me to mention this to Derek. It’s always
He hasn’t even had a drink of water in hours.” Nyaktuk wiped his face on his sleeve. “We’ll see.” More of his men filed out of the mound. They looked exhausted, as well. Godwin came out last. He still wore that grim look of determination, as if the fact that night was approaching was a personal insult to his quest to show the Araktak how much he cared. “Time for some food,” Annja said. “And you need to rest. All of you.” She spoke her last words looking at Godwin directly. He turned away.
coughing fit that gave way to retching. Finally, he vomited a lot of water that splayed across the dirt floor of the lodge before being absorbed by the soil. Wishman nodded. “Good. Turn him on his back once more.” This time Wishman listened a second or two longer to Godwin’s breathing. He glanced up at Nyaktuk. “The water is gone. The cold remains. He must be warmed by the spirits.” To Annja, this meant little, but Nyaktuk and the men seemed to understand implicitly. They moved Godwin closer
a blanket of darkness. No stars shone through the clouds and the only bit of ambient light came from the snowdrifts that continued to build up around them. Annja heard the flakes falling and had to pinch her thigh to keep her eyes from drooping back into the slumber she’d just woken from. Her eyes sought to pierce the pervasive darkness, but she could see little beyond the realm of their small huddle. They had scattered the cooking fire as soon as they were done making their meal earlier. In the