1600s Mexico- The Aztec Prince Ixtililxochitl writes that the first people to inhabit his land came from the Tower of Babel at the dividing of tongues…Scholars dismiss his writings as myth.—–
1800s Mid Western United States- Settlers dig into ancient burial mounds and discover thousands of slate tablets covered with a strange hieroglyphic writing and drawings depicting Jesus Christ…these artifacts are denounced as a hoax. —– 1909 Arizona-a newspaper runs a story describing how a cave containing metal artifacts and Egyptian-type hieroglyphics was discovered in the Grand Canyon by a group of Scientists from the Smithsonian Institute…the Smithsonian categorically denies the account. —–
These and other amazing facts make up the world of forbidden Book of Mormon Archaeology. It is a world BYU student and Iraqi War veteran Ammon Rogers never knew existed. He is thrust headlong into this world when he asks the enigmatic adventurer John Byrd a simple question. When John is kidnapped in Mexico, Ammon joins forces with John’s beautiful daughter in a desperate attempt to not only save John, but to find his answer…an answer that will change the world…an answer one sinister foe will do anything to suppress.
EXCERPT!- CHAPTER 12
From his position on top a nearby hill, Ammon Rogers could see John Byrd’s prison perfectly. Hidden by the tall grass, he had been able to observe the small compound since dawn, bothered only by the ubiquitous stray dogs that seemed to infest the countryside. The compound consisted of a thirty–foot, square cinderblock hut with a corrugated tin roof, a small shed, and an outhouse, all surrounded by a low fence made of scrap wood. The main building had a front door facing the road and a small window on each of the other three sides, the one at the rear being barred. Ammon assumed this was John’s cell.As Ammon watched, kidnappers armed with pistols and shotguns came and went through the front door. He had identified ten individuals, half of whom were no older than sixteen. They didn’t seem concerned with security, either. Their idea of a regular patrol was carousing with the local girls. No one was even standing watch. The information Sariah had been given was correct. The kidnappers were amateurs.Sariah. Ammon laughed to himself at the thought of her. She really was something else. After Salazar had told her where her father was, she had been ready to drive to the nearbyvillage, march right up to the front door, and demand her father’s release. When he had protested, stating they should make a plan, she’d said, “Salazar told me that these guys are wannabes—kids, mostly. They took my father because they thought he was some famous American scientist and that taking him would make a name for their gang, not to mention the money they thought they’d get. Since that didn’t all work out, they don’t know what to do with him. They are just fools . . . I will make them give my father back . . . ”At this, Sariah had broken down and sobbed quietly, her face in her hands. It was late, and Ammon realized that she probably hadn’t slept for days. This crack in her tough exterior took Ammon by surprise. He really hadn’t known what to make of this iron-willed woman. She had opened up to him somewhat as they walked on the beach, but he ruined all that with one question.The outpouring of emotion made Sariah more human. Ammon’s heart swelled with compassion. He reached out his hand and placed it on her shoulder. At his touch, she pulled away and regained her composure. Wiping the tears from her eyes, she said, “They are just kids . . . I will make them . . . ”“Kids with guns,” Ammon interrupted. “Kids with guns. A wannabe with a gun can kill you as easily as a trained soldier can.” Ammon knew from stark experience the reality of this statement. In Iraq, he had seen many a comrade killed or wounded by a lucky shot from a raw militia fighter. In many cases, the amateur proved more dangerous than the professional. A trained gunman was disciplined enough to know that sometimes you shot and sometimes you held your fire; the untrained gunman usually pulled the trigger. The American military was thebest-trained and best-equipped fighting force in the world, but they still suffered losses to idiots with guns. He had almost been one himself.“We can’t just go up and knock on the front door,” Ammon continued. Sariah began to protest, but he cut her off. “We need a plan. Let me go do some reconnaissance. If these guys are as amateur as we are led to believe, we should have no problem.”“I’m coming with you!” Sariah insisted.“No. You are going to get some rest,” Ammon said firmly but kindly.“You don’t understand. It’s all my fault. I should never have let him talk me into going—” Sariah hesitated, as if catching herself.“Going where?” Ammon asked.“None of your business!”“Okay, fine. But that doesn’t change the fact that you need some rest.” Ammon did not relent.Sariah glared at him as if trying to decide whether to punch him or just scream in his face. Ammon continued, not giving her a chance to speak, “Look, believe it or not, I’ve done this kind of thing before. It works better with one person. I know what I’m doing.”At this, her stance softened perceptively. Her shoulders slumped, and she let out a long sigh.“Come on, when was the last time that you slept? Huh?” Ammon asked.She said nothing but just shook her head. He put his hand on her shoulder again. This time she did not pull away.“Whatever happens, we will need to work together when the time comes, and I need you rested, okay?”Sariah relented, but she still didn’t seem totally convinced. She really was something else.That was last night. Ammon left these memories and placed his focus back on the task at hand. He watched the kidnappers’ movements, musing how easy it would be for just a handful of men from his old unit to kill every last one of them. A coordinated attack could accomplish the task in twenty seconds, maximum. They wouldn’t even know what had hit them. But this was not a war, and Sariah insisted that no one should be killed. That was fine with him. He’d had enough of that in the war. The question was, however, how to rescue John without bloodshed. Getting that back wall down would be easy. The house looked as if it might collapse in a stiff breeze. The trick was distracting the guards. His mind pored over his experiences in Iraq as he watched the unchallenged traffic on the dirt road in front of the compound. Take away the lush vegetation, and this small village in Mexico wasn’t that different than a small village in Iraq. Both had dirt roads, dilapidated houses, and people coming and going on foot and on bikes carrying bundles and containers of water. Bikes . . . yeah, bikes—that could work, Ammon thought, remembering one of the favorite tricks of the Iraqi Insurgency. As the plan formed in his mind, he chuckled. We might be able to pull this off. He could get the cell phones, electronics, fertilizer, and other things he needed in the market town he’d passed though en route to the village. There would be only one more thing, not available in the market, that he needed to make it all work, and he knew exactly where to get it.