Vicki is tasked with discovering why there is so much interest in a remote village in Afghanistan - a village that would be impossible to visit in the flesh, because foreigners would be discovered immediately. Yet she is repeatedly repelled by massive heat and unable to continue because of it.
The phenomenon has been reported in several instances. Psychic spies who were interviewed after these missions have reported that they believed they were in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant, something so powerful that even when they were not there physically but only through their psyches, it threatened to destroy them. Just as a person can be frightened to death or their minds can lead to physical damage, the same is true during psychic missions.
There is another instance in which massive amounts of heat were felt during psychic missions, causing real-life psychics to turn back. I used this in a scene out of Vicki's Key:
Soon the blackness gave way to the feeling that she was inside a tunnel, moving forward cautiously as a blast of heat began to rise up in front of her. In the distance were the sounds of cries, of panicked children and men barking orders. Vicki touched the wall of the tunnel and peered into the darkness, realizing she had gone in after the children and she was searching for them now.
“Shaista!” she called. “Shaista!”
She tried to move forward but the tunnel walls became as hot as flames, burning her hands and causing her to recoil. Why was it so hot? She thought in alarm. She had to move forward, she had to find the children, but this heat was holding her back. It was as if she’d stepped through the gates of Hell.
She recalled the house built against the mountain and how the heat had risen from the door to block her entry. She had gone through it, she reminded herself, and she can go through it again.
She stepped back and tried to take a deep breath but the air was thick and stale. Dust seemed to be everywhere and it invaded and scorched her lungs. Her chest felt constricted and she knew with a rising panic that if she didn’t go back, she would perish there.
But the children, she thought. She had to save the children.
She tried to move forward again and again but each time, the fiery heat pushed her back. What is in here? She thought. Her mind raced like a computer searching a database, looking for clues, needing answers.
The Ark of the Covenant, Sam had said. It wasn’t that. She knew it, she could feel it. The Holy Grail? No. It was nothing religious.
She touched the walls gingerly, trying not to pull back when her fingertips felt scorched. It wasn’t emeralds. It wasn’t gems. They were mining something, something so dangerous that her spirit was warning her away from it—When the answer came to her, it appeared in a rush so forceful that it nearly swept her off her feet, sucking her out of the tunnel. Uranium. They were mining uranium.
For whatever reason, uranium does have the composition to create massive amounts of heat during psychic missions. It has become so documented that when psychic spies encounter it, they know almost instinctively that they are nearing uranium.
And what of the Ark of the Covenant? Perhaps some day we'll discover it and we'll know when why it's properties are so valuable that it has successfully repelled psychics for millenia.
Until then, it will no doubt be the stuff of legends, movies and books.
Vicki's Key is available in print in all fine book stores and retailers and online. You can find the trade paperback on amazon by following this link, and in Kindle format here. For all other eBook formats, follow this link or look for it in the iBooks store or on Nook. Vicki's Key was a finalist in both the 2012 International Book Awards and the 2012 USA Best Book Awards.