New to Quest Five?
The stories are best enjoyed when read in order beginning with May 1, 2009.

Welcome To Quest Five
Allison Beaumont is having trouble finding a job after college until one day the wealthy and powerful Joseph Candle offers her a job at his rather unusual corporation, where mistakes can lead to bare bottomed spankings. Adopting the alias of Virginia West, she joins four highly skilled colleagues, racing around the globe in search of mysterious treasures, but wherever she goes, trouble is sure to follow.
Note: Some stories contain scenes of a sexual nature, corporal punishment, non-consensual corporal punishment, and strong language which some reader's may find offensive. If you feel this material might be inappropriate for you please move on to another blog by clicking the next blog link at the top of the page.

May 10, 2009

Great Expectations: Meeting Mr. Candle

I arrived at Quondam Innovations nearly a half hour early. I took my time walking and appreciated the gardens leading up to the entrance this time. I had barely registered their existence before and yet they were beautiful. The flowers were grown in an interesting arrangement that I recognized as the company’s logo. It would be an impressive sight from the windows high above.

I recognized the same three young ladies sitting in the lobby as I entered. I paused looking at the fountain and the rainbow produced beneath it. There was something intriguing about it, but whatever I was on the verge of understanding, never came to fruition. It was familiar though, like something from childhood forgotten in the folds of maturity.

“Good afternoon, Miss Beaumont. Mr. Candle is expecting you.” Cathy said.

She smiled at me with a genuine warmth and I returned it in kind.

“Thank you, Cathy. Will you be taking me up?” I asked.

“Of course, ma’am. Right this way.” She said.

I followed her onto the elevator hidden behind the reception desk.

“Please call me Ally.” I said.

The elevator doors closed.

“I appreciate the offer ma’am but it wouldn’t be appropriate.” Cathy said.

“I don’t understand.” I replied.

I remembered learning her name quite distinctly from Mrs. Anderson using it. Clearly the company had nothing against first name usage.

“Mr. Candle demands an adherence to appropriate etiquette as established by our positions in the company. It would be a gross violation of that etiquette for me to address you informally. If ma’am makes you uncomfortable I can address you as Miss Beaumont.” Cathy explained.

“I didn’t mean to cause any trouble. I would prefer Miss Beaumont if you don’t mind though. Ma’am has a way of making me feel twenty years older than I am, if you know what I mean.”

“Of course, Miss Beaumont.” Cathy replied.

The elevator continued its upward climb and an uneasy silence permeated the air between us. I could think of nothing to say or do to repair the faux pas and instead I adopted a pose of formality. Inwardly, I cursed at the corporate culture that inevitably complicates even the simplest of human interactions.

At last the elevator stopped and the doors opened. Mr. Candle was waiting. He was a tall man with dark hair. He looked older than I expected, recalling his voice on the phone, but there was something youthful about his eyes. He wore a sliver-blue suit with a silky sheen to it that screamed money as loudly as a red Ferrari in the driveway. His tie caught my attention the most though because it seemed so out of place. It was black and gold in color with a design that reminded me of the pyramids of Egypt and at the same time of circuit board schematics.

Mr. Candle extended his hand to me which I took with a polite smile and a nod. As soon as I stepped out of the elevator, Cathy pushed a button and the door closed, leaving Mr. Candle and I alone.

“Ah, Miss Beaumont.” He said.

“Mr. Candle.” I said.

“Please make your self comfortable. Can I get you something to drink?” Mr. Candle asked.

He waved his arm at the room behind him. Essentially the entire floor was one large open space he used as an office, lounge, and conference room. I looked around taking in the 360 view and trying to decide just where comfortable would be. I decided on a spot by the window where I thought I might be able to see the gardens down below.

“Nothing for me.” I said.

“You’ve found my favorite view.” Mr. Candle said.

He stepped up beside me and looked down at the gardens just as I was. I looked over at him wondering if he was playing me for a fool or if it was all genuine. I decided it would be best to get down to the business of it all, whatever it was.

“Forgive me, but why am I here?” I asked.

He stepped away from the glass walked more toward the center of the room where he had six plush chairs gathered around a small table. He gestured for me to sit in one of them and I did and then he sat in one himself. As comfortable as the chair was, I could not relax.

“You are here because this is where you want to be.” Mr. Candle said.

“That seems presumptuous. You said you wanted me to work for you.” I said.

“This is true. I want you to join my team.”

“Doing what?”

“Being you.”

“I’m going to need a little more than that.” I said.

“You wouldn’t be you, if you didn’t. Tell me, what do you know about Quondam Innovations?”

“What everyone knows. You are the third largest corporation in the world. You have been behind or involved in nearly every major technological leap forward in the last decade. It’s said there isn’t a home in the United States or Western Europe that doesn’t have something manufactured or developed by Quondam. In addition to home technology the company develops weapon technology sold to both domestic and foreign militaries under a wide variety of contracts. You have survived three anti-trusts lawsuits and two congressional investigations regarding selling arms to terrorists.” I said.

Mr. Candle listened and nodded his approval to my brief.

“What I don’t know is what your agenda really is.” I said.

Mr. Candle’s eyes lit up then and he smiled like a kid who just had a birthday wish come true.

“You think we are evil.” He said.

“You have a permanent staff of 25 lobbyist in Washington. What agenda are they promoting?” I asked.

“Mine of course.”

“That’s it?”

“Not everything is sinister. Did you know that my lobbyist have rarely if ever approached an elected representative?”

“Yes, I’m sure you expect it to be seen as noble, but it just plays as smart in my eyes. You lobby other companies and organizations to advance your agenda with politicians so you can keep your motives and motivations well concealed from public scrutiny.”

“So you think because I keep secrets I am evil?” He said.

“Mr. Candle if I thought you were evil, I wouldn’t be here.”

“But you don’t trust me.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Then I’ll just have to work on that. In the meantime allow me to show you what we do here at Quondam Innovations.” Mr. Candle said.

He stood up and offered me a hand up which I took. I don’t normally swoon for the chivalry stuff, but something about Mr. Candle made it seem like the most natural thing in the world. The last time I felt so elegant was at my high school prom and I swear it was the dress and not my date.

“I’d like that very much and perhaps along the way you might give me a little more detail about what you would expect me to being doing for you.” I said.

“We’ll take it a step at a time.” He said.


  1. Ashley, two interesting characters,
    I'm looking forward o the 13th.

  2. amazing!!!! can't wait.... wish i had discovered ur other blogs earlier ....
    are u going to finish 12 From Oblivion?

    also i love the posting calendar u put up allows me to contain myself so that i don't join Miss Beaumont in the corner...:P

  3. Paul, I'm glad you are enjoying the characters. It's always good to hear from you.

    Anon, I do intend to complete 12 from Oblivion, it's a revision in process and since the interest has been low there, I haven't made it a priority, but it will have a fourth chapter posting up, hopefully next month. Glad you are enjoying the story and very happy to hear the calendar is doing it's job.