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.

July 22, 2009

Measuring Up: Jolted

It was during the second day of our stay, I started to find the situation intolerable. Kyra and I were left to lounge around the hotel while the men, once again, went out running down various leads as to the location of our prize.

“We’ll be in touch if we find anything. Stay out of trouble in the meantime.” Mr. Barker had said as they walked out of the hotel’s courtyard.

I took the comment about staying out of trouble as a personal barb. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but it seemed rather pointed toward me, especially given the ruse Mr. Candle and I had created for Dr. Michaels’ benefit. Kyra sipped at her orange juice and kept eating her breakfast, like nothing was wrong.

“Are they always like this?” I asked her.

“Like what?” She replied

“This.” I gestured at the two of us, “Leaving you behind with nothing to do but to wait on them?”

“Relax V. This mission’s a cakewalk. It’s not always so simple, all that’s going on here is a bunch of running around in circles looking for something that probably doesn’t even exist. So, stop feeling left out and just enjoy being here.” She said. “Personally, I’m glad not to be out running around chasing my own tail.”

I let it go and finished my breakfast. The courtyard wasn’t a bad place to be really. It was beautiful and peaceful, but I couldn’t shut down the part of my brain screaming about all the incredible sights outside of the hotel. How I could tell anyone I’d been to Pisa, Italy and not seen the leaning tower? Maybe that was the honest truth to what was really bothering me. To be halfway around the world and within walking distance of incredible things I had only ever dreamed of seeing and through some sick twist of fate it seemed it would all still be confined to my dreams.

It sounded good. The excuse was enough to get me through breakfast at least.

Most of the day passed without interest. Kyra and I spent the time with her computers in the hotel’s conference room. I changed seats periodically enjoying the coolness they provided in a room otherwise boiling over with stale air and warmth. Kyra seemed immune to the heat and, if appearances were any indicator, thoroughly enjoyed being with her computers. She was constantly making adjustments and fiddling with different things. It was all beyond my comprehension and I wasn’t in the mood to learn.

My phone rang.

“Yeah?” I said to it.

“We’re at one of the probable locations for Galileo’s home and Gene seems to think there is a hidden room here.” Mr. Barker said.

“If it is Galileo’s home, I’m doubtful it would have a secret room, but good luck.” I said.

“Gene’s the expert on this guy.” Mr. Barker said.

As if I needed to be reminded of the fact.

“Have Kyra pull up satellite imagery of location C. If there is a hidden room she should be able to locate it.” He continued.

“Sure. Anything you want.” I said.

Lazily, I made my way over to Kyra. She was doing her best to pretend disinterest in the call, but I could tell otherwise from the expression on her face in the reflection of the monitor. I rested my hand on the top back of her chair and she looked up at me as if she didn’t know why I was there.

“Pull up satellite of location C.” I instructed.

“Coming up. What are we looking for?” She asked.

I knew she knew. She knew, I knew she knew. I shook my head and smiled at her attempt at innocence. It occurred to me then that she was as bored as I was.

“Dr. Michaels seems to think there is a secret room.” I said.

“Want to make a wager on that?” She asked.

“Not being there, no.” I said.

The computer screen transformed from lines of unintelligible gibberish into an overhead view of a neighborhood. Kyra tapped a few keys and the image zoomed in until all we could see was a single structure. Another tap and the roof faded away and we could see the generic layout of the house along with the locations of Mr. Baker, Tom and Dr. Michaels. Although I couldn’t tell who was who.

Kyra grunted and tapped a few more keys. The image rotated on the screen. She tapped a few more and zoomed in on an area at the center of the home. I blinked at it, not seeing whatever it was she was seeing. She tilted her head from side to side and grunted some more. Then she tapped a few more keys. The image inverted itself and it was suddenly like we were looking from the ground up. Kyra nodded her head.

“Yep, there is something there underneath the stairs. It’s small but probably large enough to have been a work area.” Kyra said.

I lifted the phone back up to my ear.

“Mr. Barker?” I said.

“I’m here.”

“Kyra’s found something. A small room, possibly a work area.” I said.

“I guess Gene does know what he’s doing.” He said.

I rolled my eyes but managed to avoid groaning aloud.

“How do we get to it?” He asked.

“Hang on.” I said. “Kyra, how do they get in?”

She shrugged and pointed out it’s location under the stairs.

“We can’t find a natural entrance but it’s beneath the stairs.” I said

“We know that much.” Mr. Barker said.

I leaned in to the computer screen for a closer look at the walls. I noticed the north end seemed thinner, but wondered if it was just a trick of the angles. I pointed at it with my finger causing Kyra to slap my hand away.

“It looks thinner there.” I said.

She nodded.

“Yeah, if there is an entrance it’s probably on that side.” Kyra said.

“Try the north side.” I said.

“Okay.” Mr. Barker replied.

It was a couple minutes of rustling noise followed by a loud snapping and then cracking of wood. I imagined Tom was ripping his way through the wall. I really did want them to find the compass, but my gut told me they were wasting their time. Normally, I would have given voice to my thoughts but with these people it seemed like speaking my mind was the last thing anyone wanted.

“I found it!” Dr. Michaels shouted.

He wasn’t even on the phone but I could hear him clear as day. So, it seemed I was wrong and so was everyone else. Dr. Michaels would be insufferable on the way back to LA. Not only had he been right about the existence of the compass but he had found it in a secret location I had dismissed as probably not existing as well. Why oh why didn’t I keep my mouth shut and just do what I was asked?

I very nearly hung up the call and went for a walk, but I didn’t. If I had to guess what made me stay, I’d say it was the look on Kyra’s face. It was something I hadn’t really expected. She looked as surprised as me about Dr. Michaels discovery. I’m sure she had different reasons than me, but the fact we were both surprised made me wonder if maybe Dr. Michaels was claiming victory a touch prematurely.

I was right or should I say, we were right.

Tom told the story at dinner and it was, to that point, the highlight of the trip.

“I kicked in the wall easily enough. It was just sheetrock without any backing. It looked like there had been a door there a long time ago but someone had walled it over.” Tom began.

Mr. Barker was smiling from the start and Dr. Michaels was scowling. Kyra and I were enraptured.

“As soon as I pulled the busted wall away and you could see inside, Gene went running in. He’s waving his flashlight around, shining it on everything at once. Suddenly he catches a glimmer of gold and shouts out that he’s found it. I’m thinking wow that was easiest find we’ve ever had and then all the sudden the lights dim and flicker and Gene’s screaming his fool head off. Two seconds later he’s flying out of the little room, landing on his ass in the middle of the hallway.” Tom paused to laugh.

Mr. Barker was laughing as well and Kyra and I were smiling. Dr. Michaels was obviously not quite as amused.

“His hair was standing out in every which direction, fingernails smoking and his eyes were like bugging out of his head.” Tom said.

“I swear I heard birds tweeting from around his head.” Mr. Barker added.

“Turns out what good old Gene found was the central circuit for the home electricity. I guess they sealed up the room after using it as a hub to add electricity.” Tom finished.

“I couldn’t quite figure why Galileo would have had a secret room in his house in the first place.” I said.

I couldn’t help but add it in. Dr. Michaels couldn’t just leave it alone though and I guess I should known that from the start.

“The inquisition of the time was quite invasive and many scientist and artist of the period took to hiding parts of their work.” Dr. Michaels said.

His tone was completely defensive.

“Galileo was on good terms with the church for most of his life. He did not live in fear of the inquisition because he generally followed the will of the church.” I said.

“It wouldn’t be the first time history recorded a man’s life with less than stellar accuracy.” Dr. Michaels said.

“I’m sure it wouldn’t be and I’m sure there are inaccuracies in regards to Galileo but the evidence would suggest the church distanced themselves from him after his conviction and therefore the inaccuracies are probably running in the opposite direction so to speak. He was probably closer to the church rather than a challenger of it. His early history even mentions how the clergy was very nearly his choice of a career.” I said.

“Since you obviously know so much more than me, perhaps I should just step aside?” Dr. Michaels said.

The sarcasm in his voice was as irritating as fingernails on a chalkboard.

“There is no need for that Gene, Miss West. We are all on the same team here.” Mr. Barker said.

“Really?” I said. “Cause if we’re on the same team why is it Kyra and I are just sitting around waiting for the rest of you to find this thing?”

I knew I should have swallowed the words whole before they came out of my mouth but the situation was really getting to me. There are times to keep things to yourself and this was definitely one of them, but without a little push nothing ever changes either.

“I guess I could have thrown you into the deep end your first time out but I thought you’d appreciate getting your feet wet and learning just how we do what we do before I demanded you be able to swim with the champions.” Mr. Barker said.

“Yeah, cause I’m really learning a lot sitting around here at the hotel.” I replied.

Mr. Barker stared at me for a quiet moment in which no one else dared to say a word. I guess I was pushing things a bit more than necessary, but I could not just pretend I didn’t feel what I was feeling. If I was a part of the team then I wanted to be a part of the team that was doing something, anything.

“Let’s take a walk.” Mr. Baker suggested.

He wasn’t talking to anyone but me.

“Let’s.” I replied.

It was still a little light out despite the time. I had spent a lot of time thinking about Mr. Barker since meeting him. He embodied a lot of what I like in a man and as we walked together it was hard not to notice how much I liked having him away from everyone else. We were long out of hearing distance from the others before he spoke another word.

“Miss West, I don’t know what Candle has told you about what we do or how we work but you seem to have a lot of misconceptions.” He said.

“Well, you see that’s just it. Nobody has really told me much of anything and I’m starting to get annoyed.” I said.

“And so you are taking it out on everyone around.”

“I’m not trying to be difficult but so far it seems like you’ve been bending over backwards to keep me uninvolved.”

“For not trying you’re doing a great job.” He said.

There was a smile on his lips but I think it was just a courtesy.

“Is it really so much to ask for?” I asked.


As if he’d forgotten what we were talking about.

“For you to include me in something other than babysitting Kyra and her computers.”

“You could learn a thing or two from Kyra and those computers.”

“No doubt, but I think I could be more useful elsewhere.”

“We’ll see about that. For now, I’m asking you to give it a rest. Work with Kyra, try to learn something about what we do and how we do it and maybe next trip out you can be a little more involved.”

It was clear I wasn’t going to get anywhere with Mr. Barker.

“Fine.” I conceded.

“Thank you. I realize you want a larger role but this is my team for now and I’m running it the way I think it should be done. You don’t have to like it, but please understand, I don’t need you stirring up trouble with the others just because you aren’t happy.”

“I’m not stirring up trouble.” I said.

“Oh no? What do you call that stunt with Gene at dinner?”

“He’s an ass.” I said.

“Maybe so, but you aren’t proving anything by being one yourself.” He replied.

Ouch! That stung.


  1. Ashley,

    excellent story. the dialog between the characters is great. (Ouch that stung) Outstanding ending.

  2. Ashley, my point exactly, Mr Barker is smarter than V thinks.
    Nice work dear girl.
    Warm hugs,

  3. V definitely needs to lay off Dr. Michaels a bit. No need to kick a man when he's down. Missing that spanking didn't do her any good. Hopefully she plays nice in the future or someone addresses the issue for real.

  4. Nice come back Mr.Barker... I might need to tuck that one away for a rainy day!