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.

February 22, 2010

Choosing Corners: Bound For A Fall

The plan was to wait. It was simple, so simple it should have been easy to stick with, but I should have known better. When was the last time things went the way they were supposed to go? I might have to go as far back as the fifth grade to answer that one, but being covered in jungle foliage and mud, trips down memory lane will just have to wait. They had Gina which was fine, I mean that was just part of the plan. Ben pointing out Jack's general location on the hillside opposite me, was not.

It started with a dozen of Olivia's goons sweeping toward the slope. I expected Jack would just quietly slip away, crawling through undergrowth until he was far enough away, no one would believe he had ever been close at all. Instead, Jack waiting until they were almost on top of his location and then he started shooting. How he managed to take ten of them out before they even knew he was there, particularly since they were looking for him, I do not know. Watching from my vantage, I realized when it came to Jack, I did not really know anything about his past. It was intertwined with Tom's in some manner and Tom was a military man through and through, but what did the make Jack? Dangerous, but what kind of dangerous?

The thoughts were running through my head, watching Jack run, exchanging fire with the two goons remaining. They were probably outmatched by Jack, but they did have the advantage of numbers, and he was on the run up the hill with limited hard cover. A sound of twigs and crisp leaves crunching caught my attention and I suddenly became aware I was being stalked myself. It was too late of course, but I was beginning to think I should have let Jack cut out Ben's eyes at the very least.

I rolled over in my dirt bed just in time to find a rifle barrel in my face. I could smell the faint remains of alcohol from it's last cleaning as it wavered in front of my nose. The man holding it seemed to want me to do something. I was not listening though. Jack would have liked that at least. Without thinking, I kicked my legs underneath alcohol, rifle goon and sent him rolling down hill. I did not wait to see where he landed.

Running uphill is a little like waving a flag and asking to be shot. Jack might have had a chance going up and away but my only chance was straight or down and I was at least bright enough to know it. I caught sight of another goon ahead and to my left as I leapt from my hiding place. He was a little slow noticing me, but I will bet he got a good look as I ran passed while he rolled into that giant tree trunk with a new hole in his leg. Obviously, I did not stick around to know for certain.

There was a cave at the end of the valley with a stream running through it. I remembered it from the map, it was one of the reasons Jack liked the location. The cave opened out on the other side to a waterfall dumping into a river. In the event things went bad, it was an alternate escape route with a way of covering a lot of territory quickly. Granted, river rafting without a raft can be a little difficult, but it sure beats the odds of living with an extra hole in the head.

My single gunshot seemed to attract goons to me like moths to a flickering blue light. Too bad I am not quite as lethal to goons as that light is to moths, but I was not ready to throw in the towel. Bullets whizzed passed my head as I took a sudden turn down hill. Okay, fine, I stumbled with fortunate results, but I will not be admitting it later. I tumbled down the side of the slope barely managing to get my feet under me again as I came to a sliding stop a few feet above the valley floor and the trickle of creek water running toward the cave.

The slip put me ahead of the goons and I ran like the wind to stay ahead. More like a gentle breeze I guess, but they were not any faster, I swear. I squeezed off blind rounds at the jungle behind me. Those aloe plants and banana trees will not ever hurt anyone again.

Nearing the cave, I ran the last few feet to the valley floor at an angle and jumped the creek to the other side. The rocks beneath my feet were wet and smooth, but I kept my balance by moving quickly on my toes. Rustling on the slope, turned my head to watch one of the goons sliding down the slope on his back, shooting wildly in my direction. Bullets splashed all around me and bounced on rocks at my feet as I kept going.

The entrance to the cave was small and only traversable though the creek. It was not my first choice to get soaked to the skin without a change of clothes, but it seemed a bit more rational than waiting around to get shot. I fired a wild shot behind me that somehow sent wild slide goon crashing into the creek, his gun dropped into the water. Wading through the water I disappeared into the cave and hoped we were too far north for piranhas as unseen things brushed passed my legs.

I should have suspected, it's not like the creek made sense as the source for a massive waterfall, but I was still a bit surprised to find a rushing river joining with my creek in the middle of the cave. The joining of the two waters nearly threw me from my feet. I grabbed hold of rocks along the wall of the cave to steady myself. Behind me I heard the splash of water signifying the pursuit of more than a single goon and they were getting closer. Up ahead I could see daylight and I pushed on toward it, hoping there would be a safe way down which would offer me a secure place to avoid my pursuers or at least hold them at bay until I came up with a better plan than running away.

Reaching the end of the cave, I held onto the rock and stared in disbelief. The water flowed straight out of the cave and dropped straight down to a raging river far below. I will not bother estimating the height because the lush greenery and splashing water created an illusion making everything seem much better. The splashing behind me slowed and I knew I was out of options.

I turned around to find Olivia smugly smiling at me. Her gun was not even pointed at me, just threatening the water. We stood perfectly still, her goons stopped and waiting a few feet behind her. She shook her head and said, "It doesn't have to be this way."

"You cheated me," I said, glancing back behind me.

She laughed and said, "You never expected me to bring Brian out here. I know you aren't that foolish."

"Maybe," I said. "Maybe I wanted to give you one last chance to prove you are better than you seem."

Olivia took a step closer to me, the sunlight illuminating her in the water like a silver spotlight. My gun followed her movement, my finger quivering on the trigger as instinct and morality fought a battle for my soul. I wanted to hate her, hate everything about her, but she was more complicated than that. Much as I did not want to admit it, she scared me. My psyche understood, the differences between us were not as great as I wished and the circumstances leading us to opposite side could have easily led us to the same place and even friendship, or at least mutual respect.

"You're not a killer," She said, nodding at my gun.

"But you are," I said.

She shook her head and said, "No. If we wanted you dead, we could have killed you a long time ago."

"What do you want with me?" I asked, knowing the answer I wanted would never come from her lips.

"Not what Joey wants," She said.

Looking down the waterfall and then back at Olivia, I said, "How do you know what Joey wants?"

"Put the gun away and come with me," She said, "He'll explain everything."

"Who?" I asked, although I suspected I already knew.

"We weren't sure about you before, after Bad Land," She said.

"You tried to kill me," I said.

"I can understand how you might see it that way," Olivia said, taking another step closer to me.

I had no place to go. The gun wavered in my hand, a part of me wanted to trust her and forget the past. It was possible we had simply misunderstood each other, but the rest of me knew that was just an excuse to take the easy way out. I knew there were gaps in my understanding of the world we were dancing in, but I also knew she was dangerous and half truths were her way of taking the lead.

"Another step and my finger's going to squeeze on this trigger," I said.

"No, it won't," She said, but she stopped anyway.

"If you expect me to trust you, I'm going to need a little more than cryptic answers and warnings," I said.

"They aren't mine to give," Olivia said. "I know you have no reason to believe me, but I've been in your shoes. The hardest thing to do is trust someone, when everything that's happened to you has only proven you can only trust yourself."

"I've already given you all the chances I can afford to give," I said, "But I'll give you one last chance, tell me where you're keeping Brian."

"I'll take you to him," Olivia said, holding out her hand to me, "You can keep your gun if it makes you feel safer. You've got no place else to go."

"I tell you what," I said wondering if she might be sincere, "You send your goons away and you, me and Gina will all go together. Just the three of us. If you are telling the truth you have my word that I'll listen to anything you have to say."

Olivia looked behind her at the men at her back. The look in her eyes suggested she was actually considering my proposal, a possibility I had not really expected. She thought she knew me, knew what I would do, what I was capable of doing and she was weighing that knowledge against herself and her agenda. She asked me to trust her, but when I asked her to trust me, she was hesitant. It was all I really needed to see to know she was not completely on the level with me. She believed what she was doing was right, but she also believed I would have a difference of opinion with her when faced with the full disclosure. It was written pure as daylight on her face.

"What about Jack?" Olivia said.

I shook my head and said, "What about him?"

"What will he do if he sees you with me? Will he ambush us on the road?" Olivia said looking pointedly at my gun, "Will you do what it takes to stop him if he won't cooperate?"

"So he got away," I said, feeling a little relieved that there was still a chance he might save me.

"Did you really expect anything else?" She said.

"He does always seem to escape you, doesn't he?" I said.

She nodded. "He's a shark, in or out of water," She said.

"If you're on the level, I can get him to play along," I said.

Olivia laughed, her amusement echoing in the cave like a choir to the singing of rushing water. She said, "You've been at odds with Jack Barker since the day you met him and no matter what you do or say, you will never, ever influence him to do anything he does not already want to do."

"So he's your excuse?" I said, shaking my head.

"I don't need an excuse," Olivia said, "You're going to have to make a choice, trust me or don't. We aren't going to do this halfway. I don't have to be your enemy, but only you can decide which way it's going to be."

"Give me a good reason to trust you and I will," I said, gripping tight to the rock as the water seemed to increase it's downward flow.

Olivia steadied herself against the opposite edge as well. Her eyes looked out the cave to the jungle beyond before settling back on me. "I could have shot you instead of talking," She said as if the single action were proof her intentions had always been positive. "This would all be over with and I certainly would not be giving you the chance to kill me."

I felt the weight of the gun in my hand at her words. She was right when she said I was not a killer. It had happened in the course of events, but even with survival as justification the ghosts still haunted me. I could no more simply shoot her for standing in my way than I could shoot myself. She knew me too well and I realized that was the problem, that was the reason I was trapped.

"You aren't really trusting me," I said looking at the men behind her, "You are following orders you don't understand anymore than I do. We're on opposite sides of the river and there are no bridges between us."

"We can build one," She said. "Trust me, nothing is as it seems."

I smiled and nodded. "You're right," I said and then I did what she never could have anticipated, I turned and jumped.


  1. Ash, please don't give V wings. :D
    I hope that there is plenty of depth at the bottom of that waterfall.
    What has Jack got a Machine pistol? :)
    Warm hugs,

  2. Ash,

    good story,like all the humor in this one (Aloe and banana trees will not hurt anyone again),Great line

  3. I found this page 3 days ago and I couldn't stop reading. You've definitely got me hooked! I am an editor and I read all day long, but nothing as fun as this. I can't wait to see what's next!

  4. Paul, I promise she won't fly, well at least without an airplane. You might actually wish she had by the next part, but then that's another story. LOL

    Al, Oh, the poor, poor plants! I promise not a single plant was harmed during the composition of this story, unless you count the vegetables I ate.

    Anon, Welcome to the blog. Thanks for the very nice comment, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait the two days for the next part like everyone else. LOL.


  5. This reminded me of that scene in "The Fugitive" where Harrison Ford jumps off the dam. All Tommy Lee Jones could so was stare open mouthed and shake his head.