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.

March 4, 2010

Taking Control: Setting The Board

The stars flickered to life over our heads in the night sky. Spotting a shallow ditch, Jack steered the jeep off the main road. With Brian's help he erased the tire trail and camouflaged the jeep, making it hard to spot. None of us had any doubt we were still being followed, but since leaving the cave we had seen no evidence of our pursuers. Either we were miles ahead of them or they were biding their time until we let our guard down.

"What's the plan?" Gina asked when the two men rejoined us at the jeep.

"We need one," Jack said and Brian nodded agreement.

"We've got the phone. We should use it," I said.

Brian said, "If they don't already know our exact position, they will the second we make a call."

Jack grabbed a paper map from inside the jeep and unfolded it on the hood. After a quick look around he shined a flashlight on it while the rest of us gathered around. Gina traced her finger along the map and then tapped on a spot. She said, "We're somewhere around here."

"We don't have much choice but to keep heading toward Mexico," Brian said.

Jack nodded and said, "You can bet Stratford's people are well aware of that and with the corruption in these parts you can also bet they've paid off the right hands to have the border patrol on both sides looking for us."

"Maybe we can use that to our advantage," I said.

The three of them all turned to me like I was insane, but only Gina was brave enough. She said, "The only advantage I can see is we'll probably all end up dead before we end up in someone's prison."

"You're looking at it all wrong," I said.

Gina rolled her eyes to the stars and said, "Of course I am. We're only being hunted on three sides. What am I thinking being negative? Obviously you'll just flash your tits and we'll be home free."

"Hey," Brian said, objecting on my behalf, even though the glint in his eyes told me he was just as amused as Gina at the memory of my fight back at the survival camp.

"Not exactly what I had in mind," I said, shaking my head at the two of them, "but you've got the general idea. If they're going to play dirty, then what stops us from playing dirty too?"

Jack nodded, catching my thinking and Brian said, "How about, we're supposed to be the good guys?"

I said, "And that means it's our job to act as a counter balance to the bad guys. We don't bribe the patrols to go after Stratford's people, we bribe them to let us through, which is how things should be in the first place."

"To make it really worth their while, we let them collect on both sides," Jack said.

"How does that work?" Gina asked.

"We get them to tell Stratford's people they forced us to turn around," I said.

Jack said, "Precisely. It'll buy us enough time to regroup and head back to civilization."

"That might not be the best plan," Brian said.

"Why is that?" Jack asked.

"If I'm not mistaken," Brian said, "you are in some sort of a race with the people who are after us."

Jack said, "You could say that."

"While I was their guest I overheard a few things which at the time made very little sense to me," Brian said, his attention swaying between Jack and me, "but I've been translating this codex and things are starting to click."

"What are you saying? They've already seen this codex?" I asked.

"Not this one, but they must have gotten their hands on a text with a very similar story to tell," Brian said.

"That stuff from Easter Island," Jack said, looking at me as if it was my fault they had it.

"What's the gist of the story so far?" I asked, trying to ignore Jack before he made my blood boil.

"It talks about three distinct ages," Brian said, "Each age apparently last for five thousand years and we are in the second age, nearing its end. According to the story, at the beginning of this age, the parents of this age embarked on a journey into the mountains to a place where all knowledge from the previous age had been stored."

"Sounds like you found the Mayan equivalent of a fantasy novel," Gina said.

Brian nodded and said, "It is admittedly written in the style of folklore and I'm sure there is plenty of outright fiction in the story, but these stories do have their basis in fact. If it were just this codex I had to go off of, I might be inclined to dismiss it as nonsense, but Stratford's people were talking about a search in the Andes for some sort of library. Two separate sources suggesting a similar location have to at least give you pause to consider the possibility."

"Maybe," Gina said, "but they said this alternate text came from Easter Island which would date it as much more recent than the codex you have. Considering the questionable heritage of the original inhabitants on Easter Island you have to admit it is entirely possible the story was simply passed on through generations and territorial expansions."

"I'm not saying to run off half cocked, but if there is a possibility something like this actually exists, do you really want it to end up the hands of people like those trying to kill us?" Brian said.

"You've got a point," Gina said, conceding with a nod.

"Then we are agreed," Brian said. "We need to finish translating the codex and find this place with as much haste as possible."

"I appreciate all the two of you have done, but you guys don't have to stick around for this," I said, glancing between Brian and Gina.

Brian wrapped a supportive arm around my shoulders and pulled me close to him as if to say he had no intention of leaving my side any time in the near future. The sideways smile on Gina's face said much the same thing and the hands planted on her hips seemed to be a dare for anyone to suggest anything else. I was glad to have them along for the ride, especially since I found myself having increasingly less trust in Joseph Candle and by default the people working for him, like Jack and the rest of Q5.

"Are you kidding?" Gina said. "A new Mayan codex people are willing to kill for and the possibility of seeing something that no one has seen in a four thousand years if not longer, you couldn't drag me out of this."

Brian said, "I found this codex and it's my translation that's got us on the verge of the greatest discovery of our generation if not all of time. You can't seriously think I'd just walk away and besides, I've got a feeling the safest place for me is right next to you until the whole world knows about this discovery."

"I can't say I have any objection to the two of you tagging along," Jack said, "but I would ask you to remember this is my team."

Jack's eyes were fixed on me as mine were fixed on him for a long moment. His words were meant to antagonize or more accurately, to remind me of my place under his authority. Next to me, Brian shifted his stance and I could feel the tension spreading across his arm as he struggled to keep his thoughts to himself. I followed Brian's wisdom and kept my thoughts on the matter to myself as well. There will be a time and a place to confront Jack and his ego, but this was not it.

"With that in mind," Jack said, "I would ask the three of you to refrain from mentioning anything about Olivia to Gene. Let me break the news to him at a more appropriate time and place."

"He deserves to know," I said, objecting not just for Dr. Michael's rights, but also for the guilt on my conscience. However badly the news would be received it could only be worse by keeping it a secret, even if it was only for a short time.

Jack said, "He also deserves to be able to grieve in peace and that's not a realistic option here and now."

Brian said, "I'm not sure we have time to meet up with the rest of your team anyway."

"Without them, we don't have a chance of pulling this off," Jack said.

"If we arrange to meet your team someplace, we're going to tip off our pursuers as to what we are doing," Brian said.

"Not necessarily," I said and Brian let go of me to get a better look at my face. "We just need to mislead them on the phone."

"Considering they know what we know, I can't see why they'd buy a ruse," Brian said.

I said, "Because they won't know it's one. They have no idea what the codex says. We have every advantage and all we need to do is make sure the alternative mission sounds more than a little plausible."

"And how do you propose we do that?" Brian asked.

"Do you have any idea what mountains the codex is referring to?" I asked and Brian said, "Yeah, it's got to be somewhere in the Andes."

Gina said, "That doesn't make any sense."

"Why is that?" Jack asked.

Gina said, "Because the Mayan territory didn't stretch that far south."

"That's true enough," Brian said, "but the Mayans history predates their own culture and the myths referred to within the codex belong to another civilization predating their own. I could be wrong, but there are striking similarities between the story here and the mythology surrounding the rise of the Inca Empire."

"Wait a second," I said. "Maybe I got my dates confused, but I thought the Inca Empire didn't come about until much later than the Mayan?"

"No, you're right," Brian said, "The Mayans were around three thousand years before the Incas and technically speaking the Mayan civilization still persists today."

"I'm confused," I said.

Brian said, "Archeologists have theorized for years that the Mayan civilization was built from a merging of many tribes that banded together in order to share various skills and resources. That a story from Mayan mythology could make it's way into the foundations of another civilization so much further south is not only proof a trading network much larger than previously suspected, but also suggests that the roots of the civilization could be equally vast."

Jack said, "Not that I'm not enjoying the history lesson, but how does this translate into the place we are looking for is in the Andes?"

Brian said, "The connection is indirect, but it is logical. The codex states the mountain is far from the Mayan territory and in the land of the Condor. Mayans referred to southern lands as being of the condor and northern lands as being of the eagle. From that description the Andes fits the bill, but the Inca mythology also speaks of great leaders traveling into the mountains and in that case we know the mountains referred to are indeed the Andes. It would seem obvious the Inca mythology is essentially a distortion of the Mayan. Combine that with our pursuers looking for the same thing in the Andes and it seems almost certain the Andes are it."

"It wouldn't be the first time our friends were looking in the wrong place," I said.

"The Andes cover a lot of territory, but I'm positive that's the mountain range being referred to," Brian said.

"Alright," I said leaning on the jeep and suppressing a yawn. "We head north into Mexico like we said before then and we have the team prepare permits for an excavation at one of the lesser known Mayan ruins in the region."

"They'll never buy it," Brian said.

Gina said, "They will if I schedule a news conference on the site for a couple days after we are supposed to arrive."

"I like the way you think," Jack said, with a smile on his face.

"It will only buy us a few days at best," Brian said.

"It's better than nothing," I said giving his shoulder a supportive squeeze. "If the codex can narrow our search any better then we might stand a good chance of beating them out before they even realize we're competition."

Jack nodded and said, "Now we've got a plan. Let's get some rest and get back on the road at first light. We'll call Tom and get everything rolling as soon we're back moving."


  1. Ash, ok this is good, perhaps finally V will take her place as leader, and discover just what game Jack and Joe Candle are playing.
    Warm hugs,

  2. Ash,
    another fine chapter, some interesting stuff too..Jack sure seems impatient at times(lol) and the reason I say that is when he said about the history lesson. liked the communication between all the characters.
    Thanks for the Outstanding story,

  3. Paul, Yes, V is stepping up a bit from here on out and we'll be seeing a lot more confidence from her. The revelations are coming, some big ones even, and I'm hoping there are least a few of them which will be surprising for you and everyone.

    Al, Jack does seem to have a limited attention span. Maybe that's because he already knows exactly what is going on or maybe he just doesn't care. I wonder if V has noticed that and made any assumptions?