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 25, 2010

Taking Control: Stories Written And Told

It was late morning when we gathered in Kyra's room. She and Brian had been working for a few hours already and had called Tom during breakfast to let us know they had made some significant progress. Tom and I arrived together, eliciting some curious glances or maybe it was just my guilty conscious from spending the night with him. Gina was kicked back on the bed with a notebook in her lap and a pen in her hand. Brian and Kyra were parked at the small table by the door. She was hunched over her notebook computer and Brian was thumbing through the codex.

Brian said, "I think we've figured it out."

"The location of the library?" I asked.

"Observatory," Brian said, "but yeah, I think we've found it."

"I thought we were looking for a library," I said.

Gina said, "I could point out a few if you are interested."

I rolled my eyes at her, trying not to encourage her with a smile or laughter. The others ignored her remark as if she were not there. Gina shrugged us off and kept writing.

"I was wrong. I didn't understand the syntax properly at first," Brian said. "The location got me to thinking and so I reviewed the codex. That's when I realized my initial translation was inaccurate."

"But you're sure it's right now?" I asked and Brian quickly nodded saying,"Yeah, I've got the majority of it at least. There are a few parts I'm not clear about still, but you have to understand, the written Mayan language is rather complex and includes multiple ways of saying the same thing."

"And how is the English language any different?" Gina asked.

"The Conquistadors haven't showed up to burn all the books and ban it from reading and writing in the name of God," Brian said.

"My point is the different ways we say things in English can have different connotations , implying additional meaning," Gina said.

"Right," Brian said.

"So it might be the same thing in Mayan," Gina said.

"An interesting theory but difficult to prove," Brian said.

"Not to interrupt this fascinating discussion on the written word, but where exactly is this observatory?" Tom asked and I nodded, wanting to know the exact same thing.

"Mount Chimborazo," Kyra said, pointing at the satellite image displayed on her screen.

"Ecuador?" I said, looking between Kyra and Brian. "Isn't that a little far south for the Mayans?"

"The observatory is not Mayan," Brian said, "They knew of its existence and location, but it's origins are unclear from the codex."

"Maybe it's the lost city of Atlantis," Gina said and Brian rolled his eyes.

"Atlantis is a fairytale," He said.

"Says you," Gina said, "But the legend has been around for hundreds of years and if this place is some sort of gathering place for ancient technology and knowledge then it fits the bill fairly nicely."

"Except it's not surrounded by water," Brian said.

"Wasn't there supposedly a great flood that covered most of the planet in water? If it's on top of a mountain, couldn't it be it once was an island?" Gina said.

Brian shook his head. I smiled, he was not going to win the discussion with Gina, but at least he realized it. It was definitely far fetched, but her arguments were reasonable enough and there was something else too. Dr. Michaels had shown me the symbols in his office and there was the fact that the one symbol kept showing up and while he thought it might have something to do with me, it could just as easily have been the symbol for this observatory. Dr. Michaels had even admitted the "V" symbol had a relationship with the modern English letter "A" which at the time had seemed a bit scary, but what if Gina is right? If so, the symbol could easily be the origins of the Atlantis myth. Right or wrong, I decided it was best to keep those thoughts to myself for the time being.

"And you've verified the location?" I asked, looking at Kyra.

"I've found something," Kyra said. "Using advanced imaging from NASA, I was able to detect a structure, a rather large structure, encased in the glacier and partially inside the volcano."

"Volcano? How old is this observatory supposed to be?" I asked.

"The volcano has been dormant for about two thousand years. Its most active period was another ten thousand years back," Kyra said.

Gina said, "Now the legend really fits. I mean Atlantis was supposedly victim of a volcanic eruption and an earthquake which resulted in its sinking. This place is slipped down the side of a volcano and encased in a glacier that is more or less proof the volcano was once mostly covered by water. How could you not think it's at least a possibility?"

Brian allowed her to finish and then continued the conversation as if she had never interrupted, saying, "If the codex is accurate, the observatory has been there through most of that time."

"That doesn't sound very likely," Tom said.

"The placement is interesting," Brian said and Kyra nodded.

"You think it is protected from the eruptions?" I asked.

Brian said, "It does seem to be nestled in such a way that lava flows would probably avoid it, but that's not what I meant."

"What did you mean?" I asked.

"The summit of Chimborazo is the farthest location on the planet from the center of the Earth," Kyra said.

"I'm not sure I understand the significance," I said.

Brian said, "Me either, but I have a feeling we'll figure it out once we get there."

"So then the question is, how do we get to it?" I said.

"Not very easily," Kyra said and I raised an eyebrow at her. "The structure is completely encased in glacier and rock."

"That would explain why no one has found it," I said.

"Right, but it also means we're going to have a hell of time getting to it," Kyra said.

"Suggestion?" I asked.

"There is a network of caves which might get us directly beneath the observatory. From there we could possibly dig our way in," Brian said.

"There may be a way in from above as well," Kyra said zooming in on a location and nodding to the image on her screen. "It appears to be a steam vent, but it appears to intersect the observatory's roof."

"Satellite images are all well and good, but the only way we'll know what we are dealing with is to scout it directly," Tom said. "I'd suggest we do an aerial recon before breaking out the climbing gear."

"You and V could sneak off and do that while we make our feint at the local sites look good," Kyra said.

"We're not splitting up," I said.

Kyra said, "I thought we wanted to keep some people guessing as to what we are up to."

"There is no point anymore," I said and they all looked at me with confusion. "The pretenses are pointless. They already know we have the codex and we have to assume they have a pretty good idea what it is telling us. They've got the same information we do or close enough that's it's only a matter of time before they figure out the very same things we have."

Kyra said, "But Jack said we—

"Jack's not here," I said.

"That doesn't mean he was wrong," Kyra said.

"At the time he wasn't, but the situation has changed," I said.

"If we all go, it will eliminate any doubts they might have about what we know," Kyra said.

"Whether it's two of us or all of us, they'll figure it out and we have much better chances of success if we're all together," I said.

"It's reckless," Kyra said.

"V is right," Tom said stepping forward. "If we split up we just make it easier for them to pick more of us off like they did with Gene."

Kyra glared at Tom clearly holding back from saying what she wanted say. I had the sudden feeling she was angry at Tom and me. There was only one explanation if that was the case and it almost made me blush, embarrassed. If she knew where Tom had spent the night, she probably assumed more than what happened, but explaining the truth would do nothing to ease the tension in the room.

"It's not a debate in any regard," I said, interrupting the staring contest. "We're all going. Tom, make the arrangements for a private plane we can use for that aerial reconnaissance."

Tom said, "You know this observatory has been right where it for a few thousand years and it will still be there a week from now."

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, turning to him.

"We should go after Jack and Gene," Tom said.

"And risk losing the race to the observatory and possibly losing the trail again?" I said.

Tom said, "There is nothing in that mountain worth their lives."

"Are you so sure about that?" I asked.

"What is you think you're going to find?" Tom asked.

"Answers," I said.

"So you'd sacrifice the lives of two people, who happen to have each save your own, to find another cryptic message on some ancient artifact that may or may not lead us to another one?" Tom said.

"Jack knew what he was doing and he doesn't need our help," I said. "In case you haven't figured it out, we're in the middle of something here that is a lot more than just collecting a few trinkets. I could be wrong, but I'm beginning to think there a few more lives at stake in all of this beyond our own."

"Sounds like you know something you aren't sharing with the rest of us," Tom said.

"As the head of this team, that's my prerogative," I said.

"Whatever you say," Tom said.

"Just make the necessary arrangements," I said. "We're going after the observatory."


  1. Ash, one wonders what role Gina has yet to play,
    surely not to just come out with a few wisecracks.
    Seems to me we will have a denouement soon, looking forward to that, I suspect you are also.
    Warm hugs,

  2. Ash,

    another excellent chapter...I am wondering what kind of trouble is in store for V and the rest of her guests that are with her. Kyra sure is a wiz with that computer all the info she gives on different things.

  3. Sorry Ashley, not been over for a while. Enjoyed the chapter, thanks.


  4. Paul, I'm sure Gina has an important role to play still, but you wouldn't want me to ruin anything by giving it away now, I'm sure. LOL. The end of a story is always bittersweet for me. I look forward to being able to explore new ideas once again, but I will certainly miss my regular visits with Allison and her friends.

    Ronnie, Not to worry, the story will keep for whenever you have the time and after the final post is up and I've had some time to relax again, I plan on compiling it into an ebook for easy enjoyment.


  5. Al, Sorry I missed your comment at first. I'm sure there is plenty of trouble waiting around the corner here and of course things always get to their worst before they get better. Sort of like always finding things in the last place you look, because it sure would be silly to keep looking after you already found it. LOL.