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.

April 22, 2010

Losing Control: Tearful Ends

"As the Gods have abandoned us, so shall we abandon them."

I fell to my knees, wincing at the impact. The cool wetness of uncut grass brushed against my skin. Water droplets tickled my face in the breeze and my hair bounced against my shoulders and back. The sun felt warm on my face, but my body shuddered with cold and the sense of being watched by unseen eyes. Angry voices surrounded me, but I remained calm.

The snap of a whip in the air perked my ears and senses to attention. I choked back a scream, breathing through the burning kiss of the whip against my naked flesh. The crowd laughed, mocking me and the pain. My hands fought against their bindings and my eyes shot wide, with tears tugging at the corners. There was nothing to be seen but bright white.

"Who will save you now?" He asked and the ground began to tremble.

"It's time," Tom said, shaking me awake.

I blinked bringing the dash of our SUV into focus. Tom checked his gun and slipped it back in its holster under his arm. I grabbed my own and confirmed the safety was off and the ammo was of non-lethal variety. It had taken some arguing, but Joe had eventually surrendered to my demands on the subject. There were too many unanswered questions to go in shooting with lethal intentions, not to mention the risk to the hostages we were supposed to be rescuing.

"Are you sure?" I asked, studying the view outside the windshield.

Tom pointed to the plane on the airstrip and said, "The plane is in position. They'll be moving the hostages next. If we want to intercept them, now is the time."

I took a deep breath, feeling the adrenalin pumping through my veins. Tom looked at me, his face masking all emotion. If he felt any of the uncertainty or fear that was building inside me, he kept it well hidden. I stared at the building we believed to be holding the hostages and nodded. "Okay," I said.

"Once we start there is no turning back," Tom said.

"You think I'm wrong?" I asked.

Tom shook his head and said, "No, but even if we are right about everything, they still have us insanely outnumbered."

"You're saying we can't win," I said.

"I'm saying our only chance is surprise and if you have any doubts that might cause you to hesitate, then we don't have any chance at all," Tom said.

"I'm not trained for this," I said and Tom replied, "No you're not."

"But," I said looking Tom in the eye, "that's my family in there and if someone is wanting to know what I'm capable of, they're about to find out."

"Trust your instincts, trust me, and I swear I'll get you and them out of this," Tom said.

The conviction in his eyes made promises he could not say aloud. I said, "Tom—

"Don't," Tom said, laying a finger over my trembling lips. "Save it for when it's over."

I nodded and said, "Let's go."

He turned the ignition and slipped the transmission into drive. The engine roared to life and the tires kicked up dry dirt into a cloud surrounding us as we sped toward the chain link fence. I stared straight ahead at our target and not even the clank of metal against the windshield or the sound of gunfire could bring my eyes to blink closed. In the breath of a moment we were sliding to a stop in front of the building.

I kicked my door open and slipped out with my gun drawn and aimed straight ahead. With Tom right behind me, I pushed the front door open and marched inside, eyes scanning the interior for any signs of trouble or the people we were rescuing. Two guards stood staring blankly at us from a side hallway and before they could do anything more than blink I squeezed my trigger twice, dropping them both. We headed for the hallway.

The echo of military style boots alerted me to the presence of guards rushing toward the blind corner in front of us. I took aim just ahead of the corner and squeezed at the first sight of a shadow. The guard fell to the floor his unused gun slipping from his hand and sliding across the floor. From the footsteps I knew at least one more guard was waiting ahead for us. Surprise being our only advantage I pushed my pace to a run until just before the corner, where I dropped to the floor in a slide with my gun aimed for the corridor I could not see. As soon as the shapes registered in my eyes I squeezed off two more rounds, each hitting their targets with impressive accuracy that could only be luck.

Tom pulled me back to my feet with a single strong arm all the while watching both corridors. To my questioning eyebrows, he pointed toward a door with a magnetic lock. We moved to opposite side of the door and Tom inspected the lock and door, looking for a weakness to exploit. He pulled a grenade from his vest and I held my hand signalling him to wait.

"There could be someone on the other side," I said in a whisper.

Tom asked, "Do you have a better idea?"

"Yeah," I said, "knock and tell them we're ready."

He raised an eyebrow and shrugged, putting the grenade back. Two quick knocks on the door and he said, "We're ready for them."

Almost instantly the lock whirred and the door started to open. Tom gave it some help with the bottom of his boot and we charged inside. In the time it took me to get through the door, Tom had taken down three of the guards in the room leaving only one for me. The last guard had his gun raised as I squeezed the trigger and dropped him to the floor. It took another second before I realized my brother and his family were huddled on the floor against the far wall, staring at me with half open mouths.

Steve climbed to his feet and said, "What the hell is going on Allison?"

"Explanations later," Tom said, checking over his shoulder before giving Steve his attention. "Have you seen any one else being held here?"

"Who the hell are you?" Steve asked.

I said, "Steve, not now. Have you seen anyone else?"

"No," Steve said, "Now will you tell me what is going on?"

"Not here," I said, waving my nephew and Jenny to come over to me, "We need to get out of here and we don't have a lot of time. Stay close."

Tom and I turned toward the door as they moved to join us. A shot rang out and Tom coughed. I aimed at the doorway to find two guns pointed straighted at me. I blinked to focus on the owner and looked to Tom. His gun slipped from his hand, bouncing on the floor as he dropped to his knees, gasping for breath. A single hole through his vest told the story. Anger boiled in my veins even as tears stung at my eyes.

"Drop it V," Jack said, stepping through the doorway with Mark at his side.

I kept my gun trained on Jack's head and took a step back. Seeing the two men together had my head spinning, but I forced the questions into the background and focused on finding a way out. Jack knew me well enough to read the resistance in my eyes. He and Mark stepped from the shadows into the light and made it clear, I might be able to take one of them, but I would never get them both. Beside me, Tom slumped to the floor.

"Put it down," Jack said.

"This is my family Jack," I said, keeping my aim on him.

He said, "I know and if you cooperate, no one else needs to get hurt."

"Why?" I asked, trying to keep my eyes off of Tom and focused on Jack.

Mark said, "Put the gun down and we'll talk."

A door on the far end of the room opened and three more guards entered the room with guns pointed at me and my family. It was a hopeless situation. With no choice, I loosened my grip on the gun and leaned down to lay it on the floor at my feet. Halfway down, my eye caught Tom's. There was pain in them, but determination as well, he winked and indicated the other side of the room with the guards. I nodded once and left my gun on the floor. I lifted my hands in surrender and stood up straight.

"Is Gene with you too or did he just find out about you?" I asked, staring Jack in the eye.

Jack shook his head and said, "It's complicated, but you already know that. Step back."

I took a single step backward. The sound of a pin dropping next to Tom turned everyone's attention. I did not wait for the results, I charged Jack, grabbing his gun arm and kneeing him in the groin with all the force I could muster. Jack bellowed, but held tight to the gun. The other side of the room exploded into fire and light. I slammed the top of my head into Jack's nose, sending him stumbling backward, his gun waving useless in the air. Letting go of him I spun around, kicking him hard in the chest and sending him into the wall, before he crashed to floor. The three guards on the other side of the room were laying on the floor moaning and bleeding and Mark was steadying himself against the wall, raising his gun to aim at me. Tom shot him and rolled to the side on the floor, taking aim at Jack. I dived to the floor for my own gun and making it harder for Jack to get a bead on me. Tom and I shot him at the same time, dropping Jack in a limp puddle on the floor.

"Real bullets," Tom said in a raspy voice, looking at me as I crawled the short distance between us.

"I was wrong," I said, reaching out to him. "I'm sorry."

"You have to go," He said, grabbing my hand.

My eyes grew wide, glossed with tears and I said, "I'm not leaving you."

He smiled, the half cocky smile I had fallen in love with and said, "It's not your fault, kid. Take care of your family. I'll buy you as much time as I can. Now go."

Tom turned away from me and dragged himself along the floor toward the nearest door. Outside the sound of pounding boots echoed against the walls. Steve, Jenny and Geoff were huddled together, confused and scared. I pushed myself to my feet, blinking back tears and setting my jaw.

"Steve, help me," I said, grabbing Tom's arm and trying to pull him to his feet. Steve blinked at me and I said, "Now!"

Steve shook off whatever was holding him back and Tom said, "Allison—

"I'm not leaving you," I said, and Tom shook his head realizing I was not going to change my mind.

Steve ran to the other side of Tom and lifted him up off the floor to a standing position. Tom leaned against him heavily, leaving me free to move and I did. Stepping through the doorway with my gun at the ready, I led the way out. Guards were definitely coming but fortunately none were in sight yet. We headed for the exit as fast as we could with Steve half carrying, half dragging Tom.

I emptied my gun on a group of guards waiting for us at the end of the hall. One of them got off a wild shot that splintered wallboard next to my head, but I barely took note. Without missing a step, I ejected the empty clip and let it clatter on the floor while I slapped in a fresh one. As a group, we burst out of the building into the daylight.

The SUV was still running and waiting for us with the passenger door wide open. A shadow to my right caught my attention and I turned with my gun, squeezing the trigger before I was even certain anything was there. A guard dropped to the ground and another behind him started shooting wildly. A bullet sparked against the cement at my feet and another shattered the window in the open car door. I squeezed the trigger again and the shooting stopped.

"Get in," I said, helping Steve get Tom into the passenger seat. Jenny lifted Geoff into the backseat and climbed in after him. Steve fastened Tom into the seat and I made my way around to the driver's seat with bullets bouncing all around me as a group of guards ran toward us from the airstrip. As soon as Steve climbed in the back I floored the accelerator and turned the wheel to head us out the same way we had came in. I hit the auto call button on my phone attached to the dash and waited for Kyra to answer.

Steve said, "I want to know what the hell is going on Allison."

"Hang on," I said, spotting a military style jeep just before it slammed into the side of us. I fought the sideways slant and kept the SUV on course.

"I was beginning to worry," Kyra said, her voice breaking up over the speaker.

"We ran into some trouble," I said.

Tom grit his teeth through obvious pain as the SUV bounced on the uneven road. The bullet had passed straight through his vest and penetrated dangerously close to his heart. He kept his hand pressed against the wound, but there was very little blood. I did not need to be a doctor to know that was a very bad sign. I pushed aside the panic threatening to overwhelm me and focused on driving.

More military style jeeps joined the chase nearly surrounding us and making maneuvering more difficult by the second. They were definitely not going to let us get away easy and though I had known it from the start, I was beginning to worry I had not thought the plan through enough. Tom was not supposed to get hurt, nobody was supposed to get hurt, but for some reason the rules had changed.

I drove as erratically as I could manage without losing control. The jeeps swerved from side to side, breaking only at the last moment as I turned into their paths forcing them to stay behind us. Gun fire bounced along the road beside us, but they seemed more interested in capturing us than killing us. If either Geoff or I were some place else I have a feeling they would have just blown the SUV to pieces. Accelerating hard, I rammed us through a blockade, admiring the splintering lumber as it washed over the windshield.

Kyra said, “Allison, they’re cutting you off with jeeps from all directions.”

“Are you on the ground yet?” I asked.

“Almost, but you’ll never get through to the rendezvous,” Kyra replied.

I studied the satellite image on the small screen of my phone. The road blocks were obvious enough and Kyra was right, the only way to the rendezvous was through them. Monstrous as the SUV was, it could not possibly tank its way through. I was going to have to make a hole. I glanced at Tom and hoped he had enough fight left in him.

“You still with me?” I asked, grabbing his arm.

“Always,” He said, struggling with the effort to simply look in my direction.

“Kyra get the jet on the ground and as soon as the SUV is aboard, take off,” I ordered.

“But you can’t possibly get to it,” Kyra said in protest.

“I don’t have time to argue. Trust me, please,” I said.

“Alright. We’re moving in for final approach now,” Kyra said.

“Tom, you’re going to have to drive,” I said.

He stared at me for a moment and as our eyes locked I had no doubt he knew what I was planning. I braced for the argument to come, but Tom just gave me a half smile and said, "Thought you'd never ask."

I ejected the clip from my gun and slapped a fresh one into the hilt, knowing I would need every advantage. Grabbing the door handle with a steadiness I did not feel , I yanked and kicked the door open against the wind. I hit the breaks, turning the wheel at the same time so the closest jeep in pursuit slammed into the open door and ripped it from its hinges.

“What the hell are you doing?” Steve said, grabbing the back of my seat and pulling himself forward.

“What I have to. I’m sorry I got your family pulled into this, but I swear Tom and Kyra will get you home,” I said.

“What are you talking about?” Steve asked.

“Wish I had time to explain,” I said. “Kyra, when I took this job, Joe said if anything ever happened to me he'd make sure my family was taken care of, I expect you to hold him to it."

“Allison? What are you doing?” Kyra asked.

“Sorry, we're out of time,” I said.

Before I could change my mind or someone talked me out of it, I did what I had to do. I engaged the cruise control and made sure Tom had the wheel. With my gun in my hand I leaned out the side and gauged the distance to the jeep. Taking a deep breath, I jumped from the SUV, leaving the fate of my family in Tom's hands. In his condition it was a chance, but Tom Clark has a stubborn streak almost as strong as my own. He would get them to safety if it was the last thing he ever did and I hoped it was not.

Flying through the air I shot three of the four men in the jeep and then managed to twist my body around so that when the jeep hit me I slid on my butt on its hood until my back slammed into the windshield, cracking the glass. I allowed the momentum to carry me, flipping me over the windshield and landing in the backseat behind a stunned driver. He never had a chance.

I shoved him out of the jeep and took his place behind the wheel. Steve's pale and stunned face stared at me through the back side window of the SUV as I accelerated passed them. I forced a grim smile, figuring it would probably be the last time we ever exchanged looks. Tom was in the driver’s seat and looking better for having a purpose and goal. I pushed the jeep faster and sped out in front of them. My hand grabbed the automatic rifle from the lap of the unconscious man next to me. I aimed it over the cracked windshield and started firing as soon as the blockade was in sight.

They shot back at first but once they realized I was not slowing down, the men scrambled, desperate to get clear. It was only seconds before I hit the mass of vehicles and when I did the grinding crunch of metal was like fingernails on a chalkboard. I kept the accelerator married to the floor, but the damage from the collision was too much. I lost control of the jeep and it flipped into the air, turning the world upside down.

The SUV went by in what seemed like slow motion. I waited for the flashes of my life to flutter before my eyes or the ground to smash my skull into a million pieces. To my surprise neither happened. Upside down, the jeep crashed into the ground, but somehow the frame protected me from being crushed into oblivion. In the distance, I watched the SUV drive up the rear ramp of the waiting jet. The jet raised its ramp and sped off down the open stretch of road. I breathed a sigh of relief watching it lift off, carrying the people I cared about out of harm's way. My eyes fluttered closed, but the nearby crunch of broken glass under boots reminded me I was far from safe or alone.


  1. Ash, you've really outdone youself this time.
    This was some of the best action that I've read in a long time.
    You are doing so well sweet author, I think that I love you!!! :D
    Warm hugs,

  2. Holy cow! Great writing! This story just keeps getting better. Great action!

  3. Ash,
    Great story, Virginia sure does what she has to for her family and friends and puts her life second to her family and friends. awesome action
    Thanks for the fantastic chapter enjoyed that
    AL :)

  4. Paul, The action sequences here were stuck in my head for a very long time and it's great to have finally put them in place.

    Courtney, I think I have saved the best parts for last. This scene was one I had in my head from very nearly the beginning of the project and it has been very hard to wait for it to fit into the story. Glad you enjoyed it.

    François, Nice to hear from you again.

    Al, Allison has a lot of motivations for the things she is doing here and not all of them are for the benefit of others. Of course, with so few parts remaining I won't give anything away, but suffice to say, not everything is as it seems.