2017 Erotica story: The Secrets of Liberty Mountain – Chapter 25
As the drone’s camera pointed straight down, Alice and I stared straight up, whooping for joy, our mouths as wide open as baby sparrows awaiting a fresh worm. Our hungry-bird-faces filled the screen as Lisa looked down at her notes and paused the video.
“Oomph!” I let out an involuntary snort of laughter, we looked fucking ridiculous. Alice tried to stifle giggles. The audience got the joke. Titters and chuckles filled the hall.
Lisa had a puzzled expression on her face as she looked up from her notes and glanced around for the source of sudden amusement. I pointed to the television screen over her head, and she turned, looked up and burst into laughter.
“Sorry,” she laughed as she pointed her controller at the screen and advanced the video several seconds to a slightly more flattering and less humiliating image of Alice and me.
Like a school kid trying to get the teacher’s attention I raised my hand and waved it to and fro.
“Yes, Mr. Richards, your question?” she nodded . I had permission to speak.
“Those pictures are amazing, err, no, not those,” I said as I waved at the hungry sparrow image on the screen, “the other ones. We were what? Fifteen-miles out? I didn’t think a drone had the necessary range for extended operation in the mountains.”
“Normally they don’t. Too much interference for FM line of sight communications and we don’t want to rely on satellite communications. When the shit hits the fan, they’ll be useless. They’ll either get knocked out, or the government will shut ’em down. We solved the problem by running our drones in pairs. One does a ground level contour search while the twin ghosts along at high altitude and acts as a radio relay.”
I let out a low whistle. The drone operation was much more sophisticated than it appeared at first glance, There was some serious brain power at work.
“Actually it’s fortunate we spotted you when we did, it was the last mission. We had no trace of you. No visual. No radio. No thermal signature. You had vanished,” Lisa said as she clicked the video to life.
A ground-level view taken by the rescue party replaced the aerial images from the drone as the rescue party’s camera followed the snow-trail to the entrance of our mine shaft. The camera paid special attention to downed saplings and the resulting snow shield.
“Alice, quite ingenious. What made you think of it?” Lisa inquired.
“Not my idea. It was his,” Alice looked at me.
“Oh,” Lisa said as the video changed to a view of our makeshift tent and the heaps of sleeping rattlesnakes slumbering against the back wall of the cavern.
“All things considered, Hunter-One did an excellent job surviving the storm,” Lisa said as the last images of our mine shaft survival camp played out on the huge screen.
“We’ve seen how this escapade ended. Now we need to know how it all began. What went wrong? What prevented your return to base?” Lisa put her hands on her hips and waited.
I shook off the feeling I was a kid about to give some lame-ass excuse to my mother for missing curfew.
They always say discretion is the better part of valor. I sat in silence, leaned forward, wiped my palms on my thighs, and returned Lisa’s gaze.
Group questions are a form of verbal volleyball. I wasn’t in a good position to answer, so I let my partner do the honors.
“I knew there was a storm on the way, but I miscalculated its arrival,” Alice passed to me.
“We decided to shelter in place and ride out the blizzard when we found the mine shaft,” I bumped the question back to Alice.
“It’s a good thing we got the revised weather advisory,” Alice answered the volley.
“Then you must have also received the recall order I issued,” the society’s leader spiked the ball into the ground at Alice’s feet.
Bad move. Never put new information in circulation until all the questions have been asked.
“So? You’re responsible?” Lisa’s expression hardened as she took a step forward and glowered at Alice.
There was something about her expression which reminded me of the Death Star sequence from a StarWars movie. Lisa had acquired Alice as a target. The next shot would be lethal.
“You can’t blame everything on Alice. I also got your message, and I said nothing. I share the responsibility for not following your directive,” I reached over and gave Alice’s hand a squeeze. We were in this together.
The Death Star held its fire as Lisa turned to the sisterhood and asked, “Does anyone have a question?”
“Alice! Did he force you to have sex?” a voice shouted from the rear of the hall. I looked around for the owner. Nobody there.
“Yah! I heard he assaulted you and your daughter in the shower,” shouted one of the women from the coffee-line, apparently in support of her partner’s sex question
My pulse quickened as the hair on the nape of my neck and arms bristled. The low rumble of anger filled the hall. The incendiary question was a lighted match drooping into a pool of gasoline.
“Belinda, that’s a fucking lie and you God damned well know it!” Alice screamed as she pounded the table with her fist.
“Nothing like that happened! Why are you telling lies?” A tearful StarShine pleaded as she rose to her feet, turned around, and faced Belinda.
“Order!” Lisa stood behind the table and slammed the gavel down with an echoing crash.
“Enough! You are not to speak unless you’ve been recognized by me. Is. That. Understood?” She virtually spits out the last three words, each a complete sentence accented by fury.
Pausing to take a deep breath, Lisa continued as her tone softened, “Please direct all questions to the chair.”
The leader surveyed the assembly as she made eye contact with every person in the hall. Satisfied her statement had been understood, she slowly lowered herself back into her chair.
“Mr. Richards, would you care to respond to Belinda’s charge?” Lisa turned to me and nodded her permission to speak.
“I’ve never forced myself on anyone. I don’t attend parties if I’m not invited,” I folded my hands in front of me and took a deep breath as a bead of perspiration trickled down my back. I searched for the quiet center. Carry on and stay calm.
Darlene’s arm shot into the air and waved as she jumped to her feet, and demanded to be recognized.
“Speak your mind,” Lisa waved her hand in recognition.
“Thank you. I have two questions. The first is for Alice,” Darlene paused and looked Alice in the eye.
“Alice, through the Chair, you were naked and sleeping with him for a week. Did the two of you ever have sex?” Darlene waited for the answer, her hands clasped before her like a shy schoolgirl.
Darlene’s body language was deliberately scripted to appear as a spontaneous display of innocence.
“Your answer?” Lisa turned to Alice.
Silence filled the hall as members leaned forward with interested voyeurism. Intimate details are always crowd pleasers.
“Yes. We had sex. The consent was mutual. We enjoyed each other’s company,” Alice touched the back of my hand.
“Thank you. I have one more question,” Darlene paused and waited for the chair’s permission to proceed.
“And your question is?” Lisa gestured for her to continue.
“This question is for you, Lisa. I understand you shared your bed with Dennis. What happened?”
The leader’s eyes widened in surprise as she shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
Darlene’s blunt question put the hearing’s officer into an impossible position. If I had been in her shoes, I’m not sure how I would proceed. You can not adjudicate a hearing while also presenting new evidence and testifying as a witness.
“Due to potential conflicts of interest, I respectfully decline to answer. Please direct any questions concerning that night to Mr. Richards,” Lisa pointed toward me.
“Thank you. Dennis, err, Mr. Richards, did you spend the night in Lisa’s bed? Please answer yes or no unless asked for elaboration,” Alice instructed.
“Yes. We spent the night together,” I cleared my throat as I fingered my wristwatch. Where was she going with this line of questioning?
“Were both of you naked?” Darlene pressed for details.
“Yes,” I shifted and glanced around the hall.
“Did you try to seduce Lisa?”
“No,” I answered.
“Did Lisa try to seduce you?”
We were in dangerous territory. I didn’t want to throw Lisa under the bus, but at the same time, I didn’t want to get caught in a lie. Silence isn’t an option.
“I’m not sure seduction is the right question. She invited me to her room, and I accepted,” I decided to tell the carefully varnished truth, and I cautiously chose my words.
“Did you attempt intercourse with Ms. Carson?” Darlene’s shift to proper sir names sounded like she had been watching too many Perry Mason re-runs.
“Yes,” the less said, the better.
“And?” Darlene pantomimed opening an imaginary door in the air, and with a half, bow she waved her arm with a flourish and invited me to enter. Her tight lip smile and the sparkling eyes of a predator told me she was up to something.
I licked my lips and took a sip of coffee and glanced at Lisa and Alice before turning to face Darlene and the Society of Sisters.
“I think Lisa was trying to consummate my arrival at Liberty Mountain. Sex is her way of getting to know and trust people,” I could see heads nodding as members recalled personal experiences of getting to know Lisa in the biblical sense.
“She did an excellent job of getting me aroused. When I attempted to return the favor, she tensed up,” I shook my head and took another sip of tepid coffee.
“I asked permission to proceed, and she declined. I stopped, and nothing more happened. We fell asleep in each other’s arms,” I replied.
“Is Mr. Richards’ statement accurate?”
Lisa nodded in the affirmative.
“I submit the testimony and statements given by Alice, her daughter StarShine, and our leader are proof that Dennis is not the sexual predator he was alleged to be,” Darlene pronounced as she frowned at the two women from the coffee line. The younger woman responded with a half smile and shrug of her shoulders while her older partner glared at me like an industrial laser. If looks could kill, I would’ve been a smoldering ash heap.
Darlene’s next words were submerged in a rising tide of conversation as the membership began to digest the implications of her statement. Every now and then I caught a sister glance in my direction as she talked to her companion. Several of the glances ended in smiles ranging from bold to shy.
I was surprised at the silence of the Moderator’s gavel. And was amazed she let the chatter run its course for several minutes. At the crest of discussion, she restored an easy silence with a few knuckle raps on the table.The subtle use of the human touch made the call to order more personal and less authoritarian. I smiled in spite of myself. She was likely a far better poker player than I thought.
“Thank you, Darlene, for the compelling testimony. Does any member of the Society wish to dispute the evidence of Mr. Richard’s innocence?” Crickets.
The floor is now open to general questions. Those wishing to ask Alice or Dennis questions relating to their survival experience, rise and be recognized.”
For the longest time, the invitation went unanswered. Then the woman sitting next to StarShine stood up and asked Alice, “What was it like being with a man, I mean Dennis, around the clock for seven days? You two couldn’t even take a shit in private? I would go crazy even if he were my brother.”
One of the members brought the house down with the cat-call, “I would go crazy if it was my brother.”
“Alice, you go first. Then I will ask Mr. Richards to respond,” Lisa leaned back in her chair and motioned Alice to answer.
I leaned slightly forward and rested my hand on my knee to keep it from shaking as the fear induced adrenalin-high from fear of a run-away lynch mob society abated. That was too flipping close for comfort.
“I would have gone crazy if it wasn’t for Dennis. I hate snakes. I was scared to death,” Alice said with a shiver as she fought to keep her composure. Phobias are not logical creatures, and mind fear can paralyze even an Olympic strong-man. Or woman.
I thought Darlene wore the crown when it came to the over-sharing of personal information. Darlene’s prize crumbled as Alice embarked on an explicitly detailed account of every moment we were together. Her account of lovemaking cut short by premature ejaculation left me blushing and fidgeting in my chair. I was getting sliced and diced like a laboratory rat.
My status was slightly redeemed when Alice pronounced me to be an excellent lover despite my deficiencies. I licked my lips and suppressed the temptation to smile. The mood of the assembly was shifting away from hostile toward almost friendly, or at least friendly curiosity.
My turn to answer came after nearly forty-five minutes of testimony when Lisa thanked Alice for sharing as she turned to me and said, “And what was it like to spend so much time with Alice? What kept you from going crazy?”
“As far as our time together? It was frustrating, aggravating, annoying, and wonderful roller coaster ride. We survived because we worked together and we needed each other. I kept in mind that as annoying as all this was to me, it had to be just as bad for Alice. We were stuck with each other for better or worse, so we made the best of it,” I shrugged and touched her hand with mine.
“We had a choice. We could be friends pretending to be lovers or lovers pretending to be friends. We decided to be friends,” I leaned back in my chair as I finished speaking. I had no more to say.
For the next hour, the line of inquiry from the membership meandered like a lazy river all over the map. Did we get bored with nothing to do? Sometimes, but mostly we were too busy being scared to be bored. Did we ever lose hope of rescue? Yes and yes. How did we spend our time? Sleeping, talking, napping, fooling around, feeling depressed, cheering each other up, screwing, and sleeping.
Gradually the sisters narrowed their questions and began to focus on my future status. It was Alice’s daughter who finally addressed the elephant in the room: “Dennis, do you want to join the sisterhood as a permanent member of the society?”
TO BE CONTINUED
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 2
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 3
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 4
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 5
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 6
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 7
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 8
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 9
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 10
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 11
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 12
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 13
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 14
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 15
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 16 T
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 17
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 18
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 19
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 20
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 21
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 22
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 23
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 24
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 25
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 26
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 27
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 28
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 29
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 30