The Beast of Bell Island (heavily edited)

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The Beast of Bell Island (heavily edited)

Post by Kisupure » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:05 pm

So after a recent trip to the actual San Juans, I got the inspiration I needed to finish this story... and also edit the fuck out of it. :P This was originally posted to SW Realm in response to some fairy-tale idea thread I started.

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Ch. 1

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"Did I tell you that they're sending me to Bell Island?" Martin called from the hallway bathroom where he was doing a last once-over before leaving for work.

His daughter, Brooke, who was reading in the living room of her father's Anacortes home, looked up from her book. "No. Where's Bell Island?"

"Just east of Crane Island," he said, now in the foyer as he gathered his things. "It should be a quick in-and-out, but I'll have to charter a boat to get there. Probably be gone all day."

Brooke nodded, brown eyes going back to her forensics textbook. Martin, her old man, was a private investigator often contracted out by the San Juan County police department to look into spurious goings on in their sleepy little corner of the world. Brooke had been raised in it, her mother having passed away when she was younger, and was fully committed on entering into the family business once she was done with school.

Though she wasn't often privvy to the details of his cases, he had always, always told her where he was going and when he would be back... just in case. You never knew what trouble might find you in such a line of work. Dangerous situations happened.

"What kind of case is it?"

"Private client," he said, looking for his keys. "Guy wants to know what his business partner is up to... I guess the man dropped off the map a few years ago and still owns half the company."

"Yikes," she said non-committaly. "You think he's dead?"

"That's what we're going to find out." With keys successfully located, he opened the door and stepped out. "I'll be back before dinner," he called. "Have a good day!"

She flatly returned the goodbye and promptly went back to reading.

-

Her father was not, in fact, back before dinner. That in itself wasn't especially unusual, but what was is the fact that he hadn't contacted her all evening. She picked up the phone and called the station, but the young detective on the other end of the line hadn't heard from Martin since the day before. Brooke was beginning to worry, sitting in tense silence over her microwave dinner as she tried to convince herself that maybe his phone was just dead, or maybe he dropped it into the water while on his way over, or...

Her own phone buzzed then: a text message from an unfamiliar number.

Hi honey, looks like I'll be staying here for a few days

Relief washed over her... for a moment. Brooke looked at the message again, feeling that the wording wasn't quite right. Her father had never called her honey - and the details were just vague enough to be suspicious. She started to get ready for bed, but sleep would be slow coming until the hamster wheel of thoughts stopped turning in her head.

-

School over the next two days kept her busy enough. Midterms were coming up, there was lab work to do, and her "side" job of answering the phones for her dad's PI business distracted her from the fact that she hadn't heard from him since that night. It all seemed like such a routine job - the guy was either there or he wasn't, right? One morning she happened to discover that he hadn't brought his medications with him: they were still on the bathroom counter, where he took them every morning before brushing his teeth. This was not good.

Brooke knew something was wrong, so she sat down at Martin's desk and began to do her own research about where, exactly, the man had gone.

Bell Island, she found out, was a privately owned piece of land in the middle of the channel and some acres in size. A wealthy, young tech entrepreneur had bought and built on it some six years before, after his AI dev company, Orcasoft, launched a wildly successful IPO. 2 years ago, though, this entrepreneur, a certain Jack Ilyin, had taken an extended leave of absence and never returned, leaving his VP, Gary Patel, to run the whole damn show.

"Well this is interesting," Brooke muttered to herself as she squinted at a headline showing up on the page of search results: Possible Orcasoft acquisition on the table. Google, apparently, was in talks with Mr. Patel about a buyout. But as Brooke suspected, a deal couldn't be made until Ilyin could be tracked down - whether he approved or not was anyone's guess at this point, but either way, the acquisition was dead in the water until they could get the man's John Hancock on the dotted line.

Brooke sat back in the desk chair and thought. Certainly, she felt a little better now, knowing that her father was not likely in immediate physical danger. This was a high-profile business, run by high-profile businessmen - surely, then, the specifics of Ilyin's apparent renunciation of society was a tangled mess of financial and legal complications that, truth be told, might be better hashed out in court.

Of course, that's probably the advice her father was giving to Mr. Ilyin right now, but still... Brooke wanted to make sure everything was alright. And at least take him his medications. She glanced at the clock, and decided to call up a friend of hers at the marina.

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Re: The Beast of Bell Island (heavily edited)

Post by Nyx » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:03 am

I've always loved the heck out of your male giant stories, and this one is fantastic as well.
My Stories and Other Work: http://sizechange.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/giantessnyx

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Re: The Beast of Bell Island (heavily edited)

Post by Kisupure » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:03 pm

Thanks, Nyx! Even though this one's a little fluffier than my other ones.... :B

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Re: The Beast of Bell Island (heavily edited)

Post by Kisupure » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:21 pm

Oh lordy, I forgot I was rewriting this. And then a bunch of other awful shit happened that obliterated 6 months of my life. Oy. Well, I'm back at it and damn well plan on finishing it this time.

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Ch. 2

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Brooke made small talk with Andy on the way out from Anacortes, but it was hard over the roaring drone of the runabout’s outboard motor. And she was distracted besides. He asked about her dad, but she didn’t have much to tell him – he just assumed that it was a sensitive case and didn’t press any further.

“There!” he shouted over the sound of the motor, and pointed toward a hump of land ahead as it was beginning to make itself distinguishable from the larger masses around it. The morning fog was beginning to burn off and the chill was being lifted from the air, but she thought it was curious just how much of the silvery wisps still clung to the island she was heading for. She couldn’t make out a single structure this way; just a mass of trees.

“Not sure where the dock is,” she shouted in return. Andy nodded and once they were within a hundred or so yards of the shore they began to head around and see where he might be able to drop her off. Eventually they found one jutting modestly out from the north-western part of the island. The fog was so thick on this side that they almost went right past it, though; it had Brooke wondering if this area had some kind of unique low pressure spot that encouraged such a drastically different microclimate than the sound and islands around it.

A looming white shape came into view as they approached the dock: it was the unmistakable silhouette of a Lazzarra 60-foot yacht. “Holy shit,” Brooke murmured as she gathered up her bag and opened up the front her jacket. She turned to Andy. “Stay here for a minute in case he doesn’t want me coming in.” Her father, while carrying the credentials of a private detective, still didn’t have the authority of a real law enforcement official, and could only set foot on private property by permission. Brooke didn’t even have that much, and was going to play it safe.

She stepped out of the runabout and helped him to loosely tie off on one of the dock’s cleats before pausing to glance at the massive boat sitting in the water on the other side. It seemed… disused. Moss was beginning to grow around the teak-capped railings, dust dulled her tinted windows, and as she walked up the boards toward the shore, she saw that the vinyl lettering adorning the stern of the thing was cracking and faded. Even the ropes holding the boat to the dock were green with moss and algae, and in parts, overgrown with barnacles.

Brooke came to a gate at the end of the dock, and a kind of slim kiosk featuring an input pad, security camera, and video screen. Summoning her courage, she pressed the call button and waited.

“Hello, how can I help you?” a charismatic voice soon answered. It had a faint hint of an accent she couldn’t place.

She brought her mouth to the speaker. “Hi there, my name’s Brooke Foster. I’m the daughter and assistant to Martin Foster, and I’m here to make sure things are going smoothly with Mr. Ilyin.”

There was a long, suspicious silence that didn’t leave her with much confidence in the situation. With a frown, she narrowed her eyes at the camera and spoke clearly. “If you do not let me in or let me speak to my father in person, then I will be more than happy to let the police convince you to do so.”

Brooke started when the gate automatically unlocked with a harsh buzzing and she quickly pushed it open before it locked again. She turned, waved at Andy through the fog, gave him a thumbs up, and watched him pull in the ropes. With a deep breath she turned back to the gate, pushed it open, and headed up the cedar-planked path through the trees.

-

There was an unsettling sort of quiet about the place, she noticed, and security was high: two-hundred feet of pathway yielded four cameras, and she could feel their electronic eyes on her. The dense tree cover masked whatever water traffic passed the island by; it seemed to mask her own footfalls too. She wondered how far a scream would carry in an environment like this.

Eventually, a house came into view. Well, ‘house’ was an understatement: it was a beautifully designed, sprawling, three-story villa of stark modern design. This, like the yacht, seemed normal at first glance, but the closer she got, the less sure she was. One of the west-facing, floor-to-ceiling windows was cracked, and she could barely make out the silhouettes of upturned furniture inside. The wall around the house, made from more planks of handsome cedar arranged horizontally, sported another gate, which this time just buzzed open as she approached. The pathway was slabs of expensive-looking stone now, mossy in the gaps between them. But there were leaves and pine needles everywhere, and, it seemed, plants sprouting up where no landscaper worth his salt would have permitted.

Brooke only stopped when she came to the mahogany door, inlaid with rough slices of redwood burl. Door alone probably worth ten grand, she thought with raised brows. She sucked in a deep breath, ignoring the camera and viewscreen beside her, and pulled out her own little case file: a few printed articles on Orcasoft, a satellite photo of the island, and some of her father’s insurance information… just in case.

At the top, though, she’d paper-clipped a photo of Jack Ilyin: he was a man in his mid-thirties, with dirty blond hair and blue eyes, and a rugged facial structure that was very obviously of Russian stock. As part of her research she watched a video of him giving some kind of TEDx talk a few years back, and he lacked all trace of a foreign accent. But he’d been very good with his audience – he was a natural. Which, of course, begged the question even more: what could force such a talented, charismatic, handsome man from the tech world’s limelight?

Tucking the folder under her arm and pretending that she had every right to be here, she ignored the call button and simply knocked on the door.

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Re: The Beast of Bell Island (heavily edited)

Post by Kisupure » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:45 pm

Ch. 3

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The door undid itself with an unassuming click of a latch and swung inward. It was dim, lit only by the natural light filtering through the thinning marine layer of clouds and fog outside, but not dark. The entryway was large and deceiving in its grandeur; Brooke knew money when she saw it, even with plain walls and spartan furnishings. Two large paintings hung in the foyer: if she were to guess, they were probably around 100 years old, and from some early European abstract movement. Surely worth hundreds of thousands each.

The floor was Italian marble, and the only pieces of furniture nearby, a console table and bench, were hand-cast bronze. “Wow,” she whispered. But it was time to gather herself and stop gawking at the scenery. “Hello?” she called, taking a few nervous steps further into the house. “Mr. Ilyin? Dad?” There was a draft, she noticed.

“I’m afraid you won’t be seeing Master Ilyin today,” came a gentle voice from a hall to her left. She recognized it as the same one from the comm at the gate, and –

The folder fell to the floor as Brooke stifled a gasp at the creature standing there. He – it – was about her height, and bore an uncanny resemblance to… well, C-3PO, maybe? This one was a glossy white plastic instead of brassy metal, though, and instead of a face it had a single green light in the middle of a smooth, featureless mask. It tilted its head at her in an oddly human way before straightening back up again.

“Uh…”

“I am AMOS, Master Ilyin’s Autonomous and Mobile Household Servitor. That is, using the ‘O’ in household instead of the ‘H’. Acronyms can be pesky things, sometimes.”

Brooke eyed the robot, now noticing the Orcasoft logo neatly printed along his left shoulder panel, and below that, the word ‘prototype’. “You must be what Google wants,” she muttered to herself.

“I’m afraid that such matters are for Master Ilyin to worry about,” the robot said in that lilting warmth of a well-designed AI. “May I interest you in some food or drink?”

Brooke was only half-listening to the robotic servant as she took more tentative steps into the hall and looked around. The end of the foyer was a wall that hid the expanse of the great room on the other side. On the far wall was a bank of windows, floor to ceiling, that gave a breathtaking view of a courtyard flanked by the two sprawling wings of the house. What was breathtaking about this view, however, was not its beauty, but the fact that the whole space looked as if it had once been utterly torn apart.

Sliding doors had been unmoored from their tracks and cast aside, the delicate landscaping in the courtyard beyond the glass a trampled mess. The carpet near the doors was dark with moisture and moss, and the furniture – expensive couches, coffee tables, side tables, lounges, credenzas – all thrown against the walls to make room for a bizarre pile of blankets, pillows, and mattresses some twenty feet across in the middle of the room. The only thing that appeared to have remained untouched was the 80″ flatscreen TV against the west wall. That explained the draft, at least.

Brooke realized she’d been holding her breath as she stared, and it took Amos to bring her out of her horrified stupor.

“Ah, yes, that,” it said with a touch of embarrassment. “I can assure you that at the time, Master Ilyin had his… reasons.”

“Where’s my dad?” she demanded. This was a bad situation. A bad situation and they needed to get out ASAP. “Tell me where he is or I swear to god I will call the police right now.”

The robot seemed startled, if a faceless toy could be startled – its light blinked at her a few times before slumping its shoulders and turning to head down the hall in something almost resembling a pout. “Mr. Foster is perfectly safe, I can assure you.” They passed trashed art, guest rooms and pool rooms and smoking rooms (none of which seemed to have been used in years), and rooms with the ceilings apparently caved in and their door frames ripped out. There was water damage, and in some areas, mold creeping up the walls. “And he has, I should note, met the master of the house.”

The way those words came out sent a chill down her spine. Brooke wasn’t sure she wanted to meet ‘the master of the house’ anymore.

Amos led her down a short flight of stairs to a basement of sorts. It had once been a wine cellar, and still may have been one yet – this space had been mostly spared the treatment of the other parts of the houes, and most of the wine bottles themselves sat unharmed in their racks, gathering dust. At the far end of the cellar, and below a strangely macguyver’d trap door, sat her father at a table, surrounded by papers. He was reading intently, but cradling his head as though the weight of the world was on his shoulders. An empty wine glass was on the table beside him.

“Dad!” Brooke shouted, breaking into a sprint.

Martin Foster, P.I., glanced up from what he was doing and suddenly had the look of a man who thought he’d never see his daughter again writ on his face.”Brooke!” He immediately rose from his chair and hugged her tight. “What in the world are you doing here!” he exclaimed, then remembering something, he repeated himself in a low and panicked tone as he grabbed her by the shoulders. “What in the world are you doing here?”

“I was about ready to file a missing persons report!” she replied, narrowing her eyes at him. “What are you doing here? We gotta get you home!” She fumbled through her small bag and produced a bright orange bottle. “Here, I even brought you your medication.”

He was suddenly a haunted man, and looked to the trap door above them as though any minute something terrible might fall out from it. “No, no… you need to go. I-I have a job to finish here.”

“Dad, bring the papers with you. Read them at home. You can call this creep when you finish, and -”

“It’s not like that,” Martin said curtly, taking the pill bottle from her. “It’s… it’s gotten complicated. I can’t leave now.”

Brooke’s heart began to race and her hands went clammy cold. “Did he threaten you?” she whispered. “My god, dad, we gotta get you out of here. This is kidnapping!”

He just shook his head and pushed her toward Amos. “It’s not like that,” he repeated. “Just go! I’ll be fine here until I finish the job. Now go, before he…”

There was a rumbling all of a sudden, a slow, steady, beating tremor that grew louder. Something was drawing near, and damn well shaking the foundation of the house as it approached. Then it stopped, but just for a moment before the trap door was opened up above them.

Brooke’s face lifted skyward and was greeted by a pair of large blue eyes, hard like chips of Siberian ice as they bored into her from high above.

“Who the hell is this?” came the deep, loud, and growling voice.

Brooke screamed.

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