Big Nine


He makes police brutality look good.

For those of you who don’t know, this is the character I’m playing in a long-ass goddamn roleplay that you can read here. It’s his more giant of the several chassis he uses throughout the story, and boy does he use the fuck out of it.

Read More

Discord Server

This isn’t exactly new, but a few months ago I migrated the Kiss Kiss Clang Clang slack board over to Discord!

The server is 18+, and for folks into robots, cyborgs, mecha, power armor, androids, transformers, and other related stuff (like macrophilia, vore, crush, and so on). There’s also a few of us who identify as objectum sexual and who are into real-life machines as well. I also set up a booru-style image board for the server too, since it seems that most social media has horrific tag/search systems that makes finding stuff difficult to impossible.

That’s about it! We’re small, lax, and mostly just shoot the shit sometimes. If you’re a mechaphile or robophile, join ussss.

Read More

Blood, Sweat, and… T?

As an addendum to the previous post, I’d like to take this opportunity to come out as a trans man. This discovery has been largely due to my time roleplaying with Reuven. Whether or not we ever have time to finish BST, I’m grateful for having the experience to play Hawker and having gotten the opportunity to get to know myself a little better while doing it.

I’m no stranger to trans identity, I should note. The roleplay didn’t “make” me trans or anything like that – I’ve known I was not cis for many years, and there have been major signs of transmasculinity going back as far as I can remember. From childhood attempts to shave, to teenage attempts to bind, to the inexplicable lifelong obsession with crossdressing, I’ve always been a little off.

So if you’ve been referring to me as either “she” or “they”, I’m ordering a full-stop: please exercise the use of male pronouns when talking to/about me from now on!

I’m also putting some of my smut projects on hold while I sort myself out. As it happens, sometimes the mental switch when a trans person realizes their true identity is sudden and complete, and continuing to do things the way they’d done them before can be unbearable at worst, or plain unappealing at best. For me, the shift has indeed happened, but I’m still mostly caught up in the whirlwind of it all, and I’m still evaluating my feelings right now. To go back to writing things from a woman’s POV right now would be difficult and uninteresting to me. This may not always be the case, but for now it is. I’m also, at the moment, unsure of how to handle my old submissive/tiny leanings. I still associate them with femininity and womanhood right now and am currently swinging WAY in the other direction with all these dominant urges, so time will only tell with that as well, though I know I’ve still got lots of bottom/sub/tiny bones in my body. It’s just a matter of giving myself time to adjust.

Say goodbye to the strictly femmy nonbinary sub that I was – and say hello to the new masc vers/switchy/size-shifting me~

Read More

Blood, Sweat, and Steel

Read Blood, Sweat, and Steel →

So late last year I started a roleplay that turned out to be balls to the wall amazing, and with the permission of my partner I started posting the logs to AO3. Things have since slowed down since the holidays – school is taking up a lot of Reuven’s time right now – but we do hope to finish the story someday. If that happens, great.

Anyways, the story is everything I could have ever wanted from a sizekinky mech-on-human smut story. And I mean everything. We’re obviously not done yet, but what we have is fuckin’ killer, if I do say so myself. Visitors to this blog may be interested in reading it, at any rate. For those of you who are, link’s at the top, and the tags/summary are here below:

BDSM, Heavy BDSM, Bruises, Biting, Mind Manipulation, Mind Control Aftermath & Recovery, Mind Control, Partial Mind Control, Neurology & Neuroscience, Macro/Micro, Size Kink, Size Difference, Robots, Giant Robots, Robot Kink, Mecha, Mechaphilia, Military Kink, Military Backstory, Police, World War III, Dubious Consent, Extremely Dubious Consent, Dubious Ethics, Sadism, Masochism, Mind Sex, Vore, Machine Vore, Near Future, Kink Negotiation, Consensual Kink, Consensual Violence, Non-Consensual Violence, Dom/sub, Training, Guns, Weapons, Weapons Kink, Dark Past, Roleplay Logs, Roleplay, Gang Violence, Battle Scenes, Hospitalization, Serious Injuries, Eventual Romance, Angst and Romance, Age Play, Daddy Kink, the truly fucked-up shit will not be tagged because of spoilers, Murder Kink, Murder Husbands, Murder, Orgasm Control, Oral Fixation, Oral Sex, Financial Domination, Date Rape Drug/Roofies, Ensemble Cast, ignoring the EXTREME EDGEPLAY this is actually still BDSM done mostly properly, and when its not done properly there are consequences, if you’re easily triggered by ANYTHING stay away; nothing’s really off-limits for us

“In neurospace, nobody can hear you scream.”

Chris is fresh out of Chicago’s police academy with an implant in the back of his neck designed for linking up with AI. Hawker is a 15-foot, 6-ton decommissioned piece of military equipment brought stateside after the nuclear holocaust of the Siberian War. Nobody was expecting Hawker to do anything but beat the living daylights out of every recruit who tried for compatibility with him, what with losing his previous pilot and best friend to a horrific gang fight 4 months before – but Chris finds himself, somehow, approved for training with the HLX-9 Vanguard unit. But the two have dark pasts and things to prove, and everyone at Chicago’s 42nd precinct contends with the nagging feeling that Officer Chris Celn will either wind up out the door one of these days, or worse: in a body bag.

This is the story of a twink pilot and his giant, metal, Kevlar Daddy and how they save the world, one post-WW3 Chicago at a time.

Think ‘Appleseed’ meets ‘Titanfall’ meets ‘Pacific Rim’ meets ‘The Secretary’.
Thanks Reuven for the fantastic RP <3

Read More

The Beast of Bell Island part 27

“What’s the matter?” Jack asked, brushing her shoulder with the pad of his big thumb as soon as the others were out of sight.

“I think I’m wondering why I’m still here,” she said, folding her arms and looking away. There was a crack in the wall; she looked at that.

“If you want to go home, I don’t blame you,” he said, smiling a little. “I’d hightail it out of here if I could, too.”

“But… I like you.”

Jack chuckled. “Right. That does complicate things, doesn’t it?” There was a pause as she began to start feeling sorry for herself again and didn’t say anything. “If it matters, I don’t want you to go,” he said quietly. “You’ve kept me laughing through all of this.”

“I don’t want to go,” Brooke elaborated, “But at the same time, I do. I miss my crappy food, my crappy car… I miss sitting on the floor in the living room and eating burgers while watching Netflix, you know?”

“You could do that here,” he blurted. “I mean… just because I’ve got money doesn’t mean you couldn’t… feel more at home.”

Brooke smiled. “Don’t forget I have school too, Sputnik.”

“Well that certainly trumps anything I’ve got.”

“This all has just felt like a weird vacation. I guess what I’m saying is…” She sucked in a breath and leaned into his touch. “That I think I have a life I need to get back to.”

“Brooke, you can leave whenever you need to leave. Though maybe a night passage would be less… stressful, given the circumstances.” He sounded sad. “However, I need for you to know that you’re welcome here any time, that if you need absolutely anything, give me a call, and I’ll see to it that you get it.”

“You mean it?”

Jack smiled. “Of course I do. Brooke, you…” Then he  scowled as he thought. “You gave me a new lease on life, you know. I’m in your debt.”

“It’s just what friends do,” she said, and waved him down for a kiss. After a moment he broke away.


She nodded. “Yeah, I think that’s what this is going to have to be for now. I need to finish school, finish finding myself, all that jazz… And you need to put your life back together.” There was a pause as she thought for a few seconds. There was still the elephant in the room. “What I don’t get is… why you’re still like this, though.”

Jack looked away and his face darkened. “I guess there’s still more work for me to do on myself,” he murmured.

Brooke was thinking up something to say when Amos’s voice sounded from the nearest green light. “Martin Foster is on the line for you, Master Ilyin.”

The two looked at each other and Jack cocked a brow. “Put him through.”

“Brooke?” came Martin’s voice.

“It’s the both of us, dad. What’s up?”

“Well, believe it or not, Lisa Thomas is dead.” Brooke and Jack exchanged surprised looks. “About an hour after I left the hospital, actually. She reacted to a drug they gave her, went into cardiac arrest, and boom. Gone.”

Brooke covered her mouth, feeling a little shook up. “Jesus… maybe she wasn’t full of crap after all, then.”

“Who can say,” said her dad. “Mr. Ilyin, what do you make of it?”

Jack’s shoulders had slumped, but he was rubbing at his face in deep thought. “I’ve got the sinking feeling that my exit clause went with her.” Brooke’s hand shot out to rest comfortingly on his knee. She watched as his other hand balled up into a fist, and the muscles in his arm tighten, but all he did was press his knuckles into the mattress hard enough to leave a permanent divot. “So that’s that, then,” he said.

“Dad, we’ll call you back later,” Brooke quickly said, and Amos cut the line before Martin had time to respond. She was up in his lap in half a second, balancing on his strong thigh, and trying to wrap her arms around some part of his chest. It was like trying to hug a tree. “Jack, I’m so sorry,” she said against him.

His arms went around her too, those thick, massive limbs almost twice as long as she was tall, and he held her for a good solid minute. She felt his deep, slow, powerful heartbeat under her cheek, and when he took a breath, he took her with him.

“I’m a tech genius, or so they say,” he rumbled quietly. “I should be able to figure this one out.”

“I know, but…”

He gave her a squeeze. “I’ll be fine, really. Don’t worry about me, alright?” Then: “I want you to go live your life.”

“I feel like I’m abandoning you now.”

Jack moved her away from him just enough to be able to look her in the eye. “Don’t. Don’t do that to yourself.”


“Finish school, young lady.”

She blushed and nodded. “Yeah, OK.”

He lifted her up to his face so he could kiss her. Her knees pressed to his chest and she held onto his rough, stubbled cheeks when he sucked her tiny lower lip into his mouth and took it between enormous teeth. A moment later and he was roughly exhaling through his nose and snaking his fingers through her hair to massage at her scalp and gently maneuver her head as they continued. Brooke’s own fingers raked from his jaw around to the hair behind his ears and she dragged her fingers along the skin there. He rumbled deeply, then broke away, running his thumb along her lip where his teeth had been.

“Can I visit you in Anacortes?” he asked.

She bit back a smile. “I don’t think you’d fit in the house. The backyard would probably be fine, though.”

“When do you want to go?”

“In the morning, I guess.”

He nodded. “I’ll arrange to have you escorted out of the house to the dock. I don’t want any of those damn sharks out there smelling blood and biting.”

“Thanks, Jack.”

The rest of the day was a whirlwind. Ryan came up with a PR strategy to manage things as best as anyone could hope for, and by afternoon he’d shot out a press release that the news stations promptly devoured like piranhas with a piece of meat. Jack, getting restless, wanted to speak to the reporters himself, but Michelle forbade it until that suit arrived. She also forbade him to drink anything for the rest of the day lest he needed to use the restroom.

As Ryan and Michelle buzzed around the house, making calls – via Amos, there was still no cell service – Jack was stuck in the great room with nothing else to do but watch TV. Brooke kept him company.

At some point, she looked outside and noticed a fog rolling in, and she remembered how thickly it had gathered about the island that morning she first arrived. When she turned her attention back to the news broadcast, the helicopter reporters were taking notice too, as their view of the house slowly faded away.


“What’s up?” he grunted.

“The creepy fog is back,” she said, looking outside.

“Yeah, I need to get a tarp or something to cover that goddamn hole in the wall.”

“Fog meaning obscurity, Jack.”

A little light went off in his head, and she thought it was mighty endearing that a computer genius like him could sometimes miss the most obvious of things. “Amos,” he said, getting onto hands and knees, “Tell Michelle I’m stretching my legs for a while.”

“Are you sure, Master Ilyin? I believe that Gary Patel is due to be hosting a press conference in roughly nine minutes.”

Jack snorted, squeezing outside and standing up. “I don’t need to tune in; I’ll be seeing that bastard in court soon enough.” Then he looked down at Brooke, who was standing next to his leg. “Shall we go for a walk?”

She smiled up at him. “One more for the road, right?”

His hands were around her, and she was hoisted up into the air to sit on his shoulder. She sucked in a gasp at the sudden gain in altitude and held onto his head, one of her hands gripping a fistful of his hair. Jack gave her a wink. “Yeah, something like that.”


Read More

The Beast of Bell Island part 26

“Oh goody,” Brooke said flatly as she stared at the news footage playing on the great room’s enormous screen. “We’re on TV.”

Before them was a live feed from one of the helicopters as it slowly loitered about the airspace above the island. They had the entire house in the camera’s sights, as well as the courtyard, some of the pool, and the front and south patios. The resolution was so good that she could even make out the outdoor furniture, and little dots that couldn’t have been anything other than the empty bottles that Jack had downed last night. She counted eight of them. At the top of the screen, in red and white, was a big title block that read BREAKING, and underneath that in smaller red and white was the word LIVE. At the bottom was somebody’s attempt at being cheeky: “Giant-Spotting On Ilyin Private Island”.

“If you’re just joining us now,” came the voiceover of an anchorman, “We are currently looking at the home of Jack Ilyin, the tech magnate who has taken the world by storm in his drunken confession video from last night, which he released after all but disappearing two years ago. If you haven’t seen it yet, we’ll be playing it again in a little while here…”

“Confession video!” Jack harumphed from where he lay down behind her, still nursing his hangover. He’d taken three more asprin and was now chugging a large bottle of Gatorade.

“Can you describe the situation, Tom?”

The audio cut to a man in the helicopter, his voice distorted by the loud whine of the engines. “Yes I can, Brent. So right now we’ve got the top of the Ilyin residence here, which is located on privately-owned Bell Island in the San Juan County of Washington State. Several features of the house are plainly visible, um, but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any trace of Ilyin himself, or anything we could point to as evidence of anyone having grown to be twenty feet tall.”

“So you haven’t seen any activity yet?”

“That’s correct, Brent. But we’ll be here, and the moment that someone comes or goes from the house, we will be the first to capture that for our viewers.”

“Thank you Tom. In the meantime, we have a few guests joining us this morning by satellite to help us make sense of the Ilyin confession video.”

“It’s not a confession,” he groaned. Brooke shushed him.

The screen cut from the helicopter feed to the anchorman in the studio as he introduced three guest “experts”: some CGI wizard from a movie company and a forensic video analyst to attest to the legitimacy of the video itself, and a professor of orthopedics to talk about the physical limits of the human skeletal structure at scale.

“Should have just released a sex tape,” he snorted. “Amos, why the hell did you let me do that?”

“I aim to please, Master Ilyin.”

“Do I look pleased, Amos?”

The robot laughed then – laughed! It was a strange sound, and Jack and Brooke exchanged looks.

“You’ve… never done that before,” he said.

“This past week is teaching me much about human behavior, sir. I’m finding it… entertaining, I believe is the word.”

Jack groaned theatrically. “God, not you too!”

Brooke laughed as well and muted the TV from the over-sized tablet remote. “Think of it this way: you’ve gone viral, which is exactly what you needed to accomplish. The rest was going to happen anyway. At least it’s on your terms, now.”

Jack just sighed and closed his eyes. It was going to be a long day.

“Your suit, by the way,” the computer added, “Was estimated at around $14,000, not including the shoes.”

“Might as well place the order,” Jack huffed. “Looks like I’m going to have to make a public appearance here sooner rather than later.”

“What deadline should I give the atelier, sir?”


Brooke was in the kitchen, along with Amos, making herself a sandwich. Jack’s food stores were running low she’d noticed, and Amos explained that they got a delivery of food (and vodka, of course) every two weeks from ‘his man in Friday Harbor’: about $1500 worth.

“So, I got a question for you, Amos.”

“Yes, Miss Foster?”

“You want Jack to get back to normal, right?”

“Of course I do.”

“What if it means that you’ll go back to being your run-of-the-mill AI?”

The glossy white robot stopped spreading mustard on ten slices of bread and the little green light on its face held steady for a moment as it… what, computed?

“It appears that… we have a conflict of interest then,” it said, resuming work on Jack’s sandwiches, voice still amiable. There was an awkward silence before the robot continued. “However, my dedication to Master Ilyin is unwavering. Without him, I wouldn’t be here in any capacity.” It shrugged. Or, tried to. Its shoulder joints didn’t quite work that way.

“You’re quite the little robot, Amos,” Brooke said with a smile, patting it on it’s elegantly sculpted back. It didn’t seem to be expecting that, and its head jerked around to get a look at her.

“Thank you, miss Foster.”

Michelle Douglas and the sharp dressed man she had in tow didn’t bother knocking on the front door when they all but ran inside; it was their loud complaining that told Brooke that they had company.

“My god, it’s a madhouse out there!” she shouted as she quickly closed the door behind her. “Channels 4, 7, and 9 all have eyes in the sky, and there are at least forty boats crowding the sound! We could barely get to the dock without hitting somebody!”

“I have water rights 50 feet from the shore,” Jack shouted from the great room.

“Coast guard is doing crowd control,” she replied, stepping into the kitchen for a drink. “Oh, and I found you a PR man in Seattle.” Grabbing a tumbler from the freezer, she went into a cabinet under the counter that contained a mini fridge that Brooke didn’t know was there, and grabbed a bottle of Laphroaig.

“Gonna need ‘im,” Jack grunted from the great room.

The PR man was shorter than Michelle, but every bit the well-manicured, well-paid urbanite, complete with silk tie, expensive suit, designer sunglasses, and some kind of ring on his left thumb that had a carbon fiber inlay. He’d kept silent so far, but had been busy absorbing the strange new surroundings, getting a bead on his new client.

“First off,” Michelle said, leaning against the counter with scotch in hand, “The video? It’s real.”

“It… is?”

She nodded. “If I told you any sooner, you’d have thought I deserved to have my license taken away.” She shrugged. “So, here we are. And it is real.”

The public relations specialist rubbed his chin, suddenly not quite sure about this job anymore. “Uh… huh.”

Brooke and Michelle looked at each other before heading out of the kitchen. “C’mon, he’s over here.”

Jack was in the other room, watching the news broadcast lose its shit over the arrival of the two newcomers, and throwing the last of the ten sandwiches down his gullet.

“Alright, so, we have confirmed that this was indeed Jack Ilyin’s lawyer setting foot on the scene,” the closed captioning frantically parsed. “This is a very good indication that Ilyin is, in fact, present on the property right now. While there is still no sign of him, giant or not, he’ll have to come out eventually…”

“Christ,” Brooke gawked. “They’re acting like this is a damn hostage situation.”

“Jack, Ryan. Ryan, Jack,” Michelle said.

Ryan the PR guy stammered a few nonsense syllables at first, before extending his hand to the giant man sitting cross-legged on the floor shakily. “P-pleasure, M-Mr. Ilyin.”

Jack just glanced at the hand, and looked back to the TV. “I’ll shake your hand when you’re in the mood to tear your rotator cuff,” he sighed.

Ryan looked back to Michelle, then back to Jack, then back to Michelle. “I mean… his voice sounded deep in the video, but I just… I guess I just figured…”

Brooke just snorted. “My introduction was a giant hand coming at me, so this is nothing.” She elbowed Jack in the arm. He smiled and rolled his eyes.

“Wait, who are you, anyway? A housekeeper?”

“Brooke Foster, PI-in-training.”

The Brooke? The one from the -?”

“Yes,” Jack cut in. “The same one.”


He nodded. “I was drunk off my ass, but what I said was true.”

“Alright, well…” Ryan reached into his bag and produced four newspapers, each with the Jack Ilyin story on the front page, and dropped them onto the ground for all to see. The fourth was a tabloid, speculating something scandalous about this mysterious Brooke person. “You’re going to have to reel in the honesty. I know you’re Russian -”

Nu, tak chto zh?


“Yeah, and?

“You’re gonna have to play this like an American.”

Jack scoffed. “Yeah, yeah. Let someone else do all the talking.”

“Exactly. And that person is me. So, first things first.” Ryan reached into his pocket for his phone and began to type away with his thumbs. “You need to write up a press release, like, yesterday. Literally. Secondly…” He gestured at Jack’s whole person. “We need to get you looking presentable. You don’t have any clothes, do you?”

“Yeah, I checked Big and Tall. Their ‘gargantuan’ section left a lot to be desired.”

“Oh-kay. Well, we’re going to need to -”

Jack stared the man down. “I’m working on it,” he said flatly.

“I think we should get him something to wear in the meantime,” Brooke said. “Jack, what if we sent someone to a fabric store to get you a few bolts of fabric that we could make some simple pants out of? Drawstring waist, something real basic.”

“Enough to theoretically put on for cameras,” Michelle said.

“Closest fabric store is going to be in Bellingham,” Ryan said, stroking his chin.

The lawyer looked at him. “Can you make this happen in the next four hours?”

“Don’t look at me, I’ve got a press strategy to come up with!”

“I’ll do it,” Brooke offered, with a little less enthusiasm than normal. Once again, she was feeling out of her league – like she should maybe go home. She also barely knew how to sew.

Jack looked at her, though she didn’t see it. “Hey, could you two go upstairs for a few?” he said. “I’d like to speak to Brooke in private.”

Her gaze lifted to his for a moment, a questioning look on her face, and there was a trace of concern in his blue eyes.

Ryan shrugged. “I better get to work anyway.”

Michelle started pushing at the screen on her own phone with a frown. “I’ve got to make a few calls. Take all the time you need.”

With that the two of them disappeared up the stairs.

Read More

The Beast of Bell Island part 25

Brooke had a hard time falling asleep. She tossed and turned, asked Amos for another nightcap, drank it down, and tossed and turned some more. But eventually she settled into an uneasy sleep, and when she woke up the next morning, she felt like she’d been hit by a bus. The clock on the nightstand read 10:14.

The young woman laid there and stared at the ceiling for a while. “I should go home, shouldn’t I?” she whispered to herself. “I did my job… he doesn’t need me to be here anymore.”

The clock read 10:47 when she finally dragged herself out of bed to begin gathering up her things.

“Good morning, Miss Foster,” Amos said.

She shook her head and sighed. “I don’t think I’ll be having breakfast, Amos,” Brooke muttered in reply. “I’m not hungry this morning. Thanks, though.”

“Your preference is noted, Miss Foster. However, I wasn’t talking about breakfast.”

“Oh?” Was the robot going to try and give relationship advice now?

“There is something I believe that you would be interested to see.” The TV mounted to the far wall turned on just then, showing a video of… Jack. It was being played on MSNBC. He’d gone and made the video without her.

“Uh, hello. Um… I’m Jack Ilyin, founder of Orcasoft. As you probly know, two years ago I basically fell off the face of the Earth.”

He was drunk, she immediately noticed. Very drunk: swaying-and-slurring-his-words drunk.

“There were a lot of theories as t’what happened. Well, I’m here to clear up any lingering rumors,” he said, shaking his head to get the hair out of his face. “Fact of the matter is… I’m twenty f—in’ feet tall.” They’d bleeped out the f-bomb. “Twenty feet,” he reiterated. “Not even joking. See, look -” He reached off-camera and produced a patio chair, held it up to the viewfinder and set it down. Then he held up an empty bottle of vodka, too. “Now, I know what you’re thinking. Camera trick’ry. But I swear to f—ing god, I’m telling the truth.”

“My god… he made this last night, didn’t he?” Brooke asked, covering her mouth.

“Shortly after you went to bed, Miss Foster.” She swallowed, unable to look away from the TV. He’d gotten some water into his hand and was pouring it out now, pointing out the size of the droplets, which apparently would be difficult to fudge because of the physics of surface tension. “Your conversation seemed to upset him quite a great deal.”

She watched as he picked Amos up like a smartphone to video himself as he walked around the property to prove his size. He talked about the company, about AMOS, about Patel being a bastard. But his rambling soon changed its tone, and Brooke knew that she needed to stick around for whatever came next.

“And before I go, I wan’ get one thing straight,” he said, shaking his giant finger at the camera. “There’s a girl I know, and I’d probably be dead f’it weren’t for her. She’s a nicest, prettiest, most selfless young woman I ever f—ing met,” he drawled. “And I want her to know… no, I want the whole f—ing world to know, that there is not one goddamn thing I wouldn’t do for her.” He brought Amos close to his face. “Brooke, I drink ta you.”

The lump was in her throat again and she tore herself away just as they cut back to the newscasters. “TV off,” she said, and the idiot box promptly turned black. “Amos, where is he?”

“Asleep, I believe, near the smokehouse.”

Brooke was racing down the stairs faster than she could say ‘hangover’.

He wasn’t hard to find; in fact, he was exactly where Amos had told her he was. He was laying on the ground like he’d tripped on something and just never bothered to get up. The sheet had fallen off at some point in the night, and he was sprawled on top of it.

In her hands was a gallon jug of water and a bottle of asprin, which she knew he might appreciate.

“Jack?” she asked, kneeling down next to him and putting a hand on his massive shoulder. “You OK?”

The giant groaned and reached up with a sluggish hand to rub at his eyes. “Menya toshnit,” he mumbled.

“C’mon, Sputnik, you know I don’t know Russian,” she said, smiling and still trying to hide the lump in her throat.

He spied the provisions out of the corner of his bleary eye and gestured for her to open the bottle for him. She did, and dumped six white pills into his hand as he took the water. Jack threw the tiny things back and washed it all down.

“Brooke, I think I made that video last night.”

“You did. It was on the news just now,” she said quietly.

He looked much more awake suddenly, and sat up. But the headache hit him and he hissed, holding the sides of his head and cursing under his breath. Brooke’s hands were still in her lap, and she realized she was wringing them together as she looked up at him.

“Jack, do you really feel that way about me?”

He let his hands fall to his knees as his blue eyes fell on her. He blinked a few times as the memories of what he said came back to him. “So that all made the cut, huh,” Jack said quietly.

Brooke looked away, hands shaking a little. She really didn’t know what to say at all.

Suddenly, she was in his hands, her face at eye level with his own. “I can’t feel things that I don’t feel,” he said. “But what I do feel, I feel completely.”

Brooke felt a warm, fluttering feeling in her stomach, and suddenly his arms was the best place in the world to be. She leaned forward and kissed him. “Me too,” she said. They looked at each other for a few moments before breaking into laughter. “How’s that hangover?”

Uzhasnyy,” he said. “Terrible.”

“C’mon, you should go lay down inside. When Michelle calls, she’s not going to be… ” Brooke trailed off when she became aware of the slap of approaching helicopter blades.

“What the..?”

Brooke grabbed his stubbly, oversized cheeks, her eyes going wide. “The news!”

Trakhat’sya!” he hissed, standing up with her still pressed to his chest, and groaning at the sudden gain in altitude. “Ugh… double trakhat’sya.”

“C’mon, don’t puke on me now, we gotta get away from those cameras.”

He scrunched up his face and headed toward the house. “Yeah. Trying.”

As soon as they got inside, Amos was quick to tell them that Michelle Douglas had been trying to reach Jack for several minutes. By now, a second helicopter had joined the first in circling the island. Brooke peeked outside to make sure there were only two, and recognized the logos of major broadcast news networks on their sides. She cursed under her breath.

“Michelle,” Jack groaned from where he laid down in the great room as his lawyer chewed him out on the other end of the line. “Michelle.” A pause as she continued talking. “Michelle! Talk slower! I have a giant fucking handover! And no, I don’t want to hear a goddamn thing about puns right now!”

“Well no shit, Sherlock,” she barked back. “You had to be shitfaced to post that three and a half-minute mistake! Every news station in the country wants this story, and they’re going to do anything to get it!”

“If I may interrupt, Master Ilyin,” Amos cut in, “I’m detecting vessels approaching the island.”

“Who!” Michelle shouted. “I want their vessel numbers, their names, their -”

“The coast guard and the San Juan County police department, Miss Douglas.” A pause. “On the bright side,” the computer continued, “It appears that the Good News is pulling anchor.”

Brooke shrugged. “Well that’s -”

But Jack’s hand shot up and he gave her a warning look. “What’d I say about puns?”

“What? It could’ve taken a stern for the worse.”

Jack tried hiding the painful well of laughter bubbling up in him, and succeeded in limiting it to a single snort. “I’ll deal with you later,” he said, wagging a finger at her.

“Would you stop flirting with your assistant!” Michelle bellowed. “Because there are bigger fish to fry, here! Alright. A few things: do not speak to the news media, do not let the news media see you. Do not let the police or anyone else bully you into letting them on the property until they have a warrant. Wait for me to get there, and wait for me to find you a goddamn PR manager before you say another single goddamn thing to anyone. You got it?”

“Ugh, yes, yes,” Jack relented. “I know the routine.”

She snorted. “Apparently, you’ve forgotten. Look, I’ll be there as soon as I can. And Foster? If anyone needs to leave the house for any reason, you’re going to have to do it.” A sigh. “Have fun watching TV. I’ll be there soon.”


Read More

The Beast of Bell Island part 24

Brooke was left with the thought for the next hour as Jack continued to fill in his lawyer.

“Care about… someone else?” she murmured to herself as she chewed on the end of the pen and spun around in the chair. The young woman’s stomach felt tight as she thought about it. As she thought about… that person maybe being her. “Nah,” she decided, scoffing. “Don’t even think about it.”

But she couldn’t not think about it. They were having sex, they seemed to be growing as friends, and…

She shook her head and repeated herself. “Don’t even think about it.”

When the sun dipped below the horizon, Amos informed her that Jack and Michelle’s conversation was over and that dinner would soon be ready. She nodded and headed outside.

“I wish I could stay, Jack, but I’ve got to call the water taxi before it gets too late,” Michelle said, looking at her very expensive watch as Brooke approached and took a seat at the far end of the table. Amos was bringing out the cart of plates, including Jack’s enormous serving, as the lawyer began putting her things away.

“You’re not going to stay for dinner?” he asked.

“I’ll have a few bites, but its already nine.”

“What’d… you guys figure out?” Brooke asked when her meal was placed before her: filet mignon, candied carrots, endive salad, rustic bread, and red wine. Jack, on the other hand, was given six porterhouse steaks (each with their filet intact), about three cubic feet of tossed salad, and a pair of loaves of the same bread. Michelle went straight for the wine before digging into her steak.

“It’s a pretty simple case,” she said. “Except for the fact that, well…” She gestured with the glass at Jack.

The giant man heaved a heavy sigh and brought a steak to his mouth. He held it pinched between two fingers as he tried to eat without making a mess. “To put it in plain English, we don’t know what my goddamn rights are.”

“We need to make sure he’s still a legal person before we get anyone else involved,” she clarified.

She hummed and hawwed a little. “We need to make sure he’s safe…” Brooke chewed slowly as she thought. How could this be done, ensuring him some kind of recourse should the law not want to play fair? She thought and thought, and altogether suddenly remembered something. “Exposure!” she declared, excited by her own idea.

“Exposure?” Jack said.

Michelle cocked a brow. “No, that’s… quite the opposite of what we need to do first, honey. He needs to be kept on the down -”

But Brooke shook her head firmly. “Visibility is his best defense right now,” she said. “Record a video and send it to the press. Make him go viral. By tomorrow, millions of people could know what’s happened to Jack Ilyin, and when the cops and the courts step in, a billion eyes would be watching their every move.”

Jack and Michelle looked at each other for a second, before his mouth widened into a broad smile. “You hear that?” he said excitedly, pointing in Brooke’s direction. “She’s fuckin’ brilliant, that one.” He turned to her. “Brooke, I could kiss you right now!”

She blushed and bit her lip, but still smiled. “Save it for when it works,” she dodged.

“Sounds like a good a plan as any,” Michelle relented. “Still, I’m going to speak with a few law scholars I know about the whole human rights thing. See if we can’t dig something up that will protect you because Patel is going to use every dirty trick in the book to get you out of the picture.” She took one last bite of food before finishing her wine and standing up. “Even if that means getting you shipped off to a zoo. All the better for him.”

Jack went to stand, but remembered that he was no longer six feet and change. Instead, he took Michelle’s hand in both of his and shook her whole damn arm. “I’ll get you those papers as soon as I can. There’s gotta be something in there that can help me.”

“If you’re as smart as I think you are,” she countered wryly, adjusting her glasses when Jack let her go, “Then there oughtta be. It’s just a matter of reading all the fine damn print.”

Jack gave Michelle his every last thanks, and sent her out with an extra bottle of wine. Brooke said her goodbyes, and the two of them waved from the house as she set down the path toward the dock.

“Isn’t she great?” he beamed as they headed around back again. “She’s great.”

“Well, I’m sure she’d be less great if you weren’t paying her so much.”

“Everyone needs to be paid.”

Brook swallowed and looked away. “I don’t need to be paid,” she said quietly.

“Of course you do. It’s only fair.”

They walked in silence for a few seconds as heat slowly rose to her face as she thought. Eventually, the words just came out of their own accord, it seemed: “Jack, what are we?” she asked, stopping in her tracks and looking up at the giant before her. “What the hell is this?”

He stopped, and frowned, and looked at her. Then he was suddenly crouched down, and there was something in his face that spoke of his being 15 years older. He studied her for a moment, reading her like a doctor reads a patient. “This is whatever you want it to be,” he quietly rumbled in response.

A stupid goddamn lump hardened in her throat and she blinked back the pressure building in her eyes. “What if I don’t know what I want this to be?”

His hand was on her back, his thumb on her shoulder, and Brooke had to look at the ground. “Then we play it by ear, and you let me know if you figure it out.”

“Augh!” Brooke ripped herself from him and stormed away, back to the expensive teak dining set by the pool because that’s where they’d started and that’s where there was liquor. “Forget it.” Then, quieter: “I’m just a dumb fuckin’ kid.” She reached for the opened bottle of wine and took a long swig, not even bothering with a glass.

There was the faint quaking of his footsteps as he came into view again. God, he was handsome. “Brooke, what’s the matter?” he asked. His eyes were harder than they were warm; but that’s just how he was. It was how he prepared himself for doing damage control.

She laid down on the grass, looking up at the stars, with the wine still in hand. She didn’t want to answer, because there was no good way for any of this to come out.


He was standing over her now, like a tall pillar of hard muscle and blond fuzz, arms crossed over a chest thrice as broad as any other man’s. Why did he have to do that? Why did he have to be so fucking hot? Why do I have to like him so much?

It was no use, though. She was going to have to tell him.

“I talked to my dad,” Brooke said quietly. He gave her a look that told her he was confused as to how this related. “He found Lisa Thomas.”

Jack’s brows shot upward and he knelt at her feet, leaning in. “And?”

“She’s OK but she’s convinced she’s going to die anyway.” Another gulp of wine. “And yeah, she cursed you because you were a big-name asshole. Fessed up to that pretty readily.”

“…What does all of this have to do with you? Us?”

Brooke took a deep breath and tried picking out some constellations, but all she could find was the Big Dipper. “She said the curse could be broken.”

The air was suddenly very tense. “She did?”

“She said you… you had to care about s-something more than your own inventions,” she began, then swallowed. Barely a whisper: “And that… you had to care about someone else more than yourself.”

Jack’s expectant posture drooped, his mouth became a fine line, and he wrung his hands as he looked away. “I… see.”

They sat in silence like that for a few moments. “So that’s it, then,” she said quietly, still trying to get rid of that damn lump. “Assuming she’s telling the truth, then… the proof is right here in front of me.”

“Dammit, Brooke, what do you want me to say!” he said, suddenly rising to pace. “What am I supposed to do? What… fall in love with you?”

The tears flowed freely now and she sat up. “I don’t fucking know, OK! I don’t make the fucking rules!”

Jack scoffed; one of those anxious sounds people make as he ran his thick fingers through his hair. “What does that mean, anyway…” he muttered. “Care about someone more than… I care, alright?”

“Yeah, how much?”

Dohuya,” he said.


Dohuya! A hell of a lot!”

She looked at him through tear-streaked eyes. “But not more than yourself.”

He buried his face in his hand and said nothing; just breathed those long, deep lungfuls of air.

“I’m going inside,” Brooke murmured, standing up from the grass and brushing herself off. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

Read More

The Beast of Bell Island part 23

Brooke was almost done cleaning the room when she was notified of her father calling the house. The Amos unit had started helping by taking the old clothes, which were well on their way to becoming little carpets of moss and fungi, and putting them into garbage bags, when it paused and looked her way.

“Miss Foster, I believe there’s a call for you,” it said.

“Oh!” She set the broom and dustpan full of glass aside and quickly headed for the computer room.”Amos, can you record this conversation please?”

The robot didn’t follow, but its voice did. “I can. Should you like to answer it now?”

Brooke settled into the computer chair, grabbed a pen and paper, and nodded. “Yep.”

A pause, then the line opened. “Hello?” she said. This was it, the moment they’ve all been waiting for.

“Hi Brooke,” Martin said. She could tell that he was in a quiet room. “I’m here with Lisa Thomas. You’re on speaker.”

A surge of excitement electrified her and she scooted up to the edge of the computer chair. “Hi, Lisa.”

She could make out a faint, sardonic chuckle in the background, then a simple: “Hi.” She sounded haggard, groggy. Defeated.

“So how come you’re willing to talk to us?” Martin asked.

“The jig is up, I guess. I know when I’ve lost.” She chuckled. “I’m also high as fuck on painkillers. That’s probably helping.”

“So, let’s hear it.”

“You’re asking for Ilyin again, right? Yeah, I remember Ilyin. Brilliant, famous, and a grade-A piece of shit,” she said. “So I cursed him. It’s just what I do. I made a deal with the devil once or something about it.”

“How well do recall the night of the party?”

“Like yesterday,” she said, pausing to cough. Then mumbled: “Man, I wish they’d let me have a cigarette. Anyways, I showed up to the party, impersonated a big NGO representative or something, and asked if he’d consider donating one of his Malevichs to auction on behalf of a children’s cancer research center. His reaction was… telling.”

“What’d he say?”

“Nigh threatened me with sexual assault in front of his guests before yelling at me to leave. I wasn’t phased. In my line of work, I’ve dealt with men who are actually dangerous, and I knew he wasn’t going to do anything in front of 200 people. I cursed him and left.”

“Why the tattoos? I can see some on your arm,” Martin said calmly. “And one on your neck.”

“Yeah, I’ve got more under these casts and bandages.” Brooke heard her shift around in the bed. “They’re just part of how the magic works. You can’t get something for nothing – the curses have to be paid for, you know.”

“…And when they’re not?”

“You get T-boned by a semi,” she said with a dark laugh.

“They’re all tarot cards,” Brooke finally said. “Why was Jack’s The Tower?”

“The picture on the card is one of a tower being struck by lightning and breaking apart. Everything you thought you knew, a lie. Everything you thought you had, taken from you. The higher you are, the harder you fall.” She snorted. “It’s it perfect?”

Brooke felt a little knot in the pit of her stomach, remembering what Jack Ilyin had done to deserve it. And he had deserved it.

“How does the magic work?” Martin asked.

“I still don’t know. It just does. I find somebody who I think needs to learn a lesson, think about the lesson I want them to learn, and it happens on its own.”

“Is there a way to lift these curses?”

“Yeah, by knowing you fucked up and walking away from your old life. But it never happens. Nobody ever learns their lesson. I cursed a coal mine company CEO – you know, the ones that do the mountain-top removal – so that the skin on his hands turned black. Coal black. Did he ever stop to think, hm, maybe what I’m doing is fucking evil? No. He just spent a half-million on cosmetic surgery and then just decided to wear gloves for the rest of his life.” She laughed again, then sighed. “God damn I want a cigarette.”

“You said this accident is related to the magic.”

Lisa glibly recounted the story of some high-profile lawyer and lobbyist who was responsible for putting LA public transportation through hell over the past 15 years on behalf of automobile interests. She snuck into a private gathering that he was attending several days before, and did her thing.

“I gave him the Chariot,” she said.

“The Chariot?”

“That card depicts a warrior in a chariot pulled by two sphinxes, one black, one white. It’s a card of mastery over moving parts, temperance, pure skill. It’s also, well, a chariot. It’s transport. So I think to myself… what would happen if one of the sphinxes went AWOL? That’s the target I painted on him.”

“…But it backfired.”

“Something came up, and I didn’t get the ink done in time, so I got the treatment instead.”

Brooke winced. “But you’re alive, though,” she said.

“I’m alive now,” Lisa said. “But trust me, I won’t be for long. Don’t know how, but shit finds a way.”

Just then she heard someone knocking on the door of the hospital room and entering. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to leave, Detective. We need to change her dressings and she needs to get some sleep.”

“Of course, sorry about that,” Martin said. There was more shuffling noises.

“Hey, hey wait,” Lisa called into the phone. “You said Ilyin wants to get back to normal? I’m on my deathbed, so I’m feeling generous. Tell him that what he needs to do is care about someone else more than himself, and care about something else more than his own work!”

“You get that, Brooke?” Martin said into the mouthpiece, having turned off speaker.

She sucked in a breath and set down her pen, realizing that she hadn’t written a damn thing. “Yeah. Yeah, I think I got that.”

Read More

The Beast of Bell Island part 22

“…my god,” Jack’s lawyer said as she approached the house. He and Brooke were waiting anxiously at the front entrance; he was pacing and rubbing at his scratchy chin. “Jack?

“It’s, ah… good to see you, Michelle,” the giant Russian said with a smile that looked a little more like a wince.

The woman, dressed smartly in a pencil skirt and suit jacket with laptop bag slung over her shoulder, was six foot in heels and had cheekbones you could mount on the prow of an icebreaker. Brooke knew immediately that she was one of the few people in the world, except maybe for his parents, who could get away with telling Jack Ilyin what to do.

“What in god’s name happened to you!” she gawked. “Is this why you’ve been in hiding?”

He sighed. “Yeah. And its a long story.”

“Well you’d better be prepared to tell it, because I need to know every damn -” She suddenly noticed Brooke. “Who’s this?”

“My private investigator.”

Michelle gave her a hard look. “I’m going to need to see your credentials.”

Jack was quick to intervene. “She’s… in training. She’s been more like my personal research assistant.”

“My father has been handling most of the case,” Brooke was sure to add. “In fact, we’ll be hearing from him tonight, as soon as he gets in to see the lady that did this.”

The lawyer shook her head and blinked. “Alright, alright. I need to know everything, and I need to know it now. First though, I’m going to need a drink.”

Jack nodded, and started for the back side of the house. “Bourbon on the rocks coming right up.”

“Sounds like you two have been through hell together,” Brooke said, extending her hand for a shake. The woman took it firmly.

“It’s been a long eight years. What’s your name?”

“Brooke Foster. My dad’s Martin Foster, PI.”

“Michelle Douglas. Pleasure.”

“I’d recommend going the long way, Miss Douglas. It might be easier to hear the story before… you see how he’s been living over the past two years.”

She cocked a sharply waxed eyebrow at her, but took the advice and followed in Jack’s footsteps, with Brooke in tow.

“Are you sure?” Michelle said when the story – and dinner – was done. She was nursing a third bourbon, but didn’t even appear buzzed. A voice recorder had been placed on the table as Jack spoke, and the little red light was still on. “I mean… it could be a lot of things that caused this, I’m sure.”

Jack just looked at her like he’d been down this road before. “Like what.”

“Like, uh… radiation poisoning.”

“Uh huh.”

“Solar flares.”

“Please, go on.”

“Genetic tampering.”

Jack just buried his big face in his big hand and sighed. “Michelle, I’ve had two years to think about this. None of the usual – ‘usual‘ – explanations hold water. I’ve read it all. By the way, this isn’t a 50’s Hollywood monster movie. Radiation doesn’t supersize you, it just fucking kills you.” He threw his hands up in the air. “Magic. It’s gotta be magic.”

“Alright, so let’s say it is magic. And I’m not saying that it is, but we’ll pretend for a minute. Let’s say that it’s magic. How do you establish culpability? We’d need a full admission of guilt from this Lisa Thomas before we could do anything.” She tapped her manicured finger against the glass for a second as she thought. “Unless we ignore the inhuman growth angle and focus on the psychological damages…”

Jack threw his hands up. “I told you, I’m not interested in suing.”

Michelle gave him a deadpan look and took another sip. “Then what are you interested in?”

“Getting back to normal!” he shouted. “You remember? Six-one, two-hundred thirty pounds -”

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, yeah, with skim milk, two pumps of caramel, and an extra shot. Don’t worry, we’ll get you back to being a grande soon enough.”

Jack just sighed and rubbed at his eyes, shaking his head. Meanwhile, Michelle casually finished her drink, setting the glass down like she were as sober as the preacher’s wife on Sunday, and turned to Brooke.

“I’m gonna need to speak with my client alone, sweetheart. Hope you don’t mind.”

Brooke rose from the table and nodded. She couldn’t help but feel a little stung, but knew better than that. “By all means,” she said, putting her hand in her pocket and heading inside, but not before grabbing the remnants of her own drink. “I’ll be at the computer.”

She’d found herself standing in the doorway to Jack’s old office, wondering why she felt so strangely jilted, when a thought occurred to her. Brooke turned, remembering another room at the opposite end of the long-abandoned hallway, and followed it to the closed door at the end. She turned the handle and opened it, and what greeted her eyes made her sad.

Before her was a sprawling bedroom, sparsely furnished. Two of the panes of glass from the window-walls were missing entirely, and when the door opened a pair of birds fluttered out in a hurry, startling her. The floor underneath one end of the bed frame was covered in guano, and the wood floor near the gaping hole to the outside world was warped and stained with moisture rot. The bed frame itself was shoved unnaturally up against one wall, which still bore the scars from the metal gouging into it.

Along another wall was a dark, open doorway which looked like a bomb had gone off inside. Clothes were strewn across the floor and spilling out: jeans and shirts, as well as slacks and suit jackets, socks and boxer briefs. When Brooke dared to creep in further, she noticed the bathroom to her left, a cavernous master suite… filled with broken glass. She recognized the shards as belonging to bottles of alcohol, thrown, it appeared, from outside. The mirror above the bathroom sink had long since shattered too; the bullseye hit on a target.

“Master Ilyin’s room,” Amos quietly said. It was so unexpected that she all but jumped out of her skin.

“He would get drunk and trash the place?” she guessed, tiptoeing around the shards of glass.

“The rest of the house, yes,” replied the light on the wall, hanging out of its socket. “It was different with this room.”

Brooke gave the place another once over, rubbing her chin. “Particularly intimate reminders of his old life,” she mused aloud. “The clothes and the broken mirror speak to that.” She studied the bed again for a moment. “He took the cal-king mattress downstairs, probably. But the frame still reminded him of what he used to have, so…” The young woman made a little punching gesture into the air.

“Indeed,” Amos said.

Brooke turned to the robot’s fixture in the wall, tucked the wires back in and finagled the faceplate and green light back into place. Then, wordlessly, she decided to go downstairs and grab a broom to begin sweeping up the glass. Brooke wasn’t sure why, but it seemed like the right thing to do.

Read More