Part 8: HEART OF DARKNESS
PART 8: HEART OF DARKNESS
I pondered the box that contained the documents while my brain screamed in horror in the back of my head, as though it was trying to destroy itself through sheer force of will. It was stuck in a loop between desperately wanting to know the truth and trying to jump out of my own skull and drop itself gleefully into the ocean.
And then I began.
The folders contained innumerous business papers, formal contracts with various laborers and contractors to provide construction, the purchase of a private island, various receipts, though I never find a document that says exactly where the island is located. I get the sense that at the time it had only just been discovered.
Apparently, a long time ago, Nook bought this island. It's hard to tell for sure but judging by some of these dates it looks like he used to be a real hot-shot real-estate agent that did exclusive work for the rich and powerful, the kind of douchebag you'd see on highway billboards.
Makes me wonder how he got away with looking like a fucked up raccoon.
From these papers, I get the impression Nook wasn't a one man show. He spent the latter part of his career working with a Japanese businessman who invested a large amount of money to purchase the island, and they had made several trips to the island together to plan out construction.
The guy's name was Totakeke something...? Toe-tuh Kay-kay? wait, that name… keke, holy fuck, it's talking about K.K. Slider! Slider used to be Nook's partner?!
I sorted through a dozen or so construction contracts. Only weeks after buying the island, Tom and K.K. began building enclosed private beaches for wealthy tourists. That's why all these camps are private and artificially walled-off!
It goes on to explain that construction is slow because of the expense of ferrying materials and day-workers. Sounds like we were right about the ferry, too. And it looks like… it never got finished? Something weird happened almost ten years ago. Nook cancelled all the contracts on the same day even though it must have cost him millions. According to some receipts, he also purchased all the digging equipment on the island.
And that's all I can find… wait a second. There's a small, spiral-bound notebook tucked away in the back of the box. I checked the inside of the cover and shudder.
Holy fuck, its Nook's personal journal.
For a moment I almost considered not reading it, just burning everything and saving my sanity. I've learned to live with not knowing why I'm here. I don't know if the same can be said once I find out. But it's impossible. I flip the battered cover and swan-dive into oblivion.
My fingers fly over the pages. I'm reading so fast I only catch glimpses of the entries but they're converging into one big, horrific picture. With every page I understand more of what has happened here.
Nook's rambling gets worse. Soon the pages just have unintelligible scribbles or childlike drawings. There's clearly a section of the journal that's been torn out, probably because it was nothing but pure crazy. I'm surprised to find that the journal picks back up seven years later and seems strangely lucid.
My blood runs cold. I suddenly know exactly what's happening and have to suppress my gag reflex. I want to shut down, go into shock, but I can't stop my brain from fitting all the pieces together.
Tom Nook didn't get away with being a raccoon! Tom Nook used to be a man!
As he was building his luxury island resorts with his partner K.K., the construction crew started unearthing gyroids. Nook began to collect the clay statues but they were doing strange things to the crew, making them act odd. K.K. wanted out, but Nook convinced him to wait one more week. Then the gyroids got to him.
I suddenly flashed back to an old conversation I had with Nook. At the time it seemed utterly insignificant but now I get the context.
The longer you're exposed to the gyroids, the more you cross over into some fucked-up mutant animal creature!
I flipped back through the journal and re-read the page carefully as the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
Nook called it Animal Crossing.
That's why the island is full of animal-people… but Nook realized that it takes time. Judging by the dates on the journal entries it can take over six months, and children cross quicker than that. His biggest problem would be keeping people captive and healthy for so long …
Oh fuck. Oh my god. It all makes sense.
This entire fucking camp is designed to keep me distracted!
The pointless job.
Now I know why he looks so sad, like he's resigned to his fate. That's why he doesn't stay at my camp; he probably travels to all the island cells on different days, trying to cheer up the children forced to live here. I decide that if I get out of here I'll come back for K.K. Then there's...
That's why it's empty; it's a completely pointless waste of time! I bet after each child crosses over they empty out all the shit they've collected for the next victim to start all over. Fucking Blathers, always trying to keep my...
Fuck, I'm an idiot! There are no dinosaur bones at sea level, they're all planted here! They don't rise out of the ground, they're put in!
The residents must go around while I sleep and put in new ones for me to find, that's why there's always a mound of dirt where fresh fossils are buried. That's why other residents never contributed to the museum! That's why I saw Tangy that night wandering around with a shovel! Wait, then that means...
The goddamn gyroids!
Fuck me. Nook wanted me to find them! He wanted me to put them in my house and obsess about them. If he forced me to keep them around I'd fight it, but this way… FUCK! Ever since I found them I've been slow, my thoughts have been cloudy. It seems like the more you're exposed to, the quicker you cross over. I think I'm still human, but I can't even remember how long I've been here anymore…
But that leaves one question. The big one. Why is Nook turning us into animals?
I re-read his journal slowly and tried to think of all the things that had happened to me here, my hands shaking uncontrollably. It all comes back to the gyroids... I know they try to talk to me, but I can only imagine what they say to Nook. He was the first to fall to their influence… he's the original… what are they telling him to do? And then I figure it out.
He eats us...
That's why residents just disappear one day without a trace. Once they become an animal he eats them, the sick fuck! Are the gyroids telling him to do it?! Is he just playing out some kind of rabid raccoon behavior? What the FUCK?!
I think he... he just likes it...
I tried to catch my breath but it was hard to breathe and the walls were closing in on me. I had completely lost track of time, shuffling through the huge stack of files and papers all day and the sun was starting to come down. I was starting to hyperventilate and felt dizzy. I didn't know what to do. All I could think about was Penny. What had they done to Penny?!
I might have lost my mind right then if my door hadn't suddenly been busted down.
Mutant animal freaks swarmed in, their clawed hands scoring my skin as they dragged me screaming from my house into the darkness of night.