Nari’s Log Cycle 006: The Endless Barrel of Exposition

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The darkness seemed to last longer than before, likely due to how I succeeded in preventing this place from going down the pooper. But the important thing was that I was back in my prior form, and now, now I would get all the answers I desired, and then some. At least I got to meet some others in addition to this utterly batty Red Panda. But onto my tale for this… Cycle, if it were.

My eyes sprung open, with there only being one thought in my minds, “Did I screw up?” I mean, that talking Red Panda in a Bowler hat said that if I messed up, that’s the end of it. I decided to begin my search for answers by glancing down, patting myself, and figuring out who I was. Yeah, I didn’t do it due to a few situations, but patting yourself while holding a firearm sounds, well, risky.

I was thankfully back in the closest thing I had to a “normal” body. It was at least the first one I remember having, male, lean, and fairly young. Although, my clothes were different. Instead of having a series of warm winter clothes, I was now in something more fitting of the 15 or so degree (Celsius) temperature. It was something that I both found to be quite nifty, and unnecessary at the same time. I was donned in a dark blue long sleeved shirt, a mostly white jacket with some bronzed buttons, some trousers that kept the color scheme of the jacket. Along with some dark shoes that looked nice and were very comforting. All topped off with a flat-topped circular white cap with a blue piece of silk covering most of its circumference.

I was not sure how I felt about this appearance. On one hand, a part of me was screeching about how I looked “slick”. While the rest of me thought this was a little too much. It was more like a costume than any form of casual wear! Still, I retained my wristband, even if it was blank after I touched it and looked for some buttons to press. Forgetting for a second that there were none.

After assessing myself, I looked at my surroundings. I first noticed how I was in a bed that looked to be the same one I was in back at the Garage. God, does that feel like an eternity ago! While the rest of the room was very plain. Walls with a bit of a pastel paint job, wooden flooring, another familiar looking nightstand, some sort of dresser built into the wall itself, a small closet, and two doors. I started by checking the doors, with the first one leading to a washroom. It was equipped with a cabinet containing various cleaning products, a mirror so I could examine how unchanged my lean, white haired, and pale blue eyed face was. And the customary sink, toilet, and shower. Or at least customary to me.

I felt no need to utilize these facilities as of right now, so I checked the other door in hope to find something more interesting. And, well, I got what I wanted. My eyes were greeted by what looked like a fairly large and nice apartment that seamlessly combined a dining area, living quarters, and cooking facilities all in one. But what grabbed me more than, say, the walls that were brimming a stylish violet, were the two people who I saw on a sofa, watching a screen that held a very familiar face, The Doctor. Except, he was now wearing a top hat with a golden buckle on it.

I walked toward the screen displaying his furry face, only to have a cream colored sofa that stood between me and the screen, fall back with two individuals. The one that caught my eye first was a young woman with dark blue skin, wavy armpit length snow white hair, and glowing scarlet eyes. She was wearing something akin to a sleeveless citron colored tunic with maroon sleeves beneath. Along with some tan boots that nearly went up to her knees, and some thin black trousers, or perhaps they were stockings.

While the other individual was the one I’d seen before the whole affair, the woman in the red hood, well more like woman in the brown bathrobe, who looked like she would be ready to give birth any day now. How long had I been out? Has that much time had passed? She still looked very skinny, maintained her darker complexion, and looked like she had been staying up for way too long.

I glanced over then for a couple seconds, before The Doctor addressed me. “And the prince has awoken!” He shouted at the top of his lungs, clearly enthralled over how I was awake in general, but expressing a notable hint of sarcasm in his voice. However, I was not in the mood for games, and wanted my dozens of questions to be answered. I began to speak how I demanded answers, only for him to interrupt me with a, “Hold your horses, I’m getting there. I guess I’ll follow your timeline, so it is easiest for you to explain. And sorry if I get redundant here, I lacked the time to brisk through your Logs.” He went on for what felt like a day, explaining the rules of this place I was in, but I was too fed up with him to recall everything he said. So I’ll just abridge most of it.

First off, where the hell was I? Well, the answer is not that simple. It turns out that everything in this dimension, or whatever you call every universe. is structured like a Milk Crate or Honeycomb. With the holes or hexagons representing the universes, with the only location I know of, the OMNI, acting as the space between the holes. This is a singular universe in upon itself, however it does not tend to follow rules in the traditional sense. There are an unlimited number of worlds in the OMNI, but all of them function on different rules, with only a very loose few keeping them all in place. While every other universe has there own rules.

Like one focusing on Bipeds, and one where deities exist or nor. Or to use one of his examples, there is a land of Cactus Cows. One where every animal looks like a human, except humans look like pickles. And, his favorite, one where everyone can transform into anything. Yet, there are things that universes dislike, which are pretty much thrown out of their boundaries, and put into the OMNI. All in order to maintain order, by turning one universe into an endless pit of chaos and disarray.

Second of all, everyone in this world is an outsider of sorts. Sometimes, universes outright delete people or remove them due to how they do not abide by the set rules within them. Often times, this is more along the lines of lost matter that goes missing, or maybe a few individuals. Yet it is never someone you would expect, and just some random bloke rummaging about doing what looks like nothing.

In the case of me, Nari, I was the accumulation of the table scraps from a few universes, hence my busted up memory due to one dominating it by 90% or so. In fact, we are so close to one universe that it is the case for most of the individuals nearby. Hence everyone I’ve met thus far. But my appearance and name mean nothing as far as I can tell. Meanwhile, The Doctor was a pet from a scientist team that went into some sort of land that drove them into suicidal madness, but made him into the only deity-like figure he encountered since he entered this world. Yeah, did I mention how this place can be really random at times?

Thirdly, The Doctor brought us here for a specific reason. He obtained something he referred to as “human curiosity” making him desire to figure out the hows and whys behind so many more things that he saw prior. Yet, he is trapped in the same base as the scientists, perhaps showing a sense of humor on the OMNI’s part. He has godlike power, but is trapped in a giant tin can, and can only control objects because of that. No, I am serious, he is trapped in a giant can that is made of tin. He gave me that electronic wristband in order to keep visual contact with me, seeing as how they are unbreakable, and can be used to tag ones He designated as “Characters”.

Fourthly, “Characters” was the term for people The Doctor found to be important. What did that mean? He was pretty vague. I believe his exact quote was, “Individuals who exist on more than just one planet in OMNI. Whether that means they have multiple forms, or just are able to travel across them. Seeing as how traditional ‘space-flight’ is impossible, they’d turn into sandwiches if they tried!  I also make them fully indestructible, which is pretty important, I guess!” And he spoke like that all the time, always sounding half sarcastic. I, along with The Doctor, and the two behind me, who I’ll get to, are all people he considers to be “Characters”.

FIfthly, the three humanoids in this room, myself included are beings The Doctor refers to as, “Shifters”. Ones who do not maintain their body on any realm other than one, but could send their “Essence” into other bodies if they are out of their normal body, which would still be indestructible, and just taking a nap. Although, he neglected answering as to how they came into purpose. But knowing this OMNI thing, I am guessing some mini-shark ate a planet’s sky, and farted into something that made me and the other two “Shifters”.

When I first met him inside of the body of that old woman, with my wristband travelling to establish how I was a “Character”, The Doctor took what he referred to as a “Fancy” towards the body I was occupying, and the little girl. Making them “Characters” right before I committed suicide in their bodies so that they will remember me across all the worlds they exist on. Boy, I don’t think saying that should be that easy or natural, but what do you know?

Sixthly, my “Shifting” as he called it, nearly destroyed the OMNI, since my powers were unstable, and let me shift through time. Which would have created a universe destroying Time Paradox. And in order to fix it, I needed to stage everything properly.

So, I had to go through the process that, as far as I was, and still am, concerned has been my entire life. From myself, to the Girl in the red hood, to the old woman, the little girl, and back to the Girl in the red hood. It made sense until he explained how, “I am only able to shift into another one time, no more, but certainly one less!”

Well, it turns out that the last time I “Shifted” into the woman in the red hood, who was Maxxi. A name that sounded odd due to how he mentioned a Max prior. Well, in his words, “Max is one of the oddest people I’ve made into ‘Characters’ and he wanted to feel what it was like to be a pregnant woman. So, I made up some seman for him, gave him a good old gender flip, and Blamo! Maxxi was born! And ‘her’ child will be in just a few days! Yes! I’m gonna be an Uncle for someone with a messy fetish!” Yeah, I don’t know what exactly makes him tick.

While the first time I “Shifted”, it was was into the other girl, the one with red eyes and weird skin, Y’vonne. While she was wearing some sort of body suit made by The Doctor, in order to avoid a time paradox. Why did that work? Well, because my “Essence” without a body did not understand how “Shifting” worked, and with me dead, as far as it knew, it looked for familiar faces, and throughout time for them. Going in a path that I think was made so it would specifically not cause any Time Paradoxes.

And when asking why this even happened, The Doctor said something about Maxxi being incompetent, and firing the wrong type of bullet, and it should have been one that kept my essence from escaping. I shifted into Y’vonne because she carried me into the Garage, although he did not say from where. And the scene with the Gorilla person was something known as a, “Temporal Logic Hole”. Where it only happened because I said it did, so they staged it. Something I immediately brought up as being stupid, only for him to direct the blame back to the OMNI. Saying how it happens a lot with time travel, serving as a reason he hated it.

There, nice and clean, but still a massive mess. And as I recall the whole affair began to wrap up when I said, “One last question before I go to bed because, my god, this is bonkers! …Okay, maybe two.” “Fire away, because I am really regretting not having Maxxi and Y’vonne handle this. I could’ve gotten so much more research done!” Whined the Doctor. “Where am I now, and what is with these clothes?” “You are in a pocket dimension that is pretty much stitched onto the OMNI, that I made to look like an apartment. You can get food, remodel your rooms, change clothes, and everything else, via those wristbands of yours! Not that you need to eat or sleep in here, it is just for your own fun. Ask the duo any more questions!” He spouted before the large screen he was on went blank. Ending by no longer trying to hide any negative feelings over introducing me into this new universe, or whatever the proper term is.

I let out a sigh, and looked over the two. Y’vonne, a girl who probably hails from a different primary universe as me, was in the same clothes as before. While sitting cross legged in a chair reading some novel with headphones that presumably filtered out my conversation with The Doctor. At the same time Max, or rather Maxxi was wearing a forest green sweatshirt with some jeans, sitting in a black bean bag chair while scribbling something into her notebook, and using headphones not unlike Y’vonne was. I decided to interrupt Y’vonne first, seeing as how she had weirdly colored skin, and glowing red eyes. Not any form or racism, she just looks odder! I stood in front of her and tapped on her book to get her attention. She looked up, shut her book, and pulled her headphones down to around her neck in the course of two seconds, ending by starting away from me. Had I done something wrong?

I naturally asked her about this, although feeling a bit snarky, I said, “Well, first time talking to somebody other than a Red Panda or little girl, and she’s terrified of me. That’s just lovely.” She responded with, “Um, no, that’s just, well… How do I put this? Well, my name’s Y’vonne- Yet I am certain you knew that already. And, well, I-” She had some sort of accent that I associated with delicious baked goods and Genocide. Huh, no wonder OMNI doesn’t seem all that odd to me with a brain wired like that.

I recall thinking an odd phrase at this point, something akin to, “Figures, no such thing as a perfect babe, guess her being a mousy little thing is better than her being a pain in my arse.” I have no clue where that thought came from, yet it felt very appealing. Something about interacting with her made me feel like behaving this way. Come to think of it, I’ve had an urge to do that with nearly everyone I’ve met, all four of them.

Regardless, my attention was diverted when I heard a high pitched and cheery voice break her awkward stumblings with, “Sorry there Nari, she’d not much of a socialite. I mean, I had to do all the talking for her that wasn’t with Doc Pandie or meself!” It was Maxxi, smirking a grin while giving a very bashful smile in response to Y’vonne’s inability to talk to me. “Oh good, I thought it was this here ugly mug of mine.” I replied, trying to keep the tone lighthearted and enjoyable for all. “What do you mean ugly? It can’t be internally, seeing as how you were polite enough to not feel anyone up despite being in the bodies of four females, well three depending on your view on time. But your half-albino face is something to die for. Keep this up, and I might letcha have my second one.” She said while speaking with her hands and patting her lower stomach area.

I was more than a bit flabbergasted by this event. I decided that I might as well ask, seeing as how I got a conversation going. And what better way to ask what she meant by “Feel anyone up”. “Huh? Y’know, fondling? It’s only natural, you’re a teenage guy just like I was a few months ago, amiright?” She replied in a very casual manner, as if this was just another day in the woods for this squirrel. “Um… No?” Was all I could reply with. “Alrighty! Let us begin back to the birds and the bees!” She stated enthusiastically while leaping from her bean bag chair.

“I know what sex is, I just-” I began to say before I felt some additional information rush into my head. I felt this a lot early on, with my mind being blank at the beginning of my… Journey? I then knew all about sex, and it made me a bit uncomfortable. Before, I knew about reproducing, and it being necessary, but now, I knew about all sorts of weird stuff. Although, it was not quite as weird as OMNI was being hyped up to be.

“I just remembered all about what sex was, and I don’t think I ever want to do it!” I shouted, not wanting to delve into my knowledge any more. “Why not, it is only naturals, we’re humans after all. Intelligent bipeds who are one of the few animals who actually like sex. But I guess I’m the exception to the rule, ever since that one day with the artificial Red Panda, and when I saw that cosmic dog give birth. Oh gee willickers, that was a blast!” Maxxi went on, like she was trying to sell the idea of sex to me, only for her to be interrupted by a , “Maxxi, you’re scaring him! Based on his info, I am pretty sure his sexuality is A!” Shouted Y’vonne as her face was turning into more of an indigo.

“Oh, what does A-sexuality mean again? ‘Cos it sure ain’t ‘All the Time’ or ‘Any’.” Maxxi said, while not being aware of how uncomfortable i was by this whole conversation. “No Maxxi, Asexuality means they don’t have much of a Libido, or really any sexual desire.” Interjected Y’vonne, as she went back to her book. Speaking what I think was the truth, although I was too fumbled to really think. “Eh? But without sex, whatcha gotta live for? Honkers, ya ain’t even got an ultimate goal of makin’ babes, like I am right now!” Interjected Maxxi as she started to grab and shake me. “Maxxi, you can respect how I am only attracted to humans, with gender being a non-issue, you can accept him not being attracted to any.” Interrupted Y’vonne. “But I just can’t! He just doesn’t know the glory of intercourse and- Oh, would you please give ‘im a whirl?”  Requested Maxxi, making me turn practically white due to the very idea. “W-Wh-What? I could barely talk to him, let alone have sexual relations with him! Please Maxxi, you know this. Just let it go, he’s getting paler by the second, and I’m getting more indigo!” Stated Y’vonne as I felt the pressure take Maxxi’s hands off me and go to a corner.

“Aw, y’all are not fun! I’m going to bed. There I can dream of others who would love to engage in the act of love!” Yelled Maxxi as she dashed very quickly for a pregnant woman, into a door that I would presume to lead to her room. “Maxxi, don’t leave me with-” Y’vonne said as she hid a book over her face, in an attempt to show how I make her uncomfortable. I sighed and excused myself with a, “I get the impression, I’ll go hit the hay. Guess it was good getting to know you two. Well, minus the talk about sex. Just thinking about it makes me feel more than a hair awkward.” Trying to maintain a level head for some reason. Maybe that was just some sort of instinct.

I think that Y’vonne tried to stop me in an attempt she made to speak up, but I didn’t hear it, and already felt very uncomfortable after learning about this sex stuff. I decided that I would just go to bed, Log in this information, and try again tomorrow, hopefully with The Doctor acting as our Playtime Instructor. They didn’t seem like bad people, and I’m sure I’d like them through any other circumstance. Although, from a guy who met four, well, I guess technically five people, that isn’t saying much.

So I layed on my bed, and learned that I am a really fast sleeper, because I was out in two minutes. So much new info, but all of it feeling moot due to how, well, there is no ultimate purpose for me. Just listen to the Red Panda, and you’ll live on! My life is in the hands of what some might call a rodent, and I don’t even have a normal body. And all this before it turns out I can possess people. Guh! But at least this bed is soft, and I’ll wake up in the same body. At least, I hope I do. There is a large promise of joy to be had, yet I can tell this is just the prologue of my life, with the rest of it in a universe where chaos is king, and oddness is his mistress, queen, and daughter. Good night you Red Panda, or whoever’s reading my Logs, and Godspeed!

End of Prologue!

Fun Fact: I actually had to rewrite this chapter almost completely. I wanted to get all the exposition out and do so in the easiest way possible, via a list narrated by Nari, like everything else. Although, the title is actually a reference from a story that certainly inspired this story, El Goonish Shive, which I guess I can plug, because I really have little to say about this that is not relatively self explanatory. Other than I actually tried to write dialog between different people, which I think I did alright… Maybe? Well, I’ll be back on Saturday with what I’ll refer to as an interjoining cycle. I’ll get into what that means, next time!

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