Nari’s Log Cycle 11: Loose Pieces

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Nari’s Log was a ambitious unfinished sci-fi novella created by Natalie Neumann. Natalie does not recommend that you try to read the original work due to its low quality, structural issues, and grammatical errors. Instead, she encourages you to read the summary included in Volume 06: Nari’s Logof The Saga of Vincent Dawn and Volume 02: Nari’s Log of Natalie Rambles About The Saga of Vincent Dawn to better understand the content of this novella.

The first thing I saw was the interior of a tent. It was a pleasant enough off white, but what I found to be alarming was the fact that it was coated in the pelts of animals, all of them weirdly being some sort of feline. House cats, tigers, leopards, even a lion’s head was placed on a trunk in the corner. The bed was covered in some white tiger’s pelt for crying out loud.

I naturally leap out of bed, because this was just odd. And what made it odder was how I was coated in fur from head to toe, or should I say paw? I examined and felt up my body while murmuring the natural words of bafflement. I managed to deduce that I was not human, who’d guess I’d change species? And was rather some sort of dog, the kind that would be good for hunting, since I did not know enough about breeds to determine what it was. But if I had to guess, I’d assume that my Host was a grey husky-man, which sounds very awkward the more I think about it.

But as I attempted to figure out why I had been placed in the body of a dog-man, and one who took the whole cat hating stereotype to a new level. I heard a woman’s voice as a figure entered my tent. I turned my head as a fairly plump, hispanic woman stood before me. With her black hair in a bun behind her head and wearing a light blue nightgown that only exemplified her… features. I stammered for words, noting how my voice sounded like the textbook definition of gruff, after it ate a couple helpings of gravel.

She shot me a look of disappointment and acceptance, before she spoke in a moderately pitched monotone. “Cool it Nari, you’re just in another species, not the end of the world.” I was not sure how to react, because it did not sound like Maxxi or Y’vonne. She thankfully sighed and replied to me, “It’s Maxxi in here, I don’t think that Y’vonne managed to make it here, so it is just the two of us. Now get up and put some pants on, I found a letter saying this will be a long day.”

I had always desired for Maxxi to be a bit more calm, but it was like she took a double dose of drowsiness pills the night before. To the point where her eyes were so shut I barely noticed they were yellow. Before I could pursue the matter closer, she left the room, as I looked for some trousers, of which I found a pair in one of the chests that lied around the tent. They were actually very expensive looking, but given how odd these worlds very easily could be, that may just be the cheapest material available. Not that I ever asked. I shoved them on, which was harder when you had fur to work with, trust me, and went out the area Maxxi entered from. And much to my surprise, there were two other tents out in front of mine. With a very typical forest as the background, with leaves implying that it was autumn. Despite the temperature not being a big use for my shirtless Host.

I walked down, using my mix between a paw and hand to block the morning’s sun out of my face, and feeling the cool wind brush past my chest hair. In a feeling that was at best ticklish, and at worst, awkward. At least until I was approached by a brown bear a bit shorter than me, wearing a hawaiian shirt, and some boxers. He murmured in a voice identical to the last bear I met, spouting out a, “Hiya boss!” before he belched at my chest, and it smelled like old cheese.

Wanting to not screw anything up, I merely shot a glare at him, hoping that might not be disrespectful, as I gradually began to realize that literally anything could be different. But the bear grabbed me by my dog-man shoulders, and started patting my back. “Ah Alphonse, liven up a little. I know you’re not a morning person, but you just nailed a dame after getting hound up. Liven up a little! ” Hoping that my voice would somehow smooth things over like it did last time, I responded in my voice like a sewage drain. “Just let me get some damn air first, Edmund.”

I paused for a second, not because I ended up sounding like a complete tosser, but I knew the guy’s name. However, the bear-man also paused, looking off into space, as if he’d just realized something amazing. Five seconds later, he responded, “Why in X the Third’s name did I wear a cow’s skin? And the firestorm is a computer?” I was about as confused as he was. But he seemed oddly familiar, and the items he mentioned did indeed fit into… something.

Not that I had a lot of time to examine him alone, seeing as how two others rushed on in. One was a pug-man standing upright wearing some black trousers with suspenders over his uncovered shoulder. With the other one being a creature that I doubt nature ever intended. It was an amalgamation of a man, woman, moose, and deer. The head was that of a moose, with the massive antlers and such. With a torso donned in a light blue men’s business suit, although the form looked like a woman’s. The left arm was a slightly different color than the head, while the right arm was humanoid, and very muscular at that.

Below the waist, the body was like a centaur, with the actual lower body and back legs being coated with several patterns and colors. But the two front legs were that of human’s, the right looked to belong to a woman of a darker complexion. With the left one being what looked to be the same woman’s hand. I don’t even know if it would have a species other than that of a chimera that went horribly wrong.

My Host’s dog jaw laid open for a good five seconds before any pleasantries were exchanged, but I did get glares from the three. The chimera spoke to me with the voice of an older man, specifically what one would use if impersonating a Jewish man. “Oh dear me, Al, you are the one who did this to me. Oh no, let Gregg go in with the first escort party, there’s no evil in that cave, just a pissy Djinn! But no, I’m still the biggest asshole for looking like an ass and a half.”

The name “Gregg” also sounded familiar, as did the general idea, but familiar or not, he just looked weird. However, Edmund the bear seemed to save me from more long pauses where I stand around, looking like a dope. “Ay, Barker, you remember anything about someone mixing themselves with a piece of candy? I think you were getting drunk at the time.” The pug, who I guess was named Barker, had his eyes light up, not unlike Edmund’s.

He sounded like someone’s uncle from Boston as he was chewing on some gum. “Oh yeah. And- why the hell did we do that to Gregg- cybernetic apple- ah geez man, I’m sorry- what the hell’s a Uni?” Gregg and I seemingly clenched our heads at the same time. I remembered some vague images of a figure in pink, a man made of metal, a gumball machine filled up with pink bubble bath, and… fire.

Gregg let out a honk as I returned to reality. “Hey, Alphonse, any of this clicking with you?” I stood for a few seconds, thinking of what route I’d take. But I eventually decided that mentioning the contrast between certain building’s stories would be the best response. “Hold on a jiff!” Barker, well, barked. “I’m remembering all this jazz about Constants, and some shmoes called Shifters. And we only know this because some guy blurted out that he knew us. Ed, what’d spark your brain back?”

“Well, someone said my name, rather than just calling me “Bulk” which is a pretty sucky name when you think about it.” Edmund replied. “Wait, hold on. I remember having tea with you, why did you have to go and send me to a pit where rats attempted to eat em alive?” Gregg asked, raising everyone’s eyebrows. “I’m not sure, something about the society, we don’t let that stuff get in the way when we’re thinking with a Constant Collective Consciousness though. Even if it is just two and a half of our noggins together. But again, who told us this?” Barker asked, looking at me.

I tossed my arm up and down, letting out a sigh. “Look, I… I’m not this Alphonse guy, okay! My name’s Nari, I was sent here to do… Ah hell, did you see a human woman walk by? She had on a blue nightgown and-” I was cut off by Edmund, who was pointing at me with a his bear hands. “So, you’re a Shifter? And whaddya want with Peattie?” “Peattie?” I asked, jumping a bit upon placing my paw, hand, thing, on the back of my neck “Is that what Maxxi’s Host is called?”

All three of them looked wide eyed and started mumbling something about bees and being eaten and turned into honey. Followed by murmurs of something known as the, “Shoe-Baroness”. And ending with mention of a, “Dino-sorcerer”. None of which made a lick of sense to me, but I was in the land of talking anthros about body hopping, sense left a day ago. And with the murmuring ceasing to continue, they all glared at me, as if I had just called them… What did that Mantis-man say, Crackers?

The Chimera, for lack of a better term, Gregg sneered at me. “So, you’re Nari? Maxxi’s new partner?” “As if two of them was not enough, we’ve gotta deal with a trio of these bonks?” Barker said. “Look, I have no clue who you guys really even are, what Maxxi did to your, or what I’m suppose to do now-” I said, before a bell cut me off. “Guys, we can talk about my apologies later. We’re on a mission from The Doctor.” Maxxi attempted to shout with her ill fitting and bashful voice.

“No way Jose!” shouted Barker. “You fed us that rainbow flavored poo-poo too many times! I was promised a castle made of meat for those loafers!” “Yeah!” interjected Edmund. “And where’s my wife you said you’d revive?” “And my cure, you a-mensh!” stated Gregg, as he attempted to look intimidating. Maxxi shot the eyes of a dead person, as I believe she was holding back tears. “I’ve got everything you need, I just need helps getting there. There’s a Djinn out two miles north, I was given a map. Sowwy for taking Peatrice here, I just sorta ended up here, just like how Nari’s your leader.”

The glares landed on me once more, but they ended with a sigh, rather than accusations. “So, three kms?” asked Barker, with a sneer on his face. “Yeah, sure. We can walk it. But ya better not be screwing’ with us like back in the Dayd lands.” Maxxi did not respond with words, but a look of disappointment, as she motioned everyone to follow her with a map in hand. As the four of us did.

Nobody talked for five minutes as we wandered through a very indistinguishable forest, if not for the occasional destroyed towers of stone huts. Until Maxxi murmured for me to come, bringing me to the front of the little party we made. “Hey, Maxxi. You feeling okay?” I asked, already knowing the answer, more or less. “Sorry that I’m not the normal ball of sunshine Nari-kun. But the furred guys and I don’t have a goodie-good relationship. It’s been a good five times when I screwed all of them over. I mean, they’re Constants, so they remember my name, and whatever I did. Which is super poopy.”

“Maxxi… how long have you been doing this?” I asked, wanting to divert the primary subject away from the three behind us. “This is Shift number 2,843 for me, Nari-kun. I forget how long it has been. But time has little meaning for us Shifters anyway.” “So, did you take onto it like a glove, because this is my fifth, and it’s already getting weird to think about living any other way.” “Wait, fifth? You’re losing track already, you silly billy?” “Er, no, I just slipped, only been four Shifts.” “‘Sides, Doccie always keeps track, so you don’t need tah.”

“Wait, if you had that much experience, why were you so bitter when you woke up? I’m sure you’ve gotten used to any minor headache after two thousand times.” “I don’t like being plump, it feels funky.” I stopped walking to examine Maxxi’s Host body. She still had on the blue nightgown, but she did not look to be very far over the line of overweight, let alone obese. And for someone as loose as Maxxi, I knew something else had to be the cause.

The conversation died down for a while, and we continued through the leaves and twigs, swerving past trees. All while Maxxi stared at her map, and I began to hypothesize that she could be an imposter. It took a good twenty minutes to get there, although “there” was pretty inconspicuous. Beath a large pile of leaves, and a few branches, we found a sort of cave. It was perplexingly lit up by glowing yellow gems embedded into the walls, with a small tunnel acting as the pathway into the main room.

It was circular, with a radius of about five feet, some tattered stone carvings on the damp walls, and a small altar in the center that held a ragdoll. It was a light tan with a mouth sewn shut, buttoned eyes, and no features that made it seem human beyond having limbs and a head the size of its body. Maxxi motioned me to pick it up, and I complied, not having to lose, at least nothing permanent. I placed my hand on it, an immediately could tell something was wrong. I felt a heartbeat, I felt warmth from it, I saw its head tilt up as its mouth stretched open.

Before I could react, the ragdoll leapt onto my furred hand, gripping onto it as I felt needles dig into my flesh. I let out a screech of pain as I used my free claw to rip it off. With one fell swoop, the doll was flung off to the other side of the room. My grabbed hand did not bleed, it no longer hurt, there was some mild numbing, but I felt no pain, at least for a second. I fell down, as my nerves seemed to stop responding. But I could still see as I saw and heard the ragdoll laugh.

It’s lip movements were inaccurate, but something about the annoyed tone, the anger in the voice, it sounded like I heard it before. “Oh Nari! And the newsmen as well, you think you were so goddamn great, advancing yourselves. Well, no. Out of everyone here, only one is even close to right, and she is hating her body. Typical of her kind!”

The other four didn’t seem to be in a position better than me, as all of them were on the ground as well, barely moving beyond a few twitch actions. “I knew this would be the easiest task, but with this power, you are less than nothing!” the ragdoll continued. “With a mere touch, you already lost? How’d you even make it past the first two attempts. She must be getting softer, and after she was oh so hard, hard as titanium, one might say.”

I tried to move my lips to just get out a question, and I managed to mumble, “Who are you?” well enough for a reaction from the ragdoll. “Oh, you don’t remember, even as a bitter old thief, you are less than nothing. You ignited a match that I then tossed to burn down everything. Bravo! Now, I’m stuck here! In the body of a plushie. Say what you will about our escapade, but you could still feel it as the fires burned, now I merely project feelings, rather than causing them.”

I shot a look implying that I did not understand what the hell it was babbling about. “You really don’t remember, Nari? We had an adventure, the last one of my body. It was the best few minutes of my life, but You’re the one who ended it. It’s good old Cyhko! In the body of something her killer fashioned together from trash! You can just go back to your body, but I’m gone for good. These Homo Vertos have other bodies, so killing them would do squat! Constables or some shit? It doesn’t matter. What matters is one upping my higher in command.” “Oh really?” a harsh male voice replied, sounding rather cross.

“You think you can cause true anguish? I was not even trying back in Vigil. It was merely a game. And I had to follow a set pattern with the giant tin cans as well.” The voice’s identity was obvious enough without the giveaways. And it still sounded like a perverted uncle with lung cancer. From thin air, a jet black cube, about a meter all around, stood above the six of us. It was the same one from the aftermath of the mech fight.

“Look here, “boss”! I was the one given the orders to give them a bit of trauma. And let’s say you are better, you don’t start the voltage at 200, when 50 will do the job fine for the first few shocks!” said the ragdoll, Chyko, a name that sounded familiar, but I think I just heard it from some overly dramatic kid’s show. “You’ve got the gall to forget how I was in charge last time? Moving down a peg shall do nothing, nothing! The dog already suffered incineration and shattered bones because of me!” “Yeah, after you sent some dumbass out to go get killed. You call that trauma? That’s the opposite, you made him feel like a badass!”

As they continued to argue for a few minutes, I regained a bit of movement, as did the other four . But the only one who took the needed initiative was Maxxi, whose eyes shined red. She crawled over about a meter to a brick wall, desperately trying to lift her hand onto one brick. No clue what it was, but the odds of it making things worse seemed to be less than it being something good. She looked at me, and then a tad to my right. There was nothing there but some partially destroyed brick and stone, but when she looked at the arguing duo, who were talking about volcanoes, it all clicked.

I Forced all of my strength into a good throw of the biggest chunk of stone I could reach, which I then flung at Cyhko, which sent her bouncing back a few feet. Maxxi quickly moved, letting out a scream as she pounded in a brick. The brick triggered some brand of mechanism that opened up the stone altar, to reveal a smaller one made of jade. And instead of a ragdoll, there was a tiny clay pot. Before Cyhko could leap at me, and presumably make me feel as if my limbs were being eaten, the pot began to levitate.

As everyone observed the marvelous floating clay, it began to shake around, hitting the walls a few times, and even Gregg’s moose head. But within due time, it broke open, and released a light that blinded everyone in the room, or at least I assume it did. When I could properly see again, I more or less assumed I had stumbled into an illusion. Standing in the center of the room was something that looked like a raptor, with a monocle, top hat, cane, and even an open little suit shirt over his chest.

Everyone looked as baffled as me, except for Maxxi, who was actually laughing, eventually talked, with more energy than she had since Shifting into her Host. “Xandy? It’s been too long, how’re you doing?” The raptor, Xandy, glanced back of Maxxi, with something that looked like a smirk on his face. “Oh? Has it really been that long.” Said Xandy, sounding like someone doing an aristocratic British accent only decently. “My bloody pocketwatch must have been broken. Sorry about that dearie. But right now I should take care of these rascals. Think of it as an apology.”

Within five seconds, Xandy poked his cane into the ragdoll, Cyhko like a piece of trash. Picked off his hat, barely reaching the thing with his tiny arms. Shoved her in, and placed his hat back on. Wait, why did I call it a her? Nevermind. He then leap ten feet into the air and onto the floating cube, poked him three times with his cane, and leapt off as the cube started to glow green.

The cube let out a prominent flash, as its voice became distorted, going from something menacing, to something that was more fitting of a bad cartoon villain. One where plain old scratchy was the best way to describe his least scratchy voice. “No, what have you done you me, you ass! My perfection has been tampered with. My thoughts, you ruined them! I am tainted because of you!” He then blinked out of vision, leaving behind a lingering scream that sounded like it was trying to neigh.

The five of us who had fallen got back up, as I looked at Maxxi as bashfully as I could, because a dinosaur just used a cane to save the day. “Where are my manners? Nari, this is Xandy, he was Maxxi’s surrogate father for a while-” I interrupted her right there. Not because of what she was saying as much as how she was saying it. She was idling around like she wanted sexual attention, and her red eyes were glossing me over like a steak. That, and she had far more confidence in her tone, let alone posture. Not to mention the red eyes and talking in the third person.

“Oh, sorry lovely, I keep forgetting you’re not always in the system if you know what I mean.” “Um, no.” I replied. “And did you just call me “lovely”?” she giggled a bit. “Apologies, we haven’t been properly introduced. I’m Mystique, the combination of Maxxi and Y’vonne.” I stood there like she just said we were on a world made out of still living pigs. “Well, us Shifters have the ability to fuse consciousnesses when one of us lacks a body. It creates a new, and ultimately smarter person, but their new emotions can get to the better of them. And, this Host certainly does enjoy your’s.” She ended by coasting her hands up from her rump to her shoulders.

“So, you’re Maxxi and Y’vonne as one personality? But where was Y’vonne?” I asked, rubbing my claw over my head, still feeling a bit uncomfortable around someone who I assumed wanted to have sex with me. “More or less.” she replied. “But Y’vonne actually did come with you and Maxxi on this mission, she just Shifted into an awake body. While the two of you were knocked out from the third round last night. Ooo! I can still feel it!” I did not respond with words, just with shock and a hair of disgust in my dogface face.

“Y’vonne had access to the mission from the body of some Squirrel floozy, with a map on where to awaken Xandy. Unfortunately, she was ambushed, and the dolly and cube came to, well, murder her. Das war nicht so gut. But when a Shifter does fall in a Host body, they can meet up with other Shifters to exchange information and Mingle personalities. Which is what Y’vonne did with Maxxi, creating the excellence that is me, once more.”

I nodded my head in compliance, at least until I remembered Vigil. Mystique looked at me donning her constant grin as she succulently moved her licked lips. “Well, dying after forming a Mingle, the term coined by The Doc, can cause all kinds of personality mix ups, and we don’t want that. You were close to death, and Y’vonne was not keen on having her persona alter with yours. Nothing personal, more for your sake than anything, ‘cos she’s got emotional baggage up the poop hole. Not that it stopped us from doing the same basic thing with the giant robots. Minus the whole death bit, and replace anything natural with robotics.”

We were then interrupted by Xandy, who was previously muttering between the three animal people, well, the other three. “So, my good chaps. All caught up with the marvellous lore of the Omni?” We both nodded in agreement. “Exceptional! Now, I’ve got one last thing to do with dearest Alphonse of the wolf clan. Don’t worry, blue eyes, this won’t hurt a bit.” Xandy then tapped my head with his cane thrice, as my Host’s body felt began to contort.

It was not a painful process, and only lasted five seconds, but I would not have said it felt good. I somehow went from being a dog-man to a girl with messy blonde hair long enough to cover her cleavage. I let out a squee as I noted my different, but still fairly gruff sounding voice. “Well, that change is now all in order.” said Xandy. “Constants just seem to wander around, never wanting to evolve like their others. Oh well, more adventuring for me!” He then took out a golden pocket watch from his little shirt, held it up high, and had a violet rectangle open before him, which he stepped into, as the rectangle closed vertically.

“The hell was that?” I asked, covering myself and shivering from the cold, as Mystique chuckled. “Nari-chan, you’re silly. Xandy is kinda like Doc. He can alter things in the Omni, but also travel between worlds.” “W-What?” Was my response as I noticed that my voice sounded familiar. “Oh, well, he’s basically a different animal paired up with Doc, infused with mystical powers, but ones totally different. Or as Maxxi always puts it, he’s a magical dino.”

So, the Omni created countless worlds, and two super beings able to control matter, or travel between worlds with a magical cane and top hat? This was just getting goofy. With the goofiness exemplified by the trio of a a bear-man, a pug-man, and something from a teleportation mismatch. Gregg spoke up first, with his moose head low, and his “arms” clamped together. “Well, Gregg said he’d take care of everything you promised, Maxxi.” “Yeah!” said Edmund, the bear. “I’ve already been hooked up with a nice girl. Never been too into Pandas, a bit too traditional, but she’s a swell gal, if only she could eat some meat.”

“Ed, ya know that can be altered, right?” blurted out Barker, the pug. “I don’t think that Ed likes altering personas greatly, free will and all that razzle dazzle.” Gregg slipped in. “Look, I’m fine with alterations, I became a bear thousands of times. I’m just not all for making a vegan into a carnivore.” Edmund replied. “Either way, you guys are off the hook for now.” Barker said. “But Al was our main man, so having’ him be another dame is, well-” “Don’t worry, Wolfe will be a hardass.” interrupted Mystique. “She was pumped as hell during the big mech fight after all. Just expect her to still have a more ignored libido. Or she might turn out to be a slut, I’m not entirely certain if she was or was not that pirate queen.”

“Can we just go?” I asked, shivering in the single digit weather. “Well, our mission is over, so we just need to be knocked out.” Mystique said as she looked over to Edmund. Edmund shrugged, as he, Barker, and Gregg gathered around the two of us, where the proceeded to sucker punch Mystique and I. Leading both of us to quickly stumble into unconsciousness, with our only goal of touching a small clay pot being expanded into yet another odd odyssey. One that ended with me transforming into a woman from a wolfdog-man

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