T/L note: nya means meow
Once the Thing had dissipated along with the burst of light and all traces of it were gone save the wrecked pavement and overturned cable car, Jason breathed a sigh of relief.
As San Francisco’s song receded, however, a different sound faded in. The sound of laughter. Jason turned around.
“Meow,” said one of the Oaklanders in between fits of uncontrollable giggles, “what the hell happened to you?”
“The hell do you mean nya?”
“What the hell nya.”
The spell circle at his feet vanished as he staggered around, looking at himself and trying to take in all the nonsensical sight perceptions which were triggering his comrades’ ridicule. His hands had morphed into large furry mits, cartoonish cat paws. His hair reached his waist, held back from his face some kind of cloth headband. His unremarkable street clothes had been replaced with an outfit the likes of which he had only ever seen in anime: the classic French maid dress, trimmed in pulsating pink frills.
He didn’t have to reach up to tell that he was sporting cat ears, and a thin black tail swept about as he moved.
“What the hell is this nya?!”
LAW1 was too amused to respond.
“El, what’s going on?” asked Dax.
“Classified information,” replied the book.
“Jason, use refrain mode,” commanded the dachshund. “I’m sure El knows something about this. It’s gotta be some kind of trap of Garch’s.”
Jason took a deep breath and then addressed El.
“What the hell happened to me desu nya?”
LAW1 members dropped like flies, falling to the pavement and rolling around in anguished laughter.
El said nothing.
“I said desu nya!”
“Quit the nya, would you, moron? Refrain mode requires that you end your sentences with—”
“I can’t nya!” Jason sank to his knees, paws on the pavement before him. The euphoria of the magical surge had passed and replacing it was a sense of shame. This was no trap of Garch’s. But he couldn’t tell Dax what he guessed was going on. And he couldn’t tell LAW1. “You think I would say nya on my own prerogative nya?”
“You never know.”
Dax trotted over to Jason and laid a paw on the catgirl’s.
“We’ll figure something out for you, kid. Hang in there.”