2019-11-18 - Curse of Bast


May finds out more about being a cat

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Nov 18 05:31:17 2019
Location: WAND

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Theme Song



Koa Turner is in his office, which is a bit rare these days. Between forays around the world dealing with extradimensional intrusion, coordinating WAND's response to an attack on the stability of reality and looking for the missing ruler of a hell realm he's had his hands full. But something came up recently that demanded his attention, and a chair.

That would be two small colored stones - one aqua, one orange - that were found in his pocket the day that Limbo collapsed. WAND had assumed they were artifacts and so they are… but they're very, very unusual artifacts.

Koa presently has both on his desk and is examining one under what looks like a jeweler's loupe. One that's scribed over with hermetic sigils, naturally.

Keiko knocks on Koa's door but doesn't wait to be invited in. Her backpack is squirming a bit. Putting the cups of coffee on his desk, the small spirit caller gingerly places the backpack on this chair and unzips it.

"Now don't go jumping everywhere and spill the coffee. I've even got you the tea you prefer." She's saying to the bag.

"Sorry I'm late, Koa. Elena decided to play dress ups this morning. I had to encourage May out of my cupboard."

The peruvians arms are looking a barer these day - instead of ink in some places, it's just dusky coloured skin.

When Keiko had explained to her that they would be returning to WAND to run some tests in the hopes of figuring out and reversing what happened, May was both relieved and — once she saw that damned backpack — annoyed. She voiced her opinion very clearly, but with every bit of dignity she could muster stepped into the hideous contraption without any 'help', thankyouverymuch. It was a bit reassuring that her jacket had been put in there first, and yet, it was simultaneously frustrating that the garment had become something of a security blanket. It's not like she'd be able to USE any of the blades still tucked into their pockets in the lining.

The journey in said backpack was an uncomfortable, jostling affair, and she said as much at one particularly bumpy moment. It was a relief to be let out of the bag, literally. She pokes her head out first, eyes, ears, and nose all working to get an idea of where they are, then with a mrrep hello to Koa she extricates herself from the backpack as primly as possible. Which isn't very.

The tea is enticing, though, even if she barely smell it past the coffee.

Koa looks up, one eye greatly magnified. Which let's May get a good look that it's silver and mirror bright. They had not been that color in previous conversations she can be sure.

Then he takes that damned loupe off and sets it aside. "It's alright Keiko. I had some things returned to me today and they required some rather thorough looking into. Hello Agent May. Once you've had your tea I have a few things I need to try with you."

Not tests to run. Things to try. It's really the same thing but it doesn't SOUND as good. What's even worse - now that May is a cat - is the constant sense she's getting from Koa that he is a 'big bad'. A predator of a higher order than she.

The same feeling comes from those stones, oddly.

"When you say Elena decided to play dress up…?"

When May emerges from the backpack it becomes self evident just *how* Elena decided to play dress up. The tortiseshell cat is wearing what looks like a dolls cardigan and a bonnet - the bonnet knocked askew in the bag.

To add insult to the injury, it looks like Elena has tried to put lipstick on the cat - clearly not Keiko's or potentially lipstick either.

"That …" The small peruvian says, gesturing to May.

And no, not even that makes her smile.

She'll get around to asking about the stones in a moment.

Turning in place on the small bit of chair seat not taken up by the backpack, May peers at Koa's desk to determine if there's enough room there for her to sit on a corner or something. Even though there is, she hesitates, because Koa seems actually intimidating for a change, and that's not something she's used to. More disconcerting are the man's eyes. They're noticeably different from what she remembers, even with the limited range of colors she can currently see.

Pausing on her contemplation of the desk and its owner, she lifts one hind leg and tries to yet again hook the bonnet with her rear claws to get it off. It's really making her head and ears feel like wearing a ponytail too tight. « Why you didn't take these things off of me already, I will never forgive, » she mrrehs and grumbles at Keiko.

And the lipstick? Easy fix. She leans over and rubs the side of her face against the Peruvian woman's arm to rub the stuff off. Take that.

Koa snorts and pulls what looks like a small jingly bell out of his desk drawer that looks like it attaches to a cat's collar. "Put that on her. Try not to get the skin on your hand removed. May, bear with us. The bell is enchanted, it'll allow you to speak. Sort of." It'll let her speak in the jingling of the bell itself. So her voice is going to sound odd. Normally Koa uses this for ghosts but it can be used on other things.

While he's doing that he gets a few other things out of his desk. Odd things. A tuning fork. A small wind up music box. What looks very much like a set of sidewalk chalk. A writing slate large enough to that May could stretch out on it. A knife… that's probably not comforting, the knife.

"Elena decided to play dress up with May?" Koa quirks a brow. "Well I guess compared to what she's used to May is downright cuddly." In that she has fur. Demons don't. And they're FAR more ill tempered.

Keiko sighs as the makeup is swiped along her arm. "Does that feel better?" She asks the cat as she takes the collar from Koa. "If you let me get the collar on, I'll take the bonnet off." Clearly Keiko has experience in negotiating. "I didn't take it off because I had to get to work. You hid in the cupboard for so long I was late."

So it's all Mays fault. Right?

It shouldn't take long for Keiko to get the collar on May. "What is it you have there, anyway Koa?"

« You are both VERY lucky that I won't hit an innocent child. And I wouldn't need to retreat to that cupboard if you told the child that I am NOT a toy, » May quips as soon as the bell is able to do its job, staying still so the bonnet can also come off. The seemingly offhand comment reminds her of things she'd rather not contemplate, but with cat-brain it's slightly more difficult to shove the memories of Bahrain back into their box. She bristles at the memories, her tail even puffing out, but she very deliberately digs her claws into the chair seat to keep them away from Keiko's hands.

« The cardigan needs to come off too, it's itchy. » Once that is done and she's taken a moment to resettle her thoughts AND her fur, she finally hops up onto the desk as delicately as she can, settling to sit on the clear corner of the desk to sample her tea and consider the items Koa is setting out. Her tail waves almost lazily until the knife appears, and her ears telegraph her focus.

"Um. Well. That's a good question. They were in my pocket after Limbo." Koa picks up the orange one and holds it out in the palm of his hand. After a moment flames start licking out from it. Then they die and he sets it back down. "They're elementally attuned. And… I think they're me."

More specifically he *suspects* they're bits of his soul that got seared off while he was channeling the magic of an entire realm through his physical and metaphysical form. That's what he'd been testing when they came in.

He doesn't notice, consequently, May's sudden focus on the knife.

"Alright Agent May. If you don't mind. Let's see what kind of curse has you." He slides the tuning fork over to Keiko. "I'm going to start by playing the music box. Simple, right? Keiko just strike the fork and look through it at May. If it affects her aura in any way, you should be able to see it. I'll need you to describe to me what you're seeing."

And with that… Koa winds up the music box. Well that's a pretty tame start. It plays Edelweiss. In E.

What's the knife for again?

Keiko's attention fixes on the stones, frowning darkly. "What do you mean, they're you and why do you think that?" It's so direct and it's clear she expects a straight answer. They can teach Keiko many things but tact doesn't seem one those things.

"Elena knows you're not a toy and she likes you. She wants to to spend time with you. What's wrong with that? Be thankful she didn't decide you were a demon and try to command you."

Holding up the tuning fork, the peruvian rolls her eyes and watches as the music plays. "Her aura is … there's like there's three of them Koa. One pale and washed out, the other brighter - but the colours are dark jewel tones not light and airy. The last aura is nearly completely dark."

« She doesn't know me, » May hisses at Keiko, her ears going flat and annoyed again. And the little girl trying to command her would likely go about as well as with any feline — she's just ignore it. Wait. Demon? Her head tilts slightly at Keiko as the woman peers at her through the tuning fork, the little music box's notes oddly irritating to her ears.

« Three of them? Three of what? » Her tail slaps the desktop a couple of times, telegraphing her consternation.

"I think the intensity of the magic Illyana used seared off parts of my… soul. For lack of a better word." Koa says as he puts the music box down and chuckles at May.

"Elena was born and grew up in a hell realm. Much of what she knows is from there. It makes her somewhat… odd." That's putting it rather tactfully. Koa has in spades what Keiko lacks. Or at least he does for now.

"Three auras. Hrm. The first one would be her spirit. The second one her soul. I'm not sure what the third one would be or why it should be colored like that."

Now he picks up the chalk and starts to draw on the slate in front of May. "May step into this circle and tell me how it feels? Keiko keep watching her auras, this should disturb them."

And feel sort of funny. Maybe good funny, maybe bad. He's not sure.

"Elena doesn't need to know you. It's not the way she is. Not how she grew up for her first five years." Keiko murmurs. "She is not like other children. You will have to teach her if you do not want her near you."

"The third seems to be an echo of the first, Koa. Two parts to the same thing, maybe?" the peruvian answers. When May steps into the circle, she watches again. "Yes. They are vibrating now…"

« If I'm allowed to keep this bell, maybe I CAN teach her. » Though, really, it's not that May dislikes children. Quite to the contrary. She simply did not appreciate being treated like a doll instead of a living being.

After one last fortifying taste of her tea, May steps delicately over and into the chalk circle. The sensations standing there feel even odder than getting fur rubbed the wrong way and she has to resist the urge to squirm. To fight that urge, she sits and curls her tail close to her feet, then puts one paw over the tip when it doesn't want to stop twitching nervously.

"Vibrating. Hrm. Not exactly the reaction I was expecting…" Koa makes a couple more marks that don't seem to affect anything and then puts the chalk down and reaches for the knife. It's a rather nice knife. Ornate, about eight inches long. Polished. Clean.

Quite sharp.

"I'll need your paw, Agent May." He says as he gets a little tea saucer like plate that has what appears to be a golden scarab resting in the center. Is he going to make her bleed on that?

Koa eyes Keiko. If May bolts, be ready to slam the door.

"I will talk with her again and tell her not to. But you did look rather amusing in the outfit. That's her favourite one, you know. It is an honour to be offered it." It's so hard to tell but Keiko may actually be teasing.

"What were you hoping for?" That's what it looks like its doing.

At Koa's look, Keiko moves subtly, putting herself between the cat and the door.

« Tell her I might actually consider it if she asked first. » One of May's ears flicks to follow Keiko's movements while her eyes focus on the knife. She doesn't immediately comply to Koa's request for her paw, studying the small plate with the beetle in it.

« Try to avoid the parts I have to walk on, » she tells the man before delicately offering one front paw. He can probably feel the tension in her thin limb where she's resisting the instinctual urge to pull away. Cat-brain can't be reasoned with.

"Something more along the lines of the aura's coming together to combine. Something is keeping them apart." Rather than slice, Koa simply prick's May's paw and lets a single drop of blood run down onto the blade. He pulls it back, examines it for a moment with those silver eyes, and then dips the blade to the plate.

Poof. There's an almost immediate gout of blue smoke and a brief visage of a woman with cat's ears.

"Oh… shit." Koa's eyes widen. "Bast."

The cat goddess. Yeah. That Bast.

"Okay. Well. I know what happened now and I even know how. But solutions…" He swallows and looks up at Keiko. "That cat collar was cursed, somehow, by an actual, no kidding, quite potent goddess."

"She will learn. A good swipe on her hand would be a good way for her to learn." Keiko says simply. The peruvian loves her daughter but she does believe in tough love.

As the image appears in the smoke, Keiko mutters something in russian. "I guess, Agent May, you are going to be a cat for a little bit longer." beat "How do we break the curse, Koa?"

Because that's what they really want to know.

May can't help the hiss and flattened ears at the prick of the knife, but she at least manages to NOT pull her paw out of Koa's hand until he's got the drop of blood he wanted. Then her paw is promptly withdrawn and before she can even really process it, she's licking at the tiny wound. When she does realize what she's doing, she stops and as primly as she can she puts her paw back down.

She flinches back from the puff of smoke then looks between the other two as if that will make their words any clearer to her. One thing she picked up on instantly, though…

« How much longer is 'a little bit longer'? »

"I don't know, Agent May. We need to dig a bit deeper into this. But at least we have a starting point." He starts to put things back in the drawer. And that's when May gets the whiff of catnip. Koa had started keeping a catnip toy in his desk in case he needed to grab Bezas again. For all the good it did, she could teleport out any time she wanted.

"I don't know yet, Keiko. Divine curses are tricky. We're going to need to do some research and possibly summon her up and ask her ourselves…" And do that while juggling the other things. Well, maybe they can get an intern to do some of the legwork.

"I think we should summon her first." Keiko mutters. "We don't have time for this, Koa. Not with everything else. We *must* find Illyana." It's not hard to imagine that might be Keiko's top priority, even above the fact the Earth might be flattened.

"Agent May, do you want to stay with us while this is happening? Or do you have somewhere else you'd prefer."

May is about to voice her opinion on not knowing a timeline when she catches that whiff of catnip. It's so completely distracting that she doesn't register anything else the other two are saying, her pupils dilating a bit. And when she realizes it, she sneezes delicately and makes a point of moving farther away from that enticing herbal smell. She's not sure what it is, but the attraction is dangerous.

Wait, what? Prefer? Prefer what? May drinks a little more of her tea to hide that she completely missed the question and then replies hopefully cohrerently. « No other preference. »

"Alright then." Keiko had totally missed the catnip bait and Mays seeming distraction. "You'll stay with us. What are you going to do for the rest of the day, I suggest that you stay with me - ride in the backpack or walk by my side, but I wouldn't go too far, if I were you."

"I've got a lesson in a fifteen minutes, Koa and I'll be back after that. You can tell me about those stones and what's happening with Limbo."

It's that easy but poor May has been adopted into the Rasputin-Kurita residence. At least for the little while.

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