"Don't ssssssweat it, boss man."
A serpentine head peaked out the window of the leading car; with thin and angular edges that topped a broad shovel-like snout, the face of the final lieutenant, Aladd, proved to be almost as sinister as his voice.
"I got thisssss."
Most certainly the most changed among the gang, Aladd had remained in the car to avoid unwarranted attention. With the school right before them, that was no longer a concern. Aladd pulled his snake-eyes back into the car, unlocking the door and stepping out into the street. A thick furry paw, speckled with spots and tipped with dagger-like claws, was the first sign of the monster to come. One more paw left the vehicle; then another, grasping onto the car's hood as Aladd pulled himself from the seat. The car's metallic frame groaned with relief, and Aladd shut the door behind him, carefully to avoid his tail. The chimera of a man stretched to his full height, his neck was a viper, winding through the air until it straightened with a snap. Easily clipping four meters, Aladd was the largest of the gang's members and he was most certainly the most intimidating.
He had the form and figure of Heracles, cloaked in the thick, unruly fur of the Nemean lion; where Heracles wore his fur cloak, Aladd's was attached to his powerful, feline form. His burly chest narrowed greatly as fur gave way to the scales along his neck, all 5 feet of scale. His viper's head, having now attainted a great new altitude, easily peered over the school's walls, locking onto the fleeing figure of the fish-boy.
"Run, Run, assss fassssst assss you can, if I catch you I'll swallow you whole."
Cackling with his impromptu corruption of ye old Gingerbreadman, Aladd sprang into motion. He surged through the gates with grace and power that befitted his kingly lower half.
"Well...whatever. Lockdown the exits, I don't wanna see any cops too soon. You guys round up the kids, I think I'm gonna visit some old teachers. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to see me, haha!"
Strutting into the school confidently after giving his orders, William muttered under his breath.
"Now...where was Mr. Lionnes Office again?"
"Hey! You know the rules, I'll play with you, but no disturbing the other guests."
Yuying noticed the boy as he darted behind an occupied deck-chair. Her voice had lost it's slightly jovial tone, replacing it with an edge of chastisement as she called the boy back to her side. After a tense few moments, the boy seemed to relent under her gaze, shyly extricating himself from Erik's chair and shuffling over to Yuying's side.
"Now come on, tell this Mister you're sorry and we can go back to playing in the pool."
After a swift apology the boy scampered off and the laughing and chaos started anew as the kids gathered. Rather than go back immediately, Yuying took a few moments to address the victim of the children's rowdy games.
"Sorry about that, you know how kids can get. I'll try to keep them in line next time..."
Her apology was brief but heartfelt, and she shuffled around closer, her curiosity getting the better of her as she peered into his book.
"Oh? A crossword puzzle...that's rather out of place on a cruise, don't you think?"
The crew of the cruise would probably die from aggravation had they known there was a person who found a simple crossword puzzle more enchanting than their cornucopia of services and entertainments —the oddity of it all caused Yuying to giggle. Even as she brought her hand up to stifle her laughs, she caught sight of one of the crossword questions. It read: 'An 11-letter word for vibration'.
"Oooh! I know that one, it's Oscillati—"
Yuying's words were cut off as the ship gave a mighty groan and shook violently. She was thrown to the ground, landing on her back. She didn't scream in pain, not because she was a particularly tough or hardened girl, but simply because she'd forgotten. It was hard not to forget such trivial things like bodily pain when the sky was having a rainbow-seizure. Yuying simply watched, stunned, wide-eyed, and transfixed, at the empyrean rave-party.
She hadn't noticed early —as it truly was hard to notice these things when one was being flung about like a ragdoll— but a pulse had passed through her. Her body oscillated back and forth, swapping between one form or another faster than the blink of an eye. As the sky seemed to calm down, so too did her changes. Her hair had lengthened exponentially, pooling across the ship's deck in oodles of black, with strands silver, and gold mixed in. She shifted around in discomfort, her new tail trapped beneath her body and the floor. The sound of the ocean seemed to be amplified, it surged and boiled angrily before it erupting repeatedly. The noise was kind of annoying, and her floofy fox ears instinctively folder over her skull.
The myriad of changes that had occurred had gone almost completely unnoticed by Yuying —Almost. Her senses were focused on the blissful feeling of sunlight penetrating her skin, soaking and saturating her body with a zesty warmth that left her spine-tingling. She had the sense that she was experiencing the best tan of her life, a tan that went straight down to the bone.
The sound of several wet squelches awakened her from her reverie, and she jerked to her feet.
"Damn...Best. Tanning Session. Ever!"
She was still pretty zoned out by whatever had just happened, but then the screaming started. Turning her head and staring out onto the main deck, Yuying could see where several slimy-looking fish people had boarded the ship. They looked emaciated, with large, round eyes that bulged grotesquely. Their every step squelched against the flooring of the cruise ship; in their wake, they left soggy steps and jagged scratch-lines, from where the tridents they held had scrapped across the floor.
Everyone seemed to be paralyzed in shock, as no one moved until the first fish-person had grabbed a woman and dragged her off the ship. Then all hell broke loose.
Catherine shook the feeling of heaviness from her body, leaping to her feet and taking her distance from Orm. She huffed in the snakeman's direction but didn't pursue the conflict.
"There's no way that worm could take me out, he should be lucky that I didn't—"
Acute feline ears twitched and Catherine's head snapped into the direction of the exit, she heard a few loud bangs on the door, before suddenly the doors were blasted open. The Nekomata raised an eyebrow at the less-than-dignified state of their fellow schoolmate as he entered clad in nothing but his undergarments.
"What's his problem..."
The question was answered for her when Aladd burst through the doors, hot on Jonah's heels. The man had the hulking frame of a leopard, but the slithering neck and head of a serpent. Catherine was confused for a few seconds, but she didn't even need to ask before her question was answered. Aladd straightened himself to his full height, surveying the room.
"Alright, you little freakssssss, if you play niccce Uncle Ally won't have to kill you. Get on your kneesssss!"
The man's voice thundered across the room with a hissing undertone. Catherine merely blinked, voicing the single most well-used word of the day.
Catherine was agog as what appeared to be a talking Giraffe burst into the gym and begun threatening them. It was only a moment afterward when the initial effects of Aladd's skill had worn off could Catherine see the true monstrosity.