Magical Security Taskforce
created by Matt Finch
written by Adam Pulver

Coming in May to and


From Chapter Two, Session Two

Half the fun of being a demonic animal is inflicting pain. This particular hound had done a very good job of causing Donovan physical harm, but was left unsatisfied. Instead of howling in agony and trying desperately to shake himself away like most other victims, Donovan just lied there and stared at the animal. The look in most victims' eyes say “somebody help me for the love of God!” Donovan's eyes said “aren't you finished yet?”

Ironically, that look was directly responsible for making the dog stop. Not because it was intimidating; the hound just got bored. Fortunately, it spotted Troy and Renee, looking positively mortified at its presence. Certainly these two would play the role of helpless victim more convincingly.

Having no appreciation for a demonic animal's thinking process, Troy and Renee could only wonder where the dog had come from and what it wanted with them.

Donovan was just glad the damn thing was off of him. He didn't bother noticing Troy or Renee. He did notice that he had just been mauled by a dog, and that his arm certainly needed immediate first aid.

“Bryce,” muttered Donovan.

“Sir,” replied Bryce.

Donovan lifted his wounded arm slowly to show his minion. Then he passed out.

“Sir?” Bryce repeated, a little more concerned. He looked up and saw the hell hound, and the blood dripping from its mouth. Bryce correctly presumed it was Donovan's.

“Uh oh,” said Bryce, now more than a little concerned. He saw the creature's next target- Troy and Renee, clutching each other and frozen in panic.

“Not good!” squeaked Bryce. At this point, little had no business being in the same sentence as his concern.

As any good minion would, Bryce charged after the hound. On the way, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small ivory crystal tied to a string.

Most average minions did not have magical crystals tied to strings. Bryce was not an average minion. Clutching the string in his right hand he raised the crystal and swung it around in a circle, still approaching the demon. He dropped his arm and used the crystal to strike the asphalt directly behind the hound. Bursts of light shot out in two directions, circling around the hound before colliding with each other in front of it.

As soon as the circle was completed, the asphalt inside it started to bubble. Before the hound could leave the circle, its paws were trapped in a pool of tar.

While the hound wailed in a futile effort to free itself, Bryce sighed in relief. The threat was effectively neutralized and Bryce could now take his time to determine the best way to eliminate it. 'Very nice, Bryce. Clutch performance,' he thought as he circled around the circle and met the trapped animal face-to-face.

Bryce held the crystal up again. With a circle already in place, an eradication spell would be a breeze. As he swung the crystal around a second time, it began to emit a low hum while the air around it started to crackle.

He heard a whimper from behind and quickly put his hand down. Bryce spun around quickly and pathetically hid the crystal behind his back. Troy and Renee were still clutching each other in fear. Now they were staring at Bryce.

Bryce darted his eyes back and forth between the hound and the pair of onlookers. Discharging magic in public was considered anywhere between a minor faux pas and an act of treason punishable by crucifixion, depending on the district. The binding spell was manageable; Bryce knew that the phenomenon of an isolated section of asphalt suddenly turning to tar could be explained (there were streets in L. B. Gould, Ohio in worse shape). BS'ing the physics behind smiting a demon creature via magic crystal? That was iffy.

Therefore, Bryce took the proper precautions. “Uh... could you two turn around please?” he asked Troy and Renee.

Troy and Renee nervously obliged. They still clutched each other in fear, only now they were staring in the opposite direction.

With that problem resolved, Bryce let loose with the crystal. By holding it overhead and swinging it around, he could gather all the magic energy he could muster and use it all to drive a focused attack into the circle.

Which he did. Troy and Renee didn't see it, but did hear the crackling and humming grow louder, before the attack itself whooshed through the circle. This was followed by the sounds of a muted explosion, a puppy yelping in surprise and the shattering of several glass windows- in no particular order.

“All clear,” Bryce said, trying to resist the urge to blow imaginary smoke from the crystal's “barrel.” He failed, but thankfully he had it blown and pocketed before Troy and Renee turned around.

They were no longer clutching each other in fear. Now they were staring at Bryce with a certain “WTF?” look on their faces.

Bryce glanced down and rubbed a bit of circle residue off the now-restored pavement. “So uh... how's it going guys?”

“Who are you?” Renee asked.

Bryce looked back up and forced a cheesy grin. “I'm Bryce, one of Donovan's minions. Troy and Renee, right? Donovan's told me all about you two.” Donovan actually despised both of them, but Bryce decided that that was best left unsaid.

Troy raised an eyebrow. “Donovan never told me his minions knew magic.”

“Oh, Donovan doesn't know about our magical abilities,” replied Bryce, his grin growing even larger. He leaned in and winked. “It's a secret. We can't tell anybody.”

Troy backed away nervously. Renee raised a finger and smiled. “Which is why you made us turn around!”

“Exactly!” Bryce pointed at Renee, nodding in affirmation.

With that crisis well-in-hand, Bryce turned around and headed off to give Donovan the medical attention that he had needed five minutes ago.

Bryce managed exactly three steps before he figured it out. He immediately stopped and slumped his shoulders.

“Oh shoot...” Now his level of concern was off the charts.

“Oh no,” Renee said, almost in unison, “Do you have to erase our memories now?”

“Does he what?!” Troy exclaimed.

Renee turned to Troy and explained, “Don't you understand, Troy? Bryce is probably part of some secret group that uses magic to protect us ignorant masses from evil monsters.” She turned towards Bryce. “Right?”

Dumbfounded, Bryce was about to say 'pretty much,' but a thought struck him and he said something even more stupid: “Did Molly already tell you about all this?”

“MOLLY?!” Troy and Renee cried.

“You mean she's involved?” added Troy.

Bryce cringed and squeaked out an “uh huh.”

“So what, there really is a secret group and stuff?” Renee asked.

This time, Bryce did answer, “Pretty much.” His curiosity got the better of him and he added, “How did you know?”

“I didn't!” Renee looked away and rubbed her neck, suddenly bashful. “I just read a lot of fantasy novels.”