Magical Security Taskforce





Prologue: Molly Pearson


The student council presidency at L. B. Gould High School in L. B. Gould, Ohio became a totalitarian autocracy so quickly that nobody was prepared to stop it. In fact, nobody quite knew what was happening when Molly Pearson swept into power. Most student council elections are fraught with empty promises, grossly overstating what was usually a benign position. Molly jumped in and not only made those empty promises, but proposed making all school operations more student-centric. Rallying against a spineless principal proved far more powerful than arguing about vending machine prices. Her opponent, the kind of pompous upperclassman that usually runs for these things, didn't have a chance.

The only promises that proved to be empty in the Pearson Administration were those that actually benefited the student body. When she proposed making things more student-oriented, by 'student' she meant herself. By the first day of her freshman year, the principal had lost all managerial power and the school board was at her command. The quiet little ninth-grader proved to be nothing short of tyrannical, manipulating the school's intricacies to reward her allies with popular teachers and favorable grades, while squashing her enemies with first period gym classes.

Other members of the council fell in line easily enough, perpetuating the general uselessness of their positions. The only officer to actively protest was the secretary, who resigned a month in. Eager to show off her 'enthusiasm' for 'democracy,' Molly held a special election. A tall, eloquent freshman named Claude ran, vowing to rein in President Pearson's power. He won in a landslide. A week after he had taken office, Claude not only joined forces with her, but also turned on his strongest supporters. These enemies of the council soon found themselves academically-ineligible for all extracurricular activities.

With Claude on hand to quell any resistance from the inside and handle all of Molly's mundane affairs (classes, clubs, propaganda), she became untouchable. She and Claude annexed a large office next to the lunchroom. It even had an outside window, despite not being near an exterior wall. Her network of informants grew, preventing anyone from speaking ill of the council and making them reconsider even thinking ill of it. Molly and Claude were re-elected easily for their sophomore year; both ran unopposed, conveniently sparing them the need to rig the vote.

So how did Molly Pearson bring L. B. Gould High School to its knees? Or even its concrete foundation, since it was a building and didn't have knees? It would be irresponsible to detail her process. After all, if a humble school in Ohio can succumb to this, any kid with the proper framework can do the same to his or her own school. Likewise, as none of the anti-Molly rebel movements had found any semblance of a foothold, there's nothing to tell on that front either. Thankfully, our story has little to do with this. Molly had set up this little empire simply as a path of least resistance. Why bother slogging through normal high school with easier options available? Besides, Molly knew her priorities: she was training to be a guardian in the Magical Security Taskforce.

The Magical Security Taskforce- one of the few organizations more powerful than the L. B. Gould High School student council. As the name implies, they deal with magic, namely preventing its misuse by assorted evil forces. As to be expected, they tend to work transparently on Earth, as neither the good guys nor the bad guys benefit from letting any local idiot in on the game. In fact, only a small percentage of MST employees actually live in public society. Many are out and about, overly and covertly doing battle with demonic forces across various worlds. Others have desk jobs and don't get out much.

Combine her status in both the MST and her high school and Molly Pearson was possibly the most powerful sixteen-year-old girl on the face of the planet. This is not to say she's a terribly strong mage yet. There are stronger seventeen-year-old girls, sixteen-year-old boys, as well as one particularly gifted thirteen-year-old who can change gender at will. Of course, none of these enlightened children could hold a light spell to the upper echelon in the MST hierarchy. Those old fogies would give these brats what-for without getting their beards dirty.

As a guardian, however, Molly was an important member of the MST. Guardians raise, train and nurture new recruits. Twice a year, she would attend training sessions at one of the MST's many academies scattered across the globe. There she learned important leadership qualities, rigid MST protocols and ways to improve on her own abilities. This was her true education. The other ten months were spent in a simple routine of bossing around the superintendent and making sure Claude prevented a violent student uprising. Molly hated violent student uprisings.

Every so often, the Magical Security Taskforce would review their timeless and perfect methods of operation and make significant revisions. Sometimes this meant an extra session to get everybody caught up. Such was the case in Molly's sophomore year, sending her far out of town in the last week of March to take in some new information. She changed L. B. Gould's spring break to the last week of March to accommodate this.

This meant one thing to Troy Monroe: the bitch was out of town and he could make a move on Molly's sister.

Troy was just an anonymous locker tenant- another pawn on Molly Pearson's game board. His school participation was minimal, he made no effort to be sociable outside his small circle of friends and he did his best to not step over any boundaries where the student council was concerned. He was neither a stand-out student nor a stand-out athlete. Hell, he wasn't even a stand-out loser. His face was free of acne, but also of personality. There was nothing enticing girls to hang a pin-up of him in their lockers, nor did they run away screaming when he tried to talk to them. Usually they just looked at him quizzically and wondered why. He had brown hair, brown eyes and, on the fateful day in March when he first talked to Renee, a brown shirt.

The day had started out normally for Troy. History class, oath of allegiance to the student council, then homeroom where the class would let out their frustration by shouting angrily at a rival school's mascot for two minutes. After school, Troy headed to the garage for motor club.

The motor club was far from prestigious. Troy was among four or five kids that spent most of their time restoring whichever old vehicle the head of the club could dig up. That day he poked his head under the Corvette they was trying to restore and saw the face of Renee Pearson.

Renee and Molly Pearson had just four things in common: they were both female, they had the same parents, they had the same last name, and they were remarkably intelligent. After that, they were as alike as apples and orchids. Molly dedicated her mind to very few aspects. As long as she was a great mage and a fiendish despot, she didn't care. Renee, however, dedicated herself to whatever struck her fancy at the time. Thus far in her freshman year, she had spent time as a member of almost every club in school, barring the student council and the football team (Renee could have joined either had she asked Molly nicely enough). Unlike Molly, her active school participation, outgoing attitude and consistent good grades made her a genuine gem of the school and one of the most admired girls in her class. It also didn't hurt that she was gorgeous

Even an oil splotch on her cheek didn't change that. Actually, it might have been the oil splotch that did it for Troy. He wiped it off helpfully and asked, “When did you join the club?”

“Just giving it a try,” Renee said. As it would turn out, Renee ended up being part of the club for exactly two hours and fifteen minutes. In that time, Renee had discovered that working on a car was not as similar to building a computer as she had imagined.

Still, Troy and Renee bonded quickly under that Corvette. He gave her the grand tour underneath, cheerfully explaining what everything was and growing more spirited every time she smiled in understanding. In time, they were talking about all sorts of meaningless trifles like TV, the weather and teachers that rubbed them the wrong way. Once they slid out from under the car, Troy was madly in love. Or at least as madly in love as teenage boys get spending two hours fixing a car with a pretty girl.

“Hey, maybe we should get together sometime,” he asked, surprised at his composure. Lesser men would be shaking in their sneakers near a girl this fine.

Despite his confidence, Renee frowned. “Oh... uh... that's probably not a good idea. I don't think you're on the approved list.”

“The approved list?” Troy said, furrowing his eyebrows.

“Just a sec.” Renee typed Troy's name into her cell phone. A buzzer sounded. “Nope,” she said. “It's not you, it's just that if I ever went out with someone Molly didn't approve of, she'd have him expelled.”


She shrugged. “Oh well. Bye Troy!” Renee smiled again and ran out of the room.

After a night of meditation, Troy found it hard to take no for an answer. Especially since Renee never actually said 'no' to him. Had it not been for Big Sister, she may have even been open to the idea of courtship. No way was Troy letting that slide. There had to be a way for him to see Renee far from the omniscient eyes of the student council.

Hence spring break. He saw her again in the library the next week. Hiding between the 900 stacks of the non-fiction section, he was able to speak to her unobserved.

She chuckled when he brought it up. “Seriously, Troy, you don't want to go there. Someone asked last month and said 'to hell with Molly.' I haven't seen him since.”

Troy smiled, well prepared. “What about spring break? Does Molly control everything out of school too?”

Hesitant, Renee replied, “Well... yeah.” Then it struck her. “Oh wait. She's going away to her leadership camp this year. She'll be gone all week.”

“So how 'bout it?”

Renee looked around, not only for any eavesdroppers but for any lingering security cameras. Then she giggled. “Oh hell, let's do it!”

So they did. And for one magical week, it was good. On Monday, they took in a movie, laughing at the drama and crying at the jokes. It was a terrible film, but a good date. On Wednesday, they hiked up the bluffs outside of town and enjoyed the sunset and a kiss from a distant hilltop. On Friday, they walked hand-in-hand throughout the huge festival that makes L. B. Gould so famous (you know the one). Renee found herself charmed by Troy's passively positive attitude. He wasn't normally enchanted by the world, and had no reason to be, but he made jokes. She had always enjoyed life's little pleasures, so she laughed.

Renee also enjoyed being one-half of a forbidden couple. Molly would certainly not approve of their relationship, and the possibility of a scandal, especially with something so innocent, excited her. For one week, she and Troy were Romeo & Juliet, Danny & Maria and Anakin & Padme. Troy wasn't nearly as giddy about the prospect of Molly running him through with a sword, but Renee had the looks and personality to make it worthwhile, and for one week Troy had her.

Then came Sunday. After a week of bliss, they hunkered down in Troy's room to finish all the homework they were supposed to be working on all week. Troy tried hard to focus on his algebra, but couldn't help but think about the future. They had never discussed what was supposed to happen next. Molly was due back later that day. Hesitantly, he asked, “So uh... what happens now?”

“Now? We scramble to finish all this. Forgot we had so much.”

Troy put his pencil down and looked at her as she completed chemical formulas without a care in the world. In a way, it pissed him off. He walked over and sat down on the bed next to her. “You know what I mean. How do we keep this from your sister?”

Renee looked up, suddenly bothered. She sat up and looked him in the eyes. “Well, I hadn't thought of that.”

He grimaced. That seemed like an important detail to him.

After giving it a little thought, Renee said, “Well, we'll just have to try to be sneaky.”

“She'll find out,” Troy insisted. Molly always found out.

“And when she does, I bet she'll see how sweet you are and approve of it. Won't that be fun?”

Troy was skeptical. Molly approving of anything siding with truth or love? Unlikely. His face didn't reflect any of that, however, because Renee called him sweet. Boy damn near melted. She smiled back and embraced him, slowly leaning in for a kiss. He was eager to receive it.

That's when the door flew open. Troy felt a bitterly cold wind sweep through the room and heard a vicious clap of thunder nearby. Or at least he thought he did. Molly Pearson had that effect on people, and there she was standing before the two lovebirds.

Certainly, she must have said something, but Troy didn't remember what exactly it was. Only the eviscerating feeling that comes with earning Molly's eternal scorn. Before Renee could even attempt to praise his virtues to her sister, Troy's high school life was essentially over. Molly would see to that.

The only thing he remembered from all that was Renee's reaction once Molly was finished. After destroying Troy, Molly gave Renee a simple look of mild disapproval. Renee stood up, gathered her things calmly, chuckled a little at the rough turn of events and said, “Sorry, Troy.” For all the injustice and pain Troy was suffering, Renee didn't seem to notice. Instead, she just nodded once at Molly and walked out. If Molly followed through on her many threats issued to Troy that day, it would be the last time he would ever see Renee.

Which makes it the perfect place to start our story about the Magical Security Taskforce.






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