An anthill is disturbed by some snot-nosed brat. That was what Mozley looked like from an aerial view. People were everywhere. It was the Friday before the first week of classes. However, the opening weekend was always very festive at the college. The first day, today, was marked by an orientation for all the new students. People also moved into their dorms, had breakfast and lunch with their parents, of which was hosted by the school, and toured the campus if they hadn’t already. Clubs attempted to lure in unaware, wandering souls. The first day was always very fun, and it just got better as the weekend continued.
The following Saturday was marked by multiple sport competitions, including opening games for the Blitzball and Lazershot teams. The energy surrounding a Blitzball game at Mozley was something of an infectious disease. It took over not only the entire school, but the entire town of Blueport for that matter. People flocked from all over, the town and the surrounding populaces to see the team played. The stadium was not even that large, but it was always packed on game day. It wasn’t uncommon to see people with lawn chairs and blankets stretched out on the green hills behind the bleachers. This year was especially anticipated due to their opening match with the third ranked team from last season. The Lazershot match was equally as anticipated. The Lady Cores had been a strong unit for the past five years, having placed in the top four each of those five seasons. Last year they fell short in the final, however, the opening game this season was their chance at redemption against last season’s champs. You would assume that with magic running the world, sports would lose a bit of its luster. The opposite proved to be true.
If that wasn’t enough, Mozley always had some form of entertainment on Saturday night of orientation weekend. This year, a concert including three bands, one of which was Persephone’s Wish, a very popular electro-rock band that had just completed a sold-out tour in the European Sector.
The final day of opening weekend was perhaps the most anticipated, for it was the beginning of the Fresh Start Battle Royale. It actually began during the summer prior, where incoming first year students applied to participate in a proctored and monitored melee tournament. The 128 students that are accepted begin the tournament on the Sunday prior to school. By day’s end, the field of competitors would be brought to a meager sixteen. Despite its ten years in activity, the tournament saw little to no injuries. Naturally, out of hand fights would be ended immediately, but they rarely happened. The tournament was a great way for students to see where their skills were as a magic user, as well seeing where they fell in the wide spectrum. There were so many forms of magic and powers that could possibly be imagined; every year something new was seen by the spectators. It was such a grand event, that even many of the local and national Upgraded Legions came to examine potential recruits and apprentices. It was too bad that I was too late in making the cut for the tournament my freshman year. And while I’ve had my powers for much of my life, I highly doubt I would have made it that far in the tourney.
If the school was an anthill than the student center was the main chamber. It was the central hub where everything could and would take place. My destination: room 3215 on the third floor. Rushing past the flurry of anxious people, I sought refuge in the elevator. Their bustling noise was soon drowned out by the slow and deep hum of the cable pulling up the metal box. Most people I knew disdained elevators, or were incredibly impatient to enjoy them. As for me, they functioned as lapses of peace in an otherwise boisterous world. The silver doors opened to a less crowded third floor. It was made of four long hallways divided by two smaller ones. It wasn’t long before I arrived at the meeting room on the far left hallway. My name reached my ears through the door. I had no doubt who it was.
Swinging open the door to the windowless room, I discover twenty or so sets of eyes looking back at me. It mattered not how much I entered into or spoke to crowds. The feeling was always a little unsettling. That changed quickly, as two of the members by the names of Aleema and Lyn ran up to hug me. They were the new members of the Student Services Brigade last year, doubling as the runner ups for the Battle Royale. Their power: Aleema could heat up her surroundings and Lyn could cool hers. In addition, their powers grew more powerful the closer in proximity they were to each other. Needless to say, they were really close.
“Hey Alex!” they exclaimed in unison. Lyn’s voice was slightly deeper than her sister’s. “How was your summer?” They stood a foot shorter than I, hugging me from both sides. With a skinny athletic build, both of them had sandy skin and lime green eyes. To distinguish themselves, Aleema kept her hair its natural, chestnut brown color, while Lyn’s was dyed jet black. Another distinguishing feature was Aleema had a small mole on her right eye and Lyn had one under her left eye. I wouldn’t be lying if I said it still made me a bit uncomfortable when they were this affectionate, after knowing me for only a year. I wasn’t aware of anything spectacular I had done for them. Still, they were nice girls, so I saw no reason to say anything about it.
“It was eventful,” I put on a cordial voice. “How was yours?”
“We went snowboarding!” Aleema exclaimed.
“No, went went surfing!” Lyn followed up. Glaring at each other, they sighed and shook their heads. “We did both!” their voices nearly identical.
“Sounds nice,” I said. “Tell me all about it later okay?”
“Yes, please,” one of the guys in the front row said. “We can finally start this meeting now that the VP is here,” It wasn’t a requirement to dress nice to these meetings, or any of the events the SSB held really. This guy really took advantage of it. Faded, baggy jeans at least a size too large was accompanied by a dull black shirt. The color of his gray hoodie nearly matched that of his jeans. The bronze on his skin was so even and flat it would make even professional super-models envious. His hair was messy and black, partially hidden under a gray beanie that made the top of his head appear deflated. However, nothing could be farther from the truth.
“Ah, Gian. I see you’re still keeping tabs on me,” I said walking deeper into the room. Aleema and Lyn returned to their seats.
“Gotta know what my possible competition will be doing ya know,” his expression was smug. His full name was Gian Paolo Schumann. His magical ability: he could store the locations of up to five people in his head at any given moment. The only downside to his powers was that the direction grew more simple the farther away the target was. However, regardless of distance, he could find anyone, anywhere after having only met them once. I haven’t gone off his radar since the start of last year.
“Okay okay you two,” the young lady standing in the middle of the room. The Mozley Institute of Magical Arts prided itself on innovation in learning, which was why most of the classrooms and meeting rooms weren’t organized in the traditional classroom setting. Most of them were stadium style, with a spot in the middle of the room that was occupied by a large, four-way magic board, which was essentially a dry erase board, but used magic instead. This particular room was on the smaller side, with only their levels of seats circumventing the middle. Four, small flights of stairs separated the three continuous, black desks. The walls were even different, featuring a collage of blue and black, hollowed out circles on a white background. This was only one example of how the mundane was shunned at this school.
“I trust you had a wonderful break, Alex?” she continued, ushering me to take my spot next to her.
“It was nice, yes. Very interesting. I hope yours was the same?” I replied. She smiled and gave me an approving nod. As you could guess, she was the president of the Student Services Brigade, Violet Clarissa Worchester. Her background was as fancy was her name, for she came from a very wealthy family in Europe. She was also quite attractive, her skin was light and fair. A vibrant, river of flames was her hair, that shimmered in the sun. Brown stones were her irises, that could cast a spell in their own right. Many men, young and old easily succumbed to her fiery appearance, most of which got burned if they got too close. She was nonetheless super sweet, her naivety of the world was a gift. Many members of the club urged to the two of us to date, however, I wasn’t interested, and I was pretty sure she shared the same sentiment. Oh yea, and her power was pretty neat to. In her bloodline was a long tradition of faerie summoning. She essentially could see, talk, and use them for combat. She even had one that often tagged along with her just about everywhere. She, however, was banned from attending club meetings due to…unfortunate circumstances.
“Ok now, can we get this thing started or what? I have some things I need to attend to,” Gian complained.
“Alright, alright,” Violet agreed. “We will now commence the first meeting of the year. We won’t be long, but there are a few things we need to address. As most of you know, our club is co-hosting the Fresh Start Battle Royale. We’re supposed to help with advertising, but I don’t think that’ll be a problem. There have also been rumors going around that some students are planning to cheat in this year’s competition,”
“How is that even possible?” one student, a short male with blond hair questioned in the second row. The girl next to him, her shoulders were at his head, also replied.
“The competition is one of the most secured, and highly monitored competitions in the sector. No way can someone cheat,”
“You two bring up valid points, but we still can’t let this go without further investigation and since the Discipline Committee now resides with us, this issue falls in our lap,” Violet announced. The Student Services Brigade was originally created to assist students in whatever they might need, so long as it was legal. It rivaled the Student Council in terms of popularity. However, last year, the council got caught in a huge scandal involving the Discipline Committee that was a subgroup of the club. As a result, all of the students on the Discipline Committee were suspended, and some members on the council. The Dean of Clubs and Organizations agreed to delegate the Discipline Committee to the Student Services Brigade. You could guess who the leader of this subgroup was.
“So, let me guess. You want me to keep my ears open and track the whereabouts of students?” Gian inquired.
The flame-headed President nodded. “Yes, that would be helpful. I need everybody to report any suspicious activity regarding the competition and back to the Discipline Committee. I know there are certain people you like to keep tabs on, Gian, but you may have to drop them for the time being,”
He folded his arms and chuckled, “Can’t be helped I suppose,”
“Ok, so the next order of business,” I took over for Violet. “We need to find someone to manage the website since Yuko graduated. She agreed to help us until we found someone, but she’ll be becoming very busy quite soon,”
“Didn’t she get a spot with the Jasper’s Star?” another one of the young men asked out loud. This caused a ripple of comments and murmurs.
“Yes, actually she did,” I raised my voice to cease the brief commotion. She should become a full member within a year, but knowing our Yuko, she’ll blaze through it faster.”
“Yuko was always pretty incredible, wasn’t she?” the student who stood against the wall voice quivered a bit. He was what women would call “tall, dark, and handsome.” His eyes, however, contradicted his skin, and were a bright gray. Yea, he was pretty much a knockout, quite literally. He was a boxer. His power? Anything Ramon Demps punched turned into metal, and the type of metal depended upon certain conditions. As a result he had to wear special gloves when he boxed.
“Well of course you would say that, Big Ramon!” Lyn said in a mocking tone.
“Have you talked to her since the incident?” Aleema asked. Ramon didn’t respond, merely dug his hands into his pockets and stared at the back wall.
“Alex, you better control your women!” Ramon jokingly threatened, almost.
“They’re not my women, I can’t control them,” I stated flatly.
“You can control me if you want to!” Lyn’s voice was far too eager.
“Shut up, Lyn,” Aleema punched her in the arm lightly. Her expression didn’t match her words.
“Anyways, can I continue,” I said. The room grew silent. “We lost several members to graduation, so we need to fill these vacancies as soon as possible. Now, I know we normally due elections the first week of October, but we’re going to move it up to the first week of September,” There was a reaction of perplexed looks and comments. I put a halt to it swiftly. “The reason why we are doing it early, is because the Dean wants us to be prepared earlier,”
“For what though?” Gian questioned.
“We don’t know,” Violet stepped in. “He contacted Alex and I a few weeks back and asked if it was possible we did it earlier. He didn’t give an explicit reason why, but he seemed worried about something. But, there’s no need to worry, we’ll be prepared for anything that may happen,”
“The Dean was always sort of, weird,” Ramon said.
“He’d probably be in a mental institute had he been born in the 20th century,” Aleema responded.
“He’s a kind man with a good heart,” I began. “Plus, he’s one of the most gifted staff members at the school and had a successful career as an Upgraded. You shouldn’t talk down on him,”
“I wasn’t talking down on him, I was just making a joke. Lighten up, Alex,” Aleema stuck her tongue out at me. I laughed and turned to Violet. She smiled back at me as she gave the final announcement.
“The last thing we need to address is our overall service to our classmates. Though it has been great the past few years, there is always room for improvement. So this year I thought it would be a good idea to do a sort of meet a greet type thing,”
“We already do stuff like that don’t we?” Gian questioned.
“We do, but not very often. Violet was thinking we could do it every week or every other week,” I explained.
“Right,” she continued. “We don’t just tutor students in their studies. We don’t just assist with events. It is our job here at the Student Service Brigade to help students have a great time here at Mozley. So you all know how we do the study sessions after school and stuff. Well, this would be a far more casual, almost leisurely get together, where we all just talk about whatever. It would occur off campus, at some restaurant, bar, lounge, or anywhere really, because we’re not just students. We’re people and the people here need assistance or just to have someone to talk to, in all area of their lives. It is up to us to make sure these students realize that they are here for more reasons that to just obtain a degree, but to also build relationships and a community that will support and love them,”
There was a small round of applause as she concluded her statement. She smiled brightly in response to their claps, as she walked forward a bit, ushering everyone to come forward. We all formed in a circle, about twenty of us or so, and put our fist in the center. This was another reason I loved this school. To be apart of this loving community, this loving club. We weren’t just a bunch of guys and girls that hung out with each occasionally and helped students. We cared about each other, and we made each other’s stay here all the more worthwhile. Honestly, if it weren’t for them, I might have left after my freshman year.
“Here’s to another awesome year at Mozley, everybody!” I shouted.
“Awoooo-ahhhhh!” the room echoed with our orchestrated voices. I wouldn’t have been surprised if someone didn’t come banging on the door. Our club chant distinguished us from many of the other clubs on campus. It wasn’t uncommon to hear others chant it after hearing us. Funny how contagious a positive attitude was in this world, or at least on this campus. I would soon discover than the outside world ran on a different set of rules.