The All-Winners: Dawn of F.O.L.D.
The All-Winners: Dawn of F.O.L.D.
By SuperFolder Jar Jar Pleats
Disclaimer: Hello, boyos! As stated by Noah in Captain Americrease, this story is fictional, so anything relating to an actual person, living or dead, was falsified to fit the narrative of this fictional universe. This my first ever story on this site, so meesa hope yousa enjoy!
~~SuperFolder Jar Jar Pleats~~
I rushed down the hall into the library. While I was in a hurry, I made sure not to run to prevent a teacher from noticing me. The library had an office space that nobody used….much. I speedwalked, making a beeline for the door.
I caught my breath, so as to keep my speed-walking from being obvious. I needed to start back on that workout routine.
I checked to make sure the door wasn’t locked. It wasn’t, nor was it supposed to be, but I was cautious regardless, in the event something happened.
I tried to slow my breathing. I was being too paranoid.
I walked in the room. It was an old storage closet, filled with old F.O.L.D. case files, dating back to the 1940s, and the founding of F.O.L.D. itself. I needed to find one in particular for a friend of mine. You’ve probably met him.
“Hi,” McKenzie said to me, a warm smile as always. “How was your day?”
“Long,” I chuckled. “U.S. Government test today. Probably failed, but I’ll manage.”
She giggled in response. I began to relax; she had a way of calming me down whenever I was feeling a little jittery.
“So, what brings you to my humble abode this afternoon?” she asked, still grinning. Her cheeriness never ceases to amaze me.
“Picking up a file for Andy, actually. He’s been looking back at these files, trying to learn more about F.O.L.D.’s early history, because he’s Captain Americut, I suppose.” I made a little salute near that last part, and stood at attention. She began to laugh even more. “If you ask me, he’s taking this ‘responsibility’ a little too seriously. Think you can help me out?”
She paused, looked down at the papers she was holding, and looked back up again. “I might be able to arrange something like that. Normally I’d tell someone they need to come here in person to receive a file of this age and importance, but…because it’s you…” She got up and began to fish around in a file cabinet near the very back and handed me the dusty file.
“We still on for that movie tomorrow night?”
“Are you kidding? We wouldn’t miss The new Parasite Within for the world!”
She gave me a quick kiss before I left, closing the door behind me.
I looked at the file – The All-Winners: Dawn of F.O.L.D.. Whoever wrote this one must not have thought to use a pun for the title, so it obviously wasn’t Tilly. No, no; this was clearly much, much older.
I kept the case file in my backpack until the end of the day. I left out the back door at the end of the day, and sat on a bench there. I knew that if I was caught reading the file without proper clearance, it was possible I’d be removed from F.O.L.D. completely. But the suspense was killing me. I pulled it out of my backpack and looked at the cover again. No, I decided, one little peek couldn’t hurt much…
A Favor to Ask
My friends and I sat near the end of the back row in a huge auditorium. The day had finally arrived for Stan, the heart of our friend group, to graduate. While we were all only sixteen, Stan had shown he was qualified to go through with graduation, albeit two years early. That, and, of course, his intent on serving the country in the current World War.
I tried not to think about that too much.
We had all brought our origami as well; even Stan – I could see that Americrease was just jutting out from his robes. He turned around in his seat to face us, and we all waved in response. He waved back, clearly ecstatic.
As the ceremony began, the principal stepped up to say a few words. Most were meant for the Seniors, but one piece of information stuck out to me from his speech.
“Each one of you here, no matter your prominence in this school system, will leave behind a legacy. One not through awards and achievements, but one through the people whose lives you’ve touched along your journey. And the only questions left to ask yourself are, not only was your impact positive or negative, but how long will it resonate and impact those around you, as well as those you leave behind?”
After the principal’s speech, they began to call names. When he reached Stan, we cheered for him as loudly as the Seniors had gotten from their friends. The look on Stan’s face when he left the stage said it all.
After the ceremony, he ran up to us to say goodbye. While I will admit that some tears were shed, we were all certainly happy for him. Then Stan did something I never would have guessed: he paused in thought for a moment, pulled Americrease from his robes, and handed him to me!
“Carry on the battle, friend. Wheeler isn’t going to be defeated that easily. They’ll be back.”
“…But….” I stood there astounded. He was giving me Americrease, after everything that had just happened? I thought back to exactly what had just happened: the All-Winners, Wheeler, the Jock, Gordie leaving. I struggled to find what to say next, so many questions were running through my head. I suddenly found myself blurting out:
Stan didn’t hesitate. “You’re the only one who can whip these dummies into shape. I need you to start something that could defend the school from Wheeler. Start the war. And…”
He wavered, glancing at Americrease. “I need you to find someone who could wield Captain Americrease. He’ll be needed.”
Johnny decided this was the moment for him to chime in, though he sounded just as uncertain as I was. “But…what do we do?”
My mind was racing so much I couldn’t quite catch what he said to the boys. Start the war? I understood keeping Kirby students safe from those at Wheeler, but a war? I snapped out of the trance when I heard Norm let out a whoop, and I stepped back to stand next to them.
“Stanley, it’s time to go!” I realised it was time for Stan to leave, and I began to wonder if I would see him again. I didn’t cry, mind you, I just began to feel a little…distraught. I opened my eyes and noticed I had my head laying on Ray’s shoulder. My eyes widened and I quickly composed myself. That was a close one.
We waved once more as one of our closest friends left the building. And as Stan Lee walked out the doors of Kirby High for the last time, I could just make out his last exclamation:
The Jock Strikes Back
Dear Lord, those Wheelerians have gone too far!
My fault, excuse me for a moment…okay I’m better now. I’m just so frustrated about what happened I could honestly scream!
Rather than go into details, I’ll keep this to the point: this morning, somebody painted a…nasty phrase about Gordie, who had moved away the day before. No need to repeat it, I absolutely refuse to. The point is, everybody was furious that day and insisted Wheeler was to blame. Nobody doubted it for a second.
I thought back to what Stan had said. If there was any time to talk to those lugheads and figure out what to do, it was now.
The school schedule was slightly out of sorts due to this year’s winter, so it turned out we had a few days of school left after Stan’s graduation. Most found this annoying, but it worked out brilliantly for the guys and I, as we needed this time to sort things out from days prior. So we took the opportunity.
“What did he mean, ‘a war’? Does he know it’s going to get that bad?” Johnny said.
“Not sure,” I sighed. “And what about the Captain? He gave him to me to pass on to somebody else…?”
“Wait a minute,” Norm said, clearly surprised. “He just gave Cap to you, just like that?”
“Yes, you dummy, weren’t you paying attention? He wants me to find a replacement for him on the team.” But I knew what he meant. It was no secret that Stan was super protective of Cap, even if he wouldn’t admit it.
“Is that even possible?” Ray said, his hazel-green eyes looking at me skeptically. “He was such a good leader, I mean, should we even try?”
“…A good question,” Norm sighed, reluctantly. “But I’m afraid we’ll have to worry about that another time. Right now we need to figure out what Stan meant by ‘carrying on the fight.’ We know Wheeler kids won’t stop causing trouble just because school is ending, especially the Jock. As a matter of fact, he’s probably planning something right now. That recent stunt, which I guarantee he pulled, is no way the last of the tricks he and his goons will come up with. We definitely need to figure something out, but what does Stan want, a secret society?”
The other boys shook their heads in agreement, but I stood up in shock.
“That’s it! A secret society! Norm, you’re a ge-”
“Wait, huh? Nonononono, I was being sarcastic, Nancy. We can’t do that!”
“I’m serious, this is brilliant! We can protect this place from Wheeler, talk with some teachers about a meeting room, get a-”
“And what about,” Norm interrupted, “when we get into close quarters with a Wheeler kid, or the Jock, no less?” said Norm. “You saw our first rescue attempt for the silly squirrel costume, we’re not exactly cut out for fighting…”
“Hey,” Johnny exclaimed, “don’t talk negatively about our school pride, Norm. Hurtful.”
“Okay, a place to have our first meeting: meet me in, uh…the park, I guess, at, uhhh…”
“The park?” Norm groaned. “Way to be inconspicuous, Nancy. Hiding from Wheelerians, remember?”
Ray shot him a look, and he piped down a bit, although he still seemed to think the whole thing was a little silly.
“Okay then, how about the library during free period tomorrow, does that work for everyone? Great, we’ll continue this conversation there.”
Top Secret Organization Meeting #1
Recorded Via Reel-to-Reel by Johnny
Transcribed by Norm
Nancy: …well, is it hooked up yet Johnny? And you did buy that recordable reel tape we split the money for, right? Well, why isn’t it recording?
Johnny: It is recording.
Nancy: …ah, well, um, right…sorry Johnny…uhm……Norm, you’re not writing this down, are you?
Norm (me): *snickering* Yep.
Nancy: Grrr…ah, fine….let’s, uh get to business, then…uh…Norm, can you not write these uh’s and um’s down?…..you know what, forget it, we’re just going to jump right in. Who knows why they’re here?
Nancy: Ohhh, guys we went over this yesterday. We’re making a Kirby Protection Society.
Ray: Is that the name? KPS? Not very catchy. Maybe an acronym? Ooohh, how about an origami-themed acronym? How swell would that be? Hmm, P.A.P.E.R., that’s a good one, let me see here, C.R.E.A.S.E., O.R.I.G.A.M.I., ooohhh, how about–
Nancy: We’re not here to make up a name just yet, though I will take suggestions later. The only reason we came here was to figure out if there should be an organization AT ALL. And then figure out what our roles within this group are.
Norm (me): I thought we already established this was apparently the best idea we could come up with. To protect those at this school from opinion and belief oppressors, and all that jazz?
Nancy: So we’re all in favor? Good, so what do we do?
Johnny: What do you mean what do we do? You’re supposed to tell us that.
Nancy: *awkward pause* …Oh. Yeah. Stan said I need to lead, didn’t he….uhhmm, wait, Norm, what is that?
Norm (me): Oh, just a summer swim meet program for a week or so. Ends next Saturday with a competition between the groups, which are separated by school.
Nancy: Oh, that’s it! How about Norm and Johnny spy on Wheeler activities at these swim meets to find out about any suspicious activity going on. See if they really are planning anything.
Johnny: That’s…actually brilliant!
Norm (me): Wait wait wait wait wait, hold on a minute, where do you get off volunteering me to do things? Why me?
Nancy: Well, firstly, because I said so. I’m team leader, remember? Secondly, you both have an origami Whizzer and Sub-Mariner. Johnny is a really good swimmer, and you’re quicker than most of us, you’re sneaky, and you don’t have the best attitude at times; you’d make a great Wheeler kid, definitely a good enough spy to fool the gorilla Wheeler jocks.
Norm: ….I’m not sure whether to feel proud or insulted.
Norm’s Note: I stopped writing for the most part after this, mainly because of all the really fast back and forth between us, but suffice to say we took a vote, and we’ve been commissioned to this spy mission regardless of my opinion. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to join at all; I just took a flyer. Ugh.
Nancy: Last thing before this meeting is…adjourned, I suppose: we need a new Americrease.
Ray: I thought we discussed this, already. Why should we? I mean, I’m not sure it’s possible.
Nancy: The Captain is the best chance we have of uniting this team going forward. We can’t just drop the character completely, he’s the leader of the All-Winners, and I-
Norm: A puppet is not the leader of this organization, Nancy. You are. Are you okay, something seems to be the matter…
Nancy: Oh, don’t you have somewhere to be? Who asked you?
Norm: Thought this was another executive decision we were trying to make here…
Nancy: (suddenly) Well it’s not! Now figure out how to get done what we’ve assigned to you! Meeting adjourned, stop the tape, Johnny.
Johnny: …um, funny thing…is, um….I just realised it, uh…it wasn’t recording, and-
Nancy: Errhh, fine then! Just, everybody leave then. Ray, you come with me. Goodbye.
First Swim Meet
So I figured we might as well figure out how to join this swim team. I don’t know what made Nancy freak out like that, something must’ve struck a nerve.
Johnny and I went into the local Recreation Department building to sign up for these apparently “top secret undercover missions,” aka the County-wide Swimming Competition. The building was packed with people hanging out after school that day, which was pretty normal for that time of the day.
Signing up didn’t take long, surprisingly. I thought we might be in major trouble if he had to figure out what school I actually went to, but the instructor just signed my name and moved on to the next student.
I realised as I turned the corner we would need to disguise out voices so none of these Wheeler sports-nuts figured out it was us. I said as much to Johnny, and we both agreed to try and make out voices sound deeper.
As we got changed, I realised that Whizzer and Sub-Mariner would not be with us during this mission; swim trunks don’t have pockets, and even if they did, we’d be going underwater. Its all for the best, I suppose; easier to disguise ourselves. Yet it seems like it might be a bit harder without them….I’m not sure exactly why.
Sure enough, there was a group of gigantic Wheeler kids in a big mob in front of the pool. When they saw us, they immediately blocked our way.
“Sightseeing ends here, runt,” one said, cracking his knuckles. “So skedaddle, before you wish you had.” I’d have liked to punch him in his box-shaped jaw right there, but Johnny tried to interfere before I had the chance. I began to calm down just enough to snap back at him to,sound tough.
“Well,” I said gruffly, “you meatheads must have never swam a day in your life, have you?”
The main one’s eyes narrowed. “Lotta talk for a noodle like yourself. Explain what you mean before I run out of patience…”
Johnny shook his head and made a cutting signal at his throat signaling me to shut up, but I continued. “Why, that’s exactly my point. You idiots think you can plow through anything that makes you a little angry. Plowing through water, however, just makes you sink faster. Watch and learn. Show ‘em, uhh…Jeffrey.”
I nudged Johnny hard in the side. He got the message and was all too happy to get as far away from the tension between us. He jumped in the water and made like a bullet to the other end. Needless to say, the jocks were flabbergasted. One tried to do the same, and sunk like a rock, just like I said they would.
“You see,” I continued, “That’s why Wheeler needs us two. We’re new in town, starting up at Wheeler once school starts again, and it seems you’ll need somebody to give you guys an edge. Unless of course, you want to lose miserably?”
The main one snarled, but seemed to have understood. “I’ll have to take it up with my…superiors. Best hope he gives the go-ahead, because if not…”
“And who is your…’superior’? Is he here? I wanna meet this guy, don’t you Jeffrey?”
‘Jeffrey’ shook his head no, but I waved him off.
“So when do we get to meet this guy?”
“Oh…soon, I think. I’m certain he’ll want to hear about you two, right fellas?”
The others laughed in agreement, and walked away. I laughed too, knowing they were referring to the Jock. Hopefully they’d divulge a little more once he was here as well.
Johnny ran back towards me. “What was that about? ‘Jeffrey,’ are you serious? You could’ve ruined this job just like that, and then what? We’d be caught, that’s what!”
“Relax, alright? I’ll do most of the talking, and in the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing. We’ll get something out of them eventually, I’m sure of it.”
The next day, the four of us were getting ready to sit down at lunch. Nothing in particular was happening, but something was in the air. I decided it was because of the humidity outside, but I couldn’t shake this feeling.
I looked up from the floor. The doors leading to the cafeteria were blocked by somebody. He was tall and lanky, but definitely no pushover. I didn’t recognize him, though. He stopped to turn around, and seemed taken aback by Nancy. He immediate composed himself, and opened the door to the cafeteria.
“There you go, little lady,” he said with a smile. “Let me get that for you.”
She looked up from her conversation with Norm about the swim meet the day before, surprised. “…Oh!” she said. She was clearly taken aback as well. I looked up sharply, then softened my gaze. Nah, he couldn’t be that bad, I thought. After all, he’s holding the door for all of-
Nope. He pulled the door shut behind the two of them, and it slammed into my head.
“Well, that was rude,” Norm said.
Ahhh, that smarts, I thought. I looked back at them, clutching my skull.
We walked inside to find that Nancy was gone. She was at the other end of the table with that guy, and…was she blushing? Whatever he was saying was making her giggle and blush, all while twirling her hair with her fingers. In all my time on this Earth, I had never seen her be bashful. Not even once.
This wasn’t good, I could feel it. Or maybe it was a splitting headache coming on. I wasn’t sure yet.
An hour or so later, Nancy asked us to meet in the same spot in the library for another meeting. It had to be about this guy, we all knew it. But why would she bring him into this so suddenly? We were skeptical for sure.
When we sat down, nobody was there. Nancy was late? That wasn’t like her at all. This did not help our suspicions in the slightest.
She showed up about ten minutes later, and with that guy, sure enough. They were holding hands, she was looking up at him and giggling, the whole shebang. I glanced at Ray. He looked relatively calm at first glance. However, his teeth were clenched. I had a bad feeling about this.
“Guys,” she said with a grin, “This is Tobias Morson. He just moved here recently. He was the guy that-”
“Yes, we know. He slammed the door on us.”
He widened his eyes. “Oh gosh.” He actually looked legitimately concerned. “You guys were there? Oh my goodness, I actually feel really bad. I didn’t even see you guys, you must have been behind Nancy. I-I am so sorry. I apologize, I really do.”
Nancy continued on. “I was just telling Tobias about our little group we’ve recently made, and the origami, all of it. And…he would really like to help. Oh, and he really likes the idea of an acronym as a name for it. He wants to help Ray name it, if that’s alright. And I was thinking….he should be initiated into the organization entirely. He may be of great help against those Wheeler grunts.”
“….Um, o-okay Nancy, slow down a minute. It’s a little early to start recruiting people, isn’t i-?”
“And not only do I want him to join, but….I-I want him to have Americrease.”
Dead. Silence. Not even a cricket chirp. We were speechless.
What had happened to Nancy? I looked at Ray – he didn’t know what to say, either. This was awfully sudden for her to make a decision like this. What she was basically saying was that she was eventually going to pass on leading the group to a complete stranger!
Nancy looked around. “Okay….I take it not everybody’s on board just yet. That’s alright, it’s understandable, you boys don’t even know him yet. But trust me when I say that he will be a massive help. Just give him a chance. Oh and, uh, Ray, can I, um, talk to you for a second?
This wouldn’t be good. We all decided now was probably a good time to promptly leave, even Tobias.
I still don’t exactly know what happened. Regardless, Norm and I need to get to today’s swim meet.
Close Encounters of the Worst Kind
I moved over to the side with Nancy. I was fuming, and she knew it.
“Listen…Ray? I know this may be a lot to ask, but I don’t think anybody else is willing just yet, so…”
“Willing to do what, Nancy? Bring in a total stranger to take Stan’s place? Yeah, I’m not too comfortable with that just yet either. And what is your deal, has he wiped your mind or something? You’re acting very strangely, and I don’t like it one bit.”
She paused, cocked her head, and squinted at me as if I was an idiot, like she always does when she is annoyed. “Who said anything about replacing anybody? I just think it may be a better idea to start bringing in new faces, and he’s just really sweet, is all. He fits the Captain America criteria…I thought you guys would be happy.”
“Hmm. I don’t know, he seems like he’s after a little more than a spot on this team, Nancy. I don’t trust him just yet, but…I’ll give him a chance. I suppose.”
“Oh, thank you, Ray! I know you guys will like him if you do that!
“Yeah,” I said. She could definitely always find a way to help me cool down. So much so that I wasn’t nervous enough to ask her what I did next.
“Say, uh, Nancy…..we’ve had this…thing, going on between us for a little while now, and we’ve never really acknowledged it until now, but…I was wondering if you’d like to..I don’t know, uhm,” (I feel the need to point out that it was at this moment that I realised what I was about to ask and somehow lost all function of my voice. I couldn’t get any words out, just mumbles and grunts.)
“Are you…trying to ask me out on a date, Ray?” she giggled.
“Well, if I knew it was going to happen like it is, I most certainly wouldn’t have!”
“No no no, it’s okay, I – that is to say I….um…”
“You don’t have to, if you don’t-”
“Yes,” she said suddenly. “I’d love to.”
“You…” I couldn’t believe it. “You would?”
“Yeah, absolutely. Let me know when!” she said, standing up suddenly. She waved at me, and walked off.
…Well then, I thought to myself, If I’d have known it was that easy, I’d have said it a long time ago. I grinned and began to figure out a free time that weekend.
Second Swim Meet
On the way to the Recreation Department, I attempted to remind Norm of our objective: staying as low and subtle as possible to gain intelligence of a possible scheme. However, Norm had a different idea of what that entailed.
“Just calm down,” he said with a smirk, half annoyed but mostly just humored, as if this was all one big joke. “Our objective is to gain intelligence. Being subtle has nothing to do with it. Something tells me if we attempt to be quiet and calm when we are around those Wheeler idiots, we’ll be considered pushovers. I refuse to do that. Just follow my lead, do what I do, the whole shebang, got it?
I had my doubts, but he had never led me into a bad spot before. Granted, we had never been in a situation like this. Wait, now that I think about it…oh gosh, now I’m really worried.
We walked into the pool area. There were about twice as many kids there now, close to ten, and all from Wheeler. The big one in the center started pointing at me and yelled, “That’s him!” Oh God, I thought, this is it then…
Amazingly enough, most ran up to shake my hand and asked if I could do a lap really quickly. I could not believe it. I had become almost like a celebrity among the Wheeler jocks in a matter of a couple days. I was absolutely dumbfounded.
“Of course he can, right Jeff?” Norm said with a grin.
“Alright, sure. I mean, I need to change, obviously.”
We both ran to the locker room, and I pulled Sub-Marigami from my pocket. The markers used for the details made him glint in the light. His presence wherever I went seemed to give me a cool but steady confidence in times of extreme stress, by this time I couldn’t take him with me. I had to leave him in my locker. He seemed to almost glare at me in suspicion, but I locked my locker door anyway and walked out to the pool and the crowd just beyond. I took a deep breath, and walked out of the locker room, Norm close behind.
The crowd began to cheer and whoop for us. Clearly the rumor about my swimming had been exaggerated to impress their friends, who had also shown up. Suddenly, however, a loud, “Quiet!” filled the room. The crowd parted in silence, and who was standing there behind them all? None other than the Jock, in person. He must have been told about us also.
He stood there calmly, but anyone could tell he held the authority among the group. “You’re all here because you want to see the Wheeler kids crush the Kirbians at this swimming competition, correct?” Nods began to move throughout the crowd. “Well then,” he said with a snarl, “we need good swimmers, so why don’t you guys shut up and watch. All you’ve heard about these two is rumors, after all. The truth could be far from what you’ve heard.”
The others paused, then began to nod in agreement. I looked at Norm. He simply shrugged, and then nodded to me. I took this as my cue to jump into the pool and show off a bit.
After a lap or two, I got out and looked at them. Then, I saw possibly the greatest sight my eyes could witness: the Jock, with wide, dumbfounded eyes. Needless to say, they were impressed. The Jock quickly composed himself, though he seemed very suspicious. He could tell there was something up. However, the others soon integrated us into the group like nobody’s business. Just like that. It was kind of insulting really; did they really think Kirby had no athletes whatsoever?
Now, here comes the good part: they began discussing something big that was going on. This something, whatever it was, would apparently soon be underway to completely wipe the floor with Kirby. They had no problem going more in detail on that subject: destroy them, kill them, mop the floor with them, tear them apart, etc. etc.. Unfortunately, however, they refused to go into detail about what exactly they were planning until the next meet, which would be followed by the school competition shortly after. We would find out soon enough, I suppose. However, it’s Friday, so we’ll have to wait three days until the next meeting. Fiddlesticks.
Worst. Date. Ever.
I really want to talk about this as little as possible. As in, not at all. I completely blew it. However, after everything that happened on Monday, this included, this may be detrimental information to know. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
We went into a restaurant that had just recently opened. The one thing I could most compare it to is a diner, but it was…different from most. The food was ready a lot faster than normal. I think the name was Mandy’s? Cindy’s? Wendy’s, that’s what it was! Ah, well, that’s probably not a big deal, though. The way diners come and go nowadays, I doubt this one will be any different from the others.
Enough stalling, let me get this over with. The date was actually going pretty well, at first; we both had our corresponding puppet with us, we were talking, laughing, wondering about how Gordie and Stan were. We were actually having a really nice time. As a matter of fact, as we were leaving, I was actually about to…kiss her. Goodness, it’s embarrassing to admit that, but I need someplace to talk about this. Bottling it up isn’t going to help me any more than yelling and hostility.
Anyway, right when I was about to kiss her…that’s when he showed up. Tobias. Gosh, just saying the name made me feel like I needed to block us from view. But when Nancy saw him, her eyes lit up. She immediately offered him a seat to sit with us. I was dumbfounded. This was supposed to be a date, a date between us, and she had immediately brought in another person. I instantly got a little too hot-headed.
“You guys don’t mind do you?” Tobias said warily.
“Actually, yeah. Sorry, bud, but three’s a crowd, and I’d rather it just be the two of us, if that’s alright with you,” Nancy shot a glare at me, and I was all too happy to shoot one right back. In response, Nancy was a little too happy to kick me in my shins. I winced and pulled her to the side.
“Y’know, I thought…we were having a moment.”
“What are you talking about? He’s going to be a part of this group, right? We need him to trust us.”
“If you’ll recall,” I said firmly, “…that’s not why we’re here.”
She shot me another look, but before she could say anything, Tobias spoke up. “I don’t want to ruin your night, I just needed to find you guys to return this. I found it after the last secret meeting,” He held up Captain Americrease. “Nancy must hav-”
I shot up, eyes wide. “How dare you, you little…,” I jumped at him, grabbing for Americrease. The wretched little ingrate stole him, I was sure if it. Tobias, however, was significantly taller than I was, and, seemingly surprised, held it over my head and leaned over to hand it to Nancy.
Nancy, however, was clearly madder than I was. Not at Tobias, though. “No, Tobias, why don’t you keep it? We’re going to need you on the team.” I turned to face her, horrified. I turned my anger towards her, and yelled, “Well then, if he’s so great that he can replace both you and Stan as team leader within a week of knowing him, why don’t you go hang out with him instead? More than you already do, anyway!”
It was a question I instantly regretted, especially after what she said next. She stood up, face red and fuming, and yelled back, “Maybe I will! Come on Toby, we’re leaving!”
Wait a minute. Toby? When did that become a thing? I stood there, dumbfounded, as Tobias walked off with my date. As he held the door open for her yet again, he looked up at me and…winked. My eyes widened in response, and suddenly narrowed. He smiled and closed the door behind him. I balled up my fists, teeth clenched hard. Words could not begin to describe how infuriated I was.
‘Toby’ was going to pay.
Swim Meet #3
Okay, it is the Monday night after the last chapter as well as the next few. The date of the last swim meet and the competition. We just got back from the competition, and, let me tell you-. Wait a minute, before I get into what exactly went down, I’m going to address the elephant in the room: no, I did not know about Nancy and Ray’s supposed ‘Worst. Date. Ever.’ until just now. Nobody did. We tend to try and stay out of each other’s personal romantic lives unless it becomes a problem. But that’s another story.
Anyway, when we walked in,it looked like we were the only people there. Surprisingly, nobody else seemed to have bothered to show up on time. Wait a minute, now that I think about it, they never showed up on time, so I don’t know why I expected today to be different. Oh well.
I looked at Johnny. He seemed almost excited. I think all the attention and praise he had been getting was giving him a natural confidence. So much so that he didn’t bring Sub-Marigami with him tonight. I was surprised, but I was glad he was starting to feel better about himself. I still had Whizzer in my shirt pocket. I made a point to not get him torn or crumpled when I changed. I shut my locker and walked out.
I immediately jumped in the pool and swam a lap, just to get warmed up. When I got out, there were three guys standing there; one was the Jock. “Well, well, well,” he said with a smirk, “you’re good too, I’ll admit that. But you’re not too bright, are ya, smart guy?”
He reached into his back pocket, his smirk turning into a snarl. He had my origami Whizzer. “You forgot to lock your locker…Kirbian.” I froze. I looked around. I couldn’t see Johnny anywhere. Had they found him out as well?
“Like I said, you’re a darn good swimmer,” He said looking down at the puppet. He looked up. “But how fast can you run?” I turned and bolted only to find all the exits blocked by Wheelerians, arms folded and ready for a fight. I tried to stop suddenly to scan my surroundings, but slipped, slamming my head into the tile and concrete floor.
After a few seconds, I looked up, dazed. Johnny stared down at me, along with the Jock. ‘He couldn’t have sold me out, could he? A quick look at him shot down any suspicion. They must not have found him out, I thought to myself.
The Wheelerians began to yell and holler about what to do with me. None of their suggestions were too appealing. “Enough,” the Jock yelled. “I’ll deal with him myself. The rest of you reconvene here in an hour, is that clear?” After a minute or two, everybody had cleared out. Suddenly, the Jock picked my up by the shoulders and pushed me against the wall.
“What’s the matter, hotshot? Nothing to say? Not that I’d want to hear anything a Kirbian like you would have to say, anyway. What are you here for, are you trying to sabotage this competition? If so, then I know you’re not alone. Who’s helping you? Sneider? Minch? It’s not that scrawny imp Johnny, is it?”
Before I could tell him I was alone, he dropped me and dragged me to the locker room. He then proceeded to throw my belongings across the room and throw me into my locker. He shut the door, locked it, and let out a laugh. “No doubt whoever it is will try to help you between now and the competition. And when they do, I’ll be ready. Nobody is screwing this up for us. For me.” He laughed again and walked out.
Oh geez. Oh no. This is terrible! Dang it, how could we have been so stupid? Thankfully, I was able to keep my cover safe. I hoped Norm didn’t reveal me to the Jock. Gosh, I was a nervous wreck. I instinctively felt my pocket in search of Sub-Marigami, forgetting that I had left him at home. What to do, what to do, what to do? I needed to find the others. But where were they? I tried to remember what they had said they were doing…going to some new diner? Gentry’s? Candies? Wendy’s! (I don’t know what the deal is with diners, nowadays, it’s kind of annoying. It’s not like one is going to become a major company or anything. That would just be ridiculous.)
I ran there as fast as I could. In retrospect, I think I got there about five minutes after Nancy had left, because Ray was half-mopey and half-angry, sitting at a table booth. I slid in next next to him, breathing hard.
He immediately said something before I could even open my mouth. “Hey bud, I need some space right now, alright? I can’t deal with everybody else’s problems right now; I have too many of my own.”
I sat up, confused. I thought for a moment, then looked up at him. “No.” He looked up from the table, surprised. “What do you mean, no? I need some space, capiche?”
I stood up. Something had happened during their date, but I was too preoccupied to care. “Look, you’re clearly upset about something with Nancy. But to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t care less what your problem is. Norm’s cover was blown, Ray. The Jock has him, I don’t know what’s happened to him. So regardless of whatever emotional state you’re in, we need to find Nancy and help Norm. Do you still have Torch? Matter of fact, do you still have Sub-Marigami with you?
His mouth stood agape. He suddenly snapped out of it, and reached into his back pocket. “Oh yeah, I have them,” he pulled them both from his pocket. “Since when did you become so confident in yourself?”
“I’ll have to explain later. Right now we need to find Nancy. Where did she go, anyway?”
“Erm…Tobias took her home.”
“….ah. Rough, dude. Regardless, we need to find her. Does she have Miss Americrease?”
“Uh, yeah, I imagine so. But why do we need them?”
“Because something tells me we’re in for a fight.”
I ran to my room and slammed the door. I was absolutely fuming. How dare he! Ray did not have any right to talk to me about who I could and couldn’t talk to, let alone what I choose to do regarding the group. I’m the leader! I’m supposed to lead, that’s what I was assigned by Stan to do!
I laid down in my bed. I was angry, upset, and exhausted all at the same time. What was wrong with me? I had run off from a good time with a friend, maybe even more than a friend, because I was getting caught up in taking my responsibility to the team too seriously.
I stared up at the ceiling. I was being forceful with what I said to my friends, treating my requests like demands. If this team was going to work, then everybody needed to equally participate in the decision-making. And that included adding team members.
Maybe I was trying to find someone to take the leadership role from me. And maybe, just maybe, Stan did not made me leader because he thought I would always make the right decisions, but because he wanted us to be friends as much as colleagues. He told me he wanted me to whip the boys into shape, but he knew I would need to grow and change because of it as well. I stood up. I needed to find Ray.
No sooner than I had said that, there was a knock on the door. My mother let two people in, who ran to my door as well. I opened it. It was Ray and Johnny. Johnny nudged Ray, who then spoke up first.
“Nancy, I…I’m sorry. I suppose I just…exploded. Again. I just….it feels like you don’t trust yourself to lead. Stan chose you, and even if he hadn’t we would have, to be the leader of this team. He did, and we would have, because you are the most courageous, kind, and strong-willed person any of us know. And that is something that we all need, especially right now. Will you forgive me?”
I ran to Ray and gave him a kiss, immediately embracing him before he could say anything else. When I brought my head back to look at him, his eyes were wide in shock. I smiled. “Thank you, Ray. You have no idea how badly I needed to hear that. I was just so scared of screwing up something so important that I became obsessed with everything going exactly how I thought it should go. I was concerned about leaving a good legacy. Y’know, like the principal was talking about? If this is going to work, then we need to be a team. Maybe not a perfect team, but a team regardless.” About that time, Ray noticed his jaw was still on the floor, and composed himself. “And speaking of team,” I said, looking at Johnny, “where’s Norm?”
“That’s what I came to find you and Ray for. Norm’s cover was blown! The Jock found his Whizzer puppet. I don’t know what’s happened to him, but I knew I needed to find you guys if we were going to save him.”
“He’s been FOUND OUT?!,” I screamed, “why didn’t you lead with that? We’ve got to go, NOW!”
I ran to my dresser and opened the top drawer. Miss Americrease was laying at the top, smiling up at me. I put her on my finger and looked at the two boys. I waved Miss Americrease as she said, “Time to get to work, boys.”
Damsel in Distress
The Recreation Center was pretty close to Nancy’s house, so we ran to it as fast as we could, suddenly realising what we were doing, and screeched to a halt at the locker room. Ray and I looked at each other awkwardly.
“What’s the matter, guys?” Nancy said, confused. We’ve got to find Norm, right? Let’s go!”
Ray nudged my arm. I suppose he didn’t want to upset Nancy again. Cripes. I leaned back against the wall and pointed at the sign on the door. It was a men’s sign.
“Oh, for the love of…,” Nancy groaned. “Are you two serious?”
“Nancy…it would look really suspicious if a girl went in there. Especially since literally every guy competing tonight is in there changing to swim trunks. We don’t want to draw attention to ourselves.”
Her face suddenly turned white with realisation. “…Ah,” she said. This was really awkward. “I’ll just, uh…wait over there then. Make sure the let you guys know if I see anything.”
“Ray, you should probably stay back too,” I said. “They’ll recognize me, but not you.” He nodded and walked away with Nancy.
I ran into the locker room. Just like I had thought, there were about forty to fifty guys in there. I looked around for any sign of Norm. Over in one corner I saw Wheeler kids laughing. One voice sounded like Norm, but I couldn’t see him. Then I realised what had happened.
Norm was in a locker, kicking the door and yelling at the idiots to let him out. Shortly afterwards, a bell rang for the competitors to exit the locker rooms. Slowly, everybody started filing out, a few Wheeler lackeys patting me on the shoulder. After everybody had left, I walked to Norm.
“Took you long enough,” he said. “Where were you?”
“Getting some help,” I said. At that moment, Nancy and Ray ran in. Norm smirked. “Now, what’s the combination to this locker?”
“Thirty-six, forty-nine, seventy-three.”
I began to open the locker. Before I could finish, though, I was cut short by an abrupt voice. Not one of ours. “You know,” it said devilishly as slow footsteps came towards us from the lockers two rows away. “I was thinking it would be you that was helping the runt. Wasn’t sure, though. I needed, what you would call, substantial evidence. And it looks like,” the voice paused to reveal himself as the Jock. “I have quite a bit. How’s it going, Kirbys?”
Told You So
Suddenly, the locker holding Norm burst open and he charged straight at the Jock, yelling. The Jock snarled and took a swipe at him, but he lived up to his origami once again, ducking and dodging to keep away from his blows, all the while landing a few of his own. The door burst open, and another guy ran in, grabbing Norm and throwing him to the ground.
“You…Kirbys,” the Jock said, breathing steadily, “really need…to learn…to stay out of our business!”
“Oh, shut it!” I said angrily. “What are you planning? Was it you that painted that vile phrase on the school wall?”
The Jock paused, then laughed. “Is that what this is about? If you must know, then I’ll let you know it wasn’t me. Not me specifically, anyway. I can tell you who, though. Matter of fact, Jordan, can you bring me the Consultant? I’m sure he’ll get a real kick out of this.”
The other Wheeler grunt ran out, seemingly to grab “the Consultant.” A few moments later, we found out who it was. “Is what Jordan told me true? Because that would be absolutely hilarious if it was.”
I’ll give you three guesses who it was. Go on, guess, guess?
He had an eyepatch on, supposedly in his “Consultant” gear. I would have said I told you so, but one peek at Nancy clued me in that that was not the best idea. Her face was so red I thought she was going to leap on him right there. And then she did.
“Why you slimy, conniving little PUNK!!” she said, running steadily towards him. “When I get done with you, you’re going to need that eyepatch!” Then she proceeded to sock him in the gut hard enough to make him keel over, coughing.
“I…I guess that’s the signal, guys.”
The Final Battle
Johnny and I both split up, as Norm stood up and jumped onto the Jock’s back, putting him into a headlock and pulling him backwards until Norm was standing on the floor. Johnny helped to get the Jock fully on the ground by giving him a good punch to the stomach, knocking the wind out of him. Wow, I thought, whatever happened to Johnny gave him a lot more confidence.
I turned to help Nancy, but stopped. She had Tobias by the hair and began to pull him across the tile floor to the door. “Nancy, what are you doing?!” I yelled at her.
“I’m gonna drag this idiot to the pool and throw him in!”
I ran to her and grabbed her shoulder. “You know we can’t do that! This isn’t like you, calm down!” She dropped him, and he proceeded to laugh at the two of us.
“You know, I had heard stories that you runts were pretty meddlesome,” he said with a grin, “but you’re not very bright, are you?”
“Ex-cuse me?” Nancy said, turning around to face the traitor.
“You heard me,” he sneered. “You spy on our hopes to win this competition, and when we walk in to talk to you, you want to go in, guns-a-blazing, and fight us. Do you even know we’re somehow up to no good?”
The Jock dropped Norm, and Johnny consequently let go of the Jock. “…W-well no, Norm stammered, “but…”
“Exactly. That’s because we aren’t.”
“Wait a minute,” Johnny said, “They did say they were planning something…”
The Jock looked confused, but it only took a moment for Tobias to realise what he was referring to. He began to crack up again, this time more than before.
“Oh, that. They weren’t talking about now, they were talking about the future. Very possibly the far-off future, but it will happen, just you wait. And when it does, there will be nothing…nothing, that you can do t-”
His little monologue was cut short by a swift kick in the face – by Nancy. She snatched his eyepatch and Captain Americrease from his overcoat. “Evidence,” she said with a smirk. “And he was getting on my nerves.”
The Jock stood up and wiped his mouth. Norm must have gotten on or two good ones in at his jaw. About that time, an announcement went over the speakers:
“In an absolute landslide victory, the winner is…KIRBY HIGH SCHOOL!!!”
The Jock looked up at the speaker, panting. He then looked down at the rest of us. “I’m never losing to you runts again. Do you hear me? Never! You don’t realise what you’ve started, do you? You just started a war.”
Nancy looked at us and smiled.
“We’re counting on it,” I said, smiling back.
And there you have it. The war was started, whether any of us liked it or not. The Jock was turned in to…let’s just say ‘higher authorities.’ I actually decided to keep the eyepatch to wear. I use it as a momento, to teach those who come after us that trust is valuable, and something not to be given away lightly. It’s something I will make sure gets passed down to generations long after us.
“Hey Nancy,” Norm asked me as we walked back to our homes. “What happens now?”
I paused a moment before I answered.
“We leave a legacy, like the principal said at graduation. Maybe not a flawless one, but a lasting one nonetheless. Hey Johnny,” I said, turning to face him. “What was the acronym you were talking about at the first meeting?”
Johnny smiled. “F.O.L.D.: the Folded Origami Logistics Division.”
“…I like it. Sounds like as good a name as any. Let’s go with it.”
“One last thing: about the Jock,” Ray said, arm around me. “Should we have ever figured out his name? For formality, like a case file of how F.O.L.D. started.”
Security Footage from Back of Kirby High School, 4:30 p.m.
*Person A is sitting on back bench reading some sort of file, looks up to see Person B, however he has been standing there for several minutes*
A: DAHH!! What the-…i-it’s…it’s you. You could’ve told me you were standing there! How long have you been-
B: Long enough. You act like you didn’t know you’d be meeting up with another person here. (substantial eye roll visible, but not face)
A: But I didn’t think that…y-you can’t…oh no, you…(looks at security camera in shock) You can’t be here! Why wouldn’t you send somebody else to…
B: (clearly annoyed) Because something of this importance I do not trust anybody but myself to deal with, got it? Geez. Anybody ever tell you you’re a little paranoid?
A: Not to my face…why, did you hear something?
B: Oh, do calm down and try to shut up? Someone’s taking care of the camera. I’m surprised you have so little faith in me. Do you even know who it was that scheduled your stupid girlfriend to monitor the storage room for those files at that exact moment? You had a 5-minute window before there was a shift in the guards to that witless duo Jesseca, which would’ve made it impossible for us to get that file.
A: Nobody would have let me take it otherwi-…
B: Exactly. Now enough of your blabbering. Are they in there?
A: Oh…oh, yeah. Right here. (shows B a few sheets of paper with written instructions on them and a few origami figures)
B: Good. (commences to rip the instructions from the binding)
A: …What is it?
B: You read the entire file, right? This…(holds up papers) This is the future.
A: (dramatic pause) …Sick, dude.
B: (snaps out of the moment) Now, go put this back before there’s another staff shift. I’ve scheduled a friend of yours to be there in a few minutes as well. Shouldn’t have a problem.
A: Wha…are you serious? That’s all we needed?
B: Do I look like I’m kidding? We have all that we’ll need. So great job, mission complete, blah blah blah. Now return this file pronto, before somebody higher in rank realises it’s not supposed to be missing. We can’t have anyone knowing our plan before it’s fully underway.
A: (gestures to camera warily) …And you’re sure that th-
B: Yes. Are you done? Good. Then let’s wrap this up, I’m seeing Venom in, like, an hour.
(Both proceed to make ‘Wakanda Forever’ pose)
To be continued…
I want to thank many of you here, but I’m gonna keep this short and sweet. Firstly, I’d like to thank Noah and JC for allowing me the opportunity to write not just any story, but the first one written by a SuperFolder not on the MOU Council to my knowledge). I’d like to thank those who give me feedback, good and bad, so that I know what works and doesn’t work in the future. And lastly, I want to thank JC himself, for without his creation of this website, and the original Origami Chewbacca, none of this would be a thing that we could still enjoy to this day.
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and good night.