Origami X-Men and the New Girl
ORIGAMI X-MEN: THE NEW GIRL
By Superfolder Guillermo, Edited by SF Noah
Cover by SF Hades
Case file compiled by Eric Dunlap, Origami Cyclops, upon request. Is this what you were looking for, Torres?
THE ORIGAMI X-MEN
By Daniel Roberts
Things have been going incredibly strange here at Claremont Academy, even for a school like ours.
Ever since our team of Origami X-Men formed, we have been working our very best to combine our work with our team missions, with the hopes of sustaining the regular order in the school, keeping students from harm and defending the innocent. You probably know what I’m talking about.
And now that we’re in January and school is back in session, we’re doing our best to fulfill our roles every chance we get. To do that, I’d like to spend as much time with the team as possible, especially since they’re my friends.
I tried to remind everyone after school in the parking lot about the monthly meeting at the In N’ Out behind the college. I assumed everyone would be excited.
“Is everyone coming this Friday?” I asked.
“What’s on Friday?” Eric, our team leader, asked. He was leaning against his car, looking at his phone. Cyclops was in his uniform pocket, the red vizor sticking out brightly against the dark blue jacket.
“Obviously the concert,” Caiden replied, sitting on the concrete. He was zooming his finger all over the place with Quicksilver on top of it.
“There’s a concert?” Eric replied, looking up momentarily.
Caiden smirked. “No, we’re at the usual spot, idiot.”
Sofia, the Mystique girl and my cousin, groaned. “I can’t believe you forgot. We’ve been talking about it all week. Haven’t you heard?”
Eric shrugged. “Yeah, ehm.”
Eric threw his hands up. “I’ve just got something on my mind! Kinda what happens when you’re the leader.”
“What is it?” Lila, the team’s co-leader and Origami Pixie, asked. She put a hand on Eric’s shoulder to calm him down.
He shrugged it out. “It’s nothing, really. I’ve just-” He paused. “I’ve got an eye appointment on Friday.”
“You scheduled an eye appointment for our meeting day?” I asked. “But you’re the one that asked me to set up the meeting.”
He climbed into his car. “Yeah, well, I’ll see what I can do.”
I was annoyed. Even if Eric was the leader, he never took the important stuff seriously.
“Easy, there, Danny,” Caiden said. “You’re looking redder than your puppet.”
“Shut up, Caiden,” I snapped back. “Sunspot isn’t even red. He’s like…dark orange.”
“Eric will come around,” Lila assured. “We’ll be at the meeting, though!”
Sofia sighed. “If nothing else, the food is pretty good.”
Eric Sent a Text
Eric: I rescheduled my eye appointment for an 8:30 rez. I’ll be at the restaurant on Friday.
Caiden: nice infinity war reference
Eric: Um. Thanks.
In N’ Out
By Lila Carlyle
I hopped out of the car just as I parked at In N’ Out, and I couldn’t help but wonder what was on Eric’s mind.
Ever since I’ve known him, he’s always been so clear-minded and never distracted. I hate to say it, but it could be annoying. But forgetting an appointment with the team? That wasn’t normal. This behavior surprised me.
I sensed something was troubling him. I was right.
I sat down on a table for 6, without reservation, obviously. Of course, this is contrary to Daniel’s claims that we always needed a reservation for everything.
Eric arrived after me and saw me sitting at the table.
“Hey!” I said, waving.
“Hi,” he responded.
“Yeah, yeah. Why?” he asked, sort of confused, as he sat down.
“Oh, ehm. Nothing. You seemed preoccupied.”
He raised an eyebrow. Soon the others arrived and joined the conversation.
“Mind you I’ve never seen you like this before,” I told Eric. I looked him right in the eyes. He sighed.
“OK, so, there’s this girl-”
“Aha!” Sofia interrupted. “I see what the fuss is about.”
“Not that kind of girl!” He sighed once more. “Have any of you noticed the new girl who started this semester? Katie Brooks?”
“Katie Brooks? That new girl?”
“I actually tried to talk to her once,” Caiden commented. “She doesn’t talk much, so I don’t know much about her. Every teacher just keeps telling us to-”
“-Love her and accept her, yeah, ” Sofía continued. “Can we do that without knowing her?”
I put my hand on my chin, thinking. “Why is this worrying you, Eric?”
He rolled his eyes. “You know why, Lila.” Everybody was quiet. We could feel another infamous Dunlap monologue coming on. “We’re the X-Men, aren’t we?”
“Origami X-Men,” Caiden interjected.
“That’s beside the point, Quicksilver,” Eric replied. He tended to take on the role of Cyclops in these speeches, and we became our respective heroes. “As the X-Men, we have the responsibility to know everything going on, ever. New students usually aren’t a big deal, but this Brooks girl? All of the teachers seem to know her, and we’re totally in the dark. Principal Sampson hasn’t said a single thing.
“It’s our job to figure out who she is and what her secret is. Do you guys understand?”
Daniel and I nodded, while Sofia and Caiden shrugged.
“We’ll do our best to help you figure out who she is,” Daniel confirmed. “As long as your tactics are legal.”
“When aren’t they?”
“There was the Madison incident-” Sofia began.
Eric looked at me and Daniel, specifically. “You guys are the nice ones. You can be in charge of the investigation.”
“That’s a smart idea. You’d definitely scare her off,” I replied, smiling.
“What’s that supposed to-”
“We gonna order something?” Caiden smirked.
As we waited in line, we found some time to talk more on the subject.
“-but I guess it’s our job as well to get to know her better.”
“How do you plan on doing that, Eric?”
“We could make her feel at home, comfortable. Maybe that way she will open up.” He thought hard. “It’s only fair.”
“Hi. Are you ready to order?” The guy in the cashier asked, expecting an answer.
“Uhm, yeah,” Eric stuttered. “Sorry.”
KATIE BROOKS, NEW GIRL
By Daniel Roberts
It turns out, thanks to Eric’s orders, we were in charge! The next week, Lila and I had discussed a way to approach her, in a way that wouldn’t give her the creeps.
I mean, my duty, our duty, is to protect the school, and so this also meant we would need to know as much as we could about the people in it. All of a sudden, though, Katie appeared right at the new semester started.
She barely introduced herself. She was more like:
“Hi, I’m Katie.”
The teacher looked at her.
“And your last name is…?”
That was all we knew, there we go.
We’ve had new students all the time, of course, but none as mysterious as Katie. I had to get to the bottom of this.
After talking with Lila, I had a plan.
I was careful when I approached her, as casually as I could. I collided against her and she dropped her books.
“Oh, gosh,” I ran to help her out. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s OK,” she said quietly.
I handed them all to her.
“Listen, huh,” I realised I didn’t know how to do this. Testing it out with Lila was one thing… but this was awkward for the both of us. “You know, you don’t talk much, do you?”
“What do you mean?”
That had been a bad move.
“How are you enjoying the school?”
“I like it, it’s enjoyable.”
“That’s great to hear!”
She looked at me.
“I heard about your group. That’s cool.”
“Oh!” I scratched the back of my head “Thanks, I-”
But I stopped. I could hear a sound coming from the other direction. An angry sound from down the hall: a disturbance.
I rolled my eyes, annoyed.
“I’m so sorry, I’ll be back,” I said to her. She nodded.
As I got closer and closer to the center of the rabble, I found a couple of tiny tin foil straps on the sides of the wall.
Some people were still there, taking a close look at what I was doing.
“Interesting,” I smelled it. “Fireworks, Gandalf,” I said to myself.
I knew it had been the use of fireworks, because last summer I’d had a job working at a fireworks stand. The inner workings were quite fascinating.
Someone had vandalized the school wall with some small fireworks. That ain’t gonna fly.
A kid was standing in the middle, obviously trying to get my attention. “Guys, look! The leader of the X-Men is here. He’ll help.” He walked up to me. “Can I help? I think I’ll be able to help find out who did it.”
“Who are you?”
He ignored me, and reached into his pocket. “Look! I’ve even started a puppet. I don’t know who to make it, though.” It was blank, and really bland.
“Listen, dude, the Origami X-Men handle this kind of thing. We don’t need your help.”
“Oh, uh. Okay.” The kid started to walk away, but still tried to catch my eye. When he was sure he’d made eye contact, he started running in the opposite direction. Weird.
When I got back to where I left Katie, she had left, too. Weirder.
Recorded by Discord
Daniel: Well, good news: I talked to her. Bad news: She ran.
Daniel: This dude came over and messed it all up.
Sofia: You too? I went to talk to her, and I got distracted by some sounds.
Eric: Who was he?
Lila: So he ruined both your plans?
Sofia: He looked like a guy I know, Parker. And yes.
Eric: Why would he do this?
Sofia: He said he wanted to join the team? I’m not sure.
Eric: Well, obviously he can’t.
Caiden: Bruh. Guys. He’s obv trying to get ur attention.
Daniel: Thanks Caiden. Anything more specific?
Caiden: What do you want from me, his credit card number?
Lila: Guys, concentrate. You be careful when you try to talk to her. If he does something again, go after him.
Eric: Hey, I’m in charge here, Pixie.
Lila: And look how that turned out.
THE PIECES OF THE PROJECT
By Lila Carlyle
One of the best things about being a girl while you’re looking for another girl, is that she won’t suspect anything suspicious.
Gosh knows what made him run away while Eric wasn’t looking, but judging by how well I know Eric, he probably made a fool of himself. The worst I can imagine is making her drop her books. I hope not. That’s a classically annoying move, and it would’ve looked like he wanted to flirt or something.
Thankfully, I have her in my biology class, where we would be working on some frog dissection for a change.
Mrs. Rosemary was doing her usual ‘I’m gonna sit here while you guys do the work’
thing, so I had no trouble in talking to Katie when I got paired up with her.
But this time, she was the one who started the conversation.
“How do you do this?” She started fiddling and toying around with the frog innards. “I don’t know if I’m bad at this or not.”
“You’ve never done this before?”
“Nah,” she tilted her head, concentrating. “We didn’t have as many special things in the school I come from. This is just very new to me.”
“You’ll find this school is strange like that, but it’s interesting in the end.”
“I guess…” She started “WOAHH!”
She had poked the frog somewhere, and moved the arm too fast, knocking it off the table and making it fall to the ground.
Some people giggled, but the splat sound was still repeating in my head, and I’m sure the same thing was happening in Katie’s. It was really embarrassing.
“What’s going on?” Mrs. Rosemary asked out loud.
“Nothing, we just, uh… Dropped the toad.”
The giggle turned into laughter, and the teacher’s eyes widened.
“Parker, you there. Could you pick up their frog, please?”
“Of course, Mrs. Rosemary!”
Parker appeared from the back and carried the squashed frog. I could’ve sworn he had put it in his backpack.
He glanced at me and made a goofy smile.
“What are you, five?” I snapped at him.
“Miss Carlile, please,” Mrs Rosemary stood up “I think you and Miss Brooks are getting too distracted over there. How about we change your seats?”
So she split us both and put me with Parker, who was working alone. He’s such an annoying kid.
“Can we have our frog back?” I asked, as politely as possible.
“What makes you think I have it?” he replied, innocently.
“Give me your backpack, Parker,” I ordered, less politely.
Parker glowered. “I was just trying to help.”
This was our third attempt at finding out what was behind Katie, and it was also the third time Parker had interfered.
I’m starting to think there’s a pattern.
So Eric, if you’re reading this, try to find Parker however you can, and interrogate him or something. Please.
THE BALLAD OF ORIGAMI SUNSPOT
By Daniel Roberts
So I went to have a quick word with Parker.
Even if it was just a coincidence of events that every time we wanted to talk with Katie, he struck somehow. It wasn’t fair he was doing all of this just to get our attention.
The fireworks? He has to be connected. And I don’t care if Lila said the frog falling was just an accident. I’m sure it was one of his schemes.
Not to mention the frog he stuffed in his backpack for gosh knows what reason.
I was looking for him the next day, when, suddenly, Katie Brooks showed up.
“Oh, hey…you!” she greeted.
“Katie! Hi,” I replied. “Didn’t expect to see you here.”
“We go to the same school.”
There was an awkward pause, before Katie broke it. “Are you looking for that frog guy?” she asked.
“Uh, yeah, actually! How’d you know?”
“He seems like the kind of guy you’d be watching out for. I saw him on the south side by the lockers!”
I nodded. “Thanks, Katie! Later!”
When I got to the south side, I thought I could speak to him while he stuffed his stuff in his locker, but he left when he saw me coming. He had a giant backpack on that made him really slow.
I started going after him, and I got origami Sunspot out. The kids in the hallway parted ways to let me through; one of the perks of being part of the Origami X-Men.
He ran into the bathroom, and at the fear of being a weirdo, I waited outside.
“I’m just gonna wait until he gets out,” I said to myself. I sent a text to our group chat.
I’ve got Parker cornered at the first floor bathroom on the south side. Backup, maybe?
There was a shout from inside the bathroom, however. Parker was probably up to no good.
I ran inside, but surprisingly I saw Parker knelt down next to a boy who was rubbing his head.
“What happened?” I asked.
“He’s woozy,” Parker explained. “I accidentally hit him with the stall door. Can you help him?”
“Um, yeah, sure.”
“Oh, hey, are you an X-dude?” the woozy kid asked, still rubbing a lump on his forehead.
“Yes, I am. What’s your name?”
“Okay, Sean, I’ll help you get to the nurses’ office and you’ll be ship-shape.”
“You guys are lame,” he muttered.
“No, they’re not!” Parker shouted. “They want to help you. Just like I just did.”
Me and Parker helped Sean stand up and lead him to the door.
“You gotta be a bit more careful, Parker. You could’ve hurt him bad.”
“Yeah, I know. But hey, I did help him!” He was quiet for a moment. “Do you think that’s a good step?”
“Joining the team, of course. I want to be an X-Man so badly. You just seem so exclusive. I hope this is enough to join.”
“We’re not exclusive. We’re very inclusive!”
Sean chuckled. “You guys are like the varsity squad, but worse. You’re awful.”
“So can I join?”
I thought for a moment. “Well…”
All of a sudden, Eric and Caiden burst into the bathroom, knocking the three of us over. Sean stood up immediately and ran out of the bathroom. “You guys are weird!” he shouted back.
“You’re that Parker kid!” Caiden shouted.
“Whatever you’re doing, stop it now.”
Parker was scrambling to stand up, but his backpack was making it difficult. “I’m not doing anything!”
“Guys, calm down. He’s just trying to help.”
“Really?” Eric pulled Parker to his feet but opened his backpack as soon as he was steady. “Aha!”
Inside his backpack were several small fireworks. Parker looked terrified.
“You were the firework vandal?” I asked.
“No, but-” he scrambled for words, but he knew he was caught. “Yeah, I was, but I just wanted you guys to notice me.”
“You’re going to the principal, kid.” Eric tried to grab him.
“You guys understand, right?” the poor guy asked, out of his depth.
“Nope. Suspension for you, man,” Caiden said.
Parker looked at me, desperately. “C’mon, guys. Daniel can vouch for me. He knows I’m not bad!”
“Well, Daniel?” Eric said, crossing his arms.
Was Parker a bad guy? I don’t know. But Eric seemed to think he was a bad guy. And I don’t like to contradict our leader. “I don’t know…”
I had no idea what I was supposed to do in this situation. We were supposed to enforce justice, but Parker didn’t seem like the usual bully guys we usually fought.
That was, until I got hit in the head with something, which almost smashed me against the wall.
I turned around and saw Parker with a big Anatomy book. His favorite subject.
“Dude, what the-” I started, but he tried a punch which hit me right in the chest.
“You guys are jerks!” he spat. “Maybe I don’t want to join you!
I ducked his blow, and got my arms around him how I could. Parker elbowed me hard in the stomach, but while I was gasping for air, Daniel got his shirt collar.
“Not so tough now, huh?” Eric smirked, holding his origami Sunspot proudly in his finger.
But this guy was completely out of control. He was hurt and angry: not a good combination.
He released himself and tried to kick Eric, but Caiden was faster and managed to push him against the wall, and he fell and sat down on the floor.
“That’s what you get for messing with my friends,” Caiden grumbled, and Origami Quicksilver spoke “And our missions.”
“What is your mission, exactly?” he lifted his head up.
“Not to be rude or anything. But none of your business.”
Eric walked forward, aggressively. “Let’s head to the office.”
“Hey, hey, wait a second.” I stepped between my teammates as the apparent villain. “We can’t really take him to the principal’s office. Yes, we could tell them about who set the fireworks off in the hallway, but if the bathroom fight got out in the open, us four would get a warning, no matter who started the fight. It’s best to just let him go.”
Parker stood up, staring daggers at all three of us.
“You can walk away,” I told him.
Eric glared. “Just don’t interfere with our assignments again.”
He stomped out of the bathroom, enraged.
“Call it a day?” Caiden snorted.
“I suppose so,” I sighed. “Are the girls waiting outside?”
“They couldn’t exactly go in the men’s bathroom.”
I saw Katie a bit later. “Did you find the frog guy?” she asked, eagerly.
“I think we did,” I replied. “Thanks for the help.”
“No problem!” she smiled. “I like being part of a team.”
“You know, you sound like frog guy- er, Parker,” I said without thinking. She probably wouldn’t like to be compared to him. “He wanted to join the team too.”
“Well, why not?”
“Because…I’m not sure. Eric says no.”
“Oh, okay.” Katie turned around. “Well, be sure to tell me if you change your mind!”
The conversation with Katie made me feel weird about this whole thing. Was this a victory? Maybe. I’m not sure it felt like one. Eric and Caiden both felt that they’d beaten a bad guy, but had they?
By Lila Carlyle
That night, at home, I had just finished my homework and was getting ready to have a shower and finish the day watching a show, when the bell rang.
“Yes?” I asked. I was very surprised to find the postman waiting at the door, with a small package.
“Oh, this is for Lila Claryle.” He handed it to me.
“Thanks! But it’s Carlyle, actually,” I looked at the small brown package “Do I need to sign anything?”
“Oh, no. Bye!”
I closed the door behind him and opened the package.
To find out who Katie Brooks is, I’m going to need your help. Give me everything you know, and you’ll know everything you need to.
-Nathan Torres, The Claremont Checker.