(This story takes place two years before The Invincible Iron Fold)
Transcribed by Agent Easton
Place: F.O.L.D. base, Goodman Middle School
Time: 5:15 pm
Name: Agent Easton
A.E.: Lieutenant, it’s time to choose the next associate. Do you have the correct people for the job?
L.J.: Yes, sir. I have the candidates.
A.E.: Who are they?
L.J.: John Sanders, Evan Cams, Steven Sheers, and Mark Douglas.
A.E.: Who’s that last one, Mark?
L.J.: Douglas, sir?
A.E.: Yeah. Who is he and how is he on the list?
(L.J. types on a computer)
L.J.: Mark Zack Douglas is a skinny, black-haired, pale 7th grader with A+’s in every class except for gym.
L.J.: In gym class, he has a B-…
A.E.: Why is he on the list when he is supposed to handle the strongest origami puppet of them all: Luke Page? Did I hire you to make stupid mistakes like this, Lieutenant?!
L.J.: No, sir! I’m deleting his name now!
A.E.: Good. I never want to see his name on that list again. I need to get this right; maybe then Mr. Trent will finally notice me.
L.J.: Understood, sir.
A.E.: You have permission to start the interviews.
By Lieutenant Jacob
Hi, I’m Lieutenant Jacob and I’m in charge of trying to get the candidates different origami characters. At the moment, we’re looking for a Luke Page to join F.O.L.D. You know, Luke Cage; the guy in the yellow shirt who’s super strong. (I have a sneaking suspicion my superiors just wanted to keep me busy with a lame character job…) The first candidate, John Sanders, was a complete jerk when I asked him.
This was my first recruitment, so I wasn’t really sure how it worked. I heard about that Agent Gardner pulling all kinds of tricks with his recruitment. I thought, No. I’m not doing that.
So I just walked up and asked him.
“John Sanders, would you like to join F.O.L.D.’s attempts to end the war between schools?”
“Wait is that the dumb club that my Dad told me about? Where all you do is talk nerd stuff? Hmm, what was that he said… oh yeah! He said not to join that group of idiot nerds!”
He obviously wasn’t gonna join anytime soon. Also, he was a huge jerk. Did I mention that?
The next candidate was Evan Cams. In the past, I’ve met Evan and he doesn’t seem into stuff like F.O.L.D. I almost thought about not asking him until I saw him in Science. He was just sitting there, so I thought I would take the chance.
“Hello, Mr. Cams. Would you like to join F.O.L.D.’s attempts to end the war between schools?”
There was a long pause, then he replied with, “Yeah, sure. I… wait a second, is F.O.L.D. like a parody to S.H.I.E.L.D?”
“Yes, Mr. Cams, it is,” I answered.
“Well, then I’m not joining! Marvel is just the worst. It’s so overrated and everybody just watches the movies, while in D.C. you can’t just watch the movies and expect to know everything! Like, seriously, think about it. Marvel just copies…” He went on like this for the next 10 minutes and I kept looking at my watch. Admittedly, my watch didn’t work, so it just reflected Mr. Trey’s Cat in the Hat themed classroom. It was way to kiddy for us seventh graders of Goodman Middle School. I always wondered why he kept those dumb posters up. Anyway, Evan talked so long I was late for my next class.
Once I was in Writing, I sat down in my chair and looked around at the bright colored walls. They were not only decaying but very dull. The teacher, Mrs. Dian, was transferred over a month ago from Wheeler Academy; she didn’t like high schoolers, I guess. Ever since then, the classroom has lost the joy it had from Mrs. Limps, who used to teach writing. The only reason I’m writing this down is that it’s the only reason I joined F.O.L.D. But enough about me and more about the chosen candidates.
The last and final candidate was Steven Sheers. He was a freshman with beefy arms and he was about three feet taller than me. When I approached him, it took him about five minutes to notice I was there. When he finally noticed me, he had to look down to talk to me.
“What’s up dude,” he said stupidly.
“Hello, Mr. Sheers. We would love it if you could join F.O.L.D to become the one and only Luke Page,” I said, pronouncing each word quite slowly so that he could understand.
“Could you say that again, but like… 50… no, 40… more like 10 times slower, bro?” he answered.
I walked away from him, both angry and scared. Not only did I have to go back to Agent Easton with no news of anyone wanting to join F.O.L.D., but I’d also have to do a load of paperwork to file why nobody wanted to join. A lot of people say that they hate to fail, but the truth is I hate disappointing people. This usually gets me in trouble, like the time that I made a five paragraph essay about lemons because I knew that Mrs. Limps liked them. Then she said that it was a weak subject and I had to rewrite it.
Anyway, as I walked past the ugly wallpapered walls of our school, I stopped and saw none other than Mark Douglas. He was in a LEGO-Stem-after-school class. I was about to pass him up when I saw that his team was falling apart. Not only was he the only one working, but he was the only person not yelling. As soon as the teacher came in, everybody started working on their robots like they weren’t yelling at the top of their lungs. Mark seemed to be making some sort of machine that could pull around a soda can.
The teacher announced, “Five minutes until presentation!”
Suddenly, Mark’s robot fell off the table and shattered. His fellow teammates started to panic. They had nothing to present!
Then, when all hope seemed lost, Mark turned on his focus mode. He picked up the pieces and started to put them together at lightning speed. The clock was ticking. He only had 30 seconds left! He didn’t even seem scared, he just kept putting his robot back together. At 15 seconds, he doubled his speed and was building so fast that he kept pinching his fingers in between the Lego bricks. At 5 seconds, he stopped building entirely and set his robot down. It looked even better than before.
With this news, I wrote his name back on the list and ran to headquarters.
Sending the Email
By Mark Douglas
Hi, I’m Mark Douglas, pro LEGO engineer (sort of). I was at my house when I decided to check my email. I only had one message. The subject said “F.O.L.D.”, but the actual letter was much weirder.
Dear Mark Douglas,
F.O.L.D. has decided that you, lucky candidate, will be chosen to be Luke Page, the world’s strongest origami man! Please send your response. We’ll come and get you.
P.S. Since you are not old enough to be a real OrigAvenger, you will be an Origami Defender.
My mind was stuck on the last few words. Were they gonna kidnap me, or knock me out and drag me where they needed me? I thought it was a scam, so I closed down my laptop and went on with my day. That night my mind went back to the last words. When were they coming?
I didn’t fall asleep until late the next morning. The next day at school, I kept looking over my shoulder trying to spot whatever F.O.L.D. was, so that when they tried to get me, I’d be ready. I was about to leave math class when my teacher pulled me aside.
“Mark, I heard you were offered a recruitment. Congratulations!”
Although it sounded completely bonkers, I knew exactly what he meant. F.O.L.D. was coming for me! I was about to go consult the principal when I realized it was probably just some dumb joke that the kids at school were playing on me. So I went on having a normal day… until after school.
Suddenly, this kid pulled me over and said, “All right, are you coming or what?”
“Wait!” I cried. “You’re those people… what was it… F.O.L.D! Why are you trying to kidnap me? Why don’t you just leave me alone?!” I said this all rather fast, and the kid looked really confused.
“Woah, woah, man. Calm down. I’m Jacob. Just come with me. Also… we’re not gonna kidnap you,” he said after about ten seconds.
“Fine,” I responded. He led me to an old room that no one used anymore. This kid was waiting inside.
“Hello, Mr. Douglas. I’ve been waiting for you. Are you ready to become something more than you already are?” Agent Easton said.
I answered him by saying, “Wait like a superhero… let me guess I’m gonna be Noodle Boy or Skinny Man or…”
“No! You will become the strongest origami puppet folded! Luke Page!” he yelled grandly.
I was not okay with that. “Um… I’m not okay with that. I mean, I’m perfect for this school. They make you follow good rules, they have good lunches, and almost everybody here isn’t dumb. And I don’t wanna go and ruin my reputation by carrying for a piece of paper,” I said back.
This definitely pushed his buttons, because then he started yelling at me.
“Mark! You will one day realize that, out of all the other OrigAvengers, Luke Page doesn’t need you, you need Luke Page! Why do you think we chose the most skinny kid in school when we could have picked a jock like John Sanders!”
“Who actually is Luke Page?”
“Oh, he’s a dude with bulletproof skin who is a part of the Defenders…”
“They’re cool. It’s like Daredevil-“
“Nevermind!” I interrupted, annoyed. “In all due respect, Agent, I couldn’t be a superhero even if I tried. I can’t break all the rules or even one rule. I told you, I was made for this cupcakes and rainbows school. I’d like to keep it that way.” I was breathing rather heavily. It had taken all my courage to say just that.
“Mark, we’re not asking you to break any rules. If you fail on your first mission, we will let you resign and we’ll hire somebody else. In the meantime…” he handed me two pieces of paper: one brown, and one yellow.
Jacob spoke up. “It’s time for you to go into the folding room.”
I followed his lead. When we reached the folding room, he offered me a seat. Then he said, “Here you will invent Luke Page with the materials given to you by Agent Easton.”
I started almost immediately. I had a history in my school for folding origami. I started at about 5:00 and I finished at 5:30. I held up the brand new Luke Page in all of its glory. I had to use a few markers to put in the sunglasses and the pockets, but other than that this guy was fully origami. I opened the door to the small room and ran down to F.O.L.D.’s base. I proudly showed Agent Easton my new Luke Page.
After a moment, he said, “Well, it’s okay. Not as good as the last one but I love the simplicity of the fold.”
“You think it’s worthless, don’t you! YOU THINK I’M WORTHLESS! I KICKED MY OWN BUTT TRYING TO FOLD THIS DUMB PIECE OF PAPER SO THAT I COULD PLAY SUPERHERO! BUT I GUESS THAT DOESN’T MATTER, BECAUSE I’M JUST STUPID MARK DOUGLAS!” I yelled. This was the one of the first times in my life I’d lost my temper. It’s just when people say I’m junk, even when I’m trying my hardest, I get mad. That’s why I love this school. It’s just a generic school where you could get in trouble for doing the one thing I hate: people saying I’m junk.
Once I finished yelling at Agent Easton, he said, “Mark, I don’t think your origami is worthless. It’s just… other people have made more detailed origami. Like the OrigAvengers. Anyway, if you’re ready, your first mission is ready.”
“Yeah, I’m ready. Just tell me the details,” I replied.
“Okay. This will test your skill and durability. You must spy on the kids at Wheeler academy and get information about their next attack.” he said.
I looked at him for a second then said, “Okay, I’ll get the information. Then I’ll come back here and report what I heard.”
“Deal,” agreed Agent Easton.
By Mark Douglas
Hi, my name is Mark Douglas and I’m gonna tell you what happened at 6:00 at Wheeler Academy. I ran from Goodman to Wheeler, which I’d never done before. When I got to Wheeler, I evidently noticed it was way different than Goodman. The walls were a bright greenish color and all the preschool playground equipment was older and rustier. Aside from that, Wheeler actually seemed more well-built and professional than Goodman or even Kirby.
I looked in a math classroom and saw that the 9th graders were learning things way above my level. It took me 15 minutes to find where they were hiding. I pressed my ear against the door. As they were about to say something, I realized that for some reason sneaking into Wheeler and then listening to their conversations was wrong. I couldn’t do it; the guilt would kill me. My mind was racing, trying to decide between F.O.L.D or me. I finally pressed my ear to the door and heard them talking.
“Kirby will pay for what they did. They sent us an idiot teacher who’s gonna make us fail the 9th grade!”
“Idiot teacher?” I whispered.
“It’s time to release what we’ve made… our purple man,” a different idiotic voice said.
“Purple man? That’s the stupidest name I’ve ever heard,” I muttered. They started to come out of the room so I ran back to F.O.L.D’s base. When I was back at Goodman, I saw Lieutenant Jacob in the hall, writing something on a pad of paper.
“Jacob, what are you doing?”
“Getting ready to write down what you learned about p- I mean Wheeler,” he replied.
“Oh! Well, they were talking about something called Purple Man and they were gonna unleash it on the school,” I said.
“Okay, I’ll take that information and send it to F.O.L.D.”
The Second Mission
By Mark Douglas
Hi, my name is Mark Douglas and I’m a secret agent now. My second mission came a week after I got information from Wheeler. I sat down at F.O.L.D.’s headquarters, tapping the table in boredom. When Agent Easton finally walked in, he didn’t look happy.
“Someone found out about our attempts to get information from Wheeler. All the ink carriages were stolen from Goodman,” he said.
“He heard me!” I exclaimed.
“But how’d ya know that?” asked Agent Easton.
“He called the thing they were gonna unleash ‘purple man’. I knew it was too stupid to be real. They made up a fake name so they could trick me into running away!”
“Alright, your second mission is to get the name of the real thing that they’re unleashing and put a stop to it.”
“Okay, I’ll be on it!” I responded.
“When you go and try to get the information, I’ll send a F.O.L.D. intern to help you. His name is Aaron.”
I Made a Mistake
By Mark Douglas
Hi, my name is Mark Douglas, and I’m currently trying to solve a problem of political intrigue. Today was Wednesday. I was trying to figure out what the information that Wheeler was hiding from us was. Aaron and I went down the hall and heard a bunch of the teachers talking.
One said, “We know who stole them.”
Instantly, I knew they were talking about Wheeler. I was about to start listening in on their conversation when my stomach dropped and my face went red. This was definitely wrong. Listening to idiot Wheeler kids was one thing, but listening to actual teachers—the ones who taught me not to get nosey about other people’s problems—was another. This was too much for me. I walked away, sad and gloomy.
Then something in my hand started to burn. Not my entire hand, just my pointer finger. I looked through my backpack for something to cover it with, but the only thing that I found was none other than Luke Page. I slipped it on and the drop in my stomach went away. I felt confident. I just heard a voice in my head saying, you’re Luke Page, what could happen?
I walked back to where the teachers were talking and heard one of them say, “I know F.O.L.D. is supposed to handle this but we know something they don’t. Someone from Kirby stole the ink cartridges for Wheeler!”
I walked at a much faster to my next class, my head spinning with questions.
Aaron said, “What did they say? Well, I bet it was about Wheeler, but who cares? I mean, Wheeler is obviously the better school.”
I was still trying to connect the dots when my L.A. teacher slammed down a test on my desk and said, “Alright class the test that we’ve all studied for is coming right now.”
I panicked! Had I studied for that test or had I not because of Luke Page? I started the test and I didn’t know the first answer. I tried so hard to remember, but I couldn’t. Once I finished my test I realized I still had Luke Page on my finger. I slid it off and the voice in my head went from saying, You’re Luke Page what could happen? to You’re not Luke Page; you couldn’t even get a good grade on your test!
The rest of the day my mind was set on that test, not getting information about Wheeler. When I walked to F.O.L.D. to do a progress report I spotted Mrs. Jace’s L.A. classroom. I knew the only way to erase the pit in my stomach. I took out a pen and was about to start cheating on my test when I came to my senses. When I started F.O.L.D., I told them I couldn’t break a rule even if I tried. Then I thought, why would that matter I’ve changed and they won’t care. I filled out the test putting in all the right answers instead of my wrong answers. I ran back to F.O.L.D. and saw Agent Easton in his chair looking more furious than ever.
He took no time waiting to yell at me.
“YOU CHEATED ON A TEST! HOW COULD YOU! OF COURSE! YOU THOUGHT THAT WE WOULDN’T NOTICE! WELL WE DID! WE HIRED YOU BECAUSE WE THOUGHT LUKE PAGE WOULDN’T CORRUPT YOU BUT HE DID IT TOOK ONE USE AND YOU GAVE IN THOUGHT YOU WERE INVINCIBLE! WE ALWAYS GIVE LUKE PAGE TO SOMEONE WHO ISN’T READY TO BE AN ORIGAMI AVENGER SO THAT IF THEY BECOME CORRUPTED WE CAN CUT THEM!”
My heart skipped a beat.
“What do you mean, ‘corrupted’?” I said.
“Luke Page is the one that can make you feel dangerously confident; bullet-proof, even. If you abuse that confidence, you become corrupted. Since you have abused it, I must take away Luke Page forever.”
“What! You can’t take him away… I need him!” I yelled.
“I’m sorry, but I need to take him away.”
By Mark Douglas
Hi, my name is Mark Douglas, and I feel angsty. I ran home and went straight to my bed. I was so mad that I didn’t talk. I just thought about who would betray Kirby. They had to be someone who thinks Wheeler is better than Kirby. Someone who is in F.O.L.D. Who could it be?
“AARON!” I yelled.
I ran back down to the school, the cold wind filling my lungs while my heart pounded out of my chest. I sprinted through the halls. My legs had never moved so fast. I skidded around the corner of my school and looked in F.O.L.D.’s base.
Easton’s Note: The following has been embellished by Mark Douglas.
“Aaron stop!” I yelled before I even looked in the room. Inside the room was Jacob.
“Hurry, we need to find Aaron and put a stop to him!” I screamed.
“Okay!” he yelled back, and we sprinted down the halls looking in each room. I both hoped that we would find him and hoped we wouldn’t, because I knew he’d put up a fight. We looked in one room and saw that the colorful walls were colored on and even torn up.
“He’s been here!” I exclaimed. We kept running until we found the one room we hadn’t looked in: the writing classroom. I was scared. Not only did I not have Luke Page, I didn’t know how to fight. I opened the door, my black hair filled with sweat. I looked in the room to see that the walls were once again in shambles. There was a table in the center of the room with stacks of papers on it. Racing over to them, I realized that they were various documents from Mrs. Dian’s writing class, ranging from her gradebook to her writing assignments.
“Interesting, isn’t it?” I heard Jacob say. “The most important documents from Mrs. Dian’s class. One would hope nothing would happen to them.”
“What happened here? Who did this… Wait, if the only other person in the building was you… YOU DID IT! I can’t believe…” I backed away from the table, looking to Jacob, who calmly stood in the classroom doorway. “WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS!” I yelled.
Jacob smirked and said, “Many people don’t know, but Mrs. Limps is my aunt. When this stupid school sent her off, it broke me. My world shattered. They made her go to that idiot school, where she has to work hard so that the idiot kids won’t do graffiti on the walls. They make her discipline her kids. This broke her. She was never the same, and now I have to live knowing that this stupid school could have saved her.” I had nothing to say. I was awestruck.
Finally, I turned into what my friends called Hulk Mark. I closed my eyes and thought. I opened them and said, “Well I think she had it coming with an idiot nephew like you.”
“WHAT’D YOU SAY!” he yelled.
“I said… She had it coming with a good for nothing nephew like you!” I said as I raised my voice to give a sense of authority. He was furious. So furious that he came at me with his fists raised. As soon as he was about to punch me I ducked. I ran out from the classroom.
I needed Luke Page. I got back to F.O.L.D.’s base and grabbed Luke Page. Jacob came in and came once again swinging at me. I ducked under his punch and kicked him in the back. His face was red with rage. He punched me in the gut and I started to cough, but I punched him twice in return. When he was about to lose the fight, he grabbed Luke Page and ripped him clean in half.
“What are you gonna do now?!” he yelled.
“Man, I’d never thought I lose to such a failure,” I said, defiantly pushing his buttons. He came at me with his fist raised. I could tell that he wasn’t thinking. When he went in for the final punch, I moved out of the way and stuck my foot out. He tripped and fell flat on his face.
By Mark Douglas
Hi, my name is Mark Douglas and I’m hero. The day after I saved the school was Saturday, so I knew I wasn’t gonna get to tell F.O.L.D. what happened. I was doing Algebra homework when someone knocked on my door. I opened it and saw that it was Agent Easton.
“We saw what happened. Everything. Even when you defeated Jacob without Luke Page. As your reward, we are once again making you Luke Page,” he said.
He handed me a Luke Page that was split in half and he said, “I know it’s not much but it’s a start and once you finish remaking him you’ll become…”
“I know, Luke Page, once again,” I said.
“No, actually, I was gonna say an we finally could have an OrigAvenger!” he responded.
“But…I don’t want to be an OrigAvenger.” I replied.
“What? Of course you do. You agreed to, remember?”
“No, I agreed to be Luke Page. The OrigAvengers are the high school’s thing. I want to do my own thing.”
“But…what do I tell Trent? He’ll be so disappointed!”
“Tell him I’m here if they ever need me, but I’m not an OrigAvenger.”
“Uh…okay then,” Easton said, looking really disappointed. He walked off, mumbling something about how Trent being disappointed. I ran to my room on cloud nine. I’d gotten Luke Page back! When I went into my room my and immediately started to work on my puppet; pretty soon, it was complete, and had a big letter D on the front…
A.E: Are they ready?
L.C (Lieutenant Caleb): Yes, sir, they are.
A.E.: If Mark doesn’t want to lead them, we can move on to Iron Fist. He’d definitely want to be an OrigAvenger.
L.C: You know Mark will do it. It’s a question if the others will follow.
A.E: That’s true, but why hasn’t he answered any of our emails?
Mark Douglas: *steps out of shadows* Because I was on vacation.
A.E: Oh, Mark. I didn’t see you there.
L.C: Just to say, that was pretty sick.
A.E: Anyway, are you ready?
M.D: Actually, I already talked with the Iron Fist kid. And the others. They all agreed, but we’re not a part F.O.L.D.
A.E.: How could you?
M.D.: The other kids are tired of copying the high schoolers, so we started our own team.
A.E.: But… what do you call yourselves?
M.D.: The OriDefenders!
By Tilly Waterson
I got an email for F.O.L.D. business, and, per usual, I took it to Trent.
“Um, Trent, here’s an email from an Agent Easton at Goodman Middle School?”
Trent rolled his eyes. “Gosh dangit, not again.”
“That Easton kid idolizes me. He thinks F.O.L.D. is so cool, so he started his own ‘branch’ at the middle school. What did he say now?”
“Something about Luke Page?”
Trent groaned again. “Great. The Origami Defenders. How dumb is that?”
I would like to dedicate this book to my fantastic math teacher, Mrs. Lilly.