OriGrover Underfold: The Trip of Monsters

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OriGrover: The Field Trip of Monsters

By SF Dane And SF Charli 

Thalia Plates’ comment: Hello there, So, like, not very long ago in a school not all that far away, there was Pleaty Jackson, OriGrover, and Annashred Crease, but I imagine you already know that, I imagine you’re well up to speed, if you’re from around here. You know them, I know them, but in truth, they need you. Edward, if you’re reading this, then we need your help. I’ve sent you the last casefile I had obtained, and you hadn’t given me a response. Please, I’ve added my comments onto this casefile just so you get the point, and if you choose to accept this invitation, then please shoot me an email. 

Packing For A Field Trip… And A Rescue Mission

Mac Astley

On the end of my first week back at Athens Middle School, I broke and entered with an origami finger puppet based on Percy Jackson. Dennis and Ximena came, too. 

My week hasn’t been going great so far, I have been sleeting and snowing for four days now. I hadn’t seen my friends all winter break and now the school’s partners, EduFun, are teasing some huge new project. And my butt has started clenching. That’s never a good sign.

Over winter break, a letter had come in the mail, or, not in the mail. Via eagle. And, well, it’s best I just show you. 

“Mac, I don’t have much time to write to you about this, but we have a problem. A few months ago, you conducted an investigation on The OrigOlympians, now, I’m afraid you need to make a new casefile.  I beg you to help me defeat EduFun, or, as we call it, The FunPire. I regret that I am unable to present my request to you in person, but it’s best my identity remain anonymous. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Demigami’s in this envelope, the principal’s spare identification card. This is our most desperate hour. And remember, the one thing it all depends on, is that field trip. I’ll be sending you more information on a later date. Help me, Mac Astley, you’re my only hope.” 

After reading the envelope, I stuck my hand into it, and produced a finger puppet of what looked to be Thalia Grace, from the Percy Jackson books. Inside of the puppet, where the finger would normally go, was an ID with Mrs. Kemp’s face on it. It was rimmed with regal gold, and knowing the money that filled Mrs. Kemp’s wallets, it might’ve been real. I was suddenly disturbed to remember the complexity of my family tree and how this woman was my auntie. I sat down on my bed, realizing the kerfuffle I was in. After rereading the note, I pieced together that the FunPire was clearly EduFun, the school’s partners, (and practically owners) and that they were planning to do something huge. Something… butt-clenching. 

Which brings me to the current situation. The heist. 

Me, Ximena, and Dennis sat in front of the door. I had the ID key thing, so I could sneak into the teacher’s lounge without permission. Like a mortal sneaking into Mount Olympus, this likely wouldn’t go so well. 

“Are you sure you don’t want me and Dennis to go with you?” Ximena asked, her cinnamon brown hair was tucked behind a ski cap. 

“No thanks, I haven’t a clue what’s behind that door. I could get you two into trouble.” 

“I’m worried, Mac.” She said, and she placed her hand on my arm. Dennis was nibbling on a bagel. I hoped I wasn’t blushing, not because of the bagel thing but the arm thing. In truth, I kind of wanted Ximena there. She’s the most level headed.. Uh.. Demigami… I knew. She had both stopped me from getting killed, and nearly gotten me killed, on several occasions. We’re tight like that. 

I swiped “my” card, stepping into this new, uncharted, territory. 

***

The OrigOlympian lair was so dark and dreary, like, what the heck? It seriously needed a splash of color, I’m not kidding. There was one very odd thing, the walls were lined with grecian relics, even a few weapons, which I thought was kind of overkill, literally. Get it? Overkill? Because… because they’re weapons. I’m a comedian, shut up. 

I began to hear footsteps behind me. I saw two teachers chatting with each other, one was lean and blonde, looking exactly like my ex-friend, Sebastian Merrick. If he was Luke CastePleat, this guy must’ve been Hermes. Or, Papermes, Hermesigami? Hermerrick? I’m going with Hermerrick. It’s funny. He was chatting with another tall woman, her face seemed sort of tough, like an army general, she wore a volleyball outfit, underneath a silver parka, and then I was nabbed. I felt a hand on my shoulder. 

“Hi, Mac Astley, I’ve been meaning to talk to you for a while,” said Mrs. Kemp, “Let’s have a talk in my office.” I grabbed RipTide, the recording pen, and hit the record from inside of my pocket. 

Mac, Mac, Mac, ma nef, nice seein’ ya. 

H-Hi. 

How’s your day been? 

It’s been fine. 

Doesn’t it feel wonderful to be back from Christmas break, among your fellow students. I know it does for me, but, well, life is good. But it can be better. The iReady diagnostic scores were subsequently low, like, low, low. Ximena made a 632. A 632. You made a 560, which was barely on grade level. I don’t want to boast, but we’ve been the best school in the state for the last thirty years, ever since I wielded Zeusigami, the main accomplishments of the OrigOlympians involved putting us up there.  All of that to say, we here at Athens are ecstatic to have you over here, when Goodman, er, removed you. 

Ma’am, I’m honored, really. But why did you call me back?

That is the question, isn’t it? Now, Mr. Astley, in loose terms, the school has become less of what we, The OrigOlympians, made it into. That’s why, with our EduFun partners, we’re bringing in a new program, something combining those diagnostic tests with a new focus on the fundamentals. It’ll follow the same premise but with a little bit more focus on the aforementioned Fundamentals, and I need your help with it. 

What do you want me to do?

Oh, not much. I just loved your passion for learning, your love of history and literacy, and your upbeat and giddy nature. It doesn’t hurt that you’re my nephew. So, do you wanna make the OrigOlympians proud?

Yes, ma’am. 

Excellent! So… when the time comes, many people won’t be in love with the news of this program. I want you to help people see the light, be the hero we need. And… next year, we’re adding a student council and we’d like you to lead it. So, I’m sending the sixth grade out on a field trip, as paid for by EduFun. I’d like for you to use this time to convince your two friends, Wallt and Ximena. 

It’s Dennis- and I- I’ll do what I can.. Ma’am. 

“That’s what I like to hear! Thank you, Mr. Astley”

Thalia Plates comment: Astley, Astley, Astley, what the heck were you thinking? You had ONE job, just the one. You were supposed to destroy the FunPire, not join them. 

FIELD TRIP LET’S FREAKING GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Serene Monroe 

I got up early that morning. My room was still the usual mess, my drawer broken, the stains on my walls covered up by posters of Rocky and Karate Kid. My Father knocked on my door, he told me that I got some letters. One was in a golden envelope, and was addressed to be from “Thalia Plates,” Oh great, I thought, another letter from [CENSORED] I brushed it aside, I had gotten tons of letters asking for her to help me with her stupid Demigamis thing, The other letter was one from the school, expecting it to be one on my recent bad behavior, I almost brushed it aside as well. It was not. 

It was a field trip forum, my Dad had already filled out his signature. It just needed mine. Obviously, I signed. 

I locked eyes with my mirror. “You’re talented. You are a star.” I pulled my hair into a bun. “You may be hated; so long as you are feared.” I put on my Athens Eagles Jacket, Crease LaRue sticking out of the pocket. “And most importantly, you’re a winner.” 

I made the short walk to school, I asked Dad if he could just drive on his own time, I wanted to view my mesmerized onlookers. A Mother chastised her son, asking why he couldn’t be more like me. Being the star player has its perks. I pushed my way through the school’s double doors. 

“Alright losers! Heard that baseball season just started, guess grovelling line starts here,” I punctuated that last bit by gesturing towards my feet. No one came. Literally no one came. 

I began to hear chuckling emerge from another portion of the hallway, I walked over and saw Dennis and Ximena folding origami, a little sign surrounded them, claiming to be giving away free origami. Given that this school has long known about the OrigOlympians, they were clamoring for that action. I saw a tall girl with long hair walking away, ever so slightly smiling and staring at a puppet of some character with black hair and an aviator jacket. 

“Welcome to the world, little buddy. My brother’s gonna love you.” whispered to her while walking away. 

I needed to come up with something, something to grab their eyes. 

“Oh wow, they need to make friends out of paper. How sad.” Ximena stood up, shielding Dennis from me. “Listen, Monroe, I used to be like you. Obsessed with status, competition, all that, but I’ve grown up. When will you?” 

“Oh,” I whispered to myself, “Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?” 

Out of the door we were standing near, stepped Mac Astley, in all his Mac-like stupidity. 

Ximena rushed over to him, “How’d it go.” 

“I- I cant- HOLY BEJESUS WHAT IS UP WITH THAT LINE?”

“We started a non-profit.” 

This melodramatic dialogue bored me, so I walked off. But I knew one thing, I was gonna need payback. 

Mac Astley, Ximena Strohm, and Dennis Redwood need to watch their backs, cause they’re about to face the wrath of Clarigami LaRue. I’m ready to put them in their place. 

Thalia Plates’ comment: See what I mean? The school’s sports champion herself is leaving a bad example for the school. We need to get Mac Astley back on our side of things, we need to get them ALL onto our side. It’s a shame that no one else was able to foresee the tragedies that would unfold. 

FIELD TRIP LET’S GOOOOOOOOOO (again) 

Mac Astley 

“Wooh!” I shouted, as I skipped through the halls, while Dennis and Ximena trudged along beside me. “My first Baseball season! I bet I have more school spirit than school spirits!” 

Five kids, leaning on a wall, with origami ghosts in one hand and a pom pom in the other glared at me. “Why do I even bother in life?” One qustioned, while the other grunted. 

“Ah, Baseball season is the best,” Ximena noted, “I used to play back in my gorey days.” 

“Don’t you mean glory days?” I asked. 

“No,” Dennis said, putting his hand on my shoulder, “No, she does not.” 

The two laughed, it was good to see the tension starting to ease between the two. 

“I had the best little cheats in the book.” Ximena added. 

“Ximena, cheating isn’t anything to brag about. How do you know if you were any good if you cheated your way to glory?” 

“Ugh. What do ‘Good-Men’ know, with their goody-goody attitudes.” 

“Can’t reason with crazy,” I said as I put my books into my locker. 

In class, the teacher was talking about school history and the OrigOlympian way. It all seemed very strange, especially how casually we discussed our origami overlords. 

“Athens’ rise to greatness was helped in part by… Dennis?” The teacher asked. 

“Uh… EduFun?” Dennis seemed to ask, more than he had answered. 

“Precisely.” He noted. 

“Wooh! Go Dennis!” A student shouted from across the room. 

“Yes, Dennis, most impressive.” murmurs of admiration erupted. 

I leaned over towards Dennis, who was sitting right next to me. ‘What’s up? It’s like all of Athens has fallen in love with you.” 

“Well, I really took what you said a few months back to heart. I’ve been trying to be more confident.” 

He gestured towards his pastel blue tie with sunflowers on it. “Well… that tie certainly is confident.” I supported myself, trying to stay cheerful. 

“Awww… “ I heard Serene whisper under her breath, “Den thinks he’s popular. How cute.”

“Hey! While my friend here is very cute, I’m not sure you’re being entirely sincere!” I whisper-shouted. Her small huddle of friends giggled. 

“Hey- Hey- Hey.. NO LAUGHING!” The teacher shouted, “LEARNING ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!!” 

“We aren’t having fun, I swear,” I told the teacher, “Serene and her heathens are bullying us.” 

And at this moment, Serene gave the teacher what is perhaps the worst excuse in the history of existence as a concept. She said, and I quote, “Sorry teach, just practicing for the first ball game.” 

Let that sink in for a moment.

Has it sunk in, yet? 

Good. 

And, what’s worse, is the teacher just let her off the hook. 

She must’ve had a brain tumor for breakfast. 

Anyways, I’ve been trying to convince my friends to join the OrigOlympians, to be the example that they needed. It’s… not… easy. Dennis is the hardest, he sort of has a vendetta against Mrs. Kemp because of the whole thing that happened with Sebastian (Speaking of which, I should probably give you guys the updates on that situation.) Thalia’s note: Yes, please do. I haven’t gotten much word either, it broke my heart to see how his anger turned to hate. Ximena’s halfway there already. I worry for her, she seems to both give the school her undying support as well as despising the system that’s continued, without failing, to cause us just all the problems. Say what you will about Sebastian, but he might’ve had a point. 

Sebastian’s been quiet. Like, really quiet. But his compatriots well… let’s just say they haven’t. Ximena’s siblings, Xena and Xander, are just being the worst. Like, guys, if you could think of what a… demon… is, that’s them. Like, they’re just sociopaths, with their whole treachery thing in mind, I think it’s really weird how they checked me out like a library book. (Har-Har) Ben’s betrayal got to me. I knew him for maybe two weeks but he helped shape me into who I am today. There’s also still plenty of questions rattling in my mind. Who even is Chase, the Pleaty- er- Foldy Jackson who came before me? What happened to him? I have just too much stuff to worry about. 

It feels like everyone is in a good place, like, seriously. Dennis is just blowing up, Ximena’s… happier? I guess It’s like all I’m excited for is the field trip. It’ll be a good way to start off twenty twenty, which I have a feeling will be an amazing year. Just me, Ximena, a picnic blanket, giant thick coats because, guys, it’s January. Does EduFun even understand how time works? 

So, in case you’re reading things one thousand years in the future, um, hi, first of all, and also, let me just tell you how the field trip will go. 

Dennis is staying back at the school,, he’s scared of baseball, so he’ll be holding onto this casefile, keeping tabs on the going ons there, afterwards, I’ll be adding on my entries of just how the game went. Fair? Fair. So… bon voyage, Athens Middle School, don’t die without me. 

Athens Middle School Immediately Dies Without HIm 

Dennis Redwood 

Ok, so, I’m just uh… talking into this recorder thingy, I bought it off Ebay from this person uh… I think the name was TWatersonCM or something, I- I’m not quite sure. I’m just here to give updates on how Athens is without Mac. Well, for one, everyone’s going except for a few kids, I see… Flynn, (oh no) Xander and Xena, (Oh No!) and… Sebastian Merrick (OH NO!) We’re all just kind of put in the lunchroom, and, welp, we’re supposed to be getting our chromebooks out, working on this pilot program the school just bought, Extreme.Fun, thankfully, it’s a big room and everyone’s talking so I can get away with this. Ximena, you’re kind of going to have a terrible time with the transcripts. 

Hey, who are you talking to? 

Oh just recording like an audio log? 

Oh, that’s what’s up, that’s what’s up… and… are you like… going to send this to anyone or… 

Well, that’s uh none of your *the room gets too loud to transcribe, there was also the sound of spray cheese, or something that comes out of one of those bottles, like maybe whipped cream. Ximena literally can’t figure out what it is* business, now is it? 

Geez, you don’t have to be (censored) about it. 

Please… don’t swear. 

(Long awkward pause) 

Sorry, that was a… guy. I didn’t catch his name. 

Alright, hush up NOW everyone. 

*in whisper* Guys, everyone is quiet now I just moved things over to a Google Doc. 

Ok, so, we just got Breakfast passed out. There was a second pop tart kind of smushed to the wraper of my pop tart, and then Mr. Incompetent Teacher (I don’t think that’s his real name) skipped over this one girl. She looked really skinny, and I heard her stomach rumble. She seemed hungry. I wonder what she did to lose her food privileges. I handed her my pop tart. 

Oh no she’s asking for my name guys I think I’m in love. But what do I say? I told her my name was Dennis… is.. is that good? She says her name is Mallory. Mallory Cross. So um… I kind of have to sign off for now, Mac, I guess this is where you put your… uh… thing. 

Mr. Alexander Confiscates My Cheetos 

Mac Astley 

Ten minutes into the thirty minute bus ride, me and Ximena began to get bored out of our minds. To keep herself entertained, Ximena was ranting about Xena, whom she referred to as “The Rat,” however, we were starting to get hungry. This was problematic, given that it was only nine in the morning. Hunger strikes at the worst possible times, doesn’t it? So, I unzipped my backpack revealing what I had been keeping on me for merely the most intense of predictments. Exactly sixteen bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos ™ . However, in case you hadn’t noticed/ never been on earth, cheetos are loud. Like… really loud. They’re crunchy, yeah, but I’m talking about the bag. The STUPID, METALLIC, BAG. At the second Ximena opened her bag, I saw our chaperones, who were sitting at the front of the bus perk up. 

I think now is the best time to talk about who exactly our chaperones were. My two taekwondo/tap dancing teachers (Please… do not.. do not laugh at me) immediately told the bus driver to stop the bus, the bus driver did. 

Mr. Alexander marched his way up the aisle and proceeded to lecture us on the dangers of eating on the bus, how we would choke and die. He knew someone who had this happen to them. Yes, yes, I know, I know, when you eat on a motorized vehicle death is IMMINENT. Yet, thankfully, I managed to keep a few bags that were buried at the bottom of my backpack. So, thankfully, overstocking (and zombie apocalypse prep) comes in handy on field trips. Yippee! 

Or, no, not really. Because there was just one thing. Or, two, but we’ll get to the second one later. Serene was on the bus, she- she kept screaming. Kind of like this weird sequel type thing but I- I think she was saying words. Mean words. Almost like if a pig tried to talk, but just couldn’t get the hang of it because of it being a pig and all that. 

However, when you spend thirty minutes on the farm, you tend to ignore the pig screams. 

We arrived at the baseball stadium. Now, I don’t particularly know what Zeus was thinking when he was constructing our weather, because, I kid you not, it was sunny in January. So, we all got in line as Mrs. Youmans passed out our tickets, me and Ximena just kind of chatted about life in the meanwhile. Everything seemed to be going fine, when, boy oh boy, they searched our bags. 

Now, when you go to the Baseball stadium they say they check your bag so you don’t bring a bomb or something; but, let’s be real. If you took the bomb out of the backpack, congratulations, because now you have a bomb that’s not inside of a backpack. So helpful! What they really search for, is twelve year old kids sneaking in bags of cheetos instead of buying the thirty dollar bags from the gift shop. That’s called capitalism, kiddos. So, seeing as the weird, panting, gray haired old man searched my backpack at that stupid front gate thing, I lost my Cheetos. 

So there we were, in a completely new world, cheeto-less. We ran around, trying to find a nice place to sit. School’s weren’t allowed to sit in the stands, we just kind of had to find a nice grassy clearing, which isn’t that hard. Me and Ximena found a nice place, and so we both knelt down. I unzipped my backpack, looking for a towel. I honestly don’t know how this happened, but I lost my towel. Ximena produced hers from her backpack, a pale yellowish one that was incredibly fluffy. She sat on it. I silently scooched over onto hers. She looked at me for about the whole second. Her lips curled. “You’re so dumb.” She said, 

I crossed my legs, “You’re mean to me.” I whispered. 

“Ugh, could you two get a room?” Serene belched. 

We did not get a room. I mean, there was a stadium. Technically speaking, we had a room. She was just in our room. 

“Well, if you don’t like our friendship you can go!” Ximena shouted, blushing. I blushed too. 

“Yeah! W-We’re just friends!” I shouted, helpfully. 

“Totally!” Ximena added.

Serene grunted, rolled up her blanket, and walked over, likely to sit on the pavement. Haha. 

Things were going so nicely before the devil walked up to us. No, I’m not joking. A mascot from the team facing off against our boys, The Yankees, was literally the devil. 

He strolled over to us. 

“HOWDY KIDDOS… I’M…. DEDE, THE DEVIL! I’M HERE TO KEEP THE KIDDIES ENTERTAINED EVER SINCE I GOT OUT OF PRISON THREE YEARS AGO FOR THE CHARGES!” 

“Well that’s, that’s nice, but we’re not really children, I turn thirteen in August and Ximena turns on the twenty fourth, later this month.” 

“Oooh, I have a question,” Ximena said. Her mouth was forming a mischievous smirk, which worried me. “Is it true that this place is just a really shameless cash grab that sells thirty dollar lemonade?” 

“Uh…” The man in the mascot costume began to stutter. “No.” 

Ximena scoffed. 

“Ugh, this place stinks of insecure corporate greed.” 

The man in the demon suit walked away, I think I heard him crying. “That was fun,” Ximena smirked. 

This was going to be a fun day. 

I For One, Have Been Having A Terrible Day

Dennis Redwood 

Look, I’ll be real; when I agreed to staying behind, I did not want my day to be just.. just.. the worst, man. Mallory’s been really nice, she helped me pirate some movies for us to watch until our chromebooks died. We also bonded over the lovely power of peculiar pop tarts, while I taught her the ways of veganism, only to get some very strange looks. 

Now, Dennis, I hear you asking, what’s the problem? You sound like you were having fun! Well, like I said before. Flynn, Sebastian, Xena, and Xander were all there as well. And my oh my, those kids were the worst. Sebastian is kind of the most annoying, especially how he’s quiet, calculating, even. Everyone else is just really loud, especially since they’re just all on one table. I saw the kid who questioned me about my recording keep walking up to them, tell them something, and walk away when a teacher isn’t looking. I think I saw Sebastian hand the guy a finger puppet. This is bad. 

Normally, when I have a problem I ask you two for help but that’s not exactly the smartest thing I can do, now is it? Mallory had caught wind of our escapades and offered an idea to help take this whole kerfuffle off of my mind. I could actually start conducting interviews, just like we did way back when. I was skeptical, yet somehow she brought up the old old days. (Which is weird) With me, Ximena, Sebastian, and… Lina. The little casefiles we used to make, and how this one jerk High Schooler grader named Dane kept stealing them and rambling on and on about politics until he moved schools. I didn’t have a clue how she knew this much, but I was immediately on board after that. However, first, she needed a puppet, just as so many other kids did at this school. We looked over possible ideas, Silena Beaurgard? Too dead. Annabeth? Too taken. Hazel? Too Roman. Piper McLean? Too… Piper McLean. And that’s when we came up with the perfect puppet. A much less well known character, but a character Mallory and I both agreed was a good fit. Athens Middle, meet OriJuniper. With the help of OriGrover, we’ll solve whatever mystery comes about. 

Thalia Plates’ comment: Finally! Nana Nana Boo Boo Dennis has a girlfriend. This is where the fun begins lol

So, we decided to interview some of the teachers, just as a way to get out of the cafeteria. I interviewed Ms. Hunter, the girl’s volleyball coach, and Mallory decided to track down the track teacher, Mr. Merrick. 

Ok, just got back from my interview with the Girl’s Volleyball Coach and boy, I have some news. Here: 

Ms. Hunter! Ms. Hunter! *intense panting* 

Oh, howdy Dennis, what brings you to this hallway? 

I’m… uh… interviewing you. For a… history project. 

Oh, my brother warned me a kid like you would come up, could you really change your excuses for gaining personal information from time to time? It’s painfully obvious at this point. 

Your brother? 

Yes, yes, my brother, the band director. 

I- I- W-Were you ever an OrigOlympian, in your youth? 

As a matter of fact, I was. 

M-Maybe- Could you tell me a past experience, i-involving being an OrigOlympian? 

Well, sure. But only because you were so polite. So uh come with me to the gym, pull up a chair. 

*goes into gym and pulls up chair* 

So kid, y’know, mythology never has a set canon, per say, it’s all a matter of perspective, and these stories have changed over time, well the past of the OrigOlympians is kinda like that, different people remember different things. I mean, did the past really happen? 

I mean… yeah… it- it did. 

Huh. Well, really, when these stories are told, facts don’t always line up. There’s certainly no huge tapestry that links things all together, really, when talking about your past, who’s to say what happened?

I feel like you should, actually. 

See, I’m not gonna though. 

Fair enough. Uhhhh Ma’am, what does this have to do with the conversation? 

Not much, really. I just thought it was mysterious.

It’s confusing, is what it is. 

No, it’s mysterious. 

If you say so. 

I do. So anyways you ever notice that bulletin board that no one ever uses? 

Yeah, yeah, what’s up with that? 

Constellations. 

*Awkward silence*

What

Constellations. See, there was a friend we had back then. A friend who had to be removed. A friend with a finger puppet of Orion. We made the bulletin board sort of symbolically. We put our papers up there, and positioned the pins. 

Oh, is that a thing that people do? 

Of course, why wouldn’t they? So there was this guy, he had this puppet of OrigOrion. We were close friends, and see, we bonded over our mutual love of long distance stabbing. Er- archery. One day he got a bit too much of the Hubris and boasted he was going to shoot the trophies in that glass case out in hall 2B. Lina was not having it, ya see, she loved this school and what it stood for. This was vandalism, I think it’s just fun. Word to the not so wise, Dennis, Mrs. Kemp is nuts. Certified freakazoid, is what it is. Heck, most of the teachers here are. So Mrs. Kemp had it arranged for him to be expelled, but left him a parting gift. An origami scorpion, so realistic it scared the bejeezus out of him. If we’re getting real, I miss him. I miss him lots. 

Wow… wow… that’s- that’s… wow. 

Yeah, it’s pretty wow. 

So, that all? 

Yes, of course. It was nice talking to you, honestly. Have a GREAT day, Dennis. 

Well that was fun. Over to you, Mac. 

The Prince of the Qwikpick Has A Crush On Ximena 😳 

Mac Astley

So we were sort of walking around the stadium, getting the vibe of things and all. Ximena turned her head, looking towards a small booth. Sitting at the booth was a boy who was attempting to mimic the mannerisms of Mr. Emily, the Qwickpick manager. I recognized him, yet only through photos. Mr. Emily had adopted a child, kind of raising him as a protege. This kid had little targets behind him, and right up behind him was a cabinet with a little stuffed Minotaur. Except it had webbed feet and wings. In other words, it was less a minotaur and more a disgusting abomination of nature. I didn’t want this kid- who was kind of my cousin, from a certain point of view- to manage to get me into a pyramid scheme, or something like that. I still own the pyramid from the last one, and I didn’t ask for that at all. 

But, as you know, things never go according to plan. Almost immediately, Ximena pointed at the freakish Mino-Duck, and screamed “Look, Mac! It’s satan!”

“So I see.” I said, seeing. “Do you… want that… thing?” 

“Yes, I don’t really know what it is.” 

“Finally, some uh.. thing I can handle.” 

“Well, well, well, good afternoon, lady and gentleboy. I couldn’t help but overhear you taking interest in my one of a kind thing, here.” 

I stepped forward, “umm.. Yeah, how would one go about obtaining such a… thing?” 

“Well… you gotta play the game, champ. Hit the target, with a ball, win the prize for your honey, here.” 

I fished through the wallet I brought, “How much?” I asked. “A dollar per ball.” 

“Fair price,” I said, lying through my teeth. 

I handed him the cash. “One ball please.” I smiled at Ximena. I threw the ball… 

And I hit it. “YOOOOO” I screamed, “LET’S GOOOOO! I HIT IT!”

“Straight one, little man.” He said. 

“B-But I hit it.” 

“See, the target, buddy, it didn’t go down. So no go, bro.” 

“Are you kidding me?” I asked.

 “No, no, I don’t think so.” 

He leaned his arm onto the desk, “Y’know, you could always try again… but that’ll be another dollar.” 

Ten dollars out of twenty later, I had hit the target ten times. Yet, it still hadn’t gone down. “This game is rigged,” I decided, almost fuming. Ximena pulled a dollar out of her purse. “Let me try!” She shouted. 

She handed him the dollar. She grabbed the ball. She hit the target. It didn’t go down. 

“See? I told you,” I said to Ximena. The kid pushed a foot pedal down, I heard a motor turn, and the target fell. “Lucky shot, darling.” He whispered to her. 

I was fuming, seething with anger. “A-Are you kidding me? You- you charlatan!”

“Get lost, pipsqueak, “ He said, “I’m talking to the lady.” He began to purr like a cat. 

Ximena slowly began to back away, as I screamed at the kid who practically stole ten of my dollars. He laughed. Ximena grabbed my shirt by the collar and dragged me away.

We sat back down, and continued to watch the game. I was incredibly annoyed. Ximena pointed out that my face was red. “It’s with anger.” I said. She looked at me for a moment, like I was telling a dumb lie, she rolled her eyes and went back to the game. 

Meeting #13.7A 

Mallory Cross, Anonymous

LK: How’s the meeting with Dennis going?

ML: I don’t understand this boy, he only began the investigation when I brought up the incident with Sebastian.

LK: Dennis was always a bit of a wimp, but does he know about the forces at play? 

ML: I’m not sure, but I doubt it. I sure hope this could all blow over. 

LK: The alliance has existed for four months now, it’s still shameful that we had to bring in Mac, Dennis, Ximena, and Eddie, it’s a dark time for the rebellion. 

ML: Yeah, we’re understaffed.However, I have a feeling. Our numbers will double. Soon, the students will understand Xtreme.fun’s terrors. Like, in the next few hours, I’m talking. 

LK: How so? 

ML: They’ll be premiering the Xtreme.Fun pilot program just after lunch. Also, our spy recently informed us that they’ll be handing out the information slips involving the cancelation of the electives.

LK: Diabolical. It’s of maximum importance that we bring them all together. How many students do we plan to invite, again? 

ML: Mac, Ximena, Dennis, Ed, Serene. Should we be worried about the extremists? 

LK: Of course, Sebastian has a certain influence over people. If we were all able to join forces then we’d be nearly doubled. 

ML: In other words, they have the same numbers as us, assuming the Emilys, Mac, Ximena, and Dennis join. I may be able to convince Dennis by the end of the day, but Mac and Ximena are in an untouchable position. 

LK: Hey, I need to go. See you around, kid. 

ML: Agreed. May the (ori)gods be with us. 

Tracking Down The Track Teacher 

Mallory Cross

Interview with Lucas Merrick Transcribed Below

Oooh, is that a microphone? 

Yes sir, it’s for an interview… you were the Origami Hermes of the past, am I wrong? 

You are not, no. So, I’m excited, people don’t really give me attention. 

Alright… well, normally, we just kind of let you do your thing, just sort of rant here for maybe two minutes, keep it brief. 

Understood. So who’s the greek god with the most influence on everyday life? Wrong, it’s Hermes. Guys is on tires, planets, even the metal, mercury, but I kinda hope you’re not dealing with THAT one daily. Hermes was the god of merchants, thieves, quests, and a handful of other things. He’s really cool. With that many jobs, it’s no wonder he’s so widespread. What a millennial.

So, I was very young by OrigOlympian standards. But I was different, because I began my shenaniganry literally the day I moved here. One day, I got thirsty, so I did the irrational, yet funny, act of stealing an entire crate of milk, fumbling it into my backpack. In hindsight, it’s a pretty bad idea, however, I was the prankster type, and boy oh boy, we got into plenty of trouble way back when. See, this was all part of my cunning plan to get on the OrigOlympians radar, so I could get what I deserve, the respect to walk among them. 

There was this guy, Artpollo, David Hunter, he’s the band director, though, and he snitched on me to Mrs. Kemp. Kemp thought the whole situation hilarious, and she had Artpollo escort me to return them, while we walked, I won him over with my sick flute skills. And, my flute skills, being so great, made me into an OrigOlympian, their messenger. Really, I just was a messenger, I called people up and went through letters. That’s really it, is- is that enough? 

Yes, that’s- that’s perfect. Thanks, thanks alot!

No problem. 

As I exited the room, I came across a young man in a trenchcoat. He nodded in my direction, while sitting on one of the benches out in our school’s hallways. He looked like he was reading a newspaper. “Fine day, isn’t it?” He asked, tipping the brim of his baseball cap. “Yeah,” I said, “Yeah, it is.” 

“Well, nice speaking to you, really, it’s always nice to meet people interested in learning about this school’s past. See, me and my friends always used to study the OrigOlympians.” 

“Wait, how did you-” 

“Oh, forgive me, I just couldn’t help but overhear your interview.” He knocked on the walls, “Thin walls, echo easy.” 

“Oh, makes sense.” 

“Anyways, could I maybe get your name?” 

“Mallory Cross.” 

“Sebastian Merrick.” 

Thalia Plate’s comment: (censored) Sebastian. Mallory, girl, hates to insult you like this, but just because you can speak doesn’t mean you’re intelligent. 

The Strange Fate of Mac Astley’s Lunch Money 

Ximena Strohm 

Mac should be the one to tell this story, but he’s really embarrassed, leaving me to have to do the writing. I’m not much of a writer type. Reading’s my thing. Transcribing’s my thing. But, again, it needs to be here for… scientific purposes. Who am I kidding, this story is just really dumb. 

So, Mac wasted ten bucks on a stupid Mino-Duck, which may partially be my fault, for letting him blow his money like that. But, where we last left you, Mac had very little money (as usual).

So, when we got hungry for lunch, things were problematic. Mac had ten dollars left. The cheapest food item was a corndog that cost three dollars, and had a two dollar drink. Five dollars, exactly. I paid for my food easily. Mac did, too, without even flinching. 

Now, do you see the problem? No, because there is no problem yet. I have ten dollars, Mac, now five dollars. At the moment, I didn’t. Who would? Mac has a small amount of money, which happens all the time. Except, on the bus, Mac insisted on buying me ice cream. Now, personally, I would’ve been fine without the ice cream. 

Nonetheless, we walked back to sit down on my towel, and we passed by the ice cream stand. Mac stole a glance at the price of the ice cream. It was five dollars, exactly. Mac, being Mac, decided that he’d use his last five dollars to buy me some, once we finished our food. 

This was all, honestly, a relatively good deal. 

IF IT WEREN’T WERE HECKING SERENE, WHAT THE HECK!? HOW DOES THIS EVEN HAPPEN? 

Before we go to get the ice cream, we sit down to eat. Almost immediately, Serene sees Mac sit down, fiddling with his five dollar bill. Serene walks up, and demands that Mac give her his lunch money. 

“I-” Mac stammers, “I already ate my lunch money.” 

Serene grabs the cash out of his hands. Mac stood up, defensively. He screamed at her to give it back. 

Then Mac screamed, I kid you not, the dumbest thing ever. “I- I challenge you to a sporting… event… match!” 

“You what?” Serene laughs. 

“You what?” I scream. 

“I what?” Mac asked himself, “I do.” He decided. 

“Mac,” I said, “This isn’t a good idea.” But Serene was already walking up to us. 

“Fine, bet, y’know what…” She decided, “You can pick the sport.” 

“Oooh…” Mac said, “You’re gonna eat those words. How about a rematch? Huh? Good old game of… capture the flag?” 

“I’m down. Who’s on your team?” 

Mac looked at me. “Me? On a team with you? Running around?… Sweating?” I blushed, and said I’d pass. 

Mac stood up. “Anyone else with me?” He asked. 

“I am!” Someone shouted. I recognized him. His name was Hubert Mitchell. Two more students stood, both I recognized from Mac’s swim team. 

Hubert raised his hand once Serene was out of earshot. “Uh guys… how do we play Capture the Flag?” 

Mac facepalmed. “You capture the flag. Listen guys, I don’t know much about sports,” He said, “but I do know alot about sports movies. We too, are a ragtag team of loveable underdogs joined together to stop a powerful enemy. With a little team spirit, and a training montage, we could win this.” 

One of the kids laughed. “Real inspiring,” he snickered. 

They began their prep. I have to say, it was inspiring. They met up with Serene an hour before we were supposed to leave. Serene had four other people at her side. 

“Five to four, yikes.” Serene said. 

Mac smiled, “Never tell me the odds.” 

“And also.” I said, waking up beside Mac and the boys, “Make that five to five.” 

Serene looked me up and down. “Ugh,” she scoffed, “You just destroyed your social life.” 

“No,” I smiled, looking at Mac, “I think I just made it alot better.” 

“Uh… guys,” Hubert said, “Hate to interrupt a moment, but who hid the flag?” 

“Oh,” I said, “I gave it to that boy who ran the shop with the baseball throwing… and guess what?” I pulled the Mino-Duck out of my backpack, “I stole him.” 

And then, the games began. Hubert ran off alone, the two boys ran off together, and so did me and Mac. All of us went in different directions to avoid Serene’s team getting there first, seeing as it’s a circular tunnel, they only had two ways they could go to get to Point B, and thankfully, they didn’t know where Point B was. A good strategy goes a long way. 

Me and Mac ran up to the charlatan guy, we asked him where he hid the flag. 

“Listen, darlings, you asked me to hide it. I’d hate to spoil a good game.” I heard a high pitched scream erupted from the other end of the stadium’s tunnel. 

“Or…” he decided, “you could give me… five dollars?” 

Mac looked at his five dollars. Then at me. “C-Could you pay for it?” 

“I left my wallet underneath the blanket.” 

“Curses.” 

Mac pulled out his five dollar bill, then flinched. 

He handed him the five dollars. The boy opened the door, like a game show host unveiling a prize. Serene caught up to us, she pushed her way past me, and into the booth. This is not what I had planned. And then, she grabbed the flag. And then, I had lost. And then, I failed. 

“C’Mon,” Ximena said, “This guy will surely give us a refund.” 

He shook his head, greedily staring at the fat wad of cash, most of it belonging to Mac. 

Suddenly, the three other teammates of Mac ran up to us. 

“Nice game, bro.” One of them said, “Yeah, I sure did have fun. Thanks for the time, Astley.” 

“Yeah,” Hubert said, “You’re the best, bro.” 

“C’mon,” I grabbed Mac’s arm, “Do you wanna go check out the baseball museum?” 

“Sure,” he said, “That sounds like fun.” 

CHAOS REIGNS WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING 

Dennis Redwood 

Y’know how earlier I said that my day’s been pretty sucky? 

Yeah, I still stand by that, only it’s gotten worse. See, around sixth period, Sebastian started getting ancy. Playing pranks, he ran up to me and Mallory’s desks and blared “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” and man, the way it scared the heck out of us, you would imagine the world is burning. 

But the instant the teachers actually hushed us up, I knew the day was going from abbyssmal to terrifying. They rolled out the dumb, fat, TV thing, and then told us to get our chromebooks out. They put a cassette tape into the player thingy, and told us we were going to watch a pilot for a new program of educational videos EduFun gave us. I- I think I should just give you a few photos. 

This was followed up by a few announcements. 

  1. Our school was cancelling ALL electives, to create a period dedicated to EduFun’s new program, Xtreme.Fun. 
  2. Our teachers have been equipped with a new software, dubbed AR-GUS, that will be used to monitor student’s internet behaviors, ensuring that no one will escape from the grasp of the FunPire
  3. Finally, they were about to melt our brains into a pile of goop. 

See, this hybrid software was not only bad, it was horrible. First off, they apparently had a real guy play the main scientist dude, Professor FunTime, but he QUIT so they just have a guy in a big costume head. 

It started, the calculator began to sing, a song cleverly dubbed “Oopa FunTime Style.” Then they paused. The animated calculator blinked. Then it screamed hello at the scientist. Professor FunTime was raving about the reviews of a video game, but “Gizmo” the calculator told him to stop, and wait. Reread the views, and understand CONNOTATIVE and DENOTATIVE meaning. Then a question popped up on our chromebooks. We all had to do it, but the lesson kept on going, even though the Professor told the teachers to pause. I clearly understood the meaning of the wonders of positive connotative meaning and the horrors of negative connotative meaning. 

The students were, of course, unimpressed. Yet that shifted into anger the moment the announcements came along. Then the bell rang for courtyard, they gave us forty minutes instead of the usual ten, seeing as not many were here. 

Sebastian gathered people around, heck, I wanted to hear, too. Sebastian was always a good leader, back when we were friends. Maybe he had a change of heart. 

“Students of Athens Middle School, on this day we mark a transition. For thirty years, the OrigOlympians stood as the pinnacle of academic perfection. We never suspected that the greatest threat came from within.

“The OrigOlympians themselves, and some members of the student body, had conspired to create the shadow of capitalism, of EduFun. They had hoped to turn our minds into soot. But the hatred in their hearts could not be hidden forever. At last, there came a day when our enemies showed their true natures.

“CHRONOS can set you free through positive discourse!! We stand on the threshold of a new beginning. In order to ensure our electives, and our technological freedoms, take to the teachers!

“We have been tested, but we have emerged stronger. We move forward as one people: the citizens of a student-centered group dedicated to protecting you, a group we call CHRONOS! We will prevail. Peace! Begins! Today! So prepare to fight for it!” 

And, the hypocritical chaos began. People snuck into the school, shouting, not many people, but a loud, brash, and crude few. Someone even stole some art supplies, leading to a rude word being on the walls. 

Someone grabbed my backpack and tried to yank it off me, stealing the Pleaty Jackson case file from it’s golden folder. It was the kid who I saw Sebastian hand a puppet. “I don’t think you caught my name. Name’s Carlton Voof.” He put his phone to his ear,  “The Golden Folder is secure, sir, it is in my possession!” He ran off. 

I chased him down through the chaos, through the hallways, and eventually, I caught up to him. He laughed. 

“HAHAHAHAHA, you want this?” He raised the file above my head. “You want it? You want it?” 

Suddenly, he fell to the ground. Mallory stood behind him and patted me on the head. “Haha. Short.” 

She searched through his pocket and stole his wallet. She handed me the puppet Sebastian gave him. An Origami Cyclops, as well as the golden folder. The case file was still in it. Thank god. 

Suddenly, the OrigOlympians came down. All twelve standing before us. This was unprecedented. That calmed things down. All fifty of the students in the sixth grade present that day were given detention, including me and Mallory, even though we were innocent. I still don’t know HOW they plan to give fifty students detention, but knowing Athens Middle, they’ll find a way. 

Around four, the busses finally arrived, Mac and Ximena ran into the lunch room the principal was ratting all fifty of us out in. Then everyone else slowly, awkwardly, filed into the room. Ximena looked at Mallory, “Scooch it over, new girl.” New girl scorched it over. Ximena’s hair was roughled up, her thin layer of makeup smudged. She had gum in her hair. Mac looked just as dashing. 

“You would not believe the day we had.” All four of us said, at once. 

The bell rang. All of the students ran out, while the teacher yelled at them. The bell didn’t dismiss them, the principal did. 

As we walked into the already setting sunset, a whisper came from the trash can just outside of the back where the busses park. 

Standing there was a girl, she had black hair and sea green eyes, not unlike Percy Jackson. Yet she dressed in a punk jacket, A New Hope T-Shirt underneath it. She was built like a runner, lean and thin. She stepped out of the shadows. Me and Ximena froze up. We were both nervous. We recognized her. The girl clapped her hands once and stepped further into view. 

“Pleateus Jackson,” She said, her voice sounding a lot like Mac’s, “Do you three have any clue how hard you make my job?” 

“Who the heck are you?” Mac asked. 

“I’m Lina Kemp… your cousin. And I- and Thalia Plates- am here to talk to you about Extreme.Fun.”

The End…..? 

Epilogue

He knocked at the door. 

“Can I help you?”

“I’m looking for Estelle Astley.”

“They moved… months ago, now. Who are you?”

“I’m an old friend. Name’s William Emily.”

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