Categories > Cartoons > Hey Arnold! > Sailor Helga

Chapter 3

by shameonpretzel 0 reviews

Helga has to go to library, and winds up with more than she bargained for.

Category: Hey Arnold! - Rating: G - Genres: Crossover - Published: 2018-11-20 - 4465 words - Complete

It was the afternoon. School had just ended and best friends Helga and Phoebe were walking down the street towards home.

"...and that's what 'Deus ex machina' means," concluded Phoebe.

"Uh-huh," replied Helga, who didn't seem all that interested. Phoebe detected this, and decided to change the subject.

"So, what's next on the agenda?" she asked. "Throwing rocks at city property, if I'm not mistaken."

"Huh?" Helga had been looking upwards, obviously not paying attention.

"Helga, are you listening?"

"Yeah, yeah – I heard you," she lied. "Actually, Phoebes, I just remembered...I have an orthodontist appointment at 4:00. I'll catch you later, ok?"

"Oh...ok" said Phoebe, but Helga had already turned and run off in the opposite direction. When Phoebe continued to walk home, she failed to see her friend sneak into a nearby alley. Seconds later, Helga was actually leaping overhead from one building to the next, in her transformed disguise.

A few days later, Phoebe decided to call Helga on the phone. She dialed her cell number, and was pleased when Helga had answered.

"Yeah?" said an anxious Helga on the other end.

"Hello, Helga. It's me, Phoebe. I was wondering if you'd like to come over and know...hang out...?"

"Oh much as I'd love to, I'm kinda busy at the moment...maybe some other time?"

Unbeknownst to Phoebe, Helga was actually surrounded by several shadow-figures. She was on the defensive and struggling to hang on when she had received the call.

"But, Helga..." pleaded Phoebe.

Helga jabbed a shadow in the face with her elbow. "Sorry, hands are tied..."

She hung up. Phoebe sat on her bed despondently, the ring tone a bitter sound of rejection in her ears.


It was Friday. Class would be over soon, and Mr. Simmons used the opportunity to make an announcement.

"Everyone!" he said. "Don't forget that your book reports are due on Monday!"

"Monday?" cried Harold, slapping his hand on his forehead. "Oh, man – I completely forgot about the book report!"

"Calm down, Harold," reassured Stinky in his Southern drawl. "Me an' Sid are goin' to the library tomorrow morning. You can come with us."

Harold groaned. "The library? Aw, I hate the library!" He slammed his head hard on his desk. "OW! Now my head hurts!!"

"It's gonna be a looong weekend," sighed Sid.

While the other students were packing up and preparing to leave, Phoebe approached Helga's desk. She slapped her hand loudly on the desk top, yet had a pleasant smile on her face.

"Uh, hey, Phoebe..." said Helga, uneasily.

"I have an idea," said the bespectacled girl. "What say you and I go see Wrestlemania this Saturday? My treat."

Helga raised her eyebrow. "I thought you hated wrestling."

"Well...since you've been busy all this week, I figured what better way to catch up on lost time than by watching muscular men resolve their differences physically in a sweat-laden ring?"

Phoebe flashed the pair of tickets in front of Helga, whose face lit up. "Gee, Phoebe...that sounds great..."

Helga peered out behind Phoebe, to the window. There, on the outside windowsill, Luna was gazing at her. "...but, I have to spend all of Saturday running errands with Miriam. Sorry."

The bell rang, and Helga promptly left the classroom. Dejected, Phoebe plopped the tickets in Gerald's hand and exited without a word. It took a while for Gerald to register what happened, but when he realized that he possessed ringside seats to the weekend's match, he immediately got up from his seat.

"Hey Arnold! Guess what...?" he said, as he sought out his best friend.

Later that evening, at the Heyerdahl household, Phoebe was sparring in the private fencing room with her father, Kyo. After he had scored a hit, Phoebe fell to the floor. Concerned, he took his mask off and came to her aid.

Phoebe waved him off. "I'm fine," she said, getting back to her feet.

"You seem distracted tonight," said Kyo. "Is something troubling you?"

Phoebe sighed, and took her mask off as well. "Actually, father...yes, there is something. My friend Helga...I think she hates me."

"Why do you say that?"

"Well...lately she's been avoiding me. Every time I try to spend time with her, she brushes me off. I'm getting the feeling that she doesn't want to be around me anymore. I wonder what I've done to upset her..."

To her surprise, Phoebe heard her father chuckle. "Oh, Phoebe," he said. "I'm sure you've done nothing wrong. I'm certain that there is a logical explanation behind your friend's behavior."

"You think so?"

"Yes – your friend has probably been preoccupied with other important matters in her life. Give it time, daughter. Eventually, it will all make sense."

"I hope so, father," said Phoebe, still a bit depressed.

"Now then, I think that is enough practice for today." They both bowed, thus concluding the session.

Phoebe went straight for her room, and plopped onto her futon. She reached for a picture frame on the bedside drawer. Contained inside was a picture of Phoebe and Helga together, with Helga inconspicuously making bunny-ears over Phoebe's head. Phoebe set the frame on the ground and drove her face into her pillow. "Oh...this really stinks!" she said, the pillow muffling her voice.


"This stinks, Luna," complained Helga. They had been training for several hours, and were now taking a quick break on the rooftop of some building. "Can't we call it a night?"

"The enemy never sleeps, Helga," was Luna's authoritative reply.

Helga let out an exasperated sigh. She was sitting on the ledge of the building, letting her boots dangle freely over the edge, and looking up at the stars that were slowly flickering on in the night sky. A light breeze was blowing, and her long blond pigtails were left to dance faintly in the direction of the wind. "Yeah, but I'm pooped. Let's just go – I don't think we're going to see any action tonight."

"That's what they want you to think," began Luna. "We must-"

"Well, what about I want, Luna?" snapped Helga, abruptly standing up on the ledge. "We've been doing this nonstop for days! I'm tired, and I've been missing out on a lot of things. I can't remember the last time I've just goofed off or hung out or played baseball. And Phoebe, poor Phoebe...she probably thinks I'm neglecting her..."

"There are things more important, Helga."

"To you, maybe! But where does that leave me? All you care about is yourself! In case you haven't noticed, Luna, I'm not exactly the most popular girl in school. I've only got one good friend, and I'm not about to lose her just so you can get back to your precious future!"

Luna was taken aback. "You're right, Helga." She said slowly. "I have been selfish. Please forgive me."

"Hey, yeah – well, it's no biggie," said Helga, sitting back down in her spot. "Just loosen up a bit, will ya?"

"I'll try," Luna said, apologetically. "Tell you what – let's make a deal. You do a bit of reconnaissance work for me tomorrow morning, and I'll let you off the hook for the rest of the weekend. Sound fair?"

She extended her paw to Helga, who gratefully took it in her hand and shook it. "Alright. Now I'd better get home – they swapped "The Wheel" with figure skating tonight, and I don't wanna miss Big Bob blow a gasket when he finds out."


Saturday morning rolled in quickly. Helga was still a tad bit fatigued from the other night, but followed through on her word. She rubbed her eyes and yawned sleepily as Luna dutifully led her to her destination. When they had arrived, and Helga was awake enough to open her eyelids all the way, an incredulous look washed upon her face: it was the City Library.

"You're kidding," she said.

"Lately, I've been getting some very unusual vibes from this location. I think the enemy may be plotting to use this place as a source to harvest more negative energy, and I'd like you to investigate."

Helga scoffed. "Criminy...what a way to spend my Saturday morning. Alright, alright – I'll check it out, but when I'm done I'm outta here, ya got that?"

Helga walked up the steps and past the twin stone gargoyles that stood as immobile watchdogs against any intruders. She opened the main door and went inside, but seconds later returned back outside, pale as though she had seen a ghost.

Luna went up the stairs and approached Helga, who was now leaning against the shut door. "What's wrong?"

"I can't go in," said Helga.

"Why not?"

"Phoebe's in there."

Luna blinked. "So?"

"So? Don't you get it? I told Phoebe that I'd be gone all day running errands. If she caught me, she'd think I was a lying creep. Unless you've got a Plan B tucked away somewhere, I'm not setting another foot in that library."

Luna sighed. "Very well," she conceded. Luna surveyed the surroundings; there was no one else on the sidewalk or street. "Follow me," she said as she quickly scaled down the steps and into a nearby alley, with Helga close on her tail. When they were both well-hidden, Luna did an unexpected back-flip. To Helga's surprise, at the peak of Luna's flip, there was a glimmer of light and an item had suddenly materialized. Helga took it in her hand and inspected the device curiously. The object was pink and pen-shaped, with a small red gem decorating the top.

"What is it?" asked Helga.

"This device is called the Luna Pen. It grants the user the ability to disguise themselves so that they may slip amongst people unknown."

"Get out!" Helga exclaimed excitedly, looking at the pen with heightened interest. "Just think what I could do with this baby..."


"I could sneak into PG-13 movies..."


"I could get special privileges at restaurants..."


"I wonder if this thing would work at the casinos..."



"That pen is for official scout business ONLY," said Luna in a stern voice.

Helga's excitement about the new item evaporated as quickly as it had formed. "Killjoy," she muttered.

"We are wasting time. To use the pen, yell out phrase "Disguise Power!" and state the disguise you wish to take on."

"Sounds easy enough." Helga stood tall and held the pen up above her head, as she did the locket before.

"Disguise Power! Turn me into a...a...a big, geeky bookworm!"

There was a great flash of light and in an instant, Helga's appearance had been altered. No longer was she the pigtailed, pink dress-wearing tyrant everyone had recognized. Her hair was still blond, but was now loose and very frizzy, and cropped so that it only reached her neck. Her dress had been swapped for a pair of faded baggy blue jeans and a loose white t-shirt with the pi-symbol adorning the front. Old, rundown sneakers replaced her traditional white shoes. Across her shoulder she carried an ugly, drab-looking tote-bag; on her nose rested a pair of previously broken tape-mended glasses with extremely thick lenses.

"'Tho..." asked Helga. "Ho' do I luk?"

"Um..." replied Luna, tilting her head.

Helga moved her jaw around and spit something pink out of her month. Apparently, the retainer had been part of the disguise as well. "That's better," she said. "Now hop in. I want to get this over with."

Luna obeyed and leapt into the tote-bag as Helga went again for the entrance to the City Library.

Inside, things didn't seem out of the ordinary. The only peculiar sight included the amount of kids present; this was to be expected however, as many students had book reports that were due following the weekend. Sitting at a long table across from one another were Sid and Harold, both busy reading. Stinky approached them and sat down next to Sid, a book in his hand.

"Hey fellers," he said proudly. "I'm doin' my book report on Huck Finn. He's a might keen adventurer who sailed down the Mississippi."

"Stinky," said Sid, not lifting his eyes from his own book. "I bet you can't even spell "Mississippi"."

"What are you reading?"

"'The Outsiders'. Some of these guys got some crazy names. Whoever heard of a kid named Ponyboy?"

"I've got both of you losers beat," taunted Harold. "My book is so short and easy, I'll be done in an hour!"

"Uh, Harold..." retorted Sid. "You're reading a book of nursery rhymes."

"So what? It's got enough pages!"

Helga, who was close enough to hear the whole ordeal unfold, merely rolled her eyes as she walked past. "Morons..." she said under her breath.

"Be sure to keep a lookout for any suspicious activity," whispered Luna from the tote-bag.

"Do signs of intelligent life count?"

"Very funny."

In another section of the library, alongside one of its walls, were small little identical rooms with closeable doors. These were the private study rooms, and Phoebe had been occupying one of them. Inside, she sat at a small table, her back facing the door. The table was covered in school textbooks and assignments that she hadn't been given yet in class, but wanted to complete in advance. Though she had a geography book in front of her, Phoebe's mind was wandering. She kept thinking back to her talk with her father the other night; his words echoed over and over again in her head.

"'Eventually, it will all make sense...'" she repeated softly. "But what? And when...?"

Helga hadn't noticed when Luna had jumped out of the tote-bag and stood in front of the only study room whose door was left ajar. Curious, she peered inside, and sure enough, Phoebe could be found deep in thought. Seeing her sitting there amongst her work triggered something in Luna's memory. She was reminded of someone she once knew very well who had exactly the same drive, responsibility and work ethic. Luna smiled and stood in awe of the uncanny resemblances, for a moment completely forgetting about Helga...

Meanwhile, Helga had finally completed her walkthrough of the library. "All right, Luna. We've checked the whole library, and I didn't see anything strange..." At that moment, she suddenly realized that Luna was no longer in her tote-bag. "Luna? Luna??"

She walked around some more, retracing her steps. She eventually passed by the table where Sid, Stinky, and Harold were still reading, then stopped; something was not right. She turned around and looked at them – at first glance, they looked as though they were deeply engrossed in their books, but upon closer inspection, she saw the truth. For some reason, the boys looked a lot older and frailer, for their cheeks and eyes were sunken in. Simultaneously they turned their heads to face Helga, giving her a look of doleful complacency that made them resemble zombies.

She backed away and into another table with another group of people who happened to look the same way. "Uh...Luna?" Helga called nervously, this time a little louder.

"Quiet in the library, please," Helga turned in the direction of the voice, where she saw a stout, white-haired librarian in a blue dress with white polka-dots, and tiny, square-rimmed spectacles giving her a sly grin. Clutched in her right hand and over her chest was a large hardcover book.

Helga scowled. "What's going on here?" she demanded.

The woman did not respond. Instead, with her free hand, she pursed her index finger against her lips, and let out a slow and steady "Shhhhhhhh....". As she did this, a black smoke escaped from her lips and slowly encircled the woman, engulfing her. When the smoke had dissipated, the old librarian had become a hideous-looking gigantic rat, still with white hair in a bun, still wearing the dress and glasses over her beady little eyes, which were substantially dwarfed by her enormous nose.

"All right, pal," said Helga, getting into her fighting stance. "The buck stops here! Any last words?"

"Words? Hmm, let me see...." The rat-woman opened the gigantic book in her hand and began to thumb through it hastily. When she found what she was looking for, she ripped the page clear out of the book and it fell precariously to the ground. A word leapt out of the sheet then faded away quickly, but not before Helga had a chance to read it.

"'Animate'?" There was a low rumbling sound. Helga looked and to her horror saw that the books were suddenly flying off the shelves and coming towards her. They circled her like hawks so she couldn't move, and some had even swooped in to strike her. "Ow! Ow! OW! Hey! Watch the merchandise!"

At this point, Phoebe was getting very annoyed by the amount of noise outside the study room. She got out of her seat and peered out the door where she got the shock of her life. Books were flying about all over the library in a wide, circular pattern. Phoebe was dumbfounded. "A cyclone?" she wondered aloud, trying to make sense of the situation. But all logic was thrown out the window as soon as she caught a glimpse of the rat-woman, who was now laughing maniacally.

Phoebe shrieked, though it was drowned out by the deafening shuffling of paper from the books. Immediately she slammed the door shut and locked it, then dove underneath the table and covered her head as though she was practicing an earthquake drill at school.

Suddenly Luna appeared in front of her. "Phoebe? All you alright?"

Phoebe let out a small little yelp, and scooted as far away as possible. "A t-talking cat?"

"There's no time to explain. I need your help!"

Phoebe closed her eyes and shook her head. "No, no, no...illogical! Cats can't talk - it's physically impossible!"

"Helga's in danger!"

Phoebe opened her eyes and looked at the cat. "What did you say?"

"I said that Helga is out there, and she's being attacked by that monster! We've got to save her!"

"Helga..." Suddenly it all made sense. Phoebe crawled out from under the table and knelt on the floor. "What do I have to do?"

"First, you have to give me something that's personal to you."

"Personal?" Phoebe thought for a moment. "Well, there are my glasses..."

"Perfect. Now, place them on the floor with your hand on top."

Phoebe obeyed. "Good. Now I want you to relax. Clear your mind..."

Phoebe took a deep meditative breath and closed her eyes. Luna stared at the ground as beam of light emitted from her crescent beam onto Phoebe's glasses. After several seconds the process was complete. Luna smiled. "I thought so...."

The rat-woman snapped her fingers. The books instantly fell to the ground; Helga was sprawled out on the floor, beaten and bruised. The rat-woman approached her with a malevolent grin on her face. She opened the book again and was about to speak, when she noticed that a chill, dense fog was quickly covering the area. Pretty soon, she couldn't even see right in front of her nose.

"Cease, villainous interloper!"

The rat-woman turned around. The fog gently gave way and Phoebe emerged from the mist. She walked over and confronted the monster so that they were only a few feet away.

"How dare you disrespect this library by un-hatching your twisted designs! I will not sit idly as you hurt the people I care about and hinder the eternal quest for knowledge. In the name of the great minds of history – Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein - you shall be punished!"

"Nice introduction," commented Luna.

"Thanks," Phoebe replied.

"I don't have time for this," hissed the monster, and pointed at Phoebe. Once again, the books had taken of mind of their own and were flying straight for their target. Phoebe stood firm; she crossed her arms in front of her face, then separated them until they were both at her waist.


A stream of bubbles appeared and intercepted the books' trajectory, causing them all to stop in midair and fall back to the ground.

Of the books that were in the air, Stinky's was one of them. It had slid over to Luna's feet, giving her an idea. "Phoebe," she said. "Spell 'Mississippi'."

Phoebe was puzzled. "M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. But, why...?"

The rat-monster scoffed. "Mississippi? Oh, please – that's such an easy word. Try spelling 'Massachusetts'".

Phoebe looked at Luna, who nodded, then back at the monster. "No. Let's see YOU spell it."

"Fine," said giant rat. "M-A-"

"Without the book," Phoebe gave Luna a knowing glance.

Insulted, the rat-monster tossed the book aside. "I don't NEED this book. I am a walking, talking dictionary and encyclopedia. I know EVERYTHING."

"Is that so?" Phoebe picked 'Huckleberry Finn' off the ground. "Who wrote this book?"

"Easy, Mark Twain, real name Samuel Clemens. When was the book published?"

"In 1885," replied Phoebe. "The book was initially banned in most libraries and schools because of its controversial content. When and where was the author born?"

"Florida, Missouri on November 30, 1835. Give a famous quote by the author."

"'The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.'"

As they relayed questions back and forth, Luna quietly slipped by and went to Helga's aid. "Are you all right? Can you get up?"

Helga groaned as she slowly got herself to her feet. "Yeah."

"Good. Do you see that book on the ground over there? I think that's the creature's source of power. I need you to destroy it."

"No problem," said Helga, who put her hand in her shirt...then in her pockets...then frantically in the tote-bag, dumping out all of its contents.

"What's wrong?"

"My locket!" exclaimed Helga. "I must've left it at home!"

"Now, don't panic. We'll just have to be creative, that's all.

"Creative? Wait a minute – I've got an idea." Picking up the book and taking a pen from her pocket protector, Helga hastily began writing something on one of its pages.

Meanwhile, the rat-monster had finally been stumped by one of Phoebe's questions and was struggling to answer. "Wait, wait...I know this..."

"Hey, big fat rat!" The monster turned just in time to see Helga rip a page out of the book and throw it into the air. "Time for you to live happily never after."

The moment the page touched the ground, a black vortex formed in the center of the book and grew out rapidly, out towards the monster.

"NOO!!" it screamed as the vortex held it in its grasp and sucked in before receding back into the pages of the book. Helga shut the book and it instantly disappeared in a cloud of thick black smoke. Almost instantaneously, the books vanished and reappeared in their proper places, and the people of the library went back to their healthy selves, but were all fast asleep. Harold was sucking his thumb as he lay his head on top of the nursery rhyme book, the page opened to "Little Boy Blue".

Phoebe, still not quite sure what had happened, went over to pick up the page that Helga had ripped out of the book. Scribbled across the paper was a phrase that Phoebe was all too familiar with.

"Deus ex machina?"

"Yeah..." said Helga. "I got it from a friend."

Up until this point, neither Helga nor Phoebe could recognize each other. But after uttering that remark, Phoebe suddenly realized that the geek that had saved her life was actually her best friend.

"Helga? Is it really you? It's me – Phoebe!"

"Phoebe? No way! I can't believe it!"

"I know! I barely recognize you!"

"Oh, yeah? Look who's talking – check you out!"

For the first time, Phoebe looked at herself and realized that she, too, had changed dramatically. Her hair, which normally only reached her neck, was now cascading down around her shoulders; the yellow scrunchie on top turned into a blue bubble hair-tie, the hair bound by it now a long flowing ponytail. She was wearing a costume identical to Helga's sailor suit, save for a few minor details: her boots were blue rather than pink, as were her bows. Her glasses, which were initially a conservative color, were now striped two tones of blue.

"Listen, Phoebe," Helga began. "I'm really sorry. I wanted to tell you what was going on, but-"

Phoebe held up her hand. "It's okay, Helga. I understand...I just probably wouldn't have believed you if I hadn't experienced it firsthand for myself."

"Speaking of which, how did you become a scout anyway?"

"Allow me to field that question," interjected Luna, whose presence had almost gone unnoticed amongst all the excitement. "It's actually the same way I turned you into a sailor scout, Helga. I may not be able to fight, but I am able to transfer temporary powers to someone when the need arrives. I just need to determine the spiritual planet of the person I'm delegating the powers to, and have a personal belonging that they keep with them all the time to use as a henshin – or transforming device."

"What is my spiritual planet, Luna?" asked Phoebe.

"Well, Phoebe, you are ruled under the planet of Mercury. Of course, I had the feeling you were the moment I laid eyes upon you. You remind me of the girl I knew already, the original Sailor Mercury. Liked to succeed, worked hard, always reading, always studying – to me it seemed like the perfect match."

Phoebe smiled. "Well, Luna, I'm glad to be able to continue her legacy. And I would be honored to join your team."

"All right, then!" said Helga, wrapping Phoebe around her arm with one hand and messing up her hair with the other. "This calls for a celebration! You've still got those Wrestlemania tickets?"

"No, actually, I-"

"Good. We don't need them."

Phoebe blinked. "But I thought you loved wrestling."

"Ah, they'll be other matches. We've got lost time to catch up on, Phoebes. What say you and I go over to Slaussens and grab something to eat? And then afterwards we could..."

"Throw rocks at a dumpster?"

Helga smiled and put her arm on Phoebe's shoulder. "Right. Throw rocks at a dumpster."

And so ends another chapter in this crazy adventure of my nine year-old existence. Can you believe it? Turns out Phoebe, my partner in crime, is now my partner against evil. Heh, I always thought she'd make a great sidekick. And now I'm glad I don't have to go it alone anymore. But all this "spiritual planet" junk makes me wonder – will it just be the two of us, or will there be others?

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