Categories > Cartoons > Hey Arnold! > Sailor Helga

Chapter 4

by shameonpretzel 0 reviews

Rhonda gets caught up in the mess when her obsession with fashion and appearances gets her into trouble.

Category: Hey Arnold! - Rating: G - Genres: Crossover - Published: 2019-04-21 - 7500 words - Complete

Fourth-grader Rhonda Wellington-Lloyd reveled in the attention she was getting over her brand-new ruby ring. Recess had just ended, but Mr. Simmons had not yet returned to the classroom, so she took the time to garner oohs and ahs from her fellow classmates.

"It's so purdy..." exclaimed Stinky in total awe.

"Isn't it?" said Rhonda, flashing it coyly, close to her face. "It's precision-cut. Daddy had it custom-made especially for my birthday!"

"But...I thought your birthday wasn't until next month?" Arnold pointed out.

Rhonda waved her ring hand. "Details, details...What's a few weeks' difference going to make? Besides, I always get my birthday presents a month in advance from my parents – I wouldn't want them overshadowing the sincere, yet modestly-priced gifts I receive from all of you when I throw my party. That would be rude. Now then - who wants to see it in the light again?"

As the adulation persisted, Helga simply rolled her eyes. She had passed on looking at the ring and was the only student that remained at her seat.

"Criminy..." she muttered under her breath. "All that fuss over an oversized hunk of rock. Give me a break..."

Finally, Mr. Simmons returned to class and the students went to their seats so that he could begin the lesson. As was her normal practice for third period math, Helga decided to tune him out and instead focus on her beloved Arnold. She pulled a sheet of loose-leaf paper from her notebook and began sketching his portrait in pencil, after which she proceeded to draw a big heart around her creation. She then did something she never did before – after a moment's hesitation, Helga drew a mask around the eyes of her doodle-Arnold, and then added a top-hat and cape. She looked wistfully at her drawing, then rested her head in her hands and swooned.

School was over a couple hours later. Nadine was getting her things out of her locker when Rhonda walked by.

"Remember, Nadine..." she said as she walked past, never stopping. Nadine closed her locker and sighed.

"What's the matter, Nadine?" asked Arnold, whose locker was only a few feet away from hers.

"Nothing," she said. "It's just that...well....every year, Rhonda's mother gives her a ton of money for her birthday, and she celebrates by bringing me with her when she goes to the mall."

"That sounds pretty cool," said Gerald.

"Not really. It's the same thing every year – Rhonda goes on a shopping spree, and I'm left to carry all the bags of the stuff she purchases. She loves it, but I hate it."

"Well, why don't you tell her that you don't want to go this time?" asked Arnold.

"I would, but we've been doing this for as long as I can remember. It's sorta like a tradition..."

"NADINE!" yelled Rhonda from the end of the hall.

"Coming! I've got to go. See you later!" Nadine ran to catch up with her impatient friend.

"Poor Nadine," sympathized Arnold.

Gerald simply shook his head. "Mm, mm, mm! I'll pray for her."

At the mall, Rhonda was in peak form. As usual, Nadine was left to lag behind with the dozens of bags from the dozens of stores as her friend walked briskly ahead.

"Ah, isn't this great, Nadine? There were so many sales this week! I don't think I've ever bought as much as this!"

"Yeah...I can tell," panted Nadine, her knees buckling under the severe weight of Rhonda's purchases.

"I've said it once, and I'll say it again – fashion is what sets us apart from the animals, Nadine. An animal is incapable of understanding the essential facets of human nature. Snappy clothing, a cute hairdo..."

"...And an engaging personality?" chimed in Nadine.

"What? No...honestly, Nadine, haven't I taught you anything? The three essential facets of human nature are snappy clothing, a cute hairdo, and this..." Rhonda opened the purse she was carrying, pulled out a tube of lipgloss and held it in front of her friend's face. "Nancy Spumoni #9 Lip Gloss – PrimaDonna. I never leave home without it."

Rhonda paused for a moment to pull out her compact vanity mirror so that she could apply the lipgloss. As she was admiring herself, she noticed a small little store in the reflection of her mirror. Snapping the compact close, she turned around and looked at the shop vivaciously.

"Ooh! I've never seen this place before. It must be new! Hold my things, Nadine – I'll be right back."

Before she could protest, Nadine fell to the ground beneath a mountain of bags, and had no choice but to stay put as Rhonda entered the unfamiliar store. Inside, the shop was dark and square, yet very cozy. The walls to Rhonda's left and right contained shelves that were completely stocked with various sprays, lotions and other cosmetic assortments. As she gazed at the items on the wall, she was startled by a hand on her shoulder. She quickly turned and was met with the friendly smile of a very beautiful woman with medium-length, tight black braids.

"Welcome!" greeted the shopkeeper. "Can I help you find anything? Or are you just browsing?"

"Hmph. I don't browse, I buy," remarked Rhonda indignantly.

"Ah, I see – a woman who knows what she wants. In that case, may I interest you in this product?" The woman sauntered over to one of the shelves and plucked down a heart-shaped bottle made of black glass. "This is one of my favorite perfumes. Essence of Aphrodite."

"Ooh...tres chic...and the bottle is so lovely..." commented Rhonda. The shopkeeper handed her the bottle, and she admired it for several seconds. It only took one whiff before her mind was made up. "How much?"

Rhonda emerged from the shop not long afterward, just as Nadine was pulling herself together.

"C'est fini, Nadine – we can go home now!" she said, holding a small bag containing the perfume. "We've done so well today. I can't wait to..."

Rhonda stopped dead in her tracks. They had passed a store that was tuned to a radio station playing music. Immediately, and without any reservation at all, she started dancing to the beat.


(fire, fire)



(fire, fire)



(fire, fire)



Rhonda finished dancing in a pose where the arm holding the bag was above and behind her head, her free arm outstretched in front of her, and her palm open and facing outward.

" And that was Ronnie Matthews' new hit single, "Fire Soul"...," said the man on the radio, a disc jockey (currently) known as Top 90 Ned.

Rhonda straightened herself and resumed walking. "Come along, Nadine," she said, as though nothing had happened.

Nadine suppressed a giggle. She had known Rhonda since kindergarten, and was well aware of her obsession with the latest trends and hottest fashions. Being cool and popular was paramount to her. And yet whenever she heard her favorite song (her favorite being the oft-changing flavor-of-the-week on the pop charts), for one brief moment, she would abandon all reservations and just dance her heart out. It was her major weakness, and it always amused Nadine to see her best friend not care about anything else and just be herself.

"Ah...wasn't yesterday fun, Nadine?" asked Rhonda as the two friends walked to class the next morning. "I can't wait to do it again..."

"Yeah, it's too bad your birthday only comes once a year," commented Nadine, sarcastically.

Rhonda's face lit up. "Nadine, that's a fabulous idea! When I get home, I'll ask Mother if we could make our shopping sprees a weekly engagement!"

Nadine groaned furtively.

"By the way," added Rhonda. "You haven't said anything about the new sweater I'm wearing."

" looks exactly like your old sweater."

"Nadine, bite your tongue! Sure, to the untrained eye, they may LOOK the same, but they're made by COMPLETELY separate designers."

Nadine took a second look. "Uh, Rhonda...?"

"For example, note the stitch pattern on the sides – it's much more subtle than my other sweater..."


"...And note the designer label on the back...and the quality of the fabric..."


"I swear, Nadine, you'll never become as fashion-conscientious as I am...I don't know what you would do without..."

"Hey, Rhonda!" yelled Helga from the other end of the hallway. "Your fly is open!"

"WHAT??" She looked down and, to her dismay, her black pants were indeed unzipped. Those who were in the hallway immediately began to point and laugh. "Nadine, why didn't you tell me?!?"

Horrified, Rhonda turned beet red and quickly darted off, passing Mr. Simmons along the way.

Mr. Simmons scratched his head in confusion. "What happened to Rhonda?"

"She's not feeling well, Mr. Simmons..." Nadine quickly lied.

"Oh dear – well then, I think you'd better go see if she's alright. I'll excuse you from class until you both come back."

"Thank you, Mr. Simmons," said Nadine as she raced down the hallway after her humiliated friend.

Rhonda remained in the Nurse's office for most of the morning. As she laid face-down on one of the cots in a semi-catatonic state, the nurse sat beside her quietly, taking her blood pressure.

"It's official. My life is over." Rhonda said, not budging from her spot on the cot.

"Oh, don't be silly. You have a long, full life ahead of you," commented the nurse.

"Don't you get it?!" snapped Rhonda, looking up angrily. "I committed the ultimate fashion faux-pas! Me! The most stylish and coolest girl in P.S. 118! There's just no excuse – I'm a fashion failure, and that's all there is to it!"

"Come on, Rhonda," said Nadine, sitting on her other side. "It's not the end of the world."

"Oh, yeah? I'd like to see you walk around school with your zipper down. You don't understand – I can never show my face in public again!"

Finally, Nadine was fed up. "You know what, Rhonda? I've had it – all you've ever cared about is how other people think. Well, guess what? They don't control your life, you do. So, if you want to sit in here and mope and feel sorry for yourself because of a stupid little zipper, then you do that."

The school bell rang. "I'm going to lunch now." And with that, Nadine stood up and exited the office.

"She's right, you know," added the nurse. "I think it's about time you rejoin your friends; I bet they've probably forgotten all about your little incident. And I'm sure a nice, healthy lunch is just what you need to feel better."

Rhonda sighed in defeat, and nodded. The nurse then led Rhonda to the door, but instead of heading for the cafeteria, she went straight for the girls' washroom. There she looked at herself long and hard in the bathroom mirror.

"Maybe Nadine has a point..." thought Rhonda. "Maybe if I just walk into that cafeteria head up high, no one will even mention my transgression. All I need is a distraction..."

Suddenly she snapped her finger and pulled from her purse the Essence of Aphrodite perfume. "A-ha! My piece du resistance!" Rhonda sprayed it liberally on herself, then stormed out of the washroom on a mission. As she made her way to the cafeteria, she passed by a boy from another class. The boy walked on, staring at Rhonda and not looking where he was going, and ended up falling into a nearby trash container.

Meanwhile, in the cafeteria, Helga was recalling the events of early morning for Phoebe's benefit.

" then I yell, 'Your fly's open!' and she bolts for the nurse's office. Ha ha ha! I'm telling ya, it was a laugh riot!"

Phoebe nonchalantly took a sip from her milk carton. "That wasn't very nice, Helga," she chided.

"Oh come on, Phoebes! She deserved it, what with her glitterati this and bling-bling that..." as she said this, Helga mimicked Rhonda's gestures with the ring from the day before. "Besides, she's such an easy target – tell her that her shoelaces are untied and she throws a fit!"

"Methinks that someone is jealous..."

"What? Jealous? ME? Oh please, don't hold your breath! Why would I be jealous of a snotty, stuck-up princess like miss Rhonda Wellington Lloyd? Since when do I care so much about what other people think of me?"

Phoebe didn't respond, but she did look over to the table where Arnold was sitting and having a very engaging conversation with Lila. Helga followed her eyes, then gave Phoebe a dirty look.

"I didn't say anything."

"No, but you were thinking it, and you can cut it out. I don't care what ANYONE thinks about me, you got that?"

"Whatever you say, Helga," Phoebe said with a little smirk.

"Just shut up and eat your salisbury..." muttered Helga as she angrily stabbed her fork into her food.

The cafeteria doors flung open as Rhonda appeared. Helga grinned. "Well, look who finally decided to show up..."

Ignoring Helga, Rhonda made her way to the lunch queue. It wasn't until she was next in line to pay when she slapped her hand on her forehead. "Oh no – I forgot my wallet at home!"

"It's okay, Rhonda," said Harold, who was standing in front of her. "I'll pay for you."

"Oh," said Rhonda, quite taken aback. "Thank you, Harold..."

But as Rhonda picked up her tray and left the line, she noticed that Harold was trailing behind her, and when she sat down at a table, he sat right beside her.

"Uh..." she edged slightly away from Harold. At this point, she felt the presence of someone else. Sure enough, sitting on her other side, Stinky was taking in loud, snorting whiffs of air through his nostrils.

"Gawrsh, Rhonda," he sighed. "Your hair smell like a big ol' bowl of lemon puddin'...and I LOVE lemon puddin'..."

Eugene was next to come to the table. He set his tray down across from Rhonda and smiled, raising his eyebrows in an allegedly seductive manner. "This seat taken?" he asked.

Rhonda eyed the three boys suspiciously. "Did you all take geek pills this morning?"

"Wheeze...wheeze...wheeze..." Rhonda tilted her head slightly. Brainy stood behind her, breathing down her neck.

Helga had witnessed the whole thing unfold and looked at Phoebe cynically. "Oh yeah – I'm REAL jealous of Rhonda right now..."


Later that day, sixth-graders Ruth, Connie, Maria, Cookie and Simone were spending time at the mall. Ruth eagerly walked ahead, leading the others to the same new store that Rhonda had visited the day before.

"I'm telling you girls," said Ruth. "They've got all sorts of neat stuff at this beauty store. I didn't buy anything yet, cuz I don't get paid my allowance until the weekend, but-"

Suddenly, she gasped.

"So, where is this place?" asked Maria.

"I-I don't understand. It should be right here..." Ruth pointed at a vacant space plastered "FOR LEASE" and turned to look at the other girls for help, but only received cold stares and exasperated sighs.

"I don't see no store!" said Connie, vehemently.

"But...I know it was...I was just here last week..."

"Oh brother," said Simone. "Looks like Ruth the Airhead strikes again. Come on girls, let's get out of here."

Simone, Connie and Maria walked away from the empty store as Ruth desperately tried to explain the nonexistent beauty parlor. Cookie stood and looked at the sign "Madame Edusa's Boutique" above the vacant space for several seconds, blew a bubble with her gum, then followed the group.


That evening, Luna prepped Phoebe and Helga for the night's assignment. She paced back and forth in front of them, detailing what needed to be done.

"I'm glad that there are two of you now," she said. "At least now we can split up and cover more area. Phoebe, tonight you'll come with me and scout the western portion of the city."

"Right," Phoebe nodded in compliance.

"And Helga-"

Luna paused, then sighed. Once again, Helga was not listening. She was looking up at the full moon, her mind elsewhere. "HELGA!"

"What?" she snapped.

"I'd like you to cover the eastside, understood?"

"Whatever," Helga said sarcastically. "Criminy, I know what I'm doing. I've only done it like a hundred times already."

The two teams split up. Phoebe and Luna leapt onto the rooftop of a nearby building and began covering ground. Helga, on the other hand, merely turned around and casually walked down the street, taking her sweet time.

Meanwhile, at Sunset Arms, Arnold was leaving the boarding house, holding his pet pig Abner by the leash.

"I'll be right back, Grandpa," he yelled from the porch. "I'm just going to take Abner for a quick walk!"

"Okay, Arnold, be safe," his Grandpa called from inside. And with that, Abner darted down the stairs and down the sidewalk, dragging Arnold behind as he tried to keep up.


"...and so, using a pleasing scent to attract its prey, the Venus fly trap lures unsuspecting insects to their doom..."

The television blared in the living room. Miriam snored loudly on the couch; her mouth was gaped wide open, and in her right hand, she held a half-empty coffee mug containing her favorite beverage.

Meanwhile, upstairs in her own room, Helga was lying on her bed, holding her locket an arms-length away from her face. As she gazed at Arnold's visage, the same thought kept burning in her mind: was Arnold really the boy who rescued her?

She silently pondered the question, staring intently at the locket, as though expecting the item to come to life and reveal the truth.

Suddenly, Helga's attention was brought to the sound of squealing outside her window.

"I'd recognize that pig anywhere..." she said, sitting up on her bed. Helga opened her window to peer outside and, sure enough, spotted Abner running around frantically on the street below. Immediately, Helga knew that something wasn't right.


Helga jumped out of bed and planted her feet firmly on the ground, the locket still grasped in her hand. "MOON PRISM POWER, MAKE-UP!"

Just then, she heard a pounding on her door. "Helga? What's going on in there?" Abner's "barking" had apparently roused Miriam, who had felt a tremor coming from Helga's room when she was climbing upstairs. She tried to open the door, but fortunately, it was locked, "Is everything alright?"

"I'm fine, Miriam!" said Helga through gritted teeth. "Criminy – can't a girl get changed in peace?!"

"Uh-kay honey, g'night..."

Miriam's footsteps trailed off. She waited until she heard her parents' door shut tight before going exiting through the window.

Following the frantic pig, Helga was led down the street several yards away, to a large and wide creature comprised entirely of green gelatinous goo. Inside the translucent belly of the beast, much to her surprise and horror, was Arnold, floating around as if in suspended animation.

Once she got past the overwhelming shock that her beloved was in danger, Helga sprung into action.

"That's it pal – you are so dead," Helga sprinted full force towards the monster. The monster stood its ground and did not attempt to retaliate. When she was close enough, she stuck her leg out and gave the creature a solid kick in the abdomen. The move had no effect; rather, her leg was taken in completely by the monster's belly and in no time flat, she too was engulfed.

Frustrated that she was now floating upside-down inside a creature that barely flinched at her attack, Helga began to get angry. She closed her eyes, clenched her fists, and growled in her typical scowling manner. As she did this, however, her body began to glow. Suddenly, the monster began to expand, and then finally exploded, spewing a wave of green goo everywhere. Helga ended up lying on her back, on top of an unconscious Arnold.

"Huh. That worked," she said, picking herself up and dusting off the goo that was quickly dissipating. Helga then turned her attention to Arnold. "Arnold? Are you alright? Can you hear me?"

She knelt down beside him and for awhile didn't do anything except stare in total awe and admiration. Despite the frightening incident, Arnold's face was calm, and he had the countenance of a sleeping angel.

"He's so beautiful..." she thought, gently parting his hair with her gloved hand. Finally she came to her senses and carefully put him over her shoulder. Throughout the entire ordeal, Abner barked furiously.

"All right, all right – I heard you," Helga started out slow, adjusting to the dead weight, but then gradually picked up speed until she was jogging down the street. Abner followed close on her tail, his leash dragging lively on the concrete behind him.


Around the same time, Rhonda was at the City Park. She was on a less-traveled route, trudging through bushes and ducking low-hanging tree branches. At last she had come to a little clearing, surrounded on all sides by trees. Gasping for breath, she leaned against one of the trunks and sighed.

"Whew...I think I lost them..." she whipped out her vanity mirror and was about to open it, when she heard the rustling of leaves a few feet away. "Who's there?"

Suddenly, Curly emerged from his hiding spot, a large heart-shaped box of chocolates in tow. "A-ha! There you are, my pet!" Rhonda couldn't believe her eyes. He approached her and handed her the box of chocolates.

"Uh...thanks," she said.

Curly then got on one knee and placed a hand over his heart. He pulled a small book from his back pocket and held it up prophetically so that he may read it. "Ah, how do I love thee? Let me count thy ways..." He tossed the book aside. "But that would take all night – so how about a kiss instead?"

Repulsed by the suggestion, Rhonda pushed Curly onto his butt. "Ugh! No way! I can't believe you, Curly – you're such a creep!"

"She's right, Curly," said Sid, who also appeared from behind the trees. "Besides, if anyone's going to get a kiss, it should be me!"

"In your dreams!" yelled Harold. "That kiss belongs to me!"

The two boys were about to get into an altercation when Lorenzo, of all people, broke them up.

"You two are acting like animals!" he chided. "Surely not fit for someone of such high caliber as Rhonda. A sophisticated lady needs a sophisticated man. And I just happen to be available..."

"You?" the two boys said skeptically.

"Why not?" Lorenzo replied. "After all, heh...I have a limo."

"You're gonna have your front teeth on the ground if you don't get out of my face!" threatened Sid. "Rhonda's my girl!"

"No, she's my girl!" yelled Stinky.

Suddenly, the rest of the boys from Mr. Simmons' class emerged from the trees, all bitterly arguing, feuding over Rhonda. Unable to take anymore of the chaos, Rhonda put her hands over her ears and yelled: "STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT!!!"

The boys fell silent, and were all staring at the exasperated girl.

"That's better. What? Do I have something in my teeth?"

"Uh...Rhonda...?" Sid made a pointing gesture, signaling for her to turn around. When she did, Rhonda came face-to face with a hideous green-skinned woman with yellow eyes, snake hair and reptilian scales.

"Ssssssssssso...." hissed the woman. "I finally found you."

Rhonda fainted to the ground.

"Let's get out of here!" screamed Sid as the boys turned and fled.

Suddenly, the snakes on the woman's head extended outward, biting every single one of them and turning them to stone as they stood. In no time flat, she had taken a clearing full of boys and changed it into a garden full of still-life statues.


The clearing was swiftly overtaken by fog. The snake-woman hissed and began to look about in confusion.

Standing on the limb of a tree, high above the ground, Phoebe and Luna were examining the scene.

"Can you see her?" asked Luna.

"No," replied Phoebe, "The mist is too thick..."

"Try pressing your earring."

"Oh? Oh!" She had used her fingers to squeeze one of her stud earrings, and instantly her eyewear transformed into a high-tech visor. When she had set her eyes back to the mist, she now could see an outline of the monster below, among other things.

"According to this, her hair is made entirely of snakes. Their bites paralyze victims and turn them to stone. Just like Medusa..."

"What about any weak points?" asked Luna.

Phoebe further scanned for information, then shook her head. "It doesn't say..."

A blunt force knocked Phoebe from her hiding spot and into a tree on the opposite end of the clearing, where she fell down. The snake-woman had spotted her.

"Where's Sailor Moon?" she demanded.

Phoebe was still trying to catch her breath; the wind was knocked out of her. Luna came to her side.

"Not here? Fine." Rhonda, who was still passed out, was lifted off the ground by the creature. "I can wait. Meet me at the Hillwood Mall in one hour."

The snake-woman clawed at the air, creating a rift in space. Taking Rhonda as a hostage, she slipped through and disappeared, with the rift vanishing just as soon as it had formed.


Fortunately for Helga, Arnold left one of his windows open a crack and she was able to enter from the roof. She plopped the unconscious fourth-grader onto his bed, then wiped the sweat from her brow.

"Phew! Arnold, you're no lightweight..." said Helga as she collapsed on his red couch against the wall. As she lay there, recovering her strength, she began to wonder: exactly how many times HAD she been in Arnold's room?

"Heh," she thought, "At least this time I'm not trying to steal anything from him."

Helga sat up on the couch and looked at Arnold. Still asleep. Suddenly it occurred to her that she could find out once and for all if Arnold was indeed her masked hero. She got up and began scouring the room for clues – a rose, a cape, a top hat – anything she could find that would connect him with her masked savior.

When she got to the closet, a broad smile crept onto her face. She opened the door and began to snoop around. She got on her hands and knees and inspected the floor. Shoes, more shoes, a baseball bat, a baseball glove, a skateboard, but nothing out of the ordinary. But Helgawas adamant. "There's just GOTTA be something in here..."


Helga poked her head out from inside the closet; Arnold was staring directly at her.

She stood up. "Arnold! Oh, thank goodness you're alright!"

She went to approach the bewildered boy, but he recoiled, still apprehensive.

"Who are you?" he asked. "What are you doing in my room?"

"I rescued you. You were attacked, and I saved you and brought you back here. Do you remember?"

Arnold rubbed his forehead. "I think so..." He looked up, directly into Helga's eyes. "You look familiar...have we met?"

"W-what? No, of course not! That's absurd! I've never seen you before in my life!"

"Then how did you know my name? And where I lived?"

Helga was stuck; he got her there. "I...I..."

"Wait a minute," Arnold put his finger up, as if to silence her. "I DO know you...I should've realized the clues before..."

She braced herself. "This is it, Helga. He knows the truth..."

"You're her...the blonde Cecile...the girl I met on Valentine's Day, aren't you?"

Helga breathed a sigh of relief in her head. What a break! Even up close, he still couldn't recognize her. She decided to play along. "Uh...yeah. That's me."

"I knew it! I have so many questions - I've thought about it for such a long time, I had to find out."

"About what?" Helga asked.

"It was the only explanation that made sense...The little pink book, the parrot...Mr. Hynnh's was you all along, wasn't it?"

Helga nodded solemnly.

"Wow. You seem to know an awful lot about me. Have you been spying on me?"

"No!...well, not exactly...maybe...yes...but I have a good reason!"

Arnold folded his arms. "Okay then. Let's hear it."

"Well, Arnold, it's like this..." she began, pacing the carpet floor. "The truth of the matter is..."

There was a long a pause. "Is...?" said Arnold.

Desperate to come up with an answer, Helga looked up at the night sky, at the full moon. "The truth is, Arnold...that...I'm an alien."

Arnold cocked an eyebrow dubiously. "An alien?"

"That's right," she said, slowly approaching Arnold. "I'm...actually from a distant planet...moon of a planet. I've been sent to Earth to protect it from the evil forces bent on turning it into a desolate wasteland...or something like that. I forget the details..."

"You didn't really expect me to fall for that, did you?"

Helga laughed sheepishly and threw her hands up. "Heh...well, it was worth a try..."

"Okay," replied Arnold, a little peeved at the absurdity of her excuse. "Suppose that I chose to believe that you were an alien lifeform dropped from another planet. That still doesn't explain why you've been spying on me."

"Doesn't it? I mean, Earth is so drab and boring compared to the lush, exotic moon where I reside. I was about to wash my hands on the whole "protect and serve" mission...that is, until I met you."

Helga sat on the bed next to Arnold. "You're so honest, so kind, so alive with hopes and dreams....I figured that a planet capable of producing such a beautiful creature had to be worth saving."

They stood there in silence for several seconds. Arnold took her hand lightly into his. "Well...can you at least tell me your name?"

The request caught Helga off guard. At the top of her head, she decided to make something up.

"It's....Sera. Sera Mew."

"Sera Mew..." repeated Arnold, still gazing at Helga. "I like it."

Suddenly, there was a pounding at Arnold's door; Helga jumped at the sound. "It's okay," he said. "It's only Abner, my pet pig. You can let him in."

Helga got up and walked over to the door to let the squealing pig inside. It darted across the room and straight into Arnold's arms. "Hey there, boy. You doin' okay?"

Abner oinked and wagged his tail furiously. Helga smiled and watched as Arnold began scratching Abner's pink potbelly. For the first time, she felt at home – at peace. Not just some annoying spectator in her beloved's life, but an actual part of it. It felt so...right.

This moment of heaven, however, was cut abruptly cut short by the ringing of her cell phone. She gave Arnold an apologetic look as she pulled out the phone to answer. "Yeah?"

It was Phoebe on the other line. "We need you down at the city mall, ASAP."

"All right – I'm on my way." Helga hung up and sighed. "Sorry, Arnold. I gotta go – duty calls."

"I understand," he said, and stood up from the bed so that he could shake her hand. "Thank you, Sera."

"Pfft...oh, please. If anything, it's me who should be thanking YOU."

"Me? Why? I haven't done anything special."

A sharp dagger struck Helga. She hid her disappointment with a smile. "You're right. How silly of me." She went to turn and walk away, yet she could not move from her spot.

Arnold was still holding her hand. Tightly.

"When will I see you again?" he asked.

Helga smiled. "Oh...let's just say...once in a blue moon?"

Arnold released her hand and she climbed up the sloping wall-steps to the open window. Then, with a wave, she leapt outside and out of sight, leaving Arnold where he stood and Abner barking at the foot of the steps.


Rhonda awoke, still half in a daze. She shook her head and groaned, "Ugh, my head..."

She lifted her head and looked around. She was in the mall, on the ground level, tied up to one of the sliding gate-doors used to lock up stores at night.

"Oh, no - it's finally happened!" Rhonda gasped. "I'm being held for ransom!!"

As she pulled and attempted to free herself from her restraints, there came the sound of a low chuckle. Rhonda looked ahead and saw the woman with the braids standing just a few feet in front of her.

"Wait...I recognize you. You're that woman who sold me the perfume the other day!"

The woman grinned.

"Release me this instant!" demanded Rhonda. "My Daddy is a very powerful man in this city - when he finds out I'm missing he'll lock you in jail and throw away the key. You won't see a red cent."

The woman chuckled again. "Silly girl...your money is of no use to me..."

"Then why are you holding me against my will?"

The woman turned so that her back was facing Rhonda. "I needed bait to lure my prey."

"What are you talking about?"

"You'll see soon enough. For now, just hang around..." the woman walked away, leaving Rhonda hopelessly bemused.

Running across the empty parking lot, underneath the steady glow of lights, Helga and Phoebe arrived at last to the mall. At the entrance, the doors were locked. To the right of the entrance, a huge hole had been blown into the wall.

"She's here..." whispered Phoebe.

"Oh, gee," remarked Helga sarcastically. "What gave you that idea - the petrified mall cop at the entrance, or the path of hopeless carnage and destruction left in its wake?"

"Stay alert, girls," warned Luna, who leapt into the makeshift entrance. "We don't want to be taken by surprise."

The two scouts followed Luna, who followed the path of broken glass and debris all the way to the section of the mall where Rhonda was being held captive.

Helga scoffed. "Is this some kind of joke? What is SHE doing here?"

"Don't worry, Rhonda," said Phoebe. "We've come to rescue you."

"Hmph - well, it's about time," Rhonda said haughtily. "What took you so long?"

"Well, excuuuuuuse me, princess!" accosted Helga. "What do you expect? We just came from the other side of the freakin' city to just save your sorry, pompous butt! A little 'thank you' would be nice!"

"Pompous? POMPOUS?"

"And spoiled, and materialistic...!"

"Do I know you from somewhere?"

"Uh...don't mind my partner," apologized Phoebe. "She's just a little highstrung."

"How dare you! I may be spoiled, but at least I'm not the one dumb enough to walk right into a trap."


Before Helga and Phoebe could react, a band of snakes had wrapped around each of their waists and bound them together, back-to-back. Rhonda watched as they were both lifted in the air by the woman, who had now transformed back into a medusa-like creature.

The two girls kicked and struggled, but they could not break free from the monsters grasp; rather, its grip on them became tighter the more they thrashed about.

"That's right!" she laughed. "Keep struggling! The more you fight to get free, the tighter my snakes will constrict! They will squeeze you both to the point of asphyxiation – say your prayers while you still can, HAHAHA!"

"This looks bad," said Luna aloud.

Rhonda's jaw dropped. "Did you just TALK?"

Luna bit her tongue. She looked at her scouts, who were obviously in peril, then back at the surprised girl. Finally, she sighed and approached her.

"Yes, Rhonda. I can talk. And I can get you down from there. But you have to trust me."

Rhonda laughed nervously. "I've been hanging here WAY too long..."

The medusa-woman was busy crushing the life out of Helga and Phoebe, and not paying attention to Luna and Rhonda. She began to laugh, when a purse suddenly bounced off her head and onto the floor. She turned around and hissed. "Who threw that?!"

At that moment, she realized that Rhonda was no longer in bondage, and was in fact standing a few feet away from her.

"Hey! For the record, your perfume stinks! I want my money back!"

"Impudent little brat! How did you escape?"

Rhonda didn't reply; instead, she used one hand to apply lipgloss and the other hand to check her reflection in her compact vanity mirror.

The monster rolled its eyes. "No're not worth the hassle anyway. I'll deal with you last..." She went back to the task at hand, ignoring Rhonda.

"Now!!" yelled out Luna.

Snapping the compact mirror shut, Rhonda flung it towards the creature so that it landed just a few inches from its feet. Looking at the case of the mirror, the monster noticed the small engraving of a symbol on top and went pale. "It can't be..."

The compact had suddenly popped open. A blinding white light shone out, stunning the snake-woman and causing her to release both Helgaand Phoebe from her grasp. The monster staggered about in confusion as Rhonda crossed both hands across her face, palms spread out, the hand with the ring in front.


In an instant, her red sweater and black pants were swapped for a sailor uniform not unlike Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury's. The only differences: red was the primary color of her suit, and she was wearing high-heel shoes in lieu of boots. Her hairstyle remained unchanged save the decorative red hairclips adorning it. A pair of white gloves covered her hands, and a glittery red charm bracelet dangled from her wrist, containing her favorite lipgloss.

Helga and Phoebe were now struggling to get to their feet, but with great difficulty; the snake-woman had already recovered from the attack and was now glaring angrily at the new challenger.

"You'll pay dearly for that!" she hissed.

Rhonda looked behind her shoulder for assistance. "Hey talking cat, it didn't work! She's still alive!"

"My name is Luna, and that device was only suppose to stun the monster temporarily, not destroy it!"

"So what do I do now?"

"What do you mean 'what do you do'? You fight!"

Rhonda stared at Luna in disbelief. "Fight? Are you crazy? I don't know how to fight!"

The creature launched an attack, sending a snake flying in the duo's direction.

"Look out!" cried the fearless feline, jumping in the way of the serpent that was heading straight for Rhonda. As she swatted the snake away, Luna fell to the floor with a hard thump; she had been bitten. Rhonda backed away in horror from the stiff hunk of stone that used to be her only chance for victory.

"And now, you're next..." the monster hissed, launching another venomous snake from her scalp.

Rhonda watched helplessly as the distance between herself and doom began to close.

Suddenly, the projectile was intercepted by a flash of red light. It took awhile for Rhonda to realize that a red rose from an unknown source had pinned the snake to the floor. It writhed violently for several seconds before vanishing in a murky, black cloud of smoke.

"Sailor Mars!" Rhonda looked up; standing on the railing of the second level of the mall was the boy in the tuxedo. In one hand, he held his cane; in the other, a remote. He pointed the former at the girl. "Don't be afraid. Believe in yourself and BE the music."

With his other hand, he pointed the remote at an electronics store which currently displayed television sets in the front window. With the click of a button, all of the TVs were turned on to the same image of Ronnie Matthews.

The pulsating beat of pop music filled the area. Rhonda gasped – she knew this song all too well. As if possessed, she closed her eyes and began moving in sync with the dancers in the music video, following the lyrics...

We're all alone now; won't you let me in?

It's raining outside; my heart is crying inside

I'm on my knees now – you open the door;

I can't ask for much, I can't take anymore

At last, Helga and Phoebe were able to help each other off the ground. Mesmerized, they watched the mysterious scout in red dance to the music, mimicking every nuance and gesture from the video flawlessly, as though it were an art.

Your crystal blue eyes electrify me

My pulse is racing – girl, is it not plain to see?

I need you baby; forever, j'adore

And I just can't take it no more

"What are you doing?" cried the perplexed snake-woman. "Stop dancing!"

All of the snakes on her head stood on end as they shot out for their target. But Rhonda's dance, while graceful, was also evasive; try as the monster might, she could not get a hit on the girl.

Girl, don't you know that I'm hot for you?

Don't you realize I'll always be true?

Open your heart and please let me in

'Cuz my burning love conquers all fire within

Touch my heart, baby, and make me fly

Without you, woman, I'm sure to die

To you, my darling, I will belong

'Cuz you know that you set my soul on


(fire, fire)



(fire, fire)



(fire, fire)



She yelled out the final line of the song, standing in her finishing pose. This time, however, an orb of fire materialized in her palm and shot directly into the snake-woman, sending her flying through a window of a nearby store.

Broken glass strewn everywhere, the creature slowly got to her hands and knees. Her snake-eyes, which were originally yellow, were now red with fury, glaring accusingly at her assailant.

"YOU...!!!" But then she paused. She looked to her right, then to her left. Surrounding her from all angles was the same wretched image of her hideous face, scaly and lacerated.

"My that...anything but that....! NO.....!!!" The monster tried to flee, but the damage had already been done. Almost immediately, she was turned to stone. She was frozen in a pose where she was on her knees with one arm stretching outward, as if to plea for mercy.

Helga and Phoebe approached the store cautiously, and peered inside at the statue. Helga then looked up to read the sign above the shop. "Mirror, Mirror. that was her weakness."

Since the monster was now defeated, its magic was reversed, and Luna was instantly re-animated. She shook her head, as though she were snapping out of a daze. "What on Earth...?"

The statue then crumbled into dust, disappearing forever. Rhonda, meanwhile, was still standing in the same spot, looking at her hands as if seeing them for the first time.


Rhonda crinkled her nose and frowned. "Well, I don't know..."

Luna and Phoebe exchanged nervous glances. For an hour, they painstakingly attempted to win over their reluctant new recruit, but to no avail.

"Well," said Luna, sighing in defeat, "I really don't know to convince you-"

"Here, let me take a crack at it."

Unexpectedly, Helga led Rhonda away from the group to talk to her in private.

"Look at it this way: if you join us, you'll be part of the most exclusive club for miles around. A secret society where its members – rather than, I dunno, go shopping around for frilly, girly things and gossiping about boys – use super powers to restore the natural order, while sporting a trendy, fashionable uniform that can't be bought in stores."

"Well..." said Rhonda. "Those outfits are pretty boss..."

"So what do you say?" Helga extended her hand out to Rhonda who, after careful deliberation, smiled and accepted it, shaking it slowly. She then turned to the others and gave them a thumbs-up.

"Okay, I'm in."

"Wonderful!" said Luna.

"We're glad to have you as part of the team," added Phoebe.

Rhonda beamed. "That's to be expected. And as president of the club, I decree that..."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa – time out!" interjected Helga, making the "T" sign with her hands. "Who died and made you boss? I'm the leader of this group!"

"Ha! That's hard to believe. Every true leader knows that red is the color of authority. Besides, I'm obviously better suited for the position; I deserve to be in charge!"

"You know, you're reeeeally pushing it, princess..."

As the Rhonda and Helga began to bicker amongst one another, Luna and Phoebe sat silently on the sidelines.

"I hope you've realized what you've done, Luna..." said Phoebe.

"So do I..." she replied.


Later that night, on the roof of Sunset Arms, a young football-headed boy stood outside. He said nothing, though he looked plaintively at the full moon, a red-heeled shoe cradled in his hands.
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