Gertrude Blankenburg is a character from the Cold War II series. She is the middle child of German secret agent Helga Blankenburg and the younger sister to Greta Blankenburg but the elder sister to Christa Blankenburg.
Along with her sisters, Gertrude follows in her mothers footsteps as a secret agent for the E.I.N and becomes one of the three protagonists of the series' feature story Agents of Tomorrow.
In the Cold War II series and her first appearance, Gertrude is a ten year old German girl with fair skin, brown hair and brown eyes. Like her sisters Greta and Christa, Gertrude's wardrobe often changes depending on the story and in her first appearance, her wardrobe consists of a white long sleeved T-Shirt, navy blue leggings, white socks and red ballet flats.
Along with her elder sister Greta, Gertrude is first shown in Pattern of Vengeance to have an interest in scary things especially in PIFs (examples that both girls may find interesting can be found on this TV tropes article) owing to the fact that even if they are things that can (and do) happen in real life, the people on screen are merely actors (usually).
But like her sisters, she also has the concept of real and fake, showing an interest in scary PIFs yet showing fright and horror at two things: Legion's message to Earth in Enemy of Nightmares and a news report showing her own mother kill "The Serpent" and the leader of Das Schwert owing to Helga's naturally motherly and loving nature towards her family.
Her sisters are not exactly cowardly (and they especially grow more and more braver in Agents of Tomorrow because they are grown up and E.I.N agents) but Gertrude is shown to be even more braver in the original series when she and her younger sister Christa fight off Legion drones and she also tries to stand up to Daemon when he threatens her father by holding him at gunpoint.
The Cold War II series
Along with the rest of Helga's family, Gertrude was originally meant to be introduced in a later story, but the wiki founder decided to introduce the Blankenburg family more earlier than expected owing to story issues and the belief in that much of Helga's family would never get used or would get used but turned out to be wastes of good characters .
Gertrude first appears at the family home in Dusseldorf on a Friday evening which is said to be the beginning of the weekend (which is technically true). In the family home, Gertrude and her family watch the closing moments of an episode of Gefragt–Gejagt, the German version of The Chase; as the episode finishes, the channel the episode was broadcast on in the form of Das Erste cuts to commercial break.
At the end of commercial break comes the news in the form of Tagesschau which is described like most news channels in wasting no time in telling the German people the worst of humanity such as war, political scandals, terrorist attacks and the outrageous price of coffee shops. In fact, the very first story that Tagesschau broadcasts at that time is the story of a series of murders carried out on a number of Neo-Nazi organizations.
The report in question both interests her mother and also scares her mother because of the following quote:
"Who would say that these Neo-Nazis wouldn't come for her children, or who would say this serial killer wouldn't come for her children? Worse, Helga felt vulnerable about herself which was a strange case because she had rarely felt much fear, with her being an E.I.N agent, and one of Europe's finest.Along with the rest of Helga's family, Gertrude is one of many people who arrive at the Black Sun headquarters along with several others including the police, E.I.N officials and Oswald with a team of paramedics; here it is revealed that along with her sisters and father, Gertrude has been worried about her mother because of fears that she may have been killed or undergone a fate worse than death.
She felt vulnerable about herself because she felt like one of those women that the Nazis felt were perfect women; Blonde, always had her hair in a plait and, towards her enemies, feared and respected. These Neo-Nazis could always come after her or even her youngest daughter, given that Christa had a vague resemblance to her mother.
Heck, this serial killer may have targeted Neo-Nazis, but who would say that it wouldn't start targeting E.I.N agents, as if it was a contract killer or a bounty hunter?"
As Alfred is being loaded into an ambulance, Gertrude asks Helga where he's going to which Helga responds that unlike Das Schwert and the Black Sun, he is going away for medical treatment; the reasons are being explained in more detail when the family go home.
Enemy of Nightmares marks the first occasion where, along with her father and sisters, Gertrude begins to take on a more prominent part towards the end of the first part of the series. In the story, she is first seen at home with her family which includes her very exhausted mother who is said to be like her coming home from her first encounter with Alfred Deutschmann as depicted in Pattern of Vengeance but much worse.
As her sister asks Helga what's wrong owing to her looking like she's seen a ghost, Helga replies that she has seen a ghost and a demon at the same time; when Gertrude asks how, she learns the Legion story from the bible: Jesus encounters a possessed man and calls on the demon to emerge, demanding to know its name – an important element of traditional exorcism practice.
He finds the man is possessed by a multitude of demons who give the collective name of "Legion". Fearing he will drive them out of the world and into the abyss, they beg him instead to send them into a herd of pigs, which he does. The pigs then rush into the Lake and are drowned. The ghost part comes in because Helga tells her family that the M.E.T the E.I.N thought they were aiding had never existed.
Along with the rest of Helga's family (mainly her husband and daughters), Gertrude gets to see Legion up close twice: Once when swarms of Legion drones begin their assault and twice when Legion's face actually broadcasts itself to the whole world, and like her elder sister Greta, for someone who normally likes scary adverts, the face of Legion scares her.
It scares her even more when three Legion drones show up at her house, knock her father unconscious while he was trying to protect his daughters and go on to knock her eldest sister out before kidnapping her and taking her to god knows where. All the while, Gertrude and Christa are forced to defend themselves against Legion drones that come to attack Helga's home.
After a story's absence, Gertrude, her sisters and father return in the story Destroy Helga Blankenburg where in the story, she and her sisters have just been picked up from school by Alfred owing to him taking on much of Helga's responsibilities only to see her mother sprawled out on the sofa which shocks her and the rest of the family because Alfred definitely locked the house up and there was no way she could possibly have gotten in when the door was locked.
That is, until Helga tells her family the entire story; from her extradition to Bangladesh to the revelation that Aazam was always in Germany during the Legion attacks in Enemy of Nightmares. For now, Helga seems normal but that begins to change, starting with the night; as Gertrude sleeps, her mother goes out and murders three members of the Black Sun organization by slitting their throats while singing lines from "One Day More".
The next time Gertrude is seen is with her family watching the news where, along with her sisters, she watches particularly scared and becomes even more so when the next report comes on. Because that report shows Helga with the Das Schwert leader or as he's known as: "The Serpent" in captivity where she taunts him in much the same way the Joker taunts and kills Brian Douglas in The Dark Knight.
While her mother's face is not on screen and instead is obscured like the face of Darth Sidious in The Phantom Menace, Gertrude is still frightened because she recognises her mother's voice as she delivers a threat to Das Schwert:
"I have a message for your organisation, "Serpent": Your allies, the Black Sun, have fallen to me now. And you. Belong. To me! The Black Sun has fallen and now Das Schwert will fall in the same way; oh, and just as the Black Sun was ripped apart when I burned their headquarters down, yours will suffer the same fate!"The report is switched off by Alfred and only comes before Daemon coming to the door; initially, Alfred dismisses him as someone in a Boba Fett costume who has come far too early for Halloween...until Daemon pulls a gun on him and forces him back into the house.
As Daemon holds her father at gunpoint, Gertrude tries to force the hunter away but he points a wrist gauntlet at Alfred's daughters. But Alfred gets his own back and orders Daemon to show himself, which he does; and reveals why he's one of the most notorious bounty hunters in the world: He looks just like everyone else, even without his Boba Fett style armour meaning that he could blend into a crowd and no one would ever know he was among them; especially his target.
Sure enough, Daemon's target comes back home and attacks the hunter all in the view of the girls who become protected by their father in case they come under attack. But hunter and target take their fight outside.
Of Helga's family (besides the character herself, for obvious reasons), Gertrude is the only one of Helga's daughters who appears in the Part 1 finale of Corrupted by Hell where she is shown at school in a biology class. For the most part, Gertrude is said to be a good student with a better amount of social skills than the typical nerd stereotype (best examples being Milhouse van Houten from The Simpsons or Will McKenzie from The Inbetweeners), but during the class she keeps getting distracted by something outside.
That something is actually her own mother who is now a Spotted Hyena; it is Gertrude's distraction that causes the teacher to come to her direction and ask if anything is distracting her which Gertrude replies there isn't...until Daemon comes along and really, distracts the whole class if not the whole school. More so when him and Helga actually fight with Helga continuously having the upper hand until things go in Daemon's favour.
But not for long: Once Helga rips Daemon's belt off, the pair continue to fight until it is interrupted by something being shot in Daemon's back: A bullet though it is shot with the force of a stone being thrown. For the most part, Gertrude was watching the fight between Daemon and her mother with shock and fright but is sent inside by her teacher when the person who shot the gun approaches the school.
As Alistair arrives (the man who shot Daemon in the back), Gertrude is forced to stay in class while her teacher goes to the headmaster and tells him to ring up the students' families asking them to come and collect them.
Along with most of her family, Gertrude returns in The Brink of Descent and becomes the first character to appear in two consecutive stories (outside of main characters). While she does not appear until Part 2, she is mentioned of being of interest to an old enemy of Helga in the form of Alfred Deutschmann who bribes Doctor Siegmund Kretschmar, a former Reichsgesundheitfuhrer in the Black Sun to make a plague and kidnap her.
A month after the events of Corrupted by Hell, she and her sisters get their mother back and because of Johnson giving Helga a month off work to recover and giving her would have been assignments to Selma Achenbach, are said to have spent more time with their mother than they usually would have done if Helga had not taken the month break.
Like with Corrupted by Hell, Gertrude is first seen at school where she is in her last lesson of the day: Maths. Where she is sat right by the window which unknown to her, makes her a perfect target for a potential kidnapper. That kidnapped is Siegmund who almost wimps out on shooting Gertrude but takes the shot anyway which results in a tranquilizer dart being shot into her neck and her falling unconscious.
Siegmund then throws a smoke grenade into Gertrude's classroom which knocks out the whole Maths class and when the smoke clears, Gertrude is carried out of the class and to a waiting Mercedes GL Class SUV...just as her mother is coming to pick her and her sisters up from school. What Getrude doesn't know is that her family are chasing after her kidnapper in order to get her back; after Siegmund evades Gertrude's family, the girl herself is taken out of Dusseldorf and into Bavaria (unknowingly).
Still unconscious, Gertrude is delivered to the one who organized her kidnapping (which is what she doesn't know) and an old enemy of her mother: Alfred Deutschmann, who has the girl locked in the dungeon while she's still unconscious (though it is said that it will take an hour for her to regain consciousness). Sure enough, Gertrude regains consciousness and wakes up in the dungeon of the Neuschwanstein Castle.
In the dungeon, she begins to shout for her sisters and parents which are ultimately cut short by the arrival of the one who had her kidnapped: Alfred Deutschmann who looks even more horrific than his appearance in Pattern of Vengeance owing to having a larger amount of cybernetics in place of flesh and blood; behind him is Siegmund with a syringe which scares Gertrude even more because Siegmund is meant to be a doctor and someone who is meant to be a medical practitioner.
But Alfred scares Gertrude even more when he kills Siegmund right in front of her which makes her begin to stand up to her kidnapper and ask him why he treats humanity the way he has, to which Alfred replies:
"It's the way they've always treated me. Victoria was the only good thing in my life, and they took her from me. I don't care what happens to humanity now; if I must suffer, they must suffer with me."And with that, Gertrude is left alone in the dungeon until her mother arrives which in turn leads to a tearful reunion with it being even more tearful for Gertrude because until her mother came to rescue her, the girl had been five hours away from home in Southeast Germany in Bavaria locked in a dungeon all alone with the only company being a cyborg (who, unknown to her, was once a Neo-Nazi torturer) and a man who was meant to be an adult she could trust (besides her parents) owing to him being a medical practitioner.
Mother and daughter leave the dungeon but do not get far since they are confronted by Alfred. As Helga re-confronts Alfred, Gertrude is shielded from his view while her mother boasts to Alfred that if he wants to hurt the girl, he will have to go through her. But Alfred shows no desire to hurt Gertrude and only used her to get Helga up to the castle so she could watch what he intends to do to Germany.
In the castle, Gertrude and her mother find out just what Alfred intends to do to Germany: He intends to launch the plague on Germany which will kill everyone who ever wronged him, with next to no regard for who gets caught in the crossfire. Despite claiming he showed no desire to hurt Gertrude, Alfred goes back on his word and takes the girl hostage, threatening her life to Helga and using Gertrude to blackmail the agent:
There are two cures for the plague and if her mother works for Alfred, then he will give her the real cure but if Helga refuses, then he poisons the whole country. To make his point even more serious, Alfred takes a syringe full of the plague and threatens Gertrude's life with the syringe, threatening to inject her with the plague unless Helga helps him. But Helga refuses to sacrifice either her daughter for the millions of lives in Germany, or the millions of lives in Germany for her daughter so Alfred makes a decision for her:
Gertrude is infected with the plague and thrown away like a ragdoll to die, making her mother lose any sympathy that she may have had for Alfred in Pattern of Vengeance...but Gertrude is dying a slow death and in the process, as her mother fights Alfred, she wakes up to the sound of clashing swords. In Destroy Helga Blankenburg, Gertrude tries to protect her father from Daemon and it is this that repeats itself as Gertrude tries to get Alfred away from her mother.
But Helga's motherly instinct kicks in and she orders Gertrude to keep back; Alfred in turn takes advantage of Helga's distraction and hits her across the face then hits her again and again then throws her onto her stomach; it is also Alfred's beatdown of Helga that makes Gertrude take her mother's advice to heart, more so when the cyborg lifts her mother above his head to show the girl her exhausted mother.
Despite holding Helga above his head Bane style and looking like he could break her back, Alfred throws Helga across the room and Gertrude becomes a target for Alfred which causes Helga's motherly instinct to kick in yet again with the pair continuing their fight to the top of the castle which results in Alfred's demise when he falls from the castle roof.
As Helga retreats from the roof, Gertrude's condition has gotten worse so Helga takes the girl to a hospital where Thunderspirit doctors manage to cure her; but despite being cured by them, Gertrude feels unnerved by one of the doctor's statement of "We have people everywhere" making her feel that Thunderspirit is not as well intentioned as it makes out or has made itself out to be.