For the song, see Helga Blankenburg (song)
Helga Emilie Blankenburg is a character from the Cold War II series. She is a German secret agent working for the European Intelligence Network and is the protagonist of the series making her first appearance in Operation Viking.
In the feature story The Second Cold War: Agents of Tomorrow, her role is more minor and instead is given to her three daughters Greta, Gertrude and Christa. Helga is also an unusual hero because alongside Seslinian and Blasteovark from The Mammal Wars, she gets her own theme tune; the difference between human, fox and tiger is that her song is played at the end.
Like her boss, Helga only appears at the very end of her first appearance so not much of her appearance is revealed. In the Cold War II series, she is described as a thirty four year old German woman with blonde hair tied in a braid with fair skin and brown eyes but her clothing is hidden in the shadows.
In Operation Viking however, her clothing is revealed as her trademark black leather catsuit and black knee length boots with low heels and a zipper on the side. It is also in this story where she is described as being German in nationality but looks Eastern, possibly Ukrainian which is unsurprising given that Helga was partially modeled on former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko.
When she goes to the final briefing by General Phillip Marsh in Operation Viking, Helga disregards her catsuit and wears Spectrum Angel type uniform which consists of a cream white jacket with a zipper up front, a golden collar and cuffs trim, cream white trousers, cream-white knee length boots with a zipper on the side like the black boots she normally wears and a golden trim, a golden belt across her waist, and a golden collar with two buttons on each side of the opening.
When Helga is seen for the first time out of her uniform in Pattern of Vengeance, she is dressed in a white long sleeved T-Shirt, aqua blue leggings patterned with red poppies and navy blue ballet flats. Her hair is also taken out of its trademark plait and tied in a ponytail instead; in the following story Hostage of the Desert, Helga changes yet again; her hair is in its trademark plait, but her catsuit is substituted for a royal blue gypsy skirt, silver ballet flats, a white blouse like top and a headscarf.
In her native Germany, Helga has the scarf draped over her shoulders then in East Turkey has it to cover her hair to protect herself from the sun. When she's out of uniform again in Destroy Helga Blankenburg, she wears the ballet flats she wore in Pattern of Vengeance but with sky blue leggings and a white long sleeved T-Shirt with her hair hanging loose. These are the clothes that get ripped apart after she transforms into a Spotted Hyena in front of Daemon.
Much of Helga's personality is not well known in her first appearance because she only appears at the very end. What is known however, is that she falls into the category of an archetypal heroine or hero; having an abhorrence for evil and like other women in literature such as probably her closest (and possibly best) friend Selma Achenbach and other E.I.N agents (apart from Emma Irwin who would probably disappear after The Defector) fits the trope of a strong willed character.
She is also characterized by a relatively calm personality only showing exasperation at the time taken needed to modify a highly advanced aircraft known as the Devilpulse aircraft in Operation Viking, but like many women in literature depicted on both wikis she has a particular taste for danger as shown when Noah tells her that her first mission is probably the most dangerous one she has ever done, she replies with:
"I like danger, Noah! My associates enjoy danger which is why we joined the E.I.N, isn't it?"At the same time, Helga possesses the same motherly instinct possessed by most female characters either made or used by the wiki founder so it comes as no surprise that in regards to endangering the lives of her children, there are three characters that make her all the more determined to protect her family: Alfred Deutschmann (though he never goes after Helga's family in his first appearance, he does end up kidnapping her middle daughter Gertrude and poisoning her in The Brink of Descent), the Legion war machine (one drone of which goes after her family and kidnaps her eldest daughter Greta) and the Syndicate (which kidnaps her youngest daughter Christa).
In the series, Helga is also considered to be a worthy opponent to a number of different enemies (as Alfred Deutschmann notes when he holds her prisoner in Pattern of Vengeance) and for good reason: Because she is considered to be one of the E.I.N's finest agents and many villains have faced Helga over and over again and while she is one who is said to just get on with her job, she is not above believing that some villains are capable of redemption.
Towards the end of Part 1, Helga becomes much more of a mood swinger which is particularly noticeable in Enemy of Nightmares where she appears much more irritable, bad tempered and refusal to listen to her superiors and also gains the feeling she is telling a Cassandra Truth; while not necessarily bad tempered in Trial of an Agent, she definitely becomes much more fiery and spirited than her usual self only to become much more of a mood swinger if vulnerable and isolated in Corrupted by Hell owing to U.T.O.C.I.P's punishment taking its effect on her.
Starting from The Gunrunners however, she retains that resilience in her personality but also begins to come across much more personable and better to talk to. Prior to her transformation however in Corrupted by Hell, Helga begins to become much more sadistic and brutal including murdering three members of the Black Sun and practically tearing the organisation limb from limb.
In her appearances, Helga is married to Alfred Blankenburg who she married in 2102. They have three daughters Greta, Gertrude and Christa and live in Dusseldorf where the family is very affluent like other E.I.N agents, in particular Eastern agents such as Neslihan Kaya. In 2139, during the events of The Second Cold War: Agents of Tomorrow, her daughters eventually join the European Intelligence Network in their fight against the Syndicate.
In the series, Helga is also one of at least four E.I.N agents to have children as the others include her friend Selma Achenbach who has two daughters and a son and Christa Edelmann who has a son. An original draft would have given Helga just one daughter which was Greta, then the number was increased to two which was the latter's sister Gertrude before the founder finally settled on giving Helga three daughters.
The Cold War II series
Agent to Prisoner:
Helga only appears at the end of this story where she is summoned by her boss who explains to her about the capture of Emma Irwin and Benjamin Simmons; when she is asked about the situation, Helga replies that other agents have also seen the footage and when Johnson replies that when they find out the next scheme of the Scandinavian Alliance she will be sent in.
She finally replies with:
"Oh don’t worry sir. I’ll be ready, aren’t I always?”As the story ends, Helga pulls out her signature weapon a Heckler and Koch P7 and loads it ready to undergo her assignment.
Operation Viking shows Helga as the true protagonist of the series and in the beginning of this story, she is first seen being briefed by her superiors about her latest mission which is being revealed through a recording that was recorded by the man who was shot by Scandinavian soldiers. The mission is as follows:
The Scandinavian Alliance have built a secret missile installation and unless they are paid a quarter of a billion euros in ten days time they will fire the missiles on major cities of the world including, but not limited to, Berlin, Paris, London and Amsterdam in an effort to destroy the E.I.N's primary bases. Her mission is to destroy that base.
Two days after her briefing, Helga receives a phone call from Noah telling her to come to the E.I.N's office immediately where she hears bad news: While the army will carry out modifications on the Devilpulse, they will not be ready until twenty four hours before the Scandinavian Alliance carry out their threat. An exasperated Helga replies with probably the most exasperated response she ever has in the whole series:
"Twenty four hours?! But we haven't got twenty four hours!"But this is not even the worst news: To add insult to injury, the Alliance have moved in ground to air missiles in order to add to the already impenetrable defenses that were included in the complex which will make Helga's first mission possibly her most dangerous mission. Helga however does not seem to care and replies with:
"I like danger, Noah! My associates enjoy danger which is why we joined the E.I.N, isn't it?"On the day of the final briefing, Helga arrives in style quite literally because of her car which possesses the ability of flight like other vehicles owned by E.I.N agents. At the final briefing, Helga is given the final details of her first mission before being sent off with a warning by General Marsh:
"A heavy responsibility rests on your shoulders, Miss Blankenburg. The future of the West could very well be in your hands."Having received her briefing, Helga takes off for her mission to destroy the Scandinavian missile base in Sweden and it seems everything goes according to plan including her re-fuelling with an airborne tanker. As night falls, the Alliance prepare to make their threat but unknowingly to them, Helga is coming their way.
Once Helga enters Sweden, it is described as the following:
"When Helga entered Scandinavia, she was very surprised that her craft did not get shot down immediately because she thought to herself that if she entered territory of an even more vicious organization such as U.T.O.C.I.P, then her craft would have been shot down straight away, they would have taken her prisoner and killed her while possibly its leader Cherukuri or even Dissanayake would have fed her body to tigers."But the reality is very different when she enters Sweden as it is very calm and quiet which allows her to go in and bomb the missile complex which sparks a reaction from the Alliance who unveil all of their defenses in particular their anti aircraft guns and engage in a fight to shoot the craft down.
However, Helga is too quick for them and what soon ensues is a fight between her and the Alliance. The fight soon gets so intense that the Alliance bring in ground to air missiles to help support the complex but even so, Helga manages to get the upper hand and launches one last fatal shot at the complex destroying it and reducing it to a burning wreck.
With her mission complete, Helga radios back to base and Noah who tells her to return to England to return the Devilpulse and then come to Germany because of her car which flies.
In the Scandinavian trilogy finale, The Defector, Helga is first seen towards the end of her flight back to Hampshire in England. Here she returns the Devilpulse Aircraft to the R.A.F and leaves the airfield as quickly as she can to fly back to Germany in her own car. More details of Helga's headstrong personality is also detailed here:
"Within her mind, Helga knew that this mission would bring an end to the Scandinavian Alliance and while there were still hostile organizations out there like the Slavic Alliance, the agent didn't care. She was not called Europe's finest agent for nothing. After all, if her mission would bring down the Alliance, then she could harm other hostile organizations.Inside Berlin, Helga meets Johnson and Young again where this time, it is revealed that destroying the missiles that the Alliance could have launched at Europe was only the beginning; her next mission is to rescue the hostages that the Alliance have held captive: Emma Irwin and Benjamin Simmons.
But if Helga was not to be allies with another E.I.N agent, then who would be helping her in the mission to bring down the Alliance or at least, force it into the shadows?"
However, Helga expresses irritation at the fact that she is not going directly to Oslo and instead is going two countries away to Finland...that is, until Johnson shows her a picture of Katri Peltonen and explains that she is a defector of the Scandinavian Alliance. He wants Helga to rendezvous with her because she knows the Alliance inside out and knows all of their defenses.
Having received the briefing, Helga is sent into the office of the E.I.N's quartermaster Wallace Huntington where she is given a utility belt, her trademark Heckler and Koch P6 and an unusual gadget in the form of a fire extinguisher. She next appears on a journey to the Bittburg Airport where a bomber is waiting for her and a hollowed out bomb; despite being assured that Noah is with her, it doesn't stop Helga trembling ready to be dropped into Finland.
At around 250,000 feet and at the South of Finland, Helga is dropped into the country by Noah and at 50,000 feet, deploys the bomb's parachute enabling her to land safely. But her landing does attract the attention of something else which is not the Scandinavian Alliance; once the bomb lands, Helga leaves it and prepares to find Katri's home.
Helga leaves her hollowed out bomb to explore her surroundings and discovers that she has landed in a Finnish forest and while she has not attracted the attention of the Scandinavian Alliance, she has attracted the attention of a pack of five brown bears, one of which has cubs with her so is more aggressive than usual. The bears come to investigate Helga leaving her petrified in case one of them attacks her and sure enough, three leave her alone and so does the mother bear.
The last bear to leave however, continues to attack Helga until she attacks it with the fire extinguisher which actually contained bear pepper spray causing it to withdraw and allowing her to retreat. It is later revealed that if the bear tore up the extinguisher, it would spray pepper spray in its face causing it temporary blindness.
As Helga retreats further into the forest, she is not away from danger yet because she has escaped a pack of bears but now runs into a lone wolf and this time, the wolf does not investigate her like the bears did; instead, it howls which rallies other wolves and leaves them to investigate the intruder in their native home country. Helga pulls out her pistol but comes to learn that too many wolves are heading her way to counter them.
This time, none of the wolves have puppies so upon seeing Helga, they do not see her as a threat, leave her alone and allow her to continue on her way. Helga continues crossing the forest and once she gets out of it, gives herself a pep talk/self scolding:
"Pull yourself together woman! You're out of the forest now; the only enemies you'll find now are the Scandinavian Alliance and you're used to fighting them!"Having motivated herself, Helga finds herself in fact in rural Noormarkku and in the distance is the home of Katri Peltonen. She approaches the house but before entering it, takes one last look back in case the Alliance send out any soldiers to capture her; and with the confidence that they have not, enters the house which also reminds her of the many villas occupied by E.I.N agents, including herself in Dusseldorf.
Inside the house, Helga explores but also finds herself held captive by one of the house's occupants who holds her at gunpoint and demands her name to which the agent returns to her brazen and assertive self where she tells the occupant:
"My name is Helga Blankenburg and I am an agent for the European Intelligence Network."But it is Helga's name that seemingly saves her from being shot because coming down to meet Helga in her home is the titular defector: Katri Peltonen. As Helga meets Katri, the latter takes her into the house's living room where the three women gather and it is here where Helga begins to question Katri and the woman who held her captive:
"That, Helga, would be my aide Kaia Bartholomew. I defected from the Scandinavian Alliance about five years ago and since then I've wanted to topple my government in Finland. No one in Finland wanted to help me fight the government and I knew I wouldn't be excepted in many other countries, so I went to the United States and that's where I found Kaia." Katri repliedWith Katri giving her side of the story, Kaia now wants Helga's part of the story to which she replies that she came to Finland because she wants Katri's help in recovering two hostages in Oslo thanks to Katri's experience in the Scandinavian Alliance and Kaia's criminal nature.
"Where did you find her?" asked a very tense Helga, almost as if she was interrogating Katri instead of asking her for help
"Found her in New York, having just escaped from a heist. She was a criminal, and I was another criminal in the eyes of the Alliance. Together, we made the ideal team." Katri replied, still as assured as ever."
The three of them leave Finland and enter Oslo where Helga sends Katri and Kaia into the compound as she receives further instructions from Graham Johnson; When the hostages are recovered, they are to remain in the sacks until they get to Germany, at which point they will be released; after infiltrating the base, the hostages are found, taken out of Norway and back to Germany.
In Germany, Helga releases the hostages and has them go to Johnson's office where he destroys their hopes of joining the E.I.N having sent Helga outside. After berating them, Helga is brought back in where Johnson praises her efforts and tells her that the Alliance have gone dormant and even though their fight continues against it, she will not be a part of it because she will be fighting other organizations in the world such as the Union of Terrorist, Organized Crime and Insurgent Protection.
At the end of The Defector, Graham Johnson tells Helga that she would be fighting other organizations in the world such as the Union of Terrorist, Organized Crime and Insurgent Protection and The Company. Enemy in Silence makes the debut of her doing what she does best: Combatting the various hostile organizations in the series with the Arab Syndicate being the first in her rogue's gallery.
In the story, Helga is first seen in the E.I.N's offices in Germany being briefed on a new mission by Johnson, the mission in question concerns "The Medusa" which has been given to the E.I.N by means of agents operating in West Turkey (Agents based in West Turkey are also granted the chance to work in the Middle East).
Following the briefing, Helga is sent back to England this time to HMNB Portsmouth, the same location that would be used twenty nine centuries later by the terrorist organization PHANTOM to take the Women of the Night to Estonia as prisoners. As Helga is sent to HMNB Portsmouth, she is found by The Medusa which opens fire on her attempting to shoot her down causing Helga to turn invisible herself and frantically try to avoid the blasts fired by the Medusa's anti aircraft gun.
Eventually, she succeeds and lands in HMNB Portsmouth unscathed. At the naval base, Helga arrives at one of the United Kingdom's most famous warships: HMS Victory, the oldest ship still in commissioning having been launched in 1765. Here she meets Noah Young who takes her to meet Wallace Huntington in the captain's quarters on board the victory where Huntington gives her a wetsuit, a diving visor (with a built in radio) and breathing tanks.
It is also revealed that Victory has been modified to accommodate a midget submarine for Helga; Wallace further tells Helga how to destroy the Medusa: Fire a torpedo at it, then get out of the submarine and place a bomb on it. But the bomb has a twelve second delay, so she will have to get away as quickly as possible, lest she be blown to kingdom come and there is also a chance she will have to abandon the submarine.
Helga boards the submarine and is launched from HMS Victory directly into the sea ready to confront the Medusa which, unknown to her, has already surfaced and is destroying HMNB Portsmouth by sinking destroyers sent to destroy it as well as laying siege to the naval base itself and destroying one of Portsmouth's most important naval museums: The Mary Rose.
The destruction left by the Medusa causes Helga to engage the Medusa in combat, but it fires upon her and the submarines that have been sent in from Portsmouth to destroy the submarine. It also shoots down various aircraft sent to destroy it by the RAF; once the Medusa takes down all its opponents with considerable ease, it dives and escapes from the English Channel with Helga in pursuit.
Its chase pattern however, leaves Helga puzzled because instead of fighting in the Americas, the Medusa goes back the way it came and eventually leads her to the Indian Ocean where Helga seems to learn why: The Medusa has lured her here in the hope that it will be supported by the Union of Terrorist, Organized Crime and Insurgent Protection, the support of which never comes so the Medusa fights Helga on its own.
During the fight, Helga is de-stabilized but comes back after the fight firing two torpedoes at the Medusa causing it to crash at the bottom of the Arabian Sea. She then finishes the job by planting the bomb on the Medusa's conning tower and surfacing in the submarine immediately; as the Medusa explodes, she sends a message to E.I.N headquarters who contact the German Air Force who send a helicopter to her location.
While she waits, Helga is instructed to take out the dinghy left in the submarine and inflate it. Once it inflates, Helga opens all the sea valves of her submarine allowing it to sink to the bottom of the sea and takes her place in the dinghy where she is eventually picked up by helicopter and taken back to her native country; her car, it is presumed, is brought back to Germany by E.I.N operatives in the UK.
In the earliest instance of change in the series, Helga is first seen not on action or being briefed for a mission, but is actually at home with her family on a Friday evening. In the beginning of the story, she and her family are watching Gefragt - Gejagt; the German version of The Chase which makes it the second story written by the wiki founder to contain references to The Chase (there is also a sketch of the original British version of The Chase in Wolves Attack).
Once it is over, she is shown consoling a scared looking Christa as a particularly scary PIF about German transport and crime comes on with the advert's particular scary point being the Kubrick stare it gives resembling the "Cycle Thieves, we are watching you" campaign in the UK, or even the 1984 character Big Brother.
Following the commercial break that follows Gefragt - Gejagt, comes the Tagesschau news channel, one story of which interests Helga and also scares her. It interests her because the victims are shown to be Neo-Nazis, something the German government believed to be gone years ago, but it also scares her for the following reason:
"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.
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.The next day, Helga's investigation begins independently starting with a more depth investigation of the serial killer sprees across Dusseldorf, eventually coming across last night's broadcast which covers more murders all involving the same organisation: The Black Sun Neo-Nazi organisation (though members of the Black Sun are the victims instead of the murderers), a Neo-Nazi group allied with "Das Schwert" (The Sword), a criminal organisation also based in Dusseldorf.
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?"
With these reports, Helga begins conducting research on the Black Sun which reveals it to be so dedicated to Nazism and fascism that it also bases itself on the Nazi Party with virtually identical uniforms, insignia, paramilitary organisations, the lot. The one key difference is that the Black Sun is not politically active nor seeks political influence.
With a combination of reports on the Black Sun murders, and information on their rallies including where the next one will be held, Helga disguises herself in a Nazi uniform akin to those worn by female guards at Nazi concentration camps of World War II and sets off to the Black Sun rally.
At the Black Sun rally, Helga has a rare out of character moment when she comments on being flattered by the leader of the Black Sun (though this may be keeping up with her disguise of being a Black Sun member) who calls her an example of a perfect German woman with this quote:
"Fitting, is it not? To have an Aryan by my side. An example of a perfect German woman."Following this exchange, Helga witnesses the rally and views it as visually impressive like the Nazi rallies of World War II, complete with the Horst Wessel Lied which just makes it all the more fitting. But during the parade, Helga discovers the kidnapping of one of the Black Sun members causing her to give chase.
The kidnapper however, is too quick for Helga and quickly forces its victim into an armored van and speeds away causing Helga to hitch-hike in a police car, the officer of which at first refuses to co-operate owing to her being in disguise but she forces him to, by telling him that if he doesn't follow her order then he will being aiding a serial killer.
As a result, the officer takes Helga to the house seen at the beginning of the story: The Schloss Benrath. At the Schloss, Helga finds the house surprisingly clean for a serial killer...except most of the memorabilia from the Nazis, much of which has been ruined, destroyed or desecrated, but no evidence of this being the house of a serial killer.
Until she hears a scream which comes from outside. Outside the schloss, Helga finds the body of the Black Sun solider that the killer kidnapped covered in second to third degree burns that are revealed to be caused by White Phosphorus; but her investigation of the body ends when she is confronted by the killer supposedly. As she feels something or someone behind her, Helga draws her pistol and orders the thing to freeze.
The figure behind her tells her that this is a personal vendetta and does not concern the agent, but Helga tells it:me no choice" and opens fire on her causing Helga to dodge all of the attacks. In turn, Helga retaliates with "Neither do you." and opens fire on the attacker.
To her shock, none of the bullets affect her attacker so she tries a head shot instead, albeit very reluctantly. But even that does nothing to slow her attacker down causing Helga to ask who or what is her attacker, to which the attacker finally identifies itself:
"A man who's life was ruined by the organization he once served. I am Alfred Deutschmann; my name, will be the only thing you shall get from me. And the last."As Alfred says "my name, will be the only thing you shall get from me." he draws a grenade from his tunic causing Helga to fear for her life and also causing her to flee when he says "And the last" because with these words, he pulls the pin and throws the grenade down causing the grenade to explode with White Phosphorus. Helga barely gets away before the chemical shrouds the Schloss in white smoke.
Practically exhausted from the investigation, Helga arrives back home in her native Dusseldorf where much to her relief, her daughters have been put to bed because it is mentioned that Helga wouldn't want her daughters to see her in her Black Sun disguise and think there is a Nazi in the house. In fact, the only person who is awake at that time is her husband who is shocked to see her, especially in the state that she appears in.
Helga tells her husband that the serial killer is now using white phosphorus to kill its victims and while Alfred tries to persuade his wife to have a rest for a while, the agent admits that today the hard part has been done because she knows that the serial killer is based at the Schloss Benrath in south Dusseldorf; she also intends to go to the E.I.N offices in the morning.
The next morning, that's what she does and at the offices, Johnson gives her two things: Three weapons to help her with the latter stages of her investigation in the form of a taser, a switchblade and a throwing knife along with an aid in getting information in the form of Oswald Steinbrinck, an anesthesiologist at the University Hospital in Heidelberg.
At the hospital, Helga first acts very icy towards Oswald owing to his lack of concern for the Black Sun murders which makes her threaten him with arrest unless he starts talking; her icy demeanor however disappears when Oswald reveals everything: For many years in the crime underworld, a criminal organization in the form of "Das Schwert" and the Black Sun organization and in the latter organization was Alfred. During his time in the Black Sun, Alfred served as a torturer but the organization also had a woman who he grew particularly close too by the name of Victoria Friesinger.
The Black Sun accused Friesinger of softening Alfred up and during a gang war, Victoria and Alfred were both involved. The war led to the death of Victoria and left Alfred seriously injured and left for dead; Oswald's organization sent Alfred's body to Steinbrinck where the anesthesiologist rebuilt him and turned him into a cyborg. But Oswald's work came at a price: Alfred lost all of his senses.
Helga's icy demeanor is finally lost when she says to herself:
"Now I see why he's taking vengeance on the Black Sun. Left for dead by the people he served, lost the one person he loved and now being stuck between metal and organics...that's enough to drive anyone mad..."Following his story, Oswald sends the agent back to the Schloss Benrath because there she will find more evidence of the gruesome ways that Alfred killed more Black Sun members. At the Schloss, Helga finds two photo albums; the first showing pictures of Alfred before Oswald's associates made him a cyborg and his love, Victoria along with three sets of photos; one set of them together, one set of Alfred torturing other enemies and prisoners of the Black Sun and a third set of Victoria appearing at Black Sun rallies.
The second photo album shows a collection of victims killed by Alfred including the Black Sun soldier who was killed by Alfred with white phosphorus along with other victims of Alfred that are killed in gruesome ways such as being attacked with phosgene gas, mustard gas and a hydrogen based form of mustard gas like the one employed by Dr. Poison in the 2017 Wonder Woman film.
Gas is not the only way however, that Alfred's victims have died because they also look like they have been the subjects of experimentation like those carried out by the Nazis in World War II and Unit 731 (though these are not shown in the story). It is also these albums that shocks Helga enough that she can only say "Christ!" in disbelief.
Behind her however, is Alfred who tells her that the situation would move him to tears if he was still capable of shedding them. Finally, he shoots the agent...seemingly dead.
In fact, Helga has been shot with a stun gun and when she wakes up, Alfred has tied her to a chair in the same way as Olga Petrov and Forbflaith Hennessy as if he is going to torture her. But as is revealed, there is more to Alfred than meets the eye when he plays her a film about snow, commenting on its beauty, cleanliness and uncompromising nature before Helga finishes off with adding that it's also cold.
Alfred replies that the snow is also cold "like the swift hand of vengeance". Trying to negotiate with Alfred, Helga apologizes for what happened to his lover but Deutschmann tells her:
"I'm beyond emotions. They've been frozen dead in me."Helga further learns from Alfred that the mechanical implants that Oswald gave him also made him a social outcast and reveals the extent of his implants right in front of Helga including tearing off a large chunk of flesh off his torso, the whole of his right arm, his right eye and a section of his right cheek off to reveal the modifications that Oswald made on him.
He further adds that he now intends to pay back those that caused him to be like this (those that caused him the accident that forced him to become a cyborg) but Helga replies "Even if you have to kill to do it?". Alfred gives another monologue to Helga which practically silences her:
"Think of it, Helga: To never again walk in any form of weather and feel a hot wind in your face, the sun beam on your skin and a warm hand to hold. Oh yes, I'd kill for that."And with that, Alfred leaves the agent locked in the Schloss lounge still tied to the chair. But as Alfred leaves, Helga cuts herself loose and escapes from the Schloss by jumping out of the window (Alfred locks Helga in the lounge which is why the agent manages to pursue Alfred and why she is still alive) and gives chase to the one place she expects to find Alfred: The Black Sun headquarters.
Helga alerts Alfred of her presence by using the throwing knife to knock his stun gun away and attacks the cyborg, but finds herself overwhelmed by his far superior technology which enables Alfred to lift her off the ground, almost like he is strangling her and boast that everyone who stands in his way will feel the touch of death. But Helga claims she will not join them and so pulls the stun gun out of her utility belt, sticks it in Alfred's neck and switches the current on causing the cyborg to short circuit and stun him.
As Helga watches, the cyborg goes offline moaning about vengeance before going offline completely. As he does, Helga assures the Black Sun and Das Schwert that they are not safe from the authorities and declares them under arrest; fittingly, to the sound of sirens. Those sirens are the sound of the police and an ambulance, the police take the Black Sun and Das Schwert into custody while the ambulance which in fact belongs to Oswald Steinbrinck and his associates, takes Alfred away.
Among them, are Helga's family who were worried sick about her, but she assures them that she isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Once being asked questions by her daughters, Helga tells them she will tell them when they get home; which she does. But at night, she sneaks out again to see Alfred at his institutionalization; all that Helga sees however, is the former serial killer sitting in his cell, mourning his failure to avenge Victoria with the snow globe seen at the beginning of the story.
Finally, Helga gives one last monologue to herself expressing that as a secret agent, she is used to see everyone around her always getting hurt one way or another, but not quite in this fashion. But she also expresses hope that Alfred will be able to leave his Black Sun background behind and able to leave the world of crime for good before disappearing back to her home in the night.
Following on from her independent investigation in Pattern of Vengeance, Helga is back to her normal mission briefing in Hostage of the Desert and back in the E.I.N offices in Berlin where, as is tradition (except perhaps in Destroy Helga Blankenburg where Helga is made unfit to work and Corrupted by Hell where she is transformed into a Spotted Hyena), she receives her mission briefing from Graham Johnson.
In this story, Helga's mission is as follows: The previous day, the E.I.N sent one of their West Turkish agents in the form of Neslihan Kaya to what is revealed as Nepal to infiltrate U.T.O.C.I.P buildings and to steal top secret plans for some kind of machine that the organisation intends to launch against the West and while Neslihan succeeded in getting the plans, she was shot down by East Turkish fighter jets over the Keyseri province and crash landed in the Turkish desert.
Now that she crash landed, Kaya is now the target for an East Turkish search party; Helga's mission is to find Neslihan before the East Turkish search party. If she fails, then Neslihan will be sent to U.T.O.C.I.P and possibly tortured or killed.
In the Turkish desert, Helga searches for Neslihan on foot before hijacking a technical and lighting a flare that Kaya mistakes for the East Turkish search party sent to track her down before she slips into unconsciousness; finally, Helga arrives but seemingly too late as the agent succumbs to the heat of the desert which results in Helga carrying out first aid on her and signalling for medics with a flare.
As medics arrive, Helga tries to rehydrate Neslihan by pouring the water in the canteen down her throat until the medics arrive to take her to hospital. But Helga orders the pilot to go to Berlin instead of a Turkish hospital because she wishes to make sure that the plans Neslihan stole are handed over to Johnson right there and then.
On board the helicopter, Helga continues to assure Neslihan the plans are safe as she is being tended to by medics on the helicopter which takes them to the Martin Luther hospital where a car belonging to the E.I.N is waiting for them owing to Helga phoning the E.I.N earlier and asking for assistance in getting to the E.I.N offices.
At the E.I.N offices, Helga is one of three people to see the plans stolen from U.T.O.C.I.P by Neslihan in the form of blueprints because they were the only things the Neslihan was able to steal before being forced to flee by the organisation; specifically, the organisation's Nepalese branch.
While the blueprints are handed over to Johnson truly, he also decides to have Neslihan and Helga investigate the plans that U.T.O.C.I.P has for this machine even further so sends the pair to Nepal in the hope they will get more information. In the base, Helga is secretly radioing to Graham Johnson about the information they have recovered including a number of draft names for the war machine including some suggestions that become much more demonic with one particular example being "Lucifer".
During their investigation, Helga and Neslihan are captured by a U.T.O.C.I.P terrorist in the form of Nalini Kamal Danal who intends to make them watch the destruction of an E.I.N aircraft that is circling the missile base; but Helga manages to shoot one of the terrorists, detonate the missiles prematurely and escape with Neslihan while also allowing the base to be blown up when she shoots a soldier who had pulled the pin on their grenade.
Having saved Neslihan again, Helga is last seen on board the helicopter that the E.I.N sent to Nepal that takes the pair back to the Western world; while Neslihan is exhausted from the mission, Helga manages to keep her energy up and watches outside as the helicopter takes the pair back to the Western world.
Following the events of Hostage of the Desert, Helga begins to wonder what exactly will happen to the plans that Neslihan stole from U.T.O.C.I.P and seriously doubts that they will be destroyed given that she cannot understand why Johnson would send Neslihan all the way to Nepal to steal plans from U.T.O.C.I.P only to destroy them.
It's during the night that Helga continues to wonder what the plans will be used for and maybe even have a positive effect; perhaps the machine depicted in the blueprints will be used by the Army to carry out menial tasks or be sent into battle to conflicts that humanity cannot possibly hope to win, or even be used as artillery. But at the same time, Helga has serious doubts that this will be the case.
This becomes particularly evident when she starts having nightmares in the prologue which depict the world in a real life state of the Book of Revelation, the machine going Skynet on the world and even has a hallucination of the machine staring right into her soul.
The next day, Helga heads to the E.I.N offices in Berlin to find out what exactly has happened to the stolen plans; but she is not the only agent who's been brought in: So has every other agent. In fact, they have been brought in to their respective base. For instance, British agents are brought into the E.I.N headquarters in London, Italian agents are brought into the E.I.N headquarters in Rome, etc.
At the base, Johnson transmits himself not only to Helga and her fellow German agents, but the other E.I.N agents across Western Europe and parts of Eastern Europe in particular West Turkey, Greece, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and Russia where he reveals what has happened to the plans that Neslihan Kaya stole from Nepal: The plans have been made to build this machine that Helga is said to encounter in her sleep and the machine that Johnson dubs "a super soldier".
As the machine approaches the camera enough to give it a full body shot, Johnson further names the machine "the M.E.T or Mechanized Eradication Technology" and upon eyeing the machine, Helga's reactions become divided: On the one hand, she thinks back to the nightmare she had featuring the machine with her family dead, swarms of machines ruling the world and the M.E.T coming to finish her off.
But on the other hand, she also thinks that maybe the machine could help the armed forces in wars because it could fight wars that normal humans cannot. However, her negative mindset takes over and Helga confronts her boss and Noah.
In front of her boss, Helga goes on a huge protest about using the machine in combat in case it goes rogue or even if it is used for rescue missions because of its jack o'lantern type face; but Johnson has heard enough of her protests and threatens her with security which causes Helga to stand down yet still with a sense of tranquil fury tells Johnson:
"Fine! If you won't listen to me, I'll find someone else who will."At home, Helga begins to calm down a lot more, mainly because unlike Johnson, her husband Alfred Blankenburg tries to reason with Helga and talk to her like a normal person though Helga doesn't expect pity from Johnson because he is, after all, a man doing his job. Though she still intends to investigate this M.E.T further in the morning.
The next day, Helga does just that...but when she gets to the Bundeswehr base that the M.E.T was last seen at, it's gone. But also at the base is another E.I.N agent: Sonia Altmann. Who is also investigating the M.E.T which gives Helga a sense of hope that there is at least someone else who believes her belief in the M.E.T possibly going rogue.
But Sonia refuses to believe nor deny if the machine will go rogue because the machine has barely been in service for a week. She is coming to see it in action; Helga intends to do the same and joins Sonia in heading to watch trials for the M.E.T.
During the Spetsnaz like testing that the M.E.T is put through, everything seems to go well so far as the M.E.T proves itself to be a perfect fighting machine: Implacable. But all that changes when it comes to the final part of the test: What is meant to be a twelve minute fight between four changing fighters ends up as a four second fight owing to the M.E.T when it kills the fighters.
This serves as a warning because the M.E.T breaks one of the rules of the fight: Everything is allowed in the fight, except killing blows. Then once it kills the fighters, the M.E.T takes out the original twelve minute fight it was meant to have on the other Army soldiers causing Helga and Sonia to flee the base; but while Sonia just keeps on running without looking back, Helga turns round to face the Army base and says to herself:
"This isn't over. I'll be back next time. Next time."Sure enough, Helga meets the M.E.T again...except it tells her that the M.E.T has never existed so Helga asks its real name to which the machine replies by quoting the New Testament:
""As it is said in the New Testament gospels of Matthew (8:28-34): "Then Jesus asked him "What is your name?" "My name is Legion, for we are many." he replied."This just makes Helga run away from the base as quickly as she can, lest the machine now calling itself Legion claim her as its ninth victim. Her destination: Home where she is described in the same state she was after her first encounter with Alfred Deutschmann: Physically exhausted where this time, she is seen to be exhausted by her eldest daughter Greta Blankenburg.
When Greta asks her mother what's wrong, Helga replies that she has not only seen a ghost but also a demon and when asked why, Helga's response is that the M.E.T has never existed; in fact, the M.E.T was Legion the whole time. Shortly afterwards, Helga gets a phone call form her boss telling her that the Army have made two forms of the machine: A clone of the original M.E.T to be used in war and a more human looking machine with a more realistic human face for rescue missions.
Owing to her experience with meeting the M.E.T up close, Helga orders Johnson to make sure none of the new machines ever leave the Army and while Johnson assures her this will happen, Helga is not convinced. And for good reason: A news story reports swarms of Legion drones escaping from the engineers where the original M.E.T/Legion was sent for repairs.
The story later dies out owing to Legion hijacking the world's broadcast televisions and delivering a message to the world, stating that humanity's extinction begins now and there is nothing humanity can do to stop it. After Legion cuts off, Helga experiences four different things at her home: These are Sonia Altmann and three Legion drones who attack her husband and kidnap her eldest daughter Greta...all while Helga and Sonia flee to the nearest E.I.N offices.
At the offices, Helga is confused about why Sonia brought her here and even more so that Sonia has given her a machine gun given that Legion is impervious to bullets; but Sonia tells Helga the reason why: Legion may be impervious to bullets, but it is not immune to computer viruses and she is trying to get a specific virus to implant into Legion: Thunderstorm.
The agents head for Legion's base where Helga distracts it allowing Sonia to plant the virus into the machine. At first, it gloats about the failure of humanity and Helga's life amounts to nothing...but as it begins to experience system failure, Helga just smiles smugly at it and uses an ironic echo against it:
"Sorry, I didn't get that: What do our lives amount to, again?"Legion becomes even more erratic in speech that Helga stops seeing the machine as a threat and sees its breakdown as funny especially when it begins to rapidly talk even if this is a warning the machine is going to blow up. Which it does...just not in the way that she anticipates: Instead, its interior circuitry is fried causing its exterior to fall into pieces.
This in turn causes a chain reaction on all the drones across Germany and indeed the world which causes Helga to remark "Someone's got a lot of repairs to be doing." though Sonia remarks, as the pair head home, that the E.I.N aren't doing it.
Meanwhile, in Nepal, the same man who ordered a search party for Neslihan Kaya is on the line to another associate of U.T.O.C.I.P with the pair lamenting the loss of Legion and decide to "Break her" in revenge against the destruction of their machine.
Two weeks after the Legion attacks, Helga is first seen at Johnson's office where in a twist of events, she is not being briefed on a mission (which was the original intention for the story before it was switched to U.T.O.C.I.P sending out a fake arrest warrant for Helga) but rather to be reconciled with her boss.
Little do both sides know however, is that outside the office is the same woman who was being ordered to "Break her" by Aakankasha Munankarmi at the end of Enemy of Nightmares as retribution for destroying Legion. Outside, the woman sends in a scorpion which hides in a place in the room until Helga has gone.
The next day, Helga comes across the police who have been sent there on the orders of the chief of Police who place the agent under arrest though the only thing she knows what she is being arrested for is that she is due to be extradited to Bangladesh and she reluctantly comes quietly to be extradited. Her destination: Bangladesh.
Inside Bangladesh, Helga is taken to the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and takes her place in the defendants box but for the Supreme Court, she is surprised by the lack of judges. But as the main judge comes in, the agent refuses to rise with the other terrorists under U.T.O.C.I.P and comes to see the judge for the trial: Aazam Guhathakurta. Who was also the woman who sent the scorpions to the Federal Constitutional Court and to the E.I.N offices.
As Helga's trial begins, she asks for a defence attorney but Aazam replies that getting a defence is pointless because since taking power in 2043, U.T.O.C.I.P has carried out its trials without a defence attorney, only a prosecution attorney and in 2115, they aren't going to start now. She also mentions this is the case for other organisations that U.T.O.C.I.P is allied with, such as the Scandinavian Alliance, the Alliance of Russia and East Europe and the Arab Syndicate.
The trial begins with Aazam first accusing her of murder and genocide which makes Helga calmly refute this accusation, only to grow more and more spirited when she tells Aazam that if U.T.O.C.I.P are going to accuse of one crime, then it's going to be theft owing to being the accomplice of the events of Hostage of the Desert and because of U.T.O.C.I.P.
Helga begins to grow more and more fiery in refuting her accusations of murder when she calls Aazam's murder claims "unfounded, ridiculous and pathetic" causing shock among the courtroom and forcing Aazam to have the trial adjourned. As the trial is adjourned, Helga is taken down to a prison cell in order to recuperate where she comes across a future ally Amrit Sanjiva who commends her for standing up to U.T.O.C.I.P.
Within Amrit, Helga sees a hope spot in that she will be her defence attorney but Amrit refuses stating that she has no idea whether the agent is innocent or guilty of what Aazam and U.T.O.C.I.P are accusing her of which results in Helga accusing her of collaborating with U.T.O.C.I.P but Amrit replies that she is in fact a prisoner of U.T.O.C.I.P who also make her defence attorney for their show trials.
As Sanjiva leaves Helga's cell, the agent comes to learn a horrible thing: The reason why Aazam and U.T.O.C.I.P are accusing her of murder and genocide is not because of her prior actions...they are going to plant the actions of Legion on her.
When Helga comes back to her trial, that's exactly what Aazam and U.T.O.C.I.P do. And she also learns the horrible truth: Aazam was in Germany during the Legion attacks and was also the one who sent out the arrest warrant for Helga and while the agent refuses to believe she is guilty of murder, Aazam accuses her of it anyway.
The agent questions as to who's murder she is guilty of and goes from fiery and spirited to becoming tearful when memories of the Legion attacks on her family come back to haunt her which causes Aazam to pause for a moment and let Helga calm herself down. When she does, Helga realises that the trial really was a sham and was down purely out of spite as revenge.
As spiteful as the trial may be however, Helga is found guilty yet feels the weight of her sentence is lost when Aazam sentences her to "Hyena" owing to Hyenas not existing in the Indian subcontinent. Aazam claims she is aware of that fact but attacks Helga with a mechanical one that shoots the agent with a dart like a knock out dart and after being knocked out, is sent back to her home county.
Back at Germany, Aazam proves that her rogues gallery still has a little bit of humanity left in them in contrast to the hate groups in the world such as the Black Sun (in-universe) and the Ku Klux Klan who perceive them as sub-human. In Germany, Aazam takes Helga back to her home and lays her on the sofa for her family to find, rather than dumping her in a slum to die.
As her judge leaves the house, Helga begins to stir and wake up where almost immediately she expresses confusion as to where she is and how she got home. Perhaps even more so than her family, owing to Alfred just coming back from picking their daughters up from school who wonder how she got in the house when the door was locked.
As the agent slowly comes round, Helga explains the story about her extradition to Bangladesh and the revelation that she got from Aazam to her family; for now, she feels normal but over time things begin to change for her:
That change begins at night; at two o'clock in the morning, Helga wakes up to avoid disturbing her family, takes a kitchen knife and goes out on a killing spree. On this killing spree, she kills three members of the Black Sun with her first victim also having his wife and children murdered when she slits their throats; and not only does she become more sadistic in that she is heard faintly singing to herself but her tone of voice changes as well.
Her voice goes from smooth and natural to high pitched and giggly when she sings while slitting the Black Sun members' throats to deep and raspy when she mocks the Black Sun about seeing the dawn of a new age and sending Germany back to the age of Nazism. The next day, the Black Sun swear revenge on the one who killed three of their members.
As Helga watches on television, she begins to see the funny side of the leader obviously trying to keep up a brave facade but really just looking like a madman in that he practically screams for three minutes while flailing around during his speech (during this time, Helga is the only one watching because her husband has gone to work, and their daughters have just been dropped off at school).
After the news report, Helga gets a phone call from her boss telling her about the Black Sun murders...and frightens him when she becomes very apathetic about why the Black Sun should concern the E.I.N and tells him:
"And why should the Black Sun concern us? The country will see the Black Sun leader for what he has become in recent years: A buffoon with no sense of strategy and one who has as much charisma as a wet cloth. Besides, I thought you understood what the Black Sun has done, Johnson; The E.I.N has never got involved with the Black Sun before. Why should it now? It's about to tear itself apart. Though, now that you mention it..."She further frightens her boss when her voice goes from normal to deep and raspy which further gives Johnson an ultimatum to hang up and get the police down there, but fears that he has betrayed Helga once and will not do it again. Finally, Helga hangs up and almost wonders what she just said to Johnson but a voice in her head tells her:
"Never mind what you told your boss, Helga! You promised that you would be in a better state than the Black Sun leader. He will only be the first victim of the Black Sun's fall."And with this, Helga sets off to do what she promised: Destroy the Black Sun. First, she goes to a German Army base and steals a shotgun then travels to the Black Sun headquarters where the Black Sun leader and his lieutenant argue about who is to blame for two things:
A) The Black Sun's constant failures to restore Germany to its days of glory, and B) their fall in numbers because no one wants nothing to do with them, lest they get murdered with the rest of the Black Sun. The Black Sun lieutenant blames the leader's ineptitude in recent years while the Black Sun leader accuses the lieutenant of pompous leadership whenever he has commanded a platoon with virtually little to no concern over the Black Sun organisation.
During their argument, one member is struggling to keep their sanity and instead tells the two officers to stop bickering and the rest of the Black Sun is ready to hear more rallying speeches...one of which is ruined by Helga who shoots the lieutenant dead and kidnaps the Black Sun leader.
The agent takes the Black Sun leader to a warehouse where she continues to beat him and finally kills him; first by breaking his back with a crowbar and beating the leader to death with the exact same crowbar. Then she goes on to tear the Black Sun apart by killing its members off in increasingly violent, brutal and sadistic ways before setting the Black Sun base on fire.
And during this time, Helga can be seen carrying out the following murders barefoot, with no harm or irritation to her feet; she also thinks that because she was hooded for the whole time, there is no one who has seen her carry out the attacks. But little does she know that there is someone who had seen her attacks: Fellow E.I.N agent and to add insult to injury, her best friend Selma Achenbach.
Selma tells Johnson everything about the Black Sun destruction including its headquarters being burned down which causes Johnson to send Selma to find Helga before any other E.I.N agents do, or the E.I.N itself does. Achenbach eventually finds Helga outside the headquarters to Das Schwert, a criminal organisation that was once allies with the Black Sun still as a hooded figure.
She orders the figure to reveal itself to her which the figure does: The figure who is responsible for the Black Sun murders and the destruction of its hideout is Helga much to the horror of Selma because the assailant is essentially her best friend. But Helga manages to be calmed down by Selma who instead of turning her over to the authorities, takes her somewhere else.
That place is a hospital owned by the Thunderspirit organization which causes Helga to accuse Selma of betraying the E.I.N but Achenbach refutes the accusation by telling her:
"Oh, but I'm not a traitor in the E.I.N Helga. Since the 2080s, all agents in the European Intelligence Network have shown nothing but loyalty. Besides, even if I am still loyal to it, the organisation left me no choice: Johnson must have sent a bounty hunter after you. With you killing the Black Sun like you did, there may only be a matter of time before you attack fellow agents."All this is being said while Helga is being prepared for a full body scan in the style of an MRI which reveals that the effects of the Hyena attack in Bangladesh are beginning to take its toll and Helga is changing in personality, becoming much more violent and sadistic. Selma further shows her loyalty to Helga by trying to keep her away from her family because that will be the first place the bounty hunter is going to search.
However, Helga has been married for thirteen years and for those years has protected her family time and time again and is said to not let that reputation slide so heads home anyway. At the beginning of the story, Helga murdered the Black Sun leader and as shown in a news report, she also murders the leader of Das Schwert on the way home.
She appears outside her own home while Daemon is hunting for her...and eventually comes to attack the hunter but comes under fire herself and is forced to retreat to a warehouse where U.T.O.C.I.P's attack on her begins to take hold. Daemon finds her in the warehouse and tries to bring her out of hiding, and succeeds...but Helga attacks him again and seemingly kneels before him as she begins to transform. Her final form: A spotted Hyena.
The newly transformed Helga begins to advance on her attacker and begins to attack him even more viciously with even more power than a normal Spotted Hyena owing to her Hyena form being as vicious as her normal human form and with her being one of the E.I.N's finest agents, becomes Daemon's equal in battle.
During the fight, Daemon tries to blow up the warehouse with her inside it, but fails as he escapes and she does as well...much to the fright of fellow E.I.N agent Sonia Altmann who was investigating the warehouse fire. Following her transformation, Helga does nothing else but find somewhere to hide out of view and rallies the following day.
The following day after getting some rest, Helga continues her rampage against Das Schwert and kills all but three members of the organisation one by one. The last remaining members of Das Schwert known as Scarface, The Owl and The Viper, take fellow E.I.N agent Sonia Altmann prisoner in retaliation for the E.I.N's involvement in their operations and the murder of "The Serpent" on television.
Das Schwert's motives for Sonia are unknown, but whatever they want with Sonia the mobsters are interrupted by the arrival of Helga which results in Sonia fighting back against Scarface and Viper and Owl being savaged to death by Helga; once the mobster has been murdered, Helga and Sonia exchange looks at each other and the former runs away in fright.
But Helga's mind begins to alternate between human and animal and after her encounter with Sonia, her animal mind takes over which makes her attack her own family or more specifically attempt to attack her middle daughter Gertrude who is in a biology class.
At Gertrude's school, Helga's Hyena form continuously distracts her daughter and more so when Daemon arrives and fights Helga who rapidly gains the upper hand though things turn in Daemon's favour...until he is shot by Alistair in the back (fortunately on his chestplate). All the while, not only does Gertrude watch the fight but so do much of the school.
As Alistair shoots Daemon again, Helga runs away and Gertrude's teacher has the headteacher phone all the student's families to come and pick them up. Having fled from the fight between Alistair and Daemon, Helga's mind continues to degenerate into animal form when she returns to the Das Schwert headquarters to finish the organisation off, permanently.
First, Helga kills Scarface by mauling him to death and then kills The Viper in a manner to the way Cujo attacks Donna Trenton in the film and novel of the same name. And not only does Helga destroy Das Schwert but she also can be seen feasting on Scarface's corpse, a horror which shocks and frightens Daemon enough for him not to react.
This in turn leads to Helga launching a vicious assault on him and for Alistair to ring back the man who hired him, telling him to get Selma down to the Das Schwert headquarters immediately with the antidote that Thunderspirit developed and a towel (because Helga's original clothes were torn and burned when she turned into a Hyena).
Alistair himself gets down to the headquarters where he sees Daemon losing a fighting battle against Helga, especially when she destroys his flamethrower and leaves it hanging on by a thread on his guantlet. And despite being the man who was meant to protect Helga, Alistair is forced to shoot the animal causing Helga to go after him and attempt to maul him to death.
As Helga goes after Alistair and fights him, Daemon appears to shoot her much to the chagrin of Alistair...but Daemon has only stunned her which is fitting for Selma Achenbach to arrive and inject the antidote into Helga which turns her back to normal, albeit wrapped in a towel during her regression back into her human form.
Once Helga has been turned back to normal, Selma takes her home to rest though there is the question of how long it will take until she can resume work again.
In the beginning of the story The Brink of Descent, much of Helga's previous assignments are recapped since the end of the Scandinavian trilogy all the way to the events of Corrupted by Hell. It is also a month since the events of the aforementioned Corrupted by Hell and Helga is back in business; while she is adjusting to civilian life, Graham Johnson is said to have given what would have been Helga's assignments to her best friend Selma Achenbach.
But Helga is not the only one back in business: Unknown to her, an old enemy in the form of Alfred Deutschmann is also back in action and even more unknown to her, he bribes an old colleague of his to make a plague for him and to kidnap her middle daughter Gertrude Blankenburg under the threat that his past with the Black Sun will be exposed if he does not comply.
The next day is a pretty normal day for Helga: She and her husband drop their daughters off at school while the agent and her husband head to their respective jobs (Helga goes back to the E.I.N while Alfred goes to his respective workplace). But towards the end of the day, that changes: Little does Helga know that Gertrude has been kidnapped by the doctor who was blackmailed by Alfred: Siegmund Kretschmar. And he kidnaps her just as Helga and her husband are coming to pick their daughters up from school.
As Siegmund drives away, Helga and Alfred give chase, chasing Siegmund all over Dusseldorf in an attempt to get their daughter back which ultimately proves futile when Gertrude's kidnapper takes cover in a car shop which makes her parents give up and go home. At home, the family get a phone call from the head of the E.I.N Graham Johnson...at least, for a few minutes because Helga's husband hands her the phone and a new person takes over: An old enemy of Helga in the form of Alfred Deutschmann.
On the other end of the line, Deutschmann reveals the location of Helga's daughter: She is at the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, five hours away from Dusseldorf and blackmails Helga: Helga is to come to the castle alone and unarmed or she will never see Gertrude again which makes Alfred experience just how protective of her family Helga is; once he threatens Helga, Helga threatens Alfred by giving him an ultimatum: She will comply with his demands but what happens will depend on her daughter's status:
If Alfred returns Gertrude safe and sound, then that will be the end of it. But if he hurts or even kills her daughter in anyway shape or form, Helga tells Deutschmann that there will be nowhere he will be free of her wrath because if he hurts or kills Gertrude she will come for him, find him and kill him. To this threat, Alfred hangs up which makes Helga believe he got the message and she sets off in search of her daughter.
Helga arrives at the Neuschwanstein Castle in search for her daughter and under the guidance of Alfred's voice, finds Gertrude locked in the castle dungeon leading to a tearful reunion, more so for Gertrude because while Helga may have had a missing daughter, she also has her eldest and youngest by her side while her middle daughter only had a cyborg and a man she would have meant to trust (because of Siegmund being a medical practitioner) who had intentions to do very shady things to her.
After the reunion, Helga takes her daughter out of the dungeon which is also about as far as they get: Because up top is Alfred who remarks that he would be moved by the mother-daughter reunion if he was still capable of it. As Alfred arrives, Helga shields her daughter from him and warns him that if he wants to hurt her daughter, he will have to go through her.
The cyborg, however, shows no desire to hurt Gertrude and instead takes the pair to a room in the castle. At this room, Alfred's intentions are revealed: He intends to launch a plague on the country which will kill anyone and everyone who ever wronged him with next to no regard as to who gets caught in the crossfire, and Helga herself is going to be the first person to feel Alfred's loss.
Despite Alfred claiming that he had no intention to hurt Gertrude, he does just that, takes the girl hostage and blackmails the agent: There are two cures for the plague, one is real and the other is a placebo. If Helga works for Alfred and helps him release the plague on Germany, then he will indeed let her daughter go. But if Helga doesn't work for the cyborg, then he will poison her daughter, kill Helga and poison Germany.
Helga tries to force Alfred to just give her the cure, but Alfred refuses and destroys a test tube then hurts Helga even more by taking a hypodermic needle filled with the plague and holding it to Gertrude's neck telling Helga that she will work for him, or her daughter will die. As Gertrude is held in a headlock with a syringe to her neck, Helga tries to get Alfred to let her daughter go by asking him about what he will do if he succeeds, hoping to make him hit a brick wall.
But Alfred replies that once he infects Germany with the plague, he will give Helga a mercy kill then to make sure no one can attack him or trace him, kill himself. Once again, Helga refuses to choose between sacrificing her daughter or the lives of millions so Alfred makes a choice for her: He sticks the syringe needle into Gertrude's neck, infects her with the plague and throws her away like a ragdoll.
Which in turn, triggers Helga's Mama Bear instinct causing her to destroy the plague and re-iterate her threat to Alfred: "If you hurt my daughter, I will find you and I will kill you.". She in turn, challenges him to a sword fight, but because of her lack of experience with swords, spends a while trying to dodge Alfred's attacks yet eventually gets the hang of it and the pair start fighting.