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.
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.
But off the field, Helga is a motherly character to her family and children which is her three daughters Greta, Gertude, and Christa and probably has the same maternal instinct that Selma, Christa and Olivia have in the series alongside any other female character who has children in literature be they human such as herself, Selma and Christa or animal such as Vixen and those that she knows well describe her as a better mother than most parents in other media.
Helga is also characterized by her friends as being loyal to her allies but fierce toward enemies. As the protagonist of the series Helga is one of the more developed characters in the series alongside two of her enemies: Joonas Koskelo in the Scandinavian Alliance and Poppy Wright in the Syndicate and Company for the Sheltering of Crime figures and members in Latin America and Europe despite the fact she does not appear very much in her first appearance.
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?"
In her appearances, Helga is married to Alfred Blankenburg who she married in 2102. They have three daughters Greta, Gertude and Christa and live in Dusseldorf where the family is very affluent like other E.I.N agents, in particular Eastern agents such as Neslinan 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, Christa Edelmann who has a son and Olivia Hammerton who has three sons, all of whom would appear in other stories one way or another: Adam Hammerton who later appears in A Woman's World and the World War X series, Jesse Hammerton who also appears in the World War X series and Edmund Hammerton who appears in the World War X series and dies.
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.