Hey Arnold! The Maximum Curly Saga - Chapter 48 - DevilBoy216 (2024)

CHAPTER 47: APOCALYPSE NOW, PART 5

Standing in wait for his enemy to come, the Freak patiently sat through this interval of time in wait for the Green Eye to appear. Having made a plan and intending to see it followed through to its precise detail, the wait for his intended subject to arrive made him grow anxious; obsessively and repeatedly wishing for the simple arrival of the Green Eye through and through in his mind.

As he awaited the Green Eye's arrival, the Freak took one moment to take a more closer inspection of his choice of fight. Utilizing his newfound psychic powers granted to him by the blood of a Spirit Master, he stood right in the middle of the setting, a small concrete park, making himself invisible in the minds of every individual within.

Keeping himself invisible to the unsuspecting citizens, the Freak observed them closely; reflecting on the images that he was receiving from his act of voyeurism.

Children all unsuspectingly played on objects of recreation like swings, slides, see-saws, and other such miniature amusem*nt rides, all under the watchful eyes of their mothers and fathers. Despite the chaos that continued to unfold in the city, these parents chose to give their offspring a chance to gain some element of fun and liberty of being carefree for just a moment; to live as a child should.

Though his muddled mind had led him to believe that he had lived a life of abuse from his parents, a recent revelation had shown that such was not case. Nonetheless, while his memories of abuse are indeed false after all, the trauma associated with them does not pass.

Observing the playing children, watching them as if studying a foreign form of life, the Freak cannot help but find an interest in their sense of innocence and joy. He does not understand why; his own killer instinct would make him look upon the act with disgust with only an urge to destroy it along with the life that felt it, but, for an unexplained reason, he feels differently during this viewing.

Watching one child run into his mother's arms, who embraced the child with a warm hug, he peers into their minds for a taste of their emotions. There is a cozy feeling that settles into both of their hearts, a welcoming and entrapping emotion that invites one for a prolonged stay, and The Freak ponders over the sentiment, experiencing the moment as the mother and son shared it.

He cannot understand why he feels the need to tap into this feeling for himself, but, gaining the experience for himself, he does not need to understand. All he can care about is letting the feeling stay in his mind as long as possible and soak it in as much as he can; encapsulating himself within it.

For this one moment, he feels peace. Though he does not appreciate it, his curiosity leads him to analyze it further.

Alas, his analyses of the emotional states of those bystanders surrounding him had to come to an end; put to a stop by the presence of one more individual, and the most important one to his current plans. Turning away from the crowd, watching the man without pain approach him from the alleyway, the Freak looked to him with a smile and a sarcastic warm greeting.

"Hey Arnold." The Freak said.

"Curly. Why show yourself now?" Green Eye asked.

"Oh, no special reason. I just thought you and I could have a talk."

"A talk? You really expect me to believe that?"

"Well, it's either talk or fight, and fighting me now could lead to some of these people getting hurt, and we wouldn't want that, now, would we?"

The Green Eye looked upon the innocent people surrounding the two, realizing that he could not risk endangering them with a fight.

"Oh, and don't try warning them to leave or anything fancy like that. I found a new trick with your powers and convinced them that neither you nor I are actually here. After all, you'd think someone like me'd stick out like a sore thumb and scare these people right off, right?" The Freak asked.

"What do you want, Curly?" Green Eye asked.

The Freak took a look at a watch wrapped on his wrist, checking his time frame for the conversation he was leading.

"Just a little you-and-me time. A bonding moment. A bro moment. Oh, but that's right, your 'bro' hates your guts now that his girlfriend's paralyzed, but you don't care about that nearly as much as me, now, do you? In fact, I think you've been beginning to show a lot more signs of mood swings, aren't ya?" The Freak asked.

"What are you talking about?" Green Eye asked.

"You're starting to lose it. You forgot, I can still read your mind. That little slap, and you know what. Well, you know what I've always said, a good old hate-f*ck never hurt anybody. Just ask Rhonda. Of course, I'd be careful; I told her that, and you saw what happened to me after."

"If this is some kind of revenge act, you're not going to get to me with it. I don't feel guilty about not being there to help you, because I tried my best when I came back, and, even though I might implied otherwise, my offer still stands. I'm still willing to help you, even with all the harm you've caused so far."

"Oh, so it's back to pretending you can 'fix' me again? Spare me the 'Good Will Hunting' bullsh*t. I ain't changing. I got one and only one purpose in life now: To be your bad guy. Your arch-nemesis."

"Then what exactly is your ultimate goal in that purpose, Curly? What's your idea of victory? All this killing, all this destruction, what's it going to amount to? What do you want?"

Checking his watch one last time, the Freak noticed the second hand move to the desired spot he required, officially setting his plan in action. Looking back at the Green Eye, his own eyes began to glow a bright blood red, with his mouth widening to show a smile full of gleaming teeth.

"I want to break you." The Freak said.

In the brief distance, a loud explosion was heard, driving the Green Eye to turn his head towards it.

-

[Soundtrack Cue: Nine Inch Nails - Starf*ckers, Inc.]

Far from this small secluded section of the city of Hillwood, the Army National Guard base holding the many Guardsmen stationed to see to the threat of the Freak and the rest of the dangers that have come to the city. The sight of a military base, imposing as it might be, still bares some sense of security. After all, attacking an army base in a populated city seems impossible to even imagine.

But many things these days are impossible to imagine, but are real nonetheless.

With a charge led on by Wolfenstein and El Cucuy, backed up by various heavily armed gang members, the Army National Guard base found a full-scale assault on its front gates, sending the entirety of the base within into a frenzy. With Guardsmen scrambling to the front lines with rifles in their hands, all put up their best efforts to fend off the attack closing in.

Continuing on his streak of wearing offensive t-shirts on his 'vacation', El Cucuy's current attire featured an image of Elmo the Monster looking up to the sky with a facial expression of bliss, with fellow Sesame Street characters Zoe and Abby Cadabby kneeling in front of his crotch in an unseen act. Accompanied by this spectacle of a ruined childhood read the text: 'TICKLE MY PICKLE ELMO'.

Just as the Guardsmen put up their strongest line of defense they could give, the attacking force brought the strongest offense they could give, and what they had to give was multiple times stronger than the defenses of the base. Continuing to wield his belt-fed machine gun in his organic and cybernetic hands, Wolfenstein proudly cheered on the strike and his soldiers.

"Yes, my Aryan brothers! March on and attack like our ancestors did so at the walls of Poland! Strike down Jew by Jew, nigg*r by nigg*r, spic by spic; cleanse it all into a pure Aryan nation!" Wolfenstein shouted.

"Hey, asshole, you know I'm a 'spic', and I'm on your side, right?" El Cucuy asked.

"Don't give yourself too much credit, wetback. You got a long ways to go before you impress me."

"And I'm also a U.S. citizen. True, I'm awanted citizen, but, still."

-

Another distance away from this battleground, one police precinct caught wind of news of the attack, realizing that the forces would require their help. With many officers donning riot control and S.W.A.T. gear, the local law enforcement prepared an emergency deployment for military aid for their neighboring Guardsmen.

Before any officers could make their way out of the building, however, a Jolly Olly truck drove to the scene, with the Jolly Olly Man himself driving. Aiming an RPG out of the driver's seat, he pulled the pin to the rocket and fired it towards the crowd of officers. As soon as the rocket-propelled grenade landed its impact, the officers were sent flying back and splattered across; their gear not good enough to preserve their lives.

In addition to murdering the team of officers, the explosion resulted in setting the entire building in fire from the ground up; leaving many unable to escape the precinct and trapped inside the endure the flames. Watching the many trapped souls inside scream as they were burned alive, some opting to jump out of windows and fall to quicker deaths, the Jolly Olly Man watched in amusem*nt.

"Now,that's what I call smoked pork." Jolly Olly Man said.

-

Apart from this display of lawlessness, many unbeknownst to the violence on the surface continue their lives below it on the subway trainTacoma 123, sitting contently to await the arrival to their intended destinations. The overwhelming majority of these people carry pure or benign intentions for their trips, but there is one among them who does not.

Clasping her hands in prayer, the fugitive woman named Lila Sawyer, donning the name of 'Saint Lila', concluded a silent prayer to her god; meditating on the afterlife that awaits her and the many sinners that await another, less promising, afterlife. Reaching into her minister's garb, she prepares to every last soul on this train to said place.

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." Saint Lila said.

Pulling out her IMI Uzi, Saint Lila squeezed the pistol grip tightly in her hand, preparing to use it upon the train riders.

"Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." Saint Lila said.

Taking the magazine from her clothing, Saint Lila inserted the magazine, pressing it tightly into the weapon.

"For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:" Saint Lila said.

co*cking the weapon back, Saint Lila stood from her seat, aiming the submachine gun at the unsuspecting victims on the train.

"For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." Saint Lila said.

Then, she pulled the trigger.

Firing upon the many passengers inside the train, their screams and bloodshed were drowned out with the sounds of deafeningly loud gunfire, cleansing the train of all signs of life within. Upon reaching the driver's cab, she pulled the brake to the train, putting it to a stop on the tracks.

Stepping forth from the train, Saint Lila exited with her Uzi still smoking in hand, leaving behind many dead bodies of men, women, and children that once breathed life, giving the same praises to same god that she, too, worshiped. In her mind, these people did not love that same god like she did, and nowhere near as much as her, leaving her with no guilt over their deaths.

"Amen." Saint Lila concluded.

[Soundtrack Cue End]

-

As all these concurrent events of violence and destruction unfolded at once, the Green Eye was left to ponder what kind of attack that the Freak was planning, leading him to try to prod into his mind for an answer to put it to an end. Trying to break through his mental defenses, however, the Green Eye found no progress on that task; unable to reach the Freak's head with only a nosebleed from his own to show for it.

"Oh, I wouldn't do that if I were you. On top of blocking you from tracking me, I found some more of your little firewalls. Along with, of course, a few more of your tricks." The Freak said.

Turning his attention to the oblivious bystanders, the Freak's eyes began to glow red, showing his influence growing upon them with his mental commands assaulting their minds. All citizens in the surroundings dropped their past tasks and acts of play in unison; standing to hear the suggestion fed into their minds.

Kill the Green Eye.The Freak said.

Upon giving his command, the citizens all turned to the Green Eye with looks of rage and hatred; all intent on their simple given task of ending the life of the man without pain. Soon realizing that he was stuck in the middle of a battleground-to-be, the Green Eye felt himself freeze in fear, trying to discern his next move.

"Ooh, I can see that indecisiveness in your face already. You know that these assholes can not only see you now, but they wanna rip you to pieces. But the only way you can stop them now is if you kill them, and that's not an option for you. Let's see what happens, shall we?" The Freak asked.

"And what makes you think I'm gonna let you sit around and watch?" Green Eye asked.

"Ah, you're right! I'd love to stick around and watch, but I have more important things to tend to. I guess you'll just have to have fun in the meantime, then, won't you? See ya." The Freak said.

Extending his middle finger to the Green Eye with a smile, the Freak gave a sarcastic smile and a wink. Crouching to the ground, extending himself up again to launch himself into the air, the Freak began flying away from this small park leaving it behind to leave the Green Eye to face off against his attackers alone.

With the hostile bystanders grabbing at him in the instant the Freak left, the Green Eye pushed them off and prepared his fists to defend himself, marking the beginning of this burly brawl. Unable to bring himself to fight against innocents, leaving him without any actual means of offense against the many people surrounding him, his options were becoming extremely limited.

And chances of escape even more so.

-

With a coordinated attack sending Hillwood into total chaos once again, the Hillwood Heroes were expected to once again to arrive on the scene to provide their aid, as the team of superheroes had always done. In this instance, however, the team of heroes had no such concept of what to do; the absence of their leader making them lost and confused as how to help their city.

"Oh, crap, oh, crap, oh, crap! What are we supposed to do?!" Star of David asked.

"sh*t, man, I didn't smoke enough for this! I'm freaking the hell out!" Bad Boy said.

"Gee willikers, you guys, what in tarnation are we supposed to do?! There ain't enough of us to deal with this kinda thing!" Dirt Man asked.

Though the remaining members of the Hillwood Heroes buckled under panic from the nightmarish scenario that they were placed under, Valiance was not so quick to succumb to pressure. Placing his foot down and firing a pistol into the air, the heroes all turned their attention to the armed knight, listening in to what he had to say.

"Listen up. With our limited manpower, this is the best strategy I can see making this work: Insect Girl and Dirt Man, you two head to the National Guard base and use your environmental powers to break up the attackers and provide aid to the Guardsmen. Bad Boy, you provide fire support for the remaining Guardsmen to put up a decent defense around the base. Star of David will accompany me in trying to hunt down the Jolly Olly Man and put him down before he destroys any more police precincts." Valiance said.

The Hillwood Heroes were expected to immediately jump into action at Valiance's orders, but the group did no such thing. Instead, the group stood in silence at the white knight, each sporting discontent and disapproving faces as they glared on the man barking orders at them.

"Well? What are you waiting for? Hillwood's in danger, or haven't you noticed?" Valiance asked.

"Yeah, but we're not takin' any orders from you." Dirt Man said.

"What?!"

"You heard him. The Green Eye's the leader of this team, not you. We've had it with your crap and seeing you attack innocent people. With your leadership, we might as well just join the bad guys." Star of David said.

"This isnotthe time or place to be having that discussion, you idiot! There are people in danger out there!"

"Then we'll take care of it ourselves, without your help. But we might steal an idea or two of yours taking care of that Army base." Bad Boy said.

Defiant against the man even in an hour as dark as this one, the Star of David, Dirt Man, and Bad Boy left the Hillwood Heroes' base on their own accord; going their own way to defend the attack on the National Guard base. Left without most of a team to work with, Valiance stood in silent contemplation, trying to deduce how he would see to defend the city with no team on his side.

However, while without a team, he would not stand alone on his mission to defend Hillwood. Quick to offer her support, Insect Girl stood by his side.

"I might have my disagreements with you, but I know you can't do this alone, and you're still our best shot at anything getting done. I'm with you." Insect Girl said.

Instead of giving a verbal thanks, Valiance simply nodded.

"With those 3 taking care of the National Guard base, that leaves us to take care of Jolly Olly. I can triangulate his position based on his last few attacks." Valiance said.

"Then we go get him. Works for me. But what about Arnold?" Insect Girl asked.

"We'll try to get in contact with him as best as we can. He's the only key to success in this kind of fight."

"He ran off and looked like he wasn't coming back. What if we can't get ahold of him this time?"

Not taking any comfort in that possibility, Valiance took in a sharp inhale before slowly letting it out.

"Then god help us all." Valiance said.

-

Back in the small concrete park, lured into a trap meant to keep him out of the way of the Freak's plans, the Green Eye was stuck in a fight between the citizens of Hillwood; the same people he was sworn to protect manipulated and sent against him to draw his blood.

Under the telepathic influence of the Freak, the citizens of Hillwood; men, women, and even children alike, were far removed from any rational thought of their own, with only the sole order and purpose of killing the Green Eye in their minds. Keeping their target completely surrounded by bodies and muscle, chances of escape were non-existent for the man without pain.

Though the chance of undoing the influence with his own powers might not have any chance against the Freaks' elevated powers, the idea was certainly worth a try. Unfortunately, the option was not within reach for this fight, as any required concentration would need to come from a meditative state of standstill, something not remotely possible in this brawl.

Now, there laid only one option for the Green Eye:

Survive.

The droves of attacking civilians came with wild and massively uncoordinated attacks, no doubt because these were simple city folk and not experienced fighters, but the sheer amount of them had proved that this would not be an easy battle in the slightest. Moreso, there existed a single handicap that ensured that there would be no victory that would come quick.

As these were innocent people attacking him against their own will, there was no chance he could cause any harm to them. Resorting to using only blocks and shoves against his opponents, the Green Eye strove to end the battle as non-lethally as possible, in hopes that he would hold them off long enough until their influence would come to an end.

For a fight such as this one, he had to hold onto said hope as tightly as he could.

With 3 citizens holding his attention to his front, one began running up and delivered a dropkick on the Green Eye, sending him to the ground as the kicking citizen fell as well. Having their target on the ground, the mob attempted to rush towards the downed superhero and beat him as he laid down, but the Green Eye jumped back on his feet again, running back to prevent any further attacks.

His avoidance led him to come into contact with a wall, leading the citizens to try attacking him as he stood against it. Dodging and swerving away from oncoming punches, the attacking citizens missed their strikes to punch the wall instead, causing most to injure or break their hands, but none seeming to care or notice under their state of control.

Moving away from the oncoming citizens once again, the Green Eye felt one grab him from behind, restraining his arms and pulling him towards somewhere for his own sad*stic purposes. Bringing the Green Eye against a spiked fence, the citizen began pushing his face towards it, with one spike aimed straight at his eye.

Ducking and letting his body slide to the ground, the Green Eye slid between the citizen's legs, letting him slip out of his grasp and stand upright once again. Just upon freeing himself, however, he instantly found himself within the grasp of another attacking citizen, but this time grabbed nowhere near as tightly.

Noticing the previous citizen begin to rush towards him, the Green Eye took advantage of the situation, utilizing the one grabbing him to down this coming threat. Grabbing the citizen on his back, the Green Eye tossed him towards the approaching attacker, leaving them both falling to the ground.

Though these two were down for but a moment, soon to get right back up, this was only one problem left with the bigger issue of the multiple citizens still remaining. Still having the upper hand in martial arts training as well as a healing factor on his side, the fight could easily go in his way, but it would not be an easy move to victory.

Additionally, there now was added a new problem: The call of his communicator by Insect Girl, and having no time to answer it.

"Green Eye, this is Valiance. Do you read me? Green Eye?" Insect Girl asked.

-

Driving down the streets of Hillwood to try to put a stop to the chaos, Valiance kept the whole of his attention on moving himself and Insect Girl to the Jolly Olly Man, hoping they could prevent him from madly bombing any more police precincts. The latter of the two-man team continued to attempt contact with the Green Eye, but, after multiple attempts, found no response.

"Green Eye?! Do you read me?! Green Eye?!" Insect Girl shouted.

Taking frustration in her task being proved futile, Insect Girl punched the dashboard of the vehicle, groaning in anger.

"Damn it! Where the hell is Arnold?! What could he possibly be doing at a time like this?!" Insect Girl shouted.

"Seeing the scale of this attack, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that he's been trapped or set up in some way." Valiance said.

"Which means, with the triple trouble gone, we're on our own. This sucks. This really sucks bad."

Taking a look outside her window, Insect Girl noticed the surrounding areas around them beginning to fall into total chaos. In all the surrounding buildings, fights were breaking out, shops were being robbed, fires were being started, along with many other atrocities with the citizens of Hillwood in total panic.

Though these instances were committed by few compared to the full number of citizens in Hillwood, to disregard them was simply not an option. However, even though Insect Girl's first instinct was to jump out and help these helpless people, Valiance did not share the same sentiment; continuing to drive on towards their destination.

"What are you doing?! We should be helping these people!" Insect Girl said.

"We can help these people by stopping the Freak and his goon squad. It's because of them this is happening. Focus on the disease, not the symptoms." Valiance said.

"And if the symptoms become uncontrollable?"

Rather than answer her question, Valiance continued to drive on to reach the mobile target of the Jolly Olly Man, pushing his foot further down on the pedal.

"The only precinct he hasn't hit yet is Precinct 13. Most of the police officers managed to evacuate before getting attacked, but, if we lose that precinct, we won't be able to rebuild any semblance of law enforcement for months."

Temporarily silencing herself for the fight that would come, Insect Girl shared with Valiance the focus on the more pressing task, waiting until they would reach their target.

-

Back in the concrete park...

As the onslaught of hostile citizens continued to overwhelm the Green Eye, the aforementioned superhero was still surrounded by this maniacal mob, still trying to find a way to make his way out of this difficult situation without harming any civilians in the process. Such a task seems impossible, and it only continues to prove that by the minute.

Being kicked back by one citizen, a child jumped up on the Green Eye's shoulder and began beating him in the head, forcing him to forcibly throw the child to the ground. Fending back off two more citizens following a glimpse of guilt at throwing the child, the Green Eye felt one larger man punch him in the face, blacking him out for a split-second and sending him to the ground.

Though his healing factor was quick to give him enough stamina and edge in this fight, it was proving to show its limitations in a scenario like this one, and even further tested by the many citizens coming to attack him while down. A crowd of citizens all rushed up and began kicking him, leaving behind pelt after pelt by each kick thrown.

Trying to crawl away from the huddle, the Green Eye only instead found himself picked up by two of the mob, hanging him in the air to be beaten on by the rest of the crowd. When the group seemed to have their fill of beating him while suspended in the air, a position they took their time in, one citizen threw a kick to his chest, sending him back to the ground again.

As the crowd continued to kick him while downed, a few more citizens stumbled on construction tools from a nearby construction site, giving them an idea on how to further destroy the Green Eye. With many citizens taking their weapons, one selecting an axe, said carrier of the axe approached the Green Eye with the intent to use it on him.

Noticing the idea their fellow fighter had, the crowd ceased kicking the Green Eye, instead holding him down to prevent his escape. Having the Green Eye in a perfect position for an execution, the axe-wielding citizen gently lowered the blade against his neck, then lifted it up, preparing to strike down.

In the midst of this imminent death, the Green Eye finally understood that he could not hold back against these citizens any longer, and they were no longer so innocent as he believed them to be. Therefore, in his panicked mind, if there was no reason to hold himself back any longer, then there was no reason to act restrained against them.

Freeing up his arms and placing them to the ground, the Green Eye pushed himself up off and through the crowd, sending them all flying off of him. As the axe landed into the concrete ground, the Green Eye was left unharmed, leaving him to harm the axe-wielder with a sharp kick to his chest, sending him flying on his back against the concrete.

The rest of the mob still continued to show no restraint over the Green Eye, with one citizen running up to throw a punch towards him. Swerving away from the punch with ease, the Green Eye grabbed hold of her leg, lifting it up and sending them on their back, as he delivered a people's elbow to her belly and threw several consecutive punches to her head.

Being kicked off her by another citizen, the Green Eye rolled over and caught his next kick, bending his leg backwards and following with a sharp punch to his groin sending him to the ground again. Picking himself up off the ground in a kip-up, the Green Eye returned to a fighting stance once again.

As many more citizens continued to swarm and surround him, the Green Eye did not respond by simple blocking their hits, but instead delivered many of his own, knocking down more attackers left and right. Though their numbers began to dwindle with each strike brought upon them, the citizens would still not relent; picking themselves right back up to attack again.

Welcoming the fight from his enemies, the Green Eye tightened his fists as they approached.

-

Back on the streets of Hillwood...

With the National Guard under attack and almost every police precinct within Hillwood destroyed, chaos has begun running rampant and unchecked in the city, leaving many caught in the crossfire. In a city that had known peace mere weeks ago, a peace that has lasted an extremely long time, all seemed to be coming down for this mighty kingdom at last.

One of the agents of chaos making that nightmare come to fruition is the cannibalistic child murderer known as the Jolly Olly Man; tasked with destroying as many police precincts as he possibly can. Armed with an ice cream truck full of rocket-propelled grenades, the task was far from a chore, and, to a mind as crippled and craving of violence like his, all but a mere form of play for him.

Taking the RPG launcher in his hand, the Jolly Olly Man neared the final precinct in the entire city: Precinct 13. With the aforementioned precinct coming into his sights, he aimed the rocket launcher out of his window, waiting for the precise moment that he would fire.

Hearing the sound of a loud motor running behind him, the Jolly Olly Man turned to it to find Valiance coming up fast on his tail, making him pause from his shot and smile.

"About goddamn time." Jolly Olly Man said.

Aiming his rocket at the oncoming vehicle, the Jolly Olly Man fired on it instead, making a direct impact with the large war machine. Though the vehicle was consumed in a cloud of smoke, the steed emerged straight through, with Valiance and Insect Girl intently watching him as they prepared to stop him.

"Bombproof, huh? Well, let's see how many bombs that thing can take, shall we?" Jolly Olly Man asked.

Reaching over to a crate of grenades, the Jolly Olly Man pulled off the top of the crate and retrieved a grenade, pulling the pin with his teeth and spitting out before throwing the grenade out of the window. Once again, the explosive made impact with its target, this time merely hitting it from the side, but nonetheless doing no damage.

"He's not going to stop us with weapons like that. I had this thing built like a tank." Valiance said.

"That's sure not stopping him from trying." Insect Girl said.

"Nor is it stopping us."

-

Back in the concrete park...

The fight between the Green Eye and the mentally influenced civilians continued on its brutal path, with the Green Eye no longer concerning himself with trying not to harm the citizens and only concerned with making his way out of this place where he was needed elsewhere.

However, even with his restraints put to an end, the citizens were still no easy opponents to down. As many punches as the Green Eye would put into someone, they would still eventually get right back up, no matter how bruised or welted they were. Even if said citizen were down to their last breath of consciousness, they still would not cease their attacks, still keeping their numbers high enough to overwhelm the Green Eye.

As the Green Eye beat another two citizens down, the rest resorted back to using their commandeered weapons taking from the adjacent construction site. With items such as metal pipes, hammers, axes, and other tools typically meant for building greater things, they were instead repurposed for the destruction of the Green Eye.

With one woman taking a hammer in each hand, she ran towards the Green Eye, swinging them all towards him with the intent of landing a blow of heavy metal into his body, but her actions not leading to that goal. Dodging every throw of the hammers she made, the Green Eye grabbed each of her arms, headbutted her in the face, and followed his strike by driving one of her own hammers into her face, putting her on the ground fast.

Another citizen came towards him with a long metal pipe, wielding it like a spear against the Green Eye in an attempt to whack or stab him with his weapon. Moving past the citizen's sloppy attacks, the Green Eye caught the pipe in a hold in by wrapping it under his, throwing two straight hits to his face before taking his own weapon and knocking him aside with it.

Substituting his missing staff with this pipe, the Green Eye used it against the citizens in the same way they would use it against him. Knocking two citizens in his way in their heads, the Green Eye moved past these downed enemies to thrust a blow to another citizen's chest, succeeding by holding the pipe horizontally and hitting him in the chest once again.

Taking the pipe to one approaching citizen's legs, the Green Eye knocked him to the ground, pushing down on him by pole-vaulting over his body and drop-kicking another enemy past him, downing them both. Putting the pipe over his neck, the Green Eye spun in circles, consecutively hitting many enemies in their heads.

Showing more prowess than the rest, one citizen grabbed the pipe as the Green Eye held onto it, pushing against him until he led him against a wall. The Green Eye easily freed himself by delivering a kick to his crotch, but soon found another citizen armed with a sledgehammer come his way.

Holding up his pipe in defense, the Green Eye's weapon was soon robbed of its usefulness, as the pipe was bent almost in half from the blow of the hammer. Having only one more use for his weapon, the Green Eye drove one end of the bent pipe into his immediate enemy's foot, stabbing through his shoe right into the flesh.

As the enemy screamed in pain from the wound, the Green Eye dropped the pipe and threw his hands on both ends of the sledgehammer, spinning it in the air and causing it to hit its wielder in the jaw. Downing this enemy and free from his corner at last, the Green Eye continued his work with the newly-acquired sledgehammer on the rest of the enemies.

Driving the sledgehammer into the shoulder of one approaching citizen, the Green Eye sent him falling to the ground in sheer agony; the bone cracking under the harsh blow it had received. Two more citizens shared similar fates; one being hit in the side, left with cracked ribs, and another hit in the leg, left with a fractured leg.

Not seeming to comprehend the damage that he was inflicting on these people, forgetting their true innocence from the situation and the Freak being the one to blame, the Green Eye moved on to another citizen in his way, driving him to the ground with a kick to the ground and preparing a driving bludgeon to be driven into the fallen enemy.

-

Though believing himself to be left alone from the watching eyes of the Freak, the aforementioned supervillain is not oblivious to the situation at hand, even when flying through the Hillwood skies. Keeping a close eye on the fight from the eyes of the very citizens he was controlling, the Freak took notice of this particular motion from the Green Eye, gaining an idea to further drive him down his moral degradation.

To ensure this idea did not interfere with his plan, the Freak checked his watch, ensuring that his agenda would not have any detriments from this stunt. Fortunately enough, the required time he had needed to pass had passed on, leaving the Green Eye distracted enough from the situation at hand and making this idea achievable.

"Perfect timing. Let's see how you react to this." The Freak said.

Letting go of his control of the citizens, the Freak's glowing red eyes returned to their normal state.

-

Sending his weapon down, the Green Eye threw a deadly blow to the downed citizen, impacting his sternum and ribs. Being forced down from their naturally intended positions, the citizen's lungs were now being crushed by his own bones, making him suffocate from the injury.

Having gained his consciousness just before the injury occurred, all that he could process in this moment in time was feeling his lungs being crushed inside his own body, and the Green Eye holding a sledgehammer to his chest. Though the more pressing matter was his lack of breath, the sight of the Green Eye with the weapon was all the more confusing to him.

As the rest of the citizens no longer continued their attack, each still retained no memory of the fight that took place; only carrying physical reminders of their injuries and bruises to show for it. All were slow to realize what was going on, but too slow to realize the current situation was the Green Eye.

Taking notice of the lack of attacks coming his way, the Green Eye suddenly realized the present situation; his eyes widening and his mental state slow to compensate for the facts. Looking upon the poor citizen gasping for breath below his feet, he immediately jumped back in shock of his own actions, realizing that he had just severely injured the man below him.

One citizen, having familiarity with the downed civilian, ran towards him in deep concern.

"Harry! Harry, please, tell me, are you okay?!" The concerned citizen asked.

"Can't... breathe... It... hurts..." The injured citizen choked.

Realizing that the citizen would not have long without any form of first aid, the task of needing to save his life became the Green Eye's top priority. But also having an entire city under attack, there also laid the pressing matter of many lives requiring his help, forcing him to only be able to apply basic care to pacify this situation.

Taking a screwdriver from the dropped weapons of the attacking civilians, the Green Eye rushed to the downed citizen named Harry, holding the tool in a position ready to make a stab. The woman standing over the injured Harry, most likely his wife, laid her body over his, protecting her husband.

"No! Stay away from my husband! Don't hurt him anymore!" The woman shouted.

"I didn't mean to hurt him. You were attacking me, and I was defending myself. But if I don't do something now, your husband's going to die of suffocation." Green Eye said.

The Green Eye's irises began to glow their bright shade of jade, with a mental message repeating his verbal command into a mental one. Taking the order as instructed to her, the woman calmly stepped out of the way, allowing the Green Eye access to save her husband's life.

Crouching over Harry's body, the Green Eye carefully positioned the screwdriver above his left lung, and, upon placing his other hand over the handle, forced a precise stab into the organ. Positioning the screwdriver over the other lung, the Green Eye repeated the motion over it.

After finishing his crude first aid, Harry began to breathe somewhat normally, if much faster to compensate for the lost air. Laying back alongside her husband, the woman held his hand, providing whatever comfort she could and savoring as much time as she could with him.

"I put a pair of small holes in his lungs so he could breathe. That should buy you enough time before help comes. I'm sorry I can't stay, but I have to stop what's happening in the city." Green Eye said.

Leaving the married couple and the rest of the injured citizens behind, the Green Eye rushed into the city, hoping that he would arrive in time to stop the assault.

-

Meanwhile, at the National Guard base, the battle between the Guardsmen and the attackers seemed to come to a stalemate; the attackers gaining as much ground as they could get without the military getting any clearer shots at them. Held back by Guardsmen armed with sniper rifles, tanks, and rocket launchers, it was clear that there would be made no more progress on either side as of yet.

Skeptical of this fact were Wolfenstein and El Cucuy, stuck behind a makeshift defilade of a destroyed car, avoiding gunfire from the defending Guardsmen.

"Well, this is a nice little party we got roped into. I'm getting shot at by the f*cking army, and the guy I'm fighting with is a Nazi cyborg. Hell of a vacation I chose. I was better off with that Ace Sucky brat." El Cucuy said.

"Quit your whining, Mexicanstück ('Piece Of', used to refer to undesirables to the Nazis). The Freak said he wants this attack to happen, we made it happen. Now comes his part of the plan." Wolfenstein said.

"And what exactly's that? Run out the back door while we get shot? I could have been doing much more productive things with my time than this, most of which involve a different kind of 'back door', if you catch my drift."

"I said, stop bitching at-"

Before Wolfenstein could finish his sentence, a Guardsman approached the side of their cover, aiming his rifle at the two in preparation to fire with Wolfenstein first in his sights. Utilizing his machine-gun arm, El Cucuy immediately fired at the enemy, pumping him full of lead bullets.

Realizing that his teammate saved his life, Wolfenstein looked to him with a look of impression, giving a smile.

"Not bad, spic. You might just prove to be a credit to your race after all." Wolfenstein said.

"I'm guessing that's the closest to a 'thank you' as I'm gonna get, but I'll take it. Hell, I'll take just about anything at this point just to get us out this sh*t." El Cucuy said.

The instant El Cucuy let out his wish, it was granted in the exact same moment. A sound of a sonic boom echoed through the air, leaving him, Wolfenstein, and almost everyone on the battlefield looking around in confusion, bringing about a temporary cease-fire.

Of the remaining assets of the National Guard, there also was a helicopter in the air, making it first to get a glimpse of the event.

"What the hell was that?" The pilot asked.

Finding a man flying through the air appear right in front of him, and aiming a large assault weapon straight at him, the pilot had found his answer.

And he regretted it immediately.

"Oh, sh*t!" The pilot said.

With the flying man firing an explosive round straight at the helicopter, it exploded instantly, being sent falling down straight to the ground. Crashing onto the ground below, the helicopter tumbled as it landed; burning as it continued to collapse into pieces, leaving behind what was once a machine of war destroyed and set aflame.

Every eye on the battlefield gazed upon the destruction with confusion and fear; pondering on who or what could have caused such damage out of nowhere. Seeing a lone silhouette figure emerge from the fire, the fighters on the ground had found their answer.

[Soundtrack Cue: KMFDM - Full Worm Garden]

Stepping out from the fires was a lone man dressed in a trench coat with scarring across his chest reading 'NO FLESH SHALL BE SPARED', leaving the lot to identify this man as the Freak. Still holding the massive Cobra Assault Cannon in his hands, the National Guard recognized him as the more immediate threat, focusing their energy solely on him.

One of the tanks guarding the outpost, preparing to fire upon the Freak, loaded a round into the barrel to be fired straight at him.

"Fire!" The driver shouted.

Launching the explosive round towards the single target, the tank sent its projectile flying faster than a speeding bullet; a speed that a human being could never hope to dodge, much less comprehend in a moment's notice. However, the Freak, with all his powers driving him, managed to do just that.

Moving to the side of the round's trajectory, his body speeding along at impossible and incalculable speeds, the Freak aimed his Cobra Assault Cannon right back at the tank, preparing his own round to retaliate. Carefully aiming right down the center of the tank's gun barrel, the Freak fired his next shot right into it.

Sending his round at an impossible shot, the round made its intended destination right down the gun barrel, hitting the tank from the inside and blowing it up completely. Lightly floating above the ground, the Freak flew towards the National Guard base, readying to fight back against the remaining tanks in the battleground.

Dodging a round from another tank, the Freak fired off multiple shots into the tank in a counterattack, destroying the armored vehicle within seconds under the bombardment of explosive rounds. Just as the last tank was about to fire its shot at the Freak, the flying supervillain took a pole from a destroyed traffic sign off the ground, held it like a spear, and threw it towards the barrel of the tank.

Landing the throw right in the intended location, the pole clogged up the barrel just as the round fired, leaving the shot to backfire and cause the inside of the tank to explode as well. Slinging his Cobra Assault Cannon over his back, the Freak resorted to one of his favorite weapons: The knife.

Taking one knife in each hand, the Freak utilized his super-speed to finish off the remainder of the Guardsmen in a personal manner.

Dashing straight towards the first Guardsman in his sight, his speed making his appearance towards him instantaneous, the Freak pushed his assault rifle up into the air, avoiding any fire that was meant for him, and followed by stabbing him in the shoulder. Making a move behind him, the Freak then stabbed him in his side, followed by slitting his throat.

Moving onto the next Guardsman, the Freak stabbed him in the wrist and punched him in the face, following by stabbing through his jaw into his skull. Rushing to the next one, the Freak stabbed him in the leg, bringing him to his knee, allowing him to deliver a stab into the top of his head.

Continuing to make similar attacks to the remaining Guardsmen, his strikes were as swift as he ran up to them; completely invisible to the human eye and over before any observing party could know it. Having made his last attacks to the entire platoon of Guardsmen, the Freak stood outside the entrance of the base, still holding his bloody knives in each hand.

[Soundtrack Cue End]

With none of the Guardsmen living any longer from the attacks they were dealt, the entirety of the forces around the base dropped dead in unison, leaving the Freak and his forces the victors in this fight. Standing up from their cover at last, Wolfenstein and El Cucuy observed the handiwork of their leader; their eyesights treated to the visuals of burning tanks and piles of dead Guardsmen.

"Are you still wishing you'd stayed somewhere else for your vacation?" Wolfenstein asked.

"Hell, no, nigg*. Where else would I see sh*t this cool?" El Cucuy asked.

Offended by the word that was used to address him, Wolfenstein punched El Cucuy in the face, utilizing his robotic hand for the task.

"Let's get one thing clear, spic. Don't you ever,EVER, call me a nigg*r. I'm nothing like those violent savages." Wolfenstein said.

Spitting out a mouthful of blood, El Cucuy let out a pained groan.

"Of course you're not. Then how's 'asshole' suffice?" El Cucuy asked.

"I'll settle for 'asshole'." Wolfenstein said.

"Fine by me."

-

Back on the streets of Hillwood...

Continuing to toss explosives out of his window at the oncoming Valiance and Insect Girl, the Jolly Olly Man continued to evade the pair of superheroes pursuing him, continuing his attempt to lose their close follow and return to his mission. With only a few grenades remaining in his arsenal, options on fighting back against the superheroes was running low, leaving him unable to do anything for the moment but continue his current course of action.

Conversely, Valiance and Insect Girl had an entire city to tend to, not leaving them with much more time to waste on the Jolly Olly Man. As such, the need for a quicker solution was called for, putting the two to the task of thinking of a way to stop him before any more damage could be done.

"We're wasting too much time. Any ideas?" Valiance asked.

"I got one. Open the window." Insect Girl said.

Opening the window as suggested, Valiance watched Insect Girl stick herself out of it, focusing all of her mind on the ice cream truck ahead of them. Utilizing her Arthopod Influencer, the aphid avenger placed all her thoughts on summoning a swarm of bugs to put a stop to the Jolly Olly Man.

Pulling out the pin on his next grenade, the Jolly Olly Man prepared to throw it out of his window, only to find himself put to a pause in his action; his thoughts and actions stopped by the strange sound of insects buzzing in the air. Taking a look out of his window, he soon realized the reason for the sudden noise.

At Insect Girl's summoning, a large cloud of love bugs headed straight for the ice cream truck's window, splattering against it in a suicide mission. Accidentally dropping his armed grenade, the Jolly Olly Man immediately put his attention to the front seat, activating the windshield wipers in a futile attempt to stop the swarm of bugs from completely covering his line of sight.

From his foolish act of dropping the grenade, the explosive rolled to the back of the van, shortly exploding after its time to detonate had arrived. Blowing a large chunk of his ice cream truck open, the explosion had instantly caught the Jolly Olly Man's attention from the front seat, further dooming him to an automobile accident.

Finally, with his wheels driving over a downed mailbox in the road, the ice cream truck went aerial from its obstacle, landing on its side and at last coming to a stop. Putting a stop to their enemy and ending their pursuit, Valiance and Insect Girl stepped out of their vehicle, rushing to the downed Jolly Olly Man.

The aforementioned cannibalistic caitiff began crawling his way out of his wrecked van; injured far too greatly to escape on his own. However, to ensure that no such event would occur, Valiance caught hold of his leg, pulling him back towards them and bringing the him and the Jolly Olly Man face-to-face.

"You've got exactly 10 seconds to tell us what the Freak's plan is, or I start making you eat yourself, starting with your toes up to your legs." Valiance said.

"Tempting... but I'm afraid I must decline both offers. I'm not telling you sh*t." Jolly Olly Man said.

Taking one arm and beginning to bend it backwards, the Jolly Olly Man screamed under Valiance's torture; the pain of his interrogative tactics too much to handle.

"What is his plan? WHAT IS HIS PLAN?!" Valiance shouted.

"I don't know! He wouldn't tell me anything! I was just a..." Jolly Olly Man asked.

The Jolly Olly Man stopped in his sentence, driving Valiance to push further for its completion.

"What? Just a what?!" Valiance asked.

"Just a decoy... Just a motherf*cking decoy..."

Valiance and Insect Girl became distraught at the Jolly Olly Man's comment, gaining an even stronger need to get a clearer answer.

"A decoy for what?" Valiance asked.

-

Having occupied the National Guard base, the united gang members serving under the Freak began tearing the building apart, procuring weapons and whatever items they found amusing in the complex. Taking a seat at an abandoned desk, the Freak patiently awaited the arrival of a specific man inside the base, having specific needs for him.

After a small period of waiting, the required man in question was brought to him; the head of operations at this base known as Command Sergeant Major Roger Avary Johnson. Brought to the office with Wolfenstein's machine gun to his back and El Cucuy's robotic arm with it, the commander expressed a look of content rage and pride, even in the face of utter defeat.

"Finally. You brought in Admiral fat*ss." The Freak said.

"Sorry,fuhrer. He put up one hell of a fight." Wolfenstein said.

"And I'm sorry I couldn't give you more of one. If you're just gonna kill me, get it over with. I'm not afraid to die for my country." Sergeant Major Johnson said.

"I'm not gonna kill you. I want you to do me a little favor. I'm going on TV, and I want you to be my special guest star. See, I wanna start a big game show, and I need your help for this big opening game I wanna do, like Jimmy Fallacy does on his show. Of course, now that I filled his cute little ass and skinned him from the neck down, somebody's gonna need to take over the late-night show spotlight." The Freak said.

"You psychos can't ever just say what the hell you want to do, can you? It's always got to be some kind of stupid mind game with you people, some kind of power complex. Just tell me, what the f*ck do you want?!"

Picking himself up off the desk, the Freak turned his attention to a large object set upon a cart, pulling a large cloth off of it to reveal it.

Upon seeing the item hidden beneath it, Sergeant Major Johnson quickly wished he had never asked his question at all.

"I want to show off my new toy, and I want you to let people know that I'm not playing around with it." The Freak said.

-

The Green Eye continued to rush down the streets of Hillwood to make his way to the National Guard base; his body never tiring under his increased superhuman stamina and healing factor. Having much ground to make up for and little time, if at all, to reach the base before the Freak could make his plans come to fruition, he could not afford to waste any more time in his mission.

However, there was one final distraction that had kept him from reaching his destination, but this distraction had let him know that his initial plans may have left him far too late anyways. Passing by a TV shop with multiple televisions playing separate news channels, every news station was interrupted by an emergency broadcast sent by the Army National Guard, updating the situation on their hands.

Joining several citizens watching the TV sets, the Green Eye observed closely for news regarding the fight.

The first thing to appear on the TV feed was a piece of paper with a crude, cartoonish title card placed in front of it, with caricatures of the Freak, Wolfenstein, the Jolly Olly Man, and Saint Lila all in the corners of the picture, with 'THE FREAK SHOW' written in the center. Accompanying the image was a poor imitation of the theme ofLooney Tunes, with the voice behind the imitation easily identifiable as the Freak.

As the Freak continued his crude imitation of the famous cartoon theme song, he changed pictures by swapping out for an image behind it, with a juvenile drawing of the city of Hillwood with an explosion in the middle of it, with the title of the 'episode' reading 'IT'S A NUCLEAR WINTER WONDERLAND!'

Tossing away the pictures upon completing his theme song, the Freak turned the camera onto himself, greeting the viewers with a sarcastic sense of showmanship.

"Greetings and salutations, sh*t-izens of Hillwood! Since we don't have Jimmy Fallacy and Pillow Talk to give us any good nightly television, not that he gave us any good nightly television anyways, I've officially begun my very own TV show just for all of you to watch: The Freak Show!" The Freak said.

From behind the camera, Wolfenstein, El Cucuy, and various other armed men under his allegiance cheered and clapped as part of his show.

"Now, for my first official episode, I'd like to introduce you to a very close friend of mine: Command Sergeant Major Roger Avary Johnson of the Army National Guard! On top of having a ridiculously long name and having sold out to the late 'Little' Nicky to try to get me, he's also the most decorated man in the entire National Guard, making him just slightly more significant than the most decorated men in the Air Force and Coast Guard." The Freak said.

The Freak's makeshift audience gave out some forced laughs at his joke, continuing the play of a live audience. Bringing the camera to the aforementioned commander, revealing him to be tied to a chair, the Freak removed a piece of tape off of his mouth to let him speak.

"Hi, there, Johnson, old buddy, old pal. Good to have you back on the show again. Care to say hi to the good people of Hillwood?" The Freak asked.

Defiant to give into his game, Sergeant Major Johnson spat in the Freak's face, which the Freak playfully licked up in stride.

"My, my, I didn't take you to be so kinky, Johnny-Boy. As much as I'm for continuing something like that, unfortunately, I need you for something important. Please, would you be so kind as to tell the good people of Hillwood what this is?" The Freak asked.

The camera feed zoomed out to show the hidden weapon, revealing it to be a nuclear weapon. Just as every citizen watching the TV feed looked upon the weapon on shock, the Green Eye shared the concern, even moreso than the rest of those observing the broadcast.

"I asked you a question, Johnny-Boy. I want you to confirm what this is." The Freak asked.

"It's an old Soviet RDS-37 hydrogen bomb. It is active and ready for detonation." Sergeant Major Johnson said.

"Correct-a-mundo! You answered correctly! For that, you win the grand prize!"

Taking out a submachine gun, the Freak fired its entire magazine out into Sergeant Major Johnson, ending his life in an instant and removing him from the format of the show. Watching the hardened military man snuffed out so quickly and mercilessly by the Freak, the Green Eye and the civilians gasped in horror at the murder.

Tossing the empty machine gun aside, the Freak resumed his broadcast.

"Now, as you heard the good commander confirm, this is a nuclear weapon. I'd like to thank our sponsor, 'Little' Nicky Russotti, for getting his hands on it for us if push came to shove, but, unfortunately for him, he's not alive to appreciate the thanks. So, let's move onto the most important part of this broadcast." The Freak said.

Stepping down to the bomb, the Freak pressed in a time of 24 hours into the bomb, pressing 'ENTER' and starting the countdown.

"Let's let the games begin. The city of Hillwood is going to be blown to bits in exactly 24 hours because I want it to. Butyoucan prevent it with a telephone call. And by 'you', I mean our good elected official, President Millius Arcudi at the White House. Your timeline is less than 24 hours, and my price is 24 billion dollars. I'll contact you in about... 2 hours' time with instructions on how to deliver the ransom money. Oh, and to the good people of Hillwood who might be considering leaving the city, don't even think about leaving, or I'll set the bomb off early. The clock is ticking." The Freak said.

The TV feed then cut to static, showing an end to the broadcast.

The consequential reaction from the citizens of Hillwood, as one would expect, resulted in complete chaos and insanity. People were running around the city square in total panic, some breaking down and crying on the spot, and others immediately making calls to their loved ones to hear their voices one last time.

It might be expected that a man such as the Green Eye would have a more calm and collected reaction, but such is not the case for him. Like the panicking citizens of Hillwood, he also cannot place a set reaction on how to handle this situation or what action to take next.

His duties as a superhero spoke to urge him to pursue the Freak and stop the nuclear weapon, but, on some level, he knows that such efforts were futile at this point. With so many regrets on his hands, he cannot decide over which burden he wishes to relieve himself of before his fate:

Does he tell his parents how much he loves them, and how important that they have been in his lives?

Does he thank Luz for all the years he has spent trying to better him as a human being, and apologizing for failing him?

Or does he give his last goodbyes to Helga, hoping that whatever love he still has to give her is good enough to heal the wounds between the two?

With these questions surrounding his mind, the Green Eye cannot bring himself to do anything else; breaking down himself and grasping his hands over his head.

-

At the National Guard base, the nuclear weapon is unloaded from the building and placed on a Jeep, preparing the bomb for transport to further progress the Freak's plans. With the entirety of the National Guard dead, and nearly all law enforcement gone with them, it seems that they would have no more roadblocks in the way of completing their threat.

However, there is still the x-factor of the Hillwood Heroes in the equation. Though divided and without guidance from the Green Eye, they are far from fallen in their war against the Freak. Moving to the National Guard base at a decent pace, the 3 separate heroes known as the Star of David, Dirt Man, and Bad Boy moved to the military fortress in hopes of offering their support.

Watching the news on a smartphone during their journey, the 3 keep up with current status on the bomb threat, with a report delivered by Lisa Bartholomew.

"This just in: President Millius Arcudi has just signed papers invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807, immediately deploying military troops on the surrounding borders of the island city of Hillwood." Lisa Bartholomew said.

The TV feed showed a bridge to Hillwood being blocked off by soldiers, with many panicking citizens of Hillwood fighting to move past the barricade in attempts to escape the city. Though the citizens were violent in their attempts to escape, the Army responded with as much non-lethal equipment as possible, resorting to water hoses and rubber bullets.

"In order to prevent the Freak's threat to set off the bomb prematurely, all exits to the city have been blocked off and barricaded by Army troops to prevent the possibility from occurring. The action has led to criticism from the international community for his placation to the supervillain by giving into his threats, but President Arcudi had this statement to respond with." Lisa Bartholomew said.

The TV feed switched once again to show the aforementioned politician in front of the White House, delivering a speech to clarify his positions.

"The United States of America does not and will never give in to terrorist threats, not even ones that come with their own inexplicable supernatural abilities. But what we are dealing with is a madman, pure and simple. We have no simple choice but to at least play on his terms for the time being, if only to buy the people of Hillwood time, because the only alternative would be to let the Freak set off his weapon; a possibility that cannot be allowed or forgiven. Our thoughts and our prayers are with the people of Hillwood, and we are currently doing everything we can to see that this situation is resolved as quickly and as peacefully as possible." President Arcudi said.

Taking a puff of his marijuana cigarette, Bad Boy shook his head in disappointment at the statement delivered.

"I knew I should've voted Green Party this year." Bad Boy said.

"Well, ya gotta give the man some slack. We ain't in no easy situation, and that's all he can do right now to stop that bomb from goin' off." Dirt Man said.

"He's right. All we can do right now is just make sure he doesn't set it off. Not much longer to that base now." Star of David said.

Arriving shortly at the base, the 3 came across a burned and scarred battlefield of dead bodies and destroyed vehicles; a sight that seemed less likely to come from Hillwood and more likely to come from Pakistan. Needless to say, the heroes had realized that their help had come too late.

"Gee willikers. They cleared outta here faster than Smokey an' the Bandit." Dirt Man said.

"No kidding. I thought we'd have at least a few guys to handle left." Bad Boy said.

"Shh! Wait, look, over there!" Star of David said.

Hiding against a corner, the 3 took notice of the nuclear weapon being loaded onto a Jeep, soon to be driven away. Watching the Jeep move with the bomb loaded in the back, the group realized that this would be their only chance to find its location, leading them to make the obvious choice of action.

"That's the bomb. We've gotta follow that Jeep or we'll never find it again." Star of David said.

"You said it." Dirt Man said.

"Read my mind." Bad Boy said.

Sneakily moving after the Jeep, the group pursued the Jeep from a distance; ensuring that they would track it down without being discovered.

-

Arriving outside the entrance to a subway, the Jeep came to a stop, with its passengers dismounting from it. With Wolfenstein and El Cucuy carrying the large bomb with their cybernetic limbs, the Freak led his subordinates down into the subway, carrying the bomb to its needed destination.

Of course, being forced to carry a heavy Soviet nuke, neither party were happy to carry it on their own.

"Hey, boss, don't you have, like, super-strength or something? Care to give us a hand? This thing's heavy as sh*t." El Cucuy asked.

"The spic's right,fuhrer. This is pretty heavy. We could use a hand." Wolfenstein said.

"There's plenty of madmen out on the streets, people who would make the whole plan fall right down, and I'm the only one who's fast and bulletproof enough to save your asses if that happens. I take point. Now shut up, we're almost there." The Freak said.

The Freak led the 2 down to the subway station, arriving just as a single train began to pull into the station. As the train designated theTacoma 123arrived in the station, out stepped the absent member of the Freak's group: Saint Lila, gracefully dismounted from the car with her Uzi still in hand.

"I am sorry for the wait, holy angel. I had to remove the bodies of the sinners." Saint Lila said.

"It's cool; you're right on time, babe. Let's load this on now, shall we?" The Freak asked.

Finally having the bomb in theTacoma 123as planned, the villains took a brief moment to relax from the heavy work. Concurrently, the 3 known as the Star of David, Dirt Man, and Bad Boy caught up to the group; carefully peering down the entrance to the subway to eavesdrop on their conversation.

"Alright. So, 24 million split 4 ways, that's 6 million apiece." Wolfenstein said.

"Yep. Sucks to be that cannibal ice cream asshole; missing out on his share." El Cucuy said.

"Actually, one of those 4 shares is his.Youweren't in on this until just recently, soyouget nothing."

"What?! The f*ck kinda- Boss, I get a share for my work, right? I mean, I helped you guys, I get a share right?"

"Who cares? This bad boy's going off, anyway." The Freak said.

As the topic of the bomb being being detonated was mentioned, the topic of money quickly burned up in the air at the more pressing matter.

"Uh, you wanna run that by us again?" El Cucuy asked.

Deleting the past countdown time of 24 hours, the Freak instead set the bomb to a total of 7 minutes, pressing 'ENTER' and letting the new countdown fall. Taking his Cobra Assault Cannon in hand, he then smashed the keypad with the butt of his rifle, destroying the console and preventing any chance of diffusion or cancellation.

"I'll say it in simpler terms. Hillwood about to go boom. Time for us to go." The Freak said.

"Go f*cking where?! We're on an island! That's a nuke, moron! It's gonna blow this whole city! You trying to kill us all?!" El Cucuy asked.

"I agree,fuhrer. I have many races to kill, and I'd like to live to do the job." Wolfenstein said.

"Simple. We take this train and head to the harbor, take a boat off the island. Let this sh*thole of a city go off with a bang." The Freak said.

"In only 7 minutes?!" El Cucuy asked.

"More than enough time. Now, unless you guys want to cut it close, I suggest you help me disconnect these cars."

As the villains disconnected the subway train cars to prepare their escape, the 3 hiding Hillwood Heroes contemplated their options, while they still had the time.

"So now what? That bomb's gonna blow, and they're gonna get away scot-free." Bad Boy whispered.

"Not if I bury 'em where they stand. They won't be goin' nowhere after that." Dirt Man whispered.

"Not gonna work. The Freak'll just pop right out and kill us all before we move." Star of David whispered.

"You got a better idea, then?" Bad Boy whispered.

"Maybe... but we gotta wait 'til they go. We won't get anything accomplished with them there."

"So we just let 'em go?" Dirt Man asked.

"Arnold's not here to fight with us. We don't stand a chance. No choice."

The villains had successfully disconnected front car to the train, providing themselves with an escape route. Stepping aboard the train, the Freak and his confederates had sent the train moving forward; driving it as fast as it would go to avoid the nuclear blast.

Having been rid of the villains, the 3 Hillwood Heroes stepped down to the subway, heading to the bomb to assess the situation in full. Kneeling down to the explosive, Bad Boy inspected the console to the bomb, trying to see if there were some alternative way to diffuse the bomb, but found no such luck.

"He completely smashed this thing. Even if it wasn't, I have no idea how you're supposed to diffuse one of these things, and if we'd get somebody who does here in time." Bad Boy said.

"Looks like you're right. Any bright ideas?" Star of David asked.

"Well, how about we try to bury this thing? Maybe the blast won't effect anyone else."

"How? We don't have any time left, and we don't even have any shovels to do it."

"No, but Stinky could bury this thing no problem."

The two turned to Dirt Man at this suggestion, which led the hillbilly hero to enthusiastically approve of the suggestion.

"Shoot, that's a great idea! About time I feel important fer once. Alright, stand back, one buried nuke comin' up." Dirt Man said.

Dirt Man prepared his Soil Manipulator to send the subway car underground, but Bad Boy stopped him in his task for one final concern.

"Wait a minute! Exactly how far do you think you can bury this thing?" Bad Boy asked.

"Uh... I dunno, a few dozen feet, why?" Dirt Man asked.

"Is that gonna be enough?"

The question took away their sigh of relief and brought concern once again; leading the 3 to ponder further on whether this gamble of an idea would work.

"Gee, uh... I don't know nothin' about nukes, I just know they're just really dang powerful. One of these leveled Japan way back when, didn't it?" Dirt Man asked.

"Yeah. That means that we gotta bury this thing as far as we can. But, to do that..." Star of David began to say.

"I gots to be on the subway train to do it."

Damning as this information was, the team knew that this was the only way to ensure that the city could possibly be saved. The information did not come easy to the Star of David nor Bad Boy, both angered at the implications of the fact, but Dirt Man was far more passive about the fact, to a surprise.

"Well, shoot. Looks like I know what I gotta do." Dirt Man said.

"Wait, what?" Star of David asked.

"You're not seriously gonna do it, are you?" Bad Boy asked.

"Gee willikers, you guys, I might not know much, but I know this: That there bomb's gonna kill everybody, and I'm the only way anyone can survive. Either way, I'm gone. Might as well do somethin' good while I'm at it." Dirt Man said.

"You're taking this all pretty... calmly, man." Bad Boy said.

"Yeah, how come?" Star of David asked.

"I've always been a simple sorta folk; just a farmer with no real education. You know me, I always wanted to be somethin' special. Now, I get to be the guy that saved a whole dang city. Sounds pretty special to me." Dirt Man said.

Understanding of their friend's decision, the Star of David and Bad Boy both bid their last goodbyes, shaking hands with Dirt Man and giving brotherly hugs to him.

"You're a badass, dude. We'll see you on the other side." Bad Boy said.

"We won't forget about your sacrifice, Stinky. We'll tell everybody your story." Star of David said.

"Thanks, you guys, and thanks for being my best friends. We had some good times together." Dirt Man said.

[Soundtrack Cue: Lynyrd Skynyrd - Simple Man]

Turning away from his friends and stepping inside the subway car, Dirt Man sealed it up, ensuring that the car would not collapse in on itself during its descent. Waving one last goodbye to his friends out the window before their departure from the subway, he stood in front of the bomb, preparing his Soil Manipulator.

Reaching into the molecules of dirt below his feet, the subway car began descending down, heading further down towards the center of the Earth in a steep descent. Pushing the abilities of his Soil Manipulator to its limits, Dirt Man spared no effort to ensure that all would survive the blast of this bomb.

With the timer reading a full minute left, Dirt Man took to his communicator to share his last goodbyes, reaching the remainder of the Hillwood Heroes.

"Hey, y'all. This is Dirt Ma- Naw, this is Stinky Peterson. I want you to remember my name." Dirt Man said.

-

Above the ground, the Star of David and Bad Boy listened to their friend's broadcast, carefully paying attention to his final words.

"I used to be a real bad kid back in the day, hangin' out with delinquents like Harold and Sid, and we made as much trouble as we had fun. I don't regret nothin', but I'm not sayin' I was a saint or nothin'." Stinky said.

-

On the streets of Hillwood, Valiance and Insect Girl fought against rampaging citizens to retain some form of control, but were stopped short when hearing this call.

"But I did try my best to be somebody good. I grew a giant pumpkin, helped y'all save Mighty Pete, and I even turned down a whole million dollars from Yahoo Soda. I didwantto do some good." Stinky said.

-

Hearing this broadcast over his communicator, the Green Eye began to snap out from his breakdown, listening to Stinky's last goodbyes.

"My life's been a crazy story. Now, here I am, 'bout to stop a whole nuke from destroyin' Hillwood. Pretty good endin' to the story, if I say so myself. I just wanted to thank Harold and Sid for bein' some good friends, and Arnold for bein' an all-round good guy and lettin' me get this opportunity to save everyone. Thank you. All of you." Stinky said.

-

Watching the bomb's countdown reach seconds within zero, Stinky closed his eyes, sparing himself any image of the ending to come. Shedding a content tear over his passing, Stinky smiled at the sacrifice he was about to give, taking in one last breath and letting it out.

[Soundtrack Cue End]

But, of course, he still decided he had room for one more joke.

"Oh, and Sid, sorry I scared ya into thinkin' I was a vampire. I was just wantin' to mess around with-" Stinky began to say.

Then, the bomb detonated.

Within an instant of time that no human could hope to comprehend, the mass of metal that stood before Stinky burst into a shot of energy that burned hotter than the sun, completely destroying everything in its path. The blast had come so instantaneously that his body had no time to even process the pain; his atoms blasted to pieces and no trace of his body remaining.

Stinky is dead.

Encased far below the Earth's surface, the nuclear blast was completely encased in dirt, burned and pressed into glass from its force, trapping inside its radiation and destructive force. Though the worst of the blast was safely contained underground, the city of Hillwood was not left unaffected.

Hitting a faultline in the Earth's tectonic plates, the surface above began to shake, leaving the already panicked Hillwoodians even more confused towards the event. Their moments of chaos were stopped short in fearful curiosity, all looking around to see what this shake would amount to.

As buildings began to crumble and fall and the ground began to break apart, it was clear that their troubles were only starting to begin. Driven back into their hysteria, even further than before this time, their unfocused state of fear would prove to be the downfall for many.

When the ground would split open, many people would fall between the crevices of the Earth, falling to their deaths below. Trying to drive away from one another, cars would drive into one another or innocent bystanders, or even crash and blow in a fiery blaze. Those still within higher points like skyscrapers would be rudely brought down to Earth, crushed under the weight of the buildings.

Even the bridges to the island city of Hillwood were not spared; filled to the brink with citizens trying to escape for asylum, alongside the Army troops deployed to keep them back, they were left in a deathtrap of their own making. Crumbling under the force of the earthquake, the bridge fell apart, collapsing and falling into the river below.

Along with the pieces of the bridge that once stayed together, the many citizens on the bridge and the troops fell as well, falling to their deaths in the cold Skookumchuck River below. The soldiers deployed to keep them back and inside the city had signed their own death sentences, along with those of the men, women, and children who simply sought shelter against the dangers within.

-

The event did not go unnoticed by the world, as such a scene never could be; various news stations outside the city televised the destruction as it occurred, giving a view of the city collapsing in on itself. Just as the many bystanders of the event were in complete shock and terror, the news reporters themselves found no words to comment with; gasping for air before they could focus on speech.

"Oh... Oh, my god! The bomb must have gone off early! It's... It's all coming apart!" One reporter said.

"The city of Hillwood is being destroyed! I repeat, the city of Hillwood is being destroyed!" Another reporter said.

"You're seeing this live on TV, folks, I can't believe it myself! We are witnessing the first terrorist attack on American soil perpetrated by a supervillain! This is a turning point for all of humanity, folks!" A different reporter said.

All around the country and the world, none were alone in their feelings of fear and terror at the destruction unfolding.

In the city of Amity Park, Colorado, a boy named Danny Fenton watched the chaos in a familiar fear, with his parents and sister holding a fear unfamiliar.

In the city of Ocean Shores, California, a family of four named Otto Rocket, 'Twister' Rodriguez, Reggie Rocket, and Sam Dullard observe in a collected sense of terror.

In the city of Plainville, Minnesota, two parents named Rudy and Penny Tabootie hold their young children, a girl and boy, named Carol and Carlos, tightly to relieve their fears as well as their own.

In the city of Royal Woods, Michigan, a boy wonder named Lincoln Loud views the destruction in a certain degree of realization, realizing that he has never faced such chaos himself, with his parents and 10 sisters sharing the sentiment.

In a city just outside of Hillwood, Gerald and Phoebe watch the event on TV from their hotel room, feeling nothing but concern for their friends still stuck in the city, and hopes that everyone they know would be alive. All of a sudden, the grudges that Gerald had against Arnold no longer seem significant, reminding him all too late of the value of their friendship.

In the city of Madison, Wisconsin, the enigmatic half-human/half-ghost Vlad Masters watched the destruction with a sense of familiarity not too dissimilar from Danny Fenton's; having known such destruction before, but all the same disturbed from the sight upon seeing it again and knowings its effects firsthand.

Joining Vlad was the recently revived Rhonda Lloyd, watching the destruction of her former home city with the greatest negative emotion of all on Earth: Guilt. Having been responsible for the situation that had led to this entire mess, and caused so many more deaths upon the way, even if she was not fully responsible, she blames herself all the same.

Filled to the brink with rage, her eyes glowed a crisp blue with her Spirit Master powers, throwing her fists to the sky in rage.

"No... No... What have I done?WHAT HAVE I DONE?!" Rhonda shouted.

-

Among those searching for shelter were Valiance and Insect Girl; returning to their vehicle to seek shelter at their home base. Driving back to the Hillwood Heroes' base as quickly as they could, trying their best to avoid collapsing buildings and abandoned cars, their departure would eventually lead them to the Star of David and Bad Boy, stopping briefly to pick them up for the ride.

"GET IN! GET IN RIGHT f*ckING NOW!" Insect Girl shouted.

Complying with the order with no time to waste, the two remaining superheroes stepped into the vehicle, heading straight off to their shelter.

-

Crawling on the ground following his torture under the hands of Valiance, the Jolly Olly Man abandoned his downed ice cream truck in search of better shelter, still intent on living another day. Making a short crawl to a pile of rubble under a downed large building, he placed himself under it, using it as his temporary shelter.

"Assholes... You didn't tell methiswas gonna happen... If I get out of this, you all owe me big time..." Jolly Olly Man groaned.

As the debris and rubble continued to fall around him, the Jolly Olly Man patiently bided his time, waiting for when he could continue his feast again.

-

In the Sunset Arms Boarding Home, the heads of the home, Miles and Stella Shortman, were not slow to react against the threat that was posed to them and their tenants. Taking command of the situation, the two former adventurers urged their tenants to shelter immediately.

"DOWN TO THE BAsem*nT! EVERYONE, RIGHT NOW!" Miles shouted.

Quickly leading the tenants to the basem*nt of the boarding home, guiding Helga, Barry, Chris, Aaliyah, and the Grossman Family downstairs, everyone cuddled together under to keep one another safe. Hearing the loud noises of chaos above their heads, and only a small room to survive in, anxiety was quick to rise, and for good reason.

"Are we gonna be okay down here?" William asked.

"Don't worry. This place was a base during the Tomato Incident during the Revolutionary War. We should be fine." Miles said.

"But what about Arnold? He's still out there!" Helga said.

Holding her future daughter-in-law's hand tightly, Stella quieted her concerns, giving a calming presence to ease her worries.

"You know Arnold like we do. He can take care of himself." Stella said.

-

Stuck in the ground zero of the blast, the Green Eye was not as lucky as some others to avoid the apocalyptic event happening before his eyes, but he was far from helpless being stuck on his own. With superhuman abilities allowing him to withstand worse situations than this, his first instinct led him to head back to the Sunset Arms.

Utilizing his enhanced stamina, the Green Eye ran down the streets of Hillwood, outrunning the cracks that formed in the pavement and avoiding the splits in the Earth that would have swallowed him whole if not for his speed. Though these were the most common of his issues, they were not his only, or even his worst.

With various buildings coming down around him, there laid the task of moving himself around them, or, if possible, through them. One taller building came down on a path to fall on the street, leaving the Green Eye with an obstacle to circumvent to make his destination.

Pushing his own speed as quickly as he could, the Green Eye decided for a solution of simply outrunning the falling building; a task simple in verbiage, but far from such in practice. Just barely making his reach from underneath the falling building, he performed a power slide underneath it to safely move to the other side.

Ahead of him next was a building primarily covered in windows that had already fallen down, leaving him forced to movethroughthis one rather than around it. Taking a leap to the window first in his way, the Green Eye busted straight through it; focusing on continuing his momentum as soon as he pushed through.

Outside the building, a stray car began heading the way of the building, coming into contact with an abandoned car trailer, accidentally using it as a ramp. Launching up from the ramp, the car nearly came into contact with the Green Eye, which he avoided by ducking under and finally leaping out the window just before the vehicle exploded.

However, even with all his efforts, he was not free from any ill effects of the explosion. Sent out from the blast was a long piece of metal from the building; piercing right through his body. Unable to remove the spear, even with his healing factor keeping him afloat, the Green Eye knew that this would be his eventual end.

-

Only a little ways away from the destruction, the Freak, Wolfenstein, El Cucuy, and Saint Lila made their way away from the Hillwood on a small commandeered boat, heading off to another city to continue their crime spree elsewhere. Watching the destruction of the city come much differently than would be expected of a nuclear blast, the group could not help but comment on the affair.

"That's weird. Ain't the whole city supposed to just be one big fireball by now?" El Cucuy asked.

"Usually, unless..." The Freak pondered.

"Unless what?" Wolfenstein asked.

"They must've sent that thing underground somehow. The only reason that could happen is if they set it off underground, and it hit a fault line."

"And how exactly do you know that?" El Cucuy asked.

"I read a few books on nuclear weapons before I played with that thing. What, you don't think I'd play with my toys without the instruction manual, do you? Anyway, who cares? We blew the city to sh*t, mission accomplished. Let's go f*ck someplace else up."

"Well, hang on a moment,fuhrer. I think this could be a good start to something new." Wolfenstein said.

"Like what?"

"We just blew up the whole city, that means there's no more government or rule of law anymore. It's a totally blank slate. We can set up our very own Reich; one where we can rule supreme."

Taking interest in the proposal, the Freak thought over the suggestion, quickly beginning to like it.

"You know what? I like that idea. Kids, I'm turning this car around. We're going home." The Freak said.

Turning the boat around as he said, the Freak led the group back to the ruined Hillwood; letting the gears in his mind turn to think of how he would reshape the city into his own image as his confederates would take their own pieces to shape their in each of their own.

Letting the possibilities run wild, the Freak gave out a smile.

"Well, you know what they say. It's always better to rule in Hell... wood." The Freak said.

-

Feeling the spear of metal continue to bleed his life away, the Green Eye's vision began to fade to black. Realizing that this moment would be the end of his life, the man without pain closed his eyes in shame, knowing that, deep down, he has failed his city and everyone he loves.

"No... Mom... Dad... Helga..." Green Eye said.

Succumbing to his wounds, the Green Eye fell to the ground.

-

Though his mind was away from his body, Arnold Shortman was not without his consciousness. Coming to his senses, he found himself in a sepia-colored world, located within the living room of the Sunset Arms Boarding Home. As confusing and astounding as this sight was, it did not pale in comparison to the two people standing in front of him.

A familiar elderly couple, a pair of kindly people known as...

"Grandpa? Grandma?" Arnold asked.

Greeted their grandson back with a warm and kindly...

"Hey Arnold." Phil and Gertie said in unison.

Delighted to see his beloved grandparents yet again, Arnold jumped straight towards them, capturing both in a tight hug. Just as pleased to see their grandson back in their arms, Phil and Gertie held Arnold tightly as well, drying up the many tears that fell from his face.

"Well, look at you, Shortman. All grown up now." Phil said.

"Shoot, Tex. You went and done got bigger on us." Gertie said.

Although nothing made him happier than seeing the people who raised him once again, a show of guilt found its way out at last from Arnold Shortman.

"Grandpa... Grandma... I'm sorry. I failed you. I failed everyone. Hillwood, it's been destroyed, and... if I'm with you, that means... That means that I'm gone. I'm dead." Arnold said.

"Don't give up the hunt yet, Kimba. The big game's still out there, and we're still hot on his trail." Gertie said.

"Pookie's right, Arnold. You can't give up just yet. You've still got a lot more to do. After all, you've done a great job so far." Phil said.

"How, grandpa?! How?! Curly's destroyed the whole city, I've ruined everything with Helga, and most of my friends are dead! I can't possibly have screwed it up more than this!" Arnold shouted.

Falling to his knees in shame, Arnold cried once again over the lament of his failures.

"I don't want this anymore. I just want to rest. I just want to rest forever." Arnold said.

Crouching down to his grandson, Phil held Arnold's chin up, reminding him that he could not give up, even during an hour so dark as this one.

"C'mon, that's not the Shortman I know. You were always the one to set things right, helping so many people when they needed it, even yours truly. After all, we all make mistakes now and then. It's about how we fix them that matters the most." Phil said.

Taking his grandfather's advice, Arnold stood to his feet once again, making himself ready for whatever would come his way once again.

"You're right. I'm not done yet. And I'm not done with Hillwood." Arnold said.

"That's the spirit, Shortman. Now, go make us proud. You've been doing a good job of it so far." Phil said.

In a slow whiteout, Arnold's vision faded away, giving way to light.

-

Letting his eyes open for the first time in a long while, the Green Eye stood up from his resting place, catching a taste of air in his lungs once again. Observing his surroundings, he found himself in a hospital bed with an IV attached to his arm and a heart rate monitor to his chest, signifying that his body was kept in good care during his time unconscious.

What laid higher in priority than his current state following the time, however, was discovering how long he had been in said state for. Preparing to get himself out of the bed, the Green Eye was met with Valiance standing before him, watching him with a pair of crossed arms.

"I caught a fluctuation in your heart rate. Figured you would be finally waking up." Valiance said.

Continuing to rise from the bed, the Green Eye removed his IV and heart rate monitor; his arm healing from the injection site instantly. Coming to his feet once again at last, the touch of the cold floor on his feet was a chilling relief of sensation to his body, signalling that he had not felt much of anything for longer than he thought.

Stepping to a mirror, the Green Eye discovered that he was out of costume, back in his alter-ego of Arnold Shortman, dressed only in a pair of underwear, and sporting a mid-length beard. The sight of the beard as well as his unkempt look brought the most state of concern; rising his need to know how long he was unconscious.

"We found you buried underneath a lot of rocks. I was surprised to find you alive in that state, but I figured your healing factor would-" Valiance began to say.

"How long was I out?" Arnold asked.

"It's... There's a lot of things you'll need to take in, maybe it'd be best if you-"

"How long was I out, Buckley?!"

Knowing the mindset of the Green Eye and his dedication for an answer, Valiance answered it begrudgingly.

"About a month now." Valiance said.

As Arnold hung his head in shock from the revelation, Valiance continued on his explanation.

"Most of the city was destroyed in the blast. There's still a few of us left now, but we're doing what we can to keep a hold on our territory, and try to take back a few more pieces." Valiance said.

"'Territory'? What are you talking about? What happened while I was out? Did no one come help?" Arnold asked.

"No. Ever since that blast, we've been on our own."

"But... No government help, no military, nothing? We were just left behind? They're supposed to help in times like this, aren't they?"

"You don't understand. Hillwood has been declared no longer part of the United States. We're stuck on this island on our own. No way in, no way out."

Still unable to process this information, Arnold rubbed his temples in confusion, trying to make sense of all the information he was receiving.

"Buckley... What the hell happened?" Arnold asked.

"Maybe I should show you." Valiance said.

Taking him upstairs to the top of the manor, Valiance gave Arnold a view of the city, what little still remained of it.

Observing the city of Hillwood in the night sky, the city looked all the worse than its destruction, even as he had witnessed it firsthand and up close. Shots of gunfire were heard echoing throughout the streets, flames burned through various sections of the city, and the entire infrastructure laid in complete disrepair; buildings collapsed and leaning on one another, as if this setting was bound to crumble to dust at any moment.

More important than all, the connection that Arnold once felt with the city as a Spirit Master had felt polluted, as if there were a break in their connection together. What little connection he still shared, the souls he felt inside the city felt not purpose and life, but pain and death, or a wish for the latter.

Unable to believe this state of his home, Arnold began to cry.

"My god..." Arnold said.

"Hey Arnold. Welcome to Hellwood." Valiance said.

[Soundtrack Cue: KMFDM - Anarchy; Plays Out]

Hey Arnold! The Maximum Curly Saga - Chapter 48 - DevilBoy216 (2024)
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