Finding the Lost Journey

Composed By ~*Silver Kitten*~

A/N:  Hi guys, thanks again to who reviewed, and thanks to the people who are even just reading it.  Well, I hope I didn't wait too long again before updating…I worked my best on this chapter, and so far I its my absolute favorite.  I hope you all like it as well.  By the way, the very beginning backtracks just a little bit from the previous chapter…you'll see how.  Oh yeah, and near the end of this is another flashback…just to quickly explain that…like, you know how in movies and elsewhere, when people are telling a story, the scene switches to what actually happens so you see it rather than hear it?  Well, I attempted one of those things…so, someone will be talking, and then it will "switch scenes" so to speak, in reference to what that character is talking about, okay?  Hope that makes sense :-S

Disclaimer:  Nope, I don't own Hey Arnold!

"In your heart, in your mind

I'll stay with you for all of time

If I could, then I would

I'll go wherever you will go

Way up high or down low

I'll go wherever you will go,"

Wherever You Will Go—The Calling

Finding the Lost Journey

Part Five:  At All Times

~*Arnold's Point of View—Earlier*~

"I swear, if you touch her,"—

"What?  What can you do about it if you're dead?" Sergio cut in.  He lifted up a gun and aimed it directly in front of me but I stood my ground firm.

  "You've always been an annoyance to me…but you're not worth a bullet," and suddenly he swiped the gun to the side of my head, I lost all balance and fell into a pool of water. 

For a moment I couldn't breathe; couldn't think, and maybe it was just my imagination but I could have sworn I heard Helga scream my name—I couldn't make anything of it. 

Why was I here?  Where was here?  I've forgotten…am I supposed to be doing something…maybe breathing? 

I struggled to regain proper use of my body, as I found it in uncomfortable surrounding.  I couldn't move and my head was pounding.  Why can't I move? 

After a tingling sensation fled from my body with a sudden jolt of movement, I kicked my way back to the surface of the water, inhaling a large gasp of air clouded with water droplets.  I coughed while trying to breathe and at the same time grabbed hold of a rocky ledge for support. 

I was beginning to become aware of things again, things I was happy to have forgotten but nonetheless ashamed that I had forgot: Helga, Sergio, Eduardo…

My vision was hazy and I was trying to focus in the dim light of the cave.  They were gone, I knew that much. 

My body was weakened by the blow of Sergio's gun, but I couldn't let that stop me now. 

I started to climb forward back onto solid ground, slipping up from the slimy pool.  I nearly crawled a good distance before I found the balance and strength to stand.  The exit was so near…

I heard rattling and stern voices, small whimpers and scuffs on the ground.  I used the wall of the cave for support as I made my way to leave, hurrying as fast as my stiff and fatigue-prone body could go. 

Out of nowhere there was a hideously bright light, growing larger and more violent as it came towards me.  A loud, booming explosion chased the pain in my head throughout my body; rocks were tumbling all around me, everything was shaking, and I felt myself being flung backward by some force of heat I couldn't control and then…

I saw nothing…heard nothing….felt nothing…and all that I knew slowly weakened to a thick, numb darkness…

"Arnold..."

"Open your eyes..."

 

Two familiar voices dispersed through my drowsy thoughts.  I opened my eyes and began to focus the obscured image before me.  It was so bright I had to force myself to keep my eyes open; so bright that my eyes began to burn, until my sight refocused and beheld my surrounding. 

I was in a park, an empty park, with echoes of children's laughter drowning out to a broad and desolate silence.  There was a swing set, nearly completely immobile were it not for the light squeaking of the chains blowing in the wind, and even still the wind began to cease.   I felt completely and utterly by myself until…

"Arnold," 

I jerked around, my heart beating vigorously in my chest.  Two figures stood still, their hands tightly clenched to one another's, and they looked lovingly at me. 

"Mom?  Dad?" I heard myself speak, but was my mouth really moving?  I couldn't tell.   "…Am I…dead?"  I asked.  I wanted to move, to run into their arms and to never leave…but I couldn't. 

"No, son," my father spoke to me, a smile widening on his face. 

"Then…where are we?  What is this?" I asked, confused but thrilled to see them. 

"We are where you are, at all times.  And this…this is whatever you choose to make of it." My mother inputted. 

"I don't understand…" 

"That's the thing about life, Arnold.  You can't always understand why things happen.   You just have to believe that they happen for a reason." She continued. 

"We love you, son, you must never forget that," my father told me.  I felt myself smile. 

"I love you guys, too…I've missed you so much.  I don't ever want to be away from you, again," I exclaimed, I took a step towards them into a welcoming embrace. 

"You never will be.  We will always be with you.  We're your parents.  But right now you have to go…" my mother said soothingly. 

"What?"  I exhaled deeply.

 "She needs you, Arnold…and you need her," my father said in a grave manner. 

"...You mean...Helga?" 

"You already know in your heart that you don't need to ask that question." My mother told me.  "You must go to her," 

"Wake up, Arnold," I heard my parent's voices in a chorus of echoes. 

"We'll always be together in our hearts,"  

The warmth of their embrace faded.  The scene of the park melted to blackness. 

I found myself lying in a puddle of water.  My body ached with a damp coolness.  I coughed from dust of crushed rock.  As I regained consciousness, as my head swept through dizzy thoughts and partial memories, I realized I was by myself…but I didn't feel alone. 

I could barely see anything through the darkness.  Only small spouts of light streamed from tiny openings between fallen boulders.  

I began to realize my only chance for escape had been blocked.  I stood up, at first rather shakily, not knowing where to turn in fear of what I'd run into. 

I have to find a way out of here…

Just then a strange and eerie light approached me.  It started small and dim before it blossomed into a blatant, green glow, emanating from the core of the pool.  It lit my surrounding easily enough that I could come nearer to it.  I got down on my hands and knees staring into the watery grotto.  The green light flickered and I stared more intensely at it.  I began to notice in the bottom of the pool was a tunnel like structure. 

I had no idea where it would lead.  I could swim to a dead-end and drown…or I could try and dig my way out of the cave. 

I stood up again, and turned to walk towards the rocky barricade.  The minute I touched one of the boulders the green light vanished and I was left once again in complete darkness. 

I turned back around to face where the pool would be and the light came back, glowing more vividly now.  I took easy steps back to the pool and knelt down once again. 

I cautiously dipped one of my hands in the water to see if the light would react, and as the water rippled and cleared, I noticed something I hadn't seen before.  Deep down in the pit of water, among the rocky bottom, was etched a shape of an eye, which is exactly where the green light was coming from. 

"The green eyes," I thought in astonishment.  I was overcome by a strange feeling…was this a sign?  Time was too precious to waste and I had to make a choice.  I took a deep breath and plunged down into the water, following the green glow. 

I navigated through the murky water down to the tunnel, pushing my way through it.  It was dark, and there was a slight current pushing against me, but I managed to pull through.  There was another opening now, and a more natural light.  Just before I couldn't hold my breath any longer, I reached the surface of the water and the warmth of fresh air.  I was out of the cave! 

I climbed back onto dry ground and peered back into the water for a source of that green light…but it had vanished. 

I decided now was not the best time to dwell on the mysterious glow and the remarkable odds.  I had to find Helga…and help the others, before it was too late. 

~*Helga's Point of View*~

I glared at Sergio in detestation, as he stood but a few feet in front of me, ordering one of his men to stand by and make sure I didn't get into trouble. 

"I'll be back shortly.  I'm going to the reservation with our guide, Eduardo, here.  Mind the girl, and if she tries to escape…you know what to do," he commanded, grinning wildly at me.  He then turned and headed off with Eduardo, leaving me tied tightly to a tree with rough ropes, and a quiet but deadly thug staying nearby. 

Once Sergio was out of sight, along with Eduardo and his two other men, my hatred and anger was quickly overpowered by an immense sorrow once again. 

Oh, Arnold…

I never got to tell him how I felt…all those many years ago…and even still to this very day…

And now he's…gone…forever…

I couldn't help but cry.  Tears slipped haplessly from my eyes.  The only thing I could do was to sink into uncontrollable sadness it seemed.  The situation was hopeless…Sergio had won, Arnold had lost…and I had lost Arnold…

My thoughts were disrupted by a rustling noise coming somewhere not too far behind me.  Sergio's thug immediately took charge of the potential intruder and waltzed deeper into the jungle…a stalker hunting his prey…

I sunk my head back down in dismay… 

I heard footsteps coming from behind me…but they were different…they were light…

I couldn't turn around and look who was coming, and my anxiety was rising as the steps grew closer.  Suddenly my hands and arms fell free from the grapple of the rope.  I immediately stood up, almost afraid to look behind me.  I took a sharp inhale and quickly turned around. 

"…Arnold…" I ran to him and was instantly folded in his arms.  He was dripping wet, but I had never felt so warm in my life.  "I thought I lost you…" 

"Not a chance," he said.  His hands brushed the side of my face.  "Are you okay?  Did he hurt you?" 

"No…Sergio took Eduardo to the village, they went that way," I told him, pointing in the right direction.  "He left me here with…one of his men…" 

"Oh, I took care of him," Arnold stated proudly. 

"You didn't…"-

"No.  I didn't kill him.  He's unconscious, for now.  There's a van not far from here, and I found some extra rope.  He's tied to a tree down that way.  I borrowed his gun…I'm going to go stop Sergio now, and I want you to stay here where you'll be safe," 

 "There's no way I'll let you go after him by yourself!" I protested. 

"If something happened to you,"—

"You'd feel responsible,"—

"I'd care…Helga, when I was trapped in that cave…I…started…I mean, over these past few days…I've had a lot of time to think…about…well, what I'm trying to say is that…" 

We heard gun shots firing in the distance, causing both of us to jump. 

"I have to go now, before it's too late," he then began walking off. 

"Arnold!" I called.  He stopped and turned, and I sunk bashfully within myself.  "I need to tell you something…" 

"…What is it?" he stepped closer. 

"I…I'd care if something happened to you, too…So, be careful, okay?"  I felt renewed sadness at the thought of losing him for the second time.  He pulled me into another tight hug, one I was afraid to return…because I might never let go. 

"I'll be back before you know it," he said earnestly.   And then he went onward in his heart's noble mission. 

It would be night soon, and the humid jungle air was lightening up to an almost cool draft. 

What was Arnold planning to do, exactly?  Would he just walk right up to Sergio, tap him on the shoulder, and ask him to stop?  Arnold may be a man now, but he still detained childlike innocence…I could only imagine what a foreign object that gun would be to his hands…

Could he handle it?  Would he be willing to pull the trigger, if necessary? 

I won't be able to tolerate the suspense…

I know Arnold told me to stay here…but if I hear a gunshot…I simply have to know Arnold was on the right side of the gun, out of harms way.  

~*Arnold's Point of View*~ 

I had never held a gun before.  I had never had any urge or desire too, either. 

I ducked down low, hiding behind a thick bush, eying the territory for any signs of Sergio and his company. 

I spotted him finally, beneath a rather large tent, talking with Eduardo who was talking with a few villagers.  I then saw the journal in one of the terrified villager's hands and some vials of liquid spread across a disorganized table.  Had they found the cure? 

I heard Sergio in a sudden outburst of laughter.  I then saw his two personal guards standing directly beside him with their backs facing me.  It was a perfect chance to catch Sergio off guard…

Swallowing my last drop of fear, and perhaps sanity, I began my slow, drudging walk towards Sergio.  I braced myself for the spontaneous moment about to occur.  I really didn't have a solid idea what I might say, or how I might act…but I knew I had to do whatever it was in my power to do…to put an end to this madness and justify my parent's death…

I pulled the steely gun back out of my pocket and clenched tightly to it.  The safety was still armed.  I took one last deep breath before interrupting his heated discussion. 

"Sergio…this ends now," I exclaimed, holding the gun aimed directly at him as he unhurriedly turned around.  His stoic expression further alerted my apprehension…and then his face broke into a wicked grin. 

"Arnold…Well now, this is a surprise.  I guess it takes more than being knocked unconscious in a demolished cave to kill you…I should have known better, considering your ancestry," 

"You're going to leave these villagers and other innocent people alone.  You're going to relinquish your position of authority.  And, you're going to prison," I told him flatly. 

"What a simpleton you are, boy.  You haven't the slightest idea just what power I have.  All my life has been committed to my father's work…by using his authority and power, now I am next in line for the riches and acknowledgement.  You see, what my father failed to realize is that…why distribute a disease…when you can market its rare cure?"  Sergio declared. 

"…You want to provide the ill people with a cure?  You want to help them?" I asked, almost hopeful.

"For a price…a high price.  You see, people will pay for this…when they can afford it.  And people…who can't afford it…will go to great lengths for it.  Such as, doing my bidding…this cure can become a tool for blackmail, for power…" 

"That's insane!" 

"Is it?  Tell me, boy, if someone you cared deeply for fell ill, with no cure insight but for what I could offer…would you not do anything for it…anything?" 

"Of course," I agreed, "But that doesn't give you the right to play God.  There's still time to change…you don't have to be this way, Sergio," 

He didn't say anything for a moment.  He just chucked to himself. 

"What's funny?"  I demanded. 

"How history repeats itself…" he said, taking a step towards me.  The gun wavered in my hands but I held to it tightly. 

"What do you mean?" 

"Almost twenty years ago, your parents were in the same predicament with my father.  I remember watching them…trying to persuade my father, La Sombra, that there was still hope for him…but he knew better…Eduardo here even knew better.  So when my father commanded Eduardo to shoot Miles and Stella, Eduardo backed down…"

--Flashback--

"Kill them," La Sombra's evil voice coincided the evilness in his plans.  Eduardo was bemused…La Sombra hadn't mentioned the fact he'd have to kill anyone. 

Eduardo gulped, and approached the constrained Miles and Stella, a look of anxious misery on his face.  Miles and Stella could barely look at him without being reminded of his traitorous actions.  Miles looked up at his old college friend, a look of a questioning "why?" in his eyes. 

"I can't…I can't kill them…" Eduardo turned to face La Sombra, a gun in his hands and tears in his eyes. 

"Idiot, we had a deal!"  La Sombra stated angrily. 

"Forget the deal!  Miles and Stella were my only true friend's and you had me set them up!"

"Now is not the time to rebel, Eduardo.  If you know what's good for you," La Sombra exclaimed.  "Now, do as I say," he finished with a frustrated force, turning his back and beginning to walk away.  Eduardo lifted the gun, aimed, and fired twice…

 

A teenage boy sat by a hut window as he watched his father fall to the ground. 

"No!" he stood up, outraged, and grabbed one of his father's guns and ran outside to his slain father. 

Eduardo dropped the gun, and stood, watching the younger man attend his father…to no avail. 

"You…you killed him!  You killed my father, La Sombra!" he was bitter, and aimed his gun at Eduardo. 

"He deserved death…and so do I," Eduardo claimed, ready to accept his fate. 

"You will pay…You don't know what it feels like to watch someone you care for die…until now," wrath oozed from the young man's mouth, as he fired two deadly bullets at the defenseless Miles and Stella. 

Eduardo ran to them as quickly as he could. 

Another shot fired that was meant to kill him, and he fell next to Miles and Stella, bleeding in agonizing pain.  The young man grinned vilely, and got into a truck and drove off, leaving Eduardo to die. 

 

Two days later, Eduardo woke up in a village hospital with his wounds attended to. 

"Excuse me, nurse," he asked upon waking up.  "There were two people with me…are they…"

"I'm afraid they've passed on, Mr. Eduardo…I'm sorry…but sir, I advise you do your best to rest up…" she said, and then left the small room. 

He sat solemnly in his hospital bed, staring outside. 

"…I will never be at rest…" he said to himself.  He then carefully stood out of bed, gathered his things, and climbed out the window.  He took a slow, mournful walk…never to be seen or heard from again until two decades later. 

--End Flashback--

My composed stature was disrupted by a sudden realization. 

"Eduardo didn't kill my parents…you did…" I said in nervous astonishment. 

"Bravo, bravo…that's right.  Someone had to do it…Because Eduardo wouldn't…and because he killed my father…I had to avenge his death…" he told me.  I looked over to Eduardo who looked back at me with intense sympathy. 

For a moment my eyes watered, only imagining what had happened…

I straightened my arm, aiming the gun more concisely at Sergio. 

"What…are you going to shoot me, now?" he laughed. 

"Why not?"  I said out of anger. 

"Do you even know how to fire a gun?"

"Stop playing mind games, Sergio.  It can't be that hard.  All you're doing is pulling a trigger," I said scornfully.  His grin went away for a moment. 

"You don't have it in you…to kill.  You are corrupted by your parent's same do-good nature that got them killed!" Sergio spat. 

I cocked the gun and held my grip firmly. 

"At least my parents died for a reason…they had a cause!  They put their life on the line every day for people like you!  What was your father's reason?  What was his cause??  He didn't have one, except to try and make people's lives miserable…He deserved to die.  You know why?  Because he was a coward!  Just like you…"  I withheld no inner rage.  I let it all seep out for the final time.  There was no way he was going to win. 

I could see the vigorous fury in his eyes.  I wasn't intimidated by him any longer.  A slight grin came to his face.  Quickly, in a flash, he pulled a gun out of his back pocket, aiming it directly at me as I held fast to my gun still. 

"All this talk about sacrifice…It's sickening.  Are you willing to sacrifice yourself, for the justice of your parents and all that is good?" he scoffed.  "You fire that gun at me…I fire at you…and we can both die…the cowardice and the fool…" 

I didn't answer him.  I prepared myself to fire.  My finger edged across the trigger.  I tried finding a comfortable position on the trigger but I couldn't.  My hands were sweating. 

Then suddenly Sergio was grinning massively once again, peeling his eyes from me to someplace farther beside me. 

"Or…she can die in your place…" he continued.  I kept my aim straight and turned around…

I could hardly breathe and my body went numb at the sight of Helga, whom had accidentally wandered out into the open, exposing her life to Sergio. 

 "I'm…sorry, Arnold…" she said. 

"What'll it be?"  Sergio demanded of me.  I winced and dropped the gun immediately.  "Very wise…now both of you stand together over there," he told us. 

 I walked towards Helga in Sergio's accorded spot. 

"I'm so sorry, Arnold…I just had to make sure you were okay…" she cried. 

"Helga…" 

"Spare me another touching reunion.  Here…is where it ends," Sergio cut in, re-aiming his gun at me. 

~*Helga's Point of View*~ 

Sergio raised his gun back at Arnold, but Arnold didn't move.  Had he given up hope? 

I wanted this all to stop, to just go away…for Arnold and I to be safe at home…

I was so fatigued from what was happening I couldn't move or speak.  Sergio pulled the trigger…I heard a gunshot…but the strange thing was is that I heard two…in unison…could that be possible? 

I heard someone yell as I shut my eyes in an attempt to shield the sight of a hopeless, horrible spectacle.  There was a loud thud in front of me, but I refused to open my eyes and see Arnold lying there drenched in blood…I refused to believe this was real.  A single tear escaped from my tightly shut eyes. 

Just kill me…shoot me now, Sergio…get it over with…

What is he waiting for…? 

I hesitantly opened my eyes…

Arnold knelt down before me…kneeling beside…Eduardo.  I knelt down beside Arnold.  At first I looked up and saw that Sergio was lying on the ground…dead…shot in the back…but I couldn't think of that now…I could only think of Arnold, and Eduardo…and what was happening…as Eduardo was bleeding uncontrollably. 

"Eduardo…" Arnold spoke through a shaken up voice. 

"Arnold…I'm sorry…that I called you down here…put you and your friend through all this danger…I…" he paused to catch his fading breath, "I had to ease the guilt I was feeling all these years…I had to apologize…that your parents would still be alive if only I…were…a better person, like them…I'm sorry I wasn't there for you…" 

"It's okay…I forgive you…you were forced to do all this, it wasn't your fault…" Arnold protested. 

"I thought I could help you…find a cure…to help these sick people…so that your parent's death might…suffice to a greater cause…Your parents were amazing people…and so are you…I couldn't stand by and watch you die…" Eduardo coughed, his breaths becoming deeper. 

"My parent's would be proud of bravery…" Arnold said.  I saw his eyes slightly water. 

Eduardo began to smile, pushing his pain away.  His eyes lit up at the sound of Arnold's kind words…and then they dimmed again…his heaving chest slowed to a stop, and he passed on. 

I threw my arms around Arnold and cried.  I was upset and yet so thankful, so fortunate…

"What happened to Sergio?" he asked in wonder, as I too wondered the same thing.  We stood up together and walked over to where Sergio lied in his own puddle of blood. 

Just then a large group of police officers came from the depths of the trees surrounding the reservation.  They began scouting the area, assisting the villagers and almost completely ignoring Arnold and I.  Then a familiar figure stepped out from behind a tree, a gun in his hand that he coolly slipped into a pocket in his long beige trench coat.  He walked towards us. 

"Apparently things haven't gone as planned…I'm sorry for not getting here sooner," he said.  It was Mr. Smith.

"Your…not on Sergio's side then…" Arnold spoke, befuddled but happy. 

"Take the side of an enemy?  Never," Smith said, almost appallingly.  Arnold and I laughed. 

"Oh, the journal!" Arnold suddenly remembered, looking at the tent that was now cleared out. 

"Don't worry about it.  It will be back in your hands in no time.  You'd be happy to know that…a cure has been found.  It will begin to be manufactured and distributed to anyone who needs it in just a short period of time.  So, your service has been fulfilled…even if the actual operation was sabotaged," Smith said gratefully. 

"That's great!  Oh…but, what about Sergio's gunmen?  There were two here before," 

"My troops caught them evading the premises.  Oh, and you can feel safe again when you return home.  The men who were after you at your apartment worked for Sergio…we found their headquarters after getting a lead from…well, a rat,"

"A rat?!" I yelled out of fear.  Arnold and Mr. Smith laughed. 

"Not an actual rat, Helga…a traitor…someone we thought was on our side was leaking information to Sergio."  Mr. Smith informed me. 

"Who would do such a thing?"  Arnold asked. 

"Do you remember Cyrus?  Your pilot who got you over here?  It was him," 

"I knew something was strange with that one…I'm glad this is over now…" 

"So…our work here is done then?  We can go home now?" I questioned hopefully.  Mr. Smith tipped his had cordially again. 

"There's a plane ready to take us home, waiting for us," 

I hugged Arnold again who hugged back joyfully. 

"Let's go then…let's go home," Arnold said.  He took my hand as a smiling Mr. Smith led us. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~ 

Ta-da!  Sorry, no cliffhanger lol…but I hope you like it anyways.  Think this is the end?  Um…no lol, sorry again…I still have plans for this story. 

I hope this made sense…I really enjoyed writing this.  I was going to elaborate more on the dream sequence with Arnold's parents, but I figured keeping it subtle would be best…considering this story is already long enough.  And I apologize if I've mislead anyone by the genre…this, or at least the next two parts, will be focused way more on Helga and Arnold, so I will hope for it to live up to the expectation of romance.  I know that I hint and tease about their feelings…or at least Arnold's feelings, but…it's just for irony and more suspense lol…but, next chapter, I promise…sparks will fly (go Arnold!)  No…nothing like that…it will be clean. 

So please, let me know what you think.  Till next time, take care,

~*Silver Kitten*~