Author's Note: This is the last chapter for this part of the trilogy. My sincerest apologies for being so late in updating this chapter because I couldn't find the time to write this one up for several weeks. I hope everything falls into order and make you happy.
Legal junk: I don't own Hey Arnold, but Nickelodeon does and Mr. Craig Bartlett created it. But this fic belongs to me. Clear? Good.
Chapter 6: The Breakup of the Fellowship
The Fellowship came out screaming like little girls out of the Sewers of Maria. Each and every one of them is distraught. Arnold was visibly shaken and weeping at his grandfather's 'demise.' Gerald walked over to his best friend, consoling him. And then, everyone else went up to Arnold and too, trying to console him. Sid, looking somewhat nonchalant, wiped his rubber sword clean and turned to the others.
"C'mon guys, let's go."
"Dang it Sid!" Stinky protested, offended by Sid's lack of sympathy, "give the feller a moment for Pete's sake!"
"If we don't leave soon, this place will be crawling with those mole people! Besides, Grandpa will be okay. We hafta go now! Get them up." Somewhat reluctant, they then heeded to Sid's words and got up, though a seed of hatred began to develop in their hearts.
"Who died and made you the leader?" They each thought to themselves. Arnold was silently weeping, following the leader. After much walking, they found themselves in a somewhat familiar place.
"Stay close together guys!" Harold warned them. "I know this place. They say there's an evil witch live in this neighborhood… a rich, self-absorbed girl of terrible power. All look upon her will fall under her command."
Arnold could hear his name being called. He looked around but found nobody.
"Yo, up here, stupid."
Arnold stopped walking, looking up.
Noticing that Arnold stopped in his tracks, Gerald turned around and looks at him, "Arnold?"
"He just hearing things." Harold interjected. "Why am I the only one here blessed with an acute sense of hearing?"
"Apparently, not acute enough!" The voice shouted at Harold. Harold turned around to look at where the voice originated from.
"Yep." She replied smirking evilly at him. She was at one of the windows of her room. "What's this I hear about an evil witch you keep saying?"
"Well, I wanted to say the b-word instead of w, but my mom won't let me cuss so—" a rock was thrown directly to his head, hitting him.
"Easy queasy lemon squeazy…"
So Rhonda then got out of the house and approached the guys with a warm welcome. "Arnold, your Grandma called me so I can check on you guys to see whether you guys are okay or otherwise doing this stupid quest thingy. Gosh, I swear you guys are such nerds." She rolled her eyes.
"Hey, this is an important quest, girl." Gerald retorted back, "It's not like we have a Dragon Armor that adds +5 to dexterity or Combat Sandals that adds +3 to speed!"
Rhonda could only stare back at Gerald, trying to comprehend the stuff he just said, "The point still stands. Anyway, Arnold's Grandma said that there were nine people from the hospital but all I can see here is eight. Who's the other one? Where is he now?"
Arnold hung his head down. Rhonda could read the answer just by looking at his eye.
"Your Grandpa fell into the darkness, literally. Isn't it?" Rhonda asked, and Arnold nodded weakly. "All right, since it's afternoon and all, you guys are welcome to eat lunch at my place, but don't abuse my hospitality!"
"All right! Rich people food!" Harold replied cheerfully as he ran into Rhonda's house with both of his arms extended high in the air. The others, on the other hand, simply walked calmly into her house. While Rhonda was delighted at first she then suddenly realized at what she had done. She smacked her forehand and said to herself.
"Oh… what have I done…?"
After the chaotic luncheon, the group then went to Rhonda's TV room to entertain themselves after a satisfying meal. Arnold however, was not among them. He instead walked up to a mirror to check himself. Noticing that Arnold was all by himself, she then got up from her seat and approached him from behind.
"What do you see in the mirror?" she asked.
"The Ring." Arnold replied. "It's too darn expensive for a kid like me to carry it around. I'm not that responsible enough."
+4 Arnold's Pimpin' skills
"It's the Decoder ring that I mentioned in class isn't it? I… have to admit too, Arnold. When I heard from Nadine that you have the Ring with you, I can't help but wanting it myself."
"But…" Arnold replied back, perplexed, "You're already rich."
"True, but you know how the saying goes: The richer you are, the greedier you get. Or something like that."
"So you admit that you're greedy?" Arnold said, smirking.
"Allow me to do a test to see whether I'm greedy or not." Rhonda replied back, smiling. She then asked Arnold to put The Ring on a table. After putting it down and taking a few steps away, Rhonda then approached The Ring with caution. She stared at The Ring intently. Bead of sweat began to roll down as she slowly moved her hand to pick up The Ring. But as the her hand came closer, she abruptly stopped, and clenched her fingers. Her image suddenly changed, and she began to run in circles, screaming:
"NO! I WON'T TAKE IT! I DON'T NEED ANY ANTIQUE EXPENSIVE RING TO RELIEVE MY HUNGER FOR INDULGENCE BECAUSE I'M ALREADY RICH! I CAN ASK DADDY ANYTHING I WANT! I DON'T NEED IT!"
She then came to a standstill, and her image turned normal. She bowed down in a fatigued state, panting for breath. "I pass the test! I'm not greedy after all!"
"Yeah…" Arnold replied in shock and horror, with his eyes completely widened and himself totally freaked out at Rhonda's unconventional test. "Your test is very loud and energetic… to say at least."
"That is why it's important for you to claim the reward Arnold."
"I can't do this alone."
"Who said you've to do this alone? You're the Ring bearer, man. You have your friends with you who'll help you in your quest."
Inside of Jimmy Kafka's main base of operations. Jimmy Kafka stood valiantly in the middle of the living room as he being watched by his grandchild's friends surrounding him. He was about to give a speech them. "Do you know how the Fifth Graders first came into being?" he asked. "You fellas were once Fourth Graders yourself. And after the whole school year was over, you guys are admitted to the next grade. Simple as that, but you have the stronger power against the grades below you. You are… perfected. The bullies of Fifth Graders. Whom do you serve?"
"Anyone who pays us good money to get that stupid decoder ring!" The Fifth Graders in the living room replied in chorus.
"Find those Fourth Graders. Hunt them down. Do not stop until they're found. You don't know pain and fear. You'll beat the snot out of those Fourth Graders!" There was an overjoyed response from the Fifth Graders. "But one of them carries that Ring. I don't want him to get hurt. Just bring him here. But do as you will with the others." And the Bullies of the Fifth Graders left Jimmy Kafka's home.
Back at Rhonda's house, the gang was again seen departing from their safe house, but not before thanking Rhonda for her hospitality, food, and some unblocked channels they just saw. "Bye Arnold. I hope you get that reward." Arnold smiled, and walked out. The rest of his gang steadily approaches Rhonda, smiling as if they were hoping for her to give them something. "And the rest of you: good riddance! At least Arnold was being a gentleman unlike you barbarians!" and Rhonda slammed the door. Angered, but they bury the feeling deep down and resumed their journey. Along the way, they teased Arnold for having such a good relationship with Rhonda.
"Bye Arnold…" Park teased Arnold, mimicking Rhonda's voice in a flirty manner.
"Can I kiss you Arnold? Mwah! Mwah! Mwah!" Harold too joined in, making kissy noises at him.
"Cut it out you guys." Arnold replied, getting annoyed.
"Man, Arnold!" Gerald laughed, "Just how many girls are you gonna get? I mean, first Ruth, then Lila and now Rhonda?" and everyone laughed after that. "Who's next?"
"I bet it's Helga!" Sid said, and everyone burst out in a fit of laughter.
"Man, that sounds too desperate, even for him!"
It had been couple of hours since they left Rhonda's place, and fatigue started to take a toll on their body. As they walked into a new block, a majestic sight began to loom over in their eyes.
"Would you take a look at that…" Sid said in awe.
"They say those two billboards are the biggest billboard in the city!" Iggy exclaimed.
The Fellowship looked up in awe at the towering splendor of those two gigantic billboards. The two of them, stood majestically with their steel support, proudly stood on each side of the road. One of the billboard had a Yahoo soda advertisement while the other advertised a computer brand. Strangely enough, Iggy claimed that the two guys in each billboard more or less related to him, though the Fellowship doubted it.
After passing the mighty billboard, they reached the entrance of a park. As they sat on the bench to relieve themselves of their tiredness, Arnold saw Iggy with a troubled look on his face and appears to be fighting a conflict within him. Arnold himself was a bit perturbed. As they take a break, they began to have a meeting about their journey.
"Going through the park is the best and fastest choice." Sid said. "We're lucky that this park doesn't allow bicycles to get in, or the Fifth graders would've taken the advantage. We can exit through Lemming Street and from there, a straight walk to the Financial District."
"You're crazy, Sid." Harold protested. "This park is full of crazy hobos that can jump on you without warning! And after that, it even gets better! We've to go through a festering, stinking junkyard as far the eyes can see!"
"I don't see any other choice, do you?" Sid asked back, raising one of his eyebrows. "Save your strength, man. We'll move out in five minutes."
"Grr…" Harold grumbled under his breath.
"Hey, where's Arnold?" Park said, after noticing that he wasn't around.
Arnold was actually the first one to venture into the park in search of a drinking fountain to quench his thirst. As he drank, Iggy was seen approaching from behind.
"We shouldn't split up, man." Iggy said, "But you of all people, did."
Arnold looked at him back in a puzzled look, lowering one half of his eyebrow.
"I know why you wanna be alone. You're suffering from this heavy burden. There are other ways to relieve it you know."
"There's no other way, man." Arnold replied in defiance, "This is my and mine responsibility alone."
"You just want that reward money to yourself, dontcha?" Iggy raised his voice, accusing him. "You're not going to share with us, aren't you?"
"Listen to yourself, Iggy! You're getting crazy! And it's all because of this Ring!"
"GIVE IT TO ME!" Iggy screamed, and he eventually tackles Arnold.
"NO!" Arnold yelled back, trying to kick Iggy away from him.
They continue to struggle for The Ring. "Give me…! Give me The Ring darn you!"
"I SAID NO!" Arnold then gave him a kick in the face, and he quickly ran away from further and into the park. Iggy quickly got up but by the time he was on his two feet, Arnold was nowhere to be seen. Still, Iggy looked around desperately for him.
"I knew it! You're not going to share the reward money with us! You'll betray us! You're answering to your greed and your greed alone! DARN YOU! DARN YOU TO HECK ARNOLD!" and suddenly he stepped on a wayward leaf and slipped and fell to the ground. The madness of The Ring left him alone and he came back to his senses.
"Uh…? Whuh? Huh? Arnold…? Dude, where are you? Oh snap, what I have done? Arnold, where are you, man?"
Arnold ran as quickly as he could and find himself approaching a small gazebo in the middle of the park. He sat up, trying to catch his breath inside. But suddenly, Sid approaches.
"Stay away from me, man!" Arnold replied back distrustfully.
"Dude, it's me!" Sid replied back calmly, "Your buddy Sid. You know me. I'm not going to steal that stupid Ring from you."
"Yeah, right." He scoffed.
"C'mon, man. I'd stick to you to the end. I ain't going to betray you."
"I know…" Arnold replied back, finally accepting his trustworthy friend.
"C'mon, let's head back to the guys." Sid smiled at him, and left the gazebo with Arnold. But then, he saw something horrifying. A group of Fifth Graders just saw them. "Go on, Arnold." Sid said, as he unsheathes his rubber sword to fend them. "Run. Run!"
Five Wild Fifth Graders appear/ HP 1000 x 5 / MP 320 x 5 / Weak against Homework
As Arnold left the scene, Sid was walking out of the gazebo to confront the Fifth Graders. He gave them a half-smile, half-stagger towards them, holding his rubber sword up to his face as an acceptance to the challenge. He smacked several down, but they forced him back to the gazebo.
"Arnold! Arnold!" Gerald was searching for his best friend frenetically. The sound of the scuffle widened his eyes in alarm.
"Find that kid! Find that kid!" one of the Fifth Graders screamed.
Reinforcements have arrived. Stinky came in and blasted three Fifth Graders with his slingshot as Harold lands blow after blow with his hockey stick. Robert and Park were about to join the foray too, but stopped when they find Arnold running away from their direction.
"Arnold, where're you going?" Robert asked.
"I have to leave. I have to do this alone!"
"What?" Robert replied back in disbelief. "Are you crazy?"
Park suddenly put a hand on his shoulder. Robert turned around, looking at his friend. "He has too. If he stays with us any longer, more and more will attempt to betray him." Robert and Park stared at each other for a couple of seconds before Robert finally nodded and accepted the decision why had to leave.
"Yeah…" he said weakly. He then turned to Arnold and said to him. "Run Arnold. We'll fend them off for you." Arnold nodded, and ran away. They then saw a group of Fifth Graders closing in. "Hey! Hey! Over here!" Robert waved both of his hands at them. The Fifth Grader took notice, and went after them.
"It's working!" Park said in disbelief.
"I know it's working! Run before we get stuffed in a trash can!" Robert replied back. They then run across a stone bridge somewhere in the middle of the park. At its far end, they stopped and saw the Fifth Grader Bullies closing in on them, in front and behind. One of the Bullies ran to them, raising his arms while shouting a battle cry. But Iggy came charging in, knocking the Bully back. More closed in.
Back at the gazebo, Sid, Stinky and Harold continue to fight the Fifth Grader Bullies. Stinky launched a shot at a Bully. Harold smacked another. Sid was getting slap happy with his rubber sword.
"It's Iggy! he needs our help!" Sid said. And they then ran off to the sound.
Iggy was desperately trying to fend off the Fifth Graders. To his shock, Ludwig walks into view, lifting his slingshot, and took a shot at Iggy's left shoulder. He fell down on his knees, staying there. Robert and Park looked at him in shock. With all the courage they could muster, they then attacked the Fifth Grader Bullies.
But they never had the chance to strike. The Bullies lifted them up and carried them off. Iggy could only watch on helplessly. Ludwig, now all alone, walked up to Iggy and took aim with his slingshot. Iggy swallowed down and stared back at him. Just then Sid came crashing into Ludwig, denying him the shot.
Ludwig / HP 12500 / MP 1100 / Weak against Juvie
Ludwig and Sid fight. Sid lost his rubber sword and was thrown to the ground. Ludwig raised his plastic sword and strikes, but Sid slipped beneath and dodged the blow. Finally finding his rubber sword back, Sid then used it to bat the plastic away. Sid closed in on Ludwig and in a flurry of swordplay, stings his arm and then smacked him in the chest. Ludwig let out a painful scream, and ran away from Sid. All went calm after that, and Stinky and Harold arrived at the scene.
"Man, I didn't know you could fend off Ludwig like that!" Iggy said in disbelief.
"I didn't know I had it in me either." Sid replied back as he ran to Iggy to inspect the injury. "You're okay, man?"
"Yeah. It's a bit stings, but that's all." Iggy replied back. Then suddenly, a car stopped nearby and the window winded down. It was Iggy's mom.
"Iggy! There you are! We've been searching for you all over the neighborhood. C'mon, we don't wanna be late for our flight."
"Flight?" Stinky, Sid and Harold said in disbelief.
"Uh… yeah. Heh." Iggy replied back rather innocently, rubbing the back of his neck. "It's like this: The one week holiday kinda made my parents to go on a vacation in Jamaica. So, I really have to stop playing now. Sorry guys."
"Sheesh!" Sid scoffed. "You're one lucky kid, Iggy. I wish my family had enough money to take me on a vacation to Jamaica."
"Aw, don't be sour, man." I promise I'll bring some souvenirs or some Bob Marley CDs for you guys."
"Well, we'd hate to see ya leave, but have fun at Jamaica, Iggy." Stinky said to him, and shook hands.
"Yeah." Harold agreed, shaking his hands also. "Get me one of those limbo poles for me."
"Promise me some Bob Marley music. I'll be sure to tell the others that you're leaving." Sid requested, and shook his hands too. Iggy then boarded his parents' car and after a couple of waves, they then left the park.
Arnold was running quickly through the park, but was seen by Gerald. "Arnold!" he stopped, and Gerald came running after him. "Where' you're going man?"
"I'm going to the Headquarters alone. By going with you guys I'm endangering us all. That's why I have to go alone."
"Are you crazy?" Gerald snapped back. "Man, I promised your Grandpa to go with you to the end, and I intend to keep my promise! Now stop being a fool and let me go with ya before I bust your caps… or something."
Arnold smiled back, "Gerald, you're a pal. Thanks."
"C'mon fellas." Stinky said to his friends, "Arnold and Gerald are probably on the other side of the park now. We can catch up to them." But Sid stood still and say nothing.
"Dontcha wanna help 'em?"
"We can't help Arnold now."
"Then the Fellowship is a complete and utter failure then." Harold interjected.
Sid put his hands on their shoulders, "Not if we hold true to each other. We ain't abandon Park and Robert to torment and anguish. Not while we have strength left. We travel light. Let's hunt some Fifth Graders!"
"Now you're talkin'!" Harold smiled, laughing out loud.
The view of the junkyard lies upon them, and the financial district in the distance. Arnold and Gerald just stood at their spot to reflect what lies upon them. "Man, I hope they find a safer route." Arnold said.
"They'll take care of each other." Gerald replied back.
Arnold looked Gerald, smiling at him. "Gerald, I'm glad you're with me."
"I'm a bold kid, Arnold. Bold kid."
Being the last one, it is my greatest displeasure to tell you I have no intention to write the other chapters of the trilogy, like the The Two Clubhouses or Return of the Kid like I originally intended because I simply lack the enthusiams and will to continue to write the story. Not to mention I am simply not interested in writing fanfics right now. So, I am sorry for this, and I hope you understand. But hey, if you want to help me to continue this story, feel me to tell me and I'll give you my notes. That's been said, thank you for reading and please leave a review.