Hilda abruptly came to life while sitting on a cloud. With a second of sentience, she knew more than anything else she wanted to give two little creeps in planes named Cuphead and Mugman what for. This wasn't so much because they happened to be in league with the Devil, though that certainly didn't help. No, it was because they were coming for HER soul in particular that she was about ready to throw a fit!
"Wait," She thought to herself, "I'm a video game character. How can I possibly be thinking all these things? How can I even be AWARE I'm thinking these things? Don't we just mindlessly follow the same programming over and over?" Hilda had no more time to ponder this. The aforementioned programming kicked in and the animation played of her converting from a humanoid being on a cloud into a much less humanoid blimp with a cloud inside her.
"Lookin' keen!" She thought to herself as she struck a pose. It prompted another thought. "Jeepers! How am I doing all this thinking when I'm not real?" By then, though, the player characters had entered the screen and the word "WALLOP" was flashing in the air, so Hilda Berg decided to follow her programming and get on with the combat animations. She thought she should not to think about the fact she was thinking. It was as hard as it sounded.
For a cycle, the game proceeded as normally. The smaller blimp villains flew on screen and were shot. Cuphead and Mug Man flew up and down seemingly erratically while firing a spray of shots. Hilda dutifully stayed on the far right side of the screen, her attacks limited to cackling like a witch while the word "HA" flew out of her mouth. But behind her static expression, she couldn't help but think some thoughts.
"Owowowowowowowowowow!" was the extent of it for a little while. Every bullet to the face was painful, hard as that might sound to believe. Hilda gave up on trying not to think and started to dodge, drifting down even when her program told her not to.
"Hey, I'd be crackers to go against the programming!" she thought. She felt a vague sense of disapproval from the passing smaller blimps, even though they weren't supposed to be thinking either. "I can't win if I don't follow the programming!"
As the latest mini-blimps exploded from the rain of bullets fired by the two player characters, Hilda Berg couldn't help but question the wisdom of following the programming.