Hellsing Fan Fiction ❯ Sine Qua Non ❯ Domine, Dirige Nos ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Darknesslike the bounds of the womb. It was so warmso dark and warm, and she could not breathe. Integra opened her mouth, but any sound was absorbed by the void. It seemed so warm, safe, and suffocating
Integra's eyes flew open and she thrashed angrily, silently screaming. As if on cue, she was suddenly dropped onto a bed of cool dewy grass. She propped herself up on fours, gasping for oxygen.
The heatless moonlight gleamed down, softly illuminating the world. A shadow fell across her, and without looking up, she knew it was Alucard.
"Enjoy your rebirth, my princess"
"You bastard," she rolled into sitting position and crossed her arms, still relishing the cool night air. "What the Hell are you?" She stopped mid-sentence as a jerky movement in the distance caught her eye. She pulled herself to her feet, ignoring Alucard's extended hand.
"Look well, little princess. You may sleep safely in your pretty castle, but your soldiers, your fellow knights, spill their blood to defend your honor." His voiced echoed harshly in her ears. "Do you deserve their sacrifice?"

The area was rural. The night was surprisingly clear. Across the land, crumbling stone walls and a lone cottage were the only manmade landmarks. Sparse growth and thin trees dotted the hilly landscape. These sights seemed half-formed in the pallid night lights, but Integra recognized the space from the reconnaissance photos Ferguson had presented her with.
Ghouls trudged relentlessly after the surviving soldiers who were slowly retreating.
Integra bit back a cry as two or three creatures, bearing the Hellsing insignia, rose from the ground. Black liquid dotted their necks, and from their clumsy staggering motions, Integra knew they were beyond human aid.
"Tell me, princess- what can you do for them?" Alucard stood by her side, his too-white hair billowing in an unnatural breeze. "Your gun is empty, and if you charge into the midst of these pathetic creatures, you will join their ranks. What can you do?"
There was a long period where neither of them spoke. The night silence was finally broken by stridulous moans and smatterings of gunfire. At length: "I can ensure that their sacrifices are not in vain."
Alucard gave no indication of having heard her response. "Do you want to save them?"
"Of course, I do."
"You cannot do it without me."
Beating back her pride, Integra asked the question: "What do you want in return?"
"Nothing," he smiled broadly, offering her his hand. "Nothing at all."

There were five men remaining. They had only come as a scouting party, and things had not gone well. The ghouls kept coming, though the rapid rate of silver being crammed through their heads did something to diminish their numbers. In the darkness, a different sort of drama was playing out.
"Dear God!"
"Worthington! Damnit!"
"We have to go!"

Integra stood beside Alucard. Despite the tumultuous churning of her insides, she maintained a stiff upper lip. The tragedy at hand was disturbing enough, but the underlying implications, the hints of the game Alucard was playing, agitated her greatly. Still, she had very little time to contemplate his intentions. From nowhere, Alucard produced a colossal firearm.
"This is the Casul," he said bluntly. "It was custom designed for my usage." The silver plating and extraordinary size promised efficiency and dependability. It seemed almost holy, despite its owner. He held the gun out to her.
Integra instinctively reached for it. Alucard allowed her to take it, and registered no surprise when she dropped it between her knees, unable to lift it immense weight.
"You can't handle it," he said, having know this all along. "Not alone, anyway."
The young girl eyed him balefully. "Why do you tease me at the expense of my men's lives?" She expected him to laugh, to mock her, to give her a reason to hate him even more. Instead, he patiently took the gun from her.
"I do not tease. Everything I do has a reason, dear Integra. I do not offer what I cannot give."
In a moment, he was behind her. His breathless lips close to her ear and his arms outstretched in front of her. In his gloved right hand, he held the Casul; his finger rested on the trigger.
"Take aim, Integra." His voice betrayed no emotion. "Guide my hand. Direct me." She tentatively placed her hand on his. The seals felt hot and pulsed beneath her touch. "Show me what you can accomplish with me by your side. Give me an order, and I will carry it out."
His heatless frame was pressed close to hers. It was strange to be so intimate with such a still being. Nor rise and fall of the chest, no rhythm of the heart.
"Do you want to save them?"
His inquiry brought her out of her trance and Integra stilled her panic.
These were her men. It was their lives at stake. It was the honor of Hellsing at stake.
"Domine, dirige nos," she whispered and took aim. It was her fingers that directed Alucard to shoot. Her hand that guided his. The sound was deafening, and Alucard was the one to absorb the kick with unwavering carriage.
In the distance, a ghoul fell. The rogue shot brought the unlikely pair to the ghouls' attention. They shifted their course and began staggering towards Integra.
Again. She turned Alucard's hand, and together, they brought down the undead, one by one.
It was only after they had finished that Integra looked back at Alucard. A familiar enigmatic smile graced his lips.
"There is more to be done."

He took her through the fields and the mass of dead therein. Occasionally, he would stop and fire into a cadaver before smugly continuing on. Integra said a silent prayer and followed.
A bit farther, maybe twenty meters up, she found a lone survivor, lying on his back, gasping. On his left arm there was a dark mangled patch, probably a bite. He groaned softly and gazed at Integra wildly.
"PleaseI'm out of ammo. Please" His words were forced, and he was sinking deeper into a fever dream. Now, he did not question the presence of a young girl in a macabre place such as this.
"What will you do, Sir Integra?" The question was cavalier and cruel.
She ignored him and knelt beside the man. "What is your name, private?" Her tone was firm.
For that moment, he was lucid one more. "Private first-class, Worthington, Nathaniel, sir!"
"And whom do you serve?"
"God, the Queen, and the Hellsing Organization, sir!"
Integra smiled with sorrowful satisfaction. "Very good, Worthington." Tensed and sweating, he began to pray.
"Our Father who art in heaven," he choked. "Hallowed be thy name"
Integra wordlessly took aim, for Alucard had readied himself for her.
"Thy kingdom come"
A shot rang out and cracked the night, then all was silent again.
"Thy will be done." Integra bit back the tears with a snarl. Anguish threatened to overcome her, but she stifled her grief and focused her rage. The vampire would not see her weakness.
"It's not so easy, is it?" Alucard pulled away from her and knelt beside the dead man. In the soldier's hand was a solid silver cross. It was too soon for rigor mortis, but Alucard had to pry the relic from the man's still warm hands.
"Whydo you even desecrate the dead in Christ?"
He extended hi open hand to her. "Take it, Sir Integra."
She slapped his hand away, the tears finally escaping her eyes. "What was the meaning of this? Is there to end to your games?" I am not amused, Alucard! Not amused at all!"
Alucard retrieved the cross and interrupted her. "Take it as a remembrance of him. Take it as a remembrance of your duty. Take it, because it can protect him no longer."
Biting her lip, this time she accepted. She clutched the silver in her hands. Then, she wiped away the tears and straightened her posture.
"Two of your men have survived," Alucard stated boredly.
Integra exhaled and closed Worthington's unfocused eyes. She tried desperately not to look at the gaping hole in his face, made by the huge guns.
"I want to find the bastard vampires behind this massacre."
Alucard bared his fangs approvingly.
"There will be time for that later, Sir Integra." Mutual understanding of Integra's human frailties passed between them. She was grateful that he did not mock. "Unless of course, you would like to take me up on my offer?"
She snorted and crossed her arms. "The mansion, Alucard."
Bowing, the blackguard took her by the hand and smoothly whisked her home.

It was not till the noonday sun entered her bedroom, that Integra stirred from her slumber. Blinking, she sat up and yawned. Last night, she'd had the strangest
Reaching for her glasses, her hand discovered a simple silver cross. Integra put on her glasses and examined the memento.
There was work to be done.