Hellsing Fan Fiction ❯ Sine Qua Non ❯ Quĉ Nocent Docent ( Chapter 6 )
The helicopter was still midair, but already, adrenaline coursed through her veins at record speed. As their destination neared, her reckless arrogance had been replaced by grim resolve. While knowing her capabilities exceeded that of any trashy Hellbound parasite, the fear of failure was heavy in her breast. Her jaw was set firm and her knuckles were white. The suspense was agonizing.
"Alucard," she called to him in her head.
He did not appear, but she still sensed his presence. "Yes, Sir Integra? How may I assist you?" His mocking words sparked anger and for a moment, Integra forgot her qualms.
"Locate our targets. We will be on the moors; you know where to look."
"And once I have found them, what would you have me do? Invite them over for tea? Perhaps we can discuss their crimes, reform them even. Make more household pets…"
Integra clenched her teeth. "Your orders are as simple. Search and destroy. Leave nothing but dust."
The conversation was terminated by Alucard's ubiquitous laughter.
Integra crossed her arms, incensed by his insufferable behavior.
As her helicopter descended, Integra searched the area for Alucard. She had received no reports regarding his activities. For an inhumanly tall male clad in candy-apple red, he was hard to find.
She exited quickly, ignoring the helping hand offered by one of the soldiers. The moon was full and bright and the night was clear, but neither offered any sign of her vampire minion.
Aggravated by his absence at her given position, she called him again.
"Yes, Sir Integra?" He returned lazily.
"Where are you?"
"In the city of York."
"Why the Hell are you not here on the moors?" Integra questioned as she oversaw the unloading of her troops.
"Because my prey is not there."
"If you're hunting humans, Alucard, I swear I'll-"
"Relax, Sir Integra." She could feel his amusement permeating their mental link. "Your orders were to search and destroy. I'm on the verge of completing the second aspect of that command."
"Sir Integra…?" Commander Ferguson saluted and viewed the girl with some concern.
"They're not here," she growled.
"What's wrong, Sir Integra? Did you want a piece of the action? Did you want to avenge that soldier's honor? Would you like to kill again this night?"
"How can you be so sure?" Ferguson interrupted, blissfully unaware of the battle going on inside of Integra's head.
She glared at him.
"Do a preliminary, but I doubt that you will find anything besides ghouls. I trust that you can handle that with minimum casualties?"
"I have more pressing business to attend to," Integra snapped, loading her borrowed .38 handgun with silver bullets.
"Would you like to come along?" Alucard cooed.
"Let's go, now." It was a direct order and she put pressure on his seals for emphasis.
Integra saw the flash of red eyes, and subsequently found herself knee-deep in murky water. It dark, too dark, and she had to give her eyes time to adjust. Given the smell and water, combined with the distant rumble of heavy objects overhead, Integra concluded that she was in the sewers beneath the city.
Slivers of light squeezed through the gratings, giving her a welcome break from the inky blackness that surrounded her. She had a torch, but it would put her at a greater disadvantage. Besides, her vision was already adapting.
"Where are you?" She called to him telepathically.
"Around." Alucard sounded distracted. "There are four of them. I'm dealing with a couple right now. I'll leave the other half to you."
Integra swore under her breath.
Clasping her gun, she stayed close to the grimy walls, trying to ignore the strange splashes, squeals, and echoes that the stonework warped. Some of these tunnels were ancient- and in the underground labyrinth, Integra's walkie-talkie received only static. She could only wade through the shadows and hope that she was not going around in circles.
The waters were not as rank as she might have expected, but they were not pleasant. Sloshing through the maze, Integra was incredibly annoyed by her lack of stealth. It did occur to her that Alucard was not the only on playing games with her and she stopped as she heard the rhythmic echoes of another.
The other stopped briefly now aware that its prey had been alerted. Then it began to move again. Faster now, excited by the promise of a hunt.
Integra backed against a slimy wall and raised her gun.
Red eyes manifested in the blackness, and Integra wondered why no one seemed to question the presence of a teenage girl with a gun. It was an unexpected tangent, considering that she was deniably frightened, riding an adrenaline-high, and still infuriated by Alucard's games. Integra channeled all of this energy into sending that demon a one-way ticket to Hell. She fired, unsure of what form her enemy was. Her point of reference was the set burning eyes that glowed brightly in the tunnel. After the first two shots, Integra heard the soft pattering of dust hitting the water.
Trembling, Integra called on Alucard once more.
"What the Hell are you doing?"
"Playing," he enunciated. Within the past fifteen minutes, his smarmy manner had not changed at all. "What's wrong? Are you not having fun any more? Not so brave all alone, are you? I can come hold your hand if you like…"
At that moment, two hands seized her by the waist. Caught off-guard, Integra thrashed. Sliding the gun under her left arm, she shot her assailant.
An unmistakable laugh resounded in the tunnel as Alucard set Integra down. "Miss me?" He leered down at her, his mad features illuminated by an unnatural light.
"You…" Integra exhaled deeply and swallowed her curses. "Did you take care of those…"
"Well, not completely. I've been keeping an eye on you." And with that, a multitude of eyes materialized in the darkness.
"Don't patronize me," Integra snarled.
"Little girls should be afraid of the dark, because monsters really do exist."
"When I live with a monster, I learn to manage them."
Integra could no longer see Alucard's expression, or detect his mindset. "Suit yourself, Sir Integra. I have unfinished business to attend to. Please enjoy yourself."
And he was gone again.
Her heart was still threatening to escape from her chest. Alucard had startled her, and he knew it. Between probing her mind and sensing the rapid increase of her heart rate, he could discern otherwise concealable fits of emotion.
She had, she realized after the mass of her rage had passed, killed her first vampire. Alucard said he had left another at her disposal. Very well, she would show him that she would not cower in the face of his satanic brethren. Reloading her weapon for reassurance, Integra continued her trek through the sewers of York.
It was really an uneventful next twenty minutes. Integra heard nothing from Alucard, and did not care to. It occurred to her that maybe he had finished the rest of the killing, and was now watching her wander around in circles.
No, she had been keeping careful track of her direction. Wherever she was, it was awfully quiet.
"Alucard…" She began aloud.
Minutes later, a pair of red eyes flashed fiercely in the void. Integra began to call out an insult, but then took a step backwards.
It was not Alucard.
The eyes came closer.
"What's wrong, my little one?" It was male and he sounded middle-aged. "Yes…virginal androgyny is so innocent and quite delicious."
Integra laughed harshly. "You think too well of yourself, parasite."
"Fine words for a mortal."
He was fast. Faster than she could see or predict. It was her lack of prior battles that handicapped her. If she had even a year's experience on the field, she would have been able to hit him, but for her greenness, she did not yet have the skill.
He struck her hard. There was not enough force to break her neck, but she was momentarily stunned. He then kicked the gun out of her hands before she had a chance to shoot him. The vampire chortled and lifted a flailing Integra by her throat.
A trickle of blood streamed from her lip. Shoving her roughly against the wall, her attacker leaned over and licked it from her face.
"So sweet and tender…" His free hand seized her by hair and pulled her head back, exposing her neck. "We could have so much fun together." His tongue trailed down her chin to her still-covered throat. His breath reeked of death and Integra fought the urge to vomit. He pressed her tight against the wall, his weight pinning her there, and released his grip her neck.
Integra snarled as his fingers began to tear away at her collar. He brutally yanked her head back farther. Still, the bastard was taking his time with the dining equivalent of foreplay. He wanted to toy with her a little bit before making the kill. Fine; she could play a game or two.
As he prepared for his nibble, Integra grinned grimly before grabbing the vampire's oily hair. Angling her arm, she pulled him closer, face-first, into her broach.
The vampire howled and instinctively jerked away from her, clutching his branded face.
Integra immediately dropped to the ground and vainly searched for her weapon. Despite the imminent danger, she chuckled. If only she had her sabers. Even in this modern age of infrared and two-ply toilet paper, a blade had its mandatory uses. She had a combat knife, but she doubted that it would effectively deter the vampire.
As she took a defensive stance, the sound of flesh and bone tearing echoed in the sewers.
"Disgraceful maggot-fodder," Alucard said with no particular emotion.
"Aaaiiieeee!!" Alucard held up the other vampire's right arm.
Integra watched, tight-lipped. Alucard caught her eye and displayed the grim trophy with wry humor. As they watched each other, the other vampire miraculously got to his feet and began running away.
"He's escaping, Alucard."
"He's of little consequence," the elder vampire replied. Integra stood, wet, cold, and rather pissed off.
"I want his blood, Alucard. He will not strike me with impunity."
Alucard looked off in the direction that the fiend had fled. "He will not survive another dawn."
Integra glared at him. They needed to finish this, now.
"It has been a valuable learning experience, no?" A white-gloved hand brushed against her still bleeding lip. She jerked away. "Once more, we are alone," he said softly. "A princess…and a ravening beast."
He was behind her now, and with chilling certainty, Integra realized that the mongrel vampire was no longer her greatest concern.
"I do not fear you," Integra said coldly, as she felt his hands slide across her bruised throat.
"It would be so simple, so easy to dispose of you. There will be no interruptions from your precious Hellsing Organization. Your rashness is commendable, but it could very well be your downfall." His slender fingers continued stroking her neck.
"Do not touch me, Alucard," her voice was tight, strained.
"Stop me," he challenged quietly. "Can you do it, Sir Integra? Can you finalize your possession of my humble self? Are you worthy of commanding my seals?"
Integra stood frozen in place.
"Your bravado is charming, but I know, and you know, that you are indeed, very frightened." His fingers felt her pulse. "So quickly your heart beats, like a captured bird. Is it fear or anticipation?"
"I am not afraid to die, Alucard."
"I know," he replied, strangely devoid of his usual sadistic humor. "And I know that you are well-justified in you fears. I do recall how fragile you mortals are." His lips brushed against the side of her neck. "I could take that fear away. I could make you stronger than you ever dreamed. You would not need me to extract revenge on that peon. I can and will do this for you, daughter of Eve. Just say the words."
"At the cost of my soul, son of Cain?"
"It is but a small price."
She could now feel him actively pushing back against the seals, initiating rebellion. She would not give him his freedom. There was a moment of silence as they both deliberated their strategies.
"I will not give up," she stated quietly. "I will never give up; even if I die." With concentration, she broke free of his hold and turned to face the Nosferatu. Meeting his wild gaze, she returned his defiant smile. "That is my pride and self-respect as the head of Hellsing."
"So be it." His eyes never left hers.
It had culminated to this.
Integra clenched her teeth as a sharp pain shot through her. Alucard was not playing; he would fight her to the death if she could not beat him into submission. With the invincibility of youth came some consolation. She was a Hellsing, and she would not be the one to release this fiend on an unguarded world.
His words were tempting, but nowhere near as compelling as she had first imagined. They were like a distant dream and just as likely.
Alucard tore through the web of blood and magic. Upon reaching the threshold of her mind, he pushed.
Integra pushed back harder. She could feel him, testing the strength of her supernatural membrane, trying to break free of the chains that bound him and take the battle into her mind.
It took one hard thrust and he was in. It was a strange sensation, and she could now feel him wearing away at her personal defenses. Of course, her mind and will were the only things that could put him back where he belonged. He kept up the assault. The pressure was incredible, and Integra dropped to her knees, clutching her temples.
"I can make it stop…." He was in her mind now; there were no secrets she could hide from him and because of this incident, she doubted there ever would be. Still, she could have sworn that he too, sounded strained.
"I am…Hellsing…" she whispered, and even though her vision was blurred by pain, Integra could make out the seals on his hands. Inscribed with mystical signs, they glowed brightly in the surrounding entropy. Blood dripped from her forehead, and vaguely, knowing there was no wound, Integra realized that she was sweating blood. A quick glance at Alucard's face gave her a burst of strength.
He was fighting, too.
Despite the outcome, she would not make it easy for him.
Alucard knew the restraints very well. How could he not? They had been his constant companions for over a hundred years. He knew his chains, and better yet, he knew how to break them. It was a matter of will, and he had plenty of that. But so did Integra. He had looked into the depths of her being- he knew her now, like no man had or ever could. She was everything he had desired.
The difference between them was that magic took a far harsher toll on mortal bodies than ones like his own. Watching her, the flame of her life burning intensely, Alucard knew that physically, she could not last long.
"I'm winning," he taunted.
Integra did not respond verbally, but he felt her renew her assault, driving him back to the edge of her mind. However, she was mortal, and she could not fight him forever.
They were both well aware of that fact. And she still struggled valiantly.
"Magnificent," he reflected as her mental barrages continued to force his retreat. In time, she had shoved him back into his prison, and was busily reconstructing his bindings. He could bide his time…she would not last long if he recommenced his attacks.
But if she died…she would cheat him of his prize. Yes, he was capable of going on; of raping her soul and killing her body…but it would not serve his purpose. To an extent, as a servant, he could ask for no better master. And her death, it would not be victory; it would be a waste. He fought her still, but with each fractional victory, she grew bolder and he applauded her. She was glorious. He would claim her. He would mold her. He would be her servant, her teacher, and her lover. Such a thought was exhilarating.
There were worse ways to pass time.
Integra was still on all fours, barely able to breathe. Alucard knelt before her and tilted her chin up.
"You are magnificent," he said with wild glee, eliciting a tired glare from the girl. He licked the blood from her face, having let up his assault.
She did not drop her guard, but balefully sat up.
"You are worthy," he acknowledged as Integra shakily stood. Her legs were weak, and she leaned back against the cold stone, feeling more vulnerable than ever before. She was a mess; she was covered in sewer water, her hair matted to her head by blood and sweat, and the worst of it was that she could still feel the stickiness of vampire saliva on her face and neck. She was drained.
It was then, the surviving one-armed vampire made his appearance. Wearily, Integra reached for her gun, only to remember that it was probably halfway to America by now. All she had was that combat knife. Alucard could handle it.
To her shock, space began to change again. A long, black, dog-shaped void spread through the tunnel, quickly and effectively. In the blink of an eye, it swallowed the crippled vampire who barely had time to scream.
Alucard grinned at her.
"That was interesting."
The Nosferatu was regaining his original smugness. "There are many things you have left to learn."
He remained kneeling before her, the both of them still processing the monumental events that had just taken place. To Integra, Alucard seemed weary. They had not yet established a regular feeding system for him. She was quite tempted to be petty, but seeing the vampire with offered subservience, she palmed the knife and slashed open her arm.
Her fingers lightly touched the ragged edges of his clothing that marked scratches, bites, and gunshot wounds.
"This is my body, broken for you…" he murmured huskily.
"This is my blood, shed for you," she replied, resting against the cool walls.
He lapped up the libation, silently, relishing every bit.
Blinking, Integra could have sworn that Alucard's bone-white hair had now changed to a lightless ebony. But the darkness coupled with her fatigue could easily play tricks on her.
When he had finally finished, the No Life King cocked his head back and looked at her expectantly.
"Your orders, my master?"