Actions

Work Header

Faith in One

Chapter Text

Arthur closed his eyes, a soft sigh escaping his lips to rustle through his beard as he rested his chin atop folded fingers. His daughter of twenty-three years stood stiffly before his desk, penetrating blue eyes never wavering from his face. The topic of their discussion was one he had hoped to only reveal to her upon his deathbed. However, things were becoming desperate and the secrets of the past could not stay buried forever.

"You cannot be serious, Father," she repeated yet again, pressing her palms onto the top of his desk as she leaned forward. Her eyes danced with an emotion akin to anger, never wavered that piercing gaze from his face. "A vampire? You have a captive vampire?"

Leaning back in his wheelchair, Arthur folded his hands upon his lap, his eyes snapping open to fix a glare upon her. "Sit, Integra. The vampire is only part of what we must discuss this afternoon."
The woman stiffened, straightening as she suddenly realized she was standing over her father and superior in the Hellsing organization. Backing up a step, she lowered herself into one of the chairs, crossing her legs and draping her wrists over the chair's arms.

Taking a deep breath, Integra lowered her voice, forcing a fake calmness over her body language. "Father," she began again. "Our organization exists to destroy vampires, not capture them. Yes, we've captured one or two for questioning, but they always meet the same, and swift end." She leaned back against the chair, hard sapphire eyes watching his reaction to her statements. "If this is some sort of joke, you've a very poor sense of humor."

"This vampire has been prisoner to our family before the Hellsing order ever existed," Arthur replied quietly, moving his hands to clasp atop his desk. Aged, pale blue eyes locked upon Integra's, never wavering as he continued. "You've read many accounts my grandfather, Abraham, had written and left for us to learn from. However, what you have read is only a portion of what exists."

Integra offered no interruption, her head leaning forward a bit, several strands of blond hair sliding from her shoulders. There was disbelief in her expression, yet he knew she would accept everything very soon.

Arthur continued, closing his eyes as his thumbs brushed over wrinkled skin along the backs of his hands. "There was, in fact, one vampire my grandfather captured and never did successfully kill. That vampire's name was Dracula. I'm sure you know most of this story, and of course the parts Abraham himself fabricated to deceive others."

His daughter's eyes widened, yet she continued to keep her silence. Arthur could see the muscles in her jaw clench. "Dracula was brought back to England after his defeat, and kept subdued here for many years. Abraham managed to somehow enslave the creature. It obeyed him, walked unchained at his side, and carried out orders to the letter. He never explained to anyone exactly how he tamed that beast. Whatever secret he held, died with him."

"After my father's death, I had hoped I would be able to act as that same force toward Dracula. He was almost a family pet by then, still a savage creature by no argument, but he had been with the family for so long and was quite often somewhat friendly toward Abraham. I was very wrong."

Integra nodded, seeming to piece things together on her own. "The vampire attack on Hellsing over sixty years ago," she whispered under her breath. The details on that event had been sketchy at best, as if someone had been trying to hide the event while still documenting it.

"Indeed," Arthur replied with a sigh. "That had been Dracula. He broke loose from whatever frail bond had connected him to me barely a year after my father's death and commenced to killing every man, woman, and child who entered his field of vision or tried to stop him."

"Why didn't you kill him?" Integra finally asked after her father paused.

Arthur steepled his fingers before his mouth, leaning forward a bit to settle his eyes on her. "I tried. Many times. My father did as well, I believe, as did Abraham. There are several notes in his journal near the end of his life about attempts to destroy the beast. Abraham knew something, probably knew future generations would not be able to control the creature through whatever method he used.
Nothing worked. In the end, I chained him up, locking him in a cell deep beneath the manor then closed off most off the lower levels. I left him there to rot and be forgotten."

"I see," Integra commented, her composure rattled for a moment before she stiffened, eyes narrowing sharply behind dainty glasses. "Why are you telling me all this? Do you expect to return that creature to the surface?"

A smile ghosted onto his lips, Arthur finally reaching the climax of this conversation. "I am telling you," he started. "Because he is yours now. I have considered this for some time, and finally reached my decision. You are more than ready to take over the Hellsing organization, Integra. My health is failing, as everyone knows despite my attempts to hide it. Beginning next week, you will be taking the commanding position of Hellsing, and with that comes many responsibilities and weapons. Dracula, with this organization, would be yours. You can choose to forget about him, but let me first point out a few things."

He held up his hand, stopping whatever comment had been forming from her surprise. "Abraham used Dracula as a weapon. I'm not quite sure why Dracula obeyed him, but he respected Abraham first and foremost. Dracula never respected me, and I question if he respected my father. I implore you to give conquering the vampire a chance. If you are successful, you will have a grand weapon at your disposal. Think about the enemies we have rising around us: Vatican's encroaching, the surge in vampiric activity, threats from all sides. When you are behind this desk, do as you wish. However, use the time until you are to think about what I have said."

Integra shook her head, reaching a hand to remove her glasses and rub over her eyes. "Father this is a bit sudden," she commented finally. "Yes I can run the organization but to be thrust into the position at the start of next week? How will the soldiers handle it?"

"Most of them already answer to you, my daughter," Arthur chuckled. "Now it's all just a matter of titles and responsibility. You will do well. I know you will. And if you choose, I am quite positive you will subdue Dracula as well. I never could, my will was not strong enough. You are far stronger."
"As far as I'm concerned, that beast can lay right where it is and continue to rot."

Arthur nodded, sitting back in his wheelchair. "Just think on it. There is no harm in waking him up to gauge for yourself."

Chapter Text

Integra rested her forehead in one gloved hand, staring down at the yellowed pages before her. It was one of Abraham's many journals, and one of several she had never read before. These told a much different story than the Dracula publication. These told a story far more frightening and horrific. Some part of her had always thought of Dracula as a joke. Many movies and other works of fiction had romanticized vampires and their king. It was almost disgusting, but without knowing the true story, Integra did not realize just what sort of monster Dracula had truly been.

Her father's words echoed to her now, to at least go down and meet him, gauge the creature's personality. Perhaps being imprisoned so long has humbled it. Integra looked to the journal she had just finished, realizing she still had many more. So far she'd only read of Abraham's fight with Dracula, the monster's capture, and Abraham's wild plans to enslave and train it as if vampires were some other breed of dog.

Abraham's journals told of Dracula being some sort of special vampire. Not just a king, but a demon among vampires, a monster of monsters. Reading Abraham's records, she could see how it made sense. Integra began thinking on points made which she had never realized before. In life Dracula had born children, and it was a well-known fact vampires could only turn virgin humans of the opposite gender. How, then, had Dracula become a vampire?

Her latest read told of Abraham trapping Dracula in some sort of magical snare, a sigil of sorts engraved onto the dungeon floor. Apparently the creature could not cross it, he and his power trapped within the circle. Abraham had almost been playing a game, offering the vampire food as a reward for following simple instructions.

Integra sat back in her chair, pushing the journal from her. She reached for the next, just as the sun disappeared behind the horizon. Her fingers wavered, touching the bound leather yet not drawing the book to her. The more she learned, the more she wanted to meet the main antagonist of this new story. He was below her very feet, waiting for her to visit.

"There's no harm," she mused to herself. "In just visiting. This is Dracula, nothing like the creatures I face." A novel experience to be sure.

OoOoO

"Am I really doing this?" Integra's voice echoed through the dark hallways of Hellsing's lower levels. "Am I really about to meet Dracula? He's a monster we should have killed over a hundred years ago. He was a monster even before he became a vampire. A man like that, given great amounts of supernatural power and strength. It's a wonder the world is still turning." She tilted her head forward, scoffing at her thoughts. "How the hell did my ancestors keep it locked up?"

Integra paused at the doorway which led from the upper level basements, those areas still in use, and into the sealed off deep sublevels. She carried a cooler slung over her shoulder, several chilled packets of medical blood nestled within, a flashlight incase the lights did not work after sixty years, and her weapons. A pistol hung snug under her arm, resting at the ready in it's holster. She had loaded hollow point silver ammunition. Dracula may very well still be moving, though the chances were slim. This was not a chance to be taken lightly, she may very well be toying with her life venturing here without backup. On her hip waited the sword her father had given her when she turned sixteen. It was no decorative weapon, and many a monster had died upon it's blade. Silver plated steel would cut through undead flesh and muscle as a hot knife through butter.

Taking a deep breath, Integra pushed the door open, gritting her teeth at the squealing of rusted hinges. A single stairwell led into darkness, as if descending into Hell itself. This would be a nightmare if the lights did not work. Yet, she had ventured into worse situations with her men. Entire nests of vampires, blood and bodies littering the way. The vampires at the end of those paths were never restrained in a cage.

"No turning back now," she told herself, testing a web covered light switch just inside the door. To her surprise, the lights flickered on, aged bulbs hissing audibly and blinking off and on. It was the beginning of every bad horror movie.

"Last cell of the deepest dungeons," she reminded herself, sliding a map from her pocket. There was a thick coating of dust on everything. She could see it floating through the air, small clouds disturbed by her steps. It really had been sixty years since any human had moved through these hallways.

Noises echoed around the stones, skittering that alerted her to the presence of rats and roaches. These were servants of the midians, plague creatures. Could Dracula still command them while he was locked away and starved?

It took her longer than expected to reach the cell, but once it came into view, she knew it was the correct one. Painted across the stone was a large sigil which she could only guess was similar to the one she had read of in Abraham's journal. It was to seal Dracula and his power within.

She stood before the door, marveling over what could only be dark magic. This was how her family had kept that creature caged. Gritting her teeth, Integra took a deep breath, letting it out slowly before she reached for the handle and pushed open the thick, metal door. The groaning of the door's hinges echoed through the cell, and Integra almost swore it empty. Squinting into the dim light, she scanned along the wall just inside the door, searching for some sort of light switch.

Once located, she pressed her fingers against it, lighting a single bulb which hung from the ceiling. It flickered badly, giving her quick glimpses of something at the room's center.

Hand upon her sword hilt, she squinted into the flickering light, expecting to see some sort of movement, yet none ever came. "I don't suppose you're still whole after all these years?" she asked into the darkness, moving down the few steps from the doorway into the cell. "Of course not," she sighed to herself as she slid the cooler from her shoulder and placed it at the bottom of the stairs. Above her head, the light suddenly ended it's flickering, allowing the young woman to view the area much easier.

There was, indeed, a body in the room, lying half curled on it's side. Integra drew her gun, moving cautiously around the walls of the cell to get a better look at the thing without getting too close. The body was heavily chained, and appeared to have it's arms bound tightly from wrist to near shoulder preventing any arm movement at all. Several chains led from this body, attaching it to the back wall and floor.

Integra moved closer, noting where skin was visible, it held the same appearance as a desert mummy. This vampire was completely dried and no threat to her in it's current state. Holstering her weapon, she crouched beside the corpse, reaching a hand out then pausing. Bleached white hair lay in a thick blanket over the body and across the floor. She wanted to push the veil away and look upon the creature's face but could not quite bring herself to touch the body. Drawing her sword, she used the blade to brush back several tresses of ivory hair. It hissed and sizzled softly at the touch of silver, and she quickly drew the blade back once she had uncovered the monster's face.

There was no life at all in this body, empty eye sockets stared back above a gaping mouth of broken teeth. Flesh was wrinkled in some areas, yet tight in others. The creature had, at one time, very sharp, angular features.

"Hello, vampire," she chuckled, finally reaching out with a hand to place wary fingers into the nest of hair, shifting it's head back to bare a thick metal ring encircling it's throat. Her eyes followed no less than two chains attached to this collar, connecting to the cell's back wall.

Even it's ankles were chained, which all seemed to be a bit much to her. "Father did not want you getting out, did he?" she asked the corpse, lifting her flashlight to get a better look at it's clothing. The creature appeared to have been garbed in some sort of leather harness, but the material was so rotted she wasn't sure if it had been restraint or an actual article of clothing.

Leaning forward slowly, she touched cautious fingers to the metal collar, another hand holding the chains as she tested each one with a sharp tug. Integra had never been so close to a vampire that wasn't trying to kill her, though usually such an experience was short lived for the fiends.

This was something entirely new to her. A sudden thought stuck her as she rose, checking both the arm and ankle restraints as well and moving back to test their wall connections, she did not intend to kill this midian. This vampire, her father had said, belonged to the family. Integra felt a sudden, almost primal, ownership over this rotted corpse. Dracula, the most well-known and savage of his species, was a family heirloom of sorts.

Once she was sure this creature was still secured, Integra retrieved one of the blood packets from her cooler. Drawing her sword, she opened the plastic upon the blade, and began to move around the body, splattering only a bit upon the corpse while most of it pooled across the floor around it. There was no motion yet, but Integra backed quickly beyond the chain's reach and waited. Looking over her shoulder, she was sure the door was open and her escape route free of any obstacle.

She did not need to wait long. There was a slight tremor of movement which she almost believed to be imagined until it moved again. Slow shifts along the skin, filling out and tightening. Muscle was reviving, life of a sort returning to that decrepit body. Integra tightened her fingers upon her sword handle, realizing she was witnessing something extraordinary. Wild vampires did not allow themselves to dry up, not like this. Watching with clenched teeth, the woman understood what she saw was something only a bare handful of humans would ever see. She didn't want to miss a moment of it.

Everything happened in only a matter of seconds, and the vampire began to move. Its motions were unsteady, but it knew its goal, rolling onto its stomach to lap at where blood had pooled over the floor. As it shifted, the vampire rose onto its knees, the bind of its arms making movement ungainly. And yet the creature never lost its balance, face into the floor, it's long, pointed demon tongue lapping at the stone, drinking in ever drop it could reach. All around the body, long white hair fell, dull and dirty from the creature's imprisonment. The leather harness turned out to not be a harness at all, from what she could tell. It was almost like armor, thick bands of leather strapped across its chest, snaps and buckles hanging rotted or broken all along the creature's form. Whatever it had been, she was sure it was almost useless now.

Integra was so lost in watching the creature feed; she didn't notice it had cleaned the floor until he swept his face around, searching for more, then lifted its upper body, locking its eyes upon hers. Integra gazed into Hell. The irises were deep red with a bit of orange and dark yellows swirling around the pupil. The pupil itself was vertical and slitted, like that of a reptile. She had seen similar eyes on other vampires, but none quite with this much intensity. Madness danced deep in those eyes, a haunting sight she would never forget. The shades and colors of his irises danced, shifting and swirling about as a pool of magma would. That, she had certainly never seen before.

They stayed thus for several moments, staring at each other. The creature leaned back then, getting its legs under it and standing in one, fluid motion. The shaking uneasiness of its limbs and movements was gone. This was a predator ready to hunt. Integra realized she had been holding her breath and finally released it, her hand, which had gone white knuckled on the handle of her sword relaxing as well.

Then the demon began to walk, taking bold steps toward her until the chains snapped taught. This was the critical moment. Her sword came up, blade pointed toward his chest, yet his leash stretched only a meter past the room's center. There was no way it could reach her without breaking the chains. Almost as if they had thought of this at the same instant, the creature strained forward, eyes watching her, brimming in madness, teeth bared in a rictus, drooling grin. A deep, feral sound reverberated around the room as Dracula strained against the chains. She could see his hands flexing, trying to break the restraints around his arms.

Integra refused to take a step back, standing her ground, sword up and at the ready. The vampire seemed to finally accept it was securely held, and backed a step to relax the chain's tension. Breathing softly, Integra lowered her blade, tilting her head forward as she watched the creature. It swayed a bit on its feet, saliva covering its teeth, dripping along a sharp chin and onto the floor. Her eyes moved over Dracula's figure, a haggard, too thin frame, its leather harness thick in grime and dust, rotting in several areas. She moved to his face, now that his hair was swept back and he stood beneath the light, more detail was presented to her.

His skin was so pale, almost too white and seemed to glow in the dimly lit cell. He was filthy, his imprisonment having not been a pleasant experience. Lips were pulled back, giving her a grand view of a cavernous maw of teeth. She had never beheld a vampire with so many teeth. This demon was not designed to bite the neck of his victims; he was engineered to tear them apart. Even from that gaunt face, his eyes glowed bright, cunning and intelligent, seemingly curious with her obvious interest in him.

"Are you hungry?" she finally asked, remembering Abraham's journals. It was always how he started his little training sessions.

"Megcheztem, seggfei," came a baritone response, punctuated with a deep, feral growl.

Integra had no idea what it had just said, or even what language it was speaking in. Whatever the creature had just said, it wasn't what she wanted to hear. It obviously needed a bit of encouragement. Reaching into the cooler, she withdrew a single medical package of blood, holding it beside her face. "In English," she commanded. Integra wanted to let this monster know she would not accept anything less than obedience.

The vampire shifted, tensing. The shades in his irises swam with greater intensity. He was angry. Integra could feel the emotion like a heat in those eyes. After some moments, Dracula finally responded with a simple, English, word. "Yes."

She was quiet for a moment, feeling out of place in this new position. Humans did not command vampires; it was against the natural order of things. Vampires hunted humans, and those humans, like herself, hunted vampires. There should be nothing but death in a meeting between the two species.

Keeping eye contact, she pursed her lips, remembering her most recent read in Abraham's journal. There was one command Dracula had refused to obey then.

"Kneel," she ordered in a sharp, commanding tone.

His response surprised her. As soon as the order left her lips, the creature dropped hard onto its knees, bowing its head to her. She waited until the vampire raised its head, looking at her expectantly before she tossed the plastic package into its reach.

Dracula lunged toward the blood packet before it even hit the ground, snapping shark teeth into it. Blood sprayed from the package, dripping across the floor and coating the vampire. He arched his back, curving his spine to keep hold of the meal, throat working to swallow as quickly as he could.

Integra was mesmerized, having seen vampires feed before, of course, but this was almost personal for the creature. This wasn't feeding in hunger, or to snack on an enemy. This beast was feeding out of desperation, to quell the powerful, gnawing hand of starvation which rampaged through its weakened body. Once he had finished draining the bag, he relaxed his jaw, letting it fall to the ground at his knees, stooping to lick stray drops from the stone floor.

He turned to her then, a grin spreading wide onto his features as he saw a second packet of blood already in her hand. Blood stained those teeth, mixing with saliva, swimming along his tongue. She was fascinated and almost frightened at the same time. This creature couldn't hurt her, focused entirely on a meal he could reach and not on the woman throwing it to him. Tapping her sword against her leg, she decided she wanted a new vantage point.

"Lie on your stomach," she ordered, which he followed immediately, to the letter. Some part of her mind told her this position would make him slower, he wouldn't be able to stand up as fast, certainly not with his arms bound as they were, and so when she tossed it to him, Integra began moving around the side of the cell, wanting to view the vampire from a different angle. He seemed completely focused upon ripping into the medical blood, that she assumed his tunnel vision did not include her.

That was her first mistake. Vampires were clever, resourceful creatures. Integra should have expected her inflated sense of security had already been figured into his mental equation. He had never stopped watching her, calculating her position with the length of his chain. She didn't know exactly when she stepped into his reach, but the vampire turned, abandoning his cold meal in favor of something warm with a beating heart.

It moved so fast, Integra had never seen a vampire move so quickly. She barely had time to get her sword up before the creature was on her. His momentum threw her to the floor, wild jaws snapping toward her throat only found the silver plated steel of her sword. Dracula snarled an unearthly, horrific sound as he bit down on her blade, pushing forward over her. He was overpowering her, even in his compromised state, he was winning. Integra grunted, her own teeth bare, having never had the chance to scream or seek an escape. The vampire loomed over her, fighting against her, yet never releasing her sword from his grip. Steam rose from the silver connecting with his gums, yet she could see the muscle in his jaw tightening, and slight cracks forming in her sword blade. Her free hand had brought her arm up to support the blunt edge of the blade, shaking against the vampire's increasing pressure.

"Damned idiot," she gritted, dropping her weaponless arm to grasp toward the gun holster. The action made her defense lose its support, the sword dropping and bringing the vampire's face perilously close to her throat. Yet, using her now free hand to draw the pistol, Integra pressed the barrel against his chest, and squeezed the trigger. The shot deafened her, echoing around the stone cell, but the demon's scream rose above even that sound.

Dracula released her sword, throwing himself back, with a wild, agonized sound. Pure silver, into the heart and he was still moving. Had she not been so angry, Integra would have been amazed.

With sudden breathing room between her and the monster, Integra rolled to her knees, blue eyes narrowing in cold fury as she released a second shot. Dracula was off balance, and when the second shot hit, burying a silver shot into the abdomen, his screams elevated once more. In a frenzy to escape her it almost tripped over itself and the chains withdrawing to the furthest corner it could manage.

There, Dracula curled into himself, flexing bound arms. A blood trail led from her to his cowering frame. Only in the back of her mind did Integra wonder how he could possibly be moving after two shots of holy silver. However, her foremost thought was to end him for daring to attack. Keeping his head down like a frightened child, keening over whatever pain still wracked his body, the vampire looked up only when Integra stalked toward him, and then she fired a third shot straight into the creature's skull. This time the demon did not scream, but instead went as still as death. Integra kept her pistol trained on the motionless body for several more moments, before backing away.

"Almost two centuries of my ancestors trying, and I did the job in three shots," she chuckled, holstering her weapon and turning to gather the cooler.

Integra froze, hearing the soft clinking of chains. Pistol suddenly in hand, she whirled about, aiming at the vampire. Much to her shock, the creature was moving.

"Silver into the heart and brain. You can't still be alive," she growled to him, setting her finger tight upon the trigger of her weapon.

Dracula shifted, standing from his corner and turning to affix a mad, amused gaze upon her. The grin which spread over his lips was infuriating, as if he knew something she didn't and he was enjoying the show of watching her figure it out for herself. But then he lowered his head, eyes watching her from behind a veil of hair.

"Do you have any more of those bags?" he asked suddenly, deep voice almost a rasp. There was no hint of pain in that voice.

Integra frowned, tightening her grip on the pistol. Did this monster really expect to attack her then continue on as if nothing had happened? Her eyes moved to look over his body, searching for the gunshot wounds. In the dim light, she could see blood and gore across the leather harness, but there should have been more damage. To her amazement, the wound was closing before her eyes, sucking and pulling together, erasing all signs of the injury. Even his skull, half of which was missing, had already begun repairs.

Her reply came slow, almost unsure of what to do. "Yes."

The vampire approached warily, watching the gun in her hands. His muscles and movements were tense, ready to jump away if she showed any signs of shooting. Reaching the center of the room, Dracula fell to his knees once more, looking up at her with expectant eyes, though Integra detected amusement there, and something else. A cold, calculating mind, perhaps.

Integra only stood where she was, watching those silver wounds heal until he was as whole and complete as before. Never had she known of a vampire who could withstand silver. It obviously hurt and caused great consternation, yet he shrugged it off after only a few minutes as if it were any other wound. When neither moved, Dracula smiled, jagged dagger teeth gleaming in the single bulb's light.

"Will you please give me another?" he asked hopefully. There was something off about his behavior, and yet she couldn't place what it was. The creature's lips were upturned in a constant, haughty smirk, offering a teasing glimmer of pointed teeth.

Narrowing her eyes, Integra stood motionless, looking at the vampire down her gun sights. “Why the bloody hell should I?" she asked, more to herself than to the creature, though Dracula answered her all the same.

"Because I'm hungry." he stated lowering his head to her. "Please."

It was begging for food now, trying to coax her back into that false sense of security. It struck her, what exactly this vampire was doing. He was testing her, judging her actions and reactions. Already the creature was forming a profile for her within the inner workings of its mind. She was in a position of power over him, and he was testing, prodding and poking for what to expect. Next, he would try to manipulate her. How far would she let him go, and what would be the consequences of his actions? He was a child, attempting to see what his parents would let him get away with.

"Very well," she relented, withdrawing the last pack from her cooler and tossing it to him. She could play his game. The last course of his meal hit the stones with a wet sound before it was snatched into the vampire's jaws. With a violent shake of his head, he tore the bag open, once again spraying half his feast across the floor.

It was gone almost as soon as he began eating, cleaning the floor from both this bag and the remains of his previous. Even when she could see no more of the fluid, he continued to lick at the stones, drinking up even the memory. There was a calmer expression over his face, muscles relaxed as he eased his starvation a bare touch. Integra was silent, never once lowering her gun as she watched him release a soft sigh then sit back on his heels. Dracula looked up at her with a mix of amusement and curiosity. Now was the time to introduce herself.

"My name is Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing," she began, though the creature began a barking laugh before she could continue. Irritation wrote itself across her forehead, eyes narrowing sharply.

"You're Arthur's whore, then?"

Rage flooded her mind, and before she could think, her finger squeezed on the trigger. Blood exploded from the vampire's shoulder, and the creature hissed, rolling back from her as if distance would give him more chance of escape if she decided to shoot again. He bared his teeth at her, but the grin returned too quickly.

"Arthur Hellsing II is my father," she growled, blue eyes matching his. Rage burned in his eyes, an intense hatred he had kept hidden from her until now. This thing had never been tamed, he had only been subdued, and he hated her family for it. At this moment, she was the manifestation of the Hellsing family to him. Integra grit her teeth, both hands now gripping at her gun. So this was the demon Dracula.

"Ah," he answered, standing gracefully despite his cruelly chained arms. Leaning back, he chuckled, white hair almost moving with a life of its own around his thin frame. "That only makes you the daughter of a whore, sloughed from whatever unholy mating ritual Arthur performs on his girls."

Integra saw red, pulling the trigger hard as if she could make the bullet hurt more, infusing it with her rage. Dracula staggered back from the blast, the hollow tipped round leaving a sizable hole in the demon's chest. The vampire's scream echoed through the cell, the inhuman wail straight from some Lovecraftian novel.

He suddenly went silent, cowering back to the corner of his cell, half curled as it healed these new injuries with what blood it had fed from. Having had quite enough of the encounter, Integra holstered her weapon, turning to gather the now empty cooler and her cracked sword. She climbed the short steps, fully intending to never revisit this place, but as she pressed her fingers over the light switch, bathing the cell in darkness, she heard the vampire's laugh.

Half turning, to shoot a scathing glare over her shoulder, the sight which greeted her caused a sharp gasp to catch in her throat. Integra witnessed half a dozen irises gleaming as hot coals back at her from the pitch blackness. The shadows seemed deeper than before, as if the creature's mere presence thickened them. Integra turned to fully face this nightmare. She stood at the doorway, feeling a line of cold sweat run down her back.

The demon's many eyes mocked her, his laughter no longer audible, but she could feel it, like a thick weight upon the air. The eyes seemed to float through the darkness like leaves upon water. This was his shadow, his aura. Dracula was doing a very good job of throwing her off guard. Was it possible he was mocking her now? Showing her the sheer amount of power he controlled and he could have, perhaps, been able to reach her the entire time?

"You will return tomorrow, won't you? Come back to me, little girl. I want to know you better," his voice echoed from the pool of blackness, teasing her.

One swift step backward took her out of the cell, and a fuming Integra slammed the door with a resounding crash.

"Sit in there and rot you God damned monster."

OoOoO

Dracula chuckled to himself, long after she had gone. A new generation of Hellsings, what fun. Licking his lips, he could still taste the silver of her sword upon his teeth, remembering her strong scent. There had been fear, a strong thick smell of dismay wafting from her. However, there was something else as well, something that intrigued the vampire. He wasn't quite sure what it had been, but this Integra Hellsing would prove to be something special.

"No matter," he growled into the darkness around him. "I'll make her life mine and carry her soul to Hell just like all the others."