Author's Note: Never written for the Hellsing genre before. This is a first try.

Musings: Alucard was written with the intention of coming off slightly amused for the whole fic, which is how I perceived him to come off just about all the time.

Warnings(s): None to my knowledge, except for slightly implied, one-sided AlucardIntegral. I'm not quite sure how it got there, and I'm sure you can all draw your own conclusions.

Hermes

"I am Hermes. I became tamed by devouring my own wings."

- Inscription on Arucard's Coffin

To be a No Life King is not an easy task. There exists an entire society, and as with any society there are numerous rules and unspoken guidelines for the "Originals" to follow. There are endless ways in which the Old Ones are expected to live their undead, nearly immortal lives. How and who we should feed off, and who we should turn if we so choose. Ah yes, a vast Undead Syllabus of rules.

And I enjoy breaking every single one of them.

My form slithers into a quasi-existence as I flow along the outside of the Hellsing Castle. It is one of the few moments of supposed 'freedom' that I do enjoy. With a thought I become little more than a shadow; but a shadow with shape, at least. Master would not be pleased if I were to suddenly go missing into the night….

As the thought crosses my mind I release an unneeded breath. Her mind whispers across my own…slivers of thoughts that streak like lightning into my own introspection. Just what is the little Hellsing Heir thinking of? I smile. Work, of course. Master obviously has no sense of spontaneity.

Another of her thoughts comes to me. Apparently dear Walter is serving Master her evening tea. Minute amounts of pleasure and appreciation sparkle across my mind, flickering like small, noiseless firecrackers. Beautiful, I think. Master is light in all of the cracks and crevices where I am darkness. We are, together, a symphony of contrast. Master is everything I have learned to leave behind, and I am everything she is afraid to face. From the moment her thirteen-year-old self blatantly told me that she would never fear me, I knew I had to have her.

We've each held true to our promise, in a sort of devilishly twisted compromise. Master has yet to succumb to my offers of immortality, and I have yet to show remorse for my decidedly satanic lifestyle—though I maintain that my existence has little to nothing to do with Satan or the like.

My form becomes solid and I stand by the entrance as I allow the others' thoughts to wash across my mind as well. Walter's steadfastness is marked by brilliant, crimson slashes in my mind that do not denote pain, but immeasurable determination. I can only imagine how he came to be known as the Angel of Death, but I'm sure he still lives up to the old name. Amusingly enough, he is one of the few people that have never given me reason to distrust them. Not that I need to distrust humans. I will begin to fear their race the moment they start to pose a threat to myself.

A grin slips easily into place, my pale skin stretching to make it fit within the contours of my face. Ah, the humans of the Hellsing Castle, how they amuse me so. Staging a war with the Undead. Only recently has Master finally acknowledged what the real threat is, no matter how great the shock was.

Humans.

The Hellsing Corporation is no longer dealing with the Undead. No, it is dealing with the Artificial Undead. Humans creating Vampires, as Master said. To this century the human race does not cease to amuse me; they have always entertained me throughout the ages.

My eyes sweep over the courtyard, where I have been leaning against the foyer wall. A harvest moon paints the sky a deep crimson, and stars cast pinpricks of light over London. I let my mind sweep as well, rolling like the mist I have more than once willed myself to become.

My mind stops suddenly and retraces its last few steps. There. I pause and concentrate on it. I smile. Yes, I thought I had felt something. Or rather, hadn't felt something. There, just by a line of trees along the entrance avenue was a…void. A moving void no less. Something without thoughts or even consciousness was moving up the driveway towards the guards.

If possible, my smile broadened. It looked like a rather foolish Ghoul had found its way up the Hellsing driveway. My form moves from its absolute stillness, and instantly a guard points his gun at my dark silhouette.

"You there! Don't move! You're trespassing on private property!" The unmistakable sound of bumbling human feet sounds behind me as a guard runs up. "Place your hands on your head and slowly turn around."

I ignore him for the moment and concentrate, instead, on the Ghoul that is some two hundred yards off to our right and closing at a rather slow pace. Enough time, I determine, after a few moments thought. I don't want the guards to get this one. I have been missing the thrill of the hunt as of late.

I turn my head to look over my shoulder with a small, thoughtful smile. I don't bother to place my hands on my head.

"Sir! Please! Place your hands on your head or I will be forced to open fire!" the young man's frantic voice calls. He is behind me and off slightly to my left, back about 20 or so paces. I continue to ignore him, but turn completely around at what I am gauging to be normal human speed.

Two bullets rip rapid-fire through my chest. Centuries of being Undead apparently make one immune to such petty things as gunfire. I'm not quite sure when, exactly, human bullets stopped hurting, but I remember the grin I had on my face when I found out. The wounds seal themselves with little effort.

I let my reflective lenses bore into the young Hellsing Officer. Not even nineteen years old. War, for Undead or not, has a special place for the young. Nothing pleases an enemy more than for it to realize it has blown out a single, young flame of life.

"Go back to your post. Tonight is not the night to be out and about with your little toys."

The boy's hand continues to point the small handgun, but he is now decidedly shaken. He must be new; most of the Hellsing trainees know a little of Sir Integral Hellsing's 'pet vampire'. Enough to steer clear at least.

He makes no move to return to his post, and my senses pick up the acidic smell of his fear. Though I would never touch one of Master's precious soldiers, I do not make habit of announcing it to the cadets, lest they decide suddenly that I am not a force to be reckoned with. And how I hate having to 're-inform' them, when they forget.

I take a menacing step forward, and the cadet swallows harshly, his finger flexing slightly over the trigger, getting ready to coax a third bullet out of the metal barrel….

"Striker, get back to your damn post!" a voice barks from the shadows. No fear is in the voice, just a slight twinge of mild annoyance. Ah yes, the senior officer out on watch with a trainee. What an aggravating experience; as though night shift wasn't boring enough for the seasoned officer, now he has to lower himself to the level of babysitter.

A toothy grin spreads across my face as the officer's thoughts come into my mind like deep, rolling thunder.

"Good evening, Officer Ferguson."

He nods at me, as though saying something would open up a window between us. Wouldn't want the cadets to know that the higher-ups talked with the Undead every now and then. Lowers troop morale.

Ferguson gives the recruit a harsh shove towards the entrance doors. Said cadet blinks, casting a look of suspicion between the officer and myself before turning and walking towards the gate.

"And put that damn gun away. You're lucky he even let you put a bullet in him."

An amused smile cracks over my face. Officer Ferguson: the epitome of the humans' noble nature. No sense of self-preservation. It will be his undoing, I'm sure.

"All right. What's going on?" Ferguson asks in his gruff voice. Curiosity flavors his words, a citrus tang.

"A poor, wandering Ghoul, actually. It seems he's lost his way…" I trail off with a smirk. Yes, they are the Undead victims of Vampires, but this does not mean that I should be any more partial to their current predicament than to another human's. I give them the quick death they deserve. I do not, however, mourn their loss.

Ferguson draws his handgun, but a hand to his shoulder stops his movements.

"I would prefer this one to be handled by myself, Officer."

He raises an eyebrow but puts the pistol away. The Ghoul is closer now, probably about to turn the corner into the driveway. I must act quickly if I don't want the tower guards to steal my sport for the evening…

I pull the Jackal from its holster and walk down the rest of the entryway. I can hear it now, clearer than before, anyway -- its moans and stumbling steps making it sound more like a parade than something to be feared.

Ah, to be hunted.

I turn the corner, and without taking aim, let lose a hail of bullets. Nothing requires accuracy when you have enough ammunition. Within seconds the creature is screaming, or at least the undead equivalent of it, as its particle-sized self is blown away on the early evening wind.

I replace Jackal in its holster with a grin. Some things never change, and old habits die hard. Why just destroy an enemy when you can savor it? Anyone willing to stand against the Hellsing Organization had best learn that.

A twinge in my mind lets me in on my Master's thoughts. She is in need of my services, it seems. Perhaps another Ghoul, or a Freak. Excellent.

I slip effortlessly from the existence of the courtyard into the one that is Master's office. Cigar smoke hangs heavy in the room, and I can tell that she has been mulling over something for quite some time to having been smoking this amount.

"Alucard, you're here."

Ah, such sweet, sweet words. I walk forward the few steps needed to place myself in her view. She doesn't look up from her folder, but simply picks up the cup of tea I recognize as the one Walter brought her earlier. Master is completely unaware of anything that doesn't have to do with everything. Amusing.

"Master."

"I summoned you here for a reason," she says, her voice coming out harsh and her eyes squinting through their glasses at an open file folder on her desk.

"I had assumed so. But what reason?" I comment with a grin.

She looks up, annoyed, from the folder and then back again, ignoring my light jab.

"Freaks. New ones have sprouted up along the outskirts of Worshire. Two females, apparently." She pauses, eyeing me critically. Oh yes, Master, I would love to go traversing around England with two Freaks. "Residents of the area have reported hearing loud shrieks and screams at night, and when people go to investigate they fail to return."

"Simpletons," I reply, rolling my tongue lightly over my fangs.

Master snaps the folder shut and lights another cigar. The smoke forms into a ring around her head, and when she speaks again, it's as though she's looking at me through a frame or window from another world. Interesting.

"Your mission this evening is to eliminate them. Your first seal is revoked until the completion of this mission." She turns her back to me by rotating her chair to face the window behind her desk. I watch a few moments, as smoke seems to appear out of nothing over the chair.

"You may leave, Alucard."

"Yes, Master." My jacket floats out behind me as I take my leave. Darkness swirls around me like ink and the room starts to disappear from my view, but not before creating a wind just harsh enough to blow the ash from Master's cigar.

Irate ice blue eyes catch mine for a moment, and I laugh before I let the darkness take me.

I reappear in the courtyard once again, this time in between Officer Ferguson and the young boy that he was working with…Striker? Yes.

The boy jumps back, fumbling with his holster as he trips and backs into a wall with a harsh thud. He's still grappling with his weapon when I turn away; Officer Ferguson

looks around me, raising an eyebrow at his protégé before sighing.

"I meant to say 'Good evening' to you earlier, Alucard. Forgive my rudeness," he says once he's facing forward, gaze sweeping over the quiet grounds for the hundredth time that night.

"Polite to the very end, Officer?" I ask, looking forward, aware that the young boy has stopped trying to release his weapon. look over my shoulder at him to see that he's attempting to stand at attention, but keeps moving back farther away from Ferguson and I.

"It's my duty as an officer and a gentleman," Ferguson responds, and the acrid taste of his annoyance finds me. He's looking back over his shoulder at the cadet again.

"Ah, but Officer Ferguson, I too must offer my apologies for my rudeness earlier."

"And how is that?"

"It seems that I should have let you handle that little Ghoul problem earlier this evening," I respond, turning my head ever so slightly to regard him with a look of small amusement. "You see, I appear to be going on another hunt tonight."

"…lucky dog…" The mumbled words reach my ears only milliseconds after being breathed, but it takes me a moment to realize they came from him. I let my head fall back and laugh, the loud rumbling noise causing the cadet behind us to jump and Ferguson to regard me with a hidden smile.

The world swirls, mixing with ink-like darkness and the sound of my still ringing laughter, until everything is distorted and then gone. Silence races past me while light remains still, and I am suddenly walking along the riverbank that runs through Worshire.

I have some Freaks to take care of.

Finish.