Disclaimer: Hellsing and all its characters belong to Kouta Hirano, however, I own the original characters inside this story.

Author's notes: This is doomed to be an A/U (like most of the fics in this section, anyway). Nothing published in the Young King Ours Magazine until the moment of the present writing contradicts the events of this work of fiction, but possibly the comic will go in a path different of the one I predicted. Characterizations and background answer to manga, not anime; vampire lore is taken from myths, Hellsing canon and my own ideas. Any criticism is always welcome.

Special Thanks: To Lilliam Dashwood, my beta reader of this chapter.


Durga

"Vidhuddama Samaprabham
Mriapatiskandhasthitam Bheeshanam
Kanyabhin Karavala Shweta
Vilasathastabhira Sevitam
Hastaishchakra Gadas Kheta
Vichikhanshchapam Gunam Tarjanigra
Vibhranamanalatmikan Shashidharam
Durgam Trinetra Bhaje"

Chapter One

- The Priestess

Blood had been spilled that night. She could sense it. The sweet scent of the precious liquid filled her nostrils. Her eyelids nearly dropped, almost falling. She licked her lips inwardly, thinking of the sweet flavour pouring into her mouth. Nourishing her. Making her stronger.

"Master Seras!" a young voice chirped, snapping her out of the bloodlust thrall. A pale young man, dressed in the Hellsing uniform--a pair of brown boots, plain military green pants and vest with the Hellsing emblem--, appeared. He was barely taller than she, his long blond hair was tied in a ponytail. He had only one brown eye, marking his status as half-vampire. Seras still held hopes that he would learn how to regenerate it one of these days when he decided to recover his freedom. But that wouldn't happen anytime soon, he had inherited her reluctance to feed.

Seras glanced up, looking for the source of the voice, she seemed properly embarrassed for her distraction. I should have drunk more than one transfusion package before the mission, she chastised herself. Hiding her agitation, she smiled at the one who had called her.

"Peter," she acknowledged his presence. "Keep your voice down," she said, pressing a finger on her lips, urging to her fledgling to be quiet.

Peter gulped and nodded, shrinking into himself as he gained several dirty looks from the human troops. His tone had been boisterous. Seras Victoria sighed, an unnecessary gesture for a being who didn't need to breath. Even after decades, he was such a rookie. Sometimes she wondered what possessed her when she turned the boy into a vampire that night in Cheddars.

Ah but I know why, she told herself, The setting and because he looked like him.

"Should we proceed, Captain Victoria?" one of the soldiers asked.

Seras nodded, scolding to herself for her distracted mood in the middle of an important mission.

Focus Seras, you don't want Sir Hellsing to go ballistics if you fail, do you?

"Lieutenant MacLagan." She saw a well built dark haired man step forward, waiting for her orders. "Lead half of the search party and enter by the principal door. Peter," she said, eyeing her fledgling with a serious expression. "You'll take a group of five and enter by the emergency exit."

"Yes, Master!"

"And…" she paused, placing emphasis on her words, "Don't mess up this time or you'll explain Lady Elspeth what happened."

"I won't, I promise Master," he swore. But Seras didn't doubt his dedication, only his efficiency.

"I'll be inside, clearing out the way," she commented before her body started to change, slowly becoming transparent until she was nothing but a grey mist covering the area, advancing towards the supposed battle zone.

She circled the white pillars of the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, pouring inside the ancient cream coloured walls. It was a miracle that the structure had endured all this time while most of buildings in London had to be reconstructed. But, unlike London, Oxford hadn't been attacked by Millennium.

Once in, Captain Seras Victoria reformed, one limb at a time. Soon, the police girl stood at the security room, dressed with her yellow uniform and with the Harkonnen tied to her back. Lady Elspeth had suggested that she to change clothes and her firearms, but Seras declined. She was fond of them, foolish sentimentality on her part.

She looked up, the vigilance robots had been destroyed. Their metal parts appeared to had been chewed by some beast, heads were on the other side of the room. Her nose detected the strong odour of oil on the floor. She pushed them away of the desk carefully, not wanting to make any alerting noise, so she could see the monitors better. They had been shattered as well.

Drat, there goes my plan of studying the territory. I'll have to improvise once there.

She patted the iron shoulder of one of the broken machine. "You did your best, buddy. Now it's our turn," she whispered. Her eyes narrowed in determination and she headed towards the slaughter room with an inhuman speed. Her legs moved faster than mortal eyes, fouled by the superior strength of her undead muscles. She dodged several statues in her way, the historic patrimony had suffered enough in the hands of the nazis centuries ago. She wouldn't want to follow such a destructive pattern.

She spotted the reception poster of welcome for the grand opening of the new, art in times of war exhibition. The intricate, blue pattern of it was covered with blood and oil. If she were human she would have found the aroma repugnant. To her horror, she found it quite appealing.

Tearing her eyes away from the poster, she walked in, senses alerted to any movement. She paled at the sight that greeted her. Typically, the victims would lay dead with punctures in their necks and holes in their bodies. Instead, they had been dismembered, cut into pieces and put together in a pile made of human parts that reached the ceiling. All except their heads. Those were strewn all over the floor of the exhibition room. Eyes and mouths opened with a panic expression.

Upon hearing a noise, Seras spun to her left, towards one of the emergency exits, holding the Harkonnen with a firm grip.

"Freeze!" she ordered. Realizing who he was, she huffed. "Well done Peter, your stealth is enviable."

Her fledgling had tripped and fallen over several heads but he was standing up now. She could tell from his expression that the smell of blood and fear over the place was overwhelming him as well. "Are you alright?" she asked, less sternly, remembering how it felt to be new.

Peter nodded, quickly distancing himself from the dead parts. He whistled, "No kidding. The survivors are spooked out."

"There are survivors?" she asked as she analysed the entire scene, searching any sign of movement. Where were the culprits? Had they escaped already?

"Yes, about dozen, maybe more. We stumbled on them on our way in," he replied, playing with his weapons, a nervous habit that Seras had noticed on many occasions. "They were freakin' out and screaming about heads. Now…" he paused as his eyes fell on floor again, "I know what they were talking about. All of them are adult males."

Seras half paid attention to his explanation. What mattered to her was that people survived, and Peter's details were unimportant for the time being. 'Search and Destroy.' Those were her orders. Her crimson gaze scanned the room once more but she didn't spot anything amiss.

This place is empty.

"Captain. Do you copy me, Sir?" Seras heard Lieutenant MacLagan's voice coming out of the small radio disguised as earring.

She touched the little object, "Yes, I copy you, MacLagan. Report."

"The building is clear, except for the Hindu exhibition. There's more victims here."

"Stay there, I'm coming," she commanded, "Be alert, whatever did this… is not alone."

"Roger, Sir."

She lowered her arm and glanced at Peter, "Stay with the survivors, Peter."

Peter pouted. She hated when he did that. Made her feel guilty even if she knew she was right. "But, Master…"

"Don't give me that look, young man," the older vampire said firmly, in a stern, maternal tone. "I need you to protect those people, just in case. That's our priority."

"Yes, Master," Peter replied crestfallen and turned back the way he came.

Seras focused on where her men were, following the sound of the beating hearts. In an empty building like the museum that wasn't such hard task. Once she had located them, Seras became mist, choosing the form because it allowed her to move faster. She reformed just outside the Hindu exhibition, a safe measure for not startling her own troops.

"I'm here, Lieutenant," Seras said, walking inside. The smell of blood caught her attention again. She glanced down. On the floor lay the about six women's heads. Seras noticed that they had been severed differently than the ones from the other exhibition. These ones had the spines attached to them and their intestines hanging, strangely enough they were glowing in the dark.

How on earth they are glowing?

MacLagan saluted Seras, distracting her momentarily.

"Captain, what do you think of these ones? We couldn't find their bodies…"

Seras sniffed, taking the scent of blood in the atmosphere. Trying to search any clue of the fiends' location. She frowned. Something was wrong. Looking around, she noticed some of the statues and piece of arts were…bloody?

Odd. Their scent is like a mixture of many… Oh dear!

Seras' eyes widened in realization.

"Everybody out! Now!"

Her warning was useless. As soon the words came out of her mouth, the heads lunged towards the troops. Screaming like banshees, they bit down viciously on their neck, attaching there, tearing flesh and breaking their bones.

After drawing her cannon, Seras shoved MacLagan aside before one of the flying heads could sink her teeth on him. Then she pulled the trigger, aiming at it. The strange vampire creature let got a shriek of pain when she received the shot. "Take that one, bitch!" Seras cursed, fuming for walking into a trap so foolishly. She wasn't a rookie anymore. Such mistakes were unforgivable.

"Fire now!" MacLagan ordered, loading his own rifle.

The heads dropped their captives before flying, jaws open to catch fresh victims. The freed bodies fell to the floor, lifeless.

Before the creatures could grab fresh victims, the rifles shot a column of light. Concentrated ultraviolet rays, to be exact, enough to cause serious burning to a human being, deadly for most species of the undead. They froze, crying out in pain as they were burned alive. A bit of smoke came out of them before the beings were set on fire.

"Step back!" Seras indicated after she lowered the Harkonnen. She paused, then concentrated, gathering a thin curtain of shadow to wrap the flying embers of the heads, a precautionary measure. There was no need to set the whole building on fire. Once she felt the remains had cooled down, the shadows dispersed, dropping the content.

Minutes passed and nobody moved. Except Seras, who carefully poked the remains with her rocket launcher. No response.

"It's over."

The troops who until now had been holding their breath, let got a deep relief sigh.

Never taking her eyes from the corpses, Seras spoke again.

"MacLagan."

"Captain?"

"Take your men and dispose of the bodies in the other exhibition. If you notice any head that has glowing intestines clinging to it, be ready to finish it off. We cannot lose anyone else. I'll be with you in ten minutes." Seras looked down at the dead soldiers.

"U-understood, captain Victoria," he replied. Seras detected the hesitation at once. "Do you have any ideas what those things are?"

She shook her head, glancing at him from the corner of her eyes. "No, I'm not the expert in this stuff." It was true, the Hellsing Master was the guardian of the lore. Seras wasn't overly curious about the fascinating world of the undead. She had had enough problems with understanding her limits to comprehend other species. "Dismissed," she added, and her tone held an underlying insistence.

"My apologies. We'll clean, after you finish, Captain," the Lieutenant replied. Seras was glad that he had caught the hint.

As the footsteps grew distant, Seras got closer to her fallen comrades. Her lips parted in anticipation. This mission had made her the hungriest she'd been for a long time. The great amount of victims and the way win which they were killed awoke the animal that lay, normally dormant, inside her.

Opening wide her mouth, Seras changed the shape of her teeth, deforming them into predatory fangs. Slowly, she bent down, tasting one by one the dead troops. Biting and lapping the blood out their bodies. Making it a part of herself. It was an intimate act of love and respect and thirst had very little to do with it.

It was a matter of duty.

They had lived and died fighting the undead menace. The blood would be wasted away unless she gave it a practical use.

The donated blood wasn't as tasty as the fresh liquid. Nor did it give the same high stamina level, improving her success.

Now with your blood inside me, she thought, her expression melancholic as she remembered the very first time she pierced a neck two or so centuries ago. You'll be with me forever. We'll defeat those beasts together, I promise.

She gave one final lick then leaned off the soldiers. The pointed tongue wrapped around her fangs until her mouth regained its normal size, those small lips of hers.

"Amen," she whispered, saluting to them once last time. No matter how much she endured the same act over and over again, it didn't make it less difficult for her. Regardless of that, she overcame it given time.

And after one last minute of mourning silence, Seras Victoria exited, leaving the bloodless bodies behind.