The smells that I have come to relish are almost visible here. Blood, desperation, smoke, gunpowder, sweat, and fear.

Fear makes a most wonderful bouquet, sweetening the blood, heightening the bloodlust and cracking the whip of survival.

Alucard grinned, his lips peeling back from his teeth, fangs gleaming in the low light of the moon. He looked up, moonlight glinting from the lenses of his glasses. He let loose a light chuckle as he saw the target off in the distance.

"Target is confirmed. Releasing control arts restriction to level three."

He faded from sight, leaving only his laughter in the air where he had been standing.

Blimey, it never ends. Damned FREAKS. Seras Victoria shouldered her Halconnen and hopped out of the APC followed by several Hellsing troops. She jogged up to the low wall, and motioned for the men under her command to spread out and take up firing positions around the perimeter.

Three years now. She had been a commander in the group for three years now, and a free vampire for half of that time. Though nowhere near the power of her former master, she had a few tricks that were useful, as well as equipment that was better for short range skirmishes.

She glanced over at the lieutenant crouching a few meters down from her, the modified P-90 rifle held in his hands as he scanned the area. He looked back and held up his hand, two fingers pointing at his eyes, then held a fist and looped a finger in a single circle.

Seras sighed. At least five FREAKS, at various points in the building, confirming her count. She was going to loose some men on this operation, no way around it. These latest version of the artificial vampires were almost as fast as she and Alucard, eerily reminiscent of the Valentine brothers. She slammed an incendiary shell into the breach of her cannon, snapping it shut and got the attention of her two unit leaders. She held up her fist, looping the finger once to indicate the number and position of the enemy, then clenched her fist again and then spread her fingers. The troops spread out, keeping low and weapons aimed inside.

She knew that in all likelihood, as soon as a soldier got upwind of one of the targets, surprise would be gone, so she had to get this off soon and quickly ended.

She turned slightly, poking the top of her head over the wall, getting a good grip on the grips of her cannon. She was glad for the light mists that coated the area; it gave some cover and helped her blend in more. She had chosen to go with a more formal uniform since she had been promoted to command; a closefitting bodystocking sheathed her from shoulders to ankles, tucked into her combat boots. She had a worn navy tunic on over that, her insignia in the appropriate spots, a flak vest hanging open over that, with ammo clips and a Royal Marine combat knife showing.

Strapped to her thigh was the new gun Walter had given her, based on the same principles of the .454 Casull. It fired a modified .50 ACP round, nine round magazines, and seemed to fit in her hand just as the Halconnen had. Walter hadn't given it a name, but she had one. She dubbed it the Gravedigger, after seeing the furrow it left in a target.

She scanned the area and then stood, throwing the barrel of her weapon over the low wall, and began squeezing the trigger as a FREAK's eyes popped open at the sight of the huge gun.

Blast, she thought. How'd he get that close? The question became moot as the shell rocketed out, carrying the abomination back a few meters before it exploded. Automatic weapons fire erupted as soldiers hopped the wall, Heckler & Koch MP5 and MP5K, FN-Herstal P-90, and SIG SG 552 muzzle flares lighting the night.

She dropped the Halconnen, whipping out her Gravedigger and squeezed of a round, taking a ghoul in the chest and dusting it efficiently, the round continuing on to throw a FREAK off its feet, shoulder exploding as the round tore into its flesh.

She heard the cry of a soldier, followed by the crunch of bone and a rifle flicker died out. Damn it, there goes one. She fired again, the slide locking back as the last shell ejected. Pulling a fresh mag from her vest as she hit the clip release button, she slid the new series of rounds in quick fashion, using her sped up reflexes to get the clip in and slide blowing forward almost as soon as the spent magazine had cleared the grip.

Time slowed, and she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. She dropped, posting a hand on the damp ground and whipped her leg out behind her, knocking the legs of a ghoul out from underneath it. As it struggled to get up, she put the barrel of the pistol to its head and fired.

She felt her blood starting to run, rushing through her veins as it did in combat. She recognized the bloodlust and gave in to it slightly, knowing that her troops were hardly a match against the FREAKS and the ghouls.

She grinned, her eyes shadowing.

Hmmph, lowly creature. Hardly worth my time, thought Alucard as he began to phase into being behind the FREAK stalking a human couple. He projected an illusion into the mind of the artificial creature, causing it to break off its hunt and look around in confusion. He stepped into the beings mind, intoning lightly to himself, fulfilling the restriction interlock cycle.

"Situation C, keeping the power unlocked until the target has been silenced." He brought his voice up, bringing the attention to himself. "Is this how you hunt, shadows and slinking? I would have thought a creature of your power would be bolder than that."

The FREAK whirled, snarling. It flicked the wings of its jacket aside, pulling out a cut down 20-gauge shotgun.

Mmm, this could be fun.

The first blast took his left arm off, then his right hip exploded. He regenerated the body parts, letting out an echoing laugh as he did so, pulling his Jackal from his suit jacket. He pointed it at his target.

"Wonderful. My turn." He fired, splintering the scattergun, and then pumped a shot into his target's skull, its body turning to dust.

He released the illusion, wind blowing the dust away. He tucked the pistol away, sending his thoughts out to Integra.

Limited power release completed. The target has been eternally silenced.

He apparated from the scene, questing mind catching the flickers of glee from Seras as she gave into the more base instincts of their kind.

His laugh echoed through the night. Enjoy it, Police Girl. Revel in the life blood of combat. Rejoice, as it makes you stronger.

He considered making an appearance, but turned the thought down. She was a No Life Queen, fully empowered to defend herself in these situations.

Seras caught the thread of thought sent from her former master as she slammed a fourth clip into her Gravedigger.

She came out of her battle-state, looking around. Several piles of dust littered the area, but there were still ghouls and a FREAK left, and some of the Hellsing troops had moved to tend to the wounded, disposing of those that would turn. She released the slide on her pistol, hearing it slam a round into the chamber. She knew that the last FREAK was in the tiny building, hiding. She smiled, setting herself.

To any that would have watched, they would have assumed that the fog between them suddenly grew thicker, obscuring her outline, and then she was gone.

She drifted into the building, merged with the fog that seeped into every nook and cranny of the ramshackle shed. There, an old M-1 rifle pointed at the door was the last FREAK. She allowed herself to reincorporate and drew back the hammer on her pistol, causing him to whirl at the sound. Both weapons fired at the same time, the roar of her pistol drowning out the sharp crack of the ancient rifle. The FREAK flew back as Seras burst into cloud of mist again, the bullet passing harmlessly through her body. She started to holster the pistol when she heard the scrabbling of hands on wood. Turning, she saw the FREAK pulling itself up to a sitting position, the wound in its head healing over as the silver round was forced out, clinking on the floor.

Damn monster, she thought as she ejected the magazine, exchanging it for Mercury ignition rounds. She pumped two rounds into its head, and another into its heart for good measure. The body burst into flames as she triggered the charges, and she left the shed to take a counting of the casualties.

Out of the fifteen men that had come in with her, she had twelve at one hundred percent. One had caught a round that had passed through a ghoul and was being tended by the team medic as she looked around. The other two were already being sealed into body bags to be cremated and given state burials.

Two good men, dead because someone wanted to create havoc in the world. Sometimes men seemed more monstrous than the beasts she had just disposed of. But close on the heels of that thought came the thought that she was protecting innocent people from being harmed, just as she had as a police officer, though she felt her teeth grind at the thought of the wasteful deaths.

And again, the thought passed like a cloud on her mind. In the condemning of these monsters, I protect people. But am I doomed to the same pit in Hell by virtue of what I am?

"Such thoughts are unbecoming, Police Girl," purred a saccharine voice from behind her.

She turned, seeing Alucard standing there, his hat set haphazardly across his head. He came forward and took her by the shoulders. He had been kinder, almost fatherly towards her since the incident with Incognito. He looked at her, eyes partially shaded by his glasses.

"Remember, the acts we carry out are in the defense of those that have no defense. That in itself is a noble act. Plus," he looked around at the piles of dust. "It lets us out to have a bit of fun from time to time." He let out a low chuckle.

Seras smirked at this. He was right, but that didn't mean that she still didn't have the occasional doubt.

He caught the glimmer of that doubt in her eyes. Stepping back, his figure growing indistinct, he murmured a final thought as his glasses and Cheshire cat grin winked out of view.

"There but for the grace of God, Seras. There but for the grace,"

Indeed. There but for grace of God go I. she thought. But where am I going to wind up?

She looked down at the pistol in her hand, at the inscription on the sides.

"Liberate tutemet timor"

A/N: Just kind of sprung to my mind one day, what would a vampire hunting vampires wonder about in a moral morass? I have some ideas to continue this, but they are still in development. Feel free to burn if you wish.

Oh, Hellsing is property of yada yada yada...we all know this already.