Substance
By Type Thirty-Five

Disclaimer: All characters, trademarks, etc, are properties of their respective owners, who are not me. No profit was made from this.

Note: Takes place 10 years after the Events in the Anime Hellsing, and serves as a prolouge to the following chapters.

A heavy sigh rolled sluggishly past fanged lips, the breath emerging cold before mixing with the mild autumn air and being subsumed into the environment around it. Breathing was no more than a habit, one picked up over nearly two decades of life, and one that had stuck with her for the past ten years despite her current state of existence. It wasn't something that she had to do, wasn't something that was beneficial to her. She did it anyway.

'Much' she reflected 'as I do this now.'

Pulling a broad brimmed, dark blue hat down to shield her face from the last rays of the sun, Ceras Victoria stepped into the approaching twilight. Combat boots clicked lightly over the cobblestones as she walked towards her target, an unassuming brownstone two story. A gentle breeze ruffled her hat and matching outfit, which was comprised of a loose fitting pair of cargo pants with a black, tight, long sleeved t-shirt and matching webbing. A blue black stormcoat fluttered behind her, front open, as she walked.

Her D-11 outfit had come off almost 7 years ago, torched and ruined in a running gun battle in the subways. She imagined, somewhere, that some conductors or officers were still sure that they had seen an enraged, red eyed female, clothes shot to shreds, pull the shadows to her before lancing a hand through a crazed freak even as a cacophony of gunfire from her compatriots brought down the remaining ghouls. In later musings, she figured she must have presented a rather . . . terrifying sight, blood red eyes flashing as indiscriminate black cloths fluttered around her.

Alucard had shown her how exactly to manipulate those shadows later the same day, and she hadn't bothered to pick a new one since, and because she could regenerate it when it was damaged, there was no real reason to, anyway. Besides, she would never get rid of the jacket. It was his gift to her on that day of growth. It had been red once, but her own preference willed the creation of the elder vampire to a shade of blue, months after she first donned it. He had laughed when she did it, saying that he was wondering how long it would take her to realize that the colors she favored clashed with the crimson of his own garb.

She had pointed out that she kept the style the same. His cut, his folds, even his size, though it was a tad big. He had given her a toothy grin, before fading away. In hindsight, she realized that that had been the start, when he started to . . . change.

Making her way up the half story of steps to the front double doors of the condominium, she knocked politely, and waited. A few seconds later, the heavy wooden panel opened inward, and red met red, albeit briefly. The door was flung shut with far more violence than it had been opened.

'Good. They want to do it the hard way.' Ceras grinned inwardly, before raising a booted foot and kicking.

The door flew inwards, catching up with the retreating freak and slamming him to the ground. Other vampires rushed towards her, reaching to pockets or jackets to grab a weapon.

"IN THE NAME OF GOD . . ."

Reaching into the folds of her jacket as she spoke, Ceras pulled out her own weapon.

It was, as far as her usual weapons went, rather small. A matte black affair with edges highlighted in chrome, it was only slightly larger than the Jackal and much the same shape. Except instead of a clip in the hilt, it was a revolver. The overly large muzzle bore, however, as well as the fact that it had only three, fist sized chambers arranged in a triangular magazine indicated that it was far from a normal weapon.

With a deafening boom, the Wolverine spoke, the single round traveling halfway down the hall, boring a head sized hole through the chests of two freaks before exploding in a spray of blessed silver shrapnel. A normal human would have had their hand ripped off from the recoil of such a weapon. She didn't even twitch, her aim completely unshaken.

Part of that, she had to admit, was due to the craftsmanship that went into the tool. Alucard had made it especially clear to Walter, perhaps frighteningly so, that he had wanted his gift to be perfect. So it was; the balance on center, the trigger pull adjusted for a vampire's strength, the grip and frame directing the recoil into the shooter's arm. Forget balanced for a vampire; it was a tool only a median could use. Any human would have had their arm ripped off if they even managed to pull the trigger.

Still, despite its impressive design, she had chuckled when he gave it to her. A gun is hardly what one would normally consider a gift of affection. She hugged him when she realized what exactly it was. It was just so . . . Alucard.

"IMPURE SOULS OF THE LIVING DEAD . . . "

She stalked down the corridor, Wolverine out and in front of her, voice letting any freak know exactly who they faced, just in case her first attack hadn't let them know.

Spinning around a corner, she squeezed the trigger, sending another High Explosive round into what she assumed was the kitchen, pulverizing another two freaks.

Stalking up the stairs, she reached her free hand into another fold, pulling out a matching black handgun, figuring the upstairs, if it were anything like her childhood home, would be much more confining, hindering the effectiveness of the larger bore weapon.

A freak rounded a corner as she reached the top of the stairs, an AK-47 barking from the hip, peppering the walls with rounds.

The Copperhead was yet another gift, though not from Alucard. Rather, his master had presented it to her. Integra Wingates Hellsing had order the duplicate of the Jackal crafted and presented it to her sub-ordinate, saying she should feel free to use it on any troublemaker as she saw fit. Particularly red garbed ones that had a habit of poking their heads through walls at inopportune times. In fact, Integra had practically demanded it, saying it was the younger woman's duty now that she was 'taking charge' of the situation with the fanged horror.

"SHALL BE BANISHED UNTO ETERNAL DAMNATION!"

The snake hissed, spitting a .354 round straight into the freaks arm, blowing it, and a good part of his torso into a fine red mist. As she stepped over the body, she realized idly that this one was human, as there was still a body to step over rather than a pile of ash. She altered mid stride to grind his face under her boot. Collaborators made her sick.

Flaring her senses, Ceras felt for the mental presence of another. One left, waiting, perhaps thinking himself cleverly hidden. He was further down the hall, hiding at the opening to an attic crawlspace, no doubt waiting to drop down on her as she proceeded beneath.

Her fanged mouth twisted into a smile.

"AMEN!"

Ceras' voice boomed out the last word of the Hellsing Pact, raising the Wolverine and pointing it towards where she felt the freak to be, a round screaming towards his hiding spot.

The ceiling caved in as the round detonated, dropping the freak to the floor in a mess of plaster and particle board. Not quite down for the count, the freak raised his own weapon, a glock or some knock off, and fired.

Instinctively, Ceras raised her hand, the bullet pinging off the slide of the Copperhead.
Cursing, she holstered her weapons, one now suffering from a bent slide, the other empty.

The freak continued to fire, emptying another 6 rounds into her before Ceras reached him, though the magazine was clicking empty when she was still a step away. Though the silver slugs burned, she wasn't bothered by them overmuch; no Hellsing Vampire would be taken down so easily. Idly, she noted that the clip should have contained at least another 6 rounds, and wondered what had happened to them. And for that matter, why this freak was even packing silver.

Grabbing the freak, who was staring wide eyed at the vampire who had just taken a 6 silver rounds at point blank range, she knocked the gun out of his hand and slammed a fist into his face, dazing her assailant.

"Punk." She spat, hoisting him over her head. "That handgun was a wedding gift."

Before he could reply, she slammed his head up into the ceiling, gloved hand staining red, even as the runes embroidered into its surface glowed crimson and the artificial vampire faded to ash.

Sighing and shaking ash out of her hair, her hat having been shot off by the human with the AK, she reached into an outer pocket and pulled out a small, black flip phone. Punching a button she brought it up to her ear.

"Mission Completed, Sir Hellsing."

A pause.

"Yeah, one collaborator. Sickens me."

The other woman continues to speak, and the operatives face turns into a good natured grin.

"You tell that fang faced nuisance that I don't care HOW difficult she is to manage. If I can do it, he better damn well learn. All powerful ancient vampire my rear . . . if he wants to keep on existing, he better have our daughter in bed and asleep by the time I get back." She replied, unable to keep the mirth out of her voice.

At the other end of the line, Integra chuckled at her subordinates reply, before ending the transmission and glancing up at the Hellsing Hall's other resident undead, one of whom was currently tugging on the black strands of hair of the one that held her, and drooling slightly onto the red collar of the same.

"You heard her, Alucard. What are you waiting for?" she smirked. It was fun causing HIM problems for once.

The vampire in question just heaved a long suffering sigh, one of the traits he, if he thought about it would realize he had picked up from his wife, before shaking his head.

"You females. Always against me." He spoke, a faint grin crossing his face, before he looked down into the cooing red eyes of his daughter, who at the moment was doing her best to shovel as much of his hair into her mouth as possible. His grin grew larger. "Even the little ones, it seems."

"You always did have a way with us, Alucard. Now get going, that's an order."

The nosferatu grinned again, sketching a slight bow, before disappearing, leaving Integra to smile silently.

"About time you know what it feels like to have to keep track of a troublesome child." She muttered, to no one in particular, before resuming her paperwork. It was times like this that made her wonder just how it had all turned out this way, running so . . . well, relativly smoothly. To think, it all stemmed from her getting thrown into the Tower of London . . .

Author's Notes -
Well, I hope you all enjoyed the first Chapter. The next chapter actually takes place right after the ending of the Hellsing anime; in a way, your seeing what would normally be the last chapter first. Go figure. This was originally a one shot, but people wanted to see more, so . . . anyway, reviews are appreciated.