Disclaimer – All characters and concepts are copyright of their respective owners.
Authors Note – I will only continue to post this if I know that people actually want to read it so please review. Comments, constructive criticisms and suggestions are all welcome but please no flames. This is my second fic in total but my first Hellsing fic. If you see anything written in both bold and italics it means they are words spoken using telepathy, and anything in plain italics are thoughts. The PG-13 rating is for future violence (if you want me to continue) but may have to go up to R due to bad language on one characters part.
Part One: An Introduction
There was always work to be done; vampires, Freaks and other such unholy horrors of the night to be sent back to the hell that they had so foolishly crawled out of.
It just wasn't fair…there was probably a law somewhere that made sure that things always went wrong as soon as you thought you were on top of them. Integra Hellsing slammed her hand, open palmed, onto the desk. "Damn it all. Why this? Why now?"
It hadn't been long since she had been released from prison and for a while she had thought that things just might have returned to normal.
But it had been a flimsy wish…nothing more.
First humans had begun designing and manufacturing Freaks and then something or someone else comes along and decides that it or they thought it was a good idea to turn the Freaks against each other…you would have thought that it would have been a good thing but it sure as hell wasn't, and then there was the matter of 'the boy'.
She growled something indistinct out of sheer frustration and then rubbed her eyes under her glasses.
"Over doing things are we, Master?" Asked a familiar deep voice.
She felt him arrive before she actually saw him. It was quite amazing to think that a single man (…if you could call him a man…) could make such an undeniably large office feel so claustrophobically small. His 'area of influence', as it were, extended far beyond the boundaries of his physical body.
She removed her crooked fingers from the corners of her eyes in time to see him slide neatly out of the shadows and step up to her desk, a wave of cold air following in his wake. "What is it that you want, Alucard?"
"There has been another attack on Freaks by other Freaks, in Kings Cross."
"I know that, thank you." She tapped one of the numerous documents with her pen as a means of explanation, "and you know that I know because you were here when I was handed this, so why, I ask again, are you here when you should be resting; it's daylight."
He held up one finger as an indication for silence and right on cue there came a knock at the office door. "News." He said. "I wanted an excuse to hear it as soon as it came. Walter wouldn't let me know what it was until you had been informed, so I came up."
Through the door a voice filtered through. "Sir Integra?" It was unmistakably the voice belonging to Walter.
"Come in." Integra called out, and then to Alucard softly said. "You could have read his mind."
"What, and spoil the surprise?" he laughed.
Walter, opened the door and entered, in his hand he held a card folder containing a variety of documents. He held them up as he approached. "I have here information regarding the identity of the mysterious teenager we have been seeing around, just as you asked."
Finally! At last they knew something about him!
You see…a lot had been happening since she returned. At first the incidents had been few and far between but now they were occurring with alarming regularity. There was little actual information about the incidents; all that Hellsing knew was that a group of Freaks were randomly attacking and capturing other Freaks, and the next time the captured ones were seen they were working with the 'hunter' Freaks. The Hunter's numbers were rapidly increasing and yet they seemed uninterested in attacking humans and, in fact, avoided all conflict with anything but the Freaks they were after.
Then, of course, there was 'the boy'; their latest pain in the posterior. He had been showing up recently and killing vampires and ghouls…and anything else unholy that had decided to touch British soil. He worked, seemingly, alone and left as swiftly as he arrived. He had been dealing with some of Hellsing's problems before they could get to them. He was a nuisance; they did not know his motives or purpose and most of all he was not under their control.
"So who is he, what do we now know?" Integra gestured for Walter to continue.
Alucard stepped to the side to allow the ageing retainer centre space in front of the paper littered desk. One of the many items was a CCTV image still shot showing a blurry picture of 'the boy' in a school uniform, single-handedly beating seven bells out of three ghouls with a crow bar. It was one of the only half descent images that they had of him and was the sole reason that they had managed to finally discover who he was. They had been able to digitally enhance and magnify it enough to make out the school badge on his jacket and work their way from there.
"Well," Walter began, "His name is Axel Jaeger, his date of birth is in 1987, making him seventeen years old. That picture you have there with the uniform is from at least a year ago because he has moved on to Sixth Form and does not wear uniform now. His name may not be English but he was born in London and also lives in London with his single mother, Linda Jaeger. Nothing is known of his father as he is the result of his mother's rape…she refused to have him aborted even with the circumstances of his conception and the fact that she was married with a two year old son, Theo, at the time – Axel's half brother. Axel's school reports say that he was a hard working, quiet and industrious student up until about two years ago when he became quite a delinquent, marring his previously pristine record with countless detentions, exclusions, official warnings and even run-ins with the police. The cause of his sudden downwards fall was Theo's murder."
"Bad luck in that family." Alucard said with a smirk.
"Don't be so rude." Walter snapped.
Alucard sniffed dismissively.
"What about Theo's father? You said that their mother had been married but is single now." Integra queried.
"He divorced and left Linda a few years after Axel was born. We aren't sure why because he seemed so supportive during the pregnancy and the time he was there. He had rights to see Theo but after a while the boy flatly refused to visit. He has lived over in Manchester since he left and in the end did not make any contact until Theo's funeral after which he disappeared again."
"Do you know the details of Theo's murder?"
"Not much, as the police themselves do not know everything." He flicked to another page in the file. "It seems that Theo and Axel were on their way home from an after school club when they were attacked by an unknown assailant who, for no apparent reason, left Axel grievously wounded and Theo dead. It seemed that Axel managed to fight him away and call his mother on his mobile phone before he passed out through blood loss. When the ambulance arrived Axel was still unconscious and Theo was found to have been decapitated."
"Decapitated?" Integra exclaimed.
"Yes, ma'am. The coroner's report states that the head had not been cut of, it had been torn off as if by brute strength alone."
"But the decapitation was Post Mortem. The actual cause of death was exsanguination due to multiple puncture wounds to the shoulders, arms and neck. In easier terms; he bled out through bites; you can see them clearly in the autopsy photographs. The attacker was never found but DNA evidence collected from under Axel's fingernails showed that the attacker should be a dead man."
"Vampire." Alucard said.
"Indeed it would seem so." Walter agreed. "From what we know of Axel's 'vampire slayer' hobby it could be deduced that it may have been Axel himself who removed Theo's head from his shoulders to prevent him becoming a ghoul and blood evidence on Axel's clothes and skin seems to confirm that this is quite possible…but it is impossible for a fifteen year old boy to tear someone's head off with determination alone while in a state of extreme weakness through blood loss. It is an inhuman feat for even a fully grown man, injured or otherwise."
Alucard contemplated this and then folded his arms over his chest. "Then perhaps young Mr. Jaeger is not human at all."
"If you are attempting to be amusing, it is not working." Walter said dryly. "I think that his mother would have noticed if her son was a monster of sorts."
Alucard's smirk widened into a grin. "A mother will love their child no matter what they are or become. It could explain why Theo's father left, having no attachment to a non-human child that had nothing to do with him."
"I think you will find that someone in his life, say teachers and doctors, may have notices as well. And it would make more sense that he developed his vampire killing spree because of the attack, meaning he wouldn't have known to take Theo's head off whether he was able to or not. It is highly unlikely Do try to think first, Alucard."
"I think," Integra said, leaning forwards, resting her arms on the desk and clasping her hands together, "that we need a quiet word with Mr. Jaeger."
Walter nodded. "You have an idea how we might go bout this? We cannot just force him…and once we have revealed ourselves to him he will become a true threat."
"He is already a threat. He already knows about vampires and the likes and that is too much."
"We can't just kidnap him." Walter disapproved of what he thought of as the implications of her statement.
"That was not my intention. I was thinking along the lines of having him come to us rather than the other way around. If he fancies himself as a vampire hunter then perhaps we can give him a vampire to hunt."
Alucard's impossibly wide grin managed to widen even further, his fangs glaringly obvious and rather intimidating to view.
"Not you." Integra told him.
The grin shrank and was replaced by a somewhat deflated and disappointed frown. "And why ever not?"
"Because a corpse is no good for questioning; you would more-than-likely kill him. I think that your little pet would be a more suited candidate for the task; she can keep herself alive but still let him think that he has the upper hand, if he really is a good as he appears to be. A few of the vampires he has slain were not weak Freaks."
"So instead of outright kidnapping you will lure him into an ambush and then kidnap him, correct?" Walter still disapproved of such harsh treatment of a teenage boy, even if there was the possibility of him being some kind of hell spawn.
"Usually we just silence threats." Alucard said. Still annoyed that he couldn't take the job; he had been very bored recently.
"We cannot kill a seemingly 'innocent' boy. He has family, we cannot explain his death to them when they do not know what we know and nor can we tell them. He has a life unlike the creatures that we deal with every night and day."
"Then how will you explain his disappearance from being kidnapped?" Alucard enquired.
Integra sighed deeply and smoothed her hair. "I need time to plan this…time to think it through. You are right; I'm rushing and I have been overdoing things, we need to be careful and prepare before we instigate anything."
A small smile reappeared on his features from the vague and rare compliment he had received; he had gotten through her shell…it didn't happen often and was something to be savoured…a step closer to the sweet blood he so desired.
"If you have any thoughts on the situation do not hesitate to inform me." Integra stood up. "I know that it's light but I have nothing important planned today and I have missed two nights worth of sleep. I am going to have a rest; sleep on it."
"A sound idea, ma'am." Walter agreed.
"Wake me if anything turns up."
"Will do, Sir Integra."
"Thank you." She crossed the floor to the door. Walter followed behind her. As her hand touched the cold metal of the door handle she felt the room empty when Alucard's presence was lifted as he faded back into the shadows.
His voice echoed in her head as he went. Sleep well, Master.
"Have Victoria watch Axel." Integra told Walter as she ambled out into the hall. "She is not to make any contact; just make mental notes about an average day for him. If he has some sort of routine then this may help in whatever is decided."
For once Seras had been having a dreamless sleep. These nights had become like gold dust to her – so very precious and so very hard to come by. For weeks now her rest had been shot with dreams of cold blood and death caused by her own hand with the voice of her master (…though he was her master no more…) following her every step; guiding…goading…taunting. Now there was nothing but soft empty darkness to warm her heart and ensure her that she had not yet relinquished the last few shreds of her humanity that she had managed to capture inside.
But the beautiful nothingness was shattered by a nock on her coffin lid and a muffled voice speaking through the thick wood. "Miss Victoria, there is a special assignment waiting for you if you would be so kind as to wake."
Seras yawned and hit the button so the lid lifted. She was greeted by an expectant looking butler. "Afternoon, Walter." She then took a look at the clock (she had brought one in herself because she was sick of wondering what time it was)…it was only 3 pm…
Walter caught her checking the clock. "Yes, I know that it is somewhat early for you, however this is not a usual assignment and will take some briefing time. You have some history to learn."
"Thrilling, I'm sure." she said sarcastically as she swung her legs off of the bed.
"I'll meet you in Sir Integra's office."
Once Walter had exited the room she stood up, collected her uniform and went to the bathroom to wash and dress. She would have said that she didn't feel human until she had washed of a morning but now such a phrase was somewhat redundant as she was no longer of the mortal persuasion and her mornings had become evenings.
With clothes changed, wet hair dried and brushed and nightdress dumped onto the back of the chair in her room, Seras made her was laboriously up to Integra's office. Upon knocking ad entering she was surprised to find that Integra was not, in fact, there at all. Walter, however, was and was standing next to the over laden desk, holding a document folder.
Seras was not liking the look of this in the slightest. What did she have to do that was going to take such a long briefing and required her to learn a history of sorts? That was a large folder…a very fat folder…
Walter thrust said fat folder at her as she approached. "You are going to have to take a good long look at this as we have a little espionage job for you."
As she flicked through the folder Walter continued to speak. "This is Axel Jaeger, we need you to keep an eye on him, watch him carefully and take metal note of anything of importance or significance. We need to be able to neutralise the threat he poses without killing him. If you can; find out why he is doing what he does and how he knows so much."
"He's that boy we've been seeing about. The one who keeps killing vampires and ghouls…" she said as she stared at one of the old school photos of him that they had been able to lay their hand on.
"My, how perceptive you are. Now do run along. You'll be leaving her as soon as it is dark and a car will be arranged to take you to the area he lives in and pick you up again just before light. You shan't need your uniform as you will need to be as inconspicuous as possible."
"You want me to stalk a seventeen year old boy?" she asked disbelievingly.
"Those are your orders, Miss Victoria."
"Ri-iight…uh, Walter, where is Sir Integra?"
"She is attending to an important matter. The orders come through me from her."
Seras sighed meaningfully, grudgingly accepted the folder and turned to leave.
As she did so Walter heard her whisper to herself. "Espionage? Who do I look like; bloody James Bond?"
She suddenly stopped and turned back again. "Wouldn't it make more sense to send one of our human field agents…what with them being human and all….If this boy hunts vampires he might notice me easier…and he has a dog…it'll smell me…isn't that dog one of the ways he goes about finding vampires and ghouls…didn't he train it like a sniffer-dog to seek them out…us out-"
"Miss Victoria." He interrupted. "Your senses far surpass those of any of our field agents. Trust me; you are suited to this task."
"Why not Master Alucard? He is more…experienced…than me. Surely he would do better…than…me…" her sentence trailed off due to the look she was being given. "…Uh…."
"Alucard cannot act human and is about as conspicuous as a person can get. He is a being that demands an impressive entrance. He could complete this task quite easily as it is in his abilities but after the battle with Incognito he has been burning to find excuses to fight anyone and anything. That is not the state of mind a man needs to be in to carry out this particular mission."
"Well…I-I I supposed that makes sense…"
Again she turned and this time actually did leave.
She spent the excessive time she had reading through all of the extremely detailed files that Hellsing had been able to pull on the boy she was being sent to stalk. She had never seen him herself, she had only seen what he had left behind and heard what others had told her. At first she had though that it had all been a joke but it turned out to be true. Ghouls and vampires and other such monsters were being mercilessly hunted down by him and killed in a variety of brutal manners. His kills were rarely ever clean; his victims often suffered and sometimes he never finished them off at all. Sometimes he left vampires to bleed out or to be caught in the light. She herself had found one such case in a mausoleum in an old cemetery. A young female vampire had been cruelly impaled with short metal spears to the lid of one of the coffins; she was too weak to pull herself off. The boy had beaten her senseless, riddled her with wounds, pulled out her fangs and written the words 'you reap what you sow' on her forehead with a thin black marker pen. She had once been a Freak, but Axel had cut out the chip. The teeth were found on the floor but the chip was not recovered. Seras ended the girls suffering with a single bullet. It was later discovered that the mausoleum was a meeting place for Hunters and it would seem that the vampire girl had been left as a message for them; a warning.
And this was the boy she was being sent to stalk…if she hadn't been a vampire, she would have felt the urge to get on her knees and pray.
She made herself content to simply read what she had been given and memorise anything that might be helpful to her, such as names and addresses of family members, places Axel seemed to like to 'hang out', the few friends that had stuck by him after his dramatic personality change two years previously, the details of his brothers death and other such little pieces of information. She was even bored enough to learn his dog's name; Mishka.
As the day wound on she fell asleep again and awoke to the sight of a blood packet that had been placed, yet again, in a pale of ice and set on her table along with a bowl and a spoon. "Damn you, Walter." She mumbled and decided to ignore the meal laid out for her. She deftly tossed aside the folder and occupied herself with changing into 'civilian' clothes that could make her blend into just about any crowd, steering away from some of the adorably gothic outfits she had and opting for a simple t-shit, jacket and jeans combination.
"The only reason I have to do this," she huffed to herself as she yanked on a pair of sandy coloured boots, "is because Master doesn't seem to like wearing clothes from this century."
A knock came at the door and then Walter peered around. "Miss Victoria, it's time. Oh…you haven't eaten…"
"I'm not hungry thank you, Walter." she said and she wedged a pistol into the waistband of her jeans under her jacket.
"You never are." Walter observed.
She merely smiled innocently and pretended that she hadn't heard him.
The journey to the area in which Axel Jaeger lived was about as uneventful as anything she had ever had to suffer before, but it was a welcome break from the terrible excitement that you got working for Hellsing.
The gentle trees and quiet roads outside the Hellsing family manor gave way to heavy traffic ad built up city life. It calmed a little after a while and they were soon cruising along one of the quieter areas of miserable, grey London.
She was delivered safely and then left to her own devices.
It took her fifteen minutes to locate the small semi-detached house that was said to be the residence of Axel Jaeger…and then another two minutes to realise that there was no way she was going to be able to look inside it without suspicious neighbours calling the police.
The house was one of the two that made the walls of an alley leading between the buildings to the garages behind, so she took a wander and stayed close to the fence to see if anyone might happen to be in the garden. She thought she could hear someone in the garden…and then she heard barking; deep, angry dog barks.
She pelted down the alley to the back and ducked behind the garages, hoping that Mishka (or she presumed that it was Mishka) would stop raising the alarm.
"Woah, what's up?" called a voice from over the fence in the garden. Axel had come out. The boy had an attractively deep voice for his age but it was not so deep as to seem too out of place for a seventeen year old.
Mishka kept barking.
"Hey, what is it? You smell some vamps, huh? Is that it? Don't worry I'll sort it later, you mark my words."
Mishka continued to bark in an almost desperate manner. He could smell a vampire close by…so very close by.
"Mishka, quiet, sit." The orders Axel gave must have been immediately obeyed for the dog went instantly silent. "Good boy. Come on; back in the house with you. We'll sort the overgrown mosquitoes later. Go on."
She heard the tinkling bell-like noise made by the dog's collars as he padded away back into the house.
Seras breathed a quiet sigh of relief; this was going to be harder that she thought. She knew that Mishka was going to be a problem. Stupid dog.
She needed to find a way to at least look in on that garden…hopefully they had glass patio doors she could look in on…
Looking around she spotted a sizeable looking tree that was growing in place of a garage that had been pulled down due to it being unsafe. She had never really done any tree climbing as a child but now wasn't the time to reminisce about missed past activities. Jumping up she wrapped her hands around one low limb and pulled herself up with little effort, sliding herself up and over branches until she was at a useful height.
The small garden that Seras was now overlooking seemed no different from all the others that surrounded it, with its patch of green lawn that could do with a bit more care and flowers that bloomed out of sync with their neighbours. There was the obligatory shed at the end that most of the gardens seemed to have…the only difference with this one was that this one belonged to the Jaeger family.
Axel was in the shed…she could now hear him scraping around inside for something or another…it was the only reason she could actually look into the garden; he wasn't out there to see her peering in from a tree nearby. The tree had been the only way to see over the high fence and she looked highly suspicious hanging out of the branches.
She was going to adjust her leaning position when Linda Jaeger came out into the garden. Seras dived back into the leaves and hope she hadn't been spotted.
"Axel!" Linda called out. "I am not going to tell you again; dinner is ready."
"I know." Axel replied from inside the shed. "I heard you first time."
"Don't give me that. And if you heard me first time why haven't you come in?"
"I need to finish this. I'll be in, in a sec."
"No you come in now."
"Fine, do what you like; but I'm still going to make you eat your food even if it's gone stone cold."
"Fine, great, groovy!"
"I mean it, Axel, I will force it down your throat by hand if necessary. I don't care how old you are I will pin you down and spoon feed you like a baby, bib and all."
"Are you even listening?"
"Of course! Err…can I eat it in here?"
"No you cannot! Last time I let your bring your dinner into the shed you forgot about it and didn't eat at all. By the time I found it, it had started to grow a whole new species of life on it. I thought the whole plate would get up and run away; it was disgusting."
And this boy is a threat to Hellsing? Seras thought to herself from the safety of the leaves.
"Ok, so it got a little mouldy…but it didn't get that bad." Axel retorted.
"Get your arse in here now or I'll drag you in."
"Alright! Jeez! I'm coming." And with that they departed the garden to return to the house; their shoes crunching noisily on the gravel pathway. She heard the back door close and ventured to peer out again. Indeed they were gone, and so was Mishka.
It seemed that they had no handy glass patio to be nosey through…and as it was dark they had closed the curtains.
"Damn." She cursed under her breath…now what was she to do?
Hmmm…the shed appeared to be open…left unlocked by a careless Axel as rushed to get inside before his mother managed to grab him…Seras wondered what it was that had captured Axel's attention so fully inside the small wooden storage room. It had seemed important.
She just had to risk a look. Her mission was to gather information, so that was damn well what she was going to do.
From the tree she was able to make a short and ungainly leap onto the garage that backed onto the Jaeger garden, and from there was able to neatly drop down into the garden itself.
As quietly as was vampirically possible she slipped into the shed and pushed the door to behind her; it kept prying eyes out but stopped her being locked in.
The shed was more like a vampire hunter's workshop. Crucifixes were nailed to the walls, there was a pot full of silver jewellery that appeared to be halfway through being melted down for some purpose or another…beside that was what appeared to be a pair of silver coated spiked knuckle dusters, perfect for use on the silver fearing un-dead…there were papers with photographs and names on; all vampires and monsters…newspaper clippings about incidents Seras recognised only too well…there were even some DVD/CD recordings labelled 'Net vamp snuff films' and 'Hellsing clips: Net TV'.
Seras couldn't believe what she was seeing.
And there…on one worktop was a water filled jar that contained at least a dozen Freak chips. One of the chips had been placed carefully under a microscope…there were some extensive notes about it in a pad beside the jar.
"…My god…how much does he know?" She gasped.
"Obviously more than you thought, devil's whore." Said an attractively deep voice behind her.
To be continued……