Hours later, back on the steeple of the church, Victoria rested in her small sanctuary. As a vampire Victoria naturally healed quickly, however the latest lesson at Lord Ashcroft's hands had left her beaten to the point that she needed time to recover. In fact, it had been more of a test then a lesson. Not only to test her strength and endurance, but also that of her lord's newest acquisition; a squad of what he called 'Bio-tech soldiers'. Soldiers improved with various cybernetic enhancements. The enhancements ranged from mechanical exoskeletons attached to limbs increasing increase strength to extensive drug treatments to eradicating all pain. Critical to her lord was that all the soldiers were completely loyal to him, albeit by means of drugs, but completely loyal never the less. To add to the complete control he held over the soldiers, there was one more uniform change; each soldier was a missing eye. Their eyes were replaced with a cybernetic one, which not only augmented their vision, but also appeared to be a recording device as well.
Reviewing the events from the battle, Victoria remembered knowing only moments into the battle that the Bio-tech soldiers would have destroyed her had she not been able to defeat them, and her lord would have allowed it. She openly admitted to herself that he likely ordered them to destroy her and would have rejoiced in them being able to defeat her. In spite of successfully, and painfully, defeating the enhanced soldiers, Victoria couldn't help but feel a pang of guilt at their defeat, in many ways, she was the same as them, enhanced and enslaved all at once.
As that thought faded, she smirked slightly at her lord's reaction to the soldier's defeat. He obviously didn't expect or want her to win, but he forgot, as always, that she was a full-fledged vampire. Even though the binding cuffs restrained the beast within her, it would take more to defeat her than mindless machines. Still, Victoria worried what the Bio-techs might mean in her lord's plans. Plans she knew included no good will towards the Hellsing organization. Regardless of how brief their encounter had been, she had no doubt that the old vampire could defeat the enhanced soldiers, just as she had. She wasn't concerned about him, the humans who served Sir Hellsing were another matter entirely. A normal full human soldier, no matter how well trained, would never be able to stand long against those Bio-tech soldiers. How long would Hellsing last if it was solely reliant on it Vampiric servant? What would happen if her lord attacked during the day? Although she didn't understand why, she knew she couldn't let anything to happen to them, the old Vampire, Sir Hellsing or the Hellsing soldiers.
She rubbed the cuffs on her wrists, the very cuffs that enhanced her also held her back, controlled her like those Bio-Tech soldiers were controlled. They prevented her from directly disobeying Lord Ashcroft and warning Sir Hellsing or her Vampire. However, she found that there were ways around every rule.
Victoria lifted the disk to examine it in the pre-dawn light that was beginning to seep into her sanctuary. She'd done quick patrol of the compound before coming up here to recover. That patrol included entering, or more accurately, sneaking into the security room and liberated a duplicate of one of the recordings made from her latest 'lesson.' While, she could not directly hand the disk over to Hellsing, she could leave it somewhere, perhaps in a vampire nest that she had reason to believe Hellsing would attack or somewhere else they would likely find it. The label on the DVD recording was blatant enough to make sure that even the least intelligent foot soldier would recognize as relevant. It simply read; Vampire / Bio-tech and the date.
It was all she could do and she hoped it would be enough. Once in the hands of a Hellsing soldier, it shouldn't take to long, to make it's way to Sir Hellsing. Once reviewed, Victoria was counting on Sir Helsing's obvious intelligence to realize that the Bio-tech soldiers were anything but ordinary.
Another glance at the horizon reminded her that all her hopes and mutinies, no matter how small, would have to wait. Dawn was arriving and her comfortless pine box in its bare room beckoned along with the meager ration of blood her lord, out of necessity, supplied.
After her small meal, she prepared to enter her dreamless, sleep of death, knowing that come sunset all physical evidence of her clash with the Bio-techs would be erased from her body. The split lip would seal, her broken ribs re-knit themselves and the bruises would fade as her body re-circulated and consumed the blood from her meal.
Victoria knew without a shadow of a doubt that this would not be the only conflict between herself and the super soldiers in her lord's employ. 'I hope I come out the next one a little better off,' she thought to herself as pulled the lid down on her coffin to sleep and re-checked the disk hidden in her clothes, not even considering that the tiny treachery she was planning, might in fact be her best hope of finding her true identity.
Knowing it was sentimental and foolish, Sir Integra Hellsing, if awake and idle at dawn, would always find herself standing in Officer Seras Victoria's quarters. She admitted that while the fledgling was in residence at the Hellsing estate she had never really thought a great deal about her, other then to wonder what hell Alucard had been thinking in turning her. Now that the young blonde was missing Integra found herself wondering about Seras more. Not the soft concerned 'where was she' or 'what she was doing,' no Integra found herself wondering how someone could see all that Seras had and not only survived, but survived without bitterness or insanity. From what research and background checks Integra had done, Seras hadn't changed her personality even after she had been turned. A feat that seemed so unlikely, Integra wondered if she hadn't underestimated the girl… no vampire. She supposed that was why she never wanted to think about Seras as a vampire, she didn't fit the mold Integra was used to. That miss-match to the mold, caused her to re-think some of what she knew about vampires and wonder if the research might be inaccurate. She'd dealt with Alucard and other chip induced vampires. All of them were consistent; evil and dangerous unless restrained. However, Seras made Integra wonder, if the person was good before they were turned into a vampire could said vampire remain for all intents and purposes good?
"Here again Master?" Alucard asked, as he entered from the wall behind Integra in a tone that from anyone else might have sounded like an attempt at causal conversation, but Alucard was not anyone else
"As you see," Integra answered coldly. Although not certain, she suspected her servant's appearance in the room, the room that had been his fledgling's, had nothing to do with her. Keeping her tight control of her thoughts, she wondered, Why are you here Alucard? Even though, she kept the though in the deeper recesses of her mind, where Alucard was not permitted, she received same answer she would have if she had voiced the question aloud; an insane grin. After a moment of silence between them, Alucard turned and walked through the wall and back to his own quarters.
Any other time Integra would have been furious that he both appeared and disappeared with out warning or permission, but this morning she was just far to tired and still coping with the headache the 'Demonic Angel' left her with. Plus she knew that she still had to find time to catch some sleep before debriefing the deep cover agents that had been at the Dracula's Daughter. She hoped that they were able to tell her some thing of use.
Integra released a deep breath, stubbornly refusing to call it a sigh and left the room heading toward her own whispering a silent prayer as she walked, that this new day would be better then the last.
Shortly thereafter, both Master and Servant of Hellsing closed their eyes letting sleep take them, unaware that events were about to be set in motion that would change everything.