"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here

"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room."

Homer was possibly the most relaxed individual in the room. That being said, he was also quite possibly the least intelligent individual in the room; also, the ample supply of free donuts and coffee also did wonders for his comfort level.

His family, however, was visibly not at-ease. Marge looked back and forth, from her husband, gorging himself at the snack table, to Fr. Sean, sitting in morose silence in his seat across the table, to Sir Hellsing, who was smoking her third cigar since she entered the war room, to Mulder and Scully, who were seated on either side of the FBI Director, Robert Mueller. Bart sat with Gina, Millhouse, and his other childhood friends. They would speak occasionally, with someone, usually Nelson or Millhouse, would attempting a joke, which would then be followed by furtive laughter, or, more often in the case of Millhouse's jokes, awkward silence and a quick punch to the arm, and then a return to anxious quiet.

Lisa chose to isolate herself, standing off behind the where the others were sitting. She would look over at Brian once in a while, but look away as soon as he began to turn his head. Brian was seated between Skinner and Sideshow Bob and. He and Lisa had not spoken for three days, and, painful as it was for him to think such, they would probably never speak again, and most certainly never be able to reach where they had once been. He had been alternating between bouts of weeping, praying, and jogging in the cold, late East Coast autumn winds. He'd been pouring over his worldview-forming books-the writings of the Church Doctors, Church Fathers and mystics, and various modern Catholic writers. He was trying to see if what he had done was wrong, if so, how wrong? He was at a loss. He had killed humans, ones that were not threatening another's life.

He looked over at Heinkel and Yumiko, who were sitting near Fr. Sean in the section around the round conference table reserved for the Vatican representatives, who, like the President, members of the cabinet and military, were yet to arrive. How can their actions be acceptable in the light of reason, let alone the Faith? Perhaps they are Iscariots-damning themselves by their actions, serving the necessary but tragic role of the betrayer-disciples, crucifying their own God yet again with every sin, to further the world's salvation. Do their works even help the Church? Maybe the Church isn't even meant for world domination. Perhaps…our decline, our gradual diminishment, the slow dwindling in the numbers of true believers, and the political and social clout of those believers, means that the end is near. The world will not end in triumph, but in the persecution of the believers, false prophets, war, and death. Yes, perhaps this is the end.

Lisa looked at Bart and his friends. How can they be laughing now? And still it is only hollow laughter. They're nervous. Mom's nervous. Dad's…Dad. I don't know what Brian is anymore. He's lost himself, lost his soul. He's right that I don't know his past, what he's been through. But how can it be that it has made him an extremist like it has? What evil has he seen that's forced him into the arms of violence and hate, rather than a rejection of belief, and a retreat into the safety of ignorance and methodological naturalism? He's looking sick. She noticed him put another piece of gum in his mouth. At least he's stopped smoking. But that's made him even more short-tempered.

The war room doors opened, the president, vice-president, secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and State, and their numerous assistants and sub-secretaries, entered. Everyone rose from their seats. Regardless of their love or hatred for him, all in the room shared a degree of excitement and nervousness facing the President and Vice President of the United States. Marge felt more worried than anything, fearing that he wouldn't believe them, that he either wouldn't help them, or wouldn't be able to help. Sideshow Bob eyed the President and Vice President with predatorial coolness. The President, in his affected Texas drawl and a poorly-faked air of friendliness, said

"Ladies, Gentlemen, thanks fer bein' here. Please, have a seat."

Bob gave a derisive "A-hem" and waited a few seconds before returning to his seat.

The president and his entourage waited for the others to be seated before they too took their seats. The President, his hands folded on the table in front of himself, looked around the room, half-squinting and grinning stupidly. He looked over at Sir Integra.

"Miss 'Ntegra, how are ya?"

The British noblewoman bit down a little more forcefully on her cigar so as to mask her contempt; she smiled and replied,

"I am as well as I can be under the current circumstances. How are you, Mr. President? The war going well?"

The president gave an ironic grin, and replied with equal irony,

"Oh yes, things are going quite smoothly in th'Middle East. Got some sporadic violence from a few leftover insurgents, but democracy-and freedom-will prevail."

No one smiled, save the president himself, for his words rung hollow to his secretaries, and, despite his snug grin, to himself. Lisa's rage was near boiling, and she was quietly calculating how many members of the president's entourage she could kill before the Secret Service could shoot her dead.

"Now…," continued the President, "Weren't there supposed to be a delegation from the Pope er somethin'?"

The Vice President coughed and sat up in his chair, "Yes, after all, were it not for the Vatican all of you would be classified as terrorists, what with your guerrilla campaign, illegal arms, and-," he eyed Sir Integra, who replied with a raised eyebrow and a twitch of the cigar between her teeth, "collaboration with foreign powers."

The Vice President shifted his hefty frame in his chair, then continued, "Now, its not that we're not grateful for your efforts, but we cannot condone this kind of vigilantism. It is only by the combined influences of the British and Vatican Embassies, and Mr. Mulder, Ms. Scully, and Mr. Mueller, who were all willing to risk their careers with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, as well as criminal charges, to vouch for your good faith. Also…"

The Vice-President's words were interrupted by another arrival. The doors to the conference room were flung open, causing the Secret Servicemen present to jump and aim their Uzi machinepistols and MP-5 submachine guns. A strange ensemble stood on the threshold, surveying the seated members of the conference. After a few moments of uncertainty, the crossed the threshold and entered the room. Two men in the garb of archbishops walked at the front of the group. Sideshow Bob recognized one of the men; the older one, mustached and bespectacled, was Fr. Ronaldo Balducci, former second-command of the Iscariot Organization. Fr. Ronaldo and the younger archbishop were flanked by roughly a dozen young priests in long, black coats, and several dozen armed troops. The soldiers wore outfits similar to those worn by the Swiss Guards, only their shirts, pants, boots, and the plumes atop their silver helms were pure black. Their shining helmets had full faceplates, with tinted plexiglass goggles, giving them more than a passing resemblance to the stormtroopers from the "Star Wars" films. All the soldiers carried either a halberd or billhook, and they wore broadswords and pistols on their hips. Across their backs were strung more modern weapons-assault rifles, shotguns, and submachine guns.

Fr. Sean, Yumiko, and Heinkel stood and bowed respectfully, and then knelt and kissed the rings of the two archbishops. Fr. Ronaldo and the younger both blessed them, tracing the Sign of the Cross with their pointer and middle fingers, and then walked past Sir Integra and over to the Springfielders. They slowly stood, then, taking their lead from Sideshow Bob, knelt. Fr. Ronaldo and the younger archbishop presented their rings to both Sergeant Skinner and Bob, then blessed the group, and then, walking back past Sir Integra, took their seats near Fr. Sean. Fr. Sean, Heinkel, and Yumiko sat once the two archbishops were seated, while the trenchcoated priests and black-clothed guards formed two concentric circles around the table, standing facing the assembled delegates and noticeably agitating the already antsy Secret Servicemen standing along the walls.

The younger archbishop cleared his throat, then spoke in a wavering voice,

"Ah…um, His Holiness Benedict the Sixteenth, Shepherd and Pontiff of the Catholic Church in Rome, and Successor to the Chair of St. Peter, extends his blessings to you, Mr. President, and to the ladies and gentlemen of the government and armed forces of the United States."

The young archbishop paused, taking a few nervous breaths, then continued,

"His Holiness has prepared for you, this-," he paused again, as Fr. Ronaldo handed him a thick stack of papers, "-this set of documents, attesting to statues of the Organization known as the Knights of St. Michael Springfield chapter as a branch of the Vatican, and, as such, privy to diplomatic immunity."

He held out of the stack of papers, offering them to the president. The president nodded to one of his aides, who then walked briskly over to the Archbishop, took the documents from him, and handed them to the president. The president looked briefly at the documents, his lips moving as he read each word, then, furrowing his brow, he took the stack of documents shoved them at the Secretary of State, who took them and, donning her reading glasses, began to carefully read them.

The Vice President sneered and said, "So what you're telling us is that some old man in a funny hat, who rules some tiny joke of a nation smaller than Philadelphia, is granting his official pardon to these felons-" he pointed a pale, flabby finger directly at Bart, who responded by grimacing and loudly popping his knuckles, "-and is saying that they're some part of his bullshit country's army. Fine. That still makes them foreign combatants within the United States borders, and during a time of war!"

The young bishop stood up angrily, his chair falling over behind him. His face was red, and a vein throbbed in his right temple as he slammed his fists on the table, and then pointed at the Vice-President and hissed viciously, his Italian accent coming in stronger than previously

"Don't give me your Global War on Terror bullshit, you fat Protestant pig! Your sorry 'war' is nothing more than a global witch hunt for anyone who opposes your corrupt empire's brutality and decadence, or anyone who opposes the existence of that socialist, racist Zionist state you so falsely call Israel, a state you ignorant American cunts support because you believe its existence is somehow necessary for the Second Coming of Christ!"

"Don't yell at me, you blood-drinking raping Mary worshiper!" screamed the Vice-President.

The room was immediately filled with the sound of flipping chairs and the drawing of firearms. Each of the baker's dozen of trenchcoated priests whipped two pistols from inside their robes. The Secret Servicemen aimed their weapons, and shaking with fear as they came to realize that, with the Swiss Guards, the armed priests, and the Springfield Hunters, they were outnumbered at least two to one. The president tugged on the Vice President's sleave. The VP looked at him, angered by the interruption, then looked at his chest, where he saw the bright, flickering green and red dots from at least seven different firearms' laser sights. Biting the inside of his cheek, the Vice President sat down, sweating profusely. The archbishops' contingent of body guards lowered their weapons, and the Springfield Hunters and Secret Servicemen imitated them.

The young archbishop grinned, and then seemed to chortle throatily. However, as the chortle slowly grew to a cold laugh, the color drained from the clergyman's face, and it became apparent that the laughter was not his own. A terrible blackness, like a tendril of tangible shadow, began to descend from the ceiling, and came to rest behind Sir Integra's chair. A fiery red sigil appeared on the ceiling above the conference table, a pentagram surrounded by Hebrew characters and obscure runes, brighter and purer in its hue than a laser. The sigil drifted slowly downwards, like a two-dimensional ghost, and, shrinking down to the size of an old silver dollar, came to rest on the side of the column of inky darkness. The blackness slowly faded, revealing the form of the vampire Alucard, and the glowing sigil to be the seal on the back of Alucard's glove. The vampire's eyes gleamed like hot coals, and his deep belly laugh filled the high-ceilinged room.

"Yet again, the Church sees it fit to use violence to enforce obedience to its decrees, even in this day and age! You Catholics never cease to amuse me!"

The young archbishop's eyes trembled as focused on the red-suited vampire. Alucard took a few slow, graceful steps forward, and tilted his head back, studying the young clergyman. The archbishop regained his composure, and gave a friendly smile.

"The infamous vampire Alucard! My predecessor and mentor, Archbishop Maxwell's undoing!" he exclaimed. He bowed with a flourish of his hands, "Archbishop Luca Boccaccio, of the Vatican's Parte XIII, Iscariote."

Alucard smiled faintly, showing just a bit of his white fangs. Fr. Luca spoke once more,

"As a priest and man of Iscariot, I am dedicated to the destruction of your kind. But, unlike Maxwell, I am a rational man, and know when to ally with one devil to fight another, more powerful devil! I despise you for being the Undead, yet at least your kind make no pretenses about your evil-," he glanced over his shoulder at the President and his crew, "-unlike others here present. Such as they, who have rejected reason, Logos. Such men are like animals, in that all they have are their emotions, of which fear is the most powerful. Thus, we speak to them with fear, something you should understand of all people…Sir Knight."

Alucard's smile faded at the archbishop's last words. Sir Integra put out her cigar and spoke,

"Enough of this juvenile posturing and grandstanding! Mr. President, prosecuting these individual would be pointless. They sacrificed more than you could conceive to defend their homes against the Undead, and they did so with full blessing and cooperation of the city government, local law enforcement, and the FBI, not to mention the British Armed Forces and the Vatican."

She paused, taking another cigar from Walter, who lit it for her. She puffed on it briefly, then took it from her mouth, and said, grinning, "Honestly, what were they to have done? Allowed the freaks to kill them? Report the events to the press? They'd have wound up in a lunatic asylum, and their city would have been overrun all the sooner. Even if they'd had found a receptive ear, your military is stretched thin and exhausted, and utterly unprepared to handle supernatural forces. If anything, you owe them."

The President frowned and whispered to his aides, who quietly argued amongst themselves before one whispered something to the President. Scully sighed and rolled her eyes, while Mulder leaned back in his chair, his arms hands behind his head. The President, Cabinet, and assorted aides whispered amongst themselves for a few minutes, called Robert Mueller over, then dismissed him, then called him back once more, then called Mulder and Sully over as well, then dismissed them and continued talking to Mueller, then dismissed him to his seat once more, and then, finally, came to a conclusion. The Secretary of State spoke,

"The President, Vice President, Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, the Secretary General, and myself, are in agreement not to prosecute the members of the group known as the Springfield chapter of the Knights of St. Michael, and to henceforth recognize it as a legitimate organization, subordinate to the Vatican State. As such, its members are recognized as possessing diplomatic immunity, and exemption to any laws regarding the use of force or firearms."

"Whoo!" Homer yelled, jumping up, "Firearms!"

The president exhaled and then puffed out his cheeks in frustration. He fiddled distractedly with his pen, then looked at the three individuals from the FBI. His secretary of state then spoke, asking,

"Mr. Mueller, what information does the Federal Bureau of Investigations have regarding this…supernatural threat to our nation?"

Mr. Mueller cleared his throat and replied,

"Miss Secretary, I believe that Mr. Mulder and Miss Scully, being best-informed regarding the current state of affairs, ought to speak themselves. Mr. Mulder?"

Mulder nodded to his boss. He stood up, nodded towards the president, and then spoke,

"We are facing an extremely powerful monster. This monster is a vampire: an immortal creature that prolongs its unnatural existence by drinking the blood of living humans. He possesses super strength, super speed, the power of flight, the ability to change his strength, and he is immune to all conventional weapons. He claims, in fact, to be the original vampire, and this claim is supported by his incredible power, and his strong following amongst the vampires. He is amassing an army of vampires, zombies, and various supernatural creatures, and plans, if you'll pardon the tired cliché, to conquer the earth."

Mulder paused. The Hunters did not need to hear his recap, and indeed, hearing how dire their situation was made it all the worse. For the president and his entourage, however, this was the first confirmation of their worst fears. The president hid his face in his arms, and Lisa was amazed, because she thought that she could hear him faintly sobbing. The vice president looked askance, sneering and gritted his teeth, while the other members of the cabinet whispered urgently. Mulder began speaking again, bringing their frantic consultation to a halt.

"The vampire, who is called 'the First', and 'the Master', has gained possession of an ancient book, called the Necronomicon. The book is one of the rare copies of an ancient text, and it is not only one of the few legitimate books of magic, but it is also the most powerful. The copy in question was stolen from the Vatican archives seven months ago, during what the civilian press labeled a 'terrorist attack'. The only other copies that have been declared legitimate by occult scholars and historians are in the possession of the University of Oxford and Arkham University in Massachusetts, and both copies are, while the most complete copies aside from the one stolen from the Vatican, not truly Necronomicons, but translations in early modern English, and are themselves based on the Arabic Necronomicon, entitled AlAzīf, which was written by Abdul Alhazred sometime in the eighth century."

The Secretary of Defense raised his hand. Mulder nodded towards him and asked,

"Yes, Mr. Gates?"

"Mr. Mulder…what precisely is in this Necronomy-con?"

Mulder frowned, then answered,

"Well, sir, I think that is one of the most frightening aspects of it. The book is mentioned most famously in the works of the early twentieth century horror and science-fiction author H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft, himself, in all likelihood, familiar with the actual book itself, worked to cover up its existence by claiming that it was fictional, and purely his own invention. However, the FBI's own X-file division has verifiable historical documentation of the books existence, which verifies the allegedly fictional history that Lovecraft gives the book. For his part, Lovecraft, while often mentioning the book, rarely quotes from it, or even discusses its contents. However, if his stories are even close to reality, then the Necronomicon contains powers that are horrific. Ms. Scully, the Springfield Hunters, and myself have witnessed the bodies of diseased human beings return to life as something other than zombies."

The Secretary of State interrupted.

"Excuse me, Mr. Mulder, could you please clarify?"

"Yes, Miss Secretary. A zombie is a reanimated corpse with minimal intelligence and coordination that instinctively consumes the flesh of the living. Zombies that are created by a vampire by killing a non-virgin over the age of seven are generally called "ghouls", so as to distinguish them from zombies created by other means, be they scientific or supernatural. A vampire's ghoul possesses greater intelligence and coordination than other types of zombie-they can use weapons, for example-and can be controlled to some degree by the vampire that created them. Ghouls, though dangerous if armed or in large numbers, are easily killed by shooting them in the heart or head, or otherwise, by puncturing the heart of the skull, or by decapitation. The reanimated corpses created by the Necronomicon, however, are immune to such means of destruction. Shooting them in the head or heart does nothing, even with blessed bullets made of pure silver. Decapitate them, and their headless body will continue to stagger around. Cut off their hands, and they'll crawl at you like 'The Thing' in 'Addams Family. You can only stop them by burning them to nothing, or chopping them to bits."

"God…Fuck!" the vice president grumbled.

"To stress the threat these 'deadites' pose, imagine, if you will, every corpse in Arlington rising up and attacking the living..."

"Thank you, Mr. Mulder, that will be all," said the Secretary of State, holding up her hand. Mulder nodded, and returned to his seat.

The room was quiet except for the rustling of paper and whispering within the president's entourage. After roughly a minute of near silence Archbishop Luca Boccaccio, leaning back in his chair, grinning confidently, announced loudly,

"Mr. President! His Holiness would be more than happy to assist your nation with logistic and military assistance in confronting this dire threat. The Church, as the servant of Christ, would be remiss in her duties if she did not directly confront this threat to the children of God, even though they might stray."

The president, smiling for the first time in nearly an hour, nodded, then leaned towards the Vice President, and, after a brief exchange with him and his advisors, leaned forward and replied,

"Thank you, padre, much appreciated. We'll be happy to accept your support."

"However," the young bishop said as he leapt to his feet and gestured dramatically, "Our help comes with a few preconditions! Fail to meet them, and we'll be forced to sit on our hands, and help your nation only through the sincerest of prayers for the fate of the souls of those who will surely die! Our first condition is oh-so-simple: you will end your wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!"

"Now wait just a-!" the vice president began before the bishop cut him off.

"Second, you will end your policies of intervention in all nations of the world! Your nation's armed forces will remain, barring an actual declaration of war by your congress, on American soil! Three, you will end your policy of economic sanctions, which you use to enforce your hegemony upon other nations by starving their people. Fourth, you will release all illegally-detained individuals in Guantanamo and other such gulags, and apologize to them, their families, and the world. Fifth, you will end all, in any form, to the illegal Zionist entity that calls itself Israel. Sixth, you will apologize to all American Catholics who voted for the Republican Party in the last thirty years. Your party has deceived and abused Catholics by posing as the opposition to the Democrats; Your party pretended to oppose the party's anti-Catholic positions on abortion and immorality, when it really just wanted their votes, and was more concerned with tax-cuts for the wealthy and pleasing its corporate masters than ending abortion and protecting the American worker. Seventh-"

"How many more?!" the president yelled. He had become increasingly agitated throughout the bishop's list of demands, and had finally burst, his face red and a vein throbbing in his temple.

"Just a few more, Georgie boy! Seventh! You will finally give the American worker his due protection! Minimum wages will be raised so that one can live above the poverty line on them, and they will be raised automatically each quarter to compensate for inflation! You'll make it so that no farmland can be used for anything other than farming, and impose stiff tariffs on the importation of agricultural goods that are produced in America, so as to halt overdevelopment and the loss of American farmer's jobs! You'll also ban outsourcing, and impose tariffs on Chinese goods that will make anything made in mainland China unable to compete in the market! And finally…"

The bishop paused, panting. He was sweating, and his eyes were those of a wild man. He held both his hands out in front of him, and proclaimed the final condition,

"Finally, you, your vice president, and your entire cabinet…will resign-!"

The president stood up, slamming his hands on the table and glaring at the bishop.

"You're proposing that our nation surrender to its enemies! That we shrink into isolation and poverty! I'll never have it!"

"Your nation is finished, Mr. President!" the bishop shouted in reply, his grin stretching even wider, "You stand between obliteration and humility, and like the apocalypse-inviting fools you are, you pick obliteration! Every empire in history must fall, and you have embraced the path of empire that leads to your inevitable doom! How many must die, Mr. President, Mr. Cheney, before you see that you are wrong?"

"We're never wrong!" The vice president roared, "Go fuck yourself, you altar-boy raping faggot!"

The Swiss guards simultaneously trained their weapons on the president's entourage. The Secret Service raised their weapons, while Heinkel, Yumie, and all the Springfielders leapt to their feet, drawing their swords, knives, and pistols. Bishop Luca laughed wildly and shrieked,

"No, Mr. Cheney, you are the ones who can go fuck yourselves!"

"You'll never leave this room alive, now!" the Secretary of State stated, smiling coolly.

"If that is what God requires of me, then so be it! If I die, then the Holy Father Himself will publicly denounce the United States! He'll say that all Catholics are not to pay taxes or work for the government, and that, if they die resisting, it counts are martyrdom! He'll forbid all the world's one billion Catholics from visiting America or buying American products, and offer total absolution and martyrdom to those who die in battle against the U.S., and compensation for their families! Between that, your hopeless military endeavors in Asia, and the vampires…well…" He raised an eyebrow.

The president had his head in his hands. He shook his head, his lips mouthing "No, no, no…" One of his aides tapped him on the shoulder, and then, after getting no response, moved next to the president, and grabbed his shoulder.

"Mr. President…?"

The president looked up; he was tired, and looked old and pitiful with his ruddy, tearstained face. He listened to the aide, then shook his head, and said something to his entourage. He gestured to the Secret Servicemen, who reluctantly lowered their arms. The Hunters did likewise, and then, after a gesture and nod of approval from

Sir Integra, who had remained unmoved throughout the entire standoff, inquired calmly,

"Father Boccaccio…"

The Archbishop turned slightly, looking at the woman over his right shoulder.

"Does your Pope have any demands for the British government as well?"

Fr. Boccaccio turned to address the lady knight.

"I do not see how we could have any conditions vis-à-vis the British government. If we desire to help the Americans, it is they who are in a position of indebtedness to the Vatican, not Britain."

"True…," Sir Integra replied, her cigar hanging from her lips, looking at the archbishop over her interlocked fingers.

"Also, I am almost certain that the British will be less than inclined to take orders from the Catholic Church, all historical and demographic matters taken into account."

"Also true," she replied, her eyes narrowing.

"However, with the American withdrawing from Afghanistan and Iraq, it would only follow that Britain, and the rest of the…"Coalition of the Willing"…would have to withdraw as well. After all, the Americans constitute the majority of troops in each country, and the wars are American affairs."

Sir Integra weighed her response, then spoke,

"At this point, the British people would be all too happy to see the troops return. The war is even more unpopular in the UK than here."

The archbishop smiled and nodded.

"Yes," he laughed, his ponytail flipping as he nodded his head, "'Bring the boys back home!', as one Pink Floyd once sang."

"However," she interjected, pausing to take her cigar out of her mouth and extinguish in the ash tray Walter held, "We are strongly opposed to any attempts to blackmail the United Kingdom into compliance with your demands. We will aid the United States, with our without your assistance, and we at the Hellsing Organization are just as adept at confronting the Undead as you Iscariots."

The archbishop shrugged and smiled.

"I see no reason for us to fight, Sir Hellsing," he replied cordially, "Though we both consider each other apostate, we are both practicing Christians, and both warriors dedicated to the destruction of the Undead and the defense of mankind and Christendom. If we destroy, secularism, godlessness, the heathens, and the unholy undead, will be all that are left!"

Sir Integra's upper lip curled slightly. She looked towards the president and his staff.

"Mr. President," she stated in a clear, firm voice, "I advise you accept the Vatican's demands, however ridiculous they may be. The world now stands against you, Mr. President, when it once, back on the morning of September eleventh, two thousand and one, it stood united with you. You have squandered that support, as well as most of the support and respect that existed before that day. Do not shame yourself or your nation any more."

The Vice President spat a reply at Sir Integra,

"Don't you start!"

Alucard materialized behind the Vice President, and set his hands on the back of his chair. The President, his cabinet, and aides all flinched and gasped. The Vice President, seeing the expressions of terror on his fellows' faces, slowly turned his head. Looking up, he saw the piercing red eyes. His face became pale. He fell out of his chair, and then clutched his left breast, grunting, as his eyes bulged. He began to gasp, causing the Secretary of State to shout,

"Get a medic! Call 911!"

The aides started chattering frantically, and three ran out of the room, taking two Secret Service men with them. Alucard frowned. The vice president was lying on his back, staring up at him, his face growing ever paler, and his breaths ever shallower. He decided to leave the room, fading out of sight as the paramedics rushed in with a stretcher.

"No good," his voice rumbled, even though he was already invisible, "He's already dead…"

The president, whose demeaner and physical condition had been deteriorating throughout the meeting, looked like he too was about to have a heart attack. He shook his head in disbelief, then rose and left, his aides and cabinet, after a brief flutter of surprised confusion, followed. The Secret Servicemen waited until the entire presidential entourage had left, and then they too departed, the last one closing the door to the conference room as he left.

"Well," said Fr. Sean casually, "That all went rather well."