Chapter One

Captain Pip Bernadette made his way down the hallway towards Sir Integra's office. In his hand he held a folder containing updates on the status of his men. The incident in South America had shaken them a bit. Seeing vampires in actual combat had made them all realize just what it was they were up against.

If he had his way, he'd have sent someone else to do this. He didn't like doing gofer work, nor did he care much for speaking with Integra Hellsing. She was a scary young woman; scarier even than that Alucard fellow that was always roaming about.

Pip knocked on the door and waited. "Enter," Integra said from inside. Slowly he opened the door and walked in.

"You wanted these?" he said, holding up the yellow folder. The back of Integra's chair was facing him as she sat, looking out the large rear window of her office. She swiveled the chair around to face him. She was smoking one of those tiny cigars again; a cloud of smoke billowed up around her face, obscuring her icy blue eyes.

"Yes. I was told that some of your men might be getting cold feet after what the saw in Rio," she beckoned him forward with her finger. "I hope that's not the case."

Pip walked forward and let the folder flop onto her desk. He took a deep breath, "Some of the men are a bit shaken, but I you can bet they'll get over it. We're no strangers to death, whatever form it happens to take," he said, frowning.

Integra opened the folder and began to flip through the documents inside. Pip turned to leave. He was almost to the door when, "Hold it. I didn't say you could leave," Integra said.

Pip stopped abruptly and did an about face. "So sorry Sir," he said, flashing a grin that didn't quite reach his eyes. Being ordered around by a girl was taking some getting used to.

Integra scanned the documents, still puffing on her cigar. "It says here you think yourselves due for a raise. Is that correct or is it a typo?"

Pip bristled. "A typo? That freak was cutting cannon shells in half with playing cards…I think we deserve a little bit extra if this is how it's going to be."

Integra snubbed out her cigar in an ashtray and let the papers drop on her desk. "You'll get a raise when I think you deserve one. Right now, you're worth every pound; and you're receiving quite a few of them."

Pip crossed his arms. "When we deserve one? Or do you mean when you can afford one?"

Integra glared at him. "I think I'll schedule a personal inspection of your troops…and you. Then maybe we can further discuss how much you're worth."

Pip laughed. "Oh? Name the time and place. The Wild Geese won't disappoint."

Integra smiled and sat back in her chair. "I think I'll keep the when and the where to myself for now. Just have your men back in fighting form as quickly as possible and I'm sure everything will be fine."

"We're always in fighting form, just so you know," Pip said. "Next time some vampire beastie goes crazy, feel free to give the girl and that Alucard bloke the night off. We'll be ready for any surprise inspections to boot."

Integra locked her fingers. Pip could feel her eyes moving over him, appraising him. "Fine. Lets hope your boasting matches your performance. Dismissed."

Pip saluted, turned and left. Walking angrily down the hall towards the barracks he grumbled to himself. His suggestion for a raise had been half joking, even if they did deserve it. Getting underpaid was something they had all gotten used to over the years. Was there even enough money in the world to cover the risks they took? Still, to suggest that they, the Wild Geese, weren't deserving of more money, even if they didn't get it, was an insult. "I'll show that Integra Hellsing," he mumbled. "I'll make her wonder how she ever got along without us."

To be continued…