The light rain had come to a near halt. What little drizzle prevailed by the morning sun lit street continuously dampened the already wet London street. Despite the rain, sounds of construction rattled around, as by the recently re-built but not re-opened Royal Museum of History was near the epicenter of construction. Several groups, still holding their umbrellas walked past, talking animatedly, musing on the time until such buildings were re-opened.
As some of these groups passed, a tall figure in a cloak emerged, staring at the museum. Standing alone, and seemingly unnoticed by any of these groups, it continuously stared at the building. Only after several moments along did the man in black turn, and begin walking down the street, away from the construction and towards the more re-built areas of London. The pedestrian buildings had been rebuilt and many even updated to modern standards. Taller and impressive than previously, these buildings masked the man in the cloak as he passed through the sidewalks, weaving effortlessly around people.
He stopped, and spotted from across the street the higher income area for London. Here, several impressive buildings and even a high-rise present itself to this man. In this high-rise, a sign hummed dimly, it's pristine lights still not registering fully in the day. "The Logo-less Blanche", an expensive V.I.P. club for London's elite, stood proudly as a call back to the thirties and twenties. American jazz and funk were a common call here, as it was centered for the rich and spoiled youth that prevailed nearby London, or the sons and daughters of wealthy men and woman.
The man crossed two vacant streets, and turned down an alleyway, heading towards the less known backdoor, dark, but still maintained well. He was almost silent as he approached a man in a hooded rain jacket.
"Mr. Emile," the man in the cloak stated quietly, and the one seemingly waiting in the rain jumped and spun to him.
"Oh- oh!" the waiting man removed his hood, revealing a young, pale looking man with well kept short hair and scared eyes. "Ah, you must be Agent one." The Agent stood, staring at him with his face obscured and hidden. "Ah, uh... everything is in order."
"In detail," The agent demanded, and the smaller man quivered.
"The others know the order to wait until my say so. I will be waiting for you here, correct?" he asked, and Agent One nodded. "Right, once I've gotten the word, I'll head inside. Then the men will strike. Seems simple enough-"
"This is for you," the Agent interrupted, and lifted an arm, something inside the closed fist. "Take it," he said simply, but the smaller young man shook and quickly opened a hand and let the object fall into his. It was a small, plastic injector.
"I am supposed to use this on them? Who should I aim for?" Mr. Emile asked. The agent shook his head.
"It is for you to use," he stated, and the man known as Emile almost dropped it in shock. "Once this operation proceeds, and Hellsing is broken at the core," the agent advanced, and Emile was slowly pressed against the wall behind him, terror in his face," you and all those in this club will be wanted, and hunted down for criminals. Our forces cannot intervene until a later date. This," the hood and visible chin tilted down, indicating the injector," will ensure your survival."
The Agent took a step back, and Mr. Emile slid down to the ground, his legs shaking. He slowly looked from the silent agent, back to the auto-syringe.
"Will... will I still be human?" he asked, his voice shaking.
"That depends on your will to survive and maintain yourself," the agent briskly stated, and turned, beginning to walk away.
"W-wait!" Mr. Emile asked, his bright blue eyes begging for answers," how will you find me after this is over?"
The agent turned once, and stared.
The Agent then faded into the shadows, leaving the nervous wreck of a man to himself in the rainy alleyway.
Leon looked into the mirror. He hadn't worn that suit in almost three years, since he procured it in Spain. The dark grey suit was simple enough, yet elegant. The fabric was still very much in it's still perfect state it had been the first day he bought it off the mysterious merchant.
He adjusted his red tie, and straightened his shirt. White, red, black, he thought for a moment he could resemble Alucard, had the colors been in different areas. With a sigh of approval, he slid on his black gloves, and gave himself one more look over. Over his shoulders lay the brisk and clean white scarf. He chuckled, and walked over to his bed. As he reached for a hat, there was a knock at the door.
"It's me," Seras's voice called. "Can I come in?" she asked.
"Sure, I'm just getting ready," Leon replied, and as he moved back to the mirror in the bathroom, he saw Seras come in, and stopped in his place. She wasn't wearing anything special.
"I... I'm not coming, remember?" Seras reminded him, looking uncertain. "No reason to have anything fancy if Alucard and I can't attend."
"Right," Leon said, and checked back into the bathroom. Seras sat on the bed on the other side, leaning over to look at Leon. "How do I look?" he turned, and showed her the presentation, of Mafioso Leon.
"Like a proper gangster," Seras nodded, her lips pursed.
"I guess that's what I'm going for. I got this, of all places, when I was on a mission out in rural Spain. This guy I ran into had just about anything I could want or need, as long as I had the money for it," Leon told her, stepping out from the bathroom. "Woah..."
"What?" she asked, as he stared at her.
"I... it's just been a while since I saw anyone sit on that bed," Leon said, trying not to remember the still mostly unopened boxes of clothes that Walter had pushed under that bed, belonging to Zohall. Leon stretched his neck, and noticed Seras looked off still. "Nervous?"
"I would be," Leon nodded back, and went back to his bed, sorting through the weapons he would be bringing with him.
"I know Integra values all of us, and the plan does make sense," Seras began as Leon began to pile weapons into all the great hiding places that he could," I've just been thinking. It would take a while for Alucard and I to arrive and fight anything off if there is an overwhelming attack, maybe five minutes or so!"
"How exactly do you expect to hear back from us?"
"Alucard is going to be sitting by the pn Inhone itegra's office," Seras admitted," I talked to him about it last night, and he's not happy about it either one bit."
"Well, I suppose it's good to know you both place your trust in all of us to defend Integra," Leon taunted her sarcastically.
"I'm not worried about Integra!" Seras defended herself," Walter will be there, and so will you. I'm worried about everyone. This... is a dangerous mission where we are literally placing ourselves in the middle of the shooting range for those bastards. They're going to at least try to hit us."
Leon looked to her, and smiled. There was something ironic about someone who seemed perfectly immortal and undefeatable worrying about himself and the others, these so called 'elites' of Hellsing. In a way, it made him more nervous, but then it made him recognize her care in not just himself, but in everyone she worked and lived with.
"Don't you worry your head off too much," Leon assured her, walking over, and lifting her up. "We're going... we're going to kick the crap out of these guys." Seras blinked, and then grinned. "Let's head up. We've only got an hour before Integra wants us to leave anyway, so we might as well check on everyone else."
Holding the door up for her, Leon escorted Seras out, and turned the lights out behind him. Equipped with three pistols, his knife, and several grenades, he was certain he was ready for just about anything in close quarters combat that could happen. He grimaced to himself as he considered that rarely did things go the way he expected to. It seemed like places he expected trouble had ways of escalating to points of almost impossible escape, let alone victory.
He could also relate this to the woman in front of him. Voluptuous, young, innocent, and a heart of gold, these were not the physical traits he necessarily sought after when considering dating. Intelligent, physically capable, and those other seemingly uninterested or that teased him were his previous types. Then Seras came up in his life. Capable and dependable, she was vicious and un-doubtfully powerful in a battle the likes of which Leon rarely saw from weapons, let alone people. Then again, she was this kind and worried person, looking after those around her.
"What are you thinking about?" Seras turned to face him as they walked down the hallway.
"Reminiscing on my stay here," Leon tried. She snorted, and shook her head.
"I know I felt you thinking about me," she said slyly. "What was it?"
"I guess I was wondering how you manage to be yourself so well," Leon said after a moment, scratching his neck. "You got a lot on your plate, don't you?"
"In general, being a vampire and all," Leon specified, and Seras nodded.
"It's not as bad, once you stew in it for a while," Seras admitted," once you get over that 'I'm actually undead' phase, you come to terms and just carry on."
"Maybe," Leon said, smiling at her. She turned suddenly, and caught Leon off guard. "What?"
"I... nothing," Seras mumbled as she turned forward and walked.
"Did I... what's up?"
"You... you're smile looked great, that's all," Seras grumbled, not looking at him, her head slightly down.
"...Thanks," Leon said, sighing, the compliment warming his chest slightly. "What's with the reaction? I can't read your mind, you know."
"I- I know that, it's- I... bleh!" Seras spluttered, faced him briefly, and turned away again. Leon chuckled as they both ran into Lars.
"You... need help there?" Leon asked to a struggling Lars.
"This... this damn tie," Lars swore under his breath, as Leon stepped closer, and quickly tied his one-colored tie, and flattened it out," thanks."
"Is... that what you're wear- what did you do with your hair?" Seras asked. Lars looked like a colorful mess. His hair clumped together with gel and was sticking up oddly. The simple dark blue tie he wore clashed with the stripped red and white dress shirt he wore, and then even more with the light tan pants.
"Do... do you have a dress jacket to go with the pants?" Leon asked uncertainly.
"I... don't dress up, usually," Lars admitted.
"Ever?" Leon inquired, and Lars shrugged with uncertainty.
"Ah, well, maybe they'll have to keep you in the middle of the group, and we can just shield you from the hateful eyes of the well-fashioned," a familiar voice called from down the Hallway from behind Leon and Seras, as Jack Wilson passed them wearing a black and yellowed striped suit. "You might want to comb your hair, cyborg."
"Just making an observation!" Jack stepped away from Lars, who made a go at him. "Seriously, just a-" he made three successive sweeps with his imaginary comb through his curly black hair, and whistled," boom, you're done."
"Thanks," Lars bitterly replied.
"Has the gel set yet?" Seras asked, and Lars felt his scalp, and shook his head," hmm..." Seras raised her head, and rubbed Lars' hair. After a moment, she pulled away, and his hair looked not only passable, but stylistically and deliberately messy.
"Kind of looks like yours, Seras," Leon stated, and Lars stared above his head, trying to figure out what she had done to it. "It's fine Lars.
"If you say so, boss," Lars said, and continued ahead of the two. Leon stared at him, mentally shaken at the term 'boss'.
"That might be hard to get used to," he admitted quietly to Seras.
"Nah. Wait until Wilson starts saying it," she said, patting his back," then it'll be weird."
"Probably will never happen," Leon chuckled and the two continued after Lars. A minute later, the two came across the gathering others, standing in the Manor great hall, inside of the main entrance. Leon was surprised to see Alucard standing amidst the others, looking awkwardly tall as he spoke briefly to the others.
"Alucard," Leon nodded to the vampire as he emerged.
"Mr. Kennedy," Alucard stated, turning to face the man. "You of course are aware of my trust in you from this point on, correct?"
"I can imagine," Leon answered strongly.
"There is no need for imagining. I am giving you the faith that should backup be needed that you will call for it. Hero work gets men and woman killed, after all," Alucard warned him, his glasses obscuring his sightline. Leon nodded, and Alucard returned the gesture.
"He's just trying to scare you," Seras comforted Leon.
"He doesn't need to say a thing if he wanted to scare me," Leon stated," I think that's when I'd be the most scared of him."
"He was going around warning us to be ever vigilant," Daisuke addressed the two of them, stepping forward. He wore a golden lined kimono with bright blue and white dancing figures stitched beautifully around him. "He seems like he might be worried."
"We both are," Seras admitted," Alucard and I like taking the shots for people and dishing it back out, not being held back from the action."
"Well, if it makes you feel any better," Daisuke admitted," that's at least how I feel."
"I feel that way too," a voice answered from the many people here, and the three turned to see Eliza Pyun staring at them with her usual half-empty stare. After a moment, she turned away and walked over to Amber and Lars.
"She's at least dressed nice, even if she's kind of odd," Daisuke admitted, and left the two to return speaking to Dominic and some of the others.
"I wonder how they'll attack," Leon wondered," if they're smart, they won't try to use direct force. We've got thirty nine soldiers that will be going to the club, including myself, and then Integra, who can put up a fight. If they're smart, they might try poisoning us."
"Don't say that," Seras cringed, looking at all those here, and more who recently joined in, many in tuxedoes. "I don't like the idea of Integra falling to the floor holding for breath."
"She wouldn't need to. If we're fighting remnants of umbrella, it's likely they'll trying to use T-virus as a weapon," Leon sighed in worry," which then we'd need immediate antidotes to cure it, or we'd become zombies in a matter of hours." Seras smacked the side of his arm. "What!?"
"You better not let that happen," Seras demanded.
"They have to stab me with a syringe first," Leon announced," or get it into my food or drink."
"Nothing for you to eat tonight," Seras demanded.
"Or drink, don't worry," Leon strongly assured her," this is the sort of training secret agents get. Never trust a source of food or drink you yourself didn't make or handle."
Seras looked as if she wanted to say something else, but there was a general hush as those by the doors turned and pointed to the floor above. Integra and Walter were walking out. Walter looked grand, barely changed, minus the addition of a long tailed coat that swayed gently as he walked with Integra.
Leon was sure he knew Integra enough now to tell she was very, very uncomfortable with herself. She wore a light rose colored dress that fit her figure. The dress trailed to her ankles, where she wore matching heels. She slowly descended the stares staring at no one at all, her eyes solidly looking ahead. Leon could tell she was two steps from fury.
"Soldiers," she said loudly," we have a party to attend to." She nodded to Leon, and he stepped closer, and he spoke up.
"Combat drivers, you're going to be driving the limos to the party, so remember to keep in eyesight of the others. If we break from sight, await for the others, and return to the back of the caravan as soon as possible. Integra will be with me and Walter. Any questions?" he asked briskly. When no one spoke, he looked to Integra. "Let's get this show on the road."
"Please enter your assigned vehicles, one at a time," Walter spoke aloud as the doors opened to his touch.
"Are you going to be okay, boss?" Leon asked Integra as he stepped closer.
"As soon as this night is over, and I can take all this bloody formality wear off, the better I will feel about getting into combat," she said begrudgingly. "You look spot on for the theme, Leon."
"What? Oh, thanks," Leon smiled, and she nodded.
"Master," Alucard's voice called from behind them. Integra and Leon looked back, and there stood Alucard, behind Seras. "Be safe, until I can come to your side again."
"Yes... await my orders, servant," Integra announced.
"Of course, my master," Alucard removed his hat, and Integra turned to leave through the doors. Leon stared at Alucard for a moment, and then to Seras.
"Go give them what for," Seras ordered strongly.
"You know... this will be so silly looking of us if there isn't any fight today," Leon smirked, and tipped his hat briefly to her, and was the one to close the doors behind him.
The drive into inner city London was a long one, with the weather being dark and slightly stormy. There was no diversions, which gave Leon and Walter a chance to attempt to re-kindle Integra's confidence in wearing a dress. She particularly grew into self-loathing as they passed the recently rebuilt Big Ben.
"The second time in this bloody month I have had to wear such ridiculous clothing," she continued as she peered to the Thames past the larger buildings.
"Were this one of urgency, as they should be," Walter added to his words, as Integra flashed a glare at him," we would have been able to establish a formal dress code according to norm. However, with Sir. Weldon deciding this location-"
"I am aware also I am within power to arrive as I see fit, rather than conform to such ridiculous demands," Integra growled, cutting her butler off angrily. She looked to Leon. "What do you say about this, Leon?"
"Sorry boss, I'm with Walter on this one. If this becomes a fiasco, then you can start being the big boss you are," she scoffed, and 'pouted' some more," but let's give these kids a chance. They may have something worth contributing."
"We shall see, won't we," Integra turned to Walter," will Sir Irons and Sir Walsh be attending?"
"Yes. I have heard from neither of the gentleman since last summer, regarding the activities in America we were involved in," Walter commented.
"Who are they?" Leon asked.
"They are, aside from myself, the only surviving members of the round table twelve. The other nine were all killed during the battle two years ago. Sir Irons is part of the economic and political control station for the English. He is involved heavily with the management with our affiliations of international political situations," Integra quickly said, reciting it easily," Sir Walsh is head of the Bureau for military control and Nuclear assaults. He's the one who commissioned the group in the eighties, after the cold war truly got out of hand," Integra continued," the rest of these knights are the replacements. Most of which are the sons of those who had died during the battle."
"So, we really are going to a party with a bunch of aristocratic boys with power and money, and old war vets?" Leon said with distain.
"Not entirely," Walter coined in, and looked to Integra," you will be able to speak with Mrs. Penwood this evening."
Integra looked to Walter, her eyes wide. Leon felt shocked that such a name would resonate with her.
"She... is representing her son, I take it?" Integra asked.
"Indeed. Her experience with her husbands work qualified her to handle his conferences and meetings, and from what I have heard, she has done marvelously," Walter said with a smile. Integra nodded, and stared into space.
"Who... is this person?" Leon asked, feeling left out from this conversation.
"Mrs. Penwood is the wife to the late Shelby Penwood, Knight of the Twelve," Walter said.
"A true war hero," Integra said, a hint of sadness in her voice," he died to let myself and Walter escape from... well, he died for us," Integra summarized with difficulty. Leon nodded, and let Integra have some piece, clearly no longer worrying about her dress.
"We're here," Dominic's voice called out from the front.
As they all gracefully climbed out, Leon noted how dark it had gotten, including the amount of rain that had started to come down. The streets were well lit with high class bars and bright lights, the buildings climbing up several flights. Before him was the sign for "The Logo-less Blanche", and a neon picture of a tux-clad gentleman leaning against a barrel with 'xxx' etched onto it, and he spoke with a curly haired blond woman in a dress similar to Integra.
"So this is it," Integra moaned," well, let's get this going. Have these valets bring the cars around elsewhere," she stated, and Leon nodded.
"You know what to do?" Leon asked to the four, and they nodded or shrugged.
"Ma'am, welcome to The Logo-less Blanche. May I see you invitation?" Walter handed it to the gentleman at the door with bright blue eyes, and he gasped," ah, you're here as part of the-"
"Yes, yes, now may we go inside? It is rather cold and wet out here," Integra bit at the air.
"I... your two here?" the man pointed at Leon and Walter, and she nodded. "yes, that will do." As they filed past him, he suddenly called back," wait, what are these men doing?" he demanded, as the rest of the thirty-eight followed with the three.
"They are my men, and are accompanying me. There is no problem with that, is there?" Integra coldly replied.
"I-I was told there would be a m-minimum of two guests per participant," the man stumbled, shrinking under Integra's gaze.
"Do you, young man, have any idea at all who I am?" Integra stepped closer, her cold blue eyes digging into his own," any idea of what kind of power I have around me, at this very moment."
"Y-y-y-yes- Oh, no ma'am! I mean- uh- I'm just doing my job, Sir- err ma'am," the front boy stammered horribly.
"You will permit me to bring my men inside-"
"Sir Integra," a voice called, walking from around her soldiers, and her eyes met with an older, yet attitude filled gaze.
"Sir Walsh," Integra extended her arm, and he took it, two large men behind him on either side following his steps closely. "It is good to see you in good health."
"Well, I must say, we're not all young and free-spirit as Sir Weldon, or Sir Forests. They co-opted this arrangement, you see. I am all for a fine evening, you know," he stretching his back, staring at the sign, and chuckling," but this is the kind of entertainment my father would have loved. Shall we enter?"
"I was attempting to have my men here enter with me," she stated, the terrified young man shivering as Integra gave him a deadly glare. Sir Walsh looked, and guffawed.
"Good lord, Integra, this isn't the old days. Bringing an army to this meeting?" he grinned, and chewed a cigar. "I'll say, just having Walter here should be fine enough for protection, don't you think?" he patted her shoulder, and reached over to the other, and steered her away," come on, let's not let Sir Irons deal with these brats alone."
"Just... chill with the limos guys," Leon quickly said as he walked backwards with Walter and Integra," I'll come and get you later, okay?"
"Sure, we'll just listen to the radio about how it's going to rain for the next three months," Jack Wilson replied, as he stepped back into the limo. Leon sighed and tried looking apologetic to them, and then noticed the man Integra had harassed. He was stroking something in his pocket, and when Leon followed his gaze, he found him staring at Integra's back. He looked back, and the man quickly saw Leon looking at him, and left, letting another worker take his place.
"Keep an eye out," Leon called to those still outside, climbing into the limos as he stepped inside the loud music filled, and dry lounge.
Monday update! YEAH BOYEEE!
So then, news, I suppose. Aside from all these happenings this chapter, I have officially gone through about 95% of Book One, and intend to update the first 41 chapters as soon as I can. So, for those you know who are turned away by the small mistakes that littered the first book, have no fear! They should all be gone-ish! again, if you don't see these Author Omakes, they've been 'edited'. :D
C-3P0: (suddenly running into the room, his metallic arms above his head) But sir, the chances you correctly edited the entire first book within a week are approximately 3,720 to 1!
(EZB is suddenly dressed as Han Solo, leaning over his computer like he was steering the Millennium Falcon) Never tell me the odds!
C-3P0: But sir-
SHUT HIM UP OR SHUT HIM DOWN! (EZB turns and shout this to Chewbacca, who has a star of David tied to a necklace around his neck)
Jewbacca: ARRRAAAGGHHH. (picks up C-3P0 and throws him out a window)
C-3P0: Oh my! (lands softly outside, on a bed of flowers) Oh dear. Can someone help a droid stand? Help! I've fallen, and can't get up!
Seeya again Friday!
PS: Sorry for that weird error you guys were having when trying to get to this, for those of you who follow this story, or me. I think the issue has been fixed, so... yay. :)