Holding the Line

Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Hellsing franchise, nor do I own the song I Won't Back Down. I make no monetary profit from this. This story is solely for fun.

Alucard and Seras were both dealing with a major vampire stronghold in Liverpool when Integra discovered that a number of ghouls were holding up in an old London bunker. Integra had dispatched two squads of soldiers to deal with what was believed to be a minor infestation. Smith's squad went in to take out the ghouls. Fletcher's was to stay back and secure the evac area. But everything went off the wire.

Ten minutes after entering, Smith's men still hadn't seen any ghouls. They had begun to doubt the report. It wouldn't have been the first time they received faulty intelligence. They were just starting to let their guard down when they were jumped.

A platoon of ghouls seemed to come out of nowhere. They over ran the infiltration squad and killed most of them in seconds. One soldier had managed to duck behind some cover and get a message out to Fletcher's group.

The crackling, panic stricken voice came over Sergeant Fletcher's walkie talkie. "The ghoul's, they're everywhere. Must be at least forty of them. No way out. They knew we were coming. Some how, they knew. My team, all dead. No one left. It's over. It's all… Oh God, no! Please, no! Ahhhhhhh!"

The voice at the other end was silent. The last member of the infiltration squad had perished. Fletcher whiped his brow as he said a short silent prayer for the lives of the Hellsing soldiers who had entered the bunker. Fletcher had been with the Hellsing organization for over five years, two past the expected life span for Hellsing ground troops, but he had a feeling that he wouldn't be coming back this time.

As the terrified shriek came over the walkie talkie, one of Fletcher's men broke. "Screw this!" He threw his gun down and tried to run away. The man was new. He and a number of others had recently transferred from an American military unit.

Integra hadn't been happy about bringing in so many soldiers who had never squared off against the undead before, but her ranks had been too thinned by the resent events. She needed to bolster them, quickly.

Fletcher caught the man by his arm. "Where do you think you're going, soldier."

"They're all dead. We've got no reason to protect the evac area. I'm getting out of here!"

"Stow it soldier! We've got to keep those ghouls contained. If they get out, they could infect all of London." Fletcher used his free hand to contact HQ. He reported the situation to Integra. Her voice came back over the satellite phone.

"I understand, and I'll send Seras over as soon as I can. Until then, you need to hold the line."

"Understood. Fletcher out." Fletcher turned to his men. They were so young. Why were they always so young? He tried to put on a brave face, convince his men that they could hold until help arrived. Maybe he'd even manage to convince himself. "You hear that, boys? One of the heavy hitter's is on her way. We've just got to stay put till she gets here. She'll teach those ghoul's a lesson, they won't soon forget. We just hold till then."

The soldier, whose arm Fletcher was still holding, exclaimed, "Hold? It's twelve against forty, fifty if they've turned the infiltration squad! The only thing we'll be holding's our heads!"

As Fletcher examined the looks on his men's faces, he regretted not just letting the man run. His words had undone the illusion that Fletcher was trying to build. The soldiers knew that they were going to die if they stayed. It would've been better to lose one man than his entire squad.

Just as Fletcher pulled on the man's arm, sending him down to the ground, he heard one of the other newbie's start singing. "Well I won't back down, no I won't back down. You can stand me up at the gates of hell. But I won't back down."

The singing was gravelly and off key. Fletcher had no doubt that if the man were standing on a nightclub stage, he'd be booed off; but the slow, heartfelt words were having an effect on his men. As another man joined in, Fletcher tried to remember the name of the first man who had started singing.

"Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around. And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down. Gonna stand my ground, and I won't back down."

Daniels, that was it. The man was another American transfer. He'd grown up somewhere in the Midwest. Fletcher couldn't remember exactly where, but he did remember that Daniels had come from a military family. His Father and Grand father were both Navy career men, and Daniels had enlisted fresh out of High School.

Three more men joined in, "Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out. Hey I will stand my ground, and I won't back down."

Fletcher looked at the men in his squad. Their faces still held the realization that they were going to die; but there was something else too. It was determination. They would die, but they wouldn't run. And they'd take as many of the ghouls out as they could.

The ghouls barged out of the bunker's entrance. They began charging and firing, randomly, at the Hellsing soldiers. The shots ripped into the formation of Hellsing soldiers, but their body armor kept most of the rounds from penetrating. The soldiers fired back at the ghouls, their silver bullets turning the ghoul bodies to dust.

A lucky ghoul shot slashed open an artery in the neck of the soldier to Fletcher's right. The man brought his left hand up and tried his best to hold back the blood flow as he continued firing. He got off a few more rounds before he slumped to the ground. Well I know what's right, I got just one life. In a world that keeps on pushin' me around. But I stand my ground, and I won't back down.

To Fletcher's right was the man who had tried to run. During the singing, he'd retrieved his rifle and made his stand beside the man who kept him from turning coward. An armor piercing round, from the gun of one of the turned infiltration soldiers, impacted his leg. The Hellsing soldier swore and went down, but he hefted his rifle and continued firing.

Fletcher had misjudged his men. They were young but brave. He felt a certain pride at dying along side them. Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out. Hey I will stand my ground, and I won't back down. No I won't back down.

When Seras arrived at the site, all that was left of the two sides were a pile of dust and a bloody mess of flesh. She went over to the mess of flesh and recognized the Hellsing uniforms.

As Seras walked over the bodies, one reached out and grabbed her leg. Seras aimed her gun. However, the body was not that of a reanimating ghoul, but of a dieing Hellsing soldier. The man started talking, and she bent down to hear his last words.

"We got'um, got'um all. You tell Integra that." The man, Seras recognized him as Sergeant Fletcher, coughed up a wad of blood.

Seras felt a hunger in the pit of her stomach, but she pushed such dark instincts down. "It's okay. Just rest we'll get you fixed up." Seras smiled and tried to cover up what she knew was a lie. The man was dying. Even if he was already on an operating table, the doctors wouldn't have been able to save him. He was just too far gone.

Fletcher tried to chuckle, but he only ended up coughing up more blood. "No need to lie. I know I'm dead. Just tell Integra, tell her that we held the line. Tell her that we didn't back down."

(Well, what did you think. It was a little bit darker than I usually write, but I really wanted to do a tribute to the normal Hellsing soldiers who are used as fodder on the show. Anyway, good or bad, at least I got it out of my system.

Have a good day, and God bless.

Metropolis Kid.)