Integra shut the book she was reading in frustration.
"There must be some way around it," she mused aloud.
"Humans can be weak, yes, but there must be some defense against a vampire's mental powers. If my troops were prepared, they wouldn't be fooled by these parlor tricks." The latest casualties were soldiers who had been immobilized by a Midian during a raid. The men had stood there and allowed themselves to be torn apart by ghouls.
"Do you know what it is like?" her pet vampire asked, his voice promising danger.
"No, and neither do you," she retorted.
"Do you want to see what it's like?" he asked eagerly.
"Yes…yes, I believe I do," she said slowly, ignoring him. She pushed a button on the phone on her desk, picking up the receiver. "Sir Hellsing here. Send up one of the new recruits. Yes…." She paused to listen. "Yes, I know it's Saturday…. Now is fine." She hung up.
"My grandfather never studied this in any detail. I can't imagine why he thought it unworthy of research. He documented all your abilities so meticulously, and yet never suggested any method for avoiding vampiric hypnosis. Strange."
"Perhaps there is no way for a human to avoid it," Alucard offered. "I have never met anyone who showed even slight resistance to it."
"You catch them unawares," she dismissed his evaluation.
A young man entered her office nervously. "Reporting, sir."
"Are you prepared to fight vampires, soldier?"
"Yes, sir, I hope so."
Alucard burst out laughing, which did nothing for the young man's confidence. To his credit, he did straighten his back and do his best to hide his unease.
"It so happens we have a vampire here," Integra said, ignoring Alucard's merriment. "I would like for you to see if you can resist his mental attack."
The young soldier's Adam's apple bobbed. "Yes, sir. How would you recommend I do that?"
"Try whatever seems best to you."
The soldier nodded unhappily, casting sidelong glances at Alucard, who was lounging in the shadows. Almost carelessly, Alucard raised his hands to frame one eye, and caught one of the hesitant glances the soldier shot at him. The man froze, helpless to look away.
Alucard stalked over lazily, never breaking eye contact, until he was within reach of his prey. "What would you like me to do with him, my Master?" he asked quietly. He was very aware of his audience, though he had not looked at Integra since this began.
"Teach him not to look at vampires," she said dispassionately.
Alucard breathed in the man's face. "These eyes…are your death."
"Eyes...are death…" the man muttered dazedly.
Alucard touched his chin, and ran one long finger along the jaw.
"Release him," Integra called out.
Alucard closed his eyes, and turned away. The man slumped, as if the strings holding him in place had been cut.
"What…what just happened?" he asked, still staring off into space. He blinked a few times and then turned. "Sir Integra!" he said hastily, trying to gather his wits and stand up straight. He saluted clumsily.
"I hope you see now what you are up against. The best way to resist a vampire's mental tricks is never to be subjected to them. Dismissed."
"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. I'll try to remember that." He fled the room, practically tripping over his own feet at the doorway.
"Do you think I scared him away?" Alucard asked.
"You know our retention rate is low enough already." She sighed. "Why did my grandfather never study this?"
"Perhaps because he was unwilling to allow me to enslave his loyal soldiers to my will?"
"Alucard, I'm being serious. Physically, we know how to fight and kill vampires. But you saw how that soldier was – he was putty in your hands. He would not have raised a gun to you even if he were ordered to."
"You would do the same. All humans submit like obedient dogs." His frank tone of voice did nothing to disguise the challenge from what it was. He so enjoyed toying with his Master.
She frowned, but hesitated. She had a strong urge to disagree with him; she did not want to allow such an accusation of weakness to stand. And yet, she found it difficult to gainsay him when his own experience said she would be no different. Her pride warred with her common sense. Her denial would ring hollow without proof, and the soldier had given no indication of the slightest resistance, even though he was warned of what would happen. It would be folly to make a claim she was not prepared to back up. But….
"But you did say you wanted to know what it was like, so…"
She looked at him sharply. "Alucard, n-" She realized her mistake too late. As soon as her eyes met his, her voice died, snuffed out like a candle in a vacuum. She was frozen in place, unable to move any part of her body. A heavy fog settled on her mind. All she could see were red eyes, no longer familiar.
"I will stop as soon as you give the command, Master," he said, his voice soothing and yet full of mockery.
She tried to respond, to think, to form words…but her mind would have none of it. Suddenly, she heard his voice in her mind, and she latched onto it as the only coherent thought available.
You see now, how easy it is to obey commands.
Something seemed very wrong about that, but she couldn't think what it might be. He was standing in front of her. When had she stood? She couldn't recall. It was like slowly waking from a dream; she could feel her body, but not move it. She could not blink, but she watched her hand move slowly as her arm was raised. It landed on Alucard's shoulder, as if to push him away, but it merely rested there lightly. Her mouth fell open, but no sound came out. She could feel his arms around her, but her mind could not even process how many there were.
He bent over her. Gently, his nose nudged hers. His cool lips brushed across the corner of her mouth, but the shock did nothing to clear the daze she was in. His goal was her chin, and once he reached it, he butted it insistently so her head went back, back…until her neck was offered to him. He moved his mouth down until he was speaking directly into her throat. "If you were my victim, this would be your last thought. What is it?" She felt the words rumble against her own muted throat, and knew everything hinged on her answer.
As if she now had permission to speak, her voice suddenly cooperated again. If only her mind could remember what to tell it to say! "You…obey…commands…" she got out. No other words would come.
He shivered once. "And what is your command, Master?" he asked eagerly, not moving his nose from under her chin. She felt the threat of pinpricks on her neck.
He released her and stepped back. Her head jerked back down. Her consciousness was suddenly drenched in cold water, clammy and aware and…alone. It was all she could do not to fall into her chair. As it was, she swayed on her feet and took deep, shuddering breaths. She did not look at him, and he was strangely quiet. He knew he'd overstepped several bounds. She drew her gun and fired once into his neck without even looking. She emptied the rest of the clip in his direction for good measure.
"On your knees, Servant," she said when she found her voice again. "And promise me you will never do that again."
He obeyed the first command instantly. It took him a moment to regain his ability to speak; his jaw bone was knitting itself back together. "I give you my word, Master," he said at length. He did not stand immediately, but remained on his knees.
"You will remain in the dungeons until called for. You will not roam the house. You will not mock me, and you will learn your place. You will never touch me again without permission."
"Even if your life is in danger?" he queried.
"Especially not then," she said coldly. She looked him full in the face again, not afraid of his eyes. She had his promise, and he would not dare to break his word. He knew it would take more than that brief experience to daunt her, and that made him strangely glad.
"This is why I send you out against the Midians. You are not susceptible to such attacks," she said at last, acknowledging his place even in her anger.
"No, I am not." He stood again. "Though now you know why your grandfather never studied that in any detail. He slit his own wrists and offered them to me after the first trial. There was no second trial." He turned to leave, knowing his presence was no longer wanted.
"And Alucard?" He paused and looked back. "I'm telling Walter you're a terrible kisser."
She smiled at his look of panic. Walter was more than capable of making Alucard's life miserable if he thought the vampire was mistreating the Hellsing heiress…and they both knew it. Alucard supposed he deserved it this time.
Originally, this was meant to be a series of 7 one-shots, one for each day of the week. Two others were begun - Meeting Day and Sick Day - but never completed. This was always meant to be the final one. But now it looks as though I'll never finish the others, so I thought I might as well publish this as Part 4 of 4.
It is rather OOC for Alucard to toy with his Master this way, and of course Integra would never stand for it. But I couldn't resist the role reversal involved in this.
I hope you've enjoyed these little glimpses!