Their arms reach out for their victims as blood slides down their faces, gushing out of their ears and empty eye sockets. They are the army of the dead, they are the animated corpses, they are the puppets held loosely upon their strings. They are the kingdom of Alucard, Dracula, the nameless god of death. And as they march through battle, they have become him—they are his strength and his support; they are Atlas holding him aloft as he watches London burn.

And yet he wonders, even as he smiles grimly down at those who dare to oppose him, if they serve him or if he is a servant of theirs. When he looks into his reflection, he sees not one face but a million; he sees a world of the dead staring hopelessly back at him. How is he to know that his is not another one of those faces, lost amid the sea of pleading eyes? He is Alucard, he is Dracula, he is Rip van Winkle, he is Dandy, he is a man, he is a vampire, he is an empire. They look at him and say to themselves, he is just one being. He can be defeated.

Nothing is immortal—not God, not the Devil, and certainly not the vampire Alucard. All must fall to dust, all must rot away, all must perish, all must die. It is a chant that winds through the minds of all he battles—Anderson, Walter, the Major. It is the mantra that passes through his own head, keeping him alive, keeping him smiling as he lays waste another army, as he destroys another life. Without it, the strain of eternity would destroy him. Immortality does not smell of the divine heavens; it is the stench of death that he is constantly denied. Immortality is the sight of an open casket with the corpse of his rival happily smiling up at him. (He hates that sight.) He hates their serene eyes, gloating with that human pride, the pride of death—the only being to have ever defeated him.

They are all dying. As the city burns away, as the towers fall and the zeppelins crash, the world is ending. Fifty years of Armageddon unleashed within a single night. All that planning, all that energy, all that ambition—thrown away into the wind without a second thought. All the humans are dying, blissfully fading into the darkness of their afterlives as the monsters rise from their ashes with stolen hands and stolen eyes.

Only Integra remains; only Integra has the decency to remain human. To stand true to her nature and refuse to give in—it is what she is and will always be. The rest have left the world, watching from whatever divine realm they might have chosen, watching as their past falls apart with the clanging of the church bells.

They are all dying to become like him, thrusting their humanity away from them with the stab of a nail through their hearts or an artificial chip lodged beneath their skin. Do they revel in their own suffering; do they rejoice in the fact that they must feel the pain of their death with every blessed bullet he sends through their skulls? He hopes they feel something as he rips them apart. They have not betrayed their own causes. They have betrayed him with their lies and their weakness, their human fallibility.

He sees a child standing before him, a child born of betrayal and suffering. His hair is dark with blood and his eyes are wide and crimson; between his gloved hands there stretches a silver string, barely visible within the moonlight. A child dressed in black, grinning as he falls apart. Alucard can see it, even if the boy himself cannot. The Walter he had known was dead long before he set foot into battle—this child, this toy of the Nazis is nothing but a walking doll. Does he feel his puppet strings gleaming in the moonlight as he is set into the waltz? Does he look up and see the master's hands manipulating his shrunken limbs? It is hideous, it is gruesome; it is not human.

Humanity—has it become a plague? Is it so unbearable to die that one must thrust up their soul, their essence and cry to the heavens for unending torture? Alucard watches as they waste away and rot, wanting to ask 'was it so hard knowing that you would die?' To Alucard it is common knowledge—it is a right and ritual he has been denied for centuries.

Death denied the impaler; death spat in the face of the count; death laughs at the pitiful attempts of Alucard. For as long as he can remember, he has seen Death sitting upon his throne of human flesh, sneering down upon him and laughing as he stabs another stake through his still heart. Does it hurt, human? Does it hurt to feel the cold hand of death caress your skin?

The fire is spreading. The blood is rising through the streets. Somewhere in the distance, he can hear the prayers of the English as they are slaughtered by the dead soldiers. The landscape of Hell is the design of humans—the fire, the corpses, the blood. In his own mind's eye, Alucard believes Hell is comprised of a mirror, merely reflecting what one puts in front of it. If they want to see corpses, they will see rotting flesh torn away by carrion.

The puppets are dancing; their wooden legs are bending as they leap across the empty streets. The child, the thing, is laughing, marking his death in dark red letters upon his brow. Alucard is disgusted with immortality, with ecstasy, with lust; he is the only one who sees the rotting corpses. The dance is ending, the symphony is fading. Alucard will be the one to cut the puppet's strings, so that he can force their eyes upwards that they might see how they have been abused, fed to the river of death, fed to the monster without a name and a face.

Fed to the demon Alucard like fish to a caged whale, they are nothing but arrogant sacrifices made by their foolish masters.

War is a bleeding soldier with stolen crimson eyes, marching at the orders of a madman chasing forgotten dreams. War is his fledgling, blind and crippled, carried across the back of a wounded French man, tears of blood streaking down her pale inhuman face with each of his steps. War is his master, standing tall and still as she watches her world betray her. War is himself, in the guise of a child, beckoning Death for one last waltz, one final dance.

London is the dirge played at the hand of an aging English man wearing the stolen face of a child.

Author's note: What's with all the Hellsing drabbles? I have to ask, it's puzzling me… One shots aren't my thing normally

Oh well you read now you might as well review