Chapter 1: Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend,
Ive come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

The nightmare, the memory, the horror that haunted her now. The night that she was terrorized, threatened, horrified, terrified, and turned. She talked through it all to her master. He surprised her by listening to every word she said, not interrupting, not asking questions, just listening and stroking her hair. His presence, his touch, was soothing.

She drank in his presence as she surrenedered the terror that haunted her that night, and the memories it brought to her, and the sadness that enveloped it all. For this story, she started at the beginning of the end, and worked from there. It was how it made sence.

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of
A neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

She had been calm, almost confident even, when she had walked into the church with her squad mates from D-11. When she had watched both of them beign killed like that, she hadn't been so confident any more, and certainly not calm. Calm was not the word to describe her at that point. At that moment she had been terrified, but as she ran the terror had morphed into a mix of horror and anger.

Emotions that spiked when that false preist had layed his clammy hands on her. Hands that were as cold as the grave he belonged in. Grey skin, but not like the ghouls, who were a rotten grey. The vampire priest was just an unhealthy looking pallid-grey, like he'd been under the weather and out of the sun for too long. But he hands were too grabby, and she didn't like that.

His voice had oozed with personal gratification as he had told her that he didn't need a fledgling, that he certainly didn't need a willful one like her. That he would take his time to enjoy raping her before he made himself drunk on her sweet blood and had her join her team in his legion of undead slaves. No matter how strong a woman is, the fear of rape is deep-seated and powerful. Seras had screamed, and struggled harder.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one deared
Disturb the sound of silence.

It truly was an army of ghouls. The wretch fed, no, gorged himself on the entire village, but that wasn't the worst thing. The very worst was that even the children of the village were rotten grey with glowing eyes and holding weapons. He'd raped and fed from children as well. Seras didn't even bother to wonder where this vampire had gotten all the weapons, a few of them were probably privately owned by the villagers before he fed on them, others – like the machine guns – had likely come from the black market, where they were cheap and plentiful.

The scum had plunged one hand down to the apex of her legs and started rubbing her through the three layers she was wearing that night – police issue trousers, a pair of long-johns she had thought ahead to wear for the late-autumn night, and of course her underwear – and she had tried to discourage him by kicking his shins or planting a stomp on his instep.

He hadn't been deterred. He'd even started shifting the hand that was groping harshly at her breast towards the button of her uniform shirt. That was when he had come, dressed in red and black, and telling her captor about his imminent future, courtecy of the Hellsing Organisation.

Seras was scared now, not for herself any more, even if her situation hadn't really changed, but for this stranger all dressed in red. Did he not realise how impossibly he was out-numbered? What about the people who would be left behind if – when – he didn't return to them? Why did he stand there and talk when he should be running far away from there?

When the freakshow who was holding onto her gave the order to open fire, she screamed against it. She didn't know him, but she didn't want him to die. She would have run out and stood before him, taking the bullets instead, if she only could. That her death would happen that night was something she knew, but she at least wanted the right to decide how she went. If she died protecting the stranger, then at least she would have had a good death. Like her father's. He had died protecting her mother, who had died protecting her, and she had killed their murder as he raped a colling corpse. Those were her thoughts as she watched the man being gunned down, and his blood pooling beneath him.

Fools, said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

The unbridled relief she felt when she saw him stand up again cancelled out her fear of being raped, even surpassed the shock of seeing the blood flowing strangly back towards him and filling in every injury he had taken. Then he'd pulled out the gun and started shooting the ghouls. Did that mean she could hope? Hope for rescue from this night?

The ghouls were gone. He had laid waste to them all with his silver gun – larger than any handgun she had ever seen before, and working in the police station gave her the opportunity to see many guns. She could hear the vampire who was holding her burbling in panic. That was something she'd seen before. He'd lost control of the situation and was trying to bargain his way out of it. From the expression on the face of the stranger, he wasn't impressed.

Seras wasn't listening to her captor, she was focusing on the stranger, but she still heard some of what the creep said. The stranger was a vampire as well. She didn't know what to think of that. Obviously they were very different, but she supposed that, like any two people were different, vampires were as well.

She was the last survivor. She was held between the creep and the bullet. She was being used as a bargaining chip. She was asked about her chastity, which seemed a little much, but she was relieved to be able to answer yes, that the creep hadn't gotten that far yet. She felt the bullet tear through her, and screamed in pain.

That was where the dream stopped, the nightmare. Once she woke up though, the memories of the night kept coming.

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warninag,
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whisperd in the sounds of silence.

Through the pain, she saw him standing over her. Was barely able to make out the words he said. She was dying. Of course, hurting as much as she did, it made sense that she was dying. Seras had never believed that there was such a thing as a painless death, except perhaps by drugs, or of old age in your sleep, but she never expected such a death for herself. Somehow, she had expected a painful death like this.

It didn't feel over though. Her life that is. There was something, someone, she could reach out to, and if she died without reaching, then she would have lost something. She wanted to know that she was with someone when she died. She had lived most of her life alone, lonely, or separate from those around her. Dying the way she had lived was probably some kind of poetry, but someone was there, and while they were, and she still had some little amount of strength, she would reach out to them.

She hadn't expected to wake up from that night.