Mornin'! Chapter 4, the longest of the lot as of yet, rewritten and ready for action! Finaly, I might add xD
DISCLAIMER: I don`t own anything I don`t own. :P
A/N: First of all, thanks to LiLa for betareading again:P Also, the character mentioned near the end, Alexander Ciel, is not mine. He was created by MissUzumakiHinata, a friend of mine. Though, he was originally created for another fandom, I got permission to write him in here:P He`ll pop up some more too, later.
WARNING: This chapter contains gore n`blood. Of course, since it`s a Hellsing story, you probably expected it, but I`ll warn you anyway.
"Jack! Jaaaack!" Seras shouted. She had been send to find him because Integra wanted to talk to him. She had quickly pinpointed his aura somewhere in his room, but he didn't answer when she shouted. At last, she gave up. She mentally connected to Jack's mind, searching for any clue to why he didn't answer. She recoiled almost instantly, because a veritable wall of physical formulas and such slammed into her. Through the stream of thoughts, she figured out that he was ignoring her shouting on purpose.
With a little "Hmpf!" she opened the door to his room and entered. The only living or undead thing inside it was Bastet, the cat, who was sleeping on the bed, purring ever so slightly. Seras walked over and started petting the cat as she took a look at the room. Apparently Jack had finished unpacking all his stuff. A large shelf had been put up on one wall, filled with books. Most of them were divided into two types: either fantasy/science fiction literature, or thick, boring-looking books about chemistry, physics, biology and similar.
Strange combination…. Seras thought. On the table in the middle of the room, a large chemistry-set was set up, with lots of different bottles and jars and such. A well used, and slightly singed, chemists coat was hanging over the chair.
Better not touch that… I don`t know what it is, Seras thought as she inspected some strange liquid in a bottle. It was green and slightly luminescent.
"Seras! Have you found Jack yet?" Integra's voice echoed in Seras' head.
"No Sir, I`m still searching," she replied, putting down the bottle of green stuff. If he wasn`t in here, the only place left was the bathroom. She walked towards the door and was perplexed by the fact that it was slightly open. She tentatively walked in, fully prepared to phase out again if he was naked. However, he wasn't there. Or so it seemed.
"Mornin'," a voice suddenly said. It sounded vaguely like Jack, but was kind of gurgly and somewhat darker, as if it came from under water… Which it actually had. Seras walked towards the tub, only to have her jaw drop slightly. In the tub, which was filled up with water, lay Jack, clad in swimming trunks, grinning like an idiot while waving at Seras.
"Wha…what are you doing in the tub?" Seras asked, dumbstruck by what she saw. What was going on here?
"Why, I`m experimenting of course! I've always wanted to try talking in water instead of air, but since that would mean I'd drown, I haven't been able to before. Now however, I can. Also, I'm reinforcing the theory of 'me-being-a-vampire'," he said. "Also, this water is ridiculously hot. I can't feel temperatures anymore. Or, I can feel them, but my body is not affected," he continued, his face dropping a little. "Well, at least it works both ways. I can't feel cold anymore either! YAY!" he said with another ridiculous grin.
"Eh… haven`t we already proven than you are a vampire?" Seras asked, fairly sure that they had.
"Well, yes. But that might have been a false result, since you folks were the ones to set up the tests, mostly. Now, when I'm making and executing the experiments myself, I can eliminate such insecurities in the test results. So far, it seems the theory is correct."
"Okay…. But, I was sent to find you. Sir Integra wants to talk you, so you should get dressed and get up to her office soon." Seras said, mentally telling herself that even after thirty years and a new vampire-recruit, she was still the only sane one here.
Jack coughed a bit as he prepared to knock on Integra's door. It was fun talking under water alright, but getting all the water out of his lungs again was a real bitch.
"Enter!" Integra's stern voice sounded as Jack knocked on the large ornamented oak doors.
"Mornin' Integra. Wazzap?" Jack asked, momentarily forgetting when and where he was, and who he was talking to, and falling back into habits created by talking too much to teens, and of course, being quite young himself.
"It is evening. And it is supposed to be 'What's up?'" Integra said with a rather cold voice. "And, you are to address me as either 'Sir' or 'Master'."
"Uhm….Okay….?" Jack answered, slightly stunned by the cold response. Apparently, this girl liked her titles. He looked up again and was met with an impatient Integra, tapping slightly on her desk. Suddenly, he remembered he had forgotten her title. Master sounds too kinky, so I think I`ll go with 'Sir'… he thought.
"Uhm, okay, eh, Sir."
"It'll do," Integra mumbled to herself when she heard the somewhat unenthusiastic reply. Raising her voice again, she continued while searching for a file on her desk. "I am about to give you your first mission. Since your marksman skills are somewhat…lacking, you will only be an observer on this mission. Your personal goal for the mission will be only to experience a typical Hellsing mission. You are not to engage any hostile targets, unless ordered by Seras, who will be the main agent on the mission. A small platoon of troops will also join you. Seras will instruct you in whatever you need to know." She stopped a bit, before fishing a small object out of her pocket. "And get Walter to sew these onto your uniform. You are ranked as a Lieutenant in the Hellsing Armed Forces, due to you being one of our special agents. This is in name only, since you have no experience or training, but as your training increases, so will your 'sphere of command,' and also your rank." The object she had pulled out from her pocket was a set of rank markings, to be sewn onto a uniform.
"Uh…Okay…? Sir?" Jack said, more or less stunned by the development. Lieutenant Jack? Had a nice ring to it, he had to say it.
"Go and fetch a gun from the armory, then report to Commander Seras. Some small arms, a Desert Eagle or something," Integra said before dismissing him with a wave. It was a very long time since she had been required to personally instruct a new recruit, and now she remembered why she didn`t like it at all.
Sheez, this is the only place where people categorize a Desert Eagle as 'small', even though it is technically small arms… Jack thought as he made his way out to do his tasks.
As he entered the armory, he saw that it was empty. Alex was probably down in the shooting range, one floor down. It didn't matter, for Jack knew the place inside out by now, since he had been here and fetched a weapon for his shooting training every single day the past week. Weird how quickly time passed when you were having fun, eh? Shooting was surprisingly fun, even though he still sucked pretty badly. At least he was starting to hit the right target now.
He walked over to the cabinet containing 'small' arms, and pulled out his key to it. He had been given that key so that he could practice whenever he wanted without needing to bother Alex, the care-taker of the armory, about it.
Jack plucked out a Desert Eagle, some ammo, the turned to leave. Then, he turned back again. If his aim sucked with one gun, wouldn't two guns double the number of bullets that hit? He quickly fetched another Eagle, and holstered both on each side of his hips him before walking towards the garage, where he assumed Seras was. He was feeling pretty darn cool as he walked down the hallway with the two guns at his sides. However, he deflated instantly when he opened the door to the garage and spotted Seras.
"What the hell is THAT?" he exclaimed, pointing at the ridiculously huge guns, no, cannons, she was lugging around.
"Oh, hello Jack. This? This is the Harconnen II," She replied cheerily. Jack just shook his head. By now, he was convinced that he was the only sane person around. Which was kind of sad he thought, since defining him as 'sane' was insane in itself. A guy who blows up stuff for fun, sane?
Suddenly, he noticed all the other people milling around. They were clad in a roughly similar uniform as he was, just with a bullet-proof vest and some other additions. Like, for example, a BAERLKS assault weapon. Suddenly, the Desert Eagles on his hips felt very small.
"Uhm… Should I go fetch one of those bullet-proof vests?" Jack asked Seras, who didn't wear one either. She was still wearing that uniform with the ridiculously short skirt. In his mind, Jack commented that the uniform was probably designed by someone with the hots for her. Possibly that old dude, Walter. Pervy old man…. he thought, before chuckling a bit. Well, I guess I can be classified as pervy myself, so I don't mind. Jack was practically just waiting for Seras to drop something so that she had to bend over to pick it up.
"Jack! Stop thinking pervy things about me this instant!" Seras' voice suddenly echoed in his mind. He gave her a glare, but complied. He had to figure out a way to keep her out of his mind.
Half an hour later, he was wedged in between Seras and the wall inside an armoured truck that was speeding toward their target. Not that he minded being squeezed into Seras, but it made it rather hard to think about non-pervy things. And of course, Seras was monitoring his every thought. His thought process was something like this:
Holy shit, I`m close to her. Shit, do not think about her boobs!
q=Q+W, where q is internal energy, Q is heat energy and W is work…
DAMNIT I'm getting a boner, nonononono….
P=N/A, where P is pressure measured in Pascal, N is newton, the force applied, and A is the area the force is applied to…
Holy shit she`s hot, both literaly and figuratively…
At least he was trying. Every time his thoughts veered off towards Seras, he reined them in by thinking of physical formulas, like the formula for internal energy and the formula to determine pressure. It worked, to some extent. However, Seras was still wearing a scowl deeper than her cleavage when she exited the truck.
"So…. What am I supposed to do here?" Jack mumbled to himself. Integra had said he was only there to watch, but a little briefing would have been nice. As if on cue, Seras called the soldiers together for a briefing. Or, more correctly, she called Jack over to all the other soldiers, who knew the routine.
"This mission is more or less standard. We have an unidentified number of hostile targets inside this house," she started before pointing at a large warehouse in the distance. "They have been kidnapping local citizens for the last few weeks, so be prepared for possible hostages. Also, note that we have not identified them as vampires yet, just something paranormal." Seras stopped and started to sniff in the air a bit. Suddenly, the smell of blood hit Jack like a truck, and he staggered backwards a step. His stomach growled and his eyes turned red for a moment. He had been living on mostly tomato-soup for the last week, since it was too freaky for him to drink blood just yet. No-one noticed the slight change however, for Seras had started talking again.
"There is a smell of blood in the air. Fresh and human. The hostage may still be alive, but be prepared for ghouls." Jack had regained his balance after the blood smell, and shuddered a bit at the thought of ghouls. He thought to himself that if he found any ghouls, he would kill them, even when ordered to just observe. Seras picked up the thought, but pretended not to. She realized that he needed a bit of revenge, even if it was just on random ghouls. Besides, he desperately needed the combat experience.
"Move out guys!" Seras said, picking up her cannons. She would use them, since the insides of the warehouse was most likely spacey, allowing the use of the Harconnen guns. She aimed down the barrel of the gun and fired a salvo at the door, blowing it straight off the hinges. Within moments, the well-trained soldiers were inside the building, searching for hostiles. However, when they got through the smokescreen created by the blast, they quickly noted that the warehouse had been refitted inside, and was now a veritable maze of corridors and hallways. Seras was forced to discard her cannons outside and fetch a BAERLKS instead.
Strange… she thought. Our common foes are rarely this…resourceful. Especially the FREAKs.
"Be on your guard guys, this might not be of the usual type," she warned over the comlink as the platoon spread out into different directions. Lagging behind was Jack, leisurely pacing behind Seras' squad. He wasn't here to do any shooting anyway, so why be up front, where there was a higher chance of getting mowed down by a machine-gun or something? As he walked through the hallway, he lagged further and further behind. He stopped now and then to inspect the corpses on the ground, left by the squad as it advanced. They were human. And if that wasn't odd enough, they were all wearing some kind of black robes. There were holding various weapons, mostly assault-weaponry. Jack briefly wondered where they had gotten hold of those when he heard a swishing sound behind him. He slowly turned around, only to spot one of the robed men pointing a gun at his face.
"Uh oh. Not good," Jack simply said.
"Indeed. Now, tell me where your squadleader is," the robed man said. His voice was odd. It sounded hissing and thin, as if his vocal chords were weak.
"Uhm… Over there…" Jack said, pointing towards where Seras had dissappeared to, trying to not reveal his fangs. Maybe this douche would take him for a normal soldier and let him go. Or at least, not splatter his brains all over the wall. Jack was fairly confident that he wouldn't survive that just yet. Luckily for Jack, he didn't shoot him. Instead, he suddenly moved closer, then slammed the butt of the gun straight into Jack's face, knocking him out. Or at least, that was the plan. Jack didn't pass out, but he pretended to, and collapsed backwards, into a pile of bodies. As the robed man turned to stalk after Seras and the squad, Jack slowly rose to his feet, trying not to alert the man. He slowly got his guns out, and took aim at the man as he walked down the hallway.
The sound of the first shot echoed down the hallway, quickly followed by three more. The first shot hit the man straight in the back of his head, practically exploding it. The next two missed, but the fourth hit him in the chest.
"He-hey! Headshot on my first kill! Lucky shot, but still," Jack said. He had momentarily forgotten that it was a real living man he had just shot to death, thinking of it more like a game. He ran over to the man's corpse, intent on looting it for any signs on who he was, and why he was there.
Why not? He thought. When I'm here, I can at least check if I can find anything useful. Maybe some cash too. The pay sucks at Hellsing…
But, before he could get that far, he was suddenly slammed into the wall. Something had hit him in the side, sending him flying to the other side of the corridor, making him drop one his guns and knocking him silly. As the stars in his eyes began to fade, he found himself staring into a face. However, it didn't look like a normal face; the skin was gray and stretched, giving the illusion that the face was a cranium, momentarily stunning Jack. The eyes were sunken and hollow, further enhancing the image.
"What the…?" he mumbled. But then, he got a better look on what was standing over him. The man standing over him was clad in robes, just as the other men here, but more elaborate. His arms, protruding from the robes, were skinny and frail-looking, and his whispy black hair clung to his skull. The things nose was gone, and only two holes were left. All in all, the man looked like a shriveled up corpse than anything else.
What the hell is that? Jack thought, completely shocked. As a response, the thing let out a hiss and lifted up Jack, throwing him straight through the wall before jumping through the hole after him. Jack was still disoriented after the 'trip' through the wall, but he managed to gather that he was in some kind of shrine. Apparently, it was dedicated to… death? Jack flipped around and lifted his gun, barely managing to fire at the approaching enemy before it lunged at him. The bullet slammed straight into its chest, apparently hitting a major vein, since gray-brownish blood sprayed out of the wound. The dead thing gave away a sound that sounded like the bastard child of a whimper and a hiss, before staggering backwards and collapsing into the rubble left by Jack's trip through the wall.
Jack slowly got to his feet, momentarily stunned. He walked over to the limp form, and inspected the wound for a short while, before turning to the shrine. This was definitely worth inspecting. But before he could do anything more than take a quick look at the statue sitting on the altar, a cold and unbelievably stinky breath came down his neck. It smelled like death. Jack turned around, and stood face to face with the thing. Again.
"Oh shit," he simply said. The thing had regenerated its wound, and was now pissed beyond comparison. Before Jack could react, he brought his arm back, then shot it forward, straight into Jack's gut, punching a hole through most of his stomach. The hand barely missed Jack's spine and instead crunched through a rib or two, exiting Jack's body on the other side. Jack's brain was sledgehammered with the sensation of immense pain, and he numbly grabbed the seemingly frail arm, mostly as a reflex. His eyes rolled wildly, and the pain threatened to overwhelm him, but he forced his mind back to reality. If he passed out here, he would most likely die. Not that he had a chance anyway, but at least he wanted to die fighting.
Jack's right arm, still holding the gun, shakily lifted and pointed the weapon into the beast's chest and pumped five rounds into it. Jack only stopped firing because he was out of ammo. The thing jerked with each silver bullet, which sent shivers of agony shooting through Jack's spine, and he nearly fainted again. He managed to stick to reality, however.
The vampire and the monster stood there for several agonizing seconds as the obviously more experienced opponent pushed out the bullets from its chest and regenerated, still with its right hand inside Jack's stomach, which had ever so slowly begun to heal. Jack was still pointing the now useless gun against the man's chest, concentrating too much on staying conscious rather than bothering to move the arm. The thing grinned, revealing long wicked fangs, brought up his left arm and slowly put it on top of the Desert Eagle's barrel. A screeching sound was heard as it squeezed down on the weapon, deforming the barrel into something similar to a clump of metallic putty.
"Oh….fuck…" Jack mumbled through the haze of pain. The thing, apparently some sort of vampire, grinned even wider, then suddenly brought his right arm sideways. Jack, still impaled on it, was thrown halfway across the room as he slid off the blood-slick arm, ending up in a pile of rubble on the floor, created by him slamming into the wall with the force of a two-ton truck driving 40 km/h.
The vampire approached the limp form on the ground. Now their roles had been reversed. That first of those thrice-cursed silver bullets of his had barely missed his heart, which had stunned him. Now it was payback time. It stalked over to the limp vampire, then bent over to lift him up by the throat. Jack had been slowly regenerating, and was not bleeding as much anymore, but his innards were still hanging outside the stomach. He had passed out from the crash, and was just now regaining his senses. The thing hissed, then smashed his fist straight into Jack`s face, breaking his jawbone. He continued to pummel him for a while, breaking several ribs and his nose, before throwing Jack across the room with all the might he could muster. A sickening crack was heard as Jack crashed through the wooden outside of the wall only to smash against a brick wall on the other side.
The vampire stalked forward, intent on finishing the job. He planned on chrushing the fledgling vampire's skull, and if that didn't do the job, rip out his heart. However, before he arrived at the pile of rubble, a low growl reached its ears. It whirled around, expecting to see an enemy, or maybe the senior vampire, his Master, that had been residing here. Nothing presented itself, and he cautiously sniffed the air. The only thing he could smell was that annoyingly resilient vampire… But wait. The scent…It was changing. Instead of expelling horomones that were consistent with the feeling of pain and hopelessness, it was now radiating… fury?
He turned back towards the rubble containing the vampire. Instead of being a limp form there, the vampire had risen to stand first shakily, then more firmly, on its feet. Its left arm was broken, a bone extending out of it, and the gut wound was still large, nose and jawbone still broken, in addition to countless small cuts and slices caused by the crashes into various walls. The vampire… It didn't look like it had before. Instead of an insecure rookie, the being standing before him exuded the air of a seasoned warrior. Shadows seemed to cling to it as it growled loudly. It grabbed its left arm with its right, and with a sickening crunch forced it back into place so that it could start healing properly. It only winced slightly. It turned around, ripped out two meter-long pipes out of the wall, before turning back, brandishing the metal pipes as a pair of swords.
With a roar of pure rage, the vampire…no, monstrosity, charged towards him. The first contact between the two combatants was the right pipe slamming into the man's right arm with inhuman strength, utterly crushing it. The second was the left pipe connecting with the chest, going right under the raised arm. It broke three ribs, and left a bloody dent in the thing's upper body before being retracted. Suddenly, the vampire spun around and down, and the two pipes connected with the thing's knees, pulverizing them, forcing him to the ground. With a flurry of blows, the vampire methodically started to slam the other vampire into submission, hitting his foe so hard the blunt weapons started to cut slightly. It was an unstoppable monster, and continued to pummel the poor thing until he was barely alive, despite the impressive vampiric resilience.
Stepping back, the vampire panted for breath, watching the limp form on the floor before him. With one surge of strength, the vampire smashed both pipes, which had been deformed into just long clumps of steel, right into his opponents skull, crushing it utterly. As the vampire died, it crumbled to dust, leaving only the shattered skull.
Jack staggered backwards, exhausted beyond comparison. He had no idea what had just happened. Suddenly, as he had been lying in the pile of rubble, a seething, burning rage had built up inside him. His strength had returned tenfold, and his agony seemed like just a mosquito-bite. He had pummeled the hostile vampire to death with a pair of steel pipes, ripped out from a wall. But now, the energy faded, and the pain returned, even greater than before. He couldn't take it anymore, and slowly let himself slide down the wall, and passed out leaning on it, still clutching the pipes, which had finger-marks on them.
Seras swore like a drunken sailor, startling several soldiers close by. When she and her squad had been stalking the corridors of the warehouse, they had encountered a large vampire, but not a Nosferatu, who had promptly ripped open three men before engaging Seras in close-combat. She had won without too many problems. Apparently, the thing had no idea how to fight another full-blood vampire, even though it had obviously fought FREAKs before. Seras' shape-shifting had startled it long enough for Seras to probe its mind for some clues on what was going on. She caught glimpses of what had been going on in the building the last few weeks, horrible images of human sacrifice. Apparently, there had been two of them there, who had been revered as gods by the humans the Hellsing soldiers had fought all over the building. However, Seras had only found and dispatched one of them. The other one, the younger one, was still on the loose. And, she had lost Jack.
Seras dusted off the ash from the dead vampire, and immediately ordered her squad to start searching for the other one. She broke off from her squad, running in Jack's direction, having found him with her mind. He was unconscious, which had unsettled her.
Damnit, I can't loose him on the first mission! Integra`ll stake me to death for sure…. she thought as she raced through a few walls, phasing as she ran. Finally, she arrived in the room where Jack was supposed to be. What she saw stunned her. The room itself was littered with ritual objects, and in one corner, something that looked like human remains were rotting. In the middle of the room, a large bloody altar was standing. However, three of the walls were ruined, and a spot of ash shaped like a man was on the floor by the altar.
Then, she spotted Jack. He was slumped against the one remaining wall, and he was holding two long bloodied pieces of metal, which might have been metal pipes once. His guts were trying to drag themselves into his stomach again, hanging mostly outside a large hole in his stomach, though the hole was slowly shrinking. His left arm had a large gash in it, and Seras could glimpse bone underneath. His jawbone and nose both seemed odd, as if they had been broken. Seras touched his jawbone, and it moved in odd ways, in addition to a slight crunching sound. It was broken alright. In addition to this, he had numerous small cuts all over his body.
Seras kneeled beside Jack, taking measure of his injuries. None of them were fatal, but they had to hurt like hell. Seras quickly stuffed Jack's guts inside him again, trying not to think of what she was doing, before she gathered him up and started carrying him outside while informing the soldiers over the comlink that she had found both Jack and the other hostile vamp.
"So… What really happened in there?" Seras asked. She had returned to the Hellsing Mansion with the unconscious Jack and dropped him off in the medical ward. The resident doctor, Alexander Ciel, commented that the Rookie had already visited him as many times as all the other vampires combined. A moment earlier, Seras had delivered her report to Integra, and Alucard said he knew what had happened to Jack.
"He entered a form of berserker-mode. It is probably one of his characteristic vampiric abilities. In that state, he doesn't feel pain, and his strength is increased. Also, he will not stop attacking until the target is dead or he himself dies. Of course, you will be able to rein him in, Master. Or, if necessary, direct his wrath."
"Will he be dangerous in this…berserker state?" Integra implored. If he was a potential danger to her men, she would be forced to either seal his powers away, or possibly put him down.
"No. His mind is still in full control over his actions, and therefore he will recognize allies."
"Good." Integra said. She thought about today's finds in the ware-house. A cult dedicated to vampires? This wasn't good. Not only had there been a human-sacrificing cult in there, but two real vampires as well. They weren't of the Nosferatu bloodline, obviously, but rather from the Necrarchs. They were rare, and finding two at once was alarming.
"But, master… If this berserker-state Jack is in is a vampiric ability, doesn't that mean you can do it too? Since we're your descendants? And, is my…bloodlust-mode the same thing?" Seras wondered.
"Hehehe… Yes, I can also enter the same kind of berserker-mode. However, I haven`t needed to use it for centuries. Your bloodlust-mode is not the same, however. It is a weaker version, especially since you are not in complete control over your own actions."
"Oh." Seras sat down in the sofa inside Integra's office, pondering tonight's mission, especially Jack's actions. Seras didn't know if he had attacked the Necrarch by himself, or if it had attacked him first, and depending on which it was, he might get punished. He had been ordered to just observe, after all.
After some time, she decided to not think about it anymore. When Jack woke up tomorrow they'd find out anyway.