Chapter 11

Closer to the Truth

Seras was sure she'd failed the mission, when the vampires got too close, and she'd taken too much damage. She had refused to let the red haze of bloodthirsty madness sweep over her senses. Her will refused to let go and be the vampire her master wanted her to be.

For that, she nearly died.

Instead, Walter had shown up, as if out of nowhere, and with grace, finished the job. His lanky body danced across a blood splattered field, the deadly thread dancing through the air, wispy, around his gloved hands.

He was standing next to her now, offering a hand. He'd removed the gloves. "Come, Seras Victoria."

"How-how-how…" she stammered. She was bleeding, and felt sore everywhere. Her body was healing itself, but sluggishly and not as effectively as it should have.

"Integra had me drive you here in the helicopter, but asked me to make sure you weren't aware, not unless you would absolutely need me. We didn't think you would, but without Alucard, we don't like to take chances."

Seras' cheeks reddened with shame.

"Get up, police girl," Walter said, with more sternness than he'd ever used with her. "Let's go."

Integra summoned Seras before she had a chance to clean herself up. She walked quietly into her master's master's office, hands held behind her back.

Integra was smoking, and had been for some time, for there was a haze of smoke hanging thickly in the air. The Hellsing master had one hand on her head where she leaned against it, and the other planted onto the table. Her eyes were closed until Seras walked in. Seras knew for a fact that Integra's human ears could not have heard her coming.

"Take a seat," she said through the cigar sticking out of her mouth.

Seras sat down.

"Look at me when I speak to you," Integra growled.

Seras lifted her chin.

"Why?" Integra spread out her hands. "Why? Why do you resist your nature? Why do you resist what it is you are, what you are made to be?"

Seras said nothing.

"Answer me, police girl."

"Because…I don't want to."

"Speak up, I can't hear you."

"Because I don't want to," Seras said.

"Yes, that's entirely correct."

Seras' arms crossed together over her stomach.

"I'm not even going to bother asking you why you resist. That fact is that you are resisting. You're not going to survive very long if you do—"

"No one asked me if I wanted to be this way!" Seras said, more loudly than she intended to.

"Oh really?" Integra's expression however didn't change.

"When Alucard asked me if I wanted to live, I said yes, but no one ever told me what it would cost—!"

"Shut up, shut up!" Integra slammed her hands down onto the table and stood up, and Seras was suddenly very scared, and forgot she was stronger than this woman. "Shut up, you selfish girl! You wanted to live, and Alucard gave it to you. He didn't have to, and he went through a lot of trouble for you. You want to squander the blood of the No-Life King? You'd rather die? So you'll starve yourself to death, you'll let the enemy take you, all for the sake of hanging onto what? To what? Your pride, is that it? Your pride! You are a vampire.

"This is the way things are now. You will drink blood, and you will eat flesh, otherwise, you will die."


"It is not in your power to determine what's right or wrong, simply based off what you want, what you feel is right. Damn your fickle feelings! The rules don't magically change because you feel like changing them. What you want will kill you, and that's that. So shut up, suck it up, and get out of my office before I lose my temper!"

The end of Integra's cigar had grown very bright, and smoke had been falling out of her mouth the entire time. Her cheeks were flushed, and her eyes were ablaze; white hot, blue eyes, shining in the dark.

Seras got up and got out, before she could cry.

Countless furry bodies bounced around her in the air, and took her through the sky. Maria gasped as she was lifted up closer to the moon. It felt effortless, the way the bats lifted her up into the sky. She sat up, and they pressed into her back to support the weight. It was more like being on a cloud, and she was sure it wasn't just a mass of bats under her, but something more. She stood and threw her arms up, trusting, and tilted her chin up to the sky. Her pale, blood stained hands glowered under the stars.

Breathe, she heard a voice in her head say.

It was hard to breathe in the cold air, so high up, with the wind rushing around her.

Breathe, the voice pressed, urgent, excited, and needy.

She forced her lungs to suck in the air, and it hurt, but a rush went through her, and she was wild and aware of everything. The stars were brighter, more intense, and the moon alive in the sky amongst them.

It's moving, I can see the moon, it's moving, she thought. I can feel it, racing through the sky around the earth, thousands of kilometers an hour, rushing through the nothingness, revolving only around one thing.

I love you, the same, deep voice said in her head.

I know.

Maria felt herself falling away from the sky, and she reached out again as she fell back. Her breath was stolen as she fell, and she fell fast.

She was gently laid across the ground. The grass under her was wet. She got up, shivering, and when she did a heavy, red coat was put over her shoulders. "Come," Alucard said. "Let's get you someplace safe and warm."

"I'm never safe with you," she said.

Alucard grinned. "But you are free."

"Sir," Walter came jogging into Integra's office. "We have…a problem."

"What kind of problem?" she growled. "Not a problem like yesterday, I hope."

"No, no. No vampires, it's…well, it's Alexander Anderson, sir. He's at the gates of the Hellsing estate, and he's furious."

She and Walter quickly made their way to the front of the grounds. Integra had her hands tucked into her coat pockets, and she approached the front gates with a leisurely swagger. She had heard Anderson's shouts from the other side of the property.

"Let me in, ye dogs!" Alexander's bayonets clanged against the gates. "Let me in at yer pet, Hellsing!"

His eyes were red, bloodshot, Integra noted, and his boots and pant legs are dirty.

"What's all this, then?" She walked up to the gate. "How may I help you, Judas Priest?

"Don' act like you don' know," he said. Anderson grabbed onto the gate bars. "Where's my sister?"

There was a pause, and Integra hid her peak of interest poorly. "Your sister?"

"Yes, my sister!" Anderson shook the gate. "Where is she? If Alucard has done anything to her," his voice was beginning to crack, and his voice was just a little too high, "I'll rip his fucking head off!"

"Anderson, I need you to listen to me." Integra stepped forward. "Alucard has gone missing. We don't know where he is, or what he's up to."

"Liar," Anderson growled.

"I don't lie," Integra said. Her eyes bored into Anderson. "I want to find Alucard, and you want to find your sister, and the fact that you've come here tells me we can help each other."

Anderson was looking a little less wild in the eyes.

"Good, now," Integra gestured to her left. The gate began to open. "Come with me."