Hellsing X Soul Eater

Chapter Twelve

"Ouch! Who just poked me in the side?" Liz demanded. She squinted around her, but the utter darkness of the room they were cramped in prevented her from seeing a thing.

"Sorry, Liz, I think that was me," Maka's voice apologized nearby.

"Did it feel like this?" asked Soul on Liz's other side. A second later Patty started laughing. "Stop it Soul that tickles! Hahahaha!"

"Oops. Wrong Thompson sister, my bad." Even not being able to see him, there was a smile reflected in his tone. He was enjoying the chance at mischief.

The DWMA stood in a small, enclosed space, unable to see or move. They had spent the past few minutes in the small and cramped pitch-black room, having lost Walter on the way through the secret passage way that lead to the underground chamber.

"Maka! Where are you? Are you okay? Daddy's coming, darling!" Spirit announced. His succumbing to claustrophobia was making him more protective than usual.

"I'm fine. Leave me alone!" Maka demanded nearby Spirit. He turned and used his hand to feel for his daughter. He felt a girl standing nearby, and grabbed her into a death hug. "Daddy's here darling! I'll protect you!"

"Um…Mr. Death Scythe….can you let me go?" Tsubaki squeaked uncomfortably. Spirit dropped her like she was a hot iron. "Tsubaki! Sorry about that. I thought your boobs were too big to be Maka's anyway…."

Suddenly, a small light appeared from the darkness as Stein lit one of his cigarettes. The tiny flicker drew everyone's eyes to it, then to his face, lit up in an eerie light. "Everyone calm down," he ordered. "This is standard procedure. Just keep quiet and stop shoving." There was an annoyed edge to his voice.

"What's going on here, Stein?" Spirit asked, annoyed. "What do you mean 'standard procedure'?"

"They have to make sure we aren't vampires, or werewolves in disguise," the doctor explained. He grinned, his glasses reflecting the small amount of light, making them look white. "Or that we're bringing in unauthorized weapons."

That brought a nervous chuckle from the teenagers. "How will we know if we pass their tests?" Tsubaki asked nervously.

"If we hadn't passed them, we'd already be dead. We've been traveling through various booby traps that would be activated if we weren't human."

"And this cramped room? What sort of test is this?" Liz demanded.

"More than likely, this is a measure of our night vision capabilities. Vampires can see perfectly in the dark. If we were vampires, we wouldn't be bumping around and running into each other. They're probably watching our reactions to this darkness."

"How comforting," Soul murmured. "We're being spied on."

"The Queen of England is part of this council. No chance can be taken lightly," the Death Scythe said quietly.

"Exactly. It's now a waiting game until they decide we're clean." With the low light the doctor caught Black Star scowling intently at him. Stein turned away and closed his eyes against the headache that had been gaining strength the past few moments. He turned the screw once, but the motion didn't alleviate the headache. It wasn't just a light migraine, or even a stress headache that was bothering him. Even without being able to talk, Black Star is still causing me trouble, Stein realized.

The boy had been fighting against the Soul Sutures ever since they'd been implanted, and it was giving Stein a headache keeping them in place. If wouldn't have been as bad if he'd been able to keep a hold on the boy. Stein was powerful, and could keep his Sutures intact for long periods of time, but Black Star was just as determined to break free. It was a battle of willpower, and Stein was at a slight disadvantage because he had to worry about keeping the students alive at the Conference as well.

"Ah, I almost forgot. Since I have you all together, Meisters, I have one order that must be obeyed to the letter. Do not, I repeat, do not read the soul of the man in the red hat and coat. Do you understand?"

Though addressed to everyone, Stein's comment seemed to be focused on Maka. She was the most adept at reading the souls of her enemies.

"Why?" Maka asked. It would be difficult enough to keep her head in the conference, but not read any souls? That was like asking someone to not judge the strength of a handshake, or look over your shoulder in a dark alley. It was instinctual, and it was a lifesaver sometimes.

"The man in the red coat is Hellsing's vampire, Alucard. A vampire's soul is not a kishin egg. It is a black hole of evil and suffering. I've seen Meisters go mad gazing at the soul of a vampire only 80 years old. Alucard is centuries old."

The students became quiet at this blatant danger. "Is he going to eat us?" Patty asked, sounding more curious than worried.

"Only if Sir Integra lets him," Stein answered. "Stay on her good side, stay away from Alucard, and we'll be just fine."

At that, a rectangle of light appeared to the side as a hidden door opened, flooding the room with golden light. Everyone shielded their eyes to the intrusion, which was blocked by a familiar silhouette-its monocle gleamed eerily in the light.

"The Council has agreed to speak to you, Stein," Walter announced.

It took a moment for their eyes to adjust to the light. Once the multicolored spots disappeared, the DWMA group was able to step forward into the enormous meeting room.

"Wow, this place is HUGE! Kid, what is this place?" Patty asked enthusiastically, barely able to suppress her excitement.

"It's a council room, Patty. A place where important people get together to talk about important things," he answered, taking the place in as he walked forward. He greatly appreciated the even number of pillars holding up the ceiling surrounding the table.

"It's old money, that's for sure," Liz mumbled, taking in the ornaments that had been carved in the trim and on the pillars surrounding the enormous table. "This room looks pretty old in general."

As they stepped through the threshold, a wave of energy seemed to pass through them. It came in pulses, like a heartbeat, and made the students pause uneasily. They looked around for answers.

My God, he's gotten powerful…Stein thought to himself. Integra, what have you created in my absence? Suddenly having the students with him seemed a foolish move, a stupid risk that was only going to end in tragedy down the road.

"Ignore it," Stein said, low enough for the group around him too hear, but not the council members. "We have a job, and we won't be distracted."

Kid was staring pointedly across the room, at a tall thin man in a red coat, and his eyes narrowed. The reaper could tell those pulses came from Alucard, his very power pulsing off of him in place of the heart he no longer had. He glanced at Stein warily.

"Let's go, they won't like waiting," Stein said pointedly, making his way towards the table.

The long table could have easily sat 50 people, but less than a dozen where there. At the opposite end of the room was a chair, with an older woman in a blue business suit sitting in it and watching them intently. Two guards complete with sunglasses and suits, flanked the prim and proper royal matron.

Maka's footsteps suddenly felt heavy, as though she had begun walking through wet sand. Her heart jumped into her throat. Eyes darting all over, she saw the suited men around the table, and another man in the same soldier uniform from earlier. A woman in yellow stood next to them, but other than that she couldn't notice details.

Besides the Queen, Maka's eyes were locked on the tall man in the red coat. Alucard! She could feel the pulses of energy coming off the old vampire, and became overcome with fear. What if I read Alucard's soul? What if I go insane? Who's gonna watch Crona? I can't go in there!

A strong hand wrapped around Maka's, jerking her forward a little while pulling her from her fears. Soul's big red eyes stared into Maka's intently. "Calm down, Maka," he barely whispered, keeping her moving with the group. "Just be cool like me. You work with Lord Death every day! A dusty vampire is nothing to be nervous about, got it? What's he going to do, chase you off his lawn with a cane?"

It was a poor attempt at a joke, but Soul was trying to get Maka back in charge. She looked at her partner, and was able to swallow her fear for the most part. Partially, the idea of being in front of the most powerful woman in England was still a nerve-wracking thought. Being in front of a powerful vampire was downright frightening. Compared to Lord Death's Reaper Chop, though… "Thanks, Soul, I'm…I'm okay."

They walked quickly forward and were able to melt back into the group, led by Stein towards the council table. Spirit walked alongside Stein, matching the long strides with his own. "So, Stein, what's the plan?"

"Try to explain the situation at hand while making sure Alucard doesn't eat any of the students."

"Sounds easy enough," Spirit muttered quietly.

"Sir Integra," Sir Irons said gravely, "is this your idea of a joke? This is not a daycare! Children have no place in the Round Table Conference!"

Before Sir Integra could retaliate, Stein was standing before the table. The students stood a ways behind him, looking around the room or at the council members curiously. The teenage Weapons and Meisters were completely forgotten when the tall, lanky scientist stood before them with a huge screw shoved straight through his head.

"My name's Doctor Fraken Stein," he addressed the Council, sounding almost bored while doing so. "They are my students, as well as a valuable asset to the fight that's about to occur."

"Who exactly are you affiliated with? What is your occupation, Dr. Stein?" asked Sir Penwood.

"I'm a teacher and Meister at the Death Weapon Meister Academy. On the side, I'm a researcher, specializing in occult technology."

The members of the Council looked at each other. No one was exactly sure what the DWMA was, and no one was unwilling to ask and look ignorant.

A female voice spoke up instead, and Stein turned towards the Queen as she asked the question on everyone's mind. "I've never been briefed on its existence, Doctor. What is this Academy exactly?"

Spirit actually spoke up, surprising Stein. "Your Majesty, it's an honor to meet you. I, too, am a member of the DWMA, so allow me to explain."

He held up four fingers for everyone to see, counting off his points as he spoke. "There are four types of people in this world that is recognized by the DWMA. Most of the human population is made up of normal, everyday people. A small percentage of people fall into the category of either being a Weapon, or a Meister. Lastly, there are the Monsters. It is the job of the DWMA to train Weapons and Meister to destroy the monsters while protecting the normal people."

"What exactly do you mean by 'Weapons,' and 'Meisters,'?" the Queen asked, plainly curious.

Spirit stood straight and straightened his tie. "Weapons are people who have the ability to physically turn themselves into weapons. They can change into anything, from guns to scythes at a moment's notice. Weapons are paired with Meisters who can match their souls together and wield them. A Weapon and Meister properly paired can destroy the Devil himself."

The other members of the Council looked thoroughly doubtful, to the point that Maxwell scoffed outright at the idea. "What ridiculous lies! Such things do not exist."

"You, a member of the Catholic Church, are scoffing at the idea of transformation?" Stein chuckled. "I wonder if that would be considered sacrilegious."

Maxwell stood suddenly in anger, and everyone tensed. It took everything in her for Sir Integra to not cover her face with a hand in embarrassment, and Alucard cracked a small smile. Anyone taking stabs at the Church gained his approval.

The Queen actually broke the tension. "Those children….they are these 'weapons' and 'meisters' correct?"

"Yes, Your Majesty," Stein nodded.

"Then, before we continue, I suggest you give the order for them to change into weapons. " The Queen's tone did not betray whether she believed Spirit's claims or not. Her two bodyguards glanced back at her uncertainly, and their hands moved towards the weapons hidden in their coats.

"Sir?" Maka asked Stein, quietly. The doctor turned back to the students, and nodded. "They won't believe us otherwise," he said, loudly enough for the people around the table to hear.

Tsubaki looked at the Thompson sisters with a slight blush, and they just looked a little worried. Changing into a weapon was usually second nature, but to do it before this group as a demonstration felt weird, almost embarrassing. When the three girls looked at Soul, however, he gave them a thumbs-up and a giant fanged smile. The girls immediately felt better, seeing how calm their scythe friend was behaving. If Soul wasn't worried, then they had no reason to be either.

A few flashes of light later, and a few gasps rang out around the table as a Maka held a scythe, Kid held two pistols, and Black Star silently held a giant ninja-throwing star a meter across. Maka gripped Soul harder than necessary, making the scythe hiss in pain. Maka! What are you freaking out over?

Maka refused to look at the other end of the room, where the Queen was seated. But the royal matron did not have Maka almost shaking in her boots. The pulsing waves of soul energy she could feel were coming from the vampire in red, Alucard. Can't you feel it, Soul? I can feel the vampire's energy….I'm terrified that I'll look at his soul and go insane!

Pull yourself together Maka! You're acting like Crona, for god's sake! I will go limp and knock you over in front of all these guys and the QUEEN if you don't knock this off!

I can't just stop being scared, Soul!

Just pretend you aren't scared, and you'll start believing it! Be scared later, not now!

Alucard watched the students with an intrigued look gracing his pale features. He had heard of weapons and meisters, but it was rare to see them in person! I wonder if I have the capabilities to be a Meister….the vampire king wondered to himself, intrigued at the possibility of what weapon he would wield, what powers he would have.

His attention was brought to the girl with the pigtails, and a predatory grin spread across his face.

She was trying very hard to not look his way, too hard in fact. He could smell her terror from across the room, and it was a wonderful scent, one that made him want to bear his fangs and scare the hell out of her. Integra probably would not appreciate that.

Within a few seconds, the girl stopped shaking, and he could hear her heart stop hammering away so ferociously. She took a few deep breathes, and seemed to be pulling herself together. However, he could see that the sudden courage was just an act, a thin veil to protect herself against him. Yes, definitely going to give her the scare of her life later.

Black Star looked around at the other DWMA members, and glared at Stein, whose headache suddenly pulsed to an almost unbearable stab, similar to when the screw first had been implanted. The professor concentrated, and Black Star shuddered as pressure suddenly increased around his neck. The stabbing sensation lessened as Black Star stopped fighting. Stein couldn't keep the sutures in place for much longer. Just last out the meeting, he told himself.

Everyone around the table had a shocked and/or intrigued look on their face after witnessing the transformation take place. Even Sir Integra, who had only the vaguest notion about who Stein had been working with, was also in awe. It was one thing to see vampires and ghouls, but they did not deal with black magics very often, and she had never heard of people with the ability to transform into weapons! She looked at her butler (who had an eyebrow raised in surprise), curious about his initial thoughts on seeing teenagers turn into deadly weapons right in front of them, and decided to ask later.

Stein looked over to see Spirit had not changed form, and decided this was a good plan. Keep the number of weapons and meisters known to a minimum. Good idea. It could save someone's life later.

"What trickery is this? Do you expect us to fall for such a cheap illusion?" Sir Penwood accused.

"Would you like them to demonstrate their combat capabilities? I assure you, the blades are quite sharp and the bullets will go through anything." Stein replied. Maxwell was scribbling something madly on the back of a piece of paper…was he making a memo to himself? Note to self: look into black magic to make humans into holy weapons of God after lunch with Pope tomorrow.

The guards around the Queen began to draw their guns at the perceived threat, but the Queen made a motion for them to halt. "No need, Dr. Stein. Your students may change back, if they so desire." Even if Penwood did not believe the doctor, it seemed he had earned the Queen's approval.

Tsubaki, Liz, Patty, and Soul returned to their human forms, Soul messaging his arm from Maka's painful grip. "Sorry," she whispered.

"Just before you arrived, doctor, the vampire was going to give his report about his recent investigation in South America. We will listen to this report, and then I want your take on these recent happenings, understand?"

"Yes, of course," Stein answered.

The Queen turned back to Alucard, who had been behaving himself very well throughout the meeting so far. "Now, vampire, tell us what happened in South America."

He bowed his head politely. "My Master had me go to South America to flush out the possible perpetrators of the increased FREAK vampire activity that has been happening as of late. It seems the group, known as Millennium, knew of my arrival, and attempted to destroy me." Alucard chuckled at the bungled assassination attempt by a whole S.W.A.T. team. "Needless to say, it didn't work out in their favor."

"What about the man you dueled with? The one in the suit?" Sir Irons asked.

"Another vampire. He was a card shark, actually able to use playing cards as bombs and distractions. He was created by Millennium."

Stein looked at Alucard, a curious look on his face. "This card shark, did he have a Cajun accent? What was his name?"

"Tubalcain Alhambra. He seemed to be from the area," the vampire said.

Stein sighed quietly in relief. Interesting. Well, at least I don't have to ask Xavier what Remy's been up to recently.

"You said this vampire was created by this Millennium? How do you mean?" Sir Irons asked.

Stein cleared his throat, and pulled out a copy of the FREAK chip that Integra had sent him originally to show the table. "By using this," he said. "You see, I was contacted by Sir Integra to study this recently discovered device, a 'FREAK chip', and see how it connected to the recent increase of activity by vampires in the both country and the world."

"What were your findings?" Sir Integra asked.

"This chip," which he passed around the table, "Is what's behind the vampire attacks. Specifically, this is the future of vampirism, a computer chip that spreads the vampire virus without a bite, simply by implantation."

Sir Penwood, who was holding the chip, fumbled it fearfully before passing it to the next person.

"I will get straight to the point. This chip is a marvel of engineering, and is behind the three major problems that have suddenly occurred. First of all, it is a chip that, once implanted in a host, creates a powerful vampire, no matter if the host is a virgin or not. This chip allows the implanter to decide who is going to become a vampire. Sex and virginal status are no longer a limiting factor."

"How does the chip do this?" Sir Integra asked.

"These chips act as carriers for an improved strain of the vampirism disease, packing a more potent concentration and making it a more aggressive virus in every way. When a specific person is chosen and implanted, the virus is released into the host body and changes it into a vampire."

"What about the ghouls? How are ghouls still being created, and how are they able to create other ghouls?" Irons asked.

"This virus is attuned to attack tissue that is not of the host's body. So, as is per the usual order, once a person is bitten by a FREAK vampire, they become a ghoul, but again sex or virginal status do not play a role in what transformation the person undergoes. They become a ghoul, albeit a smarter version that can follow complex orders away from their vampire masters. Also, because of the virus' potency, the ghouls can now spread the virus through their own bites, the self-perpetuating zombie army that figures in many horror movies of the day."

"What about the third problem? You said this chip is behind three problems we are facing via the Millennium threat. What is it?" asked the Queen.

"Although this idea was not evident in the research I performed, something Alucard mentioned makes me believe this. Alucard," Stein said, turning to the vampire and speaking to him directly for the first time in almost a decade. "Have you ever faced a vampire that used cards in such a manner?"

The vampire took a moment to answer. Whether it was because he was trying to be defiant to the scientist that effectively shackled him, or because he was trying to remember through the centuries of battle of vampires ever using such powers was unknown. Eventually, though, he did speak. "Not cards in particular, no, but very rarely I have come face-to-face with a vampire that displayed an unusual ability. The Valentine Brothers that attacked Hellsing displayed abilities I've never seen. One even went so far as to claim he had been created to 'be my death.'"

"I should say that one in particular was a defective model," Maxwell muttered under his breath.

"What does this have to do with the chip's capabilities?" Sir Integra asked quickly, as though trying to steer the question away from the attack on her beloved organization.

Stein thought for a moment. "I think these chips are being used to create not just vampires, but special vampires, with special skills never before seen. Throughout the world there are humans that have amazing abilities—like the card throwing vampire Alucard mentioned. Millennium would just have to find these individuals, implant the chip, and have vampires with fantastic capabilities at their disposal."

"This begs the question, though. Who is Millennium?" Sir Irons asked.

"That I have the answer to," Alucard said, bringing himself to attention. "Fifty-five years ago a Nazi major attempted to create a vampire army. Walter and I laid waste to the operation. However, they refused to give up. Now they are trying to complete their research. They're the remnants of the Third Reich's "Last Battalion." That's what Millennium is."

"Ah, vell, I see the Tubalcain gave up the game a few minutes early. Too bad, this could 'ave been a complete surprise!" said a German accented voice. It echoed around the room but no one had spoken. Suddenly, a boy appeared at the secret tunnel entrance, with an officer's uniform and large cat ears.

He chuckled at everyone's surprised gasps. "I'm sorry. Am I interrupting something?"

A/N: Hi everyone! Sorry for the long wait again. I'm in my last semester at William and Mary, and of COURSE I decide senior semester is the best time to finish up my older and overly long-due stories! I hope to start posting more chapters on a regular schedule, so keep an eye out! Thanks for sticking with me!