The Hellsing compound was under attack, and Heinkel hadn't brought enough men to defend it, or so it seemed to Zoey, who once again sat tied to a chair.
Her hands were cuffed behind her, while extension cords had been wound around her feet and torso. She'd been dragged up to the roof where Heinkel and the three surviving Section Thirteen members had retreated to, their route to the APCs having been cut off.
"I'm going to be very annoyed if I'm killed before Hellsing arrives," Heinkel said, shooting an infected woman through the face that had managed to climb up a storm drain. They were out on a flat area of the roof and it looked like they might hold the infected off for a while, at least until help came.
Zoey only hoped she wouldn't be killed in the crossfire.
The infected showed up just as Heinkel began to get serious with her interrogation. She'd slapped Zoey nearly silly, and had found a pair of pliers to use when the front gate collapsed under the pressure from a massive wave of bodies.
Her worry was that Heinkel seemed to know exactly who she was up against and had no intention of winning the fight. Maybe she just planned on killing her in front of Integra and Seras, thinking it would hurt them. Would it? She wondered. Maybe Seras. The only inhuman in the equation seemed to be the one most sympathetic to human suffering.
Something long and ropey coiled around a Section Thirteen member, knocking his sunglasses off before pulling him over the edge of the roof to his death. Heinkel seemed to be carrying an armory's worth of bullets, and kept firing at the infected that made their way up. Every few seconds she put a bullet in the door to the roof, which briefly calmed the banging from the other side.
"Bah, this was a waste," Heinkel said, changing a clip. "Hellsing abandoned you. They probably left you here as bait. Who would have thought Integra Hellsing would stoop so low...a knight of England, no less."
Here it comes, the bullet to the back of my head, Zoey thought. She imagined the barrel of Heinkel's gun inches behind her pony-tail and wondered if it would be blown off.
She closed her eyes and heard a low buzzing above the wails of the infected. Was she dead? No, it was a helicopter. She opened her eyes and smiled, seeing the flying vehicle making haste towards their position over the cloudy skyline.
"Speak of the devil," Heinkel said. "Finally, this has been a long time coming."
The two remaining men had split off from Heinkel and Zoey. She could see them if she craned her neck. They would be on the other side of the chopper when it landed, but they were more focused on killing a jockey that had made its way up and was running in circles around them, laughing.
The chopper came in low and hard. It tilted forward and Zoey didn't need Heinkel's cry of surprise and anger to tell her that Integra wasn't coming in for a landing.
No sane pilot of any skill would have attempted such a stunt, Zoey thought, but it evened the playing field rather nicely. Integra flew low over the roof at such an angle that turned the chopper's blades into a buzz-saw. The two Section Thirteen members and the jockey, which had finally leaped onto one's back, were diced like carrots on a Sunday cooking show. A cloud of blood misted the front of the chopper along with body parts, hands, feet, bits of skull. A spinal column fell at Zoey's feet.
Heinkel held her fire, apparently not wanting to kill her enemies in a helicopter crash. The chopper came back, and Zoey thought this would be the end of her, only Integra landed it instead of chopping them up with the blades.
The blades slowed, but didn't stop as Integra got out, holding a gun.
"Integra Hellsing," Heinkel said. "Where's your pet abomination?"
"She opted to walk," Integra said. "What the bloody hell are you doing here?"
"Settling something," Heinkel said. "I was hoping to do it with your vampire, but you'll have to do. This is more appropriate, anyway. We should have killed you when we had the chance...I'll never understand Father Anderson's reasoning behind letting you walk, much less escorting you to a safe zone."
"I would imagine lucid behavior might seem jarring to a lunatic," Integra said. "Untie the girl first. If neither of us survive she'll still be able to escape."
Four gun blasts and Zoey found herself able to stand. She was still cuffed, though. "Good enough," Heinkel said. "Now die!"
Zoey hit the roof, hard, flattening herself out as much as possible and praying she didn't take a bullet. When the shooting stopped, she rolled to see Integra slumped against the nose of the chopper and Heinkel lying still on her side.
The left side of Integra's head was a wash of blood. Zoey thought she'd had her brains blown out, but her other eye fluttered open and she clamped a hand over the blood wound. "Ow..." Integra said, standing up.
She pulled off her ruined eye patch and took a step forward. She fell, and Zoey saw a bullet wound in her upper thigh on the leg Zoey hadn't accidentally shot. "Are you alright?" she asked, kneeling.
"No, I'm pretty far from alright," Integra said.
Something hit Zoey in the back and she fell forward onto Integra. Soon, her world was one of kicks and stomps, as infected poured over them. After all that, beaten to death, Zoey said, wondering what had happened to Seras.
She wondered no more when the bodies above her were torn away, and Seras stood over her, holding out her gore stained hand. "Come on," she said, and Zoey took it.
They were soon inside the chopper, with a loudly cursing Integra in the pilot's seat. As they took off, Zoey was able to look down and see the roof overrun by infected, common and uncommon alike, all enraged that their prey had escaped.
Seras and Zoey climbed into the rear of the chopper where patients were transported and searched for items they could use to bandage Integra's wounds as she flew. In the end, they had to set down on the roof of a shopping center for a brief period to stop Integra's bleeding.
Zoey did most of the work, while Seras hung back. She noticed how the vampire looked at Integra, at all the blood, and after she was done and they were in the air again, Zoey went to the back where Seras had sequestered herself.
"Are you alright?" she asked.
Seras sat, nodding. "Getting back was hard," she said. "I need..."
Zoey pulled down her collar and tilted her head, showing off her white, if dirty, neck. "Please," she said. "You've helped me a lot, I think it's only fair."
After a few seconds' hesitation, Seras crawled forward over Zoey and made a seal with her lips around the other woman's neck. Her fangs extended and she punctured the skin. Zoey felt her warm blood begin to leak out, mixing with Seras's saliva before being gulped down.
"Thank you," Seras said, pulling away and licking the wound so it healed.
"Don't mention it," Zoey said, lying on her back. She drifted off to the sound and feel of the helicopter's engine as they buzzed through the air towards the sea.
Shit luck, his father had called it. Good fortune caused by a bad situation that only served to prolong suffering.
At leas that's what Nick thought his father had meant by that saying. He might have just been swearing.
Both he and Coach, who was panting heavily beside him as they made their way through a suburban park, had rushed the train killer as she fired her gun. Coach caught it in the arm, and Nick thought she would kill the both anyway during the fight.
Heinkel, or whatever her name was, fought mean. Knees to the groin, thumbs in the eye, the works. If a damn tank hadn't shown up with its piss-ant friends when it did, she probably would have finished them off, if not by herself then with help.
The APC had been rolled like a child's Tonka truck and the back door popped open. More interested in escape than battle, Coach and Nick ran, leaving Heinkel to fire at them at an odd angle while infected harried their every step.
The river had saved them. Infected turned out to be shitty swimmers. Too pissed to hold their breath maybe, Nick didn't know.
Now it was nearly twilight and not quite as easy to spot infected before they saw them. Both had decided it was best to hold up in a cemetery they found near the park, maybe inside a mausoleum. Creepy, yes, but the wall and the stones might make for cover during the night.
"Shit, watch it," Nick said, seeing a figure standing at the top of a hill where a gaudy looking stone statue stood.
"I don't think he's infected," Coach said.
The figure was tall and dressed in a long coat that blew in the wind, which heralded a storm. "Doesn't matter," Nick said. "Hell, it's the uninfected that nearly killed us."
"I've been thinking about that," Coach said. "We might have messed up back there, with that vampire."
"I doubt it," Nick said, lying. They had seen a low-flying helicopter earlier, and he could have sworn on his mother's grave a familiar looking middle finger had been dangled out the side door at him.
The tall figure was now waving politely at them. They'd been spotted. "Aw, to hell with it," Coach said, walking up the hill with Nick not far behind. "Hey, mister," he said. "You know your way around here?"
Nick noticed the man's skin was pale enough to nearly glow in the dim light. His short black hair was tussled, and the red coat he wore stained in blood. A large sliver pistol hung tucked in a belt strap around his waist. "I've lived her for many years," the man said, his voice deep and resonant. Probably a real lady killer, Nick thought, not liking the guy already.
"Good. We're tired and hungry and we need a place to hole up," Coach said. "Hope you don't mind me askin', but uh,...you ain't with the church, are you?"
The man laughed. "We had a falling out some years back, so no, not really."
"I'm glad to hear that," Coach said. "Man, you wouldn't believe the people we've run into today."
The man smiled, his teeth showing even in the fading light. "You're lucky to be alive," he said. "I hope your luck holds out. Humans are so much fun to watch in times like these."
"Aw, come on," Nick said throwing his hands up, as the man's eyes glowed red in the gloom.