This story just sort of arrived. I really didn't have time to write any more Hellsing but it insisted...even though I have two story arcs begging to be completed on the other stories. Such is life. It is NOT in the same timeline as the others, but an entirely different one, off on its own.
Abraham watched the coffin with a sort of bitter fascination. They'd nailed it tightly shut in Romania, sealing the monster in with chains and the Host, much to his fury. The vampire had screamed at them for days, finally changing tactics to wailing and crying. Ignoring it had been difficult, but Abraham was determined not to submit to the manipulations the desperate beast was subjecting them to. He'd told it quite plainly that the vampire was now HIS property, and property had no rights at all.
The Count had not taken it well, losing his grasp on English to apparently curse fluently in his native Romanian.
The constant noise, from sundown to dawn, had not ceased until they'd loaded the monster into the boat. He'd remained silent from the shores of eastern Europe to the ports of London, silent on all the trip to Van Hellsing's English home, silent during the days of storage while a room was prepared for him. Plotting, no doubt, or hoping that silence would convince them to open the coffin and check on him. Van Hellsing was no fool, though. There was nothing in the coffin itself that could kill the vampire and a few weeks without food would leave it weak and angry but by no means deceased. And so he'd ignored the silent container and raced to prepared a suitable new cage for his beast.
The room now contained the coffin, sealing him in with Host and Holy Water that had been mixed into the mortar itself, thick steel bars with a line of blessed silver down each, more silver, a small fortune in the metal, outlining symbols on the floor and sealing the room further. Small iron plates with crosses etched in them, then blessed, were inset among the silver designs that also stretched across the ceiling of the room. The door, too was thickly warded, a second chamber and second door extending far into the passageway outside of it, providing a second layer of protection on the weakest point in the entire setup.
Once the room was prepared, the nails had been removed from the coffin at noon. It had remained unopened. Abraham worried that opening it would actually waken the monster. While he had faith in the collar and chains he'd placed on the beast at its capture and the strength of the spells woven into them, he was by no means foolhardy. They had not been tested, after all. So the nails and chains were removed, and the coffin left alone in the chamber. Shortly before dusk, the Harkers, Seward, and Arthur had joined him, waiting and watching the coffin through the narrow barred windows looking in from the passageway. They were all armed fully with vampire-fighting weapons, from small delicate flasks of holy water designed to shatter upon impact to thick, heavy, and sharp stakes.
They watched, tense and anxious, and the time crept by. Abraham's bitter anger ate at him; he wanted nothing so much as to see the horror and dismay on the face of the murdering beast as it realized the complete change in its circumstances. And they waited, listening to hear the monster stir.
After an hour, Abraham had lost patience. "Monster!" His voice rang out unexpectedly, causing the humans with him to startle. Mina's glare would have felled a lesser man. Somewhat sheepish, he continued, volume reduced but still powerful. "Monster! You are being given the limited freedom of this room. Abuse this privilege and you'll be confined in the coffin when I am not using you." He had every intention of using that vampire, finding out every trick an undead could pull and creating counteragents for each and every one. Leaving him sealed entirely in the coffin when not being studied would have been easier, but the basics of vampire behavior were also unknown. And while Abraham possessed quite a few sticks to beat the vampire with, this limited freedom would be a carrot.
"And vampires don't like carrots." The thought popped unexpectedly into his mind, and he smiled to himself at his humor, using it to alleviate his frustration when the coffin remained entirely quiet.
Midnight came and went. Abraham's occasional commands to get up became somewhat more rude and vulgar, the only outward sign of his irritation and frustration. The others joined in, but no one, NO ONE, would enter that room. The Count, for all they knew and suspected, was attempting to lure them in. He was certainly starving, and Abraham found this to be the most likely course the monster was taking. It explained the silence, for the monster was certainly not dead; nothing in that coffin would have destroyed him and the bonds Abraham had placed on him still sang their songs of containment when the man tested them. Dracula had the patience of a hunter. And so did Abraham.
Shortly after midnight, the humans dispersed. A watch would be kept in pairs until dawn, but no more attempts would be made to roust the beast. Abraham stomped off to his bed, seething. All that effort, all that waiting, the race to prepare the room as quickly as possible, the incredible tense anticipation throughout the day, and the first thing the damn beast did was fail to cooperate.
Well, there was always tomorrow.
And that thought was enough to lull his anger into sleep.