"In the name of God and His Majesty, rest now thy great servant. AMEN!"
All the mourners joined in the final response of the benediction along with the aged official. This was not the way Integra Fairbrooks Wingates Hellsing should have died. She should not have died quietly in her sleep at age fifty-four. Sir Integra should have died in battle, facing the unholy enemy of crown and cross. She should not be having a small private funeral service on the perfectly manicured lawns of the beautiful Hellsing estate in the dim light of sunset. As the official stepped aside, Olivia Claymore made her way up to the podium. There were tears in her green eyes as she opened her mouth. She closed it to swallow the lump in her throat. Then she tried again to raise her voice. The words she sang were so sad. The ancient Latin song lifted with her grief for the woman who had taken her in when her family had abandoned her. Olivia let all of her anger, loss, sadness, and frustration ride on her perfect high soprano. And that was how Integra was laid to rest after her years of wonderful service. After the last word of her goodbye Olivia nearly ran from podium into Bobbi's . She buried her face into Bobbi's jacket. Bobbi ran her hand through the soft red hair as she held her crying girlfriend.
"You'll become very acquainted with death," Alucard said looking down at the blonde head of his daughter George. "You will see everyone you love, die, Little Dracula." The nickname was not appreciated; in fact, it hadn't been since George had been a child. It wasn't so bad. It had been worse when Uncle Walter had died. It had hurt a lot more watching the old butler suffer. He had been her friend, grandfather figure, teacher, and a living legend. He was a part of Hellsing. He had been for generations. George did not mind losing Integra so much since her mother had not suffered. She had not died slowly coughing up blood and battling for each breath. Lung Cancer was a devil worse that the ones she could summon. George lifted her thick square framed black sunglasses to the top of her head and looked up into her father's matching red eyes.
"I know. Doesn't mean I have to like it though," she said. She nearly spat the words in her distatse for the. The short blonde woman did not even attempt to pry off the arms of her thrall. She just wrapped an arm around Becky's curvaceous waist and decided not to think what would happen when Becky's time came. The years had changed very little between Becky and George. The blonde monster woman was still jealous of her sister's height and shape. She was still annoyed with the obsessive jealousy she displayed. And she still loved her sister depite it. Becky laid her head on top of George's and whispered...
"...I'm so sorry, Master. I know you loved her. I did too." George nodded as the smooth polished mahogany casket was lowered into the cold plot of ground near the small chapel. The cemetary beside the chapel held nearly all the members of the Hellsing family. The vibrant life that once was, was now gone from this world. Bobbi pushed Olivia away, managing to tactfully ignore the make-up stains on her suit. Integra would be proud of Bobbi, George considered... well at least of her style. Black pinstripes, Italian designer, well-tailored, and a crisp white silk shirt the sort of thing Integra would have worn. Well it had been white before the grey streaks of mascara and the peach stains of lipstick had marred it. There was a respectful cough from behind the gallery and George sighed.
"Come on, Becky, we have business to attend to." They followed the ugly balding man across the grounds into the stately manor and across the shiny hardwood into the conference room. 'I fucking hate this room,' George thought bitterly. She had good reason to hate the large spartan conference room. She had reasons to want to burn the long dark stained mahogany table and a valid claim for her desire to shred the leather chairs. And her longing to claw the paint of the walls was not without cause. She had never gotten good news in this room. She had never seen people, especially her mother, happy in this room. She had been nearly sentenced to death in this room. Her mother had been robbed of her seat and title in that chair. Becky had clawed at that door screaming for her, while she had been on trial by the round table for killing an innocent child. Yeah George hated this room. She thought quite vividly of how she would peel the leather off the chairs with her own claws in agonizingly slow strips. There was a mildly morbidly amused chuckle in her mind and George shrugged her shoulders pushing Alucard out of her thoughts. "That was private, Dad."
"Oh, I'm quite aware. Flaying was so very popular during my youth. I was quite fond of it went out of style too quickly in my opinion."
"Heh," George scoffed as the small group filed into the conference room. "I bet. Too bad I can't listen to chairs scream." George took her seat and Becky was instantly comfortably seated on the sturdy padded arm of the chair leaning against her. Bobbi sat across from her with Olivia on her right. The chair at the head of the table was left conspicuously empty. No one wanted it. It was Sir Hellsing's chair. It was where Integra belonged. The lawyer adjusted his glasses awkwardly under the gazes of the House of Hellsing. With a silent shift of air Seras entered the room from a shadow to stand sullenly in the corner.
"Where were you, Sis?""It was a quiet question into the tall blonde vampires mind. Seras Victoria looked stricken, her red eyes dull and faded and her hair unkempt.
"I... I… couldn't." George could tell by the black dress and sensible shoes Seras was wearing she had intended to be at the ceremony. "I... got up... I got dresses and was just about to... I was going to phase to the chapel... I was and I just sat down on my bed and cried. She's gone, George, Sir Integra is gone. I ... couldn't be there to store her shell."
"As you all know," the bald lawyer said nervously. "This is a delicate situation. I am employed by the Hellsing household for just that reason. Before we begin I offer my sincerest condolences on the loss of Sir Integra Hellsing and my wishes that you all take solace in the fact that she did not leave without thinking of those... family members left behind. And the ... ," the lawyer looked down and shuffled the stack of papers on the conference table. He stood next to Integra's chair and glanced at the empty space. "The future of the organization she so diligently headed." Cracking the seal on the tick envelope on top of the stack, he continued. "The last will and testament of Sir Integra Fairbrook Windgates Hellsing, honored knight of the crown, sentry of the protestant church, first class protectorate in service of the crown, Head and chief commander of the Hellsing defense Organization and beloved English noblewoman." Becky, Olivia, Bobbi and the lawyer all took a breath. Even Seras inhaled despite the fact that she did not need oxygen. "Being of sound mind and whole body do decree that upon the occasion of my death the entirety of my title, estate, and possessions be passed along to my chosen successor. Barbara Benecheck Kostov."
Bobbi didn't look up. She just kept her tight grip on Olivia's hand on top of the table. The silence was oppressive. Never had this type of thing gone so smoothly for the lawyer. When the bulk of such great wealth was left to a non-family member there was normally screaming and violence. He continued saying, "As a sign of the authority and responsibility inherent with this inheritence I also leave to Ms. Kostov the Hellsing insignia." The lawyer placed a large heavy gold ring onto the table in a small plastic bag. He sat in directly in front of Bobbi and Olivia's joined hands. "This is to be respected. All members of Hellsing organization and household are now under the direction of Ms. Kostov. To my daughter George Elizabeth Abigail Hellsing I leave the entirety of the contents of the Hellsing library and vaults to be shared with the reigning head of the Hellsing Estate as well as direct command of all Hellsing personnel. She is to be respected as primary military commander and field leader for all field operations under the head of Hellsing."
"It would seem you are my boss now, Little Dracula, better sharpen your fangs," Alucard mused. George shot her father, the tall threatening monster in the corner, a look of reproach
"Is now the time! REALLY!? Right now? Mom isn't even covered yet and already you piss on her grave." She knew her father could tell that her eyes gleamed behind the sun glasses she had neglected to remove when they had come inside. Those eyes were burning angry red slits.
"I'm sorry, darling," Alucard replied into his daughters mind. "One loses one's reverence for death after the first few times. I forget how dying scares humans. You'll forget how...somber such and ocassion is too one day." George turned her focus away from the man in the red hat to the lawyer. She had missed what he had been relaying during her … conversation with her father.
"I bequeath full rights and responsibilities of The Hellsing Arcane Tome, known as the white book, to Olivia Claymore in order to protect and serve as a full member of the Hellsing Organization." At that announcement Olivia jerked, releasing Bobbi's hand in shock. She covered her quavering mouth before she let her face fall to the table in sobs. George could not complain. Despite her long standing tension with Olivia, tension that had faded to nearl non existent over the years, she was the perfect choice. She had both the arcane knowledge and the understanding of Latin and ancient Greek needed to use the tome. And for too long had the annoying strawberry tart been an outsider. The old childhood name made George smile slightly. "And finally to Rebecca Hellsing I bestow the responsibilities of defense of the head of Hellsing and her cabinet. Becky, take care of the people we love. Sir Integra signed the document simply goodbye. Do any of the indicated recipients contest the document as presented?"
"No," Bobbie said. She was busy rubbing Olivia's back as the slender redhead sobbed silently onto the wood.
"No," George said.
"If she has no problem, then I have no problem," Becky said.
"Then you may all take all that is bequeathed to you in this document at your earliest convenience. You have thirty day to contest. Goodbye and once again. I'm sorry for your loss. May God give you peace in the time of your bereavement."
The lawyer left the ring on the table as well as the stack of papers and shuffled out of the room.
"I believe congratulations are in order," Alucard said looking over the edges of his circular orange shades. "So much has changed in so little time."" He leveled his stare at Bobbi. "Haven't they, Master?" The ring glowed in front of the two women And they could see the matching stain of gleaming red blood on the back of Alucard's right glove. "This is quite a promotion, for you. You just went from houseguest and family friend to Master of Monsters." Most people would shrink under the gaze of the No-Life King. Bobbi was not most people. She was the best friend of George Hellsing. She was a fully trained military class sniper. And she was the successor to Integra Hellsing. She would be damned before she flinched in the face of Alucard. She had known him since she was a child.
"It is, Old One." She had never liked using the ancient immortal's name. It was a bit too like familiarity and disrespect for her tastses. She gently shook Olivia's shoulder to rouse her. "I can't say I'm happy… my position opened up so suddenly." Her sharp response earned an almost appreciative nod from Alucard as she took the ring from the table.
"Be careful with that, Master," he said indicating the ring. "It's older than both of you combined. It belonged to the filthy bastard Abraham." Bobbi slid the ring onto her finger and narrowed her eyes at the way it was nearly twice the size she needed. "And to you, heretic," Alucard said grinning at Olivia, "Welcome to Hellsing. I bet Anderson would be proud of you." Bobbi stood up and took a steadying breath.
"Okay. It's time for Hellsing version 2.0." She looked in charge despite the stains on her suit and the way her hand bearing the ancient ring shook slightly. "We have a job to do and we are in sorry shape to do it if we don't pull our heads out of our asses. George, Becky, and you, Old One. I need a full briefing on exactly how Hellsing is run. Liv," she said looking down to her side. "I want as much of that tome read and translated as possibly by morning for the briefing. "George you know the inner working of the support units. I need you to asses them and report to me on their status. Becky I want you to go through all of the files Walter left. I know you've been handling most of what he did ever since he got sick. I need a report on all the current threats that need Hellsing intervention."
"Well said, Master. Spoken like a true Hellsing," Alucard said.
George nodded shaking her long blonde hair. Bobbi was taking charge quick. She had to learn fast. Hellsing did not leave much room for rookie novice mistakes and it did not come with on the job training.
"I'll be at the field house tommorow night with Seras at first drill, Bobbi-boy," George said. And I'll make sure to keep Becky on task with the files. You had better make my mother proud." Bobbi sighed and sat back down.
"I will contact His Majesty and ask that I be briefed to everything that was pressing in regards to Hellsing." Bobbi was sure her hair was already turning grey. "In the name of God and His Majesty may the impure souls of the living dead be cast into eternal damnation. Amen."
She grabbed the thin and shaken Olivia by the hand and led her out of the conference room. Then Seras disappeared leaving only George, Becky, and Alucard in the depressing conference room.
"How do you really feel about mom dying?"
Alucard looked down at George still seated at the table and shrugged. The ancient monster thought quite seriously for a moment.
"She is the only Master I wish did not die. She was …" Even the ancient monster could not describe Integra in words. He had loved her. He had hated her. She had made him feel playful and young and less like a monster. "She was..."
"Yeah," George agreed knowing why Alucard couldn't finish the sentence. The as she felt her father vanish she said. "She was,"
"Shall we go, Master," Becky asked absently running her hand through George's hair. "We have a lot to prepare for."
"You have no clue, Becky. You have no clue."
"NO! GODDANM IT, BOBBI!" Olivia shuddered violently. She was milliseconds from throwing something at the pretty face of her lover. "How am I suppose to calm down? Do you know what this is like for me? I can't… DAMN HER! I'd wish she was burning in hell if I didn't love her so much for taking me in." Olivia's raspy cring strained voice was full of her unretrained emotion.
Bobbi cooed calmingly as she sat down next to Olivia on the bed.
"I'm sorry, Liv. I… you know I didn't think about how this would affect you considering your mother. Sir Hellsing did take you in when you were decommissioned and declared sacrosanct by the church."
"She took me in and helped me and my brother. She didn't hate me because of you. She listened to me even after all the filthy things I called her and George. Literally she just laughed and lit one of those stupid smelly cigars when I called her a filthy sinning whore. And a monster worshipping heathen bitch. I didn't even mean it. I might have years ago. Even I'm not that much of a hypocrite. I'm just as much of a heathen whore as she ever was. I... I was just angry. I had lost my home. I had lost Father Anderson and Father Petrelli. All the girls I sang with in the choir. Everything that reminded me of my mother and father and home was gone. I couldn't even go to mass, Bobbi."
"I know. I was there, Liv. Remember you ran to my house and almost gave my mother a heart attack. If I remember right you were sneaking in through the living room window right when she came in the door."
"Sir Integra gave me a new home a new family. Sure I was vicious and evil and spoiled and … everything bad. But she just let me vent and took me in. George pleaded with her to just give me time and she did. She let me sing in the chapel and even did the rosary with me. She did the rosary with me because she knew I needed somebody with me and Michael was busy. She became a mother to me. And I just lost her again."
"I know, Liv. I know. Take a breath, Red. You'll be okay. We'll all be okay." Bobbi took a moment and let Olivia work her shudder out and said, "You need a cool codename, Liv. The old bloodsucker gets No-Life King. I get Master of Monsters. Even Walter got Razor Dolneaz and Angel of Death. You need one too." Olivia blinked a few times in confusion then she laughed at the absurdity.
"Thanks, Bobbi. I'm sorry for cracking at the seams like this."
"Don't worry about it. We've all got some places that need spackle. So what do you want your codename to be?"
"I don't know," Olivia replied. The redhead stood up sliding out of the arms of the more athletic woman. "I'll think about it while I read the tome. Those were my first orders weren't they, Sir Hellsing?"
"Yeah. And I have a series of long boring phone calls to make. I better go get my ass acquainted with the chair in the office downstairs."
"That is a big chair to fill, Bobbi. May God go with you. Oh, and Bobbi, hun," Olivia said as Bobbi opened the door to the spacious antique furnished bedroom.
"If you even think about touching the cigars in that drawer I swear there will be no mercy for you."
The first evening of Hellsing under new management was hectic. It's new head had a lot to learn n a very short amount of time. I's grieving soldiers and staff had ot be pulled together ot resume training and it had enemies most likely ready to take advanatge of a crippled Hellsing. But Hellsing had monsters and the youngest of its monsters was already trying to get the support infantry The Wild Geese back in action. It was not going well so far. George snarled viciously at the performance she was seeing. 'If this is the best they can do. They'll have to be more worried about me eating them.'
"Okay, boys and girls," George said as the troops lined up. "Okay I'm willing to give you all some leeway considering that was your first drill with me. Unfortunately," she said pausing and staring at each of the soldiers assembled. "It was utter shit. None of you deserve to wear the Hellsing crest on those vests." Then George smiled, baring sharp gleaming white fangs. "A monster would barely be amused by you." That was it. Strike a little fear into them let them know that this was no game. The time for mourning and sadness was over. It was time to get back on task. "Alright, boys and girls, lets run through the formations again and then we'll do a scenario run through one of the courses. Remember I m counting headshots only.
"Yes, Ma'am, Commander Hellsing, Ma'am."
George nodded as her battalion lined back up to resume the weapons drill with the moving targets. From after lunch to sunset was the tactical and physical drills. But when the sun went down it was time for practical and weapons drills until 9:00.
"You, did, good, George," Seras said. The tall blonde monster even managed to clap a little. It looked awkward with her right arm made of the unnerving ever shifting shadows. It was strange to George that she hadn't felt it when her big sister had appeared on the training field when the sun had set. "You know George I won't be able to call you my little sister for much longer," Seras said sadly, you're almost as old as I am. I was twenty-six when it happened." George, grinned as she saw the drastic improvement of the infantry support teams formations.
"I'll always be you're little sister, Seras. You ready to run the practical and weapons drills?"
"Of course." The giant cannon whispered into being in her hands. She lovingly stroked the thick barrel. Let's see if any of them are smart enough to know how to handle heavy response fire from something like this. Line them up after the last man makes it to the target flag."
"Battalion." George yelled. Line forward." Her troops lined up in the big empty room they used for tactical raid drills. They formed ranks in front of her. She had spent he day with the greatly reduced troops of Hellsing infantry and artillery. She did not like that she was had been awake since early that morning either. While the sun did not bother her like her sister or her father she had been annoyed with daylight since about puberty. Luckily she had only been on the field since about was more like what I expected from highly trained Hellsing Units. Now I will turn you over to the hands of Secondary commander, Seras Victoria for weapons drills. And then she'll run you through practical strategy." The way they all stared at the Halkonen cannon she held casually in her shadowed right hand boded well. She had their attention. The barrel cleared her head by several inches and she liked that it intimidated them.
"Okay," Seras said. "This is the super heavy piercing cannon Halkonen V28. It weighs 45 Kilos and has and uses an eighty milimeter plutonium anti-tank shell with an explosive twenty pound payload. Can anyone tell me an effective use or defense for it? Maybe someone has a strategy that maximizes its potential." Unfortunately the silence that followed her questions did not bode well. George took the opportunity to spit on the laws of physics by disappearing. She flashed through the shadows and appeared in the office of Sir Hellsing.
George didn't flinch or waver when all one-hundred and sixty pounds of Becky slammed into her considerably smaller frame. Becky snuggled her and breathed in the scent of her shampoo. "I missed you, Master." George peeled her sister off of her and rolled her eyes.
"Hey, George," Bobbie said.
"Hey, Bobbi-Boi. How are you liking the big chair?"
"Fuck it, andthe cow it's made from," Bobbi snarled. She looked longingly at the door. Then she thought happily of her bed and Olivia and backrubs. "I've been in this office all day I haven't seen the sun and I think I might have lost a day on the phone. Is it Friday? George grinned and said
"No. Now imagine being a vampire up during the day. It's like having a 4AM shift. I'm sleepy, irritable, and hungry."
"Master," Becky said lifting a tray from the small table next to Bobbi's desk. "Would you like a cup?"
"Becky, you know how I feel about tea."
"Yes, Master, I do. It's Columbian dark roast coffee. Double brewed. Black." George almost moaned at the thought of it.
"God bless you, Becky," George said as her bound thrall pressed the delicate porcelain cup into George's small clawed hands. George took a sip of the bitter brew and her eyes contracted to pinpoints. "You spiked my coffee?" There was a lethal slender hoop knife spinning around Becky's index finger.
"I know that you are hungry and that you are fond of cinnamon flavoring, Master." Becky kissed George's cheek and then stuck her bleeding thumb in her mouth as she stepped away. "And the traditional will not be served until after nine. And you skipped lunch," Becky said. "And I know you smelled it when I sliced my finger." George rolled her eyes and took another sip of the delicious dark brew.
"Get a room," Bobbi said groaning as she pulled another folder out of the stack on the desk. "How did the troops look, George?" The blonde sat down in one of the chairs across from the desk and sighed.
"They looked slow and confused without my mom." Her full pouty lips turned up in an unsatisfied sneer. "They look like easy dinner. But they can get back into shape. Seras is running anti heavy weapons tactical drills now." Bobbi looked up at her friend and then pushed the folders across the already cluttered desk.
"How are you, George? You just lost your mother. And," the other woman sucked her upper lip into her mouth. She awkwardly toyed with the stud embedded above her upper lip trying to find the words. "And," she finally said. "I just took control of Hellsing."
"I'm fine, Bobbi. I knew this was going to happen. I trust you," George said letting a smile ghost over her pretty porcelain features... a lot more than the crown trusts me. And my mom knew that."
"Yeah," Bobbi said. Her face was buried in her hands as the phone rang. She grabbed it cradling it between her ear and neck. "I know. Yes, Sir. The report is as thorough as possible. What do you mean?" Bobbi hissed. The athletic head of Hellsing sucked her upper lip between her teeth, feeling the stud piercing click against her teeth. She paused to allow her superior colleague to yell. Eventually she pulled the phone receiver away from her ear flinching. Suspiciously she placed the phone back to her ear after a moment. "Of course I'm aware there are a lot of discrepancies. Oh bloody, hell. I'm not daft. NO! Of course I'm sure. Well, shit, how am I supposed to know? I don't care what Sir Integra was capable of. I AM DOING MY BEST! I have only held my position for a day. Can I at least have a week before you piss on me? If not could you at least have the curteousy to call it rain when you do."
Becky poured another cup of strong dark coffee into the delicate porcelain cup and placed it on the desk in front of Bobbi. The new head of Hellsing looked up, with her bloodshot eyes and mouthed the words "BLESS YOU, BECKY," while she continued to listen to the berating of her colleague.
"You're welcome," Becky said quietly as she made her way out of the office. "I must go and prepare Dinner now, Master.