Voices echoed in the knight's mind, clawing at every part of her being. The shadows all seemed alive and familiar eyes and hands seemed to reach out, grabbing at any part of the young woman they could latch onto. They all either said the same thing, or voiced words of their own; impregnating her dreamscape with nothing but darkness and horror of images that lead either to no end, or to her death. It felt so real; the cold that filled her and made her bones ache, breathing was ragged forced, and a sweat would break across her skin. Just as it would all consume her, as the beings dragged her down or under and the pain would ensue – she woke. Startled, gasping for breath with blue eyes wider than a dear's. The Iron Maiden would wake to unspeakable things that terrorized her behind closed eyes; taunting and lurking, waiting for the moment she would rest once again. It drove her, not into madness, but to remain awake. Documents, letters and other things that needed addressed only helped aid her with such a task. It started at a young age and only solidified and progressed as the years passed. Integra was quick to become an insomniac, sleep only coming in small favors or once the hours were well enough passed. Even then her rest was uneasy and plagued with the recurring terrors that haunted her.
Various pieces of paper ranging from full-scale files and reports to small envelopes, checks and letters were strewn about. They littered the tiled floor around the woman's desk as well as its polished wooden surface. Writing utensils and the opener itself had been abandoned, left untouched since last she had been working. A pool of golden hair accompanied the mess, spilling over folded arms. The phone positioned at the corner of the work station rang, and she bolted upright, glasses askew and eyes wide. A small groan slipped from her lips and she righted the spectacles on her face once again. Reaching out, a gloved hand picked up the obnoxious device and spoke into it. "Hellsing Organization, state your business –" The day carried on just the same. Integra continued with her work and left occasionally to visit the shooting range. She also stopped by the conference room, the fencing arena they held below the main level but before and separate from Alucard's dungeons and made a few travels to visit other knights. Such was the life of Hellsing's only heir, the prodigy to the famous legacy devoted to hunting vampires. Again, the process was repeated and all hours of the day – well into the night, Integra worked. Every now and then a cigar would be lit; but the stick would never be finished and instead was snuffed out before it could even live half its life. Smoking was more of a habit and or outlet for the blonde – not something preferred or desired. Claiming that she had finished for the night, she neatly replaced everything and started for her room. It was only after she had prepped herself for bed and slipped into her nightwear that the young woman felt uneasy. Running a brush hesitantly through her hair, she contemplated whether or not she should sleep.
Exhaustion soon won her over, and the director tucked herself away into the bed. Tugging her blankets closer around her form, Integra removed the glasses she wore and closed her eyes. It was and had been easier than expected. Succumbing to sleep and letting it wrap around her, the knight had dozed and soon fell into a deep slumber. Usually it was light and she could and would wake at the simplest of sounds; but not this night.
Opening her eyes, Integra gazed about to try and make what she could of her surroundings. Darkness. There was nothing; it was like a void, but the shadows seemed so alive. The way they curled, snaked, rose and waved made them menacing by nature. This did not frighten the noblewoman however, but it was only the beginning. Out of those shadows came eyes and soon bodies formed. Their hands reached for her, snagging onto her nightgown and tangling in her hair. She recognized those of her father, Alucard, Walter, Seras, and lastly but most frighteningly – Richard's. That particular pair of eyes caught her attention, immobilizing the blonde and practically turned her to stone. A set of cold hands found her throat and slowly, blue hues moved to meet crimson ones; Alucard. Seras had taken one of her hands and Walter flicked his wrist. Even if she had wanted to move, the commanding woman no longer could. Helpless, she stood, bound by microfilament wires and the two vampires.
"There you are, little Fräulein ." Her heart pounded like the horse hooves racing against the ground. "You should really stop running. It will hurt a lot less if you'd just stand down. Give me what's mine!"
An attempt to respond was made; but even as her lips moved and her vocal chords strained to do so, nothing came out. She could do nothing but breathe and watch everything unfold. Powerless. Integra had no control over anything that was happening. Her uncle's words made her anxious, wanting to run and hide as though she were twelve again; but he was dead, wasn't he?
"You're not fit to be my Master. You're not even fit to be the head of Hellsing. In fact, you're just as weak and pathetic as every insect I've crushed and silenced with my bullets." The baritone voice belonged to only one male, one creature. She choked on unspoken words and anger that could not be unleashed. She wanted to scream at the Nosferatu and punish him; but such was impossible. "No. You, Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, are not even worth one of my explosive rounds. I think I'd rather relish in breaking your pride by drinking your blood. I'll even share with my Draculina."
Fear stricken, Integra looked to Walter. Her eyes pleaded for his help, and she mouthed the words despite the lack of sound that followed. The older gentleman simply smiled, tightened one of his gloves and cocked his head to one side. "It would appear that there's been a misunderstanding." Relief flooded the heiress, and for a moment she thought the butler would help her. "You are no longer needed. You were a mistake, and have failed in your responsibilities as well. It's right time you were put in your place, Sir."
It happened so swiftly, all perfectly synchronized. The wires tightened, making incisions along her skin and tearing through her clothes. Following along, she felt a series of sharp pains in the hand the younger blonde had been holding as well as her neck. Accompanying those came another in her shoulder. A sticky warmth spread over these areas and she was overwhelmed with shock and blood-loss alike.
They had bitten her! Her servant and his fledgling had bit her! Integra could hardly believe it – and to add onto the oddity, Walter had started to assist in harming her! Richard grinned and while the two vampires feasted on her blood, another bullet was clicked into place. The firearm fired again, the sound echoing before her skull felt as though it were splitting open.
Tangled in her bed-sheets, Hellsing's chief rose with a start. Her breathing was labored; hair matted to her face and forehead alike, body shuddering uncontrollably with the terror that had followed with such vivid creations of the mind. Another night – another fright. Perhaps they were meant to be reminders, or maybe they were lessons. Perhaps the nightmares were happening because she constantly dwelled on the past and whatever mistakes the woman feared she might make or had been making. Or maybe, just maybe they were all a series of tricks; figments of her imagination that thrived from the lack of sleep and tainted memories. Swinging her legs over the side of her bed, she made to stand. Wobbly at first, the knight slowly regained her balance and made for her bathroom. Flicking on the light first, she proceeded to turn the faucet on. Cupping her hands under the running water, she splashed the cool liquid over her face and rubbed at sleepy and petrified features. When she looked in the mirror again afterwards, she saw a woman that was far better than the one in her dreams. She was not that powerless female that had easily been whisked away by fear – but maybe, she was not all ice and steel.