London in the middle of summer can be a horrible place. The heat, the humidity, even the air those people breathe seems to have a grievance with them in the summer months. Be that as it may, they are fortunate that is the only thing that affects these people in the summer months. For the things they don't know that lurk in the summer's grip, let them be thankful.
"Horsey, horsey don't you stop, let your feet go clippety clop. So when your tail goes swish and your wheels go round, giddy up, we're homeward bound," sang a small child playing on the slide.
Ripples and waves of heat were scurrying along the hardened blacktop. The groans and wails of expanding swing sets and merry go rounds echoed around the small playground. The monotonous sound of a football bouncing rang out. It was the summer holidays and all the young children of the land had been released from schools' constraints for the foreseeable six to eight weeks. All the joy of having nothing but endless adventures, new sights, new smells, new experiences, brought a rush of warmth all its own to the already sweltering conditions.
On one of the benches outlying the playground sat a hooded figure, an odd choice of clothing for anyone at this time of year, but especially in the middle of a heat wave. His matted clumps of hair clung to his glistening brow in thick dank streaks. His breath hot and sickly sticky, hung in the humid air like a putrid vapour. His nails were unkempt, gnarled and sharp. Jagged to a point almost. The hoodie on his back clung to him, drenched in one form or another of bodily fluid.
The monotonous bouncing of the football had stopped; it rolled pitter pattering away from its young owner towards the figure on the bench nestling at the man's feet. The young child quickly scurried towards his possession, as the figure reached down with his demon like nails to scoop up the ball.
"Eh...Eh...Excuse me mister," the child stammered, his bottom lip quivering. "Can I have my ball back?" asked the child almost ready to erupt with blubbering tears.
The figure contemplated the young child before him, from the messy blonde crop of hair atop his head, to the broken clasp holding up his dungarees. With a flick of his wrist the figure tossed the ball toward the child.
"You would be wise to keep a tighter grip on the things you love young man; they can so easily slip through our fingers," said the figure in a raspy tone, before gently coughing into his hand.
"T...Thanks mister," the young child whispered out before being cut off by a screech.
"Jason! Jason!" the child's mother bellowed from across the playground.
The boy's mother, a mountain of a woman, came charging across the playground like a stampede of wildebeest running from a pack of lions.
"How many times have I told you? How many? Don't talk to strangers, and you...you...you pervert, talking to a lone child, sitting there staring at them as they play all evening. Do you get some sort of sick thrill watching them at play? I should report you to the authorities," trumpeted the women, turning puce in the face.
As the woman was venting, a lone policeman meandered through the park. The brim of his cap gleaming in the slowly fading sun as his heavy boots thumped their way across the hard tarmac of the playground.
"Does there seem to be an issue madam?" asked the officer in a low tone.
"Yes this man, this ruffian, this deadbeat. Has done nothing but sit here from dawn till dusk, watching our children. He even tried to engage my young son in conversation, I dare say for nefarious means!" spat out the woman, still purple in the face.
"Now madam, this is a very serious allegation. I will have to take statements from your son in private. Is that alright with you ma'am?" asked the policeman, his tone again dropping an octave.
"Yes please do. Look at my poor son! He is obviously traumatised by it all. Go along with the officer, Jason. It's alright," said the woman, nudging her son towards the officer.
"Come along," snarled the officer, reaching out to clutch at the child's shoulder.
The last of the suns rays had dipped below the horizon, a few meager tendrils of light had finally been extinguished from the twilight sky as the cold embrace of night's air took hold. The only thing to break the icy silence was the sound of clapping. A sound of clapping, confident and jubilant, emanating from the silent figure.
"Bravo, oh bravo. I've followed you all the way from Beijing to Budapest and have never gotten to see one of your live performances. Tell me Fenris, do the Bloodpack insist on going after children, or is it the only other entertaining thing to do besides lick your balls all night? Oh wait don't stop me, it's the fleas again," said the figure, smirking joyously behind his hood.
The officer was only a slender man, thin yet short in stature. The polished brim of his cap barely reached level with the figure's nostrils. The bristle upon bristle of the officers bushy moustache hid his mouth.
"Excuse me sir, have you had anything to drink at all this evening? Have you ingested any psyche altering drugs? Do you know what day it is? How about the prime minister's name?" asked the officer, releasing his grip on the child and producing a flashlight from inside his high visibility jacket.
"Sir, could you please follow the light with your eyes?" requested the officer, slowly moving the glowing cylinder laterally and horizontally before flashing the light into the figure's face, blinding him. The officer's face then contorted into a snarl.
"I thought I smelled a Hellsing mutt. What is your interest with me boy? There are plenty other wolves to go after," barked the officer, his teeth now turned to glistening points.
"Others you say, hmm... now then, now then. I've put bullets in so many they get a bit indistinguishable after a while. Here, why don't you help me out?" said the figure, reaching for a bag underneath the bench he sat on.
As he unclasped the bulging bag, fur and pelts of all colours and sizes erupted from within it.
"Any of them look familiar?" chuckled the figure, reaching inside his hoodie pocket, grasping for the silver hip flask of brandy and taking a hearty swig.
"Bastard... bastard! This is my kin, my pack. You slaughtered them, every last one. E-even the elders, all the grey pelts!" roared the seething Fenris lurching forward to grasp at the man.
As Fenris lurched, the man produced a lighter from his inner pocket, and spat the alcohol into the face of the charging wolf.
"Now would be a good time to get out of here," shouted the man, to the mother.
All she could do was nod in stunned acceptance, as a screech of radio feedback burst through the man's eardrum.
"Ze, for the love of christ! That isn't you down there, is it?" came a worried voice over the radio.
"How many other thirty-something males do you see spitting fire into a werewolf's face? Take the damn shot Seres!" shouted Ze through his earpiece.
A crack of a bullet firing could be heard in the distance, followed by the whistle of it hurtling through the air to its target.
"Argh a dirty trick meatbag, but i can still smell you. Come here...Argh!" screamed Fenris as the bullet impacted into his arm.
"Little to the left Seres, flesh and claws don't mix well," said Ze as he quickly leapt out of the swinging arms of Fenris.
Again another crack came from the distance, this time impacting with the werewolfs collar bone.
"Up a little," said Ze calmly as Seres continued firing shot after shot into the wolf's fastly fading appendages.
"I'm trying, you know. You can't make three mile shots," shouted Seres, exasperated.
""I...I'll rip out your spine and make you... make you... a body bag..." coughed Fenris, retching up blood and bile.
"You'll rue this day human... you'll..." Fenris continued to pant. "No one... interferes with the blood pack," wheezed Fenris as another bullet ripped through him.
"That's enough Seres. You look a dog in the eye when you put them down," said Ze pulling something that was tucked into the back of his waistband. From it, Ze brandished his weapon of choice.
"Do you know what this is?" asked Ze.
The wolf remained silently defiant.
"This is a mark XIX Desert Eagle, capable of firing a .50 round that is accurate at upwards of fifty feet, and from point blank range this is going to cause quite a mess," said Ze, pressing the gun to Fenris's forehead.
Sweating slightly, Fenris looked upwards towards his executioner, and more closely at his method of departure.
"Any last words?" asked Ze.
His chest heaving, every breath more blood gurgling in his lungs. Each breath his vision becoming blotchy and dazzling.
"Hehe...hehe, why name your weapon?"
Before Fenris has finished speaking, Ze has already fired. The once black tarmac was now coated with various brain matters and a copious amount of blood. Breathing slower now, Ze produced a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and lit the tube of nicotine. Ze stood there calmly, allowing himself to relax a little.
"That's bad for your health, you know?" crackled Seres over the radio.
"So are heights. Get out of that belfry were going home," chuckled Ze taking a drag on his cigarette walking into the night.
A heaving could be heard in the air, the sound of sinew and flesh contorting. Fabric ripping from the seams, hot pungent breath on a cold night. Soft tinkles of metal could be heard on the tarmac surface, and the soft low growl of a wounded dog.
The low cracking of bones snapping and stretching pierced out through the night.
The clouds in the sky had cleared revealing the night's sun. The glowing orb in the sky cast shadows against the landscape.
"Ha..silver bullets, what are you some fucked up holy man"
Ze stopped in his tracks, slowly breathing in the nicotine he craved. The rhythm of his heart beating, the rise and fall of his chest perfectly in sync with one another. Breathing deeply on the cigarette, Ze took one last drag before extinguishing the butt beneath his boot and exhaling the last embers of smoke.
"So," smiled Ze, "does doggy want to play fetch?" he asked, tucking his weapon back into his waistband.
Fenris, now fully transformed, looked at the human before him. He neither imposed fear or malice, nor emanated an air of cowardice. Any other unarmed victim would be cowering before Fenris by now, pleading with the beast to spare their lives. Fenris's train of thought was, however, interrupted by a sharp whistling.
"Come here boy," whistled Ze. "Come on you murderous mutt you, fetch a stick, roll over, stay, stay," continued Ze, much to Fenris's chagrin.
"How about play dead?" Fenris managed to growl out before leaping for Ze.
"Bad dog!" sneered Ze before, turning on his heels and running for the closest exit, which happened to be a nearby alleyway. Forcing his body to surge forward, Ze sprinted for it, but Fenris was on him in a flash. No matter how fast Ze was, he was no match for an animal engineered for hunting.
Rushing past the chain link fence of the playground, Ze willed his body onwards, forever aware that he could feel the beasts sticky breath mere centimeters away from his neck. For every step he took, Fenris took four. Every icy breath of air into his lungs was not affecting the lycanthrope now pursuing him.
Ze could see the end of the alleyway in front of him; only a few more yards before he was possibly home and free. Four separate lines of heat emanated from Ze's ankle as his jeans leg bloomed with claret. Missing his step Ze tumbled to the floor, skidding along the pavement, out into the courtyard that the alleyway opened onto.
Ze struggled to pull his body along, his ankle torn open, his head had been cut open when he fell and was oozing blood from the deep gash now decorating his forehead. Fenris's nostrils twitched at the scent, his long tongue hung hungrily from between jagged salivating jaws. As his amber eyes darted around his head, taking in the sight before him. Yet again, Fenris expected the sounds of a defeated foe. Forlorn tears, empty pleas for life, yet all his ears could hear was laughter. Confident, bold and almost happy, the laugh of a madman.
"No, I'm not a holy man, or an insane asylum escapee. I just believe in a little thing called lady luck," exclaimed Ze.
As he uttered these words, the sound of a ballistic missile cracked around the square.
"Your luck has ran out morsel" Screeched Fenris,pulling back his bicep ready to swing the four knife edge claws into Ze's gut.
But before they could connect a flash illuminated the square and time itself seemed to slow. A bullet, the size of a tank shell had planted itself in Fenris's chest. Its pointed gleaming edge, buried itself deeper and deeper into the wolfs torso. The vapor trail that the projectile left behind seemed to be ablaze.
Again the square flashed, a blanket of heat erupted from the wolfs upper half as he was eviscerated by the detonation of the warhead. Scorched fur and burnt entrails adorned the small space.
"Didn't I tell you to get out of the belfry?" asked Ze, brushing charred fur off of his jacket.
"And didn't I say smoking would kill you one of these days?" shot back Seres over the radio.
"if you keep on using the explosive tips, i won't have to wait" said Ze pulling himself to his feet. Hopping precariously on his good leg.
"You might want to get that checked out," said Seres, looking concernedly at the gash in Ze's leg
"No worries" said Ze breathlessly. "Where I come from, you get your rabies jab before you lose your virginity," chuckled Ze, producing the packet from his pocket and happily lighting one.
"And why is it?" asked a familiar voice through the radio "That two of my operatives, three crates of ammunition and my jet is missing!?" asked the stern voice of Integra.
"Would you believe christmas shopping?" chirped Ze.
"Its the middle of summer" retorted Integra..
"Buying gifts for Hanukkah?"
"Ok,ok" chortled Ze " I was tying up our other loose end from Budapest"
"Yes, him and his bloodpack have been removed from play, which only leaves our two other players" Replied Ze.
"Good, report back to Hellsing headquarters, i want a debriefing tomorrow morning" said Integra cutting her connection to the radio.
"Two other players boss?" asked Seres.
"Don't worry about now how much do you know about Moscow?" asked Ze, pulling down his hood and strolling off into the summers night.
This was chapter one over and done with, tune in next time... if there is one