Disclaimer: Team Dragon Star does not own Hellsing or any of its characters. All original characters are property of DevilsDoCry.
Chapter by DevilsDoCry and Kanotari
1. Amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong; expiation.
2a.Reconciliation or an instance of reconciliation between God and humans.
2b. Atonement Christianity The reconciliation of God and humans brought about by the redemptive life and death of Jesus.
"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. His mother watched him, fanning herself with a tabloid magazine as she reclined on a bench a few meters away.
Ripples and waves of heat were scurrying along the hardened blacktop, baking under the hot summer sun. 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, bouncing 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.
"E-e-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, her face turning puce.
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... 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, the last meager tendrils of light vanishing 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 mind-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," said 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 Seras!" 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!" the wolf cried out as the bullet impacted with his arm. "A dirty trick, meatbag, but I can still smell you. Come here... Argh!"
"Little to the left Seras, 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 werewolf's collar bone.
"Up a little," said Ze calmly as Seras continued firing shot after shot into the wolf's fastly fading appendages.
"I'm trying, you know. Three mile shots are a bit tricky. I'd like to see you try," shouted Seras, 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 Seras. 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.
The wolf's chest was heaving. With every breath, the gurgle of blood filling his lungs grew louder. "Hehe...hehe, why name your weapon?"
Before Fenris had even finished speaking, Ze 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 Seras over the radio.
"So are heights. Get out of that belfry. We're 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.
"Hah! 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 beast's sticky breath mere centimeters away from his neck. For every step he took, Fenris took four. He could feel himself slowing with every ragged breath he drew.
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-edged 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 wolf's 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 Seras 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 Seras, looking at the gash in Ze's leg with concern.
"Oh don't worry," 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 are missing!?" asked the stern voice of Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, director of the Hellsing Organization.
"Would you believe Christmas shopping?" chirped Ze.
"It's 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, he and his blood pack have been removed from play, which only leaves our two other players," replied the cheeky human.
"Good, report back to headquarters. I want a debriefing tomorrow morning," ordered Integra. There was a hiss from the radio as she severed the connection.
"Two other players, boss?" asked Seras.
"Don't worry about them. Now... how much do you know about Moscow?" asked Ze, pulling down his hood and strolling off into the summers night.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. The clock's monotonous rhythm was the only sound in the room. Two candles were the only source of light, filling the space in a low warm glow which dimly illuminated the room's occupants. At one side of the gargantuan desk from which the Hellsing Organization was run sat Sir Integra Hellsing. Integra's features had changed little in the fifteen years since Alucard's departure, though her porcelain features were starting to crease around her forehead and lips. The skin around her eye patch had now dulled to a pinkie hue after the many years of sporting the injury. The candles' light only highlighted the tips of her silvering hair. Yet for all these slight changes, she was still as tenacious as the Defender of London from fifteen years earlier.
Rolling a cigar in between her gloved fingers, Integra looked over the two operatives sitting in front of her. Seras had not aged a day; she still had the body of a 19-year-old girl in her prime, which was in no short fact due to the vampiric gift that Alucard has bestowed upon her. Integra felt a flush of jealousy looking at the girl before her. Not a single wrinkle, not a single grey hair hidden amongst the blonde ones, and her body would never change from the ample figure she had been bestowed. However in the next instant, Integra's jealousy was gone. She had the gift of death; she would be able to expire naturally and without pain. Integra had seen what living too long could do to a person's psyche, in the walking time bomb that was Alucard.
Beside Seras sat Ze. There were only a few things Integra was thankful for and one of them was that she would never be as unfortunate as that man had been. Perching the cigar in her mouth, Ze leant across the table to offer her a light which she accepted. Inhaling deeply, Integra began.
"So I went down to the armoury today to get our expenditures from the master of arms. Usually we spend a couple thousand restocking on ammunition, replacing body armour, repairing the vehicles. But imagine my shock when he handed me this," said a very cross Integra, placing a clipboard down on the table.
Reaching into his pocket, Ze produced a pair of half-moon glasses and slowly read through the page that Integra had presented to him.
"That is an invoice for £40,000 worth of equipment and ammunition. Just what in the hell were you two doing? I specifically ordered you not draw attention to yourselves and you put a small dent in a city square!" seethed the director.
"Elk hunting. This is the first time me and Seras have worked together and to break the ice, I thought a spot of hunting was in order," said Ze fiddling with the arm on his glasses.
"You took a case of military grade anti-tank rounds to hunt for your dinner?" asked Integra, struggling to keep her composure.
"In all fairness, it was a pretty damn big elk," responded Ze with a smile on his face.
Integra perched the lit cigar in between her fingers, clenching it with such force that it threatened to snap at any moment. Smoke poured out of her nostrils like a dragon ready to unleash fire upon him.
"Then why did you need to use my own personal jet for such a short hunting trip?" Integra asked, her jaw clenched so tightly the sinews and veins in her neck were one exertion from snapping.
"Have you ever caught public transport? Never mind they don't run on time and that they're always cramped and you end up sat next to someone you don't know with less than pleasurable body odour, but when was the last time you took a beautiful woman out with a cannon strapped to her back and didn't draw any attention?" asked Ze still smirking at his employer.
"Do you even know how to fly?" interrogated Integra, her temple close to bursting.
"In a fashion, kind of like riding a bike, except if you fall off there's one hell of a long drop."
"That's it! Meeting adjourned! You're restricted to quarters for the rest of the week and for god's sake take a bath. You smell like wet dog and overdone beef," shouted Integra, planting a fist into the hard oak of the table.
Integra waited until Ze's tall figure had left the room before clutching at her still throbbing hand.
"Is everything alright, mistress?" asked Seras looking towards Integra's twitching hand.
"Yes... I'm fine, it's just... well how it was working with him for the first time?" said Integra with a look of needing on her face.
"Honestly... it was like working with a child. He's needlessly reckless, a smart ass, hasn't got the first grasp of manners and well..." Seras paused. "It was like working with master again.
Integra nodded. She had noticed the resemblance herself.
"Yes, they both have their faults," continued the draculina, "but they both make up for it. I haven't seen another so determined or brave in a long while."
"Well here," said Integra, producing a file from within one of the desk drawers. "This is his dossier. If you're going to be working together, you might as well know each other. I'm sure he read yours weeks before tonight's jaunt," said Integra, pushing the inch-thick folder across the table to Seras.
Grabbing the dossier, Seras left her chair and was about to leave when Integra acknowledged her.
"And before you leave, turn in all that hardware. I want every round, rivet and trace of our property returned tonight."
Seras sat cross legged on her plush bed, the bulb of her reading lamp flickering as she fingered open the cover of the dossier.
Dossier accurate as of march 2014
NAME: Zacharias Edwards
BLOOD TYPE: B+
WEIGHT: 195 lbs.
HAIR COLOUR: Brown
EYE COLOUR: Green
DISTINGUISHABLE FEATURES: Varying tattoos, winged Excalibur on right forearm, tribal sleeve covering left arm, Rosary tattoo on inner right bicep, initials L and E behind right ear. Varying scars. Bullet wound in shoulders, gash across right bicep, a circular brand like marking on both ankles.
SERVICE HISTORY: Joined the British armed forces at the age of 17 after having spent 4 years in the cadets. Started his Phase 1 training at AFC Harrogate, before moving onto Phase 2 infantry training at Catterick Garrison and then joining the support weapons school (SWAS) where he excelled as a proficient and skilled trainee. Zacharias completed his Phase 2 training with SWAS. Joined the 2nd battalion Yorkshire regiment before being deployed to the conflict in Bosnia for its waning months. Awarded the Military cross for defending his squad while under heavy fire and awaiting casualty retrieval, for which he was also promoted to lance corporal. Assisted American personnel in Operation Desert Fox. Served six months on patrol in Northern Ireland during the troubles. Awarded general service medal. Deployed to Sierra Leone during the civil war, gained promotion to lance corporal for exemplary leadership in the field. Served a year with his squad peacekeeping in the Falklands, before being deployed to Afghanistan. Took part in operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Anaconda alongside coalition forces afterwards being redeployed to Iraq taking part in multiple operations before being promoted to the rank of sergeant. Applied for selection to the Special Air Service (SAS) when returning from deployment in 2006. Passed selection process at age of 30. Served for 6 years with the SAS, including multiple engagements in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, during which time he was promoted to staff sergeant and then onwards to sergeant major. Honourably discharged after injuries sustained in the Mali conflict of 2013. Offered work as a Hellsing operative three days after discharge.
A voice in the back of her head chuckled softly. Wow this guy has a list of honours as long as my di...
I don't need the mental picture, thank you Pip. Anyway, there's more of this to read.
HELLSING PERSONAL PSYCHOLOGICAL REPORT: Subject appears to be of sound body and mind at first glance. First we tested his reactions, to see if his mind was up to speed, which he passed with flying colours. Next we tested his memory skills, using cards to see if he could correctly remember a set sequence. Again the subject passed with flying colours. Next we observed the subject at rest, which is where the only disturbing part of our report resides. While under observation the subject appeared normal in his sleep patterns. It wasn't until we invoked stimuli that the subject provoked a response. When we played the sound of fireworks the subject became rigid in his sleep, almost lying to attention, ready to engage a combatant. During this time we saw his heart rhythm had doubled in speed. It wasn't until we changed the sound that the subject calmed. The sound that calmed him was...
"The sound of laughter," said Ze leaning on the door jamb.
"You realise you talk aloud when you read, and especially when you're talking to Napoleon in that head of yours," said Ze point his index finger to his temple.
Seras felt her cheeks go red as Ze's eyes examined her own, staring into her to try and find some sort of secret. It was only for Pip's rambling that stopped the sudden flush in her cheeks.
Napoleon! Who does this stiff upper lipped shit-eater think he is? I am too tall to be associated with Napoleon. Why if I had a body, I would, I would, I would...
"You would do what Frenchie? Surrender at me? Oh please. You're just adorable," smiled Ze, goading the Frenchman.
Let me out! I'm going to slit his fucking throat. I will make delicious pies out of his gizzards, and shove my foot so far up his rectum it will come up the other side singing La Marseillaise.
Seras's body morphed and changed as the Frenchman tried to materialise himself from within her, desperate to get a very large piece of the smug Brit.
"I knew an Australian guy once, said he had a cream for something like that," said Ze still smiling smugly at the Frenchman's expense.
"Calm down Pip. He is just trying to goad you. He's obviously a bit sicker in the head then this report lets on. Plus never forget, I'm in control!" shouted Seras mentally.
In an instant, Seras's form reverted back to its natural state. No longer was Pip's form trying to abscond from her shoulder. The exertion needed to reign him in had left Seras light headed as she slowly slid off the edge of her bed.
"Hmm, seems your dossier was wrong. I only see feistiness, not a sight of anyone docile," said Ze flinging the brown file at his partner.
"You... you read all of it?" asked Seras timidly.
"Seras Victoria, age nineteen, born thirteenth of April 1980. Died eighteenth of august 1999. Orphaned, parents murdered due to father's profession. Attended police academy June 1998, completed course June 1999. Joined active duty July 1999. A docile and clumsy, yet well mannered, well liked and professional cadet. If applied properly in the field could be a shining asset for the metropolitan police," finished Ze calmly.
"Oh no! He's going to think I'm a dopey bint, Seras whined. "Wait... it's ok Seras. Its ok. You could always just eat him."
"What I have just read means as much to me as it does that your hair is blonde. Your worth to me, and mine to you can never be written in a dossier shorter than a magazine. What matters are two simple things: loyalty and getting the job done. If you can do those two things for me, then I will never ask anything else of you," said Ze, fiddling with his reading glasses.
"You mean it?" Seras asked earnestly.
"Maybe your three measurements, I mean for a waist that small and bazookas that big... I mean you're lucky you're a vampire or you would have back problempph," said Ze as Seras hurled the dossier into his gawping face.
"Asshole!" shouted Seras and Pip unanimously.
Ze was old enough to know never to stick around when a woman was in a bad mood, especially a draculina who, if the mood took her, could rip him limb from limb. Retreating to the comforting four walls of his own room, Ze locked the door with the deadbolt.
The laptop that had been left open soon flickered back into life, its screen casting a blue glow.
"Now that you have had your fun, we need to talk over this Moscow business. Why do you want to go there? And why do you need squads A and B with you?" asked Integra, occupying the only chair in the room as she waited for her operative to return.
"Everything we had, intelligence, field reports, might as well go in the bin. They've changed tack since we last kept on eye on them; they're already planning their counter assault," said Ze sternly.
"So," said Integra, lighting a cigar, "what do we know about Stalin's hammer?"
"Same as Millennium, special research battalion. High tech weaponry, chemical warfare, even took a try at making super soldiers. Fled in the early hours of the battle of Moscow. An entire battalion gone in a few hours."
The colour washed away from Integra's face at the mere mention of a millennium clone. The causalities that Millennium had inflicted upon London and Hellsing had been catastrophic. An entire city perished in one fell swoop. People had only just started repopulating the city a few years ago, after countless countermeasure after countermeasure had been ensured by the government and the Vatican.
"So another set of indestructible super soldiers from a war long gone," smiled Integra weakly, taking panicked drags on her cigar.
"Not exactly. Unlike Millennium troops, they were never infused with vampire DNA. In fact the only faction of their soldiers that were infused with anything were the Blood Pack, and that was only a shock troop of 100 soldiers out of a battalion, but... I would prepare for the worst. It's been 70 years since they ran off into Moscow's winter. Anything could have happened in that time."
Integra pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration. She wasn't mad at Ze; it was the lack of intel that was frustrating her. She wanted to avoid another Millennium crisis at all costs, even if it meant crippling herself and her organisation financially.
"Fine, squads A and B will be ready and prepped by the end of the week. As for supplies, I'm giving you and the teams free reign of the armoury. But for Christ's sake take it easy on the motor pool. We only just got the dents out of the Humvees from the last time you used them. Until that time, you're ordered to quarters, you need to give that leg some time to heal. Werewolf injuries can be finicky things," said Integra, closing the video link to the laptop.
Feeling the effects of the night's activities, Ze laid back onto his bed, staring at a spot on the ceiling until the grip of sleep took him.
Take it easy she says... well she never said anything about the Hercules.