A brief story of an alternate time line.
I often asked my mother why my father chose to steal out into the darkness to continue this personal crusade against the Catholic church. I was young, too young to know the story, and yet I sensed something was amiss. I asked night after night and always I received the same answer. My mother would turn to me with eyes clouded by an emotion I could not distinguish, her face shadowed by anger and sorrow that vanished as she met my own eyes. Her voice often unusually hollow for someone who had so much joy in her would slip past her lips in an answer I could not fully understand..
"Because you were not my firstborn..."
She would say nothing more, merely slip away to leave me pondering this answer, for I with a child's mind, could not comprehend the fact I was not the only child my mother loved. Yet I dared not ask her what she meant by this cryptic answer, for fear she would cry.
I managed to gain my answer from my grandmother. I followed her silently, creeping into her study, though I knew I was not allowed. I never knew what my grandmother would say, she remained a puzzle to me then...and even more so now. She frightened me, this Integral Hellsing who looked upon me with nothing more then cool distain. I never saw warmth in her, my father telling me often enough she was never allowed such emotions and thus forgot them as she aged. Yet I was puzzled, for we of this race do not age beyond a certain year. It was not until much later that I found my grandmother had once been a human, a woman whom many feared. Thinking back on it, I suppose it should have been my grandfather I was afraid of. He who was always smirking in the shadows, watching us all with a cat-like intensity.
My grandmother sat before the fire, as she often did. A small cigar held between two fingers while her other hand rested comfortably on the arm of the chair. She knew I was there, scaring me as she asked what I wanted. She rarely spoke to me, and when she did it was with such authority that I often wondered how she could manage not to break apart from the ice in her voice. Squaring my shoulders, I walked toward her chair. I was a Hellsing after all, and none could make me show weakness, least of all in front of her. My attempt to remain proud must have amused her, for I heard a soft snort of laughter before I was able to turn and face the woman before me.
Time had not touched her, nor should it have been expected to. She sat in the chair, long platinum hair falling around her shoulders. Her eyes, devoid now of the horrible glasses she no longer wore, bore into my own as I stood, feigning courage I did not feel. Her legs, clothed in black pants were crossed, her arms and torso clothed in a thick black shirt. I was often told she had dressed as a man in her human years. Looking at her then, I could not really believe it. The woman before me seemed as through suits were not in her tastes. Slacks yes...but never something as constrictive as a suit.
She took a long inhale of her cigar, her eyes never leaving mine as she blew the smoke out lazily. Keeping her hand up, she smirked lightly:
"I asked you a question, Mikal. Did you not hear me?" She took another breath from the cigar before flicking the ashes into a crystal tray on the table beside her. I knew she wanted an answer, but I could not find a way to ask. Gathering my courage, I cleared my throat and spoke, glad my voice did not waver as I did so.
"Where does father go at night?"
I must have surprised her, for her expression wavered slightly before the mask fell back into place. reaching over, she pinched the end of her cigar, grinding it into the tray and extinguishing it quickly. Turning back to me, she folded her hands in her lap and motioned for me to pull up the chair near her and sit. I did so, thrilled not only that my questions would be answered, but also that my grandmother was looking at me with more then cold indifference. She did not face me as she began.
" Years ago, when I was human." I was glad she did not look at me then, for I was shocked by this revelation. My grandmother had never confessed anything so personal to me before...to do so then must have been hard for her. She continued on, oblivious to my shock.
"...Hellsing was England's first and only defense against those who wandered the night in search of blood. I was the last of my line, and according to your grandfather, ruled with an iron hand. That is not the issue here, needless to say Hellsing fought against the Freaks that roamed the night, destroying each one as we came upon them. Your grandfather was my greatest servant, as well as my weapon. We had managed to gain a foothold, gain back the night. Yet we met with the most resistance from the Catholics..."
She spit the word out as if it were a poison she would not swallow. I knew her dislike of them well, as she had often cursed them as they passed us on the streets.
"...They chose to interfere most with our missions as though they had rights upon English soil. Hellsing and Iscariot fought against each other for years, though they never won. No one could with the expertise Hellsing had. In the end, it was not we who brought down each other, but our children. Hellsing fell the night I was stabbed by that Vatican pig Anderson. Alucard was fortunately close enough to grant me a new life, so that I might pursue the mission of Hellsing. It was a choice that needed to be made. I refused to die...and now I cannot..." I spoke then, questions plaguing me so that I could no longer remain silent.
"What happened to Anderson?" She smiled without humor.
"I'm getting to that child." I sat back, waiting intently for her to continue.
"He managed to escape, your grandfather was far too concerned with my well-being to try anything then. Perhaps that is what Anderson was counting on, I cannot say. I was reborn that night, awaking the next with an anger that burned through me like I had never felt. I tracked down those of Iscariot I could. Unfortunately Anderson, and his superiors had disappeared. Fled Rome it seemed in fear of Alucard's wrath. I came upon an empty office, however the building was not. Enrico had left his assassins...I left their bodies." I shivered at this, frightened, but too enthralled to leave.
" It was years before they returned, their sons in tow. Both thought that they would return Iscariot to its former glory now that none had heard of Alucard for years. They thought Hellsing was finished, little did they know what had truly transpired while they were away. I left Iscariot a broken shell, forcing Anderson and Enrico to rebuild from the ashes. Then, once they were done, we struck. I had gained allies while Iscariot slept. Alan brought his own children with him, adding them with my own to create an elite team..." I smiled at this, remembering that is how my parents had met. My mother the best tracker and weapons expert, my father put under her father's control as a soldier to be trained as a better weapon then his father had been.
" We broke Iscariot the three of us. Yet they kept coming back like roaches. Years of war broke out. This time, neither side could gain the upper hand. Perhaps it was this that drove your parents and your aunt and uncle to do what they did. I find it ironic it was our children who finally ended the war and brought about the destruction of Iscariot. I still wonder what it was about Anderson's son that your aunt found so appealing. But before we could stop them, they were married. Your parents the same day. The bonds could not be broken, we were family, as disgusting a prospect as that is."
She turned back to the table, and pulled another cigar from its slim case. I said nothing, afraid to move, or even speak for fear she would end the tale right there. She took her time, lighting the thing and inhaling once before she continued on.
" We were stuck. Neither side able to attack but both wanting to. Anderson was furious that his son had turned his back on the church and married someone who worked for Hellsing. Perhaps it was small consolation that his daughter-in-law was not a Protestant. We should have expected a repercussion but we did not...at least not of this sort. Years passed as they often do, your mother gave birth to a son whom she named Gabriel. It was this child that rekindled the flame of hatred between us all. It was late in summer, and your parents had just gone to bed when someone snuck into the house. It appeared that I had forgotten one of Iscariots lackeys, and it was she who stole into the house and took your brother from his crib."
Unintentionally I leaned forward, my small frame illuminated by the fire as I tried to edge closer, as if to shift into my grandmother's words and save a child I did not know. My grandmother seemed not to notice at first but did shift a bit to lean closer to me, though she still held the cigar in her up reached hand.
"Your mother heard the single cry of her son, and managed to chase the thief into the darkness, a single scream all the warning your father received before he saw her running out the door. She ran through the forest barefoot, her blood the only trail your father could follow as she dashed through the darkness ahead of him. He followed her trail to a deserted church, where he was greeted by a single scream of anguish and sobs of heartache. He saw the reason soon enough. Your mother was on the floor of the church holding what was once the body of her child. His body cut open and blood poured over the decaying alter as a testament to her sin. Someone was laughing saying this was the punishment for allowing the demon spawn to grow within her. As with your grandfather, your father could not leave his wife. She held the child out to him begging him to do something but it was too late. Your brother was killed because your mother married an unholy creature, and her sister married the son of a priest, leading him into sin and creating children. However, unlike Anderson's grandchildren, Gabriel was tainted, unable to be baptized and thus must be destroyed...for being the proof that Iscariot's reign was ending."
Once more she extinguished the cigar, a symbolism of the life that would never be...a tiny fire snuffed out coldly and without regard after a short life. I felt then a shadow of what my mother must have felt. I had not known this child, while she had carried it within her, and nursed it for the brief time it was allowed to exist. I sat in the silence my gaze upon my grandmother as she turned back to finish her tale.
"The next night was when it all began again. Your uncle heard of the murder and that night joined your father in the hunt. A Catholic and a Protestant joined in a single goal, not against the undead...but against the living. The newspapers told of the outcome the next morning. Anderson and Enrico were found the next morning beside their lackey, all three nailed to crosses hung upside down. Their blood poured over the alter. Their internal organs left burning in the incense trays." She laughed softly at this.
" And that is why your father goes out every night. He is completing the job Hellsing has been performing since before you were born. No Catholic dares set foot on English soil now, because they too are considered scum."
I left there that night, running down the hall in time to watch my father leave the mansion. I knew then that his war was now mine. It has been years since my grandmother told me that story. With the leaders of Iscariot gone, Rome dares not come into English affairs. I now hunt with my father, eradicating the vermin that stalk the night. Hellsing is strong again...immortal...ever watchful of those who would harm the innocent. I am a Hellsing. And I fear no man...