In the next several days, there were more attacks. Antipathy killed brutally and she did not discriminate between humans or passive demons living in London's streets. Each time she left some sign or message addressed to Xander. His reputation worked against him now. Xander Harris was part of the now infamous Sunnydale crew. Friend of the deadliest Slayers in creation and a Witch with enough mojo she had almost deep-sixed the planet. People began to talk. Soon word hit the street, Xander was hooked up with Hellsing. People began doing more then talking. They began grumbling. Of course, Xander's fear was nothing compared to the nervousness of those around him. Finally, there was a meeting. Giles, a Priest representing Iscariot and Integra herself sat down at the Hellsing House.
"No round table," Giles muttered referring to the group of British Hierarchy that protected England against all threats, even threats that did not officially exist. " I guess the situation doesn't call for it."
"UNIT offered assistance but my father has had bad experiences with their…advisory staff. As for the rest Rupert, the others are still …cautions about what place the New Watchers should hold in the scheme of things."
"Why because I was an outcast for much of the last few years." Giles said grumpily
"Because you and your charges have turned things upside down." Father Carzey snorted. He was there because the Vatican had demanded to know what was going on. Moreover, Buffy's choice to settle in Rome meant that if the Slayer went to war it would be on the Vatican's backdoor. "Iscariot made overtures to the council many times. Your…openness now seems out of character for your organization."
Giles had vowed he would stay away from that topic if it came up for discussion. "Lets just say that things are changing. Integra what's going on with Xander.
"May I assume his jocular attitude about all of this is normal." Integra supplied wearily
"For him, quite " Giles smiled. It was nice to see Xander affected someone else the same way he did the ex-Librarian
"Alright gentlemen this is what we know, someone is making freak chips again, chips that once implanted change victims into vampires. We stopped them before and we could do it again. Now however, there is a new threat. Our foes have used a prototype freak chip to create a new foe, this person Antipathy. She is fast strong and dangerous and oddly enough has some kind of grudge against Xander Harris. There have been several deaths according to the police. Keeping it quiet is taking all of our resources. "
Giles spoke up" you actually have more deaths then you know, Antipathy has been hitting the demons as well. Word is spreading that something is hunting and it is starting to look like humans are going to war against demon kind…all demon kind. "
Father Carzey snorted. "The whining of these abominations of nature hardly seem like our greatest concern."
"Think of it this way," Giles explained patiently "by hitting the demons and the humans she is starting friction twixt several parties. If things go badly, war that none of us can afford to fight, will result.
"The Vatican can stand against all threats." The Priest said arrogantly
"As will Hellsing>" Integra stated. She at least sounded a bit less sure so Giles concentrated on her.
":As charming as I find your mutual assured arrogance, the fact remains none of us can afford to be fighting multiple wars. The demon populace would prefer to live and let live but If they are provoked, they will fight back and the only person that will satisfy is our real enemy."
Alucard emerged from a dark corner to interrupt him. "Only one battle must be fought and it is the boy's to fight
"Hellsing's abomination what is it doing here." the priest said panicking
"Amusing myself with your prattling. You all know what has be done. Yet, you fear doing it. The boy must kill the proto-slayer. He must kill her alone. The forces you fear. The armies of The Wolf, The Ram and The Hart they must see that we will meet their gambits with forces to match theirs and then go further. They must fear you as you fear them. The boy must hunt the freak-slayer and the boy must kill it, nothing less will do.
"And I'm assuming you plan to sit this fight out " Giles sneered
"I have my part to play in the coming conflict but this fight is Xander's to win or to lose "
"You know the Wyrd sisters may never recover from your assault on them. "
"Like the boy you believe in the fantasy of Humanity. That it is a healing salve that will bind up all the wounds to the mind and spirit. " Alucard fixed a baleful gaze on Giles. "Your belief in humanity is a weakness and if you would win the coming battles, we must avoid all shows of weakness. Either you face this truth, or your charges will wither and die before they have even been truly tested in battle." Alucard turned sharply and marched toward the door. "I wait for the day of the final battle but until then we each have our own agendas to follow." Alucard kept walking and did not so much open the door as pass though it.
"Well gentlemen, it appears the debate is a moot point, Xander must haunt and slay this freak-slayer and he must do it soon."
"Xander is hardly ready to face something like this, let me contact Buffy, Willow."
"No Giles, Xander has proven himself to me." She turned to Father Carzey." I assume you have learned all that Yumiko told you of the assault on the factory?"
"Her report was quite detailed, I hesitate to leave this in the hands of Hellsing but the boy at least has proven himself formidable."
"You see, you must stop coddling the boy, it does him no good and endangers those who should be able to depend on him. Honestly Watcher why did you send him here if not to learn to do exactly what we need him to do now."
"All right, but I'm not looking forward to explaining this to The Girls. They can be extremely unreasonable when it comes to Xander. "
"Tell them he is doing his job, it has been an honor having him among us and I would welcome the opportunity to extend his stay permanently were he so inclined."
Five floors above the conference room Seras pulled her head out of the wall. She had been listening to the meeting from a safe vantage.
"It's freaky seeing your head and shoulder just vanish into the wall like that " Xander said warily
"Trust me it feels even weirder, but they are sending us in. Master convinced them, we're getting the green light
"Which means I have to take out a something as strong and as fast as a slayer."
"You have an advantage you didn’t have when you faced that Faith-woman, me…I'll be at your side the whole time. We will take her as a team "
"Thanks Seras I appreciate that." He hugged her then, mostly because it would have felt weird not to hug after sharing a moment like they had.
The next day a truck showed up in front of Hellsing house and a dozen young girls poured out of it. They where ordered into ranks and processed by the FC.
"What this?" Xander asked Seras as he watched the girls.
"This would be a gift from your Mr. Giles, a team of Slayers who will accompany the operations team that is helping with the hunt."
"What, I thought the old man had faith in me."
"I do, But should I be interrogated by Buffy and Willow I want to be able to say I helped as much as I could." Giles called out as he approached the watching pair.
"Giles" Xander hugged the man
"Hello Xander, I'm helping to prepare the girls for working within the team. I just wanted to stop and say…."
"Thanks Giles "
"How do you know what I'm going to say."
"Cause after all this time even your nagging is a hell of lot closer to fatherly advice and encouragement then I ever got at home."
Giles reddened. Seras giggled as she watched them both. Xander stepped behind her and shoved her forward at Giles who stuck out his hand "So you are Seras Victoria, I pictured someone …more like Alucard actually."
"I have my moments, Xander has told me about you it’s a great honor."
"We will see how honored you feel after we see the girls in action. "
"So did you hear from the guys "
"I decided it would be better to let them know …after its all over."
"Too scared huh?"
"Willow and Buffy were having fits when they heard you were joining up with Hellsing. I don't know enough about the Wyrd Sisters to consider telling them what that was all about."
"What about the Wyrd Sisters. Master Alucard dealt with that." Seras asked
"Yeah exactly" Xander remembered what he had, and had not told Seras about what he had been doing that day.
"Master dealt with that and you agreed with that decision." a dangerous tone creeping was creeping into the vampire's voice.
"In principle yes I did agree with that choice." Xander said holding up his hands to deal with the tide of anger he could feel coming.
"In principle and in fact, did you lie to me?"
"No, not telling you something is not the same as lying." Xander was suddenly noticing how red Seras eyes were.
"You were at the Club, Master had to rescue you from the sisters."
Giles smiled indulgently "Seras if I may, You will find as I have, Asking Xander how he got himself into a situation is often not the best way to deal with it. "
"But what kind of a fool knowingly endangers himself."
Giles eyes twinkled. You mean he hasn’t told you The Stories yet."
Seras looked at Xander suspiciously "what stories?"
"Dear God Giles Please don't"
A rat, your best friend, turned into a rat.
"Hello, stopped her from taking her clothes off. Do I get no credit for stopping her from taking her clothes off."
"In her passion, she would have killed you. I'd say that was self preservation on your part."
"I saved the world, did he tell you I saved the world. No he did not , Why? Cause there is nothing embarrassing about me saving the world."
It was hours later and Seras armed with seven years worth of Xander antics was riding him relentlessly as they headed into the city. Antipathy had made all her kills in a twelve-block radius of each other. She was making herself very easy to find. The mixed team of the soldiers and Slayers arrived at the building thinking it would be the same as before. Seras and Xander would shake the rat's nest the rest of them would swat the vermin as they emerged. Instead from the moment they got inside, an army of ghouls rushed them. The Slayers went into action with the ops team closely behind backing them up. They had all been training for this moment and they did themselves proud.
Seras shouldered her high powered rifle and blow crowds of zombies away. Xander stood at her side raking any undead still standing with silver-jacketed needle-gun fire. Both warriors were so lost in the task, they didn’t notice they had been herded away from the rest of the team. Static and interference on the com-links confirmed that both Seras and Xander were very much on their own.
"Where's Big Red." Xander asked breathlessly. He was hoping she might be able to talk to Alucard at least.
"No idea, it like white noise in my head when I try and contact him."
They headed down the now clear hallway until they reached an abandoned elevator. Seras yanked open the door and they listened to the sounds of combat coming from the floors above. She slung her rifle on her back and held out her hands to Xander.
"What? you can't be serious?" He snorted
"Why not?" she sounded hurt. "We climb up the shaft and rejoin the others."
"But you can't possibly…" he began.
She cut him off by reaching out and snatching the front of his field jacket in her fist and hauling him a foot into the air, one-handed. "Choose you next witticism carefully Mr. Harris it may be your last."
Xander did his best Sean Connery imitation. "Thank you for the demonstration, Ms. Victoria."
She laughed as she put him down. They were about to start the operation when a blur of speed and force ripped out of the shadows barreled into Seras and pitched her headlong down the lift shaft. A figure reached out and slammed the door closed, before turning to face Xander.
It was female. Her flesh was gray and mottled. Her hair wild and unkempt, her clothes were covered in grime and filth, but her face was still recognizable as that of Anne Horne.
Xander backed away from Anne "Hi Anne, long time no see, no sure about the new look though."
"Oh tell me you like it, I did it for you, they say you like Slayers."
"Well I'm kind of partial to the classic look, you know, vaguely human."
"Come on big boy, fashions change; hems raise, necklines fall and optional extras like weapons now come standard." she raised her muscled arms and bone spurs shot out of her wrists. Each one looked deadly sharp.
"Antipathy, I presume."
She nodded eagerly. She began stalking toward Xander, gouging lines in the walls with her bone spurs as she came. "This is going to hurt a little at first, but after that, I'm hoping that it's going to hurt a lot."
Seras landed at he bottom of the shaft. She crashed through the top of a disused elevator and rolled out the door into an open room. She stood and shook her head. If she were human, she would be dead right now or at least severely wounded.
She listened to but could not tell what was going on above her. Was Xander fighting Antipathy for she was sure that was what had hurled her into the lift shaft?
"OK bitch, you want to go, let's go" she murmured more to steel her courage. First, to climb up the shaft to the where Xander was then they could get a team together and pursue Antipathy. A rustling made her stop. Out of the shadows came a group of Vampires. Their red eyes glowing. Obviously, they had been hiding down here from the purge going on above.
"Bad move fleshie." one of them called out. "Coming down here alone."
"You are making a mistake." Seras started backing away from the advancing group.
"Let me guess, you aren't alone." the leader sneered.
"No, I'm not a fleshie." Seras shouldered her rifle and fired taking out bunches of vamps. The rest rushed her. The firing went on until the undead finally overwhelmed her. They swarmed her and bore her to the ground.
The leader who had survived her first few shoots laughed. "That's right, make her beg for death."
Then the pile shifted as Seras's fist punched upward. There was feral grin stretched across her face and she was tearing apart vampires with her bare hands. Sometime in the midst of her purging binge of destruction, she began laughing maniacally.
"What are you " the vampire was panicking as Seras tore a swath though his army?
"Darkness and Death." Answered Alucard who was watching his childer from afar with real pride.
Xander fired his needle gun; Antipathy somehow used the bone spurs on her arms to deflect his attack. Great, I really need to win and the danm thing won't take you down."
She laughed and jumped up the ceiling using it as a pivot she lashed out her feet sending him crashing to he ground with her kick. He rolled to safety and stood as she came at him again. Antipathy lashed out at him and he blacked her strikes with the rifle. She pressed her attack forcing him down the hallway until he leapt backward. Firing into the ceiling, he brought down part of the roof on the proto-Slayer. She began slashing at the debris as it buried her. He darted into a nearby room and slammed the door. He tried in vain to reach anyone on the com-links and he had no idea where Seras was.
The door exploded inwards as Antipathy slashed her way into the room. "I heard about you Xander, the great monster killer, not so brave when your fighting someone who can match you. Who can take you down like you did the Wyrd Sisters."
"The Sisters were Slayers; ten times my strength and speed. I didn’t take them down but even if I did they're hardly worth getting revenge for. They were criminals they had power enough to help people and they were screwing people over."
Who cares?" Antipathy screamed, herding him into a corner. "They were my ticket to the big time, my chance to get out of the this place and you took that away."
Xander stopped "Is that why you're doing this, cause you singing career got torched. I was killing vampires since grade eleven. In seven years, I've face down some the worst demonic scum on Earth and beyond and your pissed caused you lost your singing job. Suck it up and get a life."
"I'd rather have yours." As she came at him again, he held up his rifle to block her strike so she speared the weapon. He struggled to hold on to it but she tossed him bodily out into the hallway. He climbed weakly to his feet and was about to pull his pistol when the proto-slayer rushed him and stabbed him through the shoulder pinning him to a wall. She giggled at his cry of pain before yanking out the bone spur and letting him sink to the ground. "This is more fun then when I was practicing on those nobodies I killed before." Grabbing Xander, she hauled him to his feet. Extending the pointed spur, she readied to plunge it into his remaining eye when a gore covered Seras reached out and grabbed her arm.
"Excuse me Xander, Annie and I need to have a girl chat." She backhanded the freak-slayer down he hall. The two started fighting. Xander was amazed at how fast they traded blows. Antipathy would weave, duck, and then slash out at Seras. She would bend and contort her body away from the bone spurs before punching out at Antipathy. Then Seras grabbed her arms and drove the spurs into a wall. Pinned in place by her own weapons, Antipathy was helpless as the blonde vampire punched her repeatedly eventually sending the freak to her knees weeping.
"I'm a freak, a monster. What have I done to myself? " The deformed woman wailed piteously
"You were confused Anne, Hellsing will get you help. We will find a away I promise." Seras answered pitying her former friend.
I have nothing left nothing except my hate." She screamed. She tore her arm from the wall and swatted Seras. As the trooper was reeling Anne shoved one of the spurs into her gut. Seras screamed in pain. She shoved Anne backwards. Freeing herself of the impaling spur.
The freak staggered as a resounding series of booms filled the hallway. Xander had finally managed to draw his pistol. "I couldn't fire until you were clear I wanted to make sure."
Anne screamed high and loud as the chemical reaction inside her caused her to burst into flames. Her body slumped and crumbled to the ground.
Well that was about he worst thing, I've seen today." Said Xander weakly before he passed out.
The next few days flew by. Hellsing's ranks swelled as several Slayers became fulltime troopers. Operations were already predicting improved field results.
Seras sequestered herself. She did not come out to join any of the troops and she certainly avoided Xander. He was released from hospital with only a sling to show for his implement at the hands of Antipathy.
Eventually there was council business, Giles hinted that it could use Xander's unique touch. He hesitated for a day but eventually begged a leave of absence from Integra. They both knew it would be awhile before they would see each other again.
Xander packed his things silently, he felt rather then heard Alucard appear in his room. He was holding a laptop computer. "Police Girl says this will allow you to access the machines in the basement. "
Xander accepted the gift. He packed it away with the rest of his gear. "Why do I feel this weird sense that you, of all people, knew how this would turn out. "
"Because you are not stupid."
Xander was so shocked at the honesty and non-evasive way he spoke.
Alucard smiled at Xander's gaze. "Seras Victoria is my childer and one day she will be a full No-life Queen, A true Goddess of Darkness and Death. Heir to all the powers I have including some that I am bound by my oaths to Hellsing not to use unless Integra gives me leave."
"Oaths that Seras isn't bound by."
"Smart lad, those powers will be as nothing if I cannot rid my childer of her annoying need to cling to her humanity. Her desire to be what she is not. In one fell swoop, all that has been accomplished. Her desire for human contact led her to the singer. Her hesitance to use her gifts delayed her long enough that Antipathy was able to wound you, and you then conveniently executed the freak right in front of her as the freak was trying to kill her. An image that will be burned into her mind and heart for all time, reminding her always of the high costs of clinging to her lost humanity."
"But that was not her fault "
"We all know that, but deep inside where such things matter, she will always wonder. If I had not been so eager for my human life, my human past, would the boy have been hurt would the singer have become involved, would she still be alive?"
"You bastard, I could tell her the truth."
"She knows the truth, once she accepts that her Human life is gone and that to wallow in the ashes of it only weakens her …then she will be ready to take her place as a true No-Life Queen."
"You know one day, you might live to regret what happened here. She might become something you might not like. "
The No-life King shrugged his shoulders. "If that day ever comes, I may not be the one who has to deal with her. " Alucard turned and strolled away. "I await the day you come into your own boy, A true White Knight pitted against a true No-Life Queen, that would be a battle for the ages."
"I'll be ready, and The White Knight might surprise you yet." Xander Harris said resolutely
Author's Note: I want to thank those that read and reviewed and stuck with me all the way to the end. If I have dropped a few Plot Bunnies in this, please feel free to run with them. These characters are great fun and I loved fooling around with them. Thank you again… BHR