AN: Well, it seems that, with the exception of Irena and Michelle, the dearest of dearest, the start of my fic hasn't got any recognition. I hope that situation will change.
Disclaimer: Same as in chapter 1.
Even though he was described to wear a heave coat and big hat and boots in all the wanted posters in Europe, Gabriel Van Helsing favoured to dress in simple priests robes when he was "off the duty". Really the only thing that made him stand out of the crowds of priests when he walked in the cathedral was his long brown hair.
Van Helsing looked around him. He had first step in this huge cathedral in Vatican City almost 17 years ago then but it still made him look at it in wonder, as if he would see it the very first time. He walked out of the cathedral to its steps and looked the stone statues of angels and saints. Now, in bright daylight, they looked almost peaceful, like sleeping. But 17 years ago then, on that stormy night, they had looked like the leaders of the heavenly armies, ready the face an epic battle against the enemy.
Van Helsing didn't remember much of that day. He was found crawling at the steps of this very cathedral. He had been naked, shivering from the cold and rain, raving and seeing hallucinations. After he had been brought in the church he had been unconscious for many days before waking up. He didn't remember anything of his past. He remembered his name but not his parents, where he was from and what had he done in his life. Not any mention of the line of Van Helsing had been found in the archives. Only clue to his past was the ring he had been carrying in his left hand: a black ring with a picture of a dragon in it.
Even when Van Helsing didn't remember a thing of his past, he did seem to be highly educated. He could read and write different languages and knew bible backwards. He also had sharp senses and quick reflexes and he could fight against bigger and meaner things than himself. It was then the church started to think he had been send to do God's work.
Van Helsing was pulled out of his thought by a quiet but stern voice from the door of the cathedral.
"Trying to remember?" voice asked.
Van Helsing turned to see an elder man dressed in fine red robes. He had been wearing black robes when he found Van Helsing 17 years ago.
"Cardinal Jinette" Van Helsing greeted him.
"Remembering anything knew?" Cardinal intrigued. Van Helsing shook his head. "And you're still seeing the same dream?"
"Every night" Van Helsing said. He had told Jinette of his dreams a long time ago. Van Helsing was by no means an immortal. Neither was he demon, warlock or a vampire. He was only a man, but he was a man with a special gift of sensing evil.
"Come, my son" Cardinal said "the Order has a new assignment to you".
Beneath the vary cathedral Van Helsing had just admired, laid the headquarter of the Holy Order, a secret society that has its eyes, ears and hands in every part of the world. The society was created sometime during the 12'Th century. It contains Christians, Muslims and Hindus, Jewish etc. Holy Order has only one purpose: to protect the world of an ancient evil it has forgot. The greatest power Creatures of Darkness has is that no-one believes in them. And that is for the best. During the centuries Order had to keep its existence also in secret and could no longer send armies to vanquish demons. Now days it had to rely on small groups.
For over decade Van Helsing had been working for the Order alone, facing monsters that should only live in nightmares. He had and was doing this in hope of getting his memory back, of knowing who he really is.
"So, what am I facing this time? Some cult is sacrificing virgins? Another insane nobleman sold his soul to the darkness? No, now I know: Mr Hyde has once again escaped from your custody" Van Helsing said.
Cardinal Jinette's lips became thin. "Not that you should know but Doctor Jekyll hasn't surrender to his darker self since the last time he escaped".
"That was the second time he fooled you. If the third time comes I won't bring him back alive" the younger man said, still remembering the twisted faces of Hyde's victims.
Jinette decided to overlook the last remark. "I wish I could tell you that it is Mr Hyde who you should be worried about. Unfortunately this is much more difficult task. Have you ever heard of Count Dracula?"
Van Helsing stopped in his tracks. He had heard that name. Every night he heard it in his dream. Before he could mutter a word Cardinal was continuing.
"The word Dracula means "Son of the Dragon" or, in some other translations, "Son of the Devil". Either way, this Count I'm talking about, is living in the place we are sending you: Transylvania.
"You have faced vampires before, Van Helsing, but those were always the lone ones. From what we have heard Romania is filled with them and Dracula is their lord and master. For century's house of Valerious, the members of Order also, have been trying to vanquish him without succeeding in it. It has become their life purpose ever since King Valerious the Elder came to Vatican in the 15'Th century to pray forgiveness. We don't know exactly for what, but he seemed to be under the impression that somehow it was his fault Dracula was living.
"Only one of Valerious descendants is still living; Princess Anna".
Saying this Cardinal's assistant, that seemed to have come out of nowhere, brought the picture of a young man and young woman, both had black haired.
"Princess Anna is the woman. The man is his brother Prince Velkan, who was bitten by a werewolf two months ago then".
Cardinal took a new picture. It was a picture of an elder man with glasses and moustache. Next to him was girl with curly hair. She was probably 16.
"The man is one the Order's leading scientist; Doctor Heinrich Mortte. Girl is his daughter Isabella. Mortte has been studying lycanthropes for years now. He claims to be close to finding an antidote to their decease. Princess Anna has called Doctor to arrive to Transylvania to treat her brother. The Holy Order is sending you to guarantee their protection".
"What?! Since when did I become a babysitter?" Van Helsing became angry quite quickly. He had hoped to learn more about his past after hearing Cardinal mention Dracula, but he was no closer to the truth than yesterday. "My job is to get rid of these things and I thought-"
Cardinal sighed. "You thought we were going to send you to kill Dracula. He many of our warriors in the past and none have lived to tell the tail. We aren't going to lose you. You simply need to make sure nothing happens to them. Doctor wouldn't have wanted protection, but when his daughter came along he couldn't refuse. Isabella refuses to let her father leave without her".
Van Helsing tried to keep himself calm. "Why did you choose me?" he asked.
Cardinal looked at him for a long time. "We chose you for two reasons. Firstly you're the best one we have at the moment and secondly this task might actually interest you".
Van Helsing looked at the elder man sceptically.
"Let me show you something" Cardinal said and suddenly that strange assistant appeared again and brought a copy of a painting. "This is the only picture we have of Count Dracula" Cardinal said.
Van Helsing felt he couldn't breath. Picture had a man dressed in black. His lips were thin, hair dark and eyes cold stele blue. It was the same man in his dreams.
"Look at Dracula's hand" Cardinal said and Van Helsing received yet another surprise. In Dracula's hand was a black ring with a picture of a dragon in it.
"When do I leave?" Van Helsing asked, not taking his eyes of the picture.
AN: So there, the second chapter. No, chapters aren't going to be really any longer. Sorry.