Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2, Darkstalkers, Hellsing and any other characters mentioned in this story belong to their respective creators.
< >: Thoughts
Lone Wolf Vs. Pharaoh
Matthew Talbain shook his head as he walked to school. He was wearing his usual headband, though it was covering the bandage that his father had bound over his head wound. The previous night had taken a lot out of him, both emotionally and physically. However, B. Bonnie Hood’s silver bullets had not been as unnerving as his conversation with his father’s old flame, Morrigan Aenslade...
“So, let me get this straight.” Matthew asked as he spoke with the voluptuous succubus on the patio to the apartment. “You and my Dad used to be...?”
“Mmm-hmmm.” Morrigan nodded while leaning seductively against the railing. Currently, the green-haired beauty had retracted the batwings on her head and back, concealing them within her body, in case anyone were to unexpectedly come by the Talbain home. However, that made the front of her daringly cut outfit to show even more cleavage of her generous bosom, which made Matthew a bit nervous. “Indeed we were.”
“Uh... so how close were you...?” The younger werewolf was still somewhat disbelieving that she and his father had been lovers. Jon had never spoke about her before.
Morrigan let off a mischievous laugh as she held up hand with the thumb and forefinger extended with a slight space between them. “I was THAT close to becoming Mrs. Jon Talbain. You would have been MY son.” She reached out and traced his chest with a well-manicured index finger. She then licked her lips.
Jon’s son gulped a bit. He didn’t know how she was making his libido go up by just touching him, and he could only guess as to how his father must have felt when he had been seeing her.
Morrigan admired the well-muscled form of Jon’s son and his personality mirrored his sire. “You’re so much like your father. I can see that you are going to be quite a hit with the girls.”
End of flashback...
“Matthew Talbane, I challenge you!”
The young werewolf sighed as he stopped just before the gates of Furinken High School. Shaking his head in disgust, he turned around to face one very angry Akane Tendo. Just from her expression alone, he could tell that she had taken yesterday’s defeat very personally. Behind the Tendo heir to the Anything Goes Martial Arts, Nabiki pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. The daughter of Soun Tendo then gave Matthew an apologetic expression, while helplessly shrugging her shoulders.
At that moment, the usual beat-Akane-so-you-can-date-her nut-jobs came charging out of the school, and headed toward the front gates. However, they stopped in their tracks, when they beheld the object of their dreams taking a battle stance against someone and was ignoring them.
Matthew was NOT in the mood, especially after all the crap he had to endure the night before. He let off a slight growl that sounded like an irritated wolf’s, then turned about to head toward the school.
“HEY! DON’T YOU IGNORE ME! DIDN’T YOU HEAR ME?! I SAID...!”
“I HEARD what you said.” Matthew snarled as he barely kept his anger in check. He stopped walking, but didn’t bother to face her. “And I don’t care to waste my time.”
“WHAT DID YOU SAY?!” Akane shouted in outrage. How DARE this BOY casually dismiss her challenge?!
“We ALL know how this is going to go.” Matthew said as-a-matter-of-factly. “You attack, I beat you without any trouble or EFFORT, end of story. BORING! Face facts, Tendo. I’m better than you, so deal with it.” With those words, he started walking again.
Nabiki let off a low whistle. Matthew certainly didn’t mince words and didn’t treat her sister like a spoiled princess like everyone else did. He was direct, to the point and had that animalistic aura that made him SO... feral. He didn’t brag or go on about his skills, but said it in a way that made anyone believe that he wasn’t kidding. Of course, Akane wasn’t one to listen...
“HEY! COME BACK HERE! I’M NOT FINISHED!”
“I am.” Matthew said simply. <Man! Total lack of control and discipline! A martial artist she ain’t.>
“COWARD!” Akane cried out, not knowing what else to say in order to goad him into fighting her. She just had to prove that she could take this BOY, just as she could with the others. If there was one thing that got Akane into a fast boil, it was a person who didn’t take her seriously as a martial artist. She was proud of her achievements and position as heir to the Tendo Dojo. So she wasn’t good with cooking or other domestic skills, but she was a great martial artist! And if he wasn’t going to take her honorable challenge seriously , then she‘d just have to pound it into him! With that, she began charging at him, intent on smashing his head open. However...
“Ooh, I win again. Big surprise.”
Matthew continued on his way to the school, while leaving Akane in a tangled heap on the pavement. The short-tempered girl had a glazed look in her eyes as she was seeing the pretty birdies.
When the Horde of Hentai saw their perfect goddess downed so easily by this upstart, they were all prepared to charge at him, and make him pay for hurting her. That was when the young wolf-fighter let loose with his aura and another bestial snarl escaped his lips. Something about his presence just seemed to say, ‘Death Wish.’ The crowds immediately felt cold chills down their spines and parted to make a clear path to the front doors. That is, all but one dope...
“HOW DARE YOU MAR THE PERFECT BEAUTY OF THE FIERCE TIGRESS AKANE TENDO?! I, TATEWAKI KUNO WILL...”
The crowds parted even wider after witnessing Matthew stick Kuno’s bokken into the kendoist’s... orifice. One thing for sure, Kuno won't be able to sit down properly for a while.
“Baka!” Akane growled as she glared upon the wolf fighter sitting a few seats in front of her. “He thinks he so great just because he was lucky! When I...”
Her best friends Yuka and Akemi became a bit apprehensive as they saw the first signs of Akane’s battle aura begin to manifest. The last thing they needed was for their short-tempered friend to blow up when the teacher arrived.
“Akane, please! Not here!” Yuka warned.
Akemi nodded. “Please Akane. Don’t do it!”
Akane just barely managed to not explode when the homeroom teacher came in to take roll call. For now, Talbane was safe from her vengeance, but she promised that she’d pay him back! Already people were whispering behind her back that since Matthew had beaten her in combat, he and Akane were now a couple, and that infuriated her. It was bad enough she was engaged to a guy who got lost looking for the bathroom, but she wasn’t going to let people think that she was involved with this jerk! She’d prove who the real martial artist was!
Talbane sat unaware of the angry thoughts being directed toward him, or maybe he was but didn’t really care. He had other things to worry about, such as that vampire Demitri and that crazed bounty hunter with the Red Riding Hood getup. And of course, the return of his father’s old girlfriend.
Little did he know that other complications were heading his way.
In the Tokyo Museum, a new Egyptian exhibit was being prepared. In the center of the exhibit was a sarcophagus, complete with a huge mummy within it. Inscribed on the elaborate sides of the casket was the mummy’s name in hieroglyphics.
B. Bonnie Hood cleaned out her Uzi as she checked her equipment for her next encounter with the creatures of the night. The bounties on the Freak Vampires as well as any other Darkstalkers were still being offered by Iscariot, and the diminutive bounty hunter was intent on collecting. This time, that werewolf wasn’t going to get away!
“Hey Matthew! Wait up!”
“Hmm?” The young werewolf looked over his shoulder and stopped on his way to the school cafeteria. “Oh, it’s you Nabiki. What can I do for you?”
Soun’s middle daughter smiled as she mentally mustered up her courage. After all, this was the first time she was actually asking a boy out. And without blackmailing him first.
Nabiki Tendo had so far led a lonely life, with only attaining wealth as her sole goal in life. She had been known as the Ice Queen of Furinken, and just about every boy in the school avoided her. This had made things very difficult for her, especially when it came to making friends. Most people were intimidated by her... less-than-admirable methods of earning money.
However, it wasn’t due to greed and avarice, which drove her to being a mercenary, at least not entirely. Ever since her mother had died, Nabiki had taken it upon herself to keep her family from ending up on the street. Her father was an incompetent, when it came to teaching. The students who used to come to the dojo, had long since abandoned their training as Soun Tendo had become nothing but a blubbering, emotional crybaby. Who could respect such a sensei? Then there were the new drains on the family savings now.
Though the Saotomes had only been staying at their home for a few days, they had already consumed enough food to feed the family for three weeks! Well, one of them did. Genma was appalling and Nabiki often wondered what her father saw in him, to let him eat them out of house and home. He didn’t lift a single finger to help out with the household chores and all he did was sit around with Soun, while playing Shogi and go on and on about the Anything Goes Schools being joined. She knew that he was just a good-for-nothing freeloader, but Soun seemed blinded by past memories and an obsession to see the schools joined, no matter the cost.
Nabiki wasn’t even sure if Ranma (1) would be good for the future of the Tendo Dojo. With his tendency to easily get lost, she didn’t think that he could be counted on to be at his own wedding on time. And it seemed to her that Ranma didn’t have very much upstairs in terms of intellect. Then there was that strange Jusenkyo curse that caused him to turn into a pig. Akane most certainly didn’t like it when her pet P-Chan turned into a naked boy, while they were both in the bath. (2) She made a note to call the repairman to fix the hole in their roof, which Ranma had made after Akane sent him into LEO.
The girl shook her head out of her reverie as she remembered why she had called out to Matthew. She took a deep breath and said, “Say Matthew. I was wondering... if you were doing anything after school?”
“Well... not really.” He admitted. “Are you asking me out or something?”
<Well, he’s direct. I like that.> Nabiki smiled a bit. “Well, I was thinking... since you treated me last time, I thought it would be fair to return the favor. I mean... if you really want to...” She bowed her head a bit and began to absently twiddle her index fingers. This feeling of nervousness and uncertainty was new to her, but she steeled herself and continued. “I mean, I really got to apologize for my sister Akane. She had no right to attack you yesterday and this morning...”
“Hey, don’t sweat it.” Matthew said as he waved off the past attacks with indifference.
“No, I mean it. Akane shouldn’t have tried to hurt you, just because you were with me and that you wounded her pride as a martial artist. I want to make up for it and maybe if we could... uhm... we... could... er, maybe...” She began to lose her cool, which was unnatural for the normally calm and collected middle sister.
Matthew smirked as he nodded. “Okay. Tomorrow at two o’clock.”
This caught Nabiki completely off-guard. “Huh?”
“I’ll pick you up at your place, all right?”
“All right, it’s a date.” Then the young wolf fighter gave her a wave and continued on to the cafeteria.
Nabiki stood in shocked silence for more than ten minutes as the crowds of students filed past her on their way to lunch. Finally, her mouth moved as she said two words.
Then her face took on a far-off dreamy look as her mouth turned upward in a silly smile and a small trickle of drool went down her chin.
Evening at the Talbain home...
“You’re going out tomorrow?” Jon asked after his son had told him of his encounter with Nabiki.
“Yeah. She’s a girl that goes to Furinken. She’s seems to be okay. I figured since it’s Sunday and there’s no full moon, it’ll be all right.”
“Are you certain you should?” The elder werewolf asked. “After all, that crazy bounty hunter is still out there and there’s also some more strange things that have been going on lately. I’ve been sensing some... mystical emanations lately and there’s also that vampire Demitri to worry about.”
“It’s just a little date, Dad. And besides, I’ll be home before nightfall, so you don't have to worry about any vampires. Besides, Nabiki’s... kind of cute, you know?”
“Well... all right. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt.” Jon conceded. “But keep on your guard, Cub.”
“Aw c’mon, Dad. I’m not a little cub anymore.” Matthew had grown to hate that pet name that his father called him sometimes.
Jon smiled a little as he gave his son a pat on his shoulder. “You’re MY cub, Matthew. And you can’t blame this old wolf for being worried about his only son.”
“Yeah, yeah. By the way, where’s Morrigan?”
“Oh, well she had to leave to take care of some business. She said that she’d be back later. In any case, I would like to meet this Nabiki girl someday soon. Does she know about our... little secret?”
“Uh... no, and I don't really see any reason to tell her... yet.”
“It’s up to you, son. If you really like this girl, then you’d best make certain that she would accept you for who you are.”
“Like you and Mom?”
“Well, I WAS about to tell her... then that plane exploded. But I hope you can trust this girl if you do decide to let her in on our family’s... condition.”
Hellsing Headquarters in Japan...
“Sir Integra, you have a guest.” A servant bowed as he came into Integra’s office.
“Yes, I know.” The leader of the organization nodded as she looked up from her desk and signaled for him to show the visitor in. The servant bowed again and left the room. A moment later, the door opened and in walked a certain green-haired woman. She was now dressed in form-fitting business attire, which consisted of a white blouse with a plunging neckline, beige, long-sleeved vest with matching skirt, and low heeled pumps.
Integra didn’t even bat an eye as she nodded for the Darkstalker to sit down. She had been expecting to encounter the succubus after her operatives had informed her of Morrigan’s appearance. She had read the file on her and of her past relationship with Jon Talbain. She could prove to be a useful ally or a deadly enemy.
As soon as Morrigan sat down, she immediately sensed the presence of a certain someone, as he started to appear from the shadows of the dimly-lit room. Like Integra, she kept her composure as Alucard materialized.
“Well now. This IS a surprise.” The vampire smiled, showing very impressive fangs. “It’s not very often that we are graced with the presence of royalty from the Demon Realms.”
“Ah yes.” Morrigan smiled seductively as she stood up and faced the most terrifying agent of the Hellsing Organization. “I have heard of you, Alucard. I must say, you look... delicious. Almost as delectable as Jon Talbain.”
“How very kind of you to say so.” The vampire chuckled.
Both turned their attention to Integra as she cleared her throat.
“Getting to the business at hand,” The unflappable woman said. “I would like to know why you contacted us.”
“Well, it’s about a certain werewolf, his son, and a vampire noble that they ran into recently. Jon told me about his encounter with Maximov. And since the Hellsing Organization has had previous dealings with my family...”
The Tendo Home...
“Oh how wonderful, Nabiki!” Kasumi said after her sister had told her of the her impending date with Matthew. “It’s good to know that you’re finally getting out and enjoying yourself.”
“Uh, yeah. It’s great.” Nabiki replied, still a little shocked over this sudden upswing in her social life. She hadn’t expected Matthew to agree so readily to go out with her. Now she was totally unprepared for the most important event in a teenage girl’s life, her first date. Ever since their mother’s death, she had been concerned only with keeping her family’s finances stable. Now, she was being given an opportunity to just have fun.
What was it about Matthew that made her lose control over her emotions? She didn’t care about money or gaining control whenever she was with him. And why is it that her heart always did a jig whenever he smiled at her? There was just something so... animalistic about him and she wanted to know more.
She began fussing over what to wear on the date as Kasumi made suggestions on her wardrobe. Tomorrow was going to be a big day. For a while, she could just forget about life’s problems and just have some fun.
Sitting nearby on the back porch, two middle-aged men were engaged in yet another game of shogi, while conversing quietly. One was a portly man with a bandana wrapped about his head, glasses, and wore a slightly tarnished gi. The other man was thin, had long black hair, a mustache and was wearing a dark brown gi.
“I hear that Nabiki is going on a date tomorrow.” Genma commented as he moved his shogi piece forward.
Soun nodded as he countered his friend’s move with one of his own. “Yes, it seems that my little girls are growing up. Soon the Schools shall be joined, and perhaps I might even have another son-in-law. Speaking of which, where is exactly is that boy of yours?”
The fatter man shrugged a bit. “Well I can’t exactly be certain, but I’m confident that he will be back by tomorrow. He usually doesn’t disappear for more than a week or so.”
“How can such a talented martial artist get so easily lost?”
“Oh, it’s something that he inherited from his mother.” Genma said quickly, not wanting to reveal to his friend that the boy wasn’t really his son. He would have enough trouble convincing his own wife that the young man he had brainwashed was their only child. He was hoping that he wouldn’t have to after ‘Ranma’ was married.
“Well, as soon as he gets back, we’ll have the ceremony right away.” Soun said with confidence as he made his next move on the shogi board.
“Excellent idea, Tendo!” Genma said as he quickly made one of Soun’s pieces disappear, then decided to change the subject. “So what’s this new boyfriend of Nabiki’s like?”
“Well, from what I understand, he’s some transfer student from England and quite a martial artist.”
“Really? What style does he use?”
“Nabiki isn’t really certain. She swears that he fights like a wolf and even Akane couldn’t beat him. But I’m certain that Ranma could best him.”
“Of course he could.” Genma said with confidence. “I hadn’t spent the last ten years training that boy for nothing. I would like to see this wolf-style of martial arts for myself.”
“As would I, Saotome.”
The next day...
Nabiki waited anxiously as the time drew near to two o’clock. She was dressed in a simple, short-sleeved blouse with matching slacks and shoes. She was wearing a light, flowery perfume and her face had on slight makeup, courtesy of Kasumi. She didn’t want to look too gaudy on her first date.
Behind her, Akane growled a bit as she also waited for Matthew to arrive. She was still steamed over what had happened yesterday. Now that jerk was coming to her house again. She wanted to pound on him for her humiliation, but both of her sisters had chided her for her past behavior, and would not stand for any more hostilities against him. He was a guest and the youngest Tendo could do nothing about it... for now.
At that moment, there was a knock at the front door, which got Nabiki all tensed up as she headed toward the entrance hall. She mentally readied herself as she took a deep breath, then opened up the door.
“Well, Matthew I see that you’re punctual and...” Her voice trailed off as she saw Matthew with another boy leaning off his shoulder.
The wolf-fighter smiled a bit as he easily supported the tired and bedraggled person. “Hey Nabiki. Could you help me with this guy?”
“Sorry about all this. I really didn’t mean to come in like this after last week. Oh, I’m Ranma Saotome.” He held out his hand.
“Okay, I’m please to meet you... Ranma. I’m Matthew Talbane.” He silently took his hand and gave him a quick once-over. <So THIS guy is supposed to be me? He doesn’t look a THING like me.>
‘Ranma’ was built with more musculature, which seemed to emphasize strength and endurance, rather than speed and agility. His face was rougher and his eye color was all wrong. His was brown and Matthew’s was blue. Judging by his stance, Matthew estimated that his replacement practiced a style that stressed on power blows and brute force, rather than skill. He could tell that Ranma wasn’t as proficient with acrobatics and evasive maneuvers as he was. And there wasn’t much in terms of ki control, at least not at the same level as his was. And his scent was odd. It was almost as if there were two scents intermingled with each other. Even in his human form, Matthew still retained his keen wolf senses.
As for ‘Ranma,’ he was feeling some considerable pain from Matthew’s grip. He had thought he was strong, but the wolf-fighter’s handshake threatened to crush the bones in his hand to powder. After Matthew finally released his hand, the Lost Heir of the Anything Goes sized him up. He could tell that he was a fighter, but his stance was absolutely neutral, giving away nothing of the type of martial arts he practiced. He was dressed casually in a pair of blue jeans, white shirt and a leather jacket. There was something animalistic about him and his lupine-colored eyes gave off a kind of beastlike quality. However, he was certain that he could best him in a fight. After all, his father had taught him to be the best, and Ranma always wins.(3)
At that moment, Soun and Genma entered the room.
Matthew immediately froze when he beheld Genma. Even though it had been ten years, the fat slob hadn’t changed much. He was still the greedy, bald idiot that had been his father for six years, before Jon Talbain had found him.
Fortunately for him, Genma did not recognize Matthew as the real Ranma. After losing him during the Neko-Ken training, his memory of the boy had long since become dim and he would not have suspected the young werewolf as the missing heir to the Anything Goes.
“Well now, you must be Nabiki’s new boyfriend.” Soun said with a smile.
Nabiki immediately blushed at the mention of the word ‘boyfriend.’ Though she and Matthew were just friends at the moment, a very large part of her wanted her father’s statement to be true. However, she had to clear things up. “Daddy! Matthew and I are just... friends! We’re just going out to have some fun, that’s all!”
Soun laughed at his daughter’s flustered expression as he walked up to Matthew and introduced himself. “Hello young man. I’m Nabiki’s father, Soun Tendo, the proprietor to the Anything Goes Dojo.”
“You’ve heard of our fighting style?” Soun asked, feeling a bit of pride in his dojo and his art.
“Well, a little bit.” Matthew replied, not wanting to let on that he knew more than they suspected.
“Where did you hear about it?”
“Well, I...” Matthew became a bit nervous as he tried to explain how he knew about the Anything Goes. Fortunately, Nabiki came to his rescue.
“What he’s trying to say, Daddy, is that he’s already fought a martial artist from the Anything Goes twice, and won. Very easily I might add.”
Everyone looked over to where Akane was standing. She was clearly upset that her own sister would mention those flukes. It was bad enough that Talbane was in her home, but to be ridiculed like this was unacceptable!
“So you practice the martial arts, eh?” The substitute Ranma commented. “I’d like to have a match with you someday.”
“Well maybe later.” Matthew said, then decided to leave before things became more complicated. He then took Nabiki’s hand, which made the girl blush even more. “Come on, Nabiki. Let’s get going.”
The two exited the Tendo home in a flash.
Some time later...
The sun began to set as the two exited a movie theater.
“That was a great movie.” Nabiki said as she tossed away the remnants of her bag of popcorn.
“Yeah, well it wasn’t bad, though I kind of wish it wasn’t a cheesy horror movie.” Matthew commented. Those producers didn’t know squat about werewolves.
Nabiki giggled a bit. “Oh and what are you, a werewolf expert?” She asked teasingly. “I thought it was really scary.”
“Nah. It was too overdramatic. I mean, most of the time, the werewolf just made faces and gestures like some dope, making that girl scream and scream and scream, before he finally killed her.”
“Well, I’d be scared too if I ran into a real, live werewolf.”
Her casual comment caused the young wolf-fighter to stiffen up a bit. He looked at her questioningly and asked. “Would you really?”
Nabiki smiled, thinking that he was still joking around. She put on a cute little face and said in a girly tone, “Oh, yes! They’re SO scary! I’d faint dead away if I were to see one!” She then laughed out loud. “Oh come on, Matt. We all know that werewolves, vampires, and ghosts are just make-believe! They‘re not real.”
“Yeah... I guess they aren‘t.” He said quietly as they continued to walk down the streets of Tokyo.
Nabiki got even closer to him, then pointed toward the Tokyo Museum. “Hey look over there! That’s where they’re showing the new Ancient Egyptian Exhibit. Let’s go check it out!”
The werewolf stopped suddenly as his mystical senses detected something emanating from the building. It felt as if some ancient presence was blanketing the entire structure.
Nabiki became puzzled at her date’s reluctance to head toward the museum, then began pulling at his arm. “Oh come on, Matt. If you’re not scared of movie monsters, then you shouldn’t be afraid of a dried-up mummy!”
After a little more prodding and pleading, she finally got Matthew to agree to go see the exhibit.
“Sir Integra, our psychic detectors have picked up a huge emanation of spiritual energies coming from the downtown Tokyo area, at the museum.”
The leader of Hellsing nodded to the officer. “That is where the new Egyptian Exhibit is taking place isn’t it? And if those artifacts are steeped in supernatural energies, then they are certain to attract those Freak Vampires, and perhaps Demitri Maximov himself.”
“Standard procedure, Sir Integra?”
“Yes, and have Alucard and Victoria present as well. The reports are that Jon Talbain’s son is nearby and he might get involved in this. I made a promise to Aenslade to look out for Talbain’s son, and this may be an opportunity to destroy the Freak Vampire presence in Japan, as well as eliminate a vampire noble.”
“I imagine that Alucard would be pleased to go up against a powerful foe.” The soldier commented.
“Indeed. Though I would suggest that a warning be passed among the troops. Whatever happens, they MUST NOT disturb the sarcophagus of the Pharaoh Anakaris. According to the ancient texts that I have read, the curse shall befall whoever desecrates the sacred vessel of the Egyptian King.”
“Surely you do not believe in such rubbish...”
Integra’s grim stare immediately silenced her subordinate. Then in a firm tone, she said, “You are a member of an ancient organization, with the sole purpose of destroying vampires, and other creatures of the night that threaten the British Empire and the world. We HAVE a powerful vampire lord as our most formidable weapon against these enemies, plus one former police officer who is now his disciple. We are allied with the Aenslade clan, whose heir happens to be a succubus. We are also aware of two members of the most powerful lycanthrope clan in existence. Now, what did you just say about a certain pharaoh’s curse?”
The young officer gulped and bowed his head in shame. “I’ll pass the warning to the battle groups.” He then left the office in a hurry.
The Tokyo Museum...
Matthew did not like it. The entire building seemed to be blanketed in the mystical energies of the pharaoh’s tomb, which had been building for over three thousand years. It put his mystical senses on high alert and it took all of his willpower not to be overwhelmed by them.
Nabiki of course was unaware of the potential dangers as she frolicked about the displays of gold and bejeweled artifacts. Though she knew that she wouldn't be able to get her hands on any of it, the feeling of being surrounded by such wealth was nice and it allowed her to dream.
“You’re really into this stuff aren’t you?” Matthew commented.
“Oh, well a girl can dream can’t she?” Nabiki replied as she gazed upon an elaborate brooch. “Ooh, did you ever SEE so much?”
“Yeah, well it’s not like we can have any of it.” Matthew shrugged his shoulders and was glad that just about all of the artifacts were made of gold and gemstones, with very little silver about. There wasn’t enough to give him more than a mild burn.
Just then, Nabiki began tugging at his arm. “Come on! I want to see the pharaoh’s sarcophagus!”
“It’s nothing but a fancy coffin, Nabiki.”
“Yeah, a coffin that’s made of solid gold and decorated with gems and jade! Come on!”
As the two headed toward the center of the museum, an ancient presence began to stir. Outside, the sun began to reach the horizon as the creatures of the night prepared to converge on the building.
Things were about to get hairy.
Matthew grimaced as he and Nabiki stood before the sarcophagus, which was being displayed on a large pedestal. The source of the supernatural energies was centered around the casket and the young werewolf was getting nauseous at the influx of mystical power.
His date however, was too absorbed into the display to notice that he was getting light-headed. She began reading the inscription’s translation located near the foot of the display.
“Whoever dares to disturb the eternal slumber of the supreme pharaoh shall be forever cursed by the wrath of... Anakaris.”
“Hey Nabiki, we’ve spent enough time here, so why don’t we go for a sundae?” Matthew suggested. “I mean, the museum is going close soon anyway.” <And I’m not too sure we should be out after dark.> He mentally added as he looked toward a window and saw the sun touching the horizon. Just about all of the museum’s patrons had already left.
“”Oh just a few minutes okay? This is really interesting stuff.” The Tendo girl said as she gazed upon the vessel, which contained the remains of the one, who once ruled Ancient Egypt. Old history had always been something of a hobby for Nabiki, as she had always believed that learning from past mistakes of others, she could make a better future for herself.
It was then that Matthew’s animalistic senses went into overdrive. Several smaller sources of supernatural energies began to converge on the building as the last vestiges of daylight faded away. Just then, the lights of the museum went out suddenly, plunging the entire building into darkness.
The middle Tendo daughter was shocked to be suddenly lost in the dark. Her heart rate then pounded like a jackhammer, when a strong hand grabbed at her wrist.
“WHOA! WHOA! Hold on, Nabiki! It’s just me!” Matthew said quickly to reassure her. He of course, had no problem with the dark, due to his lupine heritage. His night vision was already determining the outlines of the room and his sense of smell had zeroed in on his date‘s scent.
Nabiki calmed down at the sound of his voice. “What happened to the lights? Did the museum blow a fuse?”
“I... don't know. Look, we’d better get out of here.” Matthew then began leading her to the nearest exit, taking care not to bump into anything.
Soun’s daughter was a bit surprised that her date was leading her so easily through the darkness. How was he avoiding the display cases and other artifacts, without stumbling into anything? The main exhibit hall was cluttered with various objects and such. It was difficult to navigate around them when the room was lit, let alone with no lights at all.
“I can’t see a thing! Are sure you know where we’re going?”
“Positive. Oh, and watch out for that pillar on your left.”
“You okay, Nabiki?”
“I... think so. How did you know about that pillar? I can’t see anything!”
“I... got a photographic memory for my surroundings. I remember where everything was before the lights went out.”
“You must have a 3-D memory.” She commented as she was being led closer to the exit.
Just then, Matthew stopped as his senses picked up something... evil. His date bumped into his muscular back.
“Matthew? What’s wrong?”
Jon’s son said nothing for a long moment as he picked up the ominous footsteps of someone, or some something approaching them. He began to discern several individual footsteps that were definitely not human. Their scents were putrid and reeked of blood. He could feel auras of unending thirst for more blood and the hunger for human flesh.
Looking about, he saw an alcove, in which a large, oak display case stood. He then whispered to the now nervous girl standing beside him.
“Nabiki, there’s a large case about ten feet to your left. Hide behind it and don’t come out until I tell you.”
“Huh? What do you mean? What’s going on?”
“No time to explain! Please! You’ve got to hide now!” With those words, he pushed her toward the display case, just as something hideous smashed through the skylight, as well as through several other windows.
Nabiki landed hard on her stomach behind the case, just as the sounds of shattering windows were heard. She quickly raised up her arms to shield her head from the shards of falling glass and splinters. Then she heard something else. It was a noise that she was very familiar with. After all, she heard it every day at school when Akane pounded on her many admirers, especially Kuno. However, the sounds of combat were much more brutal, as she heard the distinctive snap, crackle and pop of splintering bones, as well as rending flesh. Then there was that smell. The stench of rotting meat and blood. It threatened to overwhelm her, but her innate curiosity won out. She just HAD to see what was going on and what had become of... Matthew?
Due to the broken windows, the light of the street lamps and the half-moon filtered through, allowing her to see the carnage that was being wreaked upon the museum. The dark figures looked like animated corpses, (which in fact they were), as they converged upon one person, who was fighting with all the ferocity of a cornered wolf. And that was the most dangerous kind.
Matthew showed no mercy as he ripped through the ranks of ghouls with punches, slashes, kicks and blows from his nunchakus. He had to finish them off quickly and get Nabiki out, before he was overwhelmed by sheer numbers. He shattered heads, punched holes in torsos and severed limbs, splattering the insides of the ghouls on the floor, coating the tiles in slimy gore. But still, they kept on coming.
The middle Tendo daughter stared in both fear and awe. She was one of the very few to see the Talbain wolf-style at its fiercest. It made Akane’s skill look like play-fighting. Matthew displayed a kind of feral brutality, yet also a kind of grace that defied description. He had a strength that was seemingly inhuman, and moved with speed and agility that was simply not to be believed. The monsters fell like bloody dominoes before his power, and every now and then, she would see his fists, legs or weapon glow with an eerie light, making their impacts even more spectacular.
She then gasped as Matthew let loose with a howl and shot forward like a comet. She had seen this move before, but the intensity of the attack made her believe that the last time, he had been holding back. The ghouls let off screams of pain as they were torn apart by Matthew’s Beast Cannon. However, as the wolf fighter finished the maneuver, he impacted against the sarcophagus of Anakaris, breaking the seal of the casket and jolting the lid open.
As the lid fell away, an ancient power was released. The ghouls found themselves blinded by a sudden flash of light as the sarcophagus shuddered and trembled. Within it, a massive figure began to rise.
Matthew tensed up into a defensive pose with his nunchakus held out at the ready. His adrenaline was pumping hard and his heart rate accelerated as he saw something that had not walked the Earth for more than three millennia.
The mummy had awakened from his slumber.
The cloth-wrapped horror was over nine feet tall and was more massive than a sumo wrestler. He wore the ceremonial headdress of the pharaoh, and on his wrists were banded bracers. His face was mostly wrapped in cloth, but the young werewolf could make out some of the rotted flesh of his visage. The eyes were empty, dry sockets, but they glowed with a ghostly light as they focused in on him.
The mindless ghouls began to attack the newcomer, but Anakaris considered them as nothing more than annoyances. As they came upon him, the undead ruler of Egypt raised his arms and cried out with a ghastly shout. The ghouls began to shrivel into dry husks as their essences were being drained away. In less than an instant, all of the remaining blood-hungry creatures were reduced to piles of ash, courtesy of the Pharaoh’s Curse.
Then, Anakaris turned his attention toward Matthew and attacked.
It took all of the werewolf’s speed and agility to evade, as the mummy’s arms suddenly stretched out and the hands became gigantic serpent heads. The fangs dripped acidic venom as they missed their target and blasted the wall behind him. However, Matthew was not in the clear as the mummy retracted his arms, then changed its body shape, catching him off-guard by floating above him, and delivering a downward chop with his right arm.
Before he could recover, Matthew found himself trapped in Anakaris’ grasp. The undead king’s wrappings became alive like snakes and coiled about his victim, threatening to squeeze the life out of him. He began to black out and knew that there was no choice. With a howl, he triggered his transformation to hybrid form. In a flash, he used his claws to cut himself free.
At that point, Nabiki beheld the true nature of Matthew Ookami Talbain! And he looked FAR more awesome than any movie monster. She could see why he hadn’t thought that film they saw wasn’t scary.
Normally, an opportunity such as this would have meant big yen to her, but earning money was the furthest thing from her mind at the moment. She could scarcely believe all this was real, even it was happening right in front of her. And her gaze became fixed upon her werewolf date as he battled against the mummified king of Ancient Egypt.
<He's a werewolf! A real, LIVE WEREWOLF! Wow. He’s... incredible!>
Nabiki couldn’t tear her eyes off the muscular, furry figure, as he darted about Anakaris’ attacks and retaliated in kind. She had seen martial arts battles in the past, but none compared to what she witnessed this night. Especially fighting against a shape-shifting, undead pharaoh.
Matthew let loose with a howl as he charged in with another Beast Cannon Attack, this time at full power. However, Anakaris anticipated the move and became as solid as his sarcophagus, deflecting the charge. Both fighters were pushed backward, but Matthew was stunned by the sudden reversal and momentarily unbalanced. The mummy took this opportunity for a sneak attack. He created a small hole in the air and put his hands into it. Another hole appeared behind the werewolf as Anakaris’ hands appeared out of it and reached for his target.
“MATTHEW! BEHIND YOU!”
Acting on pure instinct to Nabiki’s scream, Jon’s son pivoted on one foot and sent his other leg up into another of his father’s signature moves.
The energized, flying somersault kick severed the bandaged hands from their wrists, causing the mummy to let off a cry of pain, as he retracted his limbs. However, the pharaoh rose into the air as his stumps regenerated their extremities. Then he glowed with power as he swiped down with his hands at his opponent.
Matthew’s danger instincts went off as he jumped forward, just as something massive crashed down behind him. Looking up and behind him, he saw several large, ghostly images of the sarcophagus falling down toward him. However, as they rained down on him, the werewolf took evasive action, dodging each projectile. At this point, he knew that he had to finish off this fight and now!
As he got close enough to his foe, Matthew blasted forward into a Beast Cannon at near-point-blank range. This caught Anakaris off-guard and slammed him backward. Then the young werewolf let loose with his strongest technique.
Focusing his ki and supernatural energies, he held out his nunchakus and released that power in the form of seven, flame images of wolves, contained in a stream that resembled a dragon’s fiery breath. Anakaris was caught fully by the blast and was reduced into a charred carcass on the museum floor. The mummy let off an inhuman shriek as it was transformed into ashes. Then all became silent.
Matthew panted hard as he braced himself against a display case. The fight had taken nearly everything out of him, and he was certain that he could not fight any more this night. But at least, it was over.
The fireball caught the werewolf completely by surprise, as it burned into his back and caused great pain. The wolf fighter fell forward, losing his grip on his nunchakus. Even his accelerated regenerative abilities would not heal the wound quickly, especially due to the projectile’s magical properties. Before Matthew could recover, a dark figure appeared before his fallen form. With impossible speed, Demitri Maximov grabbed hold of his victim by the throat and hauled him up with one hand. The vampire smiled, showing off his fangs as he gazed upon his captive.
“Well now. If it isn’t Talbain’s whelp. I still must pay you back for interrupting my meal that last time.”
“Arrrgh! Let go... you blood-sucking.... bastard!” Matthew snarled as he tried to pry himself from Maximov’s grip. However, he was in no condition to go up against a vampire noble, especially after being weakened from his earlier fight with the ghouls and Anakaris.
Demitri paid no heed to Matthew’s words as he considered what to do with him. Killing him was of course, first on the agenda, and the death of this youngster, would most certainly be a fitting revenge against Talbain.
At that moment, he felt a certain hunger. Like Alucard, Demitri had no taste for werewolf blood, so draining Matthew would not do. He wanted to have something nice and warm to slake his thirst. The blood of a virgin would be best, and that was when he sensed the presence of just such a person. Smiling, he looked over to where Nabiki was hiding and cast his hypnotic gaze upon her.
“Come to me.” The noble ordered.
Nabiki was already in a state of shock when the vampire noble appeared and had Matthew’s life by the throat. When he began staring at her with those eyes, she felt her body stiffen and rebel against her mind. Slowly but surely, she started to emerge from behind the display case and walk toward the blood-sucker. Her soul screamed out in protest, but her voice remained silent as she neared Maximov.
“Leave... her... alone!” Matthew snarled, then called out to Nabiki. “NABIKI! WAKE UP! DON’T LISTEN TO HIM! RUN AWAY!”
However the Tendo girl, like her elder sister before her, was completely in Maximov’s power as she stopped before them and raised her head up, exposing her throat to the vampire.
Demitri smiled as he bent his head down and opened his mouth toward her warm...
Demitri was thrown backward as something impacted with his right shoulder, causing his to release his hold on both Talbain’s son and Nabiki. The injured werewolf dropped to the floor as the girl shook herself out of her trance. It was then that she heard a compelling voice in her head.
<Take the werewolf and get out here girl.>
Nabiki didn’t know what was happening, but when she looked down and saw the battered form of Matthew, she immediately knelt down and grabbed hold of one arm. She was momentarily fascinated by his furry, but well-defined form, then focused at the task at hand.
The werewolf was barely conscious as he staggered to his feet and leaned against the girl for support. The two made their way out of the building, just as Demitri roared in pain and anguish.
Maximov was enraged that his feeding was once again interrupted, as well as being denied the chance to destroy Talbain’s son. As he got to his feet, he looked down at his shoulder and winced as he felt a familiar burning sensation. It felt as if someone had stabbed him with the silver of a holy cross. A mere bullet would not have caused him such pain. So what had he been shot with and by whom...?
“Hello there, Maximov. Long time no see.”
The vampire looked up and saw a certain figure standing in the rafters of the ceiling. He became even more enraged as he recognized the figure, who happened to be holding a smoking gun, which happened to fire bullets made from a smelted blessed cross.
Alucard smiled as he levitated down to face off against his adversary. The two vampire lords stared each other down as their dark energies filled the entire building, like a shadowy blanket.
“You filthy traitor!” Demitri snarled. “I have not forgotten you or Talbain, the last time we met! And I have also heard that you now serve a human master, as a vampire killer! How pathetic that one of our kind now hunts his own!”
“That is NONE of your concern.” Alucard said simply as he leveled his gun at his target, aiming for the heart, (relatively speaking for a vampire).
“You call yourself a vampire lord? I can sense that you have killed many of our kind! I can also smell the stench of your human master about you! You willingly serve the mortals?! We are the masters of darkness and the humans are but food to us! Do you seek the extinction of our race?!”
Alucard paused for a long time, before finally replying with a fanged smile. “Yes.”
To be continued...
With new inspiration and ideas, plus a LOT of feedback from my readers, Beast Within is really taking off and I decided that it will become a regular fic. However, like Yin and Yang, I have to give up one of my other stories to make time for it, and so I’m afraid that Gundam Warblade will be regulated into the discontinued pile for now. In any case, the next chapter will be about Nabiki’s reaction to Matthew’s family secret and of course, the battle between two of the baddest vampires in anime. See you there.
(1) Remember, Ryoga has been brainwashed into thinking he’s Ranma. Matthew is really Ranma.
(2) Well, what did you expect? Did you think Ryoga could keep his secret from Akane without Ranma?
(3) Remember that Genma has raised Ryoga, as he did with Ranma, so of course, he would instill that ‘I’m-the-best’ attitude.