The Truth Within the Truth: A Fullmetal Alchemist RP

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Ken pointed at Tasha with his left hand 'you should probably come with me back to base we aren't in the best condition to continue fighting...'ken paused as he was about to say gluttony 'that monster', he then pointed at Elias and Vlad, 'you two should probably continue tracking gluttony and stop the stone alchemist form getting himself killed, though I would advise not to engage the beast in combat until you have some support'

As the boom of cannon fire rang from somewhere above him, Isaac looked about frantically, trying to find something, anything that he might be able to use to help his teammates. There was a distinct lack of staircases or ladders inside the warehouse, and his alchemy wouldn't help him reach the hole in the ceiling. Maybe he could find something to throw, or a rope he could climb, or...

Or maybe the floor would suddenly start crumbling beneath him, threatening to crush him in its rocky grasp. Well. Son of a bitch.

Thinking quickly, Isaac evaluated his options: Stay here and be of no use to anyone, possibly being crushed to death, or vacate the premises and see what he could do from the outside. Unsurprisingly, the latter choice seemed the more appealing.

"Dammit!" Isaac shouted as he jumped over the various cracks and crevices splitting the floor, the panicked cry nearly drowned out by the protesting groan of metal; the derelict warehouse was slowly bending and collapsing, pillars and walls giving out as their foundation collapsed from beneath them. Self-preservation lent strength to his legs as Isaac dashed towards the hole he had made earlier, frantically ducking under the descending jagged edge of the wall as it sank lower and lower.

Happy to finally be outside the deathtrap, Isaac slowed to a halt, turning around to further evaluate the situation. Right, let's see here: Building is sinking into the ground. Half my team and the target, which we need to take alive, are fighting on top of it. I've got no way of getting up there, or supporting the structure.

Well. Shoot.

The cannonball hit Amon with the exact amount of force that was to be expected. That is, far greater than any human being could match. The metal projectile slammed into Spice's weaponry so hard he began to spin in the opposite direction he had thrown himself in, and went careening off into the air. There was no way to stop him. He was at the mercy of the sky spirits, now.

The others all got up from their positions on the floor, bones aching as they stared down the Hotblooded Alchemist. Amuad grinned at them from his high ground, transmuting a few spare cannonballs into an elaborate spear. "You know, I've fought a lot of guys in my time, but I think this might be my toughest fight yet. I'll give you that one." He jumped down onto even footing with them to be on more equal terms. "But don't let that think you've got me beat."

With perfect timing, the building began to groan under the stress the battle had taken. Rather than react with shock or fear, Amaud beamed in pride. "I bet your friend Mr. Barefoot thinks that he's caught me off guard. But you see, I've got insurance for a home as high-valued as this."

On all sides of the factory, blue sparks rose into the air. Those close enough to look over the sides saw dozens of individuals with circles at the feet performing transmutations. They felt the earth itself move as dozens of metal beams and structures knit around the factory and stabilized its foundations. Amaud pointed a thumb toward himself. "You may have your connections back in the military, but I have a few friends of my own!"

Before they could be stopped, the robed men had already fled back into the shadows. They were likely disgruntled veterans or disillusioned alchemists who rejected serving the military. With that out of the way, Amaud held a hand out in a "stop" symbol. His hair was slicked with sweat now, and out of his face so they could see it more clearly. He didn't look angry, but still frustrated.

"If you want a fight then fine. But before we do that I want some answers about what this is all for. Bradley's ignored me for all this time, and now he sends a kill team after me. What makes him so interested all of a sudden?"


As Kallu charged across the rooftops, his hopes were dashed as he quickly discovered that the thing called Gluttony was leagues faster than him. He had already disappeared from sight entirely. However, from his vantage point he could clearly make out that it was a warehouse nearby causing the smoke. And if he was correct, he could make out familiar alchemical sparks on the roof of it.


"H-he's a fugitive state alchemist!" the veteran sputtered, looking too terrified to do much of anything but talk. "He helps me and the other AWOL veterans find work a-and homes in the Industrial District, so the military doesn't come after us! He lives in the big, abandoned storage warehouse down in the Industrial District, ok? Please, don't let these guys hurt me!"

'you two should probably continue tracking gluttony and stop the stone alchemist form getting himself killed, though I would advise not to engage the beast in combat until you have some support'

"No promises, sir," Elias called over his shoulder as he rushed towards the warehouse that Gluttony and Kallu were headed for. "Get her to a medic! I need my arm back!"

"TOTALLY WORTH IIIIT HAHAHAHAhahahahahahahahahahahahIcan'tfeelmyhandshahaha-

Amon and his hammer flew over and down past the edge of the roof, and his laughing was cut off with a distant but sickening crunch, which, oddly, was echoed by a second one that the alchemists almost couldn't hear. It likely wasn't important.

"Bradley's ignored me for all this time, and now he sends a kill team after me. What makes him so interested all of a sudden?"

"The Fuhrer... " sputtered Roland as he rose. "You know too much, too much vital information, too many secrets. You are a liability. You must be brought back to assess what you have leaked"

He brushed himself off, he shook his hand, it crackled with electricity.

Kallu pushed himself to his limit with the shape his leg was in... and then pushed himself farther, the leg be damned for now, his squad was in trouble or they'd be done with this by now.

As he neared the warehouse from the North,to the left of Amaud, he saw the cannon eject it's cargo, straight at one of the newer Alchemists, Spice he believed. He was directly across from the trembling building when he was knocked off and began falling through the air. Quickly thinking, he transmuted a part of the building he was on into pure sand, to break the man's fall, otherwise, from that height, there was a good chance he'd never recover.

He then pulled his pistol from behind his belt in it's holster, took aim at Amaud's legs, and fired all six rounds before stopping to reload it.

Leo left the building fearing it would collapse alongside Isaac. Before he could try and mend the damage he caused, men appeared as if out of thin air and repaired the floor almost instantaneously. Surprised by this unusual Deus ex Machina, Leo decided to try and follow those cloaked men and catch at least one of them. He broke away from the main street and followed one of the men through an alleyway.

"Oh wonderful. Now we start splitting up," Isaac sighed to himself, as he watched Leo dash off after one of the hooded people. "This is when everything goes to hell, isn't it?"

Turning around, the alchemist scrutinized the new supports. They seemed strong enough; odds are the building wouldn't be collapsing anytime soon. However, short of scaling said supports, Isaac still had no viable way of reaching the rest of the squad, and their target, on top of the warehouse. As much as he hated to abandon an objective, odds were he wasn't going to be much help here. Meanwhile, Leo could likely use some help. Although the man was clearly capable, it seemed that his planning skills could use some work.

"Dammit all to hell," Isaac cursed as he pursued his barefoot teammate. He'd just have to trust everyone else to handle Octivar.

James just watched as Amond went flying through the air, laughing.

That man is crazy.I'm not sure it that is a good thing or a bad one.

Shaking his head, he turned his attention to the situation at hand. The building may have been stabilized but Octivr had friends in the shadows.

We are outnumbered and outclassed by this man. His alchemy is far faster than what we can keep up with.

James wiped some of the blood of his arms and drew a transmutation circle on the roof. Clapping his hands, blue sparks surrounded his body as he drew something out of the materials on the roof. Standing straight he held a FN FAL, semi-automatic rifle. image Quickly drawing, three more circles, he created three extra magazines for the gun. All the alchemy left behind four holes, differing in size.

James lined the rifle up to his shoulder and fired ten shoots, emptying half of the cartridge, at Octivr's arms.

"TOTALLY WORTH IIIIT HAHAHAHAhahahahahahahahahahahahIcan'tfeelmyhandshahaha-

Anton just sat there watching as Amon hurtled down to the ground. He heard a crunch and a weird sound right after. He got up after the Lightning Alchemist while rubbing his sore ribs.

Fumed up freak, hope it hurt. Kick me in the ribs, will ya?

Anton then turned to stare at Octivir as he boasted on about this and that. Something about tough fights and some other nonsense.

"But don't let that think you've got me beat."

Anton was close enough to the edge to catch a glimpse of Amaud's merry band of alchemists strengthening the support beams of the warehouse

What the hell? Where did they crawl out from!?" He then saw Leo go after one of them.
Is that? Augh! He's getting out of sight again! What is he? A child?

"If you want a fight then fine. But before we do that I want some answers about what this is all for. Bradley's ignored me for all this time, and now he sends a kill team after me. What makes him so interested all of a sudden?"

"The Fuhrer... You know too much, too much vital information, too many secrets. You are a liability. You must be brought back to assess what you have leaked"

Heh. Answered like a good little puppy. Guess you're off the hook for now Lightbulb.

As Roland charged himself up, ready for a fight, Anton joined him.

"*sigh* This just isn't my day... Tell ya what..." Anton said, twirling his butterfly knife around his fingers. His speech had yet again lost it's verbosity as his eyes and mouth settled into a murderous grin.

"How's about I finish cutting your ragged hands up and we can all have a nice lil' chat after you ain't able to clap so good? HOW DOES THAT SOUND!? HUH, OLD MAN?"

Storm stance. Anton settled into a compact stance, knife at chest level and his right hands claws slightly behind his left hand. He charged to attack Amaud. This stance giving him more speed than the last, but less of a chance to block.

""The Fuhrer... " sputtered Roland as he rose. "You know too much, too much vital information, too many secrets. You are a liability. You must be brought back to assess what you have leaked"

Amaud processed this for a moment. "Is that so?" he asked with a little smirk. "Well I'll give him that, he's right. I do know a lot of secrets." He popped his knuckles and stretched himself out, getting ready for round two.

"And I bet the Fuhrer never--rrgh--told you what exactly those secrets were, right? Just following orders like a good dog? Maybe you'd like to--SHIT!"

A sextet of bullets came from his right. By a stroke of luck the new enemy didn't seem to know about his automail leg, and the first few bullets struck it, the others missing entirely. Hotblooded didn't waste a second of time, transmuting the entire side of the building into a giant wall to shield him from any further ranged attacks coming that direction. He turned back to face the others, spear in hand.

It was only right then when he realized the extremely powerful weapon that the other Lieutenant Colonel present held. His eyes went wide with shock, and he ducked under the first few rounds. He rolled to his right as the bullets followed him, running up to the wall he had made and going a few steps up before flipping off of it. Though showy, this cost him, as a single bullet pierced his left arm. "ARGH!" he bit down on his tongue to stop the scream and countered with another transmutation on the floor. The roof itself mutated around James, forming a tight cage. In its confines, there wasn't quite enough room to properly aim and shoot his rifle.


Amaud had barely stood before he found Lieutenant Anton charging him head-on. His knife and claws were in a dual-strike stance. "How's about I finish cutting your ragged hands up and we can all have a nice lil' chat after you ain't able to clap so good? HOW DOES THAT SOUND!? HUH, OLD MAN?"

Something snapped in Amaud's eyes. Before anyone had the time to warn their comrade, the loose-tongued fool was already in range of the appropriately-titled Hotblooded Alchemist. With a single downward strike, his spear pierced straight through a slit in the workings of his de-clawed automail arm. Wilson went down with it, and felt the back of his head get slammed by a punch from Amaud.

"WHO THE HELL ARE YOU CALLING OLD?!"

Hotblooded practically crashed his palms against each other and slammed them into the ground, screaming all the while.

"OH, I'M JUST SOME DAMNED OLD GEEZER WHO CAN'T MOVE FROM ARTHRITIS, RIGHT?! WELL CAN AN OLD MAN DO THIS, HUH?!?"

A massive stone column rose straight out from the rooftop, bringing Anton with it all the way up until it was nearly 30 feet over the rest of them. A precarious height to be sure. Amaud glared up at his foe, technically unharmed but trapped save for a stone-transmuting alchemist. "How about you just stay up there for a while?!"

Amaud finally turned back to the others, his expression fuming with slowly suppressed rage. "Does anyone else want to try me, or can we have a little chat first?"


As Leo charged into the dank alleyway, he caught sight of one of the cloaked figures. Though he couldn't make out their sex or details, they appeared to be fairly small, and were indeed wrapped in an olive green cloak that hid them from view. They were currently crouched against a wall, hastily scribbling a circle with chalk to create an escape route. It looked like they'd barely begun, however. This was almost too easy.

Kallu watched as Hotblood took his shots to the legs without even so much as a wince, though he did transmute a wall to block his line of sight.

Automail, and he claps to transmute, without Circles.What did this man do for R&D? Some new kind of Alchemy?

James was caged suddenly, presumably by the Major yet again. He fought with Anton for a few seconds, the few times he saw the two of them fighting looked bad for both, before Amaud ripped through the man's arm and stuck him to a rooftop. He then made a possibly fatal mistake, he created a pillar lifting Anton far above the rest of them. A stone pillar.

He put his gun away in it's holster, and transmuted, creating a single spike that drove through the pillar at it's base, breaking through the wall to slam into the Hotblooded Alchemist as well, causing it to begin to fall, with the man on top. He quickly transmuted the spike to sand, to break his fall should he fail to regain his balance.

Anton was in range ready to slash at Amaud. Hah. Got you now, you basta...

"WHO THE HELL ARE YOU CALLING OLD?!"

"EH!? GAH!"

Taken completely by surprise by the Hotblooded one's sudden outburst Anton failed to dodge the spear and was floored as the weapon lodged between the exposed parts of his forearm, which afforded the M1905's their flexibility.

"You godda... GUHH!"

Octivir's first attack was followed by a punch to the back of the head. Anton's face hit the floor and he passed out. When he came to, Amaud's voice seemed somehow distant.

"How about you just stay up there for a while?!"

Anton was dangling by his arm a good 30 feet above the rooftops of East City Industrial

"...So not my day today... I'm afraid that's a negative Mr. Sensitive About Their Age Alchemist! I'm taking the express elevator right back down to ya!"

Anton never did know how to keep his mouth shut. This time, however there was a reason for it. His newfound vantage point informed him about the incoming transmutation by the Stone Alchemist. If he could antagonize Octivir for a few seconds more, Kallu could break the pillar while Octivir was distracted.

As the pillar broke Anton started falling back into the action.

"Yahhooo! Hope you're ready Amaud! IT'S ROUND THREE!" Wilson screamed gleefully as he landed on the soft sand. Taking the spear out of his elbow, Anton added: "Oh, yes and thank you kindly for this lovely spear."

"You should probably come with me back to base, we aren't in the best condition to continue fighting." Tasha nodded as she tried to stand. With a grunt of pain and wobbly legs she was able to pull it off. "Hey no arguments there. After today, I just want a night alone with a strong drink and to finish Elias's arm." She said walking towards the door wincing every now and then. "Make that a really strong drink."

"Does anyone else want to try me, or can we have a little chat first?"

Elias looked up onto the roof to see that he'd finally gotten to the fight, but would have a bit of trouble taking part in it. Looking around for a door or means to get to the roof, he thought he spotted a familiar figure on the ground. He drew his weapon and walked over to investigate.

Leo reacted quickly. After witnessing the alchemists try to draw a circle on the opposite wall, he turned to the side and kicked the wall with his left foot, planting it on the wall of the house that was near the alleyway. From that wall came dozens of small stone pillars going through to the other side of the alleyway, piercing through some of the alchemists.

"My feet hurt", Leo said as he put his leg back on the floor, "I hate blisters".

Fighting going on, teammates wounded, just finished sprinting, Elias thought as he shook his head, adrenaline does funny things to the eyes at night. Putting the pistol away, he took up a slow jog around the building to look for a ladder or fire escape that would lead to the roof.

He didn't find anything that would help, and few warehouses had roof access from the inside, so he located the apartment building that was closest to the warehouse and jumped up to grab its fire escape's railing. All of his automail was heavy, but each limb easily put out enough power to compensate for the total weight. As he pulled himself up, he could hear the aging fire escape groan under the weight, prompting him to hurry.

James banged against his cage, trying to find a weakness in it.

Crap, No room to try and blast it open and I can't fire the gun at Octivr. I'm stuck. Unless I can get out of here or get one of the others to help me.

Watching Anton get free of Octivr's attack, James got an idea.

"Anton! Get me out of here! I need room to aim at him!"

Marlin pulled out his notebook and made notes of everything the veteran said. "... So, he's helping fellow war veterans..." He muttered as he read over it one more time. This Amaud didn't seem like a bad man, trying to help his comrades like that. Thankfully, his death was not required for this mission, but Marlin was certain his treason would not go unpunished by the Fuhrer.

Marlin glanced in the direction of the Industrial district and saw smoke rising in the distance. Had one of his comrades found the target already? If so, he could no longer afford to linger here. He couldn't just leave the veteran here with his assailants though so Marlin set the jar down and used it to melt the ice encasing him. ".... I apologize for treating you so roughly... I had to ensure that I found the information I sought... Get to safety and seek me out should you need any further assistance... I am Marlin Frederic, the Deep Blue Alchemist." Marlin apologized quietly before turning back to the thugs.

"... In this climate the ice should melt fairly shortly... I suggest you reconsider your current lifestyle lest you face more dire consequences in the future... Farewell." He told them all before turning and beginning to run off towards the rising smoke from the Industrial District.

"I hate blisters". Isaac barely caught the tail end of Leo's comment, as he finally jogged into the alley; running about with a heavy backpack had caused Isaac to lag behind his barefoot companion.

It only took a moment for the panting soldier to assess the situation: Leo, standing in the mouth of the alley, complaining about his sore feet, and one of the cloaked alchemists, feebly struggling against the stone pillars jutting through his/her body. Their cloak, once a drab olive, was slowly being stained a dark red, as blood oozed from wounds in the figure's arms, legs, and a particularly nasty hole just above their hip.

Grumbling, Isaac shoved past Leo, approaching the injured alchemist. It would do neither of them any good if their target bled to death before they could interrogate them. After kicking aside the piece of chalk (No sense in being careless. An alchemist was always a threat, even before death's door.) Isaac examined the figure before him. Years of field experience made the examination simple enough; the robed person, though slowly slipping into shock, wasn't in any danger of bleeding out. Leo's pillars stemmed the blood loss quite a bit. So long as they remained impaled, the target would be fine. Well, as fine as someone can be while stabbed by a chunk of brick.

However, judging by the increasingly shallow breaths of the target, Isaac estimated that it would only had a few moments before they went into shock. He needed to get some information on Octivar before then.

Ignoring the staining scarlet stickiness, Isaac wrapped a hand around the figure's arm, just below one of the wounds Leo's assault had inflicted. For now, it was just a light grasp. If, however, the target proved uncooperative...

"Right, listen up. Octivar: How can he transmute just by clapping? There's no way that's possible, even for a State Alchemist."

"Damn it." Amaud growled. His eyes shifted between glaring at Anton and at the hole in his wall. "How many times do I have to hit you before you shut up and listen?!"

He made a cutting gesture with his hand and gritted his teeth. "Are you all that mindless? Do you even know the information I took?! Do you care?!"


The alchemist scarcely seemed capable of responding to Isaac. What was now clearly a she coughed over and over, her green eyes flickered as the blood dripped down her cloak. It took a moment for her to speak.

"He... he never, told us. A-all he said was t-that... that he'd seen the Truth."

"Anton! Get me out of here! I need room to aim at him!"

"Yessir, Mr. Lt. Colonel, sir" Anton complied with a tinge of sarcasm in his voice.

"Damn it." How many times do I have to hit you before you shut up and listen?! Are you all that mindless? Do you even know the information I took?! Do you care?!"

"Nope. Not really. But the guy who pays me does. Now... This is reeeeally becoming more troublesome than I'd like, so please, be a good doggie and go down this time. Pretty please? Oi! Major Lightning! Keep pops here busy while I liberate our valiant Lt. Colonel would ya?"

Entrusting Octivir to Roland's electrifying company, Anton rushed towards the cage. Readying his right arm's claws to break the bars. Steel is hard, but diamond is harder.

"Lt. Colonel! Brace yourself!"

"He... he never, told us. A-all he said was t-that... that he'd seen the Truth."

Isaac frowned, staring at the trembling woman before him. Her words were meaningless, clearly, but was she merely trying to confuse him, or was she already slipping into shock? Deciding to abandon this line of questioning, Isaac moved on, hoping to get something he could use.

"Alright, fine. Next question: How do we stop him? He must have some weakness or flaw that could be exploited."

The woman paused and took a few, shallow breaths. She looked up at Isaac. Her face was dirty, it looked like it hadn't been washed in a week. She was clearly and thoroughly terrified, though for some strange reason she wasn't cooperating.

"Y-you... you want me to betray the man that took me in. Gave me food and, and shelter when the military abandoned me? W-what kind of sense... does that make? His only flaw is his humanity. He c-cares; more than any... ANY OF YOU DOGS!"

It took all of her effort to get out those last words. She leaned forward as far as the restraints piercing her allowed, and hung her head limp. Dead or unconscious, Isaac could not tell from a glance. But she was no longer moving or speaking.

"Shit!" Isaac muttered to himself. He had thought he had some more time on his hands; he hadn't expected her to pass out this quickly. There were things he would and would not do in service of his nation; watching a helpless prisoner die was not one of them.

Scrambling, Isaac reached into his backpack, pulling out a roll of bandages, a small coil of wire, and some disinfecting alcohol. He may not have been a trained medic, but you don't survive in the field without learning some impromptu first aid.

Leo's pillars may have been tough enough to pin the woman in place, but it didn't take more than a few strong kicks to break them. Gently lowering the woman to the ground, Isaac carefully examined her injuries: Most of the wounds in her arms and legs, though they seemed bad, were not life threatening. A few of the glancing blows could be patched up with stitches, which Isaac's alchemy was more than capable of providing. The other injuries, he determined, would only be worsened if he removed the stone; instead he simply wrapped those areas in bandages, to further slow the blood loss.

The worst of it was the gash just above her left hip; blood was pouring from the wound with little to impede its progress. Hoping that it would help, Isaac wrapped her entire lower torso in bandages, although the injured area quickly turned a bright red.

Having done the best his limited resources would allow, Isaac slung the women over his shoulder, holding her in a fireman's carry. Slowly walking out of the alley, Isaac shot Leo a dirty look, before attempting to navigate his way back to the center of East City. Hopefully he could make it to the hospital before she bled to death.

"With pleasure!"

Roland closed his eyes as he rose his hands and pressed them against the air. The circles tattooed onto his palms glowed with a brilliant blue light, the air around him seemed to ripple as small sparks began to form. Roland caused the atoms in the air to rub and collide with each other, the resultant charge was causing the hairs of every body on the roof to stand on end.

Roland opened his eyes, and brought his hands together. The electricity that had been formed entered his body, which he then redirected to discharge directly to Octivir.

Finally on the roof, Elias moved back from the edge so he could get a running start onto the warehouse roof, but once he turned around, he froze. The blue light was unlike anything he'd ever seen, and there wasn't anything on the roof aside from his team and the target. He instinctively gulped as he began to fully understand what alchemists were capable of. It was one thing to hear the stories, and another to continually witness the results of their studies.

Leo leaned on one of the walls of the alleyway and sat down on the dirty floor, stretching his legs forward and letting out a sigh. He didn't say a word when Issac interrogated the alchemist woman or when he broke his pillars and carried her away from the alleyway, in hopes he could try and save her life.

Leo just wanted a rest. He wanted a shot of Creatian Vodka. He wanted an Aerugoan cigar. For some reason the memories of the past he tried to hide kept flashing in his mind. As he continued to sit in the alleyway and hear the fight out in the street, his mind wandered off to Solaris and her beautiful physique. But all of his fantasies didn't stop his suspicions.

Why are my pretty girls never normal...

Leo rose up and left the alleyway while dragging his feet on the cobbled street. The stones were a mess and many cracks appeared in the road. Up above he could see pillars of stone and hear diabolical laughter. Without even assuming a stance Leo kicked the earth four times with his right leg and summoned up a thin pillar of stone to bring him up to the roof of the opposite building, effectively demolishing half of the street. He turned to see the ongoing conflict and sat down on a throne of his own making, just within earshot of the man they were after.

Amaud took a defensive stance when he saw Roland enter the fray. One of the few alchemists he had no extensive knowledge of. But of course, everyone had heard the rumors... In a flash of blinding light, electricity crackled out of the Lightning Alchemist in a broad, deadly arc. Hotblooded saw what was coming, and immediately did the only thing he could. With a swift snap, the nerve connections to his own automail leg came off, and even as he screamed and collapsed his knee, he tossed the glorified lightning rod in the way.

The assault was extremely weakened by the tactic, but one could only do so much against that much power. Lightning surged through Amaud's body, distorting him as he twisted and contorted from the pain. His face locked into a mix of anguish and rage as the assault continued.

When at last it was all over, smoke rose from his coat as Amaud struggled to raise himself even slightly off of the floor. As Anton freed the Lieutenant Colonel, Octivir realized that he was fully outmatched. "Damn it. I really thought I had you guys; but, maybe I can try one last--"

Amaud clapped, and slammed his hands into the roof.


Alchemic transmutation is a process composed of two major steps: destruction, and reconstruction. That is, an object is broken down, and then reformed into something new. Some alchemists, with proper skill and the correct technique, stop at the destruction phase of transmutation. This is what happened to the roof of the warehouse; it practically exploded with released energy, rubble and dust dropping out from beneath the entire present company's feet, and that of Amaud's as well. They all dropped down back into the factory they had been in moments before, but in a new area. It was a smaller room, with only a few shelves on the walls, with a metallic walkway looking over it. All of them fell into the lowest level of the room, where boxes stuffed with food, blankets and other basic necessities cushioned their fall.


They laid there in silence for a few minutes, the shock preventing anyone from moving. Then, the blue sparks of alchemy lit up the area, and the first to emerge from all the debris was Amaud, clutching a wooden crutch to stand. Blood dripped down his forehead and lower lip, and one eye was clamped shut, blinded by some stray bit of shrapnel. He held his fractured ribs with one hand as he gazed at the still room. "Maybe now you'll all shut up long enough for me to speak."

He began to talk as the others came to, hearing him and seeing him. "My nephew, Eric. Eight years ago, he died of pneumonia. His parents were gone, and they had left him to me to take care of. It was like my own son was dead. I did everything I could to try and find a way to save him, to bring him back. But nothing worked." There was an odd sort of serene smile on his face. Happiness in resignation. "No human could defeat death. But then, I was approached by an individual all know: Fuhrer King Bradley. He told me that the military was working on a way to bring back the dead, told me that I could be the head of the division testing it. Eric could be the first one they revived. So, of course, I accepted. But what I didn't realize was, their experiments weren't ever about bringing back the dead. It was all about this--"

He clapped his hands, to illustrate his point.

"In the end, I never got my nephew back; my son back. But I had learned from my mistakes; I had discovered the Truth. The Truth to everything, to Bradley, to the military, everything they had planned. So I took the research notes of my project, and everything else incriminating I could get my hands on, and I ran. Bradley doesn't want me because I stole that information; he wants me because I know the Truth. It's that everything you know is a lie; about Ishval, about the military, all they really want is lambs for the slaughter!" He clapped his hands again. "And this?! The secret to this power all along... was human transmutation. It's a sin, but they don't care! They WANT us to do it! It just gives them more human sacri--"

SKLRTCH!!


"a-a-ah-haaaa-ahh....?"

As the others looked on in shock, Amaud was frozen in place. Four long, spiked tendrils shot through his back and out the front. One through the heart, one through each arm, another through the spine and the final through his mouth. Blood oozed from each wound as the Hotblooded Alchemist drew his final breath. His body convulsed, and finally collapsed to the ground as the tendrils retracted. The blood-slicked spikes flew back into their original shape, the fingers of their owner.

A tall, curvaceous woman with long black hair and thin eyes, in a long black dress. Leo's heart sank as he saw Solaris murder his target in cold blood, and with a power than no human being should even possess.

She stepped forward into the light provided through the broken roof, and at once the red tattoo on her chest was visible and pronounced to everyone present. Those who looked close realized that it was the symbol known as the Ouroboros. Her red lips smiled as her heel drove itself into Amaud's broken back. They heard a bone snap.

"My, my. You always seemed so harmless, Hotblooded. To think you'd nearly give away all of our plans like this... I suppose credit is due where it is due. But that doesn't make you any less dead, now, does it?"

"Ouch..."
Roland was visibly exhausted from the transmutation, his condition exasperated by the fall. His entire body ached. He knew Octivir was no longer a threat in his condition, so he stayed quiet and listened to the old man's speech

"Bradley doesn't want me because I stole that information; he wants me because I know the Truth. It's that everything you know is a lie; about Ishval, about the military, all they really want is lambs for the slaughter!"

That can't be true...It mustn't... What could possibly be the reason?...

SKLRTCH!!

Roland looked up in terror, as Amaud was pierced by tendrils. As they retracted, and Amaud fell to the floor, it was apparent that they belonged to the woman. She was pale and beautiful, except for the crimson that now was dripping from her fingertips.

"My, my. You always seemed so harmless, Hotblooded. To think you'd nearly give away all of our plans like this... I suppose credit is due where it is due. But that doesn't make you any less dead, now, does it?"

"Who or what, the hell.. are you?"

Leo didn't gasp for air nor did he say a word. He leaned to his right and placed his right arm over one of the armchair's arms, putting his right leg over his left. Don't Panic, Leo. This is just crazy stuff you have nothing to do with. Even though she looked so adorable, her hand expanded and penetrated Amaud. Maybe she can do other things with that ability?

Leo contemplated his chances. If he were to go down and help his comrades there is a viable chance he might die, while on the other hand he couldn't just let his comrades die. In the end, his desire to hear her sweet voice once again overtook him. He rose up from his throne and flattened the roof, then hopped on the stone pillar and went down to street level. He walked carefully through the debris, using his alchemy to clear a path for him.

He didn't hear what Solaris said, but before others could jump at her Leo showed himself in the entrance to the room. "I was going to go back and hear your sweet voice again... See you again.", Leo said as he made another step towards her. "I didn't expect to see you again like this. You walked away because you didn't like coffee? Then what about liquor?". Leo's legs planted themselves into the floor and slowly began to form batches of dirt in the remains of the concrete.

Kallu watched as the warehouse collapsed, sending everyone into the rubble, and Octivir came out of it bloodied, but not dead.

Good, we can take him back alive

Then he listened from the nearby rooftop as Hotblooded spoke.

Human transmutation, he says? That's impossible, he should've known better than to attempt it, there was a reason it was outlawed

Then he watched as spikes impaled him and retracted to a beautiful woman.

Dammit, we have failed, and all because of whatever she is, wait, didn't the Gluttony have the same mark on his tongue? Is this the Lust he spoke of?

"You must be the Lust,"Kallu said as he created a ramp that led from his rooftop to the ground,he limped down it and spoke again when he reached the sand,"We just finished with the Gluttony not that long ago, I must admit, he's even heavier than he looks.But he's not that bright, and apparently is much more afraid of you than four state Alchemists together. Just what exactly are you two and what are you doing here?"

A large piece of metal fell over as James rose, unsteadily to his feet. He grimaced in pain as he felt his left side. It felt like his ribs had cracked even more, maybe even broken. As James listened to what Octivr had to say his mind raced.

No it can't be a lie. We are fighting in Ishval to make peace. That is what they told us. That is the truth. It has to be. No. They must have a reason for it. They just haven't told us. I just need to do what I've always done. Follow orders and help advance the military.

James broke out of his thoughts just in time to see spikes retreat from Octvir's body and a woman appear. Searching around he looked for his rifle which he found in the rubble, the barrel broken. Throwing it aside he drew out his pistol, ready to fire.

"My, my. You always seemed so harmless, Hotblooded. To think you'd nearly give away all of our plans like this... I suppose credit is due where it is due. But that doesn't make you any less dead, now, does it?"

Who? What! Who is she. Is she a new recruit that the Fuhrer didn't tell us about? No. She said something their plans and she killed him. Orders were to take him alive. There must be more than one in her group and Octivr had found information on them and ran. Is that what the Fuhrer wanted? Information on their group?

"You must be the Lust. We just finished with the Gluttony not that long ago, I must admit, he's even heavier than he looks. But he's not that bright, and apparently is much more afraid of you than four state Alchemists together. Just what exactly are you two and what are you doing here?"

Kallu fought another of her group? Does that mean there are only two or are there more? And by the sound of it they are much tougher than they appear. What abilities does she posses? Alchemy? New technology? Something else?

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