The Truth Within the Truth: A Fullmetal Alchemist RP

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"Nothing that would garner your attention fox-face..."

Anton looked at Roland, feigning dismay.

"Eeeeh? So mean Major! I was born with this face you know? I know I look shifty with my narrow peepers an' all but that's why I smile so much. See?"

The liutenant's devious smile made a triumphant return. The others didn't look impressed. Oh well.

"How are you all feeling?"

Anton wasn't particularly surprised at Bradley's appearance at the hospital. As he saluted his Generalissimo, he thought to himself.

Maybe my debrief made him more uncomfortable than he'd like to admit. Hehehe. Interesting.

"Oooh! It's not everyday that you see our illustrious head of state visiting his troops at the hospital!"

Ken sad there thinking about what he should have prepared next time they ran into the homunculie, normally he would start making notes about stuff like this but with his writing hand wrapped in bandages that wasn't much of an option.

while in thought he barely noticed what his team was talking about it also took him a couple of seconds to notice the entrance of the furher, the moment he did, he shot up form his seat and went to solute, but as he went to flatten his hand for the solute pain shot through the hand and let out a grunt of pain while saying 'sir'.

Amon stopped short of the hospital room with his eyebrows raised. It wasn't every day the head of your entire nation gave you a sickbay visit. Since he had no doubt that Bradley already knew he was there, Amon didn't bother with trying to be stealthy. He simply plodded up and leaned against the wall outside the room after throwing Bradley a salute, and set himself up to listen.

Vlad arrived just after Bradley, but he wasn't surprised. He knew Bradley would want to address the team, and it had something to do with the red envelopes.

Bradley looked over those present with an even and keen eye, carefully examining the group for anything out of the ordinary. In particular, he dwelled on Leo's feet. "You all seem to have taken quite the beating. I take it this has something to do with the mission I assigned to you, entrusted you with with absolute confidence. Please, inform me what has happened."

"Octvir gave us more trouble than we expected sir," James struggled out of the bed to salute the Fuhrer. Sitting back down he continued, "He seem to have found a way to transmute things without use of any visible circles. It seemed like he he could make anything with just clapping. In the middle of the fight a person named Lust stepped in and killed Octvir. At that point Corporal Victor joined the fight and attacked Lust. A fight ensured and the squad obtained the majority of our wounds," James stood up and made his way to the Fuhrer.

Whispering, "She healed any wound she obtained like it had never happened. It was like she was invincible."

Roland noticed the Fuhrer approach and immediately straightened up, as much as his body would allow, and gave a sharp salute, followed by a stifled groan.

"Fuhrer Sir, I'm sure you'd rather hear the full story from our esteemed Lieutenant Colonel"

He gave a sideways glance over to James.

"And I'm sure this is not the place Lightning. Where it is so crowded with strangers," returning the glance at Roland.

Tasha nodded to the doctor as she turned to leave. "C'mon you two, there's nothing we can do here right now." She said waling stiffly down the hall. "And Sergent we need to get your arm reattached. Follow me back to my room. I have the tools required to reattach it there." She said with a smile.

Anton stood in a corner of the room. He wasn't quite sure what his employer's angle was with this sudden interrogation. On the other hand, he'd already given his own testimony, so he had nothing to worry about.

I wonder where he's going with this... Appraising their loyalty for himself?

"Is that so?" the Fuhrer asked James. There seemed to be a bit of skepticism in his voice. "You do understand the inherent absurdity of what you're telling me, correct? And do not worry about privacy issues. Anything here will remain under wraps, of that much I can assure you. Speak freely soldiers, and I want you to tell me straight, Lieutenant Colonel. Is what you just told me the absolute truth of the situation? If not, you'd best correct yourself, or you will be tried for treason."

"They appear to be human", Leo's words cut through the Fuhrer's. He focused his eyes down on the floor. "Humans they are not, sir. This is something new to us. We did not fight them. They simply played with us. Played with our pride. Our dignity. Our lives. The battlefield stopped being about dance or music. It all turned to desperation".

Leo's words were harsh. He had trouble speaking, pausing a few times between some words. "Next time will be different", Leo continued. "I", he said, "Will be the one playing with their lives".

"What I said was the truth sir. However, I did omit a few details. There was a second, short man as well. He was the same as the woman. He was the cause of Corporal Victor losing his arm. The woman named Lust said she was a homunculus. What Leo said is correct sir. It was all we could do keep ourselves alive. But we did make them retreat."
"Lust killed Lt. Colonel Octivr as he began to talk about the information he had. Octivr mentioned that he had been recruited to help find a way to bring people back to life. He had also gone on to mention that he believed the military wanted the wars. And he said that the basis of his Clapping transmutation came from Human Transmutation. Sorry for omitting these details sir. I was afraid of someone eavesdropping on us. If what Octvir said was true then the military may be compromised by forcing conflict. It could be another country using spies to weaken us by throwing us against our enemies. If that is the case sir then I thought it may have been best to keep things quiet until a more private place could be reached."

"And Sergent we need to get your arm reattached. Follow me back to my room. I have the tools required to reattach it there."

"Best thing I've heard all night," Elias commented, walking beside Tasha. "In hindsight, I think it was best for me to be missing an arm tonight. If I'd been in fighting condition, I'd have found it a lot harder to run from that fight." He looked down at his left shoulder, eager to see an arm attached to it again.

Now, if we can just get the night off, I'll be set. Of course, it can wait until morning, but I might not be alone during the day.

Isaac liked to think that there were few things that could thoroughly unnerve him, events that could shake him to his very core and reduce him to a stuttering wreck. The appearance of the highest ranking military officer in the nation, expecting to hear the report of a horrifically failed mission, was one such thing.

As the Fuhrer entered the hospital room, Isaac found himself scrambling to a hasty salute, attempting to turn his relaxed posture into something moderately respectful. After Amestris' leader began questioning the Lieutenant Colonel, however, he slowly dropped the pose, instead listening to the words of his companions.

Though he had gotten a rough picture of what had happened below the warehouse, this was the first time he had heard it laid out so clearly. He couldn't help but shudder at the thought of those things, regenerating from absolute destruction. Whatever they were, they were wrong.

When Leo spoke up, however, Isaac found himself struggling to not smack the wheelchair-bound alchemist. Dance and music? Playing with their lives? Who the hell does this kid think he is?

As James finished his corrected report, Isaac stepped forward, attempting to keep his nervous voice from stuttering as he spoke, "Fuhrer Bradley, sir! I would like to add that with the help of the Barefoot Alchemist, I was able to subdue one of Octivar's lackeys. She sustained heavy injuries, and is being treated in this hospital. I believe that once she wakes up, however, she could provide information as to her comrades' movements, sir!"

Bradley listened to every man's words, but most of all seemed intent on the last things that Projecting said to him. "Lust killed Lt. Colonel Octivr as he began to talk about the information he had. Octivr mentioned that he had been recruited to help find a way to bring people back to life. He had also gone on to mention that he believed the military wanted the wars. And he said that the basis of his Clapping transmutation came from Human Transmutation. Sorry for omitting these details sir. I was afraid of someone eavesdropping on us. If what Octvir said was true then the military may be compromised by forcing conflict. It could be another country using spies to weaken us by throwing us against our enemies. If that is the case sir then I thought it may have been best to keep things quiet until a more private place could be reached."

His face was difficult to read. There was more livelihood, you might say, in it than naturally for him. He might have been surprised, or even shocked at what James was telling him. Then again, he might not have been. But he seemed intrigued, at the very least. "I see." he told him. The next one he actually acknowledged with eye contact was Isaac, who told him of a member of Octivir's group who was captured, and within the very hospital. The Fuhrer nodded at him. "Very interesting, Major. Tell you what, I'll let you handle that one. Please, inform me of any information you can get out of her; I'll leave you freedom to proceed with interrogation as you wish."

After casually throwing that gigantic burden onto his man's shoulders, the Fuhrer returned his focus to James. "There is nothing more that needs to be said from you on this matter, Lieutenant Colonel." He stated matter of factly. "Truth be told, I've been aware of these 'homunculi' for some time. That is to say, rumors of unkillable humans have been popping up all around the East lately. I had hoped to gain some clues on their activities, but your stumbling into them is perhaps even better. With that said, however, I want you to promise me something, Lieutenant Colonel."

Fuhrer King Bradley loomed over the Projecting Alchemist, glaring down at him with his one dark eye. "Your primary mission is, was, and shall continue to be to perform as special forces in the Ishvalan Civil War, and more sensitive missions as I see fit. For your own safety, I recommend you do not investigate the matter further. Am I clear?"


"The military?" the gangster asked, his eyes curious and fearful. He stood, and took on a lower, more somber tone as he spoke. "The same military who goes around violently forcing you into their fold, and then killing you all off when they don't like you no more? The same military that throws its vets out to starve on the streets? The same one that got a buncha you alchemist freaks to tear up the Industrial District and hurt my little brother?"

He paused and hesitated for that last part. With a deep exhale, Marlin could feel him reconsidering. "But... if it'll help my brother, then yeah. I'll do it." He suddenly took on a more frantic movement and pointed an angry finger at Deep Blue. "But you'd better keep your word, or I'll put a bullet in your skull, got it? I'll own a gun once I'm in the military, so don't think I couldn't."

For your own safety, I recommend you do not investigate the matter further. Am I clear?

"Crystal Sir," James saluted and lay back in the bed. "I understand completely."

"I'll leave you freedom to proceed with interrogation as you wish."

"Sir!" Isaac said, snapping another salute, the perfect model of an obedient soldier.

...Well, there goes any semblance of sleep I was going to get tonight.

"Sir", Leo saluted in his wheelchair, this time staying seated. He looked back at the person holding his reins, "Lets go to the city", he whispered.

"For your own safety, I recommend you do not investigate the matter further. Am I clear?"

Amon leaned around the corner.

"Excuse me, Sir, but you said rumors have been popping up in the East. Logically, that means they've been active there. Meaning no disrespect to the wisdom of your suggestion, sir, as it will, of course, be heeded, but wouldn't it be... prudent for us to at least gather some intel on them so we can fight them better the next time we find them? Lack of knowledge nearly killed us once. I'd prefer it not happen again."

Anton had his share of fun, but there were other matters to attend to.

Got to get the ol' appendage fixed. Better safe than sorry.

"You'll get no arguments from me. Now if you'll excuse me..."

He excused himself after snapping a quick salute. While the Fuhrer didn't mind Anton leaving, the others might've found his lack of interest in the briefing somewhat puzzling. Not that it mattered to the Liutenant. As he exited the room he acknowledged Amon's presence with a nod and finished his sentence.

"...I have an arm to fix."

As he continued down the hall he saw a familiar figure walking towards him.

"Could it be? It IS! Lt. Banagher! How long has it been? A month? Two? Five? That little thing in... Reole, right? Hahhaa how time flies when you're having fun!"

Anton seemed to greet Banagher like they were old war buddies, but the look on Banagher's face indicated otherwise.

Roland saluted the Fuhrer diligently.

Doesn't want us to investigate 'eh? For our safety? As if

"Lets go to the city".

"The Fuhrer may want to continue speaking with us. Waiting around for his departure would be preferable."

"On second thought, jusr a second Leo, it's rude to leave in the Fuhrer's presence..."

While standing at the reception waiting for a nurse that could check out Leo, he looked up and turned to Roland. "Do you know what you want to do outside? I can't move much...".

The moment Roland and Leo started for the door, Kallu stood and grabbed Roland's shoulder, whispering,"The Fuhrer may want to continue speaking with us. Waiting around for his departure would be preferable."

A small smile spread across Marlin's face as the man accepted his offer. He wasn't bothered in the slightest by the man's threat having already bested the man in combat once and he had no intentions of going back on his word anyway. What bothered him more was the man's statements regarding the military earlier. I suppose I haven't dealt with the military operations much until recently, but what he says must be an exaggerated rumor. Although, I did see a number of impoverished looking veterans.... Hmmm....

After making a note to look into this more in his free time, Marlin pulled out his journal and ripped two blank pages on it. He scribbled something on the first page and handed it to the man. It was legible, but only barely. "Bring this to the Military HQ here in East City. This should be enough to get you enlisted." He said while scribbling out another note. "And bring this one to the treasury. They should deduct more than enough to pay your brother's medical bills from my research fund. If you have any problems, come find me and I'll take care of it."

"Since your brother was injured in a battle I was somewhat involved in, it's only right that I take responsibility."

"Excuse me, Sir, but you said rumors have been popping up in the East. Logically, that means they've been active there. Meaning no disrespect to the wisdom of your suggestion, sir, as it will, of course, be heeded, but wouldn't it be... prudent for us to at least gather some intel on them so we can fight them better the next time we find them? Lack of knowledge nearly killed us once. I'd prefer it not happen again."

If Anton had been looking, he might have noticed the flare of irritation on the Fuhrer's face. As it happened, only Vlad was around and aware enough of the man's more subtle emotions to pick up on it. Bradley took the two red envelopes from Vampire, and slipped him a note to read later, presumably in private. He then turned back to Spice.

"You men are my left hand, performing missions and tasks of, indeed, great importance and stealth, but they are still more overt than this. The key difference is that I expect you to apprehend the men you are researching. You have already shown that, while you are proficient enough in survival against these mysterious enemies, you do not have the skills necessary to defeat them. I will have my best spies investigating this matter, and if you are to accidentally stumble across anything I expect a full and detailed report of it. But when the time comes..."

His forehead wrinkled as he scowled, thinking of the enemies he planned to slay. "I'll take care of them personally."

A moment of deep, unsettling silence enveloped the room. The Fuhrer let it linger before he spoke. "Of course, if I believe you should know anything, then you will be informed. Hm. I think that is all I'll need to be handling today. Dismissed, gentlemen, finish your recuperation and enjoy the city a bit. I'll contact you when I'm in need of your services again."

As quickly as he had arrived, the Fuhrer vacated the hospital room, leaving his men dumbfounded at yet more vague threats and revelations.


Banagher's face turned angrier than a man of his demeanor should be able to get. He barely managed to keep his rage in check, clenching both fists and stating as calmly as possible, "Step aside, Lieutenant Anton. I don't speak with monsters. Why don't you go find Kimblee or something? You could spend a night by the fireside, telling stories about killing babies or something."


The gangster took the pages and, although the hesitation was evident on his face, he accepted the notes from Marlin and walked away as quickly as his feet would take him. It wasn't going to be an easy road for him, and Marlin could only hope it was one he would survive.

Tasha entered her room and headed strait for her little bedside table, which still had tool's scattered across it. "Go ahead and take a seat Sergent, I just gotta grab the right wrench ." She said moving tools left and right trying to find the correct tool. "Aha! there you are you little bastard." She said with a smile. She then proceeded to attache the main components of the arm to Elias's torso, making sure all the pieces fit and the wires connected correctly. After that was done she set the wrench and the connecting bolt. "Alright Sergent, time to reconnect your arm to the nerves. On the count of three. One....two....three!" She said twisting the wrench.


.
Leo stared at the people in the room. A sense of disappointment overcame him. "We haven't considered the possibility Octivir was right. For that... I have nothing more to say to you. If you hear I died... investigate."

Leo Leaned to his left and grabbed his bag. He then put it on his knees and rolled away from the others in the room. Leaving the room and entering the lobby, he caught a glimpse of the others that were with him. He pressed a button to wait for the elevator and sighed. His current condition was most unfavorable. He has to find a way to combat these monsters more effectively. Perhaps stone won't do the trick anymore.

Amon sighed and saluted in response to the Fuhrer as Anton brushed past him.

"...I have an arm to fix."

The corner of Amon's mouth ticked. He turned to watch Anton cheerfully stroll down the hallway and call out to Lt. Banagher. Amon considered for a moment and then clomped after him.

Bastard mentioned his arm on purpose... he thought as he caught up and responded to Banagher aloud.

"Oh, I dunno about that, Lieutenant Banagher. Babies are all fat, ya know. Lt. Anton here probably feasts on young children. Gotta get your red meat somewhere, am I right, Lieutenant?" Amon said, his last question directed at Anton.

Isaac watched as the Fuhrer left the hospital chamber, giving his superior yet another salute as Bradley departed. Upon the man's egress, the alchemist allowed himself to relax, Isaac's shoulders slumping forward as he let the stress flow off of him. He had not been ready to meet with the Fuhrer, and the meeting had worsened his already poor mood.

What's more, Isaac had now been tasked with interrogating the woman he had brought in earlier, by Bradley himself. Judging by her reactions when he and Leo had captured her, Isaac severely doubted she'd willingly part with any information. Odds were the questioning would quickly take a turn for the worse; Isaac doubted she would cooperate without the threat of physical pain being held over her.

"We haven't considered the possibility Octivir was right."

Leo's already familiar voice stabbed through Isaac's dark musings, the young alchemist's typically carefree voice stained with hidden fury and rage. For a moment, Isaac did not react, as he slowly adsorbed the full meaning of Barefoot's statement. He couldn't possibly be... even he wouldn't be foolish enough to suggest such treason, right?

"For that... I have nothing more to say to you. If you hear I died... investigate."

The fool. That impudent, brazen bastard. Was this his idea of a joke? Was this what he considered entertaining, pointedly inciting treason against all of Amestris? A slight tremble shook through Isaac's right arm, his clenched fist vibrating ever so slightly as Leo wheeled himself out of the room. The taste of iron filled Isaac's mouth, shaking him from his trance; he had not been aware he had been biting his lip.

Wiping the blood from his mouth, the alchemist offered a smile to the room's remaining occupants. His voice flowed forth freely, a cheerful tinge complimenting the grin. "Well, it looks like I've got some work to do. If you'll excuse me, I'll see you all later. James, Roland, I hope you both feel better soon."

Stepping briskly, Isaac left the room as well, his smile fading as he marched through the hallways. He dimly registered Anton and Amon speaking to another military man, but failed to hear their fleeting words as he walked past. Something about babies; they were probably talking about each other's families or something of that ilk.

--------------------------------------------

It did not take long to find Leo; the young man was waiting for the elevator, still bound to his wheelchair. The metallic doors dinged, and split apart just as Isaac caught up to his quarry, following Leo inside the small, thankfully empty compartment. Once he had entered the vehicle, Isaac's hand slipped out, striking the door-close button a few more times than necessary. As the metal sheets once more sealed the elevator, Isaac carefully reached into his pocket, pulling out and putting on one of his gloves.

As the elevator began its downward journey, Isaac's hand once more slipped, striking the emergency stop button. As the metallic box screeched to a halt, blue sparks spurted from its wall, as the alchemist fashioned a small but strong cage over the depressed button.

Steel-Web's voice was cold as his namesake, as he turned to face his companion. "Leo. I believe we need to talk."

Isaac's voice was cold, even, and devoid of any semblance of feeling. His words fell from his lips in a steady rain, their harsh content striking a stark contrast to his emotionless tone.

"You should know, I took the time to read through your file, before we met at the briefing earlier today. A pretty impressive story, I have to say; you battled against nearly impossible odds to get where you are today. On paper, you seemed to be an interesting fellow. I looked forward to meeting you along with the rest of the squad.

"However, it's probably best that I let you know that you sicken me. A double edged blade, just as likely to hurt your comrades as your foes. A weak willed coward, willing to strike down a fleeing foe while their back is turned. A disrespectful soldier, who refuses to heed his superiors. An arrogant fool, that believes he can treat the battlefield like some kind of playground. A traitorous bastard, who spreads dissent and lies."

It took all of Isaac's restraint to hold back his fist, as a slight tremor entered his voice.

"We are State Alchemists. We follow three laws, three truths that govern our lives with the same rigidity of Equivalent Exchange. The first and foremost of these: Obey the military.

"Are your will and word so weak, that they can be undone by one man, a terrorist no less, spouting lies and half-truths at you? Is your determination so pathetic that you will abandon your comrades and nation the instant someone casts a shadow on their name?"

Pausing, Isaac drew in a deep breath, forcing his raging emotions to still and be silent. When he continued, his voice was level once more.

"If this is all I can expect from you, then I strongly suggest that you reconsider your position.

"One last thing: If I ever suspect you of plotting to betray Amestris, then I will do two things. First, I will ensure that you are reported to no one less than the Fuhrer himself. Second, I will kill you."

All had been said that needed to be said. Isaac stepped back, leaned against a wall, and stared at Leo, awaiting the man's response.

Isaac's voice was cold, even, and devoid of any semblance of feeling. His words fell from his lips in a steady rain, their harsh content striking a stark contrast to his emotionless tone.

"You should know, I took the time to read through your file, before we met at the briefing earlier today. A pretty impressive story, I have to say; you battled against nearly impossible odds to get where you are today. On paper, you seemed to be an interesting fellow. I looked forward to meeting you along with the rest of the squad.

"However, it's probably best that I let you know that you sicken me. A double edged blade, just as likely to hurt your comrades as your foes. A weak willed coward, willing to strike down a fleeing foe while their back is turned. A disrespectful soldier, who refuses to heed his superiors. An arrogant fool, that believes he can treat the battlefield like some kind of playground. A traitorous bastard, who spreads dissent and lies."

It took all of Isaac's restraint to hold back his fist, as a slight tremor entered his voice.

"We are State Alchemists. We follow three laws, three truths that govern our lives with the same rigidity of Equivalent Exchange. The first and foremost of these: Obey the military.

"Are your will and word so weak, that they can be undone by one man, a terrorist no less, spouting lies and half-truths at you? Is your determination so pathetic that you will abandon your comrades and nation the instant someone casts a shadow on their name?"

Pausing, Isaac drew in a deep breath, forcing his raging emotions to still and be silent. When he continued, his voice was level once more.

"If this is all I can expect from you, then I strongly suggest that you reconsider your position.

"One last thing: If I ever suspect you of plotting to betray Amestris, then I will do two things. First, I will ensure that you are reported to no one less than the Fuhrer himself. Second, I will kill you."

All had been said that needed to be said. Isaac stepped back, leaned against a wall, and stared at Leo, awaiting the man's response.

Kallu watched as Isaac left the room, following after Leo, none of his problem. He had suspicions in the back of his mind though.

Why would the Fuhrer tell us to not do research into the homunculi? Not doing that could easily throw Amestris into more jeopardy than if we did. I hope that we are given access to his spies reports on them. That at the very least could do wonders for our tactics concerning them.

Kallu stood and left the hospital. It wasn't long before he found a small,quiet bar that suited his needs. He intended to have a few drinks and then go back to the barracks where he could get to sleep early enough to watch the dawn.

Leo looked to his left and stretched his hand to reach the button pad. He almost fell off his chair as he pressed the button and allowed the elevator to continue down. He sat back and leaned on the right arm of his wheelchair. Leo laid his gaze at Issac's shoes. "Neither are true. You know people when you fight alongside them. We didn't fight together. What was at the warehouse... You didn't see it?", Leo asked the man, his voice trembling.

"You didn't feel it? They could have ripped us to shreds in the first go.", Leo continued to speak as his feet began to tremble. "If it were combat, we would have all be laid to waste. It was play-time. We were the play-things", Leo's tone of voice continued to shake.

"In the border-towns, every day was a bloody day. But they liked to play a game. Set the spy loose in the field. He knows there are mines. He just doesn't know where.", Leo stopped and took a deep breath. "I am in the army because I love Alchemy, not because I love killing others. So I pretend; like a little boy. Dancing around the bloody field, like any day back home.", Leo tried to keep his voice leveled and look calm, but his hands began squeezing on to the arms of the chair. "Some Drink, some inject. Most of us repress it. Kimblee... he likes it. And you, Isaac?", Leo turned his gaze up and met with Isaac's. "Do you like killing little girls?".

Isaac stared down at the man before him, contempt in his eyes. "I can't count the number of soldiers I've met like you, men who lie to themselves about what they do, about how they live. They tell themselves that it's not real, that it can't be real, that there's no way they're going to die out there. I can count the number of them that are still alive on one hand.

"Do I like killing? No. Never. Every time I take a life, my burden grows heavier, my memories makes it harder for me to sleep. But every man and woman I kill, I honor. I will not cheapen their deaths by calling it a game, by pretending it's all in my imagination. When I set foot on the plains of battle, I'm ready to die, and I'm prepared to kill."

The doors dinged open.

"I know where my loyalties lie, and I will honor my oaths. If the Fuhrer tells me to work with you, then I will. But never forget, that I am watching you."

Isaac stepped out the door, walking down the hallway.

"Have fun tonight, Leo. Go meet a nice girl, have a drink. I've got work to do."

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