The Truth Within the Truth: A Fullmetal Alchemist RP

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Closing his eyes, Elias sighed as he stepped back from the window, seeing that the fights outside were done. He moved for the stairs, but stopped to look again at the girl on the floor. At first glance, it would have been enough to convince one of his soldiers that she was dead, but in truth it was nowhere near enough to kill her.

Provided she could stop the bleeding when she awoke.

And that she didn't stay out for too long.

Dammit.

Elias stepped closer to observe the small pool touching the edges of her long white hair. She'd been smart enough to tie it back into a ponytail, but the length would still be a problem in combat. This wasn't the first woman he'd shot, and as long as they kept shooting at him, it wouldn't be the last. He had his orders, and it was either him or them. He knelt down by her hands, laying down his weapon as he remembered what happened to his rookies who hesitated.

It wasn't a mistake they made twice.

"Run. For the love of your god, when you wake up, run." After he dug out one of his field dressings, he gently lifted her head up and placed it underneath. "These watches won't let this war last much longer, so just find somewhere to hide." Grabbing her empty rifle, he found one of her spare magazines and reloaded it, then placed it back on the floor. "Your options are run, die, or surrender, and they get worse in that order."

Slinging his machine gun over his shoulder, he moved towards the stairs, getting halfway down before he stopped.

"But if you shoot at me again, I will kill you." Elias made his way downstairs and out of the building, listening to the floorboards creak with every step. Once outside, he took another deep breath, letting the smell of gunpowder make him forget about the holes in his sleeves.

Marlin's eyes widened as he watched in awe while the monk dodged or deflected virtually every shard of ice Marlin had sent his way. One seemed to have wounded his cheek, but that was a poor result of what would normally have been a killing blow. "..... Impressive." Marlin said loud enough for the monk to hear as he reached into his pocket and took out the canteen their driver had given him to fill the jar with. He couldn't afford to spend time filling it alchemically, but even more pressing was that he needed to hit this monk with something he absolutely could not dodge.

After emptying the contents of the canteen into the jar, Marlin's brainstorming was interrupted a projectile colliding with his shoulder. While he was unbalanced, the monk took the opportunity to strike and Marlin was nowhere near skilled enough to dodge from that position. Pure instinct saved him as he managed to raise his jar quickly enough to block the kick, but the impact was enough to send him stumbling. Now that they were close together, Marlin realized he needed to use this to his advantage.

He quickly touched a circle that turned about half the water in the jar into a cloud of mist that enveloped the two. Rather than hide in the mist though, he jumped a safe distance away from it, making sure to leave a small trail of mist connecting the cloud to the jar and touched a different circle. This one raised the temperature of the mist as high as he could, turning it into a scalding steam. Hopefully the monk wouldn't realize what Marlin was up to and leave the cloud before the alchemy took effect.

Pulling the monk up from the ground, Kallu began pulling him along as he stumbled in his weighted restraints. Pulling the monk off of the stone spikes impaling him, the Alchemist laid him out in as peaceful a manner as he could, before moving to this monk's brother and laying him out beside the other.

"I will allow you to say goodbye to your brother now, we don't have a lot of time, so make it quick. What is your name, Ishvalan?"

ken got back up and looked to see if the deep blue alchemist was doing any better, He saw the alchemist jump out of a cloud of mist, the ishvalen monk must be in there, Ken again but his hands on the ground in the same fashion, the ground around him started to form a crater as a giant arm of stone grew out of the ground in the middle of the courtyard, the arm of stone then started slamming down toward the cloud of mist made by the deep blue alchemist, ken hoped the palm of the hand could crush the ishvalen monk in a single blow.

Are you alright?

"I'm fine, it's just a fracture" he said as he gave a smirk, before grimacing and realizing the pain.

"But he got away" he muffled

He stared at the direction the monk had fled, it was obviously too late to pursue him now, but he swore that if they met again, he wouldn't let him escape.

Next time you bastard, I'm going to make your flesh melt whilst you're still alive

Vlad exited the alley and looked at the rest of the battlefield. It was mostly calm other than a cloud of mist with some kind of action happening in and around it. Vlad's hands were still covered in blood as well as the blood on his side from when he had been knocked over by the monk. He began splashing some of the water on the ground about himself, washing off the blood and holding his breath the whole time. Once most of the blood was off he grabbed what looked like a torn curtain from a near by pile of rubble and wiped himself off from the waist up. His pants and boots were now splattered with dirt and diluted blood, but his finely toned torso was at least clean, as well as his face.

With the temptation of the blood on his body now gone he hurried over to where he saw an alchemist with a large red beard watching the figth in the mist.

"What's the situation in that thing?" Vlad asked Ken.

The elder monk's eyes darted about. He was lost within the mist. Though he was a fighter of unrivaled skill, he was no tactician. He did not think that the mist could be anything but a delaying tactic, and realized his error only when the temperature rose to boiling levels. His screams could be heard through the courtyard as he fell to his knees, skin blistering in the oppressive heat. He began to make in a randomly chosen direction, hoping to find the edge of the cloud quickly. But as he stumbled, he heard the discharge of alchemical energy. In his last moment, he looked up to see a great shadow looming over the mist. And then, nothing.

The stone hand came down and crushed him in a single blow.


The young monk averted his eyes. He couldn't stand to see his brother like this. Bitter tears stained the dirt, and a voice with just as much hate and anguish spoke after at least a minute like this, answering the Stone Alchemist.

"...Teole."

Elias' right cheek twitched slightly at the sound of the monk being crushed. After studying each of his severed limbs before being given any kind of first aid, the sight of a mutilated body didn't bother him, especially not after all of his soldiers he'd seen wounded or killed.

Or all of the Ishvalans he'd ended up wounded or killing.

But to only be able to hear the bones breaking, and having to focus on that, that was a new experience. One that he would have to process later. Since it had been several minutes since his last taste of combat, he was beginning to feel the fatigue of the adrenaline leaving his system.

"Anyone seen Colonel Grand? I believe we're done for now."

"Well, Teole, looks like you've said your farewells to your brother. Let's get go-" He heard the screams of the monk in the boiling mist a few blocks away, before hearing the abrupt end to them after a loud 'WOMP'.

"Come on, let's get moving, Teole, I've got some more prisoners to bring with us. They'll get medical attention."

Heading back to the alley where he sealed the two soldiers up in, he let the stone in his hand connecting to Teole's restraints drop to the ground, making him jump forward as the weight overbalanced him for a moment. He transmuted a section of the sphere into a small doorway, and peered inside. One of the soldiers looked terrified that he had been in the small space for so long, looking to the side, Kallu saw why. The soldier he had knocked down with one blow had his head at a sickening angle, almost perpendicular to his body. Picking up the stone weighing down Teole, Kallu transmuted it into the sphere, holding him fast as he created a twin set for the soldier, who he then transmuted to the same stone he had the monk held to. He then transmuted the stone block connecting the two of them to and began dragging them along. Back towards the camp he had come from, keeping his guard up the entire time, should either of the two prisoners decide and try to escape, or more Ishvalan soldiers came around a corner. He dug into one of his pouches and pulled out a handful of shale powder and transmuted once again, changing the sand into sharp crystals, minute enough to be forgotten, but deadly should they get into an opponents eyes and lungs, he had learned.

Ken stood up after the stone hand crushed the elder monk, he was out of breath again, he then turned to answers vlads question 'well I noticed one of our team being attacked by an elder monk, I figured out he was the deep blue alchemist as I once read about the deep blues alchemists kettle when researching the use of multiple alchemic circles to carry out specific tasks. Knowing he needed water to stand a chance I used my alchemy to force water stored inside the pores of stones to the surface, after that I took a moment to catch my breath. When I looked back at the battlefield I saw a cloud of mist with the deep blue alchemist jumping out of it, I figured the elder monk must be inside of it so I crushed the cloud with a stone hand.' after explaining ken thought he should introduce himself to his team mate 'I am the landscaping alchemist by the way.'

"I've heard stories of you. I must say, your large scale technique is impressive. I choose a more subtle approach to battle. I'm Vlad Dracule, the Vampire Alchemist." Vlad said, holding out his hand.

Before the other alchemist could return the gesture, Vlad realized his shirtlessness and became slightly embarrassed.

"I'm sorry, but could I trouble you to borrow your overcoat?" Vlad asked.

'thank you for your complements, I must say I have never heard or read of you. Also if you didn't want to be shirtless you should have thought of that before taking off your coat' ken said, he then walked out of his carter over to the deep blue alchemist, when he got close he held out his hand to offer a hand shake, 'what great use of the water I provided you, I wouldn't have thought of using it in that manure, I wonder if after we finish this mission I could take a look at the alchemic circles on your unique choice of weapon' Ken said in a slightly more cheery tone then he has used to talk to the other members of the team so far.

Marlin stared blankly at the cloud of steam as he listened to the monks screams of pain. As expected, the monk had underestimated just what Marlin could do with alchemy. What wasn't expected was the giant stone hand coming out of the ground to finish the fight. Marlin blinked once in surprise and then walked over to see if the monk was still alive. He was not. ".... How lamentable." Marlin said quietly. Though the monk would not have hesitated to kill Marlin, Marlin was hoping to merely end the fight by incapacitating his foe.

As Marlin stood, he heard a voice behind him and turned to see a fellow State Alchemist who had helped him apparently. ".... So it was you. Thank you.... for the water." Marlin muttered, shaking the hand extended towards him and mulling over the request to study the circles on his jar. In the end, he could think of no real reason why not. ".... I suppose it couldn't hurt. Some of them aren't complete though. I haven't finished my research.... Perhaps if I..." After that, Marlin once again found himself mumbling various ideas he'd had for improving his circles, almost forgetting that he was still conversing with another person.

If you didn't want to be shirtless you should have thought of that before taking off your coat

Roland couldn't help but burst into a fit of laughter at Vlad after the Alchemist said this.

"I knew that prick would cause rifts between people" he said as he patted Vlad on the back and gave him his own overcoat.

"It's too hot for me to be wearing it anyway, just make sure to give it back, preferably free from bloodstains "

'Ah a fellow man of thought, well lets not converse for too long we need to continue advancing' Ken said, he then turned to the other members of the group and shouted 'lets advance before the surviving enemies regroup, reinforces and attack.' Ken started continuing his way to the destination expecting the rest of the group to start following him.

Coming upon the other State Dogs in the city near where he heard the screams of the monk. Seeing that it was all clear, he noticed the stone hand covering what appeared to be the smashed remains of a human being.[i]hm, nice form, good transmutation...interesting, by the color of this... man's? Robes, he was a monk, curious, nice form though, if a bit risky using it against one of these men.{i]

After studying the body and stone hand for a few moments, Kallu noticed both that the soldier, little more than a boy by the look of him, was vomiting from the sight of the squished man and that the Landscaping Alchemist was attempting to issue orders.

"lets advance before the surviving enemies regroup, reinforces and attack."

Smiling a bit to himself, Kallu first ignored Ken, began searching for James, found him, and went up to him, "Sir, I have with me two prisoners, I request that they be treated fairly, though there is a good chance that at least one of them knows where Torul is. Both of them may have to be carried if we have to run out of here though," He gestured to both the young man, now dry-retching on his knees, and Teole, who still had that wooden facade held together by the simmering anger by the look in his eyes. The fire only burned brighter when he saw James.

"Oh, and the monk's name is Teole, and you may want to stay out of his range, he's not going to forget you easily after what we did to his brother."

As the Alchemists conversed, they spotted a figure making a slow approach. As the desert sun relented and revealed his features, they recognized him as Colonel Grand. He waved at them with one arm, his other covered what appeared to be yet another fresh wound.

"Good work, boys!" The Colonel shouted. "I knew these rebels couldn't stand up to real soldiers! Everyone gather round."

The troops assembled in front of him, and Grand roused Victor from his incapacitated state. He looked at the Ishvalans with Kallu and asked if they were prisoners, which Stone confirmed, and added they may know where Torul was located. The first to speak up was of all people Teole.

"He is at his home at the temple. That's where he coordinates his men, and houses all the families whose homes you've destroyed." The combined resignation and hatred was disturbingly palpable.

Grand eyed the Ishvalan for a second, and nodded. "Intel from this morning confirms his story. You'll need to get up there soon before someone gets there and evacuates him. I'll get these prisoners back to the camp so they don't slow you down." The Colonel grabbed the two Ishvalans and began to drag the pair back with him as he shouted back at them. "I would suggest you round up your squad and get there ASAP!"

"Guess that's the nice thing about being a watch," Elias commented as he checked his machine gun, "once the enemy sees you in action, no need to torture them for intel." Makes it a bit easier to sleep at night.

"If there's noncom's in that temple, I strongly suggest a much more subtle approach this time. I don't know, maybe use a more elevated entrance."

"Well that's a let down, I really wanted to try out my new *cough* interrogation techniques " Roland said with a honest look of disappointment.

Oh well... Perhaps there'll be another time and place

"Oh, a bit of cloak and dagger 'eh? Sounds like fun"

He yawned extremely loud and stretched his back with his hands locked behind his head.

"I suggest we split up and cover any possible escape routes" He put on his best authoritative voice.

"Marlin you should take Landscaping with you, as his ability helped you out back there"

He motioned to the thick, ginger bearded alchemist.

"The rest of you should all pair off with those who offset your weaknesses "

"I of course, will go with Tash..."

He looked around for her.

"By the way where is she?"

Leo thanked the soldier that saved his life and followed the site where his group had assembled to hear the colonel's orders.

"How will we reach his location?", Leo asked the colonel.

"Not quite cloak-and-dagger, sir," Elias replied, "but with all the noncom's in there, we have to avoid them. Best case, they take hits meant for guards and draw out the fight. Worst, they provide cover for the target to escape." He turned his head to face the temple.

"I don't know about you, but I'll have a hard time finding a monk I've never seen before in a panicking crowd."

"Then I'll take a flanking position. I prefer to only kill people who shoot at me. Or are about to shoot at me. Or are using explosives. I think you see where I'm going with this."

"You're eventually going to have give up that idealism Sergeant, this war won't be won through squeamishness.,"Kallu remarked in the gentlest voice he knew, which amounted to simply being monotone, "I volunteer for the Bark team, the frontal assault. I'd also recommend that Landscape be put on the Bite, since his Alchemy mimic my own to a point, it would be to an advantage with him, seeing as how he can create walls out of the earth. It's just my thought, but I defer to your decision, Lt. Colonel Heldon."

This should be underneath Jedoro's, I don't know why it got put it up here.

As the Colonel dragged the two prisoners back to the camp with him, he said, "Colonel, be careful of the monk, he's not all there anymore."

"Not quite cloak-and-dagger, sir," Elias replied, "but with all the noncom's in there, we have to avoid them. Best case, they take hits meant for guards and draw out the fight. Worst, they provide cover for the target to escape." He turned his head to face the temple.

Listening to the team and their thoughts on the matter, Kallu flashed back to a time in his youth, when he had watched as a pack of wolves hunted a bear up in the north. The memory gave him an idea for this mission, not to mention a shiver after also remembering the climate.

"What if we split into two teams? The majority of us engage the temple head-on, while four of us get around back and sides. While they're busy fighting us, we have the second team keep watch for any unusual activity going on, such as if they try to get Torul out. The second team engages his bodyguard and himself, and we take him alive or dead, however we can,the second team then gets out and the first team covers their retreat."

Kallu looked around to see how his idea had been recieved, hoping for either approval or the outburst of a better one.

Ignore, these are being put in the wrong places.

"I don't know about you, but I'll have a hard time finding a monk I've never seen before in a panicking crowd."

"Whilst that is true, do we need him alive? Can't we just burn/blast that place to ground?"

An almost slasher-like smile appeared on Roland's face at the mere possibility.

What if we split into two teams?

"Huh? Oh yeah, sure, that could work. It's not like anybody put me in charge or anything..."

He started whistling nonchalantly.

"Okay, how about this... We use Kallu's plan... but with more killing"

Satisfied with himself, he gave a wide smile and resigned himself to another cigarette whilst waiting for any more ideas from the team

Redryhno:
"Then I'll take a flanking position. I prefer to only kill people who shoot at me. Or are about to shoot at me. Or are using explosives. I think you see where I'm going with this."

"You're eventually going to have give up that idealism Sergeant, this war won't be won through squeamishness," Kallu remarked in the gentlest voice he knew, which amounted to simply being monotone, "I volunteer for the Bark team, the frontal assault. I'd also recommend that Landscape be put on the Bite, since his Alchemy mimic my own to a point, it would be to an advantage with him, seeing as how he can create walls out of the earth. It's just my thought, but I defer to your decision, Lt. Colonel Heldon."

"Okay, how about this... We use Kallu's plan... but with more killing"

"Then I'll take a flanking position. I prefer to only kill people who shoot at me. Or are about to shoot at me. Or are using explosives. I think you see where I'm going with this."

"By the way where is she?" Tasha caught up with the group, she has kept quiet as they walked, mostly letting her mind wander as they entered the camp. "Right here Roland. Sorry about that, when I don't focus I tend to space out from time to time." She said with an embarrassed smile. "Anyway I vote on what ever plan get's us through this with the least bloodshed possible, there's been enough of that in this war."

"Understood Colonel," James saluted and turned to face the rest of the group. "We should take down the entire monastery. Under order 3066 we are to kill all Ishvalans. Therefore we are able to kill everyone inside. Even noncoms. Kallu, Ken and Leo, you three should work to seal off all exits but two, to prevent. Marlin, do you think you would be able to flood the entire monastery? If yes then Tasha and Roland are to stand at each of the exits and use their alchemy to electrocute the water with as much voltage as they can. From there Victor, Vlad, Tasha and Leo will sweep one side, well Brandon, Kallu, Roland and I sweep from the other. Marlin and Ken will stand at the entrances and take care of everyone trying to escape."

Hearing James' plan, Kallu nodded and gestured to Ken and Leo,"Let's get started now, We've got a large building to transmute into a dam. The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can reforge Amestris."

Kallu started towards the temple, sighing and thinking to himself,This is not going to turn out well if we continue to follow order 3066 without question. The Ishvalans already hold too much against us as it is and this is just going to make it worse. I don't have anything against killing them, but there is a difference between war and massacre and we will not recover from this.

'I should be able to sink the monastery into the ground so when I force water into it, we won't have to worry about getting our own ground wet' after ken said that he started advancing to the monastery.

Tasha nodded and sighed. "Very well if that's what we have to do, but I want it put on the record that I don't like this. I became an alchemist to help people, not kill innocents. I know I'm a dog of the military, but even a dog knows when it doesn't like something it's master does." She said following after Kallu and Ken.

"Now that's what I'm talking about" said Roland as he blow a long trail of smoke.

"A proper Ishvallan Massacre, now that's how we Dogs of the Military do it. We're merely weapons at the disposal of the State"

He crushed his burnt down cigarette underfoot and proceeded over to his two teammates and patted them heartily on the back.

"Well, what are we waiting for gentleman?"

Victor watched his allies with a look that anyone paying attention would note as horror. He had been speaking with these people just a short couple of hours ago, and they seemed like decent, if odd people. But in the span of maybe two minutes, he had watched them convince themselves to murder innocent civilians. Victor had been in the war for nearly half its length, though he certainly didn't look it. He had watched more than one unit rise up without a word and slaughter their own commanding officers for their bloodthirsty attitude toward the Ishvalans. They were terrifying in their cold defiance of command. But, personally, Victor always thought the ones who followed orders without question were even scarier.

As the group huddled closer, he found himself standing as close to Tasha as respectfully possible; if they were all going to be murderers, he wanted to be close to the one who had enough of a conscience to see what she was.


Out from the courtyard a lonely dirt road passed a few hovels and stretched up into the rocky hills behind the village. It couldn't be more than ten minutes to reach the monastery that sat at the top. It was a strong-looking building, three stories high but much wider than tall. Its bricks were stained brown by decades of Ishval's sand blasting against it. A simple wooden door at the front marked the only obvious entrance, and the back as up against a high cliff face. Indeed, the cliffs surrounded the temple entirely save for the pathway up to it. The top was flat, and at the moment a pair of individuals stood watching the carnage in the village below.

The younger of the pair was a monk, clearly heavily injured and scorched from electrical shocks, spattered blood on his robes. The elder was only obviously a monk if you looked closely. He was an extremely old man, hunched over and clutching a gnarled old walking stick. His face was heavily wrinkled, the stress of an 8-year war grinding away at him. In his state he only up to the other monk's chest, and his beard reached down to his knees, white as snow. His thick eyebrows were furrowed as he observed the massacre below.

"It was good of you to bring me this information, young one. Your master was kind to send you to assist my village."

"Thank you, Master Torul." The younger monk responded, bowing in respect.

"But--" Torul told him "--it is time that you left."

The young monk's eyes twitched in shock. "M-master Torul? Why--"

"Do not take me for a doddering old fool, my child." Torul berated him. "I have served as the resistance's primary tactician in this region for almost three years now. I've seen many battles like this. We are lost, utterly and completely, my child. I am grateful for your help beyond measure, and look on you as I look on my own disciples, but I will not let you sacrifice your life for mine when you have so much left to defend at home."

Torul pointed to the rock wall ground up against the monastery's rear. "Go inside the temple, and gather the women and children. There is a secret passageway in the basement that will lead you down the hillside, and take you out far away from this village. From there, go back to your home."

"...And what will you do, Master Torul?"

The old monk took a deep breath, taking a moment to come to terms with what was happening. A hint of smile showed under his ancient beard.

"I will meet these Amestrians that are killing us, and teach them the last lesson these old bones can teach."

As Kallu walked towards the temple, he transmuted his stone breastplate again, creating minute spikes for the monks that got close enough to hit him, they might at least injure themselves. As he neared the temple, he turned and gestured to Leo and Ken, "How do we want to do this? Seal it off before sinking it or the other way around?"

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