The Truth Within the Truth: A Fullmetal Alchemist RP

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Victor didn't resist the canteen of water put to this lips. Rather, he drank it down as fast as he could. He took a few large gulps before finally stopping, taking sharp and shallow breaths for a few moments after. For a brief second, a bit of calm returned to his face. It didn't last, as something in his mind triggered, and his expression froze into a horrified expression. He sank below the others, crouching on the ground as tears welled up in his eyes. He tried to speak, but only terrified stutters got out.

"H-h-h-he s-ss-said, saidhe--h-he-he knew! Kn-kn-knew-ew ev-v-verything! H-h-he... s-said tell, said he'd tell! String me up! Oh, god!"

All around, soldiers from the camp were staring at the commotion, wondering just what in the world was happening to that soldier. A few tried to step closer, but Colonel Grand approached the scene, shouting away anyone that got too close.


As Kallu entered the medical tent, a hand shot into his face holding a syringe with an orange liquid inside. It took his eyes a second to focus, and realize that the man holding it was none other than Kimblee himself. "Give him this." he said with a smile that seemed too gentle and genuine to not be horrifying on his visage. "It's made to deal with soldiers going into shock; he'll probably need a second dose."

Still laying down, Elias turned his head towards the tent's entrance, wondering how he missed the presence of the two alchemists.

"It's made to deal with soldiers going into shock; he'll probably need a second dose."

"The hell's going on out there?" he asked as he sat up, his mind running through the possible situations that could cause such a commotion but didn't involve gunfire.

Marlin was pleased to see Victor calm down slightly after drinking, but the effect didn't last unfortunately. Whatever had happened had extreme effects on him that Marlin had never witnessed before. In his panic, Victor began yelling about someone telling him everything which got Marlin quite curious. Could this be related to the truth within the truth? I should find out what exactly happened... Just as Marlin was about to ask Victor what he meant, he heard the Colonel behind him shouting at everyone to move away.

After silently cursing the bad timing, Marlin knelt down next to Victor. ".... I wish to speak to you after you've calmed down... I'll come find you later..." He whispered quietly before standing up and moving away, saluting Colonel Grand as he did so.

James noticed the rest of the squad escorting Victor to the medical tent. Concerned he got up and followed them. He got to the tent just after Colonel Grand. Staying outside the tent, he began to pace back and forth and started to mutter to himself.

"What could have happened to Victor? Did it have to do with those explosions earlier? Who was responsible for those. They didn't sound like regular military explosions. More something made by alche..." he trailed off as he came to a realization. "Kimblee!"

As the rest of the squad exited the tent James asked, "Does anyone know if The Crimson Alchemist is here? And if so where is he!"

Kallu carried the trembling Victor and set him down on the one of the cots. He turned back around and took the syringe from Kimblee, however he didn't inject it, instead hooking it on his belt. He stood directly in front of the Crimson Alchemist, blocking his path to the Corporal if he decided to make a move on the man.

"What happened Solf? I'm not doing anything else until you explain to me exactly what made the man go from a trembling soldier into a trembling, babbling idiot."

As Roland went round camp he began mentally checking off everyone he knew in the squad.

Kallu, Tash, Marlin and Elias are with Victor...

As he searched around he saw James and he seemed fine.

Where's Vlad, Leo and Ken?

He took out a cigarette and lit it with the parks between his fingers, he took a long drag and started whistling.

He came across Leo near the back of the Campsite, the broken rock and uprooted earth seemed to suggest a commotion, he was visibly and notably exhausted.

"Leo, are you okay? There's been trouble, and now Victors being treated for trauma down at the Medical Tent"

He took another inhale from his cigarette.

"Something to do with the Crimson Alchemist, seems to have distressed the poor boy"

Leo saw Roland approach him, he seemed to be distressed. He tried to calm his muscles but he was still agitated after the sudden explosion he heard on the other side of the camp.

Leo was still breathing heavily and sweaty from performing his exercises. "So the explosion was the work of Kimblee", Leo asked Roland. He stumbled forward and nearly lost his balance. "One moment", Leo said as he turned his back and walked towards a rock a few feet away from him. He took the folded white shirt and then turned back to Roland. "Is it anything serious?".

"Indeed, it was to stop our dear friend Teole escaping...
A brief look of something passed over Roland's face, he thought what a waste the boys life had been.

"I see it as nothing more than shock, however the others feel it is something more, something caused directly by Kimblee"

He extinguished his cigarette underfoot and gave a large sigh.

"I'm checking to see if everyone else is okay, the majority of the group are down there already."

He wondered to himself once again,

What could Kimblee have said?

"Anyway, best we both go down there and get this thing over with ASAP. Who knows when we'll be needed next."

Leo nodded and put on his shirt. He raised his right leg in the air and smashed it on the ground. A moment later the rocks around him collapsed and entered the soil they came from.

"Lets go. I've had my training for the day"

As Roland walked with Leo, his mind thought back to the fight with the Monk in the alleyway, how he could barely keep up in close quarters, and how he had been of little use against Torul.

"By the way Leo, I was thinking rather recently and, if you'd be gracious enough, I'd like to perhaps learn your martial arts. " He paused.

"Well, at least some of it."

"I can teach you something", Leo said as he continued to walk to the tent.

"I have seen how the monks work. I think I can show you some exercises you can use to try and stop them, but it would take years for you to be in the same level as them. You should try and incorporate your alchemy with your movements like I do".

Tasha glared at Kimblee. He looked just as he always had,calm and collected, with a smile ready. But it never touched his eyes, they remained cold, calculating, and vicious. Kimblee won't admit to anything. At least nothing that would incriminate him. Someone needs to keep their eyes on him. "Kallu better get that checked out by the medics first." She whispered to Kallu before moving past Kimblee to Elias.

"The hell's going on out there?" Tasha heard Elias say from his cot. "Nothing you want to know about Sargent. Trust me, even I don't want to know about it. But to give you the short story, Someone did something to the Corporal, we don't know what he did, all we know is that it left the Corporal in a sorry state." She sighed "But all we can do is let the medics work thier magic. For now I need to examine your shoulder, to make sure all the replacement pieces will fit. If you don't mind."

"For now I need to examine your shoulder, to make sure all the replacement pieces will fit. If you don't mind."

"Please." Elias sat up, made room on the left side of his cot, and motioned for her to sit down. Looking past her, he spotted the two soldiers he'd spoken to. "Earlier, you asked why the pain wasn't keeping me down. Well, it's because I've lost the arm before." With that, he turned back to Tasha.

"He wasn't caught in that blast, or what's left would've been brought in here, along with scrambling medics. Nothing physical, but a bad state. I think he'll need to sit out next mission at best, counseling at worst."

"Solf, would you mind following me outside?I have something I want to ask you,"His eyes never left Kimblee's own,"Tash, can you look at this, I'm not sure I'll be able to get it checked out." Kallu handed the syringe in his belt to Tasha and tapped Kimblee on the arm, motioning to follow him outside.

He arrived at the outcropping and turned to Kimblee, it was more or less devoid of soldiers besides a few in their tents either sleeping or pretending nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

He walked up closer to the man and quietly began,"What happened here Solf? I leave and within minutes of me getting back to my tent, that Corporal stumbles back into the middle of my squad, just.like.that. We get to the medical tent and you just happen to be there with some syringe filled with something you claim is for shock. You have no reason to not be straight with me... Now tell me. Or I will do everything in my power to make sure you never practice Alchemy again."

Kallu stepped back, hands clasped in front of his chest, and awaited the man's answer.

James saw Kallu leave the tent with Kimblee. Deciding that Victor was in good hands he followed the two at a distance. Wondering if they were in league he drew his gun, loaded his newly refilled piercing bullets and set his sights on Kimblee. He tried to hear what Kallu was saying but could only make that he was talking and not the words but by his stance he was not happy with Kimblee.

"Please." Tasha smiled and set to work. She took out the measure she had brought and was able to get the thickness of one the components. She quickly took out a pencil and pen ad wrote down the measurement. She looked up as she heard Kallu speak. "Tash, can you look at this, I'm not sure I'll be able to get it checked out." With a sigh she took the syringe and set it aside.

"He wasn't caught in that blast, or what's left would've been brought in here, along with scrambling medics. Nothing physical, but a bad state. I think he'll need to sit out next mission at best, counseling at worst." "Well let's hope that's all he'll need. I don't trust Kimblee farther than I can throw him. He's gotten too much pleasure out of this war." She said glaring towards the entrance of the tent. She turned back to Elias's shoulder once more.

After a few minutes she hah all the measurements she needed. "Alright that'll do it. Now you just take it easy Elias. I should have the arm ready by morning, after that it'll be good as new." She said with a smile. She turned to leave, only to remember the syringe. She grabbed it and handed it to a passing medic. "Could you examine this? I don't trust anything Solf Kimblee offered." She asked. The medic nodded and took the syringe. With that out of the way, Tasha left the tent and headed for her own to finish Elias's arm.

When Elias mentioned that Victor should sit out on the next mission, the young corporal did not take it well. He sat up, stammering "N-no! I have to keep going! Can't let him... can't stop."

As the medics worked on silently behind him, a man stepped through the tent flap, specifically Lieutenant Banagher. "Hey." he said quietly, avoiding staring at Victor. "I WAS coming down here to tell you fellas that the sun was coming up, and we'd be leaving soon. Looks like things got complicated, though. I already heard the story, so I was wondering if you knew what the freak in the ponytail told this kid."

With a voice only these two were close enough to hear, Victor explained.

"H-he knew... he told me he knew. I'm a fraud, I'm not supposed to be here! I killed those Ishvalans b-by accident.I'm in over my head... h-he said i-if anybody found out, they'd, they'd shoot me for treason. S-said if I told any of you, you'd turn me in too..."

Before anyone could react to his speech, a medic injected Victor with the orange syringe. As advertised, the boy fell unconscious almost immediately. The medic assured the two that Victor would be safe and calm there, and could be transported back to East City separately from the others.

Banagher clicked his tongue as he took in the story. He stood up and addressed Elias. "I'm gonna go fire up the trucks. You should round everybody up, let them know what happened. We can go as soon as you're ready. "

The lieutenant left, leaving Elias alone in the tent.


Kimblee folded his arms, and had a rather sadistic smile on his face. "Come on, Stone, give me a little credit. All I did was ensure our friend Victor knew the military's response to liars." Crimson moved on, apparently unwilling to tease Kallu with what specifically was said. "However, I promise that the medicine really was to help him. I would never harm a comrade, I just tried to help him by letting him know how thin the ice was."


Back in Tasha's tent, one of the medics poked his head in. "Thought you'd like to know, ma'am, the syringe was standard sedative. Nothing malicious in there. "

When Elias mentioned that Victor should sit out on the next mission, the young corporal did not take it well. He sat up, stammering "N-no! I have to keep going! Can't let him... can't stop."

As the medics worked on silently behind him, a man stepped through the tent flap, specifically Lieutenant Banagher. "Hey." he said quietly, avoiding staring at Victor. "I WAS coming down here to tell you fellas that the sun was coming up, and we'd be leaving soon. Looks like things got complicated, though. I already heard the story, so I was wondering if you knew what the freak in the ponytail told this kid."

With a voice only these two were close enough to hear, Victor explained.

"H-he knew... he told me he knew. I'm a fraud, I'm not supposed to be here! I killed those Ishvalans b-by accident.I'm in over my head... h-he said i-if anybody found out, they'd, they'd shoot me for treason. S-said if I told any of you, you'd turn me in too..."

Before anyone could react to his speech, a medic injected Victor with the orange syringe. As advertised, the boy fell unconscious almost immediately. The medic assured the two that Victor would be safe and calm there, and could be transported back to East City separately from the others.

Banagher clicked his tongue as he took in the story. He stood up and addressed Elias. "I'm gonna go fire up the trucks. You should round everybody up, let them know what happened. We can go as soon as you're ready. "

The lieutenant left, leaving Elias alone in the tent.


Kimblee folded his arms, and had a rather sadistic smile on his face. "Come on, Stone, give me a little credit. All I did was ensure our friend Victor knew the military's response to liars." Crimson moved on, apparently unwilling to tease Kallu with what specifically was said. "However, I promise that the medicine really was to help him. I would never harm a comrade, I just tried to help him by letting him know how thin the ice was."


Back in Tasha's tent, one of the medics poked his head in. "Thought you'd like to know, ma'am, the syringe was standard sedative. Nothing malicious in there. "

The military's response to liars? What could he have been talking about?

Kallu shook his head, unsatisfied with the answer but knowing he'd never get anything more out of Kimblee without some really extreme persuasion and even then, it wouldn't get much out of him.

Kallu harrumphed and walked past Kimblee back towards the med tent, muttering to himself as he left the outcrop, falling silent and stoic again as he neared where soldiers were around.

Kimblee loves his riddles, and his Alchemy.

"Alright that'll do it. Now you just take it easy Elias. I should have the arm ready by morning, after that it'll be good as new."

"No promises, ma'am. Lots of heavy lifting to do in this tent tonight." After Tasha had left, he just listened as Banagher and Victor talked, absorbing the details of their words before a medic sedated Victor.

"I'm gonna go fire up the trucks. You should round everybody up, let them know what happened. We can go as soon as you're ready."

"Wilco, sir," he replied, gathering his things as the medics moved Victor onto his cot. "You two," he said to the Corporal and Private, "keep in touch with each other. After a war like this, each other might be all we grunts have." Elias walked out of the tent and caught Kallu, who was heading his direction. "Hey, sir, Lieutenant Banagher's firing up some trucks to get us moving, told me to gather the team so we can move. Victor's getting medevac'd to East City, don't know much more than that. You know where everyone else is?"

As Leo and Roland walked, Lieutenant Banagher approached from the opposite direction. He stopped as he recognized them, and slowed them to a halt to speak with them.

"Hey, if you boys don't have anything important to pack, you can just come with me if you want. I'm about to go get the trucks ready, we'll be bringing you fellas back to East City in about ten minutes."


"Oh, and I forgot to mention!" The medic added, saluting Tasha. "One of the camp's drivers mentioned he was readying the trucks to deliver you and your unit to East City, ma'am! You may wish to be prepared, I think they're leaving ASAP."


With Kallu, gone, Kimblee turned his eyes towards James. If the Lt. Colonel thought he had not been spotted, he was wrong. Crimson chose to greet him with a bow over the standard salute. "Always a pleasure, Projecting. Or, would you prefer I called you Lieutenant Colonel? It's not every day someone as young as you shoots through the ranks like that, I'd understand if you wanted to flaunt it a little."

It seemed like a great challenge just to tell if his compliments were disguised insults or not. "So," Kimblee began on his new tangent. "tell me, what was it like being so close to an explosion like the one that you witnessed today? I've always been curious, but I haven't gotten the chance to really try it yet."


As Marlin and Ken went about their business around the camp, they found themselves shaken down by a pair of runners, who informed them that their ride to East City would be leaving in around ten minutes. If they wished to pack first, they'd best hurry.

"Hey, sir, Lieutenant Banagher's firing up some trucks to get us moving, told me to gather the team so we can move. Victor's getting medevac'd to East City, don't know much more than that. You know where everyone else is?"
report

"I don't know where everyone else is Sergeant, I just talked to Kimblee about Vic, the kid say anything new since I left?"

Kallu began walking towards the trucks with Elias in tow he assumed, the sooner he got back to East City, the sooner Kimblee would be out of eyesight and smell. He stopped at the tent he had slept in and gathered his netbag with the stones in it, as he leaned down, he spotted a good-sized stone about the size of his fist, opened his bag and dropped it in, muttering to himself,"Teoule and now Victor, two causalities that could have prevented by me, Amestris is falling apart and the higher-ups don't even notice it just yet."

"I think I can show you some exercises you can use to try and stop them. You should try and incorporate your alchemy with your movements like I do" .

Roland cocked his head and thought to himself.

I'm not sure if I have the time... I suppose it wouldn't hurt...

"Well, a little versatility never hurt anybody I suppose, and if it helps my overall ability, then there's nothing wrong with that"

"Hey, if you boys don't have anything important to pack, you can just come with me if you want. I'm about to go get the trucks ready, we'll be bringing you fellas back to East City in about ten minutes."

"Meh, sure. I don't have anything important" He said as he patted his pockets to ensure his cigarettes were still there.

"You coming Leo?"

"I don't know where everyone else is Sergeant, I just talked to Kimblee about Vic, the kid say anything new since I left?"

"He did, actually," Elias began as the two walked to the trucks, "and I'm not sure how to respond to it, sir. Especially after he saved my ass out there." He sighed as Kallu picked up a decent-sized rock and put it in a bag.

"Kid said he was a fraud who'd be shot for treason, said he killed the Ishvalans by accident. Couldn't say more before the medics doped him, but I doubt 'wishing I missed' is the same as 'traitor of the military.' Hell, if it was, half the grunts out here would be lined up and shot."

"To you its Lieutenant Colonel and don't you forget it. I outrank you. That barrage was nothing special," James said coolly as he lowered his gun and stepped closer to Kimblee. "I don't care what you did to Victor but you stay away from my squad from know on," James grabbed The Crimson Alchemist and pulled him close to his face. "If I ever see you near my squad again. What you shouldn't worry about is not being an Alchemist anymore. What you should worry about is if the morticians will be able identify your face.," Kimblee felt James' gun pressed tight against his chin. "Are. We. Clear State Alchemist, Major Kimblee?"

"Lt. Colonel James!" a man came running up to James and Kimblee and saluted. "You are needed back at the vehicle stop for transportation back to East City. SIR!"

James let go of Kimblee and saluted back, "Understood private." He turned back to Kimblee. "Remember our little chat. Next time I see you near my squad it better because of orders from the Fuhrer himself."

James turned on his heel, holstered his gun and made his way to trucks just in time to hear Elias tell Kallu about the news from Victor.

"Luck is also part of a soldier's fate. Any day a stray bullet or a lucky explosion could kill any of us. Corporal Victor gives himself too little credit. He performed well out there. Everyone has their doubts. Killing someone should never be easy. Its no surprise that there are people out there who would rather not kill," James jumped onto the back of the truck.

"The only problem with that logic James is that Victor is a soldier, and soldiers die and kill. That's their job, we're supposed to be the ones that don't want to fight, yet here we are, more or less content to kill."

Kallu climbed into the truck they were supplied with, and again thought of Teoule, sighing again, still allowing no emotion to enter his face, he shook his head in the direction of where the kid had been killed.

Kimblee is a good soldier, a little too good, but if he ever messes with this squad again, his hands are mine.

"Hate to say it, but the killing's preferable to the dying, sir," Elias replied, standing by the truck. "I'm just glad he didn't freeze up. Even if you're not hitting anyone, it's still suppressive fire, and that's pretty damn useful. I'm not sure where we're going, but if you wanted to keep tabs on the Corporal, he's going with the medics to East City."

After thinking for a second, he realized that it was likely someone told James about the trucks, so it was also likely that the others were told about them. He leaned against the truck and faced the horizon to watch the sunrise while the rest of the team gathered.

"We are the dogs Kallu and the Government is our master. I agree that mindless bloodshed is bad and I'm not content to kill. It makes me sick but orders are orders. That was ingrained into me from the day I was born," he turned to Elias. "Agreed. As humans we value our lives to the very end. And thanks for the tip about the Corporal. I only saw a glimpse of him but it does seem best he sits the next one out. I hope he recovers. I heard what Kimblee said. I don't trust him. I still think something more happened between the two.

"I get no joy from killing beyond that each life I take saves another of Amestris' citizens, James, Elias, and Kimblee may be a mischievous little bastard, but he'll never blatantly lie to anyone,he likes the feel of holding ultimate power over someone too much, holding back the whole truth is another matter however,"He paused a moment and replied to James' decision to keep Victor back, "I don't agree that Victor should sit out the next mission though, that doesn't do anything but keep us down from full strength and him feeling as if he failed us.The mission might give him the confidence he needs to work better, the worst that could happen is that we have to lend him more help and that accomplishes the same thing as leaving him behind, but as you said, orders are orders, so I will respect whatever decision is made by you or the Fuhrer."

James looked thoughtful. "You bring up a good point Kallu. I still want to make sure he is mentally stable for the next mission though. Its a liability not be at full strength but its even more so if he breaks down in the middle of the next mission. If that happens we could have an invalid on our hands and that endangers all of us because I don't leave men behind as long as they draw breath."

"One of the camp's drivers mentioned he was readying the trucks to deliver you and your unit to East City, ma'am! You may wish to be prepared, I think they're leaving ASAP." Tasha's head snapped up from her work. "Damn really?" She glanced back down at her work. "I still have to fit a few pieces." She frowned. "Oh well not much I can do then." She said packing away her tools and loose pieces in a small pack. She wrapped the arm in a tarp and tied it off with a piece of twine. She slung the tarp over her shoulder and grabbed her tool kit with the other. She walked out over her tent and found a gathering of the rest of the squad.

"Well good morning everyone, I assume with the fireworks last night no one got any sleep?"

Marlin had resumed his writing by the fire before being interrupted yet again. This time by a soldier telling him they would be departing for East City in 10 minutes. "... Thank you..." Was all Marlin had to say as he stood up, slung his jar over his shoulder and tucked his notebook back into his pocket. He had traveled light for this mission, bringing only his jar and his research notes so he had nothing else to gather up.

He then headed to where the rest of the squad was preparing to leave and greeted them quietly with a wave. His gaze slowly moved out to the desert where they had fought Torul and remained there for awhile. "... Perhaps I'll come back some time... Need to gather more data on the circle's performance in low moisture climates..." He muttered to himself, his mind turning back to his research.

"We're off to East City then, I think I want to tour the city if we have some time"

Leo nodded and followed Roland back to the trucks.

"Tell me more about your alchemy, Roland"

Ken headed up to the truck after getting the message, he walked up to the truck still working on his notes about Marlin's alchemy circles. Ken reached the ruck and got on it without raising his head form the note pad.

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