The Truth Within the Truth: A Fullmetal Alchemist RP

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"Tell me more about your alchemy, Roland"

"My alchemy? It's a work in progress"

He had always had so many ideas about the future of his research, but all had stagnated until recently.

"Well, I can manipulate electricity, more specifically static electricity."
He took another cigarette and lit it with his fingers before getting in the truck.

"There's so many applications for it, and if my instinct is right, it'll be playing a major part in the future of this nation."

He took a long drag, before exhaling the smoky contents of his lungs.

"There's also many drawbacks, the little voltage in rural or humid areas for example. Batteries would help this, however they would weigh me down far too much for my liking. There's the issue of accuracy, to eliminate the possibility of missing, I have to reduce my range."

He tapped the ash of the edge of the cigarette before placing it once more between his lips.

"I've been trying to find a way to convert raw alchemical energy into electricity, with little success. That's why Kimblee interests me..."

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

"No less than usual, ma'am, thanks to our desert-dwelling friends out here. I guess in a warzone, even the watches can't get a full night's sleep, but we've got a truck ride to catch up on that." Elias wanted to ask about his arm, but he'd learned not to ask officers about the progress of a concern. Most hadn't taken kindly to anything that could even be considered second-guessing from someone with a lower rank. And while he did want the arm back, Tasha could take her sweet time and still have it operational sooner than if he'd called his father to come repair it.

Leo rubbed his chin and examined Roland. He let out a sigh and smirked, "I think I know what you can do. Can you release electricity when you deliver a punch? If you can make a coat of static electricity around your fist you can disrupt the flow of their movements".

Leo took a step back and entered a stance, this one much more different than the one he used in combat. He spread his legs and bent his knees, raising one arm in front of his face and the other one on his waist. "I want to see if you can hit me. Try to touch my right cheek".

Kallu saw Leo and Roland begin to get into fighting stances,"Hey, come now, we're about to pull out and the last thing we need is two more of us out of it from a fight."

He saw Vlad approach the trucks,"Where'd you get to, Vampire?"

Vlad strolled up, confident as ever.

"I was needed for a certain project having to do with the war effort. I think it would be best if I left it at that. So, I hear the mission went well."

"I want to see if you can hit me. Try to touch my right cheek".

Roland was slightly cautious about this, he knew it would not end well, but he would not shy away from any challenge.

"If you're sure about this..."

He stood up and parted his legs, planting himself firmly. He raised his fists and took a deep breath, his fists clenched and his arms supple.
He threw a powerful straight with his right, snapping and tensing his fist as his arm fully extended. He anticipated for him to simply dodge, so he adjusted his footing mid punch, and turned his straight into a vicious elbow.

Leo was a tad surprised at Roland's change of attitude. He seemed to try and hit him with the intent of harming him, but that didn't stop Leo from dodging the blow. He leaned to the side and made contact with Roland's elbow, simply sliding it over hits hand and leaping forward. Leo held Leo by his shirt as his elbow went over his shoulder. "Break", Leo said and gave Roland a little push back.

"They can get very close to you no matter what. Since you can use electricity - have a small field of it around your fists. When they slide over you or deflect your hits, they will be shocked to find our they have been electrocuted." Leo smiled at Roland and then took a slight bow.

With the impromptu training session brought to a close, the Alchemists all boarded the large canvas-covered truck that Banagher has acquired for the ride back to East City. The first few rays of sunlight peeked in on their troop as they prepared. With the last of them piled in, they spotted Colonel Basque Grand himself there to see them off. He spoke no words to them, and only saluted. The truck drove away, making the long ride back to the city. There was no rush this time, so it would be closer to an hour's ride than the short but frantic nightmare it had been the previous day.

The truck trudged down the desert rode, never even noticing the silhouetted figures watching on the desert dunes. A woman held her hand up to her face, idly tracing her lips as she observed the Special Operations team pass by.

"Hmm. It seems our new weapons have performed better than we ever could have hoped. A bit erratic though; I doubt we can trust them for long..."

The pudgy creature next to her panted, his long tongue hanging out of his mouth in anticipation as he watched the truck. But as it passed without stopping, a look of childish disappointment came onto his face. He stuck a finger in his mouth and sucked on it, whining to his companion. "How much longer? When do I get my snack?"

The woman smiled. "Don't worry, dear. You'll get your snack soon. Come on, let's get back to the city. The others are waiting on us."

The sun was securely in the air when the truck pulled up to the military's HQ in East City. The team filed out in quick order, hustling into the building to get the debriefing over with as quickly as possible.

When they entered into Fuhrer Bradley's office, they were shocked to discover they were not alone. The Fuhrer sat at his chair at the head of the long table they were to be seated at, but three other individuals were with him. A tanned man with neatly-trimmed brown hair sat at the Fuhrer's right hand, glaring at the newcomers with sharp green eyes. A devious smile was on his lips.

The second was an older-looking man, with his oddly-colored silver hair. His eyes darted around the room, taking in all of the Special Ops team at once as he grinned nearly as widely as the first stranger. He seemed short, though they couldn't quite tell as he sat. His most distinguishing trait was his utter lack of uniform, instead currently sporting a gray jumpsuit. That took a lot of nerve, consider he was sitting in close proximity to the Fuhrer himself. The third man was almost jovial looking compared to the icy-cold grins of the first two, with an inviting by comparison smile accented by his well-kept hair and horn-rimmed glasses. He was the utmost of gentlemen from his appearance.

Bradley smiled, his serene demeanor brighter than ever as he welcomed his subordinates back. "Gentlemen, you're looking most excellent on this morning. I received the telegram about Corporal Kendrall earlier; my greatest apologies. The Crimson Alchemist has been a... troublemaker for quite some time now, but he's simply too effective an asset to be kept off the field. I'm told our young friend will be making a full recovery quickly, however, and will be rejoining us sometime tomorrow. In the meantime, please take a moment to get acquainted with these three." He gestured to the three in the order in which they were noticed.

"Lieutenant Anton Wilson, Amon Foern a.k.a. The Spice Alchemist, and Isaac Beleren aka The Steel Web Alchemist. These three are the newest recruits to your Special Operations team. If you'll all take a seat, I'll be briefing you on your next assignment."

Kallu stood to the side of the door and quickly saluted the Fuhrer before standing at the seat he had just yesterday stood in front of as well, directly across from Steel Web, and nodded his head.

"Kallu Ikasti, Stone Alchemist,"He took a gauntlet off and extended a hand across the table, grasping each man's hand firmly(though to most other people it is normally enough to stop circulation for a few seconds after completion of the handshake)he put the gauntlet back on and asked,"What is our next mission, Fuhrer Bradley?I would prefer that we have more time saving Amestrian lives than sitting around this...City."He said this somewhat derisively, unused to them after his short return to what he was born and raised in. The wilderness was where he was most at home, the road his ever-faithful companion.

"...and Isaac Beleren aka The Steel Web Alchemist." As the Furher introduced him, Isaac carefully pushed his chair back, swiftly rising to his feet as he presented himself to the office's newcomers.

As Bradley finished his introductions, Isaac brought his right hand to his forehead, striking a smart salute. After the Furher fell silent, he began to speak, his tone perfectly professional, "Major Isaac Beleran, sirs! Looking forward to serving with you all!"

Unexpectedly, instead of the formal greetings he had expected to receive, Isaac found himself on the end of a bone-crushing handshake, courtesy of the man who called himself the Stone Alchemist. Though he managed to return a firm grip of his own, Isaac found himself wincing as the pain lanced through his right hand. Lightly shaking the appendage in an attempt to ease the ache, the bespectacled soldier offered an unsure smile to the short man. Geeze, how much strength can such a small guy have?

A cursory glance at the rest of the newcomers informed Isaac that he was unlikely to get anything other than a handshake in greeting; hell, he might not even get that much. Allowing his rigid posture to relax a bit, the Major instead offered an aching hand and a sincere smile to the rest of the party. "Uh... It's nice to meet you all!"

The mood of the room was decidedly damp. Tired bodies that had witnessed their fair share of trauma just hours ago filled the office. My, my, some of them look pretty worn out... Poor things.

"Liutenant Anton Wilson..."

Anton stood up, wearing the standard military blues minus the jacket which was simply slung over his shoulders, "That would be me. Liutenant Wilson, at your service." The man said and gave a small bow instead of a salute. Weird, considering most people present outranked him.

He lifted his head to see a strong dark hand extended in front of him.

"A pleasure, Mr. Stone Alchemist." Anton said softly while extending his right M1905 "Wolverine" automail arm to shake Kallu's hand. The handshake didn't last long as Kallu quickly withrew from it.

As the Stone moved on to greet Isaac his sharp instincts left him no room for doubt. He had just shaken hands with a venomous snake.

Vlad saluted the Fuhrer and gave him a curt, meaningful nod. Then he shook the hands of the new members.

"It's nice to meet you all. I'm Vlad Dracule, the Vampire Alchemist."

Vlad stepped back and leaned against the wall in a relaxed posture, letting the others come in.

"Sergeant First Class Brandon Elias," he introduced to the officers with a salute.

"Don't mind the arm, gentlemen. Our expert mechanic will have it fully functional soon." Having said his piece, he moved toward the rear of the group as he got a better look at the new team members.

Leo froze standing in front of the Fuhrer. His bare feet touched the cold marble floor and it took him great efforts to stop fidgeting. He raised his hand and offered a salute to his commander and the other three, "Leonard Mensti, Sir".

He looked down at his bare feet and then quickly returned his gaze to the four across the room, "E-Excuse me for my lack of uniform."

"Amon Foern a.k.a. The Spice Alchemist..."

Relaxing his mouth into a smirk, Amon gave a small, informal salute when he heard his name. Then, oddly enough, he singled out Sergeant Elias, stood up and snapped his hand up in a proper salute, then promptly sat back down, ignoring everyone else. When his turn came to shake the Stone alchemist's hand, he simply considered it for a moment, then daintily shook the man's top two fingers. No need to get a crushed hand over some nutter nature alchemist.

Lounging in his chair, he tapped his finger and focused his attention on more important things, such as all the automail that was gathering in the room. Amon breathed in, shivering slightly in delight. There it was, the subtle, tangy scent of steel. A slight pity it was only that; if it had been iron, he probably would have gotten up and started fiddling with the equipment, without so much as a by-your-leave to the owner. As it was, he only had to keep himself in check and focus on the much heavier smell of 'stale' steel that was drifting out from the backpack of the man next to him. The automail, though... Much 'fresher', recently grinded, shining... Pity about its current state. He'd have to talk to Sergeant and see if he could help.

After Kallu shook each of the newcomer's hands, he stood in his spot, awaiting the answer from the Fuhrer with his usual expressionless face.

The Lt. is a strange one at that, that slight wrinkling of the eyes, that reminds me of someone....who?
Spice seems a bit of a city dweller, not one accustomed to the outside world, and Isaac seems to be too weak to live outside of one. I only shook his hand, and now he sits there nursing it, curious, each in their own strange way.

Vlad took a breath in through his nose and his eyes went wide, but he hastily pretended to have a short coughing fit to hide it. His nose was full of the smell of blood. His mouth began to water and his eyes darted around until he found the source. Amon Foern.

What the hell? Did he just cut someone's throat? No...the smell, it's strong but different, it's too metallic. Who is he?

Vlad straightened up and shot a resentful look at Bradly. The old man had a much keener eye than people thought, but that wasn't enough. He knew Vlad's secret, he understood what had really just happened.

Anton rapped the diamond tipped claws of his left hand on the table as he kept scanning the veritable smorgasboard of characters that had arrived.

The man sitting across from him was fidgeting with a weird smirk on his face while constantly eyeing Anton's, Elias' and Tasha's automail.

Twitchy lil' fella, that one... He might turn out useful... In the right circumstances...

He also noticed Tasha eyeing his automail. He looked at her with the same meaningless smile.

*cough* *cough*... *cough* Vlad's sudden coughing caught Anton's attention and he trained his stare onto him.

Vampire Alchemist... Of all the files I got his was the thinnest. That title... the rumors... the lack of information. I wonder what the old man's use for him is.

"Are we alright there Major?" Anton asked with the slightest tinge of mischief in his voice.

"Gentlemen, please." Fuhrer Bradley said in a somewhat scolding voice. Vlad and Anton in particular could feel his gaze on the two of them. There was a certain piercing pressure on it, but they couldn't put their finger on what it was. "I think the introductions have gone on long enough; I'm certain you'll all get to know each other well once you're out in the field for a while. In the meantime, everyone please take a seat and we'll get started."

The Alchemists plus Elias took their seats around the table, and Bradley produced a portfolio for each of them. The tan envelopes were passed out, and each dog took a moment to examine the picture underneath a paper-clip on the cover.

The man on it was a non-descript Amestrian. Rather broad-chinned, and scruffy-looking. His nose was wide, and his eyes were narrow. He seemed more aggravated than devious, though, and the lines and bags underneath his blue eyes hinted further at the level of stress he was under at the time. His blond hair was rather carelessly spiked in a dozen different directions. On his forehead was a small scar in the top right corner, in the shape of a circle.

"This is former Lieutenant Colonel Amaud Octivir." the Fuhrer explained, beginning the briefing.

"He was a State Alchemist. His codename was the Hotblooded Alchemist. Don't let the photo fool you, he was an extremely passionate man, and loved his work as much as his country. His primary research was on alchemy's capability of manipulating thermal energy. A particularly cunning man, he volunteered at the start of the Ishvalan Civil War to serve as a tactical adviser to Amestrian forces. As time passed, he started to get more intertwined with Centrals' higher-ups, learning more and more vital information as time passed. Intel on all of Amestris' secret projects and intel was in his hands. One day, he took it all and left."

Bradley then moved to the wall, where a map of Amestris was located. He placed his finger over their current location, East City. "We've been tracking him for years, and we've finally got him. He's been hiding in East City all this time. Trouble is, we don't know EXACTLY where in the city he might be. That, my friends, is your task."

Fuhrer Bradley returned to the table and sat down, explaining the details as thoroughly as he could. "You'll be fanning out throughout the city on this one. I trust in your abilities should something go awry, so operate as individuals for the time being. Amaud may grow suspicious if he sees that groups of State Alchemists are wandering the streets. And please keep in mind, this mission will NOT be seek-and-destroy like the last deployment. Amaud is a priority target, but we need him alive to determine if he has distributed or hidden the intelligence that he stole. If need be I would check the various bars; he was a drinker."

He gave two warning glares, one to Anton and one to Vlad. "You all have your orders, you know what you need to be doing. You are all dismissed, and good luck."

Kallu snapped a quick salute and asked,"Sir, is it imperative that he be captured completely intatct?Or are we free to capture him however we deem to be necessary for the situation?"

"He must be alive, and coherent enough to fully explain the location of any intelligence. Beyond that, do whatever is necessary to bring him in." Bradley explained.

Son of a bitch, Elias thought as he looked over the file, this is not the sort of thing I'm trained for. Missing arm's gonna draw attention, too, if it's not fixed soon.

Elias pocketed the picture while he waited for any further orders from James. Or anyone else in the room, for that matter.

Anton stood up, put on his coat leaving it open so he could access the two handguns holstered inside if need be.

"Understood. If you'll excuse me." The liutenant opened the office door and walked through the busy hallways of East City's HQ. His smile had waned as he contemplated how he should approach this assignment.

Hmmmm... a high ranked State Alchemist... Probably well connected too. At least I don't have to play with the others unless they cross my path. Except for that other thing... I wonder what his plans are. He looked too goofy to be a threat but I can't take these Alchemists too lightly, either... *sigh* how troublesome.

As he made his way through the courtyard he muttered to himself:

"No killing... Tsk. Gonna be an interesting game."

A murderous smile made its way onto his face as he dissapeared among East City's busy streets.

Tasha's eye's traced the mans face, memorizing every line. Well at least we can bring him in alive. Makes it easier on me, morally and physically. She stood and saluted the Fuhrer. "Understood, sir. Octivir will be brought in before you know it." She said with a smile. She turned to Elias "Sargent, I need to speak to you. Meet me outside." Tasha said to Elias as she picked up his arm again and left the room.

After the uneventful ride back to East City, Marlin and the others returned to the Fuhrer and met their new comrades. "... Marlin Frederic... Deep Blue Alchemist..." He introduced himself quietly, since that seemed to be what everyone else was doing.

After that, he turned his attention back to the Fuhrer who gave them their next mission. Marlin examined the photo of Amaud carefully as he listened to the details. The Hotblooded Alchemist.... Sounds as though his abilities are the exact opposite of mine. I'll need a plan to incapacitate him. At least I won't need to kill this time around. Marlin thought as he listened. This sort of mission sounded much more suitable to him than open combat, but he knew that the veteran alchemist was not to be underestimated.

He was quite bold to hide in a city like this with the military so close. He was confident and he likely knew the city better than Marlin who hadn't been here long. If he were to capture the man he would need to have a plan. To start with he needed to find the man though, so Marlin quietly saluted the Fuhrer before heading out into the city to get more familiar with it and find some bars to stake out.

Leo examined the man and tried to note down all of his prominent features. The hair could be dyed, but the nose could not be altered. He passed the portfolio to the man to his right and stared down on the wooden table. Going through the city and looking for a dangerous vagabond... , Leo rose up and saluted, then left the room.

He left the room and began walking in a circle, dragging his legs on the stone floor and unknowingly shifting the stone to form a jagged surface. Leo couldn't stop fidgeting as he pictured the horror of going back to the bars and alcohol, as if it weren't enough for him the first time he came to West City.

"Sargent, I need to speak to you. Meet me outside."

"Ma'am." Elias closed the file and walked towards the door, machine gun bouncing with his every step. I'll need to check that in with supply, along with my harness. He stepped out into the hall to meet Tasha, closing the door behind him. "Yes?"

"Yes?" Tasha sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, only to wince and pull her hand away quickly. "Damn that still hurts. Anyway Sargent I'm torn here. Your arm's almost done, just a few more pieces, no more than another hours work. But we have our orders, and I would like to find Octivir, before the evening ends and we lose him for another day, or worse, he skips town." She sighed again looking at Elias. "So I'm having trouble deciding weather to finish your arm costing both of us a valuable hour of possible searching. Or wait until tomorrow morning, but in that time you'll be more noticeable in your search, should you find him you may not be able to subdue him with only the one arm." she glanced back at the meeting room. "And frankly I just plain don't want to get on the Fuhrer's bad side. I'd prefer to get Octivir ASAP."

"And frankly I just plain don't want to get on the Fuhrer's bad side. I'd prefer to get Octivir ASAP."

"Bad odds never stopped me from following good orders," Elias began, scratching at a scar on his chest under his uniform, "so let's get out there and find this son of a bitch. I'll figure something out, don't worry about me. Best case, someone else finds him and subdues him. Worst... I give the team his last known location." He thought he saw a bit of worry in Tasha's eyes, so he lifted his arm up and bit his sleeve.

"'esi'es," he commented, pulling back the sleeve to reveal a metal wrist, "I 'ot a 'acku'."

the Stone Alchemist re-read the file, memorized the man's more striking characteristics, namely his narrow eyes, the scar on his forehead and his wide nose. Sighing once again, he left the building, and attempted to smooth out the slight changes in the stone that were caused by Leo's passing.

This is not exactly what I am suited to, the cities are much too loud, mobile, and confusing. I assume the best place to start looking would be the industrial area. Plenty of places to hide there.And not many notice a worker there.

"esi'es, I 'ot a 'acku'." Tasha raised an eyebrow. She was unfamiliar with what ever language, Elais was speaking. "In Amestrian if you please, a linguist I'm not." Tasha asked with a small smile before glancing down the hall to see Leo walking in a circle, creating a jagged circle as he went. "Ya know, they'll take that out of your stipend if you don't fix it." She called.

Leo stopped for a moment and looked at what he did on the floor. He tried to snap himself away from the trance he was in earlier and quickly looked around him. "Sorry, I was getting nervous. I don't like visiting dives and pubs". He raised his knee in the air and struck the floor hard, straightening it completely. He looked back at Tasha, "Where should we go to first?", he asked her nervously.

At the door that led out into the city from East Command, Kallu had a passing thought that changed his direction completely, Victor was in the hospital here and Kallu had very limited experience with people. He was much more recognizable than most of the others in his unit, what with his compact frame and carved skin, the mission called for discretion, and he could not provide it. Heavy support and capture he could provide once that phase of the mission came, but until then, he would spend his time in the hospital with Victor, and attempt to get the Corporal back on his feet sooner.

If this Hotblood Alchemist was anything like some of the higher ups he'd had experience with, they would need him, but he couldn't help to find the man, it was too high-profile a mission to allow the man to get away because of a stupid mistake.

He arrived at the hospital, and asked the nurse in the lobby,"State Alchemist Ikasti here to see Corporal Victor... I don't know his last name, but he was just transferred here from the Ishvalan front lines. I think his file says something about shock."

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