“Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To create something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy’s founding law of equivalent exchange. In those days we really believed that to be the world’s one and only truth.”
Edward Elric closed the book he was looking at with a decisive snap. “Just like colenal to give us a mission the secand he hears we’re in the area.” He looked across the seat at his younger brother Alphonse “At least he provided transportation for us this time” said Al, gesturing with an armored hand at the train caridge surroundng them. “Yeah” said Ed “I half expect another highjacking.” He grinned, remembering the last time Roy had had them ride a train somewere. “What do you think of our mission brother?” Al piped up suddenly, interrupting his older brother’s thoughts. “Well” Ed remarked remembering Mustang’s orders, “We are to go to go to the Harden Forest from a town called Dartnmoor, and after quickly checking out the town and picking up some local guide investigate the forest. Well, the directions could have been clearer, that’s for sure. I mean what local guide, and investicate for what?” “Maybe he didn’t know.” Said Al. “or maybe” said Ed, “He was holding back from us.” It did seem to Ed like just the kind of thing Mustang might do. Infact he was problubly piling the whole mission on them just to check if they would do what their told like good dogs didn’t he know they had better things to do Just then, the door to the carridge opened. “Excuse me,” said a girl’s voice. “I’m looking for two boys, one wears a suit of armor and the other one is short with blond hair.”
Well, that was all it took. Ed leaped up, suddenly furious. “WHO ARE YOU CALLING SHORT?” “Easy brother” said Al, preparing to ed back, but Ed had had already stopped. Before them stood a girl around Ed’s age who was at least two inches shorter then he was.
She had red hair in a braid, and held a wooden staff. “Well” she remarked “looks like I finaly found you. Now why did you have to sit in the very back of the train?!” “Well sorry” said Ed “ We were unaware that a little walk would be so hard for you” The girl cleched her fists. Alphonse looked from his brother to their new guide with concern and was about to speak up when a fist came flying at Ed. Ed doged and began to retaliate. Bolth fought tooth and nail while Al tried unsecsesfuly to keep them apart. “HELPLESS AM I” The girl yelled “I’LL SHOW YOU HOW HELPLESS I AM SHORTY!” “WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SHORT YOU COULD SQUASH THEM WITH ONE FINGER!?” “YOU OVIASLY, I DON’T SEE ANY OTHER RUNTS AROUND” “I’M NOT A RUNT” “THEN WHAT ARE YOU? MIDGET, DWARF, SHRIMP, SMALL PERSON?” “I’M EDWARD ELRIC THE FULL METAL ALCHEMIST.” THAT’S STRANGE AS FAR AS I CAN TELL THE ONLY THING YOUR FULL OF IS TRASH” “THAT’S IT,” an even louder voice interrupted them. I won’t have you two disturbing the passengers. They bolth looked to see the train’s security person right behind them. “Your getting off here” he said, and with that he picked them bolth up and threw them out of the train. He then tured look at Al “and sir” “I know” sighed Al jumping out of the train as well. By now he was used to his brothers innate ability to cause trouble.
Thanks to years of practice Ed had taken the fall perfectly. Al landed from his jump fine, but the girl landed off balance and fell over. The second she stood up she gave Ed a look that would have stoped a stampede of buffulo. “This it all your fault you know!” “My fault? You’re the one who tried to punch me!” “That’s because you called me helpless!” “I never called you helpless!” “and I never said I could squash you with one finger either, although I problubly could” she added almost as an after thought. “Brother” pleaded Al, he looked at the girl “um?” “Call me Sam.” “Sam, can we please at least try to get along” “ok” sighed Ed. “fine” Sam said grudgingly. Ed looked around “Where are we anyway?” “About 5 miles from the town” Sam answered, “a really long walk.” “Hey” asked Ed “what’s up with you and walking anyway?” “You want to know?” Sam was suddenly mad again. “Fine I’ll show you” and with that she lifted her right pant leg reviling what was by far the worst made automail leg Ed or Al had ever seen.
One hour later Ed stood holding a phone inside Sam’s uncle’s house. “Hello-Winry I found you a customer.” Meanwhile Al and Sam sat in the living room; “If you don’t mind me asking, how did you end up with that leg?” Sam looked ahead not seeing a thing, Al reconised the look on her face easly, it was a mix between the look on his brothers face when he thought of their mom’s death and the one he wore when he thought of what happened to them when they tried to bring her back. “When I was ten” Sam began “my parents bolth died. We were walking home together when a rockslide happened. We were all directly in its path. I had run ahead so it didn’t reach me at first. It crushed my mom and dad before I knew what was hapaning. I tried to run but triped and fell, as I did I saw someone using what I later learned was alchemy to divert the rock slide’s path. Whoever it was succeeded for the most part, insead of crushing all of me one rock crushed my foot. Still its thanks to them I’m still here. Anyway the next thing I remember I was in my uncle’s house, and my foot had stoped hurting enough for me to think. I decided to get an auto mail leg and asked my uncle to get a mechanic. Unfortunitly for me I was the first auto mail job the mechanic had. Worse he had no training, he had just picked up a book on automail and read through it once or twice.” “Well that explains it.” Ed was standing in the door way. “What!” Sam nearly shouted again. “How long have you been there?” and Ed grined at the startled expression on her face“So!” Sam was certainly shouting now. “You think my story was funny do you shorty!” Ed had been about to explain when her last word registered. Here we go again thought Al, jumping up to keep them apart. He succeeded this time so they contented themselves with screaming at each other at the top of their lungs. “WHO ARE YOU CALLING SHORTY!?” “YOU OVIASLY, PIPSQEAK BEANSPROUT MIGET!.” “YOU’RE SHORTER THAN I AM!” “SO? I DON’T GET ALL WORKED UP ABOUT IT!” “WHO’S WORKED UP!?” “YOU ARE!” She bent over doing something they couldn’t see. Then Ed found himself dangleing upside down from a newly made woden post and pole, alchemy! “Ha! I can use alchemy too!” Sam announced. Ed just grined and got himself down with a quick clap of his hands.
About half an hour later, after a lot of explaining on Ed’s part and a lot of temper calming on Al’s, Edward finaly got around to telling her abot Winry. Sam scowled, “I don’t need any help from you!” Then she looked down at her leg, “alright when’s she comeing?” “By noon tomarow just enough time for us to check out the village.” Ed grined “lets start with the restronts I’m starving, oh and Al I think I saw a few kittens on our way here. You can’t keep them but.” “Realy” interrupted Al happily, “lets go!” “Um Al, it says no animals allowed,” said Ed poining to the sign on the restrot door. “Ok” sighed Al emptying out no less then seven. “Wait a minate,” Interupted Sam “you’re empty?” “Yup” replied Ed. “Yah” said Al tentatively. “Realy? Cool! but how do you going to eat?” “What?!” both brothers said at the same time, neither was used to this priticular response. “Oh.” Said Al “I won’t.” After eating their fill, which for Ed took a while, they payed and opened the door.
“Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!” Ed had just opened the door when a kitten came flying at him. “Brother!!” Al steped out in time to see two more in midair. “What the?” That was Sam, I’ve never seen them do this before! Three more who were about to launch themselves at the door swiched tactics and began to yowl as loud as they could instead. Evryone was staring at them now, but that was to be expcted. Though sam After all, it’s not every day you see kittens dive-bombing a door. Al began to talk, “lets see there’s Mustang.” “Where?!” Ed looked around franticly. Al pointed at a black cat who was oviessly the leader. “There’s Winry” he pointed to a white cat that was now inspecting his leg. “There’s Havoc” he pointed to an orange cat with a piece of straw sticking out of it’s mouth. “There’s Hawkeye,” he pointed to a yellow one standing behind Mustang. “Ok, there’s Izumi” he pointed to a white and black one who just jumped at a dog twice it’s size who was walking by. “Ok” said Al “and Hughes” he pointed to a dark grey one who was pranceing around good naturedly. “Wait!” said Al “Where’s Ed?!” “Right here.” “No, the kitty!” “You named a cat after me?” “Yah,” Al was upset, “and now he’s gone!” Two of the cats ran off a ways, then turned to stare at them expectingly. “I think,” said Sam, “they want us to follow them?,” so they did, until they got to a group of teen boys tormenting a small golden kitten. “Stop it!” shouted Al charging in to get the cat. The boys blocked him off and six more joined them making 12 in all, “Go away and you won’t get hurt” one of the boys said. “Sorry,” said Al, but I don’t back down to bullys.” “Then we’ll make you!” and with that they began to fight. “Wait Al!” Edward launched himself in to the battle. Sam swiched her grip on her staff, might as well, she thought, it’s been awile.” She raised her staff and clipped one of the boys in the color bone. He droped like a stone. She then swiched her grip in time to ram the edge of the staff into the stomich of the boy who was sneaking up behind her. He doubled over. She then knocked a blade out of a boy’s hand, and pushed him over. He got up and ran. Infact a lot of them seemed to be doing that. Well the ones that could. Ed had buryed four up to their necks in mud for a laugh. Two more had ran away, and the three who were now getting up getting up stiffly from the growd and and trudging away covered in mud must have been Al’s handywork. The 6 cats who had brought them there had all run up to Ed. (the cat) “Wait a minute!” said ed (the person) “Why is my cat the smallest?!” “what?” Began Al, “oh, um, I didn’t notice.” (Sam had stuffed a fist in her mouth to keep from cracking up) An hour later she sat on the bed looking down at her leg which had brocken into pieces on the way back from their fight. “Well that’s it.” She said. “I’m pinned until your friend gets here.” She sighed, “you two go explore the town.” “Are you sure Sam? Al asked, he was worried she might feel left out. “Yah, besides with you two gone I can actuly get some stuff done. Oh and while your exploreing try to pick up these things we will need? She handed them a list. “Alright then” Al looked around all the cats had made themselves at home. Well, almost all. Ed The cat had taken to following Ed around wherever he went, much to Ed’s dismay. That night Al thought to himself, they had done pretty good: They had gotten all the stuff, checked out the town pretty well, and ed had only gotten into 3 fights, 2 of which Al had been able to stop before anyone recived the full of his brother’s wrath. If only there was a way to warn people before they called Ed short. He would have to think about that. Al stood up, bolth Sam and Ed were asleep. Of course he could go into a semblance of sleep but he did’nt need to anymore, and tonight he felt edgy, like something was going to happen. He could tell his brother had too and he didn’t know sam well enough to be sure but she hadent seemed herself that night eather. Al felt like something was going to happen the problum was he had no idea what, so he couldn’t do any thing to stop it. He just had to wait and that drove him nuts. Knowing there was danger but not knowing how to protect his brother and their new friend from it. There was only one other thing that was worse torture for Al and that was watching people (espeshily those he cared about) get hurt and being powerless to stop it, and that very well might happen soon if he didn’t figure out what was wrong. Al paced. Was the danger to the vilige as a whole or just them? Well there were no nearby dams that might break and the river had no chance of flooding. This place hadn’t had a bad earthquake as long as anyone could remember. It was’nt raining and besides that man at the store had told his friend it was safe for him to travel because his bones were not hurting like they always did before a big storm. There were no mountans near by so that ruled out any volcanic activity. Conditions weren’t right for a tornato and they weren’t any were near any cost so no tsunamis. A forest fire was possible but conditions weren’t favorable for them eather. No, it wasn’t any natural danger that had him at edge. Then what was it? They weren’t near the border and according to sam the town hadn’t had problems with bandaints for years. Just then something burst down the door and charged at Al. He punched it just as two blades stabed it. Aparently he hadn’t been the only one awake. Ed was puling out the spear he had transbuted and sam had apparently used alchemy to make a blade at the end of her staff. (So that was why it had transmutation circles carved into bolth ends.) As she pulled the staff out Al saw this wasn’t a first for her. The blade was top quality. He looked down at the attacker. “Brother” he began, “is that?” “A chimara” finished ed. A what? That was Sam. “A chimara” ed explained, “a mix between to animals or an animal and a human. One of the worst kinds of alchemy.” Ed looked down. This one looked to be a mix between a rhino and a bull, no wonder it broke down the door. Then it ocered to him and he spoke his thoughts allowed, “if there’s one here…” “Then their might be more.” It was Al’s turn to finish his older brother’s sentence. Ed rushed to the doorframe and looked out, Al was right behind him. Sam winced using her staff and the wooden peg leg she had transmuted for herself in an atempet to hobble over, than gave up and transmuted the wood back into the bord it had been originally. Ed looked around. There were no more chimaras. The village was quiet and still. So one chimara had come into town and attacked the house they were in out of evry house in the village. Someone was defiantly out to get them. When Winry arrived the next day they had just started breakfast. The first thing she did was put her hands on her hips. “What have you been up to?” “Fighting chimaras, facing off against bullys, the usual” Ed responded. “No no I did not break my automail” he added hastily holding up his hands as if to ward of an attack. Sam looked from Ed to Winry an expretion of awe on her face. If this girl got a reaction like that from Ed then she must be… “So your Sam” Winry turned to her. Sam gulped and nodded eyes wide. Winry turned to Ed and Al “What have you been telling her about me?” “N n-nothing!” Al waved his hands in frot of him franticly. “Just that you’re my amazing automail machanic” added Ed. “Your buttering me up aren’t you” winry responded. “N nn no!” Ed deniyed waving his arms. Winry pulled out a wrench. “Um later” Ed ran out the door. “Bye” Al was right behind him. Winry losend her grip on the wrench “alright” she turned to Sam “lets go to your room. I want to see you’re your old auto mail.” “Um Winry?” asked Sam. “ Winry was staring down at what was left of Sam’s leg. “Winry??” Sam asked again. Winry was trembling with anger fist clenched. “What” she began, “WHAT KIND OF MONSTER COULD MAKE AUTOMAIL LIKE THIS!? SOMEONES GOING TO PAY!!!! UGGGGGHHHH, WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON THEM!!!” Winry finished connecting the automail to sam’s nerve endings sam grited her teeth at the pain and lay back on her cot with a moan well she said pain in her voice your much better than he was and I’m used to constant pain from that leg so I should be up soon “Ok” said winry I’m gonna start packing granny and I have a custumer who will be arriving the day after tomarow by the time she finished sam had sitten up and was inspecting her new limb ok said wiry“just try to take better care of it then some people I know.” (Ed and Al had just causiosly walked through the door.) “It’s not my fault! Ed defended himself, “I don’t ask people to try to kill me!” Sam stood up, tested her weight, walked around, jumped, than grined. “It’s like a real leg!” “That’s how it’s supposed to be.” Ed said. “I have to test this thing out for real” began Sam, “you two should come too we need to practice forest skills.” We alredy know how to manage in forests.” Ed defended himself, boy was he wrong.
Sam lead them to a small crearing a little ways inside the forest. Ed was able to get through the trees alright, but Al kept getting stuck. He and Ed used alchemy constantly to reshape the trees to make a path, then make things normal again. By the time they reached the clearing Ed was exausted and fed up, but he didn’t loose it until he saw the perfact Al-size path that also led to the clearing. “WHY THE HELL DIDN’T WE COME HERE ON THAT!” “Because” Sam said patiently, smothering a grin, “where we may be going there are no paths.” She turned to them her braid swung around behind her “now we begin” “WHAT!!!!” Ed and Al shouted at the exact same time. Ok sam began I have to teach you how to fight hide secretly communicate climb travel fast there is no time to show you how to track but I can show you how to find food make shelter tree travel make a fire for yourselfs without starting a forest fire log balance rope well mark a path and find signs of human presese and treat wounds I just love being back in here again don’t you she turned to them al’s eyes were round and ed was giving her the dirtyst look he could manage sam just grined and said I’m going to go set some stuff up be right back wait here ok she waved and ran off brother al turned to look at ed is it just me or is she beginning to sound a bit like teacher? They exchanged horrified glances
Sam walked back to them ok first of all no using alchemy for now ed turned to al with a grin now why does that sound from earlier his stumich growled he turned to sam if your inchare now tell me whens dinner sam grined some animals here your not allowed to eat some you are I’ve prepared diner for tonight but if you want it before midnight your going to have to find me it wont be easy what cried ed I’m starving sam shrugged then you sould hope to find me soon don’t worry I’ll go easy on you two just wait here for two minates before you search sam turned ran and soon disappeared into the woods ok ed turned to al ok you have any good ideas for a plan I cant think with an empty stoumach well al began for a start we can follow her foot prints unfortunantly her foot prints led them to a tree and stoped
Sudently there was a flash of light then everything became dark. Screaming, the sound of alchemy being used on stone, a bashing noise, another scream, someone yelling “brother?!”, another bashing noise, a “What the…?!”, another “brother!!!”, a bam, a dull thud, yet another “BROTHER!!!” an “owwww!!!”, a “damn it!,” another “BROTHER!!!!!,” another dull thud, another “owwww!,” and then yet another “BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!.” “I’m fine Al called Ed, finaly able to get in a word edge-wise. “Drat! Where are you two.” Yelled Sam. Her voice sounded slightly muffled te Ed. “I’m here” called Al. His voice sounded slightly muffled as well. “Here” called Ed. “Are you two ok, what happened?” “How am I supposed to know!” yelled Sam, “something knocked me over twice. Oh, that was my staff” “Can you two get to me?” Called Ed. There was a clash of metal on stone and yet another “owww!!!” “There is a wall separating us brother.” Called Al. “Same here” moaned Sam. “Are there any exits?” “yeah” said Al in a moment, “a door across from the side we enterd” “same here once again” called Sam “well then” called Ed “we have to split up” “Why don’t you just use alchemy?” called Sam. “Because” said Ed, “If I do the ceiling may clapse, notice that the support beams are gone? If I transmute them back I might get the positioning wrong.” “Oh,” said sam “well then see you in a few.” Ed and Al heard her door opan and close “lets go Al” called Ed and he walked through the door. “right” Al enterd through his.
The door closed behind her with a bang. Sam steped blindly into the darkness, her arms out feeling the area around her. She had apsolutly no intention of bumping into a wall again. There was a sudden click and the light came back. Sam felt edgey. She transmuted the blades on bolth ends of her staff and assumed guard position. A strange noise, she jumped to face the wall as Ed’s speaker burst out of it. “Hey sam.” “YOU IDIOT! YOU SCARED ME HALF TO DEATH!!!” “Sorry” “and whats with the design? It looks like a freaking duck.” “Oh,” said Ed “thanks” “Are you connected to al?” “Yeah” said Ed, “oh I have to connect him to you.” Sam heard a claping noise and a weird zapping sound. Then “Sam?” came al’s voice. “Here” called Sam, “what’s the plan?” “uhhhh said Al “brother?” “ummmm” “You don’t have one!?” Sam asked increduasly. “Hey!” Said Ed. “I hadn’t gotten past making so we could communicate” “figures” “what’s that supposed to mean, why do I have to come up with all the plans anyway?” Ummm, lets think, who’s the state alchemist again?” came sam’s sarcastic response. “and who’s our guide?” countered Ed. “Um, I don’t think this is helping us very much” said Al “yah” said Sam. “your right” said Ed. “Hmmmm,” he thought, Then it struck him. “that’s it” “whats it?” said Sam “when in dout” Ed began quoting from a passage on defence and strategy from the beginner alchemy book “coman uses of alchemy” Al continued his brothers reciting “or when the enemy always seems to expect your next move” “don’t bother with plans or calculations” ed continued “but do the unexpected” sam finished. “we wont come up with a plan” said Ed we’ll make it up as we go along. “You know, comanted sam you actuly are smart.” “WHAT DO YOU MEAN ACTULY!” yelled ed. “oh nothing theres a door on the other end of my hall” “mine too” “yah, lets go” said ed “see you soon” and they each walked through their door Al walked down a dimly lit hall way till he reached a dead end. “Al!!!!” came ed’s voice. “brother” al looked around “were are you!” “over here” the respose came. “where!” called al. “here” the voice came from his left he saw an opan doorway he walked in. it was dark” “Brother!” called al “right here, I’m stuck!” came eds response from a ways infront of him. Al took a step forward onto empty air. “aaaahhhhhhhhh” he began to fall. “Oh no you don’t!” The voice came from behind him now, there was a clap and al’s fall came to a halt “all right alphonse?” ed called defaninanty from behind him “yah,” called al shakily “brother what’s going on?” “I don’t know.” Said ed “I cant see a thing, damn it” “that’s easily corrected” came al’s voice “I did’nt say that!” said al “I know” said ed as the lights came on they were in a large cavern ed was standing on a ledge al steped up onto it too and the stone hand that had caught him crumbled and fell into the lava underneath it! Ed and al stood on a ringed ledge with lava inside it. In the middle of the lava was a stone circle on which sat a dog “brother?” said al “I don’t know” said ed the dog opaned its mouth and said clearly in ed’s voise “are you alright alphonse?” then “brother! Where are you” in al’s “well that explains it” said ed transmuting his auto mail blade as al took his fighting stance “I was wondering when a chimara would show” Sam placed her hand on the doorknob “drat, this was getting realy old” this one was the seventh halway in a row
And she was getting sick of it! She opaned the door if this was another hallway she was going to seriasly mess it up is wasn’t she enterd a large room with a central dias and on the dias stood “you!” she gasped eyes wide mouth opan
You sam said again your behind this suprize the man raised his hands as if it was a surprise party but why sam asked just as there was a loud boom bolth of them looked to see a newly made hole in the wall and ed and al steping through the gap sorry said ed did’nt feel like adding any more to your intieerior decore the man laughed not a manic laugh but a amused one oh how convianiant you two have joined us perfact WOULD YOU ANSER MY QUESTION PLEASE sam yelled I said why are you doing this oh it’s simple realy I’m making a philosophers stone what bolth ed and al gapped at him yes I have reaserched a way of making it unfortanatly for my way has resulted in lots of deaths and I’m finaly done I started out only killing bandints I would set up a rock slide I could trigger with alchemy no sam whispered then one day he continued I saw some bandents leaveing the village before I destroyed them I heard enough of their convorsation to gather that more would be coming soon well I sprung the trap reset it and waited for the rest a few people appeared heading toward the village oh no sam said breathlessly and sunk to her knees sam al began but the mans voice overpowered his I started the rockslide before I realized they were not bandits by then it was too late to stop it I could only save the lilltle girl no sam bent her head and began to sob but then I figured the parents were already dead but I decided to use them sams hands clenched into fists “then it occered to how much quicker making the stone would be if I didn’t limit myself to bandits that’s when I moved to the forest and began picking off anyone who entered sam looked up her face was red and tears still streamed down her cheeks but now her expretion wasn’t one of despair she was MAD she stood up knife in one trembleing fist and bladed staff in the other ed and al steped back this was beyond any anger they had ever seen or expirianced beyond eds when you called him short beyond winrys when you insulted her automail beyond even their teachers this kind of burning fury was forenn to them sam moved faster then they had ever seen anyne she jumped and chucked the knife at the man he had no time to dodge but a chimara hiding near his feet jumped and took the knife to it’s heart and fell dead by then sam was flying at him staff poised to strike a tail from another chimara struck her staff out of her hand she tured mid leap and slamed a fist into there foes face he flew 3 feet away and hit the ground as she advanced on him he wisiled the other door besides the one she entered to flew opan sam turned and froze for a seconed shock showing on her face then she sunk to her knees again looking up at the new entrys mom? She whispered dad? A man no a part human part clawed and fanged creature attacked them taking advantige of their distraction luckly it tried attacking al first then after realizing that wasn’t working it attacked ed while its fellow part human part rhino attacked al two more human chimaras joined them one part bear one part wolf ed transmuted his auto mail and attacked while al evaided a charge and began to fight as well
WHAM! A scorpian like tail from her dad hit sam and she was thrown mercilessly against the wall pain exploded from the back of her head and the room swam in and out of focas NO she told her self forcefully I will not black out no no no no NO!!!! she forced her eyes all the way opan and used the wall to get to her feet no those are not my parents my parents are dead and he killed them and is going to kill more people that’s why I half to fight and destroy him she used the wall to stand upas the world stoped spinning around her she brought up her remaining knife intime to stop a blade from the the thing resembleing her mom sam came eds voice we could use some help here sam rolled away grabed her staff and came to a stop next to ed and al the man raised his hand and the chimaras backed away ed and sam stood with al inbetwean them very soon the man began you three will all be dead I wont even need the stone to kill you espeshily the two short ones mwaaa ha ha ha ha great said sam now he sounds insane there are just three problems with that plan said ed 1 al and I have no intention of dying 2 he jerked a thumb at sam I don’t think she does ether and 3 NEVER CALL ME SHORT!!!!! Al sighed and sam slaped her forhead and thought well whatever works but before ed could charge the man pulled a lever and the ground fell from under bolth sam and ed’s feet
Ed claped his hands and banged them on the wall he was falling next to he made a ledge around the edges of the pit which he landed on sam landed across from him with an oww she looked down into the pit nice she said sharp spikes at the bottom very homey so she looked at ed an evil grin on her face why don’t we shake things up a little ed grined as well and clapped his hands together
Brother? Sam? Al looked from side to side then up at the man. “What did you do?” he asked. Never mind that” the man responded. “I have always wanted to crush metal with stone.” Just then a blob of yellow fur flew at the man. Ed (the cat) landed claws out on the man’s face. It lifted one small paw with sharp, not-so-small claws and slashed it across the mans face. Rwwwaaaaaaahhhh Rwaaa the man yelled yanked the cat off his face and threw him at al al cought the cat who had apparently followed them all the way here and placed him gently on the ground only to have the cat leap up into his arms as the ground began shaking what the the man looked around wildly as ed’s speaker poped up this time from the its not a good idea to let your enemys get under you you know
So sam asked what are you two going to do now ed looked at al and back at sam we’re going to keep searching for a way to get our bodys back and you sam sighed I have been thinking about that I think I’m going to learn as much as I can find about alchemy get beter at it
And make some discovrys of my own I’m going to travel and keep a reaserch journal to start out with who knows maybye someday I’ll make it into a book
Oh and if I pick up any info on the real stone I’ll let you two know hey lets meet up in my village a year from now ed grined I’ll try but I cant make any promises I’ll be there oh you will me there sam said she rocked back and forth on her feet and grining hands clasped behind her how can you be so sure asked ed oh easy said sam being abnormally short runs in my family so naturally we have a secret technique to help ourselves get taller one I know but didn’t use and I’m not going to tell it to you until you come back and vist again
“Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To create something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy’s founding law of equivalent exchange. In those days we really believed that to be the world’s one and only truth.”
Another rumor, another mission, another failure, that’s what things seemed like to Edward Elric. They would hear a rumor or find a lead on the stone, follow it, and just when Ed finally thought he would be able to put his brother back into his true body everything would come crashing to the ground. Yet they kept going on. “No turning back.” Ed was on the verge of collapsing. He had been forcing himself to stay awake and keep on moving for about an hour or two now. He wanted to get out of these woods tomorrow!
Ed’s eyes began to close and his pace slowed. In front of him his younger brother Alphonse turned around. Hearing him, Ed quickly forced his eyes open, but it was too late.
“E-Ed you’re exhausted let’s stop for the night.” Al caught Ed as his brother stumbled.
“No way!” Edward replied stubbornly, shaking his head. “I want to be out of these woods by noon tomorrow.” He yawned.
“Then I’ll carry you.” Al retorted, “Look brother you’re half asleep already.”
Ed muttered something about danger, bandit country, and not wanting Al to get into any trouble without him.
“I’ll wake you up at the first hint of danger,” Al said, lifting Ed piggyback style on to his back despite his elder brother’s protests. Ed didn’t have the energy to argue for long. He was asleep within minutes. Al sighed. Ed could be so unreasonable. How exactly had he planned to do anything when he was too tired to see straight!
By the time Ed awoke the next morning the sun was high in the sky, and Al already had breakfast ready for him. After Ed ate, they set off again.
They hadn’t gotten far however, when a wooden cage sprung up around them.
“Must be a trap set up by bandits,” Al commented.
“Unfortunately,” Ed remarked, transmuting his automail into a blade. They had no idea who they were dealing with. He swung his blade at one of the poles. Huh? The blade hit the wood and stopped, barely leaving a scratch.” That’s strange. Al can you break it?”
“ No,” Al said, trying.
“Can you lift it then?”
“No,” Al said again.
“Then it’s time for plan B,” but burning it didn’t work either. “ Now I’m curious,” Ed remarked,” I want to meet whoever made this.” Just then a familiar voice rang out from above them
.”Looks like I caught some rats with my trap.” Ed and Al looked up.
“Ed and Al!” she responded.
“Sorry about the cage,” she said, placing a hand on it. There was a flash of green light and the cage sunk back into the ground.
“You don’t need a trans…” Al began.
“Yeh, I do,” Sam cut in. On her palm was a transmutation circle Ed and Al had never seen before.
“Came up with it myself,” Sam crowed, a smug smile on her face. “ Apparently the guy who gave me my original automail leg is quite a gifted tattoo artist I tracked him down almost right after you two left. Figured better me than Winry. He offered this as compensation. Wouldn’t have let him touch me after that leg, but he showed me some of his work He’s as first rate as they come and so are his materials. The dyes are top quality, non- reacting, perfectly healthy, and absolutely sanitary. He makes them himself and their amazingly expensive. So much so he barely ever uses them and he has needles in twenty different sizes.”
“Ok,” Ed cut in, “We got it. You have a really good tattoo.”
Sam grinned. “So what brings you out this far?”
“What else?” Ed responded, “The stone. We heard a rumor of some guy using it to make himself a castle out in the next woods.”
“So there really is a castle, “ Sam frowned.
“What do you mean?” asked Al.
“Well,” Sam began, “some kids in the village keep talking about a haunted castle in the center of these woods.”
“These woods?” Ed asked. “ I thought it was the next woods.”
“No, definitely these woods.” Sam said. “Anyway I said I’d go check the place out and kick any ghosts I might find out the window.”
“That was nice of you,” Al commented.
“Yah, well it was necessary. They won’t go into the woods. They’re convinced they will be killed for trespassing into the dead’s domain.”
“That’s right.” Al remarked, “We are near your village”
Sam nodded and looked Ed up and down. “Wow, you’ve actually grown a bit.”
Ed’s eyes narrowed. “Can you spare the height commentary and tell me the family technique already?”
“Not until we figure out about the castle,” Sam responded, grinning.
“WHAT!!!!!” Ed threw himself at her.
Just as Al held him back, commenting, “Honestly, I thought by now you two would have learned to get along.”
“Not my fault!” Ed replied, still struggling, “Called me short now this!”
“Well you are,” Sam commented.
“Grrrrr, well maybe you have actually learned to defend yourself, ” Ed shot at Sam. Sam’s grin instantly turned to a scowl. She threw herself at Ed, just as he managed to extract himself from Al’s restraining hold.
Once again they were at each other’s throats fighting like cats and dogs while Al sighed and tried to separate them, thinking, it’s been almost a year and they’re still like this.
“STOP CALLING ME HELPLESS!” “STOP CALLING ME SHORT!”
“I DIDN’T!” “YES YOU DID!” “NO I DIDN’T!” “YES YOU DID!”
“I SAID YOU HAD ACTUALLY GROWN!”
“IMPLYING THAT I USUALY DON’T!” “THAT’S NOT IMPLIED!”
“YES IT IS!” “NO IT ISNT!” “YES IT IS!” “NO IT ISNT!”
“So Sam, how have you been? Has your village changed much?” Al cut in, in an attempt to stop the fight, all the while holding them apart.
Sam stopped trying to land a fist on Ed’s face around Al’s armor, and Ed stopped trying to get out of his brother’s grasp and kick her at the same time.
“Oh,” Sam began, “I haven’t been there for awhile. There are a lot of new families but mostly it’s the same, except...”
“Except?” Al prompted.
“Except you two might not want to go back there unless you feel like getting mobbed”
“Why?” Ed asked.
“Because, well Ed, you have your first fan club. Now I wouldn’t mind that, except that they are very dedicated fans.”
“Like how?” asked Al.
“Like Sam! Hey Sam! Mom said you went on an adventure with the Full Metal Alchemist! What’s he like? Is it true the things they say about him? That he is the hero of the people, and that he has a little brother in a suit of armor? Hey Sam, is it true he doesn’t like milk? I’m never going to drink it again. I’m growing my hair out into a braid too! How long should it be? Wow! His mechanic gave you that leg! Can I see it? Can I touch it? I can just imagine you going there, Al. You’re Edward Elrics’ younger brother! Wow! Can I have your autograph?”
Sam crouched, hiding in the space between a tree and a few bushes. She grinned. Ed might be better at alchemy but this was her home turf and the game they were playing was the kind she excelled at. They were playing a kind of hit –and-run predator and prey game were they were each both the predator and the prey. It was she against the Elrics. They were doing it partly as practice and partly as a way of showing off their new skills, although neither said it. The rules were simple. The game had started after lunch today and would go until the sun set tomorrow. They were off path and there were no provisions or supplies. They had hidden both up in a tree protected by Sam’s wood. She had also set the boundaries as three miles from the tree in any direction. Ed had set up temporary earth walls to mark them. The goal was to provide for yourself and to give your opponent, or in Sam’s case, opponents as much trouble as possible without seriously injuring them and Sam had found her prey.
The Elrics had found an apple tree and were now blessing their good luck at finding it first. The only problem was they hadn’t. Sam had. Grinning evilly she drew five transmutation circles on the ground. Now who should be her first victim? She decided on Ed. What better way to get back at him Ed, who had been standing arms at his sides, watching his brother pick high up apples and place them in the bucket he had transmuted suddenly received the unpleasant sensation of having the ground disappear beneath his feet. He fell into a hole that was fast filling in. In one second flat he was buried up to his neck in dirt.
“What the? Dammnnnitt!”
Sam couldn’t help it she laughed aloud.
“Sam?” Al looked around.
“Leave her!” Ed snapped, “Help me out of here I can’t move my arms to use alchemy.”
Al drew a circle and got his brother out. Then Sam activated the second circle. This one made a piece of wood come from a tree knock, Al’s head off, and throw it at Ed.
“Grrrrr.” Ed jumped up and clapped his hands just as Sam’s transmuted berries splattered all over Ed’s clothes.
Fourth circle. A root came up from the ground and knocked Al off his feet. Suddenly she was lifted off her feet by a rope tied around her ankle.
Ed grinned. “Gotcha!”
Clapping again he diverted a stream so it went under her and turned back the rope. Splash!!! Sam came up spluttering, activated her last circle and ran. Ed was about to run after her when Al grabbed him and pointed. In front of them was a very angry skunk who just had its living room torn up.
Al said, “Ed! Yah! Run!!!!!!!”
Damn those two! Sam knew they hadn’t known, but that wouldn’t make the cold any less. Of course they didn’t know. How could they? The only night they had spent in this forest was last night and last night was a fluke. It had actually been warm! Sam drew a transmutation circle on the ground for fire and used two flint stones she had found to make a spark. She stuck the end of a stick in the fire and used the charred end of the stick to draw a transmutation circle on her clothes she used it and sighed as her clothes became dry and warm again. She couldn’t do much about her hair except wring the braid out-only it wasn’t in a braid any more. Uggghhh! I must have lost the tie in the stream my hair’s gonna get caught on everything. Those two are sooooo going to pay.
Meanwhile Ed and Al had managed to escape the skunk only to find that they were lost and separated from each other. Drat thought Ed. This is just like Yacht Island, only with alchemy, and instead of a mad man in a mask a mad girl with a staff.
Al looked around. “Bro-other? Bro-o-other?”
He pushed bushes aside, stopped for a second and listened; a birds cry, a squirrels chatter, the wind blowing through trees, a ducks quack. Huh? Why a duck? Odd. He listened again. A bird –call, again. Then…
DON’T CALL ME HELPLESS!!!!
“Sam?” He took a step toward the voice then from the opposite direction.
“ WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SHORT EVEN A SQUIRREL COULD SQUISH THEM?”
“ Brother?” Al took a step toward this voiced then stopped.
“ My, my. We are very conflicted aren’t we? Which one to help? So hard to decide for ourselves, isn’t it tin-can-boy? Al turned around. A girl with long black hair in a dark green dress, wearing two fairly large silver earrings, stood leaning against a tree.
“ Um,” said A, “I don’t mean to be rude but who are you?”
The girl snorted. “Don’t have much of a head inside that metal suit of yours do you tin can boy?”
If al could he would have been grinning. You have no idea.
Sam finished her transmutation and clapped her hands off there. She inspected her newly made wooden shelter and grinned. Job well done. She doubted Ed and Al could make one this well. That was if they hadn’t been sprayed. She congratulated herself once again then sighed. I’d better go find dinner. She hadn’t gone far when a large man jumped in front of her.
“ Ha!” he said, “I have you now.”
Sam sighed. She wasn’t in the mood for dealing with bandits.
“Look,” she said in a bored, exasperated voice, “I don’t have anything valuable with me. My parents are dead so you wont’ be able to get any ransom. Normally I’d take care of bandits like you but I’m feeling generous today so I’ll give you a chance to run.”
“ I’m not a bandit,” the man responded.
Sam sighed again. “Then what do you want?” She didn’t feel like being polite.
“To kill you,” the man responded bluntly.
Now Sam was really fed up. “Well I don’t feel like dying just now. Come back in 80 years or so and we can talk then.”
“Don’t toy with me girl. I’m an alchemist.”
“That’s nice.” Sam responded. “So am I.”
The man ignored her. “I was sent by my master”
“By your master?” Sam repeated and yawned.
“ Yes,” the man said. “To be honest I think I got it easy. After all my quarry is just a helpless little girl”
Sam went from bored to livid in an instant.
” DON’T CALL ME HELPLESS!!!”
Ed pushed aside a bush and looked around. OK, no six foot suit -of -armor. Time to try somewhere else. Just then he heard al’s voice from way ahead of him.
“ Al?” He took a step forward.
“Not so fast kid.” A thin man stepped out from behind a tree in front of him.
“ Move don’t make me hurt you.”
“ Oh, I’m so scared,”
Ed sighed. “Look I’m Edward Elric the Fullmetal Alchemist.”
“ Ha!” The man laughed. “Sure and I’m Roy Mustang the Flame Alchemist.”
“ Your fairly close to as annoying,” was Ed’s response.
“I was sent to kill you by my master. I think I’m the luckiest. After all I got the pip squeak.”
Ed went beserk “WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO SHORT EVEN A SQUIRREL COULD SQUISH THEM?”
The girl looked Al up and down. ”My companions should be finishing up with your companions by now. They were so happy to have gotten the easy ones. The pipsqueak and the helpless little girl.”
“ And your companions said that to them?”
“Might have,” the girl commented, “but that’s beside the point.”
Al sighed. “Actually we might just want to go check on them.”
“ So you can have an ally?” The girl snapped, “no way!
“No,” said Al. “Because your friends are going to be killed if we don’t go soon!”
“ Right,” said the girl. “Puh-lease! You expect me to fall for that junk?” The girl snorted.
“ Well if you won’t, I will.” Al turned.
“ Not so fast.” A wall of water rose in front of him.
“ Unnhhh.” Al bent over and quickly drew a transmutation circle on the ground. The water wall disappeared, absorbed into the soil. He then barely had time to doge as a blast of water flew at him.
“ What is it tin can boy? Afraid of a little bath?”
Blast after blast came flying at him. Suddenly the water stopped. Al looked up above him. A cloth warded off the water.
“ Come-on Myomie. Don’t ruin my fun.” A girl in white with flowing very long brown hair stepped forward.
“Just because they are intruders hoping to steal our secrets for military use doesn’t mean you should torture them Layla,”
The girl called Layla scowled and backed down.
“ Now,” said the other girl. “Myomie we’re going to do this properly.”
The patch of flowers next to him began to glow as Myomie bent down and placed a hand in it. Before Al could do anything thick tight fabric bound his legs together. More bound together his arms. Al fell over. His helmet rolled off.
“Its empty!” Layla exclaimed.
Al heard her crawl up next to the top of his armor where his head usually was. Uh-oh he thought. Please whatever you do just don’t touch the… Too late, the two girls jumped back as light flashed and Al’s scream split the evening. Both Sam and Ed paused mid -blow and turned to look in the direction of the scream. That was Al both said aloud and took off running in the direction of the sound. WAM!!! Sam pushed aside the brush and jumped from the raised ground onto the path below only she didn’t hit the path. She hit Ed and bowled him over.
“ Arraagghh! What the? Sam, get off me. We have bigger problems than our game right now.”
But Sam had already rolled off him and was sitting up.” I know I have ears.”
Ed sat up only to fall flat on his face again as his auto mail arm lurched forward.
“Umphh, have mercy I surrender. Ummphhh ahhhhh! What the hell are you doing?”
“ My bag's caught on your auto mail.” She pulled again. “Waaahhh, let go I’ll detach it okay”! Five minutes later they took off running again.
“ OK, said Sam here’s the plan. First I’ll distract them then you help Al with whatever he needs help with while they’re busy. However, once they got there Ed took one look at the situation and all thoughts of a plan disappeared from his mind. Sam took one look at Ed’s face and knew she’d better do something.
Sound was the first thing Al became aware of. At first he it seemed to fade in and out. He heard his brother yelling I’M GOING TO KILL THEM. Sam saying: You can’t kill them.
Ed: “WHY NOT?”
Sam: ”Because we need to know”.
“ THEN I’LL JUST BEAT THEM TO A PULP,” Ed interrupted.
Layla’s voice. ” Like you could.”
Ed: “CARE TO TRY ME?”
“Mayome: Layla, shhhh!”
Sound faded out than came back Ed shouting once again.
“ DAMN YOU! YOU #@$%*&*@#$! HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET? POKING AT HIS SEAL LIKE THAT!”
Myomie’s voice. “ I take it that was a soul attachment. The army’s using tha.”
Now Ed’s voice, then the sound of metal hitting wood. “IS!” Bash “IS Bam NOT!” “WAS!” “IS! Boom IS! IS! IS!” Bash “AND I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE MILARTAY!” Bash “IS!”
Once again sound faded out then came back in Sam’s voice. “For the ten-thousandth time Ed, all we can do is wait. I bet it’s just a partial shutdown like you know getting knocked out or something. They touched the seal you used to anchor…”
“Wait,” interrupted Ed how’d you know about the anchoring?”
“ Honestly Ed you think I did nothing after you two left? Anyway, they touched the seal and it went into automatic shutdown to try to protect it-self. It’s happened before in other situations for other less complicated attachments. If you touch a certain spot like the center of the mark. The less complicated ones usually wake up fully within an hour but can hear a bit before that.”
“ IT’S BEEN MORE THAN TWO HOURS.”
“ I KNOW THAT!” Sam yelled, then sighed, “if you’d actually listen I would have said since he is definitely a more complicated attachment it makes sense it would take longer.”
“How do you know there’s nothing we can do? There has to be something damn it!”
“I know because while you two focus on getting Al back to the body he was born in I’m learning about the body he’s in. I’ve been doing a lot of research on various things and that’s one of them. Look,” she said in a kinder voice, “in all likelihood he’ll be fine. In fact,” Al could tell from her tone she was displaying one off those evil grins she wore when she knew something that was not convenient to you in what she thought was a humorous way “he can probably hear us right now.”
"So you mean he could have heard what I wanted to do earlier?”
“ Yep,” Sam laughed.
“And you waited until now to tell me?”
Mayome spoke up, “Just what is that pile of armor to you?”
“ DON’T CALL HIM PILE OF ARMOR! Boom! HE’S HUMAN! Bash! HE’S MY BROTHER!!!!” Bam!
Finally Al was able to see and move. The first thing he saw was Sam’s face she grinned evilly and held a finger to her lips.
“ HE’S MY BROTHER! Bash!! HES A HUMAN BEING! Bam!! HE’S MY BROTJER!”
“Um. Ed?” Sam called as Al sat up and looked around, “If you don’t stop hitting that tree I’m going to make it hit you back. Oh, and ‘said human being is awake’.”
Ed turned around eyes wide and rushed over. “AL! Are you OK?”
“ Yaaaahhh,” Al nodded getting to his feet and making sure he could move everything. Sam looked over at the two other girls who were tied to a tree with the cloth that had been used to tie up Al.
“You two have no idea how lucky you are do you? you know if it had turned out he wasn’t okay, I wouldn’t even have thought of holding him back.” She jerked a thumb at Ed. “In fact I think I would have made sure I got the fist blow.”
“As if you could Layla scoffed. Mayome why are you just sitting there? Why don’t you…”
“Shut up Layla,” Mayome hissed.
“Brother,” said Al, “You should be careful. That girl, (he pointed to Mayome) from what I’ve seen, is like Sam with wood only for her, it’s cloth.”
Mayome stood up and sighed as the cloth binding her dissolved into the ground.
“And here I was hoping to gather a bit more information. Oh well, I’ve picked up quite a few thing as it is. Come on Layla we’re going back to the castle.”
“ You’re not leaving just like that.” Ed snapped. “Not after all you’ve done.”
“ Oh I think we are,” the girl said. “You may be the Full Metal Alchemist but that doesn’t mean you’re a match for me.”
Alchemy met with alchemy. Both young alchemists pouring more and more power into their transmutations until all that was left was a huge mass or cloth and iron (Ed had found a vein in the ground. Both girls were gone. Sam and Al stared at the strange monument, shocked. Neither had ever seen anyone with alchemy skill that matched Ed’s.
“So what now?” Sam poked at the two rabbits they were cooking for their dinner.
“It’s obvious Isn’t it?" ed remarked "We're going to the castle.”
“Good,” Sam remarked, “you agree with me.
You know they’ll be expecting us.” Al spoke up "and that girl could be trouble as well.”
Ed grinned. “Are you referring to our match off? You did realize I was holding back didn’t you?”
“WHAT!” Sam and Al turned to stare at him.
“Oh come on, you didn’t think I could have done better than that?” He dodged Sam’s incoming fist.
“And you waited until now to tell us!” she yelled.
That night Sam lay on her back, arms under her head, in the clearing they had found staring at the stars in the sky. Tomorrow they’d set out for the castle. She should rest but she couldn’t fall asleep yet. BASH! Sam sat up looked around and sighed. In his sleep Ed had rolled into Al yet he was still sleeping. Some people could sleep through ANYTHING. Sam wasn’t one of them. Years of staying overnight in dangerous areas had taught her well she sighed and rolled over. This castle was turning out to be more than she had bargained for when she had told the kids in the village that she would “kick any ghosts she found out the window”.
Sitting behind his desk, the man turned to look at the two girls. “Give me your report.”
Mayome spoke up first. “There’s no doubt about it, it’s definitely the Full Metal Alchemist. His younger brother, the one in the armor, is a soul attachment. Saying that Ed as he’s called is very protective of his little brother would be the understatement of the century. There is one other person with them, a girl called Sam. I haven’t seen much of her alchemy in action but from what I heard her specialty is wood. None are a match for me of course.”
“ What are you talking about?” Layla interrupted. You tied with the Full Metal boy.
” Come on Layla. I wasn’t giving it my all. I just wanted to see how good he was. You of all people should know that I was curious. He’s such a little guy. I wanted to see if he could put up much of a fight.”
“And?” the man inquired.
“ Well, she responded, “I couldn’t get a full assessment but he seemed good, as you said. But there’s one thing,” she continued, “I don’t think he showed his full abilities and I don’t think they mean us any harm. I’m not even sure if their here on military orders at all.”
“ I’ll be the judge of that,” the man interrupted. “You did well. Now Mayome dear go tell your remaining big brother to wait for them in front entry hall.”
“What?” Mayome exclaimed. “But he’s insane. All he cares about are his stupid ducks.”
“Just do it,” the man said. “You may go now.”
Mayome turned and walked out the door, Layla following behind her. The man drummed his fingers on the table deep in thought. Out of all his four children Mayome definitely showed the most potential. The youngest and only girl, she was his most valuable asset. No, he could not afford to risk losing her in an open battle. No, he would have to win using brain and not brawn. He was counting on them getting past his oldest son and his ducks. In fact it was after his youngest son had a turn that the real plan would start. Using his original idea would be harder but then again he had an idea in the mean time. The man grinned.
“OK,” Sam said,” There’s the door. Now what?”
“How about you turn it into a giant cat for Al?” Ed commented.
“ But wooden kittys aren’t as cute.” Al complained.
“ How about I turn it into two corks to stick in your mouths?” was Sam’s idea. “Or your mouth Ed. It wouldn’t work for Al.”
“ Just turn it into something already,” was Ed’s response.
“ OK,” Sam grinned, placed a hand on the door and reshaped it into a tiny version of Ed holding a sign that read: ACTUAL SIZE.
“ Grrrr.” Ed was about to retaliate when a voice rang. Out.
“In the name of my father I welcome thee strangers to our humble abode.”
Ed, Al, and Sam stepped inside the door. Sam took one look at the man talking and doubled over trying to stop laughing. Ed and Al laughed as well. They couldn’t help it. The man was dressed like a duck complete with feathers and a beak.
“ Whether you be. No, that’s not it. Um, um, um, whether you mean trouble or um, um, truce. No. That doesn’t make sense. Um… Oh screw the speech I’ll just say it. You all have to die.
“And why is that?” Al asked.
“Because I like ducks.”
“ Drat,” said Sam, “why do we always have to fight the insane ones?”
“ Don’t call me insane! The great duck will punish you!”
“ And just what,” asked Ed, “is a great duck?”
“ What are you talking about? It’s the Great Duck.
“ Ri-i-ight,” Ed responded.
“ The man pointed at them yelling, “Attack my feathered minions!”
An army of giant duck chimaras entered the room. One threw itself at Sam and pinned her to the ground while another impaled itself on Ed’s automail. Al kicked one and punched another. The duck man spoke up.
“ The girl goes down rather easily it seems. She’s rather weak.”
The duck pinning Sam to the ground went flying at the man while Sam stood up then jumped on another one. “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?”
Ed clapped placed his hands on the ground. “Hey Sam!”
A large stone statue of Sam in a cowering position holding a sign saying SAVE ME appeared. Ed made it fall onto a few ducks.
“Well wadda you know. Not quite that helpless after all.”
Sam scowled and placed a hand on the wall. From it came a life size statue of Ed, once again holding a sign. This one read: #1 SHRIMPCAKE OF THE YEAR.
Al sighed, “Can you two give it a rest? At least until we’ve taken care of him?”
“ Ahhhhh,” said the man, “I see the pipsqueak and the weakling are touchy. That should make things easier for me.”
Sam and Ed both turned their heads to look at him glaring holes into his face. “What did you just call me?” Sam’s voice was dangerously soft and quiet.
“And who may I ask were you calling a pipsqueak?” Ed’s voice matched Sam’s exactly. Sheer ice. Oh great, thought Al, here we go.
“ Well,” the man said. But he never got a chance to finish as balls of wood were thrown at him and metal hands pushed him over. “WHO WERE YOU CALLING A…” “DON’T CALL ME HELP… “ “SO SMALL THEY…” “YOU INSANE UGLY” “BECAUSE I DON’T DRINK MY” “PSYCODIC FREAKISH” “I’M GONA MA-“ “MISTAKE FOR A” “PAY!”
Ed was rudely awakened that night by being jerked up roughly by metal hands and dropped inside a suit of armor.
“ Aaaaggh, Al what?”
Al jammed his helmet back on. “Just stay in there.” His voice was taut.
“ And get off me!” Sam’s voice added.
Ed realized that he had landed not on cold metal but on something warm and soft. “Sam!” They each backed into a different side of the armor.
“ So any idea why we’re in here?”
“other than the fact that someone just tried to drop a huge bolder on you that your brother barely managed to catch? No, I have no clue” oh Ed replied yep Sam responded with a resined mournful sigh so ed began as their conversation was drowned out by what sounded like rain only rain didn’t make a clanging noise when it hit metal
“Are you OK Al?” Ed called out.
“Fine. Just stay inside.” came his brother’s response. Just then a arrowhead attached to a rope slipped through one of the gaps in Al’s armor stopping suddenly about a inch above Ed’s head. Al must have caught the rope. Sam and Ed stared at the arrowhead in shock for a second before Ed broke the silence fuming, “WHY IS IT ALWAYS ME? WHY DO THE BAD GUYS ALWAYS TRY TO KILL ME? WHAT AM I, SOME KIND OF WALKING HUMAN TARGET?
“More like a walking human danger magnet.” Sam responded with a wry chuckle.
“ Whaaaaaa!!!!” They were both thrown back then up and down, up and down, up and down, then jerked to the side.
“ Ummmphh, Al!” Sam called. Ed’s brother was apparently running.
“ Sorry,” Al called back, “but I think its time we get out of here.”
“ Whoa!” They were pushed in the opposite direction. “Any particular reason you’re running and jumping to the side at random intervals?” Ed called as they were jerked to the side yet again.
“ Yah,” Al responded, “I’m avoiding the boiling oil”
----SKIP---- Ed scowled. “Sometimes the way of the world is to let people fight for themselves before you go rushing in trying to be the hero.”
“ Oh yah?” the boy countered. “Well sometimes the way of the world is the little man gets beat if no one comes forward to help him.”
“The WHAT man?” Ed’s voice was dangerous but the other boy didn’t seem to notice.
“ You know,” he explained, “little shrimpy, mini pipsqueak, runt, chibi, small. You know, people like you.”
Sam grabbed Ed before he could launch himself. “No attacking our allies.”
“ See,” the boy said, “at least she doesn’t lie to herself about what’s possible.”
Sam’s eyes narrowed. “And what do you mean by that?”
“ Well its obvious isn’t it? You were completely helpless against those guys.”
Sam glared. “Hey Ed?”
”Remember what I said about not attacking allies?”
“ Forget it.”
Now it was Al’s turn to grab them both. “Gees calm down you two.”
“Temperamental people are more trouble then they’re worth,” the boy commented. “That’s why I tried to kill the blond one while he was asleep.” “Wwhoa,whoa, that was you? “You’re the one who tried to kill my brother? You dropped the boulder? You made it rain arrowheads? You poured the boiling oil?”
The boy still didn’t take the hint. “Yeah I dropped the boulder. Pretty cool huh? Oh the arrows. Yeah, that was me. I had already rigged it up. I stopped it though. It’s against my policy to hurt girls.” He nodded to Sam who was now trying to extract her shirt from Al’s clenched fist. “The oil wasn’t me though. Not sure who that was. “Next time the blond one will die for sure. I’m gonna go for poison. What do you think?”
“ YOUR GOING TO TRY TO POISON MY BROTHER?!?”
“ Yeah your right. Maybe I should shoot him instead.”
“ YOUR GOING TO TRY TO SHOOT…?”
“ OK, then I’ll beat him to death.”
“ WAIT! WHAT? YOUR GOING TO TRY TO BEAT MY BROTHER TO DEATH?
“ OK, then how do you want me to kill him?”
“ I DON’T WANT YOU TO KILL HIM AT ALL!”
“ Oh,” the boy frowned, “you want me to start with the girl?”
“ NO I DON’T WANT YOU TO KILL ANYONE!”
“Well he’s definitely not an ally anymore. He wants to kill me and has alre
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