Title: The Truth
Rating: PG-13 for violence, language, some situations (later), etc.
Type: Action/ a little romance (Ed/Winry)
It's not complete, because it requires a lot of research to get everything right. It is basically an alternate ending for the series that I came up with after season one ended. I had planned on leaving season two stuff out, but due to new characters (mainly the other humunculi), season two has influenced it a bit. It is mainly action, but I will put a bit of romance it's just PG-13!) and I will warn you: it may be considred sacreligious and the views expressed in here are not my own. t's just a different take on FMA and what I thought would be a cool ending. I have stayed true to the anime (it's hard not to when you have Vic's voice in you head talking as you write Ed's lines). In fact, I found it hard to translate into writing; in my head it's the anime playing. So I guess I've blaberred on enough. Enjoy!
“What is it, Brother?”
“No. Tell me it isn’t true! TELL ME IT ISN’T TRUE!!!”
“The last ingredient for creating a Philosopher’s Stone: humans in mass numbers.”
Chapter One: The Book
Ed blinked in the bright sun. For once it wasn’t raining at Central. “It isn’t worth it, Ed,” Al told his brother.
“No, you’re right. But I will get your body back,” Ed said through gritted teeth.
“Maybe there’s another way. Are you sure that’s the ingredient?” Al asked.
“I checked the code dozens of time. We didn’t mess up, and I don’t think Marcoh did either.”
“Did Sheska give us the wrong book?”
Ed paused, thinking. “That’s what I wonder. Actually, let’s find her right now.” Ed took off running down the steps.
“Hold on, Ed!” Al called after him. They ran to Sheska’s house, just off Main Street. Ed pounded on the door (“Hey, at least I’m knocking!”), but entered without waiting for an answer.
The usual piles of books littered the floor of the house. Ed and Al stepped around a particularly large stack to reach the desk at the end of the room. “Mustang!” Ed exclaimed, promptly saluting when he saw the two figures who stood at the desk.
“Oh come on, Ed, even I don’t salute him anymore,” Lieutenant Colonel Hughes said. Colonel Mustang shot him a look. Hughes just laughed it off. “Long time no see. How are you boys doing?” he said.
Ed opened his mouth to say something, but Al cut in, “We’re just fine, thanks.”
“Yeah, we’re, uh, fine...” Ed said quietly.
“You boys better not be hiding anything," Hughes warned.
“No, of course not!” the brothers said in unison.
"You can’t control them, Hughes," Mustang said.
“Hey, no one asked your opinion!” Ed shouted. “What are you doing here anyway?”
“If you must know,” Mustang said, without looking at Ed, ”Hughes and I are gathering up the case files that were from the Central Library. Now what are you doing here?"
“We came here to see Sheska,” Al said.
“Right here!” a mousy voice piped up. Sheska’s face emerged form the stack of files. “Hi, Al, Ed.” Al nodded in acknowledgment, but Ed pushed the two officers aside.
“Give me all the books you have on Dr. Marcoh. I need everything: anything he wrote or has his name on it!” Ed slammed his hands on the desk. “And I need it soon.”
“But that could take days, Ed,” Al said.
“I don’t care. I need it now,” Ed protested. His voice dropped. “We need it now--to get your body back.”
Hughes sighed. “Still after the Philosopher’s Stone, then, boys?”
Ed turned around to face Hughes. “Yeah, I’ll never give it up,” Ed said, determined.
“I know, Brother. How long will it take, Sheska?” Al asked. Sheska smiled.
“No time at all!"
She disappeared behind a pile of books, leaving a bewildered Ed and Al. “Here it is!" She held a small, worn book in her hands.
“What?” Ed exclaimed. Sheska blushed, turning red with embarrassment.
“Well, I...I was looking at the ruins of the library and, I, um, saw this book in the ashes. It was close to the barrier, so I figured someone might have dropped it. I picked it up and found that it had been part of the library and had survived the fire. So I, uh, took it home.”
“So, basically, you’re saying you stole something from the military,” Mustang said. “If you weren’t so good at replacing files, I would fire you.”
Sheska looked down, “I’m sorry, sir.”
Hughes laughed. “Hey, no problem. I steal stuff from the military all the time!”
“HUGHES!” Mustang yelled.
Hughes cleared his throat, “But it’s not really right.”
“Hughes, we’re leaving,” Mustang said, turning on his heel and walking toward the door. Hughes grabbed the files, following Mustang. He paused before leaving.
“Just be careful, boys. The Philosopher’s Stone is a dangerous subject,” then walked out the door.
Ed turned back to Sheska. “What is this book?”
Sheska flipped through the pages. “It belonged to Dr. Marcoh. It’s a book about Leonardo Da Vinci, whoever he is or was.” Ed looked pensive for a moment, then spoke.
“This is the only other book that Marcoh owned or wrote that was at Central?”
“Oh yes!" Sheska said, “I’m never wrong!”
“I sure hope so," Ed said. He took the book from her hands, tossing it to Al.
“Careful, Ed,” Al warned."It looks old so it may fall apart!" Ed pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled something.
“Thanks. Give this to the Treasurer,” he handed her the paper, then he and Al left, leaving Sheska to stare in wonder a the large sum of money written on the paper.
Chapter Two: Da Vinci
Ed stared at the leather cover of the old book.
“Who do you think this Da Vinci guy is, Ed?” Al asked. Ed stared harder at the book lying on the table.
“I don’t know,” Ed replied, “But he may be connected to the Philosopher’s Stone.” Ed picked up the book, holding it lightly in his hand. “This thing sure is old!” he laughed. He opened the book, turning to the first page.
“ ‘The Personal Journal of Leonardo Da Vinci, Artist,’ ” Ed read aloud off the yellowed parchment. He sighed, “So much for this one. It’s just another useless book!”
“Brother,” Al exclaimed, “You said that about Marcoh’s other book and you know what we found out from that one. This might be important.”
Ed looked at the book again. He read the words, ‘Property of Dr. Tim Marcoh,' scribbled hastily beneath the title.
“You’re right, but I hope this one’s not in code.” Ed sat down on the couch, while Al came to stand over his shoulder. They flipped through the first few pages, which despite being a “journal,” contained no words. Instead, the brothers saw brilliantly rendered sketches of objects and the human body. “Well, he’s certainly proved he’s an artist.”
“Keep reading, Ed,” Al said as he turned the page to find the first journal entry. It read:
I have now begun that which I have along endeavored for: my masterpiece. Such studies I have never undertaken, yet now it shall come to me as a revelation in the night. For that is indeed what it was. I shall begin work tomorrow.
I have begun work on my masterpiece, as it shall be henceforth known. The forms begin to take shape as I paint layer upon layer of oils. My only fear is that it shall not be well received in this plethora of paintings glorifying His Son.
Completion is near.
At last, it is done! Such work I have never produced. My patron was thrilled with my work, but offered the question of a title. Does such work even constitute a title? Yet, I believe I shall call it what it is, "The Truth."
Chapter Three: A Lead
“It can’t be!" Ed exclaimed.
“Ed, it is! Those are the same words Marcoh wrote on that paper he gave you." Al said.
“But it makes even less sense than the cookbook. At least that had a clue about the Philosopher’s Stone. And I had hoped this one wasn’t in code!" Ed said.
“But it isn’t,” Al interjected.
“How do you know that?” Ed asked.
“Because Marcoh wrote ‘NOT IN CODE’ right here.” Al pointed to the bottom of the page.
“Oh,” Ed relented. “But that’s too easy then!”
“Of course it’s not, Ed! There’s nothing else in the book!" Al mumbled to himself, "Would it kill you to pay attention and read brother?"
Ed paused, pretending not to have heard Al's comment. “So this is all we’ve got?”
“Yes, it’s our only lead.”
“Then we'll take it!” Ed looked up at his brother.
“What do you mean, Ed?” Al asked.
“This one can’t be any worse than the others, can it? And, hey, a wild goose chase can be fun!" Ed jumped up from the sofa.
“Hold on, Ed,” Al said. “What are we going to do from here. Where exactly does this journal lead us?” Ed sat back down, sighing.
“You’re right. Now what do we do?"
* * *
Winry looked at her watch. The whistle of a steam engine blew in the background. “Oh, where are they?!” she exclaimed. She shifted her baggage to the other hand, then gave up and put the suitcase on the ground. “They said they'd be here at noon.” Winry dug around in her pocket, pulling out a crumpled piece of paper. She read over the message in the familiar handwriting of Ed.
’Yeah. That date is fine. We’ll pick you up at noon. Can’t wait to see you. ---Ed and Al’
“But it’s one o’clock!” an exasperated Winry shouted. Several people looked at her strangely, which caused her to blush and mutter, “Sorry.” She glanced around to see if any military people were waiting for her. “Maybe something happened,” she said to herself. Her mood changed almost instantly at the thought. "If Ed did anything to my automail, I’ll kill him!" Winry smiled, pleased.
* * *
“Did you give it to him?’
“I left it in the ruins at Central.”
“Very good, Lust. If we know FullMetal at all, he’ll already have the book."
“And soon we’ll have our bodies."
* * *
“Hey Sheska! We’re back!" Ed yelled as he walked into the library house in which Sheska lived. Sheska emerged form behind a tower of books, carrying a stack of dictionaries.
“Ed, Al? You all are turning into a pair of bookworms.”
“Not quite,” Ed laughed, "But we are interested in this Da Vinci guy.”
“Isn’t he fascinating?” she interjected.
“Er, yeah,” Ed began, “But we really wanted some art books to look him up. Do you have any on hand?"
“Do I have any on hand?” Sheska repeated, blinking. “I have 239 art books! Take your pick!”
Ed turned to Al and whispered, “She has this stuff memorized?”
“Guess so,” Al said before turning back to face Sheska. “Well, which one has the most information on Da Vinci?” The brothers expected her to have to stop and think for a minute, but she had an answer only a second after Al finished his question.
“The Encyclopidiae Mediaeval is the best book. It has everything on Renaissance art, especially Da Vinci. Now where is it...” She glanced around the piles of books. “There!” She exclaimed, pointing to a large book at the very top of a stack. She moved to climb the books, but Ed stopped her. “Oh! Yeah, I guess you’re right, Ed. WOuldn't want you to have to rescue me again. Can you reach the book, Al?”
“Of course, “ Al replied, reaching up to grab the thick volume. “I’m the only one tall enough, after all.”
“Al!” Ed shouted, a vein pulsing in his forehead.
“Here’s the book, Ed,” Al tossed the book to his brother, ignoring his exclamation. Ed caught the book, tucked it under his arm, and headed towards the door, Al following.
“Just take the same amount out of my grant, Sheska!" Ed called as they exited.
“But, Ed, I can’t possibly--” she tried to say, but the two had already left. "I sure hope that book helps them,” she sighed, returning to her work.
* * *
“Come on, Al!” Ed called to his younger brother as he raced up the stairs to their apartment.
“I’m coming as fast as I can: this armor is heavy!”
“The faster you get here, the faster we can get your body back!” Al jogged the last couple of steps, catching up with Ed just as he opened the door.
“EDWARD ELRIC!!!” Winry Rockbell screamed at Ed.
“Winry, what are you--” Ed stammered, dodging a well-aimed wrench that Winry threw at his head.
“WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU?!! I WAITED FOR TWO HOURS!!!” she yelled.
“Wait, Winry, we didn’t even know you were coming!” Al interjected.
“Oh, so you forgot!” her face was read with rage. Again, Al had to cut her off.
“No, we honestly didn’t know you were coming to Central. You could have told us.” Winry began to calm down, despite the fact that she was still angry.
“But, but I did tell you, in my letter. And Ed even sent a reply!"
Al paused, then said, “Winry, we haven’t received any letter from you since we returned to Central. In fact, we haven’t received any mail. And I doubt Ed can write a reply to a letter he’s never seen, right, brother?” Ed had been silent for the last few minutes, but now he spoke.
“Winry, let me see the letter."
She fumbled around in her bag, procuring a crumpled sheet of paper which she passed to Ed. His eyes moved over the page, reading. He let out a sigh. “It’s my handwriting, alright, but I didn’t write this letter. Someone is using forgery.”
“But, Ed, who?” Al asked, and when his brother said nothing, he comprehended. “You can’t mean--Them?”
“Yeah, They’re on the case again.”
Chapter Five: Before
“Ed, Al, what do you mean?’ Winry gasped.
Ed tried to explain without revealing the full danger of the situation. “What we mean is that there is a, uh, group that has been, well,” he chose his words carefuly; Ed didn’t want upset Winry. “They’ve been following us for months,” Ed said, quickly.
Winry’s countenance changed. “What was that, Edward?”
Al tried to prevent a fight, "No, Winry, it’s not that bad, really!” Then Al wondered aloud, “It’s not that bad, is it, Ed?”
Ed saw no point in lying, so he decide to tell them the truth of the situation.
“Actually, it is bad. Now that They’re on to us, He will be, too. Yeah, Scar will be after us, soon. Me, really. He probably still wants to kill me--”
“Kill you?!!” Winry interrupted. “So you have been involved in dangerous things!”
Again, Ed wasn’t going to lie to her. “Being a State Alchemist means danger and being a State Alchemist in search of the Philosopher’s Stone, that means mortal peril.”
“But, Ed, we’ve survived before,” Al ventured.
Ed’s hands curled into fists, his fingers digging into the palm of his hand. “Before, we didn’t have this kind of lead. Before, we didn’t know the ingredients in the Stone. Before, we didn’t know what the humunculi are, or what they want! They’ll kill you and use me to make a Stone for them. They aren’t human, and we made them so!”
“Ed, calm down!” Al cried in alarm. He went over to his brother and shook him. “Ed, are you okay?”
Ed seemed released from his fit, and he mumbled, “Yeah,” as he sat down on the couch. “I won’t lose you, Al," he said, then he added in a whisper, "or you, Winry."
Winry had stood silent, trembling, but at the mention of her name, she spoke, “So these, humunculi, they’re the ones that sent me that note? But shouldn’t I go home, where it’s safe?” her voice rose in panic.
“You’re right and wrong,” Ed began, cutting her off. “Yes, the humunculi sent you that note, but as to where it’s safe, you’re much better off here. In Resembool, I can’t protect you. And old woman Pinako will be fine, it’s only you they’re after." Ed noticed her expression of fear. "Yes, you because you are so closely aligned with me. Anyway, at least here I can protect you.”
Winry still didn’t understand. “But--”
“It is said that the safest place in a hurricane is the eye of the storm.”