Chapter 1 - Ember City
South of future Aerugo, Ember City
The original Ember City was known for its rich minerals and materials in and around Mt Vesta. The mountain itself isn't just a mountain, it's a volcano. An active one at that. Before its eruption, The city itself was doing fair. Being overtaken and under control of several different leaderships, battles and assisted in countless wars throughout the years before its destruction by Mt Vesta in year 79.
It was just like any other morning on that ill-fated day. Bright sunlight surrounded the buildings and walkways. The day prior was a celebration of events to the god of fire, Volcanalia. But on that morning, half were believing in their god's plan, while the other half no longer believed that such a god still existed, only that the entire world was ending right before their very eyes.
Mount Vestas erupted at the crack of dawn, ashes quickly flew up as lava quickly rushed downward, flooding into the city. Exits and entrances immediately became blocked. Screams and shrieks filled the air, people's cries and sobs could be heard from the other side of the northern mountains. Both mud and lava mixed with ashes overflowed in the city, destroying anything in its path.
The city that was once believed to hold almost 2,000 people, roughly only a few tattered and homeless individuals survived the catastrophe event, just barely making it to the next village to spend word of the horrible disaster, if they themselves had not known of the tragedy. A city that was gone in a day. The city itself was not discovered again until over 1,500 years later by an engineer, only known by the name, Alcubierre.
The ruins and remains of Old Ember City are currently shut off since throughout the years when it was tourist friendly; pickpocketers, thieves and treasure hunters would take whatever they could. Stealing documents, artifacts, even taking skeletal remains and fragments. Damaging sacred buildings, tablets and the line was finally drawn when at dawn on a morning of the anniversary of the tragedy revealed an even more very heavily damaged religious statue called "Apollo's Temple."
Present Aerugo, Ember City
Still wanting to hold onto Old Ember City's 'tourism glory days', Aerugo renamed a village to the north officially calling it "New Ember City", also known as "Quatuor Civitatem" to most Aerugians. With the village already surrounded by coal mines and mineshafts, not a volcano in sight for at least several hundred of miles, seemed right at the time for its name.
Mostly known for the commonly found coal and charcoal, that is then used for storage, trading or selling to others countries for a price. Trade negotiations and contracts between Creta, Xing, Ikemba (Africa), Farhan (India), Amestris (to a certain extent) and a renewed treaty with Drachma (Although that treaty is currently tighter than a skeleton wearing a corset!)
Besides coal and charcoal, other minerals have also discovered. Copper and limestone blocks as well as the few lucky breaks in finding gold and silver in the caves. The festivities that are celebrated in the new Ember City are quite different than that of the original. Instead of honoring a god, the people celebrate Mt Vesta's dominant state of slumber.
Each year, The president as well as the chancellor and several other important officials of Aerugo honor the fallen victims of the tragedy and celebrate the legacy that was left behind. From dusk to dawn, the city booms with entertainment. The population of almost 3,000 and rising every year, it's a cycle every anniversary.
1879 , New Ember City, Aerugo
On a warm, light breezy spring day just north within Aerugo, a celebration of a renamed new city is in order. A church bell and several other instruments are ringing with the wind as cheers from people are erupting loudly as the President of Aerugo, Giovanni Fernando and his Chancellor Benedict Cairo arrived by horseback into the city.
Men, women, and children all at awe with the president as he passed them, waving hi and thanking them for their kind greetings and presents that he received before he even enter the city. He finally reaches the city square to make his speech for this special day. Standing on the platform, in front of the podium, he starts.
"Signore e signori, io, il presidente Fernando grazie per ancora una volta per la calorosa accoglienza alla nuova citta'." (Ladies and gentlemen, I, President Fernando, thank you again for the warm welcome into the new city.)
"Lo confido che tutti potranno divertirsi oggi in questo momento speciale." (I do trust that everyone will enjoy themselves today at this special time.)
"Come sono sicuro che molti, se non tutti sono a conoscenza della citta' precedente dalla storiao visitando prima ho preso la decisione di smettere di tutti i viaggi per la zona a causa di disscrare e ladri."
(As I'm sure many if not all of you are aware of the previous city by history or by visiting before I made the decision to stop all travels to the area because of desacrating and thieves.)
"Si rattrista il cuore che ho dovuto farlo, ma l'ho fatto fuori il bene di proteggere la storia." (It saddens my heart that I had to do that but I did it out of the sake to protect history.)
"Ora possiamo andare avanti a partire da oggi, ma saremo anche amare e desiderare le anime perdute che perirono molti anni fa il riposo eterno." (Now we can move forward as of today but we shall also cherish and wish the lost souls who perished those many years ago eternal rest.)
"Cominciamo allora potremo!" ( Let's start then shall we!)
And with that, the celebrating begins, fireworks and trumpets fill the skies and people began enjoying the festivities!
1912, Central City, Amestris
After just getting off of the train from coming back from their recent mission, Ed takes off running after a train assistant tells the both of them about the new inventory that just came in at the Central Library.
Al - "Brother!" Alphonse calls out to his older brother, running after him. The crowds around the station were troublesome since many of them kept stopping him, praising him, thinking he is the 'Hero of The People, The Fullmetal Alchemist' until he tells them that its not him. Making a break for it, he makes it to the corner of the street where he last seen his brother.
*BAM!* Al smacks right into something knocking him to the ground. When he sits up and stands, he grabs his head off of the ground. Looking back up, he realizes that he didn't run into something, but someone. That someone being a girl.
Al - "I'm so sorry!" He says he helps her up as she's still holding her forehead, making a painful expression on her face. "I really am sorry miss, ....can I help you in any way for well.... you know ." Rubbing the back of his head with one of his hands. She lets her hand drop to the side and she starts to look up at him.
When they lock eyes, Al can't believe the words he hears her say. "Beautiful." She says as looks directly at him, causing him to blush and start studdering. "I-I-I .... Wh-wh-What! I-um..." "Oh my gosh, I just said that out loud!" She says as she blushes too. Giggling and laughing at what just happen between the both of them, then calming themselves back down.
Pretending to clear throat, he starts. "Hi, I'm Alphonse, Alphonse Elric." "I'm Marisol." They shake hands. Al notices a book in her other hand, titled. "The fall and rise of Ember City." Before Al has a chance to saying anything else, They hear yelling near by. Putting one of his hands over his face 'Jeez Ed, must you be so loud' Sighing and his hand drops back to his side, Al excuses himself. He then stops and turns back to her.
Al - "Hey Marisol, do you know where the library is?" She nods her head. "Sure, I'll take you there if you want me too?" "I'll appreciate it, thank you."
A few blocks later, Marisol points to the building. "There it is Alphonse." They walk to it. Already starting to hear his brother's uncontrollable voice in the building, they part ways. "It was nice meeting you Alphonse, good luck." "Thank you, Marisol, it was nice meeting you too." She waves goodbye as he turns and starts walking up the steps. She then turns and goes her own way.
1915, New Ember City, Aerugo: 3 hours before the Amestris Transmutation Circle is activated
The yearly celebrated festival of the sleeping volcano, Mt Vestas begins at the crack of dawn. Instruments are played like roosters with their loud voices. Yawning and stretching once she makes it out bed, Marisol quickly gets herself ready for the day. She exits the hotel and decides to head over to the local diner to grab something for breakfast. Sitting down, she over hears a few locals talking.
"Hai sentito de luna piena in un paio d'ore. Ci sono voci che Amestri piu' grande parata di come ancora sta andando accadere durante lo." (Did you hear about the full moon in a couple of hours. There are rumors that Amestris's biggest parade as of yet is gonna happen during it.)
"Oh, ho sentito l'esatto contrario. Ho sentito che qualcosa di importante sta andando giu' in Amestri, come una terribile tragedia sta andando accadere." (Oh I heard the exact opposite. I heard that something major is going down in Amestris, like a terrible tragedy is gonna happen.)
'Damn fictioners, always spreading something around trying to make a quick buck, ....pathetic.' Marisol tells herself.
2 hours before the activation of the circle
Walking through the parade grounds, where there are several shops set up, selling things from food and drinks to nick nacks and souvenirs. She decides to buy a few and to remind herself to drop them off at the hotel later. She comes across a library. entering it she notices glances from several people there, looking at her. Ignoring them and walking down an aisle, something on one of the shelves catches her attention. She reaches up and pulls it down.
1 hour before the activation of the circle
Making her way thru the city to the middle where there is a crowd of people gathering and a countdown has already started. A little boy waves to his mom as he is on top of the mountain at the side of the city. Marisol makes it to the mountain just as the little boy is walking down from it.
"Fare attenzione a perdere. E 'troppo traballante li per i miei gusti." (Be careful miss. Its too shaky up there for my liking.)
She thanks him and makes it to the top of the mountain. She feels a sudden vibration coming from the ground but chooses to ignore it. The blue stone on her necklace begins to glow.
Then she looks up. The wind has picked up and a tremor is happening at the same time. Looking through her pocket telescope, she sees the sky is turning red over Amestris and she could make out red streaks moving sideways around mountains, plains and cities. She could even make out what she could only describe as black snakes coming through the ground. Red lighting bolts shooting, coming from the middle, which she figured out that that was indeed, Central.
Tears running down her face, as she says. "My family, ...My friends." She breaks down crying hysterically, her chest begins tightening and she begins to feel her throat tightening, loss of breath and dizziness. She then faints, collapsing onto the ground.
1 month later: After The Promised Day
Making it back to Central, she heads straight to Central Command. 'Please be alive, All of you please be....' As she turns the corner and sees a huge hole through the middle The Command Center. She falls to her knees, hands over her mouth and begins crying.
A female officer approaches her, puts her hand on her shoulder and whispers something in her ear. She takes off running to the hospital. Huffing and panting as she makes it to the room. "What The HELL!" She yells when she swings the door open. She holds her breath at the sight before her. Elizabeth is staring at her, with a shocked look. She turns to face him. Sitting up, on the side of the bed, his hands are at his sides. "I'm blind now." He says. "Oh my god!" Marisol whispers, putting her hands over her mouth. She runs to him, pulling him into a hug and begins crying on his shoulder. He then wraps his arms around her as well.
End of Chapter 1
Author's notes: Ember City is inspired by The City of Pompeii. In 1879, the president of Italy at that time, his full name was Umberto Ranieri Carlo Emanuele Giovanni Maria Ferdinando Eugenio di Savoia and The Prime minister name was Benedetto Cairoli.