Chapter 1: The Fourth Wall has an off-switch
John shut the door to the reactor core of the Prospitian Battleship. Three years of no maintenance had left the ship's main power source heavily degraded, not to mention the core's containment system. Davesprite had suggested that they bring up the Battleship to fully operational status, in preparation to fight Jack Noir. After a quick crash course on reactor repair by one of the surviving Prospitian mechanics, John was able to affect a quick-fix to the reactor's containment systems, ensuring a safe, steady supply of power to the ship's weapon systems.
Tightening the last deadbolt on the door, John cringed as pain racked his body again for the seventh time. He had been assured that such a limited exposure time to the ship's power source would not impart any lasting effects on him, and even if he did manage to receive a lethal dosage of the stuff, he'd just come back to life. Dying from maintenance was neither just nor heroic; it was just lame.
John scaled the ladder out into the main maintenance corridor, and after taking a few more turns, stepped out onto the gilded deck. The elegant craft sailed at light-speed through a myriad of green, blue, white, and other unidentifiable colors. As John made his way to the ship's bridge tower, the gun emplacement around him emerged from their housing beneath the deck, humming as they spun up their systems.
"Gah!" Jade nearly jumped when John entered the room, "Oh, John, it's just you."
"Of course it's me," John snickered, "Who else were you expecting?"
"Davesprite maybe," Jade rubbed the back of her neck, "I guess I'm just a little nervous. It was so easy talking about how we were gonna fight Jack a year ago, when today seemed so far off. Now that we actually have to go fight, I'm a bit high-strung."
John and Jade turned to stare out the bridge windows, at the giant, four-paneled window looming large in their field of vision. The screens around the bridge's viewport lit up, displaying that the ship was now at full-operational capacity. Dials spun and buttons lit up, all seemingly in anticipation of the oncoming fight.
"All the non-combatant personnel are secured planet-side Captain Harley!" John mockingly saluted.
Jade giggled in reply, "Alright then, Officer Egbert, to battle stations!"
Then the window turned off.
The window through which they could see the new session, their only escape, was turned off. They were now hurtling towards a dead hunk of metal and glass at light-speed.
John gasped as Jade yelled, "What happened?"
"I don't know!" John screamed, "It's just… black!"
Jade quickly checked the countdown clock which they rigged up almost three years ago, it's minute number down to one digit, and the seconds were flying past. "John, put the ship into reverse!" Jade commanded as she summoned her space powers, attempting to slow down the ship, but without access to the power of the Green Sun, which was what fueled the initial push.
John quickly flicked switches and pulled levers, and the Prospitian ship directed all its thrust towards the fourth wall, engines screaming in protest and futility. John stared dejectedly at the steadily nearing wall.
"Jade," he muttered, "I don't think we're going to make it."
"No! Work, Damn it!" Jade spat, green lightning arcing off of her body and the ship itself as she attempted to bring the ship to a standstill. John lifted his arms as well, and soon, hurricane-force winds were assisting in the ship's deceleration. It still wasn't enough.
The jade glare within the bridge intensified, and a scream was wrenched from Jade as she drew upon her own life to fuel her God powers. The only thought in her mind was to escape.
Just before the prow of the ship kissed the window, a tear was opened in the fabric between dimensions, and the Battleship, carrying two ecto-siblings, as well as the remnants from a failed session were sucked into the rift, which closed in an instant, leaving behind nothing to suggest that anybody had been there, save for the rapidly fading breeze.
Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist, dog of the Amestrian military, was relaxing in Central, a sandwich in his left hand. He was sitting lazily on a bench in one of the many squares spread throughout the city itself. The eldest Elric brother was staring blankly at the sky, his mind superimposing alchemical equations and formulas over the slowly moving clouds, when a far off glint caught his eye.
Ed shielded his eyes from the sun with his right hand, trying to get a better look at the anomaly high in the sky. It was a dot at first, but then began to get bigger. It was gold, and resembled one of those naval combat vehicles that he had heard about from far-off lands. Green lightning was arcing off of it and it was surrounded by a maelstrom of wind that was dragging the very clouds with it. Not to mention that it appeared to be streaking towards Ed at phenomenal speeds.
Several thoughts raced through the Fullmetal Alchemist's head as the oncoming craft grew closer. What the hell was that thing? Was is some kind of weapon from a neighboring country? That wouldn't make sense though, would it? This thing was coming from the goddamn SKY. That lightning, it couldn't be natural, after all, who heard of green lightning? Then again, who ever heard of red lightning, but Philosopher's stones gave off red alchemical reactions. Was that thing somehow using a type of alchemy that gave off green lightning?
This is certainly worth investigating, Edward thought, then grimly added, if I don't die first. After a moment's thought, Edward concluded that there was no way to stop the hurtling projectile. The force of impact would probably wipe Central off the face of the map. Nothing he could transmute would negate the tremendous kinetic force of the craft. Even if he violated Equivalent Exchange, and had to give up more to that goddamned Truth, he doubted that would be enough. Then again, he might not need to, because… was that thing actually slowing down?
Indeed it was, as Edward and several hundred horrified Amestrians looked on. The wind was gradually reducing the speed of the golden Battleship. Ed could make out countless, car-sized nozzles jutting out from opened panels all over the front of the ship's hull. They spat blue fire, the exhaust fumes being blown back and streaking across the pristine golden hull, leaving burn marks in wavy patterns. An ear-shattering boom rumbled throughout Central as the Battleship dropped below the speed of sound. All the glass in Central shattered, and the noise was heard out in the Amestrian countryside.
"There's no way that thing could have decelerated that fast," Edward breathed, "Unless it has a hidden propulsion system. Or just maybe," he grinned, "it has a way of bypassing Equivalent Exchange." The Fullmetal Alchemist was convinced that there was some sort of Philosopher's stone onboard that craft, or at the very least, an Alchemic amplifier. Or just maybe it was an entirely new way to pay for Equivalent Exchange. Either way, this was very much his business.
The Battleship came to an almost sudden stop just a meter off the ground. The nozzles on the hull spewed blue flame across the pavement, melting the thankfully empty plaza into molten slag. Ed transmuted a platform, which raised him up to roof level, and he vaulted off of it onto an empty roof just as the platform destabilized from the ship's exhaust. Gale force winds whipped throughout Central, tearing off ceiling tiles and anything not bolted down or sufficiently heavy enough. The Fullmetal Alchemist beheld the golden ship as its nose began to climb, and the entire craft leveled out. It maneuvered to a short distance away, and settled itself down on top of several houses, whose occupants quickly and wisely evacuated before they could be crushed like bugs.
As it moved, Ed finished off his sandwich, deconstructed the wrapper, and transmuted various roof-to-roof bridges as he made his way to the ship's landing site. Just from a glance, he could tell that the ship was made with a militaristic purpose in mind. Albeit a military with heavy emphasis on aesthetics, but there was no mistaking those weapon emplacements, even though he did not recognize the weapons themselves.
Street side, soldiers were already making their way towards the foreign object. Edward just hoped he could make it before Mustang. There was no way Colonel Bastard didn't notice this. However, along with the Fullmetal Alchemist, every Amestrian soldier and official was converging on the craft.
Chapter 2: ==>John: Screw Diplomacy, call the kid little
The moment John steps foot on Amestris, misunderstandings occur.
And by misunderstandings, I of course mean GIGANTIC BATTLES.
A quick word: Alright, so I'm trying my hardest not to violate canon, but some concessions have to be made. For starters, I'm turning the Gift of Gab into a Universal Translator, just so we don't have confusing language barriers, or the cop out strategy: "Everyone speaks English". Also, the Sylladex is now a physical object. It's a high-tech storage system that operates off of dimensional pockets. It also stores weapons like the Strife Specibus, and looks just like a capatchalogue card. Only thicker. And more real. Also, I'm assuming that Automail is significantly more powerful than a real arm, and as a result, have safeties built into them, to prevent the user from breaking everything they touch like Equius. Or maybe it's just easier to push the limb to its limit, seeing as no pain feedback is given. I'm also assuming those safeties can be overridden. ALSO, this chapter can be a bit irritating to read. I switch perspective a lot. So sometimes you'll have John being referred to as "The boy in blue" or "The Heir (of Breath)" or just "John". I'll also interchange last names, first names, and titles when referring to a person. As a clarification, Ed identifies John and Jade's powers as alchemy. Just to be clear JOHN AND JADE ARE NOT USING ALCHEMY. Ed just thinks they are. Oh, and John knows what Vriska looks like, from descriptions given to him by the trolls. Also, I know there are contradictions as to the timeline of the FMA side of things, but screw continuity. I made this fic to showcase character interactions and fights. If there's something changed, it's so that I can have actual interactions. Kind of hard for Hughes to show Jade his family pictures if he's four feet under. I'm also making assumptions about Alternian prosthetics. Since nobody in Homestuck canon has them anymore, nobody can contradict me! Bwahahaha. Sorry about the delay. In return, have a chapter that is over five times as long as the previous one.
Pain and aches. That's all John Egbert, Heir of Breath, felt when he regained consciousness. He was on the ground, and could feel that he was on top of someone. He cracked open his eyes, and saw that both he and Jade were sprawled on the floor. He gingerly extricated himself, and pulled Jade into a sitting position.
"Jade, are you okay? What happened?" John asked as he checked to see if Jade had any obvious injuries.
"I got us out of there," Jade groaned, coughing into her hand, which came away bloody, "but I think I overtaxed myself. I'm running off the Green Sun right now. Just give me a moment to rest."
John reluctantly left her side to check the ship's consoles. Several panels had blown, and the screens kept flashing error messages. The bridge viewport was, for the most part, obscuring any sort of view, as it was scorched black.
"Jade, stay right here, I'm going to go check outside." The Heir of Breath told the Witch of Space, as he pushed open the bridge door and headed out onto the deck, unsure of what he'd find.
The Fullmetal Alchemist crashed to the ground after jumping off the roof, tucking and rolling to minimize his impact. He was several meters away from the landing site. On the deck of the ship, a boy in what appeared to be fancy blue pajamas, and a windsock for a hood was looking around, confused. Ed didn't rule out it beingforeign nation's invasion, but he didn't recognize that as any existing military garb. Ed didn't recognize the symbol on the kid's shirt, either. What was that supposed to represent? Water? Wind? Blue hills?
The boy noticed him, leaped off the deck of the ship, and slowly settled to the ground like a feather. This immediately set off alarm bells in Edward's mind. What kind of Alchemy can control the wind?
"Who are you and what are you doing here?" The Fullmetal Alchemist called out, "The owners of those houses you just crushed are going to be royally pissed."
Edward Elric's native language Amestrian reached the ears of John Egbert. Egbert could not understand Amestrian, but he had the Gift of Gab. It automatically translated the foreign language, and Egbert's response was translated to Amestrian before he spoke. If John noticed he was speaking another language, he didn't show any signs of it. The Gift of Gab is a universal translator. (What, you didn't think that Dave and Rose spoke fluent Alternian, did you?)
"I don't think I really should talk to strangers," John replied, "and sorry about the houses, the ship landed automatically. I was passed out."
Ed barely stifled a snicker at the almost childish response he received. He also noticed that he spoke Amestrian, which eliminated his little ALIENS FROM OUTER SPACE side theory. However, who in Amestris had the technology available to build such a massive ship? Maybe the Homunculi? Maybe a foreign power? The situation was getting more complicated by the second.
"Well, I'm going to have to ask you to come with me," said Edward, "I need to ask you some questions."
John immediately became panicked, "Wait, what? I haven't done anything wrong!"
Ed scowled, "I'm not saying that you have, just come along quietly and we won't have a problem here."
John narrowed his eyes and pursed his lips, "Oh yeah? How does a little kid like you have any authority?"
Then the Fullmetal Alchemist lost his dwindling patience.
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A RUNT SO SMALL HE COULD RIDE ATOMS?" he all but screamed. Ed clapped his hands together, an Alchemical array held in his mind, and he slammed his hands down on the ground.
The pavement lurched, and a giant fist transmuted itself out of the ground at high speeds towards John.
John saw the fist just in time, and used the wind to shove himself out of the way. In another direction, he heard the cocking of guns (a sound he was now very much familiar to, thank you Harley).
A line of blue-uniformed soldiers stood, pointing about five rifles at him. "Freeze!" the lead soldier shouted, "You will be shot if you resist!"
John yelped, and thrust his arms out towards the soldiers in a pushing motion. A large gust of wind blew the men head over heels, incapacitating them. The Heir of Breath turned his attention back to the blonde-haired short kid dressed in black pants and shirt, and a red coat. John pulled out his Sylladex (a gift from Jade; it operated using subspace pockets or something), and pressed the red button on the side labeled "Strife Specibus: Hammerkind". With a flash of blue, his Hammer of Vrillyhoo dropped down into his hands, and John got into a close approximation of a fighting stance as he could.
Ed blinked as the boy manipulated the wind to knock down the soldiers, and seemingly transmuted a giant, ornate, ridiculous looking multi-colored hammer out of thin air, with no circle, nor clapping of hands. There wasn't even the lightning that was alchemy's signature. The eldest Elric brother grinned. So this guy did have a Philosophers stone. While it looked like they were past the diplomacy stage, some quality time with Rockbell-quality steel fist would make this kid spill the beans eventually. The Fullmetal Alchemist transmuted his signature sword-arm, and the two combatants began to circle each other. Edward glared at John with determination. John just looked uneasy, frequently darting his eyes around, as if looking for a way out.
Ed didn't allow him a chance to escape, rushing the obviously inexperienced boy. John awkwardly swung his hammer at Ed. The eldest Elric brother ducked under the poorly-aimed strike, and slashed at John. Egbert quickly used the wind to evade the thrust, and rapidly put some distance between him and the combat-seasoned alchemist. John didn't know what this kid's deal was, but it was obvious that he knew what he was doing with his freaky-sword-arm-thing. Unused to dealing with thinking, humanoid opponents, John was a bit thrown for a loop. He supposed it would be a simple matter to summon the wind, and launch his attacker far into the countryside, but that would likely be fatal. John Egbert, Heir of Breath, may have been many things, but he was no murderer.
John raised his hammer, and slammed it into the ground. The Flouret Octet within the red dome rolled, and landed on the combination 4:1:3:4:1:3:8:8. Large spikes ending in what looked like a double hooked claw sprung out of the ground, advancing towards Edward at a high speed. He overrode the safeties in his left automail leg and leaped aside faster than a normal human could have. Ed was only slightly surprised when the line of spikes doubled back, reacquiring their target. He quickly slammed his hands on the ground, sending his own wave of spikes to intercept the hooked spikes. They slammed into each other, and Ed was really surprised to see the spikes emerge from his own, unhindered by his attempts to stop it. He quickly brought up his right arm to block, and was thrown back from the force of the blow.
He landed hard on his back, cringing. He got to his feet as fast as he could, and checked his automail. It had a large gash on the side, but was otherwise intact. He quickly affected field repairs with alchemy, and was glad to see that it held. It would need repairs though, and Winry would probably kill him. Ed turned to the boy with the hammer, and was astonished to find that he had not done anything while the attack was taken place. The boy in blue had just been standing there like an idiot, seeing if his attack would hit. The boy's lack of combat-sense baffled the Fullmetal Alchemist. Anyways, that hammer would have to go; it was probably some sort of advanced alchemical amplifier. Although why anybody would use such things when in possession of a Philosophers stone was beyond Edward's understanding. The thought occurred to him that just maybe this kid really didn't have the stone. He quickly dismissed it. The only way to explain the serious breaches of Equivalent Exchange that had just happened was the Philosopher's Stone.
Obviously long-range combat was not the best way to approach this, the less room the bespectacled kid had to swing his ridiculously big combat-hammer, the better Ed's chances of success were. With a speed that was hard to follow, Ed quickly closed in on John. The Heir of Breath yelped, and used the hammer's pole as an awkward staff, pushing the wind around to help speed up his movements. The boy in red's right arm moved at an unnatural speed, a glint of silver against the crimson red of his coat. After a few moments, John figured out that the arm was prosthetic. The Hell? John may not have been up to date on prosthetics technology back before Earth fell, but he sure as hell knew that nothing like that existed.
The sound of clanging metal and the embedding of the steel limb's sword in the hammer's pole brought John back to the present moment, and he conjured up a blast of wind to throw his diminutive opponent back. Much to his dismay, the red coat managed to land properly. After a moment's inspection, John determined that although the Hammer of Vrillyhoo wasn't too badly damaged, it wouldn't stand up to much more punishment. After all, its power lay in the techniques imparted to it by the Flouret Octet, otherwise, the hammer itself was mostly for show.
Ed clapped his hands together, and transmuted chains out of the ground to tie up his quarry. Another one of those pesky wind-gusts blew the chains off course. How was that kid doing that? Behind him, Ed heard more guns being cocked, instantly followed by cries of alarm as their owners were bodily lifted into the air and slammed back down. Obviously this kid had power, and the know-how to use it. He was severely lacking in hand-to-hand combat though, and that Ed could exploit. Ed dashed back in the dead zone of John's hammer, and feinted. John fell for it, and Ed backhanded John in the face. Stunned, John stumbled backward. He tried to recover, but another spasm shook his body. Damn, he thought that the core exposure's aftereffects had already worn off! John lowered his arms in pain. Taking advantage of the drop in John's guard, Ed swept the Heir's feet out from under him, grabbed his hammer, and slammed it down onto his chest, with just enough force to knock the air out of his lungs.
Then the dice rolled.
The subsequent explosion sent Ed flying into a car that was parked by the side of the road. After coughing some dust out of his lungs, the Fullmetal Alchemist opened his eyes. Blood covered the front of his body. Blood was splattered all around. The kid in blue was lying in the middle of the street; his chest blown open, with an empty expression on his face. The hammer was lying next to the body, scorched a bit, but somehow intact.
Ed swore. Crap, he hadn't meant to actually kill the kid! He didn't even activate any alchemical array that was probably on the hammer, why did it up and explode like that? This was really bad, not only would Colonel Bastard give him grief over it, but he had actually killed a kid that he estimated to be only 16 years old. Then again, he was probably in possession of a Philosopher's stone, so now he might be able to restore his brother's body (even if it did use human souls). Achieving one's goals for the new status of murderer? Not quite Equivalent Exchange, but it would do.
Suddenly the body flared up in a flashing color pattern that resembled the Aurora Borealis. Even the blood around the body was flashing. Ed shielded his eyes from the glare, and when it died down, the kid in blue was standing, wounds healed, clothes fixed, and hammer in hand. He did look a bit pained, and he coughed a couple of times. Otherwise he looked fine, and the blood was cleaned up in a small one meter radius around him. Ed smirked. Yes, this kid definitely had a Philosopher's Stone. The Fullmetal Alchemist's goal was nearly within reach.
A spark flew through the air, attracting John and Edward's attention. The resulting explosion threw John back several feet and washed Ed with heat and stray flames. The Flame Alchemist, Roy Mustang, stood slightly upwind, one of his gloved hands raised. Behind him, soldiers stood with their guns raised, and Riza Hawkeye had her rifle trained on John.
"Having a little trouble with this kid, Fullmetal?" Roy smiled arrogantly at Ed.
"Oh, shut it Mustang!" Ed shouted, "This 'kid' has a Philosopher's Stone!"
As John attempted to get to his feet, Roy snapped his fingers again. John's head snapped up, and glaring, he hurled a large Jetstream down the road. The explosion backfired, washing Roy and his subordinates in large volumes of non-lethal diluted flames. Ed had to stifle a laugh at his superior frantically trying to put out errant flames on his uniform.
Riza Hawkeye, despite being slightly singed, fired a round into John's upper arm, causing him to cry out in surprise and pain. She would've blown out his kneecap with the next shot, but up on a balcony on the Battleship's tower, a door slammed open, and a girl with long black hair in an odd-looking black outfit quickly aimed a plain hunting rifle at Hawkeye. Riza quickly switched targets, and two shots were fired at once. Two rifles clattered to the ground, and both gunwomen were shocked at finding their weapons shot out of their grasp. The girl in black clothes quickly gathered her wits, and leapt off the platform. A flash of green lightning followed, and she appeared next to John, standing defiantly with her fists clenched at her side.
Ed was shocked. Did that girl just perform a transmutation that deconstructed her own body, and reconstruct it somewhere else? That was a surprise. Two Philosophers Stones were ripe for the picking. The girl looked different. Whereas the boy in blue resembled an Amestrian with black hair, the girl looked vaguely Xingese, probably around the same age as the boy. Her outfit was black compared to the boy, and it had some sort of swirling white symbol on the chest. Then Ed noticed the girl's white dog ears.
Holy shit, this girl was a chimera? That was messed up. First the Homunculi used souls bonded to armor, now they were using human chimera to do their work? This wasn't right. Something was extremely off about this though. First, the ship; Technology like that was probably at least several generations out of the reach of anything Amestris, or event he Homunculi for that matter, had access to. Second, the two kids; the girl looked like she knew how to fight, at least with a gun. The boy just came off as a complete amateur. Lastly, their powers; they completely violated Equivalent Exchange, which governed all alchemy. So maybe these two weren't affiliated with the Homunculi, but they still had a way to circumvent Equivalent Exchange. Probably, they possessed a stone. Likely, they had two.
The Fullmetal Alchemist shook his head. There'd be time to question this later. Right now, he had a boy and a chimera to fight. With the arrival of reinforcements, maybe this would be easier. He was wrong.
With a clap of green lightning, an odd-looking massive green gun landed in the girl's hands, and she fired it. A huge sphere of green fire shot out, and Roy barely dived out of the way. The projectile slammed into Mustang's car, engulfing it in a jade inferno. Riza leveled her two pistols and opened up on the girl.
Right before the four bullets hit, they all made dramatic 90 degree course diversions, also accompanied by green lightning. Hawkeye, Roy, and Ed blinked in surprise. Now Ed was really interested at finding out how that alchemy worked.
In another flash of green lightning, the girl disappeared and reappeared behind Hawkeye, attempting to bring down her green gun down on Riza's head. Hawkeye spun around and brought her pistols up in a cross-guard, barely deflecting the strike, and backpedaled while opening fire. The girl caught a bullet in the shoulder, and hissed in pain. She redirected all the following bullets at Hawkeye, who got hit twice in the leg. The girl dove to the side as the space she just occupied combusted, Roy standing several feet away, his fingers ready to snap again.
The girl yelled out to the boy in blue something in another language, but to Ed it sounded like a command. The boy in blue dashed forward towards Mustang, hammer in hand. Ed ran to intercept him, but the boy in blue appeared to transmute eight eight-sided cobalt dice from nowhere, and tossed them at Ed. He just swatted them aside, but they began to glow, and the Fullmetal Alchemist hopped back, and observed them for a second, trying to see if they were some kind of threat.
Another flash of blue blinded Ed momentarily, and when his vision cleared, another person was standing in front of him. Well, person was a bit of a stretch. The creature standing in front of Ed certainly resembled a human, but the bluish-gray skin, the orange horns, the cobalt eyes, and the unnaturally sharp teeth identified the creature as clearly something else. At the moment, the eldest Elric brother couldn't think of what sort of animal combination would turn out such a chimera, but he was sure he'd come up with it later.
The creature threw its unruly mass of hair back, and sneered at Ed, crossed its arms (one of which was metal), and spoke rapidly in another language using a grating, condescending tone. Regardless of language comprehension, nobody talks down to the Fullmetal Alchemist. Edward threw his signature red Flamel coat off to the side, and got down into a fighting stance, right automail arm first. The creature smirked conceitedly, and whipped off its gray jacket, tossing it off in the opposite direction that Ed threw his coat in. It got into a leisurely stance, left metal arm extended in a knife-like position.
Ed quickly glanced at Mustang. Colonel Bastard was busy fighting the kid in blue, who was using the wind to consistently throw the Flame Alchemist's blasts off course. The girl in black was in a gunfight with Riza, but was relatively unscathed, compared to Hawkeye, who was constantly being hit in non-vital areas, and couldn't land a hit due to that redirecting alchemy. Everybody else was either wounded or out cold.
Confident that there were no loose ends, Ed turned his attention back to his opponent, who lunged at him and attempted to make a chopping motion at his neck. Ed dodged, and sliced horizontally at his cobalt opponent. It ducked, and tried to sweep his legs out from under him, but hit his left leg, and hopped back on one foot, clutching its left lower leg, and yelled various single syllable, disjointed words.
Ed was pretty sure that it was swearing. He was also pretty sure that it was a girl. Of sorts.
The tall, lanky, cobalt chimera-girl blocked a thrust from Ed's automail blade with her own left prosthetic arm. Then the arm did something really odd. The forearm and upper arm had overlapping armor plates, and with a hissing sound, those overlapping armor plates separated, and the arm completely segmented. It wrapped around Ed's own stiffer arm like a rope, and yanked him towards her. Startled, the Fullmetal Alchemist was socked in the face by the chimera-girl's other hand. It may not look as sturdy as good old automail, but it had its surprises. Ed landed a few feet away on his back, eliciting a pained "Agh!" from his now-bloody mouth. The chimera-girl laughed at him and said something in her language. Ed couldn't understand it, but he was pretty sure she called him short.
Meanwhile, John had managed to slam his hammer into the tall black haired man in the navy blue military uniform. He mentally suppressed the Vrillyhoo's Flouret Octet roll to prevent killing the black-haired man in a gruesome manner. A quick glance back revealed that the Pseudo-Vriska that the Flouret Octet created had just clocked the blonde kid, knocking him to the ground whilst calling him a "Weak, short, pink fleshy-pillow unworthy of being pitied." Another glance told him that Jade had nearly incapacitated the blonde woman with non-lethal gunshot wounds. John allowed himself a chuckle, thinking that the words "non-lethal" and "gunshot wounds" don't normally go together.
The Heir of Breath suddenly gusted himself out of the space he was occupying on instinct, and the area behind him was filled with stone fists that rapidly emerged from the ground. Where the hell did that come from? Searching for the source of the attack, John quickly identified a tall, muscular man standing a distance away. He was nearly bald, and had two steel gauntlets which were engraved with some kind of diagram that reminded him of Skaia's Spiro graphs.
"I am Alex Louis Armstrong! The Strong Arm Alchemist!" he shouted, "How dare you inflict harm upon my closest friends and colleagues! Prepare to face the techniques passed down the Armstrong Family for GENERATI-" He was interrupted when Jade teleported in front of him, rapidly slammed her Green-Sun StreetSweeper in his face twice, and fired it point blank at his chest on low-power. Surprisingly he quickly shook off the destructive green fire.
"ONS!" he finished, "You cannot take down the great Alex Armstrong!"
Jade looked at Armstrong with slight disgust, and turned back to John, asking, "Is this guy for real?"
John shrugged, "Damned if I know, he just showed up out of the blue and started talking about his 'family techniques that were passed down for generations'."
"You young children should not be fighting like this!" Armstrong yelled, leaping at Jade, "You could hurt someone!"
Jade yelped and teleported away from Armstrong just before she was crushed by an incapacitating headlock. She bristled and growled at him with her ears flat against her head, a safe distance away.
Pseudo-Vriska exchanged blows with the blonde-haired human. Technically she was the Flouret Octet, but the combination that was rolled allowed a facsimile of the previous owner to be summoned and assist in the fight. This physical image of Vriska smirked. It had the memories and personality of the original Serket, but with the added bonus of being nearly impervious to blunt force attacks. Especially the pathetic force that the humans could dish out. All she needed to do was avoid that arm-blade, and she'd be fine. She sidestepped another slash from the blonde kid's metal arm. That arm was especially interesting. It resembled Alternian prosthetics, but was stiffer than her own arm, as well as more heavily armored. It probably weighed more too. That knife he had on it would be trouble, though. Pseudo-Vriska already had several nicks on her own arm from when she blocked that blade. Titanium may be lighter and stronger than steel, but it could only survive so much punishment, especially since the frame was thin, to improve speed. She segmented her arm, and twisted it around her opponent's metal limb again. Before she could do anything, the boy clapped his hands together, and slapped his left hand on her arm. A bright flash of light strobed over her eyes, and when she pulled her arm back, one of the segments had its titanium cover disintegrated.
Pseudo-Vriska glared and hissed at the diminutive blonde, who only got back into a defensive stance, and with his palm faced upwards, curled his fingers inward in a "Come and get it" motion. Pseudo-Vriska overrode the built in limiters in her robotic arm, and extended the fingertip claws that she forced Equius to install. She lunged with impossible speed, and scored a direct hit on Ed's forearm guard/sword. It shattered in the middle, and the blade clattered to street. Ed scowled, and transmuted claws onto his own hand, reinforcing them with carbon hardening from materials inside his automail and around him. Their next exchange of blows was too fast for the eye to see.
The pressure, texture, and pain feedback sensors on Pseudo-Vriska's left arm screamed, but she paid them no heed. Steel shreds and titanium chunks were flying in every which direction, as each opponent sought to destroy the other's prosthesis before their own arm was rendered inoperable. Pseudo-Vriska's arm wove and danced, slicing off pieces of the irritatingly durable steel arm, while Ed transmuted chunks off of Pseudo-Vriska's titanium arm. Finally, the inner mechanism of her arm was exposed.
"Gotcha!" Ed shouted, clapping his left arm to his right, which by now had its main shaft and wires mostly showing, and slammed his right hand to his opponent's own twisting arm. The transmutation occurred instantaneously, fusing the ball joints, servos, and remaining plates together. Pseudo-Vriska hissed in pain as the surface electronic nerves were fried, and then Ed smashed through the arm at the shoulder.
Pseudo-Vriska screamed as the main fiber optic nerve cable was ripped apart, her nerve endings screaming at suddenly being cut off from an entire limb. It felt as though her entire arm was dipped in acid. She coughed blue blood as a follow-up punch slammed into her chest.
A distinct crack was heard.
Pseduo-Vriska instantly faded, and the Flouret Octet clattered to the street. One of the eight dice had large cracks spider webbing across it. It then disintegrated, and was blown to the wind. The other seven dice dimmed, and no longer shone with the inner cobalt light that was so distinctive to it.
Ed sighed, what kind of alchemy was that? He'd have time to investigate it later. He looked at his automail arm. It was still functional, but its inner workings were completely exposed, and his hand had some of its plating missing. It was a mess, but at least it wasn't totaled. Winry would have had his head if he had destroyed her automail. Again. He shook his head; she might still kill him after all for damaging her precious automail. He picked up the remains of that cobalt-chimera-girl's strange automail. It hadn't disappeared for some reason. Winry might want to look at it, if only to study it. Who knows, that gearhead might get some new ideas for his own automail. As for himself, he pocketed those odd dice; experiments would probably yield some sort of explanation for their odd alchemic techniques. Then he turned his attention back to Armstrong's fight.
Back near the burning wreck of Mustang's car, John and Jade turned, leapt, and dove in a dance of death with the Strong Arm Alchemist. John received glancing blows from the hunks of transmuted debris Armstrong was hurling at him, while Jade was busy redirecting the almost constant hail of transmuted stone fists, occasionally squeezing off a couple of shots using her Green Sun Streetsweeper. They had little to no effect on him, which Jade thought was odd. Even though the gun was on low power, they should have at least given the guy minor burns. Could the power of muscles really dissipate the power of the Green Sun? At that thought, Jade laughed, giddy with the rush of adrenaline.
John cried out in surprise as he was suddenly grabbed by a giant stone fist that emerged from the ground. That small blonde brat ran up to the trapped Heir and knocked him out cold with a punch from his metal fist.
"John!" Jade yelled, "You little, one foot high blonde brat! Get your diminutive hands that aren't even two inches wide off my brother!"
Ed swirled to face Jade, his (theoretical) aura saturated red with rage.
"WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?" he screamed, clapping his hands and transmuting a giant spike out of the ground at Jade. She barely dodged, getting slashed on the arm, and was engulfed in an explosion from a recently conscious Mustang. The flames seared her skin with just enough heat to cause minor burns and pains, but not enough to be lethal.
A scream was wrenched from Jade as fire roared around her. She lost her grip on her Green Sun Streetsweeper and it crashed to the ground. She tried to teleport, but her mind was too clouded with pain to handle a complex procedure like teleportation.
As she burned, she remembered that day three years ago. That sphere of fire emanating from exploding TNT and Barbasol as it engulfed her body, burning it to a crisp. No, that wouldn't happen again! This time she had the power of the Green Sun at her disposal, and she was sure as Hell going to utilize it. She took the mental faucet of power to the Green Sun, and turned the metaphorical knob. A trickle was now a stream.
Green Lightning crackled around her, doing nothing to douse the flames, but that was fine. She just had to extinguish the source.
She took the unbridled power of the Green Sun, and directed it at her tormentor. The black-haired man was showered with shards of stone as she intentionally missed him.
She saw the blonde brat clap his hands, which she now recognized as the thing he did before he morphed the ground.
Jade fired a blast at his artificial metal left leg that had come uncovered in the fight, melting the casing off.
She still had too much power though, and it overflowed. The Green Sun's energy tore into the city. Jade was unaware of the effects that this caused. The sky crackled with green lightning, objects resized, space tore, and buildings crumbled as the energy found an outlet. A column of green light stretched upward into space. Under Central, a certain creature took notice.
Jade, back on the surface, was barely coherent as the fire continued to char her skin. The power of the Green Sun coursed through her mind and body, and even with the overflow, it was still too much. It needed a purpose; a direction. Jade noticed as Armstrong made a punching motion at her from a distance, and in retaliation she fired an overpowered blast at him, which blew Armstrong back several meters into a building. The chunk of pavement Armstrong had punched sailed towards Jade, transmuting itself as it went. Not that Jade noticed; she didn't.
Even though Jade had stopped Mustang and the fire wasn't getting any stronger, it was still there, and it hurt.
Jade howled at the center of a maelstrom of lightning, fire, and spacial tears, before a large bust of Armstrong slammed into her head.
A faint "Oh," escaped her lips, before she collapsed face first onto the street, bleeding and burnt.
As quickly as it began, the destructive power tearing Central apart ceased, and the skies cleared on the heavily damaged city.
The Fullmetal Alchemist staggered to his feet on a barely functional left leg, bleeding and wounded. He caught a glimpse of soldiers running to the scene.
"What took you so long?" he croaked, before his vision turned black, and he fainted into the arms of medical personnel who arrived on the scene.
Chapter 3: I used to never dream but now I only have Nightmares
Two Gods, far from home, and the military dictatorship stupid enough to try and keep them under control.
This chapter takes place from an FMA narrator's viewpoint. When a "sleek gun" is mentioned, it's a Glock 40 with an extended magazine and laser sight. Grandpa Harley was prepared. The kids are also slightly more badass than in the comic. I reason that you don't go through a single day of horror and NOT be scarred/changed/cold-hearted. Jade also has a katana that Dave gave to her when they were gathering frogs.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"Edward Elric, what the HELL did you do to my precious automail?"
Winry's shouting reverberated through the hospital, to the point where people standing outside flinched.
"Winry!" Ed cried, trying to shield himself from his mechanic's wrench, "Stop! It wasn't my fault!"
"I don't care if it's not your fault!" Winry shouted back while pounding on him, "You're always getting into trouble Ed! I wouldn't be surprised if you really were the cause of this!"
"Central was ravaged by the same people who damaged my automail so much!" he retorted, "You should be grateful I was able to even keep them operational!"
Winry paused. She had seen the damage coming into the city. Apparently engineers and alchemists had spent a good two days trying to repair everything, but a good deal of the city was still wrecked, and the trains had to stop a mile out of the city due to track damage. As she had passed the ruined rail line, she remembered that the rails themselves were overturned, ripped in half or thirds, and some looked like they got bigger or shrunk. Central itself was in no better condition. There was not one intact windowpane in the city. Streets were barely traversable. Electricity was out to most civilian establishments. Buildings were leaning at odd angles.
Ground zero was roped off; a large golden battleship just sitting on top of several buildings. Another roped off area dotted with transmutations and scorch marks indicated the place where the battle had taken place. Winry had been shocked to see Central in such a state of devastation. She had been wondering what could have done such a thing; the military had been keeping mum about what went down. The only thing Winry had seen of the event was a column of green light emanating from the general direction of Central. It could be seen all the way from Resembool. When she got the call from Alphonse telling her that Ed had been injured and needed work done on his automail, she had assumed that he had somehow hurt himself when Central was falling down around him. Now she was being told not only that people somehow managed to heavily damage the city, but Ed had personally fought said people.
"You idiot!" Winry resumed screaming, but more with worry this time, "You could've gotten yourself killed!"
"No sh*t, Winry!" Ed shouted back, "but I didn't deliberately go looking for a fight! They just showed up! They were the instigators!"
Winry pursed her lips, narrowed her eyes, and crossed her arms, "Let me guess, they called you short?"
"I'M NOT SHORT!" Ed hollered, then blushed and lay back down, "Yeah, they did, so what? They obviously were planning on doing something bad, why else would they waltz, or fall in this case, into Central with a fully equipped warship?"
"I don't know, but you could have at least tried to diplomatically handle the situation." Winry scolded, "Now the city is almost ruined."
Ed scoffed, "Well I'll have you know that one of their party attacked me for no good reason. Some sort of bluish gray chimera girl with horns. She disappeared, but she left this behind." Edward reached into a box next to his hospital bed, and pulled out the odd automail from the fight, "Does this look familiar to you?"
Winry took it from Ed, and scrutinized it, "I don't know, Ed, this arm is so damaged it's hard to-," her eyes widened, "Ed, this is… this isn't just state of the art, this is beyond anything I've seen! It's a masterpiece! If there is a god of automail, this has to be his own personal creation!"
Ed frowned as Winry immediately turned into a gearhead, not that she wasn't one already.
"Aside from the damage to it, it's wonderful! All the individual sections, the small but powerful servos, and it's perfectly balanced! I can't fathom what all the wires are for, though. I wonder what's built into the surface that requires so much wiring. What is this made out of anyway? It's so light."
"It's titanium." Ed answered, "I had a hard time keeping up with its speed."
Winry's eyes sparkled, "Really? Titanium is expensive. What are these tubes, though? There's some sort of coagulated blue substance in them."
Ed shrugged, "Damned if I know. I'd say blood, but really, who ever heard of blue blood, let alone an automail that uses blood? It's probably lubricant or something."
"I don't know," Winry mused, "This isn't leading into any of the joints and-"
The door opened, and Winry was interrupted as a large suit of armor barged its way inside.
"Winry!" Al said, "You made it!"
"Oh hi Al." Winry greeted, "How are you doing?"
"I'm doing fine," Al responded, "Brother really got beat up, huh? I'm just sad that I wasn't there to help him."
"There wasn't anything you could have done, Al." Ed said, "Those two took Mustang and Hawkeye apart like they were nothing. Armstrong was the one who managed to knock the stronger one out."
"Two people did all of this?" Winry said in astonishment, gesturing outside the window to the destroyed city, "They're still alive too?"
Ed rubbed the back of his neck, "Depends on what you mean by 'alive'. One of them is in a coma, and the other one is constantly being doped up to keep docile. They're trying to heal her burns and concussion, but the staff thinks she'll die before the night is out."
"Oh," Winry saddened, "That's too bad. It's always sad when people die."
"It's no problem," Ed shrugged, "They come back to life when they die. We think they have a Philosophers stone on them, but even when we frisked them, we came up with nothing."
Then Ed recounted the details of the fight to Winry.
Elsewhere in the hospital, nursing staff were frantically rushing around, trying to keep the vaguely Xingese girl alive. She was badly burned, and her concussion was not helping. Normally they wouldn't keep a patient doped up on painkillers, but the burns were causing her so much pain that whenever she was conscious, she'd randomly lash out at the nursing staff, occasionally injuring them. So to prevent further mishaps, they kept the girl on painkillers.
"So how's our prisoner?" Hughes asked the doctor.
"Please, Colonel, she is a patient, not a prisoner," the doctor sighed, "and she is gravely injured. If Colonel Mustang was not currently recovering, I would personally punch him in the groin. He certainly did a number on this girl. Second degree burns, head to toe. Why Colonel Mustang would do such a thing to a young girl, I'll never know."
"Well this 'young girl' nearly destroyed Central," Hughes remarked, "So forgive Roy for taking such actions. I'm sure you'd rather have an intact house and hospital. I'd hate for us to have to live among rubble."
He turned to the bed. The girl was dressed in a hospital gown. She was hooked up to several IV drips, and had splotchy, blistered skin. Her hair was nearly burnt off and patchy. Her eyes were half closed, and unfocused. Nursing staff were all around her, applying treatment to the skin.
"It's a miracle she's lasted this long," the doctor sighed, "but she probably won't make it through the night. Her body is in shock. At least her friend has a slightly better chance at living, if he ever comes out of that coma. Tell that Fullmetal Alchemist kid he can sure throw a punch."
"Alright," Roy nodded, "I'll check back later. Good luck, Doctor Smith."
"Thank you, Colonel Mustang," Doctor Smith straightened his pinstripe suit before throwing on his white hospital coat, "Nobody dies on my watch."
John was standing on an asteroid, clad in his God Tier outfit. Standing around him were Dave, Rose, Karkat, Kanaya, Terezi, and four other kids that John didn't recognize.
"Dave!" John called, but Dave didn't notice John.
"You know," Dave said, directed at Rose, "I really with Jade and John got here."
"I know, Strider," Rose responded, "I wish John and Jade were here too. It was… unfortunate that they died en route."
"Whoop de f*cking doo," Karkat growled, "they didn't make it, big sob, we're all devastated. The question is, was this meant to happen, or is this a doomed f*cking timeline?"
"I don't know," Kanaya said, "that remains to be seen. Is everyone prepared?"
A chorus of confirmations was heard, before the green lightning landed.
Jack Noir slammed into the asteroid, lashing out with his pitch black sword.
Rose lost her head immediately.
Karkat struck out with his sickle, only to be cleaved in half from shoulder to hip.
Kanaya was torn in three with three slices.
The four other kids lasted less than a second, a sea of blood covered the floor.
Terezi struck back with her sword, but missed and was eviscerated.
Dave multiplied himself, and threw themselves at Jack.
A single moment, and all the Daves were dead, save one, who was clutching the stump of his right arm.
He turned around, and faced John, eyes black and bleeding.
"You abandoned us, John," he gurgled.
"We trusted you." Rose's head hissed while her headless body stood up.
"John." Karkat's upper body dragged itself towards John.
"John." Kanaya's body pulled itself together and stumbled towards him.
"John." Terezi's disemboweled body staggered towards him.
His dead friends encroached on him while Jack laughed in the background.
"John." Dave gurgled.
"John." Rose hissed.
"John." The trolls growled.
John woke up, and bolted upright.
"John, is something the matter? You sounded like you were having a nightmare."
John whirled around to see his dad, standing in the doorway to his room.
"Is something the matter, son?" he asked.
"No dad," John sighed in relief, "I'm fine."
Dad approached his son, and ruffled his hair.
"Son," he said, "I want you to know, I'm proud of you."
John smiled, then felt something wet hit his cheek.
He slowly looked up.
His dad was covered in blood, and sword wounds bled all over his body.
Suddenly, he was on top of the Prospitian king's castle with Rose, staring at the corpse of his father and her mother. Jack Noir stood triumphantly over their dead bodies, chuckling like a monster.
No, not like a monster. He was a monster.
He gripped his hammer tightly. How dare that beast kill his father?
He lunged forward, only to feel a burning pain in his chest as he was skewered.
As he fell, he remembered that this had all happened before.
It had been three years since that fateful day, but the wound of his dad's death still tore at his heart like it was yesterday.
John faded back into oblivion as he saw Prospit, Derse, Skaia, Earth, and Alternia burn from orbit.
"I've failed," he thought, "We left them, and they died."
"It's all my fault."
"Ed!" Winry cringed, "Most of the wiring in your leg is fried! I'm surprised you can move it at all!"
Ed wiggled his toes slowly, "The foot's fine, but the knee is really weak. Can you fix that?"
Winry scowled, "Fine," she yanked out the leg, and Ed gave a pained gasp as his nerves protested at losing connection with a limb.
"Use this spare till then." Winry shoved in a spare prosthesis into Ed's leg port, "Your leg should be finished in a couple of days. Keep your arm, I can make the plate separately and bolt them on later."
Ed twitched a bit from the echoes of pain, "Thanks… Winry."
Winry grabbed the unusual automail on her way out.
"Lieutenant, I do hope you get better soon."
Colonel Roy Mustang set down a cheesy "Get Well Soon!" card and flowers on Hawkeye's bedside table, his left arm was in a sling. Riza herself was lying down in bed, almost completely covered in bandages from the neck down.
"It's a miracle," Roy commented, "that you weren't shot in any major organs. It's weird to think that we fought with those two kids and only walked away with minor wounds, while they still destroyed the city."
"I think," Riza responded, "That they were holding back."
"Huh?" Roy said, "What makes you say that?"
"Think about it, sir." She said, "That girl had enough power to tear up the city's foundations. We still don't know the full extent of the damage. Central will probably still be habitable, but it'll take us months to repair everything. Don't you find it odd that even though the city was so badly devastated, the only people hurt were us, Edward Elric, Major Armstrong, and those two kids? Even the soldiers who engaged them walked away with, at worst, a contusion. Until the end, and even then, it's like those two went out of their way not to kill anybody. I was hit in all non-vital areas; don't you find that a bit odd?"
Roy nodded, "You have a good point there, Lieutenant. Still, we need to find out what happened, when they wake up. Fuhrer Bradley is taking a special interest in this. I'm interested too. Where did those kids come from? All the witnesses along with Fullmetal said that they fell out of the sky in their ship. It sounds a bit too much like a fantasy novel to me. Maybe they can also move their ship. Our technicians can't make heads nor tails of their ship. Their alchemy is also intriguing as well. Maybe Fullmetal finally found his Philosopher's stone."
"Sir, is Major Armstrong well?" Riza asked.
Mustang rubbed his chin, "Quite possibly, lieutenant. He has a large burn on his chest, as well as minor internal bleeding. The doctors and Armstrong himself insists that he's better, so that must be the case."
"If I may say so, sir, those kids were scary." Riza almost whispered.
Roy allowed himself a small shudder, remembering their eyes. The kid in blue had been outwardly cheerful, but had wielded his hammer with confidence and efficiency. He had the eyes of one who had seen too much death, and the wind had howled around him. The girl in black had glaring eyes, eyes that intimidated and hated. Yet, at the same time, their eyes were scarred. Mustang had seen looks like that in veterans from the Ishbalan Extermination Campaign. Fullmetal had that look sometimes. What had those kids been through? Roy thought. Not to mention the amount of power they threw around so casually. Something told him that they would have killed him in a second and never looked back, if they had to.
"Yeah, Lieutenant," Roy muttered, "They were scary."
"Don't you die on me!" Doctor Smith repeated a cliché phrase as he and his staff worked to stabilize the girl. It wasn't working. Her breathing was getting shallower, and her blood pressure was dropping. Hughes stood a distance away, frowning. Why such young people had to die, he never knew. After a few more frantic moments, the nursing staff stopped, and the doctor hung his head.
"I'm sorry, Colonel Hughes. There was nothing we could do." Doctor Smith apologized.
"Wait just a second," Hughes held up his hand, "Edward reported something about the boy, let's see if it happens with the girl too."
"What?-" the doctor asked before he and the others were blinded by flashing multi-colored light. The girl's body rose slightly off the bed, before the light ceased and she fell back down. Her hospital gown was gone, and she was dressed in an intact version of the clothes she had been wearing two days ago. Even her glasses, which had been broken, were fixed. All her wounds were gone as well. She moaned, and turned over.
Doctor Smith looked distraught. "Excuse me Colonel," he said, "I need to go for a bit."
"Sure," Colonel Hughes said, surprised, "Whatever for?"
"I need to check something." Smith said as he brushed past out of the room.
The girl yawned, and slowly opened her eyes.
"John," she mumbled, "is that you?"
Her eyes shot open as she realized where she was. A clap of green lightning and a sleek pistol was in her hands, aimed at Hughes, who immediately raised his hands in what he hoped was the universal sign for surrender. The hospital staff tried to restrain her but were thrown back by an invisible means.
"Where am I?" the girl snarled, her white dog ears flat against her head, "Tell me or I shoot!"
Hughes briefly recalled Mustang's account of the Sewing Life Alchemist, Shou Tucker.
"Hey, don't shoot me," Hughes jokingly pleaded, "I've got a wife and daughter."
The girl frowned, and relaxed her grip on her gun a bit, but still kept it pointed at him.
"I asked you a question. Where am I?" she repeated.
"You're in Central hospital," Hughes answered, "in the country of Amestris."
"Who are you? Are you here to hurt me and my brother? Like that greasy man with white gloves and that runt with the red coat and metal arm?" the girl demanded.
"No, I'm just a paper-pusher, mostly. Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes is my rank and name," Hughes tried to defuse the situation, "Would you mind lowering that gun, I really don't want to get shot."
The girl slowly lowered her gun, "Where," she asked, "is my brother?"
"He's in another ward, he's in a coma," Hughes supplied, "I can take you to him if you want." He hastily added after seeing her eyes narrow.
The girl got off the bed and pointed her gun at him again, "Walk, I may not have a problem with you, but I don't trust your friends."
"Fair enough, but first," said Hughes, whipping out his wallet, and unrolling his almost endless stack of laminated photos, all of which were of his wife and daughter, and were folded up accordion style.
Jade raised an eyebrow.
"It's my wife Gracia and my daughter Elicia!" Hughes gushed, "Aren't they beautiful?"
"Yeah, sure," Jade said with a bemused tone, "Couldn't this wait until later? Why now?"
Hughes' face took on a look of mock-seriousness, "So that you know exactly who you'll be hurting if you decide to shoot me."
Jade shrugged, "Fine, I promise not to shoot you," she then gestured to the door with her gun, "but your friends don't need to know that, and I will shoot if you yourself try anything funny. Walk."
Seeing Colonel Hughes being forced down the hall being held at gunpoint by a 16-year old girl in odd clothing was an unusual sight. Winry Rockbell, who was trying to find a good place to start her work on Ed's automail, saw this scene.
"Mister Hughes!" she called out, and ran to help.
With a crack of lightning, another sleek gun was held in the girl's other hand, pointed straight at Winry's head.
"Back the f*ck up!" the girl in black snarled. Winry stepped back, trembling as she stared down the barrel.
The girl followed Colonel Hughes down a corner and out of sight.
Winry wondered if those ears on top of that girl's head were real and ohgodshehadagunpointedather.
Further down the hall, Hughes admonished the girl for pointing a gun at Winry.
"Honestly, she's a nice girl, I'm sure she was only worried for me!" Hughes scolded.
"That's the intention," the girl retorted, "If people think that you're in danger, they're less likely to try anything!"
"That's counter-intuitive!" Hughes said, "If I'm in danger, they'll attempt to help me!"
The girl scoffed, "Well if that's how they'll react, then you better hope we get to my brother before they do so. I'd hate to see your wife cry, and your daughter especially." The girl's expression saddened, "I know what it's like to lose family," then her expression hardened, "but that's why I'm protecting my own family right now! Walk faster, 'Lieutenant Colonel' I'd hate to have to shoot you due to your friend's stupidity."
Maes Hughes double-timed it to the room where the boy was held.
"Say, you didn't tell me your name." Hughes commented.
"Jade Harley, Witch of Space." She responded, prodding his back with her sleek gun, "Move, Mr. Hughes."
A couple of minutes later, they reached the room, "Here he is." Hughes stated, opening the door.
"I appreciate it, Maes Hughes, looks like your family won't be missing you tonight," Jade thanked him, entering the room, seeing the unconscious boy lying down unconscious on a bed, hooked up to several IV drips.
"What's your brother's name?" Hughes asked. Jade shot him a look, then figured it couldn't hurt to tell the man.
"His name is John Egbert," she stated, "He is the Heir of Breath, Savior of the Waking World."
"What did you do to get titles like that?" Hughes asked.
"We destroyed the world," Jade answered, turning back around and checked John over for injuries.
"I notice," Hughes began, "that you and your brother have different last names."
Jade raised an eyebrow, "And what of it, Mr. Hughes?"
Colonel Hughes shrugged, "Nothing, just wondering."
Jade went back to John, tsking at his condition, "It's no good, he's not going to wake up."
"Well I'm sure given time-" Hughes was interrupted as Jade materialized a long, curved blade with an ornate hand guard and hilt wrapped in jade green silk cloth. The blade was almost 73 cm long.
"Wake up, John." She said in an almost sing-song voice, plunging it into his chest, rapidly withdrawing it, and flicking all the blood off onto the wall. Hughes was shocked at the display of brutality. Did this girl just kill her brother? Can they kill each other permanently?
"What are you doing?" he shouted, dropping one of his throwing knives down out of his sleeves, and reared back to throw it. It disappeared with a crack of green lightning. Jade held the weapon in her hand.
"Interesting. Push knife. Optimized for concealment and throwing." Jade examined the knife, leveling her gun with Hughes' chest. They were a good one meter apart. "Didn't I tell you not to try anything funny, Mr. Hughes?"
As her eyes hardened and her finger began to tighten around the trigger, a bright multi-colored light flashed, and a hand flashed out, pulled the clip out, and pulled the slide back; emptying the chamber. Jade looked with wide eyes at John, who was glaring at Jade.
"Jade, what were you doing?" John asked, a frown on his face, and the bullets in his hand.
Jade's face broke into one of joy and relief, "John!" she cheered, and all but pounced on him, wrapping her arms around him in a bear hug, her gun lying on the ground forgotten.
"I woke up and you weren't there and there were nurses everywhere and everyone's wearing white clothes and this place is so sterile and everything smells of antiseptic and my nose is burning and I've decided I hate hospitals and this nice man who has a pretty wife and daughter was kind enough to show me to your room and I wasn't sure if you'd wake up because your death might've been heroic or just I thought there was the possibility and I'm just glad you're alive but then this man who was the same man who led me to your room threw a knife at me and I almost shot him though you don't have to worry I was aiming for a non-vital area and the bullets are rubber!" Jade gushed, squeezing John with her arms.
"Whoa, slow down, Jade." John said, ruffling Jade's hair, "Where are we?"
Jade let go of John, "We're in a hospital in a city called Central in a country called Amestris."
Jade filled John in on what she knew, which wasn't much.
Meanwhile, Hughes stared confusedly at the two kids. The moment Jade had started talking to John, she had switched to some weird language that he couldn't make heads or tails of. She spoke it so fast and so fluidly that he considered it might be her first language. That's odd, though, she was speaking perfect Amestrian earlier without the slightest hint of an accent. Then there was that spontaneous change in attitude. He was so sure that Jade was going to shoot him, but it's as if that cold, uncaring persona was a façade, as she broke down and hugged her brother when her brother came back to life. He still didn't understand how that worked.
The kids seemed to wrap up their conversation, and Jade turned back to Hughes.
"Mr. Hughes," Jade said, "my brother and I would like to leave immediately. Do you know where the hospital is in relation to the ship we arrived in?"
Just then Colonel Mustang busted open the door, and raised a gloved hand at the kids.
"Hughes, are you alright?" he asked, as Jade growled at him and John scowled.
"I'm fine," Hughes reassured Mustang, "They've been quite civil, actually."
Mustang looked from Hughes to John to Jade who was still holding a slightly bloody sword to the blood on the wall, "Right, because taking someone hostage at gunpoint is 'civil'. You two are coming with me."
A flash of green lighting glared, and Jade was holding Mustang's glove in her right hand, "Oh, were you looking for this?" she mockingly smiled. Mustang scowled and drew his gun, which upon pulling the trigger just clicked. Jade held the gun's bullets in her hand, next to the glove.
"I can do this all day." She smiled.
Mustang grit his teeth, "Who are you two, and what do you want?"
Jade shot Mustang a look, "Maybe you should've asked us that before you attacked."
Mustang threw up his good arm in frustration, "I can't control what my subordinate does, he is a loose cannon!"
Jade muttered something about military discipline, before retorting, "No reason to burn me to death though. That hurt, I'll have you know!"
Mustang gestured to the window, "I'll have you also know that the city paid for your pain."
Jade glanced outside the window, and did a double take. She ran up to the window and opened it, staring at the smashed buildings outside, "What happened here?" she shouted.
"You," Mustang replied, "You did something to the city. That was some powerful alchemy you did there."
Jade looked confused, "Alchemy?" she murmured, before Hughes interrupted.
"Look, we know you're not at fault. We just want to ask some questions, and then you'll be on your way."
Jade looked wary, but nodded, "Fine."
John had been trying to get a word in, and was put off that he forgot what he was going to say. He crossed his arms, pursed his lips in childish irritation, and glared at Jade. She just shrugged as she teleported her gun away.
Much, much later, John was sitting in a chair across a table from Colonel Hughes. What they discussed was not important, due to the fact that after a minute it turned into a back and forth and their own families.
In an adjacent room, Jade sat across from the Fullmetal Alchemist, who was drumming his metal fingers on the table. Al was standing behind him, and Mustang was watching through a one-way mirror.
"So," Ed broke the ice, "What's your name?"
"Jade Harley," she responded, "Witch of Space. What's yours?"
"Edward Elric," he answered in kind, "Fullmetal Alchemist."
Jade grinned, "Going to turn lead into gold anytime soon, Mr. Alchemist?"
"I could if I wanted," Ed replied, confused, "but that's illegal."
Jade's eyebrows raised a bit, "Alchemy," she muttered, "Cool."
"Alright, so Colonel Bastard wants me to ask you some questions, and truth be told, I want to know the answers as well. For starters, 'Witch of Space'? What did you do to earn that title?" Ed asked.
Jade's expression darkened, "I helped destroy my world."
Ed blinked. That wasn't an answer he was expecting, "Well as you can see, Earth is still intact. It hasn't gone anywhere."
Jade's eyes widened, "This is Earth?"
"Yeah, what else would it be?" Ed thought this girl was really odd.
"Yes!" Jade pumped her fist, "We made it! Or not. I'll soon know."
"By 'we' you mean you and your brother?"
"Yes, me and my brother."
"Made it from where?"
"I'd rather not answer that question."
Ed narrowed his eyes. Jade was keeping secrets, but then again, weren't they all?
Al spoke up, "Um, your ears, how did you get them?"
Jade pointed at her two white ears, "These? I got these fairly recently."
"What were you combined with?" Ed asked. He believed Jade to be a chimera.
"My pet dog." Jade supplied.
Ed turned pale, his mind running with memories of Nina. Ed was overcome with horror. There was always another bastard like Shou Tucker out there, willing to toy with human lives.
"Who did that to you?" Ed almost snarled in rage.
"I did it to myself." Jade answered, almost flooring both Ed and Al.
"You purposefully transmuted yourself into a Chimera?" he almost shouted.
Jade tilted her head to the side, "What's a chimera? What's 'transmuting'?"
Ed and Al almost fell down. "Alchemy!" Ed almost shouted, "Why did you transmute yourself?"
Jade responded, "Alchemy? What do you mean?"
Ed fell down this time, hitting his head on the side of the table. Jade leaned over, looking at him.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"No I'm not," he retorted, "There's no way that you don't know what alchemy is! You turned yourself into a chimera! You were using alchemy earlier! You violated Equivalent Exchange! Where are you keeping your Philosophers Stone?"
Jade snickered, "Philosophers Stone? What are you, a wizard?"
Ed turned red in the face, and slammed his right arm down on the table, denting it, and startling Jade.
"Dammit, I'm not joking! Give me the stone!" Ed yelled.
Jade slammed her own hands down on the table, which bent cleanly in half, accompanied, by green lightning, "And I'm telling you I don't know what you're talking about!" Jade yelled back.
"Bullshit!" Ed hollered.
"Pipsqueak!" Jade retorted.
"DON'T CALL ME-" Ed began, before being interrupted.
"Runt! Dwarf! Pinprick! Shorty! Speck of sand! Comparable to a molecule! Pest!" Jade smiled while yelling, leaning closer to Ed with each insult. She actually had to lean over to get in his face. Ed would never admit it out loud, but this girl was tall.
Ed was fit to burst, the veins on his neck, arms, and face bulging.
Before he completely blew up in Jade's face, Al put his hand on his brother's shoulder.
"Brother," Al asserted, "We're supposed to be questioning her, not getting into a yelling match!"
Ed closed his eyes and grit his teeth, trying to calm himself down.
Suddenly Jade turned to Al in wide eyed amazement, "There's nobody in that armor."
Ed and Al turned, shocked, at Jade.
"What are you talking about?" Ed said unsteadily. How did this girl know?
With a crack of green lightning, she disappeared, and Ed scanned the small room for her.
Al suddenly yelped, "Brother! She's-"
Al's head suddenly came off, and Jade poked her head out of it.
"Yep," she almost chirped, "Completely hollow."
Ed and Al started freaking out.
"Get out!" Al almost shrieked.
"What are you doing?" Ed yelled.
With another crack of lightning, Jade was out, holding a cat by the scruff of its neck.
"This yours?" she said. The cat meowed.
Ed glared at Al, who after replacing his head, shifted from side to side.
"It… it just looked so lonely…" Al muttered.
Jade thrust the cat into Al's arm, "Take it before I start barking at it." She deadpanned.
"How did you know about Al?" Ed snarled at Jade.
Jade shrugged, "I can see anything, anywhere, anytime. It's just one of my abilities," she frowned, "Something is wrong though. I can see just fine in my surrounding area, like this building. But beyond that, it gets fuzzy. There's some sort of interference emanating deep beneath the Earth."
"All Alchemy draws its power from the magma under the Earth's crust." Ed commented.
"No, that's not it," Jade replied, "I know what subterranean energy feels like, and looks like. It feels less like that and more like… more like the Green Sun."
"What's the Green Sun?" Al asked.
Jade's expression darkened, "The complete mass of two universes, converted into pure energy. Not that you needed to know that."
Ed narrowed his eyes, "That's a load of crap."
Jade sighed, "Then we're done here, Mr. Fullmetal Alchemist. Not much point in my answering your questions if you don't believe what is truth." She began to walk towards the door.
"Who are you? What are you?" Ed shouted, causing Jade to turn around, grinning.
"You might call me a god. A maker of a universe. A sovereign of a world. What my friends and I say is the truth, we are all that is left."
Edward was momentarily startled, recalling what he was once told, "I am the one you call the world, the universe, god, truth, all, one, and I am you."
As Jade left and closed the door, Ed fell in to his chair, his face in his palm.
"Al," he breathed, "I've got a bad feeling about this."
Later, Mustang berated Hughes.
"Did you really have to talk to him about your family that whole time?" Mustang said tiredly.
"Yes," Hughes replied, "and it's more effective than you might think. I got the kid to open up. I learned a lot about him. Although he stubbornly refuse to talk about the events that got him and his friend here."
"Fullmetal got some things out of the girl," Roy said, "But it wasn't that much, and most of it is fairly ridiculous."
"That's what we get for getting to Elric brothers to question them. This is getting us nowhere fast. We can't force the kids to tell. We're pretty much at their mercy. We've only been able to talk with them due to their good graces. The Fuhrer really wants to know about them though." Said Hughes.
"Well they are technically foreign invaders," Roy added, "so we need to keep them under control, to the best of our abilities. We should also find out how their abilities work. Fullmetal is obsessing over them. So the question is, how do we find out more about them?"
"I've got an idea," Hughes said, "have them stay with me. Maybe I can get them to open up enough to have them tell me more about where they came from."
Mustang crossed his arms, "You just want to show off your family."
Hughes smirked, "That's just an added bonus."
Later, Hughes and Mustang approached the two kids, who were animatedly chatting in another language.
"What language is that?" Mustang asked, and the boy turned to him, looking puzzled.
"It's English, what else would it be?" John replied.
"What's English?" Mustang asked.
"You're speaking it right now." John answered.
"No he's not. We're speaking Amestrian." Hughes refuted.
"But…" John then realized for the first time that he was speaking another language.
He started freaking out, before Jade managed to calm him down.
"So it appears," Jade told them, "That me and my brother have some sort of automatic mental translator that changes our native language to whoever we're speaking to, and we can comprehend all languages."
Jade's face scrunched up.
"The f*ck?" she murmured in confusion.
"Anyways," Hughes interjected, "you two need a place to stay."
"We can stay on our ship." Jade supplied.
"Sorry, I'm afraid your ship is under Amestrian jurisdiction at the moment," after Jade shot Mustang a look, he quickly amended, "don't worry, you'll get it back later."
"But in the meantime," Hughes interrupted, "my wife Gracia and I would love to have you two over!"
I used to never dream but now I only have nightmares.
Will you save me from this darkness? Keep me surrounded.
Hey, so that's another chapter. Which was even longer than the last. I dearly hope this does not become a pattern. Oh, and the kids may seem a bit bi-polar at times, but they're actually putting on a "badass" farce. They are really carefree, they're just tricking everyone around them into believing that they're tougher than they actually are. Although sometimes with Jade, it isn't an act. Pissing Jade off is something that nobody wants to do. They aren't actually going to kill anybody, though.
Chapter 4: I want to see Waves
Dreams are the stories of the past. Some stories, we don't want to hear again, but do we have a choice?
It all happened so suddenly. Jade was just gathering frogs with Dave when Jack struck. In an instant, Jade's mind slipped into "bullet time". She uncaptchalogued her Green Sun Streetsweeper, and squeezed off two rounds and Dave ejected his sword from his own deck. Two spheres of green inferno blazed their way across the air towards Jack. When they impacted, instead of engulfing the hated Dersite in flames, they were absorbed, much to Jade's astonishment. No matter, all things had a limit, so Jade kept firing.
Dave closed the gap between himself and Jack, and met in a clash of steel. He swung with his right, and spun his Timetables with his left, and before long, five Daves were fighting Jack. Jack teleported all over the place; in front of Dave. Behind Dave. To Dave's left. To Dave's right. Almost in retort, Dave skipped through time. Two seconds ahead. Two seconds before. Five seconds ahead. A minute back. Green and Red flashed as two sword masters dueled.
Jade gasped and dropped her gun as it overheated, swearing at its poor construction. She uncaptchalogued her "Girl's Best Friend" gun, which was a modified Saiga 12K shotgun. She opened up on Jack, who nimbly dodged every single round. Dave flashed in, dealt a quick blow, and leapt away, just as Jade let loose another hail of bullets. The both of them, Jade and Dave, almost danced around Jack; Dave more than Jade, as she didn't have to worry about dodging. Jack seemed to not want to attack her.
Dave captchalogued his Timetables to deal a two-handed blow to Jack, who struggled to block with his solitary arm. Jade fired again, and for a second, Jack smiled.
He stopped moving, and the bullets neared.
Right before they hit, Jack appeared to exist in two places. The bullets went in one Jack, and out the other, straight towards Dave.
Time seemed to come to a standstill for Jade. She watched as Dave tried to eject his Timetables. His hands were almost upon it.
Then Jade watched in horror as the Knight of Time was one second too slow.
3 Years later…
"Say," Hughes started, "how old are you two anyways?"
Inside the moving car, in the back seat, John and Jade looked at each other, judging whether it was okay to divulge that information. With a shrug from Jade, John answered, "We're sixteen."
"Really?" said Hughes, "Then you're about the same age as Fullmetal."
Jade scowled, "That brat? I really don't like him."
"I'd tell you not to imply that he's short," Hughes replied, "but it's a bit late for that."
John frowned, "He's only 16, and he's in the military?"
"Well you two are only 16, and you're part of your military, right?" Hughes responded, getting confused looks from the kids.
"I mean really," Hughes added, "You two are so powerful. I'm sure whatever government you two came from, they must want, or have you at their disposal."
"We're not part of any military, Mr. Hughes." Jade asserted.
"Yeah," John added, "the Prospitian military doesn't answer to us, even though they want to."
Then John realized he probably said too much.
"Prospitian? Prospit?" Hughes wondered, "Never heard of the place."
"You wouldn't have," John said quickly, "It's a world away."
Literally, Jade added mentally.
Well there's some information. Sounds like a bunch of made up stuff though, thought Hughes.
"So what position do you hold, then, if not military?" Hughes asked.
"We…represent…the Allied Planets of Skaia." Jade said tentatively.
Hughes raised an eyebrow, "Allied Planets?"
"As I said," John replied, "a world away."
Hughes pursed his lips slightly. Edward was right, getting a straight answer out of these kids was impossible.
"Anyways," Hughes moved on, "What are you going to do about those ears?" he pointed to Jade's dog ears.
Jade frowned, "And what exactly is wrong with my ears?"
"People will stare, and we want you two to go low-profile." Hughes answered.
Jade gestured to the ruined city, "I think flying the radar isn't possible at the moment, not after what I did."
"We didn't tell people who destroyed the city," said Hughes, "So nobody will suspect you, but if you go around looking like that, people might put two and two together."
John ejected a cloth beanie out of his Sylladex, and handed it to Jade, "Try this." He said.
Jade pulled it down over her head, and after a moment, her face fell.
"It's pushing my ears down," she complained, "I can't hear a thing."
Jade promptly pulled it off her head. Her hair was messed up. John pulled up Jade's God Tier hood, and pulled it slightly forward, so her ears didn't poke out through the specialized holes.
"This'll do as a quick fix," Jade conceded, "but I'm not walking around for an extended period of time like this. We need to find a better, permanent, solution."
"Alright, that's really all we needed right now anyways." Hughes turned back towards the front, as the car neared his home.
"I just need to ask," he said, "back at the hospital, that 'tough' personality. That was an act, am I correct?"
Jade's eyebrows shot up, "Yes and no." she answered.
"What Jade means to say," John added, "is that we are not willing to kill, we just want to give the illusion that we can. It's a lot easier if people will go along with what we ask." He grinned, "You can keep a secret, right, Mr. Family man?"
Hughes couldn't figure out whether John was poking fun at his obsession with his family, or subtly threatening his family. Hughes decided on the former. After all, they were just kids.
"I'm guessing you don't know Amestris' drinking age." Hughes continued.
Both kids simultaneously blushed and said in unison, "We don't drink."
Hughes looked at them in amusement.
Little did he know, that in their minds, they were recalling an event from a year and a half ago.
A year and a half ago- Asteroid
"I just realized." Rose muttered during the big dream meet-up, just before Jake jumped "Sea Hitler".
"Realized what?" Dave asked.
"John and Jade have nothing to do, and they possess my house, which is full of liquor."
About the same time-Prospitian Battleship
"Sho I shaid," John slurred drunkenly, "put da bunneh back in deh boksh!"
He laughed uproariously, slamming his first, half-empty bottle of wine down on the table. Across from him, Jade giggled tipsily, holding her sixth martini.
Yes they were lightweights. There's a reason there's a drinking age.
"John," she slurred, "yer so funneh."
"Oh yeah? Well heresh a gud one Jade, wha did da bread tell its child when its dad wash toashted?"
"I dunno, John, wha did it sey?"
"Daddeh's in a butter plashe now."
Both kids laughed loudly, but John suddenly became sad.
"I mish dad." He whispered. Jade put a comforting arm on his shoulder, from across the table, almost spilling her martini from the sudden movement.
"It'sh okay, John. Let'sh, asz they put it back on Earth, drink our troublesh aweh."
Then they finished their drinks and blacked out.
When they woke up in the morning, they, along with Davesprite and a motley assortment of Prospitians, Dersites, and other creatures, were lying on the deck of the ship, clad only in underwear. They were all lying in a pile of Squiddles, alchemized bunny dolls, Smuppets, and harlequins. Everyone was coated in a thin film of dried Faygo and TaB. Unfortunately, nobody had any recollection of anything that had happened the day before.
John was in possession of CD album that looked homemade. When they played it back, they discovered it was a 50-track album completely consisting of "How do I live without you" covers, sung by Davesprite, Jade, and John. They didn't remember recording it, and the total length of the album was longer than three days. Nobody knew how long they were out, because nobody checked the date before they got drunk.
That entire incident swore them off alcohol forever.
Fast forward one and a half years (give or take a few minutes) and hop across a dimension…
"…and this is my daughter Elicia and my wife Gracia!" Hughes finished introducing everyone.
Jade, who had little to no experience with greetings, chose to bow slightly, "Nice to meet you, my name is Jade Harley." She introduced herself.
John grinned widely, extending his hand to shake, "Hi, my name's John Egbert!" he cheerily said as his hand was shaken enthusiastically by Elicia.
As Elicia started up a conversation with the two kids, Hughes pulled his wife aside.
"Gracia," he whispered, "I don't want to scare you, but these kids are incredibly dangerous. Normally I wouldn't even consider this as a possibility, but we must not ever let these kids feel that they are threatened here in any way, shape, or form. Nobody knows the full extent of what they're capable of, so we're not taking any chances. Soldiers won't come into the apartment, but they have guards in disguise outside."
"Goodness, Maes," Gracia whispered back, "dangerous? But they're just kids!"
"That's what I thought too. Just be careful, and act natural."
Gracia and Hughes turned back around, to see Jade standing right behind them.
"What were you two whispering about?" she asked.
"Nothing! Just family business!" Hughes quickly placated. Jade frowned, but shrugged, and turned back to her conversation with Elicia.
All night, I dream of water
Scar walked the streets of Central, hiding under his hood. The Elric brothers would not hide this time.
That can wash the weight of the world from my shoulders.
Chatting with Hughes and Gracia over dinner, Jade thought of Dave and Rose, and wondered if they were concerned with their failure to arrive.
All night, I dream of forever, hiding myself from a world that's grown colder.
"Al." Ed's voice was strong, getting his brother's attention.
"Yes brother?" Al answered.
"I think that Jade girl might have sold her soul to Truth."
All night, I dream of water, To fight the fire.
"Yes?" the receptionist turned to one of the hospital's nurses, "Did you need something Mariah?"
"Yes," said Mariah, "Do you know where Doctor Smith is? He disappeared this morning, and hasn't returned."
Randolph gave her a confused look.
"Mariah, there is no Doctor Smith here."
Am I awake?
"Envy." A voice from the darkness chuckled.
"What?" answered a bored man on the street.
"Father wants you to follow the newcomers. Subdue them and bring them to him."
The man sighed, before changing into a police officer in a flash of red lightning, "Well, it's about time something happened."
Cause I want to see Waves.
Read and Review, all criticism is welcome! Suggest this fanfic to your friends! Lyrics at the end are from "Purification" by Of Mice and Men.
Chapter 5: Wasting Time
Scar should really learn to keep to himself.
We're all just wasting time
Standing still, waiting for something to happen
But I think we'd all be fine
If everyone would just shut up and listen
Be slow to speak, shut up and listen.
"Be Careful What you Wish for"-Memphis May Fire
A vague memory. That was all it was.
Vague, but strong.
Grandpa was sprawled out on the ground, a gaping bullet hole in his chest.
He had apparently been having a mock-date with a cerulean doll. What a sad way to go.
Bec was there, and he had some food in his mouth. He dropped it before Jade, as she crawled towards the big furry creature. The food was some simple, soft bread with cooked, shredded chicken on it. Young as Jade was, she was able to eat it. There was no reason for what Becquerel did. There was no need to feed this young human, but he understood that this young, pink, creature was now his new master.
He had a duty, and he did it well. He taught Jade as well as he could, being a dog and all. He practically raised her. As time went on, Jade (inexplicably) taught herself English from books lying around the house, and gleaned what information she could from computers Jake Harley had left lying around the place. Jade grew up to be strong, independent young woman. If a dog could feel pride, Becquerel would be the proudest dog in the world.
Jade, growing up as a child, loved Bec. Becquerel was her world. The big, fluffy animal would always let her rub his stomach and pet him. Whenever she'd get herself in trouble, such as anger one of the island's few animals, or fall out a window, he was there. Bec was a good dog, and the best parental pet one could ever hope for.
It almost killed her to combine Becsprite with her dead dream self… but Becquerel was already dead. He was dead the moment he combined himself with the sprite. Becsprite may act like Bec, but he wasn't Bec. She'd never forget Bec, but she wished that he never left.
In the Hughes household, in the guest room, Jade opened her eyes to see the sun streaming through the window. John was breathing quietly on the far side of the bed, still sleeping. Jade reached up to feel one of her white dog ears. They were Bec's, after all, and it was all she had left of him. Excluding Jack, of course. Bad dog, worst enemy, and ultimately the worst way to remember her parent-pet.
As she felt her ear, she inadvertently scratched her head, growling slightly in satisfaction for a moment, before she caught herself. That was one of the odder side effects of achieving "Dog Tier". John had teased her about it, of course. She could reasonably suppress her urge to bark at cats now, but the urge was still there, nagging in the back of her mind. She couldn't resist a thrown ball, or a thrown anything, for that matter. She also liked to be petted and scratched, not that she'd allow anyone but herself to touch her like that.
Jade sat up, swung her legs out of bed, and stretched as she felt the sun on her back. Now that she thought about it, she hadn't felt real sunshine on her skin in over three years. The sun set on the day Sburb was released, and it never rose again. She hadn't expected her sudden separation from the sun's warming rays, and as a result she developed an appreciation for sunlight during the three sunless years en route to the Alpha session. She could generate a miniature Green Sun by channeling the Green Sun's energy, but it just wasn't the same. The light was warm, but it was a sickening shade of green. Normally Jade liked any shade of green, but staring at the Green Sun made her prefer her namesake's shade.
Come to think of it, they probably would have died of Vitamin D deficiency, had John not had the foresight to capatchalogue and copy all of their food and dietary supplements. They were able to get extra food from the planets, occasionally; fish from LOLAR, mushrooms from LOWAS, and random assorted things from LOHAC. Still, it was nice to eat a cake once in a while, even if it was "Batterwitch brand", as Egbert put it.
Jade switched out her pajamas, which was really more of a shift, with her God Tier outfit. She wrinkled her nose at the dirty garment as it appeared on her. A flash of green, and all the dirt was gone, dumped somewhere else.
Elsewhere, Mustang stared, speechless, at his desk, which had just inexplicably gained a fine layer of dust out of thin air. He had just finished polishing it, too. He signed as he prepared to redo the job he had just spent the last hour doing.
Jade left John to sleep without her, and walked into the living room on her own. It had a row of windows facing the street, and nobody else in the apartment was up yet. She looked out the window onto the streets below, which had just started to get busy with people and cars. The damage from her outburst on day one was already starting to disappear, leaving Jade understandably relieved. She'd hate to think that she'd ruined an entire city's worth of people's lives due to the fact that she couldn't think clearly while being burned to death.
That nonsensical thought made her frown. Scratch that, she owed this city nothing. The fault lay with that greasy haired, white-gloved bastard. He could suffer amongst the HorrorTerrors in the Outer Ring for all she cared.
A yawn from behind her announced the arrival of an awake (if slightly drowsy) Heir of Breath.
"Morning, Jade," John mumbled, "Did you sleep well?"
"I slept fine," responded Jade amicably, "How about you?"
"I slept like a baby." John smiled, "What do you think of our hosts?"
Jade shrugged, "Maes seems like a nice enough guy. He certainly cares for his family. Gracia is sort of an open book, and their daughter is certainly delightful."
"Elicia was so cute!" John's eyes sparkled for a bit, "I wonder if my kid will be that cute!"
Jade snickered, "Your kid, huh? I wonder what he'd or she'd look like. A little bit of Rose, a little bit of you. Intelligent, and adorable? Intellidorable. Fuck, that word makes no sense."
John snickered, "Intellidorable, huh? Leave the make-believe words to children."
"Children, huh? Elicia looks so happy, she has a good father." Jade smiled at the thought. John, though, was silent.
"John," she asked frankly, "do you miss your father?"
John froze, then lowered his head, "Every day." He whispered forlornly.
"I understand." Jade offered as consolation, to which she more than surprised to hear an almost venomous, "No, you don't." from the normally upbeat and amicable Heir.
Jade turned around, and saw that John was clenching his fist and gritting his teeth. He glared at Jade with a subtle loathing. "What do you know about losing a parent?" he spat, everything about his body language screaming anger, "You've never had one! Your grandfather died when you were a baby! You've never grown attached to a parent, and then only to have them killed when your back was turned! You know nothing of the pain I feel! The only thing you've had was your damn dog!"
At first, Jade was shocked by John's uncharacteristic outburst. Then surprise gave way to indignant fury.
"I know nothing? Listen here, John, Becquerel may have been my pet, but he practically raised me! He was the closest thing to a parent I've ever had! And here you go and tell me that I know nothing of losing a parent? Well guess what, John, you're dead wrong!"
John recoiled as if struck, "Jade, I'm sorry, I thought-"
"No, John," she snarled venomously, "you didn't think. You just opened your big fat mouth and said things that you have no knowledge of!"
"Jade, I never meant-"
"It's not what you meant that matters, John. It's what you said."
As Jade turned away, directing her fury towards the wall instead of her ecto-sibling, John crept up behind her and gave her an awkward hug.
"I'm sorry," he choked out, "I didn't mean it like that. I'm just really stressed out. I should never have said that. My dad's death is still a really sensitive topic, it still hurts. Please don't be mad at me Jade."
Jade relented, sighing, "Fine. But only if you move your hands."
John yelped and let go of the unintentional grope.
"Oh my god I'm so sorry!" He rattled off a quick apology.
Jade brushed the creases from her clothing, "If you want to touch a boob, John," she stifled a laugh, "I'm sure Rose would let you."
"Or Vriska." John added, and then blushed, "Oh crap I really shouldn't be thinking about her like that…"
"Relax, John," Jade let out a long breath, laughing at the thought, "you're a hormonal 16-year old. These kinds of things are… expected, I guess. But touch me like that again, and you'll lose that hand. Ecto-siblings or not, I need my personal space."
"I thought you'd be angrier about the unintentional grope." John mused.
Jade shrugged, and then turned back to the window, "I never grew up with the concept of… what was it? Molestation, rape, that kind of thing. I only learned it after you showed me those things from books. Feels odd, but I don't care. I wonder if it would be any different-feeling with Dave."
"Let's change topic." John suggested, desperate to change the topic.
"Good idea." Jade agreed quickly
"Thank you for breakfast, Mrs. Hughes." Jade bowed in thanks.
"Oh, it was no trouble." Gracia smiled, "Maes had to leave to work, but he told me that you'll have escorts to walk you around the city today."
"Escorts?" Jade asked, "Who?"
"That would be me." A voice said behind Jade. Of course, Jade knew who it was the moment he entered her sphere of omniscience, but that didn't mean that she liked this person.
"Fullmetal, huh? Good morning, Mr. Elric." Jade turned around to face him, "Sorry about calling you little earlier."
"I'm not little." Ed grumbled under his breath.
"Anyways, your superior notified me that if I wanted to be out and about, I'd need new clothes, as mine are too 'goddamn gaudy' to wear." Jade read off a letter she received before breakfast, "This Roy Mustang is certainly unpleasant."
"Sure as Hell he is. Personally, I call him Colonel Bastard." Fullmetal informed Jade as they left the building, feeling quite smug about the creative nickname.
Jade cracked up.
"Colonel Bastard? Pfttt, hahaha! I'm going to have to call him that now to his face, that's really funny! I don't know why, but it just fits him like a glove!"
Ed frowned, looking around and ignoring the ego boost he could have been getting.
"Where's your brother?"
"Oh, John? John changed into some Amestrian clothing and left before you got here. He has to talk with your Colonel regarding the situation of my ship."
Edward's eyebrows shot up, "He's not supposed to be walking out in the streets!"
"Who said he's walking? He's flying."
"Says the boy with a suit of armor for a brother."
"So how'd you lose your arm and leg?"
Ed was surprised that she remembered, and frowned.
I don't think my 'I lost it in the Eastern Rebellion' excuse is going to work with this one… or will it? Ed thought.
"I lost them in the Eastern Rebellion." Ed decided he might as well give it a shot.
Jade, not knowing any better, accepted the answer at face value, "Hm, must've been some rebellion."
"Yeah, it was. Please hide your ears before we leave." Ed held the door shut before Jade walked out, as her ears were still uncovered.
"Fine." Jade pressed her ears flat against her skull and moved some hair, "Is this good enough?"
Personally, Ed thought her hair looked a little messed up now, but the ears were no longer visible.
Ed opened the door, "Yeah, that's good. Just out of curiosity, do you still have your regular ears?"
"Nope," Jade deadpanned, pushing aside her hair to reveal the place where her normal ears would have been. They were flat, "They disappeared when I got my new ones. They can hear better, though, and I've got a better sense of smell than a… human."
The Fullmetal Alchemist saw Jade wince slightly at disassociating herself from the human race.
"Hey," he smiled, "There's no need to not consider yourself a non-human. It's what's inside that counts, right?"
Jade smiled a bit at the consolation, "Thanks, Mr. Elric."
As they left, Ed had a thought. Did this Jade girl consider herself a non-human due to her chimera status, or was it actually something much more sinister? Was she an agent or puppet of Truth? Or even worse.
Maybe she was Truth.
"-and Fullmetal thinks that this girl is the embodiment of… Truth? What the hell does that even mean?"
Mustang was incredibly confused by Edward's report that Alphonse had just delivered to him. It claimed ludicrous things about the outsiders. Granted, many of the things that they did were already ludicrous, but these assumptions took the cake.
"Alphonse," he asked, "why would Fullmetal even think this?"
"Well," Al replied, "He said it was some of the things that Jade did and said. He didn't elaborate onto his reasoning much."
Mustang dropped the report to his desk, "He didn't elaborate much on it here, either."
"I'm sure brother has his reasons." Al tried to soothe the Colonel's misgivings, although Mustang still looked displeased and skeptical.
"I'm sure he does, Alphonse, but this seems highly illogical, even for Edward. Tell him I need to talk with him later."
Al nodded before looking out the window, and jumping with a startled, "Augh!"
"What is it, Alphonse?"
"Sir, there's a boy floating outside your window!"
"What do you know about Equivalent Exchange?"
"Excuse me?" Jade turned to Ed with a confused look on her face. She was wearing a large-rimmed white hat with room for her ears, and a green dress that she had just bought.
"I asked if you knew what Equivalent Exchange meant." Edward was slightly annoyed at having to restate his question.
"In order to get something, something of equal value must first be given?" was Jade's response.
"That's pretty much the main rule of Alchemy." Ed's suspicion rose.
"Exactly where are you going with this?" Jade asked apprehensively.
"Jade," he stopped walking and turned dramatically to face her, "what do you know of Truth?"
"Truth?" Jade was honest-to-god confused, "Isn't that something that's true? Come to think of it, I don't have a definition for truth; it's more of a concept."
Edward sighed. That was not the response he was looking for.
"I'm talking about Truth! The Gate!" he exclaimed with consternation.
"What the Hell are you talking about?" Jade was really confused now.
"There's no way you transmuted yourself into a chimera and didn't see Truth!" Ed almost yelled.
Jade recoiled, weirded out, "You're still going on about that?"
"Of course I am! I need to know how you're violating Equivalent Exchange! How are you bypassing the most fundamental rule of Alchemy?"
"My powers aren't alchemy!"
"Like you would know anything about God Tiers! You have such a small view of the world!"
Ed bristled at the enunciated word, "DID YOU JUST CALL ME SHORT?"
Jade walked right up to Ed and got in his face, "MAYBE I ACTUALLY WILL IF YOU DON'T SHUT UP!"
People on the street stopped to stare at the two as they traded insults at the top of their lungs in the middle of the sidewalk.
"You mean you can fly?" Mustang asked incredulously as John floated a few inches above the floor of his office. There was a breeze going around the room, although that would not have been enough to let John fly. It was mostly there for aesthetic purposes.
"Yeah, I can fly. I'd be a pretty shitty Hero of Wind if I couldn't." John snickered, "Now about our ship…"
"You'll get it back as soon as our technicians are done with it." Mustang cut John off.
"Wait a second-!" John's eyes widened in shock, "You're taking our ship apart?"
"No, we're just studying it." Mustang attempted to reassure John with no success, "No harm will come to your ship."
John crossed his arms, "Oh, I highly doubt that. You'll probably just wreck it inadvertently or something." John continued to grow angrier, "Do your 'technicians' know anything about computers?"
Mustang's confounded response of, "What are computers?" made John slap his forehead in frustration.
"Just our luck… We make it to the Alpha Session, and it's been thrown back to the industrial age." John moaned.
Then he saw a map on the wall.
"Hey, just out of curiosity, is that a world map?" The unexpected question caught Mustang off guard.
"Yes," he replied, "That is indeed a map of the world-Hey! Put that back!" Mustang shouted as John tore the map down and laid it out on the Colonel's desk.
"Hey," John frowned, "The continents are in the wrong place."
"Excuse me?" Mustang was really confused now.
"Even if the Session reset, the continents should be identical…" John went on under his breath as Mustang and Al listened, having no clue what the Hell John was talking about. A grin spread across John's face.
"We missed it! I knew this couldn't be our Earth!" John exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear.
"Our Earth? What do you mean?" Al asked curiously.
"What I mean," John looked directly at Al, "is that Jade and I are not from your world."
"Are you saying that you're beings from space, like from the motion pictures?" Mustang asked, a bit amused.
"No," John scratched his chin, "dimension would be a better term."
"You're bullshitting me." Mustang crossed his arms.
John frowned as he realized that despite his displays of power, he had no credibility with these people, "Jade was right, none of you people trust us."
The door burst open, and Hawkeye rushed in, still with bandages on her left arm and forehead.
"Colonel Mustang, Scar has attacked Edward!"
[Rewind a bit..]
"-WELL I BET YOU CAN'T MEET MOST CARNIVAL RIDE HEIGHT REQUIREMENTS!"
"I CAN TOO!"
"ELEVATOR SHOES DON'T COUNT!"
Before Ed could retort, a soldier put his hand on Jade's shoulder.
"Ma'am, I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to come with me."
"What for?" Jade narrowed her eyes in suspicion.
"I can't answer that. You have to come with me."
Jade shrugged off the hand, and she turned around, her (theoretical) aura almost blazing.
"I don't think so, buddy." She snarled, resisting the urge to materialize and slam the Green Sun Streetsweeper in the soldier's face. Sure, the gun was in a room somewhere in Amestris, being examined by technicians, but Jade knew where all her stuff was, even if that weird energy beneath the earth was screwing with her omniscience.
Ed was watching the scene unfold, still smoldering from the insult-fest, when he got an apprehensive feeling and ducked instinctively.
The Fullmetal Alchemist ducked just in time to see a tattooed arm fly past where his head was.
"Scar!" he yelped, spinning his legs out to knock Scar's legs out from under him.
"Scar who?" Jade materialized her Green Sun Streetsweeper and aimed it at the man who had suddenly attacked Edward, who quickly got back up, hesitating as he looked down the barrel. Nobody saw the soldier run into the alley. Nobody saw the red flash and the subsequent fleeing dog either.
"Don't move, shithead!" Jade growled as she cautiously approached Ed's attacker.
"No, Jade, don't get close to him!" Ed shouted too late, as Scar grabbed her gun. Blue sparks flew as the deconstruction process began.
Or it would've, if Scar had known what the gun was made of. As it was, nothing happened.
Scar was shocked, Jade was confused, and Ed was awestruck. This Jade girl could prevent transmutations from taking place? What exactly did Truth do to her?
After a moment, Jade snarled, and lashed out with her foot. Scar leapt back.
"How," he breathed, "were you able to prevent me from destroying your weapon?"
"I don't know what technique you were using," Jade laughed, "but its lame!"
She fired the gun, and Scar dodged the subsequent spherical jade inferno.
"It was probably that alchemy thing or whatever, right? Too bad it didn't work, Mr. Al-che-mist!" Jade cackled. A shiver ran through Ed as Jade enunciated the last word almost exactly how a certain entity did.
Jade, on the other hand, was having great fun taunting this darker-skinned man with red eyes. True, it was a life-threatening situation, but lately battles sent a thrill of excitement through her. Against Jack, she had been scared witless. Against these people, though, it was like fighting a child. Albeit a child with destructive powers, but nothing that could kill her permanently. Jade sidestepped a kick from Scar, but then the kick changed direction, slamming into Jade's head and knocking off her hat. She stumbled, clutching the side of her head. When Scar didn't attack, Jade reoriented herself to face him. Scar looked a bit shocked.
"You," he gawked, almost in horror, "are a chimera!"
Jade scowled in annoyance, "Why is everybody slapping me with that label? What the Hell is a chimera, anyways?"
Scar glared at the Fullmetal Alchemist, growling, "Have you added to your sins?"
After realizing what Scar was implying, Ed threw up his arms in indignation, "Hey, don't look at me! She did it to herself!"
Scar looked even more horrified now. Then the horror on his face turned into anger.
"Your actions are a travesty against god himself!" he growled in anger at Jade.
Jade's scowl deepened, "I'm tired of people telling me that I'm a monster!" she yelled, pulling the trigger.
As the fireball neared him, Scar transmuted a jagged wall in front of him. The fireball slammed into and dissipated, leaving Scar untouched. Jade let out an infuriated bark and flipped a switch on her gun. The weapon's low-pitch whining rose, and the barrel crackled with green energy. She roared at Scar, and depressed the trigger.
Scar dashed in close, and swept Jade's feet out from under her. The gun's barrel rose off-target.
Ed was nearly blinded by a sudden glaring green light. If he had been able to see, he would've seen a gigantic column of green light stretching into the sky at an angle. As it was, he tried to blink stars out of his eyes.
Jade's face was grabbed by Scar. She started to violently swear at him, and before she could teleport, Scar partially deconstructed her. Her scream was heard by everyone in a three-block radius. Scar was glad that it worked, because that meant this girl couldn't stop transmutations; he himself just didn't know what her gun was made of.
As he turned to deal with the State Alchemist, a multicolored light strobed behind him. He turned around just in time for his face to meet fist. He stumbled back in shock, nursing a broken nose. Jade stood unharmed, hair practically writhing around her, rage evident on her face. The wind was picking up, and green lightning arced off her skin occasionally.
"That," she snarled dangerously, "Hurt!"
They say there's no fury like a woman scorned, but that saying should be amended to "There's no fury like an angry Hero of Space who's just been killed and resurrected."
With another flash of green, a long katana appeared in her hands. She clutched the jade-silk wrapped hilt, and charged Scar. He tried his best to stay out of her reach, but she was advancing faster than he could backpedal. Then Fullmetal slammed his fist into Scar's back, halting Scar's progress enough for Jade to catch up and slice through part of Scar's left forearm.
Scar grabbed the back of Jade's sword, and attempted deconstruction on this new weapon. It didn't work on that weapon either.
"Sorry, my sword is well made!" Jade shouted, kicking Scar in the chest. He used the momentum to backflip over Ed, who turned around to face the serial killer. Scar was dumbfounded again. What exactly were the girl's weapons made out of?
In reality, Scar couldn't deconstruct her gun because it was made of composite materials, and her sword had a higher ratio of carbon than most blades. That and the blade itself was composed of slightly…different materials, Courtesy of Dave.
Jade was royally pissed. Did that jerk just try to destroy her sword? Dave gave it to her! He rode a meteor back to Earth, time-travelled back to ancient Japan, and had the greatest sword smith in history make her blade! He then time travelled back to the Reckoning and hitched a ride back to Skaia on his apartment. Her blade was a masterpiece, she'd be glad if she could prevent having to copy it through alchemization.
Jade's arm wound back, and she hurled her sword at Scar, who just blocked a strike from Ed, who got behind Scar. Scar caught the glint of light off the sword as Jade accelerated the blade, and ducked. The blade flew on past, pierced Ed's right hand, and slid right on through until the cross guard caught on his hand. The blade went right by his cheek and sliced a thin cut that dripped blood.
Ed's first thought was that Winry was going to kill him for damaging his freshly repaired automail. His next thought was that he lost control of his fingers when the sword severed the wires. His next thought dealt with Scar still trying to kill him.
Before he could deal with the now obtrusive sword in his hand, it disappeared, then reappeared in Jade's hands. Long-distance alchemy? Every second he spent around these kids, the more he wanted to know about them.
Before either of them could engage Scar again, Ed heard a distinct snap.
Instinctively, he ducked and the air above him ignited. Jade yelped as her ears were singed, and Scar shielded himself from the flames.
"That's enough!" Mustang's voice boomed. He stood with his left arm raised, his right arm still in a cast. Hughes, Hawkeye, and several soldiers were pointing guns at Jade and Scar. Jade growled as she realized that guns were being pointed at her. Scar just looked annoyed. John was standing off to the side, hammer in hand.
"Scar, I'm taking you into custody," Mustang yelled with authority, "just make this easier on everyone and come with us."
"Never, State Alchemist." Scar stated as he slammed his arm onto the ground, deconstructing a hole into the sewers.
"Not again!" Ed shouted, trying to find solid ground as it crumbled around him.
Jade just hopped up, and began to float, staring contemptuously at pretty much everyone.
"That bastard isn't getting away…" Jade grumbled, closing her eyes for a second, before they shot open.
"There!" she smirked, holding out her arm, and making an upward pulling motion.
Scar burst out from under the street, accompanied by green lightning. Jade grinned, and launched him through several houses. She frowned as he left her sphere of omniscience, and she lost track of him. Oh well, he got what he deserved.
Meanwhile, Mustang was gaping at the girl.
"Why did you do that?" he shouted at her in exasperation.
"He pissed me off." Was the reply, as Jade floated slowly to the ground.
"Now we can't take him into custody! He'll heal, and he'll be back! More people will die!"
"Your problem, Amestrian. I'm one of Skaia's children; I don't have to deal with your problems."
"What is this Skaia you two keep referencing?"
"If we tell you again, will you believe us this time?"
"I thought so."
Upon hearing the term "Skaia's children", John was reminded of a certain conversation with Dave.
--turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB] --
TG: hey john
EB: oh hey dave!
EB: what do you want to talk about?
TG: nothing much
TG: jade just called us something weird
EB: she called you and me names?
TG: she called all of us "skaia's children" or something
EB: sounds cool!
TG: uh huh
TG: of course youd think that Egbert
[Back to present, deep beneath Central]
A man in white robes and a white beard sat on a stone throne, which had pipes leading out of it.
"Envy," he stated, "is there a reason you come here without the two interlopers?"
"Yes, Father," Envy answered reverently, "as to your request to overpower the two humans, we may have a problem."
These are the words of my holiday
Mustang was staring apprehensively as Jade and John talked to each other. Who were those kids, really?
Craving the sea, that honest place.
Jade wished these people would believe them. It would make things so much easier.
Soothe my mind, with everything honest, yeah give me my solace.
Ed spied the girl's gun buried in rubble. He pulled it out, and felt it. This wasn't metal! What kind of gun wasn't made of metal?
I wanna be stronger than oceans.
Envy observed the two humans on the street. Something was different about those two, they weren't exactly like all the others. Then Envy noticed the girl's ears.
"Oh crap." Was all he said.
I wanna lift mountains high.
Winry inserted a screw into the new automail she was designing for Ed. That strange automail had some really revolutionary designs!
Bring back glory to your name,
Hohenheim witnessed the green spear of light that lanced out from Central. He began his journey towards it.
I wanna move faster than time.
A week earlier, Envy held Maes Hughes at gunpoint, when a red flash to his left grabbed his attention, and a boy in red wearing shades impaled him on a sword.
Mountains, oceans, I wanna see waves.
Chapter 6: I want to move faster than Time
Dave is the helmsman, Rose is the navigator, and Kanaya is the engine.
By their powers combined, they are, dimension-hoppers!
In a vacant park in Central, the dimly lit night was washed away in a glare of jade green. Three forms dropped out of what appeared to be a tear in the sky. The first figure landed on the stone path, the next person landed on the previous person, and the third person somehow avoided their predecessors, landing on untouched grass.
The third person addressed the other two, in a crisp, cultured, feminine voice, "Are you two well? I trust entry was not too rough."
The person on the bottom of the two-person pile groaned, "Jegus, Kanaya. Was all that turbulence really goddamn necessary?"
Kanaya sighed wearily, "Dave, I am not a fully-realized Slyph of Space, the imperfect rift was a byproduct of my attempted self-preservation." Kanaya smiled, "I am no use to you, Dave Strider, if I burn myself out and perish."
Dave Strider let out a defiant, "Hmph!" before the person on top of him extricated themselves from the pile. "Dave," the female garbed in yellowish orange robes coughed, "You are not the softest thing to land on."
"Well you're not the lightest thing ever, Rose." Dave stood up and dusted off his red robes.
"Kanaya," he addressed the gray-skinned horned humanoid in a libra shirt and red skirt, "Were we on target?"
Kanaya turned to Rose, "I am unsure of the accuracy of this jump, but please enlighten us, Rose."
Rose closed her eyes, as if thinking. When her eyes shot open, they sparkled with the intensity of a Hero of Light. "We missed their arrival by one week. We are early."
Dave shook his head, "Damn," he gathered concentration to jump through time, "I'll get them."
"Dave." Rose's commanding voice snapped Dave out of his trance.
"Fuck. What is it now, Rose?"
"I do not foresee us interacting with Jade and John in this timeline."
"Shit. When, then?"
"I don't know, maybe we have to follow them to their next destination."
"Damn. Such a pain, I should've known Egbert and Harley couldn't stick to the plan."
The three kid's conversations was interrupted by near-yelling near the park's edge. The three kids got closer, and peered out through a bush.
"-Hughes from Central!" a black hair spectacled man in a phone booth shouted, "This is an emergency, so I'm calling from an outside line!"
"Stay hidden, Dave," Rose pulled Dave back down as he rose in alarm. The man in the phone booth was bleeding, and blood dripped onto the floor of the booth.
"Ah, this is a pain in the ass!" the man continued, "Ankle, Sugar, Oliver, Eight, Zero, Zero!"
After a short gap, in which the operator responded, the man shouted, "Hurry up! The Military is in trouble!"
Dave narrowed his eyes as a woman in a blue militaristic uniform approached him from behind, and aimed a pistol at the back of his head.
"Can you put the phone down, Lieutenant Colonel?" she said it calmly, but the threat was obvious. The man slowly turned to face the woman, who restated her order, "Now put the phone down."
"2nd Lieutenant Ross…" the man seemed dumbfounded, but then his expression sharpened, "…No you aren't… who are you?"
"Who… I'm 2nd Lieutenant Maria Ross. We met many times at the hospital-"
"No, you aren't." The man snarled in fear and anger, "2nd Lieutenant Ross has a birthmark under her left eye!"
The woman seemed thrown for a loop, before an evil grin spread across her face.
"Oh, is that so?" she hissed through her teeth sadistically, "I was being careless."
She touched an area under her left eye, and with a flash of red lightning, a birthmark formed.
"Is this okay?" she cackled.
"Whaa?" the man gaped incredulously at the woman, "…What the Hell? Shit, it's like something I'd see in a dream!"
"Yes, you're having the ultimate nightmare. What a horrible disaster, and all because you're quick-witted, Lieutenant Colonel Hughes."
"Hey, hey, cut me some slack," Hughes gritted out through his teeth, as he slid a push knife out of his sleeve, "I've got a wife and kid waiting for me at home…"
He spun around to hurl the knife at his attacker, "I can't die here!"
The woman shape-shifted into a short-haired blonde woman, identical to the one in the picture that was lying on the ground. Red lightning accompanied the change. Hughes' arm halted.
"You're not going to stab your wife, are you?" she crooned sadistically. As Hughes trembled, his attacker cackled, "Nice effects, aren't they? Lieutenant Colonel Hughes."
Back in the bushes, Dave, against the protests of Rose and Kanaya, stepped out onto the street. With a flash of red, he reversed the Royal Deringer's timeline, making the half-blade whole again. The woman, who had half-depressed the trigger, barely had time to face the sudden interruption before she was impaled on the sword. Hughes was surprised, letting out a short exclamation as his would-be-killer was speared through.
The woman shape-shifted into a young man, with strands of braided hair (like a palm tree) and a black jumpsuit. "Who the Hell are you?" he shouted angrily, attempting to grab the red-clothed, shaded interloper, who disappeared in a red flash. The young man stared dumbfounded at the space his attacker just occupied. As his wound healed up, the boy in shades reappeared behind the man, and using his previous blade and a red one, sliced his swords in an X motion, decapitating Hughes' would-be-killer.
As the headless body slumped to the street, the boy turned to Hughes.
"Dude, are you okay?" the boy asked. Hughes just nodded. Where did this kid come from? Did he just teleport, and where the Hell did he get those outlandish swords?
Before any more words could be exchanged, the boy's upper torso was impaled upon a large spear the other young man had transformed his arm into. The boy in shades disappeared again, and reappeared a short distance away, his hand over his wound, which was rapidly closing up.
"That hurt." The boy in shades deadpanned.
"Out of my way, brat!" the young man shouted, "This doesn't concern you!"
"Oh, I think this very much concerns us." A new voice emerged from the park. An girl around the same age as the boy walked out from behind some tall bushes, swathed in yellowish orange robes, and holding two glowing white sticks in hand. A slightly taller gray-skinned orange-horned humanoid accompanied her, hefting a large chainsaw.
"What are you going to do with those sticGUAH!" the man was cut off as an arced beam of white energy slammed into him, blasting him back several meters. The girl in the orange hood was standing dramatically, one arm outstretched, stick smoking. Her hood was thrown back from the blast, and her blonde hair, which she had grown out, blew in the wind that was kicked up from the aforementioned blast.
"I'd prefer it," she pursed her lips, "if you didn't insult my wands." The girl flicked her weapons again, and another white beam arced its way towards the man. He appeared to try and physically block the attack, but only lost his arm in the process. The arm quickly regrew, and a smirk graced the face of the man once again.
"You can't hurt me!" he shouted, "I'm immortal!"
The girl rose an eyebrow, and twirled her wands, "Interesting," she observed with a neutral tone, "regeneration abilities. However," she aimed her weapons at the man again, "surely it has a limit."
The street was awash with white light as the girl poured a torrent of energy down it. The man, after being hit with several, ducked into an alley and out of the way of the girl's attack. The boy chased after him, but returned shortly afterwards.
The boy readjusted his shades, and deadpanned, "The bastard's gone."
The girl frowned slightly, "That is unfortunate."
"Who are you three?"
The almost forgotten Lieutenant Colonel Hughes stood, looking faint, clutching the side of the phone booth for support.
The three kids looked at each other, conferring silently.
"I'm Dave." The boy said.
"I'm Rose." The girl introduced herself.
"My name is Kanaya." The gray-skinned humanoid stated.
"Dave," Rose turned back to Dave, "if this man is to live, he must not answer the phone, and he must not remember certain information."
"How," Dave raised an eyebrow, "am I supposed to cause that kind of thing?"
"A blow to the head will suffice."
Hughes gripped his knife tighter. No way were these kids going to stop him! He needed to give that information to Roy! The fate of the Military depended on it! It's not like he needed to outmatch them though, he just needed to reach the phone!
Behind Hughes, the dangling phone squawked out a voice, "It's me. I won't listen if you're going to be bragging about your daughter."
Hughes dived for the phone, and Dave slammed the Deringer's hilt on the back of his head.
Roy Mustang went to investigate the ringing phone, an ungodly amount of paperwork under his arms. He picked up the receiver, and the operator informed him, "You have a phone call from a normal line from Lieutenant Colonel Hughes of Central."
Roy sighed in frustration, was that guy ever going to stop calling him?
"Hughes again?" he moaned in annoyance, "Put him through."
After the operator patched him though, he said, "It's me. I'm not going to listen if you're going to be bragging about your daughter."
He heard the sound of a hard object hitting flesh, and a muffled yell. The impact of a body on the ground was audible immediately afterwards.
"Hughes?" Roy was worried, "Hughes, hey! Hughes! Hughes!"
All he heard was silence. Then he heard a hand grasp the phone on the other side, and return it to the receiver.
He quickly dialed the operator again.
"May I help you, Colonel Mustang?" the operator asked amicably.
"Where was that call coming from, can you pinpoint it?" Roy all but shouted.
"Well, yes," was the response.
"Alert Central, dispatch soldiers to that area, now! Something may have happened to Lieutenant Colonel Hughes!"
"Right away sir."
After the operator hung up, Roy stood with a worried expression. What had happened to his friend?
[Back to Central]
As Hughes impacted the ground, Dave winced. That was going to smart in the morning. As the person on the other end of the line shouted out for Hughes, Dave gingerly picked the phone up, and put it back on the receiver.
Rose picked up the family picture that was lying on the ground, and put it in Hughes' hand.
"My apologies for the inconvenience." Rose addressed the unconscious Hughes, before she, Dave, and Kanaya walked away.
Envy slammed his fist into the dark alley's wall. Damn it! This was supposed to be easy! Just go in, shoot the Colonel, and bam! (pun intended) Job's done. But no, three goddamn kids just waltz in and beat the living shit out of him! He's supposed to be a homunculus, stronger than humans, but two humans managed to defeat him using some weird alchemy crap! Was that even alchemy? It couldn't be fueled by a Philosopher's stone; there was no indication of one! Yet that was the only explanation!
"I told you he'd be here."
Envy spun around to face the three kids who had managed to prevent Hughes' murder.
"You f*cking brats!" he snarled angrily, "you made a mistake messing with me!"
"No." the blonde girl glared at Envy, "You made a mistake trying to commit murder."
She stepped aside, "Kanaya, go for it."
The gray-skinned girl stepped up and revved her chainsaw.
The alleyway saw blood that night.
As the blonde haired boy held Envy's mangled and slowly regenerating body over a sewer hatch, he smirked, "Eat shit and…well you can't really die, so just eat shit."
He then dropped the still-regenerating body into shit.
Envy would scour the city for the trio the next day, but the search would turn up fruitless.
Pride's search, on the other hand, would be slightly more successful.
"The fuck is this?" Dave screamed as he deflected another one of those eye and teeth-ridden shadows. He spun around and sliced the tip of another one off, and jumped forward one second in time to avoid a slash aimed at his neck.
Rose was several meters away, blasting away at the encroaching tendrils. The bright light that accompanied her attacks helped keep the shadows away. She was briefly reminded of the Horrorterrors.
Kanaya spun her chainsaw like it weighed nothing. It shredded into the shadows, and the glow she herself was giving off made the tendrils recoil slightly. One of the tendrils tried to eat her saw, but the Alternian alloy held its ground. She revved the saw, shredding the offending black maw, before plunging the weapon into another mass of pitch black.
"Enough!" Dave yelled, as he warped time in the surrounding area. He froze all of the shadows, while leaving himself and his friends mobile.
As Dave dusted himself off and Kanaya spun down her chainsaw, Rose panted and holstered her wands.
"My thanks, Strider," she coughed, "It was getting difficult to fend off those attacks."
"Don't mention it, Rose," Dave deadpanned, "just helping us out."
One of the tendrils in front of Dave glared at him with its single eye.
"Nice try," Dave mocked expressionlessly, "but next time, don't try and fight gods."
He dramatically pulled out a modified Colt Python .357 magnum pistol (Rose had taken to calling it the 'Compensator', although he called it the 'Fucking Handcannon') and leveled it with the eye.
"Now before I make your world a living Hell, listen up." Dave commanded, "A while from now, some very good friends of ours will be visiting this fine city. You will treat them nicely. This is less for their sake, and more for yours. One is my girlfriend. She's got long black hair, glasses, and dog ears. Her brother is a dork. As I said before, you will treat them well, else you and your friends are going to get it. Not at our hands, but theirs."
"Have you ever heard of ghost peppers?" Dave asked as he pulled the trigger.
The hollow point round that slammed into Pride's eye was a Resiniferatoxin-coated hollow point round, packing a 16,000,000,000 Scoville unit rating. In layman's terms, really goddamn hot (look it up).
Pride would never feel such pain again.
Dave fondly gazed at his gun as Pride writhed in pain. Jade had given it to him in return for the sword. It wasn't it's equal in quality, but it was the thought that counted.
Besides, Dave modified the shit out of it during the three years on the asteroid.
It's cylinder was now perfectly aligned, and auto-aligned itself every so often. The barrel adjusted for the shot, in conjunction with the added scope and Alternian-enhanced micro-computer. The mini-alchemizer also created bullets for the thing, to certain preset specifications.
It also fired in full auto.
In short, it was barely recognizable as a revolver. It wasn't exactly the state it was in when Jade gave it to him, but hey, it was the thought that counted.
Before Dave could capatchalogue his gun, he was run through with one of Pride's shadow-tendrils. As Pride laughed a pain-accompanied laugh, Dave grasped the tendril.
"I thought I told you," he growled, pissed, "not to fight gods!"
He fast-forwarded Pride through his timeline, the effects going straight to his Philosopher's stone. Aging it rapidly.
A large portion of the souls in the stone were immediately used up fueling what would be a century's worth of Pride's existence.
Pride, panicked, severed his connections to the tendrils, ceasing the degenerating effects on his stone.
The fuck? Who were those kids?
No… they weren't kids.
They were monsters, even by a monster's standards.
"Rose, why did you buy all those clothes?" Dave gestured to the large duffel of garments that Rose had obtained.
"I did not buy these, Strider. I did not steal them either!" she quickly amended as Dave started to look horrified, "I bartered for them. You'd be surprised at how much a person is willing to trade for Squiddle dolls."
"Dave, I thought that it'd be fairly obvious." Kanaya interjected, "we are horribly out of place in these clothes. Having a more diverse wardrobe will help to blend in when we cross worlds. Besides, that cape attracts too much attention."
"What's wrong with my cape?" Dave protested, a bit hurt, as plain Amestrian clothing was thrown in his face.
"Everything is wrong with that cape, Dave," Kanaya chuckled, "shut up and change."
As Kanaya fussed over Dave's incorrect buttoning, Rose foresaw the future of the world they were in.
"Such a sad journey," she commented, "even if everything turns out alright in the end, is it really worth all that loss?"
"Rose, we are ready to depart." Kanaya informed Rose as Dave straightened his new outfit.
Shortly afterwards a bright flash of green was all that was left of the trio's presence, and even that too, disappeared.
What didn't disappear, though, was the Homunculi's newfound fear of the children of Skaia.
Back in Central hospital, Mustang was sitting at Hughes' bedside.
"So you really don't remember anything?" Roy asked the conscious Colonel.
"All I remember is that it was really important. That and some snippets of being attacked, being saved, and getting knocked out by my saviors. I don't remember the specifics." Hughes repeated apologetically, "Sorry, Roy."
"Well," Mustang stood up, "Tell me if you remember anything."
Hughes saluted, "Whatever you say, Roy, see you around."
As Mustang left, a rat in the ventilation shaft stuck around for a minute, then left, to report to Father that Colonel Maes Hughes was no longer a threat to their operation.
Shame, he so wanted to kill the man.
[End Chapter 6]
Soon to come on Crossing the Rift...
I used to never dream but now I only have nightmares!
"Monsters!" screamed Pride as he sliced at Jade with his shadows. The God Tier teen parried with her katana, and sliced the tendril in half.
Jade swiftly retorted as she went on the offensive , "Said the pot to the kettle!"
Every day's another test.
"This is something we have to do, Al..." Ed's voice shook fearfully as he entered the last number and put the phone to his ear, "Hello? Teacher?"
We kill the lights, and put on a show.
Hohenheim stared at the youth sitting across the camp fire, "Who are you?"
"The person," the youth took off his shades, "who's going to tell you what you need to know."
I'll keep dancing through this beautiful, delusional career.
"So you are the 'Witch of Space'?" the white haired older man said as he rose from his stone and metal throne.
"What a... quaint title. I am Father."
So what is the price of an ocean in the sky?
Truth smiled, "Well hello again, Mr. Al-che-" the entity's mocking tone quickly ceased, and a frown spread across it's intangible face.
"What," it pointed to the dog-eared girl standing behind the Fullmetal Alchemist, "is she doing here?"
Mountains, Oceans, I WANT TO SEE WAVES.
Song lyrics pulled from:
"Kill the Lights" by The Birthday Massacre
"Purified" by Of Mice and Men
"Because 7 ate 9" by Before Their Eyes
"A Song of Storms" by Swimming with Tsunamis
Chapter 7: A secret safe is a Tragedy
The stage is being set...
It's been a hectic week, I actually think I wrote more when school was going on. Anyways, enjoy this chapter, but beware it's slightly disjointed appearance. My fault, I wrote this thing on and off.
"Explain to me why I have to do this again?"
Jade stood in a room with multiple pieces of equipment pointed at her. They were all scientific, of course, and were all designed to detect wavelengths, radiation, and all that jazz.
"I already told you," Edward stepped out from behind the primitive dials(primitive to Jade, at least), "we're trying to identify what type of energy you're using, since you're saying it's not alchemy."
Jade scowled in frustration, "I already told you! It's the mass of two universes converted into energy!"
"And I still think you're lying." Ed shot back as he ducked back behind the machines.
"I CAN ONLY PUT UP WITH SO MUCH BULLSHIT, YOU KNOW!" Jade shouted back at the diminutive State Alchemist.
The Fullmetal Alchemist fiddled with some of the wiring, and was quickly shooed away by the technician actually setting everything up. To tell the truth, Ed was actually getting pretty fed up with all this. So far he hadn't been able to find out the source of Jade's power. Well, at least no source that was scientifically explainable. However, there had to be an answer. Science always had the answer. However, things hadn't gone so well. At Jade's permission, he had tried to take apart her green gun. Upon removing the screws, though, the weapon had promptly exploded in a burst of jade-green lightning, leaving an empty casing with no indication of inner workings. Jade had yelled at him for a good ten minutes before materializing an identical gun out of nowhere, complaining about "the cost of grist".
Hopefully this test would bear more fruit. All this equipment was experimental, but hopefully they'd register something. As the technician gave him the thumbs up, Ed turned back to Jade.
"Alright, now just... let loose that energy that you used earlier." he instructed.
Jade grinned, "Fine, but don't blame me if your fancy machines break."
And break they did.
Every single dial spun wildly for a second, and the board lit up with red lights, the displays distorting their images.
Then the lightning arced onto the equipment.
The whole setup exploded in a spectacular display of fire and electricity. The technician and Ed were unharmed, but the room was leveled.
Jade laughed in amusement as Ed ground his teeth in frustration, and the technician gawked at the pile of ash that used to be his equipment.
This was going to be a long day.
"You idiots fried the controls!"
John screamed at the group of Amestrian researchers on the bridge of the Prospitian Battleship. The control panel behind him, which used to be golden, organized, and pristine, was now a tangled mess of wires, detached panels, and cracked casing. There was also evidence of recent fire damage.
"This will take days to fix! Are you trying to destroy this craft?"
The grown men cringed as the sixteen year old boy yelled at them at the top of his lungs. It didn't help that there was a strong wind in the enclosed space.
"Out! Out, out, out!" John directed the wind to throw all of the researchers out of the ship itself. Anybody and everybody who was on the ship (sans John) found themselves immediately ejected from the craft as gale force winds poured out from the inner depths of the ship. As they all lay stunned on the road, the ship lifted off the ground by the sheer force of the wind, its thruster jets silent.
They stared, awestruck, as the ship flew a good hundred feet above the city. All at once, the ship's jets came alive, holding it's altitude as the maelstrom surrounding it ceased.
A figure leaped off the side of the ship and landed on the road with no more impact than a feather. John dusted his hands and walked through the group of researchers, scoffing, "Idiots," under his breath. With this setback, leaving this strange universe would take more time than expected. Those ignorant, sad excuses for scientists had left the flight controls intact, but had fried not only the manual weapons controls, but had managed to mangle beyond comprehension the automated targeting computer. Sure, he could alchemize up a replacement, but it would never be the same again.
He'd have to tell Jade about this.
[Later that day...]
"Well, brother, did you find out anything?"
Normally, Edward would have not minded telling his brother the events of the day, but this certain day had been particularly strenuous.
As a result, all he had to say to his sibling was, "We didn't find out shit!"
"Oh." Al looked as crestfallen as a suit of armor could. Another lead on the Philosopher's stone ended in a dead end.
Then inspiration struck.
"I've got it brother!" Al cried out, startling his elder brother.
"What is it, Al?" Ed asked excitedly.
"We can call," Al gulped before finishing, "Teacher."
The Elric brothers shuddered collectively. Memories of their training went through their mind, opening up mental scars that they would have rather left alone.
"I don't want to, Al." Ed whimpered, arms wrapped around himself in fear.
"Brother, I know it's scary, and that we might die, but it's our only shot." Al shivered, clanking noisily.
"Alright, then, Al." Ed shuffled towards the door, "Let's go... find a telephone..."
[Meanwhile, in the next room]
"You mean the leader of your country, this 'Fuhrer', wants to meet with us?"
Jade stood crossly, with her arms crossed, staring down a very uneasy Colonel Mustang.
"That is correct," Roy attempted to say with authority as Jade's glare bore into him, "you two are a threat to our national security. We need to make sure that you will not jeopardize the lives of our citizens."
"None of this would be any of your concern IF YOU WOULD JUST LET US LEAVE!" Jade threw up her arms in consternation, "You dumb-asses are just making things worse for yourselves! You know what? Fine! Your grace period is up!"
Jade teleported her new Green Sun Streetsweeper into her hands, and started it's charging sequence.
Roy scowled as he prepared to fight Jade. He just recovered; he didn't have the time or energy to deal with this!
Thankfully, John stepped between the two and attempted to defuse the situation.
He broke the news to her plainly, "Jade, even if we get to this ship, which I actually have secured, the weapons controls are shot. It'll take a few days to repair."
Jade affixed her ecto-sibling with a glare that could have melted ice.
"What." The single word she uttered sent a chill up Mustang's back. This girl was not pleased.
John pulled Jade off to the side and started whispering to her in hushed tones. Roy's ears barely got a minutes rest before another "WHAT?" screeched and reverberated throughout the room. Jade marched up to Roy and planted an authoritative finger on his chest.
"You have three days!" she yelled in his face, positively livid, "after that, we're out of here, and if you try and stop us, you'll wish you hadn't!"
The pair left, and Roy was left standing alone, unaware that he had been holding his breath.
[Not so far away…]
The Fullmetal Alchemist swayed like a tree in the wind, a phone receiver clutched in his hand like it was a dangerous animal that might strike if it were let loose. That is to say, his hand was shaking terribly.
"This is something we have to do, Al…" Ed's voice quavered as he was about to enter the last number. Al weakly gripped his arm, and was shaking himself, his armor clattering loudly.
"Don't do it brother!" Al implored, "She'll kill us!"
Ed removed Al's hand, but without much conviction.
The phone rang three times. For an agonizing five seconds Ed waited, then someone answered.
"Curtis meats, how may I help you?" the voice of Izumi's employee, Mason, came over the phone, and Ed felt slight relief at not having to deal with his teacher quite yet.
"Hi Mason," Ed greeted, attempting a cheerful tone, "Is Mrs. Curtis there?"
"Oh, yeah, I'll get her right now." Was the response. A faint, "It's for you," could be heard on the other side.
"Hello?" the voice of one Izumi Curtis came over the line.
Ed swallowed apprehensively, before saying, "Teacher? It's me, Ed."
Ed could almost imagine his teacher frowning as she responded curtly, "Ed? I heard that you became a state alchemist recently. How is life as a dog of the military?"
"It's okay, they haven't made me do anything too bad yet," was Ed's quick response, "but that's not why I called you."
"Of course it isn't, what do you need?"
"We need an… outside opinion… on something."
"Does this have to do with the recent catastrophe in Central?"
"Sort of. But first we need to ask you something."
Ed took a breath before continuing.
"What do you know of Truth?"
"Truth?" Izumi sounded like she was having a hard time processing what they just asked. Her voice was strained.
Wanting to get it over with, Ed continued, "Yes, Teacher. Truth. We-"
The accusation was quick and to the point, "You saw it didn't you."
Ed seized up, "Um, well-"
"I'm coming to Central. Don't you two dare run away."
The receiver slammed down and the phone went dead. Trembling, Ed turned to face his brother.
"We're dead meat, Al." he whispered as tears of fear ran down his cheeks.
[The Fuhrer's office]
Mustang entered the office of the Fuhrer and saluted, all professional-like. In reality, he was always apprehensive when talking to Fuhrer Bradley. Something about that man didn't sit right with him.
"Ah, Roy, did the children agree to meet with me?" The Fuhrer's voice was affable, and a smile graced his face. That always confused Mustang; how a man with such a big and important job could walk around with a smile on his face all the damn time.
"Well, I think they did." He reported in a monotone, "but they didn't specifically say so. It appears that they need to make repairs on their craft, and are intent on leaving once it's fixed. Until then, they said they'd… tolerate us." Roy's tone of voice changed from monotone to annoyed towards the end of his sentence. He wasn't used to being threatened by teenagers. Aside from Ed, of course, but at least those were empty threats.
"Then we have nothing to fear. How long did you say they were going to take to effect repairs?"
"I didn't, sir. However, they did say we have three days."
"I see. Anything else that's important?"
"No, my Fuhrer. Nothing else."
"Good, you are dismissed, Colonel."
As Roy left the room, he frowned, disturbed. Bradley was being way too casual about all of this. Was he already planning something?
[Far from Central and much later…]
A campfire crackled in the pitch black night. An older man with a cut beard sat next to the fire, roasting a rabbit as the fire cast its flickering light over him.
Suddenly a bright flash of crimson shined through a tall bush, emanating from somewhere in the forest. As suddenly as it appeared, it went out. The older man cast his gaze towards the dark oasis created by the tree canopy, and visualized a alchemic array to trap what he thought was approaching him, for only one thing he knew created red light, and that one thing, he didn't particularly like.
So he was really surprised when a blonde-haired teenager emerged from the darkness, dressed in standard Amestrian clothing, but wearing odd darkened glasses on his face.
"Oh, hey, sorry to barge in on you," The boy apologized, "but have you got anything to eat?"
And for once in a long time, Van Hohenheim was confused.
You were nothing but a best kept secret.
Izumi clenched her fist as she waited for the train to Central. There was only one reason that her students knew the secret behind her array-less transmutations.
A secret safe is a tragedy to me.
Sleep with your eyes closed.
Sleep with your eyes closed.
Regret, regret, regret, regret.
Chapter 8: Revered Return
The chapter number should tip you off.
Ed really should have left the Fluorite Octet alone.
"Brother, you've done everything you can with those things, just leave them be." Al moaned at Ed, who was poring over the eight cobalt dice he had retrieved from his initial fight with Jade and John.
"Al, don't be like that, I've made progress!" Ed shuddered for a second, "I also need to get my mind off of teacher, she'll be here soon, you know."
Izumi Curtis, the Elric brother's teacher, had learned that her two students had broken the taboo, and informed them of her inevitable arrival.
Needless to say, neither brother was looking forward to it.
"It was difficult," Ed continued, "but I was able to figure out that these dice are made out of fluorine. It's odd, but it's recognizable fluorine. This makes this set a kind of 'Fluorite Octet' I guess."
"That doesn't explain how they created a person, brother." Al added, "And from what you told me, that person wasn't even human!"
"Well," Ed countered, "maybe if I fix the broken die maybe the answer will become clear."
Al groaned, "Brother, you don't know what that will do. The whole building could blow up for all you know."
"The building could blow up for all I care!" Ed shouted in frustration, "I'm tired of running into dead ends and false leads! I will find out the secret behind the alchemy of those two!"
Before Al could stop him, Edward clapped his hands together and slammed them down on the table. The alchemical energy arced onto the eighth die, and the cracked octet sealed up.
A deep cobalt light then glared out of each die, and the alchemic reaction rebounded. The resulting explosion destroyed the desk, shattered the room's single window, and threw Ed back against the door at the far end of the room.
"Brother!" Al shrieked at the sudden turn of events, rushing to his side, "Are you alright?!"
"I'm fine, Al," Ed winced in pain, "that did something, at least."
As Al helped his older brother to his feet, the little natural light that entered the room was drowned out by the same cobalt light from earlier. From the ruins of the desk and parts of the wall, eight small pillars of light shined out from under the wreckage.
"Come on, Al, help me out!" Ed enthusiastically went over and began removing debris from the pile, in anticipation of what he knew he would find. As the two brothers removed the last piece of rubble, and pulled out the objects, the door burst open. Roy, who happened to be nearby, barged into the room with one hand already gloved.
"What just happened?" he asked with apprehension and a bit of concern.
Ed broadly smiled at the bastard while displaying the now-fully-repaired Fluorite Octet, which gleamed deep cobalt in his hand.
"Results!" he exclaimed happily.
Two important people disembarked the train that rolled noisily into the station.
Van Hohenheim stepped onto the platform near the edge, still reeling from what he had been told the night before; the existence of other dimensions, and what's more, the Amestrian military's attempted detainment of near-godlike individuals from one of said dimensions. When he had questioned the validity of the young man's story, he showed Hohenheim powers and abilities far beyond the scope of what alchemy was capable of. Some things he did could have been done with alchemy, but would have required a Philosopher's Stone of immense proportions, and Hohenheim sensed no stone on the man. He only sensed raw power of unfathomable proportions. Then the young man claimed that he was one of the weaker individuals, and that his friends who were being detained were leagues stronger than him.
"It can only end in disaster." Hohenheim muttered to himself as he merged with the throng of people leaving the station. He intended to make sure a catastrophe could be averted, before it was too late.
The second person was just a housewife. A housewife who had seen something no one should ever see. She had learned that her two students had broken a very important rule; A rule that she broke too.
They would pay for it.
Izumi Curtis and Van Hohenheim left the station that day, unaware they were about to be thrown into a situation far beyond the scope of their comprehension.
[A mile above Central on the Battleship]
Jade screamed in pain and frustration as her 70th attempt at a targeting computer exploded in her face. She furiously incinerated the remains and beat her hands against the hull of the ship in anger.
"Jade! Calm down!" John tried to reassure her as he fiddled with the Alchemiter to produce (what he hoped would be) an improved targeting computer, one that wouldn't blow up in Jade's face.
They had been trying different variations of Prospitian and Derse computers, but none of them could handle the direct voltage that the ship dealt out. As a result, explosions were prolific, and a couple of them had proven fatal.
Blood was everywhere, as well as shrapnel.
"I'm trying to be calm, John!" Jade screamed hysterically, "but every time I hook the damn thing in, it F*CKING EXPLODES IN MY FACE! Why don't you give it a try?!" she gestured at the well-scorched slot for the targeting computer.
"I'll… pass." John fidgeted, "That looks painful."
"NO SHIT, JOHN!"
"I know you're frustrated, but you're more likely to survive the explosions!" John shot back as he handed her the next computer, "You're the strongest one here!"
"Oh, chivalry is dead!" Jade groaned angrily before hooking in the new computer.
That one exploded too.
[A large empty warehouse in Central]
"Fullmetal, why do you need us here?"
Roy Mustang, Riza Hawkeye, Edward Elric, and a few Amestrian soldiers stood in a large, empty warehouse that was reserved for use by the Amestrian military. Ed gave Roy a look, as if to say that the answer was obvious.
"Because," Ed began, "the last time I saw this used, it summoned what I think was a hostile chimera with an automail arm. I just want to be sure that if it does anything similar, I can count on some backup."
Roy smirked, "What, afraid of a chimera?"
"Hey!" Ed snarled, "I'm not afraid of anything, but I don't want things to get too out of hand!"
Mustang shrugged, "Whatever, Fullmetal."
Ed bit back a snide remark and turned to the empty far end of the warehouse.
"Here goes nothing." He sighed, and let the dice roll from his hand.
They clattered to the concrete floor, and slowly rolled to a stop. Ed didn't see the numbers that they ended up on, because as soon as they stopped, they began to strobe bright cobalt. In an instant, a large wooden ship with a blue paint scheme that reminded Ed of a galleon leapt into being in from of him, dominating their side of the warehouse.
Metal clanking and wooden knocking was heard from the ship's far side, and a small voice whispered, "The Gambligant's Broadside."
Suddenly, a deafening roar of several dozen cannons reverberated throughout the warehouse, causing everyone to cover their ears in pain.
As quickly as it began, it stopped, and the massive ship blew away like smoke, as if it was never real in the first place.
However, the damage to the far wall of the warehouse was very real. Sunlight streamed through 15 cannonball-shaped holes in the wall.
"Well, damn." Was all Roy could say.
"You're telling me." Ed added.
"Does it always do that?" Roy asked as he picked up the dice and warily studied them with his eyes.
"No, it looks like the attack depends on the combination rolled."
"Hm, interesting." Roy smirked at Ed's slightly shaken appearance, "Should we risk another roll, or did that scare you too much?"
Ed snatched the dice out of Mustang's hands and tossed them on the ground again, "There's your answer."
The dices rolled and all stopped on eight.
Everyone stared at the dice in apprehension, when nothing happened; Ed tilted his head in confusion.
"Maybe it needs time to recha-"
In an instant, everyone was blown off their feet as a shockwave blew outwards from the eight dice. They rose into the air in the center of a maelstrom that threatened to tear the aging warehouse apart. A single dice was held, suspended five feet in the air, while the other seven dice orbited the first in a blur, each breaking the speed of sound.
The Flourite Octet was faced with a problem.
You see, Ancestral Awakening cannot be performed on a human. The very weapon itself was linked to two individuals; Marquise Spinneret Mindfang and Vriska Serket, the two greatest Cerulean-blooded Gambligants of all time. It couldn't just perform one of its most precious techniques on a human. Not even John Egbert could receive such a gift.
So it had power with no outlet. However, it had been repaired using alchemy, so it retained a bit of alchemy's power.
So if it didn't have a user, it'd just have to make one.
Cobalt light flooded the warehouse as alchemical lightning arced off the dice.
[An entire universe away…]
Vriska Serket was bored.
Not that there's anything wrong with being bored. It was just that an eternity of living out your memories could get boring.
So Vriska wasn't reliving her memories. Instead, she was talking with Terezi.
"I really didn't mean any of it," The dead spider-troll told her Scourge Sister, "I just f*ck up my good intentions."
"Hm, really? Let's see, I don't believe you!" The still-living-but-currently-sleeping Terezi Pyrope cackled.
"Don't you ever regret any of it?" Vriska asked, "All those trolls you killed during FLARPing? The fear that I'm sure we struck into many a troll?"
Terezi frowned, "Vriska, what's the point of this conversation? I'd expect to be hearing this from the Rose-human about cultural differences. Not from you."
Vriska played around with her hair, her expression regretful, "Everything I did," she whispered, "all those other people I fed to my Lusus, all the trolls I killed FLARPing, and killing Tavros…" she looked Terezi straight in the eye, "Do you really think we did it, in the end? Did we prove ourselves worthy of our ancestors? Because although we may have… it doesn't feel worth the cost."
Terezi sniffed in derision, "Seriously, regret? That is one emotion I never expected to smell on you, Serket, and yet somehow, I still don't believe it." She stood up and dramatically flourished her cane, "Everything I did was just! Sure, I regret killing you, but it was for the good of everyone! All those other trolls I killed FLARPing, it was for justice! I don't regret any of it!"
"You really believe that, Terezi?"
At Vriska's question, Terezi nodded vigorously.
Vriska smiled sadly, "Then you're just as bad as me."
Terezi drubbed her Scourge Sister hard with her cane, screeching, "You and I are nothing alike! I have justice on my side! What did you have? Just your luck and your twisted schemes!"
Vriska intercepted Terezi's cane and held it there before it could hit her again, "Really, Pyrope?! Because it just seems to me like you got so wrapped up in your fake Legislacerating, that you didn't realize most of what you did was unnecessary! Before I went off to fight Jack, couldn't you have just talked me down?! A seer is supposed to understand outcomes and consequences, and relay them to their teammates! What did you do? Nothing! You just said I couldn't go! Why did I not trust you, you ask? Well it's because you did nothing as a seer! I can count on one hand how many times you helped guide us using your powers! People suffered because of you! Sure, it's the Alpha timeline, and it couldn't have happened any other way, but everything happened that way because of your personality! Your unwillingness to compromise and assist! For a seer, you are blind!"
Terezi yanked her sword out of the scabbard, leaving Vriska with the sheath.
"You want to have a go, Serket?!" Terezi screamed in fury, slicing the air around her with her cane-sword.
"I wouldn't miss it for the world!" Vriska shot back, as she prepared to fight with the scabbard.
Then she felt it.
It was like a tug, pulling her away.
"Huh?" she looked down at her hand, and saw that she was fading.
"Vriska, what are you doing?" Terezi narrowed her eyebrows, as she smelled that her Scourge Sister was becoming blurrier around the edges.
"I'm not doing it, I'm-"
Then everything went black.
[Interior of the Green Sun]
A wrecked green tower floated through the swirling currents of the Green Sun. Its white dome glimmered in the sickly green light. Inside, an old clock lay against the wall, its glass face cracked, and its intricate carvings dented.
It once again began to tick.
[Back to Amestris!]
Ed held onto the column he had alchemized out of the ground, fighting the shockwaves that had Colonel Mustang, Hawkeye, and the soldiers sprawled out on the ground.
Well, fine, only the soldiers were truly 'sprawled'. Mustang was kneeling, and Riza was lying on the ground with her guns trained on the dice. Ed was the only one standing up.
The orbiting dice slowly slowed, and halted. They were arrayed in a circular pattern around the center dice. The alchemical lightning was arcing off the dice increasing in intensity, and began concentrating on a point directly below them.
Something… No, someone was being alchemized! The glow from the dice was getting dimmer as whatever it was creating became more complete. Ed gave thanks to whatever-god-created-stew that he was able to see results that he could make partial sense of. So those dice were like miniature Philosopher's stones, and they were creating… something, using its power. By the way things looked, though; they would be out by the time this was finished.
At last, the dice's power was used up, and they fell. Most of them disintegrated before hitting the ground, and the ones that did impact the ground scattered their ashes. In apprehension and curiosity, Ed turned to see what the dice had created.
Ed gasped in surprise. It looked like that… chimera that had attacked him a few days ago. The clothing was different, though. She had on what looked like a fancy, black military uniform. It had blue lines running all over it, most of them curving, but some of them reminiscent of a spider's web. What alarmed him, though, wasn't the clothing.
It was the hooked cobalt blade she held in her right hand.
Ed let go of the pillar (he didn't realize he was still holding onto it), and clapped his hands together, breaking the silence that reigned since the chimera's appearance. A steel blade leapt from Ed's sleeve, destroying his glove as he dropped into a defensive stance. Mustang readied his glove, preparing to fry the chimera, and Hawkeye… well, she was already prepared. The soldiers were still down for the count.
Unlike last time, though, Ed wasn't attacked immediately.
The chimera appeared to be looking around, like she was lost. Her sword was lowered, at her side, and she looked a bit unsteady.
The two State Alchemists delayed any action, hoping that they wouldn't have to fight somebody this late in the afternoon.
The chimera noticed them, and let out a startled yelp as she realized she had a gun trained on her, and a blade raised at her. She paid no attention to Mustang.
She promptly turned around and ran.
"After her!" Roy shouted urgently at Ed, who nodded and sprinted after the chimera.
The chimera looked behind her, and seeing that she was being chased, turned around and raised her sword.
Ed reared his arm back, preparing the strike, when two cobalt wings burst from the chimera's back. They were like butterfly wings, one with a large dot and the other with one smaller dot with seven tiny dots arranged around it. Just like the dice.
Startled by appearance of the wings, Ed faltered.
The chimera swung.
And steel met cobalt-colored metal.
The two fought for dominance, until the chimera kicked Ed back. Before he could recover, white light leapt from the chimera's left eye, and danced over Ed.
Suddenly he felt very unlucky.
In the span of a second, Ed tripped over his own coat and landed flat on his back. How he managed that, he'll never know.
Then the ceiling above him caved in.
He scrambled out of the way, but the rubble trapped his left automail leg as it hit the floor with a resounding "THOOM."
Ed looked up to see the hooked end of the chimera's blade.
He looked farther up to the chimera's face. What was he going to see? Triumph? Contempt?
No. All he saw (other than that freakish left eye), was fear, uncertainty, and panic.
Shit, they screwed up. Not only had they managed to antagonize this somehow powerful chimera, but it didn't even speak their language.
All of Ed's theories went out the window when the chimera screamed at him, "Where am I?!"
The sound of a gun backfiring drew both combatant's attention. Lieutenant Hawkeye was clutching her bloodied right hand, and the smoking ruin of her gun was lying on the floor.
Ed was beginning to wonder who gets as lucky as this chimera, before the air above both him and the chimera ignited, roaring with the heat of a million frying pans. Not exactly an elegant metaphor, but it gets the point across.
The chimera let out a startled, "Ah!" at the flames, and backed away from Ed.
"Leave me alone!" the chimera screamed.
[POV change! You've got to flip it turn-ways.]
What the HELL was going on?
First she gets pulled out of her dream-bubble, then she gets attacked by odd-looking humans, and for some reason she's in her Mindfang outfit!
And why was the air on freaking FIRE?!
Needless to say, Vriska Serket was hopelessly confused, lost, and, for the first time in a long time, scared.
"Leave me alone!" she screamed at the lot of them, brandishing her sword like she actually had the confidence to kill any of them. She got lucky once, with the ceiling. She got lucky twice, with the backfiring gun. Now there was a human who could light the air on fire, and suddenly she didn't feel quite so lucky. Dammit, she had all the luck! But even with the best odds, probability still allows for failure.
Quantum mechanics, human, look it up.
"Who are you? Identify yourself!" the older human with black hair and white gloves shouted at her with authority.
"Um… I'm Vriska Serket. Does anyone mind telling me where I am and why you're trying to kill me?!"
"You're in Central."
"Where the f*ck is Central?!"
"Where the f*ck is Amestris?!"
Vriska began to have a sneaking feeling that she wasn't on Alternia anymore.
"There is no way," the uniformed, black haired man said, "that you don't know where and what Amestris is."
"How did I get here?!" Vriska asked, panicked and scared. Shit, she was on an entirely different planet! One populated by humans who could light the air on fire!
The black-haired man shot a look at the diminutive kid trapped under the rubble, and just said, "Fullmetal."
While Vriska puzzled over what he meant, she heard a clap of metal on flesh, and suddenly the ground warped and turned into restraints that held her in place.
"What?" she gasped in surprise "Let me go!"
The black-haired man nodded to one of the men holding a rifle who was just getting up, "Restrain her."
Vriska growled at the man as he approached her. She didn't exactly like being held at gunpoint.
So she stole all his luck.
The man was promptly crushed by part of the ceiling.
Vriska sort of lost track of what happened right after that, but there was a lot of yelling, and someone knocked her out.
Meanwhile, unnoticed to neither John nor Jade, their computers bleeped with a single notice from their Pesterchum client.
"arachnidsGrip is now online!"
[Meanwhile, in the Battlefield…]
"Your friends are having trouble affecting repairs," a small Prospitian soldier said to an orange sprite on the deck of a fully functional Prospitian Battleship, "shouldn't we help them? We've got the spare parts."
"No way man." Davesprite answered bitterly, "Because they forgot about me."
We shoot without a gun,
We'll take on anyone,
It's really nothing new,
It's just a thing we like to do.
And that is chapter 8! Didn't see that coming? Don't worry, neither did I. Crossing the Rift is nearing completion! Only about two or three more chapters to go! Can't wait? Neither can I. But don't worry, this is only the first "episode" of Crossing the Rift. John and Jade will jump to many more dimensions, and they might even recognize a few. They'll visit Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, Harry Potter, Halo, Portal, and many more! If you have any requests for worlds to visit, PM me.
Chapter 9: Family Problems
Jade and John fix their ship, Vriska gets interrogated, and Father finally meets the God Tiers.
All said and done, this is nowhere near as crazy as what will happen next.
Thank you for waiting. At long last, here is chapter 9. The next chapter will be the finale, so please, enjoy this one! Get set for some adventures in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender!
IN ORDER TO FULLY ENJOY THIS CHAPTER, DOWNLOAD THE ALTERNIAN FONT HERE: https://www.dropbox.com/s/05udk04bt0mwcrr/Alternian.ttf
Jade tentatively plugged in the 413th version of their replacement targeting computer, and braced for an explosion.
An explosion that never came.
Slowly, she opened her eyes, and whooped in delight as the computer's lights came on, the hard drives spinning up and the fans coming online.
"We did it!" Jade turned to her ecto-sibling.
"We can leave!" an equally excited John replied.
The two God Tiers embraced each other happily, before remembering that they still had unfinished business.
"Oh yeah." Jade grumbled as she let her arms fall to her side, "I agreed to meet their… 'Fuhrer'…"
John nodded sympathetically, "We should also say goodbye, common courtesy and all that."
The two Skaian heroes cleaned up the remains of failed computers and prepared to leave to wrap things up.
"Ready for teleport, John?" Jade asked John, who shook his head, "Nah, I was thinking of a more… thrilling route."
Without warning John opened one of the smaller windows on the Bridge, and used his windy powers to propel himself over the side of the ship. As he began his barely controlled descent, he screamed in excitement. Jade shook her head in amusement, "Really, skydiving, John? You're such a child."
The Witch of Space then proceeded to teleport right off the deck of the ship, and followed her friend, "Then again, I am too!"
[Somewhere in Central…]
Vriska slowly came to, and as she gathered her thoughts, she took note of her situation. For starters, she was blindfolded. Also, she was tied to a chair, and the ropes and handcuffs were pretty tight. In addition, to top it all off, she had no clue how this happened. Was Terezi engaging in some Legislacerator-fetish? No, Vriska wasn't alone, and whoever else was in the room didn't sound like Terezi. In fact, Vriska couldn't recognize the sound of the other person in the room.
Then it all came back to her. She had been wrenched from her dream bubble, and ended up in another world! She quickly did an inventory of what she had, as much as she could without moving. From the feel of it, she was still wearing her Mindfang outfit. Her wings had folded up again, and they seemed intact, which was good. No weapons, though, and no Flourite Octet to speak of. However, her body still hummed with the power from her most powerful roll; Ancestral Awakening.
That's weird; she didn't remember rolling her dice. Not only that, but the power from that technique should have worn off long ago. This somehow felt more… permanent.
Her thoughts were interrupted when a voice cut through the silence, "I know you're awake, why not cut out the unconscious act?"
Vriska felt displeased. This person saw through her? She must be out of practice.
Putting on the biggest grin possible and displaying her sharp teeth, she laughed, "Well, aren't you the perceptive one? You caught me, nice job! Mind telling me your name, Mr. Perceptive?"
There was an audible pause before the man said, "I am Colonel Roy Mustang of the Amestrian military. Now, tell me your name and title, if you have one."
Vriska didn't like being given orders, but it's not as if she had anything against telling her name.
"My name is Vriska Serket!" she stated, grinning smugly, "Thief of Light, and descendant of the great Marquise Spinneret Mindfang!"
"What kind of name is that?"
"Well what kind of name is 'Roy Mustang?' Your first name is a sauce and your last name is a horse!"
"You're thinking of 'soy', not 'Roy'."
Mustang frowned at the creature sitting across the table from him. It was managing to pull off a smug and condescending attitude despite being tied and blindfolded.
"Anyways," he continued, "we would like to know what kind of chimera you are."
The expression on Vriska's face turned to confusion, "I beg your pardon?"
"What kind of chimera are you?"
"What's a chimera?"
Roy nearly let his head fall onto the desk. He really didn't like having to explain things.
"A chimera," he groaned, "is a fusion of two or more animals using alchemy."
Vriska frowned, "I don't know what kind of things you're using your alchemiter for, but I'm nothing like what you're describing. I'm an Alternian Troll. (Note: If you are seeing special characters, you need to download Alternian font.)
At the very foreign and unfamiliar word, Roy narrowed his eyebrows, "An Alternian what?"
Vriska tilted her head to the side, taking pleasure in the man's confusion.
"I believe the closest translation for English is 'Troll'. I don't think it's the most flattering translation, but it'll do."
Roy stood up, and got ready to leave, "Since it appears you're not in the mood to tell me the truth, I'll come back to visit you later. Let's see if you're in the mood for bullshit after you experience waterboarding."
The Thief of Light waited until she heard the door close, then she began to work on her cuffs. If she was very lucky, she could probably trip the mechanism…
She smiled. She had all the luck, all of it.
The next person to enter the room, on the other hand, was just all out of luck.
[Below the ship]
John landed like a feather drifting to the earth, a stark contrast to his rapid descent at terminal velocity a few seconds ago.
Jade landed with all the grace of an anvil. The cloud of debris rose five feet high and shot outwards for several meters. Standing in the middle of a newly formed crater, the Witch of Space dusted herself off.
"That was fun!" Jade shouted enthusiastically at John, who was kept clean in a little circulating bubble of air he erected as soon as he saw his ecto-sibling hit the ground.
"Tell that to the workers." John gestured at a road-repair crew, who were about 20 meters away, working on a section of the road that had been wrecked a few days ago. The crew gaped at Jade, and a few of them sobbed openly.
Jade's ears flattened against her head in embarrassment, as she twiddled her fingers, "Oh, um… sorry about your road."
Her apology did nothing to console the distressed workers, as a few more of them broke out in hysterics.
Because Jade had landed on a section of road they had just finished building.
As the two awkwardly left the scene, an Amestrian soldier stopped the pair.
"Ah, it's you two. I have orders to lead you to our Fuhrer."
Jade sighed in resignation, "Alright, take me to your leader."
As they followed the uniformed soldier, John gave Jade a look.
"Really?" he asked.
"I'm bored!" was the response.
As the two God Tiers were led to an underground tunnel, Jade warily glanced around at the piping lining the walls.
"What's wrong, Jade?" John asked, concerned as well.
"There's something down here," Jade answered apprehensively, "we're not alone."
The two of them cautiously followed the soldier into a large room with pipes inlaid in the ground. Most of the large chamber was cloaked in darkness.
"Alright, wise guy," Jade ejected her Green Sun Street Sweeper from her Sylladex, and armed it, "the jig's up, why did you really take us down here?"
The soldier turned around, a grin stretching across his face, "Why, to take you to my leader, of course!" Red static sparked all over his body as he suddenly shape-shifted into young looking man with numerous strands of braided hair.
Jade promptly burst out into hysterics, doubling over as she laughed her ass off.
"Wh…What is it?!" the man sputtered, knowing full well that Jade was laughing at him.
"Your…your hair!" Jade gasped, "It looks ridiculous!"
"Don't laugh at me!" the man yelled at Jade, "I'm Envy! A homunculus! Doesn't that mean anything to you?!"
Jade snickered, "Nope," before bursting out in laughter again.
Envy snarled, "Shut the hell up!"
John ejected his Pop-o-matic Vrillyhoo hammer, and flourished it intimidatingly, "Alright, enough with the menacing tone, Mr. Dreadlocks. Who asked you to bring us here?"
John and Jade turned to the new voice emanating from the shadows. Lights slowly illuminated a throne of concrete, with pipes and tubes trailing out from the back. A stocky, elderly man with a white beard rose from his throne, dressed in white robes. "The Witch of Space, I understand? Such a… quaint name. I am Father."
John tilted his head to the side in confusion, "Father? Father of whom?"
Father smiled, "Father of them."
Lights flooded the room, revealing more individuals. A woman dressed in rather seductive clothes and a fat, round man with a childish face were unveiled. The former smiled smugly at the kids, and the latter gave the two a curious look.
"As we are both beings of power," Father addressed Jade, "I was wondering if you'd be willing to arrange an… alliance of sorts."
Jade frowned, "What?"
"I have… plans… for this country," Father continued, "your power would be quite useful in my endeavors. I was wondering whether you'd be willing to lend assistance."
"I beg your pardon?"
"The answer is no, old geezer. I have friends who need my help, and I can't spend any time helping you in your megalomaniacal schemes."
Father shook his head in disappointment, "A pity. Well, if you will not give your power willingly, I will simply take it. Pride, contain them."
In an instant, John and Jade were beset upon by shadows.
"You idiots! Come back here and face your judgement!"
Edward and Alphonse Elric were running for their lives. They had hoped it would take longer for their teacher to find them, but it was not to be.
Izumi Curtis was hot on their heels, fully intending to beat both brothers within an inch of their life. They could explain themselves later, but right now, her fists had their names on them.
Winry watched as Ed and Al dashed past her, running from a very angry woman in white. She sighed; those two were always getting into trouble. She followed, hoping to defuse whatever situation had developed. Either that or she'd clobber Ed with her wrench if it really was his fault.
[A dead end, a near-death experience, and a lengthy explanation later…]
The Elric brothers sat across from Izumi Curtis, each with solemn looks gracing their features.
"So that's what happened, huh?" said Izumi, "The students repeat the mistake of the teacher."
They all hung their heads, "We're all idiots." Izumi sadly commented.
After indulging a moment of self-pity, she suddenly became serious. In fact, the situation could be seen as slightly comical, "All right, so you two called me here for a reason, and I highly doubt it was so I could administer a beating."
Ed shelved his negative feelings, and got right down to the point, "Yes, Al and I were trying to work it out ourselves, but we kind of hit a dead end. You are aware of the destruction that Central sustained a few days ago, right?"
"Yes, what of it? I heard it was an earthquake."
"Well…no. I'm not even really supposed to tell you this, but all that damage was caused by a single person."
"What? No. It can't have!"
"The person responsible is a 16-year old girl by the name of Jade Harley. She and her brother arrived in Central a few days ago… on a giant flying ship."
"… Please tell me you're joking, Edward."
"I wish I were, Teacher. She and her brother have pulled off alchemy of which the likes I've never seen. She's even transported herself over large distances! Can you imagine the type of power that would require?"
"Al, please tell me your brother is joking."
"Sorry, Teacher, he's not. This girl is actually transmuting herself over distances up to a mile."
Izumi closed her eyes and thought for a moment, "But to do that without breaking equivalent exchange would require…" her eyes shot open, "a Philosopher's Stone."
Ed shook his head, "She has no stone on her, and whatever power source she's using, it's undetectable. Trying to find the source of her power has been the bane of my existence these past few days, believe me."
"And how do you think I can help?"
Ed looked Izumi straight in the eye, "We think she's directly related to Truth."
Izumi flinched, "Directly… related?"
"As in she's either affiliated with it, made a deal with it, or, worst case scenario, she is Truth."
"That's impossible, Truth is an entity based on the laws of the world."
"You should've heard her talk. She could've fooled me."
"Sorry Edward, this is a bit much to process…"
Ed leaned back against the chair he was sitting in, "Take your time, Jade isn't going anywhere. If she tries to leave, everyone has orders to detain her. As much as I hate doing a thing like that, this girl might be the only hope to getting Al's body back. We have to find out what she really is."
Izumi sighed, "Well, let me talk to her before I go jumping to any conclusions. If this situation blows out of control, there's no telling what could happen."
[Back beneath Central…]
Everything was chaos.
Razor-sharp tendrils sliced the air all around John and Jade, reducing the floor to fine dust and impeding John's attempts to control the wind, as the currents kept getting disrupted. John's hammer was pretty ineffective, and the only weapon that was having any sort of effect was the Green Sun Streetsweeper.
"Oh for crying out loud," Jade grunted, sidestepping a lunging tendril, "Use this!"
Jade tossed her gun through the air, which John deftly snatched out of the air and quickly turned on their shadowy assailant.
Green fire roared around the pair as John pushed the limit of the gun and Jade unleashed widespread destruction with the unbridled force of the Green Sun. That, and she was swinging around her katana, not that she needed to.
Nonetheless, Pride seemed to take interest in the weapon, and attempted to bite it clean in two.
The results weren't exactly what he expected.
As his teeth ground against the unyielding metal, Jade sneered, "What's wrong, taste something you don't like?" before smashing the shadowy maw with a vicious sidekick.
"Impossible!" Envy snarled, "Pride should be able to bite through anything! Nothing can-"
"Impossible?" Jade interrupted, "Think again, F*ckass. Alright, enough of the small fry!"
In an instant, the entire room was saturated in the energy of the Green Sun. Green lightning arced off Jade, striking Envy, Pride, Lust, and Gluttony. Father was untouched, and was the only one left standing after the furious attack subsided.
"Like I said," Jade growled at Father, "we don't have time to waste on your megalomaniacal shenanigans."
Father frowned, affixing the dog-eared girl with a stern gaze.
"You shouldn't have rejected my offer. Now you really will suffer."
A titanium cage leapt up around Jade out of the floor, without warning. Jade blasted it to dust in a second, but immediately after that, a spike sprang out from the floor behind her and impaled her.
Jade gritted her teeth in pain, unable to scream as the spike destroyed her lungs and heart. The spike crumbled, and Jade crumpled to the ground, out cold.
"Jade!" John cried out, erecting a protective dome of wind around the pair of them.
A dome that was torn apart by stone obstructions that rose up out of the floor.
"Now, you will serve us, willingly or not." Father stated, as if it meant nothing to him.
Then Father himself was enclosed in a metal cylinder, and a man who looked like a younger version of Father appeared, warily watching the improvised prison.
"Go!" he yelled, "I'll buy you two some time."
John nodded thankfully, if a bit confused, and carried Jade away.
The metal cylinder was atomized, and a pissed looking Father glared at Hohenheim.
"Just what do you think you're doing?!" he hissed.
"You don't know what you were dealing with." Said Hohenheim.
"And you do?" Father retorted.
"Yes," Hohenheim answered, "They were more powerful than you could have possible imagined. That girl could have wiped all of you out of existence."
"But I subdued her!" Father shouted in an outrage, "I could've controlled them! They were weak; if that girl was so powerful, then why did she not exercise that power?!"
"Because she was being merciful."
Then the fight began.
John had to close his eyes as the signature strobing lights of God Tier Resurrection pulsed his face, but once they ended, he smiled to hear his ecto-sibling's voice, even if she was groaning in discomfort.
"What… what happened?" Jade groggily asked.
"We were rescued," John responded, grunting as he set Jade down on her own feet, "but I think it's time we high-tailed it out of this universe."
"I agree," Jade looked at her blood-stained clothing, "Argh, this blood will take forever to wash out."
John shrugged, opening the door to the outside, "Well, I think I can alchemize up some stain remover, we'll have all the time in the world once we leave this pla-"
"Hey asshole." A new voice interrupted John, making him turn around to face the speaker.
He came face to face with several guns and a metal arm with a knife at the end. Also, there was a glove with a design on it.
Edward Elric glared at John, "We need to have a little chat."
The Finale of Episode One! Vriska, Jade, and John beat a hasty escape from Amestris!
Author’s Note: After a long wait, here is the anticipated finale of “CtR Ep.1: Equivalent Exchange”! Sorry for the wait. Real life happened.
Chapter 10: Truth and Lie
Jade glared at the diminutive State Alchemist, “No!” she barked, “We are not going with you! While I hate to refuse your ‘hospitality’, we have friends who need our help.”
“Oh yeah?” Ed snarled, “I have things I need to set right, and you’re the one who can help me do just that.”
Off to the side, Winry Rockbell watched as Ed confronted that crazy girl from the hospital.
Jade, heedless of the amount of weaponry trained on her, got up in Ed’s face, practically spitting, “Well we also have things that we need to set right! So get out of my way, pipsqueak!”
Veins in the elder Elric brother’s face bulged, fit to burst, “What did you just call me?!” he spat back, becoming more worked up by the second.
“Edward!” Izumi Curtis pushed past two of the soldiers and grabbed Ed’s arm, holding him back, “Calm down. What did you want me to determine again?”
As pupil and teacher talked, Jade’s expression was one of frustrated exasperation, bordering on fury. She wasn’t even sure she comprehended what Izumi asked next, all she knew was that these people were keeping her from helping her friends, and being incredibly offensive while doing so.
“You keep me here,” she screamed, shocking everyone, John included, “lock us up, interrogate us, kill us, and now you expect me to help you?! Well how about NO you fuckasses!!!”
“I wonder if the Truth can take sanity as payment,” Izumi muttered, mostly to herself.
Jade heard that.
“EEEEENNNNOOOUUUUGGGHHH!!!!” she all but shrieked, green lightning arcing off her body as she prepared to blast them all into next week.
“Fire!” Mustang shouted, and twenty guns spoke, their payload streaking towards Jade.
They never hit their mark. They all became suspended in midair. Everyone stared in shock.
“This is karma!” Jade yelled, accelerating the bullets back at the crowd. All the soldiers in addition to Mustang and Izumi went down. Hawkeye dodged the return fire, but didn’t fire her gun, waiting for an opportune moment.
Ed lunged at Jade, swinging his bladed automail arm. Jade sidestepped the slice, and kneed Ed in the gut, augmenting her strength with her power over physics. As Ed doubled over, Jade wound up a punch, wreathing her arm in kinetic space powers and fully intending to punch that damned metal arm right off his shoulder.
“No!” Winry cried, throwing herself between Ed and Jade. She saw what she thought was killing intent in Jade’s eyes, and felt that she needed to protect her childhood friend.
“Jade, stop!” John cried out. It was too late.
Jade’s right fist, imbued with enough power to vaporize reinforced titanium, slammed into Winry’s chest.
It exited out her back.
Blood was everywhere as Ed and John both screamed, one in despair, the other in shock.
Jade was wide-eyed and speechless. What was going on? Nobody was supposed to die. She wasn’t supposed to kill anyone.
She withdrew her fist and stepped back, shaking. What had she done?
John spotted the horrified Lieutenant Hawkeye step forward to put a bullet in Jade’s head, and John somehow doubted Jade was currently capable of preventing the shot, which under the current circumstances, would result in a justified death.
“Stay back!” John’s voice boomed as he erected a chaotic wall of wind in between Jade, Winry, Ed, him, and the rest of the soldiers.
“Winry!” Ed’s voice wailed off the sides of the alleyway as his childhood friend choked on her own blood.
“No…” Jade whispered in shock, “I didn’t… that wasn’t supposed to…”
Furious, Ed stood up and grabbed Jade by the collar of her shirt, lifting her up even though he was shorter than her.
“You,” he snarled, “are going to help me bring her back, or so help me god, I will make your death so painful that you’ll wish it was permanent!”
Jade stared, terrified, at the short alchemist, who was blazing with all the fury of a thousand suns.
As Ed dragged Jade over to Winry’s dying form, the injured Izumi saw the look in Ed’s eyes. She knew what he was going to try and do, and tried to call out to him to stop. John’s wall of wind drowned out her cries, as Ed clapped his hands together and brought them to Winry’s body.
With the crackle of an alchemic reaction, Jade’s awareness of the world went white.
It took a few seconds for Ed to adjust, but when he did, he was greeted by the massive, familiar, engraved stone doors. A quite familiar figure stood in front of the door.
“Welcome back, Mr. Al-che-mis-” Truth stopped, frowning, pointing past him.
“What,” it growled, “is SHE doing here?!”
Ed turned around to see Jade. However, she looked radically different. Jade lacked any dog-like traits, and was wreathed in emerald flames. Her eyes sparked with green, and her form intermittently phased out in green sparks.
“Where are we?” Jade asked, looking around, then looking down at herself, “and what the hell happened to me?”
“This is beyond breaking the taboo, Mr. Elric,” Truth groaned, “You’ve mixed the powers from two universes together. What were you trying to accomplish?!”
“Wait a second,” Ed did a double-take, “you mean she wasn’t completely bullshitting me?!”
Truth sneered, “Of course she wasn’t, and you knew that! After all, I am the universe, and you. You knew she was telling the truth, but did you trust her? No. Look what’s happened now. She is foreign. She does not belong, and you brought her here, to the Gate of Truth. This will have consequences in the long run.”
Jade was puzzled, “What gate?” she asked, casting her gaze around, “Who’s saying that?”
“Huh?” Ed was confused, but then he realized, turning back to Truth, “she can’t see you?”
“Of course,” Truth scoffed, “the Gate of Truth resides in everyone in this world. This girl is from another place, though. She has no Gate, and by extension, I do not reside in her. She cannot see me. She can hear me through you, though.”
Ed contemplated the situation, and would’ve loved to speculate on the revelations these new facts made, but got back to the reason he was here.
“So can Jade help me pay for the Equivalent Exchange necessary to heal Winry?” Ed demanded of Truth, who merely rubbed its chin and appeared to think.
“Well,” Truth scowled, “I suppose I could. Energy is energy, no matter where it comes from.”
“Jade,” Ed turned on the girl, “I need some of your power, could you compress it into something?”
Jade thought for a second, before materializing a small, burning sun in her hand, “Will this do?” she asked.
The miniature sun floated over to Truth, who regarded it with curiosity, before responding, “Yes, this will do nicely.”
“I have a question,” Jade began, “why do I look like this?”
“Ah,” Truth smiled, “I may not know much of your universe, but that, I can answer. We are seeing you as your true self. Jade Harley, First Guardian of Earth.”
Jade frowned, “But I’m not a First Guardian.”
“But Becquerel was, and you are one with him now, are you not?”
Completely lost, Ed interrupted, “So the transmutation worked?”
Truth nodded, “Yes, Mr. Alchemist. Your friend is all healed.” It waved as the white world fell apart, “Pleasure doing business with you. Next time, don’t bring guests.”
Ed’s awareness was dumped unceremoniously back into his body, and he staggered slightly, as did Jade, who once again looked as she normally did.
With a gasp, Ed’s attention was drawn back to Winry, who was now lacking a gaping hole in her chest. Her clothes weren’t repaired though, and were torn and stained with blood. She was frantically patting her chest to reassure herself that she was no longer missing any part of her body.
“Winry!” Ed grabbed his friend, pulling her into a hug, “I almost thought it wouldn’t work!”
As Winry comforted a relieved Edward, Jade began to backpedal, whispering to John, “Time to beat it.”
They both turned around and ran towards the end of the alley.
Then Fuhrer Bradley blocked their exit.
“Thaaaaaaaanks for the keys!” Vriska laughed at the security guard, who was trussed up in the corner of the interrogation room. He screamed indignantly through his gag, but it came out so muted that Vriska could barely even hear it. She chuckled as she closed the door behind her. Escaping was easy! The only luck she required was opening the cuffs. After, that it was a cakewalk.
Ah, and the guard was kind enough to leave her weapon right next to the door! Their security sucked.
Flourishing the sword, Vriska made her way to the building’s exit. The few guards who got in her way ended up missing some rather important extremities. Grabbing a guards pistol, she kicked down the door to outside.
Military personnel stationed outside had their backs turned, lucky her!
“Hello boys!” Vriska cackled, swinging her sword and firing her gun as the guards began to turn around.
[Back to our heroes…]
“How bothersome,” Fuhrer Bradley scoffed, walking slowly towards the two God Tiers, “I ask for a simple request, to bring the two outsiders to me, and not even two of my most gifted State Alchemists can do the job. Well, if you can’t get others to do it,” The Fuhrer fixed John and Jade with a piercing glare, “then I’ll just have to do it myself.”
Jade and John paled before the murderous aura radiating off of their opponent, but collected themselves and uncaptchalogued their weapons, standing ready to face Bradley.
“Just let us pass,” Jade attempted to be intimidating, “nobody else needs to get hurt.”
“You’re right,” Bradley retorted, “Nobody else needs to get hurt. Except for you two.”
The bloodlust was palpable. Jade leaned over to John, and whispered, “Get to the ship. I’ll deal with these guys.”
John nodded, and lunged at Bradley, swinging the Vrillyhoo hammer. Bradley easily parried and skewered John.
Jade’s eyes widened in shock, but not because John was stabbed. Immediately after the sword pierced John, he disintegrated into wind. That same wind blasted past Bradley and away towards the ship. The Fuhrer turned to the quickly fading breeze and stared, dumbstruck.
He barely had time to whirl around and block Jade’s gunshot. The Witch of Time stood with a smoking Desert Eagle in her left hand, as a single bullet casing fell to the floor.
“Well,” Jade smirked smugly, even as John’s wind barrier dropped, and Izumi, Hawkeye, and Mustang confronted her, “Let’s have some fun!”
Vriska took cover behind a car, as rifle bullets shattered the windows and pierced the doors. Damn! She was pinned! In an attempt to get to that inexplicably-placed Prospitian ship she had walked right into an entire squadron of soldiers. With no time to attack or steal their luck, she had taken cover. Now she was trapped. Vriska couldn’t stick her head out without getting it blown off, and she lacked any long-range weapons.
She pulled out a small grub-phone that she had capatchalogued, for some reason. Trollian said that both ectoBiologist and gardenGnostic were offline. Everyone else wasn’t even present on the list. Did that mean John and Jade were somewhere here in this world?
A bullet punched through the car close to her head, and she yelped. Well, if they were here, now would be a good time to show up.
Almost as if on cue, a maelstrom of wind suddenly whipped up, knocking every soldier into the nearest hard object, rendering everyone unconscious. Vriska poked her head out, then stood up, laughing. What luck!
Wind powers, Vriska thought, that can only mean…
With a little pop, John materialized in front of her, with a shocked expression on his face.
“Hey!” he exclaimed, “You’re one of the trolls, aren’t you?”
Vriska stared, blinking, at John, before breaking out in a huge grin, “John!”
The Spidertroll threw herself at John, wrapping her arms around him. It was so good to see a familiar face.
Jade ducked under Bradley’s swing, thrusting her own sword at the Fuhrer’s abdomen, which he quickly deflected. At the same time, the Witch of Space fired three bullets to collide with the three bullets fired by Lieutenant Hawkeye. Simultaneously, Jade sidestepped long metal chains that leaped out of the ground which had attempted to constrain her, while also dodging the large fireball which leapt into being, where she once stood seconds ago.
Alchemy, blade, flame, and bullet met in sporadic flashes of green lightning, as the five combatants fired, sliced, snapped, clapped, and danced the dangerous dance of combat.
Izumi sent alchemized weapon after alchemized weapon after the nimble young woman, but Jade was just too fast. Every bullet that Hawkeye fired off was countered by another bullet perfectly cancelling out each projectile’s momentum. Mustang was snapping so fast he idly thought that his glove might catch fire, yet Jade dodged every single combustion sent her way.
Fuhrer Bradley’s sword was a blur, impossible to track with the human eye. Yet, Jade seemed to be able to counter every single thrust, every slice, and every flick of his blade. Her own blade was, too, an invisible blur, glinting every now and then as it caught the sun. Her finger was moving rapidly, depressing the trigger on her pistol to match Hawkeye’s shots. The battle itself was beyond the limit of human perception.
Jade was worried. Every nanosecond, she could feel herself getting slower, from fatigue. Sooner or later, she’d slip up. Then she would be shot, stabbed, burned, or captured. Jade put all she had into the fight, but she was outnumbered.
Just a second too slow, the ground twirled up around her, trapping her as the stone settled into place, sparking with alchemical discharge. Dammit! She had hoped she could buy John more time.
Bradley ceased his attack, breathing heavily, as Mustang and Hawkeye let out a relieved sigh.
“You’re coming with me,” Izumi growled at the Witch of Space, “and you’re going to tell me everything you know.”
“I think you’re forgetting something,” Jade chuckled, “Now you see me, now you don’t.”
With a flash of green light, Jade was gone.
“Wow,” John laughed, “So you’re Vriska?”
Vriska nodded vigorously, “John, you don’t know how long I’ve waited to meet you!”
“Nice to meet you too,” John replied, grinning from ear to ear, “but we’ve got to get out of here. We’ve just pissed off a military state, and we need to hightail it. Jade should be here soon, but I need to prep the ship. Want to lend a hand?”
“I totally would!” Vriska nodded enthusiastically, “Let’s blow this joint!”
As Jade and John flew up to the ship, on a nearby rooftop a young man in his teens stood alone on the roof. He was dressed in an Amestrian suit, but had a pair of classy shades perched on his face. His short, blonde hair rustled in the wind, as he sighed in a Texan accent, “Well, I guess that’s it for now. I hate waiting. I better get back before Kanaya and Rose miss me.”
With a muted flash of Red, the young man was gone.
John and Vriska flipped switches, pressed buttons, and brought the massive battleship to life. A gentle, thrumming whine was slowly rising as the turbines slowly began to spin up. Deck plates recessed, and impressive-looking cannons emerged, humming with a contained inner energy.
John released the ship from his Windy powers, and the ship’s engines roared to life, taking the weight of the massive craft, and maneuvering it just a bit lower.
“All systems check out,” John reported.
“So we’re all set?” Vriska asked, to which John shook his head.
“We need to pick up Jade. Then we can leave.”
Vriska accepted John’s explanation, manning the Weapons-Control station, and swore.
“Grub-fucking son of a bulgesucker! John! We’ve got a problem!”
John dashed over to Vriska’s station. On the view screen, John could see that, a mile away, the Amestrian army had set up artillery units. There wasn’t much question as to what they were aimed at.
Puffs of smoke and flame, quickly followed by an audible boom, came from the cannons.
“Evasive Maneuvers!” John quickly moved over to the helm and twisted the joysticks that controlled the ship. Thrusters all along the ship’s hull screamed as the Prospitian battleship desperately tried to throw itself out of the trajectory of the incoming projectiles.
It only half succeeded.
John and Vriska were knocked off their feet as the entire ship shook, the sound of tearing metal and explosions clearly echoing around the hull.
“What the hell was that?!” Vriska yelped, nursing a bumped head.
“We got hit!” John swore, picking himself up and checking the helm console, growling, “Controls are fried, we’re a sitting duck!”
John kicked in his Windy powers, trying to move the battleship, but the ship automatically resisted the pull, attempting to hold position.
The Amestrians adjusted their aim.
John looked at the view screen with despair. No time to counterattack. No time to evacuate. No time to do anything.
Jade leapt from rooftop to rooftop, traveling at a speed impossible to follow with the human eye. She spotted the Prospitian battleship, hovering a respectable distance above the city. Smoke and flames trailed from very obvious battle damage on the starboard side of the prow.
Jade sped up to blinding speeds, almost instantly landing on the deck of the ship. What could have damaged the ship? She got her answer immediately.
Her bubble of limited omniscience detected incoming projectiles, traveling at high speeds, on an intercept course with the ship. Most likely cannon fire.
Jade reversed their direction.
John watched inside as the artillery cannons inexplicably blew up. What the hell? Not that he was complaining.
“What happened?” Vriska asked, puzzled.
“I happened,” Jade kicked open the door to the bridge in a rather dramatic entry.
“Oh, you must be Jade. Hi, I’m Vriska.” The Thief of Light offered her hand to the Witch of Space. Jade looked shocked at the appearance of the Troll, but shook the offered hand.
“Jade, introductions later,” John interrupted, “We’ve got to go.”
“Right,” Jade nodded, moving to the middle of the bridge, closing her eyes and taking deep breaths.
“What’s she doing?” Vriska asked, to which John quickly shooshed her.
Green lightning began to spark over Jade’s skin, and the air crackled with power. Her clothes began to ripple as if gravity itself was being lessened. A breeze slowly kicked up in the tiny room, blowing around Vriska, Jade, and John’s hoods.
Jade’s eyes snapped open, eyes overflowing with the raw power of the Green Sun.
Outside, Edward Elric and Izumi Curtis neared the Prospitian Battleship, staring in awe as a massive rift in the fabric of reality tore itself open.
“Edward!” Izumi called out urgently.
“Right!” Edward answered, as both Alchemists slapped their hands together and slammed them on the ground. Alchemical lightning sparked and raced over the ground, as it sped directly under the Prospitian battleship. With an earth-shattering rumble, the ground swelled upwards towards the battleship, shaping and warping with the power of alchemy. A gargantuan hand took shape, reaching up towards the hovering craft, intent on crushing it between its fingers.
One moment the stone fingers encircled the ship, an inch away from claiming its prize.
The next moment, with a flash of green, the ship leapt away into the rift, which slammed shut, as did the hand.
We’ll run where lights can’t chase us.
Hide where love can save us.
I will never let you go.
Crossing the Rift-Episode 1
To be continued in Crossing the Rift-Episode 2: The Last Heirbender…
Authors Notes: Well, that’s the end of this episode. The next one will place our three heroes in the world of Avatar: TLA! Review please, and hang in there. The next episode will be out as soon as I get my hands on “Avatar-The Promise Part 3”.