Author: phantomdare1 PM
After curing of all EVOs, Providence still remains as a high-profile peacekeeper, with new dangers in place of EVOs. When rumors of a certain group of rather strange people comes to their attention, Rex doubts this was the end of it. -set to be rewritten-Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Family - Edward E. & Rex S. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 13,317 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 55 - Follows: 65 - Updated: 04-10-11 - Published: 03-26-11 - id: 6849070
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
WARNING: Suspiciously uber-long chapter! Read at your own risk!
Ch 2: Boot Camp Part 1
"Gentlemen!" A General shouted. "Welcome to Basic Training!"
Rex, Noah, and Al were excited, but Ed didn't seem too pleased. Boot camp… How boring.
"Boot camp?" Roy looked up from his newspaper, which he managed to get one of the agents to retrieve for him on a trip. Rex nodded. Apparently, much to Ed's dismay, the two were getting along quite easily. It made sense, though. Both of them were idiots, both of them were hopeless womanizers (Roy asked Dr. Holiday on a date, and she said no, of course), and both of them were heartless jerks.
A week has passed since their stay in Base, and all Ed had been doing was watching Rex tear down buildings to fight ridiculously huge EVOs. It was true that they were huge and interesting to watch, but Ed was still appalled that Rex had no knowledge of fighting, and he was randomly swinging his mechanical arm things. Ed looked at his right arm, where a small glint of steel could be seen. Al's efforts were sadly put to waste when Ed tried to bring his brother back. The Truth made a big mistake of leading him through the wrong door, and now he was reunited with Winry's cherished automail arm, and leg. He hid his metal appendages under his clothing, and wore gloves for extra measure.
"Yeah, boot camp!" Rex nodded enthusiastically. "Noah and I are going, so I'll be off of mission duty for a while. They're taking in newbies right now."
"Is that so?" Roy smiled, and looked at Ed. "Fullmetal, why don't you go with Rex here to this camp? You could use a little training."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Ed snarled. "I trained every day back at school. I'm perfectly fine."
"You haven't trained hard enough," Al spoke up. He was getting healthier by the days, and he seemed quite normal now. "I need training, too."
"Captain Calan tells me you four want a taste of Basic," The General walked ahead with the four following suit.
"Yeah, but not the easy version," Rex smiled, "We want to be treated no different than any other cadet."
Ed snorted at this boy's naivety. For someone who's been in a military for a few years and then retired in some random pocket universe, Ed had become cynically boring. Even Roy was beginning to think the boy was losing motivation, and sent him to the boot camp. It was true, though. He was no longer his real stuck-up and outspoken Fullmetal persona anymore. He didn't even bother to go into a tantrum against EVOs, which completely violated his code of Equivalent Exchange. He didn't protest against Six's request to join Providence after hiding for a year, either. He only degraded to being aimless and lost. But being the "father" Roy was, Ed was now standing in the most useless places to be…
"All right," The General smiled at the Rex's enthusiasm. "All you have to know…"
He pointed to a building. "That's where we eat."
He pointed to another location ahead. "And that's where we blow things up."
In the vast desert, a large explosion shook the ground, knocking Rex and Noah off their feet. Al and Ed stood their ground. Al's jaw dropped, since he had not seen an actual explosion close up for a while, while a bored Ed merely looked on.
Al turned to Ed. "Sounds like the Colonel's place to train, doesn't it?"
Ed grunted in approval. They were led into a lecture room, where many cadets were sitting and watching a video about combat agents. The teacher was presenting a video of Rex fighting a typical EVO.
"Hey," Rex whispered. "It's me!"
"Hm, very educational," Noah laughed. Ed sighed again. Protocol stuff… He never learned this before. Roy allowed him to jump over that training and let him become Major anyways… Did Roy go through this? The General then led them to their dorms. Much to Ed's surprise, he was not rooming with his brother. He was going to be in the same room as…
"Wow!" Rex spun around in the dorm. "So this is what college is like! But with weapons!"
Oh, that Rex idiot. Al and Noah were rooming, so it was fine. They were currently standing around in Rex and Ed's dorm, laughing at Rex's festivities. An African girl was standing behind the General who was in the doorway.
"This is Cadet Kenwyn Jones," He said. "You have any questions, ask her. I'll check back with you first thing tomorrow morning. Enjoy your stay."
The General left, leaving the girl with four guys. Rex, still holding the gun, stood up and smiled at Kenwyn.
"He was really nice," He commented.
"He always is," She said back flatly. "On the first day."
Al pointed to the window. "What's down there?"
"The stone steps," She answered. "They don't waste a jump jet on us when we quit. You have to walk."
Noah and Rex joined in, and gulped at the steep cliff they were going live on for the next month or so. Ed snorted. Just like Teacher's training, he bet.
"You better turn in," Kenwyn noted. "The day starts early around here."
She turned around and left the four alone.
"This wasn't something I expected," Noah sat in a chair. He wasn't going to be staying here for long, and neither was Al. Rex took the top bunk and was already relaxing.
"I know," He smiled. "This is going to be a piece of cake."
"Well, see you tomorrow morning," Al smiled, and exited the room with Noah following suit. Rex continued to relax and ramble on about how easy Basic would be, until Ed snorted.
"Idiot," Ed spoke, and Rex looked over, and saw Ed already taking the lower bunk. Come to think of it, Ed hadn't spoken much on the trip to Basic, or on the tour itself.
"What are you talking about?" Rex frowned. Ed looked up with annoyance.
"This is military training," He said. "For an idiot like you, you won't survive."
"What do you mean?" Rex frowned. "I can take down an EVO instantly when these guys can't."
Ed took off his jacket and hung it on the back of a chair. "I've watched you battle EVOs on the past week. You're inexperienced for a fighter."
"I've fought these things for a year already, maybe longer than you!" Rex shot back. "Of course I'm experienced."
"No, you're not," Ed was getting into his bed. "You lack skill. It's painfully obvious."
"What gives you the right to say that, pipsqueak?" Rex smiled. Ever since Rex learned of Ed's angry outbursts about being short and hating milk, Rex took it to his advantage whenever he came back from a mission to tease Ed. He received a hard kick to the bottom of the bed, so hard his body jumped a foot before falling back onto the not so soft bed.
"Shut the hell up," Ed growled. "Go to sleep."
"Fine," Rex pouted and laid back on his bed, and he drifted to sleep.
Ed walked into a completely empty room, save for a large screen at the opposite end of the wall. Roy and Riza followed suit, along with Six, and Holiday. The screen flicked on, and there, White Knight was sitting in his desk, coldly staring back at the newcomers. Roy was beginning to wonder if he'd be like this in the future if he became Fuhrer.
"So these must be the new recruits you told me about yesterday," He drawled, much to Ed's dismay. For once, he preferred listening to Fuhrer Bradley when he didn't know the man was a Homunculus. Now that man was dead, so not much could be done.
"Yes, these are the new ones, along with this boy's brother," Six answered back. "but he is currently not in a healthy state."
"I see," the leader of Providence clasped his hands in thought. "From what Rex has reported to us, this boy here has EVO-like capabilities?"
"It's not EVO, Knight," Holiday corrected him. "I ran a test through him before we sent him here. His Nanites are completely neutral, null for that matter. Not only that, his body, along with the rest of his family, has very little Nanites in the first place. It's completely below average."
"I see," Knight nodded. "Since Agent Six urged me to allow you to stay, you will follow the rules and protocols of Providence. Any misstep, and you will not be under protection any longer."
The clanging of metal, immediately startled Rex out of his bed, and he fell out of his bed.
"You kidding me?" Rex muttered, clutching his head. "It couldn't be morning already…"
"12:01 is morning already to me," the General barked at his face. "Let's go! Your roommate is already up."
"Hm…" Rex groaned, and he looked at the bottom bunk. Ed was not there, and the bed was already neatly done.
"Hurry up, idiot," Rex jumped, and saw Ed already dressed to leave. His arms were folded, and the boy was tapping his feet away impatiently. Rex scrambled to his feet and raced to the door.
"Since when did you get up?" Rex asked as he caught up to him.
"11:30," Ed replied flatly as he left.
"Brother!" Al called as he ran to them. Noah was following closely behind, already dressed as well.
"You don't seem to be awake," Rex commented. Noah laughed.
"Speak for yourself," Noah looked at Al. "Al woke me up early."
The Elrics were already up ahead, and Al was quite happy to be running about again.
"So, Brother," Al looked at Ed. "Ready for training?"
Ed didn't answer, and Al frowned at the lack of reaction, or enthusiasm, for that matter.
"Brother," Al said. "The Colonel sent us here for a reason. I'm sure it's a good reason."
"This is stupid," Ed snarled. "All we're gonna do is pointless drills and military stuff."
"Well, it should be good for Mr. Grumpy to be a bit happier once in a while, right?" Al laughed. "Don't you want to get home to everyone else?"
"Maybe," Ed answered briskly.
"Then why don't we actually get started on that?" Al asked. "We have the resources we need now. All we need is for you to get on your feet. It's not so bad, brother."
Ed paused, and then thought. It was true. Standing here deferring a goal was pointless, and he had to take it back and return home, like he had promised Al, Roy, and Riza. What was he giving up for?
Ed smiled, and raised his fist in the air. "Yeah. Not so bad…."
"Whoa," Rex clapped. "The pipsqueak seems quite pumped up today."
And Rex got another bruise on his face.
Today was a downpour, and everyone was standing in single file. The four newcomers were wearing rather thin armor uniforms. Rex was beginning to wonder how this protected Beasley that other time. Noah was pulling at the uncomfortable plates, and had the urge alleviate the itching feeling in his arm, but couldn't because of the cloth. Al and Ed were standing next to Kenwyn, who had little expression. They weren't one to keep cold expressions when training, but they resorted to scowling to match up to Kenwyn. All they could think of was their Teacher's training, and the uniforms didn't matter. But they wished that they could wear Amestrian uniforms, which were thicker, and could have protected them from this rain… At least Ed's automail didn't stick out of this.
Kenwyn looked to her side, and saw the Elrics standing straight and tall, like a Providence agent was trained to do. More enough, she had never exactly got a good look at the two before. From what she had grasped, these two were of the four new high-ranking Providence agents that had been put in action, and they were merely local civilians, much to Kenwyn's wrath. How did they get enlisted in Providence so quickly, when she had already worked seven years to almost graduate as top of the class? If they were really the high rank they claim they were, she would have to find out for herself.
The first part of training was pull-ups. Behind them several horizontal bars rose from behind them, and they watched the cadets jump onto the bars and begin pulling themselves over the bar and back down again. The Elric brothers glanced at each other, and jumped, already pulling themselves up, already at the pace of the other students. Rex and Noah gawked at how easily they adjusted to the training, and then met the face of the drill instructor.
"What are you doing!" He shouted in the face. "Get going!"
Noah squeaked and attempted to pull himself up, but couldn't even move an inch, while Rex found it more fitting to transform, and wreck then entire bar, making everyone else fall down. The General glared at him.
"That was Providence property you just destroyed!" He shouted, and pointed at Rex and Noah before turning to the Elrics. "Both of you drop and give me twenty! As for y-"
He gasped in amazement the horizontal bar was completely fixed, with Ed and Al diligently doing pull-ups with the other cadets, who returned to work once the General's glare reached them. The General then said nothing, and turned around. Noah scoffed at the difference of treatment they received.
"Oh, he's really nice." He rolled his eyes. As they began to do pushups, Rex used his Smack Hands to quicken his punishment.
"Hey," He said to Noah. "Try to keep up."
He then saw the foot of the General and looked up and his not-so-happy face.
"You think that's too easy for you?" The man shouted. "Make it one thousand! Both of you!"
Rex faced the ground, and continued his pushups, but the General stomped on his head.
"No," He sneered. "One thousand sit ups!"
This proved to be far worse. Noah was going at a fine pace, while Rex was struggling to even get up. The General bent down and looked at the boy's face.
"What's the matter?" he sneered. "Don't have any machines for that?"
Noah snickered, "Try to keep up."
"Don't you feel sorry for them, Brother?" Al asked as they continued their pull-ups. Ed finished another pull up before dangling for a moment.
"Nope," He frowned. "He deserved it."
"Hey," Kenwyn shouted at them. "Get working!"
"Speak for yourself!" Ed went back to doing pull-ups. Kenwyn scowled at the boy's impressive ability to go this far and still withstand so many pull-ups, being a civilian and all with no said training in the records. She won't lose. Kenwyn then went to doing pull-ups more vigorously and quickly. Ed saw that she wanted to compete, and he decided to do so as well. Al ended up gawking at the fact that the two were already going three times as fast as everyone else.
Next, they were trudging through muddy terrain. Most of the cadets are already ahead. Rex and Noah, of course were last. They panted heavily with their guns in hand.
"Where's Ed and Al?" Rex asked, separating his words with breaths.
"Up front," Noah said, and Rex nearly dropped his gun.
Not too long after a jeep drove past them and sprayed a big amount of mud all over them. Rex groaned and collapsed into the mud. Meanwhile, up ahead, far ahead, The Elrics were busy wrestling through the thick mud. Ed was quite relieved that he was wearing seal-tight boots that won't allow mud to seep in. That would've earned him a bash from his mechanic, if he came back, that is.
"I wonder where Rex and Noah are?" Al thought as he hefted the gun. But Ed wasn't listening. He was too busy sprinting and attempting to outrun Kenwyn, who was also running just as hard.
"I'm going to win this race!" Ed shouted over the rain. Kenwyn growled.
"Well, I'm not letting you, shorty!"
"What the hell did you call me?"
The two of them gave battle cries and was a mile ahead of Al, who sweatdrop at Ed's sudden spike in adrenaline. Was it his speech in the morning, or was it that girl?
It was target practice… And it was also sunny, too. Very sunny. And very silent save for the drill isntructor's barking and the clattering of used shells.
"I'm going to shoot more than you!" Ed shouted, and Kenwyn frowned, making more headshots at her target board. Al was doing just as well, occasionally recoiling and hitting the ear of the dummy.
"Shut up, pipsqueak!"
"You shut up!"
"Brother, please stop it!"
The three were doing just fine, making head shots as they shouted at each other. The General was beginning to take some favor to the Elrics since the days before, placing them with the top students for shooting. Rex and Noah, on the other hand, weren't doing so well. They were completely missing the figure on the board itself, and the General found it fit to toss a smoke bomb in their faces and give them more sit-ups.
The entire week was complete hell, Rex and Noah were getting yelled at for brushing their teeth the wrong way, throwing up when doing sit-ups, and even disassembling the net gun the wrong way, resulting a squabble with the General, and making a fool of themselves in front of the class. Ed and Al, on the other hand, were doing much better, impressing the General, and rapidly climbing up ranks. It made Rex wonder how in the world they could do such amazing feats, let alone their "alchemy," which grew increasingly vague as the days drove on. Save for the moment they fixed the horizontal bar, the Elrics haven't done anything else with alchemy. They seemed to be having fun, and obviously, he wasn't.
"You know what?" Rex growled as they went down the hallway. "This is stupid! We don't have anything to prove to him!"
He had the urge to kick a nearby pillar, but decided not to since he'd probably be punished again. Noah was following him out of Basic.
"We could be back at your place with a pizza in under an hour," Rex snarled. "What do you say?"
"I say," Noah nodded. "Thanks for saying everything I've been thinking every second since 12:01 AM on Tuesday."
It was evening, and they arrived at the stone steps. Rex motioned for Noah to go down first. "After you."
"Thank you," Noah nodded as he went down the stairs. "And I was thinking two pizzas."
"Yeah…" Rex mused. "And oh, hey. Not if this is a big deal or anything, but just for future reference, you're going down first, which means you quit Basic before I did."
"What?" Noah ran back up and pointed at Rex. "You were the one who quit first."
"No," Rex shot back. "I just said I wanted to quit first. Big difference."
Noah laughed. "No way I'm letting you beat me at this. I'm not quitting."
Rex smiled devilishly. "Well, I'm definitely not quitting!"
They glared at each other until a shuffle of footsteps caught their attention. Alphonse was standing right behind them, blinking at their small talk just now.
"Um… guys…?" Al bowed. "I'm really sorry if I interrupted anything!"
"Ah, no, it was nothing," Noah smiled. "You needed anything?"
"Um… Brother wanted to see you…"
"Us?" Rex pointed to himself and Noah. Al laughed.
"Of course! You're the only two here!"
"Where to, though?" Noah asked, as Al led them back into the building.
"Brother managed to reserve a training room for himself to train," He said. "He wanted you to come over."
"Train?" Noah was surprised, while shuddering. "Like fighting EVOs?"
Noah and Rex had vaguely seen an outside arena where they kept EVOs for the cadets to train with. If that was the training, then this Elric boy was really impressive. For them? If Rex wasn't allowed to transform, then he'd be dead. Noah stood little chance, too…
"No, no…" Al smiled nervously. "Brother is training in combat."
"Combat?" Noah asked. "Shouldn't that be some primary level training, like, when you get into the school? We're teaming with seventh years."
"Brother's… adamant about it," Al said. "Frankly, ever since we got settled down, he tries to keep himself in shape."
They arrived at a small empty room, where Ed was still in the Providence Uniform, apparently taking a break after going on a run on the limited exercise machines they had in the back room. Rex whistled at the space of the room they were standing in, completely reinforced.
"Whoo…" He placed his hands on his hips. "This looks… homey."
Ed ignored Rex's comment and looked at his brother.
"Thank you, Al, and Noah," He nodded curtly to each of them. "You can leave."
"Yes, Brother," Al ushered Noah out of the room, and the door slammed shut, leaving our two "roommates" alone.
"You needed something?" Rex asked. Ed snorted, having lost his kind manners and glaring at Rex.
"Idiot," He shot back, and was busy stretching again. Rex then waited a few seconds, and then gave up.
"I'm leaving, if you're not going to do anything," He then turned, but felt a sharp pain on his back. He turned around, and a fist met his face. Rex let out a yelp as he crashed onto the floor, his back pounding against the cement floor. Ed was approaching him and looked down at Rex's shocked eyes.
"I'm not letting you out of this room until you can land a hit on me."
"What are you talking about?" Rex shouted, quickly getting up to his feet and backing away to the door. He pressed the button, but the door wouldn't slide open no matter how many times he has pressed it. He tried transforming his arm, but Ed gave him a deep uppercut before he could do anything.
"You're not going to use your Nanite powers to get out, idiot."
Rex scowled. How does Ed even know how to do this? Oh yeah… he remembered. Ed's not exactly normal for a civilian. Then what now? Rex thought. Oh, right, use your own fists… He got into a fighting stance, but was easily taken down by Ed's harsh kick to the head. His vision began to flutter, and he was close to blacking out. Immediately, he felt a splash of water on his face. He got up, and saw Ed holding a water bucket.
"What was that for?" Rex snarled, but Ed didn't answer. He disposed of the bucket and then continued to throw punches at him. Rex dodged some, and missed some, which ended up as more bruises to his shoulders, but was grabbed by the arms and flung into a wall. He got up, and tried to throw a punch at Ed, but was caught and flung into another wall.
"You're being irrational," Ed said, not moving as Rex got up. "And you're not thinking. And you call this fighting?"
Ed ran forward and aimed a flying kick onto Rex's chest. The Nanite fell back into the ground, the air completely knocked out of him once he clattered onto the floor. Ed turned around and dumped more water to keep the boy awake. However, the boy was not longer moving. For once, Ed was beginning to think he was being to harsh. The alchemist approached him, and attempted to pull him up until a fist brushed past his face, a few centimeters away. He jumped backwards, and watched Rex, panting heavily, getting to his feet.
"Thinking clearly, huh?" Rex laughed. "Let's try it."
Rex and Ed circled each other, glaring and trying to find an open spot. Rex immediately charged, but was easily taken down. He rolled backwards and swept Ed off his feet, and the boy landed onto the floor. Just as Rex was about to pummel his face, Ed rolled away and got up, taking a few flips backward, but staggering from the pressure he exerted on his back.
"Hm…" Ed muttered. "Gotten inflexible now, have we?"
"Think fast!" Rex shouted, aiming a punch at Ed's shoulder, but Ed ducked and sucker punched Rex up into the air. Rex then laughed and grinned as he brought his foot up in mid air and slammed it down on Ed's shoulder as he came down. The two boys were now sprawled on the floor in silence, until Ed began to snicker. Rex then joined in until the two of them began to laugh really hard for no particular reason. Once the laughs subsided, Ed got up, and lent a hand to Rex.
"Good job, Rex," Ed said. "You can leave."
But Rex was staring unblinkingly at Ed, who was actually grinning. Much to Rex's surprise, he was genuinely smiling. This was like Six smiling… has the world come to an end? He took the hand, and they were now both standing in the still intact training room. Rex began to cool off and noticed that Ed was quite unfazed by the fight. He must really be some seasoned fighter…
"What did you ask me for?" Rex questioned the alchemist.
"Yeah, why'd you ask me here?"
"Many reasons," Ed listed off with his fingers. "First, I was bored. Second, I think you're an idiot. Third-"
"Are you going to say something insulting after that?" Rex asked, but got slapped up the head. "Ow! Why is that when you hit me, it feels like metal?"
"Shut it, brat," Ed snarled. "I was still talking. So, third… I plan to teach you."
"You?" Rex pointed at Ed, and then to himself. "Teach me?"
"Yes, idiot," Ed sighed and was heading for the door. "Or do you need to clean your ears?"
Ed stopped, and looked back at Rex. "I've told you before, all you're using is raw strength. I've talked to Dr. Holiday about you and your Nanites. From what I know, you need to toughen up if you're gonna be a lot more useful to this Providence of yours."
"Heh," Rex laughed. "You're part of it, too."
"It seems so," Ed nodded, and clicked open the door, which slid open. They exited the training room, worn out, but still thinking. Rex's mind was still spinning from that fight. For once, he has never felt so dizzy from mere fighting. That aside, he was going to be taught how to fight… That was new. As much as Six and other Providence agents have taught him, nothing could compare to how Ed fought him today… the thought of being able to fight like that sounded promising, considering that he'd be able to do something if his Nanites flat lined. Perhaps maybe Ed would teach him how to use that alchemy… it could be helpful against Van Kleiss, or something like that.
The two took a sharp turn around the hall, only to meet with the Spartan drill instructor. The man was quite surprised to see Rex in these halls.
"Ah, this is new," He commented.
"Training session," Ed answered shortly. "Brat finally got it into his head to practice."
"Brat?" Rex glared daggers at the blonde. And for once, he thought he was going to be nice from now on!
"Better rest up," the instructor nodded. "This week won't be as easy."
"Wait," Rex gulped. "You call this week 'easy'?"
"Prepare for what's coming," the man chuckled. "Tomorrow's the start of the most toughest five days of Basic. It's Pain Week, maggot."
He directed the "maggot" to Rex more than Ed, much to the Providence agent's irritation. Why did Ed get all the nice treatment? He now directed his eyes to the instructor's back, hoping to burn holes into it. Sadly, he wasn't Superman.
Crash landing practice proved to be the most horrendous thing for all four of the boys when they first heard of it. Ed and Al had confessed to never having ridden a plane, and Rex and Noah were just praying for no more penalties. The drill instructor was pleased with their uneasy faces that day, when they had to repeatedly try the drill over and over again when Rex simply resorted to using his Boogie Pack and saving Kenwyn, especially when she didn't need it. Rex ended up with more situps than anyone else, and then went through another routine of Ed attempting to beat him to pulp until he could hit him, just like last time. He failed that day, and he was certain the other days wouldn't go so well.
The next day was EVO dissection. Everyone was given their own "platter" of a single tentacle-like EVO that squirmed feebly and looked ready to shrivel at any moment. Ed and Al winced at the thought of a horribly disfigured chimera, and Rex was ready to puke at the sight of it. Noah was already trying to restrain the creature, and was already grabbing for the scalpel. They then witnessed a rather… depressing scene as a student was nearly strangled by his EVO, and the instructor had to wrestle it off for him. Poor boy was sobbing and running out the door.
Then came the event of… The Cage. Some kid named Kevin was facing up a multiheaded EVO with many tentacles. It was a brutal thing to watch, watching a poor student get defeated helplessly by a near-harmless EVO with a limiter. The poor boy was then dragged out of the room to the infirmary, and as Ed heard amongst the other students, he was probably going to hit the steps home. He watched the battle with a blank face, like the rest of the students, until he felt a hand placed on his shoulder. He looked up and saw the drill instructor sternly looking in his way.
"Since Kevin's match was quite short today," He said. "I plan to put you or Rex in for the next match tomorrow. Be prepared."
"Yes, sir," Ed nodded, and continued to look down at the many cages of restrained EVOs. He remembered what the White Knight had told him on their personal conversation about Rex. Even though Rex had the ability to cure EVOs, he was not really able to cure everyone, or everything… even the secret weapon had weaknesses. He looked at his right arm, and flexed it, feeling the chink of metal.
The end of the week, and rankings would be updated. Kenwyn rushed through the large crowd of people, which was more bigger than before. Probably because of those new students who were failing, save for those two blonde brothers who seemed to be acing everything. She wrestled through the masses of people, determined to see her place. Kenwyn looked up at the rankings. Always on the upper left corner… What?
3. Edward Elric
4. Kenwyn Jones
5. Alphonse Elric
"Elric got third?" One student was surprised. "How could he do that in two weeks?"
"It's blasphemy!" Another whispered. "I have to say the same for his brother!"
"I heard they do 'extra credit' every night," One said. "It brings their grades up really high. Good enough to knock the top student off her socks."
How in the world did this happen? She lost to a genius civilian, who was only here for a few days, and then demoted three ranks! She scowled glanced over to the four temporary students, who were looking up at the board to find themselves. Ed seemed to be completely unfazed by his current standing, which seemed to be catching the attention of all of the students. Al was making a name for himself as well. Meanwhile, Rex and Noah were looking on the other side. One of the last rankings, as they had predicted.
Ed noticed from the corner of his eye that Kenwyn was racing out of the crowd to go elsewhere, pushing past Rex, who glanced in confusion. She glowered at the EVO boy briefly.
"Why are you even here?" She growled and stalked off. All four new students were puzzled when they were approached by Mckee, a fellow student.
"Kenwyn's top kid in our class," He explained. "Or was… till you crash and burned her ranking."
The boy turned on his heel and left, leaving all four students in an utter state… or more mind-boggling matters. Rex took the matters into his own hands and left without a word.
Ed followed the conversation slowly, standing behind the building. Screw the rules for loitering, he grumbled mindlessly. It wasn't fairly decent and entertaining, per se, but he was piecing everything already.
"I'm not gonna let some 'tourist' mess up something I've worked years for," Kenwyn gruffly ended her conversation. "And I'm not letting a genius civilian bring me down, either."
She stalked away from Rex, who had attempted to reconcile but was called by the instructor for a match at the Cage. Ed moved from his place behind the wall and proceeded further into the halls, and waited for Kenwyn to take a sharp turn his way. She did, and she stepped back in shock, surprised that Ed was standing right there, his back on the wall, his arms crossed, and his left foot propped against the wall. Kenwyn glared at him before continuing to walk, when Ed stirred.
"You know, Kenwyn," Ed said quietly. "I had to spend seven years to be this 'genius civilian.'"
Kenwyn merely huffed in disagreement, her ponytail whipping around as she looked back at him with disgust.
"Extra credit my ass," She looked down at him. "Your efforts are nothing compared to what the rest of us are here for."
"You are a victim of war trying to give back to the people who saved you," Ed continued. "As for me, I had committed a crime in the past, and I'm stuck being a genius because of it. It's not fun, you know."
"What do you mean, not fun?" Kenwyn turned around to face him. "You ace everything in this academy! What could be more satisfying than that?"
"Kenwyn, take a look at the picture," Ed answered. "Being at the top isn't what I want to do. That's another idiot's job. What I want to do is be best I am at everything. I hate little effort. I hate seeing that in people, too. I don't aim for the top of everyone. I aim for the top in myself. So maybe it's pretty high for others, but I see nothing wrong with it."
He was met with silence, and Ed got up from his position on the wall and walked past her blank face, already sure of her answer to his response.
"That's what I say," He added. "You can believe, if you like."
Kenwyn snarled back, as he continued to walk away. She clenched her fists, and she had thought of what she had set in mind earlier. She had disabled the limiters for the scheduled match at noon. Rex was going to be there, and she wanted to see him struggle. Elric, she could respect, now, but not Rex. The boy was too damn proud of himself. Ed said nothing as he saw the repulsive anger pass briefly through her face when he then saw the drill instructor coming up to him, a clipboard in hand.
"Elric," He stated with little regard as to what had just happened. "Change of plans, I sent Rex to the demo rotations. You're up!"
Kenwyn clenched her fists even further. What was going on? Rex's match was changed? So Ed was facing off the unrestrained EVO? But her fist slackened, she realized that knowing look on Ed's face. He knew that she had done it, did he? Damn mind reader… so what would he do now?
"Yes, sir," Ed saluted and headed for the Cages, shoulders broad and proud. Suiting up didn't take very long, considering he only had a few tools to use anyway. Kenwyn arrived with the drill instructor, noticing that Al and Noah were standing aside, anxiously watching. Rex must have been off on break, or something. Ed stepped into the arena, his shoulders slack, and his hand not even touching the gun. Everyone was beginning to wonder if the boy was crazy, being a hotshot A grade student he is.
Ed squinted through the large arena, and saw a massive lizard with two wide yellow eyes, its claws menacingly chomping down on itself, and its tail swishing back and forth. Reptilian, Ed concluded. The other EVOs were eager to come get him, too, seeing that they were running into the barriers, only to be shocked and thrown back when they tried.
Ed glared at the enormous EVO, eyeing its big feet as he crouched down, ready to run if he had to. The EVO roared and bucked and begun to charge at him at full speed, and Al and Noah held their breaths. Ed jumped and rolled to the side, to avoid harm. He seemingly made a move to clap his hands together but decided against it, grabbing for the gun that was slung over his shoulder. He took careful aim as the EVO was still trying to get up from crashing into a wall, and fire directly for its eye, then following with multiple shots. The monster squawked, blinking rapidly, but the damage had been done. Rex could hear the drill instructor mutter in amazement at just how smart the idea of blinding the opponent could be.
The boy dived to the left and to the right, narrowly escaping the clutches of the creature's claws, and he made some distance between himself and the EVO, sniping the other eye with precision of a hawk's eye. He seemingly stopped shooting, and looked at the gauge. Zero. Damnit, he thought, and he tossed the useless weapon away, and began to charge straight for the beast. Noah and Al were shocked at the fact that the boy was making a stupid move, but their thoughts were contradicted when Ed jumped high, and mounted on the back of the EVO. The EVO felt his presence, and began to thrash, but Ed was quick enough to grab onto the massive horns that jutted out of its back. The blonde climbed up, his grip holding tightly to the horns, until he reached the top. The EVO bucked, and Ed lost his footing, and was dangling right off the ear of the dragon like creature, earning a few gasps from the students above. He didn't seem very shocked as he swung his feet onto the head again.
"Oh, lovely," Ed said as he grabbed two tasers and effectively jabbed at the sides of the brute's head with them. The creature screeched loudly, scaring the students watching from above as it clattered to the ground, with the blonde jumping off, showing off with a few somersaults, and landing softly on the ground, with few scratches or bruises. The drill instructor was appalled at just how quickly the match went.
Kenwyn was in awe at just how easy Ed made it look. She had taken of restrainers on that thing, and… he took it down…? The eyes, of course! Why hadn't she thought of shooting the eyes before! But the flipping and climbing… how was it that he could do that when she, the top student, had to take at least twenty minutes to finally make it stop hitting her?
Ed swiped the dust off his hands and looked up at the rest of them.
"Can I get out now?" He asked impassively. "It's getting a bit dark in here."
The drill instructor nodded and turned to the people with the controls, who nodded and attempted to jot in a command for the EVO to return to its cage. However, the EVO bucked awake, and the collar ripped out entirely as it raged in the arena, almost squashing Ed in the process, if Ed didn't dodge in time.
"What the hell?" The boy shouted at the top of his longs as he took out the two tasers again, ready to defend himself. The EVO was beginning to spurt small balls of fire in random direction, one fateful one hitting the upper barriers, breaking the entire system.
"Ice that EVO!" the drill instructor barked.
"I'm trying," the student at the command center was rushing through everything. "But the collar's broken!"
All the EVOS were all running loose in the arena, effectively forming a large beeline around Ed.
"Oh… joy," Ed snarled, as he looked at the many EVOs, and switched up the tasers to maximum strength. He wasn't sure exactly if that killed the EVOs but he needed to get out alive. He charged at them and performed a spinning flip, bringing the two electric weapons crashing down on one of the EVOs' head. He then jumped back, thrust one taser back to hit another before swinging away to kick an EVO in the face. However, it was cut short when an EVO swiped away the two tasers, rendering Ed useless without weapons. Everyone was gasping and pointing at him, worrying if he'd be ripped to shreds.
"Damn," Ed scowled, and got up to his feet, eyeing the many EVOs. "Looks like it's time to say it… when you're out of weapons… make them yourself!"
He immediately clapped, producing the strange hum, and placed them to the floor. The floor began to rumble, and a deeper pit was made around him, and most of the EVOs fell through, but others managed to hang onto the edges and pull themselves out, and they were headed for the outside, climbing over the barriers and crashing the control panel. All their collars had fell away, and they began to rampage throughout the grounds. Ed swore at himself for being so stupid to put himself in the middle of the pit, and used alchemy to make a bridge of earth shoot to the outside of the pit, and he ran quickly through it before it crumbled. He ran to the door and tried to open it, but to no avail. He then abandoned it when he saw a few EVOs coming his way.
All the students were struggling to stand as an enormous tentacle-like monster was climbing out. It slammed onto the edges of the arena, and Kenwyn, who was at the edge of it, began to teeter at the edge before she lost footing and tumbled into the arena right behind Ed. Al took it to himself to dive into the arena as well.
"So, came to join me?" Ed smirked. Al nodded, and the two brothers clapped their hands. Ed placed a hand on his right arm, and the cloth at his knuckles tore away as a blade slowly formed out of his hand, much to Kenwyn's horror. The cloth then ripped away even more as she could see metal fingers, and a full metal hand. Al placed his hands on the floor, and the ground gave way to a small mound that grew to the point of breaking away from the ground, leaving a large hole. Al grabbed hold of his newly formed javelin, and the two brothers put up a fighting stance. Ed then looked to Kenwyn and nodded to the other EVOs.
"You coming?" He asked. Kenwyn snapped out of her trance and nodded, taking out a spare taser.
"So, what am I supposed to be blowing up today?" Rex strolled into the grounds and saw the flying tentacles of an EVO already escaping the Cage and outside the camp.
"Guess that answers that…" Rex gaped, but transformed his arm into his signature cannon, and ran off to the cave. The drill instructor and Noah turned to see Rex leaving to face that EVO, and they cleared way for Rex to move.
"Rex!" Noah shouted, but the drill instructor stopped.
"He can handle himself," the man looked on. "We need all hands here, there's three cadets down in the Cage!"
"But we're unarmed!" A cadet shouted. The instructor whipped his hand around and glared.
"What you are is Providence," He snarled. "You never leave a man behind."
"Al! Kenwyn!" Ed bellowed as he swung his around, cutting off a limb of an EVO that tried to grab him shoulder. The two summoned companions swooped down and subdued the EVO with a stab and shock wave. The EVO then fell down, but struggled to get up. Ed jumped and kicked the face of another EVO, and it arched back in pain, grasping its injured nose.
"Brother, we need more than this!" Al shouted as he swung a javelin through an EVOs arm, and used alchemy to make another spear. Kenwyn was backed to a wall when a rope was dropped down next to her. Noah and the drill instructor came down with Kenwyn, fending off the other EVOs.
"Form a perimeter!" the General shouted. "Don't let them get behind you!"
Noah made his gun click, and he took aim as they began to charge, taking down the EVOs. Al and Ed were too busy in their own little matches to see the reinforcements. Ed quickly slashed the legs of an EVO and flipped back to avoid being trampled on, but was pushed down by an EVO in a suit as it headed for the rope the instructor had dropped in. The General noticed the escaping EVO, and took a shot at the rope, cutting it, and the EVO dropped back down again, only to be knocked out by Ed's automail arm.
Ed then heard a pained shout from the General when he turned and saw that the man's mechanical arm had been lobbed off. He winced at the fact that the instructor's nerves were probably in immense pain, and ran forward to slash off the EVO that went for the drill instructor's head, which Al following up with a deep stab to the EVO's side. Noah and Kenwyn came to the aid of the unconscious instructor, and Noah quickly checked for pulse.
"He's still breathing."
Kenwyn noticed the severed rope and looked at everyone. "We need another way up."
"No need to worry," Ed clapped his hands. "Everyone, stick together!"
Ed clapped his hands, producing the same strange hum, and slammed them to the ground. The ground shook, and began to shape itself into a hand around them, and they were sent shooting out of the Cage, and onto the grounds of the camp.
"I'm… sorry…" Kenwyn whispered as she helped the instructor up with Ed. "It's my fault this happened."
"This is no time for apologizing," Ed snapped as he then turned to a nearby cadet. "You, what's the situation."
The cadet pointed to Rex, who was battling the tentacle EVO. Ed blinked, and then turned to another.
"How many are on the field right now?"
"About twenty," he answered. Ed nodded and gave the job of carrying the drill instructor to someone else.
"You," Ed pointed to the cadets. "Take the General to the infirmary. You, grab some tasers and whatever weapons are available from the closest artillery. You, round up everyone on the field and we need to get going, now!"
"Brother!" Al pointed, and Ed looked up, seeing Rex tying wire around the large EVO and making it trip and fall into the Cage.
"Oh, shit…" Ed muttered, and dived out of the way. The EVO was now out cold, and the others inside the Cage was slowly making their way up and out of the arena on the fallen EVO. Rex landed down the ground, and activated Smack Hands, and went to punching at the EVOs. Ed joined in, sharpening his switchblade automail. They stood back to back after a small brawl with the EVOs, earning them a chance to breath.
"You idiot," Ed growled. "You just let them get out."
"And what were you doing?" Rex tried to counter.
Ed rolled his eyes. "I was bothering to ISOLATE the EVOs in the Cage. Now I have to play commander 'cause of you!"
The two jumped away from each other and began to dance in a battle with the EVOs. Ed saw from the corner of his eyes the reinforcements he had ordered the other cadets to bring. They were all armed, and ready for combat. Ed smirked, and easily kicked away an EVO with his left leg as he noticed Rex being pushed back into the abandoned city by the EVOs.
"All right, boys," Ed frowned. "Rex is going to need your help, so we'll need to distract the EVOs so the kid can get on his offense."
The cadets saluted him and grasped their weapons, not bothering to question his authority. Kenwyn and Noah did the same, still appalled that he was able to bring about respect so easily.
Rex was panting heavily, hiding behind a stray dumpster in the road. The two EVOs that had been hounding him were close by were edging nearer, just when he heard them yelp and turn away. He peered around, and saw Noah holding a taser, ready to fight. Rex jumped out of hiding and began to run towards the EVOs, Smack Hands ready. He punched both of them, and they came flying at Noah, just as Ed came pouncing out of the rubble behind and bringing his blade down on an EVO's head. Kenwyn and Noah faced off the other, and stabbed their tasers at the sides, and EVO collapsed.
"How about the other EVOs?" Rex asked as Ed got up from the ground.
"The others are busy with it." He turned to Kenwyn and Noah. "Net these EVOs. And Rex, go help the others."
"Yes, sir," Rex nodded and fly away to encounter the others.
Ed could hear the cadets herding several EVOs into the intersection before him, and the creatures saw no escape but the path that led to him. They charged his way, and Ed clapped his hands together and placed them on the ground. Immediately, Many rock hands shot out of the ground, and hurtled themselves at the EVOs. All the cadets gawked at the uncanny abilities the star student had.
Rex was busy chasing down an EVO that returning to Ed and Kenwyn, who were not really noticing it coming. Al was rushing toward Ed, pointing at the incoming EVO.
"Brother!" He shouted. "Look out!"
Ed and Kenwyn turned around, saw the EVO a few feet from them. Upon reflex, Ed rolled to the side, but Kenwyn wasn't quick enough. The EVO stampeded upon her, and Rex hit the ground running with Smack Hands, and flung his fists on the EVO, making the pavement crack at the force of the pounding.
"That's the last of them," Noah sighed in relief. The cadets were rushing to help Kenwyn, who was clutching her side.
"M..My fault…" She muttered. "Messed with the collar."
"Dummy," Rex smirked. "Sometimes we just want to be number one really bad and it makes us go crazy. It always happens, so it's okay."
Rex and Noah glanced at each other. Ed then looked at Kenwyn smiling in response.
"Call it a tie then," Ed suggested to all of them. Rex noticed the Ed's right hand was gleaming. A prosthetic arm?
Those who took charge of the EVO escapade were immediately awarded with medals of honor. Rex, Noah, Al, Ed, and Kenwyn stood in front of the other cadets as the instructor, now awake with a new arm replacement, pinned the medals to their uniform
Kenwyn looked at all of them as they proceeded to leave down the Steps. "Sir… I really should let you know that-"
"Yeah, yeah," Rex waved it off. "We all know you're the one who saved the day by pulling all those EVOs off me, doesn't mean you should get two medals."
Kenwyn smiled appreciatively at Rex, who grinned back. Ed snorted at the static between them, and Al laughed, along with Noah.
"And here I was, thinking I misjudged you," the General looked at Rex.
"You think I can stand it here?" Rex smiled.
"You? No," The General then looked at Noah. "You? Maybe? Now both of you, hit the Steps!"
Rex and Noah quietly walked away, and Ed and Al looked at each other and went off after them. They both passed by the instructor, who was a little surprised that they were leaving.
"You two are quite the good students, you can stay for further training if you like," the General said. Ed turned around as he approached the steps, alarmed by the offer.
But Ed shook his head. "I came here to get my blood pumping," Ed smiled. "And I accomplished that goal. I'll consider coming back when I can."
He then nodded to Rex. "But I have to play teacher for the time being."
"See ya soon, kid," the General saluted. "Major, if you like."
"Kid will do," Ed smiled, and saluted back.
"He sure knows his military procedures," Noah laughed. Al smiled.
"Old habits die hard…"
"Keep up the good work," The General said to the four of them, and they waved goodbye as they descended down the stairs.
"You know," Rex added. "Two weeks here had me appreciate all the stuff the grunts do."
"Yeah," Noah agreed.
"And also," Rex added. "Made me appreciate that I will never do anything like this again."
"Shut it, brat," Ed hit Rex up the head. "You're training with me, and you'll be going through hell."
Rex, on the other hand, was quite cheerful for the most part. "Well, now that you're gonna teach me some fighting… this'll be fun…"
The training room's doors opened, and in stepped Edward Elric, his hair in a neat braid, his red long coat billowing as he walked in, his black sneakers gleaming in the fluorescent light. Roy, Riza, and Al gaped in surprise, and Noah and Rex gawked.
"What's with the new look?" Rex asked. Ed shrugged.
"I like it," He said. "So I wear it."
Roy laughed. "Seems to me you've got your hopes up again."
"Yeah," Ed smiled. "The boot camp was helpful, huh…"
Ed then flipped backwards to dodge a flying metal fist, and he immediately got up, seeing Rex already in a battle stance.
"Now, sensei," He smiled. "How about a little match?"
"Bring it," Ed smiled back, clapping his hands together, and placing them on the ground. A long ray of spikes shot out and went for Rex, who jumped back, but got hit by one, and went crashing to the floor. Rex hit the ground, making a large crater from impact. Ed was standing on a high stone pedestal, with folded arms, and a mischievous grin.
"You and your Nanites, and you still can't beat a normal kid?" Ed taunted.
"Speak for yourself, shorty," Rex snarled. "You can make rocks shoot out of the ground! That's not normal!"
"Oh, he's done it now," Roy snickered as Rex went spiraling to the other end of the training room by a large metal hand that had come out of the floor. Bobo was busy eating popcorn, to immersed in the fact that his buddy was losing, with Noah and Al joining in. Six palmed his face, when Rex continued to call Ed short, resulting in more pummeling and destruction.
"At this rate, they'll tear down the entire place…" He said.
Holiday continued to record other things on her clipboard, taking an occasional glance at the two fighting boys. "Maybe they should take it out on the canyons outside."
"Or perhaps an isolated island," Riza sighed. "Maybe that way they won't have to be brash with each other and work survival skills and teamwork."
Roy laughed nervously. "I don't think that's the issue here…"
A/N: Stupid purple prose… makes my writing twice as long… And a seriously long chapter! Whaaa! Thank you very much for the reviews, whether they be nice or criticizing, but it's all good.