The Mustangs take Al to meet his double.

Alfons Heimat is mourning the passing of his father, but still able to engross himself in some sort of research. When Heimat learns of Ed's presence in his dimension, he worries that he was the one responsible for bringing him there.

Al learns that his double has sworn off alchemy when the Mustangs encourage him to share stories about his brother's adventures as a State Alchemist to inspire Heimat.

Californian Mustang receives a phone call about the Urban Alchemist's activities.

Meanwhile, the dragons are learning about the Urban Alchemist's latest activities themselves. Jake finds the scene of his family's kidnapping first-hand. They left a note, promising his family's safety in exchange for the dragons' surrender.

When he goes to his grandfather's, two more attacks are on the news and Fu is finishing a phone call from the Dragon Council about the Urban Alchemist's demands. They have orders to stop the Urban Alchemist immediately.

The dragons suspect that the Californian Mustang was involved, but Mustang soon shows up with someone who may be willing to talk.

Chapter XI

One more YouTube video and Fu found the footage he needed.

A shaking phone was aimed at a parking garage lit up with blue electricity. First crumbled the structure's street-side walls, the pillars holding the upper stories upright.

Parked cars flooded the street, falling through clouds of plaster.

The camera turned. For a millisecond, all it filmed was filthy cement.

The camera kept flicking up and down as the phone's owner ran away.

Fu only saw him for a moment or two, but there was a large, dark-skinned man stumbling away from the rubble. Bleached hair. Suspicious tattoos on one arm. Those couldn't be transmutation circles, could they?

He wrote up the description for the two dragons talking with the alchemists in the other room.

It was an emergency. Al would never try to fool the ticket-gate with alchemy otherwise.

He glanced around the crowded station. He couldn't see anyone's eyes on him, but the weight was there as though there were.

On the back of his notebook, he'd drawn a circle with the last of his ink.

He could pull of the alchemy, but would anyone notice? Could he pass off the transmutation's light as a bit of static electricity?

He swallowed the lump in his throat and held his notebook to the subway's scanner as though it were a pass. He kept a thumb over his array to activate it.

One flash of blue and the gate opened. Al hurried his steps through it.

No one appeared to have noticed. He ran off for his platform before anyone could change their mind about that. He remembered the way from the only time he and Mustang had gone the way of that cursed place.

The dragons were seated behind the counter that they used with their magical clients. Across from them were four chairs, one for each of the alchemists who'd come to Jake's grandfather's door.

They'd returned with a tall muscle-builder with only a single blond lock on his head, an alchemist named Alex Armstrong. He sat in the middle, flanked by the two Mustangs.

A chair sat empty on Jake's left, waiting for Alfons Heimat to come down from visiting his brother's double. Alphonse Elric was going to explain Ed's situation to him and then wait upstairs with the sleeping alchemist, or so Jake heard.

The latter alchemist must have slipped passed Jake somehow. He hadn't seen him come in.

Currently, Jake was glaring at Armstrong, who was sobbing his eyes out at being forced to kidnap a little girl and her family. Jake's family. "What do you mean, they're not at the pier?"

"That's nothing more than a trap for you!" Armstrong was wiping his eyes with his beefy hands. "You must not go, American Dragon!"

Jake slammed his hands on the counter. "Where is my family?"

"I don't know, but your sister…. They're going to take your sister to some skate competition tomorrow and force her to transform in front of regular humans. They're planning to loose their chimera army on the crowd. She may be with them."

Jake thought he heard his grandfather growling quietly. "So that was more than an empty threat that they made to the Dragon Council."

Alex nodded.

The Californian was frowning. "If they expose the magical world like this, it won't be good for anyone." He groaned. "It's already going to be hard enough building a better reputation for alchemists with all the Urban Alchemist's other activities."

That Mustang took a breath and glanced at his friend. "Do you at least know who's in charge of the chimeras? It would be best if we could put a stop to this latest scheme before it even begins."

Maybe they could rescue Halley if they went. Jake listened closely to Alex's next words.

"I don't know his real name. It's some playboy that Envy nicknamed Greed. There's a shady pub he likes to hang out at. If you have some stone, I could make you a likeness."

Jake's grandfather looked at Jake. "Go get him some stone."

Jake got up and went outside to look for a rock.

What was with these alchemists and stone? First there was that transformed brick wall, then that statuette of Ed's, and now, probably, a statuette of Alex's.

Jake couldn't find a decently large rock on the lamp-lit city street. He gathered up handfuls of gray and black pebbles instead.

When he returned, his grandfather was talking to someone on the phone, and Heimat was downstairs. The latter had his arms weirdly crossed over a lump in his shirt.

The Amestrian Mustang was turned around in his seat, talking to the German boy. "He didn't tell you about Ed?"

Heimat stepped past Mustang and locked his eyes on Jake's grandfather. "What have they been doing to Edward? Why won't he wake up? What did they do to his arm and leg?"

He pulled his arms in closer as he spoke. There came a very loud "mew!" from under his shirt.

The Amestrian Mustang narrowed his eyes. "What was that?"

Blushing, the German boy pulled the kitten that was once fused with Ed out from under his shirt.

Mustang sneezed. "It goes upstairs, away from me!"

"How can I trust anyone who would treat a poor, defenseless kitten this way?"

"Whoa, hold up!" Jake stepped toward the counter and set the pebbles down. "Who says we were responsible for any of this? It's the Urban Alchemist to blame – they were the ones who turned your brother into a chimera in the first place!"

Heimat recoiled. "A chimera? Brother?" Features softening, he looked at Mustang. "Is any of this true?"

Mustang nodded. "Mr. Lao telephones your godmother. She changed Ed back. She's worried on you."

Heimat hung his head. "I can't go back. I need to vanish Envy and send you Amestrians home."

"Your godmother…." Mustang stumbled through a sentence – something about Heimat discussing his plan of action with P. Rockbell. He shook his head at the end, as though to clear it. "Anyway, about your double. Why he not telled you about Ed?"

Heimat went white. "Well, you see, he's…."

Wait a minute. Jake still couldn't remember seeing Alphonse come in. "He's not here, is he? He snuck off somewhere."

"Y-no! He's definitely here! He's just … he was suddenly ill."

Jake wondered if he'd ever sounded that bad when he lied, when he'd first started making excuses to go off for his dragon duties.

Mustang hissed something in Amestrian. Whatever it was, it sounded vulgar. He ran for the door, shouting a brief explanation to Jake. "The factory. Ed's arm and leg. Tell your grandfather."

Al didn't stop running until he reached the factory. He stopped outside the gate and peered inside.

His eyes widened. Why didn't it look so abandoned anymore? The gate was new – no rust, no need for a padlock to lock it. No factory windows were broken, and a fleet of trucks were parked in the yard.

Al caught a glimpse of a human security guard walking the perimeter, shining a beam of light around. The beam was headed his way.