Misfits and Elites I – The Plan

Hal Hogue

12/25/2005

Indecisiveness

He was the first of the Misfits. Some say he is the best of the Misfits. He has risen from the dregs of the failed homunculus experiments to become a sort of leader. This is a rather strange thing, as his weakness is, of course, the inability to make decisions. He has, however, shown a remarkable ability to suppress it. Still, he often has to rely on other, less capable homunculi.

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In a secluded cabin several miles west of Central, three homunculi schemed. Well, they mostly argued, but there was a fair amount of scheming in between. It was very poor scheming, which was appropriate, as they were very poor homunculi.

"I'm telling you," one said, "it's him. Alcoholism saw him there yesterday!"

The one called Alcoholism would have nodded his head in agreement, had the old drunkard not currently been sitting half-conscious in his creaky chair with his white hair in disarray and his tongue hanging out. Instead, his exposed tongue moved from one cheek to the other and he made a sound that came out as "mmmAAAAAhhhh."

"See!" the first voice said triumphantly. "I told you!"

"Nnnngggrrrrr rah gaah," Alcoholism added, obviously pleased with himself.

The room's third occupant, a tall, slim figure cloaked all in black, turned to face the speaker. "Are you absolutely sure it's him, Stupidity?"

Stupidity smiled. "Of course I'm sure, Indecisiveness! I'm never wrong about these things!"

Indecisiveness gave Stupidity a long look. The little man grinned like a fool. Indecisiveness sighed.

"Okay. Fine. I can't decide whether to believe you or not, but I guess this is our best chance. Alcoholism, get the others. We have to act quickly."

After a few prods from Stupidity, Alcoholism stood and staggered out of the room. The plan was in motion.

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Alcoholism

Being the second attempt at creating a homunculus not based on a deadly sin, Alcoholism was the victim of overconfidence. The creators were pleased with Indecisiveness and thought that subsequent homunculus experiments would fare even better. Truthfully, they made little effort with Alcoholism. They simply threw things together and assumed it would all go well. The creators are still trying to find the one among them who thought it would be quite a good idea to give him an unquenchable thirst for alcohol.

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Indecisiveness stared at the new arrivals. They totaled seven now, all cramped into the cabin's small living room. Alcoholism slumped back into his rocking chair and took a drink from one of his many flasks. Stupidity took a seat opposite him and stared at the ceiling with a silly grin on his face. The four new arrivals crowded into the remaining seats.

Indecisiveness got right down to business. "Now. Stupidity and Alcoholism seem to have located the Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elron. Now, we - "

"Elron?" one of the homunculi said. "Um, I thought his name was Elric."

Indecisiveness considered this. "Who verified Fullmetal's name?"

"Poor Grammar did, sir." Stupidity said, still staring at the ceiling.

"its accurat sir." Poor Grammar said, apparently finding it necessary to defend his good name. He had a knack for making his lack of capitalization and punctuation obvious even through his speech. "i do my job and i do it good"

"There you have it," Indecisiveness said cheerfully. He wasn't so sure, himself. He was never any good at making decisions, though, so he decided to go with the majority. "Now, we need a plan to capture him."

A thin arm rose. Indecisiveness sighed. "What is it, Teenage Angst?"

"Um. Do I really have to, um, be a part of this?" A tear rolled down her cheek. "I just b-b-broke up with my b-boyfriend and, um..." She burst into tears.

Petty Theft stood up, her black hair framing her hawk like face. "Now, seriously. Why is she even here? I refuse to put up with...with...with...this!"

Indecisiveness glared at her. "There has to be seven! No more, no less! It's just...I don't know, it's a rule! The Elites have seven, and so will we! Would you rather have one of the other homunculi take her place, Theft? How about Projectile Vomiting? Underhanded Treachery? Severe Constipation? Die Hard Star Wars Prequels Fan?"

Petty Theft winced harder at each name. "No!" she burst out, then calmed herself. "No. Teenage Angst is fine by me." Teenage Angst's crying had degenerated to the occasional sob.

"Good." Indecisiveness turned to the others. "Now, what's our plan to capture Fullmetal?"

Stupidity cleared his throat. "I have one, sir." He handed him a sheet of paper. "I've drawn it all up here."

Indecisiveness took it. The plan was short and to the point:

find him

pretend to be his Frend

nock him out

pretend to take him to the hospitle

bring him to father insted

cellabrate

"Poor Grammar helped me with the big words," Stupidity admitted, never great at anything that required, well, intelligence. Poor Grammar beamed.

"...this is the stupidest..." Indecisiveness muttered to himself. Still...it was all they had. And he didn't want to risk his shaky leadership position among the other homunculi. He needed them all on his side. If they were ever going to get Father to notice them – to respect them – he needed them all on his side.

Indecisiveness put the paper down. "This...just might work." He gave them a forced smile. "How are we going to find him?"

"We already have, sir," Petty Theft said. "He's in a village called Moonbay. It's small, so finding him once we get there shouldn't be a problem."

Indecisiveness felt his mood improve. Fullmetal's already been found! "Good! Let's get on with this before Elron moves again! Petty Theft, get the car ready. I want us all in Moonbay as soon as possible."

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Stupidity

At this point, the creators weren't even trying anymore. Stupidity was the result of a heated argument with the Father that led them to create, out of spite, the worst homunculus they could. Stupidity was a bad homunculus, granted. However, he had decision making skills that Indecisiveness lacked. This caused him to become something of a right-hand man to Indecisiveness. The creators began to wonder if they could do anything right.

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"I'll ask it one more time." Indecisiveness was sitting in the passenger seat of a van Petty Theft had stolen two weeks ago. His hands had twin death grips on the armrests. "Whose idea was it for Vehicular Manslaughter to drive?"

Stupidity, sitting in the back between Petty Theft and Teenage Angst, cleared his throat. "Sir, you know that Vehicular Manslaughter and Alcoholism are the only ones here who have licenses. I just thought it was the lesser of two evils. You know." He gestured back toward Alcoholism, who was currently having a rather heated argument with his sleeve.

Indecisiveness sighed. "Stupidity. We are driving a stolen van with malicious intent to kidnap a child. Why are you worried about who drives the damn thing?"

Stupidity stared at him blankly. After a while, he said "...Malicious?" and began to rummage through his belongings. Looking for his bloody dictionary, Indecisiveness realized. Disgusted, he turned back around and watched the road.

They had just entered Moonbay. Indecisiveness realized that if they didn't stop soon, they would be exiting Moonbay. It was the smallest town he had ever seen. Granted, it was, next to Central, only the second town he had ever seen. Still, it looked so small. A cluster of small brick buildings sat at the base of the hill the city rested against. The road they were driving on – the only main road – cut the cluster in half, and the rest of the town was comprised of sporadic trees. There were only a few people milling about; poor looking folk busy with their chores. Indecisiveness could only see one person who wasn't in the middle of some sort of work.

He did a double take. That man who wasn't working – the man who was just walking down the side of the road in the same direction they were driving – Indecisiveness knew him! A chill ran down his spine.

"...no no malishus has a H in it," Poor Grammar was telling Stupidity. Indecisiveness could hear pages flapping as Stupidity rifled through his dictionary.

"No it doesn't!" Stupidity snapped. "Here it is! It's right here in the dictionary! See! No H!"

"hey your right! ill be dammed!"

"Shut up, you two!" Indecisiveness barked. He pointed to the figure walking down the side of the road. "Look."

They all saw the man now. Short, wild-haired, and rather scantily-clad, Envy strode toward Moonbay's main cafe. Envy. One of the Father's favored homunculi. One of the Elites.

"omg!" Poor Grammar gasped.

"What is she doing here?" Stupidity asked.

Teenage Angst slapped him. "He is not a girl!" She smiled in Envy's direction and began fussing with her hair. "He's a boy. A man." She gave a little moan. "A hottie."

Petty Theft glared at Teenage Angst. "Oh, great. This just keeps getting better and better. You're giving women and homunculi a bad name, you know. And to think, I was considering giving you your silly purse back." She clutched the pink monstrosity to her and turned to Indecisiveness. "So, what are we gonna do?"

"I'll tell you what I'm gonna do," Vehicular Manslaughter said. "I'm gonna run him over." He angled the car toward Envy's back.

Indecisiveness looked at him. "What? No! We can't kill him!"

"Yes we can!" Vehicular Manslaughter growled.

"Well, yes. Yes. We can." Indecisiveness wasn't too sure this was true, but it was nice to think so. "We can, but we won't. Do you have any idea what Father would do to us if we murdered one of his favorites?" The whole reason we're even doing this is to get Father to notice us and think better of us!

Vehicular Manslaughter considered this. Finally, he sighed and turned the van back toward the center of the road. "Fine. We let him live. For now."

"I'm glad we agree." Indecisiveness paused. "And no accidentally running over him, Manslaughter!" he added. "I know how much you like to do that."

"Um. I can't exactly control it, boss." Vehicular Manslaughter said in his own defense.

They were getting very close to Envy. Indecisiveness turned to the homunculi in the back of the van. With the exception of Teenage Angst, they all looked terribly frightened. For good reason. The elite homunculi were held in high regard with the Father, and were allowed to do as they pleased as long as it didn't interfere directly with his plans. The Elites did not make it a secret that they wanted to dispose of the Misfits. They thought the Misfits tainted their entire species. This fact, coupled with their superior ability, made the Elites a group to stay far, far away from.

"Okay, we're about to pass him." Vehicular Manslaughter took a deep breath. "Everyone be cool. Act normal. ...Human normal."

Indecisiveness stared straight ahead. He hoped the homunculi in the back were not bringing attention to themselves. It was immediately after this thought that Teenage Angst began to scream.

"Envy! Over here! Envy, Envy! ENVY!"

Indecisiveness whipped around and put a furious finger to his lips.

"Stop that!" Petty Theft snapped at her, clamping a hand over Poor Grammar's mouth. "What do you think he's going to do? Blow kisses back at you?"

Unable to speak, Poor Grammar nodded. Petty Theft kept her hand firmly over the fool girl's mouth. Indecisiveness turned around and resumed acting normal. Human normal.

They passed Envy.

Indecisiveness let out a sigh of relief as he looked in the rear view mirror and saw no look of recognition in Envy's expression. He watched the Elite continue toward the little cafe until she was out of sight.

"Whew," Stupidity said, "that was close."

"Yeah." Indecisiveness went back to scanning the road ahead. "Let's find somewhere to get a bite to eat, Manslaughter. Somewhere Envy won't go. And somewhere without liquor, preferably. You know how Alcoholism gets." He turned back to give Alcoholism a big grin. "Isn't that right, buddy?"

The back seat of the van was empty.

"Alcoholism? Alcoholism!" No response. "Theft, check and see if he's passed out on the floor again."

Petty Theft scanned the seats behind her. "Nothing, sir. He's...he's gone."

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Petty Theft

She was the first female Misfit. While intelligent, strong-willed, and courageous, she suffers from an unusually strong desire to steal anything that isn't really worth much. This has led to several close calls with the law and one very, very cluttered room.

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"Did they recognize you?"

"Yeah. One of them was staring at me and shouting my name. Idiot."

Alcoholism opened his eyes. He was lying on his back in a ditch. Groaning, he sat up and looked around. One person stood at the edge of the ditch. A woman with long, black hair, wearing a form-fitting black dress. She looked very familiar, although Alcoholism couldn't think clearly enough to place her. He often couldn't think clearly enough. The woman was talking to someone who looked equally familiar. A man? - yes, a man – wearing tight fitting clothing and sporting wild black hair. Alcoholism grunted, and the two faces turned toward him.

"Well, look who's awake," the woman said.

"My head is milling ke," Alcoholism slurred. "Milling ke," he added, trying to correct himself. "...milling ke," he tried desperately, and gave up.

"We'll just have to do something about that, won't we, Envy?" the woman said, giving Alcoholism a brave little smile.

"You bet, Lust. We're here to help."

Lust? Envy? Those names sounded very familiar to Alcoholism. He knew them. But his bloody brain just would not work at the moment! "Mmmm?" was all he could manage.

Lust handed him a flask. "Here. Take this. It will help with your headache." She helped him to his feet and brushed the dirt off his old brown jacket. "Now, go on. Go back to your friends. I'm sure they're wondering what's happened to you."

Alcoholism knew something was wrong. He wasn't a fool. Well, he wasn't a fool when he wasn't this drunk. Now, the drink took command and he started walking toward the main cluster of buildings in Moonbay. He clutched the flask in both hands.

From behind, he heard a third voice. "Can I eat him, Lust? Can I?"

"No!" Lust hissed. "Not yet."

Pretending he hadn't heard, Alcoholism quickened his pace.

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Poor Grammar

He was a result of the scientists going out drinking one night with Alcoholism. Once they returned, they thought it would be the funniest thing to create a homunculus in their current inebriated state. What they came up with was a fairly ordinary person with absolutely no grammatical skills whatsoever. They originally named him Poor Grammer, but corrected it the next day.

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"How could this happen?" Indecisiveness demanded of the others. They were all clustered in a booth at a run-down old diner on the outskirts of Moonbay. "How could he just disappear?"

"I don't know!" Stupidity said. "He was right behind me the whole time!"

"Well, we have to find him. That's one decision that's easy for me to make."

Vehicular Manslaughter opened his mouth. "But..."

"No buts!" Indecisiveness shouted at him. "We look after our own! We're not like them." They all knew who "them" was. The Elites. "Stupidity and I talked about this earlier. He helped me decide that we'll stay here tonight and hope that Alcoholism finds us. Tomorrow, we're leaving."

"wtf?" Poor Grammar whined. "what about teh Plan! i helped with the big wrods!1"

Indecisiveness slammed his fist down. "Are you blind, Grammar? Did you not see Envy earlier? He's in this town! An Elite, in this town! We can't risk him finding us. It's too risky."

The fire in Poor Grammar's eyes slowly went out as he realized Indecisiveness was right. He slumped down, muttering "i helped with the big wrods."

Teenage Angst looked up from her mirror. "Envy would never hurt us! He's too handsome for that! Um, I think..I think..." She leaned over conspiratorially and whispered something in Stupidity's ear.

"He is not 'the one,' you bloody idiot! What's the matter with you? Maybe I should just hand my title over right now and make you the new Stupidity! You're doing a damn fine job of it so far!"

She fell back against the booth and began to sulk.

Indecisiveness rose. "Okay. It's decided. Let's get back to the van. We'll sleep there tonight." He looked around. "Where's Petty Theft?"

He finally spotted her, creeping up behind a young woman at the counter. The other homunculi watched as Petty Theft dry-washed her hands, then slipped one around the woman's purse strap. With one fluid motion, the entire purse shot into Petty Theft's arms. She opened up a large brown sack at her side and dropped the purse in. Smiling, she straightened her bomber jacket and sauntered over to the others.

"How do you do that?" Stupidity asked, wide-eyed.

"But, Stupidity, if I tell you that, you'll have to divulge your super-secret 'being stupid' strategies to me." She ruffled the short man's hair and turned toward the exit.

Stupidity threw up his arms. "Women," he muttered.

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Vehicular Manslaughter

Nobody has any idea what the scientists were thinking at this point.

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Indecisiveness awoke at the crack of dawn. He was sore. Sleeping curled up in the passenger seat of a van is not all it's cracked up to be, he decided.

He roused the others. They grudgingly sat up and wiped the sleep from their eyes, with the exception of Teenage Angst, who fended off any attempt to wake her with a poorly-aimed slap.

"Let her sleep," Indecisiveness said when Petty Theft began gleefully poking Angst with one of her stolen knives. "We'll be leaving soon, anyway."

Indecisiveness opened the van's door and stepped outside. The early morning sunshine was creeping up over the Moonbay hillside, only slightly obscured by approaching rainclouds. He wrapped his long black coat around him. Even with the sun, it was chilly.

Stupidity appeared at his side. The little man appeared to be cold as well, as he was wrapped up in his own furry brown cloak. He looked up at Indecisiveness. "Any sign of Alcoholism?"

"No." Indecisiveness sighed. "Looks like we're going to have to leave without him." He paused. "Or we could stay. I can't seem to decide."

"Well. Should we get the others out here and get their opinions?"

Indecisiveness paused, confused. "Yes. No. I don't know!" He ran a hand through his hair. "I'm having trouble deciding today, Stupidity. More than usual."

A hand brushed the top of Indecisiveness' head. It was not his or Stupidity's. He jumped forward and faced the van. Alcoholism was lying on the roof, one limp hand hanging off the edge. He was holding a very ornate looking flask in it.

"Is...is he dead?" Stupidity asked.

"No, just passed out." Indecisiveness said as he prodded the sleeping drunk.

"Past...out? What?" Stupidity gave him a helpless look.

"Passed out. P-A-S-S-E-D. Good grief, Stupidity, get a grip."

"Oh. Sure. Pass-sed out. Gotcha."

Indecisiveness ignored him. "Wake up, Alcoholism!"

Alcoholism stirred. "Wha? Jobby wanna donno wha?" He waved the flask around wildly.

"Great, he's still drunk." Indecisiveness dragged him off the roof. "Come on, we're leaving."

Vehicular Manslaughter poked his head out the window. "Boss! Look!" He pointed at the street ahead. A blonde-haired boy was walking across the intersection. He was wearing a long red coat. Sunlight was gleaming off of the boy's right hand. Indecisiveness squinted at it. No doubt about it. It was automail.

"That's him!" he said to Stupidity. Vehicular Manslaughter nodded. "That's Elric! Elron! Whatever! It's him! Fullmetal!" Everything suddenly changed for Indecisiveness. He hauled Alcoholism into the van and jumped in himself. He nodded to Vehicular Manslaughter, who grinned and began driving toward Fullmetal. They had him. Father would be so pleased.

Indecisiveness turned to face the others in the back of the van. "Change of plans. We're going after Fullmetal after all. We should be on him within minutes. Be ready."

"yay," Poor Grammar said, then yelped. "hey! wtf r u doing! tats mien!"

Indecisiveness gave him a confused look. "What the...?" Then he saw that Petty Theft had just swiped Poor Grammar's notepad and pencil. "Give that back to him, Theft! No stealing from your own homunculi!"

Petty Theft growled, but held the pad and pencil out to Poor Grammar. He snatched them back. "tank u but doafndi fdsteal mdya tstuf anfymor!"

Indecisiveness stared at him. ...Something was wrong. Grammar was unusually hard to understand this morning. Theft was stealing from her own kind. Stupidity was...stupider. Oh well. It would have to wait. They were almost to Fullmetal. The boy had his back to them. And, most importantly, his armored sidekick was nowhere to be seen!

"Okay, Manslaughter," Indecisiveness said, "slow down and we'll sneak up behind him on foot."

Vehicular Manslaughter's eyes narrowed "No. I'm running him over."

"No! Father wants him alive, you idiot!"

"I can't help it!" Vehicular Manslaughter angled the van toward Fullmetal. "The urge is too strong!"

Indecisiveness grabbed the wheel. The van veered wildly as the two homunculi fought for control. Indecisiveness finally managed to pry Manslaughter's hand from the wheel, but it was too late to avoid the small shop they were hurtling toward. "Hang on!" Indecisiveness shouted as they crashed into the building.

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Teenage Angst

Her file simply reads "?"

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Indecisiveness groaned. Thankfully, they hadn't been going very fast when they hit the building. Still, it had shaken them. Hopefully it had shaken Alcoholism sober, he thought as he crawled out of the passenger door. It was probably too much to hope for, but still.

"Is everyone okay?" he asked.

After a few moments, they were all outside. Alcoholism was still drunk. Stupidity was staring at the sky with a stupid grin on his face. Petty Theft was trying to pry the hubcaps off of the van. Worst of all, Teenage Angst was awake. But they were all okay. That's what matters, Indecisiveness kept telling himself.

"Are you guys all right?" a voice asked them. Indecisiveness whirled around and came face to face with the Fullmetal Alchemist. The homunculus yelped and took a step back. The plan had gone out the window. They would have to wing it now.

"Get him!" Indecisiveness shouted. Alcoholism emitted some wild, nonsensical battle cry and charged Fullmetal. He wrapped his arms around the alchemist and held him tight.

Indecisiveness looked down at Fullmetal. He was very short. "I'm sorry about this, but we need you. With you, we'll finally get the recognition we deserve."

Fullmetal turned his head to face the general direction of Alcoholism, who still had his arms wrapped around the boy's chest. "This is how you repay me, Alcoholism? And after we went to all that trouble to help you and your headache." A surprised Alcoholism let his grip loosen, and Fullmetal wriggled out of his arms.

Indecisiveness stared in disbelief as the boy began to transform. His hair darkened; his clothes became tighter; his height stayed roughly the same. Disbelief turned to horror as Indecisiveness realized who he was facing. Envy. The Elite homunculus smiled at him. "Surprised to see me, Indecisiveness?" Envy delivered a stinging punch to the side of Indecisiveness' mouth.

"Idiots," Envy said as Indecisiveness staggered back to his feet. This is not good. We're in trouble here.

Envy apparently had decided that it was time to gloat. "Did you really think you could capture Fullmetal? Did you really think you had found him? Well, you hadn't!"

"we had too!" Poor Grammar shouted at Envy. "we foond him adn had a pln and everyting!"

"Geez, you all are such idiots!" Envy laughed. "There is no Edward Elron in Moonbay! There is no Edward Elric either! You fell for my trap even when I purposely spelled his name wrong! Just like I knew you would!"

Indecisiveness balled his hands into fists. "You mean you planned this whole thing? You lured us here to Moonbay to...to toy with us?"

Envy grinned. "That's right! I don't know about you, but I enjoy having a little fun with my prey before I kill it."

Indecisiveness' anger began to subdue his fear. "You little..." He advanced on Envy.

The Elite waggled a finger in front of Indecisiveness. "No. I don't think that would be a good idea, Indy." Envy whistled. "Come on out, you two."

Two more figures approached from either side of Envy. One was a tall, dark-haired woman in a long, black dress. The other was a short, fat little man with an enormous mouth.

"Lust. Gluttony." Indecisiveness muttered. Oh boy. Big, big trouble now.

"Hey there, handsome," Lust purred at him. "Are you enjoying our little gift?"

Indecisiveness gave her a confused look. "Gift? What are you talking about?"

Envy grabbed Alcoholism's shiny new flask and held it up. "This." He unscrewed the bottom and something fell from it and into Envy's hand. It was red. It was glowing.

It was a Philosopher's Stone.

For Indecisiveness, everything came together. So, that's why he had suddenly become more...indecisive than normal. That's why Stupidity had become stupider. That's why Theft was stealing from her own people. The hidden Philosopher's Stone had been – and still was – amplifying their "powers." If this kept up, they would be mere shells of their old selves. They would be totally consumed by their respective primary trait. Indecisiveness finally realized just how bad of a time it was to be facing down three Elite homunculi.

Gluttony walked over to Lust and tugged on her dress. "Lust? Can I eat them now?"

Lust smiled down at him. "Yes. If you wish. We have had enough fun with these fools. It's time to finish this once and for all. After all, it's what Father wants." With no further warning, her nails spiked out and pinned Indecisiveness against the van by both sides of his neck.

The others stared in every direction, too scared to move. Indecisiveness struggled against Lust's hold. Gluttony slowly started moving toward him. The homunculus was salivating. Indecisiveness began to panic. "Everyone! Fight them! We have to fight them!"

"How?" Petty Theft moaned. She was still trying to pry hubcaps from the van. "We can't even control ourselves anymore! I...can't...stop doing...this!"

Gluttony was dangerously close, now. Indecisiveness, desperate, tried to kick Gluttony, but to no avail. The Elite pushed the Misfit's legs away, apparently wanting to start with Indecisiveness' head. "Use it to your advantage, then! It's supposed to make us powerful! Use it!"

Stupidity rounded on him. "Are you insane, Indecisiveness? How in the hell am I supposed to use stupidity to my advantage?"

"I...I don't know!" He tried to squirm away from Gluttony's massive head, but the van's door stopped him. Too close! Too close!

Petty Theft dove into Gluttony. The thin woman somehow sent the enormous man flying. She landed on top of him and began pawing all over him. "I don't think he has anything on him, Indecisiveness! I can't hold on to him for long if he doesn't have anything to steal!"

Indecisiveness had his own problems. Lust still had him pinned to the van and was now slowly closing the distance between them. "It looks like I'll have to kill you myself." She never stopped looking into his eyes. "You were always the best of the misfits. The strongest. The smartest. Almost good enough to be one of us." She crossed the last distance between them in a flash, stopping with her nose almost touching his. "Almost."

"Hey!" Stupidity shouted, suddenly appearing behind Lust. "Back here! Come pick on someone your own intelligence!"

Lust turned her head slightly. Indecisiveness took advantage of the situation and drove his head into hers. "Son of a bitch!" he shouted, "that hurt!" But it was enough to distract Lust. Her grip on him loosened and he pushed back on her nails, dislodging them from the van.

Stupidity gave a victorious shout. "There aren't many things that are stupider than provoking one of the Elites, eh, Indecisiveness?" The leader of the Misfits smiled at him.

Indecisiveness was finally free to survey the battlefield. Lust was darting her head back and forth, trying to decide whether to unleash her fury on Indecisiveness or Stupidity. Petty Theft was still struggling with Gluttony. Vehicular Manslaughter was fighting with the van's broken doors, trying to get inside and behind the wheel. Poor Grammar and Alcoholism were shouting various misspelled and slurred expletives at Envy, who was being "assaulted" by Teenage Angst. Even now, Indecisiveness was absolutely appalled by the girl's nerve.

Then he looked farther down the road and saw something that made his insides shout with glee.

"We can't keep them at bay for much longer, boss!" Petty Theft said from her perch atop a snarling Gluttony.

Indecisiveness winked at her. "We don't have to, Theft." He gestured off down the street. A column of people were approaching. They were wearing familiar blue uniforms.

"Military dogs!" Envy shouted between furious kisses from Teenage Angst. "We don't need this now! These fools aren't worth it!" She finally broke free of Teenage Angst's grasp and took off down an alley.

"No!" Teenage Angst screamed. "I thought you loved me! I thought we had something special!"

Lust glared at Indecisiveness. "This isn't over. We will kill you. Count on it." With that, she darted off after Envy. Gluttony threw Petty Theft off of him and followed Lust.

"And take this tam ding with you!" Alcoholism threw the Philosopher's Stone flask at them with surprising aim for a drunk person. Gluttony caught it and swallowed it.

As he watched the Elite homunculi run away, Indecisiveness breathed a huge sigh of relief. They had done it. They had fought off three of the Elites. But they needed to get out of here quickly unless they wanted to try their hand at fighting off the military as well.

"Everyone, into the van!" Vehicular Manslaughter tried to crawl into the driver's seat, but Stupidity pulled him back and took the seat himself. "I'm not making the same mistake twice, boss," he said to Indecisiveness, who took the passenger seat.

Once everyone else had clambered into the van (Teenage Angst was particularly difficult to deal with, as she was sobbing uncontrollably and trying to run down the alley after Envy), Stupidity stepped on the gas and sped away from the unsuspecting soldiers.

"Well, guys," Indecisiveness said to his team, once they were safely out of town, "I won't lie to you. That was a complete disaster. We walked into a trap – quite a stupid trap, mind you – and we were made fools of. We didn't capture Fullmetal, and Father probably holds us in even lower regard now that we fought his precious Elites. And we were almost killed." His voice brightened. "But we weren't. And that's what matters. We're alive. That's what matters. Right, Alcoholism?"

No answer.

"Alcoholism?" Indecisiveness looked back. He wasn't there. Oh no...

"Yeah, boss?" came a voice from the floor of the van. "Just thinked I'd take a...a little nap. Nap. Little..." His voice trailed away.

Relieved, Indecisiveness turned and leaned back in his seat. "Take us home, Stupidity."

The seven Misfit homunculi sat in silence as they made their way home.