The Immortal Alchemist

Chapter One

"A Sin Repeated"

A/N: I don't want to hold you up with notes, so I've included the full notes at the end of the chapter, including references, contact information, and timeline explanation. Special thanks to mah buddy, BlueRush, for helping with the title and for allowing me to use some things he created in this story.

: I don't want to hold you up with notes, so I've included the full notes at the end of the chapter, including references, contact information, and timeline explanation. Special thanks to mah buddy, for helping with the title and for allowing me to use some things he created in this story.

It was a dark night in Rush Valley, and down the cold street walked an even colder soul.

A young woman walked down the street, tucking a strand of her blonde hair back behind her ear and clutching her bag tightly. She was late getting home, having spent too much time at the shop, doing a last minute Automail repair. She was walking down an old stone street, which ran under a large bridge. She heard the clank of armor and looked around; but there was no one in the shadows. For a moment she thought it might have been a friend of hers, but there was no one there.

Then, slowly she saw a man wearing a large suit of armor with a skull-like face and a long strand of hair from the back walk out of the darkness. He held a gigantic butcher's cleaver in one hand, a long razor sharp knife in the other. The woman's eyes widened, and she took a step back, clutching her bag to her chest.

The armored man stepped forward, raising his knife above his head, and laughed. "I remember you, little girl. I almost chopped you up once when I was human." The armored man asked in a voice that sounded reminiscent of someone in a psyche ward.

"Y-You stay back!" The girl shouted. "I've got a wrench!"

"And I have a sword." Barry the Chopper replied.

Winry felt sweat run down the back of her neck. She started to turn and run, but Barry kicked her in the back and she fell to the ground. When Winry turned around, she saw Barry raising his butcher's cleaver high in the air, and she screamed loudly.

Suddenly there was a loud, metallic clank! She opened her eyes and saw another suit of armor on top of Barry, wrestling with him. Barry pushed the armored man off him, and impaled him with his knife.

The second armored man punched Barry, even though a knife had gone right through him.

Winry recognized the second man. "Al?" She gasped, realizing it was the younger Elric Brother.

Barry chopped Al's hands off, and then slammed his cleaver into Al's leg, cutting it off as well. When Al's armor fell to the ground, Barry decided to break his blood seal and kill Alphonse. However, as he chopped off Al's helmet he could find no blood seal.


"Sorry, that one's controlled by Alchemy. I'm over here."

Barry turned around and saw a young boy in a black trenchcoat with a rattail haircut. The boy, whom Barry assumed was the other brother Elric, clapped his hands, smacked them on the ground; and a large spike of rock was transmuted and shot forward right into Barry's chest. It impaled him and stuck him to the side of the bridge.

"Ed?" Winry called, but when the boy stepped into the light of the streetlamp, he was not Edward Elric.

"No Winry, it's the other one." The human Alphonse Elric replied, with a small smile on his face.

"Oh that is so unfair." Barry complained.

Winry's mouth fell open, as if she was seeing a ghost. Al was surprised; he figured that Pinako would have sent Winry a letter, explaining the whole story. Winry took a step forward, still awe struck, not sure if it was him or not.

"A-Al? Is that really you?" She asked, but she knew it was. She may not have see Al in the flesh since she was a child, but she recognized him.

"Yeah. It's a long story." Al sighed in replied.

"Well tell me!" Winry nearly shouted, but then she paused and looked around. She saw Barry, and the false Alphonse, and she saw the real Al. But there was one thing she did not see, that she had assumed she would. One thing she wanted to see. She turned to Al, and asked him a question that hurt.

"Where's Ed?"

Al bit his lip. Pinako had not only not told Winry that Al was human again, but apparently she hadn't told him about Ed either.

The Philosopher's Stone.

It is said, with that stone, anything is possible through Alchemy. The law of Equal Exchange can be ignored. You could transmute a mansion from mere grains of sand and dirt. Even the taboo, Human Alchemy, is possible. Some claim you can even revive the dead, though despite the rumors, I have never personally tried. (Not with the stone anyway.) Not that what I did was much different. Anyone would think it was the same thing, though to me it was very different.

In all truth, it began ten years ago when my brother and I tried to bring our mother back from the dead, but that's a story I think you've already heard. My story begins on a train, when Colonel Roy Mustang summoned my brother and I to Eastern Headquarters. As I sat on that train, I never realized that would be the day we finally found the Philosopher's Stone . . . or the day the rest of my life would begin.

My name is Alphonse Elric, I am eighteen years old, and in the course of trying to find my brother, I started the worst war in my country's entire history.

"Do you think this is about that bridge, Al?" A blonde haired boy with a red jacket asked his brother, a large suit of armor, who sat next to him on the brown train seat.

"Mmm... Could be Ed. You did break it, and it was the main supply route for that entire city." Alphonse, the talking armored suit, replied to his brother.

"I destroyed it? It was those thieves who destroyed it!" Edward, the shorter boy replied hostly.

" . . . you transmuted the cannon, brother." Al pointed out.

Ed sighed and looked out the window at the blur of greens and yellows and blues as the train sped through the countryside. It was true, only three days ago Edward had been chasing some thieves who decided to cross a bridge. Ed had transmuted a large cannon out of the ground and fired . . . he missed the thieves, but managed to take out the bridge they had been crossing.

"Technicality Alphonse." Ed replied, folding his hands behind his head and sitting back in his seat.

"Maybe brother, this is about that General you cussed out." Al suggested.

"He called me an insignificant midget!" Ed defended.

"He said, 'move aside little boy'." Al reminded him of the proper phrasing.

"'Little' is just another word for short." Ed responded, folding his arms and refusing to apologize for saying some really raw things to a high-ranking officer. Al shook his head, there were about a million things Ed had done wrong in the last couple months that Mustang could be mad about.

The train slowly came to a halt, and Ed and Al waited for the rest of the passengers to get off before they stood up. Finally Ed rose, and his brother followed suit, then the two began to go towards the exit of the train. Though before either could step off, two people stepped on the train, and Ed sighed. It wasn't often he came to them, so that meant he must really be in trouble.

The two people had wasted no time as they approached Ed and Al and one of them sat down on the bench-like-seat across from them. The man had his arms crossed, while the woman went through a door towards the front of the train where the conductor was waiting and wondering why someone was boarding his train when his schedule for the day was over.

"Fullmetal." The man said, looking up at the Elric Brothers.

"What do you want Colonel? Couldn't wait to chew me out about Marquis Bridge?" Ed asked, resting his chin on the palm of his metal hand.

The train began to move again, and though Al was curious about it, he said nothing. Ed didn't appear to care though, so Al decided just to wait for the Colonel to explain. A few moments later, Lieutenant Hawkeye returned and sat down next to the Colonel.

After about five minutes of silence, Ed's temper had boiled over with curiosity and he finally blurted something out. "Okay, so where are we going?"

"Impatient as always, Fullmetal." Mustang replied. "If you must know I got a letter from an old friend, and I've got to go to Hissegart. You're coming with me."

Ed and Al were both silent for a moment. Hissegart wasn't a very fond memory in their minds. After the initial remembrance of the problems in Hissegart three years ago, Ed snapped to his senses and looked up at Mustang.

"Why are you taking us?" He asked.

"You boys have been in the cave near Hissegart before, haven't you?" Mustang answered a question with a question, one of his many habits that annoyed Ed.

"You mean that cave where we fought that crab chimera?" Al asked, remembering the gigantic crab-like chimera that had been transmuted and left in a cavern the boys had been unlucky enough to find themselves in.

"That's the one, and since you've been there, you're going with me since I haven't." Mustang explained. Ed sighed loudly, as if he was annoyed, but Mustang paid no attention to his obvious complaint.

"If the letter I got is accurate, we could use an extra pair of alchemists for this one, Fullmetal." Mustang reassured the elder Elric.

The train ride to Hissegart was long and uneventful, despite his cryptic manner, Mustang did not say anymore about why they were going to an old, creepy cave that was frequently used for bandits and thieves as a hideout. Ed and Al were in the dark, until they arrived at the train station. Ed looked out the window and saw the large gates that led to the main city. There was no one around. Ten minutes later, as they made their way through the town, Ed noticed it was completely empty.

"Hey Colonel, what's going on? Where is everyone?"

"That's a good question Edward. That's what we're here to find out." Mustang replied.

"What do you mean, Colonel?" Al asked as the group of four walked through the business district. It was deserted, not a soul in sight. There was no sound save only their footsteps and the wind blowing. Al had a bad feeling wash over him as they walked by the road that once led to the Alchemyworks, a place the Elric brothers and Mustang had been before.

Finally, Mustang began to explain. "Fullmetal, this town was full of people, full of life . . . I received a letter this morning stating that the town had suddenly become empty overnight. Apparently there was a bright light across the sky, and when my contact came into town to investigate, he found no one."

Ed crossed his arms, he did not like the sound of that. "A bright light, huh? You mean, Alchemic Light?"

"That's what it sounded like." Mustang replied. "A transmutation that lights up the entire sky, and then a city is empty. Doesn't sound good to me, Fullmetal."

"Brother . . ."

"Yeah, I know Al." Ed replied before Al got a chance to finish his thought.

Mustang raised an eyebrow, and was about to ask what they were talking about when he heard the sound of screaming from a short distance away. All four of them hurried up the street, rounded the side of a large building, and found themselves on one side of a large steel-wire fence. On the other side was a man lying against the side of a building. He wore a white cloak and hood, but most of it was covered in a dark crimson stain. The man also had only one arm, but from the rate he was bleeding that was most certainly a recent development.

Standing above the blood-soaked man, was another man who showed no pity or compassion on his face. A tall man with dark skin, light hair and red eyes. This tall man had the sleeve of one of his arms rolled up, revealing a very advanced tattoo pattern on his arm. Ed gasped as he recognized the dark skinned, light haired man.

"Alchemist of Hissegart!" The Ishbalian known only as 'Scar' spoke in a booming voice. "Though you are not of State Certification, and not my chosen enemy, what you have done this day is unforgivable in the eyes of God! I will allow you a moment to pray, and I hope you don't try to stab me again. Your death need not be painful."

"Scar! Stop!" Ed shouted, and Scar's red eyes moved to the corner of his face as he spotted the group.

"Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric. Were you also a part of this mad scheme?" Scar asked. The alchemist in white tried to stand up and flee as Scar's attention was diverted to the group of four on the other side of the fence. Scar grabbed the back of the man's head and by the time Hawkeye fired her first shot, the man's head had exploded and Scar had used his body as a shield for the bullet.

Scar threw the man's body aside, jumped high into the air, and landed on one of the stacked crates outside of the white building next to where he had murdered the alchemist in white. Scar jumped off the crate as Mustang snapped his fingers and the crate exploded, and Scar came down on the fence, destroying it with his arm as he went. As his arm transmuted the fence, it slowed his descent and allowed him to land on his feet.

Ed's arm was transformed in a blaze of blue light into a blade, and he ran forward towards Scar. This only caused Mustang and Hawkeye to curse, since neither of them could attack Scar with Ed in the line of either fire or gunfire.

Ed slashed at Scar's stomach with his automail blade, but Scar tilted back and avoided it. The Ishbalian warrior clapped his hand onto the ground and red light pulsed through the cement street; and then the street turned into a gigantic crater as alchemy worked to dissolve away everything else. Ed and the others wound up falling down, though Scar stood tall and strong.

"Fullmetal Alchemist, answer me! Did you partake in the slaughter?" Scar asked, a newfound anger surging deep in his voice. Ed looked up at Scar; secretly clapping his hands while Scar's attention was on Ed's face.

"The only slaughter I've seen today is the one YOU just caused!" Ed placed his hands on the edge of his automail leg, which transformed the foot into a spike and extended it at Scar at amazing speeds. Scar sidestepped the attacked, however, and then walked towards Ed's side. He reached down and placed his hand on Ed's face.

". . . May you go swiftly to God." Scar whispered; and a second later Alphonse had tackled him from his side, sending Scar flying off Ed only seconds before the elder Elric would have wound up with his face as the second crater.

"Thanks Al!" Ed called, and then he stood up and faced Scar. Scar stared back at him.

"Alright, I've had enough of this." Mustang snapped his fingers and an explosion rocked the place where Scar stood. A second snap which resulted in a second blast. A third snap, and now the smoke and fire was rising higher and higher into the sky. Carefully Hawkeye, a pistol in each hand, approached the crater-inside-a-crater. The flames had died down now, and she looked and saw a hole in the ground that Scar transmuted, leading into a sewer.

"He escaped into the sewers, sir." Hawkeye informed the Colonel.

"What? Again? Damn!" Mustang looked at the hole angrily, but he had other business to attend to. He had to figure out where the population of Hissegart had gone, and from the sound of Scar's ranting, and the description from his friend, he believed alchemists were involved.

Ed, however, had no such business. After fixing his leg via alchemy, he ran forward and jumped down into the hole that Scar made.

"Edward! What are you doing?" Al ran to the edge of the hole, and found it was too narrow for his gigantic armored body to fit. He sighed and looked at Mustang. "You can't let him fight Scar alone!"

Mustang agreed. "The shrimp will be fried if he goes alone. Lieutenant Hawkeye, follow Fullmetal and make sure he comes out alive."

"Yes, sir." Hawkeye dropped down into the hole in the ground without a second thought. Al sighed, wishing he could go too, but he could not. The sewer was filled with water, and the last thing Al needed was to accidentally drop into water deep enough to rub his blood seal off. He turned to the Colonel, who motioned for Al to follow him.

Ed was running down the slimy sewer, waist deep in disgusting water as he chased Scar. He knew the Ishbalian had come this way, because he could hear his footsteps. Just then, Ed heard more footsteps that came from behind him. Ed's arm was still a blade from before, and he inched up to the wall of the sewer, waiting for Scar to reveal himself.

And Scar did reveal that he was right behind Edward, also inched onto the sewer wall. As Ed backed up, Scar grabbed the back of his head.

"Pray Fullmetal Alchemi--argh!"

Ed spun around and slashed Scar's stomach with his automail blade, it cause some hair to be yanked out, but of the two Ed had come up better. Scar stumbled back a bit as his dark blood began to spill into the already putrid sewer slim and he growled with fury. Scar charged again, and Ed braced himself for an attack.

Then gunshots rang out, the echo magnified by the tiny sewer. Scar had avoided them only narrowly, and Ed looked over his shoulder to see Hawkeye running towards him, guns blazing. Scar was forced into a retreat and the Serial Killer destroyed the wall beside him and ran through. Apparently on the other side of the wall was an odd room, looking nothing like the rest of the sewer.

"Are you alright Ed?" Hawkeye asked as she reached his side.

"Yeah, but we've gotta chase him down! C'mon Lieutenant!" With that, Ed took off before she had a chance to stop him. With no other choice, Hawkeye followed Ed closely through the sewer tunnel.

Al was worried about his brother, but he couldn't help him right now. Instead he followed Mustang, reassuring himself mentally that between themselves, Ed and the Lieutenant were more than a match for Scar. Mustang didn't seem worried at all, though his face wore that same somber expression it did on most of the occasions Al was around him. Roy led him into the caverns just outside of the railroad leading into town, and memories returned to Al about the crab chimera. Memories also returned about Armony, and her father the Professor, and the strange alchemist called Camilla who was willing to kill an innocent little girl just to get her own selfish desires.

Then Al's memories stopped as he looked at the cavern ahead. There was a large, round steel door separating them from the path ahead -- something that was not there the last time Al had been here.

"Colonel, that's new." Al said, pointing at the door. Roy lifted his hand, his fingers in the snap position when Al quickly stopped him. "Wait Colonel! These caves are unstable! You could cause a cave in!"

Mustang nodded, and instead of him blowing the door into billions of pieces, Alphonse approached and drew a transmutation circle in the dirt in front of the door. He pressed his hands on the edges when he was done, and blue light illuminated the caverns. A hole was transmuted inside the door, and Al and the Colonel walked through it.

Into an amazing room. Al gasped, and Mustang's eyes widened slightly.

"What is this place?" Al wondered aloud.

"Exactly what we were looking for." Mustang replied.

Instead of the dirty cave floors, the area beyond the door was paved with white tiles, and there were golden lines drawn on the tiles. As Al looked at the lines, he realized that they formed a gigantic transmutation circle, unlike anything he'd ever seen before. Even the Seven Point Array, which is for the Philosopher's Stone, was not this complicated. This array seemed to have Nine Points, and Al was blown away. He managed to looked over at Mustang, who was bent down examining the array, and seemed as awestruck as Al. Though he didn't show it like Ed and Al did, Roy Mustang was still an alchemist, and a Nine Point Array was something he had never even thought possible.

"What do you suppose it does, Colonel?" Al asked.

"Not a clue Al." Mustang replied, standing back up and rubbing his chin. "Never seen a transmutation circle like this. I doubt we should stand in the middle, though."

"Good idea." Al backed up away from the white tiles, standing in the doorway. Roy started to walk towards him, but suddenly the wall exploded and Scar ran inside the room, and inside the circle. He was followed by Ed, who was chasing him like a fiend, and Hawkeye who stayed at the blasted wall and fired her guns, using the broken wall as cover.

Neither Ed nor Scar saw the transmutation circle. Al tried to call out to his brother, but it was too late. Scar slammed his hand down on the ground, intent on sending a Shockwave at Ed, and instead he activated the Nine Point Array. A white light began to glow from all of the white tiles, and a gold light from the circle. Ed, Roy and Scar stopped, awestruck as light consumed their bodies.

There was a flash so bright that neither Hawkeye or Al could continue looking at their friends; and when the light disappeared, all three men had vanished with it.

"B-Brother?" Al looked around the room, but Ed was gone, no sign of him to be found anyway. Al started towards the room, but Hawkeye shouted out to him.

"Stay where you are Alphonse! It's not safe to step on that circle. We don't know what it does."

"But Lieutenant! Brother! And the Colonel!" Al called back, Hawkeye remained adamant.

"I know Al, I know, but we can't help them if we're acting foolish." She insisted, though as Al looked into her deep eyes, he saw that she was just as worried as he was. Though she was a professional, and she knew how to contain her emotions in high-stress situations like this one.


Hawkeye spun around and aimed his guns at the North side of the room; Al looked across the transmutation tiles. A man in a white robe was standing at the far northern end of the room.

"I mean you no harm." The main with the gray beard and matching hair said. "I do not have much time left. That Ishbalian with the x-shaped scar killed most of my friends, and my wounds are deep so I will die soon too."

Neither Hawkeye or Al spoke as the man removed his robe to reveal a white shirt and matching pants, stained his blood.

"Are you alright, sir?" Hawkeye asked.

"No. I am dying. I could stop it, of course, but I was selfish to do what I did. I alone thought it was a bad idea, but so strong were my desires that I went along with it anyway. It is ironic that the Ishbalian man would kill all but the one who wanted death." The gray bearded man said, as he stepped into the circle. When Al and Hawkeye saw it was safe, they slowly approached him.

"Sir . . . what is this transmutation array?" Alphonse asked, but the man ignored him.

"We transmuted Hissegart. We destroyed every last person in the city to make it. I guess we believed the lies that horrible woman told us. It was our own fault, I see now."

"Alphonse, do you know what he's talking about?" Hawkeye asked as she approached Al's side, still holding her guns, but holding them down so not to appear threatening to the man.

"They destroyed the city to make it . . ." Al repeated. Then it dawned on him what the man was talking about. "Y-You made the Philosopher's Stone?"

The man looked at Al and smiled. "A Alchemist! Yes, Yes I did! WE did! We made the Stone of Sages! The Philosopher's Stone! And with it I could save my life... but I deserve these wounds, that is why I gave them to myself."

Al and Hawkeye were even more puzzled. The man had been speaking like Scar had wounded him, but now he claimed to have done it himself?

"You see, when that scarred man came, I hid. I hid from my friends, and took the stone with me. They all died from that man, and I hid. Now I deserve death for abandoning my friends. Here, why don't you have this Mr. Armored Alchemist!"

The man reached into his robe, which was discarded on the ground in front of him, and pulled out a blood red stone that was larger than his head. Al gasped; it was the Philosopher's Stone, the real one. The man walked towards Al and handed it to him, then he smiled, laughed; and collapsed on his back. He was still laughing while he began to cough.

"Wait! Sir! What did this circle do? Where is my brother?" Al tried to ask the man, but the man's coughing turned violent, and then he was silent. Too silent to be alive. Al sighed and looked down at the Philosopher's Stone.

He found it, but he had lost his brother.

A month after Al found the stone, he still hadn't heard a word from his brother. That is when he decided on doing something that he knew was stupid. The last time he tried it, it had cost him a lot. This time it may cost him his life. Alphonse Elric was willing to take that chance if it meant finding his brother.

He was in Resembool, his hometown. He sat on the splotch of earth that had once been his house, until he and Ed burnt it down years ago. In the dirt was a transmutation circle he had drawn, and in the middle of that circle were quite a few different elements.

"I must be out of my mind." Al scratched the back of his head, still marveling at having hair once more. Alphonse was no longer a suit of armor with a soul attached to it. He was able to use the Philosopher's Stone, with a little help from Izumi, to create a new body for him -- proving it was the true Philosopher's Stone.

Alphonse, though younger than his brother, was actually taller than Ed. Al figured that when he did find Ed, that would upset him. His hair was light brown, taking after his mother's. He had a rattail haircut, and he had a whole new wardrobe. He was used to the armor, so it was actually a pain finding clothes, but he had been able to.

Al now wore a blue shirt, with an alchemic symbol on the left shoulder; the same symbol Izumi had on her chest and Ed had on the back of his jacket. Alphonse wore an oversized black trenchcoat, with the same symbol on his left shoulder of the jacket as on the shirt. He had black pants that matches his jacket, and he carried a black satchel around with him as well. It was filled with a pen, several blank pieces of paper, and several pieces of paper with alchemic arrays draw on them. Al was not his brother -- he needed a circle for alchemy, so now he had a wide selection of pre-drawn circles for emergencies. Al's gloves and boots were black, and the gloves looked almost identical to the gauntlets he wore while a suit of armor. Metal was attached to the gloves at the middle of them, and over the midsection of his palm and the back of his hand; between his knuckles and his wrist. His boots were in the same fashion, with metal on the toe, heel and in a strip across the top of the boot.

The stone that allowed every law of alchemy to be broken. Having his body back, however, was not as nice as Al had hoped it would be. Not with his brother gone. Al didn't even know if Ed was alive.

But he knew how to find out. Alphonse had seen The Gate once before, when he and Ed foolishly tried to revive their mother. Al knew that through The Gate were the dead souls used to create Homunculi. Al had the Philosopher's Stone, meaning he should be able to access the gate's power -- which, in theory, meant he could bring his brother back.

There was just one thing Al did not count on. As he drew the Seven Point Array, and placed the Stone in the center with the materials, he did not stop to wonder what would happen if Ed's soul was not beyond The Gate. What if Ed was still alive? What if he, Mustang and Scar were all still alive somewhere, someplace? Al never considered the possibility of what could happen.

Instead, he activated the circle, and in front of him appeared the gate as energy swirled around him and red transmutation light ignited the sky. He knew by now that villagers would be gathering at their windows, seeing the light, and from the corner of his eye he saw a light flicker to life in the window of the Rockbell home.

Then, Alphonse learned what would happen if he tried to bring back someone who was not dead.

Al screamed, the Gate was going crazy. He lifted his hands from the stone and began to scramble backwards, trying to get away; but the stone shattered, and a boiling hot piece of the stone shot into Al's left arm right at the elbow joint, and Alphonse screamed; then he blacked out and saw no more.

When Al's eyes opened, he looked up at a familiar ceiling. He had seen it every night that he and Ed stayed in Resembool after they burnt their own house. He was on the couch in the Rockbell's living room. As Al grunted awake and sat up, he heard a voice.

"Jeez boy, what were you thinking?"

Al sighed and lay back down. "I had the stone Auntie. I should've been able to . . ." Al trailed off.

"Blasted Alchemists." Pinako Rockbell muttered. "Always thinking you can top nature. You'd think seven years as a walking tin can would teach you a lesson. No . . . you're too stubborn, just like your brother."

Al sighed and finally to face Pinako, the small woman was staring at him with eyes full of anger, annoyance and a deep concern. She had always treated the Elrics like her own, and she was never above telling them the mistakes they made.

"Auntie . . . what happened to me?" Al asked. He could not feel the majority of his left arm -- where the stone shard had hit him.

"You had a red jewel stuck in your arm. Severed some nerves. I patched you up, but the damage wasn't pretty. You could feel pain for a long time." Pinako told him, never one to sugar coat things. "Still . . . you're a strong boy, Alphonse. Your arm was pretty torn up, but it's healing nicely. You should have full use of your arm again in a month or two."

Al nodded, and then he realized something. "Auntie! The Philosopher's Stone, what happened to it?"

Pinako raised a wrinkled eyebrow. "You mean that big broken red rock? I've got it here. You can have it, as long as you don't get anymore pieces stuck inside your body, ya'hear?"

Al nodded again, and then he rolled over and Pinako assumed he went back to sleep. The combination of medicines and injuries made him as tired as is humanly possible. Pinako walked off, glad that Winry wasn't around to see all of this. She was now living in Rush Valley, working as an Automail Mechanic full-time.

Al was lying on the couch, feeling intensive pain from his arm, and feeling as tired as he had ever been. However, Al had one more emotion mixing in his system. Hope. The transmutation had been a failure, and a painful one at that -- but with the Stone, it should have worked. There was only one explanation for his failure.

He did not revive Ed, because Ed was not dead.

So as he gave up his fight against sleep, Alphonse silently vowed to learn what that Nine Point Array had been, and to find his brother.

Author's Notes: Here's the extended notes.

1) At what point in this series does this fanfic take place?

Seeing as how it is using elements of both the manga and anime, it's hard to say – but basically it occurs AFTER Greed has died, but that's it. Martel did not die, Al did not find out Bradley was a Homunculus, Scar did not destroy Lior; none of those things happened.

2) Hissegart Reference

In this chapter there was references to a town called "Hissegart", as well as someone named "Armony" who is father was a Professor. These are references to "Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel", which is a Playstation Two game written by Arakawa-sama. If you haven't played it, I highly suggest renting or buying it. eBay and Amazon should both have it online -- good luck finding it in stores, it's an older game, as far as games go. The Crab Chimera thing refers to a boss fight in that game.

3) What are the pairings for this fanfic?

There will be MANY relationships in the course of this fic, just as people in real life have many. Some will be meaningful, and some won't. (again, like real life.) If you see a ship you do not like, KEEP READING! Many ships, even ones I don't ship, will be appearing in this fic. Cause again, LIKE REAL LIFE. (In the end though, methinks my ships will win. XD) One will even be a love triangle between three of the most important characters of all. (I bet you can guess who!) There may also be some Character Death, but not till much later on. Also, oddly enough, Ed is my absolute favorite character in FMA, but my first FMA fic is Al-centered. Is that weird to anyone but me? XD

4) Where can I go if I want to see the newest chapters BEFORE they're on or OR Where can I go to ask you lots of tedious questions without the hassle of emailing you?

Why, the Sonic Rapid Board's Non-Sonic Fanfiction Section, of course! Did I mention we have fun chat and RPs there? Well I did now. (Hey, I'm an Admin, I gotta advertise!)

http / s12 . invisionfree . com / sonicthehedgehog / index . php? (Remove the spaces in the URL!)

5) Should I review?

In the words of Montgomery Gentry: "HELL YA!" Reviews make me happy, which makes me write new chapters faster! Plus the more reviews I get, the longer I'll make the fic. So you have good reason to review:D