Edge of Insanity

by

Brandon Rice

This story is based on the Fullmetal Alchemist MANGA.

It is very different than the anime.

To read it for yourself: go to www(dot)readmanga(dot)com
Fullmetal Alchemist is the property of Arakawa! Not me!

... My sensei who taught me alchemy once told me that every man had his breaking point. The limit to how much pain and suffering he can stand to see within his world. He told me we all walk upon the edge of a knife; the edge of reason and insanity. He told me that a single slip and we will fall and cut ourselves, and we will die.

I did not believe that was the truth. I had been through the horrible experience of losing my sensei, having him die in my arms are vomiting up blood; and then watching his only daughter run into the room and stare at me and her father's corpse with a look of fear and confusion worse than any I have seen in my life.

I went through the awful times in Ishvar, ruthlessly destroying entire cities and cutting down many lives as they stood before me. Bullets sailing from my gun and the very flames my sensei had taught me to make echoing from the tips of my fingers just before they turned families into dust. I saw that same look of fear and confusion in their eyes as I had in my sensei's daughter's. That war almost drove me to taking my own life several times. In the end, I realized that the only way to properlly atone would be to take charge of the military and ensure that I make the world a better place.

My sensei hated the military. He was angry when his own daughter enrolled in the Military Academy just to follow me. I knew she loved me then, but I was young and foolish -- I cared more about my dreams of power than my sensei's daughter. After the Ishvar conflict, I cared more about atonement and change than my own personal life. It was a three-sixty turn, but I was still ignoring those around me.

Now I look back and I regreat all those times I would slam the phone on Maes when he would annoy me. That was the third big tragedy in my life. It was while working for me, while helping me achieve my goals, that Maes Hughes was murdered. That was the day I renewed my vow to change things, but what have I changed? Tell me? What have I changed at all?

My teacher, my best friend and countless strangers were all dead... and I blamed myself. I see their faces when I close my eyes and their voices haunt my dreams. I hope that stops when I change the country, but perhaps I am only foolish myself. Those were the words I would have written yesterday.

Not today.

Today I was responcible for yet another death of someone close to me. I suppose now I finally see the irony of the world. My teacher told me he passed the very secrets I longed for most -- the secrets I needed to fulfil my desires -- on to his daughter. The same daughter who so obviously loved me, and who I turned away. The same daughter who has followed me like a loyal dog for the past several years as I climbed the ladder to success and fulfillment. She was one of few people I fully trusted with my life.

Today she was killed by my own hand.

Jean Havoc tells me it is none of my fault, that I could not have controlled fate. He told me it was the fault of the man who pulled the trigger and released the bullet that ended her life, but those words do not comfort me. Even when I was burning that man to cinders, it did not bring comfort. Revenge is hallow and unsatisfying. I knew that was true, but it did not stop me from snapping again and again and seeking desperately for some pleasure in the flames.

You see, I am a political figure. I am the head of Eastern Command, and I am the Flame Alchemist -- all of that adds up to my being someone who had been attacked before. This time it was an radical from Xing. Funny, I assumed if a foreigner would try to kill me, it would be someone from Ishval -- like the scarred serial killer. Instead it was a simple sniper from Xing who wanted me to die for reasons unknown to me. Whatever reason he had, it did not justify it. Perhaps the idea that I will never know makes his death by my hand seem even more worthless and hallow.

The man from Xing had fired at me. I heard it, and I was fully intent on destroying the bullet with my flames. I suppose she believed if I did that, someone innocent could get hurt as well. Or perhaps it was just a reflex. I don't know. All I really know is her shoulder pushed me aside so that it was her forehead, and not mine, which recieved the fatal shot.

I see now that my ambitions for Fuhrer have cost me everything I wanted to protect as Fuhrer. My teacher, my best friend, and now my teacher's daughter. The irony burns my blood; but I suppose I deserve to burn, don't I?

That is why I decided to do something that I know is foolish and stupid. I know this, because I know a pair of boys who tried it once and I saw what happened to them. However, I have no inetention of surviving my failure like Edward and Alphonse. If it does not work, then I welcome death with open arms. Enough people have died because of me, I think. I don't want to see anymore bodies stack up with my life as the cause.

So I will attempt that which they say is unforgivable and taboo. That's good, I always enjoyed a challenge.

Then again, they say it is impossible, and I've seen otherwise with my own two eyes...

Well, I suppose this will probably be the last time I update my notes on Alchemy. A lot of alchemist have finished their notes with the words "Tomorrow I will preform a human transmutation!"

... Should you ever read these, Edward, I hope I am either more successful than you -- or I hope I die. For me, there is no inbetween. It's all or nothing.

----

Mustang put down the pen he was writing with and closed his alchemic notebook. He pushed it aside and turned to the large, intrecate drawing on the floor. A circle like no other he'd seen before. Roy had made a literal deal with the devil -- or to as close as thing as a 'devil' as he could find.

"Are you prepared?" The man who called himself "Father" and looked exactly like Hoenheim asked.

"Yes," Mustang replied. He bent down and took the Philosopher's Stone from 'Father', and then he prepared to use the array.

"You remember our deal," Father reminded him. "I shall allow you the stone to revive the woman, and then you will become mine."

"Yes, I remember." Mustang replied. He took the stone and began to alchemise, the lifeless body of Riza Hawkeye in the middle of the transmutation circle. As the light flashed, Mustang watched the transmutation unfold, and he wondered if he had made the right choice. Then, all at once, the lights died away and he heard a moan of pain escape from Hawkeye's lips.

"Lieutenant?" Mustang gasped, but before she could fully awaken or he could say anymore, the massive arms of Gluttony grabbed him and held him in place. Father approached and injected Mustang in the arm with something -- liquid philosopher's stone. Mustang screamed in the utmost pain as he was slowly and painfully transformed into a homunculus.

"Can I eat her?" Gluttony asked, eyeing Hawkeye.

"No my child, you may not." Father replied. "I will honor my deal with Mustang. He agreed to give his life in exchange for her. Still, he wanted a human transmutation."

"You bastard!" Roy screamed. "I wanted Hughes too! That was our deal!"

"My, my, my... you are a greedy one, aren't you? ... ahhh, how perfect. We have an opening for a Greed. Couldn't have worked out any better."

When Hawkeye awoke, Mustang -- Greed II -- was gone.


Just a one-shot, and probably the shortest thing I've written in about three years. Anyway, I may continue and make it a real story if enough people want me too.