Chapter One

Rhode Island, Earth – 2006

Any world that has ever been dreamed is real. Any being that has been imagined lives out its life in realms untouched by this world. The mind takes us to places far off that our bodies could not ever hope to go, and so from these worlds that our mind's eye sees, the imagination is born. But what would happen if the body as well as the mind passed through the gates to the other worlds? What if the people who could do this were not yet ready for such power?

In a Middle School in Rhode Island, there lived a group of girls who were so close that they referred to themselves as Sisters. Originally, there were only three of them: Kiersten, Arianna, and Allison. As the years went by, their numbers seemed to grow and grow until their ranks increased to a full dozen. The other Sisters were named Jenna, Steph, Ashley, Sonia, Caitlyn, Mattie, the twins Lauren and Danielle, and another Lauren who they all called McMuffin to differentiate her from the other Lauren.

However, the bonds of the sisters were slowly crumbling away. Sonia had moved away a little less than a year ago, and Kiersten was planning to go back to her home in California. Caitlyn had arranged plans to go to a different High School than the rest of them, even though she was still going to remain in Rhode Island. Ashley and Arianna had never been the best of friends, nor was Steph close to Arianna, and once the Sisters began to leave, the glue that held them all together was sure to dissolve away with the time.

Kiersten and her friends were sitting in their usual places around the lunch table, discussing their daily lives with each other. Stephanie picked up a fork and twirled it around in her salad. Allison was chowing down on a bagel-pizza smothered in cheese.

Kiersten was re-doing her hair for the hundredth time. She just couldn't stand how it always managed to give her such a headache. She loved her waist-long golden hair, but it was so thick that it weighed quite a bit and was a pain in the neck, quite literally. She sighed and closed her bright blue eyes. She was an incredibly intelligent girl from California, who was a little air-headed, but her friends didn't seem to mind. She loved to write and hang out with her friends, who she considered to be her family. Lately, all she had been thinking about was going back to her home in California, and waiting for her acceptance letter into Presentation High School, and of course what she believed to be one of the ways in which the many meanings of life were taught, Fullmetal Alchemist. All day long she would repeat the phrases in her head.

"Human kind can not gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's first law of equivalent exchange."

"Kiersten, why do you want to leave us?" asked Steph, interrupting her friend's thoughts.

Steph was a relatively short young girl with light brown hair that sometimes appeared to be dark blonde. She was beautiful, and her features clearly showed the world of her English heritage. Steph was a bit of a spaz at times, but she was very intelligent. She loved reading above most other things, save for friendship and family.

"Yeah! Sonia already left us, but at least we know she didn't really want to abandon us!" added Arianna.

Arianna was a tall girl, though not nearly as tall as the twins, Lauren and Danielle. She had naturally blonde hair that was almost white, and it set nicely against her skin tone. Freckles dances across her slender, fair face in a beautiful sporadic design, tickling her features in a curious manner. The grey-blue-green of her eyes were rimmed with golden-brown suns that brightened up her face as if she were the happiest person in the known universe. She wore just a hint of make-up to bring out the rose colors in her cheeks.

"I'm not abandoning you guys, chill. I'm coming to visit you all during the summer anyways," replied Kiersten.

"Yeah right, you just don't love us anymore!" Steph jokingly accused. They all knew that Steph didn't really mean it.

"I just want to go home. Can we please drop the subject already?" complained Kiersten. This was the sixth or seventh time that Steph had asked her this question in the last 45 minutes. None of her friends wanted her to go back to California.

There were still 20 minutes left of lunch hour. Then Ally spoke. "What if it were possible to cross the gate and go to Amestris? We could probably do it if we knew how."

Ally was a girl with an average-height for her age. She had beautiful dark tan skin that showed her Philippine and Italian heritage and dark brown hair to offset the natural glow of her face. Her eyes were a chocolate brown color that seemed to draw you in with their laughter. She was a spaz if there ever was one. It was never a good idea to let her have sugar or caffeine, as she would become an uncontrollable giggling animal. Even without the sugar, she was a maniac. But you couldn't help but love her. She was just so…loveable.

"Ally, Amestris doesn't really exist. It's just a make-believe world from a TV show," replied Steph.

"Don't you know, Steph? Any world that was written about becomes real. You just have to find the Link into that world, or create one if you know The Art," laughed Kiersten.

"You guys are so obsessed! You shouldn't believe everything you read and see on TV. Especially since Amestris is a cartoon world." Steph didn't exactly like the idea of two of her best friends becoming so obsessed with a show that they thought all of its concepts could happen in reality. Sure, she always played around with the useless transmutation circles they all drew, but she was just joking around and having fun. She didn't actually begin to mix reality with fiction like she thought Allison and Kiersten had begun to do.

"It would be interesting to meet up with Edward and Alphonse, wouldn't it? Ha-ha-ha…but that was practically an entire century ago; even if we did find the Link into their world we wouldn't see them," laughed Ally.

"Not true! The Gates do not have restrictions of time or space. If you go through, it is true that you will most likely will wind up in your world's era, but the time and place within the world you are linking to that you land is entirely random. You could land any time, any place within the world of Amestris. It all really depends on where the other part of your soul is anchored down, in other words your alternate dimension self…" Kiersten began to define the technical terms of other worlds as if they were a real thing that real people could actually do research on. Her chatter of logic went on and on until the lunch period was over. The girls then went their separate ways to their different classes.

About two class periods later, Kiersten ran into Ally's little sister, Jenna. She was also one of the friends Kiersten had, and she was equally obsessed with Fullmetal Alchemist. She looked much like her sister, except for the fact that she wore glasses and had a slightly more rounded face. She was also taller than Ally.

"Hey, Kiersten!" said Jenna over-enthusiastically. "What's up? What class are you going to next?"

"Hi, Jenna! I'm going to American History."

"I've got to go the other direction. See you after school, bye!" The two girls then went to their next classes.

The rest of the day went by rather fast. Kiersten was at her locker when Ally and Jenna practically pounced on her. "You always take so long, Naki! You don't have to re-organize your locker every time you open the dang thing! Ha-ha!"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm almost done. Hold on for a second." Kiersten grabbed her Literature book and placed it gently inside her bright blue backpack. She picked up her tan and beige striped sweater and zipped it up, the "NY" on the zipper dangling slightly. "Let's get going, the faster we get home, the faster we can look for that Link to Amestris, and get Girl scouts done and over with."

Now, Kiersten had founded an exclusive club she called "The Alchemists Guild." When the club members got together, they would draw their own transmutation circles and pretend to go on wild alchemic adventures. In this club were Kiersten, Ally, Jenna, and Steph, though Steph was not going home with the others today.

The three girls walked home with Kiersten's brothers, Thomas and Justin, and their other friends, Brian and Nathan. Nathan was also part of the club, but he wasn't up for the journey, if it was at all possible, to Amestris. He would rather stay in this dimension, and avoid all possible contact with those creepy Homunculi and chimeras.

"How goes moving the earth, alchemists?" chuckled Brian. He always made fun of them for their odd obsessions.

"Leave us alone, you big zit. It's just a club, we don't seriously believe that we can do all of that stuff just by drawing a picture and clapping our hands together!" shouted Jenna. They all knew that Brian was a bad boy, and to them, he was a stupid boy, even though he was their friend. They walked the rest of the way home, exchanging insults and giggling like pansies.

When the girls got home, they began to get ready for Girl scouts. After all, it was Friday, and they didn't want to get yelled at by Angel again for being late. They always seemed to be late recently. It was Kiersten's mom's fault, most of the time, though. But then the phone rang.

"Hello?" Kiersten spoke first.

"I'm beginning to take what you said earlier seriously. I found it. The Link to Amestris!" It was Steph.

"Seriously? How do you know?"

"On its cover is the word "Amestris" but there is no listed author. It has serious details, down to how each blade of grass blows in the breeze and the absolute location and classification down to the very last grain of sand! At the end of the book, there is a very realistic picture of the whole place. Even weirder, it's like one of those magic photos from Harry Potter! It moves! It's too much for my brain to take in, but you're the analytic one, you should be able to handle it."

"Saturday, okay? Let's all get together tomorrow and draw the circle!" Then they said their goodbyes and hung up the phone.

"This is going to be awesome! We're actually going to go to Amestris! This is every Fullmetal Alchemist fan's dream come true!" shouted Jenna, all giddy-girlie like.

While they were at Girl Scouts later that night, all they would talk about was their future trip to Amestris. They told Arianna, who was also a Girl Scout, all about Steph's unusual discovery. Arianna was a little excited about the discovery. Perhaps she would have been more excited if she had actually watched the show and knew what it was about. However, she did express desire in going to Amestris with them. Unfortunately, she admitted that she was going out of town with her mom that weekend, and she wouldn't be able to join them.

When the Girl Scout meeting was over, Ally and Jenna went to sleep over at Kiersten's house. They dreamed of what they were going to do when they finally got to Amestris. Ally wanted to create a chimera or two. Jenna wanted to go out with Alphonse Elric. Kiersten wanted to master Alchemy in general. This was going to be the most exiting thing that would happen in their entire lives. Or so they thought…