Ed and Al was in Roy's office, Ed was demanded in his office for a rather simple yet vigorous mission nothing that the famous State Alchemist couldn't handle himself. Ed was called only to have Al to tag along as he usually did nothing new.
He had stood in front of the desk awaiting at least a breath to come from the higher officer, but you know words wouldn't have hurt either
He decided to speak instead no point waiting for something that wasn't important in today's agenda "What is it Roy?" Ed asked nonchalantly in his usual tone. "If you called me up here to sit there, then we my as well st-"
"Calm down Full Metal I'm getting to it" he started "you are one of the alchemists I've chosen to the south of Central to investigate a crime that's been going on quite a while" he finished.
"You mean where there's nothing but technically acres and acres of land mass and barely any living structures?"
"So I won't have to explain much you then, but to start off have you heard diminished people down there?" Roy had asked as he based his hands up to his lips.
"Yeah I heard certain rumor of continually missing people mostly it's either grown women and men, also have heard some animals and maybe even kids might be victims of the mysterious disappearances." Ed had said quiet professionally "But I didn't know it was in South Central, but that's not really a surprise there since its basically land a great place to get lost at or kidnapped for the sick minded" he finished.
"Correct, we thought regular police work could handle a task such as this, but as it seems some officers have came up missing from carelessness and recklessness so they've asked for the states help they said they needed alchemist that have experienced in such a matter of this situation"
"And you thought that I could investigate huh?" Ed asked.
"Quick on your feet as usual Ed" Roy said in some what a sarcastic tone "you seemed to be best suited for this, I don't expect any slip ups either, do not go do rational things if you sense something isn't going right I want you to report right back to me so the state can take over."
"Yeah I know" Ed said as he looked little annoyed
"Full Metal I'm serious, this is a big issue that I am granting you with such a task because I completely think you can handle it, don't go to that stage of yours thinking you can do things on your own, things like that get people killed, I don't want one of my prized alchemist to be killed over foolishness as such." he said with a serious tone.
"Ok, ok I get it nothing rational, always accurate, ok don't worry if something doesn't seem to fit I'll report" Ed defended.
Roy sighed, he wasn't sure if he heard anything he said "one more thing Ed take this" he walked closer to the oak desk, as Roy passed him a sheet of paper it seemed to be important for his mission.
Roy leaned back in his chair "you'll need this when you get to South Central they'll expect you to have documents to have permission to investigate, your state watch won't get you in but this will, so don't lose it because I won't give you another I will send another person to take your place."
"You should know me better than that Colonel" Ed said in an optimistic tone, as he folded the paper and set it in his jacket.
"The watch won't get you in, but it will give you permission to ask people who live down there questions" he stated.
"Is that it?" Ed gestured rather impatiently
"Well...yes you brother will have to stay here" Roy continued "as much as I want him to go he can help down here with a different investigation with Lieutenant Hawkeye, plus since he isn't a State Alchemist I can't really give documentation to investigate, he might not be a certified Alchemist but he can still help down here." he finished
"Al don't worry this investigation will be over sooner than you think, after I get done that place will be peaceful and regular once again" Ed said rather over confidently. The armor some how stared at him "ok brother be careful alright?" he said after a long pause.
"Don't worry careful is my middle name" Ed laughed. The hell it is...
"Hopefully your prepared I've already have a train ready for its arrival it comes in twenty minutes, which is enough time to prepare for this, so head out" Roy commanded. Al saluted to the Colonel, but Ed didn't. Al elbowed him (or armor elbowed what ever satisfies)
"Yeah! Alright then" Ed saluted and they both exited the door they entered not too long ago. When they left Roy turned his chair to the window "don't do anything idiotic Full Metal I'm counting on you." Roy stated rather gruffly.
It was twenty minutes exactly. Ed was ready to board like the rest of the passengers
"Be careful out there Ed, there's a possible note that there's more than was reported out in South Central" Riza warned, her usual tone
"Don't worry lieutenant" Ed said "Hey lieutenant?"
"Doesn't South Central have military head quarters there? Like West Central and East?"
"Surprisingly no, there were going to build one there but there was a huge protest by the people and how they didn't want military personals tearing up their terrain. Many people were injured for trying to attack us, some even killed for going to the extreme of bringing guns and trying to kill some military people." Riza stated, "It was called off after awhile they had a reasonable argument none the doubt, but also we didn't want the same thing happening there that happened in Ishbal" she continued "Plus, it wouldn't have been an equal fight sense the overall people they had around South Central was about around thirty to thirty-five people. What's the reason you wanted to know?"
"Just wandering why they were asking Central-Central for help. I thought they had a headquarters down there I guess I was wrong." He smiled.
"Ed, be careful alright?" Al said in a childish yet cute voice.
"Al, don't get all sappy on me, it's me, and your brother has handled plenty of things worse then a small mysterious missing assignment" Ed said in confidence.
"This shouldn't be taken lightly Edward" said a deep voice.
"Damn it..." he mumbled
"Ed, nothing should be taking lightly especially a mission." Roy advocated.
"If I say I can handle it, I can handle it!! Get off my ass!! You've been on it all morning! I can handle this! Stop acting like I cant!" Ed yelled rather childishly.
"Well I hope you can Full Metal, no slip ups I mean it" he stated firmly.
Ed growled in a dangerous tone, that's when the train whistle blew.
"Crap!" he yelled, as he quickly boarded the train. Riza and Al waved for the longest, Ed stuck his head out and waved "I don't want you dying on my account Full Metal if something goes bad automatically report back to me!!" Roy yelled over the traction of the train.
Ed heard him, but just slid in the window of the train.
"Sir, if you're so worried about his safety why did you send him?" Riza asked.
"He is one of the bravest subordinates I have next to you Lieutenant Hawkeye, I trust Full Metal, but only thing I'm worried about is cocky attitude getting in the way of what's important." with that Roy turned and walked the opposite direction of the train.
Al stood there for awhile that's what I'm worried about too. He thought.
"Alphonse are you just going to stand there?" Riza asked.
"Uh-no coming!" he caught up with her and Colonel; he kept turning around looking as the rest of the train went out of sight. "Your worried about him aren't you Alphonse?" Riza catechized.
"Well um...yeah...a little" Al looked down, feeling like he did something wrong.
"Don't worry; I'm pretty sure Edward can take care of himself."
"Yes, as light headed Full Metal can be at times he does pull through in the balance" Roy added, without turning his head.
"I-I guess" Al slowly got out
When the train had stopped at South Central it was about a-half days ride nothing too long. If he had walked it might have taken days until he got here. He walked off the train yawning at the fact he slept half the way down here. Stretching he hopped off the stairs, already there were a group of police in front of the train restricting people from entering because of the incident.
"Excuse me sir you can't come to this area it's being restricted off until further notice." said an officer.
"I'm sorry about that, but you see officer..." Ed paused, as he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out the documentation Roy had given him "I have a little invitation that gives me permission to be here."
The officer took the notation from the small boy "well damn your right" he read it "permission from Colonel Mustang huh?"
"Well you can go on in, but be careful son"
"Yeah I've been getting that statement a lot lately" Ed smiled "before I go, the people who live here did you send them some where else? Because I came mainly down here to ask them questions about the sudden disappearances"
"Actually No son we didn't" he sighed "those people are more stubborn then a pack of mules, we asked them to leave so we can protect them but they refused. Saying junk like they lived peacefully and other stuff like if they did have a killer or he hasn't killed any body down here yet, makes sense though so far as I know he or she kills people, animals, and children that don't live in this small country." the officer stated.
"Interesting..." Ed thought "Ok then thanks old man, most of these houses are down this road right?" he asked.
"Yeah just keep down that road and you'll see some houses son"
"Ok" Ed walked past some more police officers, before he started to really get down the long dirt road. Trees and land is mostly what he saw, beautiful yet boring at the same time. The first house he came to didn't give him much information because it was an old lady saying 'oh it just so peaceful down here I haven't heard of any deaths down here' Ed didn't believe her but, she was about to hit her eighties so he should expect a statement like that.
The houses he hit gave him the same damn answer 'peaceful' and 'sacred' and 'I haven't heard of such a thing happening down here' I mean there are police out there you should expect something right!?
About to take a little sit out from failure, Ed decided to hit one more house before doing things his own way.
He knocked on the door, a young pretty girl answered, age around sixteen or seventeen about Edwards age, about 5'5 with light brown-orange hair with a purple shirt on and shorts, and wearing violet sandals "may I come in and ask some questions?" he asked, as he lifted up his state watch.
"Sure" she smiled; she opened the door and led the young teen in, "Mom! We have a visitor!" she yelled, from down stairs.
It took a few minutes but the young women got down stares to greet the young man "Really? How delightful." she said warmly her mom was also pretty she looked similar to her. She had short hair; orange-brown too, wore a yellow summer dress with orange falling flowers on it that went all way down to her ankles and yellow sandals.
"Well what made you come down to are humble little neighborhood?" she asked, as she sat down on the couch with her daughter following be hide.
"Well ma'am, I don't think your 'humble neighborhood' isn't as humble, as you think it is" Ed stated. "Why don't you take a seat and explain please sir?" the mother asked kindly.
Ed did as was told "Well I'm down here, to well, investigate some missing people that hasn't returned home yet."
"Really now?" she sounded interested.
Something went off in the kitchen, which sounded like hot tea from a kettle "tea's ready Samantha be a dear and get it please?"
"Yes mother" the young girl got up and went to the kitchen.
"I don't plan on staying here long ma'am. Please tell me if you heard of anything of this?" he asked calmly, trying to get an answer.
"Well..." the women sighed sadly "yes, yes we have"
Her daughter entered from the kitchen quickly with the tea "mother you not suppose-!"
The girl shuttered in silence "here's your tea sir" she passed Ed a cup. Ed grabbed the cup and thanked her for it, only to get a cold shoulder response. The girl sat down by her mom again, her mom grabbed a cup "we've known..." Her mom whispered rather loudly.
Ed put the cup down on the table after taking a sip of it "for how long?" Ed gestured, finally getting some answers.
"We've known...we've know for the longest" Samantha stuttered out, she put the tray next her "we don't know the persons names, we just know that it's a he...he's been doing this for the longest."
He sat, taking in what she said and bringing it out very roughly "Why haven't you told any body!? As I see all you people are acting like you never heard of a killing happening down here!!" He yelled.
"I'm sorry we had too!" Samantha yelled, shadowing her face with her hair "you have no idea! He had my little sister! If we didn't keep his secret he was going to kill her!"
Ed had heard a door open form upstairs a little girl walked down stairs; she took her time until Ed could actually see her. He had gasped in shock, eyes big and heart filled with disbelief, the girl had stinging scars all over her legs and arms. Her arms were like tic-tac-toe marks, her whole skin, cascaded with marks of pain and anguish. Her hair was different it was black off course of her mothers and sisters.
"Little one what are you doing up so early" Her sister asked, as she ran to her and kneeling to her height. "You should be still resting it's to early for you to be up go rest you need your eight hours of sleep daily." she reminded.
"I know but I couldn't sleep, I had...the dream again" the little girl said. Her sister gasped out of tune. She gave the little young one a comforting hug "how about I lay beside you while you sleep? It'll make you rest easier." she smiled hurtfully.
"I would love that, please?" The girl hung unto her neck, as she picked her up and carried her upstairs; she never looked back once she was filled with too much melancholy.
Ed breath had skipped a little "who could do that to..." Ed looked down at his feet feeling all kinds of emotional conflict for the young girl. "He did that to my baby...that's why we couldn't tell anybody..." she trailed off drinking her tea.
"Oh..." was all he could say "I'm sorry..."
"Well..." she smiled "it's not your fault"
"Even so...you have tell somebody about what's going on or it will get worse then it is" Ed said with a suppressed voice. He was still getting over the fact that why anybody in the right mind would do that to a child. It's just unspeakable horror. Ed got up off the comfortable couch "I'm going to go ask more questions, on the way back I'll tell some of the policemen up front to give 24 hours of surveillance so you don't have to worry about something like that happening any time soon again." He articulated.
The women smiled "thank you so much, hopefully with your help we can truly live in peace again." Ed gave a short wave before leaving out their wooden door, going down the porch he traveled up the road, but not to far from their house he stopped to see what seemed like torn cloth on a limb of a tree. He got interested and decided to see if he could find anymore evidence to help. He walked over bush to see the part he had stepped on was unusually dark, he bent down and put his gloved hand on the floor and picked his hand up only to be surprised by an un-holy sight, blood, covered his whole hand.
Ed looked forward to see what seemed like a slashed trail, he put his hand on a tree to lift him up that's when he looked above his hand to see four claw marks "it's seems like this guy like pulling people to the destination he wants to kill them at." Ed uttered, he picked up his feet and followed the trail of blood, but the further he went the darker it got.
"Mother he went into the woods" Samantha smirked criminally, as she walked downstairs having an evil aura following her.
"Good" her mother mused, as she sipped her tea "he's going to die, just like all others" she paused "just like the others."
"This isn't right!" cried a small voice from the top of the steps. "I don't want to hear anything from you Raven" Samantha scowled from the bottom of the staircase. "None of this is right! Why did I play along with your stupid hoax all this time!?" she cried.
Samantha stomped up stairs and pulled the girl downstairs by her hair, as her body hit every step "because we can take you back on the streets where you came from erchent" she said wickedly, as she tossed her in front of her mother.
"Child would you like another beating?" the mother asked rather improperly.
"Why does it matter!? I can't stand this anymore I'm stopping that guy before he gets killed too!" The girl stamped on her feet scampered out the door. "Come back here yo-"
Let the girl go, she'll just die like all the rest did. Betray him and he'll betray you all the same, kids included." she sipped her tea again "did you drug his tea?"
"Yes I did, but he didn't drink it all"
"One sip is all you need my dear, just one sip." the women added quiet ominously.
"Shit!" Ed fell on the ground tripping on a root jutted out carelessly on the trail "damn tree" he insulted, before he got up the front of him was covered in blood. Ed grunted in frustration "damn it! Now I'm covered in somebody else's fluids!" he was angry, but continued down the trail. He kept going down the bloody trail until he saw light; happy to see it he ran to it, he was walking through darkness most of the time.
He ran to sweet catering light, jumping through the trees only to be greeted by more grass that was taller than he was and more oaks and maples, but there was a lot of space and through the strong army of golden granny smith colored grass, he saw a house that was descent, white but had paint peeling off the side. Actually off all sides.
"Weird..." Ed stated the house was no where near the road or near any houses. Ed walked through the grass that went nearly to his neck "when is the last time they've cut this damn grass!" he complained, trying his best to keep an eye on the house.
"I have to get to him before..." she tripped over branch, technically the same he branch tripped over. She saw a shiny object by her hand she cupped it and held it close to her eyes she gasped "that must've been his! Oh no!" She looked at the symbol on the ticking instrument, she recognize that symbol "state alchemist..." she whispered, she jumped up and ran the left side of the darkness "I need to tell somebody" she knew telling her own people they would just call her an orphan and kick her out, or even turn her over to the guy who was doing all this, she ran harder "I must get to Central...before...its...to..late"
The one thing this girl knew that this maniac liked to torture his victims severely for at least a week, before killing them. She should know he did this to her the scars he has embedded all over her body he did it all to warn her if she told anybody, he would add death with the scars. "I don't care anymore, I can't stand the blood anymore!" she yelled, as she ran faster keeping the watch in her hand.
Ed had made it to the porch of the house; somehow. He knocked on the door to have no answer. "I wouldn't be surprise if anybody was lived here anyway" he walked back down the stairs to here a faint cry coming from the left side of him. He jumped off the porch only to fall, he was feeling kind of woozy and out of touch "what is wrong with me?" asked his mind.
He got up wobbly and bent out of shape, he until he heard the cry again "hold on I'm coming! Don't be scared!" he gestured hoping to comfort. He fought through the grass to come upon a cellar. He put his ear to it, to hear the crying getting louder there was lock on the cellar; he used his auto mail arm and yanked off the chain. He opened it only to be tooken back by the most abominably repugnant smell in the earth; death filled the whole cellar. He couldn't go down there it smelled like a whole ocean of rottening flesh; he bent down on his knees and threw up chucks on the god green earth.
He coughed, as slime dripped from his mouth.
He wiped the bad substance from his mouth "that smell is just..." sweat dripped down from his face, until he heard the cry again. He had to go down there I mean he's an alchemist after all he covered his nose with his dark cherry colored coat and slowly took a agonizing step on a step of the stair case it had human entrails and blood all over the steps. Ed was ready to give up the rest of his breakfast. So he slowly closed his eyes and walked down the steps slowly, swearing he had stepped on something from a human's body.
He didn't dare to look.
He finally made it down to see a hallway of huge squared carved holes on both side of the walls. This wasn't a cellar this was a dungeon. Ed's eyes watered feeling woozy again; he kept himself together to find the faint cry. Something fell on top of his head, Ed hesitantly put his hand on top his skull to see it was blood, terrified what he might see he looked up slowly and gasped in an almost screaming tone. Bodies' hanging from hooks.
Ed's heart couldn't take it "who would be so sick to..." he heard the cry again, he ran to find the girl that was crying passing cell by cell he found the girl in an open jell cell. She had her back turned; she was also covered in blood.
Ed ran up to the girl, she only looked about six. "Are you alright!? Let's get you out of here right now!" He said quickly, feeling the stench of this hell hole sneaking through his jacket, he felt woozy again, and he put his hand down on the floor for support. She stopped crying.
She stood up and turned around slowly, half her face covered in blood, she had a blank expression "your going to die, just like all the others...you shouldn't have came down here. Big Mistake" she shook her finger at him
Ed sweating from his head increased, he coughed in his jacket feeling blurry, falling to the ground coughing more," I can-I can't breath" he choked out, as tears went down his eyes. The smell of the place made his eyes water. He heard something coming around the corner.
"Daddy we have another snooper" the girl said
"So we do." he said wickedly "so we do..."
Not having another thought in his head Ed blurred out after that.