Change of Destiny
The wind blew through the tall lush green grass and the tall trees that lined the large fields and roads, spreading across as far as the eye could see.
There were mountains in the distance with snow crusting their tops, green grass hills could bee seen from the large lone house on the hill.
Painted mainly bright yellow with a white balcony built below the two top windows, from the balcony you could see for miles if you were standing upon it.
With the peace and quietness of this tranquil land, it seemed like a beautiful place to live a nice peaceful live with the years drifting by like the clouds overhead.
Groaning painfully the young man woke up slowly trying not to move, waiting for his body to catch up with his mind after the fall. He waited for his artificial arm before moving to sit up, opening his eyes to find a crescent moon staring down at him.
"Where am I?" John muttered to himself, his voice echoed off the cave walls around him. His eyes adjusted to the gloom of the cave and slowly got up onto his feet flinching at the twinge in his left hand.
Using the moonlight John flexed his hand tiredly, seeing two of his fingers didn't flex with the rest of his hand. "Damn it, going to have to fix that…" He muttered to himself placing his hand into his pocket for now.
John looked around the cave as he walked towards the exit of the cave. He froze near the entrance "I-it can't be!" John gasped seeing some of the writing on the wall in the moonlight, daring not to touch the partial circle painted there.
"Morning boys" Jeff said as he entered the kitchen, finding four of his sons sat around the kitchen table with coffees in their hands.
"Morning Dad" The boys replied in a low rumble, sounding tired and worn out.
Onaha was busy cooking breakfast with the smell of toast, sausage and egg wafting through into the dining area. Jeff disappeared briefly into the kitchen for his own coffee, before coming back out with a newspaper and coffee.
Settling down at the table, Jeff separated the paper out before sipping on his coffee loosing himself in the news headlines as Scott dug through the rest of the paper.
Things were like every other morning as they helped themselves to the coffee; Onaha soon brought the toast in and disappeared back into the kitchen.
"Has anyone seen John?" Onaha asked as she came back in with trays loaded with sausage and bacon.
"Not since last night" Scott replied not looking up from his paper.
Virgil sighed and got up from the table, "I'll go and get him" He said with a soft sigh and disappeared from the dining room.
Alan watched him go but saw Gordon glare at him and shook his head slightly, telling his brother to back off from following Virgil to check on John.
"Something on your mind boys" Jeff asked feeling some tension between his two youngest sons; he put his paper down for a while.
"Nothing Dad" Gordon and Alan said together.
John stopped working on the back of his hand and took a deep breath to push the pain away from where it rose up onto the back of his neck and down his spine.
He flexed his hand slowly and saw that his fingers responded in the same speed of his other hand.
Sighing softly and rotating his shoulders, John got up from his bed and stretched out his stiff muscles that were still sore from the fall into the cave.
Looking out of his open balcony doors John sighed softly thinking of ad ream he couldn't quite remember, just weird images of big green fields and a lone house on a hill.
Knock, knock "John?" Virgil's voice called through the door.
John stopped his stretches and grabbed his long sleeve shirt slipping it on, putting his gloves on as an afterthought. "It's open Virg" He said as he finished doing the buttons up.
"Hey Johnny, breakfast is ready" Virgil said with a grin after letting himself in the room.
"That's great Virg, I'll join you guys in a minute" John replied as he searched the bookshelf for the book he needed.
"Ok I'll tell Dad" Virgil said moving to leave the room, "Um John… I'm sorry for what happened" He said softly unsure how to express his feelings.
"It's ok Virgil, I'm alive and that's all that matters" John replied softly, a thick book tucked under his arm.
Virgil nodded with a soft sigh, "You're right John, besides I'm just glad that you're back" He said with a smile facing his brother his eyes shining with gratitude.
"Thanks Virgil, let's get to breakfast" John said with a smile letting his brother lead the way downstairs.
That was the first original breakfast for the last few weeks, Jeff and Scott buried in their sections of paper while Virgil read the reports of Thunderbird Two's progress with John lost within his book. Gordon and Alan talked amongst themselves about various things.
But they did not last, the older blond son was up before sunrise and did not return until past evening super. He had talked quietly to Onaha hoping that she would keep his small project a secret and the weeks past with his family getting more suspicious of John's activities and behaviour.
After two weeks of his son missing from meals, Jeff waited up one night waiting for his second born son to reappear.
"Dad" A voice whispered softly breaking Jeff's thoughts, the older man was leaning against the breakfast bar in the kitchen with a cup of coffee in front of him.
"What is it Virgil?" Jeff asked softly.
"I know that you've been worrying about John, I think it's because he overheard us talking one night a few weeks ago… some harsh things were said about him" Virgil said as he sat on the bench close by not looking at his father.
"What sort of things were said Virgil?" Jeff asked as he made another cup of coffee for his son.
Virgil sighed and told his father the conversation they all had, "Then Alan called him a freak Dad, and I feel that it's my fault for not talking to him sooner about this whole thing" He finished explaining remembering how they all had looked at each other before going their separate ways after Alan's outburst.
"I'm not sure what to say Virgil except that I'm shocked and surprised to hear this from my own sons after all we have seen in the organisation" Jeff said containing his emotions barely remembering what state his son was in while in London then flash forward to picking him up from the Rainbow Circles clinic, it was like a part of his son had returned, Jeff knew better though they all had changed from the threat on their lives and he could see that in all of his sons.
"The one thing I can say is that John is coping fairly well with what has happened to all of us, he has changed but then we all have changed" He added softly before sipping his own coffee.
Virgil stirred some sugar into his coffee, "You're right Dad, just wonder what John has been up to… I haven't seen him like this in years" He said before sipping his own coffee.
"I know Virgil, we'll find out soon" Jeff replied looking into his own coffee.
"So that's a human transmutation circle" John said looking at the image on the screen.
"That's it John but the image you sent me yesterday, Al and myself don't recognize it but Nikki did" Ed replied as papers were heard rustling in the background.
John had locked himself in his room, deep in conversation with Ed and Al Elric going over all of the photos and sketches he had gotten out of the cave.
"It's the gateway between the two worlds, between ours and Amestris" Al added appearing into the camera's view, a book open in his hands.
"What did Nikki say about the pictures?" John asked switching pictures while writing notes down on his sketches.
"What Alphonse said it was, 'a part of the gateway to Amestris', would have thought we would remember putting a piece of the gateway on a tropical island" Ed replied looking back at his brother, who shrugged and disappeared.
"So everything about these transmutation circles is in your books?" John asked glancing at his rucksack that held the thick books.
"That's right, we do have copies of everything we learned about alchemy here in our private library if you're interested" Ed answered John's question before turning around, looking off camera and winced.
"I better go now John, we'll continue this another time" He said with a small smile.
"Oh ok Ed! I better go myself" John replied printing off the pictures Edward had sent over glancing towards his door thinking he heard someone out in the corridor.
"Right John, we'll organize a day when you can come over to collect the books… don't quite trust the mail with these" Ed replied with a grin looked off camera once again before turning back. "Really got to go now, see you later John" He said before the screen went black.
John sighed and locked his computer before retrieving the printouts from the printer, going over them carefully. "Might as well come in" He said loudly and the door opened to reveal his brother, Virgil.
"Hey John, thought you would might like a game of pool or something" Virgil said with a small smile leaning against the doorway.
"Not really Virg, just got a few things to sort out… is Dad back from mainland?" John asked remembering hearing a jet leave the island yesterday.
"Not yet" Virgil replied as he came into the room, "What are you working on? It can't be an astronomy book because we would have noticed" He said walking into his brother's room looking at the scattered papers on the desk.
"Just something I found while walking around the island, I don't want to get you… any of you involved" John said stuffing the papers into a file then got up from his chair, stuffing the file into his rucksack.
"Do you want some help?" Virgil offered noticing that John was wearing a short sleeve shirt, his light jacket and constant gloves that his family saw him in laid out on the bed.
"Not sure that you can" John said glancing behind him to see that Virgil turned away to look at the computer desk, flicking through some of the notes, "Not when you can't even look at me… all of me" John added softly stripping off his shirt to change into something better.
Virgil sighed and looked at his shirtless brother, "John, can I see?" He asked wanting to see his brother fully, since he came back they all had been busy or John wore long sleeve shirts and kept away from the pools.
John slowly pulled away from his chest of drawers and straightened up before turning to face his brother, "I heard the talk you all had one night… when Alan" He stopped and looking down at his hand, flexing it before heading into the bathroom.
Virgil watched his brother looking at his arm seeing the whole arm with a complete shoulder, there were dull red welts from where his skin was going to scar.
"I'm sorry John, I should have tried harder but Alan… he hasn't seen what we have" Virgil said amazed at how John had coped with learning how to cope and care for his arm.
"He's young and scared, we all almost lost our lives and we have changed because of that" Virgil continued as John stretched as he walked back into the room, with a cloth bundle in his hand.
"I have more than any of us, because I made the call after the station was attacked, the nightmares are still there Virgil along with the fear of returning to outer space but I understand that fear and accept it… it was that same fear that I had about this" John said flexing his arm into the sunlight that had crept into the room as the sun travelled around the complex on its daily journey.
"The fear also tried to engulf me about returning here, back amongst my family but now I can see how I have changed over the time I was away, of how the John Tracy everyone knew died in that satellite attack to be replaced by the man who calls himself by that same name standing in front of you now" He continued stuffing the kit into his rucksack before slipping a sleeveless t-shirt on then the light jacket over it.
"John I-I don't know what to say" Virgil whispered leaning against the desk looking away from his brother to the papers, "I know that you're still my brother, a part of our family and nothing will change that… I failed you up in the space station you once called second home" He said softly, his voice a little louder than before.
"I want to make it up to you somehow, so please let me" He stared at his brother, who looked back at him, untold emotions shimmering in their eyes.
John was the first to break eye contact and sighed, "Ok Virg, just get some food from the kitchen and meet me at the sundeck… almost done here" He said lifting up the rucksack onto the desk's chair.
"Ok five minutes John!" Virgil replied with a smile and quickly disappeared from the room, happy that he was going to help his brother.
"Help me with this sheet" John said after putting the torch down that covered some large rocks.
"Sure but how did you find this place? I thought that we found all of the hidden caves, this is incredible" Virgil said helping John with the thick sheet that he recognized from the stores in Thunderbird Two's hanger.
John worked on switching the big lanterns on to light the cave, "I… ah found it painfully" He said pointing directly above before walking back over to collect his torch.
"Oh I see, good thing the floor is covered in moss… it softened your fall but what is all of this?" Virgil asked picking up one of the lanterns to light up the section of the wall.
"They're calculations and diagrams… mainly they're parts of transmutation circles on that wall" John pointed out and traced part of the large one.
"That one" Virgil asked looking at the large rock.
"It's part of a gateway according to what Ed and Al told me, a gateway to Amestris… they told me that they have books about them but for now I'm just going to look around for the rest of the circle if I can find any of it" John explained moving away from the rock and shone his torch around the cave, at the fallen rocks and boulders.
"Is that what you've been doing down here?" Virgil asked setting the rucksack of food Onaha had gathered for them both down; "Trying to find this circle" He asked looking at the rocks around him.
"It is, you can call me insane if you want to Virg… they're here somewhere and I've got a lot of these translated already" John said pointing at the calculations and notes on the walls.
Virgil studied the notes and grinned, "Ah German! Your weakness" He said shinning the lantern up to read it. "Have you tried translating it?" He asked looking at his brother, the grin still plastered on his face.
"Roughly" John confessed digging out a notepad from his own rucksack and showed it to Virgil, who took it and read it over with a small frown.
John watched as Virgil took the accepted pen and made corrections to the notes, "It's like there were scientists whenever this was originally written, this is like a recipe for something but I can't remember that one word" Virgil said pointing at the corrections.
"We'll have to check it out but whatever is lining the cave doesn't let a signal in or out of this cave…I noticed with my laptop's wireless connection" John said with a soft smile.
"You do realise that Scott will try and find us if we keep hiding here, hiding from accepting the others…" Virgil said quietly checking over his notes.
"I know Virg, but I hate hiding myself around everyone" John said unpacking his rucksack, setting his temporary camp back up ready to get back to work.
"I'll talk to Scott and Gordon, see if they will listen to me" Virgil said giving the pen to John before taking the notepad with him towards the cave mouth.
"Thanks Virgil, I'm going to mainland as soon as Dad gets back… want to go and visit the Elrics, ask them for some books" John said with a small smile.
Virgil nodded and left his brother in the cave, understanding his older brother a little better.
"So you're the famous Virgil, it's nice to finally meet you after hearing so much about you" Edward said with a grin, the metallic cane in his hand with his brother close behind him on his own two feet.
"Nice to meet you too Edward and you must be Alphonse" Virgil replied with a smile and offered his hand, which Alphonse reached forward and shook.
"It's just Ed and Al, our full names makes us feel older than we look" Al replied releasing Virgil's hand and stepped away.
"Maybe we should take this somewhere else" John offered shivering down into his thick coat as they stood in the entrance of the clinic.
Ed looked back at his brother before looking at their guests and nodded, "Sure we'll go to the library… Al, can you keep Crystal busy please" He asked switching his cane to his other hand, showing Virgil his right hand during the switch.
Al sighed, "Ok Ed but you owe me one" He said before walking off towards one of the rooms.
Ed grinned, "Come on, Nikki's away at the moment so they're short staffed here" He said turning to lead the way to the library.
"How are they?" John asked as he kept up with Ed, along the maze of corridors with Virgil keeping close to them.
Virgil wondered how John had managed to live here without getting lost in this big complex that was a hospital and yet felt warm and homely. I can see how John had recovered here He thought watching John talking to Ed as they continued to walk up to the library.
"I found something, think it's another part" Virgil's voice echoed off the cave walls.
"Then that proves our theory Virg!" John called back from where he was doing a complex puzzle of assembling the parts of the rocks that made up the circle.
Virgil walked over with the large part of the circle written into the rock and showed it to John, "What do you think?" He asked looking at the circle as he put the latest piece in.
"That this is a different gateway, the one Ed and Al mentioned was bigger than this one… much bigger!" John said standing up and ducked himself off as Virgil put the last piece in.
"That's great, so we have discovered a new gateway to Amestris" Virgil replied with a smile as he stood up and shone his torch over the complete circle.
John nodded and stretched up looking at the circle, and frowned. "Virg, shut your torch off a minute" He said moving around to shut the torches off.
Virgil watched his brother then followed his instruction but slipped on something cutting his hand on a sharp rock, "Ah damn it" He cursed.
"Virg what's the matter?" John asked stepping towards his brother and slipped landing on the circle.
Virgil grabbed his brother before the darkness engulfed both of them.
A bright light filled the cave, shooting a bright beam out of the cave openings.
To be continued.