Winry told him he could use her desk, so he took advantage. To say he was surprised at her room was an understatement. The walls were lined all around with cork, various automail designs, magazine advertisements, and handwritten notes tacked haphazardly on each one. A large bookshelf stood between the bed and desk, packed to overflowing with notebooks, binders, and loose papers crammed into every available spot. A few boxes sat on the floor, some unpacked, some looking as if they were in the process, and a few others completely untouched. Below the corkboard on the wall opposite the bed were a bunch of bins, each in various states of fullness with a name written on the outside. On the final wall were some vials, a hotplate, a shelf full of cannisters each one with a letter and some numbers, and what looked like a custom-made very advanced distillation process. When Ed had first entered the room, he had spent a long time examining this set-up and smelled each of the cannisters. Most of the ones with red and blue lids smelled familiar, but the ones with black lids were completely foreign.

The total lack of his ability to comprehend most anything in the room had been a bit jarring, so now he stayed only in the little corner occupied by the desk, bookshelf, and bed. If he thought her walls and vials were incomprehensible, then he was in no way prepared for her writings. Two stacks of books, the top of each open were there. Winry had said to just push them out of the way and not worry about it, but curiousity got the best of him. The left book looked like all of her automail notes. Indeed, they were, but dated a few years ago. Each line in the front of the book was crossed out, but every page after was fine. The book on the right appeared to be a diary of her days in resembool, but it looked as if she had quit writing it mid-sentence. It took him the better part of an hour to figure out that Winry was converting all of her notes into a code.

After figuring that part out, he decided to look at the rest of the books she read. Tugging on a sheaf of papers shoved in the bookshelf, he only succeeded on toppling the whole thing on top of his head. Convincing Al he was fine took only a few seconds and he was alone with her stuff again. Looking at the very back of the bookshelf, he was surprised to see that on every shelf, taped flush against the back was either a red or blue binder. Pulling one off, ignoring the mess he had made, and having a seat on her bed, he began to read.

Al reports that the last set made Ed nauseous and absorbed smoke to make a kind of grime in his joints. Marked as a failure and set aside eucalyptus to never use again. As for the smoke absorption, that could have been caused by the carbon given off by the smoke combining with the acetyl propate in the sorbital compound used to make the whole mess last longer.

...He was shocked. He remembered that oil, but had no idea Winry had made it special for Al. Feeling a little guilty for it being a failure, he pried loose another book and started reading.

Al reports that the last set was great, but a little residuey. It took him a while to get it clear of the leather and stained his loincloth. He also queried if there was a way to make it less shiny as Ed complains when the armor throws light in his eyes. Will look into incoporating rubber wax as the main polymer instead of nylon. Marked as a-A-0812

...Now he felt really guilty. The light comment had come when he was trying to sleep on a train a few years back. Feeling curious, he walked to the vials and looked at the containers with the blue lids. Sure enough, there was one with that code on it. Sticking his fingers in for a gob, he brought it up to his face. It did have a sheen to it, like meat about to go bad, but it smelled good. Going back to the bed he grabs another binder at random, red this time and began reading at random.

Ed always says the automail is fine, but I have noticed that he is stomping more with his toes than his heel when he walks. Perhaps the toes bend a little too much or are too heavy? Thickening up the heel cover, adding an extra shock to the balls of the toes and redesigning the spin may help. It looks like maybe he is still flicking out from his waist a little, too. Maybe using a thinner gold coated wire would help the signals be conveyed faster so the automail would do the work instead of his muscles? Also his distal flexion is not as broad in range as it should be. Something is blocking the 90degree angle at around 87degrees. Will need to check it and yell at him about maintenance before he leaves.

...A little in shock at the idea of putting gold in his leg, he smiles at the reminder to yell at him. Feeling a little like he is prying too much, he puts the books away and tries to straighten the bookshelf as best he can. On his way out, something on the wall catches his attention :

Wish list

this is followed by a bunch of magazine cut-outs. Some faded, some checked off, some circled. Grinning, he grabs the list, turns out the light, and heads downstairs.