CM: Hey Everyone! I know I already started an FMA story and don't worry, I plan on continuing it, but I've been reading a lot of the manga and saw how different it is from the anime which is what I'm basing the first story off of. So while the first story is a tribute to the anime, this story shall be a tribute to the Manga. That means that there will be some plot differences as well as different character adaptations. But enough of that! On with the show!
Chapter One: A Frosty Introduction
PANT PANT PANT.
THUMP THUMP THUMP.
SPLASH SPLASH SPLASH.
So many sounds were echoing inside the ears of the female soldier who was running as swiftly as she could through the rain that was trickling down from the sky. Her boots were already soaked from splashing through the small puddles that had formed along the asphalt and concrete streets of Central. Her breath came in huffs and her heart beat achingly fast to keep up with the strain she was putting on the rest of her body. She ignored the pain and did not dare slow. She had to find the General quickly. Something in her gut told her that if she didn't...
She turned the corner of a street and came to a halt as she came across two people. One, she was grateful to find, was the man she had been looking for. General Haegen, a man well into his years with graying hair, a receding hairline, and a think silver mustache. Another, whom she was not as pleased to find, was a man who also had grey hair and dark skin and bore sunglasses as well as common placed clothing. He almost had the appearance of a thug. But his most pronouced feature was the cross shaped scar on his face.
"General Haegen!" She was about to assist him but he flung his hand out as a sign for her to stop.
"Stay back, Lieutenant! This is man is dangerous," the General ordered.
"So... another one arrives..." The man said in a deep voice. "I think I finally realized what it is that God has planned for me." As he spoke, he lifted the sleeve of his right arm and the female saw that the entire arm bore strange tatoos. They appeared to be alchemic symbols of some sort. "You will all pay for your transgressions."
"I pay enough on my taxes, thank you very much," the girl quipped.
As much as she disliked the idea, the girl stood back and allowed General Haegen to handle the matter. She watched as the two fought and soon saw that this was no ordinary man the General was up against.
"Such speed," she murmured.
As the fight raged on she kept on her guard, ready to help if necessary. Suddenly in the middle of General Haegen's attack, the mysterious attacker seemingly vanished. "Lieutenant, get down!" she heard her General say before pushing her aside.
Suddenly there was a flash and red filled her vision as blood sprayed over her. The scent of it overwhelmed her and she heard General Haegen's body fall to the ground as a river of crimson began to form.
"General..." she whispered.
"And now, I shall send you to follow him," the man said reaching down for her.
She was about to take action, when suddenly gunfire sounded and the man looked up befpre running off. The female watched him leave, an icy feeling settling at the bottom of her stomach as the rain, both hot and cold, continued to fall.
"You were General Haegen's subordinate, correct?"
"Yes, Fuehrer Bradly, sir," the girl answered. She had awoken in the medical facility three hours after General Haegen's death. Not an hour after, she had been called into the president's office.
"A State Alchemist since age seventeen," He read off her profile. "That's quite impressive.
"Your words humble me, sir," she replied with an incline of her head.
"I'm curious though of your reasons for denoting yourself from the rank of Major that every state alchemist is automatically given."
"I did not feel that I was ready for the rank or the responsibility it carries, Fuhrer sir," she answered.
"Well, putting all that aside, now that General Haegen's dead, I would think a transfer was in order."
"Transfer, sir?" she asked curiously.
"Yes, you will be assigned under another until General Haegen's killer is identified and we get this whole thing sorted out."
"But sir, is a transfer really necessary?"
"You have remarkable talents, young lady," The Fuhrer told her with a light smile. "And you had a confrontation with a murderer. There's a possibility that he will be planning to take care of the business he failed to finish with you. I'd rather not take that chance."
"I understand, sir."
"Good. Good. I'm glad we had this discussion. Tomorrow morning you will come with me to Eastern Headquarters where you will be transferred."
"Sir? If I may ask, who is to be my new superior?"
"Ah, I'm glad you asked," He said with a small smile. "You will be assigned to Colonel Roy Mustang. I'm sure you've heard of him."
"The Flame Alchemist." she whispered.
"Hmm…let's see. According to Hughes I would find something interesting down this way," Roy thought walking down the busy street of Eastern on a dingy rainy day. "This had better be worth my time."
He was standing under an umbrella on the corner of 4th and main trying to figure out what Hughes had been talking about. He glanced up as he waited for the street to clear and spotted a lone figure walking in the rain without a care in the world. He noticed that she started walking across the street just as a car pulled around the corner and careened in her direction.
Quick as a flash, Roy snapped his fingers and created a small explosion behind the girl just enough to create an aftershock that propelled the young woman forward. He caught her arm and pulled her into him just as the car went whizzing by.
The girl looked back at the street in surprise. "Wow, talk about your close calls. People can be so thoughtless sometimes." She looked back up at Roy and he saw that she was pretty in an unconventional fashion. She had long dark hair that was tied back into a braid, with bangs that hung just past her cheek bones giving her a child-like appearance. Behind glasses she wore, that made her look mature and intellectual at the same time, were a pair of china blue eyes. "Thanks for helping me out, Mr…. um…."
"Mustang," Roy told her with a smile. "Roy Mustang, but you might know me as The Flame Alchemist." He stroked the girl's cheek with a hand wiping away some of the rain. "So how about we get you out of the rain and let you dry your clothes?"
The girl's eyes widened in recognition and she smiled. "I've heard about you. You're known as the Flame Alchemist, and you're also known as the biggest womanizer in all of Eastern."
"I see. Then I suppose the question is…" he said taking her hand and brushing his lips against the skin chilled from the rain. "Which one would you like to know?"
The girl gave a small giggle. "What if I said I'd like to get to know the womanizer over coffee?"
"Sounds like a plan," Roy said with a grin. Then he wrapped his arm around her waist and led her over to his favorite coffee shop. "How's this? If you sit close to the fireplace you'll warm up quickly."
"Aw, but that would steal my excuse for being in your arms," the girl replied with a playful pout.
Roy chuckled. Two minutes after meeting this girl and he liked her already. They sat down at a table close by the big fireplace in the center and when the waitress came by Roy ordered two coffees.
"With lots of sugar and cream please," the girl added contritely.
Roy glanced at her surprised at her request but smiled all the same. "She's got a real sweet tooth…huh, sounds like someone I used to know," he thought with a small chuckle. "So what were you doing walking around on your own in this weather?"
"Well, I was enjoying the rain. For some reason, I've always felt at peace when it's raining. As for why I was alone, well…" she smiled whimsically down at her hands, still beaded with rain water, folded on the table top. "I guess that's because… I've yet to find myself a good partner."
"Well I might just become that good partner…if you'll give me a shot," Roy replied wrapping his arm around her shoulder. He was going to continue when the waitress returned with their coffee.
"That's very kind of you," the girl said as she began mixing things into her coffee. "But I'm not really in a position to accept such an offer."
"Really?" Roy said picking up his cup of coffee and bringing it to his lips. "Are you leaving town soon?"
"Quite the opposite actually," the girl told him. "I'm actually staying for quite a while. Which is what would make it all the more awkward…" Then suddenly a sly smile curved her lips. "Don't you think, Ponyboy?"
At the sound of that name Roy spat out his coffee, nearly choking on it in his surprise. "W-what did you just say?" he asked wiping the coffee off his mouth.
"I'm actually a little hurt that you didn't recognize me," the girl said taking a care sip from her own mug. "But then again, I did have shorter hair back then, and I also didn't start wearing glasses until recently. Darn stigmatism. But it looks like you haven't changed much at all."
Roy's eyes widened with realization. "You're Maes's younger sister, Kathleen Hughes."
"So you do remember," Kathleen said with a teasing smile. "I'm just over brimming with joy."
"What are you doing here in Eastern?" Roy asked in confusion. "I thought Maes sent you away to school."
"I graduated early, and joined the military shortly afterwards," Kathleen explained. "And I've recently been transferred to Eastern to work under the infamous Flame Alchemist." Seeing the surprise on his face, she added, "I'm guessing you didn't read through your paperwork."
"No…as Hughes insisted that I come see something interesting first," Roy muttered. "When I get a hold of him he'll be flame broiled for this."
"Don't be so hard on big brother," Kathleen told him, taking a long drink from her cup. "It's not his fault you got taken in. Tsk tsk, Colonel Mustang. For all you know, I could have been an assassin," she said with a smile.
"As if you could pose much of a threat," Roy returned, starting to feel a little hot under the collar.
Kathleen's smile merely broadened before placing a hand on his jacket sleeve and with a tiny spark of light his arms were suddenly frozen solid onto the table. "Damn," Roy cursed himself. He had heard rumors about a female state alchemist, but never would have believed that it would be THIS girl. "I see now… you're the rumored Ice Cold Alchemist I take it?"
"You got it. I was on my way over to Eastern, but bumping into you was a pleasant coincidence," she told him finishing her coffee and getting up.
"Then why did you hide your identity?" he demanded.
"And what? Miss my only chance to mess with the biggest womanizer in all of Eastern? What fun would that be?" she asked. She reached forward and gave him a playful poke on the head. "Thanks for the coffee, Colonel Mustang. See you at work." Then she turned and left the coffee house with a skip in her step and a good chunk of Roy's dignity.
CM: Ouch... And now you all know why she's called the ICE COLD alchemist. Next time, disturbances are occuring all over Eastern. What could it be? Stay tuned!