Disclaimer: I do not own FMA and I do not have anything special to say. But apparently I can rhyme, so at least I've got something going for me.
A/N: Seemed like this was never, ever coming, didn't it. Sorry if this isn't as good as the other chapters, unless in the middle of this I have some great breakthrough and it ends up being pretty good, but I don't expect it to be. Because honestly, I'm having some trouble formulating how I'm going to tell the rest of the story I want to. And where exactly I want to end it. It isn't going to go on for much longer. Unless I get really long-winded and it does. In which case it will. Which it might. So I guess I can't really guarantee anything at all. And all of this author's note has been worthless. What I really mean is, I apologize for the lack of quality that is sure to be present in this chapter. There. I'm finished.
The most expensive pillows are filled with goose down.
Pillows are stuffed primarily with polyester, feathers, down, or a combination of the latter two. The more down, the more expensive. Polyester is the least expensive. They are also the easiest to wash, if need be, and cause very few allergic reactions. There aren't many places where pillows are made in a factory here. Pillows were a lot less soft in Germany.
These pillows on my bed are handmade. I think that someday I would like to find the old lady who most likely spent hours putting this pillow together and give her my thanks, she probably deserved them.
I'm standing outside in the middle of a nice empty field and I scream.
I've been doing this for a while now. When I'm alone.
Usually, screaming is a defense mechanism. An automatic psychological response that protects and individual against anxiety and awareness of internal or external dangers. Or, sometimes, makes the person more aware of them. Defense mechanisms of this sort mediate the said individual's reaction to emotional and physical conflicts surrounding them. Humans are social animals. A scream is a defense mechanism that is also an automated alarm system that informs other humans that there is a need for help.
The last time I screamed and there was another human around me, no one was going to help.
Let's pretend. You're alone, in the middle of a field, and it's the dead of the night and you finally convinced everyone to go back to bed after a little incident that you happened to have. They agreed only after conceding that you needed rest and you could talk about it in the morning. You have silently removed yourself from your bed, prayed to the God that you do not believe in that what happened only hours ago will not have a repeat occurrence, and traveled far enough from the house where the vibrations of your screaming will not reach the auditory nerves of your friend and brother. Then, with the tall grass swaying all around you in a rhythm you cannot follow, you scream. There are neurons in your spinal chord that connect to the twisting vines of your nervous system and these transmitters get the message from your body to "be afraid", to "fear", to "call for help", and you're screaming. Your vocal chords are rattling and the vibrations dance in the air around you and fly into your own ears. An endless recycling of your own empty anxiety, out your mouth and in your ears.
When you're done you breathe this big sigh of relief.
Then you scream again.
Let's stop pretending, I hate pretending.
Because now I'm going to tell you a story about something that led upto the moment you all are curious about. And then tomorrow, I'll tell Alphonse this story. Yes, that's right, I'm not exactly going to explain how I lost my other arm yet, but this is part of what happened before, you see, and you can't very well get to the climax of the story without a beginning to precede it. Can you? And because I might ask you to do some more pretending later, and I don't want to be too dreadfully redundant.
Selectors on the ramps were given special orders to find twins, dwarfs, giants, or anyone else who had a unique hereditary trait. For instance, a club foot, or hetrochromia. See, I told you it was topical.
Protection of Jewish men and women while being a member of a Nazi regime may have been my downfall. Mind you, the second part of that was simply not my choice, when you are forced to do something you oftentimes have to do so. However, that position also afforded me many unique opportunities to betray the people who had fallen ill to this disease that was Nazism. But, as I was saying. The fact that I sheltered and helped move many Jewish people from one very dangerous place to another slightly less dangerous place may have been my downfall if I had not ultimately become my downfall.
And imagine yourself blinking two golden eyes up at the doctor you had just met. When you had been visiting this camp called "Auschwitz" and were occupying yourself with the struggle of not-vomiting and not-screaming. The horrors were unspeakable, but the horrors I saw that day were not the last. And then imagine the doctor's own blue-eyed gaze lighting instantly up as he smiled this evil smile and says, "Du hast schӧne augen verlor mein junge,"
I can see the way I recoiled from him. He smelled, he looked, he radiated death and misery. Dr. Josef Mengele. I was afraid, good and truly afraid. I'd heard the stories, after all.
My commanding officer shakes his head, "Er ist in einer eigenartigen, aber er macht gute arbeit,"
I don't say anything at all. My vocal chords are crying and hiding under the covers. Shoving pillows filled with goose-down over their heads and wishing that this would all just go away.
The doctor takes my commanding officer aside and whispers something to him. It all happens so fast and before I know it he's smiling at me and everyone's leaving. I go to leave and there's a harsh shove to my shoulder. I stumble back because I don't have the best balance. My dad's created a sort of half-automail half wooden limb device to work well enough for a leg with the technology from this world, but it still lacks in most of every way. Some blue-eyed blond-haired German man tells me in an amused hiss, "Du bleibst hier."
The first thing I think of to say is, no, no I'm not. Nicht.
"Ja, sie sind."
No, no, no,nicht, I say again. But before I know it.
And everyone's gone.
Blink. Again. For good measure. Maybe I can blink this away.
But no one comes back for me. And yes, yes I am staying here.
Those transmitters in my spine are screaming at me to "be afraid", to "fear", to "call for help", and I feel like screaming. There's a hand on my shoulder and a voice in my ear then.
"Mach dir keine sorgen," this doctor that reeks of death says. And now I do scream. Because I can't help it. My body's taking over, and I am going to worry. I am. Because I'm so, so afraid. He chuckles, "Mach dir keine sorgen." he repeats. Like that helps at all.
It was my birthday the day I received the German army's "invite". I glanced once over the draft letter and thought about how I'd have to thank good old dad for getting my files all into the system. Thanks dad, for sending me off to war.
He had thought that it was the only way to get a respectable job for myself, whereas I had thought I had already been in that world for far too long.
The Truth told me that I would be allowed to live and then there was this used condom in my toilet bowl of a life and there was blood and shots and pain and golden rods and Gods and emptiness.
Screaming is the worst sound in the world to become accustomed to hearing.
I was one of the oldest people there. Megele's children, they called them, and apparently I was included in that little category of helpless victims. Matyrs for all the hatred and horrors that sat in that sadistic man's mind.
There are many reasons for amputation: circulatory disorders such as Sepsis with peripheral necrosis or gangrene, neoplasm, by which I mean cancerous bone or soft tissue tumors, melanoma, fribrosarcoma, osteosarcoma, epithelioid sarcoma, sacrococcygeal teratoma, and so on. Deformities in digits or limbs, or extra limbs or digits: polydactyly. Infection, such as a bone infection, like osteomyelitis, or again, gangrene. Or by trauma. A method in which I am particularly experienced in. Severe limb injuries, traumatic amputations occurring at the scene of an accident, such as being trapped with no other option.
Finally, there was punishment and torture.
How did a person with only two regularly functioning limbs serve well enough to be acknowledged in the German army.
Well, imagine this.
You're a genius.
You can stop imagining now.
You can complement my modesty, but I honestly do not mean to brag. I've been through the gate so many times that enough information has been stuffed into my head to flood the world. It's not meant as a term of endearment towards myself. Let's say you were forced to be a genius. It doesn't sound all that bad, right? But sometimes it is.
There was a fuel shortage in Germany during World War II. Before the war started, Germany was primarily an energy-dependent nation. It depended very heavily on the import of foreign fuels. The annual amount of millions of barrels of fuel produced within Germany as a total in this time was around 13, while the amount imported from foreign countries was approximately 32. This obvious shortage did not get any better when the amount of Allied bombing increased and centered often around fuel plants.
I was working to solve synthetic fuel problems. The production of synthetic fuels was a good and promising alternative. And many people marveled at the way I managed to find creative, inventive ways to make a little bit of fuel go to extreme and nearly impossible lengths. One of the problems with the synthetic fuels however, was the low octane number. Without a presence of a high amount of octane in the fuel the German's were at an extreme disadvantage, and simply finding ways to increase the number of octane in the synthetic fuels was enough to have me set for the war. I also didn't have to be included in a lot of fighting. Now see me with all this scientific equipment around me. It would be a lot easier to find a way home with this country's sciences if I had a job that afforded me these sort of advanced tools.
Endurance was important to Megele. He had this strange fascination with seeing how far he could push someone through pain until they cracked.
A person can go deaf or blind or mute because of some sort of extreme trauma in their lifetime.
Everyday your blood was drawn. One arm, both arms, fingers, wherever they could fit a needle in and suck you dry. I'd never felt so faint constantly, but I pushed through it, tried to walk a little straighter everyday, a little taller. In retrospect, I think my resilience piqued his interest in me, and I might have done better to draw less attention to myself. But I never had been able to keep my temper.
Measurements were the worst part. I gave about as much hell as I could give. And they beat me about as much as they could. It took several hours for measurements to be finished. You had to undress and lay side by side while every part of your anatomy was recorded and analyzed. I wonder if the child lying next to me was scared I was dead. Not just unconscious.
Drops. Injection. Chemicals. Pain. Infections. Temporary blindness. Permanent blindness. Amputations.
Gold and God-like. Perfect.
I walked back to the house when my scream ended. I'm trying not to trip. All I want to do is get back to that goose-down pillow.
A/N: Finally updated. I'm not really that happy with it but whatever. It's getting harder and harder to write. Only a couple of chapters left though. This probably told you just about everything that Ed did back on Earth. So I at least addressed that. Hope it was okay. :)