A Road In Germany - November 10th, 1923
Edward wasn't quite sure how he felt about being stranded again in this foreign world. Worse yet his brother Alphonse was trapped here with him. At least they were alive and together again. That was a blessing, but Ed still sometimes had violent nightmares about some of the things they'd seen and experienced together and about all the time they'd been separated. And he hadn't really felt this lost since their mother died. Before the recent events in Germany, he'd always held out hope that he might find a way back home and back to his brother. Now he knew that that dream, that hope, was a lie. He could never go home again.
The people here in this strange world have a myth about a woman named Pandora and her box of evil. They say she got so curious about what was inside of the box that she opened it and flooded the world with every misery there is. But the last thing at the bottom of the box to get out was hope. Most people never really think about what hope was doing in the box in the first place. Hope is supposed to be a good thing. If that's true, what was it doing trapped in the box? The truth is that hope is just another evil thing and that it is the worst one of them all. It makes you think that things are going to be all right and that good things are just around the bend if only you wait long enough or try hard enough. But sometimes those good things never happen. And then comes crushing disappointment and despair. Hope lifts you up just enough to smack you down. But people keep coming back for more because sometimes the alternative is just too hard to bear.
Oh Ed would give Al all the speeches he needed to hear about how this was their home now and that they needed to think about the bigger picture, but deep down inside all he still wanted to do was go home. He still felt like a stranger in a strange land. He was an adult of eighteen now, but inside his soul there was a part of him that still missed his mother and home in the worst way. He knew he had to be strong for Al. He'd had more time in this world than his younger brother. He knew how different and disconcerting it could be and all that they had in this world was each other.
He'd meant what he said though about the uranium bomb. They had to find it and destroy it because it was a thing that no one should ever have on either side of the gate. He wondered if they were too late though. It had been such a long time since that confrontation on the island. The first thing they would have to do would be to find Fritz Lang again and ask about the men in the photograph that he had shown Ed.
As they bounced around in the back of the truck with the other travelers, Al felt more content than he had in the last two years. He'd been reunited with his brother Ed at last and even though they were on the wrong side of the gate, he was sure that nothing could stop them from doing what they needed to do. Maybe after they'd found the uranium bomb and gotten rid of it, they could concentrate on finding a way back home.
He knew Ed was trying to be strong for him, but Al knew his brother and how he thought. Al's head was stuffed full of the memories he'd lived without while his body and his soul were parted for four years. He sometimes had trouble believing in his years as a soul trapped in a suit of armor. But he knew that they had happened and he was glad that he remembered his time spent traveling and adventuring with his brother on their quest for the Philosopher's Stone. Despite the many dangers they had faced and the horrors they had seen together, it was the best time of his life.
"Brother, I'm glad we're together again," Said Al.
"Me too Al. Me too," Said Ed.
"What do we do now?" Asked Al.
"First we have to find a man named Fritz Lang. He showed me a picture once of several men with the uranium bomb. He might know more about the people in the picture and where we might find them. We have to destroy that thing. No one should ever have anything that destructive on either side of the gate," Said Ed.