- Note: Agnes Tucker is an OC, though she's only mentioned & doesn't appear in the fic. -
A big fat lie we dogs have to bear with. A fact nonetheless, but one that actually tarnished the image of the State Military. This explains why we had to lock it away, or else. But it wasn't as if we had to keep this secret from a powerful public figure. Besides, it was for the good of the Elric brothers…we wouldn't trust them to keep their mouths shut about it.
Following the Ishbalan war, the Fuhrer ordered us to put zips over lips about the uproar we stirred up - after one of us - Shou Tucker - created what was more than just some talking Chimera one fine day. The result? An alchimal, short for 'alchemic animal'. The very first one he created was female as well, & he named her Saberdramon. He'd even planned an alchimal naming system - you'd no doubt use 'mon', short for 'monster' at the end, & shortened one word describing the monster's attributes at the beginning.
Apparently Tucker had as his subject a mere raven with ebony feathers to create Saberdramon. In the creation of an alchimal, you would do more than just combine two different living creatures & weave them together into a single being. No, you go well against boundaries to get the desired product.
Why we only used alchimals for a short time were because they were desperately needed - it was us versus countless Ishbalans, not even including the women & children who'd simply flee instead of fight. There was more behind it. The rest of us under the State only discovered later that Tucker had taken the life of his sister, Agnes, in the process, collecting her blood in order to fill a container. Then, one of Marcoh's fake Philosopher's Stones was placed in the same blood, under a specific temperature & with a specific consistency and viscosity. The liquid was fed to the raven gradually…& you'd probably get what resulted. Not the best food for one's conscience.
Because of the power contained in even a fake Stone, what it does is drastically augment the animal's natural traits & abilities. Saberdramon had heightened eyesight that was handy in battle. I remember her tearing apart the limbs of the Ishbalans she swooped down upon. Yet…what marveled us the most about Tucker's extra special monsters - they spoke crystal clear. With a human mind, & human intelligence. The rest was all animal, be it the emotion of fear, aggressive instinct… When the war ended, it was decided that alchimals were regarded as a second sin sitting comfortably beside the taboo of Human Transmutation.
So when I first looked down at Gazimon from my desk I could only guess right. With sharp-eyed (not to mention sharp-tongued) Fullmetal in the same room, it wasn't so easy to mask my astonishment. Alchimals were the deadly mish-mash of the kinds of ingredients you would only misuse. Ed's new partner was a mystery indeed - how had she wound up in town? After we killed off the other alchimals right after the war? So far she's been harmless, even helpful. But what if there were more out there? Perhaps someone was genetically engineering more of them. Heck, what if they could do more than change form, the way she did?
"Brother, don't let the thought control you. We can still hope she's out there somewhere," squeaked Al.
"Hmph," I did nothing but grunt. I'd prefer a change in subject, but the train journey back to Central was the noisier kind. Most of the way you couldn't even hear yourself or the person in front of you or the one right next to you. You couldn't even have some shuteye. But above the racket stirred up by the engine I could still see clearly what happened three years ago:
Barry the Chopper was a safe distance from us, for officers had got him cornered. My eyes were superheated with tears, some of them already streaming down my cheeks. "This may sting," I heard Lynxmon tell me. Scared as hell I was as her face inched nearer to my shivering self. I didn't expect the unexpected, however - she licked the cuts on my arm, as if to clean the wounds my attacker's cleaver had left behind! Her action helped diminish the pain eating away at my skin. Plus her breath warmed me up nicely, each time she exhaled. I failed to utter any damn words but wanted to thank her in some way. I stretched out the same arm, still breaking down & sobbing, to rub the soft fur on her chest. She let me stroke her snout later on for she appeared to enjoy it. It's just figurative, but that day I looked up to a new friend as I'd look up to a motherly kind of idol.
What Mom usually did when tucking us into bed was to sit at an angle beside our pillow, staring out the window. I'd pretend to be asleep sometimes, just to try read her mind or expressions through half-shut eyelids. As I guessed, she would be thinking of Dad. Anyway, never mind about that idiot. Her left hand would next travel to my blanket slowly & calmly, before lifting it into a better position to cover more of my neck. But get this - Gazimon would do this occasionally, especially after a day of particularly hard work serving the State. Then she'd snuggle up against me to hit the sack. It wasn't simply a weird cat habit or anything like that. I found myself connecting the dots..
I remember grazing my automail leg against some nasty concrete, whilst rushing to the hall as we were late for an assignment. The friction was so much it even tore through my pants! But who had super reflexes to break my fall, preventing any worse kind of injury? You guessed it. Gazimon was like a silly little cushion as I tumbled; I could've crushed her if I wanted to. She sniffed to see whether my other leg was fine, then crawled under to help me back up. Al was a little slow behind & had missed all the fun.
During a sparring session with Al, Lynxmon knocked me over from behind once. She was NOT supposed to do that! I voiced out one of my favourite lines I taunted her with, "Bad kitty!" From then on we changed our training styles - three players, all against each other. It felt more like a fun ol' game, where the only rule that really governed & stuck was "survival of the fittest". Our skills did get better, especially since my brother & I were each up against a two hundred & fifty pound giant cat. Wait till I go on about riding her to get to places fast. She's even strong enough to carry Al's weight. Nothing would be cooler than bonding with a strange monster you encountered randomly in town.
There are so many more experiences - don't care how big or little - which I wouldn't trade for others.
The bottom line is hard to recite, but I obviously missed her.