A/N: First off, normally, I italicize these things, but this chapter is going to be mostly Author's Note, and italics make my head hurt when they go on that long.
Secondly, the title is derived from a quote from M*A*S*H by Pierce about a movie that had been played repeatedly, which he was getting tired of. I thought it matched the semi-serious, semi-not tone I'm going for in this fic.
Here's that extended summary I promised you all:
"After Mustang's battle with Lust, he and his subordinates, including Ed, are sent across the gate as a diplomatic envoy to the 4077th M*A*S*H. Naturally, chaos ensues. Ed's ticked because Al couldn't come, Hawkeye Pierce hits on Lt. Hawkeye, Margaret hits on Mustang, Frank ticks everyone off, and Pierce and Mustang are compared. Trapper and Pierce get off to a bad start with the Amestrians, but eventually come to like them, and then become curious about their odd new tent-mates. Meanwhile, Ed and Mustang begin to suspect that the military had reasons for sending them to the 4077th. When their worst suspicions are confirmed, the Amestrians find themselves in a fight to protect the doctors and nurses of the 4077th from becoming pawns in the homunculi's plans. Any pairings will be canon, but this isn't really a pairing fic. There will be some Parental!RoyEd. Rated for violence, some gore, and bleeped-out cursing."
For those of you who didn't know, Fullmetal Alchemist (aka FMA) is a Japanese manga (comic) by Hiromu Arakawa (it doesn't belong to me, there's your disclaimer) that's also been turned into two separate anime (animated TV series). This particular story is based on the original manga storyline, which was the basis for the second anime, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This story takes place after chapter 44 of the manga, which is the second to last chapter of volume 11, or during episode 21 of FMA: Brotherhood. In terms of the plot, it's not long after Mustang's fight with Lust, specifically, right before the time that Ed tries to use a fight with Scar to draw out the homunculi. In this version, Ed was called to headquarters and informed of the transfer to the 4077th before he and Al could start discussing the plan. The fic will have spoilers up to that point, and possibly some for later chapters, especially regarding the ultimate goals of the homunculi.
M*A*S*H belongs to 20th Century Fox, and is technically a sitcom, but it's usually classified as a dark comedy, since it is set in a Moblie Army Surgical Hospital (M*A*S*H) near the front during the Korean War. Also, it has a tendency to get pretty serious for a comedy at times. This fic is based on the first two seasons, and could take place at any point within them.
If you aren't familiar with FMA, I'd strongly recommend reading it before starting the fic, in no small part because it is that good, and this fic has an awful lot of spoilers in it. If you insist, go on Wikipedia and look it up. Make sure you're reading the article on the manga, though, or you'll be confused.
M*A*S*H is a little easier to summarize. It is set at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War, and follows the daily life of the people there. The main character is Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce, nicknamed Hawkeye, a surgeon who is a bit of a lech, but ultimately good-hearted, and who hates the military and the fact that the soldiers he treats are often extremely young. Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre is his sidekick, and shares a tent they have affectionately nicknamed "The Swamp" with him. Also living in the swamp is Major Frank Burns, a self-righteous, hypocritical annoyance who is married and yet having an affair with the head Nurse, Major Margaret Houlihan, a no-nonsense woman from a military family whose looks and tendencies towards affairs with higher-ranking officers have earned her the nickname "Hot Lips." Other major characters include Colonel Henry Blake, the unit's bumbling CO, Corporal Walter "Radar" O'Reilly, the company clerk who picks up after Blake and may or may not be psychic, and Corporal Maxwell Klinger, who wants out of the army badly enough to cross-dress constantly in hopes of getting a Section 8 (psychological) discharge. The show aired during the Vietnam War and was blatantly anti-war; it also addressed issues like racism and corruption within the military.
Hopefully, that's enough background for you all. Anyhow, I've already got a good bit of this fic written, so the updates should be somewhat regular, although I am a bit busy, so we'll see. And now, without further ado, the prologue! Yes, I know it's short, just relax, the next chapter's going to be at least five pages long in Word.
A Recurring Nightmare with Popcorn
"How much of this can a man take? We must have seen this picture twelve times in the last month. It's a recurring nightmare with popcorn!" –Dr. Hawkeye Pierce, M*A*S*H
Private Miles Price knelt on the ground before a large, circular design, drawn in chalk on the dirt of the Korean front. At the center of the circle were piles of various substances, along with a large pot of water, with the moon reflected on its surface.
Price placed his hands on the edge of the circular design, looking upwards for conformation.
"T-this is how, right?" he asked, his voice trembling. "Are you sure I'm not doing anything wrong?'
A figure cloaked in shadow smiled back at him, their teeth almost luminescent in the darkness, and smiled.
"O-okay then," he said, closing his eyes and picturing what he wanted back.
The circle erupted with light. It engulfed Price, blue and clean and bright…until purple and black seeped into its glow.
That was when he started screaming.