Chapter One-The Chase

Cold white flakes drifted through the air, coating everything they touched in white. Grey clouds hovered overhead and caused the world below to feel like it was later in the day then it was. Despite the cold weather though, the small town's citizens continued with their regular daily routine. They moved quickly from one building to the other, trying to avoid the bite of the wind and the colder degrees outside. It was not an odd sight to see people pulling their collars up on their coats and rubbing their hands together. With so many townsfolk out, it was difficult to avoid them as the one military car came speeding down the main road. Pedestrians who saw the vehicle, moved back onto the sidewalk, in hopes that the driver would not swerve up onto the normally safe haven. For those who weren't quick enough to get out of the road, the driver would yank the wheel to one side or the other in order to avoid hitting anyone. Coming up from behind was another military vehicle, also driving reckless if not more so then the first one. A woman let out a yelp when her husband pulled her back from the road just as the second car almost side swiped her. The chase had been going on for awhile despite the fact that the first driver was quite inexperienced behind the wheel. Even taking the icy road into consideration, he still managed to maneuver around corners, keeping enough distance between the two cars. The first vehicle suddenly lost traction and his gloved hands tightened around the steering wheel as he turned into the slide. The car behind him did the same thing, skidding on the same patch of ice but recovered quickly.

"Dammit," the driver of the first car cussed under his breath as he headed out of town. He really wasn't sure where he was going and didn't even have a plan. He just knew they had to get away and staying in town would only endanger people's lives. Unfortunately by leaving the bustling area, the road became even more dangerous as they headed down the mountain. One bad slide to the left could end the chase permanently so the driver hugged the right side of the road as best he could. He needed a plan. They had to lose their tail before something bad happened. As hard as he thought though, he couldn't think of anything that could get them out of this predicament. A shot rang out causing him to instinctively hunch over the steering wheel even more, ducking his head low. "They're shooting at us now!" His voice came out in a high pitched squeal that caused his passenger to want to cover his ears. The screech however had pulled him from his stupor as he rubbed the side of his head in hopes that it would ease the headache he had. It didn't. There was another shot, this one breaking the back window. The driver dropped his head even lower as another curse word left his lips.

" need to calm down, otherwise you'll get us killed," the passenger calmly stated while he continued to bury his one hand into his side, deep crimson soaking into his blue uniform. What was mistaken for calmness in his voice was probably shock setting in.

"First of all, you're the one who dragged me up here in the first place so if I die, it'll be your fault." Despite the severity of the accusation, he sounded more irritated then concerned. "And second, I could use your help losing these guys." The older man in the passenger's seat grudgingly sat up, coughing weakly. He instinctively brought his hand up to his mouth as his cough became more intense. Worry crept into the driver's facial features followed by total shock when the passenger removed his hand to find blood covering his once white glove. His dark gaze only widened slightly in surprise. He was going to need a hospital but not until they got away from the other vehicle. The passenger moved again, cringing from the intense pain that movement brought. He could hear his heart pounding in his ear as he turned some. Taking several deep breaths, his broken ribs ached as they were pressed outwards by his lungs desperately in need of air. Each breath came out in a small puff which only showed all the more that he was in trouble. "Are you going to be alright?" The driver nervously brought his eyes back to the road, jerking the steering wheel in order to avoid a tree limb in their path. There wasn't an answer as the older man brought his hand up and seemed to be concentrating. "Mustang," the driver hollered to get his attention.

"Just watch the road, Elric." There was an obvious strain in his normally calm voice. "Once we get down the mountain, we can worry about me." Steadying his gaze as well as his aim, he snapped, all the while hoping that the snow and blood hadn't soaked his ignition cloth too much. A blaze could be seen in the rear view mirror between the cars, instantly melting the snow and causing more to come crashing down the mountain. Edward watched the other car try to avoid the snow, only to get stuck in the heavy blanket of it that came from above. He let out the breath he was holding, missing the dip in the road. The abrupt jostling of the vehicle caused him to loose control as the rear tires began to slide to the right. Slamming on the brakes did him little good as the wheels locked up and there was no way to correct the problem. If only he could use alchemy...if only he knew how to drive better...if only he hadn't agreed to this insane trip up in the freezing north that he hated so much with someone as annoying as Mustang, he wouldn't be in this mess. But he was.

They hit another bump, sending Mustang back into his seat, clutching his midsection for protection. The path widened, however now there were more trees in the way. Edward tried to avoid them as best he could until the front right tire hit a stump, hidden in the snow. The tire blew out instantly, making controlling the car even more difficult. The vehicle continued to slide on the sheet of ice that was the road before shifting so far left, it went over the edge. Luckily it didn't roll over, slamming into a thin tree with a loud crack. Edward hit his head on the seat before being hurled forward, causing his forehead to make contact with the steering wheel. Every thing seemed silent for a second as Ed shifted in his seat, wiping at the blood that had trickled down his face. The tree in front of them creaked under the strain of the car and the frame around them seemed to shutter in response. Neither one of them moved for fear that said movement would interrupt the stillness. Despite their efforts though, there was another loud snap of the tree. It wasn't going to last long.

"We have to get out of here," Edward admitted glancing over at his commanding officer only to realize he wouldn't be moving quickly anytime soon. Before he could come up with a solution there was another protesting creak and then a final snap of the weakened tree. The car was moving downward again, picking up momentum as the hill became steeper. Ed braced himself as best he could before they finally hit another tree, this one much thicker then the last. The sudden stop flung both occupants of the car back again, this time though Edward's neck made a painful snap before he hit his head once more even harder. The hood of the car was smashed in, forcing the dash board into Ed's legs. He was pinned now and what was worse was the jagged piece of metal that was shoved into the side of his right leg. Part of the tree had come through the windshield, just barely missing the two of them, however one of the smaller limbs had pressed into the General's shoulder, holding him against the seat. The only sound that remained now was the slight hissing from the cracked radiator.

"Did we finally st...stop," the General let out another short breath. " okay over there?" His voice sounded shaky as he tried to look around the part of the tree's trunk that was now invading the front seat. Edward was silent, his head still against the wheel while his arms laid heavily at his sides, His entire weight rested on the taunt seat belt while blood continued to gush from his head wound. "Hhh...hey come on." Painfully, he managed to get his hand over to the blond's shoulder to nudge him. "Fullmetal, wake up! That's an order!" Worry started to edge it's way into Mustang's tone, causing him to forget Ed no longer carried his State alchemist's title anymore. "Fullmetal, you have to be alright. Wake up, Ed!