A/N: Hey guys, this is Majin Son Goku, writing a probationary one shot for TDS.
The evidence of a fight between two powerful alchemists littered the ground, taking the shape of craters scattered across the landscape, and walls created from alchemy. The craters were created by stray blows while the thick walls were partially destroyed, having been used to fend off attacks.
One of the crater's had attracted a ring of spectators, wearing the blue overcoats of the Armestran Military, some of them exposed and others covered in white cloaks. Most of them were wounded, some more gravely than others; and each of them were bleeding heavily.
At the centre of the crater were a handful of people. They had obviously had a harder time in the battle than the other soldiers, indicated by their charred and torn clothing. They looked battered, the remaining pieces of their uniform's soaked with their own blood and that of their enemies.
Taking a closer look revealed the jovial mood. They were obviously the victors in the battle, having defeated their opponent. They celebrated to the best of their abilities, but avoided too much movement to aggravate the wounds they had already sustained. They continued the temporary festivities for a while, oblivious to their earlier sufferings.
Night had began to fall and the nigh arrival of dusk made it dawn upon them that they still had work to do, and still had their wounds to tend to. Their jolly disposition tainted by the sudden realisation, they began to carry off the unconscious and the injured to seek medical attention. Ones that had not been severely injured walked off to reunite with their loved ones, to tell them that they had indeed survived the skirmish with the inhumane. Fewer still lingered to see off the heroes of the said encounter.
"So what do we do with him?" said a blond haired young man, seemingly in his mid-teens.
Speaking the first words that were uttered in hours. While he spoke, he pointed to a limp, bloodied figure that lied motionless a few feet away from him. The figure was almost naked, except for a pale white loincloth around his waist. The rest of his frail figure was exposed for all to see.
"We will bury him I guess, there is nothing else to do. There is a more pressing matter at hand, though." Hohenheim replied with a sigh, waving his hand at the pitiful sight.
A suit of armour laid demolished on the floor. It was the same suit of armour that was supposed to be the container for the soul of Alphonse Elric. At the sight of his brother's empty shell, Edward's expression changed from cheerful to disbelieving. He slowly remembered the events of that evening as the harsh memories broke through his forgetfulness. He slowly recovered the painful recollection of his little brother sacrificing his soul to recover the right arm of his older brother.
Edward slowly turned his head towards his father, looking to the first person available for answers.
"Why didn't anyone remind me? Damn it! Tell me when something like this happens!" shouted Edward.
There was a pause as he pondered over something.
"I have to bring him back. He's the only thing I have left. But…but the only way left now is-"
His sentence broke off short as he stared at a red stone in the grasp of another of the war heroes.
Lin offered the Philosopher's stone in his hand to Edward, though not without great difficulty. He needed the stone to cure the emperor…to make him immortal. He needed it to fulfil his dream and become the new emperor of Xing, his country. He needed it ever so badly, but he knew that here was someone who needed the stone even more than he did.
"But we swore we were never going to use it…never going to use the Philosopher's Stone. I don't want to use something like that to bring my brother back!" his voice cracking with dismay.
"I'll do it. I have a few souls left and my body is decaying, I at least want to do something for my children."
Hohenheim clapped his hands together in prayer and before his son could protest, slammed them into the ground to start the alchemic reaction that would take his life and return the soul of his younger son.
The only thing that could be heard above the thunderous noise of The Gate being opened was Edward's anguished cry for the father that he hardly knew.
"Father, no!" Ed awoke from his slumber with the same scream that he had produced in his nightmare.
Sighing, Edward collapsed back into his soft pillow, trying to calm his breathing. It was just a dream, just a nightmare that was triggered by his past. Nothing to be worried about. To a normal person, nightmares may have been disturbing, but he was used to them. His past had brought him many nightmares, some were far more terrifying and gruesome than the one he just had.
He slowly felt himself succumbing to the welcome bosom of sleep as his tired brain slowly began to shut down. He closed his eyes, embracing the momentary comfort until he had to go back to his chaotic life.
Ed woke up slowly, not wanting to leave the soft bed that he had been allowed to sleep in. He sat up with a start, realising his surroundings. He looked around where he was.
A quick look around told him that this was not his home in Resembool, but his temporary one in Briggs, where he had now come to fight the war with Drachma. It had been a few years since the now twenty-four year old Edward Elric had come to Briggs for a visit, but only a few months since he was permanently transferred to the mountain station.
He was now a Major General, serving in partnership with Major General Armstrong to lead the defense force to victory in the war. Though they were of the same rank, Armstrong was the one that was chosen to be the leader in the forces, Edward having opted for the role of student.
"It's because you have little experience in real wars."
The superiors had explained, but he knew the real reason. They still deemed him to be dangerous, so they were keeping him away from power.
Edward smiled to himself, remembering what Winry had told him before he had left for Briggs. She was the last person he had seen before leaving and their meeting had been a private one in the confines of his apartment in Central.
The room was large and had been lightly furnished; just a bed, desk and chair. The floor was covered with a large Persian rug that was a rich burgundy colour. The walls were a dull gold, the same colour as the eyes of the owner of the room.
On the bed sat a young man with a long, blond ponytail and sharp features, with a girl with a similar hair sitting on his lap. She had the same blond ponytail, but her feminine features weren't as sharp. Her brightly coloured clothing also contradicted the dark ones of the man whom she was sitting upon. The tube top she was wearing was yellow and her skirt was a shimmering turquoise.
Edward was enjoying his last conversation with his girlfriend, Winry, before leaving for the war in Briggs. Her face betrayed no sign of the tremendous amount of contempt she was feeling towards the army for taking away her boyfriend, but neither did his face.
"I'll be back as soon as I can. The superiors made me a Major General as an excuse to send me to that hellhole. I mean come on, only a Major General after all I have done for the stinking Military?" He was ranting, but he didn't care.
This was the only person in the world who would listen to him rant and say nothing about it.
"Oh don't you worry, with your eye for getting into trouble, I doubt they can keep that promotion from you for long." Winry replied, wearing a fake, mirthful smirk.
He contemplated Winry's words for a while, rolling them over in his head and examining them with great care. At the time, he had dismissed her words with a huff, saying that there was no way that she was right but in his heart, he knew she was right. She always was, but as he got up from his bed with a sigh, he sincerely hoped that she was wrong. He hoped that he would return from his final mission in Briggs: to bring down the Drachma border from within, on his own.
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