Fire Freaks

Edward Elric opened his bright eyes with a flash, having no idea where he was, or how he got there. The last thing he remembered was a blinding flash of white light, and being hectically deconstructed into a foreign place.

This strange place didn't feel like Central, or Amestris, for that matter. The air was hot and humid, which felt most uncomfortable on his searing automail. Edward looked at his arm, and suddenly panicked. He quickly rolled up the red coat's right sleeve, and sighed with relief. He did the same with his left pant leg, and proceeded to wipe the sweat off of his forehead. The automail was fine; not even a scratch!

"Winry won't be killing me after all." Ed spoke out loud in the forest, to nobody in particular.

There were no signs of civilization in any direction of the forest. Ed was starting to worry. Sure, he had survived a month on that dreaded island, and faced deranged killers; but, this time was different. He was in a strange place, and without Al.

Ed looked up at the sky, past the green trees, and watched the fading sun. "Al! Where are you? Where the hell am I?!" He waited for a response. The birds and other animals went silent for a moment, surprised by the noise, but soon went back to calling.

The only logical thing for Ed to do next was to create a shelter. He looked around, even though he knew nobody was there, and clapped his hands. Blue light crackled as a large earth tent formed from the ground. Satisfied with the results, the young alchemist sat inside the tent, and stared into the forest. He could have sworn he saw movements in the shadows and kept his hands ready for a quick transmutation.

An hour had passed, the sun had finally set. The heat of the day vanished, and a cold breeze started to sweep in. Ed shivered and held his automail shoulder. For once in his life, he wished that damned colonel was here. Then again, he wouldn't be able to stand that smug face of Mustang's when the Fullmetal Alchemist asked him for help.

Fire wasn't that hard to make; Ed had done it before on the island, and without alchemy. So, he collected dry wood, and piled it up. With some quick calculations, Ed clapped his hands and started a small warm fire. The only thing that was missing was food; he'd have to deal with that in the morning.

Just as Ed was drifting off to sleep, a flaming arrow dug into the ground inches away from the groggy boy. Ed jumped, forgetting he was in a tent, and bumped his head hard. He placed his cool metal arm over the bump, and took an awkward fighting stance. What kind of coward ambushed somebody sleeping in the dead of night, anyway?

As far as he could tell, Ed was surrounded by a bunch of guys dressed in red armor. They held up their hands defensively, without weapons in sight. Ed knew he could take these guys easily.

"Hey, kid, make this easy for us and…" The soldier in uniform was cut off.

"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A SHRIMP SO TINY…!" Ed's rant was cut short by one of the men yelling, "Fire!" and a cascade of arrows came flying from hidden archers in the trees. Ed clapped his hands and created a giant rock barrier. Unfortunately, some of the arrows managed to hit their mark and snagged Ed's red coat. The call to fire was yelled once again. The arrows were easy to dodge. These guys were amateurs.

Using pillars of rock, Ed managed to knock down the bastard archers from their stupid perches. Laughing rather manically, Ed waited for the weirdly dressed soldiers to tuck tail and run away. What he wasn't expecting was fire to come shooting out of their hands. Shocked, Ed's feet were glued to the ground. They weren't like Mustang, as they didn't wear gloves or have tattoos with transmutation circles on them. While trying to figure out the logic of the fire alchemy, the soldiers seized their chance. They attacked from behind, and piled on top of Edward. He used his metal arm and leg to swing at his attackers. Those unfortunate enough to feel the impact were knocked out instantly.

Crashing through the trees came more soldiers, and a very large lizard with horns sticking out of its face. It had to be a chimera, but what animals did they use? The creature came closer, and more soldiers attacked. Ed stood up, and yelled, "What the hell is that?!" His answer came in the form of someone knocking him out with a blow to the head.

His head was throbbing. There were mumbled voices all around him, making Ed's headache worse. He tried to listen in on some conversations, without anyone knowing he was coming through.

"…So the Avatar is still alive…"

"…I've never seen any bending style like that before…"

"…Some of our soldiers were sent to the infirmary with major injuries…"

"…We need to send a hawk to the Firelord immediately…"

"…He doesn't match the description. That's some weird hair he's got…"

"…How can a runt like him be a threat to the Fire Nation?" At the dreaded word 'runt', Ed's golden eyes snapped open.

"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A RUNT SO SMALL HE COULD RIDE A FLEA LIKE A HORSE?!" Ed tried to attack, but realized his hands were chained. "COME UNTIE ME, AND FACE ME, YOU FIRE FREAK COWARDS!" All of the soldiers stared at the bound boy, shocked. Some even flinched and backed away. "COME AT ME, YOU BASTARDS!" One of the soldiers motioned the others to leave the room. Once they left, the commanding officer walked up to Ed.

"So, you're the great Avatar?" The man examined Ed while eating a bowl of noodles. Without meaning to, Ed drooled and his stomach growled. The man smiled evilly and continued eating inches away from the chained boy. "For someone who's supposed to maintain peace, you're rather short-tempered." Anger flashed through Ed's eyes. He lifted his body with his chained arms, and kicked the stupid man flat on the chest. The bowl of noodles went everywhere.

The soldier glared at the boy and angrily slammed the door. From behind the door, Ed could hear the man yelling, "Tell the Firelord the Avatar is alive. Keep the boy alive, but feel free to harm him all you want." Ed stuck his tongue out in the soldier's general direction, and looked at the wasted noodles. His hands were tied too far apart for him to use alchemy, but he had a plan. He used his feet to take off his right boot, and then used his toes to grab one of the chopsticks. After stretching and grunting, he finally managed to nab the stupid wood. Carefully, he lifted his leg as high as he could, and put the chopstick into his hand.

His leg hurt from bending it that high, but now he could draw a circle in the wooden post that he was bound to. As he reached over to etch the circle, there were several loud clanks, bangs, and screams. A large man with a metal arm and leg burst through the thick door. There was a tattoo of a third eye on his forehead, and the two real eyes glared at Ed with malice.