Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lines of a Tortured Mind

wandering in the darkness alone
looking down at hands once thought to be my own
not knowing who or what I am anymore
tired of walking through this life
scarred and jaded from the journey
always longing for a path I can't seem to find
long days and even longer nights
searching for a myth, a story, a dream
never knowing what's real or just a fantasy
seeing what's before my eyes but never truly understanding

What's the biggest lie we human's tell?
"I'm fine..."

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Senshi: Fallen Angel - 5.3 - I Refuse To Believe It

When Adrienne returned to the house, no one seemed to be around. That was fine though, he wanted to snoop around for a bit. “Hey Jeffery, do you know where my father is?” he asked before he completely dismissed him.
Jeffery thought for a moment. “I believe the master had business at the Academy this afternoon. He should be home again later this evening as he’s asked me to pick him up around four.”
Adrienne thought about this for a second. It was about two now so that would give him roughly two hours to look around before his father got home. That should be enough time to at least see if the suspicions were founded or not. “Perfect, thanks Jeffery.”
“You’re welcome Young Master. Is there anything else you need?”
Adrienne shook his head. “Nope, you can go. I know you have other things you’d probably rather be doing than bothering with me.”
“You’re never a bother Young Master but thank you,” Jeffery said as he took his leave to park the car and get back to whatever it was he did when he wasn’t driving them around. Adrienne actually had no clue what that might be. He made a mental note to one day ask him but for now he had some work of his own to do.
Making his way down to the basement level of the mansion, Adrienne found the door to his father’s lab. He knew it probably wouldn’t be left unlocked but it worth a try. To his surprise though, when he turned the handle the door swung open. Right there an alarm bell went off in Adrienne’s mind, something wasn’t right but it didn’t bother him enough to stop him from going in. Looking around, he saw what he expected to see, organs and limbs in liquid, all of which were at various stages of development, nothing out of the ordinary. Walking over to the desk Adrienne looked over the papers and books his father had sitting there making sure not to move anything. Again, there was nothing there that seemed out of the ordinary.
At this point, he figured if there was anything his father was up to that he shouldn’t be, it clearly wasn’t hidden here. If there was anything it would then be somewhere else in the house but where? Adrienne started back for the door he’d come in when he noticed another door off to his left.
“Probably just a storage closet…” he muttered to himself but just as he was going to dismiss it, he thought he heard a voice through the door. What would someone be doing in a storage closet? Going over, he tried the handle. This time he wouldn’t be as lucky, it was locked. He heard the voice again, it sounded like someone in the distance calling for help. He had to find a way in there. Quickly, Adrienne went back over to the desk and started opening drawers hoping he could find the key for the door. When he came up empty he went back over to the door to see if there was some way he could break through the lock without completely smashing the door in but he came up with nothing. His only other choice now was to use alchemy. He grabbed a pen off the desk and drew a transmutation circle around the lock. Putting his hand to it to activate it, the lock instantly crumpled into a ball of metal and the door swung open.
“Oh my god…” Adrienne said, his breath catching in his throat in horror as he saw what lay in this room. Lined up on both sides were cages of half animal, half human looking children. “What is all of this?”
Walking past each one, tiny eyes stared up at him, each pair looking so desperate and broken. There was no life, no spirit in any of them. From some of the cages, tiny hands or paws reached out to him as if they were silently crying for help as he walked by them. This sight was absolutely heart wrenching. Had his father created all of these things? There was no other explanation as to why they’d be here though. The realization made Adrienne’s stomach turn so bad he thought he might actually vomit there on the floor. He managed to keep it together though. Then he heard the voice again but this time it sounded far less distant but still not in the room he was in.
At the opposite end of the room, Adrienne noticed another door. The voice had to be coming from behind there. He hesitated for a moment before going over to it. There was no telling what he would find behind that door and if it was anything like what he’d seen in here, well he wasn’t sure he could handle it. What if it was worse? What would he do then? Now wasn’t the time to delay though, there was someone back there that needed help and he couldn’t ignore that no matter what it all meant.
Going to the door, he tried the handle but found it was locked just as the one before had been. Not messing around, Adrienne drew his circle and made the lock turn into another ball of metal. Slowly, he pushed open the door. There were more cages in this room but these looked more like prison cells. At first, Adrienne couldn’t see who or what was within the cages but a few steps into the room fixed that. He wasn’t sure if he was more or less horrified but what he saw in here though. In the first cell was a girl, very much pregnant and looking like she couldn’t be any older than seventeen, same as he was. He went up to the bars and put his hand on them. The girl looked up at him, her long chestnut hair falling in her face, her deep brown eyes looking distant and lost. This girl looked so broken and withered, just like the children chimeras in the other room. His father really was a monster. How could he do things like this?
Adrienne was lost looking at the girl when he heard the voice come up the hall again, clear as day and very angry. “HEY! GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!! YOU ASSHOLE! WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON YOU YOUR ASS IS SO GRASS!!!!”
He knew that voice, knew it well actually, it was Amy. Adrienne ran down the hallway until he got the cage she was in. “Amy!” From the look of her it didn’t seem like anything had been done to her yet but then she’d only been here a short time and wouldn’t like the others but there weren’t any obvious signs she’d been hurt of anything of the kind, Adrienne was thankful for that. “Who were you yelling at?”
Amy’s looked back at him surprised. “Adrienne? What are you doing here? I thought that ignoramus that brought me here had finally shown his face. I swear, when I get my hands on the dumb fuck…”
Adrienne wanted to laugh though he knew there was nothing funny about the situation, it was just he’d never heard Amy’s mouth get THIS bad before. He shook his head to shake the thought of laughing from his mind. “How much do you know about what happened?” he asked.
Amy put her forehead against the bars and thought for a moment. “Well the last thing I clearly remember was coming out of the bathroom at the tavern and being ambushed by some guy with this nasty smelling cloth that he put over my nose and mouth just after I screamed. After that the few things I do remember are really hazy until I woke up in this cell a few days ago. No one’s really been here but some servant guy that brings food and water. Every time I try to talk to him he just leaves the food and doesn’t say anything and he won’t get close enough to my cell for me to ‘make’ him talk though with my hands bound like this…” Amy held her hands up to show Adrienne that they were shackled together and she could barely move them. “You still didn’t answer my question though, what are you doing here?”
“You have to promise not to flip out if I tell you…”
Amy narrowed her eyes and looked at him. “Tell me Adrienne…”
He took a deep breath and a step back so he would be just out of her reach, just to be safe. “You’re in the basement of my house where my father’s labs are.”
Amy’s face turned angry. There were a million and one things going through her mind right now and Adrienne could almost see every one of them.
“Wait, wait! Before you flip out let me explain more… I had no idea this was even here, you gotta believe me… it was only after talking with Fuhrer Mustang and your dad that I even had a reason to suspect my father so I came to see what I could find. I honestly hoped you WOULDN’T be here but anyway… now that I have my answer, I gotta get you out of here…”
“You’re damn right you do!”
Adrienne walked up to the bars and looked around. He wouldn’t be able to open this like he had the doors since there was nowhere for him to draw a circle on the lock. Maybe on the floor would work though. He took the pen and started to draw on the floor but to his dismay the ink wasn’t taking. What the hell could he do now? The only other option was to let his chimera self try. He was stronger when he let his wings out after all, and given the extra strength he might be able to get the leverage he needed to get the door free.
He was just getting ready to go forward with this plan when he heard the sound of someone coming, a voice. The voice was male and it sounded angry as it made its way closer and closer to the cell room.
“I have to hide,” he whispered to Amy. “Once whoever it is leaves then I’ll try again to get you out of here.”
Amy nodded as Adrienne took off back up the hallway to try and find a place to hide. He was too late though. Standing in the doorway was his father glaring at him.
“What are you doing here Adrienne?” he asked as he looked over his glasses down at Adrienne. The look in his eyes was piercing and almost violent, a look that Adrienne had never seen in his father’s eyes before. “Haven’t I told you that my labs are off limits to you?”
Adrienne tried to keep his breathing steady and calm though he knew he was in a lot of trouble. He had to think of something to say but what could he say? He couldn’t exactly tell the truth could he? “I know but…” he started. No, he couldn’t waver, not now. “Dad, what are you doing? How could you do this to these girls… what have you done to Amy?” Adrienne straightened his shoulders and made it very clear he was going to stand up to his father.
Dr. Rothstein just shook his head. “Edward and the Fuhrer have filled your head with nonsense while you were away with them haven’t they? I knew I shouldn’t have let you be around them. Even allowing you around Nina was a mistake. Can’t be helped now… Rogers get in here…”
“Yeah Boss?” said the man as he sauntered in hearing Rothstein’s summons.
“My son has found us out and sadly has seen too much. I don’t think I’ll be able to convince him to help us either. Dispose of him…”
“Wait a minute!” Adrienne yelled. “You’d just… but… I’m your son! I’m what you and Mom wanted more than anything! You would just…” He started to back down the corridor getting closer to Amy’s cell once again. As he did, Rothstein and Rogers came closer and closer to him until he was backed up against the far wall.
“I’m sorry Adrienne, but yes… besides; I’m on the verge of being able to create many more just like you. To lose a piece of your mother, I admit, hurts but I also can’t let anything, even you, get in the way of the dream we shared.”
Rogers grinned and took a bottle and a cloth from inside his coat. “Now come Adrienne, be a good boy and make this easy,” he said as he poured a small amount of the bottle’s contents on the cloth and closed a bit more of the distance between him and Adrienne.
Adrienne looked over at Amy, his eyes scared but determined none the less. “I’ll be back and I’ll bring help,” he said to her as he then ran head long at Rogers knocking him over into another of the cages as he went by. Dr. Rothstein put himself between Adrienne and the door making like he intended to stop Adrienne but Adrienne plowed through him just as easily as he had Rogers and ran out the door.
“Don’t just sit there you idiot! Go after him!” Rothstein yelled as he and Rogers both got to their feet. “Grab him before he has a chance to get outside!”
Rogers took off after Adrienne as Rothstein went down to Amy’s cell. “I wouldn’t count on that help coming Amy Elric. Adrienne won’t live long enough to get to anyone that will believe him. Now, I have great plans for you and your sister once she joins our little party, and she will either willingly or by force and when she does, everything will be just as my wife and I always dreamed it would be…” He then reached out and put his hand on Amy’s cheek looking at her like a man looks at his adulterous lover.
Amy just glowered at Rothstein, her stomach feeling ill from his twisted words and the weird look in his eyes. “Like hell, you heartless perverted bastard. My father and my sister will come for me and when they do we’re ALL going to kick your ass.”
Rothstein just laughed and walked away. “Keep believing that Amy.”

A New Senshi: Fallen Angel - 5.2 - Time To Go Our Own Ways For Now

The rest of the trip passed easily and soon they were pulling into the station in Central. When they arrived, there was a car waiting to pick up Adrienne. Nina recognized the driver as the same who had driven her the night she had gone to Dr. Rothstein’s for dinner. Nina couldn’t remember his name though she thought it might be Jeffery.
Adrienne got his bags and the driver took them and put them in the trunk. Adrienne then took Nina aside and hugged her close. As he did he whispered in her ear. “I’m going to see if I can get into my father’s lab. If he has Amy I’ll find her.”
Keeping up the act that they were just saying their good-byes, Nina snuggled into him a bit as she hugged him back. “I wish you wouldn’t do it alone but I know I can’t stop you, just be careful alright? Let me know if you find anything.”
Letting her go he smiled at her and nodded giving Nina her answer. “Love you,” he said softly putting his hand to her cheek then gently withdrawing it as he turned to go.
“You too…” she said softly.
Edward then came up behind Nina and put his hand on her shoulder. “He’ll be alright Nina. Come on, we have to get you and the boys back to the dorms. Classes start again first thing tomorrow morning. We can’t let anything appear out of the ordinary.”
Nina felt like her heart was breaking as she watched the car drive away but she knew that her father was right, they had to get moving as well. Taking up their bags they all piled into another car that Mustang had arranged for them and headed off to the school.
When they arrived at the school, there were droves of people doing the same as they were, returning to the dorms. As they got out of the car, Nina spotted Julia and waved.
Edward looked at the girl she was waving too then back at Nina. “Who’s that?”
Nina just shook her head and laughed. “That’s my roommate, Julia. I’m surprised you don’t recognize her, she’s Winry’s daughter.”
“Your roommate is Winry’s daughter? Huh, I never figured that she’d send her here…”
“That’s what I said when I first saw she was my roommate. From what I could get from her I guess it was more of her dad that allowed her to come here not Winry.”
“Yeah well, Winry never was a fan of alchemy…” Edward said shrugging it off. “Oh well, come on, let’s get you settled in.”
Edward picked up his bags and Nina’s and went inside, Nina following close behind. Riley and Austin had already gone on ahead of them when they saw Breda and Fury waiting for them. Edward dropped off Nina’s things then headed down to the main office to find out where they wanted him to go. As part of his temporary transfer, it had also been arranged that Edward would stay in the dorms in place of the current advisor so he could better keep an eye on things.
“I’m sorry about what happened to Amy,” Julia said as Nina was putting her things away. “I hope they find her soon.”
Nina stopped what she was doing and hung her head. “Yeah, I hope so too…”
“Is it true that you and Riley were there when she was taken?”
Nina nodded. “Yeah and there was nothing we could do to stop it… look… I appreciate that you’re concerned but would it be alright if we didn’t talk about it?”
Julia smiled and nodded. “Yeah, sorry, I know it’s gotta be rough…”
“It’s alright. So how was your break?” Nina asked trying to make conversation that wasn’t awkward.
Julia just shrugged. “Pretty boring honestly, but then such is life when you’re surrounded by nothing but obsessive automailers,” she replied with a laugh. “Even worse when you live with one.”
Nina couldn’t help but to laugh. “Yeah, my dad’s told me what a gear head your mom can be though she never seemed to act that way when we were there…”
“Yeah well, Mom acts weird when he’s around. I have no idea why, at least not why she’d be like that now. I guess it doesn’t exactly matter really.”
“Yeah, Dad gets a little weird sometimes when talking about her. I guess there are just some things in the past that no matter what you do you can’t completely forget them…” Nina said now wishing that this hadn’t gotten brought up. She had hoped for a conversation that wasn’t awkward but this one seemed to ea as awkward as it got. “I’ll be back in a little bit,” she said needing to escape. Nina hated to admit it, but right now she actually wanted to be around the Moron Squad.
Julia nodded and Nina left the room heading downstairs to Riley’s room. When she arrived, all four of the Moron Squad was there. That figured, it was rare when they weren’t all joined at the hip. Seeing Nina at the door didn’t surprise them in the least.
“I was wondering how long it was going to be before you showed up here,” Riley said with a laugh.
Nina stuck her tongue out at him. “I couldn’t take the awkward conversation with Julia and we already know I’m not the most popular person around here so…”
“Yeah yeah, I get it. You’re always welcome down here though Nina, I know things aren’t exactly easy right now.”
Going over and sitting on the bed next to Breda and Austin, Nina slumped a bit and sighed. “Thanks for that Riley…” she said softly. “Ever since I got back, things seemed to feel worse. It’s like they’re glowering at me because here I am, supposedly this super prodigy of an alchemist and I couldn’t even save my own sister…”
Seeing Nina like this, Austin couldn’t help but to give her a hug. It was a good thing Julia hadn’t come down here with her to see it or things would have REALLY been awkward. “It’ll be alright, we’ll find Amy. Those people out there, they don’t matter, let them think what they want. We were there; we know the truth about what happened, they don’t. You don’t normally let them get to you or care what they say so don’t start now alright?”
“You’re right Austin,” she replied nodding. “It just sucks that’s all. I wish they’d remember I’m no more or less human than they are.” Nina just rolled her eyes. “Idiots…”
This made the entire room laugh. Something about Nina calling the rest of the school idiots was funny in its irony because next to her, they all pretty much were.
As they were laughing, Edward appeared in the door. “Well it’s good to see you guys are laughing for a change,” he said grinning at them.
“Hey Dad, what’s up?”
“I just wanted to let you guys know that they’ve got me in the room just by the entrance to the rest of the student rooms if you need me. Don’t forget, not a word to anyone about what we talked about on the train, though I’m sure Riley and Austin, you’ve filled in your other two friends here. I’m pretty sure the walls around here have ears and their hearing is damn good…”
Riley nodded. “I have and they’re going to be helping us out if that’s alright.”
“That’s fine, we already know that they’re safe to trust and we can certainly use the help.”

A New Senshi: Fallen Angel - 5.1 - You Need To Hear The Truth

The rest of the semester break went by and before the kids knew it, it was time for them to go back to the Academy. None of them really wanted to go though considering Amy was still missing but none more so than Nina. They didn’t see each other much while at school, but none the less, it wouldn’t be the same there without her and Nina didn’t want to be wasting time in classes when she could be out looking for her too. To make things worse, Edward would be returning to the Central Academy with them. Mustang had tried to talk him out of it as he had done when Nina was almost kidnapped, but this time he had no luck, Edward wasn’t budging. Edward had been temporarily transferred from the Eastern Branch of the Academy so that no one would question why he was there.
The morning that they were leaving, Edward, Nina, Adrienne, Riley and Austin gathered at the train station. Mustang and Havoc had already gone back to Central Command the day before and Alphonse and May were needed at the clinic so only Natalie, E.J., and Maes were at the station to see them all off. It was probably better this way though; Nina wasn’t really up for some huge send off gathering right now anyway.
Boarding the train, they decided to sit in the rear most passanger car as many other people didn’t usually like to sit there and they all could have their privacy. There were a few last things Edward wanted to talk to the kids about anyway and in this car they were the least likely to be over heard. As the train pulled away from the station, the group got settled in for the ride.
“Now, there are a few things I want to go over with you guys,” Edward started. “Once you get back to school Nina, Riley and his friends are going to continue watching over you. There will be more of an MP presence around you too so don’t go running off anywhere without letting them know where you’re going.”
“But Dad!” Nina protested.
Edward shook his head and looked at her sternly. “No Nina, we’re not taking any chances. We don’t know why you and Amy were targeted and I’m not convinced that whoever is behind this won’t still come after you again.
Nina sat back in her seat in a huff, crossing her arms and looking out the window. Edward hating seeing her like that but he knew it was for her own good. He then turned his attention to Adrienne. “And I’m counting on you to keep an eye on her when the others can’t. You know now that the military thinks your father or you could be who are being watched and may be an ultimate goal of whomever is responsible and at this point the military still isn’t willing to count your father out as being directly involved. You’ve proven already that you’re not, that’s why I’m trusting you. I also can’t ignore my daughter’s feelings either. I know I can’t keep you guys apart and I don’t think I need to try, just… well… just protect her…”
Adrienne looked Edward in the eyes and nodded. “I’d give up everything to protect her Mr. Elric… Nina… well, she means everything to me. I’d protect her if you asked me to or not…”
Nina didn’t look at them while they talked about her but when she heard Adrienne say that she couldn’t help but to blush. It actually felt different than when he had said it to his father. Here he was pretty much declaring his intentions to her father. It almost felt like Adrienne was asking for Edward’s permission to see her. It was actually rather cute and it made her heart flutter a bit with happiness.
Edward couldn’t help but to chuckle to himself. He’d given an answer like that once upon a time himself and he couldn’t help but remember that day in Yuko’s back yard when he’d given that answer. He had pretty much looked at Natalie’s father with the same absolute resolve in his eyes that he now saw in Adrienne’s. It actually served to reassure him a little to see it and made him feel that his trust wasn’t being misplaced. “That’s good to know. There is one more thing I’d like to ask you, one more thing I’d like to know though.”
“What’s that?” Adrienne asked.
“What are your feelings about your father possibly having something to do with all of this?” Edward needed to know this especially since if the case turned up that he was involved. If that was what came to be that would possibly put Adrienne in a tough situation and Edward had to know if Nina would be in any more danger than she already could be.
Adrienne took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He didn’t want to think that his father could even think about doing such things as kidnapping girls. Then there was the chimeras showing up at the kidnapping sites and Adrienne already knew that his father was capable of making them, he was living proof of that though no one here but Natalie knew that. The evidence the military had though, the evidence that they had shared with him, well it was more than he could rationally ignore. It actually made him sick to think that maybe his father had started doing his old experiments again, the ones that had created him. Helping his mother had been one thing but after what had happened to her, how could he? And then to maybe be doing it on innocent girls too? It wasn’t possible was it? Finally Adrienne looked back up at Edward and sighed. “Before I answer that I think there’s more you need to know. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner but… well… My father forbid me from ever talking about it but I think right now it’s more important to tell you than keep it to myself anymore.”
Edward looked at him confused. Nina also turned to look at him too. Was Adrienne going to do what she thought he was going to? Was he going to tell the others the truth about him and what he was? Why would he do that? “Adrienne…”
Adrienne shook his head. “No Nina, they need to know the truth…” Adrienne took another deep breath. “As you all know, my father is a brilliant bio-alchemist but for years my mother and father couldn’t conceive a child. Of all the things my father could do with genetics and alchemy he couldn’t fix that, he couldn’t make the greatest dream that he and my mother shared come true. He then got the idea of combining animal genes with human ones at conception to create a stronger, more able to survive fetus. He toiled away and finally he was able to create an embryo from both him and my mother. He cultivated it in alchemically charged fluid that he injected into my mother’s blood stream and she was able to carry to term. That’s where I came from…”
Nina looked at him, a sad look in her eyes as she was starting to put the pieces together herself. She had known this was possible but hadn’t wanted to see it. Hearing him tell the story again and given the situation they currently found themselves it, it was like a slap in the face now. She didn’t want to believe it anymore than Adrienne did but even she couldn’t deny the possibility.
Riley and Austin just looked at Adrienne dumbfounded. They couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Edward just sighed heavily. “So what did he combine with their genetic material to get you?” he asked.
“Bird… A dove specifically. I’m actually an alchemy created, human born chimera. If I had more room, I could show you…” he said, lowering his head. After a moment he looked up again at Edward. “Well, not long after I was born, my mother died. My father thought it had been because she wasn’t already alchemically inclined to begin with and after I was born her body rejected the infused liquid he had given to her to sustain me. He swore then not to do it again though… that’s when he turned his attention to alchemically creating implantable organs and limbs for people instead but given what’s happened… I’ve never been into his lab, it was always the one place that was always off limits to me so I don’t know anything for sure but I can’t deny the possibility…”
Adrienne put his face into his hands and started to cry. Nina went over and put her arm around him. She then looked up at her father to see what he would say or do now that he knew the truth about Adrienne.
Edward just sighed heavily. This brought back way too many memories of the old days, ones he didn’t care to remember. Creating chimeras, especially human/animal ones, had ruined so many lives in those days. It was difficult for him to accept that someone would ever try it again. The irony of Nina falling in love with a chimera didn’t escape him either considering she’d been named after Shou Tucker’s daughter Nina who had been turned into a chimera by her father. Edward clenched his fists at the memory that still haunted him to this day. Then he got even angrier at the thought that one of his daughters could possibly be used for such things. He wasn’t going to let that happen, there was no way. He hadn’t been able to save Nina then but he was going to make damn sure he saved Amy.
Nina saw her father getting angrier and angrier. “Dad… please…” she said softly.
Edward closed his eyes tightly, a single tear running down his cheek. “How could anyone… Why would anyone still want to do such a thing?”
Adrienne looked up at Edward, his own eyes still damp from tears. “I’m sorry Mr. Elric, if you’ve changed your mind about me…”
Edward shook his head. “No Adrienne, it’s nothing to do with you, you never asked for this and it’s not your fault. I’ve known many human based chimeras and I know you’re not to blame. What pisses me off are people who try to play God without thought for the consequences…” He then put his hand on his automail leg and sighed. “I guess there are still people out there that have to learn the hard way… the same way my brother and I did…”
Adrienne sighed. “It’s amazing what people will do when they’re desperate, but I guess you have the answer to the question you originally asked me… If my father really is involved I don’t think I could ever forgive him.”

A New Senshi: Fallen Angel - 4.8 - This Is What Happens When Booze Meets Fullmetal and Flame

Meanwhile, Mustang and Havoc had gone into town with Edward to look around. The townspeople seemed a bit in shock that the Fuhrer was walking around their town like a normal guy. They couldn’t help but to get out of his way as he and the group walked down the street. There were even a few mumbles and murmurs when they say Edward with the Fuhrer and acting so friendly with him. Most of them didn’t know the truth of everything that happened over the years so none of the group let the mutters bother them.
The reason that they were here today was that they had decided to retrace the path that the kids had taken that night. They spent about an hour going over every inch right down to the damage they had caused when they used their alchemy to try and stop Amy’s kidnapper. When they came up empty handed they decided to get a drink at the tavern.
Edward put his head down on the table exhausted. He hadn’t slept a wink since this had happened. Mustang and Havoc both could only imagine what he was feeling knowing how they would feel if they were in his shoes and it was either of their kids that was missing. When the server came over Mustang and Havoc both ordered a stein of beer from her but Edward waved her off.
“Come on Fullmetal, have a beer. If nothing else it’ll calm your nerves,” Mustang said.
“Yeah Ed, one won’t hurt anything. Besides, why come in here if you aren’t going to have a drink?”
Edward sighed. “You know you guys are a bad influence right? We’re supposed to be in here because we’re looking into the places they were that night, not to drink…”
“You sound like an old man Ed…” Havoc said as he made a motion to the server to indicate she should bring one more beer for Edward. The server took the hint with a smile and went off to get them their drinks.
“I can’t help it Havoc, I feel like an old man right now. What’s even sadder is the fact that I feel like this and I’m younger than you geezers,” Edward said with a laugh.
“Watch who you’re calling a geezer there Fullmetal,” Mustang said narrowing his eyes at Edward though there was no malice at all in the look. “But you really do need to relax a little before you give yourself a stroke or something. You won’t be any help to Amy or your family if that happens. You always were so high strung.”
“Whatever,” Edward said just as the server came back with a tray loaded with their drinks. “Hey I didn’t…”
Havoc just laughed. “You didn’t, but I did Ed. Now drink it and take a load off for a few minutes.”
“That’s an order Fullmetal,” Mustang chimed in.
Edward couldn’t help but to chuckle. “You know, you really did have a bad habit of throwing your weight around Mustang,” he said as he took a drink of the beer. It really was rare for Edward to drink like this, alcohol and Edward didn’t always go well together in the past. That was one thing that neither of the Elric brothers had inherited from their father, the ability to take alcohol with grace. Edward figured that as long as he kept to just the one he should be alright though. Besides, how much could they really drink? The glasses were huge; one should be more than enough.
As more and more of the sweet brew of Resembool’s finest brewery passed through their lips, the conversation turned to reminiscing and the old days before everything had changed for the better. One beer turned to two, then soon to three. Edward was feeling particularly loopy at this point and couldn’t help but to make a bit of an idiot of himself. He had actually started to pick on Mustang a bit more than he should have and finally Mustang got mad… especially when Edward pointed out just how useless he was on a rainy day.
“That’s it you cocky, big mouthed, hot headed, bastard, let’s take this outside, I’ll show you who’s useless!” Mustang said in this rare moment of losing his cool.
Edward just laughed at him. “Who do you think you’re calling hot headed Flamer Alchemist? If anyone’s a hot head it’s you. You are useless and I’ll prove it to you when I make you cry after I kick your ass.”
Mustang lunged after Edward for the ‘Flamer’ comment but Havoc stopped him. “Hey, hey, hey… if you guys want to fight it out that’s fine but come on, let’s go outside and out of the main part of town where you guys are less likely to hurt anyone or destroy anything OK? You guys can bash away on each other all you want out in the open fields.” Then under his breath, “And maybe finally work through that weird brother-like rivalry you guys seemed to have developed over the years.”
Havoc managed to lead the two of them out of town though half of the town’s people followed them to watch the Fuhrer battle it out with Edward. This was a once in a lifetime sort of thing and none of them wanted to miss it.
Setting up at opposite ends of a field, Edward and Mustang got ready for a one on one man on man battle. Havoc stood in between them, at least temporarily. “Alright you two, anything goes save seriously injuring or killing each other. The one left standing is the winner.”
Edward and Mustang both nodded looking at each other with alcohol fueled venom in their eyes. “Agreed,” they said in unison.
Havoc looked at both of them then took off running. “Go!!!!” he yelled as he ran as fast and far away as he could.
Without a moment of hesitation Mustang snapped his fingers and a wall of flame shot directly for Edward. Edward managed to dodge out of the way and clapped his hands together making a canon from the ground. Standing on top of the canon he grinned down at Mustang and clapped his hands together again to make the canon fire. As Edward did this, Mustang jumped out of the way of the canon ball and then shot Edward with another fire shot, knocking him backwards off the canon and hard onto the ground.
“Ready to give up yet, Fullmetal? You know you’re still clearly out matched against me,” Mustang said as he walked around the canon only to be greeted by a rain of spears that Edward had created from the canon. Mustang ran as a swarm of spears came at him.
“Only after you give up first Flame boy!’ Edward said as he came running out from behind the canon.
With the barrage of spears finally ending Mustang turned and launched another fire ball at Edward. Edward clapped his hands together and put them to the ground and created a wall at the very last moment though Mustang managed to singe the tip of the antenna of Edward’s hair.
“That was a bit too close,” Edward said to himself as he created a sword from the stone of the wall. He then jumped up on top of the wall and came at Mustang with the sword ready. Mustang snapped his fingers and another blast of flames hit the sword scorching it out of Edward’s hands.
“Come on Fullmetal, is that all you’ve got? You may have gotten taller but you’re still a slow little shrimp compared to me.”
Mustang’s words only served to piss off Edward more. He then clapped his hands and put them to the ground causing the ground to lift up under Mustang and launched him into the air. He landed just at Adrienne’s feet as he and Nina came out of the forest that was on the far end of the field.
“Dad! Fuhrer Mustang! What in the name of hell are you two doing?!” Nina yelled. “What were you thinking fighting like that?!”
Seeing Nina, Edward started to come to his senses. He walked over to where they were just as Adrienne was helping Mustang to his feet. Mustang chuckled a bit. “Don’t worry Nina, Edward and I were just having a friendly duel to settle a bit of an argument, that’s all.”
Nina looked around and narrowed her eyes at them. “Friendly? From the look of things you two were trying to kill each other! What the hell were you thinking? What sort of example are you two setting? Dad, you’re a teacher and Mustang, do I HAVE to remind you you’re the Fuhrer of Amestris? What would you have done if you’d hurt yourselves or someone else? This was just reckless! What would you have done if you had done something to yourselves and you weren’t able to help us find Amy?”
Nina’s expression turned just as sad as it was angry and disappointed. “You’re just acting like selfish children…” she said softly lowering her head. That’s when she caught her first whiff of the beer too. “And on top of that, you’ve been drinking. I can’t believe you…” she said as she walked away pretty much wiping her hands of the entire thing. Adrienne hurried to catch up to her. “Let’s go home…” she said to him once he finally had. “I can’t believe them… doing something like that at a time like this.”

A New Senshi: Fallen Angel - 4.7 - The Waiting Game

It had been four days since Amy had been taken and there were still no leads to getting her back. Everyone had been coming and going from the house using it like a command base of sorts. Fuhrer Mustang had come to Resembool bringing with him the best of his men, including Lieutenant Colonel Havoc. When they weren’t needed at the clinic, Alphonse and May were at the house too.
For the first day Nina wouldn’t come out of her room. She’d felt so useless after letting Amy be taken but Adrienne had finally coaxed her out. After what had happened, she’d told everyone about her abilities, well everyone that had been in town that night as well as her aunt and uncle and later Fuhrer Mustang and Lieutenant Colonel Havoc when they arrived. Even Edward had thought it was probably best for her to tell them after all, all things considered but they would be the only ones to know her true ability. Nina was alright with that. The people here were all important to her and she felt they all deserved to know anyway, even Adrienne. Edward still didn’t like it but yet again he’d been there to see things and he very well couldn’t be left in the dark after that.
Today, Nina was sitting out on the stone wall in the back yard, her knees to her chest and just looking aimlessly out over the landscape. Adrienne came outside to see her there and he couldn’t help but to smile as he noticed her hair drifting around her face as the light breeze played with it. He was careful not to startle her as he walked over and put his arms around her, her back still to him. “Hey, how are you feeling today?” he asked softly.
Nina sighed heavily. “I’m here I guess. I’m just really worried about Amy but that’s nothing new.”
“I’m sure she’s alive and well Nina. Amy isn’t one to go down without a huge fight and I think if that happened we’d know about no matter where in Amestris we were.”
Nina smiled warily. “You’re right so long as someone was dumb enough to attack her directly but I’m worried that something more… diabolical… is happening to her. Forgive the cliché.”
Adrienne hopped up on the wall beside her, facing the opposite direction from her so he could look into her eyes. “I don’t think Amy would even fall for that. She may not be as brilliant as you are Nina but she’s no slouch either, at least that’s from what I’ve seen.”
Nina sighed. “I know you’re right Adrienne but I still can’t help but to worry about her, at least until we get her back.”
“I understand,” he said as he put his hand on her knee. “Hey, how would you like to go for a ride? If nothing else, it might help make you feel better if only for a little while.”
Nina looked at him completely confused. “Ride? What kind of ride?”
Adrienne hopped down off of the wall and smiled. “Well since everyone is out, I was thinking of giving my wings a bit of a workout. I haven’t been able to let them out since I got here.”
Nina turned around on the wall so she was now sitting so she could face him. “Are you sure it’ll be OK? I mean, what if someone accidently sees us?”
Adrienne just laughed. “And who would believe a flying man if they saw one? I’m sure we’ll be fine.”
“I’m not too heavy for you to carry?”
“No way,” he said shaking his head. “Besides if I can carry you all by myself up to your room, I’m sure I can carry you and fly at the same time. If I think I might have a problem I’ll land, how’s that sound?”
Nina hopped down off of the wall and went over to him. “That might actually be fun. I’ve kind of always wondered what it would be like to fly…”
“Then that settles that then,” he said as he closed his eyes and let his snow white wings out. He then went over and picked Nina up holding her under her knees and around under her arms. Nina held on to him tightly. “Ready?”
“As I’ll ever be…”
With that Adrienne flapped his wings and took off causing Nina to hold more tightly onto him and slam her eyes shut. He could feel her trembling a bit and couldn’t help but to laugh. “You know, it looks a whole lot nicer if you open your eyes…”
Nina shook her head; this was more frightening than she had thought it was going to be.
“Come on Nina, trust me. It’s beautiful, not as much as you but still…”
His compliment took her off guard and she opened her eyes to look at him. In doing that she had a chance to see the landscape of Resembool like she never had before. It really was beautiful, the rolling green hillsides and pastures, the river flowing off into the distance in both directions, and it really was something to see. “Wow…” she said softly.
Adrienne couldn’t help but to chuckle. As they flew, a flock of birds flew by them. They were so close Nina could almost reach out and touch them but she wouldn’t dare try, she still didn’t trust letting go of him. “Is it always like this?” she asked him. “It’s so quiet and peaceful up here.”
“Yeah, that’s why I like it. No one bothers you up here because frankly they can’t. When I was little and I felt trapped I would sneak out late at night and just fly around the house in the moonlight. You think this is great, you should see it by the light of the moon. Everything looks even more amazing in the soft glow of the full moon.”
“Well maybe someday you can show me…” Nina said.
“I’d like that,” he replied smiling down at her. Just then he caught sight of an explosion. “What the heck was that?”
Nina had seen it too. “Can you get closer without us being seen?”
“I can try,” he said as he flew towards where they’d seen the explosion come from and then flew a bit lower. It was close enough for Nina to realize that her father and Fuhrer Mustang were up to something. “Adrienne, land… we have to check this out…”

A New Senshi: Fallen Angel - 4.6 - You Moron! You Got The Wrong Girl!

After managing to escape, the car had driven clear out of Resembool and on to East City. Rogers’ men knew they had to hurry and get the girl to the drop off location. They could only hope that they hadn’t been followed.
Rogers was waiting at a shack just outside the city to the west for them to arrive. Thankfully they had been smart and had approached the shack with the headlights of the car off but Rogers heard them as they came up and parked next to his truck.
“It’s about time you showed up Nelson,” he said as he stepped outside to meet them.
Nelson got out of the passanger door and just scowled at Rogers. “Yeah well you didn’t tell me that Nina had a twin sister. I had to sit there forever just trying to figure out which one was which. That and I had no way to know that the Fuhrer’s brat son or that the Boss’s idiot son was going to be there too. The last thing I was ready for was the mini Flame Alchemist and you said I wasn’t allowed to touch Adrienne...”
“You got Nina though right?”
Nelson nodded. “Yeah, she didn’t put up too much of a fight, though I did manage to sneak up on her when she was coming out of the bathroom. That chloroform you got for me to use really worked well. It knocked her out pretty quick once I was able to get her to stop struggling long enough. I have no idea why Kimball had so much trouble with her. Just so you know though I had to use it on her a few times on the way here though. That stuff only works so long before she wakes up so you may have to use it on her again before all is said and done.”
Rogers peeked under the cover they had put over the girl’s face. She looked like the picture that he’d been given so he was satisfied. “That’s fine; she won’t give me any trouble in the back of my refrigerated truck. She’ll be too cold to wake up until we get where we’re going. Now then, here,” Rogers said handing Nelson an envelope. “Get her into the back of my truck and then get out of here. As usual, hide out for awhile and when I need you again I’ll find you.”
Nelson took the envelope and took out the money inside counting it really quick before putting it in his coat. He and the driver then took Amy out of the car and put her in the back of Rogers’ truck and were gone in no time.
Once he was sure they were far enough away, Rogers got into his truck and drove off to make his end of the delivery. It would take him just over a day to get there and then he had to hide out until after dark before he could drop her off but finally he was able to make this delivery. When he arrived at Rothstein’s house, he made sure to come around to the back where the house received its deliveries so as not to look suspicious. When Rogers got out of the truck he looked like nothing more than a delivery driver. He walked up to the young kitchen staffer that was usually there to accept the deliveries and smiled at him.
“I have a personal delivery for Dr. Rothstein,” he said.
The young man understood what that meant right away and nodded his head. “You can take your package and head downstairs then.”
Rogers went to the back of his truck and opened it up. Amy was lying motionless on the floor of the truck. Picking her up, Rogers put her over his shoulder and went inside and down the stairs as he always did when making these deliveries. At the bottom of the stairs was a door. Using his free hand, Rogers knocked on it. “Dr. Rothstein sir, I have a delivery for you.”
A moment later the door opened and Dr. Rothstein was standing there. Seeing that he had a package he smiled. “Excellent! Bring it in and set it down on the table for me would you?”
Rogers nodded and stepped into the room. Rothstein closed the door behind him and locked it. Rogers put Amy down on the table being rather unceremonious as he did.
“Careful you bumbling idiot! I don’t want her hurt!”Rothstein said angrily, dropping the pleasant older man appearance now that they were alone. “This IS Nina right?”
Rogers nodded and went over and sat down in one of the chairs, kicking his feet up on the rolling table that was next to it like it was an ottoman. “Yeah, yeah, my boys got her for you.”
“Excellent!” he said as he removed the cover over her face. Rothstein’s face quickly turned angry. “You incompetent idiot! This isn’t Nina! This is her sister Amy!”
“What?” Rogers said shooting up out of the chair and going to over to look for himself. HE took the picture out of his pocket and held it against the sleeping girl’s face. “No way! This girl matches the picture you gave me, well except her hair is in a braid instead of in a pony tail but…”
“That’s how you were supposed to tell the difference idiot! I told you that! Nina always has her hair either down or in a pony tail; Amy without fail always has hers in a braid. How could you have gotten this wrong?!” Rothstein was ready to slug Rogers for his mistake then thought about it for a moment. Maybe he could use Amy after all, she was Nina’s twin after all so her genetic makeup should be pretty much the same as Nina’s and Amy was far less dangerous than Nina.
Covering her face back up Rothstein went over to his desk. “You’re lucky I can use her… put her into one of the empty cells back there for now. Oh and there’s a dead chimera in there, dispose of it, and there’s a girl that’s outlived her usefulness, dispose of her as well…” he said waving Rogers off.
“What about my money,” he said standing there with his arms crossed refusing to do anything else until he got paid.
Rothstein took an envelope from his desk and pulled a few of the bills out then threw it in Rogers’ direction. “I docked you two thousand sens for bringing me the wrong girl. Now do what I told you to do and get out of my sight, your incompetence makes me ill.”
Rogers took the envelope and tucked it away. He usually wouldn’t take this abuse but then most of his other associates didn’t pay him as well as the doctor did either. It was a good thing for Rothstein too that his pockets were so deep or else Rogers would have disposed of him already too.