Jul 9 2010, 05:56 PM
A few years ago, a discussion board on Google had a lengthy board on FMA-1 when it first premiered on Cartoon Network in 2004-2006. These boards usually began with a detailed synopsis of the episode, using dialogue from the dub. At the end of 2006, I added my detailed synopsis, also using dialogue and some commentary. I give this info the shrine in four parts. Note: this is from the dub. Also, in order to avoid confusion, I have referred to the real world as Earth-Prime and the FMA world as Earth-A.
The film begins with a castle in the ocean. It is Southwest Amestris, 1914.
Inside the castle, in a room full of gears, the owner speaks to a very familiar armored person. The owner Huskisson, a masked inventor in a cloak, presents his object: A metal orb with valves.
"Thanks to our progress with the steam engine, we've excavated deeper than ever. Found new minerals, refined them, creating revolutionary sources of fuel. And it was in that search for industrial power that we discovered it: the ultimate element. By splitting its atom, producing massive amounts of energy are released."
Huskisson, who appears to be quite mad, has decided to call this element Uranium. He asks the armored ambassador from Central to bring this discovery to the attention of his command.
"No," says the armored one. He knows Huskisson, for all his words, has created weapon. That is the last thing this country needs. (…)
Huskisson is angered. "Is the young and promising State Alchemist afraid?" The inventor heads to a console with levers. Suddenly, stone slabs mechanically rise upon the armored one, holding him in place. Drills mechanically come out of the wall, poised upon him. Huskisson disbelieves the Alchemist's altruistic intentions, saying he got his authority because of his alchemic powers.
"Authority?" says a figure in the shadows, a red-coated person with a glass bubble on his head.
Huskisson accuses the armored one of being afraid his technological invention will lead to making Alchemists obsolete. "And the Alchemists' stranglehold on this country will vanish." The inventor has decided to see what the Alchemist of the People really looks like. He has the drills tear into the armor. The helmet falls off. The Armor collapses.
The inventor laughs maniacally, until he discovers that the armor is empty…
Instantly, a materialization of stone stairs slams behind the inventor.
"Huskisson," says the figure, coming down the steps he made. "You have made two big mistakes."
"Who are you?" Huskisson is surprised, and his astonishment increases as the hollow, headless suit of armor takes life and runs to the new visitor. "Brother, what took you so long? He put holes through me!"
"Sorry. I got held up." After apologizing, the bubble-headed (literally) Alchemist faces Huskisson. "Mistake no. 1: We never cared about your invention. We only came here because you wouldn't shut up about it...That and the off-chance it might help us in our own search."
Hutchinson goes berserk. Mechanical arms tear through his sleeves, springing out like accordions, plunging drills into the new Alchemist. One arm shatters the bubble. The other impales his right shoulder. "You'll take me to Central, if you value your life!"
But the Alchemist grabs the connected drill with his right hand. Sparks fly as his red coat sleeve and white glove are destroyed…along with the drill. "Mistake no. 2: That young and promising State alchemist you were looking for…is me!" The torn sleeve reveals an automail arm. He is Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist. The armored one is his brother Alphonse.
Edward leaps toward Huskisson with an Alchemic-created blade on his automail arm. He slashes off the inventor's mechanical arms. Huskisson pulls out a gas cartridge, blinding his opponents enough to make his escape. By the time the Brothers Elric catch up, Huskisson is already on a giant, revolving crane, its arm bearing a giant mace. He flings the machine at Ed with destructive effect, though the Alchemist avoids the onslaught by physical agility. Meanwhile, Al creates a stairway to the ceiling. Once on the top, the younger Elric alchemically fuses the crane, halting its movements. A clap gives Edward the power to transform the mace into a caricature of himself.
Huskisson damns the mystical Alchemists, cursing their zealous power, restraining physicists like him from guiding the state to a new and enlightened age.
"Enlightenment like that?" Edward cynically points to a hole in the wall. It reveals a pile of corpses.
Huskisson ignores the monstrous cost of his research. "Uranium mining is dangerous. It's the cost of progress!"
Al interrupts such ideals. "Science that doesn't benefit people is no science at all!"
The frustrated mad inventor calls upon his trump card: the Uranium Orb- or should we say, bomb- he has created. The brothers pause at his threat. Huskisson heads for the hole and its grisly contents. "I may not respect your sorcery, but that hasn't stopped me from learning it. For a man first in atomic equations, a few circles are easy enough to understand." He takes out a paper with Alchemy symbols.
"What are you planning now?" Ed asks with a dark suspicion.
"It's my backup plan, Fullmetal. An army of men fused with machines. You won't stand a chance!"
"Don't do it! That's human transmutation! Listen to me! Life only flows in one direction. Humans are not supposed to be brought back! It's Alchemy's greatest taboo for a reason!"
"You're arcane rules mean nothing to me! I'm a man of science!"
Before the brothers' eyes, Huskisson performs transmutation with the corpses. He finds himself in the dimension of the Gate. It opens. The eyes of the Gate demons see him. They enwrap him and his bomb with their arms, pulling him inside. The Gate closes.
The Brothers lament the inventor's mistake, a reminder of their own. The only difference is that Huskisson lost everything in Equivalent Exchange. The Brothers promise each other to find the Philosopher stone and restore their missing parts.
"Let's go," Ed swings his mood. "This whole castle is about to explode."
Al freaks out. "Why?"
"Because I don't like it. I made some adjustments to the steam tanks."
Sure enough, the graffiti-drawn tanks explode.
Al strongly disapproves of his brother's actions. "Why do you have to be so excessive? You should have told me!"
Edward dispenses with such details. "There's no point in arguing now! Come on let's go!"
"Go where! We're floating on water, and if I get wet I can wash off my blood seal!"
"Then stop whining and help me think!"
The castle sinks into the waters. Aboard a small tank, the brothers panic over their sinking makeshift boat. Edward proceeds to use his brother's helmet as a bucket to throw the water out.
The blue sky above them gets dimmer. It is a different sky now. It is Earth Prime (the real world). Munich of the Weimar Republic, October 1923.
On a road, we see a laughing Edward driving a car, relating this story to a delighted passenger. Edward is now 18. His long hair is pony-tailed from the scalp now. His brown clothing resembles his father, Hohenheim. His fellow traveler resembles an 18-year-old Alphonse, with blond hair and blue eyes.
"So after that, the story of the champion of the people Alchemist spread from a few minor regions to every corner of the continent. The End." Ed's enthusiasm slows when Alphonse's laughs become coughs.
Nevertheless, the passenger is enjoyed. "You know you should be a novelist with the stories you tell."
"You're saying you don't believe me?" Ed gets defensive.
"Oh c'mon, Ed! A place where Alchemy kept evolving and became more important than the steam engine?" Al fails to see Ed's saddened face as he continues. "Newton's Law eclipses Alchemy, ushering in the Modern Age. That's a historic fact!"
"Yeah, in this world, ya mean!" A cross Ed faces Alphonse, but his steering hand accidentally turns the same direction. The car rolls off the road and crashes.
Now stranded in the middle of the countryside, the two boys try hitchhiking. Al begins to cough uncomfortably again, much to Ed's concern. "It's just a little cold. That's all."
A truck stops before them. The driver is going to the carnival, the boys' destination. The driver agrees to help them, if they don't mind his passengers: A bunch of young beautiful Gypsy women. Surrounded by these hot women, Ed and Al have a nervous curiosity. "So what kind of a show are you ladies setting up?"
"You name it. Singing, theater…" Blushing Ed nearly panics at the implication.
Al notices one lonely Gypsy. "What's your act?"
The other Gypsies speak for her. "She's a fortuneteller, and she always gets it right. So much so it's eerie." Another Gypsy comments that she can discover anyone's most guarded secret.
Al wants to know his fortune. Ed is skeptical. "Cut it out! You know how unscientific that is?"
The young Gypsy touches Ed's arm. She tenses. "You are the same as we are. You have no home!"
Edward shares her shock at this revelation.
One of the gypsies spots the carnival. All the women begin to chant and sing in their native language. The exception, the young Gypsy fortuneteller, gazes at Ed. Al notices they both share a forlorn face.
Edward fades into his younger self. Titles begin. The sequence is bridged with Arakawa paintings of the cast (most of these drawings adorn the DVD covers). Also shown are clips of the series (e.g. Hughes' death).
At the carnival is a house called Hanussen's Welt. The owner is psychic Hanussen, who bears a strong resemblance to Lieutenant General Archer. The Gypsy fortuneteller is there.
"Ah, Noah! It's been too long!" Hanussen greets the fortuneteller. He pays her Gypsy companions in francs (the paper currency here is now as valuable as the marks). Noah is surprised that she hasn't been paid as well. "You're staying here now, Noah." Noah grabs her companion's shoulder, learning the truth: She is being sold! Hanussen explains that her authentic clairvoyance has gained the interest of certain people.
Three gray-garbed men enter. They are from a Lieutenant Hess, waiting outside. One of them examines Noah, touching her chin. Images flash into Noah. She gets a horrifying discovery of this group's plans for her. She runs away.
Nearby, Ed and Al put up their carnival booth. It is a giant metal tower where they will fire a rocket into the sky. Al is excited by the people gathering around them. "Dr. Oberth's book on space flight has captured the public's imagination."
As Al sees to his colleagues, who refer to him as Heidrich, Ed decides to leave the booth for some rest. His lack of interest in the experiment disappoints Al H. A fellow colleague (a blond, blue-eyed doppelganger of Law the Buffalo Chimera-man) notes Ed's growing disinterest. "He was the most enthusiastic of all of us when we met him at Dr. Oberth's place."
Noah makes her escape through the crowd. She cries for help, but all she gets are discriminating words and thoughts, calling her a thief.
On a truck, a somber Ed looks to the sky. He lifts his pale arm (a tribute to his last action in episode 51). "As far as I traveled, I still can't escape this place." The truck buckles. Ed sees someone attempting to hide under some canvas covering. Ed warns her about the rocket underneath it. She reveals herself. Noah.
Her captors appear and attempt to take her away. This bugs Ed enough to come to her rescue. He frees Noah. "Hey, this is a carnival! Go have some fun!"
The men are not so easily convinced. They pull out guns.
Ed's stunned expression melts into excitement. He raises his arms, and claps his hands together. Nothing happens. "Sorry, just an old habit of mine!" He attempts to disarm the gun hand of their leader. But he has a metal band.
Backing away, Edward decides to use his own weapon. He twists his pale left arm backwards, revealing it to be artificial. He pulls a cord on the elbow joint. The motor inside accelerates into a blinding speed. The electrical currents melt the artificial skin off the fully operational arm. Edward attacks the main captor again, breaking his metal-banded arm. His accomplices aim their guns in retaliation. Edward points the rocket at them, ready to ignite…
Nearby, Al's own test rocket performs successfully. His sponsor and financier, Lieutenant Hess, congratulates Al and his colleagues' achievement (these colleagues are Earth Prime doppelgangers of Dorochet, Blondie, and Lizard Man, the Lab 5 chimera-men, this time all very human and Aryan). He shakes their hands (all of them blushing). Hess than meets his leading subordinate, bedraggled and injured. He reveals that the girl has escaped.
Among a path of fallen thugs and rocket trails, Edward and Noah run away from the carnival.
"Where's you're home?" Ed asks.
"I told you. I haven't got one."
Edward looks to his companion with sympathy.
At the Four Seasons Hotel, Germans gather to speak about their recent history. They lament the war, the harsh military life at the trenches, and the humiliating Treaty of Versailles, which left everyone in poverty save for the aristocrats and the Jews. There, Lieutenant Hess reports the Gypsy's escape to Professor Hanshoufer (now lacking the German accent the dub gave him from episode 51).
"She escaped? That is a problem. I was rather hoping she could find the Great Serpent for us."
Hanshoufer decides to head for the villa, and report this news to Eckart.
It is now morning. At a boarding house, Noah is living with Ed and Al Heidrich. Wearing different clothes, the Gypsy has breakfast with Al H.
"Are you sure it's okay. Me staying here?"
"They're looking for you. There's no choice. Besides, I'm kinda glad…It's the first time Ed's taken interest in a girl."
Noah is interested about her savior.
"I mean I'm not saying Ed is an anti-social person. Just doesn't get close to anybody. Not emotionally anyway." Sadness creeps into Al H's cheerful face. "He's too busy telling stories about some other world."
Noah is curious. "You mean…his home?"
"That's what he says." He gets up, heading for his new factory.
Noah looks into Ed's bedroom. It is strewn with papers and a poster of a zeppelin. He talks in his sleep. "Winry, listen…about Al."
Ed wakes up some minutes later. Wearing nothing but boxers and a harness around his chest, he talks to Noah about Al's factory. From a cabinet of prosthetic legs, he affixes one of them (covered in artificial skin) to his left thigh.
Noah is astonished by the nimbleness of his prosthetics.
"My arm and leg are gone. But my brain's still sending out signals to move them. These machines take those signals and amplifies them." He displays his prosthetic arm, very skeletal compared to his old automail. "To be honest, I don't understand them all. My dad's the one who made them."
"Where is your father?"
"I dunno. One day he just left and never came back. So I ended up living here with Alphonse. We became friends when we studied rockets together with Dr. Oberth."
Fully bodied and clothed, Ed walks down the stairs with the Gypsy.
Noah speaks. "Armor…I saw a suit of armor walking beside you."
Ed pauses to Noah's accurate words. He is uneasy with her descriptions.
"And then you looking up at a smiling face. That must have been your mother. And then a village on a hill and a grassy plain. You said these visions are unscientific, but to me they're as clear as this stairway now. Please, tell me about this other world. What is it like there?"
"The same as this one, pretty much. The names and things are a little different, and the places aren't the same. But I've seen a whole lot of familiar faces."
"So if that world's your home, then why are you here?"
Ed grows uneasy. "In the world I'm from, my younger brother was killed. In trying to bring him back, I ended up here. It seems that was the price I had to pay…or maybe not. Maybe this is the hell I've been allotted to for trying the forbidden again. Two years ago I met the Alphonse who lives here, Alfonse Heidrich (in Romania). And if my brother Al had grown up, he'd look exactly the same. So who knows what is and isn't science? Or maybe this whole world's just a dream." Ed's calm face cannot hide the despair eating inside him.
Going outside, Ed greets his landlord, Gracia (the Gracia Hughes of Earth Prime, single with hot lipstick). A kind woman, she notices Ed's happy expression whenever he sees her. "Who do I remind you of, your mother, or is it a girlfriend?"
Ed laughs off the implication, thanking Gracia for giving Noa some clothing.
"So the two of you are going out today? Just be careful, alright?"
Ed snickers to her motherly advice. They leave. Gracia watches them with a worried look.
At the Brauerei beer hall, some mug-swinging men complain about the lousy currency. The new law of gold pieces instead of marks has rendered the paper money worthless. A constable approaches them. Officer Hughes.
The men spot Ed, asking them to join them. Their enthusiastic invitation dies down when they see who is with him. Hughes is especially bothered by the Gypsy girl. Like a lecturing parent, he calls Edward closer, wrapping his arm around him. "You do know that girl who's moved in with you is a Gypsy, right?"
"I hadn't noticed."
Hughes is wary. "Watch out, you and Alfonse think you're being noble by helping someone in need, but that's her game. Gypsy are smooth talkers."
"What?" Ed is disturbed by what he's hearing, especially from whom he's hearing it from.
"They trick men in order to steal their wallets, then they are off to their next mark. They are drifters after all."
"Well I'm a drifter too!" Edward has had enough with this nonsense. He turns away from Hughes.
"Look, I'm telling you this as a friend. If something bad happens, it'll be trouble for Gracia!"
Edward counterattacks. "Well how about this: Confess your love to her instead of bothering us. Save you some time."
This advice flusters Hughes into silence. Edward pulls Noah away. "Trust me, she'll be good for you!"
"Have you ever heard about respecting your elders, Ed?" Hughes' attempt to retain his authority is a failure.
Edward stops at an alley with Noah. "I don't think I'm being hustled. They're all sorts of people who'd like the power to see into human hearts with a touch. Especially in this country with what's going on. And I think they would chase you down to get it."
"So you believe my gift is real?"
"A suit of armor walking beside me. I never told anyone about that. Not even Alfonse." He smiles, raising his hand. "What did you see this time?"
"Nothing strong, really. My power works best when people are asleep."
"Oh yeah? Why's that?"
"Because when they're sleeping, I can see what they dream."
At a clinic, Edward has his prosthetic hand examined by a doctor. At another booth, a patient is groaning about the present state of the country. He sees the government as spineless. He reacts negatively to any assertion that Germany lost the war, blaming the Jews and Communists for the surrender, never the Germans. He explodes when he spots Noah handing Edward his coat. "What's wrong with you? Get her out of here!"
As Noah keeps silent despite her obvious anger, Edward responds for her. "Why should I?" His words stop cold when he sees the patient's scarred face. He is an ex-soldier. "Gypsies like her are just like the Jews! They don't have their own country, so they come into ours and steal our money and our jobs until there is nothing left to take! They're just a race of parasites!"
Back to the streets, Edward goes to a soup line and procures a dish for Noah. They are silent for a moment, absorbing that nasty confrontation. Edward apologizes. 'I'm sure it gets to you, hearing speeches like that."
"Not really, my people have gotten used to ignorance about who we are. The word Gypsy comes from a myth we spread that we are fortunetellers from Egypt. Bohemian, Gitane, Ziguener, Nomad. Outsiders can call us what we want." Her sad eyes show that she is not in complete accepting to this treatment.
"I see, but then how do you refer to yourselves? You must have some name."
"Roma…It's our word for human." Noah smiles.
Edward is full of admiration. Then his face crumples into shock. A limousine rolls by, carrying…Fuhrer Bradley!
Suddenly obsessed, Edward leaves Noah behind, following the car and its occupant. He wonders why a Homunculus is doing in this world…
To be continued…
Next time: It's family reunions galore! Ed's search for Bradley leads him to meeting his brother (NOT the one you're thinking). A father and son meet after a long separation. A new search by Ed leads to diabolical plans that could mean danger to his native Earth-A, as well as meeting a person he desperately wanted to see!
Jul 10 2010, 01:11 PM
As night falls, the limousine supposedly carrying Bradley enters the forest. A boulder is blocking the road. The chauffer gets out to investigate. Ed surprises him, knocking him out cold. He then confronts the man in the car.
"Fuhrer?" The man is confused. He is dressed nicely, with a monocle on his left eye.
"If you made it here after the General's assault, that means he-" Ed suspects the worst for Brigadier General Roy Mustang. He remembers their last meeting.
"General? Are you talking about the war?"
"Don't play dumb with me!" The hostile Edward suddenly falls silent, coming to a different realization. He asks the man if he could see his left eye. The man complies. While doing a raspberry, he exposes his left eye to be quite human. Ed relaxes over his mistake. "Of course, that would make sense. Homunculi take the form of the human they're meant to replace. So if those people survived here, then they would look like them too."
"Mistook me for someone else?"
The man understands. "I'm Jewish, so I'm used to worse. Men in this country, convinced I'm some conniving aristocrat, try to take me for all I'm worth." Learning Edward can drive, the Bradley doppelganger asks if he could drive him until his chauffer wakes up.
Underneath an elaborate villa, Alfonse H. works in his factory. He tests a propulsion thruster before Prof. Haushofer. The Professor is impressed, saying that the advanced engine will allow them to build a ship in no time. He praises the pleased engineers. "Look at you all: blond hair, blue eyes. You are the model of the ancient Aryan race and the pride of the German people. I'm sure Chairman Eckhart will be most delighted with your progress."
An aide whispers in Haushofer's ear. "We've located the Great Serpent, Professor."
In a great hall, Haushofer and Hess go to the chairman to ask for confirmation in her location. Chairman Dietlinde Eckhart, a beautiful Aryan woman, says an eyewitness has found the Serpent. She orders Hess to take charge. "The time for our passage into Shamballa draws near, Professor."
On the top of the villa is a takeoff cliff. Ten biplanes fly out. They circle in the sky.
Meanwhile, Edward is bored playing chauffer to this charming doppelganger, who calls himself Mabuse. "Actually, this couldn't have worked out better. I've been looking for a capable young lad like yourself who can give me a little muscle."
"You got people coming after you or something?"
Ed sees the destination. A castle.
"To the contrary. I'm the one who's hunting. A dragon to be exact."
"A dragon?" Ed becomes curious.
Mabuse offers to pay Ed for his help. At the castle, they come to a group of hunters. Edward is handed a lantern. Leading Mabuse through the dark corridors, he hears his story.
"Rumor is some would-be burglar broke into this abandoned castle, and that's when he saw it."
Again Edward tenses at that word.
"I know. It's foolish. Most people would say it's just a snake." Mabuse puts down a suitcase.
"You came all the way here for the rumor of a scared thief?"
"I have my reasons. The idea of finding a living breathing dragon is very appealing to me."
"Why? Do you wanna slay it and get knighted?"
Mabuse takes a pistol out of the case and hands it to Edward. He takes it, with reluctance over this wild goose chase. Alone, Edward goes up the winding stairway of a tower, considering an escape. He trips. He discovers the steps have a huge gape, as if something huge crawled upon it. An excited glee comes upon Edward. He charges into a dark room with pistol raised. Finding nothing, he relaxes.
"Edward Elric," says a dark voice, its sound freezing Edward with its sinister familiarity.
"Who said that?" He points the gun around the room.
The voice talks again. "I've been looking for you!"
The sound of an inhuman growl has Edward look up. Above him is the serpentine form of his Homunculus half-brother Envy!
Edward manages to escape the tower, but Envy is quick on his tail. "Have you missed me?"
"Is that really you Envy?" Edward uses all of his physical agility to avoid the lunging snake, who crashes into everything. "So this is what happened to you, when you crossed through the gate!"
Envy demands answers of his own. "Take me to Hohenheim! To our father!" The snake engulfs Edward into his jaw. But the boy manages to use his prosthetic limbs to keep from being crushed and swallowed. "That's the one thing I thought I was safe here in this world. Fighting homunculi like you!"
Suddenly, Envy is struck by a surge of bullets from above. This frees Edward, who tumbles to the ground. Envy attempts to continue his attack, but the fire from biplanes stops him. The snake manages to down one of the aircrafts, but it does little work. The remaining biplanes continue to riddle bullets into the snake. The Homunculus screams in pain, at last feeling the agony he has given to others.
The fighters soon surround the snake. As a confused Edward looks on, he notes a shadow falling upon him. A Zeppelin floats above the castle. Its passengers, dark masked men, descend down from ropes. Three of them restrain Edward. Another, revealed to be Hess, commands the rest for battle positions.
These men remove apparatus from their backs, putting them together as weapons, and aim them at Envy. These weapons fire lances into the snake.
Haushofer, another member of this force, looks on. "These lances were forged from the true Spear of Longinus and scattered throughout the world. It has taken a great deal of effort to gather them all."
Envy collapses, conquered by the race he has vowed to destroy.
Edward wants questions. "Now hold on! Just tell me what you're gonna do with him!"
Haushofer advises discretion. "I suggest you forget what you've seen here. It's not something ordinary people need to know."
Mabuse, another captive, recognizes the Professor and speaks his name. "Have you forgotten me? I guess that's no surprise, General. We haven't seen each other since before the war, when we met in Japan. I heard you've been lecturing at Munich University now. I've been meaning to stop by, but my schedule-"
His captor karate chops Mabuse into unconsciousness. Haushofer is about to leave when he hears Edward's own familiarity with his name. "I've heard that name from my father."
"And you are?"
"Edward Elric. Nice to meet you." He mouths the greeting. "My father's name is Hohenheim."
Haushofer is stunned. He masks his jaw in apprehension of the boy. He leaves. An aide sprays Edward with gas. Losing consciousness as well, he strains to ask the Professor about his father's whereabouts. Edward collapses. His captors abandon him, returning to their aircrafts.
The Zeppelin carries Envy away. Inside, Hess gloats about recapturing the Great Serpent. A worried Haushofer, however, ponders aloud about the boy named Edward Elric.
"And what does that mean?" Hess asks.
"It means that he's Hohenheim's true son!"
"You mean our Hohenheim? But how? His sons are from Shamballa."
"Yes. To think another person has safely passed through the gate."
Back at the villa, a chained and lance-impailed Envy is winded around the wall of the great hall. His position resembles the Oroborus birthmark of his kind. Eckhart, Hess, and Haushofer approach the serpent.
Eckhart touches the snake, which glows with tattoos. She chants in German:
"Blasses weiB und Schwarz, zusammen mit faischem Citrin, unvollstandiges WeiB und Rot, gianzende Pfauenfedern, der Regenbogen, der sich uber den Himmel erstreckt, gerfieckter Leopard, gruner Lowe, Krahenschnabel blau wie Biel." ('Pale white and black with false citrine, imperfect white and red, the peacock's feathers in bright colors, the rainbow, extending across the sky above, the spotted leopard, the green lion, the crow's bill, as blue as lead.')
Slithering despite his fetters, Envy sees a restrained Hohenheim in the shadow. Looking badly off himself, Hohenheim smiles at what's left of the first-born son he had abandoned centuries ago. "How nice to see you."
The son goes to his prodigal father with jaws opened. Suddenly, the snake becomes a circle of light.
Eckhart is delighted with this phenomenon. "Professor, time to try."
Haushofer is uncertain. "Even with armor protecting them, they may have little hope of passing through the gate untainted!"
Eckhart turns to Hess. He complies without fail.
A wall opens. An army of armored soldiers- several bearing a familiar style of armor- enter. Eckhart laughs in glee. "To Shamballa!"
Below, a pool of shimmering pink light forms within the snake circle.
Snow scatters against a banner of the Amestrisian flag. It comes from a lookout hut in the snowy northern region of Amestris, 1917. It is the world of Earth A.
Two figures, Lieutenants Jean Havoc and Heymans Breda, search around the hut. They call out for General Mustang. But there is nothing but a snowman. Suddenly, the snowman behind them falls apart, revealing Roy Mustang. He salutes them. "Lieutenant Havoc. Lieutenant Breda. It is good to see you again. Thanks for coming out." His manner is cold and stoic.
Inside the hut, the three gather around a fireplace. Roy advises the two to no longer refer to him as General. "I gave that up. I'm just an enlisted man now."
Havoc takes advantage. "Right, I forgot! I guess we outrank you now!"
Breda elbows Havoc into silence. "I know it's your choice, sir. Volunteering for an outpost way out here in the styx. But still-"
Roy interrupts. "I plan to do all I can for my country in my own way. End of discussion."
Havoc and Breda fall silent, unable to penetrate their former boss' depression.
Mustang strikes a match. This sight upsets the two; what's wrong with his powers?
"I haven't used Alchemy once, since that day. I gave that up too."
"But, you're the Flame Alchemist, sir!"
Roy bares a haunted face. "I start to now and then. But every time I try I see the innocent people who died because of my mistakes.' He touches his eyepatch. "That's what this eye sees." It is clear that the killing of the Ishbalans, the murder of the Rockbells, the death of his best friend Maes Hughes, and the selfish revenge on Fuhrer Bradley and its consequences on Selim Bradley have taken a great toll on the Corporal.
Outside in the snow again, Havoc and Breda take one last look at their former leader. Roy stands motionless at his post, his gaze as barren as the area.
Breda regrets not taking Lieutenant Hawkeye with them, seeing she knows how to talk to him.
Havoc balks the idea. "Don't kid yourself. She wouldn't come. I doubt she wants to see Mustang like this. Besides, I get the feeling the Lieutenant isn't the one he's waiting for." Breda is confused, than realizes the truth.
In a Dublith Meathouse, butcher Sig Curtiz gives tragic news to an older Winry Rockbell. It regards his wife Izumi.
"Two months ago she got so bad, that she couldn't move. She told Al to go, that there was nothing left to teach her. She just didn't want him to see."
Winry gives her condolences. "And Al? He still hasn't given up on finding Edward?"
"Not at all. He can't be dissuaded. He's convinced Ed is alive somewhere."
Winry takes notice of this info as Curtiz continues. "He says he has these dreams, where he's seventeen, and he coughs like Izumi did, and he lives with Ed in a bustling city. The two design machines together that fly up into space."
Winry gazes upon a photograph of the late Mrs. Curtiz. At the cemetery, she places flowers before Izumi's grave. She remembers something Izumi told her. "Take good care of them for me." An image of the female Alchemist appears in her head, smiling. Suddenly, Winry notices she is not alone. Lying under a tree is Wrath, Izumi's Homunculus son. Time has not been kind to this Homunculus.
Winry smiles. "Looks like someone's in need of maintenance. Let me help." She gives out her hand to him.
In the desert surrounding Liore, a lone figure walks along the desert. He wears a red coat with Dante's seal, with a hood over his head. He takes out a canteen. Only a drop left. The figure claps his hands and kneels to touch the sand. A stone well materializes, spouting water into the air. The boy enjoys the temporary rain. He removes his hood. 13-year-old Alphonse Elric. He has changed too. He wears a red coat like his brother, as well as a black suit (though with a different collar and boots). His chestnut blond hair is longer, with larger bangs and a ponytail.
In the city of Liore, weird buildings with macho-overtones line the city. At the podium is the Armstrong family, lead by son Alex. No longer a soldier, he is dressed in civilian clothes. "The Armstrong Foundation will work with you all in every aspect of the continuing reconstruction of Liore. Building a thriving metropolis that will rival Central in its beauty and splendor! We will press forward with great diligence to create the city that will exemplify the East in its new era."
With metal gauntlets, Armstrong alchemically transforms a dirty deli into a shining one with a statue of himself. He proudly greets the owner, "I offer this shop as a gift between friends."
"Wow…yeah, that's really something…" The owner is stunned by the decorations, though probably not in the way Armstrong would like. He bows his head in despair.
Suddenly the Strong-Arm Alchemist tenses. An alchemy effect is appearing. Pink light forms upon the city square. A transmutation circle!
Rose appears, demanding everyone to get to the side. She and Armstrong grab some children standing too close to the circle. "Alchemy almost wiped the city off the map. Who would dare use it now?"
The transmutation circle shatters the brick floor, exposing more pink light. The armored soldiers of Earth Prime climb out of the hole.
Armstrong wonders where these soldiers are coming from. Then a great wind blows, sweeping the soldiers into the air. Alphonse has created a tornado by Alchemy. Rose spots him. Armstrong is amazed to see Al in human form.
Far away, an earthquake hits Central City. At the Parliamentary building (resembling the Pizza Venezia in Italy), we see General Grumman, Scieszka and Kain Fuery among the politicians. Scieszka runs out to the balcony. She is shocked to see the destruction to the city. At Central Headquarters, Lieutenant Denny Bloch finds radio transmissions with Liore have been cut off. Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye enters with Lieutenant Maria Ross, realizing a connection of Earthquakes of the two cities. Ross informs Riza of invading soldiers. "We have tight security on the Eastern border. How can an enemy cross without us knowing?"
Back at Liore, the armored soldiers advance, surrounding Al. Armstrong attempts a rescue. But Al clearly can handle things. He claps his gloved hands, marked with Alchemy circles on his palms. He grabs the arms of two soldiers. An Alchemy current forms markings on the soldiers. Eyes glow inside their helmets. The two soldiers turn against the others.
Armstrong greets the boy. "Alphonse Elric, you are looking well."
Al looks at him with confusion.
Rose enters. "This is Major Armstrong, Al. He's a friend, remember?"
Al smiles at Rose with a familiarity he lacks for Armstrong. Nonetheless, he is courteous to the man. "Of course, Major, I've heard about you. You helped us in our journey, right?"
Armstrong becomes worried by the lack of recognition. "So you still haven't recovered your memory of those years?" His eyes tense. Al takes this as a sign that a soldier is behind him. A hand-clap and contact put the soldier- who resembles the armor he once possessed- under his control as well.
Armstrong is astounded.
[Compare this group shot of Rose, Armstrong, and Al with a similar scene in episode 1 with Rose, Armor Al, and Edward]
"I'm controlling the suits of armor I've touched. I transferred a part of my soul into it."
"A portion of your soul?"
"Don't worry, I'm fine. For some reason it comes naturally to me." Alphonse then races into the battle.
Rose and Armstrong look on. Watching Al and one of his armor goons fight off the soldiers looks very familiar.
"Poor Al. All those lost memories. Four years spent with his brother…"
Armstrong agrees. "Still, seeing how's he progressed, it's as if Edward's been leading him every step of the way."
Soon the invading force is overwhelmed. Amestris soldiers gather around the pile of armored soldiers. Officer Vato Falman gives Armstrong some grim news. The men inside the armor are all dead, probably before they reached the surface. The cause seems to be extreme amounts of pressure. A soldier examining one suit is frightened to see its arm twitch.
Alphonse entertains the children, giving a stick to Rose's child.
Rose kneels to the boy. "So, are you really still looking for him?"
Al's cheerful face falls into a sad resolve. "Yeah."
"But Al. He's gone-"
Suddenly, a shimmering pink portal opens above the pile. All the armors are sucked into it. Alphonse sees this as his chance to see Brother. He runs to the portal, grabbing the leg of one of the levitating soldiers, frantically hanging on.
Rose grabs him. "Let go! You'll disappear too!" She succeeds in freeing Al, his gloved palms bearing glowing Alchemy circles. The boy obsessively looks on as the armor he has touched disappears into the portal. He is desperate to see this clue will lead somewhere.
We now return to Earth Prime. A week has passed since Edward's encounter with Envy and the Thule Society. At the Beer Hall, Officer Hughes has a conversation with others. Something about taking an action that will get the Bavarian General to take them seriously. Hughes' interest is overtaken by the passing Gracia, bearing groceries.
"Gracia! About that Gypsy: It…"
Gracia ignores him. The shrug leaves Hughes stunned. His friends laugh.
At her shop, Gracia and Noah arrange flowers to sell. Noah asks Gracia about chances of another war.
"I don't know. I certainly hope not. But there's a lot of talk right now. And if it did happen, God forbid, your people could be in danger. There are men who say they want to reshape the country, so that it will just be authentic Germans and kick out everyone else." Gracia hears someone coming. She frowns. Hughes is here, skulking like a vulture toward Noah. "What were you telling her about?"
"Nothing much. What's wrong? You look so serious!"
A wary Hughes walks over to Noah. "Just doing my job to keep the streets safe. You never know what these Gypsies are scheming."
Gracia nods for Noah to leave. Hughes' wary eyes follow her.
Gracia now confronts Hughes. "I can say the same for you and your friends at the Beer Hall. You're scheming about something everyday!"
Hughes' cool expression melts into startled surprise; he has upset Gracia!
Gracia is equally reluctant about this confrontation. "Please Hughes. She's a vulnerable girl. Can't you keep her safe?"
Noah lurks near a wall, embittered.
Noah has dinner with Alfonse H. He talks about the country's defeat. "It was a betrayal. Germany still had a real chance to win the war. But the government just gave up, stabbing us in the back. And the Treaty of Versailles was a total humiliation. There are a lot of people who think we should overthrow the government and take back Germany's pride."
"Tell me Alfonse. Do you happen to work with the people who think those sorts of things?"
Surprised, Al H. speaks his excuse. "I just want to build rockets. Nothing more." He changes the subject, asking about Edward. "Did he say something about going to the University?"
Noah becomes flustered. She turns her face. "Yes. He's looking for someone."
At the University of Munich, Edward speaks with some students. He learns that Professor Haushofer has cancelled all classes. Rumor has it he's staying at a villa with the Thule Society. According to ancient mythology, Thule is a mystical island in the North. The society intends to harness the power of the gods that dwell in the island and claim the destiny of the Aryan race. Ed absorbs this with absolute skepticism.
At dusk, Edward sneaks to the villa. He lurks discreetly, pondering the Germans' pathetic reasoning to use myth as a way to help their country. He notices quite a lot of guards. He spots a broken window. As Edward moves himself through the glass hole, a sharp piece slices his cheek. Inside, he sees another window showing a giant ship being built. The rockets look familiar. Could these people be Al H's sponsors? His search leads to a huge main hall. On the floor are faint drawings.
"Looks like some kind of sorcery diagram. Probably for sacrificing virgins and summoning demons from inside the earth. You guys are hopeless." Ed's disdain ends when he notices something familiar with the markings. It's a diagram of Alchemy! "But why? Alchemy is not supposed to work from this side of the gate." He finds the markings are faint, unfinished. Spotting a piece of chalk, Edward begins to retrace the Alchemy circle. Above his notice- literally and figuratively speaking- Eckhart watches.
Completing the circle, Edward's brain sinks back to reality. He smiles over his pathetic act for nostalgia. He wipes his face, his glove getting blood from the cut cheek. Both hands touch the circle. It glows.
"Still just a puppet, aren't you, pipsqueak?" The voice of Envy gets Ed's attention. He sees the snake trussed around the hall above him. The transmutation circle glows. Envy's body creates the pink portal. Eckhart sees the city of Liore appear inside it. "Shamballa."
Edward sees armored suits topple from the portal and crash onto the floor. "What's going on? I didn't do any of this!"
Hanshoufer, Hess, and several guards enter the hall. Hess orders the guards to hold Edward at gunpoint. "Why did the portal open now? We've never been able to open it twice no matter what we've tried!"
Fear lines Haushofer's face. "They've come back to us. From Shamballa!"
Edward begins to ask questions. Hess punches him down to the floor. "We'll ask the questions! What have you done?"
Haushofer orders the guards to check the armor to see any survivors. Their discovery is shocking. All the inhabitants are dead and crushed. The Professor is horrified.
Hess continues questioning Edward. "Is this your doing, boy?"
Edward responds with a silent glare. Before Hess decides to get physical, Eckhart enters.
"In the hollow urn lies a vast underground kingdom. Far greater than any civilization the surface has known in modern times. A utopia without war and illness, suffering or hate. The wisdom of its inhabitants promise absolute peace, while the mystical power of its army guarantees victory in mankind's final war. The road to Shamballa is difficult." She turns to the Professor, congratulating him on his hypothesis.
"A lucky guess, chairman." Haushofer presents Eckhart the boy he has been telling her about.
Eckhart greets Edward with a sweet smile from her beautiful Aryan face. "Your father was once part of our Society and still helps today."
Edward is less civil. "I don't know where he is or what he told you, lady."
"My name is Dietlinde Eckhart, thank you."
Edward is condescending. "Thule Island, Kingdom of Shamballa. You people seem to be obsessed with any world than this one."
"Seems we have a lot in common."
Edward continues glaring. Hess points a gun to his temple. Haushofer protests, but Hess is determined. "Our plans for Germany are in motion. What if this boy tells our secrets to Berlin?"
Edward grabs the barrel with his right hand. The gun blows off two of his prosthetic fingers. Edward makes a backward somersault and flees from Hess' gunfire (despite Haushofer's protest that they may need Edward). Edward dives into the pile of armor. He swims passed these armored parts. He pauses when he comes face-to-face with a helmet resembling his brother's.
This helmet stares back and gasps. "Brother?"
Edward is dumbfounded by the possibility.
The pile of armor explodes before the Thule Society's eyes. Hanshofer, Hess, and Eckhart spot a strange scene in the source. One of their dead soldiers is hugging Edward!
"Brother," the possessed armor chuckles in his embrace. "Oh brother, I'm so glad to see you! It's been so long! Are you okay?"
Despite the mutual feeling, Edward finds his brother's gesture too strong. "I can't breathe!"
The Alphonse armor gets a better look at his brother. "But you've changed. You're taller now."
"Al?" Edward confirms the truth with a soulful word. Then he swats the helmet off. "What, you still thought I'd still be a runt at 18 years old!?"
Haushofer is amazed to see the headless, hollow, but mobile soldier. Eckhart is equally confused, though in a more reserved manner. "It could be some sort of Alchemy perhaps."
Hess is more unscientific in his conclusion. "Don't you see? It's been possessed by a demon!" Hess and the guards open fire at the Brothers Elric. Edward ducks under the armors. Al- not remembering his invulnerability- follows suit.
"They don't seem too happy. You haven't changed, Brother. Still causing trouble!"
"Save the lecture! Let's get outta here!"
With a cry, Al charges through the guards using a suit as a shield (again, forgetting he's invulnerable). Edward is on his metallic back. The two break through the door.
Now in the hallway, Alphonse is uncertain. "Now what?"
Al takes a direction. "I don't know where I'm going!"
"It's better than getting shot!"
A few minutes later, Hess reports to Eckhart that Edward and the armor have disappeared. "But we know where we can find him. He's been living with Alfonse Heiderich."
Eckhart examines the armor. "His knowledge of Alchemy could be our answer. But I doubt he will be willing to cooperate with us. He's just like his father."
Hess advises a counter plan. "Then why don't we use the gypsy ma'am?"
"Yes. We've received a tip from one of our loyal party members. The girl is living with Edward and Alfonse too as luck would have it."
Eckhart is pleased. "It's not luck. The gods of the Aryan race are lighting a path for us."
Haushofer is disapproving. "You're actually planning on going through with this? There's no evidence to confirm that it is Shamballa at the other side of the portal. You saw what that trip did to our men!"
Hess is ignorant to the protests. "November 8th is only ten days away, sir. The Fuhrer plans to make his move with or without the Thule Society. Our role in the party hinges on this!"
Eckhart advises a cool head. "Relax Lieutenant. The portal will be opened that day. 'The Thule Society has led the world to a new age!' That's what the future generations will say."
Hess salutes her.
Earth A, Resembool. The Rockbell house. Winry looks over a sleeping Alphonse on a bed. "What's with you, Al? You finally come back home, and all you do is sleep?"
She is startled to hear him cry "Brother" in his sleep. Wrath looms near the door.
Earth Prime, Munich. Near the river, Edward and the Al armor sit on the field. Edward is relieved to find they've lost their pursuers. Al looks around this strange new world.
"I've dreamed of this place. It's pretty. Are we really in the Gate?"
"No, we're at the other side of it. But forget that; I wanna hear about your life, Al. It is really you right? How did you get stuck in that armor again?"
"Again? What do you mean? Oh, right, you attached my soul to armor just like this, didn't you? When my body was lost in the Gate. Sorry, brother. I don't remember any of that."
"You don't remember?"
"The last time I saw you was the day we tried to bring Mom back. Then I woke up, and I was in Central, and a girl named Rose was taking me home."
Edward is saddened to hear his brother's loss.
"But as confused as I was, I knew you were alive out there, somewhere, and that one day we'd be together again."
"I wonder how they opened that portal? Will they open it aga-" The armor begins to shake.
"Al?" Edward becomes concerned.
The shaking armor tries to continue speaking. "Brother, the transmutation I used to transfer my soul. It doesn't last for long. It looks like I've run out of time!"
Edward becomes frantic. "Al, don't go yet! It's too soon!"
"It's okay. I think I know how to bring you back now. That portal they used. I'll try to open it from my side too!"
Edward is unconvinced about a reunion. "Al!"
The light of the helmet's eyes goes out. Now lifeless, the armor collapses.
Alphonse awakens in his real body, in his world. His face collapses into sorrow.
Outside the Rockbell house, Wrath continues looming around…
To be continued...
Next time: Edward faces betrayal from his friends! Alphonse's desperate search for his brother leads back to Central and the underground city! Plus the fate of the surviving Homunculus!
Jul 12 2010, 03:19 PM
At the apartment, Al H. reads a newspaper as Noah cooks at the stove. They hear the door slam. Edward enters with a contented smirk on his face.
"Anything good happen?"
Edward removes his coat. "Yeah, actually. You're probably not gonna believe this, but I saw him tonight. I saw my brother Al, and there's a chance I'll be able to leave this world after all."
Al H.'s face turns grim. Noah gives this news her ear.
The phone rings. Al H. attempts to get it, but Ed takes it. He is surprised to learn who's at the other end. "Mabuse? What's going on?"
"Mabuse?" Al H. whispers the name with familiarity.
Mabuse's words are insightful. "I understand you've been sniffing around General Haushofer's place."
"What? You're part of their club?"
"There's something I like to talk to you about. Meet me at UFA, in Berlin."
The call ends. Edward is confused. "Hey Al! Have you ever heard of UFA?"
"Sure," Al H. answers with a smile.
Earth A, Resembol. Rockbell residence. Winry talks on the phone with Corporal Mustang. "You'll excuse me for not keeping in touch."
"I'm sorry. I realize that I'm in no position to call you."
"No, it's fine. But Al isn't here. He was here for awhile, but he's disappeared. He and Wrath both."
"I see. They've probably gone to Central then."
Winry gasps as Mustang continues. "Liore and Central have been experiencing the same phenomena at the exact same time. There's one thing they share, and it's a safe bet Al has come to the same conclusion that I did."
"Does this have anything to do with Ed's disappearance and Al trying to bring him back?"
"I've said all I can for now." He hangs up. Winry is dissatisfied. Later, she goes out the door with a large suitcase. A hopeful smile marks her lips. Grandma Pinako looks on. "Winry, can't you wait here for him to come back like we always have?"
"I'm sorry, but not this time. He's looking for Ed, and I can't let him do that alone."
Earth Prime, Berlin.
Mabuse stands before a waterfall as a mechanical dragon moves awkwardly around.
Edward stands near this creation. "Okay, now this makes sense. Considering the work to rig this, I can see why you wanted to film the real thing."
A front view of Mabuse reveals that the waterfall is part of a studio set. "Still, I can't complain. Just seeing it made the fake one look a great deal better." A snap of his fingers, and the 'dragon' dances.
Edward gets to the matter. He pulls out a newspaper. "DOCTOR MABUSE THE GAMBLER. I understand that's a film you made." He throws the paper at Mabuse's feet. It features a picture of him.
"Just having a little fun with you. Call me Fritz Lang if you prefer."
At the Berlin UFA Film Studios, Lang and Edward walk along the set of the director's upcoming film Seigfried, Part 1 of his two-part Die Nibelungen epic. The Dragon scene is where Siegfried (played by Paul Richter) slays the creature and bathes naked in his blood to achieve indestructibility (which he almost does, if not for a stray leaf…)
Other scenes include:
-Brunnhild's (Hanna Ralph) entry to the Nibelungen palace.
-Seigfried's (Paul Richter) pact with King Gunther (Theodor Loos) with the one-eyed Hagen Tronje (Hans Adalbert Schlettow) and Kreimhild (Margaret Schoen) looking on.
-An array of the Nibelungen army, with a close-up of Kreimhild (looking far more feminine here than she does in live action).
Lang explains his plans. "I'm toying with leaving this country, and moving to America for awhile. I've been reading American novels and publications to sort of get myself in the mood. They have a great deal of science fiction or scientific romance as some call it. And there's an idea in a recent book that's caught my eye."
He shows Ed a book describing Parallel Worlds. "An entire planet existing side by side with ours. Separate, yet connected by some invisible force. They match in similarities of history and people but with some fundamental difference. Maybe it's where magic and dragons do exist, or maybe where Alchemy triumphed over physics and paved the whole world in gold. And maybe, given those rules, Fritz Lang isn't a director! Maybe he's a criminal, walking around with the same face as mine. Or for that matter, maybe he's a woman. Imagine, it's fun to think about it, isn't it?"
Not to Edward. "Any place like that would feel like a fantasy."
"You think so? But then how would you know which world's make believe and which one is real?"
Edward has a depressed look. "Believe me, it just would. You'll never know what it's like, spending your whole life in a dream."
Lang and Edward sit at a table before the miniature of Brunnhild's rainbow-arched castle.
Lang's mistress brings tea and bows to him. Ed is struck by this girl's resemblance to Lyja (and for that matter Dante). She snubs him and leaves. A stunned Edward coughs then turns to Lang. "So what do you want to discuss?"
Lang reveals another book. "The Major General Karl Haushofer's book. Met him in the Empire of Japan and before the war when he was doing his research. His thesis is that the island had success because it was made of an entirely single race. Germany, meanwhile, is disjointed. Its people are spread far beyond its own borders, scattered throughout Poland, Austria, and many other countries across Europe. Haushofer believes the nation should be unified and then distilled, creating a homeland for the true German race."
Ed scoffs at this racial ideology. "Sorry, I'll think I'll pass."
Fritz Lang just smiles at him with this creepy, hypnotic gaze. "Hold on, Ed. There's more. Haushofer also writes about a utopia, Shamballa. It's a legend in the Orient, and it says those who rule it can rule the world. This society of his believes that."
"And what do you believe?"
Lang shows Edward a photograph. It shows a group of scientists holding something. "Do you know what this device is, Ed?"
Ed is stunned by the photographed object, which resembles the Uranium Bomb Huskisson created three years ago (in Earth A time).
Lang speaks of other things. "Not long ago, the Thule Society helped form the Nationalist Socialist Workers Party in Germany, which still serves an active role in their ranks. Claiming in the name of rival socialists, they're called Nazis for short."
[A collage of Nazis fighting policemen appears on the screen, followed by Adolf Hitler saluting before a backdrop of the Nazi flag.]
"The party is supposedly planning a large scale uprising sometime in November. The consensus in important circles is that they don't have enough supporters, and that Berlin's forces will quickly put them down. The Thule Society, however, disagrees. They have guaranteed victory to their leader, who they call 'The Fuhrer,' and as proof of their claim, that picture is what they showed him."
Lang drops sugar in his tea. "They say it's a bomb of devastating power. They also say it relies on a scientific principle never before conceived in this world. Haushofer and the others claim that if given enough funding and power, they'll be able to bring weapons of this magnitude one after another to the portal, creating an unstoppable force."
Cold fear strikes Ed. His dream of returning to his world has become a nightmare! "They want to use the other world for their uprising?" He jumps to his feet.
"What are you planning now? I can't let them do that! I have to close that gate for good!"
Lang is cool, drinking his tea. "Let them be. If they want a war, you can't do anything to stop them. I just told you as a warning so you know to keep your distance. You should come work for me instead."
"Hold on! How do you know so much about these Nazis anyway?"
Thea Von Harbou (Mrs. Lang) crosses the set as Lang explains. "This Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, is a very charismatic man. My wife has become a fanatical believer. Through her the Nazis have asked me to work for them many times, but I'm no fool. I'm one of the Jews they want to get rid of. After they've exploited my talents, they'll cast me aside. So I cast them off first." Lang's stare gets more intense. "Reality is just a knotted mess I choose to avoid."
Edward hits the table. "You act like you're too good for the world, but really you're just afraid of the risk. Just trying to avoid not being forced out of your dream!" He grabs his coat and runs out of the studio. Lang just sips his tea.
Back at Munich, Officer Hughes leads Noah out of Gracia's house. Noah asks about the destination. She sees Hughes walk to a car. Lieutenant Hess comes out. Noah attempts to run, but gets restrained by a minion.
But Hess is courteous to the Gypsy. "What we're offering is not as bad as you think. Just hear us out." Hughes stands like a statue, ignoring everything.
Meanwhile, Eckhart watches a Nazi meeting. Their leader Adolf Hitler approaches the podium to his cheering subjects, who call him 'Fuhrer!' His eyes display the gaze that would mesmerize millions. The crowd's excitement contrasts with Eckhart's cool demeanor. Later, she informs Hess of what she has learned. "The Fuhrer plans to use his storm troopers on the eighth."
Hess is disappointed. "Goering's men? You're saying we won't be involved in the uprising now?"
"On the day they make their move, we'll open the path to Shamballa."
Hess is excited. "That's perfect! We've already got the Gypsy girl persuaded. I'll speed up the plans."
At the underground factory, Al H. and his colleagues look at the giant airships they've created. Looking exhausted and coughing, Al H. is happy. "They've set our launch date on November 8th. And Hess told me it's crucial we get it ready on time. So let's make Germany proud! Let's show them we're not beaten yet."
Ed has returned to his apartment in Munich. He lies on the bed. On his desk (which has a metal helmet), Noah places a tray with a wine bottle. She is surprised to hear Edward's plans.
"Isn't that what you said? If the portal opens, you can go home, right? And that's what you want."
"Not at that cost. Those zealots would follow me and drag my world into their war." Edward bears a sad but content face. "I'm positive now that Al's alive on the other side. I never knew that for sure. I thought my survival meant I failed. So now, knowing that, I can bear it."
Noah looks disappointed.
A very grim Al H. enters the room.
"Alphonse, I need to talk to you. Those sponsors? They're bad news. You need to stop building their rockets.
Al H. ignores this. His face sweating, he empties his dresser, putting clothes into a suitcase. "Our work is in a critical stage. I'm sleeping in the factory now." He then goes downstairs. Ed follows. "Wait! You're sponsors are plotting a war! They're gonna start by invading my world, and those rockets have something to do with it. Listen to me!" Ed grabs Al H.'s shoulder. Al H. shoves him back to the steps. His coughing gets worse. Now he's vomiting blood! It appears that the gas fumes from the propulsion experiments have mortally wounded Alfonse Heiderich.
Edward and Noah are shocked. Al H. tries to keep calm before his friends' concerned eyes, but his frustrations explode. "The truth is I'm running out of time. You say this world is not yours, but it is mine and I want to leave proof that I lived in it! It's a bit late to start caring now!"
Al H. runs out the door. Edward follows, but Noah stops him with advice. "They don't know how to open the portal anyway."
At the factory, Al H. continues building, coughing all the way.
At the apartment, a fully clothed Edward sleeps. It's a good guess that the wine had something to do with it. Noah enters the dark room. She is wearing a white nightgown. The Gypsy gets on top of Edward. She presses her forehead upon his, and concentrates.
Earth A, the Amestris cemetery. Roy Mustang stands silent before Brigadier General Maes Hughes' grave.
Nearby, Winry and Scieszka are approaching the site with flowers. Scieszka asks about Winry's uncertainty of Al's whereabouts.
"That's why I'm worried. I only think Wrath is with him because they disappeared at the same time. Izumi's death seems to be a relief for Al in a way, like he's free to concentrate on finding Ed."
Scieszka tries to help. "Don't worry. I'll show you the underground city as soon as we're finished here."
They note flowers at Hughes' grave. Scieszka assumes it came from Elysia and her mother.
At a guarded building, through barred doors of metal and wood, Alphonse Elric walks down a long stairway with Wrath. Al is uncertain about his silent guide, who gives no answers about their trip. They finally reach the Underground city. Al notices the city is shaped like the huge alchemy diagram in Liore. Coming to a destroyed area (probably what's left of the ballroom where the Brothers Elric separated), Al creates a circle on the floor. Wrath senses something.
Earth Prime. A Munich Beer Hall. More days have passed. It is now November 8, 1923. Edward and Noah get a table. He notices the regular drinkers are acting pretty sober. They advise him to stay indoors because they're celebrating their nation's rebirth tonight.
An overcoat-wearing Hughes opens the door, presenting Hess. Edward gets defensive, warning Noah. To his shock, Noah willingly follows Hess. Edward tries to intervene, but Hughes steps in his way.
"Listen Hughes, this is not time for a lecture." Ed fails to notice several of the customers are glaring at him. "You may not realize it, but that man there is-"
"We're on the eve of a war, Edward." A serious Hughes interrupts. "That spineless regime in Berlin will be overthrown and the Fuhrer will lead this nation to greatness. Noah is helping us get there."
Edward is shocked by this two-fold betrayal.
Hughes continues. "Or didn't you realize? Everyman here is a member of the same group fighting for a stronger country- the Nationalist Socialist Workers Party!" Hughes reveals a signet on his coat- the swastika of the Nazis. Worse, everyone here is wearing the same thing!
Edward makes a run for it, but Hughes pulls him back (Hughes seems to be a rather strong fellow! His counterpart was able to carry Edward with his automail parts). He shoves the boy to another man.
The door explodes, the quake and dust getting everyone's notice, including Edward's captor, who lets him go.
Edward sees Fritz Lang has crashed his limo through the door! "Come on, get in!"
Edward complies with his demand. Hughes protests.
Edward and Lang drive back to the abandoned castle. "You do want to go to Haushofer's villa, correct?"
"Yeah. Why are you helping me?"
"Who knows? Maybe I'm trying to avoid being forced out of my dream."
Edward just smiles at this weird chain of events. To be rescued by Bradley from the clutches of Hughes. What a night!
The two drive to the castle. In its courtyard is the Biplane that Envy downed.
At the factory beneath the villa, Al H. shows Hess the finished ships, with its rockets blazing successfully. "We're ready for test flights. We just need some kinda transport."
Hess has other ideas. "Sorry, Alphonse, I thought I made it clear. We don't need to move the rockets to test them."
Al H. and his crew are puzzled by Hess' words. Are they going to launch the ships in the factory?
Hess makes a gesture. The ceiling opens up. The factory is right under the great hall! Al H. is astonished to see a snake winded upon the top. He spots a higher balcony where Noah is standing with Eckhart and Haushofer.
Hess confirms the inventor's discovery. "She's the Gypsy psychic we've been looking for. It's a blessing you kept her here in Munich, Alfonse."
Alphonse is confused. "Why is she here?"
"She's the key that will open the great door, to Shamballa!"
From her balcony, Noah is startled that the Thule Society was able to put together the images of her visions so quickly.
Eckhart is cool about her achievement. "You're sure that's what you saw when you were inside Edward Elric's mind?"
Noah sadly nods her head.
"So everything Ed knows about Alchemy you now know."
"Yes, mine." Noah isn't too happy about her mind-peep.
A projector scans an image of an Alchemy array upon the ceiling. Workmen on cranes trace-paint the symbols on it.
Eckhart and Haushofer question Noah for answers. "The magic- no, the transmutation circle. Isn't that their phrase?"
"Is there some incantation?"
Noah admits to no spells; The alchemists must separate energy between themselves and the circle.
The ceiling array begins to glow.
Eckhart is pleased. "It seems we have a visitor. Knocking on the other side of Shamballa's door."
Earth A, Central Command Center. Winry and Scieszka squeeze through a small tunnel. The bookworm is nostalgic. "It's been a long time since we've gone sneaking around like this."
"Are you sure this leads to the old Fuhrer's office?" They feel vibrations.
Underground, the glowing array Alphonse created dies down.
"It failed. There's something missing. What is it?" Al receives a flash of memories. Of Edward and himself attempting to resurrect their mother. His being pulled into the gate dimension. His naked form standing before the gate. "I did see the gate on that day. If this one works the same way…then the equivalent exchange to make it open…" He grapples himself. "It has to be!"
Wrath's senses hit paydirt. A stone slab comes flying at them! Wrath and Al dodge it. A giant creature comes out of the wall. The monstrosity is completely white, stemmed with bleeding lacerations. Two large forearms bear its front. Three giant tentacles are at its end. Its bulging neck protrudes legs. And on its head, Wrath recognizes the creature: Gluttony!
The much-changed Homunculus spots the two, drooling happily at the new prey.
Alphonse is confused by this creature, so Wrath gives him a quick explanation. "He is one of the seven like me. A monster!"
The Gluttony monster roars. Because of Dante's lobotomy and its monstrous appetite, all humanoid traces of this Homunclus are now gone. Only hunger remains. The creature swiftly leaps to the two's position, swatting Wrath away. The smaller Homunculus lands upon a building, with Gluttony on destructive chase.
Alphonse attempts to help, clapping his hands together. But a backlash of red currents from the circle knocks him down.
Earth Prime. On the night of November 8th, at the Beer Hall where the able men of Bavaria gather, Nazi Storm Troopers break in and arrest all of them. Their Fuhrer Adolf Hitler stands atop a table and wield his guns. He will urge the state militia to rise and join his party. Together, they will march into Berlin and conquer the state. His followers march through the streets, making house arrests. Hughes, brandishing a Nazi armband and rifle, marches alongside them.
At the villa, Hess reports the news to Eckhart. "We have to act now, and open the road to Shamballa! We have to supply the Fuhrer with the arsenal that we've promised!"
Haushofer protests. "We're not even sure we can survive the trip."
"Then its time we find out!"
Beside them, Noah casts her arms upward, trying to open the portal. To no avail.
Eckhart is disappointed. "Elric's knowledge is not enough. She can't open the door."
They hear plane sounds.
Outside, Edward and Fritz Lang fly the Biplane above the villa. Getting assurance of Lang's flying skills, Edward gives the pilot's cockpit to him. Standing upon the wing, he jumps and drops into the dome. Crashing through a window, Edward lands on one side of the balcony, with Eckhart and Noah at the opposite side.
Down below, Al H. and his crew are surprised to see their fellow colleague's dramatic entrance. "I guess we don't have to pick him up now."
Eckhart gives some humor to this entrance. "And here he is, dropped from the heavens. It looks like we can't do this without you."
From his spot, Edward confronts both women. "You mean using Noah as my stand-in didn't work? How could you?"
Noah pleads for understanding. "But it's your world on the other side, isn't that right, Edward?"
"But it's not Shamballa, I can promise you that."
"But I want to see it! No, I want to go there and never come back! Isn't that the only place where I can belong? Another world where people won't hate and distrust me!"
Edward is unsympathetic. "I thought the Roma were proud of their ways. Constant travelers who valued their tribe and no need for a homeland."
"But I want something more! I've always dreamed of it!"
"Trust me, Noah," Edward declares with full knowledge. "What lies ahead for us now, it's no dream!"
Earth A, Underground City. Wrath tries to evade Gluttony, but the giant Homunculus is quicker and more powerful. Wrath finds himself flying- not by his own ability- into walls and pillars. He crashes to the floor near Al. Gluttony follows, splashing into a small pond. This brings a brief rainfall upon the bedraggled Wrath. He sees the tails of Gluttony take life. Each tail has legs and a face of its own. Blood continues leaking out of its skin, spewing out something. Philosopher stones! This catches Wrath's eye. He charges after Gluttony. The creature comes the opposite direction. But instead of attacking, Wrath slides upon the wet floor right under the creature. Now on the other side, he looks for the stones. He grabs some. Gluttony swats him into the waters. Drowning, the little Homunculus grabs and chews the stones.
Gluttony's tails tear through the floor to reach its prey. Alphonse watches helplessly as these tails catches Wrath and flings him into the air, ready for the final attack. But the recharged Wrath is back in action. All three tails lunge at the prey. Alphonse is horrified to see a splash of blood. But it's coming out from one of the tails, its head decapitated. Wrath lands gracefully on his feet. Gluttony throws another tail at him. Wrath stops it cold, twisting its head off. The pained Gluttony swats its hand on Wrath, but the Homunculus somersaults to safety. He lets himself open for the monster, but before contact is made, he leapfrogs backwards, upon the center of the transmutation circle.
As Gluttony lurks closer, Wrath rams his automail fist into the circle. The impact shatters the metal casing, exposing wires and gears. Gluttony comes charging, teeth gaping after its prey. Impact is made. Wrath tenses, his mouth drooling blood. Gluttony chews upon his torso, but Wrath's automail anchors both Homunculus to the floor.
Wrath weakly turns to Alphonse. "D-do it."
Alphonse is astonished by Wrath's request.
"T-transmute us both…then the gate will open…to take us back.
Alphonse reasons out the information. "Of course, the gate always opened when a Homunculus was brought to life. Those who opened the gate can be material to open it."
"That's right. That's why I came with you."
Al sweats at the scheme.
"I know you wanted to offer your own life, as the price for saving your bro-ther!" Wrath winces as Gluttony tries yanking him. "I never want to see that happen. Never again!"
"Wait! You mean you want to-"
Wrath softly looks up. "Right. I just want to go home…where mommy is."
Gluttony's mouth crushes the Homunculus' body, exploding with blood. The agony on Wrath's face is terrible. "Now!"
Alphonse is hesitant, remembering the taboo of transmuting living things. But he makes his choice. He charges to the two Homunculus, claps his hands and makes contact. A bright light engulfs everything.
Wrath, now naked and complete in body, finds himself in the place he fears most- the dimension of the Gate. But he stands before it unafraid. The Gate opens, revealing not the black forms of its children. Instead, a bright light shines from its opening. A naked figure stands at the portal. Izumi. She spreads out her arms to welcome her son. Wrath walks to her. They embrace. A content smile lifts Wrath's face as both son and mother disintegrate into the light.
This transmutation sends an aftershock all the way to Earth Prime. The wave from the ceiling circle knocks Hess, Haushofer, and Noah. Only Eckhart braves it without problem. She sees Edward pull out a pistol.
"I wouldn't do that!" Eckhart pulls a lever. The canvas covering Envy's head is removed. Hanging from the serpent's jaw is Hohenheim!
A shocked Edward lowers his pistol. "Dad? What's he doing here? What's going on?!"
While Haushofer and Noah shudder at this gruesome display, Eckhart appears proud of herself. "We found that this was the most effective approaching for keeping the Great Serpent calm and quiet. Luckily for us your father doesn't die so easily."
Indeed, the bloodied Hohenheim even keeps a straight face over his torture. He greets Edward like this was a normal family reunion.
"How, Dad? How did they catch you?"
"Easily. I wanted to create a portal between our worlds by using the science and magic they study at this side of the Gate. Haushofer gave me a proposal."
Edward holsters his pistol, ready to act. "I'm getting you down!"
"Son, no! This is what I wanted. Consider it: I failed to bring my son back to life. Instead I turned him into a monster and abandoned him. I took the lives of countless people to save myself and couldn't stop this beast from hurting you."
Envy growls over the insult.
Edward refuses such intentions. "So what? Why are those reasons for helping them?"
Hohenheim looks up at the glowing array on the ceiling. This gives Edward an epiphany. "You're trying to get me home?"
"I'll offer my life as the price and transmute Envy to open the portal."
Edward is despondent over his father's plans. "Forget the portal! I don't need to go back!"
"Give my regards to Al," Hohenheim grabs both sides of Envy's mouth, pulling them closer. The serpent's eye shivers. Reluctance? But it is done. Envy's mouth leaks out blood. A horrified Edward falls to his knees, watching this blood shower. Hohenheim of Light is dead. His eldest son, the Homunculus Envy, is engulfed in the transmutation. A giant portal opens. Lined with the black matter of the Gate, the warp shines inside it.
Edward doesn't notice. He has lost the father he resented, hated, but most of all loved. He stares downward blank-eyed. Eckhart shoots the grief-stricken boy with her pistol. He falls off the balcony. A shocked Noah confronts Eckhart. The chairman bats her aside. The gypsy is knocked unconscious. The chairman dispassionately leaves with her minions. "Prepare the rockets, we're going through!"
"Really, you're the lucky one, Ed." Alfonse H's words enter Edward's head as he regains consciousness. He finds himself heavily strapped inside the cockpit of a small rocket-powered plane. Al H. urges whispering.
"I've set everything up so you can go home. You can take this second rocket while Eckhart isn't looking. You ready?"
Nearby, an armored Eckhart, Haushofer, and Hess watch their armored soldiers fill the rocket ships. "Lieutenant, inform the Fuhrer of our situation." Hess salutes her and leaves. Eckhart then turns to Haushofer. "Professor, is the portal fully stabilized by now?"
"It seems to be, but that's not the point. I don't believe it's Shamballa! I believe Ed's right!"
"Yes, I realize that." A stoic Eckhart shoots the Professor.
At the small plane, Edward notes that his fake arm had received the bullet. Al H. criticizes the chairman's poor shot. "Our rocket is peaked at 200 kilometers a second. Should be enough speed to punch through the pressure and get out safe. That's Haushofer's theory anyway. This one-seater shouldn't have any problem."
"Wait a minute. I never said I wanted to go!"
Al H. smiles. "I'm not giving you a choice, Ed."
"Cause I'm in the way? You're trying to get rid of me?"
Al H. shakes his head, turning serious. "We're real, Ed. We're not part of your dreams as you thought."
Edward tenses. Now he realizes now how much his yearnings have hurt his best friend!
Al H. continues. "I care, and I make mistakes. I may not live much longer, but I'm still here." Resuming his smile, the young scientist touches Edward's hand. "Just don't forget me."
Al H. seals the cockpit shut, much to Edward's protests and screams. The inventor heads to a console and works it. From a sled, the plane is raised upward to the portal. Edward frantically screams for Al H. to stop, trying to break the straps on him. The propulsion engine fires up. Lieutenant Hess spots the plane taking off. He fires at it, to no avail.
The inventor looks up at his success. Then his face flinches as Hess turns his bullets on him. A happy expression comes as he sinks. Alfonse Heiderich is dead before he hits the ground.
From the balcony, Noah awakens. She sees the rocket plane coming passed her.
Edward and Noah lock eyes from their different positions. Edward takes a sad look at the only person in this world who ever believed him.
"Edward, take me with you!"
The pilot strains away, hitting the controls for full speed. His plane launches into the portal. Noah screams Edward's name, then kneels in despair.
The Thule Society airship also launches into the portal. Two more airships follow. Hess looks up and departs to assist in the Putsch. Alfonse Heiderich lies dead on the floor, his face bearing peace.
To be continued
NEXT TIME: After years of the conquering nation, Amestris suffers its own invasion from the Germans! State Alchemists return to fight the invaders! Friends and families reunite, but it won't last…
Jul 13 2010, 06:17 PM
A very concerned Alphonse Elric finds himself surrounded by scarlet transmutation arrays. His position is a red center surrounded by one giant blue circle covering the entire underground city. Buildings of past civilizations are leveled in the phenomenon. From the red center a ray of light points to the top. From that top, a portal is created. This clearly frightens Al, but he remains resolute.
Inside the warp, Edward's rocket Biplane manages to avoid the Gate children. The following rocketships prove not so lucky. Gate children pollute each ship, infecting and killing the crews. The infected Eckhart laughs in this massacre.
The phenomenon in the underground city creates a quake on the surface of Central. In the Command Center, Winry and Sciezska finally reach the Fuhrer's office. The bookcase secret passage breaks apart, and the floor collapses. The two girls fall to their possible deaths. Nearby, Riza, Havoc, Falman, and Fuery (cowering to the floor) watch the disaster to the city.
Underground, Alphonse is bewildered to see a small object fly out of the portal. He gets a bigger shock seeing a giant flying machine following it. This rocketship is completely enshrouded by Gate children, almost resembling a winged gargoyle. Such trappings are on Eckhart as well. Transformed into some human-Gate children hybrid, she trembles in excitement. "Could it be?"
Eckhart stretches her arm, bearing array-displayed gloves. The ship forms Alchemy circles, creating cannons capable of grand destruction. Eckhart is astonished by her new abilities. "This power…the magic I've learned…now it's real!" She smiles, completely insane.
Below, Winry and Sciezska survive their fall thanks to the power of artistic license. They land on a giant carpet covered with Philosopher stones. They spot the two ships in the sky. This gives Sciezska ideas. "So now you believe in space aliens?"
Winry blows her off. "Feh, don't start that again!"
Alphonse runs to them. Winry wants questions. Al is guilty about answers. "I don't know. All I did was open the Gate."
Sciezska then freaks to see the smaller vessel heading toward them. The three see the rocket Biplane hit the ground and come apart in a nasty crash. There's some smoke. It clears to reveal someone. Winry is stunned by her recognition of the pilot. She walks closer, away from a confused Al and Sciezska.
Regaining consciousness, Edward rubs his head. "The landing still needs some work-"
"Edward?" Again, the young man is startled by a familiar voice calling his name. He looks. Winry! The girl makes a brave face. "I was wondering when you'd show." She embraces him, causing Ed to go blushy. "Welcome home." Edward is entranced with similar feelings. "Thanks."
Then he hears the call of 'Brother!' Edward spots Sciezska. He also sees, for the first time in six years, a flesh-and-blood Alphonse Elric. "I knew I'd see you again."
"Yeah." Edward's face speaks volumes over seeing his brother again. They see the bigger ship tearing through the ceiling. Edward gives information. "It's a rocket-powered airship, and it's armed."
Al tenses with discomfort. It grows as Edward continues. "They came to conquer this world, and use any power they can take from us to fuel their own war."
This revelation hits Al. "It's my fault."
"So you're the one? You made this gate on our side?"
Al can hear no more. Totally misinterpreting his brother's questions as condemnations, the younger Elric runs away. Edward tries to follow but trips and falls. The constant impacts he has made in both worlds have wrecked his prosthetic leg. Suddenly, a calm Winry opens her suitcase. "Same old Ed. Home for five minutes and you're off to another adventure. But you can't go into battle with THAT arm and leg." Edward and Sciezska are stunned to see the suitcase contents are a newly modified automail arm and leg. "You've been lugging this around this whole time?" asks Sciezska.
Edward is very pleased. "Great! But I don't think they'll fit me. I've grown ya know."
Grasping an automail arm, a confident Winry stares back. "Who do you think you're dealing with here?"
On the surface, a block at Central explodes. From it, the rocketship makes its entrance into the skies. Armored soldiers, covered in Gate children muck, drop out from the ship, land, and open fire with their rifles. These monster soldiers don't seem very concerned on where they fire their firearms, but that doesn't lessen their danger. People flee from these monsters. After years of unleashing terrible bloodshed on other countries, Amestris is now the city to be attacked! Soon the battle leads to the Command Center. Hawkeye, Havoc, Falman, Breda, Feury and other soldiers form sack-made forts to defend the building. Among them, Riza is most adept killing the attackers via precise shots in the head. Havoc also blows one away with his shotgun. The civilian Alex Armstrong then jumps to the occasion. Tearing off his coat and shirt, the Alchemist sets off. "Behold my beautiful artistic Alchemy!" Ramming his gauntlets onto the pavement creates a swarm of giant head busts (of guess who) that sweeps the invaders back. Feury peeks out to praise Armstrong; Falman keeps the poor sergeant from getting hit by a giant boulder. Armstrong makes a backward somersault into the fort, reuniting with his allies. "Major Armstrong. Who are they?"
"They are the same ones who were in Liore. But something's changed."
The fallen soldiers regain their stand. Worse, the invaders are now on top of the Command Center, climbing down the banner. The military open fire on them. Some of them are suddenly distracted. A new figure has entered the scene. Corporal Roy Mustang has returned. He snaps his fingers. The invading force is completely incinerated. Breda and Havoc smile; the Flame Alchemist is back! Hawkeye is especially happy.
But Mustang is in no mood for welcomes. He gives orders. "Warrant Officer Falman. Take a squadron and defend the assembly hall. Sgt. Fuery, inform the mechanized division. We need a tank unit in Central now. Crush their ranks, go!"
"Y'know, he gives a lot of orders for an enlisted man," Havoc jokes, until Roy turns to him and Breda. "The Command Center is our last stronghold. Tell the generals to stop wasting time and come defend it." The two obey and go.
The Flame Alchemist than stands before his fellow colleague. "Major Armstrong." Mustang pauses, then smiles. "Y'know, if we're going to get to that aircraft-"
"Right, you'll need a way to fly. Got it." Armstrong moves out.
Roy sees Hawkeye. She salutes him with a cherubic face. "We've been waiting for you sir."
Underground, Winry adds the finishing screws to Ed's automail. "Y'know, sometimes I think you enjoy causing me pain." Edward stands up, and tests his new arm and leg. He is the Fullmetal Alchemist once again! Sciezska is impressed. Winry is calmer, but has the same feelings. "Considering all the guesswork, I'd say I've done an okay job don'tcha think?"
Rumbling sounds break the moment. More ships are coming through the portal. Edward grabs his overcoat. "Hide somewhere!" He takes off and leaves the girls.
Three more airships leave the portal. One crashes. Edward runs after them.
On the destroyed streets, soldiers make barricades with tanks and trucks to fight against the invaders. From her ship, Eckhart gloats at inevitable victory. "It appears we emerged in the capital city of this land." Her cool grace has been replaced with cruel glee. She will destroy this city! Eckhart notes the two rocketships joining her airborne. One of them flies too close for comfort. She is shocked to spot Edward on top of that ship!
The Fullmetal Alchemist holds on for dear life on his ship. Against the battering wind currents, he struggles to clap his hands. He succeeds, transmuting the ship into a balloon with wing flaps, eyes, and a faucet nose. As Eckhart's rocketship shoots it, this seemingly harmless balloon explodes. Edward lands on another ship, hopeful of his victory. But he double-takes when he sees Eckhart's ship escape damage, swarming toward him with transmuted cannons! Eckhart is delighted at destroying ship and passenger. But she only succeeds in causing an unhurt Edward to descend through the air. A clap transmutes his overcoat into a makeshift parachute. He does not make a soft landing, crashing into an awning. Stumbling out of it okay, Edward sees the ruins of Central.
He's not the only one ashamed. Alphonse wanders in dread at the carnage he played a part in. Edward meets up with him, with no intention to condemn. "Hey, I'm surprised you made your way into the surface."
"It was Wrath. He showed me all the ways out beforehand."
"Wrath?" Edward suddenly remembers the Homunculus who so wanted to be him.
"That's right," Al speaks his horrible experience. "I made that permanent gate by transmuting him."
Edward is horrified by his brother's action. Al's innocence, which Edward has tried to preserve by taking their sins into himself alone, is now lost. This sin will haunt poor Alphonse for the rest of his life.
An explosion interrupts the moment. Once the dust settles, the Brothers see a wrecked building. Under the rubble, they spot a dead child's bloody hand. Edward takes this tragedy with resolute strength. Alphonse, unfortunately, can't remember Nina, Marta, and Hughes. The lack of these experiences renders the boy completely vulnerable. This death drives him berserk. He charges after the corpse, clapping his hands together. Edward stops him. "No! You can't bring back the dead, Al. Trying just only causes more pain."
But the return of sanity proves no comfort for the younger Elric. Alphonse collapses in sorrow. "Brother…is all this…my fault? Why's it all turning out this way? I just…I wanted…"
Edward gives a consoling hand. "I know. You were just trying to bring me back home, Al. For whatever reason, Wrath wanted to help. That sacrifice was his choice. The other Al wanted to get me home too, like he did something meaningful. And Noah wanted a place to belong. We all had our excuses, and they all seemed right to us, and no one thought it would lead to suffering like this. I know that none of us were planning to start a war. But still, a war is what we got and so all of us take the blame."
Al's eyes pop out in realization.
"Do you understand? That's why we have to make it right! And defend this world as long as we're alive! We can't keep living like our own dreams are all that matter. Okay?"
Al looks to Ed's determination. He absorbs his strength as his own. He rises.
Back at HQ, Roy and Riza dispatch invading monsters with their respective abilities in Alchemy and firearms. Roy then heads to the courtyard where Armstrong and several soldiers have gathered a balloon. Roy is satisfied with this desperate result. The Flame Alchemist dips his hand inside the canvas, inflating it with his power. By the time Riza catches up with Roy, he is already in the air.
"Stop! What are you doing?" Riza is frantic, forcing Armstrong to restrain her.
"Sorry, Lieutenant!" Roy elevates with one hand providing the hot air to the balloon. "Only room for one!"
"You liar! Come back!"
In the streets, Winry and Sciezska reach the surface. They see a glowing apparition on a building roof. The Brothers Elric transmute the building's materials to elevate themselves into the air! "All this time, and you haven't lost your touch!"
"Give me a little credit, Al!"
Eckhart's ship opens fire upon the root of this makeshift elevator. The impact nearly throws Ed and Al off their creation. They grapple to the edge. Eckhart swarms in for attack, but her cannon gets incinerated.
Edward then hears yet another familiar voice. "If you're gonna strike, strike now Fullmetal!"
They spot a balloon. It's General Mustang! (Edward doesn't know about Roy's demotion) Roy finally smiles.
Regaining their balance, the Brothers transmute their elevator into a long spear that stabs the rocketship, holding it suspended. Roy and the Brothers jump onto this spear and run toward the ship. Some words are shared between the Alchemists Flame and Fullmetal.
"What a way to bring your trouble home with you, Fullmetal! Really nice!"
"Heh, smart remarks already? Nice patch by the way, though it should've covered your mouth too!
Al is apologetic. "Sorry sir, ignore him!"
Roy incinerates assault after assault. He will cover the Brothers Elric as they get inside the ship. That's why he came. The Brothers take charge, heading to a hole in the ship. Roy whispers his pleasure about Edward's return. "I always knew you were alive." Seeing a cannon morph before him, Roy faces it with a smile.
Feeling the resultant explosion, Eckhart is frustrated by her lack of attack. Her bridge is covered with grotesque Gate children statues of her crew. She hears the door behind her open. Edward enters. His view of Eckhart is blocked by her chair. He hears her words, "This land is completely foreign. Not like my own."
"You're wrong about that, Eckhart. People here laugh and weep just like you. Live the same. Die the same."
With a roar, the Eckhart creature lashes out. With an Alchemic array, her arm elongates around Edward's right arm. The Fullmetal Alchemist stays his ground. "There is one thing I want to know. What made you start this attack? I thought the point was to use the weapons of this world to conquer your own! So why would you want to wage war here!"
"Because I have to! This entire world must perish!"
"Because I fear it! Opening a door to a new world was thrilling at first. A utopia that would make us greater. But then I realized how different it was from our own. I got scared. This world was far too strong to be trusted. I have to destroy it now before it conquers us!
"That's ridiculous! This world has no reason to conquer yours!"
"How can you know that?"
"Because we're humans like you!"
"Liar! You may wear the same skin as us, but inside you're different. You're monsters!"
Ed has heard enough. "Now I know what type of person you are!" The Fullmetal Alchemist transmutes a sword upon his Automail arm. Eckhart forms her own sword weapon. The two clash blades. Eckhart fights wildly, but Edward is truly the better fighter.
Eckhart tries another tactic. She opens a door, revealing a horde of transmuted soldiers. These troops surround Edward.
"It's human nature. We cannot accept what we don't see in ourselves. We fear it, and reject it, and that is the beginning of war. When I see you, I see a beast. That's why I can take your own life! Kill him!"
No response to her order. The monster soldiers turn on her instead.
Alphonse enters the scene. "Alchemy can give us all sorts of abilities. This is one of mine."
Now the soldiers walk to the terrified Eckhart. Like an animal, she panics, screaming at the monster soldiers to stay away.
Outside, the ship breaks free of the stone spear.
On the ground, Feury, Falman, Havoc, Breda watch from their position. The invaders are collapsing like toys. Armstrong and Riza note this. "I get the feeling its over," Armstrong deduces, holding two of the armors.
"Yes," Riza relaxes her guard.
In the air, Alphonse and Roy stand on the wing, looking for their next move. They turn back to see Edward remaining in the hole of the ship. Edward has his eyes closed, as if dealing with a hard decision.
"What now?" asks Roy.
With a clap, Edward kneels to the wing, severing it by transmutation.
From their position, Roy and Al are stunned. "Brother? Brother what are you doing?" Al tries to move closer, but Roy grabs him.
"That should be enough alchemic material to get yourselves down." Edward is graceful in his words. Al shivers at the implications. Roy is calmer. "And what about you? Where will you go?"
"I'm going to take what's left of these soldiers and return to their world."
Al moves closer, getting restrained by the Corporal. "Why?! You don't have to go with them!"
"I have to break the gate on their side. I need you to stay here, Al, to destroy it at this side too. So the portal can never be open again." He turns away.
"What about Winry? Don't you know she misses you too?"
Al's words stop Edward cold. But his choice is made. He faces Al again, probably for the last time. He displays his automail arm. "Tell her thanks. She always made the best."
Alphonse is in complete sorrow. With tears flying off his eyes, he screams at his departing brother. "Wait! Brother, no! I just got you back! I can't let you go again!"
From below, Winry and Schiezska see the ship rocket away (leaving something in the air).
"That's Ed. I know it."
Sciezska is startled at Winry's words. Calm facially, only her eyes bear her sorrow. "So, I guess this is goodbye for good."
Earth Prime, the underground factory of Haushoufer's villa. Haushofer, wounded in the arm, kneels before Noah, who is cradling Alfonse Heiderich's corpse.
Soldiers enter the room, led by Hughes. "The uprising's failed!"
Haushofer is shocked. He hears Hughes' report. Munich Command figured out their plan and got the police to block the march. The other demonstrators were divided and beaten back.
We get a shot of Hess carrying an insane Hitler away from the disaster (They will both be arrested and serve prison time. They shall be released, and Hitler shall fulfill his destiny…)
"And did the Fuhrer get away?"
Hughes shakes his head much to Haushofer's despair. "We really were too late."
Hughes is shocked to see the dead Al H. Unlike his fellow Stormtroopers, despairing over the Putsch's failure, it's probably this sight that truly hurts him. He hangs his head down to grieve. But a strange sound puts that on hold. Everyone looks up to see the portal. A giant ship falls out of the gate, flung by black tentacles. It crashes near the company, the impact nearly knocking them away.
The door opens. A grotesque creature walks out from it. It resembles a brown Gumby, with tubes on its mouth and legs. Its perspective of the company is red and alien. It spots Noah. It speaks to her in a monstrous voice. "Open it again! The doorway! Do it now! I must destroy it! Shamballa!"
The horrified witnesses retreat. But Hughes stays at his place, seeing a greater danger. Noah is in the monster's path! The Nazi Constable grimaces at this situation; his prejudice clashes with his humanity. But there is no choice. He charges forward, shooting the creature in the head. The monster pauses, than collapses. Its brown skin expands like a bubble, popping to reveal inside a dead human Dietline Eckhart. The once beautiful chairman now bears a terrified face, revealing the true ugliness of her soul.
Hughes is aghast at this sight. His beliefs have been shattered, but he understands now. Again, another sound takes his attention. Something else is coming out of the ship. It's Edward Elric! Hughes and Noah are astonished by their friend's entry. The exhausted but calm Edward recognizes them. "Noah? That's right! For all that trouble I'm still here. Surprised?" But when he sees the corpse of Alfonse Heiderich, Ed's straight face breaks into grievous horror.
Noah walks to him. "But why? Why did you come back to our world, Ed?"
The young man is distracted from his grief-stricken funk by Noah's question. "That's hard to explain."
"He came to destroy the Gate." A voice speaks from a suit of armor.
Edward and Noah are surprised, but Edward knows better. He kneels to the armor. "So you transferred your soul again, huh Al? How long 'till you fade out this time?"
Evidently it is very brief, for the helmet falls off. Out pops Alphonse Elric!
"Al? What are you doing here?" Edward is at a loss seeing his brother unfasten the chest plate. "I jumped on your ship at the last minute Brother. Then I hid inside this armor, so you wouldn't find me. General Mustang must be destroying the Gate from the other side now. And we're going to destroy it at this side, right?"
Despite the beautiful implications, Edward is still cynical. "But you won't be able to go home, Al."
Alphonse rises from the armor, his intentions clear by the smile on his face. "I wanna be at your side, Brother. No matter what. I wanna see the same things, and live with you, Ed. And keep on journeying together. Like those years we went searching for the stone. Despite the hardships, those were the best times we had."
Edward is surprised at the meaning of those last words. "Al? Are you trying to tell me your memory's back?"
Alphonse nods. "When I left my own world, I think."
A true satisfaction fills Edward's face. "Equivalent Exchange, huh?" With renewed spirit, he stands up and looks up at the gate portal. "Closing that Gate's gonna be a challenge without Alchemy."
Alphonse joins him. "Between the two of us, we'll figure it out." The Brothers Elric look to each other and stare back to their new assignment.
Outside, policeman and soldiers round up the Putsch rebels. Fritz Lang watches them. "Motion pictures and weapons of war. Science has created them both. So while others point their guns, I'll have my camera, offering fantastic dreams of other worlds, just beyond our reach."(Lang will continue his work, creating masterpieces like Metropolis, M, and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. The political climate in Germany will force him to emigrate eventually for America- his wife Thea remains in Germany- where he continues his filmmaking with Fury, Scarlet Street, and The Big Heat. He will outlive his Homunculus counterpart to 1976 at the age of eighty-five).
Gracia opens her flower shop. She stops and turns around. She spots a man watching her from an alley. He retreats into his hiding place. It is Hughes. Gracia smiles. From the alley, Hughes hesitates, but it's useless. With a smile on his face, Hughes comes out and walks toward his lady love to confess his feelings.
A day or so later, a funeral is in session. With assist from drum and guitar, Noah dances in a white dress. She dances before the grave of Alfonse Heiderich, covered with a picture and flowers. In the crowd are his chimera-doppelganger colleagues, the Elric Brothers (dressed in black), as well as Hughes and Gracia.
We return to the Munich countryside. Noah stops a car. Getting permission for a ride, she signals for her friends. Edward and Alphonse head to the car (Alphonse, his hair short again, wears his doppelganger's clothes). Their faces cringe at who is at the front seat: the Earth Prime counterpart of Scar and his brother's girlfriend (a.k.a. Lust). Noah smiles knowingly. The viewer then sees the trip through their eyes. Telephone poles. "So, where are we headed now, Brother?"
"First we track down that Uranium Bomb that was brought here from the other side. A weapon like can't exist, whichever world it's heading."
The truck runs over a discarded poster of Adolf Hitler (his left eye in shadow).
"People are saying another great war's inevitable here, and from everything's that's going on, maybe they're right. Are you sure we should get involved in their battles?"
"Like I said Al, we can't keep thinking we're all that matter. That the world has nothing to do with us."
They pass Gracia's shop, where the owner is giving flowers to a woman and daughter. They pass the Beer Hall, its door still wrecked.
"That goes for both sides of the Gate. This is where we live. This is our home now. And we have to do our part."
Edward has a determined smile on his face. Alphonse does likewise. Away from their home, but no longer alone, the Brothers Elric head off to what adventures await them in this world.
Earth A, Rockbell residence. Pinako looks on as Armstrong and Rose play with their brood of adopted children. Inside the house, a sad but content Winry works on her dog Den's automail arm. On the wall are four pictures. Winry and the Brothers as children. The Brothers Elric at their mother's funeral. The Brothers with Nina Tucker and her dog Alexander. Winry with Elysia Hughes.