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The Nature Alchemist
laugh.gif Hi everyone. This is my first FMA fanfic. It might not look like I put in paragraphs, but I did. It's just that I copied and pasted it from my word document. I'm osrry that it's so long, but I just hate breaking a story up into a lot of different segments. Enjoy. biggrin.gif P.S. please reply and tell me what you think. I'm starting to worry. unsure.gif

"Predator, you needn't be here." The boy explained as he blocked my way into Central City Headquarters. I tried to push him aside, but he used his alchemy to hold me off. "Predator, you can't go in there, you aren't an alchemist."

"Edward, I need to get in there." I explained as I sat on a bench just outside the door. "I have to see Mustang. I need to see him just once more before…"

"Predator, Colonel Mustang isn't seeing anybody today. He is still in recovery from the battle in Aerugo. Predator, if you go in there, you won't be able to even practice alchemy in your own house."

"Ed, I have to see Mustang. I can heal him. Please understand, Ed. If you don't let me in there he will die. If he dies…" My throat tightened from the thought of loosing Mustang. I loved him too dearly to even think about what would happen if he died.

"Ed, let her in." Al explained as he put him armor hand on my shoulder.

"Al, you know the rules. If I let her in, then I get my title taken away and they need me."

"Ed, break the rules just once. She knows more about this than us. If she says that she is the only way to save Colonel Mustang, then she is telling the truth."

I looked up through tear filled eyes to see Ed staring down at me. He was trying to figure out what to do. He still hadn't noticed the silver chain hanging from my cloak pocket.

"I can't believe how blind you are, Ed." I cried as I stood and pulled the watch from the pocket. "I am a state alchemist. Boss said for me not to tell anyone, promise that you'll keep my secret."

"I will." He said as he stared at my watch dumbstruck.

I walked by him and into the courtyard of Central Headquarters. I could go ahead and see Mustang, but I need to check with Hawkeye before I saw him. I needed to know if I should heal him or just put him out of his misery. I knew what I would do, but I needed to hear it from Hawkeye.

"Oh, Predator." Hawkeye greeted me as I walked up to her desk.

"How is he, Hawkeye?" I asked as I stared beyond her at his door.

"He is still in a coma. He's been like that all week. We're all really worried. Can you do anything?" She asked as she looked at me hopefully.

"I want to say that I can, but I'm not sure. You know that if I must, I will give my life for him. Can I go on back?"

"Yes, go ahead. I'll make sure that nobody disturbs you."

"Thanks, Hawkeye."

I walked past her desk to the door. I put my hand on the doorknob and forced myself to turn it. I turned to lead when the door flew open to reveal Mustang lying in bed with bandages covering hid body. The one covering his right shoulder and chest was stained red.

I slowly walked in and shut the door. There was a chair next to his bed. I sat in it and pulled up to his side. His black bangs clung to his sweat covered face. I yearend for his eyes to flicker open and him to reassure me that he would be fine, but I knew that was impossible.

"Mustang-" I just let the word hang in the air.

I had the same power that Edward had. I could use alchemy without a transmutation circle. I clapped my hands together and placed them on his chest. I watched hopefully as my green light surrounded him, then disappeared.

I waited a moment, then heard him moan. His left hand rose from his side and rubbed his forehead. He slowly opened his eyes, then blinked. It took him a second to get his bearings, but when he had he turned his head and looked at me.

"Grace, what are you doing here?" He asked as he settled his hand back at his side.

"I wasn't going to let you die." I explained as I picked up a cool wet rag with trembling hands and wiped the sweat from his face.

"You used up all of your energy." He said as he grabbed my right hand with his left, forcing me to drop the rag on his chest.

I reached for it with my left hand, but he beat me to it. I watched with blurred vision as he laid the rag on the table and took my right hand in his left.

"You shouldn't have done this. You could've killed yourself. Do you have any clue how lucky you are that you just used up most of your energy?"

I suddenly collapsed in the chair. I became short of breath and my eyes shut. I began to burn up and felt sweat form on my body. This had never happened before. Why was it happening now? Was it because I had used my alchemy on the fire alchemist?

Mustang immediately dropped my hand and swung his legs around to the side of the bed. I heard him stand and felt his arms around me as he lifted me from the chair and laid me where he had just been.

"Grace, hold on." His voice was fading. I couldn't focus my ears on any particular sound. Everything was muffled and much louder than it should've been.

I heard him as he struggled into his uniform and walked back to my side. I didn't feel it, but I knew that he had put his hand on my forehead to check my temperature when he jumped back. He hurried to the door and I heard him call to Hawkeye.

"Hawkeye, we've got a situation in here."

"Yes, Colonel."

I heard the door shut, but couldn't tell if I was alone or if Mustang was still there. I couldn't hear or feel anything now. I knew I drifted in and out of consciousness. The next thing I knew I was sitting up and staring at the darkened window.

I fell back to my pillow and rolled my head to the left. I first saw the nightstand and the lit candle it held. Beyond that I saw my friends. Edward, Alphonse, Hawkeye, Winry, Lieutenant Colonel Hughes, Major Armstrong, Second Lieutenant Havoc, and Mustang. They were all sitting around a table looking at something.

My hand flew to my side, but my cloak had been removed. They were most likely looking at my watch and wondering how I got it. I hadn't taken the test in Central, so they didn't know how I had gotten it.

"Why, hello there, stranger. Glad to see you're finally awake." Hughes said as he completed his stretched. He had realized that I was awake in mid-stretch.

"How's it going, Predator?" Havoc asked as he stood and walked to the end of the bed.

"Ed, looks like it worked." Winry said as she smiled to me.

"What are you looking at?" I asked in a whisper. My throat was dry.

Mustang looked at the table, which was still blocked from my view, then back at me. He grabbed my watch up with one hand and walked to my side. He then tossed it onto my chest.

I pulled it into my hand and stared at it. I could've broken it right then, but it wouldn't have done me any good.

"I know how you got that, but that's not really what we were looking at. I needed it to save you. Your jewels were needed to cure you." Ed explained as he walked to my side and held out his hand.

I placed the watch on his white glove and he flipped it open. I looked in and saw that one of the jewels had cracked. Really, it wasn't cracked. It looked like it had been cracked then glued back together.

"When you healed Mustang you used one of your jewels. You've relied on your alchemy so long that you've become dependant upon your jewels. When this jewel broke, you lost so much energy that it could've killed you." Ed explained.

I looked at Mustang and he smiled reassuringly. I gave a weak smile and tried to sit up. It was futile. As soon as I was in a sitting position, my chest began to throb and I cried out in pain. I fell back onto the pillow and curled into a ball.

"Predator, you can't go and try to sit up in your condition." Mustang used my assigned name. "The jewel might be fixed, but Ed has forced your body to rely on it's own strength now. You've been regaining body strength for the past three days. You need at least three more days of rest before you can get up."

“But…” I looked up at Mustang. He looked down at me, but his eyes showed no emotion. What had happened to my best friend? He wasn’t acting like himself. “Mustang…”

“Al,” Ed was the speaker. “We need to get going.”

“Yes, brother.”

I watched as Al and Ed left. Armstrong, Winry, and Hawkeye soon followed them. I was left with Hughes, Havoc, and Mustang. These were the three men that truly cared about me. I felt safe around them. They gave me a feeling of inner peace. When they were around everything was all right.

“Predator, you shouldn’t have risked your life like that. Mustang would’ve been fine.” Hughes explained as he put a hand on the end of the bed.

I just looked away from him. The feeling of security that I usually got from them had disappeared. I was uncomfortable now. What had I done wrong? I had helped my best friend; the man I loved. What was so wrong with that?

“Predator, talk to us.” Havoc hated it when I didn’t talk or smile.

I rotated myself so that I was completely supported by my left side. I just stared down at my blanket. I was willing to look at them. They were making me feel like I had done something wrong. What had I done to Mustang?

“Predator,” Mustang used my assigned name again and I could feel my heart ripping in two. “I’m grateful for what you did, but I’ve never seen alchemy used like that. How did you get your watch? Ed said he knew how you had done it, but I don’t. You never came to Central to take that test and this is the only place I knew of that you could take it.”

“If you’re thinking that it’s a copy, it’s not.” My voice was icy and tears threatened to break loose.

“We aren’t saying that, Predator.” Hughes explained. “We just want to know how you got it. We knew that you were doing alchemy in your house, but we overlooked it because it was nothing big. How did you suddenly go form house alchemy to a state alchemist?”

“Boss came to my house.” I whispered as I turned to my right side, away from them.

“Boss?” Havoc pulled away from the wall and turned to look at me. “Why did Boss come to your house?”

“Someone told him that I was using alchemy. He came to take me away and I used big alchemy.” I stopped and took a breath. “I managed to use it without hurting anyone though, so he was impressed. He immediately gave me the title as state alchemist. I got my name the day before I got here.”

“And?” Havoc asked.

“I am the Nature Alchemist. I can’t harm anyone so far. I can mainly only use force fields and healing spells. I’m now a Gun no Inu, just like you. I wish I could get out of this, everywhere I’ve been the past two weeks people have seen my watch and whispered Gun no Inu or military dog. I don’t want to give up my alchemy, though.”

“I’m not going to make you, Predator.” Mustang explained. “I just hate knowing that people are calling you a military dog. I wish you would get out so you could keep your free spirit, but you love alchemy and if you throw away your title, you’ll never be able to practice it again.”

I tried sitting up once more. I hated having to lay down while they were all standing over me. I tried using my arms to get me up, but I couldn’t move my left arm. I looked down and saw that it wasn’t there. I quickly shut my eyes and looked away.

“You didn’t notice it until now?” Havoc was worried. “We thought that you had already seen it and didn’t have a problem. Ed had to use human alchemy to heal you, we allowed him to even though it’s illegal. Your life was worth it. We had to sacrifice your left arm to keep you alive.

I looked at my arm through tear filled eyes. My mother had died to give me my body back after I had been trapped in a fire. I had now gone and ruined it. Why had I been so stupid? He would’ve gotten better, wouldn’t he?

“Winry is going to fix you up an auto-mail arm.” Hughes explained.

“Mother…” I whispered as I stared at the blanket and let my tears land on my right hand.

I heard Havoc and Hughes walk to the door. The door opened and I knew they had left. Mustang was still at my side. He had dealt with a situation like this once before, with Ed. Ed lost his left leg trying to bring his mother back using human alchemy. He then lost his right arm to transfer Al’s soul to a suit of armor.

“Your mother,” Mustang finally spoke to me as he use to. “I remember. She used human alchemy when you got caught in that fire. She gave her life to give you your body back.”

“She would say I’m ungrateful. Why did I do that, Mustang, why?” I grabbed my forehead with my right hand.

“I think I know, but I didn’t know that your feelings went that deep. You never made it obvious. I always thought that you just thought of me as a friend.”

“When I was caught in that fire, I kept thinking why weren’t you coming for me. Why weren’t you coming to save me? It was then that I realized that you only thought of us as friends. I was capable of using alchemy even then, but I didn’t use it to save myself because I hated knowing that you didn’t share my love.”

“By the time I got to the fire, it was too late. The house had collapsed. I’m the one that found what was left of your body. They had to drag me away from the sight. Later I heard that you were still alive and I felt sorry for you. They said that you would die. I tried to talk your mother out of using alchemy, but she was too stubborn.”

I looked up at Mustang. He understood what I was going through. He cupped my cheek with his hand. We just sat there like that until I finally managed to get my emotions under control.

“When is Winry going to fit me with my auto-mail?” I asked as I moved my right arm to support my weight.

“She’ll be here tomorrow.” My right arm failed and I fell back to the pillow. “Here, let me help.”

Mustang placed his right arm behind my back and pushed me up. He then helped me scoot back until I was resting against the headboard. I took a deep breath and looked across the room at the bookcase.

“Are all of those on alchemy?” I asked.

“Most of them. Others are on the military’s past. A couple are about my past.” He explained as he got up and walked of the case. “Would you like to read one.”

“If there is one on natural alchemy, I’d like to read that. I need to learn more about what I can do.”

*Please refer to my replys to hagane_no_tokage if your confused or upset about anything.*
hagane_no_tokage interesting opening... you've definitely got me intrigued...but that's partially due to...well, confusing me a little...

let's take this one thing at a time:

the good:

first of all, kudos on good spelling and grammar, and breaking the story up into paragraphs. you'd be amazed how much easier on the eyes a story is when it's in proper english and formatted correctly. so thanks for making it easy to read, for one thing. some people don't even make it that far... sleep.gif

second, the flow is quite nice... from action to dialogue and back again is smooth, and the dialogue you chose to use worked well for the characters. everyone seemed pretty well in-character (tho ed struck me as a little...mild, to be honest. even in tense, serious situations he tends to be a little more...brash... but overall not bad. happy.gif), and nothing struck me as really out of place.

thirdly, the pace was pretty good, also. the scene moved at a good speed, and movements from character to character were well-placed.

the bad:

and i use 'bad' loosely... it's really more, 'that which needs tweaking'...but you never hear anybody talk about, "the good, that which needs tweaking, and the ugly", now do you? O_o

first and foremost...uhm...your OC...

...yeah, who in the heck is she, where does she come from and...well...what does she look like? i suppose that it's acceptable to not describe the canon characters...since we should all know what they look like anyway...but one of the most important things about a new character is how your readers see them in their eyes. right now, we have no image to put with grace's name and title, and that's frustrating. plus, all we know about her is that she somehow managed to become a state alchemist, she conveniently did it outside of central to make it unbeknownst to ed, and she can amazingly transmute with no circle...*gasp*...just like ed! don't get me wrong...overall, your writing is a lot better than MANY fics i have stumbled across...but one of the downfalls of most of the fics i see is the infamous mary-sue...and right now, that's all this 'grace' character is. she's mysteriously part of the plot with no allusions to any forthcoming background story, she's got super-powers, more or less, she's apparently in love with roy, and she saves his life? *applauds* well, golly, she's just perfect, now, isn't she?

well, that's no fun... everyone wants perfection, but what does it really boil down to? someone with no flaws has no weaknesses, has nothing to improve upon, has no downfalls, and is therefore not very interesting. didn't you ever have that one kid in school with you who was just good at *everything* they did? and didn't you *hate* them for it? that's the road this OC is headed for... you can't just introduce a new character en media res like this and make her save the day right off the bat, it's confusing and unnatural to the reader, and it makes me personally want to sit back, shake my head, and will an explanation into being. you call her 'predator' and you don't tell us why... you tell us she's in love with roy, but you don't tell us how they met... you name her as a state alchemist, you have her use forbidden alchemy to save roy's life from injuries he incurred in a battle we know nothing about, and then you take it an extra step further and make her lose her limb to do so?

man... and i thought *i* was harsh on my characters...

now, maybe i've got this all wrong... perhaps you intended this as the middle of the story, and are planning to explain it in a flashback? okay...sure...but there's no indication... give us a clue where you're going, don't just end the chapter so abruptly and leave us hanging with all these questions. yes, yes, leave them wanting more, so they say...but you've given us so little go to on it's like we wouldn't be sure what the 'more' was even when we got it...

she sounds a tad too much like ed, IMO... from the way you've characterized her, she seems young, younger than most who have passed the state alchemist exam... like ed. she can transmute with no ed... she is going to have an automail arm to replace the one she lost doing jintai ed... see a trend forming? sure, we all know ed is great...but have a little confidence in your *own* ability to make up a character, don't rely on a template that's already given to you.

give her some flaws... give her an inferiority complex... give her a lisp, a trick knee, a bad shoulder...*anything* to make her stand out. identify her. mold her. don't make a copy of ed and give it a gender change... make her imperfect. make her realize something life-altering... make her, then break her; let there be something wrong with her and have the others see it when she can't. have her have an epiphany just in the knick of time--or *don't*! make her mess up...have her fail...and have her become a better person for it. the best characters are those who DON'T always come out on top... so make her an underdog... make her a spoiled brat from a wealthy family... make her homely or plain...or simple and naive... but don't make her perfect. nobody likes a perfect in the end. the characters we love most are those who overcome their hardships and triumph in the face of adversity...not the ones who never had to fight to win... right? wink.gif

also, while most of the dialogue was good in-character, and most of what you said set the scene nicely...some of it seemed rather...trite. take it up a notch! BAM! break out that thesaurus...throw some 50cent words in there...spice up the descriptions, make us go, "ooooh, that's a good word!" english is such a versatile language, don't be afraid to use every nuance of it. happy.gif

in conclusion:

like i's a good start...but to be honest, this seems more like the *middle* of a story than the beginning... there are five pivotal pieces to the plotline of a story... the opening, where the stage is set and the characters are introduced... here, we lack that... the characters are just thrown into a setting and there's a new face we don't know...and at the end of the chapter know little more than we did at the beginning... the narrative hook, or basically, the conflict that catches the reader's interest... well, that seems to have happened at some point in this 'aerugo' place...but we get no details...! the body, or the middle...which is more or less what we're given a taste of here... the climax...the big fight scene, the gratuitous love scene, the death scene, the carnage, the destruction...whatever is the highest point of drama or action in the plot...and the conclusion...tying up all the loose ends.

what we have here is a chunk of meat from the middle of what has potential to be a good story...but as it is, i personally am left confused and frustrated, because there is talent and good premise there...but i can't quite wrap my brain around it.

keep up the good work, and maybe prove me wrong? XD come on, you've got a good thing here, help it bloom. biggrin.gif

...god...i think i take my critiquing too seriously... ~_~
The Nature Alchemist
laugh.gif Thank you for replying to my story. I was starting to worry that no one would.

I plan to have a flashback and I've already started on adding more to the story. It won't be much longer before you figure out her past. I might add in the beginning what she looks like, though. The only reason I didn't do it the first time was because the idea hit me so fast that I was afraid that I would loose it.

I'm just a little insulted that you called my character perfect. If she were perfect, then why would she have passed out? (Not meaning anything bad by asking this.) She has many flaws, but they won't become obvious until further on in the story.

I think I might do a glossary(appendix, whatever it is) dry.gif of the characters, or at least my made up ones. That way you can know their age and everything.

I didn't mean to make Grace like Ed. It just turned out that way. It won't really matter as the story moves on, though, because Ed and Al (or at least Ed) won't be mentioned that much. I might have a few battle scenes with them together, but that's all.

I feel the same way as you, though. I'm confused because I loose myself when I'm writing. When I go back and read it, it takes me a while to understand it. I promise that I'll fix it up a little, but give me some time. I have plenty of novels that I'm working on as well and sometimes I need to take a break from this to them.

Oh, and could anyone tell me about what ade Mustang is? I never really figured that out. I can tell you know that Grace is two years younger than him. That's the way most of my heriones are. It's one way you can tell that it is my writing.

Thanks again. laugh.gif
i called your character perfect because in this intro scene you've created for her...well, she just seems a little too good to be true. no offense was really intended, i'm glad to hear that i was mistaken. i can totally understand the whole 'writing it down while it's in my head' mentality, i keep a notebook on me at all times for just that reason. but if i seems as if you could behoove your style to write it down quickly, set it aside for a little while, and then have another go at it. i find that ofttimes when i write something down to get the idea on paper before i forget it, when i have time to go back and actually make use of it, i find a lot of things to improve upon. just a thought.

permission to speak freely? *shakes head* don't use a glossary/appendix... that's distracting... you should be able to define all the fine points of your character(s) by prose alone. not all at once...of course...bombard the people with info and you'll overwhelm them. but you can quite easily slip in a bit of information here and there to make this glossary unneeded. it is cumbersome to have to go thru a glossary to find out information about a character we should be able to identify with from what is written. perhaps at the end of the story, sure...just to clear up any gray areas... but don't rely on the crutch of an index to support your've got all the power to do that in the paragraphs you write the storyline in. smile.gif

as for losing yourself writing, i can completely understand that. may i suggest finding a beta reader for yourself in that case? when i get too close to something i've written, i have my sister read it before i post it anywhere so she can help me sort out the bugs i've gotten too close to see. someone from the outside reading for you can be a big help, because, while YOU know everything that is going on, and vague descriptions or allusions to things to come may not leave YOU perplexed...we can't all see into your head, so even if you think it's perfectly clear, to a first-time reader it may not be.

uh...roiroi's age... it's never been officially posted that i am aware of... myself and ninie have been working on a birthday thread with what we believe may be birthday predictions of the characters based on personality, astrological sign, and chinese zodiac profiling...and in that we came to a hypothesis that he could have been born november 19th 1885, which would make him 29 during the anime. but that's merely a guess until arakawa makes it official.
The Nature Alchemist
laugh.gif Hi people. I'm breaking my own rule by breaking up the stroy, but I thought it might be a little annoying to reread what you've already read. I hope you like this. I'm starting with a few sentences from the past section, but that's so you can remember what has happened if you don't remember what happened the first time.

Oh, I'm just going to say that Mustang is about 25. He doesn't seem to be that old in the show, so I'm going to guess. I know I originally said taht my heroine was going to be two years younger than him, but it didn't work out that way when I starting thinking about her compaired to him. She is now three years younger than he is.

“Are all of those on alchemy?” I asked.

“Most of them. Others are on the military’s past. A couple are about my past.” He explained as he got up and walked of the case. “Would you like to read one.”

“If there is one on natural alchemy, I’d like to read that. I need to learn more about what I can do.”

“I do have one on natural alchemy.” He said as he pulled the book out and walked towards me.

I took the book from him and turned to the first page.

‘Natural Alchemy, also known as nature alchemy, comes along every hundred years. The alchemist who receives this gift will not be capable of harming another person, that is, at first. As the months of the first year pass, they will gain powers that can attack.’

“What does it mean by the first year? I’ve been doing alchemy for years and I can’t attack anyone.”

“The first year is the year that your alchemy focuses. This is when you can do alchemy easier than before. You have just begun your first year. What does I say about the first year?”

“ ‘As the months of the first year pass, they will gain powers that can attack.’ So I’m going to be able to attack within a few months? I’ll actually become a weapon for the state?”

“Don’t think of I that way. You just need to keep your free spirit. Don’t worry about the military. You will go on your assignments and do the jobs that you are asked to do, but you will keep your spirit. Don’t sell them your soul, whatever you do.”

I nodded and turned my attention back to the book. It had at least five hundred pages. I would have to see if Mustang would let her borrow it when I left. I would be getting my first assignment as soon as I got well.

My train of thought broke as someone knocked on the door. I closed the book and laid it on the bed next to me. I then looked at Mustang and nodded. He got up and walked to the door. I watched as he opened it. There was the sound of someone whispering and someone handed Mustang a yellow package.

Mustang nodded and shut the door. He then stood there and stared at the package for a while. He finally shook his head and walked back to my side. He opened the package and tossed a stack of stapled papers onto my lap. I picked them up and looked at the first page. It was my first assignment.

“What do I do? I can’t go out now.” I looked up at Mustang, then back at the papers.

‘Nature Alchemist, Grace Predator,

The council has decided on your first assignment. You are to report to the medical headquarters in Xing. A boat will be arriving at the Central docks to carry you there in two days. While you are in Xing you are to study their healing potions. Your research period should last for only a week. Once you have finished you are to hand over all of your research to Colonel Mustang.

Amestris Headquarters’

“They have got to be kidding me.” I cried joyfully.

I had always dreamed of going to Xing to study medicines. They had the best cures in the world. The thought of going there and getting to study first hand was unbelievable. I felt like jumping for joy, but restrained myself.

“What is it?” Mustang asked.

“They are sending me to Xing to do some research on haling potions.” I explained as I turned to the second page.

This page had a list of all the things I was to do research on. It told me what to find, a possible place to find it, and how much to bring back. It gave instructions to take samples of all the herbs and hand them in with my written research.

I turned to the third and final page and quickly dropped the papers. There was a picture of a chimera. There were instructions beneath it telling me what herbs where needed to help create it. Boss wouldn’t have sent this to me, so who had? I flipped the page over with shaky hands. There was an address written there. The place to take the herbs.

“What is it?” Mustang asked as he reached for the papers.

“Nothing.” I said as I quickly placed the papers next to me, face up. “Is there anyway that Winry could fit me with my auto-mail today? After I get the arm on, I’ll need a day to rest. If she waits, then I won’t make the boat to Xing.”

“I’ll see what she can do. For now why don’t you rest? I have work that I need to get done and I’d won’t have peace of mind unless I know that you’re resting.” He explained as he stood and opened the drawer of the nightstand.

I watched as he grabbed his pocket watch with one hand and the chain with the other. He then stuck the watch into his coat pocket and hooked the end of the chain on the outside. He looked down at me after doing this and smiled reassuringly. He then helped me lay back down and piled two pillows behind my head.

“I’ll ask Hawkeye to send Winry to my office. If she can do it, I’ll come in here to help her.” He told me as he opened the door and looked back at me.

“Ok.” I answered as I watched him leave the room.

I felt a feeling of sadness to see him go, but also a feeling of security. He was outside my room. If anyone tried to get to me, they’d have to go through him. I drifted off to sleep with that thought on the top of my head.

I awoke with a jerk. I was covered in sweat and my right arm was numb. The room was unusually hot for this time of years and I used my legs to kick the sheets away. Once that was done, I used my legs to move my body to the side of the bed. Once my legs were hanging form the side, I used my arm to push myself up to a sitting position. I then managed to stand. I wobbled for a minute, but I soon gained my balance.

My cloak and usual clothes were hanging on the door of the mahogany wardrobe on the wall opposite the bed. I walked up to them and pulled the hanger from the door. Then, somehow, I managed to dress myself.

I looked into the mirror on the door and half-smiled. The girl looking back at me looked of twenty-two years. Her shiny chestnut hair hung to her waist with bangs that framed her face. This hair made her golden hazel eyes seem to glow. Her face had a visible scar on the left cheek; a dog had made this some twelve years ago.

This girl stood at about 5’6” and had light skin. She wasn’t completely white, but she couldn’t stay out in the sun without burning. The only imperfection that could be seen was the missing left arm. Only a small stub was left, but when the cloak was pulled on you could hardly even tell that it was there.

In the reflection I saw the window. It was glowing red. I gasped and turned to look at the real window. The building next door was afire. I grabbed my watch and stuffed it into my cloak. The next few minutes that followed were a blur.

I ran out of the room to find that the office was in complete chaos. People were running, screaming, crying. I tried to spot Mustang or Hawkeye in all the disorder, but it was no use. The corridor was just a blur of blue uniforms. There was no way to tell one officer from another.

I stood there in a daze for what seemed the longest time. Then someone grabbed my forearm and began to run the opposite way of the main door. I was knocked out of my daze from the need to keep up with the pace. I was dragged through corridor after corridor until we reached the back exit and I was pulled from one chaotic world to another.

I finally saw who had pulled me from the office chaos. It had been Ed. After I sucked in a gulp of air to regain my lost concentration, I could see everything clearly. Mustang, Al, and Hawkeye were all gathered in the back alley. They all looked up when they heard the door open and now they seemed to sadden.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

Ed looked from me to Hawkeye, to Al, to Mustang, then me again. He couldn’t tell me. I turned to his younger brother. I couldn’t tell anything from Al’s armor body. Metal could show no emotion, so I waited until he spoke.

“Winry was caught in the fire next door.” Al finally explained.

“What?” I asked as I jumped back. “How could that be?”

biggrin.gif I'm going to have a flashback soon. You'll learn more about my main character then. Enjoy laugh.gif
The Nature Alchemist
I'm refering to somthing that hagane_no_tokage said earlier. I'm trying to make my custom character kind of mysterious in the beginning. If you do something like that, as far as I've noticed, the reader(s) will want to know more about the character and read on to fill that thirst.

I'm not trying to make Grace, a.k.a. Predator, seem like Ed. I'm trying to stay away from that. If you've read my last section you'll see that Winry dies. No one is left to give Grace any auto-mai, is there? This is where I'm going to surprise you in the next section. laugh.gif

I did make Ed seem a little mild, I know, but this is the way I see him. I sometimes see him have an outburst, but that seems to be when he's treated like a child. As far as you've read, he's been treated like an adult, giving him no reason to have an outburst.

Oh and this story isn't in chapters. I just post up the next thing that I've written. If anyone else has any comments let me know.

P.S. I've updated my first post. I've been getting myself confused.
Omakase Shimasu
QUOTE(hagane_no_tokage @ Jan 18 2005, 05:42 AM)
uh...roiroi's age...  it's never been officially posted that i am aware of...  myself and ninie have been working on a birthday thread with what we believe may be birthday predictions of the characters based on personality, astrological sign, and chinese zodiac profiling...and in that we came to a hypothesis that he could have been born november 19th 1885, which would make him 29 during the anime.  but that's merely a guess until arakawa makes it official.

I thought Arakawa had made it official that Roy was 29 in the manga. Albeit it was in an omake. rolleyes.gif Still... smile.gif
The Nature Alchemist
Thanks for letting me know, but I don't think ti would sound right if I change his age. I'll just keep him as what I said. There isn't really anything wrong with that.
@The Nature Alchemist: Nice job smile.gif . Your style of writing is nice, and your grammer is good also. I'm not that big on people who write fanfics that center the main pairing as themself and one of the characters. However, I do accept those that don't constantly talk about all the romance that is happening between the characters. In other words, the fanfic better be good, or the author will look stupid. You, my friend are not one of those authors biggrin.gif . Your doing a good job with this fanfiction, so keep the chapters coming, and I'll read and review 'em wink.gif .
That post was by me biggrin.gif . Sorry I wasn't logged in. Silly me laugh.gif .
QUOTE(Omakase Shimasu @ Jan 20 2005, 02:56 PM)
QUOTE(hagane_no_tokage @ Jan 18 2005, 05:42 AM)
uh...roiroi's age...  it's never been officially posted that i am aware of...  myself and ninie have been working on a birthday thread with what we believe may be birthday predictions of the characters based on personality, astrological sign, and chinese zodiac profiling...and in that we came to a hypothesis that he could have been born november 19th 1885, which would make him 29 during the anime.  but that's merely a guess until arakawa makes it official.

I thought Arakawa had made it official that Roy was 29 in the manga. Albeit it was in an omake. rolleyes.gif Still... smile.gif

oh, was it confirmed? *scratches head* thanks kase i must have overlooked that... *goes in search of it*
Omakase Shimasu
Yep, it was added in a little box right underneath Roy's profile shot in his Miniskirt omake. laugh.gif The day he was overthrown, was to be his last. sleep.gif
The Nature Alchemist
@Hex-Sama: My made up character isn't me. I made her up all on my own. She's nothing like me, except maybe how she looks, but that's all.

Thanks for replying everyone. I was gettting pretty worried because nobody was. I'm happy that everyone likes it. I've added more, but I won't upload it unless you want to read the rest. Thanks, again.
QUOTE(Omakase Shimasu @ Jan 21 2005, 11:02 AM)
Yep, it was added in a little box right underneath Roy's profile shot in his Miniskirt omake. laugh.gif The day he was overthrown, was to be his last. sleep.gif

aaah! i seeee! XD thanks for pointing that out, kase i had missed that part.

QUOTE(The Nature Alchemist @ Jan 21 2005, 03:36 PM)
@Hex-Sama: My made up character isn't me. I made her up all on my own. She's nothing like me, except maybe how she looks, but that's all.

i think that hex was just implying that MOST fanfic writers use an original character as a means of self-insertion, i don't think she was actually accusing you of that... unsure.gif i personally wind up doing that frequently...not because i'm looking for a means to live out a fantasy of meeting these characters (tho i have written parody fics down that avenue and i must say it's rather hilarious)'s because i find that writing a character whose personality i can relate to allows me to make that character more real. it is difficult to write a believable character who has a personality you are unfamiliar with on some the author's own personality often finds its way into the main characters of a story. XD
The Nature Alchemist
I know, I was just letting my readers know.
The Nature Alchemist
biggrin.gif Hi peoples. This is my next section. (Just so everyone knows, this is not in chapters.) Please read, enjoy, and most of all reply! laugh.gif

“Winry was caught in the fire next door.” Al finally explained.

“What?” I asked as I jumped back. “How could that be?”

“Mr. Hughes told us a few minutes ago. We suddenly remembered you when he mentioned her and Ed ran in to save you.” Al explained.

I looked at Ed. He seemed to be taking this pretty hard. I put my one hand on his shoulder and stared at the ground. I knew how he felt. Loosing a loved one was the hardest thing to bear. We had all known that Ed had favored Winry. He might’ve tried to hide it, but it was still obvious.

“I’m sorry, Ed.” I told him.

“Look, just leave me alone, ok?” He said as he pulled away from me and walked to the alley entrance.

“Winry wouldn’t want you to be alone.” I whispered as I walked up next to him.

I looked over at him and saw that he was holding back tears. I placed my hand on his shoulder and he looked up. He finally met my eyes, but quickly darted them back to the ground. I watched as he fell to his knees and his tears broke free.

“Why did it have to be Winry?” He cried. “Why her? She was the only death in that fire. Why couldn’t it have been someone else?”

“Brother,” Al stopped when I put my hand up.

“Ed, I know that it’s hard for you. If you don’t remember, I lost my mother because of a fire. The same fire almost took my life. I understand your pain. I can help you, but that’s only if you’ll allow me to.” I explained in a calm voice.

“No,” Ed gasped. “You don’t.”

“Yes, I do. Let me help you.”

I kneeled down next to him. I used my arm for support and tried to look at his face. He was doing a really good job of hiding it, so I just kneeled there and spoke into nothing.

“Winry would want you to talk about. I knew that she hated it when you didn’t speak your feelings. Please, talk to me Ed.”

He just turned away from me. He then stood and walked off. Al quickly followed him. There was suddenly the sound of someone running towards the alley. I looked around the corner and saw an officer running towards me.

“Are you Grace Predator, the Nature Alchemist?” He asked as he stopped and saluted.

“I am.” I answered as I struggled to stand back up and lost my balance.

I began to fall backwards, but someone caught me. They then lifted me onto my feet. Mustang moved from behind me to my side and saluted the officer.

“Why is she needed?” He asked.

“Lieutenant Colonel Hughes has asked for her to report to the injury station. She is said to have healing powers and we have many injuries that are deadly. Hughes wants her to come and try to heal the more serious cases.”

I looked over at Mustang. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He then looked from me to the officer. He then forced himself to nod. He didn’t want to overwork me. Especially after what happened when I healed him.

“Follow me.”

I followed the officer out of the alley and past the front of Central City HQ. We walked past the hot ashes of the burnt building and down another alley. This alley held a great number of people on stretchers. As I looked around I noticed that most of them had on blue uniforms.

“Lieutenant Colonel Hughes.” The officer said as he saluted when Hughes walked up to us.

Hughes nodded, a sign that he dismissed the officer. He then looked at me, stared long and hard at my missing arm, then turned. He began to walk down the narrow isle that had been created. I slowly followed. I looked form person to person, trying to soak in all of this.

We came to a stop in front of the stretcher at the end of the alley. A white sheet covered the body that lay there and I knew who it was. Why had he brought me to Winry’s body? I could heal, yes, but I could not bring someone back from the dead.

“What do you want me for, Hughes? I cannot bring Winry back from the dead, you know that.”

“I want you to look over her body. We don’t think that the fire killed her.”

“I can’t right now. I have to find someway to either get my own arm back or get an auto-mail arm. I received my first assignment and I’m leaving in about a day.”

“If you can figure out the true cause of Winry’s death,” Ed’s voice said from behind me. “I’ll use human alchemy to repair your arm.”

“Ed, you know that it is illegal.” Hughes said as he turned to look at Ed.

“I know, but I want to know what really killed Winry. If this girl is the only one available to do it,” He motioned to me. “I’ll pay her back no matter what the cost.”

Hughes sighed and walked away. Leaving me with Ed and Winry’s body.

“Are you sure that you don’t want to leave?” I asked him. “It’ll probably hurt worse if you see her body.”

“We have to figure out what killed her.” Ed declared.

I nodded and turned to the sheet. Ed might be able to handle it, but could I? I was squeamish and couldn’t stand the thought of blood or bodies. I removed the sheet and hated the sight that I saw under it.

Her body was charred in places, but her face was only dusty. She was lying on her back and, thankfully, her eyes were closed. I looked her from head to toe, noticing the scratches that her body had received.

The first thing that caught my eye was her neck. It was unusually puffy. There were a good many herbs that could cause that reaction in a living person, in a dead person there were ten. I needed to figure out when she had come in contact with whatever herb had done this. Had she been alive, or had it been applied after her death to throw off the observer?

I looked for signs that could tell me if she had been alive or dead. I then noticed that her chest was bulged out, like she had died and never let her breath out. If I really wanted to know why it was so, I would have to cut her open, and that was the last thing I wanted to do. Instead I thought harder. She had been alive when she had come in contact with the herb.

Her neck being swollen showed that her windpipe would be closed up. She wouldn’t have been able to let the air back out. She had suffocated, but I wanted to find out what herb had caused this. I wanted to know this more than anything else for the time being.

I removed her cloak and saw that a rash spread from her wrists to her shoulders. It would be on her hands and torso as well. I now knew what variety the herb was. I would find one more thing that would tell me exactly which plant it had been.

I felt at the bottom of her neck. There was no knot. I massaged her ankles. There wasn’t any sign of swelling. I rubbed her stomach. There. She had a hard lump near the top of her stomach. She had swallowed the herb know as death catch. No more than five minutes later, her windpipe began to swell. She could neither inhale, nor exhale. It had taken no more than ten minutes to kill her.

I looked back at Ed. He was staring at Winry’s body. His hand was slowly rising, as if to reach for Winry. Finally his eyes caught mine and he dropped his hand.

“You know what did it?” He asked.

I nodded, “Go get Hughes.”

I watched as he ran off. I then turned my attention back to Winry. I knew how to make the swelling and air in her lungs disappear. I hurried and pulled a small leaf out of my pocket. I laid it on her chest, then clapped my hand to the stretcher. Instead of touching her body, my hand hovered over the leaf.

It rose from her chest and flew the length of her neck and chest. When the leaf settled back on Winry’s chest the swelling began to go down like a popped balloon. I then cupped her hands and pulled the sheet back over her body.

“What was it, Predator?” I heard Hughes behind me.

“Some how she swallowed a herb. Death catch, if I’m right. It made her throat swell until she could breathe in or out.” I explained as I turned to face him.

“Good job. Elric, I believe you owe this kind girl something.”

“Uh,” Ed looked up at her. “Are you sure that you want me to do this? It could cost you your life.”

“I can handle that.”

Ed motioned to a stretcher behind him and laid on it. What would he use in exchange? I couldn’t imagine what would be of equal value to my arm. It wouldn’t be as costly as a human life, but it would still be a lot.

“No matter what, hold still.” Ed instructed.

I nodded and heard him push something against my stretcher. I ached to see what it was, but I knew that I had to listen. There was a muffled sound, but I ignored it. I heard Ed at the end of my stretcher. He clapped his hands together and-

“Ed, what are you doing!?” It was Al.

I sat up and looked at my side. He had a transmutation circle around a body and me. Winry’s body. I watched in horror as Ed’s hands flew towards the circle’s edge.

“Ed, no!” I yelled too late.
@Hex-Sama: My made up character isn't me. I made her up all on my own. She's nothing like me, except maybe how she looks, but that's all.

@The Nature Alchemist:Sorry, I didn't mean to make you upset. I really do like your story. Nice cliff-hanger at the end of your last chapter. I feel so sorry for Winry though sad.gif .
The Nature Alchemist
@Hex-Sama: I'm not upset, I was just letting you know. I like how you liked the cliff hanger. I thought I would get some compliments on that. laugh.gif Keep replying people.
The Nature Alchemist
My new section will be up shortly. I'm fixing up the next section right now. biggrin.gif
yeah the cliff hanger is nice but it is sad that winnery died then the fire started
The Nature Alchemist
smile.gif New post is up! Read, reply, enjoy! smile.gif

I sat up and looked at my side. He had a transmutation circle around a body and me. Winry’s body. I watched in horror as Ed’s hands flew towards the circle’s edge.

“Ed, no!” I yelled too late.

Winry’s body disappeared beside me and I felt pain coming from my left shoulder. I shut my eyes, fell back to the stretcher, and cried out in pain. It was unbearable. It felt like somebody was pulling me. Clawing at me, I could’ve sworn that my shoulder was bleeding. I heard footsteps. People running down the alley towards me.

“Predator!” Mustang’s voice.

Another jolt of pain. I screamed, this time louder than the first. I felt something rub against my shoulder bone. More pain followed by another scream. The light disappeared and I automatically reached over towards my left shoulder with my right hand. My hand landed on my deltoid, Ed had done it! I had my arm back.

“Elric, what were you thinking!?” Mustang was yelling. “You could’ve killed her!”

“Get off me!” Ed yelled back and I heard the sound of him pulling away from Mustang.

“Predator.” Mustang’s voice was calm now.

I heard him walk to my side. Felt his arms under me as he lifted me from the stretcher. His arms tightened around me and he held me firmly against his chest. His heartbeat was fast. He had been worried, he still was. My breathing was so shallow that you couldn’t tell that I was breathing at all and I had yet to reopen my eyes. For all he knew I was dead.

“She’s alive, Mustang. I didn’t kill her.” Ed’s voice was harsh. “Come on, Al.”

“Elric!” Hawkeye’s voice. “You aren’t going anywhere. You used human alchemy, it’s illegal.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Ed’s voice was a whisper, but I could still hear him.

“Hawkeye, stand down.” Mustang. “We are going to forget this. Predator was worth him breaking the law.”

“Mustang,” Hawkeye couldn’t believe what he was saying. “You can’t let him get away with this just because he gave the woman you love her arm back. He could’ve very well killed her, we don’t know that he hasn’t yet, and you’re going to let him go?”

“You heard me Lieutenant.” Mustang’s voice was stern.

“Yes, Colonel.”

I felt Mustang’s hand brush my bangs away from my face. He then placed his hand on my chest. It stayed there for a good five minutes until he pulled it away. He didn’t know that I was alive. He couldn’t tell. My throat was so sore that I couldn’t speak, and my body was weak from the transmutation. I could only lay there and hope that he found out.

My leaf. It suddenly hit me. I could use my leaf to let him know that I was alive. My hands were lying on my chest, close enough that I could make them touch without using much energy. My favorite leaf hung on a chain around my neck. The leaf itself rested at the top of my sternum, on the outside of my shirt.

I allowed my hands to fall into each other, it was so little movement that it went unnoticed. I then scooted them apart to form just the tiniest gap. I felt the leaf lift from my neck. The chain began to tug and I knew that the leaf was hovering.

“Mustang, look.” It was Al who spoke.

“Predator, stop wasting your energy. We know that you’re alive now.” Mustang’s voice was harsh, but that was only because he was worried.

I scooted my hands a little farther apart and the leaf settled back on my chest. I felt Mustang’s muscles moving around me. He was walking. I didn’t know where, but I guessed. He must’ve been heading back the Central City HQ. He would probably make me go back to bed.

I heard the others fall in step behind us. Heard the sound of the wounded people around us. I couldn’t just let Mustang carry me off. If I didn’t do something many people would die. I wouldn’t feel right if I allowed that to happen. I struggled to find stored energy and found it.

“Mustang,” My throat was sore, but I had to do this. “Put me down. I need to heal these people. It’s my job and I don’t want to be carried off safe while most of them die.”

“Predator…” I cut him.

“Don’t Predator me, Mustang. I couldn’t live with myself if I allowed you to take me away and left them here to die.”

“Fine.” Mustang agreed against his will.

He placed me on my feet and held onto my shoulder until I had gained my balance. He then stood there and watched me as I walked up to the first man. He was from HQ. A Lieutenant according to his strips. He a huge gash on his right side and a cut above his left eye. He was kept turning his head from side to side, complaining the whole time that his head was killing him.

“Lieutenant, could you stop moving for me, please?” I asked as I fingered his gash.
He stopped moving and looked at me, “My name is Rotwave. Can you help me Miss-?”

“I’m Predator, just Predator.” I explained as I sprinkled a crushed leaf over his gash. “Rotwave's your last name? What’s your first?”


“Ok, James. This might hurt a little, but don’t move.”

“What you gonna do?” He asked.

“Just watch.”

I waited a few minutes until blood covered the leaf pieces. I then clapped my hands together and stared at the gash. Finally I saw my leaf pieces light up and I placed my hands on wither side of the wound. James watched in astonishment as the wound closed itself up and my leaves fell to the stretcher, now as emerald stones.

“Is that any better?”

“H-how’d you d-do t-that?” He was shaking.

“It’s alchemy. I’m a state alchemist. Now,” I placed a finger on the cut above his eye. “Can I look at this?”

He nodded his head and I fingered the cut. It wasn’t as bad as his side, I didn’t need to heal it. One of the doctors could take care of him now. I reached down to my side for my notepad and pen and found that they were missing.

“Mustang, uh-“ I stopped when he handed my belongings to me.

“I thought that I might need to keep them for you.”

“Thanks.” I turned my attention to the pad and wrote down my recommendations. I then ripped it off and handed it to James. “Ok, stay here. A doctor should be coming by eventually. Gives this to him.”

“What is it?”

“Your eye isn’t bad enough for me to waste my energy on it. This tells the doctor to stitch it up. Also,” I pulled out an inch long bag with a broken up leaf in it. “Mix this with some rice or tea. It will help your headache.”

He nodded and I looked around. There was a man whose leg was a black as coal. I knew that he would have to loose the leg, but also knew that he was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t get rid of the leg, but I could help the pain.

“What’s your name, sir?” I asked as I walked up to him and looked over the leg. He would loose from the knee down.

“My name is Joe Carlson. Can you help me?”

“Are you in pain?” I asked as I felt his knee.

“A little. I can’t really feel below my knee.”

I picked up my pen and wrote out another recommendation. This was for lower leg removal. I knew that he was in more than a little pain and scooped out a custom-made capsule. It had a good number of herbs in it, but it would help without having any side effects.

“Give this to the doctor when he comes and take this now.”

“Yes ’um.”

Suddenly a man came running down the alley towards me. He stopped a foot away from me and bent, placing his hands on his knees to catch his breath. I noticed a white envelope in his hands.

“A-are,” You spoke between breaths. “You the N-nature Alchemist?”

“I am.” Why was everyone needing on this particular day?

“This is from HQ.” He handed me the envelope.

I opened it and threw it to the ground after reading it. I then ran down the alley back to Central City HQ. I had to get my stuff, and now! The boat had arrived early and they weren’t waiting! If I didn’t make this assignment, then I was going to be decommissioned!
@The Nature Alchemist: Edward is a genius laugh.gif ! He always gets away with everthing too biggrin.gif .

*in the moviephone guy voice* Will Predator make it in time? Find out next chapter!
Sigh, I would write, because I love writing. But they would be in Finnish, so you can't read them. sleep.gif Except you can read Finnish.
The Nature Alchemist
QUOTE(Hex-Sama @ Jan 28 2005, 12:05 AM)
@The Nature Alchemist: Edward is a genius laugh.gif ! He always gets away with everthing too biggrin.gif .

*in the moviephone guy voice* Will Predator make it in time? Find out next chapter!

lol. I guess I kinda am making this sound like a t.v. show aren't I? I get the next section up as soon as possible, but I have about 5 other stories that I'm working on and a novel that I gotta finish off so I can send it off to get published, so it might take some time.
yeah another dliff hanger
The Nature Alchemist
laugh.gif lol. dry.gif how supportive. unsure.gif I was hurrying and didn't know what else to do. biggrin.gif Thanks for replying, though.
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