I swear I will make this work. By all that's holy I intend to make that come true. This has been a pet project I've been harboring for some time. I know a lot of good writers and readers complain about OC's, Mary Sues, and many more, and I pledge to you that I will NOT make the following mistakes:
1) My OC will NOT fall in love with Ed, Roy, Al, or any of the characters.
2) Ed will NOT fall in love with my OC.
3) The OC did NOT fall through into Ed's world suddenly. She pays a price.
4) The OC will have a legitimate reason for following Ed's progress.
5) She will have an actual personality, aka she will NOT be perfect.
6) I will not canon/character rape
And that's all I can think of right now.
I know many people ask for concrit and don't mean it. I'm one of the few that do. If there are grammar/spelling errors tell me! If I'm not accurate somewhere, tell me! I will try to keep to the canon as much as possible, but if something's not quite right, tell me! If another thing can be worded better, or there are a few science pointers I didn't get quite right, or else I totally mess up and you think I suck, tell me! Most importantly, if you think I should add more setting, change the dialogue...anything, anything to challenge me and improve my writing skills, please do so. I'm an English major. If I can't handle criticism online, here, I'll never make it.
On that thought, please read.
Chapter One: Crossing Over
She should have been watching. How many times had she been told as a child, look both ways before crossing the street? But like all rules given during childhood, she had forgotten them. Life at the college campus had given her the dangerous assumption that cars would stop for anyone crossing the street, whether alone or in a group.
So it hadn’t occurred to her, even as the lights were changing, that the red Honda Civic wouldn’t stop when she took the step to cross the street. It hadn’t even occurred to her to run the rest of the way when the Civic revved its engines and surged forward from zero to twenty miles per hour.
She was paying the price for it now.
Dimly aware that people were shouting, that something was hurting somewhere, and that she was no longer standing, but lying on the ground in a puddle of what could only be her blood, one thought stood out clearly.
I don’t want to die.
Soft, fuzzy memories formed in her head. A teacher. A book. Her laughing, shaking her head derisively at having to read what couldn’t possibly be real.
“Alchemy isn’t real Professor. Why should we be made to read anything on it?”
“Because it was through alchemy that the way for modern science was paved. Biology, Chemistry, Physics…these all began from alchemists trying to do what most of us believe is ridiculous and foolish. Modern science started out only as a by product of their supposed foolishness, and we must never forget that.”
An earnest and obedient student to the very end, she’d read the book cover to cover. The history of alchemy. The great alchemists who tried and failed. The Chinese search for immortality, and their failure even when they’d thought they’d found it. Mercury. Aquinas. Hohenheim. She’d studied the diagrams, at the turn from science to spirituality. It had fascinated her despite its obvious impossibility. There was the basic diagram for transformation. In chapter two she’d read about the rule of Equivalent Exchange; now they called it the Law of Conservation. At the very end, there was a side note and a diagram about the soul, crossing over, and turning the lead that was the beginning, to the gold that is the end.
A finger moved. So she could still move her hands. The rest of her mind was fuzzy, but in this one last action, her thoughts were clear. Using what was available, she began to trace lines on the hard, uneven concrete. One line there, a squiggle there. Some parts smeared, but she continued to work, oblivious to what was going on around her. When the last line was finished, she paused. The book had showed diagrams, but hadn’t gone into what happens next.
She was so tired. At least…at least let her admire her work one last time. She lifted a hand toward the diagram on the concrete, letting it fall.
I’ll do anything. I don’t want to die.
At that moment, darkness gathered, and she felt something lift her higher, higher, and higher.
The last thing she heard was the wailing of sirens.
* * *
Am I dead?
She was flying through a softly glowing tunnel, how long, she didn’t know. Time didn’t seem to matter, and her mind felt distant, much the same as at the accident. Except this time she had nothing to focus on, and so she quietly took things in, taking note of everything around her. Black, constantly moving hands pulled her along, and she dimly wondered where they were taking her. As time passed, she noted the tunnel begin to grow dimmer, until all was darkness. The black hands had multiplied, and the further she went, the more they grabbed.
Suddenly she was standing, and the hands pulled back, leaving her alone. In front of her stood a black, highly wrought iron gate. She felt nothing, but her body still shivered, as eyes took in the contents. Figures of twisted, contorted humans decorated its top. In the center of the closed double doors was a single eye, watching her…judging her.
“Is this hell? Am I in hell?” she whispered.
Voices began murmuring around her, but she couldn’t tell if they were trying to answer her question, or just talking. Some were giggling, and despite the dream-like quality of her surroundings, she felt a hint of fear.
You wish to live.
The voice was right. She did. And because everything up to this point had been so surreal, she didn’t say anything in reply.
You know the Law of Equivalent Exchange.
The voice was right about that too. She remained quiet.
In exchange for living, you will give up your existence in the other world.
But it seemed to be the end for conversation. Instead, a shudder passed through her, and a loud creak and clanking echoed throughout. The darkly wrought iron gates opened, letting a flash of cold wind sweep through her short hair. It seemed to be a silent signal for something, because the instant the gates finished opening the hands were at her side again, except this time it was pushing.
Her feet slid smoothly toward the gate, and she made no move to resist. The place beyond the gate’s threshold was dark and cold, and once again, she felt something inside her floating higher and higher.
This time though, the last thing she heard were the reverberating sounds of the gate slamming shut.
* * *
It had been a particularly clear night in East City when the bright blue flash shot down from the sky. Commonsense told its occupants that the flash couldn’t be anything other than an alchemical reaction, and the eerie glowing light shot an invisible spark of panic through the city. Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse had both been readying for bed in their dorm room when it occurred, and before the younger brother could even say “Nii-san” Ed had redressed, grabbed his coat, and was out the door. Al gave an exasperated sigh before following him out, making sure to lock the door securely behind him.
Outside the night was in chaos, as other military personnel rushed around, putting on coats, buckling belts, hopping on one foot while the second boot was put on. He and Ed had not been the only ones to notice the flash. It had to have been a powerful alchemical reaction, to temporarily turn the night into day.
“Al! Over here!”
In the eerie, blue afterglow Al noticed his brother waving for him on the other side of the street. For a brief moment he was thankful for his large armored body, as it cut through the swath of people with little effort. People tended to give way when nearly seven foot tall armor strode purposefully through the dormitory courtyard and into the street.
“Nii-san, are you sure we should be going there alone? That was a very powerful alchemical reaction, and the person who did it is probably going to be dangerous.” Al immediately broke into a run, as Ed in his excitement didn’t wait a second before going on.
“I don’t think we’ll be alone when we get there,” Ed said evenly, which was quite a feat to perform while running. “That light was bright enough that everyone in the city could see it. Anyone with half a brain should know that that light was from alchemy, so all the State Alchemists ought to be rushing to the same place we’re going, assuming they’re not already there.”
“So Colonel Mustang…”
“Yes, the stupid colonel would probably be there already, if only for a promotion,” Ed answered cynically.
“Nii-san, I don’t think that’s exactly right.”
His brother ignored Al’s admonishment, focused as he was on reaching his goal.
“Come on Al! If we get there too late everything will have been examined twice over and I want to get there before the rest of the military has gone through it.”
“But Nii-san,” Al continued. “Do you know what could have caused a reaction that big? The last time anything close came to that it was when we…” he trailed off.
“Exactly,” Ed agreed. “Which is why we have to get there before everybody else, if only for a minute.”
Although the sky was no longer completely glowing, a part of the city still had that eerie blue, even ten minutes after the initial flash. Either way, it made it easy for the brothers to find the place. Ed had been right to move so quickly, for the military was already starting to gather by the time they arrived.
Ed turned around to face the voice, knowing already who it was.
“Colonel,” he said stiffly. “Is there a reason why we’re all out here waiting?”
“The reaction hasn’t seemed to die down yet. We’re waiting for the light to fade before we go in. When it does happen I want you to accompany me for the initial investigation.”
Ed had been opening his mouth to argue about going in with the Colonel, but as usual Mustang had anticipated the young alchemist and beaten him to it. The man gave the boy an amused look as Ed closed his mouth audibly and glared, before turning back to observe the glow. It was still dangerously bright, but dissipating steadily.
“The only time I’ve ever seen an alchemical reaction so strong was when I was at Liesenburgh, and since the two of you are such…experts in this type of strong reaction, it would only make sense to bring you two along with me when we investigate,” Mustang continued, ignoring Ed’s incensed growl. At the growl he turned back to give the boy a very bland look. “Yes Fullmetal? Do you have something to say?”
Ed simply gave the older man another glare.
“Colonel Mustang, do you know the source of the glow then?” Al asked, taking care to put himself between the Colonel and his older brother before another ‘incident’ happened.
“We haven’t been able to get close enough to check,” Mustang replied. “But it’s in the alleyway we’re standing outside of, and since the only way out is here, I doubt whatever it is will escape.”
Ed muttered something about how things always went wrong whenever assumptions were made, but he said nothing else.
Around fifteen minutes, it was deemed safe enough for the initial investigation team to enter the closed area. By then Ed had lost most of his recklessness, and was entering as cautiously as the others. A hand shielded his eyes against the still fairly bright glow, but it was dim enough now that he could just make out the odd shape on the cobblestone that was clearly the source of the light.
“Al, why don’t you go first,” he said quietly. “You aren’t affected by the light like we are.”
“A good idea,” Colonel Mustang agreed. “But be careful all the same Alphonse.”
“I will,” and he trotted toward the shape as quietly as hollow armor could. Ed looked impatiently on as his younger brother knelt down and gave a soft poke at the shape on the ground. Seconds that felt like an eternity passed before Al gave an alarmed cry and shot up from his crouch.
“Al! Al? Are you all right?” Ed called, immediately rushing to his brother’s side.
“N-nii-san. No, I’m all right. It’s just, I don’t think she is,” Al replied.
“She?” Mustang repeated. Within a second he was next to Ed, who was on the ground, tentatively touching the body.
“There’s a lot of blood, and it looks like all of it’s hers,” Al added.
“She’s alive,” Ed said, standing up. “The pulse was fairly strong when I checked.”
“Which means the blood can’t all be hers,” Mustang concluded, taking a turn to check the pulse again. “You can’t bleed that much and still be alive.”
“She’ll still need medical attention, Colonel,” Al said earnestly.
“Of course. But at least we have a witness, and a possible source,” Mustang said, standing back up, taking care to not let his hands touch his uniform. “Good job Fullmetal, Alphonse. Al, if you would get a blanket, we can bundle her up and take her to the military hospital to be treated straight away. The two of you are dismissed.”
“Colonel…” Ed began, then stopped when Mustang sent the boy a quiet look of his own.
“Fullmetal, what happened here may, or may not have anything to do with your current research. Remember that.” When Ed opened his mouth to argue again, the Colonel raised one blood-stained hand to silence him. “I will however, inform you when any significant change takes place in the witness’ condition. That ought to satisfy you.”
“I suppose,” Ed muttered.
Alphonse returned with a blanket, and with the girl’s body safely bundled and handled by those with more expertise, the brothers no longer had an excuse to hang around. With great reluctance Ed signaled to his brother, and Al followed him back to the dormitories.
By the time the brothers returned to their dorm room, the sky was dark once more, and filled with the light of a million stars.
A/N: Sorry, I feel I must explain some points. For names, I vied for the ones that sounded realistic, thus Liesenburgh, not Rizembool, or Risempool. Al's usage of "Nii-san" is my personal quirk, because "Brother" just doesn't sound right to me. And I keep hearing Al's English voice dub whenever I see it, which was horrible and kills my creativity, so yeah, I'm sticking to some Japanese, and hopefully the rest will remain in English.
Thank you for being so patient with me. I look forward to being torn apart.