Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: The Virtue Chronicles
Fullmetal Alchemist Discussion Board > Fullmetal Alchemist Discussions > Fanworks > Fanfics
Hex-Sama
The Virtue Chronicles
Rating: M
Genre: Drama/Adventure
Disclaimer: I have no ownership rights to FMA. I’m just an obsessed fan, who wanted to write a story involving some of the characters from the anime/manga.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen episodes 1-34, I suggest you do so before reading this fanfiction, because some parts may confuse you, and ultimately, ruin crucial plot twists, from the anime. I’m not to sure on the manga though, but just remember that you’ve been warned!

Special thanks to: Hiromu Arakawa, Square-Enix, Bones, Funimation, and Viz, for bringing FMA to life, and also the fullmetal-alchemist.com forum, for letting me post this fanfic.

Summary: Roy assigns Edward on a mission to find the motive behind a chain of homicide’s that have recently taken place in Central. As Edward digs deeper into the case, he finds himself caught up in a vicious clash between the Deadly Sins and Heavenly Virtues.

~***~
Chapter 1 - Prologue

The spacious canals of the sewer, along with its dark and dank atmosphere, made a nearby scurrying rat feel at ease. It stopped abruptly, sniffing at the ground, feeling around with its whiskers. Then it arched up, on its hind quarters, locking onto to a faint, distant odor. Pressing on, it continued to hurry forward, letting a squeak of excitement every now and then.

The rat found a rusted pipe, jutting out from the grimy brick wall, and proceeded to climb up it. When the rat reached the end of the tube, it began hopping from sewage pipe, to sewage pipe, high above the river of pale-green sludge below it. Soon, the towering slope of the pipes began to decline, and the rat planted its paws onto the solid concrete sidewalk again.

The rodents’ sense of smell was kicking into overdrive, and almost at once, it knew what the stench was: Raw Meat.

The rat bolted forward, bumping its nose against the split-open skull of a fallen soldier. The scent of the guard was familiar to the rat, but its short memory span wouldn’t allow it remember exactly who it was. The lack of food and nutrition made the vermin ravenous, ready to eat just about anything, even this human carcass. It began to nibble some the sewer guards poured out brains, savoring the tart and stringy meat, and licking up the saucy juices.

A swift jerk on the rats’ tail brought it squealing upside down, and face to face with a beady-eyed, stout man. One of the man’s thick fingers poked the rat repeatedly, with a twisted smile on his face. The rat fought back, biting the taunting finger, only to make the obese man snicker with glee.

“Don’t play with your food, Gluttony,” instructed a smooth, sensual voice, from a buxom, dark-clad woman, with her back resting against the chilling sewer wall. The few torches that were lit in the sewer played shadows across her pale skin.

“Sorry, Lust,” giggled Gluttony.

With the rat still wiggling in his other hand, Gluttony picked up the remains of the guards body, and in the blink of an eye, devoured the remnants and rodent, bringing about an echoing munching and slurping noise, through out the doom-shaped passage.

Lust flicked her midnight-colored curls to the side and sighed heavily.

She was growing impatient. “Envy should have met up with us thirty minutes ago. What could be taking him so long?”

Gluttony licked his fingers for the fourth time, when Envy dropped graciously from the over-head pipelines. He knelt down, easing the blow on his feet, and then stood up, with a demonic look in his violet eyes.

“I had my hands tied up for awhile,” Envy cursed.

Taking no response of Envy’s excuse, Lust inspected her fingernails. “What kind of thrilling news do you have this time?” The monotone way Lust spoke hinted her already noticeable boredom.

“We Sins are no longer alone.”

Gluttony stopped licking his fingers, and both he and Lust looked over to Envy, giving him their undivided attention.

“What are you talking about, Envy?”

Envy’s face grew stern, and livid. “One is already awake, and it won’t be long before the other’s follow suit."

“You know what this means, don’t you?” Lust said, one corner of her lips going up in a smirk.

“Yes,” Envy said curtly. “But that means we can’t focus on putting down that pip-squeak stray dog, Full Metal.”

“Calm down,” Lust said, strutting away from the wall. “They will probably be hunting him down the same way we did. All we need to do is wait till one of them meets up with Edward and his younger brother, and then we confront them. It will be like killing two birds with one stone.”

“You do have a point there, Lust. I’ll try to be patient,” Envy shrugged and set himself in an akimbo stance.

Lust chuckled at Envy's behavior, and crossed her arms.

“Oh, Lust! Can I eat them, please?” Gluttony pleaded with anticipation. His stomach growled, almost trying to speak for him.

“We’ll let you have one or two, Gluttony, since there are seven of them.”

“And only six of us,” grumbled Envy.

“It’d be best if we told Pride and the others about this. They probably want a piece of the action as well.”

The small group of homunculus strode deeper into the eerie abyss of the sewers, smiling as they let their minds speculate on the carnage of war to come.

~***~
Preview for Chapter 2 - Justice is Served:
"Tell me Edward," Roy began, “Is there anything else you see in common with these victims?”

Edward paused, looking back down at the profiles and reports in his hands, reading them again, thoroughly. An instant later Edward gasped, gripping the papers roughly, in disgusted astonishment.

“Brother, what is it?”

“All of the victims,” trembled Edward. “They’ve all been proven innocent of hideous crimes that should have put them on death row, without a second glance!”

“This isn’t a case of homicide,” admitted Edward with distaste. “It’s nothing more then overdue justice.”
~***~

After notes-
This is my first FMA fanfiction, so I apologize if there are any grammar errors and/or typos. The only way I'll get better is by listening to your comments, so if it isn’t too much to ask, please leave a short review. I’ll try to post Chapter 2 as soon as I can. Thank you for reading.

With openness and respect,
Hex-Sama
Hex-Sama
I've noticed that there are other fanfiction's that have used "Chronicles" in their title, or used the "Virtues" in their story. Please keep in mind that I am not trying to steal their work, and if there are any similarities in this fanfiction and the other author's, it is plain coincidence.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen episodes 1-34, I suggest you do so before reading this fanfiction, because some parts may confuse you, and ultimately, ruin crucial plot twists, from the anime. I’m not to sure on the manga though, but just remember that you’ve been warned!

Special thanks to: Hiromu Arakawa, Square-Enix, Bones, Funimation, and Viz, for bringing FMA to life, and also the fullmetal-alchemist.com forum, for posting my fanfiction.

~***~
Chapter 2 - Justice is Served

Roy shifted in his chair and stared up at his office clock, watching the minute hand tick away slowly.

“Where have the hours gone?” he thought to himself, sarcastically. The lack of loose papers on his desk suggested that Roy had finished his work for the day. Now, he had to sit around for the next few hours, doing absolutely nothing.

Perfect.

This was one of the few times he didn't put off his work till the last minute, and he can't think of how to use his free hours. Roy almost wished he had a bit more to do; just to keep him busy.

“I’ll go make some coffee,” Roy decided out loud, in a monotone voice.

Just then a hard knock came on the office door, causing Roy to shoot a startled glance at it.

"Come in."

The door creaked opened, revealing Second Lieutenant Havoc, wearing a disturbed look on his usually calm face. Roy even noticed beads of sweat accumulating on Havoc's forehead.

Havoc took in a quivering breath and spoke faintly. “Something's happened, Colonel, and it isn’t pretty.”

Roy’s wrinkled his brow for a moment, and then relaxed it. A sinking feeling began to fester in his gut.

“Fantastic,” Roy thought. “Whatever the matter is, I’ll probably have to work over time for it.”

~***~

"Damn those freaking train seats! It would have felt more comfortable if I sat on a thorn bush," Edward cursed and complained, stepping out of the train car, rubbing his backside with one hand and carrying his tattered suitcase with the other. He walked further ahead, scanning over Centrals busy station lobby.

Edward's feelings toward coming to Central were mixed, depending mostly on the reason behind the trip. This visit wasn't a cheerful one. Edward started walking again, this time at a faster pace. All he cared about right now was getting this seemingly pointless trip over and done with.

Alphonse's armor clanked and rattled as he exited the train car, and then trudged after his older brother. Although Alphonse didn’t want to aggravate Edward, he felt the need to ask him some questions. He could almost see and feel the anger radiating off of Edward. Whatever Roy said to Edward, over the phone, must have really gotten his goat.

“Brother, what exactly did Mustang say?”

“He didn’t say anything.” Edward huffed, still rushing along.

“Come on, Ed. He had to say something.”

“I’m serious. Roy didn’t say anything. Riza was the one I talked with over the phone.”

“Oh,” Alphonse muttered. “Well, what did Riza say?”

By this time, the brother’s had weaved their way through the human traffic of Centrals train station, and made it to the less occupied streets and sidewalks of the city.

Edward spotted a padded bench, along the sidewalk and signaled Alphonse to follow him to it. The brother’s sat down together, taking a short breather.

"All she said was that Roy needed to see me," Edward said, finally answering his younger brother's last question. "He probably needs my help on something, but he's to full of himself to ask for it. That's why he made Riza speak to me."

Over the noise of passing by cars and chattering crowds, Alphonse managed to hear birds chirping, as they few overhead. This brought on a flashflood of memories from his childhood, back in Resembool. He could see himself running across the lush green plains, with Edward, Winry, and Den not too far behind him. Children's laughter echoed throughout his hazy daydream. Alphonse felt somewhat sedated.

“You okay, Al?”

Alphonse twisted his helmet head, to his left, and looked down at Edward, who looked very concerned about him.

“Yeah, I’m fine brother. I was lost in thought, for awhile.”

“Okay then. Just making sure everything’s alright,” Edward said, finishing his sentence with one of his trademark smiles.

Alphonse gave a small laugh and turned his head away. He wondered if Edward knew how goofy he looked, when he smiled like that.

Edward yawned, and then stretched out, on his side of the bench. A moment later, he shot up, grabbing his suitcase.

“Let’s get going! I’m sure the Colonel’s getting testy by now.”

As Alphonse stood up, Edward coughed, clearing out his throat loudly, like he was getting ready to say something important. But before Alphonse could question his brother’s eccentric behavior, Edward spoke again.

“Just like I should have heard on the phone,” Ed began, and then changed his voice to an annoying, high-pitched tone. “You’d better get here, pronto!”

“Hey!” Alphonse yelled, standing up strait and tall. “Riza.”

“No, I wasn’t imitating Lt. Hawkeye. That was supposed to be Roy. I was dead on, wasn‘t I?” Edward was about to let out a noisy laugh, when a stone-cold voice from behind him sent shivers down his spine.

“That was hilarious FullMetal. I’m sure the Colonel will be very amused to hear it as well.”

Edward yelled and spun around quickly.

“Oh, hey Lieutenant! Good to see you.” Edward chuckled, uneasily. He smiled weakly and scratched the back of his head innocently, with his free hand. “It was just a joke,” he continued, “No harm done, right?”

Riza sighed and moved her head from side to side. She pointed with her left hand, over to a car parked across the cobble-stone street.

“You boys need a ride? I can drive you to the office, if you’d prefer not to walk the rest of the way.”

Edward and Alphonse turned toward each other, confirming their thoughts. They nodded.

“Yes please!”

~***~

“You took long enough.” Roy grumbled, propping his elbows on his desk and resting his chin on his intertwined fingers.

“Nice to see you too, Colonel.” Edward replied, with as much feeling as Roy had.

Edward was seated in a black, U-shaped, leather office chair, with Alphonse, sitting in a similar chair to his, to his left side. Both of them were facing towards Roy’s desk. It looked like two students had been misbehaving and were sent to the principal’s office. That wasn’t the case though; it was a much more serious matter.

“As much as I’d like to hear your progress on the Philosopher’s Stone, I can’t right now. There is another subject I’d like to bring up right away. It‘s the reason I called you here on such short notice.”

“Great,” Edward agreed, crossing his arms. “What is it?”

Roy slide out a drawer from his desk, reached in, and pulled out a heavy cream-colored folder that was filled with other, smaller folders. He raised it up high, and then dropped it onto his desk with a loud thump, as if he were trying to emphasize its heaviness.

“Homicide.” Roy said, slow and crisp. “Quite a few, as you can see,” he added, grabbing the cover and opening the enormous folder, displaying multiple papers, pictures, and other folders.

Alphonse moved in for a closer look at some of the images. After seeing one picture, he quickly sank back into his chair, gripping the arm rests and letting out a small gasp. He turned to Edward, and then back at the desk.

The room went silent.

Edward frowned, and stared forward at the papers on Roy’s desk. He reached out, toward the papers and folders, and then looked up at Roy, for permission to see the evidence. Roy nodded. Collecting the folders in his arms, Edward began to page through everything, scanning over the victim’s pictures and profiles. He immediately took note of the cause of death.

“They were all decapitated. It‘s the work of a serial killer, no doubt.” Edward stated, softly.

Roy ran one of his hands through his rich, ebony locks, leaning back and turning his chair slightly toward his office windows. It felt so wrong, to him; having a minor play detective.

“It’s odd,” Roy sighed. “The way the skin was cut open. The autopsies suggested that the killer didn’t use a knife, because there wasn‘t any metal residue on the wounds. It was most likely ripped by sharpened bones... Or even teeth.”

“Was it an animal?” Alphonse suggested.

“Not likely,” Roy said. “The killer cut from the back of the neck, down the throat, and then twisted upward, making a full circle.”

“Gross.” squealed Alphonse.

“They were attacked from above,” Edward interrupted. “The killer must have jumped down from some height, grabbed hold, and flipped around the victim’s head, while cutting open the victim’s neck at the same time. It’s perfect for a slice and dice style hit and run.”

“Do you see anything in common with the victims, besides the cause of death?”

“Yeah,” Edward replied, without a moment of hesitation. “They were all in the military at one time or another.”

Another silent moment filled the room.

"Tell me Edward," Roy began, “Is there anything else you see in common with these victims?”

Edward paused, looking back down at the profiles and reports in his hands, reading them again, thoroughly. An instant later Edward gasped, gripping the papers roughly, in disgusted astonishment.

“Brother, what is it?”

“All of the victims,” trembled Edward. “They’ve all been proven innocent of hideous crimes that should have put them on death row, without a second glance!”

“This isn’t a case of homicide,” admitted Edward with distaste. “It’s nothing more then overdue justice.”

Alphonse looked back toward his brother. “That’s not right though.”

“Are you sure about that, Alphonse?” Roy said, almost defensively.

“But,”

“But nothing, Al. All these so called “victims” were cold-blooded bastards whose only interest in the military was to gain political power, no matter what the cost.” Edward’s voice was harsh and cold. He looked down, letting his hair cover some of his face.

Roy spoke, bitterly. “Colonel Anthony Grantham was a low-rank soldier, when the war against Ishbal started. He was accused of killing four Ishbalian prisoners, without a cause or reason. Yet despite that, his status among the upper-class military improved, and when he returned to Central, he was promoted to Colonel for his heroic efforts.”

“And this Major Lamar character,” Edward pointed out. “He was caught several times, trying to smuggle female prisoners outside the prison camps, and selling them as slaves or prostitutes. But, it says that there wasn‘t enough evidence to incriminate him of any injustice against the military. What a bunch of bullshit!”

Alphonse knew that these men did horrible, wrong things to other people, but he knew that violence didn’t solve violence. The families, of the victims, had to be devastated now, but later, they’ll probably be full of hatred, toward the killer. Then, they‘ll want to kill the serial killer themselves. This “eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” business pissed Alphonse off to no end.

“Al, get a load of this,” Edward said, scooting closer to his younger brother, with the profile of Lamar opened in his hands.

Edward pointed to a specific spot, under Lamar‘s profile, and waiting for Alphonse to lower his gaze to it. Alphonse followed his sight to were Edward pointed, and read a very disturbing note about Major Lamar’s taste in “product value”.

“Some of the female prisoner’s, who were being sold to underground brothels, were as old as fifteen, and even some as young as ten.”

That was the breaking point.

These men were exceptions to Alphonse’s philosophy on punishment. They deserved to die. To Alphonse, they didn’t even seem human anymore.

“You and the Colonel are right, brother.” Alphonse claimed, with a slight hint of rage, in his shaky voice. “I can say, with every part of my soul, that I hate these men.” When he was finished speaking, he slumped into his chair, looking down at the floor, in complete silence.

Edward was taken aback by this. His eyes widened in shock and his jaw dropped. He had never heard Alphonse respond in that way, before. It seemed very out of character for his typically merciful younger brother, to say.

Roy had been watching and listening to the brother’s conversation since the beginning, and he shared the same reaction as Edward did. He had to admit, Edward was the one who was usually more prone to fly off the handle, but Alphonse was acting like he was ready to get into a fist fight at the tip of a hat. Something about the note must have hit a nerve.

“Yes.”

Realizing it was Edward’s voice he heard, Roy raised a perplexed eyebrow.

“Yes to what?”

“Your question,” Edward said, putting together the various profiles, pictures, and small folders, and then placed them back in the bigger folder, and lastly, setting the whole bundle back on Roy’s desk. Roy dropped his attention to the files, then back at Edward with an even more puzzled look, written on his face.

“You want us to go after the killer. That’s why you called us here, isn’t it?”

The Colonel’s face went blank and nodded gently.

"Good, because I want to have a little chit-chat with this “assassin of righteousness“.” said Edward, changing back to his normal, cocky tone of voice.

“Be very careful, Edward. Everything points to the serial killer being ex-military, so there is a slight chance that this gore fest may be nothing then a little grudge. It seems unlikely that someone “outside” would have known anything about these war hero’s and their dirty deeds. It's up to you to find out the real motive behind all of this.”

“Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.”

Edward and Alphonse rose from their seats, and Roy followed suit. Raising his right arm, Edward saluted Roy. He made a stern face, as he did so. Roy saw this and a small smile crept onto his face.

“No need to be so uptight, FullMetal. How about a handshake?” Roy said, extending his right hand. It’s hard to break the tension when you’re asking someone to help you hunt down a killer on the loose. This was rather lame, but it was the only thing Roy could think of, at the moment.

Edward shrugged, laughing at his Colonel’s weak attempt to switch gears from the previous, dark conversation to a cheerful goodbye.

“Whatever you say, Mustang.”

Edward gripped onto Roy’s hand, making a clapping noise as he did so.

Then, there came a noise. A noise that Edward feared.

Ping.

“Uh oh!” Alphonse exclaimed.

Edward and Roy both looked at each other with bewildered faces, and then down at the desk, where the foreign noise came from.

Three pairs of eyes watched a tiny screw bounce on the wooden desk, and followed it as it rolled quietly off the table and onto the carpeted floor.

Edward gulped loudly, and a drop of cold sweat ran down the side of his face.

“Well, uh, I think we should get going now.” Edward said preparing to pull away from Roy’s hand and pick up the loose screw that had come of his auto-mail arm. As he pulled, he felt a jerk on his right arm.

Then, all hell broke loose.

The shrike of metal against metal and the sound of dozens of screws falling onto the floor could be heard outside of Roy’s office, followed by loud series of profanity. Everyone leaned outside of their work cubicles and stared at the Colonel’s door.

Back inside the office, Roy stood at his desk, with Edward’s auto-mail arm still in his right hand.

Edward stood near the door, holding his right shoulder, from which long, nerve-like wires hung down, almost touching the floor.

“What the hell?” Edward squeaked, staring at the hanging, multicolored wires. His eyelids and the corner of his mouth twitched from anger and shock.

“Hmm, that’s interesting,” Roy said, in a fairly calm voice, as he inspected the auto-mail hand that was till holding on tightly to his hand. He gave it a good shake and it clanked down onto his desk.

Edward growled at Roy. His face turned blood red, and steam shot out of his ears. Alphonse held his enraged, elder brother back, suggesting that he might have used too much oil the last time he loosened up his auto-mail joints. Edward did calm down eventually, after a few more attempts to lunge at Roy and rip him to shreds.

The next step towards fixing his auto-mail wasn’t one that Edward was fond of. He worried and fretted for half an hour, before he made the devastating call to his auto-mail mechanic, back in Resembool.

~***~

Preview for Chapter 3 - The Liar, the Wrench, and the Auto-Mail Store
Winry strolled leisurely through the open doorway, of the store, and was astonished by what she saw inside.

It was like a dream come true. Bright, glistening auto-mail decorated the walls, to and fro. Arm and leg models stood up on stone podiums, as if they were works of art, being displayed in a museum.

Starry-eyed with excitement, Winry ran up to various parts, taking note of all the detail put into each piece, with precision and accuracy.

“Can I help you?”

Winry jumped, nearly knocking over one of the display models. She turned around and saw a woman about her height, dressed in military clothes, with a mechanic apron on. The woman’s thick red hair was tied back in a tight ponytail, with a few strains of loose hair in her face, almost covering one of her brilliant, green eyes. Winry couldn’t believe her luck; she found one of the best auto-mail stores on the block, and a fellow female mechanic!

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, um, what’s your name?” The woman said, in a kind voice.

“My name’s Winry and I’m the one who should be sorry. I almost knocked over this- Oh, I know this will seem kind of rude, but I’m in a hurry, and I was wondering if you had a certain part I’m looking for.” Winry said, remembering the job at hand. “It’s a duel-action wrist joint with a half inch wax coating, and a balanced center with steel, not iron.”

“Let me think,” the woman said, bringing a hand up to scratch her chin, and scanning her eyes across the room.

Winry sighed, feeling her heart sink, as her hopes were being crushed. She knew that she’d never find it; the part was way too rare.

“Actually, I think there’s one in the back. Stay here; I’ll go get it for you.”

After Notes-
Whew! This chapter toke me forever to type. It’s longer then the Prologue, but I think it lacks detail. Do you prefer the chapters to be long, or short? Please leave a review and tell me your opinion. I’ll take everything into consideration. Thank you for reading.

With openness and respect,
Hex-Sama
Moushi
Ahhh!!! I've finally found a well-written Heavenly/ Contrary virtues Fanfic! Can't wait to find out what happens next! biggrin.gif
Hex-Sama
@Moushi: Thank you so much smile.gif !

I'm glad that you took the time to read and reply on Virtue Chronicles. I'll try to finish the next chapter soon.

Damascus
Excellent! I was captivated for the whole read, and I can't wait to see where this goes! Grammar is very good, as is style, and you captured the characters very well. Love where Roy accidently pulls out Ed's arm. XD Keep writing fast, I can't wait to see what happens next!
Doragon-Ryuu
Your fiction is certainly one of the best here. *nods* Keep at it! Very few have fictions that sound as intellegent as yours.
Hex-Sama
@Damascus: Thank you for the complements biggrin.gif ! I'm always worried about going out of character. I'm glad you laughed at the incident with Roy, and hope you like this next chapter!

@Doragon-Ryuu: Thank you for the complements, and it's awesome that you think VC's one of the best fanfics here smile.gif . I'm very grateful that you also think it sounds intelligent.

My apologizes to you both for not replying sooner sleep.gif .

Now... LET THE MAYHEM BEGIN!

If anyone was wondering, I did make the title of this chapter a spin off of C.S. Lewis's "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe". I just wanted to see if anyone would notice, and if you did, I hope you got a chuckle out of it.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen episodes 1-34, I suggest you do so before reading this fanfiction, because some parts may confuse you, and ultimately, ruin crucial plot twists, from the anime. I’m not to sure on the manga though, but just remember that you’ve been warned!

Special thanks to: Hiromu Arakawa, Square-Enix, Bones, Funimation, and Viz, for bringing FMA to life, and also fullmetal-alchemist.com, for posting my fanfiction.

~***~
Chapter 3 - The Liar, the Wrench, and the Auto-Mail Store

The jingle of a ringing phone played inside the Rockbell house; followed by a rush of heavy footsteps. Winry made it to the phone, dressed in her working attire, with grease and sweat on her forehead and arms. Even though she was dead tired, from a long days work, she tried to sound as cheery as possible.

"Hello! You’ve reached the Rockbell Auto-Mail Prosthetic Limb Outfitters. How may I help you?”

There was a silence on the other end of the phone.

“Uh... Hello?” Winry repeated.

“Err, hey Winry.”

“Edward? Hey, what’s up?”

“Well, um, this is going to sound kind of stupid but-”

Winry could already tell what had happened by the tone and manner that Edward used, over the phone. Her face grew red and her eyes narrowed.

“You broke your auto-mail again, didn’t you?” Winry shouted into the phone.

On the other line, Edward winced and pulled the phone away from his head. After he was sure she was done yelling, he put the phone back up to his ear.

“Yes, it broke. But you need to hear me out on this one! It wasn’t my fault this time, I swear. You see, I was giving someone a hand shake, and for some reason, a screw or two came out of place, and then my whole arm fell apart.”

“Really? That sounds reasonable,” Winry said, almost in a sarcastic way.

“Nope, that’s a lie. It’s still Edward’s fault!” Alphonse shouted, loud enough for Winry to hear.

The phone made a static noise on Edward’s end.

“Shut up, Al!”

Alphonse laughed as he ran away from his brother, who couldn’t chase after him, due to the phone’s short cord.

Winry sighed into the phone. “They act like preschoolers,” she thought to herself.

“Anyways, I was wondering if you could come to Central and fix it for me. I’m afraid I’ll loose some parts and pieces if I go to Resembool.”

“I can’t Ed; we’re way to busy right now. There are customers coming in left and right.”

Crap. Edward was hoping this wouldn’t happen, but it was inevitable. He was about to give up hope, and say his goodbye’s, when a devious thought came into his head.

“Are you sure? Why don’t you ask Aunt Pinako if you can come up here for awhile?”

“It’s not going to happen Ed! There are just too many customers.”

“I’ll buy you some presents, if you come to Central.” Edward grinned to himself, as if he knew the outcome would be in his favor.

The gasp on the other side of the phone only confirmed Edward’s thoughts.

“Okay, just hold on a second. I’ll go ask granny right now! Don’t hang up.” Winry set the phone down and bolted to the kitchen.

“Granny? Edward needs some repairs and he can’t leave right now. May I please go to Central and fix his auto-mail?”

The stout, elderly woman puffed some smoke out of the pipe she always carried in her mouth, and looked at her granddaughter, with weary eyes.

Winry stood in the door way of the kitchen, giving Pinako an innocent, begging look.

“Please?”

Pinako thought for a second, before answering.

“It has been awhile since you’ve seen those boys. I suppose I’ll let it slide by this time.”

Winry screamed with joy, and hugged Pinako.

“Thank you so much!”

“You’re welcome, dear. But there’s a catch.”

Winry grimaced. She should have known better then to assume she would be let off so easily.

“Tell him it’ll cost double. I’m losing a helping hand around here, so if anything goes wrong, I’ll have him to blame.”

“Alright,” Winry said, sounding fine, since the punishment didn’t really affect her. “Thank you again! I’ll go tell Ed right now.”

Winry came back to the phone, told Edward the news, and then ran upstairs to her bedroom, where she stuffed her suitcase full of her best clothes.
~***~

"Ow... Those train seats are rough." Winry complained as she exited her train car. She looked around the station, hoping to see some familiar faces.

Before Winry hung up the phone, the other day, Edward said that Alphonse would greet her, and take her to their hotel room. This only increased Winry's fear of having to completely rebuild Edward's auto-mail arm. She figured, "If it's so bad that he can't go out in public, then there has to be something seriously wrong with it.”

Wanting to take a rest, due to the harsh train ride, Winry looked for an empty bench to sit on. After a few minutes of squeezing her way through the thick crowds, she saw an open wooden bench, adjacent to the Customer Service Station. Increasing her stride, she began to head over to her seat, when she suddenly felt her feet go out from under her.

She tripped, falling forward, expecting to hit the hard pavement. As she fell, she heard her tool box and suit case hit the ground hard, and she braced herself for the worst. However, she fell onto something soft and warm. Someone had caught her.

Winry looked upward to see her rescuer, and was welcomed by a pair of honey-brown eyes.

"Are you alright? That was a nasty fall," said the woman.

"Thank you," Winry said, stunned to see it was a young woman who had caught her.

Winry went to grab her luggage, but realized her tool box opened, and everything inside had spilled out. She frantically began to put everything back in, but was stopped when she felt another set of hands on hers.

"Let me help you with that."

Winry and the polite woman both picked up all the parts and tools that had come out, and then shut the metal box. Picking up the heavy box, Winry flung it over her shoulder.

"Thank you again, Ma'am." she said, adjusting the strap on her tool box.

"You’re welcome, dear," The woman said, as she handed Winry her suitcase. When she did so, Winry toke a closer look at the woman. She realized that the woman looked like she was in her earlier to mid twenties. Her short, tan-colored hair was all combed to one side, and was held in place by a cute, heart-shaped burette.

The woman walked by Winry and patted her on the shoulder. "Take care now."

Winry smiled, making her way over to the bench, with all of her things intact. She was glad that there were compassionate people, like the woman she had just met, in this world. While she waited for Alphonse to arrive, Winry's mind wondered, thinking about what she, herself, would have done, if she had seen someone fall.

"Would I have helped someone else back up?"
~***~

Blocks away from the train station, a young woman, dressed in white, walked down a desolate, run down street, and into a dark back alley. Inside it, something stirred, knocking over some trashcans, and began to walk toward the entering woman.

They met halfway, and stood in stillness.

"Was it her?" spoke the shadowed figure, its voice sounding sincerely concerned.

The young woman nodded. "Yes, it was. The name tag on her suitcase said 'Winry'."

The dark figure slumped down, sitting on a nearby carte. It reached into its right pocket and pulled out a blood-stained picture of a young, blonde-haired girl, with blue eyes. With a worried face, it peered down at the photograph, gently running its feathered, long-nailed thumb across it.

"Are you nervous?" The woman dressed in white said, as she sat down, next to the figure.

It grunted, putting the picture back into its pocket.

"It will be my first time... Meeting her in person."
~***~

The hotel room's door opened, and Edward sprung up from the couch.

"Hey Win-"

A wrench cracked down hard on Edward's skull, causing him to cry out in pain. He fell over, cradling bashed cranium, with his flesh hand. Alphonse closed the door and set down Winry’s luggage, and then ran over to his injured brother.

“Where’s my present, mister?” Winry yelled at Edward, as Alphonse dragged him back to the couch.

Edward rubbed his head and flinched. In his head, he determined on a scale from one to ten how much he hated that stupid wrench that Winry always carried around. He gave it an eleven.

“I was going to buy it for you, when we go out to eat.”

Winry's face changed from fury, to glee in an instant.

"Well, why didn't you say so?"

In a matter of minutes, Winry had disconnected the shoulder adapter on Edward's auto-mail arm, which connected all the wires needed to move the arm, to the nerve endings, deep inside the auto-mail shoulder.

This relieved Edward from the constant tugging weight on his right side, but at the same time, it made him dread the day the repaired arm had to be connected again. The pain caused by reconnecting all the wires to the nerve endings was equivalent to having someone kick you in the teeth, with a steel toed boot.

“Come on guys, it’s almost past one! We’re late for lunch,” Winry said as she placed the shoulder adapter’s part on a nearby table.

"Wait outside for awhile, Alphonse and I will be out in a minute, okay?"

"Whatever, just hurry, I'm starving." Winry walked out of the room and into the hallway, not bothering to shut the door behind her.

The brother's waited for the soft padding of Winry's footsteps to fade out before they began to talk.

"Did you find it?"

"No," Edward growled, looking over at the makeshift bag full of his auto-mail arms parts.

"I hope it wasn't an important part. Maybe she won't notice."

"Oh, trust me Al, she'll notice. It's the wrist joint, for crying out loud. Mustang made Riza search high and low, in his office, and she said that she couldn't find anymore parts."

"What if Winry is still mad at you for losing the wrist joint, after you replaced it?"

"Simple, I'll just buy her another present!"
~***~

"Pass the butter please," Winry said, with a mouthful of lobster meat.

Alphonse picked up the plate of butter and placed it near Winry's main dish, which was covered with a large pile of lobsters. Edward popped open a crab leg and forked out the meat inside.

"So, is the lobster good?" Edward said while taking a bite of crab.

"Yes, very good, thank you. This place is really fancy."

Winry wiped off around her mouth with one of the table's handkerchiefs, and looked around the restaurant. She saw a family gathered around a small child, most likely celebrating a birthday party, and a couple, who were staring into each other's eyes, while engaging in a romantic conversation. Watching all of this made Winry daydream about the day she would find that special someone.

Edward struggled to open another crab leg when Alphonse nudged him, and hinted over to Winry. Lifting his gaze to Winry, Edward saw that she was in a docile state. This would probably be the best time to deliver the news.

As he tried to form the words he was going to say, in his head, Edward could see that something about Winry had changed since the last time he saw her. He didn't quite know what it was, so he shrugged it off. She was still the same Winry he knew, no matter what.

"Hey, Winry."

Winry broke away from her deep thoughts and turned to Edward, who was sitting across from her.

"I wanted to talk about your present, since your going to pick it out."

"Can I get whatever I want?" Winry interrupted.

"Sure, but what I was thinking was more along the lines of a need."

"A new wrench? Of course, that's a need."

"No, not a wrench." Edward paused. "It's a piece of auto-mail."

"Why would I need a new piece of auto-mail?"

"Actually, I'm the one who needs it, because-"

"You lost a piece?!" Winry said, jumping onto her feet and nearly knocking over her chair.

The restaurant went quiet and dozens of people turned in their seats to see what the commotion was about. While Winry’s eyes were locked onto Edward, Edward’s were looking around at their new found audience, waving innocently with a blushed face. She could tell he was avoiding eye contact.

"If you lost a bolt or something along those lines, I don't mind. Those parts can be easily replaced," Winry began, seating back down.

"But I have a feeling that's not the case, is it?"

Edward gulped, cursing silently about Winry's sixth sense. He felt like turning to Alphonse for help, but realized it was his responsibility to deal with, not his brother's. Even though it was only a thought, Edward recognized it as a weakness, and for that spilt second, hated himself for it.

“I lost the wrist joint.” Edward said, still looking downward. After a moment of silence, he looked up, meeting Winry’s pouting gaze. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry?” Winry thought to herself. “He barely ever apologizes. Maybe something’s happened again. I hate it when he doesn’t tell me about that stuff.”

“Well, it’s alright.” Winry said quietly, poking at her food with a fork. “That was the only part I didn’t make myself anyway.”

Edward felt his shoulders loosen up, thinking all was well. However, as Winry was brainstorming, she realized another factor.

“That part was also extremely rare!” Winry shouted, making both Edward and Alphonse cower back in their chairs, hoping to get out of the restaurant alive and replace the cursed missing part as soon as humanly possible.

~***~

“No luck at that store,” Edward said to Alphonse, who was seated on a bench, outside of a General store.

“I couldn’t find it either.” Alphonse admitted as his brother sat down next to him.

The duo grew quiet as a feeling of disappointment came over them. Edward kicked a small rock away from the bench and crossed his left arm over his stomach

“This sucks.”

“Yeah... Where’s Winry?”

“I thought she was with you.”

“Oh.”

“Why?”

I thought she went with you.”

“Damn it!”
~***~

“How can Edward be so careless? I slave hours over making him the perfect auto-mail limbs, and he finds everyway possible to completely trash my masterpiece!”

Winry couldn’t help but feel angry at Edward, after she left the third auto-mail store, with no leads or hopes of finding the uncommon wrist-joint.

While she walked, Winry kept her eyes fixed on the ground, with her clenched fists at her sides. Without realizing it, she had turned into a sub-street, with a dead end.

“Great.” Winry said sarcastically, looking up at the brick wall with a look of annoyance written all over her face. Then something white caught her eye, she looked down and saw a white caution sign, with the words, “Auto-Mail Store” in big, bold, red print, and arrow pointing to the left, right under the text. Following the direction of the arrow, Winry glanced over and saw an open door, right where the arrow was pointing to.

Winry couldn’t explain it, but she felt like this store was going to be different.

“Why not give it a try?” Winry thought to herself, and started to walk to the doorway.

Winry strolled leisurely through the open doorway, of the store, and was astonished by what she saw inside.

It was like a dream come true. Bright, glistening auto-mail decorated the walls, to and fro. Arm and leg models stood up on stone podiums, as if they were works of art, being displayed in a museum.

Starry-Eyed with excitement, Winry ran up to various parts, taking note of all the detail put into each piece, with precision and accuracy.

“Can I help you?”

Winry jumped, nearly knocking over one of the display models. She turned around and saw a woman about her height, dressed in military clothes, with a mechanic apron on. The woman’s thick red hair was tied back in a tight ponytail, with a few strains of loose hair in her face, almost covering one of her brilliant, green eyes. Winry couldn’t believe her luck; she found one of the best auto-mail stores on the block, and a fellow female mechanic!

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, um, what’s your name?” The woman said, in a kind voice.

“My name’s Winry and I’m the one who should be sorry. I almost knocked over this- Oh, I know this will seem kind of rude, but I’m in a hurry, and I was wondering if you had a certain part I’m looking for.” Winry said, remembering the job at hand. “It’s a duel-action wrist joint with a half inch wax coating, and a balanced center with steel, not iron.”

“Let me think,” the woman said, bringing a hand up to scratch her chin, and scanning her eyes across the room.

Winry sighed, feeling her heart sink, as her hopes were being crushed. She knew that she’d never find it; the part was way too rare.

“Actually, I think there’s one in the back. Stay here; I’ll go get it for you.”

The woman walked passed Winry, giving her a pat on the shoulder as she walked by, and headed to the back room, behind a wooden counter. Winry waited till she heard the door shut, and jumped up and down with glee.

“Yes!” Winry squealed. “This is awesome.”

Before she could break off into a self-victory cheer, she heard the door open again, and turned around to see the woman carrying a small brown box. The woman smiled as she handed the box over to Winry.

“Thank you so much.” Winry said, half exhausted, but still sincere.

“Open it.”

“Don’t you want me to pay you first? I don’t have any money with me right now, but if you could please hold onto it for a second, I can go get some from a friend of mine-”

“Don’t worry about it, Winry. I’m sure your search for it was payment enough. You don’t need to pay me.”

Winry’s jaw dropped and felt her eyes bulge out a bit. “You mean you’re just going to give it to me for free?” she said, trying not to squeak or yell to loud when she said it.

The woman laughed at Winry’s expression, causing Winry to chuckle nervously, still unsure if what she heard was true.

“No one ever comes to my store anymore, and I can’t keep it up and running without any profit. Since you’re my last customer, I don’t think it’s fair to charge you anything, because no matter how much you pay me, it won’t be enough to get this place back in business.”

“What?” Winry exclaimed. “I’ve been to plenty of auto-mail stores in my life, and none of them, not even ones in Rush Valley have auto-mail that can compare to the quality of your parts. I mean, look at this leg piece. It’s polished and from what I see, it looks very durable. The design is flawless.”

“Thank you. You know quiet a lot about auto-mail. Is there someone in your family who does auto-mail work?”

“Yes,” Winry began, “But I also make auto-mail limbs and parts. Oh, I should go grab Edward-”

“Uh, Winry?”

Surprised, Winry twirled around to see Edward and Alphonse in the doorway. Edward had a questioning look on his face. Winry couldn’t help but laugh at his expression.

“Why are you acting like that Ed? Come on in and look around. There are plenty of auto-mail parts in here.”

Edward squinted at Winry, confusing her even more.

“What is wrong with you Ed?”

“Uh, Winry,” Alphonse said, “What auto-mail are you talking about?”

“What do you mean?”

“This place is empty, Winry.” Edward said.

“What are you-” Winry gasped. When she had turned to look at all the auto-mail parts again, they were all gone, like they had magically disappeared. The once clean and freshly painted walls were now old, half rotted wood, with bits and pieces of insulation coming out of them. The only pieces of furniture in the whole room were a table, two chairs, and the counter that the woman had walked behind.

“Hey,” Winry suddenly realized, “There was a girl here.”

“A girl?”

“Yeah, she was about my height, and she was wearing a military uniform with a mechanic apron over it.”

Edward and Alphonse looked around the room, and couldn’t find any trace of another person in the room with Winry. The only proof was the box that Winry had in her hands.

“Well, I’m glad we finally found it.” Edward said, breathing a heavy sigh of relief.

“You mean I found it.” Winry retorted.

“Whatever.”

Edward and Alphonse stepped out of the store, and Winry followed close behind. Before she left, she looked back into the room, hoping to see it change back to the way it was before, but nothing happened.

“Winry, come on!”

“Hold your little horses, Edward!”

WHAT DID YOU SAY?!”

Winry bolted past Edward, who was nothing but enraged, and gave chance, followed by Alphonse, all the way back to the hotel room.

Back in the broken down Auto-Mail Store, a pair of large, bird-like wings drooped from the ceiling. The body connected to it, let out a deep sigh, after holding its breath while the trio were present. It clung to the ceiling by its huge clawed hands and feet, which were dug deep into the rotting wood. Sensing it would give way soon, the figure flipped off of the ceiling and landed on all fours, bringing its self up slowly and looking out the door with its emerald green orbs. The taut muscles around its flexible golden beak pulled back in a semi-smile.

“That was close,” It said, brushing off dust and wood chippings on its torn and tattered military jacket. “I’m glad to see she’s turned out alright.” It paused, thinking deeply before it wheezed: “Your parents are probably smiling from above, right now.”

~***~

Preview for Chapter 4 - Rain of Tears

“I’m just saying that you might have been imagining things.”

“I’m telling you the truth.” Winry said defensively. “I saw that woman hand me the auto-mail part. She even patted me on the shoulder when she went back to get it, for me. Why don’t you believe me? What reason do I have to lie?

Edward bit his lip, crossed his arms behind his head, and stared up at the twirling ceiling fan. Winry was right. She didn’t have any reason to lie, but something about it just didn’t sit right with Edward.

As the silence grew, Winry couldn’t take it anymore. Her feelings were getting the best of her.

“You’re so stubborn,” Winry whispered, tears beginning to form in her eyes. “You’re welcome for the repairs, you ungrateful jerk!

Winry shot up, off of the recliner, and ran out of the hotel room, sobbing uncontrollably.

Alphonse began to go after her, but stopped at the doorway, turning back to look at Edward, who was still lying on the couch. It was moments like this when Alphonse disliked his brother most. He couldn’t understand why it was so hard for Edward to admit he was wrong. In all truthfulness, no one is perfect. Mistakes are inevitable.

“Get up,” Alphonse said in a stern voice.

Edward rose from the couch, walked over to his suitcase, took out his red coat, and threw it over his shoulder.

When Edward was about to step out of the doorway, Alphonse grabbed him roughly by the coat, and pulled him closer.

“Why do you need that?” He said, still using a hardhearted tone.

“It’s raining outside,” Edward said remorsefully, avoiding eye contact with his younger, but more sympathetic, brother.

~***~
After Notes-
I know, it’s getting weird. If you don’t like that, you might as well stop reading it, because it’s not going to get back on the sane train. However, if you do like that kind of stuff, stick around. Please leave a review and tell me your opinion, because your opinions matter! Thank you for reading.

With openness and respect,
Hex-Sama
Damascus
Ooh, this is good!
Hex-Sama
@Damascus: I hope the story doesn't freak you out to much laugh.gif .
Damascus
QUOTE(Hex-Sama @ Apr 20 2006, 05:35 PM) [snapback]384105[/snapback]

@Damascus: I hope the story doesn't freak you out to much laugh.gif .


Lol, no, it's your sig that freaks me out... The story is very intriguing. And if I'm not mistaken, I may have already spotted two Virtues...

[spoiler] If I had to guess, the lady who helped Winry is Compassion (opposite to Wrath), and the lady who gave her the wrist joint is Charity (opposite to Greed).[/spoiler]
Edward's grl 15
The story is really cool... i'm mean interesting .Damascus your right i figured out that one of the Virtues was compassion but i'm still a little confused about the story .wat do u think about it (explain in detail )...
Hex-Sama
@Damascus and Edward's grl 15: Well... I know this will kind of ruin some of the story, but... Oh well.


You are both right on Love (aka Charity), but the woman at the auto-mail shop/odd creature is Justice. In the second chapter, Justice is Served, Roy talked to Ed and Al about those serial killings that have been taking place in Central, and Roy said that the cuts weren't caused by a blade, but by sharpened bones ( could actually be messy claw marks ph34r.gif ), or teeth. Justices' true personality will be revealed in later chapters.


If you'd like, I'll post a chart of the Virtues, I've chosen for the VC, versus their Sin counterpart, from the show.
Doragon-Ryuu
QUOTE(Hex-Sama @ Apr 22 2006, 11:45 PM) [snapback]384947[/snapback]

@Damascus and Edward's grl 15: Well... I know this will kind of ruin some of the story, but... Oh well.

[spoiler]You are both right on Love (aka Charity), but the woman at the auto-mail shop/odd creature is Justice. In the second chapter, Justice is Served, Roy talked to Ed and Al about those serial killings that have been taking place in Central, and Roy said that the cuts weren't caused by a blade, but by sharpened bones ( could actually be messy claw marks ph34r.gif ), or teeth. Justices' true personality will be revealed in later chapters.[/spoiler]

If you'd like, I'll post a chart of the Virtues, I've chosen for the VC, versus their Sin counterpart, from the show.

Chart would be nice! Yay! biggrin.gif
Seems a lot of the good writer's on here have writers block... and some of the bad ones, too... *points to self* ...OC's aren't mary sues, okay?!
Hex-Sama
@Doragon-Ryuu: Yes, writer's block has contributed to the lack of updates for The Virtue Chronicles. However, I'm also working on another fanfic at the same time, which has distracted me from this fanfic, unfortunately.

I'm currently away from my home computer, so I can't update either one of my stories. Once I get back, I promise to post up the Sin v.s. Virtue chart and also the next chapter for both of my fanfic's. I'll work on The Virtue Chronicles first wink.gif .

Thank you for replying; this thread was starting to fade away laugh.gif .
Hex-Sama
(Sorry to double post)

Now, as promised, I will reveal the Sin vs. Virtue chart! Since it does classify as a mild spoiler for my fanfic, I'm putting it in the spoiler box below. If you don't want to be surprised later, then doing read it.


Prudence vs. Pride
Charity vs. Lust
Faith vs. Sloth
Fortitude vs. Envy
Justice vs. Greed
Temperance vs. Wrath
Hope vs. Gluttony


I know that anyone who reads the spoiler will automatically begin to question why I chose a certain Sin to be rival's with a certain Virtue. If you do want to ask me a question, please use a spoiler tag to shield it from those who don't wish to know.

Honestly, It was really tough deciding who would be destined to battle who, because some Virtue's seemed like they would be qualified to fight two different Sin's, while other's didn't seem to fit in at all! Another factor was that two Virtue's almost mean the same thing.

No matter, for I shall find one way or another to get this whacked up fanfic to make some sense mad.gif !
Racheakt
Interesting. Not the most engageing read, but there are certinly some nice elements. I was going to pass this off as another mediocre fanfiction, but the way you paired up the virtues with different sins is interesting... I think I will keep an eye on this.

For the moment.

You could really use a beta though, and flesh out some parts. Though there are definite possabilities.
LittleZoe
I was really getting in to this story! Sad to see it didn't go further. Great read, though!

This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.