KKD: Hey guys, it's me again. I think I managed to find a good formula for an updating schedule: I work on the stories during the week, and whatever's finished, I'll post up here to Fanfiction. And yes, for those of you aware, I had some mistakes I couldn't help but notice here one this story before, so I decided I'd update this, and add a chapter more to my standards these days. Yes, my very first actual story here is about to make a comeback and return along with WBX Kingdom Hearts and the other two stories on this Update Sunday. I hope you guys enjoy the fact that I got my attention back to this.
DISCLAIMERS: Despite the wait to get this fixed, Kamen Keyblade Duelist STILL does not own anything displayed here. That means he still doesn't own Kamen Rider, OOO, Fullmetal Alchemist, or anything else mentioned here. They belong to their respective owners, including Toei, Bandai, Funimation, Square, etc. He does, however, own Hajime, and any characters he creates for this story.
KKD: Also, like before, props go to Ten-Faced Paladin for kinda giving me the inspiration for this with his stories Familiar of ZerOOO for the idea of using OOO, and The Forgotten Rider, which was itself inspired by the works of Dark Magician 41. Thanks again TFP, if it weren't for you, I probably wouldn't have gotten this far into fanfiction. Anyway, I'll see you at the end of this chapter.
Fullmetal Kamen Rider OOO
Chapter 1: The Desert City
The name's Genda, Hajime Ezekiel Genda, but most people either call me Hajime or Zeke. I'm just your average college student who was also a fan of Kamen Rider (ok, call me an otaku if you want; I'm proud of it), but at first glance it isn't noticeable. Yet, that's not the reason why I'm here, I'm here explain what happened to me on a certain faithful day.
First off, I've been known to have weird dreams, but none have been as weird as the dream I had one night. As usual, I had a dream where I transformed into Kamen Rider OOO, one of my recent favorites among many, and I was fighting off a yummy, but this time, I was joined by someone who merely clapped his hands and creating what looked like electricity before he pulled a weapon from the ground. Once the yummy was destroyed, this new person looked prepared to fight me, but instead of charging, the man dropped his weapon and only spoke a few words.
"Desire is taking over the type of people who created your equipment." he explained something to me that I didn't quite understand. "The next time you do any scan of those alchemic creations, then I'll send you to this world that needs your help."
"What? What are you talking about?" I practically demanded.
"Farewell Kamen Rider, and be sure to aid the Fullmetal Alchemist in anyway possible."
"Wait!" I shouted in my dream before…
"WAIT!" I shot up awake in my bed sweating like crazy. Normally a dream wouldn't make me so nervous. I just thought that was nothing, but I had no idea what was to happen to me soon.
The next day, I was preparing to go to a convention with my friends involving Kamen Rider. I had an outfit similar to the protagonist of the twelfth Heisei rider season, Kamen Rider OOO, and I even made larger pockets in the pants so that he could better hold onto my DX O-Driver and a medal book holding all of my DX core medals, but I had also expanded the holder with a few more pages so I could be able to hold at least nine medals of each colors (three of each medal). I also had a backpack filled with other OOO items, including at least one copy of many candroids. With this, I was ready for the convention of a lifetime, but before I left, I wanted to make sure my O-driver was in perfect condition and that nothing would prevent it from working properly. I instinctively removed a copy of three particular medals from my medal holder before inserting them into the three slot of my O-driver (the red hawk/taka medal in the slot on my right, the green grasshopper/batta medal in the slot on my left, and the yellow tiger/tora medal in the middle), tilting it downwards to my left before taking the circular scanner on my right hip and scanning the medal in my driver and proceeded to pose like Eiji did in the series with a cry of "Henshin!"
"TA-TO-BA TATOBA TA-TO-BA!"
"WHAT THE!" I shouted before I saw a brighter light than usual shine not just from my scanner, but also from my medals, medal book, and my backpack. Then, the light grew brighter and brighter before I somehow fell unconscious.
When I woke up, I noticed something odd about where I was. I felt like I was laying on top of some sand… HOT SAND!
"YOW!" I screamed once my nerves were back online enough, causing me to launch up to my feet trying to cool my hands off. Once I got myself back to my feet with cooled hands, I realized I was in the middle of a desert; it was blazing hot and I couldn't locate anything or anyone… except for a blonde kid with his hair in a braid, along with some sort of red cloak on top of a kind of black shirt and a red trench coat of sort, which kind of shocked me there. Why would anyone even think about running off into the middle of a place like this? Well I decided to help out if I could since I could tell he looked like he was having trouble staying up due to the heat of exhaustion just walking through the desert.
"Eh, I hate deserts," I heard the kid, which from hearing his voice I now assumed was at least a teen. Obviously he was complaining for various reasons and hadn't even noticed me so close by. "*groan* It's nothing but sand." Then, I noticed the poor guy collapse with his gloved hand hitting the sand. "If there was some grass I could turn it into bread." Now that was weird for me. Either the poor guy knew how to make food out of whatever was near, or he was getting desperate. "I'm straving!" Yep, he was desperate. Then, I saw him get onto his hands and knees and looked around as if he was trying to find someone. "Uh… hey, Al where'd ya go? Al? 'EY!"
"Down here," a voice that sounded like a little kid's voice called, but I couldn't see anything… that is until some gloved and armored hand came out from under the sand and grabbed the blonde boy by the ankle, causing the blonde to scream in shock. I honestly was both shocked that a hand suddenly came out and grabbed someone, but at the same time, I was trying to hold back my laughter at this moment. "I sunk again," the voice complained; I could only guess that it was from the owner of that hand that emerged for some reason.
"Reason number two why I hate the desert," the blonde happened to mention. It seemed that this happened more than once, but I couldn't stand by any longer, so I decided to reveal myself.
"Hey there! Need a hand?" I asked offering some help.
"Yea sure, whatever. Just help me pull my brother out, will ya?" the blonde actually demanded. Without hesitation, I rushed over to help him pull the armored figure out from the ground. Once the armored character was out of the ground, I saw just how tall he was compared to the blonde teen next to him. The figure's armor and cloth covered his entire body, but what stood out to me was the apron that almost acted as a sort of loincloth. If these two were brothers, I could only assume that the taller one was the older sibling. However, I've been wrong before, and I should know due to my own dad being taller than his older brother. After I caught my breath, I decided to get formalities out of the way.
"Well, that takes care of that. Oh, and my name's Hajime Genda, but you can just call me Hajime," I said introducing myself to the two males in front of me.
"Pleased to meet you; I'm Ed, full name being Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist. Perhaps you've heard of me?" the blonde answered as if I had some idea on what he was talking about.
"Can't say that I have. So this guy in the armor is your brother?"
"Yep, he's my little brother Alphonse, but you can call him Al; most everyone does." So this guy was Ed's younger brother? He looked like a giant compared to the blonde kid in the red trench coat. While I understood some bros could be taller than their older siblings, this just felt unnatural, even from what I've seen. "Speaking of which Al, I don't understand why you keep falling in under the sand!"
"I get full!" Al merely stated trying to sound innocent. How was that possible, if that kid got full on something, then it shouldn't have made him sink into the ground.
"FULL OF WHAT?" Ed nearly screamed before kicking his younger brother's armored leg before Al's chest plate fell off and released a pile of sand practically covering his older bro, whom I'm sure was not expecting it to happen. Something else just came to my mind at that moment though: if Alphonse was that tall compared to his brother, why did he still sound like a child? Well that was soon off my mind when I heard Al give off a small laugh before shuffling away as I heard Ed grunting under the sand that fell on him. I'm sure getting that much sand on you was a pain if you knew the feeling of sand in your shorts. Needless to say, after Ed burst out of the pile of sand, I could tell he was really pissed off just by the expression on his face. If that didn't convince anyone, I'm sure what Ed did next would, and that was to start chasing Al in a circle around me threatening to do something to Al for dropping the sand on top of him due to getting buried in the sand, but I could only hear some small glimpses of what they said as the ran around me so fast. I couldn't help but chuckle as I picked up Al's breastplate and dust the sand off of it.
Speaking of sand, I'd just remembered something I should've sooner. I pulled out my driver and medal book to make sure that no sand got into the driver or the medals. Sure enough they were safe and sound. The driver was clean of all sand, and I pulled out one copy of my taka medal to make sure that no sand got into the cracks that lined the etching of the hawk in the red medal. Wait a minute, I had to take another look, but I could've almost sworn that the medal felt like a real completely metal coin rather than the die-cast metal rimmed plastic coin with the electronic chip inside that I knew. Did something happen when I last scanned the medals like that creep in my most recent dream? Somehow I could almost sense a series of adventures coming on, and I didn't want to lose my driver, my core medals, or anything else I had with me at that point.
You count the Medals! One two and three! Life goes on! Anything Goes! Coming up OOO
*The screen changed to the Taka, Tora, and Batta Core Medals in a triangle. It cut to a series of shots of OOO with a ring going over his body, showing a Combo Part. It then cut to a far shot of OOO transforming before cutting to Hajime tossing a coin into the air. He caught it and put it into a Vendor, transforming it into the Ride Vender. It opened up and transformed into the Ride Vendor. It then cut to OOO driving off on it followed by Ed and Al on a few more of them as the title appeared*
Iranai, motanai, yumemo minai (Don't bother with dreams that are unnecessary or fleeting)
*It cut to Hajime, Ed, and Al walking in from the right followed shortly by Winry and Hikari from the left*
Free na joutai, sore mo ii kedo (It's fine to just be completely free)
*We soon cut to a scene with the trio of travelers staring off into the distance, first from a far off angle then to a close up of the trio*
Koko kara hajimaru! What you've been waiting for! Count the Medals! One two and three! (It starts now!)
*We see the ghostly images of the five greeed from the original OOO toku series hovering behind them before Ankh, Kazari, and Uva were shown up close showing off the Taka, Tora, and Batta medals*
Unmei wa kimi hottokanai (But you can't ignore fate)
*Hajime holding his open medal before the camera cuts to him close up holding up a Taka core medal*
Kekkyoku wa susumu shika nai (In the end, all you do is keep moving forward)
*It cut to a close up of Winry and Hikari examining a Tora core medal before cutting to Al with Ed holding and looking a Batta core medal*
Michi naru tenkai! Give me energy! Count the Medals! One two and three! (Mysterious turn of events!)
*It cut to a rotating shot of the Elrics, Winry, Hikari, and Hajime holding one of the coins as the ghostly glowing of the five greeed, and the ghostly glowing silhouettes of many more hovering around the five protagonists before Ankh, Kazari, and Uva are seen up close holding up their respective medals*
Daijoubu! Ashita wa itsu datte Blank (It's okay! Tomorrow's always a blank slate)
*The scene cut to a soaring zooming shot of the homonculi before it switches to Hajime embracing Hikari with Ed and Winry sitting nearby*
Jibun no kachi wa jibun de kimeru mono sa (You're the one who decides what your worth is)
*The scene changes to when Hajime was hanging out with some friends in college before the image shatters like glass and we see Hajime in between Ed and Al who were preparing to summon weapons via alchemy while Hajime scanned the medals and executed his henshin pose with the call of henshin*
OOO! OOO! OOO! OOO! Come On!
*It then cuts to a coin showing scenes from the chapter before cutting to OOO, Ed, and Al riding on their Ride Venders*
Anything Goes! Sono kokoro ga atsuku naru mono (Anything goes! Fire up that heart!)
*OOO and the Elrics drove off before cutting to a close up of Hajime's hand holding the medals.*
Mitasareru mono wo sagashite (Find something to fulfill you)
*It cut to a Taka Cell Medal with a head shot of Colonel Roy Mustang looking to the left for a side shot before cutting to Riza Hawkeye looking at him with the back of a Cell Medal to the screen before cutting to Winry and Hikari looking out the balcony of Rockbell Automail waiting for someone*
Life Goes On! Honki dashite Tatakau no nara (Life goes on! Time to get serious! If you are going to fight…)
*It cut to OOO activating the Tora claws before jumping up up with Ed at the side transmutating a lance who followed close by. It then cut to Hajime and Hikari hugging each other while Ed was chasing Al with Winry nearby giggling at their antics.*
Makeru ki shinai hazu (…then don't worry about losing)
*It cut to the homunculi walking out hanging out in their hideout before cutting to OOO inserting three Cell Medals into the medajalibur and activating the Triple Scanning Charge. He swung it down at the same time that Ed and Al swinging some swords at the same time, creating large sand explosions that sent Cell Medals flying all about and covering the screen with the dust. The three Core Medals spun before ending at the front of the screen with the Taka Medal at the left and the Batta Medal at the right*
Once that little scuffle between the two brothers was over, we all decided to travel together. I don't know what was going on, but I promised not to get in the way. I simply figured that since I was lost (and in a world unfamiliar to me, which I wouldn't tell the brothers), I might as well travel with them to try and find a way home.
We soon found ourselves walking through a desert town that seemed in surprisingly good shape. I had to admit, despite it looking a little old school compared to back home, it was impressive to find such a place. Although, I could tell that someone wasn't as happy; that someone was Ed who was still tired and upset about what happened earlier. I was a little concerned at the moment and wanted to speak up, but I didn't know what to say that would offend someone like Ed or Al. And I definitely didn't want to make any reference to Ed's height problem; if he was like another someone I knew back home then I didn't even want to get close to mentioning that.
"You okay, brother?" Al asked thankfully breaking the silence. Ed was panting in exhaustion, but that didn't count. However, I noticed a stress vein bulging on his forehead and he had a death glare in his eyes.
"It's your fault for not stopping when I said," he said with that winded tone.
"You wouldn't stop either if someone were chasing you!"
"That depends on who's being chased, and who's doing the chasing, Al," I pointed out to the younger Elric, which I'm still trying to grasp the fact that he was the younger brother despite his height compared to Ed.
"Shut up!" Ed retorted back at me. "I'm too tired to fight, and I'm too thirsty, too."
"Hey! It's your fault that you wore yourself out trying to catch your bro, Ed. But I guess I'm thirsty too." It was true, we had been walking for so long that I didn't even think about how thirsty I was. I had other things on my mind since I met the Elric brothers. Why were they out here? Why was Al in a suit of armor and Ed wearing a trench coat and gloves out here? And what…what was that smell? It smelt familiar, but I couldn't quite put my finger on where. Wherever it was, I could tell that we were getting closer to it. I could almost hear something that sounded like a liquid flowing from something somewhere, but what was still a mystery while I thought we were getting even closer. Was I the only one hearing this?"
"Water. I can almost hear it," Ed said near ready to collapse proving that I wasn't going crazy yet. However, as I turned the corner, I saw where the source of the sound was coming from: a fountain in the center of a nearby plaza. Noticing what I was staring at, Ed moved to look down the pathway I was looking down to find out what I was looking at. The fountain looked pretty ornate with a statue of some idol with an image of the sun to it's back. From this fountain was definitely flowing a liquid substance, but nothing like what I expected. Maybe it was a mirage produced by this heat, but I could've sworn that that "water" was off in color. Something else was odd too when it came to the air, there was a strong familiar scent to it.
"Wait a second…I CAN hear it," I heard Ed say in a state of shock and relief. I could tell he was excited as Alphonse came up to us and noticed that look in Ed's eyes that I saw. "AL! HAJIME! LOOK!" That's it, he was losing it. He soon started running off towards the fountain like a dog after a tennis ball. Al looked like he wanted to stop him, but it seemed he couldn't. All I could do was follow him to this fountain and find out just what was up. As Ed came up a few short of the fountain, I noticed the look on his face was different, almost a look of surprise. I soon found out that the strong smell I noticed earlier was indeed coming from the fountain, and the liquid in it was a sort of reddish color. Ed must've noticed this too judging by the look on his face, which I knew was one of disappointment.
"This isn't even close to water, Ed," I stated soon after he stopped.
"Guess this explains the nasty stench in the air," Ed said almost sadly as Al came running up from behind us to see what was wrong.
"Here, let me check," I stated as I grabbed a small cup tied to a string connected to the fountain. Why it was like that, I don't know. I just dipped the cup in until it was filled to the rim with the reddish liquid.
"Is it blood?" Al asked almost with a sort of worry in his voice, but I couldn't tell with his helmet over his face. Doesn't he get tired of that thing over his own eyes. Anyway, I took a whiff to come to grips with the fact that this stuff indeed had the stench I thought I smelt…alcohol, the kind that was put into wine and such drinks. No way I was gonna drink it, though.
"Nope, more like blood-red wine."
"HEY!" An old voice called to us from behind. Soon, Ed was grabbed by his trench coat's hood dragging him away from the fountain. "Get away from there!" I simply poured the wine back into the fountain before I put the cup back where I found it; I didn't want to get into trouble right now. I turned to see the old man who grabbed Ed. He had a full on black mustache wearing a green shirt and shorts under a white apron while what looked like a brown beanie was fixated to his head. "You know that's off limits to kids!"
"Uh, I'm sorry sir, we were just thirsty, and my new friend almost couldn't tell what it was until we got this close. I don't suppose you've got anything to quench our thirsts, do ya?" I asked politely.
"Hmm. Oh sure, I've got stuff you can drink. I'll get some juice for blondie and some water for you. Say, tin man, you want something?" the old geezer asked Al after answering my question.
"Uh no thank you, I'm all right," Al politely rejected. Ok, I knew something was up with that Al. Why would he not be thirsty after being chased by his older brother and walking through a desert?
"Oh ok then," the old man said.
Soon we were all sitting down, me enjoying a much needed glass of ice-cold water, something I never expected in a desert place like this, and Ed drinking a glass of orange juice or something orange.
"Sorry about that incident just a few moments ago sir, but you see, we were traveling quite a distance and we needed something to rehydrate ourselves."
"HAHAHAHAHA! You're out-of-towners. That explains it," the old man stated now behind the counter of some snack stand nearby the wine fountain. "You'll have to forgive me. I thought you were trying to sneak a whiff." That was partially true on my part, but only out of curiosity; I honestly didn't know that that stuff was wine, and I needed to be sure.
"A fountain stocked with free wine, that's pretty ritzy; this town must be loaded," Ed made that obvious statement. It was true, nobody would waste wine like that where I came from, though. So how was this even possible, in the middle of a desert no less. Oh well, I decided to take up the opportunity to polish my medals, if what I thought was true, then I didn't want them to gather some much dust and what not that they wouldn't work in my driver. Beside, after discovering that my medals were now the real deal in terms of material, I needed them ready just in case.
"Yea we do all right here," said the old man humbly as he was drying off a glass he just cleaned. I couldn't tell from this guy, but something told there was something fishy going on, and it wasn't from my blue core medals. "Oh! I almost forgot! Time for a little soul food," the old man said remembering something before he flipped a switch on some cord hanging above his head. This seemed to start up what I could only assume was an old school radio. It had a somewhat religious quality to it, maybe that was what the old man was talking about. I looked around to see that people all around the area were listening to the same thing and getting into positions as if they were getting ready to pray to their deity. While, I was finishing polishing a gray zou (elephant) core medal before picking up a blue shachi medal, I noticed the look of amazement in the amber yellow eyes of Ed and… what I guess you could call the what eyes of Al coming from his helmet. It wasn't until the music stopped and a voice came over the radio that the Elric brothers exited this trance with looks of confusion on their faces (if in Al's case you could figure that out with that helmet on is beyond me).
"Children of God who live upon this land, pray in faith that ye may be saved," the voice over the radio said; I couldn't help but notice how this man was speaking and he somehow had a majestic tone to his voice. Was this guy some form of royalty? "As sun lights the day, so does sun god, Leto, illuminate thy path." Huh, must've been a religious broadcast, so that could mean this guy was some sort of preacher. As this guy preached his heart out, Ed was the first to break the silence.
"Well that's freakish."
"Some kind of religious broadcast," Al spoke in response as I put a polished purple Tyranno medal back into my medal holder.
"Not like any religion I'm aware of," I said as I removed one of my orange cobra medals to start polishing.
"Your tall buddy's in a suit of armor, your other pal's carrying around some strange coins, and you're wearing gloves in the desert, and you call us freaks?" Apparently we broke the stand owner out of his silence in prayer since it was he who spoke. Ed and the rest of us were silent however as Ed continued to drink his beverage, I moved on with my polishing, and Al just looked at us while the religious broadcast continued on. Yet, I did notice how the storeowner was looking at us, finally giving us a good looking over. Maybe he thought we looked weird. "What's your deal anyway? Ya street performers?" When I heard this, I just looked at him with a look telling him 'oh heck no.' Ed didn't take it as easily as I did, though, as he nearly spat out all of the juice he had in his mouth before he turned to the guy to make a comeback remark.
"I don't think so pops! Do I look like a clown to you?" Ed retorted, and I couldn't help but look up from my polishing to get a better hear on the conversation.
"Well you must have some reason," the storeowner replied, "…to journey out this far." The guy did have a point; I didn't really have an idea why the Elric brothers had to come all the way out here.
"Good question there, gramps. Hey Ed, why did you guys decide to come out this far?" I finally decided to ask.
"*Sigh* We're just trying to track something down, that's all," Ed stated calmly. Well, that answered that question, but what was so important that they had to come all the way out here in order to find it. "What about you Hajime? Why're you out here?"
"Hmm?" I guess I hadn't thought that through, but I suppose I could think of something there on the spot. "I guess…I'm kinda lost." That wasn't a complete lie. I mean I just ended up in the desert with no idea where I am or how to get home. I can't let them know that though, so I need to make it up as I go along. "Something weird happened where one moment I was in my room, and the next I was out in the middle of the desert where I found you guys. Now I'm just trying to find some help to get home, but since you two were the first I've seen since that moment, I just decided to help and you invited me along."
"Oh okay, don't worry then," Ed responded. He seemed to be taking this pretty well. "We'll find a way to get you back."
"No problem. So gramps, who is this guy…on your airwaves?"
"Why that's sir Cornello," the old man answered Ed.
"Cornello?" I asked. I honestly haven't heard of him up until then.
"Ah, doesn't ring a bell," Ed said. I guess word about him doesn't spread very fast, but what would you expect from a desert town like this.
"YOU'RE KIDDING ME!" the storeowner shouted in a state of shock. Apparently word was supposed to get around a lot faster than that. "YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF THE GREAT PROPHET CORNELLO?"
"Can't say that I have," I answered calmly as I finished polishing my last core medal, my third black ebi (shrimp) medal, placing it back into my medal holder. I then placed the book itself back into one of my oversized pockets that I used to hold my driver and my medals.
"What's great about 'im," Ed asked, with a tone of unbelief. Whoever this Cornello guy was, I guess Ed didn't think too much of guys like him. Whether or not Ed wanted an answer, several random guys came up explaining to us what made him so great. He seems to be able to perform miracles, was the man responsible for turning this desert town into what it was today, and seems to be the high priest of their sun god, Leto. Of course, now I could see that Ed was trying to be sarcastic; it showed on his annoyed face. Soon, he couldn't take much more.
"Ugh, I just remembered: we have to be somewhere," Ed replied. I guess he was finally fed up with all this talk about Cornello. So, with that Ed stood up and turned to me and Al. "Hey Hajime, Al, you two ready to split?" I then stood up ready to go with my bag in hand.
"You bet. Let's go Al," I said ready to go as well.
"Yea, ok," Al said calmly. However, I guess Al didn't watch where he was standing, because when he stood up, his helmet knocked into the top of the bar where the sign was. I guess that was where the radio was, too, because that came tumbling down and it broke on the ground, stopping the broadcast being spoken on it. The old man behind the counter simply gapped at what he saw, apparently radio's were hard top come by in this place, and that was the only one he had. "Oops," Al said realizing what he just did, but why didn't he react like he got hurt when he hit his head was beyond me.
"Now you've done it buddy," the snack stand owner retorted to Al. "Whaddya expect wearing a tin suit like that?"
"Don't bust a lung, grandpa; we can fix it," Ed said confidently. How would he be able to fix that radio, just seeing the parts on the ground made it look difficult.
"It's in a thousand pieces!" Seemed the old man thought the same thing I did.
"I'm sorry," Al apologized. "Let me try," he said to Ed.
"Sure," Ed said calmly.
The next thing I knew, Al was at work drawing some sort of circle with an elaborate design on the ground with a piece of white chalk.
"Huh? What's this?" I asked out of confusion.
"A drawing? What's it for?" The old man and most everyone else seemed as confused as I was.
"You'll see in just a second," Ed answered as Al stood up finished with the chalk drawing. "It's called a transmutation circle." Now I could only stand at a distance and watch, who knew what was gonna happen next.
"Ok, here goes," Al said ready for action. What I saw next was Al placing his hand on top of each other in a diagonal angle. Then, electricity zapped out from his hand and down to the ground where the radio was. In a few seconds, and a puff of smoke later, everyone saw a fully functional radio, back into full working capacity. I was honestly surprised at this just as most everyone else there. Al simply picked up the radio and placed it back onto the store counter.
"It's really a land of prophets!" said the old man still behind the counter.
"How do you figure that?" I asked.
"Your buddy can work miracles like Cornello!" the old man explained to me before Ed turned to both of us to give us his answer.
"It's nothing like that," Ed said.
"Then just what is it?" I asked, a little bit confused.
"It's science," Al responded to my question. "We're alchemists."
"Whoa! Alchemists?" I had asked with a shocked expression. I hadn't heard anything in involving alchemy since I heard of how the core and cell medals came into existence on Kamen Rider OOO's show.
"For those of you who don't know," Ed started to explain, "we're the Elric brothers. Not to brag or anything, but we're pretty well-known." Yet it would seem so of the crowd didn't, because they came saying stuff like they never heard of the Elrics, they never had alchemists, and one guy even offered a job in fixing things. Ed just chuckled in embarrassment about that.
"He doesn't need any work," said a female wearing a full on tan cloak sitting nearby getting everyone's attention. I guess she knew more than anyone else in this city. "That's Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist. He's been a celebrity around East City. They say he's a real child prodigy." Wow! To think, I was traveling with someone who was famous, but not famous from where I came from that I heard of. Nevertheless, Ed seemed to chuckle and glow with the acknowledgement, maybe it was getting to his head. Yet, everyone else seemed to have the wrong idea about whom she was referring to.
"Wow, a real life famous person," said a man as the men in front of the counter gathered around Alphonse. They then began making assumptions as to why they thought he was the Fullmetal alchemist and they even began making some sort of requests. Of course I ended up face-palming myself thinking how dense they were not to notice that the lady was really pointing to the blonde teen next to me, not the one in the armor.
"Uh-I'm not the Fullmetal Alchemist," Alphonse said defensively, "HE is," pointing to Ed shortly afterward. Everyone finally turned to see him, a little surprised at who really was the Fullmetal Alchemist.
"Huh? You mean that little shorty there?" Uh oh! He used a word I guessed was a taboo word to Ed, which the blonde simply approved at first with a growl and a death glare to two men, the one who said it out loud and another who was definitely thinking that. I simply stepped aside not wanting to get in the way of what happened next.
"SHORTY?" Ed scream asked as he grabbed the two he was glaring at by the collar of their shirts and began spinning them like crazy. "CAN A SHORTY DO THIS? WHAT ELSE YA WANNA CALL ME: A HALF-PINT BEAN SPROUT MIDGET? I'M STILL GROWING YOU KNOW YOU BACKWATER DESERT IDIOTS!" Even though I was feeling sorry for the poor fools who spoke that to Ed, I couldn't help but chuckle at his predicament as Al tried to calm his bro down, and neither could the old man behind the counter.
"I see there's plenty of excitement around here today," a kinder female voice than the one who mentioned Ed being the Fullmetal alchemist spoke. The old man and I turned to see who it was. I noticed a pretty young woman wearing a light cooler dress to contrast with her tanned skin (which made sense since everyone in this town seemed to have it, minus me, Ed, and Al), along with her dark brown hair with some long bangs that were colored pink. These features just seemed to compliment her cute face and her purple eyes (does every person have oddly colored eyes around here?).
"Ah, Rose," the old man said. I noticed the girl just giggled upon hearing her name and seeing the disagreements between Ed and the men. That argument seemed to stop as soon as Ed stopped spinning and looked at her, as did everyone else, I guess she really knew how to stand out to a crowd beside just her appearance.
"Don't mind me, I'd hate to spoil all the fun," the woman I guessed was Rose spoke noticing us looking at her. Al was the first to recover from the surprise.
"That's ok," said the kid in the giant suit of armor straightening himself out.
"Allow us to introduce ourselves. Ore wa Genda Hajime," I spoke with a little Japanese which I caught watching Kamen Rider and other Japanese media. Good thing she nodded indicating she knew what I meant 'cause most of the time people didn't understand me, and I hated that.
"My name's Alphonse Elric," the suit of armor said bowing to her in politeness before standing up straight again. "Nice to meet you." With that, Ed finally decided to drop the guys who made fun of his height, and pointed to himself with his thumb.
"And I'm Edward, Al's older brother, also known as the Fullmetal Alchemist."
"Older brother?" Rose asked, still stumped on the whole height issue like most folks. "But shouldn't it be the other way around?"
This just made Ed furious, but he knew he shouldn't strike and innocent woman. Seeing this Al tried to get him to calm down. I used this to give a short explanation on that issue to her.
"Don't let the looks fool you, I don't quite get it myself, but Ed's definitely older despite being 'vertically-challenged'," I stated as best I could without Ed going all out on me. Seeing Ed's reaction to what Rose and I said just made me and the old man behind the counter chuckle.
"Hey Rose," the old man spoke up getting Rose's attention, "have you finished your shopping for today's offering?"
"Yea," she responded.
"Well then, maybe you can take these three to the temple with you. They say they're looking for something. I bet Father Cornello can help out. You know, have them ask for God's grace."
Al was trying to politely turn them down upon hearing this, but Ed had a thoughtful look in his eyes as he held his gloved hand under his chin.
"If we need to do anything formal, I'm afraid we don't…"
"It's all right if you don't have an offering today," Rose said with a smile practically insisting that we come with her to see Cornello. "And besides, he has rooms for travelers, you can stay there tonight."
"Thanks but I…" Al tried to protest before…
"As a matter of fact, we'd love to take you up on that, wouldn't we guys." Ed interrupted after his thinking. This was a bit of a shocker for both me and Al when the words Ed spoke clicked into our heads.
"Wait what?" I asked.
"We would?" Al questioned. "You mean you want to?" Ed simply nodded confirming that. Not one to argue, I followed Rose and the Elric brothers as I heard from the men behind us that what they saw was the happiest they'd seen Rose in a long time and saying something about her heart being healed. Had she been through some sort of emotional tragedy that kept her from this mood for a long time? Maybe I could ask later.
"Hey Al," I overheard Ed speak. "Remember that woman at the shop? She knew me; have we met before?"
"No, I don't think so," Al responded back. Now that they mentioned it, there was something suspicious about her. Who was she, why was she there, and how did she now Ed.
"You shouldn't worry," Rose said breaking us out of our stupor. "I'm sure Cornello will help you find what you're looking for." That was nice, it sure was keeping Ed's mind off of the trouble from earlier involving the height issue. "And besides," oops, maybe I spoke too soon, "if you show him you're faithful I bet he can make you taller." Yep, I thought too soon, and seeing Ed's face only confirmed it. He soon started complaining again chasing after a laughing Rose as Al and I followed them trying to calm the Fullmetal Alchemist down.
"Serve in true faith that all thy prayers may be answered. As a man opens blinds to let the light flood in, so open thy heart that the sun god may shine on you." An old man, with a bald head and paler than the locals, finished up his sermon before shutting off his signal for the airwaves. Father Cornello finished giving his preaching for the day as his followers stepped forward to compliment him as always. Then, the door was opened and a familiar voice spoke.
"Father Cornello?" the familiar woman stepped in as she spoke. The father just welcomed her in with a warm smile.
"Ah, Rose." He said with recognition before she stepped up to his desk.
"Pardon me Cray," referring to the tall man next to Cornello. "May I put some travelers in the pilgrims' quarters?" Cornello couldn't help but chuckle upon hearing Rose's kind words of wishing to help others.
"You really delight in helping others solve their troubles, don't you?"
"Well, that's what you teach us Father Cornello, so that's what I do…or try to." Cornello then place stood up and place his hands on Rose's shoulders, causing her to look back up at from the floor. This also seemed to give her more comfort, as well.
"And God sees all those good deeds and writes them all down in stone," Cornello spoke in his wise voice. "But you must be patient, Rose. We need a little more time to grant the miracle you seek." It was obvious that he was trying to comfort her since she seemed troubled about something.
"Yes," Rose spoke humbly.
It had been a while since we were allowed the pilgrims' quarters of the temple. It was a moderate setting with nice decorations, comfortable furniture, and a view of what I could only assume was the graveyard. I guess the people of this desert town, which I found out was called Lior, truly cared for those who moved on to the next life. At that moment, it was just me and Ed at the moment. He was looking out the window at something, and I was polishing off my medals once again just in case, but this time, I knew I had to get some things cleared up, so I decided to speak up.
"Hey Ed," I asked getting the Fullmetal Alchemist's attention, "is it ok if I ask you something?"
"Sure thing," the alchemist said calmly, "shoot."
"If Al's your younger brother, then why doesn't he take off that oversized suit of armor he has on all the time?" I noticed him flinch at the sound of that, indicating that he was a little uncomfortable about the topic. Normally I wouldn't force someone to answer my questions if they were nervous about it, but Ed seems to be the type of guy who seems to not usually hide anything. "He can't get out of the armor, can he? Come on man, you can tell me, what happened?"
"Well, …it involved alchemy."
"You see, years ago our mom died. We were already skilled in alchemy as it was and we tried to revive her through alchemy."
"You guys mentioned that before, right? Back in the plaza when Al fixed that radio like he did. How does it work anyway?"
"It's a little complex. Like Al said, it's science. Alchemy is the science of knowing the structure of the object and being able to reconstruct it into something else. Yet, like with all of science, alchemy has to follow strict rules, in this case the law of equivalent exchange."
"Let me guess, in order to create something, something of equal value must be given up in exchange. Am I right?"
"Yea. You have to make sure you have the correct elements in order for it to work though. I'll explain more on that later."
"So just what happened those years ago, when you tried to bring your mom back to life?"
"No luck; all we did was bring forth a homunculus, and it didn't even come close to looking like mom."
"Must've been tough. Despite that, what happened that forced Al into that armor he's in?"
"The law of Equivalent Exchange." I simply gasped remembering what that was and realized what it was. "Yea, that's right. In order to try to bring her back, we lost a lot. At the time, we knew the consequences, but we thought we didn't have anything else to lose. Boy were we wrong."
"Must've cost you an arm and a leg, huh?"
"Quite literally. When we tried to bring back our mom, I lost my left leg to the other side, and Al lost his entire body."
"If that's so, then how…"
"Alchemy once again, this time though I lost my right arm in exchange for placing Al's soul in the suit of armor he resides in today."
"So you mean…?"
"Yes," Al spoke surprising me, but making both myself and Ed turn to see him. "It's true, I no longer have a body, but I'm trapped in this suit of armor."
"Wow! Harsh, …but how is it that Ed still has his limbs when…"
"Automail." Al answered before I finished.
"A friend of our fixed it up for me in order for me to be at least somewhat normal. That in itself is complex, but I'm sure you'll get the gist of it."
"Wow I never expected anything like that at all. So, …about her," I looked out the window along with the Elrics and saw Rose standing in front of a gravestone.
"I spoke to Rose," Al responded. "That grave belongs to her boyfriend. He was all she had. Her parents died when she was a little girl; she's convinced that Cornello can bring him back to life." Now if I guessed right with Ed, that Cornello might not be who he claims to be and may just be using alchemy, but he had to pay a big price in order to do what he'd claim he'd do.
"And he's letting her on into thinking he can do it," Ed said basically explaining my thoughts to his brother.
"Well maybe he can," Al said causing us to look at him again. "What if Cornello really is a holy man. Those scriptures, …maybe there is something else out there. Something we can't explain."
"Hmph. Don't count on it." We turned to look out the window and see who I could only assume was Cornello and someone else alongside Rose. "So, Hajime, mind me asking you something?"
"Yea," I stated. "Go ahead."
"What is it with you and those coins you've got with you?"
"Oh these things?" I pointed out my medal collection, they were originally just toys, but since they were now made of real metal, I couldn't pulled use that as an explanation, but maybe I could use the plotline on that from OOO. "These are special medals. These particular ones come in two types." I first showed them the taka medal in my hand. "Core medals…" then I moved the pages to find an all silver medal with and x on the back and another animal symbol on the front. "…and cell medals. These are artifacts of great power that were created over 800 years ago."
"Really?" Al asked in amazement.
"How were they made?" Ed inquired of me.
"Two words," I stated, "Desire, and alchemy."
"Care to clarify?"
"Gladly. You see, those 800 years ago, there was a king so greedy that merely ruling over his kingdom wasn't enough anymore. He wanted to rule the world, so he requested from his loyal alchemists to create a weapon that could help him do so."
"And they came up with those medals?"
"Yep. They had other complications, but combining the powers of animals into them, they created these enhanced medals. However, when they originally created the medals, there were 10 medals of each set; ten of a different color." I then showed them each of the sets of medals. "Once the core medals were created, they merged the core medals with massive amounts of cell medals which formed to create multiple homunculi known as Greeed."
"Greed? Like a synonym for desire?"
"No! Not greed with two "e's", but rather spelt with three "e's". These were homunculi, just shells filled with nothing but the medals used to create them. Instead of the weapons the king wanted, the Greeed were only existed and were unable to do anything."
"Well then what happened, and why are there only nine of each color for these coins? Were the tenth of each set destroyed?"
"Yep, on the order of the greedy king, one medal from each set was destroyed. Upon that, the homunculi somehow gained consciousness enough to realize what was missing, and their desire to be whole was born. In the process, the Greeed created monsters called yummies, creatures made exclusively of cell medals. It's hard to explain that unless you've seen them for yourselves."
"So you have?"
"Yea, but moving on with the story at hand. The king requested something to be able to wield the power of the core medals, and that's where this:" I removed my O-driver from my pocket, "the O-driver, comes into play. Once the king snagged some medals from each of the greeed, he used their core medals to fight back. Eventually, he defeated the greeed and his desire really took over. In his attempts to gain this power, however, he scanned one of each medal and it overwhelmed him. The power transformed him into a stone chest with the driver as the seal and the core and cell medals being the contents. The medals were sealed away from humans for 800 years."
"If that's so, how'd you end up getting them?"
"After some accident after the chest was discovered, I found the driver and the medals I have here in various shops." Now that wasn't a full-on lie, I had searched on Ebay and other sites to try and find the medals and stuff when they were just toys, but now that tale I wove seemed to make the most sense. It also seemed to be enough for the Elric brothers.
"Thanks Hajime." Ed smiled satisfied for the moment.
"If we have any other questions, we'll let you know, ok?" Al asked shortly after.
"No problem," I smiled. Now I wasn't sure how much of the tale I told was a lie at that point anymore; the fact that the medals felt like real metal now made me wonder if the powers of the medals were real. The otaku in me was screaming with joy thinking that I could actually become OOO, but what were the odds of that happening. I knew more questions would need to be answered, but at that point, I simply needed to lie down and rest, we had a big day the next day.
The following day, we showed up to a ceremony where Cornello claimed to perform miracles. What I witnessed, though, wasn't a man who performed miracles, but someone placing his hand on some items before a red glow appeared and the item transformed into something else. He turned some powder in a glass into what I assumed was wine, and he transformed a hunk of log into a statue of their god, Leto. Had this been some other case, I would've gaped at the sight, but this time was different. Now that I knew of some of this world's laws, the Elrics & I could only assume it was one thing.
"Whaddya think?" Ed asked me and Al; Ed had to stand up on a log in order to see from the distance we were at.
"All I could see was some sort of glow before the changes took place," I said stating what I observed.
"Well it looks pretty obvious," Al answered his older brother. "He's using alchemy."
"Yea, but still," Ed started, "Something's wrong; it's not equal…"
"Hey guys!" Rose spoke interrupting us. This led to a conversation between the Elrics and Rose where they argued about whether Cornello was really performing miracles, or if he was just using alchemy while ingoring the major laws. I simply stared on at the display as they continued arguing while the Elrics explained Alchemy to her. All I could do was watch and wonder just what he was really doing.
Later that day, Father Cornello was explaining to one of his followers, Cray, of who he saw and what he assumed they were doing there in Lior. He knew of Elric brothers, Edward Elric in particular, and Cornello told Cray that they were heretics who were most likely sent by the state military to ruin their desert paradise. Although, the new boy with them was something of a curveball thrown in since he knew next to nothing about him, Cornello just assumed that he was a new soldier assigned to work with the Elrics by one of their superiors, and the priest told Cray to eradicate the three newcomers in the name of their god, Leto.
Sometime after the miracle gathering, Ed, Al, and I followed Rose into the temple sanctuary, which looked similar to what I assumed to be a Roman Catholic Church back home, with the exception of their being images of this Leto all over the joint. Rose was up at the altar polishing it, which I assumed was some sort of custom. I noticed Ed walk up silently up to one of the pew closest to the altar and sit down.
"Hey Al," I asked the kid in the armor, "do you think you can hold onto my medal collection for me? Something tells me it will have to be used once more."
"Uh, ok," Al said, but I could sense the uncertainty in his voice. I removed a Taka, Tora, and Batta medal before handing Al my black medal holder.
"If anything happens where you think you might lose it or you think you'll be unable to reach me, just toss it to Ed, got?"
"Yea, but why?"
"Just trust me."
"The presence of those boys trouble me," a female voice spoke in the presence of Father Cornello. "I don't like it." This woman was the same one back from the store that the traveling trio stopped to get something to eat as well as fix a radio with alchemy. Her name was Lust, and in Cornello's presence, she didn't have on her cloak, but she stayed in a spot where it was difficult to tell what she was wearing. Cornello just seemed pretty calm about it though.
"Don't you worry," Cornello reassured her. "Even if Cray should fail, there is one other way." The old fake preacher seemed to have more confidence than he needed. Lust then held up a strange looking coin. It was silver with an X on one side.
"Even so, I think this may be of some use to us," Lust said declaring another back up plan to be on the safe side. She then tossed Cornello the coin, who caught it and noticed a design on the front similar to a rhino's head. "I feel this has more power than we may realize. Use it in anyway you see fit."
A short while later, Al had hid behind a door, Ed was still sitting on the pew, and I was over behind a pillar opposite of the door Al was behind. We looked on as Rose was still polishing the altar. It felt like this was the hundredth time we've seen her polish the thing.
"So," Ed said breaking the silence and earning a gasp from Rose. "…if you pray and polish the altar enough times, someone who's dead will be brought back to life?" Looking at Rose's face, I could tell that she was not pleased with Ed still for doubting Cornello. However, instead of getting mad, she turned to face Ed with a smile to answer his question.
"Something like that," she said kind of giving a answering Ed's question. The Fullmetal Alchemist only sighed before pulling out a notebook of sorts and opened it up with one hand to look into a specific page as if he was about to start reading aloud.
"'Water 35 L, …'" Ed started reading, of which I was confused about why he was reading something that sounded like a list of ingredients. "'…carbon 20 kg, ammonia 4 L, lime 1.5 kg, phosphorus 800 g, salt 250 g, saltpeter 100 g, sulfur 80 g, fluorine 7.5 g, iron 5 g, silicon 3 g, and trace amounts of 15 other elements.'" Ok, now that sounded like a list of chemicals for some sort of lab experiment. I was never one for chemistry, was even close to flunking that close at one point, but that list sounded vaguely familiar.
"What's that?" Rose asked, stating just what I wanted to ask.
"It's all the ingredients of the average adult human body down to the last specks of protein in your eyelashes," Ed explained with an air that I never expected from someone his age, but I guess things tend to change you when a relative dies. Ed then closed his book before putting it back into his trench coat before continuing. "And even though science has given us the entire physical breakdown there's never been a successful attempt at bringing a human to life. There's still something missing, something that scientists haven't been able to find in centuries of research. So what makes you think that hack job priest with his parlor tricks is going to be able to?"
Had I been someone else, I would've probably agreed with Ed, generally speaking, but I'm not one who stuck with science to that degree. I had a religion I followed, and I believed that while humans have never been able to bring another person back to life, God has the power to do so, and he has more than once. It also seemed to Rose that was the same with her, although she still seemed corrupted by Cornello.
"And in case you're wondering, all those ingredients can be bought on a child's allowance; humans can be built on the cheap, but there's no magic to it." Ed said. I just kept reminding myself that there was a type of magic to it that humans on Earth would never understand.
"Well if there's no magic, then you bring someone back to life!" Rose finally retorted back at Ed. Now I knew that Ed had already tried that, and paid a hefty price for it, but it was still unsuccessful. At least, if what I heard was correct.
"Just a matter of time Rose," Ed continued on after Rose spoke, "science will find a way; science is the answer to everything." Not everything in my opinion still. "If I were you, I'd drop the scriptures and pick up an alchemy book." Maybe the "scriptures" of Leto should be dropped, but not the scriptures of the true God, I kept telling myself. "We're the closest things to gods there are." Maybe in physical form, but my conscience tells me otherwise overall.
"You're not a god! You're nothing close to it." Yea you tell him Rose. WAIT, what am I thinking, I'm trying to get her away from Cornello and the Leto, not get her closer, but she did state a true fact in that Ed wasn't close to a god; no human is.
"And neither is the sun; it's just a mass of hydrogen." Well, he did have a point there. "Get close to it like Cornello claims, and all you'll do is burn up." I could see Alphonse from where I was and I could tell that he wasn't happy with what Ed was doing.
"Great Ed," Al said in disappointment. "Push your total cynicism on someone else." He was trying to stay crouched and in a way where no one could see him, 'cept for Hajime across the way, but it wasn't easy when you're stuck in a form that is primarily metal, especially the kind that tends to clank with the slightest movement. Suddenly he heard the very familiar cocking of a pistol, and it sounded like it was right behind him.
"Don't worry Elric," said Cray keeping the pistol behind the armored kid's head while said kid got off of his knees to stand up with his knees slightly bent.
With the familiar sound of a gunshot, I rushed out from behind the pillar to see what happened, even Ed and Rose turned to see it. From the door Al hid behind, his helmet came flying towards us before stopping at Ed's feet. Then, the door Al was behind opened up completely as the rest of Al's armored body fell flat on the ground.
"What in the world…?" I asked before seeing someone that I knew was one of those Leto cultists came out from behind the door, pistol in hand, and prepared to fire at Ed.
"Uh? CRAY! What are you doing?" Rose asked in a confused state of panic.
"These three are enemies of God; this is his will Rose, not mine," the man I guessed was Cray spoke cocking his gun at Ed. Yet, if what Ed told me was true, then what Cray just did wouldn't matter.
"I don't think so, mister!" I heard Al say shocking most everyone there. We all turned to find Al's armor standing tall without his head, which shocked Rose to no end. Cray, almost looking like he'd seen a ghost, walked in reverse with his back towards me and Ed and his gun still pointed at Al's headless form. Ed took this opportunity to pick up Al's helmet and launch it in Al's general direction. The helmet bounced off of Cray's head causing the cultist to fall flat on his face while Al ran under his own head getting ready to catch it.
"I GOT IT! I GOT IT!" Al shouted while trying to get under his helmet, and successfully catching it.
"Stri~ke!" Ed said proudly.
"How is it that someone can catch there own head when they don't even have their eyes in a place they can use 'em?" I asked sarcastically. This was the first time I'd seen Al in a spot where he didn't have his head, and it was impressive that he was still able to use his body as if he did.
"!" I heard Rose finally scream upon hearing this and seeing a how Ed, Al, and I weren't shocked by what Al just did. "He doesn't have a head!"
"For that matter, if you take a closer look, he doesn't have a body," I retorted to Rose.
"Yea," Ed answered, "That's Al."
"Please don't be scared, Rose," Al apologetically said. "This is how I am." Rose was still shocked with he hands covering her mouth to try and prevent certain cries from escaping.
"Uh-You're not there!" She said still in shock as Al put his helmet back into place.
"It's true, I don't have a body, but I'm here," Al explained to Rose. "This is my punishment for setting foot on holy ground where mortals are forbidden."
"And I'm not as shocked because these two already told me the whole thing," I responded to finish what Al was saying. "Both Al and Ed made a mistake, Rose, and they're paying for it." It seemed that Rose couldn't take it anymore as she ran off to the door that was closest to where I was hiding.
"Rose WAIT!" Ed shouted. We soon had to start running after her. Apparently, something we did broke her, I don't know what, but it did something big. Somehow, I almost thought that she believed we were evil and we made her doubt Cornello. That was only half-true, but only because Cornello was corrupting the people of Lior.
Eventually, we came upon a large dark room, but due to the darkness, there was no sign of Rose.
"I can't see a church social down here, do you?" Ed asked, whether it was sarcastic or not, I couldn't tell. Soon, we noticed something on the opposite side of the chamber as the lights went on. It was Rose standing on a section of platform elevated above the rest. "There she is!" Ed stated.
"I think that's already been established, Ed." I responded. Soon, though, our eyes were off of Rose and on to a somewhat pale figure wearing black that we knew was Cornello.
"You wrestled with the darkness and prevailed, Rose. Thank you for bringing them here." Cornello said proudly as the lights in the chamber lit up. I thought I heard Ed growl before Cornello turned to see us, and he had a small green bird on his shoulder, something I knew he didn't have previously. "State alchemists, brutal in forces; I had a feeling that one of you would show up someday."
"Wait 'State' alchemist?" I questioned, I knew Ed was the Fullmetal alchemist, but a State alchemist?
"I'll explain later," Ed said to me before my nose ended up where it shouldn't. "Anyway Cornello, let's not chalk that up to pious premonitions, ok?" he said responding to what Cornello said. "You knew we'd come for the stone!" Stone? What stone? Well, I suppose I should thank Cornello for clarifying what Ed meant after a smirk and holding up his hand that held the a ring with a red jewel that I could only assume was the source of the glow during those miracle sessions.
"You mean this, young man?" Cornello asked almost smugly. Ed almost looked surprised once his eyes rested upon the ring's jewel before he smirked. I guess that gem was what Ed was searching for.
"I knew it!" Ed said, proving my thoughts correct. "Alchemy without a transmutation circle; completely ignoring the principle of equivalent exchange! It could only mean one thing!" Well, that explained what Ed was looking for, but was there a simpler term to call it by?
"Yes, the mythical gem; the legendary amplifier; the Philosopher's Stone!" Cornello responded answering my unspoken question.
"That's it, Al," Ed whispered with a look of both anger and desire in his eyes. "It's ours." Turning his eyes back to Cornello yet ignoring my look of confusion and surprise, Ed finally made his demands to the priest. "Cough it up, Cornello! That stone belongs to me now, and if you hand it over peacefully, I won't tell the people here what you've been doing!"
"What's that? Restore their town to peace and prosperity?" Cornello nearly snapped back at Ed with that smug grin still on his face. Well, he did have a point, ever since he shown up, Cornello only improved life for the people of Lior, not worsened it in any way. "Do you know what would happen if my miraculous wonders suddenly stopped? Nobody wants that. Do they Rose."
"DON'T LISTEN TO HIM ROSE; HE'S JUST A CON-MAN!" Ed shouted at her. I only half-listend to what was said after that as Cornello explained what happened in Lior since his arrival while something came across my mind, if Ed and Al were after the Philosopher's Stone, what were they going to do with it? Were they going to try and bring back their mom properly again? No, they wouldn't make the same mistakes twice, especially after what happened the first time. Was this something the military ordered them to do?
"I don't care what the military wants! I'm doing this for me!" Ed shouted snapping me out of my thoughts. I guess Cornello asked something that I was thinking. "I need that stone! WE need it to make something right again!"
I could almost hear Rose gasp in shock about hearing this. Was she thinking the same thing I was? Why would the Elrics try to bring their mom back again knowing that if they tried again and failed, there wouldn't be another chance.
"So that's it!" I heard Rose cry out to the Elrics. "This is all about you and what you want! What about us? You don't care!" I somehow could've sworn that I heard a sadness in her voice that made it seem like she was about to cry.
"Rose, we're only trying to…" Al started before Ed place his arm in front of his brother before interrupting.
"It's no use!" It was here that I could hear Rose ready to cry.
"Enough!" Cornello spoke snapping me back to reality, man was I getting out of it lately. "There is no point in arguing! If you want the Philosopher's Stone, you'll have to take it from me!" Once finished, I sensed something bad was gonna happen as his ring began to glow a bright red before I noticed something with the floor. It changed from solid stone to soft sand. Cornello even manipulated it to launch the three of us away from each other, and Al was quickly getting buried again.
"AL!" Ed shouted seeing what was happening to his brother again.
"Ed! CATCH!" Al shouted before tossing my medal holder to Ed before Al was completely under the sand again. Once I recovered, I saw Al was stuck, Cornello had a look of confusion as to why Al tossed something over to his brother that wasn't a weapon, even Ed had a confused look as to why Al tossed him my medal holder book, but I knew, I told him after all. Cornello, however, seemed to push any thoughts of confusion aside as he looked back at me and Ed with his smug grin again.
"Hang on, Al!" Ed shouted before hearing Cornello chuckle.
"Armor is a disadvantage in soft sand; you can't draw transmutation circles in it either!" the old priest shouted explaining why he did this.
"Who says I needed a transmutation circle, never mind alchemy in general?" I said realizing what I could do. I knew I was getting somewhere with that as Cornello looked at me in confusion. "True, I don't know much about alchemy, but I do have something created from it that can help me here." Everyone just stared at me as I revealed my O-driver and placed it on my waist forming a silver belt around it. On my left hip was a silver cylinder that I knew Eiji Hino used to hold on to extra core and cell medals, while my right hip held a gold rimmed circular scanner, the O-scanner. I then surprised everyone again as I inserted the medals into their slots before tilting it as Eiji had done so many time before while grabbing the scanner. I then used the scanner to scan the medals in my driver, bringing forth some chimes with each one scanned.
"Henshin!" I shouted before placing the scanner over my chest.
"TA-TO-BA TATOBA TA-TO-BA!"
With that, I could see holographic images of some of the core medals rotating around our bodies. The medals stopped once the images of the Taka, Tora, and Batta medals were in front of me before they merged into a familiar image. The medal images merged into one combo medal that had the majority of the image taken up by a yellow tiger's head with the green grasshopper taking the place of the jaw, and the red hawk being stuck in the space above the tiger's head. This happened in front of us before the image of the medals crashed into my chest sending the energies of the medals coursing through my body. This also sent a both familiar yet new armor over my form. Even though my vision wasn't affected, I knew that my head was covered by the helmet I knew as the Taka Head, a black helmet adorned with a red hawk over my face with the tail acting as the mouthpiece, a red jewel identifying the hawk's beak, and green compound eyepieces covering my own, but still allowing me to see. On my neck was a red line leading down to the symbol on my chest known as the O-Lung crest. There were also yellow lines leading from the tiger portion of the O-Lung crest to my rounded shoulder-pads, and my yellow gauntlets also had some golden decorations on them which I knew were actually claws; these were the Tora arms. Moving on with the armor, I knew there were also green lines moving from the O-Lung crest down towards my Batta legs that had little green, segmented armor reminiscent to a grasshopper's legs.
I had surprised everyone, including myself internally, as I proved my own theory true. Being here, with my medals being real, I had successfully transformed into my favorite rider.
"Who-WHO ARE YOU?" Cornello demanded as I stood there ready to brawl.
"My name is Hajime Ezekiel Genda," I introduced myself once again, "but I also go by the name of this alter ego: Kamen Rider… OOO!"
"Hmph! No matter, no chimera themed armor wearing fool can stand up to me!" Cornello shouted before placing his hand on a stone behind him, pushing it into the wall as something else opened up. "Now let me introduce you to one of my creations. You two of all people should be able to appreciate this: a chimera." Upon hearing some roaring, I turned to see what looked like a lion with its hind legs and tail representing a reptile's.
"Ok, now how's that possible?" I asked out of instinct.
"He combined animals," Ed explained, "the most depraved kind of alchemy there is!"
"Maybe so," Cornello shouted again, "but most effective!" The chimera then roared before charging towards us.
(Insert Tatoba Theme: Regret Nothing ~ Tighten Up)
"Stay back, Ed," I commanded to Ed, "unless you have something that can help us out."
"All right then," Ed said rather calmly, "You wanna play big fella, then let's go for it!" I couldn't help but look back and see what Ed was talking about. He simply clapped his hands together before slamming them into the ground sending out a blue glow and corresponding electricity before the some of the sand shifted and changed to form what I would've referred to as a spear, but what is technically a lance. Ed soon gripped this weapon ready to fight, and boy was Cornello shocked.
"Ah-H-HOW'D YOU DO THAT WITHOUT A TRANSMUTATION CIRCLE?" Cornello demanded as the chimera kept charging towards us. Soon though, I heard a tiger's roar in my head as the yellow part of my armor glowed for a moment before the claws on my arms extended for combat and I sliced the chimera before launching it over to Ed to see how he'd handle it. Quite well he did, as he used the lance to knock the chimera back to a nearby pillar.
"You go get Cornello, Ed. I've got mixed up feline over here," I told Ed, who simply nodded as he began to rush over towards Cornello who groaned in disappointment.
"Grrr. BRING ME HIS HEAD MY PET!" Cornello shouted as he let the bird on his shoulder fly towards us before zapping it with the Philosopher's Stone. With that blast, I could see the bird grow in size as it turned into a wyvern-like beast. Ed simply looked ready to fight while I kicked the chimera with my Batta medals enhancing my kicking strength, and my taka head showing so of the weak point of the chimera. As Ed tried to swat at the bird, it crush his lance before grabbing Ed's left leg, causing the poor kid to scream in pain. I could hear Rose gasp as she witnessed this. I would've gone to help Ed if it weren't for the giant creep in front of me. "HAHAHA! Now snap it!" Cornello ordered his bird. I could only hear some grunts, but they were no longer of pain.
"Wrong leg pal," Ed retorted before the bird broke its talons on Ed's leg letting it go in the process. With Ed back on more reasonable fighting term, he reared back a fist. "Here's the right arm!" he shouted before punching the bird in the beak launching it skyward, and it fell back onto the sand shortly after.
Cornello was obviously shocked by this series of events, but I wasn't having an easy time as I was knocked down onto my butt before the chimera rushed over to Ed who screamed before the beast bit his arm. I noticed Rose didn't want to look while Cornello couldn't stop looking with that smug grin on his face once more. However, that smile faded as soon as we all noticed something was off, and it wasn't Ed's arm. In fact, the chimera looked like it was having a tough time trying to bite through it.
"What's the matter you poor bastard? Can't get a good taste?" Ed retorted before he threw the chimera off his arm and kicked it aside. If what Ed said was true, I gotta give props to the people who built his automail.
"That's impossible!" Cornello exclaimed in surprise. "Those claws on your leg; the teeth on your arm! NO ONE could survive that! Unless…AH! Your limbs, they're fake!"
"Brilliant deduction." Ed answered proving Cornello's assumptions correct as he revealed his medal arm by pulling off his torn sleeve.
Rose just stared in shock and softly said, "oh God!"
"Rose… don't look away, Rose," Ed demanded of the poor girl. "You need to see what happens when you try to bring a human back to life! When you cross into God's territory, or whatever you wanna call it! IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT? LOOK!" As he said that, Ed removed his trench coat altogether revealing his full automail limb, and I was both impressed and shocked. While this was happening, I happened to pull Al out of the sand as we all turned to see this turn of events.
"His arm… his leg… they're machines!" Rose observed in shock still, but Cornello had a slightly different reaction.
"I see," the priest said calmly. "Now understand you Elric. You crossed the line and did what is strictly forbidden. You tried to create a human life, and your bodies were sent to the other side." Pretty accurate deduction from what I got as I continued to stare at Ed.
"Told you Rose, you get too close to the sun, and you burn." Ed stated somewhat stoically to the girl.
"Apparently so, but you were crazy enough to find out for yourself. You are the Fullmetal, THE FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST!" Cornello stated practically screaming the last three words. I could only assume that things were going to be much different for me from now on.
Kimi no te de kirisaite Tooi hi no kioku wo
*The scene shifts to scanning Ed's automail arm from the joint connecting it to the shoulder while it was surrounded by both core and cell medals before changing to the image of a glowing transmutation circle*
Kanashimi no iki no ne wo tometekure yo
*The scene cuts to Ed, Al, and Hajime's silhouettes looking off onto a small town with many fields before showing a close up of their faces. A few seconds of this, and Hajime nods to Ed who then turns and hold out his automail arm before clenching his fist.*
Saa Ai ni kogareta mune wo tsuranuke
*It cuts to a zooming out to see the State alchemist symbol from East City before it flashed revealing the title of the story in front of a transmutation circle*
Asu ga kuru hazu no sora wo mite Mayou bakari no kokoro moteamashiteru
*The scene changes to a birds-eye view of the trio standing on the edge of a tower staring off into the sunset, which shifts to a panning close up of the trio then a view of the sunset from the town they were in*
Katawara no tori ga habataita Doko ka hikari wo mitsukerareta no ka na
*The scene then shifts to Hikari nudging Winry awake from her slumber. It quickly changes to getting a better view of Winry's room before we get another look at the girls staring out the window before smiles emerged on their faces*
Naa Omae no se ni ore mo nosetekurenai ka?
*After a quick pan of the countryside, we see the Elrics inside a train car staring out of it with Hajime polishing his medals once more*
Soshite ichiban takai toko de okizari ni shite yasashisa kara toozakete
*It then cuts to Hajime sitting in a spot not too far from the Elrics talking to "ghosts" of the five most well-known greeed as well as even more transparent images of some other greeed that have yet to be introduced. It cuts to Colonel Mustang, Hughes, and Hawkeye walking towards the screen with other State Military officers, which quickly changes to Trisha Elric falling and fainting, before another scene change occurred showing Gluttony, Envy, and Lust*
Kimi no te de kirisaite Tooi hi no kioku wo
*It cuts to a rotating scene of the Elrics and Hajime surrounded by goons with swords and guns as well as several yummies before Hajime henshins into OOO and Ed transmutates a blade from his automail arm followed by Al transmutating the ground to launch Ed and OOO into the air with OOO executing his scanning charge while slashes down with his armblade*
Kanashimi no iki no ne wo tometekure yo
*The scene changes again to a desert wasteland with Scar walking slowly towards the camera before the image blurs and zooms in on Scar's face looking as stern and cold as ever.*
Saa Ai ni kogareta mune wo tsuranuke
*The scene shifts to Ed clapping his hands before creating a green glowing transmutation circle in the ground with just the resulting electricity before it changes to the Elrics, Winry, Hikari, the "ghosts" of the Greeed and Hajime standing in front of a stone image of another transmutation circle*
Hajime: Fullmetal Kamen Rider OOO.
Ed: Chapter 2, Body of the Sanctioned.
*Scenes shift to preview scenes of the next chapter*
Al: A counterfeit Philosopher's Stone brings false promises and false relief, …but the tears it brings are real.
Hajime: Wait that thing was a fake?!
Ed: Shut up! Don't spoil the story, Hajime!
Hajime: Sorry Ed! All this next time on Fullmetal Kamen Rider OOO
KKD: Well, it might not be that different from before, but I hope you still like it. If you guys haven't reviewed this by now, then I'll take a page from Fenikkusumaru's book as I did with WBX KH and request that you review this chapter first before going to the next chapter. I'll see you guys then.