A/N: I said I wasn't going to be working on Holiday until I got 5 decent reviews. And I had a writing buzz and thought it was about damn time this fic had an update, in the form of a very action packed chapter.

Disclaimer: If I owned Star Ocean we would have: SOIII-2 out by now, so take a guess. And I own my modifications to the OC's in this fic, names/personality/appearance/age/voice/etc. But they are based from characters from somewhere else. I will further disclaim at the end of chapter.


The Meaning of Symbols

Chapter 2: Offensive Symbols

Albel was coughing furiously. He had suddenly found himself in the middle of a huge dust cloud with a lot of grass floating around inside it. He could vaguely make out a shape near him, which he supposed was Sophia, "What has this wench done this time? I can hardly see!" He decided to make his frustration apparent, "What have you done?" He yelled angrily.

"Hey! I have no idea why we're in the middle of this cloud! I'll bet it's your fault, you must've messed up!" An equally angry sounding voice returned from somewhere in the cloud.

This confused Albel, and he reacted before he really thought about it, "Hey, the little worm drew the symbol, I don't know what's going on!" He didn't know who was yelling at him, but he wasn't going to tolerate it, especially as it wasn't his fault.

"How dare you call me a LITTLE WORM? I'll kill you if I find you in this cloud, brother or not!" Retorted the voice, it sounded extremely furious, yet the deep voice didn't scare Albel. He wondered what the voice was talking about, but his thoughts were cut short.

'Clap'.

Following that clap a wind sprang up thus dissipating the cloud as the grass began to settle on the ground. Albel quickly scanned his surroundings; Sophia was getting unsteadily to her feet and still attempting to dislodge dust from her throat, which looked rather unpleasant to say the least. The second thing he noticed was that they were standing in what appeared to be a mountainous clearing, similar to the Mountains of Barr, yet the soil was rather more clay-like and a bit more reddish in appearance. The third thing he noticed was…

'Hey… You're not even my brother! You've got a lot of guts calling me a little worm. I'll make you regret that you bastard!" Yelled a young man on the opposite side of the clearing.

Albel noticed he looked very important; he wore highly polished black army boots, white gloves with a black pair of dress pants and an expensive looking blue coat. The coat was embroidered with gold and black in simple, yet elegant style. What struck Albel the most were his features, he appeared to be rather young for his deep voice, or maybe he was a little on the short side, but he had very long unbound white hair with a high parting fringe at the front, his hair fanned out and then ran along the sides of his face. His golden eyes looked at Albel, and they appeared to be very pissed off.

But Albel wasn't concerned with the short guy; there was a very tall and powerful looking knight standing next to him. This guy was over seven feet tall; Albel had never seen anyone so tall in his life. His armour looked rather fearsome, the metal was a highly polished dark, dark grey, and the helmet had a rather determined look. Yet this knight did not move a muscle, he simply stayed standing still and Albel began to wonder if anyone was inside the suit… The eyeholes of the suit appeared to be looking at Albel, but he dismissed it as he felt his confidence return. He had been surprised by these two, but he could take them. "They're both unarmed! And even if there is someone in that suit, he is bound to be slow encased in all that metal… I just have to see the angles of this… This fight will be a cinch."

"I don't think there is any reason to fight them brother." Came a smooth, deep and dangerous sounding voice from the knight. Albel was taken aback, not by the words, or the tone, but by the fact that the lips on the face of the armour moved…

"That's impossible! Unless… It must be a robot from Greeton! Well, that makes it dangerous, but it's still slow…" Albel began to recover from this latest surprise; he was about to speak again when Sophia interrupted him.

"We don't need… To fight, we're truly… Sorry… for anything we've done… Wrong…" She managed to choke out; she had ingested a fair amount of dust after all.

But Albel wasn't quite in the peace-making mood, "The girl may not help me, but I'm more than enough for you two maggots to handle!" He spat as he charged the two strangers. To his further consternation the knight leapt forward with inhuman agility, sending the loose grass flying, and grabbed his claw in his hand, thus blocking that blow. Albel wasted no time in bringing his sword to bear and thrusting towards his enemy's stomach, yet the knight swiftly intercepted that too.

"Albel don't! I don't want to fight them!" Wailed Sophia in the background, yet Albel wasn't exactly going to give up, and she knew it. She sighed exasperatedly and began charging her symbological powers.

"I don't think you have a choice!" Retorted the short man as he clapped and then raised his hand up and held his palm flat above the ground; the earth began to rise up from amongst the grass into a single shaft aimed towards the young man's hand, he swiftly grasped it and spun it like a pole, Sophia noticed that in fact he now held an ornate metal staff with small blades attached to each end. "He could do some serious damage with that…" She thought absentmindedly as he came charging towards her with a vicious gleam in his eye, he was also fast like his brother.

The two engaged in a flurry of swirling grass and Sophia managed to block his strikes with her own staff for a short while, but it was apparent that he was overpowering her, until she screamed, "Lightning Blast!" The electrical discharge surprised the short man as he got in close; he took most of the blow with his staff, yet it shattered from the impact. He lay on the ground a fair distance back and gaped at Sophia and Albel in astonishment.

Meanwhile, Albel had been grappling at close quarters with the knight. "I can't believe this! He is blocking every one of my attacks, without retaliation, is he some sort of pacifist or something?" Albel had had enough. He back flipped away from the knight, kicking his helmet and pushing him further away as he did so, then after landing a sadistic grin appeared on his face as he raised his claw up and held the palm facing the momentarily stunned knight. It was time to use his trump card, "It's ironic that I had prepared this because of that wench…" He thought as he repeated the words that the smith had told him, "Blizzard!" He said as one of the new symbols on the back of his claw began to glow blue before a vortex of wind surrounded the knight. The grass was whipped up into the miniature storm, serving to further disorientate the huge man, and the air temperature began to drop and the knight was assaulted by freezing wind and frozen grass from all sides. Albel briefly watched as he was tossed around inside his own personal snowstorm until he once again shouted, "Earthquake!" This time a different symbol glowed a deep blood red colour before the ground underneath the knight buckled and erupted outward, tossing him to the ground.

"Help brother!" The knight implored to the white-haired youth, but at that moment his brother was hurtling backwards through the air after Sophia's sudden attack. Albel had now rushed forward and drove his Crimson Scourge through the chest of the knight and solidly into the ground. The knight gasped in astonishment and Albel released his sword and aimed his palm at the torso of the knight, "Palm of Destruction!" He said triumphantly with a sense of finality in his voice. The explosion briefly blinded Albel as the knight went flying backwards, and grass went everywhere, unfortunately the knight was now a fair distance away with his sword its torso.

"You forgot about me!" Came the voice form behind Albel as the forgotten opponent struck him from behind. It was no soft blow either and it sent Albel flying forward. After clumsily stumbling a bit he regained his balance and turned on the second target. He raced forth and slashed forward with his claw, yet he felt the sensation of being grabbed and thrown by his claw instead of slicing through an arm as he had expected. He crashed into a pile of rocks and emerged as fast as he could whilst brushing loose grass off of himself; he located his newest opponent standing simply with his right arm held outward defensively. He saw light reflecting off the cotton glove of that arm and it was then he realized he had underestimated this enemy too. There was a slice in the fabric, and the sunlight glinted on what lay beneath.

"You have a metal arm also! Hidden under that cotton glove, am I correct?" Queried Albel, "The more I learn about him, the easier it will be to kill him…" Albel assumed a nonchalant pose and put his good arm on his hip while his claw hung at his side.

"Wrong. It's actually a silk glove…" He replied far too casually for Albel's tastes. Albel was not impressed with his laid-back attitude. Something wasn't right here…

"How can you be so calm? Your brother is lying in a crushed heap over there, don't you care? He's dead!" Sobbed Sophia hysterically; she wasn't taking this too well. Albel gave her a disapproving look, but she either didn't notice or didn't care.

"What are you talking about? He's fine. Aren't ya Senubi?" Called the white-haired man. Albel and Sophia looked over towards the crumpled heap of metal that had looked so fierce only moments before. They rendered practically speechless when an arm was raised and waved back, the green foliage floating around from the movement only added to the surreal effect.

"I'll be okay. Can you fix me sometime soon Davorien? I hate being wrecked…" The voice smoothly replied. Albel couldn't believe it. Nobody could be inside that suit alive, this so called Senubi had been frozen, shaken around till the armour was mangled, stabbed through the chest with the Crimson Scourge no less, blown practically to pieces and now lay in a disjoined, disfigured and barely humanoid shape trapped inside a steel coffin with that cursed blade standing up from his chest. It wasn't possible. It just wasn't.

"Sure bro, in a sec. I'll just deal to these guys," He then redirected his attention back to Albel and Sophia, "Look, I know what you're both doing. She altered the electrical properties of atoms in the air and then discharged them towards me. While you altered the temperature of the air particles and simply whipped them into a blizzard, then changed the structure of the ground and finally you destabilized the elements around your hand before unleashing them with explosive force against my brother, Senubi. It's simple science… But, I'm not quite sure where all this grass came from…" He explained rather simply, yet to Albel's ears he made no sense, while Sophia did go to high school and could gather the gist of his explanation…

"Science? But there is nobody that studies the science of Symbological Genetics on that level… anymore…" She said, her voice finally breaking as she remembered uncle Robert.

"Symbo-what?" The man called Davorien queried Sophia. Yet Albel couldn't be bothered with all this meaningless talk. He made a dash for his sword, which was still embedded in the knight's torso, yet the earth slid out from under him, leaving him in a shallow depression, and rose up into a wall in front of him. He attempted a jump and side step yet further earth subsided from beneath him and added to the now curved wall until he found himself at the bottom of a hole. "Hey, I'm guessing you wana start something again?" Called a deep voice that sounded a lot like Davorien, which turned out to be true as the he appeared at top of the hole.

"I'm not trapped here forever you fool, I can get out you know!" Retorted Albel from the bottom of the pit. He ran towards the wall with the attention of climbing out, from the corner of his eye he saw Davorien clap and place his hands on the ground. Grass flooded in like water as the pit wall began to retreat from Albel rapidly till it was like he was standing in an arena. He stopped and looked up. Davorien was now standing on an even higher top of the pit and he looked down and behind himself.

"Wow, I'm actually quite high up here… Hey girl! She's not as far below me as you, but she won't do much down there." He said simply, the smug amusement in his voice was evident.

"So he's created a walled arena… I'm below ground level, in a virtual sea of grass… But, how far? I need a plan… I don't want to be toyed with…" Albel was thinking rapidly and opted for taunting his foe, "So what now? Leave me here? Shoot at the fish in a barrel? Not an honourable man I see…" Albel attempted to tease him and make him loose his cool. It was not meant to be.

A maniacal grin that Albel would have been proud to wear appeared on his face and golden eyes locked with the crimson eyes of the now swords less swordsman. "You insult me and trash my brother. I'm going to deal to you… severely…" He uttered menacingly as he clapped his left hand to his right forearm. Sparks flew from his arm as a blade slid out from under his sleeve and over his glove, the blade was long, and curved evilly. It was serrated down one side and was shaped with hooks and notches down the other side. It almost looked ceremonial it was that ornately and weirdly shaped, yet Albel knew, it was razor sharp and would inflict much pain if it made contact with him. Without pause his foe leapt gracefully down into the pit of grass, despite the sheer drop.

"You can't be serious…" Albel muttered under his breath as Davorien charged forth. Albel dodged the first slash and caught his blade arm with his claw. His opponent attempted a punch with his normal hand but Albel blocked and restrained that too. Before Davorien had a chance to try anything else Albel had caught his claw in the white-haired man's coat and spun it in such a way as to make him trip up and collapse into a heap. Albel leapt backwards and began to focus his mind, "Earthquake!" He yelled as the ground began to shake.

"Oh no… Not going to happen to me…" Was the response from the blue heap on the floor as he slammed his hands to the ground, the earth began to shake more vigorously, yet it didn't give way. The whole arena was shaking until, without warning, the floor beneath both men virtually exploded outwards flinging them both to the sides of the arena, in huge clouds of grass, like toys. Unfortunately for Albel, Davorien was already racing across the arena towards him by the time he had managed to stand up.

"I'm not prepared, I need a more time!" Albel thought frantically as the blue blur raced closer towards him, and suddenly stumbled then collapsed into the green sea on the ground. The offending object bounced forward and stuck solid in the ground at Albel's feet. The Crimson Scourge. If there was ever a time to believe it had a mind of it's own, it was now. After a blind throw by Sophia from outside of the arena, it had struck Davorien in the back of the head and then landed in the ground at Albel's feet. "Looks like your out matched now maggot…" Spat Albel, his voiced laced with anger and contempt. He stalked though the foliage towards the fallen man, ready to make the final blow on a fleshy chest this time.

"You really don't know who your dealing with do you?" Came the voice from underneath the white hair. Although his face was mostly obscured, he seemed to be grinning. Before Albel could answer a wall rose in front of him and then toppled towards him, but the distraction had served its purpose Davorien was up once again and the two charged at each other. Blades ricocheting of one another, claws slashing, fists punching and kicks flying in a green tornado. The two were evenly matched and they proceeded to fight until they could not stand.

"Grrr… What is going on in there? I need to see…" Though Sophia as she frantically ran around the outside of the wall trying to find a way up. Then it occurred to her, she may not be as articulate as this Davorien guy, but she could sculpt earth too! She focused as hard as she could and then yelled, "Earth Glaive!" Spikes of earth shot out from the ground before her and they weren't perfect, but they were step like enough to enable her to run up to the top of the wall. After the time it had taken her to figure it out and she was up above the battlefield she wished that she wasn't. The two were both excellently matched at offence, yet they both lacked good defensive skill… Both men were bleeding from numerous small wounds, had grass stuck all over them, and they were thoroughly tired. "Stop it!" She screamed at them. Both warriors glanced sideways at her before calling a mutual, yet temporary, ceasefire. They both backed away till they were at the arena walls. Albel couldn't help but take advantage of the distance.

"Deep FREEZE!" He yelled so vehemently he went hoarse; in an instant reaction Davorien clapped and dropped his hands to the ground. The air around Davorien began to plummet in temperature while earth around Albel began to shake as the wall collapsed on top of him, thus pinning him to the ground. His sword arm and his head were still free however, and he began to struggle violently until a large rock tumbled down and hit Albel in the head, his head consequently hit the floor and his arm went limp. Meanwhile Davorien braced himself for a blizzard like attack, yet he was surprised when the air suddenly froze around him and stranded him in a block of grass-flecked ice, with only his head, left shoulder and left arm free. He struggled, but to no avail, he was stuck fast. But unlike Albel he was still conscious.


Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Star Ocean or Full Metal Alchemist. (If you hadn't figured out who they were based on, you know now…)

A/N: Finally, I got this done! It's long (for me) to make up for the amount of time i have ignored it. I was inspired to write this fic after seeing how Alchemy and Symbology had many similarities. Yet differences. And I am glad I've got past this chapter… I will try to keep this based in the action genre… I tend to lean on romance though. So I'll notify if it goes there.