Fullmetal Alchemist Fan Fiction ❯ By Virtue of Humanity ❯ Prologue ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Wrath raced down the hall desperately, stumbling slightly in his haste. His wild dark hair streamed behind him and his breath came fast and shallow. The young boy was hardly aware of the burns that covered half of his body. He was completely focused on his goal. He had to stop them from using the philosopher’s stone. He had to make them use it to bring back Mommy. He had to save her! She was the only thing he had left to live for.

He burst into the grand ball room spotting the suit of armor known as Alphonse, now the philosopher’s stone, lying in the center of a large, glowing transmutation circle not far off. A very savage looking Gluttony was approaching him while Master Dante stood to the side with the pink haired girl and her baby. Wrath’s eyes darted to Envy, who stood between him and the rest of them. The shape shifting homunculus had his back turned to the boy for the moment while he observed the scene playing out in the center of the room.

“Soon Rose, you will surrender yourself to me,” The dark haired lady they called Master smirked superiorly at the young woman standing next to her. The girl made no response. She didn’t seem to even hear the older woman, her eyes having a glazed over appearance. Not having the patience to wait any longer, Wrath bolted swiftly in the direction of the suit of armor. Dante turned at the sound of his footsteps and spotted him, letting out a startled gasp. “Envy!” She cried in alarm. The green haired homunculus spun abruptly and in an instant had intercepted the boy, catching him in a choke hold. Wrath gave a strangled yelp as his forward momentum slammed him against the unyielding grip of the older homunculi’s arm. He gasped for air but continued to struggle forward, fighting against his captor’s iron grasp.

“Do not allow him to use his alchemy!” Dante ordered, reaching for the baby in the pink haired girl’s arms.

“Stop squirming!” Envy snapped, tightening his hold on the boy.

“Bring her back,” Wrath cried, sounding hysterical, “Bring my mommy back to life! Please!” Master Dante lifted the infant over her head, activating the transmutation circle drawn on its  bare stomach. The air around them crackled with energy and Wrath froze with a startled gasp as a sonic boom echoed throughout the large chamber. Two enormous doors flashed into existence behind him. The Gate. He felt a horrible sinking feeling in his chest as the realization crashed over him. Not that place. Never that place, never again... Envy abruptly released the boy taking a step back, his eyes fixated warily on the gate. Not waiting for the gates to open, Wrath bolted for Alphonse and threw himself at the armored boy. Envy made a startled exclamation before leaping after the dark haired sin and half landing on him just as the great doors swung wide, dark hands spilling forth and reaching in their direction. Alphonse gasped in alarm, helmet lifting to glance down at the young homunculus.

“What are you doing?” he demanded.

“Don’t touch him you little brat!” Envy snarled, trying to pull the child away from the armored body which contained the philosopher’s stone. Dante’s eyes widened in alarm and she  shoved the crying infant into the Rose’s arms, starting towards the three boys just as the black hands of the gate began to seize hold of the young homunculus. Wrath let out a panicked cry and grabbed at one of the philosopher stone’s armored legs, activating the transmutation circle the three of them were now lying on. A blinding light flared up, completely engulfing the three boys and the Gate, causing Dante to shield her eyes and turn away. The energy slowly drained from the air as the light faded several moments later. She turned hastily to see the aftermath and a cry of horror escaped her lips.

The carefully drawn transmutation circle was smudged beyond repair, but far worse than that, the gate was gone, along with any sign of Wrath, Envy, or her precious philosopher’s stone. They seemed to have vanished without a trace, leaving behind a ravenous looking, mindless Gluttony, who turned back towards his master with a snarl.  Dante trembled with shock and fury.

“You stupid child! What have you done?!”

The first thing he became aware of was the sensation of moisture sprinkling over his body. Wrath’s blue eyes snapped open and he sat up with a gasp. His head spun and he found it hard to focus on his surroundings. Rain pelted down from a grey sky, splashing into puddles around him. His body felt strange and unpleasant. Goosebumps prickled along his skin and he began to shiver. The chilled feeling creeping through him was unfamiliar and very uncomfortable. He couldn’t remember ever feeling cold like this before… He examined his surroundings warily, confusion filling him. Everything looked different; strangely detailed in an unfamiliar, alien way.  He appeared to be sitting on the bend of a wide black road. It was oddly smooth, with white and yellow lines painted along the sides and down the center. A forest of dark green, needled trees lay on one side, and a rolling field of grasses and scrub stretched out on the other.

He glanced down at himself and realized he was wearing nothing but skin. His damp hair clung to his back and shoulders. He slapped a hand down on the moist surface of the road, meaning to transmute it onto himself for some protection against the rain. Nothing happened. He tried again with the same result. He made a frustrated exclamation and stared down at his hands. Then his eyes slowly widened as something dawned on him. They looked strangely alien in the same way that his surroundings did, but there was something far more important than that. They both looked unburned, and unlike before they were both identical. He drew in a sharp breath and quickly snatched up his foot, looking for the familiar tattoo. Instead of the red Ouroboros imprinted on the ball of his foot, he found nothing but smooth, pink skin.

He let out a startled cry, dropping his foot and scrambling back slightly, his breathing short and rapid. What was going on? Did this mean he’d become human somehow? He reached up to touch his own face, fingers trailing over the cool, wet skin. He was having difficulty believing this was actually happening. His body began to shiver more violently from the shock as well as the cold. He’d mindlessly pursued the goal right along with all of the other Homunculi, but he’d never actually considered what would happen once he managed to become human. He’d only thought about how he would go about achieving it.  This level of discomfort wasn’t something he’d ever experienced, and not having his powers left him feeling weak and vulnerable.

A low groan from behind him caused him to jump and whirl around warily. An older teen lay sprawled on the road a short distance away. His long, slightly straggly hair appeared almost black from the moisture that soaked it, but it carried a greenish tint. His face was fine featured and slightly feminine. His wiry body was well muscled, and like Wrath he was lacking any form of clothing. He looked familiar, but strange like the rest of the world around them...  And then it clicked.

“Envy…?” The younger boy whispered, edging a little closer to the familiar teen. Envy’s eyes flickered open, now a stormy grey color rather than their usual purple hue. For a moment they appeared unfocused and confused. He pushed himself to a sitting position, staring around blankly. Then his gaze landed on the younger boy. His eyes widened in realization and recognition before he lunged at Wrath. The boy jerked backwards with a yelp and Envy fell short of his mark, sprawling on the pavement as his limbs responded more sluggishly than he was accustomed to.

“What did you do?!” He roared, his attempts to pursue the boy leading to his falling once again, this time scraping his knees and elbows on the hard surface of the road. He hissed from the unexpected pain and paused, waiting for his regenerative powers to take effect. After several moments he looked down at himself in confusion. Wrath peered at him anxiously.

“Um, Envy…” He began. Envy noticed his lack of clothing and made a sound of exasperation. He closed his eyes momentarily, willing a transformation to happen. When the familiar crackle of energy failed to flow through him his eyes snapped open in disbelief. He glanced down again and his gaze landed on his thigh, wear the usual red mark was oddly absent. He abruptly grew very still, appearing to stop breathing. “Envy…I think we might be human now,” Wrath suggested hesitantly. He scrambled to his feet and took a step away from the older boy, wobbling slightly on his new legs. After a moment Envy rose slowly, eyes still cast downward staring at his thigh.  Finally he raised his head.

“What. Did. You. Do?” His voice was dangerously soft. His eyes were furious. Wrath flinched away from him.

“I don’t know!” His voice wavered slightly and he poured back through his memories, trying to piece together the last moments before they were dragged into the gate, “I don’t know!” he repeated more frantically.

“You idiot! You’re the one who performed the transmutation! Undo it!” Envy shouted stalking towards the frightened boy. Wrath staggered backwards away from him.

“I can’t!” He wailed, “My alchemy doesn’t work here!” This brought Envy up short, the full gravity of the situation hitting him. The two of them were completely powerless at the moment. He glanced around once again, taking in his surroundings more carefully.

“Where the hell are we? What is this place?” He demanded. Something close to fear flickered in his eyes. Wrath shook his head, wrapping his arms around himself as he continued to shiver.

Suddenly both boys froze as a strange whining rumble could be heard approaching from the bend in the road. A moment later two headlights came into view around the corner, flying towards them at an unbelievable speed. Envy reacted on instinct, grabbing the boy next to him and diving into the steep ditch. He’d be damned if the kid died before he’d had a chance to make him pay for getting them into this situation. They rolled to a stop in the cool, wet grass and he quickly shoved the child off of himself.  They heard a harsh screeching sound as the vehicle came to a sliding stop not far down the road. Envy grew still, listening intently. What the hell was that thing? Automobiles couldn’t move at that kind of speed, not even when souped up with alchemy!  The sound of doors slamming and multiple sets of running feet could be heard.

“Hey kids, are you ok?!” A concerned male voice called. Envy let out a low growl. Human scum. How dare he refer to him as a kid... He saw the man’s silhouette appear at the side of the road and heard him let out a gasp upon seeing the condition they were in. The figure turned and waved at someone behind him. “Honey, call the cops!” he called. Wrath glanced at Envy in alarm.

“What do we do?” He whispered. Envy rapidly processed the situation. His first reaction was to morph his arm into a blade and plunge it into the idiot human. But since that was currently impossible, he’d have to come up with something else. He glanced around swiftly. Given their current condition and lack of knowledge about their location, there was really only one thing they could do, as much as it grated on his pride.

“Run,” he ordered in a low, harsh voice.