Winry and Scezska arrive in Resembool, much to Scezeska's dismay as she takes stock of the remoteness of the village. The girls are approached by a man who got off the train with them and calls Winry "Sara". Creeped out, the girls make their excuses and race down the path into town, but after a few minutes Winry realizes that the man mistook her for her mother, whose name was Sara.
Pinako is glad to see the girls, but pointedly asks Winry why she left out her adventures with Ed and Al when she called. Winry explains tha she was working with Ed and Al, and eventually ended up in Central with Sczeska. Soon there is a knock at the door, and the girls, fearing that the man from the train staiton followed them, asks Pinako to cover for them. She opens the door and is startled...it's the man from the train station, but to Winry's surprise, Pinako knows him! When Winry asks who the man is, Pinako chuckles. "Say hello to Ed and Al's father," she tells a surprised Winry.
Meanwhile, Ed and Al are racing out of Lior as fast as they can. Al is still trying to grasp the concept that he
is the Philosopher's Stone, while Ed has to deal with the painful truth that they created Sloth...the woman better known as the Fuhrer's secretary. Ed and Al acidentally touch each other, and a reaction occurrs; both are shown the sight of the Gate, which Al is starting to recall from his previous encounter with it four years earlier. Ed cautions Al that since they don't know what might happen once the Stone is activated and eventually loses power....Al might be lost forever....they shouldn't touch each other for the time being. Al is dismayed, but understands. He asks Ed where they are going, nd Ed replies tey are going home to Resembool. When Al cries that Resembool is the first place the military will look for them, Ed replies that the homunculi are a bigger threat to them than the military is at the moment...and there's something he needs from Resembool to combat them.
At the same time, Mustang's crew is putting the pieces of the Lior puzzle together. Fuery learns that Archer gave the go ahead to invade Lior after seeing Scar kill Kimbley. Falman and Breda learn about the escape tunnel out of Lior and conclude that the city was empty when Archer invaded. Havoc discovers that the Elrics have disappeared, hightailing out of town over an hour ago and have not been seen since. When Hawkeye questions the complicity of the Elrics in Scar's plan, Mustang concludes that they had no knowledge of what Scar was planning, and if they did, they were workingto stop him, not aid him. He cites Ed's letter to him detailing what he knew as proof.
The Fuhrer arrives and demands and explaination. Mustang gives a full report, promising to get to the bottom of this affair. The Fuhrer agrees, and demands answers....from the Elrics. He decrees that the FullMetal Alchemist and his brother are enemies of the State, and they are to be captured immediately...alive or dead. Mustang balks inwardly, but agrees. The rest of the crew is torn; they know
the Elrics aren't culpable for this tragedy, but they have to follow orders.
In Resembool, Winry goes to visit her parents' graves and finds Mr. Elric sleeping near his wife's grave. He admits he nearly called her "Sara" again, and asks Winry how long his wife has been dead. Winry tells him it has been six years. Mr. Elric suddenly realizes just how much his boys have have grieved her loss, and says that he let it happen again. He finishes by saying that humans are a sad race; when Winry protests, he explains that because humans don't learn from their mistakes, they are sad.
Sczeska is lying on Pinako's couch, eagerly waiting for Winry to return...she's starving! She goes to answer the door, thinking it's Winry, and is terrified to see Lt. Ross standing at the door! When Sgt. Bloch pops up too, Sczeska freaks; she's convinced the military has come to silence both her and Winry for eavesdropping and what they saw in Central. As Sgt. Bloch tries (unsuccessfully) to calm Sczeska, Lt. Bloch stands patiently in the doorway while Winry runs in in response to Sczeska's screams.
Once everything is sorted out, Lt. Ross explains why they are in Resembool: they intercepted a communique stating that the Elrics are considered ememies of he State and are to be captured at all costs. Lt. Ross makes it clear that she does not believe the charges, and has taken vacation time along with Sgt. Bloch to help the Elrics any way she can. Mr Elric suddenly speaks up, saying that years ago the only way to reach the village was to follow a river that winds through a mountain range bordering Resembool. Winry remembers this river; she and the Elrics used to play in it when they were kids. She thaks Mr. Elric, grabs Sczeska, and heads toward the river. Lt. Ross says she'll stay bhind to throw off search parties that come in through town.
True to Mr. Elric's word, Ed and Al are indeed coming home through the back way along the mountain river. The spy Falman and Breda in the woods, still torn between duty to country and loyalty to the Elrics, whom theyve come to consider as more than just kids by the sounds of their talk. Ed transmutes a blanket from the ground to hide Al, and seconds after doing so he runs straight into Fuery and Havoc. Both men tell Ed they don't want to hurt him and are only interested in both helping him and learning the truth about Lior, but Ed's not listening. He holds his automail flush with the muzzle of Havoc's service pistol, telling them that if Havoc fires, the bullet will ricochet and fire on them instead. He tells them he's not going back to the military, that he's taking control of his own life now, and that they're leaving. Al jumps out of hiding to try and stop Ed, but this only startles Havoc and he accidently fires. As Ed told them, the bullet ricochets off of his automail and fires upon them instead. Al apologizes to Furey and Havoc as Ed tells him to run.
Not seconds later, the Elrics run into Falman and Breda, who reiterate that they're not interested in hurting them; they just want the truth about Lior. Ed transmutes them both into human balloons and continues on his mad dash to Pinako's.
Mustang, Armstrong and Hawkeye arrive; they patch everyone up and return them to normal, then ponder the Elrics' next move. Suddenly there's a series of loud shrieks coming from the woods---it's Sczeska, holding onto Winry for dear life as Winry drives a motorized scooter! Hawkeye uses two well-aimed shots to stop the contraption and take the girls into custody for aiding and abetting.
As Mustang, the crew, and the girls make their way towards Resembool, Winry suddenly lashes out at Mustang for believing the the Elrics could possibly become traitors. She also asks him point-blank about the deaths of her parents, and Sczeska alludes to his actions concerning the death of Lt. Col. Hughes. Mustang says nothing, and the party continues on.
At he riverbed, Ed and Al nearly come close to touching again, Al is hurt and saddened by the seeming callousness of his brother, but realizes it must be done until they know more about the Stone. Just then, the military comes in, trying to surround them. Ed tells Mustang the same thign he told Fuery and Havoc: he's taking control of his own life now and he's not going back to the military or Lior. Mustang chides him for reverting back to a stubborn child, and a fight ensues, leaving Mustang with wet gloves and Ed and Al backtracking for another escape route. Mustang and Armstrong launch an attack combining the talents of both alchemists and a pack of matches Mustang lifted off of Havoc in the woods. The fight keeps raging with no end in sight until Winry finaly pleads with them all to just stop.
The fight abruptly stops; the Elrics and the military are at a stalemate. Mustang then relates a tale to both sides: that of his actions in Ishbal. He tells them about the Rockbells an how they helped both sides in the war; he tells them about how the Ishbalans they saved came back to kill more soldiers in uprisings; about how he got orders one morning to execute the Rockbells for their work. He tells them about what happened afterward: his attempt at suicide when he tried to eat his service pistol, about how he vowed to reach a position in the miiltary high enough so that he never would have to carry out senseless orders again. He also tells them that he still believes in what he's doing because he know's it's the only way to set things right in the world,
He then turns to the Elrics. "I'm not chasing you because I was ordered to; I'm doing it because I'm pissed. Now why the hell did you two run away without asking me for my help first?!?" Share this article with your friends