A Rotted Heart - Recap
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Hohenhiem tells Dante that the reason her new body is rotting is because her soul is rotting too. Each time she transfers her soul to a new body, a small fragment of her soul remains in the old one. Eventually, her soul will be lost. Dante refuses to hear Hohenhiem's reasoning and insists that she can continue transferring her soul indefinetly---now that the Philosopher's Stone is at hand.
Dante reminds Hohenheim that once, long ago, the two of them created a Stone using lives sacrificed from witch burnings and plague victims. The transmutation took a toll on Hohenheim, however, and Dante transferred his soul in a last-ditch effort. She also reminds him that at one time, she believed he loved her. Hohenheim tells her that he already has a wife, and that he will never take another. He loved Trisha, he explains, and he loves his family too.
Meanwhile, Lust takes in all that Hohenheim and Dante have been saying and becomes enraged. Why did Dante bother to teach the homunculi and use them to create the Stone if she already had one? What's more, what proof does she have that Dante will fullfill her promise to the homunculi and turn them human after she gets the Stone?
Dante snaps tha tshe herself did not know how to create a Stone---only Hohenheim did, and for years now he had been mysteriously unavailable.
Hohenheim is then surprised to see a figure walking down a staircase...one he recognizes well. It's Sloth, carrying Rose's baby. Hohenheim mentally travels back to when he and Trisha were together, both as a couple and later with his young sons, Edward and Alphonse. He professes to her memory that he still loves her. Sloth takes the compliment well, but encircles Hohenheim, preventing him from leaving.
Dante then takes up the baby. She tells Hohenheim that babies, unlike older children or adults, still have a strong connection to the Gate. She then tosses the baby into the air, activates a transmutation circle that has been drawn on it, and within seconds Hohenheim is transported to the Gate. While there, he tells Trisha that he will look after and help thier sons...her sons.
Once the Gate disappears, Dante informs him that she has a Stone; after a decade of work, a Stone made using the Ishbalan method has been created inside one of his sons.
In Resembool, Winry and Sczeska are arguing the finer points of cooking and pie-baking when the phone rings. neither one wants to answer it----what if it's the military?----but after an order from Pinako, they both reach for the reciever. Startled, they drop it, leaving a strange but familiar voice on the other line, asking for the Elric brothers. Later, Winry takes down the man's number in her pie, and she tells Al that he seemed almost desperate to speak to him. She also tells him that he gave his name as Shou.
Al ponders this information for a moment---that name sounds familiar----when suddenly he remembers who it is. He hides this by commenting on the pie and wondering when Ed will arrive; surely he's hungry by now....
Ed does arrive shortly after, covered in dirt. Al asks him what he's been up to, but Ed covers, saying he just went out to make false tracks for the military to follow.
In Central, Gen. Haruko is seething---his honor's being disgraced, seeing as it was him who supported Ed's bid for the position of State Alchemist---but Mustang counters, telling the Council that his information has the Elrics heading north, near Drachma. He can't explain the sudden shift in their path---after all, they were on their way to Resembool---but he's like to take a moment to address some other information that's come up....concerning the Fuhrer's secretary, Ms. Douglas, and her possible connection into the death of Hughes. The Fuhrer dismisses the Council to talk about this matter with Mustang in private.
Later, in Havoc's hospital room, the crew comes together to have a laugh at Havoc's misfortune in dating, especially where the Colonel's involved. Falman asks Mustang why he risked his own neck to check out the Elrics' story; Mustang muses aloud for a bit. What kind of person would go looking for the Stone anyway, considering the legends and rumors surrounding it? What would one hope to gain with it?
Falman lists three things: glory, wealth, power. Fuery mentions another: eternal life. Mustang tells the crew that he knows the homunculi have been destroying people for years; in fact he now believes the entire Isbalan campaign was begun simply to harvest lives for use in creating the Stone. Havoc also realizes that since Fuhrer Bradley came into command, the state has been in constant war on one front or another. Mustang then says that as soldiers, they shouldn't mind war; but they should think about war that is waged for no discernible reason.
In Resembool, Winry finds Ed sitting over a bowl. He claps his hands, puts his head over it, and uses alchemy to change his hair color to black. Winry is impressed, but realizes that he's going out again. When she wonders where Al is, her eyes light upon a large, rather grotesque bronze statue. Ed explains he used a few items to transmute Al inside of the statue, thereby concealing his identity.
Winry asks Ed what he's going out for...if it's to reunite Al wih his body, he can simply do that here in her house. Sczeska pipes up, saying he's going after those who murdered Hughes. Ed replies that he can't spend his life seeking revenge; it would be pointless and Hughes wouldn't agree with it anyway. Winry, crestfallen, sadly notes that Ed hair hasn't been braided as it usually is, and tells him she'll plait it. Ed protests, but finally gives in. Sczeska muses that the two of them are going off to do something dangerous.
On the train, Al tries to ask what happened to Hohenheim, but Ed cautions him to stay quiet; silence in his "disguise" is golden. As the military passes through the train, commenting on the rather odd appearance of the brothers, Ed has to surpress the urge to "correct" them when they discover the statue Al's hiding in. Before they can break it open, Ed transmutes it, releasing Al and telling him to run.
With the military in pursuit, Al hold his hands close, much like Ed does before he's about to transmute something, Ed stops him before he can begin a transmutation, simply telling him to run. Ed, however, transmutes a barrier between them and the military, putting a stop to the chase.
Later, in a hotel room, Al tells Ed that he wants to be able to help; certainly after seeing the Gate again and having the Philosopher's Stone inside him, he can transmute things just as Ed does. Ed cautions him from doing that; he fears what might happen if Al attempts alchemy now that he's the Stone. He also tells Al that he doesn't want himto use alchemy anymore; at least, not until they know more about the Stone and it's properties. With that, Ed leaves to see about something, leaving Al to ponder what he can do to help them.
In Central, Mustang is breaking the news to Maj. Armstrong---their team is being transferred to the northern front. Maj. Armstrong wonders why the transfer; Mustang tells him it's to keep them out of the way until the homunculi can kill them on the battlefield, which creates a perfect cover for an assasination. After Hughes, other suspicious deaths would bring unwanted attention to the Fuhrer and his coleagues. Maj. Armstrong is still grappling with he realization that the military is being run by the homunculi.
Ed reaches his destination: Dante's mansion, where he stumbles across Izumi. Though he didn't expect to see her there, nevertheless he is grateful; there's something he needs to ask her. When Izumi questions what he's up to, Ed tells her that what he's about to ask might upset her, but he needs to know...did she manage to keep any of her baby's remains after the failed transmutation on Yock Island?
Meanwhile, Al decides to run an errand of his own. Following the directions given him over the phone, he makes his way to an abandoned warehouse and calls out. Someone answers: it's Tucker! Al steels himself, and asks something very strange---will he teach him how to use the Stone inside him?