Human Transmutation - Recap
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As Tucker leads Al to the basement of the abandoned warehouse, he comments on what he percieves as "similarities" between himself and the Elrics. Al tells him that Ed is wary about using the Stone; he would like to determine the full ramifications of what will happen to Al before he attempts to use it. Al also tells Tucker that both he and Ed have worked hard to regain what they have lost. Tucker says nothing, but a small smile grows on his face.
In the basement, Tucker places the "shell" of Nina in a holding tank and tells Al the real reason he's asked him to come: he plans to resurrect his daughter using the Philosopher's Stone inside of him. Al gasps; how did Tucker know the Elrics even had the Stone?
Quite simple, Tucker replies; Archer's wounds told him what happened in Lior and what Scar had done; couple this with the Fuhrer's insistence that the Elrics be found at any cost, plus the fact that he knew Bradley was part of the homunculi, and well...the solution presented itself. Al is taken further aback---Tucker knew about Bradley all along?!?
Oh yes, replies Tucker. He'd done so much work at Laboratory Five that the Fuhrer felt no need to disguise himself...nor did the "other one" who was with him...Al concludes correctly that the "other one" is the leader of the homunculi.
In his zeal, Tucker touches Al's armor, trying to get a glimpse of the Stone. However, it reacts as it had previously with Ed and Mustang, and Tucker learns the truth---Alphonse Elric is the Stone. He also finally figures out why Ed is so reluctant to use its powers---he's afraid of the consequenses to Al. Al tells him that while he understands Ed's reluctance, he's tired of waiting and wants to return Ed back to normal again. He finally asks Tucker to teach him how to use the Stone, if he knows how.
Tucker agrees....for a price. In exchange, he wants to use some of the Stone to "resurrect" Nina.
Meanwhile, at Dante's former estate, Ed and Izumi discuss Dante; her background, her knowledge, and her alchemy. Izumi tells Ed that she believed Dante came from a long line of alchemists that worked under a familiar crest---the same one found on Al's armor, Ed's traveling coat and Izumi's tattoo---but that new evidence leads her to believe otherwise.
Izumi also comments on how well Dante hid her true alchemic talents. When Ed counters that alchemists encode their findings all the time, Izumi concurs that it is one thing to hide simple formulai but another to suppress her true intentions for the uses of alchemy.
In a flashback, we see Dante and Izumi arguing. Dante tells Izumi that if it is praise she wants, she might as well join up with the State Alchemists; Dante has no use for it, nor human bengs either. Izumi snaps at Dante that she's leaving Dante and going out into the world to help people, not spend her days in seclusion and percieved superiority from humans as Dante does.
Izumi then tells Ed that during her training, there was only one name that Dante insisted above all else never be mentioned in her presence: that of Hohenheim of Light...Ed's father.
Ed's trying to grasp that bit of information when Izumi presents him with a document---what appears to be a love letter from Hohenheim to Dante. Ed tells her that that's impossible---even if it was written, his father is at least 20 years younger than the old hag he knew as Dante.
That's not the only peculiar thing, notes Izumi. She shows Ed a date in the right hand corner of the letter and explains that the letter was written during a time when the calandar and dating system was based on the birth of Christ---a system that hasn't been used in centuries. The religion that produced that particular system also hasn't been practiced in centuries, and the particular date occurred over 400 years ago.
Ed then surmises that it may be Dante who's been gathering the homunculi. Izumi asks Ed if he's prepared to deal with what lies ahead if his prediction is true. Ed doesn't answer, but he has a what-chioce-do-I-have? look about him as he stares out a window.
Izumi, Sig and Mason stand on the portico of the estate to see Ed off. Izumi apologizes for not being more help, but Ed tells her that it's better that he finish this alone in any case. He in turn apologizes to Izumi and the others for everything that's happened. The three of them then watch sadly as Ed heads off towards Dublith and the road ahead of him.
In Central, Mustang is informing Havoc that the crew has been ordered to join the forces on the Northern front: after all, the homunculi won't stop until they're all dead. Havoc wishes there were something he could do (he's still in hospital from his wounds in Resembool) when Mustang tells him not to worry---he's going to have company. As Fuery walks in to tell Mustang and Hawkeye that it's time to leave, Hawkeye stops him. It appears during Fuery's last physical the doctors discovered he had "athlete's foot", and that the condition is now "affecting his brain." Mustang apologizes to Fuery, saying he's just not fit to mobilize, and pushes him sprawling onto the hospital bed next to Havoc's. He then removes Fuery's glasses and places them on Hawkeye, commenting that she doesn't look bad in them. Hawkeye is only slightly amused.
As Gen. Hakuro give the issuing speech about the plans for the Northern front, the Fuhrer approaches Mustang, telling him that his actions are no longer being questioned and that he was wrong to doubt Mustang's loyalty. He then turns to the newly promoted Lt. Col. Armstrong and asks him to keep an eye on Mustnag in the field.
Armstrong agrees, but there's something bothering him---if all of Central's best are in the North fighting, what will become of Central's security? The Fuhrer tells Armstrong not to worry; that job will be headed by Frank Archer. Armstrong is completely taken aback at this revelation---he's certain Archer died in Lior...
The Fuhrer goes to an underground room where Dante is waiting for him. He tells her that everything has been carried out as she asked, but he doesn't understand her reasoning: the Northern people have no knowledge of the Stone or it's creation, so killing them would be pointless. Dante explains that this time they're not trying to create the Stone---they're covering the trail to it. Anyone connected with Maes Hughes or the Stone must invariably die.
Dante comments that Envy will take care of the remaining few who know about the Stone when Envy enters the room, angry that she was not told about Hohenheim's return. Envy wants to kill him...but after a fight with Pride, Dante informs her that she has already "disposed" of Hohenheim. Envy rages---she was supposed to be the one to kill him! Dante tells Envy that Hohenheim still lives, but his body, soul, and mind have been broken and scattered.
However, Dante tells Envy that Hohenheim's sons are still alive...and they have the Philosopher's Stone in their possession. Dante also muses on how close the sons Hohenheim loves are to regaining what they lost...while Envy, who should be Hohenheim's most treasured child, will gain absolutely nothing. Envy vows to destroy Edward and Alphonse before they can reach their goal.
In the hotel room, Lust and Sloth find the note Al left for Ed...the one telling him he's gone to see Tucker. Sloth realizes it's Shou Tucker, and tells Lust there's only one reason he'd contact the Elrics now---to use the Stone to "revive" that "useless chimera" he's obsessed with. Sloth also comments that with all he witnessed at Laboratory Five, Tucker certainly knows what the Stone is apable of. Lust concludes further that if what Sloth says is true, Tucker could certainly teach Al how to use the Stone himself. Sloth then leaves to see about Tucker and leaves Lust and Wrath to take care of things there.
In the underground room, Al is putting the finishing touches on a complex array on the ceiling---the same one Ed created at Laboratory Five. Tucker explains that Ed simply thought it up on the spot, and while Tucker has tried to improve on it, that original symbol is a close to perfect as it gets. Al then realizes that Ed does know how to use the Stone...unconciously, anyway...and is only trying to protect him when he refrains from using it.
Tucker mentions that while everyone concerned with them knows that Ed's highest priority has been returning Al to his body, Tucker himself doubts Ed will use the Stone now that it's in his possession. Al queries, but a vision of the mass destruction flits through Tucker's head, and he says nothing. He asks Al to come over towards the circle on the floor, and as he does, Al unknowingly steps on a portion of the circle Tucker added; the reaction activates the Stone and Al is floating helplessly in its power, pleading with Tucker to stop. Tucker, however, insists that he recieve his "payment" up front...
Meanwhile, Ed returns to the hotel room, only to find Al's note on the desk and a familiar sensation on the nape of his neck. "Don't even try it, " he warns as Lust reveals herself.
Ed tells Lust that Al has told him all about her, and what she really is. Lust prevents him from going after the locket in the drawer, but when Ed charges her with his arm-blade, Wrath steps in, stealing the hand portion of his auto-mail. Wrath gleefully tackles Ed, attaching the hand to his own body and grinning as he relishes the thought of taking Ed's body. Ed, however, tells him to go ahead---"take my arms, and my legs too; I don't even care! I've got the best auto-mail mechanic in the world!"
Wrath is puzzled by Ed's statement, but quickly illuminated---if Wrath thinks that taking Ed's limbs and attaching them to himself is going to make him human, he's sorely mistaken. Ed himself has artificial limbs and Al is nothing but a suit of armor---but they have their souls, something that makes them human, and something Wrath will never have.
Ed then tosses Wrath off of him, and leaps out a window to avoid a fight with both him and Lust. However, they follow him outside, where Lust informs him that at this very moment Shou Tucker is teaching Al how to use the Stone. If by some miracle Edward did know how to use the Stone, would he turn her human?
Wrath is enraged---they're supposed to kill Ed, not make a deal with him! In any case, their master has promised to turn them human, so why bother?
Lust and Wrath fight; in the end, she tells Wrath the truth. Their master isn't about to turn them human; she's only concerned with prolonging her own life. Wrath tells her he's not really concerned with that anyhow---he's got his own ideas...
Before Wrath can finish her off, Ed transmutes a rock wall into Wrath, knocking him away from Lust and freeing her from the trance of the locket. She then attacks Wrath with her claws and proceeds to take Ed to the abandoned warehouse where Tucker is currently working.
On the way, Ed can't understand why Lust would want to become a human being so desperately. She's immortal, she doesn't age, she has powers beyond that of any normal person...what's the draw in humanism? Lust finally explains it the best way she knows how; if Ed thinks about it, Al is also practically immortal, has abilities incapable of the average human fourteen year-old, and doesn't age---so why is he so eager to put Al back in his human form? By using this comparison, the concept finally clicks for Edward.
In the underground room, Al finally awakes from the transmutation to see Tucker overjoyed at his success. He's trying to teach his Nina-creation to speak when Al, in his daze, murmurs to himself that the chimera has no soul. Sloth appears, congratulating Tucker on his success.
Tucker freaks, desperately shielding the chimera from her, but Sloth tells hin she's not interested in that "soulless doll"---after all, it takes an alchemist with great strength of will to attach a soul, and frankly, Tuker should have realized long ago that he just didn't have what it takes.
She then tells Al that he's coming with her...after all, he wouldn't want that Philosopher's Stone to erode anymore, now would he?
Al starts, but Sloth merely points to a section underneath his right arm, and sure enough, there's a fragment of his armor missing, to Al's horror.
"Brother...what's happening to me? Is this really the Philosopher's Stone?" he cries.