In the basement lair, Sloth approaches Al, telling him to come with her. She knnels down in front of him and tells him that it must have hurt when Tucker used him to complete his transmutation. Al, vulnerable anc confused, flashes back to a memory of Trisha "kissing" one of Al's scrapes to make it "better." "Mom?" he asks Sloth, to which she replies "Yes?"
Meanwhile, Wrath is having memories of his own...of when he was able to escape the Gate and digressed into an infant, crawling into a woman's arms. At first, the woman looks like Izumi...but it is actually Sloth. Wrath rises from his stupor and calls out "Mommy?"
In the basement, Tucker protests to Al's leaving...he wants to try again to resurrect Nina. Sloth tells him that he got what he wished for, and proceeds to hold him in her liquified state in an attempt to drown him, There is movement upstaris, and Al instinctively knows who it is up there...
...it's Ed, and he's been busy. He alchemically absorbs one of hte firearms in the factory to create a makeshift "hand," replacing the one Wrath stole. Once Al and Sloth surface, Ed tells Al to back away from her, but Al protests...she's their mom, after all!
Ed tells Al that he fell for her trick too, and that this time he's ready for her. He again tells Al to step away from her, just as Tucker surfaces, pleading with Al for another shot at redemption. Al tells Ed that the Stone does indeed have equivalency, and that the fragment of his armor missing is the result of Tucker's actions.
Ed is furious: "So he tricked you into coming here and then he did this?! Dammit! There's so many idiots whose asses I have to kick! I'll have to start carrying a list just to keep track of them all!"
Sloth tells Ed not to worry...but Ed breaks in: Are you
going to return Al back to normal or are you just going to take him to your master to use him until there's nothing left of him? he asks.
With that, Ed transmutes his auto-mail into a machine gun, shooting straight at Sloth, who simply liquifies and absorbsthe impact of the dozens of bullets hitting her. Al steps in to intervene, and Ed tells him once more to back away. Sloth tells Ed he's hurting her, but Ed tells her that he knows it takes a lot more than mere bullets to do any damage to the likes of her...
With that, he starts running to the south end of the abandoned factory, Sloth in hot pursuit. She finally manages to wrap her liquid tentacles around Ed's body and chatistizes him for not listening to his "mother" when she spoke to him. Ed stops struggling, but a small satisfied smile grows on his face...they're standing inside a large transmutation circle---the same one he found at Dante's mansion with the alchemic symbol found on his traveling coat; the same on he used to kill Greed. The transmutation circle is designed to "seal" a homunculus, Ed tells them.
"You're going to need a lot more than that," quips Sloth.
"Oh, I know..." retorts Ed. He also tells her that he knows about the significance of remains...specifically, the remains of the person that the homunculus is meant to replace. They can cripple the homunculi...
...and cripple Sloth they do, as Ed produces a small box and forces it into Sloth's liquified state. As he expects, and to Al's horror, the bones inside the box weaken Sloth badly and she begins to cough up the shards of Stone inside her, as well as strip her of her power. Al protests, but Ed tells him that she's a fake...and she's no match for he genuine article.
Al is hurt and upset that Ed went out and dug up their mother without telling him, let alone go to help. Ed tells him the truth...right now they're fighting for their lives
Sloth tries vainly to dissolve the transmutation circle, but she is told that she won't be able to this time...it was carved into the concrete especially deep, trills a familiar voice...and this time, it's not Ed's---it's Lust!
As Sloth wriles in pain, Ed turns toward her. "Thanks," he says. "I owe you one..." adn with that he tosses her Scar's locket. Lust takes it, but she flatly tells him she didn't do all this just for the locket...
Sloth asks Lust why she would betray her master. Lust tells her that's an interesting word to use, considering the circumstances. When Ed asks what they're going on about, Lust tells him: it's about memories. Lust realizes that the locket isn't the cause of her "memories", though it certainly brings them on; she'd been having them all along...those of the Ishbalan woman that she was supposed to replace. What they say isn't true...homunculi do
have memories, and not those of the alchemist who created them...Ed tells her her theory can't hold water, but she says that Sloth knows it too...she has memories, but she's let their master fool her into thinking otherwise. When Ed protests, Lust counters that, like herself, Sloth may well be their mother reborn...but not fully complete.
Al listens to this and, inexplicably, goes over and picks up the box containing Trisha's remains and tosses it through a nearby window. Ed asks him what on earth he's thinking, doing that. Al tells him that what Lust says is true, and that they were the ones who created Sloth that night, when they broke the taboos of alchemy. Ed agrees, and states that's why they have to destroy her and the other homunculi...because if they don't, they will never stop hunting Al for what's inside him. Lust steps up and maims a recovering Sloth, telling Ed to go and retrieve the box while there's still time.
Ed goes out to get the box, but he's too late---Wrath has found it and he absorbs it inside his shell, further complicating Ed's plans. Wrath states that he was using the box to hurt "Mom"...and that he won't let him do that. Ed tells him he's seriously got confusion issues; Sloth's not Wrath's mother, nor even Ed's, for that matter. A fight ensues between the two, sending them crashing back through the factory window. Once inside, Wrath is stunned at what he sees...
...the sight of Sloth in het incapacity, being held there by Lust. He charges the pair, demanding to know what Lust is doing to "Mom". Al queries; Sloth's not Wrath's mother...Ed agrees, but tells him that Wrath wants a mother so badly that he's gone and "chosen" her as the lucky parental figure.
Wrath, meanwhile, has alchemically bound several of he stray machine guns to himself, creating a Mugear-type death cannon out of his arm and begins shooting haphazardly at Lust. Sloth manages to recover enough strength to slither inside of Al's armor, taking it over as she "thanks" him for sticking up for his "mother"...Lust dodges Wrath's bullets long enough to charge him with her claw attack, slicing his gun barrels and making his firepower useless. She tells Ed to go after Al and Sloth---she'll take care of Wrath.
As Lust continually charges him with her claws, Wrath says that he'll just keep coming back to life...and he'll eventually get what he wants---to be
Edward. Lust wonders what the point of that is. Wrath tells her that it's the key to everything; after all, why on earth would he want to remain a creature like she is?
Lust continues to send Wrath further and further backward, and finally he falls next to the locket she dropped. Wrath grins, and then tells her that there is one reason his master used him: because he, out of all the homunculi, can perform alchemy. He shows her the locket, and she's standing in that deadly transmutation circle...he tosses in the locket, and activates it, to Lust's surprise.
On the other end of the factory floor, Ed tries to run up to Al, but Al inexplicably begins swinging at him. Al apologizes...it's not him who's fighting him, it's Sloth; she's taken control of his armor! Al accidentally brushes up against Ed, causing the Stone to react a little, and Al pleads with "Mom" to stop this---he could die! Ed tells him that the woman he's got inside him isn't
their mother, and never could be...their mother would never try to hurt Al, or try to murder them both!
As Sloth uses Al to charge at Ed, Ed begins to scratch something onto two different desktops standing in the middle of the floor. When Al asks him what he's doing, Sloth tells him that because Ed can't touch his armor, he's attempting to use a transmutation circle to try and attack her. Ed tells Al to fight against Sloth, and the two Elrics push together the desks to form the transmutation circle and set it off, causing quite the alchemic reaction.
Meanwhile, Wrath is still forcing Lust to slowly die inside the large death circle. He tells her that this was the reason she wanted to become human---so that she could die like them. Lust admits that this is most likely true; she has often wondered where she came from and where it is she'll go in the end. Perhaps now, she reasons, she'll finally get the chance...
Wrath kills Lust, and wonders if that's all that being human means; that in the end, you die. If that's the case, why on earth does he want to become on so badly? He spies Tucker, who's witnessed the entire exchange up to this point, and demands answers; Tucker's human, isn't he? Tucker runs, fearful, and Wrath stands alone for a moment until he realizes there's another reason for living...to protect "Mommy"...
Over on the other side of the building, Al is standing hunched over the desks; he's frozen because Ed used the circle to freeze Sloth's liquid state, nad the liquid froze to his armor. Sloth pleads for Al to help her---it's his responsibility, after all---and tells Edward she does know about the events of that night.
She saw them after the transmutation was completed, when she was in her grotesque state---and later she made her way up to Dante's mansion, where she and Envy feed her shards of Stone. As she becomes more presentable, Dante told her that she knew she would be created after she heard about Trisha's death...after all, they are the "sons of Hohenheim"...
Later, Sloth had memories of her own...ones of Edward and Alphonse, their house in Resembool, Hohenheim, and so on. She asked Dante what they meant, but Dante would only say that when she was human, she would find out...after all, that's why they were looking for the Philosopher's Stone...
Pride appears, stating that they have an alias they can give Sloth to use in the master plan...it was one that they had used to explain the Ishbalan war. Dante agrees on "Sloth" as her "true" name, and remarks that it is best to keep her under Pride's watch under the guise of a trusted official or secretary.
As she recalls all this, Ed realizes that she's accelerating the cells in her makeup to create her own heat source and free herself from the frozen state. She explodes out of the chink in Al's armor, and Ed tells her to stop playing the "mom" card. Sloth tells him that Lust was right---she does
have memories, whether they were the desires of Edward at ten years old or Trisha's own, she doesn't know, but they are indeed real. When Ed asks her why she would try to kill them, Sloth merely replies, "To be free."
Sloth tells them that in time, she might come to embrace the memories she has inside her; to love them, and to be a mother to them. But doing so would preclude her from living her own
life...she would just be living Trisha's. Therefore, to eradicate that option, the Elrics have to die. The memories would torment Sloth otherwise, and she tells them she doesn't have the strength to take on a "fraudulent persona" that was forced upon her. As she says this, the painful truth of just how much they failed in their quest that night finally hits home for both Ed and Al.
Sloth tells them she should always hate them for creating her...and begins to attack Ed with her flailing watery arms. Ed runs, dodges, and tries to transmute walls out of the floor; all to no avail. Al, helpless, cries out to Ed: what are we supposed to do with her? Ed tells him thatit's their responsibility to destroy her first, and the full-on attack begins.
Suddenly, Wrath appears, calling Sloth "Mom." Sloth turns, and when she does, Ed uses his auto-mail to drive a blade through her heart. But there's another card up Ed's sleeve...after a violent alchemic reaction, Sloth seemingly "explodes," much to Al and Wrath's amazement. When Al asks what happened, Ed tells him that he transmuted his automail into sodium just as he punctured her, causing the reaction they just saw. Wrath falls into the puddle that was Sloth, crying out for "Mommy," and Ed tells him to cut it out---she's no one's mother.
Just then, Sloth rises from the floor, taunting Ed; did he really think she'd die that easily? Wrath, grateful that she's alive, tells her that he's never going to lose her again, and alchemically bonds her to his own form. In stead of being pleased, Sloth is stunned. "Wrath, you fool..."
Ed understands, however. He tells Wrath that he shouldn't have been so impulsive; had he forgotten that he taken in that box of remains earlier? And now that he bound Sloth to his form, they can't even move...so he can take his time in destroying her by recomposing her into a different element.
Al protests; alchemy on a living structure? There's no way it's possible, and even if it is, Ed doesn't know how...
But Ed does
He tells Al that he used this method when he killed Greed; he changed his molecular chemistry to create a fatal weakness. This is not like the technique Kimbley used, merely reworking a few components in the blood...Ed actually reworked Greed's entire body, down to the last molecule, in order to defeat him. Ed also tells them that a homunculi's main weakness is that they're more malleable than humans, allowing such a molecular change to be their downfall.
With that, he starts a chain reaction, turning Sloth's body into ethanol...a substance that will evaporate into nothing. He tells Wrath that all he can do now is to back away...and watch.
Al looks on, saddened, and as he does he notices a figure standing in the doorway, also watching the whole process...
It's Winry...and she's smiling. Share this article with your friends