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Title: Ripples – Chapter 2
Author: [ profile] meredavey
Series: Brotherhood (although it can stand on its own) - Legend!verse, part II
Pairing: Roy/Ed, Al/SECRET
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Rumors are stirring just like Ed's boredom, and the world begins to change. "You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
Notes: Due to all my freaking computer issues this took FOREVER to get out. But here you are! The next chapter of Ripples!

Edward shuffled off the train and stood in the rolling plains, huge grassy hills and looming trees in the distance. A light breeze ruffled the leaves of the trees in the distance and as Ed turned he could feel a slight tugging sensation. He looked down but there was nothing there. Slowly, step by step, his feet seemed to move forward of their volition. He could see the impressions of his shoes as they left marks in the deep grass. He turned to look back at the empty station and beneath it he could see a small wooden structure. Hefting his bag he headed in.
He knew this trip was going to be long and gruesome so he’d brought something “special” with him. He peeled off his shirt and pants, dropping them into his suitcase. Nearly naked he held up the first garment, and became nostalgic. These had gone through a heck of a lot of damage. He’d had to buy a bit of extra material to lengthen them since he’d grown an inch or two, but otherwise they were the same.
He began to pull them on. He’d forgotten the trouble it took to get leather pants on, it’d been what, four years since he’d last worn them? He hadn’t worn them at eighteen, he knew that, so he had been sixteen. When I restored Alphonse and lost my alchemy, his brain told him. Once he’d completely wiggled into them he pulled a black-short sleeved t-shirt on and over that he pulled a red jacket. His mouth moved up in a half grin, it wasn’t exactly what he had worn back then, but the red still got him energized.

He pulled his hair free from the ponytail and quickly braided it back, less ways for it to get dusty and dirty, plus it’d keep it out of his face.
He stood up and plunged his feet into boots, clicked his suitcase closed and stood, stepping out onto the fields of grass once more. He still had things to do.


Ed moaned as he sank onto his sleeping bag. His feet hurt, his legs hurt, how could he be this out of shape? The last time I did any work like this was at El Dorado. That was two years ago and I was busy doing…other things. Doing Roy you mean, his brain volunteered happily and Ed felt the urge to pluck it out and throw it away.

Slowly Ed pushed his braid back over his shoulder and pulled one of the books from his suitcase that had a note stuck in it. Al had sent him the letter about a month ago. While he’d been wandering one of the borders of Amestris he’d come across some interesting rumours. That there were magi, or witches roaming the lands.

Ed had scoffed when he’d called Al to talk about it, but Al had told him not to scoff, that it could be important.

At the time Al had decided to go since Ed was comfortable where he was. But now that Roy had encouraged him to take a trip Ed headed west and Al had headed east.

They weren’t random directions by any means, Al would be more useful in the east; they already had friends over there. ‘Besides,’ Al had confided to him, ‘I would like to see how Mei is doing, she was always so nice to me!’ And he’d beamed.

Ed stared at the worn letter and felt something warm rise in his chest. He wished that Al were here with him, they had always worked so well together and in the end wasn’t that all that mattered?

Apparently not, Al had strenuously insisted they needed to gather different information at the same time, and then he’d added the bit about Mei and Ed couldn’t refuse him anything, Al was his baby brother after all.

He left the note alone and opened the book to the first of many pages he’d marked. It was quite an interesting read for information at least. These people had truly believed in what they were doing.

“If the reader wishes to refer to the method of transmutation, he will find in the Second Part of this work, chapter VI, various methods. But proceeding for the present in a scholastic manner, let us say in agreement with the opinions of the three Doctors, that the devil can deceive the human fancy so that a man really seems to be an animal. The last of those opinions, which is that of S. Thomas, is more subtle than the rest. But the first is that of S. Antoninus in the first part of his Summa, V, 5, where he declares that the devil at times works to deceive a man's fancy, especially by an illusion of the senses; and he proves this by natural reasoning, by the authority of the Canon, and by a great number of examples.

        And at first as follows: Our bodies naturally are subject to and obey the angelic nature as regards local motion. But the bad angels, although the have lost grace, have not lost their natural power, as has often been said before. And since the faculty of fancy or imagination is corporeal, that is, allied to a physical organ, it also is naturally subject to devils, so that they can transmute it, causing various phantasies, by the flow of the thoughts and perceptions to the original image received by them. So says S. Antoninus, and adds that it is proved by the following Canon (Episcopus, XXVI, 5): It must not be omitted that certain wicked women, perverted by Satan and seduced by the illusions and phantasms of devils, believe and profess that they ride in the night hours on certain beasts with Diana, the heathen goddess, or with Herodias, and with a countless number of women, and that in the untimely silence of night they travel over great distances of land. And later: Wherefore priests ought to preach to the people of God that they should know this to be altogether false, and that when such phantasms afflict the minds of the faithful, it is not of God, but of an evil spirit. For Satan himself transforms himself into the shape and likeness of different persons, and in dreams deluding the mind which he holds captive, leads it through devious ways.”[1]

The first time he’d read it he’d been shocked by the fact that humans could do those type of things to each other. It had horrified and disgusted him.

Roy had not said a thing and Ed was very sure the man had experienced things like it in his time at Ishval.

Ed flipped through the rest of the book quickly, but he was already setting it aside and moving onto another one. By reading about the trials of witches over a hundred years ago he hoped to get a good idea of what they were all about.

But the further he’d read the more he realized that not all the witches wanted to cause harm, some were called Folk People or Wise Folk, Wise People, Shamans, Healers and all they wanted to do was to heal the sick and injured. Ed was keen on this because he wondered what was considered sick and injured.

This church had done their very best to destroy everything these people had been. Ed could read between the lines, persecuted for their beliefs simply because this church found them threatening. Threatening and dangerous. His hand smoothed the page. For years too, alchemists had been ostracized and pushed away as evil as dangerous. Even now they were called “Dogs of the Military” and “human weapons”.

Ed found himself thinking about his lost alchemy. He’d been truthful when he’d told the gate that he didn’t need it anymore. He didn’t. He had his friends, he had his family, he had Al and he had Roy. Technically he didn’t need anything else but sometimes it felt as if there was a giant whole in his chest that would never be filled.

He could never be bitter that he’d lost his alchemy to save Al, no, that was more than worth it, but he’d decided he could be bitter that he had lost it.

He curled his fingers around the book. Maybe. Maybe, just maybe he could help these poor people who seemed to be the remnants of a civilization undergoing genocide.

[1] From the Malleus Maleficarum by James Sprenger & Henry Kramer

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