Title: Ripples - Chapter 7
Series: brotherhood. Legend!verse part 2
Pairing: Roy/Ed, Al/Mei
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: Errr, sorry this took so long. The next few chapters will be coming out in fairly quick succession.
Al’s journey back across the desert with Mei had been arduous until they’d gotten to the first train station. All through the bumpy ride Mei had been quiet. They’d left with the Emperor’s graces and hopes. Al’s hands clenched a bit as he stared out the window. Upon their arrival back into Amestris Al had gone to Roy and told him of what he’d found. A few weeks later Roy had called again.
“How are you?”
“I’m good, and you?”
“I’m well, thank you very much. I just got a call from Edward.”
“From Brother? What did he want?”
“He asked me to research this talisman for him. I was wondering if you wanted to help.”
Al looked at the piles of paper on his desk and wanted to sigh and say no, but it was Brother asking so it was probably something important.
“Okay. What is it?”
“I’ve sent it care of Ross, she’ll be there with it in the next few days. I didn’t want it to fall into any untoward hands.”
“Got it. I’ll take a look at it and then give you a call back as soon as I know something about it.”
“Thank you, Alphonse. I appreciate it.”
“It’s fine General, I’ll talk to you later.”
Al scrubbed at his face, tiredness setting in. Perhaps he shouldn’t have agreed to do this for the General, but again, his brother had asked for help. He sat down in the chair and pulled his own documents closer. As soon as he received the stuff the General was sending and decoded it, he’d start on his own mission. He wanted to find that graveyard and confirm that it might be a gravesite for witches. If it was he knew he’d have to bring it to the General’s attention. Something like that couldn’t go unreported.
When the package arrived the next day, Al opened it. Notes in the General’s hand writing fell out and a drawing of what looked like a talisman. Roy had written “up” and “down” to show him which way it should be held.
Licking his lips and turning it this way and that Al didn’t see anything unusual with it. In fact, it was completely normal. What had Roy said about it anyways? Well, what had Ed told Roy in any case?
He hoped that his brother had gathered information rather than just saying, “yes I’ll research this.” Which seemed to be likely looking at the notes that had been included in the package.
You brother says he met this girl out in the west. She claims to be a “witch”. Al stopped, Ed had actually met a “witch?” Although he says she used a different word, but it’s too complicated to explain without actually sitting face to face. He said he simplified it for us. Ah, so his brother assumed he wouldn’t know anything about witches. Oh well. She asked him to look for a treasure of hers. Her people’s actually. The story he told went along the lines of an archeologist interested in the area went out to explore. He found this treasure and took it back with him. Supposedly he was Amestrian. Anyways what was stolen was a talisman. He was very reluctant to talk about it in any shape or form. But he said it had to do with alchemy. And the containment of it. Or something. You know him, sometimes he isn’t very articulate. So he gave me a description, a very detailed one, and I duplicated it here for you. It’s silver, a bit smaller than a palm, round and not very thick. It’s the image of tree within the circular border. Good luck, this seems to be a tough one.
Oh yes, it seemed to be. Looking at the image though from far away seemed to jog something in his mind. It gave him pause. He squinted. Stood back. And backed up again.
And he knew his brother had to have seen this. Had probably known Roy would pass it on to him. Al pressed his knuckles to his eyes.
He had hoped they’d finally gotten away from this, but it seemed to follow them no matter what they did. Would it always come back to this?
Their mistake had given them this knowledge that no one else had. And now, now they were the only ones who could truly uncover the secrets.
He slumped into his chair. “I’ll do this, but I don’t want to know what it’s for,” he muttered.
His fingers sketched on another piece of paper from the image in his memory. Licking his lips he added the details and then studied them.
So similar. One and the same.
The Door of Truth and this talisman. He knew beyond a doubt that they were connected, but which came first? Or did both come from the same source?
Well, that wasn’t his problem. His brother wanted to know who currently owned the stupid thing, so Al would do his research in pawn shops and ask a few of the people who may have a less than savory character.
He picked up his phone and dialed. “Hello? I’m interested in a…unique piece. I was wondering if you knew anybody who might -? Oh, that’s fine. The number? Thank you. Hello? Yes, I’m interested in a piece – you’ve sold it? That’s too bad, do you think I could inquire as to the name? Ah! Thank you! Hello? Yes. Mmmhmm. Please. Thank you.”
After several more days a couple calls and a few visits to local pawn shops Al had confirmed that a man by the name of Ian Somerhane had bought the talisman. Al scribbled down the name and went to the phone.
“Alphonse? That was rather quick.”
Al snorted. “It wasn’t hard by any means. Just a few visits, a few calls placed here and there…in any case I’ve found the person who currently owns the talisman.”
“A man by the name of Ian Somerhane.”
“I’ve never heard of him before. I’ll pass the information along then. I hope none of this becomes something crazy.”
“I hope not. I’m actually about to leave for a trip, so I won’t be around for a bit.” Al rattled off where he was going and to his surprise the General responded.
“You do remember that’s the town where Ed and I stayed with the whole El Dorado thing?”
“Really? It’s in the northeast, right? Those mountains?”
“Right. Abigail lives there. Should I inform her you’re coming?”
“Oh, please? Mei’s coming with me as well.”
“Will do, Alphonse.”
The tiny village inn was quaint. He could see why his brother and the General had liked it. Abigail smiled as she greeted them at the door.
“So, you’re Edward’s brother are you?”
“I am, pleased to meet you. I will tell you now that I’ve got far better manners than he ever did.”
She laughed and ushered them in. “I’ll give you a room on the bottom level, I can assume that’ll be best for you?”
“Yes – that’d be perfect. I know a bit about this area thanks to my brother and the General. I’m here about that old graveyard.”
“Graveyard? We’ve got the small one not far from here, but it isn’t really that old.”
Al shoved his hands into his pockets. “Maybe my calculations were wrong then.”
“There are some mass burial sites that used to be around here. If I were you I’d just wander about. You never know what you might end up finding out there.”
Mei grimaced. “There’s no chance they’re marked, is there?”
Abigail laughed. “No, they were already old when the town was first built. They weren’t to be disturbed so we had to build around them. Now though – they’re lost. As I said wandering through some of the trails might lead you to the location that you’re looking for.”
She left them to get settled into their room.
“I suppose that we could go out tomorrow and take a quick looksee and maybe we’ll get lucky. Otherwise I’ll have to create a map and plot which spaces we’ve already been to and the ones we still need to visit. That’ll take a bit and I’m not sure how well that’ll end up going. I’m not a geographer or a map kind of person.”
Mei twirled a pencil around in her hands. “In either case you really need to find this place don’t you? And you don’t want to forget where you’ve been either, right?”
“So create little markers of some sort and place them in the ground or tie them to something so you know that you’ve already looked in that area. I mean, there can’t be too many areas in where an ancient graveyard that can still be seen can be located right?”
“You would think,” Al said rather dryly. He lay back on his bed and stared at the ceiling, contemplating what they needed to do after they found the graveyard. “I don’t think we’ll really be able to confirm identities, or you know, know who they were without records. And I highly doubt those would exist for the type of people they used to be. Our best hopes of identifying them will be based on what they’re carrying, their clothes and any markings they may have on them.”
Mei shuddered. “It sounds so gruesome. I’ll tag along, but you’re not expecting me to dig up any graves are you?”
“No,” Al laughed, “You can come along and simply be good company.”
When morning dawned Al and Mei ate a quick breakfast that didn’t really satisfy them, but they didn’t have much time to fool around. They needed to find that graveyard.
The quickly found that the paths and roads were sticky with mud and slush from snow and the little bit of rain that sometimes occurred in this area. Al thought they were rather strange weather patterns.
Al’s shoes were coated in the mud and he had already tripped once or twice and fallen upon the ground. His clothes were smeared and he was getting a little tired of tramping around and not finding anything.
Mei too, seemed to be despairing. “We knew that we might not find it on the first day, or even the second,” she said from her perch on the rock. “We can’t give up, since you want this information. Take a little break and maybe you’ll feel like continuing in a few minutes.”
Al shoved a gloved hand through his hair as he sat on the rock opposite of Mei. “I’m sorry that I’ve dragged you out here, it’s really starting to look like a false lead.” He took a slug of water, trying to moisten his parched throat. “I should’ve known though.”
They sat in silence for a little while as Al gathered his strength and prepared to move on. He was busy taking another drink of water when a person appeared around one of the bends in the road. He stopped at their rocks and stared at them.
“What are you two doing out here?”
“We’re looking for something,” Mei said, unsure if Al wanted to reveal his plans or not.
“A graveyard. An ancient one. One that may be slowly disintegrating.”
The man rubbed his chin. “You know, a couple years back, two people came through. A blonde boy like you and a dark haired man like her, and apparently the blond thought some holes he saw in the ground were graves. My father Adam told me that.” The man shrugged. “I can show you.”
Brother must have known it was a graveyard, but with everything he may have just forgotten about it. Roy too.
They followed the man down a dirt path a little ways and he pointed to a stretch of open space. “There you go. That’s where he said he saw the graves.”
Al stared. Holes were opening up in the ground. So many, so many dead.
“This is – this. I don’t even…” Mei stumbled over her words, her breath catching.
Al felt his voice crack as he spoke, “It’s true…all of it. It’s all true. Mei, we need to tell Brother about this as soon as possible.”