As Edward watches on, Lust swiftly does away with the elder Slicer brother, cutting his helmet in half with her talons, while Envy dispatches the younger by repeatedly puncturing his Blood Rune with the sword, all the while furiously berating the Slicers for nearly killing one of their precious Human Sacrifices and revealing their secrets. Envy greets Fullmetal and jokes that they should kill the runt for having come this far, prompting Edward to lash out violently. Unfortunately, as he prepares for another fight, his automail arm finally gives way and lolls helplessly at his side. Envy gleefully knees Ed in the stomach, knocking him unconscious while Lust instructs the alchemist to remember that his life was spared here on purpose. As Edward fades from consciousness, Lust and Envy discuss eradicating the Fifth Laboratory, since its usefulness is over and their plan is in its final stage.

Outside, as he dwells on Number 66's assertion that his soul is a fabrication, Alphonse remembers that Edward had mentioned back in Resembool that there was something important he wanted to discuss but had always been too afraid to bring up and wonders if what he wanted to talk about was the fact that he isn't real. Taking advantage of Al's distracted state, Barry gains the upper hand, but before he can deal a finishing blow, 2nd Lt. Ross and Sgt. Brosh appear on the scene, each shooting 66 in the hand and demanding that he back away from Alphonse. But suddenly, an explosion inside the lab rocks the grounds and causes the facility to collapse. Horrified, Al declares that his brother is still inside and attempts to go in after him, but 2nd Lt. Ross holds him back, warning that the falling rubble will crush him as well. Barry sees his opportunity to escape and flees during the ensuing chaos. Before Alphonse can break free to rescue his brother, Envy bursts through a collapsing wall with the unconscious Edward slung over his shoulder. He tells Al and Maria to take Edward to a hospital quickly and asks them to make sure he doesn't endanger himself like this again, as he is a very valuable resource. As Envy slips away, the Elrics and the soldiers beat a hasty retreat from the area. Meanwhile, 66 watches Lab 5 collapse from some distance away and decides that, with his place of business demolished and his partner dead, his best option is to roam the night and avoid capture. At next door Central Prison, most of the inmates are panicking over the sound of the collapsing facility, but inmate Solf J. Kimblee recognizes the familiar sound of high explosives destroying a building and gleefully remarks that it reminds him of the Ishval Civil War. As the guards chat about Kimblee's reputation as an insane arsonist, it is revealed that Kimblee's shackled hands are tattooed with Transmutation Circles.

The next morning, Edward wakes in a hospital bed and is told by Denny that they are in a small clinic operated by one of Maria's friends since a state-run hospital might cause complications. When Ed complains angrily that the truth of which Marcoh had spoken was so close and laments that this is no time for him to be in a hospital bed, Ross slaps him across the face and reprimands him for rushing off alone without trusting them. But as he apologizes for putting them on the spot, Ed realizes that his still-damaged automail means he has yet another reprimand waiting for him. He promptly calls Winry and informs her of his malfunctioning arm, but to his surprise, she cheerily assents to coming to visit him in the capital for a housecall job - of course realizing the true cause of his impairment. As Brosh wheels Ed back to his room, they notice Al sitting alone in a dark corner. Though he feigns contentment, Al continues to agonize over Barry's suggestion that he himself is not human.

Chapter Notes

  • Including this chapter, Envy has called Edward "small" three times in Lab 5, a point that returns later in the story.
  • While a knee strike to the stomach seems sufficient to induce insensibility, Envy's deceptively significant body mass may have contributed to Ed's swift knockout.
  • In this chapter, it is first explained that the position of State Alchemist carries with it a minimum rank equivalent to that of Major within the Amestrian State Military.

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