Lieutenant Colonel Hughes discovers a plague of military corruption and conspiracy that could topple the entire government -- and put his life in considerable danger.

Full Synopsis

While asleep, Lt. Colonel Hughes recalls when he met Colonel Mustang, who was bitter and was willing to go as far as Human Transmutation for what he did during the Ishval Civil War. Hughes is then woken up by Sheska to inform him that Führer King Bradley has arrived regarding the Laboratory 5 incident. Making it clear that the conspiracy is greater than expected due to the disappearance of the Lab 5 staff, and the recent mercenary attack on the Ishvalan refugees, Hughes gets Bradley's permission to continue the investigation. Hughes also asks for Dr. Marcoh to be brought to Central for further questioning which the Führer has Juliet Douglas do, as only she knows his whereabouts. While explaining the current findings to the Elrics at the hospital, Ed reveals that he had given up on the Philosopher's Stone. Ed decides to seek an alternative method by asking their teacher who lives south of Central in Dublith. Winry wishes to travel along since the town filled with automail mechanics Rush Valley is on the way. After Major Armstrong agrees with Hughes that the Elrics are doing this to protect them as well, the Elrics and Winry, on their train, wave goodbye to their friends.

Winry soon learns that Elrics are not heading to Dublith, knowing what their teacher would do to them for finding out that Ed became a State Alchemist and for performing Human Transmutation. Instead, Ed decides that after Rush Valley, they'll head to the Ishvalan camp to the south where Scar's group is headed, believing that Scar is hiding something from them, and he still wishes to catch Scar due to his murderous rampage. Scar recalls his encounter with a State Alchemist when Rick reveals he has a visitor who is his master that survived the war, despite Scar's earlier beliefs. As a biker gang attacks the camp, Scar's Master reveals he has heard what happened to him and warns him about revenge. Scar leaves his tent and kills a few bikers before the others retreat and his master recognizes the Tattoo arm as once belonging to Scar's brother. Back at Eastern Command, Mustang is talking to Hughes over the phone, who demands to know why the Elrics were hospitalized, but Hughes dodges the question by stating Mustang's transfer to Central Command is going to happen. After hanging up, Mustang orders Lt. Hawkeye to book them a train to Central so he can find out what's going on there.

After talking it out with Gracia, Maes returns to the office and has Sheska help him with analyzing the Ishval War, along with the Reole, Xenotime, and Lab 5 incidents. As Hughes jumbles with what he learned from Ed about what the Homunculi told him, Hughes recalls something important about the Ishval War after Douglas called to inform him Marcoh had arrived in Central. Realizing what is important, Hughes goes to meet her but not before firing Sheska as he is leaving. Hughes reveals to Douglas about the mystery of how despite her name being the same as the soldier that killed the Ishvalan child that started the war, though the real Douglas died two years ago, the same name was never withdrawn from the military personal records. Knowing Marcoh isn't in the hotel room, Hughes is attacked from behind by Lust. Despite taking an arm injury, he uses a push knife thrown at her face, just as 2nd Lt. Ross - Envy in disguise - arrives to bail Hughes out.

Running, as he realizes this corruption rises as far as the Führer, Hughes becomes suspicious of Ross as he tries to contact Mustang on the phone. Learning from Warrant Officer Falman that Mustang had left with Hawkeye for Central, Hughes angrily hangs up the phone and laments that the information could have rise the Colonel to the top. Hughes then covertly draws another concealed knife and puts it to the side of Ross' neck, revealing that the real Ross has a mole beneath her left eye. He slashes the imposter across the throat with his knife. Envy then assumes Gracia's form which distracts Hughes long enough for the shape-shifter to fatally shoot him before walking away. As he falls down dying, Hughes remembers that day when Mustang told him that he was going to become the Führer to change the country which he would willingly support. The next day, a military funeral is held for Hughes, with Elicia too young to understand its importance. As Mustang remember his previous attempt at Human Transmutation and that Hughes kept secrets from him about the Elrics' recent activities, Hawkeye reminds him this is due to Hughes' dream of helping him reach the top, which moves Mustang to shed tears for his deceased friend. On the train, unaware of what happened shortly after they left Central, the Elrics and Winry talk about Hughes and his family. However, Ed complains about how much Hughes intruded into their lives, including his boastful personality and his obsession with his wife and daughter. Al and Winry talk some sense into Ed, saying that Hughes had always been helpful and caring to them, and that they should thank him upon their return to the capital. Ed then glances out the window, and sees a ghostly apparition of Hughes in a regular suit, waving gently. Ed continues to stare, although when he sees the platform where Hughes had appeared to be, it is empty on second glance. Ed actually leans out of the window, causing both Al and Winry to question whether everything is alright. Without mentioning what he saw, Ed dismisses their concern and eats the last of the apple pie that Gracia had made.

Episode Notes

  • The motorcycle riding thugs that Scar kills in this episode directly contradict the manga's canon by saying, "Aren't you Ishvalans supposed to be living in designated camps?" The manga states that most Amestrians aren't even aware that any Ishvalans are still alive. The slums in which they live are secretive, not designated by the government, which is what is implied here.
  • The scene at the end of the episode where Ed glanced out of the window and thought he had saw Hughes' ghost is only in this version of the story.
  • The usual ending sequence is replaced with a simple credits roll.

See Also

Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 Anime episodes
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