A secret encounter allows Mustang to spark new ambitions in an old friend—an ally with loyal troops at his command. Meanwhile, Edward and Alphonse share a chance meeting with their biggest fan: the young Selim Bradley.
Edward and Alphonse go around Central City searching for Mei Chang by asking locals if they have seen her strange black-and-white cat. Meanwhile, in East City, Mei accidentally runs into a mysterious old woman and, while apologizing, mentions that she is transferring trains in East City but is ultimately heading to the North Area. As Mei excuses herself to join her traveling companion, a man with his face hidden by a hooded cloak, the old woman notices Xiao-Mei and remarks on what an odd cat she is.
In the sewers of the West Area, Scar and his companion are pursued by Military Police. They manage to give them the slip; but the next day in Central City, Solf J. Kimblee and his men analyze the report and deduce that Scar's trail of destruction and reported sightings leads west of their location. Kimblee remarks to himself, however, that Scar is being much more conspicuous than usual. As he and his men reach the train station for their journey westward in pursuit of their quarry—who is reportedly traveling with an older, black-haired gentleman who more or less fits Marcoh's description—Kimblee passes the mysterious old woman from the East Area station and smiles to himself.
Roy delivers flowers to Hughes' grave and stands there in contemplation as the mysterious old woman walks up and begins chatting with him. He greets her kindly and engages her in small-talk, but soon realizes with a start that the "woman" to whom he is speaking in actually Lt. General Grumman in drag. Grumman explains that he received Roy's request to meet him in front of Hughes' grave and figured that any situation that would require his immediate and surreptitious presence would also merit a proper disguise. Becoming serious, he asks Roy to explain what he needs.
Hoping to find some sort of documentation on alkahestry's properties in Mei's absence, Ed and Al head to the National Central Library. Back at the cemetery, Roy has explained what he has discovered about Central Command's corruption. While chastising the Colonel for losing all his trusted subordinates—effectively halting all of his own forward movement—Grumman describes an interaction he had with General Raven the last time he was in the capital. Raven had asked him if he would be interested in a corps of immortal soldiers, to which he responded that immortality was an unfavorable thing—immediately after which he had been demoted to the East Area and made to deal with all the ugliness of that region. After wondering to himself if Raven had been talking about the Homunculi, Mustang brings up the incident in Reole wherein Edward had deposed the Letoist prophet Cornello. After Cornello's disappearance, the town fell into chaos, but the East Area forces stepped in quickly and managed to keep the rebellion under control. That is, of course, until Central City forces took over official control and relieved the East City of its jurisdiction there. The peace in Reole quickly disintegrated and the riots began anew with even greater force. Grumman wonders what Military Command is really up to and jokes that they should wait until he retires before stirring up trouble. But Roy responds that the Lt. General cannot be serious, since a man like him, with platoons of soldiers honed and hardened by the Ishval Civil War, could not possibly be content to sit by and do nothing in the countryside while things start to get interesting in the capital. Grumman laughs at Roy's veiled call to action and remarks that his own ambitions have been jump-started again. As they take their leave of each other, Grumman notices a small drawing among Mustang's papers - a drawing of Xiao-Mei.
In the Central Library, the Elrics have no luck in their search for alkahestry and wonder why such a complete document repository would have so little information on it. Suddenly, Edward is approached by Major Armstrong, who mentions quietly that Colonel Mustang has sent him to deliver a secret message: the girl that the boys are searching for was seen in East City, where she reportedly caught a train to the North Area. Excited, Edward prepares to leave immediately, but Armstrong stops him and hands him a letter of introduction with the Armstrong family seal. He says it may not do much, but informs Edward that they should head directly to Fort Briggs - a fortress in the mountains north of North City's command center - where they should be able to find help from the infamous commander known as "The Northern Wall of Briggs": Major General Armstrong.
Heading further westward with his cloaked companion, Scar escapes capture once again by jumping onto a train headed for West City. Back in Central's library, Alphonse continues searching in vain for information on alkahestry and, remembering Mei's long-distance transmutation at the train yard, wishes that he had access to that kind of ability. While he laments that he neglected to ask her about in at Dr. Knox's place and remembers Ling's remark that alkahestry is primarily a medical practice, he is approached by a young boy who marvels at him and exclaims excitedly that he has finally met the younger brother of the famous Fullmetal Alchemist. He asks what Alphonse is researching so diligently and when Al explains that he's trying to find out about the alchemy used in the nation of Xing, the little boy wonders why an alchemist skilled enough to gain state certification in the world alchemical power of Amestris would bother looking into the minor arts of a foreign country. Just then, Edward runs up and declares to his brother that they'll be departing the city immediately. The little boy becomes even more excited at Edward's presence, but when he makes mention of Fullmetal's famously small stature, Edward's tantrum is immediately averted by government bodyguards who step in with drawn sidearms and order Ed to back away from their charge - young Selim Bradley, the Führer's son.
The boys are invited back to the Executive residence, where Selim and Mrs. Bradley explain that the young boy has been a fan of the Fullmetal Alchemist for a long time and wishes to become a State Alchemist himself in order to help out his father. Hearing this, the Elrics are disheartened a bit, but when asking Selim and the First Lady about the Führer, they are shocked to hear them speak so naturally of him as a person. But the mood changes somewhat when King Bradley himself comes home to greet the boys and his family. Ed and Al are thrown of a bit as they watch the Bradley family interact so lovingly with one another, but the Führer's veiled remarks toward his previous threats remind them of his power and their position. King takes his leave on business, having Lt. Hawkeye follow him. As the boys leave the grounds that evening, concerned that King Bradley's family appears unaware that their husband and father is a Homunculus, they resolve to head north and find Mei so that all this business can end as quickly as possible.
Riding on the train under cover of night, Scar tells his companion that they will arrive at heir destination in the morning. However, when Kimblee's men arrive at the West City train yard the next day, Scar and Marcoh are nowhere to be found. Examining the local train routes, Kimblee deduces that the fugitives must have jumped off the train in transit while it slowed down to take a curving route and wonders whether they fled to the north or south of the tracks. Meanwhile Scar and his companion flee through dense forests, a step ahead of Kimblee's guesses. Ed and Al ride a train northward and remark that this will be their first visit to the North Area.
- This episode is based on content in Chapter 63: The Promise Made for 520 Cenz and Chapter 64: The Northern Wall of Briggs.
- The Transmutation Circle which appears in the background of this episode's title card is the circle from Alex Louis Armstrong's gauntlets.
- The end of this episode marks the 2009's anime's first appearance of Edward's altered cloak with the fur trim.
- Bradley's presence at the family meeting was absent in the manga. In fact, they stay in the library rather than going to the Führer's home.
- It can be deduced from his remark and demeanor at the Central City train station that Kimblee recognized Lt. General Grumman even through the old woman disguise. The dub line makes it seem like he knew that the person was suspicious only, but the original had a bit more weight to it.
- Kimblee's encounter with the disguised Grumman, as well as his investigation of Scar's whereabouts, are anime-only scenes and do not occur in the manga.
- Once again, in the showing on Adult Swim, they cut out the post-ending theme segment of Ed and Al riding north on the train for more commercial time.
|Fullmetal Alchemist 2009 Anime episodes|
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