As Kimblee's four menacing bodyguards march through Fort Briggs under the pretext of being Winry's escorts, Major Miles wonders to himself exactly what the Crimson Lotus is plotting for the Northern Wall. Within the fort's infirmary, however, Winry has begun working on Ed's new Automail limbs, both specially designed for cold-climate. She scolds Ed for not informing her of his journey and asks why he and Al were being incarcerated, but Kimblee quickly interjects that it was a mere misunderstanding that he will clear up personally. As Winry expresses her gratitude, Ed pulls her close and advises her not to trust Kimblee, but Winry recalls the car ride up to Briggs from North City, during which Kimblee had remarked that he had heard of her mother and father during the Ishval War and respected their courage and conviction as doctors, for which she marks the Crimson Lotus as a kind person. Ed tries to fill her in on what Lt. Hawkeye had told him of Kimblee's actions during the war, but, also remembering the lieutenant's suggestion of romance between Winry and himself, becomes too flustered to continue. When the new limbs are installed, Edward notices that they are significantly lighter than his last few models, but Winry assures him that - while their overall durability has been lowered - their key areas have been strengthened to lessen the possibility of damage. After Captin Buccaneer shows off an alternate cold-climate prosthesis of his own, Winry is led on a tour of the fort's infirmary and R&D division in order to learn more about cutting-edge Automail developments, but Edward warns her to be careful, as the citadel hides many dangers. Now that she is out of the way and Ed's limbs have been upgraded, Kimblee announces that it is time for them to discuss business. Down in the brig, Alphonse remains in his cell, all too aware of Kimblee's attempts to keep the Elrics separated so as to prevent them from doing unexpected.
Further below still, Captain Buccaneer and a few others prepare to descend into Sloth's tunnel in order to search for the missing reconnaissance team. As he closes the secret passage door behind him, Buccaneer requests that Major General Armstrong seal up the entrance and abandon them if they have not returned within twenty-four hours. In turn, Armstrong orders her men to disavow knowledge and responsibility of General Raven's murder unless the truth comes out - in which case, they are ordered to place all the blame on her and her alone.
In Central City, Colonel Mustang learns of the situation up north from the flower seller and is told that Briggs, which excels in defense, requires the aid of the East Area forces, which excel in offense. As he pays her for her information (as well as her entire cart's worth of flowers) and she prepares to leave, Roy asks the flower lady who she is and she remarks that she is merely an old woman who has served the Armstrong family for generations.
In the tunnel under Briggs, Buccaneer's party comes across the dead horses and severed limbs of the first recon group as well as pieces of metal that have mysteriously been sliced into pieces. Continuing along with caution, however, they discover two terrified survivors of the previous party trembling in the dark. Frantic, the men declare that they must escape quickly and turn out all their lamps, as light draws "the shadow". Sure enough, the mysterious, oculus-laden shadow from before re-emerges and creeps along the tunnel wall to prey on Buccaneer's group. However, as if its attention were suddenly called to something else, it quickly recedes and disappears without having been noticed. Narrowly having escaped death, the rescue party heads back toward the fort.
Back in Central, Lt. Hawkeye arrives at the Führer's executive mansion with important papers for him to peruse. However, Mrs. Bradley informs her that the Führer is out at the moment. As Riza hands the papers over, she is struck by the sensation of a malignant presence creeping up behind her and rapidly turns to face the newcomer, who turns out to be merely young Selim Bradley. As Selim responds that he had thought the person at the door had been his father and greets Lt. Hawkeye before being led off to bed, Mrs. Bradley fawns over her adopted son and remarks that Selim is actually a distant relative from her husband's side. Shocked, Riza hastily takes her leave, remembering that - according to Mustang's account - King Bradley is a Homunculus and should not have any blood relations. And, remembering that Selim had given off a strange presence just a few moments ago, her mind is drawn to a singular conclusion - a conclusion that is all but confirmed when little Selim himself emerges menacingly from the nearby courtyard shadows and laments his mother's chatty nature. Clearly cornered, Hawkeye remarks that the presence Selim is exuding resembles the presence she felt when Gluttony had approached her from behind and demands to know the little boy's true identity. As Selim lauds her courage for asking so directly and her prudence in not drawing her firearm, dark, tendril-like hands extend from his shadow and spiderweb around the hallway where they both stand. Hawkeye amends her previous statement to remark that the presence coming off of Selim is considerably more menacing than that which surrounded Gluttony. And as Selim's engorged shadow erupts with the large eyes and twisted leer seen in the tunnel beneath Briggs, the boy explains simply that he is - in reality - the very first Homunculus: Pride. Pride's shadowy tendrils snake up Riza's body as he displays their ability to exert pressure on people as if they were real hands as well as their sharpness as he cuts a small gash in her cheek. However, Hawkeye asks Pride to refrain from making empty threats, as there is nothing to gain from killing his hostage. Pleased by her comprehension of the situation, Pride withdraws, but adds that he will always be watching her from the shadows.
Up north, Kimblee leads Edward into a private room and informs him that Führer Bradley has issued three orders for the Fullmetal Alchemist: to locate Scar in the North Area; to locate Dr. Marcoh, who is believed to be traveling with Scar; and finally, to carve a Crest of Blood into Fort Briggs. Edward is confused by the term, but Kimblee clarifies that it means to do the same to Briggs as was done to Ishval - stain the land with death and sorrow. Edward refuses angrily, but Kimblee remarks that Fullmetal is another person who joined the military without the resolve to kill. But when Edward replies that the resolve he bears is the resolve not to kill, the Crimson Lotus contemplates for a bit before conceding that such a conviction is just as valid as its opposite. Ed demands to know why Kimblee is helping the Homunculi and Solf counters that he is merely interested in watching how the world changes when two indomitable wills - humans and homunculi - are forced to clash and has chosen the side of the Homunculi because they allow him to use his destructive talents to their fullest. Edward remains incredulous, causing Kimblee t switch gears to a secondary plan. Pulling a Philosopher's Stone from his pocket, he declares that he will reward Fullmetal with it once all his tasks in the north have been completed. Shocked, Ed requests to speak on the matter with Alphonse and Winry, to which Kimblee grants permission provided that Ed refrain from mentioning anything unnecessary to his mechanic. Ed returns to the brig, where Winry is waiting with Al, and explains outright that Winry is being held hostage because he is being ordered to act as a Human Weapon. Understanding the situation, Winry laments being a burden once again as Ed explains to Al that the Philosopher's Stone will be his payment for following orders. Al moves to protest the use of the Stone, but is silenced by a meaningful glance from Ed and benignly gives his brother leave to do as he pleases. Ed requests that Kimblee start him on the search for Scar in revenge for the Ishvalan's murder of Winry's parents and asks that Alphonse - who he claims is immune to Scar's attacks - be brought along for the search. Left alone with Winry once Kimblee and Edward leave, Al explains that Edward no longer intends to use the Philosopher's Stone, which is made up of living souls, for their own personal goals, but likely wishes to search for Scar so that they might finally re-encounter his companion May in secret. Hearing this, Winry decides that she must take some action as well.
Outside, the party from Briggs - led by Miles and Kimblee - prepares to move out in search of Scar. However, Winry bursts onto the scene and climbs into the car with Ed and Al, declaring to Kimblee that her pride as an Automail engineer requires her to make sure Ed's fresh installations work properly and can be maintained if any defects are found. Kimblee allows her presence and the search party moves out.
- This episode is adapted from content in Chapter 70: The First Homunculus and Chapter 71: In the Grip of the Red Lotus.
- Winry's suggestion that Ed wear a shinguard to protect his new leg is left out, however the shinguard appears on Edward's person later in the episode.
- The array that appears in the background of this episode's title card is the Ouroboros.
- Ed's line regarding Kimblee's insanity "I'm surprised you even passed the State Alchemist sanity test" was cut from this episode, presumably for time. It does leave out Kimblee's ability to act normal around those who fail to understand him. Additionally, Kimblee's assertion that his admiration for Winry Rockbell is strictly platonic is not included in this episode.
- In the English dub of this episode, Kimblee mentions to Winry that his team had been dispatched to help her parents during the Ishval Civil War, but in the original Japanese anime and manga, Kimblee is careful to imply that his mission was a rescue, but never states it.
- When Ed is reciting the periodic table, instead of reciting it in order of atomic number, he skips the fifth element (boron) then after oxygen skips fluorine, neon, potassium, and calcium, before putting sulfur before aluminum, and finally randomly skipping to chromium, going in order from there.
|Fullmetal Alchemist 2009 Anime episodes|
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