Sheska (sometimes spelled "Sciezka" or "Scheska") is a mousy, bespectacled young woman who had previously worked in the National Central Library in Central City, but was fired for spending her time reading books instead of doing her job.
Edward and Alphonse Elric seek her out to discover whether or not Tim Marcoh's research journal had been located in the library's First Branch, which had been burnt down. After finding her trapped in her home under a collapsed mountain of books, Sheska confirms the Elrics' worst fears - that the book, which she herself had read cover to cover, had indeed been in the First Branch and, therefore, destroyed.
But, as they leave, visibly disheartened, Sheska reveals that she has a photographic memory and can recreate the book for them, exactly as it had looked when she read it. As a result, Sheska is able to recreate Marcoh's notes in five days to such a degree of detail that, even though Marcoh wrote them in code, Edward is able to decipher their hidden truth.
When Maes Hughes reveals that several court-martial records had been kept in the First Branch, Edward and Alphonse recommend Sheska for the task of recreating them, as she had read them as well. Thanks to this, Sheska is hired into the Amestrian military at a desk job in the records department.
Sheska is last seen in Chapter 34, covering for Colonel Mustang when he sneaks into the records department to investigate Hughes' murder. She inadvertently lets this information slip to Envy, who is disguised as Captain Focker.
In the 2003 anime series, Sheska first made an appearance during Edward's flashback where she was working at the library when Edward came into the library to look up Shou Tucker's research, and was the one who mentioned that the research was under Basque Grand's authority. Because of this encounter, Edward was able to remember her three years later and after learning she had been fired, he went straight to her house since he was trying to locate information on Tim Marcoh's research after the first branch of the Central Library had burned down.
Also in the 2003 anime, despite being fired by Hughes shortly before his death, and being angered with Mustang after he closed the murder investigation of Maes Hughes, Frank Archer later temporarily rehired her to help finish some files for him. During this time, Sheska decides to use the opportunity to use the military files to further investigate Maes Hughes' murder and through that research discovered the mysterious circumstances regarding the Führer's secretary Juliet Douglas, the same information Hughes had uncovered before his death (which is why he fired her in the first place, not wanting to put her in danger). Not trusting anyone in the military, the only person Sheska could trust was Winry Rockbell when she was staying with the Hughes family temporarily after separating from the Elric brothers.
Sheska runs away from the military with Winry, after the two were nearly killed by Sloth when the two snuck into Central Command to tap Douglas' phone lines at Winry's suggestion. After being saved thanks to the timely arrival of Maria Ross and Denny Brosh, the two lie their way out of their interrogation and then retreated to Resembool for their own safety. There, Sheska and Winry are captured by Mustang, though as she spends more time with him, she gradually comes to realize she misjudged his intentions behind not pursuing the culprit behind Hughes' death. Sheska is the one in the 44th episode who had informed Edward and Alphonse that Hughes had been killed after Mustang had kept this fact hidden from them. Although Edward is angered by this, Sheska, having regained her respect for Mustang, helps Edward understand that he only hid the fact to keep the Elric brothers from blaming themselves. Later after the Elrics left Resembool, while walking outside with Winry, Sheska realized the real reason behind the Homunculi's actions in stealing the Philosopher's Stone and spreading rumors of it being dangerous to create was intended to prevent people from dangerously creating the stone to use for their selfish purposes. In the series epilogue, Sheska returned to Central and begun working for the military again, and also narrated in the final episode of what happened to Amestris after King Bradley was killed by Mustang in his mansion.
Sheska also makes a brief appearance in Conqueror of Shamballa, by which time, she and Winry have formed a close friendship and Sheska travels with her to the Underground City where they encounter Ed and Al.
Personality and History
Sheska has revealed that she has rather low self-esteem, considering herself worthless and her passion for reading nothing but a hindrance and gets upset very easily such as when Elicia Hughes called her the Bookworm after Sheska gave her a storybook for her 4th birthday. She has been fired from several jobs for her preoccupation with books, which is problematic because she has to pay her sick mother's hospital bills. After receiving a large sum of money as payment from Edward and kind words of encouragement from Alphonse, Sheska is able to move her mother to a better hospital and starts to believe in herself a bit more.
- As a Private, Sheska is the lowest ranked major character in the series.
- The alternate spelling of the name "Ścieżka" is Polish and means trail, path, footpath or walkway
- In the 2009 anime it was Maria Ross who informed the Elrics about Sheska instead of them going to another library and finding out about her there.
- Sheska's photographic memory borders on instant recall, an immensely rare neurocognitive ability that allows a person to perfectly recall information that they have either read, heard, seen, or otherwise encoded into their long term memory. Additionally, this ability is also similar to a rare condition called Hyperthymesia, which is a condition in which a person is able to recall a vast quantity of information in such detail that is known as Autobiographical Memory. To date, only 60 known individuals in the real world are known to have an autobiographical memory.