A Cat's Story

Chapter Sixteen

"How do you think Brother, Miss Hawkeye, and the Colonel are faring?" Alphonse asked as he scrolled briefly through a book regarding Human Transmutations and the 'mythical' Homunculi.

Havoc looked around the room making sure the librarian wasn't in sight then pulled out a cigarette and lit it, he puffed a few then looked to Alphonse. "I don't know. Probably better than we are. I haven't found anything yet! Just a bunch of boring ole books on people long since dead." He grumbled.

Alphonse gasped and looked to Havoc.

Havoc's eyes widened and a hopeful grin spread across his face. "Did you find something?" He frantically asked.

"How could you say those things about books?!. You treat the books so horribly! Because of books, we've been able to learn so much that, without them, would have been lost years ago! Books are fountains of knowledge, everything you could ever want can be learned about within a book! How terrible of you to say such things!" Alphonse scolded Havoc.

"Seriously!? You had me thinking you'd found something important! I don't want to be lectured about how books are so wonderful. The only thing I care about is getting what we need and getting out of this silent place! There's nobody even here, I thought more people read than this!." Havoc gestured around the giant empty space.

Alphonse glanced around, "I guess you have a point. Brother and I came here nearly every day and there was always people rushing about with armloads of books and talking in hushed voices. Wonder where everyone went?" Alphonse mused.

"How the hell should I know," Havoc inhaled some smoke and let it out, "Lets just get this done. This place gives me the creeps!." He shuddered nervously.

"Yeah, okay." Alphonse picked up another book from the clean wooden shelf and leafed through it. He stuck it back and pulled out another one before flicking through the pages and putting it back.

Alphonse sighed. "We've been looking for hours and no sign of anything. I don't think it's here. Lets just go and meet up with the rest of the team." Alphonse suggested.

Havoc nodded, "Good idea!, lets go!." He turned and started speed walking through the countless rows of shelfs that housed thousands of books. "Still say this place is creepy, how do you stay here for so long?" Havoc asked after a moment of silence.

Alphonse walked beside Havoc and looked at the rows of books as they passed. "I don't know, I guess books give us an escape from the crazy that is our life. When we pick up a book, we forget about the world for awhile. We forget of the mistakes that we made and we can pretend that Mother is still waiting for us at home with a nice home cooked meal and a warm fire going. We can pretend that she'd wrap us up in her big hug and share a loving smile at us. I guess when we stop reading, we remember everything that happened to us and...it hurts. I don't know, I guess I'm just rambling on." Alphonse put a smile in his voice and kept walking with Havoc at his heels.

"So reading lets you dream, is that it?" He raised a brow and inhaled another puff of smoke then let it out.

"Yeah." Alphonse said as they walked. He realized he'd never told anyone that, he'd always just kept it to himself.

Never quite thought it was important enough to share, not that it was. Plus Brother would have killed him if he'd said that in front of him. Alphonse shuddered at the thought.

"It's starting to get dark in here now that the lights are dimmed and the night is coming." Havoc said as he fretfully looked around. Normally these things never freaked him out but he always had hated Library's.

Alphonse looked up at the giant skylight that was the ceiling of the building. There were no stars out and the moon was hidden behind dark angry clouds. Thunder rumbled overhead as they walked closer to the doors. "I think it's gonna rain." Alphonse stated.

"Oh wonderful!, it's not like it could get any worse..." Havoc moaned.

They reached the door and stepped outside into the cold wind. Rain started to pitter-patter at their feet as they walked along the sidewalk.

"Never mind.." Havoc stated with a growl. Lightening flashed overhead as Havoc pulled his coat on tighter around his body. The rain was really falling now, the loud thunder and flashes of lightening lit up the sky.

"Now it couldn't get any worse." Havoc said out loud. Rain blew into his face as they walked. Everyone that had enough sense had long ago gone home and weren't walking outside at night in this weather.

"Look on the bright side, at least we're alone!" Alphonse spoke through the rain.

"I wouldn't say that!" A voice said as two dark figures came out of an alley way.

"You've got to be kidding me!. Well, I guess now things are about as bad as they could get." Havoc muttered as he grabbed for his gun and pulled it out.

"Please stop saying that!" Alphonse stood in a fighting position and raised his gauntlets. "Who are you guys and what do you want with us?" Alphonse called to the dark figures.

"With you two? Nothing my dears, I just want to stop you from ever reaching Mustang and Edward." One of them said in a sickly sweet tone of voice.

"What do you want with my Brother and the Colonel?" Alphonse called once more.

"We just want out little test subject back, after all, he was our's first!." The female said as a flash of lightening filled the sky and lit up the woman's face, along with the other one next to her.

"Lust!." Alphonse stated then looked to the other one standing by her side. "And Gluttony!" He started to feel unsure of their chances against someone so strong.

"Yeah well, good luck tryin' to stop us!." Havoc spat out. "We've beat you many times!"

"Easy there hot shot, I'd hate to see such a pretty face be disfigured." Lust purred as the wind rippled through her long black dress and another flash of lightening lit up the sky.

"Yeah!, yeah!," Gluttony agreed with a sick eagerness, "Can I eat them now?" He asked Lust.

"Not yet. I'm not finished speaking with them." She waved Gluttony off for the moment.

"Why are you so interested in these 'tests' anyways." Havoc asked as he aimed his gun her way.

"Now, now. If you want to speak to me then put your toy down, after all, I only speak to adults." Lust chided softly.

Havoc looked between her and his gun then lowered it. "Fine. Now answer the question." He insisted, his finger still on the trigger.

"Whatever you say, Handsome. We want to eliminate human kind and replace it with something better, something more controllable. But don't worry, they'll still be as mindless as you humans are." She smiled.

"I thought you wanted to become more like a human?" Alphonse asked, confused.

Lust laughed, "I don't know where you heard that from but it's far from the truth. Why would we want to be as pitiful as you humans are, Hmm?. No, we want to rise even farther above you!. We want to become the Gods that you humans worship so passionately, we want you to be faithful to us and only us!." She grinned through cherry red lips.

"The Homunculi will rule this world!" She raised her arms openly to the sky and laughed dramatically while a flash of lightening crackled across the night sky.

"Sorry but that ain't happenin'." Havoc hissed as he raised his gun up again. "I'll shoot you if I have to."

Lust looked at him and smiled, "Go ahead and shoot if it'll make you feel better. It won't hurt me any, it'll just prove that we are more advanced than you humans are." She opened her arms out wide again and waited.

"Hmm, no?. Okay then." She smirked. "Didn't think so." She turned and looked to Gluttony.

"Well, I think I am done speaking with these insects. You may eat them now, Gluttony." She waved him off.

"Yes my lady! I will devour their bodies until they are just bloody piles of gore on the ground!." Gluttony started drooling and rubbed his hands together. "I love the sound their bones make when I smash them between my teeth!. He he he!" He laughed as he lunged for them.

"Run!" Alphonse yelled as he started running away as fast as he could, only looking back to make sure Havoc was following.

Havoc caught up with him, "Why are we running?" He asked as he fired five shots into Gluttony and popped the clip to reload.

Gluttony only laughed as his tongue spilled out of his mouth and drool leaked down his cheeks at the thought of a good meal.

"We can't beat him. Just run!" Alphonse yelled as they rounded a corner and kept going.

They could hear Gluttony's anxious breathing behind them as he ran, laughs echoed around through the rain as lightening flashed through the sky again.

"I'm going to catch you and feast on your flesh!" Gluttony called from behind.

Havoc's breath was coming in short gasps as he ran. He now remembered when Hawkeye had told him to go and work on running because you never know what you might need it for.

He really wished he would have listened to her at that moment. His heart pounded in both fear and exhaustion, he didn't know how much longer he could go.

Alphonse looked back as Havoc started slowing down a bit, he then remembered that normal people ran out of breath while he never did. He could ran forever and it wouldn't bother him.

But Havoc, on the other hand, wasn't a runner as he came to notice. Alphonse wasn't sure how much longer they could keep this up.

"Just stop for me and I'll make sure your deaths are fast!" Gluttony called in hunger.

Havoc's breaths were becoming shorter, the rain pelted his face as he ran alongside Alphonse. Thunder rumbled overhead as they ran.

Alphonse knew they'd have to stop and attempt fighting Gluttony, there was no way that Havoc could keep this up.

Normally, it was just him and Edward doing this so they knew how to dodge and Transmute things to slow him down but since Brother wasn't there, Alphonse didn't know what to do.

It was Ed that Transmuted things while they ran because it was easier for him because he was closer to the ground, plus the whole "no chalk thing" came in handy as well. The time it took for Alphonse to bend down and draw out a chalk line, they'd be dead!.

The rain whipped against Alphonse's metal body and sent small pinging sounds through the night as they sprinted around another corner.

He didn't know where they were going but he knew Havoc was heaving in breaths and his pace had slowed considerably.

"Can't...run..any...more.." Havoc manged to huff out through wheezing breaths. They stopped and Havoc rested his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath once more.

Alphonse looked around, trying to spot Gluttony through the dark stormy night they were forced to rest in.

"I don't see Gluttony anymore, do you think he lost us?" Alphonse asked but he realized that he'd answered his own question.

Gluttony had wonderful sense of hearing and smell, he wouldn't just loose them. Or would he?. It was a rainy and dark night so that took care of his sight and the rain plus thunder was pretty loud so hopefully that took care of his hearing as well.

But he couldn't count on that, he could only hope the rain was doing them a favor by masking their smell until they could get somewhere safe and away from Gluttony.

"We can't stay here long." Alphonse said in a hushed tone just loud enough to be heard over the rain hitting his armored body.

Havoc looked up at him and nodded his head. His blond hair was matted to his head and his clothes were soaked and clung to him.

"We have to run!" Alphonse reminded him once more as he glanced around. He wished Brother were here with him but then again, he'd just be another person to have to look out for.

Brother being a tiny kitten, he couldn't Transmute anything, yet alone keep up with them as they ran. He would have been swallowed long ago, as much as Alphonse hated to say it.

"We need to go again. We've rested long enough." Alphonse said as he helped Havoc to his feet.

"Fine!" Havoc started jogging again. "I am..not cut..out for this!...office work is..more for me." He huffed as they ran.

"I don't think Gluttony is following us anymore.." Alphonse slowed and came to a stop. He peered around in the darkness. "Why would he have stopped?.." A terrible thought struck him hard and made him gasp.

"He's going after Brother and the others!" Alphonse looked in horror at Havoc who shared his worry.

"We have to warn them!" Alphonse said frantically "Run, we have to hurry!"

"Lets go then. I can run a little ways if it means saving someone!" Havoc and Alphonse once again picked up speed and raced down the street through the rain.

So much could have gone wrong in the time they were running away from Gluttony when they should have been running towards Edward and the others.

Alphonse was worried. What if they're too late?. What if Gluttony was able to grab Brother and hurt the others?.

Alphonse shook the thought and just focused on the path ahead of him. Soon, the well known house where Edward turned into a cat came into view.

They slowed a little. "I don't think anythings wrong." Havoc looked at the house then back to Alphonse.

"Yeah, I hope you're right but-" He was interrupted by gunshots and yelling from inside. They shifted their gaze onto the house and started running for the door.

They burst through and met a fight between Hawkeye and Gluttony while Roy was with Edward.

Edward was laying on the floor but that wasn't the most shocking thing. He was human again!. "Brother!" Alphonse yelled happily as he dodged through the fight and knelt down beside Edward who was covered with Roy's dark blue coat.

"Al?.." Edward shifted his wide golden eyes to him and tried to focus on him. "What's going on?.." He had his hand to his forehead.

"Gluttony knocked him to the floor and he hit his head. Watch him, I need to help!" Roy jumped up and ran for Hawkeye.

"Brother are you okay?" Alphonse asked through the yelling and gunshots. His full attention was on Ed.

"Yeah..go help them Al. They need you now. I'm fine." Edward gave a small smile and pointed to the fight. "Go!"

Alphonse nodded and stood. He ran over and dodged a flame from Roy. He was behind Gluttony and jumped up and gave him a hard kick in the back.

"Owe, not nice!. I just want to eat." Gluttony moaned. "Just let me eat!" He yelled as he turned on Alphonse and latched onto his arm. "Food!" He took a bite out of his arm.

"Get off!" Alphonse shouted and manged to shake him off while Roy flamed him again.

"Stop! Everyone stop fighting now. Or else!" A voice yelled loudly through the house, making everyone freeze and slowly turn their heads towards the voice.

Lust was holding an unconscious Edward in a death grip around his neck. "One wrong move and I will slit his throat and no one will win!" She held up a sharp knife to his throat and drew a little blood as she pressed the cold blade against him.

"No, let him go!" Alphonse said. "Brother! Don't hurt him!" He begged with a growl.

Hawkeye had her gun raised at Lust and was following her every move. "Let him go or I will shoot you. And I never miss." She said coldly.

Lust laughed. "Apparently you've never tried to shoot me before I would assume?" She smiled. "I don't die from a bullet so feel free to shoot."

Lust pursed her lips. "But I wouldn't shoot if I were you. As you can clearly see, I am not afraid to kill this boy. So put the gun down, Sweetheart." She demanded.

Hawkeye looked conflicted but after a moment she lowered the gun and laid it on the floor then kicked it aside. "I did what you asked, now let him go."

Lust laughed. "Do you think I'm stupid? I know pretty boy has those gloves, give them up."

Roy snarled. "Fine." He hissed. He hated losing his gloves. He was so going to make Edward pay after this!. He ripped them off his hands and tossed them across the floor. "We're defenseless now. Let the kid go!"

"Yeah. That'll happen. Gluttony!" Lust called as she absentmindedly admired her nails.

Gluttony stepped forward with drool spilling from his mouth. "Yes my lady?"

Lust smiled as she slowly backed away with Edward still in her arms. "It's been lovely chatting with you humans but now I have business to do." She looked to Gluttony. "Kill them."

"With pleasure, my lady!" Gluttony looked at the defenseless group and grinned. "What an easy meal!"

The group stared wide eyed at Gluttony as he stepped over their weapons and came towards them, trailing drool behind.

"Shit." Roy said. "Pip squeak is so going to pay us back for this!" He hissed.

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