After finding a new solution that may help him pass the assessment, Shou makes his way to the lab with Alexander.
By Rebecca Mason.
Authors Notes: Hee! and here is the second chapter in my alternative take on 'Night of the Chimera's Cry'
Where will Shou's new solution take him next?
Shou Tucker, Nina Tucker and Alexander belong to Hiromu Arakawa.
' The Transmutation'
Shou walked towards his lab chuckling to himself almost insanely.
" I'm telling you, this possibility will work Alexander.. it just has to" he said, looking down to the dog that seemed to be following him reluctantly.
" All of those tiring months of research, all the months of intense stress, all of the sleepless nights.. they will finally all pay off when we do this!" Shou continued on his ramblings, excitement was evident in his voice as he neared the back-room of the lab, where loads of arrays were drawn on the wall and ceiling.
Alexander padded slowly after him, glancing up uneasily at all the chimera's that were locked up in cages, their glowing eyes could be seen from within the darkness and their horrific roars echoed in the room, the occasional paw tried to claw it's way out, desperate to attack Shou and Alexander as they walked past the cages.
So this is why Shou always had the door locked when he was working in here..it was just so Nina didn't wander in and see all of this.
If she did, Alexander knew that it would traumatise the poor child for life, maybe even fill her head with nightmares that would stay for months, maybe even years.
He looked to his master once again, how could the man even have the bravery to work with all of these....monsters.
Alexander had a lot of questions forming in his head, yet being a dog he was unable to ask Shou them, not being able to talk could be so frustrating at times.
Shou had now stopped at his designated spot in the room, taking a piece of chalk from the nearby table then kneeling down and was now sketching a kind of circle on the ground.
" It has to be perfect.. we can't let this go wrong..I have to do this right" he said, the dim light of the room seemed to reflect on his glasses, giving him an incredibly eerie looking appearance, it also didn't help matters that he seemed to be grinning.
Alexander's ears flattened onto his head again, he didn't like the feeling of this situation, not at all.
His tail drooped inbetween his legs and he started to whine, could he of been able to speak.. it probably would of been something like.
' I don't want to be in here anymore! please can we get out of here now?'
Shou looked up from drawing on the floor, the light seemed to reveal his eyes once again as he was breifly knocked out of his apparent madness.
" It's alright Alexander, relax.. I promise you this won't take long.." he then returned to finishing the sketch of the circle.
It was now starting to take the form of a transmutation array.
" Once this is over..we'll never have to worry about having Nina taken away from us ever again.. we can always protect her, always be there for her.." he seemed to have an almost dreamy expression on his face as he imagined it, in his mind it seemed so simple.
He'd transmute himself and Alexander into a chimera.
Then at the assessment, the two of them in their new body, could give a speech.. saying that Shou had been ill and not able to make it to the assessment.. but the chimera he had made would be so advanced, it was able to go to the building all by itself, as well as imitate Shou's voice.
Everyone would be in awe and the funding would be his!
Then after all was said and done, Shou, Nina and Alexander would still have this lifestyle.
Shou just grinned widely again, it was almost too good to be true.
Sure so there was a lot on the line and he wondered if he should really go all the way.. what he was about to do was considered a very big taboo in alchemy, but another part of him seemed to be eagerly urging him to go through with it.
Afterall, that Edward Elric had also committed a taboo, and he had now become an honored alchemist!
Surely if he'd been able to get away with it, then Shou could as well.
" That boy would understand my reasons for doing this surely.." Shou muttered again as he started to add the finishing touches to the array.
" He knew that human transmutation was forbidden in the first place..but he still did it anyway"
Alexander had in the meantime walked over to Shou and sat down beside him, his ears perking up a little when Shou had mentioned Edward's name.
He remembered Edward as that boy that had come to stay with the Tucker's in those long months before the assessment, he'd had a little brother too, in the form of a giant suit of armour that had sounded like a young boy, he could remember him being called Alphonse.
Alexander had always enjoyed playing ' Pounce on the Ed' when he was here..and it also saddened him as well as Nina when both Ed and Al had to go away.
The dog then looked down at the array that was now drawn on the ground, he sniffed at it quizzically wondering what it was for, although that uneasy feeling he'd had earlier was still in his mind.
Shou then looked to Alexander and chuckled, ruffling the dog's head gently.
" Okay, it's all done Alexander..how's about we do this, hmm?"
Alexander still wasn't so sure as he looked to his master, and whined in response to the man's question.
He really wished that he could talk in human language now, if he could..he'd definately try and talk Shou out of doing whatever he was about to do..of course, whether it would of made a difference would of been another question entirely.
Shou just smiled, it seemed to be a comforting enough expression, but something didn't seem right about Shou's eyes, the humanity in them had seemingly vanished, his pupils had shrunk to little dots amid circles of clear blue irises.
" Alexander...there's nothing to worry about, I've already said this won't take long at all.." he then stood in the middle of the circle and motioned for Alexander to stand next to him.
Just looking to Shou, Alexander was starting to wonder if this crazy man was even the same loving master that had raised both Alexander and Nina in the last few years.
It looked like him, it smelt like him and it sounded like him.. but the feeling that Alexander was picking up from him seemed so different, he really was starting to wonder if he should even trust this man anymore.
Despite all misconceptions he'd started to have, Alexander just decided to listen to the man anyway and slowly walked over to the middle of the circle, although he continued whining as he stood next to his master.
Shou smiled and knelt down to the dog, once again stroking the dog's head gently.
" Good boy Alexander, I knew you'd understand me" he said, now making a big fuss of the dog.
He then hugged the dog around the neck, hiding his face in the dog's fur.
Alexander was just puzzled by this, the master had never made so much fuss of him before.. sure he'd given him the occasional doggy treat when he'd done something right, he'd told him that he was a good boy when he was on his best behavior, he'd stroked the dog's head before.
But never in Alexander's two, going on three, years of living had Shou given him this much attention, it was almost like Shou would never be able to do this ever again.
Shou finally broke away from the hug and looked down at the dog.
" Well Alexander...let's get this over and done with..let's fufil both of those promises" he said and took off the dog's collar before throwing it to the side of the circle.
He then took off his own glasses and looked at them for a while before just laughing half heartily.
" Looks like I won't need these anymore.." he muttered before throwing the glasses to the side.
Alexander's ears drooped a little as he watched his dog collar hit the ground, followed shortly by Shou's glasses.
He definately knew that it wasn't like Shou to throw away his own glasses, although he did notice that the man seemed to have a regretful look on his face, the man's eyes had also returned to looking normal.
Alexander still wasn't sure about what was going to happen, but he felt relieved seeing that his master was perhaps feeling just as unsure about this as he was, the large dog remained silent for a few seconds before giving a hearty bark and licking Shou on the face.
Shou smiled gently in response and seemed to nod to the dog, he couldn't understand dog language..but it finally seemed like Alexander was willing to do this too, although Shou had to admit, he was starting to have second thoughts about doing this.
He had no idea how this would turn out..and he didn't want to end up putting Alexander through any pain, he longed to apologise in advance to the dog, saying that Alexander had been the best dog ever, despite all those times that he'd pounced on people, he wanted to say thank you to the dog for looking after Nina and being a very good friend to her.. but all that managed to come out of his mouth in the end was.
" I'm sorry about all this Alexander..everything will be fine soon, I promise you.."
But the other side of him started to urge him to get it over and done with again.. that and he remembered who he was doing this for.
" For Nina!" he called out, and as Alexander barked in response, Shou put his hands firmly down on one of the circle's edges and within a few seconds of doing so, initiated the start of the transmutation.
Very soon, bright light erupted from the circle's lines of chalk and seemed to build a wall around Shou and Alexander.
Alexander was terrified of this, just how could bright light come out of the ground.. or lines drawn with chalk for that matter?!
He started to whine and bark non-stop, the urge to run was flooding his mind and he intended to act on it.
But he couldn't just leave his master in this circle of light, it would be going against his nature as man's best friend if he did such a thing.
" It'll be alright Alexander..this shall all be over soon" Shou replied in response to the dog's whines and panicked barks, his eyes had gone back to looking humanity drained, yet his hands were noticably trembling as all this took place.
For one part of Shou it was of complete and utter terror, but for the insane part it was more a case of sheer excitement.
" It shall all be over soon.." he repeated again although this time his tone sounded more frantic, he then closed his eyes tight.
" Forgive me!" he called out as he braced himself for the impact of the transmutation.
Alexander was about ready to grab ahold of Shou and haul both of them out of the circle, even if his master had seemingly gone insane at this point in time.
But just before the dog could do such a thing, the bright light intensified and enveloped the two of them.
The transmutation was now in progress, the deconstructing, merging and reconstructing of both life forms would now begin..and from it, a new chimera would be born.
Both Shou and Alexander looked to one another as they were both bathed in light.
Alexander sat looking up at his master with a lost expression, fear was still running in the dog's mind but that was starting to be numbed by something he couldn't quite explain..all he knew was the fact he felt like going to sleep.
Shou knelt looking down at the dog, his expression was one of helplessness as he now knew that the inevitable was coming and thankfully the insane side of him had seemingly disappeared for the moment.
His mind was in a whirl for some reason, the reasons as to why he was doing this were all getting jumbled up and he couldn't stop it.
Flashes of memories shot through his brain faster than a strike of lightning, he wanted to see what they were of.. but for some reason it wouldn't let him, voices from familiar people echoed through his mind but they started to merge together and were eventually hard to understand.
Eventually any feelings he was experiencing began to be replaced by numbness, Shou then found himself slowly slipping from consciousness.
As he began to drift off, tears fell from both eyes as a last sign of feeling.
" Nina.." was all he managed to say as he, along with Alexander, then fell into some kind of slumber.
To be continued!