Philosopher's Stone

Tirinka's avatar
By Tirinka   |   
2 5 309 (1 Today)
     There was noise. There was so much noise. It echoed off the walls, of which there were none, yet there seemed to be so many, and shot off into the neverending distance, serving to suffocate all that occupied its space. It was shrill, it was deep, it varied in origin and intent, and it belonged to so many people -- but all of them were screaming, their noises falling over each other, every one suppressing another, and in turn being suppressed, until it was all just one noise. It was one noise made of thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people, trapped in a void without sight, nor touch, nor taste, nor even smell, just hearing, and the only thing to hear was that terrible noise. It was the noise they themselves made, yet could not stop.


      It was chaos, and among the sea of people she could not see -- they were people she could only imagine, screaming all around her and flooding her mind with their strangled proclamations of terror and choked pleas for help, ones she couldn't even comprehend all at once -- Alex was just one. She was one voice, wanting to block out all the others, but unable to cover her ears, for she had none to cover, and no hands with which to cover them. She wanted to compose words, but her own mind could not overwhelm the others that pushed on her, as if physically jostling her thoughts out of her head everytime she tried to compile them. No, they weren't doing that; they couldn't, for she no longer had a head to jostle thoughts out of. The noise swept over her soul, reached in and invaded her very being with their incessant shrieking, and she was helpless.


      Once, she had wanted to help them. That had been but a brief time ago, maybe, but she couldn't discern the passage of time anymore; it could have been decades, or seconds, but she was reeling, and when she tried to think of how long she'd been with them, trapped as they were, she found herself in a loop, trying to recover the first word she'd been thinking before it slipped from her again. She wanted to cry, but no tears would come, and she did not even have the eyelids to squeeze shut -- there was no need for them, with no eyes to cover. There was just her soul, and all the others, stuck, with no reason why.


      She had wanted to help them; she couldn't. With no capability of gathering her thoughts, her shaky encouragements and false assurances, learned cliches, came unorganized and quiet with uncertainty; they could not pierce the consciousnesses of the others. It was in trying to help them that she had learned why they screamed.

      "Darling, where...!"
      "Stop this!"
      "My baby!"

      She screamed, too. She let her voice out, with no name on her lips, nor questions, nor demands; she screamed to try and hear herself, and for one brief moment, one temporary reminder of her individuality, her voice was the loudest to her, because it was the closest. That was enough, but while her throat could not tire, nor her lungs lose air, her voice became muffled by the others. She heard theirs over hers, their words covering her meaningless cry, the cry she needed to hear, and she stopped, not because her voice faded entirely into the void, but because she was scared.

      "Please, just...!"

      She was scared, and for a moment, or maybe it was longer than that, she let herself be quiet, because maybe if she were quiet, everyone else would be, too. They weren't, though. They just kept screaming, the noise kept going, and she became more and more aware of it. She swore she could hear all of them, each separate and different, all begging for different things, but all begging. It was despair, and it blurred in her mind, until, for a time, she wasn't sure if she were thinking or not; in that time, she couldn't tell what thoughts were hers, and it scared her. She didn't remember anything, then -- what she had been doing before, what year it was, what silence was like... it all became fuzzy.

      "Shut up!"
      "Home, please!"
      "No more!"

      Her insides were screaming worse than those around her, yet still she was quiet. She knew she was quiet because there was no catharsis; that was the only way she could know -- and it scared her. She could feel her sanity escaping her, as thoughts entered her mind, and struck her with frightening ideas. She clung to every shred of herself she had left, and wished, once more, that she could have cried. Her thoughts weren't words anymore, and calculations held even less comfort for her. Her thoughts were emotions, like the ones that the noise threw around, brief, vague things, and she fought to make them memories, pictures, because pictures were faster than words. Pictures would comfort her; pictures would save her. They had to.


      She was surrounded by voices and yet she had never felt so alone. Had she wanted to call to anybody, she couldn't have, for the noise muffled her, and her voice was all she had, with everything else taken from her. She wanted out. Where were her friends, her co-workers, her acquaintances? She could not hear them, but their images played in her mind, and she knew they had to be somewhere. She wanted them with her. She was alone, crushed in nothingness and the god-awful noise, and she wanted people she knew, if not to rescue her, to scream with her. Breda, Falman, hell, Hawkeye -- Alex would have taken anybody.


      Where was Roy? She could barely gather a fantasy of him, with all the noise. Whenever she had a grasp, the noise would roar up, and she would lose it. It wasn't good enough -- she could only hear the noise, not him. She wanted to hear his voice, not theirs. He was her superior officer, damn it! He was supposed to protect her! Where was he? She saw snaps of him in her memory, no way of knowing, in this timeless place, how long ago they had been, and it wasn't enough. She was so alone, and she wanted, then more than ever, to be at his side, at his service, in a uniform that she could no longer feel, on a body that no longer held her spirit.

      She held no strength in the void, amidst the noise; he would have had strength. She would have been able to hear him from anywhere, so he must have been outside. He would get her out. He always knew what to do. He always had a plan. Wherever he was, he would free her -- and they would both be okay.

      She hadn't realized when it began, but she was screaming, too, and soon that was all she heard: the noise, and her own voice, stretched and mangled as she struggled to maintain hope, sanity, and herself.

Spoilers here! But unless I specifically spell out what I spoiled (which I will at the bottom, in small text), you probably won't be bothered by it.

This is a Fullmetal Alchemist fanfiction (specifically, Brotherhood), with canon events and characters mentioned only in passing, so if you want, you can feel free to read this with no prior knowledge of the show! And considering it's only 1200 words (exactly!), I would appreciate it!
Say, didn't I write something like that last time...?

Anyway, more Alex nonsense. To give a little context: she is a wimptastic soldier. That's about all the context you need here, except for at least one of the spoiler facts, which might help.

Wrote this in two hours, in one night/morning when I should've been sleeping. I really like it (for now), though I think maybe it should be shorter. Thoughts?

I think I should probably dedicate it to Harlan Ellison. :'D

Alternate title: Welcome to Politics.

Oh yeah, and I prefer comments over faves! If you have to do just one, comment!

Spoilers:Philosopher's stones are made with live human souls, and the event referred to here is that thing that happens near the end of the Brotherhood/manga series. You know what I'm talking about. The thing that makes everyone into a philosopher's stone.
anonymous's avatar
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halibabica's avatar
o_o Sounds like a living nightmare.
Tirinka's avatar
I imagine it really would be! So it's good to hear I got that across. ouo Thanks for finding the time to read it!
halibabica's avatar
No problem! :3
Puckish-Elf's avatar
Sorry. Half past 2 am; too tired to comment. I really liek tho.
Tirinka's avatar
:heart: After I had such an awful day, partially due to eagerly awaiting comments that didn't arrive, this cheered me up more than it should have. I'm really glad you liked it.

Now excuse me while I try to sleep gdi when did it get to be so early in the morning.