Sep 26, 2020 5:21 PM
Decima and Ellie in Fullmetal Alchemist
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"Did Tucker make any more?"

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He rubs the back of his head. "Nah. Didn't hear much about what he submitted for his evaluation last year - apparently it wasn't very impressive, and his original sponsor isn't really happy with him."

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"Evaluation?"

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"State Alchemists have a yearly evaluation. They're supposed to submit proof they've been using the State's money effectively towards the State's ends, pretty much. It's more important for researchers than for alchemists who're mostly on reserve for combat, and more important before you get promoted. There's a risk of getting discharged if your evaluations consistently turn out poorly, especially if you're bad at playing the politics game, and doubly so if you're using up a lot of resources. Tucker's research has been expensive and direct military applications are a while out, so there's more pressure than usual on him to deliver, pretty much."

"I don't think it's likely to be a problem for your mom - medical alchemy's likely going to be treated similarly to combat alchemy. Consistently useful, even if you're not improving - results would look like being a successful doctor that year."

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"I see."

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"Thank you for all the information. I think that's enough for us to chew over - leave me your number, and we'll arrange a proper meeting next time, how about?"

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"That works! You can meet my wife, even, she's the most wonderful woman in the world - gets along with everyone, too. We'll be happy to host you guys if you want to get out of this house, maybe show you around the city a bit."

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"That would be nice."

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"Very well! Talk to you later then, I suppose." He stands and shakes their teacher's hand, nodding at the girls, before heading out.

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"Seems like a good friend to have."

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"Yeah. Knowledgeable, friendly, seems well placed. I might bring up Dante once I've felt him out more."

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"It would be good to know the military's opinion of her."

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She nods. "Dante loathed the military - if they're aware of her, I'd assume the feeling's at least somewhat mutual."

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"That would be good."

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"It'd likely be the best case for us, certainly."

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"Let us know when you're going to go see him again."

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"I will."

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Maes turns out to be exceptionally friendly, and makes good on his promise to introduce them to the city. September comes along on essentially all of the purely social outings, expressing that she's usually pretty lonely at home, since she has no friends nearby or any siblings and isn't allowed to wander on her own.

Akira does after two weeks of this tell the girls she'll be talking to Maes about Dante, at his house, if they want to come along?

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They would. How much of their interactions with her should they let on to?

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Not the human transmutation stuff, or Akira's death, or the Philosopher's Stones. Akira's story is she angered Dante, and Dante retaliated, and Dante is a powerful enough alchemist with dangerous enough friends that Akira isn't sure she can or should handle any problems on her own.

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Seems believable.

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Ready to head over to Hughes' then?

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Hughes is excited to see the three of them! He gushes a bit about how his wife's pregnancy is coming along, gets them settled in the living room, though they're welcome to snacks and drinks - do they need anything? (They've already met Gracia; she waves at them with a fond look at her husband, then leaves them to their business.)

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They're good, but thanks.

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