|A Monster Among Men|
|Title||A Monster Among Men|
|U.S.A. Release Date||March 20, 2007|
|Preceded by||Chapter 48: A Promise Made by Those Who Wait|
|Followed by||Chapter 50: In the Belly of the Beast|
Ed, Roy and the others reel and gape in shock at a large hole that appears to have been very cleanly carved from the side of the safe house as well as an accompanying trench showing the path that the destruction took along the ground. They stare in horror and confusion at the formerly docile Homunculus Gluttony, who crouches on all fours at the mouth of the trench, his bonds mysteriously snapped and several writhing teeth protruding from his torso.
Within the Executive estate, Führer Bradley is suddenly addressed from the shadows by the unseen Pride, who mentions that he has heard of Scar's escape from capture. But when Wrath replies that Gluttony has been captured, the shocked Pride remarks from his hiding place that the humans have been making fools of them lately. Wrath replies calmly that he finds the fact that the supposedly crafty Homunculi who have had the entire nation in their vice grip for centuries are suddenly being run ragged by the actions of a few humans very amusing. Lauding the long-awaited chance for a real challenge, Bradley sighs contentedly that the rise of the youthful may be approaching, to which Pride responds that Wrath has been around humans too long. He promises not to report Wrath's conceivably mutinous words to Father, but asks what is to be done about Gluttony's predicament and Wrath responds that he knows Gluttony's approximate position as well as the identities of those who captured him - Hawkeye and Mustang. Down below in the lair of the Homunculi, Dr. Tim Marcoh sits in a small cell guarded by a pair of chained chimeras as Envy enters to bring him some food. Remarking that Marcoh still hasn't touched his previous meal, Envy reminds the doctor that he is an important Human Sacrifice candidate and needs to keep his strength up. Forgoing the food once more, Marcoh demands to know what the Homunculi are planning to do with him, but when Envy refuses to speak, the doctor reveals that he has already figured out a great deal on his own. He posits that the Homunculi's plan is to use Amestris to create a huge Philosopher's Stone out of all its inhabitants by creating a giant Transmutation Circle that stretches across the nation. He adds that, given the shape of their circle and the locations that serve as its vertices, the next place to see bloodshed at their behest will be the North Area. Envy remarks gleefully that Marcoh's suppositions are very close to the truth, but only slightly off - although he was right about the North Area being their next target. As Envy mocks Marcoh's human weaknesses and inability to save millions of lives at the cost of a few hundred, Wrath enters the cell and - amid Marcoh's shock at seeing the Führer here - informs Envy that he is to fetch the captured Gluttony from where Mustang's crew is holding him. Acquiescing, Envy prepares to leave and expresses his hope that Gluttony hasn't gone on a rampage.
Back at the safe house, Lt. Hawkeye marvels at the sudden patch of destruction from outside and tries to get a closer look, but is met by a sudden volley of unknown force which eats away the barrel of her rifle and carves a fresh trench into the ground. She turns to the source of the eruption and sees the menacing figure of Gluttony standing just inside the house, his mouth now a gaping maw that extends all the way down his torso, lined with curving, rib-like teeth and housing what appears to be a large, sideways eye within its dark recesses. Riza quickly draws a sidearm and takes aim, but Roy bursts from a nearby pile of rubble with Ed, Alphonse and Dr. Knox and orders her not to provoke it, as it seems to be only after him. In confirmation of this, Gluttony - having seen Roy emerge unharmed, fires a fresh salvo in his direction - the Homunculus' rib-like teeth stretching outward with explosive force and devouring everything in their path in an instant. While Roy and the others desperately dodge Gluttony's attacks, Ling rushes inside to help get Lan Fan to safety, explaining that there had been more to the Homunculus than they had surmised. Outside, as Edward marvels at the fact that alchemy could create such a monster, Roy decides that their only option now is to kill Gluttony. Donning his Flame Alchemy glove against the Elrics' protests, Mustang declares that their own survival takes top priority ad that they cannot afford to let the Homunculus escape this location with the knowledge of his captors' names and faces. But when he unleashes a torrent of flame on the Homunculus, the inferno is harmlessly drawn into Gluttony's mouth and swallowed by the large eye at the center of the dark abyss, proving that this Homunculus will not be as simple to beat as the last. Terrified, Roy flees toward the nearby treeline with the Elric brothers as Gluttony gives chase. They split up in the forest to confuse their inhuman pursuer, but Gluttony immediately zeroes in on Mustang. Fortunately, Hawkeye also appears on the scene and diverts Gluttony's aim with several head-shots from her pair of sidearms, allowing the Colonel to escape ingestion. Roy continues to flee, but is overcome by the pain of his recent wounds and collapses to the ground, lamenting his condition. Back at the house, Knox and Ling help Lan Fan into Roy's car and prepare to flee the area once the others return. As Gluttony busies himself with a Roy dummy transmuted by Edward, the Elrics and Colonel Mustang (helped along by Riza) make their way back to the car. Roy gets in with Hawkeye and the Elrics demand that they leave. Roy is reluctant, but Edward reminds him that there are new facts regarding King Bradley's identity that the Colonel must confirm and act upon now. Despite Knox and Hawkeye's protests, Ed, Al and Ling opt to remain on the battlefield and try to get as much out of Gluttony as possible. They thank the adults for helping, but remark that capturing a Homunculus was their plan and that they need to see it through to the end. Hearing this, Lt. Hawkeye loads a pistol and hands it to Ed to use for protection and, though he remembers the incident with Winry and Scar in the alley, Edward gravely accepts the weapon.
As Knox, Hawkeye, Mustang and Lan Fan speed off toward the city, Roy fills Riza in on what Ling had said about Führer Bradley and remarks that it could be problematic if there are other Homunculi posing as humans. Meanwhile, a black horse races in the opposite direction, toward the forest where Gluttony has gone berserk. The boys cower in the forest despite their earlier bravado, fearfully listening as Gluttony screams for the death of Lust's killer. But as they flee from a fresh attack in their direction, the boys stop on cue from Ling and Xiao-Mei, who notice the black horse that has just appeared on the scene. The horse verbally commands Gluttony to stop rampaging and then turns to the shocked trio of boys. Apparently, recognizing Ling, the horse quickly morphs into Envy and greets the "Fullmetal pipsqueak".
- Envy's assertion here that Marcoh's supposition is slightly off refers to the fact that the nation of Amestris was created by the Homunculi solely for the purpose of making a Nationwide Transmutation Circle, rather than the idea that they came to Amestris in order to make one.
- Envy's remark about the soldier he killed is, of course, referring to Maes Hughes.
- As he, Al and Ling cower in fear of Gluttony, Ed wonders where all the large objects the Homunculus devours are going.