As Major General Hakuro enjoys a leisurely train ride from New Optain to East City with his wife and two small children, the train is hijacked by several members of the eastern extremist group "Blue Squad" currently led by a menacing man named Bald. In East City, the Colonel—acting head of the city's military forces—receives a manifesto of Bald's demands, but soon learns an auspicious fact—that the Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric is also listed among the passengers on the hijacked train.
On board the locomotive, Edward wakes from his nap and, irritated by their rudeness, quickly subdues the two armed hijackers stationed in his car, much to the chagrin of the more patient Alphonse as well as their wary fellow passengers. Taking stock of the situation, the Elrics plan to take out the other terrorists, with Edward heading up to the engine room via the train's roof while Alphonse follows suit through the cars themselves—taking out hijackers as he goes.
Bald receives word from some of his men that the henchmen in the rear cars have stopped responding and he wonders how that can be possible since his men have killed all the train guards and captured the engineers. Taking note of this new development, Hakuro advises the Blue Squad members to surrender peacefully since their plan has already begun falling apart, but Bald silences the General's warning by shooting a hole in his left ear—with an automail arm fashioned after a double-barreled assault rifle. Edward begins his attack by first freeing the engineers, who take back control of the train and inform him that the car in front of Hakuro's suite is filled with water for the boiler. With this knowledge, Edward communicates an ultimatum to the hijackers, but when they refuse to surrender, he uses the water from the tender car to flood the first-class car, subduing all the terrorists inside except for Bald himself. Ed and Al enter the first-class car simultaneously, defeating Bald and disabling his automail.
The train arrives safely in East City and Bald is immediately taken into custody as the Colonel and his aide Lt. Hawkeye greet the Elrics at the station, much to Edward's annoyance. As the Colonel and Edward trade insults, however, Bald escapes from custody by way of a hidden knife in his damaged automail and charges. Revealing that his right glove is emblazoned with a unique Transmutation Circle, the Colonel snaps his fingers and subdues the terrorist with a fiery explosion. As the military police restrain Bald again, the Colonel introduces himself as Roy Mustang the Flame Alchemist.
- The hijacked train is the Limited Express #04840.
- It appears that the group of hijackers is twelve members strong.
- The title page to this chapter, a picture of Ed sleeping on a pile of open books, was fully animated in the second Fullmetal Alchemist movie, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos.
- Alphonse begins "making faces" in this chapter, and will continue to do so for the remainder of the series. Up to this point, his armor face had been immutable, regardless of circumstance or emotional climate.