The Elrics return to Eastern Headquarters to report their progress — which, as Mustang points out, is none. Ed and Al leave for the countryside to search for Doctor Marcoh, a State Alchemist who deserted during the Eastern Rebellion and is now a fugitive of the state. Unbeknownst to the brothers, Marcoh possesses secrets that could prove invaluable — if they can keep him alive. On the run from both Scar and the military, Doctor Marcoh confesses to the Elrics the reason these tragedies are happening.
A decade ago, State Alchemists were called into Ishbal to end a seven-year civil war. What followed was a wave of unspeakable atrocities that neither the Ishbalans, nor the State Alchemists who committed them, can forget.