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Barry the Chopper

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“Let me tell you a little story. You may have heard it before. It's a story about a butcher named Barry."
-Barry the Chopper

Barry the Chopper (also called "Number 66") is a villain in the Fullmetal Alchemist series. He is one of the two armor guards ordered by the Homunculi to kill any intruders to the Fifth Central Alchemical Laboratory. A former serial killer, he became a human test subject in the military's alchemical experiments and, in lieu of execution, had his disembodied soul bound to a suit of armor, similar to Alphonse Elric. As a result of the schism between the storylines of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and the 2003 anime series, Barry the Chopper appears in both but is a rather different character in each.

Manga/Brotherhood

Barry started out as a simple butcher living and working in Central City until he grew bored with merely cutting up the flesh of pigs and cows and began to hunt humans for chopping as well. The citizens of Central lived in terror for several years as the now infamous "Barry the Chopper" went on a serial murder spree that ultimately claimed the lives of twenty-three people, starting with his wife, before he was caught and the legend of the fiend lived on long after Barry's well-publicized execution by hanging. But the execution was merely a front, as Barry was never actually sent to the gallows. Like many other death row inmates in Central City's prison, Barry was spared death for an arguably much worse fate as a test subject for the Amestrian military's human experiments in the alchemical labs. While still alive, his soul was forcibly ripped from his body and alchemically bound to a suit of armor. He is given the code name "Number 66" and paired with another soul bound armor, Number 48 and ordered to guard Central Alchemical Laboratory #5 and the horrible secrets therein.

Barry is first introduced into the manga's story in Chapter 11 when he and Number 48 are alerted to two intruders entering Lab 5. Eager to have some fun after such a long time without any victims, Barry heads outside to hunt Alphonse Elric while leaving "the little one" to his partner. Barry attacks enthusiastically but becomes frustrated when met with Al's expert resistance and unexpected speed. When Alphonse knocks Barry's helmet off to discover that the suit of armor he's been fighting is empty, Barry sees an opportunity to scare his new prey and reveals his gruesome back story. However, he is disappointed again when Alphonse reveals that he hails from a rural town in the east, far beyond the reach of Central City's news and urban legends. Barry tries still to terrify his adversary with his unnatural body, but Al counters by revealing that he, too, is a soul bound to a suit of armor and cannot be shocked by such things. Barry then mistakes Alphonse for yet another death row inmate mutilated by the government, but an offended Al reveals that it was his brother who bound his soul to save his life, a fact which amuses Number 66 greatly. He tells the young armor boy that without a body as proof, there is no way to know for sure if the boy named Alphonse Elric ever existed or if the one calling himself Al's "brother" merely fabricated a soul out of falsified memories so as to keep his armor doll loyal. Alphonse is significantly shaken by these conjectures and responds by asking what proof Number 66 has of his own existence.

After swiftly murdering a soldier who had come to investigate the noise caused by the two armors fighting, Barry counters by saying that his love of killing is all the proof he needs in order to know he exists. Alphonse becomes distracted in thoughts regarding the uncertainty of his being, allowing Barry to gain the upper hand until 2nd Lt. Maria Ross and Sgt. Denny Brosh arrive to act as backup for the young Elric boy, firing one round each into Barry's right hand and forcing him to drop his meat cleaver. Just as the soldiers have Barry cornered, Lab 5 begins to collapse - triggered to explode by Lust and Envy; Barry sees his opportunity for freedom and flees the scene as the building crumbles to rubble. Rather than returning to the Homunculi merely to be disposed of like Number 48, Barry disappears into the night to once again wreak havoc on the streets of Central City.

He reappears in Chapter 30, lurking on the street in search of a new victim, and comes across Lt. Riza Hawkeye. Once again, Barry is disappointed to come across a potential victim who does not fear him, as Hawkeye unhesitatingly opens fire on him when he makes clear his intentions to murder her. He is further shocked to find that she does not react when he removes his helmet, firing again and explaining that she knows someone with the same condition. Barry, impressed with Riza's strength and bravery, becomes instantly smitten with her, but when he mentions Alphonse's name, it is the Lieutenant's turn to take interest. She detains him and summons Colonel Mustang, informing him that the man before them is an empty suit of armor like Alphonse and claims to be a criminal who was executed years ago. Together with Warrant Officer Vato Falman, they take Barry to a warehouse in the military district for clandestine interrogation. Falman takes charge of verifying Barry's identity, cross-checking his encyclopedic knowledge of the Chopper murder cases against 66's own memory. When Barry accurately describes all his crimes and even passes Falman's trick question, they've no choice but to believe he is the real deal. Mustang begins to interrogate him about his body and Barry counters with a questions of his own, wondering why they don't already know about his body when they're part of the military that experimented on him and asking if they knew anything about Laboratory 5. When Mustang responds in the negative, Barry reveals that he met Al in Lab 5 and agrees to tell them everything he knows about Lab 5 and the Philosopher's Stone if Roy promises not to report him to the higher-ups or the Homunculi.

Barry informs Roy of Lust and Envy, Lab 5's destruction, the process used by military researchers to create imperfect Philosopher's Stones, the circumstances of his Soul Binding and the fact that all the scientists who had worked in Lab 5 were killed - used as ingredients for the Stones themselves - a few days before the facility was destroyed, eradicating all possible evidence. After asking whether Barry had anything to do with the death of Maes Hughes, Roy assigns Falman to keep an eye on the ex-murderer and Hawkeye - whose orders Barry seems willing to follow - tells him not to chop anyone else up. For some time afterward, Barry holes up in a warehouse set up by Falman, spending his days playing chess with the Warrant Officer.

About ten days later, after the well-publicized arrest of Maria Ross as a suspect in the murder of Brigadier General Hughes, Barry recognizes her face on the front page of the newspaper and asks that Falman allow him to communicate with Mustang. Barry pretends to be one of Roy's girlfriends until the Colonel can get to a non-secure outside line and Barry proposes that he can get Ross out of jail. As part of his plan to lure out the masterminds behind Hughes' death and Lab 5, Mustang orders Barry to raid the east end lockup and escape with Maria so that they can get her out of the country to safety before her execution. Barry, knowing the back streets of Central, suggests an escape route and rendezvous point and Mustang explains that they should have Falman act as the hostage of a serial killer during the incident.

Of course, Barry, not caring to explain the situation to his roommate, opts to knock Vato out with a blow to the head instead. That night, Barry bursts crazily through the front gate of the jail, drawing the attention of all the Military Police in the facility as he searches for Ross. Though they open fire and even manage to damage his helmet with a shotgun, he continues his rampage while using non lethal force on his assailants, per Mustang and Hawkeye's orders. As he wanders toward Ross' cell, Barry is hailed by another prisoner in the lockup - Ling Yao, who had been jailed as an illegal alien. Ling asks Barry to free him, a request that the ex-murderer has little interest in, but when Ling mentions that he is from Xing, Barry changes his tune, realizing that the eastern nation would be a fine place to hide Maria. He breaks open the door of Ling's cell and the two head off to meet Lt. Ross.

Barry breaks into Ross' cell, finally glad to see someone shocked by his presence, and states that he remembers her as well - every time he notices the holes in his right hand. Ross regains her strength, however, when Barry mentions the rumors that she had killed Maes Hughes. He believes her vehement protests, saying that she hasn't the eyes of a murderer, but shows her the newspaper headline announcing her conviction and informs her that, since the trial has already been skipped, her execution will be immediate. Barry gives her a choice - to either stay where she is and allows herself to face a firing squad for a crime she didn't commit or escape with him on the spot. She chooses the latter and the three depart the jail, hurrying through back streets toward the rendezvous point in the warehouse district where Mustang is waiting. Unfortunately, they are met along the way by Edward and Alphonse Elric, who demand to know how Maria Ross is involved with Hughes' death. As they lack time to have such a discussion, Barry holds the Elric brothers off and tells Ross to head to the warehouse district ahead of him. Before the altercation between Barry and the Elrics escalates, however, both parties are distracted by Mustang's column of flame issuing nearby. As Ed rushes toward the explosion, Barry and Ling seize their chance to escape and head back to the safe house before the Military Police find them.

Back at the hideout, Barry ignores Falman's protests and speaks with Ling - who both followed him back to Falman's safe house and summoned his two retainers to his side with smoke signals - about the binding of his soul to the armor. Ling tried to persuade Barry to give him the specifics, reminding the ex-murderer that he both helped him break Ross out of prison and sent his bodyguard Fu to escort her east, out of the country. Barry reiterates that he knows very little about the actual process and suggests that Ling go and speak to Alphonse. But shortly after Ling leaves, ordering Lan Fan to stay behind at the safe house, there arises another problem as the second part of Roy's plan goes into effect. Though he cannot feel anything in his armor body, Barry feels a chill in his soul.

Recognizing Number 66 from the reports of Maria Ross' breakout, the Homunculi have sent out Barry the Chopper's human body - animated by the insertion of a lab animal's soul - to locate him, as the body is inexorably drawn to its own soul and vice versa. Barry and Falman are attacked by the human puppet and, recognizing that this is part of Roy's mission, attempts to keep Vato from killing it. But as the battle continues and moves outside, Number 66 comes to the realization that the attacker is, in fact, his human body. Overcome with his old psychopathic habits, Barry becomes compelled to kill his doppelganger, arguing that very few people ever get the opportunity to chop themselves up and that his body, so long separated from its true soul, has already begun rotting. Lt. Havoc, who has arrived as backup, refuses to allow Barry his whim, as they still have their own agenda.

The body flees the scene, but Barry gives chase, leading the search party of Roy Mustang, Jean Havoc, Alphonse Elric and Riza Hawkeye to National Central Laboratory #3. When they observe that the body has entered the building and deduce that Lab 3 is the enemy base, Mustang opts to pull out and regroup for another day, but Barry rushes in recklessly after his body. As Mustang uses Barry's rampage as an excuse to enter Lab 3 with his crew, Barry chases his body down to the very threshold of the Homunculi's lair. He has already begun inflicting damage on his decrepit human form when Lt. Hawkeye and Alphonse arrive. Soon afterward, however, the three are additionally joined by Lust, who realizes that Mustang used 66 as bait to lure her out and is infuriated at having fallen for it. When she asks Barry why he helped Mustang, 66 replies that he never liked being cooped up in Lab 5, that the only way he knew he could be free was if his captors were all dead, but most of all that he always wanted to get his cleavers into Lust herself.

Enraged when Lust ignores him to speak to Al and Riza, Barry charges in with intent to kill, but is swiftly cut to ribbons by Lust's bladed fingers. However, the Blood Rune on the armor body remains intact, so - while unable to move or communicate - Barry remains alive while Lust battles Hawkeye, Alphonse and Colonel Mustang. But as Barry begins to wonder how to get himself out of his current predicament, his dying human body crawls over to him, drawn instinctively to the blood rune. Barry protests, but the body picks up the scrap of metal and with tears of joy streaming down its face, scratches out the cursed mark keeping his soul in the mortal world. Barry's body and soul both die instantly. Whether Barry's body died because of its injuries or because its soul had left the world is not known for sure, but the Elrics' later discussions regarding how the body and soul are tied together even when separated suggest that the latter is likely. That fact is slightly ironic; had Barry succeeded in killing his body (his most eager desire) he would have succeeded in just wiping out his entire being in the process.

2003 Series

Template:See also

In the first anime series Barry began his murder spree after killing his own wife, donning a wig to pose as a woman and slaughtering women until he kidnaps Winry while Edward Elric attempted to track the murderer down who he at the time believed that Barry had killed Nina Tucker. The ordeal with Barry, who captures him, removes Ed's automail arm and then tortures him by explaining how easy it is to kill for no reason at all. After Ed defeats Barry, who also nearly killed him out of fear until Al stopped him, convinced Ed to remain a State Alchemist. Barry appears later in a suit of armor like Alphonse Elric in Lab Number 5. He plays with Al's mind, making him think he is not real. Barry escapes from the Lab and begins to work with a mercenary group, killing Ishbalan people. Scar defeats him by damaging his blood seal, causing an agonizing Barry to accidentally blow himself up with the head mercenary's gear. Afterward Scar steps on his skull and crushes it.

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