Faith and Service, Adoration, Duty, and Observance

In the eventual history books and biographies of Roy Mustang, Liberator of Central, Riza Hawkeye will not warrant her own chapter—nor will she become a tabulated footnote in an alphabetical index that no on will read.

Instead, her presence will be explained in a brief paragraph. From then on, she will be referenced vaguely and only when it is necessary to expostulate upon her kill count (which is believed to be an alarming twelve-oh-two. Reports may have been exaggerated, although no one is ever sure. She is said to have played her cards, so to speak, close to her chest indeed).

She was unobtrusive and observant, and so is thought to be a devoted—though not particularly exceptional—disciple.

It will be written that the idea to change the world belonged to Mustang, who was initially supported by Maes Hughes (until his untimely death; circumstances and details surrounding Hughes' assassination are sketchy at best, and outright obscure if anything else).

Hawkeye will be perceived—correctly—as a faithful soldier with good aim.

What historians will not write is this: how it was Hawkeye who pushed Mustang onward after Hughes' death.

How she stood over him and waited, watching him until every last document was signed and initialed.

How she learned to use a gun better than anyone else ever had, to make up for his abysmal aim with a pistol.

There are other things as well; too nebulous to make their way into even the most unauthorized of biographies—the sacrifice she made of her career in favor of his, for instance.

Or of how, in the rain, she pushed him aside and drew her pistol on Scar the Ishvarite. ("You're useless in the rain, sir.") In this action, she reminded him of his human weaknesses.

They will make no notation of the black and white dog that she took in and who waited outside her door each and every waking day.

Or that she knew exactly how Mustang liked his coffee—hot, black, strong, and sweet—and how she smiled (rarely and guardedly, as if afraid the show her opinion).

History will never reveal, with sharp clarity, the way that Mustang would fall asleep at his desk and how Hawkeye would drape his discarded coat about his shoulders before sitting down in the corner of his office, away from the light and with her weapon drawn, quiet and alert.

And they will never write about her steadfast and abiding love for him, of her frightening devotion. They could never in a thousand pages of records reveal how this arrogant, reckless man, consumed with a dangerous ideal, watched her when no one else was looking—with a reverence that bordered on awe.

Or of how, one night, when it was too dark and too late and too soon until morning for the soft, befuddling haze of alcohol or careless sex, he sought out her hand with trembling fingers. How he clung to it as if she was uncorrupted and safe, the one true thing left breathing in the world.

How she, in a surprising act of tenderness, raised his fingers to her lips and kissed them, and kissed his face and throat until he let out a quivering sigh and chuckled so deeply that she could feel the reverberations of his larynx in the bones of her chest.

How he pulled her to him and swore that the new world order would be worth it and they would be able to live, really live!

—But most of all, history will never record things that it cannot comprehend or accept, like charity, devotion, and the wordless actions that define serious lives with little more reason than a desire to uphold a belief. History is not capable of recording this in perfect, living detail, as if such things were really true, or could be. History is a creation of distance, uncomfortable with near-sighted closeness. Often it is as dry and softly tenuous as a handful of ashes, sifting through the cracks and crevices of the palm and out of sight.

It is possible that Hawkeye might have approved all of these edits. After all, these details confused the issue more than it already was, and irrelevant clutter is frowned upon in reports.

Even though more than perhaps anyone else, she understood that some objectives were never clear and certain—only irrational, heedless, and irrevocably good.

"It is all to be made of sighs and tears; . . . all to be made of faith and service: . . . all to be made of fantasy, all made of passion and all made of wishes, all adoration, duty, and observance, all humbleness, all patience and impatience, all purity, all trial, all observance; . . . I'll not fail, if I live." —Silvius, As You Like It, V. II. 90-132