More Than Loyal – A Collection of Drabbles and One-shots from the Royai 100 Themes
Original Publish Date: Dec 7, 2005
#1 – Military Personnel
There are many things to be expected of military personnel.
They form perfect lines, a perfect sea of blue-clad officers, with their right hands raised into perfect salutes. Sharp. Crisp. Not a shirttail out of place.
They follow orders and never question the authority of their superiors. The yellow stripes, stars, and dots on their shoulders mean everything. A toe out of line, a direct order disobeyed, and they were risking their current positions. No one wants to fall from the ranks. It is a ladder they all work hard to hold on to, for it is easy to lose your grip on the rungs. Some work harder, fueled by a desire to climb this ladder as high as they can before the game ends.
They fight, die, survive, and sit at desks for the sake of their nation and führer.
For pride. For glory. For honor.
The man at the desk yawned loudly and leaned back in his chair. His feet were propped up onto his desk, wrinkling and scattering a large stack of paperwork, each document featuring a lengthy memo in really, really small font, each pending his oh-so-important signature.
I'm so bored, he thought. Wonder if it's time to clean the windows yet… He glanced at the clock on the wall. Naw, not for another few hours…but I wonder if I can grab-no, wait, it's too early to have a beer, no way she'll let… He let out a deep sigh, his mind's voice continuing to whine and complain about the random injustices of the world. The chair squeaked in protest as he began to rock back and forth.
…This is pretty fun, he thought as the squeaking increased in intensity and volume.
Military personnel are people to be respected. They are an upstanding unit, and their position with the law, at the very least, is a model for all citizens.
Yet, not everything they do is agreeable, and there are some things we might even resent. However, they are assigned to keep the peace. They are the ones who maintain order with guns.
"Sir, what are you doing?"
"…Nothing." The squeaking stopped.
"That seems to be the problem. Don't you have paperwork to do?"
A rhetorical question, of course.
"Well, I…c'mon! That's boring. Can't I do something fun for once? I've been so good lately…Let's see…I haven't put my gloves on in a while…" There was the sound of a chair being pushed back, and the scrape of a drawer opening. The man pulled one glove onto his right hand, gazed at it fondly for a moment, then let his eyes slide casually over to the pile of papers sitting on the desk; it was mocking him, he was sure of it. "Now if I could just-"
"Sir." There was a warning in her voice.
He looked hesitant for a second, as if really contemplating whether or not he should complete his intended action. However, he stopped, his handsome features instead rearranging themselves into his trademark smirk.
"Heh. You didn't think I was really gonna do it, did you? Honestly, you should lighten up a bit." He carelessly kicked himself away from his desk, turning a full three-sixty.
"…I think you do enough 'lightening up' for the two of us, sir."
He laughed. "Ah, don't worry. I'll get all the paperwork done…eventually."
The office fell silent. The ticking of the clock and the occasional ruffling of papers were the only sounds to be heard.
Five minutes later: Feh. Boring…
Ten minutes later: Things would certainly be more interesting if she had just worn a miniskirt…
Twenty minutes later…
"Colonel!" exclaimed the woman in an exasperated voice. She looked up from her desk to see her superior officer sprawled on the floor, half buried in crumpled papers (lots of it), pens, books, and other assorted knick-knacks that had been standing proudly and politely collecting dust in their places just a minute ago. The newly spilled contents of a bottle of black ink accented the drab military-standard carpet, a small inkblot slowly spreading in all directions. The cabinet doors were open, swinging pitifully at the hinges, practically nothing on the shelves. The wooden desk chair was toppled over on its side, the wheels still spinning. The woman raised a hand to stifle the unexpected laughter that escaped from her lips.
A moment later, however, her chuckling stopped and her eyes narrowed when she eyed the broken bottle of old whiskey near the colonel's left hand.
"…Would you care to explain, sir?"
He cringed and let out a nervous laugh at her icy tone. "Ah…well…um…I was just taking a break, you know…and…uh…wanted a drink?"
"Wrong answer, sir," she replied, her eyes closed as she stood up, moving her hands onto something at her right side. "If I'm not mistaken, I believe we just established this a week ago. No more alcohol during office hours." Her eyes popped open and she glared at him. "And my memory is as good as ever."
He swallowed and tugged at his collar. "Yes, yes you're right…you've got an amazing memory, it's practically photographic…you're always right, and I'm always wrong…I'm so very sorry, I promise I'll never do that again…I'll clean up this whole mess and uh…uh…"
There was a flash of silver.
"Uh…uh! Oh please I'll be good there's no need for you to do that I'm your superior officer you know-!"
"Waugh!" He toppled over into the little mountain of books and papers. "That was really close!"
The woman placed her gun back into its holster. "Next time, the bullet will not miss. Do you understand, sir?"
"Don't call me by my first name at the office, colonel."
"I'm sorry, sir."
"And get back to work."
There is a small faction in the military, worthy of recognition. They are acknowledged for neither sharp minds nor exceptional skills in battle. A tightly-knit group, they are even closer as friends than they are as colleagues. This troupe is none other than the officers under the infamous Colonel Roy Mustang.
Perhaps you have heard of him. A self-righteous womanizer, says the word on the street. It's unbelievable, says the rest of the military. Only twenty-nine years of age, and already promoted to the rank of colonel. The ladies pine for him. The men envy him. And he sticks his head out over the entire crowd, searching, his gaze cast constantly upwards. He has no time to look down nor look back.
His goal is to become führer.
But, he is not alone. His subordinates: Warrant Officer Vato Falman, Sergeant Major Kain Fuery, Second Lieutenant Heymans Breda, Second Lieutenant Jean Havoc…
His closest friend, Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes…
And his "babysitter", First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye…
They are there to push him to the top. They are the very embodiment of loyalty.
The door flung open with a resounding SLAM, knocking down anything that wasn't already strewn across the floor. The men sauntered into the office, laughing and in good spirits after a satisfying lunch. Havoc was even telling them a story as he placed a new cigarette into his mouth.
"-and there's this girl, and it's so obvious she's got the hots for me, so-"
More like a fairy tale.
Still chortling, they raised their hands in a casual salute, greeted the room's occupants, and made their way towards their own desks.
And then, they finally got a good look at the scene before them.
The laughter faded as they all soaked it in. Falman began to sweat, realizing that for as long as the first lieutenant had been around, there hadn't been a paperweight out of place…until today. Fuery's glasses simply slid clean off his face. Breda gaped openly, with his jaws dropped to the floor and resting on a tiny pile of paper. Havoc almost swallowed his unlit cigarette. The innocent little bullet hole in the wall didn't exactly help.
Their ambitious, power-seeking, arrogant colonel was sitting at his desk like a defeated animal, surrendered to his fate, scribbling away like his life depended on it.
In a way, his life did depend on it.
"What's this, Roy?" Maes asked jovially, ruffling the colonel's hair, "A big mess! And Hawkeye got you working during lunch hour? Tough break, man! Hey, I know what'll make you feel better!" He continued to guffaw loudly as he pulled out a few dozen photographs from his pocket and dropped them all on Roy's head. "Look at my Elysia! Isn't she the cutest little bundle of cuteness you've ever seen?"
Roy growled. "Can it, Hughes. I've got a lot of work to do."
"Wahaha! Good one, colonel!" hooted Maes, thumping Roy on the back and causing him to pitch forward onto his desk. "And since when has that stopped you from enjoying pictures of my precious Elysia?" He picked up a random photograph and thrust it into Roy's face. "Look at her! Doesn't this make you wanna forget about all your work and have a little girl of your very own? Of course, she'll be nowhere as cute as my Elysia, but-"
"Lieutenant Colonel," came a stern voice from the next desk, "I'll have to ask that you save the pictures of your daughter for later. The colonel has work to catch up on." She let her gaze glide over to Roy, shooting daggers at him through her eyes. "A lot of work."
There was an audible gulp.
Shrugging, Maes collected his pictures but eyed the pair with increasing interest. "Ah, I see now…" he said smugly. "Well, then, I'll get outta your way. Wouldn't wanna keep you from all that important work, colonel."
Roy's eyebrow twitched. "Go away, Hughes."
Maes began making his way towards the door. "Next time, Roy, you might wanna handle things a little better. You wouldn't wanna make your future wife mad, now-"
An unsuspecting passerby might have speculated that the Lieutenant Colonel was a fabulous sprinter. The blazing inferno raging behind him had sort of a nice effect.
Back in the office, one could hear a pin drop. Riza and Roy jumped right back into their paperwork, the bright redness of their faces matching perfectly.
Meanwhile, the rest of the partially-toasted group continued to sneak glances at the pair as they tried in vain to weld the door back together.
End of part 1!