"You'll come back soon, won't you, Father?" Leroy asked, trying to keep his hair from swinging into his eyes as the wind gusted around them. Ilia was at his shoulder waving to their parents from the dock and Maes was running down the plank after hugging his parents and bidding them farewell, the little fox at his heels. Roy leaned on his arms on the ship and grinned down at the three of them: Leroy and Ilia, now both twenty-one, and Maes, fourteen. "I'm sure I'll be back soon, it's only a meeting in Falcona after all. I won't be gone long. Besides, I've got your mom to protect me, don't I?"

"Come back soon, okay Dad? Bring us something back from Falcona!" Maes yelled, and Roy waved to signal that he had heard. Riza leaned forward and put her arms around Roy's waist from behind him, chin resting in the crook of his neck. "Bye Mom!" Maes waved and Riza waved back as the ship's horn blew. "Take care of Amestris while I'm gone, Leroy!" Roy called,hands cupped around his mouth, and Leroy assured him that he would.

Maes grinned and waved one last time before turning to his older brother and sister. "So are we going back home, or back toEast HQ first?" he asked, bouncing along as they walked down the road. "I thought I'd drop by HQ, see how everyone's doing and all. You know, check on Uncle Havoc."

"Okay! So let's hurry, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon!"

"Alright alright, Maes, HQ won't run anywhere!"

"But there's so much we can do! When do you think Dad'll get to Falcona?"

"Probably not until well into nextweek," Ilia said. "Falcona's a long ways away."

"But still... I'm gonna send Dad a letter, I wanna know all about what it's like over there!"

"All about it? I don't think he could tell you everything..."

"Yeah he could! Dad's the Flame-Arm Alchemist, the Fuhrer of Amestris, the best dad in the world, the best guy there is! He can do anything, especially with Mom's help."

"And what are you in a hurry for, anyways Maes?"

"To see Uncle Fullmetal of course! C'mon, we'll visit Uncle Havoc and the others and then we have to see Uncle Fullmetal!"

"If you insist," Leroy said, giving in, as he opened the door of the car and waited for Maes to get in the back. He sighed and looked in the back. "Do you want to tell me the color of the lights this time, Maes?"

"You bet!" Maes said enthusiastically. It was a bit odd to have a colorblind big brother, but it was okay.With his help, Leroy could drive through the streets without actually passing a stoplight.They stopped at HQ and got out of the car. Maes hopped into the driver's seat and through Leroy's door, not wanting to wait for Leroy to come around and open the door to the backseat. He raced up to the doors and flung them open.

"Hey everybody!"

The office said hello and Maes ran off to find Jean Havoc, who was currently buried underneath a rather large stack of paperwork. After signing another paper, Colonel Havoc looked up from the papers. "Oh, hello Maes," he said. His mouth was actually lacking a cigarette, his daughter finally having convinced him to give up and kick the habit. Luna was at his shoulder and gave him another stack to sign, and Havoc sighed. "Now I know why your old man wanted to skip out on signing these things so badly, sheesh. I can imagine he only gets more now that he's Fuhrer."

"With your help of course, Uncle Havoc! Dad couldn'tve done so much without your help." Havoc waved him off.

"Ah, cut out the flatteries,you little rogue.Where's your brother and sister?"

"They're coming, I ran ahead. Dad left to Falcona."

"He did? Already? That's too bad, I wanted to say good-bye before he left..."

"Aw, you'll see him anyways. Mom went with him too, and he's letting Leroy be his stand-in while he's gone if you don't want to."

Havoc sighed and scratched his head. "Nah, let your brother do it. He's certainly more equipped for it than I am. Luna, can you pass me that sheet over there? Thanks, kiddo." He signed another sheet and put it into the tray.

"Tell your siblings I'm fine, they don't need to worry about things here."

"O-kay!" Maes said, running off.

"And don't you worry," Havoc called after him, "I'm sure your parents'll be fine!"

Roy smiled as the sea breeze hit his face. It wasn't so bad being out in the middle of the ocean, not as bad as he'd thought it would be. Riza smiled and rested her chin in the crook of his neck again. "Seasick yet?" she asked, arms tightening around his stomach. He turned his head a bit to look at his shoulder and shook his head. "Not yet," he said, nuzzling her gently. "What about you?"

"I'm fine."

He looked back at the sea again as the vessel cut cleanly through the water, marveling at it's brilliance and clearness, and it's coldness. He grimaced at the last thought as some water smacked his face, and he wiped it off with the back of his hand. Six years, six years of peace and counting. He hoped it would last forever, but he knew in his heart it probably wasn't possible. He sat down on the deck, making sure his arms were hooked securely in a rail near the cabins, and let Riza rest her head on his chest. He supposed he couldn't deny he was getting old, but that didn't mean he couldn't age with grace. But... he ran his hand through his hair until Riza did it for him. Not one gray hair! He thought he'd have millions by now, but maybe stress didn't work as well on him. Riza complained of a few here and there, but for the most part her hair was still a bright blonde; as if you could see a few grays and whites in that sea of fair; Riza got off easy.

He was still alive, still kicking, and that in itself was something to be grateful for. He hoped his meeting with the king of Falcona went well. If it did... it would mean... the first time there would be any global peace, it would be a mark to go down in history. His era of leadership would be the first to experiance blissful, sacred peace. The crew and other passengers bound for Falcona were on the same ship, bustling around doing whatever they wanted, or throwing up over the side. Most were Falconans, best characterized by their hooked noses, which Roy thought was just the slightest bit funny. They seemed to be a jolly people, always laughing and smiling, yet still deadly serious. They were an interesting bunch.

Riza shifted slightly on his chest and he stroked her hair gently, not eager to wake her now that she had fallen asleep. He could hope for the best... like Maes had always done... hope for the... best... He drifted off into sleep aswell.

He was shaken awake by a tremor on the boat, the smell of smoke in his nose and screams in his ears, and also... a droning noise, something overhead. He looked up and around to find, to his horror, that half the ship had been blown apart. Blood coated timber and people screamed for family members, othersscreaming for those who had been lost. Riza held onto him tightly, afraid, and looked into his eyes. "What do we do?" she whispered. Another blast wracked thevessel and Roy held onto her as well, burying his face into her shoulder, and her likewise, as another section of the ship was blown to bits. The droning dulled, and then it was gone.

Unfortunately, so was three quarters of the ship. Whatever was left of it was sinking fast, and Roy nodded to the water, fear apparent in his eyes. He seized a piece of floating wood and he and Riza clung to it for dear life, letting the sea current take them. Then they realized, amidst all of the carnage, a very important, terrible fact.

They were the only ones left alive.

Hello, hello, welcome, welcome to Halfmetal Guardian: War of Broken Dreams, the sequel to Halfmetal Alchemist! Once again, it's not required that you read HMA to understand HMG; I'll fill in the gaps for you as best I can.

-T A