Hey, look, a new story from me. Claps for Thalia for inspiring me to write Royai again.
First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye woke slowly one Spring morning, birdsongs and sunlight streaming through her window almost lulling her back to sleep. But there was a day to be had and many, many things to do. A few languid stretches and eye-rubs later Riza was up and out of bed uniform on, pistols in place, and ready for anything the day could throw at her. Or so she thought.
Eastern Headquarters was particularly quiet as Riza walked to her office that morning. At colonel Mustang's office she came across Havoc speaking with Breada, Fuery, and Falman in loud, animated sentences.
Riza passed her eyes over each of the men and sighed. "Shouldn't you all be working?"
"We were about to start ma'am," Fuery replied in a small voice, "but then Havoc started telling us about this amazing dream he had the other night."
"Yeah," Breada said enthusiastically, "he dreamt that all of Central was buried in snow. It was piled as high as HQ!"
Riza made a face. "Only you could dream up something so impossible, Havoc."
He shrugged, cigarette bobbing lightly. "I'm unique." After the exchange of a few more witty remarks from the other men, the phone at Falman's side began to ring. He scooped it up and had a brief conversation with the caller.
"That was Colonel Mustang, he said he's at the end of Twelfth street at the abandoned hospital," he spoke rapidly, gathering and handing out sets of field gear to each of them. "The police have cornered the December serial killer in the building and the Colonel wants us to infiltrate and retrieve him."
Riza jogged to the colonel at the entrance of the rusting, decrepit gates. He nodded at her and each of the other men behind her. "December is on one of the three floors," said the colonel, "As far as we know, he's un-armed, but still expect the worst. Incapacitate, but under no condition is he to be killed. And remember to watch your step; the place is falling apart." He gave the orders quickly, almost abruptly, just like a commanding officer should. December was a dangerous, if not clinically insane, individual. "Fuery and Falman will patrol the first floor, Havoc and Breada second, Hawkeye and I have third," their eyes locked and a silent conversation passed between them. She gave him a curt nod for reply. They would most likely be the party to find December, and the colonel needed her keen perception and wit. Riza would give it gladly.
Just as the colonel had said, the place was falling apart. Literally. Blocks of concrete rubble, large and small, blanketed the third floor hallway. Riza followed several paces behind Mustang, her eyes darting to and fro dark corners of rooms that had definitely seen better days. They crept in relative silence, using hand and lip signals when needed. December, he was called as such because his true name wasn't known, was notorious for his ability to blend in anywhere and for his creative use of the environments he hid in. Riza shivered involuntarily as she recalled the reports on his string of murders. One for each day in December, killed in progressively gruesome manners. She would make sure he paid for his crimes.
After several minutes of tense anticipation, Riza and Roy came to a stop at the end of the hallway. Two sets of doors led into different wards. The signs that pointed to either direction read "psychiatric wing" and "sterile rooms." The colonel glanced at Riza and shrugged, offering for her to pick. Riza fingered the latch on her gun case and licked her lips nervously. She offered Mustang a swift salute and turned towards the sterile rooms. The colonel nodded and headed into the psychiatric ward, leaving Riza by herself in that section. Something told her December would be in her path.
With the loads of dust covering every inch of the wing, it appeared that the sterile rooms were quite far from sterile. Not that she had expected them to be. Even still, as she went from room to room, the air was tainted with the underlying smell of stale antiseptic and other sanitary supplies.
Far, far down the hallway Riza's eyes detected a flicker in the light, a shadow much larger then a rat's darting across the wall. She deftly upholstered her pistols, apprehension buzzed at the back of her skull to a dizzying degree. Riza's cat-like steps grew faster and faster, lighter and lighter as she neared the shadow.
Something was wrong. The shadow swayed like cloth caught in the breeze and, when Riza stepped around the corner she saw that was exactly what it was. A bed cloth, yellowed with age, tied to the top of a window sill cast the shadow. A diversion. A diversion discovered too late for the shadow of a man now wrapped around her from behind. Time stilled as she turned, pistols raised, to meet her attacker. But once again, Riza was too late. She only managed one shot before the man threw a bucket of clear liquid at her. It ran down her face and seeped into her wide eyes. She screamed.
When Roy heard the gunshot he ran, but the scream, a scream full of pain and fear, set him to a mad dash. He tripped over countless pieces of rubble on the way, feeling sharp, tiny bits of pierce his unprotected hands when he fell on all fours. Roy blasted past the doors that led to the sterile wing, his mind afire with terror. Then, at the very end of the hallway, he saw Riza. She sobbed on the floor, her hand wiping frantically across her eyes. Roy crouched beside her and grasped both of her hands. Riza shrieked and flailed her limbs wildly, her eyes clamped shut.
"Hawkeye, calm down, It's me," he cooed, "what happened?" Riza's hands flew back to her eyes with tears streaming past her palms.
"Sir...," she sobbed once more, "December threw something at my eyes... God, it burns so bad...," she let out something between a moan and a cry, "It must've been bleach..."
Roy blanched. "Lieutenant," he said, his throat going dry, "open your eyes." She gritted her teeth as if the action pained her. Roy waved his hand back in forth in front of her eyes.
"I can't see, you sir..."
Was it okay? Let me know if my writing has gotten any better or, God forbid, worse.