The Fuhrer was dead. It wasn't known how or when or who had done it, just that it was so. When word got out a power struggle erupted within the military. The Generals at the top in Central vied for the position of Fuhrer trying to gather their supporters around them. It would have been the perfect opportunity for Roy Mustang to do the same thing but it was not to be. His loyal supporters were scattered but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Instead of announcing his intentions, very quietly his supporters started talking about a certain Colonel in Central who would make a great leader.
He wasn't power hungry like the rest. He's a hero of Ishbal and would never throw his men into danger, especially over something as trivial as trying to assume command of the entire military. There was no time for such things, especially after the attack Drachma made against the Briggs stronghold. And did you hear that a former State Alchemist led that Drachman attack. The same State Alchemist who was in prison for killing several higher ranking officers and then released by the very Generals now clamoring for power in Central.
Needless to say word spread like wildfire. There was distrust within the military but still plenty who were loyal to their country and in need of a leader, especially when Drachma launched another attack on Briggs. When the call came from Central for troops from the North, East, South and West, there was no response, especially from the North, they had their own troubles. They then called upon the State Alchemists, but word had spread amongst them of the traitor Kimbley who was working for those same Generals, and of the true purpose behind their actions governing the military throughout the years. As one General after another was either assassinated or fled for his life, the only soul brave enough to take command of Central did so. He did not fear he would be stabbed in the back as other officers were; especially those who had shown support for the same Generals that were corrupt. He also had the backing of a Major General at the top who was not part of the power struggle. She only wanted Briggs and if those Generals were out of her way, she could return to stop the Drachman attack. But it was too late.
Drachma broke through and invaded. Briggs held out for months and nobody blamed them for pulling out of the region when they did. It was a bloody siege with an entire nation beating on the door of Briggs and their resources had been exhausted. The true commander of Briggs had been called to Central by the corrupt Generals. Their current commander was incompetent or perhaps a traitor, in league with the same Generals that were no longer in command. They had no support from Central at the time and it was slow going to get any troops from the East. It also didn't help that rebel factions from Xing joined forces with Drachma on the Northeast borders of Amestris, preventing the support the Eastern troops could have provided. The Drachman invasion that followed wasn't just any invasion. It was an invasion based on years of planning. Years of having to put up with the tiny country of Amestris with its seemingly limitless soldiers who over the course of hundreds of years had slowly annexed or claimed towns and territories that could have been part of Drachma's borders. Those citizens had gotten used to being Amestrian, as did their children after them. Amestris in general had gotten used to their country and didn't take to kindly to the fact that Drachma was going to take advantage of the instability to try and take what did not belong to them.
With the backing of Major General Armstrong, under one condition, Mustang assumed the role of Fuhrer, and began to focus on the threat at hand. But there were several. Not only did Drachma invade, but there was still fighting on the western and southern borders. Mustang, with his new powers, promoted Armstrong to General. Together they worked fast and furious to coordinate troop movements from the East, West and South to push back the invasion of Drachma and yet still deal with the fighting in the west and south. Their were attempts to contact the emperor of Xing who would make a powerful ally, but a certain twelfth son of the Emperor was nowhere to be found to begin any kind of negotiations.
The new Fuhrer was only able to enjoy the glory of coming out on top for a moment. They were at war; there was no time to celebrate his accomplishment with any elaborate fanfare. The celebration that did ensue was small and used as a platform for Mustang to pledge his allegiance to Amestris and promise the citizens to rid their borders of the Drachman army. It was to boost morale and it did, especially when the State Alchemists had finally been mobilized. The best of the best State Alchemists were placed at strategic points to start clearing the way for the regular army. State Alchemists were still men so it was not going to be an easy fight. The invasion was like a cake walk for Drachma once they got past Briggs but the further they pressed the more resistance they met and soon were not able to go any further. As the Amestris military dug in its heels to hold Drachma back, Drachma dug in it's own to keep from being pushed out. The Fuhrer needed all the bravest alchemists he could get. He didn't think it fair to ask the Elric brothers but he was desperate. After ridding the military of corruption he wasn't about to lose the very country he wanted to protect.
He smiled to himself at the sound of his footsteps. Those were his feet making that clicking noise in the empty hallway. It was his legs that were connected to those same feet. It was his legs that were moving him down the hallway. He realized after being bedridden for a year how much he had taken for granted the ability to move himself on his own. It was a good feeling. He would never take it for granted again. Then he remembered he was now propelling himself towards the possibility that it could all be taken away from him again, perhaps even permanently.
He stopped before the door of his intended destination. Taking a deep breath he knocked. He knew he was expected but didn't think it wise a guard did not stand outside the door. In fact he thought there should be guards stationed all along the hallway. The military was still not quite stabilized. A muffled 'Come in' could be heard through the closed door so he entered not knowing what fate would hand him. He had a lot of time to think with nothing much to do. He knew he was a lot smarter than he had given himself credit for. He wondered why he didn't use those smarts he discovered and stay away from the military. But the military was in him. It was too late to retrain himself for another life. It fit him like a glove and he was glad to be back, though he wished the circumstances were not so uncertain with his return. Taking another deep breath before entering, he marveled again at his ability to be able to walk on his own. He would do whatever was in his power to keep his legs. He had his second chance and he wasn't going to waste it. Some would think going back to the military would be doing just that. But he had a debt to pay for the use of his legs. Coming back to the military was partly to repay that debt. He entered and shut the door behind him. Snapping to attention he saluted smartly to a man sitting behind a desk. A man he was all too familiar with.
"Good to have you back Second Lieutenant Havoc," the Fuhrer said getting up from his desk. He walked up to the Lieutenant and shook his hand instead of saluting in return. "Sorry it took so long."
"No problem. I enjoyed sitting around doing nothing," Second Lieutenant Jean Havoc said sarcastically, slipping into the old familiarity he shared with Roy Mustang. "But I should really be thanking you for getting Dr. Marcoh for me."
"No thanks needed. We've been lost without you, we had to do something. I'd like to thank you for recovering in time so you can be shipped off to the front lines to be shot at."
"Lucky me," Havoc said under his breath. Then a bit louder, "I heard you've got yourself a new Lieutenant Colonel."
"I do. And you've got yourself a new assignment," the Fuhrer said returning to his desk and seating himself.
"You mean a new babysitting assignment," Havoc said knowing what was coming next.
"No. I'm confident he can handle a command of his own. But it will be different entering a war without any kind of proper training on his part. You'll need to give him a crash course on military command and strategy on your way to your post," Mustang explained.
"Fortunately he's smart so it shouldn't take too long. But why me?" Havoc asked sure Hawkeye or Breda were more suitable for the job.
"You're the only one with nothing better to do. You've been out of commission for so long everyone but you is busy. Besides, I think you'll work well together and it's more likely he'll listen to you then to anyone else. I hate sending you away but I know you'll still follow my orders as well as his and won't hesitate to inform me if you think he can't handle it. If it looks like he can't, let me know and I'll pull him out as soon as possible. I had hoped his brother would come along. The two of them could have worked together and supported each other. But that's not the case. He doesn't have anyone now; he'll need you to watch his back."
"I can do that."
"Good. He's already been informed you'll be under his command as First Lieutenant."
"He'll suspect that I'm there to watch over him for you."
"Yes, he will. But you'll have to convince him you're there to help him too. It's important that you do. And not just because I said so, but because he is your commanding officer and he deserves your loyalty. I'm afraid that letting you go, you'll end up being more loyal to him than me. But it'll be for the best."
"Thanks, you make me sound like a dog,"
"You are. You're a dog of the military. Just make sure you both don't die."
"Yes, sir!" Havoc said saluting.
"And if something were to happen to him," Mustang continued. "I'm holding you responsible. Let him know that. It could keep him from being too reckless."
"I can see that I'm really going to enjoy this assignment."
"I'm sure you will. Here's his file. This will help you get an understanding of his strengths and weaknesses."
Havoc took the file and started to flip through it. It was quite thick. Mustang really ran him through hoops, Havoc thought.
"You new post is waiting for you in North City. It's under the command of a Sergeant Brody and has already been reinforced. The last commanding officer decided to get himself and half the troop blown up. I will not accept such incompetence. I'm depending on you two to set an example of how to keep your troop alive and at the same time get the job done. You'll be leaving on the next train out of Central that's leaving in an hour. Are there any questions?"
"No, sir," Havoc said standing tall and saluting.
"Good. Dismissed," Mustang said saluting back.