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3rd of October, 1917

It's cold in Briggs. Of course, I already knew this, but now it's gotten to the point where it's unbearable. Honestly, I had gone during spring last time - nearing the summer. It was fairly warm then. But now, autumn is hastily ending and winter is arriving at the same rate. My automail ports hurt, but I can honestly do nothing about it; they always hurt in the cold.

Today is a special day. I almost forgot what kind of day it is, but Alphonse not calling was a surefire way to check the calender - which I had not done for weeks. Alphonse always calls, every day, unless it's something important. This surpassed either of our importance levels, I would say.

I hope he's alright. Everyday, I'm praying for his health. Ever since we'd gotten his body back, he's been really weak. I know it's been two years. But he still collapses sometimes, and that worries me. Hopefully, he's in Xing (still) with that Mei Chang girl, trying to resurface their desire to get married. When I first heard, I couldn't even speak for a moment, I was so shocked. But he says that they wouldn't get married now; perhaps sometime when they were in their twenties. I trust my brother.

For the beansprout girl, I'm not sure. She can seduce him. I'm still wary of her.

The Drachmans are a force to be reckoned with, I'm sure. For me to be called in the middle of this stupid war - especially since it started about half a year ago, when Major Miles was found assassinated in the battlefield (during a search, they said? I'm not sure) and General Armstrong just...lost it. She's gotten colder, you can say. A lot less merciful. But it's in there - you can see that she isn't stupid enough to sacrifice her men like that just for the sake of her personal assistant.

Still...I once saw her cry, when she was by herself. I don't think she knew I was there, and she wasn't very loud. I had fleeted at the first chance.

Since the Major was found dead, the Drachmans were the ones whom the Amestrians pointed their fingers at. It made sense, I suppose: they were at a city on the other side of the Northern Wall, ground zero for the Drachmans and the Amestrians. Either one could've killed him. But no one in Briggs would do that to each other. Their teamwork was remarkable, and I couldn't find myself to believe it was an inside operation, as did the other soldiers.

Thus started this war. Well, it couldn't be called a war; it was only Briggs defense lines fighting with the Drachman front lines. But then it got bigger, and more of Amestris was involved when another city in the North - Nuremberg, I think - was bombed. It was a Drachman bomb. They were a fool for doing that. Now, Central's gotten involved, and guess who they send? Me.

Of course, they sent others, but not much alchemists. Well, not ones that were famous, anyways. I'm not saying this like it's a good thing; Command HQ thinks that if the enemy hear a well-known destructive force, they'll back off. Of course, they've also sent Mustang (the bastard) but I haven't seen him so far.

They gave me a whole fleet. I have to lead this people into war.

Honestly, it's the last thing I want to do.

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From the Journal of
Edward Elric

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October 24th, 1917

Hey Ed, when are you gonna come back?

I mean, we're waiting for you at home. Alphonse called a few days ago, said that he's gonna bring Mei over here and have a real, old fashioned wedding just like Mom and Dad had, the Risembool way. But he also said that he needs his brother to be there for support and to be the Best Man. And after, you know what he said? He said that they would also have a second wedding in Xing; because that was the way things worked there, supposedly. They get two weddings, one the choice of the groom, the other the choice of the bride. Doesn't that sound nice?

Anyway, Miss Riza called and she told me that if I wanted to get this letter to you, then I should just go over to the guy that's always waiting by the train station and give him the letter addressed to Central Command. Neat, huh? I hope this gets to you.

You know, when you guys first left home - you and Al, I mean - you said that you'd call or write a letter each month. You never did.

Send me a letter this time. Please? I can't write anymore because the cost of stamps is too much. At least...at least try to find a phone to talk. Please. Granny and I miss you. I know she doesn't say it, but I can see it in her frowns. Please come home soon.

You've got me begging.

Just get out of this alive.

Winry Rockbell

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TELEGRAM FOR MAJOR GENERAL EDWARD ELRIC (CODENAME : FULLMETAL)

Colonel Elric STOP This has been sent to inform you of another possible draft in the upcoming month STOP Please be prepared for the new recruits STOP And train them under the best STOP Since General Armstrong refuses to cooperate with us fully, this duty has fallen upon you STOP The Brass meeting shall take place next Tuesday STOP Please attend STOP

FROM THE OFFICE OF : FUHRER PRESIDENT G. GRUMMAN
Central Command, Central City, P.O. 127830

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Field Report.
Completed by: Lieutenant Colonel Jean Havoc
Collected by: Second Lieutenant Vato Falman

This'll be fairly short, sir.

There's not much to say. After Major Gen. Elric took in the new scouts, told me that he'd get them finished in a month tops, he went off to the dorms. After that, the rest of the MP searched around the grounds; other than debris, we found nothing. There were some spare barrels of oil that we've kept by the mine shaft. Don't worry boss, we checked if there was any potentially harmful substances, and if the framework was sturdy enough to hold us up. It was. We didn't want another incident like the chief had.

We found a crate of spare ammo in the deep shafts of the mine, so that was a good find. It seems like this isn't a very ideal place for the citizens to live in. Once the war started, they all fled. Smart people.

Also, there was this patch of...really black snow. I know, it sounds weird, but there it was. It was just outside the mine's exit, and when our doctor took a sample, it came out as ash. Not just any ash, but...well, the chief should let you know. It's horrible I don't think I can say it here.

There was a huge concentration of CO2 in the area. Let's just say that. Many workers had to have gas masks. There was an incinerator beneath the ground.

Whatever happened, it was absolutely horrifying.

To : ( General ) Roy Mustang ; Codename: FLAME
Briggs Control Center
Northern Wall

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October 31st, 1917

I got your letter, don't worry. It came very fast; I had no idea it could get here in nine days. Hawkeye sent it to me herself.

You don't know how happy I am to hear from you, Win. It's terrible out here. The cold, the food, the fights, it seems like everything is out of control. I have to train a new hoard of soldiers that were drafted for war, but half of them don't want to fight. I understand that. I don't want to fight either. But I have to. We have to.

Mustang takes the first week, I take the second. It kind of amused me when they gave me the recruits, looking like I was their savior. But I think I gave them a worse time than Mustang did; they were begging at Hawkeye's feet by the end.

This might get to you faster, I hope. I miss home. I miss Risembool. God, I even miss you. Do you know how much missing that takes? A lot. A whole lot, Win. Probably. Not really. I do miss you. And Al. I can't believe he's missing out on his wedding because of me - tell him and that beansprout girl that to carry on with it already, and I'll be there for the pictures.

Tell Granny not to worry.

Win, I'm going to make another promise to you, okay? I promise not to die if you promise to make the best apple pie you can when I come home. Your best. I can't write long letters, but I can promise you that. I can't call, because the phone lines are for military purpose only, but I can give you that promise.

I'll come home.

Edward Elric

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Notes

- Get more ammunition for the Shooting Range.

- Gather information from the Laboratory on that ash.

- Tell Mustang about it, since Havoc didn't.

- Ask Hawkeye if she can transfer from her position temporarily to be General Armstrong's assistant.

- Find time to go to that meeting on Tuesday.

- Where can I get a damn map around here?

- Try to get better water supply. It stinks.

- Don't die.

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1st of November, 1917

It's a new month, a new era. I can feel it, and it's a truly incredible feeling; it's almost scary, actually. There's something dark coming our way. Not just mine, but all of the soldiers here. Something revolutionary. I can only hope that we can get out of it alive.

I've been using that word a lot. Hope.

I don't hope.

I know.

It's honestly weird, feeling myself eat with other soldiers like I'm in a team. I was always on my own, you know? The first born, and even when Al was born, there was something that always set me apart. My alchemical talent. The fact that Al would follow me like a puppy. He still does, and it's cute, but it's worn into my bones so I never forget. I'm not...a person who gets along with others, I admit. I may be high tempered, but I'm not ignorant nor foolish.

But for once, I actually feel like I'm part of the military. I always used to minimize the usage of my rank, but now I use it without hesitation. Because I know that in a world like this, you need to climb your way from the pit bottom to the top. I can relate. It's like how I climbed from hell to get where I am now. And I don't want to stop - the feeling of doing something that's worthwhile in my life, it's amazing.

Other than alchemy, of course. Doing alchemy is still first on the list. I don't think I can survive without it.

I got a letter from Winry yesterday. I grabbed it as soon as I could, and answered it as fast too. Just the paper itself was like a ball of warmth in my hands; it was home, and I missed it so much. I've kept her letter in the folds of this notebook. I keep looking at it as much as I can, at her loopy handwriting, at her signature, I can't stop. I want to be home so badly, it hurts. It never hurt like this back during Alphonse's body-searching days, but then I had a purpose, a drive. Now, I've just been stuck somewhere where I don't want to be, and I want to get out.

I don't like war.

I don't like waking up to loud curtain calls. I don't like the "energy rich" food they have. I don't like the privates who look at me with apprehension and arrogance. I don't like those men who think war is a game. I don't like Mustang. I don't like the cold nights. I don't like my automail hurting. I don't like feeling this weak, no matter how much of a strong position I'm in.

I just...can't take it. I don't know how longer I can.

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From the Journal of
Edward Elric

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Speech Sheet: Meeting #12, 2.11.1917

Gen. Armstrong: This is not a meeting, this is discussion of what we can do for our strategies on an attack against Drachma. Don't write that down, Rye.

Ser. Rye: Yes, ma'am.

Major Gen. Elric: Who cares about that? We have more important things to think of. As the General said, these Drachmans are - admittedly - good. Armstrong, I saw some of the Briggs techniques in the way they fire. You might have a spy in your ranks.

Gen. Armstrong: Impossible! I trained my men to the finest, by my -

Gen. Mustang: Yes, we know. It is possible, and it might not be your soldier that you've trained. Trust me, I think every soldier you've had under your command is too scared to backstab you.

Gen. Armstrong: Hmph.

Col. Chrism: Well, it can't hurt to be a little bit more judgmental on how we train the soldiers. We have to make sure that all of them know the meaning of 'loyalty' at it's fullest. It's unacceptable to be a double agent.

Gen. Armstrong: ...

Major Gen. Elric: Haha! Chrism, you don't even understand the irony of your own words!

Col. Chrism: ...sir?

Major Gen. Elric: It's nothing, an old joke. But what you said makes sense. Amestris is known for it's impeccable military force. We're known for being dangerous, and we're dangerous because we know how to work together. Despite knowing every single damn strategy in the world, even if you've got the best weapons, if one side's uncooperative, the whole table's gonna fall.

Gen. Mustang: I agree with the shrimp for once.

Major Gen. Elric: Don't call me a shrimp, you over-ripe bastard.

Lieutenant Gen. Orion: Let's break this up now, shall we? I think the Major General has a point. And it works to our advantage; look at this map. [points to map] Here is the base for the Drachman forces. And now look at the smaller, wide spread branch bases around it. What do you notice?

Col. Chrism: Well...they're rather far apart from each other, aren't they? If one base is in an emergency, then the main base or another back-up couldn't come in time. That's a really bad weakness.

Major Gen. Elric: Seems like these Drachmans were stupider than I thought.

Gen. Armstrong: What, thought you'd have some fun fighting someone as tough as you, Fullmetal?

Major Gen. Elric: Hoped so. That's not gonna happen. And damn, I had high hopes too.

Gen. Armstrong: ...

Gen. Mustang: Don't joke, Fullmetal.

Major Gen. Elric: Hmph. Well, I was being half serious. I thought they'd be strong. But obviously, they think better for their strength rather than their cleverness. That's...really bad. I mean, how are they still standing this whole time?

Everyone: ...

Major Gen. Elric: ...No one knows?

Gen. Armstrong: Sergeant Rye. Tell me what you know on Drachman history.

Ser. Rye: Well, the Drachmans are only known for their brute strength. They've never fought a large country such as Amestris before; however, they used this method. Once taking over a small country around it, they ordered that country to take over the country next to it, often which it was in constant battles with. Those countries had their own method of winning, so the Drachman empire enlarged to a quite big empire that is still standing today.

Major Gen. Elric: Whoa, wait - is he writing while he's talking?

Gen. Mustang: That's his job, Fullmetal.

Major Gen. Elric: ...That is a seriously cool trait you've got there. Your brain is focusing on two completely different things and doing it efficiently...this must've took a lot of training...

Ser. Rye: Thank you, sir.

Gen. Mustang: Fullmetal! Stop with the talking! Back to work!

(PG 1)

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TELEGRAM FOR GENERAL ROY MUSTANG (CODENAME : FLAME)

I need to talk to you STOP Now STOP In private STOP Meet me at Lab Room #214 STOP

From : MAJOR GENERAL EDWARD ELRIC (CODENAME : FULLMETAL)
North City, Briggs, Northern Wall Military Fortress P.O. 666930

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Part I. Part II coming soon.