Story Series: Glitch
Author: Sage SK
Comments: A series of drabbles/short stories based on a shared plot between myself and Kristen Sharpe. Roy Mustang is a soldier in the year 3510, deemed "broken" by his superiors after the loss of his unit in Ishval. In a military where all soldiers are "programmed" to be emotionless human weapons, an attack of conscience is nothing but an aberration. But, the Flame Alchemist is too valuable to lose. Sent away for "repairs", Roy begins to realize that maybe there's nothing wrong with him.
The soldier needed reprogramming. That was the first thing Maes Hughes was told when he was called to the facility in Central to repair what was best described as an anomaly. The "anomaly", they said, was that the soldier wasn't following orders. He wasn't doing much of anything.
What's worse was that the soldier was displaying increasingly worrisome emotions.
'Heaven forbid,' Hughes thought dryly as he walked into the sterile computer room. Said soldier sat listless in the programming chair, eyes fixated on the floor. His dark eyes had no light. His black hair was a rumpled mess. He looked young, maybe about his age, Hughes mused.
"My name is Maes Hughes. It looks like I'll be fixing you up today. What's your name, soldier?"
The soldier didn't respond.
Reminded, Hughes let out a small sigh. This job could be so depressing at times. "Designation?"
The soldier responded almost automatically. "Mustang, Roy. Rank: Colonel. Program: State Alchemist. Specialty: Flame Alchemy. Number 3458729. Batch 264."
Hughes held up a hand. "That's good enough." Might as well stop him before he got his blood type and what size shoe he wore. "And, it's a mouthful. I'll just call you Roy, alright?"
Turning to the console, Hughes began to work, mentally going over what they told him. Mustang had returned from Ishval, his entire unit killed, and had what they could only describe as "a breakdown". By the time they'd gotten him back to Central, he had been speaking in broken sentences, saying things like "not right" and "all wrong". At some point, Mustang had even started to accuse his superiors of predicting what would happen to his team, and that no one had made a move to stop it. He was unstable, they said, but he was too good a soldier to dispose of.
'He's the only one competent enough to handle flame alchemy, Mr. Hughes. Please fix him.'
Fix him. There was nothing to fix. Roy Mustang was broken, yes, but by the military's standards. As far as Hughes was concerned, Roy Mustang was normal.
"Well, you're all set!"
Slowly, Roy looked up. He didn't feel any different. When did...?
"Just in time for dinner, too." Hughes now turned to Mustang. "Have you eaten, Roy?"
Roy shook his head.
"Great! You're in luck! My lovely Gracia's making quiche tonight!"
Hughes' sudden enthusiasm confused Mustang.
"My wife. Loveliest woman on the face of this Earth!"
"Wife?" The word was foreign to Roy, but he didn't stop to process it as Hughes was suddenly behind him, nearly shoving him out the door.
"Come now, we don't want to be late! My dear Gracia is due any day now and the more I'm away, the more likely I won't be around when our sweet Elicia is born."
Due? Born? "But... I usually eat in the mess..."
"And, you also subject yourself to that awful bland food. How about you try something with a little color for today?"
With that, they were out the door. And, before Roy could comprehend what was happening, Hughes was driving them away from the facility.
"I... don't understand," Roy said softly.
Hughes merely smirked. "I think it's time you learned what it's like to be normal, Roy."