This is set in Ishval.

Disclaimer: I don't own FmA.

Black smoke rises steadily. Always. Its striking contrast against the white-hot sand is almost as sickening as the smell. They all know that smell. This desert is now a hell. For the soldiers and the Ishvalans. At night they re-live the horrors of the day, but few wish for the sun to rise.

They find familiar stars in the clear sky and try to remember a time when they weren't here, causing tragedy. They sit on cold sand listen to the wind rustle the flaps of canvas tents. The sun rises from the east far too early, and the sky is stained red, foreshadowing the events to come.

They eat tasteless food and their lips form tight seals on their canteens, ensuring not one precious drop is lost. Three soldiers stand on a high ridge and look down at a crippled city, the black smoke still rising, sun still low in the sky.

They watch in silence for a moment and then the young woman says: I look forward to the sun rises here. This place would be beautiful, if it wasn't a war zone. The two men nod and they all silently think: I want to change this.

The bell rings and they exchange looks of displeasure. Then they turn and leave. The sand glares at them in the sun. Here, dirty, hollow, people with blood-stained hands, take lives that are not theirs to take. They attack the defenseless, and defend empty words. What is the reason?

Why? Because we are soldiers and that's what we have been ordered to do.

That reason is not good enough.

AN: I really enjoyed writing this, so I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Reviews are welcome.