Rating: PG-13 for Violence.
Summary: Introspective Ishbalian drabble.
About: This is what I get for listening to Iron Maiden's Paschendale for too long. The song's about World War One, but is one of the most amazing pieces of music I've ever read. The lyrics are available here. I suggest reading them before you read the actual piece. It's mainly just been eating at my head, and I wanted to write it down. Enjoy.
State Alchemists were soldiers first and alchemists second. At least how it was during wars. Ishbal was no exception.
For many alchemists, this was their first war, if you could call it a war. The term “massacre” seemed to fit the situation better. Or so everyone had heard from the front lines. Until then, there had been no alchemists, just guns. The loss was starting to become too great. It was time to let the dogs loose.
Roy Mustang stared out at the remains of a small village. There was nothing left. Buildings had collapsed, trapping dozens underneath them. More bodies lay askew outside of the rubble, the bodies of the few that had tried to fight back. Those bodies were perhaps some of the most mangled of them all. Limbs had been torn off, made into other items, skin torn off, even some had been violated. There were no guns involved. This was the destructive power of alchemy.
Mustang could hear people calling out from the rubble. He heard prayers, curses, cries for mercy, all sorts of words. The prayers seemed to be for the person’s after life, but he could also hear people praying that the military would leave Ishbal alone. A part of the prayer touched him, but he stopped. These people were the enemies; you couldn’t feel sympathy for them. Such thoughts would betray the military.
Only a few hours ago this village had been full of life. Children playing, men and women talking…the military had changed that very quickly.
Roy distinctively remembered staring out at the village with the other alchemists, thinking long and hard about what he had to do. He then remembered the apprehensive and nerve racking wait for the command to attack. Everything else seemed to be a blur. He recalled explosions, glass and shrapnel flying to the left and right of him, the groans of the dying, but that was it. Something else Roy remembered was setting a long trench aflame with the snap of his fingers. But that was it.
His eyes danced over the destroyed village one last time. Silence had settled over the village. Perhaps all of those praying had now died. Perhaps not. He didn’t know. He simply repeated a phrase that he had heard someone pray. “Gladi in omniummeum negotia regnas et in illos res quem me, resistant, vincite.” *
*Is from the Conjuration of the Sword prayer. It translates as "Sword, you do rule in all my affairs and prevail in those things which oppose me."