War was the worst invention made by humans. It involved a lot of needless deaths, horrific scenes of maimed people and terrified screams of those dying. Second lieutenant John Havoc did not like war. He didn’t mind being a soldier as long as there was no war. He rejected war and despised anyone who claimed to like it. And despite everything, he was now stuck in one.
Deep in his heart, he was a gentle, even rather shy man – especially when it came down to girls and relationships – who liked to banter with his colleagues and loved his cigarette a trifle too much. He had joined the army out of idealism and hope to change the world into a peaceful unity where fear and sadness no longer existed. Those dreams were soon shattered, until he met Colonel Roy Mustang – Major Roy Mustang when they first met. They young alchemist, driven by ambition, had the same ideals as Havoc and he gladly followed the ambitious dark man everywhere, supporting him whenever he could. It was this loyalty that had brought him to this place.
Havoc sighed as he crushed the end of his cigarette against the wall. He didn’t know if he believed in those ideals any longer. All he knew was that Mustang aimed for a warless world and that idea appealed to him. And, of course, the miniskirts… The world would look much better if every woman in the army wore a miniskirt.
The door banged open and a fat, red-haired man entered. “So here you are. I’ve been looking for you for half an hour. Couldn’t you at least tell someone where you are?” “And spoil your fun of looking for me, Breda? I didn’t think so. What’s this?” He glanced at a smudgy, coffee-stained paper. “You have patrol duties from one o’clock ’till four,” second lieutenant Breda explained. “Taisa found out you didn’t know about it yet, so he sent me to find you.” “Patrol duties? Again?! I already had double shift yesterday!” “Taisa’s orders,” Breda shrugged. “Go argue with him if you want. I only do what I’ve been told to do.” “Patrol duties?” Havoc’s voice had taken a resigned undertone.
“I believe that’s what the paper says.”
It was the rain, Havoc decided. It had to be the rain. Or more the persistent drizzle that forever found a way to his neck, to trickle from there down to his back. It was cold, wet and it tickled. Patrol duties were already bad enough and the cold wetness gave the whole event a distinct unpleasant touch.
The usual cheerful second lieutenant sighed moodily. It was all Hawkeye’s fault. Just because he had forgotten to show up for his shifts once, she was determined to make him pay for his mistake. The worst thing was that the first lieutenant didn’t mind to use her gun if he protested too loudly. It was just not fair.
A sudden movement caught his attention and he motioned to the rest to stand still. Cautiously, he looked around the corner. Several people were standing secretively in the narrow alley, talking in hushed voices, although the cry “Those bloody soldiers” and “The military oppresses us” could be frequently heard. To confirm his worst suspicions, they were carrying weapons.
He nodded at the rest of the group, whispering the needed commands. Colonel Frank Archer had been most explicit with his orders to eliminate everyone who forms a danger for the military.
“Alright, let’s go.”
The fight was short and brutal and none too pleasant. The ‘rebels’ didn’t even notice the military until it was too late. Most of them had been killed before they had a chance to turn around and those who did try to resist were easily defeated. A few managed to escape the savage group of soldiers. One sergeant, an enthusiastic young fellow, wanted to chase them, but Havoc held him back.
“But sir, Archer-taisa has ordered us to eliminate all the opposition against the army,” the guy protested.
“I know what Archer-taisa has ordered,” Havoc said coldly. “We need to set an example, not to kill everyone in sight, you idiot. You gain nothing with that.” He glanced at the miserable piles of dead bodies, his stomach turning up. “Remove those bodies and make sure they get a decent burial. You can go back to the base afterwards.”
“Yes, sir!” The men were far too happy with their early dismissal to protest about ignoring orders and more. Only the young sergeant showed his disapproval, although he didn’t have the guts to protest loudly.
Havoc looked at the men for a moment before he turned away. The sight of it alone was enough to make him feel sick. No longer able to watch it, he walked away.
The streets were nearly empty and muddy, with only a few children playing outside. Mothers ran outside to drag their child back inside when they saw the uniform; the looks given to him were cold and filled with hatred as well as with fear. Havoc winced inwardly, although he couldn’t blame them. What reason did they have to trust the military?
Dusk fell over the city and the drizzle had become a real shower. Havoc didn’t care about that. Maybe the rain could wash away the blood sticking to his hands and the guilt that filled his heart might be gone as well. He was dimly aware of the fact that he should have reported back hours ago and that they were probably worrying about him right now. But he needed to be alone a little longer. Just a little longer…
The shot came out of nowhere and hit him low in the stomach. Havoc gasped as he stared down at the red spot growing on his blue coat. A dog barked at the sudden noise, but no one else reacted.
He looked up, swaying a little, and a second shot was fired, this time aimed at his chest. Havoc could feel the bullet piercing through his lung as a burning pain flamed up. He sank through his knees, stunned and unable to grasp what was happening. Breathing became difficult and he coughed, which ripped his lung even further open. He could feel his life slipping away from his and he fell helplessly to the ground.
And so he spills the last of his breath
In the mud, where he is lying…
Footsteps echoed through the silent street. A moment later, he could feel the cold metal of a gun being pressed against the temple of his head.
Slowly bleeding to death
A loud click could be heard as his invisible attacker pulled slowly the trigger.
But never really dying
The last shot was fired.
The young man pulled back his gun, looking disdainfully down at the limp body of former second lieutenant Jon Havoc and when he spoke, his voice was filled with contempt.
“That’s for ignoring orders given by Archer-taisa.”