Blood dripped down off of Leon’s nose, the gash on his forehead slowly leaking over his face. The blood was starting the blur his vision, but with his hands bound with chains above his head it was impossible for him to wipe his eyes. The familiar copper taste of blood washed into Leon’s mouth, likely from the cut Leon felt on the inside of his cheek. As another fist found its way into Leon’s bare abdomen, Leon spit the blood out onto the cement floor, barely missing his own boots as he did.
“I can keep going if you’d like.” the man shouted at Leon, cracking his knuckles in a futile attempt at intimidation. “We simply want to know who you are young man. If you would give us that much we could skip all this ugliness.”
Leon looked up at the man, his vision still slightly blurred from the blood in his eyes. The man before him wore an olive green combat uniform, or at least an outfit that was meant to resemble an actual uniform. Though the material looked cheap to Leon, it was certainly more functional than the royal blue costumes handed out by the actual Amestrian military.
Just as the man appeared to be winding up for another blow, the door behind him opened up and a short pudgy man in an Amestrian military jacket appeared, flanked by two taller men in all black outfits. Leon’s interrogator immediately saluted the shorter man and stepped to the side, allowing for an unobstructed view of the bloodied Leon.
“Fuhrer Wright, it’s a pleasure you see you, as always.” The man whom had been striking Leon said. At the mentioning of the word Fuhrer Leon looked up at the short man.
“At ease soldier.” Wright said. “What information have you gotten out of the prisoner?”
“Nothing so far sir. He hasn’t said a word since we brought him in.”
“Very interesting indeed.” Wright stepped closer to Leon, looking directly into the young man’s eyes. “Do you have anything to say to your Fuhrer then son?”
Leon stared back at Wright for a moment, the two seeming to engage in a mutual staring contest. But no longer after the staring began it ended with Leon looking back down at his feet, his shoulders shaking slightly and a slight noise escaping the young man’s mouth.
“Are you crying?” Wright asked, sounding annoyed. “Do you think I will take pity on you if you cry? You who wandered up to the gates of my fort on your own accord? You’re lucky my loyal soldiers didn’t shoot you on sight. If anything you should be thanking your Fuhrer…” With the second mentioning of the word Fuhrer, Leon could no longer contain himself. The young man burst out laughing, much to the surprise of Wright and his men. “Just what the hell is so funny?” Leon took a minute to compose himself before looking up at Wright once again. “I just find it funny.” Leon stated, a smile on his bloodied face as he spoke. “You lead what, thirty men? Yet you still call yourself Fuhrer.”
His face turning red with anger, Wright delivered a sharp blow to Leon’s midsection. “You dare mock the future Fuhrer of Amestris? The Wright Group may be small in numbers, but we are expanding! After tomorrow’s draft our numbers will skyrocket. You won’t even be able to fathom what we will be capable of!”
Despite the moderate blow to his stomach, Leon’s smirk did not fade. “By draft I assume you mean marching into Senna and kidnapping as many people as you can?”
“They are volunteers. After our show of force, the people there know of what we are capable of. When we return to Senna, there will be young capable men lining up to join our ranks. You could be one of them if you wish. You yourself look young and capable.”
“Do I get my own wannabe soldier outfit and outdated rifle too?” Leon could barely contain another fit of laughter. “Can I sleep on it?”
“You’ll have plenty of time to think about your choice.” Wright growled, attempting to move up into Leon’s face but his stature making such an action almost comical. “After the draft tomorrow we will be in need of an example to keep the recruits in line. If you are still undecided upon my return, I will personally plaster the fortress walls with your blood.”
“Whatever you say, Fuhrer Wright.” Leon replied, his smirk ever prominent, earning him another body shot from Wright.
“You’re from the Amestrian military aren’t you? A lowly spy at best. So what lies has the wretched leadership of Amestris spread about me and my men?”
Leon lifted his head up high, seeming to yet again bare an expression of comical amusement. “If you only knew how funny that sounded Wright. You’re so far off it’s hysterical.”
“Then enlighten me!” Wright shouted, spitting in Leon’s face. “Who are you? Who do you work for? Why are you here? I want to know it all!”
Leon lowered his head again, half his face covered in caked blood and the other in Wright’s saliva. His expression looked more serious now, obviously not holding back laughter anymore. “I suppose I owe you a few answers. I go by the name Leon, and I do not work for the Amestrian military. In fact I have plenty of reason to hate Amestris.”
“Is that so?” Wright’s tone seemed to change, sounding more casual now after hearing Leon’s words. “So we both hate Amestris. Why didn’t you tell me? I would have ordered my men to treat you a little… gentler. So why don’t you join me? Amestris is our common enemy, Leon was it? Together our chances of destroying Amestris are much greater than if we were to work against one another.” “Don’t think having a common enemy means I’m eager to join you Wright. As far as I’m concerned your no better than Amestris.”
Rather than a body blow, Wright reacted to Leon’s latest insult with an open handed slap across Leon’s bloodied face. “How dare you compare me to Amestris.” Wright was shouting again, this time jabbing his finger in Leon’s face as he spoke. “Amestris has always been a war mongering country, always concern with territorial expansion and never with the wellbeing of its own people. Head my words, just because the politics have changed, Amestris will always be the same. I have dedicated my life to crushing the nation and replacing it with a country that cares for its people, one that will issue in a golden age for the people of this land.”
“You’re a delusional fool.” Leon retorted. “You have no more than thirty-five men under your command. Each of them now carry obsolete SD-63 rifles, only some possess a sidearm. What will you use to arm the young men you intend to “draft?” Sharpened sticks? Your pursuit of domination is futile; all you are achieving is the destruction of innocent lives.”
Wright stared hard into Leon’s eyes, and Leon stared right back. The air suddenly felt tense around the two men as their staring contest progressed. “My offer remains.” Wright said, the suppressed anger seeping from his words. “If you pledge your loyalty to me, I will spare you, but only after proving your devotion to the cause. If not, you will be executed before my new recruits, and I promise you it won’t be quick.” With that, Wright made an abrupt turn towards the door, his two body guards stepping to either side to let him past. “As you were soldier. I don’t want our guest to sleep comfortably tonight.”
“Yes sir!” the soldier replied.
“Have all the preparations been made for tomorrow?” Wright asked, leaning his head out the bedroom doorway.
“Indeed sir.” one of his body guards answered. “The trucks are fuelled and ready to bring the recruits back to HQ. He have shackles attached to the beds of each truck, but hopefully they won’t be needed.”
“And we’ve set up an execution post in the Northern corner of the fort.” the second bodyguard chimed in. “I took the liberty of sending your pistol to the armor to be cleaned and polished. I will be ready before it comes time to execute the prisoner tomorrow sir.”
“Excellent. This is why I chose you two as my personal bodyguards. Your efficiency is uncanny. Well, begin your rounds men. I must rest before the big day tomorrow.”
“Goodnight Fuhrer Wright.” The guards said in unison.
With that Wright’s bodyguards began walking down the hall, leaving their Fuhrer alone. Gently closing the door, Wright turned to face his massive king sized bed. The mattress seemed to beckon, as the man had an unusually active day, attempting the raise his men’s moral for the coming assault on Senna. Tomorrow would bring yet another active day, in fact the single most active day of his time as Fuhrer of the Wright Group. Morning would start with the final interrogation of Leon, the strange young man that had wandered right up to the front gate of the fort. Later the assault on Senna would begin, hopefully ending with his four large cargo trucks full of new recruits, eager to take up arms in Wright’s name. If all went as Wright expected, the day would end with the public execution of Leon, to serve as a warning to anyone who dared cross Theodore Wright. Guided by nothing but the dim light of an oil lamp atop his nightstand, Wright walked over to his closet. As one would expect of a great military leader, Wright was very concerned with his wardrobe. His walk in closet had over a dozen uniforms, all carefully arranged and ready for use. Many of the uniforms were topped with jackets taken from Amestrian soldiers. Wright found the jackets gave him a more official appearance, and the bullet holes found in most the jackets gave him the appearance of a rouged veteran of war. It was ironic, since Wright had never actually experienced much combat. He had in fact been rejected by the Amestrian military in his youth, as they claimed him physically and mentally unfit for duty. Now Wright was wearing the jackets of Amestrian soldiers his men killed. Surely this proved without a shadow of a doubt they were wrong about him. Not only was he a natural leader, Wright was the future Fuhrer of all of Amestris.
Wright finished hanging up the various pieces of his uniform and dawned a simple pair of silk pajama bottoms. He patted his bare gut, taking a deep breath and turning towards his bed, clearly visible just outside the closet door. Wright took a step towards his bed, but was suddenly halted when a blue flash of light cast his shadow over the bed. Wright whipped around as fast as he could, but by the time he turned he could see nothing but an open palm speeding towards him. The open palm struck him in the throat, preventing him from calling out as he was pushed out of his closet. Falling to the ground by his bed, Wright grasped at his neck, coughing profusely, but dryly.
“What the hell!” Wright tried to shout, but his voice was quiet and raspy. Wright attempted to rise to his feet, taking one hand away from his throat and placing it on the bed for leverage. Though he was little more than a silhouette in the closet doorway, the dim light was still enough for Wright to see that it was Leon, dry blood still coating his face. “How? How did you get in here?”
“The back door was open so I let myself in.” Leon replied, seeming quite relaxed as he spoke. Looking past Leon, Wright could indeed see an open door in his closet, but one that surely wasn’t there when he entered mere minutes ago. “That’s impossible, how did you…” Wright paused, noticing a white circle in the middle of the strange door, a pattern of triangles and hexagons filling the inside. A transmutation circle! “You’re an alchemist?”
“Indeed.” Leon replied. “Your men failed to relive me of my boots, in which I had hidden transmutation circles. Escaping was quite easy. After that retrieving my belongings was a trivial matter. I would have thanked your man form leaving everything just in the next room, but I’m afraid my words fell on dead ears.” Wright scowled, the hatred in his eyes burning like an inferno. “I suppose now would be a good time to tell you why I’m here Wright.” Taking a step forward, Leon reached into his back pocket and produced a rectangular piece of metal. “I prefer not to talk to long, so I’ll get straight to the point. Wright, I’ve come here to kill you.” Just as Leon finished speaking, a gentle glow emitted form the metal in his hand and the weapon began distorting itself. Within moments, the metal Leon had been holding had become a large curved knife, a black karambit.
The anger in Wright’s eyes quickly turned to fear, now seeing Leon’s true intentions. Quickly reaching under the pillows on the bed, Wright drew a small revolver. Wright had never imagined that he would ever actually have to resort to using the gun, he simply kept the weapon under his pillow to bolster his sense of security. Now it was the only thing between him and his would be assassin.
“Checkmate boy!” Wright tried to yell, leveling the revolver at Leon’s chest. Not giving Leon a chance to run, Wright pulled the trigger, but rather than the loud bang he was expecting, the weapon replied with a light click. Holding onto the hope that the misfire was simply due to his first round being a dud, Wright fired again, and again. Wright fired until the cylinder made a complete revolution without a single round going off. “No. No no no no no!” Wright continued to pull the trigger on the revolver, his no’s sounding more and more like hoarse whimpering. “The firing pin on that weapon has been alchemically altered Wright. It won’t fire. There’s nothing you can do to evade this fate.”
Wright made one last desperate move to stop Leon, throwing the revolver itself as the young man. Though the weapon did hit hard against Leon’s chest, it hardly did anything to stop him. Wright scrambled over the king sized bed, making a mad dash for the door. But the rounded man was slow, and Leon was quick. Wright was still an arm’s length away from the door when Leon glided in behind him, jabbing the karambit into the back of Wrights head. The blade buried itself in the man’s brain, killing him instantly. Wright’s body went limp, crashing face first into the wall just left of the door.
Using Wright’s pants to whipped the blood off his karambit, Leon took on last look at the man’s body, blood slowly seeping from the wound in his head. Despite Wright being little more than a mad man, Leon couldn’t help but feel sorry the man’s life had to end so violently. Leon had once heard that Wright had been rejected for enlistment by the Amestrian military. It was odd how some men went about rejection. Some simply accept it, while others try to force themselves upon whatever it was that rejected them. Wright took his rejection so poorly he was determined to destroy the entire country he felt rejected him. Pity one would put forth so much effort only to end up a gelatinous heap leaking out onto a finely polished wooden floor.
“Fuhrer Wright!” Leon heard someone call from the other side of the door. Leon quickly inferred the voice belonged to one of the dead man’s bodyguards. “Are you alright Fuhrer? Please answer!”
“We’re coming in sir!” A second voice shouted. The door opened, but only slightly, the dead man blocking its path. “What the hell?”
Acting fast, Leon scooped Wright’s revolver up off the floor. As he had expected, the small transmutation circle he had carved onto the base of the weapon’s wooden handle was still there. Placing a finger on the circle, a brief flash of blue like emanated, Leon returning the firing pin to its original state. The two guards were trying hard to push the door open, but Wright’s roughly two hundred and thirty pound frame was making it difficult. Only adding to their troubles was the fact the door was only wide enough for one of them to push on it at a time. After a few hard shoved the door was open just enough for one of the guards to try and squeeze into the dim room.
“Furher Wright!” The man screamed, his body only half way into the room. Looking down he could clearly see the body of his former leader, but upon looking up into the room, the guard saw nothing but the barrel of a revolver.
Firing a single shot, Leon killed the guard instantly, the wall behind his target being the recipient of a brain and blood shower. Not giving the other guard time to react, Leon fired several more shots as the first guard was still falling, aiming right through the wooden door. The thud of the man’s body falling against the back wall indicated Leon’s shots had hit their mark. Shuffling to the side, Leon could see the second guard slumped against the wall, two bullet holes in his upper chest and a cold stare in his eyes.