V The Siege of Espen Station

Roy Mustang

probably plotting something
Level 6
Level 5
Aug 1, 2018
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Cytokine Industries
“It’s too late in the day for guessing games. What am I looking at, Feury?” Mustang scowled, his arms crossed. The room was sequestered in darkness, lit only by the dull green text displayed on a single monitor.

The faintly highlighted outline of Master Sergeant Kain Feury adjusted his glasses.

“Well sir, that’s just it. This information doesn’t make sense… there’s something not right about it.”

“Like it’s dangerous?” Mustang grimaced, “So the unmaking can be transmitted digitally as well?”

“No, no! Just that things aren’t adding up, sir.” Feury waved his hands quickly, and Mustang allowed himself to relax a bit, "When Hamada grabbed this information from the database in Saren’s compound, he was grabbing as much as he could that looked important. A lot of it seems to actually be encrypted using the same methods as we use here.”

“Likely taken with Saren when he disappeared then…” Mustang nodded with a frown.

“Well sir, that’s why I’m confused. Some of the data that we’re getting back once it’s decrypted isn’t making sense. See these here? They look like coordinates, and there’s a bunch of codes associated with it like it’s a facility. Door pads, landing codes, alarm clearances, all of it lines up with our methods of data storage. But it doesn’t match anything that we have on our database. The protocol structure’s right, but I’m starting to wonder if maybe Saren is bluffing or something, and he’s using a different method that just looks like ours. I’m running the coordinates through a series of queries to our external-”

“Stop looking for matches.” Mustang interrupted with a frown.


“Saren’s devious, but he’s also practical. He wouldn’t throw out a working system to make a new one that impersonates it. Moreover, I don’t think he saw himself as all that separate from Markov, despite his actions, he wasn’t so spiteful to want to lay that kind of trap.” Mustang leaned closer to the screen, committing the numbers to memory.

“There's something there important enough that he didn't want anyone to know more than the location. I want you to scrub every trace of that data out of our facilities, Fuery. Hard copy only. If we’re getting into more of Markov’s secrets, I don’t want to give any sort of a trail to anyone looking into it. Who’s still here?”

“Uh, I saw Second Lieutenant Breda and Second Lieutenant Havoc maybe twenty minutes ago? Lieutenant Hawkeye’s gone home for the night though I think.” Feury tapped his chin in thought.

“Find Falman too if you can. We’ll be needing his memory.” Mustang nodded faintly to himself, then turned towards the door. He swung it open, spilling sunset light into the dark room.

“Round up everyone and meet me down in archive room four.”

“Gotta say, sir. I didn’t think you had clearance for this kind of stuff!” Second Lieutenant Breda chuckled as the five of them filed into the stale-smelling room full of shelves.

“It would seem that Hughes has been talking me up with the staff here. The receptionist was cute, but I think Hughes may have gotten her hopes a tad high.” Mustang reached up to pull on a length of chain dangling from the ceiling. The fluorescent lights sputtered and blinked, but slowly began to illuminate the volumes and volumes of old reports.

“We’re looking for gazetteers or information on old expeditions.” Mustang crossed his hands behind his back, turning to his men, “We likely haven’t been anywhere near the place in quite some time. If our suspicions are correct, this place may well have been no-contact since before the End itself. When we leave this room, you are not to speak of this mission to anyone unless I give the express order. Understood?”

The four junior officers saluted and the group dispersed amongst the shelves. The records had likely been organized once, but it quickly became apparent that time had done only so much to preserve the labels upon both shelves and spines.

“Awww cripes.” Havoc wilted as he flipped through the loose leaf pages of a folder, “This is going to be one of those all-night sorts of problems, isn’t it… I had a date with a really cute girl tonight…”

“Any man worth his salt should have plenty of interested women. Only a weak one would agonize over missing a single date.” Mustang stated as though it were a matter of fact. He grabbed another volume off a shelf, ignoring Havoc’s deadpan stare, as well as Breda's consolatory pat on the other lieutenant's shoulder.

An hour passed, then another, possibly several more. It was difficult to judge truly, in that stuffy room cluttered with the depreciated knowledge of bygone recorders. Mustang didn’t feel inclined to check his pocket watch any more and Havoc had lapsed into a sort of melancholic daze as he listlessly checked the next shelf.

“This one’s similar, sir.” Warrant Officer Falman poked around the end of an aisle with a tattered tome in his hand. Mustang took the book, opening it to the page Falman had been holding.

“Yeah, this is a damn old way of notating, but it looks close to what we’re aiming for.” Mustang set the book down on a table, brow furrowing. “The wastes, huh?”

It was another hour before they had triangulated enough of a position to feel comfortable they had the right locale. The five of them stood around the map they had laid out with a collective feeling of disappointment. If the Pilot’s union had done more extensive scouting of the Wastes, they hadn’t seen fit to share this information with Cytokine. Or perhaps, Cytokine hadn’t seen fit to share the information with themselves. Mustang grimaced, staring at the circled area on the map. It was information enough to find the damn place, that would have to suffice for now.

“Falman. You have the location memorized?” He raised an eyebrow at the taller man, who started in brief surprise at the question, but nodded. The man had a memory like a steel trap. Mustang nodded back then raised a hand.


The map burned to ashes leaving only a small amount of soot to indicate it had ever before existed. Mustang removed the ignition glove, placing it back into a pocket as he turned towards the door.

“That’s all for now. I need to collect some people. Tomorrow we begin preparations for an expeditionary force.“

Mustang has used one application of Focus to sweet-talk his way into record-rooms he otherwise did not have clearance to access.