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(Back to Letter #1)

Letter #2

Hi Cath,

You know, it's like the guy reads minds. Remember when I said I could put up with a creaky back and wasn't going to say a thing to the Colonel? Well, somehow the bastard found out anyway. I'll never figure out how he does that.

He waltzed into my room one night (he did knock, but he would've come in no matter what I said), and he brought a hot water bottle and an Ishvallan healer to look at me. I don't know, maybe I looked stiff that afternoon when I bent over to pick something up or something, and didn't realize he was watching me. Or the Gate gave him magic eyes, and we'll never be able to lie to him again. Who knows? (Can you imagine what that would be like? I don't think I could stand that, actually.)

Still, we took the day off yesterday, and a bunch of us, including all of Mustang's circle, and the Ishvallan healer, all went a few miles south to a hot spring. There used to be a whole complex there, with healers and special treatments, and pools with big steps going down into them, and ledges in the pools where you could sit in the warm water. I think it was a medical training facility too.

We were quite the military entourage. The thing is, Mustang does other things too, that make you like the guy. He never told anyone else why we were really going – to try to treat my aching back. I could have travelled with the healer and maybe a small bodyguard. But instead, he told everyone they needed a break, and we all went together. So I didn't stand out.

Anyway, of course the place had been wrecked in the war. But some of the healers have gotten together, and they're starting to rebuild. One of the pools isn't in too bad shape, and I guess it's still connected to the underground streams of hot water. So the healer – his name is Yukub – got us all to sit in the water for an hour. And I did feel a lot better after that. Everybody did.

That Mustang. What a guy.

He says he thinks Mei – that's the really short girl from Xing, the one that Alphonse likes – he thinks she'll be coming back this way for a visit to Risembool, not too long from now. He might even have sent to ask if she would detour down here first, and help do more healing on my back. Not that it needs very much. I'm not sure what she can do about stiffness.

I told him, “I will if you will.” But he got all lofty, you know the way he does, and he said, “Your recovery was through natural healing processes aided by alchemy, Havoc. Mine was through a bargain. There's a difference.” So I suppose he means that the eyesight he's got now is pretty much it? It doesn't sound like he's going to be getting rid of those glasses. But we're kind of the same. We'll both get by just fine.

I admit there were some Ishvallans who weren't too thrilled that we went to the hot springs. There are some who aren't too thrilled that we're here, period. We get resistance sometimes to the things we're trying to do here. You know how it goes: “We don't need your help, we're fine on our own.” All that pride. I just remember that it's all they've got left, some of them. But there's no way a farmer with no seeds or farm animals, and a farm that's been smashed to rubble, is going to be able to farm on his own.

So we give 'em the seeds, and we set up teams to clear away the rubble, and we import building materials and animals from neighbouring provinces in the south, and they get back to farming sooner than later. I know it's hard for some of them not to resent it. But we try to make sure they're dealing with Ishvallans and we stay behind the scenes as much as we can.

We're careful, though, Cath, so don't worry. We're not stupid. Scar wasn't the only Ishvallan who decided that killing people from Amestris was the only way to respond to what we did. We know there are still some out there with his ideas, even if they don't have power to act on them, like he did. So we keep a careful guard, and we're doing all right. So don't worry. Got that?


(Letter 3)

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May 2012

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