In Roy Mustang's opinion, work emergencies should be outlawed so that he will never have to be distracted from a planned date.

Actually, he thinks, it would be even more convenient if he could get paid for not doing any work at all—if he could be paid for just sunbathing in Aquaroya, with a woman on each arm.

But nothing in life is that simple, he tells himself, and he turns back to the emergency at hand with an unvoiced sigh. He is a realist; there's no time for fantasies on his watch.

He likes things easy. He always has. But his father taught him that ease only comes after hard work, and his mother taught him how to be subtle about that work, so that no one would feel as if he lived only by trampling others. And he learned to think ahead from his grandfather, over the chess board on the back porch of their home.

Setup, he was told, is always the most important part. Sometimes, pieces have to be sacrificed. But the moment that's priceless, his grandfather would say, would be the moment you knew you won.

He is competitive, it is true, but he prefers to pick and choose his battles. He does not seek out conflict; he lets it come to him. But he did not forget the importance of setup. He is always ready. And if he is a bit eager, he does not let it show.

It's true he wants to change things. It would be hard, he thinks, to go through a war so brutal as Ishbal, and not wish to alter the world in some way, to keep a massacre like that from ever being considered a remote necessity again. He is poising himself to make those changes; the pieces are falling into place, the enemy's queen is about to be captured, and the king will soon be in check.

But when the moment he knows he's won comes to pass, he thinks, the best part will be knowing he can relax.