She'd faced the Fuehrer before, most recently when he granted her command of Briggs. Olivia kept her gaze and breathing even. So he wasn't human. He still looked the same, and Briggs had carved itself into her. Survival of the fittest.
And she was fit. It wasn't just in her blood -- her Armstrong blood -- it was in her skin, her bones, every cell of her being, and in her soul. Her pulse quickened, but her voice didn't waver when she told the Fuehrer everything General Raven had told her -- that the Fuehrer was a homunculus, that he was building an immortal army, that he had something called Sloth digging a vast tunnel -- and that she had executed him. Her knees did not shake as the Fuehrer considered her, frowning slightly, his good eye cold and hard.
The Fuehrer stroked his chin. "And knowing all this, you still answered my summons."
This was it. "Yes." She met his gaze without flinching. "Let me have that fool's seat, please."
"Hmmm." His eye tightened, and the way he glared at her would have terrified her had she been a different woman. Someone not of Briggs.
He laughed, so loudly and so suddenly that she almost jumped. Almost. "Interesting! Very interesting! I love it."
She bowed her head, her only concession to her relief. And only a brief concession. She still hadn't won her seat, and once she had, the hard work would begin.
"Very well." He rose and came around his desk, planting his scabbard on the ground by her left foot. "You shall have your seat."
She raised her head to meet his eyes. He loomed over her, but instead of intimidating her, it calmed her down. They both knew he wasn't human, but intentionally or not, he was using very human tactics to cow her. She wouldn't let them work.
"In exchange, control of Briggs will be given to my subordinates."
She lowered her eyes. "As you wish. They are all exemplary soldiers that I've trained personally. And they're yours to command."
"Excellent. That just leaves the matter of your punishment."
"You may, as you say, have done me a favor by executing General Raven for being a weak, loose-lipped bootlicker, but his character does not change the fact that you killed your superior officer." He moved closer, and Olivia could feel his power. "There needs to be a battlefield for that type of promotion."
"With all due respect, sir, Briggs is a battlefield."
"Briggs is harsh and unforgiving, but it is not yet a battlefield." He forced her chin up with the hilt of his sword. "To keep order, I must discipline you, major general."
She frowned. "How?"
"Hmmmm. That is a good question." He stepped back, so fast and so sudden that she didn't even see him move. "Strip."
She blinked. "Excuse me?"
"Strip, Armstrong. I'll have you earn your uniform back."
Her hand twitched toward her sword. He wanted her to play the whore? Her, a decorated general, an Armstrong?
Again, the Fuehrer moved so fast, she didn't see him. He was back before her again, sword drawn, the flat of his blade over her gloved knuckles. "I do believe one of Colonel Mustang's subordinates was assigned to your former command. As isolated as Briggs is, I am sure military news reaches you." He stepped closer, and his sword slid over her hand, not cutting her, but the threat was there. "I can do the same with your men. They are, after all, mine to command."
She forced herself to relax. "As am I," she managed, though she wasn't sure how convincing she sounded since she forced it out between clenched teeth. She slowly moved her hand towards her belt buckle.
The Fuehrer sheathed his sword and stepped back. "Very good."
She was still glaring as she removed her sword and -- damn, she hated to do it -- presented it to him. He took it gravely, like he understood what it meant, the bastard.
Well, she wouldn't give him the satisfaction of humiliating her. Olivia forced her expression neutral and stripped quickly and efficiently, folding her uniform neatly so it would not be wrinkled when she -- she fought a snarl -- earned it back.
The Fuehrer allowed her to place her uniform on his desk. He placed her sword on top of it, then turned to survey her. She refused, absolutely refused, to blush or look away. Instead she stood at attention, shoulders back, eyes forward, every bit a soldier.
No, not just a soldier. Every bit the commander of Briggs.
Someone slammed open the door at the far end of his office open and stalked into the room. "You should let me handle Scar since Kimberly is otherwise occupied." He, or she, noticed Olivia. "Oh. You're still playing with your generals."
"Armstrong has just earned a seat at the table."
"Is that so?"
"Yes. Though before she assumes it, there is one last matter. Perhaps you'd be kind enough to assist me, Envy."
"Perhaps," Envy purred, circling Olivia like a cat.
She kept her back straight and refused to shudder. Envy's power prickled over her, oily and unsettling. Almost as unsettling as that green hair and purple eyes, the slitted pupils.
"It seems your assessment of General Raven was correct. Armstrong killed him."
"Oh?" Envy rested his chin on her shoulder and laughed when she twitched him off. "I love it! It's just like Gran."
"Gran was on the battlefield."
"Oh, so this isn't a reward?" Envy circled around in front of her and...changed. There was a white-blue crackle, and Olivia could taste ozone, and then a second Fuehrer stood before her. "Sucking my cock," Envy said, sounding like the Fuehrer, too, "is quite the honor. I don't fuck just any subordinate."
"Envy," the real Fuehrer said, warning.
"Well, we are going to fuck her, aren't we?"
"Not as a reward."
She should keep quiet, but this Envy disgusted her. "Why do you keep such undisciplined company, sir? It reminds me of Raven."
"Envy is far more capable than Raven," the real Fuehrer said mildly.
"Envy is far more capable than any human," Envy said, its grin wild and jagged. "So how should I assist? Maybe," it said, transforming into General Raven's form, "as the man she killed? Or," it transformed again, this time into Mustang, complete with the cocky little smirk. "As Mustang?" Another transformation, her brother, shirtless, this time. "Or," Envy struck one of Alex's poses, muscles flexing, "the finest specimen of the Armstrong line?"
She was crossing the distance to Envy, three quick strides, before she could think about what she was doing. She slapped it, hard, and oh, it was a mistake, but she would not have that thing tainting her brother's form. Yes, Alex was too soft sometimes, too caring, but he was still an Armstrong. And he was still her younger brother, and siblings looked after each other.
Envy laughed, and the grin that sliced across its face was not her brother's. It swept her into an embrace that was all Alex, though, lifting her like she was nothing. She clawed at its shoulders, ignoring the hard cord of muscle beneath her hands, the flex of its pecs against her chest.
But she could not ignore the crackle of another transformation, then the feel of bare flesh beneath her. The coarse hair on Envy's upper thighs tickled hers, and she felt its cock harden as she struggled.
And she could not ignore the feel of the Fuehrer moving in behind her. She growled and arched away from Envy. "Do what you wish. You are not my brother, so if you think I'll feel ashamed, you will be disappointed."
"You will do what I wish, Envy," the Fuehrer said, and Olivia could hear him unfastening his pants.
Envy set her back down on the ground, so she was pinned between it and the Fuehrer, and forced her thighs apart. It teased her with its fingers, and she focused on that sharp grin because everything else about it screamed Alex. Her brother was not making her wet. Her brother was not spreading her legs, nor was he lifting her onto his cock, stretching her impossibly wide.
"You seem to be enjoying this, Armstrong," the Fuehrer said, pressed so close that his jacket scratched along her back.
"You'd prefer I'd fight?" She wrapped her legs around Envy's hips, determined to get some purchase, some control, though she refused to...to fuck it back.
He chuckled. "Envy would." He slid slick fingers down the crack of her ass, but he didn't spend much time opening her. She wasn't ready for him, but Envy was confusing the rest of her body, so it didn't hurt as much as...
Well, she couldn't decide what it felt like. She was too full, and Envy's grin was faltering, so it looked more and more like the real Alex, and despite her brave words -- that thing was not her brother -- it felt like Alex, and it felt good inside her, and it confused her.
But she couldn't look away. She couldn't close her eyes. She couldn't show any indecision, weakness, any sign of defeat. She couldn't because she was the commander of Briggs, because her soldiers were depending on her, because she knew they were doing what she expected of them.
Because there were things like the Fuehrer, this Envy, that monster Sloth who saw the citizens as nothing but fodder for some arcane alchemy. Because they were wrong and had to be stopped. Because some upstart kid and that snotty Mustang weren't going to claim all the glory.
Because she was Olivia Mira Armstrong, and nobody fucked with her like this.
She would make them pay. She dug her fingers tighter into Envy's shoulders. She'd take them apart with her own hands, watch for that moment when they realized their own mortality, because nothing, not even monsters, lived forever.
But first, she had to take Raven's seat at the Fuehrer's table. And to do that, she had to endure.