P L A Y E R I N F O R M A T I O NYour Name: Ashlee
OOC Journal: bushyeyebrows
Under 18? If yes, what is your age?: NAH.
Email + IM: Ashtraydentist@aol.com
Characters Played at Ataraxion: throwsdown | Takeshi | Gantz
C H A R A C T E R I N F O R M A T I O N
Name: Maes Hughes
Canon: Full Metal Alchemist (Manga)
Original or Alternate Universe: Original
Canon Point: Post-death (Chapter 15)
Setting: Check out this fine-ass wiki link.
And this super detailed one, too, for Hughes! I'll keep my history brief to avoid making your eyes glaze over, but this is a good post to see any little details, as it pretty intimately covers every little section of the manga and anime that Hughes is involved in.
Hughes' earliest point is actually introduced in a Brotherhood (2009 anime) short that I think would be alright to include in a manga history: he's first seen as a young and mildly idealistic soldier-to-be, accidentally getting himself a sort of bitter rivalry with Roy Mustang before they reconcile their difference in time to help defend a young Ishvalan man from a group of bigots... which is pretty sad and ironic, considering not very long after this, they're catapulted into the Ishvalan War, a genocidal and nearly one-sided fight in which Amestris had torn down the land brick-by-brick, using their soldiers as weary cannon-fodder and madmen determined to help wipe out an entire group of people. Roy and Hughes don't see each other after graduation until this point, where Hughes has risen with surprising swiftness through the ranks due to the constant deaths among the lead military here.
Both gaidens and flashback chapters later in the series focus on Roy, Riza, and Hughes as they struggle through their designated places in the war, which ultimately leads to Hughes finding two reasons to keep fighting: to push Mustang to the top of the ladder and help redeem themselves for the atrocities committed, and to return to his sweetheart Gracia and live for her sake despite his sins. From that point, Hughes begins the journey of supporting Roy from the lower ranks; he takes up a job in Investigations, collecting the inside scoop of what's going on where, transferring intel to Roy as needed. When he's introduced into the present story line he's shown to now have a daughter with mentioned sweetheart and is living in Central City. What is originally him traveling to take in Shou Tucker (an alchemist who had horrifically mutated his daughter and her dog together into a chimera), he finds the man is dead — and likely due to a State Alchemist serial killer they deem 'Scar'.
He gets onboard the investigation and tells Roy to stay low, and later on when Scar does finally target Mustang they note that he is Ishvalan and likely focused on revenge for what had happened all those years ago during the war. Sending out the command to distribute detailed information about the escaped fugitive, Hughes returns to home base after giving Edward and his brother well wishes. Later on, Hughes is dismayed to find his job even more aggrivating after a fire takes out a huge portion of the paperwork needed for investigations to run smoothly; it's at this point that he's introduced via the Elrics to a young girl with a photographic memory named Sheska (who had worked in the library prior to its collapse); he hires pretty much on the spot. Good for her!
The next (probably best known Hughes part, lets be real) time he's really seen is during Elicia's third birthday, in which he's an overwhelming but doting father and offers up advice to Winry Rockbell, a childhood friend of the Elrics who is frustrated by their silence despite their troubles. Maes tells her that they're likely afraid of burdening her with their troubles, but that eventually they will feel the need to come to her and ask for her support (or at least that's the general idea of their talk). Hughes pulls guns on small children in this chapter, too, it's great. With the Scar case getting colder and the deaths finally stopping, Hughes focuses his attentions elsewhere: Lab 5, or specifically, Edward and Alphonse's involvement with it, where the brothers tell both him and Major Armstrong that they had deciphered ex-State Alchemist Tim Marcoh's decoded messages and learned of the possibility that someone out there was creating Philosopher's Stones out of living human beings. Edward produces sketches of the Ouroboros mark worn by some of the assailants in Lab 5, as well as a transmutation circle he'd seen while there.
And what... lovely drawings they are.
With this information, Hughes prepares to launch into a possible investigation, but Fuhrer Bradley deems it too dangerous and that they need to lay low until further orders. Later on, Hughes takes note of the political turmoil occuring all across the map when he realizes that Amestris' military activity seems to have a pattern: all riots, wars, skirmishes, and the like involving their armies all coincide with the shape of the transmutation circle Edward had showed him earlier. Stunned at the idea of such a huge and mysterious operation occuring within their own ranks and military, Hughes pursues the lead and finds that every location synced up with the transmutation circle, all points in which Philosopher Stone's were manufactured. He determines to contact Roy and the Fuhrer immediately... and then realizes that the phone lines are not only unsafe, but that literally anyone within Central could be involved in this underground operation. After he's attacked by Lust, a homunculus sporting the ouroboros tattoo Edward had drawn, Maes makes his way outside to a phone booth, with the hopes that he could contact Mustang on a more private line to tell him his discoveries.
He's caught off guard by a separate homunculus named Envy, who has the capabilities to shapeshift into any person he'd like. When Hughes turns to fight back, Envy turns into Gracia — and Hughes, unable to attack the visage of his wife, is tragically shot and killed, left to bleed out in the phone booth.
Hughes is well known on the surface for a very outrageously devoted and humorous personality, socially outgoing and extroverted — it only takes five minutes with the guy to know that he is an overbearing and loving father and a very proud and doting husband (sometimes to a fault, because he's seen in earlier flashbacks getting jealous at the thought of anyone else trying to hit on Gracia, and likewise displays a lot of Protective Dad Mode when it comes to her male playdates, haha). He usually has a smile on his face and is always a very, very welcoming person; he quickly drags the Elrics and Winry into his home and is very hospitable to them, as is the Hughes Family Way, and is shown to have a lot of love to give, especially in regards to his family. Yeah, one look at him and you see a huge doofus who gives you an earful and is someone you'd probably prefer to have around in short bursts, if he's in one of those moods and Elicia'd done something specifically cute that day. Add this to him having no problem with being a goofball who intentionally thrives on annoying people, and he's a powerhouse when it comes to driving Mustang or Edward or any poor soul up a wall.
Hughes is certainly a very supportive character, someone who wants to help look out for those that he thinks he can help, someone who wants to give whatever advice he can offer. He gives it freely to Winry and always lets the boys know he's got his ears open for them if he's ever needed; his entire purpose within the military is to help Roy get to the big leagues, to be part of the backbone if needed and provide both emotional and intellectual support. Part of it is all too likely a result of the quiet guilt festering inside him, knowing the damage caused during his part in the war.
Mustang and Hughes' story lines are spurned by the desire for redemption, or — if they can't redeem themselves, as they figure — at the very least a chance to protect future generations from ending up like them. Hughes wants better for the future. Wants better for Elicia and all those growing up into this new generation. So he does what he's able to, trying to make Mustang's dream a reality. And of course, it demonstrates — alongside his reliability — that he's not only a good confidant, but someone you can put your trust in. He's not one for petty promises or half-assedness. Actually, he's shown to be quite the intense busybody, work-work-working and getting as much done as he's able; he doesn't sit on his thumbs despite his very casual and friendly aura, and is typically always busy with something. He's seen falling asleep on his own paperwork in some circumstances, and is referred to as sometimes coming home too late due to having so many all-nighters at the office.
In regards to his work, Hughes can also be a dark character. He's a realist despite his very cheery nature, and he's all too aware that the world can be cruel and gloomy. It's how he's able to do his job and investigate death after countless death; he's numbed to a lot of things, learns how to channel it, and because of that he can be sometimes very calm and casual even in the darkest of scenes. He learns it the way anyone learns it: by being subjected to it so much, it becomes first nature, expected and assumed. The Ishval War put a very large dent in what used to be a more idealistic nature, and it's shown that his work in the war has made his skin extremely thick and his morals ambiguous if needed. He has no problem with covering up a mess if it's for the greater good, as seen when he blames the death of one of their leaders in the war — a bloody-hungry man named Fessler — on a stay bullet, when it was in fact one of their own who silenced him. He knows nothing is black and white and is all too familiar with getting your hands dirty. He just prefers to avoid it, if at all possible.
Hughes also is good at his job not just because of his intelligence, but also because of his outright nosiness. Whether he's butting into people's personal business or very carefully looking into an actual case, Hughes is well-known for being resourceful and observant, and in that regard, poking his nose into things is unfortunately what led him to his death. Which is quite tragic when you keep in mind that Hughes is actually not that keen on fighting, personally. He's seen actually keeping a distance from Scar during the confrontation with Mustang and the others. When it's pointed out to him, he tells them all that he's just a normal guy and he's not exactly one to stack up against actual alchemy. He knows his limits and is aware of what he is and isn't capable of, which is super duper sad because well so much for that working out for him.
Abilities, Weaknesses and Power Limitations:
Hughes is a very intelligent man with a good eye for detail, is very book-smart and knows just how to work around a system. He's also very good at playing up his more harmless attributes while secretly being a little shit and getting what he needs, for whatever he needs it for (primarily intel). He's very skilled with throwing knives, and they are his primary weapon, though he does know how to use guns if necessary. He's limited by his completely human and very squishy body, and though he's in good shape, he's still just a simple human being with no alchemic skills or anything of the sort. Just your average Joe!
+ Military uniform.
+ Throwing knife set.
+ More pictures.
+ Dog tags.
+ ... Maybe a locker full of pictures.
This strapping fellow. Facial hair, black hair, golden-green eyes. Fairly tall, broad white guy.
AU Clarification: N/A
S A M P L E S
Hughes tries not to chalk everything up to fate, because that sort of thing is made exclusively by yourself — but even he has to admit, this seems like something out there in time and space wasn't quite done with him, was it? Granted, he could do without the blue goop and the general panic and the — everything else. But this isn't the worst thing ever. It beats a lot of moments in Hughes' life, dying included.
Crap. Crap, crap, crap.
He tries not to think about that too much, because it's torturous and doesn't do him any good; if he thinks about dying, he thinks about home, and if he thinks about home, he thinks about the little girl waiting for him — asking where he is in the morning, when she's getting ready for the day and needs papa to put her hair up — and he just could not go down that path right now. It's easier to focus on how utterly screwed over Amestris and the surrounding nations are than his family, easier to think about how he had the information there at the tips of his fingers and the carpet got yanked right out from under him, just when it was the most crucial moment to get Roy on the damn phone.
There's gotta be a way to get in contact with them, right? This place is supposed to be a technological wonder (and boy, is it). Surely there's some way of... he's not sure, shooting a freaky phone line down? How fun would that be, contacting Roy-ol'-buddy-ol'-pal from a space ship that takes in the dead. How would you even begin that conversation? 'Hey, Roy, I'm super dead — sorry about that! How's my girls? Sorry for turning into a crime scene. How's the team? By the way, there's a giant transmutation circle you should probably look into.' Yeah, that's not gonna fly very well. Ugh.
Maybe he can at least put some faith in Roy's smarts. Maybe he'll figure out just what Hughes couldn't get to him in time. Maybe his death'll at least be a clue in and of itself that something horribly, horribly wrong is going down.
He could only hope.
[SIGH. That's right — sigh.]
Getting homesick already, and it's only been how long? I can't even help myself; if you guys knew the beautiful, flawless angels I have waiting for me back home, you'd be crying buckets just sympathizing with me! Or maybe tears of envy; I know, I know, it's hard to imagine anyone could have a gift from the heavens like my sweet little Elicia, but I suppose I'm just the luckiest man alive!
[A pause for emphasis. Aha.]
Oho? What's that? You're asking me to show you this perfect child of mine? Well, I happen to have a very handy wallet with all the pictures you could ask for!! Featuring Elicia Hughes and Gracia Hughes, the best darn family in all of existance!! [And of course par the cOURSE LOOK AT MY BABY GIRL LOOK AT THIS LONG UNFOLDED COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS] Look, look at this one — this is Elicia's first birthday!
Isn't she the cutest thing ever?!
[jesus his voice just gets higher the longer he goes]
Ah, Elicia, don't worry! Papa's doing just fine! He's making all kinds of new friends and partial enemies around here! Making the most of a space trip — which, by the way? Is pretty damn crazy. I mean...
[He somehow manages to slide from 'insane father' to 'serious conversation' flawlessly, so give that man an award or something. He runs a hand through his spiked hair, leaning his chin against his palm finally.]
Talk about something you don't expect. We don't exactly have... you know. Ships in space, back home. Especially not something of this size and magnitude. Makes you really wonder how this place works. I hear about the things that have gone on, all the weird scenarios... Sounds a lot like how alchemy works, if I know anything at all about the boys back home. Sure, it seems implausible, but there's probably some scientific method in there somewhere, right? Wonder what could happen if any of us were able to crack how it all actually worked.
[You got him, man. He's just spitballing while the getting's good.]