Late one night, a style-less, capital-less assassin makes an attempt on an innocent life and learns just why Sammies are dangerous…
Disclaimer: I do not own Discworld, though I keep Vimes in my Closet with all my other fictional prisoners…
Apologies for inaccuracies- I don't know if Pseudopolis does have a Guild system, it was just the name that popped into my head as I wrote this.
The assassin crouched in the shadows of the alley that separated the rows of houses. His job description didn't merit a capital 'a'; he wasn't some sort of Guild member. This was Pseudopolis after all. He kept his gaze fixed on his target- the ramshackle building in front of him. His client had been very specific- this bastard had blabbed, kill him quick and don't get caught. Don't bother about style, frills and delicacy or any of that other crap- make it plain and simple, messy as you like. That was good. This assassin had no style. He liked it simple and messy.
He crept forwards, keeping back in the shadows, but allowing himself a closer scrutiny of his target- how to get in? What he'd been told was the man would be on the second floor of the run-down dwelling. And…yes, the wall was cracked and rent, the stone mossy and crumbling. What sort of moneyless beggar lived in this place?
Glancing around the dark street, the assassin darted forwards and flattened himself against the stone. Good, nobody had noticed. He grinned and reached up a black-clad hand to grasp the nearest gap- who needed grappling hooks?
A sudden sound froze him in his tracks. Slow, steady footsteps proceeding purposefully up the street. The assassin cursed and melted back into the shadows. Bloody coppers! A recent batch of recruits from Ankh-Morpork had been stirring up a lot of trouble- the patrols had doubled and there were rumours they were Untouchable. The assassin snorted to himself. No one was Untouchable- everybody took bribes. Everybody. That was why he didn't bother to be too careful, even on clear nights like this.
The footsteps came level to his hiding place. He kept perfectly still as the copper paused, then continued on until they were out of hearing range. The assassin counted to ten and reached up again for the narrow crack. A hand grabbed his wrist from behind. Instinctively the assassin lunged backwards, driving his elbow into the stomach behind him. The copper swore and backed off. The assassin grinned as he swung round to face his assailant. Coppers always played it by the book, Marquis de Fantailler to be exact. This fight would be no trouble.
Confidently, the assassin lashed out with a clenched fist, aiming for the copper's stomach again- a low blow that would hurt like hell and allow him to make his getaway. His fist whistled through thin air and smashed into the wall. He screamed in pain and pulled the hand into his chest, cursing. Where the hell had that man gone? How did he move so fast?
A swift, unexpected kick from behind chopped at his knees, followed by a thumping blow to his back. He fell heavily to the cobbled streets, winded and dazed, as the copper knelt on his back and forced his hands into steel handcuffs behind his back.
"You're nicked, chum." The voice was deeply satisfied, with a Morporkian accent. It was a woman's voice.
He cursed again, struggling. A hand cuffed him sharply. "Keep your tongue clamped on language like that- anything you say can be used in evidence against you, and 'Screw you, bitch' isn't going to go down well, especially after I tell my superior how you were casing this joint in order to kill a valuable ally of the Watch."
The assassin lay still for a moment, his mind racing. "Ah…er…si-officer, I believe there is a fine I might pay?" his voice was squeakier than it should have been, tight from lack of air and surprise.
The hand cuffed him again. "You can't bribe me, chum. You try again, I'll break your arm." The voice was calm, but the underlying tone was dark and threatening.
"Yes I bloody well can, you bastard. Shut your trap!"
"What kind of copper are you?" the assassin howled, helpless and frustrated.
"Me?" he could hear that grin in the voice. He felt a body moving closer and the Untouchable woman copper leaned down to talk directly into his ear. "I'm a Sammy."