When in Ankh-Morpork
Warnings/notes: set of drabble-ish shorties, ooc?
Disclaimer: I don't own Due South. The wondrous world of Discworld was created by Terry Pratchett.
written at 27th october 2005, by Misura, for a request made by Katharos8 in the livejournal-community ficondemand.
Laws of Logic (a.k.a. How to Irritate Ray)
x- 1 -x
Ray has just been trussed up like a turkey by some old, small guy who looks like someone's great-grandfather and thus shouldn't have been able to resist arrest for illegally growing bonsai-trees in his home -and Ray really doesn't want to think about what a messed-up world it is they're living in, that he has to let a murderer go free for lack of evidence, but that an old geezer who doesn't harm a fly can get up to three years in jail for his 'crimes'.
Next, he's been locked up in some closet -with Fraser, which added that particular brand of irony to the situation which Ray has grown to despise- where he passed out, or fell asleep, and once he opened his eyes again, he found himself in some back-alley that didn't look even remotely familiar.
That Fraser's there, too, as well as Dief, and that the ropes that considerably hindered his movements before were conspiciously not, should probably have improved his mood, but, alas, it's the same as always. (Plus, he keeps thinking he's seen some giant turtle, wearing eye-shadow and lipstick, and winking at him, which goes beyond the freaky and launches straight into the 'have you seen a psychiatrist lately?' category.)
"I suppose we'd best seek out the nearest police-station and ask for their assistance in getting back home," Fraser says, leaning against a wall that looks like the only reason that it hasn't collapsed yet is that it lacks the energy to do so. (Ray just knows it'd fall over the moment he'd come close enough to be hit by it, and that even if it didn't, his jacket'd be ruined by spots of a dubious nature simply because he'd leaned against the thing.)
Dief barks once, and Fraser nods, then looks expectantly at Ray.
"Sure. Sounds like a plan." Ray shrugs, acting like he can think of at least a dozen ways in which they could have been transported from an old, smelly broom-closet to an old, smellier city without any cars or cellphones. (No cars, Ray might believe, but no cellphones?)
"You seem not to be unduly disturbed by the fact that we've somehow traveled to a different plane of existence," Fraser notes, with as much surprise in his voice as Fraser ever shows, which is not much at all.
"Hey, we're not in Kansas anymore. So what?" Ray hopes that he'll get a chance to arrest someone soon, so that Fraser will stop being 'interested' in his feelings and focus on the important stuff.
"You've read Frank Baum?" Fraser looks like he's just opened a Christmas-present, and it turned out not to be another hand-knitted pair of purple socks. (Although, for all Ray knows, that might just be the kind of present a guy like Fraser loves, what with them being made for him, with lots of love and all.)
"Who hasn't?" Ray replies, knowing that his name's definitely somewhere on the long list that forms the answer to his question, but betting on Fraser being too caught up in fond memories of his own reading of the book-version of The Wiz to notice.
(He's right, of course, though the Divine Powers see to his immediate punishment for his deception by giving Fraser plenty of time to tell Ray all about the metaphorical and symbological greatness contained in a serie of kids' books that he's never read.)
Laws of Economy (a.k.a. Don't Trust Everybody And Their Dogs)
x- 2 -x
"Well, I'm cutting my own throat, letting you have a whole sausage for - "
Ray isn't sure why he can hear everything the vendor says except the last part. It might be due to the man's voice being lowered to some sort of mumble, or just that whatever it is that makes it sound like these people -to use a general term, and prevent himself from thinking too deeply about what he's seen of this city's population so far- doesn't work with currencies -and this 'whatever' is definitely something Ray doesn't want to think too long about either.
"Your kindness is most appreciated." Fraser sounds like he doesn't care in the least that they've just spent what little money they had with them in order to pay for a sausage stolen by his wolf -which leaves Ray ready to faint with hunger.
The vendor studies Fraser for a handful of seconds, enough to give Ray the sinking realization that Fraser's just gotten himself swindled and overcharged, before sauntering off again, loudly praising his delicious sausages, as well as something called 'rat on a stick', which is probably just 'pork on a stick', just like a 'hot dog' is just 'pork in a bun' -or so Ray hopes.
"You could at least have shared!" Ray doesn't care that he's talking to a dog, or that Dief'll probably just react by barking. He's tired, hungry and certain that any moment now, he'll get cold, too.
"I agree." Fraser gives Dief a stern look.
Dief barks once, not appearing to be very remorseful.
"No, no, I can't see how you're the most useful member of this team and are thus entitled to the most food." Fraser shakes his head. "Especially considering that you, on your own, would never have been given any money."
"You know perfectly well that this is true." If Ray had been Dief, he thinks he'd be rolling over and begging forgiveness by now. It's not that Fraser sounds angry, but more that he sounds disappointed, as well as a little hurt.
Dief whines, and presses his nose into the palm of Fraser's hand.
Fraser sighs. "All right, but please keep a firmer rein on your instincts from now on. I would prefer for our first meeting with the police not to be while they are arresting us for theft."
There might have been more preaching, if Ray's stomach hadn't chosen that moment to remember everyone of its presence -and the fact that it is more or less empty.
"It may be that we will be offered something to eat at the local police-station," Fraser comments.
Ray would ask if Fraser himself would ever offer a doughnut to two strangely-dressed people who claim to be policemen from another world -and who are either twice as tall or twice as short as him- but he's afraid that Fraser will answer 'yes', and that just might be the last straw that breaks the back of the camel that symbolizes Ray's hold on his sanity.
The comment 'yeah, and pigs might fly' comes to mind, too, but Ray swallows that one as well.
(From what he's seen thus far, flying pigs just might be the most ordinary thing in this world.)
Laws of Logic, Revisited (a.k.a. Stating the Obvious Behind the Scenes)
x- 3 -x
"A mime," Vimes said, in much the same tone as he might have said 'a murderer' (1).
"Yes, sir." Carrot checked his notes. "Aided by two humans in, I quote, 'funny-looking clothes', to whom he was later seen to hand over a considerable amount of money."
"But he only had copper coins on him," Angua put in. "So it can't have been -that- much."
Vimes rubbed his chin. "I assume they got rid of the clothes by now; only an idiot wouldn't have."
"Well, they did help a mime in getting away," Fred Colon put in, glad to find a chance to show that he, too, knew something about detective-work.
Carrot cleared his throat. "Later, they were seen buying a sausage from Mr. Dibbler."
A brief silence greeted this revelation, while Vimes corrected his initial assessment of the culprits.
"For their wolf," Carrot added, after having made sure to be standing between Angua and the door.
"I'll tear their throats out!" Angua growled, glaring at Carrot.
Vimes concluded that, remarkably enough, Carrot seemed to have refrained from mentioning something he'd discovered to Angua. Perhaps there was hope for him yet.
"So, what we're dealing with are two dangerously insane humans, accompanied by a wolf." Some days, Vimes mused sourly, it really did seem like the Gods were out to make his life as miserable as possible. Luckily, he could always Delegate -or, failing that, Ask for Volunteers.(2)
"Me and Angua will track down the suspects and arrest them, sir." Carrot's eyes were shining, which failed to annoy Vimes this one time.
Angua muttered something that Vimes pretended not to hear and made him reconsider his opinion of Carrot a little -though he wasn't sure if he ought to revise his estimation of Carrot's courage, or Carrot's intelligence, or simply Carrot's being-Carrot.
"They're all yours, sergeant, constable." Vimes leaned back in his chair. "Good luck."
If he was any judge, the poor sods he'd just condemned to having certain parts of their body chewed off by one very upset werewolf were going to need it.
(1) Not to be confused with an assassin, of course. As everybody knows, an assassin is a perfect gentleman, with an excellent education, a refined taste and someone you would be delighted to have at your tea-party. A murderer, on the other hand, has received no training whatsoever -at least, not from the Assassin's Guild- and doesn't even have the decency to leave a receipt. Assassins don't really approve of this type of person, which is why murderers tend to be found in Ankh-Morpork but rarely, and usually quite dead.
(2) Which were the same thing, really, since in both cases, Vimes simply pointed at someone and told him what to do, which was the usual state of affairs anyway, so in fact, there was nothing special about it.
Laws of Chance (a.k.a. Rincewind's Ultimate Solution for Getting Out of Sticky Situations)
x- 4 -x
"Somehow, I don't quite believe that all of this is part of some elaborate courting-ritual," Fraser tells Dief, who shakes his head and barks.
"How come they've got a wolf, too?" Ray knows he should probably save his breath, but ... the sheer unfairness of it all pisses him off too much to remain sensible.
"I must admit, I'm more anxious to know what crime they think we have committed." Fraser seems honestly upset about being mistaken for a criminal. Personally, Ray is more concerned about the results, and such details as how to keep from being torn to pieces by Dief's latest crush.
Since now isn't the time to get into an argument though, Ray just nods and keeps running.
"Over there!" Fraser points at a door that might, once upon a time, have been painted in a colour resembling blue. Ray can't see anything special about it, but he's fresh out of ideas and nearly out of breath, so he simply spurts after Fraser, trying very hard not to notice the sharp teeth that tear a piece out of his trousers.
Fraser opens the door, Dief by his side. Ray enters last, closing the door behind him, not because he truly believes a mere wooden door will stop their pursuers, but rather, he tells himself, because Fraser just might go and insist Ray does the polite thing, if he doesn't.
"Where now?" Ray pants, not very happy to see Fraser having halted, and simply standing still, eyeing the door as if it's going to turn into a giant frog and eat them, or something like that.
"The man we were supposed to arrest ... " Fraser frowns.
Ray can't imagine Fraser has actually forgotten a name, but he figures it can't harm to show that he, too, has a reasonably good memory. "Mr. Bruda, yes. What about him?"
"His door was blue, too."
Ray counts to ten, after which he's surprised to discover that he's not freaking out. Fraser has obviously snapped under the strain, but not he.
"Do you hear anything?" Ray asks of Dief, who probably doesn't understand him, only Ray needs to talk to someone, and he's just concluded that Fraser has turned insane. "Can we actually have shaken them off?"
"It seems unlikely, yet possible," Fraser comments. Dief whines softly.
"We'd better keep quiet, to keep them from hearing us." Ray likes having a plan, though he's pretty sure the silence will start working on his nerves soon.
Fraser nods curtly. Dief doesn't bark, though he does settle down into what Ray supposes to be a more comfortable position for a wolf.
Ray makes some half-hearted attempt to keep track of the time, but when he reaches seventeenhundredtwenty-three, he gives up and settles for searching his pockets for something to distract him instead. (He'd search for food, but he knows Dief'd have smelled it on him ages ago.)
After a while, he must have fallen asleep, since the next thing he knows is being woken up by the sound of passing cars, and Dief barking. Fraser is kneeling by a door, doing something with what looks like a bended paperclip, returning Ray's questioning gaze with a hint of embarrassment.
"I ah picked up some unusual skills here and there."
Cool. So they're in a locked room, only Fraser's picking the lock, so that won't be a problem for long anymore. However, unless Ray has been hallucinating, not so long ago, they were -
He's not going there, Ray decides. He's very much not going there. They're here, and they're alive, and there's a hot-dog stand nearby, if Dief's dancing around is any indication.
x- and this was where the author ran out of inspiration and out of doughnuts, and the muses ran out of the room to watch Due South -x