On her Majesties Postal Service

Summary: When the Diplomatic Corp borrow Lieutenant Perks to assist in their peace talks in Ankh Morpork our intrepid duo are separated. Will letters be enough?

Disclaimer: Terry Pratchett owns the characters and the world they live on. I am grateful for all the brilliant books and make no claims of ownership in any way.

Dearest Polly,

Here we are, back in the sunny mountains. It rains daily, which is doing wonders for the mud crop. We can see the Moldovian's gathering forces, seems like they've decided to bring everyone out on this spree, the valley is full of them. All lined up in delicious rows, with the hangers on jumbled up round the edges. Unfortunately the view is ruined by the general's tent, such a hideous colour, one day I may pop down and tell him so. Our daily amusement is taken from watching them slip around on the mud we're so carefully cultivating.

Nothing's happening at present, I'm guessing they're waiting for the outcome of the talks before they get to go back to their farms. How's the diplomacy going? I'm sure by now you've licked them all into shape and are forging ahead toward a treaty at great speed. I hope so; it's very boring up here.

Come back to me soon Pol,

Always yours


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Dear Crazy Vampire On A Hill Who Should Be Sat At Home Not Out Somewhere Getting Shot At.

Why did you sign up? You were supposed to be busy training the little midgets, not climbing hills with them. Couldn't you sit still for a moment? I swear I'm coming straight back home to kick your finely toned rear all over that damn mountain. Despite the mud. Through which I will move very gracefully, as is my wont.

I do hope the weather isn't too invasive. It must be torture to have to wander around in mud polluted garments. You poor thing, I will be thinking of you (whilst not laughing in any way whatsoever, you have my promise).

Wave at the enemy for me; tell them I'll be back as soon as possible to scold them for taking you further away from me. The post is terrible from up there, your letter took over a week to reach me. Not that I was worried at all. I just have an addiction to mud soaked stationary. It's very strange; do you think I should see a doctor about it?

It's not going so well down here. The Moldovian lot have brought up the incident of the cattle rustling again and both sides are "not speaking to each other". Somehow that doesn't make it any quieter at HQ. We're working all the back angles we can but it's not looking to good. They're so blasted stubborn (both of them).

They're calling for me, must get back. Do be careful Mal. I'll miss you if you fall off a cliff or something equally stupid.

Your own, (very diplomatic)


I admit it, you've snagged my curiosity, what colour is the generals tent?

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To our great high diplomat in chief: Greetings.

I'm not getting shot at. I'm getting rained on, which is far worse! You stop fretting and get on with banging heads together so I can come home and drink coffee in a nice warm café instead of squatting under a bush with drips falling down the back of my neck. The rain is diluting my coffee woman! Things can get no more serious.

They've moved us from our previously muddy spotter positions to a more invasively muddy central holding position. It's all fuss and bother but at least the mail is more regular here. I can't see the Generals tent anymore, but I expect it's still a hideous attempt at purple. It was an affront to the sense of style. Believe me Pol, I would be over there to burn it down like a shot if everything wasn't so very wet.

Gods I hate the rain, apologies if this letter is unreadable.

I'm sorry for worrying you my love but I couldn't sit around anymore. You know how it is. I was going mad with nothing to do. I'll be careful - I promise. I'm keeping my head down at all times (it makes it difficult to drink the coffee sometimes – but I persist). No daft missions. They're no fun without you anyway.

Don't worry about the diplomacy, I'm sure you're doing great. Sod the top brass – we all know it's the underlings that get stuff done. Now is the time for all good men and true (or abominations) to resort to sneakiness. If you need money pop by my bankers, they'll release anything you demand. I know you don't like it Pol, but bribery isn't the worse thing we've done for our country.

Please do come home as soon as possible, I will offer my rear for the kicking readily if it meant I could see you sooner than otherwise. I miss you dreadfully my golden haired girl. Say it's over, say you're bringing your curls (and associated curves) home to me within the week. Say anything. Especially anything.


(Reading it over I see the dampness appears to have crept in to this letter. Promise me you'll burn it and the maudlin rain-soaked sentiment it contains?)

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The letter presumed to be received in reply to the above was found in the breast pocket of the jacket of a Sergeant Maladict of the Borogravian Light Infantry after the attack. The letter had been folded and refolded so many times it fell apart when opened and the remains were unfortunately unreadable due to bloodstains.

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Treasured Polly, just a quick note as it's suddenly got a little busy.

Thanks for your letter, you really are getting much better at expressing yourself. Sorry to say it looks like it's all kicking off up here.

I wish you were here Pol. Remember what I said about my Bankers. They'll see you right.

I have to go, am sending this down with the dispatches. Keep your chin up girl and always remember:

No regrets.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Dispatch From: Major Willoughby: Commander of Hubwise Defence Force
To: Army HQ

Under attack. 4th Light Infantry battalion presumed lost. Send reinforcements. Heavy Casualties.

[Forwarded to General Fortescue: Diplomatic mission in Ankh Morpork]

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From: Lance Corporal Baker
To: Pseudopolis Yard


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Pseudopolis Yard
FAO: Commander Vimes

Baker is ok. Some Lieutenant came rushing out of the Embassy, grabbed his crossbow and was off like a shot. One of their diplomatic staff I think. The trail led to the hall where they're having the peace talks at the palace. Can you come? I think we need diplomacy.


(I think, but I'm not sure that it's one of the ones you met when we were up there last time).

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From: Commander Vimes, Pseudopolis Yard
To: Captain Angua, Palace Gates


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From: Office of Vetinari, Patrician
To: Postmaster General Moist

A Lieutenant Perks will be requiring a seat on the mail coach run to Borogravia this evening. We would be obliged if you would harness your fastest horses and ensure your most skilled driver is at the reigns.

If the Lieutenant is amenable, Commander Vimes would be grateful for the return of the crossbow the lieutenant was lent without prejudice. However if the lieutenant still has need of the crossbow, the commander is willing to replace the item.

Rufus Drumknott

pp. Vetinari (Patrician)

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Headline in the Ankh Morpork Times: Peace In Our Time!

Moldovia and Borogravia Shake Hands!

Despite the insurmountable deadlock of recent weeks, a peace settlement has been agreed between the warring nations Moldovia and Borogravia. This surprising change of heart came about this afternoon partly due to the persistent work of some junior diplomatic staff. Asked to comment General Fortescue (62) said "when you get to the point of it, everything becomes clear and there was only one answer I could give". His opposite number General Grenville (60) seemed dazed and said "She was very persuasive" before being led away hurriedly by his staff. The junior staff member instrumental in the breakthrough was unavailable for comment.

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Dear Paul, Shufti and everyone

Well it finally appears to be all over and I've got a minute to spare so I'll try and fill you in on some of it (the rest I signed a piece of paper to say I wouldn't talk about for 50 years).

Mal wants me to tell you she's going to be ok, apparently she thinks you might be worrying or something. I have no idea why. As I keep telling her, no-one (especially me) cares a jot about her health or wellbeing. The Igors released her this morning, and she's lying around on the couch playing the wounded hero card and trying to disrupt my letter writing. The girl has no sense of shame.

The Igor said she lost a lot of blood but apart from an apparent incurable allergy to purple and the occasional desire to chew on the passing population she seems fine. She's going through a difficult moment (her coffee cup is empty) so refuses to send love, but I'm sure once I've refilled it from the pot on the stove (which is within her reach – but like I said "wounded hero") she'll be her usual chirpy self.

We've been given some leave, justly deserved I think, though it may be as Mal says and merely to have us out of sight for a while. It doesn't do to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Do say if it's not convenient but we were thinking of popping in for a few days. Would that be ok? Mal could do with feeding up – no matter what she says ribs are not meant to stick out that far. You'll have to put up with her dramatic portrayal of her moment of glory, and constant muttering about the evil effect of rain on vampiric healing powers, but she may have got over the indignity of being treated by Igors by the time we reach you.

Do let us know anyway. I've got to go, she's started whining again. Never, ever allow yourself to be lumbered with a convalescent vampire.

All our love

Polly and Mal (WOUNDED HERO!)