Hi ! This is the translation of my fanfic Rorchach à Ankh-Morpork fort those who can't understand French. English is not my native language but I did my best, please correct me if I have written some mistakes. It's a crossover between two of my favorite fictional universes, Watchmen and Discworld. I noticed there was only one fanfic about this crossover and I had this crazy idea. It's also my first published fanfic with Watchkids, so tell me what you think about it, please. I hope I didn't made Rorschach too OOC.
This is a corrected version I did of the first chapter, especially after I saw I had misspelled Ankh-Morpork so many times, why didn't I notice it earlier, I will make the same with the following chapters but don't worry it will not change the story.
Disclaimer: I don't own the universes and characters of Discworld and Watchmen, they are the properties of Terry Pratchett and Alan Moore. Don't tell me you're surprised about it, are you ?
Chapter 1: Somewhere into the Shades
" Do it ! " shouted the man, trying hard to hide his fear. It was his last words.
The last thing he saw was Manhattan's arm pointed at him, he felt a terrible pain and then everything turned black.
He woke up, got up again and put his mask, which was a few meters near him, back on his face, he was alone in the snow but not anymore in Antarctica , squalid houses hardly moonlit rose around him. Paradise or hell ? He didn't believe these two places even existed and it didn't look like the descriptions he's been told about.
" WALTER KOVACS ? "
The words went directly into his mind without passing through the ears, a quite odd feeling.
He looked back and saw a tall black shadow holding a scythe, under the hood he could make out a skull, in his eye sockets blue pinpoints of blue fire were shining, which unpleasantly reminded him of his last vision: Manhattan. It looked like a Halloween disguise, the grim reaper. Stupid.
" Rorschach, " he corrected
" AS YOU WISH. THAT IS STRANGE (He took off his dresses a hourglass, which was slightly blistered, like to allow the sand to keep escaping whereas it should all be in the bottom), YOU SHOULD BE DEAD AND YOU SHOULDN'T BE IN THIS WORLD. "
" Should be dead ? Can only be dead ! Have been killed by Manhattan ! "
" SORRY BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE. BEING DEATH, I AM THE RIGHT PERSON TO TELL YOU THAT YOU'RE NOT. "
" Death ? Grim reaper ? Stupid ! "
He fell upon the man to take off his mask but instead of a mask he found himself with a skull in the hand, the blue flames kept on staring at him.
" Hurm ? … What ?... impossible... "
" EXCUSE ME ? "
Death took back his skull, which had a puzzled look (at least as puzzled as a skull can look), that Walter, surprised, had drop after he realized he was holding the skull of a walking skeleton... After all these centuries doing this job, he thought he had seen everything but no mortals had ever dared to treat him that way.
What was happening goddammit ? That situation was completely absurd, he should have died, he should have never be here and among everything a seven-foot tall walking skeleton claiming to be the Grim Reaper himself was talking to him. Maybe the others were right, maybe he was really mad and that everything he had been through was just an hallucination and that his condition had gotten worst ? No ! It couldn't be... it couldn't be...
" YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN A SECOND CHANCE MISTER KOVACS, YOU SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE ON IT. I'M LEAVING NOW, I GOT WORK TO DO. "
A beautiful white horse, not the kind of horse you would expect Death to ride, appeared, the grim reaper saddled on.
Rorschach, who was getting over the shock, finally moved.
" Wait ! Shouldn't be in this world ? If not Earth, where am I ? Wait ! "
Too late, Death had vanished.
On Earth, more precisely in Antarctica, Nite Owl, whose best friend (1) had just exploded in millions of bloody pieces right under his very eyes, had gone into the base, furious and desperate, to take it out on Ozymandias, the responsible of all this madness. In his hurry, he didn't notice that the only intact belonging that remained from his friend, his hat, had just disappeared.
The dark streets of Ankh-Morpork were briefly lit by a blue light, a fedora appeared and fall right at the feet of his owner who put it back on his head without wondering, considering that it was more puzzling to have had a face to face with the grim reaper. The vigilante decided to explore the place, he went through many narrow alleyways and met only one problem, a guy had appeared suddenly and asked, pointing a knife at him: "your money or your Ooooooow !". Rorschach had broken two of his fingers, then he let him writhe in pain on the floor after punching him in the face.
If there were others like him in the area, the screams of their colleague had certainly warn them, for Rorschach kept moving in the Shades without meeting any other accident.
He ended up on slightly cleaner streets, more bustling too, people whose costumes go from Middle Ages to the end of the Nineteenth century were wandering about, nobody paid attention to Rorschach, in a city like Ankh-Morpork, strange individuals were nothing unusual.
He choose to walk away and look for less busy streets, he suddenly heard a sound of broken glass and rise his head up: a masked man dressed in black, who was wearing a bag on the side, had broken a window and was sneaking into the house: a burglar.
Rorschach waited fort him to get inside, then he climbed over the gutter and followed the thief.
The man was busy stealing jewels from a fine-cut jewelery box he had just opened, so he didn't heard Rorschach coming closer and closer behind him. The vigilante grabbed him by the shoulder and pushed him violently on the floor. The Thief picked himself up and told him, outraged:
" Who the hell are you ? You're not a licensed thief for sure ! Listen, I'm gonna be nice, if you just clear off and touch nothing I will not denounce you to the guild, you got it ? "
But, contrary to what he expected, the man grabbed him by the collar, nearly choking him, and pinned him against the wall.
" Empty your bag ! "
" What ? "
The man strengthened his grip around his neck, the dark ink blots which were moving on his " face " looked like threatening ghosts.
" Okay, Okay ! "
He emptied his bag, completely, a living thief can still steal, a dead one can't, one of the most important rules of the guild.
" Now leg go of me, please ! "
" My pleasure. "
He moved towards the window and pushed him through, the thief crashed a few floors downstairs, shouting meanwhile. The insults he shouted to Rorschach, which were right about his mother by the way, proved he was still alive.
Rorschach was about to leave by the same way the burglar took when he heard someone opening a door behind him.
" What is going on here ? "
A fat man, mister Ankh, a merchant, dressed in a green dressing gown and wearing a nightcap, was looking at Rorschach, at the light of the candlestick he was holding, with surprise and terror.
Mister Ankh begun to call for the Watch but he didn't get the time to finish his sentence, he collapsed right in the middle of it, Rorschach noticed that a poisoned dart was embedded in the man's neck.
He moved towards the hit-man, a slim and elegant man, dressed in black, who looked like a poisonous snake under a human form, holding a thin blowpipe in a hand, he run towards the window and jumped but Rorschach followed him and pinned him on the floor once landed in the street where was still lain the bloody thief who was keeping on insulting Rorschach, with a weaker voice though.
The assassin revealed himself to be more resistant than the thief but he had a weakness: he fought following a code of honor, which especially forbade to kick in the family jewels. The assassins, accomplished gentlemen, didn't practice the vile street-fight, unfortunately for the assassin, Rorschach was, as for him, a specialist of this less than honorable practice.
A circle of bystanders had formed around Rorschach who was punching relentlessly the still struggling assassin. For the inhabitants of Ankh-Morpork, a show was a show, and this one was even more entertaining since one of those stuck-up assassins was being beaten the shit out.
" Ankh-Morpork city Watch, move out of the way ! "
A group of watchmen formed by three humans and a dwarf pushed his way through the crowd.
" Mister, in the name of the law, stop it ! "
The vigilante raised his head and stopped hitting on the unconscious assassin, he noticed they were all wearing a uniform, in spite of the fact that the helmets and breastplates were disparate, probably cops. He didn't intend to let himself being caught this time, never again !
He pushed his way trough the circle of spectators
The watchmen, anomaly brave for young recruits, followed him and succeeded in falling upon him.
The three young men, despite all their good will, were rapidly defeated, the dwarf however revealed himself to be a more tenacious adversary, he seemed better with his axe than his human-colleague were with their broadswords, but he was unarmed all the same by Rorschach and him and the dwarf kept on fighting bare hand whereas one of the men tried, very cautiously however, to get closer to Rorschach.
Suddenly, another man moved towards them.
" Captain Carrot of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, move away please ! "
The crowd moved out of his way immediately.
He moved towards the mad guy who was about to send another punch in the dwarf's face. Carrot grabbed the man's arm right in time and, whereas the masked man was about to fight back, said with a smile:
" Sir, will you please surrender ? All this violence is useless, so stop hitting on these agents, shall you ? "
Rorschach hesitated between two envies: choke the man with his free hand and obey him... One second ! How could he only think about such a thing ? He 's never gonna obey to this guy ! He picked himself up whereas the watchmen moved away from him quickly. What ? He stopped just because this man asked him ? It couldn't be !
" You are under arrest for brutality towards members of the assassins and the thieves guilds and agents of the Watch, please follow us until Pseudopolis Yard without resistance", he added, keeping an imperturbable smile on his face. "It's better this ways, isn't it ? "
If he believed he was going to follow him he could always dream, though Rorschach. Unfortunately, his legs didn't share his position. What was up with himself ? he had never reacted that way before !
And he was being arrested for arresting a thief and an assassin ? What kind of world was that ?
Commissioner Samuel Vimes was sat in front of his desk on which was accumulated an impressive pile of bumph he brought himself to read an firm for once, he hated it but it was all he could do with a plastered leg, leg broken during a pursuing because of a slippery tile on a roof and certainly not because of his age like his son had insinuated.
The captain Carrot get in with a masked man.
" Good evening commissioner ! "
" Evening captain, who's that ? A suspect ? "
" No, a prisoner. "
" Why is he not handcuffed ? "
" He followed me without opposing resistance, I have just thought the handcuff were unnecessary. "
The man wearing a strange mask, growled hearing this.
" What he's been charged with ? "
" Brutality upon a thief, an assassin and four watchmen, sir. "
Vimes moved towards the man with the help of a crutch:
" Listen, for the other two scumbags, I don't care, I even almost regret I have to arrest you for that, but I have to apply the laws. As for my men, this is another thing. "
The man didn't reacted, at least from what he could see, it is difficult to judge the reactions of someone who is wearing a mask covering the whole face.
" Ask him to take off his mask for the interrogatory captain, he seems to listen to you. "
" Could you please take off this for the time of the interrogatory ? "
Damn ! This smile and this voice which had driven him, God only knows why, to obey for minutes ! But, this, this he wouldn't do, he won't take off his mask, even this man asked him. He kept his hands, which were moving towards his face, from doing it at the last moment. If anybody could have seen through Rorschach's mask at that moment, he could have seen a smile on his face, which is very unusual for him.
Vimes and Carrot decided to interrogate him anyway. Nobby and Colon who had just moved in and had nothing else to do, or didn't want to do anything else, decided to stay and watch.
" Name ? "
" Rorschach. "
" City ? Native country ? "
" New York. "
" New Yerk ? Never heard about it. in what region of the Disc is this city ? " asked Vimes ironically.
" The Disc ? What are you talking about ? "
" He's taking the piss out of us, commissioner, " said Nobby, who put his still burning butt behind his ear and turned to Rorschach. " We're talking about the Disc dickhead ! You know, our world. "
Rorschach fell upon Nobby who hid behind a chair, fortunately Carrot kept the vigilante by the collar just in time.
" Calm down sir, don't make your situation worse. As for you, Nobby, apologize. "
" In front of this bloody stranger ?"
Rorschach felt he was about to disobey Carrot and would soon have his fingers around the neck of this little... little what by the way ?
" Alright, alright, I'm sorry." He added lower: " bugger. "
" Your world, a disc ? You think it's flat ? "
" Yes, it's flat and it's carried by four elephants carried by the great A'Tuin. "
" A'Tuin ? "
" The giant turtle ! "
" Oh yeah ? An How's the world for you ? "
" Round. "
" You're omnian, by any chance ? "
Another agent, looking quite upset, joined the conversation:
" Nobby, we omnians don't believe anymore in such inanities. " He then turned towards Rorschach offering him a copy of the Book of Om. " By the way sir, are you interested by the omnian religion ? "
Rorschach didn't react whereas Vimes asked Visit to go away with his tracts, what he did.
Carrot thought for a moment and then said:
" Commissioner, I remember that the Librarian told us once about some round world."
" Oh yeah, that's right he talked about it, " remembered Nobby. "But I thought he was drunk to say bullshit like that, he even said that the wizards had created this world. "
" So, the wizards are responsible for his presence ? " concluded Vimes
" Yes, in a way, " answered Carrot
" Fine, so bring him to the University, that's their problem now. Carrot, you'll escort him to the University with Detritus. "
" Sorry commissioner but I'm afraid I can't. "
" Why ? "
" It will soon be time to read to Elsa. "
Angua and Carrot got married and had two kids, one of them is a little three years old, Elsa, and his father made it a point of honor to read to her every night at very precise hours. Vimes understood perfectly.
" Can't Angua do this ? "
" It's full moon, sir. "
" Oh. "
He married a werewolf after all.
" What about your son ? "
" Same reason, sir. "
" Aren't you supposed to read Where's my Cow ? to her at six o'clock ? "
" Yes, but at this time I must read her The Laws and Ordinances of the Cities Ankh and Morpork. "
Vimes looked at him blankly.
" You're reading The Laws to your daughter in the evening ? This must be great to make her sleep. "
" Not really sir, she's always asking for more. She knows perfectly the first ten articles. "
A light of pride could be seen in his eyes.
Vimes said to himself that when the captain's children join the City Watch, cause with a father like Carrot who is preparing them to it since childhood they will join for sure, they will be dispensed from learning the book.
" Very well. I guess everybody is occupied somewhere else ? "
" Yes, except Nobby and Fred. "
He hadn't much choice. Vimes turned himself towards the two watchmen:
" Corporal Nobbs, Sergeant Colon, you'll escort this man with Detritus to the University, any objection ? "
No objection possible when Vimes was looking at them that way. Nobby an Colon resigned themselves, with many swearing in Nobby's case, then they went out with Detritus and the stranger after Carrot persuaded him not to harm any of them and follow them.
Colon and Nobbs were talking without according any attention to Rorschach, they thought indeed that the stranger wouldn't be crazy enough to try to escape or doing anything with Detritus in sight, a troll which looked particularly impressive even second trolls critter, which compensate his lack of intelligence, particularly impressive even second trolls critters.
Rorschach took advantage of the inattention of his two guardians and bet on the stupidity he had detected in the troll, he had survived to much more impressive opponents in New York after all. However, he didn't know a troll has nothing to do with a human and hadn't yet dealt with the idea that this world was different from his.
Detritus pursued the runaway, Nobby and Colon followed him but remained cautiously way behind the troll: they heard about what this guy did to the other agents and preferred to let the troll take care of it.
" Hit-and-run offense ! Stop or me hitting on you ! "
Detritus begun to remember quite well the lessons of Vimes and Carrot: not hitting on people immediately but letting them a chance to surrender in a pacific way, Rorschach didn't chose this option.
Detritus came closer to Rorschach who had get into a dead end and slapped him, a smack he considered weak enough to not damage him (2), we should precise that he acted as if humans were trolls, trolls in precious and fragile agatean porcelain then.
Nevertheless, this « little slap » sent the vigilante right against the wall, he fell down near it, unconscious.
The two other watchmen, who stood apart, went finally closer and, after hesitating for a moment, seeing that the psycho was still not moving, Nobby decided to approach the man, or more exactly approach his spear near the man's leg and prick him slightly with it: no reaction, Nobby summed up the situation in one word:
" Shit ! "
(1) A freeloader and antisocial friend who was not quite the talkative type and cost a lot in door handles, but a friend nonetheless, and more important the kind of guy you prefer to have on your side than against you.
(2) Carrot and Vimes told him to show some restraint with the suspects so that they could get suspects who are actually able to speak, which means suspects that will not have to be fed with a straw for the rest of their lives.
I am sorry if the speaking of the characters seems unnatural, but as I stated above, I'm not used to speak English, so be indulgent (this doesn't forbid you to correct me).
Hope you enjoyed it, send me some reviews please !