Vimes and Sara met once in a previous post. They meet again, but this time either Sara’s let loose in Ankh Morpork, or Vimes has to cope with Bayville.
“Tolstoy Beattitude Walkingbird!”
“I didn’t do it!”
Consciousness returned like a cat that had been up to something. Creeping in sense by sense and trying to hide behind the couch with its metaphorical tail sticking out.
Nobody was checking out his boots. Nobody was going through his pockets. Nobody was evaluating his teeth. So far, so good. On the other hand, there was an argument going on and it was more or less his job to make sure it didn’t turn into murder.
He risked opening his eyes.
Leaning over him were two blue things, a greenish thing, an actual werewolf in one of their halfway modes, and half a dozen identical boys.
“HE’S ALIVE!” said one of the boys.
“Of course he’s alive.” Now, a greenish-blue thing entered his field of view. “I do apologize for the inconvenience, Mister Vimes. We’ll try to get you back to Ankh-Morpork before six.”
“How t'hell d'you know who I am?”
She showed him his badge. It had his name etched on it. “Occam’s Razor,” she said. “Simplest explanation is often the best. So I went looking for one.”
He sat up. Sort of a mistake. Everything hurt. “So what’s the complicated explanation?”
“I’m guessing you aren’t familiar with the concept of parallel realities, so let’s just leave it at, ‘everything that can be imagined is allowed to be real somewhere else’, shall we?”
Vimes thought of some of the things he had imagined. “Oh Gods…”
“Sara Louise Adrien,” said the greenish-blue thing. “For me, you exist inside books.”
“Sir Samuel Vimes, Ankh-Morpork City Watch,” he said. “Never heard of you.”
“I’m certain Mister Walkingbird is working on your return journey as we speak,” she said in edged tones.
A distant voice said, “I’d work quicker if certain people called me 'Forge’…”
“In the meantime, would you like some tea?”
“I need a cigar.”
Sara put a hand up. “Mister Logan. Could you donate one of the cigars you’re not carrying to the cause?”
“He’s failing to quit,” explained Sara. She handed over the cigar. Someone he couldn’t quite focus on provided a flame.
One of the blue things had a tail. He was quite at home, here. Wherever here was. Vimes decided not to comment. Normal was, after all, relative.
“You’re temporarily in another reality,” said Sara. “We’re working to correct that, but there’s a high chance reality will correct on its own. It’s a resilient bugger, to use your vernacular. You may not ever hear of us, but if you do… It’s rarely my fault that these things happen. I’m usually just trying to fix a problem.”
“Was it a problem before you started?” asked Vimes. It was a very good cigar. Hardly any noxious additives at all.
“Yes. And to many more people than myself.”
“Got it!” shouted 'Forge’ Walkingbird. “Stand clear.”
“It was very nice meeting you, Mister Vimes. I look forward to reading your future exploits.”
“I look forward to never being here again.”
Sam hugged his wife and child with more than the usual ferocity, that evening.
“Big bad guy?” asked Young Sam.
“No. Daddy just… had a little more adventure than usual.” He tried to forget it, in the bustle of getting ready for an evening at the theatre. Hwel the playwright had created something more suited to younger audiences with lofty morals that hardly needed a hammer to get inside peoples’ heads.
So Sybil claimed.
Sam bought a bag of walnuts, anyway. Things never went bad at the Dysk if you had a walnut to throw.
It was called Thee Ex Menne, and featured a blue thing with a tail, and a greenish-blue thing with complicated language…