Title: The Great Mix-Up
Author: Jos Mous
DISCLAIMER: I own none of these characters, I'm not making any profit out of this, blahblahblah.
NOTE: Yet another cross-over. And yet another quite impossible cross-over. I already know that it is going to get very difficult to keep writing this.
There are people who believe that there is only one dimension. There are people who believe there are several dimensions. The former is completely wrong, the latter is a little closer to the truth. Fact is that there can be several dimensions inside one dimension. The most common of these 'extra' dimensions are the ones that do not really have a basis in reality and that can only survive by clinging on to another, more real, dimension. It is in one of those dimensions that our story starts.
It was a plain, simple room. The kind of room that had four walls, one ceiling and one floor. Yet, everybody who would ever visit this room would have the feeling that something was not quite right here. It might have been the fact that everything was black. It might have been the unsettling sound of sand rushing down countless hourglasses. It might have been the occupant of this room. From the vantage point of the door you would not be able to see who he was. He was tall, skinny and dressed in a robe of black velvet. He had a few hourglasses standing on his desk. Occasionally he would look over at one of the hourglasses and scribble something down. The hourglasses were all of a different height, but they all had in common that their sand had almost run out. Suddenly the figure in the black robe looked up. He stood up from his desk as the room slowly started to fade away around him. One single hourglass appeared. Nobody could look at this hourglass and see all of it. If you wanted to know how big it was, you needed something much, much bigger to measure with than a mere kilometre. On the glass of the hourglass was the depiction of a turtle. As the figure in the black robe looked at the hourglass the picture of the turtle started to change. A circle appeared, filled with a few irregular shapes. The large hourglass disappeared again and the room came back. The figure in the black robe looked over at the walls lined with much smaller hourglasses.
IT SEEMS MY SCHEDULE JUST GOT BUSIER.
Ankh-Morpork, greatest of cities of the Discworld. Home of the most dangerous man in the universe, the only talking Golem in the world, the most female dwarves and the one and only Unseen University. However, even in this great city, there is nobody to keep the streets safe. There are, however, some people who try to keep the streets a little less dangerous. These are the proud men, women and assorted others of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. An institution that for the longest time consisted of exactly three people, but whose ranks have now grown to close to a hundred.
Two of these Watchmen were busy patrolling the streets. Well, actually, there were many more Watchmen patrolling the streets, but our attention focuses on these two. One of them walked with a certain certainty. She walked like someone who had already seen everything the city could throw at her. The other one walked a whole lot more insecure. She glanced repeatedly at every alley they passed and did her best to stay close to the older woman.
"You _are_ very new in Ankh-Morpork, aren't you?" The older woman asked.
"Yeah." Admitted the girl. "I just arrived."
"Where are you from?"
The girl blinked. Her mouth opened and closed a few times before actual sound came from it. "Uhm... some small town... somewhere... near the Ramtops." She said hesitantly.
"Well, no wonder." Remarked the woman. "I take it you came here seeking fortunes and all that?"
Again the girl hesitated. "I'm... not really sure."
The woman nodded.
Suddenly someone shouted.
"Stop! Unlicensed thief!"
The woman suddenly flexed several muscles. Most of them in her legs.
And with that the woman ran off in hot pursuit, closely followed by the girl.
Meanwhile at Kennedy High three girls were located in that particular area that bore the proud name of 'Novak'. The girls had a few things in common. Most notably was the fact that they were all blonde. They were also busy touching up their make-up.
"Brookie," Said Nicole, after finishing with her lipstick. "How's it going on the home front?"
"What do you mean?" Asked Brooke.
"Ah think Nic means tha whole 'Carmen'-situation." Mary Cherry helpfully supplied.
Brooke sighed. "There isn't a lot to tell."
"Oh, please." Said Nicole. "When she first moved in you were angrily ranting about it for days on end. And now there's 'not a lot to tell'?"
"Really, there's not." Brooke said. "We're sorta getting along and that's it."
"I'm telling the truth, Nic." Brooke said. "Carmen and I are going to be stepsisters so we simply try to stay out of each other's way, all right?"
"If you say so."
The bell rang. The three blondes simultaneously put away our make-up. They then, rather reluctantly, proceeded to the door.
"You know, Chemistry is the one class I really do not look forward to." Brooke said.
"Raight wit' ya, hun." Said Mary Cherry. "That Weatherwax gives me tha creeps."
Nicole remained silent. Everybody knew she was the cold, heartless, unemotional bitch. She was not allowed to be creeped out by anyone. Even if they did give her the creeps.
In Ankh-Morpork there was no 'bad part of town'. That was because the whole city was one big bad part of town. But, if there was indeed a place in Ankh-Morpork that could be classified as the bad part of town it would be the Shades. That part of town was so bad that walking around in it after dark had officially been classified as suicide.
So you can understand that Jason MacIntosh really regretted taking a short-cut through the Shades. Particularly because someone had just shoved a knife through his heart. And it was still day, for crying out loud!
"'Ere, you're not one of them zombies, are you?" Asked Jasonís assaillant.
Jason looked at him, then back at the knife still stuck in his chest. "I don't think so. I'm very alive. That is to say, I was very alive."
"Something weird's going on."
Jason stood up and looked at the body lying on the ground.
"See." He said. "I knew I shouldn't have survived that."
YES. Said a voice behind him.
Jason turned around and looked at the tall robed figure. "You're late."
I KNOW. AND I APOLOGISE.
"You know, it just doesn't do to show up late for something like this."
I AM WELL AWARE OF THAT.
"You were the one thing I always thought I could rely on."
I REALLY AM VERY SORRY. BUT I'VE BEEN TERRIBLY BUSY.
"Well, do something about it."
I WAS ALREADY PLANNING TO.
After another busy day of school filled with the most vital gossip Mary Cherry made her way back to her Humm-Vee. She heard a small yelp as she trod on something. Not paying attention to it, Mary Cherry walked on. But, suddenly she found herself thinking.
((Who's a little bastard, then? Iíll tell you who's a little bastard: You are. Simply walk all over poor defenceless animals without even noticing them. I think you should turn around and apologise. Or at least, give that cute little doggy a snack.)) Thought Mary Cherry.
Mary Cherry looked around and spotted a scruffy-looking dog of very indeterminate race.
It said: "Woof?"
"Brooke! Brooke, wait up."
Brooke turned around to see Carmen running in her direction. Brooke waited patiently until the brunette had reached her and caught her breath.
"Was there something you wanted?" Brooke asked.
"A ride home would be nice." Carmen answered.
"I thought you were going over to Lily's place."
"Changed my mind." Carmen said. "But, can you give me a ride?"
"Sure." Brooke said shrugging.
Brooke turned around and continued walking towards her car. Then she froze dead in her tracks when she saw a girl in front of her. She vaguely recognised the girl, but she didn't know from where, or how. After all, Brooke didn't know anyone wearing chainmail and armour. Did she? The girl looked at her. Her mouth moved soundlessly a few times.
"Brooke?" Asked the girl.
"Sam?" Asked Brooke.
Lance-Constable Samantha McPherson snapped out of the daze she found herself in. She looked around to establish that she really was where she should be. The crowded and noisy Watch House at Pseudopolis Yard. She looked at her desk. There were papers there. Papers she had already filled in, she remembered. Them she remembered that she was going to be off-duty soon, so she started to pack her things.
"Lance-Constable McPherson?" Someone asked.
Sam looked up and saw a woman looking back at her. She had very long, very blonde, very unruly hair. Sam jumped to attention and saluted.
"At ease, Lance-Constable." Angua said grinning.
Sam relaxed somewhat. Even though she had been on patrol with the woman, she was still a superior. And there was no telling what superior officers appreciated and what they didn't.
"I see you've already filled in the paperwork."
"Yes, sir." Said Sam. "I mean ma'am."
"Captain will be fine." Said Angua.
"Anyway, I wanted to congratulate you on catching that unlicensed thief. Not many Watchmen catch one on their very first patrol."
"Thank you, captain." Said Lance-Constable McPherson.
"But, one word of advise. Every time you're going to tackle someone try to find out where you're going to land in first."
Sam blushed slightly. "Sorry, captain."
"Everybody makes that mistake the first few times." Said Captain Angua. "You'll get the hang of it."
"Thank you, captain."
"Dad, I'm home!" Brooke yelled as she closed the door behind her and Carmen. She always yelled that, because she always knew that her father would be home. How he did it, she didn't know, but he was always home when she came home.
Brooke and Carmen walked into the living room and, sure enough, there he was.
"Hi dad." Said Brooke.
"Hello honey." Said Carrot.
Note: My sis, after reading the previous instalment, is pressuring me to explain to everyone on the list just what exactly 'the Discworld' is, since this is, after all, a Discworld cross-over. She says I need to explain who 'Carrot' is, or why the dog said 'Woof?', because people won't understand that. Well, screw her. Those who know the Discworld already get the inside jokes I try to attempt to make here and there, and those who don't can hopefully have the pleasure of finding out for themselves what's what and who's who. But, since I'm Dutch and therefore prone to compromise I will slowly start to explain one or two things in this part. Maybe.
Gaspode was not happy. He had just been lying around, minding his own business when some dim-witted Texan had stepped on him. Gaspode, being the kind of person he is, insulted the girl first, then asked for a treat.
Boy, was he regretting that now.
For some reason the girl had squealed in delight and had taken him home. Gaspode knew very well that he was everything but a cute little doggy, but for some reason this girl was oblivious to this fact. It occurred to Gaspode that she was in fact oblivious to quite a lot of facts.
So now Gaspode was being carried and cuddled at the same time and presented to the mother of the squealing girl.
"Ah have already thought of a name for him!" Mary Cherry said excited.
Her mother clearly did not share that excitement.
"Ah was thinking of calling him Mista---"
((Don't even think of calling the little doggy Mister Fluffy or something.)) Mary Cherry thought. ((The name's Gaspode.))
Mary Cherry looked down at the dog in her arms with a quizzical look. She had thought it so clearly that it almost seemed like the dog had said it. But dogs didn't talk, did they?
"Woof, woof." Said the dog.
See? Dogs didn't talk.
"You were planning on calling him what?" Cherry Cherry asked.
"Gaspode!" Mary Cherry announced proudly.
((Good girl.)) She thought.
Lance-Constable McPherson slowly walked over the streets of Ankh-Morpork. She was, as they called it, 'proceeding'. A special kind of walk that seemed to be especially designed for coppers. The legs were swung so that they propelled the person with them at a fairly large distance with the minimum amount of effort.
"Lance-Constable McPherson!" Someone shouted.
Sam turned around to see Constable Visit hurrying in her direction. 'Visit' was of course not his real name. His real name was Visit-The-Infidel-With-Explanatory-Pamphlets, but everybody called him Visit, because it was shorter. Constable Visit didn't really mind any more. It was still better than being called 'Washpot', like some of his other colleagues called him.
"Hello Constable Visit." Sam greeted. "And I'm off duty. Call me Sam."
"Sam." Visit repeated. "Can I ask you something?"
Sam suddenly remembered some friendly advise given to her concerning Constable Visit. Smile, nod and accept the pamphlet.
"Sure." Said Sam. "Go ahead."
"Do you want me to accompany you home?"
Sam blinked. This was one question she did not expect.
"Well, you are new here and Ankh-Morpork is not one of the safest of places."
"I can handle myself, thank you very much." Sam said.
"I meant no disrespect." Visit said quickly. "But it is my duty as a follower of Om to accompany those who do not know the way, just like the prophet Brazkarian did when he led the people of Adranis over the mountains."
"Uh-huh." Said Sam. "Well, anyway, I wasn't planning on going home just yet." She continued. "I was going to meet Reg in the Bucket first."
"Constable Shoe?" Visit asked. "Why him?"
"Simple. We both have lodgings at Mrs. Cake's, so we agreed to meet up with each other after our shifts were over. You know, so he can accompany me home."
Visit was rather taken aback by this. "You live at Mrs. Cake's?"
"Yeah." Said Sam.
"But... I thought you were human." Constable Visit said.
"I am." Said Sam. "But Mrs. Cake isn't very choosy and her rates are pretty low."
"But... but... I would think that someone like you would not really be interested in living in a house filled with the unholy creatures of the dark."
"You think Reg is an 'unholy creature of the dark'?" Sam asked sceptical.
"Of course not." Said Visit. "He's a Watchman. But the others..."
"What about them?" Sam asked, a threatening tone entering her voice.
"Nothing, nothing." Said Visit.
"Good." Said Sam.
Visit sighed. "Tell me," He started. "Have you considered the state of your immortal soul lately?"
Sam smiled and nodded.
Constable Downspout was a gargoyle. And therefore he was equipped with many fine qualities. He was, for example, an excellent Watchman. If you wanted someone to watch something Constable Downspout was the creature for the job. He also excelled at not moving and staying completely still. Yes, when it came to staying in one place and looking at something nobody could beat Constable Downspout.
Another one of Downspout's assets was his lack of imagination. He always accepted things at face value, because he didn't have enough imagination to be able to assume that it could be something different. So when he saw the building of the Thieves' Guild disappear he accepted immediately that it had disappeared. Then he remembered that maybe someone might want to know about this sudden disappearance. Slowly, Constable Downspout started moving until he remembered something.
There was no Thieves' Guild.
There had never been a Thieves' Guild.
He didn't even know what a Thieves' Guild was.
Constable Downspout stopped moving and continued doing what he did best.
"I really am so very sorry."
"It's not a problem Reg."
"No, really, I should've been more careful."
"The stitches came loose. It could've happened to anyone."
"Yes, but still, I just sewed it back on this morning."
"Reg, it's not a problem. Stop worrying about it."
Sam reassuringly patted Reg Shoe on one arm, then gave him his other arm. The zombie sauntered off to his room, leaving Lance-Constable McPherson alone in the hallway. Sam, having nothing better to do, went to her own room as well. Suddenly a wolf bumped into her. The wolf looked up at her for a moment, then walked past her and out of the house.
"And a good night to you too, captain." Sam muttered.
Somewhere a window broke. A very scruffy dog had just jumped through it in a fit of panic. Gaspode raced over the lawn and towards the street. He had once vowed to never make that awful mistake again. To never 'belong' to a family again. But he had been persuaded with a lot steak. And because that Texan girl liked fur way too much in his opinion. Gaspode never wanted to disappoint fur-lovers. They started to get really dangerous when they didn't like the alive version of you any more.
Gaspode ran across the street and had already turned several corners before he slowed down. He stood still for a moment to catch his breath, then decided that he wanted to get some food. Gaspode started walking towards the Thieves' Guild, since they always threw out their leftovers. And an entrepreneur like Gaspode could always find something in leftovers.
Brooke couldn't sleep. She had this strange, nagging feeling that something was wrong. There was something here that shouldn't be here. Or was it that something was not here, but that should be here? Her thoughts centred around that strange girl she had seen. Brooke had no idea who she was, yet somehow she did remember her.
The blonde looked up and over to the bathroom door. Behind the bathroom was Carmen's room. But for some reason Brooke had the feeling that it was not supposed to be Carmen's room. She felt as if it should be the room of that girl, Sam.
Brooke sighed and lay back down. Something strange was definitely going on. And she was going to find out what it was.
Or her name wasn't Brooke Ironfoundersson.
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