Commander Vimes was NOT having a good day. Crime had been on the rise, unauthorized crime that is, and some of it was decidedly odd. The current trend seemed to be a sort of anti-mugging, with some mysterious figure lying in wait for muggers before attacking. Even more bizarre was the nature of the crime itself; they'd had to add a new crime to the law books: assault with intent to bathe. This mysterious vigilante was literally attempting to 'clean up' crime in the city. To Vimes, it seemed rather insulting that his time would be wasted with this nonsense, instead of on more important matters. Then again, at least the crimina...ah, victims storming into his office were cleaner and better smelling than usual.
The thief gracing his office this morning went by the unlikely name of Fast Louie. Fast Louie was actually a short, fairly rotund thief who had gotten the nickname not based on how fast he could move, but rather on how quickly he was caught. While still ragged and unkempt, the man had lost his usual coating of dirt. “It's not fair, Commander Vimes!” the man whined. “Using magic to deprive an honest man of a day's work! Wizards aren't supposed to interfere with the Guild's business!”
Vimes raised an eyebrow. “Wizard, huh?” he asked. “I wasn't aware that the wizards actually DID anything even remotely related to work. This sounds too close to manual labor for them. Besides, the description doesn't seem like any wizard I've ever heard of.”
If anything, the thief looked even more upset. “Beggin' your pardon, sir, but if this chap keeps it up, we'll all be out of business. People are startin' to say that the Thieves' Guild is all washed up.”
Sighing, Vimes nodded. “We'll do our best,” he promised. “We'll circulate his description around, make sure to keep an eye out. Unfortunately, there isn't all that much we can do. I mean, a young man, dark hair, dark clothes. That doesn't really narrow it down. And if it is magic, well, it might be better to let the wizards deal with it.” He shook his head in disbelief. It was a strange day when the thieves of the city came to the Watch for help to do their work.
* * *
Xander smiled and stretched, pleased with himself. He had been very busy; this city was full of all kinds of dangerous criminals, and he wanted to make it a bit safer. Even in a new reality, he just couldn't stop patrolling; it was a deeply ingrained habit now. With the strange concept of AUTHORIZED crime echoing in his head, he came up with a plan. There seemed to be many UN-authorized thieves out there as well, ones that didn't mention a license when they tried to rob him. Since they themselves were criminals, he might safely rob them. They wouldn't be likely to turn him over to the cops. It would be enough to hold him over until he could find a legitimate job, or else gather enough energy to leave. In the meantime, it would be just like robbing the vamps of Sunnydale; no one notices when bad things happen to the bad guys.
Xander found himself settling down quite easily into Ankh-Morpork life. He had gotten himself a small room in the Shades, a rough neighborhood infested with dangerous types and, surprisingly enough, many magical creatures. Creatures such as banshees, ghouls, dwarfs, and weres lived there alongside the humans. No vampires though; it seemed as though they were much like the stereotypical vampires of legend back home, sophisticated, lisping creatures in formal wear. The Shades was far too rundown for the likes of them. Xander was just odd enough, with just enough of a nonhuman aura about him to be accepted. Flashing cat eyes at a couple of dwarfs who had started making 'stupid human' jokes got them to back down, and rumors to spread. No one knew what to make of him, and he liked it that way. His only worry was that the cops might pick up on those rumors and put two and two together. So, as a precaution, he carried Morgif with him at all times. He didn't WANT to fight of the cops, or rather, the Watch, as they were called here, but he didn't want to be caught with his pants down either.
The Watch, it seemed, had a reputation for being very thorough, and very good at getting their man. Rumor had it that they even had a werewolf employed for tracking, and a Nobbs. No one seemed to know what a Nobbs was, but it seemed to be important. Anything that had to carry papers to prove it was human...Anyway, best not to find out. Xander made certain to avoid any place remotely connected with the Watch, and to limit his nightly activities to areas less well-patrolled.
Considering how well he fit in with the non-humans here, Xander made a point to find most of the popular non-human hangouts were. At least there, he could be himself and yet not be noticed. It felt good to relax and let his guard down, knowing that he wouldn't be judged for being different. His favorite place was a little bar called 'Biers.' Despite the oh-so-clever title, the place was fairly quiet and laid back. No one bothered him, so long as he didn't cause any trouble. Of course, the place was not without its drawbacks. Xander had learned the hard way that the bartender, an ACTUAL Igor, was VERY literal when it came to drinks. He'd never had to be so specific in his life on what he wanted in a drink. Surprisingly enough, his parents' alcoholism came in handy here; he knew a LOT about mixing drinks.
* * *
Angua was trying to enjoy a relaxing evening off duty in her favorite pub, Biers. It was the perfect place for a werewolf to let her hair down, so to speak. She'd been working steadily for days on the city's newest crime wave, and was making little headway. She had spent a lot of time going over the different scenes, sniffing for clues, as it were, but she had only caught the faintest hint of scent over the smell of pure, fresh water. The two scents were...unusual to say the least. In a city like this, truly pure water was almost unheard of, and the other scent was something she had never smelled before, something living, but other than human.
Suddenly, Angua caught a whiff of that elusive scent. Seeing as she was off-duty, she hadn't been expecting it. Scanning the room, she spotted a dark-haired young man who perfectly fit the description of their suspect. Now, she found herself in a quandary. While she was off duty, that part didn't matter too much. However, this was Biers, and they wouldn't take her arresting a customer very well. She knew for a fact that Igor kept a mean club behind the bar, and besides, she didn't want to lose her favorite drinking spot. If she caused trouble, she would not be welcomed back. After all, Biers was a place where people went to be left alone; it was a sanctuary for all those who didn't fit in with the ordinary people. Still, given the nature of the attacks, it would be best not to confront the man without backup, preferably of the magical kind.
To her chagrin, the object of her interest quickly spotted her. She was surprised, since she was usually more subtle than that. She hoped that he would take no notice of her and go back to his drink. Her hopes were soon dashed, however, as he gazed on her with an introspective look. He rose from his seat and quickly exited out the back door.
* * *
Xander fled as quickly as he could without looking like he was fleeing through the back alleys of Ankh-Morpork, worried that he would soon have the Watch on his heels. That blond woman in the bar just HAD to be a cop; there was something about the eyes that always gave it away. While others might be fooled by her figure and long blond hair, there was something about her eyes that said that she had seen the worst in people. She had the eyes of a predator, one that would never stop until she had caught her prey. He just hoped that she hadn't caught on to who he was, as he really didn't want to be the hunted.
His prayers were not to be answered that night, however. Overhead, he could see flashes of light from high towers, what he had been told was this world's equivalent of IM services. From the distant shouting that was starting to close in on his location, Xander knew that he was the cause of all the commotion. While that would not normally bother him, considering the nature of the bar he had just left, the cop lady was most likely the Watch's mysterious werewolf. She had his scent and would likely never give up. He was screwed if he didn't think of something fast.
Suddenly, Xander noticed something he hadn't realized before. He was being HERDED, just like a stray sheep. He had instinctively veered away from all the shouting, and was now in a more open, more affluent area. Here, he would have far less of an advantage, and far less opportunity for escape. His worries were soon realized when several large figures emerged from the darkness around him. There was a troll, a pottery-man with glowing red eyes, and a veritable GIANT of a man.
As Xander started to edge away, the giant spoke. “Good evening, sir. I am Captain Carrot of the Watch, and I am placing you under arrest for fifteen counts of assault with intent to bathe. If you come quietly, you will not be charged with resisting arrest.”
“Uh, well, I kind of have an aversion to jail cells,” Xander replied, still edging sideways “so, if it's all the same to you, I'll just be on my way.” As the Watchmen closed in on him, Xander threw himself sideways, towards an open, communal well. Falling down the hole, he only had time for two thoughts: worry that he might not have enough energy to make the trip, and relief that, no matter what happened next, he still carried Morgif and his other possessions with him. The world of the Disc faded away in chaos and shouts of surprise.
Author's note: where will Xander end up? Find out in our next episode!