ankh-morpork-city-watch

okay so everybody always talks about how amazing sam vimes is, and i love sam vimes to the bottom of my heart, but i do not see enough sybil appreciation on my dashboard.

sybil is a zarking goddess okay, and i will not hear a word against her

  • she calls the PATRICIAN of Ankh-Morpork ‘havelock’.
  • she actually just calls pretty much everybody by their first names
  • people who are not scared of vimes will listen to sybil any day
  • she’s perfectly level headed, until vimes calls her a duchess, when she will become the most overbearing, duchessy duchess the disc has ever known
  • her haggling for fat with the low king.
  • her being brought up to act small, so as to make everybody feel bigger. then using that to her advantage because i’m pretty sure she knows how amazing she is.
  • being so compassionate she can see the good in anybody without even trying, even nobby nobbs
  • being the first person in forever to actually see the potential in perpetually drunk, undernourished, broken sam vimes and taking away his alcohol and giving him food and being there so he can actually grow to be the sam vimes that we love.
  • being sybil ramkin, the dragon obsessed, charitable spinster who is pretty much the only person left in ankh-morpork who actually respects the night watch in guards guards, and seeing exploding swamp dragons as lovable pets.
  • singing opera so well she becomes an honorary dwarf

so this troll walks into our inn waving around a ballista with one hand and telling everyone to get up against the wall, then in walks some guy, covered in blood, wielding a crossbow, and followed by a pregnant woman about three heads taller than him and female dwarf. Turns out it’s the bloody ambassador from #onlyinankhmorpork. #alittleweecameout

Something Vimes had learned as a young guard drifted up from memory. If you *have* to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to *know* you’re going to die. So they’ll talk. They’ll gloat.
They’ll watch you *squirm*. They’ll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar.
So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.
—  Men at Arms, Terry Pratchett, 1993.

Four Women Sam Vimes Hired

1. Precious Jolson

Vimes had been going to All Jolson’s for years, so of course she recognized Precious when she was shown into her office [1], though she couldn’t figure out what brought her in.

“Mr. Fred…er, Sergeant Colon  told me you were hiring Miz Vi-Commander.”

Ah. Still, Precious was the oldest [3], and Vimes had assumed that All would eventually leave the place to her.

She started with the standard first question. “Why do you want to join the Watch, Ms. Jolson?”

A Look came across Precious’ face.

 "I can’t cook.“

The tone of Precious’ voice made it clear that this was a topic of both long contention and one that was not up for discussion. Vimes inwardly boggled at the idea of any child of All’s being unable to work, if not culinary magic, then basic necessities, but all she said was

"Well, we have a pretty good canteen downstairs…”


2. Muna Al McSweeney [5]

“I see that you’re from Klatch…a D'Reg yes?”

Across the desk, Muna noticeably stiffened and bristled. They were going to have to work on that; a copper couldn’t give away her feelings that easily. [6]

Muna curtly nodded, a wary look in her eye.

 "Some of the best damn fighters I’ve ever seen; you’ll do just fine here in Ankh-Morpork.“

Muna visibly relaxed, and that was a tell she’d have to work on, large sword or not.

"My uncle said that you were an honorable woman; he recommended that I start my career here.”

Bells began to go off in Vimes’ head. “Who is your Uncle again?”

Muna grinned, a wicked smile that all the sudden looked familiar. “You know him as 71- Hour Ahmed.”



3. Mary Anders

“Does the Watch still offer barracks? Er, for rent of course? I mean, for single officers. I mean…”

The poor girl flustered herself into silence.

“We do have barracks, and there is a small fee, though it can be taken straight out of your pay if that is what you would prefer.”[10] Thinking of that, something compelled her to mention, “If there is someone, like your old mum, that you would like to give part of your wages to we can do that too…”

“NO. Er, I mean, no, I mean sorry ma’am, er, commander, er…” Mary trailed off again.

Vimes took a second look at the painfully young woman in front of her. Signs of living rough recently, hair recently and roughly chopped off, the look she gave Sally on the way in…

Oh. Poor lass. It was like that was it?

Vimes could never imagine a day where she would throw her daughter on the street, especially for something as minor as, if she was reading her new recruit right, who she chose to walk out with.

“Ms. Anders, if you would like, you can move in today of course,” Vimes offered [12] and pretended not to notice the immense look of relief on the girl’s face.

“Thank you ma'am.”

——-

4. Gypsum

“I don’t have to polish do I?”

Vimes, a foot rocking Little Sam’s cradle, frantically tried to think for a second what could the young troll in front of her meant and oh yes, she heard Ruby talking about this the last time she had come to see Detritus at the Yard…

“No. As long as you are in uniform, I don’t care how feminine, masculine, and or otherwise you choose to present yourself.”

“Really?”

“Lass, until however you adorn yourself presents a handhold for a nick to grab on, I or anyone will not hassle you over it. I care about the job you do, not how you look doing it.”

Gypsum thought for a minute, and then gave an even more dazzling than usual for trolls smile, which Vimes just knew would have some of her younger officers lining up to throw rocks at the new recruit.

“Good.”
_____________

[1] All, like many restaurant owners across the universe, had his kids working as servers and waitstaff. [2]

[2] to be fair though, in turn it was expected of the clientele to tip generously, or slumpie would leave the menu.

[3] there was Precious, Darling, Dearest, Honey, and Annette. [4]

[4] mrs Jolson had put her foot down at her husband’s suggestion that they name their youngest Sweetie.

[5] the McSweeney clan really, Really got around.

[6] Vimes had already decided to hire her [7]and was going through the agonizingly “necessary” technicality of the rest of the interview. [9]

[7] Vimesp had good instincts, and she could usually tell within a minute if someone would be a good copper or not. [8]

[8] there was also the fact that Muna did bring her own rather sharp and large sword.

[9] Pah. There used to not be so much damn paperwork and fuss.

[10] Pessimal had set it up, among other things, once he had taken over accounting. Now Watchmen could, if they so chose, have the minor costs associated with the job, such as rent for the barracks, or contributions to the Widows and Orphans Fund, taken out automatically from their pay docket every month. With a receipt, natch. [11]

[11] Yes, the longer that he was with them, the more Vimes really was glad that Pessimal was working  for the Watch.

[12] Normally they had to wait until they were at least a probationary officer but Vimes was damned if she left an officer, no, not just an officer, but a wet behind the ears girl tossed out from her home, out on the streets any longer than necessary.

Have you ever wanted to ask Fred and Nobby (of Discworld fame) questions but just couldn’t figure out how? Well look no further, because you can now ask the two most…er…relatable officers in the Ankh-Morpork City Watch whatever your nerdy little heart desires!

Just head on over to @ask-a-m-city-watch and ask them whatever you wish, and they’ll try to answer it to the best of their ability!