A critically acclaimed Fan Work by author A.A. Pessimal in which two worlds collide - ours (the Roundworld) and the slightly bizarre flat earth called the Discworld. Terry Pratchett's creation is used as the mirror to reflect concepts, issues and social unrest in the world we inhabit.Pessimal, who in a previous life served in the British Army, started the tale by writing slightly embellished Slice of Life fiction, based partly on his own experiences and on the related experiences of others. He viewed this work as partly an attempt to break out of merely pastiching Pratchett and writing something original to himself in his own voice. Another spur was to get some of his own experiences of Northern Ireland down on paper, or at least as a digital file, before they're lost. He also asked the question - what would you see if you were suddenly catapulted into the Discworld and fiction became reality? How would an average British person cope in a strange new place? Which occupational group in British society might assimilate and blend in best, and make the most of the situation? What would you do, what would you see, how would you know you weren't on Earth any more? How would different people rationalise it to themselves? How would this hypothetical person cope with a world where there is more than one sentient species - several of whom hate each other as deeply and abidingly as Irish Catholics and Protestants appear to?Owing to misadventure and a series of close encounters with the mysterious Mrs Norah Tachyon (from Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell stories), a patrol of British Army soldiers narrowly escapes death on the Roundworld only to be scattered all over the city of Ankh-Morpork. Other concepts from Roundworld piggy-back in with them and pose problems for Lord Vetinari, Sam Vimes, the wizards and the Assassins. There are several sub-plots, both on Earth and on the Discworld.How the two sides come to an understanding is dealt with in the story. Meanwhile, the story continues at home, as Lieutenant Philip Holtack's sassy sister begins to realise everything is not as it seems and she tries to work out What The Hell Is Going On.On the Discworld, Holtack is defending himself at a trial, fighting off Thieves, angry seamstresses and irritated Clowns, making friends with a sympathetic Assassin or two, preyed upon by a vampire, and finding out about Trolls and Dwarfs. He is in a strange and dangerous place and needs to find out all he can about it. Fast.Catch up with this monster story here...
The Apartheid Era: The story is set in 1985 when apartheid was still a going concern. It certainly is on the Discworld, in Rimwards Howondaland. Also Hans Ruijterman, the drifter from Rhodesia who ends up in the British Army because fighting for a living is all he knows. And he's good at it. Vetinari calls him a mercenary...
Ensign Newbie: Philip Holtack is just experenced enough not to be this. The Batallion Butt Monkey is Second Lieutenant Rebecca Trett, Captain Band's deputy. She is brand new, completely inexperienced, and Ground Zero for every put-on and practical joke going.
Father to His Men: certainly the Colonel. Lieutenant Philip Holtack aspires to this but most of the time considers it an achievement to be Big Brother to his men. Many of whom are older than he is.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Even more than in canon: Ankh-Morpork seems to be England, Howondaland is the disc counterpart of South-Africa, Llamedos is Wales...
Fish Out of Temporal Water: seven very confused Roundworlders who end up on the Discworld. Plus the even more confused, and confusing, Norah Tachyon, who is probably the best placed of them all.
Flying Saucer: AMUFORA believe this is how Holtack and the other Visitors arrived in Ankh-Morpork. It was more like Shopping Trolley And Mysterious Old Bag Lady - but AMUFORA refuse to believe this, calling it yet another government cover-up.
The Fun in Funeral: Denise Holtack starts uncontrollably and hysterically laughing at her brother's funeral. It's either that or howl with uncontrollable tears - she does this too, but later.
Girly Bruiser: Just about any young female character who appears. Pratchett does not write weak and wimpy women. Special kudos to Johanna Smith-Rhodes, Jocasta Wiggs, and Sian Nash.
Heel-Face Turn: what Holtack hopes to be able to persuade IRA gunman Mac Elroy to do, as it looks as if his co-operation will be needed to return all the Visitors to Earth. But will he listen? And he has to be found first...
Have I Mentioned I am Gay?: Denise Holtack is troubled that her brother appears to have simply not noticed, despite the fact she's dropped quite a few hints as to why she doesn't have a boyfriend. Indeed, Philip invites her to a Mess Ladies Night with the obvious intention of setting her up. she does in fact cop off. Only not with a male officer. Also, Discworld Alice Band finally comes out to Ponder Stibbons, who was also blissfully oblivious.
Impressive Pyrotechnics: Johanna Smith-Rhodes dealing with the Shopping Mall Parasite in its new mutated form. note Well, she teaches Applied Exothermic Alchemy to senior student Assassins. It's the skill that got her into the Guild in the first place. Given the Million to One Chance in action, this exactly coincides with an even more impressive explosion on the Roundworld. Via a nearby mysterious bag lady, the two bangs open a window allowing eight Roundworlders to escape death and wake up in a new place.
A rogue broomstick also impacts into the wasteland used by the University to dump centuries of magical waste. The resultant mushroom cloud only fuels fears of alien invasion and the deployment of advanced extraterrestrial weaponry.
Iron Lady: Joan Sanderson-Reeves. The Roundworld Alice Band, up to a point.
Men In Black: Vetinari's Dark Clerks, Assassins in government service, sent out to assess rumours of an alien visitation and to monitor public unrest at this news.
Mistaken For Afterlife: All seven men transferred to the Discworld after the bomb explosion briefly consider this might be the case.
My Sibling Will Live Through Me: HEX reveals that Denise Holtack, in one possible timeline, may have a son who she will call Philip in memory of her apparently dead brother.
New Meat: "Boy" Hughes, the youngest and newest member of Seven Platoon.
No Celebrities Were Harmed in the making of this fiction. Prince Charles and Princess Diana are referenced, mainly in the context of Philip Holtack being enormously relieved that in saluting Royalty with a ceremonial sword with which he had received minimal training, he did not inadvertently insert it into the royal nostril. Or indeed his own.
Not Enough to Bury: this is what Denise Holtack is initially told concerning her brother's apparent death. the Army explains the apparent absence of bodies by pointing to the bomb explosion being so incredibly large that six men were completely vaporised. She considers it to be the sort of huge black joke her brother would have been first to laugh at - that a coffin will be filled with sandbags containing dust and rubble from a Northern Irish street, that just might contain a few atoms of her poor dead brother.
Later on a psychic with a finger on the pulse tells her that they Never Found the Body. This is her first sign that things are not what they seem.
Oh Crap: the moment where Holtack finally realises that there are such things as vampires.
Personal Effects Reveal: Roundworld Alice Band has to sort and account for the personal effects of Phillip Holtack after he is presumed dead.
Ultimate Job Security: normally a Tom with a disciplinary record as bad as Fusilier "Head-Butt" Powell would be out on his ear at the first available Dishonourable Discharge. But since he is a mainstay of the batallion rugby side, the Colonel, Captain Endion-Williams, and Lieutenant Holtack, all collude to keep him in the unit. Despite eleven years' service, Powell has not advanced beyond private soldier's rank.
Vampires Are Sex Gods: and at least minor goddesses. An unprepared Holtack, who starts off by not even believing vampires exist, is powerless to resist Sally von Humpeding.
the Wild Card. Ruijterman's special loyalties and sympathies. And the Provisional IRA gunman Mac Elroy, who slips between worlds with a gonne and ammo which is outside Holtack's control, and a burning desire to kill Brits. He's already had Holtack in his sights once.
With Due Respect; Holtack's attiude to Lords Rust and Selachii when he realises they're not so much soldiers as self-promoted idiots. Various sergeants' opinion of his marksmanship. Holtack's attitude to the Royal Ulster Constabulary senior officer investigating accusations of assault.
World Building: Part of an ongoing attempt to expand Pratchett's disordered and often internally contradictory Discworld by adding countries hinted at or barely there in the canon, giving them backstories that fit, and smoothing out contentious bits of the discworld timeline. note There are no timeline difficulties. Only alternate pasts. - t. Pratchett..
You Have to Have Jews: Corporal Greenberg and Fusiler Cohen, whose Jewish Mother gives Holtack an administrative issue to deal with. Also CSM Weissmann, the Army Rabbi who helps resolve things to Mrs Cohen's satisfaction.
Also Holtack and Powell's suspicions about the Cenotine religion (the one with the secret of making the very Yiddish Golems, and which patronises kosher butchers).