Every guild has at least one member who takes guild business “a little bit too far”. This frequently ends up two valleys and three hills away from the intended destination and equally as frequently involves a corpse. Or several.
Guilds also have those members who don’t take business far enough. This is mostly due to laziness and occasionally due to someone’s conscience suddenly showing up at the scene, despite its owner’s certainty that they’d left it at home.
But then there are those who take the guild business exactly where it should go. Not only to the right hill, but even the right house, room, piece of carpet. Many aim for this, but very few deliver. One or two deliver every time. These people are usually watched very closely. Sometimes because they are about to be promoted (this rarely happens), but mostly because no one wants to be within a two mile radius when such a person snaps.
In the Guild of Assassins this person was Lord Havelock Vetinari. His precision and efficiency were such that he was given the most difficult assignments in the hopes that he would fail. Lord Downey had people follow him around to be constantly aware of his actions. At first they gave him regular reports, but soon they started to lose him.
Lord Downey tried a different tactic. He assigned someone to find out all of the man’s habits and learned absolutely nothing new. Lord Vetinari had an old dog. He had a butler named Drumknott who was more of a secretary and merely ordered other servants around. He lived alone with thirty servants in the house, including a cook and several maids all of whom were loyal to their master.
They tried to tempt Vetinari with someone who wasn’t a member of the Guild of Seamstresses, but he gave his coat to the young woman, apologized and had Drumknott escort her back to her home.
Lord Downey tried to hint to Vetinari that, perhaps, the man could find a better use for his time and was met with a blank stare.
It is said that there are trees that grow regularly for several years until one day they start to favour one side or another and symmetry is forgotten. For Vetinari this moment came one late night when he was on his way home from another successfully completed mission.
He slipped into a shadow as soon as he heard approaching footsteps.
“And – hic – I told them! I told them: the city is like a wossname. It swallows you up and never lets go. Takes your soul. The blastered- damn thing eats it up, like, like…” A man, obviously drunk out of his mind staggered down the street, grabbing hold of the walls as he moved. “I’ll just take a nice nap here on… Elm Street… Get back… later.” He dropped on the ground and passed out.
Lord Vetinari snuck closer.
The drunk started to snore. In the dim light from a nearby house Vetinari could just make out the man’s clothes. Captain of the Night Watch. Oh dear.
He continued on his way, not throwing any looks behind and not thinking about what he saw.
But the symmetry was broken.