Quick note this is Space Janitor 031-040: If this is your first time reading, you might want to consider reading the first compilation. Would you mind? Because you’ll enjoy, click here.
“I don’t know if I can help you,” said Space Janitor.
“OK, I understand it’s just that I’ve been lying here for so long. I’m starting to get hungry all over again. I know the Glutos has a zero tolerance on outside eatery infiltrators. In this case, it feels like Glutos must fulfil its end of the contract.” said the voice.
“You’re bleeding, you know that?” said Space Janitor.
“That’s fine, we’ll deal with that all in good time. Right now as a subscriber. As a permanent resident here, it would go over very well if you were to either reimburse me for the lost food. You could double the eating time at least.” said the voice.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m a humble mutt. There’s no way for me to be sure. Not until we get this mess sorted out.” said Space Janitor.
“I’m a salamonium class customer. My name is Slimpins Kezor. I would like to speak to the owner. Who is your super? I’m hungry, alright.”
“Where is the owner?” Space Janitor whispered.
“I contribute to this place. You are the employee. You do what I say. What is this your first day?” Slimpins said, getting louder.
“It is, and I don’t work here. I’m with the cleaning branch, sector, people. We’re dogs, mainly.” said Space Janitor. He had backed away from the body by this point. He was standing up and noticed that the giant mass was getting smaller.
Space Janitor noticed Slimpins was deflating.
There must have been some hole somewhere leaking the insides out. The chances of Slimpins living a long full life were Slimpins. (Too soon, I mean, he’s not dead yet.)
Space Janitor walked towards the source of Slimpins voice. There was disapproval in Slimpins voice.
“All I hear from you are excuses. What I want to know is what are you going to do for me?” Slimpins demanded.
Space Janitor thought about what Slimpins was saying. Slimpins breathing was shallow, but the frustration took on a new depth.
“I don’t know if there is anything I can do for you. I don’t work here, I don’t even know what’s going on here. What happened?” Space Janitor asked.
“This is not how you run a business. I’ll not be back if this is how you treat a valued resident. When I came here, I was malnourished. Over time through loyal custom, I was able to put on enough weight I became dependent. Then I moved in. There were extension mods I had to have installed all at my own expense. I worked hard to get this size. Now look at me, I am wasting away.” Slimpins pushed his stomach. More of the contents fell out the side.
There was a wet, sloshing sound. Slimpins was in pain and Space Janitor didn’t know what to do. What would you have done in this case? Slimpins regardless of species, was dying. Space Janitor wanted to move away, but he remembered how alone he had felt at the beginning of his life.
Space Janitor wanted to proceed and get on with the task at hand, but he felt he should stay a little longer. As Slimpins deflated, there was the green flicker on the far wall. It was at it’s faintest. If he wanted to catch up to it now would be Space Janitor’s chance.
Space Janitor stood for a while longer. He closed his eyes and regained his composure. Space Janitor was aware he had not responded to Slimpins.
“Are you still there?” Slimpins asked the darkness.
“I’m still here,” said Space Janitor.
“Are you going to stand there mute, or are you going to get a manager or whatever your power structure?” asked Slimpins.
“There is no manager, there is no power structure. Right now, everything is in the dark, and I’m not too sure what is supposed to be happening. Understand you’re hungry, but the fact of the matter is in a few moments it will not matter” said Space Janitor.
“Oh, won’t it now? How come, you’re going to remove me for rudeness is that what it is? Well, go on then in that case. Throw me out. I want my food. You’ll be hearing from my other goods provider. Do not expect any more money. I came here skinny, and by the sounds of things I shall be leaving here skinny too.” said Slimpins.
“The fact of the matter is that there appears to be some hole on the other side of you. I can’t see, and all your insides are leaking out the one side. Are you aware? Are you aware that you are leaking?” said, Space Janitor.
“What? I mean, I’m hungry, but I thought that was because I was waiting for so long. I’m going to die?” Slimpins asked. There was a whimper creeping into the voice now.
“I don’t know. I’m just a standard-issue cleaning mutt. I don’t know if there is anything I can do to help. If there is, I will do what I can to serve. Otherwise, any information you have as to what happened here would be a great help. It would help me to perform my job better.” said Space Janitor.
There was a dripping sound. It came from somewhere in the corridor. A loud echo. Space Janitor was aware. He was aware that he was not doing his job. Space Janitor was aware somewhere up ahead of him there was a colleague that was working. While his colleague worked Space Janitor was technically slacking off. Slacking off by listening to this dissatisfied customer.
“Are you still alive?” Space Janitor asked.
Space Janitor listened to make sure Slimpins was dead.
“No, I’m not dead yet. Although I have come to accept my fate that I will die in a way, I did not live. Not eating, this is deeply disappointing, and I will be putting in for refund procedure. Posthumously I will be buried with what I’m owed.” said Slimpins. He sounded weak and fed up. Not fed in the food sense. Do you know what I mean?
“You want to be buried with food?” Space Janitor asked.
It wasn’t until this moment that Space Janitor realised that he was hungry. As in famished. He had been on the move since he was conscious. Even though there were many bad smells, there were a few fragrant ones. Space Janitor was aware he was panting somewhat.
“Yes, bury me with the food. It’s mine, I’m entitled to it, would you deny me food?” Slimpins said. Some of what he said was becoming garbled as he was choking. It could be on his tongue, it could be something else. The amount of inhale/exhales was definitely down to double digits. It was a case of was it 99 or 10. More than likely it was somewhere in-between.
“I’m so hungry,” said Space Janitor.
He didn’t mean to say it aloud. The phrases slipped out his mouth. Had his stomach commandeered his speech centre?
“I don’t see how that is relevant information to me. I’m the customer. You work for me. I am the hungry one, and somehow you manage to make this all about you? I will see to it you get a negative review and I hope a termination. You selfish mutt. How dare you. How dare you.” said Slimpins.
“You’re giving me a bad review?” said Space Janitor.
Space Janitor waited for the inevitable response.
“Of course you’re going to get a bad review,” said Slimpins, “What were you expecting to happen? To be showered with praise. You stupid mutt.”
“Is there anything I can do to help you out any further?” asked Space Janitor.
“How desperate would I be to have to admit to needing your help. You have provided me with nothing and offered me nothing. Your bed is ready-made. Now is time for bed.” said Slimpins. What little strength was in him was being used to conjure up bile from within.
“Oh, OK, then. If that is how it is to be, then I shall be on my way. Enough of your mound has deflated that I can step over you. I’m sorry that I have not been of any use. Your patience and feedback have been invaluable to me. Enjoy dying, and if you do reincarnate, then I might ask you to reconsider. Have a wonderful death.” Space Janitor said in one go.
Space Janitor stepped over Slimpins body. Slimpins head moved to follow the silhouette of Space Janitor.
“Wait, don’t leave me. Don’t leave me, please. I am scared and hungry. Don’t leave me, please.” said Slimpins. The voice shrunk down. The distance between Space Janitor and Slimpins grew larger.
Space Janitor heard sobbing, then choking then the corridor was silent. Space Janitor stopped for a moment to consider the passing of this great fat alien. He shrugged as if a silent partner was talking to him.
The green glow had vanished from the end of the corridor. It split left and right. Which way would he go? There was no indication of the correct path.
Space Janitor listened. He didn’t want to disturb Spenglactic.
There was something in the air. Space Janitor wondered what it was.
Space Janitor sniffed the air. It was definitely there. What he could smell was a form of a biscuit. How did he know that is what it was. To be honest, it was instinctual, and there was an aspect of it that not even Space Janitor had considered.
Space Janitor was able to identify the smell and the direction it was coming.
There was a way forward for him to take. Space Janitor followed the path and the smell. It would bring him to an opening.
The room opened out in front of him. The smell was stronger now. Something that made Space Janitor salivate. He stood still and breathed it in. In the still dark, he could hear the sound of snapping and crunching.
Space Janitor was drawn towards it and walked in the direction in the hope that he could get to the centre of this maze. A loud crash emanated from somewhere. Space Janitor was startled by the noise. He carried on further down the path towards the sound.
Over a railing, in a lowered area of the floor, he could make the outline of someone in the same jumpsuit as him. They were crouched down to be as small as possible. Space Janitor leaned on the railing to get a better look.
Space Janitor’s force on the railing caused it to creak.
The being in the jumpsuit below looked up at Space Janitor startled. The eyes glistened in the darkness. It didn’t move, and Space Janitor felt uneasy.
Was it like him, or was it something else entirely? The thing didn’t pose an immediate threat; otherwise, they wouldn’t be staring at each other for so long. The shape in the jumpsuit went back to eating.
Space Janitor looked a little longer. Gripped his paws around the railing and breathed in deeply before speaking.
“Are you alive?” Space Janitor asked.
Space Janitor looked down at the shape. It stopped eating. Without looking up, it spoke.
“Of course, I’m alive. Are you some kind of new mutt?” said the voice.
“I’m glad to hear that. There was someone back there who was alive when I found arrived, but that appears not to be the case anymore. Are you in the process of dying?” Space Janitor asked.
“Aren’t we all?” the voice said back. Space Janitor didn’t feel the barb. “Guess break time’s over. It stood up. It was a dogsbody like Space Janitor. “Who sent you? This is supposed to be a one dog job” said the shape.
“I did what my pack told me,” said Space Janitor. The shape stopped, it turned in Space Janitor’s direction.
“What?” asked the shape. “You’re letting your pack dictate to you. Step into that light over there.”
Space Janitor did as he was told and did so. The shape approached him. It was a dog of black and white patches. The face was mainly black fur with white protruding along the chest. It got in close and sniffed Space Janitor. Space Janitor smelled the black and white dog’s breath. Biscuits reminded him of his hunger that still panged in his stomach.
“Where did you get the biscuits?” asked Space Janitor. His stomach again.
“You came here, cause your pack to say so?” said the other dog.
“Yes,” said Space Janitor.
“You talking like it’s your first day but you smell old.” said the other dog.
“It is my first day,” said Space Janitor.
“Don’t lie to me. You recognise me?” said the other dog.
“To recognise you I’d have to have met you before. I haven’t so I just cognise you,” said Space Janitor standing as still and upright as possible. The weight of the Spenglactic unbalanced him.
“You don’t recognise Shep?” said the other dog.
Space Janitor looked at the other dog. He didn’t want to make assumptions, but he was going to guess he was the “Shep” he kept going on about.
“It pains me, a little, but I must say that I’ve never encountered you before in my existence,” said Space Janitor. In the shaft of light, he could see Shep’s expression drop. Shep blew some breath out through his nose.
“Could be me, maybe my memory is not so good anymore, and I’m getting confused, but you got that old smell on you,” said Shep.
“I don’t know what to say. It could be my pack, it’s old,” said Space Janitor swivelling on his hips so Shep could get a better smell of Spenglactic. Shep brought his nose close to it and took in the scent.
“Oh, it’s old, alright. Very old, dogagers must not expect you to be working for too long. Your whole set needs updating. If you live through this, then you have to get it done. If you even make enough to get something done. Then again, we’ll see how useful you are.” said Shep.
“What’s the plan?” Space janitor asked. Shep looked at him, licked his lips then spat on the ground.
“Plan? To not die for as long as possible. It’s a simple plan, and I’ve been sticking to it pretty good. What’s your plan?” Shep asked. He turned away from Space Janitor and walked up a set of stairs. Space Janitor watched him then raced after him.
“I don’t have one. Guess I need to do the job first,” said Space Janitor.
“Right, all sounds good. What do you reckon that job is?” said Shep a few paces ahead.
“I don’t know, probably to clean but I don’t really know where to start. It’s all a mess, isn’t it?” asked Space Janitor.
Space Janitor followed Shep round a corner. The two had entered into a banquet hall. It was dark, there was some outside light piercing through giving a vague idea of the layout. Tables had been overturned as had some alien bodies. There was the sound of spilling and smashing coming from the other end of the hall. Shep crouched down.
“I said, it’s all a big” Space Janitor felt a furry paw pinch his mouth shut and pull him to a crouched position.
“Quiet, we’re not alone in here. Do you hear the noise? Something is feeding.” said Shep.
“Another resident? They must really want their money’s worth,” said Space Janitor.
She looked down at a display on his own Spenglactic. He adjusted a dial, and the brightness of the screen went down. For a brief moment, although all moments are fleeting, Space Janitor saw the dogs face proper. Shep’s fur was patchy. His right eye had a droop. The droop appeared to be related to a scar that began strong, low on his cheek and faded out above his brow.
“Resident? It really is your first time. Listen for the sound” Shep said, holding his index finger to cue up an effect.
“What sound?” Space Janitor asked. Shep’s finger elevated further. There was the sound of a snap and then sucking. Shep dropped his paw and smiled.
“There you go, that sound. We’re dealing with a marrow muncher. You and I are in the unfortunate position of having bones in our body. It’s going to want to eat us. Now, we’re not on the menu, and if we do get eaten on the job, we’ll face heavy penalties. There’s a chance of fines. I don’t want to get eaten or get a fine. What we’ll do is take it on from different angles and coordinate our efforts. How does that sound to you?” Shep asked Space Janitor.
“Sounds like a plan” Space Janitor said.
“Good, let’s get to it,” Shep said. His voice sounded like he was smiling. Shep rose from his crouched position, Space Janitor followed suit. “If you make your way to that remote area. Hug the walls alright because you don’t know how big it is. There’s so many dead, and they have a considerable mass on them. Could be the size of a cab, to be honest, we don’t know, but hey that’s all part of the job.”
Shep turned away and peered into the blackness where the sound was coming from.
“Can you see anything?” said Space Janitor. Shep turned back to him.
“I got rid of my amplifier scope. To be honest, dogagers keep me above the surface most times. I’m pretty used to my eyes too. All fun where I’m from.” said Shep. Shep looked at Space Janitor’s Spenglactic and run his paw along the side. “Say you have an ampi-scope. It’ll come in handy. Did you have this the whole time?”
“I don’t know,”
“What do you mean you don’t know?” Shep asked.
“It’s my first day,” said Space Janitor.
“That excuse is only going to get you so far, you realise that?”
“Up until my second day.”
“Don’t be funny,” said Shep wagging his paw in his face. “It doesn’t suit you and look, your Speng isn’t even turned on. How the in the moremuck did you get all the way in here? How you expect to get anything done with an unpowered pack?”
“It said it only wanted to be on when necessary.”
“You wear the pack. The pack doesn’t wear you. Understand? Some of these packs are overly enthusiastic. Especially when it comes to patching their programming. Don’t let them tell you what to do. Now turn it on,” Shep demanded.
“It’s not going to like that,” said Space Janitor. Shep got in Space Janitor’s face. Space Janitor reached down the side of Spenglactic. He flipped the switch from down to up, nothing happened.
“What’s the matter?” Shep asked.
Hope you enjoyed. You can stop reading, what follows is for the SEO
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