Space Janitor (131-140) found himself curling up on his bunk, afraid of what Digger was about to do.
Digger, in particular, seemed to get very agitated. It was only then Space Janitor realised the poor dog might be pushed over the edge.
Would he try and calm him down? No, there was no point in doing so. Space Janitor was desperate. Desperate to get out of the cage. This would help both of them in the long run.
“Oh boy, you’re going to feel so upset when you realise how hard I can dig,” Digger exclaimed. Digger stepped back, taking both paws and digging with ferocity.
Dirt was dug up fired at the ceiling. It went everywhere, and Space Janitor had to cover his eyes. Now they were getting somewhere at least. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be long now for Space Janitor to get out.
The dirt stopped flying, and it all went quiet. There was no sign of Digger reemerging. Was that it, is that all Space Janitor could hope for? His only chance at escape disappearing down a tunnel.
Space Janitor grew frustrated.
There he was still sat in the cell. He had overplayed his hand, and now the dog on the other side of the bars was gone forever.
Space Janitor convinced himself. If he was not going to get out with the help of Digger, then he might have to take matters into his own paws.
Space Janitor got down of the cot onto his knees. The floor was hard and showed no sign of moving.
Space Janitor scraped his paw along the surface, but it made no difference.
He did all he could to move some of the floors, but nothing happened.
Just then, the door opened, and a guard dog appeared to take the bowls away.
“What’s going on in here?”
Space Janitor looked up and out to the guard dog. What was there for him to say.
“Stop digging,” the guard dog shouted. Space Janitor held up his paws and stood up.
The guard dog looked at the newly formed hole.
“I tried to stop him,” Space Janitor lied.
“Be quiet,” the guard dog barked back. It was subtle, but Space Janitor was able to pick up the fear in the voice.
Space Janitor watched the guard dog. All it did was look at the hole. There was no movement. Space Janitor was confused by the whole thing.
“Is there something the matter?” Space Janitor enquired.
“Be quiet, I’m, you know,”
“Thinking,” Space Janitor offered.
“I said for you to be quiet. Bad, bad, bad,” said the guard dog. Who they were talking to remained a mystery.
It only occurred to Space Janitor then that the guard dogs were being fed the same berries. Or was it beans, whatever they were. If this dog had been stupified, then it would make much more sense.
Would he be able to manipulate the guard dog in the same way as he had Digger? Was there any possible way for him to get out of this room. What were they doing to Shep? It seemed like a long time ago for him.
“This is a prison guard dog,” said the guard dog. Was it really as bad as that for them? Did they really have no names? How could Denabol allow for such cruelty? How will a dog know if he’s being called if he doesn’t have a name to answer to?
Space Janitor wanted to reach out to the guard dog and tell him it was OK. To find a name for him too. Was this to be the future for these dogs?
Space Janitor saw the pain in the dog’s eyes. This was causing great distress. Distress unsuited to such a beast. If the dog was allowed to retain its natural intelligence, then things would be different for the rest of them.
Suddenly there was the sound of rumbling. It was low at first and could not be made out entirely cleary, but it was there.
Space Janitor picked it up, but the guard dog chattering on the radio was oblivious.
As well as the intelligence, these berries appeared to dull the senses too.
Could it be that these dogs have barks worse than their bites? Could they bite?
“There was a dog, but now there is a big hole,” the guard dog said. “Can dogs turn into holes. Maybe it explodeded,” Space Janitor felt an urge to correct but fought it back.
Something was barked back to the dog, but Space Janitor could not make it out clearly.
“You there, did you see what happened, did it explode?”
“Everything happened so fast, really I can’t be entirely sure what happened,” said Space Janitor.
The guard dog regarded him for a bit longer. The grill across the eyes stopped Space Janitor from getting a good read on the guard dog. It was almost as if there was some form of time delay that didn’t fully allow for the guard to respond too quickly.
Speak in less long sentences, the guard dog said.
“Sentence is a big word still so don’t use,”
“Are you having trouble over there?” Space Janitor was worried about the beast.
The rumbling was getting more apparent. Space Janitor wondered if the guard dog had noticed.
“What is that?” the guard dog said.
Space Janitor looked at the guard dog and smiled. The rumbling was getting louder and louder. Now the whole jail was shaking.
The guard dog looked down. Underneath his feet, the ground grew more cracks. Hairlines appeared everywhere and grew.
It was clear that the guard dog wasn’t sure what to make of the whole endeavour. Space Janitor tucked his legs in on his bunk and braced for impact.
The entire floor of the cell opened up, and Space Janitor fell through the hole in the ground. The guard dog fell too.
They had not fallen far, but there was a lot of rubble and dust where they were.
A large silhouette appeared in front of Space Janitor, he recoiled.
“Told you I could dig,” it was Digger standing over him triumphantly. His tongue lold about his mouth. Space Janitor was happy to be wrong.
“There you go Digger, you sure showed me. Where are we exactly?” Space Janitor asked.
Digger looked puzzled, turned his head left and right, he sniffed the air.
“Down, I think,” Digger responded. Space Janitor smiled and held out a paw. Digger hoisted him to his feet, and Space Janitor dusted off his jumpsuit. He looked about. He coughed at the dust in the air.
Then he heard groaning. Lots of groaning.
“You’ve caused a cave in Digger. We need to see if anyone is hurt,” said Space Janitor. Space Janitor looked about him and begin to dig in various spots.
Digger laughed at Space Janitor.
“You really don’t know how to dig do you, mister. Oh my, that is not good digging,” said Digger. “Look, you can’t even do it right. Say do you want Digger to help?”
Space Janitor stopped what he was doing and then looked round to Digger.
“Some help would be good come to thinks of it,” Space Janitor said.
Digger smiled at Space Janitor.
“Helping is what I do best of all, especially if the help comes in the form of digging,” Digger said. Before taking up a position beside Space Janitor.
Digger shifted rocks and boulders with great ease. There was still a lot of yelping and groaning coming from nearby.
Digger overturned rocks with ease. There was a sense that they would be able to do this quickly. Space Janitor could see that there were legs and tails below the rubble.
Space Janitor did what he could to help.
He found it better if he focused on the efforts of Digger in the right direction. There was an urgency in the air as well as the dust.
Digger helped to free up enough. Space Janitor took over and pulled a dog-free. There was a sense that there was some hope after all.
“You took a pretty bad hit,” Space Janitor said to the small dog in front of him.
“It’s my leg,” said the dog, “I can’t lean on it or nothing,”
Space Janitor looked down and saw that the small dog’s leg was indeed severely twisted.
“Stand to one side please, there are a few more of you trapped in here,” Space Janitor said. “Shield your eyes too,”
Space janitor wondered to himself, how many of these dogs were there? Were they all packed in together so Denobol could get as much use out of them as possible? None of it made sense. What they were digging for, what the point of all this was, it made no sense.
What was going on?
Digger was bringing up more of the other dogs. They all had some sort of injury or other. Most of the floor was clear, and there was a sigh of relief given out. Was this all of them.
“Good job Digger,” Space Janitor said, patting him on the back. The hulking beast’s back arched up and down. Even if he did cause this, it was good that he put his all into righting his wrongs.
There were a lot of dogs buried down here with him.
Now that most of them were unearthed there was now the question of what to do with them? How would they get out, Space Janitor wondered to himself.
“I’m hurt,” one of the other dogs said.
“Me too,” said another. The others were small dogs and quite yappy too. There was a sense that they would all start yapping.
“We have to figure how we get out of here,” Space Janitor said addressing the group.
“We could try digging,” Digger announced. Space Janitor flashed a smile at Digger but didn’t respond verbally.
“Yeah, we need to figure out a way to get you back in your cell,” said one of the dogs. It was at this moment Space Janitor realised that not all the dogs were diggers.
“Now let’s not jump to that conclusion. There is a time and a place for that. Now is not the time,” Space Janitor said.
“Think I pretty much have to do it,” said the unmasked guard dog.
“Now you have yourself a choice, OK. You can capture us but remain trapped in here with us. Or you can work with us and get out of here together,” Space Janitor begged.
What choice would the guard dog make?
“Now that we’re all on the same page,” Space Janitor said keeping a close eye on the guard dog. It did not object. “We need to figure the best way out of here,”
The other dogs nodded in agreement.
“I know a way,” Digger muttered.
“Thank you, but digging got us into this mess. I’m not sure if it will get us out,” Space Janitor responded.
Digger’s face dropped.
“Now we seem to have fallen quite a way down,” said Space Janitor. “I don’t know if this wall leads to anywhere. Does any of you know where we are?” Space Janitor looked around at them.
Despite the darkness, he could see that they all looked at him blankly. Space Janitor picked up one of the still working lanterns and held it up to get a better look at their faces. They were filthy, their hair had grown way too long and crooked teeth.
Not only were these dogs fed something to block their higher intelligence, but they were physically mistreated too. Is this what it was to be a stray? Even the guard dog looked wretched now that his helmet was off. A wave of pity washed over Space Janitor. How could he help them?
One of the dogs raised a paw.
Underneath it all, there was still the spark of a dogs intuition.
It filled Space Janitor with hope.
“Yes, go ahead,” Space Janitor encouraged.
“Where are we,” said the dog.
Hope was syphoned off.
“We don’t know, and we’re trying to work out where we are. I thought you might have an idea. Seeing as you are the ones who work here,” Space Janitor said.
“You work here, too?” the dog responded. “Aren’t you a boss?”
Space Janitor was taken aback by the question. He hadn’t thought about what it meant. Was this an opportunity for him? He could take charge of the situation. Would it be right for him to lie and say that he was indeed the one in charge?
Space Janitor looked around. They were stuck. There was no way for the group of them to be able to get out of this hole. It was up to Space Janitor to work his way out of here.
Space Janitor decided.
It would be better for him to lie to them and get them out alive rather than stick to a hard truth. If there were to be consequences for his actions, then he would rather face them alive than dead. He had a better chance of fighting them off if he were alive.
“Yes, I am the boss. Like a boss, we have to get out of here, and that is an order. Now because I am the boss, that means you have to do what I say no matter what. Guard dog you have to join in too. We all need to get out of here together, alright,”
The guard dog did not respond.
Space Janitor took it as a good sign.
“Now, you might all be used to digging down. But now I have a brand new idea that will help us get out of here,” Space Janitor stated.
The dogs all nodded.
“We are going to dig across and see where that leads us,” Space Janitor said. He still not sure if they could comprehend what he was saying.
Heads slumped forward and brows furrowed.
One of them could be seen forming the words in their head.
Space Janitor smiled. It seemed like on some level they were accepting what was being said and maybe he could motivate them to work as a team.
“Yes that’s it exactly, we’re going to try digging across and see where that leads us to. Now it might not be easy at first, but this is what we have to do. To be better off than the rest of the other dogs. Make sure not to crowd each other,” Space Janitor wasn’t sure what else he could say.
Space Janitor tried his best to get his bearings to see which way was the best to go. He looked up to try and see could he make out the best way for them to dig. It was no use, he would have to guess it and hope for the best.
Space Janitor picked a random wall and pointed to it.
“OK, Digger, you lead the way,” he said to the most massive dog in the group.
“Oh, boy do I? You know better than anyone I know how to dig. It’s just about my favourite thing to do. You know I’ve never done it across the way before. But if it involves digging, then I guess I’m down for it. Let’s get digging,” Digger said in one breath.
Space Janitor smiled.
Digger took up position and then the other dogs fell into place around him.
They stood to attention and then looked round to Space Janitor.
“Well, you have to say,” said one of the more scruffy looking dogs.
“OK then, dig!” Space Janitor commanded.
Soon they were digging. Digger was way ahead of the rest of them, and they moved forward at quite a rate. Space Janitor shielded his eyes.
“Are we doing alright?” Digger shouted back to Space Janitor.
Would you mind reading from the beginning because it’s a fantastic place to start. You can find the first instalment of Space Janitor by clicking here.
Have you stumbled upon this and are wondering what the hell is Space Janitor? Look no further, click here.
Also would you mind signing up to my email because you’re a legend.
Thank you and have a great day,