Space Janitor (166) watched on. There was no way to tell how things were going to turn out for any of them. The guard dogs looked amongst themselves while Denabol paced the ground, circling Shep still. Shep was no longer moving. Shep radiated quiet confidence. If Space Janitor didn’t know any better, he would have said that Shep was smirking. But he couldn’t be too sure.
“I let them go and then what?” Denabol blurted out finally. “Then the next of them ask to go, and I let them. Then the next set, then the next set. Soon I will have no one. Then who will help me?” Denabol stopped and looked directly at Shep. Shep nodded along with Denabol, then took a moment.
“That is part of it Denabol,” Shep started. “You understand that, don’t you?” Shep let the phrase hang for a moment. “It is up to dogs to do with it what they want. You can give them freedom. Only the dogs themselves will know how to use it. Does that make sense? There are dogs here who will mess it up. They might even end up working alongside me in future if they really make some bad choices. However you have to let them,”
“But they’re so useful down here. Don’t you get that, so useful,” Denabol said his voice faltering. “There is so much that they can do for me,”
“Now that doesn’t sound like a relationship based on mutual respect, does it?” Shep prodded. “If you gave dogs a choice and they abandoned you then how loyal were those dogs, to begin with? Do you really want a pack of dogs that will stray at the first opportunity?”
Denabol looked at the pack of dogs assembled in front of him. What was his judgment?
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