'Ready?' asked Guenter.

'I been ready to bust outta this place for ages,' replied Warren. 'You're the one insistin' we get a plan first.'

'What I mean is, you ready to take out the guard when he opens the door?'

'Sure, whenever. He's late with our food again.'

'Quiet. Here he comes.'

The guard opened the door to their cell and Warren hit him on the head with half a book. Then the two prisoners ran past the surprised guard and slammed the door behind them. 'Quick, down this tunnel!' said Warren pointing.

They ran down the corridor with Warren leading the way. His portion of the book had covered most of the dungeon layout and various deficiencies in guard placements. Down the corridor, through a door, up another corridor, through another door, up a flight of stairs, down another corridor, through two doors in quick succession, through a coridor that would more aptly be called a tunnel, through a small door, down a passageway, and up another flight of stairs they ran. Then after knocking out another guard by means of slamming a door in his face, they scampered down a hallway, through a small wooden door, down a flight of stairs, through an open doorway, a ways along a long passageway, and then tried a locked door, turned around, and ran back a ways along a long passageway, through an open doorway, up a flight of stairs, through a small wooden door, and up a hallway to the unconscious guard, from whom they snatched a ring of keys. Then they ran down a hallway, through a small wooden door, down a flight of stairs, through an open doorway, a ways along a passageway, eventually reaching the locked door again. Quickly, Warren tried each of the keys on the keyring.

None of the keys worked.

'You got another way out of here?' Guenter asked.

'Yeah, sure. Gimme a minute,' said Warren, going over the maps in his head. 'There's a key storeroom not too far from here. The report said they kept it unlocked 'cause otherwise nobody could get the keys. A catch-22 or somethin'. Anyway, it was listed as gaping security flaw number eighty-eight. Follow me.'

With Warren leading the way, the two prisoners dashed down the passageway and took a left where it crossed another. Past several dark offices and a janitor's closet, they hurried along doing their best to avoid detection.

'The report said the janitor uniforms are kept in unlocked janitor closets,' said Guenter, stopping. 'We could disguise ourselves just in case.'

'You think we got time?'

'We should. That gaff with the locked door slowed us down, though.' Guenter scowled at Warren.

'Not my fault. The book said they didn't lock that door.'

The two quickly dug through the janitor closet and located two uniforms which they promptly donned. 'Now, onward to this key storage room of yours.'

Left, right, left, left, right, and then finally a decisive left. 'Yeah, it was too the left, I'm sure.'

'You don't seem too sure. Can we stop turning left and right and actually go down the corridor now?'

'Yeah, left it is. Let's go.'

They hurried down the corridor to the left. Then Warren stopped short. 'No, I meant right.' So they turned around and hurried back the way they'd come. Then they headed through an unmarked door, along another passageway, up a staircase, and through two more doors and three more tunnels, at which point they found themselves facing a door with a sign reading 'Key Storeroom (Leave unlocked or it's useless)'. 'Here it is. Told you I knew the way.'

'Great, now let's get the key we need.' They entered through the door and stared in awe at the seemingly endless shelves of keys, each hanging neatly on its own little hook.

'Okay. So....which one?'

'Gimme a minute.' Warren began searching through the keys.

There were a lot of keys in the key storeroom.

'Hurry it along. They've probably realised we're escaping and are hunting for us like mad.'

'There're a lotta keys here.'

'Isn't there a nice master key we could take?'

'If you find one, let me know.'

Guenter walked over to a shelf and grabbed a key. 'This one is labelled "Master Key". Let's just use it.'

'Great, let's go!'

They ran through tunnels and up staircases and through doorways and down staircases and all around and finally reached the locked door that had so stymied them earlier. Quickly, hey tried the key in the lock. 'Oh, wait, this doesn't say "Master Key". It says "Mustard Key". It's the key to the mustard container in the cafeteria.'

'And everyone thinks you're the smart one.'

'So how do we get out of here now?'

Just then a guard approached. 'Hey, you two. There's been an escape so all janitors are to leave the grounds immediately for their own safety.'

'We were just about to do that, but this door's locked.'

'You're janitors. Don't you keep the master key in your pocket?'

Warren felt in his pocket. 'Oh, yes, here it is,' he said, pulling out a key. He quickly unlocked the door and the two disguised escapees went through. 'Thanks for the info. Ta-ta!'

'"Ta-ta"?" repeated Guenter. 'Is that how you think janitors talk?'

'I'm sure they talk all sorts of ways. They don't gots the same standard lexicon of us mobsters.'

'Fine. Which way?' he asked, reaching a T.

'Left, then the first doorway on the right. Say, does this evacuation mean we can just walk right on out?'

'No, standard procedure in such situations is to confirm the identities of everyone leaving. We can't have that, so we'll have to go with the plan devised earlier.'

'The one you refused to detail for me? Turn left. I go the impression that plan wasn't gonna be a great deal of fun, am I right?'

'Fun it may be. Pleasant, not so much. The dungeons are shared by a research laboratory that studies monkeys. We're going to ship out in a barrel of monkeys no longer needed.'

'I don't like monkeys. They're not dignified associates for a gangster like me to be hangin' out with.'

'Don't worry. Most of them will be dead.'

'They'll still look undignified. Probably smell funny too. No one respects a hitman who smells like monkey faeces no matter how smart he dresses.'

They arrived in the shipping room for the research laboratory and hid behind a stack of crates. 'How'll we get past all these interns?' asked Warren.

'That's the easy part,' Guenter told him smugly. He pulled open a crate labelled 'Research Assistant Applications' and tossed a handful out into the room. There was instant pandemonium as the interns scrabbled around all trying to grab an application. Fist-fights broke out. One guy lost his glasses in the scuffle. 'Hurry. Into the monkey crate by the door.' Avoiding the fighting interns, Guenter and Warren made their way to the open crate of monkeys and climbed in.

'Hi, fellas,' Warren said to the monkeys, who responded with a bit of weak screeching. 'Quiet down, guys. And no getting faeces on my duds.'

'Warren, you're wearing a janitor's uniform on top of your prison jumpsuit. It's not exactly some fancy threads.'

'Still, I don't want to smell like shit, okay? Nothing betrays an amateur like stink. Whatever you wear, keep it clean. That's how people know you're a respectable business man, not some ordinary criminal. I'm not gonna be a slob just 'cause I'm escaping from prison in a barrel of monkeys.' He moved to a relatively vacant corner--nothing but a couple of dead monkeys--and sat down. 'What'd we do now, anyway? Just sit and wait to be shipped out?'

'It should only be a couple minutes. Once they fill out the forms, they'll send the crate on its way. We wait until it's out of the dungeons and then climb out and make a run for it.'

'Won't the lid be nailed shut?'

'Oh...you know, you got a bad habit of pointing out flaws in my plans when it's too late.'

'You got a bad habit of keeping your plans from me till it's too late to object.'

'Okay, look, all we gotta do is wait until we reach where the open the crates at the end of the line. We'll be surrounded by people, but it won't matter 'cause they'll not be guards and we'll be out of the dungeons.'

'Assuming they don't bury the crate without opening it first.'

'Oh, they wouldn't do that. These monkeys aren't all dead. It'd be cruel.'

So the two sat in their crate trying to avoid faeces and waited. Eventually, sure enough, the crate had its lid nailed on and they could feel it being shipped somewhere.


'What was that?' asked Warren.

'I think we should see about getting this lid off right now.'

They pounded on the lid of the floating crate, but it held fast. 'So what now?'

'Monkeys are supposed to be strong. We need to convince them to help. Push on the lid, boy. Come on, you can be free!'

'These monkeys all look sick. Or dead. I don't think they're feelin' exceptionally strong just now.'

'You got an idea?'

'We could call for help. No one knows we're prisoners. All they'll know is someone is drownin', and they'll rescue us.'

'That doesn't sound very dignified. Are you sure your ego can handle it?'

'Don't much matter if I'm dead, ya know.' He began pounding on the lid of the crate. 'Hey! Anyone! Help us, we're drowning!'

After about an hour of this, the men gave up. 'Well, at least we're not sinking. And we have plenty of monkey meat to eat.'

'Yeah, but the monkeys may think they got human meat to eat. Plus there's no toilet. We're gonna smell like faeces.'

Two days later, they were thirsty, covered in monkey bites, and smelled of faeces, but were otherwise no worse for the wear.