Lucky Dog 1 translations 03 Bernardo Route 19
Part 1: Prison
A long while after roll-call and lockdown, I abruptly sit up.
We’re through preparing. I can visualize the escape route, the way out of these walls.
It’s time to go through with the escape plan.
According to my biological clock, it’s 3AM. I hop up from the mattress. Time to get rolling.
I approach the door and slip my hand through between the bars. Lockpicks in hand, I stick them in the lock and tinker them around for a bit.
…Not even a minute goes by before the lock pops open. As long as I have tools like these, locks don’t stand a chance.
I glide down the empty hallway. Quietly. Silent footsteps.
Well, you do have to consider the time of day. The only thing I’d expect to hear is snoring from some cell down the hall.
I manage to reach Bernardo’s room, two cells down, and open his bars without anyone noticing.
Bernardo: You’ve kept me waiting, Honey.
|Gian: I’m so happy you’re up, Darling. …Let’s go.|
Keeping banter down to a minimum, Bernardo and I hurry to the next destination. With soft footsteps, we slink down the passageway and head towards the opposite row of cells facing the center.
His expression’s a bit stiff. Seems like he’s nervous.
Ivan’s the last one on this floor. The three of us head down to the bottom floor.
On the way, we pass by a room with a prisoner sitting awake, but…
|Ivan: …Make a sound and you’re dead.|
…Ivan quickly threatens him and Bernardo passes on by with a shady smile. Luckily, the man doesn’t make any loud noises.
|Gian: Ivan, your footsteps are too loud. Take off your shoes.|
Ivan: Huh? Tsk…
Looks like even Ivan knows that a single mistake can cost our lives in this situation. He follows my order without a single protest.
We continue on quieter than before. We safely make our way down the stairs and reach the first floor.
Luchino slips through the open door.
|Ivan: You take your shoes off, too. You’re probably gonna be really loud if you don’t.|
Luchino: Huh? Oh, right…
Giulio’s room’s over there. I lead the way since I have to open the lock and dash down the hall.
Suddenly, a small scream comes from somewhere, and I feel my insides freeze. Without turning back, I keep moving on when two voices reach my ears.
|Bernardo: Please be quiet… If we make it out safely, everyone here will receive packs of smokes by the dozen.|
|Luchino: Once your sentences are over, come on over to our store. The ladies will dust you off, head to toe.|
The two of them hush the prisoners who’ve noticed our escape. The others nearby can probably hear them, too, since both their voices were relatively loud.
I hear them without listening as I fiddle with the keyhole to Giulio’s room.
Giulio: Signor Gian… Thank you.
|Ivan: No problem! You’re the last one.|
He wasn’t talking to you, Ivan.
Giulio quickly flicks a glance at Ivan before returning his gaze to me. He steps into the hallway without a sound. It’s at this time Luchino and Bernardo catch up.
It’s probably because more inmates are awake now than before, but there’s much more noise. There’re some quiet conversations going on between the prisoners, but not a single person has raised his voice to call the guards.
Bernardo and Luchino’s offers and attempts at keeping them quiet seem to be working.
|Gian: Looks like we’re all out without a hitch.|
But … five grown men really doesn’t lend to the atmosphere of sneaking and creeping.
Bernardo: Where are we heading to next?
|Gian: This way…|
I jerk a thumb towards our destination. We hurry as quietly as we can down the passage.
Just a little further ahead is the door leading outside. It’s not our destination, but it is a crucial checkpoint.
Just then … I feel a twang as someone trips a wire in my nerve cells.
There’s someone beyond the door … and of course, there’s no way it’s a prisoner. Suddenly, everyone freezes. They hold their breaths.
The doorknob squeals about halfway open…
Stilling my breath, I wait for the person to enter. I prepare myself to time a quick grab to the mouth, muffle it…
|Lloyd: …What’s this?|
The person who appears at the door is Lloyd. The open grin he greets me with is so out of place that it warps the tension around us instantly.
|Gian: You won’t … raise a commotion, will you, Lloyd?|
Before anyone can attack Lloyd, I quickly cut in.
In that moment, I wonder whether I did enough to secure the deal.
|Lloyd: Oh that’s right. Us two, we’re friends … aren’t we?|
With those words, Lloyd – amused smile still on – suddenly plops himself down on the floor.
|Gian: …You’ll let us go?|
|Lloyd: Yup. Tie me up so it doesn’t hurt, though, will you? The story’s … you got the jump on me on my rounds and knocked me out. Oh, we’ll need a gag, too.|
I nod to the other four. Without a word, we tie Lloyd up using his clothes and set him in a corner.
|Lloyd: I hope we meet again elsewhere.|
Lloyd says as he winks before I set the gag in his mouth.
With a dry smile, I urge the others on, and then we’re on the move again.
We arrive at room 16. It’s the room in the far corner.
I haven’t met him yet, but a guy named Owen is locked in here.
I swiftly open his door, and when I enter his room, the middle-aged man sleeping on the bed wakes up.
So, this is Owen.
He’s looking over at us uneasily… …Damn, he might start screaming.
|Gian: Owen, you wanna meet Elena?|
Owen: Huh? How…?
I preempt Owen with his daughter’s name.
|Gian: You just want to finish your sentence without a hitch, right? Then all you have to do is look the other way. When the guards come and ask, just say, ‘They threatened me, so I couldn’t do anything,’ and it’ll be all right.|
Luchino: That’s how it is. Just keep quiet for a spell, good sir.
At some point in time, Luchino’s approached the guy and slung his arm around his shoulder. Owen still looks pretty uneasy, but he shuts his mouth.
|Gian: Owen, it’s me. Giancarlo. You’ve heard about what’s going on, I trust? And about your compensation, too, right? …Take out what we asked you to get ready.|
Owen: …The candle, matches, and a long string…?
Like he suddenly realized something, Owen ruffles around under the mattress he was sleeping on. Watching him from the corner of my eye, I count the stones on the floor.
Ah, it’s just under the mattress. It’s been a year since I’ve been here…
|Gian: Ivan, Giulio, take up that end. We’re sliding this.|
We push Owen aside and slide the bed on the floor away.
On the first floor, the beds aren’t stuck against the wall. It’s thin, but they’re provided a single mattress.
What appears beneath is ordinary floor. At a glance, there’s nothing there.
But, after inspecting the seams to the flagstones, I stick in the flaps of thick paper I’d prepared. They’re from notebook covers I’d ripped up.
With the two paper flaps, I carefully maintain a constant force as I pull up, and … shoomp, a stone slides out.
Below that, I can see earth.
After that, I pull out the slabs one after another. Beneath the space left behind, I see some old wooden boards. When I move those…
|Bernardo: …Hey there.|
The hole that appears in the ground beneath the board is narrower than if you formed a ring with both your arms. It’s a pitch black void, sucking in all our gazes.
|Ivan: Wh-What is this? A secret passage?|
|Gian: Bingooo. Riiight in one. It’s a tunnel leading out.|
I take the candle, match, and bundle of string from Owen who’s looking completely flabbergasted. I check the goods. None of them are in bad condition. I’m relieved.
Ivan: When’d … you dig something like this out?!
|Gian: I didn’t dig it. I hear some G-men from way, way back made it ‘cause they wanted their own route to come and go from prison. Maybe that’s it?|
Owen, who’d been sleeping on top of this tunnel this whole time shook his head vigorously in denial. Guess this is the first time he’d heard this.
The other four stare down both exasperated and impressed at the tunnel.
Luchino: Its origins don’t matter. How did something like this stay in existence and avoid getting destroyed for so long?
|Gian: ‘cause no one ever found out about it, of course! Top secret things are hard to handle, you know. At some point in time, they probably plum forgot about it for some reason.|
Luchino: Seriously? …How droll.
|Gian: Plus, no one’s used it to get out of jail until now.|
|Gian: All the prisoners who know of this decided to sit on this without using it. If you keep it just for some goods trading, you get to use it longer. Smart, right?|
In reality, things only come through very rarely, and no one’s used it this past year.
I heard about this tunnel in secret from Simon – the old man in charge of the joint’s circulation of goods – a long time ago. It’s a trump card, just in case I ever have something I absolutely must get in or out without fail.
|Gian: There’re other ways to get out besides this … but, this hole’s like it was made just for us five grown men to use, right?|
It’s our good fortune that none of the wards ever found the tunnel and no one’s ever used it to escape before.
Once it’s used, there’s no question the administration’ll discover the tunnel. And then they’ll probably fill it in.
It’s a waste to just use and dispose of it like this, but it’s our best card for such a difficult breakout.
…Now that I’ve selfishly used up such a precious trump card, I’ll have to send some top-notch supplies to Simon and co. later…
|Gian: About time we get going. Owen, move the board and flagstones back and hide the opening before the next round comes by.|
It doesn’t really matter if they find the hole or not, but it’d be wonderful if we could get some extra time.
Plus, we might even be in the clear without the tunnel ever being discovered.
If Owen can stay away scotch-free from all the commotion after they find out we’re missing … then it’ll be the best for both of us.
|Gian: Now then, file on in, one at a time. No fighting or quarreling, boys. It’s reinforced down there, but it’s old and brittle. If it happens to cave in for whatever reason, we’ll be buried alive.|
|Gian: Pretend it’s a virgin hole and you’ve gotta go in reeeeal gentle and smooth.|
Ivan: Virgin my ass. We’ve seriously gotta climb in this shithole…?
Complaining all the while, Ivan crouches down and puts his feet down into the hole. It’s more or less chest-deep. I wave my hand, telling him to crouch down, and Ivan’s head disappears.
Ivan: Hey! It’s fucking dark down here! I can’t see a thing!
|Gian: Move on over, and stop there. After that it’ll get deeper before opening up into a tunnel.|
|Bernardo: What about light?|
|Gian: There’s matches and a candle here. …Oh, I wonder if the air’s stagnant down there.|
|Luchino: …We better not run out of oxygen down there.|
|Gian: Don’t worry! I’ve gone through it once. It was just a late night stroll back and forth, though.|
Five grown men’ve never trudged through it before, so I’m a bit anxious, but … of course, I’m not mentioning a word of that to anyone.
Saying farewell to Owen, we hop on down into the tunnel one after another.
I head out the part in front and we make our way gradually through the dark.
The width of the tunnel’s enough for one person to pass through, and at places you can’t go forward without stooping. And here and there, the ceiling crumbles a little, dropping dirt down at our feet.
The wood supporting the ceiling here and there aren’t so far gone that they’ve rotted away, but they’re clearly showing their years (though not quite too many yet).
It just adds to the old coal dugout’s shabby and hazardous appearance. Without the faint light from the candle, we couldn’t even walk through here.
With the long string in place of a rope, everyone lines up in a row as we conga down.
|Gian: Five minutes’ distance up above’ll take twenty minutes to walk down here.|
It’s not a distance I can easily make myself either. We’ve got string, so things shouldn’t be bad, but we’re going pretty slow so we don’t lose sight of the candlelight, which is in Giulio’s hands at the end of the line.
|Luchino: …Where does this lead out to?|
|Gian: Outside the walls, or rather, one of the many dumps up against the wall. There’re no guards, and there’s a road just out front. We’ll wait for our ride there.|
|Bernardo: You asked me to have a car circle around the prison walls starting thirty minutes after sunrise. Is that what you’re referring to?|
|Gian: Thanks for setting it up, Bernardo. It must’ve been really confusing this whole time.|
|Bernardo: No … we don’t know where the information might get leaked. That much secrecy is good.|
I’d asked Bernardo’s men to wait outside the wall beforehand with the car starting sunrise.
Since we’re in the strange circumstance where the time and day of escape hasn’t been set, the driver should be coming every day again and again starting day before yesterday until Bernardo stops him.
Once we get out of the tunnel, if our car picks us up, then we’ll make a beeline for Daivan. There’s no need to sneak about on foot.
|Gian: Oh. …Tsk, half of it’s caved in.|
A part of the ceiling where there’s no reinforcement’s caved in.
It gets a lot narrower, but at least the tunnel seems to keep going.
|Ivan: The hell? The fuck is this? It’s all your fault, Gian! Can we get through?|
|Gian: It’s not like I could do anything about it. It’s not like I had the time to do maintenance on the route beforehand! The tunnel’s probably still good past this… We’ll just have to pass through this part carefully. And quietly.|
|Luchino: …Gentle and smooth like a virgin, right?|
|Gian: That’s it.|
|Ivan: Virgins are boring.|
|Giulio: We should … continue onwards. Hurry.|
|Luchino: Virgins have their good points.|
We go down on hands and knees and crawl through one by one.
Continuing through the narrow tunnel as it gradually gets smaller and smaller just pours oil on the indescribable anxiety flaring inside me.
If the ceiling suddenly caves in… If we suddenly run out of air… Worst case scenarios keep coming to mind.
|Gian: …Ngh… A little more… Hah!|
Suddenly, I manage to squeeze my top half through, popping out into an open area. It’s a wider path than before, and completely intact.
Hastily, I pull myself out from the narrow hole and call to the ones behind me.
|Gian: It’s fine here. It’s reinforced, too. Just a little more. This’s the hard part, so be careful!|
First comes the biggest of them all, Luchino. Following him’s Bernardo. Ivan. One after another, they slip through the perilous pass.
Giulio’s taking up the rear.
|Gian: You all right, Giulio?|
|Giulio: …Yes… Oh. …No…|
Thump. Everything around us shakes as the sound of earth raining down on us assaults our ears.
It might’ve been an earthquake or a large collapse somewhere, but we suddenly take a step back.
We hold our breaths, but there’s no more rocking after that.
But … the narrow hole the four of us’d passed through just now, that’d been open up until now, is now buried under with dirt that’d fallen from overhead.
Did the vibration from four people passing through push it to the limit? But Giulio’s still inside.
Luchino: It collapsed…?! Hey, Giulio!!
|Gian: Giulio?! Are you still alive?!|
Bernardo: …! …Hurry and dig!
Agitated, we start digging at the dirt blocking the tunnel with our hands.
The string we’d brought with us juts out from the soil. So long as it’s not cut, we’ll find him at the other end.
Luchino: Wait! If we go about this carelessly, we’ll just make it worse!
Ivan: …Hey, we’ve gotta get outta here. It’s already caved in this much!
|Gian: Wait! There!|
A small pile of dirt pops out from the rest, and it crumbles away to reveal … fingers.
|Gian: Giulio! He’s alive!|
With bare hands, we claw at the earth, uncovering Giulio’s hand.
We grab it and pull him out, and with unexpected ease, drag Giulio’s entire body out. Or rather, he climbs out himself.
It doesn’t look like he was actually buried alive. Giulio himself wasn’t especially shaken, and when he sees us looking so relieved, he actually looks mystified.
Giulio: The passage had been covered in front of me … but I was safe. I heard your voices, and the string was not cut, so … it must have been passable, and so I also started digging as well…
Giulio: It is the leftovers of your good luck…
|Gian: Fuck if I know. Sigh, that scared me to death there.|
Now we’re over the peak. I boldly hurry down through the much more extensive tunnel and, at the dead end, search the ceiling with one hand as I turn back to the others.
|Gian: Have you noticed? …We’re already outside the joint now.|
One by one, the bricks in the ceiling pop out. I move open a hole big enough for a man and pull myself up and through.
Outside is a storage dump for raw materials buried under piles upon piles of wooden and cardboard boxes. It’s a hut, built with one side borrowing the sturdy prison wall.
Ivan: We’re … outside the walls … right?
|Gian: Pile the dirt we dug up back in the hole. We’ll cover up our tracks somewhat, at least.|
Bernardo: Haa… Fresh air is so nostalgic…
Leaving the others behind as they climb out, I creep towards the door without letting my guard down and get a feel for what’s outside.
It took longer than expected, but we should’ve made it in time for sunrise…
When I silently peer outside, the sky’s starting to faintly change color. Just in time, huh.
Bernardo: When our ride comes, we’re taking the ride to Daivan?
|Gian: That’s right. …Good job, folks!|
Luchino holds out a hand. It’s his right, with the CR:5 tattoo on it. I mentally chuckle as I also extend my right and, Fwap!, we exchange a slap.
Luchino: That’s all for now, OK? I’ll voice my gratitude when we reach Daivan.
Next, Bernardo, smiling tiredly, stretches out his hand. Again, we slap with a Pah!
Bernardo: Narrow places are absolutely awful…
|Gian: The air was a bit stagnant down there, true…|
I feel eyes on me when Giulio also stretches out his hand. For some reason, we shake hands. I was expecting a high-five, though.
Ivan: We might’ve broken out, but I’m still not acknowledging you as the Boss yet, got it?!
|Gian: Yeah, yeah.|
Ivan: Until we get a formal meeting in front of the Boss and all the hermits, you’re still just a captain! Below me!!
Jeez, he sure knows how to rain on the parade.