Morals and Quandaries

Chapter 10

"This place must be really popular."

Sly gave Bentley a look as he made his comment, but the turtle could only sigh.

Sly and the gang were having a tough time trying to find a place to set up their safe house while they were staying in Italy. Apparently they managed to get here right during the time when most people are in fact going to Italy, so most of the houses they saw were occupied. Even some of the more run-down houses had at least some people in it.

Eventually, they were forced to abandon the city, as they could not seem to find somewhere discreet. Murray turned the van around and headed towards the countryside, hoping that an empty house would pop up somewhere.

As they went along the dirt roads, Sly couldn't help but smile as he stared out at the plains.

"Man, isn't this place beautiful, you guys? The blue skies, the green grass…I'd love to live here someday. That is, if we're not being chased around the continent by a lunatic."

"Ugh, don't remind me." said Bentley, giving Sly a sour look before sneezing.

"You okay there, buddy?" asked Sly, giving his friend a concerned look.

"I'm good. Allergies are acting up a bit."

"Okay. Just let me know if you need anything, alright?"

Bentley nodded, and Sly returned to staring out the window. Eventually, he managed to spot a house on the side of the road. Excited, he quickly turned towards Murray.

"Murray, stop the van!"

Murray slammed on the brakes, nearly giving the three of them whiplash as he turned back towards Sly.

"What? Did you find something?"

He quickly checked through the back window of the van to make sure no cars were behind him, but thankfully they were the only ones on the road.

"I think we might have found our safe house." said Sly, pointing towards the house that was now just out of the gang's view.

Murray backed the van up a bit so that the three of them could take a good look at the house.

"Are you sure, Sly? This doesn't seem like it's holding together all that well."

Bentley's intuition was right, as the house looked pretty old. It was just over their safe house in Switzerland in terms of quality, according to the turtle's estimations.

"Oh come on, it can't be that bad. Besides, didn't I say the same thing about the first safe house?"

Bentley opened his mouth to answer, but he realized Sly did have a point.

"Alright, let's have a look around inside. I don't want anything crawling out of the woodwork to get at us."

Sly shrugged, seeing no reason to argue. Once Murray parked the van next to the house, the three of them finally went inside, hoping that they wouldn't have to go back out again.

Thankfully, they didn't need to, as Bentley's inspection determined the house to be suitable for the three of them.

As Sly and Murray sat down at a table in the kitchen, Bentley wheeled up to them and placed his laptop down on the table in front of him. Both of them expected him to open it and immediately get to work, but they were surprised to see him leave it closed, looking at them expectantly.

"So, since we just got here, I'd rather wait for us to rest up before we try any heists. It's getting late anyway."

"Well, I'm not really tired yet. Is there anything you guys want to do?" asked Sly.

"I am kind of hungry. We haven't really eaten since that one motel on the way here." said Murray.

Bentley's eyes widened for a second as he remembered said motel.

"It was kind of strange that a motel on the side of the road would serve food like that. It seems like it would be a little out of their star range."

"True, but at least we got something to eat. There was pretty much nothing past that." said Sly.

"Yeah, I can't complain about that. Let me go check the van. I'm not sure exactly how much food we have left."

Bentley wheeled himself outside the house, returning a few minutes later carrying a single box that he tossed on the table, a slightly angry look on his face.

"Can someone explain to me why this is all we have left? I specifically remember us having more than just this."

"Hey, I had nothing to do with this! Last time I looked in this box, there was double the amount of cans in here."

Although Bentley didn't exactly believe Sly, he chose to play along, turning towards Murray.

"Was it you then, Murray?"

"N-no, I didn't do it!"

Murray's attempt at a lie backfired on him, as the expression on his face betrayed him. However, rather than yell, Bentley sighed, as he became disappointed.

"Why would you do this, Murray? We were depending on this food to last us until we're done with Anton!"

Murray didn't answer, his lip quivering. Finally, he burst into tears.

"I'm sorry, you guys! I was just really hungry!"

As much as Bentley was unhappy with Murray's choice, the remorse that the hippo was feeling at the moment made him reconsider doing anything drastic. He sighed, knowing that he couldn't stay mad at the big guy.

"Sorry, pal. I didn't mean to yell. Just…please let us know if you're hungry, okay? We need to ration this out a little better if we want to make it through this."

It took a few seconds, but Murray finally calmed down, and he sniffed before replying.

"Thanks for understanding. I'll make sure not to ever do something like that again!"

Sly leaned over and gave Murray a pat on the shoulder before returning to business.

"So, I guess this means we're gonna have to get some more money together if we want to restock on food. Does ThiefNet sell provisions like that?"

Bentley paused for a second before replying.

"You know, I've never thought about searching around for that. We've never really had that problem before, so I've never felt the need. I'll take a look around."

Bentley opened up his laptop and pulled up ThiefNet. The next few minutes were silent, as no one really knew what to say considering the circumstances they were in.

Finally, Bentley sighed as he shut his laptop, returning his focus to the rest of the gang. Sly knew immediately that the turtle's expression was a bad sign, but he chose to ask anyway.

"So, do they have anything?"

Bentley shook his head before replying.

"Unfortunately not. So, this means that we're gonna have to find food on our own. I did manage to get in contact with someone from Italy, though, and he told me some good places where we could restock."

Murray nodded, surprisingly able to understand where Bentley was going.

"I see. Once we get some money together, we can go to these places and get some more food!"


"So, do you have any artifacts or anything that we can get to make the money?" asked Sly.

"Uh, no actually. My connection to the Internet in this area isn't exactly the most stable. That's why it took a while for me to do that search and everything."

Sly sighed, taking a look out of the window.

"It looks like it's getting dark out. I can go out and do some recon, if you think that'll work out."

"No offense, Sly, but I'd feel better if you stay here. It'll take a while for you to get into town without the van, and I really don't want to take the chance, especially with Anton still alive."

Sly was slightly annoyed at not being allowed to go into town, but he could see Bentley's point.

"Better safe than sorry, I guess. Alright Bentley, I'll stay here." he said, sighing.

"Thank you for understanding, Sly. Anyway, I'm gonna try to take a look around ThiefNet and see if there's something good available. Hopefully my connection holds out."

"Anything you need us to do?" asked Murray.

"No, I'll be fine. You guys can go hang out somewhere. I'll call if I find something."

Bentley once again opened his laptop back up, and as Sly and Murray got up from their chairs, they heard grumbling coming from behind the computer screen, no doubt coming from the annoyed turtle.

Once Sly and Murray were out of earshot of Bentley, they both initially agreed to head outside and do some sparring to loosen up a bit. However, when they looked through one of the windows in the safe house, they found that it was way too dark for them to be able to see.

Sly sighed, turning towards Murray.

"The one time when a spotlight would actually be a good thing, and we don't have one. What's the deal with that?"

Instead of answering, Murray just chuckled. Sly blinked for a second, not originally intending to make a joke, but he smiled, happy that he can still keep things somewhat light.

Letting out an exaggerated sigh, Sly flopped down on a couch, Murray choosing to follow the raccoon's lead a few seconds later.

"I'm bored."

Murray gave Sly a questioning look.

"That was fast. We barely even sat down."

"Well, I'm glad that I'm exceeding your expectations, pal."

Murray couldn't help it, as he burst out laughing. This ended up drawing Bentley's attention, as he wheeled into the room.

"You guys look like you're having fun. What's going on?"

"Oh, nothing. Just trying to keep the mood light." said Sly.

Bentley stared at Sly, unsure of what to think of him.

"Okay…anyway, I've found something that should get us a nice amount of money."

"That fast? I thought you said your Internet was being slow?"

"I did. It just didn't take me long to find it."

Sly shrugged.

"Alright, let's go see what it is."

However, Sly's path into the kitchen was blocked by Bentley, who put a hand up to stop him.

"I would show it to you now, but unfortunately the information I got said that the artifact is being kept under lock and key until tomorrow night. There's no chance you're gonna be able to get to it before then."

"What's tomorrow night?" asked Murray.

"There's gonna be a huge ball at the building where they're keeping the artifact, and you're never gonna guess who's throwing said ball."

"Who?" asked Sly.

"Our old friend Henri."

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