Morals and Quandaries

Chapter 16

Unfortunately for Sly, it turns out that the gang was way more tired than they thought they were, and when Sly finally opened his eyes, he found the morning sun beating down on him from the windows.

Quickly sitting up in his bed, Sly took a quick look outside to make sure he wasn't actually seeing things.

"Seriously? Did we just sleep through the night?" he thought.

Sly considered trying to convince Bentley to check out the sights of the town anyway, but he knew that his friend would be more worried about getting into the city. Sighing in defeat, he got out of his bed, stretching himself out as he prepared for the day.

Eventually, the others woke up, and they both were also surprised to see the sun outside.

"Well, I suppose it's good that we at least got a good night's sleep." said Bentley as he pulled himself down to his chair.

"I guess. It kind of sucks, though, that we're not gonna have time to check things out around town." said Sly.

"Unfortunately not. Personally, I would love to, but I think keeping ahead of our pursuer is the priority right now."

Shrugging, Sly got himself ready to leave. However, before the three of them could head out of their room, a loud crash came from what appeared to be the lobby, followed by shouting.

"What was that?" asked Bentley, a fearful look on his face.

Sly was about to answer when he heard a loud thunk, followed by the sounds of footsteps getting louder every second.

"It's him! We need to go!"

"How? He's gonna be here any second, and there's no way to get around him!" said Bentley.

Sly quickly scanned the room before laying eyes on the window.

"Go through the window. I'll hold him off."

Both Bentley and Murray opened their mouths to argue, but Sly silenced them both with a glare.

"Go! Now!"

Reluctantly, the two of them went to the window, which was thankfully large enough to accommodate them both.

Murray barely managed to pull Bentley through the window and disappear from view before the door flew off of its hinges, and Anton appeared in the doorway.

"Ah, Cooper! I was hoping to find you here. That lady out there was very uncooperative, so I had to make an example of her."

Sly quickly glanced at the desert eagle that Anton was holding, which he noticed and spoke up to allay his fears.

"Oh, don't worry, I didn't kill her. I just pushed her out of the way…maybe a little harder than I would've liked, but oh well."

Sly decided that now wasn't really the best time to make a snide remark, so he simply rushed forward, swinging his cane. However, Anton was prepared, dodging the strike and throwing a right hook that barely missed Sly by inches.

The sheer momentum of Anton's punch ended up throwing Sly's balance off, so he was forced to go on the defensive for a minute or so, dodging Anton's punches and blocking some with his cane.

Eventually, Sly knew that he had to delay Anton enough so that he could make his escape, so in the back of his mind he quickly formulated a plan.

Ducking under a roundhouse kick from Anton, Sly reached out with his cane to trip Anton up, but this time the crazed wolf managed to roll through the attempted sweep, getting back up to his feet almost immediately after falling to the ground.

"Nice try, Cooper, but that isn't going to work again."

Luckily for Sly, Anton's gloating left him open, and the thief took the chance, slamming the non-hooked end into Anton's jaw. As the wolf's head bent back from the force of the blow, Sly immediately pivoted into another sweep, sending the wolf to the ground.

However, just as Sly was about to head for the window, he noticed the Desert Eagle fly out of Anton's hands. Pausing, he caught the gun in midair and stared at it for a moment, the thoughts immediately rushing into his head.

"Go ahead, Cooper. Kill me! End this right now!" yelled Anton from the floor as he tried to goad Sly into doing the deed.

After a few more seconds of staring at the gun, Sly turned around and pointed the Desert Eagle at Anton, aiming right between the eyes.

However, he couldn't pull the trigger, his moral code preventing him from doing so.

"Come on, Sly, do it! Just one shot! End this and we can all go home!" he thought to himself, desperately trying to will his finger into pulling the trigger.

He still couldn't do it, though. Disgusted, he threw the gun away into the corner of the room before turning around to make his way to the window. Before he could, though, Anton spoke up.

"I knew you couldn't do it, you coward. Sometimes in life you have to do things you don't want to if you're going to get ahead. Keep than in mind."

Sly didn't answer, choosing to hop through the window and quickly run towards the van.

As for Anton, he chose not to follow, knowing that they still had no chance of escaping him with the tracker still functional.

When Sly managed to return to the van and Murray pulled it out on to the road, Bentley knew it was a good time to talk, so he turned around to face Sly, who had his head in his hands, a distressed look on his face.

"What took you so long, Sly? I thought you were just going to hold him off."

Sly sighed before choosing to answer.

"I managed to disarm him. I had the gun in my hand, and he was on the floor…defenseless."

Bentley was slightly taken aback by what Sly said, but he managed to compose himself.

"Did…did you do it?"

Sly shook his head.

"I threw it away. I couldn't do it."

"Why not?!"

Sly stared at Bentley, taken aback by the harsh tone his friend had.

"You had him at your mercy, Sly! All you had to do was fire one shot, and we could go home and go back to our normal lives! Why couldn't you do it?"

Sly considered telling Bentley that he already told him why, but he knew that what he told him wasn't entirely the truth.

"Look, let me just be frank with you, Bentley. I know I told you before that the reason I don't use deadly force was because of my parents. That wasn't the complete truth."

Sly paused before continuing on.

"The real reason is because of my legacy. I know that I'm the last Cooper alive right now, but what about if I end up having kids? I don't want them or my wife to think of me as a murderer, even if it was justified."

Bentley sighed.

"Look, I know that your intentions are good when you say that. I completely understand that you're trying to think of your future. We don't have any other options, though! Anton's a freak of nature! We can't just hope that he gets arrested."

Sly opened his mouth to argue, before he suddenly realized that Bentley was right. Although he was still unsure if he would be able to pull it off, he sighed and stared down at his feet.

"You're right, Bentley. I don't know if I'm gonna be able to do it, though."

"Just don't think about it. Or heck, just tell yourself that you're doing a good thing by eliminating something that could lead to the death of the Cooper lineage."

Sly didn't reply immediately, as he weighed his options in his mind. Eventually, after finally making his decision, he lifted his head to look at Bentley, a determined look on his face.

"I want to end this. I'm sick of running."

Although Bentley was entirely comfortable with the prospect of resorting to murder, he nodded gravely and sighed.

"Let's just keep heading for the city. We'll think of a plan once we get situated."

As they expected, getting through the city proved to be a challenge with the large amount of cars that were on the streets. Even then, not one member of the Cooper Gang spoke, preferring to focus on the mission that was ahead of them.

Eventually, they managed to find an apartment building, and they all headed inside once Murray parked the van.

After checking in, which thankfully went smoother than their check-in with the last hotel, they headed to their room.

As for the room itself, it was surprisingly much more spacious than the Long Island hotel, with a TV off in the corner, and three beds with enough room to move around between them.

Even though Sly wanted to keep focused on what was ahead of him, he couldn't resist commenting on the state of the room.

"Man, who would've thought that an apartment building inside a city would be better than an actual hotel?"

"Well, most people do tend to live inside apartments for a longer period of time than in hotels. I'm sure they would want to have something a little more substantial." pointed out Bentley.

"True. At least we have something good to live in while we're here."

"Hopefully it shouldn't be too long. I'm kind of itching to get back to Paris." said Murray from off to the side.

Curious, Sly turned towards Murray, who was sitting down on one of the beds.

"Why's that, Murray? Don't you like it here?"

"Oh no, it's nice here. I'm just not too enthusiastic about the idea of having to deal with all that traffic on a regular basis."

Sly shrugged, realizing that Murray did have a point.

"So, what's gonna be our plan? Are we just gonna let Anton find us?"

"Pretty much. I don't know how he keeps finding us, but I suppose that it could work out in our favor." said Bentley.

"Good. I'll head off somewhere else and lead him away from you guys."

"Wait, what are you talking about, Sly? We're coming with you!" said Murray, giving Sly a confused look.

Sly sighed.

"Look, I think it would be safer if I did this alone. I don't want to have to worry about keeping you guys safe and fight him at the same time."

Murray opened his mouth to argue, but he couldn't get a word in before Bentley interrupted him.

"Sly's right, Murray. I think we'd just be a hindrance more than a help, especially with the powerhouse that Anton is. Sly's gonna need to keep focused if he's gonna have a chance against him."

Although Murray was disappointed he wasn't going to get to crack Anton's skull, he agreed that Sly had their best interests in mind.

"Alright Sly, we'll stay here. Just…be careful, alright?"

Sly smiled.

"Don't worry, pal. I will."

Sly headed for the door, quickly glancing back at the others before finally leaving.

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