Morals and Quandaries

Chapter 17

As Sly walked down the steps towards the bottom of the apartment building they were in, he was lost in thought as he wondered whether he was making the right decision.

He obviously wasn't lying when he said that he didn't want any of his possible future children to think of him in any kind of a negative light, especially considering he never heard of any of his ancestors killing someone.

Then again, he knew that he had to do something if they were going to be able to get back to a normal life. Throughout their adventure, Anton made it pretty clear that he would stop at nothing to eliminate the three of them.

They tried everything they could to lose him, but no matter what happened, he somehow still managed to find them.

Sighing, Sly wondered how he was going to be able to pull this kind of thing off, having never done this kind of thing before.

After finally exiting the apartment building, Sly suddenly realized that he didn't have his cane with him. He panicked for a moment before remembering that he left it inside the van.

Walking over to the parking lot, he pulled the side door open a little harder than he wanted to, but it opened all the same. However, when the door hit the end of the track and Sly went to grab his cane, he heard a light crunch.

Curious, he quickly looked around the area, wondering if someone was following him, but no one was around. When he returned his focus to getting his cane out of the van, though, he finally spotted something small peeking out from under the van.

Reaching down, he picked up the object and turned it around in his palm, wondering exactly what it was. He considered heading back inside and showing it to Bentley, but then he figured that he might as well save the walking time and call him on the binocucom.

Pulling it out of his pouch, he stuck the earpiece in and began speaking.

"Hey Bentley, you there?"

There was a bunch of loud crackling on the other end, but it eventually cleared up, and he heard his friend's voice from the other end.

"What's up, Sly? I thought you were going out to take care of Anton."

"I am, it's just…do you have any idea what this is?"

He pointed the binocucom at the object in his hand, hoping that Bentley would be able to see it clearly through the computer.

"That looks like some kind of tracking device, I imagine. It's kind of difficult to tell, though. Where did you find it?"

"It was under the van. I guess all that traveling must have damaged it enough to the point where it fell right off."

Bentley was about to reply when he paused, earning a curious look from Sly.

"So that's how he's been tracking us! I've been wondering how he kept finding us when we're hundreds of miles away. I guess all we have to do is smash it, and he'll be out of our hair, at least for now."

Sly finally caught on to Bentley's train of thought. However, instead of smashing it, Sly's brain focused on when Bentley said that it would only slow Anton down temporarily.

"You know, I've actually got a better idea."

Bentley was curious to see what Sly had in mind, but he let the master thief continue, remaining quiet.

"Since he hasn't found us yet, I'm gonna use this to lead him to a safer place where we can settle things. Hopefully this thing'll hold together long enough."

Bentley didn't answer immediately, realizing that Sly's pretty much all in at this point.

"Be careful, Sly. Don't do anything stupid, okay?"


Sly disconnected the call and put his bincocucom back into his pouch. Sighing, he began walking, hoping that he would be able to find something soon so that he could still easily find his way back to the apartment building.

Fortunately, he didn't have to walk for long, as a car nearly swerved into him as he was passing by a very tall office building.

"Hey, watch where you're going!" he yelled.

He fell silent, though, when the occupant of said car opened the door and came out, revealing that it was in fact Anton.

Adopting his battle stance, he was about ready to jump out and attack, but before he could do so, Anton spoke up.

"Ah, there you are Cooper. I was almost expecting to have to travel longer to find you. Where are you friends, anyway?"

"Pfft, like I'd ever tell you."

Anton stared at Sly for a moment in surprise before chuckling.

"No matter. Once I eliminate you, I'll find them soon enough."

"No you won't."

Anton stood there for a moment, wondering what kind of gall Sly would have to say something like that; when the raccoon revealed the tracker that he had hidden in his paw. Growling, Anton made a move to grab it, but before he could, Sly dropped it to the ground and smashed it under his foot, grinding his foot into the ground as hard as he could to make sure it couldn't be recovered in one piece.

Anton stared at the mangled mess of the tracker for a moment, dumbfounded. Eventually, anger began flooding through him at Sly denying him the chance to easily find the other members of the Cooper Gang.

Yelling, Anton rushed forward, intending to tackle Sly to the ground, but yelling telegraphed his move, and Sly rolled through, flipping Anton over him.

Sly didn't get a chance to do anything further, though, as Anton managed to roll on to his feet and rush the master thief once again. Sly was forced to go on the defensive, blocking Anton's punches as he got pushed back towards the office building.

As Anton and Sly continued to fight through the lobby of the office building, onlookers were desperately trying to keep out of their way, even heading out of the building itself. However, there was one person who wasn't so lucky.

When Sly managed to find an opening through Anton's barrage, he swung out with his cane, intending to crack him in the head. However, Anton ducked, and Sly's cane smashed into an innocent bystander, sending him down to the ground.

"Oh crap, are you alright?" he asked as he went to check on the bystander.

He was already knocked out from the blow, so there wasn't really anything Sly could do. This, however, left him completely open, and Anton took the advantage, rushing forward and kicking Sly in the gut, sending the raccoon sprawling.

As Sly desperately tried to catch his breath from getting the wind knocked out of him, he mentally cursed himself for getting distracted so easily. Unfortunately, he didn't get a whole lot more time to think, as he was suddenly in the air and flying towards the staircase.

Although Sly was in a lot of pain from hitting the marble staircase, the adrenaline helped numb it some, and he somehow managed to pick himself up, barely managing to miss getting the full brunt of a charge from the massive wolf. Still, he ended up getting nicked by one of his arms, and Sly's head snapped back from the clothesline, sending him to the ground once more.

Luckily, Sly was able to pick himself up once more, but not before noticing the blood on the floor, where the corner of the step was. Reaching behind his head, he suddenly realized that the back of his head was bleeding, and he needed to speed things up before he passed out from blood loss.

Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs, Sly turned to face Anton, who thankfully was still recovering from accidentally slipping on the stairs. Rushing forward, Sly attempted another strike from his cane, but Anton caught it, ripping it out of Sly's hands and sending it back down the stairs where he couldn't reach it.

Sly really wanted to go back downstairs and grab it, but he knew that would just leave him open again, so he remained where he was, raising his fists as he beckoned for Anton to come forward and fight.

The two of them continued fighting as they made their way up the stairs, eventually reaching a lounge area, which for some reason was located halfway up the building. By this point, Sly's vision was starting to swim from the blood loss. He could even feel the blood start to drip on to the back of his shirt. Still, he somehow managed to hold his own.

However, with Sly too focused on trying to defend himself, he failed to notice one of the chairs in the room, and tripped over it, spots flying in his vision as his head hit the ground.

Anton took the opportunity he was given, lunging forward as he attempted to mount Sly. However, he only managed to get one punch in during the attempted mount before Sly managed to slip out of his grasp, landing a kick square into the back of Anton's head as he got to his feet.

Clutching at his head, Anton managed to pick himself up and turned to face Sly, who instead of attacking chose to remain in his battle stance.

"Look at this, Cooper. You seem to be holding yourself together pretty well. The only question is, will you be able to do the deed and eliminate me? I don't believe so."

Anton sneered at Sly as he said this. Sly, however, chose simply to wipe off the streak of blood under his mouth before rushing forward to attack.

Anton and Sly continued to fight their way up the office building, and while the battle was still going strong, they were both starting to get tired out. Even Anton was a bit of a surprise, considering how much he managed to power through over the course of their journey without a sweat.

When they finally reached the top of the building, they were pretty much spent, having fought for nearly half an hour. The back of Sly's shirt was spattered with the blood from his head wound, and he was barely managing to stay conscious. His shirt was also ripped in multiple places when Anton resorted to using his claws. He even managed to draw blood as well, which didn't help Sly's case.

As for Anton himself, he was simply worn out, as surprisingly outside of a few bruises when Sly managed to muster up the strength, he was largely unhurt.

By this point, most of the occupants of the building had cleared out, and the police had the building surrounded, although nobody wanted to risk going in, no doubt hearing about the furious melee going on.

Exhausted, Sly and Anton went down to their knees, breathing heavily. The room around them was pretty much cleared outside of the cubicles. None of them were in their way, though, as there was a large area of the room between the end of the cubicles and the windows where they were currently located.

"You sure do put up a good fight, Cooper. I like that in a guy. It's too bad you won't live to see any more." said Anton as he stood up.

Although Sly really wanted to make a witty retort, with him being barely able to stand, he chose to save his strength, remaining silent.

As for Anton, he scoffed before walking forwards, grabbing Sly by the throat and lifting him up. As Sly fought to remain conscious from the lack of air, he felt another sharp pain go through his body as he was sent through the window. Anton didn't let go, though, so Sly was at least thankful for that courtesy.

"Goodbye, Sly Cooper."

Sly knew that he needed to get out of this predicament before Anton let go, so just as Anton released his grip around Sly's throat, Sly swung himself forward, wrapping his legs around Anton's throat and holding on for dear life.

As Anton tried desperately to pull Sly's legs off of him, the master thief reached down and grabbed the ledge, ignoring the pain that came from his body stretching like that.

Sly began pulling as hard as he could, intending to pull Anton out of the window himself, but the mad wolf put up a fight, grabbing the window frame with both hands.

However, the thin window frame began to bend from the stress, and with the windows around the smashed one not giving him a good handle, Anton's grip eventually gave out, and he was pulled through the window.

Anton wasn't giving up without a fight, though, as he grabbed on to Sly's legs as he fell, somehow managing to still hold on despite slamming into the glass on the floor below.

"You're not getting rid of me that easily, Cooper!" he yelled over the rushing wind.

With Anton's massive weight, Sly was barely managing to hold on to the ledge above him. Thinking quickly, he knew that he had to get the wolf to let go, so he somehow managed to free one of his legs after a mighty struggle.

Once his leg was free, he began kicking as hard as he could manage, finally catching Anton in the snout.

It took a couple more tries, but Anton's grip eventually loosened around Sly's other leg, and Anton finally fell, landing on the ground with a sickening thud.

With the weight on his back significantly lessened, Sly was finally able to slowly pull himself up and back into the office building.

Breathing heavily, Sly managed to look out of the window and see the pool of blood forming around the hopefully now deceased Anton Sobolev. He only managed to take a couple of steps back into the office building before finally collapsing, his vision going white as he passed out.

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