Morals and Quandaries

Chapter 3

"What do you mean Anton Sobolev wants us all dead?"

The one yelling happened to be Bentley, as he began hyperventilating after realizing that there was a crazed ex-Interpol agent out for their heads. Murray tried his best to remain brave to keep up his "The Murray" persona, but it was easily betrayed by the nervous look on his face.

Sly meanwhile, after finishing his explanation of the shooter's identity, was busy rubbing at his ear trying to get rid of the ringing that came from the sheer volume of Bentley's exclamation.

"Could you say it a little louder, Bentley? I'm sure the people in Switzerland couldn't hear you."

Bentley calmed down enough to give Sly a dirty look as the raccoon continued on unaware.

"Anyway, does anyone have any ideas about how we're going to deal with this guy? He isn't exactly your run of the mill crook here."

"Well, there's no telling when or where he's going to pop up next, so I'm thinking that we just stay in the hideout for now. Hopefully he'll think that we've skipped town and he'll go searching for us somewhere else."

"Aww, I was hoping that we could smash his skull in. He deserves it for what he's been putting us through."

"Believe me, Murray, I wouldn't mind seeing him like that either, but who knows how many weapons he has outside of that sniper rifle? I'd rather play it safe so we don't end up getting ourselves shot!"

Sly sighed, but he realized that Bentley had the right idea.

"I'm not a big fan of the idea, but I guess we can try it out and see if it works."

Content, Bentley turned his wheelchair around and was about to head off to his lab, when Sly suddenly noticed something between one of the floorboards in the turtle's path that glinted in the sun. He immediately reacted without thinking, shooting out of his chair and diving over the table, knocking Bentley out of his chair seconds before the chair itself hit the item and an explosion rocked the safe house.

Thankfully no one was hurt, but the surrounding area, as well as Bentley's chair was demolished. Bentley sat up, breathing heavily as he heard the explosion that he was seconds away from being in.

"Thanks, Sly, for getting me out of the way."

"No problem, buddy. You alright?" said Sly as he got up to his feet.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I'm going to have to build another chair, though. That's going to take a while. What was that, anyway?"

"I think it was some kind of motion-sensing mine. I saw the sun reflecting off of it as you were heading off to your lab."

"But then that must mean…"

"Anton knows where we are. We can't stay here."

Bentley groaned as he realized his plan just went up in smoke.

"I'm not going to have any time to redo my chair at this rate. We're going to have to make a run for it. Murray, you go start the van. Sly, help me salvage some of the parts from the chair. I'd rather not risk having to search around for more parts than we really need."

Murray got out of his seat and ran off to the garage to get the van going, while Sly picked up Bentley and set him as close to the wreckage of the chair as he could without it becoming unsafe.

As Bentley pointed out parts for Sly to pick up, Sly decided to voice a concern he's been having.

"This guy's really starting to worry me, Bentley. It's almost like he knows our every move!"

"I know, Sly. We'll figure something out."

After collecting enough parts so that Bentley felt comfortable enough, Sly loaded them all into the van before picking Bentley up and fastening him into the passenger seat.

Once Sly climbed inside and closed the door behind him, he leaned up towards the driver's seat to talk to Murray.

"Alright Murray, once the garage door fully opens, I want you to floor it. I don't know if Anton is watching us or not, but I don't want to be around long enough to find out."

"Which way should I go?"

"Just pick one. As long as we're heading out of Paris, that's really all that matters."

"Alright, gotcha Sly."

Satisfied, Sly leaned back into his seat and buckled up, ready to go.

Murray slowly breathed in and out to prepare himself before hitting the button to open the garage door. But before the door could open fully, a shot rang out, going through the windshield and heading right over Bentley's seat.

"Drive, Murray! We can't wait any longer!"

Murray slammed his foot down on the pedal and the van shot out of the garage, barely nicking the edge of the garage door. One more shot rang out, but the van was already out of the way and on the road.

The gang waited with bated breath to see if any more shots would come that they would have to dodge, but when none came, they all sighed in relief.

"That was close." said Bentley.

"I know. A few more seconds and he would have gotten a bead on one of us." said Sly.

The gang shared a glance between each other before Murray spoke up.

"So, any suggestions on where we should go?"

"Just keep driving, Murray. We'll figure it out as we go." said Bentley.

For the next few hours, the van was silent as none of the occupants really knew what they wanted to say.

Sly was busy trying to keep himself entertained and keep his mind off of their ordeal, while Bentley was anxiously looking around, hoping that Anton wasn't following them around. There wasn't any sign of him around, but Bentley still couldn't shake that feeling that they were being watched.

Murray, meanwhile, was still concentrating on driving, but the long hours that they've been spending on the road meant that the hippo hasn't been able to get much sleep, and it was starting to affect him, so much so that it caught Bentley's attention.

"You alright there, Murray? You don't look so good."

"I'm fine, Bentley. Don't worry about me. I can keep going." said Murray through a barely suppressed yawn.

"No, you're not, Murray! You're so tired you can barely see straight. Pull over at this motel on the right. We really should all be getting some sleep, especially you."

As much as Murray wanted to continue on, he realized that he would only be putting his friends in danger if he kept on going in his half-asleep state, so he pulled over into the motel and parked the van in an area where not very many people would be able to see it.

"Hey Sly, our disguises are in the back of the van in that bag. I didn't really have time to get good ones together with everything that's happened, so we're going to have to go simple."

Sly went to the back and retrieved the bag as asked, opening it to reveal a t-shirt and flannel vest with jeans for Sly. Murray had a t-shirt and jeans combo with a trucker hat, while Bentley chose a buttoned-up shirt and a pair of slacks for himself.

"Wow Bentley, when you say simple, you definitely mean it."

"Hardy-har, Sly. Now come over and help me get my pants on."

It took a bit, but everyone eventually did get their disguises on, and the gang left the van to check into the motel, Murray taking the job of carrying Bentley.

When they walked up to the front desk, they were unfortunately greeted with the desk clerk, who was an rather unsightly looking female pig.

"Can I help you gentlemen?" asked the clerk in a voice that definitely fit the look.

Sly couldn't deal with looking at the lady, so he busied himself with looking at the pictures behind her while talking to her at the same time.

"Yes, we'd like to rent a room. Three beds, please."

"You sure you need three beds? Those two look like they're having fun."

Sly looked at Murray and Bentley and noticed that the hippo was holding Bentley bridal style.

"Oh no, it's not what you think. My turtle friend here is paralyzed from the waist down and we're still in the process of replacing his old chair."

The clerk didn't really believe him, but she decided not to press matters, instead taking a look at the list of available rooms.

"You're in luck. Our only room with three beds is open, but it's going to be a tight fit. You still want to take it?"

"Space isn't a problem for us, madam. We'll take it." said Sly.

"How long will you be staying for?"

"Just for the night."

The lady turned around and pulled a key from a large rack that was full of them, handing it to Sly.

"You guys are room 304. Top floor, end of the hallway. I expect to see your payment before you leave tomorrow."

"Thank you. We'll just be going now."

While Sly was turning around to head for the stairs, he accidentally ended up getting a good look at the lady. He gave an involuntary shudder of disgust (which the clerk thankfully didn't notice) before heading up the stairs, Murray and Bentley following close behind.

The gang managed to reach their room a few minutes later, opening the door to find that the desk clerk wasn't lying.

The room itself was decently spaced out, but most of it was taken up by the three beds, which were almost shoved together without really thinking.

Sly opened his mouth to make a witty comment, but Bentley held up his hand to silence him.

"I appreciate you trying to keep things light hearted Sly, but I've had enough sarcasm for one day. I just want to get to bed and forget this day ever happened."

"Fair enough. I could use a bit of shut eye myself. It's been a long day for all of us."

Meanwhile, Murray had a nervous look on his face, making it look like he had something else on his mind besides the room.

"Something wrong, Murray?" asked Sly, having noticed the hippo's demeanor.

Murray considered for a second whether what he was worrying about was worth telling to the others.

"Well…yeah, there is actually something. You remember when you told us back at the safe house what Anton's last words were before you got away from him earlier?"

"Yeah, I remember. What's your point?" asked Sly, not exactly understanding Murray's train of thought.

"Well, wouldn't he probably be able to track us somehow and take us all out when we're asleep here? There's always a chance that he could have done something else in the safe house besides plant the bomb."

Sly and Bentley exchanged glances before Bentley decided to reply to Murray's question.

"I'm sure that's definitely a possibility, Murray, but I'd feel better with our chances of surviving if we all get some sleep. Sly can go close the blinds if it'll make you feel more comfortable. We'll have less of a chance of being spotted if he can't see through the window."

Murray wasn't very convinced, but he nodded and Sly went around the room and rolled down both of the blinds, falling asleep a few seconds after he hit the bed. Bentley went to sleep pretty quickly as well.

Murray, meanwhile, went to sleep as well a few minutes after, but not without one last nervous glance out of the window, the feeling that something was going to go wrong still in his gut.

Little did the gang know, Murray's gut was right, as under the van was a miniscule tracking device, transmitting their coordinates to Anton a few miles away, who despite really wanting to eliminate them as soon as possible, let them sleep, thinking that the chase would be more interesting with them fully rested.

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