Morals and Quandaries

Chapter 4

Morning came at the dingy motel on the side of the road, and even though the blinds were down on all of the windows, the sun had no trouble peeking through the slits between the blinds and shining right into Sly's eyes.

The raccoon woke up with a grimace as he glared at the sun through the blinds for forcing him awake when he really didn't want to. Still, he surprisingly managed to get a decent amount of sleep, and he actually felt well-rested for once.

Yawning, Sly stretched out his back before looking over at his fellow friends.

Murray was sprawled out over his bed, the covers long since discarded off to the side. Bentley, meanwhile, was a little more careful with keeping his covers with him, although the silly expression on his face made Sly unable to resist taking a picture of it for posterity, considering they've never really bunked together since the orphanage.

Sly slowly got up out of his bed, making sure that it didn't make a sound, before grabbing his Binocucom, which was in his pouch that he had placed off to the side of the room. Sly quietly snuck his way over to Bentley's bed and hopped up on to one of the bedposts. Smiling, he took a picture and quickly hopped off of the bedpost, dashing back towards his bed just as the turtle woke up.

"Morning, Sly. What's with the Binocucom?"

Sly didn't have enough time to hide the Binocucom, so he quickly thought of an excuse while hiding it behind his back.

"Oh, um…I was awake before you, so I decided to take a look at some of the pictures I took to pass the time."

Sly plastered a smile on his face while Bentley looked at him suspiciously, but the turtle shrugged and decided to let it go.

"Well, I suppose we should start getting ready to get out of here. Would you mind heading downstairs and checking out, Sly?" asked Bentley.

Sly shuddered as he remembered the receptionist.

"Do I have to? That receptionist makes me uncomfortable."

"Yeah, you do. Murray's still asleep, and I can't exactly move here. Besides, I'm sure you can deal with her. Just try not to look at her too much."

Sly sighed in defeat.

"Alright. But if I throw up, you're paying for the cleanup."

Bentley rolled his eyes as Sly made his way out of the room.

Thankfully for Sly's lunch, there was someone else working the desk that morning, so the master thief didn't have to worry about avoiding eye contact.

When he paid for the room and returned to pack up, he found that Murray was finally up and looking like his normal self.

"Ready to head out, big guy?"

"Oh yeah, I'm pumped! By the way, thanks for convincing me to get some rest last night. I don't think I could have managed to get much further with how wiped I was." said Murray.

"No problem, Murray. We always look out for each other, remember?" said Bentley.

"Oh yeah, that's true. Come on, you guys. Let's get out of here."

Murray picked up Bentley, and the gang slowly made their way out of the room and out of the motel, heading back towards the van. Once everyone was situated, Bentley reached over to the glove compartment and pulled out a map, opening it and studying it for a little while.

"Got any idea of where we want to go, buddy?" asked Sly as he stared at the map from behind Bentley.

"Well, I suppose we could head towards Switzerland. We might be able to get away from Anton for at least a little while there."

"Really? Was that your idea or did I plant that idea in your head from that comment I made yesterday?"

Bentley turned around and gave Sly a dirty look before returning to the map.

"As long as we keep heading southeast, we should be able to get to Zurich without any problem. You got that, Murray?"

Murray nodded, and after checking the compass he had stored away, he pulled the van out on to the road and drove off.

However, little did they know, Anton was right on their tail, having hid out during the night a few feet away from the motel.

While the gang was on their way to Switzerland, they were trying to kill time by having some small talk between each other. The air in the van began to lighten up as the three of them put their predicament in the backs of their minds and got into their conversation.

However, they were rudely interrupted not long after by the van suddenly fishtailing to the right. Once Murray recorrected the steering, he voiced what the other two guys were most likely thinking.

"What the heck was that?"

Sly got out of his seat and hopped over to the back of the van, looking through the windows.

"There's a car right behind us, and the driver looks like he's on a warpath."

At that moment, the sun was in the right position for Sly to be able to see behind the car's windshield, and what he saw made his blood run cold.

"Oh no."

"What? What's going on, Sly?" said Bentley, looking back at him nervously.

"It's him. We need to pick up the pace, Murray. Now!"

Murray immediately slammed his foot on the gas pedal, assuming the worst despite not being completely sure it was in fact Anton. As Sly was slowly making his way back to his seat and strapping himself in, Murray was busy trying to lose Anton, but the wolf was having none of it, immediately following every move he made.

"Man, this guy won't quit!" said Sly.

"Well, what do you expect when you've got a guy who's out for our heads?" said Bentley.

The turtle then turned back towards Murray.

"Hey Murray, do you know if there's anything in the van we can use to take him out?"

Murray racked his brain, trying to come up with something he may have left in the van by accident. Unfortunately, nothing came to mind.

"Sorry buddy, I wish I could help, but I'm kind of trying to concentrate on losing this guy. Do you know if there's anything, Sly?"

"Well, I suppose I could use some of my smoke bombs. It might disorient him so we can get away."

"Good idea, Sly. Head towards the back of the van. You should be able to get a clear shot at him from there."

Sly unbuckled himself once again and made his way towards the back of the van, opening one of the doors only to be met by gunfire. Thankfully, his reflexes kicked in and he quickly closed the door again, narrowly avoiding getting perforated.

"What's going on back there?" asked Bentley.

"Our good friend Anton's packing an Uzi."

"Oh great, as if it could get any better. Look, just try not to open the door too much."

Although he was getting a little nervous, Sly slowly pulled the door open a bit and tossed a smoke bomb through the crack, quickly closing the door when he heard gunfire.

"Did you get him?" asked Murray.

Sly peeked through the window in the door and saw the car still quite intact and catching up every second.

"Nope, he's still kicking. I'm gonna keep chucking smoke bombs."

Sly did as he said he would, switching between tossing and dropping smoke bombs out of the door every few seconds, but Anton somehow managed to get through each of them without even losing any control of his car.

"How is this guy still driving?" said Bentley.

Sly didn't answer, instead checking his supply of smoke bombs. It turns out that he only has five more bombs remaining, so he had to make these count. Suddenly, an idea came to him.

"Bentley, I've got an idea. I'm going to throw the rest of my bombs at him at once. This should hopefully get him off of our tail."

"Are you crazy? If he gets through this, we're done for!"

"I know, but we don't exactly have a Plan B here. We've got to risk it."

Bentley sighed.

"Alright, if you think it'll work."

Sly placed his back up against the other door that he didn't use, grabbing the rest of the smoke bombs out of his pouch. After taking a deep breath to calm his nerves, he mentally counted down in his head before kicking open the first door, tossing the smoke bombs as far as he could and quickly ducking back behind the closed door.

The smoke bombs exploded as soon as they hit the street, creating a massive cloud of smoke that covered the entire side of the highway they were on. The utter thickness of the cloud meant no one could see through it, even Anton.

The wolf was still confident, though, barreling through the cloud. However, once he exited the cloud, the first thing that appeared in front of him was the railing separating the two sides of the highway. Anton attempted to swerve away from the railing to get back on track, but it was too late.

The wolf crashed right into the railing, bouncing off of it and into another car, flipping over said car and landing on the road roof first.

Unfortunately, he wasn't the only one to crash, as a majority of the cars that passed through the still not dispersed cloud of smoke ended up either crashing into the railing or crashing into another car.

Sly heard the sound of cars crashing clearly and looked back through the window, guilt settling into the pit of his stomach as he realized that the pile-up was his fault.

"Oh god. This is horrible."

Both Bentley's and Murray's faces fell as they took in the carnage. However, Bentley shook himself, knowing that now wasn't the time to dwell.

"Look, let's worry about getting to Zurich first, and then we can figure out what to do next. How does that sound, Sly?"

"Alright. I hope everyone back there is going to be alright."

"Me too, Sly. At least we managed to get Anton off our backs for now. Heck, he might just be dead, and we can finally rest easy."

"Are you sure, Bentley? He didn't seem like the type to get killed by a simple car crash."

"Pretty sure. I doubt anybody really could survive a crash like that."

Sly let out a breath of relief, but a feeling in the back of his mind that he may have survived just wouldn't go away.

Unluckily, Sly's feeling was absolutely correct, as within the complete carnage of the pile-up, Anton crawled out of his car, looking none the worse for wear outside of some cuts and bruises.

With an angry look on his face, the wolf looked around and found a car that wasn't part of the pile-up, walking over to it and getting in. The driver walked over from where he was calling someone and started yelling at him to get out, but the glare from Anton frightened the driver off quite easily.

And so, Anton drove off, unhappy about losing ground to the Cooper gang, but knowing that he would be able to catch up again quite easily thanks to the tracker.

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