Morals and Quandaries

Chapter 5

Nobody in the van said a word as they crossed into the town of Zurich, Switzerland. The only thing that actually happened was that everyone sighed in relief, knowing that they would at least have a bit of safety if Anton happened to have survived that car crash.

None of them wanted to think of that possibility, so Bentley decided to speak up to get their minds off of their situation.

"We don't have a safe house in this town, so we're going to need to look around and find one. Let me know if you manage to find a good one, okay guys?"

Both Murray and Sly nodded before beginning to look around the area.

Unfortunately, the search took a while, because most of the houses in town were already either occupied or too out in the open for people in their line of work. Ultimately, they managed to find a place that was just outside of town.

"Man, this place looks like a dump." said Sly.

"Nonsense, Sly. This place will be perfect for us." said Bentley.

While Sly was technically right about the building being old and worn down, it was still in pretty good shape for not being occupied in a while.

"Okay, Bentley. Whatever you say." said Sly, attempting to eye roll without the turtle noticing, but unfortunately he did.

"Oh come on, Sly. We can't exactly have a safe house on par with our main one in Paris all of the time. We are kind of on the run, you know."

Sly sighed in defeat.

"You're right. Sorry about that, pal."

"Apology accepted. Now let's head inside, so I can get to work on a new chair. No offense, but I'm kind of tired of being carried around."

The three of them walked into the house, taking a few seconds to look around.

"Wow, Bentley. This isn't so bad." said Murray.

"See what I mean?" said Bentley, giving Sly a smug look.

"Cute. Let's take a look around the rest of the house."

After a thorough search around the house, Bentley managed to find himself a spacious room that he could use to build his chair. Unfortunately, since they didn't have a wheelchair to put the salvaged parts on to, they had to procure one from ThiefNet.

"You sure you want to do this, Bentley? What if he manages to trace our signal to here?"

Bentley sighed before looking at him from over his computer screen.

"You're being paranoid, Sly. Our connection to ThiefNet has multiple levels of security over it. It's pretty much untraceable."

Sly didn't attempt to argue, which Bentley took as a sign that he agreed. So once he managed to find a suitable wheelchair, he ordered it and shut the laptop.

"The chair should be here in about a day once the payment for the jewels goes through, so that's going to give us some time to kill. What say we plan a heist or two, for old time's sake?"

"Really? Do you really think we should be calling attention to ourselves when we're kind of on the run from a gun-toting psychopath?" asked Sly.

"Well, we can't exactly live forever on the remaining money from the jewels. We're going to have to make some more eventually. Why not make it doing what we do best?"

Sly thought for a moment before replying.

"I suppose you're right. But what about you? We didn't get any surveillance equipment from Paris, and you're not moving on your own, so you're pretty much useless here."

Bentley gave him a dirty look.

"Way to rub it in, Sly."

"Sorry, pal. Anyway, got any ideas for targets?"

"Not yet. I'm going to have to do some research before we start planning."

"Fair enough. I'll leave you alone. Let me know if you need anything, alright?"

Bentley was already nose deep in his computer by this point, only acknowledging Sly with a nod.

After Sly filled Murray in on their plan, they spent a while carrying on a conversation to pass the time while Bentley was busy with his research. Eventually, they heard Bentley calling out from his room.

"Hey, Sly? Murray? Can you guys come over to my room? I think I've got a few targets lined up for you guys."

The two of them went into Bentley's room and found the turtle just where Sly left him, except for the fact that he no longer had his head buried in the computer. This time, he had his attention on the two of them while the computer had a couple of pages opened up and spread out over the screen.

"Alright, so I've found a few different things that we could steal that should hopefully fetch us a good amount of money once we sell it. Take a look and let me know what you think." said Bentley.

Sly and Murray walked up to where Bentley was sitting and took a look at the screen. There were a bunch of different pictures of artifacts and other expensive-looking items that were spread out through different buildings in town. Even though the pictures didn't really give any clues as to how well-guarded they actually were, Sly felt that it wouldn't be a problem.

So, since he was unable to judge which one would be a better choice, he decided to just choose one at random and pointed at a picture of a ruby-encrusted jar that was being displayed at the museum.

"What do you think about this, Murray?"

Murray took a closer look at the picture, studying it for a few seconds.

"That looks like something we should be able to pull off. How are we going to do it, though? We don't have any of our usual supplies."

"I'm sure we'll be able to improvise." said Bentley.

"How so?"

"Well, we can get a rope so that you can lower Sly down from the roof. We should also be able to get our hands on a fire extinguisher so that we can see if there are any lasers around. It can be a pretty sufficient blunt instrument as well, just in case any guards are around."

"I still have a few lock picks left in my pouch that we can use as well to get it out of the case." said Sly.

"That's good news, Sly. I was worried that we would have to smash our way in." said Bentley.

After finalizing the plan, Sly and Murray were about to head out to go through with it, when they were stopped by Bentley.

"Now remember, you guys. I'm not going to be available to keep you on track, so you're going to have to stay focused if you want to pull this off. You got that?"

"No problem, Bentley. This should be a cinch." said Sly, unable to resist a cocky smile.

"That's what worries me. Anyway, good luck. I'll see you guys when you get back."

After about an hour of traveling, Sly and Murray found themselves on a rooftop overlooking the Rietberg Museum in town. Along the way they managed to get their hands on the rope that Murray had looped around his shoulder, as well as a small fire extinguisher that Sly had strapped to his back. Luckily, those two items weren't too difficult to come by, considering they were right in the open. Sly was even surprised that someone would leave these just lying around.

So, as they studied the outside of the museum, Sly turned towards Murray.

"You ready for this, pal?"

"Oh yeah, I am so ready for this!"

The two of them climbed down from the roof and slipped across the street, climbing up a drainpipe which was thankfully held together well enough for Murray to get up it.

There were multiple skylights over the museum, so they had to take a few minutes to find the one that was over the target.

"I think I've found it!" said Sly as he looked down through a skylight near the back of the roof.

Murray hurried over and saw the telltale glint of a large number of rubies in one place.

"Looks like that's the one."

"Alright, it looks like there are no guards around. Tie the rope around me quickly. I don't want them to get back before I'm done."

Murray did as he was instructed, tightly tying the rope around Sly's waist. The master thief took a look at the rest of the rope, judging the remaining length compared to how far above the ground they were.

"This should hopefully be long enough to get me down to the case. Make sure to lower me down slowly. I want to make sure that there aren't any lasers above it before I go for it."

"Gotcha, Sly."

Sly quickly picked the lock on the skylight and opened it up, putting one leg through before turning back towards Murray.

"You got a good grip?"

Murray nodded.

"Okay, I'm going to count to three. When I jump, make sure you can see me so I can signal you when to stop."

Without waiting for an answer from the hippo, Sly turned back around and looked back into the museum, calming himself down to prepare to pull off the heist. Once he was ready, he lifted a hand and counted down from three before dropping through the skylight.

Thankfully, the knot held together when the rope stopped Sly's descent, although he did end up swinging back and forth temporarily. Once he stopped moving, he signaled for Murray to start lowering him down, stopping about five feet above the case.

Sly pulled out the fire extinguisher and sprayed a good amount of it around the area. Once the smoke cleared, he found that there were in fact lasers, but they were all covering the area around the jar and not above it.

"Well, that was easier than I thought." Sly thought to himself as he restrapped the extinguisher to his back and signaled for Murray to lower him down some more.

When he finally reached the case itself, Sly pulled out one of his lock picks and searched for where there was a lock. Eventually, he managed to find it near the bottom of one of the sides of the glass case and inserted the pick, successfully unlocking it a few seconds later.

When he pulled the jar out of the case, he reached into his bag and pulled out a calling card, intending to place it where the jar was originally. However, he suddenly realized that he didn't want to be calling attention to him and the rest of the gang, so he decided against leaving it, stowing the card back in his bag.

Suddenly, the rope around Sly's waist started to come apart. His instincts kicking in, Sly immediately grabbed on to the rope with one hand as the loop finally came apart, almost dropping the jar as he barely managed to avoid falling into the lasers. Sly also felt the rope jerk a little bit, as he imagined Murray must have not been prepared for the sudden weight, but thankfully he held on.

Letting out a breath of relief, Sly signaled for Murray to lift him up, which the hippo did, grabbing the jar from him so that the master thief could lift himself out of the skylight and back on to the roof.

"That was close. What was with that knot, anyway? It didn't exactly hold me very well." asked Sly.

"Well, I did the tightest knot I could think of. I guess it wasn't tight enough. Sorry about that."

"It's no problem, buddy. We didn't get caught, so that's water under the bridge. Anyway, let's head back to the safe house. I think Bentley'll be happy to see us."

So, as Sly and Murray made their way back to the safe house, they were unaware that they were in fact being watched, as Anton was on a roof a few miles away, smiling as he stared at them through his sniper rifle's scope.

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