Morals and Quandaries

Chapter 7

"Hey Bentley, we finally got it out of the box. What do you think?"

Sly smiled as he presented the wheelchair to his friend. While Bentley wasn't exactly thrilled like Sly thought he would be, he was still pretty happy.

"It's finally here! Help me into it. I want to test it out."

Sly did as asked and helped Bentley into the chair. Bentley began rolling around the room, making sure it was up to his standards. After a few minutes, he was finally satisfied.

"It's perfect! It feels just like my old chair."

"That's great, pal. Now how about we go have some breakfast, and then we'll let you work on getting those parts on." said Sly.

"Yeah! We're really missing you out on the field, Bentley!" said Murray.

"Aw…thanks, guys."

The gang began making their way downstairs, with Murray making sure that Bentley got down the stairs alright. Thankfully he did, so they didn't really have to worry about too much.

Once they finished eating, Bentley went into his work room, and all Sly and Murray could hear were loud bangs and other noises from the tools he was using.

"Man, I sure hope those tools don't wake up the whole town." said Murray.

"You said it, buddy. Hey, do you want to get out of the house for a bit? It might be a little quieter outside."

Sly could tell from Murray's expression what he was thinking, so he elaborated.

"I wasn't planning on going back into town. We're just going to spend some time behind the house. That should still keep us pretty hidden from anyone, especially our good friend Anton."

Murray was still pretty unsure about going outside in broad daylight, but he figured there was nothing wrong with staying near the house.

"I guess. I kind of doubt that it's going to change the noise level that much, though."

"Any little bit helps, pal."

As Murray predicted, it was still pretty loud behind the house, so they decided to just lie down on the ground and stare at the sky. Admittedly it wasn't the most exciting thing that they could have done, but when you're on the run from a psycho ex-cop, there's not a whole lot of freedom.

"You know, it's kind of nice out here. I wish we could stay here longer." said Sly.

"Yeah. Wait…what?" asked Murray, sitting up to face Sly.

"Well, we can't exactly stay here. If Anton's still alive, he's probably still on his way to find us, so we'd have to keep moving."

"But what if he didn't survive that car crash?"

Sly paused before replying, an uncomfortable look on his face.

"Ever since we've got here, I've been having this strange feeling that he might have survived that pile-up. I mean, I'm sure you remember how he looks. That guy's pretty strong, so there's always some chance that happened."

"I kind of figured that it wouldn't be that easy."

"Believe me. I wish it was."

Murray lied back down on the ground. They spent the next few minutes staring at the clouds before Murray decided to speak up again.

"So, do you think we should probably be leaving soon?"

Sly was about to open his mouth to reply when he closed it again, considering how he should reply to Murray's question.

"Yeah, I think we should. It might be better to get out of here soon. If he is still alive, we'll still be ahead of him."

"Oh, okay."

Suddenly, the entire area fell silent.

"Sounds like Bentley's finished. Think we should head back inside?"

Murray nodded, and the two of them were about to stand up and head back inside when a shadow suddenly loomed over them. Sly's mind immediately shot to the worst case scenario, and he kipped up to his feet. He was just about to throw a kick in the direction of the shadow, when he saw it was in fact Bentley who was the cause of said shadow.

"Oh, sorry Bentley. I thought we were being ambushed for a second."

"It's alright, Sly. That kind of reaction time would be a big help, though, if we do end up getting ambushed. Keep that in mind."

"Sure thing. Say, did you finally finish the chair?"

Sly quickly noticed the fact that Bentley managed to get down the stairs into the backyard just fine, which he assumed meant that the turtle got everything back together.

"Well, it doesn't have everything that it used to. Some of the parts that we got from the old chair back in Paris were unsalvageable, so I had to scrap them. But I did get enough parts together to where I feel that I should be able to rejoin you guys on missions."

"That's great news, Bentley! Welcome back!" said Murray, picking up the turtle and giving him a hug.

Once Bentley was set back down in his chair, he began to speak again.

"Now that the whole team's back together, let's head back inside. Since pretty much the entire haul from our last heist went towards my chair, we're going to have to put another heist together to get money for sustenance."

The three of them made their way inside the house, completely unaware that they were being watched.

It turns out that Anton was in fact watching them the entire time from an abandoned house across the street. He had his rifle trained on the window into the living room, and he also took advantage of the constant noise Bentley was making to sneak in and bug the room so that he could listen in to what they were going to do and plan accordingly.

So, when he saw the three of them come into the room, he turned on his earpiece and listened in as they planned out their next heist.

"Now, as much as I like the prices of some of the artifacts at the museum, I'm pretty sure that they would have tightened the security after last time, so unfortunately we can't go back there." said Bentley.

"So, do you know of any other places in town that has some valuable stuff we could take?" asked Sly.

"Good question. I've been doing some separate research on other possible targets while you guys were busy at the museum. While admittedly there wasn't a whole lot of items that could be useful for us, I did manage to find something that should work."

Bentley turned his laptop around to reveal a picture of a painting on an easel. Sly studied the picture, slightly confused.

"Are you sure this is worth something? It just looks like a regular old painting to me."

"It's a priceless 18th century work of art! There's a collector who is about to sell this work to the museum, and if we want it, we have to get it before tomorrow morning!"

"Oh…alright. I've never really understood art that much, to be honest." said Sly.

Bentley gave him a glare before continuing on.

"Anyway, the collector keeps said painting in a safe hidden behind one of those painting puzzles where the code is hidden in the picture, so Sly and I will be handling the heist itself. As for Murray, you're going to have the van parked in an alleyway a few blocks down from where the collector's house is. We want to be able to get in and get out quickly. So do you guys understand what you need to do?"

Sly raised his hand.

"So, what exactly am I doing? It seems like you've got the grabbing part covered."

"That's actually not the case. The arms were one of the parts I had to scrap, so I'm going to need you to keep a look out and grab the painting when I get the safe open."

Sly nodded in understanding.

"You got what you need to do, Murray? Make sure the engine is running. We need a fast getaway."

"Of course, Bentley. 'The Murray' always keeps the engine going!"

"Alright then. The collector usually goes into town around 6, so that should give us enough time to get over there and get it done."

As Anton watched the gang stand up, he began putting away his rifle, quickly formulating a plan to ambush them.

Once he figured out what he was going to do, he headed outside, calmly whistling as he began making his way over to where the site of the heist was to take place.

The gang finally arrived at their destination about an hour later. As they began preparing, Bentley reviewed the plan.

"Alright, it's just about six now, so the collector should be heading on his way to town right about now."

"Do you know how long he's going to be out?" asked Sly.

"Unfortunately no. The notes didn't mention anything about a schedule, so we're going to have to work quickly."

Sly nodded and hopped out of the van. Before Bentley hopped out as well, he turned towards Murray.

"You sure you're alright to take us out of here? We can't waste any time."

"Yeah, Bentley. I'm good."

Satisfied, Bentley nodded before hopping out of the van and joining Sly at the corner of the building we were parked next to.

"Any sign of him, Sly?"

"I just saw him leaving. We should be okay."

"Alright, let's move."

Sly and Bentley made their way out of the alley, carefully heading towards the collector's house. When they finally reached the front door, Sly pulled a lock pick out of his pouch and quickly picked the door.

"Well, that was easy." said Sly as he pushed the door open.

This comment earned him a glare from Bentley to keep quiet as the two of them made their way inside.

When they finally reached the main room of the house, they were surprised to find the amount of security that the place had. There were lasers practically everywhere connected to a series of gun turrets that would probably ventilate the two of them within seconds.

"This guy goes all out. Shouldn't be a problem, though."

"That's good. I see a switch over on the other side of the room. Hopefully that should at least take care of the lasers not on the floor so I can get across." said Bentley.

Sly immediately hopped on to a table, effortlessly ducking and dodging his way through the web of lasers as he crossed the room. Finally, he reached the other side, and he pulled the switch, turning off the wall lasers just as Bentley predicted.

After Bentley reached the other side, the two of them looked around the area they were in, hoping to find the safe containing the painting. Eventually, Bentley spotted a painting that had hidden numbers in it, which he assumed meant that this was the one.

"Alright Sly, you keep a look out. This shouldn't take me too long."

As Bentley began to study the picture, Sly hopped back over the laser floor, looking out the window to see if the collector's returned home yet. The thief couldn't help but feel nervous, though, as he looked back at the working turtle every so often, hoping that he would finish soon.

Finally, Bentley solved the puzzle and pulled the painting off of the wall, revealing the safe. He entered the code and opened said safe, calling back to Sly.

"I've got the safe open! Come back and grab it for me so we can get out of here!"

Sly immediately hopped back over and looked into the safe, grabbing the painting and taking a look at it for a second.

"We can interpret it later, Sly! We have to go!"

Sly nodded, and he tucked it under his arm, carefully hopping his way along the tables as Bentley followed.

When they got back to the front door, Sly carefully opened it and peeked through, looking to see if there was anyone around. When he saw no one, him and Bentley went through and began making their way back to the van after Bentley closed the door behind him.

However, when they finally reached the van, they found that it was eerily quiet as the engine was not running.

"I thought I told Murray to keep the engine running!" said Bentley.

Sly had a different idea about what happened, though. He handed the painting over to Bentley, slowly creeping his way over to the back door of the van. When he looked inside the window, what he saw made his mind go into overdrive, and he immediately threw the door open.


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