Morals and Quandaries

Chapter 8


Anton had Murray in a chokehold, a pistol pressed up against his temple. Murray was struggling desperately to break free, but Anton's arm didn't even budge, which gave Sly pause for a moment before he prepared to jump into the van to rescue his friend.

"Ah-ah-ah, Cooper. You move another step and I blow this hippo's brains out."

Sly immediately froze, not wanting to risk anything happening to Murray. Anton then pointed the gun right at Sly, who held his hands up.

"Hand the cane over to me. Now."

Sly reluctantly opened his hand and lightly tossed the cane to Anton, who picked it up while still keeping the gun trained on Sly.

"Now be good little boys and join me here in this van. I have someplace I want to take you guys."

Sly looked over at Bentley, who gave the thief a frightened look in return. The two of them began making their way towards the van, all while Anton had his gun trained on the two of them.

When they finally entered the van, and Anton closed the doors behind them, Sly decided that he needed to ask about the one thing he had on his mind.

"Can I ask you something? Why not kill us now? You haven't really made it a secret that you want us all dead."

Anton chuckled, shaking his head.

"Oh, Cooper. Do you really think just killing you three is going to satisfy me? No, I don't just want to kill you. I want to make the three of you suffer for ruining my life. I practically had it all back in Russia. A good family, a well-paying job, you know the drill. But once you three came along, it all fell apart. I could barely hold a desk job at that godforsaken place!"

"Well, I do have that kind of effect on people."

Sly's smartass comment earned him a pistol whip across the face, nearly breaking his nose. As Sly swore and began clutching at his nose to stem the bleeding, Anton pointed at him with his free hand.

"That mouth is going to get you into a lot of trouble one of these days, Cooper."

Sly opened his mouth to retort, but closed it when he saw the gun pointed at his face, as well as Bentley frantically telling him to zip it from the other side of the van.

Once Anton was satisfied, he turned around and headed back towards the front seat, where Murray sat with a frightened look on his face.

"Now that things are settled, I need you, Mr. Hippo, to drive us all to the cemetery."

"Um…why are we going to the cemetery?" asked Murray, noticeably shaking.

"You'll find out. Now drive. Oh, and don't try to escape. My reaction time was one of the reasons I got so high up in Interpol. You'd be dead before you got to the door, and I don't want to have to resort to something so plain."

Not wanting to piss off Anton, Murray quickly turned the van around and drove off, following directions from Anton to said cemetery.

Once the group finally reached the spot in the cemetery that Anton was leading them to, the madman didn't waste any time in holding out his hand in Murray's direction.

"Hand over the keys. I have something to prepare for you guys, and I don't want any of you escaping before I'm ready."

Murray reluctantly handed over the keys and Anton pocketed them, opening the door next to him.

"Sit tight, you three. I'll be back in a little bit."

He accentuated that last sentence with a devious smirk, shutting his door. Before the gang could make any kind of move to escape, they heard the sound of the doors locking.

Sly quietly swore again before turning towards Murray, angrily whispering.

"What possessed you to put remote door locks on the van?"

Murray looked noticeably taken aback by Sly's tone of voice.

"Sorry, I thought not having to lock the doors by hand would make things easier on us. I didn't think about the fact that my keys could be stolen."

Sly sighed, only to jump when Bentley started freaking out, quietly of course.

"What are we going to do? We're so dead if we don't get out of here!"

Sly walked over to where Bentley was sitting and slapped him in the face, thankfully returning him to normal.

"Thanks, Sly. You didn't have to hit so hard, though."

"Hey, if it means getting through to you, I'll hit as hard as needed."

Bentley gave Sly a wary look before speaking.

"Alright, we need to think of a plan and quick. Anyone got any ideas?"

Unexpectedly, Murray was the one who came up with something.

"Well, the back door is still manually locked, so I imagine we should be able to get out through there."

Sly quickly went over to the back doors and tested them to find they indeed opened. He slowly closed them again to make sure Anton wouldn't notice before looking through the window.

Sly's eyes noticeably opened in shock when he found Anton working on three separate graves, with three wooden coffins to match.

He immediately stamped down his instinct to start freaking out and studied the area, finding a spare shovel a few feet behind Anton, who was focused on digging the third grave.

After quickly formulating the steps to take, Sly turned back around to Bentley and Murray.

"Sly, what's going on? What's he doing?"

"He's…he's digging graves. I think he's planning on burying us alive."

Rather than freak out, Bentley and Murray traded nervous looks.

"I do have a plan, though. I saw that he put the van's keys in his back pocket, so I'm going to go out and take it back from him. Then I'm going to use a shovel that I saw behind him to knock him into one of the graves, hopefully buying us some time to escape."

"What about your cane? I don't see it in the van, so he probably has it on him as well. And besides, don't you usually use that when you pickpocket?" said Bentley.

Sly quickly looked back outside and scanned the area.

"It's on top of one of the coffins. I'll grab it once I take him out with the shovel. And I've done pickpocketing by hand a few times. It's not too much different."

Both Bentley and Murray were unsure if it would work, but they decided to trust Sly's judgment.

"Good luck, Sly. Bentley and I will be ready when you make it back." said Murray.

Sly nodded before checking outside to make sure Anton was still focused on digging. He was, so Sly took it as a sign to go for it. He slowly unlocked the door and pushed it open, leaving enough of a crack so that he could slip through without making any noise.

Once Sly was finally out of the van, he quickly scanned the area, looking for anything he could hide behind if Anton was to turn around. Unfortunately, he had no luck, so he had to hope that the wolf would be busy long enough for him to get the keys.

So, he began slowly creeping his way up to Anton, grabbing the spare shovel as he passed by it. His eyes were laser focused on Anton's back pocket, checking the back of his head every so often to make sure he wasn't going to turn around.

Somehow, Sly finally managed to get close enough to the madman without being noticed. After mentally sighing in relief, he mentally prepared himself, adopting a side step position so that he could get the keys as well as get a good swing once Anton most likely turned around.

Finally ready, Sly slowly reached out his hand towards Anton's back pocket. The keys were thankfully not too far into the pocket, so he didn't have to worry too much about reaching in. He finally grabbed the edge and quickly ripped the keys out of the pocket, figuring it was a waste of time to try to be sneaky.

Predictably, Anton turned around once he felt the keys being pulled out of his pocket, but he was surprisingly caught off guard, when a shovel went flying into his face, sending him off balance and into the middle grave.

Sly didn't waste a moment, turning around and preparing to run. But before he could make a step, a hand wrapped around his ankle, sending Sly sprawling to the ground.

Sly began frantically kicking at the hand with his other foot, eventually successfully getting Anton to release him. However, the delay enabled Anton to finally get his footing, slowly climbing out of the grave, which forced Sly to run as fast as he could manage to get away from the pissed off wolf.

Sly quickly made his way over to the coffins, grabbing his cane as he action rolled over one of them. By this point, Anton had caught up, and he was between Sly and the van, so the thief hopped up on another coffin that had the lid on and roundhouse kicked the hulking wolf in the face, successfully staggering him and enabling Sly to get around him and start rushing towards the van.

It was a foot chase, as Sly was barely managing to hang on to a lead over Anton. Thankfully, once Sly reached the vicinity of the van, he saw that one of the others had threw the doors wide open, and Sly literally dived into the van.

"Drive!" Sly yelled as he threw the keys to Murray, who immediately put the keys into the ignition, driving off just as Anton reached them.

By sheer force of will, Sly was able to hold on to one of the seats and not get sent flying right out of the back door.

As bullets harmlessly flew by the van, Sly and Bentley looked back at the disappearing form of Anton, thankful that they managed to escape for now.

"That was close, wasn't it?" asked Sly as he continued to catch his breath from the all-out sprint he did.

"Too close. I don't know how he managed to find us, but we need to figure that out if we have any chance of losing him." said Bentley.

"Yeah, I've been kind of wondering about that as well. Let's just worry about finding a new place to hide before we do that, though. That sound good to you?"

"Anything to get away from that psycho."

The gang fell silent for a few seconds before Murray spoke up.

"Any ideas on where you guys want to go?"

Bentley thought for a second before answering.

"Let's head south. That should probably throw him off of our trail."

And so, the gang headed off towards their next destination, still unaware of the tracker under the van that rendered Bentley's plan completely moot. But that's a story for another day.

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