Getting the Gang Back Together
Paris, France. A beautiful city, full of architectural marvels, artistic wonders, and notorious criminals. For years, the city had been plagued by hundreds upon hundreds of criminals hoping to strip Paris of its hard earned treasures. However, crime has been quite lax as of late due to the efforts of INTERPOL’s own Inspector Carmelita Fox.
Carmelita had been throwing herself into her work, bringing down criminals at almost record paces. She may have been fighting to stop crime, but in every minute of her free time, she could usually be found out on the harbor, a flashlight in one hand, and a torn, water-stained photo in the other. In the photo was her, and a master thief raccoon called Sly Cooper.
Cooper had been her Moriarty for almost 11 years. The first time they had met, she knew he was crooked. However, there was something about him that made him stand out from the normal criminal element. She had soon made it her life’s work to track Sly and his friends Bentley and Murray down and bring them to justice. However, the clever raccoon always was one step ahead of her, even if he did risk arrest to attempt to flirt with her.
As the years went by, Carmelita had begun to see a different side of Sly. She had even teamed up with him to bring down criminals like Clockwerk, Arpeggio, Neyla, and Dr. M. The first time, she repaid him by giving him a ten second head start. He had waited until the last second, then kissed her, handcuffed her to a catwalk, and then promptly escaped. The second time, he offered to come quietly if she let his partners walk. She had allowed that, and even enjoyed a nice “date” with the arrested Sly in the Helicopter before he escaped. The third time, Sly had apparently gotten amnesia and Carmelita had told him he was her partner “Constable Cooper”. For a wonderful eight years, the two were a real couple, and those days were by far the happiest of Carmelita’s life.
Unfortunately, a raccoon can’t shed its mask and three years ago, Sly fell into bad habits once more. He revealed that he never truly had amnesia and had simply faked it in order to get close to Carmelita. Initially betrayed, Carmelita soon came to terms with Sly’s penchant for thievery and helped him once more to defeat the villainous Le Paradox and save the Cooper family line. However, unlike their previous team-ups, this one did not go as planned. In the aftermath of the battle, Sly had vanished without a trace. No one knew where, or when, to find him.
Still, she didn’t give up. Once a month, Carmelita would meet with Bentley to share notes and theories. Still, they had nothing. Three years had passed, but neither of them were willing to give up hope. They believed in Sly, and they knew that one day he would return, because he was, after all, a Cooper.
Carmelita sat in her office, fatigue having forced her to get some rest. Laid out on the couch she kept for that purpose, she stared at the waterlogged photo, now creased from being folded into her pocket since she found it. It had been taken not long after Sly “got amnesia” and became her partner. They had started officially dating and Sly had convinced her to take the picture in front of the Eiffel Tower. He had surprised her with a red rose, then kissed her just as the camera flashed. It was a photo he had carried with him throughout his time as Constable Cooper, and even during their adventures through time.
Sighing in sadness, Carmelita set the photo aside, then turned over and looked over at her desk. On it was one of Sly’s markers, more specifically, the origami one he had made when they first met. There was also a bottle of champagne. Early on in her career, she had purchased a bottle of champagne and had held onto it for when she finally arrested Sly. That bottle was used to toast to their relationship after they’d been together for about a year. This bottle, Sly’s favorite brand and year, Carmelita planned to use it to celebrate Sly’s return to her.
Rolling over on the couch once more and using her jacket as a pillow, Carmelita began to nod off.
“I’ll find you, ringtail…” she whispered, “I swear it….”
Sleep finally took her as everything went black. Unfortunately, her sleep was soon interrupted by the crackling of electricity. Suddenly awake, she turned over on her side, instinctively reaching for her shock pistol as a ball of electricity began to form in the middle of her office.
“What’s going on?” she muttered.
The room was suddenly illuminated and with a loud crack a figure fell into the office, landing with a crash right onto Carmelita’s desk. Blinking away the spots from her eyes, Carmelita faced the figure. The room had been darkened by the strange ball of electricity, so Carmelita could only make out a silhouette, but what she saw took her breath away.
The figure was a raccoon from what Carmelita could tell. They wore a cap, a hoodie, cargo pants, and boots, but most notably, they carried a very distinctive cane. Carmelita dropped her gun in absolute shock, falling back onto the couch.
“Cooper?” she asked in amazement. “Sly, is that you?”
The figure turned and stood up, remaining in the shadows.
“Sorry…” The figure told her in a very distinctive female voice. “But I’m not Sly Cooper.”
Carmelita immediately retrieved her gun, grabbing the intruder and thrusting them into the light of the window. Her initial belief of the figure being a raccoon was correct, but this one had odd colored fur. Where Sly’s fur was your typical grey with black stripes, this raccoon had a reddish tinge to her fur. Her outfit resembled that of Sly’s, right down to the navy blue and gold color scheme, the black mask over her eyes, even the cap might as well have been Sly’s own. The only distinct differences were that she carried a brown satchel rather than a red backpack, and she had long, wavy black hair spilling out from under the cap.
“Who are you, and what are you doing here?!” Carmelita demanded, jamming the shock pistol into the red raccoon’s chest.
The raccoon put her gloved hands up, gripping the Cooper Family cane in her right one. Once again, the likeness to Sly’s own cane was uncanny, only this one had a metal pole that shimmered in the light. Seeing the iconic cane made Carmelita both heartbroken and angry at the same time. If this raccoon was some sort of Cooper Copycat, she was gonna find herself sharing a cell block with Le Paradox or Miss Decibel.
“Whoa, calm down, Inspector.” The raccoon told her, attempting to pull the inspector from her emotional roller coaster. “I swear to you, I mean you no harm. I just came to talk.”
“You come in here dressed like a Cooper,” Carmelita snarled, “carrying that knock-off cane, and you expect me to believe-”
“Hey. This isn’t a knockoff.” The raccoon interrupted defensively. “This is the genuine Cooper Family Cane.”
“Oh really?” Carmelita asked, her voice seething with disbelief and anger.
“Yes, it is, because I’m a Cooper.” The raccoon explained.
Carmelita was skeptical, but she slowly released the raccoon, keeping her shock pistol aimed straight at her just in case. The girl straightened her hoodie, then faced Carmelita. She swirled her staff the way Sly used to, catching it and lifting the brim of her cap with her thumb.
“My name is Sandra. Sandra Cooper. I’m Sly’s descendant. His Great-Great-Granddaughter if you want specifics.”
Any normal person would have written “Sandra” off as a loon, but Carmelita had done some time traveling herself. She had met several generations of Sly’s ancestors from all points in history, right down to the stone-age. This alone led her to believe that Sandra being Sly’s descendant wasn’t so far-fetched. Still, she wasn’t just about to trust some stranger.
“If that’s true, then prove it.” Carmelita insisted.
Sandra nodded, then reached into the satchel hanging across her shoulder, slowly pulling out none other than the Thievius Raccoonus, a book past down from Cooper to Cooper. It was a bit bigger than the one Carmelita was familiar with, and much older, but there was no mistaking that it was, indeed, the Cooper Family book. Sandra flipped through the pages until she reached what she was looking for, then began reading.
“Who could ever forget the lovely Carmelita?” Sandra recited, tracing a finger along the page as she read. “It looks like we’re not going to be friends anymore. Now that Clockwerk’s death ray is out of commission, we’re back to playing cops and robbers. I thought for sure she was gonna slap the handcuffs on me right then and there, but instead, she was true to her word, and gave me a ten second head start. Rather than bolt like she thought I would, I stood there, watching her as she counted down. I could see the confusion on her face, and chuckled as she stumbled over three and two. Before she could reach one though, I darted in for a quick kiss.”
The memory came back to Carmelita and she found herself brushing her fingers against her lips, remembering the kiss like it was yesterday. She had never told anyone that, and Sly only ever talked to his friends Murray and Bentley. That, plus that infamous book sealed Sandra’s story. Carmelita lowered her gun, approaching Sandra.
“You really are a Cooper.” She whispered. “Then… Sly’s alive?”
Sandra gave a nod and Carmelita felt a weight lift from her shoulders. She would never tell Bentley or Murray this, but she had begun to fear that the reason Sly hadn’t returned was because he was dead. However, if Sandra truly was Sly’s descendant, then he was alive, and that meant he was coming back.
“That no-good, low-down, dirty rotten thief…..” Carmelita said, happy tears trickling down the side of her face. “God, Sly’s alive.”
Sandra let her cry, gently hugging her and letting her come to terms with some of the best news she had heard in three years. After a few minutes, she stopped crying and Sandra released her.
“That’s right, and I know where to find him.” Sandra quipped.
Armed with this info, Carmelita straightened herself up and put on her cop face, wiping away the last of her tears.
“Alright Cooper, where is he?” She asked in a voice she reserved for interrogations.
“Not so fast.” Sandra insisted. “Where Sly is, we’re gonna need the rest of the Cooper Gang’s help if we’re gonna bring him home.”
Carmelita’s initial fatigue vanished altogether as she grabbed her coat and pulled it back on. She holstered her shock pistol and refolded the photo back into her pocket. Ready for action, she smiled her first genuine smile in three years.
“Good thing I know where to find the brains of the Cooper Gang.” She replied. “Follow me.”
Bentley’s London laboratory had grown since Sly’s departure. He had many new inventions, most of them tracking systems he had tried to use to find Sly. Still, he had no luck. He had even scanned over the Thievius Raccoonus, searching each ancestor’s page for any sign of Sly in their entries. Still, he hadn’t found him.
As with every night, Bentley rolled his wheelchair up out of the main part of the lab over to the living quarters. He passed row after row of photographs of himself, Sly, and Murray throughout their adventures dating back to their orphanage days. Other walls were covered in newspaper cutouts of the gang’s exploits as well as surveillance photos of Sly during his Constable Cooper days.
As he passed by his ex-girlfriend Penelope’s room, he was surprised to find the door slightly ajar and the light burning. Considering Penelope was still at large, it was possible she was in there. His chair automatically prepared his infamous dart gun as he pushed the doors open. When he saw who was inside, he blinked in surprise.
“Evening Bentley.” Carmelita waved from where she sat on Penelope’s bed.
“You really need to beef your security system.” A red raccoon with black hair called as she closed the room’s window. “I mean, you are part of one of the greatest thief gangs in this day and age. You think you’d know how to keep people out.”
Bentley’s wheelchair aimed his dart gun at the raccoon. She seemed to sigh in slight annoyance as she raised her arms.
“Again with this?” she grumbled. “I guess this is how Sly felt when you guys traveled through time.”
“How do you know about that?” Bentley demanded. “And more than that, who are you-”
“-and what are you doing here.” The raccoon interrupted. “I just went through this with Carmelita. Do I really have to do this again?”
Bentley was just about to dart her just for the heck of it when Carmelita gently pushed the dart gun down.
“Bentley, don’t. She’s called Sandra Cooper. She’s Sly’s descendant.”
Bentley raised an eyebrow, but as he examined the raccoon more closely, he could see the resemblance. The way she held herself, her impatient attitude, and her outfit and cane practically screamed Cooper. Also being the one who co-invented time travel, this raccoon being Sly’s descendant was an easy pill for him to swallow. He stowed the dart gun and wheeled closer to the raccoon.
“Sly’s descendant?” he asked.
“Great-Great-Granddaughter if you want specifics.” Sandra replied as she lowered her arms. “But that’s not very important. What is important is that we need your help.”
“Sandra has information as to the whereabouts of Sly.” Carmelita explained. “According to her, we’re gonna need Murray.”
A red flag shot up in Bentley’s mind and he eyed Sandra suspiciously.
“Wait a minute, how do you know where Sly is?” he asked. “I have been literally searching everywhere for even the slightest trace of him and I’ve found nothing. And yet you just show up claiming to be from the future and that you know where my best friend is. I don’t buy it.”
Sandra groaned audibly. This was not going as smoothly as she had hoped. Facing the turtle, she did her best to keep her impatience in check.
“Look, I swear to you I will explain, but we need to get Murray first and bring him.” Sandra insisted.
Bentley crossed his arms stubbornly, matching his gaze with Sandra. For a good two minutes, they just stared at each other, beads of sweat running down the sides of their faces. Finally, Bentley cracked. He threw his hands up in the air as he began rolling towards the door.
“Alright, alright. We’ll get Murray.” He relented. “But after that, you better tell us the whole story.”
Sandra sighed in relief as she and Carmelita followed him down.
“Don’t worry.” She promised. “You won’t be able to get me to shut up.”
Murray had gone into the professional wrestling business, and had quickly established himself as the reigning champion of the ring. His signature move, the “Thunder Flop”, knew no rival, and his strength no true opponent. Despite the success of his career and multiple offers to go national, Murray had insisted on remaining in Europe. Though he told the press that his decision to remain was due to personal reasons, Bentley and Carmelita both knew he wanted to stick close for if and when Sly returned.
Sandra, Bentley, and Carmelita found Murray in Paris’ convention center, preparing for a fight against Australia’s champion Hugh Jackal. The trio arrived just in time for the first bell to go off, signaling the beginning of the fight.
In the left corner, they could see a very large, fat hippo that could only have been Murray. He had his signature red wrestler’s mask pulled over his face with his blue shirt, white scarf, and leather belt with Sly’s insignia serving as his costume. In the right corner, a very large, very aggressive jackal with a pair of black wrestling shorts stood snarling at Murray as if daring him to move.
“Murray’s looking good.” Carmelita commented. “He seems like he’s lost weight.”
“Sly’s disappearance hit him hard.” Bentley explained. “He probably stopped eating so much food in order to increase his strength for the next time we see Sly.”
Sandra watched as the wrestling match began, an odd smile on her face.
“The entries in the book don’t give you guy’s justice.” She remarked. “You two really are the best friends a Cooper could have… kinda reminds me of my gang…”
“You have a gang?” Bentley asked.
Sandra kinda went silent, but before the other could press her, the crowd let out a loud cheer. The three turned back to the fight to see, as all of them had expected, Hugh Jackal sprawled out on the floor of the ring. You could practically see the tweeting birds circling above his head.
“That didn’t take long.” Sandra remarked.
“He beat his old knockout record by 1.83 minutes.” Bentley calculated. “Astounding.”
All across the arena, fans were calling out from the stands, chanting the same two words.
“THUNDER FLOP! THUNDER FLOP!”
Sandra perked up at the chant and leaned in closer.
“The Thunder Flop? I’ve read about that move. He defeated Rajan with that move during Operation: Wet Tiger.”
“Yep.” Bentley replied. “There’s a reason he’s the brawn of our group.”
Down in the ring, Murray climbed up onto one of the posts and flexed his large arms.
“THIS FIGHT BELONGS TO ‘THE MURRAY’!” he declared loudly.
He then jumped off of the post and belly flopped right onto his opponent with an almost deafening crash. Even from the high seats that the trio had, they could hear Hugh Jackal’s bones cracking from Murray’s weight and the sheer impact of the attack. Sandra winced and flinched at the sounds, then smiled again.
“I’ve always wondered what that move was like in person.”
As the announcer pronounced Murray the winner, the trio made their way backstage. The security personnel went to stop them, but Carmelita flashed her Interpol badge and got them all past. They waited in Murray’s private locker room just as he came in. The second he laid eyes on them, he got this big grin on his face.
“Bentley!” he shouted, plucking the turtle from his wheelchair and into a nearly shell crushing hug. “It’s so good to see you!”
Bentley winced in pain, but didn’t cry out. Instead, he did his best to return the hug until Murray put him back in his chair. The hippo then turned to Carmelita and smiled. He hugged her as well, albeit, not so tightly.
“You too Carmelita.” he added. “Long time no chase.
Carmelita accepted the hug with only a small wince, then gave a small nod of greeting. When Murray turned to Sandra, his eyes widened a bit.
“Sly?” He asked.
Once more shaking her head, Sandra quickly explained who she really was, then braced herself for Murray’s attempt to threaten her. Instead, he just smiled widely.
“Sly’s descendant? That’s AWESOME!”
Sandra was shocked that Murray had accepted her story so easily, but decided not to think about it too much and just continued her explanation.
“Okay. Long story short, I know where Sly is and -”
Murray grabbed Sandra out of the blue, lifting her off the ground and bringing her face to face with the hippo. His eyes had an almost desperate gleam to them as he shook her.
“You know where Sly is?!” He demanded. “Really?!”
Sandra met Murray’s eyes, half afraid the hippo would crush her in his hands if she didn’t say what he wanted to here. Lucky for her, she really did have the info she claimed to have.
“Yes.” She replied, though her voice was a bit raspy from the grip Murray had on her. “I know exactly where he is.”
Murray hugged Sandra so tight that the raccoon’s eyes nearly bulged out of her skull. Bentley and Carmelita quickly attempted to try and free Sandra from Murray’s grip as he cried in joy.
“Thank Heavens!” He practically sobbed. “Sly’s alive!”
“Yes...” Sandra wheezed, “But... if you...don’t let me... go... I can’t... tell you...where... he-”
Almost as quickly as he had grabbed her, Murray released Sandra. She fell to the ground gasping and coughing trying to regain the air she had lost. As she recovered, Murray pulled her to her feet.
“Well?” he asked. “Where is he?”
Sandra leaned against her cane trying to steady herself.
“Let’s get somewhere a bit more private. Then I’ll tell you the whole story.”
Murray smiled, then ushered the group towards the large parking garage. In his designated spot was a van the entire group recognized. The blue paint was still as bright as the day they got it, the bright flames decorating the sides. On the front, serving as a bumper decoration and a battering ram was a large version of Sly’s insignia.
“The Cooper Van.” Sandra gushed like a fan girl meeting her favorite celebrity. “Oh man, the stories this van could tell if it could talk.”
“I am actually working on an A.I. system for the van to aid us in our adventures, but it’s still just an idea.” Bentley added.
“Alright you thieves.” Carmelita interrupted. “Times wasting and Sly’s waiting, so let’s get in and get to your hideout so we can find Ring-tail and bring him home.”
Murray and Bentley both kinda paused, looking at Carmelita a bit sheepishly.
“What?” she demanded.
“Look Carmelita…” Bentley explained, rolling over to her. “We know you wanna help Sly, but you’re still a cop. And we’re still criminals”
“Yeah.” Murray added. “If you learn where our hideout is, you can use that info to arrest us.”
Carmelita could see their point, but that didn’t mean she had to accept it.
“I’m helping you find Sly.” She declared. “That’s not gonna change, so whether you like it or not, I’m coming with.”
“We know….” Bentley replied hesitantly. “But, we can’t just let you…. You know…”
Carmelita understood what was going on and though it annoyed her to no end, she sighed.
“Fine.” She grumbled. “Just don’t shoot me in the butt like you did Grizz.”
Bentley’s dart gun, which was still primed from earlier, had been slowly working its way behind Carmelita. With a soft hiss, the dart went flying into her neck and she passed out instantly. Murray caught her before she fell and gently placed her in the van’s passenger seat. As he buckled her in, Bentley turned to Sandra.
“And as for you, I just don’t trust you.”
Sandra shrugged, having expected this from the beginning. She opened the door to the van and sat down on the floor.
“Sly’s been missing for three years.” She said as she set her cane to the side. “Trust me, I understand how losing a friend can make you gain trust issues. Go on ahead.”
There was another hiss as Bentley shot Sandra in the neck as well. She didn’t even try to fight and simply laid down on the floor of the van as blackness overtook her.
Carmelita and Sandra began to come to around the same time. Carmelita had been placed on the couch in the hideout, a warm blanket draped over her. Sandra was in the arm chair next to her, a different blanket over her. They appeared to be in the main room of the hideout, considering the room was dominated by a large table with three chairs placed haphazardly around it and the different mounds of schematics and plan drafts all across it.
“You awake?” Sandra called as she gently shrugged the blanket off of her.
“Yep….” Carmelita replied as she checked to make sure she still had her shock pistol. “And I’m gonna get back at that turtle one of these days.”
As they shook off the last of the effects of Bentley’s darts, they looked around. Bentley and Murray were nowhere to be seen, much to Carmelita’s surprise.
“Where are they?” she wondered aloud.
“Probably down in the garage making sure that the van’s in tip top condition.” Sandra replied, grabbing her cane from where it was leaning against the wall. “Let’s go look for them.”
Carmelita got this mischievous smile on her face, one that Sandra quickly picked up on.
“I’ve waited over a decade to find Cooper’s Paris hideout. Now that I’m here, I’m going to take a look around and see what I can find.”
Sandra shrugged, also wanting to do the same thing.
“Knowing Bentley, he’s probably hidden anything incriminating or location oriented.” She pointed out.
“I have to try.” Carmelita replied, making her way through the safe house.
“Couldn’t agree more.” Sandra concluded.
The Cooper Gang had many different safe houses all over the world, but Paris France was always their home, and the décor proved it. There were shelves upon shelves of small treasures brought back as souvenirs from their travels, not just across the world, but through time as well.
There were also a collection of raccoon shaped mannequins with different costumes Sly had used to sneak into various places. There was the tuxedo he had stolen when he and Carmelita had their first dance. There was his Venetian guard costume, complete with the ridiculous golden mask. His ace’s pilot costume and wedding planner outfits were also on display, as well as his “Cantankerous” Tim costume and the General Tsao costume he wore to trick Carmelita.
Bringing up the rear was Sly’s Samurai armor from feudal japan, a costume Carmelita had not seen before since she hadn’t been present for that stage of the adventure. However, she got a big kick out of the jailbird costume, a black and white striped jumpsuit complete with a large ball and chain.
“I wish I could have seen Sly in that costume.” She chuckled.
“It was the only way he could get to ‘Tennessee Kid’ Cooper and save him.” Sandra explained. “The one time he let the law catch him.”
“What about when he surrendered himself to me?” Carmelita asked.
“There’s a difference between surrendering and letting yourself get caught.” Sandra clarified. “It’s a Cooper thing.”
The Sabre-tooth costume was very well preserved, most likely Bentley’s handiwork. The archer’s costume was right beside it, followed finally by, as Sandra put it, the Aladdin costume. Leaving the costume room, the girls found themselves in the arcade room, complete with a few old arcade machines most likely found and tinkered with by Bentley so they wouldn’t need any coins. The ping-pong table laid dusty from unused, mostly because it was always Sly against Bentley since Murray didn’t have the coordination to play.
“These guys really made this place a home.” Carmelita mused. “I guess that’s why they didn’t want me to know where it was.”
“So… you still gonna get back at Bentley for the dart?” Sandra questioned.
“We’ll see…. Maybe when we have Sly back.”
Figuring the self-guided tour was over, the girls made their way down into the garage, where Bentley and Murray were in the middle of checking the electronics system set up in the van. However, when they heard Carmelita and Sandra come in, they set what they were doing aside.
“You’re awake!” Murray called.
“I was worried I used too much tranquilizer on you two.” Bentley added.
“We’re good.” Sandra replied. “But we should probably get down to business.”
“Right.” Carmelita agreed. “Sly’s waited long enough for us to come get him, and frankly, I’m ready to have that ringtail back.”
Everyone agreed and made their way back upstairs.
The four of them gathered around the usual planning table as Sandra started her tale.
“3 weeks ago back in my time, archaeologists discovered the tomb of Slytunkhamen I, the writer of the Thievius Raccoonus. INTERPOL immediately had the site guarded for potential thefts, and they even put my favorite agent on the case.”
“You have a favorite agent in INTERPOL?” Carmelita asked.
“Of course. I get that from my Great-Great Grandfather.” Sandra replied. “His name is Garret Lupine, a really cute mountain wolf and one of their top agents. He’s been obsessed with me since I slipped out of his grasp when I stole the Star of Kilimanjaro right under his cute nose.”
Bentley gave a very loud cough, which reminded Sandra of where she was.
“Sorry…. Where was I?” she asked. “Oh yeah. Tomb of Slytunkhamen, INTERPOL on the case, and of course, me and my gang rob the tomb of any and all valuables, including my ancestor’s sarcophagus. We give Slytunkhamen a Cooper funeral by leaving his sarcophagus in his part of the Cooper Vault and start going through our new goodies.”
“Wait…. You stole from your own ancestor?” Carmelita questioned.
“No. We stole from the corrupt tomb raiders pretending to be archaeologists who only discovered Slytunkhamen tomb because they were searching for his cryptiles.” Sandra clarified.
The Cooper gang and Carmelita all looked at Sandra confused and the red raccoon shook her head.
“Before he wrote the Thievius Raccoonus, Slytunkhamen I inscribed his earlier adventures onto slabs of stone my gang and I dubbed cryptiles.” Sandra informed them. “They have secrets no Cooper knows about to up until my time period. I was pouring over their information when I came across this one particular cryptile.”
Sandra reached into her satchel and pulled out a large package wrapped in thick cloth.
“While most of Skytunkhamen’s cryptiles spoke of thefts and how he pulled them off, this spoke of a ‘raccoon traveler from afar’ who came bearing a ‘Shepard’s crook-like weapon’. Sound familiar?”
Of course it sounded familiar. In fact, once Sandra unwrapped her cryptile, the picture engraved upon it only sealed the deal. The figure was a raccoon dressed in a blue shirt with a golden collar, blue gloves with golden rims, a blue hat, and of course, the Cooper Family Cane.
“It’s Sly!” Murray exclaimed.
“It’s really him!” Bentley shouted. “He’s in ancient Egypt!”
“Circa 1350 B.C. if I remember my Cooper family history correctly.” Sandra added.
Sandra soon found herself being dog-piled by Murray as he hugged her, happy tears pouring from his eyes. Bentley examined the tablet, smiling for the first time in a long time. As Sandra attempted to free herself from Murray’s hug, Carmelita traced her fingers along the carving, tears welling up in her eyes as well.
“Sly Cooper…. I’ve finally found you….”
Sandra finally managed to get Murray off of her after about seven minutes of rib crushing hugs. She dusted herself off, and then turned back to Bentley.
“Now that you know where to find him, we can take the Time Machine back to ancient Egypt, find Sly, and bring him home.”
“Good thing we kept it installed just in case.” Murray commented.
“You’re telling me.” Bentley replied. “We can use your cryptile as the artifact to take us to that era.”
“That’s why I brought it.” She replied, handing the stone over to Bentley. “Just make sure I take it with me when I leave. That is technically from the future.”
Bentley gave a nod as he fired up the time machine. Murray got behind the wheel as Carmelita climbed into the van. Sandra slipped in next to her, facing the INTERPOL agent.
“Carmelita Fox… Best police inspector for INTERPOL…. And here you are, about to aid a gang of thieves to rescue one of the best thieves your time has ever known.”
“Sly’s more than just a thief….” She commented.
“I know.” Sandra replied. “You want him back probably more than either Bentley or Murray.”
Carmelita allowed herself to nod. These past three years had been hard, and it would be good to go back to the way things were, back to Sly doing his thing, the thrill of the chase. Back to their old game of cops and robbers as Sly would say.
“I’m ready to have my no-good lowdown thief back.”
With that comment, Bentley wheeled himself over to the van and Murray quickly put him inside. Closing the doors and starting the engine, the Cooper gang, Carmelita, and Sandra all braced themselves as electricity sparked around the van, pulling them into the void of space and time.
“To Egypt!” Murray shouted.
“To 1350 B.C.!” Bentley called.
“To Sly!” Sandra added.
With a final crack, the van and all of its passengers disappeared, leaving the Cooper Paris Hideout empty.