A Human Among Animal Thieves @jumbochamploon
Murray in Italy

Chapter 30

After another long taxi ride to Italy, our group decided to make a Safehouse out of an abandoned building by one of the bridges, which was actually just as the game said we'd be going to. We then got to thinking on where Murray may be kept at.

"Given Murray's criminal past with us, maybe we should check out the Venetian police station? If he's not already in prison, they should have profiles on all the thugs in Venice," Bentley said as Meg then was typing on her computer with a frown.

"Just be careful when on the streets, guys. There are numerous guards patrolling the town that all work for a single Don Octavio, a lion that is the leader of a mobster gang. He's advertising an opera on the first day of carnivale and his guards attack anyone on the street that aren't Venice residents," Meg said.

"Understood. Neyla, Sly, come with," I said, leading our trio to the area that would look over to the police station, me getting a call from Bentley then.

"That large dome marks the Venice police station," Bentley said.

"Cops around here really like to make an impression," Sly smiled with his quick wit.

"Sadly, they may not be too helpful. For now, let's focus on getting inside... that roof has a ventilation shaft that leads down to the prison areas of the place. That may be our best bet at finding Murray," Neyla said.

"Okay, then let's get going. This way leads us to a rope to walk on," I smiled, our trio heading in that direction and going up the rope and over the water until we reached the dome, me trying to squeeze me and my baby bump through, and me surprised I could do it, but just with a few inches of clearance.

"Oof, this little tyke might make it harder to crawl in these holes," I said with a frown.

"It'll only get bigger as the dates go by, so you'll need to adjust," Neyla said, me nodding at that. We then managed to get into the cell block and we saw the shadowy figure in the cell.

"Hey, Murray? Is that you?" Sly asked with a hush in his voice.

"Huh? Is that who I thinks it is?" the shadow asked as he emerged into the light, it being Dimitri full and through.

"Cooper and Unknown Ella? You've got fuzzy dice to come around here," Dimitri said with a frown.

"Long time no see, Dimitri," Neyla sighed.

"I see you brought along your cracker-box feline for the ride," Dimitri frowned.

"Less name calling, more kind talking, please? We need to ask if you've seen Murray? You know, our pink hippo friend?" I asked as I showed him a picture of Murray without his mask.

"Looking for main man Murray, eh? Well, sadly, I can't find him if I'm stuck in a jail cell like rats in a cat bag, ya dig?" Dimitri asked, Neyla groaning at his word usage with a frown.

"Well, how about this? We go get your door unlocked, then we distract the cops and they chase us outside. You should be able to escape during the chaos," I said to him, Sly smiling at that.

"That's a plan I can get behind. Dimitri is free, and kitty gets cooked! Key for cell is in head cop lady's office," Dimitri said, Neyla sighing at that last bit.

"I know you're mad at me, Dimitri, but I'm reformed. I'm with the Cooper Gang and am expecting a kid with this lovely lady here," Neyla said, hugging me and me running my fingers down her fur again, her purring a bit, but making it quiet as the cops were right nearby.

"Get me out of here and I'll find Murray no sweat. Just stay down low and out of sight near them coppers, bros. They're a bad bunch of bunnies," Dimitri said, me nodding at that and our group going invisible to get through the cops without getting detected, Sly going under the table and getting the key from in Carmelita's office as she did her presentation on Don Octavio and how she thought he was connected to all the tar being polluted into the water.

"Let's get back to business, now, where was I?... Oh, right, also, we seem to have some leads to the Cooper gang. They're also on their way here, so keep your wits sharp about them too. Especially the members in Neyla, Ella Unknown, and Sly Cooper. They have tons of impressive abilities," Carmelita said as we then made our way back to Dimitri's cell just as the lights went off from the fritz. Sly then put the key in the lock and I began to work at the rotation lock, me listening intently for the clicks and doing it just as the game wanted me to. I then got the door opened after click number three and I then opened up the door for Dimitri.

"Now time to get the cops chasing after our group. You get to finding Murray," I said to Dimitri with a smile.

"Solid! Don't worry no mind, straightway I'll pass word for Murray to find you. Meet at Rialto Bridge. Big Italian landmark!" Dimitri smirked.

"Okay, showtime," I smiled as I led our trio into the main area while the lights flickered on and I simply clacked my cane against some metal for the guards to notice us.

"Hello, assorted banana peelers... and officer foxy. Anyone feel up for a good ol' chase?" I smiled at them.

"You three?! Grab them, men!" Carmelita yelled, her and the other ape forces chasing us out the door and out to the water's edge, me smiling at how they stopped at the pier afterwards.

"You have some serious gall to show up in a police headquarters during an important meeting," Carmelita frowned.

"I was afraid we were growing apart. Haven't seen each other for awhile after all," Sly smiled.

"Then why don't we spend some quality time together? You, me, and a pair of handcuffs wrapped around your wrist and connected to mine?" Carmelita asked in her own snarky attitude, me smiling at that.

"Wow, that was straight and to the point, wasn't it?" Neyla asked with a smile.

"Oh, shush, Neyla. Men, let's go after 'em!" Carmelita said, her apes taking off with their jet packs and trying to grab us by flying into us, but our group out classed them in speed as we rushed across the waters on the small points and ropes until we finally got to the bridge, me seeing Murray appear from a manhole in the middle of the street while Carmelita chased us from the ground.

"Greetings old..." Murray was about to say before a shock blast tried to hit his feet. "INSPECTOR FOX?! Man, you're in it again!" Murray said with a smile, me groaning a bit.

"This is going to smell like ass!" I said as I jumped into the sewers with my nose pinched shut, the others following after and me smiling as I heard Carmelita.

"You better take a shower the next time we meet up, Cooper!" Carmelita said, me smiling at that. She was being much more playful and flirty than she was in the game! Our group then emerged from the manhole in the area by the Ferris Wheel, Murray's appearance being just as before, but this time, no mask on him. Just the face paint and the tribal attire on his head.

"Thanks for the quick escape, Murray. We owe you one... again," Sly smiled.

"Of course, searchers, we are all in need of peace," Murray smiled.

"You're really dedicated to that Dreamtime stuff, huh?" Neyla asked.

"My mind is clear, like a woodland after a forest fire," the hippo said with a calmness to his voice.

"Murray? We need you back on the team. The thing with Bentley wasn't your fault. No one could've known that Brian would do that when the hate chip was removed. He doesn't blame you, he blames Brian," I said to him, Murray frowning and shaking his head.

"Sorry, guys. I walk a different path. My Guru, in his wisdom, told me to lose myself and not return until the black water ran pure... see?" Murray asked as he pointed to the river and, just as he said, there was tar being pumped into it from one of the pipes from Octavio's mansion.

"Well, what if you could help us peacefully? You wouldn't need to hurt a fly," I said, Murray then thinking and smirking at that.

"That sounds perfect! What do you need me to do?" Murray asked, Sly talking after that.

"How about come visit us back at the Safehouse. We miss you, pal. We'd like to hear how it's been going for the past few months," Sly smiled.

"Of course," Murray smiled as he then followed us back to the Safehouse, having to steer clear of the guards in the process until we finally got there, where everyone hugged the big guy the moment they saw him.

"Okay, guys. Murray's teacher said that he can't get out of Venice until the black water runs pure. So that means we need to find the source of the tar polluting the canals and take him out. But Murray's teachings say he has to renounce all violence, so he isn't allowed to hurt anything with anger or fists. So what do you think?" Neyla asked.

"Well, according to what I've been able to decipher from the meeting Carmelita had with her mercenaries, we can safely assume that Don Octavio is the one responsible. As we are all non-law operatives, we can get directly involved. First, Bentley, Sly, and Ruby will break into Octavio's opera house and snoop around for any kind of evidence. Meanwhile, Henriette and Neyla will try to tail the Don as he makes his way through town. Some incriminating photos of his crimes in progress should be enough to lock him in the clink. But other than that, I've intercepted a call from Octavio's men. They plan on sending out the Blue Viper gondola gang to attack Carmelita during her midday patrol of the waters. So when it gets to midday, me and Ella will go after them to prevent any harm coming to Carmelita," Meg said, my smile forming widely at that.

"Oh yeah! Sistah power is best power!" I smiled as I gave Meg a hi-five, which she happily accepted. "And as for you, Murray, we've got food in the fridge right here. Feel free to have some if you want. This place will be a great place for meditation, as it's closed off from the other areas," I smiled at him.

"Thanks, guys. I really appreciate it," Murray smiled at us, me smirking at him.

"Now time to go out and do our jobs," Sly said as our teams then went into our separate placements to begin doing deviousness.

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