Disclaimer: Sly Cooper, Bentley, Murray, and Inspector Carmelita Fox belong to Sucker Punch. I am using them without permission, cause I kick ass.

Inspector Scott Cooper, Inspector Arjen Hanson, Inspector Timo Silverwolf, Rufus Dogmeyer, Chief Kiss, Reverend Galagos, The Schlecter Greuel Beast, Mr. Limburger, and the town of Furlem are all brainchilds of Octavarius Kaiser Scott. Use them without permission and I'll have the Fanfiction administration gut you. You shitkickers.

The excerpt coming up is from the song Crimson And Amber, which was written by me.

Author's Note: The third incarnation starts with a minor Chapter 1 edit. Please do enjoy your read.

Shunned away are the unions we shareConverting the masses gives us reason to despairOrchards and vineyards are burned to the groundTwisted are the feelings that we have foundThe pathos has run it's course...

"Five... four... three... two... one."

Chapter 1: Ex VotoStockholm MuseumStockholm, Sweden, 12:44 pm

Darkness, silence and a blanket of white snow covered the faintly lit city of Stockholm. Most of its luckier inhabitants were snug under their bed sheets, being gripped tightly by their loved ones (or simply a pillow for some). The unluckier ones however, were left to freeze to death in nature's merciless sea of frozen rain, having nobody to hold or say goodbye to. Labors of a talented violinist, safe in his manor, added on to the sorrowful scene of an unfed nomad gripping an old picture of his past wife with frozen, dead fingers. He cried out painfully, dropped the picture to the ground and fell alongside it; dead. Life was harsh, and life was cruel. And to some, life was a playground...

Sly Cooper climbed to the top of the telephone pole that reached to the sky, and then gracefully darted across the thick wire that led to the Stockholm Museum's rooftop. The master thief executed a perfect somersault that lifted him off the wire and onto the sinister masonry that topped the grand museum. He slid his hand down the red pocket-holder that hung off his thigh, and pulled out his binoc-u-com.

"Hey Bentley, can you hear me?" he whispered into the concealed microphone that resided within the collar of his lazuline thieving outfit.

"Loud and clear, Sly." answered a nasal voice, "What's your status?"

"I'm on the roof of the museum. Where to next, buddy?" Sly inquired, cupping a paw over the side of his face to reduce the noise of the soft gale over the communicator.

Bentley, glancing from one computer screen back to the web cam, which displayed his visual on Sly's Binoc-u-com, paused then asked, "Alright, do you see that large window over there?"

The raccoon pointed the binoc-u-com to his right, and caught sight of a dark window residing on the base of a twisted obelisk that scraped the night sky. "You mean... that one?"

"Yeah. Try breaking in through there. If I'm reading these layouts correctly, you should land right next to the Apokem Chalice." Bentley was always one to have planned these sorts of things out in advance. Cooper could only grin at his orders.

Sly used his free paw to flick off some snow that nipped at his delicate nose and pondered. "What about security?"

His reptilian friend did not utter a word...

"Bentley?"

The tortoise rebutted with a touch of apprehension in his voice. "...That's odd. I'm not picking up any guards in the entire building. And all other security measures have been... turned off..."

"Well, means less trouble for me then." the thief grinned, adding, "I'm going in.

"Alright. Just... be careful." Warned Bentley with a subtle sigh.

"Yes dear." he joked in response. And with the utmost agility, the raccoon ran over to the large window and carved a perfect circle with the tip of his cane. He pushed the circle in, and quickly caught the glass disc before it could hit the floor. Cooper set it aside, and jumped through the circle. After a brief fall, the raccoon landed upon the stone flooring of the museum and straightened himself out, before tip-toeing towards the Apokem Chalice's obsidian prison. "Is this it?"

"Affirmative." replied Bentley, "Pulchritudinous, isn't it?" the turtle remarked of the Chalice's beauty.

The gaunt larcenist stupidly scratched his head at his cohort's advanced verbiage. "I guess..."

Bentley cleared his throat, getting back to business. "Sly... grab the chalice so we can get the heck out of here. This place is beginning to give me goosebumps..."

"Alright, alright," Sly groaned, rolling his two mesmeric pools of copper, "Don't get your shell in a knot."

"That's physically impossible, Sly." frowned the chelonian in a typically dull manner.

"It was a joke, man..."

"Chalice!" Bentley snapped, half wondering if he shouldn't try to have Sly diagnosed for Attention Deficit Disorder, during times like these.

Sly sighed and lifted the cane up over his head with both paws, and then brought the hooked end down upon the case, slamming it hard enough to crack the plexi-polymer. Sly then gave the display case a little, playful nudge. Glass shards of every shape and size flew in several directions. Parts of the display remained cracked and somewhat intact, but they wouldn't be for long.

With a couple of quick swipes, the remains were quickly taken care of by the wily master thief, and he was sure to keep careful with constant reminders from his whiny turtle companion. And though well aware of the museum's offline security measures, he was still expecting to be surrounded by high-tech combustive lasers. But of course, true to what Bentley had told him, absolutely nothing happened.

"See? What did I tell ya?" Bentley chuckled over the in-ear speaker.

"Sweet." Sly replied over the microphone, while eyeing the prize and wearing an arrogant grin. 'This was just all too easy,' he thought to himself, proudly.

With the chalice now stripped of its external protection, Sly slid off the glove adorning his right hand and grabbed the shiny goblet. He carefully bounced it a couple of times, and was dumbstruck by the feel and lack of weight of the artifact. "Hmm..."

Adjusting his large glasses, the reptile noticed that his childhood friend had become terribly silent, and he, in response, lifted a heavy eyebrow. "Something wrong?"

"Tell me, Bentley, what's this thing made out of again?" he asked.

"From what I have read," Bentley said over the communicator, typing on another computer off to the side, to bring up information on the artifact. Once verified, he continued, "It was crafted centuries ago out of solid platinum. Why?"

Sly frowned thoughtfully, explaining, "'Cause this thing feels more like... plastic."

"What?" Bentley shouted, nearly falling out of his chair and scaring poor Murray, who was in a deep slumber, back at the safe house in a bed next to Bentley's workstation, "Oh gawd... it's a fake! That's why nothing was on! Get outta there, it's got to be a tr--"

Suddenly, a loud gunshot was heard, and a silvery bullet pierced through the thin, frigid air and blew the cunning coon's hat clean off of his head. Cooper, who was as imperturbable as could be, turned around slowly and caught sight of a pale white human emerging from the foreboding darkness that consumed the area. The Procyon narrowed his eyes, squinting to adjust his nocturnal vision better.

The bleak-looking man was clad in a jet black t-shirt and a pair of jeans sharing the same color. His long, dark and satiny hair was parted down the middle, causing heavy bangs to partially conceal his wicked, yet enchanting crimson eyes. And in his slender right hand, he was holding a Glock 26 -- the weapon of choice for Interpol officers who favored lethal force above all else. Yes, he was a sight that was all too familiar...

"You..." Sly murmured, dropping the fake Apokem Chalice.

"Sly? What's going on?" his tremulous comrade exclaimed, "Sly?"

"I've run into a bit of trouble, Bentley. Stand by," replied the thief as he bravely took his eyes off of the mentally-incompetent policeman, and peered down at the "invisible" source of electronic communication.

"Trouble? Don't tell me Inspector Fox is there..." came the reply over the communicator.

"No. It's much worse then that," The raccoon droned, a slight hint of annoyance haunting his low-spoken words, "It's her partner..."

"Aww man! This is bad!" Bentley cried, "Listen, I'll send Murray over there to drop you an escape rope. Just... try to stay alive until then."

"I will." Cooper assured the ever-worried turtle. Directing his ravishing brown eyes onto the sinister enigma, he contemplated for a quick moment, wondering why the big-wigs of Interpol were allowing this psychopath to have his way. Had they all gone insane? Coldhearted murder... devoid of the consequences that were enforced by every officer? The very thought never failed to perplex him.

After releasing a deep, almost jaded sigh, Sly twirled the cane he inherited with a circular motion of his wrist, and spoke with absolute valor; "So, Inspector Scott, we meet again."

Scott remained ominously silent. Cooper's softer visage was reflected in the human's icy, stoic gaze. Sly playfully flashed him a grin, and then picked his hat up from off the ground. The raccoon slipped his index finger through the hole, then his gaze lifted back to the Inspector.

Cooper paused, then playfully chided, "So... was this intentional? Or did you just miss?" Sly laughed while pointing at the hole in his hat. "Right here, see it?"

"What do you think, you fucking idiot?" Scott hissed, "It was a miss." At least he was humble enough to be honest about it.

"Ah, I figured." the raccoon said, rubbing his chin, "Carmelita was the one that taught you how to fire a gun, so it's only natural that you're gonna miss a lot."

As Sly had predicted, the remark about Carmelita passing on her bad aim caused Scott to snap. "Worthless raccoon!" growled the vitriolic officer, "I'll make sure the pain you feel right before you die will be unimaginable!"

Scott laughed manically before he raised his barrel of death and opened fire. Without even bothering to hesitate, Sly used one of his ancestor's tricks to slow down time. The seven bullets that were once almost impossible to see were now clearly visible, only now they were moving at an extremely sluggish speed. Sly immediately knocked the bullets in all different directions with his cane. After the bearings of those cumbersome rounds had been redirected, he stopped the sneaky time trick. Right when he did, the bullets shot off into the directions that Sly had hit them.

"You missed." chuckled Sly.

Scott threw his now empty gun to the floor and exploded with incontrollable anger.

"You... motherfucker!" Scott was exasperated, shouting such curses with no regard for professionalism.

He mindlessly charged towards his prey, like a mad bull would to a matador. Sly effortlessly leaped over the enraged cop, and used yet another time-altering trick. Only this time, it was to speed up time. Sly watched in amusement as his human opponent zoomed across the museum floor, and ran face-first into the wall. Dazed, the officer stumbled around a bit, before falling to the ground. To Cooper's surprise, he was still conscious. Bloody, but conscious.

"Sly!" shouted a familiar voice, "Up here!" Sly looked up to see his good pal Murray, holding down a rope for him to climb.

"Climb the rope so we can get out of here!"

Sly grabbed the tightly intertwined cord of hemp and hastily began to climb it. Once he was at the top, he peered down at Scott and blew him a kiss, playfully batting his lashes.

"See you later, Scotty." crooned Sly before darting off into the night.

Scott clenched his fists and screamed at the top of lungs, "COOPER! I'LL KILL YOOOOOOOUUUUUUU!"

Bentley shivered as the madman's ferocious scream echoed its way outside. "Aww, man!" he whimpered, "That guy gives me the creeps..."