Family is Forever
Okay guys here's Part 1 of the Rob Saga.
Haven't got anything else to say except enjoy.
The Modern Revolution
After convincing Sly and Murray to lay low for a while, we were finally heading back to Paris. For Sly it must have felt great having a massive weight be lifted off his chest. No more stealing family heirlooms from crime syndicates. I on the other hand had a big problem to deal with, and arriving in Paris didn't ease my psyche.
Graffiti plagued the streets, bomb warnings could be seen left right and center, there were police everywhere.
"Just our luck," Sly grumbled as we stopped the van outside a two story house with a 'SOLD' sign outside.
"Bentley, you sure this is the place?" Murray asked nervously.
I nodded to him, "I looked it up online and I've agreed to purchase the place in person. Big basement. Three bedrooms and the ground floor has shaded windows, it couldn't be any more perfect.
"What brought this on?" Sly asked frowning.
"I'm fed up of living from place to place," I replied shortly.
After greeting the former home owner and paying him cash in person the house was all ours. Naturally we explored every inch of the house; the basement was going to be my work office where I couldn't be disturbed.
Straight away we moved our items from the van into the house. My crossbow I had received from my Uncle was put down in the basement in my new office. Murray immediately called dibs on the largest room so Sly reluctantly got the medium sized one, leaving me with the smallest.
Over the next few days we began ordering the living essentials offline. Eventually the place looked like a normal house (if you ignored the basement and didn't find our hiding spots that is). There was also something we had picked up on as well couldn't go ignored.
There were people each and every day marching down the street holding signs and chanting. There seemed to be two sides. One seemed to be against the government and claimed to support "The Modern Revolution", whoever or whatever that was and the other seemed to be in favor of bringing down Anarchy.
Murray didn't seem to care, he was too busy watching wrestling day in and out (a new hobby of his) to give it any notice. Sly just saw the groups as a convenient distraction for the police. I however had a gut feeling Rob would somehow be a part of this.
And so the reoccurring hunt for my family began again. This time I looked into this 'Modern Revolution' business. From studying online videos and news reports I had concluded that this group of Anarchists wanted the government to change a few laws. They also had a habit of gatecrashing government meetings, (whether they be public or private).
The terrorism was still (to my knowledge) very minor. The only weak proof the authorities had these people were terrorists was the group themselves claimed to be planning big attacks unless the government dropped a few laws. It could easily be idle threats.
As the days rolled by, Sly was more and more insistent on Murray and I joining him in the field.
"You already have a crossbow," he would argue, "next time we pull off a heist, you in?"
"I'd need training first," I reasoned, "and maybe another weapon at my disposal."
"Like what?" he asked.
"I don't know, i'll think of something, just give me time."
"Where you going?" Sly asked, looking up and down at my appearance.
"To attend a hearing from Jean Tiberi," I replied.
"The Mayor?" Sly looked puzzled, "why?"
"This whole 'Modern Revolution' business has me interested. I just want to see what the government is doing about it," I replied.
I was half telling the truth. Another reason was the Anarchist group usually attacked meetings just like this one. If Rob really was in with these people then I might run into him during the meeting...
Around about a hundred people turned up. Security was tight. Luckily I had thought ahead and worn a disguise, the only problem was I would have to find Rob since there was no chance he would recognize me in my ginger hair and goth attire.
I looked up at the stage and saw a goat being applauded as he walked on. This guy had to be the mayor.
"Thank you, thank you," he addressed the clapping quickly, "now, I want it to be made absolutely clearly the authorities do not tolerate Anarchist Extremists at all. One of the main reasons we implemented the new No Tolerance Law."
I wasn't quite sure what it was but a few people in crowd tutted or hissed and booed. The goat cleared his throat, but before anything else could be said a loud explosion could be heard several blocks away.
The whole crowd turned to the right in perfect sync and a four story building several streets away collapsed down on itself like a controlled demolition. These guys were serious.
Panic followed straight after. People began to bail one by one. The mayor was screaming "we will not be bullied by terrorists!" as security pulled him away. Then someone jumped up in midair and threw something at him. People screamed expecting another explosion; however it turned out to be nothing more than a rotten egg. I laughed then realized the person who had thrown it was a green turtle... with sandy blonde hair. Oh god!
Without even having to think I bolted straight towards where I had seen him. More and more people dispersed and so did the security. They all seemed to be heading towards where the explosion had gone off. As distressed citizens cleared the way for me I spotted him again he was walking over to a raccoon casually. I realized instantly it was Valentine, the man who used to work as a cleaner at my family's mansion.
"Rob! Valentine!" I yelled getting their attention.
As I stopped in front of them to get my breath back, they both looked beyond confused.
"Erm, can we help you?" Valentine asked.
I frowned before realizing I was still wearing my disguise and dropped the wig instantaneously. Both of their eyes strained at me like I was a ghost.
"Bentley?" Rob asked softly. His voice sounded like it was changing pitch constantly.
"I finally found you," I whispered just staring.
Then in a flash he picked me up and pulled me into a bear hug.
The screams and panic seemed to pause. Nothing mattered, I could not be happier. I looked at Valentine who was looking away awkwardly like this was none of his business.
"Long time no see," I said to him, making him smile.
"As heart-warming as this is. This isn't really the best time for a catch up," he announced, though he smirked a bit as well, "you remember the manhole Rob?"
Rob put me down.
"Yeah it's over there," he replied, grinning merrily.
I was pulled into this open sewer and the three of us climbed down it. The smell was inhumane but better this than be arrested. Once we had found firm footing down below the two of them whipped out flashlights and began leading the way to wherever we were heading.
"Where have you been all this time?" Rob whispered, as we heard sirens above us.
"All-over the place," I replied honestly, "where did you go straight after you left home?"
"We did rent out a flat together with the money we had, but then we heard about the fire on the news. We both thought you'd all died, you don't know how relieved I am," Rob said laughing to himself manically. Valentine nodded quickly.
I contemplated whether or not to tell him my full story regarding our father's death, my short lived reunion with our uncle and the fact James and Michael were running rampant, but decided maybe now wasn't the best time.
"Where are we going now anyway?" I asked, ignoring the rats scampering around my feet.
"Back to headquarters," Valentine answered.
Headquarters? Was it true what that conspiracy site said? Has Rob joined some kind of dangerous movement...
"What kind of headquarters?" I asked carefully.
Valentine stopped in his tracks.
"Do you really think Tyler is going to like this?" he asked Rob, "he's the only one who's allowed to bring people into the movement."
"Of course," Rob replied, "we're like best friends," he added absentmindedly.
I know it had been eleven years but Rob had changed. He just didn't seemed laidback anymore. I pushed the thought aside. People change I suppose.
"Who's Tyler?" I asked.
"The leader of our movement!" Rob shouted happily, making his voice echo down the sewer.
Valentine shushed him.
"I hope you're not too judgemental," the raccoon said to me, "we're part of the Anarchist Movement."
"You mean that Modern Rev-"
"Yeah," he replied shortly.
There was a brief silence.
"You guys- Uh, you guys haven't killed anyone, have you?" I asked biting my lip.
They both shook their heads thankfully.
"The movement isn't like that," Valentine stated firmly, "do you believe we're doing the right thing?"
"In all honesty, I don't fully know what you're doing," I replied.
Valentine sighed, "alright mate. You know what, we'll take you back to base but if Tyler flips, run and don't look back. Got it?"
I nodded. Rob laughed to himself.
After a few hours of hiding in the sewers we exited a manhole on the outskirts of Paris. We were in the really rundown areas which no one visited alone. Both Rob and Valentine began leading the way towards a dilapidated house. I wondered why. The place was damp, rotten, abandoned and looked like it was about to fall apart.
"You'll understand in a minute," Valentine whispered, noticing my confusion.
We entered through the open back door and trudged on the dusted floorboards. Inside it was pitch black, the only source of light was coming from the basement.
I felt my heart rate accelerate as Rob swung the basement door open.
"Honey, i'm home!" he called gleefully, chuckling to himself.
A fox appeared at the bottom staring at Rob.
"You're probably right Ryan, I may have gone too far," the fox said, staring Rob up and down.
Then he noticed me.
"Who's he?" he said loudly and in a flash there was a full gang of men staring up at me from the bottom of the basement.
"He's Rob's brother, Tyler" Valentine replied calmly addressing the fox. Valentine patted me on the shoulder and I instantly felt my respect for him rise.
"Brother?" Tyler asked, looking back at forth between me and Rob, "I thought your family died!" he shouted getting louder, "WE DON'T KEEP SECRETS AROUND HERE!" he screamed.
Rob fell back into a corner cowering and mumbling to himself. What had they done to him?
"He didn't know I was alive!" It took me a few seconds to realise I had just shouted.
This Tyler person stared at me for a few seconds.
"You're not with the police are you?" he asked sharply.
Before I could answer a gecko budged his way past Tyler and got a good look at me.
"Holy shi-," he went quiet, "that guy's in the Cooper Gang!"
Murmurs between them followed shortly and they all fought for position at the basement door to get a good look at me.
"You sure about that Jerome?" Tyler asked.
"One hundred percent. Bluddy hell Rob, you're just full of suprises!" the gecko called Jerome chuckled.
A bear next to Tyler suddenly spoke up aswell, "something tells me he's not with the police."
A few of them laughed and Tyler looked quite swayed at this revelation.
"Welcome to the movement!" he said beckoning me to go downstairs.
Whether it was fear or recklessness I obeyed him and walked downstairs to find a covert living headquarters.
"Sorry for the awkward introduction, let me introduce you to our members," he said, giving off an awkward laugh. "Excluding Rob and Valentine, there's six of us you haven't met," he added.
"This is Ronaldo," he said, pointing at a cheetah who shook my hand, "active field man, excellent free runner."
The cheetah nodded.
"This is Jerome," he continued as I shook hands with the gecko, "our brains of the operation."
The gecko retreated back to his bed and began studying his paperwork.
"Ryan, demolitions expert," he added and the bear from earlier nodded to me.
The next person Tyler approached scared me. Whether it was the murderous look, the eyes, or the copious amounts of battle scars. I couldn't quite decide.
"This is Drake. Meathead of the movement and our resident psychopath," Tyler said.
The Snow Leopard nodded at me slightly, grunted and walked away.
"And finally Pete, our professional scrounger," he said finally as I shook the dirty hands of the chameleon.
"Now introductions are over, I expect you'll want to talk to Rob," Tyler said to me then turned to his group, "in an hour we'll be heading out to cause some chaos," he shouted to the room large.
Behind me Rob cheered feebly as he lay sprawled out on his bed. I approached him.
"What kind of chaos is he talking about?" I asked nervously.
"What? Oh, nothing much. Probably just vandalism. Nothing terrorist related," he yawned.
The word terrorist made my supressed anger surface.
Even though I was outnumbered 8 - 1 and i'd only just got to known a few of them, I spoke up.
"Why did you become terrorists?" I asked, looking around the basement in general.
Silence hit the room pretty fast.
Rob answered, "Ben, we've been using non lethal methods to take care of the government."
Then another question came to mind.
"What has the government done to aggravate you?" I asked.
To my surprise, they all began laughing.
"You haven't been watching the news, have you?" Tyler spoke up.
I felt like replying; 'No, had to help my friend defeat an evil robotic owl', but decided to just shake my head.
He sighed, "the government have passed a law to detain and torture anyone suspected of terrorism."
It was my turn to laugh.
"So, you're all panicking, because the government is coming down hard on you guys," I gave Rob a pitiful look.
"You're not listening," said Tyler, pinching the bridge of his nose, "I said anyone can be detained and (as they call it) 'interrogated', regardless of whether the person is innocent or not. They don't get a trial."
"Anyone?" I asked.
Valentine nodded sadly.
"We weren't terrorists before that, our involvement in terrorism is a direct result of this new law being passed. We're just trying to protect the public," Tyler added.
"What about the building you demolished earlier?" I said confused.
"Vacant. Just like any other building we've taken care of," Tyler answered.
I took a deep breath and swallowed my pride.
"Sorry for jumping to conclusions," I mumbled.
Everyone went back to what they were doing. Rob gave me one of his covers and I made a makeshift bed on the floor next to him.
Despite all the reasoning I had been handed, I still whispered to Rob.
"This entire business is dangerous. You should be doing something else in your life."
"I don't know why you care so much Bentley, I've learnt over the last few years from Tyler that life is absolutely pointless," Rob replied.
I sat up, "that's a depressing way to see the world."
He shrugged, "let me ask you something Bentley, what happens to the famous, rich, successful man at the end of his life?"
"He dies?" I said, wondering whether it was a trick question.
"And what happens to the homeless, poor, unsuccessful street beggar?"
"He dies too," I answered quietly.
"So," Rob stared at me, "what's the point in life?"
What had running away done to him?
"Well, erm, people leave legacy's behind," I reasoned.
"Legacy's?" Rob asked amused, "yeah, maybe for like a few decades. Eventually they'll either be forgotten or become a history lesson. And it's not like they're gonna get to appreciate it, they'd be long gone."
"What, you don't believe in the afterlife?"
He laughed, "Heaven is just a place for people who are afraid of the dark, sad but true. All of us in the movement know this best."
I decided to change the subject.
"Fine. On a different note. Have you seen any other members of our family?"
"Yeah," he replied, ruffling his hair, "James and Michael."
"Yeah," he laughed.
"Where and when?"
"I met Michael a few months back. He didn't say anything. Me and the movement were spray painting government buildings. It was early in the morning and I was on my own. I turned round and he was just stood there, staring at me," he shuddered slightly.
"What did he do?"
"Nothing. I bolted before anything else could be done, he killed a maid when he was younger. Who's to say he won't get me. I couldn't tell if we wanted to kill me or not, but it's strange, it's like he's always- always..."
"Watching," I said.
He nodded, "yeah..."
"And James?" I asked curiously.
"That was a few weeks ago. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw him. I ran straight over to hug him and then he just flipped, tried attacking me and asking about you, luckily my mates were with me and he ran off...," he paused for a second and looked at me, "you haven't seen him too have you?"
"Yeah," I replied shortly.
"He wants to kill me, he's desperate for the Empire," I replied, wondering how much I would have to explain.
"Jesus. Really? I mean, I knew he was weird growing up with him but..." he was at a loss for words.
At that point our conversation stopped as Tyler approached us.
"Alright guys, there's been a change of plan. The members of government are all wrapped up in a meeting tonight. It's a perfect opportunity to vandalise," he grinned.
"I'm staying here tonight boss," Pete the chameleon said, "got to finish off that little project we've been talking about."
Against better judgement I decided to join them. Although if Rob wasn't so enthusiastic about their cause I probably would of convinced not to go along.
All eight of us stood on the rooftop, just below us was the car park outside the government.
"You got the graffiti?" Tyler asked Valentine.
They started handing out cans. Even I couldn't deny this was going to be hilarious.
We all leaped down, (well they did, I had to carried by Rob).
The movement began spray painting Anarchy symbols on windshields left, right, and centre. But then things looked like they were getting worse.
"We should place some explosives beneath the government's office," Rob whispered excitedly to Ryan.
The bear shook his head, "no need."
"Rob!" I hissed, "what's wrong with you? Why would you even suggest that?"
He stared at me for a few seconds with an expressionless face, then said, "sorry Bentley."
Tyler clapped his hands together. Rob immediately stared at Tyler and waited for him to speak.
"Right, we're done for tonight. I'm just going to drop this video off for the government. Rob, you go steal some food for us. Anyone else feel free to go with him," Tyler said.
Valentine and I were the only ones to join him on his trip to the local supermarket. It was never really in Sly's best interests to steal from food stores, since it was the general public working there, but I didn't complain.
Rob emptied out Valentine's bag to make room for whatever they were stealing. We entered a 24/7 Walmart, Valentine separated from us and we made our way down the first aisle.
Just as Rob unzipped the bag I heard a loud scream which had to be Valentine.
"What just happened?" I asked.
"He's just causing a distraction," Rob casually replied.
He was right, it worked like a charm. As all the staff were distracted by Valentine (pretending to be mad and drunk), me and Rob made off with enough food and drink to last the crew for a few days.
As we made our way back. I kept thinking about what Sly had said a few days ago about me joining him in the field. To some it may of sound crazy, but I think I had an idea for my new weapon...
"Erm Ryan," I greeted the bear awkwardly. We were back in the hideout.
"Yeah?" he looked up.
"Can you teach me how to be a demolition's expert," I asked quickly.
The whole crew heard. There was a brief silence and then Rob started cheering, "nice one, Bentley. Getting involved."
Tyler gave Ryan a nod of approval and he walked me over to a corner of the basement. With the help of that meathead Drake, they moved a bed, revealing a trapdoor underneath.
He lifted it up. Stairways led down it. He turned on a switch and the secret room lit up. I was impressed; it was at least fifty feet tall.
"How?" I asked bewildered.
"We lucked out," the bear replied as we made our way downstairs, "we believe these houses were created back in the forties when France and Germany were at each other throats. Makes sense that they would design houses with underground rooms to hide in when planes were bombing cities."
I nodded in agreement. The room only had a few crates and what not. Ryan opened one revealing bottles, containing a dark brown liquid.
"It's nitro-glycerine," he explained, "perfect to make explosives with. You ready to begin?"
I nodded nervously.
(A/N - As much as i'd love to teach you all how to create explosives, I think i'll leave this part out. No one seemed to mind when I didn't go too detailed with the hacking in Chapter 6)
My first lesson consisted of just creating explosives. Since science was one of my best subjects, things went pretty well. Ryan praised my 'natural' abilities and said we would get onto using them next time.
Most of them had gone sleep by the time we were done. This was perfect, after leaving a note explaining I would be back to help out (although it was more just to stay with Rob) I headed up the basement stairs, through the dilapidated house and made my way back to the safe house.
When I got home, Murray was up.
"Oh thank god, Bentley!" he cried, pulling me into a hug, "me and Sly saw the meeting on the news, we thought you had been injured or arrested."
"I'm fine," I replied, "just had to spend my time evading police."
"Awesome!" He moved over to the kitchen, "I'll make you some dinner."
I said "thanks" and just stared at him in guilt.
Here we are again Bentley I thought to myself abusing your best friend's trust and kindness to hide your stupid family secret. You're pathetic.
I stopped mentally bashing myself as Sly came downstairs.
"Where you been pal?" He asked me.
"As you probably already know that Anarchist group crashed the meeting," I replied.
"I had to get into hiding. If the police spotted me, they might of recognised me. Plus I've been thinking about what you said the other day about me joining you out on the field."
"Yeah?" Sly looked curious.
"Along with my crossbow, I'm thinking of creating small bombs to help around thugs. I-I'm not strong like you or Murray so I'll need to defend myself."
I expected them to be shocked since it's closely related to terrorism. Instead they both cheered.
"This'll be awesome!" Murray shouted, "I can be the brawn and getaway driver. Sly can be the main field man and best thief! And now you can be the brains and- and the erm..."
"Demolition's expert?" I said.
They both began cheering and Murray passed me the omelette he made me.
I took a bite of it and smiled. Not because Murray's cooking was so good, but because they hadn't seemed this happy in a long time.
I was awoken the next morning to the smell of bacon butties. Motivated by hunger, I ventured downstairs to see Murray had made breakfast.
"Come on chum!" Murray yelled as he saw me, "let's watch wrestling together!"
I was handed a plate of bacon butties and reluctantly sat down on the sofa.
I wolfed the butties down and listened to Murray telling me about his favourite wrestlers.
"Where's Sly?" I asked.
"He said he was going to the gym. Now, where was I? Oh yeah! My favourite is-" Murray stopped short as the TV suddenly cut to a news report.
"A video tape just in. A note attached to the tape requests all citizens and members of government view it."
The report cut to a low quality video. All we could see on it was the nightclub just down the road from our house.
Murray got up and looked down the road.
"I don't see a camera," he said to me.
"Of course not," I pointed at the TV, "Look at the background on the video. It was night time when this was recorded."
"To the government of France, and the citizens of Paris: We are The Modern Revolution."
Murray looked intrigued. I on the other hand knew that was Tyler speaking. He must have hid behind the camera when he made the video.
"Law and order is spreading at a faster rate than man can keep up with. As each day passes we unknowingly become more controlled and imprisoned by the laws created by our government. The day is not coming when we become enslaved to their rule. We intend to stop them. We have risen in response to the newly passed law, allowing any government controlled authorities to arrest, imprison and torture any French Citizen suspected of terrorism. This law also allows the government to deny any trial or heading from the suspect, before the interrogation and torture. We not allow innocent members of the public fall victim to this so called law. We've attempted various methods; marching, pleading, even rioting out of desperation. Since the government is refusing to listen to us, we have ironically been forced to commit terrorism, which brings me neatly to this next point..."
At that point my ears went deaf as an explosion went off outside. The nightclub on TV had just blown up outside. Sirens could be heard closing in. I went back to the TV, to hear what else Tyler had to say.
"If you're still watching this, then that means we've destroyed the Le' Plaza Nightclub. Fortunately it was vacant, but if the government fails to remove this newly implemented law then things will get worse. Much worse."
At that point Sly came running in.
"Guys! What happened!" the raccoon yelled.
"The whole building blew up!" Murray replied, whether he was excited or shocked though, I couldn't tell.
I turned the TV up.
"You can't trace our whereabouts or identities, even if you found any finger prints at the bomb sites. Our birth records have been destroyed. You don't know who we are and you can't find us. We cannot and will not be stopped."
The video stopped playing.
"Jesus," Sly whispered.
I slumped to the couch.
What has Rob gotten himself into?
Okay that's part one over and done with. Lots of things happening I suppose.
I'm glad to have a fresh new group to introduce, rather than the Empire or James and Co.
Let me know what you think etc. etc.
Thank you for reading my story