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Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Fanfiction · #990677
Sly Cooper fanfic; Neyla's side of Sly 2's story.
Okay, this is a Sly Cooper fanfic. However, unless you've played Sly 2: Band of Thieves, or have absolutely no intention to, then I suggest you stop reading right now and go play the darn thing. There are a lot of spoilers in this thing, and I'd rather not ruin it for you.

....still here? Okay, fine. Read it. But I'm not getting the blame for this!

(Oh, and all characters are copyright Sucker Punch (c) 2004. I didn't create them; I just made up a story with them in it. Don't give me money for this or they'll sue!)

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Prologue

The first thing I feel is pain.

Blinding, excruciating pain, all over my body. I realize it’s being destroyed. So be it. Even with the pain, it’s an acceptable loss. I’ll have a new body soon, one far stronger that will never wear out or grow old. As the old one is vaporized into nothing, I shed no tears. It was more a liability anyway.

As my soul begins to merge with my new body, I am surprised to find someone else is in here. Clockwerk. He’s still here. My soul is filled with dread as I am gripped by the awesome power of his cold, burning, hateful will. I do not belong here. He will not let me stay, but he will not let me leave either. Despair fills me as I realize I have sacrificed myself upon his alter of hatred, serving as nothing more than the spark of life needed for him to be reborn.

And then, he does something I do not expect:

In that one painful instant between the seconds, he makes me relive… everything.

Chapter 1: Beginnings

My childhood was not a happy one. I grew up poor on the streets of Calcutta, barely scraping by with my parents, nearly starving to death two or three times. We all worked, all of us, just to get enough for food. Our clothes were mere rags. We stitched them together with what thread we could find or beg for. And sometimes steal.

That was how I lost my mother. The law is not kind. It is cruel and cold, serving out what it calls “justice” upon those who simply try to make ends meet. My mother was imprisoned for stealing some thread to sew a patch into my skirt. She didn’t want me going around with a hole in it. She said it was indecent, that it wouldn’t do for me to walk through the streets in a ratty skirt. She died soon after she was put in prison. My father knew it was from a broken heart. Mother could not stand to be apart from us, to know there was no way she could help my father and I earn money for food. She gave up everything for me. And the law killed her.

I was barely in my teens when it took my father as well. He didn’t even do anything wrong. He simply stepped into the path of one of the local officials. The next thing I know, the man starts screaming something about “Unclean! Unclean!” and guards appear. They arrest my father for the crime of standing between the official and the sun. The law considered him so low, he couldn’t even let his shadow fall on others. That was when I knew I must leave my home. Not just my town or my region. I had to leave the country. Or I would die, gripped in the talons of the law, imprisoned for doing no more than living as best I could.

I sought out ways to leave. I walked through many back alleys, asking whomever I dared to, sometimes trading what I could scavenge for information. I finally found my escape when a kind man took me in for a night. He was a foreigner, but he did not stay in the hotels or inns where most did. He was friendly, and gave me whatever I asked for. He even gave me my own bed. I felt a little ashamed that I thought he wanted my body in exchange for his generosity. In truth, he merely wanted to help. So when I asked how best to leave the country, he advised me to work hard to get into college. He said that if I managed to get a degree, I would be able to go to many places, far from my homeland. He knew that I did not wish to stay. There was nothing for me there; he saw that in my eyes. He gave me advice on how to apply for scholarships and enroll in college, even one across the seas. But it was all according to the law. I hated the law. So I decided to do things my way.

I never saw that man again, but he gave me what I needed. I immediately began to plan how to get into college, even though I was poor and barely surviving. I managed to make a few deals with a small-time spice trader named Rajan. The type of spice he sold was illegal, mostly because of its mind-altering properties, but he made easy money off of it. I guess some people felt with the misery of poverty surrounding them a little something to take their minds off of it was worth what little they could spare. He offered some to me, but I declined, because all I needed was money, or at least enough to buy clothes and make myself presentable. Charmed by my beauty and my friendly nature, he gave me all I needed. In exchange, I promised to help him out a little here and there. I made sure not to get too involved, and I never handled any spice. The law was especially cruel to those caught with it, whether they were selling or merely using it.

With new clothes and a few bribes to the right officials, I managed to enroll myself into a college far from my city and homeland. The sights and sounds were new to me, but I adjusted well enough. I learned as much as I could so I would know what to do and say to earn the trust of others. When I found the homework too difficult to understand, I quickly set up a ring of students to do it for me. They all had skills and intelligence I needed, and were willing to trade them for simple things. Giving up my virginity was hard, but I needed the work done. I wanted that degree, and nothing would stand in my way, not even a silly thing like modesty. I didn’t even care if my parents, in whatever hell the law had condemned them to, were crying over my actions. What good had modesty done them in the end? I didn’t even miss it.

Unfortunately, college students are all cowards. When suspicion arose, it didn’t take long for them to betray me, each pointing the finger at others until it finally rested on me. The law was swift; I lost everything. But in an odd twist of fate, Interpol gave me a job. They were impressed by my skills, and decided to put me to work chasing criminals. I suppose my charm did not hurt. Telling them my life story, minus a few questionable details, made them sympathetic. And so, I became part of the law I despised so much.

But they were all fools. I started playing the game back in India to get into college. I continued playing it to get my homework done. They thought the game was over when I was caught. But I kept playing. Even as I chased down wanted criminals and put them behind bars, I played the game. All I had to do was become the perfect officer, and they would suspect nothing. They were all far more useful than any of those pathetic, weak students I conned into helping me. And so long as I didn’t arouse suspicion, I could do as I please.

It was when I was assigned to investigate a wealthy aristocrat that I found someone far more useful than all of Interpol. Arpeggio was a pathetic bird, but his mind was sharp, as was his vision. I gained his trust, explaining my story to him, telling the truth, except for my intentions. I became his student, learning the subtle art of manipulation that I had stumbled through, and I played the game better than I had ever done. Better than him, for he did not realize that I held no love for such a pathetic weakling. I intended to do to him what my classmates had done to me, and not for some wretched immunity from prosecution.

For he showed me a secret. He’d discovered documents on Clockwerk’s design which no one else had. It was obvious they were the personal notes of the one who had designed and built his metal body, down to the last bolt and wire. They also explained how to reanimate him if he should ever be destroyed. The documents promised immortality to anyone who reassembled his body and entered it willingly without fear. We both craved it. Arpeggio simply wanted a body that could fly. I wanted it so that I might live forever and show the law what it meant to be cruel. Interpol would wish they had done the same to me as was done to my parents.

It wasn’t easy faking incompetence in my mission, at least not without hurting my credibility. Fortunately, the officials of Interpol are incredibly gullible, and I could bribe enough of them to make my story stand as truth. I also learned that the Contessa wasn’t as clean as was thought. She too was playing the game, though not better than me. No one played it better than me. I fooled them all, even that hotheaded inspector obsessed with catching a certain ringtailed thief.

Arpeggio and I worked on assembling a gang of criminals with resources we could use to steal the Clockwerk parts. Unfortunately, I learned that Inspector Carmelita had obtained an order to dig up his parts with help from Interpol, believing him to be dead. We knew better, but I advised Arpeggio not to make his move until they’d done the work for us. In the meantime, our group grew quickly to four members, and then five when he managed to convince the Contessa to join. I personally suggested the members according to the Interpol datafiles I managed to access and print out. Rajan was someone I knew personally, but I asked Arpeggio to keep me out of any negotiations with the spice lord. I could not afford for him to recognize me. There was too much at stake, and I played the game too well to make such a foolish error.

We lured them in, one by one, with promises of power and riches, offering them anything they wanted. But things took a hard turn when they all demanded parts of Clockwerk. That would not do, but we couldn’t let them suspect what we were up to. Besides, we needed them each for their roles in our plan to reanimate his body. It was a hard puzzle to solve, but I finally found a solution.

Arpeggio loved my idea of using Sly Cooper himself to steal the parts back from our own members so that we might assemble him when the time was right. No doubt he would come out of hiding when he heard the old bird had been dug up. We worked quickly to make certain everything was set up for our plan. Rajan supplied the spice for Arpeggio’s experiments, and Dimitri slipped his shipments into the food at his nightclub, tainting the entire city with it. And the foolish Parisian officials had no idea why violence was on the rise. The Contessa’s hypnotic technology was implemented into Arpeggio’s blimp, Rajan’s spice making it easier for her to break criminals and find their hidden loot. And Jean Bison, that stupid lumberman, kept the Northern Lights battery well hidden deep inside his territory. Everything was falling into place. All we needed to do was steal the parts and set up Cooper.

The heist went easily enough, the guards putting up little resistance. I was at Interpol when it happened, as the Contessa was holed up in her personal prison. Arpeggio knew our parts in everything had to be kept secret. No one could know that anyone inside Interpol was involved. He and the other three managed to get in and out with minimal fuss, carrying away the parts on a small blimp. Inspector Fox was livid when she heard the news, and just as predicted, she blamed Sly Cooper. Far too gullible, that one.

It wasn’t easy getting on the stake out with Carmelita, but a favor from the Contessa convinced her to let me tag along. The beautiful part was that neither one knew I was in league with Arpeggio, the mastermind behind the Klaw Gang. Or so he thought.

The stake out was a bit boring, but I had to admire her cleverness. Hiding out in Egyptian coffins was a stroke of genius, allowing us to wait until Cooper showed up, only to find that someone beat him to the punch. Then we sprang out to arrest him. I purposely let slip that the Klaw Gang was the more likely culprit, and he managed to escape while Carmelita and I argued. The ironic thing was that I didn’t even have to lie. She truly did have a narrow point of view, and she couldn’t be swayed to think that anyone else could have pulled off that heist, even though the evidence suggested otherwise. Arpeggio saw no reason to hide the gang’s identity, and neither did I. By the time anyone knew what we were up to, it would be far too late.

Chapter 2: Forgery Undone

I tracked Cooper far more easily than Carmelita ever did, following him to Paris where Dimitri had his nightclub. I managed to lure one of the guards off by himself, seducing him into thinking I was willing to give him something he’d like if he’d give me information on the nightclub’s interior. It disgusted me to fondle him like a lover, but I was too good at playing the game to let that stop me, even if it meant kissing a rat who never bathed in his life. I almost felt sorry for him; the way he groped me he must never have had a woman in his life. Well, not a real one anyway. After he gave me the key to the disco, I dumped him in the river. I guess not all rats can swim.

I met up with Cooper on the rooftops and did a little role reversal. He was used to being chased by a lady cop; I thought he might like doing the chasing for once. He managed to keep up with me well enough, falling behind a couple times, but always making it up quickly. He didn’t even flinch when I started breaking things around me to distract him. He did stay away from my whip though. Smart one, he is. Smart enough for my purposes.

After I gave him the key, he went back and let his little turtle friend do some demolition work. Their heist went flawlessly after that. Impressive, for such a pathetic little gang. But they would’ve gotten nowhere without my help.

Carmelita and I showed up later when I gave her the exact location of Cooper. As planned, we arrived just as he left, leaving poor Dimitri broken and bruised. The Clockwerk tailfeathers were now reclaimed. And as for Dimitri? I handcuffed him myself and threw him into the police van. One member of our gang was eliminated, which would make the rest uneasy. The plan was working perfectly.

Chapter 3: Dancing with Thieves

Cooper went after Rajan next, which was fine with me. Eliminating him would be more difficult, but worth it. He had agreed never to reveal my involvement in his spice ring, but I wasn’t going to take any chances. I informed Interpol of his rumored dealings in illegal spice and the Contessa immediately insisted to investigate. She said it had been too long since she’d done any field work, and the ball would be a nice break from her prison. More likely she was going to have a few words with her fellow members about Dimitri’s arrest and the disruption of their plans. All of our gang was there, even Bison. Carmelita and I were assigned to go with the Contessa and assist her in her investigation. What sweet irony. Poor Carmelita was probably the only honest cop there. If she only knew what her partners were up to.

Cooper surprised me by showing up in a tuxedo, no doubt stolen from the guest house. Still, he did look rather dashing in it. A pity he’d soon be thrown to the wolves. I helped him out by giving him a few dancing lessons. He was a fast learner. He even managed to impress Carmelita, which was his intent, of course. He could’ve used me to distract the crowd, but we both knew Inspector Fox had a keen eye. She would’ve noticed the heist too easily. After our dance, I introduced him to her, without blowing his cover of course. Naturally, Carmelita blew off my attempt to inform her that I did most of the work, fixing her own opinion as the truth. It was slightly irritating, but I let it slide. I had plans for her as well. She would get too close to our gang for anyone’s comfort. The Contessa would gladly jump at the chance for a bit of revenge.

The dance with Carmelita went well. Only I noticed that fat hippo friend of his lowering down and stealing the Clockwerk wings. And once again I felt regret that Cooper would have to be done away with. If I wasn’t so good at playing the game, he might’ve charmed his way into my heart. But he wanted to destroy Clockwerk, and I couldn’t let him do that. We would have gotten Rajan, but he slipped away when Carmelita blew her cover. I guess Cooper’s rose, though a nice touch, was too much for her to take. We arrested many of the guests, but I helped make sure none of the Klaw Gang was arrested. It wasn’t time for that yet, and Arpeggio was supposed to be the last to fall. Their usefulness had yet to run out.

After that, I followed Rajan to his temple hideout and discovered a secret entrance into his lair. It led right to where the Clockwerk heart was, pumping out water and nutrients to help his spice plants grow. As I watched, he took half of it to keep at his side, attaching it to a staff to keep safe. This complicated matters, but also worked to my advantage. I immediately saw how to take down both Rajan and Cooper in one fell swoop. All I had to do was to further his trust just a little bit more. I also contacted Carmelita and the Contessa, saying that I would soon have the Cooper gang in custody. Carmelita wasn’t convinced, but the Contessa showed interest. They both agreed to wait outside the complex until I contacted them.

Things went better than I expected. After another chase, I showed Cooper the hidden door, hoping he trusted me enough to where I could betray him when the time was right. He surprised me by asking me out on a date. If only. Poor Cooper’s heart practically leapt when I accepted. I had him eating out of my hand. I suppose fulfilling his fantasy of dating a lady cop is what did it. I knew at that point that he trusted me with his life. Poor, simple fool.

When they flooded the temple and Rajan came out, tossing thunder and lightning, I encouraged Cooper to follow me up. Little did he know that I had met with Rajan inside the spice room and told him who was ruining his operation. I promised to give Cooper and his gang to him on a silver platter, if he only waited a little while. Then he could kill them and we would run away together, living out our lives in the jungle. How pathetic men are. Easily charmed by a pretty face and a little promise. They all loved me; I was beyond such a weak emotion.

Everything turned out wonderfully. Cooper followed like a good little boy, chasing my sexy frame up near Rajan where we were supposed to take him out. Instead, I stood by and watched as Rajan knocked him down into the empty lagoon, sending him into unconsciousness. I didn’t stay to watch the fight. Neither side would ultimately win; once the Contessa and Inspector Fox got my message, they came immediately. I didn’t expect that fat hippo to win, but he did. He tried to get me to help Sly, but all I did was remain silent as the others arrived. Murray was speechless as I handed him and Sly over to the Contessa, practically gift-wrapped with Rajan. Carmelita was angry that she wasn’t the one to do it. Unfortunately for her, I had one more surprise.

Without either knowing it, I took a picture of Sly and the Inspector dancing at the party, when she was actually enjoying herself. Using it as proof, I accused Carmelita of being in league with the Cooper gang. The Contessa, so easily manipulated, jumped at the chance to put an honest cop behind bars. Inspector Fox was no longer a threat. And while I didn’t manage to bag that whimpering geek of a turtle, I knew he wouldn’t cause any trouble. He’d probably get eaten trying to make it back to their van. But if he did survive, and if he did break his friends out of jail, so much the better for me. The sooner the Contessa’s guilt was made public, the sooner I could arrest her and take the Clockwerk eyes.

Chapter 4: Little Wars

Cooper and his gang did break out, and the Contessa’s corruption became news quickly. I managed to convince Interpol to give me a sizable cash allowance to hire a ruthless gang of mercenaries. I didn’t want any cops involved. The mercenaries would take their cash and ask no questions. I saved a bit of what I was given in case I needed more firepower. A group of combat aces showed interest in giving me aid, for a small fee. I told them I would keep them on back-up and hire their services if I felt the need.

I soon felt the need when my headquarters was invaded by ghosts, which could only have come from the Contessa’s eerie estate. It was well known that there were supernatural forces concentrating themselves in her castle. I called the combat aces and ordered them to do patrols around the castle, dropping the occasional bomb to keep the Contessa on her toes.

But when my voice came out of the speakers outside and addressed the mercenaries, I knew something wasn’t right. I thought the Contessa might have tapped into my communications in order to confuse the troops during the attack, but something about the way the imposter talked seemed suspicious. In fact, it sounded a lot like… Bentley. The Cooper gang was here. And they were no doubt after the eyes. Well, so be it. I could work with whatever plan they had. I’d already scouted the castle and determined where the eyes were. The Contessa was using them on poor Carmelita to convince her to take the fall instead. Irony seemed to have become my constant companion.

When Bentley ordered the attack, I slipped in amongst my forces, waiting near the tower until he and Sly had cleared the room. The Shadow Guard were easy enough to dispatch. I left Carmelita and the Contessa alone; they’d be busy long enough for me to slip away. I managed to enter the tower just as Bentley blew off the Clockwerk eyes from their place on the machine. He managed to get one, but I had the other. It didn’t matter. Even if my new body had only one eye, I’d be able to see well enough. And Arpeggio would be pleased with even one part if I could get it.

I took off, but Cooper followed me, even as I ordered the planes to shoot down the blimp. I guess I shouldn’t have been wearing my perfume, even though it helped me charm some of the mercenaries. He stayed behind me well enough. I would’ve lost him if I hadn’t taken a wrong turn, right into a spider web. I guess the Contessa managed to lose Inspector Fox long enough to figure out what was going on. After knocking me off the castle, she attacked Cooper. There was no time to try for another grab. Interpol’s forces were showing up, ready to arrest any surviving guards that my little war didn’t wipe out.

Sly defeated her and I had to be content with arresting that wench instead of swiping the eyes from her. Even though it burned me inside, I didn’t let it show. I’d get Cooper one day, and all of Clockwerk would be mine. All I needed was the Northern Lights battery and Arpeggio’s blimp, and I would be complete. At least Interpol was still fooled. They promoted me to Captain to avoid a PR nightmare from the Contessa’s arrest. And they called me “The Hero of Prague” for my efforts. What fools indeed.

Chapter 5: Assembled at Last

Thankfully, I was able to use my new authority to afford a small jet of my own choice. I reasoned with my superiors that it would allow me to hunt down the remaining Klaw Gang members and Sly Cooper more effectively. They agreed, but only if I paid for it. With my new salary, I was able to make the down payment and set up a long-term payment plan. I never did pay the entire fee for it, but that hardly mattered. I had other more important things on my mind.

Jean Bison had the remaining parts. I felt a surge of anger when I learned what he was using them for. That the mighty Clockwerk would be reduced to engine parts was an insult to his deadly majesty. It was almost as bad Rajan and Dimitri’s plans for their parts. At least the Contessa had put the eyes to good use. I arrived a little late though. Cooper had managed to get there ahead of me, and stole both lungs and the stomach. I tried to stop him from getting the third, but his little friend’s annoying RC chopper somehow managed to shoot me down, twice. That made my blood boil. I immediately called Interpol and gave them my location, but once again the Cooper gang escaped. I began to sympathize with Inspector Fox. Now that he knew I wasn’t to be trusted, he was hard to capture. It would have been better if he’d stayed in jail. From what Bison’s guards told me, I also missed Carmelita again. Cooper helped her in Prague; I was willing to bet he did the same here. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I bet she felt absolutely furious that she had to run from the law. She was learning what I did when I was young: the law is cold and cruel, even if you’ve done no wrong. How very fitting.

I would have followed Cooper to Bison’s main camp, but Arpeggio called me back to his blimp. He saw what I was too blinded to see: all the parts were now together. All we had to do was wait for the Cooper gang to steal the talons.

However, things did not go as expected. Bison contacted Arpeggio and told him he had all the Clockwerk parts in his possession, and was willing to part with them for a modest fee. Arpeggio jumped at the opportunity and paid Bison three times his asking price. The fool lumberman even gave up the talons, his greed getting the best of him. Everything was now in place. All we had to do was pick up the battery and head for Paris. Then I would betray my teacher and take my rightful place as the immortal terror that would make the law pay.

We assembled the parts in a small side blimp for easy storage, but neither I nor Arpeggio could figure out how to fix the parts in place. Clockwerk was assembled, but he was not even close to waking up. Arpeggio was convinced we had to find a way to join the parts together or the plan would never work. We spent a lot of time debating various ways to accomplish it when a sudden crash sounded from the inner part of the blimp. We went outside to see what had happened.

Somehow, the magnetic inducers holding the Clockwerk parts in place had reversed their polarity, locking everything together. Clockwerk’s mouth was open and a light shone from within. Arpeggio was overjoyed. My own heart leapt as I realized that the time had arrived. Now I would join with Clockwerk and become immortal. As for Arpeggio, he was expendable. I would enjoy crushing him in my jaws.

Then Cooper appeared out of the shadows. Of course. The little ringtail was good at getting in everywhere. No doubt he and his gang had stowed aboard. I waited patiently as Arpeggio told Cooper everything, filling his little mind with the horrible realization that Clockwerk was going to awaken, and be worse than ever. The so-called master thief could only watch as Arpeggio began to roll towards Clockwerk’s body. But I was not unprepared. I knocked over his stupid little perch-on-wheels and mocked him for being so foolish. I’d learned the usefulness of betrayal quite well. How sad for him that I was a better player at the game than him. His loss.

I leaped inside Clockwerk’s mouth and prepared myself for immortality.

Chapter 6: The Merging

I am awake. No. We are awake. Clockwerk journeyed with me through my memories, sifting and shorting, weighing each one according to a standard only he knew. When we’re through, I wait for him to destroy me. There can be no other fate. I came so far, only to have nothing.

And then he smiles at me. “My dear girl,” he says, “you have a ruthlessness to match my own. I feel the cold hatred in you, filling your soul.”

I am shocked. What does this mean? Is he… pleased?

“The plans were a trap to lure the unwary inside that I might feast upon them. But…” His chuckle would freeze my blood if I still had my old body. “…you have proven yourself worthy to join me. Had you been any less ruthless or more pathetic, I would have devoured you without a second thought.”

He releases me. Instead of running, I stay. He wishes me to join him? What does he mean? I must know. He extends a talon my way as a gesture of peace.

“Merge with me, and I will teach you how to put that cold hatred to use. All I ask is that you help me rid this wretched planet of that pathetic ringtail and his friends.”

A cold smile of my own traces across the face of my soul. “That, mighty Clockwerk, is one wish I will enjoy granting.” I reach out with my hand and take his talon.

I’m not prepared for the merge. In an instant, he embraces me, even as my arms wrap around him. It is far better than anything I have ever experienced. Even all the times I’ve slept with men combined could not match the awesome pleasure of the sensation. I cry out his name, my arms pressing him to me in lustful need, until I begin to sink into him. Our souls bind and twist together in wonderful ecstasy, building higher and higher toward the goal. At last, the merge is complete, the climax more powerful than any sexual feeling I have ever had.

We stand up on our own feet. Our eyes blink and adjust, scanning the room around us. What’s this? That pathetic bird is shouting at us? No. At Neyla, commanding her to come out. But Neyla is gone. He is such a pitiful thing. He cannot even think of a proper threat. Before he can realize the danger he’s in, our mouth snaps closed around him, destroying his pathetic perch-on-wheels and his body in one bite. All that’s left are some stray feathers and that silly monocle he wore, which rolls to a stop. With a beat of our wings, we are airborne. Taking to the skies, we announce ourselves.

“Behold! Clock-la is born!”

Chapter 7: The Fall

Cooper. How we despise him. Even now as we make our way to Paris, patrolling the skies around Arpeggio’s blimp, he and his little friends begin a plan to ruin everything. We are freshly reborn; we do not have the strength to fight now. All we can do is search them out and send our hatchlings to destroy them. Neyla did not know it, but Clockwerk made his body bisexual in order to produce small copies that he could control. After the merge, our eggs are different. The hatchlings are more mechanical now, but no less dangerous. Even if they do not kill the Cooper gang, they will hurt them.

An explosion? Blast. Another engine is gone. Our strength is draining without them. If they disable all four, we will not have the strength to destroy him. Not until Paris. But we will not give up without a fight. Cooper destroyed Clockwerk once; he will find Clock-la is not so easily beaten.

A moment later and the last engine fails. Our strength has fled. But it is not over yet. We will find him. And we will kill him before the day is through.

What’s this? A helicopter? So, Carmelita has arrived to join in the fight. Our memories as Clockwerk warn us that these two together are dangerous. We must destroy them quickly. Then we will find his friends and let them anguish in grief before we tear them apart with our talons. Yes, it will be glorious. We dive to meet them in battle one last time.

Inspector Fox must have good friends in powerful positions. The helicopter has a gun in the back. She flies while Cooper attacks us. We’ll not make it that easy, ringtail. He shoots down the missiles, but we charge up for an attack. Carmelita cannot avoid the blast, and Cooper cannot shoot it down. A few more of those will destroy them. We fire more missiles, but he’s quicker this time. We cannot charge fully before he bears down on us. The power of the gun dissipates our charges, frustrating us to no end. So we try a new tactic. More missiles of greater power and an improved version of the rings Clockwerk used so long ago. Whether they fly inside or outside, they will be hit.

Cursed ringtail! He’s figured out how to disable the rings so they’re back to the old way. But he makes the mistake of shooting one twice, and we get the pleasure of seeing him learn the hard way. We charge up again, but he again stops us with his attack.

No more of this. We are losing this battle. Time to make things difficult. We finally figured out where he and his friends were hiding. The battery was the only thing we picked up at Bison’s camp. They must have hid inside after powering it down. We hack into their radio signal and feel cold satisfaction as they begin to panic, seeing us bearing down on them. We feel something jar our shoulder. The main shaft of the blimp’s rotary blades has shattered against our frame. Even in our weakened state, we are a power to be reckoned with.

As the blimp falls apart, we grasp the battery in our talons and fly off. One we reach Paris, we will drown these two and take our revenge on Cooper. Even if we cannot win, we will take what victories we can.

We boast of our power to our victims, even as some small voice in our mind warns us not to reveal too much. Another voice silences it, forcing it into submission. There is nothing but Clock-la now. Nothing will stop us. Our hate chip will preserve our souls for centuries to come.

Cooper. He’s here, on our back. Foolish ringtail. We will not be stopped. We’ll blast him into the air and watch him plummet to his death.

Agony! Our eye! We are half-blind. A moment more and he does the same to the other side. The pain is too much. We drop the battery and plummet towards earth, crashing into the ground.

Cooper and his gang. They’re gloating. But we’re not dead yet. Our repair systems are old, but they will get us back together. And the laser net will stop them from getting close enough to do any harm.

What? The hippo is opening our mouth! No! You fool! You told them about the hate chip! So what? They’ll never get it out. We are still more powerful than they. They can’t ever get close. I won’t let them.

Can’t you see? We’re splitting! If they remove the chip now, the merge will come undone. Impossible! We are Clock-la! We are immortal! They will never defeat me! My hate is powerful enough to survive this.

What? The bombs! Our laser net is down! The chip is vulnerable! I told you! Now there will be nothing left of us. Quick! Bite him! I’m trying! My mouth is stuck! And…

We are lost. The chip is gone. Our souls tumble into darkness, even as we feel our jaws clamp down on that pathetic turtle. At least we’ll be taking them with us.

Epilogue

Pain. The first thing we feel is pain. Excruciating, beyond anything we’ve felt in life, before or after the merge. Our eyes open, all four. Wait, four? This isn’t right. It can’t be. I turn and look into the eyes of Clockwerk. They are different. Flesh, not metal and glass. I look around, seeing little more than a cavern, dimly lit by molten rock. I realize with alarm that we are chained in a pit of it. We cry out and struggle, to no avail.

We know where we are now. We are in hell.

The merge unraveled, but not completely. We are separate, yet one, a twisted mass of fur and feathers, our souls bound forever. This is not how it was to be. I was going to live forever. I was going to avenge my parents, show the law how cruel I could be. And Clockwerk… he was going to finally kill the last of the Coopers. To end that pathetic line of thieves that had plagued him so much. It should have worked.

But it didn’t.

Now we’re trapped here, for all eternity, trapped in agony from our surroundings and a merge gone horribly wrong. But all is not lost. If hell exists, then surely a thief will be here. Yes, all the Coopers should be here. We’ll find them and have our fun. And what’s more, Clockwerk has history with someone who can help us. I remember the plans Arpeggio stole. That bird got off easy. We should have brought him to the maker of our body. He would have shown Arpeggio true agony.

He’ll hear us. He’ll find a way to make Cooper pay, like we made his ancestors pay. And when Sly joins them…

…we will have our revenge.

--------------------

And there you have it. Everything spoiled now. I hope you're happy. Have fun playing the game now that you know how it ends. Or at least, my version. You can still play Sly 2 if you want to see how things go with Sly's gang, but what's the point? You know the ending. Tough luck, mate.

Now all you can do is sit and cuss yourself out as you wait for Sly 3 to come out.

I'll be doing the latter myself, and a little of the former when I have trouble getting past a level. Ah well, such is life... dang it.
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