It had been a day since Lupin went missing. After he had gone out for a stroll in Paris the previous day, both Jigen and Goemon hadn’t seen him since. It was common for the wolf to be gone for a while, but this was unusual, even for him. Usually, Jigen wouldn’t worry too much if Lupin took a long time to come back from an outing, but this was different. The rabbit was sitting on the couch at their safe house, smoking his cigarette anxiously whilst Goemon was sitting calmly and quietly on a chair, almost as if he was meditating. The silence was abruptly broken by Jigen slamming his fist on the table in frustration.
“Dammit!” the rabbit exclaimed. “Where the hell is that moron?!”
Goemon was not fazed by Jigen’s sudden outburst. The cheetah was still in a calm state whilst the rabbit ranted on about their boss’ disappearance.
“I told him not to go out after stealing that damn sword and now he’s nowhere to be seen!” Jigen fussed before noticing the cheetah who didn’t seem to be listening. “Are you even listening to me?!”
Goemon opened his eyes to look at his colleague, having a gleam of calmness in them. It was rare to see the cheetah to show much of his emotions compared to Lupin and Jigen. There have been a few times when he has exploded in frustration and even shame and remorse when failing to accomplish a task.
“Do you think he’s in some sort of danger?” Goemon asked the frustrated rabbit.
When he heard what the cheetah had asked him, Jigen thought about the possibility of Lupin getting himself into trouble. It wouldn’t be the first time the wolf had done so. Jigen thought back to the fiasco with Mamo years ago and how he had to rescue Lupin because of that woman. He then thought that she probably had something to do with his current disappearance, or maybe someone else. The rabbit then remembered that raccoon that Lupin encountered at the museum and Louie Dubois’ mansion, but he couldn’t remember his name.
“Hey Goemon, who was that guy who Lupin talked about?” Jigen asked the cheetah.
“I believe his name was Sly Cooper” Goemon replied. “Do you think he might have something to do with Lupin’s disappearance?”
It then hit him. What if this Sly Cooper had actually kidnapped Lupin. After all, when they last met, Lupin and the raccoon almost had a fight. He probably kidnapped him to take the ‘Dei Pulchritudinis’ and the ancient sword for himself. He was also a thief like Lupin after all. Then, Jigen got up from the couch and reloaded his revolver, a Smith & Wesson Model 19. Goemon noticed this and looked up at the rabbit.
“What are you doing?” the cheetah asked.
“C’mon, we’re gonna pay this Sly Cooper a visit” Jigen replied, finishing reloading his revolver. “If he’s got Lupin, then he’ll have my gun to deal with!”
“But how sure are you that he has in fact kidnapped Lupin?” Goemon questioned his colleague.
“We’re just gonna have to find out aren’t we?”
At Interpol HQ, Carmelita’s sudden disappearance was not left unnoticed. An hour after the vixen had left to get some food, Zenigata and Walker went out to search for her, but the two inspectors could not find her anywhere. The day after, Barkley had called them both to his office to discuss the matter at hand. The badger was sat at his desk whilst the two inspectors stood in front of him. Walker was smoking a cigarette as he usually did.
“This is extremely concerning” Barkley said. “Inspector Fox has not been seen since yesterday and no one has been able to locate her”.
“Sir we’ve tried everything we could to find her” Zenigata replied. “We’ve even searched her apartment for clues”.
“Do you think she’s been kidnapped or somethin’?” Walker spoke up.
The badger and bloodhound turned to the penguin in bewilderment after what he had said.
“Inspector Walker, I’ve known Ms. Fox for a long time and she’s more responsible than to get herself kidnapped” Barkley exclaimed. “What makes you think that anyway?”
“I recently got some information from someone who wants to remain anonymous, saying that they saw someone with Inspector Fox’s description yesterday when she was out” Walker informed the badger. “They said it seemed like she was following someone”.
“And did they see who she was following?” Barkley asked.
“They didn’t say” Walker replied, shrugging his shoulders.
“But if Ms. Fox was kidnapped, who do you think would do such a thing?” the bloodhound asked.
Walker didn’t reply for a moment. In the meantime, Barkley decided to suggest a possible candidate.
“Do you think Lupin might have done this?”
“Not likely” Zenigata replied. “Lupin may be a thief, but he isn’t a kidnapper”.
“Well then who else could have Inspector Fox?!” the badger exclaimed.
“Maybe she was following Lupin?”
Both Zenigata and Barkley turned their attention to Walker after hearing his suggestion.
“But Mr Walker” the bloodhound spoke. “I did say earlier that Lupin isn’t a kidnapper-”
“But what if both Ms. Fox and Lupin got taken?” Walker cut Zenigata off.
The Japanese inspector looked at his colleague in puzzlement. Walker noticed this and went on to explain.
“Maybe Ms. Fox spotted Lupin when she was out, so she decided to follow him and hopefully arrest him” the penguin explained. “And when she caught up to him, they both got snatched by someone who was after Lupin”.
Both Zenigata and Barkley looked at each other confused looks. They were wondering to themselves on what Walker was talking about.
“In other words, Lupin got kidnapped by some guys who were out to get him and Ms. Fox got herself caught up in it” Walker finished.
“But what makes you think that Lupin has been kidnapped anyway?” Barkley asked the penguin.
“Well we ain’t heard from him since the whole crapfest at Dubois’ ball, and shouldn’t we have gotten a calling card say what he’s gonna steal next?” Walker answered.
“But that doesn’t mean that Lupin’s been taken by somebody!” Zenigata exclaimed. “And even so, who do you think would anyway?”
“Dubois maybe” Walker replied, garnering surprised looks from Zenigata and Barkley.
“You don’t mean Louie Dubois do you?” the badger asked in disbelief.
“Why not?” Walker replied. “He certainly seems like the one to do it, and Lupin did steal that sword from him”.
“So you believe the rumours about Dubois do you?” Zenigata asked.
“I don’t believe, I know” Walker replied before taking his finished cigarette out.
“But there’s still no proof that Dubois or anybody has kidnapped Ms. Fox or Lupin” Barkley said.
“We’ll keep lookin’ into it” Walker said. “In the meantime, you just sit tight and enjoy a cigar Barks”.
Barkley sighed when the penguin called him by that nickname he had given him years ago. The badger hated it when he called him that, but no matter how many times he told him, Walker still called him ‘Barks’.
“Well just get back to it and find Ms. Fox fast” Barkley ordered the two inspectors.
“Will do” Walker replied before he and Zenigata walked out of Barkley’s office. They both passed some police officers before they came across Brio Venchesse. Walker smirked when he saw her.
“Hello Ms. Venchesse” Zenigata greeted the mountain lion.
“How ya doin’ darlin’?” Walker greeted, flirtatiously. Brio rolled her eyes at the penguin before turning her attention to Zenigata.
“Has there been anything new about Ms. Fox’s disappearance?” the mountain lion asked. She was clearly worried about her friend.
“Nothing I’m afraid” Zenigata replied. “But Mr Walker believes that Ms. Fox may have been kidnapped along with Lupin by Louie Dubois”.
“Do you really think so?” Brio asked the penguin, surprised by what she heard from Zenigata.
“It’s just a hunch really” Walker replied. “But Barkley doesn’t seem to be convinced”.
“Well I think you might be right” Zenigata said to Walker. “I knew from the moment I first met him, there was something about Louie Dubois that bothered me”.
“Glad to see you think the same way I do about Dubois” Walker replied.
“But Mr Walker, there is a chance that you may be wrong” Zenigata said. “But I still respect you as a fellow officer”.
“Well you can’t get anything done without respect” Walker replied. “Ain’t that right Venchesse?”
“Bite me” Brio replied before walking off. As she walked, Walker watched her swaying hips and rear with a smug look on his face. Zenigata sighed under his breath and coughed to get the penguin’s attention.
“So what now Mr Walker?” the bloodhound asked his colleague.
“Well…” Walker said, before lighting another cigarette and breathing it in before releasing the smoke from his beak.
“I say we go out and find Ms. Fox”.
At the Cooper Gang’s hideout, Bentley was in his study room, surrounded my several computer monitors and typing away on a keyboard. Sly and Murray were in the garage, working on repairs for the Cooper Van whilst the turtle was working. He had decided to do some research on Lupin’s grandfather, the famed Arsène Lupin and see if he could get some more information on the wolf’s family. Bentley remembered on the day after Sly met Lupin at the museum, he noticed the raccoon saying that he recognised the name from somewhere. This gave the turtle a feeling that both Sly and Lupin’s families have encountered each other before. From what Bentley had found out, Arsène Lupin started his career as a master thief in the 1900’s, around the same time when Sly’s British ancestor ‘Thaddeus Winslow Cooper III’ was nearing the end of his thieving years. The turtle had also looked into Thaddeus’ journal, which he had kept until his death, to find anything. One entry in the journal caught Bentley’s interest particularly. It was dated on the 16th April 1900, before Arsène Lupin had begun his criminal legacy. He went on to read what Thaddeus had written.
‘16th April, 1900’
‘Ever since I had met that young French fellow that time ago, I must say he has very much surprised me with his skills in thievery. I must admit I used to arrogantly believe that the Cooper Clan were the masters of thieving, but after seeing this wolf manage to defeat me every time we both attempt to steal something for ourselves, it has made me think differently. It could be that this Arsène Lupin may actually be a much more masterful thief then not just I, but perhaps my entire family line.’
After reading, Bentley was left in awe. Was it possible that Arsène Lupin was so good at thieving, not even Thaddeus Winslow Cooper III could compete with him? He then decided to do some research of Arsène Lupin the Second and see if he had any connections to the Cooper Clan as his father did.
~At that moment~
Unbeknownst to Bentley and the rest of the gang, outside of their hideout two figures were hiding behind bushes, looking through the branches and hoping not to be spotted by the Cooper Gang. The two figures were a rabbit wearing a black suit and a cheetah wearing old fashioned Japanese clothing.
“Are you sure this is a good idea Jigen?” the cheetah asked his colleague. The rabbit stood up before taking a revolver out from his jacket and lighting the cigarette placed in his mouth.
“Well I’m not gonna sit on my ass and wait Goemon” Jigen said, trying not to make too much noise. “If they got Lupin in there, then it’s our job to get him out”.
Then both Jigen and Goemon silently made their way towards the hideout, preparing to find their boss and if necessary, fight with the Cooper Gang until they knew where Lupin was.
~Back inside the hideout~
After searching deeper, Bentley had found some more files on Lupin’s grandfather. What really caught his attention was an old photograph which was taken sometime in the 1960’s. It showed a very old Arsène Lupin who was accompanied by a younger wolf who slightly resembled Lupin the Third, but had a small beard on his chin. The turtle assumed that this was Arsène Lupin the Second, Lupin the Third’s father. But one detail of the photograph that almost made Bentley jump out of his wheelchair in shock was the three other figures who stood with the two wolves. The three figures consisted of a large muscular walrus, a mandrill with purple coloured fur and a raccoon wearing a dark blue sweatshirt and was smoking a pipe. The turtle instantly recognised the raccoon as Sly’s father, Conner Cooper, who was killed by the Fiendish Five when Sly was only eight years old. The other two were Conner’s colleagues, Jim McSweeney and Dr. M. In the present day, McSweeney was serving time in prison after turning himself in. Dr. M on the other hand had betrayed the Old Cooper Gang and attempted to steal the Cooper fortune from the Cooper Vault on Kaine Island.
After studying the photograph, Bentley came to the conclusion that both the Coopers and Lupins have had a long history together. Could they have been rivals, allies or even both? The turtle knew he had to tell Sly about his recent discovery right away. He turned around and wheeled his way out of his study to tell his friend.
Bentley stopped the moment he heard the gruff voice next to him. He looked up to see a rabbit who was smoking a cigarette and pointing a revolver at his head. He was accompanied by a cheetah who was holding a long wooden pole and had an almost uninterested look on his face. The turtle was shaking in fear. There was no way he could take on these two, he was in a wheelchair and they had weapons, at least the rabbit had one. He raised his hands and gulped before speaking to the two intruders.
“W-who are y-you and what d-do you want?” Bentley asked, stuttering.
“You know exactly what we want” the rabbit replied, glaring down at the turtle.
“What?” Bentley replied nervously.
“We know that you and that Sly Cooper got something to do with Lupin going missing!” the rabbit exclaimed in anger.
Bentley was both petrified and confused. From what the rabbit said, he got the idea that they were members of Lupin’s gang and that their leader had gone missing. He didn’t know that Lupin had gone missing and for some reason, this rabbit seemed to believe that the Cooper Gang had something to do with it.
“I-I don’t know what y-you’re talking about” Bentley replied, shivering in fear. “I d-don’t know w-where Lupin i-is”
“Don’t give me that bullshit!” the rabbit growled as he grabbed the turtle by the collar, lifting him out of his wheelchair and pointed the revolver at his face.
Bentley’s heart was now beating so hard, he felt as if it was going to burst out of his chest. He feared for his life as he dangled from the rabbit’s grip. Was his life going to end here? He was too afraid to speak, the rabbit wouldn’t believe a word he said. Just then, the cheetah finally spoke to his partner.
“Jigen, just calm down for a minute” he said, getting the attention of Jigen. “What if he’s telling us the truth and Lupin isn’t here?”
“Like hell he’s tellin’ us the truth Goemon!” Jigen snapped back at the cheetah. “I can tell when someone’s lying and this guy’s talkin’ out of his ass!”
The rabbit turned his attention back to Bentley, who was still in his grip. He pointed his revolver right in-between the turtle’s eyes and almost seemed to be ready to fire it. Sweat was dripping from his forehead, he had nowhere to run and he couldn’t fight back due to his inability to move his legs.
“Now I ain’t screwin’ around here shorty and you don’t look like no friggin’ ninja” Jigen threatened the turtle. He got his face close to his before continuing to speak, revolver still in hand.
“So talk to the gun, WHERE’S LUPIN?!”
Jigen and Goemon spun around to see a raccoon and a hippo standing at the nearest door. It was Sly and Murray. They had come to investigate after hearing some noises in the hideout only to see a cheetah and a rabbit who had their friend at gunpoint. Sly gripped his cane and ran towards Jigen to save Bentley. The rabbit pushed Bentley back down on his wheelchair before aiming his revolver at the incoming raccoon. He fired his weapon but Sly jumped up, dodging the bullet and raising his cane mid-air to strike his foe. Jigen moved out of the way before Sly could hit him with his cane, landing on the floor as he did. The raccoon raised his cane up once again, preparing to hit the rabbit and not miss this time. But as he struck down, his cane was stopped by a katana blade before he could strike the rabbit. The raccoon looked to see that Goemon was the one blocking him from attacking. He glared into the cheetah’s eyes, trying to push him away. Then Goemon used his katana to push Sly’s cane away and then he kicked the raccoon across the room. Murray, after seeing his friend fly across the room, ran at the cheetah and raised his fist to clobber him. But Goemon was too fast for him so the hippo ended up missing him and punched a hole in the floor. Murray held his hand in pain until the blade of Goemon’s katana was held at the hippo’s neck, making him freeze in fear of his own life. Sly quickly recovered from the kick he received and stood back up on his feet. He saw that his large friend was in trouble so he got his cane and prepared to hit the cheetah with it.
“Don’t even think about it pal”
Sly halted when he heard the voice beside him. He turned his eyes to see Jigen pointing his revolver at his head. The room was silent, apart from Sly, Bentley, Murray and Jigen’s breathing. The raccoon decided to ask the rabbit and cheetah what their intentions were for being in their hideout.
“What do you guys want?” Sly asked.
“We’ve come for Lupin” Jigen replied gruffly.
“Lupin?” Sly replied to the rabbits question in confusion. “What makes you think he’d be here?”
“Don’t you start giving me that crap!” Jigen exclaimed, still pointing his gun at the raccoon’s head. “ I know you know where Lupin is and I’m not in the mood to hear any bullshit from your mouth!”
“Look buddy, I don’t know where your boss is” Sly replied. “If you didn’t know, I’m no kidnapper”.
Silence returned to the room until Goemon broke it.
“Jigen, I believe he’s telling the truth”.
“What?!” Jigen cried out in surprise.
“If you’d just think straight, we wouldn’t have had this situation” Goemon said to his colleague before lowering his katana and putting it back in its scabbard. Murray breathed a sigh of relief when the cheetah took his weapon away from his neck. Jigen on the other hand was still pointing his revolver at Sly. Goemon took notice of this however.
“Lower your gun Jigen” the cheetah told the rabbit.
Begrudgingly, Jigen lowered his revolver and put it back in his jacket. Sly in turn lowered his cane but was still cautious of the two intruders. Bentley adjusted himself on his wheelchair so he could sit properly and Murray just stood nervously, eyeing both Jigen and Goemon.
“We apologise for our intrusion” Goemon apologised, bowing to the three members of the Cooper Gang. “My friend doesn’t tend to think things through”.
“Ah shut up!” Jigen retorted. Goemon ignored him and carried on speaking.
“As you already know, Lupin has gone missing and we’re trying to find him” the cheetah informed the Cooper Gang.
“Why would we care?” Sly replied, harshly. “It’s not like we know where he is anyway”.
“But I do”
All five individuals turned to see a vixen with snow white fur and blonde hair standing at the door. She was wearing a black leather jumpsuit and was eyeing all the men in the room. The Cooper Gang were taken aback by her beauty, including Murray who was blushing at the sight of her. Jigen on the other hand looked at the vixen with a mixture of surprise and annoyance whilst Goemon remained almost emotionless.
“Fujiko?!” Jigen exclaimed. “What the hell are you going here?”
“Good to see you too” Fujiko scoffed in reply. “And to answer your question, I’m here in Paris for the same reasons you’re here”.
“That’s no surprise” the rabbit said. Fujiko then turned her attention to Sly who was still smitten by her.
“So you must be the famous Sly Cooper” the vixen said, almost seductively as she walked up to the raccoon. “I’ve heard so much about you”.
Sly blushed at her words. He had to admit, she was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. But then he thought about Carmelita. As much as he found this white vixen attractive, the inspector was the one who he really had feelings for.
“Uh, my pleasure” Sly replied, still blushing.
“Hold on a second” Jigen cut in. “You said you know where Lupin is?”
“Well, I think I have an idea of who’s got him” Fujiko replied.
“How the hell would you know?” Jigen questioned her.
“I just know my way around” the white vixen replied. “Now do you want to know who has Lupin or not?”
“Spit it out then!” Jigen demanded.
“Louie Dubois” Fujiko replied.
“Louie Dubois?!” Bentley exclaimed.
“You mean that rich guy we stole that sword from?” Jigen asked in surprise.
“And Lupin’s not the only one he’s got” Fujiko added.
“You mean Dubois has kidnapped someone else?” Goemon asked.
“Yeah, some Interpol inspector from Spain I think” the white vixen replied. When she said this, Sly gave Fujiko a surprised look on his face.
“Wait, was this inspector a she and did she have dark blue hair?” the raccoon asked in concern.
“Yeah?” Fujiko replied. “From what I remember, she was looking for Lupin”.
Sly just stood silently. He couldn’t believe it. Carmelita, the one he loved from the moment he met her, was now in the clutches of Louie Dubois. And it was all because of Lupin. Thanks to the wolf, Carmelita was now in danger and her life was probably at risk.
“He’s got Carmelita!” the raccoon exclaimed.
“You know her?” Fujiko asked.
“They have a history together” Bentley answered her question.
“We gotta go save her” Sly said. “If we don’t, she might die!”
“Hey wait a minute!” Jigen cut in. “That little bastard’s got Lupin as well!”
Everyone else remained silent. The situation was extremely dire. Both Lupin and Carmelita were now in the hands of dangerous billionaire and they weren’t entirely sure what to do. Just then, Murray finally spoke after being silent for most of the time.
“So what are we gonna do?”