Constable Neyla has been recuperating in the mountains of China for four years ever since she crawled from the Clockwerk wreckage. Her longtime friend Mai Ling had rescued her from the wreck and brought her back to her Chinese sanctuary nursing her back to health. In that time she also trained Neyla to strengthen her body and mind; to help her heal past wounds and perhaps forget her treacherous past to start anew.
So the time had come for Neyla to leave the home she and Mai shared when she was fully healed. Mai watched as she left. She was happy to see Neyla fully healthy and have some peace of mind. But something nagged at her; feeling like Neyla had not fully forgotten her past. Particularly; the past that involved two particular characters she double crossed.
“You really ready to go?” Mai asked.
“Yes.” Neyla responded turning to face Mai as she walked. “I need to reintegrate back into society. I’d like to thank you for all you did for me.”
“Thank me by showing you have left your past behind.” Mai said. “I know you might have ideas about getting even with….certain people.”
Neyla looked at Mai with a reassuring smile; though it seemed forced.
“I know who you’re talking about.” Neyla said. “But that’s ancient history. I’m off to start anew. I’ll pay you a visit again sometime.”
Neyla then turned and walked away. She smiled to herself with resolution.
“Neyla!” Mai called out.
Neyla then turned around to face Mai one more time with a concerned look on her face.
“I meant it.” Mai said with a light tone of seriousness in her voice. “Do not go out seeking revenge. If you do…you’ll be back here sooner than you think.”
Neyla looked at Mai still smiling; again forcing it a bit.
“No worries love.” She said confidently.
“You must honor my request.” Mai said. “Revenge is truly the road to ruin.”
“I’ll remember that.” Neyla said. “I promise.”
And with that Neyla walked away and continued to walk without looking back. Mai just stood firm watching her as she went. She kept looking as Neyla walked further into the distance; hoping deep down that Neyla would keep her word.
On a train heading for France; Neyla sat down in a comfortable seat near a window. She was busy looking down at a piece of paper and was seemingly writing something in it.
She was also thinking of all the time she spent with Mai and how she cared for her and treated her like a member of her own family. She was truly grateful for all Mai did for her.
“Oh Mai…” Neyla said to herself as she continued writing. “You’ve done so much for me. You know I would do anything to repay you.”
She then looked darkly at what she was writing and gritted her teeth.
“But not right now.” Neyla snarled. “Sorry…but this is one wish of yours I can NOT comply with.”
Neyla wasn’t writing at all. She drew two pictures of Sly Cooper and Carmelita Fox as stick figures with their heads in nooses and X’s for eyes. She then crossed a big red X over them with a red sharpie.
“Cooper….Fox!” She growled. “You’ll both pay for what you did to me!”
Two nights later in Paris France, a shapely figure was walking towards a luxurious apartment building. It was Inspector Carmelita Fox. She walked up the steps and took out her keys. Unlocking the door she walked down the dimly light hallways to the elevator.
After selecting her floor the elevator doors closed and brought her up to the floor she lived on. She walked up to her apartment complex and unlocked the door. Walking inside her dark apartment and setting her keys down; she suddenly felt a chill as she closed the door. Her ears perked up and her eyes suddenly shifted to her right. She pulled out her trademark shock pistol and walked slowly to the opening to her living room. She felt a presence inside the house; someone was definitely here.
Creeping silently through her living room she hugged close to the walls and looked around for any signs of movement. She paused for a moment before she was about to check the next room she would enter. She then quickly spun around and aimed her pistol to the empty kitchen before her. She walked silently in step by step. If only she had looked to her left; then she might have noticed who was waiting for her.
“Hello…Poodle!!” A voice called out.
As Carmelita spun around she saw a purple fist hit her square in the face knocking her back. Then all of a sudden a group of armed dog thugs surrounded her and grabbed her. They quickly restrained her hands and held her erect to face a familiar face; a face Carmelita never wanted to see again. Needless to say; Carmelita was both shocked and appalled at who she was looking at.
“Neyla!” She cried.
“It’s good to see you too ‘Iron Sides.’” Neyla retorted coyly.
“You’re dead!” Carmelita snarled. “You’re dead.”
“Oh I think you’ll find I’m very much alive.” Neyla said with a proud look on her face. “And I think you’ll also take a guess as to what I am doing here.”
Neyla then motioned for her guards to back Carmelita against her kitchen wall. They did as she was told and held her arms behind her as they bound her with more rope. Her legs then were tied too. Neyla then motioned for her thugs to back away from Carmelita . As they did she tipped Carmelita back on the kitchen table. The fox was tied up so well she couldn’t move at all.
“Comfortable?” Neyla asked innocently.
Carmelita just glared at her; showing her trademark scowl and her sharp canine teeth gritting in absolute hate.
“I won’t go into the details as to how I am alive.” Neyla said. “But as you might know; I’m here to get back at both you and Sly for ruining everything for me.”
“You deserved every bit of it.” Carmelita spat back. “Besides…it is my job to make sure justice is administered by any means possible.”
“Well you’ll find that quite difficult.” Neyla said smiling. “You’re all tied up at the moment I’m afraid and will remain that way for as long as I wish.”
Carmelita just kept scowling at her. If looks could kill; Carmelita’s stare could easily fry someone to a crisp. This particular night wasn’t going well for her and everything seemed to fall into Neyla’s hands easier than she expected.
“I would very much like to end your life now.” Neyla said. “But I want to have both you Cooper here.”
She then motioned for her thugs to wait outside in the living room until further orders were given. She held firmly onto Carmelita’s still bound shoulder and pushed her back further.
“I’m going to keep you hostage until I get into touch with Cooper.” Neyla said. “Once he sees your situation he will come running. I’m very sure our dashing knight in shining armor will not abandon the lady fair.”
“Once he gets over the shock you’re still alive…” Carmelita continued, still angry but getting surprisingly more calm.
“I think Sly is used to all sorts of things now.” Neyla retorted. “But regardless of anything; when he sees you’re in trouble he will come running.”
“And just how do you plan on getting in touch with him?” Carmelita asked as she began to cool.
“You got tabs on him.” Neyla said. “You got connections and ways of communicating with him. Believe me, no matter what obstacle we need to overcome we will find a way to get in touch with him and show him what type of danger you’re in.”
“You might not have to.” Carmelita said. As she said this, she not only sounded calmer, she also seemed to shoot Neyla an eerie smile. “Look behind you.”
Neyla looked behind her and saw a shadow on the wall coming from outside the window in Carmelita’s living room. The silhouette of what appeared to be a familiar looking hat, cane and tail was hovering outside. It looked very familiar to Neyla, and she immediately recognized who it was.
“Cooper!” She yelled. She then called out to her thugs. “Get out there right now and follow that shadow!!”
The shadow of Cooper disappeared and the thugs ran outside to follow it. Neyla then shot a nasty look back at Carmelita.
“You must be pretty lucky to have a man like him constantly stalk you.” Neyla said sharply.
“Well…” Carmelita said, smiling as if she suddenly had the upper hand. “Wherever I am he is never far behind.”
Neyla then smiled wickedly back; as if this smile could cause Carmelita any sort of harm.
“You know you two just made my revenge all the easier.” Neyla said. “A pity really; I was expecting more of a challenge from you.”
“Oh you think this will be easy?” Carmelita asked. Now she was the one acting coy.
“I appreciate your usual bravado…” Neyal retorted. “But in case you haven’t noticed; you’re too tied up to do anything to me.”
“And in case YOU haven’t noticed…” Carmelita continued. “Your thugs are still gone and they haven’t come back with Cooper yet.”
“Probably still chasing him...” Neyla replied. “He’s probably run off.”
“No…” Carmelita replied with a sneaky looking smile. “…He’s here.”
Neyla then looked both angry and puzzled at Carmelita. She was beginning to suspect something was up; as if she stepped into a trap she hadn’t anticipated. Or maybe; it was all a bluff. So she just grinned back.
“Heh heh…” Neyla chortled. “Nice try “Poodle.” But I’m not falling for that. You’re bluffing.”
“I’m not.” Carmelita said plainly; as if all fear of her capture suddenly went away. “He is here.”
“You know...” Neyla said smiling again. “I never knew you had a sense of humor all of a sudden. But if this is your idea of a joke; it’s not funny.”
“No joke...” Carmelita replied. “Sly….IS here.”
Neyla’s smile drooped and she looked Carmelita in the eye with serious intent.
“Where?” Neyla asked coldly.
Carmelita just looked smugly at Neyla and looked into her eyes as if she challenged Neyla to a staring contest.
“Very….close by.” Carmelita replied coldly.
Neyla backed away slowly and her stare suddenly began showing signs of concern. Carmelita kept looking Neyla deep into her eyes as if to challenge her. Neyla then looked behind her. To her surprise she saw the shadow again. It quickly ran away. Suddenly, as if she forgot about Carmelita she darted into the living room and looked around. There was no sign of Cooper or her thugs.
“Hey!” She called out to her guards. “Where are you lunkheads?”
No response. The shadow of Sly then flew by the window again. Neyla stared in disbelief. Carmelita was right; Sly was still here. In fact; more closer than Neyla realized.
“FREEZE!!!” A voice behind Neyla called out.
Neyla swung around and found to her amazement; Carmelita Fox standing there with the shock pistol in her hand. Neyla just stood there with her mouth wide open; almost as wide as her eyes.
“You…you…how did..?” Neyla began; and then finished her sentence. “How the bloody heck did you get loose?”
“I told you….” Carmelita said coldly. “He was very close by.”
Neyla then realized what most likely just happened. Her shocked look then turned into a glower as she stared back at Carmelita.
“I get it…” She said. “You know something ol’ Iron Sides….you’re lucky to have a thief like him by your side.”
“He’s closer than you can imagine.” Carmelita responded as she inched closer to Neyla. “I learned quite a bit about sneaking and choosing your friends spending my time with him.”
“Yeah…” Neyla said; staring even more angrily at Carmelita. “I bet you DID learn a lot from him.”
“Now…” Carmelita said as she aimed her gun at Neyla. “Come along quietly.”
Neyla then reached behind her for her trademark whip and began to unclip it from her belt.
“Fat chance detective.” She growled. As she finished her sentence, Neyla loosened her whip and flicked it at Carmelita.
The whip caught Carmelita’s shock pistol and threw it out of her hand. Neyla then whipped at Carmelita again. Carmelita reacted and caught the tip with her forearm and yanked it out of Neyla’s hand. But Neyla reacted by rushing Carmelita by springing at her like the wild cat she was. The two tumbled on the floor a bit before Carmelita back flipped out of Neyla’s grip. She prepared to round house kick Neyla. But Neyla dodged it and responded with a kick of her own. Carmelita blocked it and the two began engaging in hand to hand close quarters combat.
Neyla had her cat like agility to try and land quick blows to Carmelita. Carmelita’s seemingly intuitive fox sense helped her track each movement and avoid and block each punch and kick Neyla threw at her. Neither seemed to land a blow on each other until Neyla ducked and did a crouching sweep with her foot. It tripped Carmelital and Neyla prepared to finish her off with an axe kick. Carmelita rolled out of the way and pulled the rug from underneath Neyla; causing her to fall over. Carmelita then got back up and prepared to jump onto Neyla and pin her down. Neyla quickly rolled out of the way and grabbed her whip.
She lashed out her whip and wrapped Carmelita around her ankles; binding both of her feet together. Carmelita fell to her feet and Neyla pounced on her. She quickly restrained Carmelita’s feet tying them up with her whip. She then used her left paw to hold both of Carmelita’s hands together. Neyla’s right hand then reached out behind her to pull out a large hunting knife from her belt. She held it in the air and looked psychotically down at Carmelita.
“I waited too long for this.” Neyla snarled. “Did you really think I was going to just give you and Sly up THAT easily?”
Carmelita just stared at Neyla. Once again she was completely restrained by her. Legs tied together, and both hands firmly shackled by Neyla’s iron grip. That strength training Mai put her through along with the martial arts that improved her movements seemed to have done wonders for her.
“It’s over Ol’ Iron Sides.” Neyla said smiling. “I win.”
“It’s not over at all.” Carmelita said; once again remaining calm while staring angrily at Neyla. “Cooper is still close by.”
“Fine!” Neyla screeched. “Then let him come! Why doesn’t he come out right now!?”
Neyla then looked around her and began to shout.
“Hey!! Cooper!!” Neyla shouted. “I have your woman! If you don’t show up right now I’m gonna gut her! I swear it! I’ll spill her bloody guts all over the place!”
Neyla waited. She glanced quickly around the house for any signs of movements or shadows. Nothing happened. She looked around in every direction, but still no signs of Sly. She then glanced down at Carmelita. For a moment the two just stared at each other. Then Neyla smiled a wicked smile and began to laugh maniacally.
“Well now…” Neyla replied proudly as she held her knife aloft. “I guess he’s gone; or maybe my men finally got him.”
Carmelita said nothing. She just kept staring back into Neyla’s smiling face with the same iron clad stare.
“Either way…” Neyla said. “You’re history. And when I’m done with you…I’ll go and find Cooper myself.”
As she raised the knife, Carmelita continued to stare into Neyla’s eyes defiantly as if she had one ace in the hole left. But Neyla just ignored it.
“You won’t have to look.” Carmelita responded coldly. This caused Neyla to raise her knife higher and she looked like she was about ready to plunge it into Carmelita.
That is; if what happened next proved to be so shocking; it made Neyla stop dead in her tracks.
“I’m RIGHT here!” Carmelita responded….in Sly’s voice!!!
Upon hearing Carmelita’s voice change from her own to Sly Cooper’s so suddenly utterly paralyzed Neyla. She stared wide eyed and in absolute shock at Carmelita’s defiant gaze. Her mouth loosened open, as did her grip on Carmelita’s hands.
When Neyla’s grip loosened, Carmelita broke her hands free and she grabbed Neyla by the shoulders and head butted her. This caused Neyla to fall back and drop her knife. Carmelita then grabbed it and cut her legs loose of her restraints. While Neyla tried to regain her composure from the head butt; she was then shocked to see what came next. Carmelita was running straight for her; holding Sly’s cane.
Carmelita began whacking Neyla silly with the cane; each blow knocking Neyla further and further back until she was slammed against the wall and felt to the ground. As she lied on her back, she saw Carmelita standing over her twirling Sly’s cane like Sly would.
“Too bad Neyla….” Carmelita said; still with Sly’s voice. “You had Cooper under your nose this whole time and you didn’t even know it.”
Carmelita then began to peel her face back. And by face; it was really a mask. From underneath that mask was none other than; Sly Cooper. Neyla stared up in utter disbelief and humiliation. Sly then unzipped the rest of his Carmelita disguise to reveal his familiar figure to the still stunned Neyla. Sly's ancestors were known for being masters of disguise; and this just further cemented it.
“And sadly; you had the real advantage too.” Sly continued as if to mock Neyla. “You don’t know how hard it is to walk in Carmelita’s boots? I had to be on tip toe this whole time.”
Sly then looked at the Carmelita mask he wore this whole time. He couldn’t help but smile at it.
“Don’t feel too bad about the mask though.” Sly said. “Bentley did a good job making it and getting Carmelita’s face just right. I bet it could fool her own mother…if there ever comes a point Carmelita can formally introduce me to her that is.”
Neyla gasped in utter amazement and began to stammer as she still laid stunned on the ground.
“But…but…” She stammered. “You were….how did you?”
Murray then walked in; carrying what appeared to be one of Neyla’s hired thugs over his shoulder. He then plopped him on the ground.
“Boy I tell ya Neyla…” Murray said in his usual gruff voice. “These guys you hired are total amateurs. I had no problem at all knocking them out.”
Neyla then continued to look puzzled and gasping trying to coax an explanation on how Sly did all this.
“But I saw your shadow…” Neyla continued. “You were outside how did?”
Bentley then came in on his wheelchair and stared at Neyla.
“Oh the shadow…” Bentley said. He then flicked a switch which then sprang out a dark cutout of Sly’s silhouette. “Funny thing Neyla. You had all this time to plot your revenge; and you got duped by such a low tech trick.”
“And don’t forget…” sly continued. “It was Murray who untied me too.”
All three of them looked down at the now despondent and utterly defeated Neyla. Both beaten by Sly’s cane and wits she began to choke up with frustration and tears of defeat.
“Nooo…” she cried. “It’s not fair!! I waited so long for this!! I waited so long…”
“Well I think someone once said…” Sly replied. “Revenge is truly the road to ruin.”
Neyla then realized that was Mai’s parting words to her. But how could Sly know them? But before she could comprehend them; Murray seized her and began to tie her up. He then added a gag around her mouth to prevent her from screaming. He then hoisted her over his shoulder and the trio of thieves walked outside to where their vehicle awaited. They threw Neyla in the back.
As Neyla’s screams of protest muffled from underneath her gag; Sly just stared at her.
“Don’t worry Neyla…” Sly said. “We’re not going to kill you. We’re just gonna take you someplace you got a lot of thinking to do.”
Neyla thought they were going to take her to jail; or the real Carmelita. But no; how could a couple of thieves try and be part of the law when they already broke it on too many occasions? So where then would they take her?
“You just get comfy back there.” Sly said. “We got a long drive ahead of us.”
They then closed the door behind her; and the three piled up in the front seat. As Murray started the car; he turned to Sly and looked puzzled.
“Hey Sly…” Murray said. “I don’t know why; but do you think Ms. Fox should know about Neyla’s return?”
“No need to.” Sly said. “Where we’re taking her; we won’t need to worry about her for a long time.”
“I only hope she learns her lesson this time.” Bentley said.
“I’m sure she will.” Sly said. “I’m sure she will.”
With that; they drove off into the night leaving Carmelita’s apartment behind her. Not a moment too soon either; since the real Ms. Fox was just pulling up five minutes after Sly and the gang left with Neyla. She parked her car outside her apartment and walked to her complex just like Sly did disguised as her earlier. As she walked in; she couldn’t help but feel like someone had been in here. She walked carefully around and her hunch proved correct. There lying near her bedroom door was Sly’s calling card. Something was written on front of it.
“Dear Carmelita…” The card read. “Sorry about the mess. Had some trouble with someone trying to get the jump on you; but it’s all taken care of. I left you a present to remember me by for saving your life.”
Carmelita then looked at something on her bed that caused her to jump a bit. As she regained her composure she picked it up and examined it.
It was the Carmelita mask Sly wore earlier to fool Neyla.
“Oh gross…” Carmelita replied looking disgusted. “This is easily the creepiest thing he ever left me.”
After the long van ride Neyla endured; it finally stopped. Murray reached over and yanked of Neyla’s gag; but still left her tied up. Neyla then shot him a nasty look.
“Well…” Sly responded. “We’re here.”
Neyla hissed as she turned around and gave Sly a very nasty glare.
“Yeah I know this trip’s been rough on you…” sly continued as he, Bentley and Murray emptied out of the car. “But it’s over now. Of course; you’re rehabilitation is just beginning.”
As the trio walked around back to let Neyla out; Neyla just stared at the door that was about to open.
“You may have won this time…” She growled under her breath. “But I’ll be back. Wherever it is you’ve taken me; I’ll be back. Nothing and nobody can hold me back from getting my…”
As the doors before Neyla swung open; a familiar looking figure stood before her silhouetted by the glaring sunlight. As Neyla’s eyes adjusted; she saw who it was and she stared in utter disbelief.
“MAI!!” She cried.
It was Mai Ling. She was standing before Neyla with Sly on her right and Murray and Bentley on her left. Needless to say; she was not happy at all to see Neyla like this. She stood with her arms folded and with a very stern look on her face.
“You’re back…” Mai said flatly. “And in a manner I hoped I would never see you in.”
Neyla bit her lower lip and began to have a sorry looking expression on her face.
“I….that is….” Neyla began. “How…how did Cooper know?”
“Through ThiefNet.” Mai responded. “I knew I couldn’t trust you entirely; so I contacted Cooper through ThiefNet to keep tabs on you.”
“She sells me some sweet moves on there.” Murray responded.
Neyla then hung her head low. She was afraid to look into Mai’s burning and accusing eyes.
“I….” Neyla said still hanging her head in deep shame. “I…I….”
Mai then tilted her chin up delicately with her finger. It was a good thing Mai was keeping calm; because her hidden anger would have really hurt Neyla even with just her finger.
“We have a lot to talk about.” Mai said looking Neyla deep into her eyes as if to pierce her soul. “And I don’t think you’ll be leaving here again for a long time.”
Neyla then looked like a whimpering puppy who just got scolded. Mai then helped her on her feet as Murray untied her. Neyla didn’t even resist or snap back this time. She not only didn’t get her revenge; she deeply scarred and disappointed her friend and savior in ways she knew Mai wasn’t showing; but they were indeed there.
“I don’t suppose sorry is going to cut it.” Neyal said braving one more look into Mai’s glare.
“It takes more than sorry to rebuild trust issues.” Mai said. “Or even consider you like family for a long time.”
Neyla just slunk her head down; and was waiting for Mai to lead her back to the sanctuary the two shared for a long time. Neyla knew she was going to remain there for a while; and maybe this time Mai would instill some real humility into her. Indeed hurting Mai by lying to her in such a fashion was like Neyla lying and hurting a member of her own family. It’s not like she would never had done it if she had a real family. It’s just because Mai had saved her life that she could actually feel the sting of guilt.
“Well….if you can find it in your heart to lead me down the road to redemption…” Neyla began. “I’ll gladly follow it.”
Mai walked beside her as she led Neyla back to their sanctuary.
“It’s a REALLY long road ahead.” Mai retorted.
As the two walked back, Sly, Murray and Bentley jut watched them disappear into the backdrop of the Chinese mountains.
“I feel bad for Mai.” Bentley said. “You know how we each see each other as brothers. I’m sure she and Neyla are like sisters.”
“And that’s why I feel like she’ll finally learn this time.” Sly said. “Sibling bonds; even when not related by blood are ones you cannot severe and live with so easily….even if you are Neyla.”
“This bums me out.” Murray said. “Let’s just go.”
So the three piled into the car and drove off. They had left behind a criminal seemingly back from the dead who wanted nothing more than to get her revenge. But she quickly learned that revenge doesn’t work out and you will only have a huge debt to pay for in the end.
The next many years Mai would train and instill trust back from Neyla would be long and hard; but it only meant she had to try harder. Even when given a chance to live again; old habits die hard. And it takes real dedication and concentration to break them. Maybe next time Mai lets Neyla go on her own, she will seek a more enlightened and better path that will steer her from the road to revenge.
Well…maybe. One can only hope.