Thanks to the great success of the Scarlet Blade launch, Batman and tactics decided to take the team out on a vacation. Leo wanted to visit his cousin Lionel at the San Diego Zoo, Aimee was down for anything as long as there was an arcade nearby, and Dropkick silently hoped for a good opportunity to ditch them and do ninja stuff instead.
Finally, the team decided the only fair way to settle it was to throw a dart at a spinning globe. Dredd was given the honor of throwing the dart, but after three attempts, two hospital visits, and the medical bills getting deducted from the vacation fund, Puffer swiped the dart and gave it a solid toss.
The team waited with bated breath for the globe to stop spinning, and with a small excited "squeak" Skwirl piped up.
"It's New Zealand, we're going to NEW ZEALAND!!!" she said, hopping up and down.
As that was the setting for many of the team's favorite movies, it was understandable that the group would be looking forward to the trip. Unfortunately, Batman's flying vehicles couldn't fit the whole team, so they hopped on a commercial flight instead. After a difficult flight of crying, whining babies (including Dredd), they touched down in sunny New Zealand...or so they thought!
The team had disembarked in the middle of a connecting flight, but since none of them were geographically savvy (except for Shrinky, but he fell asleep in the SFO Terminal and the team still hadn't realized he wasn't with them) no one noticed they were on the small island of Tasmania. The worst part was that the airport was almost completely deserted, and no one had a map, guidebook, or cell phone service.
"I'll handle this," Dredd said confidently. "I just need to find a translator..."
"Wait, why do you need a translator?" asked Batman.
Dredd just laughed and said, "Batman, I appreciate how smart you think I am, but I don't speak Australian!"
Leo burst out laughing at this point, but was silenced by Zeal's upraised hand.
"I sense...a powerful destructive force approaching," Zeal shared in a quiet but intimidating tone. "We need to get out of here, and fast."
By then the whole team could see it...a giant dust cloud approaching from the edge of the horizon. As it approached, the few staff members left out in the open dove behind counters and under trapdoors, barring the way behind them as they fled.
"Well that's just great, thanks for nothing!" exclaimed a frustrated Leo. "I'm totally rating this place a 1-star on Yelp. That'll show em!"
Dropkick squinted at the cloud for a moment...then without warning sprinted towards the destruction. The entire team shouted for him to come back, but he simply turned around, winked and smiled, and began running again.
By this point the dust cloud was revealed to be a giant, fast-moving tornado bearing down on the team.
"This is it...game over, man, GAME OVER!!!" Dredd cried out in anguish.
Suddenly, everything went quiet, save for a lone sound breaking through...the clear sound of a katana being drawn from it's sheath.
Batman drew in his breath sharply, and tactics said in a tone of awe, "I didn't think it was real..."
The last thing the team remembered was a blinding white flash of light, a load roar of pain, and then nothing but darkness until they all woke up back at the Aeria offices. As everyone got up, blinking slowly, tactics spoke up.
"Is everyone here? Call out if you're ok!" he said in his clear commanding voice. Everyone called out in acknowledgement except for Dropkick, who simply rose his hand.
"What the heck WAS that, DK?" Batman inquired.
Dropkick simply pointed behind the group to the previously empty desk beside Puffer. As the team turned, they saw the source of all the commotion...
Let's give a warm welcome to another old-school Aeria veteran - PM Taz!!!