I screamed. The lightning pierced our blimp and we started to fall. B.F started falling out of the blimp, but I caught him. “We’re even,” I muttered. I pulled Speedy close and wrapped my arms around him. I didn’t even know if he cared, but if we were going to die, I wanted that to be the last thing I ever did. He kissed me on the cheek and ran over to the wheel. “I’ll get us out of here, Slip, I promise,” he said. He struggled with the wheel for a little bit and the blimp flew into a tree. We all jumped out of the blimp as we got close to the tree, and then we ran under a bush (with a little bit of the blimp to protect us from lightning). Once we were safe, I hugged Speedy again, and this time I wouldn’t let go. B.F watched us with a face for a while before he said “Okay guys, we’re rising up a little too fast.” Did I notice a hint of concern in his voice? And then I realized there was only four of us. I walked over to Bard. “Where’s Nameless?” I asked, a little too fast. His great red eye momentarily turned blue with a little sonar thing until he said “Um, we’ve got a problem.” My heart sank. “What do you mean by problem?” He fidgeted a little bit. “She’s on Monster Carnival,” he said. “But she went with that masked figure dude.” Oh, no. “First my parents, then Nameless, who next?” I demanded. Bard looked even more uncomfortable. “Uh, I can answer that,” he said. “What???!!!” I screamed. He cowered behind a bush. “Th-they’ve got Speedy’s parents, too.” Speedy looked crestfallen. ” I bet that they’re burning their bodies right now,” he said glumly. Bard looked at him strangely. “Why would they do that?” he asked. “I mean, they obviously know there’s at least four of us. They’re using them as bait.” I glared at him. Then my face turned curious. “You said ‘they,’ Bard. What’s that mean?” I asked, my anger gone. He looked surprised. “I thought you knew-every evil villain has a sidekick! There was me and Merlin, the owl, there was Captain Crawfish and his crew, there was the Black Widow and that shadowy guy, and there was Dr. Hare with his bunny drones.” I thought for a second, my anger back. I needed to find someone who didn’t have a sidekick to top him off. “Well, what about Ze-” I started to say, then stopped dead. “Zeus! He must’ve taken our parents!” I said excitedly. Bard shook his head. “That isn’t Zeus’s style, nor the mask. He wants world domination, and his plans are never very well-thought out. He caught me by jumping out of my bedroom closet in Arturus. Like I said, not well-thought out.” I looked at him. “You got out of space?” He started fidgeting again. “Uh, yeah…” he said, with an air of somebody who’s trying to avoid something important-something VERY important. But I couldn’t really pay attention, as I was just noticing our surroundings. Snow blanketed the forest-you couldn’t even see our footprints. A woodpecker looked for food in a nearby tree, and a squirrel chattered noisily. And the next thing I noticed? It was freezing. I felt like I was about to get frostbite. My teeth started to chatter, and my eyes started to water. “What is this place?” I asked, ignoring the frozen wind going up my nose. B.F took off his peg leg and emptied it of the snow (I don’t even want to know how snow got in there) and he looked grim. “Survival Island,” he says. I racked my brain, but I couldn’t figure that one out. “What?” I asked. “The Yukon,” Speedy said. My heart dropped into my liver. The Yukon was part of the human world. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, humans. You think that because you control us, you rule the worlds. Well, sorry. You can adopt us as much as you wish, but the ones you play are known as “dummy Poptropicans.” It means that they’re fake. Sure, they have lives and everything, but they’re really only part of the human world. Well…I guess I should correct myself. A lot of characters become so powerful, they actually become real Poptropicans and go into our world. There’s a possibility that one could reverse that, but no one would. It’d be like choosing to die. Anyway, the Yukon was in their “Canada.” In other words? Freezing. “We need to build a fire,” I said, shivering. Speedy chose a good spot protected from wind and dumped a bunch of stuff out of his bag. That thing’s tiny, I really have no idea how everything fits in there. Especially if you’re a “member” like Cuddly Lion, the big, great hero. Pfft. Yeah, right. Soon, we had a blazing fire. I leaned against Speedy’s chest as Bard cooked us fish-in his face. He had an oven setting on there too? Completely unfair. [That’s B.F saying my face does look like an oven. Oh, and that’s Speedy punching him. And that’s him swearing violently. No, I’m not going to repeat them into the mic, B.F, shut up!] He pulled out the fish and set it on a bunch of plates that he somehow also made in his face. As we ate, we took turns telling stories, just made them up as we went. Speedy told an adventure story, I told a romance story, B.F told a horror story, and Bard told a survival story, which I thought was kind of pointless as we were living a survival story. We were so entranced by his story, however, that we didn’t notice when his hand extensions went deep into the wood and sounds of clanging began. When he finished, a new plane flew out of the forest. My eyes bugged out. He made that in that time? He’s a genius. We climbed in, after I extinguished the fire. We were flying above an island when we ran out of gas and Bard had to quickly land the plane. When we landed, he banged on the engine. “Come on…” he murmured. “Guys?” I asked nervously, having just spotted something. They all turned pale. A purple Poptropican. Which meant I knew where we were. And the outbreak must have started again.