The pitter-patter of rain danced across the surface of the drawing room's huge window. Gentle thunder and flashes of lightning seemed to add personality to the already enchanting green landscape that spread across the Highlands. The dark gray sky seemed menacing, but a pale white lining encircled the horizon as it always did, showing a glitter of hope for a dreary day.

Coming back home was exactly what Destro needed. After all the stress of the Matrix Cannon debacle, spending a week with Voltar to redesign his army, then fighting with Cobra Commander over how much the snake would pay for, James McCullen Destro was tired. Very tired.

The Earl Grey was surprisingly bland today. Destro would have to speak to his chef about that. He didn't pay the man a six-figure salary to stir up weak tea.

Perhaps visiting the Baroness in her room would cheer him up. It usually did. Her injuries were just about healed; perhaps she could go for a walk with him throughout the Castle.

Destro set his tea cup onto the table by the window and turned around. A gray silhouette stood in the doorway. The Lord of Castle Destro smiled.

"Storm Shadow! Excellent! I must shamefully admit that I had forgotten about our appointment, but you are as timely as ever. Please, come in. We have much to discuss."

The white ninja stepped silently into the drawing room, looking cautiously for any guards. Satisfied that Destro was alone, he began to speak. "Why have you once again called me to your castle, Destro? Did I not clearly express my disapproval for coming here?"

Destro poured some tea and offered it to Storm Shadow, who ignored it. "I don't want to make you uncomfortable for too long, Storm Shadow, so I will make this brief. I was pleased with your performance as I worked to construct the Matrix Cannon. I offer you a high-ranking position in the Iron Grenadiers, at triple the pay Cobra Commander now gives you."

Storm Shadow stood in silence, apparently analyzing what Destro had just said.

"Believe me, white ninja, you will not be asked to do any more 'petty chores'." Destro smiled.

Storm Shadow walked over to the large window and watched the storm. "Cobra Commander warned me that you would try to buy me over. At first I didn't believe him, but it seems I forgot that he is a salesman. He is an expert on such matters."

Destro frowned, then took a sip of tea. He immediately sniffed and put the tea back onto the table. "What did he offer you?"

"His offer was very tempting, but that is not why I choose to stay with him."

"What could possibly make you want to stay with that moron?"

"I choose to stay because I swore allegiance to him long ago. I will not betray him." Storm Shadow looked over to Destro with a stern look on his face. "At least not yet."

With that, the white ninja gave out a loud cry, raised his leg and kicked the window. The glass shattered, unleashing a gush of storm winds and rain into the drawing room. Destro moaned his disgust, and Storm Shadow leapt out of the window.

Walking to the window's edge, Destro could see the white ninja run across the courtyard, knocking down guards, then push his way out of the main gate.

As his butler ran into the drawing room expressing concern, the Lord of Castle Destro marched out. Perhaps the Baroness was ready for that walk by now.