"There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find adventure and those who go secretly hoping they won't."

Rabindranath Tagore


Roots

The cold winter breeze hit my cold, pale face brutally, yet, it never felt so good. I adjust my goggles while mid-air, performing one of personal uber tricks, called 'Walkin' the Dog' - a 'Smack' original. I grin happily as I land perfectly on my board, and into the fresh powder below me. I couldn't help but smile like an idiot, everything around me was so well in place; the huge trees cover with snow, crashing on me as I hit the sunset going out of view between two married Mountains, I love this.

"Boo-Ya!"

I screamed at the top of my lungs performing another uber trick (which rare can pull of) and jumped of a huge snow ramp onto another. I can feel my insides burning from hidden passion, I can scream all day from this excitement!

"Hey, quite down there. You don't want to cause an Avalanche in the Himalayas, my friend!"

I roll my eyes, but chuckle loud enough for the stubborn pilot to hear me over my communicator.

'Won't I? Ha! Avalanches have the word Adventure written all over them!'

This guy obviously hasn't gotten use to the SSX crew yet, we love a good challenge!

"Chill out Red! I won't take much longer."

I pause and wait for Red, one of the top three pilots accompanying Team SSX around the world. By the sudden silence that flowed through my headphones, I knew he wasn't convinced. If he wasn't hovering over me with that noising helicopter, I'll bet he'll be giving me the stink eye. I press my lips together when a thought crossed my mind.

"Besides, you just wanna see Elise, don't ya?"

I grinned at myself feeling satisfied, that silence that traveled through my headphones said it all. After hanging out with Red for a while, I had picked up some of his weak points. I chuckle slightly; picturing Red blushing was too much. Finally, I hear a sigh; he had given in on my request to ride a little longer.

"Alright, but just for ten more minutes... then we meet up with the others."

Chuckling mentally, I look up at the hovering helicopter above me and give a thumb up. Turning off my communicator, I turn on my iPod instead, and listen to music peacefully as I move smoothly between gaps and tight curves. Then nostalgia hit me like a pack of twelve year olds circling around the Ski Patrol.

Everything was perfect right now. The music sending vibes all over my body, the perfectly dangerous ice gap I just jumped over, the climate being as cold as ever, no crowds, no media, no nagging to hurry up...just me and the mountain. This was what real snowboarding was all about, the crazies you pull off, the excitement that overwhelmed your empty stomach when your ten feet off the ground, the thrill and adventure you got off of it.

I thought about what my snowboarding career would be like back when I was eighteen. Partying, owning penthouse everywhere, King of the clubs by day, man of air by night, surrounded by beautiful women everywhere, chillin' with my longtime buds. I have everything I always want now, sure. But something was still missing, something challenging, something adventurous - now, who would have guessed I'll be traveling the world trying to accomplish something others would call crazy. To conquer the nine deadly descents...Ha, the media doesn't know squat about snowboarding! They don't know where its real roots come from. Snowboarding was finally going back to its roots; back to the sport I feel in love with, back to when snowboarding was fringe.

This is what snowboarding was all about!

Being as restless as I was, I lost track of time. My ten extra minutes of boarding turned into an hour, and an hour turned into...well; let's just say Red looked pretty ticked once I enter his helicopter.

Multiple times, he send me short glances fixture with guilty, shame, and slight anger - especially when I complain about his busted old seat-belt. I can't complain though, a busted seat belt isn't as nearly as dangerous as the life threatening experience I was soon to face. Nothing can complain to that excitement, not even a messed up seat belt.

"...C'mon Mac, did you really have to take that long riding'?"

I grin helplessly as Red eyed me through the upper mirror.

"Dawg, will ya stop sulking? It's been a while since it's only been me 'n my board."

I paused and go over the words I'll be using on my next sentence. I'm sure Red understood to some extent my love for the sport, but it wasn't enough for him to stop glancing at me.

"Red, you've seen and talked to her before, haven't ya? I dunno why you like Elise so much."

And through the corner of my eye, I spot a flushed Red give in, which was rare coming from him. But hey, maybe that's where he got the name 'Red', ya know?

"...You are not the only one I am going to be traveling with, Mac Fraser. There will be two other ladies accompanying you on my ever-so-safe heli."

He pauses and I realize he's glancing towards me yet again. I let go of the not-so-safe seat belt and grin. He turns back and clears his throat before keeping his eyes ahead. I listen.

"I just want to make a good impression, my friend. It's not everyday an SSX Pro hooks you up for a crazy gig."

"Don't worry about it Red, she'll like ya..."

Moving my hands animatedly, I look at Red and smile. With some hesitation showing in his eyes, he finally nods and smiles.

"Your right. My baby Elise is bound to like me and my good ol' heli."

I try to keep a straight smile, but ultimately turn my face side ways and look into the small window. The Sunset was at its lowest, and it caused this beautiful purple, orange pattern to form in the sky. I smile at the dope sight and respond to Red.

"Er, sure. Heh, whatever you say dawg."

I let out a sigh and try to change the subject. Sure, Elise might like the helicopter from the outside but from the inside? Er, she might have a problem with the dusty seats, or busted seat belts...won't want her wing suit to get all crunched up. I look outside and wonder who the other rider might be. Possibly Zoe? Since she planned this whole thing - but, I thought Zoe was piloting with Wizard? That just leaves two spots open, could it be...

"Hey Red, so who's the other rider joinin' us today besides Elise?"

My attention turns to Red, who has a puzzled look on his face. He looks at me and starts laughing. I look at him curiously and sighed.

"What? What's so funny? Am I suppose to know? I doubt you confused Ty for a chick."

He laughs even more and I end up grinning. I walk over to him as he finishes landing the heli.

"So who is it?"

I ask yet again, waiting for him to give me a respond. He looks at me with those teasing eyes again, but smiles at the end.

"You really don't know, do you? Gezz, maybe the rumors weren't so true after all."

"Rumors...?"

I look at him with questioning eyes. When it came to rumors, I never followed or heard them out. Since the beginning of my snowboarding career, I knew I had to stay focused on one goal and one goal only. So why do I want to know so badly now? What makes this so different from before?

Maybe because I already knew the answer to all these questions, I just didn't want to admit it.

Red must have noticed my dazing expression, as he patted my shoulder and stood up before stepping out the helicopter.

"Haha, don't worry my friend, she'll like ya."

I stepped out of the helicopter feeling tipsy. As I looked around me, I spot Red talking to Elise, who looked somewhat interested, somewhat bored. Zoe and Moby talkin' to Wizard about some weather gear, and Ty, Tane, and Psymon arguing within themselves about some tech bug. The feeling I got in my stomach from adventure completely took over when I spotted Alexis and Dragonfly, chatting to Kaori calmly about fashion.

My stomach flipped.

I froze in place.

Why I told Zoe and Tane to invite Kaori to this thing I'll never know, but more surprising was hearing her say yes.

The feeling I got every time I strap on my snowboard had return, but it wasn't my love of snowboarding that made me feel this way. Something else was making my stomach perform back flips, and I have a good idea to who it was.


SSX(c)EA