There's no excuse I can give for not updating for such a long time, so I won't bother. Enjoy the fresh one! I can promise another update soonish.

Atomika, The Staff Lodge

"Maddie!" Atomika called into her room. "Come on, Metro starts in little less than an hour!"

All he got was a bunch of grouching curses. Atomika shook his head impatiently; he had stayed up late as well. If he could get up early, so could Maddie. He crossed the threshold into her room, hoping that she had a decent amount of clothes on. You never knew what some people would sleep in.

Maddie was buried underneath her blankets, only the top of her face revealed. Atomika crouched by her side, and shook her. "Come on Mad, wake up."

She mumbled and screwed up her brow, burrowing her face into the sheets. The sight made him smile. "You can radio without me." She muttered.

"Nope." Atomika countered. His hand went to her hair, for a reason he didn't know. "Come on, I made you coffee." He brought the cup beneath her nose.

Her eyes finally opened. They were dull with exhaustion. "With honey?"

"Uh-huh. Just the way you like it." Atomika coaxed. "Now come on. Get up."

Maddie groaned. "Damn you. Fine, I'm getting up." She was wearing a sports bra and shorts, both to Atomika's relief and disappointment. She took the cup of coffee in two hands, cradling it, and took a long draught.

"Better?" He asked.

She waited to reply, she had taken another large sip. Atomika watched her throat jump as she swallowed. "Yeah." Maddie grumbled. "Thanks A-Bomb."

"I told you to stop calling me that."

"Boo-hoo." Maddie said, tumbling out of her sheets. Atomika found that he couldn't take his eyes off her as she went into her bathroom and shut the door. The shower cut on.

He rose from his kneeling position, and went back to his room.

Moby, Green Lodge

Moby groaned as he awoke, then quickly became aware that he and Zoe were still in bed. She was curled up against his chest, sleeping soundly. Strangely, the only time she never slept fitfully, tossing and turning, was when she was like this.

As Moby shifted slightly, Zoe woke. She had always been a light sleeper. "What time is it?"

"Nearly 9." Moby replied, yawning. "You want to shower love? I was going to jump in."

Her eyes became hungry. "Let's go."

Allegra, Green Lodge

"Dammit Zoe!" Elise shouted. "What's taking you so long in there?"

"Elise, come on, use the other shower. Moby and Zoe are both in there." Nate said, appearing at the Bombshell's side.

The tall blonde growled a few curses and stalked away. Allegra grinned from where she watched on the sofa. She had showered the night before, thankfully.

"Ugh. Well, that's one shower I'm not going to use." Viggo grumbled. "Not after Moby and Zoe have humped in it."

"What are you worried about?" Allegra asked. "Getting pregnant? The cleaners come through the lodges at least once a week."

"I don't want to step in Moby's stuff Allegra. I bet he sprayed the entire damn shower." Viggo said glumly.

She snorted, and then started laughing so hard she fell off the couch. "Oh God! He probably did!"

"It's not funny." Viggo grunted.

"It's hilarious." She countered.

"So, Hans is actually the Appalachian Ghost?" Viggo asked, suddenly changing the subject.

"Don't say that so loud. He doesn't want people to know." Allegra chastised.

"Why wouldn't he want people to know?" Viggo wondered. "He's got the coolest name ever."

"I don't know, but he has his own reasons."

The Swede sighed. "I guess we'll never know. I'm gonna go get my gear."

"Don't bother." Allegra grinned. "I'm going to plaster your ass anyways."

He laughed. "Just try Allegra, just try."

Atomika, the Booth

Atomika already had his station set when Maddie trudged into the Booth. Mad had set hers the night before.

"You ready?"

Maddie yawned. "Sure. That hot water did wonders."

"Good. This is the biggest race we have so far. Thousands of people are watching."

"Thousands?" Maddie asked in disbelief. "Holy shit."

"Yes, thousands. Metro is huge. They got plenty of spots for people to sit and watch." Atomika replied. "And keep in mind Maddie, you need to match the scenery. Be big, be bold."

Maddie nodded. "Do you want me to write that in golden stars above the door?"

Atomika grinned. "Shut up."

They both made their final adjustments, and then watched as the boarders cruised in one by one, spraying snow. Allegra nearly started a fight when she almost buried Elise in powder. And Zoe did the exact same thing five minutes later. Griff started a snowball fight, Zoe and Moby disappeared to go make out somewhere, typical stuff for them.

The first race came roaring up. It was Elise, Moby, Allegra, Brodi, and JP. Atomika raised his brow, looks like Orms was breaking up the teams.

They settled into the slots, Maddie doing her signature intro that set the crowd to cheering. "Welcome to the biggest event on BIG Mountain, the Metro City breakdown!" Orms had decided on that label. "We have full attendance, so all your favorite boarders are here to go for the gold!"

Below, Atomika watched the racers. Brodi looked completely relaxed, Allegra twitchy, Moby, JP, and Elise all looked confident and cocky.

Then the countdown started, and they all went deadly serious, eyes near closed in concentration. The DJ could imagine them all going through their last second rituals in their own heads.

And then- "Go!"

Atomika turned to look at Maddie. She was leaning into her desk, her mike nearly in her mouth. Her eyes were alight with excitement, her cheeks flushed.

She loves this. He realized. The more pressure, the better, the more hype, the better. The crazier, the better. Could that be why she had drunk one too many rum-and-cokes last night?

The boarders were hauling ass down the snowy streets, slicing through the thick noise of the crowd as they screamed for their favorites. Allegra and Moby were staying close, whenever Moby took a shortcut, Al did the same, clinging to the veteran's coattails. But when Elise went for the building jump, and dove down the center, between the two turns, Allegra followed. What was the rookie thinking? That jump was so insane even Psymon hadn't tried it yet.

They made the first leap, but Atomika called Cat and told her to notify the Patrol, and the medics. Elise and Allegra were neck and neck on the elevated path. Neither made any attempt to knock the other down.

And then there was the jump, both women braced.

To jump a skyscraper.

And, shockingly, they made it. Allegra scraped her board on some brick, and Elise nearly got her head taken off by a pipe chimney, but they made it.

The crowd damn near exploded, going to their feet, and starting two separate chants for both women. Maddie slumped back in her seat, she had been leaning forward over her desk.

"Holy shit." She breathed, before leaping back into the commentary. Allegra and Elise, unsurprisingly, came in first and second. Moby came in third, with JP right behind him. Brodi was eliminated.

The next race was Zoe, Psymon, Viggo, Luther, Marty, and Kaori. Kaori looked unhappy, glaring at Psymon. Though Zoe slid into the slot next to hers, putting herself between the two rivals.

Then the green lights went off, and they flew downslope. Viggo took the lead early but couldn't keep it, falling behind Zoe and Kaori. Psymon was erratic as always, but he was edging ever closer to Kaori.

Then, out of nowhere, he swooped down on the Japanese woman, but Zoe was there to intercept him, and Sketchy ate snow. The two women zipped away, and Sketchy got back up quick, passing Viggo quickly. Neither Kaori nor Zoe went for the building jump, but Psymon shot down the center path, surprising no one.

The crowd went quiet again as Psymon approached the jump, and then roared up when Sketchy cleared the building, landing himself right behind Kaori and Zoe. He seemed hesitant to make a swing at Tricky, definitely because of Zoe's presence.

Their positions on the leaderboard didn't change. Psymon never got another opportunity to pass Kaori again.

"And finally, we have Mac, Griff, Nate, Seeiah, Marisol, and Eddie."

The boarders lined up, and with a deafening scream from the audience, they were off, speeding downward. Nate led with Griff close behind. Mac was jostling with Eddie, and the afro went down.

"Nate is off to a great start, he leads going into the first twists!" Maddie exclaimed into her mike. Atomika suddenly had a strong desire to poke her in the side. "Griff is beside him, they go off to the side, guess they won't be taking the chance." She had a way of making even the most mundane words sound like liquid silk.

He shook his head violently, hair shaking. Liquid silk?

The race was completely uneventful aside. Seeiah and Eddie were knocked out of the running.

The semis roared up. The ousted boarders trudged back to the lodge. The racers grimly slid forward. The first line up was Zoe, Elise, Allegra, Nate, Marisol, and JP. They bounced to the gates, rivals glaring at each other.

Then Atomika's radio lit up, buzzing and squawking. He hustled outside so the mikes wouldn't pick it up. "What's up?"

It was Ormstead. "Mark, get down to the staging area in the back. Now. Some of our guys haven't called in for nearly a half hour, and you're the closest."

"Alright, alright. I'll get on it Orms." He went back inside, squeezed Maddie's shoulder twice to let her know he was going, and went back out.

Atomika dashed down the studio stairs, and brought three Patrollers with him. All the Patrol guys carried short thick batons for security reasons, and being hit with one hurt like a bitch. Orms hadn't been taking any chances this year.

The box he and Maddie had been perched in was a little ways from the course, but not far. All the same, Atomika jumped on a mobile and buzzed it all the way down to the backstage area.

He sincerely hoped that this wasn't what he feared. He hoped that someone had just forgotten to check in. The trip down to the staging area took less than five minutes, and when he approached the narrow entryway from the studio to the backstage of Metro.

There was no guard. Atomika cursed fluently and continued on, the guys were quiet behind him. They had the same thoughts he did. What had ASA done this time?

Atom approached the corner before the main backstage area, flattening himself against the wall, and peering round the blind corner, fearing what he might see, and three men in suits busy around the electronics was something he did not want to see.

Atomika shouted, nothing in particular, just a wordless expression of rage. He sprinted forward, the Patrol guys behind him sprinting forward with their batons raised.

Well, the dudes in the suits just about shit themselves, shouting in alarm and trying to make a run for it. Atomika closed in on the closest suit, already drawing his fist back for a punch.

Suit Man ducked, and socked Atomika in the gut. He choked, the air leaving him fast. Suit Man hit him again, right on the ear, and the side of Atomika's head burst in pain.

It probably would've have ended well for his modeling career if Mike hadn't come to the rescue with his baton. One solid swing knocked the guy to his knees with a bloodied nose.

"Thanks Mike." Atomika said as the Patroller helped him up. He timidly felt his ear. "Son of a bitch. That's really gonna hurt in the morning."

"No problem A-bomb." Mike replied with a savage grin. Atomika looked up and around. The two other ASA guys were gone, chased off by the other two Patrollers.

"Well, we caught one of these bastards, what do we do with him now?" The DJ asked, staring down at the figure crumpled on the ice.

Mike cracked his knuckles. "We call Ormstead. He'll know what to do."