Elise Riggs walked into the Peak 1 lodge lobby with her suitcase rolling behind her, followed by three more which were brought in by bellboys. Her blonde hair was kept down while her sunglasses stayed on her face, and she looked around the lobby with a smile. She remembered the first time she sat down in front of the fire with a hot chocolate after a great run and had a talk with her old friend Eddie Wachowski, neither noticing the sun going down or coming up. It was their first night on the third SSX tour, and the two have remained friends since. When she got the invite to return to the Peak 1 lodge on this particular day, he was the first person she called.
Sadly, he did not receive the same invite.
She motioned to the bellboys to put her luggage near one of the couches that sat by the fireplace and sat down in a chair, puzzled. She was fairly early, a whole hour and a half, but she couldn't help but wonder who else had been invited back here, and why.
"Miss Riggs, welcome back!" She turned at the sound of her name and saw DJ Atomica, his arms wide open in hopes of a hug from the former model. "What have you been up to lately? Care for a drink?"
"Hey man, how's it going?" She got up from his spot and greeted him with a hug and laughed when she saw he was on his tip toes to get his arms around her neck. He always bugged her about her height. "Do you know what's going on here?"
Atomica shrugged his shoulders and gave a sly grin. "I have a slight idea." Elise gave him a stern look and smiled back. "Could I get a hint about who else has been invited?" She asked, her hopes just a little high.
He shrugged again. "You'll see soon enough."
"Yo, Riggs!" She turned again at her name and squealed when she saw Mac Fraiser. "I had a feeling you'd get an invite, looks like only us originals are coming back!"
"Us originals? Who else is going to be here?" Part of Elise felt guilty that she hadn't kept in contact as much as she wanted to do with SSX members, but for her, it was all part of beginning a new chapter in her life.
Mac grinned. "Let's just go to the conference room. I think Zoey is already there waiting." Now Elise felt even more confused. Since when did the Peak One Lodge have a conference room?
She followed Mac and Atomika to the conference room, but stayed behind the two boys. If it was something she wanted no part in, she would be able to bail without anyone seeing her. She walked consciously behind them, and was surprised when she saw Zoey at the front of the table on a laptop, clicking away. What surprised Elise even more was how professional Zoey looked: hair straight, piercings out...and was that a skirt she was wearing? Elise moved her sunglasses to the top of her head to get a better look: it was a skirt. As well as a blouse and...heels?
"Uh, I was told Zoey Payne would be here? Have you seen her by any chance?" Elise asked while lightly knocking on the door.
"Riggs! You did make it!" That scratchy voice sounded exactly like it did the first day they met. "Come here and give me a hug, you know I can't walk in these friggin' things." While the two had their differences when SSX first started up, it was a mutual respect for each other that kept their rivalry strong. "Take a seat, we're just about to get started."
It wasn't until then did Elise realize there were more people in the room than just her, Zoey, Mac, and Atomika. Moby Jones sat at the seat closest to Zoey, with a tired looking Kaori Nishidake sitting next to him, a fresh Red Bull on the table in front of her. All the SSX Veterans were accounted for.
Just when Elise began to take note of the new faces that were sitting at the opposite end of the table, the door was kicked open with a loud thud and matching scream. Psymon Stark smiled as he landed in the room. "Am I late?" He yelled, making his presence known.
"Oh good, Psymon is here," Kaori groaned, placing her head on the table. "So glad I left Nagano as soon as I could so I can be here with Psymon."
"OK, lets begin then." Zoey quickly interrupted Kaori's sarcasm, as she has seen just how far she can go with it when she's tired. "First, I would like to thank everyone for coming today. It means a lot to me that you have accepted my invite. With that being said..." Zoey shuffled her cue cards to get them in the right order. Elise was amazed at how well she tried to organize this. Zoey was always one of the last people she would imagine that would want to get 'the gang' back together. "I have invited you here today so we can discuss the possibility of reviving what brought us all together in the first place..." she clicked a button on her laptop and an image of the original SSX logo showed up on the projection screen.
"SSX first brought myself, Moby, Mac, Kaori, and Elise together in the year 2000, a mere twelve years ago. Until 2003, it was a successful franchise..."
"Zoey, I'm bored!" Psymon said from his spot at the very end of the table, with his feet up on the chair next to him.
"I get what you're trying to do, Zo," Moby spoke for the first time. "But be yourself. Put your cue cards down and tell us what's really up, yeah?" A brunette from the opposite side of the table gave a small smile to herself. Moby English accent was just as dreamy as she hoped it was.
Zoey cleared her throat and paused. What was she doing up there, trying to be so professional? Everyone knew that's not who she was, or who she wanted to be. She took a cue from Moby and took off the high heels. That made her feel a bit more comfortable. "Alright, look. I was reading a magazine and Griff was talking shit about SSX, and I took it personally. I know what it did for my career, and everyone else's, and it bothered me he's being so ungrateful about it. He was talking about making his own team and calling himself King of the Mountain."
Kaori leaned on Elise's shoulder and closed her eyes. The Red Bull wasn't working at all. "What I want is to re-start SSX. I've already talked to EA about it, and this is who I want on my team. I want all of you guys." That perked Kaori up.
"You want to re-start SSX?" The japanese star asked. "It's been almost ten years since we've all been together. And who are these new people? Why are they here?"
"I want them on the team too," Zoey said, finally taking a seat. "I discovered them myself..." Mac let out a loud cough. "I discovered them myself, except for Tane." She shot Mac a dirty look. "Tane, how about you introduce yourself?"
He stood up. He had very tanned skin and dark brown hair that was messy-spiked on top of his head. He looked as tired as Kaori, which Elise chalked up to jet-lag. "Hey, I'm Tane. I'm from Fiji, I usually surf, but Mac and Zoey took me snowboarding and I'm just as good at that as I am at surfing. Zoey asked me to be apart of the team and I said yes. I've seen what you vets can do, and I would like to think I too have the ability to carry on the SSX legacy as well as you have."
"How do you know Mac and Zoey?" Moby asked, leaning forward in interest. For as close as he and Zoey are, he was surprise she never mentioned Tane.
"Mac was in Fiji on vacation and invited Zoey to join him. They saw me hit some waves and started conversation. I flew with them to the Alps where I stood on a snowboard for the first time."
"Alexis?" Zoey motioned to the brunette that blushed when Moby spoke. She stood up.
"I'm Alexis, but you can call me Alex. Um..I'm a model and snowboarder. Oh boy..." She could feel her face go red. "I'm so nervous! I just admire everyone here so much, I can't believe I'm here! Elise, you're just such an inspiration to me!" Elise raised her eyebrows. Alex knew how to get her attention. "I used to practice your walk in the hallways at home in France, and then I read you snowboard, and I started because of you! I can't believe I'm standing in front of you right now, oh my God. This is so overwhelming..."
"Sit down, Alex. It's OK." Mac gave her a wink and a smile. She blushed even more. Before the French model sat down, the last guy stood up.
"I'm Ty. From Norway. I usually ran through all the tracks before you guys were allowed on them to make sure everything was smooth and uh, snowboardable, I guess. I'm from Norway, I don't know Viggo..." The vets laughed. Ty knew he would get on their good side with that joke. "And it would be an honor to be able to say I snowboarded on the same team as you guys." He sat down.
When he did, Zoey clicked on another button on her computer. A video on the projection screen showed up, and Psymon moaned. He knew exactly what this was.
"Snowboarding Supercross began in the year 2000. But now in 2003, it has become a phenomenon." Clips of past SSX boarders showed, along with behind the scenes footage and interviews they gave nine years ago. Kaori smiled and gave Elise a nudge when the blond showed up, sitting at a coffee shop. "You say my favourite line in this interview," Kaori whispered.
"Why is a model like you doing such a dangerous sport?" The interviewer asked.
"I do it for the rush," Elise answered with a smile. "When you cross that finish line, and you turn around and see how much you just accomplished...even if you get last, it doesn't matter. It's such a camaraderie among us that you just want to be apart of it. It's always felt like that, even with these new guys coming in. SSX isn't a sport for us, it's a lifestyle. It's life, really."
"So why stick with modeling if this is your life?"
Elise smirked behind her coffee mug and gave a laugh. "My modeling job pays for my snowboarding habit."
Everyone at the table applauded as Elise blushed.
"That is what I'm talking about!" Zoey stood up and shouted. "SSX was our life! Everything else we did was so secondary, but that was a line we all lived by: our real job paid for our snowboarding habit. And now we don't even need real jobs. SSX gave us so much!"
"I'm in." Psymon stood up from the back and pointed at Zoey. And for a rare second, he even smiled. "I can't hear Griff talk shit about what helped me become sane again. I want to defend the SSX name."
"Me too." Moby stood up as well. Alex blushed. The three new comers stood up, with Ty talking for them. "We just want to snowboard with you guys. You've inspired us to be who we are. You guys..."
"You're legends," Tane finished. "You changed the way people view snowboarding. We don't want to do it for the money or for the fame that you guys all had. We just want to do it because we love it, and we love what you guys did for it."
Alex gave a big smile to the veterans across the table. She was glad she didn't have to speak anymore because Ty and Tane said exactly what she was thinking.
"Alright, alright. Twist my arm why don't ya," Mac jokingly said. "The Mac Attack is back, baby! And you know where I go..."
"Kaori follows," Moby, Elise, Zoey, and Psymon ended Mac's sentence.
"Kaori follows," Kaori mocked, standing up and taking a sip from her Red Bull. "Of course I'm in! With or without Mac." She gave her best friend a wink, and the two exchanged a high five above Elise's head.
Zoey let out a loud breath of air and looked at the only person that was still sitting down. "We need you, Riggs. You spoke for all of us. We need that voice back."
Elise sat still and contemplated. What she really wanted to do was go back to her beach home that she was finally able to afford, and tan the day away. But she looked around and saw her old friends, all standing and waiting on her. She saw the look in Alex's eyes, praying she would standing up with them. If she inspired someone like Alex to snowboard, who else has she touched?
"I don't know guys..." she said quietly. Everyone groaned. "It's just... I'm in a different place now, you know? I don't need snowboarding anymore. I have my house on the beach, my boyfriend...we have a little boy together. He's five years old, but he needs me right now."
"I have a kid," Ty spoke up. "My girlfriend just had him three months ago. But I want to show him that I was cool once upon a time..." Mac laughed the loudest at the little joke, "and I want to provide a future for him, while doing something that I love, with people I idolized."
"I'm thirty-three years old now, though. What if I can't go like I used to?" Elise questioned out loud. "I don't want to let my family down, and I don't want to let down the SSX name."
"You won't know until you try." Alex's voice sounded choked up. "We can help you. Age doesn't matter to us! I understand you have a family, but you aren't leaving them behind. Did you see the map Zoey planned out? We can take them with us! So what if you can't go like you used to? We will all help you. We're a team...a camaraderie." Elise closed her eyes and sighed. She really hated it when people used her quotes against her. "Let's show Griff what he's messing with. He isn't twelve years old anymore. He can take it."
"Yeah," Kaori agreed. "Let's show him who the original Bombshell is!"
"Eliiiiiiiiise..." Moby sang. The blond laughed. Moby always had a horrible singing voice.
"If I say yes, will you stop singing?" She asked him. His eyes widend as he nodded his head so hard his dreads were flying all over the place. "Then...yes. I'm in."
She stood up from her chair and looked around the conference room. When she first walked into the lodge, she really had no idea what she was expecting. Seeing Atomika threw her off, but she didn't think she'd be re-joining the SSX team today. She didn't think she'd re-join SSX. Ever.
"Then it's settled!" Zoey yelled, jumping on the table. "Atomika, get on your radio and let the world know: SSX is back to take out Griff Simmons!"