I come from a lineage of great surfers dating back to the 21st century on Earth. My name is MoonDoggie, the name one of my French ancestors gave to her first born son. I’m told this name cannot be repeated for ten generations. So that’s me.
I was no one special until a botTOG named Hurn caught a clip of me free falling down the face of Phaedra 18-C. It was on a dare and I was attempting a slide-in backside on a hotMELT. But things didn’t go as planned. I separated from the hotMELT and everything, including me, did a slomo vertical 360 then managed to come back together as if I had planned it that way. Hurn’s clip made me famous as faraway as Sagittarius-Carina and I was splashed onto the cover of sineWAVE. Now I can’t hit a break where someone or something doesn’t yell out, “Hey MoonDoggie! I dare you….” And that’s when the shit happens. And it’s weird shit.
The baggage that comes with notoriety has been mounting, so much so that my traveling buds are few and I don’t blame them, it’s a circus of bots chasing me, hoping to land the next cover and galactic stream. They’re like the razor scarabs you find at Noah’s Cove on Xeries; don’t open your mouth or they will find their way in and punch out your chest. My late friend, Oyen, found that out the hard way. These days I travel solo.
But here I am on Cyan-B and so far so good, not a person or bot in sight. I have used the last remaining koins earned from that clip in sineWAVE to get me here, bouncing my way through a couple of tokamak gateways, then knowing a dude who knew a dude running calibrations on a necker cube who got me the last jump all the way back to the Orion Spur. The dude had also provided me some bogus metaProfiles to use as chaff, throwing the bots toward Scutum-Centorus. I’m the last one laughing, Cyan-B is just a few ly from where I started.
There’s a feeling only surfers get when coming across a virgin break and here I am staring out at one. Twig’s forecast was spot on and as far as I know it’s a first for anyone ever being here. I found out why this place was never surfed after I landed. Turns out there’s a large amplitude dark matter wave just outside Joule, the binary star system I’m in. I now realize my chance of getting through that and not having been ripped to pieces was… well like… one in a million. I must be down to five lives now. Getting out might drop me to four.
I have never surfed in water; I mean Earth-like water, H2O with a salinity of 33 ppm. But this is why I have dragged an oldie from Earth, a 5.8 FocusFlex, quad-fin, DaveySky V2. This stick was handed down through the generations and hasn’t been used since it was custom carved for the first MoonDoggie. There are very specific instructions in the kit for when and how to use it. This place ticks off all the boxes: 1) White powdery sands, check; 2) Turquoise water, check; 3) Suns overhead without a cloud in the sky (ok, the kit mentions just one sun), check; 4) Surface water and air temperature holding at or above 80F, check; 5) Shoulder to head-high right point-break leading into a sandy cove, check; 6) And finally, a light offshore breeze teasing out the crests and keeping the surface glassy, check. I’m using it.
As I ran down the beach with the leash around my ankle, a crazy relic of the past, I was tripping with every step; how and why they used these things remains a mystery. I mean, isn’t that why magPads were invented? When I reached the water I shouted out at the top of my lungs, “I’m Stoked!” Whatever that means, but apparently it was a phrase my ancestors had used before hitting the waves. I’m glad no one was around to hear that, but who cares. The only person here is me. It felt weird that my skin was in contact with the water, and the board shorts that came with the kit looked and felt ridiculous on me. I had followed all the instructions, all the way down to using the sex wax of the deck and wondering why it was called sex wax.
‘Seek out and have fun with Nature.’ were the last words in the kit. So who is this Nature, I wonder?
I had just performed my first successful duck-dive with my arms straight down while gripping the rails as the barrel rolled over me. Then, pushing my knee onto the tail of the board, it curved upwards, just like the instructions indicated. But when I surfaced, I felt the heat of rotors raking over my back as a yell from about startled me.
“Hey wormhole! Watch it!”
Hovering above me was a girl on a slat wearing full skins. I could tell from the tilt of her head that behind her skins she was giving me a look. Then she throttled up, spraying me in the eyes before heading out toward the point break.
Shit! Where did she come from?
By the time I got out to there, my arms were spent and the girl had already caught the first two sets. So much for virgin break. I was anxious to catch a wave, but waited patiently just like the kit had instructed me to do. I was to ‘chill’ here for a time, letting the first couple of sets roll beneath me, a gift to Nature. This Nature was starting to piss me off.
Never having ridden an oldie before, it was difficult to gauge just how much effort this process was going to take me to catch a wave. The biggest hurdle I was facing was perspective. I was not comfortable being so near the surface, let alone in the water. How could anyone see what was coming? The kit instructed me to look for a dark blue line on the horizon, indicating an outside set was coming in. Seriously? But there it was, a dark blue line appearing on the outside to my right. So I kept paddling until I could see the set rolling in. I’ll be damned… It was a huge set.. Now I was instructed to sit up on the board–a bit wobbly– and rotate toward the beach. As the wave neared, I was to grab the tip of the board, lean back and push it down under me, then let it pop back up and forward, giving a nice boost into the wave. Slick. That actually worked and I wonder if I could do the same on my hotMELT? I kept my back arched, like the kit instructed, cupped my hands and stroked alternately until momentum took over. Dude, that was awesome and I knew the rest would be easy as I stood up and dropped….. in…. on the girl with the slat, knocking her off into the water, the leash around my ankle yanking us under as the ceiling came crashing down hard on the board. We were in a tangle but I managed to reach down and grab her by the waist then followed the leash to the surface. Ah…. that’s where the leash comes in. Smart. She was coughing hard and sucking in air as the next wave repeated its fury, then once again by the third wave of the set in case we hadn’t received enough punishment from the first two. When I came up, she was floating face down but still within reach. I rolled her up and onto my board, enough so I could peel back her skins and breath into her. Finally she spit up into my mouth and I could hear her suck in some air and cough up more water but by then we were near enough to shore for me to stand. I lifted her over my shoulder, the leash dragging my board onto the beach where I dropped down onto my knees and rolled her out onto the sand. I made sure she was still breathing before I collapsed onto my back. My hair was matted over my eyes and my eyes were caked with sand. I had sand in places I didn’t know sand could get to. But the worse was hearing sand crunching in my teeth, sending chills down my spine. If that wasn’t bad enough, that’s when the punches started.
“YOU PLASMA SCUM!” she screamed. “ARE YOU MISSING SOME BITS?”
She was looking out over the cove for her slat. WHERE IS IT? WHERE’S MY SLAT?”
I didn’t have time to answer the first question before more punches followed, punches that I could hardly see coming. If it wasn’t for her state of weakness it could have been a lot worse, but I managed to grab hold of her wrists and keep her still until she straddled me and drove her knee up into my groin. These board shorts are for shit. Fortunately, the pain was so intense my forehead shot up into her temple and that was the last thing I could remember.
We came to around at the same time. She was rubbing the side of her head with her hair and face plastered with sand. I sat up with my arms propped up in back of me.
“Are you, Nature, by any chance?” I asked.
She gave me a sideways look. “No you warp…” she replied. “Are you, Stoked?”