Author: Michael Anthony Dioguardi

Chris dipped down on a spiraling vortex and examined the jet stream beneath him. He crept in on his board and inspected the area—as if searching for something.
“And we’re back at the 113th annual Great Red Spot Freestyle Championships, I’m your host Jeff Hadley here with Mike Spencer. Kenny Bradley is down in the action on the hydrosulfide ridge.”
“Howdy folks!”
“Good evening!”
“Let’s take a look at our athletes down below. Mike, what’s your take on Chris Ransom’s triple axel earlier?”
“Jeff, I’ll tell you, that was something else. Chris just has that finesse on those quick upshots. You know when there’s a lightning gust—he’ll be skimming the top of it with his board. He’s smooth and in control.”
“Mike, do you think he gets a little too close to that electro-jet stream? That’s risky business—too many talented athletes’ careers cut short by deep dives.”
“You’re right, there, Jeff. For the folks watching at home, the jet stream is most affected by the magnetosphere; it can throw off their entire trajectory coming off the ammonia layers.”
“Alright, let’s hear from Kenny Bradley down below.”
“Thanks, Jeff. Well, Chris Ransom has had quite a day. He’s got a twelve-point lead on Kerri D’Angelo who sits comfortably in second—looks like we’ve got Chris coming through a chromophore pocket right now! He’s riding the apex…. he’s starting to carve down.”
Chris lifted his board over the ammonia expulsion and turned around: He had found the location he was searching for.
“Chris’ footwork is unmatched.”
“Nice finish on the cascade. Wow! He’s going for another run-through?”
“Gutsy move. We haven’t seen a double-entry since Chris’ father, Jack Ransom, 15 years ago….”
Chris caught a glimpse of his reflection off the inside of his visor. He unpeeled his lips and whispered, “Pops, I’m coming for you…”
“Oh no…wait! We have to go to commercial! Cut the stream!”
“What? We’re live! We can’t?”
“Cut the fucking stream!”
“What the hell is Chris doing? He can’t make that run! Kenny! What’s happening? We’re off-air!”
“Chris is skimming the bottom edge. He’s going under the top-stream. I can’t see him that well. He’s floating in and out of the course perimeter. I think he’s attempting the same run his father—oh God…”
“No! His board! He’s lost it! Where’s the damn relief team?”
“Jeff! I got Chris on mic, listen! Chris?”
Chris’s voice trickled in through static and fuzz. “Don’t send the team, Mike.”
Seconds passed before Chris responded, “It’s okay, Mike. Jeff, thank you for everything.”
“Chris! Get it together! What are you talking —”
“I’m going to find my father’s body. Fifteen years ago, he became part of this storm,” more static filled the silence, “And I’m getting him back.”
“You’ll die in there! Chris!”
“That triple axel sure was nice, wasn’t it…I’m…star…..bre…re………li……….”
“Wait! Come in! Chris?”
The Great Red Spot swirled in its eternal frenzy as the commentator’s box reared back towards the transport ship beside Ganymede. Chris’ board remained suspended atop a convection cell emanating from the storm’s eye. The remaining riders rushed skyward to their support shuttles. Chris fell through the increasingly pressurized layers of Jupiter’s atmosphere. His vision tunneled and was replaced with the image of his father. His father’s hand stretched out and wrapped around his falling body as Chris felt the embrace of the clouds—forever rushing, forever red.