Episode 4, Act 1: "School Days..." The weekday started off like any other day. Michael, Rachel and Rebecca went to Ultima’s Academy while Duke (whose face was miraculously repaired by the Professor) was back at his family’s farm as Chief Web Designer & Net Security Technician. Michael was on his lunch break and happened to be passing by the girl’s locker room when a flier caught his eye. "1st Annual Double Team Hoverboard Scavenger Race this weekend at Booster Canyon. All couples welcome." He stared at the notice for a moment. "Grand prize is a three-day, two-night stay for four at the fabulous Rolas Resort in beautiful Helio Central." He stood there lost in thought. "If I remember correctly, it's supposed to be one of those five-star beach resorts." Michael looked at his watch. "I should tell the others about this. We never got to go to the beach because of what happened last weekend, so this should make it up to them." Michael was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn't hear Zack coming from behind. "Well, well. Thinking about entering the race?" he drawled. "What's it to you, Powers?" Michael said brusquely, readying himself for the usual taunts. "Do I sense a bit of hostility? Relax, I'm not here to pick a fight. I'm just here to wish you luck." Zack had a suspicious grin on his face. "Uh..." Michael was a little taken back by the comment. "Thanks, I guess." Against all his core instincts, Michael took his eyes off of Zack and turned back toward the flier. A few seconds later, he felt his legs being swept from underneath him, causing him to fall forward. Unfortunately, Rachel was just coming out of the locker room at that exact moment. As expected, Michael's face implants itself in her... "You pervert!" Michael knew it was coming and was determined that he wasn't going alone. The split-second before Rachel's fist connected, he aimed himself right into Zack's path. WHAM! As soon as he went airborne, to Zack's astonishment, Michael collided with Zack and they both ended up slamming into the far end of the hallway. Zack, who was not used to Rachel's attacks (he had never ticked her off while they were dating), winced at the dull pain in the back of his skull. Michael, however, cricked his neck back into position and calmly stood up. "Shake it off, Powers. That's what you get for trying a cheap shot." And with that, Michael casually walked toward his next class. ... "Are you serious?" Rebecca exclaimed. Michael was able to meet Duke and the others for a quick afternoon snack. "Helio Central is one of the leading areas in energy-efficient research on the planet. The entire area is pretty much solar-powered." "I guess that's why it's near the equator." Duke chimed in. Rachel's eyes became glassed over in thought. "I could get a major full-body tan over there." she said dreamily. Michael cleared his throat. "Hate to break it to you, but the print says 'Double Team'." It took a few seconds for those words to process. "You mean to tell me that to participate, you need a partner?" Rachel frowned. Everyone knew that out of their hoverboards, Michael's was the only one capable of holding more than one person. "But that means..." "That means that Michael must be one of the people on the team. He’s the only one who knows how to operate it properly." Rebecca stated. "I know the mechanics of Rush, but I'm not any good at this type of competition. So, I guess I'm out." "Same here." Duke agreed. "I mean if it were just a simple back and forth trip, sure. But racing is a whole different story. Which leaves..." Rachel's jaw dropped. "Are you serious? I have to team up with this perv?" she exclaimed jerking a thumb toward Michael. "Come on, Rach." Michael said. "Our plans of going to the beach were scrapped, so I figure that winning this race will make it up to you guys." Rachel pursed her lips in thought. The others could see that she was struggling between the thought of being alone with Michael and to actually be able to go to the beach. She gave a sigh of defeat as she nodded in agreement. "Hold up, dude," Duke said. "What’s it mean that it’s a scavenger race?” “It pretty much means you race through certain areas taking pictures of hidden landmarks to prove that you made it to checkpoints,” Rebecca explained. "Alright, now that's settled," Michael said fired up with anticipation. "Let's get started!" ... Over the next few days, Rebecca, Duke and the Professor were hard at work upgrading Rush in an area of the lab. In the training simulator, Michael was giving Rachel a crash course in the sport of hoverboard racing. "Isn't there any safety harnesses besides those footholds?" Rachel complained. "Do I really have to hold onto you to keep from falling?" "Look, I'm going to say this again," Michael repeated for the tenth time. "In double-team hoverboard racing, there's the navigator and there's the pilot. The pilot's job is to be in front and steer the hoverboard from obstacles and to keep an eye on the road. The navigator's job is to make sure that the pilot stays on course and keep an eye on the hoverboard's systems via holographic display. The hoverboard senses the rider's body position and angle and automatically adjusts to keep the riders upright. That's why if there are two riders, they must move as one unit or else the hoverboard's balancing system might crash in mid-flight. "Since this is also a scavenger race as well, the navigator's job is to also keep an eye out for the landmarks. You'll be able to take pictures with this." Michael holds up what looked like a thin white headband. Instead of wearing it like an upside-down U, he placed it sideways so the center was resting on his ear. "Just press this," he says pushing a small button on the headset. Instantly a small rectangular screen with a red crosshair etched in the middle appeared in front of his left eye. "It'll automatically take the shot of whatever you're looking at, time code the picture, and store it in its memory bank. "So basically it's just an extremely portable digital camera." Rachel summarizes. "Pretty much." Rachel's face said that she wasn't really keen on the idea of being forced to hold onto Michael. Michael smiled. "Look, it's not like we haven't been together on a hoverboard before." Rachel's eyes widened in surprise. It was the first time that either of them had ever referenced that first meeting three years ago. There was an almost awkward silence. "Michael?" she purred softly in an un-Rachel-like whisper. She looked deeply into his eyes. "Yes, Rachel?" Something about her face slowly coming closer to his had Michael's heart beating faster. "I..." Their lips were just inches away... "Ahem." Duke had just come in. "I’m not interrupting anything am I?" Michael and Rachel looked away from each other in embarrassment. "Er...what’s up, Duke?" Michael asked. “Just wanted to tell you that Rush is ready to be unveiled.” “It’s about time,” Rachel huffed impatiently with her usual swagger. She started for the door. Duke glanced at Michael and gave him a mischievous grin. “Duke, what are...?” Michael asked as Duke slowly peeled off his glove. Then without warning, he slapped Rachel’s butt with it. Her head whipped around at Michael. “Michael, you...” "Duke!" Michael cried in astonishment. Rachel raised her fist. "Rach! It wasn't me!" Michael protested. "You pervert!" KAPOW! Michael's body flew headfirst right into the wall. Rachel blew on her fist, turned on her heel and stomped away. "What the hell was that for?!” Michael yelled. Duke shrugged. “You two were about to get it on, right?” Michael looked at him, stunned. "I figured you two weren't ready for that yet."