Green Light Requiem by The Lady Arianrod
A/n: this is a session of Cowboy Bebop based on the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.... these two are actually very similar, both with a lost-love, dream-ending, jazzy atmosphere.... both are very sad...
Anyway, this is an adaption of that tale with Gatsby as the bounty..... or someone based on his character.... just read to find out.
This will be sad.
Disclaimer: I don't own Bebop, Sunrise does. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby... read it!
The television screen glowed to like as Spike stared at it groggily. It was late on Thursday and the Bebop was drifting through the interminable reaches of space, as usual.
The "Big Shot" bounty hunter show came on, with its trite announcements and corny music. Spike was about to go back to sleep when he heard a new announcement:
"We have word that the latest bounty head is a man that calls himself Gatsby. He is wanted for bootlegging and petty theft on Mars and Venus, as well as a few moons of Jupiter. The bounty on his head is 35 million woolongs," said the television as Spike watched it in the dim light.
The screen showed a man in his early thirties with brownish hair. The photo wasn't a mugshot but a candid photograph of him at some kind of fancy party.
"So he's a millionaire...." Spike mumbled to himself as he made a mental note of the name. Gatsby.
Then he drifted off to sleep.
Three hours later, Jet wandered into the main room of the Bebop to make tea for himself. He saw Spike sprawled out on the worn couch and shook his head in friendly disdain. Jet's face then became stern as he shouted:
"Spike, what the hell are you doing asleep? It's eight o'clock in the morning! Get off your ass and see if we can do any bounty-hunting today!''
Spike woke up in a shock and rolled off the couch. Cursing to himself, Spike ran a hand through his afro and glared at Jet.
"What are you talking about? I don't feel like going to catch anyone.... wait," trailed off the space cowboy.
"What's up, Spike?" asked Jet, interested.
"I did see a reward for some guy named Gatsby. He's a bootlegger and a thief... I think he smuggles illegal spaceship parts or something. He's a millionaire, too," Spike said, fishing for any other fragments of memory.
"How much is the bounty on this guy?"
"35 million woolongs."
Spike nodded, grabbing a cup of tea on his way out. He headed to the Swordfish II.
"I'm going to do check out this case alone. I think that he lives on Mars," said Spike. He ran into Faye on his way to his spaceship.
"Watch where you're going, Spike!" Faye yelled, annoyed. She ran a hand through her violet hair and stood impatiently, frowning at Spike.
"Sorry, Faye," Spike said with sarcastic sorrow.
"Men. Hmph," Faye grumbled as she went to watch TV. Spike was already starting up his engine. He headed away from the Bebop and turned his vehicle towards Mars.
"Okay, Gatsby. You're going down," Spike said with a smirk. He slammed on the accelerator and set across the stellar sea.
On a distant corner of Mars, a young man in his early thirties was sitting down to his morning tea. He was alone in his expansive home, with only the bright sunlight and swirling memories as company.
Bored, the man stood up and went outside to survey the world. He saw only one thing: the one reason that he became a bootlegger in the first place. It was his reason for existence...
A blinking green sign.
It was the neon sign that hung on the outside of a bar that was located somewhere in the city. Beyond the constant whir of air-traffic and feet stamping the pavement, she was there.
She didn't work at the bar. Well, every once in a while she would sing there to entertain the world-weary people that needed an escape. Dolores, with her blonde hair and movie star eyes...
And her husband, Dan.
Dan was the wealthy owner of a large hotel in town. He and Dolores rented out a high-scale apartment next to the hotel, down the street from the bar.
Gatsby had always wanted to just go up into that apartment in the lofty reaches of that building and take her down, away, to be forever his.
He did have Dolores at one time. Then he was called away by business and she didn't wait for him. Even so, he'd wait for her forever. He was still doing this.
And so Gatsby started to make more money, not just to buy back Dolores but to get a big place that was close to the city, just so he could always be close to her. Little did he know that she had already distanced herself from him, leaving their love at the cold corners of the endless universe.
Gatsby made his first hundred million woolongs in the black market. Nothing that he owned was honest, it was all from illegal parts of spaceships. However, his dream was honest and so was his hard work.
Gatsby worked so hard that he didn't consider himself a criminal. He didn't even think of what he was doing anymore, just of that distant blinking sign.
The brown-haired man reached a hand toward the sign, holding up his outstretched arms with a growing effort.
Eventually, his hands fell.
Spike lowered his spaceship to the red surface of Mars. He was next to a gray urban area that pulsated with constant traffic and the endless flow of life.
He contacted the Bebop with his video monitor. "Jet, give me some more info on this guy," Spike said, folding his arms and leaning back.
"Well, look for a mansion just outside of the city. Gatsby should be there, not on any business right now. Check it out," Jet answered. Spike nodded and flew the Swordfish II to the city limits. On the other side of the Martian metropolis, he saw an affluent neighborhood.
"This should be the place," Spike said to himself. The lanky bounty hunter lifted himself from the cockpit of his vehicle and landed on the ground. The lawn was finely mowed, he noticed. Spike walked up to the door of the specified house, pausing to look over the mansion.
"Damn," he commented.
Spike kicked open the door, readying his handgun. He heard no sounds from the empty house, so he wandered in. To his left, he saw a sitting room, most likely unused. Down the hallway, past priceless artifacts of wealth, he saw a grand living room upholstered in furniture from across the galaxy.
Spike saw a man sitting in one of the plush arm-chairs. He appeared to have just returned to his seat when Spike ran over and drew his weapon, aiming the gun at the man's face.
The man calmly stood up, putting his hands in the air. "What are you doing here?" he asked casually, straightening his tie and smiling cordially.
"Are you attempting to make conversation or rob me?" he continued, raising an eyebrow. Spike shook his head.
"You're Gatsby, right? You're wanted for selling parts on the black market and also theft," he said smoothly. "You're under arrest. Let's go."
Gatsby stared blandly as if he had no idea what Spike was talking about. "Listen, I'm not a criminal. I'm only a citizen and a party host, but I never did anything wrong in my career," he said casually.
"Yeah, tell it to the police," Spike said. Wait.... why was this man alone? If he was a gangster, wouldn't he have men to protect him? Or maybe he was so absorbed in his wealth that he put on a false face, pretending to not be a criminal...
If he was fooling Spike, he was doing a damn good job of it.
"I can't prove that you're this Gatsby guy, because there's no evidence. But we'll be watching you, Gatsby," Spike said, taking his weapon and putting it back into its holster.
Spike headed back to the Swordfish II and contacted the Bebop. Faye answered this time, and she was busy painting her nails as Spike began to complain.
"This guy isn't a gangster! He doesn't even have any men around protecting him! He's just an insane rich guy, that's all. I couldn't catch him because we had no evidence! It seemed too normal," he said, annoyed.
"Oh really, Spike? Mm-hm. Yep. What did you say?" Faye mumbled, not looking up. Spike sighed, exasperated.
"Nevermind, Faye. I'll just look around Mars for any more thugs," he said, signing off the transmission system. Spike flew his speedy vehicle over to the city to look around.
A few hours later, Spike found himself at the heart of the bustling city. He didn't see anything unusual, just the normal shadowy strangers in the sea of faces. With his hands in his pockets and a cigarette lit, Spike made his way to a bar. It was easily spotted with its flashing green sign.
Spike sat at the bar and didn't look around at the people around him. He just saw a heavy cloud of smoke and heard a band playing some old jazz that had been composed back on the Earth before the Gate Disaster.
A woman began to sing in a rich, husky voice as if she had a severe case of the blues. Her low song carried to Spike's ears and made him lift his head. He saw a blonde woman, not over thirty, with long false eyelashes over her bright eyes. Her demeanor was familiar, calm and sad and distant.... she reminded him of Julia.
Spike turned to his left as he took a sip of his drink.
"Man, that girl seems like she knows how to sing the blues inside and out," he said in his slow, deep voice.
"I know. I watch her a lot. Her name's Dolores. Believe it or not, she's rich," said the wistful voice next to him. Spike recognized the timbre of the man's voice and turned to see Gastby.
"What are you doing here? Isn't this place a little low class for you?" said Spike, musing over his amber beer.
"Not really. Dolores sings here and every once in a while Dan shows up," he said, with a hint of disappointment in his voice.
"I take it you wish she was your girl," Spike said, not looking at Gatsby directly.
"And then you lost her to someone else, right?"
"Yes, I did."
"I understand you," Spike said, lighting another cigarette. "Want one?" he asked casually.
"I usually don't smoke, but this time it doesn't matter," Gatsby said, taking a cigarette. Spike frowned to himself. Nothing probably mattered to this man, another victim of loneliness and lost love.
"Do you ever talk to Dolores?" Spike asked Gatsby.
"Not much, no. She sometimes throws me a glance, just one look of longing. Maybe she still loves me. It doesn't matter, because I'll always--" Gatsby cut himself off, feeling as if he had told too much to a stranger.
"It's fine. I hear so many stories all the time because I never stay in once place. I'm a cowboy," Spike said.
The night carried on slowly and Dolores stopped singing for a moment. She went to get a drink at the counter and looked wistfully at Gatsby for a moment, blowing him a kiss with her small hand.
Gatsby smiled slightly, barely the shadow of a smile. Spike watched them trying to recreate a love that once was, something that even he knew was lost. And he'd only know Gatsby for a day.
"Gatsby, how did you make your money?" Spike asked at last.
"I was in a certain business. I did work for a while, but I also began to ship and sell parts," he said slowly, knowing that he could get caught for this. For some reason, Spike didn't want to take in this man. It was pathetic almost, that he could be so rich and yet so unhappy.
"What was it all for, Gastby? The girl?" Spike asked.
Gatsby nodded, extinguishing his cigarette. Spike still puffed on his, releasing amorphous clouds of smoke to the ceiling.
"I had a woman also. We lost what we once had. Now, I'm forever looking for her. Maybe someday I'll catch up with Julia again," Spike said, amazed that he had uttered that rarely spoken name.
"Good luck with that," said Gatsby as he stood to leave.
"Well, I'm going to head home," he said at last, turning to walk home. The night sky was covered with patchy gray clouds that climbed the ceiling of the sky. Spike watched him go, then turned to look at the blonde woman. She didn't turn to say good-bye.
Outside, Gatsby looked up at the blinking green sign. He sighed slightly, knowing that even though he'd see Dolores again, she'd never love him like she once did. And yet he still felt a future for the two of them on those wild nights in the city, under the green sign.
Spike heard echoing gunshots outside. Drawing his gun, he saw two men in business suits standing over Gatsby. Spike turned to look at them with dull surprise and slight disgust.
"What was that for?" was all he asked, as if it was meant to be.
"This bastard took too long to pay us back. We were the ones that started him in his business, and we finally had the chance to finish him off," said a stocky man. Spike let them go, knowing that they'd be caught by other bounty hunters eventually.
The sky became darker and a light drizzle fell to the streets. As the cold, gray rain began to fall, Spike felt the true reason for Gatsby's crimes. He felt the fatal honesty of the dream that Gatsby had believed in for too long, and through the rain he saw that it was really over.
Spike turned away from Gatsby's body with a kind of universal sympathy, a quiet nod to the man with the failed dream. It didn't matter that he might not get paid for the bounty on Gatsby. It was all over.
back to the Swordfish, Spike cotacted Jet.
"Did you get him, Spike?"
"No. It was too late. The guy did himself in at the end."
"Yeah. I'm coming back to the Bebop, Jet. Save some of that sukiyaki for me," said Spike with a slight grin.
End: Well, I can say that I liked how this turned out. Tell me if this felt like the Bebop show's atmosphere, if I blended the Great Gatsby book in well (i changed a few names, of course), and if the characters were in character, and how the writing was, etc.
Comment, criticize, review!
See you space cowboy......