DISCLAIMER: Cowboy Bebop and its characters are owned by the anime companies that made them, and not by me.
Author's Note: This fanfic is in the first-person style, with the POV being Edward's for all but a few chapters (and when the POV is different, I won't switch mid-chapter, the whole chapter will be like that). I've never even attempted doing something like this before, so bear with me.
French Note: For the few French language bits in this fic, I'll be using Babelfish. So pardon my French. ^_^
"And it's a beautiful morning here in the Plarez region in beautiful Central America, on February 6, 2076! This is Nat Scanner, your morning DJ here on 345.3, radio for the resilient Earthling, and now it's time for your 9 o'clock block of nonstop rock!"
I opened my eyes and yawned, tiredly reaching back toward the snooze button on my clock radio.
"Still sleepy...." I mumbled. I knew it was a beautiful day, but I was just so tired! Yawning again, I sat up and blinked my eyes as some loud rock band blared on the radio perched on the shelf next to my bed. "Daddy, did you take my radio and switch to your poundy-poundy rock music again?"
No answer. He was probably outside or something, eating breakfast or checking out craters or something. I slid out of my bed and stretched my arms, then walked over to the closet and opened it up.
"What to wear, what to wear," I said softly. "Teddy bear!"
I removed my white teddy bear t-shirt from the closet and smiled. The shirt had actually come with a teddy bear, which I also kept on the shelf on my bed, next to the radio. I picked out a pair of green shorts from the small drawer near the closet and slipped off the pink nightgown I was wearing to put them on. After I had gotten dressed, I picked up a small pink comb from the top of my drawer and began combing my light-red hair which went down to just past my shoulders. It used to be short and unkempt until about a couple of years ago, when I visited Faye-Faye after she had docked on Earth. It had been a while since I'd seen her, and this particular time, she had wanted to share tons of fashion tips with me.
"Edward, have you ever thought about growing your hair longer?" Faye-Faye asked.
"Longer hair for Edward?" I replied, slightly bewildered. "But Edward likes Edward's hair the way it is! And Faye-Faye's hair is short!"
"Yeah, but your hair's not only short, it's all... well, it goes all over the place, and I think that a nice, tanned girl like you should grow it longer, especially since you're getting to be the age when men will start looking at you...."
"Men looking at Edward?" I said quizzically. "Um..."
"Just try growing your hair out a bit and see how it looks!" Faye said, smiling. "Just once, okay? If you don't like it, I'll... um..."
"You will let Edward style your hair!" I told her. "I have some funny-funny ideas for you, Faye-Faye!"
"You wouldn't... shave it all off, would you?" Faye asked.
I just smiled at Faye, a big, toothy grin. Faye smirked.
"Trust me, you'll love having your hair long!" Faye said. "You've got to show me how it looks too, okay?"
Growing out my hair didn't take very long, only a few weeks or so. And Faye-Faye was absolutely right! Growing it out made it a bit harder to take care of... well, a lot harder, since I'd never really messed with my hair before, but it made it a lot more fun, too! When I saw Faye-Faye again in three months, she was ecstatic, which was most of the reason I'd grown my hair anyway, to make her happy. After leaving the Bebop, I tried to keep in touch with Faye-Faye and Jet-person, with quite a bit of success, considering that I knew where to look (being a hacker and all....)! The first time I talked to them after leaving was three weeks later, when Ein and I had stopped at a small town and there they were, docked at the port to pick up supplies. Faye-Faye seemed so sad, so I asked Jet-person why, and he told me that Spike-person had been... he had been killed in a fight with a man named Vicious. I had never even heard of Vicious before, but hearing that Spike-person was dead... for the first time in a while, I cried. I didn't cry much, but I did cry, and I didn't cry again until a few months later, a short time after I had found my father, when Ein died after catching some sort of disease from a badly-prepared piece of meat that had been fed to him when we stopped at a restaurant. In the four years since I'd left the Bebop, I've never forgotten Ein or Spike-person....
After combing my hair, I walked out of my room and into the main room of the... not a house, but a fairly large trailer which my dad Appledelhi purchased for me to live in after I reunited with him and we went on the road together, several months after I'd left the Bebop. The trailer was hitched to the back of Daddy's blue pickup truck, and it was really nice. Daddy and I both worked to keep it clean (although I worked a bit more than he did), and the main room had everything I'd need, and then some, with the door to the bathroom located next to the door to my bedroom. The room contained a small kitchen, several chairs and a couch, a couple of tables, a small color television with satellite broadcasts beamed in from all over the Solar System, and of course, my trusty computer Tomato, which I had left out on the coffee table. I had just walked over to the kitchen area to make breakfast for myself when Daddy poked his head in through the main door.
"Francoise, I'm making some eggs outside on the grill if you want those," he said with a smile on his face. He still referred to me by my given name, Francoise, and I had stopped reminding him to call me Edward a long time ago. At least he remembered that I was his daughter!
"I'm fine, Daddy," I told him. "I'm making some pancakes, okay?"
"Ya sure?" he asked. "The eggs are lookin' mighty good today!"
"Nope-nope, I'll have pancakes thank you!" I said quickly. He nodded and went back outside, and I quickly fried up three pancakes, placed them on a plate, poured a generous amount of butter and syrup on them, and traipsed back to the coffee table, setting the plate next to my computer. "Now hmm, lessee..."
I began typing.
"Here we go!" I said happily, having quickly found what I was looking for. After taking a few bites out of my pancakes, I began typing again. "New Parisian Liberty College, Department of Admissions! Let's see... names... Adler, Agori, Anderson, Apennil... no Appledelhi yet? C'mon!"
Clicking on my mouse a couple of times, I went back to check my e-mail.
"Two new mails!" I said. "First one.... it's from Faye-Faye!"
I opened up the e-mail, and Faye-Faye's smiling face appeared on my screen.
"Hey Edward, guess what?" Faye-Faye said excitedly. "Today, we caught two big bountyheads!"
"Two!" Jet-person said, leaning in front of Faye-Faye and holding up two fingers. Faye-Faye pushed him away.
"One was a small fry, only 65,000 wulongs," she said. "But the second one... get this, SIXTEEN MILLION WULONGS!"
As Faye-Faye said the words 'sixteen million wulongs', her eyes lit up, and the biggest smile that I'd ever seen appeared on her face. She grinned.
"It wasn't easy, I tell ya!" Faye said. "Yeah, we had to chase him a long way. We caught him though. Jet roughed him up, and then yours truly pointed a gun in his face and said 'you're going down, buddy!'! Then, I slapped the cuffs on him and turned his sorry butt in! Can you believe it? Sixteen million wulongs! Well, I gotta go... can't have all that money without spending it, ya know? I'll get you a present or something though, k? Reply and tell me what you want, and it's yours! As long as it's not, ya know, too expensive. Just kidding! Anything you want! Well, catch ya later, okay? Wooooo!"
"I'm so happy for you, Faye-Faye!" I squealed. "Should I ask for something? She said anything Edward wants.... maybe a new dress? No, too girly. How about a car? But what would Edward need a car for..."
"You okay, Francoise?" my father asked, stepping inside. "I heard you squealing awfully loud...."
"Guess what, Daddy?" I said, still smiling. "Faye-Faye caught this big bad bountyhead and now she's got a ton of money!"
"They're still doing that?" my father replied. "Geez, who'd she catch?"
"Evidently someone really tough," I said. "I think Faye-Faye's exaggerating a bit, but her and Jet-person sounded like they had a tough time bringing him in!"
"I'll bet. Sixteen million wulongs is a ton of money... that'd buy like ten of these trailers. Well, I'd better go back outside before my eggs get cold. You sure you don't want any?"
"I'm sure. Want some of Edward's world-famous pancakes?"
My dad chuckled.
"No, that's okay," he said. "Get anything from the college yet?"
I shook my head.
"That's too bad," he said regretfully. "You know that's the college your mother went to, don't you? It's a really good school.... only the smartest and most dedicated scholars get in!"
"I know, daddy," I said.
"They've gotta let you in, especially after you completed all those advanced correspondence courses in like, seven months! You didn't hack their computers to get the answers and stuff, did you?" my father said jokingly.
"Edward could have, but Edward didn't!" I said. "Edward passed the courses fair and square!"
My dad smiled.
"I know you did, sweetheart," he said. "Well, like I said, my eggs are getting cold, so... gotta go!"
He left. I smiled again and looked back at my computer monitor, clicking on my second e-mail. This one was from the college!
"From Neo-Paris, Neo-French District of Mars... New Parisian Liberty College, Department of Admissions!" I said excitedly. "This could be it! Edward's goin' to college to get lots and lots of knowledge!"
I clicked the e-mail. A nice-looking man with neat gray hair and a short, gray mustache appeared on my screen, wearing a neatly-pressed blue suit. He was sitting at a large desk in a fancy-looking office.
"Miss Appledelhi, it is nice to finally be contacting you," said the man in the video e-mail. "Your test results have been astounding, and the work that you've completed in all of the SSSC (Solar System Scholastic Correspondence) courses has been superb. We believe that you would make a very fine student at our university."
My face lit up with glee. I knew it, I'd been waiting for this day! Finally a chance to study with some of the best scholars in the Solar System! I'd make some fun new friends, and-
"As with all of our promising applicants, we would like you to visit our fine university to take a tour and meet the department heads personally, as well as conduct a face-to-face interview with you," the man said. I calmed down a bit and stared at the screen. "Available dates are February 11, March 4, and March 18. We hope to meet you soon, and we also hope that you will be attending our university at the start of the 2076-2077 school year. Sincerely, Joliet Depardieu, Dean of Admissions at New Parisian Liberty College."
Well, it looks like I'd have to make a trip to Neo-Paris! I was very excited, since that was the place that my mother had apparently grown up. It was supposed to be a beautiful city... bright lights, splendid buildings...
"Edward is going to Paris!" I said, jumping up from the couch. I quickly finished off my pancakes and ran outside to tell Daddy the good news!
"So, let me get this straight. They want you to come to Neo-Paris and tour the campus, then talk to some high-up guys?"
"Isn't it great?" I told him. "Soon, Ed will be going to college!"
"Now hold on a minute," my dad said. "I mean, when's this thing gonna be?"
"Well, the closest date is the 11th, but there are two dates available next month too...."
"If you wanna get in, you should probably go as soon as possible," my father said. "Which means you'd probably have to leave for Paris tomorrow."
"You mean Edward can go right now?" I said, my eyes growing wider.
"Well, yeah, but... I mean you'd need to pack your things pretty quick, and-"
"So Ed can go?" I asked eagerly. "Really really really?"
My father smiled.
"Yes, Francoise, you can go," he said warmly. "You know how happy this would make your mother if she were still alive today?"
"She'd be so proud of you," he continued. "I can't fully appreciate all this college stuff, since I barely even finished high school, and now I'm just mapping out craters and stuff. I mean, I love my job, but... Francoise, when you graduate from that college, and I know you will, you'll be able to do anything you want. You're a brilliant girl, you know that?"
I nodded again.
"Oh... thank you, daddy!" I said happily, running up to him and giving him a giant hug. "Thank you, thank you, thank you! I promise to make you and mommy proud!"
I rushed back into the trailer and dashed to my room. I quickly whipped out a suitcase, opened it up, and began scanning the room for things to take with me.
"Francoise," my dad yelled from the front of the trailer, "this time, for once, you should probably bring a few pairs of socks!"
"But I hate socks!" I protested. "They make me fall and slippy-trip!"
"Not if you're wearing shoes too," my dad replied. "I insist you wear socks to that college thing, or you'll look... well, you know.... kinda weird."
"But Edward doesn't have a pair to wear anyway!" I shouted. "And I don't want to wear your big stinky socks...."
"Promise me you'll buy a pair when you get to Neo-Paris...."
"Alright, Edward will," I yelled.
"Great!" my father said, exiting the trailer again. After he left, I began packing my first suitcase. I quickly filled it up with several articles of clothing, mostly t-shirts and shorts. I knew I'd have to find something that looked nice to wear to the interview, so fortunately I had several dresses and skirts, including a dress that Jet-person had me wear a long time ago, to help him catch a bountyhead. It was a pretty dress, and it still fit me, so it was the first thing I packed into my second suitcase. I walked into the bathroom and looked around.
"Gotta pack a toothbrush!" I said, holding up a small red one. I grabbed the tube of toothpaste sitting next to it. "Daddy never brushes his teeth anyway...."
After I had placed those in the suitcase, I walked out to the coffee table and sat down in front of my computer again. Before I packed it, I wanted to check and see when a flight to Paris would be departing.
"Let's see here, flights to Neo-Paris.... gotta check... okay, here we go! Spaceflight 5485, leaving from Suarez Interplanetary Spaceport in Suarez City... not too far, only 75 miles to the city... now let's see how much a ticket to Neo-Paris is.... aaah, noooo!"
"What is it, Francoise?" my dad asked, stepping into the trailer and sitting down next to me. "Looking up flight schedules, huh? Did you find a flight to Neo-Paris?"
"Yeah, but it's pretty expensive... a round-trip is 55,000 wulongs, and even a one-way trip is 27,500!"
"Yikes, I love my crater-mapping job, but my boss only pays me 24,000 a month... geez, I'm sorry, Francoise... maybe you could go to Neo-Paris next month! I could scrap up the money by then, I'm sure-"
"Wait a minute! Faye-Faye's got a ton of money!" I said, remembering Faye-Faye's earlier e-mail. "Of course! Faye-Faye!"
I didn't want to e-mail her, so I ran over to the videophone and dialed up the Bebop's number. Faye-Faye's face appeared on the screen.
"Hey, Edward, what's up?" Faye-Faye said, smiling. "Didja get my e-mail?"
"Ed sure did!" I said. "Congratulations, Faye-Faye!"
"Thanks!" Faye-Faye replied. "So, Ed, do ya need anything? I've got sixteen million wulongs!"
"Edward sure does," I said. "The dean of admissions at New Parisian Liberty wants Edward to attend his college!"
"Really?" Faye-Faye replied. "That's great! You know, I went to college... well, before my crash, anyway. I'm sure you'll love it!"
"Anyway, the dean said that he wants Ed to take a tour of the college, but the college is in Paris and Edward needs money for a shuttle ticket! And you've got tons of money, so... Edward humbly requests that you send her the 55,000 she needs! Pretty please?"
"You know, Ed, the Bebop could come and pick you up and take you to Neo-Paris...." Faye-Faye said.
"No, it can't," said Jet-person's voice from offscreen. "That bountyhead shot out our engine, remember? We'll be in repairs for two weeks. Oh, and tell Ed I said congratulations!"
"Well, I guess I'll just send you the money," Faye-Faye said. "55,000 coming up!"
"Thanks, Faye!" I said. "Edward will repay you-"
"No, you don't need to do that," Faye-Faye said. "You're a friend, Edward! Anyway, have fun in Neo-Paris! Maybe we'll come visit!"
"Sorry, Faye, we can't," Jet-person said. "Busted engine."
"Dammit, I know that!" Faye-Faye yelled. She turned back toward the screen. "We'll visit you when you're in college next year. Bye-bye, Ed!"
I flashed off the screen.
"Yaaaaaay!" I squealed, doing a cartwheel across the floor of the trailer. "Thank you, Faye-Faye!"
"That's great, Francoise," my dad said. "We'll drive to Suarez City first thing tomorrow morning, okay?"
"Daddy, I'll miss you..." I told him sadly.
"I know, I'll miss you too.... it really won't be the same without you here, you know that."
"But when you get back, we'll throw a big party, okay?" my dad said. "You, and me, and Macintyre, and-"
"Faye-Faye and Jet-person?" I asked.
"Sure, we'll have them over too. Well, it's about time for me to head out. Big meteor shower last night a few miles west of here... rumor is that a whole plateau's been flattened to the ground! I didn't hear anything, so I don't believe any of that crap, but I did see the meteor shower, so I'm headed over to meet Macintyre and check it out!"
"Hope you find something big!" I told him. "I know every time a meteor shower happens, it's really exciting for you!"
"It sure is, sweetie," my dad said. "Well, I'd better start driving. Congratulations, Francoise."
He leaned down and kissed me on the forehead, then walked outside and started up the pickup truck. As the trailer began to move, I smiled.
"Well, it looks like Edward's finally going to be on her own again," I said to myself. "Neo-Paris is gonna be a lot different than Earth, though..."
I looked out the window and watched the desert scenery rush by. A new journey was just beginning for me... one that even my mind couldn't even begin to imagine.
And that's it for chapter one! Any comments, criticisms, whatever, please review! Because Radical Edward said so! ^_^