Session #27: After All These Years
When a new life is born a star is created in the heavens for that person. The star looks down upon and watches over the person until their death. If the person fears death or has not fully lived their life the star will fall, but if the person faces their end with bravery and no regret the star will simply fade back into the cosmos from which it was born.
Spike Spiegel, a syndicate member, born under a high red star, and Spike Spiegel, bounty hunter, a blue star in the distance. Both these stars hang in the sky simultaneously despite being for one person. He who tried to escape his first life and create a second. He succeeded in creating a new life for which a new star was born but he was still overshadowed by his first and so the star did not leave the skies.
He struggled through his life, heavy shadows of the past holding him back and restricting him until the most prominent aspect of his past left. Julia.
She had been his life, held his soul. His world was empty but beside her he felt fulfilled. With her gone forever every aspect of his past life came into question and he wondered if he had ever truly lived at all.
Nowhere to turn he returned to the BeBop, only to find no way to answer his question, and so he left again, against the plea's of those who loved him.
Vicious was killed, the syndicate crushed, a half destroyed building and a few awe struck members remaining. He knew then the answer to his question. When he had left the syndicate he told Julia they could live as if watching a dream. He realized now that it was his life in the syndicate he hadn't truly lived.
He slowly made his way down the carpeted steps of the now defunct building. Pain shot through his body, death stared him in the face. Raising a hand he smiled. Bang. His body fell and the red star above faded, the blue becoming clearer in the sky.
I don't hear a sound
Silent faces in the ground
The quiet screams, but I refuse to listen
If there is a hell
I'm sure this is how it smells
Wish this were a dream, but no, it isn't
Jet stared outward, his thought on what Laughing Bull had told him. Would, or had Spike truly died while he stood there, absentmindedly polishing the same spot over and over again. Faye leaned shakily against the wall, in the same position she had held for hours. Her face stung from dried tears fallen for a man she loved. Suddenly behind her she heard footsteps and Jet eventually walked past her. He stopped a few feet from her, his back turned.
"I just spoke to a friend of mine from the force. He said the syndicate building's been blown up and everyone's evacuated. I'm not gonna sit around here waiting for someone to tell us what happened, I'm going down there."
Faye nodded silently, then looked up at him, her eyes red. "Do you…" She began, stammering, "Do you really think he's…?" Jet tightened his mouth and turned around. "That's what I'm going to find out. Stay here, I'll let you know what I find."
He followed the corridors of the BeBop until he reached the hangar where the Hammerhead resided. Sighing heavily he took off into the red sky of Mars, heading in the same direction he'd seen his best friend take.
He'd never really acknowledged that, not out loud at least, that Spike was someone he truly cared for. The kind of person who'll stay on your mind forever no matter how long it's been since you last saw them. Jet grimaced at the thought that he may have already seen him for the last time. He accelerated a bit faster, not liking the strange tightness he was beginning to feel in his chest. He didn't like caring for other people. It always lead to disappointment. It had with Alisa, and again with Fad. Now it was happening once more. Clearing his head he focused on getting to his destination and what he would do once arriving there.
Wanna be free
Gonna be free
And move among the stars
You know they really aren't so far
Faye hadn't bothered to watch Jet take off. His lack of response to her was worse than if he had told her the truth. Not knowing… There it was again. That lack of knowledge she had held for so long. A soul with no true life, when her memory had finally returned she found nothing. All her searching had led to the greatest disappointment in her life.
But it had made her think a lot, about what a real life was. Whether it was the memories of a past or what she was doing right then, and realization hit her. She had already found the true life she had searched so frantically for long before the memory returned. She had resolved to push her past away voluntarily now. No longer was she the victim of some accident, a damsel in distress, a little girl. She was a bounty hunter. A strong woman who lived aboard the BeBop, with one of the most out-of-place crews in existence. A thought of Ed came to mind momentarily. 'Never thought I'd actually miss that kid.' She thought solemnly, straightening up and walking.
She stopped in a small room with a clear view of what was outside but her eyes fell to the floor, a painted message of red. Two simple words that meant so much. "Bye Bye Ed, Bye Bye Spike, and now Jet too." She sat on the floor, then curled up against the paint, her tears renewed.
Ten thousand years I've
searched it seems and now
Gotta get to you
Won't you tell me how
The area around the syndicate building was in absolute chaos. Flashing lights from the police and medical units made the air itself blinding as officers scrambled to pull people from the building. A large number of men had fled once everything was over, but with the syndicate leaders all dead many chose to turn themselves in. Dozens of body bags were carried out in a macabre scene while a small few were brought out to be treated.
Vicious' body lay lifeless where he had fallen. A man overcome by greed and power, he had worked to make himself stronger than any other, yet when he'd reached the entrance of the building he was being placed into another indiscriminate black bag to be forgotten.
Jet stood impatiently with the rest of the onlookers, several blocks from the building. Finally amongst the inner crowd he saw Bob coming towards him. After one of the guards spoke with him Jet was let in.
"We found him on one of the stairs in pretty bad shape. I don't have the details but he was shot at least once and had a huge gash across his abdomen. Burned in a few places, might have-"
"Dammit Bob! You know what I came here to find out, so stop stalling and get it out already. I mean if you're trying to soften the blow of somethin then you sure as hell ain't doin a good job."
"Hey, calm down man. That's what I was trying to tell you. He's alive Jet."
Been a fool, been a clown
Lost my way from up and down
And I know, yes I know
And I see it in your eyes
That you really weren't suprised at me at all
Not at all
And I know by your smile it's you
Spike's eyes first opened hours after his fight with Vicious. There was a bright light in front of him and he smirked. "How typical." He said to himself sarcastically. "I thought a true death would be more interesting."
"It probably is."
A voice, a familiar one. He let his eyes focus, then took his gaze from the fluorescent-lighted ceiling. "Jet?"
"Yeah." The older man smiled and leaned forward in the chair he sat on. "'I guess that tiger striped cat's got a while to go before he reaches that millionth life."
Spike couldn't help but laugh, but the laugher quickly turned to a hard cough. "Whoa, calm down." His partner warned. "You may be alive but you still gotta rest. Go to sleep, I gotta call Faye and tell her what's going on." Spike nodded with no real intention of sleep. He'd dreamt for long enough.
Walking out Jet headed to the street and walked to where he had left the Hammerhead. He quickly called in to the ship and waited for Faye to pick up.
Still on the floor she could hear the sound clearly. Her mind registered that it had to be Jet trying to contact her but her body refused to move. If she just stayed there, time could hold still and she wouldn't have to face what might be. Time would be on her side for a change.
Giving up, Jet headed back letting out a tense breath. 'Now where could that woman be? Thought for sure she'd be waitin' right there to hear what happened. Maybe she fell asleep…" Laughing a little, he headed back towards the hospital to check on Spike.
WELCOME BACK SPACE COWBOY
Jet: This next one isn't exactly my kind of story. It's sorta depressing. Everyone's all moody and pensive but I guess that's to be expected with things like this.
Next Session: A New Moon and an Old Serenade