The Android's Blues
A Cowboy Bebop/Dragonball Z Crossover Fanfiction by Aoikami Sarah
Spike tucked a few grenades in his pockets and made sure his gun was ready for action. "You comin' 18?" he asked the android as she was lacing up her boots.
"Right behind you. Go ahead and launch the Swordfish."
He saluted and headed for his ship's bay.
Faye jogged into the room and came to a halt next to the sofa. "18, maybe you should sit this one out? Let me go instead."
18 smiled. "Still jealous?"
She grumbled. "No." Faye pursed her lips. "Just… I could use the cash!" she laughed.
The android shrugged, pulled on her gloves and walked to the airlock. "I'll be back," she called and the door slid shut behind her.
Faye paused and stared at the door for a second before jogging back out of the room.
Jet called Spike on the two-way as he sneaked into the warehouse. "Be careful, Spike. I don't like the looks of this place."
"Yeah, too many places to hide," he agreed.
18 stood very still and looked around. "There are five men in fifty food radius. Nine o'clock, nine-thirty, noon, one and one-thirty," she stated as she detected their presence. "And three more on the upper level at three."
Spike took aim and grinned wide. "All we want is the bounty head, fellas. If you throw him out here we won't have to hurt all of you to get at him!"
The sound of guns being cocked and Jet groaning in disbelief into the two-way echoed off the empty warehouse walls. 18 burst forward at the group between noon and one-thirty. Spike aimed for the upper floors and fired some shots to get the men up there to scatter. He was surprised to hear Faye's voice in his ear. "Spike! Get out of there, it's a trap!" she cried.
"Watch out, they're after 18!"
He turned to see where she'd gone and saw her lift a pallet off the floor to get at the men behind it. As soon as she touched it the loud crackling sound of electricity arcing filled the space and 18 fell motionless to the ground.
"18!!" Spike shouted and the place erupted in gunfire. He was forced to run for cover. Jet and Faye joined him but once they were able to get back inside, the men and the android were gone.
Faye cursed. "Come on, they must have gone out the back!" she cried and ran recklessly through the warehouse. The men followed but after a thorough inspection, they decided there was no trace of her. Faye was still upset and kicked a piece of industrial detritus and set it skittering across the pavement. "Whadda we do now?"
Jet thought for a moment. "I bet Ed can find her. Quick, let's head back."
Back aboard the ship Ed plugged away at her computer and swooned back and forth as she searched the net for signs of 18. "Juuhachi, juu-chan, juujuubee," she sang as she did. "Aha! Blue Fox syndicate home base just had a major drain on their power usage. Word is they acquired some fancy new tech-weapon."
"Is it her?" Faye asked.
"The Word doesn't know yet. Blue Fox says 'none of your business, bai bai!'" she laughed as she lost the connection with the criminals.
Spike frowned. "Where's the Blue Fox HQ?"
When they arrived, it seemed Ed's poking around had prepared the gangsters. The place was virtually deserted. Spike, Jet and Faye approached from different locations, guns ready to break and enter. To their surprise, 18 came out to see them.
"Hey, she's ok!" Jet called.
Spike narrowed his eyes. "No, she's not."
The android had been given a trench coat worn by the Blue Fox gang members. She took strange, almost sleep-walking steps forward and came to a stop. Her head turned mechanically and her left arm pointed at Jet. He was only just able to dodge the energy beam that shot from her hand. "I hate it when you're right!" Jet shouted and took up a defensive position around the corner of a neighboring building.
"Just 'cause I'm right doesn't mean I know what to do!" Spike shouted back. Before he could think of a suitable plan he noticed Faye out of the corner of his eye coming up from behind. "What are you doing, Faye? Get back! I know how strong she really is. You can't beat her!" he barked into the two-way.
"I'm not going to fight her," she said calmly. "Hi, 18. Remember me?" she asked, drawing the android's attention who lifted her hand a fired a shot that nearly took the woman's ear off. Faye paused but continued to approach. "I'm going to make this right," she said, clenching her fists. "We are the same. We've both forgotten. We're both out of time," she said carefully.
Stop!" Jet called. "They must have reprogrammed her, she can't
"I don't believe that!" Faye shouted. "I know you're in there, 18, because you're a person, not a machine, right?" 18 showed no signs of backing off and her hand glowed again, readying another attack. Faye cringed, but didn't back down and didn't fire her own weapon at her. When the blast failed to take her down, Faye opened her eyes and saw Spike standing in front of 18.
"You don't want to do this," he said, his arms were pressed against hers as if he had blocked her in the blink of an eye. "Listen to Faye, 18. Snap out of it!"
Back on the Bebop Ed typed faster than she had ever typed before. "Bebop to Juujuu. Bebop to Juujuu. Come in… Juujuu!" she chimed. "Open says me!"
18 narrowed her eyes and relaxed but didn't answer Spike. For an agonizing second he wasn't sure he made the best decision until she relaxed and flew up into the Blue Fox's second-story window. The sound of gunfire and humans screaming preceded an eerie silence.
Jet came out of hiding and joined Spike and Faye at the front steps. "Spike, I didn't even see you move, how did you do that?" he asked but 18 re-emerged before he was made to answer.
"18!" Faye cried.
She saluted. "Yo."
"You ok?" Spike asked.
18 nodded. "Thanks to Ed, I remember now. I remember everything."
Ed, Faye and 18 remained holed up in Ed's room for hours on end when they returned. Faye sat quietly and observed most of the time as Ed tweaked away on her computer which was attached to the back of the android's head. When she had finished, Ed unplugged and flopped down into a low bow before her. She pressed her forehead to the ground. "Ed is really really really really sorry!" she said loudly.
18 smiled. "You meant well."
Faye made a face. "Mind cluing me in?"
18 patted Ed on the top of her head and she sprang back up into a sitting position. "When you found me, Ed woke me up. When she hacked into my memory, she saw what I'd been through and realized it was what caused me to shut down. She blocked the memories so that I could function again."
Faye pouted. "What happened?"
"I lost everything. I watched my husband and children grow old and die. I watched the places I lived in grow and change yet I didn't. I had to move else the humans would start to wonder. Eventually I found some new friends and there was a glimmer of hope that I could find a new existence, but they were destroyed and I was left floating in space. I wonder what ever became of Harry's head. I was holding I when I shut down…" she said dreamily.
"Children?" Faye asked. "So you were human!"
"I think so. I never got to ask my creator, but I'm capable of having children, of feeling love, of feeling loss just like a human."
"You're creator was a genius," Ed said slowly. "He imported you from someone else and now Ed knows how."
Faye and 18 blinked at her. "You do?!"
A few days later Jet was beginning to worry. No one had emerged for more than a moment to get food or use the facilities in all that time. He and Spike milled around listlessly, wondering but every time they tried to find out what was going on they met with Ed's wrath.
The three women emerged at last looking tired and giddy, like a girls' club that has been keeping secrets from the boys. The watched them carefully, but got no clues as to what had transpired. 18 was dressed to go out with a leather jacket and a duffle bag over her shoulder.
"Going somewhere?" Jet asked.
She put the bag down and looked to the other girls. "I'm leaving."
"Leaving, leaving?" Spike asked.
"Leaving, leaving. I'm sorry I only made you 300,000 woolongs."
"Actually," Jet said and scratched his head. "Those Blue Fox guys had a few heads among them. We got more than enough to make up for it thanks to you!"
18 laughed awkwardly. "Well, that's good!" They stood in silence for a moment. 18 looked as if she was trying not to tap her foot. "It's been great! Maybe I'll come back and see ya sometime!"
They saw her out to the spaceport where she waved goodbye and blended into the crowd. "That was sudden," Jet commented. "I was kinda getting used to having a sensible woman around."
Faye scoffed. "Sorry about that," she said and put her hands behind her head. "And Spike," she said with a sly grin. "Sorry I never got to teach you how to catch bullets." Faye walked away and they noticed that she wore a pair of slacks, a white tee-shirt and a black vest rather than her usual provocative ensemble.
Ed giggled at the men's reactions and chased after Faye as she led them out of the spaceport. "Juujuu is a cowgirl!" she chimed again.