Perhaps searching for Ed on Earth had not been the brightest idea ever. Earth was kind of big, after all. According to what Jet had told him, last word received from Ed had said that she would be located on the Australian continent with her father for an extended period of time. Apparently, there'd been a lot of meteoric activity there lately.
So Spike had been flying low over Australia with his electronic sensors on, hoping to pick up something, anything. He'd stopped at a few po-dink little burgs he spotted from the cockpit of the Swordfish, but no one seemed to know anything about an eccentric and his even more eccentric daughter.
Man, Spike mused, looking to either side of him. This place sure does suck. Why anyone would voluntarily live on Earth, let alone this particular section of Earth, befuddled him. He had seen nothing but flat, reddish-brown desert for hours. He'd seen the giant rock that everyone made a big deal about, and was distinctly unimpressed. Ayers' Rock, or some shit like that. Who cared? It was a big rock. Wow. Give the Earth a cookie for having some tectonic plate action!
Spike was vaguely shocked that he even knew what tectonics was. After all, it wasn't like Mars had plate tectonics or anything. For whatever reason, he'd watched a show on one of those learning channels once about Earth; its volcanism, its seismic activity, its plate tectonics. It'd been pretty interesting. But it made Spike really think about why people had ever lived on Earth, at all. Obviously it wasn't exactly the most calm and non-volatile place around.
That's why Mars was nice. Not much of anything happened on the Red Planet. Dust storms. Rain. Crappy weather. Bad traffic. That was about the extent of it.
Spike made a mental note to kick himself in the ass the next time he thought of going to look for anyone or anything on Earth. It was damned boring, and thus far, yielded no results other than boredom.
Jet jiggled the little card around in his hand, feeling supremely pleased with himself. He also wondered why it seemed easier to nab bounties when there was only one person working on it, and why it seemed harder to nab them when there was a combined effort of four people working on it. He figured it probably had something to do with the dynamic of the four people; how they interacted, and whatnot. Maybe they would've actually gotten more accomplished as a team if Spike hadn't been so determined to go balls-to-the-wall to his death, if Faye hadn't been as do-it-her-way-or-no-way as she had been, and if Ed hadn't been…well, as crazy as Ed was.
He'd moved the Bebop from Mars early that morning, parting ways with Spike for the time being. Spike had promised he'd make his way back to the Bebop on Jupiter before the day was over, but Jet had the feeling he wasn't going to see Spike until Spike had succeeded in locating Ed—which was probably going to take longer than one day. The letter from Ed that said she was going to be in Australia was a little over a month old; chances that she was still there were extremely slim to none.
Jupiter. Jet didn't like Jupiter, nor did he like any of the satellites surrounding it. Too many bad memories. Jet didn't really care for Ganymede anymore, and Jupiter was too close to Ganymede for his liking; therefore, Jet didn't like Jupiter anymore.
Plus, the weather was terrible. But then again, Jet didn't really like Mars much either. He wondered if there was a place out there for him, should he ever decide to settle down again and stop this whole bounty hunting business, or if he would come to find something about every single place he went to that he didn't like.
And yet, despite his dislike for Jupiter, there he was, walking into a bar on Jupiter, jiggling his little money card around in his hand, the little card that had just become about 4 million wulongs more expensive all of an hour ago.
The Black Dog deserved a drink.
Despite the insanity of the lunch rush hour, Faye still found time to be thinking. Both Jet and Spike had stopped in that morning, each saying their own separate goodbyes. Jet's had been a bit more formal, and had seemed like a much more long-term goodbye; it was evident that Jet didn't plan on seeing her for a while. He was off to Jupiter, chasing a bounty, and didn't know when he'd next be on Mars for any extended period of time. Spike? Spike had buggered off to Earth that morning while Jet was preparing to leave. He was on the hunt for Ed, and whether or not he actually found her would be another story indeed.
Spike's goodbye hadn't really been much of a goodbye at all. He'd come in and sat down at the counter instead of a booth, ordered a cup of coffee and asked for semi-blackened toast (which Faye had to toast repeatedly in order to attain a satisfactory level of blackness), and read the paper. Then he'd announced that he was going to Earth that day to scour the vast wastelands of Australia to find Ed, and that then he was headed back to the Bebop to meet up with Jet again. Spike planned on finding Ed that day, and then what they did after that would be anyone's business.
"So?" Faye'd asked him, after his declarations, wondering what the hell all of that had to do with her. "What do I care if you fly to damn Pluto today?"
Spike sipped his coffee and shrugged. "Sooner preferably than later you're going to have to come to the Bebop, too. Remember? My little plan?"
Faye, at this point, had launched into a tirade about how she couldn't exactly just drop everything and go to the Bebop whenever she felt like it. She had rent to pay, a cat to feed, and a job to keep.
"So when're you gonna quit this place and move out, then?" Spike asked, as if she hadn't said anything at all.
Faye groused and bitched and snarled, but at the end of all of it, Spike told her that he was going to find Ed, go back to the Bebop, and that if she wasn't there in a week's time tops, he was going to fly back to Mars and drag her to the Bebop by her hair, kicking and screaming all the way if he had to. She was in, whether or not she wanted to be.
"I thought this was an offer," Faye had grumbled, leaning in close, not exactly wanting to talk about some grandiose plan for mint-robbing in the middle of the diner as if she were talking about a baseball game.
"It started out as that," Spike had replied, staring up at her unflinchingly. "But the ball is rolling now, and I never got a reply out of you about it, so I made up your mind for you. We've got to get to work on this, and I'm quite sure that you're gonna need some fine-tuning of your dusty skills before I send you out into battle, and I don't know how much time I'm going to have for doing that."
"You asshole," Faye snarled at him. "Fuck you. I want out—not like I was ever officially in, anyways."
He stood up and pulled on his coat, folding up the paper and dropping some wulongs on the counter. "One week," he said, grinning. "Either meet us at the Bebop in a week ready to get to work on this or I'm coming for you, Romany. I think you'd rather come on your own, because if I have to come and get you, I don't think you're going to like it."
In the middle of refilling someone's coffee, Faye found herself wondering how her cat (aptly named, 'Cat') was going to take to space travel.