In time Spike healed, but was far from total mobility. It would have been sooner, Reya argued, "If the stubborn ass would take the treatments even remotely seriously!"

They eventually moved him to more private accommodations that could only be described as a hippie king's zen room. Spike was comfortable with home remedies, but this was a bit much. God he could use a cigarette, but all of them said no to that.

It left him a lot of time to lay back and think, and sleep. He every time he was pulled into sleep he cursed Reya for whatever she was putting in his food. He didn't dream as much as have nightmares, but he was thankful that no one checked on him during such moments of vulnerability. Spike was bored from thinking about everything but couldn't stop doing such. He admitted to both Annali and Reya that he would rather have a change of scenery and go outside, but both vetoed that stating that the weather outside had turned from temperate to full on snow dump.

He didn't see much of the other guy, Vonn, except in passing. He didn't say much except yes to Reya when she hollered down the hall for whatever witch potion she was forcing upon Spike. Annali stopped by to give him updates on the damage he left behind on Mars. It appeared that no one had listed a suspect and so far he was in the clear.

Spike only nodded at the news, affirming he heard but not much else. It was a botched suicide after all. God, all the thinking he was left to do while he gained more of his mobility back in his leg and arm.

One day he watched the women pass his open door dressed to face the snow. Annali turned back to the threshold, "Anything you can think of we need to get you?"

Spike didn't respond. He wanted cigarettes but that request was in vain. He was left to think, wonder, and dream for endless hours. Spike was getting cagey and wanted out, but there were two problems: Annali wouldn't let a man with nothing left to live for go out, and that he had nowhere to go. The crew wouldn't let him go anywhere. The only place he could go is in his dreams.

/ / /

Spike woke up an hour later to loud music echoing from the halls. "Déjà vu," he grumbled. It was a very old song he only heard in establishments that old folks frequented, otherwise known as the pity penny bounties. He hated it. He actually began to hate music and how it brought up memories, the good and the painful ones. Actually, the line between both was blurring.

Spike slowly got out of the bed, dressed up in the black sweat pants and flannel button up, and made his way out of the room, limping along the way, to the source of the racket. He had yet to have a grand tour of Scorpio. He had only seen the hall from the infirmary, the communal bathroom, and his room. It took two left turns and down some stairs to find the source.

It appeared to come from the hangar that rested in the belly of the ship. A monoship was opened up from the cockpit with the front console gutted and wires feeding out and down to what he presumed was a power source.

Spike found the source of the music and hit the pause button on the keyboard of the open laptop.

"Hey!" a voice called from the cockpit. "Turn that Kenny Loggins back on!" Vonn pulled himself up and out from the console and saw Spike standing below. "Oh hey, man. You're up and about. Finally."

"Had to eventually. You're music is shit man, and I'm tryin' to get some sleep." Spike snarled.

Vonn jumped down from the monoship and hit the play button. "Sorry it woke you up, but it helps keep me focused in order to get this stuff fixed up, in case you didn't hear, we're a snowed in on the harbor. Just have to wait out the storm and we'll be moving again. Until then, I'm going to keep making these mods to this thing's computer." The young man wasn't going to have any of this stranger's attitude. What he was doing was for the betterment of all of them. A monoship is essential for bounty hunting.

Vonn caught himself snapping at their injured guest and shook his head apologetically. "Hey, my bad. Where are my manners? Haven't had a real introduction yet." He held out his hand to Spike, "The name is Vonn."

Spike obliged and returned the gesture.

"Alright. Sorry, I'm just very touchy when it comes to the mods. I have been meaning to update the hardware on this thing, working on a cloaking signal for this ship and Annali's and it has been very time consuming."

"Cloaking? Who're you hiding from?"

Vonn raised his hand in a noncommittal gesture, "Anyone really, except head command here. We had a run in with the space pirates a few months back. Turns out they were infecting everyone with viruses, but at least we didn't get it. Also turns out Reya is a hell of a pilot when she wants to be. Got me thinking about our current stealth systems."

Spike was now curious and walked closer to inspect the hardware feeding into the ship's console, "And this is supposed to help with bounty hunting?"

"Hell yeah. Think about the edge we would have if we can be selective about who could see us?" Vonn was getting excited about explaining his new project. It reminded Spike of Ed and how she would squeal and squirm when she made a breakthrough with her hacking for the Bebop.

"Who would have control over this?" Spike asked.

"Only the pilot on an as needed basis. It does however drain on the battery the longer it is on, like leaving lights on by accident with cars."

"So you're the engineer here?"

"Engineer, occassional pilot and hunter, and resident hacker," Vonn replied proudly. "Been on this ship most of my life, second only to Ryker, so I know Scorpio inside and out. You have met Reya and already know the first mate, although I will apologize for Reya. She is pretty headstrong, but it comes from a place of caring."

"Does 'caring' include putting sedatives in my food?" Spike asked sarcastically.

Vonn smiled, "Ah she got you too. Chill, it's just melatonin, totally natural. She has a medical license, but practices holistic medicine. If it makes you feel better, she does that to everyone, even Ryker."

"Who is Ryker?"

"The captain, duh. Don't worry, you'll meet him, but he has been off the ship for a few days taking care of some business or whatever. He's like an uncle to me. But anyway, just work with Reya and you'll be good as new sooner."

Spike scoffed, "You seem to be a believer."

Vonn smirked and chuckled, "Happy wife, happy life, am I right?"

/ / /

Spike continued his self-guided tour of the place. It was smaller than Bebop, but it wasn't originally built to be a fishing trawler. The common area in the middle of it all was small with a beaten up leather sectional couch, and around it on the second floor catwalk were the doors to what he assumed were the crew's individual quarters. Up another set of steps and down a hall lead to the galley that resembled more of an actual kitchen than something that should have been a traveler's food cubby hole. Hell, it had a dining table and barstools bolted and riveted to the floor. He was already well acquainted with the rest of the small ship.

Still no windows. Rarely has Spike ever wanted to see the outside or be in it, but this place had to have some kind of window, right?

Through another door were wrought iron spiral stairs and up he went, leading him to the bridge.

It was also smaller than the Bebop, but it had the standard glowing map table and two pilot seats looking out to whatever was ahead. All that was ahead were choppy lake waves and falling white snow.

Spike relented to himself, "Yeah, I'm not going outside."

Another voice sounded from behind him, an older one. "At least for a little while. Let what happen on Mars become a thing of the past first."

Spike turned around and faced a much older man, older than Jet but in better shape and not missing any limbs.

The man spoke first, "I see you are making yourself at home here. If you haven't figured out, you're on my deck, my place."

Spike attempted to limp past the man to avoid whatever coming confrontation was. He could see he wasn't welcomed and wasn't going to bother none, at least until his arm was caught.

"We're going to have a talk, cowboy. Sit," he said, gesturing toward one of the pilot seats. The older man sat down opposite of him. "If you haven't figured it out, I'm Ryker. This is Scorpio. As captain, I have a few rules."

"I won't be here long, sir," Spike replied attempting to avoid the conversation. He just wanted out.

"Are you sure about that, son?"

"Don't call me son."

"Well, am I supposed to call you? Spike? What kind of name is that?"

"Mine," Spike growled. Déjà vu.

"Fine, whatever. Just listen and answer my questions and I'll let you do what you have to."

Spike scowled but agreed.

"I understand you took down the Dragons a week ago. Why?"

"They took everything from me."

Ryker softened a bit in understanding. "And you went in literally guns blazing as revenge?"

"What else does it look like? I don't want to talk about this, not right now," Spike replied angrily.

"Easy kid-"

"I'm not a kid either!"

"Alright, relax. I'm just trying to get the message out of you, that's it."

"You seem like you're digging for more, old man."

"I resent that remark, if you can't tell," Ryker retorted.

Spike huffed, "Then get to the bottom line."

Ryker was silent, choosing his words carefully as he could see that this young man in front of him was a volatile creature; everything was risky. Finally, after standing up, he made his offer. "Stay with the crew."

That was not what Spike was expecting. "Are you fucking serious?"

"You got guts. You owe Annali your life and she says she owes you a favor. You're a bounty hunter or aren't you?" Ryker pushed.

"I don't know what I am. I just know that I wasn't alive and now I am."

Ryker crossed his arms and eyed the green-haired cowboy sitting below him. "Whatever happened, it happened. Now you can let that go, or you can let that ruin you forever. If you want to go back to your path of destruction, fine, but not on my ship. If not, you have a place here."

Spike nodded, "Not like I'll be saying goodbye."

Ryker agreed, "Don't have to tell me twice."

"And your reason for allowing me to stay?" Spike inquired.

Ryker smiled down at the cowboy, "You got guts and skills. And anyone who goes against the Dragons is a friend of mine."

Let's hope I can keep this going. Any and all mistakes are mine.