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The Astounding Adventure of Radical Edward

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One! Two! Three! Four! About face! One! Two! Three! Four! Radical Edward is on the job!

But Radical Edward doesn't know why Spike told Ed to guard the ship. Ed is a small Ed. But Ed can be fierce! But if they come for the ship, Ed has no guns and can't defend it. And everyone's off doing bounty hunter things, so what's Radical Edward to do? Ein? Do you know?

One! Two! Three! Four!

Edward is bored of guard duty.

--

Radical Edward, exploring the planet! Brave Explorer Edward! No matter the danger, no matter the

What's another word for danger?

No matter the other danger, I will discover new things! And I will put them into little tiny boxes and bring them back so the others can poke them with tiny sticks. Or I will eat them. Do you think cactus tastes good, Ein?

No, maybe not.

This isn't a very interesting planet. There's nothing here but rocks and dust and trees and that cactus. Walking with us. I didn't know cactuses could walk. Where you going Mister Cactus?

You're not a cactus at all, are you. I think you're something in disguise. I think you're a monster in disguise. I think you're a horrible, Edward eating monster. GET AWAY FROM ME MONSTER! EIN, RUN AWAY NOW VERY FAST.

--

Well, how was I to know you're not a monster? You don't look like a person. You look like a cactus. A fuzzy cactus. And you were standing very still. Why were you standing very still? Were you trying to hide from something? What were you trying to hide from? Radical Edward is on the case!

I am not a funny little girl you take that BACK. You take that back Mister Cactus.

I don't care what your name is. If you call me a funny little girl I will call you MIster Cactus. Edward's name is Edward. Radical Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky the Fourth!

Oh. You DO have a very long and distinguished name too. Pleased to meet you!

Shh. I came here in secret to explore your world and find new forms of life to eat. But only if they don't eat us. My Captain took on a new life form in the shape of a refrigerator and it ate everyone in the whole ship! Except me, because I ate it first.

Why do you look like that, Mister Cactus? Did I say something wrong?

--

I don't think you're healthy at all, Mister Cactus. I think you're very sick, and you need to take your medicine! Ein! Bring me the Cactus Medicine!

Mister Cactus?

--

Radical Edward needs to find his ship! Edward is LOST. Again. I get lost sometimes.

Why are you looking at me like that?

Ed flew here in a ship with Edward's friends, but now all the friends are gone and this planet is full of sand and rocks and nothing to eat. Edward can't eat sand and rocks! Ein can't eat sand and rocks either. Can you, Ein?

We-ell. Spike told Edward to guard the ship, but Edward marched up and down many times and didn't see anything! No one wants a ship on this planet, anyways. They want food! Or water. Or other things they don't have. They have plenty of ships.

Broken ships are no good no good.

That means Edward should go back and guard the ship?

EIN! WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE SHIP!

--

It's awfully nice of you to come back with me, Mister Cactus. I'm sorry my friends couldn't be here to meet you.

Of course I'm sure this is where I left the ship! Edward always knows where he puts his things. Unless it was over there. Orrrrrrrrr... maybe over there?

Edward might be lost. Just a little bit.

Ein? Where are you going?

--

Spike could feel a headache coming on. Another one. To match the one he already had from the glare of the sun, the heat of the desert, Faye's complaining, the sound of the gunshots, and every other damn thing that had happened since they'd landed on this planet. The only things that had gone right were that they had fixed the ship and found some food.

"Thanks," Spike shook hands with the stranger, behind whom Edward was doing one of those Edward things that involved a lot of waving arms and feet and dancing around barefoot. "Sorry about that. Ed's a little..."

"Yeah, I kinda noticed," the stranger shrugged, scratched the back of his head sheepishly. "It's okay. I'm just glad she's... he's? I'm just glad Ed's home safe."

If you could call it home. Or safe. "Yeah, us too. I know what it looks like, but I've kind of gotten fond of the little twerp. Don't tell the others." Although they probably already knew. And they'd gotten fond of her too in their own way. "Can I interest you in dinner? It's the least we could do."

"Dinner? Edward would like some dinner! Edward is hun-greeeeeeeee." Ed latched onto Spike's leg and slid down while Spike and the stranger looked on in resigned horror.

"Fine. Go, eat, dinner should be ready, if not, bug Jet until it is."

That was one way to get Edward out of his hair, at least. The weird kid ran pinwheeling into the ship at full speed, Ein staying behind. He heard Faye yelping as she either got knocked over or had to hug the wall to keep from getting run over by a hungry Edward. And when he turned back to the stranger, the man was laughing.

"What?"

"Nothing. She just reminds me of, um. She reminds me of a lot of kids I know. She'll grow out of it."

"God, I hope so." And the idea of Edward sticking around long enough for Spike to watch her grow up was scary, too. Not to mention he had the feeling she'd settled into her way of looking at the world, and that meant grown-up Edward would be like this, too. Just bigger. "Anyway, dinner?"

The stranger shook his head. "Nah, no thanks. I should be moving on. Places to go, people to see! Catch you later!"

Spike stared after the man, who had started to sound a lot like Edward there, towards the end. Which might be the reason Ed had spent the whole day with him. Then again, he also sounded like a guy who was running from something, and that was a good enough reason as far as Spike was concerned to go all squeaky and run off.

"More dinner for me, I guess." He looked down at the corgi, who looked up at him with the exact expression of someone trying to tell him he should have known better. "Yeah, yeah, I know. I keep waiting for it to make sense, I'll be waiting a long time."

And it was dinner time, anyway.