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I believe Ed's a girl. I remember Faye finding out that Ed's a girl. Or did something else happen later to raise the asexual issue again?
Ed is definately a girl. Her real name is Francoise.
Right... I guess a little romance would be ok.
Ok... now all I need is a title... I thought "Exaltation" would be a nice one, though "Emergency on Planet Earth" and "Interstellar Messiah 2073" would expand the story a lot more. Another one is "Just Another Story", though Marco would have to die in this one, be kind of a villain or common bounty, and there would be almost no interaction with the Bebop crew other than as a threat, and no Edward romance. It would also be much shorter. And the elements of religion would be almost eliminated. It would become just that: just another story.
It's hard to write religion. Even making up a religion because usually they're either a saint or a zealot. Best of luck to you though, tell me if you find a way to make a non-zealot non-saint religious character.
I have, and it's simple: throw in desperation and disilussionment. Marco's family is rather poor, ignorant, his sisters are brats and his parents are bored with each other. Marco turns into a criminal in order to get away from his family and to satisfy his minor greed.