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Old 02-10-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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Another Time, Another Place - Chapter 10

Sorry this hasn't been posted sooner but I've had this stupid cold that isn't going away.

This bit wasn't supposed to be this long. It kind of took over and we just went along for the ride. This is more of Evil U2. It's still dark...I promise this does get lighter eventually.

As always this is complete and utter fiction. Any events that may or may not resemble anything that happened in real life has been stolen and twisted to fit out story.

From the last chapter:

The deliberate boots came around in front of Edge and, unwillingly, he looked up. He saw his own eyes staring back at him, out of his own, clean-shaven face. The mouth twisted in a sneer, although something else lit up the eyes. Curiosity?

"The deepest dungeon, and chain them securely," Lord David said, and turned his back.

"Edge?" Bono squeaked as they were dragged away.

"I'm not Edge!" Edge snarled, fear and revulsion mingled equally in his racing heart. They were both carried down into damp darkness
.


Chapter 10-


Once the guards had finished chaining Edge and Bono to opposite walls of the dank stone cell, and carried their flickering torches away, the darkness was absolute. It was cold too, and there was a whole host of foul smells that Edge could only guess at identifying. He didn't want to, anyway.

Despair pulled at Edge more heavily than gravity. He slumped in his chains, not bothering to hold up his weight with his legs. The shackles would cut into his wrists eventually, he thought dully, but it hardly mattered now.

"E... Dave?" Bono said in a tiny voice. Edge didn't reply.

"I'm sorry, Dave," he went on hesitantly. Edge could hear Bono's chains clinking as he shifted awkwardly.

The silence stretched on for several minutes. How long before time ceased to have any meaning, down here in the dark?

"This is my fault... isn't it? Dave?" Bono's misery was as palpable as the oppressive darkness.

Another minute or three went by.

"I mean... Ali must have realised I wasn't the bad me," Bono stuttered on. "I ... I thought that if I treated her like my Ali, it would be how the me here treated her... if I love my Ali, he must love his Ali... Right? ...... Dave?"

Edge squeezed his eyes shut, but it made no difference to the darkness, or to the sudden pricking there. He sighed a sigh that came all the way from his toes. His soul.

"No, Bono, it's not your fault," he finally said heavily.

"Oh," Bono said, his relief clear in his voice. "Wait. It must be my fault. I acted wrong, didn't I? Maybe bad-me doesn't love his Ali, because he's bad. I didn't think of that..." Bono trailed off morosely.

Edge was forced to respond. "I think bad-you does love the Ali here, but maybe not in the same way," he said. "And he must not call her 'Ali', at least, not in public."

"Oh." Bono's tone was thoughtful. "I'm still sorry... but that won't get us out of here."

Edge agreed, but stayed silent. He started wondering whether they would be killed straight away, or if Adam and Larry would be captured first. Lord David could have killed them in the courtyard, Edge realised. But then he remembered what he himself had said to Lady Alison, trying to play Lord David's part. Perhaps they would stay alive much longer than they'd like.

Edge sighed. He had been telling the truth, when he'd said it wasn't Bono's fault. No, this time the blame lay squarely with him. None of them would even be here if it wasn't for him.

---

Larry had assured Edge that he knew how to get back to the castle, but one bit of forest looked very much like another, and he and Adam had been riding for hours without coming in sight of the walled town.

"I'm sure I've seen that stump before," Adam insisted. "We should have turned left at the last crossroads."

"Since when were you a walking SatNav?" Larry snapped.

"At least I've not sent us over a cliff yet," Adam replied. "If we keep going the way we have been, I wouldn't be surprised if that's where we end up."

Larry sighed. "We'll have to go back and ask Morleigh for directions," he admitted. "If only I could figure out which way they were," he added in an undertone.

It was a little easier to retrace their steps, although they were forced to dismount and go on foot, as both Adam and Larry were suffering badly from saddle-sores. After a while, they were once again stopped in the forest by a voice from the trees. And once again, they had to answer a slew of questions before the resistance were sure they weren't the lords, despite having seen them on their way, in these exact clothes, only a couple of hours before.

Morleigh seemed deeply amused to find out they'd gotten lost and needed directions.

"You could stay the night with us, and go back in the morning," she suggested. "It would look better if you arrived back on a different day, like you weren't travelling together so much."

Adam considered, but Larry didn't like it. "No, Bono and E... Dave, whatever, they'll worry. They're expecting us back tonight... they're probably wondering where we are now," he said sheepishly.

"We can send Will to take a message," Morleigh said. "He can get there quicker than you, and he was going there anyway."

"All right," Larry gave in. Morleigh knew best, in this strange backwards world, he thought.

He and Adam shared a meal and more stories with the members of the resistance, who were currently living in makeshift huts in the most remote and impenetrable part of the forest. They moved about a lot, Morleigh explained, when they weren't staying in their usual, separate villages, and trying to make life there a bit more bearable.

Larry was in the middle of telling a story about something that had happened on the Lovetown tour, when Will charged into the circle of firelight, gasping for breath and white with panic. Morleigh immediately leapt to her feet.

"What is it?"

"Lords... returned," Will panted, clutching his side. A ripple of fear ran through the people gathered, and Larry jumped up as well.

"Other two," Will waved at Larry and Adam, "captured. Lady Alison... met them on the way... fooled them." Will leaned on his knees and tried to catch his breath.

"Oh no..." Morleigh sank down again. "They probably thought they were fooling her..."

"What does that mean?" Larry demanded. "Won't she help us?"

Morleigh pinned the drummer with a bleak look. "Lord Paul and Lady Alison were made for each other," she sighed. "They're each as ruthless and power-hungry as the other. No, she won't help us. She has taken too many of our children for the mines." Her face grew bitter.

Larry sat down heavily, exchanging a worried look with Adam. "All right, so she won't help us. Some of those people could. And you can," he said, sweeping his eyes around at the resistance. "We have to get them out of there. We're the best chance you've got to get rid of the lords, and we need Bono and Edge free to do it." Larry crossed his arms over his chest, and stared at Morliegh, uncompromising.

---

Time lost its meaning more quickly that Edge could have guessed. All he knew was that he was tired and hungry now, and his wrists were very sore. It probably hadn't been more than twelve hours, but it was impossible to tell.

Equally impossible had been the sound of Bono snoring, which had come in fits and starts through the darkness. Perhaps Bono's chains were more comfortable than his, the guitarist thought sourly. But Bono's sleep was obviously not restful, and he mumbled things that sounded like his dreams were as bad as reality.

Now, for instance, Bono was almost hyperventilating, every exhalation accompanied by a fearful "No!"... Finally Edge couldn't stand it any more.

"Bono!" he shouted, the sound echoing in the small stone cell. "Wake up!"

Bono snorted, gasped, and the chains clanked. "Whu...?"

"You were dreaming," Edge said.

"It was a nightmare," Bono replied in a shaking voice. "Ali was..." He fell silent, but the chains clinked again. Edge imagined Bono's shudder.

"I don't know if I should be jealous that you managed to sleep or not," Edge muttered.

"What time is it?"

"I have no idea. Probably the middle of the night, but it could be next week and I wouldn't know."

"We'd have starved if it was next week," Bono said logically. Edge was irrationally annoyed.

The silence was more difficult now that Bono was awake, and Edge was no longer distracted by Bono's snores from the yawning pit of despair that he had fallen into... was still falling into. His insides felt as if he would be plummeting through darkness forever.

"I'm sorry I woke you up," Edge said a while later. "I should have let you sleep."

"It's okay. You did me a favour," Bono replied. His voice sounded somehow thin and pale.

Edge's guilt crushed him. "Bono... I'm sorry I got us into this mess. It's all my fault, not yours." The admission weighed him down, the shackles cutting more cruelly into his wrists.

"What are you talking about? It's not your fault, Edge! I mean Dave. I said Dave!" Bono repeated, as Edge hissed at the sound of his hated nickname.

"It is my fault! I built the DUMASS. I showed it to you when it wasn't ready. I decided it would be okay to explore this place, and I wanted to do something about the lords. I let us follow Ali... Lady Alison back here. I got us captured and thrown in this dungeon. It's all my fault, right from the start!"

If the total bleakness of the despair in Edge's voice worried Bono, he hid it well. "Will you stop being such a all-knowing egomaniac! That's my job," he sniffed. "I pushed the button, I wanted to explore, and I got carried away when I saw Ali. Lady Alison," Bono corrected himself. "This is as much my fault as it is yours, and Adam and Larry's too. It's our parents' fault for giving birth to us, and their parents' fault for having them. It's Isaac Newton's fault for making laws of physics that you would be tempted to break. It's the fault of the first ape-man in Africa for standing upright, and it's God's fault for creating the universe in the first place! Happy now?"

Bono was offering Edge a life-line out of the pit of despair, Edge realised, but it was the nature of the pit to make him want to reject such offers, to shun them in favour of his self-indulgent wallowing in self-pity and blame.

"We're monsters here, Bono," Edge said, looking away from the life-line.

"That's not your fault either," Bono insisted. "They were monsters in this dimension before we arrived, and they would be if we never came. But we're here now, and maybe we can do some good."

"And what good can we do from down here?" Edge snapped, shaking his chains.

"We're going to escape, of course," Bono said. "Aren't you working on a plan? I thought that was why you've been so quiet."

The hope in Bono's voice, the innocent assumption that Everything Would Be Okay, smote Edge's heart. He was seized with a powerful urge to shatter that innocence, to tell Bono that they were going to die, and probably not soon enough to suit them, if Lord David's horrible devices got involved. To tell Bono that it really was all his fault, that he had condemned them all to a horrible death by pressing that damn button.

A memory suddenly intruded into Edge's head. Adam's voice, speaking wisely as they had hurtled through the space-time continuum for the first time. 'You shouldn't have made it shiny,' he'd said.

And for some reason, that memory made the corner of Edge's mouth quirk upwards. Adam and Larry had not been captured yet, he reminded himself. Not as far as he knew. If they were still free, there was still hope.

Edge considered the metaphorical life-line again, considered his achievements so far, even the ones that had landed them here, chained to a dungeon wall, their lives at the mercy of psychotically evil versions of themselves.

Who knew themselves better than they did? And if he knew Morleigh, and Adam and Larry, he should have more faith in them. If he had got them into this mess, he could get them out. He, and his friends.

"Dave...?" Bono's voice echoed in the stillness.

"I'm here, Bono." Edge grabbed the life-line, and dragged himself out of despair. It wasn't easy, but he had help.

Another span of hours later, the darkness was relieved by a faint, flickering light. Bono and Edge heard footsteps as the light grew stronger, and realised they were about to receive visitors. Edge tensed, and his wrists throbbed afresh where the cold iron bit into them. His mind and heart were racing one another.

A blinding light came into view through the narrow door in the cell, which was composed of thick iron bars. Edge blinked until his eyes adjusted, and he saw a jailer holding a flaming torch, two other guards, and Lords David and Paul.

Just as Morleigh had said, they appeared identical to Bono and Edge, except that Lord Paul sported a neat, dark goatee and Lord David was clean-shaven. They were dressed richly, as the contents of their wardrobes had indicated, and predominantly in black. Both lords carried swords and daggers on their belts, and jewelry on their fingers. Each had their symbol sewn to their cloaks, pick-and-shovel and crossed swords. Edge noted that Lord David wore another of the leather skullcaps he'd found in the wardrobe... at least his evil double had issues with his baldness as well.

There were tiny differences in the lords' faces, though. Some of the lines fell in subtly different ways, as if those faces were used to different expressions to Edge's and Bono's own. Less laughter, more sneering? Or laughter tainted by cruelty, selfishness, and delight in the misery of others. The closer he looked, the less similarity Edge felt between himself and the man staring back at him through the bars. He took comfort from every divergence he could see.

"This is simply fascinating," Lord David said softly, studying Edge and Bono avidly. "How did this happen? Who are you?"

Bono's mouth opened automatically. "Well, we didn't know who'd bought the lemon, you see, but..."

"Bono!" Edge hissed, wishing he could kick the naive frontman.

"Oh, right. We're not telling you anything!" Bono's attitude hardened immediately. Edge rolled his eyes.

"We shall see about that," Lord David said, with an air of infinite patience. "But first, I think we should become better acquainted. We have so much in common, after all..."

Lord Paul was staring at Bono with undisguised contempt. "It's not worth it," he said harshly. "Look at them, they're obviously weak. I can't understand how the fecking servants could have mistaken us... they'll all be flogged for such stupidity. And the guards..." Lord Paul trailed off with a snarl. "Even a woman saw the difference immediately!"

"You might have noticed, we're rather short on able-bodied adults in the immediate area," Lord David said mildly. "Try not to damage the servants too much. Something might be salvaged."

"There's not usually much left once you're done with them," Lord Paul sneered, but he fell silent. It seemed even the other lords held Lord David in awe. This did not make Edge feel any better.

"Besides," Lord David continued smoothly, "you of all people should know better than to underestimate your lady wife, woman or not." A hint of a smirk played around Lord David's mouth.

"Unchain that one," the taller lord continued, gesturing towards Edge. "Remove my clothes from him, carefully, and take him to my chambers." The jailer opened the door, and the two guards entered, faces blank. Edge considered fighting but concluded there was no point, especially when he was feeling so weak and shaky. It was just the hunger and thirst, he told himself.

Lord David swept out of the dungeon without a backward glance, leaving Lord Paul glaring at Bono. Bono stared back, unable to look away.

"B," Edge said as he was manhandled out of the cell, and Bono's eyes flicked to meet his. Edge held them as long as he could, desperate to communicate without speaking. "I... Just... don't forget!" The guard dragged him out of sight.

Bono was left hanging on the wall, still staring at the cell door, where Edge had just vanished. He was alone, and scared. What was he supposed to remember, exactly? How could he remember anything with his own face staring at him with such hatred? It was bad enough coming from the woman in the village, and she'd thought he was a monster. Why would the monster hate him, too?

"'So much in common', indeed," Lord Paul growled. "Look at you. Terrified. Pathetic. Get him down," the lord snapped to the remaining guard.

Bono couldn't repress a sigh of relief when the iron manacles were released, and his arms were free. He didn't have long to enjoy the feeling, however, as another set of shackles was soon fastened in their place. Lord Paul was smirking at him.

"Think I'm doing you a favour? You'll change your mind soon enough. Although I have to say, I don't think this will be much of a challenge at all." Lord Paul seemed disappointed.

The guard grabbed Bono roughly, and steered him after Lord Paul, who led the way along the corridor, and down another flight of steps, deeper into the bowels of the dungeons.

Bono finally found his tongue, although it was dry with thirst. "Where are you taking me?" he asked. He wished his voice hadn't sounded so high.

Lord Paul turned and speared him with his icy blue stare, and looked ready to enjoy Bono's reaction. "I am taking you to the chamber of truth," he smirked. "The place where lies and weakness are stripped away. I'm sure Lord David won't mind if I borrow it - we'll be done before he's ready to show it to your friend." The final word was pronounced with an ocean of contempt.

Bono paled, his tongue suddenly even drier.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:23 PM   #2
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Yaaaaay! Somehow I thought there'd be a new chapter today!
It was great; went exactly how I thought it would, and there were some funny parts. Really enjoying this story!
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:13 PM   #3
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Great minds think alike... Thank you!
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:47 AM   #4
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Yes, I'm enjoying it too! Keep it up, I can't wait for the next chapter!
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