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Old 02-16-2011, 07:57 PM   #1
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Another Time, Another Place - Chapter 12

And now, without further ado, we bring you the next installment of this.......epic for the want of a better word.

I'll give the first person to guess what movies I was watching at the time we wrote this a virtual cookie.

This is all very untrue. It may even be made up. It's definitely fiction.

This is more of the Evil U2 stuff.

Here's the last bit from the previous chapter:

His doppelganger towed him out of the privy, across the bath room, and back into his bedchamber, where he thrust him roughly at a chair. Edge's legs folded against his will. Lord David stood over him, and Edge was very aware that he had very little on. He felt vulnerable, exposed... but mostly still enraged and nauseated. He had played music with this monster! And worse, enjoyed it! How could he have forgotten who he was dealing with? Self-disgust mingled with the other emotions raging in his gut.

"There is one last question I think you can help me with," Lord David said softly from above him. "I have always been curious about how much pain I could withstand, before breaking." He looked at Edge appraisingly. "Now I will be able to find out."


Chapter 12 -

"Will spoke to as many of the guards and servants as he could - everyone knows him, and more importantly, they trust him." Deep in the forest, Morleigh was bringing Adam and Larry up to speed with her plans. "Most of the servants saw you, and they saw the real lords return, so they know roughly what's been going on. They also saw the odd way you all behaved while you were in the castle, and it wasn't too hard for Will to convince them that now is the time for action. Especially considering what happened to Leanne..."

"What? What happened to her?" Adam was stricken. Had his interference made things even worse for her? Why hadn't they been able to get those damn chains off...

Morleigh sighed. "Lord Adam beat her, so badly that he had to call his physician to tend her afterwards. He doesn't usually keep women for long after he damages them that much. He accused her of sleeping with you."

Adam had to swallow his fury before he could speak. "Won't she at least be free, if he lets her go? She can take her brothers and go home...?"

"That's not usually what happens. She will probably go to the mines, especially if the lords decide that her family's debt has not yet been paid. I doubt she would want to see her mother again, in any case."

Larry's fists had been clenched into rock-hard knots at his sides for most of the last day. His teeth were grinding audibly. "This has to work," he told Morleigh without his jaws parting company. "We have to stop them."

"We will." There was a fierce light in Morleigh's eyes, one shared by most of the rag-tag assemblage who had united to resist the lords' regime, and now to fight back. You almost didn't notice the scars when she looked like this.

"Morleigh..." Adam said hesitantly. "What happened to you? If I may ask," he added politely.

Morleigh looked at him, considering. Larry remembered that she never had answered Bono's innocent question when they'd first met.

"In our world," Adam continued, "Edge... I mean Dave and our Morleigh are married..."

Morleigh sighed, and turned away, towards the firelight. Adam feared that he'd gone too far, but finally she replied.

"We met years ago, in America, my home," she said. Adam nodded, although she couldn't see him. "He was travelling, something about a diplomatic mission. I was a dancer, and... we caught one another's eyes. He was charming and gentle, he convinced me to come back here with him, to be his Lady. We were in love." Morleigh's tone turned harsh as she spat the words out.

Larry and Adam watched Morleigh's back, and exchanged a glance.

"We were married, and for a little while, we were very happy. Then, he started to show his true colours. I found out what happened in the dungeons, and that he was responsible. I found out about the mines, and Lord Laurence's idea of justice, and what Lord Adam did to his women. I found out what they're really like, what they're doing to these people."

She heaved another sigh, and turned to face the rhythm section again. Adam could see tears on her face, but wasn’t sure whether they were for herself or the oppressed citizens.

"You don't have to tell us," he said, feeling bad for making her cry, however indirectly.

Morleigh ignored him, determined to finish her tale. "I tried to talk to him, I tried to make them change. They laughed. Alison and Ann are just as bad... And then I tried to leave." She shuddered, then looked up and met first Adam, then Larry's eyes. "He tortured me for two days, and ruined my face. I thought he would kill me... but he threw me out. He thought it would be worse for me to live with these scars. But I swore I wouldn't let him win, so we've been doing what we can, but it was never enough. Now..." she looked at Adam and Larry with that fierce hope again, and Adam hoped they could live up to it.

"Now we're going to stop them," Larry said, equally fierce.

They went over the plan again.

---

Edge had not been taken back to the dank cell where he and Bono had spent their first day of imprisonment. Instead he found himself in a cell with a hard bed and a small window, a chamber pot and no chains. He was given a large meal, and couldn't help but devour every molecule of it.

It was dark outside when he finished eating, but there was dim light from a flickering torch somewhere outside his cell. This door, too, was made of thick iron bars, and it was only after his meal that Edge noticed there was another cell directly opposite his. He tried to peer through the dimness to see if it was occupied...

"Hello? Is there someone there?"

A dark shape moved on the bed in the other cell, and a pale face turned towards him. A hoarse and frightened voice said, "Dave?"

"Bono! Are you all right? What did he do to you??" Edge found himself on his feet, clinging to the bars of his cell door, trying to reach Bono with his eyes.

Bono attempted to sit up, but fell back onto his bed with a pitiful groan, and Edge's heart twisted up into a hard ball of rage.

"I'm... I'm okay... I think. I'm alive," Bono said, although he didn't sound completely sure. "He... he hurt me. And asked questions, but mostly he hurt me..."

"Bono... I'm so sorry... I am going to fix this. Somehow." Edge wondered why the bars weren't breaking under his ferocious grip.

There was a beat of silence from the other cell, then, "He hates that name, you know. His friends called him Bono, too, but he hated it and when he was older, he killed them. He killed Guggi and Gavin, Edge. I mean Dave. I mean... he killed Derek and Fionan. I mean... he's not Bono, and they weren't Guggi and Gavin, and you're not Edge anymore, but he killed them anyway, and I'm sorry I told him about the lemon but he didn't believe me and kept asking, but I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything, but it hurt..." Bono's voice strangled to a halt.

"Have they given you anything to eat?" Edge asked. "They don't want to kill us..."

"No... but it's okay, I'm not hungry any more."

Edge felt horribly guilty. There he'd been, stuffing his face while Bono had been suffering a few metres away... he was just as bad as their dark doppelgangers. Just as bad as that other David Evans...

No. No, he was not that bad, because he still cared. And he felt bad because he cared, however little good it did now.

"Try to get some sleep, Bono. I'm going to think of a way out of here."

"Good," Bono said faintly. "I want to go home..."

---

Edge had somehow managed to doze off as well, the fatigue catching up with him. He woke in darkness, only relieved by faint moonlight through the window, to the sound of a key turning in his door. He froze, listening, then looked up and saw a familiar face but couldn't place it.

The youth in the doorway looked at a piece of paper he was holding skeptically. He looked at Edge and was trying to decide if what was written was some kind of joke. Two more, much older men behind him were just looking impatient, darting quick looks down the corridor behind them.

"My name is," the youth paused and looked at the paper again. He started again.

"My name is Luke Skywalker and I'm here to rescue you," he said.

Edge just looked at him. "What?"

"Look, I was told you'd know what this meant," the young man said, sounding embarrassed.

"Say that again?" Edge asked.

The youth gave a deep sigh. "My name is Luke Skywalker, and I'm here to rescue you," he said, slightly aggravated.

Edge gave a small smile.

"Where are Larry and Adam?" he asked, worry quickly replacing his amusement. His band-mates must have arranged this password so that he would know the rescue attempt was genuine... He was fairly sure no one in this dimension would know about Star Wars.

"They're safe, but we really need to move fast if we want to get out of here without being seen."

"Wait, I know you. You're...Will?" Edge asked.

"Yes, now let's GO," Will said.

"Wait. We need to get Bono, but I don't think he can move very well." Edge looked over at Bono's cell but couldn't see any movement.

One of the older men (introduced briefly as Dirk) opened Edge's cell with a key he had and then went over to where Bono's cell was. Edge waited impatiently for him to open the door. When he finally got it opened Edge rushed in, while Will hovered in the doorway.

"Bono," Edge said. "Wake up B, we're getting out of here." He shook the singer's shoulder gently, and Bono gave a startled jerk.

"Wha...?" Bono said.

Edge gently lifted Bono up so he was sitting on the cot. He could see bruises on Bono's face and arms. He was almost afraid of what was under his shirt.

"Can you walk?" Will asked. Bono flinched at the sound of an unfamiliar voice.

"Who is that?" Bono asked, his voice slightly panicky.

"It's okay B, it's only Will. You remember him. From the camp?" Edge was trying to calm Bono down.

"Where are Larry and Ad'?" Bono asked.

"They're safe, but we need to go," Will said.

Edge helped Bono up and put his arm around his shoulder to help him walk. Will's second companion, Harold, took the other side and they made their way up the stairs. Dirk took the lead, a short sword in his hand and his eyes roving everywhere. Will brought up the rear, his breathing quick and nervous on the back of Edge's neck.

Over Bono's drooping head, Edge took another look at Harold. He seemed familiar too... "Were you in the courtyard, when they took us?" the guitarist asked quietly.

Harold nodded. "He kicked me," the stocky man said shortly. Edge said no more.

When they reached the top of the stairs all they could hear was the sound of metal banging against metal and shouting. They all exchanged looks, each expressing fear, determination and worry.

The darkened courtyard had become the scene of a battle. Figures both armoured and not were fighting one another with swords, spears, pitchforks, and anything else that came to hand. Edge could make no sense of it - some of the uniformed guards were fighting the ragged resistance members, and others were fighting each other. It seemed a coup was in progress.

What really shocked Edge and Bono was seeing Larry and Adam fighting. Then they saw them fighting again somewhere else, and realised that the lords had entered the fray.

Bono had been dazed and limp as they’d all but carried him outside, but seeing the torch-lit battle scene, and particularly seeing Adam fending off a ferocious attack from a guard, seemed to electrify him. He shook off Harold and Edge's supporting hands and looked about for a weapon. "We have to help them!"

Bono suddenly stooped, scooping a sword off the ground, and threw himself at the guard attacking Adam, screaming like a banshee.

"Bono, wait!" Edge called, but then stared in astonishment as the singer dealt a savage blow to the guard, who was knocked off his feet. Adam staggered backwards, breathing hard, but Bono had whirled around, the sword a silver blur as he blocked an attack from another guard and pressed him back.

Dirk had immediately gone to help the resistance fighters, but Harold and Will hovered close to Edge, no doubt under orders to protect him. Edge led them both towards where Bono was fighting, with some vague idea of helping, although Bono was pushing the guard backwards under a furious flurry of blows. He was still shouting incoherently.

The beleaguered guard was finally backed up against a wall, and he attacked desperately, knocking Bono's sword from his hands. But before the guard could press his advantage, there was a sharp rushing sound and 12 inches of arrow shaft suddenly sprouted from his forehead. Bono, Edge and Will all gaped as the guard slowly slumped to the ground. They turned around, and saw Morleigh nocking another arrow to her bow, across the courtyard.

Chaos was still in progress all around them, and there was no time to stand around staring. "Come on!" Will said, dragging Bono towards Morleigh, who was guarded by several women wearing chain mail and brandishing spears and farming implements. Edge followed, still dazed by Bono's performance.

"Where did you learn to fight like that?" he shouted, trying to be heard over the din.

"Orlando Bloom!" Bono shouted back.

"What??"

"I told you it wasn't a waste of time watching Pirates of the Caribbean twenty-five times!" Bono crowed.

Edge couldn't think of anything to say.

"GUARDS! TO ME!" a voice bellowed across the yard, and Edge turned to see Lord David advancing, fury contorting his face and the loyal guards flocking around him. A long, deadly-looking sword extended from his right hand like a seamless part of his arm. He was organising everyone, and soon had a dozen guards flanking him, along with the lords Paul, Laurence and Adam. The resistance and a lot of rebelling guards and servants regrouped on the other side of the courtyard, around Morleigh. Nearly everyone was bleeding, and there were half a dozen bodies, from both sides, lying on the stones in between.

"It's over, bad-uses!" Bono declared, still channelling the spirit of Will Turner. "Give yourselves up and no one gets hurt!"

"No one else, you mean," Lord Paul called back, sneering.

"You're outnumbered," Edge pointed out. Three-quarters of the combatants were on Morleigh's side.

"We're better armed," Lord David replied calmly. He was right too - all the guards were armed and armoured in the best equipment the lords' ill-gotten wealth could buy, whereas most of the resistance were unprotected and wielding makeshift weapons.

"You're finished," Edge snapped. "You're cruel and barbaric and evil and these people will not put up with it any longer!"

"We shall see," his double purred. He gave a signal, and the guards formed into a steel-tipped and bristling square.

Both sides charged.

Someone had put a sword into Edge's hand, and he swung it without having the least idea of what he was doing. Bono was at his side, deflecting any attacks that came towards them. Adam and Larry were on his other side, Adam wielding a long spear and Larry thrashing away with a pair of short swords.

The battle was reduced to brief flashes of sound and vision, each gone before they could register on Edge's brain. Adam with an uncharacteristically savage expression; a stout cook denting a guard's helmet with a marble rolling-pin; Larry grimacing in pain as a sword caught his shoulder; Lord David dancing with the sword flying around him, carving ribbons of blood through the air in its wake. Lord Laurence staggering back as Larry ignored his wound and attacked; Adam pinning his own counterpart against a wall with his spear; the rage of the oppressed villagers spilling over into bloodlust as they fended off the guards and fought to get their hands on their oppressors. Lord David casually running a woman through... Edge saw red then, roaring wordlessly, and Lord David looked around. They rushed together, but Will screamed "No!" and flung himself in Lord David's path. The cruel green eyes barely registered the interruption as he flicked his sword, and Will's throat blossomed red. The youth crumpled, gurgling and wide-eyed.

A drop of rain fell on Edge's bare head, and the scene froze for a long moment as he watched Will die. But he did not have the luxury of mourning yet.

Lord David attacked without a pause, and only Bono's quick reactions saved Edge from Will's fate. The villagers converged on them, the rest of the fighting over, and Lord David found himself surrounded by people trying to kill him. He danced around them, slicing and wounding, barely escaping, until he was pressed into a corner, trapped. His teeth were bared, defiant and furious.

"Look at you," he spat. "Still afraid to touch me. Come on then! Your conquest is complete, yet we still live. If we are finished, then finish us!"

There was a roar from the villagers, surging towards each of the lords where they lay or stood, at the mercy of the swords and spears pointed at their throats. The rain began to fall more heavily, cold drops pinging from armour and creating a halo of mist around the figures.

"Wait!" Bono shouted, elbowing his way to the front of the crowd surrounding Lord David. "We're not going to kill you. We're not as bad as you are!" He wiped the rain out of his face.

There was a mutinous mutter of disagreement from the townsfolk. Bono turned on them.

"You should know better than that! You've been living under their cruel regime for how long? Twenty years or more? Now you have a chance to start again, build a better world for yourselves and your children. Are you going to start out with more blood on your hands? There has been enough killing, too much!"

"They took our children!" a woman yelled from the back. "They killed our men! We deserve vengeance!" Others agreed.

"Look at them now!" Bono said, pointing to each of the former lords, their fine clothes becoming stained and bedraggled in the downpour. "What could be more humiliating than this? Overthrown by their servants and downtrodden serfs. Yes, they should be punished for what they've done to you, of course they should! But there were real laws once, weren't there? You had lords before this who gave you justice and order. They are monsters, but you don't have to become monsters yourselves to defeat them!"

There was a different sort of muttering. Morleigh came forward and stood next to Bono.

"You all know me," she called to the crowd. "You know what Lord David did to me. I agree with him!" she said, pointing at Bono. He looked relieved. "We want to start over, let's start over. Let's change how things are done, let's not take our example from them." She spat towards Lord David.

"Is there a king or something? Someone who can appoint a new lord?" Bono asked.

"There hasn't been a king for many years," Morleigh replied.

Edge was struck with inspiration. "Queen Morleigh!" he shouted, and immediately most of the resistance echoed his cry, raising their fists and weapons into the rain.

"Queen Morleigh! Queen Morleigh! Queen Morleigh!"
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:19 PM   #2
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AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWESOME!!! Morleigh is Queen! That rocks!
Gack, I hate the lords so much. They're going to be punished, right?
Loved the story about how David and Morleigh met.Hee.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:23 PM   #3
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Yay new chapter! I'm glad she's the queen. I wonder where the lemon will take them next....
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments!

Of course the lords will be punished... we fitted a lot of denouement into the next chapter. (And a fair bit of angst, if memory serves... unless that's in the one after. )

Anyway, we'll all find out on the weekend when I post the next chapter!
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:26 PM   #5
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Actually Ali, both.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:40 PM   #6
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Bono the humanitarian to the rescue.


Really really well written.


now if Bono needs someone to tend those wounds for him....
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:45 PM   #7
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Of course, why restrict the angst to one chapter...

Thanks, GG!

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