Another Time, Another Place - Chapter 14 - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-23-2011, 06:15 AM   #1
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Another Time, Another Place - Chapter 14

Here is chapter 14, in which U2 recovers from their ordeal, and there is much angst.

Said ordeal and subsequent angst is, of course, completely made up and not true in any way shape or form.

There is a bit of rude language too... although I forgot to mention that last time and I haven't had any complaints.


Chapter 14

The island, if island it was, seemed to be uninhabited, and only the modern-looking plant life gave them any indication that they were somewhere in the vicinity of the Cenozoic era.

"I think it's Hawaii," Bono was saying, some hours later after three of them had had a swim. Edge had yet to emerge from the lemon.

"No way, the sun is in the northern part of the sky, we must be in the southern hemisphere," Larry argued.

"Oh yeah? And how do you know which way north is?"

Larry and Adam just stared at the singer. "The sun rises in the east no matter where or when you are," Larry said patiently. "Since the sun has been moving in this direction since we got here, it must have risen over there," he pointed across the lagoon, "so that is east. If that is east, then north is that way." He swung his arm ninety degrees to the left.

Bono turned red (although that might have just been sunburn) and said no more about Hawaii.

The sun was setting (in the direction Larry had deduced to be west, as he pointed out to Bono) before the three men realised they were hungry, and Edge had remained unseen. They supposed they should find him, since none of them knew what was safe to eat, and they thought it would be rude to devour the contents of the cook's gift basket without him.

A quick inspection showed that Edge was not in a bunk, nor the bathroom, nor the kitchen. Adam tried to remember where the library had been, but found a swimming pool instead, which was also empty of Edge. There was a gymnasium adjacent to that, complete with a yoga room, but no Edge practicing Welsh yoga with his BlackBerry. They then found a room that appeared to be an exact replica of Larry's lounge room, circa 1987, but where the doorway would have led to the kitchen, there was a corridor with another half a dozen doors on each side. Bono expressed some apprehension about these, muttering something about slapstick comedy chase scenes and funny dimensional effects, but each door contained only a pleasant-looking hotel room.

"These are much nicer than those bunks, why didn't we sleep here last time?" Adam asked.

"I dunno, the bunks are closer to the normal bit of the lemon," Larry said. He still didn't trust these impossible spaces inside the DUMASS, and had grown more and more uneasy the further they had come, especially since seeing his old lounge room. "Do either of you remember how to get back?" he said, trying to stay calm.

"Don't worry," Bono said. "We just go back down there, through your lounge room, left at the gym, and through the kitchen. Easy."

"But we still haven't found Edge," Adam reminded them. "This thing just keeps going forever, he could be anywhere. He could be lost," the bassist realised.

"Lost in his own lemon?" Bono dismissed the idea. "He built it, didn't he?"

"I don't think he understands it as well as he makes out," Larry said sceptically. "He didn't mention any of this stuff before."

"If we don't find him soon, we'll go back to the control room," Adam decided. "He might be waiting for us there."

The door at the end of the corridor opened surprisingly onto a small, suburban back yard, sporting a small tin shed. The sun was shining overhead but the temperature was markedly cooler than it was on the island.

"This looks familiar," Bono said, heading for the shed.

Adam looked back at the house they had apparently just walked out of. "Isn't this Edge's old house? His parents' old house, I mean?"

"You're right," Larry said, more nervous than ever. "Are you sure we're still in the lemon, on that island? We haven't pushed the Random button again?"

"I didn't hear any music," Adam pointed out.

Bono had knocked on the shed's door, to no response. He knocked again as Adam and Larry joined him.

"Go away." Edge's voice was muffled from within.

"No," Bono said, and opened the door.

It was dark inside, but they could make out Edge slumped on the ruin of an old couch. There was a work bench on the other side of the shed, and not much room in between. Something resembling a guitar lay on the work bench, and the others recognised it as the guitar Edge had built with his brother.

"You've landed us on a beautiful island, you should come and see it. There's no one else there, and the water is nice and warm," Bono said with forced cheerfulness.

"I know," Edge said dully. "Go and have a swim."

"We already did," Adam said.

"That's how we know the water is warm," Bono added. "Come on!" He tried to pull Edge up by one arm, but the guitarist didn't budge.

"Just leave me alone, will you?"

"No," Bono said again, growing serious. "You know that's not how this works."

"How what works?"

"Us. The band. Get up and come outside with us." Bono hauled on Edge's arm again; this time Adam and Larry helped, and Edge was dragged to his feet. He seemed to lack the energy to resist.

"It didn't used to work like that," Edge muttered, shooting a glance at Adam. "We left you alone until you fucked us over. I saw you quaffing the old ale at that party, by the way."

Adam's regard grew frosty, but Larry spoke before he could reply.

"I already spoke to him about that," the drummer said curtly. "If you think there's more to be said, you can say it outside. We're all going to say a few things."

"Come on, The Edge," Bono said deliberately, taking a step towards the door. At that, Edge finally dug in his heels.

"I told you not to call me that any more," he grated.

"That was another dimension, and that is one reason why we're all going outside to have a talk," Bono said briskly, propelling the reluctant guitarist forward.

In due course, they passed through the control room again, Larry picked up the basket of food, and they continued outside. A glorious tropical sunset was in progress on the other side of the island, and it painted the whole eastern sky pink and gold as well.

"I could do with staying here for a while," Adam sighed, taking it all in happily.

The three of them gathered a large pile of firewood while Edge sat morosely on a fallen palm tree. He continued to watch morosely as Bono tried to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, but after fifteen minutes, and in near darkness, he had only a wisp of smoke to show for his efforts.

Larry sat down next to Edge, and watched as well.

"I've got a lighter in me pocket," the drummer confided in a low voice after a minute, "but I've been havin' too much fun watchin' him."

Edge let out an involuntary snort of laughter, and Bono sprang up indignantly, smudged and furious.

"If you think this is so funny, go conjure some feckin' matches out of your feckin' magical closet!"

"Larry's got a lighter," Edge said, happy to deflect Bono's rage onto someone else. There was a brief scuffle, but before long the fire was well alight. Bono sat on the opposite side of it to Larry, muttering darkly as he chewed on a piece of bread.

The meal passed mostly in silence, save for muttering and chewing and gulping. Then Edge handed the bottles around, and held one out to Adam.

"No, thank you," the bassist said, scowling.

Edge shrugged. "I just thought I'd give you the option, since you've started drinking again," he said. "Obviously that cook had no idea you didn't drink, or she wouldn't have given us four bottles."

"Those were exceptional circumstances," Adam said through gritted teeth. "I have not started drinking, and I do not intend to allow myself to slip again."

"Intentions are all well and good," Edge sneered, but Larry interrupted.

"Leave it, Reg," he said. "We all got wasted, including you."

"Yeah, but I'm not an alcoholic," Edge said, addressing Larry but staring down at Adam.

Adam stared back. "Maybe not in this dimension," he said.

Edge froze, which gave Bono enough time to appear between them before the guitarist lunged. Bono stopped him in his tracks with a solid punch to the jaw, and Edge fell backwards, stunned.

Bono stood over him, rubbing his knuckles. "Leave Adam alone, Edge," he said.

Edge tried to kick at Bono's legs, but missed and gave Larry a face-full of sand instead. "Don't call me that!" he shouted.

"I'll call you by your name if I want!" Bono shouted back. "I gave you that name, and you're not going to throw it in my face after all this time. It's rude to return a gift," he added, stepping back and offering Edge a hand up.

Edge ignored Bono's hand and scrambled to his feet. He tried to rein in his temper and partly succeeded. "I can't use that name any more, Bono. I just can't. I'm sorry."

"Yes you can," Bono asserted. "It's who you are. I'm not going to stand on stage and introduce you as 'Dave'. You're not a Dave. What are people going to think?"

"That he's lost his edge," Larry giggled, and then sobered abruptly. He continued picking sand out of his ear.

Edge pretended the drummer hadn't spoken. "It's who he is, not me. I don't want any part of him. Not even a name."

Bono sighed, exasperated. "You're not him! I gave you that name. I don't know who gave him that other name, but it's not even the same as the name I gave you. You're not a lord, you're a guitar-playing, music-loving, DUMASS-building genius. You've got a jaw that could slice cheese, a mind sharper than a scalpel, and a need to push further than anyone else. THAT is why you're The Edge. And until you stop being all those things, you will always BE The Edge."

Edge and Bono blinked at one another.

"So stop being silly and take your name back," Bono continued. "You're nothing like that monster."

Edge seemed to deflate. "You're wrong. We're a lot alike. I like music, he likes music. He wrote a song I wrote. He has a temper, I have a temper. He likes inventing things, I like inventing things. He enjoys power..." Edge trailed off, and looked at Bono helplessly. "It's not so different, being a lord or a rock star," he whispered. "Or a lord of space and time." Edge recalled the heady rush of power that had followed their first journey in the DUMASS, and the discovery that he had successfully bent the laws of time and space. And he knew that some small part of him had secretly enjoyed the way the servants in that castle had run and cowered from his displeasure, even while the rest of him hated it.

"He, and you, are not the only ones," Bono said quietly, resting a hand on Edge's shoulder. They both sat down on the fallen palm tree. "I think everyone has something dark inside them that they don't want to acknowledge, whether it's a love of power, or cruelty, or an addiction, or judgementalism, or rampant egomania." He gave a small smile. "We were all forced to face those parts of ourselves, far more literally than anyone else has ever done. It's bound to fuck you up a bit," Bono added. "I don't think any of us have slept soundly since we arrived in that dimension."

His three bandmates shook their heads.

"It's my fault we..."

Bono punched Edge in the arm before he could finish the sentence. "We had that discussion in the dungeon. It's NOT your fault."

"You were tortured, Bono," Edge said in agonised tones. "That must have fucked you up, too."

"I don't want to talk about it," Bono said, his expression suddenly stubborn.

"Oh no you don't. If we're going to drag all my demons out, we're dragging yours out too." Edge sat up straighter and looked into Bono's face.

Bono held his gaze for a few seconds but then looked away.

"What do you want me to say? Do I think that deep down inside me somewhere I could be that cruel?" Bono sighed. "If I say no I'd be lying but if I said yes that would be admitting that I could actually be that way. I don't think I could do that."

Edge just rolled his eyes. "What, it's okay for you to make me say it but you can't? That's not fair."

"Fine, being tortured made me feel helpless and weak and everything else I hate. I hated knowing that instead of fighting poverty I was the cause of it. I can't bear the thought of any part of me, no matter how small, is capable of such intolerable cruelty. Is that what you want to hear?" Bono snapped at Edge.

"As a matter of fact, yes it is." Edge raised his voice.

"You're a bastard, you know that?" Bono spat out at Edge. He got up and stormed back into the lemon.

Edge just stared at his retreating back. He glanced up and saw Larry and Adam staring at him like they couldn't believe it was him. He put that aside - first he had to sort Bono out.

"You can't run away from this, Bono!" Edge called out. "It's inside your head!" He stood up and strode after the singer. "You followed me, I'm going to follow you. I'll find you and I'll make you face what happened sooner or later, and sooner is better."

There was silence from the lemon, and with a backwards glance at Larry and Adam, Edge went in after Bono.

Larry and Adam looked at one another.

"Are you all right?" Larry asked the bassist.

"Yeah," Adam replied, then added, "Well, no, not really. I don't suppose any of us are." He thought of Leanne, chained to the wall and raped and beaten, and put his head in his hands. "What about you? How's your shoulder?"

Larry blinked, his own thoughts had been in the other dimension as well. Condemning people to death and slavery, all sense of justice corrupted by greed and avarice... The drummer moved his shoulder and winced. "It's not that bad," he said, but Adam insisted on getting the first-aid kit out and changing the bandages.

"Genetics isn't everything," Adam mused after he'd piled more driftwood onto the fire. "The only thing they really had in common with us was DNA. They grew up in a completely different world, and something about that other dimension seemed to have twisted so many people. Ali, for instance..."

"Ann is not like that," Larry agreed, scowling. That other Ann had only been interested in the power and wealth she got by being with Lord Laurence, as far as Larry had seen.

"And neither are you," Adam said. "The only reason we're so disturbed by all that is because those monsters had our faces." He was trying to convince himself as much as Larry.

"It's not just that," the drummer said slowly. "It's like Edge said. There were other things we had in common too. You know I see things in black and white, you know I hate injustice. He was like me, but... backwards. He wasn't some random psychopath with my face... he was too much like me."

"But backwards," Adam echoed. "You know you're not like that at all. But me..." The bassist trailed off. It was no secret that he enjoyed female company, when he wasn't with someone the way he was with Suzie now. But to do what Lord Adam had done...

"You're not like that either," Larry insisted. "We all know that. There's no way you would ever... do that."

"But..."

"You're not a rapist, Adam!" Larry said forcefully. "Just because you were the only bachelor in the band, just because of what happened on the Zoo tour, does not mean that you would ever be capable of doing that!"

There was a long silence.

"It makes you wonder," Adam said finally. "If all we had in common was DNA, and there was still enough of ourselves that we recognised us in them... It makes you wonder if you... if you COULD have become them, if your life had been different." His voice had trailed to a whisper.

Larry nodded, his expression haunted. "You wonder if those monsters are somewhere inside you, that you could turn into them."

"Yeah."

The fire crackled, flames dancing red and blue and orange and green over the driftwood. Adam poked idly in the picnic basket, and finished off a bit of cheese.

"But we're not them," Larry said with a tone of finality. "That's what matters. Everyone has the potential for darkness and evil, but we made different choices than they did. That's the difference. We chose..."

"Less evil," Adam said, with a small smile. Larry allowed a corner of his mouth to smile back.

A few minutes later, the sound of footsteps and low voices emerged from the area of darkness surrounding the lemon.

"... sorry about the eye," Bono said, as he and Edge appeared in the circle of firelight. They were both sporting several new bruises, both red and black eyes, and were dripping wet. They smelled of chlorine.

"That's all right," Edge replied. "I got you as well. Oh, there's the first-aid kit," he added, and rummaged through its contents.

"And what happened to you two?" Adam asked, amused despite himself.

"I pushed him into the pool," Bono said.

"I pulled him in as well," Edge added. He found a couple of chemical cold packs and handed one to Bono, who fumbled at it until it went cold and then applied it to his black eye.

Larry rolled his eyes.


---
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:29 PM   #2
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mmmmm...angst. I angst.

You posted it! I was hoping you would.

I love the tags..
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:03 PM   #3
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Weird, I like the angst and bad language. One scary thing is how they could get lost inside the lemon... I so want to have that machine.
You're both geniuses.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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What's so evil about italics?


I wouldn't mind getting lost in that lemon with B.

Angst is brilliantly written btw
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:10 PM   #5
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What's so evil about italics?

I wouldn't mind getting lost in that lemon with B.

Angst is brilliantly written btw
They're evil when you have to find one stupid "I" that is italicized in a 2500 word chapter...

I've banned one word italics...hehehe.

Thanks for commenting GG and Bluesilkensky..yes I spelled that wrong.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:32 PM   #6
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Another great chapter ladies!
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for commenting GG and Bluesilkensky..yes I spelled that wrong.
huh..I actually spelled that right..go figure.

Thanks Laracious!
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:11 PM   #8
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Spelled what wrong/right? I'm confused... I didn't comment on any spelling.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:12 PM   #9
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sorry..I should have edited your initials out..I was quoting myself about spelling Bluesilkensky's name wrong because I thought I'd spelled it wrong. I have this habit of just assuming I spell stuff wrong when I don't check it .
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:57 PM   #10
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I never agreed to this italics ban... They're just too useful in stories!

Wait till you see what they find inside the lemon in another chapter or two... I want one as well! *L*

Thanks ladies!
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:28 PM   #11
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sorry..I should have edited your initials out..I was quoting myself about spelling Bluesilkensky's name wrong because I thought I'd spelled it wrong. I have this habit of just assuming I spell stuff wrong when I don't check it .
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:06 PM   #12
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I never agreed to this italics ban... They're just too useful in stories!

Wait till you see what they find inside the lemon in another chapter or two... I want one as well! *L*

Thanks ladies!
Me? Explains why Bono was gone for a while...
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:24 PM   #13
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Didn't think of that...

Next chapter should be going up soon.
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