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Old 03-09-2011, 08:17 PM   #1
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Another Time, Another Place - Chapter 17

After many many....many computer problems I finally have my laptop back. I would like to thank our many and faithful readers for their patients and understanding. I'd also like to thank you guys for actually reading this.

When we last left our time travelling and weary heros they had landed in Ireland. But when exactly?

Bit from last chapter:

After a few minutes, the song ended, the special effects died down, and the view-screen showed clouds of smoke and dust instead. It cleared, and the four men saw a wide area strewn with rubble, concrete, twisted steel cables and a partly-demolished tower block. It was covered in grafitti and weeds, and the whole scene looked particularly desolate in the thin drizzle that was falling from a heavy grey sky. It all looked grey, even the thistles.

____________


Bono stared with wide eyes. "It's the apocalypse! Civilisation has been destroyed!" Visions of Mad Max swam before him.

"Calm down," Edge said with bemusement. He checked the instruments, looked at the view-screen, and checked them again.

"Where are we?" Adam asked, eyeing the demolished building uncertainly.

"It seems that we have arrived in Dublin..."

"We're home!" Bono crowed, his fears forgotten.

"... in 1976," Edge finished.

There was a silence as the significance of the year occurred to them all.

"I don't remember this place," Bono said slowly.

"There's no GPS, so I can't pinpoint our location exactly," Edge said. "But we didn't roam the entire city in our youths, there will be lots of places we never went. Lots of abandoned building sites like this one."

The lemon was fairly well hidden behind a vertical slab of concrete, with a tangle of bushes and scraggly trees, but Edge would be happier when he got the cloaking device working. He pressed a few more buttons, examining the computer's log of their trip through space-time, and nodded to himself.

"I have enough data to calibrate the guidance system now, and I should be able to finish the cloaking device too," Edge continued. "I shouldn't have to remind you how important it is that we not alter the course of history, and being here makes it even more dangerous, to ourselves personally. We can't risk interfering in our own lives, our own past. So I hope you'll agree that it would be best if we all stayed in the DUMASS while I work. All right?"

There was agreement from Bono and Adam, although Larry thought wistfully of his mother.

"We couldn't just...?"

"No, Larry... not this time," Edge said, not unkindly.

The drummer shrugged and sat down against the wall. Edge made a note to talk to him later.

"If you're going to stay in here, you have to be very quiet while I'm working," the guitarist said to Bono and Adam.

"We'll be good," Bono said again. Edge kept his reservations to himself, and got to work.

In the end, it was a personal best for how long Bono managed to stay quiet and relatively still. A whole fifteen minutes went by before he started fidgeting, and then whispering to Adam, who kept saying "sshh". After the seventh round of fidget-fidget-whisper-sshh, audible even over the random snatches of music the DUMASS was producing as he worked, Edge took a deep breath and put his soldering-iron down.

"Is there something you'd like to say, Bono?" he asked with exaggerated patience.

"No," Bono said in a small voice.

Edge got back to work.

Bono was silent for another four minutes.

*fidget-fidget-whisper-sshh*

"Bono!" Edge snapped.

"Yes Edge?"

"Be quiet or go somewhere else!"

Adam sniggered.

"Same goes for you, Clayton," Edge said shortly, his head buried in a tangle of wires under the control panel. "You sound like you've sprung a leak."

The sniggering stopped in an affronted silence.

"Come on guys, we can go back to the room with no gravity," Bono said, standing up. Adam stood up too, but Larry stayed put.

"No thanks," the drummer muttered. His eyes hadn't moved from the view-screen almost since they'd landed.

"Fine. Come on, Ads." Bono headed out of the control room, into the bunk room and parts beyond, followed by Adam.

"Are you sure you can find it?" the bassist was asking as they faded from earshot.

"I'm sure it'll show up..."

Edge breathed a sigh of relief.

"Are they gonna be okay?" Larry asked, his eyes still on the screen.

"I don't think they can do any damage," Edge replied distractedly. The drummer lapsed back into silence.

Larry didn't quite know what he was hoping to see on the view-screen - he just knew that somewhere out there, in the drizzly grey of 1970s Dublin, his mother was still alive. It was too much to hope that she would just happen to walk down the section of street that was visible through a screen of leafless trees on the other side of a brick wall from where the lemon was mostly hidden.

There was a sharp "fzzt" and Edge said "Ow!" Then he said "Aha!" He disappeared even further into the innards of the control panel, leaning down into the hatch in the floor.

Larry Mullen, Jr. turned his attention back to the view-screen, just in time to see Larry Mullen, Sr. appear between the the trees. He stared, incredulous. Then a woman came out from behind a tree, beside his father.

It was his mother.

Edge was almost hidden from sight, only his Converse visible. Slowly, silently, Larry stood up, approached the view-screen, and found the zoom controls. He magnified the image of his parents, walking slowly along the street under a blue umbrella.

Larry stared, absorbing the sight of his mother hungrily. She stopped, and his father went a few steps further before he stopped too, turning to speak to his wife.

Maureen Mullen was staring through the trees, directly at the lemon. Directly at her son, who stared back, a strange sort of ache in his heart.

The lights in the lemon flickered, and for a mad instant Larry feared that even this distant contact was forbidden by the laws of the universe and they were about to wink out of existence. Then Edge made a satisfied sort of noise, muffled by all the wires and equipment he was buried in, and the image on the view-screen shimmered.

"There we go!" Edge started extricating himself from the hatch in the floor.

On the screen, Larry's mother peered this way and that through the trees, apparently puzzled. Her husband joined her, they spoke a few words, and he peered as well, while holding the umbrella over his wife. Then he said something, and they started off down the street again, arm in arm. Maureen cast one more look back, seemingly straight into Larry's eyes, then she turned away. She and her husband shared a quick kiss before they disappeared from view.

Larry wanted nothing more than to tattoo the image of his mother looking at him on the inside of his skull, and keep it there forever. He quickly returned the view-screen to its usual settings and sat back down against the wall, holding what he'd seen close inside his heart.

"I've got the cloaking device working," Edge announced, coming free of the lemon's innards and pulling a spare bit of wire out of his beanie. "We won't have to worry about anyone seeing us at a distance, now."

"That's good," Larry forced himself to say, tearing his eyes from the screen at last.

Edge seemed to notice the drummer was a little distracted. "No one saw us, did they?"

"No," Larry said, and smiled reassuringly. "All quiet on the western front."

"Good," Edge said after a pause. "I think it's time for lunch, or something, and then I can finish calibrating the guidance systems. We'll be home soon," he said, smiling at Larry, thinking perhaps that their long absence from home was getting to the drummer.

Larry just nodded, and went to get the cooler that his future self had provided.

Edge pressed a button and spoke into a small microphone that Larry hadn't noticed before. "Adam, Bono, we're going to eat something now, if you'd like to join us."

Faintly, a reply was heard through a wash of static. "Not more sandwiches," Adam's voice said despairingly.

"The other Adam said it could make other things," Bono said hopefully.

"I am rather hungry," Adam replied, and giggled.

Edge was blinking at the microphone. "I didn't know that would be two-way," he murmured, then raised his voice slightly. "I'll try to make something besides sandwiches," he said into the microphone, and switched it off.

Larry found the cooler and opened it, and the first thing he saw was a piece of folded paper. Making sure Edge was occupied (the guitarist was frowning at the cupboard with fierce concentration), Larry opened the paper behind the cooler's lid.

There were two lines in Larry's own handwriting.

Everything on the screen is recorded. You can download it.

Everything inside is recorded too, so don't pick your nose.


Larry froze, and tried to look for cameras inside the control room, moving only his eyes. He couldn't see any, but there were a lot of bits and pieces he couldn't identify. His gaze slid to Edge, who had just shut the cupboard door, his frown frustrated now.

"If you can talk to other rooms of the lemon," Larry asked casually, "does that mean you can see them as well?" He folded the note and tucked it surreptitiously inside his shirt. He wouldn't forget that message, but he would have to find a way of downloading the external footage later.

Edge opened his eyes and looked at the control panel. "I didn't think so, but then I didn't know we'd be able to hear them either."

"It doesn't matter," Larry shrugged.

Edge sat down next to the drummer, glanced at the food in the cooler, and then looked at Larry. "I'm sorry we can't see your mother today," he said quietly. "We can come back another time, when we're prepared, and pinpoint a time when it won't cause any disruption to..."

"It's all right," Larry replied, meeting Edge's eyes then looking away. "Don't worry about it."

Edge searched what he could see of Larry's face, then decided to let it go if Larry didn't want to talk about it. He put a hand on Larry's shoulder, then stood up again and resumed his battle of wills with the cupboard.

"No luck?" Larry asked, raising his eyebrows at the cupboard.

"Still sandwiches so far," Edge said grimly. He was damned if he was going to let a mysterious multi-dimensional cupboard get the better of him.

Come on, Edge thought desperately. If I serve up sandwiches again, there will be mutiny. I know you can make sheets and clothes and books, you can't tell me a bowl of porridge is beyond you...

Edge concentrated as hard as he could on porridge, and opened the cupboard door.

Porridge sandwiches.

Edge sighed. It was progress, of a sort.

"What are you trying to get out of it?" Larry asked, already tucking into a roast vegetable salad with pine nuts and fetta cheese.

"Porridge," Edge said, closing the door and preparing to try again.

"Bleh," Larry said, making a face. "I don't blame it for not co-operating."

Edge considered the possibility that the cupboard was tuning into the subconscious preferences of his fellow passengers. But then it would have stopped making sandwiches long ago... Perhaps it was just being a smart-arse. Edge frowned. This lemon was becoming a little too aware for his peace of mind...

Okay, cupboard, he thought. I could threaten you with disassembly, but we'd both know I would be lying. We're all sick of sandwiches, and if Larry's the only one eating something else, we might end up killing him. I don't want to have to stock the DUMASS up with food from home every time we take a trip in it, and I imagine that would be a blow to your ego as well. I know sandwiches are a convenient way of covering all the major food groups, but there are other ways. And we haven't had dessert for a very long time...

A mouth-watering vision of various cakes and pastries filled Edge's head. He could almost taste them... Edge stepped forward and pulled the cupboard door open.

"Bingo!" he crowed.

Suddenly Larry could smell several very delicious smells. "That doesn't smell like porridge," he said, craning his neck to see what the cupboard had produced.

Edge started unloading chocolate cake and apple pie and baklava and danishes and all manner of things. "Who wants porridge?" he said. "It's all about the proper motivation..."

Larry snagged an apricot danish and put it aside for later. "How does that work? Are you the only one who can get things out of it?" he asked, although he expected another evasive reply.

Edge surprised him by being honest. "I don't actually know," he confessed. "It was only supposed to be a closet, but I stored a few components in it, re-wired something else, and suddenly I started finding things I needed in there. Organic things, I don't think it can make anything metal or plastic, or I wouldn't have needed to get those components from my future self. We needed clothes, and sheets to hide the lemon, and food, and a present for Queen Morleigh, and it delivered. I don't know if it would work for anyone," Edge mused, looking at the cupboard thoughtfully. So far the lemon had begun to respond to him in an uncanny way, but then he had built it, even if he didn't fully understand everything about it.

"You could give it a try," Edge added, glancing at Larry.

The drummer shrugged. "I've got everything I need," he said. "I'm sure Bono or Adam would want to try it."

On cue, the singer and bassist came through the door from the bunk room, Adam giggling about something. They stopped short at the sight of the spread of desserts and stared. Adam sat down immediately and started eating like a starving man.

"We didn't know you could hear us," Bono told Edge, a trifle abashed.

Edge paused, then said, "I didn't know I would be able to, either." He decided there was no point pretending he understood everything about the DUMASS, not after everything they'd been through. "Have some cake."

Bono did so, although not quite with Adam's enthusiasm. Edge watched the bassist devour a cake and a pile of pastries in a way that reminded him of how Adam had been when he'd first invited the band to see the lemon.

"So, did you find the anti-gravity room?" Edge asked Bono.

"Yes," Bono said, looking slightly furtive.

"And...?"

"Well... we found a coffeeshop first," he admitted.

"A coffee shop?" Edge didn't see the need for Bono's reluctance to admit this.


"No, a coffeeshop," Bono repeated, pronouncing it all as one word, with something that was supposed to be a Dutch accent. "Not a cafe."

"Aah." Edge said no more about it.

After they'd eaten, Adam went to have a nap, and since it was getting dark outside, Bono and Larry decided they could use some sleep as well. Edge worked on into the night, calibrating and testing as thoroughly as he could without actually attempting to travel to their own time. He did think about surprising the others when they woke up, but he was reluctant to send the lemon through time while anyone was in the extra rooms, even ones as apparently stable as the bunk room. No point in taking any chances, he thought.

Finally, Edge was satisfied, and grabbed a few hours sleep for himself.

The following morning, Edge and Larry were woken by the familiar whoosh and shriek and as Bono forgot about the vacuum-powered toilet again, although Adam snored on regardless. They let him sleep until they'd all showered and had breakfast (Larry used the microwave to heat up a delicious omelette from his rescue hamper, while Edge coaxed something that was close enough to bacon out of the closet), but finally they were all assembled in the control room for the big moment.

"This is it," Edge said. "If this doesn't work, I don't know what I've done wrong. But it's going to work," he said, determined. If willpower worked on the cupboard, why not on the guidance system?

"We believe in you, Edge," Bono said, touchingly sincere.

Ignoring the Random button, Edge entered the date they'd left Dublin into the digital display, and guessed at the time. As long as they arrived home after they'd left, it wouldn't matter too much if they were a few hours late. With a look at his colleagues, he pressed another button, a green one this time.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:58 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting this, Diane! Glad you've got your laptop back.

Is it bad that it took me a while to work out what "sammies" were? *L*
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:18 AM   #3
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of course , the coffeeshop had to be referred to the Dutch

I love the sense of humour in this story!
Keep posting those chapters!
Are we hitting an end soon ? I don't really want to!
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:12 PM   #4
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Aw, don't go home just yet...
Wow! Larry's mom! Too bad Bono didn't get to see his.
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Originally Posted by dianepm View Post
"No, a coffeeshop," Bono repeated, pronouncing it all as one word, with something that was supposed to be a Dutch accent. "Not a cafe."

"Aah." Edge said no more about it.
Um. Is this something I want to understand?
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments...

Coffeeshops are places in Holland (and possibly other countries?) where you can legally buy small amounts of marijuana. I hadn't heard of them being anywhere else, but I don't live in Europe.

We are approaching the end, yes... but the next chapter is not quite the last.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Alisaura View Post
Thanks for the comments...

Coffeeshops are places in Holland (and possibly other countries?) where you can legally buy small amounts of marijuana. I hadn't heard of them being anywhere else, but I don't live in Europe.

We are approaching the end, yes... but the next chapter is not quite the last.
And believe it or not, the first ever Amsterdam coffeeshop was actually a tea house.
And yeah, you can buy pot, but also pre made joints and such. And since they are excluded from tobacco smoke bans, you can smoke them at the coffeeshops as well.

Not that I know anything about this, ofcourse. Purely from reading.
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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 03-12-2011, 04:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Alisaura View Post
Is it bad that it took me a while to work out what "sammies" were? *L*
Apparently sandwiches was too long of a tag word.

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Originally Posted by Galeongirl View Post
And believe it or not, the first ever Amsterdam coffeeshop was actually a tea house.
And yeah, you can buy pot, but also pre made joints and such. And since they are excluded from tobacco smoke bans, you can smoke them at the coffeeshops as well.

Not that I know anything about this, ofcourse. Purely from reading.
I knew I should have used tea instead of coffee . Next time I go with my first thought.

I was looking up tax deductions for my parents today and apparently you can deduct medicinal marijuana. Even thought they spell it with an H instead of a J.
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:44 PM   #8
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Apparently sandwiches was too long of a tag word.



I knew I should have used tea instead of coffee . Next time I go with my first thought.

I was looking up tax deductions for my parents today and apparently you can deduct medicinal marijuana. Even thought they spell it with an H instead of a J.
No you did all right. They are called coffeeshops. It was just a random fact that the first ever coffeeshop was a teahouse that changed into one. Then more came.

Marihuana is the official spelling I believe.
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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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