Chapter 17: They Will Not Control Us

Hatter is kicked and beaten before he is thrown in the back of scarab with Alice.  She almost cries when she realizes he is hurt so badly.

“Why Hatter?  You are supposed to sneak into the casino if I am captured, not get captured along with me.”  Alice just stares at him trying to figure out why in the world he just got himself incarcerated with her. She is stretched to the breaking point with her emotions and is unsure of what to do.

Hatter stares at her, feasting his eyes on her face.  What is wrong, he can see something is amiss with his Alice and he needs to get closer…  He can feel himself getting angry at the sight of her pain, uses the anger to break his bonds.  Hatter scrambles over to Alice and holds her close.

When his arms, which she has needed, come around her, Alice can’t keep the feelings bottled anymore; she breaks down and sobs in his arms. Her emotions are ruling her and she is unable to control them.

Hatter listens to her and wonders what has happened to cause this reaction.  He tries to soothe her, but she is lost in her pain.  His eyes grow darker with his anger, and the pain that he is feeling coming from her, hardening his resolve that this is it.  He will do what is necessary to make Alice safe and not feel this pain anymore.  Even if it means that she needed to lea-, the pain that shoots through him with the thought of sending her away makes him gasp.

Alice is sobbing, releasing the despair of Jack’s betrayal, her father not knowing who she is, and her being single handily responsible for the Resistance being torn down.  Then to top it off, she had to witness Mad March beating the crap out of Hatter in front of her.  She is learning that the only stable element in her life is Hatter.  He is always there for her.  He makes sure she is ok no matter what, but why did he not follow their plan?  This is setting them both up for more pain, and now, because of her, there is no Resistance to help support them!

Hatter listens to her heartrending sobs, and it breaks his heart to hear his Alice so broken right now.  He prays for someone to help them both and at the same time demands that Wonderland help them! He also hopes that Mad March doesn’t come back here.  But, at the same time he would have welcomed someone to take out his anger and frustration on!  He tries to get Alice’s attention again, murmuring to her, “Luv, shh, I am so sorry…tell me what is wrong! Or at least come back to me!”

Alice can hear Hatter, and can now sense him trying to calm her.  At the same time she can feel and hear the franticness he is feeling, because he doesn’t know what is wrong. This breaks through her grief and she looks up at him. “H-Hatter?” His name is no more than a whisper, but it is all she can say.

Hatter hears her whisper his name, and with a wordless cry holds her tighter. He breathes her name in relief, “Alice…”

Alice feels so safe right now, remembering everything that has happened, and how many times she has wished he has been there.  “Hatter,  I love you.”  Her voice is getting stronger; she is feeling safer with him here.

Hatter looks down at her, feathery life kisses her forehead telling her, “I love you too Alice, so much.” He hates to rush her, but, “We don’t have much time, Alice.  It’s not a long trip to the Casino from the City.  Can you tell me what has happened?”

Alice closes her eyes against the pain, and tells him, “Caterpillar and Jack took me to my father, but he didn’t recognize me.”  She rushes through the next part, trying not to think about it until later. “Mad March captured us, then Caterpillar ate a mushroom and disappeared.  Then you came to…”

Hatter realizes she is still upset as she trails off.  But he does hear about the mushroom and realizes that Caterpillar had extracted himself from the situation.  While that is good, he didn’t think the Resistance would come forward for a while.  They are a cautious group; he has often grown frustrated with their slow ways.  But, before he can tell Alice any of this, Hatter can feel the scarab descending and realizes that they have little time.  “Alice, luv, stay strong, and remember, I will come for you no matter what.”  With that he hugs her to him tight, releasing her reluctantly to go back over to where he has been chained just as the door opens.

Mad March comes in with the Ten of Clubs and goes to grab Alice.  Hatter cannot resist and with a roar he rushes Mad March.  Before he can get far, a group of Suits has him on the floor and all he can do is glare at Mad March.

“Still the ladies man, eh, Hatter?”   Mad March laughs at him and tells the suits to take him to the Doctors.  He turns back to Hatter and tells him, “I remember now that the Queen wanted me to find out where the Great Library is, Hatter, and I remember that you killed me to keep it hidden.  Now, we will see how long you can last with the Doctors. Revenge is so sweet isn’t it?” With that he walks down the ramp and leaves.

Ten of Clubs grows interested with Mad March’s statements, but keeps it hidden.  This man knows about the Great Library?  Maybe he also can…he thinks about this development and about what he has found out in the archives about a deal and an Alice.  Maybe now is the time? He orders the suits to unlock the girl, then have the suits to bring Jack and her to the throne room.

When they reach the throne room, he is surprised to see the King waiting for them.  Winston didn’t normally involve himself so openly; he prefers to work behind the scenes to minimize his wife’s excesses.  But, he is the one who had ordered Ten of Clubs to look in the archives.  Is he taking a more active role now?

Winston looks at his son and the girl named Alice.  He hopes that they can both think on their feet since this is sure to be a dangerous meeting with his wife.  They all have to be very careful; Constance has been getting more unhinged and vindictive lately.  Quite frankly, he is worried about Wonderland.  He orders Alice to be put in the containment bubble.  This may help them since he knows the daughter of Carpenter has a fiery temper, which is rather odd given the information he has about her.  He knows many things about her that she herself is unaware of and resolves to help this Alice out, since she gives him hope for Wonderland.

Before he can give the subject further thought, The Queen of Hearts comes in with her court and sits down in her throne.  She claps her hands and the Ten of Clubs brings her a platter with a container on it.  She laughs and picks up the container. “Oh.”  There is another container underneath. She laughs brightly at the merry game.

Winston asks, “May I?” and picks up the container… to reveal another container.  There is laughter from the court and Constance picked up the next container that revealed the ring inside… “Ah.” She reaches and puts on the ring amidst the applause of her court.  She admires it on her hand as Winston creeps closer and comments to her softly, “The mouse that stole the cheese.”

The Queen frowns and asks “What?”

Winston compounds on what he says “The cat that’s got the canary.”  He looks at her and tells her, “Oh you look radiant, my peach.  And dare I say younger too?”

The Queen of Hearts smiles and tells the court, “I’m going to wear it for at least an hour before you clever suits whisk it away to reopen the glorious Looking Glass and kick start that wonderful economy of ours.”  Then her face and voice grows hard, telling them harshly, “Then I want it back right away, you hear?”

The Ten of Clubs keeps his discomfort from showing on his face, and replies exuberantly, “Loud and clear, ma’am. Loud and crystal clear.”  He glances quickly at the King and Winston nods his head minutely.

The Queen walks over to the large bubble in the throne room and sees Alice in it.  She asks Winston, “What is she doing in that thing?”

‘And so it begins,’ Winston thinks.  He tells her, “She’s a contaminant.”

The Queen frowns and asks, “A what?”

He looks back at Carpenter.  Leaning down, Winston whispers in a voice that carries, “Jack discovered that she’s Carpenter’s daughter, went to fetch her so that she can turn him against you… you know, wake him up.”

The Queen connects all the dots and exclaims, “So that’s why he wanted the awful creature.”  She looks over at Jack and tells him, “Evil Boy.”

Alice looks out and sees her father. She doesn’t see anyone but him in the room.   She tries to get his attention. “Dad…” No reaction. “Dad!” She notices that he looks up.  She tries harder, “DAD!”  She rocks her container with her exclamation.

The Queen tries to hear what she says, but with the sound proofing they have put on the container she can’t hear.  “What did she say?”

The King thinks quickly and tells her, “‘Mad.’ I think she says she’s mad.”

The Queen nods and says, “Quite right.  But if I’m to consider her evidence, I must hear her clearly.”

Winston thinks back to Alice’s temper and says quickly, “But Carpenter would hear her as well.  It’s too risky.”

Constance throws an aggravated look at Winston and tells him, “Good heavens, Winston, you’re paranoid.”  She walks over to Carpenter and Walrus.  Stopping in front of him, she asks him in a falsetto voice, “Recognize that girl over there?” She indicates with her head, Alice.

Winston has to continue the game he started, “Dearest, please.” He begs her.

Carpenter keeps having these instincts to protect the girl in the bubble and thinks quickly.  “Oh, she’s an actress Jack brought here with some story about being my daughter.”

The Queen pushes, making sure to prove to her dolt of a husband that she knows what she is doing.  “Do you have a daughter?”

Carpenter realizes when Walrus starts to pay close attention, that this may be very dangerous, and he needs to play his cards right.  Not only to get the girl out of here alive, but himself too.  “Of course not, but the Resistance will try anything.”

Constance tells him, “Go over there and take a good look at her.” She shoots a glance at her husband.

Winston realizes this may not end well.  He can not control everyone’s reactions, and Alice is not cooperating, still trying to get through to her father, “Darling, please, I don’t think it’s wise.”

The Queen of Hearts is getting irritated with her husband, and bluntly tells him, “Shut up, Winston.  I’m the one that wears the crown around here.” as she walks with Carpenter to Alice’s containment bubble.  As they walk over, Alice tries again to get her father’s attention.  She can’t control herself right now.   She is retreating deeper in her mind trying to escape what can be happening to Hatter and what may happen to her.

Carpenter stares at the strangely familiar girl trying to make sense of why he has this need to protect her.  The Queen looks at him and asks, “Why did Jack pick her, do you think?”

Jack speaks up, unable to keep silent any longer, “Because she is his daughter.”  He can’t believe how much it hurts to realize that he has lost Alice, but he is going to still fight for her, even at the cost of his life.

Jack had watched in the monitors in the back of the scarab, Hatter breaking free of the chains to comfort Alice.  Their love for each other had been very evident when they thought they were unobserved.  He had been in pain, but loving Alice, wishing to protect her from anymore pain, he had blocked anyone from seeing what the two of them were doing.  Jack will work on winning Alice back if he has a chance after all this.

Constance rounds on Jack and spits out, “Quiet, ungrateful child!” She turns back to Carpenter and asks in a sweeter voice, “Well?”

Carpenter replies quickly, sticking to his earlier point, “Look, I have no idea; perhaps because she’s a very good actress.”

The Queen of Hearts tells him in a tone that is quite matter of fact as she watches for any reaction, “I’m going to have her executed, you know.”

Carpenters tries to keep from showing any emotion, and answers, “So?” To show anything will only serve to sentence them both to death.

The Queen stares at him and presses, “Doesn’t that bother you, even a little?”

Carpenter turns and stares at Alice.  She stares back, hoping that he will remember her.

Jack and the Queen watches the silent exchange between the two, both hoping for a reaction from Carpenter, but for different reasons.

Carpenter finally answers, “Why should it?” He cannot admit to anything, or there will be no chance for either of them.

This simple statement removes all hope from Alice.  She stands there devastated.  She shuts down at that second, not able to process anything else.  Everything has been taken from her, her freedom, her father, and Hatter.  What else is there to fight for?  Her emotions are like a hurricane battering at her, driving her mind underground.  A tear traces its way down her cheek as she stands there.

Jack watches Alice break.  He stares uncomprehending as he hears his mother tell Carpenter, “Excellent.  You may go.”  How can everything go so wrong in such a small amount of time?

The Queen of Hearts turns to deal with her son.

Winston sees the gleeful look on her face and feels bad for his son, but he knows he can’t show any weakness or there will not be any way to save anyone.

The Queen walks over to her son and declares, “My own son.”

Winston, while being so tired of playing these games, realizes this may be the dangerous game he will play here and adds, “Blackest of all black sheep.”

Constance stands in front of her son and court, stating, “I carried you for nine painful months, suffered eight hours of agonizing labor, suckled you day and night, your sharp little teeth gnawing at my breast and now here you are: a grown man with nothing but hatred and deceit in your heart.”

Winston tries to hide his reaction to her overreaction.  “It’s unnatural.”  His comment is not to his son, but to his wife; he is starting to realize she is finally losing it completely.  Soon she will become worse than her mother.

Constance decides that she will give the ungrateful traitor a chance to say something; she can show she can be merciful in her victory.  “Have you nothing to say before I pass sentence?”

Jack seizes on the chance to try to save Alice.  “Send Alice home, she doesn’t deserve this. Carpenter may seem well-adjusted now, but if he sees his daughter executed, he’ll wake up for sure.”  He is really speaking to his father and is happy to see him slowly nod. Alice may have a chance.

The Queen speaks quickly.  She is not going to lose the chance to at least see one Alice die by her hand.  “Nonsense.”

Jack tries to argue and give his father something he can use, “She can’t hurt you if she’s back in her world. Besides, you‘ve crushed the Resistance, their leader is dead, and the ring is back on your finger.  What more do you want?”  He feels desperate.  He needs to get Alice home where she belongs.  It is his fault she is here and it’s the least he can do since he seems to have ripped everything else from her.  She stands there like an Oyster that has been completely drained.  Jack is very worried.

Winston realizes that this is the first time he had ever seen his son try to save someone.  Feeling some hope, he decides that the argument is valid and tries to reason with his wife.  “There is some logic to what he says.”

Constance sighs wishing she hadn’t had to marry such a weak buffoon to gain her rightful throne. Unfortunately, marriages in Wonderland are permanent.  She tells him, “Don’t let him manipulate you, Winston.”

Jack quickly replies at his father’s look, “Go ahead then. Risk it.”

Winston glances at Jack and leans over to his wife and murmurs, “A word in your ear.”

Constance exhales noisily in aggravation and walks away.

Winston gives his son a hard look and Jack acknowledges the suggestion to keep quiet for now.

As they walk away the Queen tells Winston flatly, “Leniency is not an option.”

Winston did some of the fastest thinking and talking he has ever had to. “Heaven’s no.  We’re going to get rid of her, naturally.  The question is, how?”

Constance’s eyes and face lit up like a child’s on Christmas morning. “I’ve always like a good drowning.” She says eagerly.

Winston observes the look in her face and feels nauseous. “Yes, but again, that may be the slap in the face that wakes Carpenter up.  It’s too risky.”

Constance sighs and asks him, “You’re not falling for that, are you?”

Winston quickly analyzes his wife, realizing he needs her to think he is an idiot and answers, “Yes.” He hears her huff in aggravation and almost sighs himself in relief.  He then tells her, “No.  I mean, no, no.  But we will have to tread warily.  This denial is a tricky business.”

Constance realizes that he may be right.  She can’t bear lose the man that makes her feel such wonderful emotions and invents ways to get new ones, “What do you suggest?”

The relief Jack and Winston both feel is almost palpable.  Winston thinks and suggests off handily, “Well, there’s banishment.”

The Queen’s brow furrows, confused. “Banishment?”

Winston thinks of what can make her send Alice home or even to the White Kingdom , either being better than staying where Constance can get her hands on her. “Mm, some people even say it is worse than execution.”

Constance thinks about it, obviously turning it over in her head as she walks away murmuring, “Banishment.  Hmm.”  Making up her mind quickly, she walks up to her throne and announces to the court, “I have decided that the harsher sentence of Banishment is more appropriate.  Escort her to the Looking Glass and have her dispatched as quickly as possible.”

Jack and Winston glance covertly at Alice and see that she is still standing there with a blank look on her face.  They glance at each other and then back to the Queen as she starts to announce, “It is with a heavy heart and a clear conscience, that I, Mary Elizabeth Constance deVille Heart, Queen of Wonderland, do sentence you, Jack Frederick Heart, to be held in the Eye Room overnight, so that all of Wonderland may see you for who you really are.  And tomorrow morning, you shall be taken to the Grand Hall to face the executioner’s axe.”  Jack is shocked that she is going to actually kill him.  And then he is even more shocked that his eyes flash, not to Alice, but to the Duchess’s; she looks back at him, stricken.

Hatter has been taken to Doctor Dee and Doctor Dum.  They had clapped their hands in glee, recognizing him as the one that had taken their last plaything away from them.  They strap him in a chair and proceeds to play their normal mind games and use electricity on him.

But to their great confusion, the mind games don’t do anything.  It is like he is locked up in his head and they can’t affect him.  The most they will get are some odd sayings and statements.  In retaliation, they just start using the cattle prod on him, hoping that will weaken whatever hold is on his brain.

Hatter has been trained by the best in case this ever happened.  But he keeps in his head, the promise he has made to Alice, and watches for an opening to escape. If he hasn’t done this, there would have been no reaction to anything that the Doctors could do to him.  But Hatter finds that he can’t just release the bonds; there is no assurance that he can come back, especially due to his Madness being somewhat released already.

Hatter watches Mad March walk in, and tell the Doctors, “Leave us.”  Doctor Dee or is it Doctor Dum? protests “But-“

Mad March orders them, “I said leave!”

Hatter can’t help himself and starts babbling sayings he has heard from his father. “When is a raven like a writing desk?”  That brings flashbacks of his mother and father at the Tea Table laughing… “The clockwork’s not ticking properly, maybe crumbs in the butter?”  Thackery trying to butter his watch…  ‘Hatter!  You need to get a handle!  Otherwise you won’t be able to save Alice! ‘The fact that this is the closest he has ever come to blurting out his secrets is enough to scare him.  But the pain and the mind games from the Doctors still have them in their possession.

Mad March watches Hatter and demands, “Tell me where the Great Library is.”

That is all it takes for Hatter to break out of the mindless loop he is in and stares at Mad March in defiance.

Mad March nods and says, “Yeah, I didn’t think you’d crack. In that case, there’s no need to keep you alive.” He pulls a knife out of his sleeve and then, deciding to try to mess with Hatter some more, remembers an old nursery rhyme from the time of the first Red Queen.  For some reason, Mad March feels that it is appropriate. He recites, “Twinkle twinkle little bat, how I wonder what you’re at.” He goes and starts his killing stroke, telling Hatter, “Goodbye, Hatter.”

The quote is like a Godsend and breaks all holds on him.  He has no idea how, but Mad March has somehow hit upon one of the few quotes that most people don’t know has been a way to contact Resistance members of the Bluddy Beg Hed’s reign.

As Mad March tries to kill him, Hatter kicks back and makes the chair fall back.  As Mad March tries to recover, Hatter jumps up, using the chair as a shield for the first slash. Then thinking quickly, Hatter uses the next slash to free his right arm from the chair.  He can hear his Fa yell at him to finish it.  He swings back and punches Mad March’s head off again.  But, this time, he uses the knife to guarantee that Mad March will not be coming back to haunt him and his.

He feels Wonderland tell him he needs to find Alice and, after tying up the Doctors, and retrieving his hat and jacket, runs out to find her.

Alice has been nonresistant when they take her from the bubble.  She misses the look of triumph on the Queen of Heart’s face when she realizes Alice is catatonic. Winston stares after her and hopes that she is going to be ok.  Alice remains the same as they take her on the scarab to the city.  The suits think this is going to be an easy job and relaxes.

Alice is dragged into the Hall of the Looking Glass by a couple of suits.  The Nine of Clubs goes up to the technician in charge of the Looking Glass and tells him, “This one’s got to go back right away.”

The technician looks back and recognizes the girl as the one that the King has asked to be helped.  He tells the Club, “She’ll have to wait.  A raiding party is returning with fresh Oysters.”  He can’t do much, but since he feels sickened on what the suits are doing, he thinks it may wake the girl up.

As the group waits, three aces walk in the room, heading straight to the technician and telling him, “The Queen is getting impatient.  She wants the ring.”

The technician nods and tells them, “We’ll need it back.  The Looking Glass will only work for a short time without it.”  He hands the ring to them and glances at the girl.  She is still standing there with no emotion or thoughts showing in her face.  The suits nod and leave with the ring in its container again.

Then the Looking Glass ripples and that catches Alice’s attention.  She slowly surfaces as she watches suits bring fresh Oysters in from her world.  This brings some faint anger to the surface.  But what breaks through and brings her back completely is what the next two suits bring through the Looking Glass: children.  Children!  “No. No!”  She explodes into movement.  She breaks the hold the two suits have on her and she takes them down and runs up the stairs.

As Alice runs out of the building, she realizes how high it is.  She has to stop and grab the side of the wall.  She looks up, seeing that the suits with the ring haven’t left yet.  As she watches, two of them get on flamingoes, and take off while the third is checking something out on his flamingo. Without thinking it through, she charges the man, and knocks him over.  She then proceeds to take some of the anger she feels out on him driving him back towards the… “No!” She didn’t mean to have him fall over the edge!  She runs over to check and sees him lying on the ledge below.

Alice breathes a sigh of relief that the man hadn’t fallen to his death and then gets on the flamingo.  She remembers the last time with Hatter-‘No Alice!! Not now! Get the ring back and at least you can stop them from bringing anymore children!’  Alice tries to convince herself that it is, “Okay.”  She tells herself to do this! “Okay.” She then hears a noise and leans forward and sees the suit has almost made his way back up.  She tells herself, “Okay come on Alice you can do this!”

Then she hears bullets, she turns around and sees suits firing at her.  She looks up and sees that the ring is getting farther away.  ‘C’mon, Alice!’  She grabs the head of the flamingo and slams her hand on the button as she hears the suits run up behind her.

She takes off, ‘Too fast!’, and goes after the ring keeping the image of the children in front of her.  She has nothing else to fight for, but she will not allow them to kidnap children, take from them their emotions, and have them feel the way she does now.

She slowly catches up with the Aces.  As she is getting closes, she watches one pull away, and loses him in the clouds.  She will worry about him later and she concentrates on trying to catch the one with the ring.

All of sudden, she hears the sound of bullets flying around her.  She has a flashback of what had happened the last time she is on one of these, and ducks.  She quickly finds out why that is a bad idea as her weight throws the stick forward and makes it start to go down.  She looks back, and notices the Ace following her, but when she turns back around, she has something in front of her that is a bit more concerning, the forest rushing up to her.  She tries to pull herself out of her fear and can’t.  Alice tries again telling herself, “Alice, pull this thing up!”  Finally either that or the forest coming up quickly is enough for her to gain the ability to pull up.  And just in time; she is in the forest.  She has a flashback of watching the Return of the Jedi, and realizes that she needs to get out of the forest, since she can readily believe herself able to crash into a tree.

Alice pulls up and comes out of the forest.  She looks around for the Ace that has been shooting at her and saw him fly down a canyon going the wrong way.  She breathes a sigh of relief as she looks for the other Ace and sees him far in front of her.  She grows determined and races after him.

When she gets close to the Casino, she sees him land, and she quickly realizes this is a concern.  How is she to land this thing?  She sees a door on a ledge and decides to land there.  As she goes by the doors, she lands; sending sparks flying everywhere from the contact of the metal flamingo to the concrete.  As she shakily gets off the flamingo, she watches a bunch of suits run out the doors, and down to where the rest of the flamingos are.

She runs to the doors, and after making sure there are no others coming out, runs in.  She hopes as she runs through the building that no one has seen her.

As she runs, she hears an announcement. “All suits report immediately to section commanders.”  Alice is mystified, and wonders what is happening; are they aware of her?  She hides from another group of suits, and then runs around the corner, glancing out the window.  She slides to a stop and goes to confirm what her eyes are telling her.  There is an army of something out there and then she sees Charlie out there waving his arms.  “Wow. Where’d you get the army, Charlie?”

Before Alice can investigate any further, she hears the Ten of Clubs’ voice. “There, go, go. Hurry up.”

Not sure if he is after her, Alice runs down the stairs, and keeps running trying to find somewhere to hide.  She runs past a Diamond and down a hallway.  Hearing familiar music, Alice has an idea.  She looks around and sees the tacky red carpet, realizing this might be a perfect place to hide.  She hears the Ten of Clubs yell at the Diamond she had ran past, “Out of my way.” Realizing that he was close, she runs into the Gaming Room, and closes the doors.  She grabs a pedestal and wrestles it on top of the door handles. Just in time, since Alice hears them trying to open the door.  She breathes a sigh of relief and runs up on a dance floor trying to find somewhere to go or hide.  The go-go dancers see her, running off just as two suits comes up, and tells her with guns drawn, “Where do you think you’re going?  Get Down.”

Alice puts up her hands and her stomach drops.  She slowly makes it down the floor, trying to make a plan how to attack them, and not get shot. Though truthfully, with Hatter dead, she entertained the idea of doing something to set them off.  But right after that thought had passed through her mind, another one sets her straight, quickly.  ‘The children, Alice!’

Before she can think of anything else, she hears the most beautiful sound: a whistle, Hatter’s whistle!

As Alice turns to confirm that this was not a hallucination, so did the Suits.  Hatter punches the first one with his sledgehammer.  The man drops and before the other can fire his gun, Alice knocks his arms down and Hatter punches him also.

Alice swings around, saying the first things her shocked, and overjoyed brain can think of, “Hatter, you’re okay.”

Hatter is trying to focus and grabs the guns on the ground.  He is trying to contain the Madness that is very much at the forefront of his mind from watching the two men point a gun at his Alice.  He checks the first gun, hands it to Alice and then checks the other, sticking it in the small of his back. He answers her. “Yeah.”  Then, with then both having weapons, he looks up at her.

Alice can see the marks and blood all over his face.  Her heart drops and she feels tears threatening, Hatter looks worse than even after Mad March had beaten him.  Then she looks at his eyes and saw the Madness fighting to come out.  She gasps, “Oh my God.”

Her reaction breaks the last hold of Madness and he realizes that he had been so very close to losing it.  He hurries to assure her, “Oh, its a few cuts and bruises.  I’m fine.”  He rakes his eyes over her to make sure she is fine, and then he has Alice in his arms; she has thrown herself in them as she tells him, “I thought you were dead.”  Hatter holds her close, murmuring into her ear, “Oh, that feels good.”

He can feel her squeeze what he suspects is broken ribs and he doesn’t care.  Nothing matters now that Alice is here in his arms.  Then he realizes where they are and tells her reluctantly, “We should save that until we’re safe.” He pulls her out of his arms and looks her in the eye.

Alice nods realizing he is right.  But she has to tell him, “Hatter, I love you and-“

Unable to stop himself, Hatter grabs her and pulls her to him, he needs to feel her. He covers the distance between them, their lips meeting in a frenzy of need.  Alice had needed this as much as Hatter, this confirmation of the other alive and here.  After a few seconds of kissing, Hatter ends it reluctantly and tells her, “Follow me.  I’m getting us out here.” He grabs her hand and starts to walk to the other door to get them out of here.

Alice jerks her hand away from him, realizing that they need to end this, now.  She tells Hatter, “No”.

Hatter can’t believe what she said and even more importantly, that Alice has pulled her hand from his.  Alice never removes her hand from his! Swinging around with a shocked look on his face, Hatter repeats incredibly, “No?”

Alice thinks for a second, remembering Caterpillar telling her, ‘We’re all vulnerable, mix the wrong feelings together, the right kind of bad with the wrong kind of good, and you’ll wind up with a total breakdown.’  And what Charlie told Hatter and her ‘She just wanted to feel the good, not the bad.’   It all falls into place, solving the puzzle of Tea and what needed to be done to free everyone. Alice tells him, “I have an idea. Do you see any more suits in here?”

Hatter is trying to figure out what is going on.  But to answer her question, he looks to make sure that no more has entered the Game Room.  Finding nothing new, nor any threats to them, he tells her, “I don’t think so, no.”

Alice runs to the other door knowing that Hatter will follow her, telling him, “Let’s seal the other exit.”

As they make their way to the other door, Alice hopes to find another pedestal to block the doors, but none are to be found on this side. She looks outside the door, seeing a steady stream of suits heading outside the casino and realizes that this may also be the perfect time to overthrow the Queen. She asks Hatter, “Find something to brace the doors.”

Hatter can feel Wonderland encouraging him to do what she asks and trusts both her and Wonderland.  “Uh… okay.” He finds a broom, brings it over, and wedges it to block the doors as well as he can.  He wishes there is something more, but he can not find anything else.  He also feels that there is little time for him to run to the other side and grab one of the pedestals there.

Alice tries to explain her epiphany to Hatter, “Something Caterpillar says.  Mix the wrong feelings together and you’ll wind up with a complete breakdown. And Charlie…  Charlie says the Queen only wanted to feel the good, not the bad, remember?”  She needs him to understand and see if there are any holes in her logic.

Hatter thinks about it and can’t quite make the connection.  He asks her, “So?”

Alice replies grimly, “We’re gonna stir up some emotions.”  She looks at him, and explains, “All the positive emotions being harvested right now, mixed with the bad emotions we will make.” She watches as Hatter make the connection and grin.  He grabs her, kissing her briefly as he murmurs,”My clever little Oyster.”  Then he thinks of the danger, and tells her seriously, “Be careful Alice.  I don’t know how much more I can take, luv.”  He searches her eyes, and she nods grasping that he won’t say more but, she realizes how close he is to losing it.

Alice squeezes his hands, turns and ran up to the stage. Watching Hatter to see when he makes it to his destination; she fires the gun at the ceiling.   Hatter copies her move and yells, “Oi!”

Once she has the attention of the Diamonds in the Game Room, she levels the gun at them, and swings it.  Never more than this moment in time is Alice happy that some of her students at the dojo are cops and have shown her the correct way to handle a gun. “Deal another hand, spin another roulette wheel, and it will be your last!”

Alice thinks and realizes she needs to wake them up.  Their own emotions when they realize they are trapped will run a large gauntlet of negativity, from being scared from being here, to anger due to the lack of freedom.  She knows her fellow Oysters and knows they won’t disappoint her.  But first she has to wake them up! “Hey everyone, wake up. This isn’t a dream, this is really happening.”  Alice lowers her gun and tells them, “Look at me.  Think.  Where are your families?” As she watches, one man looks around and starts to feel his pockets like he is trying to figure something out.  She continues with more hope, “Your kids, your husbands and your wives and your mothers and your fathers?”

The same Oyster that has started to move makes a comment that seems to wake the two nearest him, “Where did I leave my keys?”

Alice continues, feeling like she is getting more success with them than her father.  “You are taken from them and brought here.  Try to think.  Your name—” She thinks about it and realizes she will have been upset if she can’t remember something as simple as her name, “What’s your name?”

All of sudden someone answers her.  She looks and sees an older Oyster looking at her; he answers her, “Taylor.”  The Oyster next to him looks at him, waking up, “No, that’s my son.  My son!” And he looks at the Oyster next to him.

Alice tells them, “Look down at your feet.  Try to walk away from the tables.” Alice can hear the range of emotions she thought she would.  One Oyster standing next to the Cop that had woken up first, sounds both angry and scared, “They’re stuck.  I can’t move my feet.”

Hatter can’t believe it.  Never in his wildest dreams did he believe this can happen.  He keeps a vigilant eye out for any danger to his Alice.  ‘This may work!’  He dares to start hoping that it will end soon.

Alice tells them.  “Wake up!”  She can see a few not fully awake and tries to wake them.  “Wake up!”  The Oysters look around, seeing their neighbors not awake and proceeds to shake them or do what they can to wake them up.

All of a sudden, there is banging on the door, and Alice uses it to further Hatter’s cause. “Look, they’re trying to break down the door.  Do you know why? Because they don’t want you to wake up!”

At that moment, the suits break through the door firing with their guns.  Alice jumps down taking cover, returning fire.  She is trying not to kill anyone, just hit to disable them.  She couldn’t have asked them to do something more than this that will help her cause!  Wait, is that the Ten of Clubs?

Hatter returns fire from his exposed location until he makes sure Alice is safe.  Once he is assured of her safety, he leaps over the glass barrier and takes cover by the roulette table.  Then it dawns on him that the suits are not shooting well.  It is more like they are trying to… scare the Oysters?  What is going on?

Before either of them can make sense of what is going on, Carpenter runs into the room and yells at the suits “Stop!”  Two suits close the door behind him.  He continues, “You’re frightening the Oysters.”  He then sees Alice crouched behind the gaming table.  As he stares at his daughter, ‘His daughter, how long has he been here that she is grown up?’ stand up and hold a gun expertly at him.  He quickly tries to think.  He needs to get her out of here, get her somewhere safe.  “I’ll deal with this.”  As he walks to Alice, he is a little disconcerted that she continues to hold the gun at him.

Alice can’t believe this.  What is he doing here?  She demands of him, “What do you want?”

Robert tries to reason with her.  “Put the gun down.”  He continues to walk to her but is brought up short when she tightens her grip on the gun, and demands, “You stay right there.”  He tries to tell her he remembers, “It’s me Alice.  It’s your father.”

Alice has barely recovered from her catatonic state and has not had time to deal with her emotions.  She has also just found Hatter is alive when she thought she had gotten him killed.  Her mental state is breaking down too quickly and she can’t do anything about it.  She tells him in a voice breaking and descending into that ten year old voice, “You don’t remember me.  You don’t remember anything.”

Hatter’s heart stops.  He hears the warning in her voice and freezes for a second to calm himself down.  ‘You need to help her and not fall apart yourself.  She is enough danger right now!’

Robert realizes he had done so much wrong earlier, and tries to convince her, “I do.”  He grabs his wrist with the watch, “Thanks to you, I remember everything.”

Ten of Clubs stands there barely breathing.  He hopes that Alice has really awakened Carpenter and that now that someone can bring her back.  Ten of Clubs has done what he can to help, hearing her plan from outside the door, realizing this is why the King has ordered him to help her.  She is the Alice of the Prophecy.  Now he hopes that her helping Wonderland won’t cost her, her sanity.

Alice stands there, thinking this may be another trick of the Queen’s, and she won’t back down.  She has to free Hatter and save the children.  Those are the only thoughts that make themselves clear in her head amidst the confusion.  “I don’t believe you, this is just another trick.”  Her voice is retreating more and more into her ten year old voice.  She wakes up enough to remember the plan and tells the other Oysters, “See this guy?  He is the one who brought you here.  He hooked you up.  When he is done with you… When he’s done with you, he’ll get rid of you. “

Robert can feel his heart breaking.

Hatter can’t take it anymore and begins to make his way to Alice.  He doesn’t know what is going on, but he will not lose her to her emotions and mind. He promised to take care of her, and he will do so.

Robert looks up at a movement that he catches out the corner of his eye and sees a man head towards his daughter.  He almost growls protectively, but then recognizes the young man as the one that tried to rescue her earlier.  He is a little worried who the man is, he looks very familiar to Carpenter, but Alice’s next words bring his attention back to his daughter.

Alice screams at her father, “Isn’t that right? Daddy, isn’t that right!!?!

Robert realizes he needs to convince her and bring her back.  He thinks back to what she had told him on the rooftop.  The story she told him there is very clear in his head.  Robert tells her all the details he can remember to let her know it is him, and he really remembers. “It is a Sunday and we’d just come back from the movies. And you are wearing your yellow dress and those black shoes that always hurt your feet.  And… Carol…met us in the driveway and told us Dinah had been hit by a car.”  He watches Alice slowly lowers the gun, and he starts to walk to her, “And you ran into the yard and hid. And I came and found you and held you for hours while you wept.” He stops and holds his arms from his body to show her he is defenseless.  He starts to tell her in a soft voice, “I should have known you the moment I saw you. I’ve been a fool, Alice.  I’ve missed so much.  I’ve wasted so much time.  Please forgive me. I’m so sorry.”

Alice looks at him, starting to cry, as she walks into his arms.  Robert folds her into his arms in relief that she is back.  He hugs her, rocking her to comfort and starts to turn.  Then out of the corner of his eye, he sees Walrus there, raising his gun to shoot at Alice.  He yells, “No!” turning Alice around so that he can protect his daughter.  He hears the gunshots, but did not feel any hit him.  He looks up and sees the man that has been making his way to Alice’s side holding a gun.  He looks back at Walrus and sees him fall to the floor.

Hatter didn’t even have to think.  He loves her enough to kill to save her life.  NO ONE will hurt his Alice.  When he sees the fat man burst through the doors and raise a gun to his Alice, he shoots first, not taking a chance. He looks back at Alice to make sure she is ok and meets her father’s eyes.  The gratitude in them is overwhelming and he nods.

Then the building starts to shake.  Alice stumbles back from her father in shock and would have fallen if it had not been for Hatter’s quick thinking.  He grabs her and pulls her close to him.  He first hugs her tight needing to confirm to his heart that she is alright.  But as the Oysters erupt into movement, he grabs her and her fathers’ arms and tells them they need to run.

Ten of Clubs looks at the suits and they nod assenting.  This is a group of only Clubs and they will obey him.  They start to assist the Oysters out of the Gaming Room.  As they exit, the Ten of Clubs sees other Clubs helping evacuate the children and other Oysters.  He smiles and goes to makes sure everyone gets out.

Everyone is running and there is a line of suits telling them which way to go and to help any that needs it.  Alice, Hatter and her father barely make it to the clearing outside when the Casino falls.

Hatter had let go of Alice and her father’s arms when they were running.  But he never fully lets go of Alice, and when the Casino had starts to collapse, he pulls her in his arms.  He swings the two of them around so that his body protects her from anything that may hurt her in the fall.  Once the casino is destroyed, Hatter looks down at Alice in his arms and tightens them.  She is safe!

Then Hatter sees her face, the curiosity that Alices are known for is there. He realizes they need to make their way out where they can see better, to satisfy her inquisitiveness.  Hatter will spend the rest of his life trying to give Alice what she wants, and this is the perfect time to start. Letting her go, he assists Alice to the front of the clearing to see better and can hear her father following them. Hatter stares and can’t believe it.  His Alice had brought down the House of Cards.  He looks over at her father and sees him staring in shock also.

As they all stare and realize that the casino is completely gone, Hatter turns to Alice, and trying to have her smile or at least react, asks her, “I don’t suppose I can get that hug now, huh?”

Alice jumps, looks at him and smiles.  Before she can say anything, they hear a voice order, “There.  She’s there.  Get her.”

Hatter jumps in front of Alice and her father on the other side does the same shielding her.  But before the Spades can do more, a bunch of Oysters also jump in front of them, the Cop is telling them, “Touch the lady and I’ll shuffle your deck.”

The Queen is infuriated.  She demands, “Don’t just stand there, idiots.  Arrest her!”  She is starting to realize Absolem tricked her; this is the Alice the Oraculum has shown!

Everything sharpens for Alice.  She realizes that this is the time to make a stand, and she is angry.  This Queen has no right to do what she has done to her world nor to the people from Alice’s world!  Alice walks away from her protectors and tells the suits, “Take a good look at your queen first; make sure she’s really worth fighting for.”

The suits turn and look at the Queen of Hearts along with everyone else.  After feeling the power in the slight girl behind them and remembering all the put downs and humiliations they have suffered from at the hands of the woman in front of them, they walk away.  They put their faith in Wonderland.

Constance can not believe the audacity of this girl. Telling her people what to do?  She demands of the suits, “How dare you look at me? She’s the one you should be looking at.”

Hatter can’t take his eyes off of Alice.  He can feel Wonderland waking up.  He glances quickly at the Queen and knows his eyes darken for a second with the hatred he feels for her.  She has done so much to his family and more importantly to his Alice.  Knowing he needs to keep control for a little longer to make sure Alice’s promise is not broken, he goes back to guarding Alice’s back.

Alice walks forward to confront one of the banes of her time here in Wonderland.  She stops, standing proud, and tells her, “I am not the problem. You are.”

The Queen of Hearts can’t take the insolence from the girl in front of her anymore.  She turns to the Ten of Clubs, using her mother’s and her favorite words, she tells him, “Off with her head!”

The Ten of Clubs give her a look of disgust and walks away lending his support to the Alice of Prophecy.  He thinks for a moment and goes to find Jack; he will be able to help Alice, if the confrontations in the throne room had been any indication.

Alice stands there and never feels so clearheaded and strong.  She continues her argument, “And it looks like everyone is waking up to that.”

The Queen stares at her, feeling a flicking down of foreboding going down her back.  Fighting it, she demands, “Don’t listen to her.  She’s just an insolent girl.”  She will not let the Oraculum be right!

Alice calmly tells her, “No one is frightened of you anymore.  You’re just one of us now.”   The court and everyone surrounding her backs away realizing that there is to be a change of power; they can feel Wonderland waking up.

The Queen can feel the power in the land as it stirs, telling it and Alice, “This is my Kingdom and I am still Queen.”

Hatter holds his breath; he can feel Wonderland investing Alice in front of him with its power… and him? His eyes widen and he stares shocked.

Alice continues feeling stronger.  She needs to end this for Hatter and her sake.  “Look around. No one is listening.  Your power is gone.”

At that moment, Jack comes through the crowd with the Duchess close behind him.  The Ten of Clubs walks behind Alice of Prophecy, his support is completely behind her. The Clubs are done with the Hearts and their rule.

Hatter notices this and didn’t trust the man; he moves closer to stand beside Alice.  This also lets him be near her in case Jackie boy gets any ideas… Hatter won’t be playing on the same grounds here shortly as they previously did.

Alice is shocked, but relieved that Jack is still alive; one more case of guilt off of her.

The Queen notices him and with a faint sound of relief tells him, “Jack, thank heavens you’re here. Get everyone to fall in line.”

Jack stops and stares at her, incredulous, “Me? Didn’t you sentence me to death?”  He looks around assessing what is going on, and realizes with shock evident on his face, that they are standing up to his mother.

The Queen can feel Wonderland rejoicing, the powers slipping from her, and snaps back at Jack, desperate. “Oh don’t be so sensitive.  I was just doing my job.  Come on now and rally the troops.”

Jack can not cover his joy in telling her, “No.  Mother it’s over.”

Alice can think only one thing that may give the Queen any power and holds her hand outstretched. “The ring.”

Constance can barely hold her anger in, spitting out at this insolent child in front of her, “Are you mad? I’d sooner have you cut off my finger.”

Alice calmly replies, “That can be arranged.”  She knows Hatter will be there and will back her.  Especially when they are this close to forever for both of them, she will do whatever it takes for that chance.

Hatter realizes the same as Alice, but can also feel Wonderland singing.  He turns to the Ten of Clubs standing beside him, “Do you have a knife?”

The Ten of Clubs looks at him, and hands this man that is almost bursting with power, his knife.

Hatter calmly replies, “Thank you.”  He begins to walk to the Queen.

Before he makes it all the way, Jack stops him.  “Make sure it’s a clean cut. We don’t want any blood on the ring.”

He nods and says, “Mm-hmm” and flips the knife open.  He is determined to end this.

Jack is speechless at the power that had reverberated up his arm when he stopped Hatter.  Who is this man?

Constance can feel Wonderland in both the girl in front of her, and the young man that has stepped forward beside her, she also feels the sheer determination they both have to end this.  Constance admits that she can’t win.  She angrily took the ring off and places it in Alice’s hand.

Alice holds it up in victory and everyone yells in joy.

Then Hatter looks up, and yells, “Chess, Absolem, It’s done!”  Everyone turns and looks at him in surprise.

Then in front of them appears a blue butterfly on the shoulder of a woman all in white but her nails and lips who holds herself regally.  Next to them appears a beautiful brown eye blonde woman in silver armor, holding a sword.  Standing behind her protectively a man with orange hair, white face and a top hat with a grey and turquoise stripe cat between the two of them.

Everyone is in shock recognizing the Alice of Legend; her mate, Tarrant Hightopp and the White Queen along with the Keeper of the Oraculum and The Cheshire Cat.  Then they all have an even larger shock when Tarrant tells Hatter proudly in a strong brogue, “Excellent job, Son.”

To be continued…

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6 Comments

  1. Kate

    So, when will there be more?

    Reply
    • kittyinaz

      As soon as we catch up the rest. This was my first, and as an insane Christmas present, a past beta and I scrambled to finish and polish it. As I had written the next chapters as soon as I finished, they are bad. Even my current beta is shocked since she is used to reading my work after the first beta worked with me. We are goi g to get the other stuff caught up, knowing we will be spending ALOT of time on those first ones.

      If you want to read, they are still on Fanfiction under my name there. The later chapters are good, it’s just, well I was very raw still and many any years from school papers.

      I have even written new chapters for it for when we get back to it. So it is not been given up and is sitting here, all chapters ready for when we can both work on it.

      Thanks for leaving a review and showing interest, it definently motivates me to want to get back to it. I have researched it and tons of pictures for it!

      Reply
  2. Melissa

    I found and read all of this one today. Such a cool idea, so waiting for an update.

    Reply
    • kittyinaz

      The story is on my Fanfiction page and is called Revelations, Legends and Champions. Here is the link: http://www.fanfiction.net/~kittyinaz I put this here, since when I started the story, I was asked to keep it T and wrote out at the beginning the M parts putting them in a seperate story.

      Just warning you, Alice and Hatter was my first fic, and was redone in a month for a Xmas gift. It was BIG TIME redone. When you read the beginning of Revelations, it is not as well written as later. Because of this, my Beta and I are going to work on it after Tea Shoppe. It is loaded on here, just needing ALOT of work. I do plan to finish and even a sequel to it, but it will take time to get there.

      Thanks for the review, and I am glad you emjoyed it, it remains one of my favorites that I go back and read. Now with pictures!

      Reply
  3. missrissa81

    So much wow and yay!!!! I love it!!!!

    Reply
  4. Llama

    I know it’s been years since this was posted and an update is probably unlikely. But I wanted to tell you that this a lovely piece and I adored the enhancements you made to the entire plot as well as its direction. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that inspiration strikes again someday and you return to this fandom to complete this amazing arc!

    Reply

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