Part 15: The Sign of the Cross

Adrian: I have a very bad feeling about this …
Dave: You had a bad feeling about every previous mission, mate.
Adrian: Well usually I was right, wasn't I?
Dave: Uhm, well …
Bruce: Somehow I also have a creepy feeling. Did you see those looks the BBC manager shot us when he handed us the mission paper?
Janick: Yeah, and he insisted a bit too much that we should be very careful.
Steve: As if he'd ever cared.
Bruce: Maybe you were a bit too enthusiastic about the gig at Helen's palace.
Steve: So now it's my fault when this mission turns out dangerous? That what you're saying?
Bruce: When was I saying that? I just meant, it might have incited them to give us something more thrilling for a change.
Adrian: To be honest, that gig was thrilling enough for me.
Steve: Exactly my thinking. And don't blame me if BBC are a bunch of blood-thirsty loonies …
Bruce: When did I blame you? Did I say anything? Nope, not a word from me. You keep twisting my words, 'Arry.
Steve: I'm not twisting your words.
Bruce: Yes, you are.
Steve: Hm.
Nicko: Well, anyway, we are here now and we'll simply deal with whatever comes our way. So, what is the mission?
Janick: Let's see: "Bring back a torture instrument."
Bruce: Ok, I hate to admit it, but this DOES sound kinda not-reassuring.
Adrian: In fact, it sounds alarming.
Dave: No, it's easy.
Janick: You think so?
Dave: We can get back immediately.
Steve: What do you mean?
Dave: We're Iron Maiden. That's a torture instrument.
Bruce: Ah, hehe. Well, that would be a nice pun in fact. Still … I guess BBC wants the real thing.
Nicko: But we better keep Dave's idea in mind, in case we need a loophole out of here. Till then, let's have a lookie round.
Janick: Where are we anyway? In a big city, not too modern by the look of it.
Adrian: I guess that rules out a Torture Museum. Would have been too easy anyway.
Bruce: I don't like the look of this place at all. Neither the allusion to a torture instrument. If you ask me, the whole affair stinks of the Inquisition.
Steve: Great. The Inquisition. IS BBC FUCKIN' NUTS?
Nicko: Calm down, Steve. We're not even sure if we really have to deal with the Inquisition. This could be just about any city in any time.
Steve: "Bring back a torture instrument." That's proof enough for me.
Bruce: I agree. Anyway, you don't want to be hanging around in a city where you find torture instruments. Inquisition or no inquisition. Torture instruments aren't particularly noted for bringing about peace. No matter what the people who use them say.
Steve: Exactly. FUCK!
Adrian: Hmm … so what's the plan?
Janick: Shh, duck down, there's somebody approaching.

Diego: Azeem, be greeted. How do you feel, my friend? Now that your brother died at the stake? Sad thing.
Azeem: I'm fine, don't worry. I don't have much time for talking, sorry, Diego.
Diego: Ah yes, just run, my friend, just run.

Bruce: Hmm, those blokes seem to be maurish. I'm pretty sure we're at the peak of the Spanish Inquisition. Late 15th century.
Steve: Fuck, I read about that time. That's one of the most dangerous periods in Spanish History.
Bruce: Let's have a chat with that guy. Check out the lay of the land.
Janick: Are you sure that's a good idea?
Bruce: Ehm … no, but we have to do SOMETHING. Let me handle this.
Steve: No, wait, Bruce. You better NOT handle it this time.
Bruce: And why not? You think I fuck up again?
Steve: No, but we'd better be diplomatic … I'm gonna talk to him. You guys watch my back. And stay together! Please.

Steve: Hey, there. Can I ask you a question?
Diego: What do you want, Christian?
Steve: Hey, no need to be suspicious. I just need an information.
Diego: So, what is your question?
Steve: I am a stranger here, and I was wondering about the tense atmosphere around here.
Diego: Stranger, your feeling does not betray you. You better leave if you can, this city is dangerous. The High Inquisitor has taken up residence in Cordoba a week ago. Only by talking to me you are putting yourself in danger of being accused of heresy. Aren't you afraid to talk to an "unfaithful dog"?
Steve: No, of course not. That's bullshit.
Diego: So, so, is it? Interesting thinking for a Christian.
Steve: Hm. Anyway, where is this Inquisitor residing?
Diego: Why do you wish to know that? You better stay away from his palace.
Steve: Are they still torturing people to find out their beliefs?
Diego: Yes, they are torturing the poor souls in the name of their god. Do you know somebody who is being questioned? I can bring you to the torture prisons, if you want to see that sad place, stranger.
Steve: Eh ... well … Oh Hell, why not? I follow you, lead the way.

Janick: What is he doing? Can you zoom in on him, Nicko?
Nicko: He's discreetly motioning us to follow him.
Dave: Let's get moving then. This city is creepy. The people look so wary.
Bruce: Yeah, and I don't like the looks of this little rat-face at all.

Diego: Here are the prisons, stranger. Is this where you wanted to be?
Steve: Ehm, yeah, I guess so. Damn, there is a guard, we better watch out.
Diego: Guard, come here! I brought a traitor of the true faith for the Inquisitor.
Steve: What? Damn, why are you doing this?
Diego: Forgive me, stranger, but the Christians pay well if you deliver them traitors.
Guard: Well done, Diego. I'll take over from here.
Steve: Damn! You're the only traitor here. You hear me, Diego? Fuckin' traitor, fuckin' asshole. Leave me be, you! Fuck!

Bruce: Oh, shit! They got 'Arry. And he's raving like a madman. What now?
Janick: We cannot just leave him here.
Dave: Will they bring him before the Inquisitor now and burn him at the stake?
Bruce: Well, if they learn that 'Arry is responsible for songs like The Number of the Beast and Lord of the Flies …
Adrian: Probably they will torture him to find out.
Janick: Nah, 'Arry will never admit to being a satanist.
Adrian: Well, then they'll just torture him some more.
Janick: They want him to lie?
Adrian: Isn't really a matter of lying or telling the truth. They just want to hear what suits them.
Dave: Oops, we really have to help him.
Nicko: Ok, guys, how do we get into the Inquisitor's palace?
Bruce: We better make a plan before we rush in there. A good plan. Better yet, make that a REALLY good plan.
Adrian: But we need it fast, before it's too late.
Janick: Exactly, 'Arry wouldn't let us down either, if one of us were in his place.
Bruce: Still, rushing things won't help anyone. Let's try and come up with a plan.

Guard: Get in there, heathen. And shut up.
Steve: Ouch! Damn. Fuck! I am not a heathen! Asshole!
Iago: You better be quiet, friend. Once you're here, shouting only makes things worse. I am Iago, what is your name?
Steve: Huh? My name is Ste… ehm, Esteban. What is this place?
Iago: You are in the dungeon of the High Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada.
Steve: I haven't done anything. This must be a mistake.
Iago: I believe you. None of us have done anything. Our only crime is that we refuse to be the blind followers of their Church. I am of Maurish descent. That is my crime.
Steve: This is insane. Do people never learn?
Iago: Be careful, the Inquisitor is a sly man. And cruel. You are a Christian, I can see that. Use your chances, try to convince him of your true faith. You may have a chance to get out of here alive.

Dave: Where do you think he is right now?
Bruce: He's probably waiting in his cold cell, when the bell begins to chime …
Adrian: That's not funny, Bruce.
Bruce: Yeah, I know it's not. Sorry. Damn. We need a plan.
Nicko: Maybe this will work … although it might be dangerous.
Bruce: Well, believe me, I'd do anything to get 'Arry out of there. It was my idea to talk to that rat in the first place. By rights, I should be the one bound in that hole.
Dave: It's no use blaming yourself, Bruce. We all want to help 'Arry. Cheer up, ok?
Janick: So, what's your plan, Nicko?

Guard: Hey, you!
Steve: Huh? Do you mean me?
Guard: Yes. It's your turn soon. So you better prepare. Haha.
Steve: What does he mean?
Iago: The Inquisitor will question you, to find out whether you are a heretic.
Steve: How the fuck does he want to find that out?
Iago: He will ask you stuff from the Bible. And probably he'll also ask you to betray others.
Steve: I would never do that. You don't betray your friends. Easy as that. Besides, I don't know anybody here.
Iago: Not a good answer, not a good answer at all. Loyalty is the one virtue that will not help you in this place. He won't believe you and think you are covering somebody.
Steve: Damn!
Iago: Another good tactic would be to stop swearing.
Steve: I'm not swearing, fuck! I'm furious!
Iago: Good luck, Esteban, good luck. You will need it.
Steve: Great. I better start revising my Bible then.
Iago: You better start praying, my friend.
...
Adrian: Pooh, this is a crazy idea. But it might just work.
Dave: But how will we find this guy?
Nicko: With a bit of luck. I'm scanning the street with me lens as we speak.
Janick: I guess we need a lot of luck this time. Who's gonna do it?
Nicko: It was my idea, so it would only be fair if I did it. I know it's dangerous. ... Zooming in on a shady dipshit ...
Bruce: It was my idea that brought 'Arry in this situation, so I guess I should do it. Anyway, I probably know more about the Inquisition than you, Nicko. I might not raise too much attention.
Adrian: Maybe. But Nicko somehow fits the profile better, if you ask me.
Dave: True. You look too clean-cut, Bruce.
Nicko: Hello! Look over there. Zooming in on the requested target. I think we just found what we were looking for.
Janick: Ok, let's get him before he gets 'Arry.

Guard: In there with you! And don't forget to bow down before the Inquisitor.
Steve: You wish. OW!! Fuck!
High Inquisitor: What do we have here? Another stray soul. What is your name, my poor, misguided son?
Steve: Esteban. And I am not a stray soul. Nor poor, nor misguided, nor your son. You got the wrong guy, sorry.
High Inquisitor: You are saying, the Holy Church makes mistakes?
Steve: No, that's not what I said. You're twisting my words. I said …
High Inquisitor: ENOUGH! Guard, has the torturer arrived yet?
Guard: I just saw him outside, he will be in soon.
Steve: Torturer?
High Inquisitor: Do not worry, my son. If your conscience is clear and your faith undaunted, no harm can befall you. God is watching over the meek and subdued.
Steve: Can I doubt that?
High Inquisitor: Doubt is the first step to Hell, my son.
Steve: The first step to Hell has been agreeing to that stupid BBC deal.
Guard: The torturer and his aid have arrived, my lord.
High Inquisitor: Let us proceed to the Inquisition chamber. Follow me.

Bruce: I hope they won't notice anything. Are you sure you know how to handle these instruments?
Nicko: Yeah, don't worry. I'm not gonna hurt 'Arry. I hope he plays along, though.
Bruce: He won't even recognize us under this mask. Woah, is that a thumbscrew? Cool.
Nicko: Yes, and you know what? Our mission is accomplished. I pocket this thumbscrew and all we need to do is get 'Arry out of here.
Bruce: Which won't be easy. I just hope H, Jan and Dave can keep the real torturer in check.
Nicko: Yes, they wrapped him up like a Christmas present, he won't budge. Shh, there they come, we better play our part now.

High Inquisitor: Ah, torturer, there you are. Let us strive to bring back another poor soul onto the right path.
Steve: I am on the right path, dammit!
Bruce: Maybe he should stop swearing.
High Inquisitor: YOU ARE SWEARING IN THE FACE OF THE HOLY MOTHER CHURCH!
Steve: No, I'm not. I'm only swearing in your face.
High Inquisitor: BLASPHEMY! Torturer, do your work. Let's start slowly. Thumbscrews.
Steve: Thumb… NO!
High Inquisitor: Ah, you already fear the pain?
Steve: I don't fear pain. But I need my hands for my job.
High Inquisitor: You should have thought about that earlier. Torturer, what are you waiting for?
Nicko: At your command, me lord.
Steve: Leave me be, fuck.
Bruce: 'Arry, it's me and Nicko. You won't feel anything, but shout as if, ok?
Steve: Huh?
Nicko: Yes, I'm only pretending to turn the screws. There you go, devil's spawn! Feel this? HEHE!!!
Steve: AAHH! MERCY!
High Inquisitor: Ah, you're asking for mercy. Mercy shall be given to the repentant. Leave him for now, Torturer.
Steve: What do you want of me? What crime do you accuse me of?
High Inquisitor: I am questioning your belief.
Steve: Ok well, how can I prove it?
High Inquisitor: Do you know the Ten Commandments?
Steve: Ehh …
High Inquisitor: It's elementary for a good Christian, I would say.
Steve: Sure, I know them. You shouldn't steal, you shouldn't kill, you shouldn't lie, you shouldn't … swear.
High Inquisitor: Exactly, I am amazed you remember that one. Proceed.
Steve: Ehm … you should ... honour your parents?
High Inquisitor: Yes. Continue.
Steve: Ehm …
Nicko: Adultery.
Steve: You should not commit adultery.
High Inquisitor: Correct. 4 more to go.
Steve: Ehm, envy?
High Inquisitor: Envy is a deadly sin, but it's not one of the Ten Commandments.
Bruce: My lord, he probably meant "You should not be envious about your neighbour's property."
Steve: Yes, that's what I meant.
High Inquisitor: Very well, you're correct then. And the three remaining are?
Bruce: No gods …
Steve: Huh?
Bruce: No … other … gods …
High Inquisitor: I'm waiting …
Steve: Know other gods?
High Inquisitor: Correct, the most important and foremost commandment. Thou shalt not have other gods BESIDE ME!
Steve: Beside you?
High Inquisitor: THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS, HOW DARE YOU? TORTURER, THUMBSCREWS!!
Nicko: 'Arry you better keep your temper in check. Now fake a louder scream.
Bruce: Scream for me, prisoner, hehe.
Steve: AAAARRGGGH!!!!!!!! MERCY!!!
High Inquisitor: So, you clearly don't know all the commandments. Why do you think I should believe your faith then?
Steve: I know them!
High Inquisitor: I'm waiting.
Bruce: No images of God.
Steve: You should not make images of God.
High Inquisitor: I'm impressed. And the last one is …
Bruce: Damn, is there one missing?
Nicko: I believe he mentioned them all, me lord.
High Inquisitor: No, he did NOT mention them all. He forgot the 4th commandment.
Bruce: Shit, I can't remember which one that is.
Steve: Never mind. I've had enough of this farce anyway. You know what? The most important commandment is "You shall not do evil in the name of God." How about that one, High Inquisitor? Does it ring a bell?
High Inquisitor: TREASON!! BLASPHEMY!! Torturer, use your whip!
Bruce: Oh, fuck, we cannot whip him.
Nicko: I'm afraid, I forgot me whip at home.
High Inquisitor: What? You come here unprepared?
Nicko: Well, sorry. I had to use it on me wife yesterday. Little domestic quarrel, you see.
High Inquisitor: You are profaning the instruments of the Holy Inquisition for family matters?
Bruce: May I suggest something else, my lord? Why don't you organize a nice, little trial by ordeal?
Steve: What?
High Inquisitor: A trial by ordeal. Quite a good idea indeed. Excellent publicity. You shall be a warning to others. Trial by ordeal. And then we shall see if you are sincere. GOD HIMSELF will judge you. This evening at sunset you shall confess your sins publicly and repent.
Steve: What sins?
Bruce: We'll get you out of here, don't worry. Now try to keep your temper for some hours.
High Inquisitor: Guard, bring the prisoner back to his cell.
...
Dave: You are back. Where is 'Arry?
Bruce: Well, we haven't managed to free him yet, but at sunset he will be outside the prison walls, doing a trial by ordeal.
Adrian: Huh?
Dave: Sounds not good.
Adrian: Care to explain?
Bruce: Well, he will have to do some crazy stuff like walking over hot coals and if he survives, he's free! It's supposed to be a judgement from God.
Janick: Are you saying 'Arry has to walk over hot coals tonight?
Bruce: Nah, I seriously hope we can free him before it comes to that.
Adrian: Was that your idea, Bruce?
Bruce: Ehm, yes, kinda. Hey, it was the only way to get him out in the open. If we have a chance of freeing him, it has to be outside his prison cell.
Dave: Well, let's hope so. Do you have a plan?

Iago: A trial by ordeal? My friend, don't delude yourself. It's not as easy as it might look. Torquemada always makes sure "God" decides the ordeal in his favour.
Steve: Aaaargh, Bruce! If I ever … What's that?
Iago: Somebody threw a stone into the cell. There's a letter attached. But I can't read, I'm afraid.
Steve: I can, give it to me. ... "Choose the trial by water. BNDJA"
Iago: Trial by water, are you sure that's a good idea?
Steve: What is it all about?
Iago: They will probably put stones on your feet and drown you. If you survive for a specific time, let's say 10 minutes, you are absolved of your sins.
Steve: Great. That's another one of Bruce's ideas, I guess. Fuck!

Nicko: It's almost sunset, why does this take so long?
Janick: Wait! There they come.
Dave: They have bound his wrists tight. Poor 'Arry.
Bruce: Ok, remember, we probably only have one try. It has to work or we're all fucked. Is H at the TM?
Nicko: I can see him from here with the zoom. Yes, he gives me the thumbs up, everything ready for takeoff.
Bruce: Ok then, all we need is 'Arry. Let's get in position. Do you have the knife, Jan?
Janick: Everything ready. "Operation Guadalquivir" can begin.

High Inquisitor: This stray soul will repent publicly and will be judged in a trial by ordeal. Sinner, what proof of your faith have you chosen?
Steve: I would like to do the trial by water.
High Inquisitor: Very well then. We'll put you into the river in this sack-cloth. After ten minutes, we will fish you out again. If you survive, God in His infinite mercy wants you to live. You will then be absolved of your sins. Put him into the sack and carry him up on the bridge.
Steve: The bridge?
Guard: We will throw you from the bridge.
Steve: NO!
High Inquisitor: What do you mean, no?
Steve: That's high. I mean, that's kinda dangerous.
Guard: The height will be the least of your worries. But you're lucky: In that sack, you won't see anything at all. Hehe. God's merciful, ey?
High Inquisitor: Are you done conversing? BRING HIM UP THAT BRIDGE!!

Bruce: Damn, they put him in a sack. This is complicating matters.
Janick: The plan can still work, don't worry. The knife is sharp. I better get going. Wish me luck.
Nicko: I come with you, I can help you open the sack and get 'Arry out.
Dave: Good luck, mates. Bring back 'Arry in one piece.
Bruce: Ok, we wait for you at the TM. Good luck.
Dave: Damn, they are throwing him from the bridge. And 'Arry is afraid of heights.
Bruce: I guess he will blame it on me again. But I wasn't supposed to know they would be throwing him from the bridge, was I?
Dave: Well …

High Inquisitor: Throw him into the water. Behold, good people, he is swallowed by the floods. This is proof of his sins. Beware of straying from the true faith. Beware of … What is this?
Guard: Seems like the sack is coming up again.
Woman: He is floating on the water! A miracle!
High Inquisitor: Looks like he is lifted up indeed. Is this a sign?

Nicko: Are you done soon? I can't lift him for much longer without drowning meself.
Janick: This cloth is very hard to cut. Give me a second. Keep swimming.
Nicko: Easier said then done. 'Arry is not a lightweight.
Janick: We'll get you out of there, don't worry, 'Arry.
Steve: Who's worrying? Cozy little sack I'm in here. Full of dirty, cold river water. Fuck!
High Inquisitor: TREASON!! There are people cutting the sack. I knew it!!! Get them out of the water. Burn them, kill them! GET THEM OUT OF THAT RIVER!!
Guard: They are swimming downstream, my lord.
High Inquisitor: I WANT THEIR LIVER FOR BREAKFAST!! Either that, or it's yours. So get moving!!
Guard: We will get them, my lord. Don't worry. Guards, follow me!

Bruce: Damn, they started to smell something. Come on, guys. Cut faster.
Dave: Shit, they won't make it, they're still too far away.
Adrian: At least 'Arry is out of the sack. And they're swimming downstream. And the guards have trouble getting through the crowd. Looks like the whole of Cordoba has turned up to see 'Arry drown.
Dave: I fear there goes another town that 'Arry will want to play in.

Janick: Quick, prepare for takeoff.
Adrian: Everything ready, just get the fuck in.
Bruce: Wooooaaaah, that was a close shave. Oh, 'Arry, I can't tell you how happy I am to see you.
Steve: I must say, I also missed your stupid comments these last few hours. Good to be back, guys. When they got me up that bridge, I thought I was done for.
Bruce: Hehe. So, how was the dungeon? ... Ehm, sorry, I didn't mean to joke.
Steve: No, it's ok. Hey, I can get a mate's joke, can't I? Only assholes keep twisting your words, I've learnt that.
Bruce: Well, if that's so, I'm sure you'll always get my jokes. After all, none of us are assholes, right?
Steve: No, of course not. We're Maiden.
Adrian: An Up the Irons to that.