Part 23: Really Impossible to Climb

Steve: … and you know what this BBC twat told me? He said: "Now that you've finished the tour, you will have more time to do your missions properly." Can you believe that?
Bruce: Well, he's kinda right. One has to do something with one's spare time. You can't hang around at home all day ...
Adrian: Yeah, must be awfully boring if you don't have anything else to do than piloting, hosting a radio show, appearing on TV, writing songs for both the new Maiden album and solo material ...
Dave: Sounds like an awful lot to me.
Adrian: No, seriously?
Janick: So, Steve, this BBC is insinuating that we didn't do our missions properly before?
Steve: Yeah, I gave him what for. Told him that Maiden always gives 110%. Even on some stupid time-travel mission.
Adrian: If we didn't give 110% on their missions, we would be dead by now. Chopped up and buried somewhere in time.
Steve: Correct. So I ... Ouch! That was a rough landing.
Dave: We have arrived. Let's get out and see where we are.
Nicko: Hmm, weather forecast: Lots of wind and very cloudy. Real foggy, too. Looks like a storm's approaching.
Adrian: There's always a storm approaching, in one way or the other.
Bruce: Seems like I've been here before …
Dave: I strongly request we play Déjà-Vu on the next tour.
Steve: We'll discuss that later, ok?
Dave: Sure, no problem.
Janick: So, Bruce?
Bruce: Eh, yeah? What?
Janick: You said you've been here before.
Bruce: In fact I said: "Seems like …"
Steve: So, where are we?
Bruce: I don't really know, but this area looks familiar. Maybe somewhere in Spain?
Adrian: What's the mission anyway?
Bruce: Could be Northern Italy, too.
Dave: I got the paper here: "Bring back a cross."
Bruce: Or Greece?
Janick: Don't tell me they make us steal the cross Jesus was nailed to.
Bruce: Might be Morocco, I've been flying there lately for Astraeus ...
Steve: If they make us do that, I'll …
Dave: You know, the cross has been a familiar symbol for 2000 years now, it doesn't mean that we have to be in the times of Jesus.
Adrian: But it could well be, knowing BBC.
Bruce: But then it could also be Turkey, they have mountains there as well ...
Nicko: Wo-hooo, what a view! The fog has lifted and look what I spotted with my camera lens!
Dave: What have you spotted, mate?
Nicko: Look up on top of that mountain …
Janick: Wow, what an impressive fortress!
Bruce: The fortress! Of course. Now I know. Guys, we're in Montségur.
Adrian: Montségur, as in: blood on the stones of the citadel?
Bruce: Precisely.
Dave: Oops, sounds like a dangerous mission again. But if we're lucky, we haven't arrived in the dangerous times of Montségur …
Steve: Dave, you know perfectly well that the chances that we are in Montségur and it's NOT shortly before the massacre of the Cathars are very low.
Dave: Well, maybe it's shortly AFTER the massacre …
Steve: The fortress is still intact … means, it's BEFORE the massacre. Face it, they sent us to the slaughter.
Bruce: And we didn't even bring a daughter, hehe. Silly joke, sorry. Anyway, all we have to do is ask one of the Cathars to give us a cross.
Janick: I think they need it for themselves in these times.
Bruce: You never know. Let's go and ask them. Maybe there are some left over that no one wants.
Dave: Do you mean we have to climb that high mountain now? That looks impossible.
Bruce: Naw, I did it before with the kids, it's not impossible. Only took me about an hour or so.
Dave: An hour?
Bruce: Aw, come on, Davey, a bit of exercise will do you good.
Dave: Don't you think we had exercise enough on our tour?
Bruce: Hehe, but beware, the evil puppy fat will reappear quicker than you think. Gotta keep in shape. Come on, Dave ... rolling, turning, diving, doing it again. Running ...
Dave: Are you saying I'm fat?
Bruce: Nope, I'm saying, you should be moving a bit. Keeps you warm, too. Come on, rolling, turning, diving...
Steve: Bruce ...
Bruce: Yes, daddy?
Steve: ...
Nicko: If I remember correctly, the way up to the fortress is on the other side of the hill. Let's go over there.
Dave: I still think it's too high up to climb. Looks like sheer rock to me.
Adrian: Well, the Knights Templar somehow got in as well.
Steve: That's precisely what worries me …
Nicko: What do you mean?
Steve: I looked up the story when we wrote the track. The Knights Templar besieged Montségur for quite some time before the Cathars surrendered. So what I'm wondering is … where are they now?
Bruce: Correct. We stand alone on this desolate space.
Dave: Well, maybe that means that we are in peaceful times after all.
Steve: No, it only means we have to be very careful and watch out for trouble.
Dave: Oh. That's not good. Maybe we should also take that pill?
Steve: Good idea.
Adrian: I forgot mine in the TM. I'll get it later.
Bruce: Yeah, me too. Anyway, they speak French here, so I'll understand them, no problem.
Steve: Don't be too sure about that.
Bruce: Remember D'Artagnan? We struck up a cosy little conversation en français.
Janick: Shhh, duck down, I hear horses approaching.
Steve: I knew it. Trouble ahead. If it ain't lethal, it ain't BBC.
Bruce: Boy, you can be cynic.
Adrian: Be quiet … two horsemen approaching. Looks like they're knights.
Knight Templar: Abbot Amaury's speech yesterday was so inspiring. And he is completely right, too. The Cathars have to die for their heretical beliefs. I felt so elated when we all joined in the chorus to kill on command of our Lord, the Pope.
Squire: They can't hold out on that hill forever. I'm sure they will surrender soon.
Knight Templar: These heretics can be pretty stubborn though. I fear they won't surrender without a fight. Lots of innocent people will be massacred, too. Believe me, before the year is over, there will be blood on the stones of the citadel.
Dave: Is it just me or is he stealing our lyrics?
Steve: Shhh ....
Squire: But like the abbot said: "Kill them, God will know his own."
Dave: He really said that?
Steve: Shhhh!
Knight Templar: Did you hear that?
Squire: What, milord?
Knight Templar: … Nothing, I must have been mistaken. Let's go to the meeting point.

Janick: Pewh, for a second I thought he had noticed us.
Dave: Sorry, guys.
Bruce: What did they say?
Steve: I thought you're used to conversations en français?
Bruce: He had a bit of a strange accent. Maybe he was a foreigner. Didn't really get all of it. Especially the part in the middle ...
Steve: Then take your pill!
Bruce: It's not like I didn't understand anything at all. I gathered that we are in the times of the siege of Montségur, possibly shortly before the horrible massacre.
Steve: That's what I suspected from the start …
Bruce: Well, but now we are REALLY sure.
Adrian: I was REALLY sure before.
Bruce: Aw. Pessimist.
Adrian: Realist.
Nicko: Ok, boys, what's the plan?
Janick: I guess we have to try to get past the siege and climb up the mountain.
Steve: You think they will simply let us pass through the siege barrier?
Adrian: In my opinion, a siege is a siege, precisely because one cannot get through.
Bruce: Not easily, at least … Unless you dare to go where no one would try, and choose to fly ...
Steve: Bruce ...
Bruce: Yes?
Steve: Stop singing.
Bruce: Oh. No, seriously, I think I have a plan.
Adrian: Oh-oh, Bruce has his infamous crazy-plan look. I fear the worst.
Bruce: No, it's a good plan, I think.
Dave: Let's hear it then.
Bruce: The siege will probably be on that side of the mountain, where one can get easy access to the fortress. Correct?
Janick: Makes sense.
Bruce: So … the only logical conclusion is that we have to enter from the side which is NOT easily accessible. Here for example. No Templars around, see. Makes perfect sense.
Dave: You mean we should climb that sheer rockface?
Steve: No way I'm mountain-climbing here. Forget it.
Adrian: You know, this side of the mountain doesn't look accessible at all to me.
Nicko: I did a wee bit of rock climbing in my wild youth. I guess it can be done.
Bruce: We don't have to go all six. We can build teams: the Base and the Eagles. I volunteer for the Eagles team. Nicko?
Nicko: Yeah, I'm with ya.
Steve: Hmm, only the two of you? I don't think that's a good idea.
Bruce: And why not?
Steve: Because 1. I still think it's too dangerous to climb that rock and 2. If you run into trouble up there, we won't even be able to come and rescue you.
Bruce: Why would we run into trouble?
Steve: …
Bruce: Ok, I agree, that sometimes on our previous missions there might have been a situation that one could qualify as a bit ... dangerousish.
Steve: …
Bruce: All right, it happens on each of our missions, but …
Steve: Exactly.
Bruce: … but, the Cathars up there are the good guys, so why would they harm us?
Adrian: I don't think this is a good guy/bad guy situation. If someone climbed into your fortress during a siege, would you think they came with good intentions?
Steve: Right. We have to be careful, trust nobody.
Bruce: You sound like Fox Mulder!
Steve: Like who?
Dave: Fox Mulder. From the X-Files.
Steve: Hmm. Don't know that band. Anyway, two is not enough. Either we all climb up or no one will.
Janick: I thought you were afraid of heights.
Steve: I'm scared shitless when I only think about hovering between heaven and earth on that rock. But I'm not letting a band member down. What has to be done, has to be done.
Nicko: But there's no use endangering us all, 'Arry. Rockclimbing is not easy, if you've never tried it before. I'd suggest Bruce and me do it alone, or maybe one of the others feels up to it as well?
Adrian: Yeah, I guess I could do it. I've done some climbing before. Didn't really like it, though.
Steve: All right, I see your point, Nicko. Still … I'm worried.
Janick: Maybe one of you should be in communication with us down here, in case there's a problem. We can zoom in on you with the camera.
Bruce: Great idea, we'll keep in touch. No sweat, Arry. And now, let's go.
Nicko: Hmm, would have been good footage to film Montségur castle, but you're probably right, the camera should better stay down here.
Dave: I found some rope in the TM. BBC didn't send us unprepared.
Nicko: Rope. That's excellent. We'll tie ourselves together.
Steve: They KNEW we would have to climb that rock! Now it's official, I'm gonna kill that manager, the fucking psycho. I'm gonna …
Bruce: Don't rant, Steve, that's my job.
Steve: Well, some things need to be said and done. No use sticking your face in the sand.
Bruce: Yep, but that's a future memory of our tragedy.
Dave: I always wondered what you meant with that sentence, Bruce.
Bruce: No one will ever know, hehe.
Steve: Can we forget about our songs for once and be done with that mission?
Bruce: Right. Time to assume the mission-Arry position. We get up on that mountain and solve the mission ... Ehm, what was it again we had to find?
Janick: A cross.
Bruce: Right, a cross. I forgot. Ok, I climb first, Nicko's gonna be in the middle and H is taking the rear. Adios amigos.
Nicko: See ya, guys.
Adrian: Tell my wife I loved her.
Bruce: Gee, H, I ...
Janick: Bruce is speaking in alphabets!
Bruce: Brucey loves to do that. And now, say goodbye to gravity ...
Dave: There he goes, singing and climbing at the same time. Amazing energy. Can you still see them, Jan?
Janick: Yeah, they have disappeared behind that overhanging rock. I can still see H's feet. They should soon have arrived at the top.
Steve: Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
Dave: Don't worry, they're not gonna fall off.
Steve: Actually I'm more worried that Bruce might get it in his head to help the Cathars fight the Templars.
Dave: Oh, I see.
Janick: I can see Bruce waving. They have arrived on top and are looking for a way to enter the fortress.

Nicko: Weeehee, we made it. We're probably the first British to have climbed Montségur.
Adrian: Yeah, at least on THIS side of the rock.
Bruce: Maybe we should implant the British flag here. A pity we didn't bring our stage props from the tour. Let's have a wave at 'Arry down there, so that he can stop worrying.
Adrian: Knowing 'Arry, he is much more worried now that we are about to enter.
Bruce: Why would he be?
Nicko: Because he fears you will try to meddle with history again.
Bruce: Have I ever done that?
Adrian: Yes.
Nicko: Yes.
Bruce: Oh. Well, I try to behave this time. Anyway, 'Arry won't know, as he's not gonna climb this rock. Let's go. There's a door.

Dave: I'm glad they made it up.
Janick: Yeah, but getting down again won't be a piece of cake either.
Dave: Well, I always say: No matter how, you always get down in the end.
Janick: Hopefully in one piece, though.
Dave: Preferably.
Steve: Shhhh, horses approaching from the left. Duck down.

Knight Templar: See, there is nobody around. You must have been mistaken.
Squire: I was sure I saw a man on that rock.
Knight Templar: No, from this side, the fortress is untakeable. Our best men have not managed to climb up there. Unfortunately, because our mission would have been so much easier. I'm fed up with this siege. I hope the dogs surrender soon.
Squire: Yeah, you're probably right, sire. Although I could have sworn I saw someone from afar.
Knight Templar: Must have been the sun that played a trick on you. Believe me, nobody in his right mind would try to climb that rock. Let's go back to the others.

Dave: Hihihi, did you hear him? "Nobody in his right mind would try to climb that rock."
Steve: That just shows he has never met Bruce.
Dave: True.
Janick: I wonder what they're doing up there now. I can't see anybody.
Steve: Didn't we agree that one of them would stay outside to communicate with us?
Janick: I guess they forgot about that.
Steve: I hope they didn't forget about anything else.
Dave: Like what?

Nicko: I wish I had the camera with me now. Look at all the people in here.
Adrian: They look haggard and worn-out. Cruelty truly has a human heart.
Bruce: Yeah, the siege has already taken its toll. Ok, how do we go about asking for a cross?
Adrian: Oh damn!
Nicko: What is it, H?
Adrian: We have to ask them.
Bruce: So?
Adrian: We both forgot our Babel Pills in the TM.
Bruce: Oh.
Nicko: I think I have mine, though. … I had it here in me pocket. Fuck me old boots, it must have fallen out on the way up. Now this is an embarrassing situation.
Adrian: None of us has a pill? How on earth will we communicate with the guys?
Bruce: I could try with French …
Adrian: You talk medieval French?
Bruce: Not exactly.
Adrian: What does that mean?
Bruce: Well … it means: no.
Nicko: They will think we're strangers. It's hard to blend in, if you don't speak the language.
Adrian: Strangers are not supposed to be here. Fuck, this is getting complicated. Anybody got a plan?
Bruce: I think one of us should climb down again and get the pills.
Adrian: Are you kidding? All the way down, and up again?
Nicko: No, but Bruce is right, we better do that. All right, I go and I'll try to be back as fast as possible. In the meanwhile, try to stay alive.
Bruce: Thanks Nicko, we will do our best.
Adrian: 'Arry will throw a fit when he hears this. How could we forget the pill?

Janick: I see them!
Dave: Really? Good. That was quick.
Janick: Well, I see only Nicko. Seems like he is preparing to come down again.
Steve: Why only Nicko? Where are the others? Why does he leave H and Bruce alone up there?
Dave: Maybe some kind of a problem? I hope not.
Steve: Why can it never be easy?
Nicko: Weeheee, hello boys. Did you miss me?
Steve: Ok, what's the problem this time? H is about to be burnt alive while Bruce has enrolled in the Cathar army? Tell me the worst, I can take it.
Nicko: No, 'Arry, they are both safe and sound, last time I saw them, at least. We just encountered a tiny drawback.
Janick: What kind of a drawback?
Nicko: We forgot our Babel Pills, so I'm coming back to get them. Here they are. Now I'm on my way again. See ya.
Dave: There he goes. What an energy. Climbing this rock for the second time in one day.
Janick: He's a drummer after all, he needs energy.
Steve: I can't believe they forgot their pills. Good that their heads are screwed on, or they would forget those as well.
Dave: All's fine now, no harm done.
Steve: No harm done? You don't know what Bruce has been doing up there meanwhile.

Bruce: If you play a mute, you wouldn't raise suspicion.
Adrian: NO! I'm NOT playing a mute, and you won't disguise as an itinerant cross-merchant. We stay in hiding here, until Nicko comes back with the pills. I don't want to risk getting caught.
Bruce: Can I just have a quick lookie around, pleeeease? I promise I won't talk to anybody.
Adrian: Look, I can't tell you what to do. But stay close, ok? And don't raise suspicion.
Bruce: Sometimes you sound like 'Arry, you know.
Adrian: Well, sometimes you need that, Bruce.
Bruce: Yeah, can't get enough of it. All right, I stay close. I know it's dangerous. I won't talk to people. I'm completely zip. Mum. No sound will come out. Lock my mouth and drop the key ... What is it we have to find again?
Adrian: A cross.
Bruce: Oh right, I forgot again.
Adrian: Do you have Alzheimer's?
Bruce: No, I'm only a bit over-excited here. I have to calm down. I'll do some push-ups. Spend some energy.
Adrian: I'm getting tired by even looking at you. Hey, there's Nicko again. Great.
Janick: He made it to the top again.
Steve: Good, then they will hopefully manage to solve the mission now. I hate it when I can't see what's happening.
Dave: I'm sure they will be just fine. Did you hear that?
Janick: What?
Dave: I think it's again those horses approaching.
Steve: Fuck, those guys are getting on my nerves. Why don't they stay at the siege on the other side? Let's hide again.

Squire: I saw a man climbing again, I swear, Sire.
Knight Templar: Let's try whether it's feasible. If you can get up, we have found a way to surprise them.
Squire: You want ME to climb up there?
Knight Templar: Well, yes. You keep insisting that you see men climbing up and down on this side. So prove me that it can be done.
Squire: On careful consideration, maybe I was mistaken after all, Sire.
Knight Templar: All right, but let's be on the lookout. If you are right, this man might come down again. Then we'll get him. Let's stay close by and hide in the bushes.

Steve: Fuck did you hear that? Now they will see them when they come down again. Shit.
Dave: We have to warn them. I volunteer to climb up.
Janick: No use, Dave, then they will see you as well.
Dave: Right, I forgot.
Steve: No, it's better we stay in hiding here. Maybe we can help them. They don't know we're here, so we'll have the surprise on our side. I think I have a plan …

Bruce: All right, pill safely popped in. I feel like a Cathar now.
Nicko: How does a Cathar feel?
Bruce: Pretty burnt out. No, bad joke, I know. Sorry.
Adrian: Ok, let's try to get a cross.
Nicko: I hope somebody is willing to give us his cross.
Bruce: Or we have to steal one, hehe.
Nicko: You won't steal from the faithful, Bruce. I'm shocked.
Bruce: They're heretics, anyway. No, I'm only joking. I'm a bit edgy here, hehe.
Adrian: Hmm, look around you. None of them is wearing a cross around their necks. Don't you think that's strange?
Nicko: Yeah, one should think it would be their prime ornament. Maybe they only wear them at church?
Bruce: Let's ask around. Hey, can you help us, please? What is your name?
Pierre: My name is Pierre. Who are you?
Bruce: Ehm, we are novices, so to speak, we have only just arrived. Can you show us around a bit? Tell us about your order and such?
Adrian: Bruce, just ask about the cross, we have no time for sightseeing.
Bruce: I'm getting there. Let's put him at ease first.
Pierre: You have arrived during the siege?
Bruce: Ehm, yes. To increase your ranks. The more the merrier, ya know? So, those order rules?
Pierre: I can tell you about the Cathar rules, of course. First doctrine is of course that the world is evil.
Bruce: Correct, we know that. There's an evil virus that's threatening mankind. Bad song, but ey, what do you expect.
Pierre: As I was saying ... all worldly things are sinful things. We should retreat to save our pure soul.
Bruce: Absolutely. The devil's got a hold of our souls and it's driving us mad ...
Adrian: Prime example: Bruce.
Bruce: Eh?
Adrian: Nothing. I thought you didn't like Prodigal Son?
Bruce: Yes, I do.
Adrian: Alright, then.
Nicko: You were saying about the sins, Pierre?
Pierre: Sins of the flesh shouldn't be committed …
Bruce: Oh, well, not even a tiny bit? Might be fun, though ...
Pierre: You still have a lot to learn, my friend.
Nicko: What about crosses?
Pierre: The cross is an instrument of torture. It was invented by the Catholics to instill fear into men and subdue them. It is one of those worldly evils. We don't worship crosses. We don't worship material things.
Adrian: Great! They don't even have crosses. We climbed all the way up here for nothing.
Bruce: You don't have crosses? Oh, I didn't know that. Well, thanks for telling us anyway.
Pierre: If you have more questions, you can find me here.
Bruce: Merci, and au revoir.
Nicko: All right, what's plan B? Where do we get a cross?
Bruce: Well … if the Cathars don't have crosses … I know someone who does.
Adrian: And who?
Bruce: That's the bad news … the Templars.
Adrian: Great! You mean those war-machines we met down there?
Bruce: I'm afraid so. Let's climb down again.

Janick: There's Bruce.
Dave: What about the others?
Steve: If Bruce is coming down, the other two will come, too.
Janick: Correct. I can see them all three. They bind themselves together for the descent.
Dave: So what do we do about those knights now? They will spot them for sure.
Steve: I think my plan will work just fine. We will surprise the knights and hold them in check. It's three against two. Should be fairly easy, don't you think?
Janick: It's the best plan we have, so I guess we try it. Let's move in cautiously.

Nicko: Ahh, down on safe ground again. Ok, now let's …
Knight Templar: Heretics, you are under arrest! Turn around slowly.
Adrian: Oh, damn.
Bruce: Be careful with that sword, mate. It looks sharp.
Knight Templar: It is meant to kill whoever is straying from the right path.
Steve: GET 'IM!
Knight Templar: Ahhh, how dare you?
Janick: Take the sword, Bruce! I can't hold him any longer.
Bruce: Ok, I got it. Wow, that was in the nick of time, guys. For a second I thought we would be toasted.
Knight Templar: Who are you? Your life is forfeit.
Bruce: Well, right now your sword is pointing at your own neck, my friend.
Steve: Where is the other knight?
Knight Templar: That was my squire. And he has taken off to fetch reinforcements, as soon as we saw the traitors climb down the mountain.
Bruce: Am I hearing correctly? Is he calling us traitors? I think I will use that sword tip after all ...
Steve: Damn, the other guy escaped. He will warn the others. We have to get back to the TM. Quick.
Dave: Ok, let's run again.
Adrian: Somehow it's always the same ending.
Dave: Run, don't talk!
Janick: So, did you get the cross at least?
Bruce: What cross? Oh, damn, I forgot the cross.
Nicko: No, Cathars don't have crosses. We were unable to find one.
Steve: What!? You don't have the cross?
Dave: Why did you stop so abruptly?
Bruce: Well, don't blame me now, 'Arry. You were the one researching the song. Why didn't you tell us?
Steve: Damn. And I even read that somewhere. I just forgot. I'm sorry.
Bruce: Never mind. We all forget things from time to time. We have to get back to that Knight Templar. He was wearing a cross around his neck.
Adrian: By now the others might have arrived.
Nicko: No, they will have to ride around the entire mountain. I'm sure we still have time.
Steve: Yeah, let's go back. But this time we stay together.

Bruce: Hey, Sir Knight, it's us again. Remember us?
Knight Templar: How could I forget you? Untie me immediately. This is disgraceful.
Steve: We would need your cross. Mind if we take it?
Nicko: It's not as if you had a choice.
Knight Templar: What do you need my cross for?
Bruce: You don't want to know, believe me.
Knight Templar: Traitors, heretics, outlaws, you will burn in hell for this.
Steve: People like you keep telling me this since I wrote the Number of the Beast.
Knight Templar: You're a Satanist!
Steve: Yeah, yeah, whatever. Let's go. We've lingered too long already.

Janick: Back in the TM. What an adventure.
Bruce: Actually I quite liked the mission. It was interesting to see the citadel still intact. Gives you a different feeling somehow.
Nicko: But to think that I climbed up that mountain twice for nothing.
Dave: It's good exercise at least.
Nicko: I start to feel it in me legs now.
Adrian: Yeah, me too.
Steve: All right, let's push the buttons. And then I'm gonna 'ave a nice talk with the BBC-manager.
Dave: The poor guy.