Part 29: New Year Special

BBC-Manager: Ok, everybody here? So this is the plan: We are going to shoot a New Year Special. With an extra twist.
Adrian: Extra-twist? Like the dance?
BBC-Manager: Haha, yeah, kinda.
Janick: Extra-twist doesn't sound reassuring.
Dave: Is the time machine working again?
BBC-Manager: Yes, don't worry. Everything is under control.
Adrian: Just like last time, you mean?
BBC-Manager: Ehm, well ... ok, so we had a tiny incident, but you weren't really in any danger. And the TM has been double-checked, there will be no trouble this time.
Steve: How can you say such a thing? All our missions had trouble written all over them.
BBC-Manager: What do you mean?
Steve: You taking the piss or what? What do you think I mean, man?
BBC-Manager: Ehm ...
Steve: Dinosaurs ... torture chamber of the Inquisition ... the burning Bounty ... blood-rituals from various native American civilizations ... do I have to go on?
BBC-Manager: I'm sorry, you're right. I think I haven't thanked you enough for your bravery and commitment. It was excellent footage each time. Wonderful how you solved the missions, your interactions with the native populations ...
Steve: Don't sugarcoat me, I hate that.
BBC-Manager: Well, I still think the dinosaur chase should have been saved on tape as well, but we cannot expect everything, of course. After all, you're not professional media people.
Steve: Did somebody put me in the madhouse without me noticing?
Bruce: Anyway ... before this gets out of hand ... and 'Arry is losing his temper ... maybe you should tell us in what way this mission will be special?
BBC-Manager: Yes, sure: This time we will split you up in three groups.
Adrian: Hah, that's not new, we somehow get split up on each of our missions, even though we try to stay together, ey 'Arry?
BBC-Manager: No, you don't understand. There will be three different missions ...
Steve: What? No, it's much too dangerous if we just go in groups of two.
Nicko: Anyway, how will you know that we don't simply stay together?
BBC-Manager: We will send you into three different times for the missions.
Bruce: Oh. So you have three TMs now?
BBC-Manager: No, we just have the one, it's very costly, you know. But the coordinates have been put in. There will be no problem ...
Adrian: I don't really get it.
BBC-Manager: Well, first you draw to find out with what partner you will be thrust together. Then you draw your time and mission.
Bruce: Sounds easy, and then?
BBC-Manager: Then you all embark on the TM. The machine first stops in the least remote period in time. The first group gets out and the TM continues in time...
Steve: Oh oh oh, wait a minute, wait a minute ... did I get this right? The TM will continue the trip with the other four? Dropping them off in different times?
BBC-Manager: Yes, you grasped the concept. Well done, Mr Harris.
Steve: Don't talk to me as if I was a school-boy. This is too dangerous. It means that if we get into trouble, we won't even have the TM to escape back into our times.
BBC-Manager: We're not sending you on dangerous missions ...
Steve: ...
BBC-Manager: ... this time. You will land in peaceful times, that's a promise. Anyway, once the third group has solved the mission, they will return and pick up the other groups on their way home. As you see: you will all arrive back home safely.
Adrian: Hmm, it sounds fishy, though.
Bruce: Well, then you must like it, H, hehe.
Adrian: Why?
Bruce: Well, you like to fish ... stupid pun, I know. Anyway, I'm for trying it. It might be fun. And an extra kick, to while away the boring days of the Christmas season.
Nicko: Boring? Hear-hear, our dervish complains because he's not occupied 25/7, hehe.
Janick: How can you be sure the missions are not dangerous?
Steve: Yeah, they somehow always turn out dangerous in the end.
BBC-Manager: Not this time. I swear. You won't even leave England, I can reveal that much already.
Bruce: That sounds great, doesn't it. We'll stay on our isle. What danger can there be in England?
Steve: Depends on the time: Vikings, blood-thirsty monarchs, Blitz over London, the East-End ...
Bruce: Ehm ... I survived the East End, so nothing can shock me anymore. Who's for it? Hands up for a yes.
Nicko: Yeah, why not. Can't be more dangerous than some other missions we've had. And I like this extra twist too.
Dave: Yes, let's try it.
Janick: Oh well, what the heck. Do or die, eh?
Steve: Hmm, I don't know ... I don't like the idea of being stuck in time without the TM. H, what do you think?
Adrian: Well, so far we've always managed to wriggle out of problems. I guess one can always hide somewhere and wait for the TM to arrive, if worst comes to worst.
Bruce: Right, and anyway, on the other missions, when we got caught by warring tribes, the TM wasn't of any use to us. We were unable to get to it until we solved the mission.
Nicko: He does have a point, 'Arry.
Steve: Hmm, ok, I give in. You all seem to be for it, so let's just give them the New Year Special they want.
BBC-Manager: That's the spirit! Each group gets a camera. You will be sent into a time around New Year's Eve. We would like to have footage of the celebration of the new year in different times, and of course there's a little mission to solve. Let's first draw your groups.
Bruce: All right, I'll start ... hmmm. The little piece of paper says that I'm to be on the second mission.
Dave: I'm on the third mission.
Adrian: Dave, I'm with you then. Gimme five, mate.
Dave: Yeah, we'll solve the problem in no time.
BBC-Manager: That's good, because the third mission will be the one furthest back in time, so you will have the TM with you.
Steve: My life depends on Dave and H solving their mission? Great.
Nicko: I'm in the first group.
Janick: Me too. So I guess, we won't go that far back in time.
Steve: Wait. Does this mean that I'm stuck in time with Bruce?
Bruce: Just my luck.
Steve: Hehe, I'll be able to keep an eye on you then.
Bruce: I knew you would say that now.
BBC-Manager: Excellent groups. Here are the cameras. Here are your missions. Everything is prepared. Enjoy your trip.
Steve: I'm still not sure if this is safe. Not having the TM with us.
Bruce: Don't be so negative, Steve. It's a three-in-one deal, so to speak. That will attract even more viewers in front of their TV screens.
Steve: Do I look like I care about some couch-potatoes glued to their tellies?
Janick: Oops, the TM has stopped, so I guess Nicko and me have to get out.
Nicko: Yes, wish us luck, mates, and don't let us hang in time.
Steve: No, we'll come and get you as soon as possible, don't worry. Good luck.
Nicko: Cheers, mates!
Dave: There they go. Shall I push the button again, for the next time-period?
Bruce: Yes, I think that's how it's done ... I'm so curious what time we will be going to. Hopefully to some exciting period.
Adrian: So far every time has been exciting. I've come to the conclusion that we are living in the only boring century that ever existed.
Dave: That's only because we never get send with the TM to our own time. There are plenty of dangerous situations they could thrust us into, also in the 21st century.
Bruce: Wisely spoken, Dave.
Steve: The machine has stopped again. Bruce, seems like we're soon about to find out which time we are in. Dave and H, good luck and do your best to bring back the TM. Please don't linger unnecessarily, guys.
Dave: We won't, don't worry. Good luck to you two.
Adrian: Somehow it feels strange to be alone in the TM, without the rest of the band.
Dave: Yeah, but it's also cool, I think. We can do the mission on our own pace.
Adrian: Hmm, you're right. No Bruce, who is wise-cracking all the time ...
Dave: No 'Arry who is telling us how to do it ...
Adrian: Hehe, he wouldn't like hearing us talk like that.
Dave: Woops. The machine has come to a standstill ... now where do you think we landed?
Adrian: No idea ... but let's find out.
Nicko: And woops, the TM's gone with the wind. Interesting, I've never seen it disappear until now.
Janick: I feel strangely alone and exposed here. Without the band and the TM.
Nicko: I know what you mean. It's unusual. And 'kin cold, too. It looks like London all right.
Janick: Yeah, somehow it does. London around New Year's Eve. But which year, I wonder?
Nicko: Not that far back in time I suppose. As we are the group that has gone least far back. What's the mission?
Janick: Wait ... "Bring back a bottle from a New Year's Party."
Nicko: Wo-ho, that sounds like a mission cut out for me. Let's mingle with the party-goers. This can't be too dangerous.
Janick: Let's hope so. If it's London, then we should be heading to Leicester Square or Trafalgar. Big parties are bound to happen there.
Nicko: All right, let's go. See that sexy lady in the Chinese dress? Let's follow her, she looks like she knows how to party.
Janick: I wonder where the others have landed ...
Nicko: Yep, me too ...
Bruce: Have you seen that? The TM just vanished. Incredible. I wonder how they do it?
Steve: As long as it's coming back again, I don't really care. Does this look like England to you?
Bruce: Yes, why not? England in a certain period of time. It's snowing outside, the rumbling sounds ... is that thunder I hear?
Steve: Yeah, it is. Nature objecting to your singing. Just our luck to get soaking wet on New Year's Eve. And there's no shelter around.
Bruce: Yes, there is an abbey over there, looming under the dark shadows of trees. We have gone far back in time, because it's not in ruins yet. Maybe it's Rabelais' Abbey ...
Steve: Huh?
Bruce: They lived according to the motto: "Do what thou wilt."
Steve: Sounds like a certain singer of mine ...
Bruce: Freedom is a valued good.
Steve: So is silence.
Bruce: I'm sure I don't know what you mean.
Steve: I sure you don't. Let me read the mission, maybe we find out where we are then: "Bring back an illuminated sheet of paper". Illuminated?
Bruce: Hmm, I have the suspicion we might be in the Middle Ages. It fits, seeing that it's so dark here.
Steve: Huh?
Bruce: The "dark" Middle Ages? Get it? No? Forget it.
Steve: Already forgotten.
Bruce: Anyway, back then, all the books were written by hand. It was before the invention of the printing press, you see? The monks decorated their manuscripts by lavishly painting brightly coloured first letters on each page. Such books were called illuminations. So that makes sense.
Steve: Oh, those illuminations. No need to make a history lesson out of it. Ok, Middle-Ages it is then.
Bruce: Monks should be peaceful. So no trouble there I suspect. Let's go to the abbey and seek shelter. We could play humble pilgrims. Maybe lepers.
Steve: I refuse to play a leper. Let's just be our normal selves, ok?
Bruce: You wanna be ourselves? As in: "Hi, brothers, I'm a tattooed bloke from the future, who plays loud electrically powered music for a living, now will you please hand us over an illuminated sheet, I swear we won't burn it in a demonic ritual, The Number of the Beast was all just a joke, really." That's what you want?
Steve: The idea with the humble pilgrims wasn't so bad. But we leave out the leprosy, understood?
Bruce: Ok. But it would have spiced up the thing.
Steve: It's spicy enough.
Bruce: I could be a hunchback ...
Steve: I could tie you up and go to the abbey on my own ...
Bruce: Not nice. Topic-change: If we're already back in the Middle Ages, I wonder how far in time H and Davey got ...
Steve: Oh damn, you're right. I hope our guitarists can solve their mission, or we're stuck here.
Dave: We seem to be in the middle of a forest. How are we supposed to find out what time we are in?
Adrian: Asking Bruce isn't an option, I suppose, huh?
Dave: No ...
Adrian: Damn, it looks like there's a blizzard outside. Let's read the mission before we head out in the snow.
Dave: Good idea. I have it here: "Bring back a sickle."
Adrian: A sickle? That's an agricultural tool. So there must be farmers around.
Dave: Farmers are usually nice people. We could ask for shelter in this weather. That makes sense.
Adrian: And then we nick their sickle?
Dave: Yes.
Adrian: Not a very nice way of repaying them for their hospitality, don't you think?
Dave: Ehm, well, maybe we could somehow win the sickle in a game or so. Farmers usually like to gamble.
Adrian: Ok, but first we have to get out into the storm. Damn, I hate the cold weather.
Dave: Well, it's New Year in England. What did you expect? Sunshine and blazing heat?
Adrian: No, of course not. At least we have warm coats. Let's go. The others are counting on us to do the mission fast and get them back home.
Dave: Yes, we have responsibility. I wonder if Steve and Bruce already started to fight.
Adrian: Probably yes.
Bruce: Even though it's England, I think we might need a Babel Pill.
Steve: Yes, we better pop one in. I don't really speak medieval English.
Bruce: Wouldn't these monks speak Latin?
Steve: I don't speak Latin either.
Bruce: I do. Ora et labora.
Steve: Take - that - pill.
Bruce: Urbi et orbi.
Steve: Take the pill and don't make me say it a third time.
Bruce: Alright, alright. Hop, down the digestion hole it goes. Ok, I'll knock.
Steve: Let me do the talking, ok?
Bruce: You think I will mess up again?
Steve: I fear you will mention leprosy, before I have the chance to open my mouth.
Bruce: I would never do that. We stick to the plan. We are pilgrims. Healthy ones. No hunchback, no disease, not even a wart on our toes. Happy?
Steve: Hm.
Brother Athelred: Who is it that seeks shelter in this cold winter night?
Steve: Good evening, brother. We are poor pilgrims who got surprised by the snow-storm.
Bruce: Mind if we come in? We're very healthy.
Brother Athelred: The abbey is open for everybody who is asking. Come in, brothers.
Bruce: That was easy enough. See, they're friendly.
Steve: I never worried about the way in. It's the way out that worries me.
Bruce: Oh. I see.
Nicko: And here we are. 'kin Trafalgar Square. Everyone is getting ready for the fireworks.
Janick: Check out the dresses of the ladies. What time do you think we're in?
Nicko: Feather boas, short hairstyle. Reminds of these gangster movies.
Janick: Yep, I think we have landed in the Golden Twenties.
Nicko: Excellent. These guys knew how to party. See our unwitting guide? She's just stepped into a club-like thingy. Let's try to sneek in as well.
Janick: Good idea. Party-crashers. Cool, I've never done that. Then we just grab a bottle and run.
Nicko: Hmm, why run? While we're here, might as well enjoy the vibe. Hehe, the TM won't arrive before midnight anyway. The other guys have to do their mission first, remember?
Janick: You're right. Excellent. Let's enjoy the party.
Nicko: With swing, Charleston and jazz-music. Woo-hooo!!!
Dave: There is not a farm in sight anywhere. We're stuck in this forest.
Adrian: At least the blizzard has stopped. I think we shouldn't venture too far from the TM.
Dave: Right, or we might get lost in the woods.
Adrian: I have thought about it ... you know that we have gone the furthest back in time?
Dave: Yes, so?
Adrian: Well ... we might be pretty far back. Seeing that this is only forest. Maybe we're in the stone-age again, or something like it.
Dave: Oops, you think so? Would they have a New Year's party back then?
Adrian: Probably not, you're right. That speaks against my theory. I'm just happy that dinosaurs didn't use sickles.
Dave: I'm sure wherever we are, they're friendly. The BBC-guy promised us this wouldn't be a dangerous mission.
Adrian: You know, I didn't believe that guy for a second.
Dave: Oops. Why didn't you say so?
Adrian: I thought we all saw through his bullshit anyway. Who would be so thick and believe a word that bloke's saying?
Dave: Ehm ...
Adrian: Shhh, there is someone coming.
Dave: It's an old man. Probably harmless.
Adrian: Long white robes, white beard. Damn, that guy looks like a priest, or ...
Dave: He looks like a druid. You know, like the guys in the Asterix cartoons? Getafix, was his name.
Adrian: Getafix? Sounds like a junkie to me.
Dave: Well, he did brew this magic potion. Better take your pill, H.
Adrian: Damn, now I wish we had Bruce with us. He would know how to talk to that guy. What should we say?
Dave: We could ask for a sickle. ... Hello, old man. What are you doing in this forest in the middle of the night?
Druid: Ye gods! The eve of Samhain is holy indeed. Are you spirits, returned from the Otherworld?
Adrian: I guess Bruce would now say that we are, wouldn't he?
Dave: Well, that depends on what they're doing with these spirits ...
Druid: Speak to me, spirits. I have prepared everything for the holy feast. The bone-fires are blazing in the village ...
Dave: What village? We didn't find any.
Druid: You speak like a human.
Dave: I am human, mate. Sorry, we are no apparitions. We are only lost in the forest.
Adrian: And freezing to death.
Druid: Oh. For a moment I thought ... Nevermind. Follow me to the village. There you can get food and lodging. On the eve of Samhain, nobody should be left alone in the forest.
Dave: We arrived in a friendly time indeed.
Adrian: It's not over yet. I wish I knew more about this Samhain ritual. Bone-fire doesn't sound too good to me.
Steve: What are you fiddling with again, Bruce?
Bruce: Nothing, I was just looking at this really quaint statue ...
Steve: Come now, we'll be introduced to the abbot.
Bruce: Yes, but I'll just ...
Steve: Bruce, come!
Abbot: !
Brother Athelred: My abbot, here I bring you two pilgrims, brother Steven and brother Bruce, who humbly implore our hospitality for the night.
Abbot: Two pilgrims. At this hour of the night? On New Year's Eve?
Brother Athelred: Our door has never been closed before.
Abbot: Yes, but special times require special measures, brother Athelred. You have yet a lot to learn. I'll deal with them. You may go.
Steve: I don't like the "special measure" part.
Abbot: So, my friends ...
Bruce: He calls us friends.
Steve: So? Strangers who call you friends are never friendly.
Abbot: Why are you whispering? Have you something to hide?
Steve: Ehm, no, of course not. We come in peace.
Bruce: And in good health.
Abbot: Suspicious talk indeed. Where are the other two?
Steve: What do you mean?
Abbot: It is written: I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!"
Steve: Huh?
Bruce: He's quoting Revelations at us. I have a bad feeling.
Abbot: Are your horses in the stable?
Steve: What horses? We came on foot.
Abbot: It is further written: I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
Bruce: We don't have a horse. And we don't have a crown. Can't be us you're talking about.
Abbot: I believe that one of you is called Steven?
Steve: Yes, that's me. So?
Abbot: Steven is the greek word for "crown". So you might be the crown. The Holy Book sometimes disguises the truth.
Bruce: It does? I thought it should be taken literally.
Abbot: The letter killeth.
Bruce: You said that? That's a famous quote, I think. Look, Mister Abbot Sir, did you also say: Throwing pearls to swine? That's another famous quote ...
Abbot: ?
Steve: Look, abbot, I am not a crown, and I am definitely not a rider of the Apocalypse, or whatever. Why on Earth would you think that?
Abbot: It might well be that in the year of our Lord 1000 AD, at New Year's eve, the world will come to an end. We have to repent our sins.
Steve: Oh no, of all the times they could have chosen, we have to arrive in Doomsday fever.
Druid: Here is our little village. Stand next to the bone-fire, it's nice and warm there. The women will bring you food and drinks.
Chief: Oh druid. Who do you bring to our humble village?
Druid: I found them in the woods. They deny being spirits, but they are strangely dressed. We will treat them with respect.
Chief: Yes, of course. Rhiannon, bring mead wine. Quick.
Dave: Mead-wine. That sounds like a treat. I like it here.
Adrian: They all look funnily at us, though. That's creepy.
Rhiannon: Drink this, and refresh yourselves from your long travel.
Dave: How come you know we travelled a long time?
Druid: We know such things. It's the feast of Samhain. The gaps in time have opened.
Adrian: You could say that, hah.
Druid: Yes, the Otherworld and our world have never been closer. You are the proof of this.
Dave: We are?
Adrian: I don't know if I want to be a proof ...
Nicko: You think we are properly dressed for a party?
Janick: We look a bit freaky, but so do most of the people here. I'm sure we fit in nicely.
Nicko: What do you reckon? Can we do without the Babel Pill?
Janick: Yes, I think 80 years won't make a big difference in the language.
Nicko: All right, there's the doorkeeper. Let's pretend we belong here. Hello old chap, what a 'kin cold weather outside. Hehe. Old Smith already in?
Doorkeeper: Mr Smith has indeed arrived a while ago, sir.
Nicko: Fine, fine. Here we go. Haven't seen the guy in ages.
Janick: Pooh, that was easy.
Nicko: Yes, that's the secret: there's always a Mr Smith bound to be somewhere. Wo-hoo, I'm gonna shoot some film footage here. See the dancers? My legs itch. I might join them later.
Janick: Can you do the Charleston?
Nicko: Not yet, but by the end of the evening, I will. Hehe.
Janick: All right, you film and I take care of that bottle. I'm sure there must be empty bottles somewhere.
Nicko: Make sure there is a date on the bottle. That would be excellent proof.
Bruce: Oof, we have arrived in our cell. Luckily we were able to convince the bloke that we are not the two riders of the Apocalypse, waiting for our brothers to arrive and wreak havoc.
Steve: That was a close shave.
Bruce: Here come the riders as the wheel of Dharma ...
Steve: Bruce, stop it! It's bad enough. I think the abbot still has some doubts. Don't make it worse. He already suspects I'm Death or ...
Bruce: Pestilence.
Steve: Huh?
Bruce: You're supposed to be Pestilence. That was the rider who had the crown.
Steve: Pestil... you're saying I look like Pestilence?
Bruce: Well ... depends. I've never seen Pestilence. We should have played lepers after all.
Steve: Luckily we didn't. That would only have strengthened his belief.
Bruce: Anyway, we're allowed to take part in the mass for New Year's Eve.
Steve: Yeah, we better show up at the chapel, or they'll think again that we are Satan or something. Why do I always get into this sort of trouble?
Bruce: Yeah, one can wonder... Anyway, I'm gonna film the mass. Probably some nice male choirs. The monks are famous for their choirs.
Steve: I thought they were famous for their beer?
Bruce: That too. Oh-oh.
Steve: What?
Bruce: I forgot the camera in the abbot's office.
Steve: Oh no!
Bryan: Booo!
Dave: Hoops. You startled me, boy. Why are you dressed like a ghoul?
Bryan: I am a spirit of the Underworld. I come back to haunt you on the feast of Samhain, huaaaahhh!!!
Adrian: You do? Well, we are spirits too, so there.
Bryan: Seriously?
Adrian: No, I'm just kidding. Nice costume you got there.
Druid: Bryan! Leave our guests alone. They are "special". The gap has opened not far from here.
Bryan: Sorry. I didn't mean to offend.
Dave: Don't run away, boy! ... What's the matter with these people?
Adrian: They think we are zombies or something.
Dave: Do we look like zombies?
Adrian: No, but I was listening to Rhiannon and the other women. There seems to exist some Celtic belief that on New Year's Eve, the dead return among the living people.
Dave: I hope that "the dead" will be allowed to walk away again in peace.
Adrian: Yeah, let's just hope they won't make sure we stay underground next time.
Rose: Hello, handsome.
Nicko: Wohoo, beautiful lady!
Rose: You must be Donovan's brother for sure. I recognize the nose.
Nicko: Donovan? Ehm, no, I'm afraid I've never seen the bloke.
Rose: You look exactly like him. The bastard owes me money.
Nicko: Oh, sorry lady, but as I said, I don't know him.
Rose: The resemblance is astonishing. What's your name?
Nicko: Nicko.
Rose: I'm Rose. Wanna drink?
Nicko: Oh yes, why not. A wee libation on New Year's Eve can do no harm.
Rose: I suppose not. There you go. And if you see your brother, tell the bastard he better not show his face in here again.
Nicko: Eh, but ... hmmm, 'kin strange. Wooohooo ... Janick on the dance-floor, I have to film this.
Zelda: Come on, don't be shy. You look like a good dancer.
Janick: Eh, but I only wanted something to drink.
Zelda: We can have a drink later ... and more, if you want.
Janick: I'm not sure I want that.
Zelda: Come on, kick! Dance! Swish! Let's do a Lindy Hop.
Janick: Lindy Hop? Oh my. I've never danced a Lindy Hop before.
Zelda: It's easy. And great fun. I'll show you. Come on.
Nicko: There ya go, shake those hips, Jan! Thumbs up, mate.
Janick: Don't you dare film this.
Nicko: Too late, hehe.
Bruce: You wait outside, make sure nobody comes in. I'll snatch the camera.
Steve: Ok, but be quick.
Bruce: Yeah I know, or I'm dead. Sorry, yes, I'll be quick. Woops.
Steve: Is there a problem?
Bruce: Well ... the abbot's still in here. And he's found the camera.
Steve: Oh fuck!
Abbot: Is this your instrument? Is it some sort of scales? For it is written: I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.
Steve: Not again. Does this look like scales to you?
Abbot: I have never seen such an instrument before, so these might well be the scales of Famine.
Bruce: I assure you, we are definitely not Famine. Nor Pestilence, for that matter. We don't even have leprosy. Honestly.
Abbot: This is all very suspicious. Especially on this time of the year. The signs all point towards Doomsday.
Bruce: No, they don't. The signs all point to Midnight mass. Seriously, this is only a tool we need to calculate our way in the darkness.
Abbot: It is?
Steve: Yes, I assure you. We are NOT the riders of the Apocalypse. I cannot even ride.
Bruce: I can. A bit. Trotting along through the countrysi...
Steve: ...
Bruce: Well, all things considered, my riding skills aren't nearly good enough to be one of the dreadful riders. Never could stand horses, to tell the truth ...
Nicko: Good wine they have here.
Janick: Yes, but don't get drunk. We need our senses to find the way back to the TM.
Parker: Who are you two?
Nicko: Oh, we're here with Smithy, old bloke. He must be over there.
Rose: That's Donovan's brother, I know him. It's not his fault that his brother is a bastard.
Nicko: Ehm ...
Parker: Is that so? Well, enjoy the evening then, you two. And, as a piece of friendly advice: keep your fingers off Zelda. Her husband is pretty jealous.
Janick: Thanks mate. Who is her husband?
Parker: Good joke, ey? Well, Smith is her husband.
Nicko: Oops, we put our foot in it, I guess, hehe.
Rhiannon: Some more soup, honoured guest?
Dave: Yes, thank you. We appreciate. Good grub, girl.
Rhiannon: You are very kind, sir.
Druid: I will go and cut the mistletoe now, for the ceremony.
Dave: Great, we have to film that. That's probably good footage, as Nicko would say.
Adrian: Do you see what I see?
Dave: What, mate?
Adrian: The druid is cutting the mistletoe with a silver sickle. That's the solution to our mission.
Dave: Won't be easy to get hold of it, though.
Adrian: Yeah, you're right. We should find out more about their customs. Damn, the others will probably be waiting for us already. We're lingering far too long.
Dave: I have an idea.
Bruce: Wasn't that exciting? How did you like my voice?
Steve: To be honest, I wasn't able to make you out among the choir. Why do you always have to mingle in everything?
Bruce: Hey, thanks to my idea, they finally believe that we are NOT Famine and Pestilence. Famine would never agree to sing in a monks' choir.
Steve: Yes, if you were Famine, you would agree. You'd be Famine, the attention whore.
Bruce: I was making a sacrifice for our mission.
Steve: Sacrifice? You were dying to be up there with the choir to sing a few gospels!
Bruce: Yes, I have to admit, it was kinda exciting. But still ... anyway, do you have my performance on tape?
Steve: Yes I have everything on tape. Famine singing the Ave Maria. I still can't believe that they really thought we were the Riders of the Apocalypse. What a load of bollocks. Anyway, all we need now is an illuminated page. Do you think you can talk your way through to that as well?
Bruce: Yes, I have already a silly little idea, hehe.
Steve: I fear the worst.
Nicko: All right, where do you think they keep their empty bottles? I think we'd better get moving soon.
Janick: Probably in the kitchen. Over there.
Zelda: Oh hi, Jan. Who's your handsome friend? He looks familiar.
Janick: Zelda, this is Nicko.
Nicko: And before you ask: I'm not Donovan's brother.
Zelda: Oh right, how is he? Haven't seen him in a while. He was always such a nice guy.
Nicko: He was? Rumor has it, he is a bastard.
Zelda: Oh, I see you've talked to Rose. Don't mind her. She just can't accept being dumped. Wanna dance?
Nicko: We have to leave, I'm afraid.
Zelda: Oh come on, just a short one. I love this dance. Don't be shy.
Janick: Damn, Nicko, be careful with this bird. I get the bottle.
Adrian: I hope this works. It's so crazy, it might just work.
Dave: Rhiannon, when does the New Year begin?
Rhiannon: In a short while. When the druid comes back with the sacred mistletoe, he will perform the rite of Samhain. The Old Year lies in it's final death-throes.
Dave: Yuk, what a gruesome image. Alright, H, let's get ready.
Adrian: There he comes! Now I'm nervous.
Druid: Behold, the mistletoe! Light the fires, sing and dance. The old year draws to a close. Let's welcome a new beginning with cries of joy. And let us say good-bye to our guests from the Other World. Their visit was short, may their journey back be a safe one and may they depart swiftly.
Dave: That's our cue.
Adrian: We thank you for your hospitality. Like the old year, our time among you has come to an end.
Dave: Yes, we will leave you in a short time.
Druid: Yes, we know ... we were honoured, believe me. Farewell now.
Adrian: Ehm, before we leave, we want to ask a favour, please.
Druid: Just ask. It will be done.
Dave: We require a sickle, to find our peace of mind.
Adrian: Oh man, they will never believe this.
Chief: That is an unusual request.
Rhiannon: But who are we mere mortals to question the needs of the spirits?
Druid: That is very true. It is a small gift in return for the honour of your visit. Take the sickle and may you find your peace.
Dave: Thank you very much. And now we will leave you.
Adrian: It has worked. I can't believe it really worked. Let's go to the TM, quickly, before they find us out.
Bruce: Ah, brother Athelred. Good to see you. I have a question. You see, my friend Steven here is an illuminator.
Steve: What? Are you nuts?
Bruce: Yes, and he wants to see your books and stuff. To check out your technique.
Brother Athelred: I'm an illuminator myself. I'd be pleased to show the library to you both. Follow me.
Steve: I have not the first notion of illumination. Bruce, how could you?
Bruce: You can draw a bit. That counts. Anyway, they won't let you mess with their books. Paper was too important for that. Don't worry.
Steve: But what if they want me to draw something after all?
Bruce: We'll improvise. Ok? At least we'll get access to their books.
Brother Athelred: Here is my writing desk. I have just begun this page. I've almost finished colouring the initial W.
Steve: I see. That's excellent work.
Bruce: Is that a gilded letter?
Brother Athelred: We use gold sparsely, it is very expensive.
Bruce: That's true. Of course. Looks gilded, though. Nice touch to it.
Brother Athelred: Why don't you give it a try, brother Steven? I want to see how you go about it.
Steve: And now what? Any ideas, blabbermouth?
Bruce: I was hoping for this. Just take the quill and make believe, I'll do the rest ... trust me.
Steve: Ehm, ok. Yes, my technique is a bit different from yours. I prefer to elongate the letters more to the bottom, so that they go over the line. See, like this?
Brother Athelred: Aha, interesting. These hard pointy edges look stern and determined. Not as rounded and cheerful as ours. Purposeful and headstrong. Somehow, I like them.
Steve: Thank you. Yes, and then I prefer a strong reddish colour, too. It fits the overall mood of the letter.
Brother Athelred: Yes, I can see that. Oops. Oh my God!
Bruce: Oh, sorry, did I bump into you? I'm so sorry. Oh my, and now you have made a blot on the paper. That's awful. Does that mean that the paper cannot be used anymore?
Brother Athelred: No, I cannot present this work to the abbot. But don't fret, brother Bruce. These things can happen. All I have to do is start anew on a fresh page. I have only worked on this one for a half hour or so, it's no big deal.
Steve: Hmm, what will you do with this paper then? Could I keep it, to further study your technique? It's very interesting. I could learn a lot from it.
Brother Athelred: Oh, I meant to burn it. The abbot shouldn't see this. He would be furious and probably see it as a new sign of the apocalypse.
Steve: We noticed he is a bit obsessed about that.
Brother Athelred: Yes, Doomsday preoccupies his thoughts to a rather unhealthy degree. We shouldn't pry too much into the future. What will be, will be. You can keep the paper, brother Steven.
Steve: Thank you very much. And now we have to leave you again.
Brother Athelred: Already? Won't you stay for the night?
Steve: No, the snow has stopped. We must be on our way again. Thank you for your hospitality.
Bruce: It was a very interesting New Year's celebration. I have never welcomed the New Year with holy songs before. Interesting experience.
Brother Athelred: You were an excellent addition to our choir, brother Bruce. Such a powerful voice you have.
Bruce: Thank you. My humble greetings to your abbot. Tell him, the Riders will for sure not arrive within the next thousand years.
Brother Athelred: He will be happy to hear that. Farewell.
Janick: Yes! I have the bottle. Finally. And now back to Nicko. ... Oh-oh. Trouble.
Smith: Hey, you! What are you thinking, grabbing my wife's ass?
Rose: That's Donovan's brother. What do you expect? It runs in the family.
Smith: Donovan? That bastard. He still owes me money.
Zelda: Honey, it's not what you think.
Nicko: I wasn't grabbing your wife's ass, mate. I was merely dancing with her. Very harmless, I assure you.
Smith: Tell your brother that I will pay him a visit in the New Year.
Nicko: Actually, he's not my ...
Janick: I have the bottle, let's go.
Nicko: Good. If you'll excuse us, ladies and gentlemen. We want to see the fireworks on Trafalgar Square.
Smith: You think you can get away with hitting on my wife? Think again, mate.
Nicko: Look, can't we settle this peacefully?
Rose: He sounds exactly like his brother.
Nicko: Look here, lady, I am NOT Donovan's brother.
Smith: No use denying it. We know you.
Nicko: You do?
Smith: It's the nose. That's Donovan.
Janick: Look over there! An alien just landed on Big Ben!
Rose: What! Let me see it.
Zelda: Oh my God, how exciting.
Smith: I can't see anything.
Janick: Let's get out of here quick.
Nicko: I hope the time machine is already waiting for us.
Bruce: See, it all worked out fine. We have the illuminated piece of paper. And all this without trouble.
Steve: We haven't left yet. Where is the TM, hm? Do you think we will have to wait long in the snow? What if Dave and H ran into problems?
Bruce: Oh, shit, you think so?
Steve: That's what I feared all along. And what if Nicko and Jan are already in big trouble? And we cannot even help them. We don't even know in what time they are for fuck's sake.
Dave: I told you, H, I could hear them bicker.
Adrian: Hey there, you two. We have been waiting for five minutes already, hehe. Mission accomplished, sickle on board. Let's go get Nick and Jan.
Bruce: H! Davey! Great to see you two. So how was it? Where have you been?
Dave: We don't really know where, but it has been in the times of druids and Celts. Pretty awesome. We celebrated the feast of Samhain with them. They had awesome mead-wine. And they thought we were spirits.
Steve: Ts, the monks here thought I was Pestilence.
Bruce: And I was Famine, though we both looked very healthy. Not a trace of leprosy.
Adrian: Huh?
Steve: That's a long story. Push the button, will you?
Nicko: I think they stopped chasing us. Wow, see over there. New Year's fireworks over the Thames. I quickly film this and then we're off.
Janick: Well, we're only off if the others have arrived with the TM.
Nicko: I'm pretty confident they have solved the mission. I trust me lads.
Janick: Were did we leave the TM anyway? Can you remember the street?
Nicko: It was somewhere in Soho, in a dark alleyway.
Janick: And what alleyway, precisely?
Nicko: Hmm, there's a puzzle to solve. Maybe we should have a lookie around.
Steve: Damn, where are they? We're already waiting for ten minutes.
Bruce: Well, they can't know when we will show up, right?
Steve: The fireworks are over, so should be their mission. If everything worked fine. After all, they were the first to get out of the TM.
Adrian: That's true. Let's have a lookie round. ... Wow, man, we're in Soho here. I know the place.
Dave: Yeah, me too. There's a nice pub just around the corner. Maybe we should wait there.
Steve: No running around. We wait here, until they come.
Nicko: Wohooo, we found the right alley after all. Hey mates. Already worried about us?
Adrian: Hey, you made it. Great. What time is this?
Janick: Golden Twenties, London. If you want something to laugh about, you can watch me do the Lindy Hop on tape.
Bruce: I'd love to see that, whatever a Lindy Hop may be. You can see me singing in a medieval monks' choir. They said I have a beautiful voice.
Nicko: Seriously?
Steve: Well, BBC can't complain about interesting footage this time. Let's go home and get ready for New Year's Eve.
Nicko: Before you push the buttons, Steve, please all grin one more time into the camera.
Adrian: And what's this going to be now?
Nicko: Hello boys and girls, in front of your tellies: this is a message from Nicko: Wherever you are, in old Blighty or throughout the world: Have a very happy New Year and all the best for 2006!
All: Happy New Year, everybody!