28 August 2012

winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for this prompt
part two part four
Warnings: Alternate Universe. Haddock/Tintin.

The Crab with the Mechanical Claws (part 3)

8th of July, 193-, Malbork
Professor Calculus wakes up with a terrible headache. His head spins and his stomach threatens to return it contents to broad day-light. Cuthbert feels even worse than that time he blown up his old laboratory. And there is only one thing which could cause all this. Trichloromethane.
He looks around with a groan. Large room furnished by antique, but well kept furniture. Rather small windows transmitting just enough of afternoon light, not like the modern broad ones in his workroom. Everything precisely cleaned. Where did they took him?
“Guten Tag, Professor.” Came from behind him.
Well, if this isn’t a promptly answered question.

8th of July, 193-, Karaboudjan
“Excuse me, haven’t you seen a steam-dog here? It is FT7 model.”
The men simply shake their heads.
Tintin sighs. He didn’t paid attention to his automaton for whole one minute, which was more than enough for Milou to wander off without warning again. So he excused himself from Allan and detectives and went to search for his copper companion.
And got lost.
He would never admit it aloud.
“Oh, Milou.” He sighs again.
There is a sudden clang sound nearby. The ginger reporter turns in its direction.
“Milou! Where have you been?”
The dog automaton tilts its head-piece in quizzical gesture, emitting steam. It turns around, glances back at its master as if it wants to say “Follow me, you human being.”
And Tintin follows.
Deeper and deeper into the steamboat. Probably. Tintin sense of direction is not the one to be trusted. Milou leads them to a spacious cabin full of crates, boxes and chests. And directly through it, towards the wall opposing the door. The ginger reporter looks at surprisingly clean wall.
“What do you want to tell me?”
Milou tilts its head-piece towards him and if he could actually cast a look, this one would be really, really sarcastic. Then with a resigned clang, the automaton thuds into the wall.
It gives a hollow sound.
Tintin eyes the wall thoroughly, thinking. If there is a secret room behind this, how will I get in? Naturally, there will be some sort of opening mechanism. Where? The young reporter traces his fingers on the weld lines, eyes closed, searching. Something moved under his fingers, one panel slides inside the hollow with soft click. Tintin smiles contentedly. He and Milou steps inside, his automaton dog disappearing amongst crates stashed there. Not looking under his feet, Tintin kicks something. He immediately squats down to grab the item. It is can of crab meat, already opened and full of opium.
“Oh. What do we have here?”
“Just a nosy landlubber.” Comes from behind him as his world darkens.
Meanwhile Thomson and Thompson apologies to the mate, unknowing of the fact that their friend is in grave danger again.
“There is nothing to be sorry for.” Allan says, smile resting on his lips. “I sincerely hope that you will catch the smugglers soon.”
“Mate!” A group of sailors stops near them. “All freight unloaded. Everything’s done.”
“Yeah. We could set sail right now.”
“Great. Perhaps we will catch up that delay from North Sea.” Tall, beefy sailor emerges on deck, glances at Allan and then turns to the detective duo. “Detectives, your … erm … boy had come ahead. He said, that he had something urgent to do.”
“Oh. He probably went after other clues.”
“Thank you, sir, for giving us his message.”
Thompson steps on the gangplank, tripping over something. Thomson tried to catch him and they both fell down, miraculously not breaking anything.
“What a klutz.” Said the last-to-come sailor, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Where is that boy?” Mutters Allan through his teeth.
“He is locked in storeroom 4.”
“Tom! What the fuck … ?”
“He found out the stash.”
Allan growls. “This is bad. Bad. Bad!”
“Well. We already have one slave for market.”
“No.” Allan grins darkly at his henchman. “We have two.”

8th of July, 193-, Malbork
Professor Calculus is fluent in German. As well as in English, French and few other languages, apart from his native Dutch. And thanks to his hearing aid he had no problem to catch all the orders his captor barked on servants. He still does not know where exactly did they dragged him, but he is absolutely sure now that they are in Preußen.
He must admit that his captors were … not clever, no, rather persistent. They followed him all the way to Groningen and actually caught him at the end. And now, they are playing good hosts.
Cuthbert smiles to his tea. But it is all futile, since he does not have it with him. He smuggled it unnoticed to Factory mail office before he actually went on this goose chase. He could only hope now, that that boy is really like his dear colleague Alembick had told him.
The leader of his captors, who did introduced himself as Spalding, rambles on and on, surprisingly in English, but with strong, unmistakable accent. He ends his litany with the grave question. “Will you work for me?”
And Cuthbert decides to do the most awful, most wicked, most foul and most dastardly thing he could.
He looks the man right into eyes with a disgusted expression. “For that would you want a pony?”
He will pretend that his hearing aid does not work.

Author’s notes
x Malbork is a city in Poland and also a wonderful, I mean wonderful castle. If you happen to be nearby, make sure to have a time for visit. Historically speaking, it was founded by Order of Teutonic Knights, who, after few centuries of strugling, conquering and renaming, became known as Prussia.
x Trichloromethane is nothing else that good old chloroform.
x Somehow I tend to use the German name for Prussia - Preußen. Oh, and “Guten Tag, Professor” means "Good day, Professor" in German.
x Let's say, that FT7 model of steam-dog is the 7th model based on Fox Terrier.
x Tintin's sense of direction is terrible. He need at least one character flaw, and this one is amusing as hell. I know it first hand, two of my former classmates are like that. It was, and still is, really dangerous to let them take the lead, especially in unknown city. ... But sightseeing with them was sooo much fun! We needed twice/thrice as time as normal, but nevermind. ^^
x Groningen is a city somewhere in Netherlands, relatively close to German borders. Really, I found it on the map.
x Professor Hector Alembick is that sigillographer for whom Tintin briefly worked in 'King Ottokar's Sceptre'.
x Do you remember Spalding? The traitorous secretary of Laszlo Carreidas in 'Flight 714'?
x Professor Calculus does wear his hearing aid on daily basis, but most of the time, he had it switched off. Not hearing helps him to focus on his work. And he actually enjoys the reactions of people in his surroundings, but shh, do not tell that to Captain. ^^


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