winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for kinkmeme's Ghost Story prompt, as well as for much newer Halloween prompt.

Story so far : Professor Calculus was invited to England by his old colleague, younger brother of Lord of Moonshire, and he took Captain, Tintin and Snowy along. The Manor feels slightly strange (especially to Snowy and Captain), but nothing unusual happened at first. Yet, the second night of their visit was full of unpleasant hair-rising surprises. Which led into Captain spending the rest of night in Tintin's bed. In all chastity! Next day, when household was captured in Captain's storytelling, Tintin went to investigate for source of strange night noises and ended up trapped in hostile room. Meanwhile, Professor and Snowy encounter a strange translucent girl. Using his wits, Tintin was able to escape. But later that day, a gruesome murder was discovered. Due to a majestic stormwind, house was cut off and everyone stayed at Blue parlour during the night, hearing out an old tale about curse. And Moonshire Manor is still full of mysteries.

Warnings : Tintin/Haddock established relationship. Spooky stuffs. Mild fluff. Snowy acting BAMF.

part one part two part three part four part five part six [next parts pending]

Stay overnight, if you dare. )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for kinkmeme's Ghost Story prompt, as well as for much newer Halloween prompt.

Here is the long postponed next chapter of my ghost story. Hope the wait doesn't made your hair go grey.

Story so far : Professor Calculus was invited to England by his old colleague, younger brother of Lord of Moonshire, and he took Captain, Tintin and Snowy along. The Manor feels slightly strange (especially to Snowy and Captain), but nothing unusual happened at first. Yet, the second night of their visit was full of unpleasant hair-rising surprises. Which led into Captain spending the rest of night in Tintin's bed. In all chastity! Next day, when household was captured in Captain's storytelling, Tintin went to investigate for source of strange night noises and ended up trapped in hostile room. Meanwhile, Professor and Snowy encounter a strange translucent girl. Using his wits, Tintin was able to escape. But later that day, a gruesome murder was discovered. And Moonshire Manor is still full of mysteries.

Warnings : Tintin/Haddock established relationship. Spooky stuffs. Mild fluff.

part one part two part three part four part five [next parts pending]

Stay overnight, if you dare. )
winryweiss: (Default)
Sort of a fill for kinkmeme's Scars prompt, taken from very different angle than was expected. Blame this story to my strange mood when I was ill, one particularly persistent plotbunny and my keenness for enumerating fics. ^.~

Warnings : Tintin/Haddock established relationship. Fluff. Mentions of various injuries.

The most important of numbers ... )
winryweiss: (Default)
Here comes my take of the irresistible prompt Time Lord Calculus.

Before you embark further, keep in mind that this is going to be series of randomly updated oneshots, ripping off both 'The Adventures of Tintin' and 'Doctor WHO'.
Since I cannot resist. ^.~

Warnings : Crack!fic. (I honestly think so. It just ended up like that.) Slight OOCness. Movie verse. Mildly implied Cuthbert/Bianca.

PWP (Plan? What plan? We always end up improvising!) )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for kinkmeme's Ghost Story prompt, as well as for much newer Halloween prompt.

Story so far : Professor Calculus was invited to England by his old colleague, younger brother of Lord of Moonshire, and he took Captain, Tintin and Snowy along. The Manor feels slightly strange (especially to Snowy and Captain), but nothing unusual happened at first. Yet, the second night of their visit was full of unpleasant hair-rising surprises. Which led into Captain spending the rest of night in Tintin's bed. In all chastity! Next day, when household was captured in Captain's storytelling, Tintin went to investigate for source of strange night noises and ended up trapped in hostile room. Meanwhile, Professor and Snowy encounter a strange translucent girl. Using his wits, Tintin was able to escape. However, Moonshire Manor is still full of mysteries.

Warnings : Tintin/Haddock established relationship. Spooky stuffs. Mild fluff.

part one part two part three part four this part part six [next parts pending]

Stay overnight, if you dare. )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for kinkmeme's Ghost Story prompt, as well as for much newer Halloween prompt.

Story so far : Professor Calculus was invited to England by his old colleague, younger brother of Lord of Moonshire, and he took Captain, Tintin and Snowy along. The Manor feels slightly strange (especially to Snowy and Captain), but nothing unusual happened at first. Yet, the second night of their visit was full of unpleasant hair-rising surprises. Which led into Captain spending the rest of night in Tintin's bed. In all chastity! Next day, when household was captured in Captain's storytelling, Tintin went to investigate for source of strange night noises and ended up trapped in hostile room. Meanwhile, Professor and Snowy encounter a strange translucent girl.

Warnings : Tintin/Haddock established relationship. Spooky stuffs. Mild fluff.

part one part two part three this part part five part six [next parts pending]

Stay overnight, if you dare. )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for Dialogue only prompt

Warnings : Dialogue only fic. Slightly confusing. Possible misinterpretation (intended).

eavesdropping behind closed door might be misleading ^.~ )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for kinkmeme's Ghost Story prompt, as well as for much newer Halloween prompt.

Story so far : Professor Calculus was invited to England by his old colleague, younger brother of Lord of Moonshire, and he took Captain, Tintin and Snowy along. The Manor feels slightly strange (especially to Snowy and Captain), but nothing unusual happened at first. Yet, the second night of their visit is full of unpleasant hair-rising surprises.

Warnings : Tintin/Haddock established relationship. Mild fluff. Spooky stuffs.

part one part two this part part four part five part six [next parts pending]

Stay overnight, if you dare. )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for kinkmeme's Ghost Story prompt, as well as for much newer Halloween prompt.

Enjoy the Halloween, everybody! ^.~

Story so far : Professor Calculus was invited to England by his old colleague, younger brother of Lord of Moonshire, and he took Captain, Tintin and Snowy along. The Manor feels slightly strange (especially to Snowy and Captain), but nothing unusual happened. Yet, the second night of their visit is about to begin.

Warnings : Tintin/Haddock established relationship. Spooky stuffs.

part one this part part three part four part five part six [next parts pending]

Stay overnight, if you dare. )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for kinkmeme's Ghost Story prompt, as well as for much newer Halloween prompt.

Really? I am really posting my halloween fic already? Well, yes. ^^ Guess why. Mainly because it is multi-chapter (so far it looks like five or six parts, but as I know myself, it could be more). And I really, really want to post the second part on Halloween's eve.

I'm fond of ghost stories. I have weak spot for them, for the real old-fashioned ghost stories. Not for horrors. Since nowadays, horrors are mostly gore slashers, which I doesn't mind, but ... horror, true horror, need tense spooky atmosphere, which will make you shiver with fear even though you know there will be ghost/monster/madman/something waiting behind the corner to "boo" at the hero! Not a runaway, clinicaly insane serial killer who eliminate the bunch of high-schooler one by one, however creative he could be. He can be there, of course, but you need to be afraid.
So, I'll be aiming for similiar feeling in this creation of mine.

Warnings: Tintin/Haddock established relationship. Fluff(ish).

this part part two part three part four part five part six [next parts pending] I would try to post it weekly, but I can't promise.

Stay overnight, if you dare. )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for the prompt Dear father. And partially for Child abuse promt as well.
You know those fic you keep rewriting 'cause something feels ... odd? Yes. This. After like four versions in my mind and two written down I recreated it completely. So, it might feel slightly deus-ex-machina-ish but I am satisfied.
part one part two
Warnings : Friendship & Fluff.
Tintin’s POV

Back in fluff(ish). ^.~ )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for the prompt Dear father. And partially for Child abuse promt as well.
Since I could speak Polish, I could as well use it. ^.~
part one part three
Warnings : (Mentions of) child abuse. Violence.
Tintin’s POV

Prepare, seriousness ahead. )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for the prompt Dear father. And partially for Child abuse promt as well
Another different view on Tintin and Haddock's relationship. This time not so twisted. *hehe* As much as I love them as lovers, I have totally no problem to see them like this.
part two part three
Warnings : None. So far.
Tintin’s POV

From fluff to seriousness. What happened to me? )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for my own promt.
Archibald's side
Fluffy general fic. Takes place before ‘Moon series’ with various allusions to preceding adventures.

this way for sugar )
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for my own promt.
Tintin’s side
Fluffy general fic. Takes place before ‘Moon series’ with various allusions to preceding adventures.

this way for sugar )
winryweiss: (Default)
My take of this prompt.
GEN story (but you could take it as pre-slash, if you insist) which happens sometime between 'Shooting Star' and 'Secret of the Unicorn' adventures. Mere small scene from ordinary life about the little heroic deeds we do everyday. (Seriously, have you ever tried to bathe a dog? Or cat?)
Warnings: Friendship.

Heroic deeds of ordinary life

Tintin felt dead-tired. His whole month efforts didn’t bring anything at all. No new clues for the case of forgery, not a single one successfully accomplished reportage, and the interview with major Wings had to be postponed due to his unexpected reinforcement call. He sighed and rubbed his nape.
Captain went to visit him today, since he happened to have few free days before his next sail. Yet Tintin had to leave his friend in his flat and go to work today. But he didn’t left him alone, no, that wouldn’t be fair from him. Furthermore, he was actually glad, that Captain could look after Snowy today. For some unknown reasons, Snowy feels strong antipathies towards Mr. Grotski and already tried to bite him once, so it wouldn’t be the best idea to bring his dog along.
Tintin fished his pockets for keys.
On top of everything he should finally bathe Snowy.
He dragged himself up the staircase and opened door to his flat, coat already down. “I am sorry it took s…” His heart stopped only to start again frantically, coat slipped from his fingers and fell to ground.
His flat was ransacked. No doubt about it. Sheets of papers from his reports were scattered everywhere, coffee-table shoved away, both armchairs overturned. Somebody was chasing after someone else.
Captain. Snowy. The worst-case scenarios went through his head.
Yet, Tintin could hear something.
He stopped cold and tilted his head.
Again. A faint sound.
Sloshing of water.
Tintin cracked the door to bathroom open, holding his breath back anxiously. This room was in mess too, puddles on the floor, laundry basket upturned and …
Captain was sitting inside filled bathtub, fully clothed, his hat still on, and between the soapsuds poked out white-furred head. Black eyes closed delightfully, because Captains was scrubbing him, humming silently.
Door creaked loudly and the man and the dog looked at him.
Tintin could not do anything else than look back.
It was Captain, who broke the awkward silence after while. “Yer were s’pposed to return at four.”
“It is already five o’clock.”
“Oh.”
Tintin could not hold back any longer and burst out laughing, supporting himself at doorpost. “How … how did you … get him t… to bathtub?” The ginger reporter bent, with one hand holding his stomach, with the other hanging on doorframe. “He despises bathing.”
“I noticed.” Captain rubbed Snowy’s scruff. “He gave me quite a workout. Yer saw the flat, didn’t yer.”
“I thought …” Tintin shook his head, glad he hadn’t been right.
“I wanted to clean up before yer return, but chasing this little rascal took longer than I thought.”
The ginger smiled at his older friend. “And how, exactly, did you got into bathtub?”
“He tried to wriggle out and I tripped.”
Tintin suppressed a giggle. “You are staying overnight.” He announced simply.
“What if I have something planned?”
“In drenched clothes? And smelling like a wet dog?” Tintin smirked at Snowy’s disapproving look. “I will not let you go.”
Captain smiled gently. “I’ll take yer word on it.” Snowy thumped his foot to bathtub since the other occupant started to scrub him behind ears.
Tintin chuckled. “I’ll cook something for dinner.”
“I already did. Yer just need to warm it up.”
The ginger glanced at kitchen unit. “Curry?” He asked, like Captain could cook anything else.
“Duh. I think I made it mild, but yer should better taste it.”
“Aw, Captain.” Acting on whim, Tintin paced to bathtub and pecked Captain on forehead. “You are my hero.”
A violent blush seized Captain’s features. Even his ears were red. “Yeah … That’s … nothing.”
Snowy decided that this would be the perfect time to shake the shampoo off. Tintin yelped and covered his face with laugh. Captain shrieked and uttered something about lunatic dogs.
“I’ll get us dry clothes.”
“Don’t want to offend yer, but I won’t be able to fit into anything yer have here.”
“You think?” Tintin intended to give the navy-blue dressing gown to Captain as Christmas present, but this day decided otherwise. “I have a shining armor just for you.” He winked at his friend before leaving bathroom.
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for this prompt
part ten part twelve
Warnings: Alternate Universe. Haddock/Tintin.

The Crab with the Mechanical Claws (part 11)

Cuthbert tilts his head and looks at astonished Archibald, smug smile on his lips. “Never underestimate a scientist, Captain.”
“Yes, sir.” Archibald blurts out.
Steelworks employees are encircling them. Professor leans on his lead pipe like on walking stick. He turns at closest man and says something in German. The worker retorts, but soon stutters under the intensity of Calculus’ stare. Other workers join the debate, yet they quickly succumb to professor’s authority. Captain notices expressions for “accident” “illegal” and “police”. But he couldn’t care less, since he spots inert Milou in debris.
“Oh no.” He mutters, taking the copper canine to his arms.
“Allow me.” Professor, keeping a tight rein on situation, takes Milou from his hands. “Ah, severe malfunction due to impact.” He examines automaton’s head-piece. “Hmm, main memory seems not to be damaged.” He smiles at Captain reassuringly. “Do not worry. I can repair your dog.”
“No no, he’s Tintin’s …” Chill crawls up Archibald’s spine. Tintin. He looks around, searching frantically for unmistakable ginger hair. Instead, he notices the trace of destruction. “Blue blistering barnacles.” Captain knows immediately where exactly Tintin is. “Take care of here, would yer?” He interjects in the loose direction of Cuthbert.
“Wait! Are you going to confront stampede AST bare handed?!” Professor’s voice falters.
“Yes?” Archibald answers, unsure of himself.
“Are you mad?”
“Apparently.”
“Nogat!”
“What?”
“Captain,” Cuthbert grabs his shoulders and turns the ex-soldier to face him. “Lure the ‘Crab’ to river. The device is sensitive to water.”
“Now, that sounds like a plan.” I must totally lost my mind! “Handle it here for while.” Archibald starts running after Tintin. “Interpol should arrive soon!” He shouts back at the engineer.
Professor Calculus stands there, unmoving Milou in his arms, watching as Captain hurries away, his injured leg obviously forgotten. It is not just that boy, who is extraordinary, no. Even this man is especial. Cuthbert smiles. He should watch over those two.

This is nightmare come true.
One of those nightmares in which you are trying to desperately run away from something dangerous and unseen, something just behind you. And no matter how fast you run, you never escape.
Tintin perceives everything in decelerated pace, discerning every detail. Bark of trees, twigs on ground, protruding roots, cautionary tweeting of birds, fleeing squirrel (poor girl, she must be terrified), his own screaming voice, gruesome rumble accompanied with steam puffs behind and dazzling reflections from river surface ahead.
River.
He is aiming directly to river.
Great Snakes in Thundering Typhoons!
He is going to die.
He is so going to die.
He never learned to swim properly.
But on the other hand, this might be his only chance.
Supposing that the monster behind is same specimen as his dog, it would not react well to soaking in water. It might slow it down. It might even stop it. Very improbable, but still possible.
Tintin begs every saint and god he knows for help and steers his uncontrollable bicycle towards river, luring the ‘Crab’ into what he hoped will turn out as inescapable trap. Swerving on the last moment, he listens with satisfaction how caterpillar tracks drive the monstrous machine from bank to deep water, heated copper sizzling angrily. Then his back tyre slips on mud and Tintin feels dread grip his heart when he falls backwards to the river, still clutching the handlebars tightly.

Archibald hastens through smithereens trees. He could feel his heart’s frenzied beating up to his throat and his legs weakening, threaten to give up under him, the gash from rapier burn more with every step. He is out of shape, that’s for sure, but he pushes his limits apart and keeps going, fear for that boy driving him forward. Captain tries to force the terrors of war out of his mind. Yet he seen so many men died due to steam weapons and he certainly does not want to see another. Not Tintin. Not Tintin!
He could see the line of uprooted trees ending on river bank and that devilish device sunken partially in deep water, artificial arms still moving abruptly, but the whole thing obviously stuck.
Where is that ginger?
“TINTIN!”
Captain stumbles over tree root and nearly falls down to ground. He staggers for while, cursing coarsely, but regains his equilibrium within heartbeat. He trips and skids all the way down to bank, flinging his hands in the air for better balance.
“TINTIN!” He calls out again, voice rasp. He wheezes bending forward, shaking hands supporting him on his own knees, forcing air into his burning lungs.
Oh God, I’m in terrible shape. I should give up drinking. And smoking too. I’ll give it up, I’ll sacrifice everything, I’ll …I … Just don’t take that Angel of a boy from me! Please, don’t.
“Captain?” That desired voice comes from the river.
Archibald makes an effort to move but his legs give up and he topples down, panting heavily, hand clutching at his chest.
“CAPTAIN!” The ginger reporter tries to climb back to solid ground, slipping and sliding on mud. He falls, not for first time concluding from the state of his clothes. “Captain! Is it infarct? Stroke? Coronary? Captain!” Tintin crawls up the incredibly slippery bank only with his sheer willpower at amazing speed.
Archibald can’t help himself, he laughs loudly.
The ginger grabs him by his shoulders, face pale with anxiety. “Do you need doct…?”
Archibald crushes Tintin at himself, paying no attention to the muddy dirt. “Oh God, lad, don’t make me so afraid.”

“I bet my year salary, that this is Tintin’s work.” Thompson pinches the bridge of his nose.
“This is Tintin’s work.” Thomson put his hand on his coworker’s shoulder compassionately.
They look at each other with loud sigh.
“It might have been worse.”
Thompson questions his colleague with his eyes.
“The main building still stands.” Answers Thomson simply.
“Oh. Yes.” Thompson looks around ruins of workrooms and the swarming of people on courtyard. “Apparently, our boy had been mindful. But where is he?”
Detectives step out, each in other direction, unknowing of the fact, that their walking sticks had interlocked. Canes stubbornly refuse to let go of each other, so detectives collide back to back with surprised huffs.
Cuthbert swallows a laugh. He noticed those two black-clad men the very moment they stepped into bustle of steelworkers and local policemen. For some unknown reason, he has the feeling that they would be the Interpol agents. Calculus checks his pocket watch. Eight is drawing close. He pats Milou’s head-piece lovingly.
Do not worry, little one. I’ll not only repair you. I’ll make you even better than from assembly line.
“Professor Cuthbert Calculus?” He hears two voices speaking as one.
“This apparatus?” Professor turns to face detectives and lifts Milou slightly. “It is not mine. I am merely keeping an eye on it.”
“Is that …” “… Milou?”
“Snowy? No, I believe that his masters are calling him Milou.”
“What?” “Masters?” “This isn’t Tintin’s dog?”
“Whether his masters are from Innsbruck?”
Detectives look at each other, baffled. They have been warned, that professor is hard hearing, but they hadn’t expected it to be so bad.
“No, this automaton belongs to Tintin and Captain Haddock.” Calculus glances at them contemplative. “You certainly must have heard, at least, about that courageous boy.”
“Captain …” “… Haddock?” They ask mistrustfully. “Tintin must have took him along.” “But why?”
“Oh.” Cuthbert espies the ginger colored tuft of hair. “Here they are.”
Tintin and Archibald are walking side by side, dirty and visibly tired, the former soldier leaning on the reporter. Far too close for detectives liking.
No one would menace their boy.
“Tintin!” Detectives wave their canes in air, nearly knocking a passerby worker. Professor is clever enough to steps aside a little. The threesome goes to meet them halfway.
“Great Scotland Yard! Boy …” “… are you all right? We were …” “… sick worried about you! Couldn’t you …” “… wait till we arrived?”
But Tintin does not pay any attention to them. He rushes towards Cuthbert, eyes glued on immobile copper canine. “Milou. What …?”
“He protected us. But there is nothing to worry, my boy.” Calculus smiles at the ginger and pats him on cheek. “His memory is intact. Once I repair him, he will be better than ever.”
“Tintin?” Thompson and Thomson encircle the ginger. “Tintin, what happened?”
“What happened?!” Archibald roars. “He played a game of tag with stampede AST and ended up in river!”
“And the ‘Crab’?” Professor becomes serious.
“That antediluvian crustacean got jammed there!”
“Calm down, Captain.” Tintin sneaks from detectives and lays his hands on the bearded man’s arm. “Or you will really get a heart-attack.”
Captain growls and the ginger snickers at him, stroking his arm absentmindedly. Detectives share surprised yet askance glance. And Cuthbert only smiles knowingly into his moustache.

Author’s notes
Whew! This was pleasant ride. (Next part would be even more pleasant. ^^)
x Never underestimate a scientist. Really, never do such a stupid thing.
x Despite the fact, that Cuthbert is mild and kind all the time, I belive he has that sort of authority wich makes you shut up and listen obediently.
x The river flowing next to Malbork's Castle is called Nogat. I do not remember how deep it is exactly, but it is deep.
x (This) Tintin could swim. He is just not exactly great in it. To be hones, he is terrible. Which still does not stops him from throwing himself into ranging river to save certain Chinese boy. Luckily Milou have a chain.
x Thom(p)sons are little overprotective over Tintin. You should not resent them for mistrusting Captain. He is snatching "their boy" away, after all. ^^
x It might seem unfair to Milou, but believe me. Cuthbert will make him even more awesome.
x Snowy? No, I believe they call him Milou. I originally prepared another pun, but this won.
x And why does Cuthbert think, that they have the dog together. Well, they apparently appeared like couple to him.
x Antediluvian crustacean. I got painful laughing fit from thinking up this insult.
Only one part to go. At least for this steam-powered adventure.
winryweiss: (Default)
Fill for this prompt
part nine part eleven
Warnings: Alternate Universe. Haddock/Tintin. (Heroes in grave danger!) War flashback.

The Crab with the Mechanical Claws (part 10)

Universe has sadistic sense of humor. Amongst many proofs of previous statement belongs the fact, that when one thing go wrong, others follow inevitably like toppling domino blocks.
The doors on the other side of library are thrown open and group of few tough-looking guys enters, discussing about the alarm wildly. Upon seeing the assemblage of strangers they stop short.
“This could happen only to us.” Announces Captain.

Spalding paces to and fro in Cuthbert’s room, hands twitching in his hair. Boss will kill him. Herr Müller will frizzle him! He will deep-fry him in boiling oil! Or he will feed him to his pet gorillas! And no one will ever find his remainders.
How could this happened? How could he underestimated that man? How could he not saw his evil plans? Professor Cuthbert Calculus is genius! And he let that man to make a fool of him.
“Chief did lose it.”
“Hmm.”
“You!” Spalding turns at his subordinates. “Start the ‘Crab’.”

“That was amazing.” Cuthbert still couldn’t believe what he just witnessed.
“Shall we tie them?” Tintin turns to Captain.
“Yer think they’ll be able to wake soon?” Archibald stretches his arms.
Tintin looks contentedly at unmoving men. “No.”
“It took you two less than five minutes.”
The ginger reporter giggles.
“Yeah, we’re fabulous.” Captain grabs Cuthbert’s arm. “Let’s go, professor.”
“Oh, no, wait.”
“Professor.” Tintin grabs Cuthbert’s second arm. “This is no time for panic.”
“NOW LISTEN, YOU TWO!” Both men stand upright, like after swallowing a ruler, surprised by the sudden outburst from the ever calm professor. Archibald even clicks his heels together and his right hand jerks in attempt to salute. “I know that you are trying to help me, and I do appreciate this, but there is something I must do.”
Tintin opens his mouth to voice his opinion, but he is stopped by Cuthbert’s threateningly risen forefinger.
“They have fully functional AST here!”
“Oh shit.” Archibald turns completely pale.
Tintin scours his mind for this abbreviation, unsuccessfully. “What is it?”
“Automaton Steam Tank.”
In the crestfallen silence after professor’s words Tintin could hear his own surprised exhalation. Automatons are devices able to function independently within the framework of its programming. Automaton tank would be merciless killing machine. “Such things are outlawed by The Treaty of Versailles.”
“And that’s only right!” Captain punches nearby bookshelf. “Where it is?”
“In former horse barn.”
“Can you sabotage it?” Tintin could almost touch Archibald’s anger.
“I am chief engineer in ‘Tournesol Factory’. I’ll take it to pieces.”

“Yer gotta be kidding!” Archibald tries to comprehend how, by ten thousand thundering typhoons, did he get into this situation. Facing bunch of security guards on rickety gangplank, while professor scrutinizes absolutely nasty example of steam tank down below, and Tintin with Milou are trying to obtain their escape vehicle in different building. To make his position worse, the guards have rapiers. He is armed by mere lead pipe. One of them attacks, Archibald cover his rapier on last moment, deciding not to care about rules of fencing anymore. He punches the man to stomach and hurls himself to the tumult. Using abruptly remembered fencing postures only to improvise completely, to elbow his opponents, to stomp at their feet unexpectedly, using his lead pipe partially as a sword and partially as a cudgel. “I didn’t fence for years!”
“And you are doing just great, Captain.” Cuthbert unbolts latch on ‘Crab’. “Keep distracting them.”
“Yer evil!” Archibald yells, not fully decided if towards Cuthbert or towards the guards. “Troglodytes!” OK, he will scream at guards, it is calming. “Prickled pirate parrots! Canned cucumbers! Rusty renegates!”
Professor Calculus taps his screwdriver on ‘Crab’. “You are sophisticated device, aren’t you?”
“Very much, sir.” Sounds behind Cuthbert and he turns with a startle. Before his world darkens he notices Spalding’s face distorted with hatred.
“Professor!” Captain lose his concentration on the fight and the last standing guard gashes his left leg.
Spalding smiles devilishly and switches the ‘Crab’ on.

“Where are they?” Tintin taps his leg nervously. He should have never agreed with the separation. Of course, he is used to working only with Milou, but what if something happened to them? What if Captain ends up injured? The ginger bites his lips.
Even thought he is not exactly technically skilled, he managed to disable every vehicle, with the exception of the one they intend to use. And now he is waiting for his companions here, on this quad, while the sun is already rising.
Crumbs, crumbs, crumbs, crumbs, crumbs.
Something went wrong.
He can feel it.
Captain pops up in the barn gates. Tintin breathes out with relief. But then he realizes, that Archibald is limping on left leg and that he is dragging unconscious professor.
“Captain?!” The ginger reporter moves forward, ignoring the rumbling which grows louder and stronger with each second.
“Run!” Archibald yells at him.
Milou bolts towards them, dashing on its small legs, emitting puffs of steam in its peculiar simulation of furious barking.
“RUN!”
And then the world falls down. Or rather, whole wall of stable is knocked down from inside. Something, something big, is moving there, behind the clouds of smoke, steam puff and red brick dust. The noise is unbearable. The screech of steel, the heavy, regular puffing of engines, the screaming of people. It feels like the world has stopped. That’s when it emerges, arising from the dust, majestic, breathtaking, dangerous. Steam-tank bristling with countless artificial arms, levers and gadgets, cogwheels whirling in insane rhythm whenever the thing moves, red eyes shining brightly on its front end, resembling gigantic crab.
The Crab with the Mechanical Claws.
Tintin stands, frozen to the spot, sensing the terror taking over his body.
“TINTIN, RUN! Captain’s voice has unadulterated dread in it.
And Tintin obeys. Archibald’s voice was a signal. An order. Slap back to reality. His body is moving on its own volition. He jerks forward with a speed he did not know human could generate. The ‘Crab’ rushes behind him on its caterpillar tracks. Within couple of heartbeats the ginger runs through gateway to another courtyard where he collides with postman, knocking him down from bicycle. Letters scatter everywhere while the elderly mailman starts to curse in local dialect. Tintin lifts the bicycle and mounts it in one swift movement.
“Was?! Oi! Du!”
“Entschuldigen!” He shouts back, pedaling the bicycle.
The ‘Crab’ clashes through gateway, leaving it in ruins. It emits steam from both funnels, like a threat, and hastens behind Tintin.

Dust. Clouds of steam.
Shouts. Moans.
Ferrous taste of blood on his own lips. Smell of scalded skin.
Life draining away from Simon’s eyes.
Everything felt like under layer of fog. Dampness seeped into bones. His left side hurt. He could hear voices of his comrades-in-arms, but their shouting came from distance. He realized that he was shuddering uncontrollably and that he could breathe only with great effort. His left side hurt. He tried to reach there but his left arm was somewhat limp.
Simon was looking at him. No, that’s rubbish. Dead could not look at anybody anymore. His eyes were merely cast in the direction towards him. Torn copper plate sticking out from Simon’s body, etched sunflower watered with blood.
And above was distant uncaring blue sky.

Milou strides around unconscious Archibald. He could not wake him by mere prodding and steelworks employees are drawing dangerously near. The copper canine emits steam. He had to be drastic.
“OW!” Captain rouses thanks to the insidious feat. “Ow!” He says to Milou, rubbing his ass.
Milou sits and casts him a ‘Don’t be hypersensitive’ glance.
Captain crawls next to Cuthbert to check professor’s pulse. He had ditched him to safety rather unceremoniously when the ‘Crab’ annihilated barn. Thanks for it, or else they both would end caved in under debris. But his movement stirs the sore in his left side. He utters a hiss and presses his scar.
“Hope you aren’t wounded, sir.”
Spalding. Thundering typhoons, is that man indestructible or what?
Archibald scrambles up to his feet, holding his side he slowly turns to face the enraged secretary who is aiming gun at him. “Herr Spalding.” Captain coughs. “Shouldn’t yer see about yer employees?”
“I’d rather deal with you first, sir .”
Archibald learnt only one useful thing in ‘Great War’. Never ever argue with madman. (Kill him before he kills you.)
Spalding’s finger twitches on trigger. Milou jerks forward with threatening gear grind, closing its jaws around Spalding’s forearm. Captain follows the automaton’s example, hurls himself at the secretary, knocking breath out of him. Spalding sweeps his hand, firing the gun aimlessly, and jettisons Milou. The delicate device lands in debris with nasty crack. Archibald tries to push Spalding down, but is himself knocked with hard elbow shove on his back. With a triumphant smile, Spalding aims his gun at kneeling Captain. But then, professor Calculus clubs him from behind. He leans the pipe on his shoulder and snorts scornfully.
Clock tower mechanism rattles and the minute hand shifts its position. Carillon starts its dance to announce 6 o’clock.

The logic is telling Tintin not to look back, but the adrenaline has opposite opinion. Obeying the latter, he glances back. And regrets it in instant. The ‘Crab’ is catching up on him and there is no way, absolutely no way, for his confiscated bicycle to be quicker than that monstrous mechanism. But he still has a chance. He swerves, driving into the hideout provided by thick old forest. He doesn’t need to pedal so much, since terrain here is mildly downhill, but he still keeps moving his legs frantically. Any advance is good advance. Hideous sound of trees ripped from roots, sound of something unnatural entering this serene nature. And Tintin knows, he knows, he does not have to look behind, that that monstrous machine will simply steamroller anything what would dare to stand in its way. Him included. He clutches the handlebars so tightly that his knuckles turn completely snow-white, his eyes are frantically searching for any possible escape route. The ‘Crab’ tears out another tree and hurls it towards him. His white polo shirt is perfect substitution for target, no one would overlook him in the dim morning light in dusky forest. And then, the derailleur chain snaps, sprockets fall off, pedals and brakes become useless.
Tintin is widely known as calm and reserved young man. The one who would never loose his temper. The one who would find logic and composure under any conditions. But even for such a man, there ARE situations where he simply could not remain unruffled. Like dashing down a hummock, through a forest, with a crab-like steam tank behind, which is drawing dangerously near every second, riding a broken bicycle.
So Tintin, doing his best to maneuver the uncontrollable bicycle, because ramming into a tree would not help him the slightest, decides to do the only thing, he never thought possible.
He opens his mouth and screams out of pure horror.

Author’s notes
Whatta day. ^^
x Müller's pet gorillas are homage to the mighty Ranko, gorilla guard at Black Island.
x Of course The Treaty of Versailles of 28 June 1919 happened here. It only have few amendments about prohibited steam-weapons.
x A gangplank in stables? You know those scaffoldings used for reaching high places in workrooms? That's it.
x Fencing has quite complicated terminology. Captain is not awesome fencer, but he could protect himself effectively.
x Average time of daybreak in that area of Polan in July is around 5:30.
x What do you think about the 'Crab'? (Like you didn't expected it. ^^)
x Caterpillar tracks. I, antitechnical, do not know how is that thing named in my own language! Searching how to say it in English was pain in the *ss.
x Mini lesson in German: Herr [mister/sir], Was [what], Du [you], entschuldigen [forgive/pardon (me)].
x Poor Simon. See, I couldn't use any Hergé's character.
x Automaton are delicated devices sensitive to hard impacts.
x Let's give Calculus some space too, he can save the day!
x I keep reminding the time, since this part, as well as previous and even the next, takes place during one day.
x I firmly believe, that even Mr. Spock would scream out of horror in such situation.

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February 2013

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