Never before had the sight bestowed upon Captain Haddock. The bloody mass that was his life-long best friend was enough to make anyone's blood curdle, but more so for him for the pain he felt when he looked at him was personal.
The lad face was black and blue, his eyes pasted shut with caked on blood, and a long cut that ran from his brow to his jaw was turning an ugly shade of purple.
But the extent of his injuries did not stop there.
His left arm was at an odd, unnatural angle, a bizarre fragment of white just visible beneath the shirt fabric. A long, dagger like cut ran deep within his chest to his stomach. And all about his body dark blue and black and yellow bruises shown like lighters in the night.
All of this was enough to make Captain Haddock sick.
Who would do such a thing to an innocent lad like Tintin? The bastards ought to be ashamed of themselves.
But what scared the Captain the most was that even after his attempts to wake him, (splashing water on him, shaking him, calling his name), the boy still did not respond. And while he was breathing, in the 10 minutes that Haddock had been there, he had noticed a great decrease in the power that was behind each breath. But he had sent the Thompson's, who had been with him when he found Tintin, to the nearest payphone, so he was not entirely on panic mode yet.
So he sat there, waiting for the Thompson's return, Tintin's body cradled in his lap, scared beyond imagination. Even the boy's dog was not in sight, which was strange in itself because Snowy loved Tintin as much as he, him. Captain Haddock hoped that nothing had happened to the little white terrier.
Haddock was trying as best he could to stop the bleeding that was still continuously flowing from the cut on Tintin's chest to no avail. If he did not get it under control soon, he knows Tintin would be dead before help arrived, so he continued to press harder.
And suddenly the added pressure, caused a low moan to escape Tintin's lips.
"Tintin? Can you hear me?"
"Yeah, that's right. Listen to me Tintin: don't move, you're hurt. I need you to describe your attackers, if you can…"
Haddock noticed that his friend's breath was becoming labored and jerky. "Tintin?"
The lad didn't respond.
"I couldn't believe it when I saw who it was…" He suddenly spoke, though now weaker. "It should have been obvious, but still…"
"Tintin, who was it?"
He desperately looks at the Captain. "I shall not tell you, for if I do, they will kill you too…"
"Thundering Typhoons, Tintin! You're not dead. Besides, what is that fuddy-duddy nonsense mean? You honestly think I believe that old wives tale? I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you? Honestly!"
"You should believe it old friend, for I speak only the truth to you. I will be dead soon, I know, and they will come and hunt you down. You have to promise me Archibald Haddock, that you will not go looking for these people. Adventure or no adventure, you must leave me rest on my dying breath."
Captain looks away, for though he wished it be not, Tintin's breath was slowing and he knew his best friend was dying.
"How do you not expect me to go looking for your k-killer?"
"I know you will find the strength. The same strength, in fact, that you had in Tibet when you were ready to cut your own rope on that cliff face. I think you will find that strength I speak of called love."
"Love? Love? It is love Tintin that will drive me to find your killers!"
"But the love I speak of Captain goes along with respect as well. If you love me as your friend, you will respect my decision as well."
"Promise me before I go. Promise me you will let me rest in peace, and I promise you will find your strength!"
"Promise me Captain Haddock!"
"I promise lad."
And Tintin was gone. And Haddock found little strength as he let out a wail of despair to the heavens.
His best friend was gone…and he was alone. With the killer still out there…
What was Haddock to do?
And still Strength told him nothing…
Auther's note: Shall I or shall I not continue the story, that is the question. Or shall I just delete it? It is up to you readers. If enough people like it I will continue and maybe, MAYBE reveal Tintin's murder. I guess we will just have to wait and see… :D