The Adventures of Tintin: The Girl and the Tesseract Machine
A Science Fiction Romance
Written by: FossilQueen1984
Disclaimer: Happy July everyone. I know it's been a while since I have updated this story, so here is chapter 27! I still only own Helene and Rosamund. All other characters belong to Gorges Remi, Neil Gaiman, Peter Jackson, Russell T Davies, Steven Spielberg, BBC, BBC America and 20th Century.
Suggested Soundtrack: Sixth Station- Spirited Away, Kodamas- Princess Mononoke,
Force theme- John Williams
Chapter 27: Scavenger Hunting
With four different Tesseract Machines scattered throughout Europe, the real question was where the control mechanism was. Certainly, it could be any of the four but then again, why would Jorgen quote Robert Frost? Tintin thought the quote was a red herring, but with Caan uttering it before dying, there was something to it. Helene had commented that as a child, she had learned that the term 'the land of fire and ice' generally referred to Scandinavia with its black, icy forests and the annual Aurora Borealis. Tintin agreed, but this led to the question: which country were Jorgen and Dalek Caan referring to?
Haddock pointed out, "In years past, I've sailed the North Sea, and we passed Sweden once chasing down a rogue ship of Ood. Well, Rosamund, Calculus, Harkness, Ianto, Sec and I for that matter. We've got four countries that make up Scandinavia proper: Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway." Rosamund replied that it would be foolhardy to explore all four countries in small squadrons; it would be to Sakarin's advantage. Then, it clicked!
"That's it, it's not on the continent at all, and it's in Iceland! Think about it, fire and ice, volcanoes and glaciers! If you were an alien race that was fickle about the locals, what better way to destroy everything than by covering everything in lava and ice sheets," Helene exclaimed. Embracing her, Tintin spun her around in his arms and kissed her, "Snakes Helene, you really are brilliant."
Rosamund beamed, "She certainly is. By the way, how do you propose we go about doing this? Sakarin will also be searching, and it is very likely we will face an ambush."
Haddock shook his head, "We can't turn back, not now. We already have a general idea of what those blasted contraptions are for, but for what purpose Sakarin would want to use them."
Harkness pointed out Sakarin would have gathered information about them and any scavenger hunting needed to be done together. Now, the real question was where to start? Ianto suggested they try to find the one in England first. Dalek Sec replied that since the one Tintin and Helene found in Russia was located in a gold mine; maybe the one they were looking for was in a mine? This would be dangerous, even as a group. Calculus surmised, "Either way, Sakarin is waiting for us to make a move. I say we split up into small groups. We can cover more ground that way and Sakarin won't be quite sure. He is expecting us to make a move, Rosamund. The die is cast, and we must take a stand. Helene's life is at stake."
Rosamund slowly nodded, "I have dreaded facing Diedrich for many years, but now it is inevitable. Helene is full grown, and as a member of Torchwood Europa, she needs to see this mission through." She smiled at her daughter, "It's time for your mission, and this is your quest. Tintin, you and Helene need to go to England with Snowy. Haddock, Sec and I will take Iberia, Harkness, Ianto and Calculus will patrol along our side of the Iron Curtain. With any luck, we will find more information."
With the plan set in motion, everyone made plans to leave as soon as possible. Of course, Thompson and Thomson insisted on tagging along, but Haddock refused. "This is purely a family affair, and by that I mean it concerns me, Rosamund, Helene and Tintin. Mostly Rosamund and Helene as there is still the question of who Helene's biological father really is."
The Thom(p)sons agreed, and stayed in Belgium. After spending the last weeks of September and first week of October planning their courses, Tintin, Helene and Snowy left for English countryside, Haddock, Rosamund and Sec traveled to Barcelona while the others for Berlin.
Once they were in England, Helene, Tintin and Snowy trekked out to the mining towns in the English Midlands to locate the British Tesseract Machine. Interviewing locals under the guise as a travel guide, they were greeted with a mixture of disbelief and scorn. Nobody knew anything, or of they did it was about something else all together. It would be Snowy, of all people, who would find it.
On October 31, Tintin and Helene were picnicking on a sunny glade overlooking abandoned mines from the 1500's. Helene mused, "It's really to bad that we didn't find what we were looking for. Maybe, we should try Wales or Scotland next?" Snowy was sniffing along the ground when he picked up the scent of a badger! Barking excitedly, he took off down the hill followed by Helene and Tintin.
Tearing down the hill, they stopped at the entrance of one of the mines while Snowy flushed out the badger and ran down the grass covered path. "Hey, Snowy where are you going? Come back here," Tintin shouted after him. Helene followed closely behind, still skittish about entering. Fumbling for a torch, Helene turned it on as they ventured down the sloping path. "I wonder where this leads. Is it me or is it getting warmer in here," she queried softly. Tintin nodded in agreement, when Snowy barked loudly.
"Look at what I found! Old Roman soldier bones, they are delicious. Oh, and I found this odd supercomputer," the terrier announced as Tintin and Helene cautiously entered the chamber. Indeed, it was a Tesseract machine!
Tintin laughed, "Wonderful job, Snowy! It's the Tesseract Machine." Despite being covered in moss and rust, the machine sat silently as Tintin and Helene examined it for clues. Any inscriptions on it were long worn away, but what remained was a rough map. Taking a photograph, Helene stroked it fondly and activated the self destruct mechanism.
Racing away, all three made it out of the dead mine just as the ground imploded.
Landing on top of Tintin, Helene grinned, "Well, hello there." Offering him a hand, she helped him up as they made their way back to the car. Tintin asked her, "Back in Russia, there was no map on the Tesseract machine, I wonder if it was a prototype." Helene shook her head and agreed that it was possible. Driving into town, they telephoned Haddock and Rosamund with the good news. Back in the hotel room, Tintin and Helene took a look at the developed photograph. The dim image showed a large supercomputer situated inside what appeared to be some sort of underground industrial complex. Unlike this Tesseract Machine, this one had a large keyboard and a large tile doorway etched into the wall of a cliff.
"That's it then, that's the Master Control," Helene breathed softly. Tintin nodded and kissed her, all they needed to do now was to wait for the others to join them. Before leaving, Haddock said they would need to meet up somewhere before making the difficult trek north. England was chosen because of it's proximity to Belgium and the rest of Europe.
Back in the Iberian Peninsula, Haddock, Rosamund and Sec back packed through all of rural Spain trying to find the second Tesseract machine. Near the Mediterranean Sea, they had several promising leads, but these led to dead ends and trouble with the Spanish authorities as Franco was consolidating his power in the region.
Fleeing to Portugal, Haddock and Rosamund spent a few days relaxing and rekindling their romance. Dalek Sec enjoyed the vacation, and while touring Neolithic ruins in a remote fishing village, they stumbled across another Tesseract Machine. It was apparent that the government has stripped it decades before as nothing was there except for frayed electrical wires and scorched machinery. What a bust! Haddock was disappointed about it but Rosamund replied that at least Sakarin hadn't gotten there first.
Cheered up by this, Haddock told Sec as soon as their holiday was over; they were catching up with the youngsters in England. As November progressed, Haddock asked Rosamund for her hand in marriage, and she said yes. Afterwards, they joined Tintin, Helene and Snowy in England.
Meanwhile on the other side of Europe, Ianto, Jack and Calculus found the remaining two Tesseract machines. One was located in Budapest's catacombs and was found damaged beyond repair. According to their tour guide, Nazi troops destroyed it before Allied troops liberated the city. The final Tesseract machine was located in Poland, and it had been stripped down and converted into a shrine for the locals.
Now that the scavenger hunt was over, the remaining Torchwood Europa members joined the others in England to celebrate Christmas. Christmas Day was quiet and enjoyed by all. As New Years crept closer, Haddock and Rosamund began discussing their next move. At this time of year, sailing the North Sea was suicide with the lack of sunlight and freezing temperatures. They would have to wait until spring. Then, and only then, could they confront Sakarin and unravel the mysteries behind the Tesseract Machines.