|Dates of publication||September 27, 1966 - November 28, 1967|
|Published in||Tintin magazine|
|Published as book||1968|
|Preceded by||The Castafiore Emerald|
|Followed by||Tintin and the Picaros|
Flight 714, also known as Flight 714 to Sydney, is the twenty-second tale of The Adventures of Tintin released in 1968.
The adventure starts with Tintin, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus on their way to Sydney for an international conference on space exploration. Their flight made a refueling stop in Jakarta Airport where they unexpectedly meet their old friend Piotr Skut, who is now the chief pilot for eccentric millionaire Laszlo Carreidas. A while earlier, the Captain had erroneously taken the somewhat disheveled Carreidas for a tramp and surreptitiously slipped him a five-dollar bill, which later is taken by the oblivious Professor Calculus, making the millionaire laugh for the first time in years. When introduced to Carreidas, the Captain inadvertently shakes the hand of the millionaire's secretary, Spalding.
Incapable of respectfully declining Carreidas's offer to ride in his prototype private jet, Tintin and the others join the tycoon to Sydney. Carreidas plays a game of Battleships with Haddock, beating him continually by way of cheating with a hidden camera and monitor. Unsuspectingly to Carreidas and the others, Spalding and two of the pilots, Hans Boehm and Paolo Colombani, have been hired to skyjack the plane and convey it to a deserted volcanic Sondonesian island called Pulau-Pulau Bompa. Skut is not involved in this plot; and consequently he becomes a hostage as well. After an irregular landing, tha captives are ushered out of the plane, and a terrified Snowy leaps out of Tintin's arms and runs away. Armed guards fire at him, and a horrified Tintin believes him to be dead. In another shock to Tintin, the mastermind of the plot is then revealed to be Rastapopoulos, intent on taking Carreidas' fortune. Captain Haddock's corrupt ex-First-Mate, Allan Thompson, is present as one of Rastapopoulos's henchman.
The prisoners are tied up and kept in abandoned Japanese World War II-era bunkers. Rastapopoulos then takes Carreidas to another bunker where his German accomplice, Doctor Krollspell, injects the millionaire with a truth serum to enable Rastapopulos to learn Carreidas's Swiss bank account number. Unfortunately for Rastapopoulos, Carreidas becomes relentlessly eager to tell the truth about his life of greed, perfidy and corruption – everything bar the bank details. Angry, Rastapopulos lunges at Krollspell, who is still holding the truth serum syringe, and is accidentally injected, also becoming intoxicated. He too recounts his hideous past deeds in a boasting manner, and as he and Carreidas begin to quarrel over which is the more evil Rastapopoulos reveals that nearly all of the men he recruited, including Spalding, the aircraft pilots, and (the increasingly unnerved) Krollspell, are already marked to be killed after the mission.
Snowy, safe after all, helps free Tintin and his friends and find the bunker where Carreidas is held prisoner. Tintin and Captain Haddock bind and gag Krollspell, Rastapopulos, and even the irascible Carreidas, and escort them to lower ground, intending to bargain with Rastapopulos as a hostage. However, the serum wears off and Rastapopulos escapes as Allan detects the escaping prisoners. However, Krollspell, in fear of Rastapopoulos, throws in his lot with Tintin and Haddock; he is subsequently released and continues to accompany Tintin and Haddock, watching the still irritable Carreidas. Rastapopoulos, freed from his bonds, sends Allan and his Sondonesian henchmen to either kill or capture the fugitives. Led by a strange telepathic voice Tintin is hearing, the protagonists discover a hidden entrance to a statue-filled cave. Through a large hallway they discover a temple hidden inside the island's volcano. Rastapopulos and his accomplices are not far behind, but failing to find out how to open the secret passage resort to using dynamite.
Venturing deeper into the volcano, Tintin and his friends meet Mik Kanrokitoff, a writer for the magazine Space Week, who reveals to them that his is the guiding voice that they have followed, having received it into their minds via a telepathic transmitter. Kanrokitoff obtained the device from an extraterrestrial race of humanoids, who were formerly worshipped on the island as gods and who use it as a landing-point to contact Earth's people. An earthquake and the explosion set off by Rastapopoulos and his men triggers a volcanic eruption. Despite Carreidas's unreasonable behaviour, Tintin and his party finally reach relative safety inside the volcano's crater bowl. Meanwhile, Rastapopoulos and his henchmen flee the eruption by running down the outside of the volcano and launch a rubber dinghy from Carreidas' plane.
Once Tintin and his friends find their way out of the volcano, Kanrokitoff puts them all under telepathic hypnosis and summons a flying saucer piloted by the extraterrestrials; the hypnotised group board the saucer, narrowly escaping the volcano's dramatic eruption. Kanrokitoff spots the rubber dinghy and exchanges Tintin and his companions for Allan, Spalding, Rastapopulos, and the treacherous pilots, who are whisked away in the saucer to an unrevealed fate. The group – including Krollspell, who is later deposited by the saucer at his institute in Cairo – awakens from hypnosis and cannot remember what happened to them when eventually rescued.
Professor Calculus has a souvenir, though – a crafted rod of alloyed cobalt, iron, and nickel, which he had found in the caves and had forgotten in his pocket. The cobalt is of a state that does not occur on Earth, and is the only evidence of a close encounter with its makers. Only Snowy, who, ironically, cannot speak, remembers the hijacking and alien abduction. The story then finishes with Tintin, Carreidas and companions boarding a public airline to Sydney.
- Captain Haddock
- Cuthbert Calculus
- Piotr Skut
- Roberto Rastapopoulos
- Allan Thompson
- Laszlo Carriedas
- Mik Kanrokitoff
- Hans Boehm
- Paolo Colombani
|The Adventures of Tintin|