The Duplication Machine

The planet Elekton lies in the galaxy of Yarna, and the greatest power on Elekton is the Trigan Empire, ruled over by its founder, the Emperor Trigo. All that happened in the years of Yarri. Our next strange story begins in the month of Yuss, on the day of the Imperial Examinations. A raggedly-dressed student named Robi took his seat among candidates from all over the Trigan Empire. The questions are simple enough. If I had bothered to go through the drudgery of study, I could have answered them all . . . . . . as it is, I shall have to rely on this tablet, which contains all the information I need ! Robi was a brilliant scholar but lazy. He cheated, and passed out top of the Imperial Examinations. At the head of the list is . . . Robi ! Ha !—that should get me a top job in the Imperial Service ! Indeed, the cheat was appointed assistant to none other than Peric, the most brilliant scientist on Elekton ! My boy ! With all the great work I am carrying out, it is an enormous relief to have the assistance of such a promising young scientist as yourself. And when I am gone, all this will be yours ! Pompous old windbag ! Does he think I'm going to wait around to step into his shoes ? Not me ! If I haven't lied and cheated my way into fame and fortune within the next lunar year, my name isn't Robi !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 496 on 17 July 1971.