The Giant Plant (continued . . .)

Tax Toru made good his escape from the Lokan stronghold with projectiles screaming about his bent head. I am riding from one certain death to another—but it must be done ! In the early hours of the morning, he reached Trigan City and gained admission to the Imperial Palace. This unkempt wretch demands to speak with you, Imperial Majesty ! Who are you— what do you want ? Tax Toru tensed himself. He knew that the fate of an escaped convict was to be slain on sight. I am Tax Toru—formerly commander of your Imperial Majesty's guard ! That traitor ! Cut him down ! Leave him ! Why have you risked your life to come here ? I know the secret of the rallus, and I wish to save the city ! He told all. By all the stars ! The ibis plant —the one I treated with my special compound—must have scattered its seeds on the wind ! Yes ! There is a peasant's son who grew to the size of a man in the space of a few lunar months. And it was from the child's father that the Lokans learned the weakness of all who eat the ibis seeds . . . . . . They have a mad craving for water ! Of course ! The swiftly- multiplying body-cells would require vast quantities of liquid. This gives us a weapon to destroy the rallus ! The rallu horde had retired underground. In the hours before dawn, guards set to work in the silent city. Every drop of water in the city must be poured away or made undrinkable !
Glutinous black oil was poured on to the palace lake. By dawn, they will have only one place to drink . . . The river ! As the twin suns of Elekton rose above the horizon, the rallus came out and sniffed the air for water. They scoured the city in vain. When the suns were high in the sky, the thirst-crazed horde streamed out of the great gates. They are heading for the river ! Nothing on Elekton could stop them now ! The river Trigan flowed deep and fast. The tumbling mass swept towards it. Trigo and his companions watched from the ramparts. It was soon over. Every last one . . . Drowned by their unquenchable craving. Suddenly . . . By all the demons of Daveli ! We have overcome the plague—and here come the rebels ! They came across the plain. Rebels from all over the crumbling Empire—come to feast like birds of prey upon the prostrate city !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 479 on 20 March 1971.


The Thing from the Sea (continued . . .)

It seemed to give Ura Zircon a savage pleasure to display his might before the Trigan prisoners. My plan of destruction is fast approaching its climax. You shall see one of the four destroying units at work ! The Trigans were led to one of four control compartments set round the vast circular interior of the conquest machine. This destroying unit is about to make an attack upon the fortresses guarding the mouth of the River Trigan— watch closely ! In front of the operator was a screen, on which appeared a landscape very familiar to Janno and his comrades. Before their horrified eyes, one of the dreaded shapes rose from the deep. Alarm ! Alarm ! Open fire ! Impervious to counter- attack, the thing struck !
Janno and his comrades saw it all through the “eyes” of the attacker. So ! And now we must flood the conquest machine. We are familiarising ourselves to breathe air, but our devices work for only half the day—for the remainder we must breathe water. Janno, Roffa and Keren were provided with their underwater breathing masks. Soon the vast interior was flooded, and their captors relaxed. This must be their sleeping time . . . Our guard isn't armed— but I know from experience that these brutes have some fiendish means of destruction. Janno dived towards the guard, dodging the forked light which seared the water. He smashed his victim's head against the floor. A few seconds later the three Trigans were swimming towards one of the control compartments. Now ! We'll put that destroying machine to our own use !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 470 on 16 January 1971.