The Masked Raiders

In the fourth lunar month of the year of Yedd, the “Princess of Vorg”, largest ocean-going liner ever, was launched in Trigan City harbour by Salvia, daughter of Elekton's top scientist. I name this vessel “Princess of Vorg” ! May she voyage the oceans of this planet in safety and tranquillity. As the massive hull glided down the vast slipway, the Emperor Trigo made a gracious presentation to the girl who had performed the ceremony. Salvia, I should like you to accept this small memento of the occasion. Your Imperial Majesty is too kind. Later that year, all Trigan City turned out to see the “Princess of Vorg” gliding from the harbour on her maiden voyage. This is the Imperial News Service bringing you, live from Trigan City, this unforgettable spectacle. Passengers aboard the liner on this, her maiden voyage, include his Imperial Majesty, the Lord Janno, Peric and his daughter Salvia . . . Swiftly, the great liner spanned the ocean, past the forbidding peaks of the untrodden ice continent. Within the vast hull, safe from the killing winds, the great ballroom resounded to the music of the dance. Enjoying the voyage, Salvia ? Yes, Janno. And you ? But disaster threatened ! The liner's helmsman was the first to suffer . . .

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 506 on 25 September 1971.


The Thing from the Sea (continued . . .)

As Sorra raised her hands to strike—Janno entered. Uncle ! We've returned— and all's well ! Nephew ! Sorra switched her aim to Janno ! You shall be the first to perish ! The three Trigans threw themselves aside as the searing green flame tore past. It struck the prisoner—Ura Zircon, Lord of the Planet Thalla ! Uuuuuh . . . Father ! Father and daughter ? I don't understand . . . She's a Thallan— and was infiltrated into the palace to kill you. Janno told his uncle about the Thallans' search for a new planet. What's this strange power she has ? It's some kind of electro-magnetic force they can aim from the fingertips—they all have it, which is why we tied Ura Zircon's hands behind him. And then—Ura Zircon opened his eyes. Oh, Father . . . It is fortunate that the force which would have killed a Trigan was only sufficient to stun me. There was no fight left in the Lord of Thalla. I have failed. My people are at your mercy—what are you going to do with us ? That is for the Imperial Council to decide.
That same day, the council of the Empire met to decide the fate of the Thallans. Trigo listened to their views. These monsters should be destroyed ! No—send them back where they came from ! Kill them, I say ! And then . . . I say NO ! There will be no more killing. The Trigan Empire has absorbed many peoples within its boundaries—why not the Thallans ? So it was that the Thallan survivors were brought before the Emperor. You will be given a vast area on the bed of the Great Ocean. Develop it —build your cities— raise your crops—and live in peace. Thank you, Imperial Majesty ! Later, Trigo spoke with Ura Zircon. Tell me—why did you choose Elekton for conquest ? It was the most suitable for our needs. We made many exploratory journeys to other planets . . . Ura continued . . . “including Earth. No doubt we alarmed them . . .” I wonder if the people of that planet could have defeated you —as we did !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 473 on 6 February 1971.


The Thing from the Sea (continued . . .)

One evening, the now-familiar menace rose from the river near the great tower in the city of Yannis. Aaaaaagh ! It is the thing from the sea ! One slash of the strange antenna —and the tower was riven ! At almost the same moment, on the distant Isle of Zooth, the lighthouse met the same fate ! News of the two disasters reached the Emperor Trigo. You realise what this means, Peric ? There must be two of these infernal machines —perhaps more ! The possibility had already entered my calculations, Imperial Majesty. Then what are you doing about it ? Before I can devise a means of combating the menace, I need to know the length of the trunk attached to the head of the device. Peric took the Emperor to another part of his laboratory. This high-speed underwater engine should enable a diver to pursue the menace and bring back the information I need.
I will need a team of brave volunteers. There will be no shortage of them, Peric. Make as many of your engines as you can ! Janno and his comrades Keren and Roffa were among the first to volunteer. Janno tested the engine. It works, Peric ! Yes. And remember that he is only travelling at half speed ! Not everyone was so keen to meet the monster. In the barracks of the Imperial Guards . . . “Special hazardous duty connected with the undersea menace.” What do you make of that ? Not for me ! Nor me ! But . . . You, Zatti ? I think I shall survive ! Tired of living, Zatti ? Within a few days, teams of four volunteers were ready to leave for selected parts of the coast. And in Janno's party . . . Zatti of the Imperial Guard, sir ! Glad to have you with us, Zatti. The following dawn, the four were at their appointed hiding place. See anything, Janno ? Yes ! One of the things is coming straight at us !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 467 on 26 December 1970.