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.

 

The Thing from the Sea (continued . . .)




By the time rescue craft arrived, the Daveli was nearly gone ! The Emperor Trigo himself watched the vast hull go to its grave at the bottom of the Tibor Ocean. Why ? — How could it happen ? An Imperial Court of Enquiry was summoned a few days later. Tell us in your own words, Captain — What happened ? Imperial Majesty, it happened at the fifteenth hour — a shudder ran through the ship, as if she had struck a projecting rock . . . No, Sir ! It was more like an underwater explosion ! Not an explosion ! It felt like a mighty blow ! You were off-watch and asleep, while I was on the bridge ! Silence !— Silence, I tell you !
Since your evidences do not tally, this Imperial Court has no other course but to order an inspection of the sunken hull of the Daveli ! The Emperor's nephew Janno and his two comrades volunteered for the hazardous task of diving to the wreck. They were given special instruction. Your gear will protect you from the massive pressures you will encounter. But at that profound depth, there are many hazards ! unknown In due course, their submarine craft was lowered at the fateful spot in the Tibor Ocean. Down—Down—into the unfathomable deep they went . . . Testing communications . . . Receiving you. Receiving you. The nightmare landscape of the ocean bed was laid out below them— and they saw the Daveli. And then . . . By all the stars ! — LOOK ! Along the vast hull of the sunken liner was a clean rent that might have been sliced by a giant's sword ! What on Elekton could have done that ?

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 462 on 21 November 1970.