The Duplication Machine (continued . . .)

It happened in a dark alleyway in a rough quarter of Trigan City. A figure leapt out at a passer-by, and a heavy cudgel was raised for a merciless blow.
It happened in a dark alleyway in a rough quarter of Trigan City. A figure leapt out at a passer-by, and a heavy cudgel was raised for a merciless blow. But the blow never fell ! Uuuuuh . . . Hmmmm ! What have I caught ?—a sneak-thief of the worst and most contemptible type. But he will serve my purpose. Later, the footpad recovered consciousness. Aaaaah ! Where am I ? Don't hurt me, master. I—I meant no harm, I swear it ! You meant the worst possible harm, you rascal—but I am willing to overlook it. Robi sneered. In fact, I will do better than that—I will make you the richest rogue in Trigan City— If you obey me without question ! The following morning, Robi went to Air Fleet Headquarters. As assistant to Elekton's top scientist, he carried a pass that admitted him to the air strip. Here comes Janno now. I'll speak to him when he gets out of his craft. It's a good idea to be on good terms with a member of the Imperial family.
Janno recognised the young scientist. Hello ! Robi, isn't it ? As you see, my leg is mended, and I'm back on flying duty. Very glad to see you recovered, Lord Janno. I've brought something for you. Something you probably thought you'd lost for ever . . . My signet ring ! You dropped it the day you visited the laboratory, Lord Janno. I found it when I was sweeping up this morning. Janno was profuse in his thanks. He would have been surprised to have seen what Robi held in his hand as he walked away. Everybody's happy ! The stuck-up Lord Janno has his ring back —and I have an exact duplicate of it ! That night, Trigan City suffered the first of many inexplicable thefts. Robi's henchman stole a collection of gems from the home of a millionaire. Cry out—and it will be the last sound you ever make ! AAAAH ! Take the jewels ! Take anything—but don't hurt me ! He delivered them to the darkened laboratory where Robi waited. Good ! Now wait outside till I call you. You have one more task to perform before dawn. With the aid of the strange device he had secretly perfected, the ruthless young scientist duplicated the priceless gems. Ha ! Ha !—Nothing can stop me now—nothing ! By the end of the lunar year, I shall be able to buy and sell the Trigan Empire ! There was a surprise in store for his henchman, later. You ask me to return this loot to where I stole it from !— Master, have you gone mad ? No, my friend. I have not gone mad. I have simply discovered the perfect crime !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 498 on 31 July 1971.


The Giant Plant (continued . . .)

A dishevelled figure on a stolen kreed was riding through a lonely valley. Suddenly—the hiss of an arrow ! Aaaaagh ! He was instantly surrounded by Lokans. This time I shall not miss ! No ! Save him for the leader— he takes a special delight in dispatching Trigan curs ! The prisoner was dragged before the leader of the renegade band. Trigan ! I regret that you will not live a little longer, to see your capital city in ruins and your empire collapse in confusion ! No ! Wait ! I have a request. What's this ? Let me live to see the accursed Emperor Trigo slain before my eyes. Then I will die happy ! Who are you, Trigan ? You look like a slave, yet you speak like a warrior ! I am Tax Toru— formerly commander of the Trigan Imperial Guard, until I was disgraced by the judgment of Trigo and sent to slave in the mines. I escaped this morning, and I only live for vengeance ! You please me, Tax Toru. A man driven on by hatred is a good ally. Your wish will be granted, and you shall help us in our plan— tonight !
That night, disguised as desert traders, Tax Toru and two Lokans entered the city gates with a wagon. Looking and speaking like a Trigan subject, the escaped convict aroused no suspicions. We bring a load of vegetables for the market. Pass through ! They came to a dark street. Release the rallus ! A tumbling host of squealing rallus emerged from a cage within the wagon, and scuttled into the dark entrance. Tax Toru was puzzled. How can they destroy Trigan City ? Parts of the city are already infested with them. Ah !—But those are special rallus ! Quiet, fool ! He is not to be told the secret ! Two days later, a market was held in the great square of the city. When the twin suns of Elekton were high in the sky— it happened ! There was a thunder of countless flying feet. Market stalls were overturned in confusion. And a host of giant rallus hurled themselves at the panic-stricken crowd. Eeeeeeeh ! —look ! By all the stars ! Aaaaaah !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 476 on 27 February 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.