The Duplication Machine (continued . . .)




Late that night, a dark figure climbed the face of the tenement building that housed Robi's apartment. This is the window. The intruder was soon inside the apartment, and delving into a drawer that contained an emperor's ransom in precious objects. They're all here. Enough to keep me for the rest of my life ! And he won't be needing them any more ! —heh ! heh ! And then . . . So, you animal— you dared to come back, eh ? Aaaaaaaaaah ! Robi stared at the thief in astonishment. You're a ghost ! An evil spectre ! With my own eyes I saw you hurled from the cliff-top last evening ! Don't come near me ! You are evil—evil ! Blinded by panic, the wretch fell back to his doom ! Eeeeeeeeeeaaaaaagh ! In the silence that followed, Robi looked down. So that's it, eh ? My duplicate was destroyed by that cur ! And it is impossible to make a second copy of myself ! I am all alone again—and the chances of my great discovery being detected increase with every day that passes ! What shall I do ? At dawn next day, the Catons attempted the first bombing raid of the war upon the Trigan capital. An air battle raged till noon.
Robi witnessed the conflict in the sky—and it gave him food for thought. That's it ! It's to Cato I must look to complete my fortune ! I will provide them with a rich prize, for which they will pay me anything I demand ! When Janno, the emperor's nephew, landed his fighter-craft later that day . . . Message for you, Lord Janno. What's this ? . . . "You will remember me, Lord Janno. I am Peric's assistant Robi. I have something of great interest to show you, if you will come to my apartment . . ." Intrigued and mystified by the strange invitation, Janno went to Robi's apartment that evening. He found the door ajar. Robi !— Are you in there ? Sudden oblivion descended upon Janno ! Uuuuuh ! . . . Instants later, Robi was bundling the unconscious form of the emperor's nephew into his strange device. I must work quickly—before he comes to his senses . . . It was not long before Janno's shape began to appear— duplicated !
What's this ? . . . "You will remember me, Lord Janno. I am Peric's assistant Robi. I have something of great interest to show you, if you will come to my apartment . . ."

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 501 on 21 August 1971.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *