The Duplication Machine (continued . . .)




Reaching the Trigan coast well ahead of the Caton air fleet, the duplicate Janno dropped flares and fired his guns. That should wake up the defences ! A cease-fire was in operation, but the Trigan coastal gunners quickly roused themselves. It's a Caton craft !—Sound the alarm ! Action stations ! The evil triumvirate who ruled Cato were also in the craft. One of them struck wildly at the duplicate Janno. Fool—Get away from here ! Do you want to get us all killed ? With no hand on the controls, the craft swerved towards the coast. Open fire !
Meanwhile, the alarm had reached Trigan City—and the fighting craft of the air fleet were screeching up into the dawn sky. All-unsuspecting, the Caton fleet flew into a trap. Silhouetted against Elekton's rising suns, they were mauled to tatters by the Trigans ! The war was over ! Later that day, a Trigan naval patrol craft found an unconscious figure lying on the shore of a lonely islet. By the stars !— It's Lord Janno, the Emperor's nephew ! In due course, Robi was brought from Cato and questioned by Peric. He confessed his secret to the great scientist. I think his Imperial Majesty will agree with me when I say that your execution or imprisonment will only deprive Elekton of a brain it cannot afford to lose. But the infernal duplicating device will be destroyed— and you will speak of it to no one ! Never, master !— I promise you ! One thing puzzles me—is the Janno who was found on that lonely beach the original Janno, or the duplicate Janno ? That we shall never know for sure, Imperial Majesty ! And neither will he ! As to the circumstances leading up to his crash, his mind is a blank ! A statue was erected in the great square of Trigan City to the Lord Janno who saved the Empire at the cost of his own life. Janno often pondered on the great question mark of his life. Am I the original me— or my own duplicate ?

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 505 on 18 September 1971.

 

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