The Food of the Gods (continued . . .)

Prepare to open fire ! Not one stone is to be left standing ! Then the leader saw . . . By all the stars ! Zargots ! This herd of the most savage predators on Elekton had also eaten of the “food of the gods”. They fell upon the war-machines before the boys had time to bring their guns on aim . . . . . . and scattered them like toys. Janno and Peric had brought the news to the Emperor. They saw the destruction from the roof of the Imperial Palace. The boys seem to have escaped— they're in full flight. The zargots have destroyed all the war-machines. We have exchanged one evil for another ! It is the zargots who will pound Trigan City to rubble.
Indeed, it seemed that Peric's prediction would come true. But approaching the out- skirts of the city, the herd sighted a plantation of fruits, the deadly “food of the gods”. The defeated boys lay and watched the herd browsing on the fruit. Those brutes won't stop till they've eaten the lot ! I'm craving for some of that “food of the gods”. There's nothing we can do. We may be super- creatures but we can't handle super-zargots ! It was at that time that the botanist, Beris, arrived at the Imperial Palace, to see his friend, Peric. Peric, I have analysed the structure of the alien plant and have established that its awful effect upon living beings is only temporary. Furthermore, I have devised a chemical that will rapidly kill the plant, if sprayed upon it from the air. We need some of that chemical now, Beris, to save Trigan City ! Soon after, Janno flew over the zargot herd and sprayed the deadly plant. It withered to the touch of the chemical. Dismayed, the zargots moved on to find fresh plantations, but Janno was always ahead of them, killing, killing . . . The following day, a bedraggled mob of boys straggled shamefacedly into Trigan City. The effects of the “food of the gods” had left them forever. I—I don't know what came over us. We didn't seem to have any control over our actions. All we wanted to do was destroy, destroy, destroy ! As Peric said later . . . We have also confirmed that the seeds of the plant came from the fragment of destroyed planet that was observed in the fourth lunar month of this year. It is not hard to guess how that planet was destroyed— by an atomic war ! The same thing could have happened on Elekton !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 667 on 26 October 1974.


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