Planet Zootha (continued . . .)

Janno brought the Trigan craft low. And they flew over a vast tented encampment. A multitude of faces were turned to look up at them. The Emperor and his companions looked down. Are my eyes deceiving me, or ? . . . It’s a Vorg encampment ! One of the primitive kind you used to see on Elekton ! Trigo ordered Janno to land. They climbed down from their craft. Are they peaceful, Uncle—or shall we have trouble ? Be prepared to start shooting ! Then, to the five Trigans’ utter astonishment, they were addressed in the common language of their own planet ! I am Garron, chieftain of the Zootha Vorgs ! I welcome you to the planet Zootha ! You are one of us . . . from Elekton ? That is so ! In a time long past, when Zootha last came close to Elekton, some of our people ventured across the wilderness of space to this planet, as you have done ! Garron showed them the crumbling ruins of an ancient flying craft. This is the craft in which our ancestors came. It is a treasured relic of our people !
Of course ! Fool that I am— the legend of the Vorgs who went up into a new world in the sky—surely you were told that as a child, Imperial Majesty ! Yes—but—it was always thought to be a fairy tale ! But . . . it really happened in the distant past ! Trigo then explained to Garron how the Trigans were descended from the Vorgs. He introduced himself and his companions. . . . and this is Janno, son of my brother Brag. Ah ! And would you be your father’s eldest son, Janno ? Janno answered in puzzlement—and saw a strange light in the chieftain’s eyes. Indeed I am, Garron—I am the only son ! Aaaaah ! That is interesting . . . very interesting ! The incident slipped from Janno’s mind during the feasting that followed. Is everything to your liking, Emperor ? Indeed it is, Garron ! Not since I was a boy in my father’s encampment have I enjoyed such fine Vorg fare ! As soon as the feast was over . . . IT HAPPENED ! Now . . . seize the victim ! Aaaah . . . Janno was dragged roughly to his feet. Let me go ! Let me go, you demons ! What does it mean ? Do you call this Vorg hospitality ? The chieftain replied . . . As a first-born son, he will be sacrificed to our Great Ones ! It is a custom that is never broken—my own son perished in a like manner ! Take him away !

This instalment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 631 on 16 February 1974.