The Thing from the Sea (continued . . .)

News of the disaster was flashed round the Trigan Empire. Trigo and his staff were among the first to inspect the tangled wreckage in the centre of the great bridge. The scientist Peric commented grimly . . . See that massive pillar, Imperial Majesty ? It is severed as cleanly as if it had been sliced by a giant sword. You think ? I think that the same malevolent intelligence that sank the “Daveli” was also responsible for this ! Later. I have come to the conclusion that the instrument of destruction was sea-borne—probably carried in some underwater craft. Find an alien underwater craft armed with a weapon that can cut metal like wax, and you have the answer. Trigo issued his orders. From now until further notice, constant air and underwater patrols will be carried out around the Trigan coastline. Alert the fleets. No man rests till this menace is found—and destroyed. That evening, undersea fighting ships of the Trigan navy began to comb the depths. At dawn, Janno and his crew joined the low-flying patrols off the coast.
Suddenly, Roffa gave the alarm. An object has just risen out of the sea—dead ahead. Janno sighted the shape in the water. Stand by to fire projectiles ! And then . . . Ready to fire. No !— Hold it. —It's one of ours. Before their horrified eyes, the two cleanly severed ends of a Trigan undersea fighting ship hovered on the brink of their final plunge. Janno brought his craft round in a tight turn, and splashed down. Moments later, they were picking up survivors. What happened ? We saw it coming at us . . . There was no escape. And then . . . Aaaaaagh ! There it is again. By all the stars.

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 464 on 5 December 1970.


The Thing from the Sea (continued . . .)

And then—they saw— It ! By all the stars ! . . . Look ! The thing moved with deadly swiftness. It selected Janno as its first victim. Roffa ! Keren ! . . . Help ! Roffa started the engine of their sub- marine craft, and sent it speeding off. The three comrades headed for the surface, leaving their craft to be torn apart by the nightmare of the deep. That could have been us ! They were soon being helped aboard the diving ship. Did you find what you were seeking ? Yes ! We know the Daveli sank, but it could have happened is another matter ! why how
That evening, the comrades reported to the Emperor. A hole scored along the underside of the ship's hull, you say ? Yes, uncle ! From stem to stern—not a rent that could have been made by a projecting rock, but one that looked as if it had been cut by some giant mechanical tool ! Trigo turned to Peric. What could have done such a thing, Peric ? No natural phenomenon, that's for sure, and I know of no mechanical device that could have caused such damage to a speeding ship ! What do we do now ? Nothing ! We can only wait ! You mean ? . . . The damage was obviously the deliberate work of some malevolent intelligence. If it happened once —It could happen again ! The Trigan Bay Bridge was one of the supreme engineering feats of the planet. It stretched as far as the eye could see, from headland to headland. Three days after the sinking of the “Daveli” —It happened ! Aaaaaaaaagh !— The bridge is collapsing ! The second disaster !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 463 on 28 November 1970.


Mazaratto’s Universal Elixir (continued . . .)

The collapse of the bridge and the ensuing train disaster were recorded in the annals of the Empire as one of the worst ever. The captain of the patrol craft faced the fury of his first officer. Look what you've done, you murderous animal ! There can't be a single survivor from that train ! What—what are you saying ? The captain seemed puzzled—confused . . . What are you saying ? I have done nothing. I don't understand . . . The perpetrator of the disaster was, naturally, put under arrest. Investigators of the feared Special Branch searched his Trigan City apartment. If he's in the pay of a foreign power, he's certainly covered his tracks pretty well. Don't they all ? Isn't that the way with traitors ? They found one item that caused them a brief moment of puzzlement . . . 'Dr. Mazaratto's Universal Elixir'. What did you say ? That's what it says on this bottle ! Why don't you get on with your search and stop messing about with trivia ?
In due course, the captain of the patrol craft was arraigned before a Trigan Navy court martial. The charge was: criminal negligence. There was no other crime in the book that fitted the case. The verdict is 'Guilty'. And you are sentenced to life imprisonment in the mines. The dreaded mines spelt an early death. The wretched creature was dragged away screaming his innocence. I didn't do it ! I didn't, do you hear ? It was the others ! . . The others ! A lunar month went by. Janno was walking along one of the broad boulevards of the city . . . And then—it happened ! By all the stars ! . . Janno dived for the pavement, shouting a warning to an approaching pedestrian. Fall flat on your face, or you're dead ! Huh ? Another projectile screamed close by the new- comer. And Janno saw from whence it came . . . There he is ! On that roof- top opposite ! A breakneck dash across the street, and the young Air Fleet pilot was swarming up a fire escape . . . An insane would- be killer . . . got to get him before he does any real harm . . . Out on the flat roof, the mystery sniper turned at the sound of a footfall. And Janno leapt . . .

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 802 on 28 May 1977.