The Fiendish Experiment (continued . . .)

The dreaded penal mines were the disgrace of the Trigan Empire. There, the empire’s worst criminals were sent to slave themselves to death. None escaped . . . Until . . . What . . . What are you doing ? Shut your mouth. Do everything I say. In less time than it takes to tell, the astounded convict was seated in a fast vehicle that was driving him through the night towards Trigan City. We must get into the city before the general alarm’s raised and road blocks are set up ! There were no complications. Before dawn, the escaped man was standing in Vella’s comfortable apartment. You ?—An Air Fleet officer ?—Why have you done this for me ? Not for you, my friend, but for me ! I need you ! You are—or were—Zerros the scientist. Possibly the greatest scientist on Elekton after Peric, till you were condemned for life for selling secrets to Trigan’s enemies. I have a job for you. Read this. Zerros scanned the contents of the red folder. It was not long before he was staring in horror at his companion. It’s insane ! . . . diabolical ! . . . I’ll have nothing to do with it ! You will conduct the experiment, using me as the subject—or back to the mines you go !
Anything but the mines ! . . . anything ! But it will take time, and money, to construct the apparatus for the experiment. Time we have plenty of . . . money I will get ! Vella went to the leader of the criminal organisation to whom he already owed a fortune in gambling debts. Are you out of your mind, Lieutenant ? I gave you till the end of the lunar month to settle, now you come asking for more money ! I tell you that your investment will be repaid a thousandfold ! Trust me . . . He got the money. By the end of the lunar month, his apartment was filled with strange apparatus. It is ready. But I must ask you to reconsider . . . You will conduct the experiment immediately ! Vella laid himself down in a transparent container. Why do you hesitate ? . . . Begin ! On your own head be it, Vella ! The scientist reeled back before the assault of sound and light. Aaaaaaaaaghhhh ! And when it was all over . . . It can’t be true ! . . . It can’t !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 551 on 5 August 1972.