The Lost Years (continued . . .)

Narri caught his first, brief glimpse of the man who was to play such an important part in his life— and whose life he, in turn, was to change so greatly. That is Ossan ? More questions teemed in Narri’s mind. He asked a man standing next to him . . . The people don’t seem very enthusiastic about their ruler. Isn’t he popular ? You want to be careful what you’re saying, fellow ! A few moments later, Narri saw that the man had sidled over to a police officer. He’s reporting what I said just now ! I’m in trouble ! Narri took to his heels. Hey, you ! Stop ! Stop, I say ! The panic-stricken young peasant was stopping for no one. He fled out of the city, and headed towards the hills. Somehow . . . somewhere . . . I have lost three lunar years out of my life ! And . . . and in that time, the Trigan Empire, as I knew it, has finished ! And then—the roar of engines, and a harsh order ! Halt—or perish !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 569 on 9 December 1972.


The Fiendish Experiment (continued . . .)

The apparatus fell silent. Zerros tremblingly approached the transparent container. Where Vella had lain was now only . . . water ! Lieutenant Vella . . . can you hear me ? Of course I can, fool ! Decant me on to the floor, as planned ! The crooked scientist did as he was bidden. Are you . . . all right ? Never felt better in my life ! A savage nurdot—one of Elekton’s more unpleasant vermin—was tethered at the far end of the makeshift laboratory. Heh ! Heh ! The stream of water snaked, deliberately, towards the animal. The nurdot’s fanged jaws descended to gulp at the water. In that instant—it happened ! And then . . . I am now . . . Returning . . . To normal !
Beaming with triumph, Vella enthused to his accomplice. The whole thing is evil . . . diabolical ! Rubbish ! It is the greatest money-spinning idea of the century ! From now on, I can change myself to an equal volume of water at will. Electrically-charged water which—as you saw with the nurdot—can kill at a touch. . . . I am the perfect murder-weapon and I can turn myself into profit— firstly, by eliminating the man who menaces my whole way of life ! In my water-state, I can move against the force of gravity in any direction I will. I can remain undetected and unsuspected . . . The following day, a private aircraft descended upon the well-kept lawn of a stately villa overlooking Trigan City. Welcome home, Master. I trust that you have had a successful business trip ? Shut your mealy mouth, Slakka ! You know very well that my business has been the business of eliminating my rivals in big-time crime. This was the leader of the most powerful criminal organisation in the Trigan Empire. Later, bathed and perfumed, he relaxed by his luxury pool. Er . . . touching on the matter of Lieutenant Vella, master, who owes you a thousand thullars in gambling debts, plus another thousand for some hairbrained scientific scheme . . . The big-time crook condemned Vella to death—all unaware that a trickle of water was snaking towards his bare feet. Vella is a fool. Furthermore, he has begun to bore me . . . . . . have him eliminated ! Heh ! Heh ! The next instant . . . The water ! . . . It’s surrounding me ! . . . It’s going to destroy me . . . The way it just destroyed my master !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 552 on 12 August 1972.