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.