Planet Zootha (continued . . .)

An instant before certain destruction, Trigo rolled sideways—and the Kerd’s spear shattered against the rock close to the Emperor’s head ! Uuuugh ! Picking up the small, muscular form, Trigo hurled the Kerd into the faces of his oncoming comrades. Aaaaagh ! Uuuuugh ! More of the warlike little savages poured into sight. The cry went up from the Vorg slaves . . . This stranger has shown us how to act ! Let us be slaves no longer ! Let us fight ! Fight ! . . . or die ! The slaves fought, and Trigo fought with them. But they were overpowered by sheer weight of numbers. Take them alive ! The Great Ones shall decide their fate ! They were dragged to the city, and brought before the stout and pampered creatures who ruled the planet by fear. No-one defies the law of the Great Ones ! You shall all perish ! Then—IT HAPPENED ! . . . Take them away and . . . Aaaaaaaaaaaah ! The ground trembled ! A might roaring filled the air ! The great building collapsed ! It is happening again ! The planet is moving ! Vorgs ! Rally to me ! Let us gain the upper world !
Trigo led the Vorgs through the tunnel and out of the vast cave mouth on to the surface of the planet. Great was the Emperor’s joy to find that his nephew was among those whom he had brought out. Janno ! Thank the stars you’re alive ! I was condemned to a lifetime of slavery, Uncle —but I never doubted that you’d keep your promise and save me ! They rejoined the others in the Vorg camp. It was a time of joyful reunions. My son ! My first-born ! When I delivered you to the Great Ones as a sacrifice, I never thought to see you again ! The Great Ones are not gods, Father. Now the myth is destroyed, we shall never sacrifice to them again ! Where are the Great Ones now, my son ? In the nether-world, together with their minions the Kerds. They fear to set foot up here. We shall never be bothered with them again. The volcanic disturbance drove them into a state of terror. The great scientist Peric broke in . . . Speaking of volcanic disturbance, the signs are that this planet is in a highly unstable state and will shortly be changing its orbit again ! We must return to Elekton before it is too late ! Trigo addressed the chieftain, pointing to the vast bulk of Elekton above them. Garron ! There may be time, yet, to send space-craft to take you and your people to the planet of your forefathers. What do you say ? Zootha is our home, mighty Emperor. Here we will stay. Thanks to you, life will be infinitely sweeter from now on ! That evening, the Trigans took off for their return voyage across the wilderness of space. Farewell ! Farewell ! Before they reached their home-planet, they saw Zootha moving off on a new orbit. There they go ! Will they ever return ? Perhaps— after countless ages !

This instalment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 634 on 9 March 1974.