The Giant Plant (continued . . .)

The panic-stricken crowd broke through the ranks of a cohort of the Trigan Imperial Guard at the far end of the square. Take aim ! . . . Then that magnificent body of warriors—who had won a hundred hopeless battles in the Empire's short history—turned and fled ! Eeeeeeh ! Aaaaaagh ! Having cleared the streets, the ravenous horde broke into the city grain store, and wiped it clean. Nothing could satisfy their voracious appetites. By nightfall, they had gnawed the foundations of some of the older, wooden buildings to powder—and they collapsed. By the following dawn, the rallus had retired underground—and the hungry, angry populace besieged the Imperial Palace. Why doesn't the Emperor do something ? Give us food ! Down with him ! The Emperor Trigo saw it all. Yes ! Something must be done—and quickly ! Peric, I look to you for a means of combating this scourge ! Imperial Majesty . . . Peric was Elekton's top scientist. The giant rallus are like their normal brethren—they are quick and cunning. Like all rallus, they refuse to take poisoned bait. But I am working on the problem.
The chaos increased. Seizing the opportunity offered, some of the discontented vassal-states of the Empire came out in open rebellion. Sooner or later, Trigan City will have to be evacuated—then we will march in ! True ! In the meantime, we will strike at their communications ! Patrol craft of the Trigan Air Fleet were attacked without warning ! After four days of the terror, the population fled from the capital. Trigan City, once heart of a mighty Empire, lay dying in the night. Young Janno remained on duty, guarding his Emperor. That night, he was caught out alone in the peril- ridden streets. There are more ahead of me ! —I'm cut off ! He backed against a wall and drew his blade.

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 477 on 6 March 1971.