The Zota Club

The first of the tragic and inexplicable disasters took place on a day like any other day. A pilot of the Trigan Air Fleet took off on a routine training flight. His instructor and flight commander watched him go. Garran is a promising young fighter pilot. Yes, and careful, too. Not like some of the young hot-heads we’ve been getting recently. Suddenly, the craft flipped over—and streaked back towards the air base at zero height. Look out ! What does he think— ? The blast of disintegrator shells rose above the scream of the craft’s racing engines ! Flashing low over the scene of destruction, the craft headed towards a high pylon. Too late, the pilot saw his peril . . . By the time they reached the scene of the crash, it was too late to do anything. Why did he do it—why ? We’ll never know—now !
The second mystery disaster was brought about by a scientist named Ricco. He worked in the Imperial Science Laboratories. One morning, he brought two highly unstable chemicals into close proximity. . . . Then swiftly walked out of the building. His face was blank. It remained blank and he never so much as looked back— when the Imperial Science Laboratories were riven by a shattering explosion ! Three days later, with the disasters still unexplained, the Emperor Trigo was addressing his council on another matter of great gravity. Gentlemen ! I do not have to warn you that the misunderstanding between ourselves and Cato could lead to war. I warn you to treat the Caton Ambassadors with great tact and courtesy, so that we can settle our differences ! The doors of the council chamber swung open. Imperial Majesty ! Excellencies ! . . . The noble Ambassadors from Cato ! Remember ! One unguarded word could lead to war ! Escorted by the Emperor’s nephew, Janno, the haughty Caton Ambassadors entered—eager and ready for trouble. They found trouble soon enough ! The guardsman on the door brought down his weapon . . . and . . .

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 535 on 15 April 1972.