“Men want girls. Most men want little girls… They want to look at them. They want to f*** them, and that’s all they want.”
(Rosanna Arquette) …

“You wanted to see me, Mr. Kellner?” asked the girl, quickly chewing up the piece of candy she had just put in her mouth when she had heard the announcement that she was wanted in the boss’s office.

“Yes,” said the old man simply. “Close the door.”

The girl, smoothing out her tight red and white uniform over her young figure in an unconscious gesture to take attention away from her swallowing the candy, did as told. The door was unusually large and insulated for an office, more of the fire-door type, and the sounds of the music from the shop were silenced immediately. 

The young lass started to brush back a lock of her raven hair that had fallen down over her forehead. She then noticed that she still had the candy-wrapper in her hand. The girl clenched that hand, crumbling up the wrapper. She thought that Mr. Kellner would not like her taking from the loose candle samples that were intended for the customers.

“Your work here has been good,” said Mr. Kellner. He was short and bald-headed, with a pale complexion and skin that seemed loose and saggy. He wore a simple business suit. “You have shown yourself to be intelligent.”

The strangest thing the girl had noticed about Mr. Kellner were his eyes. They seemed unusually dark, indeed jet-black.

“Thank you, sir,” she said. “I’m so thankful for the opportunity you give us here, me and the other girls. Life would be so hard without it. I‘m glad the charity sent me here instead of to some orphanage tech training-school.”

The girl appeared to be in her early teens, a slender, cute lass with enchanting green eyes and luscious pink lips.

“Now, since you have proven to be such a special employee here at the store, I will reveal to you a secret,” returned the old man. “In fact, have something very important to show you.”

It was then that the girl’s eyes grew wide with terror. Absolute abject terror at what she beheld. It was then that she screamed. Screamed and screamed and screamed. …

My name is RUMANOS -- DOCTOR DANIEL RUMANOS, Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Even though I have the appearance of an human being, I am actually far more than this. For I do carry within my blood the vastly-superior genes of the legendary Aeternusians -- The Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL. This extraterrestrial heritage grants me numerous capabilities that appear as “magic” to lesser beings.

It is a fact that most Algolites are intent to live their incredibly-long lives in elitist seclusion, never being involved in the affairs of the rest of the Universe. However, I am an Operative for an highly-secret organisation known as the KOSMIKOS or Cosmic Intervention Department, thus tasked with maintaining peace and order throughout the known galaxies.

Currently assigned to Earth, it is my ongoing mission to protect the human race from alien invasions, mad scientists, and indeed all manner of threats. I am the living icon of the Watchers of Algol upon this planet. I am the DAEMON-STAR! …

I had received a call from Professor Clarence Quiltey at Johns Hopkins University. A researcher into forensics, Prof. Quiltey had recently encountered something that he thought might interest my particular area of expertise.

I was wearing my usual silk suit, leathern greatcoat, panama hat, and jungle boots as I arrived at his laboratory that fateful morning.

“Nice to see you again, Dr. Rumanos,” said the Professor. He was a tall, thin, elderly gentleman, dressed in a lab-coat and wearing thick spectacles.

“And you, Professor,” I answered as we shook hands. “It has been a while since I worked with you to uncover the culprit of those campus cult-murders.”

“Yes, indeed,” recalled the Professor. “An ancient alien monster disguised as a Hindu deity! I’ll never forget the way you blasted it into oblivion with those unusual powers of yours.”

“No resurgence of that kind of thing here, I hope?”

“No, thank goodness. This is something rather different. As you now, I now sometimes work as a consultant for the Baltimore Police Department Forensics Division. A couple of nights ago, they found the body of a young girl in an alley down by the Inner Harbour.”

“Yes, I did hear some report of that,” I said. “The BPD classified it as a rape/murder, I believe?”

“So it appears. My, you should have seen her face, Dr. Rumanos. The poor thing. A quite pretty girl, but even in death, her eyes were open wide in fear. Her mouth was also open, her jaw rigidly clenched as if she had died screaming in absolute terror. She was completely naked, and had bled profusely. Her hymen had been intact before the violation, it appears. There also was this…”

The Professor handed me a crumpled candy wrapper.

“She had it in her hand,” he continued, “clenched tightly shut. The police didn’t think it was important.”

“’Jammy Kids’” I said, recognising the brand name, “An import from the United Kingdom. Only a few places in Baltimore carry them. Hmmm…”

“But the most interesting thing is the substance that was found in her vagina. It isn’t semen. At least not that of any man or known animal.”

“Do you have a sample here?” I enquired.

“Yes, and please take a look at it,” he said.

Professor Quiltey then held up a test-tube, which I saw contained a small portion of some greenish-white substance, and then he switched off the light. The stuff in the test-tube glowed slightly in the darkness.

“Fascinating,” said I. “Is it some type of energy-emission?”

“Yes. It appears the poor girl may have actually died from a form of radiation-poisoning. But the substance seems to be quite harmless unless introduced into the bloodstream.”

Prof. Quiltey switched back on the light and directed me to a near-by microscope.

“I have a sample there as well, on the slide. I stared at it all day yesterday. It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen, Dr. Rumanos. It doesn’t match the sexual secretions of any earthly creature. Please, have a look.”

Taking a chair, I looked into the microscope. The substance upon magnification showed it contained a number of twisted, grotesque, now-inert organisms, each with three tails and numerous round, black eyes.

“Good heavens,” I exclaimed, as the knowledge of something terrifying dawned upon me. “Professor, this is indeed semen, and those are sperm -- but you are correct in saying that they are not of this world!”

As I was looking through the microscope, Prof. Quiltey, behind me, had quietly picked up a sharp surgical-scalpel from a near-by table and then turned back to-wards me.

“This substance;” I said, still distracted, “this ejaculate. It is… Slozenirian!”

Then Prof. Clarence Quiltey lunged forward in an attempt to plunge the scalpel directly into my throat!!

Now, it is doubtful that the surgical knife could have done any serious damage to my Algolitish physique. However, it could have nonetheless been quite dangerous for numerous reasons. Fortunately, I had glanced towards the highly-polished surface of the coffeepot upon the table before me and had seen Prof. Quiltey’s reflection as he approached.

I slid sidewise, avoiding his thrust of the scalpel by mere inches. I turned quickly and grasped his wrist, twisting it until the knife clattered to the floor.

“Professor!” I shouted. “Professor Quiltey! Snap out of it, old chap! Concentrate and snap out of it!”

“What… ?” muttered the scientist, his body relaxing as I helped him to a near-by chair. “What happened, Dr. Rumanos? I seem to have blacked out for a few moments. You had just sat down to look at the slide and… I don’t remember what happened.”

“It should be all right now, Professor,” I assured him. “You were briefly under control of an alien force emanating from that substance. It is Slozenirian semen. The Slozenirians are an alien race from a distant star system. All of the females of their kind were wiped out by a plague, and the remaining males are known to wander the Galaxy searching for compatible females of other species with which to mate. This one must have been exposed to radiation whilst in Space. Perhaps his ship ventured too close to a crimson star or something.”

“But how did it affect me?” queried Quiltey.

“The Slozenirians have a certain level of ‘psychic’ or mentalist ability encoded in their D.N.A. It automatically recognised me and the research we are doing here as a threat. Not to worry, though. Now that the psyche-link has been broken, it should not be able to control you again. You should put a stopper in that test-tube, though, and keep it and the slide in a lead-lined strongbox. That way there is no chance of it affecting anyone else.”

“Yes, I will do that right away. But, Dr. Rumanos, do you know where you may find this alien?”

“I think I have some idea, Professor,” said I, looking at the crumpled candy-wrapper, “and there is no time to lose if I am to save other innocent girls from this grotesque fate!”

I accordingly left the old Professor to his laboratory work and headed for the Inner Harbour area. Doing some quick research via the internet, I had found out that the only shop selling imported Jammy Kids candy in the neighbourhood was an establishment called Kellner’s Candies at the Harbour-Place Pratt Street Pavilion.

As I arrived, I looked out at Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbour. I briefly wondered why the alien rapist had left the girl’s corpse in an alleyway instead of just dumping it in the water. However, I remembered that Slozeniria is a dry world, and that the harbours of Earth are something with which the creature would perhaps not have been comfortable.

I entered Kellner’s Candies shortly before noon. It was a large, colourfully-decorated shop with flashing disco-style lighting and piped-in dance music. It obviously carried a varied assortment of sweets from around the world, which could be purchased either individually or in bulk.

However, by far the most interesting thing about the candy store were its employees. There were four of them and they were all gorgeous girls who looked to be between the ages of eleven and fourteen. Prime breeding age, no matter what current human mores and ever-shifting legalities have to say about it. That is the age, as scientific tests have indisputably proven, at which human females are the most fertile, physically-supple, and oft-irresistibly sexually attractive. It indeed is the age of the most successful high-fashion models of swimsuits and lingerie; those who become the obsessive and ever-tempting masturbatory fantasies of many men who do not even know exactly why. It is the age of female Olympic gymnasts, due to the extreme flexibility of human girls at that age, as provided by the wisdom of nature itself for the purpose of facilitating sexual intercourse and child-bearing. Those who find these facts offensive should seek the underlying motives of their hypocrisy, and should realise the turmoil and pain, indeed the utter social and societal chaos that so-called “age of consent” laws have brought upon human civilisation (parents treating girls like property, banning them from proper relationships with respectable older gentlemen but then allowing them to become pregnant by drugged up, worthless teenage ghetto-boys) -- in sooth should perhaps contemplate exactly what sickeningly obscene and ungodly unnameable eldritch satanic abominations such laws actually serve!!

(As an interesting aside, it is a quite factually statement that the social class level of any human male can easily be determined by finding out what age group of human females he finds to be the most physically attractive -- or, more properly expressed, to whom he admits to being attracted. The chart breaks down thusly, with the age of the females in Earth years followed by the corresponding socioeconomic echelon of the attracted male:

0-2 - Autistic
3-10 - High-tier
15-17 - Acceptable
18-39 - Plebeian
40-59 - Repressed homosexual
60+ - Necrophiliac)

There were two blondes, a redhead, and an Asian girl, the latter either Japanese or the higher kind of Chinese, all wearing matching red-and-white uniforms with very short skirts. They were all beautiful and obviously of the best human types. There were none of the lower, inferior sort that most often work blue-collar jobs in Baltimore.

One of the blondes came over to me. She had eyes like pale sapphires and a wide sensuous mouth with luscious lips painted bright red. Her skin was as the finest white of alabaster. She was petite and perfect and her clothing was tight in those delightful places where the clothing of growing girls becomes tight.

“Welcome to Kellner’s Candies, sir,” she said. “My name is Angela. May I help you find some sweet things today?”

“Oh, it looks like I have already found one,” I said with a smile. “Call me Daniel.”

“OK, Daniel,” said the girl, returning my smile. “Oh my, it’s almost my lunch-break.”

“I say, Angela, perhaps you could join me for lunch then?”

“I’d love it!” she beamed. “Just give me a minute to punch-out and it’s a date!”

She then hurried across the sales-floor as I waited, eying her lithesome figure and wondering how a bloody Slozenirian ever chanced upon such a perfect front for his breeding experiments. …

As I waited for the girl to join me for our lunch-date, little did I realise that I was already being watched closely via a security camera. In the office of the proprietor, Mr. Kellner sat behind his desk and looked intently at a video screen showing the shop interior. He pressed a button and zoomed in on me.

“Analyse and report,” he ordered into a small near-by device -- forsooth a metallic sphere that was in actuality an highly-advanced computer which was the product of no earthly technology.

“Origin of individual identified,” came an electronic voice from the device. “Not of this planet.”

“What is he then?”


“Daemonian!” returned Kellner, his already black eyes seeming to grow even darker with otherworldly rage. “One of the Watchers of Algol! Long-time enemies of the Slozenirian race! He has come to interfere with my plans of engendering a new genus of our people here on Earth! His meddling must not continue! His very existence must be terminated!”

With this, the being known as Mr. Kellner turned back to the computer and stood up whilst issuing further commands.

“Prepare to send the death probe!” he ordered. “Follow and destroy the Daemonian!!” …

Angela and I had lunch at an eatery next to the Renaissance Hotel called “Shake It Up!”, one of those “gourmet” burgers, fries, and milkshakes places. I asked the girl how she ever had gotten to be working at Kellner’s Candies and she filled me in on the information I was seeking.

It seems that the candy store’s proprietor, Mr. Kellner, was known to be quite the philanthropist. His pet project involved taking in little girls from orphanages and foster care centres, though being quite meticulous as to which ones he accepted. He then gave the poor waifs a chance at social respectability (so called) through work at his shop.

Of course, that all this was allowed, and did not even attract the notice of those obsessed with “child-labour” laws, “human trafficking”, the “underage” sex trade, creeping “paedophilia” rah-rah-rah, and all that bloody great malarkey, I could easily attribute to Slozenirian mentalist abilities.

Angela also had only a vague memory of the girl who had recently disappeared from the shop. She could not even remember the name of the doomed lass. This could also be explained by Slozenirian “psychic” influence.

“Mr. Kellner is a nice old guy, I guess,” said young Angela between sips of her strawberry shake. “He doesn’t say much, though, and his eyes are, well, kind of weird.”

“How do you mean?” I enquired.

“They just look so dark. Like, all black or something. Oh, maybe I shouldn’t say that. I don’t want to sound like a racist or anything.”

I was about to continue pumping the girl when I suddenly noticed something rather odd through the plate glass front of the restaurant.

“Umm, Angela,” I said, standing up hastily. “If you will please excuse me for a moment…”

“Of course,” she smiled, thinking I had to use the restroom. “Hurry back!”

I rushed outside to face what I had seen. It was a metre-long metallic device that can only be euphemistically referred to as “cigar-shaped”. It was hovering aloft over the sidewalk and I had immediately recognised it as a Slozenirian death-probe. 

I dodged quickly as the probe sent its searing-white ray at me. I knew that it would have had certain materials detrimental to Algolites included in its composition. The ray knocked a large crack in the sidewalk only slightly different from the countless other stress-fractures that mark the pavements of the city of Baltimore.

Before the probe could re-arm, I cast a bolt of my bright orange and blue Algolitish energy at it. It is likely only because the device was a bit antiquated, as is all Slozenirian technology by now, that I was able to quash it so easily. My energy engulfed the death probe in flames and sent it spiralling through the air. I heard a splash as it hit the near-by harbour.

I re-entered the restaurant and sat down again at the table with Angela. Fortunately, the little lass still had her back to the entrance and had been engrossed in her burger and shake whilst I had faced the alien device.

“What was that noise I heard?” she queried a bit sleepily. “Something going on outside?”

“Just someone smoking in a non-designated area,” I assured her. “The cops got him.”

“Oh, that’s good then,” she giggled.

I paid the bill for our food and left the restaurant with my arm around the gorgeous little lass. The top of her head barely came up to my chest. We strolled past the hotel concierge and the entrance to the gift shop and stopped in front of the large electric sign advertising the rooms and suites for rent.

Angela put up no resistance when I pulled her close to me. Having to lift the girl up somewhat in my arms, I kissed her on her hot little mouth. Her lips still tasted like strawberries and cream…

Back in the office of Kellner’s Candies, the old man was absolutely raging as he looked at a report readout on his computer.

“Damn the Daemonian!” he exclaimed. “Damn him and all of his accursed kind! Accursed Stalkers of Algol, they should be called! He is no doubt an agent of their meddling Kosmikos! His interference is intolerable! I will have to deal with him personally!”

With this, the being known as Mr. Kellner began to claw at his face, tearing away what was in actuality a cunningly well-made mask of human skin. His true face was revealed -- green skinned with two huge, ebony-black eyes, no visible nose, and a slit for a mouth, all upon a large, bulbous, and hairless head.

This was the true face of a Slozenirian. …

Beautiful Angela and I were walking back towards the candy shop. She had just stopped to smooth back her hair and straighten the skirt of her uniform when I beheld something out of the corner of my eye.

Directly above us, and descending quickly, was a Slozenirian, all emaciated green body and large bulbous head, riding on a flying transport chair.

“You are finished, Daemonian!” he shouted. “Your people shall no longer interfere with the affairs of the Slozenirian race!”

“No, Slozenirian!” I said. “You must stop these breeding attempts! You have been exposed to radiation and have become a ‘carrier‘! It has no effect on your alien physiology, but it is lethal to these humans!”

“That is a lie, you pathetic Daemonian scum! That is a lie and I will now destroy you as your people once attempted to destroy my entire race!”

“Daniel!” squealed Angela. “What is that?!”

“That, my dear, is your ersatz boss, Mr. Kellner!” I informed the girl as I stepped in front of her in an attempt to shield the innocent damsel from what I knew was coming.

The Slozenirian drew a potentially-lethal ray-gun and fired it fully and directly at me!!

Do you comprehend the complete and total terror, indeed the abject peril of this grotesque situation, my friends? In order to shield the helpless girl, I had to take the full force of the blast from the Slozenirian’s ray-gun upon myself, and, whilst the energy-weapon would not likely prove to be of any permanent harm to my Algolitish physique, it did indeed have the power to incapacitate me for a time -- therefore exposing the poor wee lass to the alien creature’s sickening pleasure anyway!

I fully crumpled to the ground as the light-ray hit me, my entire body wracked with extreme and excruciating pain.

“You are now finished, Daemonian!” taunted the Slozenirian, still aloft in his flying chair. “You are finished! You are finished and this human girl is now mine to continue with my breeding of a new Slozenirian race! You have failed, and the triumph of Slozeniria is now!!”

I heard Angela scream as the alien then activated a tractor-beam from his chair. She was lifted from the ground and began to float helplessly to-wards him, up above the area of Baltimore’s “Harbour-Place” tourist attractions.

I shook my head in a desperate attempted to concentrate. I knew I had to overcome the effects of the ray-gun blast. I thought deeply, deeply, of that beautiful young girl, dear sweet little Angela. I concentrated on the thought of her slender, gorgeously-juvenile figure, her lovely sky-blue eyes, her full red lips…

I concentrated on the necessity of saving her pubescent pulchritude from the embrace of that obscene alien horror, forsooth of even protecting her very life from the radiation poisoning she would accrue if ravished by the infected Slozenirian!

I concentrated deeply on Angela, and it brought the result for which I had so deeply hoped. For from her seemingly-powerless form there suddenly came forth a blast of pure bright orange and blue Algolitish energy, travelling up the tractor-beam like a magic fire -- and fully blasting the Slozenirian with such forth a s to send him and his chair hurling out-of-control through the air to-wards the harbour!!

By now I had recovered enough to safely catch the falling girl in my arms, cradling her close as she still shook with horror at what she had experienced.

“It is all right now, love,” I assured her. “Look!”

The Slozenirian had by now let out one last bellow of rage as he hit the waters of the harbour and, his alien biology unused to such an element, had then immediately been dissolved to tiny pieces by it.

“What… ?” stammered Angela. “What happened?”

“I can explain in more detail later, but you had received some deoxyribonucleic acid from me, and were thus carrying some Algolite genetic information,” I explained. “The effect is only temporary, and difficult to control, but I was able to use this in order to generate some energies through you and hit that Slozenirian -- the so-called ‘Mr. Kellner’.”

“So you mean he’s dead then?”

“Oh, quite dead,  I promise. A spoonful of Algolite D.N.A. makes the Slozenirian get drowned, or something like that.”

The denouement of this experience is as one might expect, including the necessary closing of Kellner’s Candies whilst I dismantled what remained of the Slozenirian technology (including the pieces of his crashed spaceship, which itself had been crippled by the gravity of the crimson star from which he had been infected by radiation). Of course, I was able to confirm that the real Mr. Kellner had died some months before all this, murdered by the Slozenirian, who had then turned the old man’s very skin into a quite clever disguise indeed.

The girls who had worked at the shop now having nowhere else to go, I therefore also found myself left with a bevy of delightfully early-adolescent beauties in my care. Needless to say, I did indeed prove to be quite up to the challenge.

I also got a lot of candy.



“Keep all the innocent young girls alive, and take them for yourselves.”
(Numbers 31:18) …

Catrine MacGregor was not really certain as to why she had stayed late at school that day. After all, she did not care for it there at Medfield Middle School in Baltimore. Not that she was at all opposed to education -- quite the reverse, actually! -- but, you understand, she had found the school to offer little of that to her. You see, Catrine MacGregor, now age twelve, had been tested some time before and found to possess an I.Q. of the genius level. At that time, she had been a student at the Roland Park School For Girls, an elite private preparatory academy.

The death of her parents in an automobile accident had put an end to all that, however. They had not left a proper will, and their estate was taken over by the State of Maryland.

Catrine had then gone to live with her maiden aunt at the latter’s apartment in the Medfield neighbourhood. Unfortunately, upon enrolling at the local public school the girl had found it to be largely made up of blue-collar types, and Catrine MacGregor had immediately found herself lonely and friendless. She had talked with a guidance counsellor about the possibility of skipping a couple of grades. She was, after all, already on a college reading level. However, the possibility was denied her by the system for two reasons.

Firstly, it had been thought that allowing the gifted girl to skip ahead would cause hateful jealousies among others if the story of it reached the media. There was an especial concern that the city’s African-American community would consider it a case of “white privilege”.

Secondly, it was feared that the older boys (not to mention some of the teachers), would “sexualise” the girl; that being the ridiculous liberal-feminist term for the natural attraction a man should feel for a nubile maiden. Indeed, Miss Catrine MacGregor was an exceedingly-beautiful young lady; tall and well-developed for her age, with gorgeous ginger hair, eyes of opalescent azure, and alabaster-white skin. Her wide, sensuous mouth accented the loveliness of her face, and her blue-and-white school uniform could not hide the perfection of her slender, early-pubescent figure.

Suffice to say, Catrine MacGregor’s time at Medfield Middle School had not thus far been a happy one.

Nevertheless, an odd curiosity had overcome young Miss MacGregor that day, and had led her to stay after school, hiding in a disused broom-closet until all the other students and staff had left. She knew her aunt would not be home until late, being at a community-group meeting, and so would not miss her.

Catrine wondered why she had stayed. It was as if she felt something -- a longing, a premonition, a strange desire -- she was not certain as to what. It reminded her of a feeling she had briefly experienced some months before. It had been the night of her first “monthly flowers”, as her aunt so quaintly put it, when Catrine MacGregor had looked up into the night sky and had seen the stars seem to briefly vanish and reappear…

The school hallways were dim, lit only by the late-afternoon sun coming from the high windows as Catrine left the dusty old broom-closet in which she had hidden and began to explore the building. She pulled the tiny electric torch she always carried from her purse and switched it on as she began to descend the stairs into the cellar boiler-room.

It was when she reached the foot of the steps that she heard the sound. It was afar off, seeming to come form untold depths below. It was as a bellowing, as the roar of some huge animal, and Catrine could feel it vibrating the floor beneath her.

The sound was brief, but it had its result. The vibration had caused the door to the cellar to swing shut. The girl knew it would lock immediately and could only be opened (without a key) from the other side. Catrine realised that she was now trapped in the cellar. She felt a wave of panic before she realised that she could easily summon help via her mobile telephone when she was ready. Of course, it would be embarrassing to attempt an explanation of her situation, but not impossible.

But then Catrine checked her phone and found that it had gone black. Its power had completely drained as if from some unexplained influence.

“Be brave of heart, my little Miss MacGregor,” she said to herself, quoting some words her late father had often told her. “Remember, you’re a Scottish girl.”

Catrine then steadied her shaking hand and held the flashlight out before her as she walked to-wards the far end of the cellar. She had noticed a strange aperture, a sort of crack in the wall there. She shined the electric torchlight into it and then stepped back with a start when she noticed the aperture begin to get bigger. It was as if it were a sort of doorway and someone were about to step through it from the opposite side of the wall. Someone -- or someTHING.

It is no insult to little Miss MacGregor’s brave heart to report that she screamed when she beheld what walked though that now-widened crack in the wall. It was the size of a tall man and bipedal, wearing a sort of colourless tunic, but that is where its resemblance to anything human ceased and utter eldritch madness began. The thing thrust its two horridly taloned hands out to-wards the girl as it let forth a sickening hiss from its mouth -- a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth that was part of a head like a crocodilian surmounted by two glowing yellow eyes. Its green, scaly skin glistened terribly in the dim light.

Forsooth, Catrine Macgregor screamed as the Reptilian reached out for her! …

My name is RUMANOS -- DOCTOR DANIEL RUMANOS, Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Even though I have the physical appearance of an human being, I am actually far more. For I do carry within my blood the vastly-superior genes of the mysterious Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL, this extraterrestrial heritage granting me numerous capabilities that appear as “magic” to lesser beings,

Whilst most Algolites live in elitist seclusion from the rest of the Universe, I am an Operative for a secret organisation known as the KOSMIKOS. Assigned to Planet Earth, it is my mission to protect the human race from alien invasion, mad scientists, and indeed all manner of threats.

I am the living icon of the Watchers of Algol upon this world. I am the DAEMON-STAR!

I had been away for a while recently, aiding my old friend President Ubamiff of Jupiter in dealing with a group of neo-fascists that opposed their world’s membership in the League of Planets. These miscreants had threatened a meeting of ambassadors from other worlds of the Solar System with realistic, computer-generated images of a “monster” from ancient Jupiterian mythology known as the Ranwon, even going so far as the attempted murder of the Venusian delegate. Nevertheless, I managed to uncover the conspiracy, which was part of the hideous planetist “Jupiter First” movement, and to save the situation.

Upon returning to Earth, I had immediately had to deal with a threat from a disgusting middle-aged terrestrial woman named Diane Rushen, who resided in the Pennsylvania village of Coventry-At-Waterford. She had become possessed by a creature from Asteroid 175AVW when it had recently passed near to Earth. After a firefight of our respective extraterrestrial energies, I managed to exorcise and destroy the monster. Ms. Rushen, however, did not come out of it well, and is now confined to a charity-run psychiatric hospital where she incessantly shouts out the words “Stalkers! Pedos! Weirdos! Goofballs!”

In addition, I had defeated yet another horrific individual in the hideously-debased town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia - that grotesque hotbed of Satanism and sundry ungodliness. It was a local restaurateur with an experimental prosthetic leg that had become fused with remnants of the alien cybernetic technology of the Leknii Replicants. He had then used this power to sexually dominate numerous underage girls that he had hired to work as servers in his Southern BBQ joint. The full record of this bizarre case is found in my secret files under the title of “The Unspeakable Perversions of Chef Kenneth Flunkett”.

It was only after this that, from my headquarters in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, I had noticed a strange energy wave coming from beneath the area of the Medfield neighbourhood. Upon investigating, I had felt this unknown force to be centred at the local middle school, and so had entered the building a short time after the usual academic day had ended.

Clad in my usual silk suit, leathern greatcoat, jungle boots, and panama hat, I stalked cautiously through the dark hallways of Medfield Middle School -- not knowing what alien horrors I might encounter. Nevertheless, all was quiet, though my Algolitish senses could feel the presence of something -- something very old and elusive and dangerous; something that seemed horridly familiar.

Suddenly, I heard a scream. It was a female voice in obvious mortal terror, and I immediately sprang into action. I burst through the door from which I had heard the cry and ran down the flight of stairs to the school boiler-room. I was just in time to see the Reptilian dragging the struggling girl through the aperture in the wall. I hurried through after them and found myself in a tunnel sloping downwards. I leapt forward and tackled the reptile from behind. It dropped the little girl and I wrestled with the incredibly-strong monstrosity, almost bringing it to the floor when it suddenly broke free and ran with incredible speed away from me into the darkness of the widening tunnel.

I knew I could not yet pursue the creature, as I had to first see to the safety of the young lass.

“It is all right now, love,” said I reassuringly as I helped the lass to her feet. “I am Dr. Daniel Rumanos. What is your name?”

“Catrine MacGregor,” she told me, bravely attempting the hide the trembling of her sweet voice. “What… What was that thing?”

“That was a Reptilian, a descendant of the Lizard-Men who ruled the Empire of Lemuria in the prehistory of your planet.”

“What?” she said incredulously. “You mean that stuff about reptiles ruling the human race is true? Like the things that Englishman writes about? What’s his name? David Icke?”

“Yes, well, he did get some things right, but the general Reptilian threat was subdued long ago. They exist now underground in pockets, most of them having degenerated into savagery. However, it seems like some of their technology may have survived near here. That is what I came to investigate when I heard your screams.”

“But why are these Reptilians so hostile to people?” she enquired.

“Oh, they do feel they have their reasons,” I answered. “They despise the human race and indeed all mammals, seeing them as useful only as, well, food. When they saw that humans were developing civilisation, they tried to wipe them out with plagues. The first time was in ancient Atlantis, which led to many of its people leaving for the planet Neptune. Then they tried again in the Fourteenth Century…”

“You mean bubonic plague? That was intentionally caused by the Reptilians?”

“Indeed it was, and it could have succeeded had not the Kosmikos of Algol intervened. I was finally sent to bring a cure. You have certainly heard of Nostradamus?”

“You mean YOU were Nostradamus?” she asked with a look of wonder in her beautiful sky-blue eyes.

“Yes, well,” I grinned, “I have indeed changed my name, but I do not have to say why, as David Bowie would put it.”

“Were you also David Bowie?”

I thought it best to change the subject and focus on our current situation. The aperture had closed behind us and we were now effectively trapped in the underground tunnel. I could still feel the effects of near by radioactive technology, and it was having a negative influence on my Algolitish powers.

“We need to keep moving, Catrine,” I told her as we walked on, the tunnel growing lofty in height as we descended into the earth. “We should find a way out of these caves. I need to get you to safety and then continue my mission.”

“But I want to see this!” the lovely tweenager exclaimed. “I want to know what’s going one with aliens and all that! Oh please! Life has been so boring for me, you know, in the ‘normal’ world. I can be your assistant and help you fight them! Oh, please… Daniel?”

Nevertheless, before I could respond to the girl’s request, the decision was made for us. I cacophonous bellowing roar suddenly split the silence of the tunnel.

“Holy Flapdoodle!” said Catrine. “That sound! I heard it once before! What is it?”

“Something big,” I said, not even wanting to express what I actually believed it to be, “and now quite close.”

And then, it came. It was rushing up the tunnel directly to-wards us. The girl screamed in utter unimaginable error and swooned into my arms as it approached.  It was a gigantic, carnivorous dinosaur of the Jurassic Period. Nearly thirty feet in length, the scaly monster opened its enormous mouth, full of huge razor-sharp teeth as it lunged forward!

It was an Allosaurus!!

That certain prehistoric monstrosities had survived in caves and caverns deep inside the earth was already known to me. Nevertheless, this Allosaurus was far too near the surface for its appearance here to be natural. It had been sent here as a type of defence, a guard, security for its Lizard-Men masters.

I knew my own extraterrestrial powers had been limited by the radiation that I sensed emanating from near by technology, but I nonetheless had to defend myself and, more so, the helpless tween girl. I accordingly sent a bolt of my bright orange and blue energies at the dinosaur.

My blast was indeed not as strong as usual, and only succeeded in causing the huge monstrosity to back up a pace. It was long enough, however, for me to pick up the fainting lass in my arms and begin to retreat away from the horrid creature.

I had only proceeded a few steps when I perceived the sound of a strange electronic tone. At this, the roars of the Allosaurus immediately ceased and I quickly glanced back to see the huge creature now standing transfixed, as if at attention!

I looked around and realised we were surrounded by Reptilian Lizard-Men.

There were six or so of them, and from this group the obvious leader soon emerged. He was slightly smaller than the others, but his head was larger and more developed. He wore a gold sash over the usual tunic of his cohorts. To my horror, this Reptilian spoke to us in perfectly accented tones.

“I am Ykaen of the New Empire,” he said. “We are the rightful rulers of this planet and will soon rise and return to our ancient domination. You humans should not have ventured into our domains and are now our prisoners.”

So indeed some of the Reptilians in this area had indeed retained intellect and technology. However, they apparently had not observed my Algolitish powers and thought me an Earthling. I thought it best, for the moment at least, to not disabuse them of this notion.

However, I had to repress a shudder in my thoughts as to why they were keeping the young girl and myself alive. Perhaps as a bargaining tool, as hostages to use in deals with the governments of the planet; or perhaps for something far worse.

With the Allosaurus walking behind us as docile as a domestic dog, we were taken into a large chamber covered from floor to ceiling with computerised machinery. I recognised it as a remnant of the ancient technology of the Lemurian Reptiles, that horrid prehistoric empire that had enslaved the earliest human beings and used them as pets and as playthings and as servants and as food.

Catrine MacGregor had by now recovered from her swoon, and we were chained back-to-back to a stone pillar near the centre of the room.

The Allosaurus had been ushered into its adjoining kennel.

“You cannot win, Ykaen,” I told the Reptilian. “The human race has developed weapons that can blow you and all your lizard tech sky-high. They will not compliantly bow to you. Things have changed considerably since the days of Lemuria, even since the end of the Empire of Atlantis the people of Earth have come far and…”

“You know of the old times,” hissed the Lizard-Man, “of the history of Reptilian domination on this planet?”

“Well, I… read a lot,” I demurred.

“It matters not, human,“ returned Ykaen. “Soon we will release the contagion, the new strain of Bubonica immeasurably more virulent than that which humans called the ‘Black Death’. It will ravage this world and reduce the human race to a few apelike survivors, therefore restoring them to their original place of servility. It is then that we, the Reptilians, will build our New Empire across this planet and prepare to issue forth and conquer they entire Galaxy!”

“Bubonica?” enquired Catrine. “The black plague? You can’t do that! It’s horrible, it’s…”

“Downright cold-blooded?” I interrupted her. “Do not expect any sympathy from these monsters, love. They have no feelings of warmth or consideration. Only conquest and domination matter to them, that and cold scientific progress if it aids their tactics.”

“It’s just so horrible…” she sobbed.

“Though I care not for his disrespectful attitude, human female,“ said the Reptilian to the girl, “he is essentially correct, and indeed you will play a part in our plans -- as a test subject. Prepare her!”

In quick obedience to Ykaen’s order, two of the other Reptilians unchained the poor wee lass and, held her firmly as their leader approached holding a large syringe.

“No, you fiends!” I shouted. “You bloody Reptilian abominations!!”

“And now, humans,” said the reptile, ignoring my protestations as he prepared to inject the plague into the innocent white flesh of the helpless young girl, “we shall see the destructive power of the New Bubonic Death!!”

Then I heard little Miss Catrine MacGregor scream in total abject terror.

Can you comprehend the horror of this situation, my dear readers? The hideous Reptilian was about to inject a new, horribly-infectious version of the bubonic plague into that innocent girl!

Now, if you think I was going to allow that to happen, you have NOT been paying attention.

Fortunately, even though the radiation of the Lemurian technology was continuing to curtail my Algolitish powers, I do have certain other skills at my disposal. Not the least of these are my amazing abilities as an escape artist, and I had already surreptitiously used the same to loosen the chains with which the reptiles had chained me to the post. It then only took a twist of my wrists to free myself from this bondage.

I dashed over quickly and kicked the syringe from the hand of Ykaen, it having been mere inches from the girl’s flesh. I punched the Reptilian monster in his horrid face, sending him careening over to crash against one of the banks of machinery.

Still moving fast, and having the element of surprise at my advantage, I grabbed the two lizard guards and bashed their heads together, stunning them. Then, wasting no time, I took Catrine MacGregor by the hand and together we ran from that chamber of terrors, through the arched doorway and back to-wards the cavernous passage to the upper world.

On our way out, I heard the evil Ykaen, pushing a button as he lapsed into unconsciousness, and speaking his last three words of command:

“Release the Allosaurus.”

Catrine and I ran down the passageway. A fire had started in the computer room behind us and I began to hear a steadily increasing series of explosions.

“Upsetting the machinery has started a chain-reaction,” I said. “We need to get out of here before this entire Reptilian complex blows up!”

Then another sound was heard, even above the explosions, it was the roaring bellow of a nightmarish prehistoric beast.

“The dinosaur!” screamed Catrine. “It’s loose and heading straight for us!”

And indeed, at that very moment appeared behind us the gigantic, carnivorous Allosaurus, heading quickly in our direction!

By now, distance and the partial destruction of the Reptilian computer-system had lessened their detrimental effect upon my extraterrestrial abilities. I accordingly sent a large burst of my bright orange and blue energies at the great scaly beast. The Allosaurus screeched in pain and skidded backwards upon the floor of the cavern.

Nevertheless, we were not as yet free from danger. The entire Reptilian complex was about to erupt. The girl was weak from horror, so I picked her up in my arms and continued to run up the passageway. We soon came to the wall that bordered the school basement, but the fissure that the reptiles had used as a door was now shut tight.

I glanced behind us. A wave of white-hot fire was blasting up the cavernous passage, destroying all in its wake. There was only one chance of escaping, if indeed my alien powers had recovered enough to accomplish it.

I held the little girl close and concentrated deeply, causing us to teleport through the wall. We were now back in the boiler-room of Medfield Middle School, and I immediately ran up the stairs and into the hallowed hallways of that educational institution -- in order that the young lass and myself might escape its coming destruction!

Sheltering Catrine in my arms, I crashed through the window of one of the empty classrooms. The explosions could be heard from underground, and I knew that by now the wave of fire had blasted through the cellar into the school.

I felt the damsel put her arms around my neck and, as if on impulse, our lips met in a quick but loving kiss.

“Hold on tight,” I told her.

“I will,” she assured me.

I levitated upwards and away from the school, taking us both safely aloft as Medfield Middle was engulfed in an explosion that totally obliterated the building. The blast shone briefly but blazingly against the dark evening sky.

We landed safely in a thicket of grass by the near-by Jones’ Falls. I helped the girl to steady her feet and looked at her. She was indeed exquisitely beautiful, a true nymphet, made for love. Just like Heaven…

“Are the Reptilians all destroyed?” she enquired.

“Indeed so,“ I assured her. “Well, this group of them, anyway. There are certainly other groups of Lemurian Lizard-Men hidden around the world, but they will have to be dealt with if and when it becomes necessary.”

“What about the school?”

“They city will probably say it was just shut down and demolished because of lead paint or something. I will have to continue your education differently anyway, if you are going to be my… assistant.”

At this young Catrine MacGregor squealed with delight, threw her arms around me and gave me an affectionate hug -- accompanied by a far longer and warmer kiss than we had had time for previously.

“Somehow, it’s as if I’ve known you before,” she said. “It feels like… forever.”

“I say, Catrine, all of this has left me feeling rather peckish,” I said, changing the subject. “Care to join me for some pizza? I know a fine place in Charles Village, near J.H.U.”

“Sounds great, Daniel!” she agreed. “Oh, but won’t we have to tell my aunt something?”

“No worries, love,” I assured her. “You will find that from now on certain rules just do not apply.”

“Yes, I kind of noticed that.”

“It is still a shame about Medfield Middle School though,” I mused. “Although the most valuable thing lost would probably be the shop teacher’s collection of child pornography.”

“Really?” giggled the girl.

“Of course,” I replied. “He kept it under his work bench. Industrial arts instructors are always into young boys, you know.”

“Well, they can have them!” sweet little Catrine MacGregor announced with a revealing smile. “I prefer a more experienced gentleman.”

“I wise choice, my dear,” said I, putting my arm around the lovely young girl as we strolled across the field. “A wise choice indeed.” …

Unknown to me at the time, on that same night a bizarre event was taking place which would lead to consequences that I would have to contend with in the days to come. For in the backroom of a Baltimore dive-bar called The Depot Tavern a strange and ungodly ceremony was taking place.

I group of black-robed Satanists were assembled around an altar on which blazed an hideous blue-black glare. The wall behind the altar was adorned with an inverted crucifix, which had been blasphemously coated with spittle, urine, excrement, and sexual secretions by the diabolists. 

The horrid cult raised their assembled voices in an unholy chant, swaying in sickeningly ecstatic worship as the room filled with the smoke of incense -- incense made from a grotesque and totally-unlawful weed.

Moreover, above the altar, a thing of unnameable madness was occurring. For, as the Satanic chanting gathered in volume, the smoke began to coalesce into the darksome but seemingly-human figure shrouded in a black hooded vestment robe. From this shape glowed two hypnotic eyes -- two icy grey hypnotic eyes.

“I live!” came the voice as of a man from the figure. “I live and have come back to claim my due place as ruler over this entire Universe! I live!! I am… DON WINGO!!!”



“It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper.”
(Errol Flynn)

“PARKING FOR WICKED SISTERS ONLY,” proclaimed the sign by the side of the lot in Baltimore. Now, Wicked Sisters is merely the name of a local restaurant, so I thought little of it as I passed by early on that fateful day.

Perhaps I should have taken it as an omen…

My name is Doctor Daniel Rumanos, Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Even though I have the physical appearance of an human being, I am in actuality far more than this. I do carry within my blood the superior genes of the mysterious Watchers of the Daemon-Star Algol, the most technologically-advanced species in the known Universe. This extraterrestrial heritage grants me numerous abilities and powers that appear as “magic” to less-developed races.

Although the Watchers officially practice complete non-intervention in the affairs of other planets, I am an agent for a secret service organisation known as the KOSMIKOS. Assigned to Planet Earth, I protect its people from alien invasions, mad scientists, and indeed all manner of threats. …

Utilising my power of etheric suspension, I deftly levitated up to the roof of the “pet portraits” establishment next to the restaurant -- wearing my usual silk suit, leathern greatcoat, panama hat, sunspecs, and jungle boots. It was a balmy day for autumn, the active hurricane season having pushed the tropical air northward.

I strolled to the centre of the roof and saw a shimmer in the air before me. It soon coalesced into the form of a tall, stern-faced, white-haired, elderly gentleman clad in a blue-and gold vestment robe. I recognised him immediately as an high-ranking member of the Absolute Convention of Daemonia, that august ruling body of the Watchers.

“Greetings, Master Rumanos,” he said, his voice clear and calmly cultured, his pronunciation complete perfection.

“Salutations, Master Conventioneer,” I replied. “Welcome to Earth. I must say I was not completely surprised to receive your summons to a meeting, considering certain recent events.”

“Indeed,” said the old Algolite, “and the situation is worse than could be imagined. An old enemy of yours has returned: Don Wingo.”

“That old jackanapes!” I exclaimed in astonishment. “I thought his power destroyed, his body imprisoned by the Kosmikos in an unknown location. Wait! He was the other escapee from Zatta[*], then?”

[*For details of this, see our last “WEIRD ADVENTURES” account, “Burn Out The Night”.]

“Yes,” answered the Watcher. “In fact, he led the prison-break, through a far-reaching mentalist contact with the now-deceased human woman known as Carissa Bartley. The powers of Don Wingo have greatly increased of late. He has even managed to integrate the energies of certain Algolitish relics into himself.”

“Bloody Hell! He did always have the knack of adopting various alien technologies to his own use.”

“He has utilised an antiquated, but still somewhat functional dimensional travel device to slip back in Time and alter several events to his benefit.”

“That would explain the chaos that has threatened the Time-stream of late,” I said. “What is his current plan?”

“We know that he is the force behind the human religious cult known as ‘Spectral Paranormal’, and that he will stop at nothing to achieve total domination and rule over Earth, and eventually over all the Cosmos,” said the Watcher. “The Absolute Convention hereby delegates to you, as the only Operative currently authorised in this sector, complete authority to uncover the schemes of Don Wingo and to do whatever is necessary to defeat him.”

“Understood, Master Conventioneer.”

“Also, when Wingo has been eliminated, the convention will be initiating Kothovalth.”

“Total Overthrow!” exclaimed I, translating as well as is possible the ancient Algolitish word that represents what could also be called a reboot of the Universe.

“Indeed,” calmly rejoined the old Watcher. “It has been determined to be the only course that can repair the damage that he has done to the Timelines. May the very essence of the Daemon-Star be with you, Master Rumanos. That is all.”

And with this, the Watcher simply vanished into the void on his way back to the Algol Systems.

Kothovalth, thought I. The Total Overthrow. Universal Reset. Many things will change, but the Earthlings will not even notice it. I took solace in knowing that it would, it its way, undo certain personal tragedies. Tragedies of which I cannot speak. Tragedies that I now know to be the doing of the execrable Don Wingo in his mad plots to become the Original Evil, the very SATAN, the first Devil shunned by every decent species of the Cosmos.

The Watcher had given me no indication as to where I could find Wingo, but I already knew that it would be here in Baltimore. This city has been a centre, a rallying-point for the bizarre since its inception, built as it is here on a harbour of the Chesapeake Bay, an area used in prehistoric times as an outlet of Atlantis.

As I walked through the city in contemplation of all this, I passed an old news coin-box selling the Baltimore “SUNPAPER”. “Local Arts Community Outraged By Pedophile Magician’” screamed the headline. Blooming Hell. Such was the false propaganda spread about me of late. I knew now that this was yet another of Don Wingo’s doings. Fortunately, the local police knew better. I have indeed aided Baltimore’s Finest in numerous past cases, including that of the execrable Satanist and narcotics-dealer Jim Forrester[**], now thankfully deceased, and they know me as a duly-deputised agent of law and order in Baltimore City and beyond.

[**See “Rock ‘N Roll Fantasy”.]

Nevertheless, I had to admit that it had indeed been a bit of an annoyance. Humans and their bloody great obsession with sexuality. They are constantly and helplessly drawn to it yet horrified at any truly-pure expression of it.

Not to mention that ridiculously American misspelling of “paedophile”.

That the wicked Don Wingo was behind the hideous Spectral Paranormal cult was no great surprise. It sounded like his modus operandi. Still, what was its exact purpose? The cult members had continued to commit ritual suicide in grotesquely-varied ways. Recent cultic deaths had included the hillbilly Steve Brand of Westminster, Maryland, who died of alcohol poisoning, drinking himself to death over one weekend; and the bizarre Kev Artuz, editor of the New York City-based online horror fanzine, “ROT”, who immolated himself in his apartment, leaving only a ball of grease. Why?

Then, my thoughts were suddenly interrupted, there on that city street, when I found myself surrounded by four figures. They were large and shaped vaguely like men, but made of metal. Of course, I recognised what they were immediately.

“You will go with us now and will not resist, Daniel Rumanos,” said one of them in its emotionless, simulated voice. “You are now our prisoner.”

They were Leknii Replicants!

Do you recognise the utter shock of this situation, my dear readers? The Replicants of Leknii are a race of cybernetic invaders from a planet in Spiral Galaxy 8675309. Originally humanoid, they had gradually replaced their organic systems with mechanisms over the course of generations, and are now almost fully robotic. Only a small organic component remains to integrate the circuitry of these horrid metallic monsters. They now roam the Space-ways in their small, efficient ships, looking for humanoid beings that they can convert and assimilate into their own kind.

“You are now our prisoner,” repeated the Replicant. “You will be taken to Controller Wingo.”

“What!” I exclaimed. “’Controller Wingo’? Oh my… You are Replicants, but you are not actually Leknii, are you? Of course! Don Wingo must have stolen some Leknii technology the last time they attempted to invade Earth[***]! But from whence did he obtain the organic components?”

[***For a glimpse of this, read the account entitled “Beyond This Illusion”.]

“We are disciples of Controller Wingo,” answered the Replicant. “We are Spectral Paranormal.”

“Of course -- the Spectral Paranormal cultists and their sudden penchant for ritual suicide! That sick evil genius has achieved the ‘life after death’ he promised you by bringing you poor fools back as Replicants!”

I admit I blanched a bit at these thoughts. Don Wingo must have now had access to amazing levels of scientific knowledge in order to cannibalise Leknii technology. Such high levels would most likely have been obtained from the Algolitish relics with which he had come onto contact. I wondered to which of the Watchers these things could have belonged. Little did I yet know the horrendously unspeakable truth that would answer that question.

For now, I knew I could not allow myself to be captured by the “Spectral Paranormal” Replicants. Before they could react, I quickly levitated directly upwards, high into the air above the city. The Replicants followed, of course, using the small but powerful jet engines in their metallic feet. This was as I had hoped, however. I would now be able to engage the mechanical monstrosities in battle without worrying about innocent bystanders.

The Replicant closest to me raised one of his arms and shot a blast of energy from it. I barely managed to dodge the firepower, knowing that Leknii energy weapons contain a type of radiation that is harmful even to my own Algolite consistency.

I shot a bolt of my own inborn bright orange and blue energies back at the Replicant. It barely slowed the thing down. I concentrated and shot another bolt, aiming at the grating in the metal monster’s chest area. I knew this to be their weak point, it being the place through which necessary oxygen is obtained for the small but vital organic component of the cybernetic creature.

When my bolt hit, the Replicant was instantly destroyed, shattering into countless tiny shards that were then harmlessly blown away by the breeze.

I looked down and noticed that we were now directly over the Baltimore Museum of Art. The other three Replicants were still following me. Two of them hurried upwards to meet me in battle. I sent back bolts at them, but was for now too busy avoiding being hit by their energy weapons to aim property at either of their oxygen gratings. Nevertheless, what concerned me the most was wondering just what the remaining Replicant was doing whilst I was thus occupied.

Below us, just outside the Museum, was a group of local junior-high school students who had been about to enter the place for their scheduled tour. They had been distracted by the activity overhead, and had looked up in wonder at the spectacle of several figures far above, seemingly generating flashing bolts and blasts of light. They then noticed one of the figures dropping down to-wards them…

From my vantage point far above, I briefly glanced down just in time to see the Replicant lift up what I could tell was the slim figure of a girl from among the school group. I heard screams of horror from her, and from the others as they realised an inkling of what was happening.

I saw the Replicant carrying the girl jetting forward and beginning to fly across the city. I immediately followed, with the other two Replicants behind me. They had ceased firing their weapons.

I minute later occurred something of absolute terror. From far, far above the streets of Baltimore City the Replicant suddenly released the helpless girl from its grasp. I beheld the poor lass plummeting downwards, her helpless form falling to-wards the ground so very far below!!

I swooped down at lightning-speed and caught the falling damsel in my arms before she could hit the unforgiving concrete of the city. I landed us both safely on the sidewalk. The Replicants had apparently left the area and were nowhere to be seen.

“Just try to remain calm, love,” I said, steadying the trembling girl on her feet. “You are safe for now. I am Doctor Daniel Rumanos.”

“Oh my God!” she exclaimed. “Oh my God! Oh my God!”

“It is all right, really,” I assured her. “Those were Replicants, a type of cyborg, but they seem to have abandoned pursuit.”

“No, I mean, YOU! You are that guy I’ve heard so much about in the news!”

“Oh, well,” I demurred, “try not to believe everything you hear, eh?”

“It’s not that,” she responded with a smile. “I think you’re cool! They just say all those bad things about you because they’re jealous!”

Definitely, the little girls understand.

The damsel was exceedingly lovely, with auburn hair and eyes like sapphires. Her blue dress was decorated with white flowers. She was slender and perfect and her skin was as the purest white of alabaster.

“It’s so great to meet you, Dr. Daniel!” she went on. “My name is Heba.”

“’Heba’?” I said.

“Yes, Heba Filia.”

“Amazing.” “


“I mean: a beautiful name for an amazingly beautiful young lady.”

She blushed.

I looked around and noticed we were now just outside the Horseshoe Casino and Hotel, which is located in south Baltimore near the football stadium. The gambling house had been there for years, but the adjoining hotel had only recently been added in order to encourage more events at the establishment.

I observed the queue of marquee-styled posters advertising the various current happenings at the place. One was for an Oktoberfest party, and there were a couple for concerts, but the one on the end answered any question as to why the Replicants had so obviously lured me to this location.

It read: “Paranormal Prosperity with Master DON WINGO”.

Bloody blooming Hell. So that was it. Wingo was furthering his cult by mixing it with all that “Prosperity Gospel” nonsense. Typical. Don Wingo, the very essence of evil, would use anything the further his nefarious plans.

I had to investigate, but realised it would be unsafe to leave the girl alone. The Replicants had targeted her in order to get at me, and would certainly continue to do so now that we had made acquaintance.

I explained to Heba as simply as possible what was going on. She seemed quite interested in accompanying me but was worried about one thing.

“They won’t let me in there!“ she said, in reference to casino policies. “I’m only thirteen… I mean, SEVENTEEN!”

“Worry not, Heba,” I reassured her. “You are with me now, and you shall find that such rules no longer apply.”

Miss Heba Filia took my arm and we strolled into the Horseshoe Casino. All things on the twenty-four hour gaming floor were as usual, and we continued onto the mall-like series of shops and food establishments. Along the way we encountered another sign for Don Wingo’s upcoming presentation, announcing that it would be found in Suite 666, of course. These diabolist types are just so bloody tiresome.

We took the lift to the sixth floor and found the door to the satanic suite (There were not that many rooms in the hotel, of course, but the number had been re-appropriated from Room 66). From here, the feeling was palpable; the feeling of an obscene, ages-old, and powerfully-puissant evil.

The door of “Suite 666” opened on its own, though it was not an electric door, and we stepped into an huge room decorated in black-and-red demoniacal opulence, its centre being a large dining table, covered with a splendid repast, and at which sat a man in a totally-black tuxedo, his long brown-grey hair pulled back neatly.

He was apparently of middle years, his face still handsome despite the marks of a life of profligate wickedness beyond imagining. He stood up with a wicked grin.

“Ah, Dr. Rumanos, we have been expecting you,“ he said, eying the young girl and me with his icy hypnotic gaze whilst stroking his thin moustache and goatee. “I would offer you some Chicken Caprese, but I see you prefer the San Quentin Quail.”

“Don Wingo,” I said. “So it was indeed you all along. I almost could not believe it. This is madness even for you.”

“Ah, flattery,” he retorted. “Anyway, you and your sexy little friend are welcome to the new headquarters of Spectral Paranormal. Well, some still call it Horseshoe Casino, but not for long. Just as some still call this planet Earth, instead of Wingo World, as it should be. The entire human race will call it that soon, as they will call me lord and master!”

“So it was you that harassed me in the dreamscape a while back[****],” said I. “That sound I heard, the sound like white noise. It was an old Algolite Time/Space transport machine; malfunctioning a bit, but you managed to work it a few time before it petered out, eh? You used it to travel through the Current and alter certain events, causing chaos you could exploit to your own purposes.”

[****See “Teenage Dream”.]

“Oh, bravo! Bravo!’ mocked the villain. “The great occult detective has it all figured out. Nevertheless, there is something you haven’t yet realised about it all. I found that device on the paranormal black market. It had been circulating around the collector’s trade for some time, but no one could get it to function properly. I got it to work.”

With this, Wingo partially rolled up his left sleeve and revealed an object like a thick bronze band upon his wrist. It was unspeakably ancient and I recognised it as a prototype of the Temporal Bracelet, one of several types of Space- and Time-travel device utilised by the Watchers of Algol. This one in particular I recognised as having been taken from my home-world of Daemonia long ago. I recognised it as having been used by perhaps the most unspeakably-wicked being in all of history. A being that even I, with my long record of dealing with cosmic horror, was hesitant to even speak of -- this despite the fact that this being had been destroyed, totally obliterated an immeasurably-long time ago.

“That transport device…” I said in horror. “It once belonged to… The Nemesister!!”

I noticed that, as I had been busy at my verbal joust with the wicked Wingo, several Replicants had entered the room. Two of them had approached Heba Filia and the poor lass had fainted away, finally overcome by the horrid events of that day.

“Heba!” I shouted. “I swear by the Triple Star, if you harm that little girl, Wingo, I shall…”

“You will do nothing, Daniel Rumanos!” announced the villain. “My power is now far beyond even yours, as you shall now know!”

He then lifted his hands and sent a wave of energy at me; a wave of power unlike any I had ever experienced before. For with this demoniacal force was an admixture of Algolitish power -- residual power Wingo had obtained and absorbed from the device that had belonged to one of the Watchers, albeit one insane and evil beyond any rational imagining. It was the power of The Nemesister.

I felt myself sinking to my knees in pain, as an irreversible blackness overcame me.

“The writing’s on the wall, Daniel!” screamed the insane Don Wingo along with peals of his mad iniquitous laughter. “This day is your end!”

Now, I had often wondered why Satan, the Devil, the Original Evil, was a male archetype. Surely, the most ancient and potent manifestation of wickedness had been The Nemesister. But now that secret, like so many others, was revealed: she had used Don Wingo as her manifestation avatar. Wingo himself, through his travels throughout Time, had become the very Prince of Darkness. It was he, using the evil powers of The Nemesister, who had fostered chaos throughout history.

“I will kill you, Daniel Rumanos!” shouted Don Wingo as he continued to pummel me with his unspeakably darksome forces. “I will kill you as I have spread rumours to destroy your reputation! Oh yes, I have secretly been a part of your life for a very long time! I have altered names and shifted focuses to vex you! I have even used the Leknii technology to achieve the true Resurrection for my disciples! It has been granted to those who would willingly end their lives for my worship! Those who would not have been eliminated! A shame about that Chris Lamartine, though[*****]. He had such a nice oily arsehole…”

[*****For more on the deplorable Baltimore-area filmmaker Mr. Christopher Lamartine, and concerning Don Wingo’s particular usage of his oleaginous orifice, see the account entitled, oddly enough, “Girls On Film”.]

Whilst Don Wingo boasted, I thought rapidly of how to extricate myself from this position and save the world -- indeed all of Time and Space itself -- from his evil. I knew of only one possible solution, and it was one itself fraught with dangers unimaginable. I therefore said a word inaudibly. It was a word of only six letters, scarce two syllables. It was a word of horror and hatred. It was a name.

At my whispering of this name, Don Wingo’s powers ceased and he suddenly screamed in pain and buckled forward upon the lush hotel carpeting.

“What!” he screeched, a look of terror entering his cold blue-grey eyes. “Rumanos! What have you done?”

‘Well, Wingo, It is like this;” said, I standing up and brushing off my suit. “You remember when you were young and reading all those old occult books? Even before you started robbing graves and practicing Satanism and contacting eldritch extraterrestrial horrors.  Long before you achieved the power of the Cacodemons of Andromeda by the unholy use your own daughter, poor little Anastasia, in that horrid ceremony that is still shuddered about in York, Pennsylvania. You remember how those books taught that to know the true name of an evil spirit is to have power over it? Well, the reason they say that is a memory; a distorted memory of the ancient wars of the Watchers against the forces of The Nemesister. It was a weakness of hers caused by a genetic manipulation covertly achieved by the Kosmikos. You see, my sis… The Nemesister lost her powers when her true, personal name was spoken. It is a name that only I remember. It is a name I shall now speak now aloud for the first time in countless aeons.”

“No, Daniel, no!” pleaded Wingo. “Please, no! I will share the Universe with you! We can rule side-by-side, as old friends should! We can have wealth, fame, power! We can have all the little girls and boys! We can…”

“I speak now the true name of The Nemesister,” I said, ignoring his desperate attempt at diabolical temptation. “I speak her name and so end her powers. I speak her name and so bring your destruction. I speak her name: Cheryl.”

At this, Don Wingo screamed in pain for one final time as the ancient powers of evil were ripped from him, desiccating his body and all that touched it. After a brief cacophony of unearthly sound, all was silent.

I walked over to where Don Wingo had so recently stood. All that remained was a burn-mark upon the floor. How fitting.

The Replicants had been destroyed with him, they having been pre-programmed to shatter into infinitesimal pieces at the moment of losing contact with their Controller. I revived Heba Filia from her swoon and assured her that all was well. With the recuperative abilities of the very young, she was soon fine again.

Evening had fallen as the girl and I left the hotel suite that fateful day. Only one thing was disturbing me. Just playing a bit in the back of my mind. It was a sound I thought I had heard amongst the myriad noises the instant that Don Wingo disappeared. I hoped and prayed that it was a mere fancy, only a fevered thought caused by the horrors of that day. Certainly, I reasoned, it was just my imagination that it sounded like white noise.

I made a quick telephone call to my friend Detective Borman of the Baltimore Police Department, letting him know that the young girl who had disappeared from the school-tour at the B.M.A. was safe and in good hands.

“No problems now, Heba,” I assured her. “They will not be expecting you back before morning.”

“Cool!” replied the girl.

Heba and I found the Oktoberfest party being held at the casino/hotel. A band wearing lederhosen was playing traditional German music. Best of all, there was cold-cut buffet (or perhaps I should say smorgasbord), and the young lady and I sat down to a much-needed repast. 

Horror and Heba Filia, I mused to myself. Well, I had certainly had enough of horror for tonight…

I knew that soon the Kothovalth would begin, the Universal Reset, as the Absolute Convention of Algol briefly turned the stars off and on again in order to undo damage caused by Don Wingo and the unmentionable powers of The Nemesister. Some things would be different; others, as always, would be the same. Forsooth, what would be an appropriate metaphor for this?

“Awww! Looks like the party’s over,” said Heba, her pleasant voice breaking into my thoughts.

I looked around. The band had stopped playing and were packing up their instruments. A cleaning crew had come in to tidy up the ballroom.

“Worry not, love,” said I, taking the girl’s little hand in mine. “There will always be another party.”

And at this, a delightful smile spread across her lovely face. Party on.

[An all-new series begins soon: “THE DANIEL RUMANOS FILES”!!!]