IMMORTAL SINS


Never forget that you are better than they are.” 
(Saint Jerome the Hermit)

Jonnella “Jonni“ Morrissey, age 23, liked to refer to herself as “The Bitchy-Witchy”. Petite, slender, with dyed-black hair and pale skin, having multiple tattoos and body-piercings, she was borderline attractive in a rather trashy way. Originally a Cockney from the Stepney district of London’s East End, she had had come to America in her teens hoping for big-time stardom, the girl was now lead singer in a Los Angeles-based rock group (their music was self-described as “Goth-Punk-Grunge“) known as Dirty Goat, which had become the house band at an LA nightclub located on the Sunset Strip and called, appropriately enough, Lucifer’s.

What brought me to California that particular evening to see a performance of this Dirty Goat were reports that Miss Morrissey had, on several occasions, enthralled her audiences with displays of “magical” powers, and had begun to build what could ominously be referred to as a cult following.

My name is DR. DANIEL RUMANOS, Literary Illusionist and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Though I have the appearance of a strikingly handsome human gentleman with aristocratic Anglo-Semitic features and dark hair (which I have intentionally let go a bit grey of late in order to look even more respectable), I am, in reality, not a mere mortal at all. I am actually many thousands of years old and do carry within my blood the superior genes of the mysterious Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL; this heritage granting me numerous powers and abilities that appear “supernatural” to lesser beings.

Whilst most Algolites keep to themselves, content to merely observe the goings-on of the Universe around them, their intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, I am a member of a secret organisation amongst the elite class of our people, known as the KOSMIKOS or Cosmic Intervention Department. I thus have, for so many years now, made it my particular mission to use these gifts to defend the people of Earth from attack and invasion from unfriendly extraterrestrial races, mad scientists, and assorted similar threats.

However, I had some time prior to these specific events left Earth in order to explore the Universe in my Space/Time ship, the DiTraS. Only the summons that informed me of the breeching of the very Temporal Parameters I had left to protect that planet had forced me to return and, as I was to soon find out -- not a moment too soon!!

You see, it appeared, according to the report I had received from the Kosmikos, that the sudden and bizarre empowerment of Miss Morrissey had occurred exactly after this unexplained breaking down of the Temporal Parameters.

As I stood in the audience at Lucifer’s -- clad in my usual silk suit, greatcoat, panama hat, dark spectacles, and jungle boots -- I wondered about the secrets of this bloody Jonnella Morrissey person. Her appearance was not personally known to me, and yet there was something, something indeed, quite hauntingly familiar about her. It was something elusive, enigmatic, and actually rather grotesque. The “music” of Dirty Goat only succeeded in boring me immensely. It was nothing but mindless noise with lyrics based upon common semi-Satanic drivel. For something that was said to be at once Goth and Punk and Grunge, it just sounded a bleeding awful lot like Death Metal to me.

But then, whilst her guitarist played a solo turn, the young woman known as Jonni Morrissey strutted to the front and centre of the stage in her tight, black leathern cat-suit, and, to the absolute awe of her admiring audience, suddenly levitated directly upwards into the air!

At this juncture, I decided the moment had indeed come for direct confrontation. Unpunished displays of such power before groups of impressionable human beings are unspeakably dangerous in so many regards. I therefore immediately leapt up onto the stage and spoke into the public announcement system:

“Attention, Jonnella Morrissey. I am RUMANOS and you must now make an account of your actions!”

At a signal from Jonni, the band stopped playing and the audience continued to stand by in astonishment at what they had just seen. The girl descended to the stage before me and grinned wickedly, her intent green eyes fixed upon me with a bizarre mixture of amusement and disdain.

“Lord Rumanos of Daemonia,” she said, surprisingly using my Algolitish title, “you have been expected. It is quite interesting to see you again.”

“What do you blooming mean, ‘again’?” replied I. “We have most certainly never met before.”

“Oh, haven’t we? Surely I have not been forgotten, hmmmm?”

“I can assure you, I have no idea who you are, young woman. But I cannot allow you to enchant innocent people with whatever ‘paranormal’ abilities you possess.”

“Oh, you know who I am,” she continued. “I have waited long since our last confrontation. Waited for my moment. Waited… for this!”

And then Jonni Morrissey raised her hand and cast a bolt of hideously powerful orange and blue-black energy directly at me. It hit me painfully, but not as excruciatingly as the shock of the devastating knowledge that this amazing exhibit of alien force brought to me.

So then, the mysterious girl who called herself by the name of Jonnella “Jonni“ Morrissey, the Bitchy-Witchy, was not human. She was actually one of my own people, one of our immensely-powerful race of Space/Time Masters -- an Algolite!!

Do you realise the absolute screaming insane horror of this, my dear readers? The strange woman known as Miss Jonni Morrissey, the self-proclaimed “Bitchy Witchy” and “Gothic Punk Grunger” was actually an Algolite! Nevertheless, I still had to wonder: Which one?

In any event, I perceived that I had to move the ensuing confrontation between us away from this crowd of innocent onlookers. I accordingly sent an incredibly-powerful bolt of my own Algolitish energy directly at Miss Morrissey -- the impact of it causing her to be hurtled through the air and to crash through the roof of the nightclub.

I followed her immediately, levitating smoothly upwards into the night far over the city of Los Angeles. The lights of the city shone from below us, even as the myriad stars twinkled above in that clear California sky.

“Ah, Rumanos,” said Jonnella Morrissey when I had reached her. “This is just like old times, is it not? Remember?”

I looked into the girl’s face. I could still swear that I had never encountered her before, and yet… there was indeed something bizarrely familiar in her expression -- in that look of extreme hatred and total, unmitigated evil.

“You have shown me that you are one of our race; one of the Watchers of the Daemon-Star,” I stated. “Nevertheless, I am certain that I have never met you before. Your form is not known to me. Again, one who calls herself Jonnella Morrissey, I enquire: Who are you?!”

“You know who I am,” she again replied with excruciating offhandedness. “You certainly remember our battles, our fights on this world and others.”

“When?”

“Long ago. Yes, I was indeed in a different form then -- albeit a human one, like this one is. It was then that I endeavoured to continue my lives-long programme to force our people, our high and mighty Algolite civilisation, on to even greater glories; to bring about our evolution into beings of pure ecstatic light! And then, THEN, I would lead them as the supreme and eternal ruler, and we would issue forth to work our will upon all of Time and Space!!”

I felt a cold chill of utter horror as her words brought back memories of the past, of my hazardous and supremely-terrifying confrontations with a most dangerous enemy -- one who was indeed the most notorious and infamous political criminal in all the vast annals of the aeons-long history of the Daemon-Star.

“It was in those days,” she continued, “before our now-legendary battles, that I poured so very much of my superior Algolitish sperm into this luscious young body. For in those days little Jonni Morrissey was just a juvenile ‘paranormal’ groupie and want-to-be rock singer; and I was, after all, perfectly possessing the body of the host of television’s Ghost Escapades, the now-late Zef Bazans. Ah, yes, the body of this girl absorbed so much of my DNA that I was able, after the destruction of my previous form, to draw my essence to it, and to totally possess young Miss Morrissey in order to continue my plans -- to prepare for my ascension to become the supreme rule of the Watchers of Algol!”

“The telegony,” I said, still in utter astonishment. “You really did use it to save your consciousness from destruction, you Time Molester! So you are, in actuality…”

“Yes! I am the one! The one who is the greatest of all in the history of the Watchers! The one who is hated only out of jealousy by our kind! I am the one! I am the one!”

“Yet you cannot be him! Gender-change is expressly forbidden by the laws of the Algolites! It is an hideously sinful abomination!”

This is indeed the case, though not for any homophobic or gender-biased reason. It is because of the horrid possibilities of what could occur with any being capable of both Time Travel and sexual reproduction. So horrible is the potential of this, that it is this very act that had resulted in the breaking up of that protective field of the Temporal Parameters.

“Such laws do not apply to me!” she then shrieked in answer to my accusation. “I am above all! The one -- the greatest one who shall soon rule all! I AM NEPHAL!!!”

Nephal. Well, blimming blooming bleeding Hell.

“Yes, Rumanos, yes!” continued the being now speaking through the form of Jonnella “Jonni” Morrissey with maniacal merriment. “I am the one! The one great, supreme, and immortal ruler of our Algolite Race! I am NEPHAL!”

As much as I wished it were at all possible to deny it, I knew that what she was saying was the truth. I could sense the presence of my old enemy. Nephal, forsooth the greatest political criminal in the vastly long history of the Watchers of Algol, had indeed at one time delivered himself from his punishment of perpetual imprisonment in solid rock by possessing the body of television “ghost hunter” Zef Bazans. Easily destroying the human soul of Bazans, Nephal had made the body his own and used it to continue his dark plans to force the evolution of our people into beings of pure energy, in its way returning us to the form of our Aeternusian progenitors whilst dangerously maintaining our physically-based sensations. To Algolites, whose own system of ethics forbids meddling with the natural cycles of the Universe, even to hint at the possibility of attempting such things is indeed a crime beyond any possible forgiveness.

In cooperation with the Absolute Convention of Daemonia, that highest ruling council of the Watchers, the Kosmikos and I had succeeding in defeating Nephal and his mad, utterly insane and diabolical schemes[*]. It was hoped that the evil consciousness of Nephal had been successfully scattered throughout the thirteen corners of the Cosmos, indeed dispersed among the immense reaches of Space and Time far beyond any possible repair.

[* The full chronicles of this are given in the accounts found in The Rumanos Files under the titles “Starfall” and “Fallen”.]

However, Nephal had now returned, having this time perfectly possessed the body of Miss Jonni Morrissey, a onetime fan and lover of Ghost Escapades TV host Zef Bazans. Yes, to my utter horror and disgust I had to admit that Nephal had returned and now he/she(!) was preparing to attempt a recommencement of the barmy scheme of creating completely non-physical Algolites and using them to rule over all other species of the Universe.

Do you understand the utter terror and disgusting depravity of this unspeakable, unnameable, and unnatural situation?!

“My secret following, the most blessed Cult of Nephal, await me on the home-world,” she proclaimed, “and now they shall assist the final transfiguration as I shall become supreme ruler of our people forevermore!!”

“You will not do it, Nephal!” I proclaimed to her. “I shall not allow you to return to Daemonia! You will not be permitted to change our people to suit your idea of ‘perfection‘! You will not be allowed to impose your iniquitous commands upon others!”

With this, I hit her with a profoundly powerful blast of my own bright-orange and blue Algolitish energies.

Nephal/Jonni Morrissey was forced backwards across the sky, but recovered all too quickly, throwing another bolt of her own energies at me. I was prepared for this, however, and managed to dodge it.

“You shall not stop me this time, Rumanos!” said she. “I have already prepared for my triumphant return to Daemonia! My will, bolstered by the psychic force of the adoration of the fans of Dirty Goat, has allowed me to do this…!!”

Suddenly, at Nephal’s summons appeared above us a large spherical vehicle glistening silver in the starlight. I recognised it immediately as a STraDi -- a primitive form of a DiTraS (pronounced “DYE-tress”) or Dimensional Transport Sphere, the Time/Space ship used by the Watchers. This, then, is what she had psychically built during her time as Jonnella “The Bitchy Witchy“ Morrissey, would-be rock star. Buggers.

Then, an even more hideous thing happened. Before I could even begin to protest, Nephal, there in the form of Miss Jonni Morrissey, took my face between her hands and kissed me full on the lips. Whilst I attempted to recover from the utter and complete disgust that I felt at this appalling and revoltingly unnatural abomination, Nephal flew upwards and entered the STraDi, activating its engines and dematerialising the craft into the Space/Time Current.

Therefore, I was left hanging in the skies above Los Angeles, California, as the wicked and evil Nephal travelled onwards to attempt her demoniacal plans in the home star system of our people: Algol.

“Sodding Nephal,” shouted I as the odd gasping and moaning sounds of the dematerialised STraDi engines faded from my hearing. “I would tell you what to go do with yourself, but you obviously already did that years ago!”

However, I knew that I had no time for such bizarre mental ruminations. There was still one slim chance left of my preventing the unmentionable Nephal from reaching Algol, and of stopping her from beginning what could very well amount to a reign of chaos among our illustrious people.

I flew quickly down to the corner of Hollywood and Vine, where I had left my own DiTraS travel machine, which is disguised in the form of a “Roman column”. Shooing away the inebriated prostitute that was leaning against it (and ignoring her offer to melt my popsicle, whatever the blazes that means), I entered the ship and dematerialised it.

Soon, in the café-like control room of my DiTraS, I had appropriately set the controls and was hurtling through the eldritch grey mists of the Space/Time Current -- in pursuit of the execrable Nephal. I saw her STraDi on the view-screen and prepared the only way now possible to stop her: temporal collision!!

If I could manoeuvre my DiTraS to occupy the same exact point of the Current as her STraDi even for one infinitesimal moment, she would then be stopped, her human body and travel machine destroyed. Nevertheless, it was also very probable, in fact quite all but certain, that this action would destroy my machine and me as well.

“Goodbye Katrina, my love, my darling wife,” I whispered as I prepared to ram my DiTraS into the rear of the evil Nephal’s STraDi. “Goodbye, Ehrich, my noble son, and my dear little daughter, Karen. I am so very proud of you. I know you will all understand why I had to do this. If I did not, the Universe would not be safe for you or for anyone else ever again.”

And then, contact happened between the two ships, and immediately all was darkness…

To my surprise, I woke up a short time later, on the floor of the DiTraS control room. I had an headache you would not blooming well believe, but I was unharmed. The circuitry of my ship had switched to minimal autopilot mode, and I soon enough set things aright. My own craft, of a much more advanced and sturdy type than Nephal’s, had survived the impact. As for me

“Right,” said I. “I do sometimes forget that I am immortal.”

The other ship had been completely obliterated, and there was no sign of Nephal’s Algolitish consciousness within the Current. I hoped and prayed that it had this time been scattered beyond reconstruction to the farthest reaches of Cosmic Space and Time.

I prepared a psychic message, by my authority as an Operative of the Kosmikos, concerning the details of my encounter with Nephal and sent it through the Current addressed to the Universal Overseer of the Absolute Convention of the Watchers, and then returned to my headquarters on Earth for a much-needed rest. …

In the capital city of the planet Daemonia, central world of the amazing civilisation of the Watchers of Algol, the Universal Overseer, eminently respectable and venerable in his robes of office, delivered the psychic record that I had sent him to its intended place in the Secret Archives. The recording took the form of a tiny point of blue light, which could be held in the hand.

In the dimly-lit room of the library antechamber, the Overseer handed the recording to the Keeper of the Secret Archives.

“Be certain this psychic recording is properly preserved, Master Keeper,” said the Overseer. “It is of invaluable importance to the future of our Republic.”

“Yes, Master Overseer,” replied the Keeper.

The Universal Overseer then turned and left the Archives to return to his duties in the capital. He did not see the utterly wicked sneer that crossed the face of the Keeper as the latter slipped the recording into the pocket of his black coverall garment. It was in no event going to be added to the archival library for preservation.

The Keeper’s visage was one not recognised on Daemonia, but it was one that would be known to Earthlings who happen to be fans of old “paranormal reality television” shows. It was the face of ZEF BAZANS!!!

DANIEL RUMANOS SHALL RETURN

YOU KNOW MY NAME


***** A NEW TRUE WEIRD ADVENTURES IN SPACE AND TIME ESPIONAGE THRILLER!!! *****

[As the mentalist communications continue to be received from Lord Doctor Daniel Rumanos concerning the incredible adventures that he and Lady Katrina Rumanos continue to have in their myriad travels throughout the unspeakably and unknowably vast reaches of Time and Space, he has made it clear that there still numerous stories remaining from those many other eras of his long career that shall even now be instructive to the members of that august and elite student body which has become known to us upon this world as the League of the Daemon-Star. Seeing as the only occurrence that could possibly summon the Doctor and Lady Rumanos back to Earth -- due to their current and ongoing assignment with the Kosmikos or Cosmic Intervention Department of Algol -- would concern the total breaking down of certain extremely-necessary celestial and temporal barriers (a breach which indeed could only happen as the results of  specific and unnameable actions that are undeniably far too unmentionably terrible and heinously criminal for any sane contemplation), it certainly behoves us to proceed with making the full and complete truth of these extraordinary accounts available now. With this, Dr. Rumanos accordingly sends along his most puissant blessing, along with a timely reminder of the fine motto of his own most noble and exclusive alma mater, Daemonia Academy: FAITH NEVER FEARS. - The Analogue]

DANIEL RUMANOS, Scientific Investigator read the sign outside of the large, Gothic-styled building, located as it is atop a lofty escarpment in the very centre of the posh Roland Park area north of the bizarre and mysterious city of Baltimore, Maryland. A beautiful young woman with blonde hair and sapphire-blue eyes, wearing a modest turquoise-coloured dress, stood before it, her slender figure trembling slightly. She took a deep breath before pulling the rope to ring the bell at the massive, ornate door before her. The chime sounded a deep and sonorous toll, indeed quite like the type of tone that might be heard in a mediaeval cloister. The door then immediately opened with a low creaking sound, but no one was visible on the other side of it.

A long and high-ceiled yet rather gloomy hallway opening before her, the girl tentatively stepped inside. There were several large doorways leading off the immense main hall, but only one was open, and she was pleased to see a light burning inside the room to which it led.

In the room, a tall, lean-muscled, outstandingly-handsome gentleman with dark hair, striking Anglo-Semitic features, and a strangely-pale complexion stood behind an antique desk. He was dressed in an dark, silk suit and jungle boots. The man was me.

“Good afternoon,” I said. “I am Doctor Rumanos. You must be Mindy Doyle, then? Please have a seat and tell me all the details you can concerning the case that you telephoned me about.”

“OK,” said the young lady. “I’ve heard so much about you, and thought maybe you could help since it looks like this has to do with, well… Magic.”

I am indeed the world’s foremost expert on what is often referred to as the Magical Arts, and am perfectly adept at both the so-called “supernatural” and entertainment varieties of the same. Therefore, you could certainly indeed say the young damsel had come to the right place. Notwithstanding this, do please allow me to explain in further detail…

You know my name. It is indeed Doctor Daniel Rumanos, Literary Illusionist and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Even though I have the appearance of an human being, I am in reality far more than this. For I am actually many thousands of years old, and do carrying within my blood the vastly superior genes of the legendary Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL, this extraterrestrial heritage granting me those various powers and abilities that forsooth appear as “magic” to the people of Earth.

Although most Algolites keep to themselves, content to merely observe the goings-on of the rest of the Universe, their intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, I am one of a deeply secret organisation (plausible deniability, and all that) among our people known as the KOSMIKOS, and am by this dedicated to helping the innocent and to protecting them from any and all who would harass, harm, or exploit them. This, in conjunction with my related work as a private investigator, is what has led to my numerous weird and wondrous adventures!

The girl then proceeded to tell me about the experience which she had recently had. It concerned an old book written in an obscure, archaic dialect of Arabic, which her late father, a world-traveller and collector of unusual artefacts, had acquired at a bazaar in Baghdad, Iraq many years before. Upon her father’s death, Mindy had inherited the unusual volume -- her mother having no interest in the late gentleman’s “weird baubles”, as she called them.

All had been well until a night one week previously, when Mindy Doyle had been wakened by a strange flash of light in her bedroom. She immediately saw a figure enshrouded in a black, hooded ceremonial robe standing before her bed, its back to her. To her horror, the lass found she was paralyzed -- unable to move or speak!

The darksome figure immediately began rifling through the volumes in Mindy’s bookcase, and soon removed the odd Arabic volume which it them tucked carefully under its arm and quickly walked to the other side of the room. As it moved, the figure briefly turned its face toward Mindy as she lay helpless upon the bed. It was a man with a wide, heavy face, intense eyes, and a full, wickedly sensuous mouth -- a face of indulgence and unspeakable debauchery.

The man continued to cross to the other side of the room and, with another flash of eldritch light, disappeared directly through the wall!! With his disappearance, Mindy Doyle immediately felt herself released from the preternatural thrall and could move and speak normally, though she was understandably still exceedingly frightened.

Do you understand, dear readers, the unnameable demoniacal horror that this innocent and helpless young lady must have experienced in this terrifying and ungodly situation? I in sooth do most fervently pray that you may never be subject to any similarly satanic occurrence!

After she had related this account, I asked her to try to describe the book’s contents to me as well as she could. Unfortunately, she could not read its language, and her father had never spoken of it due to her mother’s dislike of hearing tales of the strangely-exotic and out-of-the-ordinary voyages of his past.

However, Mindy did remember one especial thing about the creepy volume. A rather elaborate woodcut-drawing within it. An illustration of an huge, hideous peacock-like creature standing over what appeared to be a sacrificial ceremony in which a little child, its gender indiscernible, had been sliced fully open, its blood gushing out upon a stone slab which served as an altar.

As the young girl described this, the truth dawned upon me with horrid fullness. The book was likely the long-lost satanic bible of the terrible sect of the Yezidis, those obscene Devil-Worshippers of ancient Persia. It was book that could be used to call forth into full and grotesquely phantasmal manifestation nameless hoards of what humans call evil spirits and demonic abominations. It was in sooth one of the most horrifyingly dangerous volumes ever to exist. A book known to ungodly infamy as The Statement of the Shaitans!!

Some years before this, I had destroyed an especially noxious demonic cult in the Baltimore area known as “The Order of the Shaitans“. The group’s leader, a certain Reginald Lorimar “Ron” Mershon II (also known as “Mephisto the Hypnotist“, amongst other aliases), was killed after a long, perilous occult fire-fight with me [*]. After the sect’s ending, I accordingly purified various belongings that I had gotten from them, ranging from several “paranormal” relics to their old internet website domain, by properly using them for holy and sacred purposes. An unfortunate, but indeed necessary side-effect of all this shite and smegma is that I have since been confused at times with the late Mr. Mershon by the tabloid news media, who have often even claimed that he and I are actually the same person, that I am therefore secretly a Satanist, a pervert, and so on and on ad nauseam. This has indeed been a minor annoyance to me over the years, but such is life. I have certainly never let it stand in the way of my work as a wondrously fantastic Interplanetary Super-Spy and Scientific Detective, now have I?

[* The full account of this is given, in all of its horrible veracity, in the memoir entitled “I Was a Teenage Gargoyle”]

Of far more serious consequence is that this Reginald Mershon’s younger brother, Matthew, survived and went into hiding. The description young Mindy had given of the strange occultic burglar matched him exactly, and this, combined with the fact that the notorious volume known as The Statement of the Shaitans was involved, convinced me that the culprit was indeed Matthew Mershon, intent upon reviving the unsanctified worship of the Shaitans -- those “evil spirits“ of arcane Middle Eastern lore that are in actuality the life-essences of the unspeakable rulers of the ancient, now-destroyed planet Eblis -- and hence reclaiming his late sibling’s devil-worshipping legacy. Do you understand?

Nevertheless, how should I now track down this person and prevent him from bringing obscene spiritual chaos upon an unsuspecting world? A possible solution presented itself, albeit an hideously dangerous one.

Mindy Doyle had inherited the book from her father and had had it in her possession for several years since his death from an heart-attack. The book, especially due to it being a volume of powerful “sorcery“ (actually a manifestation of the advanced extraterrestrial science of the Shaitans of Eblis), would have then been imbued with a portion of the girl’s psychic essence, therefore forming a link which I could properly exploit in order to find the missing tome.

Fortunately, Mindy immediately agreed to allow me to do this, though I was of course careful to warn the dear little damsel of the many horrible hazards to which this would most certainly expose her.

Night was falling by the time I had finished preparations for the séance-like experiment that we would need to perform. This was perhaps fortuitous, as all psychical energy, whether utilised for good or for evil, is said to be far more powerful during the hours of darkness, but we had absolutely no time to waste in waiting to begin.

After lighting three white candles, I proceeded to make several “Magical passes” over Mindy whilst saying certain obscure Cabbalistic formulae (this ancient and holy mystical system being itself an echo of the science of my own incredibly-advanced race, the Watchers of Algol) in a whispered chant. I soon received the impression that the book, and the depraved individual who had stolen it, were currently ensconced somewhere in the Canton neighbourhood of southeast Baltimore City. However, I just could not get it any more precise. Apparently, this execrable villain, aided by the “magical” science of Eblis, had managed to erect a mental barrier in his attempt to prevent any prying into his wicked plans.

I knew that there was only one way to overcome this: Direct and immediate confrontation! I accordingly donned my leathern greatcoat and safari hat, then taking the girl in my arms and concentrated deeply on the location of the book and its purloiner via her telepathic link, and called forth the necessary Algolitish power to teleport us together to their location.

We vanished anon from my office site and re-appeared in a dark, dank cellar in the Canton area. At the opposite end of the room was a makeshift altar with the figure of a distorted peacock --the unholy symbol of supreme satanic pride -- painted upon the wall above it. Before the altar stood a tall figure in the black, hooded vestment as I had expected. I perceived that he had forgone the use of human sacrifice in favour of the far more dangerous sexual substitute -- an horrid and ungodly occult method of masturbation, spilling the seed upon the altar as a “child sacrifice” to the terrible, demoniacal gods!

The repulsive Satanist had just completed this unholy act when we arrived, and indeed the chamber absolutely reeked of the unholy odour of his sweat and semen. He then slowly turned to face us and, as I looked into his cruel dark eyes and saw his thick, sickeningly indulgent lips I knew that I was correct: This was indeed the aforementioned brother of my former obscenely evil, foul, and monstrously immoral foe. This was indeed Mr. Matthew Mershon.

“Professor Rumanos, this is a surprise,” he said with a chuckle revealing that his words were not quite in earnest. The dark forms of myriads and myriads of horrendously puissant evil essences were already swirling around him as his greasy skin, dripping with perspiration, glistened obscenely in the dimly-lit cellar. “And accompanied by some cute little schoolgirl, of course. Well, I guess some things never change, do they, you old hebephilic hero and alien private dick? As you can clearly see, I have already completed the Yezidi Invocations. Brother Reginald is now avenged! The power of the Shaitans is mine, and soon the world, and indeed the very universe, will kneel before me! Rumanos, YOU ARE TOO LATE!!”

Can you even begin to comprehend the unspeakable terror, the hideous shock of this situation? I truly hope that you do not, because to understand this fully could send you into uncontrollable paroxysms of fear, and perhaps into total screaming madness without end!

Mindy Doyle screamed with extreme terror and cowered in the corner of the basement as a seemingly endless stream of the eldritch, howling demonic Shaitan spirits infesting the room began to drift quickly towards her. I had just barely enough time to utilise my alien abilities in order to throw a quick orange-and-blue Algolitish energy circle of protection around the innocent maiden’s slender form before the grotesque phantasms were able to succeed in reaching her.

“It is no use, Daniel Rumanos!” shouted my dark-visaged opponent, between grotesque and utterly insane peels of his obscenely maniacal laughter. “You have lost! I have conquered! I! The Satanic Embassy is reborn! I, Matthew Mershon, am now Grand Master of the Order of the Shaitans!!”

Nonetheless, there happened to be something that the bloody occult wanker simply did not realise. I accordingly clutched the lapels of my old leather greatcoat and clearly spoke the words of a certain powerful evocation in ancient the Algolite language. It was a calling that included the invoking of the strength of the legendary Gargouellios or “Gargoyles” of the ancient Continent of Mu, they who opposed and battled the wicked Shaitans for ages undreamed of -- indeed aeons long before the very first primate ancestors of Man had even appeared upon the planet that you now know as Earth.

Then, in answer to my summoning, between Matthew Mershon and myself suddenly appeared another form: it appeared to be a ghostly apparition, the spirit of the very individual from whom I had appropriated the coat so long before -- Matthew’s brother, Reginald L. Mershon II!

“Brother Matthew, you little punk!” said the supposed phantom, dressed as of old in his carnie splendour, his features a better-looking version of his mad younger sibling. “I should have expected this sort of thing from you! You always were so frigging jealous of me!”

“Ronnie, I…” stammered Matthew Mershon in shocked astonishment, address his brother by the latter‘s childhood nickname. The Satanist’s concentration thus weakened, the terrible and ungodly spirits of the Shaitans of Eblis then began to swirl back to their other-dimensional abode.

“You are not ‘Grand Master’ of anything!” continued the image of the elder Mershon brother. “Never! You will join me now in Hell and find that I have an understanding arranged with its lord, the mighty Lucifer-Astaroth himself! Yes, even there you will find that I am your superior!”

With this, Matthew Mershon fell down quite dead upon the cellar floor, his own life-essence (that which mystics know as the “soul“) then going along with his wicked brother’s and their sickeningly-beloved Shaitans to the dark underworld of the damned -- forsooth that inter-dimensional goal set up by the Kosmikos specifically for the imprisonment of obscenely evil creatures such as this!

It was just breaking dawn as the girl and I left the now-deceased Matthew Mershon’s basement apartment. I had taken that accursed book, the horrid volume known to eternal horror as The Statement of the Shaitans, but had left the malefactor’s corpse for the police to find. I was quite certain that they would just take it for yet another Baltimore crack-house death or something along those lines.

Mindy Doyle and I then stopped for breakfast at a local café, and I was pleased to see that the poor young maiden appeared to be recovering as well as could be expected from all the grotesque and arabesque horrors that she had recently witnessed. She was of course a bit nervous and rather quiet, but appeared to be otherwise unharmed.

“I really am so very sorry that you had to be exposed to such things,” I told her. “I suppose most people are fortunate to be able to go through their lives never even knowing about the truly abominable creatures that lurk in this world.”

“I’ll be OK,” she answered with a weak yet nevertheless sincere smile. “You helped me and you saved me from those… those things. I guess that ugly guy would have taken over the world if we hadn’t been there, right?”

“Yes,” I said. “That is, hideously enough, indeed quite possible.”

“I really think you had better keep that old book, you know.”

“Indeed, that is a first-rate idea. I shall put it away in my collection of arcane and unusual artefacts, where I can be completely certain that it will henceforth do no more harm. In any event, I do fervently hope and pray you will be all right now and always, and that you shall not hesitate to contact me and to let me know if there is ever anything, anything else at all with which I may assist you.”

“I will do that. I promise,” said the dear little lass as she smiled bigger and then gave me a friendly kiss. “Dr. Daniel Rumanos… You are AMAZING!!”

So ended this bizarre and momentous case, it being indeed only one of so many in my long and incredibly adventurous career as a Scientific Investigator and Extraterrestrial Detective. You know my name:  RUMANOS -- DOCTOR DANIEL RUMANOS!!!

DANIEL RUMANOS SHALL RETURN

THROUGH THE EMPIRES OF ETERNAL VOID


A NEW OUTER SPACE MYSTERY FROM THE TRUE WEIRD ADVENTURES OF DOCTOR DANIEL RUMANOS!!!

PART I

“According to the Chronology Calibration Scanner,” said I whilst gazing intently at the self-same instrument upon the control panel of my Space and Time Ship, “we are now at a period of history more than a million years in the future!”

“Holy Flapdoodle!” said my wonderful wife, who, despite the myriad adventures that we have had together across so many aeons of existence, has never lost her supremely marvellous sense of wide-eyed wonder. “We’re doing the Time-Warp again! But where are we going, love? To what planet, I mean?”

“Well, it appears the planet is one known in the record banks by the name of Manverkoss,” I replied. “Nevertheless, even the Kosmikos seems to know very little about it -- at least officially, of course -- but there seem to be hints and rumours of what appears to be some kind of fascist dictatorship upon this world arising in this era; one that would seek to wipe out or enslave the other inhabitants of the planet, before then possibly venturing out in an attempt to spread their totalitarian tyranny and racial hated across this galaxy!

“Our mission, my love,” I went on, “is to find and stop this horrendous uprising of fascism, and to help those whom it would seek to persecute!”

“Of course we will do that, babe,” she answered sweetly. “Helping people and saving them from horribly dangerous and disgustingly unholy evils --- it’s what we do!!”

My name is Dr. Daniel Rumanos, Literary Illusionist and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Even though I have the appearance of an human being -- indeed a tall, strongly-muscular gentleman with dark hair, strikingly handsome Anglo-Semitic features, and strangely-pale skin -- I am in reality far more than this. For I do carrying within my blood the vastly superior genes of the legendary Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL, this extraterrestrial heritage granting me various powers and abilities that appear as “magical” or “miraculous” to people of less-advanced cultures.

Although most Algolites keep to themselves, content to merely observe the goings-on of the rest of the Universe, their intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, I am one of a secret organisation among our people known as the KOSMIKOS, and am by this dedicated to aiding the innocent and to protecting them from any and all who would harass, harm, or exploit them.

I am greatly assisted in this by my stunningly-beautiful and eternally-youthful wife, Lady Katrina Olivia Rumanos. Originally an Earth-girl, indeed a maiden of the noblest Scottish ancestry -- tall and slender with gorgeous ginger hair, lovely azure-blue eyes, and a complexion the shade of purest alabaster -- she has been augmented by the Kosmikos with incredible powers of her own -- powers that enable her to assist me and to be my companion in my numerous weird and wondrous adventures -- our weird and wonderfully strange exploits across all of Space and all of Time; our awesome travels through the empires of eternal void!!!

Fortunately, our position enables us unlimited access to a DiTraS (pronounced “DYE-tress” and standing for Dimensional Transport Sphere), a fantastically-advanced vehicle by which Algolites facilitate travel throughout the vast reaches of all of Space and all of Time.

Forsooth, not even our status as the First Royal family of Daemonia, central planet of the Algolite systems, is of more importance than our ongoing crusade in the cause of justice, truth, and proper British manners. It is in consequence to this that we were currently on an exploratory expedition to a bizarre alien planet so very far distant from the world you know.

However, little could even we realise that, from the very moment of our arrival, we were being closely watched by a grotesquely-mutated alien race -- creatures of pure evil inhabiting a dark and strangely hidden city, far across the surface of the planet!!

PART II

“The radiation here is a bit high,” I said, reading the outlook on the control board. “It rather looks like the results of some long-ago use of atomic weaponry. Descendants of any survivors among the planet’s inhabitants would likely have had to evolve an inborn immunity. That sort of thing can take strange forms indeed: physical superiority in some cases, but in others, well…”

Even I could not repress a shudder at the unnameable implications of this.

“Is the radiation any danger to us, baby?” enquired the incomparably beautiful Katrina.

“Possibly,” I replied. “As you know, some forms of radiation are quite dangerous even to Algolitish constitutions. Still, we do have something to take care of that in this case, eh? ‘An ounce of prevention’, as the saying goes.”

I pressed some buttons and two café beverages (shaken, not stirred) appeared upon the near by table.

“Iced vanilla lattes!” cried Kat with unconcealed delight. “My favourite!”

“Of course, my love,” I returned. “As you know, I quite share your fondness for vanilla. They have been infused with the proper anti-radiation medicines.”

I picked up the drinks and handed one to my wife.

“Cheers, my beautiful one!” said I, raising my glass.

 “Awww! Cheers!” she replied sweetly, and we both drained our coffees with pleasure.

A porthole opened on the DiTraS vehicle and Katrina and I stepped out upon the surface of this alien world. It was a strange, desert planet, with only a few examples of harsh shrubbery to be seen in its seemingly nearly lifeless environment. I glanced back at our DiTraS, a model personalised for our own use as Agents of the Kosmikos, gleaming there under the planet’s twin suns. DiTraSes, though they usually appear in the shape of what some would refer to as the “flying saucer”, can be disguised to blend in with their surroundings via the use of what is known as anole circuitry. Ours, however, had gotten stuck in the form of a large “Roman column” some time before. Nevertheless, I saw no reason why it would matter in the current situation. No one seemed to be around to see, and the DiTraS certainly looked fine the way it was anyway.

I was wearing my usual silk suit, leathern greatcoat, jungle boots, dark spectacles and safari hat, whilst Katrina was resplendent in a magenta-coloured dress, a matching short cape, and riding boots. 

“There doesn’t seem to be anybody here, love,” said Katrina.

“Indeed,” said I, pondering. “I hope we haven’t arrived in the wrong Time Sector. It can happen sometimes, in these little-explored regions. Still, let us explore a bit and see for certain, hmmm?”

We walked for a while across the planet’s surface, and were just about to conclude that there was nothing of any particular interest to be seen when he perceived several figures approaching from the horizon. As they moved closer, we saw that they were a group of two dozen or so humanoid people, tall and well-built, with blond hair, a bluish complexion, and round, grey eyes. Their clothing, though poor and worn in appearance, showed some definite evidence of grace and taste.

The seeming leader of this group, a man a bit older than the rest, approached us with what appeared to be an expression of some relief.

“Most respectful salutations to you,” said the man. “We have most fervently prayed to the Sky God that he would send someone to deliver us, and our hope rests in you, most noble-appearing strangers!”

“I am Daniel Rumanos of Algol,” I replied, “and this is my wife, Katrina.”

“We do promise to help you in any way possible,” added Kat. “Please do tell, what has anguished you so?”

The group seemed to smile a collective look of relief at our response as their leader continued:

“We are the Verkoss, one of two races inhabiting this, our planet Manverkoss. Many generations ago, we fought a long and terrible war with the other species, which are known as the Manver. Both peoples were greatly decimated by the horrible weapons that we manufactured. While we, the Verkoss, lost most of our technology as a result, our Manver enemies instead suffered hideous mutations, becoming creatures of extreme horror, psychological insanity, and physical degradation. The live within a domed city and come forth regularly to hunt us. Their goal is yet to eliminate our race, to exterminate and annihilate us so that the horrid Manver will exist as the sole rulers of Manverkoss!”

“That is truly a tale of woe,” I exclaimed. “Please, do tell us this city of the Manver can be found, and we shall do whatever is necessary to prevent your enemies from harming you further.”

A collective murmur of approval then began from the assembled Verkoss, but it was suddenly cut short when a female of their number screamed in terror.

“Look!” the girl cried out. “The Manver have found us! They are here!!”

The young woman was correct, for at that very moment there approached, hovering several metres over the planet’s surface, a dozen or so creatures of eldritch nightmare. They were each about the size of a man’s torso -- but it is there that any semblance to sane physicality ended. For these monstrosities were nothing more than persistently pulsating masses of disgusting tendrils, intertwined with cybernetic spirals of metallic material. Their flesh was a sickly yellow, and each of them had two ebon slits for eyes, nearly hidden by their repulsive, tentacular forms.

Suddenly, as the Manver swooped down upon the Verkoss, they shot an hideously powerful ray of red energy directly into the fleeing group, whilst exclaiming with odd, electronically enhanced voices:

“Eliminate! Eliminate!! ELIMINATE!!”

PART III

The hideously tentacled, sickly-yellow Manver swooped down with terrible quickness upon the helpless, scattering Verkoss, all the while blasting their horrid death-rays and screeching with grotesquely-shrill, electronically-enhanced voices:

“Eliminate! Eliminate the Verkoss race! ELIMINATE!”

Can you understand the terror, the horror of this?! I sincerely hope that you cannot, dear readers. However, if you can, it indeed may very well send you into trembling paroxysms if eldritch and unmentionably ghastly fear.

I glanced at my wife and saw her gorgeous blue eyes smouldering with righteous indignation. Together, we activated our own awesome powers, valiantly flying upwards directly at the attacking Manver creatures, whilst I cast forth bolts of my incredible orange and blue energies, and Katrina her most wondrous vermillion and violet fire!

The Manver attempted to turn their deadly rays upon us, but soon perceived that it had no effect. Overwhelmed by our defence of the Verkoss, after several Manver had been destroyed by our amazing abilities the remaining number of them turned and fled with astounding swiftness above the desert landscape of the planet.

I briefly considered the possibility of chasing the retreating Manver in order to conclude the confrontation, but then considered it better to see to the condition of the innocent Verkoss. Kat and I accordingly returned to the ground.

The Verkoss had scattered, and it is indeed sad to relate that some of them had been hit directly by the Manver rays and killed instantly. I soon found the Verkoss leader, who was rather taken aback but physically unharmed, and conferred with him, seeking information on what could be done to stop any further attacks from the wretched Manver.

The Verkoss leader informed me that the legendary domed city of the Manver could be found only by a treacherous trek through a tunnel into the large underground cavern in which it was situated. In the city was said to be the Manver power source, a central system that ran the cybernetic life support system by a wireless antenna to each Manver. If this could be found and deactivated, the mutated creatures would cease to survive.

Unfortunately, the precise location of the Manver city was unknown, having been lost to history long before, therefore disallowing the possibility of me using my Algolitish teleportation powers to enter it and to thenceforth destroy the power source. The aforesaid journey through the tunnel was the only way, and there were grotesque rumours of a gruesome monstrosity that guarded the way to the city; a creature known as the Shermonnor.

I accordingly readied an expedition to find the city, accompanied by a company of several of the most stalwart of the Manver men. The rest were left to bury their dead and to seek shelter against any further attack. Though she hesitated to even temporarily part we me, I insisted that Katrina stay to aid and protect them.

We shall not herein dwell upon the details of the entire journey across the desert wilderness and into the underground tunnel. Suffice to say that I and my Verkoss companions encountered several minor adventures along the way, but nothing -- absolutely nothing -- was allowed to prevent our purpose: to find the city of the evil Manver, and to destroy the power source of the latter, therefore preventing those disgusting mutations from continuing to pursue their genocidal intentions upon the Verkoss race.

(During our journey, the Verkoss informed me of various legends and traditions concerning the past of their world. It seems that at one time they and the Manver were of one great race, indeed the very “Manverkoss” for which the planet was named. This humanoid, originally green-skinned species eventually split into two warring political parties, eventually evolving apart into the yellow-hued Manver and the blue-complexioned Verkoss.

It is the radiation weapons of the final stages of these ancient wars that led in time to the horrid mutations of the Manver, both physically and mentally, into repulsive monstrosities of hideous appearance and profane, ungodly ethnic hatred.)

The tunnel was lit by a ghostly phosphorescence, and it is after the Verkoss men and I had penetrated deeply into the planet that we heard an uncanny sound coming from in front of us. An enormous, eldritch croaking noise. And then suddenly approaching us with a bizarre hopping run along the high-ceiled tunnel was an huge toad-like fiend; a monster of most horrible aspect and obviously quite deadly intent -- the SHERMONNOR!!

PART IV

The grotesquely obscene yellow caste of the Shermonnor, along with its slanted, darkly hateful eyes, bespoke of its origins as a genetic experiment of the Manver. They had bred the creature by unnaturally mixing traces of their own DNA material with an indigenous giant toad of the planet, and now used it as a guardian to their hidden city.

And now the horrid monster was racing down the underground tunnel, directly at the Verkoss and me, croaking through thick, flabby lips its hideous bawling bellow that quite eerily echoed about the rocky, high-ceilinged passageway.

My friends, do you recognise the incredible terror, the total and complete abject horror of this supremely demoniacal situation?!

I quickly sprang forward, casting a bolt of my mighty, seemingly miraculous Algolite energy directly at the horrid beast. It only succeeded in slowing the creature slightly, so primitive were its pain-receptors, but I continued in sending forth flashing volleys of power at the monstrosity. At last, the Shermonnor shuddered and, grotesquely, burst open with a splatter of most deplorably nauseating appearance and odour. The gigantic toad-thing, indeed that most freakishly-monstrous guardian of the entrance to the location of the darksome city of the Manver, was consequently destroyed.

I continued onward with the group of Verkoss men for only a very short time before the tunnel debouched into what was an huge cavern, which was in itself indeed numerous kilometres across. Centred in this most fantastically immense, toweringly lofty cave was our goal: the bizarre, black-domed forbidden city of the Manver!

It takes far fewer words to tell the remainder of this fantastic tale than would seem necessary to relate the incredible bravery of my friends, the noble Verkoss. Suffice to say that we found their way into the city and, deftly avoiding the unnameable hazards of any further direct encounters with any members of the horridly mutated Manver race, we finally managed to locate and destroy, by the use of my abilities and scientific knowledge, the power source. At this, we witnessed the the Manver, with their life-force thus severed, fell to the floors throughout their metallic city, now harmless and completely, entirely inactive.

It was soon after this that my beautiful Katrina and I found ourselves honoured as the greatest heroes in the historical annals of the planet Manverkoss, and a great celebration was held for us by the Verkoss in one of their desert camps. It is at this function that I presented a speech which would be an address of inspiration to the people of the Verkoss for all time to come.

“Soon, people of the Verkoss race, we shall have to leave you and continue our journeys to other worlds,” I spoke near the conclusion of his discourse, the lovely Katrina by my side. “The Manver are dead, and the Verkoss are now the undisputed rulers of Manverkoss!“

I was here interrupted by immense cheers and applause by the assembly of the great Verkoss people to whom we had become saviours.

“Be always strong, my dear friends,” I appealed. “The very future of your kind is yours to mould as you will. In time, the blessings of technology will again be yours, and no doubt, the noble Verkoss race will build a great civilisation, eventually adventuring forth intrepidly into the reaches of Outer Space. Remember to be always most refined and cultured in all of your dealings with the many other peoples of the Universe. Stand up for truth and justice, and for the ways of the Highest. Only thus shall you do honour to our memory, to the name RUMANOS, and to the name known throughout Time and Space as one of valour, fearlessness, gallantry, and courage -- the name of the KOSMIKOS of ALGOL!!”

My wonderful Katrina and I soon thereafter left the planet Manverkoss and travelled onward in our incredibly fantastic spaceship, the DiTraS. The Void was once again calling to us, and we accordingly blasted onwards through the unspeakably vast reaches of the Cosmos, among the Heavens, past the countless fields of the stars of infinite Space and Time, voyaging forever and ever throughout the Universe towards weird adventures anew!!!

DANIEL RUMANOS SHALL RETURN

THE LAST DAY ON EARTH


“Impotent ghetto trash,” muttered Gudrun Sterling under her breath. “That’s all I frigging seem to get anymore.”

Gudrun was a prostitute, plying her trade on the corner of MacHenry Street in the Pigtown neighbourhood of southwest Baltimore. Now age twenty-six, she was noticing a definite lessening of interest among the various “johns” who prowled the area looking for a hook-up. She knew she just had to accept the fact that she could not compete with the numerous teenage hotties walking the streets of what is known as “Charm City”.

Oh, she still made enough money to support herself and her two children -- though just barely -- but Gudrun just found it a bit bloody insulting that the only clients she got these days were lower-class street hoodlums (cruising the area looking for a “white bitch“ and unable to afford the younger ones), their manhoods ruined by narcotics abuse. She tried to remember how long it had been since she had really enjoyed a good, hard shag.

As these thoughts went through Gudrun’s mind and she attempted to smile invitingly at the occasional automobiles that passed by on this none-to-busy evening, she suddenly perceived a strange sensation. It was as if something was crawling up her back. At first she assumed it was an insect, one of the species of large, blood-sucking mosquito that haunt the city nights. However, before she could even move to swat it away she was overcome with the realisation that it was something far worse -- and much bigger.

Gudrun Sterling screamed in mortal terror as she felt the grip of numerous appendages wrapping around her body. But then, even this scream was cut short as she crushed into unconsciousness by the things, and then dragged to the open grating of a nearby sewer.

This was the last ever heard of Gudrun Sterling, single mother and ageing street whore. No trace of her has ever been found. Nevertheless, she was not the only person to disappear mysteriously around that time; a time the locals still refer to as that of the Pigtown Pestilence. …

My name is Dr. Daniel Rumanos, Literary Illusionist and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Even though I have the appearance of an human being -- a tall, muscular gentleman with dark hair, striking Anglo-Semitic features, and strangely-pale skin -- I am in reality far more than this. For I do carrying within my blood the vastly superior genes of the legendary Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL, this extraterrestrial heritage granting me various powers and abilities that appear as “magic” to the people of Earth.

Although most Algolites keep to themselves, content to merely observe the goings-on of the rest of the Universe, I am one of a secret organisation among our people known as the KOSMIKOS, and am by this dedicated to helping the innocent and to protecting them from any and all who would harass, harm, or exploit them.

I am greatly aided in this by my stunningly-beautiful and eternally-youthful wife, Katrina. Originally a maiden of the noblest Scottish ancestry -- tall and slender with gorgeous ginger hair, lovely azure-blue eyes, and a complexion like purest alabaster -- she has been augmented with powers of her own -- powers that enable her to assist me and to be my companion in my numerous weird and wondrous adventures!

On this particular day, Katrina and I had gone to investigate this so-called “pestilence” in the Pigtown area of Baltimore. Pigtown, so-called because of the slaughterhouses that used to be there, and the pigs that were herded to them from the local train-stop, is an impoverished neighbourhood, know for prostitution and narcotics dealing. The City of Baltimore had at one time attempted to improve Pigtown’s reputation, at least cosmetically, by changing its name to “Washington Village”. However, the area’s predominately-Caucasian population had very much objected to this (thinking it sounded somewhat “Negro”) and so it remained known by the unclean appellation of Pigtown.

Kat and I had left our posh north Baltimore headquarters and headed to the white-trash slum known as Pigtown in our canary-yellow Edwardian roadster, affectionately known as “Lizzie”. I was clad in my usual silk suit, leathern greatcoat and jungle boots, topped with dark spectacles and safari hat. My wife was resplendent in a candy-striped dress, riding boots, and a matching short cape.

It was in the afternoon on that cloudy day, and we had only just begun motoring amongst the largely-deserted byways of Pigtown when we suddenly felt a strange tremor.

“Holy Flapdoodle!” exclaimed Katrina. “It’s an earthquake!”

“I don’t think so, love,” I replied, after glancing in the rear-view mirror. “Look behind us.”

For just then a rift had opened in the very centre of the street just behind our car, and from it had burst forth an undulating mass of huge, grotesque, sickly slime-dripping grey tentacles!!

The writhing tentacles reached out for us, but fortunately Lizzie is no normal automobile. I have done some interesting modifications to her. I quickly flipped a switch on the dashboard and we immediately rose up into the air, hopefully out of reach of the waving slimy tentacles.

“Good work, babe!” exclaimed Katrina.

Then, as we flew over the city skyline, something occurred of absolute obscene horror. The tentacles, and the monstrosity to which they belonged, rose upward and began to ascend towards us! It was an eyeless grey creature, of a disgustingly phallic shape about twelve feet long, not including the horrid mass of threescore or more tentacles it had, which tripled its length.

“What is that thing, love?” Kat enquired.

“A Ceresite,” answered I. “An indigenous life-form of the asteroid Ceres. Just a mindless animal. They are very rare now, though some of them evolved the ability to exist whilst travelling in Space, and this one has apparently thus filtered down to Earth. They subsist by digesting organic flesh and the energies contained within it. It is unusual for one to emerge into the daylight, but they hunt by scent, and it must have perceived us -- due to our more-than-human status -- to be a potentially quite appetising meal!”

As I spoke, we continued to pick up speed as I guided Lizzie out and away from the city. We were going to have to battle this Ceresite, and it would be far safer -- in order to avoid injury to innocent bystanders -- to do it in a more open area.

I eventually landed the car in a vacant lot near the small town of Waldorf, Maryland. The Ceresite descended behind us and then the eyeless fiend hid itself in the darkness of a nearby stretch of wooded swampland.

Katrina and I jumped out of Lizzie and turned back towards the woods. Before we could look for the monster, however, we were interrupted by a man running over from the adjoining housing development -- a particularly squalid habitation of the State’s “blue collar” working-class.

“Hey!” he said. “That’s a cool old car! Wish I had one like it!”

He was a youngish White chap of medium height, thinly built with unkempt, mouse-brown hair and a scraggly attempt at a beard. This bloke was of the decidedly inferior type and wore a rather dirty T-shirt, ripped jeans, and sneakers with no socks. His sallow complexion and dull, rather glazed-over eyes bespoke of an addiction to drugs, most likely that most pernicious and ungodly weed known as marihuana.

“My name’s Dustin Gretz,” the imbecile continued. “Who are you?”

“I’m Dr. Daniel Rumanos,” I responded with as much politeness as was possible under the circumstances. “This is my wife, Katrina.”

“’Doctor’?” he responded. “Cool! Where’d you become a doctor?”

“A place called Daemonia Academy.”

“Never heard of it. Is it in Canada or somethin‘?”

“More than likely,” I lied.

“Cool!” Gretz went on idiotically. “I’m a comedian! I did a gig last month in Dundalk at the German Hill Bier Hall! I did a part in a short film called Bloody Tears too! I’m also gonna be the new host tonight on…”

“Look at that, Daniel!” interrupted Katrina. “Over there!”

I turned to the direction she was indicating and saw coming down the road a small bus painted a bright red and white. The lettering on the side of it proclaimed it the official transportation of the “Hadley High School Cheerleaders”.

The hungry Ceresite had already emerged from the woods and was descending upon the school-bus. We heard from it the horror-stricken screams of its adolescent female passengers as the hideous extraterrestrial monster wrapped its slimy tentacles around the vehicle!!

Before Kat and I could even react, the obscenely horrid Ceresite arose and began to fly upwards with the school-bus in its grasp. Apparently, it meant to take the girl-flesh filled vehicle elsewhere in order to consume its meal.

 I immediately activated my Algolitish powers and levitated up towards the monster and its intended prey. Katrina was at my side, propelled by burst of the wonderful vermillion and violet flame that is hers to command.

Dustin Gretz, who had observed these proceedings with open-mouthed idiot awe, suddenly turned and ran away across the field like a scared rabbit towards his low-income home.

“I must be havin’ a bad trip!” he exclaimed amid numerous profane oaths. “Either that or these people are really just a bunch of terrorists or perverts or Muslims or somethin‘!”

I cast a bolt of my orange and blue-black energies at the Ceresite creature. It dodged to the side with lightning-fast speed, still clutching the bus. Katrina attempted to burn it with volleys of her fire, but it managed to quickly avoid these as well. I suddenly noticed a bizarre flicker of four glowing circles within the monster’s upper body as it detected our powers. It seems that Ceresites do have a type of “eyes” after all, which are activated only when its senses detect a blast of energy or firepower!

The screams of the mortally terrified young damsels in the bus continued, although by now several of them had certainly fainted away in absolute abject horror at what was transpiring. The horrendous and sickening tentacles of the alien monstrosity clutched the vehicle in a constantly shifting mass of absolute eldritch terror.

Above all, we could not allow the extraterrestrial monster to get out of sight. It would quickly devour the pulchritudinous busload of warm, youthful maidens and emerge refreshed and ready to continue it reign of fear throughout the area. Katrina and I had to think quickly and be prepared to do whatever was necessary to save the teenaged cheerleaders and defeat the grotesque Ceresite.

We thus continued to fire volleys of our respective powers at the monstrous creature, but nonetheless it continued to avoid them with deft movements in every direction.

“What can we do, babe?” queried Kat as she hovered by my side, far above the ground there over Waldorf, Maryland.

“I have an idea, sweetheart!” I replied. “We need to be careful not to hit that bus full of innocent girls, but this might just work! Let us attempt to box the monster in!”

My wife immediately perceived the plan, and she then accordingly generated a fantastic semicircular burst of her wondrous, sparkling flame at the disgusting Ceresite creature whilst it was attempting to gain altitude.

Now, I must admit that I am not certain why what happened next occurred. It could be that the Ceresite was overwhelmed and confused by encountering Katrina’s flame. It could be that the creature was angry, or afraid, or -- if this seemingly mindless monstrosity could actually be capable of such thought -- just wanted to spite us. In any event, what occurred next was a terror beyond even all that had happened thus far on that exceptionally fateful day.

The Ceresite suddenly bolted downwards in order to avoid Katrina’s flashing fire. At the same time, it released the hold of its myriad tentacles upon the school-bus. The result was, as you may well imagine, quite obvious and yet dreadful beyond all rational belief.

The bus began to plummet and I beheld, to even my complete horror, that they would soon strike not only the ground, but also a large area of electrical cables stretching across the highway below!!

Can you recognise the absolute supreme terror of this situation, dear readers? For the sake of your continued sanity, I most truly do pray that you cannot.

I immediately generated a wave of my bright orange and blue-black Algolitish energies and directed it to just beneath the school-bus, and thus to just above the power cables. The bus landed on the wave that I had created, and rode across it down to the highway. Fortunately, the driver had the sense to just keep going when they had levelled out on the road, and the bevy of gorgeous teen cheerleaders was saved!

My energy wave then dissipated, and the Ceresite, still attempting to avoid Katrina’s flames, swooped down directly into the power-lines. Its strange senses had not detected the danger therein, and the horrid creature was quickly slain in a burst of electrical power that sizzled and burned the horrifying monstrosity to an unrecognisable husk of black gristly death.

“A bit of a shock,” said I.

The alien threat -- the hideous extraterrestrial monster that had become known as the “Pigtown Pestilence” -- now having been destroyed, my lovely wife and I returned to Lizzie and I drove the faithful car away from the area of Waldorf, Maryland.

Dusk had just fallen as we reached a roadside diner and stopped for a meal. It was a small, privately-owned establishment but seemed clean enough. We glanced at the menu and ordered spaghetti and coffee for two from our waitress, an attractive young Latina whose nametag said “Sarita”.

The pasta arrived quickly and was pretty good, served with a side-salad and warm garlic bread. As we ate our dinner, a radio on the front counter played some “classic rock” tunes broadcasting from a local station.

Nevertheless, the music came to a sudden end when a chat show was suddenly announced.

“Gooooooooooooooood evening, Baltimore!” said an annoying and oddly-familiar voice. “Welcome to Speak Your Piece here on WBUM AM Radio! I’m your new host, Dustin Gretz, and we are broadcasting tonight from our studios right here in beautiful downtown Dundalk!”

“Wait…” whispered Katrina to me. “Isn’t that…?”

“The idiot we met earlier!” I replied.

“Tonight on the show,” continued the imbecilic Gretz on the radio, “we have as our special guest my brother Brandon, director of the new movie Bloody Tears. Later tonight, two more guests will be joinin’ -- err, joining us! They are members of the cast of the American Destination channel paranormal TV show, Ghost Thugs!

"But first,” the moron went on, his voice suddenly taking on a note of feigned seriousness, “I need to report to you something I experienced earlier today, and to expose a dangerous threat to our great all-American community. It is a terrorist and sexual pervert known by the obviously fake name of Doctor Daniel Rumanos! He has been seen in the company of a very young red-haired girl that he has obviously hypnotised to use as his accomplice, and they are known to be part of all kinds of weird crap, just like all Islamists and everyone else who is not one of our beloved and pure All White -- I mean Alt-Right brethren and ummm, sisteren! Just today, this Rumanos character was seen by me to be involved in an act of perverted terrorism with a busload of underage schoolgirls! Lucky that I, your host Dustin Gretz, was there to protect them, which is why people now call me The Dustinator!”

This last announcement was punctuated with the pre-recorded clanging sound of a prize-fight bell before the moronic and deplorable Dustin Gretz persisted.

“Hopefully we have heard the last of this Rumanos sicko,” he blabbered, “but be on the lookout for him -- he looks like he might be a Jew or an Arab [Gretz pronounced it ‘AY-RAAB‘]! Remember, the creep probably will have that redhead with him, who likes to start fires and whose name I think is ‘Cat‘-something! They are very dangerous!”

“Oh my,” said the waitress with a wink as she handed me our bill. “Try not to run into those two.”

I paid for our meal, including a respectable gratuity for Sarita, and Katrina and I left the diner.

We were both silent as I drove Lizzie back to our long-time dwelling, the palatial Rumanos Castle, perched atop a lofty escarpment in the posh Roland Park neighbourhood to the north of Baltimore City.

I prepared myself a glass of malted milk in an attempt to settle my stomach, and Kat and I were soon standing together atop one of the highest turrets of that old gothic mansion which had been our home and headquarters for a so very long time.

“I am sick of this planet, my love,” I finally stated. “I am tired of these people and how they never understand. How no matter how much we try to help them, all they seem to know is superstition and HATE.”

“I know, babe,” said Katrina as she took my hand. “I know exactly how you feel.”

“My sweet little Kitty-Kat, we could do our work for the Kosmikos anywhere in the Universe,” I said, looking into her wonderful azure eyes, eyes as wondrously blue as the skies of Earth once were before humankind filled the planet with pollution. “I am an Algolite, after all. Eternity is my home. We could leave… right now… tonight!!”

I thought of our old Space/Time Ship, the DiTraS, waiting for us in its secret chamber below the house.

“This world is no longer my home either, love,” Kat replied sweetly, her hair shining like red gold in the moonlight. “Let’s go, and we can travel together in infinity forever and ever.”

This World Is Not My Home,” I mused whilst taking my wife, the wonderful and incomparably beautiful Lady Katrina Olivia Rumanos, in my arms. “I seem to remember writing a song by that title once, a long time ago.

“I suppose that is it for Earth,” I pondered. “We will not be able to return, you know, because of the Temporal Parameters. This world and its people are entering a new Dark Age that will last a thousand years. The best of them will be heading for Space themselves during the next few centuries, leaving this planet to barbarism and savagery until a new Enlightenment arises.“

And so was the night of what had been, for us, the last day on Earth; save for some ultimate words of encouragement that my Katrina, the Wonderful Heaven’s Hell, gave me before our departure:

“Don’t worry, love. There will be someone here to help those few good people when they need it. In fact, the ones whom you have inspired and taught how to help: The ESF, MI9, the Analogue, and your students -- The League of the Daemon-Star!”

“Yes, sweetheart, the ones whom we have inspired,” I answered, then continuing with a thoughtful grin; “I say, before we depart I shall leave some instructions for a member of the League; that girl Rosalie. She is one of my top students, and I shall instruct her to pay a visit to the studios of WBUM Radio. The young lady can do absolutely devastating things with a kris knife.”

COMING SOON
WEIRD ADVENTURES IN SPACE AND TIME
THE NEW SERIES