THE ADVENTURES OF DAEMON-STAR by Daniel Rumanos

THE INSIDIOUS BISHOP JAMES SHORT


I now knew for certain that they had been trailing me. I had left the downtown offices of The Baltimore Sunpaper, where I had been to drop off a press release concerning my stage magic act, when I had first noticed the two of them. They were young men, maybe early-20s, wearing white shirts with dark-blue trousers, matching-colour neckties, and black dress-shoes. They looked rather like the youthful “missionaries” that some Midwest-based religious groups send out to cities in order to recruit new members.

But there was something else about this pair. Something sinisterly elusive that I could feel concerning them. So, when I noticed that they were following me I started to think deeply about just who they could be.

I had walked several blocks toward the north-west of the city and was now entering the Bolton Hill district. I went around behind a large apartment-building that housed a diner, a convenience store, and a dry-cleaning establishment on its first floor. I glanced back and now longer saw the two men. Perhaps, then, I had managed to elude them.

Feeling a bit peckish, I went into the convenience store and purchased one of those large, freshly-baked (so they say) garlic pretzels. The cash-register girl was a cute blonde of about 16 or 17. Her name-tag said “Kimmie”. She smiled at me more than she does her ordinary customers, I am quite certain. But the rather irresistible attraction which the fair sex feel for me is already quite well-known, isn’t it?

I left the shop and continued my walk while eating the pretzel. Then the two young men who had been trailing me suddenly reappeared, coming around the corner only a very few yards directly in front of me!

They then raised their hands and sent forth a large blast of unspeakably eldritch, phantasmal and hideously demonic energy directly at me.

I levitated what was left of the pretzel in front of myself. I had already imbued it with a small portion of my mystic energies, strengthening the power that garlic naturally has against the demoniac forces. It absorbed the burst they had sent, and then dropped to the ground as a small mound of black ash.

“You will die now, Daniel Rumanos,” said one of the men. “You are an enemy of the most worshipful master of our faith; a hated foe of the children of the Sacred Harlot!”

Ah, now that sounded grotesquely familiar, didn’t it? Only a few weeks previously, the sickening, demonically-possessed woman known as “Ghosts-Demons” had used similar terms during her horrific bid to destroy me. Obviously, these two assailants were part of the same horrid cult of which she had been a member. But what was it?

“You’re out of your league, boys,” I taunted back at them. “Whomever the ‘most worshipful’ leader of your ‘faith’ may be, his powers cannot stand against mine. Seriously, give it up now before someone gets hurt.”

“Oh, you know who our Presiding Archbishop is, enemy Rumanos,” the other of the men replied. “He has waited long to have his revenge against you, and it will be powerful and glorious.”

Presiding Archbishop, I thought. Surely, they can’t mean… No, it couldn’t be.

Seeing then that they were preparing to throw another blast of Satanic force at me, I readied a magical offence of my own, sending a burst of orange and black Algolitish power at my two self-declared foes.

It hit them hard, sending them careening across the street. However, to my surprise, they recovered rather quickly and sent another burst of evil mystical strength directly back at me.

Using my powers of etheric suspension, I levitated above the ghastly blast and thus successfully avoided it. It hit the sidewalk and knocked a good-sized chunk of pavement into rubble.

Then, before I could hit back at them, I saw their demeanour change. A look of worship and slavish awe covered their features. “Behold,” said one of them, “Our master comes!”

It was then that the secret was finally revealed, for it was then that another man rose up directly through the ground -- his demoniacal power giving him this ability along with so many others. He was wearing all black except for his white clerical collar. I recognised his debauched and depraved countenance immediately.

It was that worst, most immoral, notorious, and nauseatingly wicked of fake, fraudulent clergymen -- My old enemy, Bishop James Short!

*****

Despite his surname, James Short is actually of slightly above-average height, being only a few inches shorter than what is the perfect height for a man. He is, in fact, exactly three inches below my own height.

Growing up the son of a beautician and an absent father in Louisville, Kentucky, Short had become enamoured of the “paranormal” after seeing a TV documentary on the now-deceased fake “demonologist” Ed Warren and the notorious “Amityville Horror” hoax. James Short immediately decided he wanted to become an occult con-man himself, and eventually started calling himself an “Archbishop” even though he had no actual credentials and had never been to seminary.

“Bishop James Short” soon became a darling of the idiot “ghost-chaser” want-to-be crowd, appearing at numerous “paranormal conferences” across the inbred South and Midwest of the country. Even though he had never been ordained by anyone whatsoever, he claimed to be an experienced exorcist and founded his own pseudo-religion, the United States New Catholic Church.

Along the way, Short had indeed attempted some real experiments in occultic conjurations, calling forth demons and pagan gods in his continued endeavours to gain power and serve his own wicked desires. Fortunately, I had been around to prevent him from bringing spiritual chaos upon the world, and in so doing I had become his most-hated enemy.

James Short, after one particularly nasty mystical debacle, had ended up serving a prison sentence for sexual crimes, brought about by his own predilection for pederasty. After his release, he had gone underground with his remaining followers (the naiveté of such people being, so it seems, limitless) and, as I was soon to find out, had then succeeded in forging an agreement with an ancient, eldritch, and hideously evil demonic power. He was currently the Supreme Head of the Cult of the Most Sacred Harlot, an organisation which at its beginning had falsely and most blasphemously claimed to be devoted to St. Mary Magdalene!

It was Bishop James Short who had sent the grotesque woman known as “Ghosts-Demons” (nee Cathy Lee Lang) to try to humiliate and/or kill me, and now these two “missionary” types on a similar mission. Bloody Hell.

I was soon to discover exactly what diabolical power the so-called “Bishop” had contacted in his latest demonic pact -- a ghastly force of darkness which had given him a horrid, phantasmal strength beyond any I had thought he would or could ever wield.

And even now, this same Bishop James Short -- the depraved, debauched and shockingly immoral false-priest -- stood before me on the sidewalk in Baltimore’s Bolton Hill neighbourhood!

“Hail Our Lord and Master!” chanted his two young followers. “Hail the Presiding Archbishop of the Faith of the Sacred Harlot! HAIL BISHOP JAMES SHORT!!”

I said nothing. Indeed, I had nothing to say to this worthless, corrupt fake “clergyman” -- this gonif and mamzer -- or to his sickening, insane disciples.

“Hello, Daniel Rumanos,” said Short. “The time is now that I will bring the human race to its knees before me and before the most sensual demonolatries of our Faith! But first, I will destroy our most despised archenemy! I, by the power given to me by the worship of the Holy Whore, shall now KILL YOU!!”

Then, with a smile of horribly degenerate wickedness spreading across his depraved facial features, Bishop James Short raised his left hand, revealing the ring upon his forefinger; the ring which held two large, blood-red gemstones within the sculpted claws of a bird of prey -- the long-lost, mightily-puissant Jewels of Atlantis.

From these grotesquely powerful Jewels he then sent forth a stream of incredibly deadly, crimson radiance directly at me!

*****

The stream of force hit me hard. The Crown Jewels of Atlantis have a power which is rumoured to be one of the very few things that has the ability to destroy one of my people, the Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL. The Jewels were the ancient power-source of the hideous reptilian race of Lemuria who ruled over the Atlantean humans for many ages. Even after the humans, with the secret aid of the Watchers, managed to overthrow the grotesque Lizard-Men, the cult of the reptile remained as an underground worship hidden among them. It was the act of the final ruler of Atlantis, the beautiful but wicked Queen Preskia, in attempting to openly revive this horrid cult which led to the necessity of destroying the Atlantean Continent.

So, I pondered, it is this long-deceased Queen Preskia who is remembered as the “Sacred Harlot” of James Short’s sickening “religion”!

The ring that Bishop Short was wearing I had last encountered in the possession of the vampire known as Thaskales, whose life-force I had later absorbed. The life-force of those who have used the magical power of the Jewels is forever imbued with it, and so it is only this that saved me from serious injury in now being hit with the blast from them. That doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt, though. It did. It was an indescribable agony!

I concentrated deeply to overcome the pain and then returned a show of my own Algolitish power at James Short. It sent him sprawling across the sidewalk, though the powers he had from the Jewels kept it from harming him as much as I had intended.

“So, Short, you bloody great sod,” I taunted, “what are you doing in Baltimore? Tired of the redneck rent-boys of Louisville and hoping to go more diverse? Or are you just here to annoy ME?”

Bishop James Short stood up. I could see some surprise on his face at the fact that the Jewels of Atlantis had not killed or crippled me.

“You will not escape, Rumanos,“ he retorted. “I am the All-Holy Archbishop of the One True Faith and you are an accursed scion of our most ancient enemies! Hear me Algolite: Your time is finished!!”

“Yes, yes, I’ve heard it all before,” said I. “In fact, I was there when the reptilian filth last tried to enslave the human race, in the final days of the Atlantean Empire. I saw them destroyed, or, to put it more bluntly: It is I who destroyed them!”

“Ah, but they were not totally wiped out, Rumanos! Pockets of the mighty Lizard-Men have continued to exist underground throughout human history, and now, soon, the Reptilian Emperor will himself rise -- and I shall be his vice-regent, his prime minister among the people of Earth!”

I now began to envision James Short’s mad scheme. I knew, of course, that the reptilians had survived in small numbers. They had even murdered a friend and colleague of mine, Dr. Anthony M. Aquino, and, according to a dark prophecy, would arise at the end of Time for a final attempt to destroy the Watchers of Algol. But I wondered, was this current threat actually a resurgence of the reptilian power, or was it an attempt by James Short to use their singularly puissant technology in order to further is own interests? The latter seemed more in keeping with his own history, as I had known of him in the past to call forth incredible occult powers of which he had no real knowledge how to control.

However, while I was considering this, something else was happening. I had forgotten Short’s two “missionary” servants while battling him, but now saw them dragging Kimmie, the pretty young shop-girl down the street towards their master, Bishop Short!

I started towards them immediately in a desperate attempt to save her from their nefarious clutches. But Short immediately hit me with another powerful and painful blast from the ring, delaying me just long enough for him to re-open the mystical portal through the sidewalk. He disappeared into it, along with his two followers and the helplessly captive girl.

As soon as I had recovered, I pursued them through the now-closing portal -- from there plunging deeply into the dark, dank system of secret tunnels that exist below the city of Baltimore!!

*****

Fortunately, I have trained my eyes to see in all but the most absolute darkness -- often a necessary ability in the particular and highly specialised employments of my paranormal career -- and so the plunge into the Stygian gloom of the tunnels only momentarily blinded me after the glaring mid-day concrete of the Baltimore City streets.

But it was long enough before my eyes adjusted. Long enough for James Short and his sick disciples to get way ahead of me with the innocent girl they had kidnapped for some hideous, unholy purpose. I would have to use their psychic trail to find them.

It was by now beginning to dawn on me exactly what the evil “Bishop” James Short was up to in Baltimore. If he was indeed attempting to achieve full contact with the remnants of the ruling Lizard-Men of ancient Lemuria and Atlantis, then the east-coast city of Baltimore, Maryland was certainly a far better local than his usual land-locked Kentucky headquarters.

Indeed, it was quite possible that there was a surviving enclave of the Reptilians somewhere in this bizarre system of tunnels -- these tunnels that were originally used for the smuggling of cadavers by Johns Hopkins medical students and by bootleggers during the Prohibition era. That they had not then been adapted for the use of the illegal narcotics trade was due to the inherent superstitions of most involved in such things, as the tunnels had long ago become known as meeting-place of certain eldritch cults -- and were said to be haunted by the demonic spirits worshipped in their arcane rites.

That the tunnels were also used by certain unlawful, horribly depraved sex-clubs only served to add to the probability that spiritual evil -- of the very type that could feed off the energies of a grotesquely perverted sexuality -- was indeed incredibly powerful here.

In fact, it was a quite similar system of tunnels underneath the great west-coast city of San Francisco that had been uncovered by my friend Dr. Aquino shortly before his untimely death. Fortunately, however, he had released the information necessary to destroy the particular group of Reptilians residing there before he was so brutally and gruesomely murdered.

The fact that the Lizard-Men have mastered the technological ability of slightly shifting themselves into an unearthly, inter-dimensional realm (where their Emperor has been imprisoned since the doom of Atlantis) is likely the only thing that had prevented me from discovering their presence in Baltimore before this. That Bishop James Short had obtained the ring with the Atlantean Jewels in some occult black-market is undoubtedly the case, itself as certain as is the supposition that he must have used it in order to obtain a dangerously strong link to the obscenely horrid reptiles so he could then continue to discover where to go in order to complete his impious evocation -- as he now likely planned to do!

Really, can you even begin to comprehend the horror of this -- the appallingly horrendous and ungodly fearfulness of this arrantly sinful corruption?! Consider yourself fortunate if you cannot, my dear reader, as the full realisation of this awesome terror, this unspeakably iniquitous malevolence existing so close-by the usual, everyday ways of humankind could be indeed more than enough to immediately send you screaming into a most absolute and completely irrevocable insanity…

I continued through the Satanic darkness of the tunnels in search of Short and his followers. I knew I had to save the girl no matter what the cost, and that I would have to use any means at my disposal in order to prevent the disgustingly profligate “Bishop” from possibly bringing hideous destruction upon the entire human race in his morally-repugnant, totally mad endeavour to use the ways of unrestrained sorcery to serve his criminally lustful ego.

It was then, as I turned a corner, a bend in the dark tunnels, a suddenly saw before me a huge, hovering, spiritually ebony mass of abjectly hellish, menacingly repulsive demons -- a horrible, eldritch conglomeration of most unspeakably ghastly and abysmally phantasmal horrors that began a terrible, howling cacophony of dreadfully unholy blasphemy and revoltingly profane filth while charging directly at me!!

*****

It is a question among those who dabble in the mystical arts as to why and how the monks of the Inquisition were able to overcome so many witches. The fact of the matter, as is known to Adepts, is that the Medieval monks could do so because actually it is they who had many more legions of infernal spirits under their command.

Now, James Short is certainly no monk, anymore than he is really a priest or a bishop, but he had similarly mixed religion with his profligate lifestyle in order to achieve the diabolical powers of calling up hellish demons to his service. That these demons were charging directly at me, unprovoked, proved that they were under Short’s command, protecting his lair from my entrance.

I immediately erected a psychic shield of pure, white light around me and began the mighty conjuration of the Bornless Spirit, a formula of exorcism I had used more than once in the past, and which I knew was the quickest way to send these spirits back to their infernal abode:

"Thee I invoke, the Bornless One.
Thee, that didst create the Earth and the Heavens:
Thee, that didst create the night and the day.
Thee, that didst create the darkness and the Light.
Thou art Osorronophris: Whom no man hath seen at any time.
Thou art Iabos:
Thou art Iapos:
Thou hast distinguished between the just and the unjust.
Thou didst make the female and the male.
Thou didst produce the Seed and the Fruit.
Thou didst form men to love one another, and to hate one another.
I am IPSISSIMUS DANIEL RUMANOS Thy Prophet, unto Whom Thou didst commit Thy Mysteries, the Ceremonies of ISHRAEL:
Thou didst produce the moist and the dry, and that which nourisheth all created Life.
Hear Thou Me, for I am the Angel of Apophrasz Osorronophris: this is Thy True Name, handed down to the Prophets of ISHRAEL.
Hear Me: Ar: Thiao: Reibet: Atheleberseth: A: Blatha: Abeu: Eben: Phi: Chitasoe: Ib: Thiao.
Hear Me, and make all spirits subject unto Me: so that every spirit of the Firmament and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry Land and in the Water: of Whirling Air, and of rushing Fire: and every Spell and Scourge of God may be obedient unto Me.
I invoke Thee, the Terrible and Invisible God: Who dwellest in the Void Place of the Spirit: Arogogorobrao: Sochou: Modorio: Phalarchao: Ooo: Aipe, The Bornless One: Hear Me!
Hear Me: Roubriao: Mariodam: Balbnabaoth: Assalonai: Aphniao: I: Tholeth: Abrasax: Qeoou: Ischur, Mighty and Bornless One! Hear Me!
I invoke Thee: Ma: Barraio: Ioel: Kotha: Athorebalo: Abraoth: Hear Me!
Hear Me! Aoth: Aboth: Basum: Isak: Sabaoth: Iao:
This is the Lord of the Gods:
This is the Lord of the Universe:
This is He Whom the Winds fear.
This is He, Who having made Voice by His Commandment, is Lord of All Things; King, Ruler, and Helper. Hear Me!
Hear Me: Ieou: Pur: Iou: Pur: Iaot: Iaeo: Ioou: Abrasax: Sabriam: Oo: Uu: Ede: Edu: Angelos tou Theou: Lai: Gaia: Apa: Diachanna: Chorun.
I am He! the Bornless Spirit! having sight in the Feet: Strong, and the Immortal Fire!
I am He! the Truth!
I am He! Who hate that evil should be wrought in the World!
I am He, that lightningeth and thundereth.
I am He, from whom is the Shower of the Life of Earth:
I am He, whose mouth flameth:
I am He, the Begetter and Manifester unto the Light:
I am He, the Grace of the World:
'The Heart Girt with a Serpent' is My Name!
Come Thou forth, and follow Me: and make all Spirits subject unto Me so that every spirit of the Firmament, and of the Ether: upon the Earth and under the Earth: on dry land, or in the Water: of whirling Air or of rushing Fire: and every Spell and Scourge of God, may be obedient unto me! Iao: Sabao: Such are the Words!"

The demonic shrieking reached a crescendo and then stopped with a most bizarre suddenness as the hideous spirits disappeared, dispersing back to their abodes in the Abyss of Tartarus according to my Words.

However, all was not quiet. I heard an odd chanting coming from close ahead of me. I continued onward through the subterranean tunnels until I came to a large chamber which had been decorated in grotesque Satanic splendour, the walls covered with horrid black and crimson-red velvet hangings, and filled with the smoke of sickly narcotic incense.

To one side, I saw the two young men, the “missionary” followers of the false Bishop Short. They were now nude, writhing together in obscene sexual activity while chanting the names of infernal conjuring.

But the chamber was dominated by the unholy altar in its centre, on which the young girl, Kimmie, was now helplessly tied down. She had recovered from her swoon, and now lay with her eyes wide in terror as Bishop James Short stood above her -- presiding over his disgusting, pseudo-religious proceedings.

James Short was now wearing gold-trimmed, ebon-black Satanic vestments -- with an evil grin upon his wide, debauched face as he lifted a large sacrificial dagger above the helpless girl and prepared to plunge it into her heart!…

*****


It was nearly 12000 years ago -- the day that Atlantis fell. I know, because I was there.

I had been sent back in time by the Watchers of Algol to deal with the matter. I had their full authority to do whatever was necessary to prevent the return of the Lemurian Lizard-Men -- those horrid creatures that a certain dark prophecy hinted could even one day be a danger to the seemingly-almighty Watchers themselves.


The story of the Fall of Atlantis is then basically this:

The beautiful but unscrupulous Queen Preskia, youthful widow of the much-older King Lamech, 10th in the line of Atlantean Monarchs, had revived the Cult of the Reptilians -- to her own detriment! The hideous Lizard Emperor Yisa’an now sat on the Throne of Atlantis, and Preskia now grovelled at his clawed feet like a debased slave.

All was seemingly lost. Only one thing could prevent Emperor Yisa’an from bringing his reptilian cohorts through time to enslave the entire human race -- and indeed to then go forth with their astounding Lemurian technology in a vast voyage of conquest across the entire Galaxy. A conquest from which perhaps no species in time and space would be safe.

That one thing had been for me to pronounce the Magical Formula that would lead to the destruction of the Atlantean civilisation. Before doing this, I helped the one truly good man I had found in Atlantis, Ut-Noach-Pishtim, to escape with his family. He would go to become King of the Atlantean colonies of Athens and Egypt -- colonies with which Atlantis was then at war due to the unspeakably eldritch influence of Yisa’an.

You see, Ut-Noach-Pishtim was the son of King Lamech by the latter’s first wife, and was therefore the rightful King by Law of Succession. But the wickedly ambitious Preskia had falsely disgraced him, and sent him into exile as a supposed peasant and farmer.

I knew that, with Ut-Noach-Pishtim’s wise and moral influence, human civilisation would have a glorious new start -- the new beginning now recorded as that after the Deluge which destroyed the prehistoric Empire of Atlantis.

And so came the day -- The Day that Atlantis Fell.

After I had seen to the safety of the Ut-Noach-Pishtim family and then had pronounced that most baleful Formula, during that one day and night in which the Atlantean Continent was obliterated, as the howling storms of pouring rain and the rising waters of the fountains of the great deep surrounded the once-mighty island -- I hurried my two companions to my waiting Time/Spaceship, the Dimensional Transport Sphere. They were my wife, Katrina, and our friend, my fellow-wizard Don Wengo. Don had briefly been chosen as consort to the evil Queen Preskia herself, an exceedingly unspeakable experience from which he was to never fully recover.

So then, as the walls of the Great City of Atlantis fell around us, as the Lizard Emperor Yisa’an bellowed his revolting reptilian voice in vows of revenge whilst he crushed the head of Queen Preskia in his disgusting talons, my Time-Ship faded from view, returning us the hopeful comparative safety of the future. Away from that Day -- that Day of horrendous terror, that day of madness and mass destruction and death unimaginable elsewhere in the history of the planet called Earth.

That was the Day, nearly 12000 years ago by the current human reckoning of time, when an Empire ended -- The Day that Atlantis Fell. Oh, truly how I have so very often wished that I could forget -- just entirely annihilate and forget -- the fact that I was there.

Indeed, if only it were possible for me to forget the fact that, in fulfilling my mission for the Watchers of the Daemon-Star Algol to save the universe from the baleful power of the Lemurian Reptilians, I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT DESTRUCTION….

*****

The false “Bishop” James Short was distracted by my entering his horrid ritual chamber. So, the evil spirits hadn’t occupied me for as long as he had hoped. This then prevented him from plunging the knife into poor Kimmie’s heart just long enough for me to send forth a small burst of mystical energy that sent the sacrificial dagger flying from his hand.

“That does it, James Short, you nauseating old pillow-biter,” said I. “You will not be allowed to make the sacrifice necessary to bring the reptilian monstrosities back to power!”

“Ah, but you are wrong, Dr. Rumanos,” he replied with the evilest of grins. “It is not my intention to bring the Lemurian Lizard-Men back to power. They are ancient, hoary, out-dated. It is I who will be master of this world, after they have eliminated all competition among other ‘spiritual leaders’ of the world’s religions. You know that they will not tolerate the worship of any but themselves, but so long as I pretend to worship them, they shall have me as their High Priest among humans. Then, when they have destroyed all other snivelling faiths, I will have achieved the power to rise above and to conquer even the Lemurians and will become the supreme ruler of all the Earth!!”

“Short,” I said in disgust, “that is unspeakably insane even for you. The Lizard-Men would have you as their slave forever along with the rest of the human race.”

“No! Nonononononono!!! I am Archbishop James Short! I am the most dominant being of the Earth! I am the One True God! The Almighty! The Eighth-Day Creation!!”

“Oh piss off, James. It doesn’t matter any more what your lunacy is telling you.” By now I had gone over to the hideous altar and was freeing the innocent girl from her bonds. She had, not surprisingly, fallen back into a semi-swoon. “I have now prevented you from performing the necessary ritual murder. You have not succeeded in opening the Gate that could bring the Lizard Emperor and his grotesque minions fully back into this reality.”


“Oh, haven’t I, Rumanos?” Short taunted with a chuckle. “Haven’t I?”

I picked up the girl in my arms and lifted her from the altar. My first duty was to bring her to safety. Then, I thought, there would be time enough to deal with James Short and his frigging bloody insanity.

As I began to carry Kimmie from the chamber, I glanced over and saw the Bishop’s two “missionary” cohorts. They were achieving the climax of their disgusting, unnatural sexual practices. It suddenly occurred to me that in my rush to save the young girl I had completely forgotten about their very existence.

“See?” said Short, his voice rising in prideful boast. “See? Brother Vince and Brother Robby have completed the true sacrifice -- the sacrifice of the seed of life itself into the deepest darkness of the fundament! The sexual, sodomitic sacrifice which will bring the Lizard-Emperor Yisa’an back into this weak, helpless world! The killing of that idiot girl was only to greater strengthen me so that I could better control and manipulate the reptilians! In preventing that, you would-be hero, you have only succeeded in bringing greater doom upon this planet!”

I stood there, still holding the girl, and I felt a cold chill of eldritch horror penetrate to the very core of my being. However, it was not simply emotion. It was a palpable presence. Something was coming. Something demoniacal. I wished to HASHEM I did not know what it was.

“But it matters not in the end,” continued the heinous, wicked, insidious Bishop James Short. “I will still prevail. In the final show of it, the power of the reptilians over human-kind will be MINE!”


By now a certain, definite odour had entered the room. It was the disgusting, acrid stench of reptiles.

I looked and saw, over the heathen altar, that a time eddy had formed -- and coming forth from it was the form a being gradually taking shape. A being of unmentionable, unspeakable ugliness. A being as monstrous in thoughts, deeds, and desires as it was in appearance. A diabolical entity that had before, millennia ago, held the Earth in the merciless grip of its wicked, Satanic, and unbelievably puissant power -- and would have absolutely no scruple against doing so again…

THE LIZARD-EMPEROR YISA’AN was about to re-enter our reality -- and then no one in this world would be safe!!!

*****

The unspeakably evil, duplicitous, deceitful, and ungodly “Bishop” James Short then hypocritically knelt in feigned obeisance at the phantasmagorical, monstrously grotesque form of the hideous Emperor Yisa’an which was slithering down the inter-dimensional corridor of the time eddy. Short held the Ring of the Jewels of Atlantis before his debauched face for protection. His two followers, Vince and Robby, similarly knelt in worship of the sickening Lizard-Man, their bodies covered in dripping, sticky perspiration and indeed far worse (and stickier) bodily-fluids from the horrid, disgustingly unnatural sexual acts they had committed in order to bring the unhallowed abomination back to this world.

And I stood there, holding young Kimmie in my arms. She was so frail, so small, so afraid -- yet unconscious of the actual threat that now faced her. She was, I thought, indeed so like the very human race itself.

It was this one, most-important thought which then gave me the moral power -- the courage -- to do what I knew had to be done. I quickly erected an impenetrable barrier of white-light energy around the girl and myself. Then I, Dr. Daniel Rumanos -- occult detective, psychic investigator, and supreme Magician of the Royalty of Demonia, concentrated on the form of the reptilian Yisa’an and again spoke that most incredibly awesome word of vastly-potent magical force which had once destroyed the mighty Kingdom of Atlantis itself!:

ANTHROPROPOLAGOS!!!

I screamed, bellowed, vibrated, and ejected forth that ultimate enchantment with all the strength and fury of my inmost being!!

Immediately, I heard the Reptile -- the horrid Yisa’an -- roar and howl in most abject fury as the time eddy reversed, returning him to his dark prison in another dimension outside of ordinary space and time. The eldritch Imperial Lizard then faded from view as the powerful aftershock of my spell sent a blast of destruction around the underground chamber. Bishop James Short and his two disciples burst into bluish-black flames for just an instant before they disappeared out of existence. Only the girl and I remained alive of the living things in that subterranean catacomb that astonishingly fateful day, protected -- though at that barely -- by the shield of positive mystical energy which I had managed to erect around us -- the shield of my compassion for humankind.

This, coupled just perhaps with the fact that Yisa’an had not as yet fully entered the dimension of our existence, may have indeed been the only thing that saved civilisation itself from being destroyed by the backlash of that Magical Formula -- as had Atlantis Oh! those many, many centuries ago.

I found the Ring of the Jewels of Atlantis there on the floor where James Short had been kneeling. It is now kept safely in my depository of extremely dangerous occult artefacts at the Temple of the Starry Wisdom that is my home high up on a lofty escarpment in the Roland Park neighbourhood of northern Baltimore.

I had anonymously dropped off poor Kimmie at the downtown emergency room of Baltimore City Hospital, where she then spent some time in the psychiatric ward before recovering as well as could possibly even be expected. Mercifully, the poor child has very little memory of the astoundingly phantasmal, senses-shattering events of that day.

I wondered though, about the evil, wicked, unholy and insidious Bishop James Short. He did certainly seem to have been destroyed -- totally obliterated -- along with his cohorts. But I also knew that he had absorbed a lot of magical power from the Jewels of Atlantis. I wondered if I had truly seen the last of him.

I am the one known as DR. DANIEL RUMANOS, the chosen representative of the Masters of all Space and Time -- the Watchers of Algol -- upon the planet Earth. I am the Living Icon of the DAEMON-STAR.