My name is RUMANOS -- DR. DANIEL RUMANOS, Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Although I have the physical appearance of an human being -- a tall, strongly-built gentleman with dark hair and strikingly-handsome Anglo-Semitic features -- I am in reality far more than this. For I do carry within my blood the superior genes of the legendary Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL; this extraterrestrial heritage granting me numerous powers and abilities that appear “magic” or “supernatural” to the people of planet Earth.
The vast majority of Algolites, Masters of all Space and Time, tend to live in isolation from the rest of the Universe. However, there does exist hidden deeply within the government of our people a secret service agency known as the KOSMIKOS or Cosmic Intervention Department. The purpose of the Kosmikos is to covertly intercede in cases that threaten the security of existence anywhere throughout the incalculable reaches of Creation. Plausible Deniability and all that. I am an operative of this organisation, stationed upon Earth from whence I work undercover in many varied amazing and incredible adventures upon Earth and indeed throughout all the unknowable vastness of Time and Space!! …
I was in Baltimore’s Federal Hill neighbourhood at the old church building that had at one time been the headquarters of the Temple of the Starry Wisdom -- which had since moved to better digs in the Roland Park area -- with my old friend Thomas Schickner, whom you know as the Werewolf of Baltimore. Tom, during the times when he is not all hairy and howling at the moon (actually due to a generational curse caused by one of his ancestors having meddled with extraterrestrial technology), is an accomplished folk-music guitarist, and was wondering if the former Temple was an appropriate location to host a gig for him. I had to admit it seemed like an interesting idea, that area being well-known for its music scene.
I was just showing Tom the large downstairs room with the stage area, directly below the old main sanctuary, when I paused for a moment to check my email on my mobile device. I found that I had just received a message from Tina Frasier, whom I recognized as the daughter of Professor Travis Frasier, the eminent naturalist, zoologist, anthropologist & c. with whom I had worked in the past. Prof. Frasier was out of the country, pursuing reports of possible living dinosaurs in Africa’s Congo region, and had left instructions for Tina to contact me while he was away with anything which may come into my particular field as an “occult detective” and all of that.
In her email, Tina explained that for the last several evenings she had seen a large UFO from her bedroom window! I emailed her back that my assistant (that would be, for the moment, the redoubtable Mr. Tom Schickner) and I would be over right away.
I could have just teleported there, of course, but Tom insisted upon driving his car to the house where Tina lived with her father in Annapolis, so I accompanied him that way.
We arrived and Tina welcomed us. She was a lovely girl, early twenties, conservatively dressed as befits a young lady of quality, with dark eyes and medium length brown hair. Her mother had passed away when she was very young, and the Professor had brought her up to share his particular interest in those cryptic animals and half-humans which may indeed lurk in the rarely-explored, dark corners of the world.
“So, how is the Professor doing in Africa, then?” I enquired of her.
“He is really enjoying himself, you know,” she answered. “The native stories of mokele mbembe, a dinosaur-like animal living there, have fascinated him for years. I’m going to be joining him on the Congo as soon as I finish my current semester at Maryland Notre Dame University, and I’m really looking forward to it!”
She was Travis Frasier’s little girl, alright. I recognized his enthusiasm and look of wonder on her pretty face.
“Now,” I continued, “tell us about this UFO problem you have been having.”
She explained that she had seen the bizarre, spaceship-like object for the last three nights, hovering over the house balefully, and that somehow she knew -- just knew -- that it would be back that very evening.
It was by now nearing sundown, so Tom and I stayed and waited. Tina served tea and some home-made raisin bread, which was really quite good. We chatted concerning various subjects, and I noticed that Tom, a bachelor, seemed indeed quite taken with the young woman. He is, of course, nearly forty years her senior, but I am not one to judge. I am, after all, at least several thousand years older that my own divinely beautiful wife, Katrina.
Darkness had fallen, and Tina suddenly glanced up with a look of trepidation on her countenance. I looked to the window and saw an odd, pulsating glow lighting up the thick, Cimmerian gloom of that night.
Tom, the girl, and I then went outside into the back-yard of the property and saw it -- a huge, cigar-shaped craft of obvious otherworldly, alien origin hovering with an hideously unnatural silence about a half-mile in the sky above us. Then, before we could even say or do anything, we found ourselves trapped in a powerful tractor-beam -- all three of us being lifted bodily upwards to an unknown fate in the uncanny, eerily-glowing extraterrestrial spaceship!!
We were unconscious for several moments and then awakened to find ourselves in the strange interior of the alien ship! It was a high, long room, lined with portholes through which I could see that we had moved far out into Earth-orbit. We were surrounded by a dozen or so weird, extraterrestrial creatures, about three feet in height, with small bodies surmounted by enormous heads. They were green-skinned, having large, completely black eyes, no visible nose and a small slit for a mouth.
“What is the meaning of this?” I demanded of them. “Why, this conduct of yours is absolutely outrageous!”
“I see that two of you are males of the species,” said one of the aliens, indicating, obviously, Tom and myself. “We had only intended to capture the female.”
“Why?” said Tina. “What do you want with me?”
“We are of the planet Slozeniria,” it continued in its bizarre, highly pitched voice, “and have travelled far to your system. All of the females of our species were killed by a disease, and we are the last of the males. We have determined that we are compatible with the people of your world, and you are the first of the many females which we shall take back with us for breeding purposes.”
“Breeding purposes?!” exclaimed Tina, indignantly. “And what if I don’t want to become the mother of an alien hybrid?”
“There is no reason for you to believe that you have a choice in the matter.”
While they talked, I had slowly moved over to what appeared to be the central control panel of the ship. The aliens seemed to have no interest whatsoever in Tom and me -- as I suspected would be the case, having had encountered Slozenirians in the past.
Looking up then at one of the portholes, I noticed the moon shining brightly through it, then I looked at Tom. The moonlight was already having its eldritch effect, and within a few seconds he had transformed into the huge, hairy, monstrous Werewolf of Baltimore!!
Within a couple of minutes, the grotesque Werewolf had attacked and ripped all of the Slozenirian creatures to pieces with its gigantic claws and mouthful of enormous, razor-sharp canine fangs, and the floor of the ship was covered with green, viscid blood and torn shreds of alien flesh.
The girl had screamed and run over to me, but I knew she was now in no danger. Even in his wolf-form, Tom Schickner would not harm her.
I had made some quick adjustments to the spaceship’s control panel and then reached underneath it to extract a round, crystalline component. It was the core of a warp-drive engine, and I slipped it into the pocket of my coat, knowing that I could certainly adapt and make considerable use of it in the future.
Then, as my adjustments began to have their effect, I called Tina and Tom near me and used my own Algolitish occult powers to escape by teleporting all three of us back to Earth. I had programmed the spacecraft to overload, sending it into time-slip numerous decades back, where it would crash-land in the area of Roswell, New Mexico, where I am quite certain it will cause no trouble whatsoever.
After we had seen Tina Frasier safely home, we were on our way back to Baltimore City in Tom’s automobile -- he now having, of course, returned to his human form.
“You know what, Daniel?” said Tom, “I’ve noticed something about your life.”
“Really?” I said. “What would that be, then?”
“Your life seems to be made up of college girls and monsters.”
“What can I say, my friend?” I shrugged, “It’s a living!”
On her eighteenth birthday, Letitia Windsor was being told that she was too old. Maybe she could become a ballet teacher, they said, but not a professional ballerina now. It didn’t matter how excellent of a dancer she really was, that she had practiced pretty-much-daily since the age of two, or that she was strikingly pretty with her slim figure, raven-black hair and big, brown eyes. If she hadn’t “made it” by now, no ballet group would take her.
But Letitia, whose friends called her “Letty”, had studied something else for much of her life in addition to ballet. Her father, an Englishman who had passed away when she was very young, had left some texts behind on the subject of Druidism, and Letty, who had shown some semblance of psychic power since a small child, had read and reread them. Her Italian-Catholic mother wouldn’t have approved, to say the least, so Letty did her best to keep her “occult obscurities studies” -- as she called them -- secret. So, here she was once again in her bedroom at her mother’s home in Coventry, Rhode Island, musing over the possibility of using Magick to attain her goals.
“Oh, I really would if I could just figure all this out,” she said sub-vocally. “To become a famous ballet dancer -- or a great Druid Priestess -- I would sell my soul!”
As if at her call, a sudden hot breeze gusted through the room, followed by a flash of eldritch blue-black and orange light. Suddenly, standing beside the bed where Letty had been lying in her thin, nearly-transparent nightgown whilst contemplating her fate, was a tall, pale but powerfully-handsome gentleman with long dark hair and piercing brown eyes, wearing a silk suit, a leathern great-coat, combat boots, and a broad-brimmed safari hat.
“Greetings, Letitia,” I said. “I’m Dr. Daniel Rumanos.”
She was momentarily speechless, but that not being the normal state of young women in general, she soon enough overcame it.
“Doctor Rumanos?!” she practically squealed. “I know who you are! You’re the Daemon-Star! This is so cool!! I never thought I would…”
“I have come to speak with you,” I continued, “about certain things which you have inherited from your late father.”
“You mean these old Druid books?”
“I mean specifically the powers of the Druidic Priesthood. You, through your father, are the last of an ancient line of legendary, extraordinarily-gifted Magicians of the British Isles.”
“Really?” she gasped, “That explains those psychic experiences I had when I was a little kid!”
“Yes, and now I wish to help you to properly control and develop these powers,” I announced as I reached down and took her hand. “Come with me now on a little journey and I promise that all will be revealed.”
She stood up and said, “OK, I’m ready! Anything you say! You lead, I’ll follow! I mean, I know you’re married and everything, and I could never compete with your wife, Katrina -- she is so beautiful -- or anything like that, but I just wanted to say… you are so HOT! Where are we going?”
“England,” I answered. “Stonehenge, to be precise.”
Before she could say anything else (thank bloody goodness), I enveloped her in my Algolitish extraterrestrial influence and we teleported together toward our destination -- that incredibly ancient, darkly-legendary monument of occultic power, mystical energy, and most profound, bizarre mystery:
We soon materialized at the precise centre of the gigantic, looming, megalithic standing-stones from which the monument takes its name, there under the pale and phantasmagorical light of a waning, gibbous moon. All was totally and absolutely silent, and the plain was quite obviously deserted for many miles around us on every side.
To say that Letitia Windsor was wide-eyed with astonishment would indeed be an understatement.
“Stonehenge,” she said, almost struggling for breath in her excitement as we stood there amongst the monoliths. “Stonehenge!”
She likely would have repeated it several more times if I had not finally interrupted her.
“Yes,” I said. “Built thousands of years ago by the prototype of that particular type of wonder-working, Priestly caste which you would term Druids.”
“But who were they, really?” she asked.
“The Druids were actually Levites,” I instructed. “Wanderers from the mighty Kingdom of Israel, wondrously invested with the powers of the most sacred Priesthood and Temple-service of the Twelve Tribes.”
“You mean the Druids were really Jews, then? Are the stories true about Merlin the Magician? Who was he?”
“Merlin was a Kohen, a direct lineal descendant of holy Aaron the High Priest and brother of Moses the Law-Giver. He was already incredibly old by the time of King Arthur, and in fact, still lives today -- albeit under a different name.”
“Daniel… I mean, Dr. Rumanos… are you saying that you are Merlin?”
I ignored the question. Some things are, perhaps, better left unresolved.
Observing my reticence, the girl changed the subject: “So, what exactly are we going to do here tonight?”
“This is the place of power,” I told her, “where we shall bring forth the particular energies which are your inheritance and birthright as a Priestess and Druidess.”
“This is so cool!” she said again, “Damn, if only you weren’t married… Oh, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say that. So, I was just wondering something. I really have to ask… Ummm… I mean, tell me… Will this… hurt?”
Again, I thought it best not to answer.
Suddenly, a quite different note entered Letty’s voice: “Hey, isn’t Stonehenge a British tourist attraction these days? Won’t someone see us?”
“Not to worry,” I replied with a tinge of humour. “I have slightly displaced us in Time. I can assure you that it is quite certain that no natural being, human or otherwise, can interrupt or observe our proceedings here.”
“Then,” she said, her voice quivering, and raising her hand to point somewhat behind me, “Who or what are they?”
I then turned and beheld entering the circle of stones several squat, leanly muscular and monstrously-humanoid creatures, with hands like horrid claws. They had large, grotesquely pointed ears and their hideously unblinking eyes seemed to glow a baneful yellow.
Of course, I recognized their ilk immediately. They were ghouls.
“Don’t worry,” I said quietly as a reassuring aside to the girl. “It is only some lesser spirits attracted here by the Magical energies of the monument. I shall soon enough deal with them.”
I stepped forward and confronted the one that seemed to be the leader of the misshapen creatures. It stopped short at sight of me.
“Master!” it cried in it’s sickeningly-raspy voice. “We knew not that it were thee! We do most humbly beg thy pardon.”
“Go from here now, Nekrophage,” I commanded. “Your presence is not needed at the moment.”
“We do hear and obey, milord.”
Then the gruesomely horrid monstrosities exited without any further delay.
A slight breeze had started, cooling the night, as Letitia stood there in the midst of the cyclopean stones in her filmy-thin white gown, the silver moonlight revealing the outlines of her supple, slender, youthful form.
“Now,” I said to her, “the time is come for the ceremony of your initiation to begin.”
“Yes!” she said, shivering slightly from the cold -- mingled with her growing fear. “I am ready.”
Funny. I do not remember inquiring as to whether or not she was ready.
I raised my left hand towards her in the Sign of the Horned Beast and intoned: “IN NOMINE SATANAS-LUCIFERI EXCELSUS DEI! MELEK TAUS! HOURI! AZIF! AZIF! AZIF!”
Presently a glow of shimmering light, as of pallid-gold, enveloped the girl. Then a ghastly sound resembling the buzzing of myriads of monstrous nocturnal insects broke the silence of that English country night.
“I feel it!” cried Letty in sudden ecstasy. “The ancient power! I am Letitia Windsor, the Priestess of the Standing Stones!! I am… THE DRUIDESS!!”
Then I slowly lowered my left hand and instead raised my right in the same Sign. With the sound of a tremendous, shocking peal of thunder the power was now reversed. It began to leave Letty’s body and drain instead into me.
“Sorry, kid,” I told her, “but we can’t have want-to-be witches going around offering to sell their wretched souls to become bloody toe-dancers, of all things. Besides, souls have so little market value these days. People give them up for free to be on God-awful ‘reality TV shows’ or to get more bloody social-media ‘followers‘, don’t they? Also, the fact that your heritage has been so unfortunately mingled with the perverse blood of the Edomites made you rather unworthy, anyway. I will put this power to far better use than you would have, certainly I will!”
Letty sank to her knees as the very last of the occult force left her. She was dying. Having had the power enter her and then so suddenly to be emptied out again was just too much for her frail physical self.
Then just before she dropped to the ground in death, she feebly uttered nine words. Words that so sadly betrayed her true self… her true ambitions.
So ended the short, unhappy life of Miss Letitia “Letty” Windsor, would-be ballerina and teenage Druidess. The power of her ancestors’ particular line of Druidic Priesthood is now mine, added to my already immense stores of ability I already possess as a Watcher of the Daemon-Star and certainly to be helpful in many occult battles to come -- for DAEMONIANS ARE FOREVER.
I called back the band of ghouls to dispose of her corpse in their own inimitable fashion, and I left the area quickly so as not to witness if there happened to be any necrophilia-inclined individuals amongst their number.
Nevertheless, I must here admit that those final, sorrowful words spoken by Letty Windsor before her death have occasionally entered my thoughts.
“I wish…” she had sobbed, “I could have been… your lovely Katrina.”
DANIEL RUMANOS SHALL RETURN