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