[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!!!