RIZAK

The Elkridge town clock was just tolling midnight when Anastasia Rizak found the book. It was a folio volume, hidden behind some outdated almanacs and encyclopaedia sets in the backroom of the library. On its black leathern cover were two words, embossed in shining scarlet: “LIBER BABYLON”.

Anastasia Rizak hated being made to work at the Elkridge Public Library. She had been ordered to do so by the juvenile-offenders court as community service after being found guilty of a prostitution-related offence.

This for a friggin’ hand-job?” she had muttered under her breath when the judge had given her sentence.

The elderly librarian, a childless widow, had taken a liking to Anastasia. Being of a completely different social level, the lady assumed that the young girl could be trusted, and had allowed her to stay at the library after closing time to clean and re-shelve the books. The wench was only glad that this would allow her to sooner finish her allotted sentence hours, and get back to hanging around the local pubs and taverns and cheap motels where she could find dirty old men willing to part with a few dollars -- money soon utilised to purchase the crystal methamphetamine to which Anastasia was hopelessly addicted -- in exchange for brief pleasures in the back of an automobile or in an alleyway.

On this particular night, Anastasia Rizak, bored to tears, had wandered into the library storage room. It was here that she had found the odd volume amongst a forgotten stack of outdated reference books.

When she saw the title, despite having no knowledge of its meaning, Anastasia had felt an unusual sensation. It was as if something was calling to her, something very old and very powerful -- something that had been waiting for her.

Anastasia opened the book and found that its text was written in two languages. The first was Aramaic, that tongue of the biblical period. The second was an early-Medieval Latin translation. The Aramaic, of course, was completely unintelligible to the poorly-educated teenager (it being unlikely that she even recognised it was a language), but the Latin, being at least in the same letters as English, she scanned with growing interest in her dark eyes, at the same time pronouncing some of the words, letter-by-letter.

Suddenly, Anastasia Rizak found herself propelled backwards against the far wall of the room. The girl squealed with a mixture of pain and grotesque pleasure at what she was experiencing. An eldritch glow of obscenely scarlet red surrounded her slim figure, and she felt her clothing, a common t-shirt and jeans, being ripped to shreds as if by unseen hands.

It was then that Anastasia first heard the voice. It sounded as the accents of a woman, but deep toned and palpably wicked, at once replete with hoary age and with the sensual delights of youthfulness.

“Anastasia… Anastasia… Rizak… Rizak… Rizak!” moaned the voice. “We have found you at last! It is now, through you, that we shall establish our Empire of Desire upon the Earth! All of mankind shall grovel before us in beggary for our charms. For we are at once the manifestation and the offspring of the Great Whore, the Harlot of Harlots, the Scarlet Woman -- BABYLON!!” …

My name is DR. DANIEL RUMANOS, Literary Illusionist and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Even though I have the appearance of a strikingly handsome human gentleman with aristocratic Anglo-Semitic features, 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 vastly superior genes of the mysterious Aeturnusians or “Watchers” of the Daemon-Star ALGOL -- Masters of all Space and Time; this heritage granting me numerous powers and abilities that appear “supernatural” to lesser beings.

Whilst most Algolites are (officially) content to merely observe the goings-on of the Universe around them, their intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, I am myself a member of a secret organisation existing amongst our elite class, known as the KOSMIKOS or Cosmic Intervention Department. I thus have, for so many years now, made it my particular mission to use my extraterrestrial gifts to defend the innocent from attack, invasion, and assorted similar threats -- both upon Earth and across the vast reaches of the Universe! …

It was an overcast afternoon that I arrived in the town of Elkridge, Maryland, to investigate the odd series of events there of late. I was accompanied by an Algolite boy known by the name of Robinos, himself a Kosmikos agent-in-training whom I was instructing in the finer points of intergalactic espionage. I was dressed in my usual silk suit, greatcoat, jungle boots, dark spectacles, and safari hat. Robinos had similarly attired himself, but the red and yellow colour scheme that he had chosen was perhaps less well suited to stealth work than my own darker blue and grey. However, he was a young lad, and indeed a newcomer to the people, customs, and costumes of planet Earth.

“Be wary, Robinos,” I instructed. “We know not as yet exactly what we are dealing with. Our instruments only showed the presence of an extraterrestrial influence upon the recent happenings in this area -- the unexplained and sudden rise in immorality, sexual exhibitionism, and related atrocities.”

“Holy Small Town Scandals, Eleven!” exclaimed Robinos, addressing me by my official operative number.

“Indeed, my friend,” I replied. “Though the news media have so far largely ignored it, except as an humorous side-story. You shall find it is indeed an habit of Earth-people, and especially of Americans, to pretend that crime just does not happen in small towns and rural areas.”

Robinos, himself a quite handsome young man, tall and muscular for his age, had sandy hair and intense blue eyes inherited from the noble Algolitish family of which he was a scion. Forsooth, only those of the highest blood among our people are ever recruited for the Kosmikos.

“Look at that, Master Rumanos!” the lad suddenly ejaculated. “Over there!”

Upon gazing in the direction that my companion had indicated, I beheld, across the street near the town square, a large and sickeningly-overweight man of a rather boorish working-class type. He had opened his raincoat (under which he was nude) and was exposing himself to a group of schoolgirls. They reacted with a mixture of screams and giggles before collectively running away around the nearest corner.

“Crikey!” said I, loudly enough for the flasher to hear. “That is rather inappropriate, don’t you think?”

“You gonna stop me, weirdo?” he replied, bounding across the narrow street to face us.

“Indeed we shall stop you!” announced young Robinos impulsively. “We cannot allow you to assault innocent young ladies!”

“My young friend is correct,” I added, whilst retaining composure. “However, we shall first give you a chance to explain and repent of your actions. Perhaps you are being controlled by something outside yourself?”

“I ain’t gonna tell you overdressed creeps nothin’!” the man shouted, flecks of foam forming on the thick, flabby lips of his horrendously lower-class mouth. “I’m just gonna give you this!”

Then, he again opened his coat and, from the area of an horridly-stylised inverted cross tattooed upon the centre of his chest, there suddenly streamed forth a wave of powerful, burning-red phantasmal energy directly to-wards us!!

As the ghastly wave of eldritch alien energy surged forward, I made a quick sign to my companion to do something as he had previously been instructed.

“Robinos, NOW!” I ordered.

From both young Robinos and myself came forth bolts of our bright orange and blue Algolitish energies, meeting in unison against the evil powers being wielded against us. The enemy force reversed as our energy hit it with a loud sparking sound, and the scarlet wave hit our attacker, immediately knocking the malefactor unconscious.

Robinos and I approached our foe and I closely examined the horrid tattoo upon his flabby chest.

“The Mark of the Cult of Babylon,” said I.

“’Babylon’?” enquired my companion. “Isn’t that…?”

“Yes, Babylon or Babalon, in actuality the amalgamation of a species of lust elemental from Galaxy 6685 -- one of the Scarlet Spirals. They always seek a female host, however, this having given rise to the ‘Whore of Babylon’ legends upon Earth. The presence of such horrors would explain the rise of sexual offences here in Elkridge.

“This perverse individual is a mere henchman who was given a small inkling of power in order to defend his mistress,” I continued, as I searched through the pockets of his filthy raincoat. “Nevertheless, perhaps we can find some clew.”

I pulled from the unconscious criminal’s inner pocket a small laminated card.

“Ah, here we go,” I exclaimed. “’Andrew Howard’. Typical canaille name. It is from the Elkridge Public Library.”

“A library card?” said Robinos. “He doesn’t exactly appear to be the bookish type, Eleven.”

“Exactly, my friend. He is definitely not a literary light, even by Elkridge standards. We should investigate this local library without delay!”

We left our erstwhile attacker where he lay and walked the three blocks to the address on the card, soon finding ourselves at the old, dilapidated building that housed the Elkridge Public Library.

“It appears to be deserted, Eleven,” stated Robinos as we entered. “No patrons or staff.”

“Yet the door was unlocked,” I replied, “and the stacks seem to be in order. I wonder if…”

Before I could conclude my sentence, the door to the backroom creaked open, and slinking forth from it came a young girl clad in only a thin, see-through negligee and spike-heels. She had a mass of raven black hair and similarly-dark eyes, her lips full and blood-red. Flashes of the horrid scarlet energies played about her sultry person.

“Holy Teenage Temptress, Eleven!” exclaimed Robinos.

“Steady on, my friend,” I counselled him, “I can assure you that there is nothing at all ‘holy’ about her -- well, depending upon your spelling!”

“Hello, boys,” she interrupted. “If you think I‘m hot here, you should see my selfies on Likebook! My name is Anastasia Rizak, High Priestess of Babylon.”

“’Anastasia, Princess of Darkness‘, you mean,” I countered. “Not to be Russian to Judgement or anything like that. I like your Russian Dressing. Bit of a Slav to Fashion, are you?”

“Are you two oh-so-distinguished gentlemen looking to have some fun?” the felonious female queried with a seductive wink. “Or are you just an outstandingly-handsome priest and his sexy little altar boy come to hurt me? Tire of having a gay old time at the seminary?”

“Holy Innuendoes, Eleven!” exclaimed Robinos.

Suddenly, Robinos and I were assaulted from behind. It turns out that, whilst she was distracting us, two further male members of the cult headed by Anastasia Rizak, femme fatale and avatar of Babylon, had crept up unawares. They immediately threw some ropes about our persons, and quickly bound us.

“Eleven!” shouted Robinos, “I feel my powers have drained away and…”

“Indeed,” I replied. “These ropes seem to be imbued with a rare form of radiation from the home galaxy of that which is possessing our adversaries here. It is resistant and detrimental to our Algolitish energies.”

With this, my friend and I soon found ourselves securely tied to wooden chairs, and our extraterrestrial abilities curtailed. The two completely nude cultists, again disgustingly obese men of the lower order, stood behind us on guard as if mindless zombies.

“Now, I have you here in my power,” purred the wicked Anastasia amidst her mockingly whorish laughter. “The boys all want to come but they never want to leave.

“Oh, I recognised you as Watchers of Algol,” she continued, “and we have been expecting some of your kind to come here and try to meddle with our plans. ‘Non-interference’, my ass. You Algolites are habitual liars and meddlers! But now, I have you, and nothing -- not even you -- will be able to interfere with the Scarlet Essence of Babylon spreading our Empire of Lust over this entire planet!!”

As Robinos and I remained tied to the chairs, having become the victims of her prearranged trap, the bizarre teenaged harlot forever known to most unspeakable infamy as Miss Anastasia Rizak retrieved the book Liber Babylon from a near by shelf. She then proceeded to open its antique ebon cover (made as it was, I later ascertained, from the cruelly-flayed skin of an African slave) and began to intone the words of the satanic evocation -- her horridly unhallowed attempt to bring the phantasmagorical forces of eternal lustfulness and ungodly immorality fully forth upon the unsuspecting people of planet Earth!

In sooth, the nubile slut had already done so much eldritch evil in the brief fortnight since she had first found the wicked and unholy volume in its hiding-place amongst the storage room stacks. She had left her mother, Lynn, and moved from their squalid trailer at nearby Pirchway Mobile Homes in order to take up permanent residence in the now otherwise-abandoned library. It has since been ascertained that Lynn Rizak died shortly after these events from gout of the stomach.

(It should be added, for the sake of completeness in this totally and unquestionably veracious account, that Anastasia’s father, an homeless, unemployed drifter known only as “Donny”, had disappeared years before.)

Nevertheless, one is left with the important question as to why the archaic extraterrestrial powers of Babylon choose this seemingly-obscure adolescent prostitute as their representative. In this, we can only attempt to make an educated conjecture: with Anastasia Rizak being, through her mother, of Ukrainian ancestry, one is brought to mind of the clans of the horrid Yezidi “devil-worshippers” of Persia, some of whom long ago migrated to the Ukraine in order to escape the persecution being meted out to them at the hands of the righteous followers of the Prophet Mohammed. That the Rizak family was descended from these Yezidis is very probable, especially considering the girl’s own full-lipped and black-eyed features, these speaking of dusky non-European origins despite the ghostly pallidity of her complexion. Indeed, who is to say what abominably atavistic miscegenation had always lurked in bloodcurdling silence, hidden within the youthful slattern’s very being?

In any event, this Miss Rizak, prostitute and atrocious avatar of villainous ungodly evil, now stood there in the public library of Elkridge, Maryland, chanting the words of an archaic occult incantation intended to bring unholy debauchery upon the world!

“My lithe body arched for lust,” she intoned in the Aramaic that the alien forces had taught her to understand, “I do call forth the ascendancy of all things belonging to sensuality and of rapture! By the powers of the Great Whore, the Woman of Confusions, the Matriarch of Abominations and of all that is Perverse, may fornications fill the Earth, and may the secret lusts and desires of all be fulfilled!!”

Whilst the wicked wench was thus occupied, I was at work in freeing my friend and myself from our bonds. Although our Algolitish abilities had been curtailed by the radiation, I was able to apply the skills that I had learned whilst doing undercover work as a stage magician and carnival sideshow escape artist, and soon enough had our ropes untied.

“Holy Houdini, Eleven!” cried Robinos.

We speedily stood up to face the two burly and unclothed henchmen who were guarding us. It took only a couple quick displays of old-style fisticuffs from Robinos and myself to succeed in knocking them out.

It was then that we turned to face Anastasia Rizak. Horrifically, the scarlet forces of Babylon were completely surrounding the strange Slavic strumpet in answer to her calling -- and were rapidly growing in intensity and might!

Do you comprehend the extreme preternatural horror and the unnameable terror of this situation, my dear readers? Sooth to say, for the sake of your sanity and the peace of your eternal soul, I must sincerely pray that you do not!

“She is now here and I am she!” exclaimed the wretched girl in horrid and obscene ecstasy. “Babylon is rising! The power of the Scarlet Harlot is mine, and now the entire human race shall fall down in the unstoppable concupiscence and irresistible adulteries that constitute our worship! Hear me, Earthlings, and do now happily degrade yourselves in lovely filth forever in perverted reverence to LUST!!!”

And so Robinos and I advanced against the hideously debauched Anastasia Rizak, realising that she was mere moments away from unleashing the full force of Babylon -- a power that would indeed bring unstopping perversion, uncontrolled whoredom, and sexual promiscuity upon the unsuspecting human race, leading to a decadence beyond even that which was the downfall of that ancient Mesopotamian city and its empire that is the harlot’s namesake! Indeed, leading to a decadence unseen since that which devastated the home galaxy of the Babylon powers so many countless aeons past.

The surging waves of scarlet energy emanating from Anastasia caused my companion to be driven back. His youth and inexperience in such matters had prevented his Algolitish abilities from as quickly reasserting themselves as did mine.

I forced myself forwards against the horrid Babylonian energies and stood whilst generating a powerful outpouring of defence. Then, at the moment of releasing my power, I spoke the invocation of absolute purity and of peace that can only be used for such purpose at certain times and places and situations. It is a calling forth that is only properly expressed in ancient Algolitish:

KatrinaLiviuh!!!”

With this, a peal as of a thousand thunders was heard and there did open, behind the form of the Babylon-possessed slut known as Anastasia Rizak, an huge entrance to that Bottomless Pit which is known to legend and lore as “Hell” or Gehenna -- in sooth one of the inter-dimensional prisons established by the Aeturnusian Watchers for the gaoling of certain of our enemies judged too dangerous to exist in this reality.

The powers of Babylon then began to flow away from the evil girl and to disappear into the Abyss. In so doing, their true form was briefly and dimly descried -- being as an host of impish scarlet-hued elemental creatures, hideous and horned, and writhing in constant obscene sexual abandon. 

The beings began to claw and pull at the form of the decadent teenaged slut Anastasia Rizak, in order to be certain to drag her down with them into eternal Perdition.

“No! No! No!” she screamed in sudden absolute abject horror. “Please, no! Save me, Algolite! Save me from this! You can have me! I will let you do anything you want to me! Just please… Please, save me!!”

“Shut up, bitch,” said I as I sent a bolt of my alien energies to aid in propelling her into the putrid Pit. “Nobody gave you permission to speak.”

And then, as the horrid wench and the force of that ancient perverted evil vanished into the Hell of Everlasting Damnation, the portal did close behind them and all was quiet.

"A 'Red Scare', indeed," said I.

I walked over to where the delinquent strumpet had dropped Liber Babylon and retrieved the hoary book from the floor, immediately secreting it in one of the appropriately-voluminous pockets of my greatcoat, in which it would be reserved until I could bring it to a place of safekeeping. 

“Is she gone, then?” enquired Robinos as I returned to his side. “Is the evil fully exorcised?”

“Yes, my friend,” I assured him. “The Babylon horrors are vanquished, and Miss Rizak shall now find herself being brutally raped by lust elementals for all eternity.”

“Serves her right,” said the lad.

“You know what?” said I as we exited the Elkridge Public Library that momentous and fateful day. “This kind of activity always causes me to work up an appetite. I think I am in the mood for some ho fun.”

“Why, Master Rumanos,” exclaimed my companion. “What exactly do you mean by that?”

“Ho fun, young Master Robinos,” I informed him, “is a dish of rice noodles most often prepared by stir-frying with meat and vegetables. It can be found at any finer Chinese restaurant. I say, to what did you think I was referring?”

“Holy Double Entendres, Eleven!”

DANIEL RUMANOS SHALL RETURN