Deep inside the archival files of my long career battling the forces of darkness is a document entitled “The Merryman Project, or Fear of a Satanic Planet”, which shall never be made available to the public due to its containing certain dangerous formulae and descriptions of arcane rites. It concerns a particularly loathsome and abhorrent individual by the name of Ron “Savage Mode” Seidl, who had attempted a conjuration of the ancient alien deity of evil known as Iogsh’tahuty.

Ron Seidl was a 55-year-old unemployed conman (he variously claimed, depending upon whom he was attempting to grift, to be everything from a longshoreman to a mobster to a radio chat-show producer) who lived with his aged mother, Karolyn, in a squalid and filthy one-bedroom apartment over a Joppa Road takeaway restaurant in the Parkville area of Baltimore County.

Seidl’s Satanic activities began when he found some antique occult texts in the collection of his late “goth” girlfriend, Jen French, whom he had driven to suicide with his physical and emotional abuse. Among these texts was a conjuration of the eldritch abomination Iogsh’tahuty -- actually an ancient extraterrestrial being of extreme evil from Dark Galaxy 3007E who had been imprisoned in an alternate dimension by my people, the Watchers of Algol.

In his insane plans to evoke this horror, the Satanist Ron Seidl had abducted an innocent thirteen-year-old girl named Kitty Summers, intending to have her raped by the demonic alien god in order to produce a new race of horrible half-alien hybrids under Seidl’s control. His ultimate goal was to utilise these hideous beings in his own bid for total world domination.

(What is it with blokes named “Ron” that they tend to be bloody devil-worshipping lunatics bent on ruling the world? However, I digress.)

You see, just off Pot Springs Road, near the Loch Raven Reservoir north of Baltimore are the remains of the home of the Merryman Family, who flourished in the area during the latter part of the Nineteenth Century. Their long-abandoned cemetery and underground springhouse had been of particular interest to Ron Seidl, and it was the latter to which he had taken the helpless girl in order to perform the unspeakable occult ritual.

And so there, in the subterranean chamber that the madman Ron Seidl called “The Secret Place”, he had chanted the hoary old conjurations to call forth the horrendous evil of Iogsh’tahuty. The alien horror had responded, appearing in its otherworldly form of uncountable iridescent globules, hovering closer and closer to the innocent young maiden who had been drugged and tied to the stone altar as Seidl stood by punctuating the scene with his sickeningly-insane laughter and grotesque blasphemies against all that is good and pure.

Nevertheless, before the wicked monstrosity could violate the lass, I had arrived (having been informed of these doings by my contacts in the occult underworld) and spoken the appropriate words to banish the creature back to its proper Hell -- in which its mad devotee Ron Seidl would now join it in eternal and indeed well-deserved damnation.

Following this, the young girl, Kitty Summers, had come under my guardianship. Her parents had been killed in an automobile accident (an occurrence engineered as the result of Ron Seidl’s “black magic” spells) and it had been found inadvisable to entrust her to anyone else’s care due to one very interesting reason.

After her experience with Seidl and his conjuring of Iogsh’tahuty, an incident of which she blessedly had little memory due to the narcotic tranquillisers he had given her, Kitty Summers had begun to display certain mysterious powers of her own. This was obviously the result of her being present during the rare mystical calling, and a reaction to the presence of the dark deity. It was my responsibility to teach her properly and to assure that her newfound abilities would only be used for good and moral purposes.

It is for this reason that the lass did accompany me that day, scarcely a fortnight later, when I was suddenly summoned to a location in midtown Baltimore, in order to investigate a disturbance that the police had so far been unable to deal with.

“Lieutenant Borman,” said I, addressing the robust Baltimore City Police Detective who had been put in charge of the cordoned-off area. “This is my friend, Miss Summers. What seems to be the problem?”

“Dr. Daniel Rumanos,” said Borman as he shook my hand (only slightly smiling this time at my British pronunciation of “lef-tenant“). “Thanks for coming on such short notice. We have a situation here that seems to come under your particular expertise. An individual has been rampaging though the streets, yelling incoherent sounds and assaulting numerous bystanders. A kind of weird ‘glow’ seems to be around him. So far, we have been unable to apprehend him. Bullets seem to have no affect on him, and several officers who have attempted to overpower him will now have to be hospitalised!”

“Good heavens,” said I, wondering. “Could I have a look at the culprit?”

“Open a way for Dr. Rumanos!” shouted Lt. Borman to the group of policemen who had been surrounding the cordoned area.

I walked to-wards the area with Kitty Summers following close behind me. I was clad in my usual silk suit, jungle boots, leathern greatcoat, sunspecs, and panama hat. Kitty, a breathtakingly-beautiful girl, tall for her age and very slender, with auburn hair and eyes of emerald green, wore a sun-coloured dress with a matching sweater and small riding boots.

We soon beheld the perpetrator. It was an hideous, morbidly-obese white man dressed in jeans and a sleeveless shirt. He had a filthy black bandanna on his head and a large bushy beard. His arms were covered with tattooing and his eyes showed soulless, unnameable evil and wickedness beyond all sane imagining. Indeed, an odd cerulean glow appeared to encircle his hideous form.

“What!” I exclaimed. “Impossible! That is Jim Forrester!”

“Do you know this person, Doctor?” enquired Kitty.

“Indeed, though only by reputation. A decidedly bad reputation, I should add. He was a local rock musician, a dope pusher, and a dabbler in Satanism.”

“Did you say ‘was’? Do you mean he gave it up?” asked the little girl hopefully.

“No, my dear, that is not what I mean at all,” I replied, pulling the damsel close to me protectively. “I mean he was killed a couple of months back.”

“So you mean he’s… ?” she stammered with her eyes growing wide in wonder. “He’s somehow walking and running amok through the city when he’s really… ?”

“Yes, Miss Summers, I am afraid so. Jim Forrester is dead!”

Yes, the criminal scum known as Jim Forrester, age 43, was indeed dead. Deceased. Kaput. Of this, there can be no doubt. Dead and buried in a pauper’s grave in an O’Donnell Heights cemetery. The local news media had carried his story with their usual vulturine alacrity.

Jim Forrester, whilst known to some as the bass player in a couple of small-time local heavy-metal bands, had actually made his living by the smuggling of illegally-obtained prescription medications into Baltimore from a supplier in the horridly debased town of Ranson, West Virginia (that same hideous state being, as ever, the cause of so many of the Mid-Atlantic Region’s woes and horrors), then selling the drugs at a profit to local street dealers.

It is during one of these felonious transactions, taking place outside of a trashy body-piercing parlour on Eastern Avenue, that the dope-dealing filth named Jim Forrester had been fatally shot. Good riddance indeed.

Lauded by his friends in the local rock music scene, the deceased Jim Forrester was given a small funeral and then soon enough forgotten after a neighbourhood black “thug” was arrested for his murder. Forrester’s own criminal activities were glossed over, as was another bizarre peccadillo of his life: an interest in Satanism. Those who knew of it mostly dismissed it as a theatrical part of his music endeavours.

And yet here we were, several weeks after his death, facing a walking dead Jim Forrester who had already assaulted several innocent citizens and had so-far successfully resisted the efforts of the Baltimore Police Department to apprehend him.

Do you recognise the unnameable horror, the unspeakable darksome terror of this situation, my dear friends? I truly hope and pray that you do not, as any realisation of this could send one into complete and total madness with no hope of recovery.

“His Satanic dabbling, as you said, could this explain how he is back from the grave?” enquired Kitty with a shudder. “You taught me that what people call Satanism (like what that creepy old man Ron Seidl did) is actually the illicit worship of certain ancient dark entities from Outer Space. Couldn’t something like that have brought back this guy’s dead body? Could that explain all this, Doctor?”

“Not in itself, I do not think,” I told her. “If he had, through his demonic worship, made contact with some alien force, well, there are things that could indeed so reanimate his corpse. However, anything of that sort would probably have some kind of coherent plan, some reason and rationale, however evil, for being here. It would not be likely to just rampage through the city streets like this, randomly attacking people for no apparent purpose.”

As if on cue, the hideous Jim Forrester suddenly lurched forward, his monstrous form starting directly to-wards Kitty Summers and myself. In response, I then advanced in front of the little girl and cast a bolt of my bright orange and blue Algolitish energies directly at Forrester’s midsection. It hit him squarely and he stumbled back several paces but quickly recovered, growling loudly in inarticulate anger and again heading forward in our direction.

“That strange glow seems to have some protective effect upon him,” I said to the girl. “Be careful to stay clear of him and…”

Nevertheless, Kitty Summers had already stepped out from behind me and sent a wave of the powers that she had only so recently manifested at Forrester. Her energy sparkled with an otherworldly purplish effulgence as it streamed from her lithesome young body.

Again, as the hulking horror Jim Forrester was protected by whatever untold extraterrestrial power was lurking within him, Kitty’s energies only struck him a glancing blow and he continued forward -- now as I soon noticed, with his evil eyes focused on the attractive teenager!

Before I could intervene, Jim Forrester suddenly sent a blast of power sidewise at me, the bizarrely glimmering energies that played about him now apparently being wielded by his own efforts. It hit me unexpectedly and I proceeded to stumble backwards in shock at this unexpected display.

Then, sooner than my recovery was even possible, the sickening Satanic criminal filth known to eternal infamy as Jim Forrester proceeded to seize the innocent maiden Kitty Summers in his huge arms, then started to drag the girl off in preparation for his own perverse, obscenely lustful intentions!

I stood up, and, shaking off the effects of Forrester’s attack, prepared to send a blast of my power at him. I then realised, however, that I could do so without risking hitting the girl. I heard her screams as she struggled in vain to extricate herself from his wicked grasp.

I decided a physical attack was the best strategy, and so charged directly at Forrester, intending to pummel him with all the strength and speed that I could manage.

It was one of those times, my dear readers, at which you think that things cannot get any worse -- and then they just bloody well do anyway. It is as if they just insist upon it. For then, just as I was about to hit Jim Forrester with a great side-tackle, the criminal suddenly showed that he had even greater control of the unknown alien powers within him than I had even realised. Because it was then that my debauched and immoral (not to mention deceased) foe suddenly flew upwards, propelled by the strange bluish radiance, carrying the helpless little damsel aloft.

His goal, I soon enough comprehended, was the roof of the nearby Transamerica Tower, and he rapidly alit atop that 40-storey skyscraper along with the poor wee lass, the lovely Kitty Summers, my friend and protégé.

“Oh no you shall not, you bloody blue-collar bastard!” I exclaimed. “By the Spires of Daemonia I do swear that you shall not!”

Again utilising my own Algolitish abilities, I quickly levitated towards them and arrived at the top of the building just in time to see Jim Forrester preparing to rip the unconscious little girl’s clothing from her body (as she had indeed by now mercifully fainted). His face was horrid to see, as his eyes rolled and his thick-lipped mouth hung open in lustful anticipation of his intentions to brutally rape the beautiful teen.

“I will now end you, you damned hillbilly scum!” I cried.

I hit him hard with my fist directly to that same repulsive face, and sent him reeling across the roof of the building. He managed to recover with an ungodly yowl of anger and turned back to me with a look of extreme hatred.

It was then that the battle was truly joined, my fight with Jim Forrester, deceased would-be rock musician and dope dealer who had been reanimated by some as-yet-unknown alien force. We sent bolts of power at each other and hovered and reeled and spun aloft over the Baltimore skyline. In all, it only lasted a very few minutes, but in that time was a seeming eternity of power and force and conflict as I clashed with this execrable individual.

A police helicopter briefly attempted to assist in the melee, but was soon blasted by a bolt of Forrester’s energy. It spiralled into the near-by harbour, the officers on board barely managing to bail out in time.

Finally, I began to get the upper hand upon Forrester, and I beheld that he was weakening. Had the mysterious alien powers within him finally proven to be too much for his otherwise-lifeless body, or had my superior Algolite consistence just prevailed? I knew not but, as Jim Forrester fell down back onto the roof of the Transamerica Tower, I quickly hurtled again towards him, my extraterrestrial powers at the ready to hopefully finish the conflict.

Nevertheless, at that very moment something entirely unforeseen occurred. For it was then that I suddenly found myself enveloped by a deep blue haze of energy -- energy that had streamed forth from the prostrate form of the late varlet known as Jim Forrester. The unknown alien force that had somehow brought this obscene, godless criminal back from the dead had now completely surrounded me, and I saw nothing but its glowing ethereal effulgence!

The questions remained, the questions behind all that had happened that exceedingly-strange day: What was this power, what was its origin, and what was its purpose in the bizarre gambit of reanimating the evil Satanist Jim Forrester?

In any event, I knew that I was soon to find out!

I found myself drifting within a sky-blue mist, glowing softly all around me. I recognised it as being a kind of inter-dimensional field, a transmit conduct into the consciousness of an alien mind. I then heard a voice -- a calm voice without gender or passion. 

“I am here for peaceful purposes,“ it said. “I am of the Phantasteans.”

“The Phantasteans?” I replied. “Of course. Pacifist beings of pure mind energy from the planet Phantaste.”

“You know of our race?”

“Indeed. I am Rumanos of the Watchers of Algol, and your species is classified in the research records of my people as one of the most peaceful and enlightened in the Galaxy.”

“I came to this world only to gather scientific information,” explained the Phantastean. “I entered the body of this being. It was not in use. I soon found myself overwhelmed by the hatred and lustful impulses remaining within it. I have attempted to regain control, but was only able to do so when you weakened the physical form of this creature.”

“Sorry to hear of your experience, Phantastean. It will be understood that you and your race are not responsible for what has occurred here today. His occult activities may have made his corpse inadvertently available to you.”

“Watcher of Algol, I ask you: Are all the people of this planet Earth as hateful, as vile as this one?”

“No, not quite. Oh, they have their problems, but this Jim Forrester was of a particularly repellent, odious type. More civilised Earthlings refer to them as ‘Chavs‘.”

“I will now leave this planet, Watcher of Algol. I thank you for your assistance.”

“Glad to help, Friend Phantastean. Happy cosmic trails to you!”

With this, I again found myself upon the roof of the Transamerica Tower building. The body of Jim Forrester was lying before me. Without the alien influence, he now looked as dead and partially-decayed as he actually was.

The placidly blue form of the Phantastean briefly hovered over me, and I then saw it shoot upwards, soon disappearing into the distance of the afternoon sky, away from Earth into the depths of Space.

I turned and helped Kitty Summers to her feet. She had recovered from her swoon, aided by her own powers, just in time to behold the Phantastean leaving this world.

“Doctor, was that… ?” the sweet little girl said in wonder. “Was that what was in him?”

“Yes, my dear Miss Summers,” said I, putting a comforting arm around her “That was a peaceful being from the distant planet Phantaste, temporarily overcome by the godless passions of this human varlet. I shall explain more later.”

Lt. Borman and his group of uniformed Baltimore City Police then arrived on the scene via the fire-stairs.

“Dr. Rumanos,” said the detective, “is the situation defused?”

“Indeed it is, Lieutenant,” I assured him. “You will find that the suspect is named Jim Forrester, and that he has actually been dead for several weeks.”

“Weeks!” exclaimed Borman in astonishment. “But numerous witnesses saw him rampaging through the city streets just today, and he assaulted both innocent bystanders and police officers. How the hell am I supposed to explain that in the report?”

“Well, old chap,” I said, whilst I began to make my exit with the girl, “you could just say it was an illusion. A trick of the light, perhaps?”

“I know what to say!” added Kitty Summers with a smile. “Just call it a ‘Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy’!”

Daniel Rumanos shall return in “Make the Young Girls Spy (The Lizzy Martinez Story)”.