THE ADVENTURES OF DAEMON-STAR by Daniel Rumanos

KELPIEPUSSY AND THE LIVING HELL


***** The name is RUMANOS -- DR. DANIEL RUMANOS, Supernatural Swashbuckler and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Although I have the physical appearance of an human being -- a tall, strongly-built gentleman with dark hair, strikingly-handsome Anglo-Semitic features, and oddly pale skin -- 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 “magical” or “miraculous” 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, their intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic. 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 where I work undercover as a stage magician/illusionist and writer of fantasy fiction.

I am greatly aided in my tasks by my breathtakingly beautiful and eternally-youthful wife, LADY KATRINA RUMANOS. Tall, slender, with gorgeous ginger hair and enchanting eyes that shine like pale sapphires. Originally a young, nobly-blooded Earth girl, Katrina had been especially gifted with amazing powers by the Kosmikos, in order to stand as my companion and helpmate in our many varied amazing and incredible adventures upon Earth and indeed throughout the unknowable vastness of Space and Time.

These are -- THE WEIRD ADVENTURES OF DR. DANIEL RUMANOS!!! *****

“From ghoulies and ghosties;
And long-leggettie beasties;
And things that go bump in the night;
Good Lord deliver us!”
(Old Scottish Invocation)

An odd moaning, gasping noise echoed across the quiet of the early country morning as an unusual object materialised into view. It appeared in the form of a tall stone column but was actually something quite different. For this machine was a DiTraS (pronounced “DYE-tress” and standing for Dimensional Transport Sphere), an incredibly advanced vessel facilitating travel through the vast reaches of Space and Time.

A round porthole-like doorway opened in the column and two individuals stepped forth from it; one a tall, exceedingly handsome gentleman with dark-grey hair and piercing blue-black eyes, wearing a long, leathern greatcoat under which, for this particular venture, he had donned an elegant kilt and all the accoutrements of a Caledonian nobleman. The other was a fantastically-beautiful young woman, tall and slender with gorgeous red hair and eyes the colour of opalescent azure. She was dressed in the proper, long-skirted and frilled clothing of an highborn lady of the same area and period, along with a matching cape and riding boots.

The man was myself, DR. DANIEL RUMANOS, Supernatural Swashbuckler and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Though I have the appearance of an human being, I am in actuality no mere mortal. I carry within my blood the genes of the powerful and mysterious Watchers of Algol, this extraterrestrial heritage granting me numerous abilities and powers that appear as “magical” and “miraculous” to the people of Earth. This includes the ability to control and pilot the aforementioned Time and Space ship.

The lovely lady is, of course, my beloved and eternally-youthful wife, LADY KATRINA OLIVIA RUMANOS. Originally an human, he was augmented in an highly secret laboratory from certain wondrous DNA material and therefore has the power to generate and control a certain mystical flame. Together, we use our preternatural abilities (as Agents of the KOSMIKOS, a secret service organisation hidden deeply within the government of the Watchers) to help and assist the innocent of this and other worlds against the forces of outer darkness and evil.

However, for now, we were on a holiday of sorts (much-deserved, I say, after our terrifying experiences with that terrifying interplanetary skirmish known to infamy as “The Horror of the Fat Black Women“). Hence our use of the older, mostly-retired Time-Sphere in stead of that far more advanced device known as the Chrono-Band, the latter being under the control of Master Emmos, Chief Operative of the Kosmikos.

“So we are really in Scotland, then!” exclaimed Katrina. “What is the year, my love?”

“Well, my little sweetie, we should be in about the middle of the Sixth Century -- Anno Domini,” I replied. “Near the area of what shall one day be the great city of Glasgow, though it will only be a small settlement at this time.”

We walked hand-in-hand across the Scottish countryside, enjoying the cool morning breeze and the scent of the numerous flowers on which sparkled the morning dew.

However, the peace of this idyllic scene was split suddenly by the sound of a woman’s screaming as if in total abject terror! Without a moment’s delay, my wife and I ran towards the commotion and beheld a strange scene.

It was at a large inland lake, or loch as the Scots call them. An helpless, fair-haired girl was being dragged into the water by an huge, long-necked reptilian beast that had her skirts in its hideous mouth. Two other figures were rushing towards this scene from the opposite direction. They were both men, one young, ruddy-complexioned, and dressed as a clan chieftain; the other pale and of middle years, wearing the grey habit of a monk. The young man had drawn his sword (which I fear would have had little affect on the hard, scaly hide of the monster) and was shouting:

“Curse that kelpie, the horrid beastie! I am coming to save you, my lady!”

As for the holy man, he was reading prayers against the supposedly-diabolical creature from his Breviary.

As we approached this fracas, Katrina sent forth a burst of her wonderful Mystical Flame at the kelpie. It was only a small blast, as she wanted to be careful not to hit the girl, but it was enough that the monster let go its grip on the young woman, who then fainted away on the ground beside the loch. The two men stopped short in marvel at this amazing display.

I then reached the shore of the loch and faced the kelpie. It turned and lunged directly towards me, letting forth a bellowing roar and snapping its monstrous jaws in terrible, seemingly demoniacal anger!

Of course, I recognised what this “kelpie” actually was immediately. It was a mutated plesiosaurus. The Lizard-Men of Lemuria and Atlantis had long before bred them as pets and guardians, even genetically altering the creatures, as they had also done to themselves, in order to enable them to tolerate the changing climate. After the destruction of the Reptilian civilisation, a small number of plesiosaurs had survived scattered throughout the islands of the Atlantic Ocean. This one had attacked the innocent girl in a misplaced attempt at defence, when it descried her approaching its place of refuge in the loch.

I stared down the kelpie/plesiosaur unflinchingly, faintly glowing with my orange and blue energies as I asserted my superior Algolitish will-power over the big, scaly beast. I managed to psychically pacify its reptile mind, and the creature sunk back down harmlessly into the water.

Katrina was comforting the other girl, who had by now recovered from her swoon but was weeping in pitiful fear. I thought it would be best to immediately introduce ourselves to the young chieftain and the monk.

“Greetings and salutations to you, my friends!” I proclaimed. ‘I am… the Laird Rumanos of Algol, and this is my goodwife, the Lady Katrina Rumanos.”

“My name is Father Columba,” replied the gravely-countenanced yet affable monkish fellow. “All over these isles have I been proclaiming the Gospel of Our Lord Christ Jesus, yet I have never yet heard of your estate. It must be exceedingly remote.”

“Quite remote it is, Reverend Father,” rejoined I. “Quite remote indeed.”

The others returned their own introductions. The young man was named Gillan, and he was master of the near by settlement and husband to the beautiful Sheila, the same young lady who had been attacked by the kelpie.

“The dear lass wished to bathe in the loch early so no one could overlook her,” explained Gillan with evident passionate anxiety for the safety of his beloved. “Quite worried I was for her though. Aye, but not about kelpies! More concerned I was of the damnable Picts! Those swart savages have so much harried our settlement, even killing our old clan chief. It was I who then avenged him in battle!”

By now, my wonderful Katrina had used a small spark of her mystical flame as emotional healing power, calming the fears of young Sheila.

“Aye, thank you both, Laird Rumano and Lady Katrine,” exclaimed the young woman, pronouncing our names as well as her charming Scots country accent would allow. “I will not forget your saving me from that horrid beastie.”

However, I knew something further had to be done right away about the monster if the settlement was to remain peacefully unbothered by it. I decided to lead it to another loch, situated some miles to the north; a loch with dark, deep waters which would be a far more welcome place for the grotesque creature.

I asked Kat to accompany Gillan and his wife back to their settlement. I did not want poor Sheila to have to again see the hideously eldritch kelpie. I then called the huge, scaly beast back out of the water and it walked upon its flippers on the land whilst I led it, accompanied by the priest, Father Columba, who continued his prayers and continually crossed himself the entire way.

“Here, Kelpie Kelpie Kelpie,” said I from time to time during our march, calling the scaly old saurian as one would an harmless little pussycat.

We arrived at the other loch, many kilometres to the north, and I sent the plesiosaurus kelpie into the dark waters of its new home there in what would one day be known as the Inverness Loch, where it would live for many centuries -- only occasionally being seen as it swam and caught fish.

But then, just as the worthy monk and I turned to begin the journey back to our friends, we saw numerous figures emerge from the surrounding forest. They were swarthy men, roughly clad in animal skins and carrying spears.

We were surrounded by a tribe of savage Picts!

Then, to the surprise, I dare say, of both myself and Father Columba, the Picts dropped their spears and knelt down before us! …

It was some hours later before I returned to the settlement of Gillan and his clan (an area which they had named “Gillan‘s-Glen-Now“, which would later be shortened to Glasgow). By now Sheila, thanks in large part to Katrina’s expert care, had recovered completely from her horror at having been attacked by the terrible kelpie.

“What happened, my love?” enquired Kat as she hugged me happily. “What happened to the monster and the monk?”

“The kelpie is settling well into its new home,” explained I, “where it should be no longer a problem. As for Father Columba, the worthy priest has stayed to preach the Gospel to a village of Picts near by the kelpie’s new loch. They saw us leading the creature whilst the monk said his prayers, and are now quite impressed by what they believe to be his holy powers! Seeing the halo-like nimbus of Algolitish energy about my head as I psychically controlled the monster, they think I must have been some heavenly spirit that the priest had conjured to assist him.

“The saintly Columba also says he will teach the Pictish tribe to read, establishing a church and school there, with the intention of giving them civilisation and an inclination towards peace with the Scots. A good man, that.”

Soon afterward, we said our goodbyes to Gillan and Sheila.

“Aye, Laird,” said Gillan, “we owe you more than we could ever repay.”

“You need do nothing for us, my friend Laird Gillan,” I rejoined. “For I know already that you shall be a fair and wise leader, and I am indeed quite certain that the Clan MacGillan will do many great things for the future of these mighty isles.”

“We will always remember you, Laird Rumano and Lady Katrine Rumano,” promised sweet Sheila with tears in her eyes. “We shall not forget you.” …

After Katrina and I had returned to our headquarters on Twenty-First Century Earth, we were at tea one afternoon in the capacious library of our home at the Temple of the Starry Wisdom, located in the Roland Park neighbourhood north of the city of Baltimore, and commenced discussing our Scottish adventure.

“So, love,” said my beautiful wife. “Do you think that your student, Sheena MacGillan, is a descendant of Gillan and Sheila?”

“Yes, that seems quite likely, sweetheart,” I answered. “It indeed does seem quite likely.”

“So, I just wondered, were we actually remembered in Scottish history?”

“Well, I think that you indeed made quite an impression on young Sheila anyway. She obviously really admired you.”

“Awwww!” exclaimed Kat joyously.

“As a matter of fact,” I continued with a smile, “have a look at this.”

I reached up to an high shelf and took down one of the volumes of A Comprehensive Gazetteer of the British Isles, then turning its pages to a map of the environs of modern Glasgow.

“The lake where we saved the girl from the kelpie,” I explained, whilst pointing to its name in the book. “It is called Loch Katrine.”

*****

It was quite recently that the Tampa Bay, Florida newspapers printed the tiny death-notice of a young woman named Devlin Price. I sincerely doubt if many people even noticed it. The girl had killed herself, though the media reports delicately ignored the details of this -- of how she had so perfectly slit her arms open with a razor-blade, thrice on each one, parallel cuts running from the wrists to the bend of the inner elbows.

But there is more, far more, to the story of the woman whose full name was Devlin Xandra Price. Her story is indeed among the strangest of that grotesquely odd collection of accounts contained in my private papers, that repository of paranormal weirdness known as The Rumanos Files (a part of the chronicles of my activities as an Operative of that secret service organisation known as the KOSMIKOS of Daemonia). It is a tale that has hitherto remained untold. But now, with the death of Miss Price, the bizarre facts can at last be released.

“Tell the story, love,” said my beloved wife, Katrina, when I showed her the news item concerning Devlin Xandra’s suicide. “It can’t hurt anyone now.” …

The tale began when Katrina and I had travelled to sunny Tampa, Florida to investigate reports of a supposed cult operating there. “Satanic” graffiti had been found in abundance at a local shopping mall, and two small children had mysteriously disappeared shortly before the 30th of April -- that ancient occult high-holiday known as Beltane or Walpurgis-Night, when human sacrifice is most often performed.

Now, reports like this are most often just hysteria or the bored populace taking coincidence much too seriously. However, I had indeed myself sensed a profound psychic disturbance coming from the Tampa Bay area, so it undeniably seemed to be worth investigating.

So there we were -- myself, Dr. Daniel Rumanos, the extraterrestrial Magician-Detective and Secret Agent known as Daemon-Star, along with my beautiful spouse Katrina, AKA Heaven’s Hell -- at the Hillsborough Mall attempting to look like a couple just out for a day of shopping whilst we searched out the whereabouts of criminal devil-worshippers. Do you understand?

I notice a group of young, long-haired chaps in black T-shirts lounging around the food court. They looked like typical metal-heads of the sort which have not really changed since the 1980s, as much as each new generation likes to pretend it is “rebellious” or bloody whatever. Seriously, try listening Wagner or Bach or Gounod sometime, all right kids? You just might find a hint to the occult power you are so desperately seeking.

Anyway, Kat and I continued browsing the various mall shops until we came to a place called Obscura Body Piercing and Jewellery. We were about  to enter this establishment when we noticed that the heavy-metal boys had followed us and were now surrounding us on all sides. My wife immediately activated her powers -- the magical flame which she had inherited due to having allegedly been created from the DNA of a deceased sorcerer. She kept it discrete, however, with only her flashing eyes and some lambent fire from her fingertips giving it away to close observers.

“Something we can do for you, umm, gentlemen?” said I, in an attempt at politeness that my excellent breeding dictates, even though the situation probably did not really call for it.

“We know of you,” said the most intelligent-looking (relatively speaking) of the chaps. “You are Daniel and Katrina Rumanos, and we have awaited your arrival. We are the Order of the Evil One.”

Bloody Hell. These sods were the blooming great Satanic Cult we had come all the way to 110 degrees in the shade, flying cockroach-infested Florida to investigate? Bollocks.

“It’s OK, guys,” said a sultry female voice from behind us. “I’ll take it from here.”

Kat and I turned then around and beheld a marvel. Slinking forth from the body-jewellery shop was a breathtakingly beautiful girl in her late teens, wearing a skin-tight cat-suit of shiny black spandex material. She was tall and slender, with striking red hair and big, azure-blue eyes. In fact, she looked exactly like my lovely Katrina!

“Hello, Dr. and Mrs. Rumanos,” she continued with an evil grin. “My name is Devlin Xandra.”

Then the girl activated a brilliant demonstration of flashing vermillion and violet flame around her luscious body and proclaimed: “I am THE REAL HEAVEN’S HELL!!”

Now, I knew that this Devlin Xandra person’s uncanny resemblance to Katrina had to be the result of some demonic glamour (so-called). Her precedents, which I later managed to piece together through diligent research along with several chats with my numerous contacts in the vast occult underground, were this:

Devlin Xandra Price was the daughter of a man named Lester Price, who had achieved some small fame for himself some years ago as lead vocalist and bass guitarist of a Tampa-based death-metal band called Charon. The band’s biggest claim to infamy was that they had gotten “Magus” Paul H. Gilmour, the (now thankfully deceased) leader of the Church of the Satanic Elite, to do a recording of some occultic invocations, which they then used on their album, Ceremony of the Black Mass. The release included an hideous track called “Baptism of Devlin Xandra”, in which Lester Price described with sickening pride the shamefully horrid and perverse ritual in which he had dedicated his infant child to Satanism.

Mr. Price also formed a group himself called the Order of the Evil One, ostensibly for fans of his music -- though he himself was often heard to refer to it as a “satanic youth group”. Oy gevalt.

However, the career of Mr. Lester Price, both as a rock musician and as a cult leader, ended when he left his wife and young daughter and ran off with a teenage groupie from Cleveland, Ohio named Polly Belknap (who preferred to be called by the ridiculous moniker “Sinn Satanna, Sweet Slave of Satan”. Seriously, try to say that one without spitting, or at least wanting to do so).

But even Polly had left Lester Price when she found that middle age, obesity, and alcoholism were leaving him both financially broke and sexually impotent. He had stayed in Cleveland alone, getting a job as a night-time security guard for a coat-hanger factory, and now spent his spare time doodling crude cartoons of nuns being raped by demons.

Devlin barely remembered her father, but found some old CDs of his music in her mother’s attic, along with promotional material for his OEO cult and a copy of Paul H. Gilmour’s self-published book, The Scriptures of Satan, which mixed diabolism and black magic with disgusting neo-Nazi rants. This had led her into further dealings with young, would-be devil worshippers, who were pleased to assist in the revival of the Order of the Evil One -- with Miss Devlin Xandra Price as its new High Priestess!

But the demonic forces of eldritch evil which Devlin Price had managed to contact in her insane bid for occult power were more devastatingly powerful than the lesser demons that her idiot father had dealt with in his own bygone heyday -- as I was about to find out that fateful afternoon, as Katrina and I faced Devlin and her group of metal-head disciples, there in the Hillsborough Mall in bloody sodding sunny Tampa, Florida.

“Yes, you heard right,” purred the insane girl known as Devlin Xandra. “I am the real Heaven’s Hell, and with the powers I and my devoted followers here have, we will wipe the Earth clean of your kind, Katrina and Daniel Rumanos!!”

Then, without further warning, Devlin hit Katrina with a powerful blast of Infernal Flame, sending my wife careening out of control across the mall floor!

Before I could move to assist her, I found myself stopped from doing so by the young male metal-heads who now made up the rank and file membership of what was called the Order of the Evil One. Their eyes were glowing crimson red, a sign of powerful demoniacal possession, and I indeed felt a force of palpably intense, tremendously hateful wickedness emanating from their bodies. There were seven of them.

“Holy Flapdoodle!” I heard my lovely Katrina exclaim as she recovered from Devlin Xandra’s attack and readied her defences.

Then the same one of the young men who had spoken before again apparently talked -- but it was not his human voice I heard this time, but instead a low-octave rumble of demonic sound that spoke through him: “We have long awaited the chance to face you, Rumanos. To avenge the many things you have done against our kind -- against our brothers in the realm of absolute darkness. We are the Seven. We are the MASKIM!”

I then knew what obscenely powerful horror with which I would have to contend. Those seven evil fiends known to the ancient Babylonians as the Maskim: The Ambushers; The Liers-In-Wait!!

They are Seven! They are Seven! (warn the ancient Babylonian texts against the Maskim) They are Seven in the Deepest Pit of Darkness!

They are Seven! They are Seven! They are Enemies of Our Master ENKI!

They are Seven! They are Seven! They are Seven Times Seven! …

The fiend-possessed boys surrounding me continued to advance forward, with their hideous eyes glowing balefully red as they ingenerated a sphere of the most abysmally dark energy -- trapping me inside with them. …

Mall security by now had turned off all the electricity in the large shopping centre, citing a power-outage as their excuse to evacuate all innocent bystanders from the building. It was now past the time of day when direct sunlight would shine through the mall’s skylight windows, and indeed the Stygian gloom was only penetrated by the flashing vermillion and violet flames as Katrina and Devlin continued to throw volleys of Mystical Flame at each other!

“Your envy has bred hatred, Devlin!” said Katrina. “I am the TRUE Heaven’s Hell, and you are a mere want-to-be!!”

“You really are such an idiot, Katrina!” countered the wicked Devlin Xandra Price. “Have you ever even questioned the odd secrets of your origin? Well, have you?! Has it ever occurred to you to wonder how, if you were supposedly created from the DNA of a Hasidic and Cabalistic Jewish Mystic, you are also from some noble Scottish family?! Hmmm? Also, exactly why did Howard Levi pretend to be a Satanic High Priest named ‘Zandor LeVay’ anyway?”

“It is in no way your concern!” Kat replied. “My Daniel and I will be able to deal with any mysteries about my past! You do not have all the facts!* You are just jealous of our powers… and of our love!!”

[*Indeed, many of these enigmas were revealed in the Weird Adventures story which is entitled “In Your Wildest Dreams”]

“Oh, right,” returned Devlin with increasingly bitter contempt tingeing her every word. “Dr. Daniel friggin’ Rumanos. Hahahaaa! The lies that deceitful old bastard has told you, girl! Really!! That utter bullshit about how he can only have sex with you or he will die! Haha! Do you really, really believe that? Oh, it’s true that he managed to set it up the other way around, manipulating your DNA so that if you were to have relations with anyone else you would sicken and perish. That serves his deep-down feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing very well, I’m sure. But him? He is so full of it to tell you that!!”

“Don’t you even dare talk about my beloved that way, you stupid little slattern whore!!”

With this, Katrina enveloped her body entirely in wonderfully flashing fire. Devlin Xandra did precisely the same thing, and the two gorgeous, paranormally-powered girls shot upward into the air as their battle continued. …

In the sphere of horrendously eldritch magical energy, I desperately struggled to remember the words of the Sumerian-Babylonian exorcism against the Liers-In-Wait, as the demoniacally possessed seven young men continued to effect me with despair by mind-invading applications of their chthonic, demoniacal powers of grotesquely and dangerously diabolical, Acherontic terror! Buggers.

Really, dear reader, can you begin to understand the shocking horror, the absolute demonic menace and ghastly, phantasmal terror of this hideous situation?!! …

At the same time, the dreadfully perilous occult battle between my beautiful wife, Mrs. Katrina Rumanos, and the lovely-but-nefarious bitch Miss Devlin Xandra Price continued, flying far above the mall floor, with blinding flashes of Infernal Flame as they whirled in circles of incredible, amazing agility and fantastically preternatural speed… HEAVEN’S HELL VS. HEAVEN’S HELL!!!

The fantastic battle continued unabated, with Katrina Rumanos and Devlin Price shooting volley after volley of fantastic mystical fire at each other while flying high above the mall sales-floor.

“Not exactly walking on sunshine, are you, Katrina?” mocked the evil Devlin Xandra Price as she shot my wife with another volley of dangerous paranormal energies. “I will destroy you!”

Amazingly, they seemed evenly-matched, the powers of the hideous Maskim and the myriads of associated attendant spirits having given Devlin an incredibly, frighteningly close approximation of the powers of Heaven’s Hell!

I have no doubt that my wife would have eventually prevailed -- after all, the original will always in the long run prevail over imitations, even in the world of magic and illusion. But how long would this perilous fight last in the meantime?

“I will annihilate you, Katrina Rumanos!” shouted the beautiful-but-deadly Devlin Xandra Price. “I will take your place in the occult world and be the ONLY Heaven’s Hell!!”

It was just then that I managed to burst forth from the dissipating sphere of dark paranormal energy generated by the seven demoniacally possessed blokes. I had completed the Babylonian Exorcism Against the Ambushers, the Liers-In-Wait -- therefore invoking into myself the power of the warrior-god Marduk, son of Enki, Master of Magicians -- and then the young men, now free from diabolical influence, had fled in terror from the shopping mall.

I quickly levitated upwards and sent a powerful blast of psychical energy at Devlin Xandra while repeating the concluding statement of the Exorcism:

“O Evil Demons! O Evil Fiends! O Demons! It is not I but the Lord MARDUK, Son of ENKI, who commands you! Be gone from this mortal being! The power of MARDUK compels you! The power of MARDUK compels you!!!”

With that, the demonic forces left the body of Devlin Xandra Price and returned to their own proper Perdition. Her powers gone, the young girl fell limply to the floor, the now-fading energies of her false Flame only serving to somewhat cushion the blow of landing.

I immediately alighted beside Devlin, and found the girl cowering in a corner of the lower mall hallway. She was stunned but not seriously injured. It was obvious that we had literally frightened The Living Hell out of her. With the devilish glamour lifted from the young woman, she only superficially resembled Katrina. Her hair was obviously dyed red, and her eyes, though blue, were duller and without much intelligence.

“No, no,” she sobbed. “Please don’t hurt me anymore. I… I’m sorry. I only wanted to be something special.”

I had generated an orb of Algolitish Magical Energy in my hand, and was preparing to blast the girl out of existence.

Then I heard another voice from behind me. It was Katrina: “Don’t do it, Daniel. She’s harmless now.”

“But, Kat,” I replied, “she tried to kill you! She made deals with horribly ancient demonic forces!”

“She’s just a kid. She didn’t know what she was doing. Come on, love. I’m all right. Let‘s just go home.”

Amazed as always by the sweetness of my wonderful wife, I turned away from Devlin Price and ignored her continued weeping as Katrina and I left Tampa, Florida, and returned to Baltimore. …

Later that night, as Kat and I lay in bed together back home at the Temple of the Starry Wisdom, I stroked her silky hair and said to her, “Sweetie, I want you to know that I have never lied to you. You are everything to me, and I will never do anything to hurt or betray you. I know that if I did, it would destroy me. I’m really not sure if it would literally ‘kill’ me, but I would truly be the same as dead.”

“Awww! It’s OK, love,” said my wonderful Katrina. “I know and understand. We will always be together, and I love you.”

“I love you too, my sweet little Kitty-Kat,” I replied as we embraced, finding the ultimate magic there in each other’s arms.

I am Dr. Daniel Rumanos, Supernatural Swashbuckler and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Goodnight.

DANIEL RUMANOS SHALL RETURN

FOR KAT'S EYES ONLY


The cold wind howled through that night outside the keep of Castle Rumanos, located as it is to the north of the city of Baltimore, Maryland. Even though it was actually still Wintertime, my wife and I were taking advantage of a comparative lull in our usually rather tumultuous lives in order to do some Spring cleaning.

The name is RUMANOS -- DR. DANIEL RUMANOS, Supernatural Swashbuckler and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Although I have the physical appearance of an human being -- a tall, strongly-built gentleman with dark hair, strikingly-handsome Anglo-Semitic features, and oddly pale skin -- 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 “magical” or “miraculous” 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, their intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic. 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 where I work undercover as a stage magician/illusionist and a writer of fantasy fiction.

I am greatly aided in my tasks by my breathtakingly beautiful and eternally-youthful wife, LADY KATRINA OLIVIA RUMANOS. Tall, slender, with gorgeous ginger hair and enchanting eyes that shine like pale sapphires. Originally a young, nobly-blooded Earth girl, Katrina had been especially gifted with amazing powers by the Kosmikos, in order to stand as my companion and helpmate in our many varied adventures upon Earth and indeed throughout the unknowable vastness of Space and Time.

That particular evening, as we looked through the vast collections of obscure “occult” memorabilia that I have collected over the years, we came upon an old advertisement for a Baltimore-area musician by the name of “Dan Deekin”.

“Have a look at this,” said I whilst handing the document to my lovely wife. “For your eyes only, darling.”

“Who was he, my love?” enquired Katrina. “I’ve never heard of him, yet this advert pretends he was so important.”

“Ah yes, sweetie,” I responded. “Dan Deekin. Ha! I had just about forgotten about him myself, even though he is one of the most phantasmagorical and execrable paranormal villains I have ever encountered. It was during that exceedingly dark period, that the Kosmikos has now confined to a different dimensional reality. An era in itself, before they changed the very reality of the Universe by your rebirth! In sooth, it was a time of bizarre suspicions, strange exploits, and hardboiled occult detective mysteries!”

“Oh, babe! Tell me the story from those times!” requested my wonderful Kat.

“I shall do so, my beautiful one! Indeed, I will relate to you a chronicle that could only be entitled --

NO PEACE FOR THE WICKED!!!”

I could hear the traffic sloshing through the rain-swept streets of the city of Baltimore as I sat in the offices of Gargoyle’s Occult Investigations; located, as it was in those days, there in the Charles Village neighbourhood a short distance north of downtown. The client with whom I had an appointment was a tad late and I was dozing a bit behind my desk. To my left were a few bookshelves, on which rested a collection of reference volumes, whilst a small refrigerator, microwave oven, and coffeepot stood behind me to the right.

I had left the door open and the young woman quietly entered without knocking. I did not open my eyes until she began speaking.

“Hello, Doctor Rumanos?” she enquired. “My name is Kittie Lagore.”

“I must be dreaming,” returned I, awakening from my lethargy. She was exceedingly beautiful: tall and very young looking, slender yet shapely with gorgeous shoulder-length red hair and sapphire-blue eyes. She wore a dark-blue skirt and an immaculately white blouse. I recognised the outfit as the type of uniform worn in the elite educational academies of the privileged.

“Welcome, Miss Lagore,” I continued, rising and motioning for the girl to take a seat. “Would you care for a cup of tea?”

“Oh yes, please,” she said with a slight smile, brushing back her ginger hair with her thin white hand. “I’m so sorry I’m late. With the rain and everything, it took longer than I had expected to find your office after school.”

“Think nothing of it,” I returned, pouring a shot of creamy-white milk into the girl’s steaming hot cup of tea. It barely occurred to me that I should have asked her first if she wanted it. “I was just thinking over the outline of your case as you told it to me over the telephone. You say your friend has gone missing?”

“Yes,” she said, taking the tea from me with a look of thanks on her lovely face. “She hasn’t been to classes since last week, and I am worried about her so. No one else seems to even care.”

I sat back down behind my desk and attempted to focus on the case rather than on the young lady’s beauty. It was rather hard, but I managed it.

“Please, Miss Lagore,” I said, “do give me some more detail concerning your missing friend, and why her absence so disturbs you.”

“Her name is Mia Fleming, and we are best friends; like sisters actually. But she has recently gotten really into the local music scene, and met a man with whom I believe she has become quite obsessed.”

“And you think she may have run off with him, perhaps?”

“Yes,” she answered, “or more likely, I would say she has been kidnapped. The man is very creepy really, and I do not see why she would be attracted to him except that he seems to have some weird power over her and others. But he is supposed to be such a popular area musician, and no one will believe me when I try to tell them that I think that Mia is with him. Even her parents and the police really just don‘t seem to care.”

“Do not worry, Miss Lagore,” said I, with a rising comprehension of what was going on. “We will get to the bottom of this mystery. That I promise you.”

“Oh, thank you, Dr. Rumanos! It so reassures me to finally hear that somebody will help!”

“Tell me then,” I enquired, “who is this strange ‘local musician’ whom you suspect of having ensnared your friend?”

“His name,” answered the girl with an insuppressibly genuine shudder of horror, “is Dan Deekin.”

Oy! I knew of this Dan Deekin character. A particularly odious individual he was indeed. Still, he would not have come under the notice of my particular area of expertise had it not been for some very specific activities on his part. But perhaps I should explain.

My name is RUMANOS -- DANIEL RUMANOS, Occult Detective, Doctor of Demonology, Interplanetary Man of Mystery, and all of that. Though I have the appearance of an alarmingly handsome human gentleman -- 6’3” tall, muscular, with long, wavy black hair (these being the days before I started letting it go grey for effect), piercing brown to blue-black eyes, and oddly pale skin -- I am actually not a mortal being at all. For I do carry within my blood the amazingly-superior genes of the Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL, those mysterious Masters of all Time and Space that centre their vast cosmic domains on the planet Daemonia, ninety-three light-years from Earth.

This extraterrestrial heritage grants me numerous abilities and powers which appear “miraculous” and “magical” to Earthlings. However, unlike the majority of Algolites, who live in a rather hermitic isolation from the rest of the universe, I have made it my ongoing crusade to utilise my inborn otherworldly gifts in order to help those in need -- defending the helpless, the innocent, and the vulnerable against any who would harm or oppress them in the name of false “religion” and “spirituality”.

This mission has gotten me some notice in the bizarre occult underground that exists on the fringes of society, with its grotesque tentacles often reaching into areas much closer to everyday life than most people ever realise. This includes the world of Satanism and Devil Worship. You see, what humans generally refer to as “demons” are, in actuality, really the disembodied life-essences of various extremely powerful but utterly immoral alien races, the physical bodies of which were destroyed countless ages ago by my people, the Watchers. Whilst we maintain that we have the full right to do this, by virtue of a universal principle known as Algolite Privilege, it is when we perceived the spiritually demonic entities being thus formed that the Algolites created the inter-dimensional prison known as Hell in which to eternally incarcerate them. It is after this that the current Algolitish policy of non-intervention was officially implemented.

During the particular time in which this current tale occurs, I had actually powered down many of my Algolitish abilities, along with psychically blocking my memories of many facts concerning the society of the Watchers, in order to live and pursue my work undetected upon Earth. Both of the above continued to ebb and flow with me, however -- hopefully, as needed.

Now, concerning this Dan Deekin individual that the lovely Miss Kittie Lagore had reason to believe responsible for her friend’s disappearance: he was as aforesaid well-known in the area as a figure in the Baltimore alternative music scene, though exactly why he was ever taken thus seriously seemed to be a mystery indeed. You see, he had little or no actual talent, his “music” consisting of a tuneless disharmony of sounds that he created from malfunctioning electronic equipment and antiquated synthesiser keyboards. He was known most of all, however, for the audience participation so often seen during his shows, with, so it would seem, his real talents being in the ability to exploit the fact that fans of popular music basically behave like sheep -- doing any ridiculous dance, call-and-response, or other foolery that the performer would request of them. The use of narcotics, particularly the hideously pernicious weed known as marijuana, aided in their complacency.

Despite all this, the idea that Mr. Dan Deekin could in any way sexual attract anyone was absolutely ludicrous. The man was physically disgusting: middle aged, quite obese, bald-headed, bespectacled, scruffily-bearded and shabbily-dressed.

“Do you have a photograph of your friend?” I enquired of Kittie Lagore.

“Yes,” she replied, briefly searching in her elegant handbag for it. “Here it is.”

She handed me the photo of her friend, Miss Mia Fleming. It showed a young, pretty blonde with wide, blue eyes and a sweet smile. No, there is no way whatsoever that a girl like this could be attracted to an ugly old git like Dan Deekin… except --

The reason I knew so much about the sickening Mr. Deekin was due to a package of information I had received in the post a few weeks previously. It had been sent from a gentleman named Will Beam, who was a paranormal researcher in addition to his vocation as a Minister of the Gospel. Even though we had never met, Rev. Beam had heard of my work in the field and had come upon certain facts that he felt that I should known -- “before it is too late”, he had written. Indeed, Beam had died of a “stroke” -- despite being in seeming perfect health -- directly after sending the package.

What the Rev. Will Beam had uncovered, during some investigations into occult influence upon popular music, concerned Dan Deekin in ways abhorrent and unspeakable. It was this: when certain passages of Deekin’s recorded music were played backwards at a particular speed, words of unnameable blasphemy and obscene demonic invocation could be heard.

Indeed, the use of black magical spells was quite obviously the only thing that could explain Dan Deekin’s strange powers of attraction!

As I pondered this whilst speaking to Miss Lagore, it occurred to me what unmentionably profane and diabolical plans this unspeakably perverted Mr. Deekin likely had in store for young Mia; the loathsome sexual debaucheries for which he could use her innocent body in order to conjure incredible, ungodly power from the forces of darkness. I mentally swore that I would stop at nothing to stop him; that the wicked, unholy man known as Dan Deekin would know absolutely no peace, no rest, and no quarter, until I had brought his demoniacal schemes to an end.

I would, if necessary, destroy Dan Deekin, that disgusting darling of the hopelessly drugged-out Baltimore “alternative music scene”. I would unreservedly destroy Dan Deekin -- the SATANIST!!

Early the next morning, Kittie Lagore and I were having breakfast in a fourteenth-floor suite of the Hotel Royale in Harbour East. I had booked the rooms under the names of Mr. and Mrs. Hamish MacBond (this based upon the code name by which I am known in the work I do from time to time with MI9 -- the British Secret Service Occult Police Agency, whom have given me the honorary rank of Commander and the Special Agent Number 00777). I thought it best to isolate the girl a bit from the possibility of any contact with Dan Deekin and whatever eldritch spiritual forces he was attempting to invoke, and so we were here undercover, posing as a young Scottish couple making the most of an overnight stopover in Baltimore on our way to a holiday in sunny Miami Beach, Florida.

Room service brought up scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, toast with marmalade, orange juice, non-fat milk, and, by my special order, a large pot of very strong coffee. We had refused the complimentary champagne offered us upon check-in the night before. I did occasionally drink alcohol in those days, but it would have quite obviously been inappropriate under the circumstances.

After showering that morning, Kittie had changed into a very nice dress. It was light blue in colour -- a shade that is called azure. I love that colour. Azure-blue.

“It is important for your own safety,” I said as we finished our meal, “that you stay in the hotel until I return today, Kittie. I have to go do some additional research concerning this Deekin miscreant, but will be back as soon as I possible.”

“It’s all right,” replied the girl, leaning over the small breakfast table and giving me a warm kiss on the mouth. “I do trust you, and want to stay safe until you can find out what that horrible man is doing with poor Mia!”

I donned my long, black leather coat over my usual darkly-hued suit and steel-toed military-surplus “jungle” boots, and then left the hotel towards the large central branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library downtown. I knew they had some good archives of the local newspapers and that I could look up information on Dan Deekin therein -- press releases, reviews of his shows, interviews and feature articles.

I arrived at the library and walked through the immense doorway into its main section, ignoring the hateful glances that I always receive from the numerous overweight African-American women lazing behind the checkout desk. That particular type sometimes seems to be the only sort actually employed anywhere in Baltimore. Someday, I pondered, I am going to have to investigate exactly why that is the case.

Finding the appropriate department, I looked over the various news items that had appeared over the years concerning the bizarre Mr. Dan Deekin. The information they contained turned out to be interesting indeed.

Dan Deekin had been born in West Babylon, New York. His family had disowned him shortly after he had finished high school. He claimed that this was because he had wanted to pursue a career in music whilst they preferred for him to attend law school. However, I knew immediately that this was not likely to be the true reason of the Deekin family having cut off young Dan.

You see, at precisely that same time the Long Island area had been terrorised by a series of incidents involving Satanic ritual crime -- occult graffiti, cats being stolen and later found mutilated in the woods, that sort of affair. The group perpetrating these heinous things called themselves The Babylon Boys Club, patterning themselves, to some little extent, after the old English “Hell-Fire Clubs” of the Eighteenth Century.

But the activities of The Babylon Boys Club had only come to a head when they really crossed the line: kidnapping a local high-school girl, then gang-raping and murdering her at their near by hideout. The cult’s leader, Richie Kelso, had been the only member of the group positively identified by a witness who had seen him with the doomed damsel the night prior to the outrage. Kelso, who had flatly refused to name his accomplices, was found hanged in his gaol cell the morning after his arrest.

That Dan Deekin had been a member of The Babylon Boys Club was rather obvious. The times and modus operandi worked out perfectly. His family had known, or at least suspected this, and had felt that banishing him from their home was a far more lenient -- and less humiliating to themselves -- alternative to turning him into the authorities. It is then that Dan moved to Baltimore and began his rise to relative-fame as a local “musician”.

And so, now Mr. Dan Deekin was attempting to accomplish that in which he and the other cultists of The Babylon Boys Club had previously failed: to use the strong paranormal and black-magical energies of the ritualised sexual violation of an innocent young girl in order to gain incredible occult power.

The thought of this person, along with the overly-heated library room, nauseated me. I briefly thought of removing my coat but thought better of that, as it is permeated with paranormal protective energies due to some of my past experiences whilst wearing it (along with other factors). I instead left the library and stepped into the blessed coolness of that late-February day. I had certainly completed my research anyway, and with the relief brought upon me by the brisk air came the thought of picking up some Chinese take-away for lunch and then returning to Kittie at the Hotel Royale.

However, I had only walked a couple of blocks from the library when I suddenly found myself sprawling on the concrete, having been hit from behind by a powerful surge of black magic energy. Fortunately, my abilities allowed me to recover quickly and I turned to face my attackers.

They were a couple of young men; skinny, identically dressed in scruffy sweatpants and T-shirts, obvious narcotics addicts with sallow, pock-marked faces -- but they were both surrounded by grotesquely pulsating ebon-black demonic energies.

“Dr. Daniel Rumanos,” stated one of them contemptuously, “our master, the brilliantly gifted Dan Deekin, has psychically sensed your intentions to interfere with his plans! We, his loyal Satanic slaves, have come in his defence! And now, meddler Rumanos, we will annihilate you!!”

So, this bloody Dan Deekin must indeed be more powerful than I had figured. Such was the thought running through my mind as I faced his two henchmen on that Baltimore street.

“By the mighty Satanic powers of Master Dan Deekin,” continued the young occult hoodlum, “we will now destroy you!”

I quickly dodged another flash of black magical energy that they shot at me and, then turning to stand sideways like a duellist in order to make myself a more difficult target, I hurriedly generated a vigorous bolt of my own inborn, seemingly-miraculous Algolitish energies, casting it forcefully towards the horrid twosome.

My blast of energy shimmered in brilliant orange and blue as it hit the two Satanists squarely. They obviously had not prepared for it, as it shot them upwards into the air. They managed to regain some self-control just as they reached the top level of a near by parking garage building, and alighted onto it whilst I levitated up in pursuit of them.

As I reached the rooftop, I perceived that one of the duo had now had it. My defences had immediately been too strong for him, and he now lay prostrate, panting laboriously in an exhausted near-death, his body and psyche both broken, shattered by my awesome extraterrestrial abilities.

The other had not taken the brunt of the flash and continued his attacks on me, but he did not last long. Another blistering bolt of my powers sent him reeling back off the roof, falling to the pavement five storeys below. His body crushed, the horrid henchman died instantly.

I then turned back to the first of them. He had only a very few breaths of life remaining in his worthless criminal body, and I lifted his head -- not so tenderly I might add -- as I began a psychic probe. Whilst the Satanic scum yet lived, I could use him to ascertain the current whereabouts and plans of his maniacal master, the execrable occult criminal known as Dan Deekin.

I sought in his mind for this information, and mentally heard the words “Printer’s Devil” and “Dark of the Moon” before my would-be assassin slipped into death. I briefly felt his diseased soul plunging into the Hell of the damned, where he will suffer forever in torment in the place prepared for the hideous devils he chose to worship.

Before leaving the area, I dropped this henchman over the side of the building to fall beside his fellow. Let the police authorities think it was some kind of homosexual lover’s leap suicide pact for these two. Serves the abominable filth right.

It then occurred to me that the wicked Deekin, if he indeed had the paranormal perceptions that he appeared to possess, would have known that these scummy henchmen of his could not succeed in murdering me. Why had he then bothered to send them? Apparently, to keep me occupied whilst he carried out some nefarious purpose. But what?

Then, it suddenly became quite obvious: KITTIE!

I rushed at my full speed back to the Hotel Royale and hurried quickly up to our  fourteenth-floor suite, ignoring the lift in favour of the stairs. My heart sank when I saw that the girl was gone, with a smashed lamp and overturned table and chairs showing evidence of a struggle. Then I noticed a scrap of notepaper taped to the wall, bearing a taunting message inked in black, underlined block lettering:

HULLO RUMANOS,” read the brief missive. “YOUR BIRD HAS FLOWN.”

It was signed “D.D.

Christ on a bike!

In Baltimore, a neighbourhood is considered “gentrified” when rich white kids start going there to buy drugs. Such is the case with Station North, so called due to its location a few blocks north of the train station. Long one of the worst crime-infested ghetto stink-holes in the entire city, this slummy area has in recent years become a hangout for the hipster “arts” crowd.

On the outskirts of Station North, in fact located where the black ghetto gives way to the more white-trash Remington district, is the Printer’s Devil Building, so named after a print-shop that was located there decades previous to its current use as an apartment building. It is here that I journeyed in search of the ignoble felon known as Dan Deekin, having psychically extracted its name as the location of his current hideout from one of his now-deceased henchmen.

I knew that this was the night of the Dark of the Moon, when certain rites of Satanic sexual magic are celebrated. I also knew I had to stop the debauched scoundrel Mr. Deekin from thus using the two young ladies in his attempt to greatly increase his occult powers!

Accordingly, I investigated the hallways of the Printer’s Devil Building. Few of the residents seemed to be at home in the flats. It was by now just after dark, and the local hipster types were likely congregated, as is their wont, at the near by openly-communist bookshop and cafĂ©.

Then, at the end of one of the cockroach-infested corridors I empathically detected a strange, darksome glow; just a hint of what had to be a passageway leading to black-magical activity. I approach and touched my hand to the wall, and was not surprised to see it pass directly through the seemingly-solid woodwork. I stepped through entirely and found myself drifting downwards towards a subterranean chamber far below the Printer’s Devil itself. This then was the secret lair of the hideously evil Dan Deekin!

The passage debouched into a large cavern, lit by a series of black and red candles in wall sconces and strewn about with numerous electronic musical instruments, pornographic magazines, and narcotics paraphernalia. At the far end of this grotesque chamber was the horrible villain Dan Deekin himself, a wicked smirk upon his ugly face.

“So, Daniel Rumanos,” he sneered. “Guess you got my message.”

“Blimey, Dan Deekin,” I replied. “I had heard you were an underground musician -- but this is going a bit too far! By the way, you shouldn‘t sign yourself ‘Double D‘. It makes you sound like a bloody great brassiere.”

His dark eyes narrowed with a glint of anger. Despite the pallid complexion of Dan Deekin, his broad, flat nose and thick, slobbery lips both denoted traces of non-European blood in his ancestry. This caused me to wonder at what horrible generational evils and loathsome ethnic recidivisms this sickeningly contemptible individual likely carried within him.

“Where are the two girls you have kidnapped?” I continued. “In any event, Deekin, I have come here to stop you, but if you have harmed Kittie or Mia I do swear that your ending shall painful beyond all belief.”

“Oh, Rumanos,” he replied, continuing his disgusting smile, “I assure you the two little hotties are quite happy.”

With this taunt, he flicked a switch on one of his antiquated electronic devices and a curtain opened, revealing the two young women chained to the wall beside him. At the same time, a loudspeaker system began to blare out a recording of some of Deekin’s worthless, dissonant excuse for “music”.

I ran over and examined Kittie and Mia. They were alive but barely conscious -- obviously the result of drugs that the criminal had forced into them. Both of them were bruised about the face and arms, and Kittie’s dress had been torn to shreds in her struggle against the wicked Dan Deekin.

“Hahaha!” shouted Deekin suddenly, foaming flecks of saliva dripping into his unkempt beard. “The redhead did put up quite a fight when I took her from your holiday hotel hideaway -- or should I say love-nest? Naughty naughty, Doctor! Naughty naughty!”

“Oh shut up, Deekin, you bleeding twit,” I rejoined. “This ends now!”

I cast a bolt of Algolitish energies directly at him. To my surprise, it only sent him a short distance backwards before he recovered. Yes, it appears that this Dan Deekin reprobate was indeed more magically attuned than I had ever imagined him to be. There then immediately began to flow forth from him a stream of demonic entities -- and they were coming directly at me!

The ebony mass of cacodemons halted in a circle of obscenely-black power less than a metre about my person; a hovering phantasmagorical ring of eldritch horror. I heard Dan Deekin, that perversely unholy Satanic malefactor, laughing with hideous mirth.

“What now, Deekin?” I calmly enquired of him. “Do you expect me to surrender?”

“No, Dr. Rumanos,” he chortled wickedly. “I expect you to DIE!”

At his command, the throng of myriad evil spirits then rushed inwards -- totally engulfing me in a spiritually-suffocating miasma of absolute ungodly terror!!

The awful ambuscade of demoniacal spirits engulfed me in a blacker-than-black haze. Even with my enhanced abilities, it was difficult to retain consciousness amongst the spiritually-suffocating influence of such unnameable horror.

I reached deeply, deeply inside myself, to the very core of my being, for what was necessary to escape this terror. I found a spark in the centre of my soul -- a buried glimmer of remembrance of my origins as one of the Watchers of Algol. Indeed, what I found was even beyond this. For in hiding my memories as an Algolite, I had put them in psychic safekeeping within a place containing also the remembrance of the secret origins of the Watchers themselves -- of our own beginnings beyond the barriers of known existence; our origins as the Aeturnusians, those very beings of supreme power who are termed angels by the religions of planet Earth. It was a portion of these beings who ventured into the realms of physical life and formed the society of Algol itself, led in their journey by the greatest of all Aeternusians; the one who is remembered as the Creator, the one named YAHWEH -- He who is my Father!

You see, for that short time necessary to escape the demoniac onslaught thrust upon me by the villainously wicked and obscenely perverted Dan Deekin, I remembered my past existences, not only as a Watcher of Algol, but even countless aeons before when I was the one known to Algolitish history only as THE OTHER, the only-begotten son of Yahweh. The Other, who -- along with Sesom and Dammahum, saved the Watchers from the possible ignominy of being remembered as “fallen” and therefore allowed Algolitish science to maintain the balance of all of Space and Time. The Other, Saviour of the Universe!

I accordingly invoked the powers of the Almighty within me with the appropriate words in a moment of supreme power that even I may only call forth under certain fantastically extreme circumstances:

“EL SHADDAI ELYON ADONAI YAHWEH!!!”

With this, a tremendous flow of pure white light came forth from my inner self, immediately dispersing the demons and then targeting the hideous criminal Dan Deekin.

I heard the wickedly diabolical Deekin give a brief but poignant scream of absolute, abject fear as the light made contact with him. His voice was then immediately cut short as death overcame him, as the very skin, flesh, and viscera of this totally ungodly individual melted away until only a bare skeleton remained.

The light then disappeared, leaving only peace and silence in that underground cavern that had once been used for such evil purposes. Even the sickening “music” had, thankfully, stopped playing.

I walked over to the skeleton of the wicked Dan Deekin, that disgusting Satanist, and gave his dried-up skull a derisive kick with one of my steel-toed boots. It hit the wall and shattered into a million tiny shards.

“Bloody fat bastard,” said I.

I freed the two girls from their bonds and saw that they recovered. Fortunately, Deekin had not molested either of them, having been saving his perverse sexual energies for the horrid Satanic ceremony he had planned for later that night.

Mercifully, Miss Mia Fleming had little memory of the entire affair; the human mind being quite capable of shutting out potential mental harm caused by remembrance of contact with what is generally known as the supernatural.

I saw the beautiful Kittie Lagore a few tines after that. She always thanked me profusely for having saved her and her friend; kindly never mentioning the fact that the execrable villain had kidnapped her when she was under my protection (something for which I could not help but to feel a bit of shame). Nevertheless, we eventually drifted apart after Kittie had gone away to attend university in another state. I have often thought of her, and of how she in many ways reminded me of someone whom I had once loved and lost -- and of one whom I knew I would find and love again in years to come. This resemblance I perceived in Kittie Lagore, however, is certainly only a coincidence -- or, more properly stated, an illusion.

DANIEL RUMANOS SHALL RETURN