PEDEROSIS

The alien planet resembled a rock quarry with strange mists drifting across it, and an odd hum in the sky like an electronic battery. My companion and I walked across the landscape after having exited our Time/Space travel vehicle that looks like an old Roman column. I was clad in my usual finery -- including a frilled poet shirt and purple velvet dinner jacket. My companion was a young girl.

(Why are we here? Why are we not discussing the mission? Is there any message from the Kosmikos concerning our assignment?)

She was a brunette, tall and well-developed for her age, with large pale eyes and a wide, sensuous mouth. She was dressed in a blue and pink striped skirt and matching halter top. Her name was Victoria Wingus.

(What! Is not Victoria Wingus deceased? Surely, she died sacrificing herself to save Earth from an alien invasion, did she not?)

Suddenly, from over the horizon marched an army of tall, silver men, striding to-wards us in their efficient and emotionless way.

“Leknii Replicants!” said I.

I moved forward and raised my hands, releasing a wave of bright orange and blue Algolitish power. My energies hit the Replicants directly, quickly burning them out of existence.

(How do I have this power? Such energies can only be wielded by members of the Absolute Convention of the Watchers. I did indeed have them on loan for some time a while back, but that changed when… Well, never mind.)

Immediately after our first assailants had vanished, another group of creatures approached from over the horizon. They were about the size of an human torso, but that is where all similarity to sane creation ended. For each of these beings was as a mass of tendrils intertwined with electronic material. Their eyes, ebon-black slits showing a gaze of pure hate, could be perceived from deep within their grotesque forms. They hovered about a metre above the ground as they approached us.

“Eliminate!” they threatened in their harshly-enhanced voices. “Eliminate!!”

“Those are Mynverkossian Mutations!” I exclaimed.

(Why are both these races of evil beings, old enemies of mine, here on this same strange planet?)

Then, Victoria Wingus raised her arm and sent forth a bolt of energy from it, an ability she had acquired when she herself had been one of the Replicants of Leknii. The Mutations quickly fell to the ground when the blast hit them, broken into pieces.

(Since when are Mynverkossian Mutations that easily defeated?)

Nevertheless, the greatest horror was yet to come. For at that moment, appearing from over the horizon of that strange world was the figure of a man, forsooth a giant seemingly hundreds of feet tall. He was dressed in a black vestment robe, the hood down. I looked up into his face.

It was the countenance of a man of middle years, still showing marks of distinction despite being blemished with the signs of extreme profligate evil. He had long dark hair and his gigantic visage was decorated with a thin moustache and goatee. Most striking were his eyes, which shone with a bizarre hypnotic glow.

“Don Wingus!!” I shuddered, recognising this being, despite his great increase in size, as my oldest and bitterest enemy -- and as the estranged father of my young companion.

(But is Don Wingus also not dead? Was he not destroyed, utterly annihilated when one of his evil schemes failed? Or did he once again manage to escape? And how and why did he grow to this monstrous size?)

The giant Don Wingus then began to laugh, a sound without mirth, without happiness -- a noise of pure sin and unnameable iniquity beyond all imagining.

Then there were two of him. Then there were three of him.

Then I heard Victoria begin to scream… 

I awoke and sat up in bed, drenched in sweat. The room was dark except for an hint of moonlight shining through the draperies of a near by window.

“Are you all right, Daniel?” said a sweet female voice from beside me.

“No worries, Millie,” I assured her. “It was only a dream.”

My name is RUMANOS -- DOCTOR DANIEL RUMANOS, Extraterrestrial Espionage Agent and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Even though I have the physical appearance of an human being, I am in fact several thousands of years old and do carry within my blood the vastly superior genes of the legendary Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL -- the most intellectually-advanced race in all of the known galaxies, whose technology is so sophisticated it often appears to be “miraculous” to lesser beings.

Whilst most Algolites live in elitist seclusion from the rest of the Universe, I am an Operative for a secret organisation known as the KOSMIKOS or Cosmic Intervention Department, tasked with maintaining peace and order throughout the farthest reaches of Space and Time. “Plausible deniability”, and all that.

Currently assigned to Planet Earth, I protect its people from the hideous manipulations of the arch-villain known as Master Don Wingus, as well as alien invasions, mad scientists, and indeed all manner of menace. I am the living icon of Algol upon this world. I am the sword of justice from the planet Daemonia. I am -- THE DAEMON-STAR!!! …

It was a warm day, with intermittent clouds, as I drove my specially-modified, canary-coloured Edwardian Roadster -- affectionately known as “Lizzie” -- into the downtown area of Towson, Maryland. The Kosmikos had informed me that this area of Baltimore County was to be the site of my next mission, but had not given any further information. Apparently, the details of the matter were too dangerous to be broadcast on even the encrypted subspace transmission on which I had received the assignment.

In the passenger’s seat was my friend the Hollywood actress Millie Drake, who was visiting whilst awaiting news concerning a major film role for which she had recently auditioned. The beautiful tween starlet -- petite and perfect with luxurious chestnut hair, wondrous violet eyes, and luscious pink lips -- was wearing a short, low-cut dress navy blue in colour.

“So where are we going, Daniel?” enquired Millie. “This is so exciting!”

“Well, it actually could be quite dangerous, love,” I informed her. “I do hope you know and understand that.”

“Oh, I’m sure I’ll be safe with you,” she purred.

“Well, if you insist,” I acquiesced. “Nevertheless, even I am not certain what exactly we will be facing, so be prepared, eh?”

Then, as if on cue, something horrible came into view. It flew up from behind the buildings lining the street, its huge shadow blocking out the sun.

“Oh my God!” exclaimed Millie. “Daniel, what is that?”

I looked up at the thing and found it difficult to believe the evidence of my own senses. It was like a gigantic flying reptile, coloured slate-grey, and rather like an incredibly-oversized airborne crocodile with a wingspan about 200 feet wide. It soared high above the town and opened its mouth with a raucous squawking sound that echoed around the area.

“No, it could not be!” I exclaimed. “That is Nodar!!”

As I attempted to drive Lizzie to somewhere with a degree of safety, the creature started to flap its wings vigorously, causing wind gusts equal to hurricane proportions. The windows of the near by buildings began to shatter and the pedestrians on the sidewalk screamed in horror and ran for cover. Numerous automobiles went out of control and began to crash into the sides of the local shopping complexes.

And then, before I could even consider what to do to remedy the situation, another monstrosity came into view -- albeit one of a decidedly more colourful appearance, and in its way even beautiful. It was flying in from the other direction and looked liked nothing other than a gigantic butterfly, red and yellow in hue. It perched atop the roof of the Towson Town Centre mall and began to spray a type of silken webbing around the building.

“It is Monarka!” said I.

“You know what these monsters are, Daniel?” asked the girl, nervous with fright. “You know their names?”

We had by now taken shelter behind the new cinema complex and alighted from the car.

“Yes, I do, Millie,” I answered. “But they are not something I had thought to ever see here and now! They are monsters from the first period of Earth’s formation, before even the dinosaurs. In fact, before anything you would recognise as natural life existed on this planet. You see, the radiation of Earth’s creation caused the coming into being of numerous gigantic monsters, themselves distorted forms of what would later exist on the planet -- reptiles, insects, mammals, and so forth. They reigned alone on this world for countless ages, well-nigh immortal, before finally going into hibernation deep within the planet. They are only dimly remembered in obscure legends, like of what the ancient Greeks called the “Titans”. Perhaps the Japanese mythology knows them best, where they are known as ‘KAIJU’.”

“So you mean somebody has woken them up?” queried Millie.

“Apparently. Now we just need to find out who would do that and why!”

But the answer to this, at least in part, was to come sooner than I had expected. For at that moment, the large video screen over the Towson Circle, which is usually utilised for advertising and local news purposes, suddenly began broadcasting a message. It was the image of a person wearing an ‘Anonymous’ mask and a black jacket, though I could tell from her shoulders and her black-haired wig that she was a woman. Her voice was electronically disguised as she spoke the following:

“We are EARTHCLEANSE, and you are witnessing the beginning of the end of your civilisation. We will cleanse the Earth and bring it back to the pristine glory of its beginning. The human race will be annihilated except for our chosen ones.”

“‘Earthcleanse’?” I repeated. “Sounds like environmentalism gone mad! I will deal with these eco-terrorist types, Millie, and…”

A wave of horror then passed through me as I realised that Millie Drake was gone. Sometime during the brief moments that I had looked away from her, she had vanished. There had been no time for her to have sought shelter. The only explanation is that she had been abducted -- expertly snatched by someone adept at such atrocities.

“Doctor Daniel Rumanos,” suddenly addressed the voice of the person on the screen. “We have taken your young companion. She will not be harmed as long as you do not interfere. Be warned, however, if you attempt any action against our crusade, the child will immediately be executed!

“But there is more,” continued the voice, now once again addressing all and sundry. “Much more. For we have waited until now to present to you the Lord of All Monsters, the very being that will ensure our victory and the cleansing of this planet!”

And with this, there suddenly descended from high in the sky a terror beyond all that had been seen up until now. It was hundreds of feet high and its feet were two enormous claws. It flew down on membranous bat-like wings. It was completely black in colour and it had three horrid reptilian heads that were atop long, snakelike necks that writhed in a constant hideous motion. The thing landed in the middle of Towson Circle with force that sent the concrete cracking in all directions.

“Citizens,” proclaimed the person on the screen, “welcome your Armageddon; welcome the Bringer of Storms; welcome… KING WINGOSUS!!!” 

The gigantic eldritch terror known as King Wingosus hissed from its three horrid heads. The resultant exhalations were a poisonous gas that began to affect the people who had not yet managed to flee the area. Some were only sickened. Others were rendered unconscious. Some of them, especially the elderly and the weak, died as a result of inhaling the fumes of the monster’s breath.

The other two monsters, Nodar and Monarka, had ceased their activities and seemed to bow down in obeisance to the three-headed horror.

Fortunately, my Algolitish physique gave me immunity to the noxious exhalations of Wingosus. I walked over to Lizzie, attempting to appear fearful and dejected in case I was being observed by members of Earthcleanse. I did not want to do anything that would cause them to fulfil their threat against Millie Drake, but I had to take some action against the horrors they were bringing upon the world.

“There is only one creature in all of existence that can deal with King Wingosus,” I said to myself. “PEDEROSIS!”

I took the transonic turnscrew -- an highly-advanced scientific instrument resembling a writing pen -- from the pocket of my jacket, and aimed it to-wards my car radio. I was programming it to emit a signal, a call that could only be heard by one being. 

I looked at the small video screen upon Lizzie‘s dashboard. It showed a scene far out at sea. The waters began to become tumultuous, as if some gigantic thing were rising from the depths. From this, I knew that my signal had been received. …

Near by, at the top level of a tall apartment building, young Millie Drake was being held captive in a sparsely-furnished but well air-conditioned room. Her kidnappers were three, one the masked woman who had appeared on the large video screen, the others were big, heavy-set men of a rather plebeian type, dressed in black jeans and t-shirts emblazoned with the logos of trashy “heavy metal” bands. They both eyed the girl lustfully as she sat huddled upon a sofa, but made no move to molest her.

“Remember, both of you,” said the woman, “do not harm that child. We must give Rumanos no excuse to take action against us.”

“Yes, Madame Temacula,” said the henchmen in unified conformity.

“But, at the first sign of covert activity from him -- send her to her death!!” …

Outside, Wingosus had continued to unleash his poisonous fumes from the centre of Towson Circle. The area was by now mostly evacuated, and there were some signs of a military presence starting to form in response to the situation. I knew, however, that their efforts would be to no avail. No weapon on Earth could be effective against these ancient monstrosities. Nothing could be, except…

Then, there was a sound. A noise as of a long, earthshaking roar of challenge. Standing at the opposite end of the street from Wingosus was a monster thirty storeys tall and green of colour. A flash as of fire came from his breath. He was like a gigantic, thickly-muscled, bipedal lizard with row of spikes down his back and tail. His eyes, large but subtly slanted, bespoke of intelligence and determination.

“Pederosis,” said I.

The challenge made, these two monsters, Pederosis and King Wingosus, their heads seemingly as high as the very sky, began to rush to-wards each other. It would truly be a clash of Titans, a battle of giants -- a fight from which only one of these combatants could possibly emerge intact! …

Inside the headquarters of Earthcleanse, the masked woman was outraged.

“What has he done?!” she shrieked. “Only Rumanos could have called that thing! That is Pederosis, the very monster of which the Master warned us! He said it was the only thing that could possibly stand against King Wingosus!”

“I knew Daniel would find a way,” said Millie Drake quietly as she continued to huddle upon the sofa, though somehow less frightened than before. “I knew he would.”

“Why you insolent little brat!” screamed the woman, then turning to address her associates. “Kill that accursed child! Kill her now!!”

“Yes, Madame Temacula,” said both henchmen in unison.

One of the men opened the large window of the top-floor flat, whilst the other reached down and picked up Millie from the sofa. He leered wickedly, enjoying the touch of her warm young body as he carried her over. He enjoyed her struggles, her cries, her fear. He even enjoyed a feeling of climax as he released her, throwing her directly out of that window to-wards the hard pavement below.

Screaming in terror, Millie Drake plummeted from the height of the building!

Do you perceive the horror, the extreme demoniacal terror of this situation my friends? Not only was the town -- and possibly soon the entire Earth -- being besieged by gigantic monsters, but now the supposed environmentalist extremist organisation known as “Earthcleanse” was attempting to murder that young girl, Miss Millie Drake, just in order to take revenge on me for having opposed their nefarious plots!

The poor wee lass fell screaming to-wards the unforgiving concrete. Then, just before she would have reached it and perished horribly, a canary-coloured blur appeared just below her. It was my trusty roadster, Lizzie, and I drove the car there in haste, arriving just in time for Millie to land safely and softly in the passenger’s seat.

“Specially-modified shock-absorbent seats,” I explained. “I invented the technology for it myself. Are you all right, love?”

“I… I’m fine!” answered Millie in amazement. “It just feels so good to be back with you! Those horrible people who took me away -- who are they really?”

“They are not real environmentalists, of course,” I explained as I drove the car to a place of comparative safety. “When they introduced the monster, King Wingosus, they kind of gave it away. You see, Wingosus is not one of the ancient Earth monsters that I told you about. No, it is something else entirely. In actuality, Wingosus is an alien hybrid horror formed in Outer Space during the time of the Galactic Wars! What is more, he was created by my old archenemy, one who even had the unholy arrogance to name the monster after himself -- the renegade Algolite known as Master Don Wingus!”

“Oh my God!” exclaimed the damsel. “You mean those people work for that disgusting Don Wingus?!”

“Yes, although Wingus himself is still missing and presumed dead, his satanic disciples live on and act to continue his evil plans.”

“The woman is called ‘Madame Temacula’,” Millie informed me.

“‘Temacula’?” I repeated. “Why, that is yet another derivative of ‘Wingus’! Both are related to terms signifying the intoxication of wine. But of course! Now I have no doubt that this ‘Earthcleanse’ is actually only a front for his occult terrorist organisation -- Spectral Paranormal!!”

I had by now parked the car behind the Towson Town Centre mall, and from this vantage point we could view the battle of the monsters. Wingosus and Pederosis continued to exchange blows, with Wingosus continuously biting his opponent with the fang-filled mouths of all three horrid heads, in between flying upwards on its membranous wings and descending quickly to grasp at Pederosis with the horrid claws of its feet.

Nevertheless, Pederosis more than held his own, pummelling his foe with karate-type blows and lashing his long, spiked tail at the horrible Wingosus, At times, he would unleash a blast of his radioactive fire-breath at the unearthly terror, causing the thing to retreat several paces before it could recover and continue the battle. 

Amongst it all could be heard the challenging roar of the mighty Pederosis and the hideous answering hisses of the demoniacal creature known as King Wingosus!

“So that giant lizard is a good monster then?” enquired Millie from our observation point. “Can he really defeat that Wingosus thing?”

“If anyone can defeat Wingosus, it would be Pederosis!” I rejoined. “You see, Pederosis was the greatest and most powerful of the ancient monsters; the Titans or Kaiju! He gained his extra powers by feeding on the radiations from the early days of the formation of planet Earth! He is the original ‘alpha predator’ -- the most dominant monster in all of Earth’s history!”

“So how did you get him here, really?”

“I summoned him by utilising a signal especially programmed for only this type of emergency! Pederosis usually sleeps in profound hibernation in the deepest chasms of the ocean, but he can be called up in most urgent times -- by one who knows!”

“Daniel, if these monsters and things like them exist,” queried the girl, “how is it that most people never hear of them?”

“Do you remember the Zedgonnim gambit with the Chesapeake Bay Monster; or the Bigfoot in the Baltimore Metro?”

I could tell by the puzzled look on the girl’s face that she had no idea what I was talking about.

“You see?” I continued. “The human race seems to have an infinite capacity to forget things that would mess up their complacent worldview. They make excuses; they cover it up without even really realising what they are doing.”

“But this! It’s so huge! All these monsters! When all this is hopefully over, it couldn’t just be explained away, could it?”

“We shall see, sweetheart,” I told her “We shall see.”

It was then that something terrible happened. The other two monsters, Nodar and Monarka, had up until now taken no part in the conflict -- but now that suddenly changed. For it was then that Nodar, that flying reptilian horror, took to the sky and flew up behind Pederosis, attacking him from behind!

“It is just a thing of nature,” I explained. “Nodar currently acknowledges King Wingosus as his alpha, and feels compelled to aid it against Pederosis!”

Indeed, and this caused just enough distraction that Wingosus was able to increase its own attacks on the heroic giant lizard.

“Oh my God!” exclaimed Millie. “Daniel, it’s killing him! Look! Pederosis is dying!”

Bleeding and torn by the continued attacks of his now-two opponents, Pederosis began to fall down in defeat…

Can you see the terror in this, my friends? Pederosis, the last hope of Earth against the monstrous horror of King Wingosus, was beaten -- seemingly-defeated by the flying monster Nodar now having taken the side of the alien horror known as King Wingosus!!

It was then that something wondrous happened; in sooth something exceedingly delightful and amazing. For it was then that Monarka, the giant butterfly, suddenly flew up and began to spin her silken web-like substance around Wingosus! The three-headed monster was quickly covered by the silk, the substance hindering its movements.

“She is helping him!” I exclaimed. “Monarka is coming to the aid of Pederosis!”

“‘She’?” asked Millie.

“Yes, ‘she’ indeed,” I assured her, “and there is nothing better than having a beautiful lady by one’s side.”

With this, I put my arm around the lovely young girl, and she snuggled close to me as we continued the watch the battle of the monsters.

This interlude was enough time for Pederosis to begin to recover, and indeed the mighty monster used the moments well. He closed his eyes and seemed to concentrate, calling upon previously-unseen powers. His entire enormous body began to glow with a radioactive charge, a charge that healed and renewed him, and soon Pederosis was a glowing giant as of electric fire!

Pederosis then charged to-wards King Wingosus, bodily slamming the alien horror and burning it with the radioactive flame. Soon Wingosus was only a burnt, dying conflagration of matter, and its remains went soaring through the air.

The gigantic, burning cinders that were once King Wingosus wafted to-wards the buildings in which were the headquarters of the so-called “Earthcleanse”. The masked woman known as Madame Temacula watched in abject shock as the fire approached. Her two male henchmen had gone to the restroom to “relieve” themselves -- in actuality, the two redneck degenerates had gone to use each other’s bodies as surrogates for the sexual lust they had built up from having been in the presence of young Miss Drake!

The rest of the apartments had been evacuated. Madame Temacula was alone and there was no time to escape. All of the emergency alarms of the building were sounding in constant repetition.

“Master, please help!” she exclaimed, activating an hidden view-screen upon the wall. “King Wingosus has been destroyed, and… !”

The face of a man appeared on the screen. He was apparently of middle years, his countenance still showing signs of distinction despite being marked with the results of lifetimes of extreme profligate evil. His hair was long and dark, and a thin moustache and goatee decorated his visage. Most of all, his eyes glowed with a deeply-hypnotic effulgence.

“You have failed me, Temacula,” he said, his voice darksome and dripping with ungodly arrogance. “You have failed me, and the punishment for that is death.”

“No, Master Wingus!” she pleaded. “Please…”

“No excuses, you old bitch,” continued the villain. “I raised you up from being just a deformed hillbilly strumpet from the hills of West Virginia. I educated you and gave you the most supreme honour of being my servant, but now you have failed me and must perish!”

Madame Temecula then ripped off her mask to reveal a face of madness, of obscene inbred horror -- only one fully-formed eye, no nose, and a gaping, lipless mouth filled with only four very large, brown teeth.

Then the grotesque woman screamed one final shriek of unholy terror before the building went up in flames. …

Outside, the monsters Nodar and Monarka both bowed down before Pederosis, the latter (having now returned to his regular appearance) then unleashing a tremendous roar of triumph.

“Yes!” I exclaimed with delight. “Bow down all monsters, for PEDEROSIS is now Lord and King of the Kaiju!”

“Long live the King,” added Millie with a wonderful smile.

And with this, Nodar and Monarka flew away to find a way to go back into hibernation, and the mighty Pederosis stalked off into the distance, to return to his aeons-long sleep deep beneath the sea. …

A few minutes later, Millie and I sat in a near by parking lot, enjoying a boxed lunch of corned beef sandwiches and a big thermos of coffee that I had kept in Lizzie’s glove-box. A local television news broadcast was now being shown on the large Towson Circle video screen, which had somehow survived the carnage.

“Authorities are explaining the disturbance earlier today in the Towson area as an accident caused by a construction crew,” stated the rather dour African-American man, a well-known local newsreader. “It is all part of proposed plans to renovate and update the shopping complexes of that district, and…”

“You see what I mean?” I turned to the girl. “They have found a way to explain it all away already!”

Millie was not really paying attention. The little tweenage beauty was reading a text message that she had just received on her mobile telephone.

“Oh my God!” she exclaimed.

“What is it now, love?” I asked with some concern.

“I’ve been chosen for the part in that film!” she beamed. “It starts shooting tomorrow, in Las Vegas!”

“Well, congratulations, Millie!”

“Awww, but it means I’ll have to go! I don’t want to leave you, Daniel! But to get there, I need to get to the airport right away and catch a flight to Vegas!”

“Nonsense,” I told her. “I can get you to Las Vegas in Lizzie faster than any aeroplane.”

“Really?” she said with a lovely and welcoming smile. “All right!”

“Come along then, Millie, my little ‘waifu’,” I teased.

“Another Japanese word?” she giggled. “What does it mean?”

“I shall explain later, love,” I assured her. “And I think you will like it!”

And with this, after a quick kiss from the beautiful Millie Drake, I engaged my car’s specially-modified engines and we sped off to-wards the west.

***** DANIEL RUMANOS SHALL RETURN IN “THE CHEERLEADER EXPERIMENT”