“Computer laryngitis,” said I. “An unfortunate diagnosis, but not a serious one. She should get over it completely in a few days.”
“Awww! Poor Kit-10,” said Millie Drake, reaching down to pet our catlike robot friend. “I miss hearing her voice.”
We were in the café-like control room of the DiTraS (pronounced “DYE-tress” and standing for Dimensional Transport Sphere), our Time-machine/Spaceship. I was dressed in my usual finery, including a frilled poet shirt, purple velvet suit, and leathern boots. Millie, a beautiful young girl of my own race, the Watchers of Algol, is petite and perfect, with luxurious chestnut hair, enchanting violet eyes, and luscious pink lips. She was clad in a tight, short, flowered dress that only served to highlight the slender curves of her wondrously-pubescent figure.
An odd gasping, moaning noise came from the near by control console. I went over to check the monitor readings.
“We have materialised,” I announced.
“So, where are we?” queried the young lady. “Oh, and when?”
“Earth again,” I replied. “Specifically, the eastern tip of Long Island, New York, in the year 1983. By the Stars! We are at Montauk!”
“Montauk?” repeated Millie.
“A small town that is the location of Fort Hero, a former United States military station that was decommissioned just a few years previous to this time,” I explained. “There have been persistent rumours that it was used, during the 1980s, for certain experiments.”
“What kind of experiments?”
“Well, experiments in Time travel for one thing,” I mused. “Also with possibilities of manipulating the human genome, in attempts to create some kind of superhuman race or alien hybrid of some sort. There are myriad conspiracy theories concerning Montauk. I had always meant to come here at this time and have a look around, just to see what, if anything, was actually going on.”
“I looks like we are going to have a chance to do that, Daniel,” smiled the lovely lass.
“Indeed we shall, my dear Mills. Indeed we shall.” …
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 “magic” and “miraculous” to lesser beings.
Whilst most Algolites tend to keep to themselves, preferring to live in elitist seclusion from the rest of the Universe and thus merely observing the goings-on of the myriad races of the vast reaches around them, 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. You know, “plausible deniability”, and all of that sort of thing. It is our ongoing mission to defend the weak, the unfortunate, and the innocent from those who would harm or exploit them.
Currently assigned to Earth, I protect its people (both upon their planet and across the eternal void) from the hideous manipulations of the arch-villain known as Master Don Wingus and his occult terrorist organisation, Spectral Paranormal; as well as alien invasions, mad scientists, and indeed all manner of menace. Assisted by my friends -- the beautiful Miss Millie Drake and our catlike robot, Kit-10 -- I am the living icon of Algol on this world. I am a Knight of the Eternal Spires. I am the sword of justice from the planet Daemonia. I am the stellar swashbuckler.
I am -- THE DAEMON-STAR!!! …
We exited the DiTraS (the exterior of which resembles a Roman column and which is much smaller than the interior, the latter existing in another dimensional reality) and found ourselves in a corridor of what appeared to be a quite clean and sanitised building.
“Are you sure Kit-10 will be all right if we just leave her on board, Daniel?” queried Millie with concern.
“Of course, love,” I assured the girl whilst adjusting my panama hat. “She can just power down for a while and sleep off her electronic illness.”
I took the transonic turnscrew, an highly-advanced technological device resembling a writing pen, from my pocket.
“Hmmm, we are indeed inside the old Montauk military station,” I said. “The transonic is detecting one person here at the facility. This way…”
We strolled down the hallway until we came to a large doorway.
“This looks like the door to a laboratory, hmmm?” I mused. “With experience, one finds that they become quite easy to recognise.”
I opened the door and entered the room with Millie close behind me. It was a large chamber, indeed a laboratory of sorts, with a plethora of computer equipment -- some of which looked to be state-of-the-art for the era, along with other things that looked experimental and rather cobbled-together.
At one corner of the room was a man in a swivel chair. He had been examining some instrument readouts, but turned to face us. He was in his sixties, grey and balding and with intelligent blue eyes, dressed in a lab-coat over a casual suit.
“Oh, sorry,” he said, “I didn’t know anyone had entered the building. I’m Major Svehla. Are you the new lab assistants?”
“Well, yes we are, more or less,” I lied, thinking it best to play along and to not start any controversy. “I am Dr. Rumanos, and this is Miss Drake.”
“‘Doctor’?” he repeated. “So the agency has finally sent someone with actual qualifications? Excellent!”
“Something like that, yes. Pleased to meet you, sir.”
“Did you say you were a ‘major’?” enquired Millie. “As in military?
“I’m a physician and a scientist,” explained Svehla. “Shortly before I would have taken a position doing research at Harvard, I found myself drafted into the Korean War. I served in a MASH unit and then stayed with the army afterwards. After all the destruction and carnage I had seen, I just couldn’t see myself returning to the polite world of academia.”
“I know the feeling,” I related with some sympathy. “So how did you end up here at Fort Hero?”
“After the station was decommissioned,” continued the Major, “I was assigned here to do research by a national security think-tank connected with, I think, the CIA.”
“Research involving Time travel, genetics, and extraterrestrial technology, I take it?”
“Ah, so you were briefed concerning the work here?” queried Major Svehla.
“Not in detail,” I offered.
“Maybe you could fill us in some?” added Millie with a smile.
“Oh, of course,” agreed Svehla, warming some with the beautiful young girl’s interest in his work. “I’m the only one who has stayed here for any length of time, but there have been numerous types of experimentation in this facility. Most of it, I fear, is a bit ‘outside the pale’. The most recent thing involves Time travel. The theory has arisen that it can be achieved through the use of certain electromagnetic impulses utilised as a power source.”
“Interesting,” I said. “Have you had any success in the matter?”
“That’s just it, Doctor,” announced the Major. “Incredibly enough, we have! Several times, when I have engaged a certain sequence upon this machinery, there has appeared a sort of image at the centre of the room!”
“An image of what?” quizzed the girl.
“It is what I believe to be some kind of future technology that has detected our signal and is trying to come through. Here, let me show you!”
Svehla then immediately began to activate some dials upon the laboratory equipment. The entire chamber began to buzz and spark with a sound indeed quite otherworldly.
‘Wait, Major Svehla,” I implored. “First, I think we should…”
However, I was too late. The electromagnetic signal that was being sent out had already been detected. Detected… by something.
“Daniel!” cried Millie Drake. “Daniel, look!”
At that moment, at the very centre of the room, something was materialising into view. It was a disk-shaped object about the size of an helicopter. I heard the sound of an oddly-groaning engine as it came into view.
“That sound…” whispered Millie to me.
“Yes,” I said, swallowing down a gruesome wave of trepidation as the sudden realisation hit me. “It is a Time/Spacecraft exiting the Inter-Dimensional Current.”
“That’s it, Doctor,” announced the Major, who had not heard my comment, “and this is the clearest that it has ever come through!”
It was then that the terror was multiplied, multiplied indeed beyond anything that could be imagined by anyone outside of a state of total obscene and unholy madness. For it was at that moment that a porthole opened in the side of the disk-shaped craft and several of its occupants exited -- occupants of supreme and unnameable alien terror.
They were approximately the size of an human torso, but that is where all resemblance to anything of sane creation ended. Hovering approximately one metre above the floor, each of the things was made up of a quivering mass of sallow flesh -- basically a group of tentacles intertwined with strands of metallic technology. At the centre of each was a pair of oblique black eyes, glowering from deep within the being with a look of complete and unmitigated hate.
With the sight of these hideous monstrosities there came to me memories; memories of battles and terrors of the past -- forsooth, memories of my former encounters with these obscene and unholy creatures and the unspeakable evil that they represent.
“Daniel!” exclaimed Millie. “Are those what I think they are? Are they really… !”
“Yes,” I said as a shudder of extreme horror went through me. “They are Mynverkossian Mutations!!”
“Incredible!” exclaimed Svehla, jumping up and walking over to where the Mynverkossian things hovered.
“Major, no!” I warned -- but my voice, if heard, was ignored by the old army scientist.
“I am Major Svehla,” he said, bravely addressing the alien Mutations. “On behalf of the United States of America, I would like to welcome you to our time and…”
“We are the Mynver,” returned one of the things, its electronically-enhanced voice harsh and grating and filled with hatred. “We are the Supreme Race of the Universe. You are inferior. You must be eliminated. Eliminate!”
“Eliminate! Eliminate! Eliminate!!” answered back the other Mynver in an absolute chorus of hate.
Then there was a flash of blood-red light as each of the hideous Mutations turned its inbuilt energy weapon upon Major Svehla. The man had not even time to cry out before he crumpled to the floor in agonised death.
By now, I had taken the transonic device from my pocket and -- knowing it would have no useful effect on Mynver technology -- had in stead aimed it at one of the computer banks in the room. I activated it to cause a small explosion that distracted the Mynverkossians for just a moment. This was barely long enough for me to grab Millie’s hand and run out one of the doors leading to another corridor. Unfortunately, the Mynver had been in the way of us returning the way we had come, and thus to the DiTraS.
“The Mutations?” queried Millie as we ran along. “From the planet Mynverkoss? This is really them?”
“Yes,” I affirmed. “Creatures of extreme racial hatred and fascist tyranny. Mutated by generations of nuclear war on their home-world, they now seek only to enslave or eliminate all other life-forms.”
Then the horrid voice of a Mutation interrupted my thoughts.
“There is no escape this time, Rumanos of Algol,” announced the voice.
To my horror, I realised that the Mynver voice was not coming from behind us.
“Daniel, we’re trapped!” screamed Millie Drake, now trembling with fear as she sheltered herself in my arms.
The Mynverkossians were gliding down the corridor from both directions. One of them had detached itself from the others and approached us. Before I could react, it ejected something, a sort of gas, directly to-wards us. I immediately felt a sense of nausea and realised what it was.
“Daniel…” said Millie as we sank to the floor. “What was that? What is happening to… ?”
“Evaerlium,” I answered as consciousness left me. …
We awoke in a metallic chamber. It was dark except for a few flashing lights of numerous psychedelic-type colourations. I stood up and helped Millie to her feet.
“So that was really evaerlium?” queried the lass. “I thought it was fatal to Algolites.”
“It is potentially so, in large enough doses,” I explained. “They have a diluted gaseous form of that rare element that they used on us as a sedative.”
“But why? I thought the Mynver only believed in eliminating all other life-forms. What are they going to do to us?”
I looked around the strange chamber and with a pang of extreme and unmitigated dread I then realised where we were.
“By the Eternal Spires!” I swore. “This is the Mynver ship! We are being taken through Time and Space!”
It was then that the terrible voice of a Mutation came over a loudspeaker.
“You will be taken to our planet for experimentation,” it announced. “You will be taken to meet our Imperator. You will be taken to Mynverkoss!”
Do you perceive the terror, indeed the unhallowed eldritch horror of this situation? Millie Drake and I were captives of the horrid Mynverkossian Mutations, and were being taken through the Time/Space Current itself -- our destination being the very home planet of those alien fascist monsters, the distant world known as Mynverkoss!
I heard the sound of the Mynver ship materialising and a previously-unseen entrance opened in the room. Several Mynverkossians entered and ushered us out of the ship.
We had landed in the centre of a wide and lofty chamber. It was a Mynver control room, filled on all sides with their incredible and bizarre technology, and lit by strangely-flashing strobes of truly grotesque colouration.
The Mutations had forced Millie and me apart, and I noticed they seemed to be surrounding her in a way quite menacing, but had thus far made no move to harm her.
At that time, my attention was suddenly riveted by what was stationed at the far wall of the chamber to which we had been taken. For it was there that something lurked that was beyond the levels of even the horrendous madness and extreme extraterrestrial terror to which we had already been subjected.
It was a Mutation, but larger than the others. The strands of technology attached to its intertwined tentacles looked more advanced, and continuously flashed with multi-hued colours. Some of them extended to a bank of computerised machinery that reached from the floor to a ceiling far above the sight of any normal being.
The thing’s eyes were like gashes of ebon-black, glowering from deeply within its quivering mass of horrid sallow flesh with a supremely hideous and grotesquely unholy look of total and unchecked hate.
Then it spoke. Its voice was like the other Mynver, harsh and grating and enhanced by technology, but it was deeper and more sonorous. It was a voice showing the presence of extreme intelligence, of a being plotting and commanding.
“Rumanos of Algol,” it said. “I am the Imperator of the Mynver. You have been brought to our planet according to my plans.”
“Spires of Daemonia!” I swore. “The entire Montauk Project was a trap, hmmm? All the rumours, the stories about it that circulated down through the decades? It was all a long game played by the Mynver in order to lure me in, so that you could capture me and bring me here!”
“That is correct,” replied the monstrous Mynver Imperator. “You have been brought here to our capital city for the purpose of experimentation. You will show no resistance. If you fail to comply with us in any way, your companion will be eliminated.”
“‘Experimentation’?” I repeated. “What by the Stellar Triplicity do you mean?”
“You have interfered with the conquest of all Space and Time that is the rightful due of the Mynver Race,” explained the Imperator. “You have shown yourself to have a unique ability against us. Now that we have you, your knowledge and abilities will be taken from you and added to us.”
“You mean you want to take from me all that I have used to defeat you so many times, hmmm?” I realised.
“Connect them,” ordered the Imperator of the Mynverkossians.
Two of the attendant Mutations began to attach strands of metallic technology to my head. They then attached the other ends of them to another Mynver that was hovering near by.
“Daniel, no!” cried Millie Drake. “Don’t let them do this to you! Please, no!!”
Nevertheless, I dared not move. The Mynver had their weapons trained upon Millie, and I knew that the slightest sign of resistance on my part could and would be used by them as a provocation to fire upon her. I realised that I could not let that happen, even to save the Universe; for I knew then that I truly love the beautiful young lady known as Miss Millie Drake and that I could never endure existence without her. I stayed still and let the Mynverkossian Mutations follow the orders of their Imperator and connect me for the experiment -- the experiment that intended to add my knowledge and abilities to that horrid race of ungodly fascist horrors, an experiment that could very well result in their being rendered unstoppable in their determination to enslave or eliminate all other species of the Cosmos!
“The one constituent that is within you that has caused our defeat will now be ours,” said the Imperator with a tone of mockery. “We will be invincible! With your abilities now part of us, we will achieve total victory!”
“Victory!” repeated other Mynverkossians. “Victory! Victory!”
With this, the machinery was activated, and a stream of bright orange and blue energy began to drain down from me into the hideous Mutation to which I was attached.
“In time, all the knowledge of the Watchers will also be added to ours,” continued the Mynver Imperator, its voice rising in horrid intensity. “We will use it as you never have. We will use it to conquer all. We, the Mynver, shall be the supreme rulers of all Eternity!!”
The data transfer was over quickly; being in essence the sending of a copy of whatever part of my personality had led to my having so often defeated the Mutations of Mynverkoss. The strands of technology that had connected me to the Mynver fell away as soon as the transfer was complete.
I felt a note of expectation in the room, as the Imperator and his subjects all turned themselves to-wards the Mynver that had received the data from me. Even the ones guarding Millie turned away somewhat.
The Mynverkossian to which I had been attached then moved slightly. It turned and focused itself upon the Mutation that was closest to Millie.
“Eliminate!” it cried. “Eliminate!!”
The Mynver then unleashed its weapon upon the one that had been most threatening the girl, destroying it in a blast of blood-red light. The others near to her quickly reacted by approaching it and firing back, and soon the one that had so briefly been in possession of a part of my essence ceased to exist.
I hurried over to Millie Drake, who half-fainted in my arms.
The Mynver Imperator had been silent for a few moments, as if in shock at what it had only just witnessed.
“What is this?!” it bellowed. “What is this outrage?!”
“You have failed in your experiment, Imperator,” I mocked. “You only succeeded in giving the test subject a sense of chivalry, for that is the element that is missing in you, the thing that shall always lead to your being vanquished!”
“This is an outrage!” continued the Mynver Imperator.
“Outrage!” repeated his subjects. “Outrage! Outrage!”
“You have now become irrelevant to us, Rumanos of Algol,” declared the Imperator. “Your existence ends now. You are an enemy of the superior Mynver Race and you must be… !”
Nevertheless, the Imperator’s order to eliminate me was never to be spoken, for then was suddenly heard a voice transmitting itself into the Mynver city. It was, strangely, the voice of another Mynver.
“You have betrayed the supremacy of the Mynver Race,” it announced. “You have attempted to bastardise our kind with the genetic material of inferior beings. You must be eliminated!”
“Rebel ships approaching!” announced an attendant Mynverkossian to the Imperator. “Rebel ships approaching from the other side of the planet!”
‘Fire upon them!” ordered the Imperator. “Eliminate them! Eliminate!!”
The entire Mynver city began to quake as the approaching ships commenced to rain down thermonuclear firepower upon it. The Mynverkossians under command of the Imperator fired back in what quickly became a continuous reciprocal barrage of mutually-destructive force.
“Daniel, what is happening?” asked Millie as she trembled in my arms. “Other Mynverkossians are attacking these?”
“Indeed they are, love,” said I. “It sounds like an entire fleet! There is another faction of Mutations on Mynverkoss; a faction that oppose the Imperator’s experimentation with other life-forms as being against their beliefs of total racial superiority. They oppose the idea of any other creature’s essence being mingled with theirs in any way! Millie, we are witnessing a Mynver civil war!”
The barrage continued. The sound was deafening, and the city -- forsooth the entire planet! -- shook with horrible intensity as the horrid weaponry of two Mynver factions pummelled each other with totally relentless force. I felt a jolt, a jolt as if the planet Mynverkoss had begun to crack open, indeed to be fractured from its very core.
“Those are mega-nuclear weapons they are unleashing!” I informed Millie. “They have compromised the integrity of the very planet!”
“The two Mynver factions will destroy each other!” said the lass. “They will destroy themselves!”
“Indeed they will,” I agreed, “and us as well, if we do not get away quickly!”
I noticed that the Mynverkossian Time/Spaceship in which we had been brought was still close by, and generally being ignored in the melee. Millie and I ran aboard it and I activated the controls for it to dematerialise, taking us away from the incredible destruction of the Mynver Civil War!
“Do you know how to fly this ship through the Time/Space Current?” asked Millie as we stood at the ship’s control area, its bizarre lights flashing all around us.
“I believe so,” I rejoined. “The interface is alien in appearance, but in essence it is quite similar to that used on some of the older Algolitish ships. I should be able to utilise its inbuilt quick return system to take us back to Montauk. Hold on!” …
Back in their city, the Mutations were being consumed in an enormous conflagration. They were indeed destroying each other, unleashing the full fury of the amazingly futuristic weapons of mass destruction that were at their disposal.
“Prepare my escape shuttle!” ordered the Mynver Imperator in desperation. “Prepare my escape shuttle!”
All around, the flames had risen higher, high above the very city of the Mynver, high above all the remaining life upon that planet that had birthed the greatest fascist evil that the Universe had ever known. …
From within our stolen ship, Millie and I watched the video screen and beheld the planet Mynverkoss disappear in a massive ball of flames as we entered the Current.
We arrived safely back in the laboratory of the centre at Montauk in the year 1983 and exited the Mynver ship.
“Stand back, Millie,” I said. “I programmed the ship to dematerialise again and thus move to the upper atmosphere, where it will then safely self-destruct.”
The sound of the Mynverkossian ship’s engines was again heard as it faded away. A few moments later, the noise of a far-off explosion indicated that my plan had succeeded.
“That is it, Mills, my love,” I assured the girl. “The Mutations of Mynverkoss have been defeated. Now we just have to disassemble the equipment here, so that no one else can ever find it and use it, and it will be safe for us to return to the DiTraS and leave.”
“But how can we be sure, Daniel?” questioned Millie Drake. “About the Mynver, I mean. If any of them survived, how can we be sure they will not just try again?”
“Millie, I checked the Time readings on that ship,” I revealed. “We were on Mynverkoss many millions of years in the future. That civil war -- it was later in the Cosmic history than the Mutations have ever been encountered.”
“So, you mean that was really the end of them?”
“Indeed, those were the last of the Mynverkossians. Their entire civilisation, that horrid racial supremacist philosophy that was the hate the Mynver represented, was never heard from again. It, and the Mutations themselves, were utterly annihilated. Millie, my dear, we have witnessed their final destruction!”
***** DANIEL RUMANOS AND MILLIE DRAKE SHALL RETURN IN “RAIDERS OF THE CORONATION STONE”