Bill Bean had changed quite a bit since his early days. Self-described as “The Spiritual Warrior”, the native of Glen Burnie, Maryland had started out as a minister, specialising in what has become known amongst the Pentecostal set as “Deliverance” -- but which is known to other forms of Christianity by an older and decidedly more eldritch term: Exorcism.
It is this that had eventually led to Bill Bean’s downfall. You see, along the way he had gotten into mentalist contact with beings that claimed to be divine spirits offering to help him in his attempts to cast out evil in his congregation. What was unknown to Bean was that these entities were actually the Cacodemons of Andromeda, the now-disembodied essences of an ancient race of conquerors that had devastated that galaxy many generations ago before finally being defeated in a long war.
Influenced by the Cacodemons, Bill Bean found that the task of ministry was no longer of interest to him. In fact, he found that the planet Earth itself was no longer enough to satisfy his desires. Bill Bean now wanted bigger things. He wanted to rule the Universe!
Bean soon found himself informed by his “spirit” allies that something was drifting to-wards Earth that would be of use to him. It was the wreckage of an old Andromedan Warbird, the type of spaceship used by the Cacodemons during the war, when they were still beings of organic form. As soon as the ship came close enough, the psychic influence working though Bill Bean had been enough to reactivate its engines, and he had found himself taken aboard by a matter transmit beam.
The man once known as Bill Bean, deliverance minister, now found himself completely under control of the Cacodemons. They utilised him to repair the Warbird, and he had then announced that he was to be inaugurated as King of the Solar System!
It was then, of course, that I intervened, travelling in my own Time/Spaceship, the DiTraS (pronounced “DYE-tress” and standing for Dimensional Transport Sphere) to intercept Bill Bean’s Andromedan battleship. Thus, I now stood on the engineering deck of the Warbird, clad in my usual finery (including a frilled poet shirt, purple velvet suit, military boots, panama hat, and one of my favourite opera capes) and facing down this once-human individual who had now become an agent of intergalactic horror.
Bill Bean unleashed a wave of ebony-black energy directly at me. It was the very force of the Cacodemons. I raised the transonic turnscrew, an highly-advanced technological device resembling a writing pen, before me and activated it to ward off the burst of darksome power.
“Give it a rest, Mr. Bean,” I mocked. “I have faced the Cacodemons before, and know the ways of defeating them.”
“Not this time, Doctor!” shouted Bill Bean in defiance, dressed incongruously in a suit more proper for a Sunday-morning church service. “The powers of the Rulers of Andromeda now flow through me, and I will use them to become like God!”
“Blasphemy will get you nowhere. I was there, you know. I was right there at the final battle of the Andromedan War when the power of the Cacodemons was broken forever. The dark force with which you are possessed is but an echo.”
Whilst I thus distracted Bean, another figure quietly crept around the engine system behind him. It was a beautiful young girl with luxurious chestnut hair and enchanting violet eyes, wearing a tight, short-skirted, magenta-coloured dress that only served to highlight the soft curves of her slender adolescent form. When she reached the engineering control board, she hurriedly entered a series of command manoeuvres into the various dials and levers found thereon.
At this, the ship lurched a bit, causing Bill Bean to turn quickly to see what had caused the sabotage of his ship.
“Millie, look out!” I warned the girl, who had lost her balance slightly.
Before I could prevent him, Bill Bean cast another blast of ebon energy at me. I dodged it, but not before he had run over to grab my friend Millie Drake by the throat.
“Surrender now, Doctor,” he called back to me, “or I will crush the life from her!”
I was too far away to disable Bill Bean with any of my usual Daemonian kung fu techniques before he could harm the lass, but nevertheless the possibility of him attempting this had been prepared for. At that very second, a sharply-focused beam of light flashed across the room and hit Bill Bean directly in the centre of his forehead. He immediately let go of Millie and stumbled backwards into the engines.
“Good shooting, Kit-10!” I praised my mobile computer who resembles nothing more or less than a mechanical cat, and possesses the nose-laser that had disabled Bill Bean. “You deserve some catnip now, hmmm?”
“This unit is not a cat, s--,” replied the robot in her pleasantly-feminine voice.
(Despite her protestations, Kit-10 does have numerous feline characteristics, not the least of which is her total inability to openly show respect to anyone. The closest she can come is by referring to me by a slight “s--” sound, for ”sir”, and by Millie by “m--”, for “ma’am”.)
“Are you all right, love?” I enquired of the girl, having now run over to her.
“I’m fine, Daniel,” she assured me, “but what about him?”
I looked and beheld that Bill Bean had passed out from exertion mixed with a shock he had received from the engine. I quickly did a biological scan of him with the transonic device.
“It appears he has no human consciousness left,” I said upon checking the readings. “The Cacodemons have completely taken over his body, which is rotting from within due to the strain. We had best leave him here.”
I quickly programmed the self-destruct codes into the Warbird, then utilised the transonic again, this time to open a part of the engineering access panel, then reaching my hand in to transact a certain part.
“Is that it?” queried Millie.
“Forsooth,” I affirmed, looking at the piece of emerald-hued crystal I held in the palm of my hand. “The warp-core of an Andromedan Warbird, probably the last one in existence. Let us hurry away now, Mills, Kit-10. This ship will blow up in mere minutes!”
With this, I pocketed the warp-core and then ran from the ship’s engine centre along with the lass and the robot. In the corridor, we hurried through a porthole-type opening that had appeared in what seemed to be a “Roman column” -- in reality our aforementioned DiTraS.
A moment later, I had activated the DiTraS engines and the column faded from view, taking us safely away into the Space/Time Current.
There was soon after a great explosion in that region of Space, just outside of the Solar System, as the last of the Andromedan Warbirds was obliterated forever. …
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 Magister Don Wingus and his occult terrorist organisation, Spectral Paranormal; as well as from 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!!! …
Millie Drake had gotten into my collection of vintage teen magazines, which is why she now stood in the café-like control room of the DiTraS reading an article about Elvis Presley’s new movie deal. Kit-10 rested in the corner whilst her systems did their usual updates, the low sound of her motor sounding quite like a contented purring.
The interior of the DiTraS exists in a different dimensional reality, and so is much larger than the exterior form of the ship. The DiTraS is fitted with something called anole circuitry that usually would allow it to change the shape of its exterior so as to blend in with any surroundings. However, the circuitry in mine was damaged whilst the ship was visiting a “Roman Coliseum”-themed casino/hotel in Las Vegas some years before. I have never had a chance to properly repair it amongst the many adventures with which my life is filled.
As I stood at the control console, which resembles an upper-class coffee counter, an alarm signal suddenly went off on one of the safety indicators.
“What is that, Daniel?” enquired Millie, distracted from her reading about old-time rock and roll. “Is there a problem with the ship?”
“Not at all, love,” I assured her, “but we are receiving a distress signal. Hmmm! It is from the planet Xoas, halfway across the Milky Way.”
“What do you think could be wrong with them?”
“No way to tell without investigating,” said I, resetting the controls. “It is just a general distress call, but it is marked urgent. The Xoans are an humanoid race, with their society and technologies somewhat ahead of Earth’s.”
“Whatever it is,” stated the girl, “I hope we can help them.”
“So do I, Mills,” I agreed. “After all, that is what we are here for.”
The hum of the control system briefly grew louder, then lessened as the lights on the board changed colours.
“Ah, we have materialised in the Xoan city that is their capital,” said I. “Kit-10, stay with the ship whilst we go see what we can do for these people, hmmm?”
“Of course, s--,” replied the mechanical feline.
Millie and I exited the DiTraS and found ourselves in a well-appointed corridor of the type often found in government-type buildings of many cultures. We walked down the hallway until we came to an open door. Upon peering in, we beheld a man sitting behind a desk. He stood up and approached us.
“Greetings, friends,” he said. “Welcome to Xoas. How may I help you?”
He was tall and thin, dressed in a sort of futuristic tunic. His head was hairless and his skin had a golden hue.
“We have come in answer to your distress signal,” I told him. “I am Dr. Rumanos and this is Miss Drake.”
“Yes, we are familiar with your work,” said the Xoan man. “I am the Security Leader for our world, and we do indeed require some assistance.”
The Xoan motioned for us to sit in the chairs that surrounded his desk. We did so as he himself resumed his own seat behind it, and then turned a video screen to face us.
“It seems the problem we are having is showing itself right now,” he informed us. “You see, the cities of our planet have been under repeated attack by a gigantic creature, a thing which my people have termed ‘The Omega Monster’. It has devastated much of our world and threatens to destroy us utterly if not stopped.”
The monitor screen switched on and showed us a view of the city skyline. Flying down to-wards the buildings was an enormous shape -- a shape grotesque and hideous and (horrible to relate!) all-too-familiar. It was a being hundreds of feet tall and ebon-black of colour. It flew by the motion of two membranous, bat-like wings. The thing had two enormous claws for feet, and three hideous heads that writhed in constant motion atop long serpentine necks. From its horridly-fanged mouthed it exhaled noxious and poisonous fumes as the people of Xoas fled from it in terror through the city streets.
“By the Stars!” I swore, recognising the horrid monstrosity. “It survived, and has returned to ravage worlds!”
“That is the thing that threatens to end our civilisation, Doctor,” proclaimed the Xoan. “The thing that will wipe out all life on our planet if we cannot stop it.”
As we watched, a group of Xoan aircraft approached the monster, but their energy weapons did not even faze the thing.
“Daniel,” said Millie Drake, struggling to overcome the speechlessness that the horror of this sight had temporarily brought upon her. “It really is still alive! That thing… The Omega Monster… it is really…”
“Yes,” I affirmed, “it is Wingosus!!”
“So you do recognise this thing as the same creature that attacked Earth some time ago?” questioned the Xoan.
“It is indeed Wingosus,” I reiterated, “the monster created by the villainous Don Wingus during the Galactic Wars. It was fashioned to be the supreme bringer of chaos, the ultimate weapon of mass destruction, a creature of terror and extreme demoniacal horror -- with its very three heads being a diabolical mockery of the Stellar Trinity of Algol!”
“This is why we have summoned your assistance,” he said. “We wish to borrow the creature known as Pederosis.”
“Ah, of course,” I realised. “If you could bring him here to Xoas, he could then be utilised to defeat Wingosus.”
“Exactly the plan we devised, Doctor,“ affirmed the Xoan. “Our spaceships have the hyper drive capability to reach Earth, and to bring the other creature back here, but we need to make use of your ability to awaken him.”
“Pederosis is the most powerful of the Kaiju,” I pondered, “that most ancient order of titanic being that ruled the planet Earth before the current cycle of life even started. He exists now only in deep hibernation. To waken him is a great responsibility.”
“It is the only hope we have, Doctor,” pleaded the Xoan, switching off the monitor. “We need Pederosis to defeat the Omega Monster, or the civilisation of our planet will be annihilated.”
“So we would have to take the DiTraS back to Earth to awaken him?” asked Millie Drake.
“That would not be necessary,” said I. “We could have Kit-10 transmit the signal through a secure subspace channel.”
“Then you will help us?” queried the Xoan.
“Most certainly,” I agreed. “As a Knight of the Eternal Spires I cannot refuse such a request.”
“Our ships are ready to enter hyperspace to Earth immediately.”
I took the transonic turnscrew from my pocket and programmed it to synchronise with Kit-10’s software. …
At that same time, within the DiTraS control room, the robotic cat powered up her systems and connected the sensor from her forehead to the ship’s main console. …
“The signal has been sent,” I told the Xoan. “You should find Pederosis awakened in the centre of the North Atlantic Ocean by the time your spaceships arrive. Now, if Miss Drake and I can return to our own ship, we may be able to also provide some assistance in weakening Wingosus before…”
“That will not be necessary,” said the Xoan. “With the awakening of Pederosis, your usefulness to us has ended.”
It was then that two more Xoans came through the door, holding laser pistols on Millie and myself.
“Oh no!” cried the girl. “Daniel, what’s happening?”
“What is happening, love,” I explained, “is that we have been used and betrayed.”
“Take them to a holding cell,” ordered the head Xoan. “They have served their purpose, and we are not ungrateful. Secure them carefully, but do allow them to view our progress on subspace video. We will now have complete control over both King Wingosus and Pederosis, nothing can stand in our way, and we shall use both of these monsters to conquer the planet Earth!” …
Upon Earth, in the middle of the North Atlantic, a disturbance like unto a tidal-wave split the sea in twain. From there then arose something huge -- in sooth a creature whose height would perhaps be matched by a forty-storey building. It -- he! -- was green of hue and shaped like a bipedal lizard. Down his back and tail were three lines of sharp, serrated spikes. Incredibly muscular of appearance, he seemed to be made for fighting. Nevertheless, there was something about his large, subtly-slanted eyes that bespoke of an intelligence beyond that of any ordinary creature, gigantic or not.
The monster Pederosis had awakened!! …
Back on Xoas, Millie and I sat in the cell to which we had been taken, the video monitor they had supplied us showing footage (sent via subspace transmission to prevent the long delay otherwise necessary for a broadcast to cross the light-years) of the rising of Pederosis.
“So what are they doing, Daniel?” enquired the girl. “Are they taking Wingosus to Earth?”
“So it appears,” I answered. “The seem to have some type of control mechanism, probably a kind of sonic oscillation, that they can use to keep the monsters under their command.”
“Look!” exclaimed the lass, pointing to the monitor screen. “There it is!”
As we watched in horror, we beheld a cube-like Xoan spaceship enter Earth’s atmosphere. From it there extended an energy wave, in which was encased in a sort of bubble the terror known as Wingosus. As we continued to watch, another Xoan ship appeared and utilised a similar wave to capture Pederosis, who did not even put up a struggle.
“They now also have Pederosis under their control, and are taking both the monsters somewhere,” said I. “Somewhere where they can cause much damage.”
“Daniel, if only we could get out of here and go back to the DiTraS! Then we could go to Earth and warn them at least!”
“Well, some help should be arriving on that regard, hmmm? Ah, here we go!”
As I spoke, a laser light could be seen burning through the lock on the cell door. In a few moments, the door opened and our robotic cat friend glided through it.
“Kit-10!” exclaimed Mille. “How did you find us?”
“No problem, m--,” returned the mechanical puss. “I am attuned to your biological prints.”
“Quite right, Kit-10,” I approved. “So you did receive the coded information to come find us that I sent along with the call to Pederosis.”
“You knew somehow not to trust the Xoans?” enquired Millie.
“Yes, I suspected them as soon as that official introduced himself as their ‘Security Leader’. Such a term indicated that the Xoan government has been taken over by a fascist regime.”
“Daniel, look!” exclaimed Millie, who had briefly glanced back at the video screen.
What she had seen was terrifying indeed, for what it showed was the Xoan spaceship still towing the two monsters -- and they were approaching a skyline, which was easily recognised at that of New York City!
“We need to hurry, love!” I proclaimed. “Fortunately, the Xoans will be far too preoccupied with their operations on Earth to attempt stopping us.”
We hurried down the corridor, only briefly stopping at the now-empty office in which we had been before. I retrieved the transonic turnscrew from the desk, where I had seen it secured when they had confiscated it.
We soon entered the DiTraS and dematerialised, the coordinates set for Earth.
“Here, I should be able to get that transmission on our screen,” I said. “We can see how their attempt against Earth is progressing.”
The monitor came on and the scene that then appeared was one of absolute ungodly terror indeed. The monsters Pederosis and Wingosus, both completely under control of the Xoan invasion force, had been set down at opposite ends of New York City, and had proceeded to begin devastating it -- tearing down buildings and stomping on vehicles and causing crowds of people to run screaming in total abject fear!
Then we heard the Xoan voice that was being broadcast upon Earth. It spoke thusly:
“Attention, people of the planet Earth. We are the Xoans. We are your new leaders. The creatures now attacking one of your largest cities are under our control. All of your governments will immediately surrender to us or the destruction will continue. If you resist, we will use these monsters to destroy every city and major population area on your planet.”
“Oh no!” cried Millie as we viewed the scene in shocked horror. “We’re too late!!”
Do you even begin to perceive the supreme fear and unnameable terror of this horrific situation, my friends? Before we could make it to Earth, the Xoan invasion had begun, and they were using the monsters Pederosis and Wingosus to destroy the city of New York -- even this but a beginning of the threat of absolute horror they intended to use in order to blackmail all human governments into submitting to their domination of the planet!
I ran to one of the storage lockers at the side of the DiTraS control room. From it I took an object - an object like a green crystal.
“The Andromedan warp-core,” said Millie Drake. “Is there a way it can be used against the Xoans?”
“Peradventure, love,” I rejoined. “You see, Wingosus was originally created during a conflict with Andromeda, and has certain Andromedan components. In order to control it, the Xoans must be utilising a partially Andromedan-styled frequency, hmmm? If I can tap into it, and use the warp-core before it burns out completely, I may just be able to jam the signal.”
I set the green crystal down on the DiTraS control board. It was immediately surrounded by a myriad of multihued lights.
“Ah, the interface has been accepted,” I continued, adjusting some controls. “Now, if I can just send it in reverse along the transmission from Earth, watch what happens!”
Millie Drake turned to the monitor to view the results. Upon it could be seen Pederosis, who suddenly stopped his rampage through New York. He began to shake his huge head as if clearing it, and then roared a mighty call of challenge before charging forwards to-wards the alien horror known as Wingosus!
The two monsters clashed and began fighting, tearing at one another with teeth and claws. At first, Pederosis definitely had the upper hand, but Wingosus managed to cause his opponent to back off somewhat by unleashing a wave of the toxic fumes from his three hideous mouths. Hissing horridly, Wingosus then flew upwards and swooped back down upon Pederosis with all its weight behind it.
At the same time, the two Xoan spaceships joined in the fight, unleashing energy rays to-wards Pederosis. The noble giant lizard began to sink to the ground, as if in pain.
“Daniel, they’re ganging up on him!” shouted Millie. “Is there some way to stop those ships?”
“Yes, I believe so,” I stated. “Kit-10, can you ascertain the engine frequencies of those Xoan ships and transmit the proper jamming frequencies through the DiTraS?”
“Affirmative, s--,” stated the robot, who them attached her sensors to my ship’s control console. …
Back on Earth, Pederosis struggled to regain his footing in the fight against Wingosus, the rays from the Xoan ships continuing to pummel him. Then, as the jamming frequencies hit the ships, the two Xoan craft suddenly began to plummet downwards, spiralling in to crash into the near by buildings.
With this, Pederosis recovered and stood tall, facing the monstrosity of Wingosus. With another roar, he unleashed his own atomic flame breath directly at the three-headed alien creature, causing it to hiss hideously and to quickly back away.
The DiTraS had by now reached Earth, and we materialised atop the new World Trade Centre building, Millie and I quickly exiting the ship in order to view the battle of the monsters.
After well-nigh frying Wingosus with radiation, Pederosis then grabbed the thing in what appeared to be a sumo wrestling hold, then casting the monster to the ground.
“Omega Monster,” I said from our vantage point, “meet the Alpha!”
“Look at that, Daniel!” exclaimed the girl. “Wingosus is leaving!”
Indeed, the alien monster -- now burned and mangled from its fight with the giant lizard -- had now taken to the air, flying upwards.
“It has surrendered and is going into Outer Space to die,” I explained. “Pederosis has won!”
As if in response, the mighty monster known as Pederosis then let forth a final roar of triumph before turning and wading out to return to its ocean hibernation -- at least, until he is once again needed!
From atop the building, Millie Drake cheered and waved at the monster Pederosis as he disappeared over the horizon. Despite the destruction, from which I knew the great city of New York could recover, it was a great day.
“I will send a message to the Kosmikos right away,” I said. “I am quite certain that the Absolute Convention of the Watchers will agree to place a Time-loop around the planet Xoan, so their fascist government cannot again attempt conquest of other worlds.”
“That’s good,” said the lass. “They were horrible people to try something like that.”
“But most importantly,” I added, “Wingosus -- also known as the Omega Monster -- has been defeated, and Pederosis is still King!”
“Wow, Daniel, do you know what you’re saying?”
“Hmmm?” I queried. “What do you mean, love?”
The girl smiled beautifully as she made her statement:
“Pederosis is -- the Elvis of Monsters!!”
***** DANIEL RUMANOS AND MILLIE DRAKE SHALL RETURN IN “VIRGINKILLER”