From a Cave in the Woods...
Pibgorn - Lena the Horrible
3-21-2007 to 3-16-2009
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Pibgorn's eighth adventure. Featuring Satori, a pink-haired digital warrior, and Roger and Lena Egg, two precocious and mutually antagonistic siblings who learn a lot about life along the way, this two-year arc is indisputably the longest and most complex in its plot twists and intricacy.
Brooke introduced Lena at his Livejournal.
On March 21, 2007, a new storyline began which returned the characters to their familiar setting, but only briefly: it seems that somebody has managed to hack the Pibgorn universe.
The episode begins with Pibgorn kidnapping Geoff out of a pond where he was bathing and pulling him high into the sky for a passionate embrace. To Geoff's dismay, however, Pibgorn is struck by lightning which comes out of a mysterious storm cloud, and she dissolves into a storm of pixels, leaving Geoff to plummet to the earth. Fortunately, Drusilla pops in – we recall that she and Pibgorn have a perpetual connection – and grabs Geoff by the swim trunks, which he promptly slides out of and continues his descent. Drusilla, however, is able to catch him before he hits the ground and "check him for broken bones" in her signature way.
We next see Pibgorn unconscious on the forest floor, where a beautiful pink-haired young girl, dressed somewhat like a buccaneer, prepares to relieve her of her head. Fortunately Pibgorn revives before the stroke can fall, but she mixes it up with the girl and ends up taking a scimitar in the gut. It doesn't seem to faze her and she unleashes one of her patented right crosses to the girl's jaw, but she suddenly vanishes again, and we next see her attached to a wooden frame in some sort of computer laboratory, albeit only as a ghostly shadow of herself. A hidden figure remarks that he had expected a bit more magic from her.
We are introduced to Roger, a 15-year-old1 hypergeek, and his 8-year-old sister Lena who seems to be the quintessence of brattishness – the two are perpetually at war with one another. At the same time, Drusilla, from high in the Himalayas, picks up a faint signal from Pibgorn (she had left Geoff to fend for himself in his au naturel state) and goes off to hunt for her.
Pibgorn reappears in her unknown world and re-awakens, only to be set upon again by the monomaniacal girl with the sword; during this fight, a tree is severed and falls upon Pibgorn, who shields the girl from the tree, but is impaled by a wooden branch in the process. Back in the laboratory, Pibgorn's mysterious captor is less than pleased, and refers to her as an idiot.
We are given more background into the relationship between Roger and Lena. Roger lives for his computers, and Lena lives to torment Roger, and to gain access to his hardware. Lena tries to get Roger in trouble with their parents, but her plan backfires and Roger is – to his delight – confined to his room with his computers until he apologizes.
Drusilla, still on the hunt for Pibgorn, takes a detour to succubus2 a university professor who was regaling his class with misconceptions, but the dark magic she works upon his pliable brain shows up as a blip on an unknown someone's monitor, who remarks that he has never seen a signature of that nature before. As the seduction of the professor – delightful in its imagery – climaxes explosively, Lena senses what can only be described as "a disturbance in the force", and she remarks that "something inexpressible beautiful" has just happened. As Drusilla flies off sated, the shadowy figure holding Pibgorn captive remarks that he has just witnessed true magic, and with his computer brings the ghostly Pibgorn sufficiently awake to state the name of Drusilla. Drusilla, for her part, takes note and flies off to try to find Pib again, but is observed by the mysterious man who is planning something unpleasant for her. She is also observed by Lena, who thinks to herself that she finally knows what she wants to be when she grows up.
As Roger looks for Lena, he encounters an older gentleman who seems to be an aged copy of Roger himself – geeky, irascible, and otaku. We cut to a scene of Lena acting out her destructive fantasies for Roger on a voodoo effigy, and Drusilla catches the a sense of consummate evil, young but pure, confirming our suspicions that Lena and Drusilla are cut from the same basic mold and somehow linked together. Back to Roger, we learn that his new acquaintance, who introduces himself as "Digory Spitcock, visionary genius", is involved in some project which is attempting to use magic as a source of power – we see him using brownies (the fairy folk, not the pastry) as a sort of battery for his hand-held magic locator. The effect on the brownies is all-consuming…
A brief interlude shows Pibgorn once again being non-fatally sliced and diced by the pink-haired spitfire, and in spite of being reduced to a fairy jigsaw puzzle, manages to send a commanding thought to Drusilla, who detects it – but they still can't find each other.
Spitcock takes Roger back to his laboratory, which is so full of computers that Roger experiences a sensual thrill. We see the pink-haired girl on all of the monitors, and Roger is thunderstruck by her beauty. Asking Spitcock what he does here, Spitcock replies that he has re-written history, and indicates a program running on his system called "Suzerain", which he describes as "transcendent interactivity", not virtuality, but reality. Roger is insulted that this is all about a game, but as Pibgorn – behind a curtain – groans faintly, Spitcock ejects Roger from his laboratory and returns to his workstation to manage the situation.
Unbeknownst to Spitcock, Roger returns to the laboratory, pilfers a copy of Suzerain, runs back to his own room and installs it on his computer. Lena has been lying in wait, and prepares to destroy Roger's computer with a hoe. In the same moment, Drusilla shows up at Spitcock's laboratory. He shoots her, ineffectually, and is blasted into a pile of roasted bits and bytes by a bolt of plasma. Drusilla then discovers the bound essence of Pibgorn. However, Spitcock did not remain disassembled for long, and with a couple of strokes on his keyboard effectuates a merger of Drusilla with the bound Pibgorn. The combined entity asks him who he is, and he introduces himself, indicating that he is grateful to have captured Drusilla as well.
Back in Roger's room, we see Roger struggling with Lena for possession of the hoe. Lena falls back into the computer screen and is pulled through – leaving only an icon superimposed upon the imaginary girl's image, labelled "Lena".
We next see Drusilla falling out of the sky – but what a Drusilla, decked out in stunning red and black markings (a mixture of Pibgorn's markings and her own), and with huge, bat-like wings. There is also another voice in her head with whom Drusilla is not familiar, but soon discovers is Pibgorn. She enounters the pink-haired fantasy and struggles with her, which unleashes a torrent of energy back in the laboratory which pleases Spitcock immensely. We see Lena pop into the same world, only to be confronted by a rather large knight with a rather large sword – and we are left with the implication is that the little girl is slain.
Roger bursts into Spitcock's laboratory to demand what has happened to his sister, only to find all the monitors displaying the message "You Bastard". He then discovers the captive Pibgorn, and while taking a close look at her "assets", is partially pulled into the virtual realm, but falls back into reality. Awakening back in the alley, he runs back to his room1, and dives headlong into the computer screen, which then displays a second icon next to Lena's.
Roger awakens next to the beautiful girl, who asks him if he's a minion of the queen and threatens to kill him. Roger professes that he's head over heels in love with her, which gives her pause and she departs without killing Roger. Pibgorn/Dru, the combined entity, take stock of their new situation. The pink-haired siren-cum-fighter stabs Drusilla, who falls into a pond and drowns, only to discover that in this world, nobody dies – with Pibgorn's voice telling her, in so many words, "I told you so."
The girl again confronts Roger and demands that he declare himself unallied with the queen – whoever that is – but before she can finish her interrogation, Drusilla takes her up into the sky, drops her from a terrible height, whereupon she crashes in flames and ends up a charred skeleton. And promptly sits back up again in the scorched patch of grass, totally restored. The girl rushes off to attack Drusilla again, but is restrained by Roger, who tries to make her realize that she's up against something more powerful than she is. Roger's devotion and lack of fear - after all, he's been living with Lena for eight years - is beginning to have an effect on the girl.
Pibgorn and Dru figure out how to co-exist in the same body, and fly off together – we can see both of them now – to find the evil queen. Roger tells the girl about his sister and what she's like, and the tale of Lena's wickedness - and Roger's devotion to her in spite of it – plainly touches the girl's heart. Roger tries to explain to the girl that she's only part of a program, but the message doesn't register – the girl finally declares herself to be Satori (the Japanese buddhist term for "enlightenment"), who leads the resistance to defeat the wicked queen and return the land to its rightful suzerain.
Roger and Satori join forces, but not before they are accosted by Pib/Dru, who proceeds to ravish Roger and put him into a dream/game not unlike the one Drusilla played in Hell previously, and still hosted by Tom Torquemada. In this version, however, Roger has to play a demonic version of "The Dating Game" and figure out which of three "Lust-Pumpkins" (Dru, Pib and Satori) is the real Drusilla. The game itself - and its accompanying infomercial - is indescribable and better left to the imagination, but the upshot is that Roger guesses wrong, and is dropped from a great height, splatters on the ground, and is magically restored.
We are shown that Drusilla was unable to ravish Roger properly because in his dream, she became aware of his great grief for his sister Lena, and this echoed her own deep sense of loss when her daughter Henmellyn died. Drusilla joins forces with Roger to defeat the evil queen, in retribution for Roger's pain as well as her own, but at the same time finds Roger's infatuation with Satori annoying, and asks if she can kill Satori as well. Roger tells her no, because he was about to ask her to go steady. Drusilla facilitates a hasty kiss between the two, and asks, "Now can I kill her?" Roger again says no, and asks Drusilla if she's ever been in love, to which Drusilla responds "Never!", despite the fact that we know she once loved Henmellyn and is presently still in love with Geoff.
Before they can set off to confront the queen, the knight who supposedly killed Lena shows up and skewers Dru/Pib to a tree with a lance, but tree, lance and a good bit of the surrounding terrain are vaporized by a blast of Drusilla's pique-fed plasma. Picking up Roger and Satori by the hair, Drusilla flies off to the queen's castle as night falls.
Before they arrive, we see the queen summon Fortescue, one of her retainers, whereupon she ravishes and then slays him. Watching from a window above the room, the scene is declared bestial and disgusting by Roger and Satori, and "Not bad for an amateur" by Drusilla. Drusilla attacks the queen, but misses with her bolt of plasma, which both Pib and Dru find unusual. The queen retaliates with a blast of her own, which has the side effect of freeing Pibgorn from Dru's body, leaving her able to confront the queen by herself. As the queen interacts with Pibgorn, we notice that she bears a striking resemblance to Lena, but all grown up in the signature McEldowney eye-popping tradition.
Pibgorn unleashes her signature right cross on the queen and asks her what she did with Drusilla. She replies by saying she "zonked" her, and proceeds to do the same to Pibgorn with plasma bolts. We next see Drusilla suspended in the air, wondering why she is caught in a featureless dream that belongs to nobody. We see two simultaneous sequences playing out - one in which the unfazed Pibgorn learns from the Queen that her glasses were taken from the still-warm corpse of a little girl, and a second in which Drusilla is attacked by a dark, unclad male demon who lifts her into the air, drains her blood and drops her empty husk to earth.
Just as Pibgorn is about to slug the Queen once more, she is again merged with the essence of Drusilla, and the Queen inters Dru/Pib deep in the ground. While Drusilla has no problem escaping from premature burial, she discovers that in this world, nobody dies permanently, a fact which Roger demonstrates to Satori by pushing her off a parapet of the castle and jumping after her. They plummet to the earth, Drusilla unleashes a bolt of demonic energy at the Queen, and suddenly it is once again daytime - Satori and Roger are lying in the grass, Drusilla is asking what just happened, and Roger says "We're starting over, and again the sun is up." The game has reset itself.
Cut to an interlude with Geoff, still naked in a wheat field, encountering Luciano the horsefly assassin in his 40-lb incarnation. Luciano explains he had gone to the club to see Pib and Dru sing, and when they weren't there, he flew off in search of them. Geoff mentions that being naked is a slight hindrance to his freedom of movement, and Luciano obliges by attaching himself to Geoff's front in a strategic manner.
Back in the game, Roger is the only one who appears to have a handle on what is happening. Aware that they are all participating in a computer game, Roger explains that every time they reappear from death or destruction, it constitutes a "round" in the game. The objective of the game seems to be to kill the queen with the only weapon at their disposal - Satori's sword. Drusilla doesn't think much of this explanation, and tries to disprove Roger's theory with a magical blast, but before she can, Satori moves in to protect him with her sword. Suddenly Drusilla is gone, Pibgorn is impaled (without injury), and Drusilla is off in another dream sequence with the demon, who appears to be an incubus. This time, the incubus gives her exquisite physical pleasure before draining her blood and leaving her to die in the water, but then begins to wonder if a person can die as a result of what they believe is happening in a dream... and comes back to pull her out.
In the meantime, Pibgorn picks up Roger and Satori and flies them to the castle, but as Drusilla awakens for a moment, Pib (because she is a part of Drusilla's consciousness) blacks out and begins to lose altitude. She re-awakens and catches Satori, but Roger has taken Satori's sword during the fall, and manages to catch himself on a ledge, whereupon he goes to confront the queen with "the sacred scimitar of Satori", a potent weapon of alliteration. The queen commands that he step out of the shadows and mocks him for his youthful sounding voice, declaring that she will enjoy deflowering him before he dies, but instead Roger gives her a slice across the chest, leaving a wound and cutting one of her halter straps.
When Pibgorn came to again, Drusilla returned to her dream, and the incubus tells her he's not through with her yet. Drusilla takes a more active part in the following activity, and asks him, "You promise?", whereupon she gives the incubus a nuclear dose of his own medicine and leaves him drooling with pleasure in the lake. Meanwhile, Pibgorn has acted out the seduction, to the astonishment of Satori, and when Satori rolls the spent Pibgorn over to see if she's OK, suddenly Drusilla is back and declares that she may well be in love. When Satori asks her "With what?", Drusilla - while appreciating her "generous omnisexual broadness of mind" - runs her ten-inch-long Mandarin fingernails through the back of Satori's skull and kills her.
We return to Roger who is about to attack the queen with Satori's saber again, but as Satori collapses, the saber vanishes and Roger realizes - just before the Queen, with her halter top magically restored, decks him with a a hard right - that the game has been reset once again.
While Satori's death was a gruesome one, like all deaths in this episode it is far from permanent, and Satori wakes up to ask Dru why she had been killed. In one of Brooke's less-than-veiled political commentaries, Dru explains that as a demon, she has the right to kill anyone who annoys her. She goes on to say, "I admit, I don't first elect someone to window-dress it with declarations of war and stirring assertions that he's defending our way of life... all the while conscripting others to do the killing for him. I just bump you off. A natural-born demon has as much right to squander life as an elected one." Can't imagine whom he was alluding to... Drusilla then points out that Satori's saber is back in its sheath once again.
The queen, meanwhile, summons an odd-looking toady to strip Roger and chain him up in the dungeon, to await the same fate as befell poor Fortescue, to wit being forcibly taken, tortured and killed. She tells him to light some torches so that she can see him, which lets us know that up until this point, she has never seen Roger clearly in the light. She slips out of her clothes and heads for the dungeon, wondering why there's not more slime around. To her great discomfort, however, she discovers in the torchlight that her prisoner is Roger, who calls her a twerp for taking all the fun out of computer entertainment. Taken aback, she calls for a robe and points her spear at her brother, and in a fit of pique reveals that she is indeed Lena - and she wants her mother.
Back in "real life", we see Geoff walking down the street - still naked but for his horsefly-breechcloth - and nobody paying him a bit of attention. Luciano smells a dumpster and flies off for a snack, but smells something else... Pibgorn. They are in front of Spitcock's laboratory. Entering, they are shocked to see Pibgorn's ghostly essence wired to the frame, and their mutual exclamation of astonishment is percieved as a faint echo by Drusilla, who has Satori by the hair and is flying off with her.
Back in the dungeon, Lena is thoroughly frosted that Roger didn't come get her. Roger is dumbfounded, commenting that she doesn't look like Lena but rather a "randy, incongruously mammiferous Attila the Hun who doesn't believe in underwear" - which Lena takes as a compliment. When Roger complains that she's too old to be Lena, who fell into a computer two days ago, she replies that for her it had been 17 years, and again threatens him with her spear.
While being hoisted along by her ample head of hair, Satori chides Dru for wasting her time killing her, pointing out that she revives to continue her quest each time she's killed. Dru wonders if she should kill her some more, and Satori realizes that it wasn't such a good idea to point this out to a demon who kills just for fun. Drusilla, however, merely has some fun at Satori's expense by dropping her to the ground from the terrifying height of... two feet, and telling her to unsheathe her blade, because it's time to go slaughter the Queen.
As the episode ramps up to its climax, Luciano pilfers a Salvation Army uniform for Geoff, and as they contemplate the best way to get Pibgorn off the frame, a doorway behind them begins glowing brightly. Entering the room, they find a large monitor attached to a wall, above markings which divide the floor into 30-degree zones. The monitor continues to brighten, and they hide just in time to see the dark incubus come out of the room, approach the captive figure (who now looks a lot more like Drusilla than Pibgorn), and proceed to extract what he calls the "vile pollution" from her body - in effect, separating Drusilla and Pibgorn. Not content to have "purified" Drusilla, the incubus rips a leg off a chair and prepares to plunge the jagged stake into Pibgorn's heart - but is stopped by a full frontal attack from Luciano who attaches himself to the dark demon's face.
Meanwhile, back in the game, Satori slices Lena's spear in two, and frees Roger by slicing through his chains. The Queen launches plasma bolts at Satori, who fends them off with her scimitar, but their battle is interrupted by Dru's fainting once again, at the point when Pibgorn is extracted from her essence. Satori remarks that Dru can't even fall down without looking sexy. We then see Roger tackle Satori, steal her scimitar, grab Lena by the hand and rush up a set of stairs with her in tow. When he gets to the top, he hurls the scimitar out a window to buy Lena some time away from Satori's attacks. Lena threatens to zap him, but Roger explains that it will do no good: the game will just reset again and again, and asks Lena if that's what she wants. Lena melts into Rogers arms and says once again that she wants her mother. Roger replies, "Then scare up my clothes, and let's blow this bait shack."
Luciano attacks "Inky", as the Pibgorn forumites have named him, and gives Geoff time to scoop up Pibgorn and get out of the room, only to end up in front of the mysterious glowing monitor. At the same time, Roger and Lena are making their way to an undisclosed location, presumably another portal out of the game that Roger knows about. A very angry incubus, who now looks more and more like Digory Spitcock, hurls Luciano off his face and smack into Geoff and Pib, catapulting them into the monitor. The incubus then tries to zap Luciano with plasma bolts, but has about as much success as a human trying to hit a fly with a squirtgun. Luciano dives for the hat he was wearing (part of the uniform he had acquired for Geoff) and crams it onto the head of the incubus. Furious and blinded by the hat, the incubus lets loose with a random blast of energy which hurtles Luciano away (and magnifies him to the size of a building). Unable to get the hat off in his current form, suspicions become fact as we see the incubus morph into Spitcock. A very awake Drusilla, now alone in Spitcock's clutches, questions the demon about his motives and manhood, whereupon with a click of the keyboard he transports her consciousness back to the game. We see Satori watching her writhe on the ground in either torment or ecstasy; meanwhile, in the laboratory, we see Spitcock morph into the dark demon and blend with the captive Drusilla, whereupon he finds himself not in his own dream but one of Drusilla's making.
While Spitcock and Drusilla are engaging in (literally) burning passion in Drusilla's dream, Roger has found the portal out of Farfallaland, but before he can pass through it, Pibgorn and Geoff tumble out and land on top of Roger. After some hasty and incomplete introductions, Roger exits the portal and finds himself back in Spitcock's laboratory, instead of his own room, and seeing the incubus and Drusilla wreathed in a flaming, passionate embrace, takes off as though all the demons of Pluto were after him. Returning to his room, he realizes that no time has passed since he entered the game, and wonders if he has branched to a secondary reality. Jumping back into the game through his own monitor, he comes between Lena and Satori who are about to have at each other as Dru, Pib and Geoff look on.
Roger explains that everyone not native to the game must leave at once, except Lena who can't return in her present state; Drusilla's job is to go back to sleep and keep Spitcock occupied while the others escape. That's fine by Dru, but she points out that she may be in love with Spitcock, provoking a typical "What?" moment, and giving Pibgorn reason to wonder if her life is in danger should Drusilla switch loyalties from Geoff to the incubus. Geoff and Pib exit the portal and fly out Spitcock's laboratory door into the alley, but back in the game Satori stabs Lena in the back with her scimitar. She hollowly declares that since the queen is dead, "Suzerain" is completed, and fades from existence, leaving Roger to care for Lena who is rapidly losing touch with life. He hurtles through the portal back to the real world once more, gets back to his own computer, and while Drusilla keeps Inky entirely occupied, comes to the realization that before he has the answers, he needs to start asking the right questions. The sight of Lena's hoe lying on the floor starts him down a line of inquiry which may help him know what to do.
Roger comes to the realization that the angle at which you enter the virtual world (as represented by the lines on the floor in Spitcock's laboratory) determines different points in time in the virtual world. Following the line indicated by the hoe Lena dropped, Roger leaps back into Suzerain, arriving just before Lena does, and we see two things happening simultaneously: A large knight approaches Roger and plants a broadsword at his neck; and back in the lab, the dark demon begins to disconnect Drusilla from the power rack, indicating that he is "pulling the plug". In the next moment, Lena pops through as we saw her do the first time, but this time finds Roger held captive by the knight. To Lena's questions, Roger summarizes that they are caught in a virtual world, but Lena's not impressed - pointing out that the moon in the evening sky is pointing the wrong way. This gives Roger enough incentive to turn on his captor, and shatters him with his own sword - finding nothing inside. Lena comments, "He's not a knight, he's a candidacy."
Lena then begins to describe the history of what has happened in Suzerain, without knowing how she knows. Roger realizes that the game is downloading 17 years of false memories into Lena, grabs her by the shirt and pants and hurls her out of the game. Before he can leave himself, however, he is stabbed through the back with a giant sword, while back in the laboratory we see the dark demon severing the wires that held Drusilla bound to the power rack, and everything in Suzerain goes black. Roger realizes the game is shutting down, and leaps for where he thinks the portal should have been, ending up back in his own room this time - Lena had shoved her hoe in the monitor, holding that exit open. Before Roger runs back to the laboratory, he starts to scold Lena, but is interrupted by his little hellion of a sister giving him an unexpected, emphatic hug.
Holding a baseball bat, Roger rushes into the lab, only to find Inky and Drusilla doing... well, that. They tell him to "beat it", so he does - into the computer room, where he takes aim at a monitor. Before he can strike, Spitcock steps out of the shadows and blasts him with plasma. Roger picks up his bat again and starts destroying monitors, but is zapped again before he can destroy a large floor lamp, glowing ominously, that we have never seen before. From behind him, Drusilla asks, "So that's where you stored my mojo? In a floor lamp?" Both Roger and Drusilla have realized that Spitcock was not using Drusilla to power Suzerain, but rather was using Suzerain to steal Drusilla's power.
Explaining that she only pretended to love the demon so that he would release her, Drusilla prepares to zap Spitcock, but discovers that she has no power left. Spitcock sticks his finger into one of the floor lamp's bulb sockets - there are no bulbs, just glowing fields of energy - and absorbs some of Drusilla's stored power, which he had plundered every time Drusilla used them in the game. With an blast of energy, he propels Drusilla high into the sky, where she begins to fall, powerless to stop her descent. She makes peace with her impending demise, but before she can splatter in a cow pasture below, she is grabbed by the hair and rescued in the nick of time by Pibgorn, who is still carrying Geoff. In the strip that appears on Thanksgiving Day 2008, Drusilla expresses her gratitude to Pibgorn in a most enthusiastic manner, leaving a befuddled Pib massaging her hindquarters and saying, "You could have said a simple thank-you." Drusilla responds, "Honey, I'm a succubus. That was a simple thank-you."
Back in the Lab, Inky prepares to crush Roger's head with his foot, but before doing so launches into a long and boring monologue outlining his plans for universal dominion. Roger pleads for mercy by asking him to please hurry up and kill him. Before he can, however, Dru appears and socks Inky solidly back through the monitor into Suzerain. Roger destroys that monitor, and then turns to the original workstation (significantly, the only one in the lab that uses an old CRT - all the others have been LCD monitors), and begins to re-program the game.
Inky finds himself in Suzerain, being attacked by Satori. As her Suzerain, he commands her to stand down, which she does not, and he zaps her with plasma and drains her blood, only to find a second copy coming at him from behind. He zaps that one as well, and as Roger at the computer says, "Will the real Satori please stand up?" suddenly finds himself encircled in a ring of 36 Satoris. Although he zaps these as well, he finds that like the broomsticks of the Sorcerer's Apprentice, they continue to multiply - and dives through the portal out of Suzerain, only to be confronted by Lena and her hoe. He tries to zap her, but his power fizzles, and Lena unleashes a mighty swing to the nether regions of the demon from the nether world.
Back at the lab, Drusilla jams her fingers into all four sockets of the Mojo lamp, absorbing all the stored power of both herself and the incubus in a cataclysmic, flaming blast which melts the lamp and transforms her into a dark, shiny obsidian-like state; as she awakens from the injection of energy with madness in her eyes, she attacks Roger to feed upon him. His mention of his "innocence", however, returns Drusilla to her senses, and once again she turns her attention to Spitcock. Roger tells her where to find him, and she flies off, returning briefly to hurl the wilted floor lamp (a Dali Lampa, if you will) into outer space to join the haunted piano, the hunter's gun, and the [unseen] Borgia Cantus which she has stored in orbit.
Recovering from having been skewered by Lena, Spitcock runs off, only to be descended upon by an enraged Drusilla - the force of the impact drives them both to Hell, where they find themselves in a demonic game of "What's My Fatal Flaw", hosted once again by everyone's favorite Hell-host, Tom Torquemada. The panelists include Marzipan O'Rourke in a return appearance; Grüner Ladrone, Diesel Stuhlgang and Curly Harries (legendary product shill and rotting corpse).
The game proceeds in its usual unfair way: Drusilla is tortured for giving the wrong answers, Spitcock is rewarded for giving nonsensical answers, and Pibgorn is brought into the game for the "St. Sebastian Round", where an incorrect response would result in her being shot through with arrows. By this time Drusilla has had her fill of the nonsense, frees herself and takes the arrows for Pib. She falls to the floor, is engulfed with white-hot lava, and explodes back into the real world through a manhole. Landing in an alley, she lies unconscious as Spitcock - once again appearing as the dark succubus - prepares to claim her. To Spitcock's surprise, however, he is suddenly grabbed from above by a skyscraper-sized Luciano, who proceeds to devour him in the trademark manner of flies. Drusilla thanks Luciano with a kiss and magically reduces him to normal size, in exchange for which Luciano promises to name his first 400 maggots after her.
Drusilla "changes" into a red-hot red dress, finds Geoff back in the alley and proceeds to ravish him, but is distracted by Geoff's reminding her that Pib is still in Hell. Drusilla comes to her senses and flies off, entering Hell through a volcano, where she proceeds to reward Tom Torquemada with a 100-megaton body slam. Untying Pib from the tree to which she was bound, she bores upward through Hell's roof and comes out in the middle of a large body of water, flooding Hell and sealing the rift with a blast from her new, magnified powers.
Turning her attention to Pibgorn, she encases her in a crystalline form of energy, with the likely intent to destroy her. Pib reveals that while they shared bodies, she became aware of the depth and magnitude of Drusilla's love for Geoff, and wonders why Dru doesn't vaporize her and take Geoff for herself. Dru confesses that she doesn't know why. Meanwhile, a host of fighter jets have converged on Dru's position, attracted by the energy burst she unleashed to re-seal Hell - Pibgorn falls from the sky, losing her crystalline cocoon in the process, and Drusilla girds herself to unleash a bolt of demonic energy that propels all the jets back to their bases.
As Roger and Lena watch the unearthly pyrotechnics from the ground, Lena wonders (joyfully) whether they are about to be destroyed by a nuclear blast, but Drusilla interrupts her reverie and takes her aside for a Succubus to apprentice-demon chat. She thanks Lena for sidelining Spitcock and being indirectly responsible for her obtaining her new powers. She tells Lena not to be in any rush to become a succubus - after all, she's been at it for 800-plus years - and after giving her a plasma-laced kiss on the forehead, flies off, leaving Lena to wonder why her stuffed bear, Igor, is now able to talk to her. His personality could be described as a cross between George Carlin and Don Rickles... in other words, all sweetness and light.
Pib confronts Geoff and explains to him that things are different for them now: she can never feel for him what Drusilla does, nor has she ever experienced that level of all-consuming ardor. Geoff finds Drusilla curled up on the ground, tormented by her own inability to have destroyed the fighter jets - she wonders what kind of demon she has become... a demon nobbled by a soul. With a passionate embrace, Geoff responds by showing her that even though she's not compelling him to do so, he still loves her; Pibgorn flies off, resigned to the knowledge that there are some things she will never understand.
Back at the Egg residence, Roger has made a few improvements to Suzerain. Together, he and Lena jump through his monitor and reappear, Lena looking like her old queenly self and Roger looking very like Inigo Montoya. Roger finds Satori, and they finally get to embrace. And embrace. And embrace. Interrupting whatever "activities" they are involved in, Lena asks Roger if Suzerain now allows for the passage of real time... because she left Igor at home. We hear Mrs. Egg, calling the children to dinner, and the episode ends with Igor going to supper instead of Roger and Lena, and wondering if Mrs. Egg expects him to eat "this sludge."
Many questions remain unresolved or left to the imagination in this arc. Among them,
Does Roger return to the real world with Satori?
What is Lena doing in Suzerain?
Why isn’t mother Egg freaking out over a walking, talking Teddy bear?
What is Pib never going to be able to do?
What happens with the Pib - Geoff - Dru triad?
In answer to some of these questions, Brooke posted in his blog at http://officialpibgorn.livejournal.com,
"Questions have also arisen about the plight of the characters as I left them in the previous story. I left them where they were (Roger has thanked me often and sincerely) until such time in the future when they might become active (Roger disputes the suggestion that he is not active) and ready to participate in a new story. I liked the idea of leaving off where Igor strides into the kitchen and speaks his curtain line. It will just have to rest that way. Allowing some characters to vanish into the mists is rather like putting sourdough in a container atop the fridge. It will only grow."
And now, Pib and Dru are off on a new adventure, "Pibgorn and the Volcano on 77th Street and Park Avenue."
1. See Pibgorn, March 19, 2008 - Thanks to Fearciuil for finding the reference.
2. Drusilla's own verb. See Pibgorn, January 6, 2006
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