Fade up on a shot of San Francisco in the evening. Storm clouds lower over the bay as lightning flickers across the sky. The closed captioning helpfully adds, "[Thundering]." Over in the Casa Del Sole, The Phoebeast perches on her four-poster across from the open French doors. She's wrapped in an embroidered silk dressing gown over a crimson nightslip with her hair up in clips as she taps away at her laptop. Gee, I hope she remembered to plug the fucking thing in this time. Sure wouldn't want those hundreds of thousands of Bay Mirror readers to go a day without her vital advice column or anything. As thunder rolls across the city once more, The Phoebeast glares through crusted layers of eyeliner and mascara at the billowing curtains. She rises from the bed to stalk over to the balcony. She shuts the doors, then glares some more at the rivulets of rain trickling down the windowpanes. Damn, woman. Lighten up. It's just rain, for God's sake.
A knock at the bedroom door drags The Phoebeast from her dark thoughts of vanquishing the weather man. She calls over her shoulder, "Come in," and the door eases open to reveal D'Eartha toting a small silver salver upon which stand two gilt-rimmed pieces of stemware containing a pale yellow liquid. In the living room behind D'Eartha, a variety of dark demonic forces sent from the flaming maw of Hell chant Craptin. D'Eartha sets the salver down on a low table near the bedroom door and carries one of the glasses over to The Phoebeast with a smile. "My queen," D'Eartha purrs, savoring each sound as it rolls up from her throat, "it's time for your drink." The Phoebeast lightly grips the proffered glass and grunts, "Can you do anything about this thunder? 'Cause it is making me nuts!" D'Eartha's face falls a bit. "I have no sway over the weather," she states with a tinge of disappointment in her voice. The Phoebeast snorts and strides past D'Eartha toward the bedroom door. D'Eartha trails behind her, adding hastily, "I do have a friend who works with wind, but she's out of town." Snicker. I don't know what's more amusing: The image of D'Eartha kicking back over a couple of Mai Tais with some chick who plays with the wind, or the idea of this wind chick trying to upgrade to first class at the airport ticket counter when she has to head out of town on business. The Phoebeast peers through the open door into the living room and asks, "What about demons? Any sway over them? Because I swear, if they don't shut up..." She lets her thought trail off as she sips at the pale yellow liquid in the glass. She shudders in revulsion at the taste, and wonders why she must continue drinking this crap when regular old vitamins should suffice. D'Eartha exposits that ordinary dietary supplements will most certainly not suffice, given the unique circumstances of The Phoebeast's pregnancy. The tonic D'Eartha prepares for The Phoebeast is meant to strengthen her ability to carry the brat to term. D'Eartha promises that the new power of flamethrowing is merely a precursor to much more dangerous physical challenges to come. I'm guessing that, as The Phoebeast remains for all intents and purposes human, she requires a bit of assistance to withstand the ongoing invasion of her uterus by the Spawn of Sole. The Phoebeast groans and flops on her bed, shrieking about the work she has to do for her column and how the incessant chanting of Craptin out in the parlor is driving her up a wall. A swart, leather-jacketed demon appears in the doorway for a moment with an almost imperceptible smile on his face before he eases the door shut.
D'Eartha attempts to reason with the unreasonable. "You are queen now. There's no reason to continue with this work at all." The Phoebeast's mood swings immediately from virago to kitten as she simpers that she likes her job. "It's a good distraction." D'Eartha calls her on this as she passes the tonic back to The Phoebeast. "Still struggling with your decision?" she asks as she settles onto the bed. The Phoebeast sips from the glass and blathers that she loves The Sole and being Queen of the Underworld is a kick and everything, it's just that..."Your sisters," D'Eartha finishes for her. The Phoebeast grimaces again at the taste of the tonic and babbles about how Piper and Raige are "stubborn" and don't "respect [her] decision." D'Eartha explains, with far more patience than I could ever muster in the situation, that "it's not in the nature of good to compromise." Piper and Raige will never accept The Phoebeast's decision, and the sooner The Phoebeast accepts this, the happier she'll be. Whoa. Back up there, D'Eartha. It's "not in the nature of good to compromise"? The hell? What crack-addled backwoods evangelical snake handler did you lift that sentiment from? Don't the Glamorous Ladies compromise about one damn thing or another every freaking week? Whatever. My head will explode if I try to make sense of that crap, so let's keep moving, shall we?