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Meanwhile in the Dimension of Pain... was a weekly spinoff strip produced in collaboration with Ian McDonald.  It ran on most Saturdays from January 18, 2003, at the beginning of Kesandru's Well, to February 26, 2005, during Oceans Unmoving I. From that point on, the Saturday slot was filled by Bikini Suicide Frisbee Days.

It is considered "mostly" cannon (sic) [1].

SummaryEdit

Following Horribus's failure to secure Torg's soul at Halloween, the Demon King banishes him to the surface with Steve Uozin. This triggers an election for new demon lord, pitting Reakk against Horribus's brother Terribus. The campaign, as can be expected for "demoncracy", is not pretty, particularly given interference by the Second Dragon of Annoyia.

Reakk's campaign secures a coup by publishing evidence that Terribus has sold his soul to a mortal politician; this, however, proves irrelevant to the election's outcome, since the dragon-designed "butterfly ballots" flee to the Sacred Circle of Protection to prevent their wings being torn off. The only demon who manages to cast a vote is Reakk himself, but he rips off the wrong wing and elects Terribus unanimously.

Meanwhile, Horribus and Steve rescue Jerri from a tribe of Thuks and she joins their film crew. Subsequently, Horribus tricks Jerri into taking his camera from him, freeing him from the Demon King's geas to travel with Steve.

Terribus's domain has concurrently been transforming into a less hellish dimension: the Department of Agony, Mayhem, Nastiness, and Elvis-related Dimensions downgrades the Dimension of Pain, retitling it the Dimension of Inconvenience. Quxxle reveals to Reakk, Psyk, and Mospinispinosp that the changes derive from Terribus's summoning of a politician: due to improper wards, an angel has slipped into the dimension and has been working to make it good.

Quxxle tasks the three with finding Horribus so he can defeat the angel with the Seraph-Slayer 3000. Reakk, however, has sold the weapon, and the new emotion of "guilt" prevents the three from stealing it back. They visit the Demon King, but unbeknownst to them his body is possessed by the angel and his spirit is trapped with Squeeky-bobo. When they tell him of their quest, they are made even cuter and the angel converts Quxxle's cave into a candy store.

Meanwhile, on the surface, Horribus has partnered with the flying eyeball Crallax to conquer the Thuks and found an evil empire of his own.

Two demons remain unaffected in mind by the angel's influence: Quxxle himself (thanks to his Ring of I'Bei) and his sister, Terribus's wife Uglacia (thanks to her ugliness dissuading the angel). In lieu of conversion, Uglacia is banished to the surface with the ostensible task of killing Horribus; Quxxle convinces Reakk, Psyk, and Mospinispinosp to stow away in Uglacia's luggage.

Due to incompetence on the part of the stowaways, Uglacia chokes to death on the Squeeky-bobo ball (which the angel had sent with her in a sealed box with instructions to destroy it). The inhabitants of the ball, however, are able to drag her corpse to Horribus's fortress, with Reakk, Psyk, and Mospinispinosp following.

Auditors from the D.A.M.N.E.D. mandate that Horribus kill the three to prove his evilness, but he instead bashes the auditors' heads together and forces them into corsets and heels. The Demon King orders Horribus to return and reclaim the Dimension of Pain, but due to the angel's wards they must proceed via the Dimension of Grief, ruled by Horribus's sister Deplora.

Deplora sends Reakk et al. to the Dimension of Pain ahead of the main party for spying purposes, but they return even cuter and with the Second Dragon of Annoyia in tow. The dragon (going by "Bubbles", and thoroughly sappy) startles Deplora into dropping the psychic vacuum she intended to use against Torg for Halloween; Reakk goes instead, but being corrupted by the angel into goodness all he does on Earth is hug Torg and bring a bowl of candy back to the Dimension of Grief. Bubbles then enchants the candy to never run out, and the children of the dimension dress up as angels and freely share it with everyone.

As it happens, Bubbles is so annoying that even as Deplora orders him, Reakk, Psyk, and Mospinispinosp back to the Dimension of Pain to keep them from turning her dimension good the latter three are ready to kill him. All it takes to unleash these repressed desires in the ex-demons of the Dimension of Pain is the return of Bubbles and Quxxle distracting the angel by leading it on a chase through the bowels of the dimension.

When the angel returns, the demons have slain Bubbles and Horribus has obtained the Seraph-Slayer 3000. He attacks the angel, who reveals that the weapon is nothing more than a scam, actually useless against angels. It then transforms Horribus and Deplora into cute, bubbly forms.

The Demon King, however, still has his wits, and tricks the angel into tripping (becoming an evil fallen angel), abolishing "Mr. Sun", and burning up in the Sacred Circle of Protection that would have been in that very spot if not for Mr. Sun using the beam of goodness for power. Thus the Dimension of Pain is restored.

Horribus then attempts to release the Demon King from the Squeekybobo Ball, but Squeeky-bobo seizes the opportunity instead, and then zaps all the demons at the victory party into similar balls for him to torment. He does not get the chance, however, since Bun-bun's breaking of the Deus Ex Ovum at that point resurrects him as a Christmas elf and the demons are stranded in balls.

The demons trapped by the balls remain so until Deplora and Mosp, who had not been present at Squeeky-bobo's release, return with the Ball-Breaker. Upon using the Ball-Breaker on the Demon King, however, he is nowhere to be found. The effect on the other trapped demons is less traumatic: they are simply granted high-pitched voices and become listless.

Deplora plans to make the dimension her own, but is thwarted by the reappearance of the Demon King (actually Terribus standing on Quxxle's shoulders with a black cloak), who pronounces that Horribus will lead the dimension, and Terribus will relax in sumptuous luxury. He also has the Temple of the Demon King built.

Horribus leaves the Temple of the Demon King over a bingo dispute and founds the Church of the Demon King. An unholy war begins, in which Terribus is unmasked and cast out. The Demon King happens to come back at just that moment, having only just made it from the Dumpster Behind All Existence, where the angel had dumped his body during the goodness episode. He puts the demons on a strict exorcise (sic) program.

Then Horribus, upset with the meaninglessness of their toil, recalls the pinhole left behind from Torg's visit to the Dimension of Pain and leads his followers through it to invade the Dimension of Lame, setting off the events of That Which Redeems. With the main storyline covering the activity of the demons of the Dimension of Pain, the spinoff, variously retitled "Meanwhile in the Dimension of Grief", "Meanwhile in Hell", autc., focuses on Deplora.

Deplora returns home and prepares to extract grief from Torg's dimension with the Griefsucker, but soon discovers that Horribus is in error invading the Dimension of Lame instead. In order to provoke grief in Sluggy Prime, she dispatches the Four Horsemen of Inconvenience, who promptly run into Satan's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. One pub crawl later, and Satan's horsemen are cursed with inconveniences and have maxed out Satan's credit card, but have acquired the Griefsucker. Satan places it in the lowest pit of Hell, the one reserved for e-mail spammers, deluging the Dimension of Grief in massive quantities of spam-grief.

The denizens of the DoG are upset. A rebellion begins, led by Terribus and including Crallax and Quxxle. Deplora, however, easily traps Terribus on his back and takes advantage of Quxxle's dimensional powers to head to Earth and check on the Horsemen of Inconvenience. She ends up trapped on Earth until Quxxle's powers can recharge, and in the meantime gets a job as a sexy waitress at Puppies.

Deplora heads from Earth to Hell to confront Satan, taking Sam to make him romantically jealous. However, Satan is already seeing Lysinda, which has exactly the converse effect. Satan's attempt to turn Lysinda's rage against Deplora's rage works poorly, and with both women ganging up on him he resorts to chocolate-chip ice cream.

The ice cream, however, comes from the Dimension of Sham-Pain, and hence offers permanent weight gain. The fight restarts, incidentally destroying the Griefsucker, and Deplora returns home to try Terribus.

When the Demon King strips Horribus and his lineage of their aristocracy, Deplora and Terribus revert to their blue-trash roots. This makes it look like a good idea to go on the Jeeery Stinger Vision to resolve their dispute.

Plorb and Terb have just decided to rule the Dimension of Grief together when the Grief Monarch arrives, refuses to allow it, and ennobles Quxxle (as Quxxcruciata) to be Demon Lord of Grief instead. However, Mammara Pandersum shows up and gives birth to Quxxcruciata's child, who promptly eats his head and dies when his head spike pierces its heart.

Then Jerri and Steve Uozin show up and tell what happened to them after Horribus's abandonment. This reveals that Jerri is the Grief Monarch's daughter, that Deplora killed his son to take over the Dimension of Grief, and Steve and Jerri consider themselves married.

The story ends when the Grief Monarch pronounces Jerri the new ruler of the Dimension of Grief, and ennobles her; since she has just stabbed Steve, Deplora, and Terb, however, the anointment results in all four merging into "Jeruozplorter".

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