Major Story Arcs
Joplin, Missouri - Trapped within an egg-shaped tomb for generations by her brother, Leviathan, the goddess Morte Mamme sought a means to escape her imprisonment by recruiting seven individuals to act as her Harrowers, blessed warriors to combat Leviathan and his demonic minions, the Cenobites. When all hope seemed lost, salvation arrived in the form of maggots. The goddess encouraged the insects to feast upon her flesh, shed their skin, and take flight in search of her chosen army.
Several miles above, the tomb's guardian, Bunny Benedict, is startled from her sleep by an earthquake caused by Morte Mamme. The earthquake causes a crack in the earth, enabling the insects infused with her being to escape the facade over the tomb dubbed "Legs Benedict's Egg Museum", and seek out her chosen few. Bunny instinctively senses that she needs to prepare for company, and proceeds to clean the museum. She watches as the goddess's swarm takes flight and swats at the insects, unaware of their true purpose.
In New York City, tattoo artist Ron Ringwood is stung by one of Morte Mamme's flies as he is working on a customer. The goddess telepathically imprints a message in Ringwood's psyche, requesting that he travel to Missouri. Ringwood unconsciously tattoos an egg with the words "Joplin, Missouri" on the man, and then leaves the shop on his motorcycle, as the infuriated customer chases after him.
Meanwhile, in Ohio State Penitentiary, Vera Wyshak sits on death row and receives her last rites from a priest before she is executed for an unspecified crime. The priest pleads with Vera to allow him to help save her soul, but Vera is adamant that the man is wasting his time. One of Morte Mamme's insects lands inside of the priest's coffee mug, and the man makes the mistake of drinking it. He begins choking, and is possessed by the goddess, who tells Wyshak to go to Joplin. The priest then dies, and Vera takes his clothing, escaping from the penitentiary. Ron Ringwood finds Wyshak walking alongside a road, and offers her a ride on his motorcycle.
In St. Louis, Missouri, animal shelter worker Winston Gage comes across a female kitten that somehow escaped euthanasia while cremating the carcasses of unwanted strays, and mercifully attempts to save the animal. The kitten swallows one of Morte Mamme's flies, as Gage is ushering it out of the building. Later, as he disposing of trash in a dumpster, Winston finds the kitten, once again. As he attempts to retrieve the tiny creature, she scratches him, and Gage notices a metal tag in her mouth that reads: My name is Zinc - Joplin City License. Winston realizes that he must return the kitten to Joplin, and drives off with the animal in his Volkswagen Bug.
Elsewhere, in Tennessee, wealthy twin sisters Lavinia and Lucinda Claire have traveled to Graceland from England in search of some fun. Finding none, they share a picnic lunch and look over a map of the United States, wondering where to travel next. One of the goddess's flies lands on the map, and Lucinda kills it with a newspaper. The fly's bloodied carcass sticks to Joplin, Missouri, piquing the twins' mutual curiosity.
At a movie house in Chicago, Illinois, ex-professor Dublin Morse drops a hit of acid in the projection booth where he now works to kill the tediousness of his job. One of the goddess's flies lands on the lens of the projector, and Morse removes the insect so it does not obstruct the patrons' view. The fly appears to Morse as sharing the same head, and thanks him for saving it's life. The insect then tells Dublin to go to Joplin, Missouri, and have an egg.
High above a power line in Wichita, Kansas , Marty Sevenbirds forces himself to overcome his fear of heights to accomplish his job. The last of Morte Mamme's flies is caught in an intricate spider web at the top of the power line, and is devoured by a spider. Once Sevenbirds has reached the top of the power line, he sees that the spider has written "JOPLIN, MO" in it's web.
In Hell, Leviathan summons his Cenobite The General after his sister beckons her new allies to Joplin. The General rallies the Cenobites to combat their new foes, selecting six of his best soldiers to destroy the humans, and prevent Morte Mamme from being released from her subterranean prison.
Each individual called by Morte Mamme makes their way to the Legs Benedict's Egg Museum in Joplin, where they are greeted by guide Bunny Benedict. Benedict tells the group that the egg museum was built around a huge egg-shaped monument, and has been preserved and protected by her family for generations as part of a pact they made with the Indians. As Bunny gives her tour of the Egg Museum, another earthquake cracks open the floor, revealing a stairwell that descends into darkness. The kitten Zinc bolts into the darkness, much to the dismay of Winston. Curious, the group takes a pair of lanterns, and follow the stairwell. Bunny, injured in the earthquake, remains topside. Soon, the others discover a granite rock covering a chamber doorway, and they use their collective strength to move the rock blocking the entrance.
The group discovers the bodies of six other people that have been dead for quite some time, in addition to Morte Mamme's prison. A message on the seal reads: "Sex Liberabit, Si Aenigma Explicata Erit" (Six shall release if the puzzle is solved) They determine that they must stand in front of the seal, and speak the Latin phrases directly in front of them. After doing so, they enter six individual chambers, and the room begins to spin. The goddess Morte Mamme appears before the group, and informs them they have been chosen to serve as her Harrowers, blessed warriors against evil demons known as Cenobites that were created by Leviathan. The goddess tells them that the bodies of the six fallen in the chamber were once her Harrowers, killed when her brother tricked them. She arms each member of the group with a weapon charged with her life-force.
Weapons of Morte Mamme
- Ron Ringwood - Short Sword
- Vera Wyshak - Boomerang
- Lucinda and Lavinia Claire - Lasso
- Winston Gage - Battle Axe
- Marty Sevenbirds - Long Sword
- Dublin Morse - Dagger
Morte Mamme then tells the group that they will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors. The goddess warns the Harrowers that by summoning her, Leviathan has sent six Cenobites to stop the group. She tells the team that she has blessed them each with special abilties, and as the Harrowers return to the surface, Winston is overcome by a strange vision that troubles him. He realizes that he is actually seeing through the eyes of the kitten, Zinc. He sees the kitten snatched by Merkova, a hideous Cenobite with a horse's skull sutured to her face, along with the remaining demons sent to stop the team. Bunny hangs from the ceiling by hook chains. Gage switches places with Zinc, appearing before the Cenobites, while the kitten is teleported to the stairwell leading to the goddess's prison. Winston responds to Merkova's threat of turning Zinc's intestines into a bracelet by chopping her arms off with his battle axe. The other Harrowers join up with their friend back at the museum, and attack the Cenobites with the weapons bestowed upon them by Morte Mamme.
Dublin Morse displays his new gift of invisibility during the battle, and manages to stab a Cenobite cowboy with his dagger. Ron Ringwood leaps into action, and is strung up by the Cenobites with hook chains. Vera saves Ron from being castrated by one of the Cenobites using her boomerang. In retaliation, the Cenobites string Wyshak up with hook chains, and she asks Morte Mamme for help. The goddess turns Vera's blood and saliva acidic to the Cenobites, and the demons are forced to release the woman when the pain caused by her blood grows too intense. Vera spits on one of the Cenobites, and dissolves the monster. Marty Sevenbirds, a pacifist by nature, is forced to come to Ron Ringwood's aid when Merkova bears down on the young man. Sevenbirds stabs Merkova through the thigh with his long sword, forcing the Cenobite to retreat. Marty frees Ron from the hook chains, and Ringwood displays his new accelerated regeneration power, his wounds healing almost instantaneously.
Elsewhere, the twins Lavinia and Lucinda hide, too frightened to join the fray. The goddess creates a guide, Ovid, to assist the young women. Appearing as a cherubic infant with insect-like wings and pointed ears, Ovid is capable of speech, and is extremely flatulent. He explains that Cenobites find it so human, that it disorients the demons. Ovid encourages the Claire twins by telling them that they are not as weak as they feel, and Morte Mamme blesses the twins with mirror images of themselves, numerous additional reflections that make it impossible for the demons to determine who the real Claire siblings are. The twins use this new ability to confuse the Cenobites while they tie the demons up with their lasso, as Ovid breaks wind above the monsters. Now ensnared, the goddess bestows lightning generation and manipulation to Marty Sevenbirds. He hurls lightning at the Cenobites, further incapacitating them, and the Harrowers use their weapons to chop the demons into pieces. Merkova, however, manages to escape, and drags Bunny back to Hell with her.
Morte Mamme informs the group that Leviathan's commander, The General, would suffer unimaginably for the failure of his soldiers. The goddess then tells the group that they need to enter Hell, in order to rescue Bunny Benedict. She explains that Bunny has been a faithful guardian over her tomb, and that she cannot be forsaken. As the Harrowers prepare to enter Hell, Leviathan gives The General one final opportunity to prove himself. The General creates a horrific monster from the body parts of his fallen Cenobites, Leviathan names it The Furiae, and The General sends it after The Harrowers. The group valiantly combats the monster, while Ron Ringwood searches Hell for Bunny Benedict on his motorcycle. Marty courageously sacrifices himself by electrifying himself and tackling the Furaie, sending them both falling into the deepest pit of Hell.
Meanwhile, the Cenobite Pinhead discovers that Bunny Benedict is actually a male while torturing her, and becomes amused. Before the demon can use a blowtorch to give Bunny an impromptu gender reassignment surgery, Ron finds the pair on his bike, uses his axe to cut Bunny's shackles, and drives off with her before Pinhead can harm her. Marty's sacrifice frees Morte Mamme from her prison, and Ringwood returns to the other Harrowers, with Bunny in tow. The goddess takes Benedict, and places her into her body, briefly impregnating herself. Within moments, Bunny returns to the others, and Morte Mamme explains that Bunny has twenty-four hours in her old form before a transformation occurs. When Benedict asks the goddess what she will turn into, Morte Mamme states that she does not know. The goddess tells her it is destiny's decision, and that she is merely destiny's conduit. Morte Mamme then disappears.
Meanwhile, back in Hell, Pinhead tearfully mourns the death of his beloved Merkova. Mortally wounded with Marty Sevenbirds' divine sword during the battle at the Egg Museum, Pinhead vows that his paramour will not have died in vain. Twenty-four hours later, the surviving Harrowers gather with Bunny in a Joplin park to await her transformation. They watch in bewilderment as Benedict becomes a little girl, and runs off to play with a group of other children. Morte Mamme then appears before the Harrowers, and tells them to prepare, for Leviathan has countless souls in need of liberation. The Harrowers have only just begun. Back in Hell, The General pleads with Leviathan to allow him yet another chance to destroy the Harrowers, proclaiming "This time, it's war...”
Death, Where Is Thy Sting?
Later, in Manhattan, New York, Vera is now working separate from the other Harrowers. A subway token mysteriously appears in Vera’s pocket, and she boards a train headed for The Bronx. Wyshak notices Katie Johnson feverishly attempting to solve a Lament Configuration, and advices the woman against it. Vera tells her she doesn’t want to go where it will take her, and Katie asks if the box is responsible for the disappearance of her husband, Daniel. Wyshak offers to help Daniel, and produces her boomerang from her jacket. She hurls the weapon, cutting a rift between Hell and Earth. Katie demands to follow Vera, and Wyshak agrees. The women enter Hell, as passengers aboard the subway car watch on in amazement.
Vera and Kate enter hell, which appears to them as a beautiful, sunlit field. Wyshak knows better than to trust anything that she sees, and Johnson becomes angry, saying that her husband couldn't possibly be there. Vera stabs a bee preparing to sting Kate with a metallic stinger and spits on the insect, to determine if it is Cenobitical. When the bee dissolves, Vera tells Johnson to follow the swarm of bees passing overhead, and the women proceed to follow the swarm. Soon, they discover hundreds of souls planted in the field. The souls are all members of the Johnson clan, cursed in 1620 when Philip Johnson offered the lives of himself and wife, Grace, after his young son Robert solved a Lament Configuration. Philip agreed with the Cenobite Fulgar to take Robert's place, but fled with his family to America, before Fulgar could claim them. One year later, Fulgar returned for Philip and Grace, burning their home to the ground, and branding their two children with the symbol of Leviathan.
Katie asks Vera if she can hack at the roots with her boomerang, but Wyshak discovers that the roots are all interconnected, and in doing so she causes more harm than good. She follows the roots to a tree, and discovers the souls of Philip and Grace Johnson embedded in the bark. They warn Vera that Aparius, the Bee-Keeper of Hell, will be returning, and Wyshak says that she can rescue their souls, but only if they are willing to accept the transformation that comes with their freedom. The pair agree, and Aparius confronts Vera. She uses her boomerang to decapitate the Cenobite, and cuts into the tree using the weapon. After killing the queen bee, Wyshak purposely cuts her thigh with the boomerang's razor-sharp edge, and allows herself to bleed on the roots of the tree. Her plan works, and the souls of the Johnson clan are freed. Vera channels the goddess Morte Mamme, who envelops the souls in her fiery womb, and purges the corruption caused by Leviathan. Katie and Daniel return to earth to spend their last twenty-four hours together, and Wyshak disappears for parts unknown.
Powers & Abilities
The goddess Morte Mamme possesses psychokinetic ability, which enables her to mentally dominate animal, insect, and even human life. This was first exhibited through the mental domination of the priest giving Vera Wyshak her last rites, through a fly that the man ingested. The true extent of this ability is unknown, but it has been indicated Morte Mamme required a conduit - like flies - to perform this action while imprisoned by Leviathan.
Morte Mamme possesses the ability to create life, as first exhibited with the introduction of Ovid, the miasmic guide of Lucinda and Lavinia Claire. She appears to whomever she is summoned by as the maternal figure that is most prominent to them. This changes from individual to individual, and serves to mask her true identity. The goddess can manipulate reality within boundaries, causing others to see what she wants them to see. She can even transcend dimensions, following her rescue by the Harrowers. She appears whenever corrupted souls have been liberated by her warriors.
Morte Mamme’s most prominent ability is to cleanse human souls of evil by enveloping them in her fiery womb. The goddess can only aid the soul if they agree to the transformation that follows. Once liberated, the soul has twenty-four hours on earth in it’s previous incarnation, before experiencing a transformation. Each individual soul experiences it’s own unique conversion, of which the goddess is not responsible. In Bunny Benedict’s case, he was transformed from an elderly man into a young girl. Another soul, Daniel Johnson, was transformed into a swarm of bees. Morte Mamme has explained that she is merely the conduit through which destiny acts, however why this is has not been explained.