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"Idle Worship, Part One: Reality": Chondra Jackson was once the star of a hit children's television program called Star Cops as plucky Science Officer Bebe Soma, and at the height of her fame, she swore she'd never return to her little home town of Effigy Mound.


Quote1 Isn't that cool, Momma? I'm not just a TV cop. I'm like a real cop! Quote2
-- Chondra Jackson



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Synopsis for "Idle Worship, Part One: Reality"

Chondra Jackson was once the star of a hit children's television program called Star Cops as plucky Science Officer Bebe Soma, and at the height of her fame, she swore she'd never return to her little home town of Effigy Mound. Unfortunately, the dream couldn't last, and nine years later, she is back in that home town, handing out traffic fines to people who don't respect her because of her Hollywood history. To be fair, after Star Cops ended, none of the former stars of the program did very well. Chondra herself was typecast so often that the only thing she could do to break from the image of Bebe Soma was produce a sex tape. It had been her mother's idea.

Chondra returns to her home, where her mother is having difficulty acclimating to the lack of culture in Effigy Mound, and to her daughter's current lack of fame. Over dinner, Chondra receives a call from her commander, who has - for once - asked for her specifically. She hopes that this will be her big break as a real cop, instead of just a TV cop. Her mother, though, is too preoccupied with criticizing the starlets on the entertainment news than to care about her daughter's achievements.

Chondra heads to Serpent Mound national park, and reports to Sgt. Jobe, who explains that the case is something to do with a body. He directs her down the path to find Commander Combs. In a brief karmic victory, Chondra spots a girl who had made fun of her for her career path earlier whom the sergeant has been tasked with bringing in to the station. Soon, though, she hears the sound of the news reporters converging on the scene, and selects an unassuming looking passerby to go under the paparazzi's radar - a trick she'd learned when she was famous. She explains this to the man she chose as they walk down the path, until they come to Commander Combes, who takes Chondra's companion's hand, and greets him as Detective Moore - a transfer from Cleveland.

Despite her efforts to avoid the news cameras, Chondra was still caught on tape, and she is recognized by a fan - a prostitute.

Combes explains that the archaeological dig on the Serpent Mound had picked up again over the last few months. The mounds themselves were built by ancient Native American tribes, who filled them with artifacts like spearheads and pots. Today, though, the archaeologists have dug up a more recent body than any the Native Americans might have buried there. Detective Moore notes that the corpse is certainly new, though she's been mummified. She was killed by a bullet to the side of the head, and notes that her teeth were removed and fingertips shaved off so as not to make her identifiable. The reason, though, that the commander asked for Chondra's expertise, is because the victim has a Star Cops tattoo on her back.

Meanwhile, on Fesdu Island in Maldives, Laurence W. Lauritz receives a 3 million dollar cheque from Los Angeles. As he does with all of them, he has his servant Nunnu place the cheque onto the floor, and then pisses on it before having her send it back.



Notes

  • This book was first published on January 28, 2015.
  • This issue is reprinted in the Effigy: Idle Worship collection.

Trivia

  • The starlet who appears on the television and catches Chondra's mother's attention appears to be Miley Cyrus.



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