"Idle Worship, Part Two: Meet Cute": When she was a little girl, Chondra Jackson's mother Ginger dragged her to a movie set in Hollywood, and almost immediately abandoned her to schmooze with a casting director. In her mother's absence
- Eeeeeeee! You came back for me! Yes! Of course I'll marry you! Take me away from this place, Bebe Soma!
- -- Edie Chacon
Appearing in "Idle Worship, Part Two: Meet Cute"
- Sheila Harmon (Appears only as a corpse)
- Ginger Jackson (Flashback only)
- Barbara Stoldt
- Dr. Roy
Synopsis for "Idle Worship, Part Two: Meet Cute"
When she was a little girl, Chondra Jackson's mother Ginger dragged her to a movie set in Hollywood, and almost immediately abandoned her to schmooze with a casting director. In her mother's absence, Chondra tripped and found a pair of bloody handcuffs on the ground. Pessimistically, an older woman warned her that she should get used to the sight of those - because almost every role for black women in Hollywood includes them.
Now, Chondra is a police officer in her home town of Effigy Mound, where she has been called to a murder scene because the victim bore a tattoo referencing the TV program she in which she starred, in her youth. She is, however, more concerned with the fact that her supervising detective, Grant Moore has apparently no knowledge whatsoever of the Star Cops or most other pop-culture references. He admits that he'd grown up without a TV in his household. Chondra must in turn admit that she was practically raised by her television. She supposes that he must have spent his childhood reading mystery novels. Perhaps that was why he became a police detective.
Grant thinks back to his youth, when his parents had made him attend protests against logging initiatives, standing up to the police. He'd then watched his father attempt to intimidate a police officer, and he was then beaten violently. As Grant watched, the power that police seemed to have appealed to him. That was why he became a policeman. Even so, he suggests that Chondra's incorrect guess was right.
Chondra suggests that Grant must be highly thought of, if they had him sent all the way down from Cleveland. He responds that he suspects the powers that be just wanted to protect the tourism industry in Effigy Mound - not to mention the usual hooplah about murdered, blonde, white girls. He asks Chondra about the Star Cops tattoo, and she explains that she's only seen it in tattoo form on members of the Star Cops Fan Corp - of which there is a chapter in Effigy Mound, Grant notes. Meanwhile, the CSI team attempts to place the corpse onto a gurney when it splits and its dried entrails spill out onto the ground. Horrified, Chondra realizes that she was wrong to have thought of the crime scene like it was a movie set - like it wasn't real. All the same, the accident allows Grant to identify tape worms all over the woman's digestive tract.
Not wanting to upset her further, Grant suggests Chondra investigate the Fan Corps lead, pointing her in the direction of Edward Chacon, the webmaster for the fansite - whom Chondra is already familiar with. He had been her best friend as a girl, before she moved. Grant hopes that he'll be able to identify the victim for them.
Meanwhile, at the courthouse, Commander Combes informs Barbara Stoldt and her companion Dr. Roy that she can't release them yet, though she isn't prepared to charge them either. Their stories about the discovery of the body don't line up with each other. Even so, she calls back to Grant to warn him that she thinks the pair are unlikely suspects.
Grant and Chondra, meanwhile, approach the home of Eddie Chacon, where they are surprised to learn that he is both a prostitute, and a woman, now. Upon hearing that Chondra Jackson is at her door, Edie leaps upon her, in a hug. It is the realization of how much Edie has changed - after, for a time, being her childhood boyfriend - is what really throws Chondra off.
Elsewhere, at the Influence Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Henry Durka bursts in demanding to be shown to Eternolos, and walk the Everladder. The receptionist - who is somewhat confused - suggests that he try the comic book shop across the street. This makes him angry, and in response, the woman uses a taser on his genitals.
Following an awkward silence, Edie claims that she had thought it was much more romantic that she waited for Chondra to come back, all this time. But after she left, Edie fell on hard times. Her parents weren't kind, and she would seek solace in watching Star Cops after school. Through a forced smile, Grant takes her mention of Star Cops as a segue to show her the tattoo on the victim's body. Edie peruses the images of the corpse without batting an eyelash and determines that she was Sheila Harmon, who ran the Fan Corp for Carbondale. After some pressing, Edie reveals that there was a guy who had threatened to kill her if she showed up to the convention for Star Cop fans in Chicago.
Meanwhile, Henry Durka recovers from his tasering to find that he has been recruited into some kind of cult - as a steed.
- This book was first published on February 25, 2015.
- This issue is reprinted in the Effigy: Idle Worship collection.
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