Animal Farm to the Stars

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The Best Pair of Tits in Late 90s Sci-Fi Television

A/N: In case you haven't noticed, this is a rough draft. I liked to edit on the fly as I write so when reviewing please be kind.

Ventura County was located between Santa Barbara and the San Fernando Valley, roughly an hour and a half on the 1-0-1 from Hollywood. This meant that most Los Angelinos regarded Ventura County as “the wilderness” and they talked about it in hushed whispers using one word descriptions the same way that normal people said “Yukon” or “Amazon” or “Sahara”.

This description was unfair to Ventura and also unfair to wilderness because the average home price for most areas of Southern Ventura was in the mid 400K and there was a luxury strip mall every quarter mile. Sure Ventura had a little more green space than LAC and there was some farmland dotting the countryside. But wilderness? That was going a bit too far. In reality, Ventura County is fine and people from Los Angeles only believe it’s the boondocks because they’ve have been brainwashed into thinking that the civilized world ended once you drove far enough North on the PCH or South on the 4-0-5 or East on the 10.

Still, even though Jimmy was well aware that LA was not the only city in the world, He felt himself wince when Harry hit the accelerator and they passed beyond the borders of the City of Angels. He hated the suburbs, hated it so much that he genuinely hoped the minivan he was traveling in flipped over and caught fire.

That was another thing Jimmy hated about this trip, the minivan. It was a rental and they were driving it because of a comment The Big E had made as they walked out of USC: “If we’re going up to Ventura, we gotta go quiet, y’know? We don’t want to just roll up there with a bodybuilder, a criminal, a porn star, and a lawyer. We should get a disguise or some shit.”

So they got a minivan to help them blend in.

Now they were a bodybuilder, a criminal, a porn star, and a lawyer driving a minivan into suburbia with a trunk full of weapons and burglary tools. Jimmy was the first to admit this plan was not exactly foolproof.

Traffic coming out of downtown was light on the highway and they crossed the county line in at 3 o’clock. Soon they were deep in the rolling hills and windswept grasslands of Ventura county. It was a beautiful drive with plenty of gorgeous rural scenes but Jimmy didn’t see any of it, instead his mind was a million miles away.

Erica Brooks had been a terrible girlfriend, she had treated him like crap, yet Jimmy was now traveling far outside his comfort zone to the darkness of suburbia on her behalf. This turn of events was making Jimmy’s head hurt and he lowered his head so he could stretch out in the back seat.

Well, he didn’t exactly “stretch out”. Jimmy was 5’11 and stretching out in the back of an American made minivan was genuinely impossible. Instead he sort of half crouched and tried to pretend that he was driving to some place nice instead of a uncivilized wasteland where people bought their liquor at Krogers instead of at Trader Joe’s, which is the way god intended.

It took another 40 minutes but the minivan soon slowed to a crawl deep inside the city limits of Camarillo, the unofficial capital of upscale suburban hell. Jimmy lifted his head to look out the window, peering out at a neighborhood covered in the golden light of southern California’s so called “magic hour”.

Jimmy had to shield his eyes as he peered around the neighborhood,“Which one is it?”

Harry pointed a finger at a large spanish style house at the end of a cul-de-sac. It was placed in the middle of an upscale subdivision, surrounded by two or three houses that looked exactly like it. There was a big front yard with trimmed sod and a small mail slot in the door.The place was perfectly normal.

The whole thing was incredibly disappointing because Jimmy had expected a primeval manor house sitting on a dark hill while canned thunder played over the soundtrack. Something, anything that could betray some of evil that went on inside. This house was so normal it was actually a major let down.

“We’ll have to drive around the block a few times,” The Big E observed, “Too bright out for a sneak and peak.”

Jimmy shook his head, “I wanna try something first.” He reached into the back of the minivan and retrieved a black hoodie. He handed it to Crystal, “Tie this around your waist.”

She snorted in disgust, “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”

He pointed to her baby doll t shirt, exposed stomach, and scandalously low rise jeans, “Literally everything.” Jimmy retorted.

Crystal reluctantly complied and when she was finished dressing herself down, she looked just decent enough to get the job done. So they climbed out of the minivan and let their feet finally touch the ground in Ventura County.

Now it was time to begin their hunt. Crystal didn't need any instructions, she and Jimmy had successfully pulled this maneuver many times before and there was no reason to believe it wouldn't work this time. They just needed to find the right mark so Jimmy scanned the porches and neatly trimmed front yards in search of a sucker.

“Hey there!” shouted a voice to his far right. Jimmy turned and saw a blandly handsome man wearing khakis and a polo shirt.

Jimmy felt a slow smile spread across his face. He softly elbowed Crystal in the side and she snapped to attention.

“Hey there future neighbor.” Jimmy said as he stepped towards the bland white guy with an arm extended in friendship, “Happy to meet you.”

Bland Guy looked at Jimmy’s expensive suit and the size of Crystal’s implants and his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. He was super happy to see another bland white guy with a hot trophy wife moving into the neighborhood. Bland Guy reached across the divide and he gave Jimmy a good, friendly handshake. It was a proud, Aryan handshake, the kind of white as bread handshake you can only learn in the Nazi youth camp that is Southern California’s Suburban Wasteland. “Well hey there! I didn’t know there were any houses for sale on this part of the subdivision!”

“Well I sure hope there are!” Jimmy guffawed and the two men shared a nonsensical laugh about nothing.

“Hey, let me get the little lady out here!” Bland Guy said and Jimmy heard Crystal groan. He sympathized with her, any woman who let her husband call her a ‘little lady’ was bound to be insufferable. Sure enough, Bland Guy shouted over to a short brunette MILF with collagen lips and big fake breasts. Not good fake breasts, stupid looking fake breasts that looked like balloons.

MILF Boobs bounced over to Bland Guy as he pointed toward Jimmy and Crystal, “Honey, come on out and meet the-”

“Joneses.” Jimmy supplied.

“Honey meet the Jones family, they’re thinking of moving here.”

“Oh, Hiiii!” MILF Boobs drew out the “eye” sound so the word sounded like it had five syllables, “I’m, Sandra, so nice to meet you and this is my husband Kevin.”

“Hiiii,” Jimmy mimicked, “I’m Tom. Tom Jones and this is my wife…” He let his voice trail into nothingness so that Crystal could supply her own alias. It’s always better to let your partner supply an alias.

Crystal did not disappoint, she sent the tone of her voice skyward into and then dropped it’s volume into a breathy whisper. What emerged from her mouth was a perfect Valley Girl vocal fry: “Norah. Norah Jones.”

Jimmy had to bite his lip to keep from chuckling. That was a perfect alias. Tom Jones and Norah Jones, two Grammy winners just cruising Ventura County to buy a house together.

The women dissolved into twittering banter, just as Jimmy had planned. Wives were always more suspicious than their husband so if you’re going to scam a guy for information, it helped to bring along a distraction.

Sandra MILF Boobs squealed with joy when she heard Crystal’s alias. “Norah Jones...just like the singer!”

“Aren’t you sharp, yes like the singer.”

“I love her music.”

“Me too! And I just love your hair.”

“Really? Oh I just threw this together.”

This exchange went on for a good five minutes and it gave Jimmy a chance to Keith aside and got started on the meat and potatoes of the investigation. “So that house at the end of the block, my guy back in Thousand Oaks tells me it’s for sale.”

Keith’s grimaced, Jimmy could tell that house was a sore spot for him, “That’s news to us.” He shrugged, “I mean not that I’m complaining.”

The other man’s voice seemed pregnant with some kind of unexpressed frustration and Jimmy jumped on it right away,“And why is that Keith?”

“Well, you didn’t hear it from me,” Keith muttered, “But the current owner just doesn’t...well, fit in if you catch my drift.”

“How so?”

Keith sighed and motioned at the house at the end of the block with a wave of his hand, “He kept having people come over all the time, all hours of the night, loud parties, weirdos from LA in an out of here all the time. And then there’s the smell.”

A chill ran up Jimmy’s spine and a little alarm bell started to go off in his brain. “What about the smell?” He asked.

“They must’ve had some kind of sewage problem or something,” Keith snickered, “Because for the past two months I swear to God, it smells like something died in that house.”

If you plan on breaking into a house, conventional wisdom tells most people to pick an hour late at night. Deserted streets, total darkness, no innocent bystanders.

This is frankly, total baloney.

People and police are on high alert for home invasions during the hours between Eleven PM and Four Am. Any loud noise, no matter how innocuous, can bring unwanted attention and suspicious neighbors who come out on their front lawns holding baseball bats or shotguns or golf clubs. Anything out of place in the dead of night can bring on far more heat than you might expect.

Jimmy had found that in practice it was better to break and enter during the late evening, usually between eight and ten thirty. After Modern Family but before Jimmy Fallon, when people were awake but distracted and when even the loudest noise could be attributed to one of “those damn neighbor kids.”

Sleepy people were suspicious, bored people couldn’t give a shit.

Jimmy and his team spent the rest of the early evening driving around town. They stopped for a light dinner at Denny’s, then hit up a strip mall for snacks and some magazines before returning to the block to case the neighborhood.

By seven fifty, they were parked in the shadows and watching the ebb and flow of the neighborhood as night settled in.

At eight a teenage girl climbed out of her second floor window to go to a party. 8:15 the couple two doors down started having a raucous argument about drapes. 8:20 had a the drama of the gay couple walking their dog and eavesdropping on arguing couple. 8:30, wealthy interracial family arrived home in their Cadillac with their precocious daughter.

Precocious daughter kept pointing at their van so Jimmy and his crew had to duck down into their seats and hold their breath. It would be totally humiliating if their cover was blown by a little kid.

The little girl, who was either psychic or a future Sherlock Holmes, shouted at the top of her lungs“Mommy, that’s not Mista’ Thompson’s car.” From somewhere below the steering column, the Big E released an aggravated growl.

“Snitches get stitches you little mulatto ho!” E muttered.

Luckily Mommy and Daddy were too tired for that Nancy Drew shit and ignored her but as soon as they were inside, The Big E re-positioned the van into a spot fifty feet up the street to the front of the house where Bland Kevin and Mrs. Sandra MILF Boobs resided.

This new position had an added benefit because at around 9 o’clock, Kevin and Sandra started having surprisingly kinky sex in the middle of their living room with the drapes half open. The two suburban freaks kept it going for nearly 65 minutes. Kevin was in surprisingly good shape.

After the couple finished, they retired to the bedroom and at 10:05, the neighborhood was quiet and still. Jimmy could see the glow of TV sets across suburbia. It was time to go to work.

Getting inside the house was surprisingly easy, Crystal kept watch from the side of the house while the rest of the team picked of the lock on the back door. They used a device known as a pick gun, a pump action machine that automatically adjusted the tumblers in a lock into the open position each time you squeezed the trigger.

In this case it took a mere six squeezes before the lock clicked and the deadbolt turned with ease. The door swung open, exposing the dark interior of the house like it was the gateway to hell itself.

It was the smell that hit them first. An indescribable stench that crawled inside their nostrils. Even Harry, who was normally unflappable, had to retreat from the stench for a moment.

“Jesus, what is that?” Crystal asked as she stepped around the side of the house to the backdoor. Nobody wanted to answer her, none of the possible answers gave the team a very good feeling.

Harry clicked on a flashlight and warily they stepped inside the kitchen.

The interior was deserted. There were no dishes in the sink, no furniture, no pictures on the wall. All the greeted them was a single chair parked in the center of the kitchen where the last occupant of Charles’ Dumont’s suburban home waited patiently to introduce herself.

The woman appeared to have been dead for at least six months or more and she was well into to a state of advanced decay. The maggots were gone, the remains of her skin were dripping into a puddle around her and it appeared as though a rat or a field mouse had taken bites from her face. In fact her body was so poorly preserved that it would have been impossible to determine her gender if it wasn’t for her tennis skirt and high heels. She was no longer a person, just a collection of rotting meat that had once been a person.

As soon as Harry’s flashlight illuminated the corpse, Crystal gasped in horror. She ran from the house and moments later the men could hear her puking into the bushes. Jimmy sorely wanted to join her. He attempted to remain focused by breathing through his mouth instead of his nose and leaned against the door frame. Through watering eyes he spied an object on the floor.

“Hey, E,” Jimmy pointed to the spot beneath the corpse’s chair, “Is that a purse?”

The Big E nodded limply but obviously wasn’t in much of a position to do a damn thing about that woman’s purse. The two men retreated to the relative safety of the back porch as Harry stepped up to do the dirty deed for them.

The man in black entered the darkness and then returned holding a California Driver’s License. “Mimi Tanner.” Harry stated, “Burbank, California.”

“Mimi Tanner? Seriously?” Jimmy’s fear of the strench was suddenly forgotten as he examined the picture on the ID. He recognized her instantly, “Good god. Mimi Tanner.”

Harry shrugged, “Who is she?”

“Mimi Tanner played Unit Six on Space Hunter!” Jimmy looked over at The Big E and the two men shared a look of shock. Suddenly a sense of terrible loss hit them both, something only true Space Hunter fans could understand.

The Big E sighed, “Damn, we lost a good one.”

Jimmy nodded in agreement and both men turned back to the desiccated corpse and bowed their heads out of respect for the best pair of tits in the history of late 90s sci-fi television.

“What in hell are you idiots going on about?” Harry growled.

“Mimi Tanner was one of the female leads on the third Space Hunter spin off, remember? Space Hunter: Dark Zone, it was on TV for like seven years.”

The Big E was on the verge of tears, “She wore that tight silver catsuit and that weird hairstyle.” He sighed as the memories came flooding back, “I jerked off to that woman constantly in high school, dem’ titties got me through some tough times.”

The Big E kept talking, describing his favorite Space Hunter moments, like that one episode where the ship landed on a planet full of criminals and they had to fight their way out of an alien jungle. Jimmy wasn’t listening anymore, instead he stared into the empty eye sockets of the corpse and tried to imagine the series of events that led Mimi Tanner to end up like this. He pictured the work starting to dry up, agents offering her parts playing soccer moms on sitcoms, one episode guest parts on TV dramas, cameos in action movies, then eventually nothing at all. He imagined her staring into the mirror, agonizing over every line, every blemish. He pictured her hitting 36 and realizing that her career was about to end. Then suddenly along comes this tall, handsome doctor who claims he can make her young again. She jumps at the chance because what other choice is there? She’s too young to retire and too old to find a rich husband. But something goes wrong with the procedure, she starts mutating, just like Erica. Jimmy imagines Mimi is smart, smart enough to track Dumont down and she follows him to this house and then Dumont kills her and he just leaves her here to rot.

He could feel a white hot fury boiling in the pit of his stomach. People had demons, that was a fact of life, but the kind of person who exploited those demons for profit was a very specific kind of monster. Jimmy knew he hated Dumont before, but looking at the face of Mimi Tanner’s corpse seemed to dial that hatred all the way past eleven.

As god was his witness, Charles Dumont was going to take an express train to gas chamber.

Even if Jimmy had to pull the switch himself

Across the room, The Big E had begun to elaborate on which of the five Star Hunter captains were the best, E favored Captain Carlisle from the original 1960s tv series and he was now elaborating on his fifteen point dissertation on the Captain’s merits, but just then Crystal returned to the back porch and everybody was spared. She was still looking a little green and pale but she was much more clear headed.

“We identified the corpse from her driver’s license.” Although it didn’t show on Harry’s face, Jimmy could tell the career criminal was overjoyed that the Big E had finally stopped talking, “She was some kind of actress apparently.”

“What was her name?” Crystal asked

“Mimi Tanner.” Jimmy replied.

Suddenly a look of anguish passed over Crystal’s face and for a moment, Jimmy was reminded that beneath the skin of this streetwise sex worker was a kind-hearted and graceful woman. “That’s so sad!” She sobbed, “I used to masturbate to her high school. Her tits got me through some tough times.”

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