A Misfit Should Be...

Chapter One: The Fight

“This song totally sucks.”

Phyllis Gabor, better known to the world as the fast-moving, sharp-mouthed Pizzazz, lead singer of rock band the Misfits, tossed her guitar down on the floor of the recording studio with disgust, putting her hands on her hips and wheeling on her curly-headed companion. “Stormer, where did you come up with this rubbish? It stinks! It has no beat! It…It’s worse than something even Jem and the wretched singalongs would come out with!”
Stormer, otherwise known as Mary Phillips, the main musical brain behind the Misfits’ high-paced music sighed, sliding her synthesiser off her shoulder and casting Pizzazz a resigned look. This was the third song her band-mate had rejected this week, and if she was totally honest with herself she was a bit fed up with it. After all, she told herself crossly, it wasn’t as if music materialised out of thin air. She took time and energy to compose, letting the music flow through her mind as she scribbled down the words on the piece of paper, and yes, she was proud of the number of hits she had masterminded. To have her work belittled in this way was more than a little bit galling.
But then, Stormer was big-hearted, and she knew she would never say such things out loud. For a start, Pizzazz was intimidating when in a rage. The spoiled only daughter of a business tycoon, Pizzazz’ mother had left when she had been only a tot, and it had made an indelible mark on that girl’s personality. She didn’t – wouldn’t let herself – trust anyone. It had taken Stormer the whole time that the band had been together to even discover this much about her colleague, and even then most of what she knew had not come from Pizzazz herself, but from a friend of her’s, Kimber Benton, the keyboardist and songwriter from the Misfit’s chief rival band, Jem and the Holograms.
Pizzazz hated Jem, that was beyond dispute. Stormer didn’t know who this ‘Jem’ really was, but she certainly had an aura. She could sing, and she appealed to people – most significantly she appealed to Riot, the blond-haired, arrogant lead singer of another band, the Stingers, who had hit the west coast of America some months earlier.
Pizzazz had fallen in love with Riot the moment they had met. It had been strange, Stormer mused, the roller coaster of events that had occurred since that day. For a while the singer had shrugged off her band, shrugged off everything that had always been important to her in a vain attempt to get his attention – and then he had fallen for Jem. Pizzazz had reacted in the way she always reacted to things – shouts and threats and angry rages – but Stormer knew she was hurting.
She bit back her own frustration at the criticism. They would work it out, so long as she could keep her patience. Someone had to stay sane…especially in such a madcap environment as a Misfit practice session. They had an album due in less than a month – somehow Stormer had a feeling that the deadline would be fudged once again.
“What are you whining about now, yank?” Sheila Burns (known to all Misfit fans as ‘Jetta’ due to her wild black hair), the British born saxophonist who had joined the band in a wild publicity stunt but whom had fitted right in with the others both musically and mentally demanded, casting Pizzazz a dark look. “I’d just got that sax solo straight, and you ‘ave to screech your ‘orrible voice right across it!”
Well, that was Jetta. Stormer hid a smile. She had a certain amount of admiration for the way the young Briton could stand up to Pizzazz, even when that girl was in the foulest of moods. No matter what the situation, Jetta was very rarely put off from making her comment. She had a good deal of intelligence, that was clear from the start, but most of it she had indulged in manipulation and trickery. Her one positive contribution to the world was the music of her saxophone, which she undoubtedly had a talent for. Not that Jetta had no heart or no feelings. Stormer had made the mistake of thinking that way when the Brit had first joined the band. She was just very clever at hiding them away. Her background was working-class and lacking in both love and support – her entrance to the United States had been un-approved and as yet she had no work permit, a fact which Pizzazz liked to bring up every so often to keep the sax player under thumb. Jetta was deeply ashamed of her real roots, and often liked to project a fantasy of being a friend of the British upper classes, but everything had come out in a rush when the group had paid a visit to England. Jetta had not mentioned the trip since, and Stormer had used the little influence she had in the band to prevent anyone else from mentioning it either.
It had been an incident at Heathrow airport which had made Stormer realise Jetta’s shrewd, snappy attitude was not the only side to her. Stormer herself had spent much of the visit to Britain with her brother Craig and his band, so she had missed a lot of the spectacle, but Pizzazz had been keen to fill her band-mate in on all that had gone on. Jetta had borne all of Pizzazz’ teasing in stony silence, but once the singer and the other member of the band, Roxanne Pelligrini had slipped off to buy jewelry from the duty free stores things had all changed.
Jetta had cried.
It had come as a real shock to Stormer that someone as collected as Jetta could have so much resentment inside of her. Her parents, impoverished and grasping people, had no time for their wild daughter. Her elder brother, in prison and never spoken of had been her idol when she had been growing up, but now she wasn’t even allowed to speak his name. And then there was her desire to be someone – the desire which had driven her to earn the money for her saxophone by a number of odd jobs and to hitch and hide her way to the United States – which had finally come true when she had joined the Misfits. And there, in the Departure lounge of Heathrow airport, hidden from the view of the reporters who were busy flocking round Roxy and Pizzazz, Stormer had hugged her companion tightly, and promised her that she would never breathe a word to anyone about all she had learnt.
Since then Jetta had never had a cold word for Stormer, and Stormer had understood the sax player more and feared her less. Not that Jetta had softened her composed attitude to the world, but now Stormer understood everything and it no longer seemed so hard-hearted. In fact, she now felt she could ask Jetta’s opinion on the sax lines she wrote, for the saxophone was an instrument Stormer knew little about. Consequently the music of the band carried a stronger, more convincing sound, and they had scored a couple of great hits since.
Pizzazz reached for her guitar, raising it and waving it in Jetta’s direction. She would probably smash it in a minute, Stormer mused. Pizzazz tended to go through at least one guitar per week, and her father would always foot the bill for a new one. Not like Jetta and her sax…the beautiful ebony instrument which she had so carefully saved up for was generally treated with the utmost care – except when she lost her temper and started wielding it at the audience, of course.
“My father could have you deported.” The vocalist snapped now, jabbing Jetta squarely in the chest with the head of the guitar. “Don’t forget that, huh? You don’t have your visa or your permit yet.”
“It’s a good thing for you that I need one.” Jetta retorted calmly. “Else this band could function perfectly well without you and your silly whining. You ain’t the only one who can sing, you know. You are replaceable.”
Pizzazz let out a patent scream of rage.
“You think you can come in and take over my band?” she demanded.
Jetta raised a perfectly fashioned eyebrow.
“It’s your band now?” she asked, her tone delicately laced with sarcasm. “Did Daddy buy it for you?”
“At least my Dad can afford to buy me stuff.” Pizzazz seethed back. “At least I didn’t crawl out of some British dumpster and hitchhike my way up the charts.”
Oh-oh. Time to take cover. Stormer winced, backing slowly away from the two girls and taking refuge behind the big amplifier. Roxy settled herself in a nearby chair to watch the exchange with interest. Though Jetta was not afraid to stand up to Pizzazz, she rarely let herself be dragged into a dispute with the lead singer, knowing all too well that in the Misfits Pizzazz was most definitely in charge. She had learnt very quickly that to keep Pizzazz happy was to keep the band happy, and had been careful to adapt her attitude accordingly, but sometimes there was just no stopping her temper.
“Who do you bet’ll win this one?” Roxy murmured to Stormer, setting her own guitar down.
Stormer rolled her eyes.
“Roxy, aren’t you gonna try and break it up?” she asked, knowing the answer before she even spoke. Roxy was a high-school dropout, with limited academic skill and a frustrated temper to match it – this kind of distraction suited her short attention span and meant it would be another day or two before they could begin to cut the new album, a delay the platinum blond relished, since it meant she had an extra couple of days to fix all the lyrics in her head. Roxy could not read, though she had so far carefully concealed this fact from the press, and in order to memories the song words she was reliant on Stormer recording them onto cassette for her to play over to herself. Because of earlier tantrums from the volatile lead singer Stormer had not yet recorded the cassette – and Roxy had no wish to be made to look stupid. It had been bad enough when Pizzazz and Jetta had discovered her deeply hidden secret – she was not ready to tell the world. Stormer half suspected that people outside the band did know more than Roxy naively believed – Jem and the Holograms had supported a campaign to stamp out illiteracy and Roxy had gotten herself hopelessly entangled in the whole affair – but if Roxy wanted to believe her secret was safe, then that was up to her. Stormer was not in the business of bursting people’s bubbles.
She had once been naïve herself – well, in many ways she knew she still was. However, her venture into solo music with Kimber had wised her up to things fast, and her natural sensitivity had been allowed to blossom. She and Kimber were still friendly, though with the strong rivalry between the bands it made meeting up difficult. The main rivalry, of course, lay between Pizzazz and Jem, but Stormer knew when not to cross Pizzazz, and Kimber seemed very fond of Jem.
Roxy shrugged her shoulders carelessly now, shaking her head.
“Nah.” She replied. “Why should I? Beats playin’. I’m bored with this song already, anyway. We’ve done it over like a hundred times already. If that dumb Jetta could get her stupid saxophone to make the right notes we’d be done by now – I wanna go lounge by the pool and relax!”
“Maybe I made it too difficult.” Stormer sighed. “But she’s got it now, Roxy. Please don't make things worse...don't fight with Jetta today!.”
“You know what?” Roxy eyed her companion with uncharacteristic thoughtfulness. “Something happened to you, Stormer. You never used to talk back like this.”
Stormer shrugged, blushing slightly.
“Craig told me to believe in myself.” She replied softly. “So I am.”
“Craig.” Roxy pulled a face. “What a loser. Boy am I glad I don’t have a brother. As if it ain’t bad enough that he’s dating a Hologram.”
Stormer didn’t answer. The fact that Craig had taken up with Aja Leith of the Holograms upon his recent return to America had concerned her, also. Not that she begrudged him his happiness, but she was afraid that it could cause trouble between the two bands. The last thing she needed was more rivalry.
She glanced across the studio. Jetta had not taken Pizzazz’ remarks well. Stormer knew it had hit that raw nerve, and now the British girl’s temper was firing on all cylinders. Absently she wondered if it would be safer to leave them to it. There were a lot of bits and pieces to throw around in a recording studio and she had no mind to get herself a black eye.
“Not good enough for you, am I?” Jetta demanded now, hands on hips, her London tones cutting through Stormer’s thoughts. “Well, maybe I don’t want to stay ‘ere either, Pizzazz. Maybe I should go find a band who aren’t just a joke of a shadow behind Jem and her Holograms, huh?”
Pizzazz uttered another enraged shriek, reaching for the nearest thing - her microphone - and tossing it in Jetta's direction. Fortunately for the British girl, Pizzazz's aim was none too good when the singer was in a temper, and the microphone glanced harmlessly off the door of the studio..
“Get out then!” she exclaimed. “We don’t need you and your stupid sax, anyway.”
Now Stormer knew she had to intervene.
“Stop it, both of you!” she begged. “Pizzazz, we do need Jetta, and Jetta…don’t go. We can work it out – the song doesn’t matter.”
“Shut up, Stormer.” Pizzazz snapped, and the look in her eye carried a direct threat. Despite herself, Stormer bit her lip. She’d spoken out of turn.
Jetta just shrugged her shoulders.
“Don’t you fuss about me, Stormer.” She said coolly. “I don’t take insults from people whose idea of life is the size of the bill she sends Daddy. See ya.”
And, saxophone over her shoulder, the black-haired girl stalked out of the practice room.
Roxy let out a low whistle.
“Think she’ll come back?” she demanded, and Stormer could tell that she was half hopeful they would never lay eyes on the saxophonist again.
“Who cares?” Pizzazz shrugged. “We don’t need her, anyway. We were a great band before she came. Come on, let’s do something else, I’m bored.”
“But Pizzazz…it took me ages to do that sax solo!” Stormer sighed, sinking down into a chair. “And you’ve hurt Jetta’s feelings…”
“Hurt?” Pizzazz snorted. “Couldn’t hurt her with a bulldozer. Stop being so soft, Stormer, you’re a Misfit, or had you forgotten that? Forget the sax solo, huh? The song sounds better without it.” she narrowed her eyes. “Or would you rather follow her?”
Stormer bit her lip once more. This was Pizzazz at her most bullying, and she usually buckled to this kind of treatment.

But then the last week had been no picnic, and she could do with a break. She shrugged her shoulders.

“I think you need a time out.” She said quietly, putting her synthesiser back in its case and fastening the catch. “We’re the Misfits, Pizzazz. There are four of us now and…and I won’t write for or play for the group if we’re not all there.”
“Stormer!” Roxy stared at the other girl, her eyes big with disbelief. “But…you can’t just walk out on us just because Jetta had a fit! Pizzazz is right, we don’t need her!”
“We all need each other.” Stormer refused to meet either Pizzazz’s or Roxy’s gaze. “That’s how I feel.”

And with that, she quietly opened the door of the studio, not daring to look back because she knew that if she did her resolve would go. Craig had told her just the night before that she had to learn to stand up for what she believed in – and she believed in the group, not Pizzazz and her stupid tantrums. It was a gamble, playing with Pizzazz’ pride, but it was one she felt had to be taken.

“And if it comes to it, well, the Misfits went out with a bang.” She said with a sigh, slinging her case over her shoulder as she made her way slowly down to her car and stuffing her instrument in the boot. “I really hope it doesn’t, though.”
“Did she kick you out, too?”
Stormer turned to see Jetta watching her. She shook her head.
“I walked out.” She responded. Jetta raised an eyebrow.
“Because there are either four of us or none of us.” Stormer responded quietly. “Now, I’m going to see if Craig can put me up in his hotel room tonight, since Mum's old house is shut up and all the furniture is still in storage. Bye, Jetta.”
Jetta stared at Stormer, but made no comment. Instead she shrugged, and, saxophone in hand, she set off at a walk down the street, whistling softly to herself. Not for worlds would she have let anyone see that she had regretted giving in to her temper the moment she had walked out of that studio.
“But I’ll be damned if I’ll apologise to that ruddy yank this time over.” She muttered to herself. “I’m not her slave and I ain’t gonna take that from her just because her Dad has too much dosh and not enough sense!”
Where she would stay that night she wasn’t sure. The Misfits lived in a mansion owned by Harvey Gabor, Pizzazz’ rich father, and Jetta knew she wouldn’t be welcome back there tonight. But then she’d survived on her own before, and she’d do it again if she had to.
“At least while I work out what to do.” She reasoned. “And how to get even with that blighter Pizzazz, too!”

Craig had just returned back to the hotel from an evening jog with Aja when he caught sight of his sister locking her car, slowly making her way towards the big brick building. He knew his sister well enough to know on sight that something was up, and he frowned. “Mary! Wait up!”

Stormer turned, and relief flooded her face as she registered her brother’s presence.
“Craig!” she exclaimed. “I’m glad you’re here, I was worried you might not be.” She cast a shy smile at Aja. “Hi, Aja.”

“Hi.” Aja returned the smile. The first time that Craig had tried to explain to Aja the relationship he and Stormer had the Chinese-American girl had gotten the wrong end of the stick and had believed they were man and wife, but that was all in the past now. Aja and Stormer had no real ill feeling for each other, though it could not be said that they were friends, since the Hologram/Misfit rivalry dominated much of what both girls did. It was fair to say, though, that none of the Holograms regarded Stormer with as much dislike as they regarded the other Misfits. Stormer's stint at recording with Kimber had meant that they had all seen the real Mary Phillips, and had realised that, Misfit though she might be, she had a lot of heart.

“What’s up, Mary?” Craig asked, linking his arm in his sister’s. “Did something happen at practice today?”
“Kind of.” Stormer sighed. She glanced at Aja. “Do you and Aja have a date? Because I’d hate to intrude…”
“We just went jogging.” Aja shrugged her shoulders. “That’s all.” She eyed Stormer thoughtfully. “You look depressed.”
“That would be an understatement.” Stormer sighed again, then outlined all that had gone on.
“So the Misfits are broken up?” Aja stared. "For real?".
Stormer shrugged.
“I’m calling it a time-out. I hope that’s all it is.” She replied. “I know you don’t like the band, Aja, but I don’t want it to break up.”
“I have never understood why you waste your talent on those low-lifes.” Craig hugged his sister. “But I am proud of you for making a stand, Mary.”
“Craig, can’t you call me Stormer?” Stormer begged. “Everyone else does, and anyway...I don't feel much like Mary any more, to be honest. Stormer is who I am now.”
Craig shrugged.
“I can try, but it’s hard when I’ve called you Mary for your whole life.” He said wryly.
“Well, so long as you try.” Stormer relented. “And Craig, they’re not low-lifes. This might sound weird…but I actually like them.”
“How anyone can like Pizzazz is beyond me.” Aja frowned. “Or that Jetta…she gives me the creeps.”
“You just don’t know them.” Stormer shrugged. “That’s all.”
Aja grinned.
“True, not that I want to.” She responded. “Hey, so you’re out of a place to crash, huh?”
“Yeah.” Stormer glanced at her brother sheepishly. “I almost regret having our old place shut up, but with me at the Gabor place and Craig in Europe most of the time there didn't seem much point in paying the bills. I came to see if Craig had a spare patch of floor at the hotel I could use.”
“Well, you could have my bed and I’ll take the floor.” Craig suggested. Stormer shook her head.
“I couldn’t!” she protested. “It’s your bed!”
“Like I’m going to let you sleep on the floor.” Craig retorted. “I promised Mom I’d look out for you, Ma…Stormer, and I mean to keep that promise. You stay with me, and you get the bed.”
“Or she could come to the Starlight Mansion.” Aja offered. “I know Jerrica would not mind, Stormer. Since you and Kimber cut that album you’ve always been welcome, so long as your three stoogies aren’t in tow.”
“You think I could?” Stormer looked doubtful. “I dunno, Aja. I mean, it’s very sweet of you to offer, but I don’t want to cause you any trouble…”
Aja laughed.
“Come with me.” She instructed. “I’m sure it will be no trouble at all.”


Chapter Two: Starlight Mansiom
Chapter Three: Jeremy
Chapter Four: The Reward
Chapter Five: Where Is Dierdra?
Chapter Six: At The Concert
Chapter Seven: Stormer...and Jetta
Chapter Eight: Kimber's Plan
Chapter Nine: Jetta Of The Misfits
Chapter Ten: Conclusion

(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. All characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)