A Misfit Should Be...

Chapter Two: Starlight Mansion


Jerrica Benton, co-owner of Starlight Music and the Starlight Foundation with her sister Kimber glanced up from her desk, which was, as usual, steeped high in paperwork. Jerrica was the elder of the Benton girls, and the most responsible, whilst
Kimber was something of a flake when it came to organisation, though when it came to musical creation and composition her work was something close to genius. They had inherited Starlight Music, the recording company which promoted Jem and the
Holograms, and the Starlight Foundation upon the death of their father, Emmet, almost two years earlier. The Starlight Foundation, begun by their mother Jacqui to take in foster girls was something which both Jerrica and Kimber took seriously,
and the Music Company generally supported it's needs. However, despite the elder girl's business capabilities, the memory of their father was still strong in their hearts, and both girls missed him badly.
It had not been easy for Jerrica to assume complete control and the role of mother to not only Kimber but to the foster girls, known as ‘Starlight Girls’, but she had done it, and she was proud of how things had worked out. She had dated her high school boyfriend and childhood love, a young man by the name of Rio Pacheco for some time now, but things had become all the more complicated for her since she had begun Jem and the Holograms. Jerrica herself was the mysterious ‘Jem’, her appearance changed by the wonderful holographic powers of Synergy, a computer designed and built by their father before his death. Rio had been attracted to Jem from the start and sometimes Jerrica despaired of her love triangle, but she had never been able to find the courage to tell Rio the truth about her identity, fearing his reaction. It had not helped her to have the unwanted affections of Riot added into the whole muddle. Life, she mused, for a music sensation was not easy.
She smiled at her visitor. Shana Elmsford, like Aja, had been one of the first Starlight girls and the three had been great friends from the age of twelve. It had seemed perfectly natural when forming a band that it should be Shana, Aja and Kimber that she selected for her backup musicians, and later they had added Carmen ‘Raya’ Alonso, a percussionist with a special flair all of her own, to their numbers. Only the Holograms themselves knew that Jem and Jerrica were the same person, and that Synergy was hidden in a secret room of the mansion, behind a false wall.
“What’s up, Shana?” Jerrica asked now, setting her pen down. “Something wrong?”
“Not really.” Shana shook her head. “I just wanted you to take a peek at what Régine and I have been working on for the next concert. I’m pretty pleased with them, but the Jem outfit is a bit…different, and I want your approval before we go any further.” Shana was a keen fashion designer, designing all the clothing for the band’s performances, and recently she had taken under her wing a young designer from Martinique, Régine Césare, who had been introduced to them by an old friend, the Countess Du Voisin.
“Okay, I’ll come look.” Jerrica grinned. “I could do with a break, anyhow. One thing I don’t like about being in charge of so much is the paperwork. Laura’s welfare officer comes to see her tomorrow about moving on from Starlight Mansion and I’m not sure that Laura wants to go…it’s all very complicated and I’d rather push it aside for a moment.” She stood, then paused. “Do you think I should check out the dresses as Jem or as Jerrica?”
“Jem.” Shana dimpled. “Régine would be most confused if Jerrica suddenly appeared to critique something she isn’t going to be wearing.”
“True.” Jerrica laughed. “Okay. Hey, is Aja back yet? Maybe she can give us some input.”
“Still out with Craig.” Shana responded. “I suppose they’re getting in as much time as they can whilst he’s in the States. Raya’s teaching Marianne and Terri to play some game, and Kimber’s shut herself in her room – I think she has a song coming on.”
“I hope so.” Jerrica responded. “We need something brand new to spark the new album publicity campaign.” She groaned. “What a life!”

Carefully she touched her earrings, remote micro-projection units for Synergy’s holographic beams.

“Showtime, Synergy.” She murmured, and all at once her appearance blurred into that of Jem, right down to her outfit and hairstyle.
“Right, I’m ready.” She said. “Let’s go.”
“Jem!” Régine met the two girls at the bottom of the staircase. “Will you come see what Shana and I have for you?”
Smiling at the young designer’s enthusiasm, Jem nodded.
“Sure will.” She responded. “I’m excited to see them, Régine.”
“I am excited for you to see them, too.” Régine admitted. “I think they are the best yet – Shana is so helpful to me!”
She led the way into the little studio designated for Shana’s work, and gestured at the neatly hung outfits, a look of pride on her face.
“Voila.” She announced. “Vos vêtements.”
“Oh-h-h, Régine…” Jem reached out for the nearest gown, her expression impressed. “They’re so pretty…I’m almost afraid to touch them in case I spoil them! They’re gorgeous!”
“Aren’t they?” Shana agreed. “Most of it is Régine’s designing and making, I just added bits here and there. Too busy with the girls’ school clothes to worry about more concert gowns, I’m afraid.” She added sheepishly.
“Well, with two such talented designers Jem and the Holograms can’t lose.” Jem hugged both girls tightly. “They’re fabulous, both of you, and I know we’re going to look…well, to quote Kimber, truly outrageous at this concert.”
“I am so glad you like them.” Régine beamed. “I will be so proud when Jem and the Holograms wear my own clothes once again!”
At that moment, Aja’s voice echoed through the house and Jem and Shana exchanged looks. “Jerrica, where are you? We have a guest!”
“I’ll go and fish Jerrica out from her room for Aja.” Jem said with a wry smile. “Thanks again, Régine. You’re a star. And you, Shana…but then you already know you’re one.”
With that she slipped out of the room, telling Synergy to dispel her holographic image and return her to her Jerrica form. Then she made her way down the corridor to the front entrance, stopping dead when she saw who was with Aja.
Stormer!” she exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”

Kimber appeared at the top of the stairs, having been jolted out of her haze of music by the commotion. “Oh, outrageous! I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Well, Aja…Aja kinda said I might be able to stay here for a night or two.” Stormer blushed, her shyness returning to her before Kimber’s capable elder sister. She had always been a bit timid of Jerrica. “The Misfits had a blow-up, I…don’t really know what’s going to happen but I don’t think I’m going to be welcome at the Gabor Mansion for a while.” She explained briefly what had happened. “Would it be too much trouble?”
“Of course you can stay!” Kimber exclaimed. “You’re better off without those Misfits, anyway. Jerrica, you don’t mind, do you?”
“No, I don’t mind.” Jerrica shook her head. “Stormer, you know you’re welcome here, so long as the other Misfits aren’t with you. If nothing else you’re Kimber’s friend and the sister of Aja’s boyfriend, it’s only fair we’re hospitable to you.”
“Thank you.” Stormer looked relieved. “You’re very kind.”
“Where’s Jetta staying tonight?” Kimber demanded as she led her friend upstairs. “You think she went back to the Gabor place?”
“I doubt it.” Stormer shook her head. “I…I am worried, Kimber. I don’t want the band to break up this way.”
“You really like being a Misfit, don’t you?” Kimber realised, her expression surprised. Stormer nodded.
“I do, now.” She agreed. “And…and they’re not so bad. Really. You just need to get to know them.”
“I don’t think I want to.” Kimber pulled a face.
“But you didn’t want to know me before we did that album together.” Stormer reminded her.
“You’re different. You’re human.” Kimber retorted. Stormer smiled, despite herself.
“I think they’d surprise you.” She replied.
“Oh?” Kimber put her hands on her hips. “Go on, then. Name one good quality that any of your so-called band mates have. I bet you can’t.”
Stormer frowned, considering. When it was put to her like that, she realised that Kimber was right. It was difficult to name good qualities in the other Misfits…but still, she liked them all the same. And, in her typical Stormer way she believed those good qualities must be there somewhere, only well hidden.
“Jetta has a neat accent.” She offered finally. “And Pizzazz’s father pays for a lot of our stuff…and…and Roxy…” she paused. “Okay, I give up, you win. But I’m still a Misfit, Kimber. I can’t explain why, I just am.”
“Unless Pizzazz and Jetta don’t make up their spat.” Kimber reminded her, pushing open the door of one of the Mansion’s many spare rooms. “Here, I guess this’ll do you for a night or two, huh?”
“Yeah, it’ll do great.” Stormer smiled. “I don’t know what I’d do without you, Kimber. Though I dread to think what Pizzazz would say if she knew that I was staying at Starlight Mansion…”
“I think you’re afraid of her.” Kimber observed, shutting the door behind her. Stormer sighed.
“She scares me sometimes.” She admitted. “I guess…I guess they all do. They don’t see the world the same as I do, and it can be hard to deal with.”
“They’re warped, you mean.” Kimber smirked. “You really are better off without those creeps, Stormer. Hey, maybe we could cut another record together, what do you think? The Holograms have a concert tomorrow night, maybe we…”
“I’d rather not…not just yet.” Stormer shook her head. “I’m sorry, Kim, but I’m tired out…and not in any frame of mind to put pen to paper. I just want to crash.”
“Okay.” Kimber shrugged, offering her friend a grin. “But if you change your mind, lemme know. It’s a while since we got together – I kinda miss the sound we made. We were a total hit!.”
“It was a lot of fun, and I learnt a whole lot.” Stormer nodded her head. “Mostly that the Holograms aren’t quite the evil creatures Pizzazz has convinced herself you guys are.” She sighed. “More than ever I wish the truce at BaNee's farewell had held and that all this rivalry would end. Craig’s seeing Aja – that’s another problem for me, too. Pizzazz threw a fit when she found out.”
“It has nothing to do with Pizzazz.” Kimber responded. “That girl needs to butt her nose out of everyone else’s business!”
Stormer just shrugged.
“I think she likes to feel like she’s in charge.” She said slowly. “That’s all.” She sighed. “I hope things are going to be okay, Kimber. We’ve all of us had a spell of being anti-Misfit before now…only Jetta hasn’t ever walked out on it before. Oh, but this is different. When she loses her temper, well…I have a horrible feeling she won’t come back.”
“Do you need her?” Kimber demanded. Stormer looked troubled.
“It’s more a case of whether or not she needs us.” She replied.


“Where do you reckon Stormer and Jetta got to?”

Roxy lounged on her deckchair beside the big pool that the Gabor mansion boasted, touching up the beginnings of a tan and idly running her fingers through her platinum hair as she did so. Work had never been Roxy’s style – hence her departure from school without a diploma – and she would much rather have taken the fame without the work it involved. Time spent by the pool was time well spent, in her opinion, especially if there was food on hand. Somehow, though, this time it felt different, almost…almost strange.
Probably because Jetta hadn’t come up behind her and undone the catch of the seat to make her plunge into the pool that day, she mused. She had never liked Jetta. From the start she had decided the girl was trouble and the British girl had taken her rival’s opinion on board, using it to her advantage. Neither Roxy nor Jetta were above being childish, and petty rows had often followed one of the saxophonist’s barbed comments. Jetta had delighted in the discomfort Roxy had felt when it had become apparent that she was unable to read, and this had just compounded the blond’s opinion of her band mate.
The Misfits did not, and never had needed Jetta.
Stormer, however…that was different. Though she had spent her life decidedly not liking anyone unless it held some kind of advantage, Roxy could not help being slightly fond of the youngest of the Phillips family. After all, she had to acknowledge that it was largely thanks to Stormer that Roxy was a Misfit at all, and not still surviving on the California streets in the best way she knew how. Dwelling on things was not in Roxy's line, but she knew that she couldn't go back to her old way of life now she had tasted the good time. And sure, Stormer could be irritating and even soft on occasion. Squeals about pictures or songs being ‘romantic’ or unnatural concern for a bunch of foster brats that were nothing to do with her made Stormer an unlikely Misfit, but it felt weird without her.
And though she was not academic, and not perceptive, even Roxy knew that Stormer was the Misfits, whatever Pizzazz thought about it. Sure, Pizzazz could sing…but without Stormer’s melodies there was little point. She frowned. Did this mean that kids would stop chasing after her car, chanting her name when she dropped by the local fashion boutique, to see what she could afford on her measly payout?

Of course, she did wreck a lot of stuff, which ate away at her wages. But still, Roxy was certain that the money would come. And she knew beyond a doubt that being a Misfit, however tedious it could be, was better than being Roxanne Pelligrini, the dropout from Philadelphia.

Pizzazz glanced up from the fashion magazine she was ritually seething over, sending Roxy an irritated gaze.
“Are they all you can talk about?” she demanded. “They’ll be back, Roxy. Stormer’s about as strong-willed as that wimp Jem – she won’t stay away for long. As for Jetta…” she snorted. “Who cares?”
Roxy shrugged.
“Not me.” She admitted frankly. “I told ya she’d be trouble.”
“Well, nobody crosses a Gabor and gets away with it.” Pizzazz replied, scrunching the magazine in her fist as if it were a piece of tissue. “Not ever. And noone…noone talks about my father like that, either. If that British low-life thinks she’s gonna be able to crawl back in here and beg her way into the band then she’d better think again.”
“Thanks for the flowers, Pizzazz.”
The two girls glanced up to see Jetta in the doorway, and instinctively Roxy checked the catch on the deckchair. Didn’t do to be too careless, after all.
“What do you want?” Pizzazz demanded. Jetta smiled, her smile lacking all it’s usual lazy mischief.
“I came for my stuff.” She said quietly. “If it’s all the same to you, love.”
“As if we want it here.” Pizzazz snapped. “Take it and get out. You’re not a Misfit any more, Jetta, and don’t think you can weasel your way back, either!”
“The thought 'ad not crossed my mind.” Jetta assured her. She turned on her heel, heading back into the house and up to the room which had been hers since she’d joined the band, without so much as a backwards glance.
Roxy poked out her tongue at the retreating figure.
“Good riddance!” She called after the saxophonist.
Jetta made no reply. She merely collected her belongings and left, the door swinging shut behind her. Somehow it seemed so final, Roxy observed. Then she shrugged. Who needed Jetta, anyhow? She didn’t even have a work permit – who needed that kind of a liability?
For her part, Jetta was determined that she would not back down. If it cost her her place in the band, well, so be it. She’d had enough of the sniping and backbiting life of a Misfit, anyway. She’d joined the band to make a name for herself, not to spend her life chasing after whatever Jem and the Holograms were doing in order to wreck it. Not that the pranks they had pulled hadn’t appealed to the wicked side of her nature, a side of her which had often ruled her actions in the past. But it had occurred to her more than once that Pizzazz’ obsession with Jem was holding back the potential of the band. And of all of them, besides the composing Stormer, it was Jetta who had the real musical gift.
“I’m not a nobody any more, anyhow. Not Sheila Burns from the council flats on another school suspension.” She mused as she headed out to her car, dumping her stuff in the back. “I’m Jetta, and people know my name and my face. I’m sure I can get a good deal somewhere playing sax. And so what if I have to spend the next few weeks in a hotel? I’ve been in worse situations before…at least this time I’ve the dosh to cover it.” A slow smile crossed her face as she glanced down at the bag in her hand. “I wonder if Pizzazz realises how generous she’s being in paying for my accommodation. Such a sweetheart, that girl.”
Laughing, she slipped into the front seat, turning the key in the ignition. Wrapped up in her own thoughts she did not see that the car had another occupant until she had pulled out of the driveway, turning left and heading towards the big hotel on the corner where she had booked a room a half-hour previously.
In fact, it wasn’t until she saw his reflection in the mirror that she let out a shriek of surprise and fright, almost swerving off the road completely and narrowly missing a post box, a girl on a bike and a slow-moving party of nuns in the process.
Finally she jammed her foot onto the brake, screeching to a stop. She wheeled around, turning on her stowaway.
“Jeremy!” she exclaimed. “What in hell are you doing here?”
Chapter One: The Fight
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)