Chapter One: Clash
"Jem and the Holograms kicked off their latest outrageous tour this
with a rousing reception in San Diego." Lin-Z Pearce flickered out of
television screen as she presented her latest edition of the Lin-Z
a bright smile on her face as she announced her exclusive network scoop
. "The tour will visit all the main cities of America, and there are rumours that this will be their most successful tour yet, with concerts selling out faster than ever before!"
"Jem and the Holograms. Bah."
From the corner of the room, its sole occupant pulled a face, reaching for the television handset and flicking over to another channel. "Everywhere you go it's Jem this or Jem that. Anyone would think they were the only band on this crummy planet."
Finding nothing else of any interest on, she turned the television set off, getting to her feet and heading into the kitchen to pour herself a drink, deep in thought.
It went without saying, of course, that Jem's tour would be a hit. They always were, after all.
"Jem and her group of monkeys...what a joke." The girl muttered as she sat down at the kitchen table, reaching for the magazine carelessly tossed down there, then swiping it onto the floor as she realised what group were on the front cover. "I'd like to show them what it feels like to be on the other side of things for a change. I'd like to show them all!"
It had been some time since her last encounter with Jem, and she still winced to think of it. How had she let herself become so confused and distracted that she'd become no more than a puppet...a fool who had believed in empty promises. Blinded by a goal and a burning resentment, she had let herself down and she had near enough lost everything.
Well, it wouldn't happen again.
Clash Montgomery was nobody's puppet.
Of course, it had all been her cousin Video's fault. Vivien Montgomery, older than Clash by a mere two years but already the hottest name in music video production, had always had all of the breaks go her way. She had gotten in with Jem and the Holograms almost from the start and had suckered her way up the ladder to success, riding on the tail of her chosen group's fame.
Well, that was how Clash had always seen it. As a child she had resented Video, now, as an adult she despised her and all that she stood for. Her feelings were so strong now that she couldn't imagine ever speaking civilly to her cousin again. She had had enough of Video pushing her success in her face all the time.
Clash was fed up with being made to look a failure.
And then, there was something else, too.
Clash had gotten involved with a band of her own around the same time that Video had first met Jem. A big fan of the wilder sounds of the rock charts, she had slipped onto the set of Jem's first movie, Starbright, in order to meet the Holograms' rival group, the Misfits. She had identified with their aggressive sounds and daring style, and had determined that she would get 'in' with the celebrities as much as her cousin could, for Video was already hobnobbing with stars before her encounter with Jem and her group.
It had worked, for her careful flattery of the Misfit members had made her one of their team. Pizzazz, the band's lead singer had even referred to her as a 'friend', and had invited her along when the Misfits had taken a ski trip in the mountains of Vermont. She had felt like one of them, and had almost begun to take for granted that she was as close to being a Misfit as anyone else in the outside world was ever likely to be. Closer to being one than Video was to being a Hologram...she had liked that part best of all. It had always escaped her notice that Video had no desire to be a Hologram - working with them was more than reward enough, for she knew that she was no kind of musician.
Clash had musical talent, but she had wasted it over the years. She had a pair of tiny cymbals that she wore around her wrists, but their only use these days was to annoy and irritate people, not to create any kind of rhythm. She was, had she but taken the time to learn, a natural percussionist, but she had never buckled down to learning properly and though her sense of rhythm would never leave her, she was hardly good enough to be called even an amateur player. Her ear for a good beat was infallible, but her sense of pitch badly failed her - she had never been able to sing to tune, which was something that had always frustrated her. She had admired Pizzazz's strong and confident voice as she'd listened to her Misfit LPs...and decided somewhere deep inside her that that was how she wanted herself to be.
Strong, confident, unafraid of the world at large.
Clash was an only child, named Constance at birth but these days even her doting father had adopted her babyhood nickname, first given to her by her long-dead mother when she had shown an aptitude for hitting a pan with a spoon aged only two. Mrs Montgomery had died, though, and her husband had immersed all his attention in his daughter, pushing his pain at his loss away in bringing up Clash with everything that she might ever want. He adored her, and in all truth it was part of the trouble, for Mr Montgomery had never had much in the way of common sense. Clash had grown up spoiled, but she had been bright enough to see that despite all the attention she got from her father, Video was always two steps ahead.
Clash hadn't wanted to be a Misfit at first. Indeed, somewhere in her mind the group had reached such an elevated status that she believed there was noone on the planet who could possible ascend to joining the band. Pizzazz on vocals, Roxy on bass guitar, Stormer on synth. That was how it was, and how she had supposed it would always be. More, she was happy with things that way. She was, or she considered herself, the Misfits' best friend, and that was plenty good enough. She put her talent for disguises at their disposal, and was only too happy to help them out when they had some scheme cooked up to undermine Jem's status. Undermining Jem usually involved undermining Video also, so they had a common goal. Things had been good, though she had received the rough edge of Pizzazz's tongue once or twice when things had gone wrong. She had been content with her lot.
But then...then things had changed.
She clenched her fists at the memory, her eyes narrowing.
That talentless, sarcastic saxophonist from London, pushing her way into the spotlight like some over-zealous kid, and winning over the rest of the group with the shrieks and wails she called music from her ebony instrument. A publicity stunt that went wrong, in Clash's view...the fourth Misfit.
Yes, Clash hated Jetta. Always had, if she was honest about it. For things had slowly begun to change from the moment Jetta had put pen to paper and signed that fateful contract. Clash was no longer needed...no longer the 'friend', more of the 'puppet' to be called on and used, but discarded when her job was done.
Much as she adored the Misfits, nobody could stand that treatment for long.
Especially not when remarks came her way from the sax player herself. Clash could never accept that Jetta now outranked her in Pizzazz's eyes...sometimes Clash wondered who was running the band, for Jetta was clever and manipulative and knew how to pull strings to get the rest of the group jumping. She had fitted right in, and, though Clash would rather die than accept it, she had real musical ability. Pizzazz had liked her style from the start and had invited her to join the group after only one meeting...and noone had thought to tell Clash that there was now a new Misfit on the block. She had found out with everyone else, when the magazines had published the story a day or two after the event.
If she was truthful it was that which had enraged Clash the most. They had not even thought to tell her, despite all they had been through together. They had not even offered the place to her - they had gone over her head and adopted a stranger.
It had sparked off a fire inside of her that she had not even attempted to quell. The Misfits were her band, not Jetta's...she had known them longer, done more for them, and been their ally in every way she could. If the group needed a new member, well, why not her?
It had begun as a tiny teasing idea in the back of her mind, but as she had thought on it more and more she had become more and more fixated with it as the solution to her problems. If she was a Misfit she could show Jetta exactly where she belonged...and she would have upstaged her cousin once and for all.
She would be a real live celebrity.
But things hadn't gone to plan.
Clash sighed, remembering the fiasco of her attempt to join the group. Pizzazz had told her that she could be a Misfit, if her plan to replace Video's tape of Jem and the Holograms with a mock-up tape of Holo-disasters worked, and the tape was played live on air. It had been so close, but Video had gotten to it in time, and the Misfits had been angry.
Clash had been humiliated, and humiliation was not an emotion she took well.
She had not spent much time with the Misfits since then. She had attended one beach party with them, but it had felt hollow. None of them had mentioned the disaster, but she had felt more alienated from them than ever before. And when Pizzazz had disappeared off after Riot, the handsome lead singer of the newest band on the scene, the Stingers, she had felt sickened. Pizzazz, the strong, confident idol that she had so looked up to had become little more than a groupie for this arrogant star. She fawned over him, chased after him, made herself a fool and Clash hated it. So much for strong...so much for independant.
The other Misfits hadn't seemed to like it much, either, but there was not much they could do. Pizzazz was still their leader, after all, and there was a sense of loyalty within the band that Clash had not managed to breach. Though Jetta had called Pizzazz Riot's 'dollybird' in tones that were nothing if not disdainful, she had not tried to bring the singer to heel, and Roxy and Stormer had paid even less attention, heading off up the beach to find some other amusement. For the first time in a long time the strong shell of the band's nucleus had been threatened by an outside force, and things were breaking apart. The Misfits were beginning to go separate ways...and it had been strange to see it.
Clash had found herself left alone with Jetta for company. It had been the opportunity she had waited for, a chance to ask the sax player anything she wanted to know - to demand an explanation for events which had taken place almost a year ago now, and to let her know once and for all just who had known the Misfits first.
But she hadn't been able to say a word. Jetta was scornful, sarcastic and quick-witted, and Clash knew that had she said anything, it would have been spread over the band in seconds, with Jetta's amused laughter cutting through her like a knife. She had been forced to play it cool, play it nice...but she had not liked the sax player any more for it.
When one of the other Stingers had almost drowned, Clash had been glad of the distraction and the chance to slip away. She felt cheated, disgusted...and confused.
Did she still want to be a Misfit, then?
Yes, her inner voice told her. Yes she did, as strongly as ever.
But her motives had changed...yes, they had changed a great deal. For now, instead of wanting to be a Misfit to get even with Video, Clash wanted a chance to get even with the rest of them. She wanted in, and then she would take the group to pieces, little by little, until they gave her the respect she knew she deserved. Pizzazz was weak, Roxy and Jetta were always sparring, Stormer was soft and hardly any challenge.
It would be a breeze.
If only she could find her way in.
And Video's continued success taunted her all the while.
For Jem and the Holograms never failed.
Or did they?
A smile crossed Clash's face. Maybe she'd show Jem and the Holograms a thing or two while she was at it. She'd teach them all exactly what it meant to cross Clash Montgomery.
They'd underestimated her.
And they'd regret it.
Every single one of them.
Chapter Two: Deception
Chapter Three: On Tour With The Holograms
Chapter Four: The Next Stage
Chapter Five: Jem?
Chapter Six: Trapped!
Chapter Seven: An Unlikely Team
Chapter Eight: Laying Plans
Chapter Nine: Letter From The Desert
Chapter Ten: Jetta's Hunch
Chapter Eleven: Some Outside Help
Chapter Twelve: Kimber's Dilemma
Chapter Thirteen: The Great Escape
Chapter Fourteen: Fire!
Chapter Fifteen: Repercussions and Rock and Roll
Chapter Sixteen: The End Of An Era
(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)