Clash's Revolt

Chapter Five – Jem?

“No, no, no, no!”
Phyllis Gabor, better known as the flamboyant Pizzazz, leader of the Misfits threw down her microphone with an exclamation of frustration. “How many times do we have to do this before you play the right chord, Roxy?”
It was more than two weeks on now since Clash’s deception had sent the Holograms into confusion, and, blissfully unaware that anything had upset their main rivals, the Misfits were running through their usual morning session with the usual temperamental setbacks. The Holograms would return to L.A that afternoon, and it had put Pizzazz in no sweet mood, since she had enjoyed the lack of competition in the city over the last couple of weeks.
“Hey, don’t blame me.” Roxanne Pelligrini, the group’s bass player snapped back. “You didn’t give me any time to tune my guitar – how on earth am I meant to sound in tune, huh?”
“Excuses.” Pizzazz snorted. “Oh, whatever. Take five, then. And you’d better play it right after.”
“Yeah, yeah, quit your complaining.” Roxy rolled her eyes, beginning to tune her instrument. Her tutoring had been rough and ready, for she had never been one to take life by the book and had left home at an early age to fend for herself, dropping out of school in the process. It had been largely thanks to the compassion of Mary Phillips, also known as Stormer, the group’s synth player, that she had found any place to stay in California in the first place, but now she was an integral part of all the Misfits did and was learning, bit by bit, to put her unhappy childhood behind her. She was a rock star now, after all…not a teen runaway with a bleak future. Her thoughts did not often stray to what she had come from, for she had trained herself not to dwell, but she would never be completely free of its chains, for she had never mastered the art of reading and still required Stormer’s help where backing lyrics for the songs were concerned.
Stormer was the youngest Misfit, and in many ways the odd one out, for she was fairly retiring by nature, sweet tempered and gentle. Her talent for music had brought her into the group and had kept her there, but, though Pizzazz led the girls by the nose, it was often Stormer’s quiet influence that kept the band together. Each of her band-mates had her vulnerable side, but was loath to show it…especially where their colleagues were concerned – however in times of crisis it was generally Stormer who would always be there to lend an understanding ear. Initially exploited and tolerated merely because without her there would be no Misfit music, the other members of the band had come to respect her and regard her as one of them, despite her very different outlook on life. Whatever else the Misfits were, they were a team, and although they would often squabble among themselves, they would not tolerate any outside interference.
Stormer was also the only Misfit to know the truth behind Jem’s secret identity, for she had discovered it while working on some music with Kimber, a friend of hers despite the group rivalries. She had sworn never to tell the other Misfits, however, and so far her band-mates had no idea that one of their number knew the piece of information Pizzazz would kill to get her hands on.
Sheila Burns, or Jetta, the saxophonist let out a snort of amusement, setting her saxophone back down in its case and perching on the corner of a table. She and Roxy had never been great friends, though they got along better now than they had ever done, and it always entertained her to watch her two companions spat. She wasn’t a big fan of work, anyway. In fact, only Stormer enjoyed putting in a day’s hard work in the studio or in front of the camera shooting the new video and in many ways it was a miracle the group were still together and as successful as they were.
But, much as they loathed the necessary work, they loved the fame. Performing gave them all a buzz and it was enough to keep them in the race for the top of the charts. Even more so since Harvey Gabor had taken back control of the music company and given it over in its entirety to his wilful daughter. Pizzazz was determined to make it a success…and that the Misfits should top the bill. Events over the previous months had only served to knit the group closer together, and if the truth were told, they had all but forgotten Clash’s existence. She had faded into the background of their minds as they had had other things to think about, and she had not sprung one of her ideas on them in some time.
If nothing else, this was at Clash’s disadvantage, for a lot had changed since that beach party more than a year earlier. Pizzazz was no longer taken in by the arrogant Riot’s physical charms – she had seen through his false veneer and he now disgusted her as much or more as anything the Holograms did. Consequently she was more than happy knowing that, since the group were tied to contract with her music company, she more or less had them under her control. Her father’s lawyers were too powerful for any of the Stingers to dare rebel against Pizzazz’s word, and the controlling lead singer was taking a malicious amount of pleasure in making each one of them pay for every humiliation she and her group had endured since the Stingers had hit town.
“If we ‘ad to stop every time Roxy’s guitar went out of tune we’d be ‘ere till Christmas.” Jetta observed now, sending Roxy a sidelong glance. “Give it up as a bad job, love, that’s what I say.”
“Noone wants to know what you have to say, Brit.” Roxy snapped back without even bothering to look up. “There, I’m done. It’s tuned.”
“Right. Good. Then maybe we can start sounding like professionals again.” Pizzazz picked up her microphone once more. “Same one, from the top.”
Stormer set her synth to a beat idly glancing out of the window as she began to play the melody. She knew the song backwards by now – she could repeat it standing on her head. After all, she had written it, and when she wrote something it tended to stick in her memory.
As she played, something outside caught her eye and she let out an exclamation, stopping in midphrase. Pizzazz glared at her.
“Now what?” she demanded.
“We’ve company!” Stormer exclaimed. “Look! It’s…Jem!”
“Jem? Here?” Pizzazz hurried over to the window, all thought of the song gone from her mind. “What the heck does she want?” She snorted. “Maybe the Holograms kicked her out.”
“Like they’d dare.” Roxy smirked. “Is she coming in here?”
“She is…” Stormer nodded her head. “Hey, wait a minute…that’s funny.”
“What’s funny?” Jetta came to join the gathering.
“She didn’t bring the roadster.”
“So? Who cares what car she drives? Its four on one!” Pizzazz shrugged. “Lets see what little miss pink hair’s made of, huh?”
“Yeah. Like Jem being here at all isn’t funny enough.” Roxy agreed. “We’ll make her wish she’d never set foot in Misfit Music.”
“Well, hello there, girls.”
The group turned from the window to see Jem in the doorway, watching them in clear amusement. “Something entertaining out there, is there?”
“What do you want, Jem?” Roxy demanded.
“Yeah, clear off.” Jetta nodded.
Jem laughed.
“I came to discuss business, actually.” She said airily, moving into the room and closing the door.
“Business?” Pizzazz stared. “What do you mean, business?”
“Are you feeling alright?” Roxy demanded.
“Fine, actually.” Jem offered Roxy one of her most infuriating smiles. “I just thought that, since both your group and the Stingers are signed to your label, you might be the people to come talk to. You see, we’re setting up a big Battle of the Bands in the park a week next Thursday – only we want to make it the best band contest ever. The proceeds are all going to charity, of course, and…” she smiled again, “We need some competition. Not that you or the Stingers will provide much, of course…”
“Why, you…” Pizzazz’s eyes narrowed and she lunged towards Jem, who stepped out of her way with ease.
“Now, now.” She chided. “That’s no way to greet a business proposition. Anyway, Pizzazz, if you’re at all interested, come meet up with me at the beach hut tomorrow night at ten. And if you can’t stand the competition…well, we don’t mind if you wimp out.”
And with that, she was gone.
“The nerve of that girl!” Pizzazz fumed.
“Will you go?” Roxy demanded.
“You bet I’ll go. I’ll show that little wimp that we mean business!”
“I don’t think you should.” Stormer frowned.
“What do you mean, you don’t think I should?” Pizzazz wheeled on her. “And let the Holograms think we’re wimps? Why not?”
“There’s something weird about it, that’s all.” Stormer shrugged. “I don’t believe Jem would ask us to be in her contest.”
“Well, she did. You saw it with your own eyes. Quit fussing.” Roxy shrugged. “I’m with Pizzazz. Lets show ‘em what we can do.”
“Stormer ‘as a point.” Jetta looked thoughtful. “There’s something fishy about this whole thing. Jem and ‘er idiots just got back off tour today, right? Why come down here?”
“Shut up, the pair of you.” Pizzazz glowered. “You think I can’t handle myself with that wimp of a Jem and her stupid group? I’m going to the beach hut tomorrow night, and that’s that.”
“Aren’t we all gonna go?” Roxy demanded.
“She didn’t ask for you.” Pizzazz retorted. “This is business, Roxy, not a party.”
“Ooh, sorry for breathing.” Roxy snapped back. “If it’s business.”
“Well, I don’t want to go, for one.” Jetta shrugged. “I think she’s putting you on, Pizzazz.”
“Well, we’ll see tomorrow.” Pizzazz shrugged. “Like I said, I can handle myself.”
“She’s right there.” Stormer added her bit. Jetta nodded.
“Yeah…” she agreed cautiously.
 “What now?” Pizzazz sounded impatient. Jetta shrugged.
“It’s probably nothing.” She said carelessly. “Don’t mind me, duckie. Let’s practice, huh? Might as well get it over with, then we can go make some mischief someplace and get Eric into another tizz.”
“All right, finally someone’s talking sense!” Roxy exclaimed. “Let’s do it!”
As they began their song once more, they did not notice their visitor creeping out of the music studio, trying her best to control her mirth. Once well out of view of the practice room, she removed her mask and wig, allowing her giggles to overtake her.
“How dumb can they be?” she asked herself as she folded the disguise neatly and placed it into her bag, sauntering down the main stairs towards the exit. She had no fear of being spotted around Misfit Music – she’d been there many times before, and her presence there was never thought of as strange.
“Good afternoon, Miss Montgomery!” One of the security men sent her a smile and she returned it.
“Hi, Charlie. Hey, do me a favour, would you?”
 “If I can, Miss…what is it?” Charlie, an easy-going man of little intellect, but with a big heart, and a soft spot for the Misfits’ young protégée, nodded his head.
“Well, I thought I saw Jem…you know, of Jem and the Holograms? Upstairs…I’m sure she was here to cause trouble, you know how Pizzazz and she hate each other. Could you check it out? The Misfits are practicing and I didn’t like to disturb them. Their new song sounds great.”
“Thanks for the tip off, Miss Clash, I’ll go check it out right away.” Charlie smiled at her. “Have a good day, won’t you?”
“I’m sure I will.” Clash hid a smile. “See you, Charlie. Oh, and don’t mention to the Misfits that I was here, huh? They weren’t expecting me and…and I don’t want to make Pizzazz angry by thinking I was butting in or anything. I just…just wanted to hear their new song.”
“Understood, Miss.” Charlie beamed at her. “You be getting along now, huh? You can trust old Charlie not to say a word.”
“Thanks, Charlie.” Clash bestowed him with one of her best smiles. “I’ll be seeing you!”
Before the security guard could answer her she was gone, heading down the rest of the stairs and out to her car.
“I thought Jetta and Stormer were going to blow it for me for a moment.” She admitted to herself as she slid into the driver’s seat, dumping her bag in the back and starting the engine up. “That Jetta is too curious for her own good…I’d like to teach her a special lesson all of her own about poking her nose in where she isn’t wanted. But still, they fell for it.” She grinned. “Of course they did. Pizzazz never resists a challenge laid down by Jem…and that’s one act I can pull off with no trouble! The irony of that is's all thanks to Pizzazz that I perfected Jem so well...and now I'm using it against her!”
She put the vehicle in gear, pulling out of the parking lot and onto the main road. “Now to take care of the other side of the coin…I must deliver my note to Jerrica. The Holograms aren’t due back till three at the earliest, so none of them will see me if I post this to Starlight Mansion…trouble is, one of their brats just might.” She frowned. “Stupid foster girls, getting in the way. I want to deliver it myself to make sure it gets there…but the Starlight girls probably know me by now.”
She pulled up a block and a half from Starlight Mansion, her expression thoughtful.
“I didn’t bring any costume with me bar the Jem one, and I can’t use that.” She mused, her eyes on the big mansion gates. “Oh, but wait a minute…the girls will all be at school, surely?”
She shrugged, getting out of the car.
“I suppose it’s a risk I have to take.” She decided finally, moving cautiously down the pathway and across the gravel to the main drive of the mansion. Being as careful as she could to avoid suspicion, she pushed the letter hard into the mailbox, then, glancing over her shoulder to make sure she hadn’t been observed, she turned tail and ran.
As it happened, Clash was in luck. Only Mrs Bailey, the housekeeper was around and she was busy in the kitchen, preparing a meal for the tired and hungry musicians she expected to see on her doorstep in the next couple of hours. Nobody saw who delivered the letter, and Clash had been careful enough to wear gloves both when writing and delivering it, just in case they should get into their heads to dust it for prints.
“I’ve taken care of everything.” She told herself with a chuckle. “Now, back to the flat. I need to pack a few things and vanish for a little while. Zipper will take care of business tomorrow night, with the help of some of his men…he needs the money too bad to let me down. And then…” she paused, enjoying the thought. “Then we’ll see who’s really Misfit material!”

 * * * * * * * * * * *

“It’s good to be home.”
Shana dropped down onto the couch with a contented sigh, reaching down to massage her ankles. “I feel like I’ve been walking since dawn or something.”
“You.” Aja grinned. “You hide from all exercise you can, no wonder you’re aching! It’s not like we walked from Chicago, you know.”
“Well, I’m with Shana. It’s nice to be back.” Kimber decided, stifling a yawn. “And, not a thing has happened, either. Maybe we were wrong. Maybe the impostor didn’t see Jerrica change and just got cold feet.”
“Well, whatever the truth, it’s mighty strange to have heard nothing.” Jerrica herself entered the room at that moment, sifting through the many envelopes she had just claimed from the mailbox. “I’m relieved…but…I don’t know. I feel like someone else is pulling the strings, you know?”
“Yeah, I know. I agree.” Aja nodded her head. “But no news is good news, I suppose.”
“Do you think that anything will come of it?” Raya asked anxiously.
“Who knows?” Shana shrugged. “I think it’s weird that, if they’re going to act, they haven’t done it yet.”
“They have.”
Jerrica’s tone was strange and all eyes turned to her.
“Jerrica, what is it?” Aja demanded, hurrying to her friend’s side, for Jerrica’s face was ashen and she gripped the sheet of paper in her hand all too tightly.
“Read that.” Jerrica thrust the sheet at her friend. “Read it aloud.”
“Jerrica,” Aja read. “So now we know who you really are. If you’d rather your other identity stayed a secret come meet me at the beach hut at ten o clock on the night of the ninth. I don’t bluff. If you don’t turn up it’ll be the worse for you and your precious image.”
“Who wrote that?” Shana’s eyes opened wide. “Is it signed?”
“Nope.” Aja shook her head, handing it to the bassist. “And it’s all typed. I had a bad feeling something like this might happen, when we heard nothing, but…”
“What will you do?” Raya eyed Jerrica anxiously. Jerrica sighed.
“What choice do I have?” she asked. “I have to go. Whatever the situation.”
“We’ll come with you.” Kimber offered. Jerrica shook her head.
“No…I can’t risk angering them.” She said tiredly. “They’re calling the shots, Kimber. If I can keep Jem a secret – more importantly, if I can keep Synergy a secret, then I will.”
“We understand.” Aja said gravely. “Who will you go as?”
“Jerrica.” Jerrica responded. “The letter is addressed to me anyway, not to Jem, so it’s Jerrica they want to talk to. I have to give them what they want, I suppose.” She buried her head in her hands. “What a total nightmare this is turning out to be.”
Kimber squeezed her sister’s hand.
“We’ll work it out, somehow.” She said softly. “Maybe once you know more about this whole thing Synergy can help.”
“Well, I hope so.” Jerrica frowned. “The last thing we want is her getting into the wrong hands.”

Chapter One: Clash
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)