Who Is She, Anyway?

Chapter Nine: Chimera's Plan

"Well, well."
Pizzazz opened the door, an amused look on her face as she surveyed her visitors. "What's all this? Coming to check up on us here at home, are we? Make sure we behave ourselves like good little girls?"
"Shut up with the smart chat." Chimera snapped. "I want to talk to you - all of you. I have a...proposition for you."
"Oh?" Pizzazz raised an eyebrow. "A proposition?"
"Yes. Business." Chimera agreed.
"What happened to your devotion to the Stingers?" Pizzazz smirked. Chimera scowled.
"None of your business." she retorted."But I think what I have to say might interest you. Can we come in?"
"Sure, why not." Pizzazz pushed open the door further to admit the two visitors. "I could do with some entertainment."
"What are they doing here?"
Roxy, who had been lounging on the couch munching grapes sat upright in surprise, setting the stalks down on the nearby coffee table and fixing Chimera with an accusing glare. "What's she want?"
"'Ere to cause trouble, probably." Jetta observed idly from where she had been carefully filing her nails. "What's the deal, Pizzazz?"
"Apparently they have a business proposition for us." It was clear enough to both Chimera and Sakura how amused by this Pizzazz was. Jetta looked interested.
"Oh? An' what kind of proposition might that be?"
"It involves the Stingers." Chimera responded, taking a seat and indicating for Sakura to do the same.
"I thought you were Riot's newest slave." Roxy remarked.
"Well, you thought wrong." Chimera replied. "Things have changed."
"What did 'e do?" Jetta asked. "Flirt with you once too often?" She chuckled. "Mr Big Shot struck out?"
"I ain't interested in Riot in any capacity." Chimera snapped. "Do you want to hear what I have to say or not?"
"Shoot." Pizzazz replied. "We're all ears, Chimera, or whatever your name is."
"We're both fed up of being messed about by Riot and his witches." Chimera said frankly. "Now, I don't like you guys, and you probably can't stand the sight of me, but we have something in common. We'd both like to see the hot air taken out of Mr Llewelyn as soon as humanly possible. Right?"
"I'm with that." Roxy nodded her head. "So what's the plan?"
"An' 'ow do we know it ain't a trap?" Jetta added.
"It's not a trap." Sakura said quietly. "We do not like the Stingers...Chimera thought best to come to you for help."
"Oh, so the mouse does speak." Pizzazz smirked. "I did wonder."
Sakura blushed at this, and Chimera's eyes narrowed.
"Enough of the wisecracks." She snapped. "Leave Sakura alone. You might be Harvey Gabor's daughter, but you don't own this world any more than I do."
"You're not doing your case any good, kid." Pizzazz bristled.
"I'm not a kid! I'm twenty!" Chimera snapped back. "I told you that once already. And I'm not gonna be intimidated. Not by you and not by anybody. Now, you want the Stingers' tour to fail, right?"
"Right." Pizzazz admitted grudgingly.
"Then you need my help. I know how to get around that building - more, I know which doors are locked and where the keys are. I can get you girls in and I can shield you from any kind of security interference till your attack is well over." Chimera replied. "Sakura and I are both agreed that we dislike the Stingers also, and nothing would make me happier than to prove once and for all that I can do the job as well as and better than what they asked for."
"Go on." Jetta looked interested. "What's your plan?"
"The Stingers are having sections of their tour filmed." Chimera replied. "They're making a live video which will be available in stores, snippets of which will be aired on shows like Lin-Z Pearce's. A huge amount of publicity has already gone into this video release, nothing can go wrong because the process can't be halted to edit out bloopers." A slow smile crossed her face. "That's where we come in."
"I'm not sure I follow." Pizzazz's eyes narrowed. "Explain."
"I'm trying to, if you'd shut up." Chimera snapped. "Now, Sakura here is the best electrics specialist I know. She can put together any number of gadgets. Me, I'm an artist and film is my medium. Between us we're in charge of making sure that the video goes smoothly."
"I think I'm beginnin' to see." Jetta looked thoughtful. "What you need is a few extra 'ands, a distraction to cause a public disturbance while you guys mess with the technical side of things, without bein' suspected, right?"
"That's it."
"I like it." Roxy decided. "We get to go show those stuck up chumps a thing or two, and get their video wrecked into the bargain, without even going near the stupid stage!"
"It does sound...promising." Pizzazz conceded. "So long as you're not feeding us lines and this ain't some plan of Riot's to get us into hot water."
"I swear it isn't." Chimera replied solemnly.
"Well, I dunno about you, Pizzazz, but I believe 'er." Jetta replied. "An' we're well used to gettin' out of situations as well as gettin' into them. I say we do it. When it comes to causin' trouble, after all, there ain't none better than us."
"Jetta's right, though I hate to say it." Roxy agreed. "C'mon, Pizzazz. What's the matter? Scared of facing Riot?"
There was a challenge in her gaze and Pizzazz understood it. She scowled.
"Of course I'm not." She snapped back. "We'll do it, okay? But if it goes wrong you guys can take the rap."
"It won't go wrong." Chimera assured her. "All I have to do is get a hold of the running order, and the backing tapes for the songs they're filming. They're not playing those live on stage, only singing, so they're perfect prey for us. I can splice the tape so that the songs are mixed up together, and Sakura can reset the lighting order. So long as our copy of the show's programme corresponds with the order in which Sakura works the lights, noone will suspect that we had anything to do with it. You girls will get all the credit, and Riot and co will realise that you're not to be messed with. Meanwhile, Sakura and I teach them a lesson for messing us about."
"Works for me." Roxy replied. "When are we gonna put this piece de resistance into operation?"
"The night of the show. Leave the rest to us." Chimera stood. "We'll make sure that the back door of the auditorium has no security marking it, so you can get in. Then you distract them and we'll do the rest."
Jetta got to her feet, holding out her hand to shake Chimera's, ignoring completely Pizzazz's disapproving scowl.
"Guess we're doin' business." She said with a wry smile. "We'll be there."

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"So here you are."
Aja pushed open the door to the bedroom open fully, smiling at the Starlight houseguest. "Kimber is looking for you, Stormer...is something the matter?" As she registered the expression on her friend's face.
Stormer sighed.
"Yes and no." She agreed. "I'm trying to get my head around something, Aja. Did Kimber tell you what happened?"
"No...she hasn't spoken to me about anything." Aja looked confused. "What's wrong?"
"I...found out about Jem. I know she's really Jerrica."
"Oh!" Aja looked startled, then, "And?"
"And I'm wondering what to do about it."
"You're not thinking of blowing Jerrica's secret, are you?" Aja looked anxious.
"No, I promised Kimber I wouldn't." Stormer replied. "It's my own sanity that I'm questioning. I saw some strange things, Aja...I saw you and Jerrica walk through a wall and I saw Jerrica morph into Jem. Those two things are not physically possible and though Kimber mentioned some machine I...I can't imagine any machine being able to make people able to walk through a wall, or change a person's appearance. I'm very confused."
"And I suppose Jerrica being called away so early hasn't helped things." Aja realised. "Living a double life means she's busy so much."
"Kimber won't tell me anything more till Jerrica is here and she has her sister's blessing." Stormer admitted.
"Don't you think that's fair?"
"No." Stormer shook her head. "Jerrica has lied to me...to everyone for as long as Jem's existed...I don't see why I should have to have her permission to know that she and Jem are one person. I don't see why any person should have to have permission to know why or how..."
"You don't understand the situation, though." Aja chided. "Listen, Stormer. Jerrica's lying, as you put it, is more noble than you think. She's not just protecting her own interests by keeping Jem a secret. The Starlight Foundation relies on funding from people's belief in Jem, and..."
"People funding a lie." Stormer interrupted.
"Yes, but it's not really a lie." Aja replied softly. "People believe in Jem, Stormer. She might as well be real. Okay, she as a person is a figment of our imagination as Holograms, but she stands for a lot of things. She was created to get the Starlight Foundation out of financial strife, and keep them there. This she has managed, much more successfully than we ever imagined. When it began, none of us dreamed that Jem would become this big an icon. And, admittedly, Jerrica is insecure about people knowing the truth. Jem is flamboyant and all the things Jerrica is afraid to be when being herself...sometimes it's a welcome escape for her from the hectic life she leads at the office."
"I didn't think of it that way." Stormer considered. "I still don't like the deceit of it, Aja, but I...I begin to understand it a little more."
"It was also to protect the machine Kimber mentioned to you, but I won't tell you any more on that front till Jerrica is here, for the machine in question belongs to her." Aja added. "You must realise that if people knew there was a powerful computer in our possession it could be dangerous for everyone? Not least the Starlight Girls. That's why only we know the secret. Not even the girls have any idea that Jem and Jerrica are one and the same."
"I see." Stormer paused, then, "Thank you, Aja. You have made it clearer to me. I still don't understand what I saw, but I'm no longer so troubled by keeping the whole thing a secret. I don't like deceit - that might sound strange coming from a Misfit - but I can keep a secret and I can see that there's a need to keep this one."
Aja smiled.
"Come on, then." She said. "Kimber is waiting downstairs."
"I'm coming." Stormer got to her feet. "Let's go."

Chapter One: The Misfits On Break
Chapter Two: Chimera
Chapter Three: Kimber's Proposition
Chapter Four: The Stingers' Tour
Chapter Five: Personality Clash!
Chapter Six: Writer's Block
Chapter Seven: Secrets
Chapter Eight: Betrayal
Chapter Nine: Chimera's Plan
Chapter Ten: Double Trouble
Chapter Eleven: Synergy
Chapter Twelve: As If Nothing Happened...

(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)