Don't Look Back: Part Two
(A Sadie Saga)
Chapter Seven: Cynthia Lends A Hand

"I would really like to know the meaning of this."
Phyllis Gabor dropped the offending magazine down onto the desktop, fixing the four musicians with piercing glares. "Does anyone know anything about it? Anything at all?"
"What exactly is in the article, Phyllis?" Copper asked. "May I look?"
"Be my guest." Phyllis shrugged. "Reading it won't change the fact that it got into print." She scowled. "Not to mention the fact that two guys dressed in black were apprehended trying to break into Nancy's studio on second. They only didn't succeed because a passing cop happened to get suspicious about why they were hanging around the area."
"Topaz thinks that one of the people trying out for the band is leaking information, because of that." Sylva said. "We mentioned Nancy's studio yesterday when they were here, and then, suddenly, someone goes all out to break into it? And there's a scandal in the press at the same time? I dunno, sounds fishy to me."
"In which case, the talent sweep has now become a very dangerous game for you girls, if you are going to choose yourself a new member." Phyllis told them coldly. "I advise you weed out the spy from the others, if this is what's going on." She brought down her fist with a violent thud on the oak desktop, causing all four girls to jump.
"I don't like this kind of press." She continued. "Aspersions and theorising about the father of Topaz's baby are nothing new, and we can handle that, but I will not have one of my employees quoted as saying that KBST and Cool Trash need to be burnt down. It's a short step from that to direct accusation that Jewel are conspiring to bring down KBST and Cool Trash and all it would take is some half-brained fan to do as the article said..."
Sylva flushed a deep red colour.
"That was my fault. I got somewhat annoyed by something Casey said, and I guess I said more than I should have." She admitted.
"Did you say those words?"
"Yes." Sylva nodded, heartily wishing the floor would open up and swallow her. "But I meant them metaphorically, Phyllis! I swear that I did." She crossed her chest with her hand. "Cross my heart. I didn't even think..."
"You rarely do." Phyllis interrupted, glaring at her. "You do realise, I hope, what this kind of irresponsibility could cause you girls in terms of image? Encouraging arson, one of the tabloid papers suggested! Of course, I plan on making a press statement to warn tabloids that the story has been blown out of proportion and that there was simply a mis-communication of words and meaning, but dammit, Sylva, I am very very tempted to dock your wages over this one. This is a big deal. You can't afford careless talk!"
Sylva bit her lip, despite herself on the brink of tears and Topaz put a comforting arm around her.
"I think she understands. We all do." She murmured. "Besides, if there is a spy..."
"If there is a spy, that isn't your fault, but it makes no difference. Careless talk costs bands their image, their chart topping success, and sometimes even their lives." Phyllis met Topaz's earnest gaze with a steely one of her own. "Remember it."
"Phyllis, it w...was me, not the others." Sylva's self-control wavered and she swallowed hard.
"I've told you enough times that you are a team and you all take the rap whenever one of you makes a mistake." Phyllis was unmoved. "This time I'll let it go. Next time I won't."
She gestured towards the door. "Go on. Out."
Not wanting to antagonise their boss any further, the group shuffled silently out, Nancy closing the door quietly behind them.
"Syl, are you all right?" Copper sounded concerned. Sylva swallowed again, then nodded.
"I will be. She just...lays into you some when she's mad, that's all, and I was silly to say those things anyway, even in jest. Especially when strangers were about."
"Do you think one of them is a spy or a journo or something?" Nancy asked. Topaz shrugged.
"Makes sense to me, unless you believe in coincidences or magic."
"Topaz is right." Copper sighed. "Noone could have known Syl said that if she wasn't there yesterday. We all know that none of us could have done who does that leave? Casey, Bryony and Latisha."
"Or Sadie." Nancy pointed out. "Let's face it, she was at the Starlight Mansion too."
"No, you leave Sadie out of it. She wouldn't do it and besides, noone knows she's here." Topaz intervened. "Nancy, I swear to you, once you get to know Sadie you'll know beyond all doubt that she couldn't do something like this, even if she was paid to and her life depended on it."
"I tend to agree with you. I was just pointing out that she was there too." Nancy responded. "I don't think she did it any more than I do the pot plant in the main hall, but you never know."
"Maybe we should interrogate the pot plant." Sylva suggested, a faint smile touching her lips.
"Well, for now all we can do is be careful what we say, and see if we can pick up on anything amiss." Copper decided. "Come on, girls, lets go get ice cream and chill, huh? Syl, we're not mad at you, and well, Phyllis was angry but it's done and behind us now. Forget it, huh? We have to figure out who this spy is, if we can, and that's more important."
The door of the office swung open once more at that point to reveal the executive, making them all start once more.
"Topaz, you said something about Exotic on the phone, before I called you here." She remembered. "What about it? I'm not in a patient mood, so it had better be good."
"Oh! Well, I think - we think - we've found an artist to do the job, and we're getting her to do practice sketches as we speak." Topaz offered a smile. "As soon as she's done we'll bring them to show you and then you can decide if it's what we're after."
Topaz's subtle deference to her employer about the final decision over Jewel's album cover seemed to mollify the woman's temper somewhat, and she nodded.
"Okay. Hey, girl have a name?"
"Yes. She's called Sadie." Topaz replied. "When the designs are done, I'll bring her to meet you. I think at least we might have the inlay figured out, at long last."
Phyllis nodded her head curtly.
"Fine." She agreed. "But don't take too long about it - the disk can't be held back from the presses much longer."
"All right." Topaz nodded. Phyllis disappeared back into her room, the door banging behind her, and the four girls exchanged looks.
"That's tempered it a bit, at least. I hope Sadie is up to it." Nancy murmured.
"Well, for now I'm ready for ice cream." Sylva decided. "Come on. Further away from here I go the better, till she's in a better mood with me again!"


"I'm starved."
Stifling a yawn, Sadie sat up in bed, pushing aside her tray of sketches. "I wonder if they're still out...I could really do with something to eat."
Turning back her bedcovers, she took a tentative step out of bed, getting to her feet and moving over to the window, gazing down at the forecourt below. Despite a mugginess in her head, she felt a lot better, and, since the front driveway was deserted, it seemed that Topaz and the others were indeed still at Misfits Music.
"So I guess I'll have to feed myself." She concluded, reaching for the dressing gown Topaz had loaned her and slipping it over her shoulders, tying it at the waist. "That's okay. I can do that. So long as I can find the kitchen - I don't remember how I got up here, so this might be interesting."
Despite herself, she smiled.
"Ah well. If I get lost, no doubt someone will find me when they get back." She mused, pushing open the door and padding along the corridor to the top of the main staircase. She let out a low whistle as she did so.
"This place is big." She murmured, surveying the length of the corridor from whence she had come, and the space which, as she descended the stairs, became visible. "Maybe I will get lost, after all. I know it's a mansion, but sheesh. It's bigger than the centre, back in England. Oh well. Lets see what's down this way. It's not like I'm in a hurry. I'm just hungry."
After several false turns and dead ends, the bewildered English girl finally found the spacious kitchen that lay at the back of the Starlight Mansion and, sighing with relief she padded over to the fridge, swinging it open and surveying the contents.
"Cheese and salad sandwich will do me fine." She decided. "I don't want to cook anything, I'm not sure I'm steady enough on my feet to handle electronics at the moment and besides, I don't have the first clue how to operate that oven. I'll stick to something safe. Now, I wonder where they keep plates and bread? Ahah! That looks promising!"
As she began to cut a tomato neatly into slices to place on the bread, she was unaware of the fact that she was no longer alone. Cynthia, who had been alerted by the sound of footsteps had come up from the basement to see what was happening, half afraid that there was an intruder and, mindful of the risk of a spy, she intended to ensure that nothing was amiss. As she pushed open the door to the kitchen, she realised that the noise had merely been the unexpected houseguest and she crossed the floor softly to join her.
"You're up and about." She observed. "That's good to see."
Startled, Sadie swung around with a yelp, and the knife flew out of her hand, spinning round in the air and coming down with full force across Cynthia's arm. Shock filling her blue eyes, Sadie's hand flew to her mouth.
"Oh! I'm sorry! You made me jump, I didn't..."
"Don't worry. A little clumsiness is nothing to be alarmed about." Cynthia cast her a smile. "I apologise for taking you by surprise. My name is Cynthia - I think you are Sadie, correct?"
"Yes, but...but aren't you hurt? Didn't...didn't it hit you? I thought..." Sadie's brow creased in confusion, bending to pick up the knife. Upon examining the blade, she found that there were no specks of blood present, and her frown deepened. "I thought it hit you."
"No harm was done." Cynthia told her airily. "So do not worry."
Slowly Sadie put the knife down beside the sink. Despite her companion's breezy dismissals, she was sure of what she had seen and she felt her gaze go to the other girl's arm. She was certain she'd seen the blade make contact, but Cynthia had not seemed concerned or hurt by it, and more, there was no sign of damage or bleeding. She closed her eyes, shaking her head.
"Maybe I'm not as well as I thought." she muttered.
"Is something the matter?" Cynthia sounded concerned.
"I could have sworn the knife cut your arm." Sadie admitted. "But I guess it was a feverish delusion or something." She raised a hand to her head. "Topaz said I had to stay in bed, but I was hungry..."
Cynthia fixed Sadie with a thoughtful look. Reaching over to place the tomato slices on top of the rest of the cheese and salad, she put the other slice of bread on the top and scooped up the plate, handing it to her companion.
"Come sit with me on the patio." She invited. "Maybe that will help clear your head. The weather is glorious and warm today and it will not harm your chest to get some fresh air."
"All right." Sadie agreed, following the other girl out onto the big white-grey patio, and taking a seat on one of the deckchairs, making herself comfortable. "It is nice out. This is more like what I expected from California." She offered the hologram a sheepish smile. "Cynthia, you said? Topaz has mentioned you to me. You do the lighting for Jewel, right?"
"Yes." Cynthia nodded. "And likewise, I have heard of you, Sadie." She cast the girl a smile. "Topaz is fond of you and I believe you have great artistic ability which is to assist Jewel also. Therefore we become colleagues in the backstage production of the band, don't we?"
"If my art is good enough." Sadie sighed. "I'd love to do something - anything - to help Topaz and the others. They've been so sweet to me, letting me stay here, and I know how much of a risk they're taking having me here. I..." She paused, biting her lip. "I probably shouldn't have said that, should I?"
Cynthia laughed.
"You need have no fear of me." She promised. "I know you have no paperwork and it is no concern of mine." She shrugged. "I will not interfere."
"I didn't know anyone was here."
"I live here." Cynthia responded. "More or less, anyhow." She grinned. "Did Topaz not mention that?"
"I forget." Sadie admitted. "My head isn't the clearest it's ever been right now." She coughed, glancing up at the house. "It is big, isn't it? I had no idea in the storm what kinda place the Starlight Mansion was but wow. It's huge."
"Indeed." Cynthia nodded. She smiled. "It has been my home for many years now, you know. I would not wish to be anywhere else than here, when I have such an opportunity to work with people as dear as Copper and the other Jewels."
"Let's hope I get my chance. I've done a bunch of sketches but I don't know if they're good enough, even as rough ideas." Sadie admitted. "It's hard to draw someone from just a photograph and from memory, especially if it's something so important as this. I know from what Topaz has said that Miss Gabor is a picky soul - and I know how important this chance is. It could mean the difference between my staying in Los Angeles or going back to England."
Cynthia did not respond right away, assessing the girl thoughtfully. She had felt right from the start with Sadie that the girl was both sincere and unassuming, that her abilities far outweighed her own belief in them, and even though they had been talking for only a small time, already the hologram felt she liked the English girl.
"She has something in her which shines." She mused. "Perhaps it is her artistic streak, but she has ability and must be encouraged to utilise that ability. I must admit that I like her far better on sight than I did any of the potential musicians I met at the restaurant the other night. I am glad that my job is more behind the scenes of Jewel's acts and that if Sadie is to be their artist, I shall be more likely to work with her than with any of them." She sighed. "It's not that I did not like them, but I felt afraid something like this morning's press might occur. I can't pinpoint which of them I think it to be, but I felt sure one of them was not on the level. Sadie, on the other hand, I have every faith in. Perhaps it would serve both myself and her well if I was to assist her a little."
"What are you thinking?"  Sadie cast her companion a curious look, noting Cynthia's expression. "Something up?"
"I was wondering if I could in any way help you." Cynthia smiled. "Working so closely with Jewel as I do."
"Well, it's sweet of you to offer to, but I don't know how you can." Sadie sighed. "Short of getting them to pose for me, I guess I have to make do with the photos I have and stuff. I know they're busy at the moment, so a posing session is out, but..."
"If that is all you need, then I can indeed help." Cynthia interrupted, making up her mind in an instant. "Will you come with me, Sadie? I have something important to show you."
"Of course." Sadie looked even more curious but, setting her half eaten lunch aside she obediently stood, following the hologram into the house and down towards the basement. At the door, Cynthia paused.
"You need shoes on your feet." She remarked. "The steps are cold stone and you are in no health to manage that."
"Here." Cynthia nudged a pair of Sylva's discarded house slippers her way. "Syl won't mind. She leaves these all over the house anyway."
"You sure she won't?"
"Nope." Cynthia grinned. "Come. What I have to show you is down here."
Sadie gazed around the dusty, cool room as Cynthia switched on the light, taking her by the arm and leading her across to a strange contraption by the wall.
"This is what I meant." She said, gesturing to the mainframe. "My father made this machine in 1985 and it projects holographic images, as real as you or I. It can project realistic holograms of Copper and the rest for you to draw and then you need not worry about taking up Jewel's busy time with posing."
"Really?" Sadie's eyes became big with amazement. "Topaz never told me about this!"
"Well, it's a special secret known only by a few. My father died before the patent was completed and there are people in Los Angeles who are not so scrupulous and who would wish to possess it for bad means." Cynthia said gravely, decided that for the time being it would be as well to omit the link between herself and the mainframe. "I know you will not disclose it's existance, Sadie, because it, like yourself, is a fugitive and both of you need your secrecy. But I thought it might help you, if you were to use Synergy's capabilities."
"My father named the computer that." Cynthia agreed. "It was completed the year I was born."
"And so he named it somewhat after you?" Sadie touched the keyboard gently. "Cynthia and Synergy sound a little the same at the start. I bet that he thought of you when he built it." A wistful expression touched her eyes. "It must be nice to have a father who loves you that much."
"My father was a very loving man." Cynthia said gravely. "He was dear to his children and much missed, too. But Synergy is his legacy to the world and through the mainframe computer he continues to live."
"I'm sure he does." Sadie agreed softly. "Can you make it project something, so I know how good it really is? If it can really do lifelike projections, it might be just what I need."
"Of course." Cynthia agreed. She moved over to the machine, putting her fingers over the keys and typing in a sequence of characters known only to her own programming. Then, she slipped off her watch, carefully setting it down on the unit, for to project multiple holograms she had to relinquish her solid light projection and become a proper hologram herself. Reminding herself not to let Sadie try and touch her until the light show was over, she sent a command to her main lasers to initiate and within a few moments four realistic and lifelike Jewel holograms stood in the centre of the room.
"Wow." Sadie looked awed. "That's amazing, Cynthia! Your Dad really was a genius, wasn't he? They look so real!"
She reached out to touch the projection of Topaz but her hand passed through and she grinned. "But it is a hologram. Still, this is fab. It's exactly what I need! How long can the machine maintain these things for?"
"As long as you wish." Cynthia shrugged.
"Well, then I'm gonna go grab my notebook and pencil and get sketching again. I've a whole new load of ideas in my head now I've seen the girls in the flesh, as it were!" Sadie exclaimed. Cynthia smiled.
"I shall leave you in peace then." She murmured. "I think I need to call by the office anyway, see if Miss Gabor has any instruction for me today. Besides," she winked at the other girl, "I would hate to interrupt a work of art."
Sadie grinned at her new found friend, then she was gone up the steps and into the main body of the house. Once sure she was alone, Cynthia turned off her own hologram, setting her main program to idly browse the internet for new and interesting downloads, for projecting the four simple holograms took very little of her power. She had no doubt that Sadie's artwork would be up to scratch, for she had seen the sketch done from memory of Sharita, and inwardly she congratulated herself on her idea.
"She won't betray my mainframe and there is no need for her to know that I am Synergy." She mused. "Her association between my two names was fortunate, it means she shall not question it later. I believe I can trust Sadie, but I shall give it time before I tell her everything. I must know, after all, that I can trust in her implicitly, and, though I already like her a great deal, I feel she does not tell me everything. For now, I shall wait, and see what transpires."

Chapter One: Conference
Chapter Two: An Unexpected Houseguest
Chapter Three: The Wannabes
Chapter Four: Sadie Confides
Sadie's Diary: September 6th, 2013
Chapter Five: A Spy

Chapter Six: Inspiration
Sadie's Diary: September 7th, 2013
Chapter Seven: Cynthia Lends A Hand

Sadie's Diary: September 8th, 2013
Chapter Eight: Into The Lion's Den
Sadie's Diary: September 9th, 2013
Chapter Nine: Latisha Admits
Chapter Ten: Dinner At The Starlight
Chapter Eleven: Truth Will Out
Chapter Twelve: The Newest Jewel

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!