Just A Dream...
The Jem Memorial

Chapter Eleven: Repercussions

"Woo, what a night!"
Phyllis dropped down onto the sofa of the Pelligrini home, her expression one of relief. "I actually quite enjoyed it. Wouldn't've missed it for anything. And I thought that I was gonna be ruined tonight...but Jerrica got it in the neck instead!"
"It was...bizarre." Jetta said slowly, taking a seat herself as Justin headed into the kitchen to make coffee. "And I still don't know what to make of it."
"Isn't it obvious? Jem was a scam." Phyllis grinned. "She never existed. She was just some computer simulation thingy. Jerrica's finished! She's built herself up around the Memorial Fund since Jem's death...which must've been faked. Ooh, this is just too good! I could really do without Starlight Music on my case, and it shut Emily up too. Yes, a good night. Don't ya think so?"
Jetta smiled.
"Well, an' after all the fuss you made too." She scolded her friend. Phyllis raised an eyebrow.
"You said you wouldn't mention that again." She said warningly.
"Noone's 'ere to listen." Jetta shrugged. "Only Justin an' 'e's in the kitchen." She frowned. "It was opportune, I'll say that much at least, an' whoever planned it took the room by storm, but two things still bug me. How an' why."
"Well, from what I understood from what that thing said, Jem was nothing but a holographic projection the whole time." Phyllis shrugged. "Either way, I don't much care what the ins and outs are, Jetta. I don't see why you do."
"Well, 'as it occured to you that this machine must still be operatin', to put on a show like this one?" Jetta asked. "Don't you 'ave even the slightest bit of curiosity to know where it is?"
"Now you come to mention it, I guess so." Phyllis admitted. "It isn't Emily, because the thing almost gave her a heart attack. But yeah...it is weird, isn't it?"
Jetta looked thoughtful.
"It 'ad to be someone there." She said quietly. "Aja? She an' Jerrica 'aven't spoken in years, an' she's always been mechanically minded."
"Maybe." Phyllis looked doubtful. "But she wasn't even invited, was she? And she'd have had no chance to meddle with the stage..."
"The stage..." Jetta's eyes narrowed. "'Ang on a minute."
She got to her feet, moving to the bottom of the stairs.
"Aaron!" She exclaimed.
There was a pause, then a thump, and her son appeared at the top of the stairs.
"What's up?" He asked.
"You an' the girls were on stage. Did any of you see anythin'?"
"Anything about what, Mom?" Aaron came downstairs slowly, hoping against hope that his shrewd mother was not about to discover his and Copper's carefully kept secret.
"Tonight's display at the Memorial." Jetta fixed him with a thoughtful gaze. "Tell me honest, Aaron...did you 'ave anythin' to do with organisin' the little demo we 'ad?"
"No, I didn't." Relieved by the question, Aaron met his mother's gaze stolidly. "I had nothing to do with it and was as surprised by it as you. Why?"
"Hmm." Jetta frowned. "Okay. It's jus' that I know you know about machines an' all...but I must say you guys seemed as shaken as we were. We're tryin' to figure it out."
"Do you think there'll be a lot of fuss over it?" Aaron asked. Jetta nodded.
"Yeah, I do. The whole of America will be wantin' to know the truth." She agreed. "Whoever 'as that machine is gonna be in for it too, when they find 'em. I can't imagine anyone bein' allowed to keep somethin' that produces a demonstration like that at an official do."
"What if they don't find it?" Aaron asked.  Jetta laughed.
"You're too young to know what the FBI are like." She said dryly. "Trust me, Aaron. If that machine is still out there, they'll find it."
Aaron was silent for a moment. Then,
"Well, I guess we'll see." He said. "Either way, it isn't going to affect us, is it?"
"I doubt it." Jetta conceded. "'Ere, where are you goin'? It's late, an' your father's makin' coffee."
"Over to Starlight Mansion." Aaron had pulled his coat on and was already halfway out of the door. "I just remembered something important I forgot to do...if necessary I'll camp out over there on the sofa. Don't worry, Mom. I'll be okay."
"I've no doubt you will. I'm more worried 'bout the poor girls." Jetta said, amused. "Don't forget your aunt Phyllis wants you at Misfit Music tomorrow mornin' to wire 'er new pc into the network, okay?"
"I'll remember." Aaron nodded. "Night, Mom!"
Jetta watched him go, shaking her head.
"Kids." She muttered.
"Where's he off to in such a hurry?" Justin came up behind her.
"Starlight." Jetta rolled her eyes. "At this hour too..."
Justin grinned.
"Well, I don't know if you've noticed, but Starlight Mansion seems to be attracting a lot of his attention these days." He said. Jetta nodded.
"I'd noticed." She agreed. "Which one is it? Sylva or Copper?"
"Copper. Though I don't think she knows anything about it yet." Justin laughed. "Come on. Coffee's done."
For Aaron's part, romance was the last thing on his mind. His mother's words about Synergy had frightened him into action, and, despite the lateness of the hour, he had decided to head over to the Mansion right away.
"Aaron!" Nancy opened the door, her expression one of surprise. "What are you doing here?"
"I need to talk to you. All of you." Aaron's own expression was grim. "You're none of you in bed yet?"
"No...we've been talking about the show." Nancy shook her head, letting him in. "What did Mom say to you harassing us so late?"
"She didn't much." Aaron replied, slipping off his coat and hanging it on the stand, then heading into the salon, his sister in tow. "Listen, girls, we got a big problem."
"Aaron?" Sylva looked confused. "It's half past twelve!"
"I know, I know, and I'm sorry." Aaron replied, dropping down on the couch. "Copper, have you told them anything?"
"Anything about what?" Copper frowned.
"Synergy?" Sylva demanded. "What or who is Synergy?"
"That's the name Jerrica used...when she was yelling at the would-be ghost." Nancy remembered. "The name of the machine, I assume...but what's that got to do with Copper?"
"Everything." Aaron said darkly. "Synergy's here."
"What?" Sylva squealed. "That ghost machine is here?"
"She's no ghost...she's just a bit insane." Copper frowned. "Aaron and I have been trying to help her get her circuits in order - Aaron did most of the work. She said she'd help us out with our performance, but neither of us knew she had that planned. She's put herself - and us - in a really awkward position. Whatever happens with the Jem Memorial Fund and all of that, people are going to hunt for Synnie, and this is the logical place to come for her."
"Being the former home of Jem and the Holograms." Aaron concluded.
Nancy looked grave.
"So what do we do about it?" She demanded.
"Whatever we do, we can't let anyone find her." Aaron said grimly. "She's very powerful, Nancy...and more than a little bit eccentric. Her years of neglect have permanently damaged parts of her memory...she'd be a liability if she fell into the wrong hands now. If anyone asks you, none of you know a thing about any Synergy, right?"
"If you want us not to know, why tell us now?" Sylva asked.
"Because we might need your help to protect her." Aaron replied. "Copper, have you spoken to her since we got back?"
"Nope. Haven't had a chance." Copper shook her head. "You think that we should?"
"I know we should." Aaron nodded. "I know it's late, but we don't have a lot of time. Mom actually asked me outright if I'd had anything to do with her display...thankfully I could tell her honestly that I didn't. If she'd asked me if I knew where the machine was..."
"Mom's clever, and impossible to lie to." Nancy explained to a non-plussed Sylva. "She'd rumble us in moments."
"If we show you Synergy, then you have to promise us two things." Copper said quietly. "Aside from keeping her a secret, you must promise not to try and use her capabilities. After last night, who knows what she'd do? For now we're best of being cautious."
"We promise." Nancy agreed. Sylva nodded.
"I don't wanna use her. It creeps me out, the whole thing." She admitted.
"Well, now that's settled, lets go have a word with the mainframe." Aaron said. "Come on...she has some explaining to do."
When they arrived at the door of the basement, Aaron unlocking it deftly and pushing it open, the room was in total darkness.
"Synergy?" Copper called. "Synergy, you still awake?"
A dim pinkish glow began to illuminate the room, and, as they reached the bottom of the stone steps, an image of a woman began to materialise in the darkness, making Sylva jump, and even Nancy to draw breath sharply.
"You called?" The figure spoke in smooth, melodic tones, seemingly unruffled by the night's events.
"Synergy, what was tonight in aid of?" Aaron sounded angry. "Do you realise how much trouble you've caused?"
"Yes." The apparition nodded her head. "That's why I did it. To show Jerrica just what was what."
"Well, I hope you're just as happy when the FBI arrive to carry you off to their labs." Copper's tone was reproachful. "Synnie, I know Jerrica hurt your feelings, but still..."
Synergy's sensors dimmed to a dull red.
"I was angry." She admitted slowly. "I wanted revenge."
"This is too, too weird." Gingerly Nancy reached out to touch the figure, but her hand passed right through. "Another hologram?"
"Yes." Synergy agreed. "Who are you?"
"This is my sister Nancy." Aaron responded. "And Sylva, who you might know better as Stormer's daughter, Synergy."
"Stormer...yes, I remember Stormer." A smile touched Synergy's face. "I liked her. She and Kimber were friends, I think."
"This isn't getting us anywhere." Copper sighed. "Synergy, we don't want you to get hurt. Tonight you said you don't hurt those you care about...but you don't realise the implications of what you've done. Did you never stop to think that people would come and look for you? And they'll probably come here, too. What are we meant to do? The last thing we want is for you to get into trouble, or be impounded."
There was a pause, then Synergy sighed.
"I'm sorry." She said quietly.
"It's okay." Copper set a reassuring hand down on Synergy's keyboard. "And we'll do everything that we can to protect you, Synnie, really we will. But you have to promise, no more displays as Jem's ghost, okay? We want to be able to trust you."
"I understand." Synergy's projectors flickered as she thought things over, then, "I promise not to project Jem again."
"Good." Aaron said. "Listen. I think it might be a good idea if I powered you down for a week or two..."
"No!" Synergy's projectors flared a multitude of bright lights, and her exclamation made everyone jump. "No! I will not be shut down again!"
"Well, all right." Aaron sighed. "It's just...your drain on the power supply is fairly great, and it's a means of tracing you to the Starlight Mansion. I'm only thinking of you, Synergy. I promise that once the suspicion is over, you'll be powered up again."
Synergy looked doubtful.
"I won't let him shut you down permanently, Synnie." Copper said gently. "Please, this is for your own good."
"I don't want to be shut down." Synergy said quietly.
Aaron sighed.
"We'll talk about it in the morning." He said resignedly. "Can I camp down over here for the night, girls? I have to be at Misfit Music sometime tomorrow, but we need to get this settled up too, if we can."
"Sure you can." Nancy nodded. "There are rooms a plenty free." She sent Synergy a thoughtful glance. "It's been one hell of a night, hasn't it?"
"It sure has." Copper sighed. "And things aren't over yet. I think it's time we all turned in, if we're gonna have an early start tomorrow. Goodnight, Synergy...goodnight all. Let's hope the morning brings a solution."

Chapter One: Starlight Mansion
Chapter Two: Discovery!
Chapter Three: Zoe
Chapter Four: Top Of The Charts
Chapter Five: Aaron's Secret
Chapter Six: Sirena's Plan
Chapter Seven: Reboot
Chapter Eight: Some Answers
Chapter Nine: The Jem Memorial Concert
Chapter Ten:  Revenge
Chapter Eleven: Repercussions
Chapter Twelve: A Temporary Solution
Chapter Thirteen: Wild At Heart

Copper, Nancy, Sylvie, Anna, Blade, 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.
Sammi and the concept of Aja's future life are copyrighted to Gemma Dawn.