Chapter Six: Cynthia To The Rescue
A moment of silence greeted Copper's exclamation, as the three remaining
members of the group stared blankly at their fourth, trying to work out
what she meant. Copper eyed their expressions with a grin, giggling at
"Oh, are your memories that bad?" She scolded them. "Synergy! Don't you remember? The Jem Memorial!"
"Synergy?" Nancy frowned, then, "Oh! Jerrica's computer?"
"Yes." Copper nodded her head eagerly.
"Isn't she still shut down?" Sylva looked bemused. Copper shook her head.
"No, of course not!" She replied. "I just ran down and spoke to her...she says she has a lot of the songs in her memory banks and that she's quite happy to help out if she can! We can do this after all!"
"Um, I'm lost?" Topaz held up her hands. "Who is Synergy? What computer? Copper, what have you been drinking?"
"Nothing, silly." Copper grinned. "Look, come on. I forgot you hadn't met Synnie yet."
"Cynthia?" Now Topaz looked utterly befuddled. "I know Cynthia, Copper...what are you blathering about?"
"Oh!" Copper's hand flew to her mouth. "Oh no...Synergy...Cynthia...Oh, that's not what I meant at all! No, I meant the mainframe, I meant Synergy...I meant..." She frowned. "Never mind. Come with me, and I'll show you. Nance, Syl, you too. We ought to tackle this as a team."
"I think you've lost your mind." Topaz said, laughing, "But okay. I'm game."
"The computer at least exists." Nancy mused as they made their way downstairs. "It's a big secret, though. I'd pretty much forgotten about it. Aaron discovered it here when we moved in...but I had no idea it was still active."
"Don't call Synergy 'it', you'll hurt her feelings." Copper reproached.
"But...I thought we were coming to see a computer?" Topaz looked blank. Copper nodded.
"Yes, but Synnie has artificial intelligence of a high level, and she's a bit quirky at the best of times these days." She replied. "Once you've met her, you'll see what I mean." She grinned. "Actually, I think you know her better than you realise."
"I do?" Now Topaz was completely flummoxed. Copper nodded, turning the handle of the basement door, and leading the way inside.
"Synnie? I'm back, with reinforcements." She called. Immediately the darkness in the room lifted, and Topaz had her first glimpse of the impressive machine.
"Wow...wicked!" She exclaimed. "That's one hell of a computer!"
"Why, thank you, Topaz." Synergy sounded amused, and her amusement became even more when Topaz visibly jumped at the sound of the voice.
"Who was that?"
"Synergy, silly." Nancy replied with a grin. "Hi, Synergy. Long time, no see!"
"Perhaps." Synergy acknowledged. "Copper says you have need of my memory banks...how may I help you?"
"We're doing a big get together concert." Sylva said slowly. "With Misfits and Holograms and Stingers...and us of course. And we hoped you might have manuscript of the Holograms' hits?"
"Of course I do." Synergy agreed. "Almost all of my memory of them is retained undamaged from my years dormant. I can print them out for you, if you would like."
"That would be great, if you could." Copper nodded her head. "We don't think we've any chance of getting them from Jerrica."
"Then I am even gladder to help." Synergy's tone became slightly more determined. "I have no love of Jerrica now."
"Yeah, so you mentioned." Nancy responded dryly. "In front of every single press rep present at the Memorial. Yes, I remember it real clear now."
"I was upset." Synergy defended herself. "I wanted to settle things."
"What you did at the Memorial rocked." Sylva dimpled.
"I'm glad I have support from one of you." She observed. "Why, Topaz, why do you stare at me? Have you never seen a computer before?"
"Not one like you." Topaz managed. "You...where did you come from? You look intergalactic!"
"An alien computer?" Synergy let out a peal of laughter at this. "No, I promise you, that's not it. Emmet Benton built me in the early nineteen eighties. He was a very talented man, Topaz, and gifted me many abilities ahead of my time. Since Aaron converted my projection units and connected me to the internet, I have managed to learn even more...and be even more than I was before."
"What do you mean?" Topaz was curious. "I mean, what are you anyway? What were you built to be?"
"I project holograms." Synergy replied softly. "Among other things. It was for this that Jem and the Holograms most utilised me, though I had other functions whilst with the band. I...must confess I was fond of the Holograms."
"Mama is still fond of you." Copper rested a hand on Synergy's keyboard. "She was glad when I told her you were fine and safe with us."
"This is kinda unreal." Topaz perched on an empty box. "I never expected anything like this."
"She's one of a kind." Copper winked.
"Can you show Topaz one of your cool illusions?" Sylva begged. "It was so neat at the Memorial, when you projected Jem and everyone thought you were a ghost!"
"Of course, Sylva, if you wish." Synergy laughed. Her lasers glowed a warm purple colour, and in a flash the room around them appeared thick with jungle foliage. A hologramatic bird chirped on a branch up above, and a snake slithered around Sylva's feet, making her take a hurried step back.
"It ain't real." Nancy reminded her.
"I know, but it's creepy." Sylva shuddered. "I hate snakes!"
"Wow, that's amazing." Topaz was impressed. "You really are one heck of a machine!"
"She's more than that." Copper said quietly. "She's also one heck of a friend."
"The feeling is mutual." Synergy responded gently, as the illusion faded and the basement was restored to it's former barren glory. "I owe you and Aaron my life."
"Aaron, really." Copper dimpled. "And I guess in a way I owe it to you that he and I got it together. We're still crazy in love with each other, even now."
"I thought it was me and Cynthia who did that?" Nancy protested.
"Quite true." Synergy agreed. Her lasers shimmered again, and slowly Cynthia took form before them. As they watched, she walked over to the wall, picking up a watch from a shelf and putting it on her wrist.
"Cynthia?" Sylva's hand flew to her mouth.
"Synergy and Cynthia are the same person." Copper dimpled. "Figuratively speaking."
"But..." Topaz faltered.
"Aaron's work on my projectors allow me to project three dimensional, solid holograms." Cynthia explained with a dimple. "I'm sorry to have deceived you, but my safety was reliant on it and I wanted a taste of freedom. I count you all as my friends."
"Wow. I never guessed." Nancy shook her head slowly. "All those damn Red Dwarf DVDs Aaron has in his room and it never occured to me."
"Red what?" Topaz demanded. "This whole thing is a dream, right? Or have I just gone loopy? Am I or am I not friends with a hologram?"
"Well, I consider you a friend." Cynthia put a hand on Topaz's arm, grinning. "So I'd say yes. Don't worry, Topaz. You will get used to the idea."
"It's true. It's weird how easy you forget." Copper nodded. She laughed at the singer's expression. "Oh, don't look like that! Cynnie's gonna help us do this show, aren't you, Cynnie?"
"Sure, if you'll have me." Cynthia dimpled. "I'd love to help...where do I start?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"This is amazing."
Kimber opened the front door of the Jacqui Benton House, casting a welcoming smile at her visitor. "Don't you think so? A reunion...how outrageous is that?"
"You never change, Kimber." Carmen Santiago eyed her hostess in warm amusement, coming into the hallway and setting her case down. "And I am grateful for you for putting me up. Hotels are so impersonal and I did not like to impose on my daughter."
"You're always welcome here, Raya." Kimber hugged her friend, leading her through to the lounge. "It's cool to see you again...and you know that the Foundation will always welcome you, you've given so much to it over the years."
"I...try." Carmen dimpled. "I must admit, when I first got Copper's email I was a little surprised. No, very surprised. But excited too. I have not been a professional drummer for many years and I think I am out of practice, but I'm game to work on it again."
"I'm glad you're here." Kimber admitted. "Aja's proving less than easy to convince. She says she's out of practice too. I did go and see Shana this morning, however, and discussed the idea with her. She promised to check her diary - she said she didn't want to let the Holograms down. Now you're here, you can help me with Aja."
"Of course." Carmen smiled. "So, what is there I should know? Have we a date?"
"Apparently Pizzazz has said June 12th, provisionally." Kimber rolled her eyes. "I'm not sure we should let her run things, mind you. You know Pizzazz...she'll hog the limelight."
"You still dislike her as much as ever you did, then?" She asked. Kimber shrugged.
"Oh, I don't know." She admitted. "Perhaps not quite that much. But I'm afraid she's gonna control everything. Still, it'll be fun anyway, don't you think? Even though Riot and his girls might be playing."
"The Stingers too?" Carmen looked startled. "I had no idea."
"Well, I don't know whose idea it was, but I'd like to tell them what I think of it." Kimber snorted. "Anyway, that's not important. How was your flight? Do you want coffee? I'll get April to take your case upstairs."
"The flight was good." Carmen nodded. "And no, no coffee...I had some at LAX since my taxi was late and I'm fine." She stretched out on the settee. "Kimber, I have one thing that bothers me a little about this show."
"What's that?" Kimber paused in the doorway, where she had gone to summon the ever-ready April to lend a hand.
"Well, aside from us being so out of practice." Carmen amended. "Who is going to sing?"
"We are." Kimber shrugged. "I thought about this last night, and discussed it with Shana this morning. We can all sing, Raya...I think it'd be cool if we chose a few songs and then divided the vocals up among us. There are a definite couple I'm keen to do anyway, but I think we need a Hologram huddle to decide them."
"We can sing and play at the same time?"
"Well, I was kinda thinking that we could work something out." Kimber nodded. "I mean, it'd be difficult for you to sing behind kit, I know that...but I'm toying with the idea of asking Craig to play drums on a couple of numbers, if Aja agrees to the show. That is, if you don't mind. And Shana can play drums, too."
"I don't mind at all." Carmen assured her. "I will be more nervous to sing!"
"But we all know you can sing, Raya." Kimber came to join her friend, grasping her by the hands. "So you must...do it for the Holograms, huh? I'll sing, and Shana sounded quite up for the challenge this morning, though she was a little hesitant at first. Aja has a brilliant voice too, if she can relocate her confidence to do it. We'll be fine."
"It is Jerrica to blame if Aja has not her old confidence." Carmen spoke quietly. Kimber nodded.
"Yeah." She agreed slowly. "I suppose it is. But that's why we have to do this and bring the house down, don't you see? We have to be outrageous, to show Jerrica that she can't crush our spirit!"
"You always have so much enthusiasm for everything!" Carmen laughed. "Vale, Kimber, I will sing. And you know I will play. For the Holograms...anything."
REUNITED: PART ONE
Chapter One: Copper's Idea
Chapter Two: Tackling Sylvina
Chapter Three: I'm Okay
Chapter Four: Preparations
Chapter Five: The Stingers
Chapter Six: Cynthia to the Rescue
Chapter Seven: The Holograms
Chapter Eight: Jack and Courtenay
Chapter Nine: Phoebe Asche
Chapter Ten: Copper
Chapter Eleven: Unrest
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