Chapter Twelve: Sylva's Voice
I could have throttled her there and then. First she'd brought
us back to this time, then she'd inadvertently messed up what was going on
and now it didn't look like we'd be able to fix it - not if we were to get
"But if we don't fix things, there won't be any home to get to!" I
exclaimed. "You have to be able to do it, Cyn! We can't leave this half
"Syl is right." Nancy nodded. "We've gone too far to back out now.
Are you sure you don't have enough power to do this?"
"I did not realise how much I had used on camouflaging us in various
situations today." Cynthia said, her expression anxious. "I can maintain
Cynthia, but I am unsure I can maintain images over you and Syl while we
speak to Stormer, and then get us back to the Starlight Mansion safely
in time to get home. I don't know if I can hold out the full twenty four
hours that I set my clock to allow...my watch has not got the same power
that my mainframe has, and I have only the barest of connection to it."
"Wait a minute." Sadie snapped her fingers. "I know how you can do
it, and get us back safely, too! You're being slow, Cynthia!"
"I am?" Cynthia stared. "What do you mean?"
"Spit it out, Sadie." Nancy demanded. "There's a way round this?"
"Yes." Sadie nodded. "When Syl and I went to the Starlight Mansion
we...we found Synergy. We spoke to her, even. We wondered if that was why
you brought us back here, because you remembered speaking to us and knew
that we did."
"I have no recollection of any such event." Cynthia shook her head.
"If I ever did, it must have been lost with the parts of my hard drive
that were damaged. I had no motive to bring you here other than the one
I told you."
"But what has this to do with anything?" Copper pressed.
"Cynthia is one of Synergy's projections." Sadie explained. "I know
that her capabilities have been upgraded, but Cyn, isn't it possible for
you to hack into the original Synergy's power to project the holograms
inside Starlight Music?"
"How would she do that?" I wondered. "She can't project through walls,
"Oh!" Copper let out an exclamation. "Oh, but I see what Sadie is
saying! Stormer has gone to see Jerrica. Jerrica has the Jemstar earrings.
Surely if you're in the same room as Jerrica, Cyn, you can hack the power
of her earrings to maintain projections for all three of you! You don't
need to be Phyllis, Jetta and Roxy all the time you're in there. Only when
you're in view of Jerrica, Stormer and whoever of the Holograms are around.
Don't you see?"
Cynthia's eyes lit up.
"I am stupid!" She exclaimed. "I had forgotten the Jemstar earrings!
Of course, it would be no problem at all to hack into those circuits and
use them to project myself. I know my own hard drive and I am perfectly
able to manipulate it. Synergy was built to project thousands of holograms
at once, not just one or two. She will be able to maintain us quite adequately."
"She? You refer to her as someone else." Sadie eyed her questioningly.
"That Synergy is not really me." She admitted. "Not any more. I am
too changed from who I was then to who I was now. Cynthia is me now."
"But if you've been upgraded - and we know you have - how come you
can't project so many images?" Sadie responded.
"I can." Cynthia shrugged. "Though it is hard through a battery powered
watch that is operating almost 25 years before Aaron constructed it. When
I project myself as Cynthia properly, I cannot project anything else.
But I am perfectly able to do all that this Synergy can do. I just am
not called on to do so very often these days."
She glanced up at the building, then,
"Syl, Nancy, we must move." She said. "Once we find where they are,
I will tap into Synergy's signal and make us Misfits. With any luck, that
will be all we need to worry about. I believe Stormer will be easier to
convince than were her bandmates."
Well, heart attack over. At least, I hoped so. I made a mental note
for future reference that 1980s Los Angeles was definitely not a good place
for a restful vacation. Especially not if Cynthia was invited.
"When we get back to Los Angeles, you are so deleting this programme
from your memory." I told her darkly. "Are we going in or not?"
"Yes, we are going." Cynthia nodded. "Though it will not be so easy
to get past security without my holograms. We must have a ruse..."
"When Mama came to audition for the Holograms, she and my Grandfather
brought flowers as a pretend delivery, because she'd missed the ending
time." Copper remembered. "Could you pretend to be delivering something?"
"Like what? We've nothing to deliver. And we're in our nightwear again."
Nancy glanced down. "That'd convince them."
"Well, then we'll just have to be sneaky and see if we can get in another
way." Cynthia mused. I shot her a sidelong glance.
"Do you know of one?" I asked. Cynthia hesitated, then nodded.
"I do." She agreed. "I do not know if it is still part of the building
in 2015 but in 1987 there was a rear entrance which Jem and the Holograms
would use to avoid crowds when they had a lot to do and the press were buzzing."
"So what are we waiting for? Let's go!" I exclaimed. Cynthia pursed
"I do not know if it is ethical for me to show you a secret way into
a company run by a rival." She said at length.
"Look, Cyn, this company is owned by the bitch who abandoned you and
left you to die." Nancy said bluntly. "Have you forgotten that? Who's side
are you on, huh? Who rescued you and looked after you and protected you
when Jerrica was bored with playing computer games, huh? I thought she was
no friend of yours these days."
"I am sorry." She said contritely. "It is being here like this - it
confuses my sensors. I feel...less animosity towards Jerrica here, and
more inclined to protect her. Of course, you are correct. I don't know
what I was thinking...come on. It is this way."
"Do you think she's really working right?" I hissed to Nancy as we followed
her carefully around the back of the music company. Nancy shrugged.
"Honestly? I don't know." She admitted. "She's getting more and more
erratic, so her power levels probably are really suffering."
"I think it's more than just that." I pursed my lips. "Don't you? That
this is her Los Angeles and she can't equate this Jerrica and this world
with what's happened to her and the world she belongs to now. We don't have
that problem - this world is alien to us. But it's not alien to her. This
is the world she was created for. It's her territory."
"I had reasoned that, too." Nancy admitted. "But we have a job to do,
so let's not talk any more about it, huh? So long as she remembers which
side she's on while we're in there and doesn't decide to go all for Stormer
joining the Holograms, we're okay. Aren't we?"
"I hope so." I muttered. "The idea of not existing after tonight really
doesn't appeal to me, Nancy."
"Nor does it to me." Nancy grimaced. "And if she doesn't erase this
program herself, Syl, trust me I'm going to find it and do it myself!"
"Not if I get there first." I told her. "Come on. Do you really think
we'll convince Mom to go back?"
"You know her best. What do you think?" Came the reply. I frowned.
"I got the impression when Sadie and I spoke to her that it was what
she wanted but that she didn't want to make the first move." I said at length.
"So maybe. Cyn is right that it will mean something, having the Misfits
come so far into enemy territory to do it."
"Do you think it wouldve come to them doing that of their own accord?"
Nancy wondered. "If you'd asked me that when we were back home I'd have
said yes right away, but having seen the Misfits as they were in the eighties..."
"I don't know. Maybe, but it might have been too late." I replied. "We
know Mom is here and we know why she's here. So we have to do something,
"This is the other entrance." Up ahead, Cynthia had paused, and we made
our way over to join her, spotting the door as we did so, though it was cleverly
concealed in the shadows of the building's annexe. "It is usually unlocked
in the daytime, because Kimber was always losing her key. I expect it to
be so now, if you wish to try it."
"Sure." I stepped forward, giving it a shove. Sure enough, it gave way,
creaking open to reveal a long corridor, with a flight of stairs at the far
"We go up those, and then we will be on the second floor." Cynthia said
practically. "Jerrica's office is on the top floor, but it seems more likely
that they will discuss music in the main studio, which is a floor below that.
If you follow me, I will take you there."
"That is why we're here, Cyn." Nancy pointed out dryly, as we made our
way upstairs, pausing at the door at the top to ascertain that noone was
about. Noone was, so Nancy pushed the door open, and we were in the heart
of Starlight Music. I had never been here before, but I knew that this was
the place my Aunt Aja had worked before she had been so badly treated, and
I frowned. It seemed prettier inside than I had imagined. I suppose appearances
really aren't everything.
"Syl, are you coming?" That was Nancy, and I realised I'd stopped dead.
Sending my companions a sheepish smile, I hastened to rejoin them, as Cynthia
led us through a maze of corridors and stairways up to the correct floor.
How she remembered after so long away was beyond me. I guess there is something
to be said for digital memory after all!
Finally she stopped outside a big white door. It was slightly ajar, and
as we neared it we could hear the sound of excited voices.
"We're number one!" That was Kimber, I recognised her tones from the Starlight
Mansion, and idly it occured to me what a kid she sounded. Certainly not
responsible enough to take care of the Starlight Foundation.
"Kimber sounds like a total flake." I murmured. "How come she got the
"Kimber has a big heart and lots of love to give." Cynthia chided. "She
was young in 1987 - barely twenty, if that. I do not recall exactly. She
was easily excited and impressionable - time has taught her many lessons
and she has grown up."
"Besides, Syl, you're a flake too." Nancy raised an eyebrow. "Yet Jack
and Topaz trust you with their kids."
"I'm not a flake." I began, but Cynthia held up her hand.
"Shh!" She hissed. "We must not be detected. I must try and log into my
own signal - be quiet while I concentrate!"
"Don't you have to be in full view of Jerrica to do that?" Nancy asked.
Cynthia shook her head.
"There must be clear air between her and me, that is all." She replied.
"I doubt I will be able to project more than my own voice, by the way, so
if you must speak, speak as little as possible. Do not give them a chance
to suspect you are not who you claim to be - Nancy, you in particular. You
and your mother have very different accents. Open the door a little, will
you? They are intent on their discussion and will not notice us."
"I hope you're right." Nancy muttered, but she did as she was bidden,
opening the door so that we could see into the bright, spacious music studio.
For the first time the Holograms became visible from our vantage point and
I realised how spookily accurate Cynthia's holographic renditions had been.
"You can be a part of our music company, Stormer." That was Jerrica, and
her words jerked me back to the matter in hand.
"Come on, Cyn!" I begged. "Hurry up! We'll be too late!"
"Shut up! I almost have it!" Cynthia snapped back, in uncharacteristically
harried tones. "I told you, I must concentrate! My power levels are not at
There was a moment of silence, then Cynthia let out a sigh of relief as,
before our eyes, her features changed into those of Phyllis once more. Glancing
at my hands I could see wisps of platinum hair curling around my shoulders
and I knew that she had done it. We were the Misfits - now it was up to us
to save the group.
"How about joining the Holograms?" Jerrica and the others seemed entirely
unaware that we were even there, and before we knew what she was doing, Cynthia
marched straight into the studio, giving us no chance to do anything but
"Stormer!" She exclaimed, in Phyllis's voice but tones that verged on
the desperate. The group at the piano turned, and Mom sent a confused look
Cynthia's way, taking a hesitant step or two towards us.
"They don't really need you!" Cynthia continued. "Please, Stormer, come
back to the Misfits! We need you!"
"Yeah, it's true." I added, noticing a mischievous expression cross Nancy's
face as I did so. She nodded.
"Come back, yank." She added, in tones which were a perfect imitation
of her mother's. I had heard her do it before, and had I not known it was
Nancy beneath that holographic disguise, I could quite easily have sworn
she was the real deal.
That creeps me out, by the way. The bare thought that Nancy could have
acting potential in there is seriously worrying. But I digress.
There was a moment of silence, as Mom seemed to battle things out with
herself. Finally, she turned back to the Holograms.
"It's true, Jerrica." She said at length. "You don't need me. But..."
She glanced at Cynthia, and I was sure a look of compassion touched my mother's
"They do." She concluded. Relief flooded Cynthia's expression.
"You mean it? You'll come back?" She exclaimed. Mom pursed her lips.
"I will." She said slowly. "But you'll have to listen to me also from
now on. I'm an equal partner. Right?"
"Oh, right. Right!" Cynthia agreed hurriedly. "Well...come on, partners.
From the urgency in Cynthia's voice I wondered if she was having some
kind of issue with her projection, and I began running over ideas in my
mind for how we might explain our sudden appearance change to Mom once we
reached the corridor. As it happened, though, Mom had no intention of following
us right away, wrapped up in saying her fond farewells to Kimber and the
others, and with some relief we sought refuge in the stairwell, as Cynthia's
pictures flickered and faded away.
"We did it!" I exclaimed, punching the air. "We got the Misfits back together!"
"We did, but I am exhausted." Cynthia admitted. "My circuits are frazzled.
It was more difficult than I anticipated to hack my own signal. I was obviously
more security conscious then than I realised."
"But it doesn't matter. We worked things out between them." Nancy said
with a grin. "Mom and the others will never mention our little meeting with
them, because they'll think it's losing face to admit they conceded defeat.
And Stormer isn't the type of person to rub this one in their faces. As far
as we're concerned, we can go home and everything is fine. Right?"
"Yes, I hope so." Cynthia agreed. "And it is becoming late. We must gather
the others and get back to Starlight Mansion, ready for nightfall. We must
be in the right place at midnight, otherwise we shall not return to our world
"Now I think I'm in a sci fi movie." I groaned. "Okay, Cyn. Let's cut
outta here and tell Topaz and the rest that we've saved the day. Okay?"
"I'm with that plan...but I haven't a clue where the way out is." Nancy
laughed. "Lead on, Cynthia!"
"With much pleasure." Cynthia said ruefully. "Believe me, fond as I was
of this place and it's inhabitants, I am finding myself strangely looking
forward to being back in our Los Angeles again, even if Topaz does give
me babysitting duty for a month after this!"
"I'll suggest it to her." I teased, as we headed down the stairs. Cynthia
grimaced at me.
"Thanks." She said darkly.
"Well?" Copper greeted us as we reached the main street. "What happened?
Did you get in?"
"Did everything work out?" Sadie added.
"We did it." I nodded. "We so did it! Cyn was fabulous. Really persuasive.
And Nancy..." I cast Nancy a sidelong look. "Did her Jetta impression."
"Well, Cyn said she couldn't project it, but I never had any trouble imitating
Mom, and she was calling everyone yanks earlier." Nancy chuckled. "I couldn't
"I hope I sounded enough like Aunt Roxy." I admitted. "But they didn't
seem to be suspicious, so I guess it was okay."
"It was fine." Cynthia nodded. "And now we would do as well to get out
of this part of Los Angeles, before we change time again, okay? Back to the
Starlight to wait for our time to leave. Understood?"
"Oh, we have no intention of doing any more time changing, Cyn!" Topaz
laughed. "We're right behind you!"
As we reached the end of the street, I heard someone call my name and
I paused, turning. Much to my surprise, Mom stood outside Starlight Music,
and as I cast her a look of confusion, she smiled at me.
"I'm sorry to interrupt you - you and your friends must be busy." She
said apologetically. "But I saw you as I came out and...I just wanted to
thank you. Your visit made me think about a few things...and I think you
"Did everything work out all right?" I asked softly. Mom nodded.
"Yes." She agreed. "I think it will be okay now, being with the Misfits
and working with them on my music. I...have new hope that things won't be
as difficult as they have been recently. You were right that I needed to
give them a new chance, and I have. I love Kimber and the Holograms, but
I feel like I'm really going home now."
"I'm glad." I told her, and impulsively I hugged her. "I know you're gonna
be so cool because the Misfits rock."
"Well, thank you!" Mom laughed. "And maybe your group will be topping
the charts too, soon enough! Did you record a single yet?"
"Well, we're working on things." I said vaguely. "We have a long way to
go before we reach your league."
"I promise I'll watch out for you." Mom said sincerely. "I owe you that
much, anyhow, for coming and helping a stranger in her hour of need. It's
nice to know there are people like that in the music business still."
"And you have such a pretty name. Sylvina. It's unusual - I'm sure I won't
forget it in a hurry."
This made my voice catch in my throat and I swallowed hard.
"My mother chose it for me." I managed. "She...thinks it's pretty too.
And...and I know you won't forget me. Hey, who knows? Maybe one day we...we
might meet up again."
"I'd like that." Mom dimpled, and in that instant I recognised the pretty,
mischievous Misfit from the photo albums in Mom's spare room. "But right
now I have to run and I'm sure you do too. I have so much to do if this Misfit
album is ever going to get together!"
"Goodbye, M..Stormer." I offered her a grin. "And good luck, huh?"
"You too!" Mom winked at me. "Knock them dead!"
With that she was gone to her car, and I turned on my heel, making my
way slowly back to join my waiting companions. As I did so, I could not
prevent a tear from trickling down my cheek. It wasn't every day you met
your mother like that...and what she had said had touched me.
"Are you okay?" Topaz put a hand on my shoulder, concern in her blue eyes.
"Yeah." I agreed, wiping the tear away. "Just...Mom is so sweet, you know?"
"That's why they call her the sweetheart Misfit." Copper said wisely.
"Yes. True." I acknowledged. "But I never knew this her, somehow. I mean
she always was sweet when Anna and I were kids, but I never really thought
about what she was like before she and Dad got married and had us and stuff.
I realised I have a lot of things to ask her about now. That's all."
"Then maybe this trip wasn't a waste of time." Cynthia said gently. I
"How do you mean?"
"Well, I admit it was foolhardy of me to experiment and bring you here."
Cynthia looked sheepish. "But then, perhaps on reflection I am still glad
that you came. If nothing else it's shown you how little problems can become
bigger ones if you don't deal with them, and how important it is for a group
to be committed and focused on their music."
"And inspired." Nancy murmured. "Which I actually think I am, now. I don't
know why, but there's some kind of buzz in this place and seeing Mom and
the others...made me realise what a phenomenally scary act the Misfits were.
And Jewel aren't scary. We have bite sometimes, but I'd love us to record
something with a real Misfit edge - a real bad girl track. I always wanted
to be a Misfit when I was a kid and I didn't realise how little I knew about
them and what they were really like. Doesn't anyone else think it'd be fun
to record a real hard rock snappy, in your face number, just to wake everyone
"Sounds cool to me." Sadie's eyes sparkled. "I'm picturing the music video
already...Zoe will have so much fun with us if we're gonna be performing
in leather and fishnets and..."
"And spiked collars!" I exclaimed, causing the others to laugh. "And we
can do reallly heavy make-up and make ourselves look totally out of this
world. Ooh, this is so cool! We've never tried to emulate the Misfits before.
"So long as it's Jewel's sound with a Misfit twist, of course." Copper
winked. "Remember, we aren't all Misfit kids here!"
"No, true." Nancy admitted. "But I have a bunch of ideas for a new song
now, and I'm actually starting to be excited about getting back in the studio
and working on it!"
"Me too." Sadie nodded. "So what are we waiting for! Let's get back to
our Los Angeles and get to work!"