"Mistress of Magic"
"Mistress of Magic"
Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: Welcome to the second in a series of Jem stories that I am writing. This story is about Astral. She's a great character that deserved to be in more episodes.

Jem Remix: "That Old Houdini Magic", "Trick or Techrat", "Music is Magic", "Britrock", "The Jem Jam" Part 2, "Straight from the Heart", "In Search of the Stolen Album", "Danse Time".

I wrote the first draft of this story from Friday, October 13, 2000, 12:00 PM to Tuesday, October 30, 2001, 10:23 PM. My thanks go to Holly for paraphrasing the information on Astral from the Jem Writers Bible for me. I used it here to flesh out the character and give her a history. Thanks, Holly! I wish I could've written flashback scenes, but I don't know anything about Alfred White, so I didn't want to contradict anything about him. I completed the final draft on Wednesday, October 31, 2001, at 4:44 PM.

This story takes place during and after "Stormer Switches Sides". Comments and questions, both good and bad, are welcome. Enjoy the story.

Monday, October 31, 1988, 9:00 AM

Jerrica, the Holograms, Rio, Craig, Howard, Danielle, Lindsey, Anthony, Video, Danse, Tim, Joanie Stuart, Astral, and Regine were seated at the table in the conference room at Starlight Music.
"I'd like to thank you all for coming." Jerrica said. "The reason I called you over here is because we need your help. Stormer has joined the Holograms, and we wanna make a big introduction!"
"Wow, Stormer's a Hologram?!" Lindsey asked in excitement.
"Yes, Lindsey, and not a word about this to anybody until I give the okay." Jerrica ordered.
"Gotcha." Lindsey said.
"Thank you." Jerrica said. "Now, we've got some ideas of what we want to do."
"Excuse me, Jerrica," Danse interrupted, "but aren't Jem and the Holograms supposed to be working on a Halloween video with me and Rio? And we've got that concert tonight."
A smile formed on Jerrica's lips. "We're incorporating the introduction into the Halloween video and concert."
Danse smiled. "That'll work. I can't wait to see the decorations we'll be using."
"Oh, thanks for reminding me." Jerrica said. "Danse, we need help with the Halloween decorations at Starlight Mansion."
"Say no more." Danse said. "The kids at Haven House will be glad to help out after school."
"Thanks." Jerrica said appreciatively. "Okay, Anthony, Video, you two are supposed to film our Halloween music video."
"Yeah, the team of Anthony Julian and Vivien Montgomery won't let you down!" Video promised.
"I know you won't." Jerrica said. "I'd like you to work with Howard and create a horror mini-movie."
"Ooh, like 'Thriller'?" Kimber asked.
"Yeah." Jerrica said. "Can you do it?"
"You bet." Anthony said.
"I look forward to the challenge." Howard added.
"Good." Jerrica said. "Astral, I want you to be in the video and concert, too, to give them magical touches."
"I'd be honored." Astral said with a smile.
"Thanks." Jerrica said. "Regine, Danielle, how are the costumes coming along?"
"Great!" Regine said with a grin. "They're really cool!"
"We'll have them done in a few hours." Danielle promised.
"That's great." Jerrica said. "Joanie, I trust we have enough money for this."
"Yes, Jerrica." Joanie said, looking over her papers. "You've got a big budget for this project."
"Good." Jerrica said. "Rio, Tim, you two will work on the lighting and sound."
"We'll cook up something really spooky, Jerrica." Rio gave her a devilish grin.
"Yeah. Bwa-ha-ha." Tim added.
Jerrica chuckled. "Okay. Craig, would you care to lend your musical talent to the film's score?"
Craig grinned. "You bet I would!"
"Thanks." Jerrica said. "Lindsey, I want you to run some teaser commercials and make some announcements, but do not reveal the identity of the new Hologram. That will be revealed on your show this afternoon at 4:00 PM."
"You got it, Jerrica." Lindsey said.
Jerrica stood up. "Okay, I'm gonna go get Jem, and she'll meet you at the opera house. That's all."
Everyone stood up and left the room.

Jem arrived at the opera house.
She walked inside and found everybody hard at work.
Jem walked over to Rio and Tim. "How are the sound effects coming, guys?"
Rio turned and faced her. "Jem!" He hugged her. "Ooh, I've missed you."
"Rio, the sound effects?" Jem asked again.
"Oh, right, the...sound effects." Rio said. "They're coming along good."
"Great. I can't wait to hear them." Jem said.
She turned around. "Riot?"
Riot, Rapture, and Minx walked over to her.
"What are you three doin' here?" Jem asked.
"I heard Lindsey mention on VTV that you're making a Halloween video." Rapture said. "So, this is the place, huh? Not bad."
"I suppose it's all right." Minx commented.
"But...how did you find out we were filming it here?" Jem asked.
"We followed you from Starlight Music." Riot said.
"But Jem wasn't at Starlight Music." Rio told him.
"Um,...yes, I was." Jem said. "I was in the recording studio. That's where Jerrica found me."
"Oh." Rio said. "Okay."
"Now, get back to work on the sound effects." Jem told him. She turned her attention back to the Stingers. "Riot, is there something you need?"
"Actually, we were hoping we could perform in your video with you." Riot said.
"And in your concert." Rapture added.
"Well, I'll have to ask the others." Jem told them, surprised. "Come with me."
Craig was sitting in front of a drum set, trying to come up with a good beat.
"So, here you are."
Craig stopped drumming and looked in front of him. "Mason?"
Mason Hawthorne walked over to Craig, accompanied by two other men.
"Alan? James?" Craig stood up and walked out from behind the drum set. "What are you three doin' here?"
"Well, you took off yesterday without a word." Alan said.
"Mason told us you flew to L.A. to help your sister." James added.
"We were concerned and flew in this morning." Mason finished.
"Oh, you guys didn't need to." Craig smiled. "But I'm glad you're here. How'd you find me?"
"We stopped by Starlight Music and asked Joanie Stuart." James explained.
"I see." Craig said. "Well, as long as you're here, do you wanna help me do the video's music score?"
"Sounds ace to me." Alan said.
Jem led Riot, Rapture, and Minx onto the stage, where the Holograms were practicing their music, Danse was practicing her dancing, and Astral was practicing her magic.
"Hey, gang, I wanna ask you something." Jem said.
They stopped what they were doing.
Astral and Rapture eyed each other and frowned.
"What is she doing here?" Astral demanded.
"The Stingers would like to perform with us in the video and in the concert." Jem said.
"I guess it's all right." Aja said.
Kimber shrugged. "Okay."
"As long as they behave." Shana said.
"Yeah." Raya added.
"I'm fine with it." Danse said.
"Well, I'm not!" Astral yelled. "If she's in this concert, then I'm out!"
Astral jumped off the stage and walked off.
"What's her problem?" Danse asked.
"Astral and Rapture don't get along." Jem told her. "I'll...go talk to her."
Jem jumped off the stage.
Craig, Mason, Alan, and James walked over to her.
"Jem, I was wondering if the Blue Bloods could do the video's score." Craig said.
Jem gave them a brief smile. "Hi, guys. Uh, sure. Go talk with Howard, Anthony, and Video. Excuse me."
She walked away, leaving the four men confused.
Jem caught up with Astral, who was about to walk out the front door.
"Astral, don't go." Jem begged, grabbing Astral's left arm.
Astral spun around to face her. "You have some nerve asking me if I want Rapture to be in the video!"
"I asked you if the Stingers can be in the video." Jem corrected her.
"You know how I feel about her!" Astral said.
"Yes,...I do." Jem said. "But I still want you in the video."
"Excuse me, I couldn't help overhearing."
The two girls turned and saw a man walking toward them.
"Mr. Vincent." Jem said.
"There seems to be trouble." Fredrick said. "Young lady, this video would not be the same without you."
Astral was silent for a moment.
"Please, Astral." Jem pleaded.
"Okay." Astral agreed. "I'll do the video."
"Thank you." Jem said.
They walked back over and got on the stage.
"Anthony, Video, Howard!" Jem called.
The three of them walked over to the stage.
"What's up?" Video asked.
"The Stingers are gonna perform in the video, too." Jem informed them.
"That seems all right." Howard said. "We'll have to work fast, though."
"Go get your instruments, and we'll rehearse it." Anthony told them.
Riot, Rapture, and Minx jumped off the stage and walked away.

At 12:00 PM, they broke for lunch.
Jem, Rio, Kimber, Stormer, Astral, Danse, and Rapture went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.
They sat at a table, ordered their food, and started eating.
"So, what's the story with you two?" Danse asked.
"Yeah, what gives?" Stormer asked.
"I met Jem and the Holograms through a mutual friend at a concert given for magicians." Astral said. "That's when I also met the Stingers."
"Rapture had pretended to be possessed by the spirit of Harry Houdini in order to con our friend out of money." Jem said.
"I was furious." Astral said. "I was determined to expose her as a fraud."
"Astral...ended up saving my life after I tried to escape from the Chinese Water Torture Cell." Rapture admitted.
"The Chinese Water Torture Cell?" Rio asked in disbelief. "Are you nuts?"
"Techrat created a device that he gave to Minx." Rapture said. "It was supposed to free me."
"Who's Techrat?" Kimber asked.
"Some science freak that works for Eric." Stormer said.
"Hmmm..." Jem muttered. "Anyway, Astral's friendship with me and the Holograms became very strong, and she often visits Starlight Mansion, giving magic shows and explaining tricks to the Starlight Girls."
Astral nodded. "One day, when I was over,..."

Saturday, September 17, 1988, 11:55 AM

Astral and Kimber were in the living room of Starlight Mansion, setting up their props. The Starlight Girls were sitting on the floor, eagerly awaiting their performance.
Jerrica, Aja, Shana, and Raya walked into the room, carrying plates.
"Lunch, girls!" Jerrica announced. "Roast pork sandwiches on wheat."
"Oh, yummy!" Ashley jumped up and ran over to Jerrica, snatching a plate. She turned and ran back over, sitting down on the floor and stuffing her face with the sandwich. "Oh, yeah, thanks, Jerrica!"
The other girls said thanks also as they received their sandwiches.
Jerrica walked over to Kimber and Astral, who took sandwiches as well.
"Thanks, sis." Kimber said and shoved the sandwich into her mouth.
"Thank you, Jerrica." Astral said.
Jerrica chuckled. "Kimber, what's up with the get-up?"
Kimber grinned as she modeled her magician outfit for everyone. "Astral, Mistress of Magic, is being assisted today by the Great Kimberini!"
"Also known as the Great Kimbrini?" Jerrica asked.
"Also known as the Great Kimberdini?" Aja asked.
"Okay, okay, I'm indecisive, all right?" Kimber groaned.
Jerrica smiled smugly.
"Jerrica, may I speak to Jem and the Holograms after the show?" Astral asked.
"Sure." Jerrica said.

Jem and the Holograms, Astral, and the Starlight Girls sat in the living room.
"I've got a favor to ask of you," Astral said, "but I think I should tell you more about myself first."
"We'd love to know more about you." Jem said. "I've heard you described as having a diverse family tree."
Astral chuckled. "More like a whole forest. My mother's mother was French / East Indian, my mother's father was Dutch / Indonesian / Siamese, my father's father was English / Cherokee, and my father's mother was Spanish / Irish / Scottish."
"Wow!" Jem said.
"My parents are doctors who travel the world, bringing medicine, supplies, and medical knowledge to isolated parts of the world. They took me along with them." Astral said.
"You certainly are well-traveled." Aja complimented.
"We located ourselves in Phoenix for three years while I went to high school. My parents wanted to give me some stability. Our next door neighbor was Alfred White, childhood friend of Ehrich Weiss, whom you know as Harry Houdini."
"Wow!" Ba Nee said. "Did you have fun?"
Astral nodded. "I was enthralled by White's stories and learned magician's tricks from him and his many magician guests. From this, I, Maeve Eldritch, soon began work as a magician myself. By the time I graduated from high school, I was earning a living from it. My parents began their journeys again, happy that I was self-sufficient and had direction. They write me frequently and visit every few years."
"You're an incredibly intelligent, lovely, talented person, Maeve." Jem complimented. "You're a wonderful addition to my friends, Astral."
Astral smiled. "Thank you, Jem. Taking cues from Houdini, I also began to work as a psychic investigator. I help at the University of California on a study for ESP and other supernatural abilities."
"Do you believe in any of that stuff?" Ashley asked.
"I keep an open mind, but I remain skeptical." Astral replied. "I'm an agnostic."
"What's that?" Krissie asked.
"It means I can't accept anything supernatural without hard proof first." Astral said.
"Oh." Krissie said.
"Now for the favor." Astral said. "Could you please help me raise money for the psychic researchers?"
"How?" Jem asked.
"By agreeing to go through a battery of tests." Astral replied.
Kimber smiled. "Sounds like fun."
"I'm in." Aja said.
"Me, too." Raya said.
"So am I." Shana said.
"Okay, we agree." Jem told Astral.
Astral smiled. "Great. Thanks. Meet me at the university at 11:00 AM tomorrow morning."

Sunday, September 18, 1988, 11:01 AM

Jem, Kimber, Aja, Shana, and Raya walked down a hallway.
"This is the place." Jem said and opened the door.
They walked into the room.
"We were wondering when you were gonna show up!"
"Pizzazz?!" Jem asked in surprise.
At one table sat Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer, and Jetta. Riot, Rapture, and Minx sat at another table.
Riot jumped up, ran over to Jem, and gave her a big hug. "Jem, you're here!"
"Riot?!" Jem asked. "Astral, what - "
"The Misfits and the Stingers are also some of the participating celebrities." Astral explained, walking over to them. "Please sit down and fill out the forms on the table."
Jem and the Holograms sat down at a third table and filled out the forms. Astral collected them.
"Now, we can begin." Astral sat down in front of Jem. "Jem, I'm going to hold up twenty cards with shapes on them. You will see only the backs of the cards. I want you to concentrate and name each shape. Understand?"
"Yes." Jem said.
Astral held up one card at a time and checked off Jem's correct responses on a list.
"Square. Circle. Diamond. Circle. Star. Star. Triangle. Rectangle. Oval. Square. Circle. Triangle. Triangle. Rectangle. Pentagon. Hexagon. Heptagon. Octagon. Triangle. Square." Jem said.
Astral totaled up the correct responses. "7 out of 20. Not very good."
She moved over to face Kimber.
"Your turn, Kimber." Astral said. "Clear your mind."
"Done." Kimber said.
"If you say so." Astral started holding up the cards.
Kimber named the shapes on the cards.
"Shit." Astral said in amazement. "20 out of 20. Kimber, you got them all right!"
Kimber was surprised. "Wow! Talk about brain power! I'm psychic!"
"Or a lucky guesser." Astral told her.
"I love your voice." Kimber said with a smile. "You have good diction and a smooth, mellow voice with pleasant flow."
"Well, thank you," Astral said, "but I always thought I just had a general American accent."
"Like the kind news reporters use." Kimber said. "Midwestern."
"Are you flirting with me?" Astral asked.
Kimber shook her head. "No. It's just that your voice sounds a lot like mine."
"She's right." Jem said. "You do sound alike."
Astral moved over. "Well, Aja, you're next."
Aja got 9 out of 20. Shana got 8 out of 20. Raya got 10 out of 20. Pizzazz got 3 out of 20. Roxy got 5 out of 20.
Astral moved over to Stormer. "Okay, Mary, your turn."
Stormer named the shapes on the cards.
"Mary, 20 out of 20!" Astral said in amazement.
"Neat!" Stormer said. "Kimber, I'm psychic, too!"
"Cool, Stormer!" Kimber said.
"Don't get too excited, Mary." Astral told her. "This is only the first test."
Astral moved over to Jetta. Jetta got 7 out of 20. Astral moved over to Riot.
"Your turn, Rory." Astral said.
"Call me Riot."
"Yes, Riot." Astral said. She held up the cards.
Riot named the shapes on the cards.
"9 out of 20." Astral said.
"Is that good?" Riot asked. He leaned closer to Astral. "Am I good, Maeve?"
"Not really." Astral told him.
Riot was taken aback by Astral's response.
"However,...you seem to have some kind of power of persuasion." Astral said. "A certain mesmerism. It seems like a psychic ability."
"Hmmm, you've discovered my abilities." Riot said. "This knowledge would be an inconvenience for me. I must withdraw from the testing, Astral."
"Very well." Astral said.
"Celebrities are given the option to have any information gained from these tests suppressed." Riot said. "I hereby exercise that option."
"As you wish." Astral said.
Riot stood up. "Have a good day, Ms. Eldritch."
"Have a good day, Mr. Llewellyn." Astral said.
"Coming, girls?" Riot asked.
"No way, this is fun!" Rapture said.
"We'll meet you at Stingers Sound later." Minx said.
Riot turned and walked out of the room.
Astral moved over to Rapture. They stared at each other in anger.
"Your turn, Phoebe." Astral muttered.
Rapture leaned in close to Astral. "Rapture." she said sensually. "Would you like to know how I got that stage name?"
"N-no." Astral said. "Please, just take the test."
Astral started holding up the cards. Rapture named the shapes on the cards.
"15 out of 20." Astral said. "Good."
Rapture grinned. "Wow, I do have powers."
Astral ignored her and moved over to Minx.
"Ingrid, you're next." Astral said.
"Call me Minx."
"Fine." Astral held up the cards.
Minx named the shapes on the cards.
"14 out of 20." Astral said. "Slightly less than Rapture, but still good."
Minx smiled. "As you Americans say, 'Cool'."

"So began my run-ins with Rapture." Astral concluded.
"Why do you two fight so much?" Danse asked.
"Astral is a threat to my fun and games!" Rapture replied.
"Rapture represents everything I want to stop - ignorance, trickery, and lies." Astral replied.
"Thus making the two bitter enemies." Jem explained.
"Couldn't you two just agree to stop fighting?" Stormer asked.
"Yeah, can't you get along at least until we finish filming the video?" Kimber asked.
Astral and Rapture glared at each other.
"I guess." Astral agreed finally.
"Yeah, sure." Rapture agreed also.
Jem smiled. "Great. Astral sometimes invites us along on her investigations, and we sometimes combine her magic with our concerts."
"Jem, I don't mean to interrupt, but what time is it?" Rio asked.
Jem checked her watch. "12:30."
Rio looked at his watch. "The battery in my watch must be dying. It reads 12:20. We gotta get back to the opera house."
They each paid for their own meal and left the restaurant.

The officer opened the cell door. "All right, Mr. Raymond, girls, you're free to go."
"Finally!" Eric said.
"It's about time!" Pizzazz added.
Eric, Pizzazz, Roxy, and Jetta walked out of the jail cell that they had been staying in since yesterday.
Pizzazz walked over to her father and hugged him. "Oh, thank you, daddy!"
"Phyllis, I'm very disappointed in you." Harvey Gabor said sternly.
"Uh, Mr. Gabor, I can assure you that I was the only person that hit Mary Phillips. Your daughter merely kidnapped her."
"Eric, you're not helping." Pizzazz told him.
"See that it doesn't happen again." Mr. Gabor told his daughter. "I won't bail you out next time."
"Yes, daddy." Pizzazz said.
Eric and the Misfits walked out of the room.
"What are we gonna do now, Eric?" Roxy asked.
"We're gonna go to the Rathole and see Techrat." Eric replied.
"What do you wanna see him for?" Jetta asked.
"We need his help." Eric said.

"Girls, Rio, here are the costumes." Danielle said proudly.
"I hope you like them." Regine added.
They passed out the costumes to Jem and the Holograms and Danse. Jem got a witch's costume. Kimber got a magician's costume. Stormer got a sorceress' costume. Aja, Shana, and Raya got fairy costumes. Danse got a princess' costume. Rio got a costume with a mask, a cape, and a sword.
"Ooh, outrageous!" Kimber praised.
The other girls also voiced their admiration of their costumes.
"Let's go change. Then we'll start filming." Jem said.

Eric and the Misfits arrived at the Rathole, Techrat's junkyard laboratory.
"Techrat, I've got a job for you." Eric told him. "Jem and the Holograms are filming a Halloween music video. I want you to sabotage it."
"And not only that." Pizzazz added. "I want you to scare them - especially Stormer."
"Yeah, that traitor deserves it!" Roxy agreed.
"Scare her to death." Jetta added.
"I've been working on a project." Techrat said. "I think it's what you need."
"Then gimme!" Pizzazz told him.

"Gimme a Gimmick"
The Misfits






(Gimme a gimmick) to make them pay attention.
(Gimme a gimmick) to add a new dimension.
(Gimme a gimmick,) somethin' bizarre.
Somethin' that tells you that I am a star.

Gimme a gimmick.
Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme.

(Gimme a gimmick) to make them all applaud.
(Gimme a gimmick) that leaves them really awed.
(Gimme a gimmick,) somethin' unique.
Somethin' exciting that makes them all freak.

Gimme a gimmick.
Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme.

(Gimme a gimmick) to catch them by surprise. (Surprise!)
(Gimme a gimmick) to dazzle all their eyes.
(Gimme a gimmick) nobody has.
Somethin' to make them remember Pizzazz. (Remember!)

Gimme a gimmick.
Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme.

Gimme a gimmick.
Gimme a gimmick.
Gimme a gimmick.
Gimme, gimme, gi-gi-gi-gi-gi-gimme!"

"Gimme a Gimmick"
The Misfits

Jem, the Holograms, Danse, and Rio had changed into their costumes. Astral was already wearing her magician's outfit.
They joined the Stingers on the stage. The Stingers had changed into costumes as well. Riot was a king, Rapture was a sorceress, and Minx was a cat.
"Neat get-ups." Kimber said with a smile.
Riot winked. "You like 'em?"
"Yeeeaaahhh..." Kimber said.
"Okay, let's film this." Jem said.

After Jem and the Holograms had performed "All's Right with the World" on The Lindsey Pierce Show, they walked over to Lindsey.
"That's right - Stormer is the new Hologram!" Lindsey shook everyone's hand. "Welcome to the show."
"Thanks for having us, Lindsey!" Jem said.
Lindsey motioned for them to sit down. She sat down at her desk, and Jem and the Holograms sat down on the couch.
"So, Stormer, how does it feel to be a Hologram?" Lindsey asked.
"It feels great, Lindsey!" Stormer said. "I'm finally with my true friends."
"So, you've left the Misfits for good?"
"That's right! I'm never going back!" Stormer declared.
"Jem, I understand you've got a big Halloween extravaganza coming up tonight." Lindsey said.
"That's right; we've been working on it all day." Jem said. "We're co-starring in a music video with Giselle Dvorak, also known as Danse, and Maeve Eldritch, also known as Astral. The Stingers are also performing. The music video is called 'The Haunting of Hex House'. It's similar to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' in that it's a horror mini-movie. The video was filmed at Fredrick Vincent's opera house. It was filmed by Vivien Montgomery, directed by Anthony Julian, and produced by Howard Sands. It also features costumes by Danielle du Voisin and Regine Cesaire, light and sound engineering by Rio Pacheco and Tim Slack, and a musical score by the Blue Bloods, who just came in from England."
"Wow, you've got a lot of big names working on this film!" Lindsey said. "I look forward to seeing it."
"It's outrageous!" Kimber told her.
"Yeah, it's really scary." Shana added.
"It gave me the creeps just working on it." Aja admitted.
"But it was fun." Raya said.
"And exciting!" Stormer added.
"Vivien is currently at Star Video, editing it." Jem said.
"Folks, Jem and the Holograms' Halloween video premieres tonight at 7:00 PM." Lindsey announced. "But that's not all, is it, girls?"
"Nope, we've also got a big Halloween concert with the Stingers at Starlight Auditorium tonight at 8:00 PM!" Jem added.
"Everyone, be sure to check out the video and attend the concert!" Lindsey said.

That evening, Jem and the Holograms, the Stingers, the Blue Bloods, Rio, Howard, Danielle, Anthony, Video, Danse, Tim, Joanie, Astral, Regine, Mrs. Bailey, the Starlight Girls, and the Haven House kids gathered in the living room of Starlight Mansion.
At 6:58 PM, Jem clicked on the television. It was on VTV.
"Isn't Jerrica going to watch the video with us?" Rio asked her. "She helped bring everyone together and made it happen."
"Uh, Jerrica already saw the video when Video had finished editing it." Jem told him. "She went over to Starlight Auditorium to make sure everything's set up for the concert."
"This is Lindsey Pierce." Lindsey announced. "Well, you've been waiting for it, and here it is - a horror mini-movie by Jem and the Holograms and the Stingers entitled 'The Haunting of Hex House'."
The screen went black, and the title came on the screen in red letters ala "Vampire Hunter D". Creepy music started playing. The video faded in to the interior of the opera house. Fredrick Vincent led Astral, Danse, Jem and the Holograms, Rio, and the Stingers inside.
"This old opera house of mine seems to be haunted." Mr. Vincent said. "Strange things have been occurring over the past week - voices, objects floating in mid-air, and so forth."
Astral folded her arms in front of herself. "Are you serious?"
"If I'm not, I'd just be wasting your time." Mr. Vincent replied. "Ms. Eldritch, I hired you because you're a psychic investigator. You may spend Halloween night here. If you don't find anything unusual, I'll pay you triple your usual fee."
"Very well, Mr. Vincent." Astral agreed.
They shook hands.
"I'll come back in the morning to check on you." Mr. Vincent walked out the double doors and closed them behind him. He locked them.
"So, what do we do first, Astral?" Jem asked.
"Well, perhaps we should split into pairs." Astral suggested.
"Okay." Jem agreed.
"I'll go with Rio." Minx said, hugging him from behind.
Jem frowned. Rio tried to get loose of Minx's grip, not succeeding.
"I'll go with you, Jem, my lovely." Riot said, placing his hands on Jem's shoulders.
"Okay." Jem said dreamily.
"I'll go with Stormer, our newest member!" Kimber said.
"I'll go with Raya." Aja said.
"I'll go with Danse." Shana said.
"Guess that leaves the two of us together." Rapture told Astral.
Astral sighed. "Fine. Now, let's each go and search the building."
In the next scene, Kimber and Stormer were walking around in the backstage area.
Suddenly, the curtain came loose and covered them.
"Hey!" Kimber yelled. "What's the big idea?!"
After they got out from under the curtain, Stormer screamed.
"What is it?!" Kimber asked.
Stormer pointed. "Ghosts!"
Kimber looked. Two white ghosts were flying toward the Holograms.
Wow, neat effects, Kimber thought, but why didn't Rio and Tim mention this?
The two of them turned and ran away from the ghosts.
In the next scene, Astral and Rapture were walking around near the back of the auditorium.
"I can't believe that Riot got us into this just because he wanted to be with Jem." Rapture said.
"Aren't you enjoying yourself?" Astral asked.
"Well, yeah, I'm happy. All I'm saying is that, despite how cool Riot is, he's obsessed with Jem." Rapture explained. "I don't know if she genuinely likes him. It seems more like he controls her by forcing his will upon her and using his powers of persuasion."
"Don't be silly." Astral told her.
"It's true!" Rapture insisted. "Anyway, are you picking up anything?"
Astral shook her head. "Nope. I'm gonna go up to the balcony."
Rapture stayed and waited for Astral to climb the steps. When Astral got up on the balcony, she looked around and concentrated her mind.
"Do you sense anything?" Rapture asked.
Astral placed her hands on the balcony. "No."
Suddenly, it broke apart, and Astral fell forward. She screamed in terror.
"Astral!" Rapture yelled.
Astral fell towards the floor. Rapture held out her arms and caught Astral.
"Are you all right?" Rapture asked.
Astral was breathing heavily, overcome with fright. "Oh! Yes, Rapture. You saved my life. Th-thank you,...Phoebe."
"And thank you for saving my life earlier, Maeve." Rapture said.
"Better late than never." Astral told her.
Rapture set Astral on her feet. Astral drew close to Rapture, and they hugged each other.
After a moment, Astral pulled away. "Come on. We have to warn the others that something's up."
In the next scene, Aja and Raya walked into an office.
"What do you think we'll find in Mr. Vincent's office?" Raya asked.
"I dunno, but let's see if we can find anything." Aja replied.
They checked in the corners and started opening the desk drawers. But then, the drawers slammed shut by themselves.
"That's weird." Aja said.
Suddenly, the drawers started opening and closing rapidly. One of the drawers shot out so fast, it broke free of the desk and hit the wall.
"This is loco! Let's get outta here!" Raya yelled.
Raya and Aja ran out of the office. Aja slammed the door behind them.
In the next scene, Riot and Jem walked down a corridor and came to a statue.
Jem pushed the statue, and a trap door opened.
"After you." Riot offered.
"Oh, how generous of you." Jem said sarcastically.
Jem climbed down into the passage, followed by Riot. After falling down a chute, they found themselves in a dimly-lit corridor. They stood up and dusted themselves off.
Riot drew Jem close to him and hugged her. "Stay close to me, Jem. If there is danger, I will protect you."
In the next scene, Rio and Minx were walking down another corridor.
"It's so dark and creepy here." Minx threw her arms around him. "Hold me, Rio!"
Rio sighed. "If there are any ghosts around, please take her away from me."
Minx looked at him. "What did you say?"
They turned a corner.
Riot and Jem were standing in the corridor, kissing.
"Ahem!" Rio said loudly.
Riot and Jem looked at them.
"Rio!" Jem said in surprise.
Riot sighed. "Damn it."
"Rio, uh, how did you two get here?" Jem asked.
"We found the statue, just like you did." Rio explained. "We must've gone in different directions, though."
Suddenly, skeletons came from around the corner and started dancing toward them.
"What the hell?" Rio asked.
The skeletons started singing to them, "Oh, we're the ghosts of the haunted Hex House, and we're feeling mighty fine! You're such a lovely audience! So, you'll never, never, never, no, you'll absolutely never, you're never, ever, ever gonna leave!"
"Let's get outta here!" Riot yelled. He turned and ran up the corridor.
"Some gallant knight you are!" Jem yelled. She turned and followed him.
Rio and Minx turned and ran after them as well.
In the next scene, Shana was searching for clues on the floor, and Danse was checking out the stage.
"I don't see anything unusual here." Shana said.
"Me neither." Danse said.
Just then, Kimber, Stormer, Aja, Raya, Rapture, Astral, Jem, Riot, Minx, and Rio arrived.
"Guys, something really weird is goin' on!" Kimber yelled.
"We haven't...I...take...that...back." Shana said.
They all looked and saw four werewolves walking toward them. Then ghosts and other creatures started appearing.
"What's going on here?" Riot asked. "This isn't - "
"Don't worry." Jem said. "Let's defeat these monsters."

"Fun to Be Scared"
Jem and the Holograms

"A little fright
Can be all right.
A sudden chill
Will give you a thrill.
A spooky night
Can be dynamite.
It's fun to be scared.

(Fun to be scared.) Oh, oh!
(Fun to be scared.) Hey, hey!
(Fun to be scared.) Oh, no!
It's fun to be scared.

A creaky door
Means fun galore.
A witch's brew
Can do it to you.
A lightning flash
Or a monster bash.
It's fun to be scared.

(Fun to be scared.) Oh, oh!
(Fun to be scared.) Hey, hey!
(Fun to be scared.) Oh, no!
It's fun to be scared.

A little fright
Can be all right.
It's just a charade,
So don't be afraid.

(Fun to be scared.) Oh, oh!
(Fun to be scared.) Hey, hey!
It's fun to be scared,
Fun to be scared!"

"Fun to Be Scared"
Jem and the Holograms

Through Synergy's special effects, most of the ghosts and monsters disappeared. However, more kept appearing.
"What do we do now?!" Raya asked.
"Need some assistance, lovely ladies?" a man asked.
They all looked in his direction and saw another man and a woman with him.
"Devon Silverstone?!" Jem asked. "Marla Martel?! Mr. Frick?! What are you doing here?!"
"We've heard reports that Frack is causing trouble here." Frick said.
"And it appears that we've found him." Devon said.
"Most likely, he's the one behind the 'haunting' of this opera house." Marla said.
"That's really interesting, but can you help us?!" Kimber asked.
"No problem, ladies." Devon said. "Devon the Magnificent shall defeat these evil beings!"
Riot got in Devon's face. "Listen, Silverstone, I am the only magnificent one around here!"
"Let's make this a team effort!" Astral said. "Ready, Rapture?!"
"Ready, Astral!" Rapture replied.

"All in the Style"
The Stingers

"Dazzle, dazzle, dazzle their eyes.
Catch 'em unaware.
Blind 'em with excitement.
Make them stop and a-stop and stare.

It's all in the style,
Radiatin' heat.
All in the style,
You knock them off their feet.
All in the style,
Make the world ignite.
All in the style.

Sparkle, shimmer, twinkle, and buzz.
Really pour it on.
Go beyond the limits.
Goin', goin', goin', 'n' gone!

All in the style,
Radiatin' heat
All in the style,
You knock them off their feet.
All in the style,
Puttin' on a show.
All in the style,
Set the world aglow!

All in the style.
All in the style.
All in the style.
All in the style."

"All in the Style"
The Stingers

All of the ghosts and most of the creatures had disappeared, but the four werewolves remained. They walked up on the stage, growling and howling. Jem, Danse, Astral, and Rapture kicked them.
Suddenly, there was a flash of light, and a man appeared on stage. He was wearing a blue uniform with a red snake-like emblem on the chest. He also wore a metal face plate and a blue hat.
"Hold it right there!" the man yelled.
"Who are you?!" Rio asked.
"I am Cobra Commander." he replied. "You will all die!"
Kimber rolled her eyes. "Who's gonna show up next - G.I. Joe?"
"I wouldn't be surprised." Jem said. "But I think we can do just as good a job at fighting him."
"What do you have in mind?" Aja asked.
"Yo, Jem!" Jem ran at Cobra Commander and jumped, kicking him down.
"You go, girl!" Stormer cheered.
"Let's see who you are." Jem took off Cobra Commander's face plate.
"That's Techrat!" Stormer exclaimed.
"The game is over, Techrat!" Jem told him.
"Wrong." Techrat stood up and took his face plate from her. "The game is only just beginning."
Techrat jumped off of the stage and ran out of the opera house.
"Now, what do we do about these guys?" Minx asked, pointing at the werewolves. "Ah, yes, I have it."
Minx played some notes on her synthesizer. Four skeletons appeared and walked toward the werewolves.
The four werewolves yelled in surprise.
"Techrat, this isn't one of your illusions, is it?!" one of the werewolves, with a male voice, asked.
Techrat got to his feet. "No! Let's get out of here!"
The four werewolves ran after Techrat, out of the opera house.
Jem looked at Minx in surprise. "What in the world was that?"
Minx just gave her a smile.
In the next scene, Jem and the Holograms, the Stingers, Danse, Astral, Rio, Devon, Marla, and Mr. Frick were all standing by the front door.
The double doors unlocked and opened, and Mr. Vincent walked into the opera house.
"Well, Ms. Eldritch, did you find anything unusual?" he asked.
"Yes, I did." Astral said. "You were right, Mr. Vincent. Your opera house was haunted, but we've gotten rid of the intruders."
"Then you'll receive your normal fee." Mr. Vincent handed her a check. "Here is a check for $100."
Astral took the check. "Thank you, sir."
Jem turned to face Devon, Marla, and Mr. Frick. "We weren't expecting you to show up, but thanks for your help."
"You're welcome, Jem." Marla said.
"What happens now?" Jem asked.
"Well, Frack is still out there somewhere." Mr. Frick said. "We've got to find him. Come along, you two."
"Just a moment." Devon pulled Marla close to him, hugging her, and kissed her passionately on the lips.
The screen faded to black, and the ending credits, in red letters, scrolled up.
Everyone cheered and applauded wildly.
Jem picked up the remote and shut off the TV. She put the remote back on the coffee table.
"Well, we had to improvise a little, but I think it turned out okay." Jem said.
"A little?" Kimber asked.
Jem laughed. "Okay. A lot. But we did a good job."
"I still don't understand what happened." Rio said. "Where did all those extra monsters and effects come from?"
"I don't understand it either," Jem said, "but, from what I've gathered, Devon, Marla, and Mr. Frick overheard us talking with Mr. Vincent about the opera house being haunted. They thought it was for real, so they found a way in and helped us out. As for the extra special effects, monsters, and Cobra Commander, we'll probably never know. There's still one thing that I'm curious about. Minx, what is up with your funky synthesizer?!"
Minx laughed. "Soon after we signed with Eric, we were introduced to Techrat, who modified my synthesizer to project holograms."
"What?!" Jem blurted.
"Yes." Minx said. "He also gave it an evil personality, so I call it Entropy."
"Entropy?" Jem repeated.

Shortly before 8:00 PM, Jem and the Holograms, the Stingers, Danse, and Astral were gathered backstage at Starlight Auditorium. They were still dressed in their costumes. All of the seats were taken, and fans were standing by the walls and in the aisles. They was a lot of conversation going on.
Danse took a peek from behind the curtain. "Wow! The place is packed!"
Jem faced Astral and Rapture. "So, are you two okay with each other?"
"Yeah, I guess." Astral said. "She did save my life today."
Rapture put her right arm around Astral. "Yeah. I guess we can be friends." She pressed her mouth to Astral's ear. "Perhaps more."
Astral blushed. She wasn't sure what she was going to do, but that was a matter for another day. Right now, they had a concert to perform.
The curtain rose, and the fans applauded and screamed.
Jem and the Holograms, the Stingers, Danse, and Astral walked onto the stage. The band members turned on their microphones.
"Happy Halloween, everyone!" Jem said. "We hope you all enjoyed our new video! We've got a great concert for you tonight!"
"Prepare for a magnificently frightening performance you won't soon forget." Riot said.
Jem and the Holograms, with both Kimber and Stormer on synthesizers, and the Stingers started playing their instruments. Danse started dancing, and Astral performed magic tricks. The two bands sang together.

"Believe/Don't Believe"
Jem and the Holograms
The Stingers

"Believe in me; you can see with your own eyes
All the many wonders I can do.
Believe in me; I'm a wizard in disguise.
Why would I want to lie to you?

Don't believe everything you see.
There's more than meets the eye.
Don't believe in a fantasy.
The truth is underneath the lie.

Believe in me; there's no reason you should doubt
All the many marvels I achieve.
Believe in me, there's no trick to figure out,
For I've got nothing up my sleeve.

Don't believe everything you hear.
Don't be blinded by the light.
Don't believe; try and see it clear.
The truth is hidden out of sight.

Don't be afraid of superstition.
Don't be misled by blind ambition.
Believe in me.
Don't believe everything you see.
Believe in me.
Don't believe everything you see!
Don't believe everything you see!"

"Believe/Don't Believe"
Jem and the Holograms
The Stingers

While the concert was going on, Eric Raymond, the Misfits, and Techrat were back at the Rathole.
Eric, Pizzazz, Roxy, and Jetta took off the heads of their werewolf costumes.
"That was a disaster!" Eric complained. "Techrat, I thought you said this would work!"
"It has worked." Techrat said. "They were able to counter the illusions with technology of their own. Damn Minx and her synthesizer! Now I wish that I'd never added those holographic projectors and AI routines to it! But I'll improve my invention!"
"You better." Roxy said.
Pizzazz smiled and touched a black star-shaped earring hanging from her ear. "I do like these new earrings, though."
Techrat turned to face his invention - a large black computer with many keys, buttons, and holographic projectors.

The End
Copyright © 2000, 2001 by Mark Moore