Title: Synergy Meets Carly
Author: Carly Fleischmann
Corporate Doc Tags: Collaborative Creativity Enabled (CC), Story Contains Fictionalized versions of XDS Assets (including people, places, software, etc.) (MSI), Story Portrays Persons with Disabilities (Whether mental, physical, cognitive, etc.) in a positive light / as a main character (A4)
Status: DRAFT (Version 0.5)
Internal notes: 1) I don’t own Jem, the characters, or any of the other intellectual property involved that would be Christy Marx and Hasbro. I do not intent to infringe on copyright in any way with this work that I created in Microsoft Word 2010 and supporting software. Microsoft, Windows Server, Outlook, Exchange, and Windows are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft. cPanel is a registered trademark of cPanel, inc. Apple, iPhone, iPad, App Store, and macOS are trademarks, service marks, or registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All other brand names, product names, or service names are the property of their owners where used. 2) I created this story after my fiancée broke up with me so it may contain some dark themes. And 3) I have created this story with Collaborative Creativity (CC) enabled. This gives you the readers the freedom to improve upon it, change it, adapt it and such so long as you don’t claim you wrote the whole thing and you give others the same abilities I am giving to you. If you modify substantial portions of my work, I ask that you give credit where it is due, but minor edits and changes don’t require it.

[PART ONE: LEGACY (in the Jem universe)]
Another successful concert for Jem and the Holograms just wrapped up and the band was backstage getting ready to return to their normal lives outside of the band and its demanding schedule of live performances in the Los Angeles area. “Jem! Jem! Has anyone seen Jem?” Rio can be heard frantically asking from down the hall. “I’m back here Rio!” Jem Calls from her dressing room. Rio walks down the hall towards the dressing room and knocks on the door. “Can I come in? I have some bad news.” He asks before opening the door. “Sure, come on in.” Rio opens the door and walks in with a worried look on his face. “Jem, I just got notified that the venue for your next performance is having technical issues, we’re going to have to cancel the next couple of shows. I was thinking that’ll give you girls some more downtime to handle your affairs than originally planned for.” “it’s OK, I’m sure Jerrica will be OK with that as she needs to help the Starlight Girls get ready for some big school project or something.” Jem reassures him. “I’ll let the others know.” “Good luck finding them! They left a little while ago to go do lunch or something. I’m just here because I need some personal time to catch my breath.”

A few blocks down, Aja, Kimber, Raya, and Shana were at a restaurant enjoying Chinese food and talking about how the concert went. “I wish Jem was here to enjoy all of this…” Shana says. “yeah, but she’s been kind of tired and drained these last few days, she needs some time alone.” Aja stated in a matter of fact way. “This food is outrageous!” Kimber exclaims after trying some of the orange chicken. “The food might be, but Jem’s mood hasn’t been lately” Raya adds. “No joke. We shouldn’t have agreed to do all of these live shows in such a short period; it’s really taking a toll on her and on us too.” Shana adds. “At least we have a few days off before our next show to kind of ketch our breath and get it together, right?” asks Kimber. “We do, but it’s not enough time to get all of the things done at Starlight House. I say we need a set of doubles to we can do it all, or at least for time to slow down.” Aja chimes in. As the last words left Aja’s lips both Jem and Rio come running in to the restaurant “I’m so glad we found you girls! Drop everything because I was informed just a little while ago that the venue for your next show has been having technical problems and so you girls get a few extra days to yourselves around here.” Rio mentions. “Does Jerrica know about this setback Rio?” Raya wonders. “No, I can’t find her anywhere… she’s been extremely hard to get hold of this time around.” Was all Rio could think to say when all of a sudden, Jem’s earrings flash pink and standing in her place is Jerrica.

“uh, Jerrica? Are my eyes playing tricks on me? Or was Jem just right there?” Realizing what just happened, Jerrica stammers “No. No Rio, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. I am both Jem and Jerrica, I will have to explain everything when we get back to Starlight House.” “Someone please, tell me this is some kind of elaborate joke or something. Is the stress just getting to me or something? I need a glass of water.” “Rio, can we talk to Jerrica for just a second alone please?” Shana asks. “Sure, I that’s fine, I need a moment to get my head on straight anyway, I think I’m losing my mind.”

The group walks off and Raya asks “What just happened Jerrica? You were Jem and all of a sudden it’s like your earrings give out at the most inopportune time.” “I don’t really know… this has never happened before. At least not to this level of bad.” She responds. “Let’s go so we can explain this all to Rio” Shana offers. “yes, I guess I would have had to come clean eventually” Jerrica remarks with a tone of guilt in her voice. The five girls find Rio sitting down and tell him that he needs to see them at Starlight house and fast. He agrees and all six of them return to the venue to finish a few things and go back to the mention.

Jerrica and the rest the of others climb into the rockin’ roadster and Rio takes his car. Both cars proceed to Starlight House and when they arrive, Jerrica tells Kimber and the others to meet her in front of that one wall. The others run inside and Jerrica explains “how it all works is that my father built an advanced computer system called Synergy that can project hyper-realistic holograms. My earrings are tiny micro-projectors.” “I don’t believe this at all. Not for a second. You’ve lost your mind or something.” Rio responds. “Rio, will you at least let me show you before you come to any conclusions about my sanity?” “oh all right” he reluctantly responds.
Jerrica leads him inside to where the girls are standing and tells them to go ahead of her. Rio is amazed at how they seem to vanish into thin air through the walls. Jerrica urges him to follow them and Rio thinks to himself “I’m probably going to wind up with a concussion for believing her delusional thoughts, but if it will make her happy…” As he approaches the wall his heart begins to pound as he questions his sanity. As nothing happens to him and he sees the others along with Jerrica coming in behind him, he realizes that it’s all real as he sees a massive computer terminal with a purple-skinned woman on the screen. “Welcome back” Synergy greets. “Thanks Synergy.” Jerrica replies back. “You’re probably wondering what happened with your earrings earlier today, am I correct?” the AI inquires. Before Jerrica could answer, Rio asks “what on earth is this place? And what or who are you?” “Rio, I am Synergy. The most advanced audio/visual entertainment synthesizer. I was designed by Jerrica’s father.” She responds. Jerrica asks “what did happen? Is everything OK Synergy?” “Everything is fine, Jerrica, there was just a minor software update to me and your earrings. I am fully operational once again .” “Synergy, can you show Rio that I am both Jem and Jerrica as he thinks I’ve lost my mind.” “As you wish, Jerrica.” And with that Jerrica becomes Jem, Kimber becomes Rio, Rio becomes Raya, Raya becomes Aja, Aja becomes Kimber, and before Synergy can do anything else Rio says “wow! This is too weird though, can she change us back now?” “As you wish, Rio” and with that, everyone was back to normal, except for Jem. “Synergy, why didn’t you change me back?” she asks. “You didn’t ask me to. I figured as part of this demonstration, you could do as you usually do.” Jem thinks for a second and then snaps her fingers and reaches to her earring and says “Show’s over Synergy” and is instantly transformed back into Jerrica. “Now that is cool. I’m sorry for doubting you Jerrica.” “It’s OK, you just have to promise me that you won’t tell anyone else.” “It’s OK I won’t tell another soul.” Rio promises. The group exits the room and goes to have a snack.

[PART TWO: CALL CENTER DRAMA (in the present)]

It’s a cold December Afternoon as Carly steps out of the Burger King restaurant following a text message from her mom that she was on her way to take care of some business with Carly when her iPad and iPhone both begin to ding, it’s her fiancée who sent a text explaining that she was breaking up with Carly and that she should move on. Carly’s fiancée had been acting funny these last few days with both her words and her actions, so this deals a huge emotional blow to the brown-haired woman. “I’m already stressing because of my PTSD and the holidays, why does this have to happen to me now?” she thinks internally. As the brown truck pulls up, she abandons her thoughts, puts her bag in the back and climbs in. Carly’s mom sensing there is something wrong asks “What’s up?” Carly transitions to her iPad and begins to type “I just received the following iMessage from Angela” and then she opens the iMessage tool on the iPad for her mom to read. As her mom reads the message and responds telling her that she shouldn’t have relied on Angela, Carly begins to cry as she takes the tablet computer back from her mother and buckles her seatbelt. The day rolls on and Carly and her mom go about the business they originally set out to handle and all the time Carly is thinking about how she is going to find another person to replace Angela as both a love interest, someone to keep her safe from the people that mean her harm, and a friend. Once they pull in to the apartment complex after a not-to-productive day of handling affairs, Carly retrieves her things and lets herself in and her mom drives off to go back to her grandmother’s and take care of her own business affairs. Carly tries to set up to take phone calls but cannot do it because of how the day’s events have affected her and as such she throws her hands up in frustration and begins to break down crying. She manages to get up from her desk and get to the back room where she lays down on the mattress and goes to sleep. The night was not kind to her as she woke up a total of seven times from bad dreams each time screaming in terror and sitting bolt upright.

As Carly wakes up and begins her sign on processes to get started for the day, she wonders if today will be any better. After eating the remainder of the burrito from the day prior’s lunch she says she’ll do her best to get some work done. As Carly settles into her desk to begin taking phone calls the doorbell rings. She gets up and grabs her iPad from her desk and walks over to the door. She opens the Quick Fire page on her communication app and finds the pre-storred message for “Who is it?” and selects the button. From the other side of the door a woman’s voice calls out “FedEX” “I haven’t been expecting anything… but just in case…” Carly thinks to herself as she opens the door to be greeted by a smiling woman in a FedEx uniform who asks “Carly Fleischmann?” Carly nods her head “sign here please” the woman says while handing her a small palm-sized device. Carly signs the device and hands it back to the woman who then responds “it’s a pretty big one so my colleague is going to have to get it. It came in about five boxes.” “What on earth could this be? I didn’t order anything online recently” Carly wonders to herself. As the FedEx delivery lady and her colleague work to bring this in, the lady almost forgot to hand Carly an envelope and a small box. Carly puts these two things on the couch and hauls in the rest of the boxes and waves to the FedEx people as she closes the door behind her. She picks up the envelope figuring she’ll start there and opens it to find a letter.

“Dear Carly:

This machine recently came into our possession and we need you to get a look at it. Seems a lot more powerful than the usual servers we send you since it has a strange OS on it and we can’t figure it out for anything. Find enclosed a diagram of how it’s to be set up and some peripherals in a smaller box. You’ll probably need a room or at least your desk area to set it up. You don’t need to wipe it out or anything since the thing looks from around the early 1990’s.

Have a good time:

Carly pulls out the diagrams of how the unit should be set up and then goes to grab a box cutter to get into all of these things. After all of the boxes are opened and the component parts are pulled out she begins to put all the pieces together. She then opens the smaller box to find a pair of red star-shaped earrings. She finds it a bit odd that the team would send her a pair of earrings with some old computer equipment, but oh well. Carly puts on the earrings thinking they remind her of one of her favorite shows, Jem and the Holograms while the whole unit kind of reminds her of Synergy from the same show. She finds what seems to be a power control and engages it. The console lights up and a woman appears on the screen. “Where am I? Jerrica?” the woman on the screen asks in a panic.

Carly retrieves her iPad from the couch and types into her software “I’m not Jerrica; I don’t even know who Jerrica is. This unit was sent to me by my job.” And then hits the speak button. The woman lights up with a smile and begins to tell a story.
“I was once owned by a woman named Jerrica Benton. Her father designed me. I am Synergy.” Carly’s mouth dropped open in amazement and her iPad fell out of her hands. She shook her head frantically thinking that it couldn’t be true as Synergy and the whole Jem and the Holograms thing was just a cartoon she watches to pass the time to help keep her spirits up. As she picked up her iPad from the ground and worked to regain her composure she typed “but, if this is the original Synergy unit from Jem and the Holograms, and you’re Synergy; what happened to everyone else…” Synergy responded “there was a software update to me and the earrings you have on, that caused the hologram image of Jem to stop working and this happened in front of Rio. After Rio had learned of everything things went well for years until Jerrica became very ill. Since there was no Jerrica to take on the role of Jem, the holograms disbanded and went their own separate ways. I was forgotten about and placed in a storage facility. I was reassured that when I came back online that Jerrica would be OK, but until then this is what had to happen.” Synergy explained. Carly began to type a heartfelt “I’m sorry, Synergy.” But before she could continue to do so the earrings flashed pink and Carly became Jem. “I’m sorry about that… what is your name?” Carly typed on her iPad “I am Carly Fleischmann”. Synergy then apologized again to Carly, this time by name. Carly responded “it’s OK, I don’t mind looking like Jem.”

“If I may ask, why you use that device in your hands to speak Carly, why don’t you communicate to me verbally?” synergy inquired. “Carly then responded that she is nonverbal and has been so for a few years now due to PTSD, autism, and severe stress levels. She further told the AI about the recent breakup with her fiancée Angela. Carly then told her that she needed to get back to work as she was about ready to get on the phones before the package arrived. Synergy responds with a simple “OK I’ll be over here if you need me”.

Carly sat down at her desk and puts on her headset and logs in to corporate desktop to begin her work session. After a particularly nasty phone call from a customer, a holographic representation of Synergy herself shows up seemingly as is the computer had read Carly’s emotions. “It seems like you’ve had a rough call there, is there anything I can do to help you?” “No, not really Synergy, I just need a hand to hold and a hug right now.” “As you wish, Carly” and there sitting on her desk was a hand. “Go ahead, pick it up.” Synergy prompts. “It’s only a holographic projection, isn’t it?” “No, that’s what the software update was designed to do was allow for physical holograms to make Jem and the holograms’ concerts even more realistic.” Carly cautiously reaches out a hand and the holographic hand on the desk grabs on to her outstretched, trembling hand and squeezes gently. “Don’t worry, even though it’s physically there, it’s just a hologram and thus cannot hurt you. However, it can protect you from others intent on harming you as well as be a friend.” synergy reassures.

Synergy looks around the home-office and sees pictures of a few different people in Carly’s life that she finds inspiring and asked “Who are all of these people Carly?” Carly turns and points at each of them while simultaneously naming them off using her iPad as: Krystal, Jennette, Angela, Makayla, and CF. Carly then tells Synergy about each one and how they were a good part of her life. Synergy, feeling sad that life has treated such an amazing person in this way decided to do something amazing for Carly. She tells Carly to hold on as this is going to be a real test of what that software update can really do and within minutes there’s a fully life-like physical representations of the people from the photos that could actually walk around and interact as if they were the real things. Carly began to smile, something she hadn’t done in weeks.

Synergy then realized what she had to do; she had to help Carly continue to be happy and keep her safe. Since Jerrica and the others were long gone, she decided that this was her new mission in life.