Synergy (Special Issue 10)
A dispute over a music label leads two very different singers to collaborate in an unexpected way.
The show had taken up an entire sports arena which held more people than she'd ever seen at all of her shows combined, and there'd still been hundreds of ticketless fans huddling around the screens set up outside. The arena halls were an ocean of merch; absolutely everything was pink and glittery. If you so much as whispered a word of the filthy gigs Freakshow usually played, something would've caught fire. Dazzle had spent the entire show oscillating between wanting to murder the people around her and being creeped out by the Dream Girls themselves, leaving her feeling as basic as a lye crystal hucked into a vat of acid. At least her mood was in a properly sour place for the night's business.
While it's not done "on-screen," as it were, this story contains a character who drinks too much and is implied to get into fights a lot, including getting a black eye. The author doesn't consider these severe enough for a dedicated content warning but figures they're worth mentioning!
The characters in this story are almost ludicrously transparent versions of characters from the Jem cartoon, toy, and (as of recent rebooting) comic series.
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I made very little attempt to hide who's meant to be whom here, as arguably part of the fun of goofy stories like this one is seeing just how thin you can make your veiling. For the sake of archival, however, Prisma and the Dream Girls are meant to be Jem and the Holograms (with the Dream Girls being actual holograms in this instance), while Freakshow's lineup of Dazzle, Moxie, Thunder, and Sable are analogous to the Misfits: Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer, and Jetta. Derek the asshole manager is, of course, Erik the asshole manager. While Gnash Ass is an entirely original creation, Supernova Music Group is, of course, Starlight Records.
There's no equivalent to Rio this go-around because why do we need a boyfriend in a F/F story, exactly?
Prisma's music oscillates between twinkly electronic-heavy bubblegum dance stuff and pop covers of King Crimson and early-era Genesis tunes; the fact that she still makes bank on the latter may be the most fictional detail in the entire story. Freakshow, on the other hand, specialize in the kind of music other people ask you to turn down no matter how quietly you're playing it.
A very easy joke to miss is the crack about Derek "hiding behind an impenetrable shield of daddy's money." This is a reference to the slightly weird opinion my husband and I hold that Erik from the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon is the same Erik as the Misfits' manager, which is based solely on them having similar designs and both being huge jackasses.
I went out of my way to try to keep the tone more or less light here, though there's still some grimness peeking through in the form of Dazzle's overconsumption-slash-violent-streak and how Prisma had to actually program her own friends when she was a kid, likely because not unlike Jem she's an orphan. How bad off do you have to be to consider Denny's to be a nice sit-down place, anyway? Those details are really depressing, though, so I didn't linger on them for long!
No idea who Sin Skullcannon are, though I did have to do some frantic Googling to make sure that wasn't the name of an existing band.
Out of all of the fake names I came up with for this one, I think Mahou Shoujo Overdrive is my favorite, since it combines a reference to magical girl series and William Gibson in one weird whole.