"So then we've got the bridge, and a
reprise of the chorus."
Stormer set out the sheets of neatly plotted manuscript paper on the
unit, casting Pizzazz a glance as she did so. "I figured we needed
something kickass and snappy for our comeback hit...though if you're
not with this one, I've a couple of others in my bag. This is just the
best of the bunch, in my opinion. Roxy helped me structure the
bassline, and it works really well now. It's a real power song."
"Well, sounds good to me." Pizzazz scooped up the first sheet, skimming
over the lyrics. "Yeah, we can work with this. Do you only have one
"I hit reprographics before I came up." Stormer shook her head,
reaching into her folder for the seperate scores. "Here. This is yours.
I thought we'd be going into this as soon as possible, so I didn't want
to waste any time having to write everything out seperately. Their new
copier works a treat...it came out dead clear."
"Daddy's money." Pizzazz frowned, but she took the proffered pages,
glancing at them. "All right. Everyone grab your notes and get ready to
play, all right? We're going to nail this this morning, if we can. I
want us to be laying down the song by the end of the week, if not
before. If we're going to beat the Christmas chaos and get our song out
there, we've got to do that."
"We've had shorter deadlines." Roxy leant across to grab her copy. "And
does it have to be so damn cold in here? Surely if you're trying to
save money, you shouldn't have the aircon blowing a blizzard? It's
December, Pizzazz! Not friggin' July outside!"
"It's hot in here." Pizzazz said simply, perching herself on the edge
of the unit. "Quit moaning, will you? Aircon is an essential cost, it's
not an additional extra. Unless you want to bake all year round."
"Roxy does 'ave a point. It is gettin' nippy in 'ere." Jetta frowned,
pausing in tuning up her saxophone. "An' I'm playin' sharp, which
generally means that the room is too chilly for the instrument. Can we
turn it down a couple of notches? If it's any stronger it'll 'it gale
force ten an' blow our music away. Open a window, if you're that 'ot -
but I'm gettin' a cold breeze up my trouser leg."
"I'm not that bad." She owned. "But it is a bit blowy. Pizzazz? Just a
notch or two down?"
"It's hot in here!" Pizzazz glared at her. "Stop ganging up on me, will
you? This is my damn company and if I want aircon, I'll have aircon.
All right? Now deal with it and get tuning. Jetta, if your sax is out
of sync, then sort it out. You're supposed to be a musician. And Roxy,
stop whining at me, will you? I'd have thought you'd be glad of the
cold air, considering you're hardly a Cali native."
"I don't come from Alaska." Roxy muttered, nonetheless playing a few
chords and checking the key signature of her music. "Sometimes,
Pizzazz, I wonder which planet had had enough and ditched you on us. I
swear, if you're hot, you're mad. It's freezing in here and I'm wearing
a sweater. Trust me, I've spent nights in a windowless squat on the
east coast that were warmer than this."
"Then put another sweater on and play. Don't gripe." Pizzazz said
unsympathetically. "Stormer, give us a quick run through it, will you?"
"Sure thing." Stormer nodded her head. "It's not too tricky - key
signature is all right and the basic melody's easy to follow. Do you
want me to sing it through, too?"
"Might as well." Pizzazz leant back against the wall of the studio.
"Then we can piece it together. Like I said, we're on a short time
schedule. I already spoke to my godforsaken half sister Chimera about a
potential video this weekend, and she's coming here to discuss it
tomorrow. We really have no time to lose being babies about the
aircon...I'm not going to be shown up in front of that smug bitch for
Stormer sent Roxy a rueful look, and Roxy grimaced, rolling her eyes
skywards. Then the synth player began her song, carefully working her
way through the melody and the verses until she reached the end.
As she did so, she cast Pizzazz a questioning look.
"Well?" She asked quietly. "Will it do?"
"Sure. I guess it will do, at short notice." Pizzazz agreed flippantly,
sliding down from her unit and reaching for her microphone. "All right,
girls. We better give it a go through - and Jetta, if you squeak that
thing down my ear, I'll insert it in you, so help me. There are high
notes in the middle of this and I don't care if you're cold or you
haven't got a new bit of stick or whatever it is. Last time you did
that you almost deafened me."
"It's called a reed, and I've a new one, just in honour of today."
Jetta said, her tones laced with sarcasm. "Don't worry. If I want to
deafen you, I'll do a proper job of it."
Before Pizzazz could respond, the door of the studio swung open to
reveal Elliot, a stack of papers in his hands.
"There you are." He said, casting Pizzazz a cool smile. "I thought I
might find you down here."
"Well, now you've done playing your bizarre game of hide and seek,
maybe you could get lost." Pizzazz said cuttingly. "We're in session.
This isn't where you belong right now and you know it."
"I have some things I need you to sign." Elliot was unmoved.
"Well, they can wait. The Misfits are already behind schedule and I'm
not going to have some geek in a tie and cufflinks taking precedent
over our music." Pizzazz glowered at him. Elliot shrugged.
"All right." He said pleasantly. "But I'm meeting your father later on
to discuss how things are going at the company. I'll be sure to pass
that on to him for you."
"Oh, gimme that." She said angrily, grabbing the pile of papers from
his grip. "What is it, anyway? Looks like a boring load of junk to me."
"It's authorising this month's pay slips." Elliot said simply. "That's
all. I understood that job reverted to you, before Mr Raymond was
allowed free reign over the company's finances."
Pizzazz sent Elliot the most poisonous glare she could muster, sweeping
her signature across the sheets with very bad grace and thrusting them
back at him.
"There, now get lost." She snapped. "We're busy, and you can tell Daddy
that too, when you see him!"
"Don't worry. I'm sure we'll have a lot to talk about." Elliot nodded
his head. "Thank you, Miss Gabor. Happy practicing."
With that he withdrew, and Pizzazz let out a cry of frustration,
tossing the microphone down onto the unit.
"How are we meant to get anything done with him running round the
place?" She demanded. "He's a damn menace! The sooner he's done
training you, Jetta, the better. I can't wait to be rid of him once and
"Well, that might take a while, love." Jetta said frankly. "If you want
the company to survive, that is."
"Then learn faster." Pizzazz snapped. "You're meant to be smart, so
She cast a glance at her copy of the music, then,
"From the top." She added, in tones that forbore any further dissent.
"And we're going to nail it, or else!"
* * * * * *
The restaurant was one of Los Angeles'
finest dining venues. Nestled in the most exclusive part of Beverly
Hills, it had served some of California's richest clientele for years
and, as Elliot entered, he found that his wealthy employer was already
there waiting for him. Escorted to a table by a fresh-faced, pretty
young waitress, he settled himself comfortably in the seat opposite the
billionaire, offering him a warm smile.
"Your flight must have made good time. I wasn't sure you'd be here for
one o' clock."
"Well, I took the private jet and I called ahead to make sure there was
a landing space on schedule." Harvey returned the smile, resting his
arms on the table. "It's good to see you, Elliot. The office is missing
you badly at the moment."
"Well, I'm missing the office too, in truth." Elliot looked rueful.
"Music companies are not the area I'd most like to spend the rest of my
life in, and that's for sure. But everything is beginning to come
together now, I have to admit. The paperwork wasn't in as bad a state
as we'd feared - I think I told you that the last time we spoke - and
all of the jobs have been maintained. With the court case over, the
publicity wave is dying down and I think it will be back soon to
business as usual."
"Only business without that scoundrel Eric Raymond." Harvey rubbed his
chin thoughtfully. "I can't pretend I'm glad my daughter's finally seen
that man for what he is, Elliot. He's never been any good for that
company or for her and her girls. Yes, even taking into account the
considerable inconvenience of all of this, it will be worth it to
ensure that he won't set foot near a Gabor enterprise again."
At that moment a wine waiter appeared, and after a quick conversation
with the illustrious billionaire, returned with a vintage white,
pouring each glass carefully and then leaving them alone once more.
Elliot took a sip, setting his glass down on the table.
"That's a good year." he remarked.
"One of my favourite vintages." Harvey agreed. He frowned, sitting back
in his seat.
"Tell me, Elliot, is Phyllis still dead set on appointing one of her
friends as Chief Executive now that the smoke has started to clear?"
"Yes, I'm afraid so." Elliot pursed his lips. "And it isn't that Jetta
is incapable. Honestly, with the right training and time in the right
college, I think she'd be a high flier all right. She certainly has the
brains and the shrewdness for the job. It's the time scale that bothers
me. She's at the very minimum down three years of training, and ideally
she'd need to have had a spell in a graduate school as well. She has
the skills but she's raw and a touch naive. I'm worried about what it
will mean for the company in the long run."
"She won't be alone though, surely? Phyllis intends to take on some of
the work herself?" Harvey looked questioning. Elliot hesitated, then
nodded his head.
"Yes. I think she does. Something was said to me about a partnership,
though she will remain in overall command." He agreed.
Harvey eyed him keenly.
"You have reservations still?" He asked. Elliot sighed.
"May I speak bluntly?" He asked. Harvey nodded.
"Please do." He agreed. "That's the reason I sent you - I knew you
would tell me things as they really are. What bothers you, Elliot?"
"I'm not sure your daughter is completely cut out for the business
world." Elliot looked troubled. "She's shown little or no aptitude for
any of it since I've been there. Her focus is her band - her music -
but she resents paperwork and her mathematics are appalling, if not
nonexistant. If Jetta has the capacity, Phyllis has the bloodline...but
I don't know that either of them are well placed to take this on. I
know you want to see Phyllis doing well for herself and following in
your footsteps," As Harvey's brows drew together in consternation. "But
I really don't think it's going to happen that way. What I can see is
that it will all be pushed off onto Jetta, who barely knows what she's
doing and it opens up the way for someone else unscrupulous to get in
and take the company to it's knees."
"Do you think I should interfere, then?" Harvey questioned. "With this
particular project of Phyllis's, it's always been my policy to stay out
of it unless she comes to me for help. I don't want to intervene unless
I really have to. Not that I want another scenario like the one we've
just witnessed, of course - but if the girl is going to learn anything,
she has to learn it by experience. When she asked me to buy back
Misfits Music for her I saw for the first time a genuine interest in a
business and she's kept that interest, despite whatever else has gone
on. When she first discovered Raymond's duplicity, she covered the
bounced cheques with funds from her own personal accounts. I appreciate
your candour - you know I always do. But I'd like to believe that this
time is going to be different. She does care about this one...though
perhaps a more experienced partner than Jetta would be adviseable, at
least to begin with."
"I've tried reasoning that one out with her." Elliot admitted. "But
she's adamant. Completely adamant."
"Then I suppose all you can do is continue to work with Jetta." Harvey
looked philosophical. "And to keep me as informed as you possibly can
do, in the time that you're there. I don't know how much longer we can
spare you from DC, or how much longer Phyllis will tolerate you being
at her company. But so long as you are, keep a close eye on all of
these things for me. I don't want this project of hers to fail, but I
don't want to be the one always bailing her out. Let's see if she can
work her own way around it."
"Who knows?" He said contemplatively. "Maybe her bloodline will shine
through, after all."
Part Four: Desperate Times
Chapter One: Recovery
Chapter Two: Harvey
Chapter Three: A Disturbing Realisation
Chapter Four: Shock
Chapter Five: Complications
Chapter Six: New Year's Eve
Chapter Seven: Bombshell
The Boring Disclaimer:
Pizzazz is not my character - she and the Misfits
were created by Hasbro and given life by Christy Marx and the writers
of the Jem series. However, the events, concepts and plotline contained
in this story is my own and may not be duplicated. Justin, Alan and
any character not featured in the Jem cartoon are entirely my creation
and are also not to be duplicated anywhere else.