PART ONE: SUMMER 1989
Chapter Eight: Ambition
"So what's the deal? How is she? Is she in one piece?"
As Jetta let herself back into the Gabor Mansion, she found Stormer
for her, an anxious look on her clever face. "Is what the doctors told
true - that she's out of danger?"
"Well, probably." Jetta rolled her eyes. "She were bitchin' about the
of her nightgown an' her chipped nails with me, so I'd say so. She
strong though, Stormer. She can barely talk, let alone screech. I guess
gonna be in there a while - like we were afraid she would be."
"Did she sign Eric's piece of paper?"
"Yes." Jetta nodded. "I'm in two minds as to whether I should give it
though. To be honest, even if it looks legit, I don't trust that guy."
"None of us do, but we haven't much choice." Stormer sighed, rubbing
temples. "When Pizzazz is here, she leaves most of the day to day
to Eric and he gets her clearance on important things but does most of
menial stuff. We all know that. If Pizzazz isn't there to sign the
things will grind to a halt. We already know Eric's having trouble with
insurance people. If he can't get at the company's assets then he can't
it going. In our absence, the Stingers are probably it's biggest name
If Eric can't promote them the company is in trouble and Riot will kick
a fuss. We have to go along with him. If she signed it, we shouldn't
"I don't understand why you think it's any safer if 'e 'as control, but
right." Jetta sighed, nodding her head. "I told 'er I'd give it 'im
an' I will. I suppose you 'ave a point about logistics. Pizzazz is so
paranoid she won't let anyone else 'andle things like that on a normal
anyway. If she 'ad some kind of safeguard then one of us would be able
trot in an' 'andle it all an' Eric wouldn't need to be given access to
things like money...which is what this will mean."
"Eric is chief exec. If she doesn't trust him, she shouldn't employ
Stormer laid a gentle hand on Jetta's shoulder. "Perhaps we can give
the benefit of the doubt, anyhow. He's been caught and punished for
business once, when Pizzazz took back the company. I don't think he'd
doing it again when he'd have to face the wrath of the Gabor clan if he
rumbled. Doing it when the company was half his was one thing...this is
"Yes, I suppose you're right." Jetta shrugged, tossing her jacket onto
newel post and pushing open the door to the lounge, leading the way
"No, she went out about a half hour ago." Stormer shook her head. "She
her bike out to test it's new gearbox or...or something."
"If she ain't careful Pizzazz won't be the only Misfit in intensive
Jetta said acidly. Stormer shook her head.
"Roxy knows what she's doing." She replied. "Besides...and this isn't
as bitching, but it takes Pizzazz to get behind the wheel when she's
a couple of drinks, whether she's sober or not. Roxy's got more sense."
"Well, if she 'as, love, it's the only area she does 'ave it." Jetta
"I'll take your word for it."
She dropped down onto the sofa.
"I'm beat." She admitted. "It seems like a long day, even though I
done much really. Not compared to a normal workin' day."
"It's the uncertainty and worrying about Pizzazz." Stormer responded.
feel it too." She stifled a yawn. "I've been up since four. I couldn't
"I told her you'd go see 'er tomorrow." Jetta cast her companion a wry
"Go bore 'er with your new composition an' don't let 'er do much
Her chest aint up to it."
"I'll try, but Jetta, getting Pizzazz not to talk is like trying to
the rain not to fall." Stormer settled herself comfortably in the big
armchair. "I would like to see her, though. Just to settle for myself
she is. I can't get the way that doctor described her injury out of my
Before Jetta could reply, there was a knock at the door, sharp and
and the two girls exchanged looks of confusion.
"Roxy?" Jetta suggested. Stormer shook her head.
"Too early, and besides, she has a key." She replied. "Maybe it's
"If it is, I'll tell them where to go." Jetta grimaced, getting to her
and stalking out into the hall, unlocking the door and pulling it open
very bad grace. Her expression darkened as she registered the identity
"Riot." She muttered. "What are you doin' 'ere? Come to gloat about the
misfortune, or are your group doin' so badly these days that you've
up door to door beggin'?"
"Neither, actually." Riot pushed his way past her and into the house.
wanted to speak to Harvey Gabor. Is he here?"
"'Is daughter is at the hospital. He's not been far away from it since
accident. He's gone between there an' 'is office an' skipped this place
Jetta said matter-of-factly. "So you'd better get lost, 'adn't you?
just Stormer an' me 'ere now."
"Well, you'll have to do." Riot seemed in no mood to leave. "You have
with Pizzazz, don't you?"
"Depends what you mean by sway. I talk to 'er, yes, and sometimes she
Jetta barred the entrance to the living room, folding her arms across
chest. "You ain't welcome 'ere, you should know that."
"Pizzazz isn't here to give those kinds of orders, and you and that
Stormer are just tenants." Riot told her coolly. "So don't try
me. It won't work."
"I 'eard that that mouse 'ad given you a whack in the gob once,
your lip." Jetta returned, eying him with an equally cold glare. "So
Anger crossed Riot's face and he pushed her aside once more, opening
door to the living room and sauntering inside. Stormer let out a
gasp as she registered the visitor, a frown touching her expression.
"What are you doing here?" She exclaimed.
"I came to talk to Harvey, but you girls will do." Riot took a seat,
the venomous glower Jetta was sending him from the doorway for his
behaviour. "Since Pizzazz is - as I understand it - at death's door, or
least incapacitated for the next few weeks, I need to know what's going
with the company. Most specifically, who has the reins. I know that
keeps all of the money and whatever as her personal power-trip, but
if she's laid up, someone has to keep this place running."
"I was under the impression that Eric was Pizzazz's choice of chief
Riot." Jetta said innocently. "Why would you suppose that the company
be in any bother?"
"Because Eric is a slimy conman who will ruin all of us before she
out of the hospital, if we let him take control. I know from my own
experience running this place." Riot said darkly. "I want someone to
to Pizzazz and convince her that it would be the best idea to let me
control of the company while she is unwell. I have experience - I took
in the running of the place back when I had shares in it, before the
business with Minx's paperwork, and I think you'll agree that I am less
to sponge off the profits than Eric is. I hoped to put my case to
since he seems to be the one in overall control, but since you girls
been granted dispensation to visit her..."
"You thought that one of us would go and put your case to her?" Stormer
at him. "Why should we? What have you ever done for the Misfits, except
the company away from us, humiliate us and hurt Pizzazz? Why should we
"Stormer's right." Jetta nodded. "You ain't done anything for us. Why
we flock to you as our temporary leader? Do you not think that we girls
capable of puttin' our 'eads together an' managin' this place ourselves
need be? Or do you think that it needs a man to be at the 'ead of
Is that it?"
"Nothing of the sort. I merely wish to protect my interests - and
those of the Misfits, too - from Eric's machinations." Riot said
"You know he's stolen from this company before. Do you want him in a
to do so again?"
"It isn't our choice to make. It's Pizzazz's." Stormer shook her head
"She already granted Eric the rights you're looking for, Riot. And even
I did want to press your case with her - which I don't, because you
honestly make me sick - I couldn't overturn what had already been
You're too late."
Riot's eyes narrowed.
"There hasn't been time." He said quietly. "I know Eric called you all
some confab this morning, but..."
"I took the paperwork to the 'ospital this afternoon." Jetta
him. "Look, Riot, I agree with you about one thing. I think Eric is a
a cheat, a swindler an' a few other things besides. I wouldn't trust my
in 'is 'ands neither. But it ain't my company, it's Pizzazz's. An' she
to think that 'e's tied up enough in this company now not to screw it
She reckons 'e wouldn't dare tangle with the Gabor influence an' she
be right. It's an 'ell of a thing to come up against."
She frowned. "I don't know whether you'd be a better alternative,
I think not. You've 'ad your way with this company before, an' we did
good out of it. This is a Misfit company...and Eric might be a loser
'e makes a good lackey if you put the fear of God into 'im. He can be
"Meaning I can't?" Riot raised an eyebrow. "Isn't that a good thing?"
"Not from where we stand." Jetta shook her head grimly. "I'm not 'appy
'ow things are, Riot, but I'm not sufficiently unhappy to betray my
an' put your case."
"Besides, Pizzazz is hurt. She could have died." Stormer added. "And
and Eric only seem to care about fighting out who has control of her
while she's ill, like a pair of vultures. I think it's horrible."
"It's not horrible, Stormer, it's survival." Riot was impatient.
if she's already signed the place into ruin by giving Raymond control,
can see I'll have to practice damage limitation and see what I can do
He got to his feet, moving towards the door, then he paused.
"You will regret this." He said softly. "I know you will."
"Was that a threat?" Jetta raised an eyebrow. Riot shook his head.
"No, it was a warning." He responded. "I don't know what it is, but
up to something. You can just tell."
"We're watching him." Stormer replied. "And if you don't have any proof
he's causing trouble..."
"I don't need proof. I know Eric." Riot said darkly. "But fine. If
how you want it, I see I wasted my time. I won't waste any more of it
With that he was gone, and shortly the girls heard the front door
shut behind him. They exchanged grimaces.
"Caught between two evils." Jetta was the first to break the silence.
or Eric. God. Could you imagine lettin' Riot 'ave 'is way?"
"I don't think Pizzazz has forgotten the way he treated her yet. His
would not have been good even if we had been on his side." Stormer
her lips. "I won't mention this to her tomorrow, though. If she's as
as you say, I don't want to make her angry."
"No, don't. She's under orders of bein' kept quiet, otherwise 'er
goes into spasm or something." Jetta remembered. "Better she don't know
Riot's visit till she's stronger. It don't matter, anyway. She's signed
bit of paper, and to be honest, I don't think that 'avin' Riot would
life any better than 'avin' Eric."
"Me neither." Stormer looked pensive. "I don't think Riot would
but he would do plenty of other unpleasant things to block the Misfits
of things. We've been there before. Besides, if Roxy had been here,
have rearranged his jaw for him. She'd never have forgiven us if we'd
to back him without asking her. These kinds of things we have to do as
"It's a shame she wasn't. 'E deserves a smack." Jetta pulled her thick
back from her face, letting it fall back down over her shoulders. "What
to me was the idea that we needed either 'im or Eric to run this place.
if mere girls couldn't possibly take hold of a business."
"It's a shame in a way that we can't." Stormer murmured. "But we don't
the right training, the right skills...the right experience. You're
though. It was chauvenistic and that's not an attractive
"You were downright rude to him." Jetta looked amused. "I like it when
rude. It;s unusual."
"Well, he doesn't deserve any better." Stormer looked obstinate.
is very sick, and all he cares about is himself and his job."
"We've been pretty fussed on the job front too." Jetta reminded her.
"Yes, but we do actually give a damn about Pizzazz as well." She
"We wouldn't be much good as Misfits if we didn't." Jetta said
She glanced at her watch. "I'm gonna call Justin, see if 'e wants to
a late movie or something." She decided. "I could use somethin'
after the day I've 'ad. Don't wait up, huh? I might crash at 'is, all
"All right, Jetta. Have fun, huh?" Stormer smiled. "I'm probably gonna
to bed soon anyhow. Read or something. Take advantage of some peace and
and see if I can't sleep."
"I'll see you, then." Jetta nodded. She rolled her eyes. "And let's
tomorrow is less crazy, huh? I've 'ad about as much as I can take of