Chapter Two: Harvey Gabor

Pizzazz gazed up at the big concrete building, her heart heavy and her eyes still glittering with anger. Pushing open the door, she stalked resolutely up to the front desk, shooting the woman on duty a suitably impatient glare.

"Im here to see my father. He's expecting me." She said, without preamble. "Where is he?"

"I...I think he's in the Parlour Suite, Ms Gabor." The woman hurriedly grasped at her composure, shrinking back in her seat at the hostility in the singer's eyes. "Second floor, first right."

"I have been here before." Pizzazz snapped, crossing the lobby and stepping into the lift, banging the button for the second floor.

She was not looking forward to this meeting.

"Dammit, what have I gotten myself into?" She demanded of her reflection in the silver-gilted lift walls, running tired fingers through her thick wavy hair. "How do I explain this to Daddy when I can't even explain it to myself? How is it that Jetta and Roxy and that goddamn Justin picked this up and I didn't see a thing? Daddy won't be impressed when he hears that. But I'm glad I came here and spoke to him in person. Phone is too impersonal, and you never know who's listening. This way it will be private, and he'll hear the version of things I want him to hear, without the others chipping in with their bits and pieces."

 She grimaced, rubbing her temples.

 "He's not to know what happened with me and Eric, not now and not ever. Jetta will fire him. The company will sue him and his sorry butt will be outta America if I have my way. Daddy will never know."

She allowed herself a wry smile.

"There's plenty of other things he doesn't know about me. It can just join the list."

The lift doors swung open at that moment, and she stepped out onto the second floor, heading more purposefully towards the Parlour Suite, where Harvey entertained important business guests when working at his San Francisco office. She knocked on the door sharply, impatiently waiting for her father to call her in. Waiting wasn't usually her style, but she knew that upsetting Harvey now would not be a sensible move.

She pushed open the door, casting her father a hesitant smile.

"Phyllis!" Harvey returned the smile with a warm grin, indicating for her to sit down. "MarySue said she'd taken a call from you earlier, and I told her to keep my diary free for this morning so that I'd be able to see you right away. What brings you here? Is it a social visit? Or something else?"

"Something else." Pizzazz obediently took the proffered chair, pursing her lips. "Daddy, there's been some trouble at Misfit Music."

"Trouble?" Harvey looked startled. "What kind of trouble?"

"It's hard to explain." Pizzazz glanced down. "It wasn't my fault, Daddy. I promise it wasn't."

"Just tell me what happened." Harvey frowned. "Something serious, by the tone of your voice? Something you need my help with?"

"Yes." Slowly Pizzazz explained what she and her bandmates had discovered, omitting the fact that, until it had been forcibly waved under her nose, she had not noticed anything amiss. "So you see, Daddy, the company finances are at rock bottom. I've sent out cheques to all the people we owe money to from my own account, but I can't bail the whole company out in the long term. I don't have that kind of money, especially not for a court case, and in the circumstances..."

"I knew that Eric Raymond would always be trouble." Harvey's grey eyes narrowed in anger. "And he's cleaned out near enough everything?"

"He's been diverting funds from the accounts into his. We have all the evidence at the music company." Pizzazz nodded. "I spent ages last night trying to work out the whole mess and get cheques out to everyone." She bit her lip. "I didn't want to have to ask you for help, but..."

"In the circumstances, what else could you do." Harvey shook his head. "Leave it with me, Phyllis. I will speak to my legal team about proceedings against that Raymond scum and I will call my Washington office, send someone down to help you figure out the paperwork and get everything straight again."

He offered her a smile.

"I'm proud of you for dipping into your own accounts to try and pull the company through. It shows commitment." He added. "I will make sure that Misfit Music's financial situation stablises, don't you worry. Your job is to go back to Los Angeles, help get the place fixed up and keep all that evidence at the ready. I presume Raymond has been fired?"

"Jetta's doing it this morning, on my authority." Pizzazz nodded her head, relief in her eyes. "I would've, Daddy, but I wanted to come see you right away."

"No, you did the right thing." Harvey assured her. "We'll make a businesswoman of you yet."

"I'm no businesswoman." Pizzazz spoke bitterly. "If I was this wouldn't have happened. You would never have let this happen."

"We all make mistakes, Phyllis." Harvey's tone was gentle. "Raymond's been a bad influence on you and your company but you had to learn that your own way, not my way. Now I'll help you do whatever we can to get Misfit Music stable and doing good business again."

"I don't like making mistakes." Pizzazz got to her feet, moving to the window. "Mistakes cost you thing. Prizes. Chart hits. Status."

"And money, too." Harvey agreed. "But so long as you learn from them..."

"I don't care about the money, Dad." Pizzazz turned, meeting her father's gaze. "I care about looking a failure, that people are going to think that I can't hold that place together. I turn a profit because it's a business and I have to to keep it going. But that's not why I do it. It's never been for the money. It's always been about being the best...if I'm not that, why bother?"

"Being top dog takes work, you know." Harvey came to join her, putting his arm around her shoulders and for once Pizzazz did not shake off his show of affection. "You're a Gabor and it's in your blood to be a success, but not everything comes to you easily. I think you have it in you to make Misfit Music the biggest recording company in Los Angeles, and that's the truth. So long as you're willing to work at it."

Pizzazz was silent for a moment. Then she glanced up, eyes glittering with determination.

"If it takes every damn ounce of strength in me, that company is gonna beat Starlight Music and the other no-hopers hollow." She said decidedly, banging her fist down on the windowsill to emphasise her point. "This ain't the end - just a setback. I'll fix it, Daddy. It'll be okay. The Misfits are gonna be the best and so is Misfit Music. Whatever it takes."

"Then that's what it will be." Harvey smiled. "I'll call through to Washington DC, and then how about we go grab lunch somewhere, discuss what to do next? Are you pursuing a criminal case against him?"
"No. Too much hassle." Pizzazz shook her head. "He's greasy and he'll smarm his way out of the "beyond reasonable doubt" crap. I know enough to know how that legal system works." A malicious smile touched her lips. "But I reckon we could sue his butt off based on the balance of probability in a civil trial. And that would recoup some of Misfit Music's money, if nothing else. I want to ruin him and chase him out of Los Angeles, Daddy. Out of America if I can."

"One thing at a time." Harvey cautioned. "Let's consult the lawyers first. Then we'll know what kind of a case we have against him!"

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

"Well, you took your time from the airport."

Across California, back in Los Angeles, Jetta had settled herself in the main office, toying with Eric's broken name plate as she awaited her prey. She had woken early, thinking over the task that awaited her, and she had been impatient at his late arrival, eager to get the job over with.

"And you're in my chair." Eric dropped his briefcase down onto the empty chair, casting her a wary look. "What's been going on here since I went away? What's with all the boxes and the mess? And who broke that?"

He snatched the broken nameplate from her hand.

"Roxy." Jetta said flippantly. "As for what's been 'appenin' 'ere, Eric, we've been 'avin' a little sort out. Redecoratin'. Do you like it?"

"This is my stuff in here." Eric glanced through the first box. "What the...where's Pizzazz?"

"In San Francisco. She had a meeting with her father, but she left me in charge in 'er absence." Jetta purred, casting him an infuriating smile. "She gave me special dispensation to do for 'er, while she was gone."

"Certain jobs?" Eric's eyes narrowed. "Such as what?"

"Such as findin' out why you ain't paid Justin for 'is services of late." In an instant Jetta's playfulness was gone, and a steely glint had entered the clever grey eyes. "You should know that kind of thing interests me, Eric. You don't pay 'im, 'e can't take me out, neither of us are 'appy. 'E spoke to Roxy about it, she spoke to me...and we've both been doin' some investigation."

"Oh?" Eric looked wary. "What kind of investigation?"

Jetta eyed him gravely.

"I will be straight with you." She said at length. "Enough games, Eric. We 'ave a fair bit of proof as to what's been 'appenin' to the money from this company over the last few months. We've collated quite a collection of bank statements, credit reports, an' letters from people wantin' to know where their money is. Justin ain't the only one."

"A simple banker's glitch and you're creating all this fuss?" Eric raised an eyebrow. "Really, Jetta, I'd credited you with more intelligence than..."

"Oh, I'm intelligent all right, Eric." Jetta cut across him. "Intelligent enough to know when someone is embezzlin' wholesale from a business in which I 'ave a vested interest! I don't care what 'old you think you 'ave over Pizzazz an' whether or not you think you 'ave the wool pulled over 'er eyes about all of this. You don't fool me. You don't fool none of the rest of us. We know what you're up to an' we're not a force to be messed with."

"You also don't run this company. Pizzazz does." Eric retorted. "So if you don't mind..."

"I do mind." Jetta held up her hand. "Pizzazz left me in charge, Eric. In charge. That means in overall control of the company while she is away."

"That would be until I returned from my trip, and as you can see, I'm back now."

"No, it doesn't mean that at all." Jetta shook her head. "Because the last thing she did before she left this mornin' was to remind me exactly what to do when you turned up 'ere, an' it gives me nothin' but pleasure to do it."

She grabbed the broken nameplate, tossing it into the bin.

"As of this moment, you ain't no longer an employee of this company."

"What?" Eric's eyes opened wide. "But you can' have no authority to..."

"This is my authority." Jetta held out the note Pizzazz had given her the night before. "I think you'll find that - unlike some of those you've been making of late - this is really Pizzazz's signature. And this is really the bottom line, Eric. You're fired. Get out."


"Take your stuff and get out." Jetta glared at him. "Look, I won't trifle with ya. It takes a slick mind to know another slick mind. Pizzazz ain't gonna listen to your bleatin' or your complainin'. Roxy an' me - we took care of that. She 'ates you. She'd quite like to fling you off the Golden Gate Bridge, if what she said at breakfast this mornin' is anything to go by. She won't forgive you. That's why she went to 'Arvey. She's callin' in the big guns. There will be action taken. You 'ave been warned."

"What have you and Roxy been saying?" Eric's eyes narrowed suspiciously.

"It's 'ardly important." Jetta responded coldly. "When we showed 'er the mountain of proof we an' Stormer 'ad unearthed, she seemed pretty sure of what she wanted to do. I'm sure it woulda given 'er great pleasure to do it, an' all, but seeing 'Arvey won't wait."


"I think she told you to leave, chump."

A fresh voice interrupted the conversation, as Roxy sauntered into the office, lounging up against the wall and eying Eric with a meaningful glare. "Now, you have two options. You can take your boxes and go out the door...or I can throw you out the window into the dumpster. Which is it to be?"

"You wouldn't dare." Eric snorted, but despite himself he took a step away from the desk. Roxy's lips curled into a cool, amused smile.

"Wouldn't I?" She asked softly. "You ain't been paying my brother, Eric. That doesn't go down too good with me. And as for what you've done to our music company? Well. I'm surprised you show up here."

"Your music company, is it now?" Eric snapped.

"Pizzazz owns it, but it's our music company too." Jetta retorted. "Roxy, I don't think Eric's got the message. Wanna 'elp 'im to a taxi?"

"With great pleasure." Roxy rolled up her sleeves, but Eric shook his head.

"You keep your paws off me." he said sharply. "I'm going...but you'll hear from my lawyers about all of this!"

"Not if you don't 'ear from Pizzazz's first." Jetta told him sweetly.

Eric made no attempt to respond, turning on his heel and leaving the office. Roxy glanced at the boxes of stuff.

"Hey, he left his junk behind." She observed. Jetta shrugged, getting to her feet and moving to open the window.

"One good place for it." She said, indicating the skip below. Roxy chuckled.

"Allow me." She said, scooping the first box up and carrying it to the window, tipping the contents out and grinning at the clatter they made at the bottom. "Yeah, that felt good. You got to fire the jerk, and I got to ditch his crap out of the window. Life is starting to look better already."

"Well, let's hope it don't get worse, and that Pizzazz talks Harvey into 'elpin' with the company." Jetta frowned, sitting back down in Eric's chair. "I don't know what the next move is, Roxy, but it's gonna 'ave to 'appen pretty damn soon. Pizzazz's personal accounts aint as bottomless as 'Arvey's are an' she can't pay it all on credit cards. Gettin' shot of Eric is all very well but it's just the start. Your job, my job...'ell, my residence's all tied up in this place."

"Harvey will help." Roxy said simply. "He hates Eric. He ain't gonna let that creep ruin our company when Pizzazz is on the other team. He spoils her like mad. He'll cough up the dough."
"Well, I 'ope so." Jetta responded. "But it will mean a new executive, because someone 'as to 'andle all the stuff Eric 'andled. Pizzazz might own this place and maybe she could 'andle the PR side of it all, but she ain't a mathematician. She can't even add up her credit card statements straight."

"I know." Roxy dropped down into the other chair, pushing Eric's abandoned briefcase onto the floor with a careless flick of the wrist. "I've taken advantage of that more than once. She's never noticed yet."

"Exactly. And she didn't notice what was 'appenin' 'ere, either, till we made 'er look." Jetta's expression was grave. "We both know she was sleepin' with 'im, and it might 'ave clouded 'er judgement, but still..."

"Already clouded to get to that step. Goes without saying." Roxy wrinkled her nose. "Let's not think about that side of it. So she's no good with numbers, so what? I can add up. So can you. So can Stormer. And Stormer thinks Harvey will send someone down anyhow. There'll be someone to do the math."

"Just so long as whoever it is abides by our way of doing things. That's all." Jetta shrugged. "Oh well. We've done our bit. I wonder if Pizzazz is 'avin' any luck?"

Part Three: To Hell And Beyond
Chapter One:  Confrontations
Chapter Two: Harvey Gabor
Chapter Three:  Aftershock
Chapter Four:  Enter The Cavalry
Chapter Five:  Executive Meeting

Chapter Six:  Legal Wrangles
Chapter Seven:  New Recruits

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.