Chapter Three: Enter The Cavalry

"Well, so this is Los Angeles."

The tall dark-haired man stared up at the big black glass building, a thoughtful look on his face. "And this is the fabled Misfits Music. I really wonder if Harvey knows what he's doing, trying to bail this place out. Sometimes his indulgences over that daughter of his seem insane...but if that's what he wants, I guess I better do as he tells me. He's been a good employer, and I won't let him down."

He took a few steps across the front forecourt, pausing, then pushing open the door. The lobby was brightly lit and busy with people, and in the centre of the madness was a tall platinum blonde, who seemed to be very much in charge, sending people scuttling left, right and centre. As he moved forward, she spotted him and, pushing her way through the various menial technicians who had been running her errands, she approached him, putting her hands on her hips.

"Who are you?" She demanded.

"My name is Elliot Martescu." The dark-haired man put his hand into his pocket, pulling out his business card and holding it out to her. "Harvey Gabor sent me from Washington DC to help out with getting this place in administrative shape." He glanced around him. "From the looks, at the moment it's not much short of chaos."

His companion bristled.

"We don't take kindly to stiffs in suits." She said darkly. "So if Harvey sent you, you'd better know now that the Misfits run this company. Not you and not Harvey. His daughter owns it, and it's remember that, all right?"

"Harvey did mention that you were all very keen on making sure things improved." Elliot said levelly. "You know my name, but I don't know yours, Miss...?"

"Roxy." Roxy said abruptly. "Don't 'Miss' me. My name's Roxy."

"All right, Roxy." Elliot nodded. "Is Miss Gabor around?"

"Pizzazz ain't got back from San Fran yet." Roxy shook her head. "Stormer, Jetta and me are here, so you'll have to make do with us."

An amused smile touched her lips. "That'll be an experience for you." She added off-handly. "I guess you'd better come with me. Sooner you get to the office, sooner Pizzazz quits sticking me with calculating all the tax forms and bills and bank statements, so maybe it's a good thing you got here so quick. I'm about bored to death with it."

"That's part of my reason for being here." Elliot agreed. "Harvey believes I can straighten out the finances and get this place up and running properly again fairly quickly. Once I see the paperwork, I'll know if he's right, but I understand there's to be a legal case, and Harvey believes his daughter will be preoccupied with that."

Roxy snorted.

"Pizzazz can't add ten to fifty without a calculator." She said derisively. "I told you. I've been doing all the number crunching. And there's a damn lot of it to crunch."

Elliot eyed his companion doubtfully, as she led the way towards the liftshaft, pressing buttons with short, sharp jabs.

"Then perhaps you can tell me how things stand." He said at length. "If you've seen the accounts, you must know more than me."

"And ruin all your fun?" Roxy laughed. Elliot frowned.

"I thought you wanted to help the company?" He pointed out. "The sooner I know what I have to do, the better."

"Well, okay then, Mr Neat-freak in a suit." Roxy grabbed him by the arm, pulling him into the lift. "This is what you have to do. I told you this is a Misfit company. You do things our way or you know all about it, you got it? As for the finances, they're in a mess. Don't need to be able to add up to see that the damn statements are in the red in places, and it's taken Stormer and me most of the last few days to work out where we got money and where we don't. I'm sick of it. Stormer's written the whole lot up in neat for you - she's a freak that way - so ask her. All I can tell you is that this company needs some serious cash and that's no joke."

"Harvey told me that he was going to write a cheque in the company's name and give it to his daughter before she left San Francisco." Elliot remembered. "So that won't be a problem so much as making sure the money is going to the right people and not the wrong ones."

He eyed Roxy contemplatively at this point, and Roxy bristled.

"I ain't ever stolen a cent from this company, thank you." She said coldly. "That was all Eric's doing. Me and the others, we want this place running properly. No company, no Misfits. Kapiche? Nothing to gain by ripping it off. Rip off this place and you rip off the Misfits -and that's something you just don't do if you know what's good for you!"

At that moment they reached the top floor, and Roxy gave her companion no time to respond, pulling him out of the lift and forcibly propelling him towards the main office, where Jetta and Stormer were going through a big pile of documents.

"You can quit doing that now." She announced. "Harvey sent us a geek to do it for us."

"I'm an executive, not a geek." Elliot's tone had a slight edge at this, and Roxy grimaced.

"As I said, Harvey sent us a geek." She repeated. Elliot stepped into the office, stopping dead as he met Stormer's gaze.

"It's Mary, isn't that right?" He asked. Stormer looked confused.

"Yes, but I don't understand..."

"We met once, in Harvey's office, when he had his heart attack." Elliot smiled at her. A light dawned in Stormer's blue eyes.

"So we did." She agreed softly. "Elliot...I'm afraid I don't remember your last name."

"Martescu." Elliot grinned. "I've already met Roxy..." He cast the blond a doubtful look. "So this must be...Jetta?" He turned his attention to the final person present, who had been observing the exchanges in silence. She nodded at the sound of her name, casting him a careful look.

"Yes, I'm Jetta." She agreed at length. "An' if you're 'ere to do the finances, you can bloody well take 'em an' welcome. Even when Stormer writes them out neat they're a muddle of this an' that. Eric Raymond sure did a number on this place, make no mistake about that."

"I understand from Harvey that he's the sort of man not to be trusted." Elliot responded, moving to the desk and scooping up a couple of sheets. His eyebrows shot up. "Oh my. I see what you mean. I'm amazed you've kept things going so far."

"Pizzazz put money up to pay bills from her personal account, while she spoke to her father about a permanent solution." Stormer explained. "And the rest of us have been doing our best here. Some of the cleaning staff started complaining because they hadn't been paid and we can't pay anyone till Pizzazz is home, so Roxy...Roxy was erm, convincing them that they could wait a week or so and get paid in lieu."
"I told them that if they didn't they'd get their heads broken for them." Roxy added neatly. "They stopped complaining then, and the lobby ain't never looked so clean."

"But you can't threaten the staff! What about the unions?" Elliot looked horrified. Roxy narrowed her eyes.

"If it works, I'll do it." She said darkly. "To keep this company and the Misfits alive, I'll do it and a fair bit more, so don't think you're immune, Mr Hot Shot. Your job is to deal with the administrative mess. Not to tell us what to do."

Elliot made no reply, merely taking the seat that Jetta had vacated behind the desk, and opening one of the other folders. He flicked through the files, glancing up in surprise.

"Your Mr Raymond might have stolen money from this place, but he kept pretty good records of contacts and sponsors." He remarked. "These are right up to date."

"Yeah, an' it ain't nothin' to do with Eric, neither." Jetta said ruefully. "I sorted them out yesterday, an' it took me till damn near eleven at night before I'd got 'em all straight, an' all. Some people don't like bein' phoned after hours, I'll tell you - but I got all our usual sponsors back on board, even the ones Eric 'ad let lapse. An' we still 'ave the instrumental deal with this man Moss's company, even if Eric stole the monetary side of it. I figured we ought to keep that one fresh, because it means we got instruments, even if we don't got money. Instruments means the Misfits an' the Stingers an' other acts can perform...and performances mean gate receipts." She shrugged. "I figured we could use those right now."

Elliot stared at her. Then he looked rueful.

"I owe you girls an apology." He said slowly. "I was under the impression I was coming into a hurrah-nest of bills and papers, but you've got things tied up neatly, considering the situation. It'll make my job a lot easier."

"Well, I'm glad you're 'appy." Jetta rolled her eyes. "Me, I'm sick of this office an' I'm takin' a breather. Pizzazz will be back from San Fran soon, anyway, an' she'll probably go 'ome before comin' 'ere. Someone ought to be there to explain to 'er what's 'appened since yesterday."

"I'm cutting outta here too." Roxy decided. "I've got a motorcycle that's been neglected and I promised Aja to get it fixed up before the weekend. I'm gone. Later!"

"I suppose that leaves me to go over what we've got with you." Stormer looked amused, as her bandmates made their exits. "If you need me to."

"It would help." Elliot nodded. "I'm glad one of you is responsible enough to stick around and do that, at least."

"Don't be so harsh on them. They have worked hard." Stormer reproached him. "Jetta was here till late last night, because I was here too, writing up those finances. And Roxy has spent a lot of time working out money...she was the one who first raised the flag that something was wrong here. I know they're brash, but they do want the best for Misfit Music. They're just...unconventional."

"Well, this is very well organised." Elliot patted the sponsors folder. "And it's one less thing for me to do. All right, I will believe you." He smiled. "And in the meantime, I'd better get to work on those finances, otherwise I'll be the shirker here, won't I!"

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

As Jetta pulled her car into the front drive of the Gabor Estate, she was aware of a big black limousine just leaving the grounds, and she parked her vehicle, stepping out onto the concrete.

"Pizzazz must be 'ome." She mused, heading up the front steps and unlocking the door, letting herself into the sprawling mansion. "Good! This ain't my company, it's hers we're bailin' out, and it stinks that we don't 'ave any kind of power to really do anythin' conclusive while she's away. Payin' the staff is a big deal - especially considering that we are the staff!"

She stepped into the hallway.

"Pizzazz?" She called. "You 'ome?"

The door of the lounge swung open to reveal the singer, a steaming mug in her hand.

"You have to yell?" She demanded. "What gives, Jetta? How come you're here? I was just grabbing a drink then I was heading over to the company. Has something happened? Daddy gave me the cheque and a whole lot of legal garbage which I gotta figure out if we're gonna sue Eric. You wanna take a look at it?"

"I will, if I 'ave to." Jetta sighed. "Some bloke - I think 'is name is Elliot or somethin' - 'as come from DC to 'elp with things. He's at the company now an' I think Stormer's goin' over everything with 'im. The menial staff went on strike, but Roxy put the fear of god into them and they're back to work now. They need payin', though. They're overdue."

"I'll see to it." Pizzazz said darkly, leading the way back into the sitting room and taking a seat, sipping her drink gingerly. "It's non-stop. I've been up since some ungodly hour and now I'm expected to jump in and sort things out again. Dammit, I'm gonna make this company work, but is it gonna kill me of exhaustion first?"

She took another tentative sip, then set the mug down, rubbing her temples. "I didn't imagine it was going to be so complicated. I need this whole legal jargon translated, for a start. You speak legalese?"

"No, but I'll give it a shot." Jetta responded. "Although I'm sure one of your father's lawyers or even this Elliot guy could give it you clearer than I can."

"I don't care." There was a note of petulance in Pizzazz's tones. "I'm sick of running to them for help. You're a Misfit, you ain't got a choice in the matter. You gotta help me, else your work permit dies with the company, so help me already." She gestured to the table. "It's all there. It makes no sense to me."

Jetta leaned over, scooping up the mess of sheets and glancing at it. She frowned.

"This is complicated stuff." She murmured.

"But do you understand it?"

"Not all that well." Jetta admitted. "But I get the gist. I'm not up on all the jargon, but I think I can see my way round it. Can I take it away with me? I'll go over it properly this afternoon, but right now I'm beat an' my brain needs a break."

"All right." Pizzazz sighed, leaning back in her chair. "Guess I'm with that."

She closed her eyes. "I almost wish you and Roxy hadn't butted your noses in." She admitted. "All this craziness..."

"But then the company woulda folded." Jetta said matter-of-factly.

"I know." Pizzazz's eyes snapped open at this. "And I ain't letting that happen. Noone is taking Misfits Music away from me! It's just such godawful timing! I didn't sleep a wink last night trying to figure that legal crap out. Dad insisted I flew back instead of driving, since it was quicker, so my car's stuck in San Fran waiting for him to find someone to run it home. And they musta served some bad food on the plane back, because I feel sick as a dog. I hate how everyone expects me to run round and produce the answer!"

"You own the company." Jetta said bluntly. "That's what it's gonna be like, now Eric's gone. There ain't no executive to fob off work on. Elliot is 'ere but 'e won't be 'ere forever. Temporary, that's all, an' Roxy's already taken an 'ate at him, so that probably means he'll be here even less. When he's gone, you gotta run this place yourself, else it'll collapse. Unless you want to bring in another suit - that's how it's gonna be."

Pizzazz was silent for a moment. Then she shook her head.

"That ain't gonna happen." She said quietly. "No more executives. No more suits. No more men, dammit! I'm sick and tired of them...the damn lot of them! They're good for one thing in life, and that's not gonna run my music company. I won't have it! Men are sleazy slimeballs who steal money and lie and cheat..." She paused. "Or they're fathers who think they know what's best, or chauvenists like Riot who think that they're better than us girls, and can do a better job. No more of it! I won't have it!"

"So then you gotta run the place yourself." Jetta shrugged. "It's the only other option left."

"Maybe." Pizzazz's eyes narrowed. "Maybe not."

"What do you mean?" Jetta looked suspicious. "You 'ave a plan, don't you?"

"Perhaps." Pizzazz shrugged. "But right now, I'm taking a time out." She took another sip of her drink, standing. "I'm gonna take a nap, sleep off the bad food and last night. I'll be at the company around three or four, I guess...and then this Elliot guy can show me that he's worthwhile having here. If he doesn't match up, I'll send him away and have Daddy send someone else. I'm not in the mood for idiots."
She stretched. "Later, Jetta. Let me know what you figure out with that thing, okay?"

With that she was gone, and Jetta sighed, shaking her head.

"This company is doomed." She muttered, flicking through the legal paperwork. "God help us all if she's gonna run the place 'erself!"

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.