"You know, if you don't want to be here,
I can finish this up on my own."
Elliot glanced up from the desk where he had been collating forms,
casting his companion a pensive look.
Jetta started, turning from where she had been half-heartedly pacing
across the floor. She grimaced, dropping down into the empty seat and
folding her arms across her chest.
"So you can tell tales on me to Pizzazz? No dice." She said frankly. "I
just have other places I'd much rather be and other people I'd rather
be spendin' my lunch time with. That's all. I don't like being penned
in with a bloke from DC who thinks he can sweet talk the staff. It
wasn't you who dug out this company's problems, or who kept it afloat
before Harvey got involved. It was us. An' I resent bein' punished for
that - made to give up my own plans to hang out with you an' talk
Elliot pursed his lips, setting down his pen.
"You had a lunch date?" He asked lightly. "It's not my fault it was
cancelled, you know. I didn't choose to be sent here any more than you
chose to be stuck in here with me now. It's all for the company's
"And some of us have lives outside of work." Jetta bristled. "Which are
none of your business, by the way. If my work permit didn't depend on
She sighed, resting her chin in her hands. "But it does. So. If I got
to be up here, Elliot, I'm going to be in on this from the top. I know
what things were like the last time I saw the files - when I tied up
all the usual sponsors an' got them back on board. But I ain't seen
anythin' since. I know Pizzazz deposited Harvey's cheque an' the
company is solvent again...everyone's bein' paid bit by bit an' it's
all startin' to get back on an even keel. What else?"
"Harvey wanted me to ensure that the company began new forays into the
public domain." Elliot said simply. "He wanted me to make sure that
Misfit Music wasn't simply back doing good business. Though you have
the sponsors on board, their investments don't completely cover the
huge defecit Mr Raymond left in his wake. There's the matter of missing
money - I know you're aware of that - such as from the Moss agreement."
He pursed his lips.
"I discovered among Raymond's papers some opening negotiations for
shares." He added. "I didn't realise Misfits Music was going to float
on the stock exchange."
"It isn't." Jetta shook her head. "How can it? There aren't any
shareholders. Pizzazz owns the whole shebang."
"Well, this looks pretty well drafted out."
Elliot flicked through his pile of documents, handing it over. "It's
not completed - papers haven't been signed so nothing has been settled.
But Parker and Whyte are a good, reputable company. Investors who would
do the business no harm in the long run and even help it in terms of
credibility and status. Misfits Music has been barely turning a profit
in the entirety of its existance. Now it's scraping the barrel in a big
way. It's not just a case of paying existing staff, but covering
additional expenses. Overtime hours. New staffing to replace Mr
Raymond, which also requires publicity and human resources in it's own
right. Specifications need to be drawn up, scrutiny panels elected,
interviewers prepped..." He shook his head. "And then there are other
things. Essential supplies. Compensatory payments to members of staff
whose payment has been overtly delayed - Harvey was very particular
about keeping those people happy and on board. You mentioned musical
instruments, but it's about all the business has to offer. Old bills
have been paid, but new orders haven't been placed, authorised or
satisfied for a lot of the administrative necessities. Some have been
cancelled due to non-payment of earlier invoices."
He patted the edge of the document.
"If Miss Gabor could be persuaded to sell even a twenty percent share
in her company, all of those things would easily be taken care of."
"That would mean splitting the company ownership though, right?"
Jetta's eyes narrowed. "This don't mean a lot to me, but that is what
you're saying, isn't it?"
"On the broadest level, yes - but they'd be a silent partner." Elliot
nodded. "Many companies do this to increase capital. It isn't the end
of the world or even a sign of weakness. Sometimes quite the opposite.
Solidarity among big business is smiled on in many circles."
"I see." Jetta's brows knitted together. Then she shook her head.
"No." She said, dropping it down onto the table. "Pizzazz would never
go for that. Even if you put it to her how you just put it to me. This
is her company an' she ain't sharin' it with anyone outside. She's a
rich kid, this is her project. Turnin' a huge profit isn't her goal.
She doesn't need to - she's always got her Dad in the wings an' he's
always willin' to indulge her. If you take this any further than Eric
already 'as, you'll find yourself next on her hitlist. She won't sell
shares. I guarantee it."
"I appreciate that, Jetta, but you don't see the bigger picture. The
business angle in all of this. You don't understand..."
"Don't patronise me!" Jetta cut across him, banging a hand down onto
the table and making him jump. "That's all you've done since you
got 'ere. Talk around us like we're children who don't know what we're
doing. It's you
She shot him a dark look.
"We're Misfits." She said softly. "We don't operate on your level. We
operate on our own. Pizzazz won't sell any part of the company, so back
off and ditch that idea where it belongs. If we need capital, we'll
find other ways of raisin' capital. Misfit ways. We don't need to sell
out to cover those bases. You're jus' lookin' at it through DC specs
rather than' seein' things the way they are."
"It would be easier to talk to you on even levels if you stopped
answering everything I said with threats or complaints, too." Elliot
said evenly. "You don't make it easy for me to work with you. Any of
you. I'm trying to help...you seem to forget that all too often."
Jetta sighed, sitting back in her seat.
"Fine." She said flatly. "But there'll be no share selling. I promise
you that. So you'll have to think again."
"We're running out of options." Elliot admitted. "Selling assets, or
encouraging new investments...or downsizing staff, which we already
promised wasn't going to happen."
"So we need to find new investors, alongside the existing ones, then?"
Jetta mused. "Without selling shares. New sponsorship...is that what
you're saying to me?"
"Your sponsorship bases seem pretty well covered to me already." Elliot
frowned. "I've been over those, but short of breaking contractual
agreements, I don't see how any of them can be increased."
Jetta was silent for a moment.
"But we only have musical sponsorship for instruments." She said at
length. "Moss's money is gone...an' there's no tellin' how much of the
cash Pizzazz will drag out of Eric when she sues him, so it probably is
well an' truly gone. But that's not the only angle. You're thinkin'
like a business nob...this ain't Washington DC. There are hundreds of
things people might want to invest sponsorship money in us for."
A wicked smile touched her lips.
"Did you never 'ear of celebrity advertisin'?"
"I beg your pardon?"
"Labels. Designer contracts. Publicity." Jetta counted them off on her
fingers. "An' we're not jus' talking about the Misfits. Riot an' his
Stingers play for this company too an' their contracts are just as much
on the line as ours have been. They need shuttin' up an' dealin' with -
you've met Rory Llewelyn, I take it?"
"Yes." Elliot pursed his lips. "Are you going somewhere with all this?"
"Yes, so shut up." Jetta bristled. "At least hear me out. The Stingers
need keepin' busy, an' any investment right now is a good thing. Right?"
"So maybe it's time to work some marketing pitches for that lamebrain
group." Jetta said slowly. "Within reason, like. Nothin' substantial
enough to make them more important than we are. But we're all tied up
with this. We 'ave concerts an' shows already up to our ears. The
tickets are sellin' out an' I'm pretty sure I can negotiate a good deal
with the photographer to save on other costs. But Riot an' his vanity
is an untapped resource. He spends most of his time preening and
getting other people to fawn over him. Can you imagine the number of
hair care products he uses? Not to mention his skin lotions, body
waxes, haute couteur clothing..."
"We toured with them. Believe me, it ain't pretty."
Comprehension dawned in Elliot's eyes.
"You think that the people who make these kinds of products would
really look to invest money in a company that represented someone like
Rory Llewelyn and his group." He said softly. "Is that it? You think
that clothing labels and cosmetics companies would be interested in
having Riot and his band as their publicity machine?"
"Well, if you worked in that line, wouldn't you want someone who women
fawn over endorsin' your new aftershave?" Jetta asked astutely. Elliot
let out a low chuckle.
"I begin to see your point." He acknowledged. "It's an angle I had
overlooked, and it's one that's worth pursuing. Do you think the
Stingers would be interested?"
"Attention flung their way? Bound to be." Jetta nodded her head. "Reach
for the ego. The rest of Riot will come willingly once you've nailed
"Then I'll get on to that this afternoon." Elliot made a note on his
pad. "Any other sparks of fluke genius to share with me while we're at
"I'd be doin' your job for you, if I said yes." Jetta's tones held an
edge to them. "It's not fluke an' it isn't genius, neither. It's common
sense. You know the business side of things, but you don't know the
people you're workin' with or for. You keep makin' the mistake of
thinkin' what Harvey would do. This ain't about him. You need to tap
your resources too, you know. Us. We know stuff. We don't jus' get
kicks out of mindless violence. Sometimes we do some thinkin', too.
Even Roxy. So I've been told."
Elliot pursed his lips, eying her keenly.
"Maybe all of you are wasted in this line of work, then." He said
evenly. "And perhaps I'm wasted here, when you could all do such a good
job without me."
He cast a glance at his itinerary.
"I can't see us getting much more done now, then." He added. "I want to
grab a sandwich before I start calling contacts in the cosmetics
industry, and putting your idea to them. I'm sure you've other things
you want to be doing, too...so I won't keep you. If Miss Gabor asks, I
can tell her you've been helpful...so go. You don't need to be here and
I know you don't want to be."
"Whatever gave you that idea?" Jetta raised an eyebrow, getting to her
feet. She headed to the door but, as she reached it, she paused.
"Do you think you'll get them interested then? I mean, my idea
could work out?"
"It could, though I'll need to talk with Rory Llewelyn and the other
Stingers before anything is finalised." Elliot nodded his head. "I'm
willing to give it a shot, though. Besides, I have a friend pretty high
up at Zteca who owes me a favour. Perhaps I'll call it in. They are
always looking for new promotions."
"Oh." Jetta fell silent, digesting this. Then she shrugged.
"Well, so I guess there's wheeler dealin' in the business world, an'
"There's nothing safe and tame about big business, you know." Elliot
looked amused. "You see it as all facts and figures and bits of paper,
but it's not like that at all. Working for a man like Harvey Gabor, you
get to play the shark quite a lot, too. Going for the best deal,
sniping it out from under someone else's nose...that's the kick of it
all. The real reason people go into it. That's why he sent me here.
This is a challenge and I like challenges. The tougher the better - the
bigger the prize when you bring things to fruition."
Jetta stared at him. Then she offered him a wry grimace.
"Maybe the music industry isn't so different from what you do, then."
She said flippantly. "But at least we get to wear better threads."
"I'm sorry if I've been patronising." Elliot offered. "I haven't meant
to be. Just...well..."
"None of us are Ivy League material, none of us 'ave your nobby
education or experience an' we're all chicks who spend more time
fightin' the system than bein' it." Jetta said astutely. "But we care
about this company too. Makin' it work. It's not just money to Harvey's
coffers. It's who we are. Our entire identities are wrapped up in this
damn place an' you better 'ad know what you're doin', keepin' it
"I do." Elliot assured her. "Trust me, the company is in safe hands."
"I've 'eard that before." Jetta said frankly. "An' even if you're
right, for how long? You're a temporary measure. What happens when
Harvey calls you back to DC - who's going to run the place then?"
Three: To Hell And Beyond
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.