Arc Three: When Life Goes On...
Shadow Of The Girl

Chapter Seven: The Plot Hatches

"So let me get this straight."
Rory Llewelyn leant back in his chair, eying his visitor thoughtfully.
"You want the dirt on Emily and how best to get to her...what's in it for me to tell you that kind of information? Sirena is no longer Rebel Records' concern, Eric...and I'm rather surprised that she's any part of your concern, either."
"Well, she's not." Eric responded simply. "But her money is, Riot. I'm not going to pretend to you and I don't expect you to pretend, either. We both have axes to grind with that bitch at Misfit Music and her entourage. Stinging the mother is impossible - but Emily has money too, money in her own right from her earnings and no doubt from her suddenly devoted family. As for what's in it for you, that much is simple. I'll tear Sirena away from Misfit Music - play around a little with the place, get Pizzazz over a barrel over this. Then I'll get the money I need, and more besides. A stake of that money I will invest in your exceptional up and coming band - Diablo, isn't it? With Sirena unsettled and Misfit Music in chaos, Jewel will also be put out of the loop and your group will have a free aim at number one with their new single." A smile touched Eric's lips. "You forget, Riot, that I've been in your position myself. You needn't try and pretend with me that your business is on the level all of the time. A little help from me won't trouble your conscience any."
Rory pursed his lips, looking thoughtful.
"Number one is important to Diablo." He said at length. "And it hasn't helped anything that their screwball of a guitarist got herself sidelined in the hospital with concussion and a bad ankle. Nor did it help that the best damn video artist working out of California is in bed with the all truth, Eric, your offer of help could not have come at a better time. Jewel are always top in the polls, confound them, and Sirena - your damn daughter - is rumoured to have a new song in the works as we speak. Last time we lost out on number one to that girl and her bitch of a mother. Anything which unsettles her enough to cost her the top spot this time would please me very much."
"So we have a deal?"
"I believe we do." Rory nodded his head, extending his hand to shake his guest's. "But remember, Eric. You do your share and I do mine. I'm not taking the fall for any of your careless mistakes. Rebel Records is a reputable company with a big local reputation - I won't jeopardise that."
"You won't have to." Eric assured him. "But I need your help in telling me everything you know about my daughter. Things I can use to get her on my side - our side - at least until the question of money is settled. I don't plan on staying in America longer than I have to, so it won't be a long term operation. Just enough to get what I want."
"And get the girl out of my hair." Rory added. "Well, I will tell you what I can. I don't suppose it's much more than you already know, mind you."
"She used to work here - you must know something." Eric insisted. "What about this Michael guy that Pizzazz mentioned? What's his deal?"
"Michael is Emily's brat of a son, Eric." Rory looked slightly amused at the expression on his companion's face. "Yes, I'm afraid you're a grandfather as well as a father. It never rains but it pours, isn't that the expression?"
"Get to the point." Eric was impatient. "So she has a son, what else? Why did she leave Rebel Records?"
"She made her choice." Rory shrugged his shoulders. "I had already lost one important musical act through the death of Blade. She was about to cost this company a fortune by dragging it through an unwanted pregnancy and god knows what else. I told her I didnt have time for such nonsense and that she had to choose - the baby or her contract. She chose to leave and I cut my losses."
"I see." Eric looked thoughtful. "So you booted her off your books."
"More or less, yes." Rory nodded. "Don't tell me you're going to play the protective father, now?"
"Riot, I couldn't care less about the girl." Eric rolled his eyes. "I didn't know she existed till she was twenty and I could have lived the rest of my days without knowing, to tell you the truth. I've no interest in her for anything other than money." He made an impatient gesture with his hand. "Well? What else? There must be something."
"Pizzazz seems overly protective of Emily these days." Rory seemed to be considering the situation. "Public venues, you know, that kind of thing. And it's not uncommon either for Jetta's brat to write for her - I presume in your time here in Los Angeles you've heard something of the musical prodigy that Nancy Pelligrini is supposed to be?" He rolled his eyes. "I haven't seen much evidence of it myself. In my opinion Minx is a far superior writer, as are the kids from Diablo, but you know how it is when you've family in the business. Jetta's a shrewd old bat who knows how to promote her own."
"What about friends? Who are Emily's friends?"
"Eric, she's your daughter. Who would be friends with her?" Rory raised an amused eyebrow. "She isn't the kind of girl who inspires goodwill, you know. Oh, I daresay she's friendly enough with that Nancy girl in business circles, but aside from that? Noone I know of. Mind you, she left my books a good while ago now. I couldn't tell you anything more recent than that."
"How did you find out about her?"
"I have people who know how to find things." Rory was evasive. "I came to the conclusion independantly, but it's always nice to have your ideas proven to be true."
"Indeed." Eric nodded. He stood to leave.
"Well, if that's all you can tell me then I won't waste your precious time." He said ironically. "I must arrange a meeting with this...daughter. See what I can do."
He made his way over to the door, then stopped, turning.
"One last thing. I tried to get her phone number last night but apparently she doesn't exist. The girl does live in the city?"
"Yes." Rory nodded. "In a plush apartment building on eighth, if memory serves. I can't think why you couldn't find her. Evidently you're losing your touch."
"Or she's changed her name since I spoke to her in Canada." Eric snapped back. "She was Emily-Jayne Raymond then and that's what her birth certificate says. What does she go by now?"
"Emily Gabor." Rory shrugged. "She changed it when the brat was born - presumably to try and pretend she was a Gabor instead of a Raymond mistake." He sneered. "Well, good luck with your bonding session. I have plenty to do, but do keep me informed. I'm most keen to get Diablo their first number one single and anything I can do to put Sirena off..."
"Leave it to me." Eric promised. "She'll have nothing further from her mind than music. We'll both get what we want from, number one, and most of all, revenge."
Rory watched him leave, door swinging shut behind him, and he frowned.
"Always has to make a dramatic exit." He murmured, absently scooping up the folder of files on his desk and dumping it into one of the trays. "But if he can delay or distress Sirena enough to keep her off number one it could be just what Diablo need. At the start of this week I thought everything was collapsing around me, with Zoe's flu and Stefana;s accident. Now word from the hospital is encouraging and at least that psychotic girl is out of my hair and my cash flow for a while. Plus, I never knew that Marissa was Chimera's daughter, but it's come in very handy this week, since we were down a video artist. All things considered, everything appears to be clicking together. I'm most pleased. Now, if only Eric can do something right for once..."
He rolled his eyes.
"Oh well. Either way, Rebel Records won't be in for a share of the blame." He mused. "After all, it's his word on mine, and his word got discredited in this state a long time ago."
Unbeknownst to Rory or Eric, however, a third person had heard much of their conversation, and was turning it over in her mind with some consternation. Chimera, having awoken early had come to Rebel Records in order to submit her video ideas, before taking a relaxing afternoon convalescing at the hotel. She was not a woman whose conscience was easily aroused for a stranger, but her conversation with Emily in the gardens the day before had stuck in her mind and she was more than a little angry that her niece was going to be used in this way.
"Emily's a clever girl with a shrewd mind but she's also desperate for family and Eric's a weasel. He'll know how to manipulate that need." She muttered to herself, slipping along the corridor and into an empty office as she considered what to do. She sank down in the big chair, drumming her fingers on the desk. "Dammit, I'm supposed to be convalescing here, not running around after Marissa's group and worrying about estranged nieces. For heaven's sake, Chimera, she's Pizzazz's daughter - not yours. You don't owe her anything."
She sighed.
"Hang it, I can't just leave it. The poor kid will be taken to pieces." She said sadly. "Sirena has a press for being tough but she was vulnerable yesterday - family's a big deal to her. I guess I'm just going to have to go find her this afternoon, instead of taking a time out at the hotel." She rolled her eyes. "Oh well, what my doctor and my husband don't know won't hurt them, I guess."
A sound from the doorway made her look up, meeting the quizzical gaze of Rory himself. She raised an eyebrow.
"You wanted something?" She asked quietly.
"Well, I did expect you to be waiting outside my office." Rory snapped back at her. "I don't like working with you as it is, Chimera, if it wasn't for the fact things were desperate I wouldn't have let Marissa talk me into it. The very least you could do is be on time."
"Riot, you have never been and never will be my boss." Chimera got to her feet wearily, scooping up her folder as she did so. "And I have what you want here." She held it out. "You can go over my concepts with a fine tooth comb and discuss them with the band - then let me know what you want to do. As for me, I'm taking the afternoon off. Remember, I'm not supposed to be working. I'm doing you a favour, and if it wasn't for Marissa and the others I wouldn't be doing it."
"Whatever." Rory snatched the folder, flicking through it. "Mm, not bad. I'll take these and discuss them with Sophie and Diablo. I'm sure we can make a decent video out of them."
"If I'm involved in it, Riot, it'll be more than decent." Chimera snapped. "Now, you get on with your business and I'll get on with mine. Okay?"
Without waiting for a response she pushed past him and out of the office, stalking down the corridor and into the lift car. If she was honest, the late hours she had put in finishing the concept sketches had taken it's toll on her, and she was not feeling as good as she had done since she'd left the hospital seven days earlier, but she had never been one to fuss, and besides, she had more important things on her mind.
"After all, I didn't know I had a niece before I came to Cali." She murmured, pounding the lift buttons as the door slid shut. "But I do know I have one now, and even if she is Pizzazz's daughter, I'm not going to let blood of mine get hurt by that creep Eric Raymond!"

Prologue: February 1997  
Chapter One: Sirena's Show

Chapter Two: A Plot
Chapter Three: In California
Chapter Four: About Chimera
Chapter Five: Sirena's Aunt
Chapter Six: A Special Quest
Chapter Seven: The Plot Hatches
Chapter Eight: Eric Strikes
Chapter Nine: Webchat
Chapter Ten: Complications
Chapter Eleven: Handling Emily
Chapter Twelve: A Discovery
Chapter Thirteen: A Birthday Surprise

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!