A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Eleven: A Surprise for Jetta

"Where the hell is Topaz?"
Nancy glanced impatiently out of the window of the big Misfit Music studio, a frown on her face. "We're already behind on laying down this track, where in hell could she be?"
"She's probably settling Hollie someplace." Sadie said sensibly, sitting on the windowledge and lighting a cigarette. "She probably got held up waiting for the kid's vaccination to be done, you know what hospitals are like. It's barely ten, Nance, and it's only a practice session, we're not laying the track down till this afternoon. She'll be here."
"Yeah, I know." Nancy sighed. "I'm wound up, that's all. I wish I knew who'd meddled with our stuff, it puts me on edge. I can't help thinking that this isn't the end of it."
"Noone else has turned up to wreck anything." Sylva pointed out. "Sadie, if Phyllis catches you smoking up here she'll kill you herself."
"Phyllis isn't here today, she went to San Francisco early this morning and she won't be back till tonight at the earliest." Copper reported. "Aaron told me as much when we arrived - apparently it was last minute. I don't know why. He said she seemed more short tempered and impatient than usual, perhaps someone screwed up a scouting operation or something. Either way, she's outta town."
"Strange that she should go with so little notice." Sadie mused. Nancy shook her head.
"No, not with Aunt Phyl. That's how she works." She replied. "She's impulsive that way, always off after some whim somewhere or other." She grinned. "That's why the company employs Mom too. Between the pair of them they make a go of it, but I don't think either one of them could run the place without the other's support."
"They're a good team." Copper nodded.
"As are we." Sylva pointed out.
"Yes, when our singer gets here." Nancy rolled her eyes. "I know I'm stressing over nothing, you guys, but deadlines are really looming over us now, if we're gonna meet production and issue dates."
"So leave that to Jetta and Phyllis to fuss over." Sylva shrugged. "Sadie, that thing stinks!! At least open a window, will you?"
"All right, all right." Sadie rolled her eyes, doing as she was bidden. "Honestly, Syl, you're such a naggy cow sometimes!"
"Smoking is bad for your health, dummy." Sylva told her bluntly. "Besides, I don't want to stink of cigarettes all that much, thank you! This top is new!"
Sadie laughed.
"Noone would ever say you were vain, would they?" She suggested wryly. Sylva shrugged.
"I care enough about my health and my appearance not to develop odious habits." She said pointedly. Sadie rolled her eyes.
"Fine, lay into me. I'm used to it." She said resignedly, taking a drag and flicking ash onto the sill. "It ain't gonna work, anyway. I'm a fully paid up member of Smokers Anonymous."
"Hah, very anonymous." Sylva retorted.
"Time out, the pair of you." Copper rolled her eyes. "Sadie, if you set off the sprinklers you're taking responsibility, all right?"
"That's funny." Nancy frowned.
"What now?" Sylva demanded.
"Well, what Copper said is right...Sadie's smoke should have set the sprinklers off."
"I'm right by the window, it probably hasn't triggered the sensors yet." Sadie shrugged. "And hey, here's our missing member!"
"Hi, all, sorry I'm late." Topaz pushed open the door, casting a tired grin around. Her daughter was tightly clutched in her arms, and Sylva raised an eyebrow.
"Is Hollie joining the band?" She asked. Topaz rolled her eyes.
"Creche is closed. Apparently they're booked to repaint today, or something." She said. "So I've nowhere to take her."
"What about Cynthia?" Copper looked startled. "Won't she sit for you?"
"She's running her virus scan." Topaz responded. "She'd already begun when I got back from Hollie's innoculation at the hospital this morning, and I didn't like to pester her when she's busy. So...I think we're kinda stuck with her. I'm sorry, you guys."
"Heya, Hol." Sylva came to take the baby out of her friend's arms. "How did she take the jab?"
"Screamed her little head off." Topaz groaned. "But she's calmed down a lot now."
"It's not nice having a stinky needle shoved in your arm." Sylva protested. "Is it, Hol? I don't blame you for squealing!"
Hollie gurgled and batted Sylva on the nose, making everyone laugh.
"I'll second that sentiment." Sadie said ruefully. "Needles are nothing but trouble." She glanced up at the clock. "Are we gonna run through?"
"Sure." Topaz nodded. "Syl, just sit Hollie down on the unit. She's not gonna move far."
"Okay." Sylva did as she was bidden, heading into the storeroom to find her synth cables.
"You sure the noise won't upset her?" Copper eyed the infant doubtfully. Topaz frowned.
"We'll soon know." She responded. "But in all truth, I don't know what else I can do with her. I can't leave her alone at home or anything."
"Let's hope she doesn't object too loudly, then." Nancy remarked, tuning up her guitar for the third time. "There, that's better."
"Syl, can you grab my leads, too?" Sadie called. "I...Woah, Hollie!"
Tossing her cigarette hastily into the bin, she darted forward just in time to prevent the small girl from a nasty fall, for, contrary to her mother's expectations, the glint of the pink guitar at the edge of the unit had caught the baby's attention and she had begun to crawl towards it, slipping on the shiny surface as she did so.
"Oh God." Topaz took the protesting baby from Sadie's grip, her expression shaken. "Thank you, Sadie...I took my eyes off her for a second, that's all! You saved her from a nasty accident."
"I didn't know she could crawl yet." Nancy frowned. Topaz shook her head, as Sylva reemerged from the little side room, quickly being filled in with what happened.
"Nor did I." The singer admitted, holding her daughter protectively. "You little horror, what are you trying to do to me, huh?"
"Good thing for her Sadie's reflexes are fast." Copper remarked. "I didn't see what she was up to till it was too late."
"I just grabbed for her." Sadie blushed. "I'm sorry if I was rough on her, Topaz, I didn't mean to make her cry."
"It's fine, she's just upset because her game was foiled." Topaz sighed. "I'm sorry, guys, I don't think I can practice with Hollie here. Can we take a raincheck and come back later? It just isn't fair on her, and I'd feel like a bad mother."
Nancy sighed, sliding her guitar off her shoulder.
"Guess there's nothing else we can do." She admitted. "I suggest we go outside in the grounds and play with her for a bit till she's tired, then pester Mom to watch her for an hour or so while we run through. Mom doesn't love babysitting but we know she can handle kids, because she raised Aaron and I, and if she realises the situation, with our deadlines and all, it might work."
"Okay, I'm with that." Copper nodded. "Topaz, are you all right? You're pale as anything."
"I'll be fine." Topaz assured her. "Just scared me, that's all." She cast Sadie a grin. "I'm glad you're around, you know. I owe you one."
"Kids get into everything." Sadie looked self-conscious. "I was just in the right place. That's all." She shrugged. "Let's go outside, then, get her sleepy. Then we'll see if we can lay this B track down!"


"Considerin' Jewel are meant to be practicin', it's bloody quiet."
Jetta frowned, rolling a pencil from left hand to right as she contemplated. "I s'pose I ought to go an' yell at 'em, get 'em motivated. This damn record is provin' to be more 'assle than any of their others put together, but now the equipment's fixed they ain't got an excuse not to record."
She got to her feet, pushing the door of her office open and heading towards the lift shaft, pressing the button impatiently.
There was no response, and she rolled her eyes.
"Bloody thing's jammed again." She said darkly. "Fine, another thing to be lumbered with. Bloody good day to go out of town, Pizzazz! Leave me with all the menial crap to do round 'ere."
She crossed the corridor to the stairwell, heading down to the floor which housed the main studio and pushing open the door, stopping dead when she realised it was empty.
"What the?" She frowned, cursing. "Now where are they? Flippin' 'eck, don't they want to put out this record?"
She rolled her eyes, turning on her heel and retracing her steps into the corridor, pausing to assess where the musicians might have gone.
As she did so, a figure at the end of the corridor caught her attention, and her brows knitted in confusion.
"What in 'ell..." She muttered. "Everything is 'appenin' today! What are they doin' 'ere? Don't tell me they're lookin' for a music contract, an' all!"
As yet unobserved by the visitor, she realised that they were not alone, and as she cast her gaze over the intruder's companion she vaguely remembered him. Phyllis had interviewed and hired him not long ago, in order to handle the menial work around the music company, and she had not liked him then. Now her distrust of him was compounded, and she decided that whatever was going on, it was time it stopped. She cleared her throat, and as one the two conspirators turned. Far from being put off, however, the intruder laughed.
"Mrs Pelligrini, I hoped I'd catch you." The employee, whose name was Jake something, Jetta remembered, spoke. "I wanted your advice on something that my friend here brought to my attention."
"I bet they bloody well did." Jetta's eyes narrowed. "Well? You better 'ave a damn good explanation for bringin' them in 'ere, if you want to keep your job."
"So you recognise me, then?" The intruder asked. "I'm impressed."
"Your disguise don't fool me." Jetta snapped. "Get out...the pair of you. I'll deal with you tomorrow, Jake, I got plenty to do now."
"Ms Pelligrini, there's an urgent phonecall for you upstairs." An intern entered the corridor at that moment, casting Jetta a shy smile. Jetta turned, her attention distracted.
"A call? Can you tell em I'll call em back?" She demanded, flitting her gaze back in the direction of the two miscreants, but they were nowhere to be seen. "I 'ave work to do."
"No, it's...it's Ms Gabor." The intern replied. "She...she seems quite insistant you speak to her now."
"Oh, damn her." Jetta rolled her eyes. "All right, I'm coming."
With very bad grace she stalked back up the stairs, and into her office, picking up the phone.
"Jetta?" Pizzazz's voice crackled down the line, sounding somewhat anxious.
"What?" Jetta demanded. "Pizzazz, I got a pile of work..."
"Listen, shut your mouth and pay attention." Pizzazz interrupted. "I had a weird call about a half hour ago to my mobile, did you call me?"
"Of course I bloody didn't!" Jetta exclaimed. "Why would I? I don't need you 'oldin' me 'and all the time you're out of town."
There was a pause, then,
"I guess it was a wrong number." The executive conceded, though she didn't sound convinced. "No matter."
"Pizzazz, what in 'ell's up with you?" Jetta demanded. "You don't usually bother me with wrong numbers!"
"Nothing." Pizzazz didn't sound sincere. "Look, I'm gonna get outta here soon as I can...are Jewel practicing?"
"God knows." Jetta rolled her eyes. "Hey, Pizzazz...that reminds me. I wanted to ask you about someone."
"Yeah...someone I encountered here this morning." Jetta agreed. "I...oh, what the hell?" As a piercing screech echoed through the building. "Bloody fire alarms...I bet this is a set up! I'll talk to you later, Pizzazz, I gotta go find out who's playin' games with the system now. I swear, if it's another bleedin' squirrel..."
She banged down the phone, heading out of her office to assess the situation. The alarm and the sound of panic made it difficult to hear anything much else from the floors below, but to her consternation she became aware of the smell of smoke, drifting up through the doors and cracks of the lift shaft and filling the corridor.
"What in 'ell? Why aren't the sprinklers workin'? What took the alarm so bloody long to go off?" She wondered, hurrying into her office to phone 911, but her phoneline was now dead and cursing, she made her way into Pizzazz's room, testing the phone there.
"Dead, too." She muttered. "Dammit...I left me mobile on the counter at 'ome, what a day to do that!"
She crossed the office to the fire escape door, pressing hard on the lever, but it wouldn't budge. Her frown deepened, for she had always been claustrophobic and though she kept it well under wraps these days it was hard in the circumstances not to panic. She thought she heard a laugh from outside the office door, then the smoke became more intense, and despite herself Jetta found it difficult to breathe. With one last attempt she put all her weight on the fire escape handle, to no avail. It was well and truly stuck and, as a mixture of panic and smoke enveloped her, she found herself losing consciousness. With her last thought she placed the owner of the laugh, knowing all too well what had happened too late to prevent it.
Then she gave up fighting, and everything went black.


Prologue: 1989
Chapter One: The "Anniversary"
Chapter Two: Jewel's Sound
Chapter Three: At Sirena's Place
Chapter Four: Jewel's Video
Chapter Five: Fanmail
Chapter Six: A Stranger
Chapter Seven: Stefana's Date
Chapter Eight: The Results
Chapter Nine: A Moment's Weakness
Chapter Ten: A Shock For Zoe
Chapter Eleven: A Surprise For Jetta

Chapter Twelve: Fire!

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!