A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Twelve: Fire!

"Something's wrong."
Copper gazed up at the big music company building, a look of consternation on her face. "Can't you tell? Something's happening...look, people are coming out of there every which way!"
"Copper's right." Sylva got to her feet, peering at the building herself and shielding her eyes from the sun's glare with her hands. "Do you think we should go and see what's up? P'raps we can help."
"I can hear something...it sounds like the fire alarm." Nancy looked troubled, as the five girls made their way around the building to the front entrance, where people were beginning to gather in nervous huddles. "Aaron! Aaron, what's the deal?"
"Fire alarm...looks like a real one, too." Aaron responded. "Several people said they smelt smoke. Seems the sprinklers have jammed and so things are kinda crazy - someone's called the fire service, but they're not here yet."
"Fire?" Sadie blanched. "Oh my god..."
"What's up?" Topaz asked, hoisting her sleepy infant into a more comfortable position.
"When I went to grab Hollie I just tossed my cigarette into the bin, I didn't put it out." Sadie twisted her hands together. "I...I didn't even think about it, I forgot it was even there. What if..."
"Sadie, it's hardly likely it was your cig that set the place to go up." Aaron told her sensibly. "You girls went out a good fifteen minutes ago, it would've spread more quickly than this by now. In any case, it's the first and second floor and the elevator that seem to be the worst affected so far. You girls were in a studio on the second to top floor."
Sadie bit her lip.
"You don't know, though. I mean...the sprinklers didn't go off when I was up there, and...and I shouldn't have been smoking in there anyhow. Phyllis will throw a fit if she finds out. And I could be to blame...you don't know that I'm not."
Copper hugged Sadie gently.
"Listen, we don't think you are." She murmured. "Yeah, you should've put the cigarette out properly, but we were still in the studio two or three minutes after Hollie almost fell and we didn't smell anything burning then. If it had been your fault, we would have smelt it and dealt with it before it spread. It must have been something else. Bad wiring, perhaps, if the sprinklers are out."
"Someone said the alarm had to be manually started." Aaron agreed. "So it sounds to me like an electronic glitch. Perhaps a carry over from the sabotage of our visitors the other night. Whatever it was, though, I really don't think it was you, Sadie."
"I hope you're right." Sadie murmured, gazing up at the building. Wisps of grey-black smoke were beginning to curl out from some of the windows and involuntarily she shivered. "I hope everyone got out."
"I wonder if Mom was working today." Sylva frowned. Sylva's mother Mary, formerly Stormer of the Misfits worked in Los Angeles these days as a songwriter for Misfit Music, and though she was rarely on site, occasionally she would consult her former bandmates for their opinion on the kind of music they wanted.
"I'm here, Sylvie." A voice came from the crowd and relieved, Sylva hugged her mother tightly.
"Thank God." She murmured. "I wasn't sure if you were here today or not, but I had a nasty feeling you were."
"I'm equally glad to see you safe." Mary murmured. "Fire's a horrible thing."
"Is it bad in there?" Topaz asked. Mary frowned.
"It's real." She said evasively. "It's not a hoax."
"Nancy? Aaron?" At that moment a fresh voice joined the conversation and Aaron sent his father a confused look.
"Dad? What are you doing here?" He asked.
"I had a phonecall about five minutes ago from your Aunt Phyllis." Justin's expression was worried. "She said something was going down at Misfit Music and that she couldn't reach your mother...she asked me to go see if things were all right. She seemed pretty uptight, like she knew something was up, so I came. Where...where's Jetta?"
"Mom?" Aaron's eyes widened, and he cast his gaze over the crowd of people. "I...I don't know."
"Mom!" Nancy's expression became one of fear. "Oh god, what if she's still in there! Dad..."
"She can't be! She's no fool, she'd have got out as soon as the alarm sounded, surely?" Copper put in. Justin frowned.
"I hope so." He murmured. "But Pizzazz said that she heard the alarm on the phone and that Jetta said she thought it was a hoax...she was going to deal with it. Since then she's not been able to get through..."
"Oh God, what if she's still in there?" All colour drained from Nancy's face.
"Cool it." Aaron ordered her. "We don't know she is. Hang on, I see her secretary over there...I'll go see if she's seen her."
He disappeared into the crowd, returning in the briefest of moments, but to the frightened Nancy it seemed like forever.
"Well?" She demanded.
"Not seen her." Aaron shook his head, his expression troubled. "One of the interns said she took Aunt Phyl's call and Mom went up to answer it. Noone's seen her since then."
"Then...she must still be in there." Justin turned his gaze on the building, making up his mind in an instant. "I'm going to find her."
"I'm coming with you." Aaron said firmly.
"Aaron, it's dangerous!" Copper protested.
"She's my mother. What else can I do?" Aaron demanded. "Look, Copper, keep an eye on Nancy, make sure she doesn't try and go in too, she's on the verge of panic here."
He thrust his frightened sister into his fiancee's grasp, then took off in the direction his father had gone, inwardly praying that they would not be too late.
Justin was already inside, forcing his way through the jamming doors and into the main lobby of the building. The wail of sirens echoed faintly through the smoke and darkness as he pushed his way through fallen cabinets to the stairwell. Coughing and choking, he ordered Aaron back outside, but Aaron was having none of it.
"She's my mother." He choked out through the thick acrid smoke. "I can't..."
Justin knew that there was no time to argue with him now, and he pushed ahead up the stairs, inwardly praying that the fire had not reached the top floor yet. As he set foot onto the landing, he realised that his wish had been granted, at least in part, but the smoke was still very thick and he paused at an open window to take a gasping gulp of air, before plunging towards his wife's office.
"She's n...not in h...here!" Aaron, who had gotten there first exclaimed, then, "Aunt Phyl's!"
Justin needed no second telling, throwing his whole body weight against the office door until it swung open, creaking and juddering as the lock splintered.
"Mom!" Aaron called, coughing violently. "Mom!"
"Aaron!" Justin blinked several times against the stinging smoke, spotting a still form on the floor not far from the fire exit doorway. Between them they lifted the limp executive, and, after several attempts Aaron got the fire door open. Carefully they carried her down, gulping in the fresh air as they did so and on the ground below the crowd parted so that they could lay their charge gently on the grass.
She made no sign of moving, and as Nancy wrestled free from Copper's grip to go to her mother, Aaron knelt at Jetta's side, reaching for a pulse with trepidation.
There was a moment of silence, then he frowned, slowly shaking his head.
"There's no pulse." He murmured, his tone both dazed and disbelieving. "She...she's dead!"


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!