"Ugh, I give up."
Phyllis Gabor slammed her computer mouse down onto the desktop in disgust,
glaring at the computer screen as if the machine had personally offended
her. "I swear it's eaten another file, Jetta! When is that damn son of
yours coming in to fix it?"
"There ain't a cure for incompetent user syndrome, love, except plenty
more practice." Her companion, Jetta Pelligrini retorted sweetly, coming
to peer at the mainframe over her colleague's shoulder.
"Quit it with the smart remarks, then, and find the damn file for me."
She snapped. "I've looked in every folder on the hard disk and it's not
there. I swear it was there last night, but it's not there now."
"Try 'My Documents'" Jetta suggested calmly, making no attempt to do
as her companion said. "It's your own fault, you know. You shouldn't 'ave
insisted on so many additional 'ard drives for the network! Things go
missin' round 'ere more often than they do in the Bermuda Triangle, an'
that's a fact!"
"Sometimes I wish you'd take a trip into the Bermuda Triangle, and
give us all some peace." Phyllis muttered, clicking on the folder with
very bad grace, and scanning down the filenames for the one she wanted.
"So computer technology stinks - I can't help that!"
Jetta laughed. For more than twenty years these two former Misfits
had formed the backbone of Misfits Music, Los Angeles's most high flying
recording company, and, despite their banter they made a good team, for
they complemented each other neatly in the running of the business. Phyllis
was the frontwoman, the owner and the funds behind the enterprise, whilst
Jetta had the shrewd, administrative brain which kept the company ticking
and made sure nothing went on that they did not know about.
Jetta had only returned to work a week previously, for an arson attempt
on Misfits Music had left her critically ill, and it had been against all
odds that she had pulled through. Though she had not spoken about the incident
since her return, there were still traces of huskiness in her clipped
British tones that told of the damage the fire had done, and she was a
thinner, more fragile looking Jetta than the one who had run the company
before. Despite this, however, her sharp tongue and quick brain had been
altered none at all by her experiences, and she had been glad to get back
to normality as soon as the doctors had allowed her.
"Well, is it there?" She demanded now. "For Christ's sake, Pizzazz,
I can't 'old your 'and every time you lose a file! Don't you think I've
enough bloody letters to write myself this mornin', without huntin' for
yours as well?"
"I don't need anyone holding my hand." Pizzazz retorted, finally locating
her file and double clicking on the filename. "It's the new computer system!
I had the old one figured, and then that creep Zipper sent the place up
in smoke and burnt out everything! I can't be expected to know everything
about a machine I've had six weeks, now can I?"
"I suppose not." Jetta relented, perching on the end of her friend's
desk and setting down the folder which she had come to seek. "So what
is the file, anyway? Somethin' important?"
"Just some company asking about stars and sponsorship and running a
commercial or something." Phyllis dismissed it. "I'm gonna tell him no.
The offer is no way good enough for any of our people, anyway, and with
the company just back up and running we've enough to do."
"Surely the publicity couldn't 'urt?"
"Maybe not, but I can't be bothered with it now." Phyllis shook her
head. "Listen up, Jetta, I had another letter this morning. It's...rather
more important than some two-bit commercial breakdown. Here." She thrust
a sheet of headed notepaper at her companion. "What do you make of that?"
"What am I supposed to make of it?" Jetta glanced at it, raising an
eyebrow. "Unless you'd like me to comment on whether or not you should take
up the Platinum credit card at a low seasonal apr?"
"Oh, dammit." Phyllis grimaced, snatching the letter back and rootling
out another one. "Here. Same colour - damn junk mail."
"Ooh." Jetta's eyes narrowed thoughtfully. "This is a big deal, ain't
it? Do our girls know yet?"
"Nope." Phyllis shook her head. "How could they? I got the letter this
morning, I told you, and they've been downstairs in the studio most of
that. Besides, I wanted to show you first. A nomination of this kind is
important - and with the month we've had, they need it. This isn't a state
award - it carries international recognition and it's about time Jewel had
something else in the trophy cabinet than a California loves you token and
some contest prize from Morvania. Don't you think?"
"With my girl writin' the songs, you know I'm not gonna disagree."
Jetta handed it back. "So I suppose this means that their schedule is
going to be mad for a while, then?"
"Yes, and whatever the new song they're going to release, it'd better
be something special." Phyllis agreed grimly. "We've had too much negative
press of late, with the fire and the hearing and you playing the tragic
heroine. Jewel's new album is late now - they haven't time to be worrying
about that sponsorship deal. We have to prime them for an award win."
"Aaron told me that he and Copper were thinking of pitchin' a date
soon." Jetta looked thoughtful. "I guess that's off, huh?"
"If I have anything to say about it, it will be." Phyllis said darkly.
"Copper isn't getting time off to marry some guy - even if he is your
son - at the moment. This is too important, after all."
"In that case, I'll 'ead down to the studio an' send 'em up, shall
I?" She suggested. "After all, you break bad news so much better than
Before Phyllis could retort, she was gone.
Jewel were taking a break from their music when Jetta found them, clustered
in the company's main studio as they discussed the latest city news. Sylvina,
who had spent the previous weekend with her sister in New York, had returned
from the city full of the news of her sister's engagement, and had been only
too eager to share the details of her visit to the Big Apple.
"Anna gave me strict instructions that we were to keep an eye on Gaynor
in a social sense and make sure she's cool in LA." She concluded, tucking
a dark curl behind her ear. "So I said we would. After all, Gaynor's pretty
cool company, and it's weird when you move right across the country."
"Is she here full time now?" A graceful girl with long auburn curls
and pretty dark eyes asked from her corner behind the drum kit. Sylva nodded.
"She's working with Shana Julian and Regine Cesare." She agreed. "As
an apprentice. As far as Annie was concerned, she was thrilled about it,
"Well, I'm glad for her." A fair haired girl observed, her accent giving
away the fact that she was of Canadian birth. "She sure came to our rescue
at the reunion show, when the Stingers blitzed our stuff. I hope we might
even work with her, if she settles here. It would be cool, don't you think,
to have a designer?"
"It would be cooler still if you 'ad some new music." Jetta lounged
in the doorway of the practice studio, a wry smile on her face, for they
had not heard her approach and her voice had caused all of them to start
guiltily. "Don't you think?"
"We were practicing, Jetta. We just took five." The red-headed girl
assured her. "Syl was having problems with one of the faster passages,
so we decided to give it a break for a few minutes, then get back to it."
"When doesn't Syl have a problem with the passages?" A dark girl, very
like Jetta in appearance except for her dark eyes observed ironically from
the windowseat. "She'll get it in the end - and if she spent longer looking
over the scripts I gave her before it came to practicing as a group, we'd
get on a lot faster."
"Oh, shut up, Nancy." Sylva put her hands on her hips. "Some of us want
some semblance of a social life, even if you don't! Besides, I only got
back from New York yesterday, and you guys were all going over this from
Wednesday. I was with Anna - I had an excuse!"
"Well, you better prepare your best excuses, my girl." Jetta's grey
eyes twinkled with amusement. "The boss wants to see you all upstairs,
pronto. I think she 'as some news for you."
"News?" The final member of the group looked startled. "What kind of
"If you go, you'll find out." Was Jetta's infuriating response. "Go
on with you! You'll 'ave plenty of time this afternoon to get the song
right, let me tell you!"
"We haven't even begun laying down a vocal yet, Mom." Nancy grimaced.
"It's gonna take more than today, trust me."
"Guess we'd better go and see what Phyllis wants, though." The Canadian
jumped down from off the unit, reaching over to switch off the microphone.
"She's not the most patient of folk, and the longer we keep her, the longer
we'll be here tonight. It mightn't matter to you folk, but there's a little
girl in the creche downstairs who would quite like to go home this evening,
if at all possible."
"It's okay, Topaz, we're going." The redhead assured her. "Though I
can't think what it's about. After all, Misfit Music has only been back
up and running a few weeks."
With that, the five girls left the practice room, heading upstairs to
the big office which belonged to the illustrious Phyllis Gabor. Since the
fire, the whole building had been redecorated, as well as rebuilt in some
quarters, and work was still going on at the far side of the company to
install brand new offices. Phyllis was fiercely proud of her company, and
it had been a cruel blow when she had returned home from a business trip
to find the building charred and silent, but now it was back at it's best,
and Jewel knew that, before long, things would be exactly as they had before.
"So what do you reckon this news is?" Sylva wondered, as she pushed
open the door of the stairwell. "I wish they'd get the elevator moving!
Trust Phyllis to insist on the whole thing being re-routed!"
"It's the air vents they're re-routing, not the elevator as such." Nancy
said sensibly. "And a good thing, too! Mom almost died in Aunt Phyl's office,
unless you'd forgotten. Now she's making sure that if there's ever another
fire again, the smoke can't jump through the ducts like that and take someone
by surprise. I don't care if it means the elevator's off limits for a while
longer. I'd rather know the place is safe."
"I think we all would." The red-headed girl observed gravely. "It's
good to have Jetta back, too. She still looks delicate though - have you
"Mom is only delicate when she can't answer back, Copper." Nancy told
her with a grin. "Oh, yeah, I've noticed she's not as ferocious looking
as she was before, but I'm just glad she's alive and that the fire didn't
cause her brain-damage. Things could've been a lot worse - at least this
way she'll be able to come to yours and Aaron's wedding. Did you set a date
"Nope, not yet." Copper shook her curly head. "Though now Jetta is back
to full health, we must do so. Part of me hopes it might be before Christmas,
but I don't know. The fact that Phyllis has 'news' for us puts me on my
guard a bit. After all, God knows what that means, but it's almost guaranteed
to result in long hours."
"We've done this job too long." Topaz laughed. "But I think you're right.
After everything over recent weeks, it wouldn't surprise me if Phyllis had
a huge Jewel publicity blitz up her sleeve, starting with this single."
"Which we are never going to get right, at this rate." Nancy rolled
her eyes. "Syl can't play the synth part right, Sadie keeps confusing her
chords and we haven't even got to the vocal yet."
"I only messed up the chords once." Sadie, the fair-haired, British
born member of the group objected. Topaz grinned.
"You know Nancy. She's a perfectionist at best." She said wisely. "We'll
get it down, you know. We always do."
They reached the executive's office at that moment, and Nancy knocked
on the door, waiting for the familiar voice to call them in. Once they
were assembled before the desk, Phyllis cast a thoughtful glance around
"You took your time." She said at length.
"We came as soon as Mom told us, but we have to use the stairs at the
moment." Nancy pointed out. "What's up, Aunt Phyl?"
"I had a letter this morning which is a pretty big deal for you girls."
Phyllis eyed them speculatively, then, "It was from a prestigious award
nomination commitee, and Jewel have been nominated for the best Rock Act
award. Here, this is the letter." She pushed it across the desk, and Sylva
grabbed it up eagerly.
"Wow, for real? Do you think we could win?" She demanded.
"We're going to do our damn best to make sure you do win." Phyllis said
grimly. "Listen up, kids. We've had a hell of a time at this place lately.
You know that, and I know that. The award ceremony isn't till the end of
September, but with one thing and another, Jewel haven't had a single out
since July. There's no way in hell you're going to get this award if you
haven't any recent chart smashes to your name - so I've decided it's time
we stepped up your schedule and upped the publicity train. I've already arranged
interviews with local radio and a magazine photoshoot for Music Biz - but
I need a song to go with it. How far along is the new track?"
"It's crawling." Nancy pulled a face. "We'll nail it, Aunt Phyl, but
to be honest I'm not real happy with some of the lyrics I wrote, and Syl's
having trouble with some of the melody, since she only got back to LA yesterday
"Hm." Phyllis pursed her lips. "Well, I want it nailed by the end of
the week, okay? I need it laid down and in video production as soon as is
possible. Diablo have had a huge chart hit with their last single - it's
been number one for four weeks, and so far it shows no sign of budging off
the top spot. I don't know if Diablo are nominees for this award or not,
but on their recent publicity hype, I would say it was more than a possibility.
It would be the worst thing in the world if Diablo were to get a foothold
over Jewel in this country -do you understand me? Aside from being second
best to Rory Llewelyn, it would mean that Jewel were beginning to fade
"We're not fading out, Phyllis. We're game for whatever it takes." Topaz
assured her. Phyllis nodded her head.
"That's good to know." She replied. "I wanted to have you girls away
across Europe this month, but with the fire and everything else, it's not
been possible. I'm hoping to reschedule your visit across the Atlantic for
sometime around October or November, if it's at all possible, and I'm debating
the possibilities of breaking Australia and New Zealand's market come the
new year. We have plenty to do, and this award would set you all up nicely."
"Australia? Really?" Sylva's eyes widened. "How cool is that?"
"Well, it's just an idea at the moment. I have calls to make." Phyllis
responded. "But possibly, yes. You see now why this is so important?"
"It sounds like a buzz." Sadie said softly. "I've never been to Australia,
and I'd love to see more of Europe."
"And Cynthia will take her leave when we're away, so Hollie won't be
abandoned." Topaz added. "It sounds like a good plan to me."
"I suppose this means that Aaron and I had better wait a while before
setting a wedding date, huh?" Copper looked wistful. "I had a suspicion
it would, when Jetta told us you had news for us."
"You're going to be tied up here with stuff until the new year, or possibly
beyond that." Phyllis said firmly. "I don't want any of my stars running
off to get married, or whatever it is you want to do, until we've got it
re-established in the public eye that Jewel are the only group worth listening
to. You with me?"
"I'll talk to Aaron." Copper nodded slowly. "It's cool, I do understand.
It was just, after the fire and all, we wanted to do it sooner rather than
She shrugged. "Oh well. Work has to come first, I suppose, and Aaron
will say the same when I tell him the deal. Maybe by Spring we can begin
to think about it."
"Good girl." Phyllis looked approving. "Well, that's all I wanted. I'm
gonna grab a hold of Zoe for the end of the week, to discuss video concepts
with you all, so let's have a single down by then, huh? You better get back
"We're gone." Sylva nodded. "We'll have it down by the end of the week,
Phyllis - you can count on us!"
Chapter One:News For Jewel
Chapter Two: Zoe Confides
Chapter Three: A New Sound
Chapter Four: A Challenge
Chapter Five: Plots
Chapter Six: A Secret For
Chapter Seven: Hope For Zoe
Chapter Eight: Dolorida
Chapter Nine: Jewel's Dilemma
Chapter Ten: Wise Counsel
Chapter Eleven: Decisions For Jewel
Chapter Twelve: Zoe Takes The Plunge
Chapter Thirteen: Her Father's Daughter
Chapter Fourteen: The Awards
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
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!