Blind Faith

Chapter Four: A Challenge for Copper

Vivien Montgomery pushed open the door of her home, casting her young cousin a surprised smile. "You must be reading minds these days, because I was just about to call you. I have some news for you, and I think you'll like what I'm going to say."
"Is it to do with Dead of Night?" Zoe asked eagerly, following her cousin into the lounge and perching on the edge of the big leather sofa. "Because I heard on the radio that you were going to be involved in doing a documentary, and...and that's why I'm here, really. I want to know if...if..."
"If there's any chance that your father might be involved?" Vivien's blue eyes softened. "All I can tell you is that he's one of the many people who are on the network's list to track down, and as yet I don't know either way if he's accepted an invite to appear or not. Yes, that was what I was going to call you about. I'm going to be knee deep in production tape if this is going to come off in time for the movie's second debut in movie theatres, and I need a helping hand. I was hoping that I could enlist you to help me with the show. I need someone to be my interviewer."
"Interviewer?" Zoe stared. "But I work behind the camera, Viv, not in front of it!"
"I know, but you're perfectly capable of doing both. You've known and grown up around three of the best presenters in my memory - LinZ Pearce, Dean Stacey, and of course, your own mother. You must have picked up tips here and there, and besides..." Vivien paused, then, "I hoped you'd do it it because you'd be meeting people who knew your father and knew about him. Even if he isn't involved - and I don't know if he is to be yet - you might find out something important."
"I see." Zoe looked thoughtful. "When you put it like that, I see what you mean. And I suppose that it would be a good opportunity to find out about Dad. Vivien, haven't you had any indication from the network as to whether he's one of the people they've managed to track down?"
"The main focus of the documentary is on the actors and actresses who starred in it." Vivien responded. "There's Cheryl Black Lewis - if my memories of her are correct, she's going to be one woman's work at any time. She was always fussy as anything, however brilliant she was on screen. Then there's Robin Huntingdon - he's confirmed, I know that. He was something of a hearthrob back then." She grinned. "Of course, I plan on pulling your Mom in for an interview, if I can convince her. She and Alexa van Aarden ran the props department among other things, and I've already got in touch with Alexa. I'd like it if Connie would take part too."
"Do you think she would?" Zoe raised big eyes to her cousin. "She only explained the whole father deal to me a month or so ago, and then she sounded as if it still hurt her to remember everything that happened on Dead of Night. She lost her fiance and she lost Dad. Do you think she'll want to be involved in this?"
"It was a long time ago, Zoe, and your Mom isn't the type to dwell." Vivien said confidently. "But if you'd rather sound her out about it before I call her and officially invite her to join the production, I don't mind."
"I'd rather." Zoe nodded. "These names don't mean very much to me, but they were people Mom knew, and that makes it different."
She sighed.
"If only I knew Dad was going to be a part of this show."
"Well, from what I've heard the network have had a job tracking him down." Vivien admitted. "Apparently he's been in Europe a lot over the last year, and they're not really sure where things stand on that front. He's always been a loose cannon, don't be too disappointed if he isn't, okay?"
"It'll just mean I have to keep looking." Zoe said quietly. "But I have to find him, Viv, whatever he's like. He's my father, and I have to know."
Vivien eyed her cousin thoughtfully for a moment, then she nodded.
"I know you do." She said at length. "And I wouldn't try to stop you. In fact, you know that if you need help, you can come to me. I'm not sure how much your mother will want to be involved, considering how long it took for her to tell you who he even was."
"I've not discussed it with her a whole lot, except to say that I'm keen to know more about him." Zoe responded. "And it's true, Viv. I am. It won't change anything between Mom and me, that much I know. You can't replace twenty five years or so of growing up with one parent just the instant you find the other. But I need to know - even if knowing means finding out he doesn't want anything to do with me. So if you want my help on this show, I'll do it. And if Dad does become involved...well, then I'll have to think carefully about how to tackle it."
She smiled slightly.
"After all, this is about who I am...and nothing is more important than that!"
*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

 "I really don't know about this."
Copper set the two sheets of typed paper down on the unit, casting her companion a doubtful look. "Are you really sure you want my words to your music, Nance? I'm not any kind of gifted poet, and I'm not sure if this is even going to work."
"You have a lot of faith in yourself, don't you?"
Nancy rolled her eyes, slipping down off the window seat and scooping the sheets up. "My Spanish is rusty, so you're gonna have to run the basic gist by me, but the meter looks all right, and I think it'll fit the melody just fine. I don't know what you're worring about. It's kinda classy if we can sing in more than one language, and it'll certainly be something different. Stop fretting, huh? The others will be here soon and it's gonna take all the time we have if we're going to coach Topaz to sing in Spanish."
"Well, okay. If you say so." Copper sighed. "I've done my best, and that's all I can do. I just hope you're calling this right. This award is a big deal, Nance, and if Diablo are up for it too..." She shrugged.
"They're already predicting a heated head - to - head race between the two groups. They've made up a lot of ground since the fire, you know, and we've got to get back to where we were. Are you sure that a song like this - like nothing we've ever done before - is going to be right to do that?"
"What better way to make folk sit up and take notice?" Nancy grinned. "And seeing that Diablo are up for this too, Copper, I want us to stand out. Anyone can write an empassioned rock song."
"I'm not sure about that." Copper sighed again. "I guess we'll see."
"Hey, are we late?"
At that moment the door of the studio swung open to reveal Sylva, Sadie in tow. "I thought we said two?"
"We did. Copper and I were just messing with her lyrics." Nancy explained. "Where's Topaz?"
"Putting Hollie in the creche." Sadie responded. "So we're really gonna do a song in Spanish? Neat."
"Nancy seems to think it'll make us stand out." Copper said morosely. "I'm sure it will, though I'm not banking on the way it's gonna do that. It might be a total disaster."
"Well, that's what I like to hear. Optimism and drive." An amused voice came from the doorway, and the girls glanced up to see their final member watching them. "We're all here - practice in session?"
"Definitely. We need all the time we can get to get this right." Nancy crossed the studio, closing the door with a click. She indicated the sheaf of paper in her hand.
"We have lyrics - Topaz, you oughta glance over them, since you're our singer. Copper's said she'll teach you to sing them phonetically, and she's on hand if we need any translations for things like emotional emphasis...think you can handle it?"
"I'll do my best." Topaz took the proffered sheet. "I don't remember being much good at Spanish in High School, but I'll certainly give it my best shot."
"You didn't have Copper in High School." Sylva pointed out, dimpling at the drummer. "Okay, so should we play through what we've got, and see if you can fit the lyrics together?"
"I guess that would help." Topaz nodded. "I need to get the rhythm of it. The pronunciation can wait a moment or two, till I know how it fits together."
"Then let's play." Sadie reached for her pink guitar.
For the next two hours, the girls ran through the piece over and over again, tuning up loose sections and adding ornamentations to the melody here and there where Nancy felt inspired to add them. Topaz studied the lyric sheet carefully, humming passages here and there until she had the vocal line fixed firmly in her head. Then she cast Copper a sheepish look.
"Okay. I guess I need my Spanish drill now." She said. "Copper, I'm assuming you wrote it to rhyme, but I never can remember which 'c's are soft and which aren't, or what to do with double ls."
"C is soft before i or e." Copper said with a smile. "And a double "L" is like there's a y in the this. Llamo."
"All right, I think I see." Topaz frowned at the lyrics, then nodded. "Well, I'll give it a shot. Okay? Copper, feel free to yell at me if I butcher your language along the way, huh? If we're doing this, I don't want to come across like a real idiot, and sing the words totally wrong."
"My pleasure." Copper agreed. "Shall we try it again?"
"Yeah, works for me." Nancy, who had been sitting idly tuning her guitar looked up. "From the top!"
After they had been working on the song for another hour, however, Topaz shook her head, setting the lyrics down on the unit and grabbing her mineral water.
"It's no good." She said with a sigh. "It doesn't matter how much you drill me, Copper, my tongue gets all tied up over the middle section, and I can't hope to sound even half Spanish about it. It's not like French - I grew up with a Quebecois mother who was always more than willing to school me if I had an oral test or something like that. I have a horrible feeling I dropped Spanish as soon as I could in High School, and I'm starting to remember exactly why. Nance, I don't think this is going to work. Unless you or Syl or Sadie take over the lyric...we're not gonna do a song in Spanish."
"I don't speak a word of the language." Sadie shook her head. "I studied French and German at secondary school and failed French with honours at GCSE. I didn't even touch Spanish, so that counts me out."
"Me too." Sylva agreed. "I mean, I took it, and I passed it, but, well, Anna wrote half of my assignments just so I didn't flunk out." She blushed. "Languages weren't my strong point. I only took Spanish as far as I did because the teacher was a real hottie and there was this drop dead gorgeous guy in my class."
"I think that explains why you were flunking Spanish." Nancy said archly. She sighed. "Mind you, my Spanish is rusty as hell. I don't really want to take the lyric on this, Topaz. You're the best singer we have, and if you can't get your tongue around the words, I'm not sure that I can either. Not at such short notice. I haven't done any Spanish since senior year."
"I guess it's harder than it looks." Copper said ruefully, though there was relief in her brown eyes. "I'm sorry, guys - I didn't realise what I'd written would be such a tongue twister, but I s'pose we do have Nancy's English lyrics to fall back on."
"We do, and they're not that bad." Topaz nodded. "I reckon they'll do just fine, and sometimes it's better to stick to what we know."
Nancy looked troubled.
"I don't like them." She admitted. "And I don't want to use them unless we really have to. There must be a way around this...I just haven't seen it yet."
"Nance, I know that this comeback song is a big deal for you." Topaz said gently. "I know you could've lost your Mom over the summer, and you know that we're all relieved as heck that you didn't. But if we're up for an award, we have to be professional. We can't tinker and experiment too much - it could put the judges off us, rather than go in our favour. Whatever we do, it has to be slick and smooth, and up to usual Jewel standards. We can't have people saying that Jewel have gone off the boil since the fire, can we?"
Nancy sighed.
"I suppose if I was to tinker a little with the melody, I could write in a sax line." She said at length. "I've wanted to use Great Grandpa's old sax more on single tracks, and it would be something different for the song."
"There you go, then." Topaz grinned. "Solved?"
"Not quite." Sadie frowned. "Nance, if you play sax, who's gonna play lead guitar? Because there are two solos in this song, and if I play them, well, we don't have anyone playing bass."
"Topaz plays bass." Sylva pointed out. "I know she hasn't since she came back to the band, but she could."
"I forgot that." Sadie admitted. "Sorry, Topaz. I tend to think of you as a singer, rather than a bassist."
"I am a singer, and I'm not a bassist." Topaz responded ruefully. "But yeah, I can play bass guitar when I have to. I used to all the time, before I had Hollie. Mind you, Sadie, this bass line was written for you. I can try and learn it, but you're much better at the instrument side of things than I am, and I'm not altogether sure I can sing and play at the same time."
"We could grab a studio musician for live performances?" Sylva suggested. "I mean, when we lay down the song, Sadie can play it on the track and then play the lead - or Nance can. Then when it comes to playing live, well, we get a studio musician to play the bassline."
"Or we cut it completely." Copper offered. "I don't know much about guitar lines, but do we need both if we have a sax line and a keyboard part?"
"Not essential, but it would leave the song missing a few important harmonies." Nancy rested her chin in her hands, pondering. "I'd like us to have all the music lines, if we can. When we were playing it through the last time, I could just see where a counter melody might run along the top for a saxophone, and I'm dying to write it in. But if we don't have enough people to play all the lines, well, maybe I won't. I just want this song to be special somehow."
"It's Jewel. It will be." Sylva dimpled. "Don't fret, Nance. It's a good song."
"Good, maybe. I was aiming for fantastic." Nancy frowned, her dark eyes clouding over.
"Nance, we all know you are a fantastic songwriter." Copper hugged her friend. "Really, we do. And so do Los Angeles. Syl's right. Jewel have a high standard, and we're gonna meet that standard. Our fans won't be disappointed."
"No...but I will." Nancy bit her lip, moving over to the window.
For a moment there was silence. Sylva and Topaz exchanged looks, and Sylva shrugged.
"Nance, come on." She tried at length. "This isn't the time to play perfectionist. Jetta and Phyllis would want us to produce something, and what we've got is good stuff. If we sit around here fretting about it, well, we won't have anything to release at all. And besides, if you write your sax line in, there is the option of a studio guitarist if we need him when playing live."
"I suppose you're right." Nancy sighed. "Okay. I guess that's what..."
She trailed off, her eyes widening.
"Hey...wait a minute!" She exclaimed, excitement in her tone. "I just had an idea!"
"Oh-oh." Sylva rolled her eyes. "I know that look. It's the same look Jetta gets when she decided we're gonna work late at short notice."
Sadie giggled.
"Inspired genius." She responded. "You know Nance."
"What's the idea?" Topaz asked. Nancy cast a glance at Copper, whose eyes narrowed.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" She asked suspiciously, twirling her drum sticks. "I don't play bass guitar, and I don't intend learning."
"I don't want you to play bass guitar." Nancy said calmly. "Give me some credit! I wouldn't trust you near a guitar - you'd blow someone up!"
"Hey, thanks a lot!" Copper looked indignant, but Nancy shook her head.
"No, you know what I mean. It isn't your thing." She replied. "But...but Spanish is."
"Huh?" Topaz looked blank. "I thought we'd dropped the Spanish lyrics?"
"So did I." Sylva frowned. "Nancy, what are you talking about?"
"Copper can sing the vocal line." Nancy said with a satisfied grin. "She speaks Spanish like a native and we all know she can sing - we've heard her in the shower often enough, not to mention on backing tracks and the like. It would be something different, because she's never done a Jewel vocal before, and she'd have no problem with the pronunciation. Besides..."
"Stop right there!" Copper held up her hands. "Firstly, I don't sing lead vocal on any Jewel song. Secondly, I'm Jewel's drummer - don't you think that's kinda important? I mean, none of the rest of you play rhythm. Not even you, Nance. I'm needed behind my kit."
"Well, it's like Syl said. There are such things as studio musicians, if need be." Nancy shrugged. "I'm serious, Copper. We can lay down the instrumental track with you on kit, and then you can sing the vocal. Topaz could take over the bass, if she didn't have a vocal to worry about, and it'd be fab. I'm sure we could all manage backing lyrics if you schooled us."
"Aren't you listening to me?" Copper demanded. "Nancy, I don't want to sing lead! There is no way in hell I could get up on stage like the rest of you do and sing! I'd choke!"
"But you're the only one who can speak Spanish well enough." Nancy pleaded. "Please, Copper. This song means a lot to me and I don't want it wrecked. You can sing - you know that there's nothing wrong with your voice. And it would be something different. Please?"
"Yeah, and when I freeze up on live television, what will you say then?" Copper snapped. Nancy frowned.
"Fine. Be that way." She said flatly. "I thought Jewel were a team. Guess I was wrong."
She set down her guitar, moving towards the door, but Sadie put a hand on her arm.
"Nance, don't." She said softly. "Copper's entitled to say no if she wants to. She's never done this before - we've never asked her to. You can't just spring it on her out of the blue and expect her to love it. She isn't the show off Topaz is."
"Thanks." Topaz said dryly.
"Oh, you know what I mean." Sadie sent the singer a grin. "You love the audience attention. Copper hides behind her kit."
"Well, maybe she should stop hiding." Nancy said obstinately. She sank down on a vacant seat, running her hands through her hair. "Look, guys, this is it. Two months ago we almost lost everything. Misfit Music...Mom...Jewel coulda been in there, too. At one point Aunt Phyl seriously considered breaking up the company and selling it off. If Mom had died, I think she would've done it. Everything would've changed."
A distant look touched her eyes at this, and she paused, regaining her composure. "We were lucky. And thanks to Alex and Agent Nicholson, everything was resolved. But it might not have been. This song might never have been. And...and I wanted it to be special, because of that."
Copper looked troubled.
"It wouldn't be special if I sang it, Nancy." She said softly. "I have no experience of singing live."
"You were the one who talked me out on stage on our very first club gig." Nancy cast her friend a sad look. "You told me that I'd go out there and the adrenalin would kick in, and that I'd love it in the end. Well, you were right. Maybe you should take a chance and listen to yourself."
"I dunno. Nance, I'm really not happy about performing live." Copper bit her lip.
"Well, how's this for a compromise?" Topaz said slowly. "Copper could sing the song - on the disk, I mean, when we lay it down. She certainly sings good enough, and as Nancy says, she'd get the pronunciation fine. We could splice it up with Nancy's English lyrics, so we appeal to both sides of the fanbase. Or at least, something like that. Then, well, would it kill us if we didn't perform this song live? We have a lot of things to do between now and the award ceremony, anyway. Would it hurt if we had a killer video and relied on that instead? Most of our promotion is in radio and video channel play anyway."
"Not play live?" Sylva looked doubtful. "But we always do."
"It would add a mystique to the song." Sadie said thoughtfully. "And it would mean Copper didn't have to perform live. But I thought our video was already settled?"
"It is?" Nancy stared. Sylva nodded.
"Zoe's real busy with this, that and the other, so she's compiled a montage of our live gigs and performances and whatever else." She agreed. "She told me on the phone last night. Her cousin has dragged her in to do some kind of documentary and so she hasn't time to spare us this time."
"A documentary is more important than Jewel now?" Topaz looked surprised. "What's with that?"
"The documentary is about the film, Dead of Night." Sylva said carefully. "Zoe's Dad was a stuntman on that film. You know how she's been trying to track him down? Well, this seems as good a chance as any. She jumped at Vivien's offer, and that's that. Can you really blame her?"
"No, I s'pose not." Sadie shook her head. "Well, a montage video will be pretty cool. We've done some fun live shows, and there must be a mile of tape from shows you girls did before I came to LA. No doubt it'll be a stunning video either way."
"And it will emphasise the message that we've been in music for the long haul and deserve the award." Sylva agreed. "I'm not too fussed about that, to be honest. I think it'll work in our favour."
"If we have a song at all." Nancy cast Copper a beseeching look. "Copper?"
Copper sighed.
"So long as I don't have to sing live." She said slowly. "I'll sing on the track, but only you guys are to know about it. Okay? You know how crazy the press can get over me when they think there's a story, and I don't want to carve myself a niche as a frontwoman. I'll sing on this track and this track alone - but that's it."
"That's fine with me." Nancy hugged the drummer tightly. "I know you'll do it justice, and sure, we can keep it quiet. Like Sadie said, it will add mystique. Though folk will probably guess. After all, you're Elizabeth Santiago and you're Mexican-American. They'll put two and two together."
"Maybe." Copper shrugged. "Half of Jewel's fans only know us by our stage names, and there's nothing to say I speak Spanish. Not everyone who's hispanic can, you know, and I'm several generations American. Besides, that's the only way I'll do it. I don't want the press making a big deal out of me."
"Then that's how we'll do it." Topaz said with a grin. "Cool. Looks like Jewel have a song, after all!"
Prologue: Texas
Chapter One:News For Jewel
Chapter Two: Zoe Confides
Chapter Three: A New Sound
Chapter Four: A Challenge For Copper
Chapter Five: Plots
Chapter Six: A Secret For Stefana
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

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!