A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Ten: Zoe Takes A Chance

"I'd like to speak to Ms Pacheco, please."
Zoe swallowed hard, calming her rapidly beating heart as well as she could as she faced Jerrica's busy secretary. She had no idea how to broach the subject of the kidnap with the executive, but she knew for her mother's sake she had to try.
"I don't want her scared or in tears again, and she's been there for me enough times." She told herself firmly. "She stood by me tooth and nail when the truth about Fiona and I first hit the press...and she's accepted me fully for who and what I am. It's time I did the same, even if this is a whole other issue."
"Do you have an appointment?" The woman gazed at her suspiciously. Zoe shook her head.
"No, I...I don't. But...if you could tell her that Zoe Montgomery wants to see her, and it's fairly urgent, I...I hope she'll speak to me."
"Hmm." The secretary frowned. "Zoe Montgomery? What is this pertaining to?"
"I...I sometimes produce music videos for Ms Pacheco's musical acts." Zoe pulled herself together. "I'm afraid I'm not allowed to disclose the information I have to discuss to anyone but Ms Pacheco. You know what the press are like."
"Very well." The woman seemed most put out, but she obediently flicked on the intercom, passing the message on to her boss, who instructed her to 'Send Zoe through.'. Zoe obediently pushed open the big grey door, slipping into the office, not without some misgivings, and facing the woman behind the desk with a hesitant smile.
"Zoe." Jerrica looked somewhat tired, but she returned the smile in her usual, businesslike way. "How can I help you?"
"It's...something not at all to do with music or my job or anything." Zoe said slowly. "Ms Pacheco, I've come about my mother. She's in a bind and I...I need to ask your help."
"My help?" Jerrica stared. "Someone wants my help?" She laughed bitterly. "I thought I was the forgotten woman of rock music these days, making this company survive by the skin of it's teeth, pushed into the background and left to rot. What on earth can I possibly do for you and your infamously successful mother?"
"It's about something that happened a long time ago." Zoe twisted her hands together. "Do you remember a man named Zipper?"
"All too well." Jerrica frowned. "Nasty piece of work." Then light dawned in her eyes. "Oh, I begin to see..."
"You remember?" Zoe asked.
"Yes...yes, I think I do." Jerrica nodded her head. "Your mother had Pizzazz and I abducted and locked up...it's a miracle any of us got out of the place in the end. What about it?"
"You didn't press charges then, and noone knew it happened." Zoe began earnestly. "But you see, the fire at Misfit Music, it's all Zipper's doing. He's more or less blackmailing my mother, saying that if she doesn't protect him, he'll turn her in. I'm worried people will get really hurt, I mean, people already have been, and I don't want my Mom in trouble. I know that Ms Gabor won't cause trouble for her, they work together too often and, well, I work for Misfit Music a lot, too. But...neither of us were sure whether...I mean..."
"Whether I'd blow the story?" Jerrica asked wryly. Zoe blushed.
"Oh, Zoe." Jerrica sighed. "Look at me. This is all I have these days, my music company to keep me going. My husband doesn't even want to stick around more than he feels his duty requires him to - and I've never given him the children he wanted. I've lost my friends through a silly misunderstanding which now I know was wrong, I've had long enough to dwell on it, and I regret it more than I can say. Why on earth should I cause more pain?" She cast Zoe a hollow smile. "Your mother can at least say she has a daughter to be proud of. My...my own couldn't say that."
"Thank you." Zoe was touched. "And thank you for keeping your promise of then not to cause my mother any more hassle. Ms Pacheco..." She hesitated, then, "I'm sure you're not alone, and I'm sure your mother would be very proud of all you've achieved. I know you've not had things so easy, but I'm sure that some of them can be fixed. Look, next....next time I see the teenangels, I..I'll see if they can help me to get the ball rolling, try and help you get back on terms with the Holograms. I'll talk to Copper too."
"I don't know why they'd listen." Jerrica murmured. "But you'd do that for me?"
"One good turn deserves another." Zoe nodded her head. "I promise."
Jerrica managed a smile.
"Well, then it's a deal." She agreed. "And you need not have any fear of what I might say, Zoe. As far as I'm concerned, the incident never took place."
Zoe moved towards the desk, taking her companion by the hand, and shaking it.
"I'm glad." She whispered. "You don't know how much it means to me."
"Perhaps I do." Jerrica replied quietly. "When I was young, I was very close to my mother...I would have done anything for her then. I know you're just the same." She sighed. "Maybe things would've been different if Rio and I had had children." She mused. "Oh well. You can't change the past."
Zoe swallowed hard.
"No." She agreed. "But...but you can take the future and make it what you want it to be. It...it's not too late for you to make things up with your family, you know. I...I'm sure that's the truth."
"Well, maybe you're right." Jerrica looked slightly ashamed. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to burden you further. It's just that everything in my world has become so empty and clinical, and I'm hating it more and more. I'm living a lie, and I don't know what to do."
"Have faith in yourself." Zoe responded. She smiled. "That's what my Mom always taught me."
"Clash taught you that?" Jerrica looked startled. Zoe nodded.
"She's a mom in a million." She murmured. Jerrica smiled.
"It's in the blood." She replied. She winked. "Thank you for your visit, Zoe...you don't know how much good it's done me. I have work to get back to, but I won't forget my promise. You can be sure of that."
"Thank you again." Zoe dimpled.  "And...and it's a pleasure doing business with you! Maybe now Mom and I can help to stop this creep trying to hurt Misfit Music!"


Phyllis gazed out of the window of the hospital sideward, deep in thought as she considered everything that had happened over the last couple of days. Since the bomb attack on her home there had been frantic crime scene officials hunting for evidence and she had not liked to go back, not yet sure if her life was still in danger. She had come to the hospital in the hope of speaking to her business partner, but Jetta was asleep and the doctor had warned her firmly that after the fright of the previous evening, she was not to be disturbed. Knowing that they were afraid of a relapse, Phyllis had obeyed orders for once, but her patience was beginning to run out.
"How long are we going to be playing this game of cat and mouse?" She wondered with a sigh. "I hate this!"
"When did you get here?"
She turned, casting her friend's husband a slight smile as he entered the ward.
"Just." She replied. "You taking up residence here now or something?"
"Not quite." Justin replied. "But I come whenever I'm free. I went back to fitting in my photography again these last couple of days, under orders from my wife, may I say, but I like to be here with her, and I don't want her alone at the moment, with all the danger."
"No, I rather feel that way myself." Phyllis sighed. "Everything's such a mess, Justin. So much of a mess that I'm talking to you as if you're a civilised human being and not the creep who seduced my top executive into marriage."
"Top executive...and best friend?" Justin asked lightly. Phyllis rolled her eyes.
"If such a thing exists." She muttered. "I guess so. Dammit, don't take advantage of me when I'm down."
"I'm sorry." Justin was contrite. "If it's any consolation, the doctors are far more optimistic now about Jetta's chances than they have been since she came in. She's even beginning to speak coherently - well, whisper, but it's good enough. She's said she wants to see the FBI tomorrow, and tell them what she knows...after she heard about the bomb attack on your home she was pretty determined that they should hear her evidence as soon as possible."
"Good for her." Phyllis said grimly. "At least now I know who Im dealing with."
"Where are you staying at the moment?"
"Hotel, still." Phyllis ran her hands through her hair. "Dad said I could go to San Diego but I'm not going to take the trouble there, and besides, I'm sure Agents Bray and Nicholson probably wouldn't let me out of this city. It seems part of the witness protection programme involves trapping me in the city that I'm in danger of losing my life in, and letting anyone send me any kind of crap through the mail!"
"This guy...do you know his real name?"
"No, never did." Phyllis shook her head. "But I'd know him on sight, dammit. I swear I would." She groaned. "Trouble is, I probably won't lay eyes on the guy till he's about to put a bullet through my head."
"Don't be like that." Justin chided. "Here, how's Misfit Music's recovery going?"
"It isn't." Phyllis admitted. "I haven't really chased it up...it's still pretty messed up and I only spoke to the insurance people a day or two ago. I'm not sure what to do with it...cut my losses and pull out or sell it or what."
"You bloody sell that company an' I'll kill you myself!"
The voice was hoarse and broken but the tone was unmistakeable and both Justin and Phyllis swung round to face the woman in the bed, startled.
"When did you wake up!" Phyllis demanded, putting her hands on her hips. "Dammit, Jetta, quit eavesdropping!"
"You 'ave the bleedin' conversation in me 'ospital room, I ain't got much blinkin' choice." Jetta whispered. "An' I'm damn glad you d...did. Why in 'ell ain't you got Misfit Music b...back to what it was before?"
Phyllis looked uncomfortable. Then she sighed.
"I didn't know if you were gonna make it." She admitted reluctantly. "And there isn't Misfit Music these days without the both of us."
"Yeah, well, I'm touched an' all that." Jetta croaked. "But I ain't on my bleedin' deathbed now, so if you don't mind, I'd like to 'ave a job to come back to, when I'm fit."
Justin laughed.
"Oh, she's back all right." He observed with a grin. "I think we can quit worrying about her, Pizzazz...she's definitely on the road to recovery."
Phyllis pulled a face.
"Then I'll damn well throttle her for scaring me!" She exclaimed. "Do you realise what in hell you've put us all through, Jetta? Don't you tell me what to do with my music company, when you scared us all to death by...well, by damn well dying!"
"I didn't die. I'm 'ere." Jetta coughed. "Oh, bloody throat...bloody chest. I 'ate this."
"Your heart stopped beating for a bit." Justin told her gently, shooting Phyllis a dark look. "Stormer revived your pulse then you were rushed here."
"It did?" Jetta opened her eyes wide with shock. "Bloody 'ell...Justin, can...can you get Stormer 'ere to see me? I owe 'er a thanks at the very least."
"Sure." Justin nodded. "The hospital have been very strict on people coming and going so she's not been able to see you, but I know she'd like to."
"What's it like, being dead?" Phyllis asked curiously.
"Can't bloody remember. I were out cold." Jetta retorted. "An' no I didn't see any weird white lights or 'ear funny voices. I jus' conked out with the smoke an' woke up in this dump." She grimaced. "Ooh, that 'urts. I gotta stop speakin' so damn much. N...need some energy for the FBI tomorrow."
"Yes you do, so shut up." Justin told his wife acidly. "You're in no state to start telling us what to do."
"Besides, there are two of us and one of you." Phyllis added. Jetta rolled her eyes.
"Oh great. Now me 'usband an' me business partner 'ave ganged up on me." She muttered. She coughed again. "Dammit!"
"Stop it, before a doctor yells at us." Phyllis snapped. "Listen, I'll get Misfit Music fixed up, okay? Just so long as you promise me you ain't gonna die, because I'm not doing my own tax forms from now till eternity!"
"Ok, ok." Jetta sighed. "I give." She settled herself below the covers more comfortably. "By the way, Justin, could you ask the doctor why I ain't 'ad a bleedin' meal since I got 'ere? I'm fed up with plasma drips an' funny injections!"
Justin stared at her, then he burst out laughing.
"It's good to have you back." He observed. "And I'll see what I can do."


Chapter One: A Confession
Chapter Two: Jetta's Mind
Chapter Three: Alex and Sadie
Chapter Four: Jetta Speaks
Chapter Five: A Problem For Sadie
Chapter Six: Answer To A Riddle
Chapter Seven: Zoe Acts
Chapter Eight: A Shock For Stefana
Chapter Nine: Some Truths
Chapter Ten: Zoe Takes A Chance
Chapter Eleven: Truth Will Out

Chapter Twelve: A Close Shave
Chapter Thirteen: Zoe's Father


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!