Just A Dream...
A Gabor Legacy
Chapter Three: Coup D'Etat
"This is a drag."
Sirena groaned, sitting down in a vacant seat and fanning herself with her hand. "It's hot, it's boring and I wish we weren't stuck out here. It's a total total drag, Rory! We've been here two hours already and we've nowt much to show for it...how much longer?"
"Shut up." Rory Llewelyn, chief executive of Rebel Records glared at her. "It's no fun for me either, with you being more trouble than you're worth and finding fault with every little detail." He glanced around him in exasperation. "Where's Blade gone now?"
"He's chatting up the fans." Sirena gestured across the dais with a perfectly manicured hand. "As usual."
Rory rolled his eyes.
"It would be nice if you could both find a little professionalism." he said cuttingly. "Not only are you late, but the attitude doesn't suit you, Emily. It's not all that hot and you've not been waiting all that long...grow up!" He paused, then, "I bet Jewel aren't this much trouble."
"Hang Jewel." Sirena reacted to this, as he'd known she would.
"Then can we get back to work please, without the fuss?"
"Whatever." With a reluctant sigh Sirena got gracefully to her feet. "Wouldn't kill you to get me a drink of water, I suppose?"
"I'm not your servant. You can wait till we're done." Rory told her bluntly.
"Charming." Sirena grimaced at him. "You're a drag too, Rory. Work, work, work and more work, that's you in a nutshell. Photoshoots just aren't much fun any more!"
"I don't care if you enjoy them or not." Rory retorted. "You are under contract to me and therefore you will do as you are told. Do you understand?"
"Yeah, yeah." Sirena raised her eyes heavenwards. "I'm ready, okay?"
"At least I've one of you." Rory sighed, then raised his voice. "Blade! We'd like to continue."
Idly Blade sauntered back towards the executive, his expression one of irritation.
"Okay, I'm here, where's the fire?" he demanded.
"We'd like to finish before the sun sets." Rory snapped back at him. "Hardly a point on doing daylight shots in the sunshine if we have to simulate the sun's effects with artificial lighting after dark, is there?"
The photoshoot had been arranged for some time, and was taking place in the open air, for Rory had felt that nature would be a useful backdrop for the images intended for promotional posters. Big, burly security guards stood at each corner of the 'arena', and fans were divided from the stars by a rope rail. A huge crowd had gathered to catch a glimpse of the much talked about couple, and Blade had been enjoying taking advantage of that fact.
"Chill out." he told his manager now. "We're the stars, you can't work without our cooperation, so you oughta learn to treat us nice. Dontcha think, Em?"
"I'll go with that." Sirena nodded. Rory groaned.
"I don't know which of you is the more impossible." He retorted. "If you weren't worth so much money..."
In the depths of the crowd, unnoticed by the swirling masses or the security guards, one man's expression was strangely grim.
Is that what they thought they were?
Hah, some hope of that.
He pushed his way methodically to the front of the crowd, adjusting his dark glasses and attracting no undue attention for his efforts. It was indeed a bright, sunny day and there was no reason for anyone to think anything sinister of the man with the dark shades, for most all of the people roundabout were wearing sunglasses, not least Blade himself.
As he neared the rope, his frown deepened.
"I haven't forgotten you, Carl." he muttered. "And I haven't forgotten Raesha, even if you have. You should've taken better care of her...now you're gonna pay."
Hesitating for the briefest of moments, he judged his situation carefully. There were a lot of people about, and it was preferable that way - he did not care to be caught if it could be at all avoided. What he needed was some distraction, something to take the security men's attention away from the crowd.
And then it came.
One of the cameras had been poorly fixed to it's tripod, and it slipped loose, crashing into the makeshift dais and causing confusion. Sirena, who had been near it started, moving well away from the debris as the technicians gathered around the wrecked camera. Blade snorted, rolling his eyes and murmuring something to his companion, who laughed.
For the briefest of instants all eyes were off the celebrities, and the celebrities and security guards were not paying attention to the crowds.
The time had come.
Spurred on by a strange mixture of adrenalin and angry hatred, the figure burst through the rope and onto the dais, producing a weapon and opening fire before anyone could stop him. For an instant things seemed to go in slow motion, and there were wild screams of terror and shock from the crowd.
On the stage, things were even more chaotic and Sirena stood, frozen to the spot in disbelieving horror as the scene unfolded before her. Blade, who moments before she had been sharing a snide joke with had fallen almost the instant the weapon had begun firing, and before the security guards could pounce on the attacker he had leapt off the stage and into the oblivion of the confused crowd. Several guards set up pursuit, as others swarmed around Blade's still form.
"Someone fetch a doctor!" One of them cried.
For Sirena, things had gone into a deathly whirl of shock and fright. A cold chill crept up her spine as her gaze fell on her companion, and from his uncanny stillness she knew that he would not get up again.
Blade was dead...she had watched him die and yet the numb feeling had taken hold of her body, encompassing her entire being and preventing her from moving.
Finally, after what seemed like an age, she regained some control of her body and, unsteadily she took a step back from the still form.
"Blade?" She murmured. "Oh no..."
Out of the corner of her eye she saw Rory heading towards her but her fear was too great now for her to stay where she was. With a panicked cry she turned away from the body, stumbling down the steps of the dais. She did not know where she was going, only away from the scene of the crime. As the terror took a stronger hold of her body she found herself losing consciousness. Dimly she was aware of an elderly gentleman reaching out to break her fall, and then there was nothing.
"It's all right. She's only fainted." The gentleman assured the security guard, who had pursued her in order to prevent her from coming to any harm. "She needs to be got away from the crowds. My estate is nearby, will you let me take her there till she recovers?"
"Thank you, Mr Gabor." The security man looked relieved, for Harvey Gabor was a man of good standing in the city and he knew that his charge's security on the big Gabor Estate would be assured. "That would be fine. With a gunman still on the loose, it's probably best that she's not out in public for the time being."
Harvey frowned, glancing down at the fallen girl, whose head he was still cradling to prevent it from hitting the cold hard concrete.
"Her friend?" He asked slowly.
The guard sighed.
"Dead." he admitted. "Gunshot wounds to the head and chest. There was no pulse...whoever did this knew how and where to strike. Everything is in chaos and Mr Llewelyn will be tied up with the police for some time yet, I would assume. If we can get Miss Raymond out of the line of fire, it's probably the best thing for everyone. He doesn't want to have another star tragedy to worry about. You never know what goes on in the mind of a madman." He paused. "She might benefit from seeing a doctor herself. I don't think she was hit, but shock is a nasty thing too, and it's a nasty business."
"Of course. I'll make sure she has all she needs." Harvey nodded his head. He frowned.
"Nasty indeed. And such a young man as well."
"Yes." The guard nodded. "All we can do now is try and catch the man or woman who did this. There's nothing else we can do for him now."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
When Sirena opened her eyes next she found herself in an unfamiliar
room, with a stranger bending over her. Confusion filled her mind at first,
followed by overwhelming fright as she remembered what had happened. The
gentleman seemed to sense her fear and he put a reassuring hand on her
"It's all right, my dear." he murmured. "You're quite safe here."
Sirena struggled to sit up, all fight knocked out of her by her terror of the day's events.
"Blade?" She murmured, as gently Harvey helped her up. "What...what about Blade?"
"Your friend did not make it." Harvey looked grave. Sirena sighed, closing her eyes briefly.
"I knew it." She replied, her tone resigned. "I just knew..." She shivered. "He was so still." She paused, glancing around her.
"Where am I?"
"There's no need to be afraid." Harvey assured her. "This is my home and your security men are swarming outside to prevent anything happening to you."
His voice was gentle and it had the effect of soothing her frittered nerves. "Can I get you a drink of water? It might help steady you."
Sirena looked startled at the unexpected kindness, then she nodded.
"Yes...that would help."
"I'll be right back."
The gentleman was gone, and Sirena felt strangely alone without his gentle company. His manner was unlike that of anyone she'd ever met - he did not ask unpleasant questions, or reproach her for imposing on him. Quite the opposite, he seemed only too glad to welcome her into his home, even though they had never met before.
She gazed around the room once more, taking in more of it this time. She was reposed on the sofa of what was clearly the living room of a large house, and she could see out of the window that a knot of security officers were indeed gathered outside the front door. The truth of Blade's death had shocked her, but if she was honest she was far more frightened for her own safety than she was grieved for his passing. She could not shake the fear that maybe the gunman had been aiming for her and would come back and try again.
She pushed the thought from her head as Harvey returned, bearing a glass of water, which she took gratefully.
He retook his seat at her side, eying her thoughtfully.
"They advised me to call a doctor for you." He observed. Sirena shook her head.
"No...I don't need one." She said. "I'm okay now. I'm no wimp, you know. It just..."
"Stunned you, I know." Harvey smiled at her. "The guard referred to you as Miss Raymond - can I ask what your first name might be?"
"Most people call me Sirena, but I was born Emily-Jayne." Sirena replied with a grimace. "You can call me Emily, if you want. I don't care either way, to be honest." She paused, then, "What's your name?"
"Harvey." Harvey replied with a grin. "So now we know each other."
"You've been kind to me." Sirena acknowledged. "Why?"
"Well, perhaps I'm old-fashioned, but I've always believed in helping a damsel in distress." Harvey responded. "My retirement has brought me plenty of free time but I must admit finding occupation for myself is more difficult these days...I'm always willing to lend a hand if I can help out."
Touched by his simple kindness, Sirena returned his smile with a genuine one of her own.
"I...guess I should say thank you." She said slowly. "I'm not good at...at that stuff, maybe I should have said it before."
"It's not a problem. You've had a nasty shock and I'm glad to be of service." Harvey assured her. "I only wish I could have helped your friend as much."
"Mm." Sirena took a sip of the water, setting the glass down. "I think that I feel steadier now. And Rory will be wondering where I am."
"My agent." Sirena rolled her eyes. "He's no gentleman."
"Mr Llewelyn, perhaps?"
"Yes." Sirena nodded. "Why?"
"He has been here briefly, before you came round, and he was satisfied that this was the safest place for you to be." Harvey replied. "He returned to speak to the police, but he did ask me if you could be kept here till you leave San Diego tomorrow...he felt that it might put you at less risk than if you were to return to the hotel. He'll see to your stuff being collected from there."
He frowned. "He seemed a very cold-hearted man, more worried with his loss of profits than with the loss of your friend's life and the danger you were in."
"He's a creep." Sirena admitted. "But it's business, and he knows what he's doing." She paused, looking doubtful. "Do you mind me staying here?"
"Not at all." Harvey smiled. "I'll be glad of the company, in truth."
"Don't you have any family of your own?" Sirena was curious.
"Yes, one daughter, but she lives in Los Angeles and is very busy these days." Harvey agreed. "We keep in touch, and are pretty close, but we have our seperate lives. She's never married and has no children...and my wife left me many years ago."
"No." Harvey shook his head. "Just this big old house and the staff who help me run it."
"I know what it's like to be on your own." Sirena said quietly. "My parents never wanted me - I grew up at the Starlight Foundation in LA, and I loathed every minute of being there."
"Didn't they care for you?" Harvey looked surprised. "I've heard a lot of good things about the Starlight Foundation."
"Oh, they brought me up okay." Sirena shrugged dismissively. "But you know when you're in a house like that that it's all charity. It's all other people thinking they 'ought to do something' to help the poor kiddies noone else wants to look after. I hated that. They all wanted to pretend and play family but that's never been me. I'm okay on my own - if I can't have my real family then I'll make do by myself. I didn't like them butting in on my business...they only ever did it out of duty anyway."
"Oh, I see." Harvey was silent for a moment, then, "How old are you, child, if you don't mind my asking?"
"Twenty one." Emily replied. "So not a child, really."
"Nevertheless it's still young to be on your own." Harvey said gravely. "It's a shame."
"I don't need them." Sirena replied carelessly. "Never have. I met my Dad once, when I was in Canada, and I almost wish I hadn't bothered. He's as much a creep as everyone's always said he was. And my mother couldn't give a damn what happens to me. She'd probably have been glad if I'd been the one killed today."
Harvey looked thoughtful.
"Your last name is Raymond...that strikes a chord with me." He said slowly. "Tell me, my dear, what's your father's name?"
"Eric Raymond." Sirena shivered. "Loser."
"I was afraid it might be." Harvey looked grim. "He's not a good man, Emily. Many years ago I had business dealings with him and he cost me a lot of money. He's not to be trusted and you're better off being so far away from him."
"I agree." Sirena nodded. She sighed. "I suppose though he can be forgiven in one respect. He didn't know about me till I descended on him in person - Mom never told him that she was pregnant. I don't believe she told anyone, except that witch she works with maybe." Her tone was bitter. "She was ashamed of me."
"I'm sure that she had her reasons, whatever they were." Harvey comforted her. "And in any case you should be proud of what you've made of yourself. Even more so if you started off on rougher ground. It shows determination and fire, and both of those things are good characteristics to have in attaining your dreams."
Sirena looked startled.
"You're the first person who's cared what I thought about it all." She realised. "Seen it from my point of view."
"Well, my wife left me...I know what it feels like to be abandoned, perhaps." Harvey's eyes twinkled. "It was a long time ago now that Liza left me, and the wounds have healed, but I understand the feeling."
"I guess you do." A tiny smile touched Sirena's lips. "You know, I'm gonna be the best that there ever was in this business. I'm gonna prove to everyone that Emily-Jayne Raymond is more than an unwanted nusiance in this world!"
"I'm sure that you will." Harvey replied. "You know, you definitely seem better now you've had some time to sit away from the crowd. I trust then that you weren't as attached to the young man as has been suggested?"
"We weren't in love." Sirena replied slowly. "It was business. That's all." She stretched, making herself more comfortable on the sofa. "I suppose that there won't be any concert now."
"I should think not, child." Harvey agreed. "It's a tragedy, and one I hope will not have any more repercussions. Lets hope that the police catch the person in question, before more people are hurt."
PART SIX: A GABOR LEGACY
Prologue: Twenty One Years Ago
Chapter One: Sirena And Blade
Chapter Two: Nancy's Heart
Chapter Three: Coup D'Etat
Chapter Four: The Reaction
Chapter Five: Nancy Finds Out
Chapter Six: Dilemma
Chapter Seven: Facing Phyllis
Chapter Eight: Scandal!
Chapter Nine: An Unexpected Shock
Chapter Ten: A Revelation
Chapter Eleven: Harvey Takes A Hand
Chapter Twelve: Sirena vs Pizzazz
Chapter Thirteen: Settling Rory
Chapter Fourteen: At Misfit Music
Epilogue: A New Beginning
Copper, Nancy, Sylvie, Anna, Blade, 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.