Devil May Care

Chapter Four: Misfits Music

"Well, you girls took your time."
Phyllis put her hands on her hips, eying each of the four Jewel members thoughtfully. "You do realise that in fifteen minutes you have to be at KBST to do a live radio interview? What's with the late morning, huh?"
"There was a road pile up and we had to take the long way round, Aunt Phyl." Nancy explained. "We didn't mean to be late."
"Hrm." Phyllis frowned. "Well, guess you can't help it if a bunch of morons can't drive straight. We'll just have to stick you in the car and tell the driver to step on it, I guess. It's an important interview. Takin' It All was a hit number one record, but you've not done a new single in the past four months and people are going to wonder where you all are." Her expression darkened. "And with Riot enticing in some loser new group from Connecticut, you girls can't get complacent. Remember, California belongs to you girls if you play your cards want to give him the upper hand?"
"No way." Sylva shook her head firmly. "Rory Llewelyn is a creep and a jerk and any group he signs has to be a waste of our time."
"We don't know them yet." Copper reproached. "Phyllis, what do you know about them?"
"Not much." Phyllis admitted as she led the quartet down to the waiting car. "Only so much my agents can discover without being done for trespass, after all. But I gather there are five of them, and they're from Connecticut."
"Girls or guys?" Topaz sounded interested.
"A mix, I think." Phyllis responded. "And that's all I can tell you at the moment. In any case, it's more important that you girls focus on what you're doing. You have the reputation and the fanbase...if you keep up the hard work then these newcomers won't stand a chance of overtaking your popularity."
"And we have a European tour to come, don't we?" Nancy looked hopeful. Phyllis nodded.
"Your mother is arranging it as we speak." She agreed. "It's about time we exported you girls...made you household names across the globe. It's taken longer than I woulda liked, but there's nothing in our way now. So yes, there will be a European tour in the not too distant future."
"All right!" Sylva exclaimed. "We're gonna conquer the world!"
"Now that's what I call optimism." Topaz laughed. "We have to do this radio interview before we go world conquering, Syl."
"And we have a new single to market." Copper nodded. "It's spearheading the new album, so it's a big one."
"I'm glad you girls realise it." Phyllis looked amused. "Now get in that car and get lost, will ya? I've paperwork to sort and I want to do some more spying on Rebel Records' new signings this afternoon, so I don't need you girls here yakking."
"We're gone." Sylva announced, slipping into the back of the car, with her bandmates in tow. "And don't worry about Rory, Phyllis. He couldn't begin to compete with us."
Phyllis smirked.
"See that that's true." She ordered, shutting the door behind them.
As the car sped off towards the KBST studio, the executive turned, heading inside and upstairs to her office. Scooping up her telephone, she dialled in a number, waiting for them to pick up.
"Jody?" She demanded, as soon as a voice was on the other end.
"Hi, Ms Gabor. What's up?"
"Any more news on this group of Rory's?"
"Not much, but I did hear a name being tossed about." Jody Reynolds, one of Misfit Music's employees and a seasoned double-agent between the companies responded thoughtfully. "I think they're called Diablo...don't quote me on it, but that's what I heard."
"Have you heard 'em play?"
"Yes...this morning I happened to see their practice." Jody agreed. "They're good, Ms Gabor."
"Hmm." Phyllis looked thoughtful. "How good?"
"Well, I think he'll sell them to the public easy enough." Jody considered. "They got something different from any of the other bands in Cali at the moment...I think they'll be quite popular, to be honest."
"Well, Jewel will just have to prove themselves more popular, won't they?" Phyllis twisted the phone cord around her finger as she spoke. "Thanks for the info, Jody, it's appreciated."
"Pleasure." Jody responded amiably. "Just doing my job, after all."
"Keep me updated on anything that goes down, huh?" Phyllis instructed. "Like, any big promotional plans on Rory's part, right? I want to make sure I keep Jewel one step ahead of the game...entirely legally, of course...but it doesn't hurt to know what's going on in the enemy camp."
"Got it." Jody laughed. "I'll be in touch."
"Make sure you are." Phyllis responded. "Guess I'll talk to you then."
"Yep." Jody agreed. "Goodbye, Ms Gabor."
"Bye." Phyllis terminated the call, resting her chin in her hands as she contemplated. Jody had worked as a spy within Rebel Records for her own music company for almost six years now, and she trusted the girl's opinion. Both she and Jetta had often used their double-agent to glean information about their competition's next move, and despite the two-facedness of her profession, Jody had always been entirely loyal to Misfit Music. Sometimes she struck out, but this time she'd hit gold.
"Diablo, huh?" Phyllis considered. "Riot's trying to make an impression with this bunch. I wonder what Jody meant, they have something different. I need to hear this band for myself, I think."
"What you thinkin'?" Jetta's voice came from the doorway.
"I just spoke to Jody." Phyllis responded. "About Riot's new band. She says they're good and they have a different edge to anything in California at the moment. She thinks they could even be a real threat."
"To Jewel? Nah." Jetta shook her head, perching on the desk. "Not a chance. Jewel 'ave more than a year behind 'em already, an' they're sellin' like mad still. Takin' It All was number one for six weeks an' it's still lurkin' around the top forty singles. This new group 'ave all the work still to do."
"Maybe." Phyllis frowned. "I don't like it though. I don't trust Riot one bit."
"Do any of us?" Jetta demanded. "Listen. There ain't many youngsters who can write as good a song as Nancy an' Riot will 'ave to go some to outdo that. And Jewel's biggest competition 'as always been Sirena...till now."
"Yeah. Emily's comeback show is hot on the agenda." Phyllis nodded. "And teaming her and Nancy up kills all those rumours about Jewel/Sirena catfighting, too. That was a stroke of genius on their part...deliberate or not. But in the meantime, Jewel haven't released a totally original single for six months or so. I know they've been busy with other things - the reunion show, and Takin' It All and all of that, but it's time they got back into normal practice."
"The new single is upbeat and catchy." Jetta reassured her. "An' Zoe is the best when it comes to music videos. We gotta worry about what our lot are doin' an' leave Riot to stew for the time bein', Pizzazz. Diablo hasn't done nothin' yet to even begin to challenge us, an' Riot's recent 'istory with 'andlin' stars ain't the best. We got nothin' to worry about. Jus' keep an eye on 'em, that's all. We got plenty of our own things to worry about, without fussin' over a band with no credentials."
"Guess you're right." Phyllis shrugged, turning her attention to the messy file of paperwork on her desk. "All right. But I told Jody to keep an eye to things there...we don't want 'em sneaking up behind us when we're not ready for it, do we?"
"Sounds wise to me." Jetta grinned. "'Ere, what are the ticket sales for Sirena's big comeback concert like, huh?"
"Selling out." There was a slight note of pride in Phyllis' voice that she was unable to quell completely as she spoke about her only daughter. "Looks like she and Nancy will be playing to a full house, or near enough. Also, I spoke to her this morning about her comeback single and laying it down in the studio, so she's coming in tomorrow to do that. Nancy and the rest of the musicians have already laid down the instrumental track for it, I made sure of that before I called her. So with any luck, we can have Emily and Jewel with new singles simultaneously."
"Won't that create press chaos?" Jetta frowned. "They'll be talkin' about which one of 'em will do better all week long, an' there'll be some kind of sense of competition. I thought we were tryin' to kill off the idea that your kid an' mine were at logger'eads 'ere?"
"Nancy is on Emily's track too." Phyllis shrugged. "Besides, in this situation, all publicity is good publicity." She grinned. "In any case, I think Emily's will be ready before Jewel's. I emailed Zoe last night about a new video and she said she'd get to work on some concepts right away, whereas Emily already knows how she wants her video to be and I made her and Zoe get together to discuss it two days ago. They'll begin shooting it Thursday, if the single gets laid down okay, whereas Jewel's won't be in the works for another week or so."
"Hardly a point in promotin' a new song if they ain't got a video to go with it." Jetta pointed out dryly. Phyllis shrugged.
"They'll play it live till they do have one." She said simply. "Can't hang around. Not with Diablo on our tails."
"Well, if you say so." Jetta shrugged. "Either way, we just 'ave to make sure that whatever 'appens, Misfit Music comes out on top."

Prologue: New Blood
Chapter One: A Comeback...And A Beginning
Chapter Two: Rumours
Chapter Three: Diablo
Chapter Four: Misfit Music
Chapter Five: Consulting Zoe
Chapter Six: Luca...and Sirena
Chapter Seven: Partners In Crime
Chapter Eight: Luca Makes A Discovery
Chapter Nine: Backstage At Connie's Corner
Chapter Ten: An Eventful Night
Chapter Eleven: Headline News
Chapter Twelve: Sirena's Show
Chapter Thirteen: Stefana's Resolve

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita Madeleine, Marissa, Luca, Stefana, Clay, 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!
The concept of RayzaBlade is copyrighted to my sister Elena...^_^ (Yeah, blame her!)