Disclaimer: I don't not own the following characters; Elliot Stabler, Donald Cragen, John Munch, Fin Tutola, Olivia Benson, George Huang, Melinda Warner, Casey Novak, Maureen Stabler, Dickie Stabler or Kathy Stabler. I have no rights to any of them; they belong to Dick Wolf and company.

I do own the 124 abstract characters and plot line, and a few products an band created from my little mind: Bastards from Hell, Rattler Malt Liquor, Hart's Cigarettes, Kilroy's Apple Brandy, Eugene's Mint Gum, Yuricks Chainsaw model 411 and Thatch Computers.

A/N: I am dyslexic. I've tried to find all the errors in this, but I know I've missed some. So please be nice. This is my first, so again please be nice.

The point of view is going to change a lot, not only will it be from our awesome detectives, but will also be from supporting characters that I've created. You will also be able to hear their thoughts, they will be in italics.

To the core the story will remain in third person, with some narration, you will be able to tell the difference. (I hope I'm clear in that aspect)

Italics: mean thoughts, an emphasized point, a sarcastic point, innuendo, past conversations, or audio dialogue.

Underlining: Means emphasized point also.

Also: You as the reader are sometimes going to know things way before the characters do and some of the characters are going to know things way before you do. I'll be dropping lots of hints to you about things.

Reason for M rating: Violence, language (lots of it), adult situations and themes, including a description of rape, a description of torture, graphic descriptions of murder scenes, mutilation and some other really gory stuff. When I say description I mean the victim/survivor will be lamenting the story, you won't read the actual act. So if you can't take that, please don't read this. Govern yourself accordingly.

Please review and thank you for giving my story a chance.

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The First Day

August 10, 2005 Wednesday

"Sorry I didn't get to this sooner, Ms. Novak." Lee Apartments handyman and part time cab driver Jack Olen stated as he loaded his tools back into the dented and paint-chipped Craftsman.

"Forget it and its Casey. You know that." Casey Novak tossed her hand at the statement, the slight rasp ever present in her voice, "It's been hectic around here with the renovation and Kasha's baby..." She tore up another credit card offer and watched it flutter down into the white trash-bag lined receptacle.

Jack nodded and checked the sinks flow again, "Yeah, cute kid. She puked on Ricky yesterday. Made my day, that baby's definitely won my heart." He smiled at his handy work.

"Well, the leak's taken care of. Any other problems?"

Casey smiled quietly, "Yeah, the walls are too thin and I can hear the newlyweds next door."

Jack laughed aloud and shook his head, "I think everyone can. I was two floors up last Wednesday," he spoke with his hands, "they where clear as a bell."

Casey grinned then nodded tearing a bank statement open, her eyes fluttered over the contents, she bit her lip. Her last deposit wasn't listed; she'd have to inquire about it later.

He crossed his arms over his very noticeable muscled chest thoughtfully, his hand rubbed

his chin, contemplating. "You're a lawyer or something, right?" She glanced up at him.

"Or something." She swept up the remaining bits of junk mail and dumped them into receptacle.

"Aren't they violating a city noise ordnance, or something? You can nail them for something like that, right?" He laughed at his own comment, his neck muscles flexed and adams apple bobbed in his throat.

"I was about to ask you the same thing. Building code violation, maybe?" She replied.

He shrugged, "That's Ricky's area of expertise." She smiled and droop her shoulders.

He bent down and picked the Craftsman off the floor. Casey eyed his perfectly sculpted back. She had been meaning to ask him out on date of some sort, a drink or movie maybe. But she felt slightly intimidated by him.

Casey wasn't afraid of him or anything like that. But she felt herself blush around him; she also berated herself for that behavior.

This isn't high school, grow up. I'm an Assistant District Attorney, damnit!

She faced rapists, murders and pedophiles in court, with a vengeance. She snagged warrants on razor edges for her detectives. She delivered and got the job done right, even if her taste in clothing was a bit…fresh. Casey had heard the whispers and comments too; let those tongues think her odd.She rather be known for her actions, instead of her style.

But when it came to Jack Olen, Superintendent Ricky Murray's latest protégé, she felt herself crumble around him. So Casey choose to ignore those feelings for the time being, her line of work didn't leave much for a social life, but then again she was on vacation at the moment, a few days to herself. So maybe….

"Well, Ms. Banks needs me to fix the lock on her kid's room. Little punk kicked the door in…It's a phase I guess." His blue eyes glinted and he pushed off the kitchen counter, his tools rattled and clicked in the Craftsman.

"Maybe, but I never kicked a door in." Casey said, pushing away from the small kitchen table to see him out and to indulge in his smile again. He had a fantastic smile, perfectly formed and shaped teeth.

"I did however break a window, but it was an accident. I was ten. Who knew you couldn't play softball indoors." He laughed and glanced back at her, a soft smile on his face.

Yeah, he's interested. Mutual attraction, yes!

He opened her door and stood there for a brief moment, and bit his lip, "Say, I, er—get of my shift in two hours and I was wondering if you might like to get a drink or something?" Jack said, refusing to lose eye contact with her.

Hide the blush. Don't blush.

"Or something."

Whoa.

She heard a slight husk in her voice and less rasp. She couldn't believe she just said that.

He grinned sheepishly and cut his eyes at his boots, then back to Casey. "That's a yes then."

"Yeah." She nodded, hoping he didn't interpret her last stupid statement in a literal context.

"Great. I know this great little bar on third and Hutch, my cousin owns the place. So, 9:30 in the lobby then."

"Sounds like a plan."

He smiled goofily and side-shuffled out her door. His boot clipped on the threshold, noticeably shifting the tools. The loud rattle assaulted Casey's ears and she cringed. He managed to find his footing again; he uttered a swift curse and played off the near stumble. Casey chose to ignore it, by biting her tongue.

"9:30."

"9:30." Casey closed her door quietly.

Jack walked lightly on the thin carpeted hallway down toward the double elevators. The Craftsman contents rattled quietly in his calloused left hand. Kasha's baby wailed as he wandered by 4B, she soothed and cooed to her. Mr. Davis's TV clicked on in 8B as he passed. Little signs of life he took note of, playing the nice handyman.

Jack Olen lied.

Casey didn't know that either, never even suspected that he would. He was a normal everyday American Joe, right?

No, he wasn't.

Jack Olen didn't go up to Ms. Banks apartment to fix her acting out teen's door.

Jack Olen headed down to the basement level of Lee Apartments. Jack Olen was going too indulged in his sickness. For the last time too, but he didn't know that and neither did Casey Novak.

He didn't know he was a dead man walking.

(End Section)

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Casey clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth and bounced her crossed leg while she was seated on the blue plush sofa.

Ran her index finger over her purse's zipper and twisted the strap with her free hand, growing evermore impatient.

9:45

He's a handyman, nothing's ever certain. Things happen. Pipes bust and windows jam, give him some time.

10:00

Gary Barns, the Lee Apartments doorman yawned, stepped from one foot the other.

10:15

Nicollet Walsh 6C's tenant, stepped lightly on the lovely, granite floor. Politely smiled at Casey, she returned the simile hoping it didn't look agitated. Nicollet emptied the contents of her mailbox slot and walked back to the double elevators.

10:25

It's happened except it…Five more minutes and that's it.

10:35

Gary had stepped out for a cigarette. Casey glanced at his direction and saw him chatting up an unfamiliar red-headed woman. He offered his coffin nail; the radiant redhead took it cheerfully and exhaled a plume of pale smoke that faded almost immediately. She mouthed thanks and handed it back to him.

10:45

Fuck it.

Gary was still outside flirting with 'fiery nameless', as an annoyed Casey Novak walked head held high toward the twin elevators.

A stood up Casey Novak.

A disappointed Casey Novak.

Men.

Aw well, nothing that, that half empty, double chocolate ice cream carton in the back of her freezer and IMing with her girlfriends couldn't fix.

Maybe he had a good reason…Yeah maybe. Come on, Casey your smart! The guy's a jerk. Forget about him.

She forcefully pressed the 'up' button between the double elevators, it clipped in its metal setting and clicked hard as it retuned to its original position.

Fix that, ya bastard.

She droop her head a bit and the soft ding registered in her ears, the finger-print stained doors spread and she fought the urge not to falter at what she saw.

"Have you got a cell phone!"

Casey was in shock.

She couldn't be more than sixteen, maybe seventeen at most. She was pale and at one time had rich honey skin and glowing copper curls. She was half naked, battered and bruised.

There was a distorted streak of blood spattered across her face and trailed down her small chest, it was fresh too. It wasn't a gushing wound, so it couldn't be her blood. A busted lip with cracked brown blood caught around her upper chin, it also looked like the meekest of her afflictions.

Her eyes where only half open; she was having a difficult time supporting herself and would have collapsed if not for the arm holding her up. The other warm body that was both her voice and fleshly support, a hooded figure that spoke directly to Casey, with a fierce, maternal voice.

"Damnit, do you have a cell phone!"

Casey woke up to a slow reality, everything was distant and time even appeared to slow.

She tore into her purse and made the call; Casey didn't remember even speaking. It was like someone else was in her throat and spoke to the 9-1-1 operator. She knew better than to intervene too, let this Take-Control-And-Aid-All-Human-Life-Casey-Novak do the talking.

By now the cell phone had slipped from her hand and clattered forgotten, on the granite floor.

Casey threw her own support under the young girl's free arm and walked out from the elevator's cage. The hooded figure was no longer speaking, as if they shared a telepathic link, they drew their young counterpart to the blue sofa Casey claimed only moments earlier.

Gary took notice from the other side of the door carousel and charged in crying out for an explanation.

No one answered him.

He tore the phone of its lovely cradle seated at his desk and repeated the same action Casey had seconds earlier.

His newly female companion followed in and began to cry out, "Oh God! Oh God!" When she saw the sordid state of the young girl. Her multi-ringed fingers covered her mouth and she began to weep, slow at first then into elevated wet, uncontrollable sobs.

The hooded figure press her gloved fingers into the girl's creamy neck leaving new bloody prints, searching for that pulse that existed while she was in the basement, while she was in the short stairwell and fluttered like a butterfly's soft dying beats in the elevator.

It was weak and pathetic, but throbbed with hope or contempt…

Casey didn't remember how or when her brain fired the neurons and impulses to the nerves in her spine, then too her legs. But she did somewhere at some point because she was now kneeling on the hard floor, her knees softly bruising from the pressure and her hand in the thin, bony, loose palm of the young girl.

So fragile and doll looking, breakable, even a gentle Texas breeze would finish her off. Wisp away whatever life was left in her miserable shell of a body. She didn't always look that, Casey was sure of that.

No, she was healthy and happy at one point in her life...right? She had to be. Why else would she still be clinging onto her corporeal existence? Why else would she be living still?

In the distance Casey could hear the banshee wail of the ambulance, but was like listening through water.

Gary was now at her side, ranting to a temporally incoherent Casey Novak. His red haired companion had now folded herself on the floor, consumed by a fit convulsion, it was like she was seeing herself in the young girl, in private reality she really was.

The bloody girl moaned and whimpered with thick anguish. Casey spoke soothingly to her, even her own voice sounded far away.

Even as the paramedics pulled her away she spoke calmly to her, hoping to help to—to effect, to cause an impact.

No one saw the hooded individual take her leave. No one saw her face, caught her height or weight. But Casey caught her voice. It would eventually become undistorted and resonate with crystal-clarity acoustics in her mind.

"Have you got a cell phone! Damnit, do you have a cell phone!"

The only way for her to identify the mysterious woman, Casey Novak would never forget that voice, fierce and maternal. Virtues she lacked and ones she would remedy, someday.

Then time returned to normal.

(End Section)

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Detective Olivia Benson was in the middle of a violent retch into her apartment's milky ceramic toilet bowl when her cell phone nagged at her.

She had flipped up the lid and seat and was on her knees vomiting up the last of the Chinese food she had only an hour ago. Her lovely locks of hair gripped tightly in her left hand as she felt another torrent pushing up though her throat.

Chunky and coarse.

Bitter and acidic.

Her eyes had blurred with tears and the snot her nose started to run as she heard the last of incessant chime of her cell phone.

Fuck it. They can call back. Olivia thought as she felt the rush subside, flushed the toilet and then leaned back against the cabinet doors beneath the sink.

She breathed heavily and felt a gross chunk caught in her inner cheek, it was pinned against her gum line; an onion sliver. Olivia tongued it and then launched it into the bowl from her seated position.

She smiled remembering how she and Manny, her best friend when she was thirteen, would to sneak into movies and spit Cracker Jacks or Milk Duds at the back of people's heads in the theater.

Always sit in the back.

Olivia still did, alone though.

Manny died nearly twelve years ago, shot in the head by a gang leader, he was such a good cop.

Her cell beeped twice indicting message a had been left in her living room, she glared at the device on her worn coffee table next to her badge, sidearm and keys.

Most of the squad had gone out for dinner that evening, it wasn't a special occasion or anything, just a habit sort of. Well, rare was a better way to describe it, lunch was more of a daily ritual for them.

John Munch, Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola, Elliot Stabler and the two new rookies to the Special Victims Unit; Nadia Sands and Andrew Gage and herself had all gone to the Jade River, a local Chinese food restaurant.

Captain Donald Cragen had declined the invitation, he didn't say way.

It had been a great evening and the food tasted fine, at the time. Then the rookies being rookies had foot the bill, it was…

Tradition. Bullshit. This was fate's revenge for making them pay…That's why I'm puking up my digestive track up!

The cab ride was fine; it was the walk to the building elevator where she started to feel slightly…strange. The familiar feeling became stronger as she opened the door to her apartment.

Indigestion, that's it. Heart burn. Nothing some chalky discs of antacids can't fix.

She locked the door behind her then kicked the bottom bolt, dropped her cell, sidearm, badge and keys on the finish peeling coffee table, felt a sharp cramp and gripped her stomach.

Maybe not…

She kicked off one shoe and that was as far as she got.

Olivia stormed toward her bathroom, clutching her mouth and awkwardly stepping with one shoe still on.

Flipped the light on, bent a fingernail back, wrenched the lid and toilet seat hard nearly cracking the tank in the process and retched. Eventually she collapsed beside the bowl when her legs gave out, vomiting even more.

Now Olivia shifted slightly against the cabinet door, pulled off her other shoe and threw it out the bathroom towards its mate. Then eyed the finger nail she had bent back, it had turned white with flush and was slowing a streak of red in the center. It would turn purple in a few hours.

Maybe that was Elliot. He's gotten sick too and wants to storm the place and needs some back up,she shrugged.

She had gotten sick last week also, at the station that time. She was also getting chills too, at odd times.

Maybe I'm getting the flu. Flu season is right around the corner.

Olivia paused, Its over, pretty sure.

She pulled herself up, flushed the small onion sliver, rinsed her mouth out and stumbled out to the living room and fumbled for her phone.

The message was indeed from Elliot; he sounded fine too and was at Lee Apartments with Fin and John. Told her get to get there ASAP, he didn't say why.

Lee Apartments…Wasn't that Casey's place?

Olivia brushed the awful taste out of her mouth and swished some mouthwash, before saddling up and leaving again.

(End Section)

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"What do we have?" Olivia directed at Elliot as she passed between the Patrol officers and various firemen around the Lee Apartments entrance.

She arrived just to see the ambulance sped away, sirens and lights at full tilt.

"Not quite sure. The first patrol officers on the scene called it a rape and called us out. Casey was just here. She's headed to the hospital now." Elliot started, Fin and John stood near him.

Casey...The hospital…Oh God no…

"She wasn't…" Olivia said with fear in the back of her throat.

Elliot realized her misinterpretation, "No, she was with the vic."

The relief was obvious on Olivia's features.

"She did look good though." Fin commented and John nodded.

Olivia looked at them in confusion.

"Casey had some sort of big evening planned or she just back from it; she's dressed to the nines when we got here. That dress is ruined now." John continued, "She had the victims' blood on what had to be two-hundred dollar party dress."

"Did you get her statement?" Olivia directed at John.

"Partial. She was fairly shaken when I spoke to her. She said she was headed to the elevator, when it opened and saw our vic and someone else supporting her. Some woman, in a hood or something, then she took off in a cab after the ambulance." John replied.

Olivia nodded, "You wanna head to the hospital, get an ID and Casey's full account?"

Elliot nodded.

"We'll take statements here." Fin added.

They were about to part ways when Olivia remembered to questioned the others about the Jade River.

"Did the food set well with you guys?"

"Yeah, fine with me." Fin answered, John nodded in agreement.

"Why? Did you get sick?" Elliot asked in genuine concern.

"Nah, just a little indigestion." She lied patting her stomach.

"I got some Rolaids if you want them." Fin offered.

"No thanks, I'm good." She lied again.

(End Section)

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Elliot and Olivia arrived at Jude's Hospital to find a shocked Casey Novak, in a fantastic party dress, light blue and strapless. John was right the dress was ruined, there where daps of blood here and there, then even a severe slash of red on her side.

She had long since washed away the blood on her hands but rubbed them absent-mindedly as she sat on a hospital chair in the public lobby, waiting for any news of the young girl.

Elliot and Olivia timidly approached her as she continued to rub her hands together, lost in her own thoughts.

"Casey," Olivia whispered.

No response.

"Casey baby," Olivia placed a soft hand on her naked shoulder and Casey jerked hard at her touch and shifted the chair violently in the process, Elliot caught the back of the chair before it could topple over. Casey stared at them for a moment, as if she had no idea who they where.

Then closed her eyes and covered her face, "I'm sorry."

"Hey, it's ok." Elliot murmured and took a seat next to her, Olivia on the other side of her.

"John said you left the scene real quickly." Elliot started.

"Yeah, I just…I couldn't leave her."

"You don't know who she is, do you?" Olivia detected.

Casey shook her head, lose strands of blonde hair wavered around her face and neck, "No. I've never seen her, not before tonight."

"Casey, we need your statement. Are you up to that?" Elliot asked his physique slightly hunched over to match hers.

"Yeah, I can."

"Just tell us what happened from the beginning."

She shrugged some, "I was going out and got stood up by this guy. He never met me in the lobby." Casey didn't care if they judged her for the time being, other matters weighed heavier then her wounded ego.

"Gave up on the bastard and headed toward the elevator. Then—there—there she was," Casey tossed her hand out into the space in front of her shaking her head some and biting back the urge to cry.

"This kid—" she choked covering her mouth, "Just this kid, covered in blood and half naked standing in the elevator. Looking like shit and dead," she sobbed softy. "There was this woman with her, I never saw her face, just heard her voice. She wanted to know if I had a cell phone. I didn't see her after that. Sorry I can't be of more help."

"Its all right, that's fine. You did great, you did everything great." Elliot touched her softly on her bare shoulder, she felt cold to the touch.

She huffed some and tilted her head some; she had become a witness, a porcelain doll, treated fragilely and now with difference.

She'd be on the outside of the circle now.

Do I even want to be on the inside of this one?

"I'm going to see if I can get some prints." Olivia murmured getting up and moving toward the front desk.

Casey sat back and breathed heavily.

"How's your leave been?" Elliot tried to make conversation.

"What? Oh, fine. Went and visited my mom a bit over in Queens you know, that was a fiasco," she shook her head recalling their conversation a few days earlier.

"Some people, Elliot." He glanced over at her, "Some, well, some parents can be just so over-bearing."

"Yeah, I know what you mean." Olivia returned holding a scrap of folded tape.

"She's been stabilized and moved to intensive care, but isn't conscious. I've got a print and I'm going to run it. Both of you want to head back with me?" Olivia leafed about the folded scrap of tape with a thin thumbprint caught on the sticky residue.

"I'm staying." Casey said flatly.

"I'll wait with you." Elliot added, Casey glanced at him unsurely.

"I'll be fine, you don't need to."

"No, I need to be here in case."

Olivia stuffed her hands into her pockets some waiting for them to finish, "Alrighty, I'll be back in an hour or so."

(End Section)

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"Her name's Petra Ramirez." Olivia murmured quietly behind the observation window, appearing next to her partner and a disheveled Casey Novak.

"Her prints are listed?" Elliot inquired, surprised.

Olivia nodded, "Government listing, she works part-time in a local blood bank. The others are still trying to locate her family."

The honey skinned Petra Ramirez looked even more petite in the hospital bed, tubes running in and out of her; monitoring her heart, battling pain, relentless fatigue and the consuming dehydration.

Petra Ramirez had just turned eighteen two months ago, a High School Senior, basketball player and honor student, with no missing persons report filed either.

What was worse, she was painfully obvious rape victim. The rape kit hadn't even come back yet, but the nurses, those angles of mercy, knew, they just knew, there was far too much bruising and tissue damage for it not to have occurred.

Why do monsters walk this earth?

Well, this monster left evidence, plenty of it, intentional or not. Those streaks of blood that weren't hers and a whole slew of fluids that weren't of feminine origin.

She should be having the time of her life right now, Casey lamented to herself. Not existing as a victim…no, a survivor. She corrected herself.

Casey swallowed the heavy lump in her throat.

"Casey, you don't have to be here," Elliot started, noticing her thicker concern, she was already way to close to this.

She nodding knowingly, "Does anyone know who did this to her?"

"No, not yet. Fin and Munch are taking statements right now and searching your building." Olivia answered.

Casey shrugged some, catching a sharp, wincing sob that stung and contorted her face briefly; she fought to regain her emotions.

Elliot gripped her shoulder firmly and reinforced, "You did everything right. Go home and get some rest. You're still on leave, after all."

"No, I can't, I don't think I ever can. Not until this—this bastard…" She trailed off, lowering her head, on the verge of perishing from the over consuming emotions.

Control! Control yourself now! You're no good to anyone a mess of emotions. But I am, human; I am allowed to weep, to mourn!

She fought with her inner psych.

Yes, mourn. But now is not the time, not yet.

Just then the thick, fluidly world shattered like glass around them as Olivia's cell rang.

"Benson," she started, her face ashen almost immediately with…disgust? Revulsion? Elliot had difficulties reading her at the moment. "Right…We're on our way. That was Fin, they've—found something."

She tuned to Casey about to speak, "I'm staying here." Casey said sternly again, end of discussion.

The two detectives nodded, took a parting glance at the fragile Petra and then took their leave.

"What'd they find?" Elliot questioned once out of ear shot of Casey.

"He wasn't," she tilted her head slightly and then chose the word carefully, "clear."

(End Section)

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"You didn't see anyone else? No hooded woman? Or anything?" Detective John Munch questioned to Lee Apartments doorman, Gary Barns.

"No. I don't think so. Just Ms. Novak and the girl…there—there may have been someone else but—I—I only remember, Case—Ms. Novak I mean….I just…who would do something like that to another living person?" He shuttered under the thick police blanket, his eyes red and wide demanding answers as they peered up to John Munch.

"A sick bastard."

He gotten everything he could from this guy, not much of a statement, he wondered if Fin was having better luck with the other witness. He doubted it though; 'Ol' Red' seemed fairly bewildered on arrival.

The lobby security tapes would hopefully fill in the missing gaps, Casey's account and Gary's didn't match up. One saw a hooded woman the other didn't have a clue about the mysterious individual.

Just then the opposite elevator doors spread open at the end of the lobby, the ones cleared for transport. Two patrol officers stumbled out, both clearly about to toss their cookies.

"Sir, the base—" That was all he could manage before having to vomit into a near by fake plant's pot.

John involuntarily winced at the sound of his retch.

The other officer composed himself and forced his throat to swallow his textured, coarse and burning vomit, "The basement sir, you have to see it for yourself."

(End Section)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Oh Shit."

That was all the rough Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola, Special Victims Detective could say. He had seen some brutal crime scenes in his time, from the gruesome, to the freakish. He could only think of one other case that touched close to the scene hung before him.

For once John Munch was at a loss for one of his sarcastic comments, the kind he could pull out even in the most uncomfortable situations.

But this was just bizarre, maybe even ritualistic?

Then there was the inscription finger painted in sharp, bloody, frantic and dripping letters on the cool concrete wall behind the dangling body that slowly rotated in its binds, secured from the ceiling and attached to the floor.

"ITS JUST BUSINESS"

It was even in quotations.

A mob hit? Maybe… John thought to himself.

Maybe it was just 'business' judging from the body's present state, even swathed in half shadows John eyed the body. No wonder the two patrol cops got the queasy. Stripped nearly naked, save for the scraps of a shirt collar around his neck; face mutilated, bloodied and his body split and flayed from the crotch up. He'd been tortured. Then there was the smell, that thick drowning copper smell the lingering residue of blood, not to mention the faint odor of human defecation.

This was execution.

This was revenge.

This was sick.

Without a word Fin dialed his cell.

"Benson,"

"You and Stabler need to get back over here. This is somethin' you two need to see this for yourselves….I ain't seen anything, even remotely close to this, 'xcept for maybe the Sorrentino case." Fin sensed her repugnance through the connection.

"Right…we're on our way."

"The Sorrentino case…" John started, searching for one of his wise-ass comments. He shut his mouth realizing he didn't have one.

(End Section)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Second Day

August 11, 2005 Thursday

"He was in my apartment, Olivia. I was alone with him...I was going to go out with him for drinks that evening!"

Olivia closed her eyes and thought back to her and Casey's frantic conversation at the hospital the next morning, after the mutilated body was cut down and identified.

Jack Olen.

He wasn't who he said he was.

Jack Olen was born Jack Kershaw. Jack Kershaw was wanted for multiple rapes, the distribution of illegal substances and suspected in connection to a murdered family in Maine.

"That could" Casey stopped herself there and cupped her mouth, glancing at the still unconscious Petra.

Jack Kershaw got his though, who ever this 'Hooded Woman' was, and yes she existed the security film from Lee Apartments couldn't lie, but it couldn't show them a face either. She really did a number on the guy too.

Casey briefly shuttered violently then enveloped herself in her arms. It wasn't her though. Olivia could almost sense her thoughts, she was grateful that it wasn't her…Was it selfish to think like that…or human?

Chipped teeth, cracked ribs, mutilated face, his body split horizontally, penetrated and flayed alive. John was still thinking along the lines of a mob hit, Fin too. But this seemed much more than that, way to personal, overkill even.

The Crime Scene Unit was still searching for any skin traces or fibers that the woman would have had to of left behind. There had to be some evidence of her. You don't go on a rampage like that, exert overkill and not leave anything behind. That just didn't happen.

Medial Examiner Melinda Warner had found some skin beneath Jack Kershaw's fingernails, along with the grit of plumber glue. But there was no way to tell yet of it was Petra Ramirez skin or that of this 'Hooded Woman'. The test analysis was predicted to be back sometime after twelve.

The murder weapon was still there, a large flay knife, discarded and used. It was left unceremoniously beneath Jack Kershaw's hanging body. No prints on it other than his. So there was doubt that it belonged to this 'Hooded Woman'.

Olivia closed the deceased Jack Kershaw's file. He really pissed her off, that 'Hooded Woman' who ever she was. But at the same time she saved Petra Ramirez' life.

Olivia felt torn; she'd taken out one of the bad guys.

What was this?

Murder, 'just business' or vigilantism?

Ah yes, vigilantism, like she's never thought about it, wading in those sordid and hectic waters. But you could never leave those waters once you entered them; well, at least not alive.

So she didn't. She couldn't. She wouldn't. She had a duty to fulfill, taken that oath to uphold the law. But sometimes bastards slipped though the cracks and they really shouldn't have.

Like Jack Kershaw.

He had a fantastic lawyer every time he was caught and never served any of the major time that he should of. There was always a technicality or something truly insignificant to his case that saved him from spending the rest of his sick and twisted life from rotting behind bars.

Olivia supposed this 'Hooded Woman' had enough of his good fortune or maybe she was one of his former victims who was tired of waking up scared everyday and chose to seek her sour revenge.

"ITS JUST BUSINESS"

Scrawled in agitated, deranged and bloody streaked letters….

"'Liv."

She snapped out of her thoughts and glanced up at Elliot who was approaching, sleeves rolled.

"Petra Ramirez is awake."

(End Chapter One)

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Praise me, encourage me, burn me, or destroy me…just review.