Disclaimer: Everything Law & Order related belongs to Dick Wolf and company, as in the show idea and known characters. But I do own the abstract created characters and plot line.
A/N: Special thanks too: Wolfwood11, acsbabyangelgirl, nebulagirl, shakeahand55, SVU Lover4ever, OrionandSilver, KittyDoggyLover, stabler99, kiki, Point Of Impact, TVCowgurl, VampirePrincess86, Vertigomac, and MeWannabe. Essentiality, everyone who took the time to review. Thank you all for your support and reviews. It really pushed me through.
It's been fun…
Andrea Foxx was an angel.
Cate felt blessed that she had also left her a worn, ruddy pair of jeans and a soft t-shirt.
She could hardly stand the orange jumpsuit, and was thankful to wear clothing—normal clothing—while she was given her anemia medication, the iron laced foods and while she patiently waited for Elliot
Hoping he would listen to her words and pay heed to her warning.
It must have been five hours before Elliot appeared outside her cell as she thumbed away at a worn paperback.
"You wanted to see me." Elliot muttered rapping his knuckles against the unforgiving bars.
Cate jerked her head up ripping the paperback, "Yeah, you can come in you know." She dropped the paperback on the bed and moved over to the bars.
"What do you want, Cate?" He ignored her offer.
Cate glanced over his shoulder to Joseph and Delia, "Could you two give us some privacy."
"Detective?" Joseph stood a little straighter and spoke a little stronger as he spoke to Elliot's back.
Elliot peered hard into Cate's eyes, "Yeah, go ahead."
Seconds later they were both alone and separated by the bars, "I'm going to prison," she started.
He sneered some, "Yeah, I know." Just figuring that out now?
Cate leaned in a few more inches and brought her voice to an almost whisper, "I called you here to warn you."
He nodded crossing his arms; they hadn't spoken at all since that night out on the patio, when she begged him for release.
It still bothered him that he had indeed considered it.
"You had no idea about Jon Rice, did you? Not even a inkling?" Cate questioned, her eyes partially caught in shadow.
He paused and glanced at his shoes, "I never fully trusted him."
Cate smiled, "Good, hang on to that gut feeling. You need to understand, Elliot, Jon Rice was a hitman and Lengsfield Philips doesn't make mistakes. He had him here for a reason."
Elliot absorbed her words, slowly sifting them, wearily.
"He wants someone in your Squad dead. I don't know who, if I did I would tell you, but I don't. One of you is marked. Then after he takes the mark out, he'll go after the mark's family." Cate continued.
He glanced aside; it was like listening to a ghost story, but he listened no less. He did it out of thanks, she had saved his life more then once now, she knew what she was talking about.
"I'm not kidding, Elliot. You need to watch who ever replaces him, because he will try again. And he will keep trying until he gets what he wants." She warned.
She could tell he wasn't taking her words completely to heart, "It could be you, Elliot. Then he'll kill your family. Or it could be Olivia. It could be anyone. Please, watch yourselves."
"Why do you care?" Elliot asked finally.
She huffed and looked away for a moment, "You know why I care. Just please, be careful."
Cate stepped back from the bars and bellowed, "Guards, he's done with me."
The Ninetieth Day
October 31, 2005 Monday
The jury took seven days to deliberate.
Cate had gotten a small note from Vahik telling her about it. He appeared positive in the note, convinced that she would be placed in Soam Threnody's Insane Asylum.
Cate knew better.
It was fine with her, Go ahead imprison me. I'll come back.
She was to determined not to just give up and die in prison; she'd tunnel out if she had to.
Lengsfield Philips had to die.
That was the bottom line; she wouldn't give up until he was dead.
Once again, for the last time she dressed in the nice dress shirt and skirt.
Gingerly cleaned up her cell knowing she wouldn't be back. Applied her make-up, tied up her hair with a pin and flap, smoothed her clothing and stepped back to look at her appearance in the mirror.
Smiling lopsided at her image she turned to the door of the cell and shoved her hands in the slot, "I'm ready to go."
Delia cuffed her hands this time, then as so many days before she was escorted out to the unmarked, driven to the courthouse, which had more press and protestors then ever before.
Soon she was surrounded by officers and taking careful steps to the courthouse.
A unique protestor caught her eye, he was wearing a black suit and skull mask holding a noose, screaming at her, "Gonna hang your ass, you cunt!"
Cate looked away from the swing rope and allowed Delia to herd her away, guiding her into the courtroom.
After the chaos settled she found herself settled next Vahik who grabbed her hand giving her a gentle squeeze and soft smile.
Cate returned it but knew it was nothing but an appearance, just keeping up appearances.
"The jury has reached a verdict." It wasn't a question as Judge Bailey called to the jury foreman, he stood.
"We have, your honor." He replied holding the folded paper that would determine Cate's end.
"Give it to me," she stretched her arm and the bailiff moved over to the jury foreman taking the paper and giving it to Bailey.
She opened it and nodded to the jury foreman.
"We the jury finds the defendant Cate Monty guilty for multiple murders committed in the city of New York and Waterville, Wyoming and condemn her to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole."
The courtroom exploded in sound, but Cate couldn't hear it.
Her soul and face fell as Vahik embraced her and started talking to her soothingly.
Then she felt the bailiff and several officers pull her away, all sound faded from her ears as they pulled her toward another exit in the courtroom.
Somewhere in the distance and between the blur of her eyes she saw Elliot and Olivia, watching her being pulled away to start her sentence.
Watch yourselves, she mouthed to them.
Watch for him…
"Yeah! Let us drink!" Casey roared with a slight drunken slur popping open another bottle of champagne.
The cork propelled from the neck and knocked a lamp over in the squad room, causing it to shatter on the floor.
"I'm going to pay for that!" Casey laughed as she refilled flutes for Nadia and John, then Cragen and Fin.
"Yes you will." Cragen replied almost chugging the flute, thankful that it was over, all of it was over.
Cate was in Blair's Maximum Security Prison for women in New Jersey and she had been there for nearly two hours now.
He could relax, even if it was for only a brief time.
As for Olivia and Elliot, they watched quietly a few feet away from the drunken bunch. Olivia sipped from a glass of water, Elliot had finished his flute.
"It's over…are you going to tell them?" He asked hiding his mouth behind his flute.
Olivia didn't reply at first as she watched her counterparts slowly reach inebriation, "Now's as good as time as any, I guess. Hey, can I have your attention please!"
Casey stopped giggling and looked up as the others did.
"I have announcement to make," she didn't mean to build up the excitement but she did, a smile tugged at her cheeks, "I'm a…I'm a little over thirteen weeks pregnant."
She tossed in another smile and was greeted by silence and shock.
"I knew it!" Nadia screamed accidentally crushing her flute and shattering the quiet.
Congratulations were spurted throughout the squad room and Casey was the first to hug Olivia.
Life and continued for the squad, new cases were taken in and Nadia started her suspension for her illegal meeting with Cate Monty.
Olivia started to show more and Cragen started the slow process of picking Nadia's new partner, more cautious this time.
Elliot later told Olivia about Cate's parting words; she shuttered in response on one their last stake-outs, one of the few they had left before she would be placed on desk duty.
They were in agreement to keep their eyes peeled, just in case.
Time resumed and the Squad found its place again, no longer caught up in the turbulent tide of Cate Monty's wake, they could take ease and breathe.
For the time being of course.
Cate Monty was in her second week of her life sentence at the Blair Maximum Security Prison, already she had trouble.
She had been to the medical ward three times since she first arrived; each visit was due to a shank.
At the same time she was slowly becoming a feral animal.
She had made enemies too.
Then there were those that were terrified of her. There where rumors that she not only cut up a woman with a chainsaw, but also ate some of her.
Cate wasn't going to stop those rumors either, Let them think I'm insane if it keeps them away from me.
But some wanted a piece of her, like one woman in particular, Blanch Howe.
Blanch was a burly looking woman, with more testosterone than estrogen in her body.
Towering and butch complete, with a uni-brow and she did not like Cate at all.
She didn't like the fact that there was someone in Blair who was wickeder and more popular than her.
As for Cate, she could care less if that was the case; she was more focused on trying to escape.
They had had their fair share of fights too, each one bloodier than the one proceeding, then in the third week everything would change.
The One Hundredth and Eveleth Day
November 20, 2005 Sunday
The shower is a dangerous place in prison, you're very vulnerable. Cate knew that every time she disrobed and stepped under the cool blast.
Today had been like every other day; get up a six, dress then head down to the kitchen where she worked, setting pots to a boil and opening cans. Later she'd cleaned up, then mopped the cafeteria. Were as the rest of the day was hers, she spent some of the remainder in the library.
Although it wasn't much of a library, few books here and there and most of them she had already read.
Later she go to the gym, working on her body, keeping it toned and well managed, doing most of this alone, snapping at anyone who got to close, regardless of race or religion.
Then off to the shower, Same thing everyday,she scanned the agenda in her mind as she rubbed her lengthening hair.
But why does today feel different?
She scrubbed at her arms and back with the sliver of soap, slowly the shower room dissipated and she found herself alone.
A chill creped up her back and she glanced at the female guard posted at the doorway, then back to the sterile tile cleansing her hair and closing her eyes.
The sound of the shower door being slammed caused her to glance at the blurry corner, only to see Blanch shove her fist into her eye.
Cate went down hard and fast slipping on the slick tile, pounding her head on the hard floor.
"Hello lover." Blanch purred as she stood fully dressed over Cate's hard body and raising her shoe about to crush Cate's throat.
She reacted quickly, grabbing Blanch's foot and ankle twisting it hard and snapping the bones.
Blanch screamed reaching for something to balance on at the wall and found nothing, gravity took hold and jerked her body onto the tile too.
Before Cate could sneer and attack Blanch's body a gunshot echoed in the shower room, Blanch's head exploded, spraying on Cate and the walls adjoining.
"I never liked that bull-dike."
"Yeah, me neither."
Cate turned to see the prison guards; Sarah Austin and Terry Burch.
Terry wielding the handgun and Sarah crossing her arms.
"Have to make it look real now," Terry muttered handing Sarah the gun who quickly pistol-whipped him and handed the gun back to him. He hissed and spat a ray of blood and spit on the shower floor and held his busted lips.
Cate laid on the gross shower floor in shock, water still pattering her body and washing away Blanch's blood.
"You know, I thought you would have killed her." Sarah commented.
Cate looked taken aback, "Are you going to kill me or what?"
Terry laughed with gargled pain from the pistol-whip, "We couldn't kill you. Not after what you've done for us. Come on, lots of people have their ass one the line for your right now."
Cate was taken to Warden Blake Ellenberger office and dumped in one of his chairs, still fully nude, wet and stippled with Blanch's blood.
"Ms. Monty, I haven't had the pleasure." He stood reaching for her hand and shaking it over the desk, she had no idea what was going on.
"What the fuck is going on! If he hired you to kill me, then fucking kill me!" She screamed standing after he released her hand; Sarah and Terry stepped in grabbing her by the shoulders and forced her back into the seat.
"Austin, well you grab my coat over there and give it to Ms. Monty; I'd hate for to catch cold in her state of undress." Sarah did as she was ordered and handed Cate the coat, who wrapped it over her naked body.
"He didn't hire me, quite contraire actually. I want you to kill him." Ellenberger answered her query interlacing his hands on the desk.
"What?" She breathed.
"You're dead, Cate. Howe attacked you in the shower and shanked you. You took officer's Burch gun, pistol-whipped him and blew Howe's head off, but later died in infirmary due to your shank. But you went down swinging!" Ellenberger laughed.
"Why are you doing this?" Cate breathed.
"I took me weeks to orchestrate this, Cate."
"This. Your release back into the world." He spread his hands; she eyed him wearily, "So you can kill Lengsfield Philips."
She started breathing hectically.
"You're all insane."
"And your not?"
"Maybe. I did cut a woman up with a chainsaw, remember."
"I'm sure she deserved it."
Ellenberger sat back some, "He killed my son and daughter and nothing was done about it. Guard Burch there," he pointed to the officer behind her, but Cate didn't move, her eyes remained locked with Ellenberger, "Bale Braddock killed his son. Guard Austin's mother was mutilated by Anita Garcia. Matter a fact, everyone apart of this little conspiracy has had someone murdered or hurt by someone you killed."
He continued at her disturbed silence, "Yvonne Shoe, I mean Doctor Yvonne Shoe who will be performing your scar tissue surgery. Kim Ong kidnapped her daughter, she has since been returned. Her nurse Ann Cheek, her bother was shot by Chris Harris. Her other nurse Stephen Williams, his wife was raped by Jack Kershaw."
Cate started to weep.
"The M.E's that are going to falsify your death," he knotted his fingers. "Joanna Jones's father was murdered by Jon Rice. Her assistant for this situation, Alonzo Martinez, his son was paralyzed by Nick Hebel. Interesting isn't it." He concluded as Cate adverted her wet eyes and suddenly looked very shallow.
"I didn't kill them for anyone else but myself." Cate whispered.
"That's not what you said to Petra Ramirez," he tilted his head some reaching for a manila folder on his desk opening it.
"Quote, 'You're a survivor. Like me. You're strong. You will feel so angry and cold toward the ones you love, but don't push away those who love you. Embrace them, take comfort in them. Let go of your hate because it will kill you, like it has me. I've relieved you of your scorn, of mine and of countless others…remember you are a survivor not a victim.'" He closed the folder tossing it back on his desk.
Cate closed her eyes and sat back further in the large leather armchair.
"You said something similar to Nathan Thorne too, same with Edward Sauls. You want to look like someone who's selfish and in it for herself, but your not, Cate."
"Yes I am! What the fuck do you know! They were there, they just happened to be there! I didn't go out looking for them!" Cate burst with rage leaning forward in the chair exposing her body; both guards stepped up just in case.
"Damn it! I know how much you hate to admit it, but deep down inside you are a good person. You didn't leave them to die. You're a hero—"
"No, I'm not." Cate sobbed.
"Then you're a vigilante, like everyone says. I know when I let you go you're going to look for him, and help you ever you can along the way." He replied.
Cate shook her head and begged again, "Why are you doing this?"
"Because you can do want a badge can't. You can do what I never could. You're an inspiration. You're hope to the city and its people. And I think your God Sent."
Cate felt drearily at his words and leaned back in the chair crying softy now, I'm not a hero, I'm not God Sent…I'm nothing…
Hard to believe someone can hate themselves so much for something they had no control over. Not matter how much Cate Monty hated her wretched life she couldn't change who she had become deep down inside. She wasn't a hero, but she was most definitely a vigilante.
No one would ever contest that fact.
The One Hundredth and Twelfth Day
November 21, 2005 Monday
Casey was humming to her herself as she puttered down the hallway toward her office, briefcase in hand and an I-Pod plugged into her head. Clothing bright as usual and it matched her personality on the soft, snowy day.
She smiled to her counterparts; sectaries, desk clerks, legal assistants and fellow lawyers.
Locked into bliss, it was wonderful day so far. Everything was a breeze for her so far.
She hailed a cab immediately, hit all the green lights, caught the elevator on her first try and had cleared her desk of all the paperwork late last Friday. She knew she'd have very little to do this early on the morning.
"Morning, Casey." Her assistant Trisha Hopes called with her high voice.
Casey pulled one of her headphones off and answered the greeting, "Morning, any messages?"
"No, but a package did arrive for you about twenty minutes ago. Its heavy too, no return address. I think you have a stalker." Trisha giggled, Casey leered at her.
"It's probably just the files on Black and Poe I had pulled from upstate." Casey replied shutting her I-Pod off and slipping it into her jacket pocket and shuffling toward her office, still humming.
She eyed the box with curiosity while she deposited her briefcase in the nearest armchair, swept her jacket off shaking it some, then hung it on the coat rack.
The box was quite large; it took up the center of her clean desk, thoroughly gritting it up.
Overcome with puzzlement she circled the box, upon closer inspection she noticed it wasn't the files she requested, it something else.
With narrow timid-ness she reached into the top desk drawer and retrieved the blue handled scissors, split them and went to work on the packing tape.
After all the tape was removed she pulled the cardboard flaps apart and the bitter smell of musk filled her face. Her nose crinkled in result as she peered deeper into the box, perplexed again. It was several yellowed manila folders with a fresh folded letter placed on top.
Softy, she reached for the letter first, pulling it open, lovely cursive filled her eyes as she started to read silently:
'To whom it may concern…you in this case. I have been quiet for far too long. My demons have wreaked havoc on my mind over the years; seclusion couldn't help my guilty conscience either. I could never bring myself to destroy these. This hit in particular never sat well with me. So I kept them. I hope I'm not too late to set things right.'
As her eyes leafed over the last words she felt her back shiver, I don't like this.
After setting the crisp handwritten letter down, she reached for the first folder and carefully opened it.
Casey did expect to see what was tucked away in the folder as she jerked it away from her hands and backed away from the spilled black and white photos, bumping into the window behind her desk, scrunching the blinds and covering her mouth in morbid reaction.
What the hell! What the hell is this!
She felt scorching tears burn her eyes as the disturbing black and white photos reflected in her irises, tossed over the desk and fluttered on the floor, she couldn't look away.
Gathering up her courage she moved away from the images and reached into the box again, pulling another folder out and carefully opening it.
It was a dated medical write up, her eyes darted to the boldest words and statements;
'…these are not self-inflicted mutilations…'
'Rape is positive, multiple seminal fluids where found in and aro…'
That was enough; gruffly she grabbed another file, a police report;
'Fingerprints where lifted from the home…'
'…DNA was found…'
'A switchblade was recovered…'
Fevered she dropped the folder and peered into the box again seeing more folders and newly revealed sealed evidence bags. All marked CATE MONTY TRIAL EVIDENCE.
Shock filled her eyes along with rage. She had read Cate's interrogation report when she mentioned certain evidence was always disappearing or being misplaced, it coincided with what Cragen said at the beginning of this turbulent fiasco. She didn't believe it though.
This was that missing evidence.
Who sent this?
Where did it come from?
Stepping back she moved to her office doorway, "Trisha, get Don Cragen on the phone, now!"
It was futile act now, she didn't know that though. She thought Cate Monty was still alive.
She was a few hours too late.
Only a few hours.
"Sands!" Cragen barked in the Squad room, Nadia jerked her head up from her laptop and nearly knocked her coffee over.
"Come in here, please." He motioned.
"Busted." John said singly as he typed away at his laptop a few feet away.
"What you do this time, Sands?" Fin interjected.
"I don't know." She rolled her eyes at the two as she walked toward her Captain's office.
She entered tentatively noticing someone else sitting in front of Cragen's desk that stood as she entered.
"Detective Sands, this is Detective Denise Jones, your new partner." Cragen introduced taking a seat behind his desk; it had taken him a little under a month to pick her new partner.
He knew Nadia didn't mind, she had been burned pretty badly by Andrew Gage/Jon Rice, and flying solo ever since. Taking things easy and working on cases with Olivia and Elliot, then John and Fin. But Cragen was tired of her being the third wheel so to speak, he still had Elliot's temporary replacement partner to line up too when Olivia would take her maternity leave.
This time he was on edge on who he chose. He went through fifteen other officers before settling on Denise, she had been one of the original runner-ups against Andrew Gage also.
He had a good feeling this time though, the right feeling at least.
"Nice to meet you, I'm Nadia Sands." Nadia grasped Denise's hand firmly as introductions where repeated. "Come on, let's get you situated."
The two women exited the office as Cragen exhaled and seated himself breathing with relief, taking a careful drink of his coffee when his desk phone rang.
"Special Victims, Cragen," he droned into the cord phone.
"Have you seen it?" It was the Chief of Detectives Caitlin O'Connell.
"Channel four." That was it; she hung up leaving nothing but a buzz.
Perplexed he re-cradled the phone and headed out to the squad room just as Olivia and Elliot returned from the elevator and Elliot had a bloody nose, "Did you get Black?"
"She's in lock-up." Olivia replied as Elliot cupped his nose behind a stiff tissue.
Cragen nodded flipping the television on in the squad room and surfed to channel four.
"…And for those of you just turning in, it is confirmed Cate Monty died late last night. She was attacked by another inmate and stabled in the chest. Monty did kill that inmate by shooting her. It is still unclear of how Monty came to possess a firearm at this time. She later died in the infirmary. It is confirmed Cate Monty has died…"
The squad room turned to silence as Cragen shut the television off, dumbstruck, I wasn't expecting that.
Elliot pulled the paper away from his nose, "That's a shame," he muttered heartlessly to no one.
The Last Day
December 2, 2005 Friday
Catherine Ballenger, later changed to Catherine Monty died in that filthy shower room floor in Blair's Maximum Security Prison that night.
Katherine Hiller woke up wrapped up in gauze in some hospital somewhere far from Blair.
Most of the burn tissue replaced on the front of her body by skin graphs taken from her back, same with the flesh on her lower cheek and throat. It was only noticeable in sunlight, only then could you see the small stitching. But other then that Katherine Hiller didn't look much like the deceased Cate Monty any more.
Kate shrugged under the sling strap over her shoulder as a soft snow fell on New York City, the scarf wrapped around her neck fluttered on the corner of the busy street.
She had three hundred dollars in her sling, which she would pay back to Warden Blake Ellenberger as soon as she was able. New papers too; a driver's license, birth certificate, social security card, a gun license, and a pill prescription filling eight months for the anemia, all legitimate with Katherine Hiller's name and photo slapped on them.
She also had the keys to a dump storefront with an apartment loft not to far from where she stood, it would become her new home. She'd would have to fix up, Kate didn't mind, it would keep her mind off things for the time being.
Her hair had been styled again, now layered, feathered and dyed and to a Scottish red, no one would ever recognize her as Cate Monty ever again. She was sure of that.
Ellenberger dropped her off on this street corner not twenty minutes ago, and she hadn't moved much. She was just glad to be free of Blair's confines and the constricts of her old body and face.
She stood there basking in the joy that no one looked at her twice.
A new life, a new face and a name to use in her sojourn of revenge against Lengsfield Philips.
She looked up at the towering skyscrapers listening to the drumbeat of the city, allowing the snowflakes to kiss her face.
Wondering were Lengsfield Philips was, knowing she would find him and finish this, helping who ever needed aid along the way, wearily though.
Ellenberger was right and Kate knew he was, deep down she really was a vigilante. No matter how much she detested that word—vigilante—it was her label.
Horns echoed down the street, replaced by sirens, people yelled and talked, hailed cabs and insulted each other, New York life at its norm. And they didn't look at Katherine Hiller either; they where all to wrapped up in their busy lives to notice the undead vigilante perched in their mists.
Kate smiled to herself and whispered to the sky and snow, "I'm coming for you Lengsfield Philips."
I'm coming for you…
(End Chapter Nineteen, Conclusion of Vigilante)
There will be a sequel…be cool ya'll…there will be one. I've already started it.
It will probably roll around some time in January-April…somewhere in there. But I'm not making any promises of how soon I'll roll the sucker out.
Vigilante took a while to write…over a three month expanse, but I didn't write consistently everyday so it probably really boils down to a month in total…I was also working on my college stuff …plus I'm a perfectionist when I comes to my writing, (Its weird, because I'm practically a lazy punk when it comes to everything else). I can't just write and update without the story being complete…it has to be done first.
Anyway, so much has been left unsaid:
Who sent Casey the evidence?
Who is the father of Olivia's baby?
Who really is the Hit?
Is Denise a good guy?
Will Fin ever get a chapter all to himself?
All or maybe some of that will be revealed in the sequel.
Thanks, it has been fun.