Book 4: Rapids.

Series: Light, Water, Muses. An alternate universe for a variety of television series. See disclaimers below.

Rating: R, for violence.

Category: The continuing saga of Reflections/ Resurgences/Refractions. Begins just after the new year, only days after Refractions ended.

Pairings: Sandy and Joan, revisited.

General Disclaimer: This site contains stories between mature, consenting adult females. All characters are borrowed without permission, but without the intent of infringement. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Disclaimer: ER, the characters and situations depicted are the property of Warner Bros. Television, Amblin Entertainment, Constant C Productions, NBC, etc.

Disclaimer: The Division, All publicly recognizable characters and places are the property of Lifetime Television, Kedzie Productions, Viacom Productions, and Paramount.

Disclaimer: The X-Files, Created by Chris Carter, produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Ten Thirteen Productions.

Spoilers: Nothing specific, but this is set in a very-parallel alternate universe of Lifetimes The Division, second season. Warning! The X-Files as we know it, does not exist in this alternate universe. Mulder, Scully and Reyes are in their original FBI jobs as profiler, forensics and field agent. Give them a shot, I think you might like my versions! Just work with me, okay? Several characters are from earlier sections of Light, Water and Muses, and aspects of their characters and backgrounds were established there.

Inspiring quote: Part of what makes fantasy so appealing is its ability to transcend the one-dimensional aspect of the mental. -Lex

Note from the author: This tale is an experiment for me to push the boundaries of plot and taboo. I love fiction! The character of CD from Lifetimes the Division fascinated me until TPTB assassinated her character with various potshots, one more outrageous and insulting than the next. I took the aspects I loved in her and added in every twist that I could come up with. Tracy Needham, who played CD, is a goddess in my eyes, for giving me very subtle layers to draw upon.

Summary: Something sinister is happening in the Windy City. A whole new cast of characters comes in to combat this new threat and widen the circle of family.

Chapter 1 Roll of the Dice

++ Sandy ++


Man, I was the luckiest shit in the universe! When I met Joan, I had hardly dared hope. After the bedroom fireworks last night, this morning and this afternoon, I would happily be her love-slave forever! Damn she was a wildcat beneath that cool exterior. When shed had to go off to work, Id hung out with the gang at Zos place and goofed off until the wee hours. Damn, but I was having a great life right about now! There was nothing that could bring me down. Nothing!

My cell chattered at me and I fished it out with a cheery, Happy New Year!

San! Oh god ! You gotta come get me! Hes gonna kill me! For a split second I couldnt react to the stark terror on the line. San, please! Silver. It was Silver on the line! I hardly recognized my cocky pal from the EMTs.

Jesus Silver, where are you?

Near the corner of Forth and Mason, by the old glass factory. Hurry! I'm bleeding everywhere!

Bleeding? Whats going on?

San, just hurry!

Mind whirling, I stepped on the gas and sent the Nissan roaring into the shrill winter darkness. The old glass factory was an abandoned complex that had been converted into some questionable night recreation areas. A legal loophole kept it standing even though the district was salivating to tear it down for god-knows-what. What the hell was Silver doing there? Wait this was right around the corner from that new club that she and Zo danced at sometimes! Plunging into the darkness of the crumbling complex, tires slip-sliding on ice, I frantically searched the pools of light ahead of my car for any signs of my buddy.

Several things happened all at once. First, I got half a lifetime knocked off my palms lifeline as sheer terror kicked my lizard brain into overdrive and adrenaline flooded my body. A body flashed by my front right end and I reflexively slammed the brakes. Except that I missed and stomped the accelerator.

The mistake saved both of our lives.

In a breathless instant, I saw the nightmare that had terrorized my pal so badly. Maniacal gold eyes like some kinda freakin zoo animal glared at me like a death sentence. Some kind of blunt weapon smashed into the hood with enough force to shatter a headlight and I was plunged into half-darkness. Terrified reflex yanked the wheel to the right and I flinched away even as the club pulverized the window beside me. Damn good thing I was short, as the headrest was snapped off by the viciousness of the attack.

Everything was moving in slow motion, my breath loud in my ears, heartbeat thrumming a bass beat. As my tires scrabbled wildly through dirty snow and busted-up asphalt, something thumped heavily against the metal body just behind me as the rear end swung out. A screaming roar like a nightmare blasted even over the sounds of the tires and my laboring engine. Screaming and cursing, I fought the little SUV as it rose up onto two tires and leaned sickening from the centrifugal force. Someone was rushing the car even as it thumped down in its proper position hard enough to nearly give me whiplash.

Scrappy, thats what papa had always called me. A scrappy little guard dog. I reached deep and found that strength and muscled the car to my will with sheer stubbornness. Silver, for I abruptly realized that the first body had been her, threw herself against the passenger side hard enough to spiderweb the glass and splatter blood everywhere. Slamming the brakes, I dragged her a good six feet before lurching to a halt. Only now did I realize that she was screaming in terror.

She had been screaming since flashing across my headlights.

The door was yanked open and I floored it, the engine screaming in protest. Torque dropped the chassis towards the pavement, the car bunching up like a racing greyhound on a rabbit pelt. My windshield went with a sound like a gunshot and I flinched away even as my arm came up to protect my face.

It only half worked as a shattering blow smashed across my forearm and into my head. Something harder than flash and bone cracked across my temple and I was seeing stars. But through all of that was the fear, driving me like a hunted animal to save myself from the savage thing right on top of me. I remained on the accelerator, blind with pain and blood in my eyes as the Forrester lurched away. A body crashed across my roof, hands scrabbling at the shattered remains of my side window. At last the weight off the top was gone. But not before I saw him in the rearview mirror, a murderous rampage given flesh, rushing at us too fast for anything human, despite what skin he wore. The back window went with his furious attack and I stayed standing on the gas pedal, willing to take on the danger of near-blindness than that thing back there. The Nissan obediently raced off into the darkness, away from the terror and fear.

But I could still hear him roaring like a nightmare, the sound imprinted on my psyche forever.

++ Magda Ramirez ++


I missed Jinny sitting close by, keeping me sane with her presence alone. With her off in rehab, I was at a loss of what to do with myself. Having her gone and with this new guy from vice with CD, things were chaotic at best.

The chattering of my phone stopped my circular thoughts and I snatched up the receiver. Inspector Ramirez, I rattled off mechanically.


The voice was so unexpected and so out of context that I actually pulled the receiver away from my ear and stared at it for a long moment. Ever, so slowly, I placed the molded plastic back to my ear and took a deep breath. Sandy?

Mags, she breathed softly in what honestly sounded like relief and the sense of unreality deepened. My disowned black-sheep of a sister didnt need me. She didnt need anyone or anything that clan Ramirez could offer her. She had made that quite clear many years ago. Mags, hes gonna find me. I just know it. You hafta protect me. Please...

I was freaked out now. Sandy sounded drugged out and terrified, her voice slurred and shaky. San, where are you?

Hos... hospital. Not sposed to call, but mscared. He tried to kill me Mags, an hes gonna try again, I jus know it!

Her voice had risen to near-hysterical and I automatically went into cop mode to cover up my very real panic. Hey, hey, just calm down. Im right here, San. Are you in trouble now?

No, she sobbed like a child. Mags, he knows what I look like, an I dont think hes human. No ones listening and Silver might be dead, an...

Okay, Im here, San, Ill do anything I can. There was a sound on the other end, a voice asking something. There was a pause where all I could hear was her heavy breathing. San? Sandy? Are you okay?

Talk to this guy, he can tell you more. The docs dont want me straining myself. Her voice had gone flat and monotone, completely unnerving me. The phone rattled for a moment while my protective instincts boiled over.

Miss Lopez is in my protective custody, the smooth male voice said quietly. Shes safe now.

My emotions boiled over.

Now wait one goddamn minute! My bellow caused a wave of silence to settle over the downtown San Francisco Police Division as they all stared. I couldnt give a damn and gripped the phone as though it was the strange mans neck. Thats my sister you have there. You had damn well better start explaining yourself or theres gonna be hell to pay!

I assure you that shes in the best of hands, maam. Now, if youll...

Dont you patronize me! She sounds terrified! And she said she was hurt! Im a cop, so dont even think of yanking my chain!

When he spoke again, his voice was resigned and a bit sheepish. Im Agent Fox Mulder of the FBI. I assure you, officer

Inspector, I automatically growled.

Ah Inspector. This incident is being taken care of with all expediency. I will be personally overseeing the safety of your sister.

I jumped on the phrasing. So she is still in danger.

Agent Mulder made a strangled sound that might have amused me under different circumstances. My line abruptly clicked and for an insane moment I thought Id been cut off. This is Captain Kaitlyn McCafferty. May I be of assistance here?

++ CD DeLorenzo ++

It was completely unlike Magda to explode like that. When she suddenly paled and hung up the phone, I swung my chair around to face her. Heavily, the small Hispanic woman stood and I automatically went to her. Having Jinny gone and all of us stressing over that was taking its toll on her strong soul. You okay? Can I help?

For a moment if looked like she might shrug me off, but then she deflated. My sister is in some kind of trouble. She was attacked by someone and is in FBI custody in Chicago. At least I assume shes still in Chicago.

Now I was puzzled. You have family in Chicago?

Just Sandy. Its a long story.

At that moment, the captains door opened and she silently gestured for Magda. For some weird reason, she grabbed my sleeve, fear and a trace of panic in the gesture. I could only let myself be dragged along into the unknown, flashing my partner and confused and apologetic look. Captain McCafferty eyed me strangely, but left it at that, taking her seat and gesturing for us to sit. Were here listening, Agent Mulder. Go ahead.

Thank you, came a tinny male voice from the speakerphone. I apologize for the stress of whats happening. While I cant reveal everything about what happened. Magda growled and he hurriedly kept speaking. I can tell you that your sister went to help a friend of hers and was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Some internal prod made me speak up. Is the friend okay?

Im afraid not. And if this is the perp I think it is, we havent seen the last of him. God, he sounded almost eager. Several pieces clicked into place from the minimalist conversation and I stood as I thought them through. While the captain spoke with the FBI man, I quietly opened the door and waved Reina over. The young officer assigned to help the captain immediately bounded over and a dropped my voice to barely a whisper. Bring me the latest VICAP updates, as soon as possible. Start with Chicago. Its really important.

Soundlessly, Reina vanished to do my bidding. The Violent Criminal Apprehension Program had been created so that law enforcement could track patterns. I had a sneaking suspicion that this Agent Mulder was tracking a serial. Since San Francisco had been one of the first cities to utilize VICAP, updates dropped to us almost instantaneously. Even if the FBI were trying to keep this hush-hush, any report filed in the database would have made it here.

I appreciate your offer of assistance, Mulder was placating McCafferty, who was having far too much fun yanking his chain by keeping him on the line. But I assure you that things are well in hand.

Reina shoved a handful of faxes at me and I gave her an appreciative grin. The rookie had real potential and it was always good to encourage that. Speed reading the sheet, I felt a cold fear grip my guts. This is the guy that hits leather players, I stated flatly and the room went deadly silent. I have friends in the Scene, Agent Mulder, and this case is suddenly shaping up to be personal in more ways than one. My more aggressive side was waking up now, a kitty stretching in the sun before she hunts. It had been a long time since I had felt the power and it thrilled me. Theres never been a witness before. I have the VICAP reports in my hands. Youll never get within a mile of him unless you get an in with the Scene. This isnt like infiltrating a drug ring. This is hard.

Both Magda and McCafferty were open-mouthed in astonishment at my behavior. Crouched over the phone, all anger and overbearing predator, I was hardly acting myself. Well, not to them anyway. The life Id walked away from when Id my idiot husband was bearing down on me like a freight train.

Abruptly, there was a clatter on the phone line and a startled noise from Mulder. A new voice spoke, calm, collected and distinctly female. Are you volunteering?

It would mean exposing my most private self... but if I couldnt trust these women I worked with, who could I trust? Magdas pleading look clinched it for me. Yes.

++ Kate McCafferty ++

After gathering some pertinent details from the two FBI agents, I ended the conversation and sent Magda off with a few terse instructions. Keeping her busy would reduce her stress and I added that to my mental list. Adding this chaos with her sister to the missing Exstead, and it was a testament to Magda that she was functioning at all.

Now it was just me and CD. While we had never discussed her subversive streak, I was quite aware of it. After twelve years, there were few secrets between us.

I remembered the gangly, brash twenty-year-old just out of her mandatory jail duty stint. I had been one of the inspectors that introduced her to the streets. Hell, I had encouraged cranky ole Dick to take the girl on as a partner. He was still sorely missed, that old man. It was mostly his doing, but I liked to think that I had a hand in her earning her gold shield so quickly.

I was also quite aware of her falling out three years ago with her beloved mentor and Mistress, in favor of marrying that idiot, Paul. It was a guarantee that I wasnt the only one that still puzzled over that decision. Are you going to talk to her?

That earned me a sharp look before CD sighed heavily and sprawled inelegantly back into the chair. I dont see how I can avoid it. Sighing again, she leaned forward to put her elbows on knees and scrubbed her face roughly. No one likes to admit to stupidity. Least of all to someone like Sylvia.

You cant avoid her forever.

That comment earned me a sour look. Why not? Ive been doing fine so far. But she didnt mean it, I could read that in her tone.

Have you?

The shrink-like comment made CD think, her brows bunched up in concentration. What about Nate?

That made me sigh. Leave him to me. No one knows exactly when Jinny will be back, and Magda has warmed her desk long enough. Let her break him in and he wont be the new guy for long.

That made her chuckle throatily and smile. Dicks loss still hung heavily on her, despite all these months having passed since his death. And I wasnt even going to bring up the hurtful farce of her last partner. There was a special place in hell for the likes of Angela Reide. The woman had no concept of partnership, abruptly leaving CD high and dry not all that long ago. An already scarred soul was left further damaged. It was no wonder that she was worried about our new transfer from Vice.

Buck up, CD, I cajoled and her smile deepened a little. Youre one of the finest officers that Ive had the pleasure of working with. Magdas sister and the FBI are lucky to get your help. Besides, this will give you a chance to work out your past and future with Sylvia. So get moving!

Only then did she finally smile in earnest. It sounds like you want this more than me.

Oh, get out of here, before I kick your ass.

Now she chuckled at the banter and I felt much better about sending her off into the unknown. I love pushy, older red-heads. Thanks captain, I owe you one. Wish me luck.

Grinning thinly, I watched CD saunter out and speak quietly with Nate and Magda. I deliberately ignored Reinas curious look, but made a note to put a real effort into grooming the rookie. Life moves on

To be continued

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