A/N This is running at fifteen chapters, not counting this one. Its all written, so rest assured nothing's going to be left hanging. It just needs polishing. Thank-you to Ellex and GA Unicorn for reading through, catching the errors and giving such good advice.

Please, all feedback is wonderful. I accept all forms, so please let me know what you think - even "I read this, it was ok" makes my day.

There are a couple of incidents of naughty language, but none without due cause. And spoilers for some of season 2 (Duet and Coup d'Etat pop to mind), but nothing explicit.

Summary: Carson volunteers his services to a plague stricken village, but there's more going on than any of them expect. And its not going to be Carson who pays the price...

Oh, and I don't own them. Did anyone think I did?

He is dreaming…

He is walking in the dark. His boots are full of water, and he's cold. Someone is coughing. He can't remember how he got here, or even where here is.

There's splashing up ahead. He hurries, because he needs to get to the source of the noise. The water slows him down and he knows he's going to be too late.

Then, up ahead he can see a faint green glow that looks like a movie special effect. He struggles through the water towards it. He doesn't want to reach the light anymore, but knows he has no choice. The splashing has stopped, and he can't see any sign of what caused it. He dreads what he will find in the pool of light. He wants to turn back, but can't.

A body is floating in the water. He knows its dead. He knows, and he doesn't want to turn it over, but he can't help reaching out a hand. Inside he's screaming. The body is floating, and he turns it. He recognizes the face. He steps back and loses his footing. He falls backwards into the water.


John Sheppard woke in a cold sweat. He'd managed to tie the light blanket into knots around him again. That would be two nights in a row. He'd woken last night screaming. He thought that this time had been the same.

He flung the blanket off and dragged himself out of bed for a glass of water. He didn't think he'd be able to get back to sleep, but as soon as he lay down again slumber claimed him.

In the morning, the details of the dream had vanished with the darkness. He remembered the terror, but it faded in the bright light of sunrise.