Shadows in the Light

Shadowless Whispers

'Stop! Don't come any closer! I will kill him!' The man screamed, the berretta mashed against Rodney's head.

'Just calm down.' John reasoned. 'We're not here for you.' His P90 still trained on the man holding Mckay.

'Yes, let's tell the crazy man with the gun to my head to calm down, see how that saves my brain from being blown to bits.' Rodney snapped, anger and fear glaring back at the Colonel.

'How about you calm down too, Mckay.' John narrowed his eyes at the scientist. He could feel Ronan at his side, weapon raised. This whole thing could go bad very quickly.

'Rodney has done nothing to harm you, and we will not hurt you. If you let him go, we will leave. There is no need for killing.' Teyla insisted, lowering her gun.

'No! I do not believe you! You have come to kill me! Like you did the others!' He cried, dark eyes searching them for the animals they really were.

John frowned. 'What others?' He asked slowly.

'Does that matter right now?' Rodney squeaked.

'Let him go, or we kill you.' Ronan stated.

Teyla glared at Ronan. This man was so close to falling off the edge, the wind could blow and push him over. Threats would not resolve this. The moment she had seen him, she had known that something was wrong. At first she thought he was ill, a sickness that had made him pale, had caused the bags under his blue eyes. In the light, she could see the sweat beading on his forehead, the way his body shaked with terror. His eyes flickering backward and forth, not knowing where to look. A desperate man.

'If something has happened to you, or to a loved one, we may be able to help. But not if you harm our friend.' She said firmly, slowly creeping forward.

'Teyla.' John warned.

'It is alright, Colonel. I am showing Tedan that he can trust us.' Her brown eyes were fixed on the villager whose arm was wound around Mckay's neck, pulling him back a few inches every time she came too close.

'Yes, you can trust us, we're very nice people.' Rodney croaked, breathing obviously becoming an issue from the aubergine colour filling his cheeks.

'Stay back!' He screamed, digging the gun into Rodney's head with a purpose. 'You will not have me, and I will not become like you.' He lifted his chin, a defiant look in his eyes. John realised that this man was not afraid – he was insane.

Teyla knew more, had seen that look before. She knew what was to come. In a split second she surged forward as Tedan threw Mckay to the ground, lifting the gun to his own head. 'No!'

He smiled, pulled the trigger, and a shot sounded. Teyla gaped as his corpse crumpled to the floor. Silence filled her mind.

John joined her at her side. 'What in the hell was that?'

'I do not know.' She breathed, looking away from the bloodied mess.

'Not caring.' Rodney rasped, massaging his throat. He turned and shut his eyes. 'Oh…gross.'

'Why'd he do that?' Ronan asked.

'That's a very good question.' John looked to the ground. 'Wasn't he sane when we got here - mostly sane when we got here…?'

'Apparently not.' Rodney grabbed his gun from the ground, switching the safety on and holstering it.

'I do not believe so. Tedan looked very ill when we first arrived.' Teyla turned to her team.

'Ill as in diseased, or ill as in nuts?' John asked.

'I did not think him mentally unstable.' She frowned at his insensitivity, her attitude showed through her clipped tones. Ronan raised his eyebrows.

John narrowed his eyes at her for a moment before thinking that it was nothing more than crankiness from seeing someone shoot themselves.

'Rodney.' He turned to the scientist. 'Make sure you keep an eye on that thing, encase anyone else gets a case of the crazy.' He said sternly, glancing at the holstered weapon at Mckay's side.

'It's not like I handed it to him and said "please Mr Psycho, point this at me and then shoot yourself." Victim here, remember?' He reminded them, pointing to the bruise on his neck.

'We should head back to the Gate; the villagers'll think we killed him.' Ronan informed them, glancing at the corpse impassively.

'Ronan's right, those people were not the most trusting, and after this guys little episode, they are not going to believe anything we say.' Rodney urged, looking expectantly at Sheppard. John nodded slightly.

'We must return to the village and inform Tedan's family, we should also ask them if he had been different lately.' Teyla growled, hating them for their cowardice.

'Teyla, these people think we're evil-doers who go round to different planets to steal things and generally screw over anyone we come in contact with, I don't know why they think it, but they do. And if we waltz into town saying that one of their people decided to go and shoot themselves with one of our weapons, something tells me they're not going to be very understanding.' John explained, admiring Teyla's nature as always, but right now was not the best time to be the angels of the galaxy.

'There could be others, and we cannot just leave this planet-' Her voice rising.

'Why? Why can't we just leave this planet and go home where people don't try to shoot me…usually.' Mckay whined, looking at her as though she were truly stupid. How ridiculous could a person get?

'Because it is wrong.' She growled low, glaring at him. Rodney took a step back, her sudden hostility making him edge toward Ronan. John frowned.

'Teyla, there's nothing we can do for him, and from what we saw, the other people in that village seemed perfectly…fine, so I am going to assume that this is an isolated event - ' He started, before Teyla shook her head harshly and stormed by him, heading up the path toward the village. It really bugged him when she did this, which in his mind, was far too often. 'We are not going back.'

She spun with a burning fury in her eyes. 'Tedan was not the only one to have appeared unwell when we arrived; I believe that there is something more happening. At first I believed it nothing more than the weariness of a hard life, but now I know it is something else.'

'What?' Ronan asked, her sudden need to do more than was necessary agitating him.

'I do not know.' She said coldly, regarding them with an icy stare. 'But I intend to find out.' She turned on her heel and started back up the path.

'Hold on a second!' Mckay yelled incredulously, walking up to her. 'Who is in charge here? Military Colonel? Or Former leader of an almost extinct people?' He said cruelly. Teyla stopped.

Ronan and John could see from her stance that what Mckay had said had struck a nerve. A big nerve. She turned slowly. Mckay gulped.

Teyla's face was set, the shadows of her face growing into a darkness they had never before seen in their friend. Her skin was tinged with a deathly grey, her eyes pinpoints of pure, undiluted fury. She tossed her weapon to the ground with enough force to force shots out of it. All three men covered their heads, Mckay practically falling to the ground. She advanced with the grace given to her from years of encounters with the Wraith, and in every encounter, the result had been the same. She had been the only one left standing.

Having trained with her, John knew the movements all to well, and that Mckay was about to gat a nasty comeuppance.

'Teyla.' John walked to Rodney, pulling him behind. 'We both know Rodney can be a little…well, Rodneyish, and that what he says doesn't mean a damn thing. Especially when he's just had a near death experience.' John insisted, seeing Ronan in the corner of his eye circling them. Just in case.

Teyla stopped in front of him, expressionless, breathing hard. Nostrils flared, eyes drilling holes through his chest to where Rodney hid. The Scientist peeked over the Colonel's shoulder.

'He's right. Nearly dieing makes me very grumpy, like when Zalenka forgets my morning coffee. It's a flaw in my character.' Rodney insisted.

Teyla was hearing none of it. No thoughts were making it to her mind, she couldn't reason with herself, couldn't bare the complexity of a simple response. Not when this feeling took hold. She had never before felt it, had never even known it – and never known how much she would like it. So simple, so powerful. It crept through her, seducing her limbs to tense, urging her mind to seek retribution, to find blood…


Her eyes snapped to John's face. He frowned at her with a deep concern. His gentle brown eyes imploring her to be okay. Why was it that she knew that look, that she could still hear his voice, his wonderfully calming voice. It made her angry, confused…she wasn't sure what was happening. She breathed more deeply, taking in the cold air, and her eyes fell on the corpse of Tedan. The reason for her anger came flooding back, and she glared at the Colonel with a familiar righteousness.

'Return through the Gate.' She seethed, snatching her weapon from the floor. 'I will join you shortly.' She glided up the path with speed, leaving the remnants of her team in awe.

John shook his head. 'That was weird.'

'Yeah.' Ronan joined him at his side.

'Weird as in really bad - she practically attacked me!' Rodney huffed.

'She was looking to.' Ronan observed. 'She should have.'

Mckay did a double take. 'Excuse me?'

'You insulted her.' Ronan growled.

'She insulted me.' He retorted.

'By wanting to tell the dead guys family he was dead?' Ronan narrowed his eyes at him.

'Well, yeah. She should care a little more about the guy that she knew that almost died and not the guy that died that almost did the killing.' He argued, folding his arms.

John hoisted his weapon up, casting the man a dark glare. 'Ever heard of finesse, Rodney?'

'What does finesse have to do with this? She was out of her mind.' He snapped.

Ronan stepped forward, his height enough to make Mckay step back if not for the look of malice in his face. 'What was that?' He asked quietly.

Despite his fear of the man, Rodney found that his anger and hatred for him was far more powerful. 'I said that she was going nuts, crazy, psychotic, generally a freakin' maniac-'

John stepped in between them before Ronan could start with the violence, which was clearly his intention. 'Hey! That's enough! Now I don't know what is going on here, but what ever it is, it's not us, so let's find Teyla, and get back to Atlantis.' He raised an eyebrow at Ronan who grunted and stormed up the path.

'See! Everyone is going whacko, mind you; Ronan was always one fry short of a happy meal if you ask me.' Rodney glared at the Satedan as he strode off into the distance. John shook his head and without looking at the scientist, went after his team mates.

'No one asked you.' John stated coldly.

Rodney walked behind him, fuming, his hand on the holster of his weapon the entire way.

Forty minutes ago…

'Well this was a huge waste of time.' Rodney groaned, folding his arms with all the negativity he could muster.

'Oh come on Mckay, we just got here. Appearances can be deceiving, you know that. Just take a look at the Genii.' John encouraged, grinning at the Scientist as they entered the village.

'Oh yes! Perfect example.' Rodney rolled his eyes. 'Let's hope that these technologically incompetent people are in fact hiding their advancements under the surface so we can then annoy them, and become mortal enemies.'

'Rodney, that was a one time thing, how about we think more positively in terms of our first encounters, mh?' John prodded, knowing there was only so much of his whining that he could take.

'Because there are so many that went splendidly.' Rodney commented dryly.

'Colonel Sheppard is right. We can know nothing of these people by their appearance.' Teyla agreed, trying her best to see what the Colonel was seeing, but finding it difficult.

'Oh, I think we can tell a fair amount.' Rodney nodded a hello at an old woman who quickly went back into her home.

Ronan raised an eyebrow. 'Friendly.'

'Probably not use to strangers is all.' Sheppard smiled warmly as more people parted for them.

'And apparently not use to colour…or bathing.' Rodney scrunched his nose.

The planet they had arrived on was not the most appealing. The ground was nothing more than mud, gooey from the constant rain that fell. They were surrounded by dark green trees, but they couldn't see into the distance because of the thick fog that swam through the air, which only drew their eyes to the poorly constructed huts which stood on either side of them. There were many people all dressed in grey, or what looked to be faded colour. Everyone was caked in mud, either dried or fresh. They went around this small village in huddled groups, and there were plenty of them, and yet there was no sound. The occasional whisper, but no loud conversation of a village buzzing with industry and everyday busy living. They were slow, weary, almost vacant.

It was unnatural as hell, he could feel a coldness invading his body even though he was wearing a few layers, but Sheppard did his best to ignore the headache of the cold air.

'Hi.' He said loudly, a large smile spread across his face. The cheeriness seemed to offend any one in the immediate vicinity, and they scattered, covering their children's ears. 'We're peaceful explorers, friendly folk, just wondering how you're doing?'

They walked on, casting them looks of fear and wonder.

'I don't like this.' Ronan stated. 'It's not right.'

'They do seem rather…afraid.' Teyla stated. 'We are not here to cause trouble. We wish to become friends.'

The notion that these newcomers wanted to be friends was the final straw for most, they hurried away, some shrieking with terror.

'Clearly that was the wrong thing to say.' John said slowly, watching them scurry back to their hovels. 'Hey, we're not here to hurt anyone. We just wanna talk.'

No one appeared to want to stay, although a few kept their distance, just watching.

'They don't seem very chatty.' Rodney stated. 'I say we head home, and have ourselves a wonderful Turkey and Cranberry sandwich Chef is serving for lunch to day, mh?' He smiled hopefully, the smile falling from his face the instant a small woman started edging toward him. 'Yes, well, I'm all for that sandwich, anyone else?'

'It does seem that we are not welcome, perhaps we should-' Teyla began.

'Who are you?'

The team turned to face a man wearing a dirty hide jacket. His face was pale with blue eyes as cold as winter snow. He was expressionless, like the rest of them, just vacant.

'Well, I'm Colonel John Sheppard, this is Teyla Emmagan, Rodney-' John began the usual greeting speech.

'Not from here.' He stated again, looking at them in turn.

'No, no we're from far away, we came through the Gate.' John paused. 'The Stargate?'

'The circle of the Ancestors?' Teyla tried, the man recognised it, his eyes narrowing. She didn't like his eyes, they drove into her, violated her, she felt dizzy momentarily before she broke eye contact.

'We do not get many visitors, not for a generation now.' He stated, shuffling forward.

Seeing that the man could string a sentence together, John smiled. 'Well, we're good people, explorers-'

'You wish to trade?' He interrupted again.

John paused. 'Sure, why not?'

'What do these people have that we could possibly need, Colonel?' Rodney snorted.

'Rodney, it's called, "Getting to know them a little better," just bare with me.' He whispered back.

'What's your name?' Ronan asked, eyes narrowing at the strange man as he tried to ignore the dozens staring at him. He didn't like feeling this uncomfortable, this was unnatural, he didn't feel right.

The man's eyes snapped to Ronan, looking him up and down with a new interest. His eye twitched, both going wide. 'I am Tedan.'

Some people crowded around them now that one of their own had taken to opening the conversation. A woman cocked her head and spoke up. 'Why have you come here, you can see we have nothing to trade. Our harvest is long over and the winter approaches. What is your true purpose?'

'We are here to meet new people and form new friendships.' Teyla informed her, smiling warmly. The woman did not look convinced.

'They are Herska. They must leave.' She said to the others. They nodded, whispering.

'Whoa, hey, what's a Herscha?' John asked.

'Traitor.' Taden stated. 'Unclean and dishonest.' More whispers.

'Right, because we're the filthy ones.' Rodney frowned at their dirty appearances.

'We're not liars either.' Ronan growled.

'Easy.' John said lightly, seeing Ronan reach for his weapon.

'These people aren't right, Sheppard. I say we go.' Ronan watched the crowd with merciless eyes.

'Mr gun-happy over here has a point.' Rodney insisted.

'Maybe we should leave, Colonel, these people are obviously unhappy by our coming here.' Teyla suggested, her hands straying to her weapon as well. John nodded, smiling thinly at the crowd.

'Okay, so, nice chatting with you.' He began edging back.

'They are not Herska.' Tedan stated, still not having moved from the last time he spoke to them.

'No. We're not.' John agreed.

Tedan touched his face idly. 'You are here to see Kekean.'

John frowned, glancing at Teyla who returned the same confused look.

'Kekean?' She echoed.

'Stones with scratches, in the Forest. Once tall and now fallen.' Tedan explained, a hand straying to the forest on his left.

'Ruins.' Rodney stated, the dark feeling dissipating slightly. 'With writings? That could be interesting.' He looked at the Colonel.

'What happened to the Turkey sandwich?' John whispered out the corner of his mouth.

'Well, I may have stopped in to see Chef on the way and snagged a few.' Mckay informed them. Ronan rolled his eyes.

'The ruins may be Ancient.' Teyla suggested.

'They usually are.' John said to himself, he glanced at Ronan who looked unconvinced. What the hell, it's not like they had anything better to do. 'Sure, take us to the cakes.'

'Kekean.' Rodney corrected.

'What ever.' John muttered.

Tedan shuffled back before pushing people over to get out. The team followed, creating a rift in the people standing and looking on.

'You ever had that feeling when you just know that something is gonna go wrong?' John said quietly to Ronan.

'Yeah. I'm having it right now.' Ronan replied.

The team followed the man into the woods.

Fifty minutes later…

'Teyla!' Ronan yelled. She did not stop as he jogged to catch up. 'Teyla.' He growled.

'I must go Ronan.' She snapped.

'Not arguing, I'm coming with you.' He informed her, looking at their surroundings.

'John and Mckay?' She asked quickly, her pace not slowing.

'Behind.' Ronan watched her. 'You feeling okay?'

Teyla growled in her throat and stopped abruptly. 'A man has just shot himself for no reason and the Colonel wishes to pretend that it did not happen.'

'I know.' Ronan answered simply.

'You do not think it strange?' She asked incredulously.

'Sure, I also think it's none of our business.' He stated. Teyla narrowed her eyes at him.

'Maybe you should return to the Gate also, I will go on alone.' She stormed off, Ronan in tow.

'I'll watch your back.'

'I will be fine.' She snapped.

'A lot of weird people in that village, I don't like it.' He insisted. He looked at her when she did not respond, frowning at the anger in her eyes. His attention was drawn to the side of her face. 'You're bleeding.'

Teyla paused. 'What?'

'Your face.' He pointed.

She wiped the side of her face, a few drops of blood smearing her cheek. She looked at it before dropping her hand and breathing hard. 'It is not mine. It must have come from Tedan.'

Ronan nodded.

Now that they had paused, taken a moment to stop, Teyla seemed to calm herself – but only slightly. Ronan felt a feint throbbing in his temple, but was more distracted by her odd behaviour. She stepped closer to Ronan looking up at him with a questioning eye.

'Tedan was strange from the beginning, but his behaviour changed as we continued on into the Forest. There must be a reason for his sudden outburst.' She whispered, looking to the Forest behind them. The shadows moving with the wind, as though figures followed them. Teyla narrowed her eyes, staring into the darkness.

'The Wraith?' Ronan offered.

'I do not believe so. He said they had not come to their planet for many years.' She shook her head. 'I cannot explain it.' Her hand massaged her temple as she tried to understand. 'I feel something. It is not Wraith, but it is dark and threatening…I…I have never experienced anything like it.'

'Tired? You've been going at it pretty hard lately.' Ronan shrugged, feeling the pounding in his own mind.

'We all have.' She frowned. 'This is not something trivial, Ronan.'

'Okay.' He said simply, frowning slightly. He didn't know what to make of it. All he needed to know was that his weapon was handy.

'Something is wrong here.' She started walking. 'I saw it in his eyes.'


'Where are these ruins, Tedan? Close?' Rodney asked, impatience creeping into his voice.

'Yes. They are very close.' He replied.

Tedan walked ahead, staring into the forest. The team walked behind casting confused glances to whoever they made eye contact with. Rodney shook his head and dropped back to talk to Sheppard.

'We have been walking for the last twenty minutes and there has been nothing, no indication of any civilisation. Ancient or other.' Rodney whispered.

'No birds either.' John looked to the trees.

'What? What does that mean?' Rodney frowned.

'It's just weird.' John walked on. 'So, Tedan, why are your people so…untrusting?' He said slowly, giving the man an unsure smile. Tedan did not turn.

'People come in ships, they take what does not belong, at least they use to.' He answered.

Teyla frowned. 'The Wraith?'

'Take life. People in ships take food.' He said, almost as though he were in a dream.

Ronan glanced at Sheppard who returned the look of uncertainty.

Rodney was undeterred, his need to understand shoving aside his worries. He walked to Tedans side. Tedan's head snapped to look at Mckay, his eyes wide. Rodney was a little taken back, smiling weakly.

'Yes, hello, so these people stole from you and they came in ships capable of transporting food? I take it you resisted?' He questioned.

'Resist.' Tedan echoed.

'Yes, to rebel, to not go along with, basically to…resist.' Mckay trailed off.

'Resist. Resist attack.' He said quietly. 'I always dreamt of them, those who never returned. They resisted.' He paused. 'Like I must.'

Rodney dropped back while the rest of the team slowed.

'The colours ran and the paper danced, but the flames were not appeased. We are always burning.' He whispered.

The team stopped, John's eyebrows raised. 'Okay…'

Tedan stopped, his breathing changed. He crouched, dodging from one side to the other, his wide eyes looking to the forest. 'They have come.' He rasped.

'Who?' John raised his weapon. Ronan and Teyla doing the same.

'No! You will not take me!' His hands flew to his head and he turned to run down the path, stopping abruptly when he saw the team staring at him with alarm. 'You are not Herska.' He breathed. 'You are the shadows.' He cried.

Rodney gaped at him, watching him rapidly lose his mind. 'Guys.'

'Just stay back Mckay.' John ordered firmly.

Rodney took a step back - big mistake. Tedan's focus snapped to the Scientist. He lunged at him, grabbing his arm and pulling him round, ripping the gun from its holster with amazing speed, and slamming it into the side of his head.

The team surged forward, weapons raised.

John blinked, shaking his head. Tedan's disturbing behaviour floating in and out of his mind. He had been sure that there were voices up ahead, that Teyla and Ronan had been talking, but when he jogged on and found nothing, confusion and fear swept through him.

Rodney jogged up behind him, breathing hard. 'What did you speed up for?' He coughed.

'I thought Teyla and Ronan were up here.' He looked to the forest. 'We need to stick together.'

Rodney followed his gaze, the eerie woods leering at him. 'Amen to that.' He muttered. John gave him an eyebrow. 'What?'

'Let's go.' He continued walking, bringing his radio to his mouth. 'Teyla, Ronan, what's your position?' The radio crackled. Static. 'Guys, this is Sheppard, please come in. Now.' He said testily. Static. He rolled his eyes. 'Teyla, I know you're feeling a little pissed at me right now, but if you don't answer me, I'll call in the troops.' Static.

John looked over his shoulder at Rodney who shrugged.

John glanced at the Forest again looking extremely frustrated. 'Have you seen anything, I don't know, alive? Birds, Bees, Rabbits– anything?' He queried.

'No, no, just your run of the mill man-eating mosquitoes.' Rodney slapped his neck and looked at his hand, wiping it on his trousers with a look of disgust. 'You know, the next planet we go to had better have a beach, with a warm sun and a few-'

'Bikini's?' Sheppard filled in, concentrating more on the forest around him as the world began to spin.

Rodney paused, nodding slowly. 'Sure, I wouldn't say no to a bikini or two. Compared to this delightful planet, with its woodsy woods, and creepy mist, not to mention that darn persistent rain.' He said in a mock happy voice, rubbing a hand through his wet hair.

'Something's not right.' Sheppard whispered, looking left to right, the forest moving in. His heart race increased, the pounding in his head doubled, suddenly the wind picked up and brushed by him. He quickly turned, weapon raised, aiming it at Mckay.

Rodney lifted his hands swiftly. 'Hey!'

'Sorry.' John nodded his apology and kept the weapon raised, slowly turning to the left. He paused. A brushing sound, so feint. Tiny whispers, so close they could have been behind him. He turned and saw no one. 'What is this?' He growled.

Rodney took his side arm and made ready to fire. 'Colonel?' He questioned, looking to the long shadows hidden by the trees.

'You can't hear that?' He asked, his eyes flicking from one tree to the next, looking for the source of the voices. Whispering their secrets, their plans…any moment they could be here, any moment they could reveal themselves…the whispers grew louder for a moment, almost rasping, an alien tongue of slurred syllables, something he could not understand. He understood tone, an angry tone, threatening, promising. He couldn't wait. He had to know. He wouldn't just wait for them; he had to do something-

'I hear my stomach growling.' Rodney holstered his weapon. John's head snapped in his direction, weapon still out in front. Rodney saw the rapid movement of his eyes, the flushed cheeks when adrenaline surged through him in the middle of an attack. He frowned. 'You're not getting all psycho villager on me, are you?' He squeaked, reaching for his weapon again.

John shook his head. He could hear nothing. The distorted images of trees and grey mist had gone. He was just standing there, cold, with Mckay looking at him like he was wearing a dress. He lowered his weapon. 'I don't know. I don't think so.' He paused. 'You didn't hear anything?'

Mckay shrugged slightly, easing up a little now that Sheppard seemed to be coming back to his senses. 'No.' Sheppard gave him an eyebrow. 'I'm not sure.'

John gave him a look.

'Like I was going to admit that I'm going nuts.' Rodney snapped loudly.

'Are you?' John asked, equally as waspish.

'No!' Rodney shouted incredulously. 'I just…I have this headache; I'm not hearing anything…'

'You have a headache?' John asked with sudden interest. 'Me too.'

'Bad?' Rodney asked.


'Me too.' Realisation dawned on the Scientists face. 'You don't think that something…?'

'I don't know, but we are not sticking around to find out.' John started up the path, picking up the pace with Rodney at his side. He clicked the radio. 'Teyla, Ronan, come in.' Nothing but static. 'I'm not playing around you guys, something's happening here and we need to get home.' Still nothing.

Rodney huffed, reaching for his own radio. 'Look, we've all been pretty cranky since we got here and apparently all of the villagers are suffering from some sort of depression. So far, I am willing to bet that what is happening to these people is now happening to us. I'm also pretty damn confident in saying that the both of you have pretty bad headaches.' They paused….still static.

'Unreal.' John muttered before he clicked his radio. 'Look, if you can hear us, meet back at the Gate-'

Shots sounded, tearing through the air and shattering the silence of the Forest. John immediately raised his weapon while Rodney scrambled to get his. John's hand found his radio.

'Ronan, Teyla.' He said firmly. The radio crackled.

'Colonel Sheppard!' Teyla gasped quickly, as though she had been running a great distance. 'Ronan is gravely wounded!' She cried.

'What's your position?' John asked urgently.

'We are on the path up ahead, you must hurry.' She growled, obviously distracted.

John glanced at Rodney before taking off full speed down the path. Rodney sprinted after him, ignoring the stitch in his side. John kept his weapon raised, taking no chances.

They tore into a small opening where Teyla was leaning over the still form of Ronan on the ground. She looked up whilst frantically tying a bandage around a heavily bleeding wound in his chest. Ronan's eyes were glassy, slowly taking in the world around him. John gaped, feeling the coldness more now than ever, he felt Rodney join him at his side.

'What happened?' He knelt by the Satedan. Teyla looked up, breathing heavily, sheer terror and confusion in her eyes.

'I shot him.'