Finally, after all this time, the sequel to my other story, The Consuming Darkness. It has been a longer wait for some than others, and I hope you enjoy it!

This story is as dark and whump filled as The Consuming Darkness is, and perhaps later on a little more dark. As a result I may need to change the rating at some point.

Massive thanks to my Betas JBPiggy and Lys, for putting up with my wandering thoughts and outrageous ideas, as well as helping to make my drivel readable!

Thanks to all who commented on the last one, it made this one easier to upload! So please continue to comment!

*I neither own nor want to own the characters in this story, they all belong to MGM and the Stargate Franchise. I merely torture and play with them..........*


Prologue

It took two months after their return before a salvage mission was assembled. The ship was going nowhere and nobody wanted to broach the subject until all wounds had healed. A ship with advanced technology at their finger tips, was just too good an opportunity to pass it up.

Weir was not keen on the idea of sending another team back to the planet, given that she had almost lost one the last time they had set foot on that sun baked world. Having heard John and Teyla's account of what they had encountered in the ship, the science teams curiosity was piqued, especially about the force-field.

To everyone's surprise Sheppard was enthusiastic in the mission briefings, voicing the advantages that the tech could hold for them, but technology was not the only reason he wanted to return to the planet.

He had to stop the nightmares.

Since returning from the original mission, he had yet to have a full night of sleep. The events plagued him as his sleeping brain played back what had happened. He had relived every moment that he had spent on that planet under her control, every detail summoned up from his memory, distorted to create nightmares that tortured him.

He felt that perhaps returning and seeing her cold dead body would allow him to move on from what had happened. John put forward a strong case to return to the planet, never revealing his real reason for wanting to go back.

Eventually Elizabeth gave in on the condition that all members of the away team were volunteers. McKay declined the mission, not that anyone blamed him, no one would ever dream of asking him to go back to that godforsaken place. She had her doubts about John going too but he convinced her that he could handle it, reassuring her that the planet held no other dangers.

The puddle jumper exited the orbital star gate and flew to the planet's surface. Sergeant Stackhouse landed the ship and opened the door allowing all aboard to step out on to the scorched earth.

The planet held the same burning heat it had while they were captive on it, the twin suns shining strong at the height of the day. They were soon sticky and uncomfortable in their uniforms, and each hoped that they would not be here long.

As they neared the crash site, a chill ran down Johns back. He could see the broken cockpit and shuddered as he remembered the pain and punishment that the White Death had dealt him every time he tried to break in to get at her. He nervously approached the ship, took a deep breath and looked inside.

When he finally saw her he felt numb. He was not sure what he had been expecting when he finally looked upon her corpse, but he was sure he should feel something. All he felt was numbness, a cold void of emotion.

Her desiccated carcass had dried quickly in the intense heat, the black skin was like tissue paper over her long slender bones. Her tube like hair was no longer attached to her head, having dried and broken off, leaving her head bald. Her face was tight and sunken, her eyes nothing but powder held within gaping black sockets that seemed to stare at him balefully.

A cooling breeze pulled at her dress, giving the impression that she was breathing, something that unnerved him, sending a shiver racing down his spine.

He made a cursory search of the ship, finding everything broken and useless. He tapped absentmindedly on a glass screen that appeared to be a control panel, unsurprised when nothing happened. Turning to leave the cockpit to find out how the others were getting on, he caught his hand on a torn cable, one of many that Teyla had ripped out and strewn all over the cockpit. Shaking the droplets of blood from his hand he took one last look at the body. The dry skin pulled over her face was torn at the jawline, showing the bone and grinning teeth as if she were smiling at him even in death. He was sure he could hear her laughter echoing on the breeze.

He heard Ronon and Stackhouse talking and hurried out of the ship, unable to shake the feeling of unease.

Their search had been fruitless. No one had found anything of value, or anything in one piece for that matter, though Zelenka took some pieces back to look at in the lab, including what he thought was a component of the force-field.