Ok so this is the start of what I'm hoping will be a much longer fic (if you guys want it to be), just a short wee chapter to set the scene as it were. Not going to let too much out about the master plan for this and hopefully with HAZMOT's foot up my backside I'll actually get back into posting regularly.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think


There was something wrong.

The team all knew it but none of them could pin down exactly what it was or when it had begun. She had been more irritable lately; her mood swings more volatile than they could ever remember. Dark circles had taken up residence under her eyes, a now permanent fixture on her ever thinning face. But it was her eyes that showed the real depth of her change. Eyes that where once bright and shining with joy and mischief now looked out at the world through a dull veil of melancholy and disinterest, almost as though the events around her where happening to someone else.

Almost as if it didn't matter anymore.

Meal time where spent watching with barely concealed concern as she listlessly moved food around her plate never consuming more than a few bites, her once slim frame slowly wasting away to almost skeletal like proportions. She still functioned as a member of the team, all be it a silent one these days, still emerged from her rooms each morning, attended briefings, did her paper work without protest, went through the gate, got the job done.

But that was the problem. That was all she was doing.

There was no more banter in the briefing room and her visits to the teams various offices had stopped almost completely unless it was for an official reason. When they were off world she followed Cam's orders without hesitation or, as had been the norm before, argument. Daniel's attempts to get a rise out of her failed almost always now, ending usually with him on the receiving end of a glassy eyed stare. Sam's attempts at drawing her out with trips off base met with limited success and although she would go with her most of the time was spent with her trailing three paces behind and Sam keeping up almost all of the conversation. Even sparring sessions with Teal'c, her once favourite part of the day, lost their flair and Teal'c found that he now had to hold back out of fear of seriously hurting her where once she would have met him blow for blow.

Others outside the team where starting to notice as well.

Sgt Lipman that worked nights in the surveillance room was well acquainted with the nightly routine of the SGC so when he started to see her wandering the corridors at 3am night after night he began to worry. Not much, as he was well aware there was much to keep a member of the SGC up at night, but enough that he wondered if he should tell someone about it.

Dr Lam ran SG1's yearly physicals three months early when none of the routine post-mission tests showed anything wrong with her. Unfortunately all the results turned up were a slightly worrying amount of weight loss and an unexpected, but mild, panic attack when it came to her MRI. In the end all Carolyn could do was prescribe some dietary supplement tablets and side line her worries for the time being.

The SG3 marines noted her absence from their weekly poker game, Lt Porter who manned the base entry security point began to miss her attempts to get passed him without authorisation, the anthropologist Dr Sloan found it odd that she had stopped coming to him when an Earth pop-culture reference baffled her, and Airman Sykes began to wonder what had changed on base that meant his CD player didn't go missing twice a week.

There was something wrong with Vala.

Everyone knew it but none of them could pin down exactly what it was or when it had begun.

And no one knew what the hell to do about it.