A/N: To those of you that are reading my stories for the first time, please make sure you read The Legacy of Janus first.

To those that have, welcome to the continuation of the story! I'm sorry that it took a little longer than expected to post this. I hope it was worth the wait.

Usual Disclaimers apply; I don't own any of the characters, or the Stargate world…that is purely for MGM's pleasure. I am merely playing in it for a while.

Blood of the Heir

Chapter 1

The spirit of the Heir was emerging, and would soon be set free.

His rapid transformation continued, and the Heir had seen.

But sight alone did not bring understanding, especially to young and inexperienced eyes.

As his Tutelar, he would continue to observe the Heir, but the temptation to intervene was growing stronger, and resistance was becoming harder.

For now, he must wait. For now, his true identity and purpose must also remain hidden.


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."

The words of the great Albert Einstein were not usually disputed by Doctor Rodney McKay, but today, he had to beg to differ.

Of all the strange and unbelievable things the Atlantis Expedition had encountered over the past five years, none could quite equal what had taken place over the past two weeks.

After a series of incredible events, Atlantis was finally free to return to the Pegasus Galaxy, guided and commanded by none other than the new 'owner' of the ancient city: John Sheppard.

But John had gone through hell and back; and it really had been the stuff of nightmares. Watching his best friend lose his fight for life, and then ascend, had only been the beginning of a whole bunch of 'mysterious' things, and not many of them could be described as 'beautiful'.

However, in true form the Lt Colonel, or rather 'Colonel' due to his recent promotion, had come through it all.

But the experience had left an indelible mark upon his friend. Not only had his very DNA been altered, but he now appeared to have retained some of his ascended powers. Although no one, not even John, truly understood just to what extent.

Except, perhaps one man, but the strange Monk wasn't saying anything. Well, nothing that made any sense anyway.

Two days ago they had finally left Earth, and had begun their journey to the mysterious 'Place of our Legacy', which apparently was somewhere in the Pegasus Galaxy.

Rodney had, perhaps naively, thought that they had finally turned a corner; that they were now going to be able to find out just what the 'Legacy of Janus' really was, and what the implications were for John, who was now the Heir to that Legacy.

But, two hours ago, everything had suddenly changed. Murphy's Law, of 'anything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong,' had decided to step in.

Again.

Two hours. Although to Rodney, it felt like only minutes. But then, according to Einstein, all time was relative.

John's sudden, for want of a better word, seizure had come on so quickly that none of them had truly understood what had been happening until Brother Benedict had uttered the word, 'vision'

At the time, John hadn't said much, but what he had said had made Rodney's blood run cold. David Sheppard was in serious danger, and they were to go back to Earth immediately. The mysterious 'Place of our Legacy' would now have to wait…

From that moment on, John had kept everyone at a distance.

Rodney sighed heavily, as he brought his attention back to the monitor in front of him, as he sat at one of the consoles in the Control Room. The screen confirmed that the massive sublight engines were continuing to be pushed at maximum speed, as they raced back towards Earth.

Thankfully, the preparation that John had made to the city's systems before they had left the Milky Way was seriously paying off, or Rodney was sure that the engines would have burnt out long ago.

The power distribution from all 3 ZPMs were still working at optimum efficiency, the energy buffers were maintaining the flow of energy to the hyperdrive perfectly and the temperatures remained well within acceptable levels.

But the readings continued to show slight modifications to the power distribution levels, which normally would have raised serious concerns that someone was tampering with the city's systems.

Rodney knew for a fact that someone was.

He glanced up again, for what felt like the hundredth time, at the solitary figure in his office. Dressed in his usual black BDUs, Colonel John Sheppard stood staring intently out at the Stargate below, stroking his chin, appearing to be deep in thought.

But Rodney knew that he was doing far more than that.

"He is certainly working very fast," murmured Radek Zelenka, somewhat in awe, who sat at the console beside him. "And he's not even using a neural interface."

"Yeah, well," said Rodney, who couldn't help but marvel himself at the speed in which John was working and, as Zelenka had just confirmed, that he was doing it purely with his mind.

That, in and of itself, would have created a whole job load of tests and questions from Rodney. But not today.

Their need to find some way of boosting the power was all that mattered. Usually Rodney and Zelenka would have been able to find a way of 'borrowing' some from the secondary systems, and reroute it. But John had already done all that, and neither of them could find any other way of boosting the city's power.

Even the Naquadah generators, although powerful, were no match for 3 fully functioning ZPMs, so switching them out would not help. And John had already dismissed them as there was no safe way of running them in conjunction with each other. Rodney had questioned that, as the impossible was usually his middle name, but John had insisted that it wasn't a viable option.

"Surely he must know that there just isn't anything else we can do," commented Zelenka exasperatedly, as he peered over the rim of his glasses towards the Colonel. "We are still making good time, so perhaps…" he trailed off.

Rodney sighed heavily – again. "I know, Radek…" he replied despondently as he continued to monitor John's progress, or distinct lack of it.

He just felt so utterly frustrated! He was the great Doctor Rodney McKay; the man who was renowned for coming up with last minute schemes, often against insurmountable odds…but yet again, he seemed unable to deliver. A fact that didn't sit easily with him at the best of times, but even more so now, as the life of his best friend's brother seemed to be hanging in the balance.

Zelenka cleared his throat and shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "I just can't quite get used to seeing him walking freely around the city," he uttered under his breath.

Rodney looked up, wondering who he was referring to, and then he saw him, walking slowly up the stairs towards them.

Brother Benedict, the supposed Guardian of the Legacy, struck an imposing figure. Standing at about 6ft, his blond hair was cropped short, and his attire reminded Rodney more of a Jedi knight than a member of some strange Janus cult. With brown tunic and pants, the Monk wore a blue sash about his waist and dark brown leather boots.

But it was not just the attire, or his strange white eyes, that set this mysterious man apart.

Although Rodney supposed the Monk could be considered handsome by some; with chiselled cheekbones and defined mouth, he also had a strange air about him. It was as though the energy around him almost vibrated, and his voice seemed to exude power and authority. His very presence acted like some kind of magnet, drawing you in. And, although he spoke predominantly in Italian, he certainly didn't look like he originated from Italy. At this point, no one knew just where he did come from. Except, perhaps John, and he had spoken little about him, or the cult.

What was even stranger to Rodney was that John seemed to trust him. Well, perhaps not completely trust him as such, as he knew that his friend rarely trusted anyone. It was rather that they had reached some kind of respectful understanding.

Brother Benedict moved almost majestically passed where Rodney and Zelenka sat, not once acknowledging their presence and John turned towards them, as if sensing the monk's approach. The brother walked across the walkway and into John's office, bowing his head slightly towards John, who then gestured for him to take a seat.

Rodney was about to turn back to the monitor, when John gestured to him to join them. He didn't need to be asked twice.

The moment he arrived at the doorway, John spoke low, his tone questioning. "Rodney."

Rodney grimaced, knowing that John would already know what he was about to say. "Well, at our current speed, we will make it back to Earth within a day."

"That's too long," replied John darkly.

"It's not like we have a choice, Sheppard. We, or rather you, have diverted all the power that can be taken from the secondary systems. There's nothing else we can do."

John then looked at Benedict, whose expression was as tranquil and unreadable as ever.

"Brother Benedict?"

The monk did not reply, but merely blinked his white eyes at him.

John tried again. "There is another way, isn't there?"

The monk just continued to stare at him, and John met his gaze. Rodney looked from one to the other, as a silent battle of wills appeared to be taking place. Just when he was about to say something, the Monk spoke, slowly and in his broken heavily accented English.

"You know answer."

John's lips tightened and his expression grew darker, yet his voice remained calm and controlled. "If I already knew the answer, why would I be asking you?"

The man leant his head on one side as he continued to regard John carefully. "Your eyes are open, but do no see. The spirit speaks, but you no listen. Open your heart, young Heir, and your answer will be found."

Rodney couldn't help but roll his eyes. Yet more riddles. He wasn't quite sure how John could be so patient with the guy.

John sighed heavily, as he looked back at the Monk before he turned away to once more stare down at the Stargate below, and silence filled the room.

But within moments, John suddenly spun around to face them again, and his eyes were wide. Rodney couldn't help but wonder if John was about to have another seizure.

John stared intensely at Benedict, who merely inclined his head slowly. "Bravo."

John almost looked pleased with himself, as a small smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.

"Sheppard?" Rodney wasn't sure what had just happened, but it appeared as though John had had some kind of epiphany. "What is it?"

His friend looked at him. "The answer, Rodney."

"I'm sorry, what?"

But John didn't reply, and merely looked back at the Monk, as if he was seeking further confirmation. Again, Benedict just inclined his head slightly.

"Sheppard?" Rodney couldn't help the exasperation seep through into his voice.

"The Wormhole Drive."

"What?" Rodney spat out sharply, surprised. "No, no, no. The Drive was burnt out when Atlantis jumped back to Earth over three months ago!" He couldn't quite believe that John could have forgotten that fact.

But, instead of answering him, John quickly made for the door.

"Where are you going?"

John turned on his heel, and replied simply, "to find out how to fix it…"

For a moment, Rodney couldn't begin to think how he was going to do that…and then he did.

The Rod of Janus: the strange and intriguing device that apparently was a portable version of a Repository of Knowledge. It had been left to John, or rather discovered, as part of the mysterious Legacy of Janus.

Something else that was on Rodney's ever growing list of things to ask John about, just as soon as things calmed down…whenever that would be!

With that, John headed quickly out, and Rodney rushed quickly after him.

Sure enough, John headed straight for his quarters. The moment the door swished open John moved quickly across to his bedside table, while Rodney glanced around the room.

Sheppard's quarters were usually meticulously tidy, but somehow it looked almost unlived in now. But, considering what had been happening, Rodney supposed there hadn't been a lot of time for him to do anything other than sleep there.

John pulled open a draw, grabbed the crystal device, and then looked back at him. "Let's get this to your lab, Rodney. I have a feeling we are gonna need your tech to hand when I do this…"

Rodney could only nod, and then followed his friend out, once more at a chest tightening speed.

SGA SGA SGA SGA

"Ok, here goes nothing." John seemed almost nervous as he once more held the Rod in his right hand, which currently appeared to be switched off.

Rodney fully understood why, as the last time John had activated the strange device it had caused him pain, but his desire for answers clearly overrode his concerns.

John slowly closed his eyes and his face instantly took on the look of utter peace. The beautiful crystal rod instantly activated; bathing the entire lab with its strange blue light and its harmonic resonance. John's chest rose as he took a slow intake of breath, and the blue energy suddenly grew brighter, and the resonance began to vary its frequency. The Rod of Janus was singing once more for the Heir.

The bright light seemed to grow more intense, and John uttered a slight groan at the sudden shift in power, causing Rodney to wince. He had asked John if Carson should be present, but John had just given him one of his looks, so he had left it at that. Rodney just prayed that he wouldn't regret that decision.

John's brow furrowed ever so slightly and then breathed out slowly, as if he was trying to centre himself; perhaps to allow the information to flow unhindered.

The light began to grow, and it was now so bright that Rodney could hardly see his friend through it.

"Sheppard?" he asked cautiously.

No answer.

"John?" His anxiety heightened as he heard another deep groan come from within the almost blinding light. Should he have gone against John's wishes and sent for Carson anyway? Perhaps he would wait just a little longer.

He just hoped that John knew what he was doing….

SGA SGA SGA SGA

The Mess Hall was reasonably busy, but out on the balcony it was quiet, and a lot more conducive for contemplation and reflection. Well, as much as there could be, with Torren John Emmagen about.

Although he was a very well behaved little boy, his ever growing vocabulary created a constant chatter, which broke Teyla's thoughts. This wasn't such a bad thing, considering that most of them were only serving to raise her anxiety levels much higher than she was comfortable with.

So much had happened in the last two weeks, and there hadn't truly been a moment where she had been able to fully comprehend the enormity of it all. Atlantis, the Legacy of Janus, the Heir, Brother Benedict…and John.

Their relationship had taken on a whole new level, and whilst she was still rather overwhelmed and elated that they had finally taken it to the next level, she couldn't help but think of a certain person, who would also be deeply effected by this turn of events.

Her train of thought was instantly interrupted yet again, but not by Torren, who was playing happily on the floor at her feet, but by the arrival of Jennifer.

"Hi Teyla," she greeted warmly, "may I join you?"

Teyla smiled back at her friend, and gestured for her to do so. "Please."

Jennifer placed her tray down on the table and pulled out a chair opposite her. "Hey there, little guy," she said, bending down to Torren, who looked up and chattered nonsensically at her. Smiling, she reached out and took a sip from her glass, though looked at Teyla over its rim as she did so.

"How are you?" Jennifer asked after she had placed the glass back down on the table.

Teyla sighed and smiled at her. She knew that she meant well, but most of the thoughts she was having could not really be divulged at this point, especially when it came to John. "I am fine, Jennifer."

Jennifer leant forward, resting both elbows on the table. "You know, as a Doctor, I am well used to keeping things…you know, confidential."

Teyla frowned slightly. "I…don't know what you mean."

Jennifer smiled and sat back in her chair, regarding her carefully. "I think you do, you just don't want to admit it."

Luckily Torren had decided that it would be a perfect time to throw his toy half way along the floor, squealing loudly as he did so. Gratefully, Teyla slid her chair back and went to retrieve it, and Jennifer remained silent as she did so.

Only when Teyla had sat down, did Jennifer speak again.

"No one is judging you, Teyla. In fact, everyone is pretty pleased about it."

Teyla looked up at her sharply. "Everyone?"

Again, Jennifer smiled. "C'mon. Not everyone is as blind as Rodney. It has been pretty obvious…for some time now."

"Well…" Teyla began. "It is not something that we wish to…" she trailed off, unsure of how best to continue.

Sensing her discomfort, Jennifer quickly set about setting her friend at ease. "Hey, it's ok. You don't need to explain. I just wanted you to know that, if you ever need someone to talk to, I'm here."

Teyla couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief, and looked gratefully at her. "Thank you, Jennifer. I will bear that in mind."

Both of them slipped into an easy silence as they continued to sip at their drinks. But Jennifer was still watching her, and Teyla knew that she had not dropped the matter completely.

"So, I guess that, now we aren't going back to the Pegasus Galaxy, you won't be able to…address a certain matter…with a certain person."

Teyla sighed, knowing exactly who she was referring to. "No."

"Do you think that…he will understand?"

Teyla had been wondering the very same question for a while now, and she was torn. "I…do not know. I would like to think…that he will."

"But?"

Teyla stared out at the strange lights of stars shooting passed them, as they continued to race through hyperspace. "It is one thing to accept my decision to stay on Atlantis, and to journey to Earth, rather than stay with my people. It is, however, another matter entirely to understand that my heart now belongs to…another."

Jennifer merely nodded her understanding.

"I do not wish to cause him pain," Teyla continued wistfully. "But he has a right to know. And he deserves…to be happy with someone that truly loves him."

"Well, for what its worth, and of course I don't know him as well as you do, but Kanaan has always struck me as being a very fair and well balanced man. I'm sure he would only wish for you to be happy."

Teyla felt her eyes fill with tears as the face of her childhood friend once more came into her mind. She knew it would break his heart, and that did not sit easily with her. But she also could not allow him to continue to live under the misconception that she reciprocated his love. She had to be cruel to be kind. She had to set him free.

"I know, Jennifer, but it does not make it any easier a task."

"No," replied her friend carefully. "But considering just what you have now…I'm sure that if it was me, I would be prepared to do whatever it took."

Teyla allowed herself to smile at that.

Jennifer then shifted in her chair. "So, have you spoken to Colonel Sheppard since…?"

Teyla's smile sank, knowing exactly what she was referring to. "No. He has asked to be left alone…for the moment."

"That's gotta be hard."

"Indeed."

"Still, at least Rodney is there to keep an eye on him," Jennifer offered, as if that would give her some reassurance. They smiled, both knowing the very nature of Doctor Rodney McKay all too well.

"Yes. There is that." Teyla drifted once more into silence.

"I'm sure they will find a way, Teyla. They usually do."

Teyla looked back at her, knowing that she was right. She just hoped and prayed that they would make it back to Earth in time.

SGA SGA SGA SGA

Rodney couldn't help but shift uncomfortably in his chair as he glanced nervously at the clock on the wall of his lab.

Fifteen minutes. Though it felt longer since John had 'connected' to the Rod, and there wasn't any sign that it was going to stop anytime soon.

Apart from the slight groans Sheppard had given when he had first activated the device, he had not uttered another sound, and Rodney still couldn't see through the bright blue light that continued to envelop his friend.

He knew that John's so called powers were continuing to manifest themselves, so he just hoped that he was able to control whatever the device was doing to him, just as he prayed that John was able to find the answers that he was looking for.

At that very moment, the Rod suddenly stopped its strange song, and the bright blue glow instantly extinguished, to reveal his friend, who was thankfully still in one piece.

John gasped, as though he had been holding his breath the entire time, and swayed so much that Rodney couldn't help but shoot out of his chair and take a step towards him. But John reached out to grasp hold of the bench in front of him, and once more regained his balance.

"Sheppard?" he asked cautiously. He had no idea what effect it would have to be connected to the device for so long, but he was sure that it couldn't be good for him.

John didn't reply, but slowly opened his eyes, staring blindly at the floor.

"John?" he spoke again, a little louder this time. "Are you…ok?"

Rodney felt his heart rate pick up a little faster, and he was sorely tempted to radio for Carson.

John noticeably swallowed hard and then looked up, straight at him. His eyes were once more glowing brightly, again reminding Rodney of the film 'Dune', just as they had when he had had his vision. Was John going to start speaking in a foreign language, just like he had before?

John blinked slowly, and the blue quickly faded to reveal his deep hazel eyes.

"Yeah," he replied slowly, sounding rather dazed. "Just…a little dizzy there for a second."

John slowly looked down at the Rod that was now completely silent, and he breathed out deeply. A small smile began to appear.

"So…did you find…whatever you were looking for?"

"Oh yeah."

Rodney was hoping for a little more than that, but before he had a chanced to ask, John then placed the Rod carefully onto the bench, and without uttering another word, suddenly strode out of the lab.

"What the hell?" exclaimed Rodney, "Sheppard!"

He then growled frustratingly, and then charged out after him.

SGA SGA SGA SGA

"Ok, Sheppard, would you mind explaining to me just how the Nanite Creation Machine is possibly going to help fix the Wormhole Drive?" Rodney asked indignantly, as he folded his arms.

However, John didn't reply, but merely carried on working in the panel, shifting the ancient crystals from one port to the next.

Rodney frowned. Could the machine have other functions other than creating Nanites? It would appear so, but he couldn't begin to figure out what. But then, he hadn't just connected to a Repository device that supposedly contained all the knowledge of Janus himself.

He went to peer over John's shoulder to watch him work. Usually his friend would be rather hesitant to start moving the ancient crystals about, but now he was working so fast that even Rodney had a hard time keeping up.

Rodney's frown deepened. He had worked with the various forms of Crystal technology over the years, and he could honestly say that he hadn't seen the particular configuration John appeared to be using.

John pushed the Control panel closed, and stood up. He then placed his hands on two 'palm' rests, which Rodney had never noticed had been there before, and closed his eyes.

The entire machine instantly sprang to life, and the silver like liquid substance appeared and began to form into a more solid shape. Then another, and another, until three strange looking objects now lay on the table before them.

"What the…" Rodney began to say, as he peered closer. He had never before seen anything like the odd looking items that had just been created.

John quickly opened his eyes, removed his hands, and the machine immediately shut down. He stared down at the strange objects, and another small smile began to appear.

Rodney was just about to ask him what they were and what else the machine could do, when John suddenly picked up the pieces and once more shot out of the room.

Rodney gave yet another exasperated growl, and once more headed out after his friend.

SGA SGA SGA SGA

No matter how hard Rodney tried to get him to explain just what he was doing to fix the Wormhole Drive, John had remained stubbornly silent.

He actually appeared to be so focussed, that Rodney wasn't sure if John was even aware that he was there. It was as though the device had altered his state of consciousness somehow.

Rodney's legs were beginning to ache from standing still for so long, and was about to sit down on the floor, when John finally pushed himself out from under the tight section of panelling he had managed to squeeze himself into. He bounded to his feet, brushed himself down, and without a glance at him, once more headed towards the door.

"Hey!" cried Rodney indignantly, "Where are you going now?!"

He almost wasn't expecting a response, so was rather surprised when John actually answered.

"To the Control Chair!" he shouted back, now half way down the corridor.

"Sheppard!" Rodney cried out after him, but the Colonel had disappeared around the corner.

"Damn it!" said Rodney, and once more sped off after him.

SGA SGA SGA SGA

The moment Teyla had heard Rodney's rather frantic message over her comm, she had quickly asked if Jennifer minded looking after Torren. Seeing as she had heard the same message, she nodded quickly and Teyla shot off in the direction of the Control Chair Room.

Although Rodney had not elaborated on what John was about to do, the tone of his voice was enough to fill her with concern, and for her stomach to churn uncomfortably.

As she drew closer to the Chair Room, she could clearly hear Rodney's sceptical voice.

"So, what, you fixed it?"

"Yes." As usual, John sounded calm.

"You have fixed the Wormhole Drive that had been completely fried."

"Yes, Rodney."

As she entered, she saw that John was already in the chair and reclining back into position.

"John? Rodney?"

John instantly looked up and smiled gently at her. "Hi, Teyla."

"May I ask what is going on?"

But before John could reply, Rodney beat him to it, in his usual blustering manner.

"Sheppard appears to have fixed the Wormhole Drive, and is about to bring it back online. But…." Rodney then turned back to John. "If your calculations are out by even a fraction, it will instantly vaporise the entire city!"

John looked intensely at him, but still spoke slowly and calmly, just as he usually did when dealing with a rather agitated Doctor McKay. "I know that, Rodney, and they won't be. Trust me."

Teyla was concerned, of course. But they had all learnt to trust John's instincts implicitly, and it was no different now.

But Teyla also knew that whenever a life was at stake, John was known to take more risks than usual, especially when that life was a member of his own family.

Although there was no way to know for sure if what John had seen had just happened, or if it still had yet to occur, but Teyla knew that he would still blame himself if something happened to David.

It was neither right, nor fair, but that was just how John was.

Teyla also knew that he was afraid. Not for himself, but for his brother.

And that made him dangerous.

SGA SGA SGA SGA

"Sheppard!" Rodney tried one last time, but John didn't reply. He merely closed his eyes and instantly connected with Atlantis.

John's silent treatment was really beginning to grate on Rodney's nerves. He never liked being cut out of the loop, especially where the city's systems were concerned. And, even though he knew John didn't need his help, it would be nice if the man would at least give him something!

Rodney then heard the click of the city wide speaker system, and John began to speak.

"Attention, all personnel. This is Sheppard. I am about to initiate the Wormhole Drive. So please…place your seats into the upright position, and wait until the city comes to a full and complete stop, before you continue with your daily business."

Rodney had to fight hard not to smile slightly at the man's style…even now he seemed to manage to inject a tiny bit of humour into the situation, even though that must be far from what he was feeling right now. It was so like him.

"Stand by…" John then took in a slow deep breath, and seemed to sink even deeper into the Chair.

Rodney resisted the urge to curl up into a tiny ball, as if that would somehow stop his body from being vaporised into millions of tiny atoms.

And then he felt it. His entire body seemed to shudder, as though all his protons and electrons were suddenly being scrambled…and then… it was over, all in a matter of seconds.

He couldn't help but pat himself down quickly. Yep, everything was present and correct. He looked at Teyla and John. Yep, they were still here, and also in one piece.

So, had it worked? Were they back in Earth's orbit? Without a window to look out from, it was hard to say if the Wormhole 'jump' had actually worked, or whether they were still a day away.

John breathed out slowly, and then the click of the city wide speaker system sounded out once again.

"This is Sheppard. The jump was successful, and we are now in Earth's orbit. So, you are clear to proceed with…whatever it was that you were doing."

This time, there was no trace of light hearted humour in his tone.

John slowly opened his eyes, and began to sit up, and the Chair instantly moved him back into the upright position. He stared over at them for a moment, lingering on Teyla the longest, before he looked away. After a slight pause, he then spoke again.

"This is Colonel John Sheppard, identification code Bravo Delta Charlie Alpha Niner. I need to speak to General Landry immediately."

John had connected directly to Stargate Command. His voice sounded strong and commanding, but Rodney knew him too well not to recognise the slight break in his voice.

John then took a sharp intake of breath, and his posture stiffened in the Chair. "General, Sir. Yes, Sir, we are back. I…"

General Hank Landry had obviously interrupted him and Rodney held his breath.

Within moments John's eyes began to widen, his brow furrowed, and his mouth began to open. He looked utterly devastated.

Oh no…..

John's mouth then clamped shut and became a tight line, his eyes narrowing as his expression slowly turned from complete shock to pure anger.

"When?" John growled, deep and menacing. The atmosphere in the room now felt electric, as his strange yet powerful energy began to build.

Oh God, no…. Rodney glanced quickly at Teyla, who looked as anxious as he was.

John then grimaced hard, and looked sharply at the floor, taking another jagged intake of breath as he did so.

"No, Sir, that won't be necessary. I'm on my way."

The conversation with the General had clearly ended as John slowly got to his feet, and the Chair instantly deactivated.

Rodney had almost forgotten to breathe.

"John?" Teyla almost whispered, clearly afraid to hear his answer.

John slowly raised his eyes looked up at them. His eyes were once again dark and smouldering; his expression deadly.

"I'm too late, Teyla. He's…gone."

To be continued…

Post script:

As always, please let me know what you think, as your reviews help more than you can possibly imagine, and it drives the story forward.

Oh, and just so you know there are going to be quite a few cliff hangers throughout this story.