Past, Present, Future

Tenderbear

Scout
Joined
May 5, 2003
Location
USA
Last Updated: 6/29/05 - Completed Chapter Three

I was planning on writing this in script form, but people seem to prefer written out stories. :D If you like this story, do check out my script form Alias episode entitled "Shattered Glass" at my website HERE!

I'll keep adding chapters as I gain more inspiration. Enjoy :D

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<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>"Past, Present, Future"</span>

Written by Tenderbear

Chapter One

The sun shines through the gently swaying tree limbs, creating a broken shadow across the green field. Sydney looks about her, puzzled at the thought of where she could be. The sky above her is majestically cerulean with an occasional fluff of silver cloud. She takes in the fresh air around her. She is in paradise. For the first time in a long time, she smiles. The stress from work and from life is immediately lost as she continues to stroll through the never-ending meadow. A brisk wind kicks in, blowing her hair and the edge of her white summer dress.

She continues to walk when she comes upon a softly babbling brook. She kneels down next to water's edge and stares at her reflection. Without even thinking, she brings her hands down onto the water and gently caresses the surface. The ripples cause her reflection to waver. Sydney cups her hands and dips them deep into the brook. The cool water she splashes onto her face relieves her of the little heat she was feeling from the sun's rays. She peers back down at her wet self in the water. She becomes uneasy. Something isn't right.

Drip. A droplet of crimson stains the perfection of the clear brook. Sydney withdraws in alarm. Her face is covered in thick, dripping blood. The droplets leave their marks on her white dress as she grabs her head in pain and runs away from the brook. Around her, the sky turns eerily dark and rain begins to fall. The wind becomes strong, blowing her hair across her face. She is a mess. She falls to the grass and grabs her head. She lets out a cry of pain as tears join the rain and blood streaming down her cheeks. She curls up with a piercing scream as the current on blood running from her head strengthens.

A flash of white. Haze. Nothing is clear. Nothing is real. Then, a bright light swirling overhead giving clarity to an urgent scene.

Sydney flings her eyes open to find herself strapped in an ambulance. She pants heavily and then squints in pain. Medics work quickly around her, wrapping a large gash in her forehead, setting a mangled leg, and inserting an IV into her left arm. Panic is all that Sydney could feel as she realized that this is reality.

"Where am I?" she desperately asks one of the paramedics.

"You need to remain calm, Ms. Bristow, everything is going to be okay." It wasn't the response she was looking for. The team around her continues to work quickly. She rolls her limp head to one side. It comes to her.

"Vaughn! Where's Vaughn? What happened to Vaughn!" She remembered it all. The sunlight, the blue skies, the serene beach just below them. And then, the reavel, the betrayal, and of course, the crash.

"Ma'am, you are going to have to remain calm," replied the paramedic.

Sydney was horrified. She had so many questions and so few answers. In an instant, her life was turned upside-down. It would haunt her forever, she knew. She was staring longingly into the eyes of her true love, and then heard the words that would change everything: "My name is not Michael Vaughn." It didn't seem possible. It couldn't be true. She tried to find excuses, answers to her confusing thoughts. But it didn't matter. She knew it was real; she knew that the man she loved wasn't the man she loved.

The lights begin swirling again. A white haze grows over the scene around her, as Sydney falls back into an unconscious state. At least there she didn't have to face the truth, what she feared the most-- reality. She knew for certain that things were going to be very different the next time she opened her eyes.

Chapter Two

Beep...

Beep...

Beep...

Beep...

Sydney slowly awoke to the beep of the monitors around her. She found herself clothed in a hospital gown. It was the smallest of changes, however. Tubes and montiors flooded the room, connecting Sydney to what she was dreading the most: her life. At times, she contemplated on disconnecting her breathing tube, never to face what she knew was coming. But she barely had the strength to open her eyes, let alone move her arms. It had been three weeks since that morning in Santa Monica, but she didn't know. Nor did she particularly care. Time meant nothing to Sydney as she passed each day laying, helpless, in a hospital bed.

She had few visitors, none of whom she would have recognized if she were conscious when they came. One even left her a box of chocolates and a "Get Well" balloon. When she was stable enough to see, the balloon had deflated and the chocolates were melted.

At least someone cared. She thought as a tear of abandonment glistened in her eye and rolled down her cheek. Three weeks in the hospital and she saw not one familiar face. She missed the antics of Marshall, the friendliness of Weiss, the warmth of her sister Nadia, the guidance of Dixon... even her father failed to make an appearance. She never felt so alone in her entire life.

Sydney had always been abnormally strong. A compound pelvic fracture, a shifted spinal column disk, two puncture wounds in the right lung, and a foreign infiltrate into the skull would've surely kept anyone else bed-ridden for years-- perhaps forever. Four months of rest, and Sydney was up and walking. Pain struck a chord deep through her back, chest, and hips with each step, but pain never brought Sydney down before, and to hell if it would be any different this time.

Five months under hospital care, Sydney sat in her bed watching reruns of "Cheers" on the TV in the corner of her room. Watching, however, was relative. She always had one eye on the door, as she hoped for a visitor; she hoped to see someone she knew. Occasionally, she would become excited at the sight of the knob turning and then face disappointment as a doctor or nurse entered the room to check on her condition. One of those times, six and a half months after her entrance to the hospital, Sydney heard some terrible news.

"You are free to go," the hospital warden said as he began signing wavers for Sydney's release. "You have shown remarkable improvement, Ms. Bristow. I would like to assure you that you will be fine, but I'm sure I would be speaking on different ideals."

Sydney nodded. The man continued to talk, but she zoned him out. She thought about where she could go. What she could do. It was this moment she was dreading the most. The moment she would have to face the truth-- the moment she would have to face Vaughn.

A taxi was called, and Sydney made her way, slowly, into the back seat. She would have to be very uncomfortable for another couple of days as she finalized her body's independency from morphine. As the driver began to take her back home, Sydney grew somewhat excited, yet at the same time very fearful. Where was Nadia? Was she still alive? The last time Sydney saw her half-sister, it was in the ICU at APO, and Nadia was checked in. How ironic that Sydney would soon also be in intensive care...

Sydney saw herself in the taxi's rear-view mirror. She was pale, disheveled, and thin. Her sunken face met with the noticeable shadows under her eyes. She subtly patted down her hair, but it didn't do much more for her image. It was understandable. She knew that. Half of a year in the hospital, half of that in serious condition, can really change the way a person feels, thinks, and more than all, looks.

"We're almost there, Sydney."

The baratone voice of the taxi driver startled her not because of its low pitch, but because it spoke her name. She hadn't told the taxi driver what her name was. Immediately she was suspicious. Protocal ran through her mind, like clockwork. Did he have a weapon? Does she have a way to protect herself? Does she have a plan for escape? Her frenzied thoughts came to a halt as she glanced down at her shirt. A name tag read "Hello, I'm Sydney. Patient at St. Ignatius Hospital." She quietly sighed in great relief. Her worry could end here, she thought.

The taxi came to a rolling stop and the driver stepped out of the car. Butterflies churned Sydney's stomach as she saw, for the first time in what seemed like an eternity, the front door to her home. The car door swung open and a hand offered Sydney help to her feet. She accepted and stood in the fresh Californian air. A cool gust swept past her, immediately reminding her of the dream. The field, the stream, the sunshine... the blood, the darkness, the pain. It all swept back into her, sending a wave of chills down her spine. She ignored it and blamed the morphine.

The taxi pulled away, leaving Sydney to her own bearings. She nervously took out her key, unlocked the front door to her home and stepped inside.

Chapter Three

"Hello?" Sydney called into her silent home. Her breathing became heavy as she shut the door behind her. It was shockingly cold. With each breath, a visible fog formed in front of her mouth. She grabbed her arms and shivered as she walked into the main room. She flicked on the lights, which stalled before they came to life. All was the same as she left it. Even a wineglass remained on the coffee table from the night before her final mission. The mission hadn't even crossed Sydney's mind until now. Relief swept over her as she realized that it was all over. The prophecies... the artifacts... Rambaldi was over. And then... Sloane! What happened to Sloane? All of these thoughts swirled much too quickly back into Sydney's hazy mind. She sat down on her sofa and grabbed her forehead. Between the thoughts, the confusion, and the skull fracture, Sydney could just not think straight.

She stood back up and headed toward the thermostat. An icy swell nearly knocked her backwards, and she cranked the temperature to the maximum. She needed at least a few things if she wanted to be the slightest bit comfortable. One of those things was warmth; the other was water. The doctors advised her upon release to keep herself as hydrated as she could. She headed toward the kitchen for a glass of water.

She felt the warmer hardwood floor of her hallway switch over to cold tile as she traversed into the kitchen. A glass was waiting for her on the counter. She turned on the faucet and filled it to the brim before downing the entire thing. Her withdraw from all the morphine would keep her very thirsty. She still could not overcome how surprised, yet contented, she was that nothing at all had changed. Even the refrigerator hummed as it faithfully kept her groceries cool... the food. God only knew what was waiting in the refrigerator.

She opened the door and peered inside. She knew she had some cleaning out to do, and it would start with the milk. If one thing had gone bad after six months, it would be the milk. Without a second thought, she took off the top and poured the milk into the sink. But something very strange caught her eye. As she poured the milk, she noticed the date printed on the side of the carton. "Sell by October 25." She dropped the carton into the sink, completely startled by what she saw. October 25 was a week away. She ran back to the refrigerator and searched the shelves. Everything was fresh. Dates were current, produce was new; there were even some half-eaten meals in containers being saved for later.

"Nadia." Sydney immediately said to herself. She grew excited as she realized that yes, her sister was alive. Yes, her sister was there. Yes, her life would have some stability once again. But one thing still puzzled Sydney. Why hadn't she visited? Six months in the hospital and not even a word from Nadia. Nadia's bedroom was down the hall. Sydney hadn't even thought to check there before. She quickly advanced out of the kitchen and toward Nadia's bedroom. The excitement grew within her as she turned the knob and opened the door.

Her eyes widened. And then she sighed in great relief. Nadia was sound asleep in her bed. Sydney smiled, very relieved that her sister, the one person she may care more about than anyone else in the world, was okay. She walked toward her sister's bed and knelt down beside her sleeping figure. She slowly reached her hand out and brushed a piece of Nadia's hair aside from her face. She looked at her sister. She had no idea it would feel this great to finally see someone she knew.

Suddenly, Nadia's eyes joted open and she grabbed Sydney's outstretched hand. In one swift, almost instant motion, Nadia twisted Sydney's arm around and grabbed her in a head lock. Her eyes were alive with rage as she spoke, threateningly. "Who sent you here? What are you doing in my house!"

Sydney was desperate as she felt herself losing her breath. "Nadia! Nadia! It's me! It's Sydney! Please! Nadia!"

Nadia let go, and Sydney recoiled, coughing and breathing heavily. Nadia was dubmstruck. Her jaw hung slightly open as she watched Sydney get back to her feet. Even her speech was exasperated.

"Sydney..." She was lost for words. "Oh my God, Sydney!" It was joy. Sydney was more relieved than ever that Nadia was happy to see her. She got to her feet and immediately grabbed Sydney in a tight hug. She stopped twice to stare into her sisters eyes, still not believing it was her. Tears formed in Nadia's eyes as they sat down together on the edge of the bed.

"Sydney, I can't believe it's you! I can't believe you came back!" Nadia tried hard to hold back her tears of joy in an effort to look less foolish, and she was all but successful.

Sydney responded, also teary-eyed due to their reunion. "I missed you too, Nadia. I really did. But I have questions. Why didn't you visit me in the hospital? I was there for more than six months. I would have at least appreciated a call--"

To Sydney's surprise, Nadia laughed. "Sydney, don't be serious."

Sydney was
alarmed. She didn't know how to
respond.

Nadia..." She shook her head. "I don't understand--"

Nadia rose to her feet as she spoke. "Sydney! Do you really think I could risk something like that! I thought about you a lot, Sydney. And it pained me not to see you... I knew that you were in terrible shape... but you coming here puts the both of us in danger enough! I can barely sleep safely as it is--"

"Nadia!" Sydney was urgent in her tone. A thousand questions flooded her already crowded mind. She expected the worst with her next question. "What do you mean by danger? This is my house!"

Nadia stopped dead in her tracks. "Oh my God." She slowly lowered herself back next to Sydney. Their conversation became quick, choppy, and very alarming to both of the sisters.

"Nadia! Nadia, what is it! Why am I in danger?"

"You mean you don't know?"

"Know what? Please, Nadia! I've been in the hospital for six months! What did you expect me to know?"

"Things have changed, Sydney. Drastically. And you probably didn't even check to see if it was safe. You need to leave right now!"

"Nadia, what is going on?"

Nadia could not respond. She opened her mouth, but never got further. All Sydney saw was the shattering of glass at the sound of a gunshot. Nadia fell onto the floor. Sydney froze. In an instant the only thing precious left in her life was blown away forever. She showed no emotion, just stared blankly at Nadia's lifeless, blood-stained body. Everything was in slow motion to Sydney. This could not be happening to her.

And then, movement. Reality rushes back to Sydney as Nadia begins to claw her way back to the bed. Immediately, Sydney comes to her aid.

"Nadia! Nadia, are you hurt?"

Nadia groaned and winced as she clutched her side. "Sydney. He doesn't want to kill me."

Sydney didn't want to go further. She wanted time to stop here and stay that way forever. She could see the desperation in her wounded sister's eyes. Nadia clutched at her side and cried in great pain. Tears began to flow, out of both Sydney and Nadia.

"He wants to kill you."

Sydney hopelessly searched for some sort of clue to what was happening; she tried to read her sister's expression. She needed answers, and fast. "Why does he want to kill me?"

"Because they're done with you! You served your purpose and now they don't need you anymore! You know too much. And they can't trust you not to disclose your knowledge to anyone else--"

"Nadia!" With each word that came through Nadia's lips, Sydney grew more and more confused, erratic, and most of all, frightened. Her questions continued to multiply. "What do you mean my purpose?! Who are they? What are they afraid I'll disclose--"

Nadia shook her head. "It's not my place to explain, Sydney." Nadia breathed heavily and cried. A large pool of blood was forming beside her. Sydney was lost. She had no idea what to do. She looked around the room, as if maybe there were some quick escape to the trouble she was doomed to face. A scream of pain from Nadia brought her back.

"This is absurd." Sydney rose to her feet and reached for the phone on Nadia's nightstand. "I'm calling the paramedics." With each button she pressed on the phone, Sydney became increasingly nervous. The screaming and wincing stopped. Sydney glanced over to Nadia. She was laying on the floor, very still. Sydney froze. She couldn't handle losing her sister. Not now; not after all of this. She sighed with relief as she saw that Nadia was still breathing.

She tried to turn her worry away from herself and onto her now unconscious sister, but the words of Nadia circled in her mind. She was being hunted because someone thinks she might say something that she shouldn't say to someone... It made no sense. She went through dozens of possible scenarios to explain what Nadia had said, but none fit the bill. And what did she mean by served her purpose?

Sydney waited as the phone rang.

"9-1-1 emergency."

"Send help! My sister was shot in the side and she's bleeding badly!"

"Help is on the way." The words were somewhat comforting to Sydney. "How was she shot? Who shot her?"

"I don't know."

"Was the assailant in the house?"

"No. No, he was outside. He shot through the window--"

Sydney stopped in her tracks and lowered the phone down to her shoulder. She turned toward the broken window, and her eyes grew wide. She watched as a red laser-dot scanned across the floor, reflecting off the shattered glass, over the bed, across Nadia's body, and up her own legs to stop right in the middle of her chest. She gasped and dove out of the way just as a round of bullets embedded into the wall behind her. She ducked and covered her ears as more bullet flew across the room, making their way toward her. She quickly crawled over to the door and got up to run out through the hallway.

She ran out the front door and looked up. Parked in her driveway was a black sedan. She was desperate, looking for any way she could save her life and at the same time end that of her assassin. It was six and a half months since her last mission, and for the first time in a long time, she found it difficult to think on her feet. Not to mention a dangerous gunman was at this very moment attempting to kill her. She grabbed the closest weapon-like object she could find: a screwdriver laying on her porch. A screwdriver? She knew she was rusty.

She layed down beside the black sedan and rolled under it. She jabbed the screwdriver into a tank which started to leak out gasoline. Then, she waited. Her plan became clearer and more practical with each step. Her hip ached from rolling on the pavement. The doctors told her to rest; they would not be pleased if they saw her like this. Then, more gunshots flew through the area. She needed to act fast.

She took the same screwdriver, jammed it into her arm, and then sliced open part of her skin. She quickly lapped up as much blood as she could in her hands and wiped it on her chest and her face. She rested her arm over her chest as she lay still on the driveway. She hoped desperately that her plan would work. The gunman came around the corner of her house. He cautiously walked, gun outstretched, up to Sydney's lifeless body. Early CIA field training included learning how to appear as though you were a casualty, or "playing dead." It was useful to Sydney in many instances when she needed access to restricted areas. No one particularly worried about a dead body stealing classified information.

The man kicked her in the side. It was her bad side. Sydney wanted to cry out in pain, but she remained calm and still. She'd be really dead if she didn't focus her attention on pretending to be dead. The assassin was apparently satisfied. He drew out a walkie-talkie and spoke into it. His voice was icy and deep. It sent chills up Sydney's previously severed spine.

"The job is finished." He bluntly spoke. There was no need to say more. He immediately got into his car and turned on the engine. As he began to pull away, Sydney rose to her feet and pulled a lighter out of her pocket to draw up a flame. Without as much as a thought or an expression, Sydney threw the lighter into the puddle of gasoline that had formed beneath the car. In what seemed like an istant, the gasoline ignited, and fire followed the trail of gasoline made behind the moving car. The trail began bursting into flames much faster than the car could travel. A line of fire stretched down the road in front of Sydney's house, up until it reached the car. The explosion consumed the entire street and singed the leaves of the trees lining the sidewalks. Ash and debris flew every which way, and Sydney began to think about what she would do next. The fire began to die just as an ambulance pulled into Sydney's driveway. Nadia would hopefully be okay.

To Be Continued...

Please post your thoughts and comments! Ciao for now! :D
 

Tenderbear

Scout
Joined
May 5, 2003
Location
USA
I just updated by finishing Chapter Three :D I know it isn't a TON of writing, but it's all I had in me right now. I'll do a lot more later this week.

BTW - If you want to be PMed when more is updated, please say so! I'd be happy to add you to the list.
 
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