Summary: "She looked at the date, but realized that they must have made a typographical error. This paper was dated two years in the future." Sydney awakens to find she has lost two years of her life, but when an unlikely source claims to hold the key to her missing memories, Sydney learns that the truth may not be worth the cost. AU after 'The Telling'.

Author's Note: The word 'terma' is a Tibetan Buddhist term meaning hidden or buried truth, obviously in reference to the truth behind Sydney's missing years.

Disclaimer: Alias and all of it's characters are property of J.J. Abrams. I am, in no way, making a profit from this.

TERMA

CHAPTER ONE

Sydney opened her eyes, fighting back a brief wave of nausea that almost instantaneously threatened to overtake her. The sun was streaming through the thin, translucent curtains that fluttered in the whispering breeze which pulled the sounds of car horns in to assail her ears.

She looked at the clock, surprised to find that it was blinking midnight. The power must have gone out the night before. She would definitely be late for work this morning. Sliding her feet over the edge, she dragged herself to a sitting position and rubbed her forehead. Vaguely, she wondered how much she had had to drink the night before.

"Francie? Will? Are you here?"

There was no answer save for a car alarm blaring on the street. She blinked, walking over to the window. Looking out, she could see the people wandering along the avenue below, sitting at an outdoor café, window shopping. Something wasn't right. This was not the view she was accustomed to seeing from her first-floor apartment window.

Sydney crept toward the door slowly, unsure of what she would find beyond the relative safety of this room. It was luxurious, without a doubt, but without remembering how she arrived at this place, she had no way to determine who else may be lurking within.

Pulling the door open carefully, she slipped through and immediately took a defensive stance. The breeze blew through these windows as well, but the apartment lay empty before her aside from the classy furnishings that decorated its interior. Walking toward a table by the main entrance, Sydney found herself in front of an ornate mirror. She reached forward, placing a hand on the face that reflected back at her. She still looked the same, but for the blonde hair that now rested where her chestnut locks had once been.

Looking down, she found a newspaper folded neatly amongst a pile of mail on the table's polished surface. Sydney picked up the paper and studied the headlines carefully. They were in English, but the newspaper's title was that of the London Times. She looked at the date, but realized that they must have made a typographical error. This paper was dated two years in the future.

Setting it down where she had found it, she picked up the letter that rested on the top of the small pile. It appeared to be a bill from the electrical company, but she was sure that a mix-up had occurred. Why would she be receiving Julian Sark's mail?

Sydney dropped the letter, watching as it twisted its way down to the plush carpet below. She headed toward one of the open windows, sitting herself on a chair beside it and resting her head in her hands. There was something terribly wrong about this whole situation, and what was that glinting on her left hand?

She held her hand up in front of her face, her palm facing outward. She couldn't say that the diamond engagement ring surprised her much at that point. Nor was she shocked to see that there was a simple gold band resting just above the massive stone ornament. Atop all the other abnormalities she was currently surrounded by, a marriage she could not remember seemed rather low on the list.

Picking up the phone, she dialed the only number she could think of.

"Michael Vaughn."

She sighed at the sound of his voice, willing herself not to cry. "Vaughn, it's me. I'm in London... I need your help."

-

Author's Note: This was formerly known as Brand New World and had a different ending, but I didn't like where it was going. So, this is the revised version. I'll be posting the next chapter very soon.