Tomorrow-The Day That never comes

When the next day never comes but a war is taking place in the future how are you supposed to end it?
Recruited to the organisation F.A.I.T, Harriet (Harri) becomes part of the team who uses the advanced technology to plug in to the future to uncover the truth behind the war and to find a way stop it before it has even begun.
The confusion she finds clogging her mind when she wakes instantly causes a stir amongst the leaders but is soon pushed aside.
Harri's inquisitively soon gets her into trouble she is not aware of. Constantly pushing boundaries and breaking the rules she ends up getting further than they ever have before.
But it's not all good news. Harri discovers much more than she set out to uncover and things go from bad to worse as secrets are uncovered.
'It's no longer a secret if everyone knows'

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6. Chapter Five

When we arrived at the plug in room there were several people lying in the beds, eyes closed wires attached to their heads, tube in their arm.               

            "What are you two doing back here?" A asked almost immediately. 

            "Harri wants to go back in" Alex explained. 

            "That's not such a good idea" She argued. 

            "Please" I begged. 

            "So you can go in and come straight back out again? I don't think so Harri, you will just have to wait until tomorrow" 

            "But I still need my trail time and if I do that now I can go in properly tomorrow. It's the whole point of being here so we can help our future so it would be more beneficial if I get my trail out of the way now" I argued my point. 

            "You had the trail this morning and it clearly didn't prove successful so we will just try again tomorrow" A was just as adamant as I was. 

            "She has got a point A" Alex joined in.

            "You stay out of this, you are partly to blame for what happen in here" She turned her attention to Alex. 

            "Partly being 10 percent my fault and 90 percent Harri's" He argued. 

            "And I promise not to do anything that could get me killed or kill myself" I said. 

"We will just walk around a bit" Alex was really on my side now and I was appreciative of his support. 

            "Just to get used to it"  I pleaded.

            "You both promise not to do anything stupid just walk around for a while?" A was warming up to the idea knowing that we had a fair point.

            "Promise" I said cracking a smile knowing I had won her round to the idea. 

            "Scouts honour" Alex added. 

            "Were you even in the scouts?" A drifted away from the subject. 

            "No but what does that matter can we go back in or not?" The eagerness clear in his voice. There was a pause for a few moments before A finally announced her final answer. 

            "Ok"

            "What?" Alex asked either from disbelief or confusion. 

            "Ok, you can go back in. But it won't be for long and you don't do anything that could put you in any sort of situation" A gave us the go ahead. 

            "Thank you!" I announced my joy. 

            A collected the blue while myself and Alex got ourselves in the pods. Alex already had the wires attached to his head but I didn't know what I was doing with those so I just wait for A. She sent him in first as he was ready and then helped me. 

            "You just stick with him, he's got your back" She told me while she was setting me up. 

            "He didn't last time" 

            "Harri he jumped out of the aircraft to force himself awake, trust me he is here for you" what she said was true. He had jumped, he didn't need to because he knew what happened and knew I would wake up safe but he still did it. 

            "Ready?" A asked as she held the last piece of the puzzle between their fingertips. 

            "Of course" As soon as the words left my mouth she insert the tube and the scene fizzled out until replaced by a new one. 

            The future flickered into focus but this time it was more quite, more calm, more still. The street were more empty than before. People perhaps had kept away after this morning's happenings. 

            Scattered rumble fresh from the recent attack and old from those previous, forgotten in the recent chaos but still apparent in the careless decoration of pieces of buildings on the pavements and roads. Dotted amongst it like sparkles of glitter on a carpet; almost irrelevant and lost in the large area but always catches your eye, were the black figures that had been dropped down earlier. They weren't roaming the area anymore. 

            They lay lifeless. A subtle buzzing caught my attention and I scanned around to find the source. It appeared to be coming from the black armour suit closest to me. I wondered from Alex's side as I was intrigued to investigate this unusual discovery. 

            "Where are you going now?" I heard Alex call after me with a moaning tone but I didn't pay attention as I was too keen to explore. 

            The buzzing got loader the closer I got then when I approached it I knew this was the where the noise was coming from. I knelt down to get a better look but as I did I saw a flash of a bright light not far away which caught my attention. At first I thought it was metal glistening in the sun but I saw it again and realised it was a spark. The essence of electricity hung in the air as though something was charging or running on it. 

            On approaching the spark I saw it came from part of the armour the attackers had worn. I stopped in my tracks as I grew cautious. I could still see it from where I was standing: a detached arm. There seemed to be no blood pooling from the detached limb only the hum of electricity and the occasional, abrupt spit of electrical current. I continued to approach with caution but was no longer dreading nearing a severed arm. 

            Now close enough to see the stray wires that sprouted from the open end of the arm like weeds, I could tell it didn't belong to a someone but a something. Then it hit me. The correct information from the overload of information seeped through the groggy mist of my memory. The attackers weren't real, they were robots. I bent down to pick it up and take a closer look. I had been foolish to grab it with one hand as the arm was heavier than I thought and had to hold it with both. Looking down the middle revealed not much more. It was simply the route the wires took to supply the hand and each finger with the electricity it needed to operate. 

            "They're not real" I spoke as I felt Alex's presence. 

            "Nope"

            "DREADs" I whispered as the abbreviated name swam through the pool of information to the front of my mind. 

            "Dangerous Robotic Electric Attacking Droids" Alex confirmed. 

            "You guys sure like your acronyms" I joked. 

            "Makes things easier" Alex's tone still remained flat and without its usual excitement. I glanced in his direction and saw he was looking down at the DREAD but he wasn't seeing it. His eyes had glazed over as though he blocking out everything, as though he didn't want to see. There was a few moments pause before I spoke again. 

            "Without some sort of deactivation button how are we ever supposed to win this war?" Although it was a question I wasn't sure whether I was expecting an answer, at least not a well thought out answer. I was still looking at Alex, awaiting his response and as the question left my lips the glaze over his eyes vanished and he looked me in the eye, his gaze boring into me. He really meant what he was about to say and he wanted, needed me to understand that. 

            "We don't, we have no chance. The DREADs are machine and machines can be made in large quantities on demand, they don't feel pain they don't feel lose, they don't feel, they don't think, they just kill" Not exactly the uplifting, inspirational speech I thought he was going to come out with to lift my spirits and encourage me to keep going.

            "That is why we are here and that is why we keep looking for answers, a hidden secret, a bloody deactivation button if we are lucky, but whatever it is we just keep looking" I saw it in his eyes, I heard it in his voice, he really wanted to do anything he could to stop it and he felt how real this was, knew the disaster and devastation the war would bring when it reached our reality.  

            "Better get searching then" I felt the weight of his words and wanted badly to lift them. I disliked feeling down and full of sorrow and always buried such feelings with a smile or a joke and a sarcastic comment but it was hard to crack a joke after that. I flashed him a smile, placed the arm on the ground and began waking. I couldn't hear the following footsteps of my partner but I daren't look round so I kept straight and walked slowly.

            "What's the mattered, scared I'll find more on my first day then you have in a week?" I called without glancing back. My attempt to rattle him back to his usual self appeared to work. 

            "You wouldn't know where to begin" I called after me and I heard hurried steps until he caught up. 

            "So the DREADs are machines and as you so lightly put it earlier, machines have to be made" I began. 

            "Are you playing at being a parrot or are you going to add something to the words you just took from me?" I couldn't help but smile to hear such an insult from Alex. 

            "They don't feel, they don't think" 

            "Are you rehearsing a playing based on the words of Alex Johnson? Quit repeating and just get on with it" He was definitely back. 

            "So someone rather than something had to think up the idea to design them, to make them, to programme them. Someone wanted to start a war not these DREADs. They are merely sacrificial pawns in a bigger game" I pointed out. 

            "Yes" The prolonging of one word told me he was not just listening but wanting to hear more, realising I might actually be making a valid point. 

            "So surely the game plan is to find who made them, and who ultimately wants this war?" I put my suggestion out there and I let it hang in the air for a moment. 

            "You know, Harri, that's not a bad idea" Alex gave my idea a nod of approval and I couldn't help but grin in response. "But that is going to be difficult and most probably dangerous" He was poking holes in it now. 

            "Yes but finding the person or people who started this would be a huge step in stopping the war. We find out who they are in this world, go straight to them in our world and stop them from starting or continuing with the war" I continued. 

            "But how would we stop them?"

            "I haven't thought that far yet but I'm sure everyone at F.A.I.T could put their heads together and thing up some ideas. Come on Alex it's a start and by the sound of it a start that no one has even thought to go from so it's got to be worth a shot" I found myself becoming desperate to convince him my idea was a good idea. I saw him thinking about it.

            "Not everyone has to go on this lead, a few of us maybe just me and you while everyone else carries on doing what they did before" A smile began to form on his lips and he opened his mouth to speak but a low rumbling dotted with the occasional beeping filled the air instead. 

            I span around, this new noise turning my attention from Alex like a dog who had just seen a squirrel run by. The noise belonged to a lorry. It moved slowly and with caution with a scattering of four people walking with it. They went about picking up parts of the DREADs and chucking them in the back of the lorry. The even number proved to be of use as they came together in pairs and picked up the full bodies that remained. I knew it wouldn't take them long to clear the streets of the what remained to the DREADs; the body parts or the full bodies, there wasn't many of either. They were stronger, they were built for it so their body count was few.

            "They are the clean up team" Alex volunteered the information. 

            "Where is the building where they take what's left?" I asked knowing that they had followed the lorry, probably even jumped on board and let it take them to its destination without anyone here knowing they had hitchhikers. 

            "Over there" I looked in the direction he was pointing and saw a large building that had shrunk with distance. It appeared to be made mostly of glass, the one way windows making the building black in appearance. The Order. 

            "Have you been in there?" 

            "Me? No but other people have. Followed the truck right to that building that is how we know that is why the parts are taken there" Alex explained. 

            "And The Order just dispose of them" I regurgitated the information the memory chip had fed me. 

            "Yes" Alex confirmed. 

            The Order was the defence system that had been set up when the war started. It hasn't taken long for those with most power to set something up. F.A.I.T hadn't explored it much as it was all about fighting the enemy not helping the defence, after all there wasn't much we could have done being invisible to all those living in our future.  

            "But no one from F.A.I.T has actually been inside?" I doubled checked.

            "No. That building has very high level security, no one they don't want can get inside" 

            "But we could get in undetected, surely" I was questioning what my brain was telling me. 

            "We have been ordered not to go in there because we have no idea how good the security is, while people may not be able to see us or know we are here, technology might" Alex explained what I already knew. 

            Then one of the clean up men drew near and I froze. I stood still and tightened every muscle in my body trying not to move at all. I even found myself holding my breath. I was trying not to be seen not to be discovered, forgetting that it was impossible for me to be seen by anyone living in this world. After it took me a few seconds to come to my senses and shake off the stupidity I glanced at Alex to see if anything I had just done had registered with him. 

            "They can't see you" He mocked. He didn't even look at me but he knew I was looking at him and a smug grin was plastered in his face. 

            "Let's go" I flashed him an excited smile as I began heading in the direction of the clean up van. 

            "What?" Alex gave me a confused look. 

            "We're going to jump in that van and ride it all the way to that building" I explained. 

            "No we're not, we are here to look around" 

            "So we will be looking around over there" I pointed towards the building the DREADs were to be taken. 

            "That's not our section" Alex said. 

            "Well I'm going and considering A said you should stay with me at all times I also think you will be joining me" I said with certain confidence as I knew he would follow. Then I turned and continued walking towards the van, stepping over the parts that would soon be collected. 

            "Are you always this difficult?" Alex complained when he caught up with me. 

            "Only when I want to be" 

            "You know we really shouldn't be doing this they can see where we are going" Alex continued to try and talk me out of it but my curiosity was too strong and was growing with each nearing step. 

            "Are you scared of getting in trouble?" I was trying to wind him up to get him on board. 

            "I'm not scared I would just rather keep to our section and not mix it all up, the facts, the research" 

            "Maybe that is what needs to change?" I suggested. 

            "You want to change anything else around here?" He asked.  

            "If it means we get answers" I replied. 

            "It's just we have rules and boundaries for a reason" I wasn't sure whether he was defending the system he had been a part of longer than me, that he understood more than I did. 

            "Don't you want to know what it looks like, how they take them?" 

            "I do know" Alex tapped the scar created by the implanting of the memory chip. 

            "But you haven't actually seen it" I didn't understand how he could accept only what he had been shown when he could go and see it for himself. 

            "Because I feel as though I already have" 

            "But you haven't so let's go" I began jogging to the van, wanting to get there sooner so Alex had no choice. 

            It wasn't hard to jump on board; the vehicle moved slowly and the back was wide open so to make it easier for the cleaners to throw the parts inside. All I did was step into the back and no one knew I was there. I stepped over arms and legs, full bodies and half bodies until I made my way to the back where I sat myself down in a corner. It would have been dark with no artificial light inside if it wasn't for the natural light flooding in through the open door.

            "Glad you decided to join me" I said when I saw Alex smoothly step into the van. His body a dark figure against the bright background, his features barely visible but I could see enough to know it was him who stood there. 

            "You didn't really leave me with much choice" I responded as he carefully made his way towards me. He went to the corner next to me and slide down the wall until, with a thud, he was sat on the cool, hard floor of the van. 

            We weren't alone for long, the DREADs were the stronger team so their wasn't many of them to clear up. I was pleased about the arrival of company as I would have either been subjected to more moaning about rules and regulations or an awkward silence as Alex moaned to himself. Two of the clean up team climbed in and took a seat at the opposite end to us. Each sitting on a box and holding onto a single strap in the side of the van to limit their movement as the van drove. The other two members of their team I assumed to have take the spare seats at the front. The light was limited now with the sunlight merely seeping in through the gaps in the two doors and any small hole in the side of the van. 

            "We're getting better" One of them spoke over the increasing roar of the engine as the van gained speed. 

            "What do you mean?" The other questioned.

            "Our defence is getting better!"

            "What makes you say that?"

            "We have collected more DREADs today than any other day! That can only be a good sign" Their conversation continued, the excitement and determination of the first man evident in his voice. 

            "You counted?" The second man dulling down the news of the first man. Sounded like Alex. 

            "No, but I can just tell. You know each day there seems to be more and more in the back of this van, we may actually have a chance. A chance to win this war" His courage and positivity was nice to hear. 

            "I'm not so sure" The man who sat on the same side as me was now more visible to me than he had first been. His t-shirt exposed half a tattoo on the bicep and although I could make out what it was of in the dim lighting, I was sure I would be able to recognise it if I saw it again. The other man had nothing much about him that made him stand out. Rather more of an average guy with nothing special about him. 

            "Why have you always got to be so down about everything?" 

            "I just look at it how it is. I don't look for the positives or the small signs that say things are looking better because it doesn't do any good" He explained his reasons for his pessimistic views. 

            "It's a small thing called hope that means a lot to people" 

            "While hope can build you up, when it's false hope or hope that is wrongly placed it can tear you down much faster" Sitting in the back of a truck I didn't expect such a deep conversation, although seeing what they must see every day it didn't surprise me. 

            "In this war sometimes hope is all we have" 

            After that there was silence in the back. The two men didn't speak to each other and Alex and I didn't speak either. I let my body bounce around with the movement of our transport but I had my hands firmly placed on the floor of the lorry to hold myself in place. We hit a bump in the road and I jolted forward, one hand instantly hit the wall in an attempt to steady myself the other pushed down further on the floor I was sat on. We came to a stop not long after that. The doors opened and the light came flooding in once more but having got used to the dimmed lighting I had to squint and I hovered my hand in front of my eyes as a shield. 

I waited for the men to step out first before I stood up and made a move. I had no need to wait for them, I could have walked straight through them but it was a sensation that I disliked and did not want repeated. I had assumed we would have driven into a car park or a back drop of point but when I emerged from the truck I saw we had just pulled up outside the front of the untouched by the war, modern building that stuck out like a sore thumb. I don't know why but I thought I would see more, or see something different. 

            Awaiting the arrival of the truck were two large trolleys accompanied by four people, one woman, three men, who stood like soldiers. They stood straight, feet together, arms by their sides, head held so their chin was parallel to the ground and their gaze blank, not faltering, looking only forward. The front passengers joined the two that had rode with us and they began unloading their cargo onto these trolleys. I watched as they did it in silence, metal hitting metal being the only sound. The loud clang as the first bodies hit the metal trays of the trolleys followed by the awful sound of metal scraping against metal as the bodies were piled up. The trolleys were soon full while the lorry was empty and the guards standing besides the trolleys remained in position. They didn't move a muscle, not until the clean up team got back into the lorry and it drove off. I watched it disappear from sight and once it turned the corner and could not be seen the sudden sound of the trolleys moving spun me back around. The trolley guards had been waiting for the clean up team to leave. The security really was strict. The trolley guards wheeled them off into the building, all the while not talking, not smiling, not looking around, they didn't seem to even register the four men who brought the bodies of the DREADs. 

            I wanted to climb onto the trolleys or walk alongside the guards who took their job far too seriously to see the inside of the building but I had already pushed to get this far and I didn't want to push it too far. Besides I didn't know if I could be detected or not and I thought it best not to test that especially on my first day in the plug in. I did wonder alongside the trolleys until they disappeared into the building. I caught a glance of what was inside but it wasn't much to get excited about. Inside was a large empty space and white wall gave nothing away, some art sculptures, stairs and doors which I assumed led to more important rooms. This only intrigued me more and fed my curiosity. 

            "Harri, don't" Alex warned me but there was no need I had no plans to go in despite how much I wanted to. 

            "Relax, I'm not going in" I put him at ease. "Yet" I added as I had every intention of seeing the inside of the building at some point. 

            "Well that was a wildly entertaining journey" Alex's voice was heavy with sarcasm. 

            "Ok, so I thought we would see more but we still got a free lift to The Order" I admitted I was a little disappointed with our findings. 

            "And the building is incredibly different close up than far away" Alex was definitely not impressed. 

            "But you got to see something different" I defended. 

            "I have already seen it" He was again referring to the memory chip. 

            "Ok, you got to do something different" We had begun walking away but I didn't know to where we were going.

            "I will admit it was nice to..." He suddenly stopped talking like someone had cut him off.             He was fading away. He was gradually becoming more and more transparent. The background behind him getting more visible. Eventually he wasn't there at all and I was left standing along. I was stood in the street knowing I shouldn't be doing anything now, awaiting the inevitable. Knowing any moment I would perform the same disappearing act. I dreaded the feeling that would come with waking up, expecting an odd sensation to take hold of my body. Then a tingly sensation began working its way through my body. Looking down at myself I saw I too was gradually fading away, repeating the same thing Alex had just done. I raised my hand in front of my face to see it disappearing more and more with each breath I took. I was leaving the future and joining the real world. As the line between the two worlds became more blurred I left like I had no place in which I belonged, momentarily existing in a place where nothing existed. 

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