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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5. Chapter Four

As the door glided open it revealed a room filled with screens and computers and technology and dotted amongst it all were the people working them. Six people sat at a round central desk with touch screen displays in front of them and a large, almost invisible, screen in the centre. The screen was split into five sections; one large and three smaller of even size down the right hand side.

            One screen displayed a map with each section colour coded. Each colour representing a zone amongst which we, as recruits, were scattered. We had to be in sections away from our families and ourselves, because no one knew what would happen if we came into contact with ourselves. Another was again a map but it was not broken into sections of colour. It was simply black and white with two different coloured dots scattered around: members of F.A.I.T (Blue) and future civilians (red). The number of red dots heavily outweighed the number of blue dots, I also noticed two numbers at the bottom of the picture totally the number of red and blue dots. Third was a map of the country divided up, each section was numbered. Click on whatever section you wanted and the information on the other two screens would change to give the information about that area.

            "What are you two doing here? Are you not supposed to be plugged in?" I turned around to see H walking towards us.

            "We just came from there but there was a problem" Alex told him, putting what happened nicely.

            "What went wrong?" H questioned.

            "Harri was too busy daydreaming to grab the wire to the aircraft and it resulted in a forced wake up" Alex continued.

            "Next time hang on and you will enjoy the future a lot more" H winked at me and smiled as he joined in with Alex's way of joking about what happened.

            "Got it" I knew this was something I wasn't going to get away with, they wouldn't let me forget it any time soon.

            "So what do you think?" H asked as he did a sweeping gestured with his arm as if to show the room off to me.

            "It's everything I knew it was" I replied referring to the virtual tour courtesy of the memory chip.

            "Of course but what do you think of it all?"

            "It's as though I have always known what I have only just found out" I told him the truth. This place, what F.A.I.T was, was so unexpected and strange yet so familiar and it was as though I had been here all along.  

            "How's the memory chip?" H changed the subject with a dramatic desperation to find out if everything had been fixed.

            "I guess you would have to ask the guys that put it in and then fixed it" I replied.

            "But it's not causing you any more problems is it? I mean the malfunction isn't the reason for the situation that occurred in the plug in?" H sounded concerned but this change to serious conversation put me on edge.

            "No, no I don't think so. L said it was fixed and sorted so it was only my own stupidity as far as I am aware" I replied.

            "Excellent. Well I will leave you guys to do whatever it you are going to be doing to kill time until tomorrows plug in. It was nice to actually meet you Harri and I'm glad everything is ok" He tapped the scar he had on his own neck that matched the one I had. "Catch you later Alex"

            "See you" Alex spoke again after the longest time I had ever heard him be silent. H walked over to the far side of the room and began doing something on one of the computers.

            "Where to next then?" I turned to Alex for direction.

            "I think the cafeteria are serving lunch now"

            "I could eat" We headed off the get something to eat.

 

The cafeteria didn't stray far in design from that of the one from school. There were long tables but instead of the plastic stalls attached to them so you couldn't tuck in there were comfortable looking seats. A long stretch of food counters displayed a variety of food on the far side of the room. Several people wearing the same uniform as myself and Alex sat at the tables in small groups.

            "There really isn't much to do if we aren't plugged into the future is there?" I said once we had sat down with our food.

            "Not much no" Alex responded before shovelling a fork full into his mouth.

            "So what do you do?"

            "Eat, sleep, train, plug in" While I had waited until I had finished what was in my mouth to speak Alex did not.

            "Do you mind?" I expressed my disgust at seeing the remains of his food swirling around in his mouth.

            "What?" He reloaded as he spoke.

            "I don't particularly enjoy seeing the dead animal walking around your trap" I explained.

            "I apologise for the trouble my eating habits causes you" His words were dripping with sarcasm but I decided to accept his apology no matter how fake.

            "Thank you"

            "As I was saying, the plug in is all that matters. Winning the war is all that we need to do"

            "So we mostly go in all day every day?"

            "Assuming you can last that long, you still haven't been in for the initial 30 minute trial yet"

            "About that, will that be happening again today?"

            "I doubt it, after what happened earlier you will have to wait until tomorrow. Besides the air craft has long gone and won't be coming down again today"

            "Don't you ever just walk around see what you can find down on the ground rather than up in the air? I mean we could go back in for the starter half an hour walk around, see what's happening down on the ground and then tomorrow we go in for longer and catch the aircraft and this time I promise I will hold on and make it up there" I was eager now to start. Learning that without being plugged in there wasn't much to do I was desperate to do something.

            "The aircraft takes us back to where they came from so it's the best place to get answers. There are people that do patrol the ground but they haven't found anything" Alex came back with.

            "And you have?"

            "What?"

            "Found something. Up in the air, in the enemy's camp, you have found something?" I challenged him. The memory chip didn't give me any information that something had been discovered that was of use to F.A.I.T.

            "Not much" Alex admitted.

            "Not much, exactly so why does it make a difference for half an hour where we go?" I pointed out.

            "I can't really argue with that"

            "So it's settled. After we eat we go back and plug in" A genuine smile spread across my face.

            "If A gives you the go ahead" Alex highlighted the slight dent in my idea but it didn't matter just yet.

            "Hey there she is the girl who fell" I looked up to see a board, tall, well stood guy: Charlie.

            "Leave it alone Charlie" Alex spoke up.

            "You got stuck with the drop out recruit" Charlie continued. And his audience laughed in response but it seemed to me like they were laughing more from fear than finding his comment genuinely funny.         

            "They would have recruited me if I wasn't good enough" I replied.

            "Maybe you just proved they made a mistake"

            "Well I wouldn't be the first" I directed it straight at him, looking him in the eyes as I spoke but then dropping my line of sight to the meal in front of me.

            "What did you say?"

            "I was implying that you were also a mistake" I cleared things up for him.

            "Harri just leave it" Alex barely spoke loud enough for me to hear him.

            "Why don't you take your partners advice, leave it alone, leave it all alone, leave it to those of us who can actually hold on to a wire" Charlie continued to wind me up but it looked like he was winding himself up more than me. I had gotten good at keeping calm and choosing my battles having grown up with three siblings. This wasn't a battle I should fight even though I wanted to. I wanted nothing more right now than to shut him up.

            "I will leave you alone because I don't want to hurt you but I will not be leaving this whole thing alone. We are all here for the same reason" I said.

            "I don't need you to back down to save me from getting hurt, sweetheart"

            "Please don't call me sweetheart" My dad was the only person who ever called me sweetheart and since he died I didn't let anybody call me that.

            "Why not sweetheart" Charlie emphasised the sweetheart this time and I knew I had exposed my weakness.

            "Don't, please"

            "What's the matter, sweetheart" He did it again. I stood up and sent my chair flying backwards. I stood close enough that I could feel his breath on my forehead. He was taller than me so I didn't stand too close to give him that advantage.  

            "Woah!" Charlie mocked with a large grin on his face and his hands held up in the air as though surrendering. I grabbed his left wrist with my right hand while lifting my knee up hard and fast as it came into contact with his groin. Then as he bent in half in an automatic reaction to the pain that came to him so fast he didn't see it coming, I grabbed the back of his head with my remaining hand and forced him face down into the table. I thrust his arm behind his back and he groaned. Alex had stood up in the commotion. I wasn't strong but my dad had taught me self defence so I knew how to put him in a grip.

            "Don't call me sweetheart again" I said through gritted teeth. I knew not to hold him for much longer because he was clearly stronger than me and I couldn't let him get himself out of this. I shoved his head harder into the table before letting him go. He shook himself and tugged at his top to sort himself out the second I let go.

            "Jesus Christ, what the hell is your problem?" He practically spat the words out.

            "You might want to go and sort yourself out, your hair is a little out of place" I said as I sat back down.

            "Come on guys let's leave the psycho to her lunch" That was the last thing he said before they walked away. I stuck my fork into the food and continued eating.

            "What the hell was that?" Alex exclaimed as he slid back into his seat.

            "You heard what he said"

            "Yeah but it didn't warrant you to do that! Why couldn't you have just stopped talking and shut up?"

            "Well you were doing enough shutting up for the both of us!" I threw my fork onto the plate. "I thought you were supposed to be my partner?"

            "When we are in the plug when we try and find a way to win the war, I'm not here to help you win your own war"

            "You're right, I'm sorry" I wasn't sorry for what I didn't to Charlie but I was sorry for upsetting Alex.

            "Eat up, then we will go and see A about a second plug in" Alex instructed me. We ate from that moment on in silence.

            It didn't take long to eat as there was no speech to interrupt each mouthful, and soon we were walking back to the plug in room.

            "How long are you not going to talk to me for?" I finally mustered up the courage to try and start a conversation.

            "I was just waiting for you to calm down because I didn't want you to swing for me too" Alex joked. A couldn't stop the smile that spread across my face. "Where did you learn moves like that?"

            "My dad taught me how to defend myself, one thing he taught all of us"

            "But you weren't even defending yourself, you went straight in with an attack" He laughed.

            "What he said just upset me a bit" I explained.

            "A bit! With that reaction I would say he upset you more than a bit" He chuckled.

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