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'


11. Chapter Ten

The rest of my first week consisted of plug ins and training. We found nothing that could help us in the future and the repetitiveness of each plug in was something I hadn't predicted and it almost bored me. We were the group, the only people that knew the truth and while everyone else was living the same day over and over I assumed that, that would not be the case for us, yet it was. Each plug in I joined Alex and the others in the aircraft and we wondered around the DREAD factory and found nothing. I was determined to find something, anything, that may indicate a weakness of the DREADs and that's what drove me. Each inspection led to nothing and left me feeling defeated and slightly hopeless. 

            It was the training that changed and kept me entertained. K worked with what I knew, what my dad had taught me, when it came to one to one combat and defence. It had been a while since I had done anything so I found myself going to the training room in my spare time as well. 

            At the end of the week the fun began. It was announced to me that there was a new recruit initiation. Invented by previous recruits it was kept off the memory chips to give the newbies a surprise. 

            "Come on then newbies! Rise and shine it's time for your initiation" Instead of the gradual stirring to wake up I found myself suddenly alert. Miagh was standing in the middle of the room. It was her who had shouted at us all. 

            "Initiation?" I grunted as sleep still clung to me. 

            "End of your first week so tonight is your initiation" Miagh continued. 

            "Tonight?" I questioned. "It's 12 in the morning" I justified my questioning. 

            "That's the whole point" Miagh gave me now clues as to what was about to happen. 

            "Just get dressed" Alex encouraged. 

            "But what am I getting dressed for?" I wanted to know. It was the first time things were being kept from me and it irritated me. The comfort of the memory chip had almost been taken away. 

            "It's worth it" Was all Alex said. 

            "Yes but what is worth it?" I continued pestering. 

            "Get out of bed and you will find out" He teased.

            Curiosity got the better of me and I did as instructed. It didn't take long to throw the uniform on and tie back my hair. All the recruits not just the three newest were dressed and filing down the corridors. Then the location of the mystery was revealed. We ended up in the plug in room. 

            "The initiation is in the future?" When I realised the truth it took me by surprise. We had already been plugged in and not just once so the idea of a plug in being an initiation puzzled me. 

            "If you can't handled it you can always go back to bed" Charlie taunted me. His words more encouraging then he meant them to be. 

            "Wouldn't even dream of giving you the pleasure" I said without even turning to look at him as I spoke. 

            "Well I'm glad we are all up for it so shall we get started" Miagh jumped in to defuse any tension. 

            "Everything is set up for you" A announced. 

            "Then let it begin" Alex clapped his hands together then made the first steps towards the beds. The rest of us followed and A plugged us in one by one. 

            When I appeared I was stood next to Alex with Miagh and Loren already there as were almost every other F.A.I.T recruit. It was only seconds after I appeared that Charlie and his partner Dan turned up to join the party. 

            "So what do we do now?" I was still confused. 

            "We run the night" Miagh said. 

            "We what?"

            "This is your chance to have some fun" Miagh said. 

            "We do whatever we want. Not everybody it able to visit the future and not die" Alex added. 

            "So we run around doing what we like because we can?" The idea made a smile spread across my face. 

            "Ok listen up newbies!" I turned to attention, Henry was speaking. "Welcome to the new recruit initiation" He said it in such a way to encourage the roar of applause that followed. 

            "Earlier a flag was hidden somewhere and in groups of four there will be a race to reach that flag. The winning team is the team who doesn't just find the flag but gets the flag" He explained the rules. 

            "Hey! Charlie we are all supposed to start together!" Alex suddenly started to yell. We had all been too busy talking to notice that four of our group had already began running off. 

            "If you guys are going to stand here chatting all night, wasting time then we will be getting head start" Charlie shouted back. 

            "Charlie you know that's not how it works" Henry began joining in with the shouting. 

            "You snooze you lose" He chuckled. 

            "In that case, let the game begin!" Henry's world were like the starting gun of the one hundred metre race. Recruits fled in all directions. 

            Left standing was myself, Alex, Miagh and Loren. We had accidentally become a group but it was one I was more than happy with. 

            "It will be easier to see where it is from the highest point" I was getting the idea. 

            "Exactly, so we better get climbing" Alex said and he took off. I followed him while Miagh and Loren also followed. 

            "How are we supposed to start climbing up the side of buildings?" Loren called from behind. 

            "We pick the easiest one" Alex said it like it was as simple as tying your shoes. 

            "Doesn't mean it is going to be easy" I pointed out. 

            "You won't know until you try" Was his response. 

            We kept running as for the first time since I had joined F.A.I.T time was against us. We were battling against each other not working with each other, small teams or four battling against everyone. As I felt the mild warmth of the night air brush past my face as I ran through it, I knew I was having fun. A sense of freedom in playing an extreme version of a childhood game. The idea that it was merely a new recruit initiation and not a weekly occurrence made me want to make the most of it. It also meant it was my first time and I wanted to prove myself. 

            "So we get as high as possible, spot the flag, find the flag, go out and get the flag" I said. 

            "Correct" Alex confirmed. 

            "So which building do we start with?" I wondered. 

            "This one" Miagh said was we came to a stop. I almost ploughed into her as I didn't realise we were stopping. I looked up at the building now in front of me. 

            "The town hall! Are you serious?" The extravagant building with its balconies and ledges and the gaps in between each brick made it appear easier to climb but it was several stories high. 

            "One of the highest buildings yet easy to climb" Miagh said.

            "Great advantage point and a good place to start" Alex agreed.

            "Then let's go" Excitement surged through me as I got close to the wall that was the face of the building.  As I wedged my fingers into a gap between two large bricks I pressed my body against the wall. I could feel the coolness of the bricks on my skin even through my clothes. They had been smoothed and glossed to present a well finished face to the building but where I placed my fingertips was still a little rough. The small beads of stone that dug into the skin. It was harder to get a grip with my feet with the thick boots on and on my first step up I slipped back down. It became apparent to me that I was going to have to reply mainly on my hands and arm stretch. 

            The gapped bricks didn't go all the way up, only to the first story but where it finished there was a ledge. It was big enough to stand on if I kept myself close to the wall. Grabbing hold of the ledge I then managed to pull myself up. It was small and a tight squeeze to climb onto it. I certainly didn't look very graceful doing so. All that was in mind was getting to the top as fast as possible. I wanted to get the flag first. 

            The wind hadn't bothered me, in fact I hadn't really noticed it until now. Only now on the ledge, just wide enough for my feet, one story above the ground, did it send adrenaline pumping round my body. My heart was beating fast in my chest as I made the decision to glance down. 

            "I wouldn't do that if I were you" Alex warned as he joined me on the small platform. 

            "I have fallen from greater heights" I laughed. It was going to be the only way I was going to get through the event of the first plug in, by joking about it like everybody else. 

            "If you wake up we have to wait for you to plug back in so if you don't mind please don't fall off and die" Alex said. 

            "I'll try my best" I replied. 

            "Quit chatting and keeping climbing" Miagh said as she stood with us only for a few seconds before she continued to climb. Loren was only a few steps behind. 

            I had to shuffled along to get to an easier bit to continue climbing and I found myself in front of a window. No one was inside, not that it would have mattered. I did take a look inside as I passed. The extravagant decoration on the curved ceiling was a masterpiece. There were pillars that stretched from floor to ceiling placed evenly across the walls opposite each other, engraved at the top. A chandelier like I had never seen before hung from the middle of the ceiling. 

            "Stop being noisy and start climbing" Alex called down. 

            "I just thought I would give you a head start" I joked but then I continued up. 

            It became more difficult to climb the rest of wall and I took a few scraps and scratches but made it to the top. I clung to the overhanging ledge of the rooftop and tried to pull myself up. My legs swung about desperately trying to land on the concrete to help push myself up. Several failed attempts where my toes only brushed passed the wall left me hanging from the top of the town hall. If it wasn't for Alex, who had already made, pulling me up I would have either been hanging for ages or I would have fallen to the ground. 

            "I'm getting tired of saving you, Harri" 

            "Well I have to make you feel important" I couldn't admit I had been struggling although it was obvious I had been. 

            The view from the top was incredible. The lights that were still on were like stars on the sky, I never thought the view of a street was look so beautiful. A man made view that ordinarily looked so ugly. But the concrete jungle was camouflaged in the dark that fell. The wind was more even more than it had been. 

            "So how are we supposed to spot a flag in the dark?" I questioned. 

            "The flag lights up so it will be easy to spot" Miagh explained. 

            "Speaking of which, lets each take a corner and search for it" Alex suggested. 

            I took what corner remained and scanned the view. There appeared to be nothing out of the ordinary. 

            "Anyone see anything?" Alex asked us all. 

            "Over there!" Miagh called. 

            Alex, Loren and myself scampered over to the corner Miagh was stood in. She pointed out into the darkness and it took me a few seconds to find what it was she was pointing at. She was pointing towards a fun fair that was going on in the distance. During the summer there were special late nights at the fair and as I turned out today was one of them. 

            "We are supposed to be looking for the flag not visiting the fun fair for the night" Alex said. 

            "Exactly and I think the flag is at the fair" Miagh explained. 

            "How can you tell from here?" I asked. 

            "The Ferris wheel only has red and yellow lights on but right there is spot of blue" Miagh pointed out. 

            "Oh yeah, I see it" Loren found it. 

            "How on earth did you spot that? I can't even see it now that you have pointed it out" I said still searching for the spec of green amongst the spectacle of colour. 

            "I know what I'm looking for" Miagh told me her advantage. 

            "Are you sure that's it?" I questioned. 

            "Certain" Miagh assured me. 

            "So how do we get there?" Loren asked. 

            "We jump" Alex said as He began backing up. 

            "What!" Loren couldn't believe what she had just heard. 

            Alex continued taking large steps backwards and I followed suit. We got as much distance between us and the end of the building as possible so that we were at the opposite end. 

            "Ready?" He turned to me and asked. 

            "Ready" I replied. 

            We both took off, running faster and faster with each step. The wind whipped the stray hairs against my face as I ran. The loose clothes flapped about, tapping my skin. Each pounding footstep rattled my body as my foot came into contact with the ground hard. Every lunge forward took me closer to the opposite edge that was fast approaching. I watched as the ground ahead of me disappeared more and more, leaving it behind me. Only a few paces left. The end was approaching fast. Soon I would have to jump. My foot hit the edge and I dived forward. The gap wasn't massive, between the two buildings, it would have been a jump made easily if I were on the comfort of the ground but with the gap being several metres up it suddenly seemed a lot bigger and far less achievable. 

            I felt a strange sense of freedom as I felt nothing but air around me. Suddenly there was no security as I flew through the air. For those few seconds the jump carried me I forgot about the void of nothing that surrounded me and instead of fearing it I ignored it. The other building was fast approaching and the thought of landing evaporated all other thoughts. I was again filled with panic. I was going to make it but now I had to suss out a way to land safely. Deciding on attempting a land and role turned into more of an accidental falling over that resembled some sort of safe landing. 

            My feet landing only for seconds before I launched forward half accidentally with the forward force jumping had given me and half with intention. The hard concrete of the roof slapped me on the back as I rolled about trying to stop. When I stood the air had been knocked out of me and I was panting for air. As I turned I saw Miagh and Loren follow and land on the new rooftop. 

            "We made it" Loren seemed rather surprised of our success. 

            "We haven't made it yet, we still have to get that flag" Miagh said. 

            "Is it not going to be easier getting back down on the ground and running on the ground?" I suggested as I had walked over to the edge and spotted that the next building didn't have a flat root but slanted roof of a house. There was a ledge surrounding the roof almost like a safety net but I didn't like the chances of making it. 

            "Yes but that building has a fire escape so either way we are going to have to jump to that building" Alex came up beside me and saw why I had raised concern about the next jump. 

            "Then may I suggest you get on with it" Miagh had begun running. I watched as she leapt from this building and aimed for the next. She had timed and aimed it almost perfectly as she slipped only slightly down the roof to land on the ledge. 

"Come on" She turned her head to beckon us over. 

            A surprisingly confident Loren was next to jump. Her landing was a perfect but Miagh was already over there to help her stay on the roof. Alex and I began walking backwards like we had done before and repeated the same running and jumping action. There was no landing plan that could help me. My best bet was to launch myself at the roof and cling on for dear life. 

            As I jumped forward I felt the rough tiles beneath my hands but I couldn't grab on. They slipped away as I fell down the roof. Desperately I tried to grip a number of tiles but each one slipped out of my grasp. The ledge could catch me when I reached it. My feet would find rest on it and I would be ok. That didn't happen. When my feet came into contact with the ledge it wasn't for long. I lost my footing as my arrival had caused me to be unsteady in landing. The heel of the one foot that had landed was hanging on the edge, my toes only momentarily in place before they slipped off. I was going to fall, I was going to fail. 

            Frantically I reached out for the ledge with my hands hoping I could save myself, hoping I would be able to stop this escalating into another story about how I didn't make it. My hands found the end but the force of my falling left me hanging on with my fingers. At least I had stopped myself from plummeting to my death. Again. 

            "Need a hand?" Alex called. 

            "I've got it" I was determined to help myself. The wall wasn't far away and I managed to kick off of it and push myself up. I had to turn and sit on the ledge to get myself on it safely. 

            "That was close" I breathed as I stayed sitting. 

            "Better get a move on" Miagh said as she began climbing down the fire escape. We all followed but just as I began climbing down I heard the rattling of a train passing on the tracks nearby. From where I was I could see it approaching and it gave me an idea. 

            "How long would you say it would take to get from here to the fair?" I asked down. 

            "15 minutes is we run" Alex replied with his guess. 

            "I have another idea" 

            "Care to share?" Miagh said as I touched down on the ground one again. 

            "Follow me" With the train fast approaching we would have to be quick and I wasn't going to waste time telling them my idea. 

            "Can't you just tell us in case it's a stupid idea?" Alex asked but he was following me, as were Miagh and Loren. 

            "Of course it's a stupid idea" I simply replied. 

            "Oh well that puts my mind at rest" Alex said sarcastically. 

            As we approached the train station I saw the train was just pulling off. We had merely seconds to get on it and we weren't going to walk through the doors like I had thought we might. I began running once again, we had been doing a lot of running tonight. A lot of running and jumping and now we were about to do some more. The end of the train was getting closer as I ran for it as fast as I could. I was almost there. I was nearly next to the small floor that hung out at the back of the train. Next to it I then made the jump. The train wasn't going too fast so I made it more easily than I thought. When I looked back I was pleased to see the three of them following me. Alex was close behind so I pressed up against the train to allow him join me. The train rattled and my body shook about. The other sounds around me dulled by the loud sound of the train on the tracks. 

            "You were right, it was defiantly a stupid idea" Alex said when he made it on board. 

            We had to shuffle up to the very edge of the platform to allow Miagh and Loren to join us. I was clinging on to anything I could get hold of. My knuckles turning white as I held on as tight as I could so that I didn't fall off. Loren was next on bored and Miagh was behind. She had allowed Loren to go first. The train was picking up speed and it seemed Miagh wasn't going to make it. 

            "Come on Miagh!" Alex called. 

            "I'm running as fast as I can" She shouted back. 

            "Well just go faster" He shouted back. 

            "Get ready to catch me" Miagh said. 

            Alex moved around Loren to the side Miagh would be jumping from, ready to catch her. I was worried that she wasn't going to make it. She was just out the way of the platform and the train was gaining speed with every second. 

            "Miagh!" I shouted. "You've got to jump now!" She was going to lose the train if she kept running and didn't jump now. Several more seconds ticked by as Miagh wasted time she didn't have. 

            "Miagh it's got to be now!" I shouted again over the top of the train. 

            "Come on!" Alex joined in. 

            Miagh looked like she was pushing just a little harder before she made the decision to jump. She finally did it, she left the ground and headed for the train. Alex held out his hand to grab her. One foot landed safety but thankfully Alex took told of her hand and pulled her on board. 

            "That was a crazy idea" Miagh said when steady. 

            "Tell us why that is a better idea to staying on the ground" Alex insisted now we were all together and staying still. 

            "It's quicker" I said. 

            "Far more dangerous though" Loren said. 

            "You say dangerous I say fun" I replied. 

            It was a tight squeeze with all four of us so I tried the door that was at the back on the train. As I popped my head around the corner I saw that no one was in the carriage but instead crates and boxes so I continued to venture inside. We all sat down on the boxes and awaited for our stop to arrive. Of course our stop was not an official stop. We would have to jump off the train. 

            "This does go in the right direction doesn't it?" Alex was joking. 

            "Of course" I assured anyway. 

            "Does this train stop near where we want to get off?" Loren asked. 

            "I don't think so" I said. 

            "So you want us to jump off a train that is moving over 60 miles an hour?" Miagh questioned. 

            "Yes" I had to admit. 

            "This really is a stupid idea" Alex repeated. 

            "It's faster" I defended. 

            "But could be at the expense of a forced wake up" Miagh said. 

            "Then jump off carefully" I said. 

            "Easier said than done" Loren spoke. 

            We spent of the rest of the journey in silence watching carefully as the world went passed the window. We had to keep a watch on where we were so we could get off at the right spot. 

            "Are you ready to jump?" I asked as I started to get up and make my way to the door. 

            The second the door was open the wind hit me instantly and it got stronger when I stepped outside. Wind created from the speed of the train told me how fast we were moving and the idea of jumping off terrified me. However with it being my idea I couldn't chicken out and it was only right that I went first. Not wanting to leave the train before I commanded myself to jump, I clung onto the side of the train as I crept forward. The wind caught my hair and sent it flying while my uniform flapped about. 

            "Show us how it's done then Harri" Alex spoke loudly over the sound of the wind and the train. "Don't screw it up" 

             "Thank you for the words of encouragement" I shot back without even turning to look at him. 

            I braced myself for the jump, the ground whizzing by. But then the ground started to slow down only gradually but I noticed it. 

            "The train is slowing" I turned to Alex and said. 

            "Do you think it's going to stop?" Alex asked. 

            "Even if it doesn't there is a higher percentage of us making it across unharmed" I said. The floor became less of a blur. 

            "I hate to rush you but there is a tunnel coming up" Miagh spoke up. As I peered round the train I saw the tunnel. 

            "It's now or never" Alex shouted. 

            I took a deep breath and I launched forward. I came crashing into the ground more forceful than before with the speed of the train forcing me in one direction. Pain as what skin was bare scraped against loose stones, as they dug into my skin. The grass grazing across my face. When I finally came to a stop and stopped rolling about on the floor, I saw three other bodies land on the ground besides me. Lying for several seconds to catch my breath I could see the stars twinkling like lights on a Christmas tree. 

            "No time to lie around Ford, we want to win this thing" Alex was towering over me holding out his hand. I took it gratefully and he pulled me to my feet. 

            "You're nuts" Miagh pointed at me as she walked passed. 

            "I saved us time" I justified. 

            We continued running yet again but we didn't have to run as far as we would if we hadn't got the train. The music of the fun fair was clear and much louder now we were closer. The bright lights lit up the night sky and the sound of laughter and playful screams of fun filled the air. 

            "So we wait for the flag to end up at the bottom as the wheel turns" Alex said as we stood under the Ferris wheel. 

            "You are making this easy for us! Are you determined to lose this thing?" Charlie was on the other side of the wheel shouting at us as he dashed towards it. 

            "Change of plan" I said to Alex as I too begun running. As much as I wanted to win I would have been able to take anyone winning except from Charlie. 

            "It appears we have ourselves a three way race" Henry was on the same side as Charlie and now there was three of us.

            As one of the pods came around I took hold of it and let it take me round the ride. I climbed to the metal framing that connected the pod to the centre and began climbing it. It wasn't the easiest thing to climb and the fact that the ride was turning while I was trying to climb it only made things harder. While I had started climbing up gradually I was climbing across towards the middle. The turning was slow but by I got to the top I was almost horizontal. Now I had to get to the frame with the flag at the end and climb that. All the while the ride continued to turn. Charlie had taken a different approach and had gone from pod to pod, climbing up the outside. Henry mirroring me. I was in the middle and the race was on. Although I had chosen the side the flag was closest to Charlie and Henry were on the side where the flag was turning towards so while they were going to it, it was going to them. 

            The wind was great at this height and the metal was creaking every now and then as I put my weight on it. I didn't look around but that wasn't because I was scared but because I knew if I looked at anything other than my goal I would lose concentration and slow down. 

            Changing from the first frame to the one with the flag at the end was terrifying. I was given nothing more than a thin metal pole to stand on while I attempted to pull myself onto the next one. I made it and then it was just a race to the top. Climbing as fast as I could trying to ignore the flutter in my stomach when my foot slipped. My heart skipped a beat as I thought in that moment it was game over. 

            "Don't let go again Harri" Charlie tried to put me off but I simply ignored him. I was focused and I couldn't be bothered to come up with an insult or a witty comment I could throw back at him. 

            Grabbing each new pole that took me closer to the flag, the coolness of each fresh metal pole quickly evaporated by my clammy hands. Now I was climbing vertically again as I neared the top. The flag was almost in touching distance but it was as close to me as it was to Henry, who had knocked Charlie down a few pegs. He was on the carriage next to the one which we were aiming for. All he had to do when he was on the top on if was jump to the next and he would have the flag and would be the winner. I couldn't let that happen. 

            Looking up at the flag I could see him standing, readily himself to jump. It was his, I had lost. So I thought. The ride stopped with a sudden lurch which cause me to losing my footing a little. I hadn't expected it but neither had Charlie who fell completely after being knocked by Henry. Henry had no grip on anything. He wobbled about trying to save himself and regain the balance the sudden stopping had caused him to lose. Henry slipped of the edge, unsuccessful in steadying himself. Although he managed to cling onto the bars of the pod he had lost time and given me the advantage. Continuing to climbing while Henry was struggling to lift himself back up, I was now at the pod. I clambered up the side and reached for the flag. Holding it victoriously in my hand I waved it about as I cheered letting my team members know it was me who had grabbed it, that it was us who had won. 

            "Better luck next time" I turned to Henry and flashed him a grin. 

            "Beginners luck" He scoffed. 

            I allowed the ride to take me back down to the ground, once it had started up again, where I was greeted with congratulations from the other teams who had made it just a little too late and hugs from my own team. 

            "You're welcome by the way" Alex said. 

            "For what?" I asked confused. 

            "For the assistance" He looked up at the Ferris wheel. 

            "You stopped the ride so they would fall" I realised. 

            "Well I wouldn't say that, I just stop the ride so it would be easier for you to climb and if Henry happened to fall then that was bonus" He laughed. 

            "We make a good team" I smiled. 

            "A great partnership" He agreed. 

            Everyone awaited the wake up. Some took the time to practice climbing, some sat and talked while others played pranks by moving things but everyone was having fun and enjoying themselves. 

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