Chasing Tomorrow ~ Original Group Story

It is the year 3000. A Cold War broke out in the United States, and the world is far from peaceful. But one special group of fighters are destined to save everyone. Immaculate training. Deadliest weapons. Super-high technology. Envied by their teammates, feared by their enemies, name known all around the world. They are the Trackers, a select elite squad of highly-trained fighters whose mission is to find the enemy's top secret files, and end the war for tomorrow.

Chapter 2

Harmony Powers ~ Training Day

As Henry marched us briskly in a perfect formation to the Training Hall, my thoughts quickly wandered. I realized this would be our first real training day. I mean, of course we train, but never for a real mission. I hope we start with hand-to-hand combat. I love it. Especially when I get to fight someone good, like Kevin, or someone I have a grudge against, like Kaitlin or Frank. The few times we've done it, I usually get partnered with Aryan. It works for me, because she pushes me to become better.

Speaking of Aryan, I turned behind me to look for her. I stood on my tiptoes to get a better look, trying to catch a glimpse of her honey-blonde hair. Only to discover that both her and Kevin were missing. It wasn't like her not to follow orders.

"Henry, where is Aryan?" I asked, marching past Nadia to his side.

"That is Lieutenant Castellan to you, Soldier Powers." I could feel the smirk radiating off of him. I could sense the sweet drip of sarcasm as it hung in the air, I use it all too much to not recognize it. Something about Henry just rubs me the wrong way. The way he marches around like he knows everything? The smug look he gets when he gets to scold me for something? The fact that he seems to like me less than everyone on the team?

"You let Aryan call you Henry." I quickly retorted. At this he smiled, actually turning to face me.

"Yes, and I actually like Aryan." I scowled as he stopped and turned to face the team. What I wouldn't give to put him in his place. I took a spot between Makani and Elcalytia, two people around here I can stand. Not that I don't give everyone props for being the best fighters, killers, and geniuses, in the world. We just don't get along.

Sometimes I feel like nobody on the team likes me. I could care less, but I still wonder why. I guess I'm not exactly friendliest person, but I can be- I used to be. Before the accident, before I got this scar, before I joined the Trackers. Before everyone I loved died. People act like I am evil, but all I want is to win this war. I want to taste freedom. Killing, manipulation, and training can get me there. Friendship and love will not.

I know pain better than anyone on this team. Sure, we have all lost someone we love, that's war. But nobody else lost everything. Everyone. I know any of us can die at any moment. If it is me, I don't want anyone left to grieve my death. So I distance myself from them.

Nadia is probably the person I talk to least, she has enough sense to stay out of my way. Elcalytia and I were bound together by a mutual respect, and mutual role model in Aryan, I like her, and I see her as one of the most talented on the team. Ciara gets on my last nerves, she does not know any limits, but I don't have an actual problem with her, annoying as she may be. Next, Frank hates me. I guess we just clash, though it is always him who always starts something, I don’t go picking fights with him. Kaitlin and I can't stand to be around each other for more than five minutes, or I want to rip her throat out. Mom used to say we all have that one person we don't get along with- mine is Kaitlin, I am Frank’s.

Kevin is cool. We have a lot in common, we really get each other. The only issue is he has a thing for Kaitlin, which I will never understand. Makani is like the little sister I never wanted. Although I would never tell her, or anyone, I would do anything to protect her. I see a real fighter in that girl.

Last but not least, Aryan is without a doubt my best friend on the team. She understands me more than anyone else. She doesn't look at me and my scar with pity. She never cuts me slack because I am half-blind, she treats me like everyone else. Above all, she has never mentioned my family, she's smart enough to know I don't want to talk about it...

I had slept over at my best friend Skye's house, back when I had friends. I called Mom to come pick me up, only to have nobody answer...

I push the memory down. That is not what I need to be thinking about. This is our first real day of training, and I plan on making every minute count, especially if Henry stays the entire time. I have a burning desire to show him I could beat anyone here, in anything.

"Alright everyone, today we will be training in hand-to-hand combat," Yes! "I will put you in partners, and watch you to evaluate how far along you are, and what I need you to work on." He reached into the pocket of his uniform and pulled out a small, folded piece of paper. "When I call out your name, join your partner, and claim a station. Aryan, wait here, you will work with me. Kevin and Frank, Ciara and Nadia, Kaitlin and Makani, Harmony and Elcalytia." I joined Elcalytia and we entered Station 5, the farthest one from the opening.

We had to retrieve and clothes ourselves in an, in my opinion, overdramatic amount of safety gear. Though, I guess it does get a bit intense. Stretchy pants, arm braces, mouth guards, and helmets. I finished before Elcalytia, and observed everyone else while I waited, as she was one of the last to finish.
Kevin and Frank were already deep in combat, I watched as Kevin delivered a sharp uppercut to Frank's jaw that would surely leave a bruise. It was his fault, he had his hands far to low to block anything. I stifle a laugh, knowing Aryan would fuss if she knew I laughed at one of my teammates mistakes.

I looked over at Henry and Aryan's station, to see them huddled in the corner, whispering. Aryan looked disturbed about something Henry was telling her. I decided to move closer and try to catch a snippet of their conversation, but Elcalytia joined me on the mat before I could make a move.

I wished Elle good luck and we circled each other on the mat. She was the first to move, throwing a punch to my right shoulder, it was weak, and I easily deflected it, leaving her unguarded for a split second. I used this moment's opportunity to aim my fist at her chest, and she stumbled. Though, being the amazing fighter she was, she did not fall. Instead, she caught her balance and immediately went for a roundhouse kick, straight to my face.

I ducked too late, and her toes caught my nose with a sickening crunch. I felt blood, but a little nosebleed wouldn’t stop me. While she was recovering from the pull of the kick, I punched her twice, on the left shoulder, to knock her over, and to the right side of her face. She fell, and I would rather end the fight than kick one of my own teammates when their down. Though, if it were not Elcalytia on the mat, I may have reconsidered.

I helped Elcalytia up, and told her good job, even though she seemed a little off her game today, she can usually beat me, or at least come close. But I knew that if she didn’t get some idea that she performed well, she would beat herself up about losing for the rest of the day, it’s just her competitive spirit. Though the fight was short, I ended up with a busted nose, and she with some nasty bruising to her shoulder and chest.

"I'll get you next time, Powers. Just you wait." She threatened, though she said it with a smile. As I made my way to get an ice pack, I was aware of someone watching me. I turned around slowly. Frank.

"What happened to your nose, Powers? Someone get tired of you sticking it everywhere?"

"What happened to your mouth, Willows? Someone get tired of you running it all the time?"

The remark elicited a small scowl, though he tried to brush it off. "At least I put up a fight, I bet Elcalytia kicked your..."

"She won Frank. Give it a rest." Elcalytia interrupted. I like Elcalytia, but I can fight my own battles. Especially with Frank, who now looked upset.

"Bet I could beat you, too. Unless you're scared." He challenged.

"If we fought, I'd blind your other eye. Give you a matching scar. Maybe you could get a boyfriend if your scars were symmetrical."

I still remember it like it was yesterday. The knife blade a few feet from where I laid on the floor. My face bleeding uncontrollably, my vision blurry. The love of my life’s body beside me. His cold hand touching mine…

Before I knew what happened, I was aware of a warm stream of blood gushing down my hand. Frank's blood. His nose was ten times worse than mine. It was one of those hits that makes you want to die, or at least, I assumed it was by the way he hit the floor. He fell hard, and sprawled across the mat.

I didn’t stop there, I fell down with him. I straddled his chest and hit him repeatedly in the face. “Don’t. Ever. Make. Fun. Of. My. Scar.” I know he was unconscious, but I wanted him to wake up and feel the punches. Feel the pain. I was numb to anything but my fist and his face, connecting again and again.
After an eternity of punches and blood and numbness, somebody pulled me off. I guess Elcalytia had ran for help. I thrashed, wanting to get back to hitting him. To take out all my anger on the person who dared to taunt me about the one piece of evidence of the night my life was ruined. But whoever held me was strong. I saw Aryan, Kevin and Elcalytia retrieve Frank’s body, as they carried him to the infirmary, his mangled face dripped blood.

Kevin comes back and ushers Ciara, Nadia, Makani, and Kaitlin, out the door. Probably back to the bunks, where we will get a thorough scolding. I stare at them, willing them to look at me. Kevin meets my eyes, and we exchange silent understanding. Makani smiles at me, but I don’t have the energy to return it.
Someone comes in and begins scrubbing blood from the floor. Only now do I realize, I am now longer being restrained. I’m not sure where to go though, so instead I sit and stare at my hands. Covered in old scars and fresh blood, starting to dry. What have I done, what if Frank gets a scar too? Am I no better than them, the ones who did this to me?

“Wipe those tears way, Soldier Powers.” I hadn’t noticed I was crying. I looked up into the face of Henry. I guess he had been the one to drag me off of Frank’s limp body. I wipe my eyes and wait for him to yell at me. Or scold me. Or cut me from the team. Anything but give me that awful condescending smile.

But all he says, before taking me down the hallway, is “Hope you can fight like that every time.” And we are on our way.

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