A/N: So I've had this story idea in my head for so freaking long. Like, no joke, I've had this story skeleton going on in my head since the second season of Kids Next Door. So yeah, real old. Anyway, I was revisiting it in my head and though why not try to write it out, maybe it'll be a good book idea in the future, and so I thought I'd try to get some feedback from it before I go off writing an entire book that could possibly be a crappy idea. So here we go!

The Waste Lands

The wind was strong, but its strength wasn't unpleasant. In fact, on such a hot day the cool wind was quite a relief for anyone venturing out away from the air conditioned cities. Though no one would normally leave the protection of the citadel, a strong impulse had pulled Selah out from the comfort of her city and into the Waste Lands. Selah had often wondered about the origin of the valley's name. The land stretched out from her home citadel, Ortus, in the south, to a neighboring Citadel, Effin, in the north, but the land was not lack luster in the least. The biodiversity, Selah had learned as a child, was immense in the Waste Lands. The animals and plants thrived in the valley above all others. Truly this land was not wasteful at all, almost like a paradise to anyone viewing it for the first time, but all around the known lands, across time, and in different languages, this valley has been called one thing; the Waste.

After six hours and twenty seven minutes of running, and five evenly interspersed water breaks, Selah was finally at her intended destination. She hadn't been to this spot since her mother had passed away seven years ago. Her mother, Hannah, would take her out of Ortus many times without anyone knowing and bring her up to a hill that overlooked both citadels from a distance. The half-way mark, her mother would call it. Every time they returned her grandfather would throw a fit, screaming about how foolish and dangerous it was to bring Selah so close to Effin, but Hannah never paid any attention to her father, always waving him off with a calming smile that would normally infuriate him even more.

The scenery from the hill top hadn't changed, and Selah could almost visualize her mother sitting at the peak of the hill along with a younger version of herself looking out to the horizon, excitement lighting up her face. Her mother would spend hours telling her stories about anything and everything. Usually about their ancestors, the first nobles of Ortus, or, more likely, her father. Stories about how her mother met her father, back when they were both very young and innocent, and how one day he'd come to live with them. That was always Selah's favorite story. How one day her father would be finished with his business in Effin and would journey to Ortus to locate his long, lost love and discover the existence of the daughter he never knew about.

It didn't take long for Selah to realize her mother's stories would never come true. She had come to terms with the fact that her father would never accept her as his daughter. It was no secret that he considered Selah his greatest mistake, and Selah in turn thought of her father a dark mark on humanity, but now things were changing. Her father, known as the Stratego of Effin, Armin Hendron, had summoned her to his home in Effin's capitol, Idolon, for an extended period of time in the hopes of forming a foundation of peace which has been absent in all the centuries of existence . At least, that's what the letter Armin sent Selah had said.

Selah didn't want to go to Effin, she really didn't. The fortress came to represent everything that she thought was wrong in the world. Ortus's long and bloody history with Effin wasn't going to be erased in two months time no matter how friendly and polite both parties acted. There was just too much carnage for either side to forgive the other. Selah must go, though. Someone must take the first step –the first of thousands—towards peace; she just wished it was someone else taking that step.

The run out to the hill was meant to help clear her mind, but Selah felt just as conflicted as she did before the run out into the Waste Lands. Perhaps what she really wanted was to go back to a time when her life was less stressful, before her mother died, before she learned the truth about her father, and before the title of Lady Jaguara was forced upon her, entitling her as the acting noble of Black City, with all its political pressures to weigh her down. Yes, a less stressful time was what she was searching for, and Selah knew she would not get it, not now at least.

The sound of grass being crushed behind her made Selah stiffen for a moment, turning around she saw that it was just a boy, a tall boy, probably around her age, a little older, with windblown, short red hair and piercing grey eyes. Selah watched as the boy froze in his tracks when she turned around to face him, not having expected her to hear him. Looking him over with more scrutiny, she noticed his jacket sleeve embroidered with Effin's military emblem upon it. Selah looked into his eyes, waiting to see what his first move would be and wondered what he was also doing in the Waste, so far from the safety of his own citadel.

A/N: Hello, I hope you enjoyed this first chapter. If you have any questions so far just send me a PM and I'll get back to you with an answer. Also, I'm planning for the next chapter to have a lot more dialogue, be much longer, and probably not follow this chapter chronologically. Most likely it will be a little farther down the time line, but I will flashback to what goes down on the hill top. So yes, please tell me what you thought!