Chapter 1

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I'm Mack. I'm fifteen, almost sixteen. I was born in the year 3042. It's now the year 3058.

The war is raging; parents dead, siblings stolen. Our city, Feldor, is fighting Zeldana; a civil war. The war began in 3048, originally only older teens and young adults were sent to fight. And then they were all killed. So the government started forcing adults without children to fight. And then they were killed, too. And then parents were sent to fight and everybody under sixteen was put into the Childcare Department, an agency set up to take in any children whose parents and siblings were stolen by the war. I've been locked in here since I was twelve, when my parents were forced into the war.

I met a boy in here. His name is Kyle. We've been dating for a little over five months now. He's the sweetest guy I've ever met in my life. He's just over six feet tall, towering over me as I only stand at about five feet. His baby blue eyes match mine, his hair a few shades lighter than my dark brown locks. Every inch of him is nothing but muscle.

Kind of ironic how I met the most wonderful boy in the most dreadful place.

I was at least fortunate enough to share a cell with my best friend since birth, Olivia. She's a few months older than me but a few inches shorter. Her light blonde hair goes almost all the way down her back. She has hazel eyes and a handful of freckles scattered across her face, her flawless smile making it even easier for all the boys to want her.

She's hopelessly in love with Danny, her boyfriend and Kyle's best friend. Danny is a total player. That boy would date anything with a pair of legs. I keep telling her to leave but she's completely blind to his constant flirting with other girls.

The only reason we all stay so close is because we all lost our parents in the first week of the war. We had group sessions with a grief counselor and then Olivia and Danny started dating soon after.


"Liv, what the hell?" I laugh as I notice her frantically digging through her drawer and flinging articles of clothing everywhere, including my face.

"Danny said he'd meet me here at one, I need to get ready," she whines.

"He'll be here at one, you've still got a good three hours to prep," I smile.

"I only have three hours?" She asks, her eyes wide. "I thought I had four!"

I laugh and take a seat on my makeshift bed, consisting only of a lumpy mattress and torn thin sheets, and take out my journal.

Less than two words in, the alarm sounds. I follow the rest of the inmates to the cafeteria, the only dungeon containing a screen large enough for everyone to see the news at once. I feel a hand wrap around mine and smile when I turn my head to see Kyle.

"What do you think it is?" I ask.

"A warpod," he laughs. "That's kinda what the sirens mean."

"I meant the report," I smile.

"Oh, that," he smirks. "Not a clue."

We wait for the reporter to finish her unnecessary greeting and begin the real news. I feel Kyle wrap his arm around me, the crowd pushing in tighter.

"The last warpod report came four days ago, showing more deaths and more hostages taken," she says.

"Why is she summarizing the last one?" I ask, growing impatient.

"Relax, babe," he whispers, beginning to rub my arm. "She'll get to it."

"And now for the new warpod update," she begins. "The war in Zeldana is now officially over. A ceasefire was called last night around eleven o'clock Zeldana time and an agreement is currently being reached. All hostages have been released. Zeldana lost approximately 1.2 million citizens while Feldor lost almost twice that."

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