Star had never felt more content a day in his life. Aside from one of his closest friends being up in the Golden Meadow and half the herd travelling across the Dark Waters, he wasn't the black foal anymore; he wasn't immortal, and he was relaxed. He was being led home by his best friend, with Brackentail on her right. The brown stallion suddenly tripped and fell to his knees. Morningleaf nickered and kept walking, Star at her flank. Brackentail dusted himself off, and caught up. Then he did something strange. He put his wing against Morningleaf's side and his others on Star's, then opened his wings, shoving Star away from her and sliding into the vaccant space. Star whinnied silently and he trembled. He thought Brackentail had mended his ways. Morningleaf hadn't seemed to notice he wasn't there anymore, and that's what hurt him the most. His best friend didn't notice he was gone. He stopped. "I'm going to go graze," he announced. His friends didn't notice because they had begun to whisper into each other's ears and kept walking. "Alone." No change. Walking. "Bye," he snorted sourly, looking pointedly at Brackentail. Morningleaf, his best friend since the day Silverlake took him in, didn't even look up. He watched the two friends, side by side, walk back to the herd. When they were out of earshot, he whinnied a stony whinny, reared, and took flight. He didn't feel content anymore. He felt angry, annoyed, and abandoned. He pinned his ears and flattened his neck as he raced towards a rich patch of grass, baring his teeth. He was angry. And he didn't know what to do. THE MONTHS FLEW BY, AND BEFORE ANYONE KNEW IT, A YEAR HAD PASSED. BUT, BURIED DEEP BENEATH THE ROCKS IN THE LAKE... Blackness. Inky darkness. Nothing. Nothing made sense. What was going on? Where am I? Why can't I breathe? Who am I? Why does everything feel so cold, and heavy, and flowing? "Son," a voice rasped. What? "Son, you have been gone too long. Star rules Anok now." A vision slowly formed in the blackness. It was a pegasus. Solid black with black feathers, and a black hide that glowed silver. "I am Nightwing," the pegasus said in a voice that made his skin tremble. "You were born dead, Shadowmoon. You have been gone too long. I buried you under the rocks so you could die peacefully. But now it is time to wake up." Light burst into Shadowmoon's eyes. He was awake! And buried under rocks. Frantically blowing bubbles, he burst the surface of the lake and dumped his limp body onto shore. He looked at himself in the disturbed reflection of the water. He was a yearling, but he didn't know anything. His body and wings were cramped and broken, but somehow, he had survived. Purhaps the blend of rotten flesh, salt, mud, and clay had preserved his body. He didn't know. He only knew that he had the starfire, whatever that was, and his name was Shadowmoon. He didn't know who his mother was, but his father was Nightwing. He looked at his broken wings. He was going to face this Star . When the time was right, he was going to challenge him. He just needed to learn how.