Darren Shan sits alone in a dark room. All around him his world has gone to hell. He sits with his friends and newfound family. Debbie, Harkat, Vancha, Annie, and Darius. They all mean so much to him. As he thinks, he recalls all the faces that should be here, that would be here had it not been for this stupid war. For stupid Steve Leonard and his stupid vampaneze. For Desmond Tiny.

Mr. Crepsley, his red cape blowing out behind him; Gavner, his heavy snoring ringing in Darren's ears; Arra Sails, her winking at him as she died; Kurda Smahlt, the blonde vampire traitor who had helped Darren survive, and been his friend; Shancus Von, the innocent snake boy slaughtered by Steve; Mr. Tall, the circus master that had helped Darren through so much; Sam Grest, the boy who had wanted to join the circus. There deaths hung heavy on his heart and mind.

Maybe if he had made some different decisions some of there deaths could have been avoided. If he had fought Steve instead of Mr. Crepsley, if he had effectively scared Sam Grest off from the circus, if he had not been so stupid as to trust Steve to let Shancus go. So many if's.

But there was nothing he could do about it now. Actually, the only thing he could do was win this war. And he would win. He will never let Steve Leonard take over the world. He'll kill that devil's spawn, his former best friend. But stronger worry, pain and grief rack Darren's body at that thought.

What has this done to him? Seconds before he died Mr. Crepsley told him not to be revenge driven, and live his life in hate, but isn't that exactly what he's doing? And, if he kills Steve he will have no choice but to become Lord Of the Shadows. A murderer. No better than Steve.

Darren nows that he is going to lose. This is a fight he cannot win, not the fight against the vampaneze, no, the fight against himself. And with that thought, Darren cries himself into a restless sleep.