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for a moment, doubting Sinclair's claim. 'Even if they can best you in hand-to-hand,' said Sinclair turning, as though reading Vance's mind, 'your skills are valuable, but they alone will not qualify you to be a Ranger. I hope before long you will develop the rest of the skills you'll need to succeed.'

'And what might they be?' asked Vance, unsure of what Sinclair was getting at.

'You'll find out soon enough.' He walked back to his seat. Again, a silence filled the room, this time somewhat uncomfortably, for Vance at least. 'Is there anything you need while you're here? I've been trying to address human dietary requirements, but the Minbari tend to be a little slow in acquiescing to any demands they don't classify as crucial.'

'No, sir. Although the sleeping arrangements are going to be a little tough to get used to.'

'Now that I understand,' said Sinclair. 'Unfortunately all the trainees have to be treated the same in this regard. I have already broken Anla'shok tradition by having the audacity to be human. If I tried to cast aside any more of their customs, I'd have more trouble than I could handle.'

He laughed, and so did Vance, for the first time since he'd left EarthForce. In the cloistered confines of the Min-bari building, it felt odd. Vance liked the sound and the feeling.

'Is there anything else?' asked Sinclair

'No, sir. I think that covers it.'

'Good. If there's anything you need, you know where I am.' Sinclair stood and offered his hand. Vance stood and shook it, feeling a little strange. He had just shaken hands with the legendary Commander Sinclair, on the Minbari homeworld, dressed in a Minbari uniform as a recruit for their elite forces.

It had been one hell of a day, and Vance could only imagine what the morning would bring.

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