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behind and the life you are about to begin. During this period, some of you may decide the Anla'shok is not part of your future. For those of you who choose that path, there is no shame. You can leave freely and find safe passage to anywhere you wish. Whether you go now or later during your training, however, we cannot allow you to leave with the knowledge you now have of the Anla'shok and our academy. If any of you leave, the memory of what you have experienced so far will be taken from your mind.'

A long pause followed. Nobody moved, as though all the initiates needed to prove their steadfast resolve. Turval's pause seemed to go on and on. All Vance could think about was a memory wipe. The only mind wipes he knew were performed on criminals who suffered Death of Personality. He'd never heard of it being used so precisely and couldn't imagine how the Minbari could erase a specific time period from someone's head.

'Good,' said Turval, as though he expected some of the trainees to bow out then and there. 'Your meditation will now begin.'

One by one, every recruit in the room adopted the meditative posture learned the day before. Vance found it easier to fall into a reflective state today. He let his mind calm itself, filling with well-being and positive energy. He would have never believed mediation could come this easily to him.

An hour passed, then two. None of the recruits had eaten, and stomachs began to rumble. They hadn't exactly feasted the day before either. Although the Minbari gruel was undoubtedly nutritious, it did little to satisfy any kind of appetite. The hours crawled by, and the longer Vance adopted his position without food or water, the longer the day seemed to take.

By mid-afternoon, a robed figure - probably the Min-bari who woke them in
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