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bed. Vance never imagined a day of meditation could be so tiring.

* * *

He woke to the sound of his stomach growling and the now-regular chiming of the robed Minbari's instrument. Once again they bypassed the mess hall and headed straight for the meditation chamber. Turval waited placidly, and he told them to sit when they entered. Just as the day before, they were given no food and little water as they meditated. By the end of the session, most of the other human trainees looked ready to drop. Strangely the Minbari looked hardly affected, their stern, proud demeanours unruffled by the fasting and meditating.

That night as they returned to the dorm, nobody spoke. The short-sharp-shock element of their training actually pleased Vance, whose military training left him accustomed to such harsh tactics in dealing with new recruits. It would certainly show the non-military trainees what they were letting themselves in for. Maybe weed out the weak. Torturous conditions to test the mental resolve of recruits was something he could understand.

The rumbling in Vance's stomach had subsided, leaving just a dull ache. Sometimes he hadn't eaten for a week while out on manoeuvres, so the sensation wasn't new, but that didn't help. As he drifted off to sleep, he knew this training was far from complete.

Day three brought the same story: no breakfast and straight to the meditation chamber. Turval was there once more, and this time he didn't need to beckon the trainees to their places.

This time, before they sat, one of the human recruits approached Turval. They spoke in hushed tones for several seconds and Turval nodded solemnly. Vance didn't recognise the recruit - he hadn't yet had a chance to speak with him - but he saw in the young man's eyes that the fasting and meditation
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