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long anyway. Maybe that was the Minbari plan. Maybe this underground catacomb housed the bones of other humans from centuries back. Then again, maybe they were just waiting for him to fail. Perhaps they were all around him; he just couldn't see them. All they wanted was for him to fail.

'You won't beat me!' The feral cry hurt his lungs and throat. He stood panting for several seconds, and then realised the footsteps had stopped. Rubbing his rough chin, he looked both ways down the tunnel, considering which way to go. It mattered little; he couldn't see a damn thing. What kind of test was this?

Leaning against the tunnel wall, he laughed. At first quietly, and then a raucous guffaw, like a rowdy night in the mess hall. The maniacal laughter echoed down the corridor. Then a growl, like a wild dog but far more alien, echoed back at him. Vance stopped laughing. This was no longer funny. Even though he was starting to lose it, the growl was sobering. Again the sound emanated from one end of the tunnel, this time louder. Vance didn't need any more persuasion. He set off running.

To hell with walking at a safe pace, the owner of that growl sounded big and deadly. Who knew what alien beasts the Minbari kept down here? Arms held out in front of him, Vance raced down the tunnel, bumping against the walls in the pitch blackness but not daring to stop. As his breathing became more laboured and his feet slowed, another guttural snarl urged him on. Each growl indicated the creature was gaining on him, but he still couldn't hear its claws on the ground or smell its fetid breath blowing down his neck.

Then the tunnel ended, leaving Vance in the open once more. How would he find an exit before the beast was on him? He turned, ready to face the baleful eyes as they rushed from
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