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meditation. The Anla'shok could not ask for more from an initiate.' With another smile, Turval turned to continue along the tunnel.

'So that's the answer? Sit down in the entryway and meditate? That would have got me out at the beginning?'

'Not necessarily,' said Turval, stopping once more. His back turned, he stood silently as though awaiting Vance's next round of questions. Vance could tell Turval was growing impatient, but he felt anger rising within him at the thought of suffering for what seemed like days, just for some kind of philosophical lesson. He thought better of questioning Turval further on the reasons for the test. Something else now bothered him though.

'So what kind of beast did you set on me down there?'

Turval turned once more, revealing a smirk on his usually serious face. The grin looked out of place, as though mischievousness was something the Minbari was ill suited to. 'At no point were you in any danger. Trust me.'

'It didn't sound like it,' said Vance, growing annoyed again. The more he thought about the test, the more foolish he felt. EarthForce used humiliation as part of their training as well, but he had already gone through basic, already been broken down and built back up again. He already knew he was a capable, disciplined soldier, and he was not about to go through it again.

'How did you know your creature wouldn't attack?' A sudden low rumble rose from behind Vance's back. He recognised it immediately, the low resonant sound making the hairs on his neck stand up. Vance turned quickly, raising his arms defensively, half expecting to see the slavering jaws of some alien creature bearing down on him. All he could see was shadow. Slowly, a black-swathed figure peeled itself from the dark. It moved enough into the light that
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