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it with a semblance of life. As Vance studied it, he couldn't help think the statue looked familiar, but he couldn't quite identify whom it reminded him of.

'Vance.' The words echoed around the chamber. The stern face of Durhan made Vance wonder if he had done something wrong.

'Yes, Sech Durhan,' said Vance, bowing respectfully. He wanted to do nothing to get on Durhan's bad side, and by complying with all the required airs and graces, Vance hoped he might ingratiate himself.

'I have selected several of you to begin denn'bok training. It begins now, in the training circle.' He began to walk out of the Chapel. 'You are already late,' he said over one shoulder. 'Do not elevate my displeasure by tarrying.'

Vance hustled after the bulky form of the combat tutor, at once nervous and excited at the prospect of handling a Minbari fighting pike. When they reached the hall of combat, five other initiates waited patiently. All were Min-bari. He wasn't surprised to see Merreck standing amongst them.

Durhan strode to the centre of the fighting circle, and Vance joined the row of initiates. Vance recognised one of them as a regular at his table at mealtimes, but he did not acknowledge him, instantly feeling the seriousness and solemnity of this particular class. He had been singled out for denn'bok training, deemed worthy over several other Minbari candidates. If it was the last thing he ever did, he had to show Durhan he was worthy.

'You are all here because, for one reason or another, you have been deemed skilful enough to begin learning the ways of the denn'bok.' Durhan's voice echoed within the combat hall. 'This session will give me an opportunity to assess your potential. I doubt all of you will still be considered good enough by the time this session ends.' As
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