' said Vance, his inflection perfect.
'Good,' replied Durhan. 'It is important you know this. In the human tongue it means "I accept defeat". It is how we prepare before any combat. By accepting defeat before we fight, there is no way we can be beaten.' In a strange way, this lesson made more sense to Vance than any other the Minbari had so far taught him. 'I will see you tomorrow,' said Durhan, bowing and gripping his fist.
Vance gripped his fist likewise and returned the bow. Without speaking, he turned and left the hall. As he headed back to the dorm, even with the pain in his throbbing abdomen, he could not stop a smile spreading across his face.
Mark of the Star
For many, flying through an asteroid field at several thousand miles per hour never lost its appeal, but for Vance the experience held no particular thrill. He knew pilots that lived for the rush of knowing they were a split second from death, but Vance always approached piloting with a measured lack of emotion. Its one virtue was that it beat being a passenger. Piloting did not make Vance anxious or fearful, for it was as much a discipline borne of action and reaction as any of the martial arts.
He trained for several days on interfacing with the Ni-al's systems. A work of pure genius, the controls worked symbiotically with his body, anticipating his every need. Simulation training had lasted only a few hours before those with piloting experience were sent out in the real thing. And then, after only a short training course, they in troduced the students to the real fun.
Sech Mishal initially spoke to them in his usual relaxed and casual manner, but he seemed to become more serious and almost aggressive as they came closer to taking the helm of their own vessels. As the minutes passed,