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prove himself.

As he continued to watch, Vance realised the Nial was drifting aimlessly, leaving the asteroids far behind. Neither Sech Mishal nor any other Minbari craft appeared in his field of vision. Vance passed his hand over the systems panel, but there was still no response. The auxiliary power controlled life support but nothing more. His motion became more frantic as he realised he could not even send a distress beacon.

Everything was fine, he told himself. Although he could not think of a particular time, Vance was sure he had been in worse situations. The asteroid field was almost out of sight. He would drift further until he was caught in the gravitational pull of some floating satellite or solar mass. Then the trajectory of his ship could be diverted anywhere. The only consolation was his life support would probably expire long before that happened. Vance didn't know exactly where the training session was taking place, but the final orbital ring of the Minbari system was the last point of reference he recalled seeing. That meant he could drift for years before floating into any inhabited part of space.

He refused to let that happen. Vance quickly examined the panel edgings. The Nial's cockpit offered zero room for manoeuvrability, as he was basically encased within a plasteel cocoon. Everything around him was designed for utilisation at close quarters. He could not reach the engines to perform a manual override, but maybe he could decipher the Minbari wiring beneath the control panels. While he was no engineer, he had been competent enough at basic electronics to know how to wire and rewire a control panel on an EarthForce ship. This would be different, of course, but his only alternative was not a pleasant one.

He ran his finger down the side of
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