'Pure genius, don't you think? Mind you, I'm glad the test wasn't passed by hitting drones. I think I only got two before my ship malfunctioned.'
Vance smiled in reply. He was still trying to work out whether being duped was a good thing. 'I'm not so sure. I'm getting a little sick of all these dubious tests of faith. And I'm getting tired of these Minbari tricks.'
Jerklenn, standing not three feet away, spun round.
William didn't see the look on her face, but Vance realised she had heard and was offended by the words. Silently she stormed away. Vance nodded at William, who was still struggling for an answer, and followed her from the meeting hall.
It didn't take Vance long to catch up with her as she walked along, head bowed. 'Jerklenn,' he called. At first she didn't stop, and Vance thought she might not have heard him. Then, slowly, she came to a halt and faced him. Vance easily read her expression. 'What can I say?' he said with a grin, trying his best to lighten her obviously dark mood. 'I'm not used to the way your people handle things.'
'If you are so hateful toward the Minbari, then why did you come here?'
'I'm not hateful. You must be able to understand that we have a different way of doing things and expressing ourselves. It takes time for people from different cultures to find common ground.' Vance was surprised at his own powers of diplomacy. 'Once we get used to each other's ways, then-'
No!' Vance's eyes widened at her harsh tone. 'This is the Anla'shok way. Not the Minbari way. Not the Religious Caste way. It was always the Warrior Caste chosen to join the Anla'shok. Now they have changed that, and even I am beginning to question their wisdom.'
She stopped. Vance realised it was not just humans she was having difficulty with. Jerklenn