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Vance truly blossomed here, soaking in everything Durhan taught him, learning every nuance and subtlety of the art. On rare occasions, Durhan even congratulated him on his progress. Each day and each lesson brought a new surprise.

Despite the rigours of physical training and Vance's accomplishment in those areas, he put much effort and focus into his academic studies. Philosophy lessons turned to an examination of the meaning of the Creed, and Vance found himself suddenly paying much closer attention to Sech Fu-hall's lessons.

While on the surface it seemed a normal philosophy class, it also contained elements of history: both military and social. For the first time, Vance learned of the first Shadow War: how Valen had, with the help of Vorlon allies, turned the tide of the first Shadow invasion and pushed them back into the dark; how Valen subsequently disappeared; how the Anla'shok fell from grace after that; how the Anla'shok had opposed the war between the humans and Minbari; and how they even went so far as to sabotage Minbari ships so that human casualties could be kept to a minimum.

The most surprising lesson was how the Anla'shok discovered the Shadow's re-emergence during the Battle of the Line. A hidden Anla'shok vessel spotted a cloaked Shadow vessel observing the battle. When it instantly disappeared into hyperspace, the Anla'shok's suspicions were raised. The only race capable of such instantaneous hyperspace travel had not been seen for over a thousand years.

In the ten years since the Battle of the Line, Ranger agents travelled to the farthest corners of the galaxy, searching for whatever evidence they could, clues as to the whereabouts of a Shadow base, or any information about the Shadow's plans and allies.

Vance listened with rising terror
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