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that Merreck's uncle could be behind a plan to sabotage the re-emergence of the Anla'shok.

'Yes and no,' replied Turval. Vance was getting annoyed by the increasingly cryptic answers. 'It has more to do with your father.'

Vance was stunned. This was an answer he certainly hadn't been expecting. He clenched his fists: it was happening again. No matter where he went or what he did, his father would always raise his stern visage and try to take over, try to influence or ruin or sabotage.

'How much do you know of what your father did during the war between our people?'

'I know he worked for various Special Forces units. Behind enemy lines on a number of occasions. Apparently he was decorated several times, but I have no idea for what.'

'Your father was what we call "enkra'tak". It is a little-used word, for there are few examples of people like your father in Minbari warfare, and it is not a part of the Jen-aot'la, our Warrior's Code. The Warrior Caste has always fought with honour, and enkra'tak are often frowned upon and seldom used.'

'Assassin,' said Vance, recognising the word from his knowledge of the Warrior Caste dialect.

'Yes,' said Turval, 'and apparently a very gifted one. He would often be placed behind our lines for several weeks, hunting our leaders - often killing from a distance, sometimes up close.'

'I was under the impression that no human had ever killed a Minbari in hand-to-hand combat.'

'We do not consider the use of a knife in the dark as hand-to-hand combat. It is murder, pure and simple.'

Vance flushed with anger at the twisted distinction. On countless occasions the Minbari had destroyed helpless or stranded EarthForce ships. Wasn't that murder as well? Was that honourable? Turval nodded, as if sensing Vance's thoughts. 'Whatever
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