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from the air, but before he could bring it to bear, Jerklenn moved forward, her own denn'bok shooting forth, its end aimed at his head. The strike was too fast for Vance to see and he doubted that Merreck even noticed it coming. The end of the denn'bok struck him right between the eyes and his head snapped back. Vance winced at the sight and sound, wondering if Merreck could survive such a vicious blow.

As the big Minbari fell, Vance tried to gain his feet but stumbled. Several hands grasped him and his fellow acolytes, human and Minbari alike, helped him to his feet.

Jerklenn did not even seem out of breath. As a number of acolytes rushed to Merreck's aid, Durhan walked toward her. 'You have been holding back during your training,' he said, his voice stern.

'Apologies, Sech Durhan,' she replied. 'I had my reasons, but that course of action is no longer necessary.'

Durhan glanced down at Merreck's prone form. 'Indeed,' he muttered, the hint of a smile crossing his face. With that he turned and left.

Vance tried to approach Jerklenn. So many questions ran through his befuddled head, but the dizziness would not allow him to walk. Before he could speak, Jerklenn left the hall with the eyes of the other amazed trainees following her.



The Becoming



Vance had grown accustomed to being administered to by the white-robed Minbari healers. He took some small consolation that Merreck was unconscious for almost an hour. The Minbari healers fussed around him, ensuring he was stable. Vance could understand most of what they were saying, and the unanimous notion was that he would live. Vance wasn't sure if he was happy or disappointed at his enemy's prognosis.

The dizziness soon cleared from Vance's head, and the healers painfully straightened and bandaged
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