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William was one of them.

Vance smiled - which caused him no small amount of pain - and turned his head. The shiny grin on William's face matched an equally shiny black eye. 'Yep, it seems it was worse if you fought back.' William looked over Vance's battered body. 'But as you can see,' he said pointing to his eye, 'even curling up into a ball got you something of a beating.'

'Did anybody pass?' asked Vance.

William paused, as though unsure whether to disclose the information. 'Well,' he said, 'your friend Merreck managed it. But no one else. If it's any consolation, he is amongst the walking wounded as well.'

Vance said nothing. It was no consolation at all. He had failed, and now Merreck had passed. Just one more thing for Merreck to lord over him. Never mind, he thought. This moment heralded a new beginning.

He struggled to a sitting position. William leant forward to grab Vance before he fell. 'Maybe it's not such a good idea that you get up just yet,' he said.

'Stop nagging. I'm fine.' Vance got to his feet. After a shaky start, he managed to take a couple of steps. 'I have to get fit anyway. I assume training will start again in earnest now.'

'Apparently not,' said William from beneath Vance's arm. 'The only work we have is learning the Anla'shok Creed. We have three days to contemplate and recuperate before we all have to recite it on the main landing platform, one at a time.'

'And until then?'

'Contemplation and recuperation.'

This brought another smile to Vance's face. He looked down at William, who seemed to be struggling slightly under Vance's weight. 'Boy, are you guys in for a treat.'

* * *

Vance easily found the contraband needed for a decent party. In fact, the Minbari in Tuzanor seemed only too happy to arrange for booze
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