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have wanted his final moments. You should be proud that you served with him, for he was the best of us.' Hadan managed a smile and placed his hand on Vance's shoulder. As the Minbari returned to his duties, Vance wondered if that was what his own future held. Fighting against impossible odds and then dying to save his comrades. Six months ago, the thought might have filled him with apprehension, but now he felt a strange calmness at the prospect, as though that destiny was worth striving for.

Shaking his head, he silently thanked the Minbari healer once more, and returned to the room put aside for him and the other Rangers.

* * *

The journey back to Tuzanor was swift. Hadan was a congenial host, treating the three Rangers like the family they were. As soon as they hit orbit around Minbar the trio were guided to a shuttle bound for Tuzanor.

They broke Minbar's atmosphere with barely a tremor, and as the shuttle touched down on the academy's landing platform, Vance felt he was home. He could never have imagined he would consider this place dearer to him than Earth, but his feelings could not be misinterpreted. Earth held little for him now. He had a purpose here, a mission that could not be forsaken. As he left the ship and walked toward the high obsidian building, his head was held high.

Turval greeted the Rangers. They bowed to one another solemnly, and Turval touched the hand of each Ranger in turn. 'It pains us to hear of Bakkatt's passing. His name will go down in the halls of the hallowed. Unfortunately, before this conflict is over, his will not be the last name we engrave there. Rest for now. It is obvious you are exhausted. The Anla'shok Na will speak with you later.'

With another bow, Turval led the Rangers into the academy, where half of the new
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