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otherwise a success, yes.'

'Good. That's good. You're looking well, although the uniform's a bit drab.'

'Was their something specific you wanted to see me about, Colonel?' Vance was feeling increasingly uncomfortable, especially with his father's uncharacteristic behaviour. Although recent events had changed Vance's opinion of the Colonel, he still felt a barrier between them.

'Yes. Well, you know I have contacts at EarthForce, and this was only meant to be a temporary appointment. You've served your purpose. Hell, you've even been on a successful mission after just three months of training. The Minbari now know that human recruits are vital to the coming war effort. There's no reason for you to stay.' He produced an envelope and handed it to Vance. 'Papers for your transfer to the Rasvedchiks, just like you wanted.'

Vance looked down at the envelope, his name emblazoned across the front. He looked back to his father's smiling face. 'When I started here, I had the same attitude as you,' said Vance. 'But there's a Shadow coming, and we all have to do our bit. You think you've done your bit now, Colonel? Did you give up your son for the effort, or did you just pick the best man for the job?'

'I had to show that we were serious-'

'We are serious, Colonel. I am Anla'shok. I am a Ranger. Anla'shok tulat. Entil'zha Veni.'

'I understand what you have seen and been through has made you sympathise with this group, but there is no need for you to stay. There will be plenty more recruits. You're EarthForce, son. You're not one of them.'

'You're wrong, father. I am one of them. Until I die.' Vance walked past the Colonel and realised that for the first time in more than ten years, he had called him father. As he headed toward the door of the observatory, he stopped.
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