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a habit I picked up in my youth. Helps me focus."

"We Minbari firmly believe in the profound benefit of daily meditation. You say you picked it up in your youth? Would that have been at the religious-caste school you spoke of yesterday, or was it part of your military training?"

Sinclair laughed. "At school, most definitely. Our military class, for the most part, isn't as sold on the benefits of meditation as yours is."

"But truly you were blessed to receive training in becoming both a priest and a warrior. We Minbari have always considered that the mark of the exceptional person, a goal to strive for. For instance, the great hero Branmer-"

Sinclair did not mean to tense at the name of the general who had led the Minbari forces against Humanity at the Battle of the Line, but clearly he had, for Rathenn looked stricken with the realization he had said the wrong thing.

"Well," Sinclair said hurriedly, trying to spare Rathenn further embarrassment, "I didn't exactly get instruction on becoming a priest. I went to a Jesuit high school, yes, but among my people you don't have to want to be a priest to attend. It was never my intention to join the religious life. All I ever wanted was to be a fighter pilot, like my dad."

There was an awkward pause; Rathenn seemed to be still recovering from his faux pas, and Sinclair realized he no longer wanted to talk about this, not with Rathenn, a member of the Grey Council, not still feeling as unsettled as he did from the slowly fading nightmare.

"Perhaps we should get started on the day," he said, gesturing toward the door.

Rathenn bowed and, as always, insisted Sinclair lead the way.



CHAPTER 2



THE Minbari capital city of Yedor was, by any standards, a beautiful one. Many of the old city's first dwellings,
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