The infinite hum of the human ship’s generators echoed from the metal walls all the way to the glass window. Kei stood there, staring at the infinite void of space - his brown eyes glancing about it, as if he were reading a book. Being alone gave him the peace he needed to stay sane, as his mind was then able to catch up with his body. He gripped the iron railings that stood erect before the window, letting off a long sigh as his mind journeyed itself within.
He remembered, then, what gave him the honor of calling himself a Sangheili. He remembered vividly. It was a bright summer afternoon, he and his uncle were walking alongside a beach - somewhere very, very far away from home. Kei remembered his legs aching, begging for him, as his uncle continued on as though he were made of metal. Most of the journey was quite mute, the only words ever changed before then were “Get up” and “Let us move…” Kei knew better than to question, and to only follow - follow until the very bones of his knees broke before him.
“Are you aware of who I am?” He heard.
Kei pushed his hinge head up to watch his Uncle slow his pace, his head turned to stare at his young nephew. The feeling of nervousness from his general presence was long gone - but the young knew better than to respond to his elder without thought. They both stopped, Kei’s legs thanking him gratefully as his mind pondered. He clicked his mandibles and replied with his calm, thoughtful voice…
“You are Frear ‘Readrum, Ultra of the Fleet of Liberation... My uncle…”
Frear nodded. “You are correct on all but one, Kei. I am, certainly, the Ultra of the Fleet of Liberation… However, your uncle I am not. What am I, Kei?”
His mind flustered, but Kei knew better than to splatter in the presence of his elder. He unraveled his mind, and thought once more.
Frear turned his body and took a few steps - far enough so that the ocean would sneak onto and molest his boots. “You are correct, I am your teacher. This... Shall be your final test. Draw your sword, and strike me down. Should you defeat me, you will be granted the fate you seek - the purpose of your life…” His body then turned and faced Kei. One arm unlatched the cape in which attached itself to his armor - flying itself in the wind while the other drew his blade. His eyes were fierce, as if they sent daggers at whatever they looked at. In this case, the victim was Kei.
Kei drew his blade and got himself at a ready stance, his eyes also fierce - affected by his uncle’s no longer. He brought his arm wielding the sword up, and took his free palm and positioned it just under his elbow - a position of defence, a true test to his opponent’s patience. And it was patience, that was his uncle’s ultimate weakness - one he must exploit to achieve victory.
Both Sangheili stood, a move not done. They stared, the sound of waves crashing onto the shore meant to calm the body never sounded to mute… Various wildlife gazed at the two, unintelligently watching - listening. Minutes upon minutes passed by, and such wildlife drew themselves away boredly. His uncle suddenly charged at full speed, his sword pointing for Kei’s chest - a popular target. Kei countered with the clash of his sword against his uncle’s, and the spin of his body to send a fist for his face. His uncle dodged and gave a kick that sent Kei rolling onto the sand. He got up as quickly as he went down, his position the same.
“Understand, Kei, I do not intend on being merciful!” Frear whipped his sword across the sand where he stood. “Should I defeat you, you will lose not only your honor… But your very life as well. You corpse will be for the wildlife to feast upon, and the memory of you, forgotten. Is that what you desire?”
Frear was answered with a brutal charge - and was given an opening. He took it without thought, sending his sword for Kei’s exposed right chest. He clicked his mandible into a smile as he watched everything in slow motion - Kei’s eyes staring at his uncle as he charged, his sword away from his own… His own inching more and more for his Nephew’s chest. His robing would not protect him from his blade. “‘Am disappointed, for I thought-”
Suddenly the wind whipped itself across Frear’s back, and then his body was molested by the greedy water of the shore. He felt a crushing pain in his right hand- where he held his weapon. His eyes looked and found a boot on top of it, and followed the boot to the body of Kei as he stood over him - his own blade pointed at his uncle’s neck.
“I have no desire to disappoint…” Kei said with a bold tone. He stared at his fallen uncle for a moment before getting off of him, taking a few steps behind to watch as he picked himself up and dusted off the sand from his armor. Again, there was silence - but only momentarily before his uncle said;
“How was I defeated?”
Kei clicked his mandibles. “Your focus was too centered - you only looked for my chest in which I exposed to you on purpose. You failed to realize my hand grasp the hand in which you held your blade from under - and at the very moment I took your hand, I swept my charging leg under you and sent you to the ground. You were defeated, by lack of thought.”
His uncle nodded in pleasure. “Very well, you have in training. Not until this day, did I foreshadow you defeating me. I’ve purposely tired you with our walk so I may have an advantage, but that ultimately led to my failure…” He offered his hand. “Your sword…”
Kei nodded his head and handed Frear his own blade- watching as he attached both to his belt. “From this day on, you walk with all of my knowledge in the art. You are ready to become one of the covenant- for which you will start, forbidden from the use of the sword. You will be trained by them, and learn… From then, you shall carry on the ‘Readrum legacy…
I am, forever more, proud of you…”
The memory faded, and Kei was left with only the picture of blank space before him. He lifted himself from the rails and found the window reflecting himself; now, a minor of the swords of Sangheilios. He stared for a moment, his mind slowly shifting back into thought until…
“Hey Kei, are you coming over to trainings or what?”
Kei shook his head, finding the voice coming from his belt. He pulled a radio from it, and spoke;
“I shall present myself with haste, human…” He turned his body, and went away. Leaving the window lonely in the quiet, humming room.