Born at the Esagila temple on the planet Tenerife to Za’dohc and Adina K’yarr, devote adherents to Enoch’var to ancient religion of the Syk’a rii people. Adina is a tahtll, a high priestess in the temple who spends her days in deep study of the many thousands of ancient books carried from their ancestral home a galaxy away. Sarai’s father Za’dohc is traveling missionary who met Adina when he visiting to study at the temple. The pair fell deeply in love and they were soon married. But as their only child began to walk the couple returned to their callings, Za’dohc returned to the stars to continue his missionary work, and Adina returned to her studies. As there were no other children at the temple at the time it was decided that their son would be better with his father who was headed the planet Bacchus where Sarai could be around other boys his age.
On Bacchus in the city of Nysus, Za’dohc began proselytizing to the spacers, pirates and assorted vagabonds who frequent the city, looking to save wayward souls. From an early age Sarai takes a strong interest in his Syk’a rii heritage and history. Prideful, moral, noble and bold, from an early age; Sarai takes his father’s lessons to heart. He frowns on the thievery and other malicious activates of the Syk’aran boys he plays with. His strong cultural leanings draws him to his own kind, but the only Syk’a rii his age are the orphans who prowl the streets, hotels and alleys in a constant struggle to survive. Sarai’s closest friend is a boy a few years older than himself; Siam Seethe who is the de facto leader of a band of assorted boys; Syk’a rii, Apsu and even a Yeti, Apsu half breed named Nuex.
Sarai is seen by the older boys, particularly an Apsu boy named Gills (Seethe frequently steps in to save Sarai from Gills,) as an annoying and bothersome snitch. Throughout his youth, Sarai, of his own accord, shares food clothes and blankets with Seethe who Za’dohc refuses to have in the house. Za’dohc sees the young Siam Seethe as a crime waiting to happen, but often tries to involve Seethe in his sons religious lessons; but not being one to force faith on anyone, he only preaches to those who ask to be taught the way of Enoch, so Seethe who shows no interest in the Syk’a rii religion is left to his own devices. But Sarai who is just as devout as his father still spends many hours trying to share the word with his wayward friend.
Just before Seethe joins the crew of a pirate named Be’yoh Sebaka, Za’dohc is called back to Tenerife to teach aspiring missionaries back at the Esagila temple. Eager to see his beloved wife, he hurriedly packs up himself and his son and heads back to Tenerife. At Esagila Sarai, who is nearing 11 years old, is apprenticed to the temples blacksmith, a monk named Bilah. In his apprenticeship, Sarai learns more than just metal working, when not in Bilah’s workshop, the pair spends countless hours studying in the temple’s vast library, which is managed by Adina, and meditating in the sanctuary. But their studies deviate from that of the other Esagila tahtlls, monks and students who hold tightly to a belief in passive reasoning, they refuse to fight; insisting that reason and compromise will prevail if ever an aggressor should arrive at their doors step. As they always seem deeply engrossed in their studies no one bothers to question what it is they are studying.
Over the next 6 years Sarai devotes himself to intense theological study, but just as intensely he studies with Bilah, learning the ancient Syk’a rii martial art Ria’jha. Together they gather as much information on Ria’jha as they can from the temple’s library. After their first two years of study, Bilah and Sarai venture into the mountains to seek out raw metals from which to forge swords to continue their study and training. In the blacksmith’s shop, they use mostly scrap metal from old ships and older tools and implements. But to create their blades, they need a stronger, more consistent and reliable metal. In the mountains they find a small cache of azure iron, the pale blue metal usually found on asteroids, that when properly fired, can be nearly as strong as diamond. On their return to the blacksmith shop, the pair set to forging their blades in the ancient Ria’jha style of a short hook curved blade. Once the swords are finished they begin learning how to properly handle the weapons, studying the ancient texts in the library. This continues for several more years before Za’dohc learns of his son’s extra curricular studies, furious he insists the rapidly maturing young man maintain a more peaceful lifestyle and forbids him from “playing with knives.” Ever the good son, Sarai is frustrated, but unwilling to disobey his father; he vows to eschew the sword play.
Now 17 years old, Sarai has regained his father’s trust and is becoming a talented blacksmith and a brilliant theologian and orator. He can choose to remain at the temple and eventually take over for Bilah, or like his father, join a missionary group and venture out to another rogue’s world to spread the word of Enoch. But the path of his life would be decided on the day a space transport landed at the Esagila grounds and a group of men, in strange clothes come out. The men were representatives of the Court of Rosalie; they wore the robes of the De Iko’s royal guard and have come for the master blacksmith, Bilah. A Cipa’ci man named Colibre who lived on a planet called Pyrah had ordered an attack on the Court, and murdered thousands of its citizens. The De Iko has aligned her forces with those of Mykonos, Koly'ma and the Co’ir Corporation to capture Colibre who has also attacked their worlds and other interests. When the allied forces arrived on Pyrah they were sacked with EMP weapons that rendered every bit of electronic equipment useless; to avoid the loss of more expensive equipment it was decided that they would use simple mechanical devices and handheld weapons, swords, knives, spears and crossbows. For this they require the expertise of craftsmen of the ancient arts to supply the army already in place. Blacksmiths, mechanics and engineers from across the galaxy were being recruited. Without hesitation, Bilah began preparing for his voyage; his apprentice now had a decision to make. His father had told him he wanted him to stay out of the conflict, but Sarai is overcome with his powerful sense of justice and wanted to lend what he could to the efforts to bring Colibre to justice. After consulting his mother who encourages Sarai to follow his heart, his mind is made.
For the first time in his life Sarai would disobey his father, seeking to avoid a confrontation, he snuck away from Esagila without saying good bye. The small transport that picked them up rendezvoused with a fleet of ships already en route to Pyrah. Once with the fleet, Bilah and Sarai began work constructing a mobile furnace and hearth in which to melt the ore already being gathered for use on Pyrah. The journey their would take six months, a long time for a voyage, but not to complete everything that Bilah wanted to get done before going into the tech free zone where the allied forces were gathered. With the assistance of a crafty deck hand Bilah nick named Widget, they completed the furnace and hearth with a week to spare and are able to test it out by forging one sword and a set of knives for themselves. The sword is of the same ancient Syk’aran design that the pair had experimented with in the past, while the ore at their disposal was of high quality, it still paled in comparison to the blades they already possessed, that were forged of the azure iron.
Along the way more and more ships join the convoy to Pyrah, the fighters muster on the massive Co’ir freighter where Sarai and Bilah are riding. No one wants to bother training the pirates preferring to use them as raw infantry so they rarely stay on board for long. But one Syk’aran pirate is on board just long enough to run into an old friend. Sarai bumped into Siam Seethe in the mess hall one day; his childhood friend had signed on to join in the fight. And he had a great thirst for confrontation with the Cipa’ci. Their visit was brief as Seethe had to return to his ship; but the pair would meet again on Pyrah.
Sarai and Bilah arrived at Pyrah and were transported to the surface with a supply crew who assisted in moving their heavy equipment into the TFZ. Widget managed to make the trip as well. His ingenuity would be of great use in this most unusual adventure. In short order they began smelting metal ore, and metal salvaged from the now useless electronic equipment.
During the war; Sarai adopts a Pyranese Tiger Cub that takes up residence in his bunk after his mother is killed by the soldiers. He names the cub fluzzy, at the time he is a tiny fuzz ball, but by the time he leaves Pyrah he is over 100lbs. In his time on Pyrah, Sarai gets into a few minor skirmishes, but was never in any real danger as he was usually with Seethe or other experienced fighters at the time. But when he left he believed himself to be an experienced warrior.
After the war, Bilah and Sarai part ways, Sarai wants to return to his parents on Tenerife, but Bilah has had a taste of the stars and wanted to continue to explore. Hitching a ride with some former pirates who had also joined the fighting, he began his journey home... which is another story unto itself.