The Caele nods. "I have known life for us would never be the same since the first Imperials came down from the skies. Only a fool would have thought otherwise. But my people's honor--and my honor--are paramount. We must have an honorable enty into the Imperium, or none at all."
He leans against the table again. "Which brings me to the crux of the problem, Astartes. Many of my people wish to integrate. Alkedre Firestarter, the woman who was here earlier, thinks I should negotiate now, that I should give great concessions to the Imperium for protection. But even she is stopped by one simple fact: no Imperial has proven your realm's right to rule over us. Only the valorous may rule." He holds up a hand to forestall any protests from the Space Marines.
"I do not mean to impugn your courage. But what constitutes valor to an Auran is very specific. An Auran warrior may hear about the brave Space Wolves of Fenris who slay great beasts," he nods at Eldgrim and Ydnar. "Or the Ultramarines, who stood against the swarms in the Tyrannic War. He can have heard the legends of the Imperial Fists, who held your Emperor's Fortress against the forces of Horus, who in our myths we call Orsas. Or even of the Blood Angels, whose great founder held the gates alone against hordes of foes. All these we have heard, and we admire, but what matters to an Auran is Auran courage."
The Caele fingers the vest of red scale armor he wears. "The mightiest warriors among us have slain the diablodon, as I have, but even the lowest have bested some of the beasts our jungles hold. So far no Imperial has completed even the most rudimentary of our trials. Trials that even unblooded youths have completed. So you can see, even if I wish to join your Imperium, honor dictates that I cannot. If I were to break that honor, Alkedre there would challenge me to combat for my place as Caele. Her, or one of the dozens of others, and they would not be wrong."
He sighs, runs a hand through his hair. "So, you see, Astartes, where my troubles lie. The Imperium must prove itself worthy to lead us. Until that happens. . .." He shrugs.