Vulneris traced a single taloned finger along a deep fissure in the skull. His dark hungry eyes taking in every inch of its scarred and engraved surface, of all the treasures in his nest this was the only one which continued to draw his attention. Hunched in his perch in the upper spires the solarite would simply stare at the skull. Turning it over and over in his hands admiring the way the light of the Ilmaea would catch the lines and cracks criss-crossing its surface, seemingly forming strange runes and symbols in the light of the caged suns, but swiftly melting into obscurity as the solarite’s eyes sort to discern them. Still idly turning the skull, Vulernis’s mind began to wander…
The anticipation and blood lust coursing through his veins had been reflected in the eyes and faces of his flock as they soared through the portal, just ahead of the main body of raiders and other grav-craft of the host. The air had been thick with alien smells and tastes, positively a feast for their heightened senses compared with the clinical and sterile air of the Dark City. It was glorious to course the skies of a new world, a world ripe to be pillaged. The sky was shadowed and lightning flashed to the north. The host hurled themselves towards the raging storm wings pounding and grav-engines screaming as they rose into the sky, heading for their chosen targets.
The thrill of the approaching slaughter drove both scourges and pilots alike to hurtle faster and faster towards their goal. Warriors and wyches clung to the sides of raiders and venoms as each pilot pushed their engines to the limit. Vulneris and his flock dodged and rolled around the cumbersome grav-craft swiftly leaving them in their wake, diving as fast as they could through the sheets of hail, racing the host’s reavers ever onwards into the storm, towards the feast that eagerly awaited them.
The memories of his pride and past glories faded into the back of his mind and Vulneris found himself staring into the dark empty eye-sockets of the skull, he tilted his head to one side and snorted at his own sentimentality.
There was a sudden flutter of wings from the far edge of the ledge. Vulneris whipped around, his hand already closing around the hilt of his blade as his wings flared to spit a challenge to this newcomer, the scourge wore the armour of his flock but in this city of traitors that rang as hollow as the halls of Talon Cyriix. The scourge inclined its head to the solarite.
“Archon Khirareq has requested your presence, solarite.”
Vulneris nodded curtly in acknowledgement and the scourge took flight to its own roost. He looked into the skies, bathing in the glow of the black suns and allowed a grin to spread across his face, the feeling of anticipation once again coursing through him. In his hand the runes on the skulls briefly flickered and pulsed.