Long, yellowed talons rattled across the RunePad. For the ninth day Scifantor entered sequence after sequence based on the symbols that appeared to him in his blood-soaked dreams. The runes showed him nothing he could use, nothing worthy; and he spat wads of phlegm at the holograms that blinked and glimmered at the culmination of each new sequence. Planets unfit for a Warlord: barren desertscapes and fetid marshswamps; planets inhabited by skittering crab-like creatures; festering lands of leprosy and lechery.
Scifantor bellowed, a guttural rage that penetrated the granite chambers deep within his cave. Where were the realms of riches and nobles? Where were the civilizations underpinned by prosperity? The galaxies shifted and collapsed on themselves, it was true, but the runes always provide. The last planet had been effortless. He had conquered and suppressed, pillaged and plundered, with barely a flaw to his armour. Scifantor yearned for a challenge. He flung the RunePad at the wall in disgust, and it clattered to the bone-strewn floor. The hologram erupted into a panorama of green and blue and gold. Scifantor adjusted the triple membrane of his eyes to accommodate the brightness that invaded his dimly lit cave. He leaned forward on powerful scaly haunches.
Queensland, the hologram informed him in wavering script. Ah yes, Scifantor’s mouth stretched into a smile. Queensland. Land of Queens. Mayhap more than one queen. Many queens. And he would devastate them all. The layer of bristles that covered his body turned blue and engorged at the thought.
The hologram crackled again. More script: Gold Coast. Scifantor gasped. Gold. There was gold to be had in this Land of Queens. It had been eons since he had felt the cool weight of gold cross his leathered palm.
He retrieved the RunePad and caressed its symbols, locking into place the coordinates for Gold Coast, Queensland. Two rune year’s narcotravel to a planet called Earth. That was fine; he could do with the sleep.
Scifantor hummed the Ode to the Ancients as he prepared himself for sleep. He would dream of queens and gold and blood. Always the blood.
Yes, the runes always provide.