The eye sat in a morass of ruined flesh, parts of it rotting and red and black with infection, another area as pale as bone, and only a few places a healthy shade of pink or brown. Wires ran in seemingly haphazard patterns across the skin, plunging underneath it and emerging from it like worms burrowing through earth. The whole effect was to make the demon’s flesh look patchwork, like a quilt sewn together from many blankets, mended at random as pieces of it became threadbare and disintegrated away.
But the eye. The eye was whole, and even set into a mask of metal and corruption, it stared at him with human hate.
“What are you?” Esau whispered.
He felt the demon’s body jump on top of him, as if he had startled it somehow. Its mechanical voice filled his ears, sounding somehow even more mechanical than before. “I am designate Alpha-763… 763… 763…” And then it started again, and he could hear it growl, hear the reverberation, the feedback, and something wet and wounded underneath it as well. “I am your death.”
The demon glared down at Esau, its body motionless, its hate radiating off it like warmth, and he felt something give inside him. He was a hunter, a warrior, and he would not die feeling helpless. “Do it, then. Stop talking and just do it.”
The demon was motionless. Its eye rolled around in its socket, bouncing nervously, unfocused. “Well?” Esau spat. “What are you waiting for? Do it!”
“I don’t take orders from you, insect,” the demon hissed, its voice softer than it had been before, weaker.
It was only then that Esau began to understand. “You’re dying, aren’t you?”