Unholy Beholdance

Expect the worst, remember?

Meiro hadn't factored it in, because he didn't think he would need to, but with time his illusion spell was getting weaker and weaker. He knew this, but only just now was realizing what a convenient problem that was. You see, Meiro's illusion spell is based on concentration. When the spell is freshly cast, it's easy to hold the spell and keep it from breaking, but the longer the spell is held the harder it becomes to concentrate on keeping the spell in effect. This is important because no matter how long ago the spell was cast, it can be broken to varying degrees by contact.

When freshly cast, it is hard to break the spell. Say the caster accidentally scrapes their arm on a sharp piece of metal. This will result in a tiny break appearing around the wound, where only a keen-eyed observer might spot the tiniest hint of the disguised person's true form. Seconds later, though, the illusionist could regain total concentration and hide the wound altogether, or simulate a fake wound on fake human skin. This changes, though, when the spell has been held for several hours. Where it would take severe trauma of some sort to break the illusion for a freshly casted spell, a spell that has been held for several hours is susceptible to extreme damage by the caster undergoing so much as a thorough fright.

With this information in mind, imagine for just a second, that you are such a spell caster. You have been holding this illusion for several hours in order to go about a daily routine that requires mingling with people who are willing to harm, imprison, or perhaps even kill you for your appearance alone. Your arms and legs hurt. The strenuous task of maintaining this illusion is starting to give you a headache. At this point, a strong enough sneeze might throw you out of it. But you've got to hold it for just this one last stretch because your home is practically around the corner and....a whole ass man falls on top of you.

To say that at this moment Meiro's grasp on his illusion was shattered would be an understatement.

So, Meiro managed to clamber back to his feet, only to find himself undisguised and standing face to face with literally the one person barring an actual ACF officer that he would never want to cross paths with. Zack. Motherfucking. Bingham.

Oh, he knew this guy, he had just been watching the man record footage for a grizzly scene involving Abyssal activity after all, and just then he retroactively remembered thinking, "Damn, good thing I'm not involved with that!"

Of course, Meiro knew this Bingham guy was probably in the area, but never, not in a million years, would he have expected the man to fall out of the sky right on top of him. And so, now Meiro stood face to face with the man, a guy the Cambion knew was infatuated with getting the latest scoop and was absolutely loving this moment, you know, until factoring in the whole oh-shit-this-guy-could-probably-kill-me-without-thinking-about-it moment that the reporter seemed to be having right about now.

"This is insane! They said your kind was extinct! Yet here you are, living proof that they were wrong. Holy shit! I just found a Cambion.....oh shit." He looked back a bit terrified, "Please don't kill me..."

"Ooh, I REALLY want to," Meiro growled, subsequently pinning Bingham to the nearest alley wall.

Now, this Bingham guy might have been physically impressive to some. He was short but pretty stocky and looked like he could deliver a good punch or two, he seemed to be pretty athletic and that was without the implants that most of his kind, Humans, seemed to rely on, perhaps to compensate for their supernaturally superior brethren in the Night Creatures of the Council.

However, he wasn't much to Meiro, a man about 6'4" in height, bearing rigid, lean muscle that was a result of his adapting physically to the many hardships that came with surviving in the Abyssal Plane. What's more, what outward physical traits he seemed to have were bolstered by his infernal blood, which gave him resistant skin, a slight regenerative effect, and strength and speed that doubled whatever it looked like his body was capable of. This was to say, that whole kill-without-thinking-about-it thing? It was most definitely true, and magic probably wouldn't be necessary. But just killing the guy wasn't what Meiro was thinking right now.

"But I'm not gonna kill you, I mean, I can't. If I kill you, then I'll probably have all sorts of people after me, I'm not just some street scum anymore, I'm a tangible threat, right?"

Meiro growled once more and eased up a little, refusing to let the petrified man go entirely.

"You see, whatever it is you might think about us big, bad Cambion folks, I assure you I'm different. I don't wanna duke it out with every Human in sight until I'm found and dissected, I wanna be something, I wanna go somewhere, and I refuse to be a fucking statistic! So no, I'm not gonna kill you. But if you go telling people about this? About me? Then we're gonna have a problem."

His eyes darted to the edge of the alley at the sound of something clanking like metal. Meiro was laser-focused, upon realizing it was just some crow messing around with an empty can. With a focused stare, an image of a hideous monster resembling a burning wolf appeared, and the bird was promptly scared away. After a few more seconds of ensuring no one was eavesdropping, Meiro turned his infernal gaze back upon Zack.

"You see, I'm capable of things that you don't fully understand. I can see things you cant, hear things you don't, and I can know things you wouldn't even think to read up on. You tell people you found a rare Cambion? I'll know. And right before they hunt me down and cut me open, I'll find you and make you pay personally for sealing my fate. So here's what's gonna happen,"

Meiro pressed his hand onto Zack's chest and began chanting in infernal.

"Xe tfrwy zmyy, za xe oizy ao wfrjyuddilty kh ph sryztmyv yhy, pih idd zmiz haf va ul madh duqmz ky akwyrjyv kh ph sutcyv virclyww!"

(I curse thee, to a fate of unholy beholdance by my wretched eye, may all that you do in holy light be observed when in wicked darkness!)

Removing his hand, Zack may have felt a magical alteration inside him, and something dormant and dark clinging on to his soul.

"You're gonna take your things and go on your merry way, and tomorrow your gonna live your life like you've been living it, and the next day, and the next day, and what happened here tonight will go with you to your grave. If you tell anyone, I'll find out, I'll find you, "

Meiro moved his finger down Zack's face, tracing the bio-mechanical grooves that his facial implants had made there.

"I'll take all these little metal bits, I'll rip them out of you, and then I'll force them back in down your throat. If you're looking for your next big scoop, this here ain't it. If you like being alive, you'll make sure this is one of the things you end up forgetting. You hear me? Now run the fuck along."

With this, Meiro stepped back, allowing the shadow of the alley wall to envelop him. His image faded, and soon there was nothing more in that alley but the reporter and the tin can that the crow had left abandoned at the mouth of the alley.

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