Daniele Marx
A/N: Just an experiment with how far I can push some of my most rewarding characters. I love them with a firey passion of a thousand suns.

Benjamin faced his enemy, a Crye, and his blood pumped loudly in his ears. The creature was tall and lanky with dilated eyes. It smelled of blood and didn't speak, its muddy skin rotting away and peeling to reveal a vibrant crimson membrane underneath. Its stringy black hair was slicked with grease. For a moment, Benjamin considered not fighting just so he wouldn't have to touch it.

Though Cryes had a humanlike form, they fought like wild animals, tore flesh with their rounded teeth, and were half as fast as a cheetah in the daylight. Responding well to motions, evading the creatures was relatively simple to those who knew what they were doing. They were quicker by night when the cover was most natural. For a creature that looked as though it had been buried for three months, it could possibly kick Benjamin's ass.

He was regretting the whole I'll gather info on the Crye this weekend for further study promise. . . thing, and wondered why he decided to come alone. It was easy enough to kill, actually; he'd seen a woman take one down with half a ruler once in a classroom full of terrified students-probably the most impressive takedown he'd ever witnessed. Like a lovely ballet. He could take one down with the pocketknife in his hand, needing only to gouge it in the main artery behind the eye to put it out of its carnal misery.

Only he wasn't here to kill it.

"Lets get this over with, Ugly." He said as he leaped back; it lunged for him. It understood him. He managed to sidestep it as a clawed hand shot out to gut him. A notion passed through his mind: this one where this one was smarter than the last one he fought last week. With his arm out to the right he watched as the Crye acknowledged it, then repeated the process with the other arm. The creature followed the motion, then lashed out.

Benjamin was winded as he jumped back unsteadily, feeling the iron in his mouth as there came warmth from his chest. Damn, he thought, should've been more careful. Adrenaline rushing to aide him, he relaxed his grasp on the pocketknife with every intention of concluding the session. Taking the offensive, he leaped forward and tacked it to the ground with it letting out a throaty moan - its call to the others too far away to help. The blade came down into the creature's eye.

Benjamin watched as it ceased to fight, knowing what was coming next; he raced to cover his wounds as the eye throbbed.

Moments later, Benjamin was spitting blood from his mouth and trying to wipe the molasses-like substance from the rest of his body. His jacket hadn't soaked any of it onto his torso, a great relief. Of all the things he wasn't prepared to experience, fusing the blood of a Crye with his own was high on the list. Standing up, he removed his tattered shirt and bloody jacket. He hadn't expected it, that was for sure, and he leaned over with a wince to retrieve the pocketknife from the corpse.

Walking away, he groaned, "And I've got school in the morning. . . "