The jungle was never quiet, there was too much life within it for that to happen, but the tide of sound rose and fell in relation to the world around it. Marzia had made camp on a large branch that was only twenty feet above the even larger branch below her, which also happened to be one of the few established trade routes through this part of the world. Down this far, even in the middle of the day, the forest was in a state of eternal twilight, but she had chosen to enjoy the dimness, as it provided good cover to hide from approaching caravans she could loot. She had settled into a little crevice, knees tucked up against her chest, but when the sound of the jungle changed she was sitting up again in an instant. She held perfectly still, trying to pick out the subtle sound that had upset everything but the simple bugs crawling along the giant tree. The sound of the Nomk descending on her from above was barely enough warning for her to dodge aside, causing the lithe creature, a blend of something between monkey and cat and also one of the most effective predators in this height of the jungle, to catch at the branch and scramble back up to meet her. Marzia snarled, her hands curling into claws, and the creature screamed back at her. Despite being easily her height the creature was still young, and judging by the ribs poking out of its side it was obviously starving. A human would make a tasty morsel to keep it from starvation, but Marzia was not going down without a fight. She was not a tactical fighter. She had no need to be, and had never known a way of fighting other than brute force and savagery. The two angry, feral predators stared at each other for a moment, before flying at each other with corresponding shrieks of fury. They collided in midair, and Marizia was quickly enveloped in its hairy arms, but she bit down, ripping through the skin and grabbing onto a hunk of muscle. When the money shrieked in surprise and let her go she pushed off its chest, causing a strip of flesh to rip away from it. She spat out the hairy lump, wincing as she accidentally swallowed a few hairs. It did little damage to the creature, only caused it to grow more angry. It clubbed her with a fist, sending her hurtling off the branch, but she rolled out on the branch the next level down. The monkey jumped down after her, falling with significantly more grace. It snapped at her with sharp fangs, catching her calf and ripping out a chunk, As the pain raced up her leg, Marzia’s vision went red. She threw herself at the monkey, uncaring as its sharp fangs caught her hand and bit nearly half of it off. She clawed at the wound on its chest, clinging like a particularly stubborn leech, even as her three remaining fingers dug in through the muscle. When she found a rib, she grabbed it with both hands, even as the monkey continued to bang her angrily, and shred open her back with sharp claws. Finally, with a harsh snap, it broke out of its holding. Marzia clung stubbornly to the broken rib, bleeding profusely, before using the sharp instrument to stab the monkey’s heart through the gap she had just created to make her weapon. It let out a surprised hoot before slumping to the ground, the last few shuddering heartbeasts releasing a sticky cascade of dark blood. Staggering, Marzia moved towards the creature, slowly returning to her senses. She knew she was wounded. She knew she needed to eat. With shaking hands she dug into the monkey’s chest, quickly finding the heart and ripping it out of the chest. She shuddered, slumping against it’s cooling side, before beginning to eat the heart. She was completely oblivious of the multiple pairs of eyes staring at her as the skin on her body slowly began to repair itself, and the tiny stubs of new fingers began to grow from the mangled mess that was the side of her right hand.