"To Become Something Is To Understand That Thing"
(Previous Post: "Small Mystery")
Setting: USS HATHOR, Main Engineering
Stardate: 63076.1345

Shape-shifters such as the Founders have believed for as long as they can remember that understanding is attained not only through the acquisition of knowledge from external sources but also from a deeper symbiosis with the universe, one that can only be obtained from within.  Their natural ability to take on any form had opened a door that no other living creature could use, including the metamorphic Shillian, who was alas the last of her kind.

On the other end of this quest, Zen Buddhists, amongst many other belief systems, alleged that this understanding of the universe could be achieved through deep meditation, allowing for the mind to expand beyond the confines of the physical form that held it captive.  Once free of these corporeal limitations, the mind could begin to explore the vastness of the cosmos in the hopes of discovering this all too elusive understanding.

Not being a Founder, the
shape-shifting skills of the Shillian had been limited to living creatures only, and even those had been restricted to a handful, her training never having been completed before her entire world came to an end.  So her search for universal understanding had been forced onto a different route, one that sought to merge the two extremes of these concepts.  So, for the greater part of the year spent in the alternate universe the Chief Science Officer of the USS ANUBIS had taken on the hunt to understand the world around her, but most important to understand herself above and beyond anything else.

As a Trusa, a small primate native to SHILLIA PRIME, the shape-shifting Starfleet Officer had been able to travel to every deck and section of the HATHOR without having been detected.  At this particular moment, the tiny creature had found a comfortable spot on one of the power conduits high above the floor of the Main Engineering section of the HATHOR which had granted her a perfect location to observe the action below.

There, below the Shillian, the Oltharian Chief Engineering Officer and Native American Captain debated as to what had been the cause of the minute discrepancies in the power usage of the ship unbeknownst to them that the reason had been listening in on their conversation.  In her search to understand herself, the Chief Science Officer of the USS ANUBIS had discovered that she could learn a great deal about the universe in general by simply observing and listening to others, a pastime that she had grown increasingly skilled at, and one that she found to be more enjoyable with each passing day.

As the Commanding Officer left the giant Oltharian to return to his work, the transformed Shillian decided to seek out the Zkinti hunter whom she had just learned had been searching for the unknown intruder that the Trusa had become onboard the USS HATHOR.  Maya held no doubts that she would have to be extremely cautious and not under estimate the tracking skills of Hex, the natural abilities inherited through the ancestry of the Kzinti and the training endured by someone in her position would insure that the Chief Security Officer would be a formidable opponent to remain hidden from.

Setting: USS HATHOR, Mess Hall
Stardate: 63076.1410

It had taken some time but the Shillian had managed to track the Kzinti into the Mess Hall of the USS HATHOR, the small air circulation vent having been the perfect means to reach this location undetected.  The Trusa gaze up at the hunter through the grill that stood between the vent and the room, the small primate having become perfectly motionless as to reduce the odds of being detected by the acute senses of the Chief of Security.

There had been something awe inspiring as the sight of the Kzinti woman and the way she quietly, effortlessly moved about in search for anything that would give her a clue as to the whereabouts of this intruder.  Maybe it had been the thrill of the hunt or simply the idea that she had been able to focus her skills and attention on something specific, but there had been something rather intense in the way Ensign Fanggot went about this task.

Not knowing why the Kzinti had been so enthralled in her hunt had not hindered the curiosity of the Shillian, in fact it had proven to have the opposite effect drawing an unmatched determination from the shape-shifted woman to continue with her observation of the Chief of Security.  Surely Hex had already thought of using the internal sensors to locate the intruder she had been so intent on finding, so why had she decided to forgo the simplicity and ease that technology had placed at the tip of her clawed fingers to instead rely on instincts and natural skills?
The Shillian did not complain in the least and welcomed this game of cat and mouse with great delight knowing that through this experience she would gain some understanding, maybe not of the universe as a whole, but at the very least of the Kzinti huntress.

Jessica Solarik
Lieutenant Commander Maya
Chief Science Officer