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"Growing Pains Ep. 2"

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

The log visual opens to show Rianni' face; it is angled up slightly at her as she appears to be sat cross-legged and holding the recording device in both hands, rested against her knees. "Now before you say anything, I know this is not the optimal recording position for you! But I... don't feel like sitting at the desk today, something in me wishes to remain more... comfortable"

She shifts her position slightly at that, "It has taken me some time to collect my thoughts of late. Ever since my tour on the Attar concluded I have found myself overwhelmingly distracted by thoughts of the final gathering we held there. I wish I could say that my mind simply dwelled on the enjoyable time and the officers I will miss" she leans in, nodding to emphasize her point, "Which I do of course! I just..." she leans back with a soft sigh, "...find that all else is overshadowed by the meeting they arranged with my family at said gathering..."

A long silence ensues as she stares off to one side before slowly turning back to the device in her hands, "I suppose I should start at the beginning... at Captain Timoreev's behest - or possibly that of outside influence, I am uncertain - I was advised to continue my counselling sessions with the Attar's own team. They were eager to get to know me and seemed determined to be the ones to 'fix' me and help restore my memory." she shakes her head slightly in disbelief, "When all other traditional methods have failed, even telepathy, the Storyteller entity and the faux-god beings we met with the Eagek! They still seemed to feel that they would be able to succeed where others had failed before them, and whilst by this time I held firm doubts of this ever being achieved I was certainly not about to decline their attempt! It was touching if nothing else that they still cared to try after so long..."

"As predicted of course, their attempts were in vain. They did however take particular note of my pre-existing dilemma regarding the family I had learned of. They seemed very curious as to why I had not sought them out, and my explanation led them - I think - to surmise that I was fearful of the outcome, given my circumstances..." another pause ensues as she collects her thoughts, "Perhaps they were right, it is difficult to say... but regardless, this point is now moot as they took it upon themselves to act on my behalf and used that gathering on the Attar to invite my family on board and force a reunification! Whilst I am grateful to them for their thought in going to such efforts, I am uncertain if I appreciate their method. Perhaps had I been more decisive earlier with my own thoughts on the matter they would have acted differently; but such a surprise is something I was wholly unprepared for!"

"The first moment of that meeting was very surreal; they said they had a surprise for me - a parting gift as it were - and led me back to my quarters, where we entered to see three people looking incredibly eager, all sat on the sofa there; two adult Humans - a male and a female - and a Human child. Their faces were wrought with emotion - the woman had her hands clasped over her mouth and I could see tears in her eyes as she looked to me in disbelief. I felt myself blink as I looked to the strangers before turning to the counselors; my look seeming to say it all as they went to explain who the people were. The woman - Vittoria, my mother - approached with haste and before I knew it she held me in a tight embrace. My own unpreparedness for the situation led to a lack of knowing how to react as it was a social setting I had not yet had opportunity to study; and so I remained still. She looked at me after this long embrace through teary eyes and asked if I was really me, really her daughter..."

Rianni pauses, blinking a few times before dabbing a hand to her cheek; frowning upon inspection of it to see that it was damp with a stray tear it had wiped away. Her bottom lip quivers a little before she takes a deep breath to continue, "The reunion naturally progressed from my affirmation that I am of course Rianni Tierno. They all first seemed particularly hurt that I did not know them - despite being prepared for this by the counselors - but as our time together progressed, the feeling of elation seemed to displace that in them all; particularly in Danete - my younger sister - she is 11 years old and seemed in many ways to be more amenable to adjustment than my parents; which leads me to ponder the changes a Human mind goes through during the course of maturation... But I digress... They focused heavily on trying to prompt my memory with recollected tales of my past and visual aids, though none yielded the desired results of course, one however did strike a chord with me; attached for reference; "

She reaches over to one side, retrieving a small chip which she connects to the recording device to upload a video file attachment to the journal entry:

The visual is switched to the video playback; recording from a handheld device which seems to be held by Rianni's father as it first focuses on the smiling face of her mother; his voice is heard from behind, "All set for our little girl's big day, Vittoria? Think you'll be able to keep that promise of not crying?" his tone is clearly teasing, and her response is a knowing look, "Marcus, don't get me started already...!" she laughed, "...I'm barely holding together as it is! I can't believe our little Rianni is all grown up already..." she seems clearly emotional, albeit highly elated as Marcus' voice comes over once more, "Oh, oh... here she comes..." the view pans around the interior of a bright and cheerily decorated domicile; recognizable a modest home within one of the Mars colony settlements. Rianni appears from a doorway wearing a broad and proud smile as she looks down herself, brushing the front of her cadet tunic straight before giving a fanciful little twirl, "What do you think, momma?" she beams. Her mother steps into view, taking Rianni's hands as the two smile proudly before sharing a tight embrace and both becoming emotional before Danete bounds in and hugs the side of Rianni's leg, causing a happy laugh from the group. Danete looks up to Rianni, "Do you /have/ to go..." she pouts. Rianni smiles sweetly down to her little sister before kneeling to pull her into a tight hug, "Don't you worry little squirt, I'll be back as often as I can! Have to make sure you're doing a top job of looking after momma and poppa now, don't I!"

As the two sisters hold a loving embrace, Rianni looks up to the camera with a 'seriously?' quirked look on her face as she chuckles, "Poppa... you really don't need to record /everything/ you know!" she chirps. Marcus' hand waves in objection - slightly blurred - in front of the device, "Now, now; these are the special memories and I for one want to capture every second of it! After all, it's not every day your little princess ventures off to Starfleet Academy!". Rianni rolls her eyes and skips over to him for another tight embrace. She can't be seen properly through the visual feed, but can clearly be heard "I love you too poppa!"

After fading out, the recording is replaced once more with Rianni's face as it resumes the journal feed; her cheeks are distinctly reddened and damp as she has clearly been crying while she watched the playback. She wipes her eyes and continues in a somewhat wavering voice, "I still... *sniff* I still find it difficult to reconcile that the girl in that video is me. She seems like a completely different person, and I know my mother felt this as well. I could see the despair in her eyes - and my father's - as they looked at me during that reunion; they thought they were getting back the Rianni in that video - and that is not me" she sniffles again and dabs her eyes with the cuff of her tunic, "Never have I felt so bad; it was like my insides were turned upside down as I read the disappointment in their faces - despite their protests, I could see it. I wanted nothing more than to be the daughter they remembered, and have been attempting since then to be more like her. But it is something I find... difficult... unnatural..."

She sighs, and appears to shift position as she curls up on her side, holding the recording device close; only serving to further show her overwhelmed emotions as she continues with a softer tone, "I told Zee last night about these events. Though I never expressed this level of detail, she was - as always - wise in her reassurances and I found her words as comforting as I did reassuring." she smiles faintly; the movement causing the damp of her cheek to glisten under the lighting of her room in the Annex. "I do not know if I will ever be able to be the daughter that they lost. I do not even know if I really should yet... These feelings are still so overwhelming and uncontrollable, I fear moreso at present that they will interfere with my studies. However I decide to progress this new factor in my life though, I know that whoever I become as I do; she has a very loving and understanding family who want nothing more than to be with her; whoever she is..." she sniffles again and forces her eyes shut to fight back more tears, clearly failing as the recording fades from the device being placed down on the bed to darken the image and leave nothing more than the sound of gentle sobbing before it times out.

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