Ilraen’s Journal
Summary:In which the importance of Bleepka is made clear. Oh, and there was an invasion or something, too.
Timeline:March 15–April 19, 2008; four days after “Harry Potter and the Dragonriders of Pern” and concurrent with “Gestalt Therapy” and other accounts.
Published:March 31, 2010.
Rating:PG/K+ - Ilraen’s naivety is family-friendly.

March 15, 2008 – Day 4

My name is Ilraen-Aroline-Fothergill.

It is the third day since Headquarters was put under quarantine, and the fourth since lockdown. I have decided to keep a journal of the coming days in case we do not survive.

I feel it is important to make notes of some details that might seem obvious, but may not be so if the worst should happen. First, I am Ilraen, as I have said. I am an Andalite male, and my partner is Supernumerary, a Human male. Other agents call him “Nume,” which is much quicker when one is using a mouth to speak. Or typing on a keyboard.

Note: this console’s keyboard was not designed with seven fingers in mind. Must ask someone in DoSAT to install a thought-speak transponder if I survive.

Nume and I have been locked in our response center, #999, almost since we returned from our last mission. At first we “minded our own business,” which means ignoring each other, but when word came that macroviruses are in HQ, Nume insisted that I see the relevant Star Trek episodes. Then, when I said that was helpful but that I didn’t understand what else was going on, he would not rest until I had begun to watch the entire series. The next day I said that I like Captain Janeway, but that the science makes no sense. He said that Picard is the best of the spin-off captains, and that the series didn’t become so popular because of good science. I asked him what it was, and he said, “Mister Spock, that’s what.” I didn’t know who that was, so he stopped Voyager and said I’d better watch The Original Series instead.

He also said a lot of things like “Jesus Christ” and “What the hell do they teach recruits?” and “God damn this stupid century anyway,” and I think that was when he stopped using his hip flask and switched to drinking Bleepka straight from the bottle.

A few notes about Bleepka: it is made mainly from Bleeprin, of course, and I believe two ounces of Bleepka are equal to one Bleeprin capsule. Bleepka is also made from a non-alcoholic alcohol substitute that is colorless and flavorless, like vodka. I am told it can give a “buzz” like alcohol in sufficient quantities, but it has none of the side-effects, which is very good because one side-effect of alcohol is that it explodes if it is mixed with Bleeprin.

At the time we returned from our mission, there was a full crate of Bleepka, that is, thirty twelve-ounce bottles, in the closet. Nume usually uses them to fill his hip flask, which is eight ounces, so it takes him three days to empty two bottles. Today, day four, there are now twenty-six and a half left, and I do not think that half-bottle will be there in the morning.

I wonder what set him off.

March 17 – Day 6

I meant to add another entry yesterday, but Nume was at the console and would not move. He was playing a game called Pac-Man that he says is a “blast from the past.” I decided to read a book from his library (Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Jr.), and when I went to sleep he was still trying to “beat his score.” I suppose that means to play until he is angry enough to break something.

I finished the book this morning, while he was still asleep. It is a very strange book, but at least I understand why soma is on the list of substances forbidden in Headquarters.

Watched more Star Trek when Nume woke up. I asked him why Captain Kirk speaks so strangely during the captain’s logs, and he said it is a mystery of the multiverse.

Later, Nume made popcorn with the mini-replicator. He got very upset when I put my hoof in it. I suppose if I want to try some I will have to do it as a Human. This will be a good opportunity to practice morphing. I MUST perfect this. I let my friends get hurt because I didn’t get the dragon right the first time, and that cannot happen again.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 23
Bottles of Bleepka left: 24 ⅓

March 18 – Day 7

Notes on disguises vs. morphs: when one “wears” a disguise on a mission, one is granted all the instincts, abilities, and behaviors appropriate to the species in question, but they are secondary to one’s own mind. Therefore, nothing about a Human disguise is overwhelming (though it is strange), because it comes with all the mechanisms necessary to its normal and correct function.

A morph is the opposite, and a much more acute, real experience because of it. While one’s mind still exists in a morph, the morph’s instincts and natural behaviors are also present at full strength, and there are no mechanisms in place to help the morpher learn to handle them appropriately. A Human morph is clumsy, awkward, half-blind, and naked, and it is easily distracted by its sense of smell. My normal nose is no less perceptive, but it has less of a hold on my higher brain functions.

Nume refuses to elaborate on the array of odors in the response center. Whether this is because they are somehow embarrassing or because he would rather insist I “put some god-damned clothes on” I am not sure.

This issue of nakedness is most problematic for Humans, and therefore it is problematic for me, because I must somehow learn to morph with at least rudimentary clothing. I am not proud of my repeated failure to do so in the past. Now there is nothing good for me to practice with.

That is not entirely true. Nume is in possession of a number of articles that are ideal—tight-fitting and covering the taboo area of the Human male anatomy—but he won’t let me borrow them. I will have to think of something else.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 29
Bottles of Bleepka left: 23

March 22 – Day 11

I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.
I will not steal my partner’s underwear.

This is called “doing lines.” It is a punishment often used by teachers on young Human schoolchildren who transgress against the rules in Nume’s time.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 49
Bottles of Bleepka left: 18
Death threats: 2

March 25 – Day 14

The macroviruses have found our corner of Headquarters at last. They have been attacking the door for two days. The noise of them is maddening, but it is more maddening to be trapped in here, unable to do anything about it. I suppose mad and alive is better than anything and dead.

I do not think they can come through the door. We will see.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 51
Bottles of Bleepka left: 15
Death threats: 3

March 26 – Day 15

Macroviruses still attacking. I wish I could morph into something without ears. A sandwich, perhaps.

Nume wishes me to acknowledge that a sandwich is not an animal, therefore, I cannot acquire or morph into one. I would like Nume to acknowledge that I know this, but that it was the first thing without a sense of hearing that I could think of because Nume was eating one at the time. I would also like him to stop reading over my shoulder when I make these entries. Yes, even if there is nothing better to do.

Go away, Nume.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 51
Bottles of Bleepka left: 13 ½
Death threats: 3

March 28 – Day 17

At last, the macroviruses have given up! We were able to sleep properly again last night, which has done us no end of good. I have apologized for becoming angry and somewhat aggressive after the last entry, which resulted in a deep cut in one of the legs of the bunk bed, but fortunately no serious harm to either of us or to the equipment in the response center. Nume has promised not to read over my shoulder again.

Now, if only Medical would find the cure so we could get OUT.

Meanwhile, I have taken up practicing my human morph again. I decided to use the skirt I picked up on our last mission as a covering (it has a tendency to float away if left unattended, but it behaves when worn, and it always stops at Nume’s shoes when it encounters them. It must have something to do with its description in the badfic). I thought wearing it would make Nume happier with my practicing, but instead he only stared at me for a long time with one eyebrow up and finally said I looked like a twit. I believe this is either an insult or some kind of bird; I am not certain. Either way, he is now letting me borrow a set of clothes “as long as I don’t destroy them.” They are too big for me, since I am much shorter in Human morph, but I don’t mind. I only have trouble with the shirt buttons and the zipper of the pants, and Nume will not help me—he only said something about the horrible joke being bad enough without his adding to it. My culture implant does not help me understand all of his behavior. I must speak with Jenni about this sometime.

Tomorrow, if nothing else happens, I am going to try popcorn.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 57
Bottles of Bleepka left: 11
Death threats: 3

March 29 – Day 18

Popcorn must be on the list of forbidden substances. This cannot be legal. Must eat more foods to verify first impressions.


This is a supplementary entry by Agent Supernumerary. My partner has lost his ever-loving mind. I knew this would happen. I should have prevented it. Now I’m going to have to kill him. Put him down like a rabid dog. It’s the only way.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: not nearly enough.
Bottles of Bleepka left: . . . Frell me. This had better end soon.
Death threats: 7 including the two above.

March 31 – Day 20

I have been too ashamed to write sooner. Nume did not, in fact, kill me, but he was obliged to forcibly restrain me until my time ran out and I de-morphed. Not an easy task: neither of us is very strong, but I was in a frenzy. I nearly didn’t morph back. I am wholly Andalite in body, but in my mind and my experience I am at least half-Human, and having experienced taste, that most Human of sensations, I admit I lost myself to pure impulse, and I wanted to remain that way. My people—my true people—would be ashamed. If I ever meet them, I wish to do it as my Andalite self. That is what I am. And so I morphed back in the end.

I will be aware the next time. This will not happen again.

One of our CADs was broken in the scuffle. I think perhaps I kicked it. All the internal pieces seem to be accounted for, however. If I can work out how they go together, I might be able to fix it. Andalite fingers will do very well for this kind of work. This is good, because Nume’s hand—the one he hit with a hammer and broke when we were building the loft—was wrenched, and he says it won’t be good for anything much for a while longer now, though he does not think it has re-broken. I am relieved.

Nume and I agree that this is the last day of March. Between my time-sense and his memory of every sleep cycle (though not dreams—he says he does not dream anymore), we keep better time than all the rest of Headquarters.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 71
Bottles of Bleepka left: 7
Death threats: 8

April 2 – Day 22

I believe I am making progress with the CAD, which is the Character Analysis Device, despite the lack of proper tools. I am improvising with implements found in the console drawers and the bathroom cabinet, and I have suffered only minor burns. Unfortunately, I will have no idea whether or not I succeed in repairing it until we go on a mission, which will not be until the quarantine ends. I hope it is soon.

Nume tells me that we are coming to the end of The Original Series, but I think he will try to make me watch The Next Generation when it is done, and I would rather have a complete change of continuum. I accept the present situation because I do wish to deepen my canonical knowledge, and also because it is important to him. Or at least, he seems happier when we watch the show.

Either way, it is better if we watch the show. The Bleepka is almost gone.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 83
Bottles of Bleepka left: 5
Death threats: 8

April 4 – Day 24

Yesterday I made an interesting discovery in Nume’s library: a book entitled A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. I have now read this book, and although I understand it very little, I do understand something Doctor Freedenberg said to me just before I got my culture implant: “Don’t be misled by all this clutter—no clockwork oranges in this department!” The room where my implantation took place looks very much like the one used to perform the Ludovico Technique on Alex in the book. Had I known this, I would have been frightened out of the few wits I had at that time, which I suppose is why Jenni refused to explain the doctor’s remark. I must remember to thank her.

Nume has helped me with some of the unusual words in the book, but I notice that he always gets uncomfortable and stops talking when the topic of sexual intercourse comes up. I have not given much thought to sexual intercourse myself, though I suppose I might like to try it someday—perhaps even as a Human, since it is a common element in badfic, which mostly is about Humans, and I am unlikely to meet many Andalite females. But I will definitely have to ask Jenni about it if I have questions. I know she will help.

I hope she is all right. And former-dragonrider E’rik.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 91
Bottles of Bleepka left: 3
Death threats: 8

April 7 – Day 27

This is it. We have watched over one hundred episodes of Star Trek, finished the original series, and Nume is about to finish the very last bottle of Bleepka.

All gone.

I have asked whether our mini-replicator can’t make more, but he says no, it is only programmed for food and non-alcoholic beverages. That is why it is a mini-replicator.

I am not sure what will happen next, but at least the CAD is all put back together.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 109
Bottles of Bleepka left: 0
Death threats: 8

Addendum: The CAD blew up.
Death threats: 9

April 8 – Day 28

I spent most of the day cleaning the residue from the CAD off the floor, the console, the bunk, etc. I do not know what I did wrong, but I will ask someone in DoSAT about it if I ever get a chance.

We are watching Star Trek: The Next Generation now, as I thought we might. It is not so different from The Original Series, but Nume says it gets better. I can say that I would much rather have Captain Picard as my prince than Captain Kirk. I still like Captain Janeway the best so far, though. She seemed like someone who would be nice to talk to.

Today we also watched a movie called 28 Days Later, because we have been trapped here for twenty-eight days. The movie is about a normal-sized, blood-borne virus that turns infected people into mindless killers. I am glad the macroviruses don’t do that.

It seems like much longer than twenty-eight days. Nume said we might have to watch the sequel at this rate, but I think he was being sarcastic. He almost smiled about it. I wonder if it was one of the kinds of smile Jenni told me to be careful of.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 113
Death threats: 9

April 10 – Day 30

The macroviruses came back yesterday. At least, we heard many of them go by, but they did not attack the door more than a few times. They just kept going by, until finally there was a different noise, and they stopped. Nume was certain that the second noise was a Dalek exterminating the viruses, except that we should all be dead if there are Daleks in Headquarters as well as viruses. Nume explained this in very, very great detail, with multiple references to episode titles and numbers, but I will sum up: Daleks are creatures from the Doctor Who series that live inside metal containers and want to destroy anything that is not a Dalek. It makes sense that they would hunt the macroviruses, but not that they would avoid us. We have both been very frightened and unable to sleep.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 121
Death threats: 9

April 13 – Day 33

Still not sleeping well. This is mostly due to my partner, who will . . . what is the expression . . . yes, will not shut up. Especially when he is asleep. It is a good thing we built a guard rail around the bunk, or I am sure he would have fallen out several times. I am trying to be patient, but it is very tiresome, and I am already very tired. I have begun to have twitches, which is very bad when they are in my tail. No damage done so far. No promises.

No further sign of macroviruses or Daleks, thank goodness.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 142
Death threats: 9

April 14 – Day 34

Very worried about Nume. Worried I might kill him.

I don’t mean that. I wouldn’t kill my partner, at least not on purpose. It’s only that I find that not sleeping does not agree with me at all, and all of this makes me angry. I do not like being angry, and I wish I could make it all go away. I have tried to help, but Nume doesn’t tell me anything about what is happening to him, or why he talks about chop sticks, Severus Snape, orange sunglasses, and fluffy bunnies in the middle of the night. So I must wait, and listen, and try not to kill him so I can sleep.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 147
Death threats: 9

April 15 – Day 35

I swore not to tell anyone these things I am about to record. If anyone ever reads this, then you, the reader, must also swear not to speak of them to anyone else. Or I will personally hunt you down and know the reason why before I take your head from wherever it sits on your anatomy. This is a matter of Honor.

I had gone back to sleep after making last night’s entry, and I woke again to a strange sound—silence. Silence then broken by the toilet flushing, and Nume coming out of the bathroom. He saw me watching and said “What?”, and I was going to say <Nothing,> but I actually said nothing instead, because I noticed that he looked different—more different than usual before he puts that stuff in his hair, I mean, although that is very strange. I mean he was crying. So I said <Are you all right?>, and he said he wasn’t, and that memory is a god-damned curse, even worse than nosy partners.

I ignored that last part.

I said that even though I have so few memories, there are some I would like to get rid of. He said that they will fade over time, and I’ll never have to see them clearly again; but when he remembers something, he remembers all the details, even in dreams. I asked what he was dreaming about. He said, “Being born.” And he told me what it was like. That was when I decided to try hugging him. I do not really like hugging, but I thought it was what Jenni would do. But Nume probably wouldn’t have hit Jenni on the ear and told her to go back to sleep and never speak of this again on pain of pain. Or called her a crazy Andalite.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 156
Death threats: 10

April 16 – Day 36

Today Nume tried to make a phaser out of CAD pieces, an old neuralyzer, and other things lying around the response center, in case the macroviruses or the Daleks come back. I do not think it will work, even if he did see a diagram once. I am certain we don’t have anything to use as a power source or a chassis, and after the CAD I feel we will be lucky if it doesn’t explode and take our memories with it.

Note: make sure partner is not planning something desperate with the neuralyzer parts.

Still no sign of Daleks or macroviruses. We do not know what this means, but we are not hopeful.

Episodes of Star Trek watched: 162
Death threats: 10

April 19

There is no “day” designation, because we are no longer trapped! Two days ago, Headquarters was declared free of macroviruses. It seems the Daleks were destroying them, and they weren’t harming agents at all because they were under the control of a former Mary Sue from a different multiverse. Nume and I found out all about it in Medical. But I must say what happened to us before then.

On Day 37, we were watching Star Trek as usual when a message came from the Sub Rosa, who is the Flower Head of the Intelligence Department. The macroviruses were gone, as I said, but an army of Mary Sues had invaded, and everyone who could was to help lure them to the Cafeteria, where they would be destroyed. Nume and I realized that since we are male, they would be likely to come after us, and we were so pleased to be able to leave the response center that we went immediately. Nume carried my shoulder bag and rode on my back, which I will never let him do again, because it was extremely uncomfortable. At the time, however, it was the only choice, because we had to outrun the Sues and Nume had promised to hit me with a copy of The Andalite Chronicles if they made me forget myself on the way. There were so many of them! I had to cut my way through, and their blood sprayed all over us and made the running very difficult. There have been some very unflattering descriptions of our charge, but it worked.

I am unhappy to say that I could not stop when we made it to the Cafeteria, and I ran into a stack of tables. Nume came off my back and landed badly against the back wall. His glasses broke, and he was unconscious, and at first I was very afraid, and the Sues were coming, but then some other agents arrived: Trojanhorse and Paddlebrains (and also a large green dog) from Bad Slash, and Gypsy and Cray from Bad Het. I was so relieved to see them. And then Nume woke up and told me not to die, because he didn’t want to have to train up another pathetic recruit—but I think he really meant it about not dying. It felt good to hear, and so I said we wouldn’t die, we would kill many Sues. And we did. We fought them and fought them, and Agents Rouge and Techno-Dann (disguised as Legolas in a Speedo) brought more, and we fought those, too. I became separated from them in the fight, because Nume was unconscious again, and I had to protect him. Then the Daleks came, and I thought we were all going to die, but they killed the Sues and went away, and it was over, and all of us were alive. Agents Cassie and Nat from the DMS came then, and even a dinosaur called Marsha. Since there were no more Sues to fight, Marsha carried Cray and Gypsy to Medical, because Cray was badly hurt even before the fighting started. Trojanhorse, Paddlebrains, Cassie, and Nat went with them. The other agents left on their own.

I, of course, had to help Nume. He woke up again, but he was very confused and didn’t know what had happened, and was sick. I had never seen anyone be sick before. I do not ever want to again. Mouths are clearly a mixed blessing. As for myself, my front legs hurt a lot where I’d hit the tables. We walked to Medical very slowly, and we had to climb over lots of dead Sues on the way. There had been some fighting there, too, but the Daleks had come and finished them before we got there. There were many, many agents there. Most of them were recovering from the macrovirus, but some had been hurt in the fight with the Sues, like us. There were so few nurses, most of them having become infected themselves, and I don’t know if the two of us, still able to stand up, would have been noticed at all if Jenni hadn’t come by. We did not expect to see her there, and she didn’t expect to see us, and Nume and I both let her hug us. She bandaged my legs, and said Nume probably had a concussion and got him a bed near Agent Sedri’s partner, Iza. I was happy to learn that Sedri was all right—she was quite kind to me after the last mission. We heard some commotion about the Tomb of the Unknown PPC Agent, but after that all the Sues were gone, and we could relax.

Jenni kept going back and forth between Medical and FicPsych, but she told us what had happened with the Daleks, and also that the recruit from the last mission, who is called Derik now, is still alive and even helped fight the Sues, even though he was very weak and Jenni had given him “enough Felis juice to knock out a dragon.” He is still in Medical, but Nume and I got out today. My legs are much better, and so is Nume. His head doesn’t hurt anymore, his hand is very well, and he got a new pair of glasses from somewhere, so he can read properly again while he rests—without making strange expressions. And of course, he has Bleepka again. We aren’t supposed to go on missions for at least a week, but I am not at all sure we will wait if the console goes off. We have both had quite enough of this response center, and I swear if I have to watch any more Star Trek I will not be held accountable for my actions.

Total Star Trek episodes watched: 165
     Original Series: 79
     Next Generation: 75
     Voyager: 11

Total death threats: 10
     Nume: 9
     Me: 1

Sues killed: 37

Neshomeh’s Notes

If you ever wondered what happened to all the agents who were stuck in their response centers during the madness that was Spring ’08, now you know. At least for one pair. This is all Ilraen’s fault, by the way. I wanted to move on and record missions, but he wouldn’t let me until I’d written this up. Incidentally, those “unflattering descriptions” he referred to are mine, can be found in this document. I thought they were rather apt.

Thanks to Sedri for beta-reading.

This website is © Neshomeh since 2004. This page’s content was last updated 03.31.2010.
The PPC belongs to Jay and Acacia and is used with permission.