rc_999: Ilraen's usual uncertain look. (nervous)
I met someone new this morning. I was in the courtyard for my run, and for the first time I can remember, someone else was there, sitting on one of the benches. I think I startled her, coming up from behind, but I was so excited to see another agent there that I could not wait to say hello.

I could tell something was wrong as soon as I saw her face. I am certain she had been crying before I came along and interrupted, but she did not seem offended. She asked about my species, and we talked for a little while about casual things—home continuum and such. Her name is Agent Cinderella, and she is a Beauxbatons witch from the Harry Potter universe.

I thought she would ask me to leave once the polite amount of conversation was over, but instead she asked me to stay. That moved me deeply. She seemed so lost and lonely, and if I am honest, I am unused to anyone seeking out my company of their own free will. Being wanted . . . I felt I must try to help however I could.

The talk turned to missions, and it came about that Cindy had been subject to something terrible during her last one, something that provoked her to an action she regrets. For her privacy, I will not reveal what it was, but I could see how much it hurt her. She was afraid she might do this bad thing again, afraid of what that would make her. Worse, I think she believed she had to suffer alone. She was incredulous when I told her I, too, have things in my past that I regret. And so I told her my own story of shame and failure.

It helped. I think, when people trust each other with their demons, it sets them free for at least a little while. We live such isolated, insulated lives here in Headquarters, but we are not alone. Others have fought the same battles as we have; others toil as we toil; and others will reach out to us if we reach out to them.

Cindy and I exchanged response center numbers before we parted. I hope I will see her again.
rc_999: Ilraen jumps for joy. Or something. (leap)

I am Ilraen-Aroline-Fothergill, and I have been told by a good friend that I should try one of these public journals. I already keep a private journal for recording things I cannot speak of, but this way I can share some of my thoughts with my friends and fellow-agents. I do not know if anyone will really read these entries, but since I would like to have more contact with others, I agreed to a trial—on the condition that my friend and chief instigator, Jenni, start one herself. I believe it can be found here.

This journal is also set up so that my partner, Supernumerary, may use it if he wishes, but I don't think he will. Nume is not particularly fond of sharing anything.

What to say? As I write this, it is midday, and so far we have not had an assignment. I do not trust the console's silence for one minute, but it has been a pleasant morning. I have been visiting the courtyard to conduct my daily rituals, and I have begun to notice an effect. The courtyard itself was a discovery I made some time ago, and it alone has done wonders for me. An Andalite needs space to run; we were not meant to live indoors. I find that I am much happier there, with Alice and the other horses various agents have rescued over the years for company. We race sometimes; Alice wins. Someday I may ask her permission to acquire her and a few of the others for a new morph. Then we shall see.

But, returning to the rituals. Something to mark the opening and closing of each day adds a significance that was previously lacking. Even if I miss one due to a mission, once I return to the routine again, it is reassuring. I do not know how much of this effect is attributable to my species—have we evolved to need structure?—or simply to my own, personal need. Whatever the reason, I feel more at peace with myself than I ever have before.

Orken, if you are reading this, I hope it does not trouble you to know that I am trying to become more like the Andalite you expected when we first met. It cannot change my opinion of you, my friend.

May 2015

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