Ira told Moonshadow three conflicting stories about his origin, each of which he said was untrue. However they may have grains of truth to them:
In the first story, Ira is an orphan on a war-torn world. A prostitute takes him under her wings until she dies. Then he is abducted by the G’L-Doses (more on them below).
In the second story, Ira lives on a sex-obsessed world. Everything is constantly fornicating, except when it is filling it’s life with some other hedonistic pleasure. He was happy, until the G’L-Doses took him.
In the third story, Ira is a gay man from Brooklyn, with a bad marriage and family. He is unhappy with everything. He puts on a fuzzy Halloween costume and is caught by the G’L-Doses, who trap him in the costume.
It is clear, however, that his early life was unhappy and gave him a clear fear and distaste for war. He was not very healthy before his abduction.
Major Story Arcs
Regardless of what his life was like before, one day Ira is abducted by the G’L-Doses and put in the Zoo along with the many other aliens they caught. There, the G’L-Doses provide him with an unending lifespan and his health is normalized. He is a tall, fuzzy alien who is completely self-indulgent and a slave to his desires, which mostly revolve around porn, beer, and flatulence. He often wears a bowler hat and smokes a cigar.
After Ira has been at the Zoo for at least a hundred years, an Earth boy named Moonshadow is born there. As Moon grows, he is attracted to Ira as a father figure. Ira is a major grouch so he puts him off, but Moon brings him an immense collection of porn from his dome’s library, and Ira decides to tolerate him.
One day Moon’s father, one of the G’L-Doses, decides to let Moon out of the Zoo for an adventure. He sends Ira with him, over Ira’s objections. Moon’s cat, Frodo, and his mother, Sunflower, come too. The G’L-Doses provide them with a ship, the Decrepit, and they fly off into space. Ira is majorly freaked out at losing his life at the Zoo, where he could focus on his hedonistic desires all day long.
When they run into a fleet running away from a sector filled with plague, Ira tries to get them to take him with them, but fails. Sick of the Romantic views of Moon and Sunflower, he wants to get out. He even tries to take over the ship’s computer when they leave to save a ship broadcasting a distress call, to no avail. He reluctantly joins them, but runs away when danger appears.
Sunflower dies in the sortie, and Moon brings her to the mall world of Gimmegimme for a funeral at Jobidiah Unkshuss’s funeral palace. Ira doesn’t care, and wants to get rid of him, so he starts a riot between the Mourners’ Guild, which is on strike, and their scabs at the funeral. Moonshadow is nabbed by some insane asylum workers in the chaos, and Ira seems to be free of his naïve young companion.
He tries to get the Decrepit and fly off, but finds that Moon put it in hock for the funeral. He needs a lot of money to get it back, so he infiltrates the asylum (also owned by Jobidiah) dressed like a nurse and frees Moon. Moon doesn’t know that Ira started the riot that got him into the asylum, so he’s happy to see him again. Ira fakes friendliness and forces Moon to take numerous terrible jobs to pay for the ship. Ira tends to spend the money on beer and hookers, however. Eventually Ira decides they need to make a big theft to make enough money: they need to steal the Godsegg. Moon, still an innocent, can’t lower himself to steal, but Ira won’t accept this, and beats him badly, castigating him for taking him away from the Zoo. Moon finally agrees to do it out of loneliness, and wanting to make his father figure proud.
Moon manages to take it, but is chased by the police. Ira has no loyalty, however, and knocks Moon on the head and takes the Godsegg himself. Moon begins to realize that he has been idealizing Ira. In the end, both are caught, and given a choice: 200 years in jail or the Machovian army. Moon, full of Romantic ideas of war, is excited. Ira, who seems to have had bad experiences with war in the past, is far from it. Moonshadow never learns what these past experiences were, but when their general, Carollian Lunace, gives a speech to boost their morale, Ira calls him a lair and attacks him. After they are returned to quarters, he acts like a “castrated dog” and lurks about, whimpering, and even praying on his knees in apparent fear.
They are sent on a dangerous mission to Bingbangboom to stop a man with a doomsday weapon. However when part of their squad enters the castle of the enemy, they find Lord Gaylord. He doesn’t actually have a weapon, but just said so to keep both armies away. Instead he runs a secret retreat for all those who love peace. Ira is happy for a while, but ultimately decides the palace is just another Zoo. And while until now he has been saying he just wanted to go back, now he wants to be free. He leaves, and Moon follows.
They leave with the rest of their squad to the next planet at war, Tsuris. This planet is full of battle, and Moon and Ira are separated and both wounded. Moon finally finds the unconscious Ira with the help of the ghosts of his dead mother and her boyfriend, Moonshadow the elder, whom she named him after.
Moon carries Ira until they are caught by the enemy army, the Goyimians, and brought to a concentration camp. The other inmates are worried about a lack of food, and turn on the weak Moonshadow. Ira, finally feeling some loyalty and friendship towards Moon after their close combat experiences, warns them off and bloodily pulls off one of their arms to keep them away. Ira then surprisingly stays by Moon’s bedside for days, tending to him tenderly, even praying once again.
After that, Ira continued to berate Moon whenever he got the chance, but they were now bonded in close friendship.
Moon eventually befriends the camp leader, Darkmeister Ebann, and gets Ira and their squadmates Horntoad and Rigarollo to join him in putting on plays for the leader. However Ebann eventually turns on them and sentences them to execution by being dipped into boiling vats.
Ira is first dropped in, but he releases an enormous fart that, incredibly, launches him out of the vat. It seems the G’L-Doses enhanced the power of his flatulence to achieve this effect. In the ensuing chaos the whole squad escapes. Ira is hailed as a hero by the other prisoners, and he and his squad are sent to the Machovian palace for awards.
Ira, however, becomes reclusive and inwardly-focused. His unhappiness with war makes him equally unhappy to accept awards for it. At the palace, they meet the king and queen, and also the Unkshuss family, Jobidiah and his siblings Mobidiah and Flobidiah, and their tyrant father Pobidiah. The Unkshusses are the power behind the throne, since they control both the economy and the religion of the empire. Mobidiah spearheads an interest among them to get Ira on their side. They get him drinks and women, and eventually manage to turn him back into the morally vacant, dissolute Ira that he was before the war. They clear his head by finally providing him with all the empty pleasure that he’s been missing since the Zoo, and fill it back up again with dreams of easy glory and more pleasure. He writes Moon a good-bye note and leaves with them on a tour of the galaxy, giving speeches about his bravery during the war.
The Unkshusses want him to do this because the war makes them a lot of money, and the war is on the wane, thanks to the peace-making efforts of Lord Gaylord. They hope Ira’s speeches will bring hype up support for the war among the population.
Unfortunately, they are not content to merely convince Ira to give speeches through their gifts of alcohol and women. Once they are on tour, Mobidiah’s thuggish side comes through. He poisons Ira’s food, locks him in a cage and beats him into submission, day in and day out. Ira becomes little more than an animal. Then Mobidiah uses a mind-control helmet to make Ira parrot back Mobidiah’s words. Flobidiah helps her brother, but unenthusiastically. She is the only good-hearted Unkshuss, and falls in love with Ira.
Moon is alerted to Ira’s situation by the G’L-Doses, and he flies off to rescue him. He sees him giving one of his jingoistic speeches. Not knowing about the mind-control, he is stunned that the anti-war Ira would be so supportive of the war. Moon confronts him angrily, but walks away after he gets no answer from Ira. He slips off and eavesdrops at the Unkshuss’s door, and learns how they have been controlling him. Flobidiah notices Moon and lets him take Ira away. Over many days, Moon is slowly able to bring Ira back to consciousness by playing his flute and telling him stories.
Recovery and Finality
They go back to Pillbox, where Moon had lived happily when Ira was on tour. There they find his home destroyed and Lord Gaylord apparently killed. Moon is crushed, and Ira sinks back into gluttony. They fly off, and Ira takes control as Moon sinks into despondency. He takes them to I.H.O.T.: the Interplanetary House of Tarts. There, he books the virgin Moonshadow with a prostitute for the night, and himself with a stream of women for more than a week. His mind and emotions ground to the bone from his terrible experiences, he dives into violent sex until he can no longer move, burning all his sadness and burdens away, and trying to find the core of himself that the Unkshusses had destroyed.
As they leave I.H.O.T., they are caught by the Unkshusses and put in Pobidiah’s dungeons. Pobidiah threatens to kill them unless they convert to his religion and confess their “sins.” Ira is still withdrawn through their interrogation until Pobidiah threatens to shoot Moonshadow. Then Ira summons up his strength and rips their chains from the wall. Moon gets Pobidiah’s gun, shoots him, and they escape, Ira still protecting him from the guards, his loyalty and friendship to Moon once more apparent. On the way they find Flobidiah, whose love for him still burns strong. She helps them out. Eventually, the rightful queen of Machovia manages to arrest the male Unkshusses for their crimes, and Moon and Ira are announced as heroes once again. Flobidiah now stays with Ira, taking care of him; his health once again is in poor shape.
They receive a letter from Gaylord, who may not be dead after all, saying that he found the fabled mystic, Shree Quack-Quack H’onnka, on the mystic Planet of Mists. Moon, Ira, and Flobidiah race off to see if they can find Gaylord.
They don’t find Gaylord, but they do find a number of pilgrims and believers in H’onnka’s religion. Ira’s health, meanwhile, goes from bad to worse. He wasn’t healthy before being brought to the Zoo, and his experiences in the war, with Mobidiah, and at I.H.O.T. have brought him to the point where he is slowly dying. Moon won’t accept it, but Flobidiah tries to comfort him.
In extremis, Ira finally accepts that there may be something to life other than beer and porn, and starts reading the Gospel of H’onnka. It seems to fill a hole in his soul that had been empty for years, and which he had occasionally tried to fill through short attempts at prayer a few times before.
The next day he meets a mysterious figure, possibly H’onnka himself, who gives him some fruit, even though there is none around. Ira goes back to see Moon and Flobidiah, and dies. Moon is shattered by the loss of his closest friend; but his feelings of ultimate loneliness and sadness soon lead him to an Awakening that is a turning point in his life.
Powers and Abilities:
Ira has superhuman strength to an unknown degree. He is capable of ripping a man’s arm off his body, and pulling chains out of a stone wall.