Chapter 1: And So It Begins
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl.
She had come from a land far away, one where she had been considered a princess.
The king of the land she traveled to told her that if she were to find her true love while being locked inside a faraway tower, he would allow her to remain in their land and have the same treatment as his own daughter.
And so she waited in the highest keep of the tallest tower to be rescued.
Years later, a wandering knight discovered the tower and decided to scale it. Seeing the girl inside, they had a wonderful meeting -- and true love's first kiss.
They got married immedia---pfffhahahaha.
"Just what do you humans come up with nowadays?! WHAT A LOAD OF--" SLAM. The door to an incredibly unbelievably...bizzare house slammed open, and what appeared to be a small...green...boy stepped out. "PA. THE. TIC." He shook his head, and took a sharp inquiring look to the gnomes in his yard, letting out an annoyed 'tch' noticing one knocked over. He picked up the gnome as he walked over, placing it back upright -- it was about as tall as he was, honestly -- and nodding approvingly.
At the same time, a boy of the same stature -- natural, because he was 14 -- was taking gadgets and gizmos down from his wall as he walked outside. "Today's the day, ALIEN! YOU'LL BE IN MY GRIP AT LONG LAST -- AND YOU'LL BE SCREAMING FOR MERCY, AND I'LL JUST--"
"Do you realize how you're sounding right now?" A purple haired girl looked up from her PSP, sitting on a spot on a couch. "It's like you're getting off on it. Not that I'd be surprised."
"EW! Gaz -- just -- EW. This is purely scientific. It's a chiefly scientific matter -- one that should be treated with respect and care -- but one that I'll take a great amount of humor in once it's complete! C'mon! You can watch." With that, the obnoxiously-large-headed boy took out towards the home of his target. The purple-haired girl let out a long sigh.
"...if you mess yourself, I'm not cleaning it up." After a slight pause, she followed after, muttering to herself. "...when was it decided I was his keeper..."
The green boy had finished examining the outside for any signs of disruption at this point, and had stepped back inside, now eating a plateful's worth of...waffles. One could say that he didn't exactly have a varied diet. "GIR. WHAT EXACTLY IS IN THIS BATCH?"
"WAFFLE FUEL!" A chipper voice called back.
"MOTOR OIL!" As soon as the overly-cheery voice said that, the alien boy began coughing, spitting out blackened chunks of waffle. "IT'S DEEEEELIIICIIIOOUUSSS."
"WELL, YEAH, TO A ROBOT! UGH -- GIR, FETCH ME THE BUCKEEEEEET!"
The human and his sister were approaching the home at this point, the big-headed boy pausing at the door for a minute before slamming it open quite dramatically. "...Seriously, he doesn't lock this?" Blink. Blink. Nonetheless, he stepped inside further, creeping in the silence.
"Maybe he's not home." Gaz stated nonchalantly, walking normally behind her brother.
"We can't afford to not be on our guard, Gaz. Don't you know what these things can do to you?!" To the silence, he added onto that. "...They'll use their little sickles to drive through your innards! Slam a club over your head and bludgeon you to death! Use their psychic rays to zap through your body while another one drinks your blood until you're a shell!"
"--ACTUALLY, DIB-STINK, THOSE...ARE TROLLS." Startled, Dib looked towards the source of the voice -- oh, of course, the alien just managed to show up behind him. In all reality, the alien - Zim - was clinging onto the ceiling and had just fallen down at the right time. "NOW, MY RACE...OH, WE'RE MUCH, MUCH WORSE. WE'LL MAKE YOUR SKIN INTO CARPET -- SQUEEZE YOUR HUMAN-BOO-GHERS OUT FROM YOUR BUTT! USE YOUR OVERLY BIG HEAD AS A PAPERWEIGHT -- ...actually, it might be too big for that. Maybe I could prop a table up with it or something." He rubbed his chin, attempting to think while his rival pulled out an absolutely ridiculous looking metal device emitting some sort of electricity from the tip.
"BACK! BACK, ALIEN! I WARNED YA!" He waved it overdramatically, pointing it towards his enemy, who stared with a deadpan expression in return.
"GIR. 42-A." He commanded. At the sound of that order, the small robot hopped out from the kitchen, grabbed the device, tossing it outside, getting shocked by it, and flying outside with it while it laughed. "....You were saying?"
"...Um." Dib bit his lip, slowly backing up.
"....AHAHAHAHAHA! PATHETIC DIB-HUMAN, NOT BRINGING A BACKUP PLAN! WET YOURSELF IN FEAR, FOR YOU HAVE JUST MADE YOURSELF THE EASIEST TARGET ZIM HAS EVER FACED! I WAS HOPING YOU'D AT LEAST BE SMARTER THAN THIIIIISSSS...BUT I GUESS WE CAN'T ALL GET WHAT WE HOPED FOR. AH WELL. READY TO DIE?"
"...." Dib looked at Gaz, who simply glared at him in return. "....." After enough staring, she pushed the gloating alien aside, opened the door, and glared at her brother once more.
"This is the part where you run away screaming vengance while he laughs like an idiot and I wonder why I was graced with the presence of so many idiots in my life. Like 50% of the time." The two rivals paused, looked at each other as if to ask 'is it really that routine by now' and then Dib took off running.
"I'LL HAVE VENGANCE, JUST YOU WAIT, ALIEN SCUM!"
"PFFHAHAHAHA! PERHAPS WHEN ZIM IS DEAD! YOU ARE NOTHING! I...AM ZIIIIIIMMMM!"
"And I am pissed off." Gaz stated nonchalantly, walking out the door. "Just kill him already, not like anyone will miss him." She slammed the door behind her after that last comment, leaving the alien in stunned silence.
"...why is she so terrifying? It's unnatural. Perhaps she's not human. Maybe a bloodthirsty demon or something." He mused to himself, shaking his head and sitting down on his couch. "....GIR, GET BACK INSIDE!"
The robot flew back inside via one of the open windows, having fashioned the metallic electric device into some sort of makeshift scarf. He hopped up beside his master, twitching every few minutes from electric shock and giggling to himself because of it. "....AT LEAST TURN IT OFF." Zim flicked a switch on the right side of the new 'scarf', turning the static shocks off.
"I WANTED TO BE PIKACHU!"
"You wanted to be what."
"....Okay, yeah, whatever." And so the two proceeded to watch TV for a few hours, chatting idely to each other all the while - the robot, naturally, making no sense whatsoever. "I don't get it--" Zim pointed at the TV. "-- is this really what entertains humans? It's some dumb kid and his dog having stupid adventures. Why do they enjoy this? There's not a logica--"
"IT HAS PRETTY COLORS!"
"...okay, yeah, there's that. Just turn it off. Or down. Or something. I'm going to do my weekly report to the Tallest. I'm sure they're concerned about my status. THEY JUST LOVE ME TOO MUCH!" Despite his overdramatic and bloodthirsty nature, all he was really concerned about was acceptance. Pressing a button on the wall, a much larger screen was exposed, flashing a generic purple 'Please wait' over a red background.
In deeper space, a large spaceship -- aptly named the Massive -- had received the transmission, causing a small subordinate/technician to look up at the aformentioned Tallest -- Red and Purple -- and sweat. "Sirs! Transmission from...Zim...received...should I let it get through?"
Red snorted at the announcement of another transmission from Zim. "Oh, sure. Go ahead. Let's have dinner and a show, shall we?"
With that, the transmission appeared on a large screen. "Invader Zim reporting for duty!" He saluted, standing at attention. "Things have been going well! Just today, I've conquered a local province! I put the flag on it and everything! PRAISE ME!"
"....Zim, did you just put the flag on it?"
"No! I SCARED AWAY A FAMILY ON A PICNIC TOO!"
"That doesn't count."
"...oh." Zim's face shifted into an ashamed frown. "...they were...pretty threatened...at least..."
"Uh-huuuuh." Purple appeared to be looking at something in the background, widening an eye in a confused way. "....Zim, did you adopt a little pony?"
"....Whaaaaano." With an even more baffled stare, he looked behind himself, noticing a small red-maned horse. "...."
Just as he was preparing to say something, two other horses -- one with wings, one with a horn -- dashed inside. "You've got it?" The red-maned one asked. The winged pony nodded in return. "Alright, then we're ready! Ready, girls?"
"CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS INTERIOR DECORATORS!" They shouted in unison, pushing a pink paintbucket out and beginning to paint the walls.
"--HEY, HEY, NO DON'T MESS WITH THAT! GET OUT!" Zim snatched the paintbucket away, to the surprise of the horned pony, who let out a gasp and jumped back, tears in her eyes.
"...Awwww." Purple was looking at the goings on with an amused expression, Red attempting to stiffle his laughter to no avail.
"Hey, don't be a jerk, mister!" The winged pony snapped.
"Yeah, Zim, stop being a party-pooper." Purple commented.
"I JUST...GET OUT! ZIM DOES NOT CARE IF ZIM IS BEING A 'JERK'! HOW DID YOU THREE GET IN HERE, ANYWAY?!"
"The friendly bear in the bathroom let us in." The winged pony stated. Zim's eyes only widened further, and he dashed to the elevator -- bathroom, bathro--OH, GOD.
"OKAY. OKAY. NO! TEENAGER'S CORPSE...OUT OF THE BATHROOOOOM!" He pointed at the blue-haired girl sitting, dead, in a corner, to the surprise of all the other teenagers surrounding her.
"...Couldn't exactly put her anywhere else." A boy with a goatee commented. "The lab was taken."
"WHAT." After a short trip down to the lab, he stared at the just-as-short redheaded boy standing in the lab. "...OUT! NOOOOOOOWWWWW!" He shoved the redheaded boy into the elevator, the group of teenagers following suit, and the ponies having already run outside after painting a smiley face on the wall. The Tallest were laughing hysterically, nearly crying by this point.
"C--Cutie M-Mark Crusaders....YAAAAAAAY!" Purple called out in a high pitched squeal, to the laughter of Red. Zim's eye twitched, hearing more noise outside. He slammed the door to outside open after hastily putting on his human disguise, and looked around at the...catastrophe that had taken over his lawn. There were...characters everywhere. Above, there were several fairies flying past, having what looked to be a mid-air battle with complex patterns. To the left, there were several what looked to be soldiers with brown jackets on talking to each other in the most serious way possible. To the right, there were two boys having a battle with what appeared to be an electric rat and a gigantic flame-tailed dragon.
"WHAT....ARE YOU DOING....AT ZIM'S HOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUSSSSEEEEE?!?!?!"
Almost immediately, everything went silent, except the laughter of GIR, having apparently bonded quite well with a pink pony, blowing a party horn. Zim's eye twitched once more, and he snapped again. "WELL?! WHICH ONE OF YOU DECIDED TO SET UP CAMP IN MY LAWN?! I PROMISE YOUR DEATH WILL BE LONG AND PAINFUL."
"as much as i'd like to go home, we can't. prince makoto said we can't. :P" A boy with a blue hood on commented.
"Makoto Itou. We had a public election for who go to become our new rulers, and he won by a landslide by stealing most of the female votes." A blonde girl standing next to the boy who spoke up added on. "And we had already ruled that we couldn't change our ruler after elected. Because most of us are morons, it appears."
"i thought i was going to be king
but apparently not
this group has shit taste" A blonde boy with black shades on frowned, crossing his arms.
"...Okay, where can I find this 'Prince Makoto'? Anyone know where he is? Anyone at all?" Zim looked at the crowd, who appeared to be pointing every which way at once. GIR immediately ran over and joined his master's side. "...GIR, can you track this...Makoto Itou?"
"YOU GOT IT, MASTER!" The small robot saluted, blowing his party horn again and giggling. In the meantime, another familiar voice spoke up from the crowd.
"Not happy with your party, Zim?" Dib. Of course he'd be there. Of course.
"GO AWAY, DIB."
"Oh, c'mon. Indulge me a bit. What's going on?"
"WHAT IS GOING ON IS THAT I AM GOING TO GET MY HOME BACK. AND ALL OF THESE STUPID...STUPID...FICTIONAL CHARACTERS ARE GOING BACK WHERE THEY CAME FROM!" Another long pause...followed by cheering. Almost immediately, the large group was fawning over Zim and calling him a hero, much to his annoyance.
"...You're going to need help, you know." Dib commented dryly.
"FROM YOU?! HA! I'D RATHER--"
"Do you really want to go on a trip with that--" he pointed at GIR, who was apparently dancing the time warp by now, "all alone? A long time with just that? I mean, yeah, if you want to go even further insane, be my guest, but I'm offering to join you. No hidden motives."
"....WHY DO YOU WANT TO GO, ANYWAY?"
"Let's just say I'm curious. There might be more interesting aliens than you out there. So. Yes or no?"
"..." Zim paused and sighed. "Just don't slow me down or try to kill me. Again."
"Mmm...kay. Temporary truce on the second part." Dib stated, following after GIR and Zim as they took off. Gaz, standing in the shadows, looked about at the rest of the characters...walked over, hugged a light yellow pony while muttering 'you're my favorite' and then slowly walked after the trio.
"--LET'S SING THE DOOM SONG!"
Chapter 2: Travel Song (and 'Prince' Makoto)
GIR sings the 'Travel Song' from Shrek the Musical. Meanwhile, Zim sets out to get Princess Ika Musume for Makoto.
It was pretty obvious that Makoto hadn't intended to become any sort of ruler. It was unintentional...for the most part, as all he'd done is sleep with a few girls. A few meaning a good chunk of the camp that was currently stationed outside of Zim's house. But no one was really counting. He already had two 'wives' (in the case that everyone thought he was married to them, at least), and he wasn't exactly against getting another...but Kotonoha and Sekai might be. Hence why that day at school was much less relaxing than the usual, and he was zoned out for the most part.
"--Huhwha?!" He snapped out of his daze, looking at Sekai, who was sitting in front of him. Class had apparently ended at that point, and she was holding a laptop on the desk in front of her. "Okay, look. As much as I hate this - and we both know I hate this - the dimwads that we met yesterday told me to slide you this....'prince'." She narrowed her eyes, staring at the boy behind her.
"Seriously, are you really going with this? I mean, really, I know they all showed up in your house right out of nowhere, but does that really mean that we're now the rulers of the tiny nation of Makotolovania? I know you kept that girl with the laptop around - don't try to tell me you didn't, since her face is right here on the damn thing - but what the hell else is happening?" Makoto took the laptop, and slid his finger along the touchpad to wake it up.
Immediately, the chipper face of Alter Ego appeared on the computer screen. "Good afternoon, Prince Makoto! I'm here to present you with your three official bride options!"
"--Bride?! Whoa, whoa -- no. Noooooo. Not another." Sekai snapped, crossing her arms.
"Ah...he somewhat has to have an official princess as his bride...otherwise, he can't become king. That's how it all works..." Even the computer program seemed frightened, but Sekai simply let out a small sigh.
"Alright, proceed, show him his options." The screen flipped to three portraits of three girls, Makoto clicking on the first one.
"Your first option is a high-flying superheroine girl from Tamaran! She's a bit inexperienced with Earthen ways - but don't let that stop you! She's a high-spirited girl whose passions include adventuring and Earthen TV! Princess...Kori'Andr!" The first picture flipped on to reveal a red-head in a tank top with a short skirt. Makoto's lips twitched into a half-smile while Sekai simply glared as he clicked onto the second option.
"Our contestant number two is a girl from a micronation across the sea with high prospects ahead of her! She's not exactly a virgin, nor is she typical in any way shape or form judging by her love of horror movies...but she loves animals and daytime soaps! Ready when you are, Princess...Sonia Nevermind!" The second option lit up with a picture of a blonde girl in a short dress, looking very-much-so the stereotypical princess in appearance. Finally, Makoto clicked on the third option.
"Contestant number three comes from a self-declared faraway kingdom that is under her command! But unfortunately, she's locked in a tower over a large moat in front of a raging nuclear core! Don't let that shock you though! She's an energetic young woman who loves classic gaming and eating shrimp, while protesting against pollution. Yours for the rescuing...Princess...Ika Musume!" Finally, the third picture lit up, revealing a short blue-haired girl wearing a white cap with a frown on her face who looked less-than-threatening. Immediately, Sekai smirked. Yeah, that'd be easy to compete against. Hardly a competition, actually. "So who is it going to be? Number 1....number 2...or number 3?" As the sweet-voiced AI finished speaking, he looked up at Sekai, who held up three fingers. Um. One. Three. Two. Three. One. Three.
"Three!" Makoto finally said, clicking on the third portrait again.
"Prince Makoto Itou...you've picked...Princess Ika Musume!" The boy folded his hands behind his head, letting out a sigh. "....But, um...there's something you should probably know...she's--" The boy had folded the screen down, shaking his head and beginning to walk out of the classroom.
"...So, ya gonna rescue her?" Sekai smirked a bit, walking beside him.
"You heard the little computer chick. You've gotta rescue the girl yourself." She crossed her arms. "I'm certainly not doing it, and you can't count on Kotonoha for that. At all."
Makoto grimaced. "Then I guess she's staying in that tower."
"You still love me."
Meanwhile, Zim, Gir, Gaz, and Dib had gotten relatively close to the school.
"So then I said to him 'why don't you like no waffles I mean everybody likes waffles I ain't met no person who ain't not likin' no damn waffles', WAFFLES ARE DELICIOUS!" Gir was going on a tirade. As usual.
"Does it ever stop?" Dib had covered his ears with his hands while grinding his teeth in annoyance. Zim smirked a bit and shook his head.
"Uggggh." Dib looked ahead, seeing the high school in front of them, and raised a brow.
"Well. This is his kingdom." Zim stated flatly. "Correct, GIR?"
"...." He looked at the size of it, and snorted. "....think maybe he's compensating for something?"
"...." Gaz stared at Zim as if to say 'you're one to talk, Napoleon', and the alien closed his mouth. She was still horrifying. "Let's go inside before I get too bored." Not missing a beat, she began walking inside. Zim, Dib, and Gir followed after, Gir charging in recklessly and slamming into some lockers. This only caused the robot to laugh.
"....I almost kinda pity it." Dib stared at Gir with a half-frown.
"Don't. It's not worth the effort, trust me." Zim replied, scanning the hallways for Makoto. "...GIR. Do a check to see if the hair sample we got matches any of the humans in this hall."
"How the hell did you get that?"
"......Let's just say that the guy we're dealing with isn't exactly.....pure. A girl with blonde hair had it in her tent."
"I GOTS A MATCH NEAR THE GROIN AREA!"
That earned a group facepalm. "Lead us to it." Gir nodded obediently and dashed off to where he'd found the matching sample, the rest of the group following after. Eventually, they ran into Makoto and Sekai...quite literally.
"Are you alright?" Makoto blinked, stepping back. The odd looking dog and the rest of the motley crew stared up at him, Zim immediately marching to the front of the pack.
"....That's my name, yeah."
"WHAT IS YOUR GROUP OF...EEEEDIOOOOTTTS...DOING ON ZIM'S LAWN?!" He pointed accusingly. "YOU SENT THEM THERE! YOU SENT THEM TO DISTURB ZIM!"
"...I didn't send them anywhere in particular, just somewhere away from m--"
"...." Makoto glanced at Sekai, who spoke up. "Right, well. Perhaps he did. It's not really his responsibility now that they're there--"
"I DEMAND YOU GET THEM AWAY!"
"...we will. At one cost." Sekai smirked. "Makoto was going to go after a princess himself, but considering your group seems to be adventure-ready...we'll strike a deal. If you bring the princess back here, Makoto will get the group of jackasses off your lawn. Fair's fair, after all."
"...." Zim glanced at the others before nodding. "FINE. SO WHERE DO I FIND THIS...PRINCESS."
"So let me get this straight. We're going to a tower over a moat with a nuclear core inside it to rescue a short blue-haired girl, and then we're taking her back there." Dib stated flatly, crossing his arms as he followed after the rest of the group.
"Yeah, that's what the guy said. Not like you have to come, but I'm not going to live with that on my lawn. What you do isn't my problem. And if you get killed along the way, that's one less problem for me." Zim marched forward, following after GIR's tracking device. "...Actually, go ahead and join us, radiation poisoning would be magnificent for you to have." He smirked at Dib, showing his pointy teeth, while the other boy frowned in return.
"I'm going to make sure that's all you do, Zim. No conquering Earth. Nothing else. Just rescuing some princess."
"Yeah, yeah, hero complex, blah-dee-blaaaah. YOU ALWAYS BORE ZIM SO MUCH."
"...You're just jealous because you're the villain." Dib commented, seeing the alien stop dead in his tracks at the words. "Because everyone considers you a laughingstock and annoying, you get the idea that conquering the world will help you somehow. It won't. But you can dream, can't you?"
"...." Zim said nothing, and continued marching forward. After a few more steps, GIR started talking. As usual.
"OOH, OOH! LET'S SING A SONG! IT'S ALWAYS BETTER ON THE ROAD TO SING A SONG!"
"Siiiing a song, yes, a travel song~!
When ya gotta go somewhere, 'cause the fun is gettin' there!
Yeah! C'mon, master! Sing it with me!" He immediately slowed down to Zim's pace, making his 'master' groan in annoyance.
"This is not a musical, GIR--"
"Sing a song! Go along~!
Forget the fairies, forget the scaries -
because we're all havin' fun...wheeheeheeee!
And I know - all I need - is my master and this song
So I'm singin', and goin' with youuuu~!
SEE? IT MAKES IT MUCH BETTER! NOW YOU TRY!"
"...Why me? Why me?
Why all of this? What did I do?"
"WHY'S YOUR HEAD SO BIG?!"
"He's a stupid talking piece of trash--"
"Maybe if we're lucky, he'll crash?"
"Not likely, Dib, but the thought counts."
"Why me? Why me? This song is annoying still--
Gives me the urge to kill!"
"Actually, I wouldn't even stop you this time."
"This trip's not much a thrill...
Just swallowing my anger, like a pill."
"OOH, LOOK, THAT GUY HAS SUUUUUCH POOOINTTTYY HAAIIIIRRR! I WANT ONE! LET'S DO IT AGAIN!
Siiiing a song, yes, a travel song~!
When ya gotta go somewhere, 'cause the fun is gettin' there!
Forget the fairies, forget the scaries -
because we're all havin' fun...wheeheeheeee!
And I know - all I need - is my master and this song
So I'm singin', and goin' with youuuu~!" GIR slid down in front of Zim on his knees. The alien simply sighed and patted him on the head.
"That'll do, GIR. That'll do."
Chapter 3: I Just Squidding Know It's Today, De Geso!
"--Settle in! It's story time, little squiddies!" The short-blue-haired girl took a book down from her shelf, peering out her window.
"There's a princess, all alone there, oh my squid, that's just like me!
Poor Anna just -- needs a friend now, but her sis won't let her free
She passes time by singing, like somesquid else I know, as years go by, she sings and waits
As years go by, there's snow! --Wait.
A guy faking his love now? I don't remember this part!
He leaves her there for dead?! Skip ahead, skip ahead--
...there we go. But in the end Anna ends up with a nice boy that's shy -
he's a bit goofy, sure, but he's my kinda guuuyyyy~!
And I know he'll appear - 'cause the ocean's full of life and--
I believe in him, don't you? Maybe even now, tonight!
My true love...will appear, and he'll hug me when I feel down!
....Kinda sorta....like now....hopefully...
I know it's today!
I squidding know it's today!" The girl closed her book and sighed, dropping it onto the floor. She sank down beside it, looking around the relatively empty room. "...Probably not, de geso." She crawled to her small bed, hugging her pillow. "...I wanna go back to the sea..."
This girl's name was, of course, Ika Musume. She'd been waiting for a while, obviously - long enough for her to get quite longing....and annoyed. Right now she was biting her lip. "...Where the squid are you, prince charming?!" She dug her fingernails into her pillow. "I want you to come and get me so I can go the squid home! Now!" She hit her pillow against her bed. "Why-won't-you-come---ugh, ink it!" She dropped the pillow and laid her head on it. "I'm gonna be up here forever....whatever, how about this one...?"
"There's a young girl - with her father, she whines incessantly...
Pretty vamp-boy, with his danger - yeah, no, not at all for me...
Blah blah blah blah, werewolf best friend, boring boring, not too lucky...
Bleh bleh bleh bleh filler filler, this book is too crappy! - skip ahead, skip ahead...
....But in the end the girl has all her dreams come true easily...
why her but not for me?!
So I know he'll appear - 'cuz if she gets one, why can't I?
Can't deny that he'll be strong and - really cool!
Determined, maybe funny - yeah, that I could get used to-
'Bout time you get here soon!
...I hate this.
I know it's today!
He'll squidding show up today!" She tossed the book aside, crossing her arms. "That was dumb. What squid buys into that?! Nosquid should." She clicked her tongue and took a look at her bookshelf. "...One more?"
"There's a princess - in a tower - she waits for years and years...
Always longing, never getting - just like all of my fears!
She grows up all alone there never getting to go back
Her heart grows really small then and her sanity starts to crack--!
...Okay, maybe I'm making this all up.
...I'm waiting here, when you get me, I'll love you eternally!
Even if you're stupid, or you're annoying, I'm not really picky
It won't be long, really hopefully....
I know it's today...
...Maybe someday soon...?" She laid her head into her pillow, beginning to cry a bit. "....Please come soon, de geso..."
Zim, Dib, Gaz, and GIR had now gotten close to the tower. The alien took the lead, glancing about, and twitching, stepping back when he saw the water in the moat below. "...Uuggh..."
"Scared, Zim?" Dib walked up beside him, grinning. "That'd be like lava to you. The burning, the burning, the burning..."
"--I AM NOT SCARED! ZIM FEARS NOTHING! PFHA!" With that, the alien stepped onto the bridge, the rest of the group following after. A few steps in, he stepped on a board -- and it fell, landing in the water below with a splash. "....Haaaah. Y'know, maybe we should just go back, I mean, I could probably scare them away from my house anyway..."
"We're not going back after we got this far." Gaz looked up from her PSP. "You're going to go into that tower and save the princess, or so help me God I will choke yourself with your own spleen. Or Dib's, if you don't have one."
"....Got it." Zim stepped forward reluctantly before stepping back out of fear. "Never mind go ahead and choke if you wish."
"GO. NOW!" That was seemingly the voice of the legion coming forth from Gaz's mouth. The speed that Zim took off towards the tower could only be rivaled by Sonic the Hedgehog. That is to say, massive nyoom, with Dib and Gir following suit. Gaz slowly walked over, patting Zim on the head. "That'll do, Zim. That'll do."
"--so isn't there a nuclear core inside? And something guarding her?" Dib asked.
"..." Looking at the skeleton of a knight nearby, Zim nodded. "Yeah. Look, I'll handle the core with Gir. Dib, Gaz, you two find the princess."
"Got it, where do I look?"
"Highest room, tallest tower."
"....Wait, how do you even--"
"I read it in a book once!"
Zim took off towards the direction he assumed the core was at, putting the armor on on top of his usual outfit. The helmet would be particularly useful. "ALRIGHT, GIR. Initiate potential battle protocol."
"YES, SIR!" Gir saluted, his eyes turning red and slipping into duty mode. "READY TO DESTROY THE ENEMY SIR!"
"Good." Zim nodded, stepping over the much more sturdy bridge betwe--he looked up. "....Well, we know where the princess is, at lea--OH. SHIT."
At that moment, Dib and Gaz had stepped near the core. "....Y'know, I don't think a princess would live here of all places." Gaz quipped sarcastically, seeing all the nuclear warning signs. "Have fun, Dib."
"--Wait, what?! I'm not going in there!" He pointed at the core. "I'm not that dumb!"
"Really? Surprising." The faintest hint of a smile appeared on Gaz's face. "...Oh, and I don't think you have to go in there. It's coming out here."
"--What i--" Swoop. Just as he spoke, the image of black wings was visible darting past his face. Dib instinctively backed up, and the owner of these black wings landed in front of him. It was a bird-girl, with long black hair, black wings, and what appeared to be a cannon on one of her arms.
"Who're you?!" She pointed her arm-cannon towards Dib, and it looked to be charging up. "I'm supposed to be guarding this place, and I can't let anyone through!"
"...Um. My name's Dib. That's my sister, Gaz." He was in a cold sweat at this point. Uggghhh this was not good this was not good. The purple haired girl waved an arm before looking back down at her PSP. "--we're actually kind of lost, so if you would--"
"Oh, you're lost? Where do you need to go?" Almost immediately, the bird girl switched into a chipper mood, smiling happily. "My name is Reiuji Utsuho, though, uh, my friends call me Okuu -- you might want to step back a bit, you're beginning to smell kinda crispy."
Dib stepped back hastily, Gaz following suit. "Um. Nice to meet you, Okuu. See, we were just trying to get to a.....a...."
"We were trying to get to a gaming convention nearby and we got lost. Do you know where Fuckwadia is?" Gaz crossed her arms, looking at the bird-girl.
"...Unyuu...? I don't..."
Dib's eyes were darting from Gaz to Okuu. Luckily, Okuu didn't appear to be the brightest egg in the nest - perhaps literally - and she had no perception that 'Fuckwadia' didn't exist. So he was safe for now. Zim had apparently taken the way to the princess, though, and...well, when he got back, he was sure that Okuu would at least know to protect her target. Then they'd be in trouble. But for now, it wasn't as bad as expected.
Chapter 4: An Obnoxiously Thin Line Between Love and Hate
Well, they were probably dead already - no harm in nabbing the princess since he was already there. With that, Zim shrugged as he ascended the steps of the tower, Gir toddling after.
"Alright, GIR. When we get to the top of these stairs, shut up and look cute like a normal human dog. We don't want to scare her too much." Gir nodded to that remark, and made a zipped-lips motion. It wasn't likely he'd keep to it, but it was the thought that counted. "Good boy. If you obey, I'll get you - what crappy human food do you wa--"
"LET'S GO TO CHUCK-E-CHEESE'S!"
"No. Not since the last time."
"BUT BUT BUT BUT."
"....Fine, as long as you don't burn it down again."
"...I was makin' pizza..."
At the top of the steps, the princess could hear all of the chatter, and she gasped. "--Finally!" She whispered to herself, grabbing flowers out from a nearby vase and holding them as she laid down on her bed, her eyes closed, only small breathing to show that she was still alive. It was finally the day - finally, a prince would come and get her out of the crappy tower - and she could hardly wait. What if he really was nice, and cool, and funny, and brave, and determined...just like in the stories? Jeez, she'd almost be awestruck. He'd take her into his arms, they'd jump onto a dolphin he trained to get there, and they'd swim all the way back to Squidlantis. It'd be perfect.
"Alright." He'd reached the top of the stairs, and he glanced at Gir to make sure he was keeping to his promise. The robot remained silent and nodded. Zim walked over to the bed, looking at the girl -- jeez, didn't she look a bit young? Short, too. The weird short blue hair wasn't helping matters -- and....shook her. "Wake up."
"B--Bwah!" Ika woke up with a jolt, looking at the person shaking her. Well, he certainly was in armor, at least. "...that was a weird awakening, but I'm not going to be picky, de geso. Gehe, oh squidliest sir knight, you've come to rescue me~!" Now she was hugging him, much to his confusion.
"Uh. Yeah. I have..." Zim glanced at Gir, who shrugged. He reluctantly patted the girl on the head. "...there, there....you're okay...?"
"I'm okay now! Ooh, ooh! I know! We should kiss, like in all the stories, de geso! That's what makes it so memorable!" She looked up at her rescuer -- who she was still clinging to -- and smiled, wide-eyed.
"....I....don't think so..."
"...Then, um, how about removing your helmet so I can see the most squidtastic face of my hero?"
"Not that, either." He was slowly prying the girl off of him, the most confused expression possible under his helmet.
"..." Ika pouted, huffing a bit. "...Can you at least tell me what your name is?!"
"Err...Zim." With another look towards Gir, the robot was actually stifling laughter, giving a thumbs up as if to say 'go get 'er, master'. Zim scowled in return. Ika nodded a bit, picking herself up.
"Sir Zim. I'm eternally grateful, de geso. Inkhaps now we can--" She was cut off by Zim quickly descending the stairs again. "--wait, wait!" She dashed after. "Where're you going?!"
"To save my half-brained arch-nemesis and his bitch of a sister." Zim answered flatly. "You can join if you want."
".....WHAT KIND OF A KNIGHT ARE YOU, GESO?!"
"One of a kind." Zim and Gir were chuckling to each other at this point as the princess dashed after them. "Glad to see you're joining."
"What did you mean saving them--" She was cut off by the sound of a nuclear blast charging up. "--YOU DIDN'T KILL THE HELLRAVEN?!"
"IT'S ON MY TO-DO LIST!"
"--That's not how it's supposed to happen!" At this point, Ika was being dragged down the stairs via her arm. "You're supposed to come in, sword drawn, banner flying, kill the hellraven, then rescue me--!"
"THAT'S HOW ALL THE OTHERS DID IT, GESO!"
"THE OTHERS ARE DEAD!" This had quickly turned into a shouting match. Gir looked between the two before smiling and speaking up.
"YOU TWO SHOULD KISS!" He raised his paws in the air.
"It talks!" Ika was looking at Gir with amazement.
"Oh, it talks, getting it to shut up is the real problem--! And no, GIR, I'm not going to!" The trio took to the core as quickly as they could, where Dib was still reluctantly chatting with Okuu.
"And that's how I accidentally resurrected George Washington in my bedroom." Okuu clapped - remarkably difficult, considering one of her arms was a nuclear cannon.
"That's even better than the bigfoot story!" She chirped, looking at the boy with wonder. "Did you really keep part of his fur?!"
"Yep! Got it in my bedroom to this very day!"
"Whoaaaa!" Okuu's eyes widened. "Jeez, if only I was half as awesome as you..."
"Aww, I'm not that grea--"
"DIB! WE'RE LEAVING, WE GOT WHAT WE NEEDED!" Zim shouted. Gaz followed the sound of the voice, Dib pausing for a moment as Okuu suddenly began to look...less than amused.
"...who was that...?" She soared after the voice as Dib winced, dashing towards Zim as well. "--YOU!" Unfortunately, Okuu was the first one to arrive. "PUT THAT GIRL BACK WHERE SHE CAME FROM!"
Zim paused for a moment, before steeling his nerves. "It's alright, ma'am, we're simply PRINCESS INSPECTORS, HERE TO SEE THAT YOUR PRINCESS IS IN WORKING CONDITION! We need to conduct a few tests outside, but she'll be safe as long as she doesn't implode. Princess, do you feel like you're going to implode?"
"...maybe..." Ika had narrowed her eyes, as if to question this entire plan. Okuu paused for a moment, and then landed.
"You'll bring her back right after the tests...?" She asked.
"OF COURSE! I'D LOSE MY LICENCE IF I DIDN'T! I have inspected over 633 princesses, I'm not going to lose all of that. Hard to get such a status, you know. Takes years upon years and the exam was HORRIBLE. I HAD TO PUT THIS PEA UNDER A SET OF MATTRESSES AND EVERYTHING!" Wow, was this actually working? It was. Okuu nodded a bit, grinning.
"Ah, yeah! I heard about that one! Wow, you're famous...unyuu...I wish I was that famous..." She tilted her head. "Anywhoosies. Go inspect her and then bring her back! As long as you'll bring her back, y'know!" Ika was staring at Zim in pure disbelief at this point. The invader nodded, took Ika by the arm again - and began to march out.
"Ah, Dib! You never told me you were friends with a princess inspector!" Dib and Gaz had caught up at this point, and both looked confused -- but Dib caught on, seeing Zim, Ika, and Gir over there.
"Oh, yeah. Best friends." Wow, that was the most fake smile possible. "I just came to help him out, y'know. Make sure he stayed safe."
"Oooh. It's okay now, though. I promised I wouldn't hurt him if he brought the princess back after he was done inspecting her~"
"Oh! Well, that's good! C'mon, Zim, let's...go inspect that princess." Dib joined the other three, Gaz silently following after as they began to leave.
"....wait, weren't we supposed to be rescuing her, not inspecting her?" Gir asked. Loudly. Like an idiot. Causing Ika, Zim, Dib, and Gaz to all glare at him as Okuu's smile faded.
"...." The hellraven began charging her cannon again.
"--TAKE HER AND RUN, I'LL HANDLE THIS!" Zim pushed Gaz, Dib, and Gir away, looking around--aha. A sword. He held it up - he hadn't used one of those since his academy days - and grinned....for a very short time, as the approaching hellraven was worth more than worry. "AAAAGH FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK!" He didn't exactly swear often, but at this moment...it was pretty acceptable when being burned to a crisp was a very possible option. Feeling the heat gaining on him, he took to much more speed, the advantage he had being that one of his legs wasn't made of stone, and he didn't have a gigantic cannon on his arm. He'd tire her out before long, and it was quite lucky that he'd brought a barrier wielder -- the standard equipment for setting up a shield -- that he could use at the entrance. With that, he followed after the other four, darting past. "PICK UP THE PACE, SHE'S COMING!"
Dib, Gaz, Gir, and Ika sped up, quickly reaching the bridge and running over it, the bridge falling as they got to the end close to where they came from. This caused Ika to let out a small terrified scream as Zim began climbing up, shooting the barrier at the front of the entrance, stopping Okuu dead in her tracks as she slammed into it. She began shooting at it, but no luck. She was stuck. "...." Her eyes filled with tears, and she slumped to the ground. Mmn.
And so they were all safe, despite the previous terror. Ika smiled, hugging onto Zim again. "That was inkmazing! You did it! I'm free, free at last!" She turned a slight shade of pink. "...Um, now...remove your helmet."
"So we can share true love's first kiss, of course!" Zim pushed Ika away after that sentence.
"THAT WAS NOT IN THE JOB DESCRIPTION."
"Maybe it's a perk?" Dib shrugged.
"Oh, c'mon, you know how the story goes! A knight rescues a princess from a tower, they escape, share true love's first kiss, get married, and live happily ever after!" Ika folded her hands. "And we're right at step #3."
"--wait. Wait. You think Zim is your true love?" Gaz asked, a hint of humor in her voice.
"...Well, yeah." Ika shrugged. Almost immediately, Gaz, Dib, and Zim had nearly doubled over in laughter.
"Knock it off!" Ika pouted.
"--okay, okay." Zim wiped a tear from his eye. "Princess, let's just put it at....I'M NOT EXACTLY....YOUR TYPE."
"What do you mean? You rescued me!" Ika was still blushing, looking absolutely lovestruck.
"Yeah, he's not exactly the sort of guy who'd fit the 'true love' description." Dib stated, clutching his chest from all the laughter. "...Not at all..."
"I think he is! I mean, yeah, he's a bit...unusual, kinda crude -- but he's still my hero! Now, Sir Zim, remove your helmet!"
"I don't think you want to--"
"Take it off!"
"You won't like what--"
"TAKE IT THE SQUID OFF!" Ika yelled. Zim raised his hands.
"Alright, fine, fine! As you wish." He reached up, and tossed off the helmet, revealing his face. "...Uh...hi."
".....You're green....and...an alien...." Ika muttered, her face turning into a disappointed one.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Were you expecting someone blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and taller?" He asked, a bit of bitterness showing in his tone. "I get that a lot."
"Actually, yeah, I was." Ika frowned, crossing her arms. "But you'll do."
"ZIM IS NOT EVEN THE ONE WHO WANTS YOU! Zim is here on behalf of Prince Makoto. He's the one who wants to marry you, kay?"
"....then if he wants to marry me, he can come and squidding get me himself! I'm staying right--" She sat onto a rock. "--here!"
"HA. HA. VERY FUNNY." Zim closed in on the girl. "Listen. I'm not a messenger. What I am is a deliverer."
"You. Wouldn't. Dare."
"I would." He smirked, grabbing Ika by the waist and - since they were both short - flopping her over his shoulder. "COME ALONG, GIR!"
"PUT ME DOWN, GESO! LET ME GO, YOU INKHOLE!" And so she was going to be flailing the whole way. Perhaps that's how this whole quest was summed up: being dragged away kicking and screaming.
Gaz couldn't agree more.