Zim paced the floor of his lab, arms tucked closely behind his back and body rigid as he had been taught to do so as a young smeetling. He was waiting, anxiously, for his Tallests’ to answer his transmission. He had so many things to update them on, and they were bound to be worried about their greatest Irken Invader since Zim hadn’t contacted them in months due to Dib, his arch-nemesis and the only thing keeping him from taking over this forsaken pig-stink of a rock he called a planet, getting in the way of one of his more… extensive … plans for world domination.
Gir sat not too far away from where he paced back and forth, playing with some random items the defective robot had found out in the yard earlier that day. He spared a quick glance over at him, cringing in disgust at the dirt he was getting all over the floor of his pristine lab. He would have yelled for Gir to run off and ‘ play ’, he thought with disdain, somewhere else. But he had learned over the many earth years he had been there that it was best to just let the robot do as he pleased. So long as he didn’t expose them or left a mess, Zim was… okay… with his minion misbehaving.
“Computer,” Zim ordered, halting his pacing to see his call had failed once again.
His computer groaned. This would be the tenth time just within the past hour Zim had tried to contact his Tallest. In a way, Zim could relate to his computer getting annoyed at him. Yet his computer was supposed to do as it was told. And so he ignored the little bubble of sympathy he felt in his Squeedlyspooch and narrowed his eyes up at the machine, waiting impatiently for it to do as it was told.
“Call the Tallest-”
Before Zim could even finish with his command, the computer groaned once again and had already begun another call, apparently having already known what Zim was going to demand of it.
Zim raised an eye at the machine before standing straight and looking determinedly ahead at his screen. If his Tallest did not pick up soon, then Zim would be forced to fear for the worst- the Armada was under attack somehow. And that there would be nothing he as an Invader could do about it.
Zim had no way of reaching them, or getting their coordinates so that he could fly out into the depths of space to help them in what little way he could. Those were his people, his leaders. It was his life and home out there that was possibly under attack, and he would be able to do nothing .
He refused to let the panic he felt control him however. He had been doing much more than planning and plotting in the past few months. He had learned to better control his emotions through his observations of the stink-worms known as humans. He had begun to better his disguise to better fit in, changing it slowly as to not draw suspicion and altering his ‘personality’ in and out of skool.
He had grown quieter in skool, and begun wearing ‘human’ attire. Skinny jeans and large sweaters and ‘Konverse’ instead of his Irken uniform. He began taking what humans had called sugar pills at skool and slowly turning his skin from the lovely shade of Irken green to the sickening pink of humans under the premise of ‘oh, these are the new medication for my skin condition’.
Zim knew he was succeeding in this endeavour. Everyone was none the wiser in his advancements in assimilating into human society. All were fooled, all except for Dib Membrane. It seemed as if no matter what the Irken Invader did though, that the stubborn human would always suspect Zim of being up to something. Which wasn’t untrue… Zim usually did have something up his uniform sleeve.
The seconds ticked and dragged by slowly, the worry in Zims’ chest growing more and more the longer he didn’t receive an answer, until finally the transmission he was sending out was answered.
He felt the tension leave his body instantly upon spying his two Tallest through the screen, only to return full-speed at the angered looks they were giving him. He didn’t understand why they were so upset, and opened his mouth to ask, before thinking against it.
“My Tallest,” he greeted ever in awe with a bow and shake of his antennae. “I have called to update you on my progress in taking over the Earth.”
He expected some kind of response from them, some kind of greeting they usually gave him. Instead they looked down on his in… disdain? It had taken Zim a while, but he had realized in the past few months that Irkens and humans generally gave similar expressions, and the faces his tallest were pulling were the same ones Dib pulled whenever Zim would speak of his plans.
His Tallest Purple decided to cut him off with a wave of his hand before bringing his face closer towards the screen.
“Zim, we grow tired of you not understanding the situation you are currently in. We’ve had our fun with you and now it’s just boring-”
“And annoying!” Tallest Red put in.
Purple raised an eye over his shoulder at Red who continued to munch on a few doughnuts and sip at his drink. He shook his head, antennae quivering in suppressed anger and disgust at the sight of partially chewed food.
“Anyways-, Zim. I am going to make this as clear to you as possible.” Purple stated, turning back to continue glaring at the smaller Irken. “We don’t want your updates. We will no longer be sending you supplies for your ‘plans of world domination’. We lied . Okay?”
Zim was in shock. Unable to speak he continued to gape up at them, the two greatest beings in all the galaxies as they broke him, all the while slowly feeling the walls creep in on him. Gir was looking up at the screen now as well, quiet for once. But that didn’t matter to Zim right then. What mattered was his Tallests’ and what they had to say to him.
“As our last decree as your Almighty Tallests, both Red and I order you to stay on that miserable planet and to NEVER contact us or another Irken again for the rest of your miserable, defective , life. You have been BANISHED .”
All he could hear was complete, utter silence.
Static began to creep into his hearing, though he had no idea where it was coming from, nor the ringing. He felt dizzy, sick to his Squeedlyspooch as it slowly tightened until he could just barely breath. He had been banished? Banished from all that he loved and knew? How could they do such a thing to Zim? Their… their… greatest… Invader… ?
Was he their greatest Invader?
Of- of course he was!
Who else was there to assign their greatest, most important mission than the best? They had chosen Zim over all others! Over the millions of Irken Soldiers and other Invaders, it was he who was assigned to take over the Earth and hand over to the Armada, to the Tallests’ on the Massive!
They had looked so…
They were serious.
Red and Purple were being serious about this.
He- he no longer had a home. A place to go to should he ever have required help of some kind.A place full of others just like him.
No. Not full of others like him. They had called him defective. All defective Irkens were either banished or destroyed along with their Pak. They had banished him. Called him defective.
Zim looked up, suddenly aware.
How had he gotten curled up under his desk, rocking back and forth like this and yanking on his antennae?
Gir was stood over him, his mechanical face squinted as much as it could be in clear concern. If not for whatever it was he was feeling right now, Zim would have smacked the kicked the robot half way across his lab floor. But as it were now, Zim couldn’t feel any words making it past his dry throat to answer or order the mechanical thing away from him.
“Master, is- not okay?” Gir asked once again.
Zim wanted to scream for Gir to leave him alone and couldn’t.
The robot tilted its head, then crawled under the desk as well to curl up against Zims’ feet and shins, falling asleep instantaneously.
Zim couldn’t find it in himself to move from his spot under the desk for three earth days. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, they each passed by in a blur for the Irken. He didn’t know what the point would be to continue to go to skool, not when he had no purpose for being on the planet anymore. Not when he couldn’t make himself move after the news of being defective…
The word just wouldn’t leave his head. He analyzed and thought it over, remembering definition after definition of it.
“Computer,” his voice was cracked and barely above a whisper from how much he had used it. “Define the word defective.”
His computer didn’t even argue or complain anymore. It hardly even answered him. It had heard the same request for days now, nonstop, repeat after repeat of the same command.
adjective: defective; adjective: mentally defective
- 1. imperfect or faulty. 2.
- lacking or deficient.”
Faintly, he heard his doorbell ring, looking up with a struggle at the screen his computer stretched towards him so he could see who was at his door.
It was Dib. The eighteen year old human had grown taller and taller every year, filling out to fit that big head of his. His hair had grown longer, though it still kept the same shape, and his eyes had become darker with determination. He hadn’t changed much else however, minus a few piercings here and there on his ears and brow. His style of clothing, his attitude and personality; it all stayed the same, even if he no longer threatened or called Zim an alien in skool anymore.
Zim crawled out from under his hiding place, wondering what on Irk the annoying human was doing there at his base. Was he looking for Zim? Had he been away too long and now Dib was suspicious he was up to something?
His back and other joints cracked as he moved to stand painfully, making much more noise than the now ex-Irken Invader wanted to hear. He moved slowly over towards the elevator, dragging along the blanket Gir had brought to him at some point while he was spacing out. He tried not to let the lights bother him too much. He had rode past them countless times on his way up and down to and from the lab.
By the time Zim had reached the above ground he could hear Dib banging and yelling at the door to be let in. It gave the Irken a headache.
He grumbled to himself, ordering the computer to let the smelly human in while he flopped onto the couch and turned on the tv, flicking through all the different channels. The door opened with a squeak just as Dib went to bang once again. The human lost his footing briefly, stumbling into Zims’ living room area.
Zim normally would have laughed but he didn’t have his usual amount of energy.
Dib righted himself and brushed invisible dirt off his cropped leather jacket.
“Zim! What are you planning!?”
Zim glanced over at the human, stared momentarily, then returned his gaze lazily back to the tv.
The couch cushion was digging uncomfortably into his cheek, and the blanket haphazardly thrown over him was making him feel as if he were about to overheat. Overall Zim knew he must look like a mess. He felt like a mess… just like a defective should.
“MARY!!!” Came Gir’s shriek of a reply.
The little robot zoomed over in his green dog costume and wrapped himself tightly around Dibs booted feet. Ignoring Gir, Dib looked back up to the small Irken invader laying haphazardly in a mess of blanket on his couch. Zim looked so… pathetic and sad.
Had something happened that Dib was unaware of?
When Zim continued to say nothing, Dib took a few steps into the house, closed the door behind him and walked over to said couch. He looked down upon sickly looking green skin and puffy magenta eyes.
“Zim?” He asked, voice soft. “Is- everything okay with you, space boy?”
“ ...they’ve abandoned me here to die… “