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Doctor Funtimes

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On a night that, on our world, was the night of February 27, 1902, someone stood on the curb. He was fifty-seven years old, had been fired but two days prior, and was currently on the run. He frowned, then considered the young man on the soapbox across the street, right in front of the enlistment office. "Join the army! Jo… join the army!" he wheezed. And then, well. He had to eat eventually.

In another universe, he immediately took off across the road. A split second later, an inebriated driver careened down the street. The alarm of the running stranger made him stop just in time, nearly killing the man on the soapbox. Despite the scare, he continued to the enlistment office, not looking back.

In this universe, he looked both ways. A split second later, an inebriated driver careened down the street. He struck the man on the soapbox, killing him instantly and crashing into the storefront. The person on the curb watched as the authorities started to swarm the carnage. Time to go. He turned and fled the scene, not looking back.

And this is the story of how twenty odd years of debauchery and crime led to selling weed on a filthy sty of a backwater planet.

This is the story of a terrible person named Zim, and he almost deserved that. Zim was a little green alien called an Irken who worked for a fast food restaurant on a planet called Foodcourtia, where he manned the cash register at Shloogorgh's. The cashier's job was simple: he sat at the register and pushed buttons. This is what the cashier was supposed to do every day of every month of every year, along with much, much janitorial work, as this was the only way the Control Brains that ruled the Irken empire thought he could be productive, for, as you see, this little shit had gone and fucked everyone's day up.

About a year ago, this little shit, once nothing more than another cadet, had proved himself to be one of the most competent soldiers in the Irken Empire. So vast was his fucking up of the enemy that he was being trained to be an invader, a rank no one below five feet tall had ever taken before. Under normal circumstances, he would be considered a subversion of the height hierarchy, proof that short people were worth so much more than waiting tables and shining shoes.

However, under these abnormal circumstances, this guy not only fucked up the enemy, he fucked up his own people. And it kind of pissed them off.

But because of the Control Brains' interest, they could not kill him. And because of the Control Brains' interest, they hated him all the more. When the Tallest spoke to him, he was scolded for speaking back. When the Tallest touched him, he was reprimanded for soiling his flesh. Hell, if the Tallest pissed in his drink, he'd probably get the shit beaten out of him for letting his unworthy face near the Almighty Tallest's holy piss.

So done was he that he lost all his ability to can, and in doing so, just fucked all of his fellow invaders up.

Productivity, conformity, stability, the original manifesto went. However, the original manifesto, as it had been first written, had been lost for hundreds of years, and was actually buried under a pile of snacks in someone's closet, but that was beside the point. The point is, as most people would, he considered it soul-rending, hating every moment that a customer walked up to him. And Zim was not happy.

If you've read beyond that point, then you're either bored, given up hope on finding better fanfiction, or hoping that somehow, in some way, that little green alien will spontaneously learn to love. This paragraph's here to tell you that that's not going to happen, but hey, what can you do?

One day, something very peculiar happened- something that would forever change Zim. Something he would never quite forget. He was taking his break, having to flop into a chair after a horrible adventure with a toilet monster that he was pretty damn sure was the Shloogorgh mascot, and had turned on the TV to hear this:

"You've just tuned in, you're watching live as the crowd gathers on Conventia to watch the Great Assigning for Operation Impending Doom II!" An announcer boomed as the screen switched to a few invaders munching on nachos from a vat. "Ooh, looks like the crowd is being treated to nachos!"

"Impending Doom II?" Hey, he'd been in the first Impending Doom! He had to be there! …Well, it was kind of his fault that there needed to be a second one, but he didn't like to dwell on that. He leapt up, knocking over a mop bucket, but disregarded the mess. "I'll be late! I've gotta get out of here!"

He ripped off his Shloogorgh's uniform to reveal that he'd been constantly wearing his old invader's uniform, which didn't really matter that much because it wasn't like he'd get any bigger. "Nachos!" He screeched as he bolted out the back door.

The door to the break room creaked open as Zim's boss, a towering, greasy frylord lumbered in. He walked up to the puddle that the mop bucket had spilled and picked up the mop.

"Nobody escapes from Sizz-Lorr," he growled as he glared at the open back door. A great screaming came across the sky in Foodcourtia: "I will find you, Zim! I will search all of space's dark corners to HUNT YOU DOWN! AND I WILL FIND YOU!" Everyone on the planet momentarily shivered in fear, except for the people who actually witnessed the incident, who simply wondered why he didn't just go after the escaped war criminal himself. Hell, why didn't they do anything? It was a mystery that would haunt them all.

"Welcome, brave Irken soldiers," the announcer… announced. "Welcome to Conventia, the convention hall planet. Please proceed to the docking ring and take the complimentary teleporters to the planet's surface!"

Irken ships crowded to Conventia, parking in the artificial ring around the pink planet, then teleporting their pilots to the surface of the planet through warp streams. Swarms of Irkens poured into a convention hall with a giant cartoon-y robot sitting on the entrance chanting "Galactic conquest is here!" as monitors hover above the city displaying the announcer.

"Be sure to visit the gift shop for all kinds of cheap, useless stuff! If you're here for the Great Assigning, please remember where you parked and proceed to the convention hall!"

Irken Security monitored the crowd on hovering pods, x-raying everyone coming in. On the stage at the front of the convention hall was a disk-shaped metal pod. Electric currents charged between the ceiling and the pod, lighting the hall. The Irken invaders stood on a platform curved around the back of the metal pod, some looking surprised, some not. The former were probably the ones that were just scraped out of the academy, the latter being the ones that had lived through the first Great Assigning. The monitors displaying the Conventia Announcer hovered over to the sides of the pod.

"Now, wiggle your antennae in salute, because here they are! Your all-knowing, all-powerful leaders, the almighty Tallest!" He declared as he introduced a completely optional to read paragraph.

A spotlight shone down from the ceiling. The pod opened up, emitting smoke. The Irkens proceeded to wiggle their antennae in salute toward their leaders. The top half of the pod began to rise to the ceiling as small floating spheres emerged from the bottom half of the pod and rose above the audience. The metal spheres emitted lasers in all directions, which probably blinded a couple of people. Two posts lowered from the ceiling pod, which creates a holograph between them, distracting from the hover disk that detached from the bottom of the ceiling pod. It lowered downwards, with the towering, almighty Tallests, conveniently color-coded red and purple- also named Red and Purple for whatever reason- standing on it. The Tallest waved and the disk emitted lasers from the rim. The audience cheered.

Okay, after that hot mess of transcript copying, Purple started shouting and waving at the crowd. "Thank you! Thank you!"

"See, told you they'd love the lasers," Red remarked under his breath.

Purple restarted the argument that they had started earlier backstage, momentarily forgetting that he was speaking at full volume. "Everything is lasers with you! I'm telling you smoke machines are what the people really- ARGH!" He said, cutting himself off as a laser beam hit him in the eye. As he fell over, screaming in pain, the audience cheered some more, because Irkens don't really give a fuck if anyone dies or if they're in pain.

"See?"

The platform landed on the lower half of the pod. Purple got back up and rubbed his eye as Red started up his speech.

"Welcome, mighty Irken soldiers! You are the finest examples of military training the Irken army has to offer! Good for you. Standing behind us, however, are the soldiers we've chosen for roles in one of the most crucial parts of Operation Impending Doom II!"

The hologram behind them went from a blank screen to that of a gargantuan galactic map, marking planets for conquest.

"You in the audience just sit and watch," he chuckled.

"You should have tried harder!" Purple shouted into the crowd.

"These superior ones-"

"-Not quite as superior as us, of course!"

"Pfffft, duh! These less superior than us- but still quite superior- soldiers will each be assigned to enemy planet!"

They turned to address the invaders themselves, rather than the crowd. "There, you will blend in with the hideous native inhabitants…"

"All while gathering crucial information, assessing the planet's weaknesses, making it vul-ner-a-ble to our…" Fuck, Red had forgotten the word. Fuck. "Big… spaceship… gang!" Yep. Nailed it. Smooth.

"The Armada? Now, let the assigning begin!"

The crowd was completely silent. Then some asshole in the back made it more awkward by just yelling "woooo!"

Um. Well, then. "Step forward, Invader Larb," Red said flatly.

Larb hopped up onto the pod, then walked up a little ramp to stand before the Tallests.

"Ah! You seem to have grown since last you stood before us, soldier!"

"You've been assigned to the planet Blorch!" Purple told him as he tapped Blorch on the map, pulling up a picture of Larb being attacked by giant, rabid rats. "Home of the slaughtering rat people!"

"Why would you draw that?" Larb asked as he started tearing up.

"However, because of your increased height, we have decided to give you the planet Vort-" Red said as he tapped the screen again, changing the picture to a picture of Larb relaxing on a huge couch. "Home of the galaxy's most comfortable couch." I don't know where he got that picture! I really don't fucking know! It sounded like they just changed his assignment on a whim, but drawing that takes time! If they planned that ahead of time, did they just tell him that he was supposed to go to the horrible planet of rats for goddamn fun? Tap-dancing Christ, what did I tell you people about Irkens not giving a fuck about anyone else's wellbeing?

"Yes!" He took his assignment sheet from Purple before sliding away joyfully.

"Next, Invader Spleen!"

As Spleen stumbles up, both Tallests emitted an "Ooooooh!" They seemed impressed by his enormous, swollen head that kind of made it hard to walk due to the top-heaviness. Meanwhile, just above Conventia, a trashed Voot flew towards the docking ring as a green munchkin road rages.

"Move it, move it! Invader coming through! Move it! Argh, move it! Get out of the way!"

"And last…" Purple peered into folded, gauntlet-clad hands to look at a smudged note scribbled inside. "Invader… Skbudge!"

A tiny, chubby invader with a stained shirt and broken, consequentially sharp teeth walked up. "Invader Skoodge, reporting for duty!"

"Oh, now that's just sad," Red grumbled.

"Could you get any shorter?"

"You will be assigned to Blorch, home of the slaughtering rat people. Thank you."

A picture of Invader Skoodge being attacked by rat people appears on the screen, further affirming the Tallests' jackassery. Skoodge tears up, appropriately, as one of Irk's most infamous criminals pushed his way to the stage and security tailed behind. Frankly, I'm not sure why nobody noticed in canon. "Get out of the way! Move it, move it! Get out of my way! Move! You're in my way!"

"Thus concludes the Great Assigning!" Zim continued to scream and shove through the crowd. "Help yourselves to some nachos, and we'll see you at the equipping station."

"Yes, gorge yourselves, you moochers!"

"No, no, no! Wait!" The munchkin yelled, waving an arm from the front of the crowd, almost on the stage.

"That voice!" Red exclaimed as Zim crawled onstage.

"It can't be!"

Zim reared his head up to look at them.

"ZIM!"

"HEY, HOLD YOUR FIRE! Calm your antennae, I haven't seen so many guns since that Vortian wedding ambush!"

The entire audience had panicked, pulling their lasers, as every good Irken citizen was armed at all times. Zim walked up to the Tallest as Skoodge slowly backed away from him, going back to his place.

"Sorry I'm late, my Tallest. I couldn't find my invitation. You're lucky I made it at all."

"You weren't invited at all!"

"Weren't you banished to Foodcourtia? Shouldn't you be… frying something?" Purple sighed, he and his comrade looking down on the exile as if they were wondering what the fuck they just stepped in and why it was talking. Oddly enough, they were also the only ones there who didn't draw their guns.

"Oh, I quit when I found out about this." True, true.

"You quit being banished?" Purple said.

"The Assigning is over, Zim!"

"But you can't have an invasion without me! I was in Operation Impending Doom I! Don't you remember?"

"Oh, yes… we remember…"

A year earlier, on planet Irk, explosions blew half of the empire's capital to smithereens. As sirens went off, a Frontline Battle Mech wandered around, shooting haphazardly. In the cockpit, Zim- who the fuck else?- pulled levers while laughing maniacally. Some other operators of the mech were starting to question his methods.

"But sir, we're still on our own planet!"

"Silence! Twist those knobs, twist those knobs! You! Pull some levers! Pull some levers!"

They obeyed disdainfully, knowing that you should never tell defective Irkens that you want to haul ass. Them fuckers can smell fear. The Tallest watched speechlessly from a building as the mech stepped on everything in sight.

In the present day, Zim attempted to justify the flattening of half of his fellow invaders with "I put the fires out!" (The defense did not work, not because it was a flimsy excuse, but because "You made them worse!" "Worse? …Or better?")

Purple tried to discourage him further. "Besides, Zim, no invader has ever been so… very small. You're very small, Zim. You're a… tiny thing."

"But- hey, hey, could you not point those quite so close to my eye?" He yelled, turning to the security drones and their red laser pointers. "Invader's blood marches through my veins! Like giant radioACTIVE RUBBER PANTS!" It was ants, you idiot! You can't hear me, can you? Being the narrator is a shittier job than I expected. "The pants command me! Do not ignore my veins!" Yep, there he goes.

"As a… show of gratitude for your service in the past… eh, here's a sandwich," Red grumbled as he pulled a sandwich out of hell knows where.

"But!"

"Thanks for coming, everybody, good night!"

"No! No, no, wait!"

"Whaaat? You got your sandwich!"

"My Tallests, an opportunity to prove I truly can be an invaaadeeer is all that I ask! Gimme!" He hugged the sandwich of questionable origin.

Red paused, then whispered to Purple, "Hold on, I've got a plan," before turning back to Zim. "We see now that you are truly deserving!"

"Yes. Yes, I am."

"You will be sent to a planet so mysterious, no one has even heard of it!"

"And those who have heard of it dare not speak its name!" Purple agreed, fully aware that they were probably sending him to a planet of broken glass, or maybe one of those exploding head planets.

"What's its name?"

"Oh, I dare not speak it!"

"Where is it?" Zim asked, looking skeptical. Which meant that they were doing a pretty terrible job. If you're bad enough of a liar that you don't even fool Zim, you probably deserve a medal for being so shitty.

"Um…" Red muttered, hovering around the hologram, looking for a nasty-looking planet. "Uh… um… right there!" He exclaimed, pointing at a sticky note on the side of the map that had a little circle with a question mark and said "planet?" on it. If it existed, it had to be tiny, revolved around a pretty damn hot sun, and probably wouldn't be habitable unless it had copious amounts of water, which would be deadly to Irkens, anyhow. Besides, it was far enough away from the capital that he couldn't cause any damage.

"Ooooooh! A secret mission!"

"Happy now?"

"Yes."

"Invaders! Report to the equipment hall! Oh, and remember! Lasers."

A laser hit Purple in the eye again, causing him to drop back onto the floor, screaming.

"The universe will be ours for the taking! It's only a matter of time before all the races of the universe serve the Irken Empire!"

"I'll have them serve me curly fries," Purple mumbled as he got back up.

Meanwhile, light-years away, on a tiny, habitable planet that revolved around a pretty damn hot sun and had copious amounts of water, a kid was sitting on his roof, listening to aliens talk of many things, of rats and planets and sandwiches, of invaders and kings.

Dib pulled his headphones off, setting it next to his makeshift satellite. "They're coming!"

He jumped off the roof and slid down a pipe as his younger sister opened the refrigerator inside. "Dib drank the last soda. He will pay!" Dib swung into an open window, where he fell into the sink.

"They're coming!" He jumped out of the sink and ran to his father, Professor Membrane. Where was his mother during all this? I could probably tell you right now, but I'll burn that bridge when I get to it. "Dad! They're coming! I heard them! I actually heard them! I was up on the roof, and I heard this transmission that was coming through!"

"Shhshhshh! Not now, son! I'm makiiing…" Sparks of electricity flew from whatever the fuck he was doing. "TOAST!" He screeched, lifting up a piece of toast like it was goddamn Simba from the Lion King. He then realized that he somehow burned the toast, and proceeded to throw it out the window. Maybe the Lion King was not the best analogy. Is there a musical about abortions? If there isn't, I'm writing one myself. Perhaps name it "Bye-Bye Baby."

Dib ran over to his sister, who was drinking juice, since Dib drank the last soda. "Gaz! They're coming! They really are!"

Gaz sighed, wondering if her brother had forgotten his medication. "Who's coming, Dib?"

"I don't know…" Dib said, looking out the window.

Back on Conventia, the invaders had reported to the equipment hall and were huddled around the Tallests. Purple put a compact robot on the ground which unfolded into a little android about two feet tall.

"This is your standard issue information retrieval unit, also known as a SIR. It will assist you in collecting valuable knowledge during your mission."

"It's also a thermos!"

Purple picked up the SIR, looking like he was about to chuck it at somebody. "WHO WANTS THIS ONE?"

Tenn spoke up from the back, screaming "I do!" before Purple did exactly what was described in the previous paragraph. "Ow! Thank you." This is not the only unfortunate event that Tenn will experience involving SIR units in this story, but that's a matter for another episode.

"Everyone else, line up and take a robot."

The invaders lined up in front of a conveyer belt with several compact SIR units hung on it. Larb stepped up, taking a unit, which unfolded and got to its feet.

"SIR! Go warm up my ship's engines."

"Yes master, I obey!" The unit shouted as it and Larb walked off. Zim stepped up, despite the fact that he was supposed to be fourth or fifth in line.

"Finally! A robot slave of my own!" He said as he reached for a SIR.

Red quickly intervened, not wanting to waste any functioning SIR units- those things were expensive. "Um, we have a 'top-secret' model for you, Zim."

Red and Purple turned their backs on him, before Red started rummaging through a trash can for some broken SIR parts. Purple pulled some pocket junk from, once again, hell knows where. Red put together some eyes and a head he found in the trash as Purple dumped the junk in to serve as a brain. Purple made a weird pigeon noise and tossed the shoddy robot in front of Zim. It laid there, as inanimate objects are wont to do.

"It looks kind of… not good-"

"Yes, well, that's what the enemy will think!" Purple insisted as Red nodded in agreement. "Get it?"

"I see! Very good! It even fooled meee! I am honored to be trusted with such advanced technology!"

The Tallests giggled to themselves, before the robot suddenly activated with glowing red eyes and ran up to Zim.

"GIR, reporting for duty!"

"GIR? What does the 'G' stand for?"

GIR's eyes turned blue with realization, or lack thereof. "I don't know!" He stood there, despite now being an animate object. He then hit himself in the head repeatedly.

"Wheee hoo hoo hoo!"

"Um, is it supposed to be… stupid?"

"It's not stupid. It's advaaanced!"

GIR bounced on his head, as the Tallests continued to snicker.

As the invaders left Conventia to begin their undercover operations, Zim's voot cruiser separated from the rest and headed into the coordinates that were plugged in, unknowingly going in the direction of Earth.

"Okay, GIR! Our mission begins now! Let us rain some doom down upon the filthy heads of our doomed enemies!"

"I'm gonna sing the doom song now! Doom doom doom doo doom doom," the robot sang, and so on and so forth as they zoomed off toward their new home.

They remained completely unaware that they weren't carrying a vital piece of equipment.

Chapter Text

"…Doom! Doom doom doo doom doooooom!"

It had been six months.

SIX. MONTHS. WITH THAT GODAWFUL SONG. Where did that thing keep all of that energy?

On the bright side, all of the muscle relaxants and tranquilizers that had been in Zim's food during his little stay on Foodcourtia had worn off, finally enabling him to think. To think! Oh, and to plan.

"Doom doom doo-doom!"

Well, not think that clearly.

"GIR… would you… stop… singing." No signs of GIR slowing down any time soon. "'Go commit genocide,' they said. 'It'll be easy,' they said. Well, they can go suck a-"

Right as Zim was reaching over to strangle the little bugger, the voot's controls flashed. "Proximity warning: planet ahead."

"GIR! We're here! Finally!"

GIR held up a finger. "Doom doom doom the end! Ooh, what's that?"

"Planet… Earth!" Zim read off the information panel. "This must be the place! Okay, first, we need a base of operations."

"Hee-hee!"

"Focus, GIR! This is where your information gathering skills will come in handy."

"Yes, my master!" GIR said as his eyes started turning red again, but quickly flashed back to blue as he pressed himself against the voot's windshield. It descended through some clouds, getting closer to the ground.

"You have to observe what these… earthinoids… call 'normal.' Then, based on your observations, we make our disguises, and our home."

The voot sped toward a large, but eerily empty city indicated by a flickering neon sign that read "Welcome to Puddingtown!" Puddingtown, Vermont, was a foul-smelling, simple place inhabited by foul-smelling, simple people. Not a good place to infiltrate a world government, but to give Zim some credit, he had no way of knowing that.

As they flew by, they passed over things like plastic flamingos, the 105.5 FM Wake the Fuck Up radio station, a lawn gnome, and multiple empty buildings. One of these things are more important than the others. They stopped at a gap between two houses and lowered into it, creating a cloud of dust.

"Here! We build here!"

Zim marched out of the voot with a fairly serious expression, which was rather quickly wiped off of his face. "Whew! That was easy! GIR, what did you learn?"

"I saw a squirrel!" …What in the chicken fried fuck? "It was doin' like this!" GIR made some weird squirrel noises, which was pretty much the point where Zim realized that this thing was fucking useless.

"Concentrate, GIR! It's time for disguises!"

"I want to be a mongoose!"

"Shh! Quiet."

The voot started setting up to create the disguises. Zim looked around on the control panel for some disguises, including Jhonen Vasquez.

"Too ugly! Too stinky! That one looks good," he finally said, pointing at a picture of himself with contact lenses and a toupee. The voot opens up, enclosing him in an egg-shaped pod. "Augh! Why does it hurt?"

He emerged, looking like the misbegotten child of Elvis Presley and Larry the cucumber.

"Master? Master, where'd you go?"

"I'm right here, GIR! It's me! And keep it down, are you trying to wake up the whole planet?"

"Yes."

"For you, I'm thinking, maybe, a dog."

"Can I be a mongoose dog?"

Zim choose a disguise before pushing GIR forward. "Today… we become… the enemy!"

The pod closed around GIR, made an ominous shaking sound. It opened to reveal… a fucking green dog. Perfect, Zim thought. Beautiful! No. No, Zim.

"Ingenious! Now, all we need is a home!"

Zim rooted around in the back of his voot through empty boxes of provisions, then nervously paused. "I don't think they gave me a pop-up base." He began throwing the boxes onto the street in a panicked frenzy; they were taking up too much room, anyway. Where was he going to live if he didn't have a base?

The night after Zim left, in a galaxy far, far away, Purple was beginning to have second thoughts. "Look, all I'm saying is that the Control Brains won't be happy if they find out about this. Without a base, we're pretty much blatantly trying to kill him!"

"But they won't find out. Trust me, it's handled."

"Okay, okay. Say you somehow manage to keep this fiasco out of the lines of sight of the highest powers in the empire. What about Zim?"

"What about him?"

"Pulling stuff like this would have been fine when we were smeets, but now he has twenty years' worth of smuggling, murder, and Irk knows what else in his record. He's defective, Red! Do you know what happens when you make defectives mad?"

"He's going hundreds of thousands of lightyears away, and he's flying an outdated vehicle. He'll be too busy being dead to kill us. It's. Fine."

"But-"

"Hey, you! More nachos over here!"

Six months later, Zim popped his head out of the pile of boxes. Fuck. What was he going to do?

He frowned, then mentally pulled a file from his PAK. In his head, rustling of papers and acid rain from decades prior played before a young, female voice.

Scenario Foxtrot. You are alone. That did not apply to his current situation, but it might as well have. You are homeless. Get to know your peers. Be non-threatening, but keep your guard up, because theirs will be up as well. It was irrelevant, but it went by too quickly for Zim to skip as he loaded the boxes back into the voot. He needed to move.

Only stop when you find some vacant structures. You can't stay on the streets forever. One of them will be a fortress. No one comes in or out but you.

"GIR, get back in the voot. It's not safe here."

Keep something of value around for a rainy day. There will be many. End of scenario Foxtrot.

The recording clicked to an end as Zim zipped around above the city, looking for a noticeably abandoned building. The actual document the speaker had been reading was much less abbreviated, but he had it practically memorized by heart anyhow. He had ended up in enough unsavory situations that he knew how these things worked. It had just been a while.

This was fine. Everything was fine.

He came across a building, maybe a nice house once upon a time, and considered it. Graffiti was plastered heavily across its sides, so it was guaranteed to be in a bad neighborhood, and green was growing all up the front. He had nothing left to lose. He just hoped it had a good power jack. He didn't want to charge in his voot ever again. Nope.

Zim landed on the roof, only for it to suddenly cave in. He could feel the impact in his teeth. Shit. He'd have to fix that later. He disabled GIR- he needed some quiet for this- and got out. He was lucky the house had an attic. Completely losing a full floor's security to a hole in the roof would be embarrassing. He needed to block off the attic. From here until the hole was fixed, the attic was considered "outside." "Tools tools tools," he mumbled to himself, scurrying around the house. "Supplies supplies supplies." The basement had a full tool bench and some boards that he used to keep the doors outside and to the attic shut.

A few hours and a MacGyvered trapdoor made of tacks, a tarp, and three and a half containers of QuikSeal!™ later, the roof was now a functioning voot hangar. Zim could get a lot done in certain situations. They just happened to be very obscure and often completely ridiculous situations, like removing the time from vending machines and assassinating computers. He pouted at the pile of junk he'd found around the house, then threw the blanket over the voot. Object of value stored. Okay, he'd accomplished something, he thought, looking out the window at the rising sun. Time to turn GIR on.

"Wooow, my head's spinning!" he shouted before Zim dragged him downstairs, switched on the old TV and began punching buttons. Luck would have it that he pressed the right one to play the VCR tape still wedged inside. The tape continued where it left off, halfway through Space Jam, as Zim worked. Thank goodness he still had that mini-console. He thought about leaving it behind at Conventia. Imagine if he did. He'd be fucking dead. He expanded the console upstairs, letting the controls and screen take up a free wall.

The nice thing about having the mini-console as opposed to a full-blown base was that the console already had his contacts on it. You may be wondering, what contacts could Zim possibly have? Everyone hates him! You said so in the intro! Black market contacts, of course. Why do you think the Tallest didn't let him have a pop-up base? What if he sold that? What if someone used it to reverse-engineer their technology? What if someone used it to invade Irk? But he wasn't going to start gaming the black market. He needed to do something mind-numbing. He needed something monotonous. He needed something so goddamn boring he could just turn his higher thought processes off entirely. He needed… school.

 

From Irken text transmission transcripts, approximately 95 Earth years prior to story.

ZIM-1 HAS BEGUN CONVERSING WITH SKOODGE-19111515.

S: You've Lost It

Z: GOOD MORNING.

S: Look

S: I Know You've Been Hanging Around All These Weird Scientists Who Probably Aren't A Good Influence On You

S: But Hear Me Out

S: There Is Nothing Good About These Blueprints

S: There Have No Redeeming Value Whatsoever

S: I Don't Know Where I'm Going With This But Believe Me They're Awful

Z: YOU UNDERESTIMATE ME. THIS WILL THE DISCOVERY OF THE EPOCH.

S: Just Because Your Coworkers Are Going To Rip Apart The Fabric Of Reality Doesn't Mean You Have To As Well

Z: I WILL DO NOTHING OF THE SORT. I AM SAVING REALITY. IF SOMETHING INFINITELY ABSORBS THE ENERGY OF SOMETHING THAT INFINITELY CREATES ENERGY, THEN THEY CANCEL EACH OTHER OUT.

S: You're Just Saying That Because Red And Purple Said So

Z: WELL, YES. THEY KNOW LOTS OF THINGS.

S: I'm Getting Worried About Your "Friendship" With Them

Z: WHY. WHY ARE YOU USING THOSE QUOTATION MARKS.

S: Well

S: You Seem To Be Drinking Up Everything They Say Like A Dehydrated Slorghbeast At A Watering Hole

S: And They Treat You Like Dirt

Z: IT'S NOT THAT DIFFERENT FROM OUR FRIENDSHIP, EXCEPT YOU PLAY THE ROLE OF THE SLORGHBEAST.

S: Uh

S: Yeah

S: About That

Z: IN THEORY, IF THE RATE TO ENERGY PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION IS EXACTLY EQUAL, THEY WILL CANCEL EACH OTHER OUT.

S: Yes

S: I Know That

S: I Read Your Notes

S: They Also Said Something Along The Lines Of

S: "MIYUKI WILL PROBABLY HATE IT. GOOD. THAT MEEKROB LOVING TRAITOR CAN DIE WITH THE REST OF THEM."

S: Zim

S: Zim Are You There

ZIM-1 HAS CEASED CONVERSING WITH SKOODGE-19111515.

S: Oh No

SKOODGE-19111515 HAS CEASED CONVERSING WITH ZIM-1.

 

"Class, I would like to introduce you to the newest hopeless appendage to our rotten, rat-infested society! His name is Zim. Zim, if you have something to say, say it now, because from here on out, I don't want to hear another sound from you!"

Zim pretended that the somewhat horrifying snake teacher hadn't startled him. She probably shouldn't have; he'd spent a good third of his life working in an institution where one can die investigating a sack of potatoes. "Hello friends. I am a normal human worm baby. You have nothing, absolutely nothing to fear of me. Just pay no attention to me at all and we'll get along just fine."

He quickly sat down as a boy stared at him. He had disliked him from the moment he saw him, and he knew why. The atmosphere of ramen noodles and poor sleeping habits and precociousness and general underage-college-student-ness that he somehow managed to carry around and reminded him of his days as an engineer. How dare an inferior, underdeveloped creature remind him of something he had loved?

He disliked nearly all children of any species, and especially the precocious ones. It was always the children, and above all the precocious ones, who were the most ignorant adherents to the attitudes of their homeworld, the swallowers of propaganda, the amateur spies and guerilla soldiers that only Irkens were willing to shoot, and not all of them, the filthy cowards. Being in a room filled with them was mentally stifling, like being surrounded by baby sharks which would soon grow into predators. There was a sort of calculating ferocity in the boy's eyes, a desire to scream and rally his classmates and a consciousness of being very nearly capable enough to do so. It is a good thing that this planet does not train smeets from birth, Zim thought.

It only took Dib a moment to shake off the shock.

"Okay… am I the only one who sees the alien sitting in class?"

Everyone looked around, puzzled.

"There! Right there!"

Fucking shit bitch ass fuck. Someone had drawn attention to him. The words had pierced right into him and filled him with black terror. "That's no kid! He's an alien! An alien! One of the monsters I've been talking about! He's here to conquer Earth!"

"Not this again!" the girl behind him shouted. Then, a little lower, but not low enough to keep Dib from hearing: "He kidnaps kids and forces them to be part of his family. Stay away from him."

"What the- why would you even think- I HAVE A SISTER."

"See? What did I tell you?"

Keep in mind that this Zim has about two decades of criminal experience. Twenty years of doing unsavory things in dark alleyways gives you better survival instincts. That being said, he did not reach for the self-destruct button. Instead, he waved his arm in the air and shouted, "Ms. Bitters! I! Have! A MIIIIGHTY NEEED to use the restroom!"

"Go. Just go. That's just less children to put up with for me," Ms. Bitters grumbled.

Zim darted out of the classroom and down the hall. Shit. Shit. He made a sharp turn, nearly falling over in doing so, and skidded into the girl's restroom. The sign didn't have words on it and Zim couldn't understand primitive human pictograms anyway. "Um. Excuse me?" He examined his eyes. "Hello?" Did one of his contacts slip? Was it the wig? Would a better wig help?

This train of thought was interrupted by someone loudly clearing her throat. "What?" he snapped at the girl standing next to him. She had only went to the restroom to play video games and avoid turning her math homework in, but she still managed to look offended nonetheless.

"Who the fuck are you?"

"Who the fuck are you?" he mimicked, too annoyed to give a real answer.

"I asked you first."

"I asked you second!"

"Ugh. I'm me. I go to this school."

"Oh!" he said with fake enthusiasm. The girl was not amused.

"Who. The fuck. Are you?"

"I AM ZIIIM! I'm new here."

"Who the fuck let you in here?"

"A head."

"Whose head?"

"A… head that's always screaming!"

"Screamy's class isn't even on this floor. So. Zim. Let me tell you how things work here."

"I already know how things work here."

"This is my bathroom, this is my school, and this is me telling you to learn your place!"

"Guess what? I already know all those things!" Zim, just stop. You're going to screw yourself over if you keep going like this.

"Oh, really!"

"Yeah!"

"You're not from around here, are you, Zim?"

"I just moved here from Irk," he grumbled, saying it with enough dismissal that she would hopefully assume it was sarcasm. Zim. Zim you're biting off more than you can chew. Stop that.

"Where the fuck is that?"

"Outer space!" Goddamn it.

"Well. Let me tell you how things work around here in Puddingtown-"

"I ALREADY KNOW HOW THINGS WORK AROUND HERE IN PUDDINGTOWN."

"REALLY?"

"YEAH! TH-THAT KID WITH THE BIG HEAD TOLD ME ALL ABOUT IT." He's just digging himself deeper and deeper in the shit.

"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TALKING TO DIB?"

"WE HAVE CLASS TOGETHER."

"THAT'S MY FUCKING BROTHER, DOUCHE. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE? A FUCKING NINJA TURTLE. MY BROTHER'S NEVER GOING TO STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU, AND IF HE EVER DOES I WILL TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO RIP YOUR THROAT OUT."

"Brother? That's not what that girl with the purple hair said!"

"Well, Zita is a fucking liar!"

"She seemed to know a lot! She said that you two, you aren't actually related!" He wasn't wrong.

She sighed, then opened one eye to glare at him. "Okay. Zim. Just… what the fuck do you want?"

Zim needed a second. He had to get as much benefit out of this encounter as possible. "I want. To poop here. Whenever I want. For as long as I want."

She sighed. "Fine. But know this. I. Do not like you."

"I feel indifferent towards you!"

"Ugh! I'll be watching you." She made a ridiculous hand gesture to signify so, which Zim imitated even more ridiculously as he went out. Gaz shrugged, then continued playing her game.

The bell rang and students rushed out of the Skool, some even climbing out of the windows to escape. Zim slowly went down the front steps, nearly walking out into traffic before somebody caught him.

"Hey! I can't expose you to the world if you get hit by a car!" Dib snapped, hanging onto his neck brace.

"What is a car?"

"Should've let him cross," Gaz snickered, not looking up from her Gameslave. "Thin out the herd."

"Let go of me, earthboy!"

"You think your cruddy little disguise can fool everyone, but I know the truth!" Dib wasn't letting go of him.

"No one will believe you."

"They'll believe if they see you without your disguise!" Dib pulled some odd-looking handcuffs out of his jacket, which his classmates had seen in there whenever he gesticulated too much. But they never said anything about it because, hey, his personal life was his own business. "I ordered this from one of my UFO-zines."

"Ooh, pretty. What is it?"

"Sleep cuffs. Guaranteed to render anything with a brain unconscious."

So it doesn't work on humans, Zim thought, unaware that his thought was such a great burn that he'd probably have to call a hospital. "How do you know if they work?"

Pause. "I'm going to find out right now!"

He attempted to jump Zim, but missed, letting him run off. The two dashed down the street. "Leave me alone! I just want to go home and be normal!" He made it into an alleyway, grabbing a bra on a clothesline and slid down, only to see that Dib had somehow wound up on the other side. He let go of the bra, falling into a crate of oranges and slowing Dib down significantly, along with snagging the bra on Dib's pointy hair.

Okay, home was only a block or so away. He could do this. In the middle of an otherwise rather quiet street, he grabbed one of those "car" things and climbed to the top of a fake ice cream cone. Through speakers, the "car" boomed that people's existence were meaningless without ice cream.

Dib attempted to follow him on the street as Zim jumped onto a passing school bus. Unfortunately for him, that was when the tube of screaming children approached a stop light. Dib followed suit, scaling the side of the bus and approaching him with the sleep cuffs.

"Maybe they'll name your autopsy video after me!"

Suddenly, the traffic light turned green, launching Zim off of the roof of the bus and onto a fence. Hey, he was alive! "Ha! See you, Dib! Pitiful huuuuman- augh!" He was cut off by a rampaging dog attacking him.

Dib hopped off of the bus and ran across the narrow rail without hesitation. Jesus, this kid must've been in the circus or something. Like, I understand that Zim could do that because he has military training, but the other guy has no excuse!

Zim crawled out of a bush, looking a bit beaten up, but an encounter with a guard dog could've gone worse. While Dib was looking around in the bushes for Zim, because he had to come up for air at some point, Zim pushed him off of the fence and took his place.

Zim opened his communicator and yelled into "GIR! I don't have much time, get over here!"

"Yes sir!" Seconds later, GIR was hovering next to him via some kind of jet propulsion.

"Get me out of here now, GIR, now!"

"Okeedookie!" He squealed before putting Zim on his back.

"Wait a minute- what are you- what the- AAAAAH!"

In the same timespan that it had taken GIR to get to Zim, they hit the door of his house. The blocked door.

"Good work, GIR," he mumbled, adjusting his weird pompadour thing.

"There you are!"

Oh. Oh shit, he knew where they lived now! "GIR! Get inside! Hurry!"

Zim grabbed GIR, extended his PAK legs and scuttled up to the trapdoor on the roof. Dib looked fucking pissed, what with being beaten up, dirty, and having a bra on his head.

"You can't hide forever!" They heard him through the door. "And if you can… then I'll wait forever! I've been preparing for this my whooole life-" He was cut off by a truck running through a puddle, completely covering him in… mud. Let's go with mud. He's had a bad enough day as it is. "…I'm going to go home and… prepare some more!"

"I feel good about today!" He said cheerfully. Good for him, because he was probably the only major character that did so at the moment.

On the Massive, the Irken armada's flagship, the pilots were going about their business, measuring speed and core temperature and radiation levels and countless other variables when a call came in.

"Incoming transmission from… Earth?"

"What is… Earth?" Tallest Purple wondered.

The pilots answered the transmission, which put Zim's face on the screen, calling from the mini-console. "Invader Zim reporting, sirs. The mission goes well. But surely you expected that from me."

Purple's jaw came unhinged; Red dropped a perfectly good soda. "Zim? You're alive?"

"Yes. So very alive!"

"Hello!" GIR said, peeking his head into the top of the screen. The robot was okay, too? They didn't think that thing would activate, much less last for more than five minutes!

"And full of goo! Miiision goo! Don't be surprised if I take care of the humans before the armada even gets here! Well, I've much work to do, so: Invader Zim, signing off!" GIR fell from whatever he was holding onto, crashing onto Zim. "Oh, my spine!"

Red and Purple glanced at each other in disbelief.

"Red?"

"No! No no no, I've got this. You! Did you record that?"

"Yes, my Tallest, but-"

"I need to send it to some very specific people."

 

[run vrpmc]

Vortian Research Prison Mail Client (Text Only Mode)

[chkbox]

You have 1 new message. You have 937 old messages.

[readmsg new]

Reading All New Messages…

1 new message found.

.

From: The Tallest (834u834_intra 183.1.4)

To: Warden Yule (834u834_intra 183.1.1)

Date: [FIELD EMPTY]

Subject: SHOW THIS TO THE DOCTOR. YOU KNOW WHICH ONE.

Content:

Frycook Zim is becoming a waste of time and resources. On a scarier note, he also might be developing a vendetta against us. To counteract this problem, we're considering sending one of your prisoners undercover. You know which one. When she agrees and gets the job done, we'll release her and give her full amnesty within the Irken Empire. Show her this video.

[THIS VIDEO . mp4]

We'll send coordinates when you send her out.

Tallest Purple

.

You have not accessed this terminal in ten degrees. Do you require assistance?

[logoff]

 

To my former colleague, Jivi;

I regret to inform you that, effective this morning, night, or whatever time it is on Dirt, you are to be sent to yet another backwater planet. Its name is Earth.

As you know, Frycook Zim is becoming a serious threat toward the empire, and unfortunately, survived his expedition into the vast unknown regions of space, as proven in this video:

[THIS VIDEO . mp4]

In light of recent events, I have decided that the most responsible decision is to have him assassinated.

If you succeed, you will be granted your full freedom.

However, I have been informed just now that you may be dead.

Seeing as your time will now be heavily invested in not breathing, choosing someone else will be the most responsible decision.

In accordance with official Irken policy, your successor will be chosen by height.

To your peers: please act responsibly until the official measurements are taken.

Murdering those who are taller than oneself, while technically not against the rules, is frowned upon.

Similarly, negating the event of their creation should be frowned upon as well.

Thank you for reading this message; I will be busy for the next few minutes dragging my advisor to the airlock for not informing me of your death sooner.

I wish you luck with your murderous schemes.

Tallest Red

Tak fetched her good uniform, laserproof armor, and several guns. A new assassin had to be chosen, and with any luck, it was going to be her.

 

To the recipient of this message, sorry.

This was sent automatically to a random Meekrob. We don't know each other.

Welcome to the Irken Empire. You have to kill the guy in this video.

[THIS VIDEO . mp4]

You might be thinking, how did I get this job? I didn't apply for it.

You probably hate Zim and the Irken Empire as much as I do.

That's why there's always a boss. To slow us down.

Miyuki sabotaged us from the top for epochs. We never noticed.

Zim did.

There are people in the universe who are completely, profoundly selfish.

Some of these people are in the position to do serious harm to the universe.

Case in point: my superiors, at the time of writing, are throwing an innocent man out an airlock.

They have asked me to compose this message in their place.

The Irken Empire is a collection of the worst people with the greatest potential.

You have likely been affected by our actions.

You likely have opposed us.

You almost certainly wish to destroy us.

But it is vital that you do not shatter us apart.

The key purpose of the Irken Empire is keeping us unified and controlled.

Dividing us into factions could result in a war that could destroy the universe.

We require a society that can continue its stagnation as best as possible.

I don't know what Zim's trying to do, but it sure as hell isn't that.

Kill him, or the universe will tear apart at the seams.

If you consent to this, please press one of the buttons at the bottom of the message.

I didn't put those there, by the way. I would never misspell "definitely."

You will understand more afterward.

I regret putting you in this position, but it's not my choice to make.

The Tallest's Secretary

DO YOU CONSENT TO THIS?

[YES]

[DEFINATELY]

[ABSOLUTELY]

Chapter Text

-You joined channel #cabbagesandwhatthefuckisthatafuckingufo

-Topic: Welcome to cabbages. RULES: Don't be a dick, and that's pretty much it. If you're here, it's because you've been invited. If you get kicked, chances are it was because you were being a dick. That's all.

-Topic set by tunaghost.

nessie: then the guy with the squid just said

nessie: i'm going to go

nessie: pray for my eternal soul

nessie: and im like YOU DO THAT

tunaghost: holy shit D:

mothman: hey, are either of you coming by puddingtown? i need some help.

tunaghost: why?

nessie: i literally live on the edge of town

mothman: WAIT WHAT HOW DID YOU NOT TELL ME THIS.

nessie: i'm a busy guy

nessie: bees to raise, sinners to save from the fiery depths of hell

nessie: or at least go to barbecues and save their weiners from bursting into flames

tunaghost: ye bae imma make ur weiner burst into flames ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

nessie: you realize mothman's like eleven, right?

tunaghost: i

mothman: its cool. just maybe. not talk about your sex life so much in front of me.

nessie: yeah you're making him uncomfortable

tunaghost: why u let me swear

tunaghost: he so smol T_T

mothman: im not smol. i hear worse swearing from my sister when the pizza guys late.

nessie: alright alright alright

nessie: what do you need me to do*

 

It's good to be back, Zim thought as he loaded the last barrel of catnip into the trunk, or whatever the equivalent of a trunk was in a spaceship. He brushed away the outstretched hand, clearly a "where's my money" gesture. "Tom, I'm only paying you until I know for sure that you got these past the Meekrob blockade," he said. The Vortian was almost twice his size, but business was business, and Big Khao Tom had to eat too. "Xỳā kạngwl. Ŷāy!"

"Chı̀, chı̀," he grumbled, knowing this was pretty much all Zim knew in his language. And I know that's actually Thai I put up there, but let's just make believe that was Vortian.

This drug deal was interrupted by a distant yodel and a Bible crashing through the window.

"It's the authorities! Run!"

As Tom rocketed out the hole in the roof, Zim scrambled to put his disguise on, then grabbed the high pressure hose he'd rigged up the other day and stuck his head out the broken window. "Show yourself, human scum!"

Well, it wasn't Dib. There was a reverend with a whole bag of Bibles and a boombox in front of his house. Originally, literal Jesus was there, but I don't think Jesus would come within an inch of this… fanfiction is a very special term that doesn't describe this. This is just… a thing. However, this thing is such a sin that somebody needs to bring the holy water, so I wrote the next best thing.

"Hey, you! You're an alien, right?"

"What? Of course not! Look at me!" He said, striking a pose and making a stupid face. This would be funnier if it was in comic form. Damn shame I can't draw.

The reverend, expressionless, turned on the boombox and began dancing in the most awkward way possible. "WHY THE FUCK YOU LYIN'? WHY YOU ALWAYS LYIN'? MMM, OH MY GOD! STOP FUCKIN' LYIN'!"

As the reverend was finally swept down the street more than two hours later, still screaming about "Meme-sus," Zim opened the mini-console back up. Goddamn it, it was almost morning. Instinctively, he entered rapid assessment, something that was second nature to all Irkens. It was fairly flawed in his case, but was still used fairly often, despite his awareness of those flaws in this timeline.

Objective: go to school, preferably within government-mandated timeframe

Operator: self

Possible methods of completion: pedestrian transport, mass public transport

Additional opportunities: painful liquidation of unidentified son of a bitch (inadvisable, execution and proper disposal of body may cause delay, may result in burns from acidic(?) pools of water, personal satisfaction considered low priority), pursuit of identified son of a bitch "Dib" (advisable, likely responsible for presence of unidentified son of a bitch, eliminate threat to cover, also he's terrible, kick his ass)

Expected results: momentary termination of annoyance, walk to school, cover maintained

Verdict: ignore unidentified son of a bitch, pursue identified son of a bitch

 

The plan was simple, like that guy, Jivi from a few years back. But unlike Jivi, this plan had actually worked. Eventually. A lot of things went wrong. Mostly Dib's fault. But it worked! Zim would think at the end of the day. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go back to… when he got to school that morning.

Zim, feeling bold, dropped his tray right next to Dib's and sat down. He sat, motionless for all of several seconds before Dib said something. "Uh, Zim?"

In a millisecond, Zim swung his head around and was staring Dib in the face like the inevitability of death. "WHAT IS IT, HUMAN."

"What do you mean, what is it?"

"Don't even act like you don't know what happened!"

"What, what happened."

"Who was that?"

"What are we talking about?"

Zim sighed, then said the line that everyone clicked on this story for. "...Meme-sus."

"I'm unclear."

"The… human outside of my base!"

"What are you talking about?"

"There was a human… shouting about Meme-sus outside of my base-"

"There wasn't a hu- hahaha!"

"Why?"

"I literally came home, went to bed, then went back to school again!"

"No no no! Don't pretend-"

"What, oh my god-" Dib scoffed as the entire cafeteria began staring at them.

"Like there wasn't a whole fucking eight hour inbetween-"

"Are you seriously-?"

"Where you had time to do whatever you wanted without me seeing-"

"What?"

"And in the middle of the night, I looked out the window-"

"Hahaha!"

"And then!"

"Is this really, is this really happening?"

"THERE WAS SOMEONE SCREAMING ABOUT MEME-SUS OUTSIDE MY BASE!"

"Are you really going to try to sell me out in front of a hundred-something people… that I called a reverend and sent him to your house?"

"EXCUSE ME! I'M NOT THE ONE WHO SENT A REVEREND TO YOUR BASE!"

"This is outrageous. You are- there is no excuse for this. Man, these beans are terrible."

"I HAD TO CHASE HIM OFF WITH A PRESSURE HOSE! IT'S SO WET OUT THERE!"

"No reverend. No reverend happened."

"Dib, you are dead if you don't-"

"Really?"

"-Confess to Meme-sus!"

"This is outrageous. This is an outrage."

"I am going to kill you."

"You're going to what?"

"I am going to kill you."

"Over what?"

"MEME-SUS!"

"Nuh-uh. No memes happened. That's a thing you made up."

Zim's smile was as forced as the dialogue in the first draft of this chapter. He shoved as much shitty school salad in his mouth as he could, laughing like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up. Of course, he couldn't actually eat it, so he kind of just let it fall out of his mouth.

"What's wrong, space boy? Don't like the cafeteria food?"

"I don't like it either," Gaz grumbled. She had remained silent during the bickering out simply because she didn't feel like attracting the attention of, I don't know, the entire fucking school, unlike some people. "I must be an alien too! Hi Dib!" She said, jokingly wiggling her fingers behind her head in lieu of antennae.

"Nonsense! I love... beans! Love them!" He said, belting out the first food item he saw.

"Just one bite, then! What are you, scared?"

"Scared? Ridiculous." Zim scooped up a few beans as the Membranes scooted a little closer. "...Witness my bean chewing." He shoved it in his mouth. He gagged. Honestly, I didn't even like this sequence that much. In my opinion, this scene and everything after it is… disgusting. It is to my eyes what nails scraping a chalkboard is to my ears. The memes are like painkillers- or one more layer of torture for those who hate memes, and if you are one of those people and you think you've hit rock bottom, please stop reading now. I've brought my pickaxe and I'm ready to dig!

He then proceeded to collapse on the floor in a pool of his own pus. Ugh.

Dib looked over the table, thinking that he was totally ready to be famous for this abomination of nature. That makes one of us, bub. Yep, Zim was completely swollen. "LOOK, EVERYBODY! LOOK AT HIS HEAD! THAT'S SO NOT NORMAL!"

Naturally, he was met with laughter. You know how this scene goes. Everyone looks over at where Zim should be, and there's a trail of glowing pus and some swinging cafeteria doors. No, they're not a sliding door here. That joke wasn't even that funny. If you want to see it, just read Welcome To Leave, I don't care about it.

 

It took Zim a full thirty minutes to climb onto the roof and into his house with that swelling. Fifteen or so minutes hooked up to an aspirator (because do you really think GIR could be that useful?). The entire rest of the day spent mentally plotting his revenge as he went down his to-do list.

Of course, he didn't get to actually carry out any real revenge. See, Zim didn't have fancy things in this timeline. Listening device? Giant mech? The hell are you talking about? He was still struggling to get the funds for a saucepan!

Zim frowned and looked intently at the price tag. Eighteen bucks. If all water burned him, he might have been better off just getting a frying pan. Then again, that was a dollar extra.

As he resigned himself to a bag of Marshmallow Mateys- fuck name brands, that shit didn't come in bulk- Gaz's faulty shopping cart rattled down the aisle, full of microwave macaroni and canned goods and other things that ten to eleven year olds could prepare. She stood there for a minute as he struggled with a bag of cereal about as big as he was.

He finally said, "What? Help me or leave!"

Gaz stood for another second before turning to leave.

Objective: pimp slap bitchsister

Operator: self

Possible methods of completion: drop cereal and manually pimp slap (defeats purpose of lifting cereal, could result in decapitation via psychic forces, BUT SHE'S BEING A BITCH), knock over shelf (draws unwanted attention, could result in unwanted murder and consequent pursuit by the police, BUT IT LOOKS COOL JUST DO IT)

Additional opportunities: the realization that you may want to tone down the human slang (NEVER), okay okay but what about this (what), how about you try to be a decent person (fuck off), no but she could be a valuable asset (here's an idea: ur fat), to your mission (no), there has to be some part of you that cares about other people (yes and it's mysteriously been relocated to my middle fingers, are psychic forces at work again?), if it fails you can just steal her shopping cart (fine)

Expected results: death

Verdict: listen to your conscience for once and pursue allegiance

Agent Tunaghost, better known as Trudy, slouched at her post. Fuck retail. One of these days she was going to work for Swollen Membrane Corp. full-time, but until then, being punk rock didn't pay the bills, and she had student loans.

"GET BACK HERE, YOU DIRTY CONGLOMERATION OF FAULTY ANIMAL CELLS!" A small, green child screeched as he rattled past her and out the door, following a purple-black blur with a whole bag of cheese boodles in its mouth.

Tunaghost sighed and pulled out her phone, dialing 911. "Hello, cops police? Yep. More fooligans liftin' the shop. Also, do me a solid and forcibly shut the sliding doors on my neck. Yeah, I know you can't do that. Just. Wishful thinking."

 

"Dib! I'm going to bed. Got to go to bed, school in the morning, and- whoa, what."

"Oh, hey, Gaz. You want a glass of water or something before you go to bed?"

"No, no."

"Okay, I'll be up for another couple of hours, you go on ahead."

"Right. ...What the fuck are you doing?"

"Just trying to summon something."

"What are Earth could you possibly be trying to summon?"

"I don't know, probably Satan, or some kind of ghost or something."

"Why would you want that in our house?"

"I'm freakin' desperate! I've already tried going at Zim with higher powers, so now I'm trying dark magic! Is that wrong?"

"In multiple religions-"

"Besides, you live here! I didn't think there'd be an issue!"

"Is that an Illuminati eye on the floor, Dib?"

"I don't know how this crap works! It was either this or a penis or something; I'm not a full-time Satanist!"

"Okay, okay. ...What are those?"

"What are what?"

"Those things that you kept gesturing around with? Are those intestines? Those had better not be intestines on my kitchen floor!"

"Where would I get intestines this time of night?"

"Where would you get intestines at a reasonable hour-"

"I can get intestines! I have a life outside of this house!"

"Fine, okay, whatever! I don't want to fucking fight about this. ...Whoa."

"What?"

"There's some sort of fucking… spook behind you."

"A spook?"

"Yeah, like, a creepy spook behind you."

"What the heck is a spook?"

"Turn like, three inches to your right and you'll fucking see, Dib."

"Oh, that's freaking creepy."

"LET'S GO TO BLOATY'S."

"Whaaat."

"GET SOME FUCKING PIZZA, YEAH."

"We can get pizza, but we're not actually going out at this time of night, Jesus."

"THEY HAVE A PIZZA THAT HAS ALFREDO SAUCE INSTEAD OF PIZZA SAUCE."

"I don't know if that would be good or gross."

"GET SOME LIQUID CHEESE AND PUT SOLID CHEESE ON TOP OF IT, YEAH."

"Who the fuck is this guy?"

 

"What is it with youth and summoning Satan?" Agent Nessie grumbled, walking out the door with an unconscious king of Hell slung over his shoulder.

Gaz threw the mop to her brother. "I'm not cleaning up the blood. Or the intestines. Or sleeping. Not after… whatever that was."

Dib chucked the intestines into the sink and began mopping, forlorn. "I was so close this morning, though. Did you see what those beans did to him?"

"Are those human intestines?"

"Something in them triggered an allergic reaction in his filthy alien body chemistry. Since all Satan wanted to do was eat alfredo pizza, I'll have to stage a food fight tomorrow during lunch. There, in front of everyone, I'll launch some food into Zim's filthy mouth, and the whole school will see what he really is. Only then will his evil intestines be revealed."

"I'm assuming you've revealed someone's intestines until further notice. By the way, did you actually order pizza?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Well, the delivery guy's late. And green."

"I DIDN'T GET NO FUCKING SLEEP CAUSE OF Y'ALL! YOU AIN'T GONNA GET NO SLEEP CAUSE OF ME!" Zim screamed in the front lawn, a handcuff from earlier's accidental arrest still hanging from his wrist. He now was the proud owner of a saucepan, and he was putting it to good use, banging it against their mailbox. He would have brought a cookie sheet, too, but literally all the kitchenware he had was a spoon and aforementioned saucepan. If you didn't notice yet, he downloaded urban dictionary into his database. God help us all.

"Spying on us? Really? How did you even figure out where we live?" Dib shouted out the window.

"I thought you were in jail," Gaz said.

"Spying? What?" Zim moved directly below the window to hear better.

"Don't play dumb, Zim! You know about the food fight!"

"The what? What?"

A food fight, a common staple in numerous low-budget American children films, involves the flinging of various consumable goods, including both food and beverage, across a room.

"Oh. That sounds like it would hurt!"

"Heck yeah, it's going to hurt!"

"You realize I was just going to… stay home tomorrow."

"Psh, yeah right! You'd never give up the opportunity to fight someone!"

"Then that is where we differ, mammalian scum!"

"Hey, you don't put intestines in the sink. That shit goes in the front yard," Gaz muttered, taking the wet intestines out of the sink and tossing them out the window, and, consequently, on Zim's head.

"OH, IT BURNS!"

"If it makes you feel better, I got those from a sheep!"

"HOW WOULD THAT MAKE ZIM FEEL BETTER?"

Zim ran down the street, still covered in intestines as blue and red lights began to flash over the lawn. Disregarding Zim's words, Dib cracked his knuckles and looked at the clock. Midnight. Twelve hours left until lunch.

The next day, children ate their government provided slop, at ease. Some of them made some weird noises. One guy was choking himself with cinnamon for other people's approval. Little did they know that they should turn their eyes to the heavens and beg for mercy.

The cafeteria door slid open to let in a thing. The thing was a person, roughly. Rather, it was inside a fairly large mecha that was shaped like a person. "Heeey, how's it going?" It's voice was distorted strangely by its speakers.

"The weird kid looks weirder today," someone muttered.

It continued walking until it heard a noise.

HOOOOONK

 

ZIM-1 heard a noise.

hooooonk

 

Agent Tunaghost heard a noise.

HOOOOONK

 

Agent Nessie heard a noise.

hooooonk

 

TAK-20111 heard a noise.

hooooonk

 

Doctor Som Tam heard a noise.

HOOOOONK

 

Belphegor heard a noise.

HOOOOONK

 

Heretic Returns To Murder The Gods And Topple Their Thrones, Deliciously, Acolyte of the Worshipful Company of the Scarlet King, Forty-Ninth Knight Templar Against the Forces of the Flesh heard a noise.

hooooonk

 

The door slid open to reveal Dib, with a loaded food launcher mounted on one hand, an air horn in the other. "You! Fight me, you coward!"

"An arm mounted food launcher. Neat!"

"You really think so? Thanks! I was up all night working on it."

"Well, it shows."

"Oh, quit it!"

Dib threw the air horn on the floor and suddenly switched into attack mode, screaming and hurling a meatball at the thing. It retaliated with a force field that bounced the meatball into some other kid's eye. Someone screamed "food fight!"

Generic glop- no, food (the animators never bother to draw actual food in a food fight, luckily this is a nonvisual medium) flew through the air as Dib and the thing stared each other down, fighting in an incredibly generic manner. Dib launched food at it, it catches it and throws it back, rinse and repeat. I get really tired of writing this fight scene stuff.

"This isn't just business anymore! It's just between you and me!"

"Just between you and me? I count one alien, and an entire planet of humans! It's hopeless!"

Dib started to continuously fire food at it, whose force field started becoming caked with it.

"DANGER. DANGER. FORCE FIELD OVERLOAD."

"Must! Have! More power!" All of the mech's energy into its arms and it approached Dib with a ball of glowing energy and food.

"Hey! I'm not afraid of your spooky alien death lunch! I'll follow your every move! Forever! Until the day I stop!" That's gay, bruh. Not that's there's anything wrong with that. "You picked the wrong planet to land on, Zim."

"...Wait. Hold up. Aren't you Zim?"

"What?" Dib lowered his launcher, looking at the mech quizzically. "Aren't you?"

"No! I'm something way more respectable." The mech opened, and a tiny little alien, very different from Zim, hopped out, extending her hand in friendship. "Doctor Som Tam of the sneventy-twelfth Vortian science battalion. I'm a hooker."

Gaz, still in her seat, looked over to the tiny Vortian. "This should be interesting."

Dib stared in disbelief, then threw his launcher to the ground and walked to the door. "Hey, wait! Does that mean something offensive in your language? I meant… uh… prostitute! Or is that offensive too? Where are you going?"

"This is… bullshit! This is fucking bullshit! WHAT IS THIS?" He screamed, kicking the launcher away from him. "WHAT IS THIS?" He gestured to Som Tam. "WHAT IS MY LIFE?" Yeah, he was pretty upset that no one noticed a goddamn alien standing in plain sight, no disguise, pretty much wearing nothing but the alien equivalent of underwear and a bathrobe.

"Oh. Oh! This." She said, gesturing to… all of her. "I strangled all of the security camerapeople when I came in. Also, everyone in this part of the world is mentally impaired from some kind of chemicals in the water, so they don't notice anyway."

"Great… just… perfect."

"Don't look so down. You were intending to go after ZIM-1 with that thing, weren't you?"

"Uh." Dib looked around to make sure no one was really looking. Nope. Damn it. "Just Zim, I guess."

"I'll take that as a yes." She patted his shoulder and held out a manila envelope. "Let's talk sometime. Preferably when I'm not being pelted with something." Som Tam frowned and looked at the envelope. "Wait. This isn't- this has cocaine in it. Sorry, hold on."

She rummaged through her space underwear, pulling out such things as a ukulele and several large guns. Dib looked over to Gaz's table with a questioning expression, only getting a noncommittal shrug and an "I don't know" noise in response.

"Here we go!" She said, pulling out a different manila envelope and dropping it in Dib's hands, before picking up a gun, casually walking over to a wall, and blasting directly through it. She walked away, whistling as Dib stood there blinking in confusion, then ran back to get her ukulele.

As she left for good, the food fight wound down. Kids were strewn on the floor, covered in slop. Ms. Bitters slammed the door open, and everyone reflexively pointed at Dib.

Tunaghost continued streaming the footage, despite the subject having left. "Okay, that was the wrong alien, but that's… something," she mumbled into the smartphone, unable to properly take notes due to the cramped conditions in the vent. "They're both targeting Mothman. Not just kids, as hypothesized. Specifically Mothman. Note to self: ask about protocol regarding close encounters of the fifth kind involving children."

Later that day, in between "Zim is not an alien"'s, Dib would resolve to open the envelope the next day.

And thus truly began the story of Dib's shenanigans with aliens and what they did to him.

And if you didn't figure it out, the plan was to get Dib to leave him the fuck alone.