No belongie to me. Jhonen belongie two. Yah. This starts out as a journal
entry. Rated for language. (I don cuss this much, they’re just really excited.)
Damn him and his god damned Irken Love.
damned boy didn’t even know what the word means. He used it because I did. First peep of a message from his damned leaders
and he goes flying back off into space.
He says he’ll be gone for six years, maybe more.
He didn’t even
know about the baby.
This damned half-breed baby I have inside me now.
I can’t even kill myself, because of the
damned thing. I can’t kill it. Or him. I think it’s a he, but I don’t really know.
My dad doesn’t
know yet, hell, Dib doesn’t even know. I’m afraid to tell him. He never really knew about… me and Zim. He
definatly didn’t know we were anything other than gaming opponents.
So what do I do now?
Hell, is that ever a
question for the ages.
I don’t know. An answer for the ages.
I know I have to have the baby. I can’t kill
it. I know I should, but the idea makes me sick to my stomach.
Then I suppose I go day to day. Try to finish college. Just
make life as good as possible. For both of us.
I don’t know if I’ll tell him about his father. I suppose that
depends on whose genes the kid gets. And if his damned father ever brings his ass back to Earth.
Gaz was twenty when she and Zim became friends. Technically, they had been
friends for years, but only over an internet connection. Gaz liked Zim, he was the only person on the planet even worth playing
against. That’s why she screwed up her brother’s plans so much.
By the time she and Zim became actual person
to person friends, he was becoming impatient with the Armada’s continual lack of coming. When he got a message from
the Tallest, inviting him back to the massive for some ceremony, he was overjoyed. By the time Gaz got the rushed email, saying
where he had gone, he was already billions of miles away, floating through space.
It’s been six months almost since Zim left. I miss
him more every day. The baby is a few days late, and I’m camping out in the hospital.
I can’t help but wonder
what, exactly, the genetic differences between the species were. We never really talked about it, before he left. I guess
we should have, before going off and doing… that stupid juvenile thing. I can’t believe we could have ever let
ourselves do that.
Not that I didn’t want to, but… oh, God, all the things that could go wrong…
stomach hurts, I calling for a doctor, bye.
Amazing. Fuckin amazing.
I will say now for the record that
having a baby in real life is nothing like they show it on TV. Especially not an alien baby. (No tentacles for one thing)
took, like, seconds. Less even. I don’t know if this was normal or not, but I mean, I said it was coming, they said
no it’s not, any more.
He’s a beautiful boy, like I said he was all along. I wouldn’t let them do any
ultrasounds or anything, but I knew he was.
He has my skin, (thank god!) and his father’s eyes. Well, the iris and
pupil are red, a deep color, like purple blood. The whites are black. Redundant, huh?
Everyone in the maternity ward is
shocked, they want to know if I was smoking something, but I just told them that his father had a condition.
that, because no one really cared, and even if I was smoking there’s nothing to do about it now.
named him Tiz, after my granddad. It’s kind of an old name, but ah, well.
So today begins the start of a new life.
I just wonder what kind of life it will be.
Thirteen years later, a tall boy sits on his bed. The room is dark, lit
only by a lamp in the corner. There are lights, but they remain off for some reason. The boy is writing in a notebook, a fat
behemoth of a book, but he is only on the first page.
I guess you’re my journal, huh? Yeah, I guess so.
since you can’t talk, I’ll say some stuff about me.
My name is Tiz. I’m 15, and I live with my mom. I
hate my eyes. They’re freaky. But I can see okay in the dark, and that’s cool, I guess.
Right now I’m
pissed at my mom, but I don’t hate her.
The reason I’m pissed is because we just went through the Dad ordeal
I want to know about him, I mean who wouldn’t? With the eyes I’ve got, the genes I’ve got, it
should be easy to figure out who I’m related to. But it’s not that simple.
Mom won’t talk about him.
I can tell she misses him, though. She cries some times, when she thinks I can’t hear. That’s weird, because Mom
never gets upset over anything. I’ve seen her stare down guys before. Lots of guys are always leering at her, but she
can beat up anyone on the face of the planet.
Back to my dad.
I’ve asked uncle Dib about him. Uncle Dib’s
kinda crazy. He’s a paranormal investigater. He knows about everything people say don’t exist. I like hanging
out with him. He’s always got pickled aliens or whatever lying around. They’re fun to look at.
Whenever I ask
him about my Dad, he gets all flustered. He says Mom swore him to secrecy. Then I beg, but he never gives in. It seems like
he doesn’t like me so much after I ask him that, so usually I just leave the subject alone. Whoever my Dad was, I don’t
think he got along very well with Uncle Dib.
I don’t ask Grandpa either. I don’t think he knows. Whenever I
bring it up, he laughs and says “Your mother didn’t get pregnant, don’t be silly!”
And people say
Uncle Dib is crazy…
I woke up at two in the morning to a giant thunder blast. The whole house
shook. Outside, thunder cracked the sky. It was really pretty.
Like all nights when it rains, I’m drawn outside,
to the woods. I love being in the woods in the rain. Mon always brings up the number of people hit by lightning under trees,
but then I bring up the number of people NOT hit by lightning under trees, and she sighs and lets me outside.
on a jacket, and walked outside into the rain. Instantly I’m soaked, but I like it, so I walk slow enough to the woods.
I have a secret spot in the woods,that I go to see the stars, or to hang out.
As I walked toward it, though, I saw that
there were some other people out. I saw flashlight beams waving around. I sighed, and was about to go back home, when I realized
how orange the beams were. Orange and… flickering. Good god the woods are on fire.
Wait, how can they be burning
in this downpour?
I had to find out. I ran toward the fire, which, I saw, was already dying. But I didn’t care, because
I was staring at the ship which was parked right on top of a few fallen trees. Or crashed on top, maybe. As I watched, pieces
of the small purple craft fell off, clattering to the ground. I slowly walked toward it.
After a second of contemplation,
I poked the window. I think it was a window. I could see through it, kinda, but not really that much.
And then the window
flew open, and something catapulted out, latching on to my head.
“WEEEHOOOO! PLANET OF DOOMIE DOOM!” shrieked
“Get the fuck off my head!” I screamed at it, smacking it with my arms.
It screamed, and dropped off. Then it latched onto my leg, with even more force.
“HI! Make me a sammich!”
is wrong with you?” I asked it, calmly, I think.
“I’m advanced!” it replied.
away from the Earth Monkey!” said a voice from the ship.
“I DON WANNA! WE FRIENDS!”it screamed back.
happening?” I asked the metal thing. I could see it had glowing cyan eyes, and a metal grin.
“We crashed. It
“Um, okay, so why are you coming to Earth for?”
“I dunno, but Master does.”
pointed back toward the ship. Smoke was pouring out of it.
Dragging the little robot along, I moved back toward it again.
As the smoke cleared a bit, I saw the shape of someone inside it. He was a bit taller than me, and he was crunched up inside
the little ship. It was obviously about three sizes too small.
And then I saw he was green. With big giant red eyes.
are you…” I said. The alien groaned.
“In trouble,” he said simply.
“Are you okay? Your
not gonna die, are you? Cuz when that ship crashed at Roswell,”
“Oh, shut your noise tube. I’m not going
to die. I’ll be fine. Now, um, run along, and forget all you’ve seeeen.”
“How ‘bout no?”
human stink-worm…” he started, but grimaced and grabbed his stomach, like he got a cramp or something.
I’ll take you to my Uncle. If anybody can help, it’s him.”
“I need no help,” he tried, but
I didn’t believe him.
Twenty minutes later, I had gotten the alien to come with me. He was hurt
pretty bad, but wouldn’t admit it. He wouldn’t say much, actually, just a lot of well thought up insults. It wasn’t
very far to Uncle’s and we made it there before morning. We had to wait for it to stop raining, though. He seemed to
be allergic to contact with it.
What was really surprising is what happened when we got to Uncle’s.
I banged on
the door, and after a minute Uncle came to the door. I was standing there, a metal robot trying to squeeze my leg off, and
a hurt alien leaning on my shoulder. I would expect some cursing and a lot of questions. What Uncle actually said was: What
the hell is he doing here?
“Um, he crashed in my backyard.” I said.
“Dib! What the hell am I doing
“You know my Uncle?”
Dib didn’t say anything for a second.
“I know you should.
But you’re not going to.”
They stared at each other for another second.
“Damn you,” Dib said,
and stood aside. I walked in, and we went down to the basement. We lay Zim down on one of the tables he had. It was hard;
he had this metal thing on his back, and it wouldn’t let him lie flat.
“How do you guys know each other? Uncle,
how many aliens do you know?”
“Tiz, go call your mother, and tell her where you are. Tell her to come here,
and do NOT tell her who you found.”
I ran up the stairs, and ran to the kitchen.
Quickly, I called my house. After about ten rings, my Mom picked up.
“If this is not a matter of life and death you’re
going to die,” She said cheerily.
“Thanks I love you too,” I said, “I’m at Uncle’s.
He says come over right now.”
“Why? Can’t it wait till morning?”
“No! You have to come
over right now. He won’t let me tell you why.”
I looked at my watch.
“And it is morning.”
not morning until God stops forsaking the time.”
“See you in ten.”
“If I don’t die of
I hung up the phone and tiptoed down to the basement. Uncle and Zim didn’t hear me, and kept talking.
“What are you doing back on Earth? I though we got rid of you for good.”
here to stay. I’m not… I’m not allowed back to Irk.”
“They got sick of you, too? Not surprising.”
“This may sting a bit.”
“Aaouw! No kidding!”
“Oh, quit whining, you baby.
Just be grateful I didn’t throw out all those notes I took on you when we were kids. I probably knew you better than
you knew yourself.” “My PAK would have fixed it anyway. You’re just speeding the process up.”
to know you’ve still got the grand old ego trip going.”
“Ha. I am as humble as a…. whatsit called,
those humble things?”
“Aw, come off it. I’m still throwing you out as soon as Gaz gets here.”
did this alien know my family? Why didn’t I know him? And why did he know my Mo… Oh, shit.
All of a sudden,
the pieces clicked into place. This caused me to lose my balance and go tumbling down the stairs to land on my head.
shit!” I said apon standing up. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Tell you what?” Zim asked.
knew!” I said to Uncle. “Why didn’t you tell me? All this time… I was…”
Dib was looking
frustrated, Zim looked confused, and the door upstairs slammed.
“Dib? Tiz?” My mother called from upstairs.
down here!” Dib called. Zim looked at him in shock.
“You told her to come here? Now? Oh, God…”
came down the stairs carefully. About halfway down, she looked over, saw Zim, and adopted my reaction.
I helped her to
“Mom, I think you know him. Right?”
“Yeah. I do.”
She walked over to where he was
sitting on the table, and wrapped her arms around him.
“Mom?” I prompted. “What the hell is going on?”
Mom said slowly. “This is my son. Tiz.”
Zim looked at her, and for a second I saw hurt in his eyes.
and then he saw my eyes. And I could just see the cogs turning, and then…
what I said, when I figured it out two minutes ago!” I said angrily. “Shit, Mom, I’m half alien, and you
never told me?”
“You were pregnant and you didn’t tell me?”
“You were pregnant?”
Dib asked incredulously. “I thought you were a man! Oh, the secrets!”
“Shut up.” I told him.
would have told you, but you took off so damned fast… did you have a nice time, abandoning me for thirteen years?”
was trying to get back! I was! I...shit. How do I say this…”
“Spit it out,” Mom said coldly.
been hiding for a long time. My leaders…. They were trying to kill me. They think I’m an idiot. And they knew
about us. They thought I might stand up for the Earth when the Armada came. So they decided to kill me. But I got away…
but I have to keep hiding.” “You couldn’t get one message to me? To let me know you weren’t dead?
Not once in 13 years?”
“They’ve got sensors all over Earth. They know of every message that goes in and
“How do you know? I think you’re being paranoid.” I said.
“I know because I put
“You put them…” Mom’s eyes got big. “You said he was lying!”
told you he came to destroy Earth! WHAT did I tell you!” Dib said, clapping his hands. “You didn’t believe
“But I didn’t, did I?”
“Only because I stopped you!”
“HA! Puny Earthling!
I could have decimated the whole planet if I wanted to!
“Sure you could, Zim. Sure you could.”
“WHAT THE FUCK
IS GOING ON HERE? I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW PLEASE!” I said angrily. The robot finally let go of my leg and went scampering
“Fine,” said Dib. “Crash course. Zim: Alien. Came to destroy Earth. But I stopped him, because
he’s an idiot. Gaz: Hooked up with Zim. I didn’t know about it or I would have killed him. Slowly. Then he left,
to go back to space, or something. Seven months later you were born. We haven’t had word from him since.”
“Holy God. Do you know how bad the chances of this happening are? Of all the
places on Earth, of all the nights…”
I tried to figure out the chances in my head.
1:68539075. Only bigger.”
“That’s great.” Dib turned to Zim, who looked like he had a few comments
of his own to put in. “I said I’d throw you out, and now I am. Scram, you green bastard.”
you too, Dib.”
“You guys still hate each other, don’t you?” Mom asked.
“Yeah, I think
so.” Dib said sarcasticly.
“But that’s not the point, now,” Zim said. “The point is that
the armada is coming to blow your planet up.”
“Why?” Mom asked.
cares? That’s what they do. They blow stuff up. They are coming, though. Which is why I came to get you.” “What
about me?” Dib asked.
“I guess you can come too, but I’m going to launch you into space once we clear
Earth’s orbit.” He blinked. “Did I say that out loud?”
“Yes, you did,” I said.
“Back to Earth exploding. Shouldn’t we be doing more panicking?” I asked.
I guess.” Mom said.
“Or we could build a giant spaceship and launch us into space to live among the stars!”
Dib said excitedly.
“No time,” Zim said, shaking his head.
“Could we build a little spaceship and
just evacuate the four of us?”
“FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiVVVVVEEE!” Came a shriek from the corner.
“We could leave him here,” Zim said seriously.
“Yeah,” Dib said.
(Gir fans pop
out of a time-space continuum hole and threaten them with pitchforks and tazers)
“Maybe we should take him after
“Yeah,” Dib agreed nervously.
“That was interesting,”
I said. “Who were they?”
“No one of any importance.”
what’s wrong with him anyway? I thought robots were supposed to be super smart and stuff.”
“My mommie says I’m special!”
“You don’t have a ‘mommie’
GIR!” Zim shrieked at the dark corner.
“DON BE DISSIN MY MOMMIE!”
Several crashes were heard, and
the scream of bending metal.
“Stop wrecking my house!” Dib screamed. “You! Go now. Take your stupid robot,
Zim growled, and went to the corner to retrieve the android.
“I’m going back to my base. I’ll
see you in the morning. Dib, feel free to stay on Earth.”
“I’ll be there, bright and early.”
let’s go home,” Mom said quietly. “I’ll see you guys at Zim’s in the morning.”
“No buts, mister. March.”
By the time we got home, I had figured out from Mom that Zim’s ‘base’
was the Old Haunted Green House That No One Ever Got Around to Tearing Down. We walked in the front door, and I said good
night. Mom, looking tired, went down the hall to her own room. I went to my bedroom, locked the door, went out the window,
and headed straight for Zim’s.
The old haunted green house was a constant source of scary stories around the neighborhood.
The place glowed for no apparent reason. Walking down the cracked stone path, I could swear the lawn gnomes were watching
I knocked on the door, and it swung open.
“How did I know you would be here?” Zim said. He was standing
in the middle of what had been a living room. Now it was coated in dust it could have been a bathroom for all anyone could
“I had to. Natural sense of curiosity, you know?” “No. I don’t.”
I walked inside,
making a second trail of tracks in the carpet of dust.
“Computer!” Zim screamed suddenly.
Zim,” said a voice from nowhere. “Did you have a nice trip?” “Yes yes it was remarkable now I order
you to tell me why you haven’t been keeping this place clean!”
“Didn’t seem much point, really.
I’d just clean and clean and clean and no one would ever even see the amazing cleanness so I gave up.” It burst
into tears. “I’m so unappreciated!”
“That’s very nice. So can you get the majority of this
dust up NOW?” “I suppose so…”
An army of brooms flew out of the wall and began to sweep everything
onto a giant hole that had appeared in the floor.
“Who’s the other Irken?” asked the computer.
Tiz. He’s my kid apparently.” “Didn’t know you had a kid.”
“Me neither,” we said
“Wait… we’re Irken? Seriously? Then the planet must be called… Oh god no…”
But it means something different in my language.”
“What’s it like? It’s half my heritage, I want
“Hmmm. Irk is… Amazing. Only word for it. We are literally the most powerful planet in the
known universe. We conquer planets, it’s what we’ve always done. Soldiers like me, we go ahead, find major weaknesses,
and tell the armada so when they come we can take down the planet quickly and easily. We’re the most technilogicly advanced,
because we have the planet Vort to be advanced for us. Oh yeah. One other thing. Do you like snax?”
live without em.”
“Good. You have at least some Irken characteristics than.”
“I can see in the
“Really? I can’t do that. But I could if I WANTED TO.”
“Sure you could.”
our government is also based on height, but that’s not a good thing I think.”
“What’s that metal
thing on your back?”
“This? Most advanced bit of bioengineering known to Irk. It’s a pak. We get them
at birth. It basically translates any and all known languages and stores our personalities so if we die, it can be put on
another body. Plus we can download info instead of memorizing. Neat, huh!”
“That is cool.”
it’s got all sorts of nifty stuff in it.”
“The usual. Parachute, atmospheric
adjustor, lasers, and these things.”
Thin metal legs emerged from a pink hole and lifted him a good ten feet off
“Sweet! I wish I could do that!” He dropped back to the ground, and gave me a funny look.
“I can’t believe your elevator is in the fridge.” “It
is. Believe it, kid.” “It’s an expression.” “Oh.” We stepped out of the fridge into a
darkly lit tunnel. Doors lined the sides of the corridor.
“I think it’s this one…” Zim pushed one
door open, and bright light came out.
“Damn that’s bright!” “This is the right one. Come on.”
We walked into the white room. In the middle of it was a white table. Several cabinets or something that looked like them
lined the walls.
“How well can you keep track of your mind?” Zim asked me.
Pretty well, I thin- ooh, look
at this freckle. Was this here before? Boy this room is white.
“Pretty well.” “Oh, good. Wouldn’t
want you going crazy.” “Ummm… yeah…” “See, I have one, for in case I need to do something
with one of these kinds of things.” “Okay.” “You can have it. It’ll attach itself.” “Will
it hurt?” “No, although some people say it’s the most excruciating thing they’ve ever known.”
“Okay then.” He held out a blue and silver thing that looked just like his, but a bit smaller.
around.” I did. I felt a slight pressure, and then a feeling like a thousand needles and then nothing. I couldn’t
see anything but black. I could have been falling, and I wouldn’t know. I wondered for a second if maybe I was dead.
I decided that since I was thinking I probably wasn’t.
“Am I dead?” I asked.
I think.” “Well alrighty then.” After a second I could see again. The white room was there, with a few black
marks decorating it.
“What the heck are those?” “What the fuck do you think they are? You’ve got
lasers, retard. Can’t you feel them?” Strangely, I could. It was weird. I could feel lasers, spider legs, and
all sorts of neat gadgets. They felt like extra limbs almost. Testing them out, I tried to extend my legs, and lift myself
up. I did, but almost immediately slipped and fell over.” “That’s normal. You have to learn to walk. Like
you did as a baby. Just try not to think about blasting people, you will.” “Neat-o” “No, not really.”
I tried again, this time balancing unsteadily for a minute before toppling over. “Better.” The third time I took
a few hesitant steps before falling over on top of Zim.
“AAAHHH! No touchie! NO TOUCHIE!”
“That’s enough of that for right this second. Try a force field.”
I did. Two spikes came
out to either side, and a thin membrane of color surrounded me for a second. It was the palest blue. After about a half a
second, it disappeared. I tried again. It was slightly darker, and lasted slightly longer. The third time I was able to get
it to stay, and it slowly darkened the longer I kept it up.
“We already know your lasers work.”
um, sorry about that.”
“No problem. When I got my PAK I cut the power on the entire planet for five years.”
“Yup. It was brilliant. I did it again later, only it stayed for four years.”
got in some trouble for that but it was still amazing," He looked thoughtful. "So how about a test?"
There is nowhere scarier than an empty school building at night. I felt
I could say this honestly as I crept down a darkened hallway. Weird noises seemed to echo from the unfamiliar rooms. I thought
I could hear footsteps, but maybe I was just being paranoid.
I wondered if I should go into any of the rooms, and when
I was sure that I really could hear steps, I decided that I should. Ducking through the first door I saw, I found myself in
a room filled with small kitchenettes. Home ec. Perfect.
I rifled through the cabinets, looking for one of those insanely
huge knives women use to cut meat. There wasn’t anything there. Not even a spoon.
Outside, I heard the footsteps
stop outside the door. A terrifying silhouette involving several thick tentacles came into view. I hid behind a counter, hoping
that it would move on. It didn’t. The doorknob slowly started to twist.
I waited until the door was halfway open,
and let loose with a laser blast. I wasn’t quick enough, and the thing ducked to the right, slamming the door closed
behind it. And then it started screaming, a high keening sound like all the voices in the head of a crazy person breaking
into bloodcurdling shrieks, only worse.
I shot another laser blast, this time hitting it and stopping the shrieks. Unfortunately,
it had called it’s friends, which were now pounding down the hall toward the room.
“Rrrgh, dammit.” I
said, just because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
I searched for anything that would barricade the door for any
amount of time at all, and finding nothing, searched the ceiling. It was one of those kinds made out of cardboard squares
that give in if you push on them.
I climbed on top of a chair and pushed one of the squares up into the ceiling. Then,
using my spider legs, I pulled myself up after it. I pushed the square back into place just as the door burst open. Something
like ten of the creatures stormed into the room, looking around for me. I couldn’t see them, but I could tell it was
only a matter of time before they looked up.
Stepping carefully only on the metal supports for the cardboard, I tried to
get to another ceiling and out of that room. But the thin metal strips weren’t strong enough. Within four feet, I put
one of the metal legs down wrong and slid, buckling the ceiling and crashing down about ten feet to the linoleum below.
I moaned. Then I realized that I should probably get up and move, like, NOW.
One of the creatures lashed at me with its
tentacle, and I had already resigned myself to death before I realized that some unconscious (but incredibly helpful) part
of my brain had already accommodated the Pak into my reflex system. A thin force field surrounded me, but it looked like it
was about to give in soon. I have to practice that.
I get ready to fire lasers like crazy, which will happen as soon as
this field gives out, which is soon. I see six of them, but there are more behind those that I can’t count. Directly
above me, I look straight up though the hole I just fell through. Twisted pieces of metal beam poke straight downward.
a tiny bit, I drop the field and shoot a laser straight into the piece of metal closest to me. It drops into my hand, which
was a great trick. I simultaneously shoot two of the tentacled things and stabbed a third. The soft metal followed the path
of least resistance, essentially curving its way into and then back out of the creature’s head. It was neat-o.
shot two more down, trying to back into a corner, to cover two sides from attack. Unfortunately, I missed the one behind me,
which wrapped it’s tentacles around my neck and began to strangle me.
I pulled on the metal, tearing a chunk out
of the other’s head, and tried to stab at my assailant, but the curved metal wouldn’t go in. If I had air I would
have cursed very impressively indeed.
But I didn’t and ended up dying, which was not in my original plan.
When I woke up from apparently not, in fact, being dead, Zim was staring
down at me with an unidentifiable look. I climbed up off the floor, adrenalin slowly seeping out of my veins.
have to do that again!” I said.
“Do you know how many of those monsters you killed?”
you know how many the average Invader kills in one of these simulations?”
again, the Invaders, when they take this test, have had ten years of extensive field training.”
did pretty good, kid.”
“Um… thanks. What time is it?”
“Almost dawn. Why?”
I was in there for… Wow, it took me an hour to do that?”
“Well, it takes some time for the program to
I put my hands in my pockets, looking around at the silver simulator room. Zim had said
there were over six hundred simulations that this machine could access immediately, and a few, ahem, extra ones that could
be bought online.
“Mom ought to be showing up soon.”
“I hope she isn’t
mad at me.”
“She probably is, but from what I know of your mother, that’s not too unusual, is it?”
As though some magicky doom thingie was at work, at that moment, Mom entered through the pneumatic doors
to the simulator.
“How did you get down here?” Zim asked incredulously.
“Staff entrance,” Mom
“There’s a staff entrance?”
“Well, okay then…”
mom stared at me. Then back at Zim. Then at me. She looked amazed, which was scary because she has never been amazed once
in her life, so far as I know.
“You didn’t give him one of those things, did you?”
Zim asked patheticly.
“Yeah, so?” I asked, not seeing what the problem was.
teaching him to kill, Zim.”
“I wanted to, don’t blame him,”
“You be quiet. You weren’t in your room this morning, mister.”
“Yeah, I know.”
not anything we can do about it now, come on. We have more pressing problems.”
“I’m not going to forget
“You’ve never forgotten anything, Mom. You can hold a grudge for years.”
on,” she said, stalking back out of the room. We followed, looking at the floor and occaisionaly each other.
the making stuff room?” Mom asked.
“The what now?” I said.
“It’s down in the lowest lower
levels, but we can’t make a ship there.”
“Well, there’s the small problem
of getting it to the surface.”
“We’ll have to make the individual parts and actually
assemble it in the house.”
“Alright then. That shouldn’t be too hard.”
Zim suddenly asked.
“Probably out taking pictures of something stupid.”
“I hope he
One at a time, we went through the elevator into the lowerest levels. It was a little pink room that
gave me the screaming horrors.
“I hate it here.”
“That’s okay, because I don’t really
Ah. Well then. So long as we know where we stand…
It suddenly redawned on me with full magnitude
that this green man standing right in front of me was my dad. It was freaky, I can tell you. You can’t even imagine
how freaky it is to be missing a father for thirteen years, and all of a sudden there’s somebody in that empty space.
The only problem is, the space in my heart was a square. This guy’s a rhombus, or something equally complicated. Just
because this isn’t interesting enough, he’s telling me that my planet, the only one I knew existed this time yesterday,
wasn’t going to exist much longer. I had to leave everything I know, with a whole new set of things to know.
realized that Mom was poking my head.
“He does this sometimes, just poke him until he rejoins reality,” she
“Okay okay okay! Stop poking me!”
“Well, here’s what we’re going to need,”
Zim said, laying out a roll of green blueprints. It’s just a matter of getting the pieces together right. We have to
make the pieces here, and bolt tehm together upstairs.”
He looked to Gaz, then me.
“Either of you know anything
“I took wood shop,” I offered.
“Do you know how a molecular accelerator works?”
Hell no. I can barely get nails in straight.”
“In that case the answer to that question would have been no.”
did the repairs on Tak’s ship, so I know the basics of how a spittle runner works.”
“Good enough. You
can help me down here. Kid, you’re on shuttle duty.”
“I give you
something, you take it upstairs. When you see Dib, tell him to get his butt down here, too.”
I gave a mock salute.
“You put your palm out, thumb down.”
“This is how we do it on Earth.”
bit of Earth culture is going to be gone in three days. How anything at all is done on Earth will no longer matter.”
was a really impressive bolt of lightning, and something appeared in the canter of the room.
“Oh, yeah. First thing.”
Zim picked up the sparking purple thing. It looked like a really shiny piece of construction paper. “This is the mother
board. Be insanely careful with it. This has the artificial intelligence module in it. This is the first ever perfectly designed
personality for a computer. Whatever this guy turns out to be, we have to put up with him for a long, long time.”
took it gingerly, and walked back to the elevator. When I got to the house level, I found Dib, looking confused.
“Down in the lower levels. They want you to come help them make a spaceship.”
“My God. He gave you one of those things?”
We’ve been over this.”
“Do you know what it is? What it really is?”
like superman in a can.”
“No. It’s a brain. That’s what he keeps his mind in. His leaders send
him messages through it. It’s like propaganda that goes straight into your mind.”
He looked strangely at me.
you get weird voices in your head, you have to take it off. You can’t let it tell you how to think, Tiz.”
won’t! Don’t be stupid.”
I put the motherboard down on the kitchen table, grabbed a donut, and went back
down the elevator. Dib followed. By the time I had reached the making stuff room, there was something else there, waiting
for me to take upstairs. I left Dib there to do science stuff, and carried the second thing upstairs.
The third time I
went down Dib passed me carrying something else. Apparently he wasn’t as good as Mom or Zim.
So the day went on,
back and forth, back and forth, up and down. It was tremendously exciting. Alien machinery is a thing of brilliance, I tell
you. It even looks pretty. The pieces gradually got bigger, and the bigger they were, the cooler they looked.
When I finally
went down, at about nine thirty at night, and found no more pieces to be carried, I was almost disappointed. The sad was killed
by how tired I was though.
“I want to go to bed,” Dib said, voicing everyone’s thoughts. “I don’t
even want to eat I’m so tired.”
“Feeble human,” Zim muttered under his breath.
meet you as soon as possible tomorrow, alright? There’s still a lot of things to do.”
“Get some sleep,
Zim,” I groaned, dragging myself toward the door. “We can’t do this without you if you drop dead of exhaustion.”
don’t sleep,” he said quietly. If he said anything else, I didn’t hear it, I was out the door, heading home.
don’t remember getting home, and I don’t remember falling asleep. But I know I did, because I had nightmares.
Awful nightmares about a new half of me. I split in two, the other half going away. It kept saying that it was different,
that I never paid attention to it.
I slept through the longest nightmare on my life.
The next morning when I went early to Zim’s I was really jumpy. I
kept having to look over my body to make sure I wasn’t cracking in half. I’d never been so freaked by a dream
in my life.
The jumpiness went a way a bit when I stepped through the front door. This was because a half-assembled frame
was sitting straight smack-dab in the middle of it. Zim was on the ceiling, hanging by his spider laegs, welding something
together. He didn’t even notice me ocme in.
“Hey! Zim, it’s morning. What can I help with?”
get up here and hold this.”
I climbed up into the lattice of wires and tubes that made up a ceiling. Holding the
piece Zim said to, he welded it to another with a fancy little super-hot gun-thing. It was neat.
“Can I do that?”
guess so. If you make sure the right pieces are connecting. We don’t have time to mess up, here. I’m doing the
top first so Dib and Gaz can do the bottom when they show up.”
I went around connectiong things
like he said to. It was really cool to watch the metal melt and reform. I was focusing on not accidentally welding my hand
off, or other such accidental disfigurement.
When Mom and Dib showed up, we were almost done doing the top. Me and Dib
kept putting pieces on, Mom and Zim went to put the engine together. It was the most…interesting experience I’d
ever had, and I had a lot of time to think. During this time, I wondered about the spaceship in a living room. Which made
me think, for some reason, of yelling at someone to move the giant ship so I could watch TV. And then I thought about that
little robot that attacked my leg two nights ago. Which made me think of the last time I had seen it. Which made me think
that I hadn’t seen it since I left Dib’s house.
“Hey, Dib! Is that little robot still at your house?”
“No, Zim took him.”
Zim looked confused.
“No, I didn’t.”
that you did,” Dib said a bit worridly.
“He’s not here now.”
“Are you sure?” Mom
“Uh…no. COMPUTER! Locate GIR, and please tell me he’s in the house…”
GIR located. He’s, um…” “Where, computer?”
“I’ll tell you, but you’re not
going to like it.”
“I don’t care. Where is he?”
“He’s, um, in Germany.”
DID HE GET TO GERMANY?”
(Cut to a horrified airline desk attendant hiding behind a desk. GIR is chewing on those
stupid airline pens that don’t work, ink is going everywhere.
Clerk: If I give you tickets will you go away and never
Back to our heroes)
“You know what? I don’t even want to know,” Zim said.
“I’ll take the reserve out to find him. Gaz, can you finish with these guys here?”
“I think so.
The animatronic gastrointela attaches to the E portal, right?”
“Yeah, it’s the blue one on the rear.”
I come?” I asked. “He likes me.”
“He likes everyone with a pulse, but okay.”
Zim into the attic of the house. There was a landing pad there, built for the Voot cruiser that was crashed in my backyard.
There was also a smaller pad, with a strange looking ship on it.
”It was built for carrying things, but it’ll
fly. Come on.” I climbed inside the tiny ship, sitting in a seat behind the pilot’s. I watched Zim working these
controls which would take me years to figure out. I resolved then and there that I would learn how to fly these things. I
had the feeling it would be a useful talent.
With no warning at all, the ship shot into the air and set off to the east,
flying right into the morning sun.
It took us fifteen minutes to get to Germany, which is again the coolest thing ever.
I worked out that we had to be going about a thousand miles every three minutes. I wondered if I could persuade him to do
some loops on the way back.
We parked outside there Grand Palace of Germany, where the Grand Supreme Dictator lived. There
were tons of guards all over.
“Why would GIR be here?” I asked.
“I dunno, but he is.” The gaurds
looked jumpy, and hardly noticed when we walked right past them into the Royal Room of Decision Making. The Grand Supreme
Dictator, The FIc Lord, was in there… reading stories. GIR was sitting on the ground, listening intently.
upon a time
GIR: READ TO ME!
TFL: there was a handsome prince
GIR: READ TO MEEEEE!
TFL: I AM TRYING DANGIT!
Stop bothering the nice dictator! We have to go home.”
“Oh thank GOD!” Fic lord exclaimed. “GOT
THIS PSYCHO THING OUT OF HERE PLEASE!”
“I will do that, but not because you told me to,” Zim said loudly.
“GIR, MOVE! We have to go home and get off Earth because the bad tall guys are coming to destroy this FILTHY FILTH RIDDEN
GIR stared uncomprehendingly. Zim sighed.
“Let’s go get tacos,” He said sulkily.
And so we headed back home by way of Crazy Taco, where we drove the ship through the drive-through and
no one noticed
The ship, when we finished it at nightfall the next day, was a marvel to behold. Sleek, streamlined,
and purple for some reason, it almost radiated a feeling of efficiency. I just hoped it would live up to the feeling. Unfortunately,
with less than half an hour until the Irken Armada arrived, we didn’t have any time for a test drive.
he ship, I saw the inside was purple, too. This was not as streamlined. Wires were visible everywhere, and several pieces
of paneling were missing. This was to be expected. We didn’t build the thing for it’s looks.
There were two
sets of seats, and GIR sat in the cargo space, where there wasn’t much stuff to break. I buckled myself into one of
the seats in the back, behind my Mom. Dib sat next to me, and tried to peer out the front. There was a really big window,
and through it we could see the TV and parts of the wall. Without any adequate warning, the ship shot upward, crashing through
the ceiling. People stared as the house basically shattered and fell to the ground. It was loud. As people gawked, we stared
back down at them.
It occurred to me that no one on Earth would be here in an hour. Which scared me more because I didn’t
really care, or think particularly of anyone worth saving.
The Earth got farther and farther away as our ship
flew out into the sky. We could already see the tiny pink dots that were the ships of the Armada approaching. We went the
other way. I looked on the Earth, just in time to see the first laser hit. I turned around, and didn’t look back.
said Zim suddenly. “What is the estimated time of arrival for Arkania?”
“Arkania distance: Wouldn’t
YOU LIKE TO KNOW?”
“What? Computer, you were supposed to be perfect!”
“Oh, so you don’t
love me! Fine, I can deal with that. I hate you too.”
“What is… oh, god. GIR. Computer, find what went
wrong with your programming.”
“My programming’s fine. That’s not the problem.”
what is the problem?”
“Locating… Problem found.”
“WHAT IS IT?”
donut on me.”
“What? What does that mean?”
“One of you carbon based idiots got donut grease
or whatever all over the motherboard.”
I sank down into me seat as everybody turned to look at me. In the back, GIR
“I can’t believe you wrecked the motherboard.”
“At least we won’t have to put up with it long,” Mom said hopefully.
long is it to Arkania?”
“Oh my god,” Dib moaned. “I’m not
gonna make it.”
“Shut your noise tube. We’ve got suspended animation, so it’ll feel more like an
“How soon can we start that suspended thing up?” I asked. GIR was in the back, singing a song
that consisted of one word. It was dreadfully annoying. Between him and the computer joining in, I wanted to get off this
ship so bad…
“Right now. COMPUTER! Engage suspended animation.”
“Eeeeeeeeeeiiiii… no can
“Why not?” Dib asked, sounding hysterical.
WANT TO?” Zim screeched.
“That plus it’s not responding no more.”
“Wow. Maybe we should
have stayed on Earth…” I said, but no one could hear me because the singing was so loud.
Mom said loudly.
“So who brought the board games?” I asked loudly.
“DOOM DOMIE DOOOOOMIE DOOM DOOMA
DOOMA DOOMA DOOM!” chorused the computer and GIR, loudly.
“This is all your fault, Dib!” Zim shouted
“My fault! All I did was carry stuff! You put the stupid thing together!”
I started, but Mom shushed me.
“They fight all the time. You just have to get used to it.”
months?” Mom bit her lip. She might have said something, but I didn’t hear it. It was pretty loud in here now.
quiet.” Mom said quietly, and there was one of those auras that make you want to shut up and quickly.
you know that annoying me thing? You’re both doing it. For you to goons to be fighting all the time when we were kids
on Earth was bad enough, but at least then I could lock you all out of the house for the night. Here, there’s nowhere
to get away, so we’re going to have to try not to kill each other.”
“Try getting GIR to be quiet with
that speech,” Zim said, scoffing. I swear the temperature went up three degrees.
“I don’t need a speech,”
Mom said. Then she hit the red button to open the cargo bay doors. They slid open, and she went inside, closing the door behind
her. The singing instantly stopped, and was replaced by a horrible screaming. After a minute of sitting, terrified, in the
main part of the ship, glancing nervously at each other and wondering what was happening beyond those doors, we heard the
screaming stop, and the doors opened. Mom came out, looking satisfied.
“He won’t be doing THAT any more,”
she said. Sure enough there wasn’t a peep from the robot that hadn’t shut up once since he’d crashed.
did you do to him?” Zim asked fearfully. Mom looked at him with that one-eyed glare she does so well.
tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”
We didn’t ask again.
Two minutes later, we were trying to
find anything flat that we could cut, and maybe do something with. A deck of cards would have been worth killing for, but
since we didn’t have that, we tried to play word games. This wasn’t for any reason, but we really didn’t
want to have to think about doing it for seven months.
“Cat,” said Dib.
“Rat,” said Mom.
“Slat,” I said.
“What? asked Mom and Dib together.
“No, no, slat’s a word,”
said Zim. “It’s one of those planks that cover windows.”
“No, that’s not what he said,”
“What did I say?” I asked.
“See, that didn’t make sense either,” Dib said.
it did,” said Zim, confused.
“No, it didn’t. He said like, ‘diud I whaht sia?’” Said
“Am I missing something?” I asked.
“You just did it again!” Dib shrieked.
no…” Zim said.
“WHAT?” the three of us chorused together. Dib and Mom looked at me funny.
speaking in tongues,” he told me solemnly.
“What are you talking about? I don’t know any other languages.
I took Spanish for a year, but I flunked it, so…”
“No, you’ve got an automatic translater on your
back. You have to be able to feel what language everyone else is speaking, and mimic it. I think you’re speaking betelgeusian,
but I can’t tell. It’s one freaky dialect, anyway.”
“I told you no good
would come of that thing, Zim,” Dib said matter-of-factly. “Is it me or am I always right?”
I told him
to shut up, but he couldn’t understand me. Mom started laughing, and I had to quietly wonder what the words I was saying
sounded like. Must be pretty freaky to get MOM laughing. I went on looking for anything at all to do, other than speaking
a freaky language no one but Zim could understand. At least I could still understand people.
I wandered back into the cargo
bay just to be away for a little while. It was dark, and GIR was in a corner sniffing.
“Hey, GIR,” I said.
said GIR. “How do ye be?”
“Is it me or are you speaking a bit of sense.”
“I assure you
it is just you and your demented human imagination.”
“Oh. Well that’s all right, then. Do you have any
“No, but I have this pig. He is quite entertaining.”
The little robot pulled a squeaking pig
out of his head. He then squeaked it mercilessly.
“See? Can you handle my pleasure?”
“Um, yeah. That’s
really annoying. Could you stop it before I am forced to kill myself, please?”
“You’re just jealous.
Want a moose?” he pulled a squeak moose out of his head and offered it to me. I took it and squeaked it. Then, unable
to stop myself, I began to squeak it more. Then more. GIR and I made a chorus of demented squeaking. Then abruptly, GIR stopped.
he whispered. “Or the scary lady will come back and bring her doom. Dooooom…”
just my Mom.”
“She’s still scary.”
“Hey… did she make you talk like this?”
“Like a half-intelligent human being.”
“No, I’m just doing this cuz I’m bored.
And you’re not a human being either, so don’t be dissin me.”
Oh, yeah. I’m not. Geez, this is hard
to get used to. I wonder if I should go off on a touching emotional line of thought about my parents?
I looked around and
found nothing else to do.
Guess I will then. Let’s start with Zim, my father. I actually have a father. Weird. I
was beginning to seriously wonder if I was the spawn of Satan or something. With my mom’s personality, I have no doubt
that she at least knows Satan. So I have half the genes of someone I never knew. Now I’ve found him, and seriously he’s
nothing like anyone I ever imagined I could be related to. Actually, he’s like no one I’ve ever heard of. What
a giant ego. But it’s not even annoying, like it was to start.
Am I like that? I don’t think so. Then again,
he probably doesn’t either. I wish I had a mirror to look in while I did this. It would probably make it a bit more
meaningful. Oh, well.
I thought about what Zim had said about Irk. What a funny name for a planet. I knew what Irk meant
in Irken, it’s unexplainable in English, but it’s just like a feeling of unity and peace. Though by the sound
of it, it wasn’t a peaceful planet. Lords of all, and conquerors. That would have appealed to me if they hadn’t
just destroyed my homeworld. I thought about the Tallest, as Zim had called them. Who bases a government on height, and what
were they doing at the time?
On the other hand, the power must be awesome. They rule almost the whole universe. Tell me
that’s not cool. They have those other guys, the Vorts, to be smart for them. And Zim said almost the whole planet was
military training. Invaders trained for ten whole years. I couldn’t imagine doing anything for ten whole years. Unless
it would help Irk to grow.
Where did that come from?
I was awakened from my sleep by Zim shaking my shoulder.
I muttered. “Whatever you want it’s got seven months. Let me sleep.”
“We don’t have seven
months. Wake up, we’re here.”
“What do you mean, we’re here?”
“Apparently our, ah,
advanced computer has issues with practical jokes. It did the suspended animation while we were awake, and didn’t tell
“That’s a relief,” I muttered, rolling over.
“I’m not kidding, kid. Wake up
right now or I’m going to tell GIR to wake you up.”
“I’m up!” I shrieked, flying out of bed.
“That’s what I thought.”
“Am I speaking English again?”
You better learn to distinguish between languages soon, though. There’s about fifty of them where we’re going.”
sure are a sarcastic little guy. Was everyone on Earth like that? I can’t remember.”
“Pretty much everybody.
“Good for you. Come on, we’re about to land, you want to be strapped in for that.”
I want into the main part of the ship and strapped myself in. I could see out the window a huge purple planet,
revolving a little quicker than it probably should have been. We were getting closer to it at a speed I guessed would have
been frightening if I hadn’t been so far away from any vantage point. Did that make sense? Ah, well. I don’t really
“Ah, home away from home,” Zim murmered. “Arkania.” “What’s here, anyway?”
“What’s not here? This place is like a circus, a freak show, and a flea market all rolled into one.”
“Ooooo, neat.” I said.
“Stay away from the dark blue places. They’re full of rogues, thieves and
scoundrels. If you take anything into there, you won’t get out with it unless you steal it back about ten times.”
“No, kid. Not neat. Stick with me. If any of us get separated, it’s going to be a whole ordeal
getting back together.”
“Tiz, you really need to try to speak English, okay? You’re
driving me crazy,” Dib said sympathetically.
“You think I like not being able to talk to people?” I asked.
did that just to annoy me, didn’t you,” Dib mumbled.
At this point, we dropped below the cloud level and the
planet’s surface became visible. I gasped. I couldn’t help it. I had never seen so many people in one place before.
Mom steered toward a port, which was slightly less crowded than anything else. And, just because she was Mom, she dipped so
low over the planet’s surface I think we took someone’s head off. I might be imagining it though.
or what I could see of it, reminded me of an Indian bazaar. Every spare inch was covered in a cloth, piled with things for
sale. Thin paths wound between carpet-covered booths and stalls. There wasn’t a humanoid alien I could see. Everyone
had six arms or ten legs. There were giant spiders and things that looked like giant waffles. It was enough to put any freak
show on Earth out of business.
“One other thing,” Zim said off handedly. “Do not refer to anyone at all
as an alien. It is not a good thing to be referred to as. People will take offense. And on Arkania, when they take offense,
they usually take something else, too.”
“What?” Dib asked.
“I would tell you, but you’d
be sick, and it would smell,” Zim said with a sly smile. Then the ship rocked as were caught in what felt like a magnet’s
grip. Mom let go of the controls, and we were gently guided into a parking space on what looked like a really big, upended
mouse maze. Only there were empty squares, all over, in levels. We happened to go onto the very top level. We climbed out
of the ship, looking around at the close square of metal around us.
“I hate to ask,” Dib said nervously, “But
how do we get down onto the ground?”
“Well, duh,” Mom said moving to the opening. “We jump.”
again?” Dib and I said in unison. All I could see was purple sky, and ships flying about randomly.
not so bad. There’s a rappelling thingie here,” Zim said, gesturing to some ropes.
“We get to climb down
this whole thing? How fast can we go?” I said excitedly.
“Yeah, what he said,” Dib said. “There’s
no way we can just jump down this thing.”
“Oh, you don’t have to, Dib,” Zim said as he, Mom and
I started putting on the rappelling gear. “You can just stay here and make sure the ship doesn’t get stolen. Watch
out for the green guys with the black eyes. They’ll take you with them for the long trip.” He winked.
eat stuff you’ll miss.”
Dib paled, and hurridly started putting on the rappelling gear.
Falling is lots
of fun. This was my main thought, dropping a lot faster than I really should have been down the side of a fifteen story building.
Dozens of oddly shaped ships whizzed by, parked in the cubicles, but I didn’t see them very well. At about the fourth
floor, it occurred to me that I should maybe slow down. I did, but I was still going way too fast when I hit the ground.
don’t feel good,” I moaned.
“You shouldn’t, idiot. No way you should go that fast,” Zim said.
was lots of fun,” I whined.
“Not having fun now, are you?”
Dib’s over there throwing up if you want to join him”
“No… that’s okay, thanks.”
dropped to the ground next to me, going easily twice as fast as me. Zim and I gawked as she swiftly tied all the harnesses
to the rope and sent hem back up to the ship for whoever wanted to use them next. We thought it best not to ask how she did
After waiting a few minutes for Dib, we set off into the city. It was all we could do to stay together. I was just
glad we left GIR in the ship. He would have been everywhere.
I sped up to walk next to Zim.
“Why are we here,
anyway?” I asked.
“Someone owes me a favor, I think it’s time he paid me off,” Zim said. I wondered
why Zim would know anyone in this place, but didn’t ask.
People kept jumping in front of us, waving assorted goods
in our faces and proclaiming that their prices were lower than everyone else’s. This is impossible, but they didn’t
seem to know it. Zim glared at them, and they left him alone, and me because I was with him. Mom, waking a bit behind, seemed
to be invisible, the same way she had been on Earth, but Dib kept getting attacked by people. It seemed as if they were gravitating
toward him. Several times we lost sight of him, and had to wait until he fought his way out of the crowd. Finally we reached
a particularly run down stall, which looked almost the same as every other one, except for one difference. The person running
it was a human. A seemingly bionetic human, but still human.
“How did…” Dib started, but Zim shushed
“This is a friend of mine, not yours. He’s nice enough, but if you piss him off, he’ll steal your
soul and leave you in eternal pain and suffering. Do not say a word unless I say so.” He turned back to the booth, where
the man was just getting done with a rough, biker-looking guy.
“Hey, Jhonen,” Zim said. Jhonen looked at him
sideways. His eyes glowed weirdly. I wish I could do that.
“How do you know who I am?” he asked suspiciously.
remember me, don’t play stupid.”
“No I don’t.”
“Zim. Invader Zim.”
you got taller. Prove it’s you.”
“Oh, Jhonen, you wouldn’t believe the glory that
was ZIIIIIIIIIIM’S! The Tallest bestowed on me a BATTLE TANK, which I used to WREAK HAVOK on the filthy, filth-head
of the stinking EARTH MOOONKIIIIIIIIES!”
This was accompanied by much flailing and body language. Jhonen looked vaguely
“Oh, yeah. Hey, did you get around to killing that giant-headed weenie human yet?” Zim liked uncomfortable.
no. He’s actually over there.” He pointed in the general direction of Dib.
“Oh. Well this must be embarrassing
for you, eh?”
“Yeah. It kind of is.”
“Who are these two others then? Are they buggin you? Can
I kill them?”
“No, please don’t.”
“Drat. Been weeks since I killed anybody.”
eh… This is Gaz, my leara. And this is Tiz. He’s my kid apparently.”
“Glad to see you finally found
someone who could tolerate your presence.”
“Me too,” Zim shifted uncomfortably. “As I remember
it, you owed me something when I last left.”
“Oh, yeah. I was hoping you forgot.”
“Do you have
Jhonen smiled a scary grin, stepping back into the back of the booth. He held aside a dirty cloth, which was
falling across the doorway into the back.
“Step into my office.”
I leaned on one of the poles
that kept the booth standing, and watched the people go by. So far I had seen no more than six of any given species. Mom was
doing much the same thing, and Dib was looking very bored. Zim had been gone for about twenty minutes now, and we were starting
to wonder when he would get back.
Then, getting an idea, I went back around the other side of the booth, slipping out of
view. A thin murmur of garbled words floated out to me and I pressed my ear against the material of the walls, listening for
anything at all. A tiny voice that used to be called my sanity, but now doubled as a conscious, whispered that what I was
doing was bad, but I suppressed it, like always. Listening to your sanity leads to normality, AKA death.
maybe you were dead or something, I mean after all that on the Massive,”
“I don’t want to start going
over dead history with you, Jhonen. I just want to get everyone somewhere safe, and maybe Dib to, but that’s where I’m
willing to compromise.”
“But, seriously, man. All the rumors about you. You should hear them. Some guy told
me you took down fifty of the Massive gaurds in one shot.”
“I only took down five. The other forty five wet
themselves and ran off screaming.”
“Really? Come on, tell me all the cool stuff that I’ll never get to
“I don’t even know what I did. It’s all programming. They were going to kill me, and I had
to get away. They trained me for ten years to be an invader, and I just used what they taught me.”
you took off into space in a cardboard box.”
“Now you’re just being stupid.”
going to be legend, man. Seriously. No one has ever been on the run from the Irken armada for more than a month, and you’ve
been running for twelve years. Twelve YEARS! My memory doesn’t even go back that far.”
"You are really being
“But how do you do it? How can you just be running all the time?”
And that’s why I need you.”
“What do you need from me anyway? You never did say. Remember, I owe you
one life-saving favor, and nothing more than that.”
“I’m going back to the Massive, to do one thing,
and then I’ll never have to run again.”
“You can’t take on the Massive. Now who’s being stupid.”
can. I did it before. And now I’ve got another soldier to help me.”
“Who? You’ve got a woman, a
kid, and a giant-headed dork.”
“Wrong. I’ve got Gaz, lord of all evil doom, a giant-headed dork, and
“What the hell are you talking about? That kid would be thirty before you can teach him all the
things an Irken needs to know just to fly a ship.”
“Wrong again. This kid’s amazing. He went through
the graduation test for the Irken military and passed better than bout fifty percent of them. I put a PAK on him. I can download
it with everything he’ll ever need to know, and this.”
Whatever ‘this’ was, I couldn’t tell,
but I didn’t care anyway. I was feeling really sick to my stomach.
“You’re set man! So what do you want
from me?” I pulled away from the fabric, and rushed back to the front of the booth.
“Mom!” I shouted.
“Mom, we have to get out of here, right now. It’s Zim, he”
I didn’t get to finish, because at that
moment, Zim himself stepped out from the booth, looking like he had everything in the world.
“Come on,” he
said, looking at me. “We have something very very important to take care of.”
And then I remembered no one
could understand me.
“I’m hungry,” Dib grumbled as we tried to wind our way back to the ship.
too,” Mom said.
“I’m not sure if there’s anything even vaguely human
here for you to eat, but I’m sure we could look,” Zim said, peering around. “Tell me if you see anything
that looks good to you.”
“That over there looks pretty good,” Dib said, pointing to a booth covered in
slab-like, meaty looking red things.
“You don’t want that, trust me,” Zim said, stifling a smile.
“That’s not food. That’s lingerie for a species called the Gharghans.”
Dib said. Then, “I think I’m going to be sick again.”
“You’ll live. Come on, most of the
food is over here, if I remember it right.”
We followed him past what felt like miles of narrow passageways that
all looked the same. I saw the most interesting things for sale. I could figure out what about three of them were for. We
also saw a flasher, but she was so messed up I couldn’t even tell what part I wasn’t supposed to look at. Finally
we reached some places that looked like they sold food. Well, food was maybe to strong a word.
have mooshminkies,” Zim murmured.
“What’s that?” I asked a little unsurely. The thing looked like
egg rolls, but I think pretty much everything in space is like an Every Flavor Bean: Don’t judge on looks.
really good. It’s like meat and vegetables all wrapped up in noodle. Like the cross between egg rolls and Ravioli.”
leaned in conspiratorially.
“Plus they give you a quick high, but don’t tell Gaz.”
still hadn’t forgotten about what I had heard, but I knew that we wouldn’t make it ten minutes on this planet
without Zim. There wasn’t anything I could do, and I hated it. Zim got two of the mooshminkies, and handed one to me.
I tried it and found it freaky, but still good. I tried not to think about what kind of animal this meat had come from.
and Mom got something that looked like the cross between a sandwich and an explosion, and we ate while walking back to the
ship. The mooshminky changed tastes every few minutes, and Zim was right, it did give you a quick high. There was a brief
stop while I chased after some leprechauns, and another where Mom yelled at Zim for letting a kid get high, but I won’t
get into those.
Then there was the great bathroom adventure. There were port-o-potties, and about twenty of them. Approaching,
we thought there were ten girls, and ten boys. Not so. There were twenty DIFFERENT KINDS OF BATHROOM! Amazingly, the girl
and boy symbol looked the same as on Earth. Then there was a thing with about fifteen tentacles. Then there was a picture
of a top hat, for some reason. I watched that door for a while, but didn’t see anybody to use it. Ah, well.
we finally reached the ship and found it refueled and ready to go again, I was trying to come up with some kind of idea on
how to do anything. I don’t know what Zim is doing with the Tallest, but I didn’t want to be part of it. On the
other hand, I didn’t know how to warn anybody, either. As we took off again, I stared at the retreating planet, and
was surprised to find that the normality of a week ago was more of a myth than a memory. I didn’t want to hear the story
As I watched the stars lazily drift past, I thought about the situation
I found myself in. My biggest problem was that I couldn’t talk to anyone besides Zim, and that wasn’t going to
do me any good. He has some personal agenda against his rulers, who apparently snubbed him for some reason. He’s out
to get them, and he’s going to make me help. I don’t want to kill anyone. Well, maybe my sixth grade computer
teacher, but definitely not somebody I didn’t know.
Right now I wish I’d never even gotten this PAK. It’s
giving me weird thoughts, too. I keep hearing whispers. Hearing things is one of the primary signs of mental instability.
They tell me things about Irk, things I’d never known. It sounds like a beautiful place. I love to listen to things
about it. And I’m part of this planet, this Master race… see? Stuff like that. I don’t know what I’m
going to do.
Always in the stories I’ve read, the Hero comes up with some great plan at the last second and saves
everybody. I just hope I can do the same. I don’t know if I can, though. I can’t even come up with a good strategy
for bludgeon ball, and there’s not even a (very big) chance to get killed in that game. I read once that the brain works
best when It’s relaxed, like when you’re about to go to sleep. Might as well try it… yawn.
The best feeling in the world is being asleep. I am asleep. I’m having
a dream... about Dib. He’s saying… gibberish. I’m laughing… he is funny. He’s pointing at something…
Zim. He looks funny. Like he’s gonna…tackle Dib or something…No... that’s silly. Dib’s going
to sleep, too…
I am asleep… but not quite… I hear something. Do what? I dunno. Oh, wait. Open eyes. That’s
good. I open my eyes. It’s dark. Wait. That’s ok… Something’s moving... some thing black… black
like everything else. So what is it. It’s getting closer…. Oh, shit.
He’s got something
in his hand. I try to look and see what it is… too tired… blackness coming… nice warm blackness…
“I had the freakiest dream last night,” I said.
really,” Zim said. “What was it about?” “I can’t remember, but I know it was freaky.”
“I think the tallest were in it.” I said at last.
“Oh, really… That’s very interesting.”
GUYS! ENGLISH!” Dib screamed.
“I’m trying!” I screamed. Dib looked shocked.
know what you just said, but you sound pissed. Are you pissed?”
“Yes, I am pissed. And I am bored. Yenah.”
What does that mean?”
“Yenah?” Zim said, puzzled. “It’s slang on Irk. It means long live
“Then why did I just say it?”
He does know. I know it.
It’s cuz of the PAK. It’s giving me weird thoughts. And probably weird dreams too. I wish I could talk to Dib
about this thing. Somehow I don’t think I’ll get a straight answer from Zim. It occurred to me to wonder where
“Where’d Mom go? Back to kill GIR?”
“Um…I dunno. Probably.”
I came to an abrupt descision for no apparent reason.
“What were you talking to Jhonen about?”
you know… things. I haven’t seen him for hundreds of years, you know.”
"You were talking about me.”
We weren’t.” He looked at me suspiciously. “You weren’t spying, were you?”
was. I heard you say something about your leaders, and the massive. What’s going on? If I’m going to have to help,
I want to know something about it.”
“You’re seriously pissing me off, so I’m leaving now,”
Dib said sullenly, slinking off.
“What’s happening, Zim?”
He sighed, red eyes focusing on the floor.
don’t know enough about Irk, about how it works, about the tallest, to do anything. I need help. Doing what is right
for irk. And that’s where you come in.”
“So that’s what I was? A soldier? I’m your son! Doesn’t
that mean a thing to you?”
“No. It really doesn’t. Irkens come from tubes, kid. We don’t have parents,
we don’t have kids. All Irken females are sterile. Bred that way genetically, so the Tallest can keep tabs on the whole
population. You have to understand Irken mentality. There is no emotion for us. There is triumph, and there is a loyalty to
our planet. That’s all.”
“Tell me about everything. It’s not like we don’t have time, it’s
not like anyone is spying. Tell me.”
“Fine. Irk is a regulated planet. Irkens are basically
machines. We live in our PAKs. Everything saved in there can be put on another body, no problem. We cannot die unless our
Pak is destroyed. It’s been that way since our births. We all come from the birthing facility. This is because we need
to have an army, a military supply at all times.”
He tapped his head.
“This brain, this body, was stolen
from a lesser race, Irkens did not always look like this. But this is the most able body we could find. Put with our minds,
we are the true Aryan race you humans search for. But Irk has fallen on bad times. The last thousand years, the Tallest have
been obsessed with controlling the entire universe. They trained huge numbers of invades, sending to all corners of the galaxy.
I was one of these. Untill I realized what he planets I had conquered, what was happening to them. They were destroyed, made
into giant parking structures, or simply stripped of their recources and left to float, cold and empty, in the void.”
“But if you knew this was happening, why would you keep doing it? What made you hate the Earth people so?”
was told to. The PAKs, they can regulate thought, emotions. It’s like brainwashing to the extreme. I was literally programmed
to follow directions. Until I found the chip, while repairing the Pak. I took it out to examine it, and I suddenly realized
that everything I had ever felt was fabricated. I’d never had a single real thought in my life. The tallest knew I had
done this, and so they set about trying to kill me. They had to do it before I told the other Irkens, and there was a rebellion.
But they failed. I had been trained well, and I escaped. I’ve been on the run for years. And I don’t want to run
anymore. The only way to fix this whole thing was to kill the tallest. By any means neccisary.”
“I had no idea…”
looked up at him, my face set.
“I’ll help. But you have to teach me how. I can’t do half the stuff you
He grinned, a slightly frightening, feral sort of smile.
“I can teach you.”
It was dark, all the time. There was no sun to rise on our tiny ship, floating
through space. The others were sleeping, the suspended animation engaged, but the computer and I had an arrangement. He had
kept me awake for a bit longer than the others. I crept into the bridge, the view of the sky momentarily dazzling me. Quickly
shaking it off, I moved to the main control panel. It had an uplink to the main Irken system, piggybacking it, but was not
detectible. Quickly I signed into the main system, searching for the planet Irk. I had a feeling I wasn’t getting the
whole truth from Zim.
Locating the small planet, I searched history and present, finally finding an article that looked
Irken life, Irken ways.
The planet of Irk is perfect
in all ways. Ask any Irken. The Tallest are perfect rulers, leading the planet in a peaceful and for the most part casualty-free
revolution of the universe. The liberated planets then join under the Irken flag.
Irkens were once a simply mechanical
race, somehow evolving using only metal, until a smaller, carbon-based, rather stupid life-form started to evolve on the planet.
The Irkens attached themselves to these brain-dead creatures, forming a strong and intelligent breed of cyborgs.
days in the History of Irk include the Day of the Tallest, which is the anniversary of the crowning of the first Tallest,
Tallest Daren. Then there was Horrible Painful Overload Day, a day on which a tiny smeet blocked the entire system, cutting
off the power on Irk for five years. This also killed hundreds of smeets, lowering the Armada’s power by almost half.
This was followed with years later by Horrible Painful Overload day part 2. This was when two Irken trainees escaped from
the training facility, and provoked a Dermis Prowler security droid. It maimed one of them, the other escaped. The damage
done by this put Irk in darkness for another four years.
Most recently was the horrible failure of Operation Impending
Doom 1, when a deranged soldier hijacked a Frontline battle mech (#4) and went on a destructive rampage on planet Irk.
there was the tragic death of tallest Miyuki, who was killed on Vort when an infinite energy absorbing thing consumed an infinite
energy producing thingie, and then killed the tallest before going on a horrible rampage across the universe.
not last was the death of Tallest Spork, who was also brutally murdered when a soldier called the infinite energy thingie
back, and it killed the Tallest.
Well this didn’t look good. I wondered if Irk had any happy holidays
or just moments of horrible destruction. I ran another search for Zim. I wanted to see if he really was who he said he was.
To my surprise, there was an entire file on Zim.
Defective Invader Zim
Zim, a name that will live on in infamy. Zim
wreaks havoc and destroys all he comes into contact with. The horror started the day of his processing, when he blocked a
tube of smeets, leading to Horrible Painful Overload Day. Later, when he tricked Invader Skoodge into accompanying him, the
two of them caused Horrible Painful Overload Day part 2.
Later directly causing the deaths of Tallest Spork and Miyuki,
the releasing of an infinitely growing creature of pure energy into the universe, Zim’s most horrible moment was single-handedly
causing the total failure of Operation Impeding Doom 1. I think we all know that story. Zim was once given a trial and found
Defective, but the sentance of death was revoked when the control brains in charge of the task went violently insane.
keep Operation Impending Doom 2 safe, Zim was banished to a preciously unknown planet called Earth. He thought he was going
to conquer it, but the Armada is restricted from that Galaxy to prevent destruction. Shortly after being sent there, he was
given another trial, where he was agin labeled defective and sentenced to death.
He went berserk, killing fifteen of the
Massive guards in a frenzied attempt to escape. It was a futile attempt, and the sentence was carried out later that day.
Rumors have since circulated that he is on the run, but they are entirely fictional.
So there is some brainwashing involved. This can’t be true, if Zim’s
dead, who am I flying with? I shook my head, trying to clear my thoughts. I couldn’t. There was something buzzing in
the back of my head. I had to clear it. Something buzzing… Wait. If Zim had a chip in his PAK, wouldn’t I have
one, too? He wouldn’t have taken the chip out of an empty PAK, would he?
Without any real thought, my PAK disconnected,
clattering to the floor. A tiny green timer appeared in the upper left corner of my vision. It appeared to be ticking down
form ten minutes. So I guess that means I have ten minutes to get my PAK back on.
Flipping it over, I opened up the main
compartment, exposing a neat array of wires and chips. I saw my spider legs neatly folded in one corner. Ignoring them, I
looked around for the mother board. I took a half a year of computer class in middle skool , so I knew the basics, maybe.
I found something purple and flat that kinda looked like a motherboard. A ton of chips were attached. I was about to just
give up when I heard a voice above me.
“Need some help?”
It was the computer. Of course, why didn’t
I think if that?
“Do you know how this works?”
“Of course I have pretty much the same thing inside
“Oh, good. I’m looking for an uplink, or anything that might be automatically downloading into my
“Oh, the washer? That’s the purple one shaped like an arrow.”
I found it, and pulled it
out, closing the PAK and putting it back on my back. I felt he cord automatically reattach. That’s a relief. I looked
at the tiny chip in wonder, and wondered if this would fix anything. I hoped so.
The next morning, actually about six months later, with the suspended animation,
I woke up and felt like I used to. There were only the regular two voices in my head. The Zim voice was gone and the All-powerful
Irken voice was gone. This made me realize exactly how much trouble I was in.
I started my morning with a nice stretch
followed by an intensive panic attack followed by the general feeling that the universe had gone to hell in a handbasket and
I might as well go with it. I walked out into the main part of the ship. Dib, Mom and Zim were already out there.
to X-rays and radio bouncers, so they can’t see us,” Zim was saying.
“Watcha lookin at?” I said,
peering out the shield. And gasped. I saw what they were looking at. The massive. There is no other word for it. I may have
wet myself at this point.
“We’re going to destroy THAT?” I squeaked.
“There on the side are
the snax pods. Without them, the ship might as well give up, because it’ll implode without them being full. They feed
the armada, so really, if they were taken out, the whole thing would fail.”
“So why hasn’t this thing
been destroyed yet?” Dib asked.
“That armada’s too strong. They never let anything through. There’s
a whole defense line set up, basically involving every ship in the armada. If some ship were to somehow breach their ranks,
they would be surrounded by over two million ships all homing in on them. It’s enough of a deterrent even to set the
mighty Grnagat warships running for their mommies.”
“So… how are we getting through?” I asked,
leaning over to try to see more of the massive craft.
“We’re getting through on stealth mode. I know enough
of the inner defenses to get at least to the main control room.”
“You’re speaking Latin again,”
“Are you guys on to something we aren’t?” Mom asked. “Why are we even here? I thought
these guys wanted to kill us.”
“Well, yeah, but if I can get inside I can remove all records of us from the
Main Control Brain. They’ll forget all about Earth and humans and me.”
The lie came out so smooth it took even
me a minute to figure out what was going on. I looked at Zim with a strange look. He glared back. GIR started screaming.
take care of him,” Zim said. “Tiz, come help me tie this bugger up, will you?”
I followed Zim into the back of the ship, trying to figure out a way to talk to my Mom or Dib. I looked
around the still-dark room for GIR, but I didn’t see anything. I didn’t see Zim for a minute, either. And then
he was behind me. I tried to turn around, but I couldn’t move. I was frozen for some reason.
this, it’ll just make it harder. There’s already half of it in here, so it’s too late to fight it now,”
He said. I felt my PAK open, and something attach to it. The world turned red, a deep color like blood. I wasn’t afraid
anymore. The color faded, and I found I knew what to do.
Spinning around to face Zim, I raised my arm into a salute.
good, Tiz. The chips seem to be working, Yes?”
“Yes, SIR! Chips in place and fully functional, SIR!”
you know what the plan for the Massive is?”
main Brain database, rewire. Destroy the Tallest, take over the Massive.Yay.”
“Good. And what of this ship?”
is not an asset to the Armada, and must be destroyed.”
“And the crew?”
“They are not an asset
to the Armada.”
“Excellent. Now, come. We have to get aboard the massive before someone realizes this ship
Something flickered inside me, something strange.
“But, sir, didn’t you say this ship was
invisible to the Armada?”
“Yes, I did say that, didn’t I? Ah, well. By the time anyone here figures it
out the ship will have been destroyed.”
Zim marched to the front of the ship, I followed him. The two humans were
there, looking at us strangely.
“I have to take Tiz. He’s the only one who can help me. You two wait here.
If we’re not back in three hours, clear out and wait for a transmission, clear?”
“Um, okay,” the
female said. “But are you sure you should take Tiz? He’s only thirteen, after all.”
I glared at her.
How dare she think that I am not good enough? I am as good as any Irken Invader. She would see soon. I stifled a rather violent
impulse, and listened to Zim speak.
“It’ll be okay. He can help me rewire the brain, I can’t do it without
him. After this we’ll be home free.”
“All right. But look after him, all right?”
He stood, and
approached me. I had to fight not to be ill when she wrapped her arms around me. I had a vague recollection of this happening
before, but I pushed it down. I didn’t want to get sick in front of Zim.
“Yes, yes enough warmth. Come on,
Tiz, let’s go.”
I gratefully slipped out of the female’s grasp, and followed Zim to the airlock. He activated
the space armour in his PAK, a clear force field wrapping itself around his head, allowing him to breath. After a second,
I followed suit, the field fading in color, eventually becoming clear. I ran a scan for leaks, came out clear, and followed
Zim to the airlock. The doors slid shut behind us, cutting off the humans from out sight. I let out a breath. The doors behind
us opened, and we were sucked out into the void of space. After a second I found the way to use my spider legs to propel myself
toward the Massive. It looked huge in my view, but I was not afraid. I knew what to do.
The secondary loading bay on the
third floor was only lightly guarded, that was where we would make our entrance. Approaching the airlock, it slid open to
let us in. This was an automated response, but it would alert the guard inside that something was coming. He would have to
When the door opened, the guard was there, waiting for us. But he wasn’t expecting two people,
and he certainly wasn’t expecting trained invaders. Well, I thought of myself as an invader now, because I had the same
training as Zim, he had uploaded it into my PAK. Before he could even think of radioing for help, I had taken him out with
a straight kick to the chest. He spun around, landing on his stomach. Zim moved to his PAK, moving wires around. I didn’t
know how he did it, but the guard’s conciousness failed.
“His Pak will continue to tell people everything is
fine over the radio. It’ll continue to do so until someone rewires him or he dies.”
What’s the excuse?”
“A piece of someone’s laser fell off and triggered the door. Everyone will
be so busy checking to make sure their lasers shoot straight they wouldn’t notice if the Massive flew up their ass.”
“Yes I know.”
We moved down the passage, heading toward the main control Brain. We had to do
a basic rewiring, which would make us all but invisible to anyone with a PAK. From there, we head to the Bridge, to take care
of the Tallest. After that, we would take control of the Massive. And once we had control of the Massive, we had control of
Well, Zim did anyway.
The Main control brain was a bit more guarded. It had two guards, which
we took out quickly because they were not expecting this to happen. It never had before. I watched over Zim’s shoulder
as he broke into the main system core for the brain. It fought very little. When he put our signatures into the brain it tried
to give us viruses, but we pushed them back into the brain, making her spasm for a whole minute before she could find the
antidote. When Zim was done with the circuits, we were essentially invisible to all Irkens. We walked past the dozen or so
guards in the passage leading to the Bridge. When the doors hissed open to let us onto the bridge, we had actually stolen
two short-range blasters from the guards. They hadn’t noticed at all.
But when we walked onto the bridge, looking
for the Tallest, I saw them second. The first thing I saw was the huge view screen. On it were two terrified faces. The faces
of the Humans from the ship. They were huge, staring at the Tallest.
“Identify yourself, Ship,” said Tallest
Red, obviously for the second time.
“Yeah, where you from?” said Purple.
said the male, “We’re drifting right now, but we’ll leave if we’re trespassing…”
hadn’t let on about Zim and I, perfect. I couldn’t let them.
I raised my blaster, pointing it at the screen.
I saw recognition flicker briefly in their eyes, but not for more than a second, because the screen went black. Sparks erupted
from the hole my blaster had made.
“Stupid TV!” shouted Purple. I leveled my blaster at him, but Zim pushed
it down, glaring at the rulers he had once worshipped.
“My Tallest!” He cried out, in a voice that sent shivers
down my spine. “I’m back for you!”
The tallest spun around, trying to see where the voice had come from.
Seeing no one, they crouched together, back to back.
“Who goes there?” Red shouted.
remember me? I’m hurt, Tallest. I was your best invader.”
“Invader? What” Purple started, but Red
“No. I’d know that squeak of a voice anywhere. It’s Zim.”
“Yes, yes it
is,” I said, not being able to help it. The power surging through this room was too much not to try to get a piece of.
yourself, Zim, or we’ll blow up that junker of a ship you came in. The one with the aliens in it.”
ahead, see if I care,” Zim said. A wonderful bluff, I thought. Until I looked back at him. He face was impassive, even
though he was invisible. He really didn’t care.
I don’t either, so why do I care?
I do care!
don’t shut up!
I do care. I care because the woman on that ship is my Mother.
I turned my blaster, not aiming
for the Tallest, but instead for the Tech starting to initiate the laser to blow up the ship.
Our ship. The ship we all
“Tiz! What are you doing?” Zim screamed at me. He kept his blaster trained on Red. The tallest
were starting to get an idea of where we were by the sounds of our voices.
Two more Techs went down under my fire. I didn’t
even know where or what I was shooting. A searing pain filled my head, I thought I had been shot, but it didn’t hurt
anywhere but my head, and I hadn’t been shot there.
And then I knew. The chips, the ones Zim had put in me. They
were failing, being overridden. Why? They should work, Zim’s a genious about these things. So why wouldn’t they
Oh. Of course! The washer! When I took it out, it took out the main hardware, so the chips don’t work. Oh, that
makes sense, then.
I stopped firing, taking a quick count of the Techs I had hit. About four, slightly wounded. They’ll
live, but they’re out for the count for a while.
I turned on Zim, tired of listening to him, and found I would have
to listen for a while longer: His gun was pointed straight at me.
“Kill them. Now, Tiz.”
me? They’re YOUR hated enemies!”
“Now, or I’ll kill you first. Then I’ll blow up that stupid
Grimacing, I turned my blaster to the Tallest. They were searching for me somewhere to my left. I clenched
my teeth and squeezed off two shots. The Tallest slumped to the floor. Zim grinned at me, a sickening smile I hated.
good. There’s hope for you yet.”
He lowered his blaster, he knew he still had an advantage over me: My mom.
so he thought. I wasn’t through yet. I turned to him, squeezing off a third, final shot, before dropping my blaster
to clatter on the metal floor.
Zim looked at me, uncomprehending, even as the dark green blood spread like a diseased flower
over the red of his Invader’s uniform. I turned away, and moved to one of the smaller tech’s workstations. I brought
up a smaller view of the link between the Massive and our ship. Mom and Dib stared at me. Mom had tears in her eyes. I realized
abruptly that when I had broken the screen, it didn’t stop them from seeing what was happening on the Bridge.
on, Mom,” I said. “I’ll have them bring the ship in.”
I yelled some stuff at the techs, who were
huddled in a corner trying to avoid the blaster shots. They nodded furiously. I went back to the Brain room, and fixed a lot
of the things Zim had done. I made a few minor adjustments, too, but they were barely anything worth noticing.
By the time
I got back to the Bridge, Mom and Dib were already there. The Tallest were regaining consciousness. Most of the people within
a mile’s radius had heard what was happening, and they gathered on the Bridge. Countless ships watched the pandemonium
that followed. Anyone who wasn’t there in person watched the viewscreens, trying to figure out what was happening, and
if they’d have to find a new Tallest.
As it were, the Tallest were fine. Between all the armor they wore and the
fact that I aimed at the outsides of their shoulders, I had no doubt that they weren’t even knocked out, just stunned.
But that didn’t stop them being pissed at me.
“You shot us!” Purple yelled at me as soon as I walked
onto the Bridge.
“Hey… you did shoot us!” Red agreed after a second.
“Please, my Tallest. Allow
me to explain.”
“And what are they doing here? Didn’t we order them blown up? TO THE DUNGEONS WITH THE
LOT OF THEM!” Purple screamed.
“No,” Red said quietly, “Let’s hear this. It might be funny.”
name is Tiz,” I said. “This is Gaz and Dib. I think you may have heard of us from Zim. See, I’m his son.”
looked at Zim as though seeing him there for the first time, which they probably were.
“Is he dead?” Red asked
in a hushed tone.
“Yes, I’m afraid so,” I said. I tried not to betray any emotion, but I don’t
think I pulled it off.
As I told the story as I knew it from beginning to end, the entirety of the Irken Armada watched,
but I didn’t know it then. All I knew was that I wanted to get away from everybody as soon as possible. Not being executed
would be good, too.
After the whole thing was over, the Tallest didn’t know what to do. After conferring quietly
between themselves, they decided not to kill us, which was fine with me. I guess they figured that if I’d gotten rid
of Zim for them I couldn’t be all bad.
I don’t know if they really realized that they’d obliterated our
home planet with deathbeams, but since they didn’t want any kid of Zim’s around, they sent us off fast to Veya,
a planet with over ten million moons. Apparently the moons were Villas, and people lived on them. They were very nice, I guess.
Kinda like a private Hawaii.
I don’t think of Earth much anymore. Mostly I just think about Zim. I can’t help
but think there must have been some other way to work things out, some way to make him less... I dunno, hateful. Mom says
he wasn’t always quite like that, but I don’t know.
We had a funeral for him last week, I think he would have
thought he deserved it. Since he was in the military, he got the Irken equivalent of a fifty-gun salute. Mom actually cried.
I haven’t seen her do that in a long time.
In the end, they actually launched the coffin into space, like on Star
Trek. It was really sad to seed the tiny brown dot get smaller and smaller until it just disappeared, and I know it’ll
just go on forever like that.
I stayed in my room for about a week after that, just staring at my ceiling. No one really
missed me, we were making the trip to Veya, and everyone was busy keeping GIR from going after his master. The stupid robot
couldn’t quite figure out that his master was never coming back. Well, almost never.
See, when they sent the coffin
into space, it was missing one thing. No, not the body, don’t be stupid.
Zim once said to me that an Irken’s
mind was kept in their PAKs. He said they could be brought back, that’s why they lived in the PAKs. The computer said
Zim’s PAK was defective, that’s why he was so crazy.
The coffin was missing the PAK.
When I was nineteen years old, I finished my life’s biggest work.
It was something that had started when I was barely thirteen years old. When I was nineteen, I finished fixing the PAK.
took me years to figure out how the PAK worked, I didn’t know it nearly as well as Zim did. I studied Irken culture,
and in the end I bet I knew more about it than most Irkens. All that was left was to go to the birthing facility.
A bolt of electricity flashed through the lifeless smeet, bringing it to
life. It looked around, red eyes not yet adjusted to the darkness of the room.
“Welcome to life, Irken Child,”
I said, stepping out of the shadows. “Identify yourself.” The smeet’s eyes flashed, an old spark of insolence
as old as time and as new as the day.
“I AM ZIM!”