Disclaimers: I Do Not Own Invader Zim
Author's Notes: Okay guys I think it's finally safe enough to announce this. This series: Invader Zim Renegades is scheduled to be completed by the End of February! That's right! It's been five years in the making since we started the novel that kicked this series off and now we are down to our last few episodes.
Hope you guys enjoyed this wild ride as much as I have! As always I thank you for reading and ask that you please review.
Yours Truly, RoxieDivine :)
Episode 13-A Shift in Power (Part 3)
(Back with Dib…)
The plan was simple enough.
The Renegades with the help of their new human members and their Irken allies would split into teams of two and each raid one of Professor Membrane's. Everyone knew that the Labs were probably rigged with traps. If so then once Dib or his father entered a Lab it would send out a silent signal to the enemy alerting them of the break in.
A similar trap had been set up at the Science Camp, and well… Dib winced at the memory. The scientist and their rescuers had barely cotton out of that alive. Still, they had no choice, only Dib or his Father could access the Labs and they needed spare parts to make another ship capable of Tak's cloaking technology. And while they could use the dome it wasn't ideal.
Now that their secret was out if they used the rest of the dome there would be no place to run if this plan went south. They would be out in the open and completely exposed. However, this plan possessed far more risk than their last operation and while they had gained four members they had lost a well-trained Irken soldier, and more importantly a friend.
Dib looked to Mia sorrowfully as the thought crossed his mind.
Mia gave him a nod, but said nothing.
The teams were mixed again this time Dib was with Gretchen, Tabatha (Gwynn's Mother), Tesi, Wik, Trill, Mia, Shyann, Kornelius and Flex, Lutz, Macey. And as determined as everyone looked Dib couldn't help but feel worried. How could they all be expected to complete a mission after just losing one of their own?
"We will be fine." Mia assured him. Flex and Lutz stood on either side of her.
"I know but…" Dib began.
"We're here." Gretchen interrupted as they reached their exit point, they had took refuge in the seawards once more, man it was a wonder no one had figured out this secret underground highway.
"We go in and we get what we need swiftly." Mia said not wasting time. "We will honor Jee today by making sure his death was not in vain." She reminded him.
Dib nodded, more determined now.
"I'm in position." Mark's voice came over the comm. He and three others had scouted ahead to the two prechosen labs. Their jobs were to report back and serve as look outs.
"Anything?" Dib asked.
"No, not a single drone in the area, and the site looks to be undisturbed." Mark said. His father lied in a prone position beside him aiming his blaster at the entrance of Lab 1.
"Same here." Keil's voice came in. He and Rae were just outside Lab 2.
"This place looks like it's even started collecting dust." Mark's father whispered.
"Lab 2 is quiet as well." Rae reported.
"Is it really possible that both labs are untouched?" Dib asked out loud.
"Well, your dad did disguise them." Gretchen said. "From the outside it looks like the opening of some cave, I doubt any Irken would expect us to be hiding stuff in caves."
"I know my competition sure didn't think of it." Professor Membrane joked over the Comms.
"Still, it seems too good to be true." Dib said. "Stay sharp guys."
"Dib if you don't like this we can abort." It was Rachel's voice this time.
"No, we can't afford to wait. It will take time for us to make this ship, and there is no telling when Zim will return. "Dib reasoned.
"Then we keep pushing forward." Tesi advised as she used her scanner to scan for Spy drones just above them. "All clear." She said.
"Us too." James said. "No surprising, I doubt drones would be out this far any way since these caves are so far out of town."
"Everyone is supposed to be on house arrest." Rachel agreed. "Maybe they really have no idea about this."
Dib was hopeful, but at the same time he knew that it was wise to stay cautious. After all, they had all assumed the last mission would run smoothly, only to have one of their own forced to give them up, while another one died.
"We move as one." Dib ordered. "Team 2 are you ready?"
"Ready." James answered.
"All look outs stay sharp." Dib advised. "GO!"
The teams moved as one, reaching the caves in a matter of seconds. Once inside a metal door soon comes into view.
Dib places his hand to the awaiting scanner, and it turns green in a matter of seconds. The door opens and the lights turn on. Dib expected to see an army of Spy Drones waiting for them, but again there is no sign of the enemy. "Dad are you guys good."
For a second there is nothing, and then….
"We're in." Professor Membrane answers.
Dib breathe a sigh of relief, before taking charge. "Okay guys grab anything and everything! We don't know for sure if we've been detected so we have to move fast!"
Dib's team obeys in an instant and Dib looks around for anything he can spot that he knows he'll need. He knows that it would be best to use an already existing vessel to save time. It would take months to make a ship from scratch, but if they had a car, or even a boat, (anything with a body really) Then it would save plenty of time.
"Dad please tell me you've got some kind of vehicle in this place." Dib muttered.
"I was in the process of making some portable modes of transportation." Professor Membrane revealed.
"Portable?" Mia asked.
"Yes, a shrinking technology that allowed you to shrink a vehicle down small enough to carry it in your pocket. No more worrying about overpriced parking, or simply not having enough space in a given lot." Professor membrane explained as he started gathering some items of his own.
"That's perfect!" Dib said, "Did you finish any?"
"Only one." Professor Membrane answered sadly. "I started with something big, you know to make my point to the extreme. Did you know an eighteen wheeler can sometimes take up to 2 and a half parking spots or more?"
"Dad you have a tiny eighteen wheeler!" Dib explained. "Where is it?"
"In my hand." Membrane said as he picked up a metal box containing said vehicle. "It's why I chose this lab, I thought you could use it, save us some time."
Dib found a smile slipping onto his face. He and his father really were alike. "Now all we need is some thrusters and rocket fuel."
"East wing." His father replied. "Be advised those barrels are heavy and very combustible. Be careful son."
Dib nodded. "Tesi Help me will you?" He asked as he ran towards the east wing of the Lab.
Tesi nodded and followed without hesitation she motioned for Flex and Lutz to follow, which they did quickly.
"I believe the thrusters are with us." Membrane said to James as he led the way towards the north wing.
"Sorry but aren't thrusters huge?" Rachel asked.
"Not these." Membrane explained. "While the world didn't much care for my shrinking car idea, NASA did ask to barrow the technology for their own uses. I agreed to a partnership and started making portable thrusters instead."
Rachel blinked in disbelief, she always knew Dib's dad was a genius, and that his family was loaded, but she never really knew what his father did, besides make super toast. Though it did make since that some of his inventions would be classified.
The group stepped into a room that was filled to the brim with metal boxes similar to the one that housed the eighteen wheeler.
"That's a lot." Mrs. Hearting squeaked.
"We only need four to use as actual thrusters." Membrane said. "But grab as many as we can, they can be converted into other parts if needed. And whatever you do, don't drop them!"
Everyone gave each other an uneasy look, but did as instructed.
Meanwhile Dib's team had found the rocket fuel and started carrying them out side of the lab where some other members of the team would take them to the seawards.
"What else do we need?" Shyann asked.
"Circuit boards and wires, a lot of them, plus any tools you can find." Dib ordered.
Shyann moves quickly to gather as many as she can find, placing them into a large duffle bag. In the end the team manages to get four duffle bags of supplies and four barrels of fuel. Meanwhile, His dad secures 15 thrusters, the eighteen wheeler, and several bags of their own random supplies.
"What else do we need?" Rachel asked.
"The cloaking device must be made from Irken Tech." Dib said gravely. "Our technology isn't advance enough to duplicate it, if we use anything besides what Tak's own clocking device possesses we might be detected and shot down."
"Do you think you can manage to replicate it with only using the Dome?" Kef asked.
"We have no choice, Zima's base was pulled out of the ground over a year ago." Did answered. It was true, one of the very first thing the enemy did was reclaim Zim's base. Now only a large crater remained were it once was.
"And if you can't?" Macey dared to ask.
"Then we do the best we can and hope we make it." Dib said. The two teams had managed to get all they could and were heading back towards the sewards locking the Labs up behind them. "Either way we have to get to Zec."
Everyone nodded their agreement and breathed a sigh of relief as they made it back to the safety of the underground. Still, neither team had much time to celebrate, there was still much work to be done. They had been lucky today, but tomorrow was always filled with uncertainty.
"Dad you guys good?" Dib asked.
"We are in tunnels, heading back now." His father answered.
"Mark you guys scout ahead." Dib ordered.
"Roger." Mark answered.
Dib looked to his team and smiled. "Guys, let's go home."
(Back with Jamie…)
The brain washing had taken just as long as Jamie had remembered it taking for her, maybe even longer; but finally, it was over.
"So, what happens now?" Jamie asked Megan as they were cleaning up. Her sisters had been lead out by Fred (An Irken Worshiper) just moments ago.
"We will keep them under observation for now." Cho answered as she entered the room. "In the mean time we must prepare."
"For what?" Crystal asked.
"It is almost time for the annual reprograming." Cho explained. "The process can take a good month to complete."
"We would like you to help us to complete this task quickly." Megan added. "After all we still need to finish programing the rest of your friends for the first time."
"Why does it take long?" Jamie asked. "I mean aren't there any Irken Guards?"
"There is, but they guard the prison, and now that the empire is expecting Zim to come back with an army many have been taken in order to prepare to meet the rebellion in battle." Cho answered.
"So, we're low staff." Crystal sounds worried, but in all reality she is happy to hear this. This meant their plan could go on uninterrupted.
And what was their plan?
At first it had simply been to escape, but now Jamie and the others wouldn't have to. No with this new plan of reprograming everyone back to their normal selves there would be no one left to escape from. Cho just confirmed that the number of humans outnumbered the Irken staff. So, once they deprogrammed the other prisoners they could take over this place with ease. After that they would lock up the Irken soldiers and let Dib know that he now had a safe place to land.
And with Bec on their side the rest of Zec would have no idea that a takeover had taken place. It was an ingenious plan, but as smart as it was there was a flaw. It wasn't their plan, it was Jake's, and as much as they wanted to trust him, the guy had gave up his entire family for a better life.
Which is exactly what Jamie was offering him now. Help us and we will free your family from brainwashing and give you the world you once had. The trouble was if Jake thought for even a second that they couldn't deliver, he just might flip the script again and betray them.
"Well, I am going to check in with Bec and give him my report for the Tallest." Cho spoke up as she left, Megan followed close behind.
Jamie nodded, watching them leave closely. Cho was obviously the leader of the Worshipers or Irken wannabees as Crystal was starting to call them. While Megan's closeness made Jamie suspect she was her second in Command. This bit of knowledge also meant that they were most likely going to be the hardest ones to take down.
"They'll go down fighting." Jake said as he seemed to read her mind. "They wanted this, even before they were programed."
"That's just messed up." Crystal muttered.
"Isn't it?" A voice asked.
The three jumped, and turned towards the door.
Tak laughed at their fearful expressions. "You guys should be more aware of your surroundings." She teased. "What if I had been the enemy?"
"What are you doing here!?" Jamie hissed angrily. "You're supposed to be at the palace."
"You know her?" Jake asked.
"She works with the Tallest." Jamie explained. "She was are mole until she betrayed us."
"I did it to gain their trust." Tak explained. "Zim knows this."
"Too bad he isn't here to back you up." Crystal pointed out.
"Look if it makes you feel better I'll stay out of the loop." Tak assured her. "I'm only here because things have gotten too dangerous at the Palace."
"What do you mean?" Jamie asked.
"Tallest Red has completely lost it, he disbanded his commanders and the Royal guard, not only that but he sent Purple away to fight Zim alone." Tak began.
"Okay slow down." Jake ordered.
Jamie nodded her agreement. "Start from the beginning and tell us everything."
Tak nodded and began her tale.
(Back with Gaz…)
She had almost forgotten she had it…
And that fact alone made her want to kick herself, before jumping off the highest point available.
The fact that Gaz had allowed fear to even take root in her in the first place was humiliating by itself, but to fear a low life like Skoodge. The realization alone made it obvious to her that her time in captivity had messed up her brain chemistry a lot more then she had originally thought. In the beginning she thought it hadn't changed her at all, but now she was starting to notice how much more cautious she had become.
Gaz pushed this new realization aside for the time being, for now wasn't really the time. She held in a scream of pain as Skoodge smashed her against the wall. For such a small and plump guy, he was strong and swift. Attributes that Gaz had not even considered her enemy to have. Still, she had one thing he didn't. She smiles knowingly, one hand still in her pocket.
"What's so funny?" Skoodge demanded. "Your precious Zim is about to die, and you will soon follow."
Gaz pulled out her hand and pointed her weapon right at him.
Skoodge saw the pistol just as it'd barrel rest on his chest, one blast from this can punch right through him, and his Pak, killing him in seconds. And yet the invader is powerless to stop it, for the moment he sees it is the moment it is too late.
Gaz pulls the trigger sending Skoodge flying back with a loud BANG!
Gaz drops to her feet and walks over to her tormentor, the very reason she had been locked away from the ones she loved for so long.
"How?" Skoodge asked, coughing up blood. "You are so much more inferior…."
"No, you're just stupid." Gaz said. "You underestimated me. Big mistake." She fired again, and with that final shot she took the Irken's life.
And her pervious fears went with him.
The bad girl Gaz was back.
A loud beastly roar fills the air, and Gaz breaks out into a run towards the nearest exit. For she knows what it is in an instant. Yes, she has hear this sound before…
It is the sound of an Amon charging into battle!
(Back with Zim…)
Purple wastes no time going for his throat and he nearly success in the kill despite it all.
Zim manages to remember to dodge in the final second, but it is ungraceful, and it shows Razor just how green he is.
"Can't you help him?" Diaz asked respectfully. While the soldiers showed no sign of retaliation their weapons were drawn again. This time however, it was in an effort to keep the two Amons from leaving the circle. This closed death match were making things harder on Zim, when he fought Koi he had the entire space of the high school to use for his disposal. But in order to prove his worth he needed to show the other Irkens just how well he managed in a fight with higher stakes.
"No Purple has singled him out, to help him now would insult his pride." Razor explained. "It would not be wise to insult my partner on our first day."
Zim allowed his anger for Purple to boil over as he shifts into his own beastly form. After all, the time for reasoning was over, Purple had made it clear that he was just as much as a monster as Red, maybe enemy worse. After all, at least Red could claim insanity, Purple however was of sound mind, and yet he had made no move to stop his partner. In a way this made Red his first victim, Purple used his unstable mind to his own advantage. Allowing him to get away with monstrous crimes against the universe and worse his own people.
Zim goes in with an attack of his own, missing the mark. Purple proves to be much faster than he had anticipated. While this did little help him out, it did reveal a lot to him about Red. Since Purple relied on speed it was safe to say that Red would be the opposite, relying on strength rather than his own swiftness.
Zim is drawn out of his thoughts as Purple makes another deathly blow with his claws. He misses, but just barely. Zim shakes his head, he knows he needs to focus on the fight at hand. He is not fighting Red and if he doesn't turn things around he'll never live to get the chance.
"You're too slow." Purple teased. "You always were."
"Go ahead and point out my flaws." Zim hissed. "I don't care what you think, not anymore." He lunged tackling Purple to the ground with a hard thud. Purple however, gained his bearings quickly, kicking Zim off and standing back up. Zim was on his feet just as fast, claws swinging swiftly toward Purple's face. Unfortunately the blow was blocked with little to no effort before being countered with a powerful blow to Zim's gut.
Zim felt the air leave his lungs, but he managed to stay up right, even catching Purple's fist as he went in for another breathtaking blow.
Their gazes met. Glowing violet eyes pricing into bright ruby orbs. Zim never thought it was possible for one pair of eyes to hold so much hate, and despite his better judgement he couldn't help the question that came flying out.
"Why?" He asked. "I gave you everything, all my loyalty, all my devotion, all for you!" He screamed. "I stepped down for you, I looked up to you and Red! I never once threatened you, or challenged you in any way. I never did anything to warrant the agony or the hardships you put me through. So why? Why are you doing this?"
Purple suddenly smiles devilishly and using his free hand he grips Zim's arm and throws him to the floor with such force it makes Zim sees stars.
Fighting Purple was not like fighting Koi at all. Koi had been more or less an animal when they fought, relying on the beast to give him the advantage he needed. His moves erratic and completely instinctual. Purple however was more than a primal beast, he was cold and calculated. He wasn't a mindless killing machine, no he had strategy and years of experience.
Things Zim did not have.
"Because you were small." Purple admitted harshly. "You were weak, and pathetic, everything an Amon shouldn't be! You were an easy mark, you should have died before you made it to your second year. But no, you kept right on fighting, keeping up with the rest of us like it was nothing! You made us all look like weaklings! Showing dominance at the mere age of eleven while the rest of us didn't. Even the great General Kazar showed interest in you!"
And that's when the answer to his problem was made clear.
Zim forced himself to his feet, brushing off Purple with what appeared to be ease, and it was. Purple grunted as Zim's new found strength actually made stumble back.
"So you did all of this out of jealousy?" Zim asked. The smug look on his face was evident, and Razor sees Zim's new strategy almost instantly.
"What is he doing?" Diaz asked.
"Purple is an intelligent and swift fighter." Razor explained.
"Meaning?" Diaz asked.
"This isn't a battle of strength, it is a battle of the mind. If Zim wants to win he has to get inside Purple's head and get him to foul up so badly that it gives him an opening." Razor explained lowly so that Purple would not hear.
It was an obvious ploy, one Purple should have seen, but blinded by his hatred for the ex-invader before him he fell right into the trap.
"Jealous of a defective worm like you?" Purple hissed in disgusts.
"Come now, you just admitted how I was so much better then you." Zim teased. "All the teachers loved me. Even when I step down and join the academy I still ended up as the top of the class which was more than you ever were. Even with Tallest Myuki here self as your mentor you still could compare to the Amazing Zim!"
The last few words was what did it. Purple was so in raged that he struck without thinking, without even the slightest calculation.
Zim strikes out with his claws slashing Purple across the neck.
The blow does nothing, Purple pens him down saliva dripping from his fangs. "You will never be a match for me."
"No." Zim admitted, his claws still firmly in the other's neck. "I never was your match." He admitted. "I have always been your superior and this fight is over."
Razor watched as Zim ripped his claws out of Purple's neck taking a large chuck of it with him.
Purple let's go of him, surprise and understanding fills him as he retches for what is left of his neck.
Zim rolls out from under him and gets to his feet.
Purple looks up at him, still stunned, he goes to move, to speak, most likely to scream out curses at his most hated foe, but no one would ever know for sure.
For the next moment he had fallen to the ground, and Zim watched as the piercing glow of his enemy's eyes slowly faded away, and then he was gone.
For a long moment no one spoke.
Finally a voice did manage to break the silence, but not a single Irken spoke it.
Zim peeled his still glowing eyes away from Purple's lifeless body to see that the circle of soldier's had parted revealing… "Gaz…" Zim is sudden disgusted with himself. Gaz has never seen this side of him, and he would have preferred that she never did.
Gaz however, doesn't falter. Instead she closes the gap between them and throws her arms around him.
Zim melts in the embrace, and instantly shifts back, it has been a long time since he has held her, and though he knows the act of affection must make him look weak, he returns the embrace and even finds enough bravery to kiss her.
It's the first time they've kissed since the invasion, and Gaz could say with certainty that it was worth the wait. However, it is cut short as Zim's new partner clears his throat.
Zim pulls away, his clothes are tattered from the change, but he is other wised undamaged.
"You did well." Razor praised him.
Zim shakes his head. "This isn't what I wanted."
"This is the way." Razor said simply as if it justified the means.
"What now?" Diaz dared to ask.
"Does your ship have communications to Zec?" Zim asked.
"Of course." Diaz said. "Though I am sure Skoodge would have ratted us all out by now."
"He won't be a problem anymore." Gaz assured them.
Zim's eyes widen. "Gaz!"
"He started it." Gaz said, as if it was that simple. "I was merely defending myself." She said, but Zim didn't miss the mischievous smile on her face."
"And I'm crazy for falling for someone who's devious and vile?" Razor muttered to him jokingly.
"I never said she wasn't." Zim pointed out.
"I can hear the both of you." Gaz growled. She looked to Zim. "You know better."
Zim laughed openly now. "Of course it was self-defense not that it matters. Only a dumb idiot would cross you anyway. As far as I see it, he was asking for it."
Gaz smiled. "That's what I thought you said."
"Are you sure she's not Irken?" Razor dared to ask.
Zim smirks, but decides it's wise to ignore the question, after all Gaz was right; he did know better. Besides he needed to address the Masses before Red caught wind of what had happened. "We must move quickly, there isn't much time." He said as Miz and the others came into view.
His eyes met with hers and she understood what he had in mind.
"Are you sure?" She asked him.
"Once we do this there is no going back." Razor said as he picked up on Zim's plan.
"Zim what is he talking about?" Gaz asked.
Zim's eyes met with hers. "Gaz there is something I have to do." He said. "For all of us." He said. "And even though you may not like it, it is the way of my people and it must be done."
Gaz did not missing the gravity in his tone and his eyes. Whatever this was about it was serious and he desperately needed her support. So despite her miss giving's she nodded and answered.
(Back with Dib…)
They had just gotten back when they saw the announcement.
There on the Dome's massive holoscreen was Zim, his clothes were tattered, and he looked like he had just gotten out of a fight. Beside him was another Amon, who looked much older than Zim, and behind them was Commander Diaz and several Irken soldiers along with many other Amons and alien refugees of all races.
Even Scamooch could be seen among them.
But it was the person to Zim's right that caught his full attention.
It was GAZ!
"What's going on?" Professor Membrane asked as Humans and Irkens alike gathered around.
"Taller Zim has used an Irken communications hub on an enemy vessel to hack the news feed of the collective." Goalit explained.
"You mean this is broadcasting on every holoscreen in the entire Irken Empire?" Mia asked.
Tesi gasped. "He's done it." She whispered.
The Irken rebels began to mutter all around them, each voicing their joy, muttering their disbelief, but still looking altogether pleased.
"Done what?" Dib asked. "What has he done?"
He soon got his answer…
"Tallest Purple has been relieved of his role as Tallest." A rather tall Female Amon announced simply. "As the oldest and wisest among the ancient it is my greatest honor to bestow my blessings upon Taller Zim and my fellow Ancient Taller Razor as the future of the Irken Empire."
Dib watched as the female Amon produced a blade. "What is she doing?" He asked.
"That's The Ancient Miz, The eldest Amon." Mia whispered.
"She's given them her blessing." Gir explained. "Master and the other must give a part of them."
"A part of what?" James asked.
Goalit held out his hand. "How many fingers do I have?" He asked.
"Three." Dib answered not getting it.
"How many do the Tallest have?" Goalit pressed.
Dib thought hard. "Two I think."
"What does that have to do with anything?" Mark asked.
"Ever wondered why?" Goalit stated.
The truth hit Dib like a bucket of water. "But I thought…they get a mark." He stuttered. "Cutting off a finger…isn't that a bit… I don't know extreme?"
"It's more than extreme." Rachel exclaimed. "It's horrific."
"Sometimes the most noticeable mark is not given, but rather produced when something is taken away." Mia remarked.
"The Tallest sacrifice a finger on each hand as a symbol of their willingness to make sacrifices for their people." Tesi explained. "It is an act of selflessness that speaks volumes because it's not just any finger; it is the most important finger."
Dib winced as he saw Zim take the blade from the one they called Miz, he doesn't even hesitate as he rids himself of both his thumbs.
The other blessed Amon, Razor was it? Followed his lead, taking the blade from the younger Amon before repeating the act on his own hands.
"I salute you both for your sacrifice." Miz said. "What is your vow?" She asked.
"We vow to rid the universe of any and all Irken tyranny." Razor spoke proudly.
"And right the wrongs that we have committed on." Zim added.
"We look forward to seeing your vow come into fruition." Miz stated, the pride in her voice was apparent, there was no doubt that she supported both of them.
Dib smiled he knew how big of a moment this must be for Zim, to finally get the respect that he had worked so hard for.
Zim looks to the screen and addresses the masses. "Your days are numbered Tallest Red." He spat the name out like it was a vile shot of the most deadly poison. "And believe me when I say we will be relieving you of your post soon." He vowed. "Your rule will end! Whether it be peacefully or not is entirely up to you!"
"We implore you to do the right thing for our people and step down." Razor added. "Please, this does not have to end in more bloodshed…"
Dib suddenly realized that Zim had only addressed Red which meant…
"Tallest Purple is dead." he said.
"Yes." Goalit said as a matter of factly. "And I wish I can say that this means our troubles are almost over but…"
Dib didn't need him to finish, for he knew what the Irken scientist was getting at. "Red will do whatever it takes to make sure they never get to him, He'll put up a blockade around the whole planet if he has to."
"Which means Taller Zim needs us to act now!" Mia had come to the same conclusion, and just like that everyone began their work. Not one Human insulted or talked down to their Irken Allies, and in return the Irkens gave them the same respect. After all, they had a war to win and nothing could stand in their way.
Not when they were this close to victory.
Episode 13-A Shift in Power (Part 3) END!