Roach Meat

Johnny's road trip ended sooner than he'd expected.

His car was parked in Professor Membrane's driveway. He made sure to run the car out of gas, so that he couldn't leave-even if he was having second thoughts.

His hands shook as he took out a hefty keychain.

Each key met the keyhole with no success. And Nny got a small electrical shock if he'd jammed a key in too bit aggressively-which was everytime.

"Damn it...fook…" Nny coughed and drooled slightly once he finally tossed the keychain aside. What little hair he had was smoking, and...he smelled like garbage.

The quicker the Professor fixed him the better.

But, why weren't any of the keys working!?

Surely it...hadn't been that long since the deal?

Ahh well, he didn't need a key to get in. He wanted to at least do the polite thing; especially, concerning the Professor-they were friends after all.

Nny circled the house a few times, a bit like a shark with something wounded. When he did so the third time, he settled on a spot. He didn't want to climb too many electrical fences.

His fingers deftly pricked at the underside of a window. Johnny gritted his teeth. This one was electrified too.

Did the Professor not trust him anymore?! Why didn't he keep the windows unlocked?

The idea was sobering and... maddening.

The Professor and him were friends! It must've been a mistake!

Nny took out a crowbar, one he favored enough to carry at all times.

"Now, you're a good friend…" He muttered softly to it.



The window exploded. Glass flew outward and embedded into his skin, narrowly missing his eyes.

No matter. Though he was bleeding heavily, he just needed to find the Professor.

The meat on his arms and chest would be gone soon enough.

"Ahhhuagh!" A scream rang out. Nny raised the crowbar to put whatever the writhing silhouette was out of its misery.

But, then he remembered. And stopped.

Nny wanted to be polite to the Professor.

Killing whatever was inside his house wouldn't have been nice…wouldn't have been right.

"Oh my god Gaz there's a robber! Call the police-"

Nny placed a foot onto the silhouette's chest. He hated that word. HATED the police! Those suited up blue tunas never did any good for anyone.

They always interrupted him!

Ruined the fun and his lectures.

Well, no more!

Nny wanted to crush the life out of this creature. One who would dare to-

Hold on…

As Nny blinked in the darkness, his eyes adjusted.

It was a kid he was stepping on.

Well, killing kids was rarely satisfying.

He grasped it by the neck.

"Aaugh, help!" It screamed.

It took immense willpower not to twist it dead.

It would've taken just a quick snap, but instead he found himself dragging it out of the room and into the hallway, which was conveniently illuminated.

He held it up by the scruff of its shirt. He chewed his lip when realized he felt some familiarity with it.

It was a boy, who shook a bit like Squeegee. The boy's pants were wet, but Nny wasn't sure if it was urine, or blood from the glass that had embedded into the boy as well.

All he could smell was his own smoking skin. His senses were a bit weak from being electrocuted so much.

Nny wasn't sure if he could kill the kid even if it shouted "police" again. Partly because of how he stumbled around the hallway, and would've been rude.

"Gaz! Gaz!"

Now what was a "Gaz?" Nny didn't like the fact the word seemed familiar too…

"D-did ZIM send you?" The boy choked out.

"I can pay you double, no triple! Quadrillion! J-just let me go!"

Nny raised a brow at that. Rarely did kids have the sense to bargain for their lives...not that it was a little impressive. He was relieved he didn't know what a "Zim" was.

It would have been too much otherwise.

"God, Dib shut up!"

"But t-there's a robber!"

Gaz sighed, "No, that's not a robber, it's just the Johnny C. guy."

Dib, so that was the boy's name...Nny remembered it.

"W-what?!" Dib looked aghast. "This is him? The creepy doll guy!?"

Gaz sighed again. "Yeah, that guy."

Nny was perplexed. These people knew him? And were fine with what he did?

Nny smiled, genuinely for once. The Professor must have told them all about him.

They were still friends!

Nny dragged Dib towards where the "Gaz" voice was, going down a stairwell. Dib squeaked in obvious pain.

"H-hey can you not? Please, Johnny, uh sir. I can walk myself and I need to get this glass out…"

Dib seemed polite enough.

Nny let him go, but blocked his path. Dib looked like he wanted to weasel past him.

"What is it? Walk down the stairs, like you said." Nny frowned.

And Dib frowned right back. That gave Nny pause.

Rarely did folks have the guts.

"The bathroom is upstairs, right behind you. I can get some tweezers for the glass."

"Oh sure…"

Nny watched Dib limp towards the bathroom. He was like a kicked puppy.

Dib did get tweezers and sat down on the toilet cover, picking out whatever he could.

"That's not how you do it!" Nny thisked. " there any bactine?"

"Uhh...sure, in the medicine cabinet I think."

Nny proceeded to pour the bactine all over himself, savoring the burning sensation.

He then proceeded to dump the rest onto dib, who squealed in horror.

"Ahh, what the fuck, dude!" Dib looked ready to pass out.

"What's your problem?!"

Good question. Nny shrugged.

"Bactine solves everything."

"N-no it doesn't!"

Eh, kids will be kids. They didn't always know what was good for them.

Nny chirped in delight when he found another bottle of bactine. He wasn't done with dib yet.

Gaz sighed for the umpteenth time. The two psychos were making a ruckus upstairs. It was like two elephants went into a dance-club.

She couldn't make as much process in "Vampire Piggie Thirteen: The Night is an Illusion," as she'd initially expected.

The crashing bumped the game-slave pad a little too much.

But it didn't matter anyway. Gaz was entertained by running through the security footage of Johnny C. on a tablet. She'd counted that he'd been electrocuted 28 times, 27 of them done willingly.

The guy was crazy, obviously, but reading into the file Professor Membrane kept of Johnny cemented it further.

He was dubbed "the creepy doll guy," because every Christmas he'd send Dib and Gaz each a robotic doll.

Of course, Dib always fled away from his gift and Gaz would always take it upon herself to add it to her collection.

She shivered, mainly from annoyance. Keeping an army of dolls in her room was a plus. If the elephants upstairs didn't shut up soon she could finally make use of the army…

Regardless, Gaz tapped a button meant for communication. The tablet rung for a moment and then Professor Membrane picked up.

"Hello Gaz! What seems to be the problem? The home security gave off a warning, but it was cancelled before authorities could show?"

"Hi Dad. Yes, that was me. Johnny C. is here."

The Professor was eerily still for a moment. Gaz suspected he was surprised. Johnny's profile hadn't been updated for half a decade."

"I see…" Small explosions and the clattering of tools were heard as the Professor ran off screen. "I'll be right over, sit tight Gaz. See to it that your brother doesn't bother Mister C. Love you, bye!"

The screen went black and only then did Gaz realize the upstairs had gone quiet.

"Did you idiots kill each other up there?" She yelled.

Saying it out loud meant to make her feel better, but...when she got no reply, Gaz started thinking of what she'd tell Dad.

As she went up the stairs, her dark assumption was thrown out. Instead, it might be her doing the killing.

Dib was showing Johnny his computer. Both of them looked stupidly engrossed and giggling could be heard.

"Gaz, come quick! You won't believe it but Johnny is Agent Bunyip! We've been working together on the Swollen Eyeball Network for years and didn't know it."

Dib paused to breath. "Isn't that crazy?"

Gaz blinked slowly, her answer obvious. Dib looked stupid-crazy; while, Johnny looked as happy as a dog left to drink as much toilet water as it wanted.

How disappointing.

"And it turns out that Zim-"

At the mere mention of the name, Gaz retreated downstairs.

"Ok ok, so remember that huge flood a few years back?"

Nny stuck out a tongue. "Oh peew, I sure do! The city stunk like sewage for weeks!"

"Well it was all Zim's fault! He collected all the water on earth into a huge water balloon and dropped it onto the city."

Nny's eyes glimmered with wonder. He was thumbing through Dib's various folders, making impressed murmurs, which increased in volume the more he looked.

"Wow, I'd sure like to wring this Zim guy's neck."

"I know, right!?" Dib enthusiastically slammed his hands down onto the deck.

"Say, Johnny-"

"Call me Nny. I prefer it."

"Sure, Nny! Uh…well you mentioned how you go alien hunting on Tuesdays? I was thinking we could team up then."

Nny wasn't sure what to make of Dib. Was it joy, admiration, in his eyes? He couldn't tell and it made him uncomfortable. It certainly wasn't fear like Squeegee often had.

Slowly, he put aside the folders. Dib backed away, realizing he might have said something wrong.

"Oh wow, sorry Johnny…don't think anything of it. I just thought-"

"Nny." He coldly corrected.

Dib shuffled his feet awkwardly. Good, it was a look Nny could be comfortable with.

"Dib, do you know why I'm here?"

"Uh, n-no I don't."

"It's because I made a deal with the Professor. We go way back, beings friends and all."

"A deal?"

"Yeah." Nny leaned back, looking sick. Usually he ignored his memories.

"I helped him with a top-secret project-making a couple of kids. That kinda stuff." Nny paused to boop Dib on the nose. "Which ended up being Gaz and you."

Nny shrugged, ignoring how Dib had backpedaled into the hallway, looking mighty uncomfortable.

You're...the other half?"

"If that's what he calls it, sure. He wanted to make a clone, but the public wouldn't have it. He needed my DNA to mix-up the face a bit, is all."

Nny walked out of the room, looming over Dib.

"Look kid, I'd love to go alien hunting with you, but, I suspect I won't be leaving this house..

ever again."

Dib froze. His mouth moved, but said nothing.

"Ahh, wonderful!"

Both Dib and Nny flinched.

Professor Membrane had arrived

He stared expectantly at them.

"It's been ages, Johnny! You're here for your part of the deal, correct?" Said the Professor, with practiced enthusiasm.

Nny nodded viciously, with some hesitation. The Professor didn't change much in appearance, which served to reassure, yet unnerve him.

Without realizing, Nny had already walked down the stairs and stood next to the Professor.

"Alright, you'll be glad to know the lab is prepared, follow me."

Nny said nothing as he looked over Dib and Gaz, perhaps for the last time, before turning and following the Professor into the laboratory.

"Hey Dib, I guess that's where all your crazy came from." Said Gaz.

"Shut up!"

The lab was smaller than expected. Though Nny was a few inches shorter than the Professor, he still had to duck down, as the ceiling was low.

The Professor disappeared around a corner, then emerged with a mobile examination table.

The table was labeled from "The Defective Head Meat Institute," perfect for the mental-patient Nny was.

"Oh, and one last thing!" The Professor pulled out a pen and paper, handing it over.

"What's this?"

"A waiver form. I need you to sign it."

Nny snorted and half crumpled the paper.

"Pfft please, you know I don't care about that. If I die, so what?"

"It's not about that. It's about how it looks to other people. A paper is better than none."

Nny huffed, but signed the paper and the Professor graciously collected it.

"How will I look?"

The Professor shrugged. "Can't say. You did get that mecha-cat I sent you, yes?"

Nny nodded and smiled. That had been a good day.

"You're going to be the first human prototype. But-"

The Professor unzipped his lab coat.

"-I've done some tests on myself as well."

Nny chirped in surprise. He was beautiful.

The Professor had no bottom jaw. Instead, a dark metal chin had replaced it. His chest glowed with electronics and looked more akin to the underside of a car than a person.

Nny nodded in approval. "Perfect."

He laid down on the table and restraints clasped around his body.

The Professor gave a metallic smile. Tools clattered and filled Nny's vision.

"Goodbye, Mister C."