Author's Note:  So ends the first part of the epic saga.  The prologue of Boy Meets Alien part II will be posted within the hour.  I'd like to dedicate this chapter to Nastyface, who sent me the nicest review I could ever hope for.  You're a doll!

            Mired in a pile of com-pads, Minimoose sipped in the cup of coffee sitting on the desk where he'd made his perch.  It had been a long night.  The calculator in front of him was on its last battery, and the long string of figures winding down to the floor attested to his work.

            Nearby, Zim sat on ground, leaning up against one of the computer panels, hard at work on a com-pad of his own.  Seventeen smeets milled around him, testing out their unsteady legs and exploring this odd new world they'd been born into. 

            Zim grunted in annoyance as one of them climbed up onto his shoulder to give him a hug.  He really was too preoccupied with the future of his offspring to be concerned about them presently. 

            The base had to go.  It was entirely too small, even for minimal living quarters.  Once it came time for the smeets' training to begin, they would need a facility large enough to accommodate battlefield simulators as well as at least one or two equipment testing fields – away from prying human eyes, of course.  Not only that, but because they wouldn't have access to the Great Download or any of the specialized educational plugs used on Irk, Zim would have to teach them all that they needed to learn himself.  Which would be no difficulty for the great and mighty ZIM, but he would need the proper supplies and facilities. . .and there seemed to be some sort of problem at the military requisition department on Irk.  All of the equipment he'd ordered in the last week had been turned down, citing that he'd already exceeded his yearly allotment of supplies. 

            They didn't seem to be aware of his new assignment status – he'd sent a dozen messages to the Massive, none of which had gotten a reply.  He needed those supplies soon.  He was running out of food, not to mention room.  In the few days that he'd had them home, the smeets had grown a whole inch.  The underground facilities of Zim's current base were built to accommodate his size – and from the way they were growing it looked as though his smeets might inherit their height from their father's side of the genetic pool.  With seventeen of them, it would be getting very crowded in here very quickly. 

            Zim sighed and put the finishing touches on the plans he'd made for a modest base upgrade.  It would hold for a couple of years, by which time he'd hopefully have saved up enough of his personal savings to afford another upgrade, as well as some military training equipment – a few ground rovers, some blaster ranges, maybe a battle-bot or two – nothing very fancy. 

            Minimoose gave a weary squeak and dropped his completed com-pad in Zim's lap. 

            "What the –" Zim held up the com-pad for a look. 

            It seemed to be some sort of investment portfolio, detailing the account activity of a megalo-company called Zim And Smeets Inc.  It seemed that ZASInc. was about to enter into a number of major investments in nearly three thousand galactic banks of the seven thousand currently in known existence – totaling over ten billion monies in capital that was apparently. . .non-existent.  The investments all borrowed from each other in a huge daisy-chain that had no real currency involved, but that still siphoned interest into a number of accounts that in turn laundered through one of the more reputable arms dealers in the Vega quadrant. . .and into Zim's personal account on Irk.

            "Hey!"  Said Zim as he scrolled down the extensive columns of numbers.  "This is a scam!

            There were enough financial infranctions here to have him jailed for centuries under Irken law, and put under bounty for death by a few of the more violent banking worlds in the galaxy.  If they ever caught on and checked their records against each other.  Which they never would.  The galactic banks were known for their secrecy, competitiveness, and above all, their monumental stupidity.  Not only would they sooner scoop out the sums-and-calculations parts of their brain lobes rather than co-operate on any single issue, but if any such occurrence were to take place it would only consist of a five-mile-long table of executive assistants screaming numbers at each other in six thousand different galactic banking languages.

            All that awaited was to press the go-ahead button at the bottom of the pad to put all of it in motion.

            As Zim arrived to the income tally at the bottom, he held it up to the pathetically cost-effective base upgrade plan he'd been working on. 

            Zim tossed away the ground plan.  "Good job, Minimoose!"  He said.  Giving Minimoose a pat on the head, he pressed the go-ahead button on the bottom of the tally pad. 

Grabbing a fresh com-pad from one of his computer slots and began working on another plan, this one ten times as big as the last.  With this kind of monies flowing into his account, he could afford to settle on a few acres of land outside of the stinking city in which he was currently settled – build a real base where he could train his smeets properly

            Zim chuckled.  It was going to be a glorious couple of decades.

            "YEEE-HAAA!!!"  Screamed Gir, his bodiless head being carried along by a couple of smeets. 

            "Gir!  Where's the rest of you?"  Demanded Zim. 

            "Right over THERE!!!"  Replied Gir, pointing with his antenna to where a group of smeets was dismantling the rest of his body and carrying it away in parts.   "It tickles!!"  He giggled.

            "Hey there!  Stop that this instant!!  Halt!!!"  Zim got up.  The smeets scattered, tittering. 

            The lights in the base flickered and Zim looked over to the computer terminal – there was a breach in the circuitry, coming from. . .right over there!  Across the room one of the panels into the computer hardware had been pulled away.  Sparks could be seen coming from inside of it.  There was the sound of more giggling. 

            "This base is not for taking apart!!  Get out of there this instant!!"  Yelled Zim. 

            "Energy re-rout failed. . .attempting circuit self-repair. . .failed. . .zzarblelleeeeeeeeeeee. . .it is the mandate of the Irken food service industry. . .Mary. . .had. . .a. . .little. . .lamb. . .there was. . .once. . .a girl from. . .Venus. . .aaaheehehehheeheeeeeee!!!"  The computer droned on dementedly, unable to right its programming.  More sparks coming from the ceiling and other panels along the side of the room indicated that the damage was spreading. 

            "I ORDER you to get out of there!!  NOW!!"  Shrieked Zim as the lights went out – and stayed out. 

            Minimoose squeaked as he went to round up the closest smeets. 

            Zim held his breath and tried keep himself from exploding into a fit of rage.  Maybe this whole thing wasn't going to be as easy as he'd hoped. 

End Part I