Fzzt.  Fzzt.  CLICK


"Audio connection established."


Fzzt.  Fzzt.  CLICK.


"Visual connection established."




Deep in the lowest chamber of his base, an Irken soldier pulled himself away from an ominously hissing piece of equipment to turn his attention to the steady glow of a communications screen.  There were two spindly, looming silhouettes blotted across the screen.  Vague red and purple blobs implied large, liquid eyes, and Zim could see that the long thin lines of their mouths were tense with worry.  Their antennae were pulled back anxiously; Red's long claws ticked anxiously against his armor.  The object of their gazes turned slowly to face the screen, wiping grease from his long claws with a dirt-speckled rag.  The presence of his leaders seemed to take a moment to dawn on him, but when the sight finally penetrated his fatigue-clouded brain, Zim jumped to ramrod-straight attention.  The dirty bit of cloth fell forgotten from his fingers.


"Yes, my Tallest?"


"We're coming, Zim."


Zim's eyes widened fractionally.  A small, traitorous part of his brain was surprised by this information; some part of him had started to wonder if the Massive would ever turn its bulk towards this so-distant, filthy clod of dirt. But of course, now they were coming. Finally. The long stalemate between him and Dib would be over, and Zim would be free of this planet, free of the constant stinking flesh of humans, free of the horrible RAIN and everything else. Free.

He bowed his head before them, wiggling his antennae in dutiful salute.


"My Tallest...  when will you arrive?"


"We're four months out, Zim."


It had been Purple speaking this entire time, with Red sitting silently beside him, pinning the much smaller Invader with a calculating stare.  Now the other leader spoke.


"We've declared war, Zim."


Purple closed his eyes, let his heavy head tilt back.  Red kept talking, in a low, grating, aggressive voice.  "That's why we're coming.  We neeeeed these resources, this planet.  Pull out all the stops, Zim.  I don't care what you do; have that planet subjugated and ready for exploitation by the time we arrive.  We want everything this planet can give us."


Zim saluted, a little wild-eyed.  He didn't speak.


Red regarded him stonily.  "You see.  Good."  The tall Irken leaned forward until his huge crimson eyes seemed to fill the screen.  "We need everything we can get to win this war, Zim.  Don't fail us."


The screen flicked to black.  A long metal tendril reached out to tap Zim- almost tentatively- on the shoulder.  "Connection severed, Master."


Zim slumped silently towards the screen for another minute.  Then his head snapped up; his pose solidified.  He was an Irken soldier again, the sudden compulsive fear wrestled under bravado.


"I can SEE that, computer!"  Zim whirled about to march fiercely towards the elevator.  His eyes were as hard and as cold as rubies.  The delicate, ominous machine that he had been working on was forgotten.  Zim's roar echoed throughout his base.  "Now come on!  I have much to do!"

End of prologue

Well. So this is done. For those of you who are interested, there is more planned, as if that wasn't obvious. I hope this beginning isn't too cliché. I hope you'll have some patience with this… Umm… Yeah. Reviews and constructive criticism are appreciated. Don't eat my spine.