Summary: When the Tallests concoct a sick plot to rid themselves of Zim once and for all, Dib goes on a rescue mission. Meantime, the Resisty recruits new members, as the battlegrounds for the war of the Universe is laid.
Disclaimer: I don't own Zim. That honour belongs to Jhonen Vasquez and Nickolodeon
"This is Invader Zim, sig---"
A long digit flicked out and cut the transmission before Zim could even finish his sentence. There was silence aboard the control deck of the Massive, as Tallest Red's expression crossed that fine line between exceptionally disgusted to royally pissed.
"You know what I'd like ZIM to do?" the Irken leader exploded, kicking out angrily with his foot and sending a small service drone squealing across the room in the process. "I'd like for him to go --"
"RED!" Purple yelled.
"There are smeets present. Watch your mouth."
Red grumbled something under his breath about being able to do whatever he liked, but sat down in the captain's chair and crossed his arms over his chest, still looking vaguely harassed. "Look." He began, narrating to Purple as though speaking to a small child. "We sent Zim to earth, hoping he'd be killed. He wasn't. So we decided to use him for a cheap laugh. Instead, we've just lost monies, a perfectly good Megadoomer, have had to spend even MORE monies on rescuing one of the REAL invaders, and completely embaressed ourselves in the face of a resistance movement that didn't even have a cool name."
Purple shrugged. "Yeah, but you've said yourself that it would be way too much effort, not to mention a waste of our precious time to hold a proper criminal trial for Zim. Just forget about it. This conversation is boring me, and I think someone just made doughnuts."
The co-leader of the Irken Empire hovered away in hopeful search of the doughnuts, but he was startled back to reality by the sound of Red's fist banging hard onto the table. "No, No, Not forgetting about it. See? This is me, NOT forgetting about it. We? Are the leaders of the Irken empire. We do not need to have a proper criminal trial for Zim if we don't want to. My plan? We lure him to some backwater planet, rip his pod off, stab him in the back with something extremely sharp and pointy a few times, and no more problem."
"Yeah yeah. Sounds great. Doughnuts now?"
Far, far away in another galaxy entirely and completely unaware of what exactly he was getting himself into - Dib Membrane was wasting his time briefing anyone who would listen on his latest plan to trap his personal alien menace. Unfortunately for him, the only person who was in the vicinity was his sister, and she was definitely not interested.
"...So I thought to myself, if Zim's going to find all of the bugs I plant in his base AND he's increased his security so I can't get in, how can I get any proof that he's an alien at all? Then, it hit me! Gaz! Are you listening!?"
"Not bloody likely." Gaz groused, wincing horribly as her vampire piggy hunter character took a rather nasty hit on the screen of the GameSlave 2.
Not bothering to wait for a response to the question, Dib pressed on. "It's simple! I first heard of Zim's arrival through a radio broadcast from the roof! If I could just tap into the signal he's using, I could hear all of his plans!" With mounting excitement, a new thought occured to him. "I might even get to hear a conversation with his LEADERS!"
Hopping up from her seat, Dib's nightmare of a sister overturned the remains of her can of soda on his head and stormed from the room.
"Ah well..." Dib sighed in defeat, reaching under the rims of his glasses to wipe a trickle of poop cola from the bridge of his nose. The world and Zim could wait until he had had a shower.
Fifteen minutes later, Dib had hooked up and tested his new broadcasting equipment. He'd gotten it second-hand, but the larger satellite dish would give him a clearer transmission than the one he had used several years prior. While that part of the plan had held up well, he couldn't seem to find Zim's signal. Maybe the alien was using some kind of technology that couldn't be picked up on a radio frequency. Twiddling a few knobs hopelessly, Dib was ready to write the whole endeavour off as a failed experiment when a very familiar yell exploded in his eardrums, making him jump.
"MY TALLEST! You will be MOST delighted to hear of my latest plan! But I will need your assistance!"
Dib perked up. He'd done it. He was successfully eavesdropping on Zim's conversation with his leaders. Quickly, he turned on the recorder next to the computer. He'd have to catch every word if he wanted sufficient proof for the Swollen Eyeball.
"What is it NOW Zim?" The replying voice had a lazy lilt to it, but sounded exceptionally angry.
"Yes Zim, what mind-numbing torture are you going to put us through this time?" The higher voice, Dib acctually recognized from the brief opportunity he'd had to be in the base without Zim around. GIR had contacted the Tallest during that time too. Dib was about to explode with excitement. This here was genuine.
Apparently completely oblivious to his leader's less-than-cheerful mood, Zim ploughed on. "I will require..." and here Zim listed off the names of a number of items that Dib could only guess the use of. He ended it with a typical melodramatic exposition about the extent of the firepower being enough to decimate the human race.
For the first time, Dib was worried. Despite the stupidity of the Megadoomer, that thing had looked quite capable of causing the amounts of mass destruction it was designed for had it had the proper batteries. Zim had just ordered literal dozens of these whatevertheywere machines of destruction, and he was willing to bet that his leaders would not make the same mistake twice. Even if he DID manage to get the tape off to the proper authorities and assuming they did believe him - what defense did Earth have against another Megadoomer-class machine - let alone thirty?
He had to act fast.
"...This is Invader Zim, Signing Off!"
There was a horrible static crackle and Dib ripped off his headphones, slamming them down onto the table and fumbling to get the tape out of the recorder at the same time, when he heard a rather loud profanity issue through the white noise. Frantic as he was, Dib curiously placed the earpieces back on.
"...watch your mouth."
Dib raised an eyebrow, and re-activated the recording, resuming his seat. Somehow, he'd managed to piggyback onto the Massive's frequency from monitoring Zim's. Thank goodness he had too, as this might give him an idea of how much time they would have to prepare before Zim's arsenal arrived on the planet.
To his shock, the conversation that followed wasn't the 'Hey, so let's get that stuff to Zim so he can destroy the stinking humans' spiel he'd been expecting, but rather the two leaders of the empire seemed decidedly...pissed off. At Zim.
A thousand thoughts as to why popped into his mind, but none of them even came close to covering the truth, let alone taking into consideration the idea that...they were planning to kill him? And without a trial? Evidently Zim's people knew what one was - they were just talking about forgoing that particular proceedure.
"...Lure him to some backwater planet and stab him in the back a few times..."
Stab him in the back a few times? Dib felt sick. The transmission chose that moment to fail again, and Dib was thankful - as his stomach quite forcibly demanded a trip to the bathroom to relieve him of it's contents.
So Zim's mission was a fake. Zim's mission was a fake. All this time, the little alien had been living a lie, and Dib had seriously thought he was a threat to earth. That should have been a giant laugh, but instead Dib felt ill. What kind of sick twists would get rid of someone in that way?
On the other hand, it was Zim. Horrible, evil...doomed to a gory, horrid...doom Zim.
He could just keep an eye on Zim at school like he always did, Dib resolved. The Tallest had been lax about Zim in the past - perhaps their idea was just a passing fancy and they would instead just forget about the wannabe soldier they had dumped on earth.
"Son! Stop talking to yourself! I don't want to hear any more insanity before I've had my coffee and toast!"
Dib blinked. Had he really been saying all that aloud? "Sorry Dad!"
Shortly thereafter, Dib joined his father and sister in the kitchen where he wisely kept his mouth shut all through breakfast. He walked to school at top-speed, something Gaz was greatful for, and raced into the classroom, narrowly missing ploughing into Torque Smacky.
Although he waited through the entirety of homeroom period, Zim did not show up all day.
"He's up to something." Dib told himself firmly. "I'm ONLY going over after school to find out what it is, and to stop him once and for all. YES!"
As three-thirty rolled around, Dib was out the skool doors before the bell had finished sounding.
Zim's highly out of place green house stood there in the middle of the court-like street, looking as normal as ever it did. The window too was left open. Dib took all this in as a good sign. Nonetheless, there was only one way to find out for sure. Screwing up his courage, he took a deep breath, raced across the gnome-field and landed flat on his back.
He nearly choked in shock when something dripped on his forehead. To his immediate relief, he found it not to be an alien poison from a Zim-rigged trap, but rather taco-sauce that was running down the paw of it's owners' dog-suit.
"Zim's...little...robot-dog thingy!" Dib demanded. "Uh...GIR. Where's Zim?"
The SIR unit gave Dib a look of total oblivious bliss and smiled wide. "Master is running wiiiillllld and freeeee, the way God intended!"
Dib stared blankly, wondering in earnest how a robot would know anything about a God, when the mission at hand came back to mind. "GIR! Think HARDER. Where did your Master GO?"
This time the robot seemed more focussed. "Master went into outerspace! He's going to have a parrrrtyyyyyyy, where they're going to make his head explooooode!" GIR looked suddenly downcast. "I wanted to explooooode too."
Dib barely listened to the last part (which included a lot of insane giggles and screaming) - his mind was working furiously. So he had heard correctly. They were really going to off Zim. He had to go after him. He had to stop them.
"GIR! You have to come to my house. You have to help me pilot Tak's ship! We MUST rescue Zim."
"Okeeedokkeee big-head boy!"
"My head's not big!" Dib retorted out of habit - though his mind was elsewhere. Why exactly, was he about to go after his worst enemy to STOP his demise?
'Because,' said the logical part of his brain, 'it's the honorable thing to do.' Dib knew this at least to be true. Whether or not Zim's plans made any sense - and they never did - Zim had become Dib's equal. To have his rival destroyed by someone who was not HIM was a complete outrage. Besides, as he had thought many times prior, this was a pretty freaking sick way of getting rid of someone. Yes, even Zim.
As the little SIR unit pointed them in the direction of the Irken empire, Dib stuck his headphones on, mentally congratulating himself on remembering that the survival essentials included something that would allow him to block out the sounds of insanity that would constantly come his way if travelling with GIR.
He was so deep in the sounds of his favorite band, that he did not notice the ship proximity warning flashing on the control panel.
The Irken vessel was being watched.