And The Chorus Swells!

Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me.

Notes: Many thanks to Goat for beta reading this for me. She is supremely awesome!


Chapter 2

-Planet Vort-

Invader Larb was not having a good day.

"What do you think of the matter?" The Vort Council had gathered again to discuss important business - one of the things that the disguised Invader Larb hated the most. The Vort were so polite all the time - it took them forever to decide anything on a matter because they always had to listen to everyone's suggestions and think about them before making a choice. If it had been a normal council meeting, Larb would have called in sick. It would have meant putting up with days of sympathy and gifts and concerned questions about his well being afterwards, but he thought those things would have been well worth it. If it had been anything else - anything but this...

They were discussing whether to continue the treaty with the Irken Empire. News about the conquest of Blorch had reached them and the moral issues apparently had them worried. They weren't expecting the Irkens to move against them though - a fact that often made Larb want to laugh out loud at their boundless naïveté.

After twenty-three hours of this mindless debate, Larb wasn't in much of a mood to laugh. He was bored stiff - a state which he mostly blamed on one particular council member who was vehemently opposed to the treaty - Lard Nar. He talked more than anyone Larb had ever had the misfortune to meet before. Even the Tallest - who loved the sound of their own voices - couldn't out talk this particular Vort. The Invader entertained an amusing notion of flinging Lard Nar out the window and almost missed the question addressed to him.

He had no idea what they'd asked. "Ummm... yes!" Larb blurted hastily, figuring that general agreement would probably work. The rest of the council members stared at him in stunned silence. Only Lard Nar looked pleased, if still a bit surprised.

Larb had an uncomfortable suspicion that he'd said entirely the wrong thing. He just wished he knew what sort of wrong it was. Luckily, he wasn't going to be kept in the dark for very long.

"You think we should take preemptive military action against our Irken allies?" The Council elder asked, disbelief evident in his croaking voice. "Have you considered instead, Heb Ner's suggestion that we renew the treaty with stricter clauses, or perhaps Shuk Nub's idea to act as an impartial third party - and there is always the potential merit in -"

He was going to drone on about it for another hour or fifteen. Larb bared his teeth in pained frustration - he couldn't take this anymore! He was so incensed that he could hear buzzing reverberating throughout his skull. Well, more a hum than a buzz, really - the constant low piping of brass instruments. It never occurred to him to wonder about their presence either, not until the point where he opened his mouth and something entirely unexpected came out.

At first he didn't recognize the voice - and he couldn't help but wonder if perhaps the Vort Council members had lost their minds - brains rotted away by all that constant debate. Then he realized the voice he was hearing was his own, rising in helpless, heedless song, much to his dismay. The subject of said melody was the worst part though, and although he tried to stop singing as the Vort looked at him, he just couldn't.

"You make me sick - I can't believe

I've had to do this job so long

Listening to your endless jabber

Different voices - same old song

I thought it would be simple work

To infiltrate your foolish race

But now I've had it - fed up, bored stiff

It's time you Vortians took your place

The Irken Empire sends its greetings

To all of you - now do give in

I'm here to conquer all of you

Give up - you just cannot win"

Larb felt the Vort eyes upon him, narrowed at last with suspicion and made another attempt to stop his singing. The Vort looked genuinely upset - and (more frightening) they seemed just as genuinely riled. In all the time he'd spent with these Vortian do-gooders, he'd never seen them angry. And the song wasn't stopping, the music dragging him on into another verse. He gave up trying after a second or two more, realizing the damage had already been done.

"Soon the armada will arrive

A hundred thousand Irkens strong

To take your planet over - and then

Wish you all a smug 'so long'!"

The music fell silent. Larb fell silent. The Vort Council members said not a word - only staring at the newly exposed Irken infiltrator with a frightening blankness in their eyes. Time stopped and although afterward Larb could never have said just how long had really passed, it felt like an eternity. Semantics were nearly the last thing on his mind though, especially as the Vort Council began to move. They were almost perfectly synchronized as they advanced on him.

Invader Larb was definitely not having a good day...


-Planet Earth-

"Wheeeee! Hee hee! GIR catapulted up the street, rebounding off of telephone poles and fire hydrants with a dinging reminiscent of a pinball machine. Ping - off a car! Ping - off an old man using a walker! He was shrieking with laughter the entire time.

He didn't get too many looks, amazingly enough. It seemed that most of the people walking to their destinations that morning were having their own problems - problems that precluded the sight of a weird green dog with jet packs on its feet. Snippets of song were briefly audible from varying individuals as he zoomed past, heading for his master's house.

The familiar green building loomed ahead, getting closer and closer until it slammed into the flying robot. GIR slid unceremoniously down the door and landed on the front step, a silly grin on his face. "Hiiii House!" He bounced to his feet, staggered backwards a couple of steps - right about to the middle of the sidewalk leading to Zim's house. Then he raised his head and warbled out another tune.

"Taco! Taaaco! Taaaacoooo!" He giggled as the neighbors stared in his direction.

"Master says, do a lil' dance

Dance, dance! Dance, dance!"

The robot waggled his rear in an exaggerated 'dance move' while the normal humans crept closer to the fence in horrified fascination.

"Master says, wear the rubber pants

Pants, pants! Pants, pants!

And sing a song out loud!"

The SIR unit was prancing around the gnomes now, and their gazes followed him. Unlike their reaction to humans (or at least Dib) they made no motion to stop GIR or even impede him any, although their eyes did glow red as they attempted to process this information.

"Master says so many things

'n so many things to say

An' I don't get a single thing

He's sayin' anyway!

Burritooooo!"

As the neighbors reached the fence, Gir began his dancing once again.


Dib was about ready to fall over. He'd managed to keep pace with Zim throughout the whole wild robot chase and his body was now letting him know in no uncertain terms that he was going to regret the activity later. If GIR had gone straight to Zim's base it would have been different - he wouldn't have been feeling that sharp, jabbing pain in his side every time he drew a breath, for one thing. He gasped, feeling his sweat-damp shirt sticking unpleasantly to his back.

The alien still wasn't letting up in his relentless pursuit of his wayward servant, and that meant that Dib had no choice but to keep going as well. By now they'd been led all over town, but they were at last back in familiar territory. He could see the rise of Zim's house ahead - apparently GIR had headed back to the base after all. Flushed from the exertion and spurred on by the terrifying thought that Zim might actually get his hands on that detonator remote, Dib forced his tired legs into a sprint.

It turned out that he needn't have bothered trying to keep so close behind Zim. The alien stopped dead in his tracks right outside the gate to his yard and Dib, moving too quickly to even think about stopping, slammed into him at full speed. Both of them went sprawling, with Dib landing half-perched across the Invader's back.

Neither of them noticed. They were too busy gaping at the spectacle that was playing out in front of their eyes. GIR was singing the Doom Song - hardly a surprise, except that it was being sung to the tune of the Can Can. Even that would not have been enough to draw such a severe reaction had it been all that was occurring. It wasn't.

Not only was GIR singing, he was dancing as well, with plenty of high kicks as was proper for the tune in question. And somehow he wasn't the only one - all of Zim's lawn gnomes were dancing as well - although they had no feet to kick with, their front ends were lifting in an approximation of the kicking. They had their elbows linked - GIR and the gnomes. The neighbors too, Dib noted with astonishment as he watched the legless man dangling serenely from the crooked elbows of two others.

It was Zim who finally gathered up enough of his scattered wits to speak first. "What is the meaning of this?" His voice was shrill, incredulous and it pierced through Dib's skull like a hot nail. Dib had to agree with the sentiment, however. The fact that he was knocked flat onto his back as the riled Invader leaped to his feet was annoying though. He glared up at his mortal enemy, but Zim was far too preoccupied to notice. "Get off of my lawn you filthy stink monkeys! And you gnomes! Stop that dancing! GIR! GIR!" The alien grabbed hold of his robot assistant by the arms as the humans scattered at last.

"Doom! Doom doom doom doom doom! Doom da doom doom doom! Doom!"

"Stop singing, GIR!" Where is the remote? Give to ZIM?" Dib took a step forward at this, prepared to intervene - maybe even tackle Zim again if necessary. But GIR only stared at his master blankly.

"Remote? Wassat?"

Dib could hear Zim's teeth grinding from where he was crouched, but the alien, surprisingly enough, managed to maintain some control. "The remote, GIR. The detonator for all of the bombs we planted all over the city to destroy the humans. The remote that makes them all explode -"

"Like a chicken!" GIR piped in suddenly. Zim just stared. Dib barely stifled a snicker against his sleeve at his adversary's dumbfounded expression.

"Not like a chicken, GIR! You took the remote and ran off with it, remember?"

"Oooh, yeeeeah!" GIR beamed.

"Give it back to ZIM!"

"Okey Dokey!" The little robot grinned cheerfully, and then looked down at his empty "paws". He blinked. Then he patted himself all over. "Nope! Don't have it."

Zim's jaw dropped. "How can this be? You had it! Where did you put it down?"

The SIR unit tilted his green doggy head. "Hmmm... Don't know." Then as the Irken stood there gaping, he bounced towards the house. "I'm gonna make me some waffles!" The door slammed shut.

There was a moment of silence, and then Zim turned to face the human who had finally managed to get to his feet. The two of them glared at each other for a long, heated moment. Then Dib grinned. "Nice try, Space Boy."

"SILENCE!"

Dib only shook his head, still grinning, and headed away from the alien's house. He'd have to build a tracking device and find that remote - or at least disarm the bombs - but for now he still had class to attend. "See you at school, Zim."

The alien stood on his front step and seethed, fists clenched. "Just you wait, Dib! This isn't over yet!"