A/N: Okay, I know that I had written in my Bio that I am not working on any of my fanfics at this time, but after I saw geminidragon67's fanart depicting the complicated love/hate relationship between Zim and his (cough)love(cough)-slave Gaz, I made up my mind to post Chapter 16 as a token of Thanks. So this chapter is dedicated to geminidragon67. I realized that I have never actually credited her for creating awesome fan arts of Earth's Nightmare on Deviant Art. They're done superbly and it matches the fic I'm writing. So go check it out! Btw, I'm still on Hiatus because this is a special occasion.
Disclaimer: I do not own Invader Zim.
Chapter Sixteen: Prisoner and Pet
—2 Hours after the Capture of the Rebels—
"Make sure that every single cell is locked down under the highest measure of security. Monitor their behavior 24/7 and report to me when they have given up trying foolishly to keep the information that I need hidden from me..."
"Has the procedure been completed for Prisoner R-492 like I ordered?"
"Yes, sir. Prisoner R-492 has been successfully induced into chronic sleep mode. He has been placed into the Suspension Tank for further analysis."
"Good...good. You know, it still surprises me how utterly dense and brainless humans can be when it comes to choosing life or death. They should already know that the Irken Race will always surpass humans in terms of intelligence, strength and technology. But I suppose that they have no other option but to flee..."
"They should be happy that I'm content enough with just imprisoning them. I was about to have them be used for something that might be indeed helpful to us when it comes to studying human structure. But, for sake of her sensitivity when it comes to these things, I've decided to spare them. After all, what is an Empire without slaves to do the menial labor that they deserve?"
"I couldn't agree any more, sir..."
A sigh. "Well, this concludes my visit to this gloomy place...I am returning to my Palace," a pause, and then a small chuckle, "I can imagine that dear Violet must be awake now. I hope she'll enjoy my little "surprise". I wonder if she will think that everything in the past—the rebels, the underground hideout, that stink-beast Dib—will be nothing more than a dream? It would be fun to toy with her mind a little bit...as punishment, I suppose."
"A safe trip, sir. Shall I call for a Transporter? It is a long way..."
"No...I believe I'll take my time. I'll be traveling on foot..."
A bow. "As you wish..."
'Uuugh...what happened? Feel like I've been tossed into a blender and then flushed down a sewer or something...' A pair of luminescent amber eyes fluttered open and stared up at the lavender, sterilized ceiling for a while, puzzled as to where they were. There was no sound, just a faint hum emitted from something big and mechanical in the walls. Groaning from the dull ache of her throbbing muscles, the girl flipped herself onto her side to take in a better view of her surroundings. She felt too tired for some reason to sit up.
All she can see is a range of violet in front of her. Her eyes took a second or two to adjust to the brightness and the dullness that assaulted her vision ranging from lilac to dark-purple. 'Dang...whoever lives here must be like some crazy purple-fanatic...' It was everywhere—lavender carpeting, lilac walls, a violet desk with a purple chair (she wondered if it was painted), a plum colored bedside table and a mauve bed with complimenting sheets and pillows.
She was about to close her eyes and snuggle deeper into the bed when suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, Gaz realized where she was and leapt off the bed in pure disgust. Her first thought after that was 'Dib!' and she ran to the door, realizing only seconds later that she was clad in nothing except a thin but thankfully non-translucent hospital gown. Gaz rubbed the cotton fabric in between her fingers, feeling the sickly warmth which came from it. A growl came from her throat. 'Dammit! He undressed me too?! But what did he do to Dib?'
Standing on her weak legs was trying on her half-awake body, as she staggered slightly from her own weight. She wondered what could have caused her to feel so heavy other than from her sleepiness as she decided to lean against the wall for support. Licking her lips in anticipation, Gaz flattened herself against the wall, careful to be quiet in case the door suddenly opened and he came in.
'Wait...I need some kind of weapon... It's obvious from what my situation is right now that he has seen past my bluffing back at the hide-away.' Gaz knew as much as she didn't want to that she, along with the others, had been captured by Zim. However, it was the ending that she couldn't figure out. Zim had forced her to make a choice between herself or Dib, but she was so overwhelmed with emotions and fear creeping up on her that she froze up, and...in a way, retreated from everything that was happening. She had been on auto-pilot when she felt a sting in her arm and then before she knew what had happened, blacked out.
And here she was. Back at the beginning. At the start line again. Whichever she wanted to call it, there wasn't much time. Something told her that Zim is coming. 'Intuition?' Perhaps.
All Gaz wants to do right now is to meet up with her brother. It is hopeless to turn to him for protection now, but she just wanted—needed to see his familiar face. It would resolve the feeling of loneliness in her heart, and maybe, since they are on Zim's turf now, she can tell him something's about the Palace. She can leak information to him, and with that big head of his, he might be able to come up with a scheme of some sort to get them out of this place.
Feeling renewed at the resolution, Gaz frantically looked around for an apparatus that can serve as a weapon. Not to hurt Zim (even though she would kill for an opportunity like that), but to defend herself. Gaz knows that whatever is in her blood will not allow her to assault him, but that doesn't mean that she can't protect herself from him.
Scrimmaging around in the closet she overlooked earlier, her eyes locked onto an iron pole leaning against the wall. That seemed to be the only thing that is NOT purple of any shade, so she grabbed it and closed the door before dragging the pole (it was a foot or two longer than her) with her across the room to the door.
'Okay...I don't know how I'm going to do this, but the plan is to find Dib...hopefully.' She gulped down her insecurities, forcing doubts into the farthest corners of her mind. Gripping the pole tighter in her hands, she pressed a cautious ear to the door. There was nothing. Surprised and somewhat disappointed, Gaz backed away and attentively reached for the knob.
It was locked.
'Duh, what, do you think he'll honestly let you roam around after you've run away?' A sarcastic voice piped up. Swearing under her breath (Gaz wasn't prone to swearing that often, but lately she's been picking up more than determination from Dib), she has no other option but to wait and ambush Zim when he comes.
'Wait a second...' Taking a second look at the door, Gaz was mildly surprised to find that she recognized the doorknob model. It was made from Irken Tech, able to sense the identity of people by their fingertips. Or more precisely, their fingerprints. That is how the door can determine whom it should open for and whom it ought to close off to.
Gaz smirked. Had it not been for the short but useful period of time she spent with Dib on deciphering and dissecting Irken technology, she wouldn't have been able to see the easy way of tricking the doorknob to open up.
'Now if he undressed me,' she tried not to linger on that thought, 'then his fingerprints must be on the gown...' Somewhat doubtful that this could work because she might have overlapped Zim's fingerprints with her own when she rubbed the fabric, Gaz charily took a part of her gown and wrapped it around the doorknob.
Her jaws nearly dropped when the door flashed a millisecond of purple light before it automatically turned and the door was open.
'Yes!' Gaz had to bite her tongue from shouting it at the top of her lungs. Gaz warily took a peek around and saw that Zim wasn't present. She quickly picked up the pole and nudged the door aside before sliding the pole horizontally outwards. Her senses were met with the all-too familiar surroundings of the top most floor; the floor where Zim's chambers were.
Now Gaz can count on one hand the quantity of times she has been up here. One occasion was when she did it out of curiosity amidst her cleaning sessions, which as a result caused her to earn a verbal scolding from Zim who demanded as punishment she must write "I will not disobey my Master and Tallest Zim" a hundred times, as well as to bring him a glass of warm milk and a batch of fresh baked cookies. (She rebelled by bringing them to him and then eating them in his face. Unfortunately, he made her write, "I will not disobey my Master and Tallest Zim. I will not drink warm milk and eat fresh-baked cookies in his face.")
Another time was when he was ill (strangely enough, from an Irken version of the common cold) and demanded that she bring his breakfast, lunch and dinner upstairs to him, freshly prepared on a golden tray, with silver dishes and cups and a small petite vase with a rare Irken flower added as a final touch. (She wanted to throw the whole set in his face, but alas, her blood prevented her from accomplishing such a fantasy)
Gaz can vaguely memorize what Zim's room looked like, although the amount of time she has spent away from this place made her memory a little blurry. Shaking her thoughts into focus, she tip-toed as silently as she can to the Floor Tele-Vator. She needed to descend to the lobby, where she'll be able to escape.
Gingerly stepping into the glass box, Gaz thought up in her head her desired floor. In a flash of blinding light, she found herself standing in the middle of the main chamber. Taking in a deep breath, Gaz headed for the main doors. Pushing them open, she looked around and stared up at the dusky sun that was partially covered by a tall tower.
Taking a step outside, she was greeted with fresh air. Although it smelled fresh at first, there was an increased antiseptic scent which came from it.
'Is the sun rising or setting..?' She wondered dazedly as she looked up at the sky from a peculiar angle. 'The sky is orange-ish...kind of like my eyes, I guess... I wonder if it will be dark soon or-...'
Out of the blue, something that is angular and pale-green blocked her view of the pretty sky. It had disapproving eyes that reminded her of when she broke Dib's computer when she was little, and Gaz found that their color was extremely unorthodox. A kind of red that is redder than a rose...like blood-red, maybe? There was also a judgmental frown on this face with blood-red eyes. For a second there Gaz felt like a child who had been caught with their hand in a cookie-jar. She unconsciously gave out a shiver for unknown reasons.
Then, as she watched with glazed and indistinct eyes, a long and cruel smirk stretched from ear to ear on that face.
Zim tsked at her admonishingly, "Have you learned nothing from our previous encounter, my pet?" He cooed as he petted her soft violet hair. Gaz blinked, and then her pupils widened. She struggled to move her arm to punch him as she realized that somehow she was on her back. That proved unsuccessful however, as he swiftly caught her fist in his hand and with a wicked gleam in his ruby orbs, threw her over his shoulder like she was nothing but a sack of potatoes.
'Ow!' Gaz cried in silent agony as she furiously thrashed in hopes that he'll release her. But he held tight and whistled as he stepped into the main chamber. The doors automatically locked behind him, sealing shut her hopes of ever-escaping from this nightmare that keeps coming back.
Strangely enough, as soon as she was inside, it felt like an invisible suffocating mask has been pulled off her face. Her senses cleared and she felt strength returning to her muscles. Realizing that her throat no longer felt constricted from whatever was at the doorsteps, Gaz spoke, or rather screamed in fury,
"LET ME GO, YOU CREEP!"
She pounded her fists but it was useless as he paid her no attention at all. Or at least, not to her voice. Gaz winced when she felt something sharp scrape against her calf all the way up, past the junction of her inner knee and dangerously close to the most sensitive of part of her.
"Go on and scream all you want, dear Violet. You don't know how much I love hearing you do it...only if I was you, I'd wait until we are in my chambers..." He lowered his voice suggestively, "...and then you may scream as high as your voice box would allow..."
An angry blush came to her face as she had no choice but to glare at the moving floor. She'll just think up of some ways to torture him when he lets go of her then, she thought venomously.
Then before she knew it, they were in the hall that led to his room, and the room that she assumed he made for her, judging by its disgusting color. 'If he tries anything funny, I'll just launch my fist back like a catapult and punch his lights out.' Gaz vowed to herself.
"Hmmm...which room do you think we should enter, Violet? The choice is up to you. It doesn't matter to me because in the end, I will still accomplish what I have set out to do..." He spoke sinuously.
"Let...me...go!" Gaz grounded out from clenched teeth. She heard him chuckle to himself before he whispered, "As you wish, my dear..."
Gaz was surprised that he complied so fast, but then later she knew that it was too good to be true when she found herself held around the waist by two mechanical arachnid legs and looking into the menacing red eyes of Zim, who had a cold smile on his face. A gasp slipped past her lips when she found herself pressed against the wall, with Zim's face only an inch from hers.
"So tell me, my pet, did you enjoy your short-lived freedom?" He hissed maliciously. Gaz couldn't bear to look directly into those pitiless scarlet eyes any longer. Her face burned as tears started to collect in her eyes, threatening to spill and reveal her weakness if she did not look away. Closing her eyes she shook her head, averting her gaze to the side. Her lips trembled when cold, spider-long fingers gripped her chin and tilted it so that she faced him again.
He cocked his head in mock sympathy at her distraught appearance. "No? But I thought that you were happy because you've met your brother..." He scowled at the word. Gaz only stared back at him in contempt.
"Where is he?" She spoke in a firm voice belied by the terror evident in her eyes.
"Dib-stink? Oh, I don't know...probably got lost in the sea of rebels transported here. Maybe they've taken him in for experimentation. I heard from the Medical Institute that they're running low on humans for guinea pigs..." He added, smirking at the color that drained from her face.
"Liar!" She cried disbelievingly. Though she knew that it was as possible as what he'll do to her if she disobeys him again.
"Maybe I am, Violet...but either way, you can just forget about ever finding him again, and worry more about yourself... For all you know, he may be getting a reprieve by simply sitting behind the bars of Irken Prison..." He played with her mind.
Gaz glared at him in disbelief, thinking how he could ever toy with her emotions like that. But then again, this is Zim. The ever-selfish and cruel narcissist whom she has no other choice but to serve, no matter what her personal feelings about him may be.
She mentally repeated what he had said, '...you can just forget about ever finding him again, and worry more about yourself...' the solid, defensive wall that she had struggled so hard to put together crumbled as the dam broke. Fresh, crystallized tears cascaded down her porcelain cheeks as she freely cried, not caring anymore that Zim saw her weakness.
"What is the matter, my pet? You should be happy that I am letting you go without a punishment, which you justly deserve for how you have misbehaved..." He leaned his forehead against hers. His long, worm-like tongue lewdly slithered out of his mouth and licked away her falling tears.
Gaz cried out in hysteria, thrashing this way and that. Sadly that didn't do her any good because Zim caught her flailing arms with his, maintaining an unrelenting grip on her wrists, which had begun to burn from soreness. Her heart thumped itself against her ribcage in desperation to get out, but Zim merely sighed before he smirked at her futile attempts. He quickly hoisted her up and pushed aside the door to her room—the room he has designed just for her—walking in. Gaz's eyes widened when she heard the door click shut with a tone of finality.
Then in the blink of an eye, Gaz soon found herself lying face-up, with the spider-like figure of Zim hovering above her. Gaz was secondly reminded of a horror movie she saw with Dib about a giant tarantula that wrecked havoc in a small town. Looking up at Zim and that unmistakable hungry look in his eyes, Gaz suddenly felt like a puny, hopeless, and helpless little fly.
"What, no threats? No more promises of dooming me? Where has your sarcasm gone, my dear Violet?" He murmured against her cheek, burying his head into the crook of her neck. He found the warmth that radiated from there to be comforting, like a soft plushies. Or the feeling he gets in his squeedlyspooch whenever he is this close to his begrudgingly obedient maid. The hatred in her voice returned as she spoke, like a candle that has magically lighted itself after it's been blown out.
"I'll tell you where it's gone. And that is also where you'll end up if you don't get off me this minute!"
"And what if I don't want to?" He nipped at her collarbone playfully, eliciting an ambivalent sound.
Gaz shivered in loathing. "You know what, Zim? I don't give a stinkin' rat's ass what you do! If you don't leave me alone to wallow in my damned misery, then you can just go straight to hel—"
Antennas twitching irately at the undesired response, he glowered at her before forcefully crushing his lips against her own in dominance, effectively silencing her on the last word. Hearing her squeak in surprise, he chuckled evilly as he helped himself to the tenderness of her rose-petal lips. Gaz whined in protest, her stomach doing gymnastics while her mind was a cartwheel, thinking over and over in her head, 'Oh my god, this just so wrong, wrong, wrong!'
"You have such a dirty mouth, Violet...who on Earth could have tainted your mind in such ways?" He mumbled against her lips admonishingly. Gaz wanted to say some choice four-letter words she learned from Dib one time when he was showing her a kind of fight-craft that was in construction and a heavy Max-9000 got dropped on his foot by accident. Regrettably her lips were sealed against Zim's, and she didn't want to open them. So instead she just imagined Zim in Dib's place, clutching his foot in pain as he howled and shot out a string of swears and obscenities while hopping on one foot.
Zim, oblivious to her fantasy, took her dazed state to his advantage. "I think that you ought to rinse your mouth out so that it's clean again. But since you seem so...preoccupied, let me do the honors..." His tongue slid out and smoothly slithered passes her unguarded lips like a snake. Gaz was vaguely aware that her mouth was being invaded, but when she snapped back to reality it was too late; Zim was now exerting heavy pressure on her body as his tongue seductively curled against her own, coaxing it to respond to his ministrations.
Gaz whimpered in dissent, trying to turn her face sideways but Zim was already a step ahead of her. Sensing her change in demeanor, he cupped her face, preventing her from turning away. Gaz winced in pain when she felt sharp claws dragging along her cheek all the way down to her neck. She pushed against him to get him off, but of course he was wearing that Tallest armor, so it was as if she was exerting pressure on the solid wall.
'Can't...breathe...' Gaz's mind grew hazy at the depleted oxygen. It was almost as if he was punishing her for her betrayal by doing this, forcing her into a suffocating kiss of death. Then, just when her mind was on the edge of fading away, sweet oxygen quickly replenished her starved lungs as he pulled away.
"See? Zim knew that you had enjoyed it..." He replied smugly as he twirled a purple lock around his long, spider-like claw.
"You're disgusting!" Gaz retorted, turning her face away. "I'd never enjoy anything you do!"
Zim's grin turned malicious. "Then tell me, dear Violet, how did such a flattering shade of pink blossom upon your soft cheeks?"
Eyes widening, Gaz faced in crossly. "Because I couldn't breath, Zim! Although I wish that you hadn't stopped."
"Ah-ha! I knew it! You cannot resist ZIM! You cannot ever get enough of the Almighty ZIM!!!" He cackled.
Gaz scoffed. "Get over yourself, Zim. I'd much rather face a painful death than spend an eternity with someone like you!" She thought those words might be like a sword cutting through the heart, but she should have known that Zim doesn't have a heart. He was pure evil. How could she ever get along with someone like him, let alone live with someone like him? In the past, she had been young and impressionable, waking up in amidst the Irken Empire and forced to work as his slave. Maid and personal servant were merely words that would seem less offensive. But now that she had gotten a taste of that freedom; that feeling of where she should have been and belonged, Gaz knew that she would never go back. Not if she can help it.
The Irken Empire may have enslaved humans and become the dominating species on Earth, but one human would stand against them. And that human would be the slave of the Leader of the Empire himself.
Thinking about it now, Gaz felt the strong need more than ever to see her brother again. If only she can meet with him somewhere...then they can make a plan to defeat Zim. Together.
"A painful death, you say? You do not wish to spend an eternity with me? Very well... But you know, Violet, your idea of a painful death may be considered out of date now. We're a heavily advanced society, capable of executing actions that have previously been impossible. So before you say something like that, I believe it is only fair if you have an idea of what a 'painful death' is in our era. For humans anyway. We will never slaughter our own kind."
Before Gaz could open her mouth to come up with a reply, Zim quickly got off of her and glided gracefully to one side of her room. He stood in front of a blank wall, which Gaz now suspected to hide a giant TV screen of some sort. Sure enough, after Zim gave a shout of "Computer! I want Documentation: Final Resort for Disobedience, Copy X-451-28, to be put on the screen! Now!" the wall opened up horizontally and a huge plasma screen slid forward, overlooking the room.
Gaz, who sat on the bed looking skeptically at Zim, rolled her eyes before edging closer to the bed's end, close to the screen. Ignoring Zim's look of heavy dismay, she turned to him and casually asked, "What? No popcorn to go along with the movie?" She crossed her arms.
"FOOLISH HUMAN! I AM NOT YOUR SLA—" Zim never got to finishing that sentence, because a second later his stomach growled and suddenly he has a craving for something soft, crunchy and salty. "I'll be back...DO NOT MOVE! I HAVE LASERS POINTED AT YOU FROM EVER ANGLE! VERY, VERY SMALL BUT DEADLY LASERS THAT CAN INCINAGRATE YOU INTO ASHES THE MINUTE YOU MOVE OFF THE SOFT PODIUM OF REJUVINATION!!!"
"You mean the bed?" Gaz raised an eyebrow at him coolly.
"Yes, yes, the bed as you call it." Zim made air quotation marks before giving her a dismissive wave and exiting the room.
"You better hurry up, Zim. If the previews are over and my popcorn isn't here yet, there'll be hell to pay..." Gaz growled grumpily. It was extremely ironic how things are turning out. One moment they're acting like adults (or semi-adults), and a moment later they're behaving like immature children. Gaz shook her head. Truly, she needed to find a way out of this mess. If Zim wasn't going to kill her, then she'll most likely end up dying from annoyance by him.
The door slid open with a loud 'bang!' as if it had been kicked. Zim was standing in the doorway with a huge victorious grin on his face as he held the bowl of popcorn above him like an Emmy award. Gaz suppressed the urge to roll her eyes.
"THE MISSION HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WITH MINIMUM FAILURE! ZIM IS BACK WITH THE YELLOW, FLUFFY, SMALL EDIBLE BALLS OF COTTON!" Zim crowed proudly as he marched over to where Gaz sat.
"...The popcorn is practically swimming in butter there..." Gaz observed sarcastically. One of Zim's antennas twitched in annoyance at her tone. Gaz shook her head. "Could you please remove some of the butter, Zim?" She asked, smirking inside at Zim's growl of infuriation.
"HUMAN SLAVE, I REPEAT ONE MORE TIME—"
"This video has been made to demonstrate the final consequences of disobedience in the Irken System's toleration level for enslaved humans..." The speakers droned on in a male robotic voice.
"—that means you, Violet." Zim looked sharply at Gaz, who was only half-heartedly watching the screen. She was busying herself with tossing popcorn into her mouth.
"Viewer discretion is advised: the feature should only to be used to enforce obedience to slaves whose disobedience has dropped to the final level. Warning: This documentation is not for the faint hearted. May cause visual-mental scarring and or withdrawal to society."
"I suppose the next thing it's going to say is that this is the last chance I have of turning back?" Gaz scoffed.
"NO! JUST...LOOK AT THE SCREEN...Grr...THINGY!!!" Zim pointed at the screen. "Once you have seen this video, Violet, I guarantee you that you will automatically make up your mind about my proposition! No human has EVER seen this and said no to anything demanded of them afterwards! You're mind shall be changed! CHANGED!!!" He shook his fists.
Gaz responded by flinging the empty bowl of eaten popcorn at him, earning a, "Hey!" before snickering to herself.
Zim gasped. "You...you...YOU ATE ALL MY POPCORN!"
"I don't do sharing, Zim."
"SILENCE! AS PUNISHMENT FOR YOUR GREEDINESS, YOU SHALL HENCEFORTH CALL ME MASTER!"
"You know, you can still lick the bowl, Master." Gaz replied derisively as she gingerly licked her fingers of the butter.
Zim could detect the sarcasm in her voice a mile away, and the way she referred to him made him think of Dib and all those kids laughing at him back in his days as an Invader. He shook his head, swallowing his pride. She will pay, oh yes, she will pay for this. For every humiliating thing she has made him go through, Violet will pay dearly. But first, there is something that needs to be done about her 'attitude' problem. Which is why they're watching this horrific video.
Zim, as Tallest, has seen this video thousand of times before, of course. And to him, it was terrible. He debated about whether he ought to stay in or go out. To him, he didn't have the kind of 'thirst for blood' the previous Tallests did. All he really wanted was to rule the Earth.
But the look of terror on her face is too good to resist, so instead he chose to stay.
"So...you say that this little video is going to change me forever?" Gaz said skeptically, almost mocking him.
"Yes. NOW SILENCE!"
"Oh, I am terrified...horrified...absolutely mortified!" Gaz gasped as she stared bored at the blue screen, now with an Irken logo showing on it.
"Oh, you will be...you will be..." Zim chuckled darkly to himself.
A/N: Okay, well, there you go, chapter sixteen. Which reminds me...on Saturday, my homecoming dance's theme will be "Halloween Town". A couple of my friends are taking me to Hot Topics to pimp me in dark attire. Sweet, cause I can't wait to dress up for HC since I already know what my costume is gonna be. I'm gonna be SooOOOoo ghetto... (Don't have anything against them, Goths, or Emos)