Note: Just a warning, this is my bloodiest, goriest story which is why I rated it "M" so if you're squeamish, please don't read, although I cut one part cause even I got nauseous…

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Throbbing. Why was her head throbbing? She groaned, pushing herself up slowly. Something clanked as she moved and she froze. Pitch black surrounded her, she could see nothing. Cautiously lifting her arm up to grope forward, she felt heavy weights attached to her arm. Grasping her wrists were two chains, heavy and thick.

What's going on?

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His head was in a haze. He shook it hard, his sickle hair swishing back and forth.

C'mon, Dib. No time to blank out. What happened? It was something huge, something important. Something—

He opened his eyes. A pair of bloodred orbs stared at him, filling his vision. Startled, he jerked back, only to find his arms and legs firmly secured in a spread-eagle position, and that he was suspended in mid-air.

Zim pulled back slowly, a twisted grin on his face.

It slammed Dib like a brick in the head.

The Armada, it came! Weapons too advanced… utterly outnumbered! We had no chance… Dad! They got Dad!

"Has the feline stolen your vocal abilities, Earth-monkey?" Zim mocked.

"What happened, what did you do, Zim!"

"Wouldn't you love to know?" The Irken crossed to the far wall of the circular room they were in and palmed a complicated-looking control. The walls slid aside to reveal…

Space.

Dib had only been in space a couple times before, and each time it took his breath away. There was Saturn and Jupiter and Venus and…

His heart stopped.

Next to Venus floated a smoking mass of molten rock. Splintered, jagged mounds of tortured land protruded from craters that gaped miles wide.

"No," Dib croaked. "That's not Earth, that can't be Earth!"

"Oh but it is," Zim crooned, "Home sweet home, Dib."

A tightness gripped Dib's chest, a deep ache that begged for release. He exhaled slowly, vowing to keep control. "Wh-where's Dad?"

Zim cocked an antennae in amusement. "Your parental unit? The Professor?" He pulled the communicator from his PAK. "GIR, bring in the Professor."

A little robot toddled in, pushing a cart with a clear glass jar. Floating in a viscous, pink fluid was a large brain. Gagging, Dib shut his eyes, refusing to read the clearly printed label. Zim saved him the trouble.

"One hyuman brain, courtesy of Professor Membrane. Time of death, 1:25 AM Earth time."

GIR giggled happily. "Braaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiins!"

With a groan, Dib blacked out.

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She stiffened at the sound of screams. They were faint and far off, but unmistakably the sounds of someone in agony. Fear crawled in her gut, but she ignored it.

Light. It flooded the room with no warning. She forced herself to keep her eyes open, sparks of pain igniting them. They began to adjust and she took in her surroundings. High-tech equipment lined the walls and lights flashed everywhere. In the middle of the room stood a sterile, white table with what appeared to be arm and leg restraints. She glanced down. The medieval chains she wore stood in stark contrast to this modern backdrop.

At a slight humming, she turned to see a portion of the wall slide away. A short, stiff form marched through, chuckling to himself.

Her eyes narrowed and red clouded the edge of her vision. Who does he think he is? Alien or not, if he thinks he can just lock me up and expect to get away with it, he's dead wrong!

Straining to control her rage, she breathed, "If you don't let me go in the next twenty seconds, I'm going to make you wish you were never born, Zim!"

He turned to her, smirking in that oh-so-infuriating superior way. "Irkens aren't born, stupid Gaz-hyuman, they are cloned and hatched. Really, your ignorance is quite astounding."

She pulled against her chains, growling every oath she could call to mind. "I'm gonna make you regret this when I'm free."

Something in the way he advanced toward her stopped the threats cold. "Why Gaz-hyuman, who ever said you're going to go free?"

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Zim worked quickly. The sedative would wear off in a few minutes, but that was all he needed.

"Computer, release the Gaz and lock her into position."

Whatever.

Robotic arms wrapped around Gaz and hefted her onto the table in the middle of the room. Instantly the restraints slid over her wrists and ankles, seamlessly securing her to its surface.

Rubbing his claws in anticipation, he darted across the room and typed in a code. The wall became transparent, revealing a haggard Dib, sitting in the middle of a small cell. He looked up, beleaguered, but with defiance in his eyes.

"Was that the best you could do, Zim? A few beatings and electric shock? Destroying Earth must have really drained your imagination if you think I'm gonna break under that."

Zim smiled condescendingly. "Oh I knew that, Dib. I know you inside and out, and I know what your real weakness is."

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Dib's eyes traveled the length of the neighboring room, stopping on the small form strapped to a table. It stirred, lifting its head. He jumped to his feet, screaming in terror, "Don't you dare touch her, Irken scum!"

Zim pressed a button on the wall. A tendril of electricity shot out of the wall and slammed into Dib's spine, dropping him to the floor in a daze.

"Zim is not the scum here, you are, Dib. Watch and see what all your nosiness and threats of unmasking Zim have brought about."

With that, he turned and strode to the center of the room. He barked a few orders, and the computer lowered a small device around Gaz's head, pulling it down over her eyes. He flipped a switch on the side, and stood back with a grin.

At first, it seemed like nothing was happening. Then Gaz began to whimper. She tugged at her restraints, but they didn't budge. Her chest began to heave and her whimpers developed into cries of fear.

"What are you doing to her, Zim!" Dib shouted.

"Merely showing her a few of the hyuman test subjects Zim managed to collect and use, and exactly what was done with them."

Dib punched the transparent wall in frustration, clutching his knuckles and hissing in pain. "Leave her alone, Zim! This is between you and me, she's not involved!"

"But she is, Dib. You involved her by poking your snotty Earth-nose where it didn't belong." With a wave of his hand, the device was removed. Dib's heart clenched as he caught sight of Gaz's wide-eyed tear-streaked face. He had never seen his sister so scared. God help Zim if I get out of here…

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Gaz stared at the smooth, chrome-like ceiling, bewildered and frightened. Those were people I knew… that was Dad… they didn't even use any painkillers, they just cut his head open and pulled out his brain… She shuddered violently and choked back a sob. When did Zim get this good? He was always the lamest kid in class, and from what Dib said, the worst Invader in the Armada.

Her eyes darted around, landing on her brother. It looked like he was pounding on a glass wall, and his mouth was moving. No sound came.

"D-Dib, what's going o-on? Wh-what is he d-doing?"

Dib began gesticulating and his mouth moved frantically like it always did when he launched into one of his long-winded explanations.

She shook her head. "I can't hear you."

His mouth snapped closed and he glared at Zim. The alien stood next to Gaz's table, clearly enjoying the situation. "That's right, Dib-stink, one-way sound. I thought it would heighten the experience for you to be able to hear your sister's screams." With that, he removed a small device from his antennae and set it aside.

Dib's eyes widened and he started kicking the wall. Gaz didn't need to hear him to know he was cursing Zim.

Zim bent over a small lifter, appraising his tools. He selected a hideous instrument with sinuous, curving twists sharpened to razor edges. With calm detachment, he bent over her and began to remove her clothing. She jerked her head forward, gnashing her teeth, trying to bite those filthy claws undressing her, but she couldn't reach.

He ran his claws over her pale, trembling flesh, never breaking eye contact with Dib. Turning, he laid the tool at the base of her ribcage and slipped the edge of the tool through her skin, bringing it smoothly down the length of her leg. In the space of time it took Gaz to register the pain, he had slipped around to the other side and repeated the move. Her chest heaved as she struggled to keep her breathing under control. Two quick slices, on below her neck and one at the base of her belly, finished the job. Gripping the edges of her skin with his gloved hands, he removed the section covering the front of her body in one jerk.

Fire, the front of her body was on fire! Uncovered organs cried in pain from unwanted exposure. She arched her back, her mouth opened in a soundless scream, until a curt order from Zim brought her body slamming back down to the table. Electricity buzzed around her ears, and she recognized the dim color of a force-field.

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"So sensitive," cooed Zim, "So responsive to pain. Truly delicious to watch. Do you not agree, Dib?" The hyuman child's face had drained of all color and he was pressing his body against the wall as if it would part to let him through. Dib slid to his knees and clasped his hands together, pleading for something. Curious, Zim picked up his listener and placed it on his antennae.

"…e, not her, she didn't do anything, put me on there, cut me open, I don't care! Just don't hurt Gaz! Please, she's my little sister, please Zim! I'll do anything."

Casually, the alien strolled over and leaned on the wall above Dib, opening one eye wider than the other. "Anything, dirt-child?"

Dib swallowed. "Anything."

"You would admit Zim's utter superiority?"

A pause. "Yes."

"You would allow yourself to undergo horrible experiments and painful testing, possibly even dissection?"

Dib seemed to shrink into himself. "Yes."

Zim's half-lidded eyes danced with menace. "You would let yourself be killed?"

For the longest time, there was no answer. Then Dib gazed at the quivering, bleeding form in the middle of the neighboring room. "Yes," he whispered.

A grudging admiration flashed through Zim's thoughts briefly, but he shook it off, marched back to the table, and took up his tool again. "It is too bad your wishes have no effect on the actions of Zim."

An anguished howl tore through Zim's antennae. Yelping in surprise, he yanked the device off and crushed it in his fist. He grasped the instrument firmly and began probing the Gaz.

"What do you hyumans need all these organs for? What a stupid, wasteful shell. Irkens only need two organs to keep the body functioning, and we don't make waste." Careful not to damage it, he grasped her kidneys, pulsating and sloshing with disgusting liquids, and severed their connection with her system. He held them up to the light, examining them, then dropped them into a nearby jar. Several more jars sat within arm's reach, their purpose obvious.

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Dib could feel nothing. He was beyond grief, beyond horror. His sister was being pulled to pieces in front of him and he could to nothing. As Zim lifted her kidneys up, he lost control and vomited, spewing half-digested food and stomach acid all over the floor. It splattered the wall and soaked his jeans, giving off a foul stench. Wiping his mouth, he spotted the wad of gum he had swallowed the month before. He nearly laughed at the absurdity as he stared at the last piece of gum the universe would ever know.

A shrill, piercing scream jerked his attention back to the scene unfolding before him. He moaned as Zim removed organ after organ from Gaz. Her spleen, stomach, ovaries, appendix, liver, and intestines all floated in jars of pink liquid. The ground around Zim's boots was wet with her blood, and he had to step carefully in order not to slip. It began to sink in that Gaz would not survive, that once he was done with non-essential organs, Zim would remove her vitals.

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She was dying. There was no other way to describe the feeling of strength and control slipping away from her. It registered in her mind that she should have already died from shock, but what should have happened didn't matter. What was happening right then consumed her focus.

He leaned over her. "Is there anything you wish to tell the Dib before your puny existence is destroyed?"

With great effort, she rolled her head over to look at Dib. He lay on the ground in a puddle of vomit, sobbing violently. His hands were bleeding and his knuckles swollen from his constant attempts to break through to her. One glance at his eyes told her Zim had broken him, broken his will. No, he can't stop fighting. Her eyes flicked to Zim, waiting for her response.

Licking her lips she croaked, "It's… private…"

He grunted in annoyance and called over a small screen with a keyboard. It glided over, silently, and settled in the gaping hole of her stomach. Zim flicked his wrist at a control and her arms were released. He placed them on the keyboard and stood back, waiting.

Every key she touched pushed the computer into her muscles, sending spastic contractions through her body. Six times the computer ground into the hole, six times she gasped in pain. As she finished, her hands fell loosely to her sides. The computer rose from her stomach and buzzed out of the room.

Zim tugged at his gloves with a sadistic smile. "I will tell you a little secret, Gaz-hyuman. Zim has never killed a hyuman before. This shall be a new experience." Plunging his arm into the hole, he grasped her heart, pulsing frantically. He lifted his tool above his head and screamed, "I AM ZIM!"

Down came the instrument, slicing through arteries and ligaments, severing her heart from her body. Her glazed eyes followed his hand, dripping with her blood, as he placed her heart in the last jar.

Blackness lapped at her vision. The room was getting darker, darker.

Please, Dib, don't give in…

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Satisfaction was sweet. Zim gazed with contempt at the broken, soiled creature at his feet. Dib refused to respond, even when insulted and kicked. Nothing would bring him back from this, he had finally been defeated.

Out of the corner of his eye, the Irken spotted the computer hovering nearby, covered in drying blood. He hesitated. What could it hurt?

"Computer, display Gaz's last words to Dib." The computer screen zoomed over to face Dib.

Stunned, Dib read the screen. One word. Over and over he read the word and, with tears streaming down his face, he began to laugh. A chuckle escaped his lips, then he began to giggle, then great hiccupping, sobbing laughter wracked his body and he rolled on the floor, a helpless victim to mirth.

Enraged, Zim shouted, "What is so humorous? Tell Zim, I demand to know!"

Dib stopped laughing. Slowly he stood to his feet. "You wouldn't get it. You never knew her, spaceboy."

No, no! She brought him back, she brought him back!

"To flirk with you!" Zim yelled, whipping out his laser gun. Two seconds later, Dib collapsed to the floor, his bowels splattered on the wall behind. Storming over to the computer screen, he jerked it up to read what it said.

For the next three hours Zim read the word, over and over, trying to decipher some hidden meaning, some code she used to communicate a secret to the Dib. But he found nothing. Just a simple, worthless word.

Whiner.